Road blog: Brother Dege on tour pt. 7

by Dege Legg

The tour ends and the next chapter begins. [Editor's note: Independent Weekly arts/entertainment writer Dege Legg has just completed of a month-long music tour up the East Coast to Boston, west across the Upper Midwest and back down to Louisiana. His tour, in the guise of his latest musical persona, Brother Dege, was in support of his new record, Folk Songs of the American Longhair. This is the seventh installment of a "road journal" Dege kept during his tour.]

Folk Songs of the American Longhair
East Coast Tour 2010



Drove another six hours or so

And rolled into the baking furnace

That is Texas.

Rolling hills, scrub brush, parking lots,

Chrome buildings, and mini-malls.

I located the club, The Lounge.

It's in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas.

I park in a pay lot next to the club

There is no parking lot attendent.

You just stick your money in a slot

And walk.

They charge for everything in America.

To rent, park, stand, build, drive (toll roads), camp, sleep,

And scratch any itch you may have the urge

To fuss with.

Freedom ain't always cheap.

Free enterprise, I guess.

I catch sight of my reflection in the van.

I have black circles round my eyes, bags

And I am greasy.

This last jag took a toll on me.

But I made it.

Old friend and ex-Mystic Fixer Cody showed up

With his crazy buddy Commando.

Good dudes.

Cody just had a kid with one of my oldest friends,

Anne Z. They live in Dallas

Commando is an ex-military guy

Whose real name is Karl Van Commander.

He's completely nuts. In a good way.

Guys like that fight and win wars

And take bullets.

Not nerds who whine about things like "the scene"

And complain about who is or isn't coming to see their band play.

I call him Commando, because it fits him perfectly

And almost sounds like his real name.

Ex-military guys like that are real

In a way others can only imagine.

I grew up in a military family - Air Force.

The old man was a fighter pilot in Vietnam.

Grandfather was WWII decorated Navy.

Picture in Life Magazine.

Those guys are tough.

Each successive generation gets a little wimpier

As the years go by. Myself included.

Might take another depresssion to squeeze

All the cry baby out of us.

I hang with Commando and Cody at the club.

We drink.



I bang out the set.

I'm so exhausted at the end of the night

All I want to do is sleep.

It's way too hot to sleep in the van,

So I opt to crash at Cody and Anne's house.

On a mattress.

It's the first real bed I've slept on in over 10 days.

Feels good.

I pass out and sleep takes over.



I woke late.

Ate some good home cooking

Courtesy of Anne.

Said my goodbyes and thank you's

And rolled out.

Almost done.

I slam toward Houston.

Five hour drive.

I roll into town,

Letting Tony Bonyata's GPS guide me.

He lent it to me in Chicago.

I'd never used one before.

Now I am officially a convert.

These GPS things are great.

For some reason, I thought the technology

Would be a little clunkier.

It's not.

It's sort of clunky here and there,

But not to the extent I imagined.

Even after a lot of kooky turns

The club is right where the GPS says it is.

Very nice.

I park in back.

Load out.

And lie down in the back of the van

To roast and rest a bit.

The other bands show up

And they're all such cool, friendly,

And talkative people

That I just can't stay in the van.

I hang with Cirrus Minor, a psych-prog band.

They give me some fried chicken.

It's good.

Thank you.

Fitzgerald's, the club, has me headlining

Four bands and playing at the end of the night.

It's gonna be a long one.

I can tell.

But the bands are all good.

Kill the Rhythm, a kind of indie rock two-piece slams it.

So does the 2nd band. Can't remember the name.

As does Cirrus Minor, who are way fun.

And good folks.

They'd go well on a Givers bill.

Similar kind of fun.


I sit around in the dark.

Watch the bands.

Sip a little beer.

Reflect on the tour.

I did it.

Mission accomplished.

Folk Songs of the American Longhair

East Coast tour, 2010. Done.

There was the slim possibility

A few of my close friends

Who were going to come

But they couldn't make it.

Just as well.

I started it alone.

I drove it alone.

And I'll end it alone.

Granted, I had some help

Along the way.

Can't thank the people enough

Who donated money for the van repairs.

Good people.

Also I got to thank Tony Bonyata, Krishna, Joni,

And Primo.

And everybody along the tour route.

They were all down for the cause.

What is the cause?

True freedom, I guess.

The will to make music

And put it out there

Without a lot of disingenuous hype

And crap shoved in your face.

No BS.

No big dollar advertising campaign.

We're not trying to fool you into buying

Something you don't want.

If you dig it, cool.

If you don't, have a nice day.

I don't take it personal.

I banged out the last set.

All the other bands were super cool

And came right up to the front barricade

Of the stage

And hung out with me for the whole set

While I moved through it

And out the other side.

And into a new chapter

Of the Great Unknown.


24 days on the road

3,893 miles traveled

20 shows (radio appearances and clubs)

3 hotel

21 nights sleeping in the van

18 truckstop showers

1 mushroom hallucination

1 van breakdown (alternator)

3 bags of sunflower seeds

0 wrecks or accidents