Tony Penultimate

Orono, Maine

How cheesy can you get - are they taking the piss?

Today, I am sixty years old - don’t worry, I have long since reconciled myself to the fact that birthdays can’t always be spent at home, and work is work - our work takes place during other peoples leisure time; weekends, public holidays etc, so I can’t complain.
So, I am in the same club as Dave and Richie (and Doug), I think Jonty will be the next one stepping up to the plate in a few years time, while Will is a full 15 years behind.
Speaking as one who has wrestled with Death and escaped (Death was on his mobile) - age is a mere bagatelle…….

Our bus from Portland to Orono, Maine

If I can’t be with my family at home, I might as well be with my second family, out on the road - so everyone has wished me Happy Birthday and given me presents and a cheesy card (the above poem was written by Linda E Knight - I googled her and she also writes poems for dead people). I've also skyped my girls back home and for some reason they still haven't noticed that I'm growing a moustache.
We are at the half way point on the tour (day 9, gig 7) and I am in fully functioning tour mode, recovered from the jet lag, and an efficient ukulele playing show deliverer (in possession of many pairs of clean underpants - yay!).

However, this means that one is also in a kind of somnambulistic trance. You are told when to get up - you get up, told when its time to eat - you eat, told when its time to play; - a ukulele is thrust into your hand, someone pushes you towards the lights - and you go out on stage and play.
Its a bit like being given Rohypnol; if someone told me to stand on my head, I’d probably give it a try. For example, today when we arrived at our hotel in Orono, I was the first to be given a room, I shoved my door card in my pocket and walked up the stairs (there was no lift - it was a one story ranch style building) and at the top of the stairs, I put my hand in my pocket to find out the number written on the door card - and stared at it uncomprehendingly  - it said room 625 and the numbers on that level were in the 200’s?
I resisted the urge to burst into tears and realised that I had forgotten to turn in my door card for the previous nights hotel in Portland (a ten story building) and the real key card was in my other pocket. For non musicians, this emotional state is VERY ACCURATELY DESCRIBED IN THIS CLIP

The birthday boy on Highway 95

Turnoff to Orono, our gig was at the Collins Centre at the University of Maine

Leisa poses with some taxidermy in our hotel lobby

The Collins Center

Dave chats to one of the tech crew - they are all Goths and collect skulls which they get artists to sign

The Ukes skull

Soundcheck - apparently we played this place five years ago, I dont remember it at all.

In other tour trivia, I've noticed that toilets on American campuses, while clean, have incredibly wide gaps between the door and sides.

I read out my birthday poem in its entirety to my fellow Ukes - they sniggered...

We'll all probably go out after the gig to celebrate, I fully expect to be plied with drinks, pounced on, stripped naked, covered in honey and left chained to a fire hydrant overnight - we'll see..........



Thank you everybody for the birthday wishes, very much appreciated and all your comments!
Peter, Happy Birthday! I would not have guessed your age but I confess a definite crush so I'd say you are only becoming distinguished. Then again, I'm looking at 55 this year so I'm not really groupie material...or if you do get mobbed by my sort it will be a slow moving and polite group. :) Thank you so much for spending it with us here in Maine. I was at the show last night and at the performance several years ago and enjoyed them very much. I don't know if you noticed, but the theatre was packed which doesn't happen here often. You [and the orchestra]inspired me to go out and buy ukuleles. [I am still rubbish at them and I was too embarrassed to bring them for signing.] I have played guitar for years, but I play finger style Spanish and have never remembered to learn cords. Some sort of mental block I think I'm bound to sheet music. I especially enjoyed your vocals, and was wondering about the Italian pasta song. Is it available on any of the albums?
Sounds like a fun birthday—pretty good for being on the road!
Best birthday wishes from the Egerton family. Bar Harbor brewery in Maine do an excellent Cadillac Mountain stout.
Now that's how you celebrate a birthday!!! Best Wishes Peter!
All the best for the next sixty years Peter! Good luck and health!
Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday Peter, we wish you all the best and a safe return to your loved ones! Doris & Klaus

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