Menu

Category: Tour blog

Up the East & down the West

My bag weighs exactly 20kg. Not a gram overweight. I look at the check-in clerk and fully expect a prize or at least a Congratulations! But instead he takes issue with my cabin luggage which admittedly is in fact 2 pieces of cabin luggage strapped together, masquerading as a single item. “It’s one guitar.” I […]

Read More →

29/10/19 – All the leaves are brown

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 […]

Read More →

28/10/2019 – Live in your car

I found a book called “How to live in your car”. An actual, serious, practical guide to living the four wheel dream to the full, taking it to its logical conclusion and accepting the fact that holding down a job and a mortgage in todays USA is impractical: a mug’s game. Live in your car. […]

Read More →

27/10/19 – The sweet smell of Ashland

The “Do not drink and drive” signs along the interstate show the image of a martini glass. We pass countless logging trucks; the huge 18 wheeler Peterbuilts and Kenilworths. I can’t see into the cabs but I’m pretty sure they’re not sipping cocktails up there. You need a big beard to drive one of those […]

Read More →

25/10/19 – Lumberjack envy

We’re playing pool in a back room of the only bar still open  in town. The pockets are so big we can hardly miss. Americans like to win at things and big pockets means more winning. Tim steps outside for a cigarette and in the time it takes me to calculate my next improbable angle […]

Read More →

24/10/19 – Drive Tim drive!

We’re making a run for the coast after yet another diner breakfast. I’m fast running out of indigestion tablets. The American diet can only be described as a slow form of suicide. I know there’s a lot of food based entries in this blog but ask any touring musician: it’s an obsession even for those […]

Read More →

23/10/19 – Portland politics

Georgetown diner Seattle. Grabbing breakfast before heading south. Seattle is seeing us off with a bright morning that lights up the signs on the freeway overpass just outside the diner window. Only two choices: north or south. We’ll take the latter. I say we because I’ve been joined on this leg of the tour by […]

Read More →

22/10/19 – Seattle legends

The woman sitting opposite me crosses herself each time the bus picks up more people. I don’t remember “Thou shalt not ride on buses”. Maybe it was in the small print. I’m heading downtown for breakfast somewhere on the port; soak up some ambiance and finish some lyrics so I can try out a new-ish […]

Read More →

21/10/19 – West coast limbo

Last time I saw 4.00am on my phone and didn’t just roll over and go back to sleep I was in Australia  (see Down & Under blog for the details). My taxi to the airport arrives in 20 minutes and the prospect of hitting the West coast is about the only thing that makes me […]

Read More →

20/10/19 – Boston girl talk

Heading north through the satellite towns of Connecticut; most of them urban sprawls where houses and industrial units co-habit before giving way to power-relay-stations and breaker’s yards. Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven go past in a blur, interspersed with leafier communities gloriously decked out in the red, gold and green tones of the season Americans […]

Read More →

18/10/19 – New York umlaut

In the post show rush last night I managed to leave my harmonica on stage. I’m heading back downtown to retrieve it so I can continue my Dylan & Young impersonations on the rest of the tour. I decide to walk and all goes well until the New York grid system starts to slide sideways […]

Read More →

17-10-19 New York backwards

New Yorkers dress drab. The street this morning is a sea of grey, dark blues and browns. I catch my reflection in a shop window. In my bright orange sleeveless jacket they probably think I’m  a construction worker on a break. It’s a dry day and the wind’s blowing dust uptown. I cross 8th Avenue […]

Read More →

16/10/19 – Hicksville

I’m on a train to Hicksville. For real. It actually exists. I cannot shake the idea that it must be a place where people drive down dusty roads in pre WW2 pickups and stand around on street corners with an ear of corn in their mouth. My apologies to the good people of Hicksville. I’m […]

Read More →

15/10/19 – Harlem to Brooklyn

We’ve not even taken off and people are looking nervous. Not because the crew are running through the safety demonstration but because there are things missing that are taken for granted in the age of Netflix and 24/7 on-tap entertainment. There are no screens and no usb sockets. Some people are staring uncomprehendingly at the […]

Read More →

USA – 02/07/19 – Homeward Bound

“On a tour of one-night stands, my suitcase & guitar in hand.” Paul Simon – Homeward Bound I’d swear this gas station figured in an early episode of Twin Peaks. It’s isolated, eerie and surrounded by misty, tree-covered hills. One last top up of the tank before finding yet another roadside motel; the last one […]

Read More →

USA – 01/07/19 – Detroit

USA day 14 – Detroit I thought I’d been travelling on my own but as I opened the car door in early evening Detroit, a solitary fly escaped. I’d really like to know how long it had  been in there with me. Since Chicago? Dayton? Baltimore even? I don’t know anything about the migratory habits […]

Read More →

USA – 29/06/19 – Chicago

Like a reward for getting this far across America I’ve been gifted an extra hour. Somewhere between Dayton and Chicago I crossed a timeline. Unfortunately before I get too excited about what I can do with it I’ll have to hand it back again. Tomorrow I head back east towards Detroit and my last date […]

Read More →

USA- 28/06/19 – Stuck in the middle

I’m leaving tornado country and as a last reminder I pass a building that is half factory half accordion; the entire right hand side is folded in on itself in a way that would make a modernist architect proud. Further down the road is the roof of a house, but no house in sight. I’m […]

Read More →

USA- 27/06/19 – Eaton, Ohio

I turned off the Interstate 75 about twenty minutes ago and I haven’t turned the wheel since. It’s the longest, straightest road I’ve ever seen. It puts the Romans to shame. I’m on the look-out for a diner but all I pass are a surprising number of dentists and tanning salons. I guess that’s what […]

Read More →

USA- 26/06/19 – Ohio

The list of unknown items I’m eating is growing daily: grits & patties and other such items not familiar to a European boy. The items on the Chinese restaurant menu from last night were more recognisable than those in the diner. Asking a waitress what any of these are results in a stare as though […]

Read More →