How Irene Made Sure I Got No Chubby

Last Tuesday at In The Pocket rehearsal, our trombone player, Tony, got a voicemail on his cellular telephone from a man claiming to be Tommy C, the tour manager for Chubby Checker. Chubby was scheduled to play the Dutchess County Fair this past Saturday, and Tommy wanted to talk to us. So, Tony called him back. Apparently the Chubby Checker tour was having a problem with their equipment and they were interested in borrowing an organ or a keyboard with an organ sound. He found us simply by doing a search for bands in the Hudson Valley (the internet works!). Tommy said that money was tight, but that we could obviously come to the show, as well as go backstage to meet Chubby. I offered my Roland RD-300SX, and he said that would work and he would call us on Thursday with more details.

On Wednesday, the idea was floated that this might be some kind of scam. Was this really the tour manager for Chubby Checker or just some guy trying to pull a fast one on us? My first thought was to call the fair and ask them to independently confirm that the person who called us really was from the tour. But then I thought, "Let's just Google his phone number!" Ingenious! So we did. And the first thing to pop up was the Chubby Checker tour rider through Paradise Artists, including the guy's name and phone number. We were convinced. But to be safe I decided that I was going to insist on staying with my keyboard until it was set up on-stage. I wasn't going to just give this guy my equipment and leave.

On Thursday, Tony got a call from Tommy C telling us to meet him at 11AM on Saturday morning, and to call 45 minutes before we got there. Boom. I was going to the fair for the first time in at least 5 years (and for free), we had arranged to meet some friends at the fair and bring them to the show, and we was going to meet Chubby Checker. Random and cool.

Now, I know you see where this story is going. Enter Hurricane Irene.

We were setting up for our Friday night pre-Irene show at Pat Tarsio Lanes when I got a text telling me that the fair was going to be closed both Saturday and Sunday. I verified it when I got home. No fair. No wonderfully unhealthy foods. No 4H milkshake. No carnies. No Chubby. Only rain.

And so it was.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ