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The Spin I’m In: Mutual Respect of Omaha



“Memory/Lonely Planet Boy”
New York Dolls

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Sometimes on the road a rock band is given the rock star treatment from the fans and the occasional bartender at a club. Most times on the road you are treated like the set up to a Rodney Dangerfield joke, no respect. Simply asking an innkeeper where to get breakfast after 10 am, one is viewed as a morally questionable degenerate. “Breakfast??? Well it is 10:15″ the desk clerk says with a condescending, superior tone. “Well I did work until 2:00 am last night” I retort with my frustrated, pre coffee, sarcastic tone.

No one is treated shabbily at the oasis of Midwestern hospitality, the Comfort Inn- At the Zoo of Omaha. All three of the bands on this tour stayed there and we were all treated so great that we were referring to the experience as “bizzarro world.” Each band was delivered a tray of fresh baked cookies to there rooms, “we thought you all might want a snack after soundcheck.” Even the maid was trying to help out although we weren’t the culprits: “you know, it doesn’t bother me, but if you smoke the ganja could you put a towel under the door? Some of the guests mentioned a skunk smell’. She said this as she was spraying Fabreze on the bottom of each door in the hallway. At first I thought that the women working there were just wildly running amok with kindness while the boss was away. But then I met the very straight looking manager and he was equally as gracious and accommodating. There must be something in the water in that place.

The first night of our stay was our night off. My band was waiting for a cab for over half an hour when one of the desk clerks said “oh I’ll just take you into town” and off we went with her basket of clean laundry in the back seat. When all the bands got back to the motel from a night of bar hopping, they let us continue to party in the lobby and swim in the indoor pool. I have toured for many years and I’ve never had this kind of treatment. We were making mini screwdrivers with the orange juice machine that they provide for the continental breakfast. The most touching moment came when the night clerk made everyone biscuits and gravy for “breakfast” at 3:00 am. She told us that she lost one of her sons to suicide and that her other boy was serving in Iraq. She said it made her feel good to take care of us. Thank you Comfort Inn At the Zoo of Omaha. Your kind is how the heartland got its name.

It’s been great seeing you Firepups at our shows with The Donnas and American Bang! Click here for our tour schedule to see if we’re playing a city near you. And remember, say the password “I am a Firepup” at the t-shirt stand and get a free Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments sticker and half price off of a t-shirt. See you there!

(This week’s playlist is courtesy of Donita’s bass player Dat Ngo, enjoy! – ed.)


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Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her first solo record, Transmiticate, has been released nationwide and a US tour is booked for Spring and Summer 2008. Donita is also the co-founder and front person of the rock band L7 who have released six studio albums.

Her original scores can be heard in the upcoming feature film The Life of Reilly starring Charles Nelson Reilly and in online projects for Activision and Microsoft. In 1991 Sparks and L7 formed Rock For Choice with the Feminist Majority Foundation staging numerous concerts benefiting pro-choice organizations.
Donita has been a contributing writer at Firedoglake since July 2006 with her music column The Spin I’m In.