Ghosts of New York and the Breakdown

When we left off we had just woke up in Detroit and were about to leave for Rochester, New York to play the Abilene Bar and Lounge. It was a fairly long day of driving but we were relieved once we arrived. Once we got there we did our routine of unloading, setting up and chatting with the bar tender. It was pretty empty when we got there and we learned that there was yet another major music festival happening and they weren't really anticipating too much of a turn out. We were OK with that this was to be another first for Swamp Rats. We had never played in Rochester let alone New York.

We had some time to hang out for a little while so we made some CDs and relaxed for a bit. The venue has 2 floors. The men's room was downstairs while the women's was on the 2nd. Andy had to use the little girls room and ventured on up to do so. About half way up the stairs she heard a door close and figured there was another person upstairs who shared the same urge to use the restroom as Andy did. She went up, waited a minute and knocked on the door. No answer. So she went for the door knob and realized no one was in there and that the door was far to heavy for it to close via a draft or strong wind. Not to say there was any kind of draft in the place. She was kind of freaked out at this point and after using the bathroom went back downstairs where the bar was and asked the bar tender how old the building was.

The bar tender replied without skipping a beat as though he had been asked this before. The building was built in the early 1800s, if memory serves correctly. It was first a build that housed women of ill repute. It was a speak easy in a sense. Then it was a battered women's shelter for many years and then a gay bar for about thirty years before its current owners turned into the Abilene as it's known today. We then asked if there was very many unexplained occurrences. He said there is some weird going ons at least once a week from things moving on their own to seeing people in the bar after the doors have been closed and locked for the night.

All in all it was a fascinating and rather successful night. People did end up coming out and we met some cool people. One person we actually met through a mutual friend in Florida and we ended up crashing at her place for the night. Which, again, was greatly appreciated. Our next show was to be in a little town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Not much to say other than it too was a good show and was set up by a friend in a band called the Hoffman Road Band. Many thanks to them of course. After that we broke down and had to cancel the rest of our tour dates. Long story short we eventually made it back home to Florida and are now working on a new album.