Day 4 Greece: Now We Go to Jim Morrison’s Grave?
Exene Cervenka told us in the beginning, in our back-in-the-day days, that a grilled cheese sandwich and minestrone soup is always a safe bet. Food on tour. Cooked, peeled or boiled: This is the code of the road.
Tonight I break the rules.
We sit around the poolside at our hotel under a sky blue grass awning and I throw caution to the wind by ordering a Greek Salad. Not sure what they call a Greek Salad in Greece. But it was covered with a brick of Feta cheese you could roof your house with.
Dan braves a dip in the Sea. We fear for his hip in this foreign sea. You have to cross the road to get there. It's treacherous. Danny scrambles across barefoot.
Go get `em tiger!
Today is our first gig. On a bill with Franz Ferdinand etc (turns out that Franz Ferdinand is at least four, maybe five fellows). Our gig starts off on the wobbly side and proceeds to slide downhill from there. My guitar sounds like a spoon in a garbage disposal. My vocal monitor is hissing like a subliminal message for Oscar Meyer bacon. Confronted with a snowballing disaster, I do the first thing any guitar slinger worth his salt immediately does: I TURN UP.
Why, I don't know.
The effect is always like leaning into the punches. You end up against the ropes unable to lift your arms praying for the round to end. By turning up, you sincerely believe you can make things better, yet inevitably you end up making it a thousand times worse. Some babies never learn.
And when Jack's leather straps busts on his bass, the gimp meter is in the red. It's hard for me to not be distracted. I flag over someone from the side pit to come out and pull him back together. He waves them away like a wounded soldier waving away the enemy. Or a dying man's last words of "fuck you."
Then Jack's strap breaks for the second time. It's started to get hopeless. Jack heroically hangs in there as do all of us but we can't seem to start or end songs anywhere near the same time. It's a rough one. Hell of a way to start a tour.
Festivals are what they are. Big crowds. But not necessarily OUR crowd. There's the rub.
There's an old joke that goes: How do you get a guitar player to turn down? Put a chart in front of him.
The postmortem: Later Dan offers up an Air Force One analogy. Says he wants to feel like the president. He wants to feel protected. He wants love. He wants to take that love and shine it on the audience and feel the warmth reflected back into his face.
I promise to see what I can do.
"I want the band to be like Air Force One. Prophet, you're my wingman."
Bobby Knight couldn't inspire us out of the muck tonight. Not with a stack of I-hop pancakes and scholarships for all the orphans, not with free ice cream and world peace.
All the sports analogy are tossed around. Carsten offers up the most apropos: There's Always Tomorrow.
I treat myself to a pity meal. Followed by two fat slices of flan. Flan in a tray. Like brownies.