The whirlwind that was The Distinguished Gentlemen Tour
The seed of a dream started with Billy Bazar, a comedian and promoter, to return to his childhood hometown to perform for his family and friends. Over two years ago he talked to me about doing a little tour there and back. So over the last two years there were talks, discussions, plans, and hopes, but nothing ever panned out. Until this year. And I can say that the reason, over the course of the tour became obvious, we NEEDED Ryan Green to start doing comedy and join us.
So every year Billy and I would talk about a tour that would run out to South Carolina and back. Having family in Mississippi I thought it would be fun to be able to do some shows there as well. And every year something would keep it from happening. So, when earlier this year Billy started discussing it again, I went along, not expecting it to come through yet again. So imagine my surprise when mid-summer Billy comes to me with dates, locations, and a plan. That was farther than the discussions had ever gone before. The Distinguished Gentlemen Tour was now occurring, and we had the added gentlemen in the form of Ryan.
So the planning began. As with any event that takes multiple steps of planning and requires the coordination of many people in many parts of the country, there were ups and downs. We had venues cancel on us (even up to the last minute.) We had contacts flake, which surprisingly enough it was NOT only comedians who flaked. But we continued and pushed forward.
To have a product to sell, in an attempt to increase income for road expenses, we decided to make a DVD of The Distinguished Gentlemen. We filmed at our home club, to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude, The Loony Bin in Tulsa. Had a great turn out, and I think this was the first time it became real to each of the three of us. This is happening. And this was when we began getting support from our fellow comedians, because it began to be real to them as well.
As September approached, we began making final travel plans. To raise initial funds we went to the original crowd funding idea… we threw a kickoff show. Between tickets and some DVD sales we were ready to hit the road.
Eight shows, in seven days, in seven states began on Sunday September 20th, 2015. Three thousand plus miles later, after stops in Joplin MO, Fayetteville AR, Memphis TN, Oxford MS, Birmingham AL, Raleigh NC, and Summerville (Charleston) SC, we are home.
Over the next several posts I will share some of the highlights, and lowlights of the tour. Just know, if you are one of those who reads the last page of a novel… well you need to learn patience. However, I will say that in this story none of the main characters die (at least not physically, there was some stage death.)
More to come.
For more info on how you can download your own copy of The Distinguished Gentlemen DVD keep an eye on this page. Digital Download coming.