The night before an opening day is that blissful moment of stillness before the wheels come completely off the bus. Last minute panic about the room and the stuff that’s supposed to be in it (but isn’t) and all the quiet, nagging doubts about placement, music, and literature are happily worming their way around in the subconscious, just waiting for the errant thought they can lamprey onto. Ahh, it’s magical.
For guys like me, it’s perfect. I get to sneak up on folks I’ve now known for years, swap stories and find out the dirt, the grit and the not-so-secret joys that have hit them in the months since we last spoke. Good times.
After the happy hour, Arnold Martinez of Chicago audio dealer Tweak Studio tossed me into the back of a Porsche Panamera, where I found myself happily pushing way too many climate controls next to audio veteran Steven Stone. Michael Fremer was riding shotgun, and Arnold tried his best to kill us all as we flew down the highway to Chicago’s south side for a fantastic dinner at Cai. Roy Hall and Leland Leard of Music Hall and THE Show’s Richard Beers joined us there, along with Arnold’s newest hire for his Chicago store.
This was a hilarious dinner. If you’ve never met Roy Hall, you ought to. There’s nothing like being called pond scum by one of the industry’s most respect vets. Between him and his insult parade, Richard Beers’ outrageous stories and Michael Fremer’s continuous stream of impersonations, I had pretty much no opportunity to do anything other than gawk. I know. Me. Speechless. Somebody call Guinness!