Monday, November 27, 2006

Okay, I admit it -- my life is cool



Okay, alright, I admit it. My life is so cool I can hardly stand it. Because yes, that is Stewie from Family Guy, my favorite animated television show of all time along with the Simpsons, drawn by his actual artist, Ron Brewer, especially for my son, Eric, after Ron met him in concert with Adrian Belew two weeks ago.

Ron is a friend of the California Guitar Trio, who opened for the Adrian Belew Power Trio for three nights beginning in Villa Montalvo, California. He was so blown away by the Belew Trio he trekked to their two subsequent concerts in Eugene and Portand, Oregon. So he emailed Eric that pic, and too bad I don't have a scanner because Eric's got an original Ron gave him on the tour as well.

Julie apparently received something from Ron as well which I'll post here as soon as she comes home and reads her email.

There's some pretty interesting news I could share about all of this, but, um, I'd better not. The jinx factor and all.

And now, before I say another word about anything, the real major news of this morning: Eric has updated his tour blog.

I've really enjoyed the past couple of days -- besides pigging out on some incredible food, I've gotten a lot of writing done and am hoping against hope that I will tie with Susan for our "finish our mutual novels by the end of November" competition.

This Thanksgiving was one of the most relaxed and awesome holidays ever. Julie was in the kitchen at 7:30 a.m. all business. By 10:30, she'd baked two pies, roasted beets, chopped seventeen different vegetables in preparation for the stuffing and sidedishes, had the wild mushroom soup simmering on the stove, and made fresh whipped cream. All Gary had to do was basically come downstairs in the early afternoon and assemble things. It was like he had his own private prep/sous chef.

Here is said soup -- and you can see the swirls of mascarpone cheese, which is so damn decadent and rich it should carry a warning label:



Julie's roasted beet and pistacchio salad with dijon dressing:



And then we went into full eating mode and forgot to take pics of the actual meal, but I did remember during dessert -- unfortunately we had already cut into Julie's magnificent lattice top apple pie, but at least I got a shot of a slice a la mode:



And here's what is probably the best sweet potato pie I ever tasted, sans the whipped cream, which she shot it with a minute later:



Anyway, like I said, we had the best time, and yeah, yeah, we did continue our lame tradition of going around the table before digging in, saying what we were thankful for this year.

Eric went first and he gave an actual speech, naming so many things he loved about all of us and his life that I started to bawl like a baby. Julie was next, and she said "Well, as usual, Eric went on too long and he said everything I wanted to say, so I have to cut it short before the food gets cold and look at Mom, she's sobbing and she's not even going to be able to talk, so I'm just going to say how much I love all of you and let's eat. Mom?"

"Wah...sob...dribble..."

Julie: "Okay, we're skipping Mom...and Mom...get a kleenex, will you? Your nose is running and it's disgusting. Dad?"

But ha ha, Gary was teary eyed, too, and he couldn't speak, either. He managed a choked up "I love my family". At least I think that's what he said, anyway.

And now for the question I know you are all dying to ask: Did the "I've been a vegetarian for a year" Julie taste the organic, free range turkey breast she coerced me into buying?

The answer is Yes. She tasted one small slice, then asked for another, but stopped after that because she was afraid she'd get sick after not eating meat for months. However, we all agreed that we were happy she insisted on this turkey, because, yep, it was the most delicious bird ever and I will happily buy one every year from now on.

Hours later, Gary and Eric were on the road to Nashville, Tennessee to visit with Adrian Belew and pick up Eric's drums. When they finished the tour in Portland, Oregon, Ade's roadies drove all of Eric's equipment back with them to Nashville -- at the time we weren't aware that Eric was going right back out on tour with Chris Harford this coming weekend. It's a twelve hour drive from Philadelphia to Nashville, but Julie was so cute -- she packed the boys all of the Thanksgiving leftovers, even pie, so they wouldn't have to eat at any fast food restaurants on the various turnpikes they had to travel nor leave said turnpikes and get lost in search of real food. So they pulled over at a rest stop at lunch time, bought some coffee to stay awake (I think it was probably six hours into their drive), ate, and got back on the road again where they listened to the Beatles Christmas records which Eric had wisely burned onto CDs before their trip. It's been a yearly tradition in our house since the kids were babies that we always play the Beatles' Christmas records while we're trimming the tree. These records were mailed to members of the Beatle fan club back in the sixties and as I've mentioned here before, Gary was in said club until they disbanded in like 1980 and we have memorabilia like you would not believe. But years of playing them have rendered them charmingly scratchy...it's almost like listening to something from the turn of the century (sob)...so to have new remastered copies on CD is kinda weird but cool at the same time.

When they arrived at Ade's house in Nashville, Ade took them out to dinner at a really cool place -- Ade's wife and daughters were at her mother's house in Kentucky -- so it really was a boys' night out. The three of them discussed music and how fantastic their recent tour was and how they never wanted it to end...and even better...Ade discussed his plans for the future and again, I don't want to tempt the jinx factor, but there's some potentially very exciting news that I just might be reporting here within the next couple of weeks...right in time for that special music fan on your Christmas list.

And that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

That, and it looks like definite plans are being made for an extremely cool tour the last two weeks of March...I have no other details other than the possible opening acts, which just may blow a few minds.

Despite driving for twelve hours immediately following Thanksgiving dinner, Gary and Eric really wanted to be back in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the rest of the four day weekend here, so they grabbed a few hours sleep before heading right back on the road again.

But not before Adrian woke them at dawn and whispered "I'm going out to get you guys some really great donuts. Any special requests?"

Eric put the pillow over his head but Gary, used to me being awake at obscenely early hours, was fairly alert and replied "Chocolate for Eric, cinnamon for me."

So how endearing is that. This famous rock star -- this legend who played with King Crimson, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Paul Simon and Tori Amos -- went out at sunrise and bought my guys donuts.

Our two families have this mutual admiration/love thing going on which is so beautiful I'm getting teary eyed just typing this. Oh, I should add that while Eric and Gary were on the road to Nashville, Ade called here to check on their progress and to let me know he was reading my blog about the tour and he made me blush over how much he enjoyed it. We spoke for like almost an hour!

Anyway, back to the present. So Gary and Eric did in fact arrive home Saturday exhausted and happy; the drums are back in my living room, and let me give you the info for Eric's upcoming tour with Chris Harford:

This Friday night, December 1, they will be playing at The North Star Bar;

Saturday, December 2 -- and this is where it really gets interesting, they will be opening for The Benevento Russo Duo at The Recher Theatre near Baltimore, Maryland, which looks like the coolest venue ever...and here's how they have it listed on their website in case you are too lazy to click on the link:

"Walther Productions Presents
BENEVENTO / RUSSO DUO
Tom Hamilton's American Babies
Chris Harford and the Band Of Changes
featuring:
Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) - Scott Metzger (Particle)
Eric Slick (Adrian Belew)

Saturday, December 2"

I'm kinda bummed because I hear Benevento Russo are incredible, it's probably going to be a huge, sold out show, but it doesn't appear I'll be able to go because Gary has another committment that evening and I have no way of getting there.

Damn...

And on Sunday, December 3, Eric will be playing with Chris Harford at The Iota Club and Cafe in Washington, D.C.

Even more exciting, Eric, Chris, Scott, and the guys from Ween will be at WXPN, a public radio station which plays the only listenable music in the entire City of Philadelphia, doing a live radio interview/performance next Friday, December 8, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.

I'm pretty sure that's all the news for today but you never know. In the meantime, I need to edit a few thousand more chapters...arghh...I've learned the only real way to pick up errors is to print out the entire manuscript and read it out loud.

So that's what I'll be doing in case anyone needs me.

Later,
xo