Art is a form of therapy. Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in the human situation. – Graham Greene
Home again after over 5 weeks on the road.
On Saturday morning we arrived in Santa Fe from Chicago.
This was undoubtably one of the harder tours…it seems that we were constantly following disaster….when we were in Pompano Beach they had just found Anthrax in nearby Palm Beach….when we stayed in Trenton, NJ for a day, we heard on the news that the Anthrax letters had been sent from the Trenton Post Office….and the night before we were to roll into Manhattan our drivers heard a rumor that cannisters of anthrax had been found on Brooklyn Bridge that day – I was up very early in the morning and watched CNN for an hour to find out whether there was any truth to the rumor, which proved to be totally false of course…..we left at 9 am and took the bridge to Manhattan figuring that it would be prudent to have 3 hours to get to B.B.Kings in Times Square with all of the road blocks and searches….instead we arrived in Manhattan at 10am already and had to search for a spot to park the one bus we had brought….at least we were smart enough to leave the other bus in NewJersey for the day…..
When we were in Detroit the sirens started blaring as we started our show to indicate that a tornado was near. The wind became so strong in fact that it rained onstage- and this was an indoor theater!!! We had to stop for about 15 minutes because my guitars were getting wet and we wanted to make sure that Jon Gagan would NOT get electrocuted by his electric bass.
That’s why we jokingly refer to this latest tour as the disaster tour……
The band sounded great during these last weeks and I am hopeful that the live recording for the Echoes radioshow in Harrisburg turned out beautiful.
During the tour I started sketching out ideas for the next show, whenever that might happen…..it will be quite different from the shows of the last few years and I am quite excited about this brand new concept…..
2002 is the first year of the rest of my career. It is a new beginning. This is the new stuff, this is my own deal and SSRI is my own record company. Now the buck stops here.
The first album to be released in March of 2002 by SSRI will be a solo album. It will be called: In the Arms of Love: Lullabies 4 Children + Adults
It is a quiet album without percussion and with lots of guitars. Relaxing, but not boring. Mellow yet engaging. A beautiful mind trip.
I played all of the instruments with the occassional synth played by Jon Gagan or Gary Lyons.
The second album will be released in June of 2002 under the name: FIESTA!
It will contain re-recordings of earlier songs (from 1990-1996) and some new material. The reasons for re-recording some of my earlier songs are these:
1. The improved sound quality overall. The new digitall equipment is SO much better than what I had to use a decade ago. It is amazing to hear comparisons!!!
2. I would like to show you how some of the songs have evolved over the years…..as the result of countless live performances!
3. To create 5.1 Surround Sound albums new and higher quality recordings are absolutely necessary.
4. I am sure my former record companies will release more compilation CDs and I would rather create a new compilation like this.
5. To re-record my songs means to own the recordings at last. All other masters are owned by Higher Octave and Epic Records.
6. To be able to use these melodies for new editions of EUPHORIA.
Here is a list of songs we have been recording for FIESTA!:
La Rosa Negra/Borrasca
Isla Del Sol
2 The Night
Reaching Out 2 U
Morning Arrival in Goa (New Bossa Nova Version)
Dancing under the Moon
Plus some new and yet untitled stuff…..
Tonight’s show in Westhampton Beach was great. It was fun. It seemed effordless. It felt wonderful. The whole band sounded superb. I have been proud of all the shows on this tour, and it will be exciting to try to outdo this ‘Little Wing’ show.
I have some ideas already. I think the next incarnation of Luna Negra will be a quartet w Jon on bass + synth, Mark on cajon, udu + other percussion, Michael on dumbek, bongos etc.
We are in Atlanta, Georgia today. Here is my report on the venues we have encountered so far.
Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.
Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida.
Florida Theater in Jacksonville, Florida.
Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas.
All of the above are wonderful facilities and great sounding halls with wonderful audiences. Clearwater has the edge because of the best catering of this tour so far. Naples had the best artwork of any hall.
The Abraham Chavez Auditorium in El Paso was very nice. The audience was fantastic. The exterior of the hall was being renovated.
Formerly a highlight of our tours the Pompano Beach Amphitheater is getting worse and worse backstage. The city needs to invest some money here. Paint is peeling of the seats, there is only one dirty toilet and one shower and the catering sucks.
Stubbs in Austin came highly recommended by other bands but I think not having a single toilet for the band and crew is not acceptable. I don’t mind having to use the public toilet, but I do mind having to wait in line when I am supposed to start performing in a few minutes.
Earthlink Live in Atlanta. Leaky faucets and soggy carpet backstage.