Onto Route 66



Circling back a few days ago to Denver, I had a great time there as always.  With two days off before having a show I was able to visit some old haunts and a few new ones.  A spectacular dinner at Tamayo, Mexico City cuisine, with Nick B., Tom Hensley and our guitar-tech wing-man Kit Charlton. www.richardsandoval.com/tamayo    The food was beyond delicious and we consumed quite a lot of it.  We also consumed oceans of tequila and serrano chilli spiced margaritas.  It’s spicy margaritas for me from here out.  After swearing we’d never eat again after that dinner, the following morning found Tom, Kit and I seated in a booth at Sam’s No. 3 diner devouring platefuls of breakfast.  They make a darn good pork green chilli there so I had a couple of fried eggs on tortillas with refried beans smothered in it… huevos rancheros.  Tom and I set off walking from there stopping in at the boutiques on Larimer, an herbal dispensary (one of so many in the city) and finally Rockmount Western Wear.  A third generation family owned business, the patriarch is credited with designing what is now accepted as the modern ‘western shirt’ back in the ‘40s and was the first to put snaps on the shirts.  www.rockmount.com  Check them out, an unbelievable collection of shirts and jackets.  After witnessing Hensley exercise his credit card all afternoon, I was dehydrated so we fell into a grand indoor-outdoor bar and bellied up for a couple of ice cold local drafts.  Always a grand day in Denver.


From Denver we skidded northwest arriving in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon for another couple of days off.  What a sched!  It was my birthday and I don’t normally care for any fuss being made over it, but my son Nick arranged a large table at an old favourite haunt, Cin Cin on Robson St.  It was nearly a full band attendance who toasted, roasted, wined and dined me.  The restaurant features brilliant Italian food all prepared on a wood fired grill.  Fantastic food, drinks, wine, atmosphere and staff.  Hats off to Nick for setting this one up and everyone who was there celebrating my entering the on-ramp to Route 66.  66 years is a lot of water run under the bridge but I still feel the same as when I was 18 and I’m probably no wiser.


The following day was another day off here in Vancouver.  I stopped in the local H&M clothes store to pick up a couple of shirts.  Over the years I’ve learned the fine art of bare bones packing.  With this leg of the tour I may have cut it a little too close bringing no jacket, only three t-shirts and 4 regular shirts along with a couple of pairs of jeans.  While in there I spotted a t-shirt with the phrase Offline Is The New Black.  I don’t wear things with writing on them, but am certainly adopting that as my new motto.  It doesn’t take much to keep me offline anyway.  From there it was a trip to White Spot with Bill Cinque and Nick B. for a hamburger lunch and a lager.  We all went our separate ways after that and I ended up at the Vancouver Art Gallery to take in a humbling exhibit of Monet paintings focusing on the last 40 years of his life.  A breathtaking collection in it’s scope and size.


The day closed with another remarkable dinner with my friend Isaac Shabtay who I’ve know for many years.  Isaac’s lived here in Vancouver for the last 6 years and I always make it a point to have a meal or at very least, a glass of wine with him.  We had beautiful steaks and martinis at a restaurant called Black and Blue.  Elegant and dark vibe, perfectly prepared delicious food.


After tonight’s show at Rogers Arena we decamp for Seattle and begin working our way down the west coast culminating in two shows in Los Angeles at the fabulous Forum.


It’s a lucky old life.