Ahh…it’s an impossible request Mojo has made. “Would I be willing to pull together my Top Ten shows all time?” I mean, I narrowed it down to 25 fairly easily, but after that it’s push’n’pull, a tug of war. Seriously , how can I leave one out at this point…there are 25 there for a reason. This is gonna be way harder than I thought.

And what constitutes a best show for me is the sum of the parts, perhaps not just the music from the stage, but the experience as a whole. Better labeled Top Ten Memorable Shows. I think I’ll make it the Dirty Dozen. And while there are a lot of personal moments, those stay personal…

What you will find below are some comments of mine, but mostly pieces of my write-ups, culled from the archive. I am so honored and flattered that Linda, Jan, Mallory and Joester took the time to painstakingly go back, post by post, and copy all my old write ups to be transferred over to the new website, feeling that they were a necessary and vital part of the bands’ history. Thank you so very much!

Editors Note: While I was compiling a Top 3 list for 2010 I thought to myself – who better to ask for a “Top” list than the guy who’s been there more than any of us have. So, without further ado, Happy Holidays and enjoy the read. One more thing – Van, thanks. Without your insight and input the ride here would have been much less enjoyable.

#12 – May 9, 2007
The Troubadour -Los Angeles, CA

This was the official “This is Somewhere” release gig, the first time at the Troubadour, for both the band and myself, as well as the premiere of “Paris”

Okay, I checked it out…36 hours door to door..5210 miles with American Airlines… a 7:40 Am flight Wednesday. 7:15 AM flight home Thursday. And I’m a witness to a big night in GPN history.

I won’t bore you with details of my day (because I just spent an hour writing it all up, but there is some special key stroke combination on EZboard that magically ERASES the whole friggin thing..beware!) Suffice it to say that I checked out Marina Del Ray, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive (not one, but two Bentley Coupes) Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drives , Encino, Tarzana, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Old Topanga Canyon Dr, and surfers at Malibu. WHEW!

The Troubadour is about 100 yards outside the city limits of Beverly Hills. I plan to kinda blend in, slip in, and pop up at the edge of the stage. Santa Monica Blvd in front of the club is three lanes, a planted center island and two more lanes. I cross the first two and BUSTED.. I see Jen jumping up and down on the sidewalk and she darts out through three lanes, stopping traffic, to give me a big hug right in the middle of the road. That is what I call a welcome to L.A.!

On the sidewalk with Jen I get a chance to say hello to manager Justin, web czar Nate, and booking agent Hank. Ive met Justin and Hank before in Boston at The Paradise. Jen and Justin get back to the business at hand, managing the lists, and I wander off to see if there is a place for a quick bite, to no avail.

Returning, the box office is open and I buy a ticket and head into this storied venue which sits directly on the sidewalk.. Inside the doors there is a small vestibule area, and a doorway on the left that leads to a small bar area, perhaps 4-6 tables and 6-8 bar stools. Picture windows to the street, and behind the bar into the back room. Walking into the back room, the stage is on the right side of a narrow room. Across the room is a rectangular bar recessed back under a small 4 row balcony that sits above it. Also under the balcony, is a small grill area, where I mercifully grab a sandwich and coke Getting off a bar stool and walking across to the stage, it is a mere 6 paces- perhaps 20 feet deep- and no more then 50 feet wide. Obviously, not a bad spot in the house. I see producer Mike Daly, and say hello. He remembers me from an earlier visit and is very friendly To the right of the stage, a staircase goes up to a narrow perch, where maybe 15 people watch the show. Behind this perch is a room that held many early arrivals on the guest list. I think this show is almost like a private party for the industry types and friends, with some tickets sold. My plebian mind assumes everyone in this room is eating lobster and sipping champagne. I could be wrong

The room is all wood…nice, dry, dark combustible wood. Place seems almost like a chalet. And they say the fire danger is huge right now in LA. Nearby, firefighters have contained an 800 acre fire in the 4200 acre Griffith Park, This park was a Christmas Day gift in 1896 to the city of LA from a gold speculator named Griffith Jenkins Griffith. I wonder if his homies called him Griff-Griff. Saved from the flames was the hilltop observatory, as well as the vintage Merry Go Round. Looking around the club, if flames ever reached this place I think it wouldn’t burn, it would just explode. Los Angelinos better have a healthy fear of fire. The normal fire season starts in October, but it is 5 months early this year. LAFD is talking about just stationing fire trucks out in the hills. Pre-deployment they call it. I would be VERY nervous living in one of the beautiful canyons or up a hill…. And Catalina Island, 26 miles across the sea, is on fire as I write this. I digress I hope you appreciate a little local flavor

The other side of the stage has a staircase that goes straight up to the green room. Scheduled for 8:30, the crowd files down and fills the floor about 8:50. I have been at stage edge for about 30+ minutes, since a familiar looking, pretty blonde and her husband grab center stage. No dummy me, I take my place next to FLPB at the corner of the B-3.
The band takes the stage. Grace is wearing boots, tight jeans, and a backless (and semi-frontless) printed, semi-shear, V to the waist, gotta have that J Lo tape, top. Ladies, you know what I mean. Gents, your loss.. The guys are wearing, well, jeans and a t shirt.

The show is short, but sweet. Stop THE Bus is a nice kickoff before likely single Ah, Mary. And Grace is up to her old tricks. She is pretty young to have old tricks, but tossing in a brand new unrecorded song before the new CD release is exactly what I would expect. I bet more new songs hit the setlist before the current new songs make it to the light of day. If I was From Paris is a bouncy, saucy number with a chorus of I would go Ooh La La The band looked like they were having a lot of fun playing it.

During the show, Bryan pulled a camera out his pocket. {If Mae West were alive today-Hey is that a zoom lens in your pocket , or are you just glad to see me) While Bryan takes a few pics of the crowd, Grace says “Smile, you know you love it. That’s why you fuckers live out here”

Apologies receives an extended ovation tonight, as do Big White Gate (announced as written as her Grandmother was ill, and knowing that someday it would close the next CD) If I Was from Paris, and closer NBTW.


After the show, a woman approaches me due to the Vermont T shirt I am wearing. She went to college with Graces parents, and her son went to high school with Scott. And the two girls with her are recent grads of Boston’s Emerson College. They were dancin’ away in front of the B-3 during the show. A man approaches us and asks if we know who the two little girls were. {Sidebar. Justin’s kids get a HEAVY dose of GPN for sure. Aged maybe 4 and 6, they stood at the side of the stage and sang every word of every song except for the new one. There is a LOT of dancin’ around the Goldberg house to GPN, I am certain} When I suggest to the gentleman that they are Justin Greenbergs kids, he corrects me to Goldberg. When I mistakenly try to restate Greenberg he says, “Nope, its Goldberg- and I should know, I’m the head of the label”

I extend my hand hand and introduce myself! I tell him I have flown out from Boston for the show and he says remember Bob.Cavhalo@disney.com and send me your stuff. I have no idea what he means but I take it as some kind of compliment!!

I’m beat. My plan was to hang, and then head to the airport and then decide if I was going to sleep in the front or the back seat. But I need a bed, and an AM hot shower so I speak briefly with each of the band and head to find Grace. Walking right by her as she chats with the Emerson girls, she grabs me for a big hug. I can’t tell who is more pleased to see who. She lets me go when I tell her Ill be at The Iron Horse next week.

And I walk out of The Troubadour with a smile on my face, like a million other music fans over the last 50 years.