Kathy X has a couple of shows in Spain next month and in a fit of diligence i invested in an audio book of tourist Spanish.
I hate not understanding a word when in another country. My old punk-metal band Joyryde had 2 shows in Finland. Helsinki no problem, but the next day we were in a van with Finnish bassist and Finnish road crew heading North through an endless hypnotic and eery wall of snow and fir trees, quickly losing all track of time and reality. There was a lot of ominous discussion – obviously concerning some kind of MAJOR PROBLEM but damned if I knew what our bassist and the other unsmiling Finns were on about. Not a single word was familiar. Would we ever come back from this sinister Artic vortex?
Clearly we did but I still remember that “what-are-they-planning-to-do-with-us?” feeling. As it happened the issue was band politics. Finnish bass player left us soon after……but that’s another story.
One tiny unexpected advantage of recent freezing weather here : sitting on public transport with a scarf in front of my mouth and no-one is any the wiser when I repeat several times that Ive reserved a double room and prepared the paella. I havent got to the section about soundchecks yet.
“Now you don’t come out to play – Girlfriend threw your toys away Ain’t got time for all that jive –Work your butt off nine to five…”
(from “You Don’t Rock No More”)
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If you play in a band – or do whatever your special thing is – you may wake up one morning realising the fun’s over. Some people’s priorities change with age. The fire that once burned so brightly gradually morphs into some kind of minor inconvience and reminders of it are removed from view. Till one day some chance occurrence triggers off the memory and you wonder what the hell happened to your dreams.
Here’s the choice: reclaim what you had, or act like it never happened. Neither is an easy road. Reclaiming your old dreams means confronting why you dumped them. Drowning them seems simpler on the face of it but there will always be an uneasy feeling – even if it’s buried six feet under – that you sold your soul overnight. Or in tiny pieces as the years went on.
I made a conscious decision not to live with that, and I’ve turned down more than one “safe” job offer over the years. People are sometimes surprised that I choose a chronically insecure lifestyle But when I have a rent-panic, I remind myself that I will never, EVER have to answer company mails on a Sunday to ensure I can escape to Isla Whereva once a year. And when I face the final curtain I’ll be entitled to have a certain special song played at my wake: