Swingin’ with Fred (and Sue and Dave)

I wonder if David from Philadelphia wrote all his book reports the night before they were due.  This email arrived yesterday: September 21, 2004 was when I finally saw you guys live, at the Chameleon Club on your swing state tour.  Sadly, it had been years since I knew anyone who would go out to a club to see a band anymore, and my wife was out of town (I still have the extra ticket).  I corralled my niece into staying with our two kids and I made the hour and a half drive from Philadelphia to Lancaster.  It was all I hoped it would be, and more (if it was a disaster for you, don’t tell me).  Fred Armisen as Saddam Hussein was one of the most wonderfully surreal things I’ve ever seen.  I have seen you several times since, always alone.  It’s become a thing.

(It was only a disaster in retrospect, on Election Day.)

This was the beginning of our swing state tour–we gathered musician and comedian friends, different ones on nearly every night, and caravaned around for three weeks.  Each show was long and loose, broken up twice by whoever was doing comedy.  In Lancaster, we had Dave Schramm, Sue Garner, and Fred Armisen along for our Lancaster PA debut.  Right around now is where I’d tell you some of the highlights, but I’m missing the set lists for this show and the next two, so if you happen to have one lying around, please let me know!  But yes, as David recalls, at one point Fred appeared as Saddam Hussein.  I never met the man, so this is only a guess, but I don’t think it was a spot-on impression.  First Fred borrowed one of our guitars and, backed by James and Georgia, played a Who-style instrumental; then he took questions from the audience, still in British rock star mode.  Had he ever been that character before?  I don’t have that written down either.


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