We spent the day in Atlanta yesterday. The gig was kind of ridiculous, but the rest of the day was great. They gave us a fixed budget to wander and buy lunch with, so I managed to strategize and get my lunch AND dinner out of it. That was A1. Then we went back to the hotel and - this was a Mariott, a really classy place - they had free beer for a full hour and a half in the 2nd floor lounge. I guess this is how the other half lives. So nap time got put off another day, but what can you do?
Where we were in downtown Atlanta looks and feels a lot like lower Manhatten, and it got me a bit nostalgic for the place, which I think we're returning to sometime this year. Not the parts where I worked all those awful jobs, running my career and band up against a wall, etc. etc, but more the shot of relevenace I felt my life needed, that it ultimately received in living there. Maybe it makes no sense now as an adult, but at 19 it seemed to mean everything to me.
Mostly, what I miss us...not when I knew that I lived in the same neighbohood as Iggy Pop, or that I was hustling gigs at the same venues that Neil Young and Bob Dylan did 30 years prior, or even the feeling from having an A&R rep from Atlantic call me up to talk about possibilities (that went nowhere). No, the thing I miss most is the one thing I couldn't wait to get away from - the bar I spent 4 years working in - as cook, doorman, and finally day bartender. The professional alcoholics I ran with there were very seasoned New Yorkers, seasoned livers of life, and ultimately seasoned cohorts - though I ultimately did quit so as to avoid joining their ranks as professional day alcoholic. In a strange, strange way, there is something comforting about being in the presence of people on such a serious regimen of acceptance. I spend my whole life accepting nothing. Here was true resignation to the accumulation of certain harsh realities, because let's face it, not everyone makes it to the 26th mile. I find myself writing about this theme a lot, the first one was Dakota, and that's why it's still one of my favorite songs. My old apartment looked out over the exact halfway point of the NYC marathon. While I always slept through the frontrunners, I managed to wake up in time to watch and admire the stragglers who gave up on their initial goals, and found some salvation in just being there, having given something. I admired it because I know that they slept well that night. So, too, did my distinguished acquaintences at McAleer's Pub on Amsterdam Ave. I often feel like I walked into tha bar knowing nothing about life, and finally ran out knowing everything I'll ever need to. I miss it, I miss those people, and I look forward to going back.I haven't been back in years, though the owner was kind enough to donate generously to the funding of my live CD/DVD last year.
P.S. download HERE (or just go comment)!!:
I miss discovering that harsh reality for the first time - acceptance, dreams broken, pride in resignation - and the boost and reinforcement it ultimately helped feed to my ambitions (like they needed it). Without that, I might well have given up by now, who knows?
Life is all cycles. You have to stay on the fucking bike and just pedal.
Here are some pictures, including a great one of Miguel that illustrates his dedication to his van DVD remote obligations:
This is a magician who was outside our gig in Hot 'Lanta yesterday. I don't remember his name, but his hands shook a lot. The rabbit was really sweet, you could pet him and everything.
Chattanooga was tonight, Marietta, Georgia tomorrow.