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Did that just happen? Yeah, that just happened.

May 16, 2013

Just hangin’ out with Grant-Lee Phillips. Like ya do.

I HAD THE BEST NIGHT EVER AND I CAN’T SLEEP! So I shall rant and rave here in relative peace. This will be long. Sorry.

OMG. Plus, OMG. Oh, and did I mention, OMG?

Ok, so I’ve LOVED the music of Grant Lee Buffalo/Grant-Lee Phillips for over 20 years. 20 years, people. That’s more than half my life. Like, gushy, crushy, deeply-in-lovey, grown-with-me-over-the-years-and-deepened-into-a-more-realistic-appreciation type of loved this man’s music. I saw him in concert in Ames, IA 20 years ago on Grant Lee Buffalo’s first major tour, with REM headlining. Then, over the years, I’ve seen him in smaller venues in Chicago a few times, dragging my brother and others along with me for the ride. Great shows. Shook his hand and got pics and autographs. Lovely, nice man. Mason enjoys his music and has a GLP poster on his wall.

When I found out he was coming here, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Huh?? Really? Wow.), I immediately got tickets and counted the days to the show. Attended show with Brad (thanks, honey!). It was awesome (of course). It was small (30+ people). He played, for the first time, a song he’d written while in Cedar Rapids about the flood, and it was great (video to come). Afterward, I shook Grant-Lee Phillips’ hand and chatted and bought a show gig art print (don’t call it a poster), which he signed. Pictures taken, fun had. Thought that was the end of the story. Good enough for me!

Brad and I go down the block to Parlor City to get some eats and beers. A half-hour later, who walks in by himself like a totally-regular-yet-not-at-all-supposed-to-be-in-the-same-bar-as-us guy? Grant-Lee-Freakin’-Phillips. Brad kicks out an empty chair, and I offer to buy  GLP a beer. He sits down. With us. GLP. Me. Same table. You guys. Seriously. We chatted. He’s a friendly, funny, family guy. We talked about his tour, Cedar Rapids, the flood here, Bill Gates and his work combating malaria; Jimmy Carter (my hero) and his work combating Guinea worms; how Grant makes his music; about Davíd Garza and Largo, about our kids; about the Patti Smith autobiography (read it!), about natural disasters; about the restored fire house in which his Cedar Rapids hosts had housed him. I mentioned I had lost my copy of one of his albums I had loved. He said, “Oh, I have a copy over at the fire house! Let me show you guys the place and give you the CD!” So we did. You guys, I just toured the bedroom of my Americana-songwriter-wordsmith-crush’s “hotel.” I saw his shaving kit in the bathroom. We joked about the maintenance of old houses. I caught a peek of his skivvies in his suitcase as he found the copy of the album I’d lost (I looked away, demurely, of course). He showed us to the door of his place and shook our hands good night. Brad and I calmly got in our car and drove off, whereafter I commenced to freaking the f@$% out for the whole way home. It has been about two and a half hours since then and I’m pretty sure I will never sleep again from the sheer joy of the evening.

My face is going to split in two from the grin I’ve been sporting all night. And tomorrow it continues:  you guys, tomorrow I get a sneak peek at the not-yet-open downtown library. It’s going to be a great week.

Other fantastic things that would normally have headlined my day: Mason’s first piano recital (he’s a genius, of course), lily-of-the-valley in bloom (house smells divine from the bunches I brought in), and our first non-friend, non-family babysitter (a rousing success).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2013 8:27 pm


  2. May 16, 2013 12:15 pm

    Susan: Brad was pushing me to meet him since he knows I’ve been a fan for longer than I’ve actually even known Brad 🙂 He’s a really great, normal guy. Brad and I had lots of fun hanging out with him.
    Linda: yea, that sounds about right!
    Thanks, Katie!

  3. Susan permalink
    May 16, 2013 9:05 am

    WOW! Are your feet back on the ground yet? You are one lucky & blessed gal! So happy for you! Is Brad jealous about all this gushing? 🙂

  4. Linda Bogaard permalink
    May 16, 2013 9:03 am

    let’s see, do I have this right?….you had a great, wonderful, no-adjectives-accurately-can-describe-the-experience night. 🙂 I could fully sense your excitement all the way up here in MN several hours later. You can wallow in the joy for a long time to come. Congratulations!

  5. May 16, 2013 8:52 am

    I love this post so much! Oh what a night!


  1. Cedar Rapids, CSPS, Grant-Lee Phillips make dreams come true - Hoopla | Hoopla

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