October 13, 2018
"You've got three wallets inside a bigger wallet!"
"No I don't. It's a purse!"
"It's a wallet."
- Deni, Sarah, Deni
Somebody wondered whether it’s hard for me to write these blogs every day.
Honestly, sometimes it is.
There are mornings when I wake up tired and just don’t want to face the blank page. There are other times when I’m not sure I have anything worth saying. By the time we reach this point of the tour it kind of feels like all days are the same. It can be a challenge to find something to talk about or to come up with different ways to talk about the routine. What I generally find is that if I open up the laptop and set my fingers on the keyboard, the words come out. It’s back to that Steven Pressfield thing again. The muse can be a diva, so we punch in with or without her.
But what to say?
Last night we played in the Dutch city of Weert. It was the first time for us at an awesome little club called Muziekcentrum De Bosuil. It was another one of those shows that we went into blind. We had no idea about the stage, the lights, the room, etc. We were met at the door by Robert, who looked after us so well. Cold drinks, warm welcomes. The place has a nice green room and we were able to relax back there for a bit after we set up and soundchecked.
A green room was kind of necessary last night because … should I talk about this? Well, I’m not going to invoke the “V” word, but there’s a little something happening with certain members of the band who shall remain nameless. It’s nothing serious, but yesterday the combination of that and general fatigue had a couple of people a bit low on energy. It was nice to have that space to close our eyes or sit quietly and just relax. Shout-out to Robert and the gang for a terrific dinner as well. Scalloped potatoes in The Netherlands! Whodathunk?
Despite the not-exactly-a-“V”-word thing, the show was great. The stage sound was good and the band played with more jump than we might have expected. I remain something of an observer on these shows from my position at the back. The band has a silly energy that’s certainly fun for me to watch and I think endears us to strangers. We play serious music seriously, but somehow manage to not take ourselves seriously in the process. Well, except Deni. Good luck getting that guy to show any personality when he plays ….
It was in some ways a bittersweet night. The last few shows have been about good-byes, and we bid farewell to Angie from Austria last night. She’s been with us for most of the tour and we will certainly miss her giant heart. Yes, parting is such sweet sorrow, but I know we’ll see her and the others again. Thank you, Angie, for all of your help and friendship! It was also adieu to Mario, aka The Rocketship Man, and lovely Sunny, who discovered Sarah during this tour and has become part of the fan group. Thanks for everything, both of you!
Last night we wished an early happy birthday to superfan Dani, who has also been to lots of shows on this tour. Many thanks to you and Isabel for being such great friends and fans! (Thanks as well for today's cover photo!)
I feel like I’m letting you down today, gentle reader. This is one of those hard posts. I’ve sat here in the passenger’s seat for the past few minutes just looking out the window at The Netherlands drifting by, trying to think of something to write. You might like this little stretch of highway, Sister Amy. Three lanes of traffic on each side separated by guard rails and a narrow strip of grass in the middle. The road is grey and smooth and straight. Each side of the highway is lined with tall, leafy trees planted in rows two trees deep. It’s as if they’re standing guard for us as we pass, like we’re presidents or The Rolling Stones. The sun is bright today. These particular trees have just begun to change colour. Imagine muted yellows and fading greens. It feels warm. Serene. At this moment I feel like I could close my eyes and actually sleep for a change.
It’s that kind of a day, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s very peaceful. The energy in the van is calm and muted like the colours in the trees. It gets to be that way at the end of a tour. Everyone’s content. We don’t need to say things to each other right now. We’re happy to just move and watch.
Literally the second after I wrote that sentence, Ken and Deni burst into a scene from Rocky III in the back seat (“You ain’t so bad! You ain’t nothing!”).
We take things moment by moment.
People have begun to ask if we’re looking forward to going home. I think my standard is answer is yes, I’m looking forward to going home, but no, I’m not looking forward to the tour ending. The band is playing really well. Audiences have been great and the shows have been a blast. We’re still having a fun time being nomads together in this weird little existence on the road. This is gravy for a working musician. This is what you long for when the idea of playing music for a living enters your brain. Now that we’re here, who would want it to end?
But we miss our families and our homes. I miss my wife and our three little ones. It’s not easy leaving a six-year-old, a two-year-old, and a five-month-old at home to do this, even if they’re cats.
Ah, but I’ve said before and will say again that the road is about the present. Right now we’re headed back to a special place in the Sarah and the Glitterboyz story. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. Right now, traffic is slow as we inch toward Amsterdam under blue skies.
Oh, looks like I just hit a thousand words.
If the muse ever shows up, tell her to take the day off.