Sunday October 27 2019

Waking up at 11:20 a.m.


Date and Almond Bar. English Breakfast Tea.


MMLIVE rehearsals all afternoon from 1 to 6:30. This whole week has been a blur – just one rehearsal to another – shows and shows – and work. I’m really exhausted. Somewhere in there I eat a Banana, Coffee, and Popcorn.


Back home. Eating some leftovers: Shrimp Egg Foo Young with Kale, Carrots, and Rice.


Visiting mom at the hospital. She admitted herself last night cause of terrible pains near her stomach. So far all we know from the scan is that there is a quarter sized mass on her adrenal gland – that is what’s causing the pain. She’s feeling defeated and I don’t know what to do. All we can hope for is a miracle.


At the studio organizing things and doing some drum maintenance (tuning the drum heads and tightening screws). Feeling overwhelmed with all this. Just when we thought we were on a path to fighting this cancer she comes across another stumbling block. I pause in reflection, leaning my head on the desk, and praying.


Chamomile Tea.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Saturday October 26 2019



The whole day is kind of a blur. Oatmeal breakfast was had. Loading up the truck with music gear for the big show. Mom is at the front desk at Music Makers not feeling great at all. She’s been unusually tired and upset about her current conditions. I feel bad cause I don’t know what I can do.


But I have to press on towards Norfolk. At Toast for the big LAVA Halloween show. I look forward to this every year cause it’s a one-off opportunity for the music community to come together and play pretend performing as other bands. We’re all out in the gravel parking lot with a big stage ready for a stellar lineup: Pavement, Tom Petty, System of a Down, Fleetwood Mac, The Strokes, and Black Sabbath. My role tonight is providing the drum set, playing drums/keys in Fleetwood Mac, and playing guitar in The Strokes.



At some point I’m able to eat an Egg Sandwich and some Tacos.


Hanging around with my Fleetwood Mac band mates. We truly look the part all dressed in 70’s Fleetwood wardrobe. It’s almost near perfect. Our set goes over amazingly. There seemed to be a lot of Fleetwood Mac fans that came just to see us – they sang along to every song. Most everything went to plan except for a few flubs here and there. I think I forgot the beat to “Go Your Own Way” in the first verse. But we really created a buzz. There’re rumors of future shows with this group.



I joke around with my Strokes buddies, “This is it!” a reference to a Strokes song that represents the unpreparedness we all feel after only having three rehearsals. We don’t do half bad. There’re a couple of sloppy moments but sometimes rawness in a band is what makes a great show. And Cameron, our lead singer Julian, really fell into the role marching around on stage swinging the mic stand and interacting with the audience. At some point a beer cup gets spilt near the monitors and mic cords – Cameron slides out in the audience creating a manic scene of rockness. It looks like a sea of people out there. According to Josh, there were about 600 people.


It’s all over with after 11 p.m. Everyone helps pack up and load out.


Finding out after the show that mom had to admit herself to the hospital. She was dehydrated and lacking in potassium. They ran a scan and found internal bleeding near the adrenal gland. We don’t know what this means for the moment until the morning.


Ana and I finish loading everything back into the studio and relax at home. She wore a Sailor Mars costume that’s kind of scandalous. She looks very attractive in it. We make fire in the bedroom.



[Most photo cred goes to Joe Justice] 



Friday October 25 2019



Waking up at noon. Yes! I got to sleep in finally.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. English Breakfast Tea.


Organizing and doing stuff at the house – catching up on business.


PB&J Toast. Corn Tortilla Chips. Honeydew. Coffee.


Teaching a few in-home lessons.


Running errands – found the red lightning bolt strap Albert Hammond wears in The Strokes at Alpha and got a couple of mic stand things.


Practicing and doing stuff at the studio.


Dinner: Chicken Sandwich with Fries and a Malassada. Kale and Carrots.


Having our third and final rehearsal for The Strokes (or The Strikes as we’re calling it). This time we have our Julian Casablancas, Cameron Smith. Considering the last minute band thing we don’t do all that bad. None of the solos are perfect and we don’t all remember the first note to every song but we’re doing it all for fun and for rock and roll.



Sleep almost before 5 a.m.

Thursday October 24 2019

Waking up at 10:38 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Having our second Strokes rehearsal with Stefan, Ronnie, Ana, and myself. It’s really not bad. The hardest part is learning structure and how songs end and begin. Our Julian will be here tomorrow we hope.


Back home for a hot minute for lunch: Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Tea.


At Music Makers for a long day of lessons. It’s really tiresome doing afternoon rehearsals before teaching.


Ana and I grab some Pizza from Your Pie for dinner.


And then...another rehearsal for Fleetwood Mac tonight. It’s our last practice before the big show on Saturday. We’re all syncing up and playing so tight it’s really amazing.


Chilling out back at home. Catching up on things. Hanging out with Ana. Figuring out my costume for the show.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Wednesday October 23 2019


Waking up at 11:15 a.m.


Date and Almond Bar. English Breakfast Tea.


Ana and I drive out to Norfolk to meet up with Ronnie at his apartment. Going over Strokes tunes just the three of us. The songs aren’t difficult in themselves but putting all this together last minute and trying to remember the song structure is challenging.


Back home with just enough time to make lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Kale, Toast with Butter and Jam, Salt n Vinegar Chips.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Before the teaching shift starts I mention to mom how overwhelmed I’ve been feeling, more than usual. Slow down, Robert. I knew this week was gonna be stacked cause of extra responsibilities with The Strokes and it being the final week before the Halloween show.


After work I warm up some leftovers for dinner and hit the road to Norfolk. I’m already late. Ladada has a show at Charlie’s and the boys are already setting up on the stage. Earlier, I couldn’t find my wallet. When getting closer to Charlie’s I keep hearing sounds coming from the roof of my car. I check and there’s my wallet sitting as if it was magnetized or something – a miracle. A few of the Lava tickets fell out but man that is crazy. And it was definitely sitting there all afternoon too. By all the laws of physics that wallet should’ve fallen off on the interstate. Somebody is watching over me and giving me a break.


Inside Charlie’s I link up with Ana and all our friends. Quickly setting up on the stage. As soon as Ladada hits the first note I channel all my stress and aggression into the bass. I feel a sense of relief up there. Earlier I was feeling like this show was just in the way of everything but not anymore. It’s a fun receptive crowd as usual. Bobby tells me after how synced up we were on the drums and bass.



Snake Mountain Revival, our band brothers, tear it up after us. Then, Frankie and the Witch Fingers explode their form of psych rock and everyone is enamored.


Later on, setting up the studio for Strokes rehearsal.



Settling down and trying to get to sleep early.

Tuesday October 22 2019

 Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Ana picks up Stefan and Ronnie from Norfolk so we can all meet up at Music Makers to rehearse The Strokes set for the first time! It goes unexpectedly smooth considering all this is so last minute. Cameron, the one imitating Julian singing, will link up with us Friday night.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. I brought some groceries for mom and I to make dinner: Smoked Salmon, Acorn Squash, Kale, Onions, and Quinoa.


Catching up on business.


After Ana gets off work we talk and catch up over Chocolate Chips Cookies. Then, we practice Strokes songs together.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Monday October 21 2019


Waking up bright and early at 6:30 a.m. Van call is at 7.


Downstairs, in the lobby meeting up with what’s left of the A New World Record crew. Filling up on the complimentary breakfast: Oatmeal, Eggs, English Muffin, and Juice.


I take the wheel of the white rental van, which is in my name, and drive us all the way to the Dallas airport. It becomes a stressful and confusing situation locating the rental car drop off place and lugging our gear into check-in. The signage and the roads in these terminals are terrible. Anytime, you’re dealing with flights and driving you’re guaranteed to experience this. Ron and I partner up getting the vans dropped off and patiently wait through security, where you essentially have to dismantle yourself to get through.


I somehow left my iPod on Friday’s flight so I take an adventure looking for the lost and found for American Airlines. Turns out they didn’t have it.



On the flight to Norfolk I fortunately get a window seat and can nap for as long as I want. No layovers anywhere, just a straight shot.


Mom picks me up from the airport.


Back home. Unpacking and catching up on everything.


Setting up the studio for Fleetwood Mac rehearsal.


Everyone’s here except for Elliott. But we all play well and are feeling much more prepared and tight.


I’ve got a major headache. Sitting with Ana at the table enjoying Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chamomile Tea.



Ana and I chill out in bed till we fall asleep.

Sunday October 20 2019


Waking up bright and early at 7 a.m. to link up with everyone at the vans. Jimmy points out how there’s absolutely no wind in this Texan city.


I try to sleep as much as possible in the backseat curled up every which a way.


Date and Almond Bar with Coffee. Jimmy takes the wheel and I navigate in the passenger. Watching trailers of cattle and cows drive by with the occasional longhorn.



After about 5 hours we arrive in Greenville, Texas. Checking into the hotel for just enough time to take a shower and grab a Chicken Sandwich across the street.


A few miles down the road we load into the Texan Theater, which is located in a quaint ghost town of sorts with dive pubs on every corner. This place is historic and known for hosting Houdini’s magic show back in the 1890’s. Getting situated on stage – of course sound check is never complete without a few stressful moments. We barely have time to relax before we have to perform.



This show is special. They charge almost $200 per ticket, which I guess includes dinner. Only 6 people paid and showed up. Ha! Compared to the packed house we had last night it’s quite a contrast. But still we give those 6 people a powerhouse show. They responded well and even danced a little.



Afterwards, they serve us a nice dinner up on the top floor of the auditorium. Steak, Green Beans, Corn Pudding, and Chocolate Cake.



There’s some kind of tornado watch and a huge rainfall as we drive away from the theater. Thunder and lightning flash constantly.


After we all arrive back in our hotel rooms safely I hole up in mine reflecting and editing footage from the day. Grateful that we can afford to be rock stars with each person having their own room. I realize that’s a very valuable thing when on tour: privacy.


Saturday October 19 2019



Waking up off and on in this hotel bed in Kerrville, Texas. At some point I get up...


Making some Green Tea and having a Date and Almond Bar for breakfast.


I spend a good amount of time studying some Strokes songs. Last minute I recruited myself into Ana’s band for the Halloween show cause their guitar player backed out. I got Ronnie on board too to do second guitar.


Meeting up in the lobby with half the crew driving up the street to the venue for tonight: The Cailloux Theater.


Chomping down on a Chicken Sandwich with Fries.


Nice sound/backline/monitor crew to help us out. Show days are always filled with time and preparation on stage. Sometimes it’s a hassle getting everything in order and just right.



At some point we get a good sound check on stage and everybody’s comfortable.


In the dressing rooms we congregate over barbecue catering. I try to squeeze in a little Strokes songs studying borrowing one of the guitars on hand.



We do our double 45 minute sets of all the greatest hits of Electric Light Orchestra. The theater seems to be filled up with all kinds of nostalgic older couples trying to relive their youth. The performance didn’t go without a few hiccups but nobody would ever notice. Jorge, our strings guy, hired three strings players from Dallas, Chinese born students from a university up there. They came highly recommended – they definitely proved themselves. We proved ourselves to the state of Texas!


Packing up and chatting with some fans out in the foyer.



Back at the hotel room catching up on the day and studying more Strokes songs.


Sleep at whatever time it is.

Friday October 18 2019



Waking up at 11:37 a.m.


Packing up the rest of my things.


Ana and I grab a quick Coffee and Biscuit at Three Ships. Beforehand we get into a heated thing in the car on the way there, mainly about being free to voice opinions which of course we always do, but to a fault at times. Either way, we cool off by the time we get inside and enjoy each other’s company.


At the Norfolk airport and so begins the day of traveling...


Two flights, one to Dallas and one to San Antonio. Had a PB&J, Plantain Chips, Apple, and Tea on the first flight. Trying to read through Steppenwolf, a book I started a long time ago but never seem to finish.


Landing in San Antonio. We almost have the full crew linked up: Nigel, Ron, Bri, Leon, Jimmy, Francisco, and Jorge. Kevin’s supposed to meet us tomorrow. Ron and I run down and grab two rental vans. The guy showed us a parking lot full of a bunch of mini vans and told us to pick whichever we wanted.


Some of us decide to hit up downtown San Antonio for dinner. The famous River Walk was our only goal. It’s like a 6 mile canal that runs below the city. We immediately find parking and locate an awesome Tex Mex restaurant called Rita’s. With Ron, Nigel, Leon, and Bri – we all clink up our margarita glasses in celebration of this super nice night. A mariachi band walks around playing for people. Nigel of course somehow coerces them to play “Baby Shark” while he does the floss dance. The whole restaurant cracks up. Enjoying some Chicken Salad, Chips with Guac and Salsa.


Bri drives us about an hour to Kerrville, Texas where we’ll be staying for two nights. This hotel is quite strange and very picturesque. I walk around FaceTiming Ana on the phone while scoping out interesting German style architecture spots. Meanwhile, there’s a live country band at the hotel bar. The scene in here is very Texas with cowboy hat wearing couples holding beers and dancing to the backdrop of the Texas and American flag.



Thursday October 17 2019



Waking up at 11:15 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Black Tea.


Catching up on business and packing up things.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Cooking some leftovers for dinner: Peas, Brown Rice, and Green Beans.


At Ladada rehearsal with the boys. We always end up jamming on new tunes and they always have potential to be actual songs but we’ll never remember or feel the same inspiration later.


Stopping by the rehearsal spot to set up for Sunday’s MMLIVE rehearsals, which I won’t be here for.


Back home. Packing up my suitcase and stuff. Meanwhile, Ana is making those little leaf pins for her show tomorrow. She bought a much needed new guitar amp today.


Sleeping by her side at 4 a.m.


Wednesday October 16 2019



Waking up at 11:07 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Basketball at the Rec.


Rain. Rain. Rain.


Scrambled Eggs. Cinnamon Raisin Toast with Butter. Kale and Carrots. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Setting up the waiting room for a band rehearsal.


Getting a quick dinner at Aloha Snacks: Chicken Sandwich with Fries and a Malasada.


Fleetwood Mac practice. It’s a very productive time. Feeling tighter and tighter every rehearsal. Elliott joins us on a few songs.



Sleeping next to Ana at 4 a.m.

Tuesday October 15 2019

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Ana and I run errands around Hilltop. Groceries at Trader Joe’s. Plaza Bakery for cannolis – running into Russ, an older fellow delivery driver from back in the day (I always run into him around town).


Scrambled Eggs. Cinnamon Raisin Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese. Kale and Carrots. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Coffee.

Watching Fractured (2019).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.




Making dinner: Salmon with Brown Rice, Baby Broccoli, Onions, and Peppers.


ELO rehearsal.


Cannolis and Popcorn.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Monday October 14 2019

Waking up at 11:15 a.m.


Date and Almond Bar. English Breakfast Tea.


Adult basketball at the Rec.


Scrambled Eggs. Spinach. Cinnamon Raisin Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese. Coffee.

Watching El Camino (2019).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Vegetable Lo Mein for dinner. Cookies.


ELO rehearsal.


Snacking on fruit and things.


Practicing drums at the studio.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Sunday October 13 2019



Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


At MMLIVE rehearsals all day. Three bands – getting some new songs in and staying productive.


Snacking on Cashews, Potato Chips, and Coffee in between.


Loading some gear over to the ELO practice space and picking up some last minute groceries from Whole Foods.


Leftover Spaghetti Noodles, Kale, Carrots, and French Baguette for dinner.

Watching El Camino (2019).


Catching up on business. Playing guitar quietly in my bedroom.


Hanging with Elvis and Ana.


Cookies n’ Cream Gelato.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Saturday October 12 2019


Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. English Breakfast Tea.


Teaching a few afternoon lessons at Music Makers.


Immediately after I drive over to Smartmouth in Norfolk to catch Ana’s band, Community Witch. There’s a big festival of sorts with a few food trucks, tons of people with their dogs, and lots of bands scheduled. I catch the band’s whole set. I’m really proud of Ana, Mel, and Jordan. They’ve really developed a sound of their own.



Eating a heavy Sweet Potato Biscuit with Beets, Cheese, and Spinach.


Back at the house. I don’t know why but I’m extremely exhausted. Lying down for a power nap.


Later on, Ana arrives home. We hang out downstairs in the dining room and kitchen blaring The Stooges and some doo-wop – dancing around with nothing to worry about. Warming up some leftovers for dinner.


Late night bike ride together down to the oceanfront.



Sleep 3:35 a.m.

Friday October 11 2019


Waking up at 11:37 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Catching up on business. Running errands.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Broccoli. Potato Chips.

Watching Jim Jarmusch’s documentary on The Stooges.


Helping Jenna screw in a couple things on her wall.


At the studio practicing drums.


Later on, with Ana, Jenna, Mel, and Jordan at Pizza Chapel for Pizza and Cannolis. We happen to run into Zack and Josh from Snake Mountain Revival. They end up joining up at our table.


The Community Witch girls wanted to practice at Music Makers afterwards in preparation for their show tomorrow. I help them get set up in the drum room.


Taking care of all sorts of things.


Poking my head in at the studio. Mel went home. Jordan and Ana are still going over songs. I help coach Jordan a little on parts and sit in on bass.




Sleeping next to Ana at 3:30 a.m.

Thursday October 10 2019

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Date and Almond Bar. English Breakfast Tea.


Meeting with Kim and Ellen at Music Makers. They’re from Red Chalk Studios, the branding and marketing agency that helped us form a new brand/logo/website/general makeover here. They’re filming an interview with me asking questions about how Red Chalk has helped the business and so on. I love their energy.


Practicing a little drums.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Kale. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado.

Watching Ocean’s Twelve (2004).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Cooking dinner: Salmon with Bok Choy, Carrots, Onions, Celery, and Rice. Mom just started her radiation treatment today. She’s been feeling overwhelmed with everything. She walks in the door crying. It’s not like we didn’t know what was coming but she’s just having a rough time – despite, she’s still a fighter – her doctor(s) are confident she will go into remission by the end of the year.


We didn’t have Ladada rehearsal so I head to South Beach Grill to catch John’s (from DEJA) prog rock band, Kinetic Element. Anne, Jimmy, DeeGee, and few other people I used to see at DEJA shows are here. The keyboardist has 5 keyboards set up, totally beats my keyboard rig. They performed a diverse set of songs, most of them 20 minutes long.


Reconvening with Ana and Elvis back home.


Cookies n’ Cream Gelato.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Wednesday October 9 2019



Waking up to the sound of roofers banging and stomping on the roof at 9 and 10 in the morning. Lovely.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Playing pick-up basketball at the Rec.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Kale. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado.

Watching Ocean’s Thirteen (2007).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti Noodles with Broccoli and French Baguette.


Catching up on business.


At the studio practicing songs on the guitar.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Tuesday October 8 2019

Waking up at 11:48 a.m. The power’s out for whatever reason. A teeny bit of rain and wind going on outside.


Date and Almond Breakfast Bar. Cold Brew Coffee.


Ana, mom, and I run to Whole Foods to grab groceries.


Scrambled Eggs. Blueberry Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Lentil and Kale Soup with French Baguette.


Back at the studio having Fleetwood Mac rehearsal. Elliott’s here sitting in on drums for the 80’s songs and Chuck’s adding some percussion. It’s a full house, baby!



Settling down with Ana by my side. Sleep early around 3 a.m.

Monday October 7 2019



Waking up at 11:15 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. English Breakfast Tea.


At the Rec shooting some basketball around – playing a few pick-up 3-on-3 games and King of the Court. Feels good to exercise. I barely have time for it nowadays.


Scrambled Eggs. Plain Bagel with Butter and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Grabbing some quick dinner at Aloha Snacks: Salmon Poke Bowl with a Malasada Donut.


Meeting up with Tristyn at the studio to go over keyboard parts for the Fleetwood Mac band. We never get the chance at rehearsals to talk in depth about what we’re doing.



Later on, Ana meets up here too – she just wanted to play the drums.


Chilling out back at home with Ana watching a short film Thom Yorke just put out.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Sunday October 6 2019



Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


MMLIVE rehearsals today. Very productive. This one band is on a roll with song choices. First it was “Careless Whisper” now it’s “Africa”. Mom mentions how much of a good song she thinks it is. I watch as she stomps the kick drum along to the beat.



Snacking on Peanuts, Plantain Chips, a Banana, and an Apple.


After 6:30 we clean up the room and head home.


Cooking an easy dinner with mom: English Peas, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Onions, and leftover Rice.


It’s nice to not have anything going on in the evening. Running late night errands.


Later, at the studio practicing drums and fixing various things.



Sleep 4 a.m.

Saturday October 5 2019



Waking up at 11:30 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. English Breakfast Tea.


Teaching afternoon lessons at Music Makers.


Got the truck and Ana’s car loaded up to full capacity with music gear. Ana and I are playing a Musicplayer gig at Smartmouth in Norfolk tonight from 6:30 to 9:30. I always need to get there early to set up the stage. We actually get a lot of space here, which is nice.


Enjoying a Pizza from Chelsea Bake House.


We do our thing. Once we get deeper into the first set we’re on a rhythm – got a good reception from the crowd – the kids are dancing and throwing themselves around – the giant Jenga blocks are dropping in sync with the end of our songs – the dudes are hollering over by the foosball table – people are singing along. I dedicate the Fleetwood Mac song to a dog named Turbo cause he was howling beforehand. The lady came up to us afterwards all teary eyed thanking us. It feels like we’re doing something right.



Loading all the gear back to Music Makers. While I put things back together and in their right place Ana and I discuss history, religion, and politics.


Settling down back at the house with snacks.



Sleep 3:30 a.m.