Tag: travel

The Journey Begins (almost)

A somewhat random inspection had me detained at the airport… they cited questionable liquids, mostly green in color.

By the time they bought the allegation that my ‘great aunt’ in Italy was an avid collector of small liquor bottles & I was breaking no international travel laws, it was too late to board, so I got shuffled onto the flight for tomorrow morning… Gott sei Dank!

YEAR END SURVEY

Grazie!

I’m a sucker for these surveys… can’t believe I waste so much time with them, but hey, what the hell… I’m kind of an open book anyway.

Here goes>>>>>>>

Year end survey.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Played and sang piano onstage solo in Stockholm
Played poker in Las Vegas
Performed at the 100 Club in London
learned to play many Italian card games
Turned 40 years old
Got a lap dance from a monkey.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
yes.  It gets better every year since i started making the resolution to “have more resolve,” & I’ll do the same this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
As a matter of fact, yes… Both Melanie & Jenner gave birth this last year… two unlikely moms with gorgeous kids.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes.  A very dear friend, David Beres, who I haven’t seen for some years died & it broke my heart.
We played in bands together back in San Diego. I wrote my thoughts & a little eulogy for him here.

5. What countries did you visit?
USA, Italy, Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Slovenija, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece & Sicily

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
That’s easy… money & time.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My 40th birthday party… coz it was filled with sundry touching displays of love.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Recording a new album with the Fuzztones.
Getting my spine back.
Living to see my 40th.

9. What was your biggest failure?
no such thing as failure, only botched attempts.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
staved off a cold on the road, wrecked my foot pretty badly in new boots.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
the new boots which destroyed my foot.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my own, I think I did a darn good job of hanging onto my sanity throughout the whirlwind mess that 2010 was.  Also props to all the Fuzztones for keeping their cool over 13 weeks on the road throughout the year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
my own, during the turbulence of losing a lover.

14. Where did most of your money go?
the various collateral reparation costs at the expense of having a good time all the time.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
having to make a tough decision to go professional as an entertainer.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
“My Black Cloud” – The Fuzztones

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
I’d have to admit that I’m happier, because I have certainty about my personal situation, newfound resolve for my professional ambitions & more time to focus on my babies(projects).

ii. Thinner or fatter?
probably a little fatter, due to 3 Xmas dinners & one helluva new year slide.

iii. richer or poorer?
poorer, but happier.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
earning money
saving money
work on my rockopera
recording
touring

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
eating, wasting money, playing poorly in poker.

21. How did you be spend New Years?
dealt poker at a big shindig at Wintergarten Theater in Berlin, had a handful of guests over for blackeyed peas & more drinking at my afterparty.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
maybe six times or so

23. How many one-night stands?
half a dozen, give or take

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Breaking Bad

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
haven’t met someone I admire enough to hate.

26. What was the best book you read?
The City and the City – China Miéville

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
revisiting mid-late 60s West Coast Rock

28. What did you want and get?
a new tattoo

29. What did you want and not get?
a new Ashdown 500watt bass amp

30. What was your favorite film of 2010?
was Paranormal Activity 2010?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
see answer nr. 7, & “Got a lap dance from a monkey.” from answer nr. 1

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more
satisfying?

stupid question… getting a new apartment with more natural light woulda been key, but outside of that not much.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Same as always – snazzy, and full of subtle zazz.

34. What kept you sane?
friends, music, vices

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Scarlett Johansson

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Wiki leaks & the zealous outrage from monkeys calling for the founders’ execution.

37. Who did you miss?
I missed seeing my friend Dave Beres when I was in San Diego before he passed away.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
my mind was blown away by an intense creature in Bassano del Grappa, Italy

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
always call the promoter on the way to the hotel, before showing up to the club.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah” – Bernie Taupin

Nougat town

It becomes more difficult being incognito in a French provincial city somewhere just southwest of Paris when a) i speak very poorly when faking it in French, they immediately hear my Louisianian drawl & point their nosehairs in my general direction.

Nevertheless, the squadron landed yesterday here in Nogent le Rotrou on a night off which shoulda been a gig in Paris, but the promoters had blown it some weeks back. I got to see the venue a day ahead, even got the chance to visit a little farm in the countryside with some massive dogs, horses & scooters. Had dinner with the Black Rippers, a local band here who oeganized the festival. Called it an early night & Keko and I played blackgammon & Scopa till 1 or so.

Slept in till 10:50, made it to my 11am appointment & convinced the rather fetching sandy blond Frisseurin to blacken the whitewalls. While i waited she brought me a gardening magazine & a gossip mag. After i thumbed through through the celebpix, she returned to the rack & cutely apoligized & handed me a couple car magazines. They had a good giggle.

On the walk back to the hotel to get ready for soundczeck, i ran into Derek Smalls, the bassist of Spinal Tap.

Then i realized it was only Keko, my drummer, who’d just gotten a Fuzztones makeover. Bravo!

the "before"... Keko wants to fork Mark Lane in the backside...

the "After"

Another nice dinner courtesy of the Rippers, powernap at the hotel, & we go on in 45minutes, so gotta start tilling my hair. Be seeing you, l’Arsenal!

Random BeNeLux Shenanigans

The first night is still a blur, but hopefully some pics & videos will eventually surface. The next day was gorgeous weather like the first, but the first signs of chem-trails told us to pack our shite from the Melkweg & get the hell outta Dodge.

Coulda sworn it was the Paradiso… oh no, that’s just the Paradise Wallpaper:

I like truth in advertising… & tasty pie

Faithful crew bonding at rest stops…

Keko, Halb-Thruthan & Steppel...

Before this trip, I hadn’t spent any more than 12 hours in Belgium at one time, & now we spent an entire weekend in a town of 43,000 people, & which is best known for being the town of a famous child murderer… the crew thought all my wisecracks about Belgium being the “Wisconsin” of Europe were an exaggeration until they googled this town, Dendermonde.  Anyway, props out to the promoters for hooking us up in this charming little B&B:

Torenhof B&B

The show was fabulous, the people were great, Belgians are a great audience for sure.  We drank a lot.  Thew next day was full of shopping adventures & the club was kind enough to let us rehearse before packing up our gear… so after 2 gigs on the tour, we finally had our first REHEARSAL!…

Today the sun is shining, & we are off to Sittard in the Netherlands…

Amsterdam Part One

To do a full recap of the events as they transpired yesterday night in Amsterdam would take much longer than I have before we are to be onstage tonight in Dendermonde, Belgium, so I just wanna put it out there that I have yet to have experienced an “opening night” gig as fantastic as the one we had at the Melkweg last night.  Wow!  hats off to the amazing crew, the cool opening band, the adorable monitor gal Fiona who made us sound sweet to our own ears… and big hats off to Mark, Keko, me, Lana & Rudi for pulling off such an awesome set without any rehearsal other than 6 or 7 songs at soundczeck.

My Kodak moment was looking at the setlist, seeing Romilar D & having to ask Mark Lane “dude, which note does this one start on?”… somehow it all came back & no one was the wiser.

My buddy Troy & some friends accompanied me & the band back to our hotel with the promise of a rollick on the piano in the bar downstairs, only to find the bar closed.  I suggested to the young lad runnign the show that if he didn’t do as I insist & let us in the bar to drink and stain his paino, that we would be forced to party in the room upstairs, & if he had to come tell us to keep it down it would be more work for him.  He didn’t seem to mind, & it was a roc knroll hotel, so… the rest is a blur & I think no pictures were taken.

Stocking up at the arsenal

Then we stopped at a predetermined rendez vous point with coordinates near the frontier… With the trusty assistance of peripheral reconnaisance icons Jaymo Twisted Wreckage & TroyJay, an arsenal that had my required gauge bass strings was found & we met this chap…

Who hooked us up with the first copies of the new CD to unleash upon the Dutch faithful…

And away we go…

Tourblog – Vienna

So it’s 5:05am, just left the bar with guitar and suitcase in hand towards Flughafen Tegel to catch the 6:55 to Vienna. It’s been about 16 months since I’ve done a gig with FTB, otherwise known as ‘The Fearless Crew’ & i’m well excited. I haven’t been to Vienna since a little holiday with my sister & mother about 6 years ago, & this will be my first concert in the city that Mozart built.

Going to meet a friend from Cirque Rouge for lunch today, so oughta get some rest when we get to the hotel. Ttfn.