"...wearing the face that she keeps in the jar by the door, who is it for?"
Sitting in a hotel lobby in LIverpool, in a lobby that reminds me of The Overlook Hotel, with large crystal chandeliers, a bit past its prime, big marble walls and floors, gas lamps and bad Merlot. Having had the most wonderful day off, guided by locals Peter and Jackie who so kindly dedicated their day to driving James and myself around Beatlerama, hitting John Lennon's childhood home (a rather upscale home, surprising for an angry Teddy Boy, with a plaque, but just as surprisingly, no tat sellers hanging about), Paul McCartney's childhood home (no tat, no plaque), Ringo's street, the schools they went to, the first stage they played on for a school, the Quarry school, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, The Cavern, the new upscale cheesy Beatles hotel with the sculptures of the fab four jutting out like flags. Tat everywhere but loving tat. The Art school. Stories of Peter and Jackie's life, going to the same school, concerts they'd seen, the most generous two people I've met in a long long time, who barely know me, but went farther out of their way to give me a show and tour me around their hometown than the people who supposedly are paid to do this. I'd give them gifts and money and my firstborn (if I had one) just to thank them. I'm blown away by people around the globe who are so moved by music that they take you in and change your day with their hospitality, thereby really affecting your life. More than money could. More than a HUGE audience at the "right" club.
Liverpool is lovely. I thought it would be more industrial. Its funky and edgy and friendly. I've never chosen a Football League to follow, but then again, nobody has ever given me a football scarf, and today, I was bestowed a Liverpool scarf, so screw Chelsea and Arsenal and Man U. Call me a Liverpool girl.
The show in Leicester was really a wonderful surprise. The Musician. A great small club. Filled with people. Eric Brace from Last Train Home opened for us and did a fab job. We had Chinese food with he and his wife beforehand with our Ian Hunter friend Sue Mum, who always takes care of us. Saw T1 and some other Ian fans at the show, made some new friends, Chris the booker/owner/maitre d' took care of us in style and we had a great show. Back to the hotel, the Travelodge near the Casino, the world's skankiest hotel. Avoid avoid avoid. I woke to someone puking on my door (on the outside, mind you, but still....). We drove 5 hours to Glasgow without a GPS system. I played the part of "Tom Tom" in my best "go straight on" British voice while James Mastro expertly guided our "other side of the road, other side of the car stick shift". Remember my last time in Glasgow (broken nose). This time was much better. We checked into our hotel, a nice small hotel, lovely really. No angry concierges ready to swing at me. We played at Bar Bliss, a nice crowd of very loud Glaswegians who I swear couldn't be bothered with listening to me, but maybe that was cultural. Maybe they were listening. John, the owner, was super kind and welcoming, so no complaints, but it was a bunch of loud, pint-drinking Scotsmen, so what can you do but play "Double Wide Trailer" until you've lost your voice while some woman in a thick accent screams "Do you know any Reba MacEntire?" Oy vey.
We diverted the next day to Pullman Bridge for our continuation of the Ian Hunter tour "pub lunch" (our habit of stopping midday at some out of the way aesthetic pub in a tiny town to tuck in and eat well). Smack dab in the midst of The Lake District, and had fish and chips along the river on a glorious sunny day. Then drove to Liverpool to meet Peter and Jackie at the Sudley Infant School in Liverpool, basically a kind of house concert, but in the Infant School auditorium, which they'd set up with a stage and a bar!!! It was amazing, really. The best show in a long time. Great people, beer in a school, so much fun. We went back to their house and talked and talked rock history for hours and then slept late till they picked us up for our Beatles Tour today. We interrupted long enough for Sunday Roast at the Philharmonic Pub and continued to the Cavern. A show at the BBC to be aired later this week, and now back at the hotel to write and tub and sleep.
So now, we head to Bristol. Not too long. And a day off, so James and I plan to check out some museums in the morning, get to Bristol by dinnertime. Then on Tuesday we play with John Wesley Harding.
I've got melodies and lines flying around in my draft addled brain. Hard not to stop for a 1/2 pint anywhere that looks lively. What I love is the intergenerationality here. The bars I'll go to in my neighborhood have a very limited age range. I'd like so much to drink a pint with my grandmother in a bar, talk to her friends, watch a football game with my grandfather and his friends, hear the old stories. We don't have that. I miss that. I miss not having someone to call. Can feel so connected to strangers and a stranger in my own life all at the same time. That's the life, I guess. I chose it. It chose me. Waste of time to parse that sentence. Rather just write a song.