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That One Time at Band Camp with Saliva & Drowning Pool

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Primary Blog/Bands/That One Time at Band Camp with Saliva & Drowning Pool

The Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Equivalent of Band Camp

It's all fun and games trying to feed Saliva and Drowning Pool until you realize you're in total darkness & have no clue how to work a soda gun, or is it a soda jerk? No, I am definitely the jerk in this equation, wow this escalated quickly - send help.

The Rest of the Story: If CMT ever had Band Camp, for sure it would have booze & bikes. It was about 2am, things are kind of hazy - part alcohol, part exhaustion.  How does one keep their cool as they walk most of the headliner bands Saliva & Drowning Pool upstairs from the bar? As I was tiptoeing through the empty Blackthorne kitchen, I felt like a kid trying to sneak back into the house well after their curfew. But wait, we are not doing anything wrong, as I slink out of the kitchen into ....  to … 😱 UT OH ..  a totally empty and very, VERY dark dining room. 🌑

In my mind, I've queued up some intense music as I struggle to find the lights so we can eat in peace .. I was looking all over the place or should I say "feeling" my way across the walls ..

... PHEW .. there they are ..

just like that I heard what sounded like the loudest "CLICK" of my life, coupled with a gigantic sense of relief .. as the lights came on in the dining room. ⚡ It wasn't Click, Click. BOOM loud, but it seemed close. 


Ok, that was way more eventful than it needed to be LOL. So, while it’s still empty and strangely quiet, at least it’s well lit now. 💡

Not exactly sure how all this happened and most "normal" people are sound asleep by now. I, on the other hand, through the kind of haze that can only come around 2AM on the Saturday, after a long week culminating in the finale of Catskill Mountain Thunder's Motorcycle Festival. You know the feeling, when you are having so much fun you don't ever want it to end, but you also know you have to get some sleep or you will be totally destroyed LOL. That feeling. 

I motion to the table in front of the bar and the bands takes a seat while they wait for their burger dinners to be delivered from the bar downstairs. They certainly deserve a good meal and more. They killed it tonight and the crowd loved every song! What an amazing show, so much talent .. WoW.

Ok, this is going well, they are shooting the sh*t and having fun, and like an out of body experience I hear my voice as I casually ask what do you want to drink ?

🧠 My brain immediately detaches and starts talking to me .. excuse me, what do you think you are doing?

Sure there’s a bar in the dining room, but what the hell are YOU doing here. You're the digital marketing chick & literally everything you know about bartending, comes from the OTHER side of the bar. 🤦‍♀️

Not exactly sure where to find, well anything. 

Frantically, I text Ray Francis the bar manager, consummate professional and thankfully a calming influence. No doubt my panic shows through the text “how the heck do I use the upstairs bar”, & yes odds are I did not say "heck". Slight (ok, maybe not so slight) anxiety and panic escalate as I realize I’ve never operated one of these damn soda guns before .. what a time to learn .. my brain flashes again, seriously all these years at Catskill Mountain Thunder and you never learned how to bartend? ..

I breathe a huge sigh of relief when they order beer and other canned beverages and (bonus) we actually have them in the cooler behind the bar - there is a god.

Yep, this is a typical Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle festival. A biker rally for bikers by bikers that over the years has grown from some good ole boys having fun to a full blown motorcycle rally with headliner bands, regional bands, entertainment of all sorts, vendors, bike builders, bike games, too many attendees to list & so much more fun!

Where was I?

Oh yeah, just done posting some awesome moments and band shots. I went from taking pics for social media to escorting the bands, who could not be cooler, to the dining room so they can chow down before heading to their bus and heading out to their next destination. 

Well, this escalated quickly! and I have NO idea what I am doing. 

In reality, this is what CMT is all about - teamwork and lots of people chip in and help wherever they can. This was just one example where I chipped in.

Bikers are an amazing crew. Sure they like to let their hair down, literally for some, but bikers are some of the kindest hearts, even if sometimes that heart comes in some pretty interesting packages. Over the years, I’ve seen a little bit of everything and managed to have a blast while helping out.

Fast forward to 2024 and now you’re reading CMT’s first blog. How did we get here?

The Handel family and the CMT crew always have attendees in mind when thinking about how to keep things fresh and put on an event that everyone enjoys.

One of the things I’m responsible for is the new website, we went for clean lines, photos, info and FAQs - anything to help visitors get a better idea about the festival while still leveraging our social media channels for current events, photos and a Facebook group where everyone gets to post their own stories. 

& yeah and this Blog .. is this blog is a new deal? Sure is, and we are looking forward to hearing from a number of guest bloggers. Should be pretty cool as we get to hear from different perspectives, like bands, builders, entertainers, vendors, attendees or more.

Folks can share their stories and pictures too! If you want to be featured as a guest blogger please reach out to the office, they'd love to hear from you. Maybe just don't bother them the right around and during the event 🤣🤡🤣🤣

What are we looking for ? Well what would you want to read about the festival ? We want to hear about your experiences (the ones you can share in public LOL) giving you a starring role on the website. So if you have a CMT story to share and can write (or have someone that can write for you) drop us a line we’d love to hear from you.

So how did we make out that year the Saliva & Drowning Pool slid into the dining room?

Everyone got some awesome Blackthorne bar food, I finally did figure out that damn soda gun and everyone left happy.

I’m sure others can tell y’all about Saliva & Drowning Pool turning up behind the bar that night - WILD! Like most Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Festival event weekends we had a loads of fun, punctuated by great biker entertainment and several unexpected events.

We’ve learned to go with the flow and look forward to you joining us for fun!

Guest Blogger Bio .... 


Thanks to Guest Blogger Donna O'Leary. Donna has been attending the Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Festival since 2008, managing our festival's digital marketing for nearly as long. Her favorite part of the motorcycle rally is "meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. The hugs and kisses at CMT are real and it is awesome to be among family."  
Donna is the CEO of BOLD Endeavors, a Digital Marketing & Review Management firm. She can be found at 🔗
www.BOLDEndeavors.com where you can find all her socials and other stuff. 

It's all fun and games trying to feed Saliva and Drowning Pool until you realize you are in total darkness & you have no clue how to work a soda gun, or is it a soda jerk? No, I am definitely the jerk in this equation, wow this escalated quickly - send help.

Ray Francis CMT's bar manager tells us what it's like on the other side of the bar at CMT. Did we mention 2023 was his first CMT as bar manager, you know the universe loved that!

As the Voice of CMT, Mikie's snuck into his fair share of photoshoots with the CMT models. Yeah, he's got it ruff ! Mikie remembers some of the mischief, some he can share at least.

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Guest Bloggers

The Regular Suspects: Entertainers, Bikers, Builders, Attendees, & Other Troublemakers !

Tellin' It Like it Is 

Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Festival is open to the public, held annually  in mid-September at the Blackthorne Resort nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Not only does the festival boast some of the best riding around, but we so fortunate to call so many of you our friends and family - perhaps best coined friends that are like family!

We look forward to seeing you each year and can't wait to see the stories y'all come up with as Guest Bloggers.

Each blog is written by someone that has touched our event or been touched by our event .. OK, that is a lot of touching, get you heads out of the gutter. 

​There are attendees, vendors, bike builders, bike show participants, stunt riders, entertainers, daredevils of all kinds, bands both national headliners and regional talented AF bands, bike games participants, photographers, staff, volunteers and of course the crazy folks which covers all of the above. 

​You have the best stories and you are the ones that truly experience Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Festival, so who better to tell everyone the stories? Just try to keep it PG or PG adjacent anyway 😜

​We have been thrilled by the response from folks and there are so, SO many stories to be told. We look forward to hearing all of them & hope all of you get a kick out of the stories as well. 

​Catskill Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Festival is held Mid-September every year. For practice, two runs are held in April and June.  The September festival is an event like no other, held on the grounds of Blackthorne resort. You can ride through the Catskills, or settle in and enjoy the resort grounds. The field is filled with bikes, bike games, a bike build-off, bike artists & builders, stunt shows (MX, Wall of Death) , bike games, a bike show, loads of vendors, bars & bands! You can make your own fun or we can instigate a little. 

Join us for all the fun and be sure to read the stories here by our very own guest bloggers, some folks ya know and some you may get to know.  

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2024: September 10-15th See Ya There! 

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