Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Three Gigs in Less than 20 Hours?

What are we, nuts? What are we, in our twenties? The answer to at least one of those questions is a resounding NO, but The Tim and Bob Show marked the end of September by playing three gigs -- between 7 p.m. on Friday and 2:45 on Saturday afternoon.

We began the weekend with an indoor gig at Orderup's Stone Ridge location. This was the third time we played there, and we had a good night. Tim and Bob National Rod showed up, and we made new friends in Debbie, Karen, Athena, and Oscar. The crowd was friendly and attentive, and we all had fun. We were also glad that the gig finished at 9, since we had a busy Saturday looming.

When we last played at Becker Winery, we made contact with Deb, who is part of Asia in the Curriculum [AIC], an organization that is dedicated to teaching students more about the world's largest continent. Deb said that her organization might like to hear us play. We made contact with HER contact, Franke, and set up a short set during AIC's reception, beginning at noon on Saturday. The venue was San Antonio's legendary St. Anthony Hotel, and we were all excited to have a chance to play there. All the staff and management were friendly and very helpful in getting us parked, set up, and broken down, and the AIC participants were enthusiastic about our music. We took advantage of the room dynamics to build a set heavy on acoustic-guitar sounds, and MOST heavy on four-part harmonies. At the end of the gig, we had to rush off, but not before several members of AIC thanked us, as did Deb and Franke. What a great bunch of people!

Speaking of rushing off ... four block away from the St. Anthony was our venue location for the [unfortunately] LAST Houston Street Fair. This very popular convergence of commercial and artistic San Antonio in a public downtown celebration has lost its funding. While there was brave talk on the day of bringing the event back with commercial -- rather than civic -- sponsorship, the HSF is now a very fond memory. We were pleased to be able to play, but sad that future events have been canceled.

We took the opportunity of the outdoor venue to debut Steve's new electric guitar. Steve is really very happy with this instrument, and so are we all. Just as we went "mellow" at AIC, we went "rocky" at Houston Street. Kathy got a good workout on her bass, and Steve got off several scorching solos. Many of our Facebook friends showed up in the heat and sunshine to listen and show their appreciation. Swelling the crowd of celebrants were Tim and Bob Nationals Casey, Mara, Susan, Linda, Vicki, Elizabeth, and Bubba. Although there were a series of glitches throughout the short performance, it was good to have the whole band working together and rocking an appreciative crowd.

And in between Saturday gigs and after the last one came cardio! Since the venues were only blocks apart, and since the wonderful folks at the St. Anthony were so kind as to let us park and stow some gear for free, we trekked on foot to and from the Houston Street Stage with each of us carrying several objects and with Steve pushing our cart. The trip back was made easier with Casey's assistance. It was getting close to 3:30 when we pulled out of St. Anthony's parking area and drove to our homes. Mary Lou and I were exhausted and moved as little as possible for the rest of the day. We heard later that Steve and Kathy were equally wiped out and took afternoon naps. It was a lot of work, but even more fun.

This very busy last September weekend leads to an October which features the band performing no fewer than NINE times. Where will we play? You'll just have to wait for our email gig alerts, or check out our "upcoming gigs" on our main website. And while you're on our website, go to the guestbook and TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary Lou's Relatives Invade Orderup!!!!!

Our regular "third Friday" gig at Orderup @ The Colonnade turned into family night on September 18. Mary Lou's mother, Eileen, is visiting from California, so Eileen's brother Pat and spouse Ginny drove down from Rockwall, TX to visit. Pat and Ginny's daughter Elaine lives very close to Orderup and came to the gig along with HER daughter Danielle. The family commandeered a long table and made themselves at home, enjoying the great food and good music. Pat, Ginny, and Eileen are long-time Tim and Bob-ites [although from a distance], but the rest of the crew definitely fits into the "new friends" category.

Not to be outdone, Steve and Kathy's family also was there in force. Tim and Bob Nationals Bethany, Matt, and Hillary were there, along with Hillary's new boyfriend Brian. The girls were pleased to listen to the band play "their songs:" "Brown-eyed Girl" for Hilly, and "Pretty Woman" for Beth.

While it may have seemed like it, the place wasn't filled only with relatives. It was, however, pretty much chock full of Tim and Bob Nationals. Peggy, Pam, and Karen were there, happily sitting with Larry and enjoying themselves. Legendary Fulham FC supporter Matt was there and brought along his sister Debbie, and her son Seth. The music was good, but it was Seth who stole the show, simulating guitar playing, doing some sort of three-year-old's version of Pilates on Orderup's furniture, and flirting shamelessly with Hillary and Bethany -- well, what red-blooded young man wouldn't.

There were only a couple of somber moments in the midst of the evenings festivities, as the group recognized the passing this week of Mary Travers. As a group that depends on the pleasant blending of voices, we have a lot of affection and respect for the work of Peter, Paul, and Mary, so we dedicated our versions of "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" and "Puff, the Magic Dragon," to the memory of her life and her body of work.

Finally, yet another party-atmosphere evening at Orderup was over, and we packed up and drove home.

Where will we be next? Click here to see the locations of our "upcoming gigs".
Doing a little early Christmas shopping? Click here to purchase our CD, "Take It Outside".
Dying to tell us how much you love us? Click here to leave the band a message.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good-bye to Bruce

Yesterday, at Ft. Sam Houston [San Antonio, TX], there was a full military funeral service for Bruce H. Limpus. All four of us were there, because Bruce touched each of us over the course of his life. Bruce had one career in the USAF, followed by another as a high-school English teacher in San Antonio’s poorest school district. During all this time, Bruce was also an artist – a painter, sculptor, poet, playwright, director, actor.

In his life, Bruce inspired hundreds of young artists, writers, actors, and directors. He also influenced the lives of literally thousands of young students, many of whom left San Antonio’s Edgewood and Memorial High Schools to go on to an Ivy League education. As for the four of us, well … .

Steve and Kathy’s daughters both are involved in careers in the arts, and Bruce found the time to nurture their ambitions and talents. Kathy, Mary Lou, and I had the great honor of performing in his “murder mystery/comedies” in roles written specifically for us. The fact that Mary Lou sings in a band is directly down to Bruce, who cast her in several singing roles in his British-style holiday pantomimes.

As for me, Bruce was my very first stage director [in 1967] and directed me in my last role nearly 40 years later. Almost as soon as we met, Bruce and his wife Sheila began to teach me about art, music, theater, philosophy, and psychology. In the span of a 42-year close friendship, Bruce and Sheila stood up for me at both my weddings, welcomed Mary Lou into their family, and spent hours with us going to theater, having dinners, and talking, talking, talking. Some time in 1976, Bruce handed me a piece of paper with 23 words written on it. I took those words and, with Steve’s help, finished a song that is on our CD and is very popular at our gigs.

Bruce and Sheila used to love to come to our performances and, when his health began to fail him, welcomed us into his home for an “unplugged” concert. He loved us all and we loved him right back.

While most of the service consisted of an impressive display by a USAF ceremonial team – complete with a rifle salute and taps – the culmination of the service was Kathy singing to Steve’s accompaniment. The family requested this of Kathy, one of Bruce’s most favorite chanteuses and dancing girls, and she was happy to comply. Bruce’s favorite film was Casablanca, so Kathy sang a very touching rendition of “As Time Goes By,” to Steve’s guitar.

And that was that, after 81 years on this earth, Bruce was gone. It’s a terribly trite cliché, but in this case, there’s no denying that he lives on in the hearts and souls of all of us in the band, and many, many others. Good-bye, our friend.