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DIVA NEWS ARCHIVE -- ACROSS AMERICA 1999, PART III


The Tour Continues......Welcome to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We're Almost There!Indian Summer Festival is a HUGE event. It's part Pow-Wow, musical extravaganza, food binge and trade show. Henry Maier Park is huge and right on Lake Michigan. Thousands of people were expected throughout the weekend. It was definitely the most popular event going in Milwaukee.

Our first Friday event was for all of the area school kids who got a free day-off to experience some Native culture. We played on the main stage and enjoyed having the little guys digging our music. We said hello to the organizers and got acquainted with our sound crew on the Potowatomi Stage. Everyone there was very professional and was willing to help.
Arigon & Gay Onstage

We were again welcomed by some old friends -- the wacky guys from Albuquerque's Red Earth. They were out promoting their new release -- and just having a good time of it. The folks we were most excited about meeting were the Wolf River Band. Drummer Richie Plass of the Menominee Nation was a good friend of BR5-49's guitarist Chuck Mead. At the BR5-49 shows Gay and I had attended in the previous months, Chuck couldn't say enough great things about Richie. "Oh, you're gonna love him!" enthused Chuck. He even gave Gay a hand-written note to deliver to Richie.

Richie is a mountain of man -- with a heart and wit to match. He and the rest of the Wolf River Band are legends in the area. Richie was very instrumental in helping the BR5-49 boys film the video for their song, "Wild One." Working with the tribal leaders, Richie helped the band find locations and extras for the video. If you haven't seen it -- one of the scenes featured BR5-49 in front of a roaring fire, with Menominee fancy dancers doing their thing in the background.

To further Richie's legend, I recently met actress Sheila Tousey who starred with Val Kilmer in "Thunderheart." She is also one of Richie's cousins. Sheila couldn't say enough great things about Richie and the music of the Wolf River Band. With fans like that -- I'm sure you'll be hearing more from the Wolf River Band in the near future.

Johnny & NickThere was some time to shop in the area and one of the goals was find wind-up Indian toys for the cover of the new CD, WIND-UP. I had checked around in Los Angeles, but was told by many antique dealers than tin type toys would be much easier to find in the midwest. Well -- my search was over at a small, second-hand shop owned by a burly biker dude. I asked to see any Native American figures he had -- and he produced several. A pair of lil' Indian dudes, salt-shakers made in Japan, seemed to be just perfect. The biker guy charged me $7.00 bucks for 'em, wrapped in paper and away we went.

The shows themselves were just barn-burners! We rocked so hard the audience couldn't see straight. AAAY! Some of Gay's online BR5-49 friends came to the show to support us. Lots of Indian folks came and said hello. There were SO many good looking Indian guys there....well.....let's just say temptation was strong. AAAY! We sold lots of CDs and Cassettes, and really enjoyed talking to people who came up to us afterwards.

I also got to meet radio host Jim DeNomie, who's program "Voices From The Circle" airs in the Chicago area. The program is also a part of AIROS, broadcast weekly. I missed meeting newspaper gal Kim Hall of Indian Country Today. Darn! We saw sets from a contemporary group from Canada, plus Brulé. We also enjoyed watching the Wolf River Richie Plass Onstage!Band, who featured country legend Marvin Rainwater on a couple of songs. BR5-49 fans, take note -- the Wolf River Band even covers some of the same songs the boys do -- like "I Ain't Never." That was cool!

Richie and his wife, Lily spent lots of time talking with us backstage. Lily is a very creative woman, who sews most of the costumes for the band. I told Richie about watching "Ed Wood" with Robert Conley back in Tahlequah and we just giggled over Johnny Depp in his Angora get-up. If you haven't seen the movie, or heard about it -- Ed Wood was a cross-dresser. One of the famous scenes has Johnny Depp in a fuzzy Angora sweater and skirt revealing his "secret" to his new girlfriend. I challenged Richie to come up with a song about Angora......and he came through.

For the first time, anywhere..........Richie Plass' sensitive tribute to......

 


ANGORA

She's a Diva, hot Starr with a hot band,
She said, "We're going to tour Bora-Bora!"
Watch yourself, I told her
They get very passionate over Angora

We laughed and we laughed
'Til our bellies and ribs were sore-ah
"Bet ya can't do it," she said with a grin
"Nothing rhymes with Angora."

The challenge was made, I accepted it with pride,
I attacked with the pledge of "Tora-Tora-Tora!!"
I knew deep down in my gut
I'd learn to like Angora

United we stand, pure hearts from the West
Ribbon shirts, sometimes new or tore-ah
She'd look great in a jersey of green and gold,
Or with nothing at all -- just Angora

To Nashville we go, trackin' down our buds
Gary, Chuck, Shaw, Jay and Donnie's aura,
Ain't it cool what I did?
Now we can all sing...Angora!


Richie Plass
September 21, 1999

Kind brings a tear to your eye....AAAY! Thanks, Richie! You, the band and Lily really made us feel welcomein Milwaukee.

At The Summer Fest!Our Sunday gig was rained out -- it came down in buckets, my friends! We hugged everyone good-bye and headed back to our hotel to get packed and ready for the next leg of the trip. We also had to drop off band manager, Janet at the airport....she was back to her other job in Los Angeles. We were on our own....and headed to a new town.
Lawrence, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.


I Am A Glutton For Punishment!

I Want More!!!

 


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