| Hollywood Bowling Penn - 6/23/00
Well, we played the
Hollywood Bowl. It wasn't just us, we were with Spielberg,
Garth Brooks, Whoopi, John Williams, the L.A. Symphony,
Richard Dryfus, Jeff Goldblum, Christina Aguillera, and
lots of others, but we still played the Hollywood Bowl. We
were still on the stage where last year I saw Bob Dylan.
(Yeah, I know, Bob played the Beacon theater too, but . .
. I don't know, this was different). We went into
rehearse at about noon. The bit we were doing is an old
bit; it's older than Penn & Teller. This is a bit we used
to do in Asparagus. It's "In the Hall of the Mountain
King." We did it with the Boston Pops. The conductor and
another guy tie us in strait jackets and then they play up
until 14 measures to the end. We have to escape and take
over on keyboard and bass. It's a great bit. Teller hangs
upside down to escape and I just do gags begging second
violinists to let me out and yelling at them for speeding
up. Teller gets out, runs over and lets me out, and then
The rehearsal went great. We were joking with the band.
The bass players were very upset at my bass being out of
tune. It was tuned to 440 and they were 441. I said, "Who
cares?, it's just a bass." It was a drummer tying me in.
We ran through it twice and it was just perfect. I was very
happy with it. I remembered all my names and numbers for
the intros and Burt was over one side counting down the
measures on her fingers, so I could time out right. It
I hadn't slept at all the night before, so I went home and
napped all afternoon. Krasher drove me over to the Bowl
and we went to the cocktail party. I guess I should say that
this was an awards ceremony giving the Hollywood Bowl Hall
of Fame awards (for the first year) to John and Garth. I
ate lots of appetizers and pretty much talked to no one.
It was very crowded and, well, I just didn't start up any
There was a little press, but no one cared about us, it was
just Garth and Spielberg that people wanted. Garth sure
looked great. I love what a regular guy he is. He had on
cowboy boots, jeans, and the top half was tux and then he
had that hat. If your Garth, that's what you should do. It
was fine. We had a nice box to watch the show and a nice
We were first after intermission and that seemed like a good
place. We got ready to walk on stage and they hadn't put a
mic on the conductor. We went out anyway. He needed to
have a mic so we could hear his measure countdown. That
was a problem. Backstage, I had told my guy, the drummer,
to be really rough. He did the crotch strap like you
couldn't believe. I swear it was up into my stomach. It
sure changed the fit of the suit. But, he got even crazy
on the arms. He went nuts. He pulled so hard that he
BROKE THE STRAP! How is that possible? It's canvas. But,
he did. So, what to do? I made some joke about stupid
drummers and "should have used a bass player," and they
tied it in place. I walked over and showed it to Teller so
he'd be ready. The music started and they were putting on
a mic on him as he conducted.
Of course, my arms came loose right away, and I was supposed
to not be able to get out. So, I had to not be able to get
out even though my arms were free. Luckily, the crotch
strap was so tight, I couldn't move anyway so it was
believable. I ran over to the harp players and begged them
to let me out. It seemed pretty funny. I think, because
of the broken strap, it made it look like Teller letting me
out was an ad-lib, and that's nothing but good. We got out
and I started playing the bass, but I wasn't in the
monitors. I couldn't hear myself, but I kept playing and I
was told later it was in the house mix. We finished up
with me running off stage while saying to the drummer,
"You're an idiot!"
So, that was P&T at the Hollywood Bowl. It was really fun
and I think it was a good shot. Since we don't get to do
this bit often, I wanted to just do it perfectly. I wanted
to set it up and knock it down, but instead we had to play
by ear and adlib and that was fine too. I think we went
After the show, I went backstage to the drummer who broke
the strait jacket and we laughed and joked. I was worried
that I had called him an idiot on stage, but he was in
showbiz and he knew that that was my best move on the
chessboard. He was really nice and we had a blast.
I stood around backstage and talked to people and then
Krasher, and Burt, drove me back to the hotel.
I mean, okay, so it wasn't just us, but Penn & Teller played
the Hollywood Bowl.