Wednesday, December 3, 2008
November 15th - 2:12PM. Driving to Birmingham.
I didn't remember his name, but I knew the face.
"My name's #*&."
With a snide undertone he helped me to remember.
What can I say? The road is long, the road is hard, the road is often times drunk and blurry.
It was obvious that #*& thought I was a jerk and he didn't really care how I was doing, and there was no real point to him asking what I've been up to.
"You should come back to Memphis and play a house show."
It wasn't a statement, it was thinly veiled criticism.
When it becomes obvious that people are not your friends, never were your friends, and you have no interest in building a friendship with them, nor do they with you, why would you feign the interest to do so?
I don't have to remember your name to be a good person. I wish I had that kind of memory, but I just don't.
See #*& it's not that I have anything against playing house shows, it's just that I don't want to play at your house.
November 16th - 10:46AM. Driving to Columbia, SC.
Today is the last day of the Revival Tour. I'm sorry to see it end. I'm truly thankful for the experience. It will be weird carrying on for the next week of shows without everyone else. Chuck's been talking about possibly doing a Revival Tour in the UK sometime this spring. If it happens I want in. Chuck, Ben, Tim, Jon, Digger, Todd, Jill, Jimmy, Matt, thank you for everything.
I wrote a song last night after soundcheck and played it first in my set. I think I'm going to call it "Bob Dylan Dream #12 & 35".
November 19th - 2:08AM. New Jersey.
I like the thought that the lyrics and melody were a gift from my guitars.
I volunteered to go out to the van and get the directions notebook. Once out there I realized I wanted to bring a guitar inside the house to play. But carry both guitars in? That would be a hassle. I started to bring in my Gibson, out of loyalty. I've only owned the Takamine for 3 days. But then I worried the Takamine would be lonely, cold and lonely, so I brought them both in. Once inside I sat down on the floor and wrote a song. I like the thought that the lyrics and melody were a gift from my guitars for bringing them both inside the warm house.
November 21st - 3:18PM. Driving Connecticut.
Kevin Mahon is the only person who has ever broken my heart. We used to be best friends. We used to spend every minute of every day together. When we went on our first tour his parents made me his legal guardian. Since Kevin was under 18 they wanted me to be able to bail him out of jail in the event he should be arrested.
Kevin and I had a musical connection unlike any I've felt before or since. We didn't have to verbally communicate ideas or direction, we both just knew what the other was thinking. If I played a chord progression he knew the beat to go along with it. If he played a beat, the chord progression to match would come to me.
I loved Kevin.
When I was 8 years old I decided that playing music was what I wanted to do with my life. Kevin didn't feel the same way and there eventually came a point in our relationship when he wanted to pursue other interests. I had a really hard time coping with it and felt that if we didn't play music together, we couldn't be friends. I didn't know what to do with the hurt and disappointment I felt. In many ways I acted immaturely and I'm sorry for it.
I'm sorry Kevin.
We've seen each other sporadically over the years; tried hanging out once or twice, had a drunken argument in a bar, shared a couple phone conversations, traded emails, but the exchanges were always awkward and stilted. you could compare it to the way you'd feel talking to an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. I continued playing music and Kevin followed his interest to Brooklyn, were he now lives. Last time the band played in NYC he came out to the show. We went out drinking afterwards. It was a fun time.
Driving into the city yesterday I texted Kevin on a whim and asked if he wanted to come and play a song with me at the Knitting Factory.
"Sure, want to play a couple?"
It was the first time we'd played music together, been onstage together, in 7 years. Without any more practice than running through the songs at sound check, it felt like not a day had passed since our last show together in Gainesville.
A lot of the songs we played I've refused to play for years, and some fans of those songs have never quite been able to understand. They were songs that Kevin and I made together and their association to my broken heart turned me cynical and jaded towards them.
Talking to Kevin after the show I spilled my guts. I was lit, both on the moment and vodka. I told him that I missed him and that if he ever wanted to play music together again, on whatever terms, I'd love to. Compare it to begging your ex to take you back, that's how I felt waking up this morning, like I had slept with my ex-girlfriend and then begged her to take me back...
but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it isn't really like that and my metaphors are all off. Maybe we can play music together again someday, for fun, because it feels good. Maybe sometimes I just over think things.
November 23rd - 1:34PM. Driving to Pittsburgh, PA.
Originally we intended to drive for at least two hours after the Connecticut show, make it past the city and find a hotel. I made it about fifteen minutes before deciding I didn't want to drive anymore. We slept the night then drove to Allentown, our planned destination for our day off. I found a much needed Kinko's/Fed Ex, where I was able to send some overdue mail. We found a Target and did some much needed shopping (a new toothbrush and toothpaste). We ate dinner at Carraba's. We got a room at a Comfort Suites. We had drinks at the bar and played mega-touch. We went back to the room, watched "Burn After Reading" (my second time seeing it). We passed out. Today, I'm hungover. My stomach is doing backflips from all the cheap wine. Three more shows this year.
November 24th - Time?. Somewhere outside Pittsburgh, PA.
I'm faced with choice, possibility. I am without a plan. Everything is uncertain. It's time to decide though, the road is running out. Where you gonna go?
I talked with Kevin today about the possibility of playing together again. What would it mean? How would it work? Neither of us are sure. We plan on talking again tomorrow.
November 25th - 12:26PM. Driving to Grand Rapids, MI
"At school you dream, in life you have to make adjustments. You come up against a reality older than yourself, to which you have to adapt yourself. You don't become what you would like to become."
-Bread And Wine
By Ignazio Silone
Today is the last day of tour. Today is the last show of the year. We'll drive to Heather's parents house in Detroit tomorrow. We'll spend Thanksgiving there, and then, when it comes time to leave, we'll have nowhere to go, we'll have anywhere we want to go. I'm anxious to be some place. It won't take much to make me happy, a bed to sleep in, a desk to write at, and the freedom to sing and play guitar without offending neighbors. We have a storage unit full of our belongings back in Gainesville. With the exception of my records, books, photographs, old journals, my grandmother's couch and the $300-400 in rolled pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters, I could really care less about going back for any of it.
November 26th - 2:42AM. Clarion Suites, Grand Rapids, MI.
Playing tonight I kept hoping that James, Andrew, and Warren would jump onstage out of nowhere and we'd finish the year together.
November 27th - 1:37AM. Grosse Point, MI.
This is my first time visiting the house that Heather grew up in, my first time visiting the neighborhood that Heather grew up in.
We're sleeping in Patrick, her brother's old bedroom, as it has a double bed in it and Heather's old bedroom now has two twins in it.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A year ago on Thanksgiving I was playing a show in Chicago. Two years ago I was in L.A. recording an album. Three years ago we were on a tour of all 50 states eating dinner in a hotel room somewhere in America.
November 28th - 1:12AM. Grosse Point, MI
After dinner I washed the dishes. I wanted to wash the dishes. I like to wash dishes. I was paid to wash dishes once and I hated it. The soap and water ruined the callous' on my fingers which were necessary for playing guitar. So I quit. I didn't quit in person, I just stopped showing up. They mailed me my paycheck.
It was a classic vision of Thanksgiving, add in the Tofurkey. Sitting at the table I took in the moment. The people surrounding me are now part of my family. This is my wife. This is the person I grew up to become. This is where I am in life. This is what I'm doing. This is where I hope to go. I'm thankful.
" 'All our life is lived provisionally,' he said. 'We think that for the time being things are bad, that for the time being we must adapt ourselves, even humiliate ourselves but that is all just temporary, and that one day life, real life, will begin. We get ready to die, still complaining that we have never really lived. Sometimes I am obsessed with the idea that we have only one life and spend the whole of it living provisionally, waiting for real life to being. And thus time passes. Nobody lives in the present. Nobody has any profit from his daily life. Nobody can say: On that day, on that occasion, my life began. Even those who enjoy all the advantages of belonging to the governmental party have to live by intrigue, and are thoroughly nauseated by the dominant stupidity. They too live provisionally and spend their lives waiting.' "
- Bread And Wine
By Ignazio Silone