The people were noticeably friendly. But a move from Austin to Lexington would be like dating your ex wifes less talented and not so interesting sister. And theres construction everywhere. My best friend from Nashville was still out of town, so I just buzzed into Princes Hot Fried Chicken, in a strip mall of North Nashville, then headed towards Memphis. When you eat at a hot chicken place in Nashville and say its not so great, everybody tells you that you shoulda went to Princes. Its in what some people would call the ghetto and I think it may have started the hot chicken craze. Mild the woman at the counter asked, sizing me up. No, hot, bitch, I said. Maybe not all those words. I got a half chicken for 1. I had nothing but end zone in front of me. I plopped the bag on the trunk and started digging in right there. Eat that shit a woman yelled out from a passing car. Tear that chicken up said her male companion. I didnt care. I was hungry and this was not Rodeo Drive. OK, I have to say I was not quite prepared for the heat. Holy shit My lips were burning, my tongue was on a spit. The first bite was so good and thenthousand one, thousand two your tastebuds are in a firefight. Has seasoning ever caused a heart attack In Hawaii they have an expression broke da mouf, which really describes anything delicious. Princes literally broke my mouth. Last night was the first time Ive ever taken a painkiller over something I ate. Lunch today in Memphis, always a disappointment. Me and that city have never really gotten along. New Orleans either. Growing up in Hawaii, Ive seen how tourists can ruin a good thing. But scenery is one thing. Please stay away from the soulful music. Dont you start me c. AARPing. Considering Im such a Thrifty Lazar, it makes no sense that Ive waited until Im 5. AARP membership. You pay 1. But Im allergic to the hard sell and AARP bombarded me with mail outs and such the day I turned 5. I was determined to do this without them. And I have, to a certain extent, devising my own discount systems. I didnt have AARP, but I did have RCW, the reimbursement ceiling walkaway, which is when you go into the motel, ask the rate and then say shoot, my employer will only reimburse me for 1. In about 7. 5 of the cases, the clerk will give you that rate before you hit the door out, but you have to be smart about it. Usually doesnt work if you smell curry at check in or if the parking lot is full of cars. And dont try the RCW if its the only motel around. Theyll just laugh at you. But what really convinced me to break down and get the old timers card was watching a man about my age check in right ahead of me at the Motel 6 in Hagerstown, MD a couple nights ago. He asked for a 2 p. When it was my turn, I got the usual 6. Thats only for AARP members, he said. I went online 2. I got in the room and signed up. Do you know how many columns have been wrecked over the past 9 years by the 1. This is a game changer. NOTES FROM THE ROAD Day One of my Youre Not Homeless If Youre On the Road tour found me driving through a horrible storm just north of Dallas and doing something I never do when Im traveling on my own dime I checked into a Holiday Inn Express instead of my usual 3. Motel. I think Id rather have 1. H. I. Express was the only thing off that exit in Royce City. Gosh, was it worth it I was reminded of that Eddie Murphy clip on Saturday Night Live when he experiences life as a white man. So, THIS is how the rest of you do it Best sleep Ive had in years and then a breakfast buffet that had real food, not just cereal and stale muffins. Dinner tonight in Memphis, then maybe a Patel 6 on the way to Nashville. I dont want to get spoiled, so Im gonna stay at a nice place every OTHER night. Some sleep til BrooklynDay Two of my YNHIY On the Road tour was rather uneventful, but I just checked into the Motel 6 on exit 6. I can change that. Was looking forward to eating at the Cozy Corner BBQ in Memphis, but they closed at 6, about half an hour after I got there. Downtown Memphis was full of tourists, so I got back on the freeway and ended up eating at a Waffle House. Listened to a bunch of Otis Gibbs podcasts on the nine hour drive today, including the one where he reads from my Blind Willie Johnson article from 1. And then the next couple hours I kept thinking about how Ive gotta give that Blind Willie research another try. Im going to D. C. African American newspapers at the Library of Congress. In Texas, the Dallas Express and the Houston Informer were the big papers, but there were several smaller publications that would be great to find. You never know. Tomorrow lunch in Nashville at Epice, this Lebanese place Callie Khouri told me about shes another famous Lebanese from Texas. If its not open, Ill try a Taste of Cuba by the Fairgrounds, which is fantastic I ate there every day when I stayed at the Red Roof Inn during Americana Fest in September. Im thinking I might end up in Asheville, NC tomorrow night. Then DC Monday. BEFORE AUSTINHonolulus most famous concert promoter Tom Moffatt, who started off as a radio guy and promoted some of the famous Elvis Presley shows in Hawaii, has a column called unfortunately Uncle Toms Gabbin, which is a mix of gossip and memories. Every week he finds some old clipping and pulls quotes from it. This one is about my review of an Earth, Wind Fire concert in 1. I was 1. 9. Since EW F was one of the biggest acts at Bonnaroo this weekend, it seemed a fitting time. I was a music critic for about 9 years before I moved to Austin in 1. This piece from my personal website will catch you up on my writing life Before Austin and also give you a juicy tidbit about the EW F show, which I believe was my second concert review. Definitely the first time I bought drugs. Going through Manhattan to talk to a neighbor. Im like the Cat Lady of pet peeves Ive got so many running around. One of my big ones is when an Austin musician hires a high powered NYC publicist that you have to go through to set up an interview. Ive been emailing back and forth six times, like a negotiation, to talk to someone whose house I pass on the way to HEB. This is the kind of publicist I hate, the one who wants to make sure you focus on what they want, which, in this case, is a new album coming out in a couple months. I should point out that Im not trying to interview Beyonce, but someone who plays the Continental Club. Normally, at this point I would say forget it and move on to the next story. But Im having fun toying with this woman.