St. Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY

What a treat to wake up home after playing a gig! I got to spend a few more hours at my country home before heading south to the city. Several of my friends stopped over – Lauren, Nancy, Djuna, Will….So nice to be home with my friends. I savored the morning as much as I could because this would be the last time that I saw Sage for 15 more days. He was unfazed by the whole thing – too busy swinging from the tree and playing with his friends.

Although my friend Lauren had just gotten back from her summer vacation in the Adirondacks; I convinced her to hop in the van and come on a mini Zep tour adventure. She is very easy to pull along! We got another hotel room at the same place; packed her a small bag and away we went. Clem, Lauren and I said our goodbyes and headed to Brooklyn. St. Vitus is known for being the bar that Nirvana played at after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It was one of those bars that doesn’t have a name on the outside and is just a black door. Inside it was all black as well – the walls, the stage, the bathroom; it was hard to see anything. They have this religious theme going on with red candles lit beneath a saint. The website lists the drinks as offerings; the music as sacraments, penance etc… The stage has a painting of a one eyed scull and crossbones. The wristbands say ‘Satan is my God’ and the t-shirts read ‘ Satan is great, whiskey is super’. Anyway you get the picture. We were definitely going to stand out in our angelic white attire. The sound man was a really nice guy named Nick who helped us in and out with all our gear. He was also a bass player and just overall nice person. I am so grateful for nice people, especially nice sound people! It makes a world of difference for how the night is gonna go. So thanks Nick!

I put Lauren to work by having her set up the merch table. She was happy to help while we sound checked. After that, my friend Brad – who is an old buddy from college was coming to meet us for dinner. He was bringing his new girlfriend Stella, who I was excited to meet. We had a drink at the dark bar and then went looking for food. We found Angeline on the street and asked if she wanted to join. All of us found this cute little lobster shack with a backyard patio. It felt like we were at the beach! This was perfect because usually Lauren and I have a beach day or a vacation together. We have travelled the world together in our 23 years of knowing one another and so this little city trip would have to be everything all in one. It was a fun little get together. The food was really good and it was low-key. The weather was perfect! I did not want to go back into the dark!

As we arrived back to the bar – I saw my friend Linda. I hadn’t seen her for about 8 years? She lives in Williamsburg and now plays in a band with her boyfriend John who was also with her. She would be moving upstate to my neighboring town next month.

The opening band was called Jane Lee Hooker. Holy shit! They rocked the house! Explosive groovy blues! The singer really had some chops. If you have the chance – go see them …

The show was dark and loud but everyone seemed to love it. I only had a few peeps in the audience and this was such a different show than the night before. It was fun and I got the seal of approval from Brad – who is a huge Zep fan. He and I are also reviving an acoustic project we had going about 15 years ago. I’m hoping that I can come back to NY in the Fall to record with him. It’s great stuff – lots of open tunings. It will definitely appeal to Zep fans.

The show was over and the bar went from live music to rock star karaoke. I was half tempted to sing…but we decided to go bowling instead. Lauren, Brad, Stella, Linda, John and myself made it over to Gutter…I thought that Clem and Angeline were coming by – but as it turns out – no one wanted to bowl. I could see Brad and Stella begin to expire and John and Linda needed to get a room. So we all parted ways. Lauren and I met Clem and Ang for a night cap at a bar around the corner from the hotel called Lic. I just love being in NY. I need a city that never sleeps! Lord knows I’m not getting much!