Do you know what’s fun? Besides having that dream where you’re fighting ponytail guy in the tippy tops of the bamboo forest in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”? Playing with Reel Big Fish. That was a lot of fun. That happened this past Tuesday at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis. Holy shit! Did you know that there are trains running right in the middle of Minneapolis? Trains! What is this? Trainsylvania? Atlanta? Anyhoo…Mill City Nights is located across the street (and, spoiler alert, train tracks) from Epic. We played Epic once and I was so sick that I exited stage right mid-song, threw up, returned and sang the rest of the song. If that is not the gleaming paragon of Midwestern work ethic, then I quit. Where was I? Trains! We were supposed to have jet cars or at the very least ghost chariots by now. Trains are so 1864. Do you know what else is so 1864? Eric Johnson. For those of you who get all of your 3 Minute Hero news solely through the website or hastily printed handbills, you may want to sit down: I have news of great import. First of all, everybody is OK. Second of all, after 19 years, I have attained the post of First Chair Trombone, so, suck it nerds. Thirdly, Eric Johnson has quit the band in order to work on his model railroad. It is, and I speak from experience, an amazing specimen. It’s an HO gauge layout that depicts a fictionalized Milwaukee of the mid-1950’s. It is beautiful and all of the surviving members of 3 Minute Hero wish him luck on this most noble of callings. Our parting request is that when he has finished this life’s masterwork, he will invite all of us to his inner sanctum. His hair, flecked with gray and curling out from beneath his engineer’s cap will speak of his years spent in solitude, hunched over boxcars and buildings, creating a universe of his own making. When he sweeps the curtain with his hand to reveal the decades of work, we, the remaining members of 3 Minute Hero, will say in a monotone unison, “We all thought you were crazy to quit the band in order to follow your dream of making an HO gauge replica of 1950’s Milwaukee, but clearly, you were right: this is amazing. This is perfect.” And having witnessed perfection, we will disappear in a puff of smoke that will at once seem too small, yet cause Eric to cough violently for days.
Good luck Eric. That was a lot of fun.