November 20, 2021
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
Seeing we only had an hour and a half drive from Wilmington, Delaware to Atlantic City, New Jersey, Alison's birthday party ran late last night. I wish I could have stayed up for the duration of the celebration, but my foot was in too much pain to accommodate my willingness to frolic and bounce about, and I won't lie to you; I was worried about my foot. But it appears that the Disco Gods are with me. Late this morning, I reluctantly crawled out of my bunk, and my foot felt completely fine. I don't know how or why, and I will not question it. I am just deeply grateful it will be OK for this evening's performance.
I will have to say; I have been looking forward to this show perhaps more than any other of the tour, simply because I have never been to Atlantic City before and have never performed at a Bally's. This may sound odd to most, but it is true. Further more, I have never enjoyed gambling and have no affection for casinos. They depress me. They always have. I am not implying that my experiences in casinos have been bad. On the contrary, they have always been quite the opposite. I have never had a bad experience in any of the casinos ABBA MANIA has performed, and we have had some fantastic sold-out shows in several casinos. We are always treated very nicely, but I personally just don't care for them. Be that as it may, I was really looking forward to this gig.
The first thing I had to do was locate the ballroom we were playing. I was surprised to see it was smaller than I had anticipated. I was also shocked to find there were no dressing rooms, only pipe and drape sectioned-off areas on each side of the stage. None of that bothers me, of course, but I was just a bit surprised. However, there was one major concern all of us were sharing. Our traveling disco ensemble was very much in need of a shower, and since we were not staying the night, we did not have hotel rooms. The client and Todd were very sympathetic and did arrange to get us one hotel room which we could all use (one at a time, of course) to get all cleaned up before and after the show.
Being in Atlantic City, we were located right on the Jersey Shore, and now that the gig is over, I regret not taking a walk along the beach. I was very tired today, had work to do, and in all honesty, did not want to push my foot any further than was absolutely necessary. The last thing I needed was a relapse before I went onstage. Believe me, if it got as bad as it was last night, I would not have been able to put my boots on without morphine. So since there was no dressing room, I spent most of my time alone on the bus online working on A1A business while some of the others went about having fun and continuing to celebrate Alison's birthday.
When I broke for lunch, I ate at a nice restaurant in the casino that featured a live pianist playing directly outside at an open bar. As I was walking by, I noticed how upbeat and friendly she was and that she had a delightful voice. She reminded me of Carole King. She played her baby grand piano accompanied by some well-done, complimentary, but not overly made backing tracks. If it had been a free day, I would have pulled up a stool and sat awhile. But I was hungry and still had work to do, so I waved and smiled as I walked by, expressing my approval. Without thinking, I turned my attention towards lunch and proceeded to walk on. Until she broke into 'I Saw The Light' by Todd Rundgren. Being a Todd Rundgren nut and this being one of my very favorite songs, I had to stop, listen - and sing. Even though I wanted to, I did not jump up next to her and form an instant duet. No, I stayed put, smiled, and enthusiastically sang to myself. She noticed me instantly. It would not have been too difficult since it seemed that, sadly, I was the only one who was listening. She quickly saw that I knew every word, so we sang to each other across the empty dance floor. It was fun, and she did an excellent job. When she finished, I applauded, tipped her a five-spot, and moved on to lunch with a song besides 'Dancing Queen' stuck in my head. Oh, what a beautiful feeling.
We had heard reluctantly through management that tickets had not been selling well for this show. I found this quite odd, for I cannot think of any show we have ever done that wasn't sold out or very close to it. (Yes, I am blessed and extremely grateful) It turned out that this was Bally's first show since COVID, and they were still a bit reluctant. So reluctant in fact that the advertisement they gave our show was next to nothing. We were all quite shocked and a little ticked off. Sure enough, when it was show time and the curtain came up, the crowd was sparse. But kind of like playing in small rock clubs, what they lacked in numbers they made up for with their enthusiasm. Of all the luck, Rick's parents were in the audience, and it was their first time seeing him in this show. Lucky for everyone there tonight, we all gave a fine performance and were very well received.
Afterward, most of us took advantage of the showers again before retreating to the bus. If you have been following my blog from the start, I think you know what I did next. If not, I will refresh your memory. Hop on the bus and make a beeline for my bunk, bypassing all sweets and pizza. Quickly change into my Meat Loaf baseball jersey and sweat pants, climb ever so slowly into my bunk and turn out the light. With anticipation and a bit of sadness, I tried to drift off to sleep thinking about tomorrow night's show, which will be the last one of the tour. Turn the page...