Saturday, August 30, 2008


Left: Me, sweating it out with the Rogue Wave guys.

The second hottest show day of the tour was in Irvine! We all agreed it was the hottest after Salt Lake City. The venue is where Lion Country Safari used to be, so imagine hot, dry Africa. Musicians, caterers, roadies and all of us in the Village Green were all sweating well into the night. It seems that since it was everyone, no one minded the sticky smelly others around them! I was just happy that I got to go home to my own shower last night, even if it was 1 a.m. before I got one. It was perhaps the worst day for the poison oak from The Gorge hike to show up on both me and Elissa. We have itchy dots in a few places, but it doesn't seem to be spreading on either of us. That's the last time I hike in my bikini!

Despite the heat, a bunch of really cool things happened at the Irvine show. First, I was able to spend some time with Jack and tell him the story of a Swami's surfer named Gus Fleming who has Lou Gerhig's disease and listens to Jack's music every night. He says it helps him stay connected to the ocean. Rich Pavel and John Moseley, as friends of Gus, collaborated on a board that will be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to Surfrider (at Gus' request). I brought the board to the show and Jack signed it for him and I took a photo of Jack with the board for Gus. The board will sit in Gus' living room for now - a special reminder of good things for him at this difficult time. After we spoke about Gus, Jack asked me about the Save Trestles campaign and asked me for a shirt to wear on stage that night. He ended up wearing the green one with the California flag and every time the cameraman focused in on Jack's guitar for the jumbotron, fans got a huge "Save Trestles" message. I missed the first few songs of the show since we were taking down the Village Green but Adam Topol told me that fans were shouting out Save Trestles! Jack also dedicated the third song in his set to Surfrider - such a nice shout out! OC is ground zero for the Save Trestles campaign.

A bunch of Surfrider Global folks were in attendance and it was great to see all of them, and I was glad they could see the booth in action, and could see our good friend Jack showing his support.

Santa Barbara

Left: Me and Adam Topol, Jack's drummer

Hi everyone, sorry it's been awhile since my last post. We had 2 lovely days off in Santa Barbara at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort. Elissa lives in SB, so she retrieved her car and we were mobile! We spent the 2 days hiking, running, eating and enjoying the water. On Wednesday we prepared Harder Stadium at UCSB for the 18 tent (!) Village Green (we had to rent 7 tents). There were a lot of local non-profits and student groups represented, many of which involved water related work so we were in good company. The crowd was pretty mellow and small in comparison to other venues but we talked to a lot of people and my local volunteers had a great time. During the show Jack made a lot of references to his time at UCSB, where he met Kim, and where he wrote all of his first album and part of his second.

After the show a friend drove me back to San Diego and I have my own car for the last 3 shows of the tour, which are in Irvine, San Diego and LA.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Outside Lands in San Francisco

It's been a whirlwind few days... When I awoke on Saturday morning we were only 85 miles south of Portland. It turns out we didn't leave The Gorge until almost 3 a.m., so we spent the entire day Saturday driving the remainder of the way to San Francisco. This was our "day off" after 3 back to back shows. We arrived in SF around 7:30 p.m. and managed to have a nice dinner and stroll before crashing. Sunday was the third day of the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park and Jack was headlining that night. I brought the Rise Above Plastics pledge to add to the Surfrider booth put up by the San Francisco Chapter, which had been there the 2 prior days. There was good traffic to the booth, which right next to a stage, until the bands started playing and then it became too loud to have any conversations. I think the best aspect for me was talking to Wes, the chair of the SF Chapter, about the Rise Above Plastics pledge and doing outreach at their booths using the pledge as a tool to get people to think about the issues.

Left: Pat and Dominick from Rogue Wave with Wes from the SF Chapter and Nicole from Headcount.

After Jack played later that night we boarded the bus for Santa Barbara, where we are luxuriating in 2 days before the Santa Barbara show. Tonight, Jack and Kim hosted the crew for a dinner at El Torito, a very nice way to get everyone together for a thank you. A big THANK YOU from Surfrider to the Johnsons for including Surfrider on the tour and giving us this incredible opportunity to do outreach on Rise Above Plastics. I feel privileged and grateful to be associated with such giving and wonderful people.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Gorge

We arrived early from BC at The Gorge, a concert venue out in the middle of Washington State on the Columbia River. It is a stunning setting, rivaling Red Rocks, but much much bigger. The weather was clear and dry, and Elissa and I took advantage to hike down to the river (20 minutes down and 45 back up). We were rewarded with a swim in the cool, clear river, such a treat after 3 weeks away from the ocean! We were enjoying it so much we barely made it back in time to meet our volunteers for the show.

Three volunteers from Washington staffed my booth for the afternoon: Abby, Shannon and Jared. Traffic in the both was slow due to the Village Green being located at the top of the hill, tucked into a corner of the venue few people visited. Zach Gill and Adam Topol from Jack's band came to play a set in the Village Green, which brought a temporary crowd. It's always fun to have them, and Zach uses the opportunity to encourage people to visit the non-profits and enter the drawing to sit on the stage for the show. But the weather was nice and the booth was set on soft, cushy grass, so and I think everyone enjoyed just relaxing and enjoying the show. And Jack came up for a visit, talking to my crew about their favorite surf spots in WA.

Friday, August 22, 2008

To BC and Back

We crossed into Canada with little incident, and were so pleased to see the sun come out late in the morning over Thunderbird Stadium on the U.B.C. campus. The doors opened early, at 4 p.m., so we had little free time before the volunteers arrived at 3 for training. I was lucky enough to have Adrian, chair of the Vancouver chapter, and 3 other volunteers at the booth the whole afternoon.
It was our first stop highlighting the Snowrider project and Jack was interested in hearing about that, saying that we should bring it to Colorado (great idea!). Zach Gill and Jack came up to play a show in the VG, right next our booth, which was great for booth traffic. It was a beautiful night!

Unfortunately, when we crossed the border from Canada back to the U.S. at 2 a.m., things didn't go so well... We were caravaning in 4 buses - everyone on the tour was there except for the band, which had left earlier in the evening, Immigration made everyone get out of their bunks and line up like at the airport (and then wait all together in holding while they searched the buses). 4 on our bus didn't wake up easily and we were not allowed to go back and get them. Instead, the immigration police went on the bus and tried to kick down the door to the bunk area, cursing at the sleeping 4 to open the (bleeping) door if they ever wanted to get in the USA again. The cursing and berating continued and until all 4 were off the bus and in line with the rest of us. Nice welcome back to the ole U S of A, eh?

And Then: More Rain

We arrived at Columbia Meadows outside Portland to a steady rain that continued off and on until the show started. It even rained a bit on Jack when he came out to meet the volunteers, and the scene of him huddled under his raincoat was reminiscent of his first album cover. Right after, a double rainbow appeared over the field, and everybody was awestruck.

My volunteers were Drew, the legal intern for the Portland Chapter, and Pete, State Policy Coordinator for Sufrider in Oregon, so I was well covered at the booth. At one point they asked which venue had the "crunchiest" crowd (meaning the most enviro), and I have to say it was the Portland crowd. The venue was also very green, with a large sorting/recycling station handling the waste, and volunteers stationed at waste cans to make sure people put their waste into the right bin (compost or recycling or trash).
About 2 a.m., we drove to Vancouver, B.C., crossing the Canadian border about 7 a.m. and luckily only a couple people had to go into immigration to answer questions while the rest of us slept. Not so lucky on the way back that night.... see my next entry for more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yesterday I awoke on the bus to the flat, barren landscape of western Wyoming. We had been driving since 2 a.m. from Salt Lake City. Soon we would would see the Columbia River, and the landscape would change from dry yellow to pine forests and steep hills as we entered to the Columbia River Gorge, some of the beautiful scenery on earth. It was Elissa's birthday and when everyone was up, we had a bottle of champagne and sang Happy Birthday as the bus rolled along.

Left: Christine, Elissa and Fiona

After we reached Portland (where it was raining and has continued to rain), we set out to do laundry and explore the Pearl District. We found the country's first Icebreaker store. It is all NZ wool outdoor apparel (my sister knows that brand from living in NZ) and Elissa being from Patagonia was very interested in learning about the brand and the sustainability angle. We also visited the Patagonia store in the Ecotrust building, which is their biggest. Along the way we got our laundry done and sampled some of Portland's best local coffee (Stumptown Roasters). Even though we didn't get into Portland until 2 p.m., we packed in a lot and even fit in a nice (wet) run along the waterfront before taking Elissa out for a nice birthday dinner at The Farm, a small restaurant on the other side of the river serving all local organic fare.
Today we have a wet show in St. Helens, OR. I think I am getting used to the rain.....

Blast Furnace (aka SLC)

Okay, I thought Atlanta was hot. But at the USANA Amphitheater outside of Salt Lake City, we sizzled in the desert sun, not a cloud in sight. The running joke is that "it's a dry heat", which didn't make up for the Surfrider booth facing the sun for the entire afternoon with no shade provided by the VG tents due to the setup angle. It seems the the venue encounters the heat regularly as there were sprinkler stations and shaved ice at regular intervals.

My 3 volunteers were all longtime surfers living and working in SLC. They took up the challenge of talking to as many people as possible of the concert, and had the highest number since the first stop in Toronto. Other than the hot sweaty aspect of the booth, I think they all enjoyed working at the concert and being able to represent Surfrider.

Above: Walter, Mike, me and Roger after the sun dipped below the horizon

Monday, August 18, 2008

Red Rocks and Sun

As the day started, the weather at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver looked threatening. 60-70% chance of thunderstorms which meant high winds and rain. But despite this, the day went from cool and cloudy to light winds, then full sun and windless beautiful night, with a full moon peaking through the high clouds. If you have never been to Red Rocks, it is a unique venue, with stone ledge seats set into into a steep natural rock canyon. The venue is the smallest on the tour, seating only 9,500. It sold out in 3 1/2 minutes. Our Village Green was at the very very top, on a flat terrace with views of the valley and Denver in the distance, but the climb up and down the stairs to get there, then to the bottom where the buses were (in altitude no less), was a day long workout.

Above: Red Rocks and the Village Green

I had 3 great volunteers, all Surfrider members living in the Denver area (2 are transplants from California). They were enthusiastic about being able to do something for Surfrider, since there are not many opportunities to get involved there. Jack came around to meet the volunteers (we had 9 non-profits represented!) and an hour after doors opened came and played a short set with Zach Gill and Adam Topol on a small stage in the Village Green. Visitors to the VG were rewarded! They are promoting Zach's solo album, but also trying to draw concert goers to the VG with the mini-concert.

Above: Me, Brendan, Shannon, Bart and Jack

After the show we boarded the bus bound for Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, because of the steepness of Red Rocks, all of the 6 semi trucks had to be unloaded and loaded by shuttle since they could not back up to the stage. It made for a late load out, and we are facing a late load in at SLC, which compresses the whole day. Looking forward to the day off in Portland tomorrow!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rainy Kansas

What a day! We had a nice day off in Kansas City, which consisted of a nap, a run (in the rain), dinner, and a movie (Dark Night). Alicia and Aaron Bravo from San Diego flew in and joined us for dinner with Neil Halstead, his band, Rachel (tour manager for Rogue Wave) and the movie. Alicia and Aaron have connections to the Johnsons through Kashi, Kokua and Aaron's art and were able to get backstage passes for the show, which are not available to volunteers generally. It was great to have them at the booth since they are star RAP volunteers, but also they are the only friends from home to get a real look at life on tour (with its lack of glamor!) Aaron designed the special edition concert poster for the Raleigh show and when Jack came by the booth, he asked Aaron to autograph a copy for him, and then autographed one himself for Aaron. We felt lucky with the weather: despite torrential rains early in the day (after VG setup), the skies cleared and we had warm dry weather for the show. The crowd was markedly different at this show. While they were very loud and enthusiastic for the music, they were not very engaged by the VG and we talked to fewer people than in most prior shows. There were also many more smokers (odd thing), and more people declined to give their email addresses than any other show.

Above: David, Alicia, Jack and Aaron

Our bus left the venue at 2:30 a.m. and our diligent bus driver, R.T. took us in a beeline to Boulder, where heavy rain (again!) and cold greeted us. Elissa popped over to the new Patagonia store and got me a jacket, which is a life saver since I didn't bring anything for cold weather. Boulder is great! I walked around downtown, went to bookstores and coffee shops, then went for a run on the Boulder Creek Trail as far as I could make into the mountains before I decided that I had better turn around. We are again fortunate to be staying at the nicest hotel in town, the St. Julien, and I took advantage of the excellent spa for a much needed neck and shoulder massage. We do a lot of heavy lifting and pushing of equipment and cases, and my body is not used to it!

Above: Me and Elissa at the KC show

Tomorrow we have the show at Red Rocks Amphitheater, a small venue (9,450 capacity) that sold out immediately. It is supposed to have amazing natural acoustics, and be a great place to hear bands. Should be a great show! We have show immediately after that in Salt Lake City, so it's going to be a busy couple of days....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Perfect Burrito

Hot-lanta they call it and I would have to agree. It was probably the hottest day yet and I think it made us all a bit loopy (at least Elissa and I were!) We spent the last half of teardown waxing rhapsodic about the perfect vinyl burrito (aka a folded tent canopy). We didn't have any perfect burritos tonight, but decided to take photos the next time we do have one so you all know what we are talking about. I am still the folding master but my apprentices, Elissa, Nicole and Abby (from Headcount) are getting pretty good. Stay tuned for some photos!

I had two volunteers tonight, Dave from Atlanta and Turner from the coast, and they were stoked to meet Jack before the show. There was a lot of awareness about Surfrider because of the large number of people from Florida who attended the show (where we have several Surfrider chapters).

Today is a continuation of the long bus ride from Atlanta that started at 1:30 a.m. to Kansas City. Aaron and Alicia Bravo, RAP volunteers from San Diego, are meeting me there and will be 2 of my volunteers for the KC show. Aaron designed the tour poster for Jack's Raleigh show and Alicia has worked with Jack's Kokua Foundation through her job at Kashi, so it's a perfect fit! We are planning to meet up tonight for some fun times in KC on our day off.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Nicest People

Very warm, dry weather greeted us at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater outside Raleigh. Everyone said we were lucky to have such nice weather as the humidity was low, but we were sweating plenty in the sun putting up the Village Green. The thing that distinguished this show was that people were so nice! We noticed that in Chapel Hill too when we got lost looking for the laundromat and were offered a ride from a perfect stranger, who then invited us to use his laundry and visit the bar in town that he owns (called "He's Not Here" - pretty funny). The traffic in the Village Green was pretty mellow and I had 4 volunteers from the Cape Fear chapter, so we more than covered. Sean took to standing outside the booth and pulling people in, barker style.

I had the opportunity to meet Neil Halstead (one of the opening acts for JJ right now) and his guitarist Ben and gave them both Rise Above Plastics t-shirts. Ben wore his on stage at the show last night (they were both going to wear them, but thought it would look funny!). Ben and Neil both surf in Newquay, England and were very interested to hear about Surfrider and our programs. I am hoping to get them some Save Trestles shirts to wear when they tour California this month (they leave us in SLC and go on for a solo tour). You can listen to Neil's music on his myspace page:

I woke this morning to overcast skies and rain (yippee!) as we roll into Atlanta. Rough night on the bus with bumpy roads and broken AC, so the bunks felt more like coffins with no air coming in. It is a sold out show tonight, so there is a lot of anticipation and excitement. I am looking forward to meeting my volunteers from the Coastal Georgia / Low Country Chapter.

Monday, August 11, 2008

All At Once

Please check out this link to a interview and video (check out the Youtube video and you will see me!) It is a really good explanation by the man himself about the importance of the Village Green to his tour. The interview was done in Indianapolis - scroll to the bottom of the blog for my post about the show.
Jack Johnson Article and Interview

Tarheel Country

Yesterday, the last day of the all Points West Festival, we arrived at the venue to weather reports predicting 30-60 mph winds, and of course, rain. We battened down the hatches, and braced for the bad weather, putting away anything loose but keeping up the tents and our tables and pledges and petitions. We apprehensively watched the sky all day but the wind never really materialized although we did get enough rain to thoroughly soak everything. My volunteers from the Jersey Shore and NYC chapters were troopers, sticking it out through everything. We had more traffic to the Village Green than the prior days despite the rain since on this day our All at Once Volunteers were allowed to roam the festival directing people there with the promise of the chance to sit on the stage when Jack played that night (we have a drawing every show for people who fill out the passports and turn them in. Check out for more info on how that works).

The highlight for me was watching part of the Ben Harper performance from the stage. We weren't able to get on the stage in prior days but since Jack was headlining on Sunday, our passes were good for everything that day. We got the Village Green down in time for me to watch part of Jack's show from the stage too. Matt Costa and Trey Anastasio joined him at various times for some songs, which was pretty cool. [As an aside I will mention that in taking down the Village Green, I have been tasked with folding the 10 vinyl tent tops since I have developed a knack for folding them very small and neat, making them fit in the cases much better. The tops weigh 30-40 pounds each, are 10 x 10, and folding them involves being on my hands and knees in the dirt, grass, mud, asphalt or whatever surface we happened to set up on.]

Today we awoke cruising down the interstate in North Carolina! I was so tired I fell asleep on the bus before we even departed Jersey City, so it was kind of a shock to wake to the green, rolling scenery. We are staying in Chapel Hill, next to the University of North Carolina campus, in the historic Carolina Inn. The town is quiet at the moment since school has not started, which is probably better for our "rest" day. Today is all about laundry and getting some exercise. Elissa, my roommate from Patagonia/Vote the Environment, went off to find a pool - a great thing to do today since it is about 80 degrees and sunny. Having been outside all day in the elements for the last 5 days straight has left me craving some quiet time inside, so I am catching up on emails and this blog.
Tomorrow we have the show in Raleigh, then drive to Atlanta for a show the next night.

I am going to enjoy this rest day!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

All Points West Festival Preview

So we were dropped off in Secaucus, New Jersey on Friday at 4 a.m. for a couple hours of sleep before we went to the All Points West festival in Jersey City to set up the Village Green. Even though Jack would not play until Sunday, the powers that be decided that it would be a good idea to have the VG there all 3 days. We were sent a car with a driver who was not from the area and got lost taking us back so that we arrived with only an hour to set up, so we were a bit crazed (and sweaty) throwing up 10 tents in the beating sun! The setting is very nice though, with the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop. I had great local volunteers from the Jersey Shore and NYC chapters, but we didn't have much foot traffic being a bit tucked away on the edge of the festival grounds. Plus people were not thinking about JJ, they had Radiohead on the brain, as RH were headlining Friday and Saturday night. Then about 4 p.m. a rain and windstorm came through that threatened to blow the whole Village Green into NY Harbor, so we quickly tore the whole thing down and packed it away. Which means, of course that we had to put it up again this morning....

Foot traffic for the Village Green on Saturday was not much better. On Sunday we move to a more central location, and the drawing for seats on the stage will pull in a lot of people.

We did get to see some good bands though, and saw Radiohead 2x. Other highlights for me were Kings of Leon and Sia.

Oh, and I unintentionally left my phone of the tour bus so that it went to Baltimore with the crew for the Virgin Festival. I hope it took some photos for me. My apologies to anyone who has called or texted me in the last 2 days - I won't have it back until tomorrow.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

South Jersey Sun

Last night we drove from Mansfield to South Jersey, arriving at 8 a.m. to bright sunny skies and plenty of humidity. The bus ride sleep wasn't too bad for me, as I got the tip to try a Tylenol PM before setting off. Sleep has been spotty because of many nights on the bus, but the food continues to be stellar so I really can't complain!

My volunteers were from the South Jersey Chapter of Surfrider and were very experienced booth volunteers, which was great for me. They added to the booth a petition to ban plastic bags from Ocean City, NJ, a concept/cause near and dear to my heart, and got almost 200 signatures. Once again, Jack came out to meet the volunteers and they were thrilled. At their request I asked him to sign a few Surfrider t-shirts for them to raffle and of course he was more than happy to oblige. Since I had Jack for a few minutes while signing I was able to update him on the folks in Minnesota working on forming a chapter as a result of his concert and he said that it made him feel really good to know that the concert brought them together.

Tonight we drive two hours north to be dropped off in Jersey City, across the river from NYC, to spend 3 days of Village Green at the All Points West Festival. The caterers, together with our bus, head to Baltimore for the Virgin Mobile Festival where Jack is playing before they come back to APW for Sunday's show (Jack is the headliner).

This morning I got a chance to talk to the guys from Rogue Wave and their manager, Rachel, about our Save Trestles campaign and they jumped right on board, knowing the fate of California's state parks is at stake. That's them in the photo. Thanks guys!

See ya all in a few days.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mansfield, Mass

Tonight was my first show in location with a Surfrider chapter, the Massachusetts chapter, which covers the whole coastline. I had three great volunteers and we got a chance to talk a bit about core volunteer training and other things we do in the San Diego chapter that might help their chapter. We talked to over 300 people, which was a good number for a venue of this size.
Of course, the tour would not be complete without a few days of rain and today it poured on us while we were setting up. Thankfully it cleared by doors and Jack came out to meet the volunteers, always a highlight. JC, the merchandise king and one of my busmates, was beside himself as he met Tom Brady and Giselle backstage, where they were hanging out. Kind of like me meeting Eddie Vedder at Bonnaroo (except he got his photo taken with them!) My only celebrity sighting this leg so far was Frodo backstage in Montreal.

I caught the biodiesel truck fueling up the semis and included a photo of it for all of you out there interested in the greening of Jack' tour.

And for an update from my volunteers in Minnesota, check out Graeme Thickens' blog entry. I am so stoked that they connected and are moving on this!

Tonight we move on to Camden, New Jersey for another sold out show!


Day Off in Beantown

Yesterday we had a day off in Boston before 5 show days in a row. The weather cooperated and it was warm and dry and not humid at all. I had been to Boston in 1993 for the collegiate national championships for cycling, but I didn't get to see much of the city that time. We did a bit of a walking tour, visited Paul Revere's grave and looked for ice cream. Also, Elissa, from Patagonia, joined the tour to represent Vote the Environment, and it's great to have her on board.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Ooh la la Montreal!

Today we played the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal, which was set in a park across the St. Lawrence River. The lineup before Jack played was great, and included Rogue Wave, the Black Keys, MGMT and Gogo Bordello. I had 5 local Surfrider members from Montreal for volunteers and they were all fantastic: Caroline, who worked all day from 11:30 to 8:30 (superstar), Stephanie, Krista, Cathy and Gren, who worked in shifts. Thankfully, they all spoke French very well (Caroline is from France), as most people who visited the booth were French speakers. From the volunteers I found out about a standing wave on the St. Lawrence River that people surf (a naturally occurring standing wave), but the river is very polluted. We talked about ways to try to address pollution based on lessons we learned in fighting urban runoff and discharges in San Diego.

The venue was a bit smaller, but we still reached a lot of people. The people were really nice - I can't wait to come back to Montreal!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Burl's Creek Takes Off

A big general admission crowd tonight. The new lineup includes Neil Halstead and Rogue Wave. Mason Jennings came back for one night and I talked to him about Trestles and he was happy to have his photo taken with my Save Trestles sign. At the show we had two tables which we manned with just two local, enthusiastic volunteers and we talked to more people than any domestic show so far! (over 400). Tonight we drive to Montreal and jump right out to build the Village Green as doors open to the public at 1 p.m. We are all exhausted from a long day with the prospect of another long day ahead of us, but it's great to be back with the crew bringing the message to the fans.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chillin' in Toronto

Hi Everyone, Elizabeth here. I re-joined the tour yesterday at the airport in Toronto and we made our way out to the Horseshoe Ranch in Oro, which is about an hour north, and closer to the venue. It was great to reconnect with everyone and get the different perspectives of the European leg of the tour. Today was a "tech day" during which everyone unpacked containers that came back from Europe and partially set up for the concert tomorrow. This is the first concert ever for this venue, which is basically a big field reminiscent of Bonnaroo. It seemed a little backwoods but the caterers were back at it, feeding us all very well with locally grown food, prepared with a gourmet flourish. For the Village Green crew it was a quiet day, just making sure everything made its way back. Tomorrow is a big day (27,000 tickets sold!) followed the next day by the Osheaga Festival in Montreal. Stay tuned!