| Too Good to be Local Penn - 4/03/02
We're in Richmond,
Virginia. We're doing a week at a really nice old theater.
We did 2 days of press that started before 6 am and naps in
the afternoon and, just crazy. I have allergies and
respiratory problems, and it's all been crazy, but now I'm
feeling better and I have nothing but shows.
We brought Jonesy along for this ride. It was a crazy idea.
Jonesy was playing piano and telling people to look at the
boxes in Vegas and we had 3 one week runs in Richmond, LA,
and Norfolk and decided to bring Jonesy along. He's not
playing during the show at all, just the pre-show and
intermission. But, you know, it's SO classy to have live
pre-show and intermission music. Jonesy sets up a vibe for
the show that keeps swinging all the way through. It makes
a much bigger difference in reality than it does on paper.
Burt, Robbie, and Teller worked really hard to make it
visually beautiful. The show starts with Jonesy way
upstage with the boxes in front of him. He's really well
lit and it's really nice. I'm over to one side, Isawake
Mysterioso, with my hat and jacket playing bass. I play
with Jonesy until about 5 minutes before the show starts
and then I leave. Jonesy plays for a while longer and
then Robbie comes out and makes sure the Honor boxes aren't
damaged, and then Jonesy steps forward with a hand mic,
introduces himself, and then introduces us. While he does,
the curtain comes down in front of the piano and the big
Penn & Teller sign with they Hey Roob comes into place and
we walk out. It's really big, fancy, and classy. Sinatra
had live music before he came on. It's a good idea.
Jonesy then comes out for intermission (without me) and
kills. He's getting big applause after every song. People
still go into the lobby and move around, but when they're
not, they getting the best music they'll ever hear. It's
So, it's different than the Rio, because these people have
wanted to see us for a while. My pictures are all over and
I'm right on stage where they can get right up to me. A
LOT more people are on stage looking at boxes, and I was
afraid I'd be bugged. A couple of women just stood in
front of me and watched me play, and that was no harm. And
a few people pointed and you could tell they were saying
that the bass player was one of the guys, but it didn't
hurt anything. You see, it's not supposed to really be a
secret, but I don't want my bass playing to hurt the P&T
entrance or be distracting. At one point a guy came over
to talk to Jonesy (I don't understand how people talk to
musicians while they're playing, but they do) and I was
afraid it was going to be about me being me, but it wasn't.
He asked Jonesy, "Are you guys local?"
"No, we're with Penn & Teller."
"Yeah, I didn't think you were local. You're too good to
He walked over to me. He had no idea that I was only
allowed to play bass because I was part of the show. He
watched me for a moment as I played and then said, "Yup,
you two are too good to be local."
I was thrilled. Just thrilled.