After a day in the city, arriving in the Richmond area can knock you off balance. Where is everyone? They’re clearly at a party just round the corner that you haven’t been invited to. It’s the district of San Francisco that’s just under the Golden Gate Bridge that sprawls out to the west ‘til it hits the Pacific. If you kept on going, the next stop is Hawaï.
The place I’m playing tonight is equally quiet and I have to play with the brakes on, find new unexplored dynamic levels to fit in with the cafe vibe. The tomato soup and toast that someone has ordered is almost as loud as I am. I’m playing sitting down, something I don’t do very often. I’m in a huge armchair and feel like I should be telling these people bedtime stories rather than singing songs. At one point I see a bus and a couple of cars go by without a sound. I half suspect that Richmond is some sort of new-tech experimental zone for noise-cancelling on a big scale. Somewhere just off the boulevard I imagine a Google or Amazon sponsored project that sucks up the metropolitan din then pipes it to some part of the world where noise is in big demand – for a fee of course. It may sound nuts but things that seem crazy have a habit of starting in California then spreading like wildfire. Speaking of which…
The next day I’m eating at John’s Grill, a dark, wood-lined restaurant that’s been here since 1908. The people sitting at the bar have come into the city to escape the fire risk areas in Marin county. They’re sipping Martinis and reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries while the world burns; there are worse ways to go. The power’s out and only 5% of the blaze is under control. Three years of almost no rain was followed by two of constant downpours and the cycle started again.
I suppose last night’s gig was a logical end to the tour. Like a fader being pulled down on a mixing desk, my last song was sucked into a San Francisco vacuum…
French version published daily on the ROCK MADE IN FRANCE website:
October US tour day 15 – All the leaves are brown « pendant que le monde brûle »