Here I am, like a retiree inviting you to the garage to look at a birdhouse I’m building, or out on the lawn to admire the golf swing I’ve been perfecting. Come in, have a crocheted doily!
We’ve been off the road for a month now and I’ve been doddering around. Trying to stay motivated. Without the wheel of constant strategizing/booking/traveling/playing I’m left on my own with the pressure to create something and I’ve almost forgotten how.
Tidying up my website the other day and the place looked like one of those almost defunct shopping malls. Up the hill is that new “not a mall” that pretends to be a Florentine villa. While down here, next to Monro Tires and a Rent-A-Center, I’m taking down the dates that have passed. Odd not having anything new to put up. Not just odd – terrifying. If you’re a musician without a gig, you have to believe you exist whether you’re out playing or not. I even came up with this crazy concept I never feel like I have time for…it’s called, get this – practicing.
I’ve worked a few Spotty Dog shifts – fun to taste th- I mean help people with beer and books. The Hudson Valley in summer has so much going on, parades, concerts, flea and farmer’s markets. We had Eric’s mother for a visit which kept us busy as we hauled her around to the places we never have time to see on our own. Writing and mowing. Doing some work on the house – Eric built this lovely bookcase so that’s one room that’s close to being finished. Went to see Kris Kristofferson play in Tarrytown – one of the best songs he played was the newest, Feeling Mortal. That was inspiring. He’s 76…artists keep working. There is no retirement. Though you wish some of them would.
Went to NYC and saw my daughter’s band play at Northside Festival. Took in the Punk fashion show at the Met – I love the music, photos, style and graphics of that era. I loved picking out the museumgoers destined for the show, who might not have otherwise bothered to go the Met, dyed hair and black jeans, sneakers. But inside? They make the music a bit player and give a recreated toilet a star turn – I was almost embarrassed to be there. It’s punk theme park time and they should at least get the smell right! The stupid punk wigs on mannequins, brilliant Vivenne Westwood stuff amongst clothes of zero interest, the only thing that would’ve made the point would have been a bucket of red paint to throw. That’s it, they should’ve had a room with some fancy-looking “punk” gowns and an open bucket of paint. Then it would turn out the gowns were fakes. Or mirrors behind the gowns to show the crowd in nerd glasses and Elvis jeans, neon t-shirts and colored hair. The best I could do was turn against the flow of people and go in the opposite direction. There was a room of William Eggleston photos just down the hall. Only wish I’d have picked up a Richard Hell fridge magnet on the way out.
Visitors and hikes and more concerts: Ian McLagan! I move through it all in a slight stupor.
Then the phone rings, asking me and Eric to play one final show at Maxwell’s, that eternal home of people like us in Hoboken that is closing forever at the end of July, opening for Ian Hunter & his band. Oh and could we do another one with them, down in Delaware.
And everything snaps into focus for a moment. I have a purpose. I do exist.
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby
Tues July 2 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s (opening for Ian Hunter & The Rant Band)
Thu July 11 Wilmington DE World Cafe @The Queen (opening for Ian Hunter)