When you're on the road it's easy to lose any sense of time. Time is no longer measured in days, but in cities. "What day is it?" "Austin."
And that's where I am today, one week into the 2013 Happy Together tour. This year it's even harder to mark the passage of time; there's LOTS of shows, and barely any days off. But that's OK; it means the show is a hot ticket that lots of promoters want. I can't speak for anyone else, but as long as I'm out here I'd rather spend the evening at a theater playing a show, as opposed to hanging around in a hotel somewhere and/or looking for a decent restaurant.
Tonight is Clearwater, Florida. Last night we played Austin, Texas, and were supposed to fly straight to Florida from there. But our flights were cancelled, so we rode the bus thru the night to catch hastily-booked flights from Houston. Right now we're relaxing in a hotel in Clearwater, where we will spend the night after the show; tomorrow [...]
Yesterday was the first full-band rehearsal for the 2013 Happy Together tour. We kicked ass. And we always do these days; that's how you roll when you work with the same guys for ten years (he said modestly). You've heard me brag before about how awesome our band is (myself, Godfrey Townsend, Steve Murphy and Manny Focarazo); traveling the world and elsewhere together since 2003 and working with dozens of artists under the most extraordinary circumstances will make you a tight, efficient unit.
It was 70+ degrees and sunny yesterday as I drove from Brooklyn to Godfrey's home studio in Queens with my windows rolled down, cruising down Eastern Parkway and up the Jackie Robinson. This late-spring/early-summer drive has become a tradition, an indicator that the Summer Tour Season is right around the corner, with music and laughs and highway miles and laughs and meals and stories and more laughs. God gave rock and roll to us!
Yesterday's mission was pretty [...]
In August, 1998 I played on the "Day In The Garden" festival, a Woodstock anniversary show on the original "Yasgur's Farm" site. The bill featured Joni Mitchell, Pete Townshend, and several artists from the original '69 show including Richie Havens. Richie's set was wonderful, but while I was drifting around backstage I caught a piece of a conversation he was having that blew my mind. Talkingabout the 1969 moon landing, he said this: "As humans, we had never seen the earth from that far away before. And for the first time, we all realized how small and insignificant we are in relation to the entire universe." Being born in 1972, I had always taken that image of the "big blue marble in space" for granted. But standing outside the VIP tent in Bethel that afternoon, I found myself having to stand perfectly still for a moment because it would take my entire being to process the full meaning of what I'd overheard Richie Havens say. Here I was standing next to the guy that OPENED the [...]
Look at these. Look closely, one last time, because they're going away. I've been collecting - no, accumulating - these Beatles-related magazines since the turn of the century. And now it's time to let them go.
If you know me at all, you know that I'm a hopeless, obsessive Beat-ard. So it makes sense that I'd purchase just about any glossy, "special edition" periodical that had the Fab Four featured on the cover. And that's exactly what I did, all thru my late 20s and on thru my 30s (late 1990s thru the early 2000s).
Those years saw a great deal of high-profile Beatles activity: the release of the Anthology, "Let It Be Naked," the Cirque du Soleil "Love" show, the Remasters, etc. And each time the public got Beatled, you'd also see the mass Beatle-ing of print media everywhere. MOJO seemed to always be good for at least one Beatles cover/feature story per year. The airing of a TV special in 2000 called "The [...]
You know that I can't drive my car without music playing, right? And you also know that I don't trust the iPod while I'm driving; I'd rather make the commitment to a full CD and keep my eyes on the road. So this morning I grabbed this one. I guess I was in the mood for something that was equal parts raw soul and polished perfection, but I definitely wanted something familiar.
I got this CD in 1994; It was the year I graduated from Berklee and entered the Real World as a grownup. But I played it the most during the period where I was planning and executing my move back to NYC from Boston, Dec 1994 thru Feb 1995. It was a cold-ass winter, and I spent most of it driving back and forth on I95 between Beantown and The Big Apple, moving my stuff and tying up any loose ends. (Yes, there was a girl or two involved.)
It was, at that point, the most terrifying and thrilling transition I'd ever made in my life. Yes, coming up to Boston for four [...]