Big Head Todd and the Monsters

It has become somewhat customary for me to commence my periodic prose with an apology for my inability to keep more current with the day to day trials of our close knit group, the Big Head Todd band. 

When I was a kid, summer meant Little League Baseball, Bid Daddy bubble gum ( I can’t find it anywhere these days ), and two weeks at the Jersey shore ( Ocean City brings back memories ). Nowadays, summer means airplanes, hotel rooms, line checks and, fortunately for our team, lots of fans out for a good time on a warm sunny night. Of course, the last three shows we have done this summer have all involved copious amounts of precipitation. Though all of those shows went off with just a few damp hitches. We often “bring the rain”, but it’s great that none of those events were canceled.

So, where were we….. The crowd at the Steamboat show was INSANE. Thousands were out to see the fireworks, and presumably, us! As a Colorado band, we sure do feel a bit spoiled being able to play outdoors in some of the most scenic mountain towns in the country. (I’d say WORLD, but I have not seen most of the world). Steamboat is high on our list. We have a close tie to the community, we fish the tailwaters of the Stagecoach Reservoir, and camp jut down the road in Yampa (but you’ll never find us!)

The following weekend, we were scheduled to appear at a private function on a beach to the east of San Jose Del Cabo, in Mexico. I will exercise some discretion and not go in to any detail on this trip, but if it helps…… Cabo is NO Jersey Shore!!!!

In perhaps the most far fetched routing maneuver we have ever entertained, we somehow managed to get from the southern tip of Baja Mexico to the middle of what I like to call “east tree stump” Iowa. Actually, it was a casino in a tiny town called Tama, requiring two flights and a 75 mile drive through GMO Central from DSM to arrive 90 minutes before DOORS. We set up, sound checked one song, and walked off the stage as folks started walking in. Wow, close one. Long day, but the airlines and the van drivers did their job, and then we did ours. Oh, don’t eat casino buffet chicken sandwiches after midnight. Just a word to the wise…..

The next weekend called for another mountain gig, this one near Jackson Hole, WY. It was actually on “the other side of the hill”, in Alta, WY, just east of the Idaho state line and the friendly town of Driggs, where we would spend the night. We actually flew in to Idaho Falls. I prefer Boise as a place to visit and fish, but the airport in Idaho Falls was the best way to approach Grand Targhee Mountain, which was the backdrop for our Saturday night festival appearance. Saw some familiar faces. That is always nice. Great crowd. Played after the Chris Robinson Project (or something like that? and they did not yell at the audience like they did when they were the Black Crowes and played a gig with us in CO years ago). And that Idaho Falls airport was amazing. So tiny, but nice and clean, modern, and easy to get in and out. 4 gates maybe? Love those kind of airports. 

After 10 days of down time, we flew in to New York, grabbed some Suburbans, and rolled out to the end of Long Island. We arrived the night before our show in Amagansett, found a cool motel on the beach, partied with some fans at a fireside get-together, ate breakfast the next morning in Montauk (lahhh di dahhhh) and then packed out the Talkhouse that night. We had a Keith Hernandez sighting, but did not want to bother him. We think he enjoyed the show. Moved on to Westbury, also just off the LI Expressway, for our first visit to The Space. Great venue. And a great meatball park down the street for dinner. Can’t remember the name of the italian restaurant, but it was killer.

We rolled late night under cover of clouds and rain to Uncasville, CT, arriving at 3:30AM (touring is fun!), checking in to our rooms, and sleeping IN ahead of our afternoon load in at the Wolf Den in the Mohegan Sun Casino. Made my annual stop at Johnny Rockets, did NOT gamble (I am addicted, but have it under control), and several of us hung out and had a cocktail or two after the show, chatting up some fans we ran in to as we walked about. We did NOT like the “one drink in hand at a time” rule. Ridiculous… but the bartenders were just doing their job. Can’t fault them for a silly Connecticut law. 

Our second “land’s end” show was the following night waaaayyyyy up near the tip of Cape Cod, in a small village called Wellfleet. There is a beach club up there called Beachcombers. Cloudy again, but no downpours. We had an amazing seafood lunch, complete with oyster bar and Coronas in a can. Dinner was GOOD fish and chips. They cleared out the restaurant at 6PM, then we crammed our gear on to a tiny stage, and we blew the place up… in a good way. (over)Sold out! Shot of Cuervo for you, Mr. Fire Marshall? Then, off in to the night to an overpriced Holiday Inn near the BOS airport. Long weekend without a tour bus. The bus is a great thing to have on long drives, especially when a venue’s dressing room is actually a storage closet. (Yes, Beachcomber, I’m talking about you). But we were all good sports and got through it. But I would have taken a nap in my bunk if it was on site. Next time it will be…..

Oh, gosh…. then where????  Oh yeah…. STURGIS, BABY! 

What a crazy town. Sleep for 50 weeks a year, then for some reason, this “bike rally” thing, the town swells from 5000 to 500,000, with hundreds of thousands of Harley’s EVERYWHERE. Hysterical. That lifestyle is amazing. I could not roam on a bike that loud and that uncomfortable for all that long. Or were they all insurance agents and lawyers altering their persona for their two week vacation? 

Well, there was a stage set up outside of Easyriders Saloon (clever), and we were the headliner. Our first time here ever. We had talked about it for years, and the commitment was finally upon us. And what happens? RAIN. Scary, loud, wet torrents of rain pounded the town literally as we were doing our changeover before our set. Earlier in the afternoon, the sun was out, and the ZZ Top cover band was rocking out (the loudest thing I’ve ever heard, except for all the Harleys revving for no reason), and the weather did not seem to be a concern. But then it hit, and it hit HARD. lasted for quite a while. We were certain they would cancel the rest of the night. But we waited it out, and finally, the dark sky was clear. And though we thought all the thousands of people who had been on site might start making their way home, we need to give some big time credit to the biker crowd. They poured out of the saloon as we fired up Cashbox, with that cool floor tom intro, and the evening turned out to be quite a success, considering we were THIS close to cashing out. 

One interesting note about the Sturgis show was my decision to rent an RV to make the drive up to South Dakota. Flying was a thought, but the duration of the “fly day” and “drive day” was pretty similar, and this way, we had ourselves a built in Dressing room for the 10 hours we were on sight. It worked out great. Got me thinking about buying one. They sure are fun. Maybe after I buy my boat……

The next weekend, we did not need the RV. We were only faced with a one hour drive north to Ft Collins, where we were invited to headline the 41st annual Bohemia New West Fest, a huge event, free to patrons, to celebrate the town’s commitment to music and the arts. Bands all day long, and the place stayed PACKED for our set, and we were so excited to see such a huge crowd. We’d love to be invited back to that one. Not as much fun driving the Budget truck home compared to the RV, but I always make it as enjoyable as I can. More traffic than I had planned for on good ole I-25, or it would have been even more enjoyable. 

This past week we had a logistical challenge that may top the list for us, at least in my (terrible) memory. We had a show in Chicago outside of Soldier Field, on the “Stadium Green” to help the runners of a local 5K celebrate after their race. No problem, right? But there was a problem….. Yep…. “ummm, yeah….. it’s suppose to rain from 2PM tip 4PM and then again from 5PM to 10PM”. Awww, c’mon man! We were on a bad stretch for sure, yet somehow we had not yet been rained out. And sure enough, though we never really saw the sun, the rain held off just long enough for us to sneak in a 90 minute set for the brave runners who stuck around, at risk of exchanging “humid wet” for “precipitation wet”. We had escaped again. But that was not the real challenge. 

The next morning, we needed to jump on a plane at MDW, fly back home to DEN, THEN load up in 2 vehicles, and carpool/convoy up to Breckenridge BEFORE 2:30PM, the cutoff time for the city to close down the roads for stage 5 of the USA Pro Challenge, an insane 7 stage bike race in Colorado. Wtihout exaggeration, and with the critical ground support team of ONE (Thanks Dan F!!!), we cut across the road course 90 seconds before they would have NOT allowed us through. This enabled us to set up our gear, and get a proper sound check done in time for DOORS ahead of another rocking 90 minute set. Had we missed this window, we would have been banished to a coffees shop back up in Frisco for two hours until the race was finished. That would have severely hampered our ability to pull off that free show for the thousands of folks in town for the race, so we thank the CO State Patrol for not stopping us all the way up I-70. We did it!

Indy is next weekend, and we will celebrate Labor Day weekend at WARMFest. Great festival, in just their second year, so we are glad to be invited back. Please consider patronizing this event if you are within an allowable driving distance. See you out there on the road. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager  (and clothes drying fool)

Big Head Todd and the Monsters 


Well, it’s heating up. Longer days, hotter temps, and summer festivals nationwide where you can find us all summer long. 

We began our summer of BIG in Minneapolis — well, Apple Valley to be exact - back at our new favorite MN summer play, the ZOO!

This show sold out weeks ahead of time, confirming that touring in Minneapolis for over 20 years has really paid off with some serious hard core BHTM fans. It was a great way to follow up our 20th year (give or take) at Red Rocks, which I suppose was the true beginning to summer 2014. After the sell out at the Zoo (and after a healthy Perkins breakfast the next morning), we drove through beautiful Wisconsin (flights were not a good option) towards their capitol, Mad-Town Madison. We maneuvered our way through town and worked down towards the water, found the backstage area, and after unloading our gear, we chilled in our RV dressing room. It was a lonnnngggg drive. We pre-set our gear while several other bands played before us, and we hit the stage around 8PM, overlooking Lake Monona. And after we finished up a great set to a large crowd, the fans positioned themselves for a massive fireworks display that all band and crew members enjoyed before we headed off to our airport hotel. 

6 hours of sleep later, we were up and headed to catch our flight home, concluding our first “fly weekend” of summer. 

Headed to Chicago for more fireworks on July 4. How far are you from Lake Forest? That’s where we’ll be, sharing the stage with 10,000 Maniacs. Yep, I was also surprised to learn that they continued on after the departure of Natalie Merchant. Can you believe that was like 20 years ago? Holy smokes. We look forward to seeing how they roll these days. And then, we will follow them, and then the fireworks will be the headliner for the second weekend in a row. And just for fun, the next morning, we will get up early, fly back to Denver, jump in our vehicles and drive straight to Steamboat (4 hours), set up, sound check, and play at the base of the ski resort. Well, at least that is not a “winter play” this time. Should be a beautiful night in northwest Colorado.

Check the web site for all those summer dates, and be sure to yell a “hello” up to the stage and tell us how much you like these silly news updates. 

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager  (and Guitar Tech on Fly Dates)

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

On the Road Again - 2014 - End of Tour Report!

First, thanks to the many thousands of fans who met up with us this past winter. You are the reason we are able to flourish as an organization, an institution, a rock band!

The west coast swing began with the Tour Bus catching up with us in Golden, CO, where we exchanged clean clothes for … well…. “worn” clothes. We loaded up the ice coolers and the “water drawer”, and had a little front lounge party as we rolled west in to the night, on our way to Boise, ID. We went about half way and stopped the next morning in Ogden, UT so the bus driver could get some sleep after driving all night long. We meandered about that afternoon, and found a really nice Mexican restaurant for dinner and some margs. Another front lounge get together helped us pass the time on our way to Idaho. We rolled in to a venue where we had never played, and it was a decent turnout for a weeknight. The place was called Revolution, and we’ll be back next year.

The next two shows were in towns and venues that we have visited many times. Seattle on a FRI night and Portland on SAT. It was pouring in Seattle when we pulled in to the venue for our load in. Not judging Seattle, but man! Coincidence? Well, we moved swiftly and our gear did not get too wet. And the load out was a bit drier. The Showbox was packed and the crowd was great. It’s funny at that place. There is no “backstage door”. To get from our bus to the dressing room, we need to have the band guys cut across the stage. So the crowd gets a bit of a clue on two things: how soon the show will start, and what the band is wearing. But still, good times in Seattle. 

Portland has a weird venue also. It’s the Crystal Ballroom. Used to be a ballroom, complete with the bouncy floor which we all demonstrate each time we visit. Just google “sprung floor”. And the venue is on the third floor of a building where we have to load in through a tiny elevator. Neat! Well, we get it done, and though it rained that night, too, we still like the northwest. But us Boulder folk do like our 300 days of sun per year. 

We drove south after the Portland show, in hopes of finding some sunshine. We had a day off, and I chose the rocking town of Vacaville CA to hang out for the day. I love a town with two “V“‘s in it. After getting some computer work done, a bunch of us walked to a mexican place for dinner. It was a very authentic place. No english spoken here, and the sign outside said “mexican food”. Sweet! It was spicy and good. It was our bus driver’s birthday, so we enjoyed the meal, then stopped at some kind of steak house on the way back and parked at the bar for one drink to celebrate. Then back to the bus for a good night’s sleep on the coach. We sat in the parking lot of the hotel, so that we could wake up the next morning, and roll in to San Fran. We had a day off here, but we needed to load in some gear and do a radio show on the tenth floor of an office building, where the radio station was located. At the least the elevator was large enough to do it all in two trips. Poured rain here, too. Guess we were not far enough south in California yet to enjoy the sun. Blocking traffic in a city where no tour bus should ever venture, raining all over us and our gear as we loaded out. And for what….. Anyone here us on KFOG lately? I fricking hope so after all that. Geez…..

After that drencher of a morning, we finally rolled south, far enough where the rain stopped, the clouds hung low, the cattle grazed, the windmills churned, the traffic thinned, and then… finally… the sun peaked through. Then, the sun set a few hours before we arrived all the way down in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Our show there was the next day, at the Coach House. Another weird place for a show. It’s some sort of a roadhouse dinner place with a stage and live music. But a great play for us on a TUE night. You order a steak and potato, get ranch on your salad, then rock out to BHTM. We sold the place out, which is always nice. But man, they could use a renovation down there. Nice folks though, and we would welcome an invitation to return. 

The next day, we had our final Rock Bottom appearance in San Diego, CA. It was happy hour, and we had a good ole time being interviewed in front of a bunch of fans and regular customers alike, answering questions, playing a few songs, and afterwards, chowing down on our final Rock Bottom meal of the trip, complete with our last “Black Beehives” (RB Porter with a shot of Jack Honey on the side — I poured mine right in and enjoyed). 

And that all lead to our final three shows on the west coast. Two of them were sellouts in Solana Beach, north of San Diego, where we always treated well by staff and well by the fans. We did a normal schedule on the first day. On the second day, Rob and I got up early, and were picked up by some of Rob’s old friends, and we drove an hour inland to a golf course called Pauma Valley, a charming, old school private country club. We enjoyed 18 holes, and I managed an 80. Not bad for the first day out of the season! After a late lunch, we rolled back in time to make our bus call. We rolled back to the venue, got parked, and walked in to the club in time to see the Happy Hour show they do there each Friday. Ladies doing aerobic dancing on stage with a live band supporting them. Kinda fun for a few minutes. Then they cleared the building, and we re-set our gear, then our fans rolled in for the late start. Two good nights in Solana Beach. 

After this show, we had to turn around and head north, BACK to San Fran, for our annual visit to the Fillmore. Another sellout! The band has a long and successful history in San Fran, starting with the Last Day Saloon in the early 90’s. We played a few other places as well along the way, but I just can’t remember the names of the places anymore. So many shows. Must be over 3000 now. Some day I’ll have to go back and get a good accounting of that number. Cool in San Fran, but NO rain for this show, and that is always nice. Having gear sitting out in the rain is a real drag. And band and crew members being soaked all afternoon can be a bummer, too. After this show, we rolled a few miles south of the city, to a hotel near the airport, where we spend one more night on the bus before flying home. We had three days to be in Colorado, before we had to fly again, to meet the bus in Dallas for our three day run in Texas. More on that after my fingers get a rest!

Jeff Wareing

Tour Manager

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