2–7-08 The Main­te­nance Shop, Ames, IA poster by Ron Donovan

2/7/08 Moonalice poster by Ron DonovanFeb­ru­ary 7, 2008 The Main­te­nance Shop, Ames, Iowa
Moon­al­ice poster by Ron Dono­van

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, the famed ballplayer-turned-evangelist Billy Sun­day was not a mem­ber of the tribe. Well, duh. Billy was a big time pro­po­nent of Pro­hi­bi­tion. Obvi­ously not a Moon­al­ice. But Billy hailed from Ames, Iowa, which is the home of Iowa State Uni­ver­sity and birth­place of Peter Schick­ele, PDQ Bach. We’ve never met Mr. Bach, but we’ve heard his music. It pos­i­tively reeks of Moonalice.

Moon­al­ice leg­end also holds that qual­ity con­trol is of para­mount impor­tance. The tribe has long believed in the power of test­ing its prod­ucts, often at the gath­er­ings known as gigs. In the years since the pro­hi­bi­tion of hemp, the tribe has sought to diver­sify its test­ing ser­vices. We dis­cov­ered that tribe mem­bers in Ames are part of that diver­si­fi­ca­tion. Ames is home to the National Ani­mal Dis­ease Cen­ter, where “all Amer­i­can Mad Cow Dis­ease sam­ples are tested, among other things.” Moon­al­ice tribe mem­bers know what those “other things” are. Every­one knows that the best way to mol­lify a grumpy cow is to feed her some prime hemp buds. Works every time.

The band’s jour­ney to Ames is a new chap­ter in the leg­end … or a pos­si­ble sequel to Spinal Tap. We left Dav­en­port after the gig in a bus with no snow tires and a dri­ver from Florida who didn’t like win­ter dri­ving. We got on High­way 80, went a cou­ple miles and stopped. Black ice. The dri­ver didn’t want to go on. We pulled off the road in the lovely town of Wal­cott and spent the night at a Day’s Inn. By the time we got to Ames — only 193 miles from Dav­en­port — it was 3:30 the fol­low­ing after­noon. Tea Leaf Green, which left Dav­en­port twelve hours after we did, arrived only five min­utes behind us. It didn’t mat­ter. The gig was awesome.


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