Memphis, TN


I was merrily driving my way up to Memphis from Gulfport, which, mind you, is a bit of a drive. Because it was a nice warm day, I made a stop to get gas, throw away some trash, and vacuum out my car. Then I was back on the road.


Me: “Ehh? What’s going on with the air conditioning?”
Me, later: “Ehh? What’s that noise?”


I didn’t even notice the “Check Engine” dummy light was on until I heard a noise coming from the engine, since the light is right behind the steering wheel and I can’t even normally see it when I’m driving. To make matters worse, I didn’t hear the noise until it was fairly loud, since I was blasting some sweet tunes on my carputer.


As soon as I noticed that, I slowed waaaay down and putt-putted to the nearest gas station, where I turned off the engine and coasted into a parking spot. Sure enough, there was a bunch of steam coming from the engine compartment. Closer examination revealed that it was coming from the bottom, by the water pump.

A super helpful and friendly guy who works at the truck shop at that gas station took a look at it for me and concluded that I had a blown seal in the water pump. He filled it up with water and told me to drive easy to wherever I was going, where I could get it fixed.

Where I was going was Memphis. I was still about 50 miles away, but I took along a jug of water as backup and made a few stops to make sure the coolant levels were OK.

I didn’t have a host lined up in Memphis, so when I finally got there at maybe 10:00 or so, I found a place with wifi, where I did email and tour stuff into the wee hours. One of the people I emailed was a dude named Mitch Costa, a guitarist in Memphis who had contacted me about possibly recording that night. I apologized and gave him the lowdown, that I would be spending the night in my car and then spending the next day fixing my car.

Then I was off to find an out-of-the way street where I could sleep. But while I was trying to find such, I got a call! By this time it was a little after 5:00am, so I was pretty surprised that someone would be up and calling me.

It was Mitch. He had gotten my email and told me to come on over and have some coffee with him.

So I went over to his place, which happened to be very close to where I was wandering, and met him. He is a great guy full of great stories, not to mention he is walking evidence that rockers do not all age badly.

Mitch ended up redeeming my time in Memphis. He let me crash on his couch for a bit, then he helped me drop the Lovemobile off at a shop, and then he recorded with me.

Mitch playing some sick lead sounds.

Mitch has a great ear. He doesn’t know a lot of theory, but he knows what notes sound good in different situations, which is more important than knowing theory. Not only that, but he dialed in some great sounds from his rig.

Mitch uses (and sells) Mills Acoustics cabs, and oh my goodness, they sounded amazing. If I were in the market for a guitar or bass cab, I would spring for one of these. He also records some of his own stuff, using a similar setup to myself:

Look, we both use Sonar!

You can check some of his recordings on his myspace.

He was really stoked about my project and gave me lots of musical contacts in various cities. He even called one of his Memphis buddies, a vocalist, to come over and record some stuff with me. It was great.

Then, the shop called. They were going to be finished soon (installing a new water pump, radiator, thermostat, hoses, gasket… not quite as cheap as I’d hoped). We barely had time to go out for some incredible Memphis BBQ — Corky’s! I had some of the best ribs I’ve ever had in my life. Thanks a lot Mitch!

Then I got my car and I was on the road, too late to record anything that night at the next stop, but still on schedule.

NEXT: The circle is complete in Little Rock.

One thought on “Memphis, TN

  1. Ah, the poor badly-gauged Lovemobile… I’m glad you were ok and that it didn’t completely fry the engine or anything. Yikes! That’s a lot of stuff that needed repairing though. But you are putting tons of miles on that thing. I’m glad it’s doing as well as it is so far. Mitch Costa? Any relation to Bob Costas but just decided he didn’t like the little “s” at the end? Glad he liked the project. It is an awesome idea, and that’s nice he gave you more contacts. Mmmm, tasty BBQ. I probably still wouldn’t like it, but it’s nice to get really good examples of food. Food as it ought to be. Sorry you didn’t get much sleep though.

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