From: Holly

MAy 11, 1999
Palace Theatre
Albany, NY

It all started when I posted for the first time to the Goo list. Danielle replied and said she had an extra ticket to the Albany show and wanted to know if I would like to go. I was so excited, I haven't seen the Goos since '95, and when I left Rochester, NY I knew I'd be lucky if I ever got to see them again. So the preparations went on, and the night before I was to leave, I spoke with Danielle who said Traci (the person we were meeting in Albany) had won passes to the sound check. At this point we didn't know if I would be able to get in or not, since Traci only had two passes.

Tues. morning, 3:15 AM, I get up so I can get on the road as early as possible. I only had 2 hours of sleep, but know that the adrenaline will keep me going. I get to Danielle's at about 10:15 AM. After making a beer run (Champagne for Traci), we head for Albany. We meet Traci at the Omni Hotel lobby early afternoon, say our hellos, and head up to the room to get ready. Traci was supposed to meet the radio person, Kristen, in front of the venue with all the other contest winners at 3:45 PM. So we gather with all the others, and Traci asks Kristen if I will be able to get in. Kristen doesn't know. Then Traci asks us, "Hey is that Mike?" So we decide to walk down and check things out. Low and behold, it is Mike, and there is John squatting down with some of the road crew looking at a car magazine. We say hi to Mike. I ask him for a hug (I believe in hugs, not autographs), and gave him a good luck turtle. He said he likes turtles, and then I told him I hoped that it would keep him healthy. He said "Yeah, I'm the only one left". He was wearing this beautiful purple jean jacket that caught my eye, so I don't remember anything else he was wearing. So then I walked over to John. I gave him the Puffkin happy face I got for him, and gave him the poem I had written for him back in '96. He thanked me for them and put them in his bag and then stood up. I asked him for a hug, and then asked him if they were ever coming to Maine. He said "We can't get to Maine." My reply "There are roads that go right up there, how do you think I got here?". He then said that Maine was too far to go. I accepted that and stepped back so Danielle and Traci could get to him. They took pics with him and then John grabbed me so that Traci and Danielle could take my pic with him. (I think I must add here that I also don't believe in taking pics with clebs, I would rather just have pics of them without myself included). But, I participated in this since it was John that initiated it, plus he had his arm around me again, who was I to complain? So they went inside and we went back up to wait for the sound check. The promoter finally arrived, and Kristen told me just to slip in with everyone else since half the people who had won didn't show up. Sound check was good, it really showed me how much John is dedicated to making sure his music sounds good. They went over the songs they have been having difficulty with. They talked about playing "We are the Normal", but then John said that it sounded too much like "Naked". I would have loved to hear them both. At one point John stops after a solo and he says, "did you guys realize I was playing a different song?", Nathan says, "I didn't notice, I wasn't listening?" John stamps his foot and says "That's exactly my point, we have to be listening to each other." It was quite amusing to see John throw a little tantrum. So they finished sound check and came down to meet all of us. John gets to me and he says "Hey I already met you." I say "yeah and what's you point", I hold out my arms and get another hug and John kisses me on the cheek (he really needed to shave). I make my way to where Robby is standing and ask how he is. He indicates he is doing pretty good. I tell him I am going to miss him bouncing all over the place, and he assures me that he has the rolling office chair, and that he gets around in it pretty well. After that, the Goos are ushered out to do some radio promo stuff. We go get something to eat and return to the venue at about 7-7:30 PM. Again we see Mike standing down by the side entrance. We walk down there. I approach Mike and say "Aren't we like your worst nightmare, we just keep coming back?" He says "No", and asks to see the posters Traci is carrying. He offers to sign one of them, but no one has a pen. We go back to the car to get one and by the time we return, Mike is gone. I catch a glimpse of his flannel shirt going between the busses. I follow Mike's path, and see him crossing the road. I yell his name and he turns to wave, obviously on a mission, his continues on his way. So we hang out talking to the bouncers and road crew. From behind us I hear singing "here you are, there you are, everywhere you are" as John walks by us with his black wind pants over his shoulder. Mike returns shortly there after, and Traci gets his autograph. I ask Mike where he went, and he said that he just needed to take a walk. Mike goes into the side door and we wait, for Robby, who was still on the bus. Danielle and Traci still haven't met him yet. Robby hobbles off the bus with assistance and takes the time to take a pic with Traci, before going inside. He really did not seem himself. We go in and are able to catch the last few songs of Fastball. Finally, the Goos take the stage. They were full of energy as always even with Robby in the chair. They played quite a few songs from Superstar Carwash (my personal fav.), ABNG, and of course, DUTG. I can't remember the exact set list, but it did include "Naked", so I knew there was no chance for "We are the Normal". At one point, John went over to play with Robby (January Friend), and he knocked the chair out from underneath him. Robby sung and played for a few lying flat on his back and then got up. He stood until John was able to get his chair back on its wheels. John did his usual comic routine, and at one point he slammed Robby. Robby went to hit him and John flew about 3-4 steps backwards. Robby did stand for almost one entire song which I thought was very encouraging, and him and John still played side by side with John bent down a little to be at Robby's height in the chair. John had problems with one of his guitars (what's new), and how they actually got through the song having it sound so good I'll never know. He borrowed Nathan's guitar for a bit. What else can I say, the show was incredible (of course, it was the Goos). We waited for them to come out after the show, but they just went straight to the bus. I felt bad for John, who was attacked on his way. I've never seen someone move that quickly in my life. We went back to the hotel and I crashed (I had been up for almost 24 hours at this point). Although I know they will probably never make it to Maine (they did actually play here when they were opening for Bush, but I was in Rochester), I plan on making more road trips, as this was one of the most exciting days of my life. Thanks to everyone who made it possible (Danielle and Traci, but most of all to the Goos).