Yesterday was a great day! Our one Detroit station (the one that won't play ANYthing) was having a golf outing fundraiser for St. Jude's. Mark Wills was supposed to be a special guest, but he ended up cancelling on them late last week. The "other" guest was Steve Azar. With Mark not there now, Steve was the headliner for the day. You could golf with them, or just come to a dinner/show/auction afterwards. Since I only putt putt, I opted to skip the golf!
I took my mom along, and another lady that I know-Barb-was going to be there, too. We got there just as the golfers were coming off the course, so we went in and got our table right in front of the stage. There were tables full of silent auction items, along with a few items for a live auction. I bid on a few things, and ended up with an Andy Griggs autographed picture. Barb got a Clay Walker and ?? (someone else I can't remember!!!) picture.
The room was fairly full, and a few minutes after we finished dinner, Jason and Mark walked by with plates of food. They are in Steve's band, and Jason was with Steve the first time we met and gave them the hour long car ride to the venue, so he's like an old buddy now. There happened to be two extra seats at our table, so they sat down with us and chatted for about half an hour. Mark has always been kind of quiet, but he was on a roll yesterday!! Jason was his hilarious self--he could be a stand up comic if he weren't so talented in other areas!! He can play THREE harmonicas at the same time, with GUM in his mouth!!! Plus, he plays the bongo drums (yes, bongo!!), and a whole slew of other instruments. He was telling me how he's doing the artwork for Steve's new cd, and he's had to do it several times now--Steve switched labels, then started one , then got a haircut, etc. So, Jason has to be all done by this Thursday. He's made Steve swear he won't make any more changes!! I can't wait to see the artwork. Jason is SOOO talented!! As he was talking, the waitress came by and took his unfinished plate of food right out from under him...he was hilarious, cracking about how she must be the Weight Watchers police.
Mark and Jason had to go get ready, so they left. I decided to go check the silent auction items one more time, because there were only about 2 minutes left for bids. As I was walking away from the table, I heard someone call "Mary!! Mary!!!!" and Steve was coming toward me. He grabbed me in a huge bear hug and told me I looked "fabulous" (probably because I was wearing a skirt and one of the few that hadn't been out on the course in 98 degree weather golfing!!). He took my hand and asked me to come sit at his table and visit with him, so I did. I met Al, his bus driver, and Al's wife, and another lady from St. Jude's. Steve and I sat there for probably almost an hour during the live auction and just talked and talked about everything from families to the new album to Vince Gill (Steve has so much respect for Vince and his talent, and fully understands when I ditch him for Vince. He says he'd rather go see Vince than hear himself, too!!) to other music to heaven to hippies to Luke Lewis to college. You name it, we covered it!! He is so darn cute--in talking about his music, he gets so excited and passionate. He was telling me how much I would love the new music, how he recorded it all at home in his studio, that he played almost all the instruments, he could record whenever he wanted, how personal the music and lyrics are, that there are some good relationship songs on there that he couldn't have written twenty years ago, etc. Then he stops, with this horrified look on his face, and says "Well, I HOPE you are going to like it, I did my BEST"!!! Which just cracks me up. That's Steve--all passionate one minute, then worried about what everyone else thinks, like he's just bragging or something.
Gary Nichols was there, too, and I went back to my seat when he came on so Steve could get his guitar ready. Gary did a handful of songs, and they were all good. I got to meet him afterwards, and told him how much I enjoyed his music. He sings the song "Unbroken Ground" and the video has been on GAC quite a bit.
Steve was on next, and he was fabulous. He told how his sister was at St. Jude's when she was a little girl, and how his brother is a doctor and sits on the national board at St. Jude's. He and I had talked about this earlier, and he said his brother is positive there will be a cure for AIDS within the next five years or so. He also told how Danny Thomas was a friend of the family when he was a young boy, and what a wonderful man he was, how many people he had helped by starting St. Jude's. Then he sang a handful of songs, too. He sounded great, and his voice is better than ever after the throat surgery. I can't imagine how stressful that time must have been for him.
After he was done, we talked for awhile more with the guys and took pictures. Steve talked to my mom and told her that he was sorry that I dragged her to see him. My mom really likes Steve's music, so I didn't have to do any dragging!! She told him her favorite song was "Damn the Money" and he told her it took him twelve years to write it. I think he was impressed that she knew a song that hadn't been released!!!
We didn't leave there until almost 7 pm, so it was a very fun afternoon!!! I strongly encourage to go see Steve if he's ever in your area. He just got a new booking agency (CCA) and they are loading him down with new dates--yeah!!! He's very excited and says this is what he's been waiting for. His new single is "You Don't Know a Thing" and the video is being shot next week. It will also feature golfer John Daly, one of Steve's buddies. The new cd will be out Sept. 19. Check him out!!!!!
Thanks for listening!!
OH, I almost forgot!! You know the movie Americanizing Emily?? I THINK that's the name?? Steve is singing a song and doing a video that will run during the ending credits, right after Rascal Flatts sings the final song. I thought that was cool!!! He does that next week, too!!