This coming week marks two of the East End’s most celebrated holidays: Margarita Monday, followed by Tumbleweed Tuesday, both of which usher in “local summer.”
For the uninitiated, Margarita Monday is synonymous with Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer according to most people, and a time for those who have worked all season long to kick back, relax, and celebrate a job well done. Tumbleweed Tuesday is the antithesis of the busy summer schedule. The majority of beach-goers leave the East End as the sun sets on Margarita Monday, their car headlights a string of pearls traveling westbound along Route 27, some not to return again until Memorial Day weekend.
Tumbleweed Tuesday marks a noticeable difference in the pace of life on the East End. Traffic is all but gone, getting a cup of coffee takes under five minutes, parking spaces on local Main Streets abound. The final days of the long weekend are a kick-off to what has commonly become known as “local summer,” the months of September and October when people who live here year-round take advantage of the high daytime temps and quiet slices to sand to enjoy the beach.
In celebration of the unofficial holidays, the band Shotgun Wedding has come up with an ode to the end of summer: “Tumbleweed Tuesday.” The Brooklyn-based “city-country” group is comprised of members of Billy Joel’s band. “I first heard the term Tumbleweed Tuesday about 17 years ago when I was hanging out in Sagaponack with an ex-local police chief and one of my closest friends,” says Andy Cichon, the band’s bassist who first started playing with Joel in 1999. “We all know how crazy it can be out on the East End in summer, but that is because it is one of the most stunning places in the country. The light is so special out there. I just like the fact that after Labor Day, the locals get to reclaim it for themselves after the summer scene dies down a little. That’s pretty much what the song is about—a summer in the Hamptons from a local’s perspective.” Cichon comes out east about three times a year, though he admits that he used to frequent the area much more often prior to having kids. “[I have] great memories of beach parties on Sagg Main, and HarborFest is always a blast,” he says.
The band was formed by Dennis DelGuadio (guitar/vocals), who joined Cinchon and Chuck Burgi (drums) on stage at Billy Joel’s Shea Stadium shows. Wade Preston, on piano and vocals, worked on the Movin’ Out Broadway show with DelGuadio and Burgi. Rounding out the group is Catherine Porter, on vocals, who had collaborated with Preston.
As we turn the page on yet another successful Hamptons summer season, we publish the lyrics to Tumbleweed Tuesday as an ode to warm fall days to come.
Copyright Andrew Cichon
Labor Day couldn’t come too soon
As night time fell the serpent grew
Snaking its way down 495
Mimosa Monday was finally through
Fourteen weeks of lyin’ low
Make your money and watchin’ the show
Count the days until they’re gone
Back to 212 where they belong
It’s Tumbleweed Tuesday and my summer starts now
The beaches are empty and there’s parking downtown
Don’t need reservations, I’ll eat at the bar
With the Mayor and the Sheriff not some Hollywood star
Some folk say we should all be farming
While I agree the thought’s quite charming
Some Wall Street guy, a mover a shaker
Just wrote me a check for a million an acre
I’ll clean his pool and trim his hedges
Keep his garden and plow his drive
I’ll smile so warmly when I shake his hand
I’m off the bank with his contraband
As their champagne sprays my shingles grey
Yeah they’ll come and go like Montauk foam
When my kid’s schoolin’s through they’ll all move back home
And on Labor Day, This is what they’ll say
For more info on Shotgun Wedding, visit shotgunweddingnyc.com.