Last week I shared the story of my trip out to the West Coast to see Ryan play with Midnight North and special guests Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Mihali Savoulidis. If you remember, I told you about this awesome chick that I met while we were in San Francisco, fellow tour wife Claire Lesh. Today I asked Claire to visit us and share some of her experiences on the road. Hope you guys enjoy it!
My name is Claire, and I had the pleasure of meeting Alex when she and Ryan came out to visit San Francisco. Ryan was sitting in with Midnight North, so of course during sound check Alex and I struck out into the city for pedicures and cocktails. We hit it off immediately- she is so kind and hilarious and really put me at ease, so it was impossible not to be besties by the end of the night. Plus we’re both in the zany sisterhood of tour wives! Alex asked me to share a little bit about my tour wife life, so here goes.
I've been married to my hubs Grahame Lesh for two years. We started dating in college ten (?!) years ago, when he was just growing into the great musician he is today. Truth be told, I don't think I knew what I was getting into! Luckily I love traveling so tour life suits me well. Plus I got to learn the ropes from my mother-in-law and world's #1 tour wife, Jill Lesh (Phil's wife of 30+ years).
Obligatory wedding picture with the whole Terrapin Crossroads crew
One recent and especially fun trip was over the week of Thanksgiving for a three-show run with the Terrapin Family Band. It was a really special trip for me because Grahame FINALLY played in Nashville, where my parents live. I'm so lucky that my parents love Grahame and the whole band - it really is a "family" band.
The show Saturday was stellar as always, but the highlight for me was when the whole band came to my parents' house for an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. My Mom and Jill and I got up early to cook together while Phil and Grahame went to go pick out wine pairings. My dad, who had just had his knee replaced a few days before, held down the fort until the rest of the band and family arrived. We had a wonderful dinner, and I was so grateful to have my biological family and my band family in one place!
My 4-year-old niece helping Jill and Ross research how to carve a turkey
The next morning we set off in a tour bus for Mobile, Alabama, where the band played two benefit shows put on by the Jake Peavy Foundation. Grahame became buddies with Jake (who was the Giants' pitcher at the time) by bonding over Tiger, Jerry Garcia's guitar. Jake and his awesome team (shoutout to Sarah Lauren and Ben!) are making huge strides to revitalize Mobile and the Gulf Coast, especially in the wake of this year's terrible hurricanes. Grahame and I never pass up an opportunity to visit our friends in Alabama so of course we had to go and support their event! Plus, bonus points, we got to stay in a HAUNTED HOTEL ROOM! (Check out the story of the Malaga Inn at the link!)
After the shows were wrapped up on Thursday morning, we set off to Jake's ranch in central Alabama for yet another incredible family Thanksgiving. The Peavys welcomed us all with open arms and a helluva meal. I thought I knew good southern hospitality, but their crew takes it to a whole new level!
Graham nerding out over all the incredible MLB memorabilia at Jake's
We had to set off the next day (after an afternoon of leftovers and batting practice), but I know we'll be back to visit these family and friends again soon. It's always a little bittersweet to leave, so at least we have cuddly dogs waiting for us when we get home! And of course we were back at it a couple of weeks later. There's always another tour to look forward to!
Dogs are family too!