RON KEEL TOUR DIARY
Ron Keel is on the road with his "Acoustic Outlaws" tour, featuring himself and other players that we all know and love. Whenever Mr. Keel has an update from the road, we’ll post it here for all to see.
This will be a chronicle of my activities for the next month – two weeks with my new Acoustic Outcasts project, and then two weeks on tour with IronHorse. Thanks to all the sites that are including this tour diary and to all the fans for hanging out with us on-line and at the shows.
The Acoustic Outcasts Tour is a collection of some of my good friends, and some of – in my opinion – the best voices in Rock, banded together to create an acoustic format in which we can showcase those voices and our songs. In addition to myself, the cast includes Terry Ilous (XYZ), Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, Michel Schenker, George Lynch, Blue Murder), Charlie Wayne (Keel & Wayne), and guitarist JK Northrup (XYZ, King Kobra, etc). During the course of the show, everyone will be performing solo, and in various combinations, and ultimately all together as a group. The first show, in Nashville Tennessee, also features vocalist Danny Vaughn (Tyketto, Waysted).
The tour kicks off in Nashville on Thursday July 28, and the first leg is concentrated in Ohio July 29-August 6. All the dates can be found at http://acousticoutcasts.com
Acoustic Outcasts Tour Diary:
Day 26: Monday August 22 2005 – 8:44 pm Central Standard Time
Been home for six hours, after the final leg of my journey – a 6-day round trip to Vermont, where IronHorse headlined the Back-To-The-Basics Biker Event. Although I am again exhausted, I felt a desire to post an entry in my tour diary, to tie up the last month of my life with a neat little ribbon of words. I’ve come this far, I reasoned – and like a song with an intro, four verses, four choruses, a solo and a bridge, I have no choice but to come up with an ending. In the studio, we’re allowed to fade the end of a song – but this ain’t no studio diary, it’s a tour diary, and thus I am compelled to put a finish on it.
I’ve already written and tossed a three-page account of what I’ve done and where I’ve been the last six days, in an attempt to take the reader on the journey with me. Now I should be able to turn the computer off, sink into my couch, and watch Monday Night Football – but after going back to read those three pages I realized that it’s all crap. Who gives a shit that I traveled over 3000 miles by car, RV, and airplane to reach the middle of nowhere. Who cares what I had for lunch, or that I didn’t have any cell phone reception or Internet access, or how I spent my off time getting new tattoos. So I’ll spare you the details.
One thing worth commenting on is the unique cultural experience of the ‘Biker Event’ – I know that motorcycles and rock ‘n roll have always gone hand in hand, and that some of the people who may read this actually ride – but I also know there are many of you who might never have experienced an event like this. IronHorse has the pleasure of playing all manner of Biker Events – our brand of working-class American rock n roll is tailor-made for this audience, and our band fits right in with these people and at these occasions. The freewheeling hard-partying atmosphere is reflected in our music and our show, and we are fortunate to be able to perform at these events across the country.
There are two kinds of Biker Events, and we’ve played ‘em both. We’ve done Daytona a couple of times, Salisbury, the Outer Banks, American Thunder and more. We’ve headlined the LoneStar Biker Bash, held at Texas Motor Speedway every September, the past two years, and it’s a fairly controlled environment – all the major motorcycle companies have large booths and exhibits, there are bike stunt shows and security and parking are very organized, and I’m not even allowed to use profanity on stage during the performance. And there’s the other kind of Biker Event: usually taking place in a remote location, these are wanton free-for-alls where drugs, nudity, excessive alcohol, and all manner of behavior can be observed – beyond the law, these are weekend-long celebrations of anarchy.
Back-To-The-Basics leaned heavily into the latter category – one of those big parties where ‘Wet T-Shirt Contest’ takes on a whole new meaning. Sitting in the tattoo chair for three hours on Saturday, I watched while many did damage to their bodies and their bikes during the ‘Biker Games’ – one guy laid a bike down hard right in front of the tattoo booth and landed on his neck. And it wasn’t even his bike. Burnout contests where people cheer when your rear tire explodes. Lots of food – usually whole pigs cooked in underground pits. This event had the best food of any we’ve ever played: omelets and hash browns for breakfast, big burgers and hot dogs for lunch, and the pork/possum combination plate for dinner with fresh corn on the cob, salads, biscuits and cornbread.
And then rock and roll all night. Literally, all night. On Friday we did three 45-minute shows, and then the clean-up act – a classic rock/dance band type played another three hours, and just about the time I finally got to sleep I was awakened by the roar of the bikes and it started all over again. On Saturday we did the late show, playing from 11 pm to 1 am, and after packing up we were able to get a couple of hours sleep before our scheduled 6 am departure in a torrential rainstorm.
So much for the play-by-play. I know there are a few readers who dig the details, but I know everybody wants to hear about the sex and drugs. Unfortunately (for those readers) I come from the old school of ‘what goes on the road stays on the road’, and it doesn’t help to incite the wrath of jealous women or various law enforcement agencies, so you’ll have to be content with other logistical details.
On that note, I’ll end this song and dance with a fairly accurate account of the details that I can actually divulge regarding my last 4 weeks on the road with IronHorse & The Acoustic Outcasts Tour. These are my personal statistics; I can’t speak for anyone else…
26 days on the road. Total of five days off at home.
Gigs: 13 (8 Acoustic Outcasts, 5 IronHorse)
Miles traveled: approximately 6880
Airplane flights: 8
Songs Sung: 235
E-mails unanswered: 1742
Phone calls unreturned: 207
Guitar strings used: 132
Beers consumed: approximately 300
Shots of Jack Daniels: approximately 75
Long Island Ice Teas: 17
White Russians: 4
White Wine: 1 glass on the last flight from Columbus to Chicago
Swigs off Snakdaddy’s Scotch bottle: around 10
Swigs off Geno’s Jim Beam bottle: a couple
Packs of Marlboro Menthol 72’s: 19
New Tattoos: 3
I want to thank Metal Sludge, HardRockHaven, and the other web sites that are running this Tour Diary – if the powers-that-be would like me to, I will resume this chronicle in a few weeks when the Acoustic Outcasts Tour continues with the addition of Don Dokken. I also want to thank my sponsors: Dean Guitars (http://deanguitars.com), Graphic Leather clothing (http://graphicleather.com), Morley Pedals (http://morleypedals.com), and Ultimate Support stands (http://ultimatesupport.com). And especially to those readers who have been following our exploits via the web, thanks for your time and for hanging out with us on-line. See you in 3 weeks.