Okay, so I’ve made it up to lunch with Seven. Our timing was impeccable, as he was exiting the interstate near where my hotel, I was actually walking up Canal Street. This is my 3rd meeting with Seven and honestly, he is one blogger I enjoy spending time with. He was kind enough to cart me over to Gretna and feed me the absolute BEST CATFISH EVAH at “Cafe 615: Da Wabbit.”
He pointed out various points of interest along the way, such as a shopping center that had been looted and burned and the point on the bridge where they stopped everyone trying to flee New Orleans. Da Wabbit was hoppin’… har har har. I will definitely be having catfish with Seven there again!
However, due to fatigue, exhaustion, and way too much thinking while walking, I had a little meltdown about Steve (AZ). Not so much that he got married, but more so that I knew things would never be the same and I really felt a sense of loss of my friend. This was further exacerbated by my puny financial situation, (which I haven’t forgotten about), and a call from Nate’s school… yes, the long arm of education is wide and reaching. Seems Jeff had forgotten to give Nate his meds and that is a recipe for detention.
I was the first blogger to visit Seven’s new digs and they are rather sweet. Perfect for him, and an awesome back porch. It’s only fitting as Lisa B. and Seven were the first blogger visitors to the newly refurbished Casa Peach.
Too soon, Seven dropped me off at the hotel and I went in to take a much needed nap before the concert.
This did not happen. I tossed and turned and finally gave up, got up, bathed, scented, and left for the House of Blues. No pictures, sorry. Everyone I met in line was from out of town. One gentleman in particular, John, was from Shreveport and his hobby is concerts, about 200 a year. (Even as tired as we both were, we got to know each other a little better after the show… *insert favorite dirty thought here*)
So, the first member of Alice in Chains I saw was new lead singer, William DeVall. He’s really sweet and he was very nice and gracious. None of them lingered long because it seemed as though peeps came out of the woodwork if they stopped for 5 seconds. Next was Sean Kinney, who noticed my “Boggy Depot” necklace, he said it was, “Crazy!” Okay.
Then there was Mike Inez, who was the absolute most gracious of all of the guys. When I thanked him for signing my CD cover, his genuine response was, “It was my pleasure.” Very sweet, very genuine, very down-to-earth.
That brings us to Mr. Cantrell, and let’s face it, the reason I went to New Orleans. He came out of the club and went straight to the bus, however, John had heard from friends that more often than not, Jerry stops on his way back into the venue to sign autographs. Well, I was planting my ass there until it happened. Then I wavered, then I decided to hang tight.
Security asked that we line up and give him some space, which to me, only made sense. As he came down the line, I handed him my CD cover and the ballpoint pen that I had been writing all of this down with. He looked at the pen and said, “That won’t work.” Very quiet, very calm. I said the only thing that came to mind (scared he wouldn’t sign my CD cover after I’d stood there for … four hours?)
“I’m sorry.” Yeah, I can come up with the greatest of lines, can’t I?
He responded, “No, it’s okay. It just won’t work as well,” very calm, mellow, laid-back, he looks around, “I’ll just use this one,” and plucks a silver marker from the guy’s hand who was next to me, then signed his “JC.” I thanked him and then watched him as he went on down the line. Never once did he make eye contact. However, he made eye contact with the necklace I had on.
It was the same look he had given me the night before.
Jerry Cantrell does not look at you. At first, it was as though he was looking through me. But actually, it was more like he was looking into me, as though he’s deciphering some great mystery or riddle. He has one of the most penetrating gazes of anyone I’ve ever met.
He’s also very good at side-stepping over-zealous fans, because you know there’s one in every crowd. It wasn’t me. He stopped at the door and thanked us all for being there.
And that was my meeting with Jerry Cantrell. Yes, it was worth it.
How good of a singer is William? He’s excellent… what I could hear over the crowd singing every lyric of every song, other than the cover they did of an Elton John tune. They also covered “Squeeze Box” by “The Who,” which rocked. The whole show was just incredible. In-fucking-credible. Even though I was way in the back, it was like I was front row.
They didn’t stop to chat after the show so John and I went back to my hotel room. I packed and…
Okay, well, I slept three hours, got up, caught a cab, and flew home.
And that was my trip to “The Big Easy.” I can’t wait to do it again.