AVT: 1.5h (Tot. 52h, 30 min)
ADT: 100 km (Tot. 3,950 km)
“Oh man, I wish I could quote you guys for real.”
Yes, just a couple of days after Ken The Zen nearly caused an international incident, drummer boy upped the ante in a pretty big way. I mean, it’s one thing to accidentally try to enter a stranger’s room in a hotel.
It’s quite another to almost burn down a restaurant.
It was innocent enough. Before our show at the infamous Schorschl bar in Eisenach last night – home of the Glitterboyz – we dined across the street at an Italian restaurant. Pizza, pasta, etc. and all delicious. Sarah and I decided to preserve a few slices each of our pizzas for a post-show snack. Nothing controversial there. We were running a bit late getting the show started, so Deni and Sarah left the restaurant to return to the venue for Deni’s opening set.
Their departure left Ken The Zen and me at the restaurant waiting for the leftovers, which the waiter dutifully brought in a pizza box. All was well until Ken and I wondered whether my non-vegetarian slices might be fraternizing with Sarah’s vegetarian slices in the box. I lifted the lid on said box to see, and the lid came to rest just above the flame of a candle that was set on the table to set the mood. Well, the mood almost instantly became a forest fire. We didn’t even notice until a guy sitting at the table across from us jumped out of his chair and started slapping at the box.
I hope he didn’t hurt himself.
So the fire was contained, thanks to the quick-thinking German, although we almost had a repeat performance when the waiter brought out another box for the pizza and set it almost on top of the candle to transfer the slices.
Collective decision: blow out the freaking candle.
So in the end it was no harm done, except to a pizza box and my pride. But as Ken himself recently said after a particularly unfortunate wine spill, “There’s no passing the buck here. We spilled the wine.”
And if that’s true, then we burned down the Italian restaurant.
I’m glad to have not left a massive blot on such a beautiful little city.
I really like Eisenach with its old buildings and streets and charm. We have great memories of the city and the Schorschl bar, starting with the night two years ago when the willowy, ethereal Caroline dusted us with glitter and gave birth to the Glitterboyz. The most iconic Sarah Smith Euro tour photo of all time was taken at Schorschl on the first tour (see right). That night was bananas.
Last night was less bananas but still fun. Two years ago it was owner Thomas’s birthday, so we were in the midst of a massive birthday party. I’m sure the crowd was a fire capacity violation (I guess they didn’t know Firestarter was coming), but it was a blast. We had a smaller but equally enthusiastic audience last night.
It seems like we play a lot of small neighbourhood pubs in the east. It feels a bit like percussive limbo trying to find space to set up my drums. Every night the bar gets dropped another rung in terms of how much room I have. Last night was the tightest space yet. I had to narrow the legs on my snare stand to accommodate it. It was manageable for most of the night, but then – at the worst possible moment as always – the stand tipped over. I was scrambling to set it right when Sarah launched into a banger called You Don’t Get My Love from her new album. I was holding the drum up with my leg and my elbow was wedged into a wall, but somehow I got through the song without anyone noticing the yoga pose I was wrenched into behind the kit. Adventures in drumming, friends. It can be a gong show up there.
The show was great in any case. A lot of our Eisenach friends came out and it was great to see them. We also met some new fans who loved the show and bought Sarah’s and Deni’s albums. The only issue with Schorschl is that it’s another smoking room, so my chest and throat are dry and constricted today. People don’t realize how much that can affect your voice and breathing. It’s really rough.
We also had an issue with Sarah’s rental amp, which forced Deni to do some dancing with his set-up so she could use his. We’ve been very lucky with our rental gear through these three Euro tours. Apart from a few bad cables, everything has worked perfectly until now.
Fortunately Sarah has lots of musician friends over here, so they’re working on getting another amp for her. This is the stuff you have to deal with sometimes on the road. Amp is broken, van won’t start, drummer burned down an Italian restaurant. You know … tour stuff. You become very good at taking things in stride and finding solutions rather than focusing on problems. It’s a necessary survival skill in this game, especially when we don’t have techs or roadies.
Deni took two showers this morning to get the smoke out of his skin. Man, I don’t know how people did it back in the day. Night after night in that soup. I guess you get used to it, as you get used to daily van rides and everything else. Of interest to podcast fans is that when Deni was taking those showers, I was putting the final edits on my next podcast episode – Roadisode 3 with Ken The Zen and Deni Gauthier – so it will be released as soon as I get Wi-Fi that’s reliable enough to upload it. We recorded it in Gladbeck and if you like the tour blogs, you’ll like it.
And now we’re driving yet again, this time to Schmölln, where last year we very nearly ran afoul of some intensely shady characters. You just never know what’s behind an unlocked door, kids. Make sure you open the right ones.
Grey skies over Deutschland. A smattering of rain, a faint whiff of smoke, and a comfortable silence.
The tour rolls on.
*Live photo by Dani Smile. 'The lads' photo by Donna Carolina herself.