© 2014 MJL

Homecoming weekend

The NorCal Crew MJ Pie and Martha Petaluma April 2014 Photo Credit Laurie Hiatt

The NorCal Crew
MJ Pie and Martha Petaluma April 2014
Photo Credit Laurie Hiatt

I nearly stayed home on Saturday, the venue was not far from home, as they say I could sleep when the bus pulled out of town. But I was having trouble rallying myself out of bed. As good as the band was last night I felt like I just couldn’t get it together. I couldn’t figure out what to wear and it just kept getting later and later. In the end what gets me to the show (almost on time) are my girls.

When the band comes to NorCal its an event. We all plan to be together but once the music starts we all go to our own music places.  Mary likes to work the room gazing dancing and mostly taking pictures with all the new friends she makes.  No one works the room like the Pie.  She comes to the show with costume changes stuffed into her bag and extra bunny ears for anyone that looks like they need to loosen up and enjoy the show.  Erica a redhaired beauty always  has the best style of the group and matches the intensity of Lukas note for note as she dances through the set.  My beauty Martha is the mother of us all, brings me cowboy cookies which has saved me on more than one night from passing out from lack of sustenance. Everyone has their spots, she usually stands over by Lukas. We usually start out next to each other but end up like bookends on the stage we send each other kisses and smiles and pantomimes throughout the set.  Tonight she would spoil me with another show where we would be cheek to cheek.  There was a few additions to our circle of love.

The stage at Zodiacs petaluma April 2014

The stage at Zodiacs petaluma
April 2014

Z MJ and Laurie Petaluma April 2014

Z MJ and Laurie
Petaluma April 2014

Laurie  had messaged me before the show that she would be coming alone, I assured her that as long as we were there she would never be alone at any show.  In fact Laurie has a lot of the photo credits from this evening since I taped it I haven’t much of my own. Petaluma is my hometown, I grew up here and and wanted it to be a good set.  I knew some of the crowd but a lot of them were new to the scene so the show had that new convert vibe.  Zodiacs is a very cool new venue in the North Bay I had gone in and talked to the owners last month and they were very psyched for the night.

Photo credit: Erica Womachacka Pie makin the rounds

Photo credit: Erica Womachacka
Pie makin the rounds

Pie it turns out had dressed up the cute couple that owned Zodiacs on the Boulevard last year at High Sierra so it had an extra family vibe Saturday.  The band delivered a great show in my Petaluma.  I started the evening out in front of Micah. I had planned that because last night in Santa Cruz Micah was the life of the party, high fiving the crowd through a lot of the songs.  I met some new friends in my spot before the show started, it was a great crowd.

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie MJ:Show spaz

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie
MJ:Show spaz

There was a space right to the left of the stage, wide open for my dance. I could practically touch Tatos chimes, I quickly staked that prime spot for the rest of the evening sharing it with the occasional photographer. Stuart joined me towards the end of the set, I was glad to see him he had gone to see Willie at the Greek earlier in the evening and made it back to Zodiacs in time to see Lukas too. A Nelson Doubleheader, very impressive.  I was positioned right by Micah’s monitor so I could hear his every note and it was crazy sound that I won’t soon forget. I grooved between Micah’s music and Tato and Anthony’s beat all night.  Unfortunately every time I would get into it– it seemed that Sherm needed to step off and on the stage where I was standing to reposition the go pros. I had to wonder if he was putting a dent in Tato’s mojo because it was such a small stage and so much energy and unspoken cues happen between Anthony and Tato it troubled me to have Sherm parked between the two.  The sound he added was cool, it was just distracting to have him toggle between performing and positioning cameras during the show.  At one point he even hijacked Tatos drums which I was kind of shocked, you don’t see a whole lot of people handling Tato’s gear. But on the other hand the guys are all such generous musicians it probably was no big thing.

Lukas invited a local celebrity up to the stage to do a song, Danny Flowers.  The cat that wrote Living on Tulsa Time.  He played that song kindof without the band really, it was kind of a weird moment on the stage.  The crowd was with him though.  It was really cool to see Mr. Flowers play his bread and butter to the local crowd who danced along to Tulsa Time.  I watched the crowd a lot, especially on the big finish, Sympathy for the Devil which absolutely killed of course. That song more than the rest defined the Time Warp effect the band turned on.  This feeling that takes you back to the time when you lived for  Saturday nights, no responsibilities I could see  the whole crowd was along for the ride. Like they say Rock and Roll never forgets!

All my girls right there in the moment as much as I loved traveling for shows there was nothing like a NorCal show. It was a great show I don’t think I stopped smiling all night.  It was the end of the tour Lukas had a private show to play in LA with his Dad for John Varvatos in the afternoon so they had to finish the show with out many encores to make it back down to LA.

Set list for Petaluma Show April 2014

Set list for Petaluma Show April 2014

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie The owners of the club Zodiacs in Petaluma

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie
The owners of the club Zodiacs in Petaluma

Although the owner tried like hell to get them to play more plying them with drinks, at one point even holding the straw for Corey and Lukas as they played.

We waved to the bus from Mary’s truck as it pulled out of its place behind the venue to load the gear up front.  Its good tour luck if you wave the bus goodbye as it leaves for the next town. We would spend the next few days trading pictures and happiness on Facebook.  I reflected on how it looks from the outside– like we worship the band, groupies, cult girls (and guys)up front, but its more like gratitude than idolatry.  Like evangelists we are just trying to spread the good news.  We love the music that is the roots of our family tree, a living part of what makes us a family but its really about the friendships.  In love out of love, Growing Season and Harvest time,  the death of a child brother husband, the birth of a grand child, the struggles for sobriety and bong circles, families separated and reunited…all the life we live in between the shows.  The camaraderie we feel –new friends old friends singing forever is a four letter word together-its all of that.  Its having a friend welcome you up to the front of the stage no matter what city you are in…thats what will always keep me coming back.

Photo Credit Laurie Hiatt Petaluma April 2014

Photo Credit Laurie Hiatt
Petaluma April 2014


Photo credit Erica

Photo credit Erica


Tato Martha and me Petaluma April 2014

Tato Martha and me Petaluma April 2014

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie POTR April 2014

Photo credit: Humboldt Pie
POTR April 2014


  1. martha bodell
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm | #

    that brought me to tears
    what a life we have all had together
    banded by the music
    forever dancing
    loving all
    my gratitude is overwhelming

  2. Posted April 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm | #