Sunday, December 30, 2007

Garden State Part II

Great seats!

8 years ago i got my first bass for Christmas from my parents. I'm still not good. but at least i convinced people i was good enough to tour professionally. That's why its always great to have my parents come to a concert and thank them for the Christmas gift that supplied me with my current job. Tonight we returned to the Prudential Center for the 2nd sold out night in New Jersey.

The past few days have been considered somewhat "normal" in a sense that I get to wake up in my own bed, drive to work, and drive back home when I'm done. I'm a commuter! Howeva, tonight is my last night in NJ :(

My family had a great time which was a relief because for whatever reason i get very stressed when i bring them around. they're great people, which is why i dont understand why i get this way. but think if you had your parents, sister, and best friend mirror you for an entire day while you worked, went to school, etc. well it would just be a little strange. It was cool though, they got to hang and see us rehearse songs for Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve which airs live tomorrow on ABC. if you're near a TV, put it on in the background while you party.

my sister and my oldest friend, Jason, are unimpressed with the backstage area:

During Miley's set i walked into the audience to find my parents. after the show Miley amazed me when she said she saw me walking around and was about to call me out on stage for not paying attention to the concert! i was shocked. if singing doesnt work out she could be a sniper. this girl has eyes like a hawk!

Sister and Mom with Miles:

Well, this will do it for my blog in 2007. Thanks for reading and please come back to visit in 2008. Happy New Year!

-Gregory G.

Garden State

i've been home for a week now in jerz and its awesome. i swear this state gets better every time i come back. for example: we had a show today at the prudential center in downtown Newark. now, Newark isn't exactly your Beverly Hills type of city. ...ok, so its a ghetto but they're trying to fix it up with new venues such as the Prudential Center. i drove literally 30 feet from the venue and saw a pretty beat up looking house and some people sitting outside. i refused to judge them. "that house has character, and i'm sure these are fine human beings," i thought to myself. then one of the guys gets up from the stoop and begins to pee on his house. in front of everyone. ah, i love new jersey.

my old man came to watch the show for the first time and sat on the side of the stage equipped with ear plugs and a camera. his pictures weren't half bad:

jack and john came over for a delectable steak dinner with my family and were later joined by blast from the past alex noyes to watch the giants almost beat the patriots. the mini-reunion was sweet.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmastime Is Here

not to sound like my good friend Mike Schmid, but... i'm in my hotel room and sick right now. we've been playing shows up and down the eastern seaboard but i feel like i'm stuck inside a snowglobe. its freezing cold everywhere we've been lately, yet i continue to fail to wear my jacket. thankfully, the tour caterers know me all too well and get out a nice big bowl of cereal when they see me and put a smile on my face. just what the doctor ordered. (please note my doctor is Tony the Tiger.)

i've been doing a pretty awesome job of buying Christmas gifts for myself. i started to feel slightly guilty so i took a taxi to the mall to practice a little more selflessness in this season of love and giving. while i was looking for the new Daft Punk "Alive 2007" CD for one of my friends, i stumbled upon an album i had actually worked on earlier this year called "On My Way" by DeSol:

now let's be clear by what i mean when i say "worked on" i did NOT play the bass but rather did some assistant engineering and maybe played a shaker or two, but trust me, my rhythm is nowhere near on the level of these dudes. the DeSol record was produced by Jon Leidersdorff who also played drums on "It's About Time" by the Jonas'.

In recent weeks i've also decided that i'm far superior to my fellow bandmates and now no longer ride on that stinky tour bus, but rather follow the bus in my custom new pink party limo. it's equipped with a hot tub, direcTV, and lasers that blow up the cars in front of me when stuck in traffic. also, the interior is lined with out-of-print $1,000 bills. it's about time we fall back into the decadence of the 80's, no?

a few more random notes:

last week we played at Madison Square Garden for the Z100 Jingle Ball. Personally, I've seen some memorable shows there and to get the opportunity to perform there was a blessing. my parents hung out with me but didn't stay for the show. (even though they're HUUUUGE Boys Like Girls fans.) my dad mentioned to me that he saw Led Zeppelin at the Garden back in 1972. only more proof that my dad rules and i will not be as cool as him. we opened the show with a "Just Friends" tease that led into "Year 3000." Lately we've been getting more creative with the arrangements for our live show. i'm stoked on it.

me, my favorite mom, and some noise canceling headphones in Central Park:

also, we recently got a second chance in a venue we didn't exactly please the first time around. almost exactly a year ago, we played in between periods at a minor league hockey game in Hartford, CT. there were maybe 50 fans there to see us and the rest were drunk dudes wanting to see some teeth get knocked out of players heads. we were literally booed and had plush hockey pucks thrown at us. it was kind of a cool feeling getting booed by an entire arena. we went back a year later and rocked some faces off. that was a better feeling.
here's a picture i took of John laughing in between songs as we were booed last year:

happy holidays :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

14 days in a row and counting

At what point does a tour bus become a pirate ship? If you’re like me, you’ve lost precious hours of sleep pondering this great question of life too. Jon Bon Jovi compared it to a steel horse but last night I felt more like Noah than John Wayne. We left Indianapolis, fresh from overindulgence at Steak-n-shake, and headed to Atlanta for another non-Hannah radio festival. This time with Avril Levigne. I remember covering her song “complicated” once when I was in high school. I can’t really figure out why I would do that. My band was probably playing a sweet sixteen at the time and we thought girls would like it. But ok enough about Avril and more about pirate ships. You see, as we traveled in the night through middle America, our bus was rocking back and forth on the high seas – ‘Perfect Storm’ style. This is no knock against our bus driver – in fact he’s brilliant – but it was raining like we were prepping the set for the straight-to-DVD Waterworld 2 movie. I can’t be sure, but the waters may have risen and overtaken our wheels, in which case we officially and legally became a ship. I was getting knocked around into tons of stuff as I walked through the yacht to the back lounge after another 3-hour Arrested Development DVD marathon. I swung the door to the bunk area open; I found myself in complete darkness and thrown like a rag doll back and forth down the narrow hallway. What’s this? A tee shirt? A sock? A sock puppet?! I’m feeling my way through to get to the back lounge. I think I just hit Yogi’s foot. Sorry Gurt. Now MY foot is caught on John’s blanket and I accidentally pull on it. He probably doesn’t notice. Hope he does, though. In the back lounge I have a small closet area pictured below:

Packing for tour is never easy. Most of the time tours get extended and you end up staying on the road longer than you originally planned. For this tour I had to pack 3 months into 2 suitcases, whose contents threw up into this 1 closet. Which would explain why you could see my multi-layered winter coat inches away from my bathing suit. Surprisingly, HOTlanta lived up to its nickname. We’ve had snow at the past few shows, but today caught me off guard with some nice weather. You know my parents met when my mom playfully threw a snowball at my dad to get his attention? This is way more romantic-comedy than how my grandparents met, which was at a White Castle. Actually now that I think about it, perhaps the latter is more romantic-comedy…
All in all, I like being a pirate. The tour bus-turned-pirate ship has a way of rocking you to sleep like an infant. …or in my case a grown man with a mother who has very strong arms. Uhhh, you get the idea. I’ve just convinced myself to go to sleep. The ship is now taking off on another 6+ hour trip to Ohio.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I come to you live from 30,000 feet in the sky. On our day off from
the Hannah Montana tour, we once again find our heroes headed to yet
another state to play a concert. I slept for 2 hours last night (give
or take 2 hours) before we boarded our flight in Kansas City to
Seattle to play a radio show with Colbie Calliat and Timbaland. We had a layover in
Denver and I'm so out of it right now I think I've ended up somewhere
in the matrix by accident. Now I'm reading GQ learning about the
wonderful world of style and drinking a can of water. That’s right, an
aluminum can of water. Oh southwest airlines, you slay me! With this much excitement there is no way I'm falling asleep on the plane. So I figured
I'd fill you in on what's been happening the past few days:

1. i was shocked by 83 Volts of electricity:

This happened literally seconds before the show started when I put my
mouth up to the microphone and got a little surprise. Nothing cool
happened like in back to the future or bill and teds excellent
adventure. My body just shook and threw me back a couple feet and
delayed the start of the show about 10 minutes. Just for point of
reference, sticking your finger in an open light switch would give you
a 110 volt shock (source: john lloyd taylor.) If my heart didn’t actually explode on stage (the
doctors still aren't sure) then I owe it all too...

2. The arena workout plan:

Most recent afternoons I meet with other equally as insane people on
the tour and we put ourselves through an intense workout regimen to
stay healthy. We've dubbed ourselves the "stairmasters" due to the
cornerstone of our exercise program: running up and down as many
stairs in the arena as possible before passing out (usually the entire
lower half.) this is followed up by a series of crunches and push ups.
membership to become a stairmaster is free and open to anyone on the
tour. you know where to find us. Do you really think I look the way I
do from eating cereal all day? oh wait...

3. Ive been listening to music again

Being a "professional musician" (I use that term loosely) one would
think that listening to music is what I get to do all day. Sadly, and
for reasons I'm not even sure I know, this just doesn’t happen. Maybe
because when you hear music all day, its almost not even fun anymore
(or even makes sense) to take up more time from your day to listen to
more music. Maybe it all starts to sound the same and becomes
uninspiring. I don't get it. Anyway, I’ve been reserving time each
night to listen to some tunes before I fall asleep after watching too
much arrested development (is there such a thing as too much?) some
of my current favorite tracks that are getting me excited about music
again / are just fun to listen to are:

"thats really super, supergirl" by XTC

"sunday morning" by velvet underground

the entire Kooks record

the first 5 seconds of "the hienrich maneuver" by Interpol

"street talking woman" by marlena shaw

ah, I know you don't really care about what I'm listening to. everyone
thinks they listen to the best music anyway right? anyway, listening
to more
music is a personal trend I hope I keep up. in fact, I
should...wait...did i?...ah...i left my headphones on the bus. poned


Saturday, December 1, 2007


While our touring partners with Hannah Montana enjoyed their scheduled day off in Arkansas, we drove to New Orleans to play not one, but two shows at the House of Blues. Even though we played music for roughly 4x the amount of time we usually do in a day, yesterday felt like a day off for us too.

In the morning we walked around the french quarter and ate beignets while a trumpeter harassed us about his CD. the sad part is that he was quite good but beyond annoying. Rob got suckered into purchasing the record for $20. recently, john mayer has posted pictures of his food on his website for his "meal log." so here's my mlog:

rob and i continued to walk around the quarter and looked at loads of photographs and painting by local artists. the nice thing about the french quarter is that there's no chain stores; its all local shops: no starbucks. no gap. no house of blues., ok forget about that last one.

after our 4:30 show i met up with a friend of mine, Chris, who i haven't seen in 2 and a half years. well, that was actually the first time i'd seen him also. Chris is a drummer i met the first time i was in New Orleans and even though we'd never ran into each other until yesterday, we'd kept in touch with the occasional e-mail or myspace comment every few months. he stayed for the 7:30 show which ended up being one of my favorites since we started touring 3 years ago. Nick started the encore with a new song which extended into the concert's crescendo. even though we had a rehearsed ending, nick continued playing the piano and wrote a spontaneous verse as the audience sang the chorus back to him. if its available somewhere in the depths of youtube, check it out.

after the show we went out to eat at Emeril's restaurant, where Emeril Lagasse himself actually prepared our food (i'm not being ironic) and it was most definitely the greatest tasting thing i've ever had with the exception of every meal my mothers ever made. (I love you mommy!) John Taylor made fun of me for taking a
picture of my food, knowing it would end up on the blog. but his pones
lost all credibility when not ten seconds later he took a picture of
his meal too. nice, john.

so here's my mlog from last nite:
oysters and shrimp
butternut squash soup
fillet of beef
chocolate souffle

its december already. what happened...