I’d like to start off by apologizing for my absence last week. After deciding to boycott all things Arizona from Bootleg City, I realized I’d never seen the old London Bridge, which is located, naturally, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. (Since it’s not from the United States, does that mean it’s going to be deported?)
I made travel arrangements so I’d be back by Friday, but shortly after crossing the border, I stopped at an all-night Del Taco for a midnight snack, where I was promptly arrested by local police for suspicion of being Mexican. I argued that no self-respecting citizen of that country would be caught dead eating at Del Taco — its cuisine barely qualifies as Mexican, much less as food — but the cops weren’t buying it.
I was allowed one phone call in jail, so I dialed the one person who I knew would take my call — my nemesis, Matt Wardlaw. Since he’s always looking for an argument, he never lets his phone go straight to voice-mail, unlike all of my friends, family members, underlings in the mayor’s office, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, potential ex-girlfriends, potential ex-wives, reporters, fellow mayors, religious leaders, wholesale beer and wine distributors, Salma Hayek, etc.
In exchange for bailing me out, I agreed to let Matt write a chapter of my upcoming autobiography in which “I” confess that I’ve been waxing my head every month since 2007 so I can look more like him. It was a hard pill to swallow — though preferable to some of the other things I was invited to swallow in that holding cell — but I had to get back to Bootleg City.
This week’s featured concert is once again brought to you by musician David Ragland. Scott Miller opened for Patty Griffin at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona, on April 13, but who is Scott Miller? I drove to Knoxville, Tennessee, to find out …
Me: Do you know why I stopped you, sir?
Scott: Are you a cop?
Me: No, sir, I’m a mayor. I bought that siren at a yard sale. Cool, huh?
Scott: You’re a— I’m sorry, what did you say?
Me: Sir, I’ll ask the questions, if you don’t mind. Now, are you the Scott Miller from Game Theory and the Loud Family?
Scott: No, that’s another Scott Miller.
Me: Excuse me?
Scott: That’s another musician. I was in a band called the V-Roys back in the ’90s. Wait, are you from ASCAP? Because I did report the other Scott Miller’s royalty checks. I didn’t cash them, if that’s what this is about.
Me: I’ll need to see some identification, sir. And a complete discography.
Scott: Okay. Here’s my driver’s license. And here’s my iPod.
Me: I see … mm-hmm … alright, your story checks out, Mr. Miller. Now tell me — what was it like opening for Patty Griffin?
Scott: She’s great. A terrific songwriter and performer, and a sweet lady all around.
Me: Songwriter? I think you’re confused, Mr. Miller. She’s a comedian.
Scott: No, I think you’re confused.
Me: What’d you say to me, boy?
Scott: I said … I said I think I’m confused. Because you’re absolutely right — she is a comedian.
Me: I hear tell she’s on “the D list.”
Me: It’d be a shame if the D stands for “deportation.”
Scott: I don’t think— I mean, yes, it’s possible. Anything’s possible … May I go now?
Me: Yes, you’re free to go. But remember—
Scott: I’ll bring those royalty checks to the nearest ASCAP office as soon as possible. I promise.
Me: And say hi to Patty for me. Her jokes about her plastic surgery are hilarious, but you can barely tell her eyeballs are fake.
I Made a Mess of This Town
[interlude: Scott’s accent]
Daddy Raised a Boy
[interlude: Scott hates babies]
For Jack Tymon
[interlude: “Scott Miller Hates Me”]
Freedom’s a Stranger
[interlude: a great West Virginian]
Let You Down
[interlude: video deal]
May the Lord Watch for Thee