Wednesday, June 07, 2006

You Don't Have 2B Famous 2B Good: Part I

Day 1

From Milano to London

Descent into London. Gatwick. Reached into Sexy Jenn's purse on the way down and started reading Creative Visualization book. Wish I'd never done it. Too susceptible to ideas these days. Everything's resonating and sticking. Read the "It's your movie and everything's a mirror" chapter. Funny because I never needed help in that department and then had the illusion inadvertently, yet permanently, shattered for me by Slo Tom's brother last winter in Ottawa.
O Irony. Burst bubbles are the cost of lingering too long with straight people . One harmless comment about how things could seem a certain way if you were to look at them through 'that lens' and my mojo is shattered. I have lost my innocence. Had until that moment never even considered the possibility of Other Lenses. But this book suggests that the world is a mirror and whatever you see is your own projection.
So imagine landing in Gatwick feeling like shit and seeing people running around and little old East Indian ladies falling off the back of carts and screaming children and confusion and chaos. Hard not to think that the outside is representing the inside. BUT! If I wasn't there hungover bad vibing everything, do you think everyone would be all smiles and helping each other at the London fucking airport? I think not.
Sexy Jenn goes to the can and I grab a luggage cart. Those things are always kind of buggered so I start to push it and it flies across the path of this beautiful Italian woman who looks like Sophia Loren. She looks at me and says 'Numero Uno, ah?' And I think she means,"Oh so you think you're number one huh?" and I assure her telepathically that I think no such thing. Somewhere between 'numero duo dicce' (12) and 'a piece of shit' would be more like it and then I realize that she was TRYING to tell me that our luggage was going to come out on carousel number one and it had nothing to do with the cart or a personal assessment and that she was actually being helpful. I always think that I am see-through and forget that people watching the movie can't actually see the projectionist.
Sexy Jenn comes back from the toilet and we realize that we are about to be Random with Luggage in London, which sucks. When we discover that every hotel in London is booked up with The Chelsea Flower Show, I say, "Wait here," and return with two baby bottles of wine and some cigarettes. I insist that before we make any regrettable decisions we step outside and make the present less tense to ensure a more perfect future.
Jenn remembers that she has a friend in London but she has to call her other friend in Vancouver to get the number. The Vancouver friend only has the email address and says, "Okay, got a pen? Ready? It starts with a beak..."
Okay. Plan B. Yvette. She's meeting someone in Camden Town. I used to live there when I was eighteen so I figure I'll know my way around. Gatwick Express to Charring Cross. Switch to the Northern Line to Camden. I am saying 'ciao' and 'grazzi' and bowing to everyone because of the guitar and luggage. We almost get eaten by the tube because I have gotten so used to not understanding anything from being in Italy, that when they announce that the back doors in the last compartment of the tube don't open at Camden Station, which I KNEW from living there, we just stood there waiting for them to open until it was almost too late. Then, the revelation and us dragging our luggage across everyone's ankles to jump out before the doors close. Almost didn't make it because it's not like anybody on the tube will, like, MOVE or HELP YOU or anything. It's like they're all thinking, "Well you don't see me walking around with my clothes on my back and a guitar. Maybe next time you'll save up enough for a taxi!" Did I mention it was raining?
We come out of the tube station and I spy The World's End Pub across the street. I used to hang out there with these actor types and we'd drink cider and cast each other in leading roles ("No. I could totally see you in The Seagull!") Sexy Jenn and I run across the street and into the pub. We find a table in the corner away from the nasty speakers blasting some crap and stash our luggage and order drinks so we can make a plan. I get the Filthiest Wine Glass in England but it contains the important nectar and we talk about boys and shopping, happy to be out of the rain.
Yvette calls and says she' s going to see The Shins, who I like, but no way am I taking LUGGAGE to a rock show. Dinner perhaps? I bolt out the door luggage free in search of this restaurant that blew my mind once, foolishly thinking it might still be there, let's see now, holy shit! NINETEEN YEARS LATER!! Everything's all different. The whole street's changed. Chain stores have taken over all the mum'n'dad shops like everywhere else and of course there's no sign of a long shut restaurant called Rubies in the Dust. I feel like a ghost. Has everything changed or have I changed? The world is a mirror and I'm old.
I see a newish place that says it has Thai food. It's a bar with leather couches, indoor smoking, wine list, looks good. I go back and get Jenn and we haul all our stuff there and order and settle in and my host Paul phones and says I can totally stay over and he's on his way so everything's coming up roses and sunshine and then this band starts up. The loudest most piercing band that ever rented an amp. It's a horrible moment to be in a band, always counting on people's compassion, to find your own in-a-band self thinking, "Oh no. Not a band!" But when the world is your house, sometimes you just want to duck into the study for a moment before going back into the basement.
The food comes and the band is so loud we are laughing. I spy Paul out the window and run out so we can hear each other. He's so great. The sweetest boy that ever lived. Fresh off a blind date. I was the escape hatch. We eat our food and pantomime a lot to each other until the band ends. A man comes over with a clipboard and asks if I'd like to join the band's mailing list. "Hell yes!" I say because I want to know their whereabouts at all times so I can plan not to be anywhere near the area.
We find Yvette and the gang, our friend Clare (Clah) and her merry men. Yvette is with Vincent Gallo's twin brother. Clah and I have a drunken chat about books and then Paul and "English Vincent" and I share a cab back to Stoke Newington. Turns out English Vincent works for "Wohp" Records (Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, and Vincent Gallo(!)) Can't wait to tell the Maintenance Man!
Back at the flat, Paul gives me his bed and I sleep the sleep of the no longer random.

Day 3

Dear G,
I am in London. Played the 12 Bar last night. Man is that a filthy hole. Andy was strangely absent- even though he was there, which is a talent. No drinks. No money, but a really good show nonetheless. My new tourmates Moses (led by Paul Mosely and his brother David Mosely. They are Moses, get it?) are really really good. Nick Drake meets The House Martins with strings and things. Feel good pop music sung by hilarious tenderhearts. Melty.
So you gotta have 21 people pay to make any dough but the joint was 'crammed' so I don't understand. Guess no one paid. The opening opening act was a monk on stilts with an I-Pod who read the bible and played the banjo for like two hours. Saw him necking with a girl in the front room when it was all over so at least somebody scored!
Went to The Phoenix after, of course for more. Currently in Paul's flat figuring out how it all works. I'm starring in my own 'Brit-com' - Just mistook gravy browning for instant coffee and how the fuck do you get hot water to come out of the taps?
Could go to Brighton today and find Jenn Barker and Yvette at this music festival and/or play for some business men at a pub but kind of wanna save up for Newcastle because those people are animals and my Po' pounds are dwindling now that the shows have stopped paying. Actually the Po's didn't pay me either, but I sold records to the folkies to keep me in wine and cherry tomatoes. Thank god. Hmmmm the world is my oyster baby!
Yours Near Stoke Newington,
xoxo cm

Dear L,
Arrived in Brighton in a mighty wind and rain storm. Hard to even walk. Lost. Feeling particularly random. Skirt blowing over head and then all of a sudden Leeroy Stagger pulls up in a minivan saying "Get in! We're gonna go watch The Trailer Park Boys!"
The pier was all lit up and spooky carnivale and Yvette and I went to a circus tent to see a girl band from Scotland called The Pipettes. Matching polka dot dresses, bouffants, three part harmonies, gestures! Ended up in the hotel bar with fighting Canadian rock boys and a woman from L.A. who works for NBC. When it got ugly I went upstairs and ate the cookies because for once all that shit was taken care of.
xo xo cm

Could have stayed on Paul's couch watching Family Guy. Might have been cheaper. Ah but then there would be no story.

Day 4

Dharma Banana @ The Chillingham

Taxi, train, tube, train, coach, taxi. Met Paul at the station and he brought my guitar and everything for our voyage to Newcastle. Ah, my people. Had great show there with Po'Girl and was hoping for repeat customers. Hilarious train ride with Paul. He taught me some new terminology: "Cottaging"- what George Michael was doing in the public toilets, and "dogging"- watching people have sex in cars. And I told him Hank's joke that set the bar for disgusting on the last Hootenanny Tour: (Mother, cover your ears!)
Q. How do you get a gay man to have sex with a woman?
A. Shit in her cunt.
And then of course the day was a write-off and we were away expounding on all the possibilities. I'm sure all the other commuters could hear was some hushed tones followed by some snurfling noises the whole way there. At least I'm hoping so. But hey! Since they were English, we'll never know!
Arrived early and postponed the inevitable by buying some postcards, but was pretty much drunk by soundcheck, the promise of dinner washed away with the drizzle. Got changed in the toilet and told myself to drink some water and then all of a sudden it was time to play. It's a little hazy but I remember saying something about how some people thought of mine and Paul's relationship as a Liza Minelli/David Guest thing but that our marriage was very physical. Dedicated the Whore song to the drunken school teacher who was dancing on the tables, said the word 'cunt' a lot and didn't fuck up any of the songs. My kind of show. I suspect I have a slightly different rating system than "The Industry".
Drained the bar of red wine, ate a bunch of food when we got home to Paul's brother's house, then smoked a joint with Paul's brother David, smoked a cigarette with David's wife Julie, and as David dropped the needle onto Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town by Kenny Rogers, I hit the floor while the school teacher stole the bed. They tried to warn me but I was out. Slept with my boots on and coat and make-up. Everything.


At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I liked it!


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