The first few shows with Yo La Tengo are over. What a great band they are, and popular all over. Does it sound sappy to say it couldn’t happen to nicer people? I don’t for a second believe these things (popularity, excellence) just happen – there is a consistency and work ethic and aesthetic at work. Attention to detail and genuine decency. How encouraging to see real passion, imagination and integrity rewarded with an audience.
And then there’s me and Eric. We’ve both lived, in different ways, pretty chaotic but productive lives, and we keep working. It means a lot to us to be included on this tour.
Sometimes things go wrong – my pedal board went haywire in Amsterdam, kept muting the acoustic guitar. I won’t go as far as to say it’s the story of my life. I don’t think I’m cursed or doomed. It didn’t ruin the show. Let’s just say it made it more…er, challenging. People really didn’t seem to mind – they told me afterwards as they were buying our records. I was still kicking myself.
But then we got up to do “You Tore Me Down” with Georgia, James and Ira. And Ira’s pedal board was acting up. He couldn’t get his guitar in tune. We’re standing there in front of this huge crowd, and it’s like we’re in someone’s living room, a low-budget “Peanuts, The Musical”. And we’re all Charlie Brown.