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Friday, May 8, 2009

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update


Well, I'm gettin' ready to do something I have not done with The Blue Band in over 27 years: play a date without Jeff Petersen in the band. Jeff made it thru his prostate surgery with a good prognosis. As he's slowly coming down from the anesthesia and pain killers, he's experiencing more aches than he anticipated and consequently is already upset that he's still in the hospital and not home getting ready to surprise us all at Pleasant Hill by showing up at the gig two days after his surgery! Please help me remind him that the goal is to be playing The Mojo & The Say So when he's 100 years old, (I'll only be 97) not next week. In the months to come, help me encourage him to take the necessary time to mend right, not right away...

OK, so where IS this most unusual gig that will have The Blue Band Jeffless for the first time in 3 decades? It's the Pleasant Hill Chamber’s “Chill on the Hill” Friday after work party, Copper Creek Lake Park, Pleasant Hill, Iowa (suburban Des Moines) 5-8 p.m. It'll take TWO Iowa Hall of Famers to try and cover Jeff's parts: Sam Salomone is bringin' out the Hammond B3 and Ron DeWitte is coming in from Cedar Rapids to play guitar. I'm hoping those guys can sing a few songs too because YIKES (!) I just realized Jeff won't be there to sing the 6 or 7 songs he sings every night! Or YIKES: who's gonna string the proper stage and PA power? Who's gonna set up the lights? Who's gonna load the truck? YIKES! That Mr. Petersen does a lot of stuff for this band, but I digress...Sam and Ron will join Al and Heath in the horn section and The Chief and Davis in the rhythm section for what should be an "interesting" and certainly "unique" version of The Blue Band. This is the first EVER Chill On The Hill event in Pleasant Hill, so come on over to the East side of Des Moines, be part of something that's NEVER happened before (on many levels) and help me get through this stress test!! And YIKES! Who's gonna sell the new CD with Sheryl home, looking after Jeff?? Surely (don't call me Shirley) she'll be missed too...

I'm hoping to see you Saturday at the Iowa Public Radio, Wine and Tulips fundraising event in Cedar Falls (www.iowapublicradio.org) A night of entertainment by The Blue Band is part of the silent auction! If you've ever wanted us to play in your garage and have it be a tax deductible expense this is your chance! If you go to the IPR website you'll also see that tickets for the Blues Cruise Riverboat ride, with The Blue Band providing entertainment, are now on sale. I can't believe that advance tickets for that cruise are still only $15! Especially since there's only 300 tickets available! This event almost ALWAYS sells out. Don't miss the boat...

Condolences to True Blue Person Diana Smith on the passing of her dad, a noted music historian and good friend of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Diana has been in the Blue Family since she was an underage Crow's Nest patron in the early 80s (a couple years before her husband Phil Maass joined the group!) Hang in there Bluwolf...

And speaking of Iowa Public Radio (those of you under the age of 40 can skip to the bottom, as the following issues won't confront you for at least a decade) I'm really coming to a crossroads in my life. The Iowa Board of Regents OKd the University of Northern Iowa "early retirement" plan last Thursday. It offers me full Blue Cross/Blue Shield health coverage and Delta Dental coverage for five years. They will also contribute the same money each month that they are currently contributing to my retirement fund for five years. That is REALLY appealing. However, I'm excited about IPR's new management team and some programming changes that will allow me to have a 90 minute blues show on Sunday early evenings as opposed to hosting Night Music later on Sunday nights. But the toughest thing that I'm trying to reconcile about the thought of retirement is that I attach so much of my personal self worth and pride to hosting those Iowa Public Radio shows that it literally scares the hell out of me to walk away from it. On the other hand, would it be the imputus that I need to seek out one more passion (whatever that would be) before having to settle into real OLD age? (let's face it, at age 57 I'm already into the last third of my life) Let me know what your take is. I'd like to gather as many perspectives as I can before attending my first "information session" on UNI early retirement, coming up in a couple of weeks...

Well, that's enough of the heavy stuff. I gotta focus on the important stuff like who's bringing CAKE? Anxieties can always be mitigated with CAKE! Who's gonna string the electrical power cords? Who's gonna set up the lights, who's gonna load the Larry truck when we're all done? Who's gonna sell the merchandise? Who'll Stop The Rain? (oops, that's a Creedence Clearwater Revival song and another reference that people under 40 know nothing about) See yas on the Blue Highway, come on out and rub yer washboard tie with a version of The Blue Band that has NEVER happened before, concentrate on good vibes for the recovering guitar player (and the wife that's looking after him!) and always remember we love you! Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

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