Sh-Boom's 20th Anniversary Trip
June 26-29, 2003
A Travel Journal & Photo Essay about Sh-Boom's 5th Fan Getaway
Go to the Memphis Gallery
THURSDAY, June 26th, 2003
Sh-Boom and fans board a motor coach in a light haze and drizzle. The destination is Memphis, TN, Cradle of the South, Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The excursion, organized by Sh-Boom and Brentwood Travel, is officially underway.
Paul Simon addresses the bus passengers, “I’m going to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, TN, I’m going to Graceland” he says. Elvis Presley responds with a reassuring, “That’s Alright, Mama”. We’re all going to Memphis to visit the nostalgia, energy, and feel of Beale Street while celebrating Sh-Boom’s 20th Anniversary. More messages are soon passed about, not only through song, but also on the lids of Jell-O shots supplied by Scott and Leslie. They read, “Memphis or Bust”, “Happy B-day Sh-Boom”, and “The Sh-Bimbos are sexy”. Side note – It takes quite a few Jell-O shots before the Sh-Bimbos become attractive!
Brad distributes Sh-Boom/Memphis Trivia to everyone in our group (except the bus driver). 30 questions test our knowledge of Memphis, plus Sh-Boom & pop music history. Wanda Watson is declared the trivia winner after a 3-way tie and three additional tiebreakers. Wanda receives a bottle of BBQ sauce and dining certificate for Super Smoker’s…eat your heart out Memphis! Pegi Schad ’s 2nd place gift is a limited edition Sh-Boom flashlight! There was no prize for third place but Diana Calderon was still proud to be in the top 3. (CLICK HERE FOR THE QUIZ)
After a “fast” food stop at Burger King and McDonald’s, the bus makes a final stop in Blytheville for supplies**.
All but one passenger is back on the bus.
Rich Riek returns…and we’re off!
In the words of Little Feat, “I see the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel”. Actually, it’s the luxurious Radisson Hotel on Union Blvd. After a light reception and check-in organized by Brentwood’s Donna Seymour, it’s back on the bus for a private dinner at the Pierside Restaurant overlooking the riverfront.
Sh-Boom sings the national anthem at AutoZone Park and brings home a winner as the AAA Memphis Redbirds exhibit 9th inning heroics. Sh-Boomers feast on nacho’s, dogs, and ice-cold adult beverages.
We walk two blocks to explore the sights and sounds of Beale Street. A 3-piece band called The Dempsey’s, occupy the stage at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Sh-Boom contemplates how an 8-piece band will fit on that very stage the following night.
Go to the Memphis Gallery
FRIDAY, June 27th, 2003
Breakfast concludes in the Radisson atrium. Sleep rules over food for Screamin’ Scott, in his first of four planned no shows for breakfast. Look! The sun is out with a forecast of highs in the low 80’s with virtually no humidity for the rest of the weekend…can it get any better? Yes, we’re “Walking on Beale Street. Walking with our feet ten feet off of Beale”. Some travel to Sun Studio where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash first made history. Some take the bus to win their fortune in Tunica….others to take in the beauty and culture of Mud Island. Sh-Boom fan, Jim Hagedorn, makes his own history later in the day at the Rock and Soul Museum, while Larry and Larry and other brother Tom pick their way through the Gibson Guitar Factory.
Sh-Boom takes the stage for their first appearance at Elvis Presley’s Memphis on Beale Street, and rock the night away! The venue reminds us of our early years playing clubs around St. Louis. Everyone in our group looks stunning in their yellow plastic designer wristbands.
Scott is told he cannot take the stage dressed as Elvis Presley…sans pants. In reality, Scott was about to do his parody of Tom Cruise singing Bob Seger ’s, Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll. We’re reminded that no Elvis parody’s are allowed on stage at EP’s. Scott puts his pants back on and the song list takes a different course.
Go to the Memphis Gallery
SATURDAY, June 28th, 2003
We’re assembled in the lobby for a scheduled departure to Graceland, and would now be boarding the bus if not for the fact that Ron Buettner had noticed the bus had a FLAT TIRE! Fortunately, this group takes everything in stride. Quick thinking Brentwood Travel Agent, Cheryl Lamprecht, makes a quick call to Elvis’ homestead. We use the extra time to chat with others about yesterday’s fun. Everyone looks marvelous in their new blazing blue Sh-Boom shirt, inscribed with; “I Celebrated Sh-Boom’s 20th Anniversary in Memphis, TN”.
“I have reason to believe we all shall be received in Graceland”, and we are. We missed our reservation time, but it’s the south where time is fluid and hospitality prevails (unless you’re a trolley driver, or a waiter at the Rendezvous). “Go through the double doors and board the shuttles to the mansion now before our other large group shows up, and have a wonderful day” , says the girl at the ticket booth. No sooner had I heard the words than to hear the Doppler effect of Wanda as she streaks past me toward the shuttle. Wanda, a dedicated Elvis fan who, with hound-dog in hand, has been eagerly awaiting this moment since 11 months ago when she last visited the E oracle. Our deluxe tour package includes the mansion, Lisa Marie jet, car museum, movie, gravesite, and all exhibits. Howard Shive notices a framed ticket, preserved from a mid-70’s Elvis concert at Kiel Auditorium.
2:00ish to 4:30ish:
Zzzzzzz… What else can I say? The more adventurous among us took the red-eye to meet Ben 'Jamin, Screamin Scott and their wives who were already at the Greyhound Track in West Memphis. The earlier flat tire had caused them to miss the first few races. All was well though as Scott explained his never lose method of choosing the winning hound. Suffice it to say that the winner is the one who loses the most weight on the walk to the starting gate. Scott, of course, is much more graphic with his explanation.
Many in our group crossed the street to the Peabody Hotel lobby to witness the “March of the Peabody Ducks”. Since most had staked out their place in line an hour earlier, Bad Brad can view only a couple of ducks from a distance of 50 yards or more. He also spies numerous Sh-Boom fans that had jockeyed for position much earlier than he. The country boy walks away wondering why he spent part of his afternoon watching ducks!
The group assembles at Elvis Presley’s Memphis (EP’s) for a very nice group dinner of southern favorites and banana pudding.
Several Sh-Boom fans who had driven to Memphis on their own are recognized in the audience. Cissie, Rosalie, Dean & Carol, Dave Miller, and several others -- have arrived.
Sh-Boom is in EP’s wine cellar changing clothes and preparing for the show. There’s something very energizing, almost spiritual, about Beale St. Every note from every guitar seems to speak in nuances to the soul of the listener and, baptized in the sound, we’re all eager to take the stage. It’s gonna be a great night!
Sh-Boom takes the stage at EP’s.
Scott remembers to turn on the power for Sh-Boom’s wireless microphones.
The fans surprise the band in the last set by arranging for a birthday cake, presented by long-time fan, Jim Hagedorn. “Happy 20th Birthday”, it reads. Jim and Cecilia have been on all five Sh-Boom fan getaway trips, and friends of the band for nearly two decades. Sh-Boom has the best fans in the world!
The equipment is packed and the group spills out into the street for a final farewell to the nightlife. Some catch the last set of our new friends, The Dempsey’s; some to B.B. Kings for another helping of the Blues; some to Silky O' Sullivan’s to enjoy a paint bucket full of 17 different liquors and numerous straws on the patio.
Go to the Memphis Gallery
SUNDAY, June 29th, 2003
We’re back on the bus for the return to St. Louie. You would think we would all be napping. Not this group! Barb and Wanda are doing a little show ‘n’ tell of the acquired souvenirs. We’re still abuzz with stories and digital pics. One last round of Jell-O shots are passed around as we anticipate our stop at Lambert’s for “throwed rolls”, down-home cookin’…and to watch Doug Baker sink countless quarters into an arcade game. After more than an hour wait, we’re seated for dinner. Then…we skip back home.
Hugs and farewells in the parking lot of Schnuck’s – “Where are we going’ next?” Stay tuned!!!!
** denotes "beer"
Go to the Memphis Gallery
Comments from the travelers
A good time was enjoyed as we traveled with SH-BOOM and all our Sh-Boomer friends…to Memphis, TN. Looking forward to SH-BOOM'S next anniversary trip and really appreciate all their…dedication, and great performances.
Paul & JoAnn
What a great time I had with Sh-Boom and all the Sh-Boomers. You guys really outdid yourself in your shows at Elvis Presley's Memphis restaurant. The best I've ever heard. You really know how to treat your fans.
Thanks to Sh-Boom for the FIFTH wonderful trip! We had a great time in Memphis! We enjoyed every bit of this trip except for the fact it was over all too soon! We already are looking forward to the next trip wherever that may be. It is always a guaranteed fun time with you and all the other Sh-Boomers! Thanks again...for all the fun and all the great music. Happy 20th Anniversary!!
Pat & Doug
Has anyone seen my Sh-Boom sports bottle?
Thanks to the following for making this trip possible:
* Brentwood Travel
* Donna Seymour (Brentwood Travel)
* Cheryl Lamprecht (Brentwood Travel)
* Eggemeyer Motor Coach
* Bill Blank (Bus Driver)
* Radisson Hotel Memphis Downtown
* Elvis Presley Enterprises
* Elvis Presley’s Memphis (Judith Parra)
* Will Odom (EP’s house sound)
* The Dempsey’s
* Memphis Redbirds Baseball (Tim Whang)
* Sun Studios
* Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
* Gibson Guitar Factory
* Mud Island Museum
* Lambert’s Café – Sikeston, MO
* Pierside Restaurant
* Schnuck’s Markets
* Dierberg’s Markets
* Dave Caito
* Rob Miller
* All the individual band members, their spouses, & families
* And…the greatest fans in the world!!!!!
Thank you for 20 incredible years!!