Dateline (Phoenix) - November, 2005 - The world renowned rock stars from the town of Pittsburgh
took their show on the road as they began the Southwest leg of their seven-day, round the country
tour. Known locally for their firebrand stage antics and strong melodies they introduced this cow town
to a world of feverish, female, family, frolicking follies! Hitting the town at the speed of sound they
traversed the Southwest triangle of beauty in fashion, fun and with a hint of angst.
I, as their roadie, was designated to introduce them to the area, play chauffeur, keep them entertained
and set up gigs at the local establishments. My personal assistant, Diane, would see to their diets and
personal comfort. This would be no picnic as the Sisters were known to be demanding rock stars who
craved action and edge of their seat adventure. They dined only in style and a long-list of their
demands included frequent requests for lobster, lobster, lobster!
If you have been hiding under your covers awaiting the apocalypse and haven't been exposed to the
liberal media lately you may have missed the girl band from the foothills of the 'Burgh. They have
swept the nation with their classical sounds of backbeat rock 'n roll mixed with Irish brogue lyricism in a
Pittsburgh dialect. The Sisters of Stone topped the charts with their smash single, "Yinz Can't Red Up
a Room" (You All Cannot Clean a Room) and followed that up with a B-Side single that went platinum
in just six weeks called, "Ders a Winda at My Haas" (There is a Window at My House). The albums
with their stunning covers, that catch the Sisters in exotic locales, have become keepsakes to all that
have become entranced by their mesmerizing beauty.
The Sisters are known only by their nicknames and it affords them a certain amount of anonymity as
they pass their days in quiet solitude in the hidden areas of their hometown, their beloved Pittsburgh.
Molly Mophead, the eldest of the family, leads the trio and often moves effortlessly from the Society
pages to the Editorial pages. With her political grandstanding on issues as diverse as George Bush's
rapid descent into madness to pushing a single-payer healthcare system for all to a budget campaign
that seeks to hold corporations accountable for their greediness, she uses her stature to rub elbows
with movers and shakers of the political stratum. This human dynamo has raised six children, gone to
jail for her beliefs and has seen most of the earth. Her soaring arias have brought houses down from
Dublin to Frisco.
JoJo Starbux, the alto of the trio, takes a more reserved view of life in the confines of her leafy estate
in the rolling expanses to the south of Pittsburgh. Becoming quite the world traveler in her own right,
she has played Vegas as a solo act, teamed with her other sisters in Frisco and finds the quiet dignity
of being a grandmother ever exhilarating. Taking her nickname from the establishment that fuels her
achievements, she laughs with the best of them and wears her heart on her sleeve.
Then there is Party Barbie. Her constant requests to "Turn up the volume!" are known internationally.
The free-spirit of the group, she has been known to take foolhardy chances and the tabloids are
replete with her antics. Her love of Elvis has brought a decided edge to the songs of the Sisters and
she is always willing to try something new. The dancer of the trio she lights up the stage with the
light-footed pirouettes of a ballerina and her jigs of jazzercise. No one contains her and no one
maintains her. Damn the torpedoes, she's got a dance to do!
So it is with all of these thoughts in my head, fears actually, that I arrive at the airport to pick up these
Wild Women who have come West. . .
I arrive minutes early only to find that their jet has landed early. I mad-dashedly rush about looking for
them through a trail of groupies, espresso cups and flashing photographers. I spot them at the
carousel looking disheveled and with a bit of exhaustion in their eyes. But they are ready! I can sense
the whirlwind that was gathering around me and about to whisk me away on an adventure that will live
in memory forever. "Hello, I'm Daniel from the SteelCactus Entertainment Group here to show you
around and to see to your every whim." The Sisters loved that opening. "Okay, Danny Boy, grab
these bags and take us to Scottsdale for some shopping!" So off we went! After cramming their 32
metric tons of luggage into the SteelCactus limo we drove to the fashionable arts district of Old Town
Scottsdale, or as we locals call it, Snotsdale. On the way, I pointed out the beauty of Camelback
Mountain, the Papago Mountain Range and where their beloved Steelers lost Super Bowl XXX (ASU
Stadium). They seemed particularly amazed by the flora and fauna of the area. "What are those
green telly poles?" "Those aren't telly poles, they are Saguaro Cacti. They live hundreds of years
and take over 75 years just to grow an arm." "Hmm...so the Steelers lost here? Impossible!" After an
exhausting stretch of shopping I managed to finagle their dozens of bags of loot into the limo. They
particularly liked the turquoise jewelry that is so prevalent here and they spent untold fortunes
throughout the week replenishing their stage jewelry of necklaces, rings and earrings.
It was then they informed me that it was Party Barbie's birthday! Oh, oh! This meant the girls had
other things on their mind than leisurely sightseeing and ho-hum conversation about prickly plants. I
had to ramp this party up and find a way to endear myself to these superstars who had the world on a
yo-yo line. Famished, it was time to introduce them to the local cuisine. So I took them to a low-profile
Mexican Restaurant in the heart of Scottsdale. We ate in virtual obscurity on the patio as they feasted
and then gorged themselves on Mexican desserts. Party Barbie had her ice cream and cake for her
birthday and I knew they appreciated not being mobbed by fans. But it wouldn't be long before the
whole town was aware of their presence.
It was a time for celebration so I figured, what the hey? I took them to the town that knows how to
party, Tempe! This frolicking college town had a reputation for hoedowns and hootenannies and it
was here that they got their last view of home. We traveled to the soon to be world famous, PA
Connection Eatery & Bar right on Mill Avenue. We downed Iced Teas and pops, as they call them,
while admiring the dÃ©cor of Pittsburgh memorabilia. Or, at least I thought they were admiring it. "Hey
Danny Boy! We see enough of this crap at home! Do you think we flew 1,800 miles to see Pittsburgh
again?! I didn't know we were done with our round-trip! C'mon, where's the hotspots in this too hot
Okay ladies, Tempe is a cornucopia of mayhem. Let's mill around on Mill Avenue and we are bound to
find something. So we hit the street and soon find that there are 10-foot guitars everywhere in some
kind of charity event. "Hey JoJo, didn't you used to play a Stratocaster like that?" After finding that
most of the happenings happen at night, they are soon bored. We then run into some pierced street
urchins who recognize the Sisters. The urchins try to hit them up for some money for a bottle of
whiskey. "At least they're honest," Mophead says. "In Pittsburgh, the try to hit you up for Steeler
Tiring, I try to make an early night of it by telling them that I have to go home to feed the dog. "Well we
want to see how the other half lives anyhow." So we drive to my house in Peoria. Peoria, Arizona not
the more famous city in Illinois. They arrive at my humble abode and comment on how clean it is.
Little do they know that I spent two weeks cleaning for just such an occassion. Then they meet my
dog, Layla. Any one who has met my dog knows that international superstars and my dog don't mix.
Layla is 19 pounds of holy terror. This is enough to keep the visit short. They did have time to admire
my Pittsburgh Shrine. JoJo says, "You have been to Pittsburgh haven't you? Like what kind of kook
keeps this stuff?" After a few more rounds with Layla, JoJo & Party Barbie decide to stay at the
five-star resort down the street. Mophead loves it though. She decides to stay in my guest room in
the hopes that Diane will cook her lobster.
Before I take the other two to the resort, I offer to buy them dinner in honor of Party Barbie's birthday.
Expense accounts are great, but I don't have one. We let her choose and she decides on the Texas
Roadhouse Grill on 83rd. Mophead groans as she knows this means no lobster. After we eat, JoJo
asks, "Okay, we've eaten at a Mexican restaurant, gone to a Pennsylvania pub and now have eaten at
a Texas Roadhouse, doesn't Arizona have its own food? I tell them that we grow shrimp in irrigation
ditches here and it suppose to be really good. Mophead says, "They don't grow lobster here, huh?"
The next day I inform them that I got them a gig at the Grand Canyon! Mophead has seen it but the
other two haven't and they are very excited. So we get an early start and I take them via Wickenburg
and Prescott, er, the long way. We stop in this darling little restaurant in Wickenburg for breakfast.
Wickenburg is an old mining town that now makes it way now as a tourist trap and dude ranch. They
do have the "Jail Tree" where they use to tie up prisoners before they started putting them in tents.
The girls love the cozy, little restaurant as it reminds them of the tea houses in London. We are
served by old ladies, I mean, older ladies. Then it is off to Prescott.
In Prescott, the original capital of Arizona Territory, I manage to talk the manager of the oldest bar into
letting the girls sing one of their hits for his patrons. Of course these people only know Johnny Cash
but soon they are hootin' & hollerin' after the girls finish their hit song, "Gumban Blues." We take in
the scene along the famous "Whiskey Row" and Mophead shows them all that she is a tough customer
when it comes to towns without lobster.
After an extended trip through the backwater part of the state. Well really, it is all back and there is no
water. We arrive at the magnificent, stunning, wonder of the world, The Grand Canyon! The Sisters
are awe-inspired. They immediately start working on a melody to capture their emotion. "Mahnt
Warshington of the West." It'll be on their next album. They are loving this until I tell them we have to
hike down to the gig. "What!" I tell them we can take the jack asses down to it if they want. Party
Barbie is up for it but the other two decide that we are walking. Once we get there we find it is only a
hole in the wall. The girls are not happy. I turn the gig down and we head back to Phoenix.
We stop in Flagstaff to get dinner at Malone's and are mobbed by fans. The girls sign hundreds of
autographs. They are good like that. After an exhausting day, I begin the long drive back and finally
snap. Their demands are demanding and if Diane doesn't start coming along for these road trips, and
lobster, and shopping, and etc. Arrrrrgh! GET OUT! In the middle of nowhere, I tell them to get out!
They are stunned. I soon come to my senses and tell them that I just wanted them to see the stars.
They buy it and I promise myself not lose it anymore. Well...not like Greg did in Ireland.
The next day I promised them something a little more relaxing. We hung out by the pool at the resort
and made small talk with the swarming admirers. But this is all very boring for Party Barbie. She spots
a waterslide on the property and convinces me to go with her down it. Against my better judgement, I
begin my descent with a swoosh and am soon going a 150-mph down a soaked tube! Flopping like a
carp in Pymatuming, I scream like a twelve-year old girl at a Menudo concert! I splash down in the
artic waters with a thud and immediately have flashbacks to the movie Titanic! Party Barbie does this
I had enough relaxation for today. We have a gig at the Arizona State Fair & Livestock Show and it is
time to get going. We wonder around it and marvel at the pigs, cows and sheep before buying the
worst food imaginable. The girls love it though. JoJo gets a hotdog on a stick, Party Barbie has pizza
and Mophead and Diane actually eat a Spam sandwich. I decide to starve myself so I won't throw up
on the Carousel. At the gig though, they, of course, bring down the Coliseum with their rendition of,
"There Ain't No Primanti's Here."
We head back to my place and Diane cooks them a seven-course Pittsburgh meal. I know Mophead is
starting to stew because she hasn't had her lobster yet but she is very nice to Diane in spite of this
slight. I put a movie on to watch. I accommodate them with a chick flick, "The Joy Luck Club." It was
that or "Rambo III." Party Barbie puts a hurting on my bar and passes out.
I pick up the girls with Diane the next day and tell them we have three gigs to do. They are revved up
and we hit the first place, Mystery Castle. It is a large stone home made out of recycled bric-a-brac.
The old lady who runs it can't stand the noise and asks us to leave. We take a tour instead. JoJo
plays a Van Halen solo just to piss her off. Then we head down to South Mountain Park. It is a huge
park, largest municipal park in the country, in the south of Phoenix and they play at Scorpion Gulch.
The crowd is a bit thin and the Sisters ask that we drive up to Antennae Hill and see the city from its
peak. It is high there and my nose bleeds. I tell them not to get discouraged with how the gigs are
going so far, we are doing Cooperstown!
Cooperstown is Alice Cooper's Bar downtown filled with memorabilia of sports and rock stars and there
is sure to be a crowd there. The girls are excited when the SteelCactus limo pulls up and they are
rushed by their fans. They arrive in true rock star fashion and the Sisters of Stone Fan Club President
is there to greet them. They sign guitars to be mounted on the wall and groupies are dying to be
photographed with them. This is when they realize how much greater this would be if the fourth sister,
Chatty Cathy could had made the trip. Home, recuperating, she was greatly missed! They ran the
gamut of their hits and even played some of their old classics, such as, "Streetcars Don't Go to
'Sliberty" and "Dirty 'Ol DahnTahn."
Diane and I took Molly Mophead back home after the exhausting performance but Party Barbie
elbowed JoJo into going to the Resort bar for more hooliganism. There they found a couple groupies
from the hometown and straight guy from Frisco who tried to put the handy dandy on the Party girl.
After a few well chosen words and a bitch slap he got the message. The paparazzi was there to
capture the incident and she ended up in the tabloids again. It's all publicity, right?
Up and at 'em! Today we head for the big gig in San Diego. I grease up the Sisters and squeeze
them in the back of the limo and we are off. We have breakfast at the Alien Cafe in Gila Bend, Colonel
Gary's favorite place. Soon we are past the dunes and the amazing boulders of Fred Flintstone's
workplace (Has to be seen to be believed). After 5.5 hours we reach the beach! They freeze their
feet in the Pacific and get hit on by some surfers. I remind them it is time for lobster! Soon, we are
seated in the world famous Anthony's on the Bay gorging lobster and other deep sea delicacies.
Mophead is in heaven! We tour the magnificent long ships and a Russian submarine. Any trip to San
Diego must include shopping at the "Del," as Mophead calls it. It is better known as the Hotel del
Coronado. The movie, "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis was filmed here and its
luxurity is known world wide. Scouting locations for their first featured film, this goes to the top of the
list. Soon they are shopping with wreckless abandon. Saving them from financial ruin, I tell them to
We head back to their exclusive engagement at the Sheraton Lounge. Tickets to this fabulous event
were being scalped at $1,200! There were two people in attendance.
Frazzled and dazzled by the previous days' events, I decide to give everyone a break with a nice,
relaxing tour of San Diego Bay. Due to the massive crowd of fans at the dock the Naval Security gives
us an escort. We see the aircraft carriers, the seals and an incredible view of the city. Party Barbie
did a dance for the crew and the girls did an impromptu performance of their smash hit, "'Tis Slippy
Near the Spicket." (It Is Slippery Near the Faucet).
After riding through the Gas Lamp District we head to Old Town for, what else, more shopping! Molly
Mophead almost brains a shyster for pulling the bait and switch on a hammock. Of course, the
paparazzi captures this moment too. Don't those people ever run out of film? We eat at an outdoors
Mexican Restaurant while the crowd points and whispers. Then it is a dark ride back to Phoenix. We
play word games just to keep me awake. (Pat Paulsen!)
Next to the last day! I pick up the Sisters and we head to the most beautiful place in America, as rated
by USA Today, Sedona! On the way we stop by Rock Springs for some silly photos, pass by Moore's
Gulch, speed thru Dead Man's Wash, point at Bad Ass Acres, and take a turn at Horsethief Basin. We
make a brief stop at Montezuma's Castle for photos and then head to Oak Creek where we stop at the
Holy Cross Chapel. Built into a side of a mountain, it is a must see in Sedona. There, Party Barbie
spots an eagle and a Madonna & Child made of stone. She is convinced that some Indian climbed up
there and carved them. I assure her that the wind and rain caused these anomalies, but now I'm not
so sure. We head into town and see Bell Rock, Coffee Pot Rock and Snoopy sleeping on his
doghouse in the rock formations. I swear! We were not smoking crack!
The girls do, guess what!, more shopping! They give me plenty of time to smoke cigarettes. We get
ice cream while soaking up the beauty of the area on a porch made for a concert. "No! We are
done! They scream." "Alright, I guess I'll forgo this ten percent." I tell them it is time for a surprise.
"We are going four-wheeling through the back country! So strap in those puppies and get ready for a
bounce!" Party Barbie is ready, "Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaw!" Molly Mophead has her reservations, but
their for more lobster. JoJo just wants to know do I have AAA, a spare tire, cellphone and a GPS
System? "Well okay then." Off we go! Blistering our way through the red dust up the side of
mountain, I take them for the ride of their lives! At least I thought I was until, "Potomac Avenue in the
winter is worse than this."
We see the most beautiful parts of the West in a few short miles while rising 3000 feet in elevation.
Red Rock monoliths smattered with greenery against an azure sky backdrop. The rough road has the
Sisters bouncing around like crash test dummies in a rodeo! I turn up the Blue Oyster Cult while we
dust up the idiots that brought their rental Cadillacs here. We get to my favorite camping spot and
scurry up the side of the mountain to Bear Wallow Lookout. I point out Greg's infamous tree and then
introduce them to the wide open expanse of heaven that awaits the eye. Their jaws drop like a broken
elevator as they gaze upon the marvel of the magical world which I have spirited them to. Overlooking
Sedona, the red rock, Santa and this realm of cosmic beauty I expect them to burst into song. Instead,
Diane starts yodeling like she is in a Ricola commercial! The sound echoes off the canyon walls like
Thunderclap Newman. The Sisters are so impressed they start considering her for a backup singer. I
say, "No way! Who's going to make Layla pancakes while yinz are on tour!" That put an end to that
conversation and, unfortunately, mine and Diane's.
Well, don't ya know, it's my BIRTHDAY! The Sisters spoil me in grandoise fashion, as is their nature.
Molly Mophead buys me the Sun, she can afford it. JoJo buys me an expensive vase set that sits
proudly in my living room and Party Barbie gets me all things Pittsburgh! We go out to eat at my
favorite restaurant and we, of course, have lobster lasagna! What a day, week...life.
Well here it is, the last day of my visit with the Sisters of Stone. I pick up the Sisters and take them to
where the concert will be the next time they are in town, Bank One Ballpark! This incredible facility for
the Arizona Diamondbacks, has a pool and spa just beyond the centerfield wall. We eat at the
restaurant overlooking the field and feast on simple sandwiches as all the lobster has inflamed my
gout. I can feel the time is getting nearer for their departure time. I try to stretch the moments into
hours. We go to the Historic District of Phoenix and visit the Doll Museum there. How about that
classroom filled entirely with dolls? Now that was just a little bit creepy, wasn't it?
It is now with a heavy heart that I must bid these wonderful women adieu. The West will never be the
same without them, life will never be the same without them, Hell, you won't be the same after reading
about them! They have changed the world, changed diapers, changed opinions and even have
changed a dollar. I take one last photo of them before they leave my world for a world that I once
knew. They smile knowing I have told them for the last time to "GET OUT!" I invite them to visit again
and pray they do. Remember Girls, we have to tour L.A. next time! I'll miss them dearly. You'll miss
the two hours it took you to read this!
SteelCactus Entertainment Group
P.S. Watch for the Sisters of Stone next album: "Ders Plastic on My Caach"
(There is Plastic on My Sofa).
|Getting Ready For the Gig
at SteelCactus Central
|Getting a Gig on
the Top Places
|The Hole in the Wall
Barbie Takes a Bath
|Chillin' Before the
|The Sisters with the President
of their Fan Club
with B.B. King
|Playing the Cruise Ships
|Chapel of the
Disclaimer: Molly Mophead is my Mother. JoJo Starbux & Party Barbie are my Aunts. All or some of this
account is true.
Any real or imagined coincidences are coincidental. Their incredible sense of humor is appreciated.
Do not look for any Sisters of Stone CD's in any store. Mail Order only.