Day 10: HAMBURG—Germany, Right?
In Which We Insult The Dead
War is unpleasant, leads to unpleasant conversations.
6) There're rednecks everywhere.
So much for Dada absurdism. The next morning this e-mail comes into Green On Red via our Shoulder Tap link:
"I have to write and tell you how disgusted I was with the slide show at the end of your set... it was far to long and insulted the dead you pictured.... I left with my wife... you are sick mate... no more shows from me..."
Were the slides a lie? Was the slide show untruthful? Don't suppose they run those images on the Sky channel. Then again, you can always turn the channel from the comfort of your love seat if they do. Oh my gawd, what have we done? We took those peoples hard earned cash and all but held them down and spit in their faces.
That's one way of looking at it.
Dan replies to the e-mail: "I guess you are of the school that war is a romantic ideal that is best left hidden and glorified."
I'd continue the thread, but this really isn't that kind of blog. Besides it "was far too long" not "to long." And how do you tell when you've been rude to corpses?
Now in Hamburg, we're still trying to make out the distinction between gross and sleazy. We agree that sleazy is good. And gross is well....just gross. The state of the venue in Hamburg is debated ad nauseum and never quite settled. Personally, I dig the Knust Club. And it's a step up from the old location where we'd load the gear down onto the stage from a window on the street, IN THE SNOW.
Looks like Daren's fallen again. Yeah, he's definitely got two lumps on his head. This does not bode well.
This is a club show. One of two on the tour. German BBC records the gig. Partly as a favor to Norbert, we agree to this gig. Norbert: A silly man. But a man with heart. Lots of it.
People stop buying CD's and now everyone is out on the road trying to make something happen. But pre-sales look good. Not that I'm asking. I know this because Norbert tells me more than once.
It's way too hot. "Tucson hot" says Edgar.
Tonight a face I've seen around hands me a stack of Bob Dylan bootlegs. Didn't catch his name.
I peruse the covers. One title catches my eye. Later, in my single room, I cue up Important Words as sung by Dylan originally on the Down In the Groove record but later taken off for some reason. Haven't heard it for ages. Takes me back.
1988 was the year. I had gone through a not particularly nasty breakup with my high-school sweetheart. The years of abuse and doing things we couldn't really be proud of had taken its toll. And while I was off promoting Here Come the Snakes (I think), she'd had enough and ran off with an acquaintance who was hanging around this bad experiment of a communal warehouse we'd moved into South Of Market. Matthias, my rival, was a German kid right off the boat. It was later-hose-in for you Chuckie.
And Matthias rode a motorcycle. Very fast. Wow!
That warehouse was later condemned after the earthquake. I'd already fallen through a 3rd story window and walked away from that place on crutches. For real.
ANYWAY, all but homeless, I ended up stewing in London after a tour where Dan Stuart and I traversed the continent in search of prescription drugs playing some lackluster gigs along the way with a new GOR lineup. We got pretty good at the drug thing.
Until we ran out.
Feeling very alone in England. I hid there for a while, not ready to return home. Maybe for fear of breaking up another relationship. My best friend's girl back home was weighing heavy on my mind.
Eventually, she did indeed become my wife, my muse, the brains behind Pa. My best friend.
That was a little ways off yet.
I had hooked up with someone else for a time. We gave and took many things but love wasn't in the stars. And we knew it.
Goodbye Swiss girl. Goodbye Swiss cottage. Mama, I'm coming home.
Broke, having burned through a meager publishing advance, I took a walk one day down around Camden Town and looked into a box of bootleg cassettes and pulled out an advance cassette of a then not released Bob Dylan record called Down in the Groove. I gobbled it up. I got emo with it. Of course, when the record came out, it was universally hated. But not really by me. Dylan's incapable of doing anything uninteresting by me. There was at least one song on there that I never heard again until tonight. It was later taken off the official release for some reason. That's Dylan for ya.
Important Words was originally sung by Gene Vincent. Both versions are great. Yeah, there's a lot more digital reverb on the snare on Bob's version, but trust me, you'll acclimate. And when you do it'll be worth it. It's as good as anything the Wallflowers ever did. And I like the Wallflowers!
Important words that mean a lot They say I love you Important words that's all I've got They say I love you
The days, the nights, the hours We spent making plans Have made both of us feel the same Since we first held hands Important words that say I love you They say I do
Ah... ah ah....
Not a bad harmonica solo either. Sweet dreams for me tonight. Got the windows open.
The Beatles stayed in this hotel, remember?
An all-is-fair-in-love-and-war postsript: Took a while, but Matthias and I later became fairly close. Kara remains close to me and Stephi
e as well to this day and she just celebrated the birth of her baby Cash with her husband Erich.
Eventually, Mathias opened a studio out near Hunters Point, equipped to the ceiling with good old German tube mikes. And V-72's for each channel. I took advantage of his good nature and guilt by cutting demo's there and paying him penny's to the dollar. In fact, it was he who rolled that extra little piece of tape that became the whimsical last minute jam that turned into Summertime Thing... That song paid for the whole session.
And then some.
It really is a Summertime Thing.
Oh and Patrick, (Stephies ex-boyfriend) is still very much in our lives. Has two lovely girls, a beautiful wife and was the best man at our wedding, where he addressed Stephie on mic during his speech and said, "I guess this means there's no chance of us getting back together...?" The Counting Crows just recorded one of Patrick's songs. That should buy some diapers.
Happier endings. Are we caught up now or what?
All this typing is making me hungry. A tray of flan would be good right about now.