Big Head Todd and the Monsters
On the Road Again - 2014 - Finishing up Leg 3 of Winter Tour

It’s kinda nice for me when we all fly from Denver to a city where the bus is waiting, along with hotel rooms for the night. I don’t have to worry about the responsibility of the “flight gear” that we typically check when there is no bus (and trailer full of gear) waiting for us at our destination. But in the middle of a long winter tour, when we get enough days off to fly home for a bit, it’s nice to fly back out without having to deal with any gear. Looks good on paper, until we determine that we need to replenish our stock of merchandise. DOH! Merch is an integral part of our traveling rock show. So, when we run low on the items stocked on the bus, and we are home on a short break, it makes sense to restock at least a few boxes worth of items. So, we loaded up some merch boxes; just enough to elevate my level of responsibility on a travel day. Oh well. Gotta do what you gotta do. 

Frontier Airlines was able to get us to Milwaukee without incident or much of a delay, and we stood outside the terminal for 20 minutes waiting for our hotel shuttle. (The tour bus was not allowed to come in to the pick up area). It was ripping cold. We started out as a group of 8 fighting the howling wind and sub 20º temps. By the time the shuttle came, there were only three of us outside with the guts to hang tough. I’ll protect the thin-skins at this time, but will celebrate my own personal victory over the MKE winter night. 

Before the Milwaukee show, we rolled to the Rock Bottom for our first “lunch hour” visit. Had a good crowd, had some lunch, then rolled to Turner Hall. We had a decent turnout on this THU night . It’s a pretty cool venue, and those of you who have been there will appreciate my description of the building as “slanty”. The only downer tonight was the load out. At the entrance to the parking lot, where we rolled our cases on to the trailer, there was a pothole. Yep, it doesn’t take much to get under our skin. And when a local stagehand sheared off one of our casters on a big heavy case, we paused for a moment of silence. Large square boxes require 4 casters (wheels, plus all the rigging down there), and three just does not cut it. The next day, we performed our 3rd or 4th Casterectomy of the tour, and you will be relieved to know the patient is has fully recovered and is resting comfortably in our trailer. 

The next morning, we woke up in the seedy underbelly of the city of Chicago, beneath the House of Blues. It’s a dark, scary place, but we have to park the bus down there to load our gear in to their elevator. It must be at least 4 or 5 floors to the stage level, and two more to the dressing rooms!!. The sign on the stage door says “it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll”. Perfect. 

We had our second consecutive Rock Bottom visit; this one a late afternoon “happy hour” version, which was well attended. We were able to walk to the restaurant from the venue, and a stage hand delivered our gear in her pickup. A logistical chocolate chip cookie for me, as arranging for ground transportation can be daunting. Fortunately, the band is willing to walk 2 blocks for our fans. Both ways!

Sold out at the House of Blues. Thanks to all of you for packing the house. Is that the most “vertical” venue you have ever seen? That’s my description. 3 or 4 balconies, and they are all right on top of the stage. Cool. 

Waking up behind the Pageant Theatre in St Louis is like waking up next to your girlfriend: familiar, recognizable, and warmer than the Milwaukee airport. And after waking up in Chicago’s rat cellar the morning before, it was a treat to put on the ole sunglasses. The band and crew always love playing this gig. It’s a great room, we have great crowds and for me, having the hotel right next door is a logistical piece of cheesecake with strawberries on top. St Louis was nearly sold out. Huge crowd. Thanks for being such a staple on our itinerary. 

I never planned on just needing a tee shirt in Council Bluffs in early March, but we were all pleasantly surprised to find warmer temps than we have had all winter long. A sold out Sunday night at the Whiskey Roadhouse in Harrah’s was a great way to finish up the 3rd leg of our winter.  After this show, we rolled overnight back to the front range, stopped at the airport to pick up my Tundra, and unloaded only laundry upon our arrival. We left gear in the trailer for a few days off.

Cross loading that gear in to a truck later this week for a local private event, then planning our west coast run, starting in a couple of weeks. In search of some warmer climes, we will look for you west coasters in late MAR and early APR. Ooops, there goes my dryer….See you out there.

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

On the Road Again - 2014 - From Brooklyn to DTW

This is my official “half way” point of the 2014 Winter tour. Not necessarily because we have completed 50% of our shows, but simply because I am sitting on a plane back to Denver for a few days off, and this is truly the first time I have had to put work aside for a day (of travel) since the beginning of November, 2013. I know, I know, we’re ALL busy. But as the days have gone by this winter, I have been nudged and nudged into action by some truly BIG fans. And you know we aim to please. So, herewith, our mid winter update…..

All of the band and crew met at our office in Golden, CO (it was never the BEER that made Golden famous…) and we loaded up “Sierra”, our 45 long Prevost XLII tour bus, and “Kewl 2”, our piece of junk trailer that follows us everywhere. I reckon that as long as it is there each day when we walk off the bus to load in, we should respect the job our trailer accomplishes. It gets our gear from one town to the next. 

We stocked the trailer with gear, and the bus with warm clothing, and sent it east. Five days later we would see it again, literally, as we landed at LaGuardia on Long Island. Before the plan had finished taxiing, I looked out of the window, saw our hotel, and right out front, our trusty coach. We loaded up in to a hotel shuttle, and after a 5 minute drive, we were settling in to sleep in our bunks for the first of many long winter nights. 

Our first stop was the Brooklyn Bowl. We had not been here before, so we were intrigued by the idea of a music venue that also did business as a bowling alley. After it was said and done, we were torn between this eclectic club and Irving Plaza, our historical NYC area play. Both have their logistical issues, but overall we enjoyed the change of pace. We hear that they are opening more “Brooklyn Bowl” type venues across the country as I type, so who knows, we may show up at one near you some day. 

We rolled down bumpy I 95, as we always do, happy to escape the NYC traffic, even after midnight. We woke up east of Philadelphia, at a hotel in New Jersey. (the state where one day I will marina my boat). No parking for our bus and trailer at any hotels in the city. We then headed to our second consecutive NEW venue, called Union Transfer. Way north of where we have always played, down on South Street at the TLA. I can say that we all enjoyed this venue very much. Logistically sound for crew, and sonically decent for band. Props to my home town for coming out in numbers on a FRI night, and a shout out to some high school friends who came in to the city to visit me, and to enjoy the band. They are also true fans. 

After saying our good byes, we hopped down to DC for our annual stop at the 9:30Club. This day was also our first Rock Bottom Visit since we had beta tested the idea in Denver ahead of our NYE show. Makes for a long day, scheduling in 2 hours (“happy hours” - BOOM!) on our already long days, to go say hi to fans at local Rock Bottom Restaurants, play a song or 2 or 3, do an interview with local radio personalities, answer questions from the fans, sign autographs, and drink Beer. But we have made it work 8 or 9 times already this winter, and have more scheduled (check the web site). 

We made stops in Charlottesville, Knoxville (where a band member fell while running and got cut up pretty good — but rallied to rock the next night), Asheville, and Atlanta. Lotsa “villes” down there…. Good to know we have a good core group of fans down south. We are very appreciative. We ended that weekend in Nash — wait for it — Ville, where we were live on the local radio station for the majority of our show. No pressure there! We hung around the Carolina’s the next weekend, stopping in Charleston ( I could put a boat in down there too), Raleigh, and Charlotte. We seemed to bring a lot of cold weather and some snow to many of these towns who are not so used to it. We saw major accidents on the Atlanta highways, people slipping and falling in Asheville on the snow, roads shut down in Charleston, and if we hear the words Polar Vortex again, we may actually have to break down and google it. 

Searching for some warmth, we headed back towards Georgia. We stopped for a day off to watch the Broncos destroy the Seahawks. Regrettably, this is NOT what we witnessed. Congrats to Seattle, and wow, we came in second…..  

After a chilly day in Macon, we headed further south, and we finally found it. The sun. Our swing through Florida was warm, though we continue to confound the meteorologists down there with an inordinate amount of rain, especially when we play in Orlando. Sorry about that. 

After our last show of the first leg, we rolled to a Fort Lauderdale airport hotel, ahead of a flight home the next morning. Reminder: NEVER book hotel rooms near the Ft Lauderdale airport, unless you are going on a cruise. Geez, rooms were SO expensive because of all of those cruisers. 

I spent the next ten days preparing for the second leg of the tour. Routing, schedules, hotel reservations, and more airline reservations for everyone for the next few months. 10+ hours a day just hammering away on the computer. I sure could use a personal assistant. 

And then…. Back to the cold. Denver was not too bad, and as soon as we touched down north of Hartford, CT at BDL, we were missing the dry air at 5500 feet. Cold, snow, and ice confined us to our tour bus the night before we started out on the next batch of shows. We started in Northampton. Too much snow and traffic to back the bus in to the load in area, so we pulled in forward. Slid on ice, nearly hit a telephone pole. The next day was another “first time at this venue” day, in a town called Port Chester, NY. A beautiful venue called the Capitol Theatre. Another cold day in an old theater, but we had a good turnout. The most people ( I think) on this tour to that point. We strayed from our “evening with” two set show on this night to make way for Anders Osborne to play an opening set ahead of us. Good guys. Anders sat in with our band for a song and did great. 

From there, we rocked it over to Boston, to one of our favorite venues, the House of Blues. As it was a Saturday night, we had to do an early show (doors at 6PM!!!) so that we could get our show finished by the 10PM curfew. Why a 10PM curfew? Well, the local stage hands pulled no punches when they told us we had to make way for the “gay disco”. Now, we were out of there before our eyes had the opportunity to lay witness to the dance party that we were told would erupt, but we sure did see a quick transformation in the HOB from rock show to dance club, complete with a DJ set up where our drum kit had been, and a disco ball that seemingly dropped from the heavens and was lit up big time, sending us back to 1979 just before we got the hell out of there.  Lansdowne Street is quite a scene after 10PM on a SAT night. Amazing how many kids are out to be seen. 

We had a couple of days to work our way over to the Pittsburgh area, where we returned to Mr. Smalls, a cool gig that used to be a church of some sort. Another good crowd for a TUE, a night when we know it’s tough for you guys to get out to see the band. we thank all of you for seeing the band live, no matter what night of the week.  Oh yeah, it was terribly cold in Pittsburgh.

Our next show was probably our biggest surprise so far this winter… A SELLOUT in Cincinnati! We owe fans a ton of credit for seeing us a few years ago at the 20th Century Theatre, and then spreading the word. It worked. We had to turn people away at the door, thanks to that Fire Marshall guy…. Thanks again. 

We followed up the Cinci show with our best attended Cleveland House of Blues show ever. Ohio really took care of us this year! And then we finished up last night in a Detroit suburb called Royal Oak, MI. We were at a beautiful venue called the Royal Oak Music Theatre (works for us) and to our surprise, had a 3rd strong night in a row with respect to attendance. It really is true that fans of the band spread the word and get friends out to our shows, and we have been making more and more fans this winter with your help. 

Waking up at 5:45AM this morning, we got to the airport with plenty of time for breakfast before loading on to our non stop flight to Denver. Sitting on the tarmac for 3.5 hours while waiting for the De-icing vehicles to restock their juice was not a fun way to get the day started, but ultimately, 6 hours later, we were home on our couches. 

Thanks to those of you who have joined us before DOORS for our VIP Meet and Greets with the band. (info on the web site). It’s nice to talk to you guys and get your BHTM stories and answer your questions. And the band is making more and more friends (friends = FANS) by signing autographs and doing photos, etc. We hope you have enjoyed those experiences. 

Four more shows this week. Milwaukee, Chicago, St Louis, and Council Bluffs. At that point, we will head home for a meaningful tour break, amounting to about 15 days, before we climb on the bus in Golden, and head WEST. 

Enjoy the new record, and come see the band perform some of it live, along with some “oldies but goodies”. We have Ronnie Baker Brooks and Hazel Miller out all winter with us, so this show really is a “must see”. The band is sounding great. Find the date we are in town, get a babysitter, get tix, get your friends together, and get out there to see the most polished Big Head Todd experience ever. 

Thanks you guys. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

On the Road Again - Throttling up for 2014

It’s now too late to make a purchase at our web site in time for Christmas delivery.

But not too late to make plans to come out and see us this winter. 

The wheels are in motion as we begin planning our Winter, 2014 bus tour. Booking flights that surround the different legs of the tour, booking hotel rooms for the whole gang, and advancing all of the individual shows with each venue, so they learn how we roll, and we learn how they roll. We have some shows at venues we have revisited for years, and we have a few venues for which this winter will be our maiden stop. 

Lots of preparation is under way, including some shows leading up to the day that we load up the bus and trailer in early January.

We have big plans for DEC 30 and DEC 31 in Denver. We are doing some rehearsing, and on the afternoon of DEC 30, we will take a break to head over to the Rock Bottom Brewery to do a small Question and Answer session, so if you can jam your tails inside that fun bar and say Hi, we’ll be on the lookout for you.

Then we need to rock in 2014 next TUE night. It looks like they may have made some more fix available for the show, so if you still have no decent plans for NYE, we will be right downtown, at the Paramount, right off the mall, playing two long sets of music with no opener. The tix are fairly priced, and we always have a good time counting it down to midnight. have dinner, then head over for a good time. You can still be home by 1AM to send the babysitter on her way.

And if you happen to live in or near Park City, you’re probably already making plans for January 8 to hang out downtown for the FIS Freestyle World Cup Opening Ceremony on Main Street, Park City. BONUS… We will be there to rock it out—side!

Happy New Year everyone. I’ll ramble off some witty, insightful thoughts from the road after we load up the bus on JAN 10 and then fly in to LGA to jump on and start this Monster tour. Our first show ever in Brooklyn will kick this trip off, so we’ll see you out there.

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

On the Road Again 2013 — Anatomy of a “Fly Date”

Full Speed. Multi-tasking. Whirlwind. Sweat. Blur.

We have two different methods by which we route ourselves to do live shows. The first, more conventional method, is TOURING. We lease a bus and a driver, load up the gear in the trailer, get band and crew on the bus. Roll town to town. 

The second method is what we call a “One-off”, or “Fly Date”. 

Each method presents us with its own set of challenges. Last weekend, we flew to Indianapolis for a “one-off”, and as unaccustomed as I am to patting myself on the back, we nailed it from every perspective. 

Often, I must book us on flights that depart and arrive at the day BEFORE a show. It depends on what time zone the show is in, how accommodating the various flight times are, and whether we will be doing a standard “setup/soundcheck” plan, or a total “throw and go”. 

For Indianapolis, we were invited to perform at the Warfmest, a new venture that some friends and fans of the band put together and debuted this year. (It should grow to a large festival in a few short years, supplanting the Rib Fest from years gone by). The Warmfest was a 3 day weekend event, over Labor Day weekend. We played on SUN, the second day. Doors were scheduled to open at NOON, so while we theoretically could have come in the night before, then set up at 9AM the day of the show, set up, sound checked, did a “spike and strike”, and sat around for 8 hours until it was our turn to take the headlining spot, I decided this would not be the most efficient use of our time. (and we did not have a bus to hang out on all day). So, I decided to plan for a “throw and go”, where we would fly in to town on the day of the show, have the festival provide us with ground transportation, roll directly to the venue, set up our gear offstage while other bands played, and then we would roll in to place on our changeover, line check, and go for it. Make sense?

I was sure to advance our backstage dressing room area, so we had a private space to occupy for the majority of the afternoon until it was our turn to play. I checked in merchandise, built a guitar world, got us fed, etc. 

There was one curve ball on the schedule for Todd. 30 minutes after our arrival and a couple hours before our main stage show, we had to get Todd, his guitar and his amp on to a golf cart, driven to the boat launch on the river adjacent to the festival grounds, load him on a large boat, set him up and sound check him for a “fan cruise” that was put together for some uber fans. Todd returned a while later, and we had a four piece band ready to go. We had 45 minutes to change over the stage, line check, and off we went. 90 minutes of hot and sweaty BHTM, right up until one minute before the city’s hard curfew went in to effect. 30 minutes later, the gear was packed, and I headed to settle merchandise and then on to settle the show. 30 minutes after that, we were back in our 15 passenger van (with the back seat out, making room for gear) and we were headed to our Indianapolis airport area hotel for the night. By the time we were checked in ( I had the keys pre made and waiting for our late arrival) it was around midnight. With a 5:45AM wake up call in place, we locked in to almost 6 hours of sleep. Not bad for a quick 24 hour fly date. Gaining 2 hours on our flight back home (Indy in the east time zone — Whaaahhhh?????), we nearly landed sooner than we departed!. We were on the ground just after 9AM, and after I rolled to Golden to unload all the flight gear, I was back home before noon, sitting on my couch watching the fourth round of the Deutsche Bank Gold tournament (Labor Day).

Thank you to Indy fans in attendance, Dan and Lisa at Warmfest, and both Frontier and United Airlines (had to use two different airlines due to scarcity of viable flight times) for making our “fly date” plan come off without a hitch. 

Boom. Done. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

On the Road Again - 2013 Summer Sweetly

It’s beyond incredible how quickly time goes by, and even more apparent when I look back to the last time I posted a blog entry for the band. Why does Summer go by so fast? I think it’s because I prefer Summer over Winter. 

Anyway, since the last check-in, I have been able to balance work and play fairly well. Golf remains a top priority, and tennis is another sporty outlet and a chance to recreate with a different group of friends. Wish I had been fishing more than I have. But I have a delivery of flies coming this week, so I’ll be heading to the river again soon. 

After a fun night in Wichita at a festival show, we drove overnight on the bus to our favorite spot on this earth, Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Always the longest day of the year for us, but SO worth it. Another amazing crowd, and another successful year there. The band played the entire Sister Sweetly album, celebrating 20 years since its release. Trombone Shorty opened the show. Great band. The next night, we actually played ahead of them in Salt Lake City, on what we call a Co-bill, where each band plays the same length set. Then we turned around and headed home for a bit of time off. 

Rob took a few weeks off to take a trip, so Todd decided to do a few solo shows on the east coast. I decided to help him out, so I loaded up my Tundra with guitars, amps, and gear, and drove home to Pennsylvania to visit with my Mom for a week. Then Todd flew in to DC, I picked him up and we rolled the first of his four shows. After the DC show, we drove back to West Chester, my home town, and after dropping Todd off at a hotel near my home, I went home for the night. The hotel became Todd’s home base for 3 nights, and I stayed at the house I grew up in, and we knocked out NYC and Philly before I said g’bye to Mom and we rolled north to Northampton, MA for Todd’s final solo gig. He had 4 great shows, 2 of which were sellouts! Thanks to those who wanted to see Todd in a more intimate environment. 

After that last show, Todd and I rolled west, and after nearly 2000 miles (and securing our friendship forever), we got back to Denver safely, and chilled for about 10 days. 

Next up was another visit to McCall ID, where we had not been to in quite a few years. We had a show booked in this scenic Idaho town, a summer haven for boaters. Beautiful spot. We had an indoor show at the ice arena, and though it may have been more fun to play outside on this crisp summer evening, we had a pretty good show and a great turnout. Ran in to some old friends there, folks who follow us whenever we are up in the Idaho/Montana/Spokane region of the country. Great area up there, and each time we fly in to one of those towns, several of us think about how cool it might be to live in this part of the world. 

After a few rounds of golf and some tennis, we loaded up the tour bus and trailer on JUL 12, and at the crack of dawn, we rolled up the hill from the front range on our way to Telluride. Colorado is truly one of the most beautiful states, and it’s so funny that not a ton of people back east no anything about the western half of this country. Westerners would be just as happy if I did not mention it…..

We loaded in to the Sheridan Opera House for a scaled down show on FRI night, ahead of our big show on SAT night ate the legendary Telluride park on the west edge of town, where we headlined the RIDE FESTIVAL on SAT. 

Stayed up late on SAT night, headed to a bar on main street, had a few drinks, and before we knew it, the acoustic guitar guy had handed his git off to Todd, who proceeded to rock out a few tunes to the small crowd that was still awake. Great night, including a fun walk in the rain before we found our way back to our hotel up on the mountain. Wish that hotel room had better blinds on the windows……

After the Telluride weekend, we rolled west to Flagstaff, AZ, where we had NEVER been! (stopped at FOUR CORNERS monument, my first time ever visiting there. Fun) — We had a great show for a TUE night, and the crowd was awesome. Thanked us for FINALLY coming to town. We have been invited back and can’t wait to return.

Next up were the first few shows of our LP TOUR, which is not really a tour, but a handful of dates that involve our band, along with Matthew Sweet, The Wailers, and Soul Asylum. First show was in Saratoga, CA, at the Winery. Amazing venue, and we crammed all four bands on that stage and made it happen just in time to beat the curfew. Don’t want to keep the mountainside neighbors up with all that crazy loud rock and roll music. 

After that show, we rolled overnight to Las Vegas, where we spent the day setting up for a show at the Mandalay Beach Stage. This stage juts out into the tremendously large Wade Pool, and is quite a spot. We crammed all four bands on the stage again, and were all ready to rock at 8PM. Then, at 7:30, the wind kicked up. Then the clouds rolled in. Then we covered the gear with tarps just in case. Then the lightning began. Then the large drops of water began to fell. “Not to worry”, the locals assured us. “It will pass by”. Then the wind kicked up to the next level. Then the lightning got closer, and louder. Then the real rain began to fall. “It will stop shortly”, we were told. NOPE. It kept coming and coming. And the lightning got closer, and louder, and scarier. And then, the heavens really opened up. A bunch of us were on stage, holding down tarps, keeping them from blowing away, but the wind was blowing the rain sideways, and the tarps were not helping too much. All bands got their guitar boats to safety, and shortly thereafter, we were ordered from the stage for safety reasons. The lightning was way too dangerous to have people on the stage at this point. So we gave up, headed for cover, and waited. And man, did it rain. By the time the storm has passed, there were 3 inches of rain on the stage, and the drains were overwhelmed and would not do their job. Sadly, the show had to be canceled. After all that work setting up, we just toweled everything off as best we could, and packed it back up. Such a waste of time on account of Mother Nature. Oh well……

We hung out in Vegas for a few hours, until our driver was ready to roll, then headed back to the coast, to the Wiltern Theater in LA. Great venue, and we finished up the short bus run with the four bands rocking out their big albums, then began the long ride home to Colorado. Stopped along the way in Gallup, NM for the driver to get some sleep, and all went out for our standard Applebee’s dinner. Applebee’s provides the consistent mediocrity that we need on the road. 

Arrived back home early MON morning, and unloaded the trailer. Tired, but I stayed behind at the office to work on some merchandise. So many tee shirts to count!

After a 3 day break, we flew out to Minneapolis the night before our FRI night extravaganza at Target Field. What an amazing experience to play on a stage set up on the Twins home field. The Gear Daddies took the place of the Wailers for this gig, followed by Matthew Sweet, then Soul Asylum, and then we rocked out the Sister Sweetly record. And we had time for 6 more tunes before they shut us down. Great night, and we were in front of almost 7000 people. Congrats to Minneapolans (is that right???) for making this the most successful show of our year (next to Red Rocks ;)) 

Our summer will slow a bit in AUG, with shows in Ft. Collins, Atlanta, and Raleigh, and we are making plans for the Fall. If you did not get your LP Tour tee shirt, you can go to our web site and find the color and size that suits you best. 

See you all soon out there. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

On the Road again - 2013 - Northeast with no bus

We landed at Newark Airport at around 11:30PM. Todd was scheduled to land at the same time, but ORD has really been dropping the ball lately. He had a 90 minute delay. So, Rob and I went to get our rental vehicles, pulled them up to the curb at the airport to pick up all the guys and the gear (it was a stinking madhouse at midnight) and rolled off the airport in hopes of finding a safe place to hang for an hour or so and have a late night snack and maybe a beer. No such luck. We locked the doors of the min vans and rolled through the streets of downtown Newark, unable to find a reputable looking establishment that we would have felt comfortable in. So, we swung in to the parking lot with the Golden Arches above, and after some consideration, and after observing young women standing on the corner in the dark, we hit the drive-through. Somehow, we made a friend before we even ordered our filet O fish sandwiches, who had a hand out for loose change. I told her to at least wait until we got our change from the gal at the first window. She did. Then we hit the second window and enjoyed the smell of Mickey D’s fries, if not the taste. 

We chomped down a forgettable meal, and worked our way back to the airport, and after illegally parking at the pick up area in front of multiple cops who did not see to care (god bless em), Todd found his way to us and we got the hell outta there as fast as we could, and sped off in to the night in search of our hotel in Tenafly, New Jersey. I won’t bore you with the details of the suffering we went through to find it, and ultimately, we did. got in super late, but since we were only minutes from the Bergen PAC, we were able to sleep in. Big breakfast at a local diner. Table for 8. Then, off to work. Good ole jersey union guys working the venue, but they were all very nice. “These are my people”, I told Brian. Spirited THU night show and the folks who attended showed a great deal of appreciation for the band. Best part of the night was that after the show, we were able to go back to the hotel and get a decent night’s sleep. 

The next morning, we headed out on a bit of a longer drive to the Mohegan Sun Casino, in eastern Connecticut. The worst part was getting through the NYC area. I took us on one wrong turn and it cost us the better part of a half hour. Not that it mattered, since we sat in traffic for well over 90 minutes trying to get northbound on 95. Nightmare. Never again without a bus driver, as god as my witness. Ended up being only an hour late for load in, but made up the time with no worries. Sound check, dinner, then a solid 90 minute set to a huge crowd gathered inside the casino. Then we signed autographs to a super long line, but it was still only 10PM, so we felt we should hook up the crowd with a visit. Then, another chance to go to sleep early, as we super nice rooms at the casino-hotel. but first….. late night dinner. A bunch of us met up at the Johnny Rockets for the Cheeseburger bomb of the year. Man, those are good. And I had a vanilla shake to go with it. I was living large. (So were my intestines). So we got our good nights’ sleep, even though we should never have eaten that late. Then it was time to hit the road again. 

It was pretty chilly SAT morning, and there was some rain falling. We had a relatively short drive south to a town called New London, where, in a BHTM first (in the states) we boarded a ferry with our vehicles, bound for northeast Long Island. And they had a bar. So we all had a Bloody Mary and discussed the fact that had this ferry not existed, we would have NEVER made it to Amagansett, NY, waaaayyyy out there on LI. Like the penultimate town. Even WITH the ferry, we had to go down and around a huge bay, then sit in local Memorial Day Weekend traffic long enough to make us 75 minutes late for THIS load in! Man……

but again, I had built in enough extra time, and with no opener, we got our act together plenty good before DOORS, and had time for dinner before rocking out the smallest club we have been to in YEARS. But it was pretty fun. The crowd was great. Funny thing about this gig was that after we finished, we needed to strike the stage ASAP, to make way for a late night 80’s band to set up. They were called Rubik’s Cube. Funny. So we loaded out (still raining) and we had our sights set on rolling all the way back to our hotel near the Newark Airport, because we had an early flight. Stopped for fuel and food on the way, and their rest room was broken Neat. Had to make a special “pit stop” down the road a bit on a dark stretch of whatever godforsaken road we were on. Eventually made it back to the EWR hotel, got 4 hours of sleep, rolled to the airport, and made our 9AM flight. Exhausted, but happy we were able to pull off this rather challenging itinerary without a bus. Band and crew were all good sports, and we lived to tell. 

Anyone in Colorado headed to Red Rocks this weekend. Who’s coming from out of town? Who’s coming from furthest away? 

See you SAT!

Your benevolent Tour Manager,

Jeff Wareing 

On the Road Again - 2013



South Carolina, y’all!
Just home from a long day of planes, trains, and automobiles after a successful “fly weekend” to Gamecock Country. 
We spent last Wednesday flying to Charleston, through ATL, and worked our way via two rental vehicles to our favorite beach club, the Windjammer. Spent the evening reacquainting ourselves with the restaurant’s fine quality fried food menu (hey, everything in moderation, right?). Oh, and Coronas and margs may have played a part in the festivities. The entire band and crew met at the bar after we checked in to our neighboring hotel. It’s nice to not have to drive while in the Isle of Palms….. A special shout out to Bobby, Brett, Jack, Teddy, Rex, Rachel and the rest of the gang for treating us like family when we roll in to town. If you are ever in IOP, be sure to visit the Windjammer. Bikinis are encouraged. 
We knocked out two spirited shows on THU and FRI night. In between those two shows, band and crew did a little beach time, a little golfing, a little napping, and the wings and margs were always on tap. 

SAT morning, we set out from IOP and made our way north and west to Columbia. We made our semi-annual stop at a Cracker Barrel for a big family breakfast. 6 orders of truly gluttonous breakfasty items, one yogurty health meal, and an apple pie a la mode for a Bass player who shall remain nameless. 
Then, onwards to Columbia. Past the Gamecocks football stadium, and up Rosewood Ave to the backstage area, where we prepped for our first ever Crawfish Festival. Turned out to be a HUGE gathering, and we had a great evening. The show finished before 8PM, so after we loaded up the rental vehicles, we headed back down I-26, and after taking a democratic vote, we decided to stop for a meal. Ruby Tuesday was right off the highway, in Orangeburg, SC, so we made the call, pulled in, and put our name on the list for a table for 8. After a few minutes, we settled for two four-tops, and we were in business. It would be the first good looking vegetables we had seen in days. This was my first trip to a Ruby Tuesday ever, and I really have no idea why….. Just never stumbled in to one in all my days. Well, the best part of our SC weekend was our Ruby Tuesday waitress. She was doing a great job taking care of us, and as a result of some idle chit chat, she asked the name of our band. We told her, and she began to shake and tear up and was beside herself. We never know if people have heard of us, so it’s nice when someone in Orangeburg, SC tells you that they love your music. Her name was Rachel. She gathered herself enough to ask for some autographs, we told her Manager that she is the best waitress we have had anywhere in years, we implored him to give her a raise, we told her we would stop in next time we were in the neighborhood, and then we made our way back to a hotel near CHS airport. 

After a 5 hour overnight nap, we headed to the airport, and spent the day getting back to Colorado. Feels good to get our job done, and to get home safe. 
Thanks to all of you fans for making it worth our while. 

See you out there. 
Jeff Wareing
Tour Manager
Big Head Todd and the Monsters

On the Road Again — Winter 2013 winds down

Flew from Denver to LAX to start two consecutive weekends of shows in April. Our flight went off without a hitch, but Todd, who was coming out of Chicago, was delayed big time. He had to switch planes, so that cost him about two hours. Since I had already planned for the tour bus to pick us up, we loaded up our people and merch supplies and rolled south for 4 miles on Sepulveda to a shopping area with a Chili’s, ate some dinner and waited for Todd to land, catch a cab, and then catch up with us.

San Juan Cap - what a time capsule of a venue…. Old school roadhousey/”steakhousey”/”rusticky”, charming music club, family owned and operated by a great group of folks. Sonically, the place needs a ton of work. Not sure if they have been told that by any traveling bands, and I didn’t dare tell them either. I figure they must know. Their audio team must let them in on the fact that they need a new PA that can provide proper coverage for the entire room. I hope they ask us back when they find out I spilled the beans on their sound system. 

Headed down the road to Solana Beach, stopping a few miles short of San Diego. Boy, I would have to rank this part of the country right up there with Boulder, CO, where I called home for over 20 years. That SD weather, the beach factor, the marina vibe that I have longed for now for quite some time, the consistent good weather…..  No family out there, and as I learn about the importance of being close to family, all those attributes won’t be enough to get me out there permanently. But it’s sure I nice place to visit. Just to be sure, though, I DID venture down to the ocean, which was a few blocks from the Belly Up. Nice, but I’ll take South Jersey when the time comes. 

The third night of the SOCAL weekend had us rolling back north to the House of Blues in Hollywood. I had us depart early in the morning rather than immediately after the Belly Up show for several reasons. The most comical one is that when we park the bus at the HOB, it’s on a very steep hill on a side street off of Sunset Blvd. The first time we woke up in our bunks with all the blood drained from our heads, it became clear that we need to be cognizant of our arrival time. On a less comical note, they don’t let us run our generator there, so it gets mighty warm in the ole coach, even with the windows open. Though I do like the fresh air…..

After that show we did a late night drive back to a hotel down the street from LAX. Sleeping on the bus ahead of a morning flight back to DEN. Home just in time to witness a 24 snowfall worth over 12 inches of powder. Fortunately, most of it melted before I broke out the shovel. Colorado in Spring can be an adventure. Snow, sun, melt, repeat. 

Y’all know how much of a drag it can be to fly. But we have been doing a ton of it this winter, meeting up with the bus for mini tours in different pockets of the country. The day before our Texas run, we arrived at DIA (DEN airport) for a flight to Houston. Delayed 2 hours. Ostensibly not a big deal, but the trickle down effects can be just a real pain. Death by a thousand cuts….

Our hotel shuttle in Houston only ran until 10PM. Our Guitar tech landed on time and had to spend money on a taxi to the bus. I had to call a hotel that we weren’t staying at and convince them to pick us up and deliver us to the bus, which I had to have moved from our original hotel to this other property. The shuttle driver asked me what name our reservation was under, so I had to tell him we had no rooms, and were planning on getting some when we arrived (I lied). He responded that the hotel was sold out. Quick… Plan B. I told him we would pay him to stake us to his hotel and we would walk across the street to the adjacent hotel and seek out rooms there. He bought it. We got out of the shuttle, walked to the bus, and pulled away, heading for our original hotel, the one whose shuttle stops 90 minutes before delayed flights land. And the TGIFriday’s was open until 1AM, but we couldn’t walk from the hotel across the 8 lane highway to get there, so we drank a few beers and ate Cheetos, then fell asleep… in Humble TX. 

The Houston HOB is a rather peculiar venue from the outside (up 3 floors in an elevator OR up tons of stairs), which does burn some serious calories ahead of the Lobster Mac and Cheese I had for dinner off their menu. But a pretty cool gig once you get inside and loaded in. We had another in a long list of successful VIP Meet and Greets, where fans who purchased premium tickets were able to come in to the venue before doors and meet the band, mingle, get photos and autographs, etc. And Houston was rocking that night. 

Actually, all three Texas shows did well yet again. The band is always happy with the turnouts in Houston, Austin, and Dallas. The Austin show on FRI night was at the outdoor venue downtown called Stubbs. It’s the place to play. And the P.A. is among the best sounding rigs in the country.  And the food is really good, too. 

In Dallas, we had another HOB, and that classic “artist menu” from which to choose lunch and dinner. They make a pretty good Island Turkey Burger. Spicy! But I have to cut down on the fries. Great crowd in Dallas helped finish off a very productive and successful Texas weekend. 

We flew out of DFW the next morning, and though we were delayed from landing at DEN due to some white knuckling high winds, I was home in time to see the back nine at the Masters. Well done, Adam Scott. 

Headed to the Reno airport APR 25 for a fun weekend at Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks. If you are anywhere near there and want to have a great weekend of fun, we are playing two nights, and staying up late after the first night since we are staying at the hotel. And let us not forget to mention where we will be for lunch on that SAT. I forget the name of the restaurant inside the casino/hotel, but they serve what they call a PAN ROAST, and it is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Along with some oyster shots and Coronas, this is the biggest reason we do these shows!

See you there!

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

Big Head Todd Band

On the Road Again - 2013 in full swing

Have any of you been to a BHTM show this winter? I’m sure many of you have. We have been seeing some really good crowds lately, and we appreciate your enthusiasm.

We have made a habit this winter of playing shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, to make it easier for fans to get out of the house to see the band. We hope this is working for you. 

After our New Year’s show, we chilled for a few weeks before flying to Florida to meet up with the bus in Orlando. We hit the House of Blues at Disney, and I swear it always seems to be raining when we go there. Sunny Florida? After that show we rolled to Ft Lauderdale. There is a funky club in a bit of a strip mall shopping center area called the Culture Club. Chinese food, barber shop, Irish Pub, and a South Florida club. It’s a small place to play, but since we don’t have a ton of fans coming out to see us there, we are content to play at this venue. It has a pretty cool vibe, with a patio area, a small but good sounding stage, and an owner who is there all day long programming his new lighting rig.

After playing Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, we rolled in to Port Everglades and loaded on to the Niew Amsterdam (a Holland America ship) for a week at sea as part of the Blues Cruise 2013. We have become good friends with the people who run these cruises, and they are fans of the band. And ever since the band did the Robert Johnson blues tribute record, the band has had the opportunity to play some blues festivals, and most incredibly, two blues cruises. So this was our second, and we brought along our Denver-based horn section to put the band over the top. We have made lots of new fans as a result of becoming entrenched in the live blues scene. These folks really run a great trip for blues fans, and it’s great that they can find a spot for us on their roster. We hope to be invited back in the next year or two. We played 3 shows over the course of the week, and Todd played a few impromptu late night sets , which at first came as a complete shock, until the reality set in that he really does have the blues these days. 

We cruised the Caribbean, stopping at the Holland America private island of Half Moon Cay, then on to the British Virgin Island of Tortola (this is where you will find me if I am ever on the run or just want to go somewhere to die alone), and then we sailed to St. Kitts. Then a solid two day straight shot return to Ft. Lauderdale. I do love the water. 

The tour bus picked us up back at Port Everglades, and our driver was kind enough to drive us to the airport to fly home for a few days before we turned around and flew back to the east coast to pick up the winter tour. After some bad weather derailed my original flight plan and ground transportation coordination, we made our way to Charlotte, Asheville, and Atlanta for three great shows to some solid crowds. The morning after the Atlanta show, I had us on an early flight to be sure we would all be back in Denver in time for some serious Super Bowl pre-game. It should be noted that not only did I pick the Ravens, but I also nailed the EXACT score. That safety was a piece of brilliance!

Our next weekend trip started by flying in to Boston, avoiding more bad weather just by a few days, and playing at the House of Blues. Another solid crowd here at a great venue. This HOB used to be called The Avalon, back in the day. I always loved that name. Reminded me of going to the Jersey shore each summer when I was a kid. I still like going there to this day, and hope I can get there more and more as time goes by. Perfect place to become a first time boat owner. The dream lives on. Just need a place, a companion, and a vessel……

We had to drive down I-95 to get to Baltimore. Those of you who know the eastern seaboard know how lame that I-95 can be. It can be one bumpy ride. And trying to sleep on the tour bus while being inflicted with that annoying cadence of concrete control joints, bouncing in time, up and down, can be a real drag, leaving a traveling soul weary the next morning. 

This next morning found us in Baltimore. We were doing a great job of maneuvering the bus through the somewhat narrow streets, until the last turn. We could see our parking spot, but were blocked by an illegally parked POLICE CAR. Can you imagine? After a few tense moments we got around him. And honestly, we didn’t really fee like we would have been bummed if we had just clipped his bumper enough to pull it off. It’s not like they were around to see it happen. We like the Ram’s Head venue. Good people, good room. And for the most part, a good solid crowd. We DID have one guy who got the party started a bit early on this particular FRI night. Two songs in to the band’s first set, he had his head in is hands on the edge of the stage right in front of Rob, our Bass Player. By the third song, he had deposited his last meal on the floor adjacent to the stage. Yuk. By the fourth song, he was gone. I told security not to kick him out of the venue on account of the band, but he may have been removed by security for his own good. I’ll tell you, though….. we got the most responsible fans in the business. Pro drinkers, but with class and designated drivers, and all the wait staffs always let me know that you guys treat them well.

We finished up the weekend in NYC. Had to wait a while to get our parking spot out front of Irving Plaza. The venue can’t “hold” spots for us, so each time we go there it is a crap shoot on parking. Not fun with 70 feet of bus and trailer. After this show, Jeremy and I and some female friends headed out for a late drink at a fancy hotel bar. We were underdressed and underfunded. Welcome to NYC. We DID enjoy making fun of the crowd at this snooty bar, however. 

I abandoned the band and crew for their flight home, and headed to my original home, in West Chester PA, to visit my Mom for a week or so. Visited with some friends, determined that I was most likely going to die alone, then headed back to Colorado. Nuff said there. 

The band had some solid shows in the midwest a few weeks later. Milwaukee has always been a tough town for us to fill a venue, but Turner Hall is a great place to play, if for no other reason than they have one of the best catering companies in the country. We look forward to our next visit there to eat and rock. 

The Pageant in STL was another fantastic show. Cold and snowy, but great.  It’s been a while since I have written, of course, and because not many exciting things happen to us on the road, it becomes difficult to relate amusing or interesting anecdotes to you guys. Though for lunch in STL we did walk way too far to a Subway sandwich shop. After putting our 4 orders in, some old man came in, walked right up to the glass, and started giving the poor employee a hard time by ordering items that weren’t actually on the menu. We felt bad for the employee, and he handled it very well. The old man troublemaker finally got it as close to “his way” as Subway ingredients would allow. 

And then the band kicked ass at the Pageant. 

Same went for HOB in Chicago. Waking up on the bus under the city is a bit scary, but the venue is like a home away from home for us. It was great to pack the place out in a town where the band has been coming for over 20 years. 

Our next weekend of shows featured a shortened work day in Seattle, (where we are not allowed to sound check until 5PM because of the potential to bother the local businesses nearby), the spring loaded floor of The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, and a 12 hour monster drive direct to the Fillmore in San Fran. All three shows ended up doing really well, wrapping up another successful winter weekend. 

Starting to warm up in Colorado and we look forward to finishing up our winter tour in Southern California and Texas in the coming weeks. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

Big Head Todd Band

On the Road Again - 2012 FLIES BY FOR BHTM

The summer of 2012 went better than we could have imagined. We played some incredible venues in some incredible locations, and made some lasting friendships with three other bands and crews. A bit of a slower Fall gives us the opportunity to catch up on some paperwork, and to begin the process of putting together our Winter 2013 dates.

It was billed as the Last Summer on Earth Tour, 2012. Apparently the Mayans decided to set an End Date for their calendar, which turns out to be DEC 21, 2012. We should let Santa know there is no reason to fire up the sleight this year. 

We started in Toledo, on what ended up being the hottest day of our summer. It was over 100 degrees (where is the degree symbol on this keyboard?) and so stink in humid that we were drenched by the end of load in. Soaked a bit more by the end of sound check. Had to do a wardrobe change for show time, by which time the temp had dropped to a chilling 95º (is that the symbol? Hah! Found it)

We spent the rest of the summer meandering about the USA, and had some warm days, and some cool days. Mostly warm, though nothing as smoking thermo hot as that Toledo show. 

We traveled with Cracker, who opened each show, and also Blues Traveler (old friends) and Barenaked Ladies. Canadiens. The audio and lighting crews… also Canadiens. For the most part, we all got along just great and it made for a good, easy summer. We really appreciated our fans’ willingness to come to see us, even though they would have to pay a bit more for their tickets than a typical BHTM show. 

The tour included over 30 dates, with just enough days off along the way to get some competitive rounds of Band Golf happening. So, July and August went by quickly, and the dates were a lot of fun. 

That tour ended just in time for us to get our tour bus back to Denver, load up band and crew (we had flown home after the final tour date on the east coast), and drive south to Telluride for the First Annual Ride Fest, sponsored in part by BHTM. We played on both days, closing the show on SUN night. The moment that show ended, we hustled up and did a super quick load out, then began the 8 hour drive to the Denver airport, in hopes we would make our flight to Florida to play a private function that MON night. As it happened, we shared the stage (and gear) with our old friends, Blues Traveler. Had a few laughs, rocked out, and by 2PM the next day we were finally back home. Grocery shopping, laundry, watering plants, cutting lawns, pulling weeds…. time to catch up on ALL of those things that you guys do each weekend. Man, that was a lot of laundry. 

Then, in September, we made our first trip in many years to Canada. It was just for one show, so we flew to New Brunswick (WAYYY on the east coast, east of Maine!) the night before the show, did the show the next day, then had to spend another night before we could fly home, due to the distance from there to Denver. 

We snuck in a few more fly date shows on the east coast, including the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, about three and a half weeks before Hurricane Sandy landed a direct hit on the Jersey Shore. I spent my whole childhood going to Ocean City NJ each summer for family vacation, so it sure hit home. And I know people with homes down the shore who I was very concerned about. The water and sand were everywhere, but the folks I know did not lose their homes. 

Trying to get a bit of golf and tennis and fishing in before the weather turns too cold here in Colorado. It’s November, which means we can have 70 and sunny or 20 and snowy. We still have a few Colorado shows before the new year, and we look forward to Todd doing a solo gig in Denver on DEC 6. Other dates should be announced soon. 

And to finish up 2012, we will not actually be in Denver, but have decided to fly to Minneapolis to do a NYE show at Mill City Nights. Meet us in the historic warehouse district downtown, and ring in 2013 with BHTM. 

2013 is starting to shape up, and the tour dates are coming in already. Looks like we will be making our normal tour stops throughout the winter, and we hope you will go to bigheadtodd.com to purchase your tickets beginning this week. 

LET ME REPEAT!!!!  »»»>   bigheadtodd.com is the place to go to get your tickets for 2013 Big Head Todd tour dates that are set to be announced within the next 10 days!!!    Keep and eye out and thanks so much for this support. You may not think purchasing your tickets early at our web site is a big deal, but trust us, IT IS A BIG DEAL! 

One more important note — This winter tour will be what we call “AN EVENING WITH…”, meaning that the band will play two sets instead of having an opening act. We feel that fans who are willing to purchase tickets to our shows should get maximum Monster Music. Also, we will be doing our best to start and finish our shows within a decent time frame, so that you have time for an early dinner out, and can get home at a reasonable hour to tuck in your kids or enjoy a nightcap before bedtime!

Thanks again for all of your support and we will see you in a few months. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

Big Head Todd and the Monsters