More of Morelia.

Saturday night had gone so well, that we decided to do it again… in the plaza… in front of everyone! On Sunday night, the city had set up chairs for the people to watch a marichi band perform in the gazebo. As they played, we quietly set up right next to their crowd. When the Mariachis stopped, the huge crowd flocked over to us and filled our entire area. It was sweet! Tobin rocked, then Los Ginger Ninjas rocked. We had to take a little break from our performance for the playing of Mexico’s national anthem and fireworks, which they do every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at quater til nine. We played on, and the crowd gave us their thorough support. It was another fun gig for us.

Afterwards, we went to the house of a guitar player that we’d met the night before. It was a cool spot… a very small room with art all over the place, including poetry and sketches on the walls. We all headed to a local nightclub to see some live music. This was my first Mexican club. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was definitely unique to any previous club experience I’d had. The band was right above the crowd’s heads, squeezed onto a very narrow stage that spanned the whole width of the wall, but only about four feet deep. They were lined up on stage in a row like beer bottles, and the bass drum hung over the front and had to be support by some extra wood. The only song that I remember recognizing was one by the Door; the rest were in Spanish. Eco knew them all and told me that most of them were classic club hits. We all had drinks and danced til the club was finally closing and they kicked us out. Mucho Baraca!!!

I think I mentioned the place we stayed at, in my last blog, but it could be mentioned again… Ulises was our main contact there in Morelia. He and Kipchoge had a mutual friend (who had tranversed the globe on bicycle). Based on that connection, he opened his home to us for about six days. Ulises and his mother, who I call ‘Mi Madre de Morelia‘ were so nice to us. She cooked meals for us and he showed us around the area. He was very kind and helpful. She was the cutest, little ole lady. Very, very sweet!

Monday, we had a press conference at a local restuarant. There were a few different newspapers there for the conference, and a tv reporter showed up at the end and interviewed us separately. I didn’t say much during any of the interviews. I got nervous like I usually do when put on the spot. Besides, I don’t speak Spanish well enough and when I spoke English, I felt as though they didn’t understand a word I was saying. It turned out that one of the reporters, Liliana, spoke English quite well, which made me feel even more like an idiot. It was okay when I thought they couldn’t tell that I was stuttering and mumbling like an idiot over the words of my own native tongue, English. She could tell though. HA on me. We sat there after the interviews and had a nice lunch with the restaurant owner’s family. That night, Brock and I rode to the bar that we were to play on Tuesday. Remember Monica that took us to her house after ous plaza gig in Patzcuaro? Well, her daughter, also named Monica, had just taken over management of a prety neat spot across town. The bar was called Michelandia (Land of Michelandos), so Brock and I had a few Michelandos. They are beer, lime juice, and your choice of fruit juice, all mixed together and served with some kind of chile powder stuff on the rim. YUM!

Tuesday, we had the day off, so some of us took a little time to get caught up on email stuff, some got our bikes cleaned up and/or repaired, while others just explored the city. The gig that night was pretty fun. All of the seats in the room were full and some people were standing. We all played a good show and Kipchoge did a few solo acoustic sing-a-alongs afterwards. That was new to me and very cool to see. Also, Monica Sr. was there with her son Roberto, her other daughter Lorraine, and more Mescal (read about Patzcauro for this reference). It was great to see them and hang again. We stayed a while after our show and had a sweet dance party in the back of the bar (DJ BrockRox21 was in the house… HA HA HA). Good times!

We were off again on Wednesday, so everyone took time to continue getting everything ready for the next few days’ bike journeys. That night we played at one of the busiest clubs in Morelia, on one of the busiest nights. I think we got hooked up through a friend of Ulises (to be honest, I never know how we get these gigs). I can’t remember the name of this place either, but it was really big with an upstairs balcony facing the stage (a lot like The Freebrd Live in Jacksonville, but bigger). It also had a built in crowd of about 700 people. The stage was ready with a guitar amp and a drum set. No bass amp for me, so I ran through the house P.A.. I do believe that this was the biggest venue that Los Ginger Ninjas had performed… SO FAR! It was an interesting show. The sound of the monitors was never anywhere near perfect, so it was difficult to hear anything but drums and bass on stage. I did find out afterwards, that the sound mix out front was a little better. Some of the crowd was very into what we were doing and gave us their support. The other small part of the crowd was chanting some word. Our guitar playing friend, whose house we’d gone to before, told Brock that they were yelling ‘Shaggy’ cause they thought he looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Brock, being the rock star he is, ate that up and rocked extra hard for his fans. It turns out, they were all yelling ‘Charlie’. Carlos AKA ‘Charlie’ was helping us that night with everything. He owned the club, ran sound, and, as I found out later, performed all the Spanish hits every Wednesday night for the masses at his club. The crowd came to sing a long with the hits that his band performed. Carlos was very super cool to us, and welcomed us into his club to perform on the busiest night of the week, with open arms. After our performance, we all hung out and had a good time. Dancing and singing (humming) a long with Carlos’s band. Brock and I stayed out super late and got home in the morning just in time to leave the city and head for D.F. (Mexico City). Whew!

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