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The past 3 months have been exhilarating. I got to perform for the US Army, at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri this summer. Built in 1940, and used primarily to train the Military Police-the base itself reminded me of the movie the Truman Show, where they built a mock-town to resemble the real thing. In early November, I got to perform at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Knoster, MO. It was both a thrill, and honor, to perform for the men & women who protect our freedom. Whiteman is a joint-service base, employing troops from the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and is the only permanent base in the world that houses the B-2 Stealth Bombers. With the help of Staff Sargent Travis Keele, I was able to see one on the tarmac.
It'd been over 10 years since my last trip to LA, so I decided to visit a few close friends, and see Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra in the same trip. The last time I saw a show at the Hollywood Bowl, was in 1995 to see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. ELO had been at the top of my list to see live, and they'd only scheduled 5 shows total in NY & LA- and I was glad to catch one of them. I did some research, food-wise, and tried fitting as many of the places on my list as possible. La Azteca Tortilleria, Al & Bea's, Tito's Taco's, and Phillipe all lived-up to my expectations. I even got to visit Tijuana, get some great street tacos, and catch Kyle Kinane's show at the Comedy Store one night. There was some carnage though. I missed seeing a few other good friends, and I didn't get to stop at the supposed Holy Grail for burgers in LA - The Apple Pan.
I drove down to Tennessee twice in the past month. On one of my off-nights before my show in Smyrna, I saw the band Blue October at the Canary Ballroom in Nashville. I'd seen them years ago, and remembered they'd put on a great show. I was torn, because Bill Burr was performing in town also, same night- and he's one of my favorite comedians- but I was determined to see some live music while in town. Plus, I couldn't let the irony of seeing a band called Blue October with the Cubs winning the World Series. Danny Malone from Austin, TX, was the opener, and he was incredible. Overall, the show rocked.
I had to entertain a crowd while the Cubs were on the TV one night- and it turned out surprisingly well- I worked the craziness of the whole thing into the show, and the audience played along. Everyone was in Holloween costumes so that made it easy to interact with the crowd. This past weekend, I made my way back to Minnesota again, and got to check-out Paisley Park, the official residence for Prince, who passed away back in April. That was pretty neat. Below, carne asada chile relleno burrito from La Azteca. Al & Beas green-chili burrito, Tijuana street tacos, lamb french dip from Philippe with a pickled hard-boiled egg, and my #1 pick for hot chicken in Nashville, Hattie B's.