Saturday, November 18, 2006

The West Coast Adrian Belew Power Trio Tour: Wrapping it up...and even big stars still get starry eyed over the Beatles

The above photos are of Julie Slick and Adrian Belew playing/holding Paul McCartney's bass...yeah, that's right...Paul's bass, which he then signed and gave to a promoter friend of Adrian's (whose amazing Frank Lloyd Wright house the trio visited when they performed in Phoenix, Arizona)

And there's Ade, playing a guitar signed by all four Beatles! I have it on good authority that even Adrian was excited to be holding that axe in his hands let alone playing it.

So my family is home...finally. I say finally because even though they left Oregon at 5:00 a.m. for Philadelphia, the insane weather we had on the east coast combined with helacious weather on the west coast prevented them from getting home and they were re-routed and stuck in Chicago's O'Hare airport for literally a full day.

"I think the airport should put us up in a hotel," Julie sniffed to me on the phone. "It's their obligation, right?"

Right, Jules. That's why we never see television/newspapers photos of people camping out and sprawled out on airport floors when their flights are cancelled. Ah, the innocence of youth, thinking that when you are wronged, adults will make it right for you. Uh-uh, especially huge corporations.

Well, in any event, I did try to help them from my computer in Philadelphia...scoping out nearby Chicago hotels to put on my credit card, etc. but the thing is, the airport wouldn't give them a specific time for a new flight nor would they officially cancel theirs...though of course then I got the telephone call from hell from Julie that "the plane isn't taking off yet because they say it's too small to handle the weather but they said it should be okay in maybe another hour."

Let me tell you what that telephone call did to me. First of all, when Julie called me, we were under a tornado watch for the next two hours and severe thunder and lightning storms for the next five. High winds took every single leaf off of the giant tree outside my house within minutes -- and that tree usually isn't bare until Christmas. The rain sounded like it was going to break every window in this place...and she tells me they are going to board a tiny commuter plane?

I was already pretty shaken up that day. As I reported here a few days ago, Julie and Eric knew I was depressed and lonely while the family was out on tour so they sent me a beautiful pair of handmade turquoise and pearl earrings from New Mexico. I was walking downtown in said rain storm and when I got home, realized I was only wearing one earring...somewhere, somehow, I'd lost one. I burst into tears, even though that's not like me. Having lost my mother at a young age, I'm proud of the fact that mere possessions don't mean much to me anymore...things can get lost/broken, etc. and I know it's not the end of the world. But these earrings are really something special and I also knew Julie and Eric spent a couple of hours picking them out during their precious little down time on the tour which gave them even greater significance.

How would I ever tell them I lost one on the second day I wore them? I went on line frantically, trying to find a replacement, but no luck...they are that unique. I then thought about taking the remaining earring to a jeweler and having him/her re-create it, but how could I get away with that because I knew Julie would want to see me wearing them as soon as she got home.

Anyway, to make a long story at least a little bit shorter, hours and hours later, the Slick family arrived home exhausted after midnight...I was a complete wreck watching the flight arrivals on line at Philadelphia International Airport, memorized their flight number, and actually had television on and made deals with a God I don't even believe in...please no bad news about Flight 638...please no bad news about Flight the time they got home I was a complete basket case and wouldn't you know it, the first words out of Julie's mouth when she saw me was "You're not wearing the earrings!"

But like I said, when they got home it was really late and we were all exhausted so I acted like I didn't hear her and excitedly oohed and ahhed over seeing them for the first time in over two weeks and then we all crashed to our respective bedrooms.

I don't know what drove me to do this, but early the next morning, before either Julie or Eric were awake, I re-traced my exact path into town. Now mind you there had been the aforesaid terrible storm the night before, there were mud puddles, flooded streets, and leaves everywhere. I'd walked approximately two miles, too. But I remembered my route, which included a cut through a tree lined area/path right off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which was now in even worse condition than the rest of the area...wait, let me see if I can find a photo on line of this part of town...yeah, here's one, but it's taken on a summer day. Picture this same area in a monsoon.

Anyway, I was in tears and I have lousy vision to begin with despite obscenely expensive custom contact lenses but when I'm determined, look out. And sure enough, as I trudged through all kinds of disgusting mud and piles of wet leaves, I saw a glimpse of turquoise. My heart raced and I couldn't believe it, but there was my earring...a little bit bent where someone must have stepped on it, but for the most part, in tact.

What are the odds? But you know what? Something told me I was going to find it, despite the weather from hell and despite the fact that the area is huge and there are 2,000,000 people who trudge through there each day. Anyway, I just tried taking a picture of myself with my new earrings and it kept turning out so hilariously bad that I took one last shot where I was laughing my ass off at what a complete and hopeless geek I am and anyway, I finally managed one where at least you can kind of see said earring:

Yeah, I learned how to use photoshop and I'm dangerous now. (Not really. iPhoto has an "adjust your photo" feature I just discovered and I played with it, made myself orange, and then couldn't change it back.)

Anyway, back to the Belew tour -- so my family said it was the most amazing experience of their lives; the tour will resume in approximately March of 2007 but it could be sooner, could be later depending on a number of factors...and definite plans are in the works to record Side 4 Live.

I got a cool email from a guitarist with whom I wasn't familiar...her name is Jennifer Batten, and man does she have some creds. Well. of course I had to immediately google her after she wrote to me -- I mean, this is me we are talking about. Anyway, here's what she had to say:

"I played guitar for Michael Jackson for 10 years and Jeff Beck for 3. Saw your kids last night in Portland and holy crap---FANTASTIC!!!! So refreshing also whenever on the rare occasion, I see a great female player on stage!!!! Kudos--Jennifer"

So then I of course wrote back and thanked her and she sent me another cool message:

"I told Adrian as soon as he's done touring with your kids....I GET THEM!! They're going to go a long way in the business I think..."

So that was very cool, and I had a listen to Jennifer's music...I'm going to see if I can get an MP3 of hers to put up on my blog in a few weeks.

And speaking of that..

You will notice that I have retired Citizen Cope for now and my plan is to post a new MP3 every week of someone who may be new to a lot of you -- I really want to promote independent artists and encourage you to buy their CDs. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know for the past month or so I've been flipping over a CD called "View" by Bryan Beller. A song off of that recording, called Seven Percent Grade, is what you are listening to now. So I've put up a link on the right hand where you can grab a copy of View...and if there's anyone who is reading now who would like me to consider posting their music in weeks to come, drop me an email with the link to your site. Your stuff has to be uploaded to an actual web address that I can embed in the template of this blog for it to work, okay?