Hello from a loft in Berlin above the club... What a city! We're staying across the street from one of the last standing pieces of the Berlin wall. We're finally out of the van for a bit, and have a long time between soundcheck and show, so we're currently trying to catch up on sleep, emails, paying bills, conversing, etc. Apologies that we haven't been able to update the site much lately but we've been traveling so much we haven't been able to sit and connect with the interweb much. I'd love to fill you in on each moment of the last few days, but "hello" will have to do for now.
It feels like we are on some sort of dreamy european vacation... we're witnessing so much so fast, it's hard to process. During each show with MMJ, Jim comments on what he did in the town that day. They drive through the night from each city to the next trying to get sleep on their bus, waking in the morning to a new Europa experience. I'm always a bit jealous because we pretty much roll in right for soundcheck and the only places we're getting to know are the bars (the real heart of the city anyways, right?). We've got a few long travel days ahead and then we'll have some time off in Paris and London. Rumor has it that our fearless leader and tour manager Ajay Saggar may be able to get us into Abbey Road, the place where Geoff Emerick used to smoke Everest cigarettes... inspiring the Beatles to consider naming their last record after the little pack of smokes they saw on the console. Hoping to join Jim for some exploring and I was telling Tom last night about how we need to kickstart European Hike Club. Unfortunately, not much city hiking yet. But soon.
Bo from MMJ has been joining us on keys for 3 songs every night, and it adds such an incredible element to the songs. Jim has now come up a few times to sing Dylan's You Ain't Goin' Nowhere with us. Last night in Cologne, we had a super fun show with one of the best crowds we've ever played to. We had the treat of having 3/5's of MMJ up on stage with us. Bo and Jim got up there, and Carl played majestic pedal steel parts. J and Carl traded solos, and it blew my mind. Those guys are just completely amazing people. Excellent musicians and excellent company. They share their backstage with us, their food, and their crew has been bending over backwards helping us. The tour manager Eric has been super kind, even giving us extra set time. Their techs Rick and Brucie have been putting in serious time helping us, and we appreciate them more than they will ever know. My tele went kaput a few shows ago and Brucie spent some serious time trying to fix it. The mystery problem still hasn't been solved, so Carl has graciously been lending me his beautiful Les Paul "Blackie" the last few nights. I know so many guys who would NEVER hand over their guitar, let alone let someone use it for a whole set in a hot sweaty German club! The whole MMJ team are treating us so well and making us feel very welcome. (See above for some backstage drummer love.) Zoran Orlic has been with us the last few shows (fresh from shooting Wilco in the loft!), so we'll be posting some of his stunning photos very soon.
more soon.... we still need to tell you about Malahide!