Back home from the TAXI Road Rally, Part 1

Incredible. Amazing. Shocking. Humbling. Familial. Loving. Giving. Educational... The list of words I could use to describe my TAXI Road Rally experience this year could go on for a long time. Words simply cannot describe the event. It is something that one truly has to experience for his or her self to be able to appreciate the depth and range of the event. TAXI CEO Michael Laskow is one of the most generous and caring persons I've ever met and he truly does want to see people succeed in this grueling and demanding business.

I'll go ahead and warn you now that this is going to be a series of very lengthy posts. Maybe it'll make up some for the lack of posting the previous months. And so without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give to you my recap of the 2009 TAXI Road Rally.

Day One

I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday night. I wanted to get there early this year. Last year was my fist trip ever to California and I stayed in the hotel the entire event other than one trip to Taco Bell on Sunday afternoon. So this year I wanted to be able to see a little bit of the city.

After checking in at the front desk, I made my way across the lobby and immediately saw three fellow members, Dave Walton, Christi Green and Martin Haene (my roomie for the week). Had a great time chatting with them for awhile. Dave and I went to Subway for some late night dinner and more great conversation about life and music. Really enjoyed hearing his stories about the Billboard conference he went to the previous week, especially about Bear McCreary and Glee.

Day Two

I spent most of the morning putting together the rest of my CD's. I would have put them together before the trip but let's just say that I ran into some technical difficulties with the printers. Argh! As I was working on them, I got a text from my friend Devin letting me know that he was now at the hotel. I've been wanting to meet him since April of last year. His friend Mark was with him and the three of us made a trip to Subway for some lunch and gear talk. Good times!

As the day progressed, more people started to arrive. It was so great to see so many familiar faces, some of which I hadn't seen in a year, others in a few months. Even though it had been a year since I had been there, it really felt like only a few days had passed (and I'm already looking forward to next year!).

During the afternoon and early evening we had a chance to see parts of a Jewish wedding that was going on in the hotel. It was very unique to say the least. While that was going on, I shared a pizza with my friend Christi. We did that last year and since this past year went so well, we thought we'd try it again :-)

As I mentioned earlier, I arrived early so that I could see some of the sights. So what better thing to do in LA than take in a rock show. One of my fellow TAXI members, JVB, was playing a show that night with her band, Pinkstar. One of my forum friends that I finally got to meet for the first time, Jeff Greenleaf, gave me a ride to the show in his Corvette. It was quite fun cruising around Beverly Hills with him in a 'vette.

We arrived at the venue and actually found a great parking spot across from the venue. We ran into JVB outside and got a chance to meet her guitarist Jim. We caught a few songs from the opening band, can't remember their name, but I think their guitarist might still be playing his solo... lol... you had to be there...

Pinkstar hit the stage and delivered a very high-energy show. The bass player had some technical difficulties with his rig but that didn't keep them from rocking the place. They were a very tight band and JVB definitely puts every ounce of energy she has into the show. Fun show! Jeff dropped me off back at the hotel and I was planning on just heading up to the room but ran into some friends in the lobby so I stuck around, and I'm glad I did.

I had a chance to meet Josh and Ted from Brisbane, Australia, which for those of you that don't know, is close to Sidney... lol... again, you had to be there... These two young lads were one of the highlights of the Rally for me. It was their first Rally and Ted's first trip to America. LOVED their accent. Just really had a great time hanging out and getting to know them. Josh (fellow Pro Tools user) and I traded CD's. I was VERY impressed with his production, great stuff!

Finally headed off to sleep around 2am I think. Had to get a little rest as the next day was registration day which meant standing in line for a while.

To be continued...


Jeff Greenleaf said...

Very cool! Had fun at the PinkStar show with you!

Big Blue Barry said...

Thanks Jeff! Had a fun time too!