Alabama slammer

Twenty-four years ago today, in pre-redevelopment Williamsburg, the quartet that recorded Fakebook–Dave Schramm, Al Greller, Georgia and I–performed for the first of only three times.  But the show on my mind right now happened two years earlier.  Traveling by minivan, topped with a carrier that kept out most (but by no means all) of the rain, we were on our way to the west coast for the first time, Stephan on bass, Phil Morrison helping out.  Tonight’s stop: the Varsity in Tuscaloosa AL where as I recall pool tables outnumbered Yo La Tengo fans by a comfortable margin.  We opened as strong as we knew how, the third song being “Somebody’s Baby.”  Soon after, someone approached the stage with a note, requesting a Jackson Browne cover.  Perplexed, I said we had already done one.  The note bearer was aware of that, and was requesting another.  After the set came everyone’s least favorite ritual: Asking the first hapless person to offer a compliment if they could put us up.  We ended up on campus, in a group house with multiple VHS copies of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Georgia and I spent the night end to end on couches, and I don’t believe I slept a wink.  Oh well, dinner was great and the compliment we had received was one we would repeat for the rest of the tour and beyond: “I really get off on ‘Clunk.'”