These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road With Red Wanting Blue


About five years ago, after a performance of one of my Off-Broadway shows, one of my cast members rushed up to me and said, “Ken!   You have to come out with us tonight!  We’re going to hear my boyfriend’s band. “

I offered her $100 cash to not go.

Having lived in New York City for almost twenty years, I had had my fill of listening to up-and-coming rock stars, comedians, and performance artists who paint pictures of chimpanzees using guava juice.   I wasn’t paying $10 cover charges to stand in dingy East Village clubs and listen to “emerging” talents anymore.   I was not going.

She smiled, looked me dead in the eye and said, “Trust me.  You’ll like them.”

She was wrong.

I loved them.

But it wasn’t because that their music sounded better than half the songs I heard on the radio.  It wasn’t because they delivered the most energetic live shows I’ve ever seen.  And It wasn’t because after the show, they spent time talking to every single one of their fans, many which had followed them from their home state of Ohio just to see their New York City show.

It was because after it was all done, and the fluorescent lights came on in that dingy East Village club, they packed up their own instruments, loaded up their always breaking down bus, and drove off to the next town to do another show .  . . just like they had been doing for the past thirteen years.

Bands like Red Wanting Blue usually have a shelf life of 2-3 years at most if they don’t hit it big, and land that elusive record deal.  But something was not only keeping this band together, but something was keeping this band going mile after magnificent mile in hopes of someday seeing their dreams come true.

So, I went along for the ride.