Greg Brown -- May 17, 1997

The Backstage, Seattle, Washington


Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 00:07:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: greg's seattle shows 5/17/97

Got up at 9 a.m. with a gargantuan Greg hangover from his shows the night before in Portland. Wishing someone else could drive my headache back home. 200 miles later we arrived in Seattle. Headed for the club at 4:30. The show was scheduled for 8 p.m., but we bought dinner tickets so we could get the best seats. When Greg arrived at the club with his plastic molded Lowden guitar case in one hand and something else in the other, I welcomed him to my city and opened the door for him. This night we were a party of nine. Four of our friends knew almost nothing about Greg, except they knew we were serious fans. They only bought tickets to the first show, but bought Further In and The Live One as they left.

The club holds 450 and it was jammed for both shows. Of course, we were front, center stage again. We asked the soundman if he would tape it before the show. He said he only did "live sound". Oh well, we tried. Doug and Matt from the list were brave enough to introduce themselves to us. Moe was beginning to feel like the Greg Goddess and I had become the self appointed President of the Pacific Northwest Greg Club. Kelly Joe Phelps opened with 4 or 5 songs. Said he couldn't do the same jokes because some of the audience saw him play in Portland!! One song "God Will Take Care Of You" was so beautiful it made me cry. If this man put on a tie, you might think he works for a bank or Big Blue. He doesn't have the earthy Greg hillbilly look. Kelly Joe did wear logging boots and a sport coat both nights. He bought the coat at St. Vinnie's in Portland where Greg acquired his derby headwear. I believe KJ is a reincarnated Mississippi Delta blues musician.

After the break, it was Greg time again for the third time in about 24 hours. I haven't seen him since Labor Day '95, so this was pure ecstacy. Out he came on stage with the same damn clothes from the night before. He probably thought the same thing about me. Guitar in one hand, Heineken in the other he was also wearing the red rimmed Revco shades. As he sang his songs, his half moon eyebrows kept peering above those glasses. He needs some shades that fit his head. Moe noticed his black rimmed ones near one of his sound monitors. Being the Greghead she told him the night before, she pushed them closer to his seat between sets. Never saw them again. His set list went something like this:

Song List -- First Show:

  1. This Blue
  2. Just by Myself
  3. Slow Food
  4. Small Dark Movie
  5. Sadness
  6. The Irish Song (?)
  7. If You Don't Get It at Home
  8. Speaking in Tongues (humming audience)
  9. Mose Allison Played Here
  10. Two Little Feet (written in Alaska)
  11. (Encore) Going, Going, Gone (no sunglasses at all for this one!)

Sometime earlier, Moe talked to the guy in charge of the club. Again those with first show tickets only had to leave, so we kept our front, center stage seats. Kelly Joe opened the second show again magnificently. My new Greg list buddies sat next to me. Greg played these songs:

Song List -- Second Show:

  1. Good Morning Coffee
  2. I Don't Know That Guy
  3. You Drive Me Crazy
  4. Think about You
    (the girls behind us kept whispering about Moe's sloooow soup t-shirt during this song. I think they thought we were Greg's special guests.)
  5. Get's Kinda Lonely
  6. Who Woulda Thunk It?
  7. Old Hippies
  8. If I Had Known
  9. China
  10. Oh Lord, I Have Made You A Place In My Heart
  11. Down at The Mill
  12. You've Got to Move
  13. Jesus and Elvis
  14. (Encore) Why Don't You Just Go Home?

Seemed to be looking at me while he sang the encore. I liked the tune, but not the idea. My dream weekend was coming to an end. It was worth every "can't make the mortgage payment this month" cent and I'd do it all over again. Never saw Kelly Joe except on stage that Saturday. Loitered around for a while. The waitress came back and said they said thanks for the drinks I bought them.

We headed for the car and Moe turned around. There was Greg walking toward his rental car to head out of town. I told her we have to go over there to get her t-shirt signed. I yelled to him "Thanks for this weekend" as we got closer. Moe told him we were a 1/2 inch from being stalkers. Greg said "You look pretty safe to me". He signed Moe's Sloooooow Soup shirt and drew a steaming hot soup pot after his signature. The shirt is being retired-framed museum material. We must send a photo of it to Ron.

Moe asked if he read my poem. He said yes, but didn't get too excited and hug me or anything. He has no brothers. He actually did a disclaimer before the "Oh Lord" song. Said his songs are not his real life. He told Ferron that once and she said "Yea, right!" He didn't get to see Ferron this trip because she is on tour. Told us he was disappointed he didn't have time to visit Pike Place Market this trip either.

At his car he looked like a factory worker who just punched out with a guitar case for a lunch pail. During his show he said alot of his music comes to him in the car, Moe told him to remember us "Glenn and Moe". As he drove away we couldn't help but wonder if he would get down the road aways and have to pull over to write a song about us that night.

It was a glorious, euphoric weekend that we will never forget. We are now scheming to head back to Portland when he plays at the Washington Park Zoo on August 14th.