Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 11 "Let's Cut It" (Making a record on a train headed for Chicago)

I spent much of my time on the Montana to Chicago run recording in my sleeper cabin. Sequestered all the way in the front, away from everybody. I recoded dozens of songs, and got quite a bit of work done. I also slept very well - although I woke up every time the train stopped. There was a delay somewhere around Fargo. Just before the sun comes up, I get up for some coffee and breakfast in the diner car, and then go back to my roomette to record for several hours. Around Minneapolis, I emerge from my bunker.

Later on in Wisconsin, I take a picture of the Mighty Mississippi, as we cross over the bridge.

Around Milwaukee, there are hardly any people on the train. Because of the delays earlier in North Dakota - some people missed their connections, and would have to take a bus. I have 4 hours to wait in Chicago, so I am fine. I tip my servant, Dennis a $10 bill and a couple of guitar picks (he is a beginner on guitar, so he tells me.)

Once I make it into Chicago, I start taking tons of photos. I instinctively start walking in the direction that leads me to the "cool stuff"... and I find it!

After a few hours, I head back to Union Station, and get some Mexican food and a few beers. I call my wife, and she tells me that The Valley Advocate is running a full column about my trip, complete with photo!

I celebrate with a can of Guinness.

While at the bar, I encounter a drunk fellow named Jamie. He claims to have been a huge part of the metal scene somewhere... but has just gotten his card declined to pay his bar tab, and they are having difficulty confirming his other card. A policeman is hovering close by, and the situation is growing tense. He leaves to get some money, and almost leaves behind his iPhone. He's a mess!

I finish up my beer and decide it's time for me to get moving. I get my bags from the locker, and get aboard the train that will take me back to Springfield. As I wait in line I meet two people who are into music. One is a dreadlocked guy named Leo. He talks about Metallica and Pantera with great passion, but is heading to NYC to visit a terminally ill relative. Very sad story, but he's a nice guy, and we wait together for the line to move.

I soon meet a second guy who is a hip hop artist from Brooklyn named "Ghost Rida".

The front half of the train is for people going to Boston, and the rear is for everyone going to NYC, so I don't see those guys after we board (or so I thought... more on that later). My car is one of the older, and kind of crummy looking one's. It rocks around all over the place, and makes typing very difficult. I turn off my laptop, and fall asleep without too much problem. At this point, the rocking of the train is like being in a locomotive-powered cradle.

PICTURES can be seen at

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