Did you meet Trey Anastasio?

Trey Anastassio in front of my backdrop.

Trey Anastassio moment at 10KLF

No. I didn’t get to meet the legendary lead guitarist, Mr. Trey Anastasio, but I have 2 stories to share from his first visit to the 10,000 Lakes Festival (where I was the Art Director) that both qualify as ‘NEAR MISSes’ if ever there were such a thing.

Near Miss #1

His first visit to 10KLF- I am called from my booth atop the hill in the music bowl by the stage manager, Rod Volker who said, “Get your butt down here- we’ve got a BIG problem! AND BRING YOUR PAINTS!” -They jet feulled me down there in the fastest golf cart that they could find and drooped me off at the base of the stage where Rod was waiting to tell me that there had been an accident and a 10 foot swatch in the lower left corner o the backdrops had been damaged and I had to repaint it while it was already hanging from the rig. (a daunting task since the wind was blowing hard, and I only had one helper to hold the canvas taunt while I attempted to repaint my art. -PLUS- there were already about 500 folks hugging the front of the stage to claim their spots for the day, so the pressure was on as the sun beat down onto the stage from directly overhead. (wind and sun are not friends of vinyl paint.) —Suddenly, as I began painting, there was a roar that seemed to echo around the music bowl as the Trey Anastassio Band’  took the stage to do their soundcheck. -They played about 5 songs from his first album (still new at that time), and I painted with his band without ever catching his eye for a second. As far as I know, there are no pictures that marked this occasion, but I’ve got witnesses-o-plenty that gave me a hearty back-pat after it was over, making note that ‘Chuck finally got to paint with Trey’. 

Near Miss #2

Same day. 30 minutes later. I finished the ‘repaint’ and headed backstage to clean the brushes before they turned to rock from the sun. As I returned toward the stage to head back up to the booth, I passed by Trey on his cell phone standing beside Les Claypool. -!!!- I froze.

Les Claypool smiled at me and allowed me to sputter out a few words. I said, “I Love you guys.” To which Les answered, “Love is a Good thing.” I laughed too loud and gave him the ‘thumbs-up’ sign for too long, and he did not make me feel like an idiot, which I will always love him for… aside from his amazing mind-melting music.

Somehow during this exchange, Trey never once saw me (I assume that he was probably still in the zone), but it was fun to collect stories on his behalf, even if they were just ‘near misses‘. Long live his music and long live the Shaggy Lieutenant of Niceness, indeed.

I continued to look around all afternoon to see if Stewart Copeland would show up to make an ‘Oysterhead’ set occur since Mr. Anastassio and Mr. Claypool were both there to play, but he never did. Regardless, both rock titans went on to play in front of my backdrops that day (and Trey returned to do it again the following year, without any near misses to speak of.)


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