Sunday, June 01, 2008

Meeting Ernie

Somehow my boss took pity on me and when I asked to be able to work 1/2 a dayshift on Friday, May 9, and take half the night off to see Ernie Halter in Orem. I'd been trying to figure out a way to connect with Ernie and see him play since probably 2003, especially the last 3 years. I managed to find Ernie through 2 different paths. The first was through Clay Aiken. I was watching Clay on several of the late night shows not long after American Idol and Ernie was part of the back up band. I loved the fact that he not only did a good job on the back up, but he always had a huge smile and looked so happy. It's hard to miss that. :) Then either slightly before or after that time on some sort of internet search that I really don't think had much to do with Clay, I ran across Ernie on a radio station contest. I think he was in the top two of a talent contest of some sort and he performed a cover. The guy who ended up winning was good enough and quite good on the keyboards, but he wasn't very current musically. I thought Ernie was and would have wanted him to win. As I recall, I didn't realize they were the same person right away, but figured it out soon enough. LOL The next time I saw Ernie was on myspace. I always marvelled at his creativity and knowledge on the intricacies of promoting his music on myspace.
I was on Ernie's message board for a while, and then his myspace. I watched a few of his shows broadcast live on the net and enjoyed them. Later we e-mailed a few times. He was using knock knock jokes in his shows, so I sent him a few links. He said he used a few. Ernie had booked shows in Salt Lake City only to have them fall through, or he would book a show and the dates would not be possible for me. So finally, May 9, I was going.

May 8, I crashed my car on the way to see Eisley, et al. Now I had no car. I certainly was not able to work the 1/2 day shift or any of it for that matter. Orem was and hour and a half away. There was no way I could expect my husband to kill several hours there and keep him up past his bedtime. ;) So, I pretty much begged my daughter to take me. I had a Dr.'s appt. at 3 p.m., so instead of my husband taking me, she just picked me up and took me to the doc. Afterwards we went to Barnes and Noble and I found a book of Knock Knock jokes for Ernie (I just had to do it!) LOL Then we picked up my daughter's date and we headed for Orem by way of fast food. Good stuff. :) ;) We found the place without too much trouble, and my daughter came in with me for a short bit, we made arrangements as to picking me up, etc., and she headed off to the local mall to kill a few hours.

The venue was a Comedy Club called Wiseguys, and a small place. It was perfect since there were tables with chairs so I didn't have to stand. I was able to bring my camera, so anyone that knows me can guess I was thrilled with that. :) While I was waiting for the show to start I met Benton Paul, a local artist that I really like and who just happened to be one of the openers. I bought his cd and talked to him a bit. Then I met up with Ernie and was able to talk a little and give him the joke book.

As for the show, it was very laid back and very enjoyable. The first opener was a gal named Mindy. I didn't catch her last name, but I enjoyed her singing. Benton played next and did an amazing job. I highly recommend giving him a listen sometime. :) Then it was time for Ernie to play. The crowd wasn't huge, but there were definitely Ernie fans in the crowd. Ernie was in a vote to see who would play "Rock the Boat" with some other artists and promised to play his song "Whisper" (my favorite) in his "tighty whities" in L.A. if he won. He won, and he did. Someone asked for a repeat in Orem, and he declined. I said, "Thank you." LOL There was some banter back and forth as it was so casual and intimate. It was great. At one point Ernie did a song with audience participation and I have to say that was probably one of the most participatory, on-key audiences I've heard in a while. It really did sound good. LOL

Ernie was the main opener for Josh Hoge, and Josh played next. Josh was pretty good as well. He was also very engaging on stage and I enjoyed listening to him.

After the concert was over the club was having an "Italian Soda" party, and so I had two free Peach Italian Sodas, visited a little with Benton and had a photo taken with Benton and Mindy, then I finally caught up with Ernie again and got a photo and hugs, and I was able to get a pic with Josh as well. I bought a tee from Ernie and about that time my daughter called (her timing was impeccable) and she headed over to pick me up.

I had a great time and I'm so glad I was finally able to meet Ernie and hear him play live.

So there ya have it!!!

1 comment:

AJ said...

hey there melanie! :) this comment has nothing to do with this post, but I just read your latest comment on zach's blog and was reminded all over again of what an amazing woman you are! :) I was thinking of how faithful you've been to comment on all of our blogs and how, in your commenting, you pour out your kindness, wisdom, grace, and humor to us all--thank you. So, just in case no one has told you today: YOU are a WONDERFUL person, MELANIE & your presence is appreciated!!! :)