No, I swear I’m not returning to my negative, self-deprecating ways. Not at this moment at least. It’s just that Eric and I were listening to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Damn The Torpedoes” on our drive from Portland to Seattle. We had a roundtable in the front seat of the rental car and came to the conclusion that the album just doesn’t hold up as well as, say, the first one which we have played on many a late night drive. Part of it’s the production, part of it’s that weird accent he sings in sometimes. I think his songwriting was at its blandest at this point, and got much better around the time of Freefallin. But it could be I’ve just heard most of these songs way too many times. I still love how he gets out of the verse and into the chorus of this song.
The stars really were shining on us this past weekend, starting with the beautiful deco hotel that helped make up for the stingy “sparse” decor of the last one. The other guests were sporting yarmulkes instead of trendy shag haircuts as the hotel was hosting an event called Israel Here and Now. And just across the street, there was a vintage movie theatre, the Neptune, where “Hamlet 2” was playing at just the right time. I managed to stay awake for most of it.
We’d had Friday off, which was good, because by then we were both dragging. Saturday we were still on overachiever time, waking by 6:30 AM, but that just made it possible to be tourists and walk around Seattle’s downtown a little, visit Pike Place Market, stop in at a guitar shop, buy false eyelashes and get back to the hotel in time to get ready for our Bumbershoot set.
Bumbershoot is a sprawling city festival, with various stages spread out over the part of town that hosted the Seattle World’s Fair in the 60’s. This being Seattle, there’s always the threat of rain spoiling things, but our luck held and the weather was perfect.
Even with the borrowed amps, a weird piano stool that was a cross between a sex-throne and a tractor seat, and the keyboard still sounding fresh out of the box, we had a great time. The crowd was a mix of older folk in that stylish outdoor clothing they’ve perfected in the Northwest and younger types curious to see what the future holds in store should they find themselves still playing music in thirty years. And some of Seattle’s finest, funniest musicians – Jim & Johnny Sangster, John Ramberg and my old pal Lily Dennison. Eric got the people going during “Men In Sandals”, to the point where one guy pulled off his shoes and started slapping them together over his head.
Here’s a nice review of the show.
We got to eat an amazing meal afterwards which is downright rare, almost impossible after a nighttime gig when the only food available is something you wouldn’t normally want to eat (ie donuts, McDonalds, Bounty bars, caramel logs).
Then back to our deco hotel where I should have been able to sleep. But I found myself worrying about New Orleans. And hoping they would be lucky down there too.