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Friday, December 21, 2007

Blue Band Update

Latest note from Iowa's Blue Band.

Remember my shopping experience at HyVee the day before Thanksgiving? It's pretty much Deja Vu all over again this week before Christmas! It involves trying to print out some scanned pictures on a piece of paper for my Christmas Card this year. If you haven't gotten yours in the mail yet, you're on the list (naughty or nice) along with about 80 other people who might or might not get one by NEXT Christmas. But I have a great excuse. Most of you are gonna say, "that couldn't possibly happen to him again", which is what I thought, but I SWEAR the story is true. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First the Blue News...

In about 11 hours we meet to load into The Reverb, on Main St., right here in Sparkle City, (Cedar Falls) for the Blue Christmas/Thank God It's Friday Party. You can earn DOUBLE your scout merit badge credits for being on the road crew for carrying the stuff up all 24 stairs! We play 5:30-ish-9:00pm and I'm thrilled to tell you that we'll be joined by another Iowa Blues Hall of Famer-Tommy "T-Bone" Giblin-on keyboards! We'll also have saxman Garret Theilking (he's done a few gigs with us recently, including the last time we played The Reverb) with us, so we'll be a six piece band for this one. The band is paid whatever walks thru the door. Cover charge is $6. (I'd like to personally thank you for my $1 right now) However, we will apply that $6 toward any merchandise you might purchase (ie: the regular price, 2 CDs for $20 would then cost just $14) Whatever the total of your merch purch ($10 or more) we'll subtract $6 from your total. That special will apply to everyone. The special that is only available to email subscribers, if you mention the Blue Note Special, is a FREE copy of the Two Trios CD AND the 2 Bobs & A Babe 2 CD, with any purchase. This means (in theeeory) you could get three CDs, A Blue Band shirt, and your cover charge all for $20...

After Friday's Xmas Party, we are not scheduled to play until New Years Eve, however, I got a note from Nathan saying that he's flying back to Des Moines on Dec. 26 (mostly to be the Music Director for what could, at times, be a 14 piece band on NYE!) and will stay until Jan. 2. The Blue Band would LOVE the opportunity to play, with Nathan as part of the band, Fri. Dec. 28 and or Sat. Dec. 29. Make us an offer to play in your living room!

In case you have not visited the chat page this week, some rooms at The Hotel Fort Des Moines, originally reserved for Iowa Caucusers on New Year's Eve, have now been freed up. This would be your opportunity to take the elevator home after the party! (Heck, your room could become THE PARTY after the party) There are not many of these rooms available. They'll go quickly. Get yours NOW! More info on the lineup of talent:

You are probably aware of my Xmas music collecting addiction. It started 35 years ago when I hosted my first LIVE Christmas Eve Rock'n'Roll show on Iowa Public Radio-KUNI. There will be LOTS of Xmas tunes on my radio shows this week. Most of the second hour of the Friday Night (9-11pm) local music show (Down On The Corner) will be holiday songs (including the Blue Band's 1992 Xmas song Merry Christmas/Happy New Year) All of Sat. night's Backtracks show will be holiday songs that are at least 25 years old, and I hope you'll join me for that annual LIVE Xmas Eve show, Monday, 7-10pm (even tho' I'm probably gonna play Jingle Bells by the Barking Dogs again) Requests and salutations: 1-800-772-2440, ext. 5. Find the frequency in your area or listen on line at

OK, so my week's worth of excuses as to why you don't have your Christmas card from me goes like this. Last Friday, Dec. 14, I sprung out of bed early so I could attend the KUNI Xmas potluck at noon. As it turned out, my luck was not good. It could have been the flu or it could have been the sauce on the fish, either way, I wound up in bed for 14 hours. This delayed the set up for my card (scanning three different pictures of me as a kid with Santa Claus-yes, that would be about FIFTY years ago) until Sunday. After printing out 18 copies of the card, the printer ran out of black ink. Only one store in Sparkle City sells that ink cartridge. It's not open on Sunday. Monday, that store tells me that it has every Epson printer cartridge ever made, except the one I need, but "we can order it for you and have it here by Wednesday". So I go home and order it on line, direct from Epson, paying $22 for overnight shipping. The cartridges (the damn printer needs TWO black cartridges at the same time) were not waiting for me outside of my door at the crack of noon. Apparently, (as I found out from the Farsi speaking "customer service reperesentative" at the Epson Hotline) I did not see the fine print saying that if I ordered after 1pm PST, the order would not be processed that day. The cartridges were not outside my door at noon Wednesday either. (a second Farsi speaking "customer service reperesentative" pointed out that it was not Epson's fault that Fed Ex did not have the cartridges at my house and I should try calling Fed Ex) I called my local store instead. (cuz they said they'd have some by Wednesday) Their Fed Ex delivery didn't make it either! The cartridges finally showed up on my doorstep at 4:45pm Wednesday. ($22 for overnight shipping that took 40 hours) I printed out another 18 cards. I ran out of the special "Matted" paper. So I drove out to Staples. This is where it gets VERY similar to the HyVee experience last month. Staples actually had two boxes of the paper I needed, so I headed to the check out line. I was second in line. The woman ahead of me was buying Xmas gifts AND office supplies. She insisted that the gifts had to be purchased with a different credit card than the office supplies. The cashier was obviously a holiday temp worker who was "unfamiliar" with the credit card system. She had to call the store manager, over the intercom, for assistence. The gifts were rung up and signed for. The cashier was also the store phone answerer. She obviously had not been trained in call transfering, but she was able to start ringing up the office supplies next. When she pushed the "total" button. There was no receipt. She had to call the manager, who had to replace the cash register ribbon for her. After giving the customer her receipt, the customer could not find her "rebate verification" on the receipt. The manager was called A THIRD TIME! The manager then realized that he had given the customer the wrong brand in the first place and that brand did not qualify for a rebate! (do the words "bait and switch" come to mind for you too?) The customer made the manager go look for the proper rebate qualifying brand. Then that transaction had to be voided and subtracted from her credit card BEFORE the proper item could be rung up. And all of this happened while I was standing about two arms lengths away from a RACK of those EASY BUTTONS that Staples is pushing in their TV ads! By this time, (nearly 20 minutes later) the manager decided (duh) he should open another register (defintely management calibre there), whereby the three people that were behind me at register #1 ran ahead of me. Another 10 minutes and I finally had my 100 pieces of paper. The customer at register #1 WAS STILL THERE (and could possibly still be looking for her proper rebate reciept for all I know) And that's why you don't have your very own copy of 5 year old me with Santa! However, the sentiment of the caption is something I can pass along in this email: May the wide eyed joy of a kid at Christmas be with you throughout the New Year. Happy Holidays, myBlue Family!

See yas on the Blue Highway, I hope you get what you deserve from the Fat Man, (Santa, not Elvis) wear yer zydeco tie to the company Xmas party, always read the fine print, it's always a good idea to take along your own missletoe, and just say NO to Fruit CAKE! Ho Ho Ho...Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

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