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Berlin


November 13, 2017

"It was happening, then karma shut it down."

- Ken

"Who's Carla?"

- Deni

We continue to fight the Virus of the Van. Yesterday Sarah could barely speak. I zombied around in the back seat from Eisenach to Berlin, zoning in and out of our world and some alternate reality. There was a gremlin on the wing. Ken had seven arms and ten heads. I’m pretty sure it will prove to be our darkest day of the tour, but we still had reasons to smile.

First and foremost, we’re on tour in Europe!

You count your blessings, man. If I have to be sick, Berlin is a great place to be sick. We’re staying at the awesome Estrel Hotel in Berlin, courtesy of more London ex-pats: Geoff and Chris Dahl. It’s a big, beautiful international hotel with restaurants and bars and a live show featuring the Dahls as The Blues Brothers, along with a variety of other tribute acts. Great stuff.

We arrived mid-afternoon and Sarah almost immediately went to bed. Deni, Ken, and I decided to take in the big show, which was a lot of fun. Afterward we had dinner with Geoff Dahl, Whitney Houston, and Adele, and I wasn’t even hallucinating. How are you going to top that? This virus is tough, but we’re tougher. Already we’re on the rebound.

It comes back to living in the now. Tour life really is moment by moment. Day by day. Apart from Sarah, who is also the tour manager, none of us has any idea where tomorrow’s show is. We focus on today. Shows we played two or three days ago feel like last year. They really do. It’s a weird time warp. You think of life on the road as being kind of leisurely – you hang around and then you play and then you hang around some more. It’s not that. Every minute you’re on your way somewhere. You’re setting up. You’re grabbing a quick shower or dinner while you can. Then you’re playing. Then you’re figuring out your sleeping arrangement. Then, in a perfect world, you’re sleeping as long as you can before you do it all again tomorrow.

But you’re always focused on right now.

This is a good way to live. Sarah and Ken are masters of it, and I’m learning. The last few months for me have been about before November and after November, because I don’t know what comes after this tour. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is November itself. I’m good at projecting into the future and living there, but it’s not usually a helpful place to be. It’s easy to think so much about tomorrow that you miss today. That’s an impractical way to live if you’re on the road, and I think a wasteful one if you’re not.

So right now I’m in a great room in a beautiful hotel in freaking Berlin, Germany. I’m typing this entry. Deni is setting up to work out some guitar tones with his pedal board. I’m congested and tired and it’s all great. It’s all wonderful.

Because hey, when Whitney Houston gives you words of encouragement, you’re living a charmed life, no?

#Berlin #Germany #SarahSmith #EstrelHotel

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