Good News/Bad News
To say it’s been an interesting May, would be an understatement. It started off promising enough – a nice trip to Europe to play a series of shows with my good friends The Hillbilly Boogiemen – a killer bluegrass outfit from the Netherlands. We had a couple of good festivals and quite a few club dates in Holland, Germany and Belgium lined up. I got over there and we played two excellent gigs (one big festival with old friends The Paladins and Jason & The Scorchers who let me sit in on Lost Highway) when I got a phone call from my wife telling me there was a waterfall in our basement at home. At first, we thought it was something we could handle after I got home in a couple of weeks but as the rains continued and waters began to rise, it became apparent that I’d have to cancel the rest of the tour and return home to deal with the massive flood. The promoters and agents were extremely understanding. I jumped a quick flight back to Nashville and prepared myself for the worst.
There is a place in Nashville called Soundcheck that is a storage space, rehearsal studio and repair shop. It’s a huge first class facility and I’ve had a storage space there for about 15 years as do many musicians around town. I never really thought about it much, but it’s right next to the Cumberland River.
You can see where I’m going with this.
There was five feet of river water in the building. I had a few soggy vintage amps and a couple of drenched guitars. Luckily, my good rare guitars were up on a shelf high and dry and the wet ones are repairable. Others weren’t so lucky. There was over a billion dollars worth of instruments, equipment and production lost in that mess. The people at Soundcheck were so great and organized and had amp and guitar triage set up. So many casualties. My amps are still at the doctors but I think they’ll come back thanks to the guys at Tour Supply. My Martin D-76, Fender Mustang (my first guitar), Dee Dee Ramone’s bass and one of my Echoplexes are drying and will be fine. I’m thankful for all that.
Back at the house, thanks to the 3 ½ feet of water in our basement, we have a new water heater, furnace and washer/dryer. It’s also clear of all the junk down there. I was planning on cleaning up down there this summer but I didn’t want to do it that way. I have some friends that didn’t fare that well. We’ve spent the last month cleaning up around here and helping other friends out west that had two floors of river water in their house. This doesn’t include my wife spending her time out at the Opry. Many of you might know that my wife, Brenda is the museum curator at the Grand Ole Opry. Opryland was hit hard by the flood, and she and everyone else out there have been fighting the good fight. The Opry has been staged all over town, including shows at the Ryman and at the War Memorial Auditorium, where it played for four years before moving to the Ryman – but it hasn’t missed a show. They hope to be back in the Grand Ole Opry House to celebrate the Opry’s 85th Anniversary at the beginning of October.
So that was the bad news from May. The good news is that the Million Dollar Quartet Broadway show in which I act as Musical supervisor/arranger is nominated for THREE Tony Awards. Not bad for our little hillbilly skit. The nominations are for Best Musical, Best Book for a Musical, and Levi Kries (Jerry Lee Lewis) for Best Performance in a Musical. This is a pretty big deal. Big enough to put me in a tuxedo and get me to the Tonys Award Show on June 13th on CBS. Tune in! Better yet, go on up to New York City and see the show. It’s a blast I promise.
I’ve got some cool shows coming up this summer including an appearance at the famed Station Inn in July and couple with Willie Nelson out west in Montana and Wyoming. Check out the tour section of my website. We’re also in the process of rescheduling those dates over in Europe that I had to postpone due to the May flood.
I hope I see you all where ever you live and until then –
Peace, Love and Ernest Tubb.