Today is Wednesday, and as Exile on Main Street is coming through the speakers of Jerry Sprinter, it feels like a good time to write. What doesn't feel so nice is the lack of A/C in Jerry (the rear is out and the front alone won't do the trick). We've toured the U.S. with no A/C before, in a van dubbed "Swamp Thing" in which we put a thermometer on the window and it broke from going so high. This is nothing new to me, nor is it a bummer. What does bum me out are complainers-- luckily, this group is taking it in stride. I do worry, though, that it could potentially wear us down as the tour wears on. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
As we left for tour on Sunday, my drain backed up in my house and had to be snaked. With about an hour or so before I had to get into Jerry, I had to freak out, figure it out, and pack for tour. As we left I had a nagging sense I'd left many things I'll need. I put the feeling down to well, I feel like that a lot when I leave anyway, so just forget about it Eddie.
Sunday night Jerry rolled into our good friend Andy Matzdorf's in Chicago. Andy recorded us a few years back, and we used to crash at his old place. His old place was a warehouse/studio that had gear everywhere, and after the gig we'd bring the bar back with us and jam 'til the wee wee hours. I miss that place and those times, but it was good to see Andy moving into a clean, adult-like apartment. He's all grow'd up on us! We hung with Andy, talking over The Big Lebowski and having some beers. Kyle snuck off to the Empty Bottle to see the Terrible Twos and Thee Oh Sees.
I woke up at Andy's around 7:47am to the sound of men working on a neighbor's place (not the first time that has happened this summer). After getting a free bath courtesy of Andy's dog Levon, we made our way to Rock Island, IL for a Daytrotter session.
Daytrotter was great, and Mike & gang were very cool to work with. We recorded five tunes, and it didn't sound like we had a week off. While I did feel my voice wasn't all there, my guitar playing made up for it. I felt great; reborn in a way I hadn't felt in years. I had this thing on my body and it all made sense-- I am here to play. I'd noticed the way the guys each brought something great to "Fool" and the song's morphed into a monster. I can hear the next step in us, the evolution. I love it.
After Daytrotter we got back on the trail to Joe and Sandy Schwab's beautiful home in St. Louis. Joe was in Texas looking at records (what a life) but Sandy was a great host. Equal parts motherly but cool older sister, Sandy was, like Andy, a great start to our third leg. The Sights aren't just five guys onstage-- I have to remember it's all the warmth we receive while slogging it out. It's the friends that surround us backstage. It's an extended family that greets us at every stop. It's us and the people that help us.
All the best,
Today's high according to Jerry Sprinter's thermometer: 101
Photos by Shades