Thanks Martin, Danny, John and all the rest of you who have emailed us asking about the tour. We’ve been back almost a month and we’re still riding so high. Bob asked me to post something about it and, due to our work on a project I’m not really able to talk about yet, I’m just now finding time.
Other than Bob’s stunning performances – at every venue – what stands out most is how kind everyone was to us. It seems like everyone involved in the tour went so far beyond the call of duty for us.
At the risk of making this sound like an Oscar-acceptance speech, let me start with three quick but important thank you’s.
As I say, everyone was great to us. But neither Bob nor I can imagine how we would have done this tour without these incredible people:
First, Martin Roberts, who took valuable time from his flower shop in such a busy season to drive us all over London (airport to hotel to train station ad infinitum) and for letting us stash our excess CDs and luggage at his place while we traveled to the other cities.
Second, the amazing Iñaki Orbezua. Iñaki promoted the Bilbao concert and it went perfectly. He got us scads of advance promo in the local papers and translated for Bob on a radio interview show that reaches all over Northern Spain. By all rights, his responsibility to us stopped when the show was over. But the next day, I got one of my monster migraines. Not knowing anyone else who spoke English, we called Iñaki. He dropped everything and took the entire day away from his thriving law practice to accompany us to doctors and clinics where no one spoke English. He translated between me and the doctors and got me the medicine I needed – and explained the dosage to me.
Believe me, it’s hell getting sick in a foreign country. Without Iñaki, I don’t know what I’d have done.
And third, Paul and Ashley Adsett. Paul promoted the Brighton concert and he and his gracious wife Ashley not only drove all the way up to “collect” us at London’s Stanstead Airport when we arrived from Spain, they also let us stay in their home for four days -- me still with my health banging on about two cylinders. They were not only great hosts, but they also played nursemaid to me the entire time. We can’t get over their generosity in letting us disrupt their household routine.
Now, as to the performances: What news can I give you? Bob was fantastic at every venue. But that’s not news. There are some reviews and fan reports on the “The 2009 European Tour” thread in the KEEPING TRACK OF TIME section of this board.
As has been mentioned elsewhere, the Newcastle, London and Brighton shows were taped and Bob’s in the process of reviewing them for a possible live CD. But he’s made me promise to tell you it’s still very iffy. We haven’t even received all the discs yet so even under perfect conditions, we’re not looking to release anything before the first of 2010.
If there are highlights, I guess I could cite three:
* The Luminaire. Just as it was in 2007, Bob’s London show was electrifying. Some high-powered music people were in attendance, including singer/songwriter Patty Dahlstrom and Sean O’Hagan of the High Lamas. Before the show, Bob was interviewed on camera by filmmaker Alex Crowton for an upcoming documentary on Jack Nitzsche (no release date set as of now). And he also did an interview with Alan Cackett of Maverick Magazine, which we understand will be out in the November edition.
* Bilbao. If you have any doubts that music is the “universal language” you should have been at this show. Bob was actually nervous before going on (and he is not one to suffer from stage fright). He told me: “I don’t know how I’m going to reach this crowd. If they don’t get my lyrics, I’m dead in the water.”
But of course his concerns were groundless.
First he totally amazed me by speaking to the crowd in Spanish for about five solid minutes – explaining, I was later told, that he wished he could speak to them in their language all night out of respect, but that his Spanish was so bad it would be “like torture” for them to listen to it through the whole set.
Then he switched to English. It was apparent by the blank stares he got when he spoke between songs that indeed there were very few English-speaking people in the audience. His stories and anecdotes, which usually get big laughs or enthusiastic responses, were met with polite but deafening silence.
But sure enough, as soon as he started singing, he brought down la casa. The sheer, honest emotion overwhelmed them. They wouldn’t let him off the stage and I think we sold more CDs at that show than anywhere else.
*And last but not least, his astonishing performance at the End of the Road Festival. From the moment he came out on that stage and started playing to the crowd of 2,500 people (many of whom had no idea who he was) he had them. The momentum built to a fevered pitch and then, about half an hour into the set, he brought it over the top by introducing his surprise guests.
“I have two friends backstage,” he told the audience. “Be nice to them. Indulge them a little bit. They hardly ever get to play anywhere nice . . .” and proceeded to introduce Brit superstars Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley!
By now most of you who have read reviews and reports of the festival know it’s being hailed as one of the absolute high points of the long weekend.
Unfortunately at this point the only videoed record of the performance is in this tiny 30-second clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGKjvSx6xck
We got to spend a lot of time with Jarvis and with Richard and his charming wife and family. It was hilarious watching them together – Bob bowled over, not quite able to believe that these two megastars would want to appear, unannounced, with him; and Jarvis and Richard in absolute awe of being around their longtime idol and hero.
But after the awkwardness melted away, they were just three good friends who were joined in the larger context of pure music.
What I would have given to have recorded the three of them jamming at Richard’s campsite.
I’ll close with a special thank you to Mick Patrick and the other great people at ACE Records who wisely provided copies of BOB LIND: ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY (The Complete Jack Nitzsche Sessions), for us to sell at the gigs. It turned out to be a good move for all of us because we pretty much sold out of them.
We’re already counting the days until we get back across the pond again.