Day 5: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
"If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich?"
Early morning flights are brutal. You feel your body slowly eating you alive from the inside out. Gnawing away at you. Eyes stinging like you've been held down and subjected to Drano eye-drops.
I meander around the Duty Free store at the airport. Decide to pass on postcards depicting the Acropolis and the Aegean coast line. If I get homesick for Greece I'll visit my local Greek Restaurant—I can be sure these same images will be on display beneath a film of the other grease.
All attempts to board as civilized humans goes out the window. The Shanghais principle is in full effect. Shanghais principle? Yeah, no one seems to have any interest in forming a line. So an unformed blob of a crowd mobs around the boarding gateway. Sort of like dumber-than-lemmings lemmings. I'd stand back but I've got a guitar in an unprotected soft carry-on case and need to get in there and dog fight my way into one of the overhead compartments or risk having it thrown to the wolves, or worse, down into the JFK equivalent: the den of thieves below, the dark and hellish underworld of baggage handlers
All this for Dan's clay hip?
We board the flight and Danny makes a point of letting the stewardess know that he's carrying a fragile guitar. Yes, Dan makes his point.
"Careful Honey, he says, that's a HOLL-OW-BODY, I make my living with that thing..."
"That's your living?" she retorts, "You must live in Teepee..."
Good one. We arrive in Vienna and are shuttled to the legendary rock hotel whose name mercifully escapes me right now. With some time to kill before sound-check and fearing lying down and falling into a death-nap coma, I decide to take a stroll through a busy Vienna shopping district to test the theory that the Viennese are the type to reach out and grab you, confront your ass, if you jaywalk. In a "Hey Pal, we-don't-do-that-here" kind of way....
So far, the first couple of crosswalks, I lose my nerve, but I carry on the sociological Stanford prison experiment in the spirit of science. I'm a good and giving man; I can think of nothing short of slow dancing with Dick Cheney that I wouldn't do to further the just causes of science, art and core fucking values.
One observation: It's rather hot out. Spring is in the air. Really brings out the best in women's fashion.
Next thing I know the wind just kind of blows me into the other American Embassy. A certain Scottish chain restaurant with golden arches. It's like a Disco in here. Or maybe a rave; hell, I don't know the distinctions... Fast Food House.
Fine, nowhere else I'd rather be. Because I have an agenda. You see, they still deep fry the (4.5 grams of trans fat containing) apple pies in the Old World. You'll find that orange lava on the inside and the bubbling lunar surface on the outside. I got to have it. Just got to have it. Evidently, MacDonald's deleted this practice from the menu in the states 1,000 lawsuits ago. Long before their post Fast Food Nation attempts to escape their hard earned junk-food image, by becoming the largest buyer of green apples and walnuts in the world.
Greece is dead, long live the grease.
We play a club that we later agree is sleazy as opposed to gross. More on that to come. Sleazy is good. Gross is bad.
Chris's keyboards are turned up in my monitors tonight. Chris is a genius. A singularly funky inventive cat. My ears have grown in 18 years, and I'm beginning to break the code on those hieroglyphic shapes that flew over my head way back when. Always imaginative. I've got newfound appreciation for the dude.
It's a sloppy but inspired set. Too hot to be inside though.
STAY TUNED—TOMORROW WE GET MISSIONARY POSITIONED