We've got a couple of dispatches from the old country waiting to go, but thought it might make sense to post "The Sights Tour Diary -- The Lost Episodes" first. Just pretend it's August.
After our final U.S. gig with Tenacious D we've routed our way home with gigs up the West Coast. First, though, we went to hang with my sisters in the Bay Area. My oldest sister Kim, and her girlfriend Amber, opened up their new badass pad to us on the island of Alameda, just outside of San Francisco. We got to their place and did some laundry, ordered a pizza, and relaxed on their patio -- plants with purple flowers and the best air one can breathe. We didn't want to leave this new world we just discovered, but we had to play a gig in the city.
We got to the Hemlock Tavern and felt right at home, however. Reigning Sound on the juke and cheap beer -- this place rules! Southeast Engine was a band that played before us and they were great. They came across as Band fans, and their harmonies were spot on. Good band, love to play with them again.
Then we went on to a lively crowd of about 40-50 people. The dancing started immediately and it didn't end 'til the last note faded. This is how music should be played, shared and enjoyed. It reminded me of what Levon Helm had said after not understanding Dylan's necessary trajectory into the plugged in world. Levon couldn't understand why it didn't matter to Dylan and the others that people were booing. To Levon, music is to be enjoyed with others, in that moment. I wish to live more like that -- be present in the moment.
The next day we went to Crown Beach (minus Shades) with Kim, Amber and their/our good friend Jay. We had a day off, sorta, and it was good to just chill with my people. Touring is great fun, but getting to hang with your tribe makes it so much sweeter. At night we met up with poet/professor/friend M.L. Liebler to back him up on a few of his pieces at Moe's Books in Berkeley. I'd been to this place before, many times, as my sis lived in Berkeley for years, and in my late teens and early twenties I would visit and just get lost in the city. It was good to be back and to play with M.L. We did some blues-type stuff, then we got out there -- and M.L. was feeling the vibe. We'd gone on first, and afterward wandered around Berkeley for a bit.
Regrettably, we had to leave my sisters, their warmth, the Bay Area, and shove off for Portland. The only thing providing solace was In N Out Burger, one of the last tastes of greatness in the West. We all inhaled something and complained about it the next day.
All the best,