Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Yet Another Thing I Never Thought I'd See

When I heard that Cream was reforming to play a few dates at the RAH back in May, I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would bring the tour stateside. My wife encouraged me to fly to London to see the show as a special 50th birthday present (sweet gal, eh?) but by the time I started to make arrangements tickets were sold out and going for stupid amounts of money on eBay.

But as luck has it, I won't have to fly anywhere to see them as they announced that they will be playing three nights at MSG in October. Hopefully I will get tickets and it will certainly round out my year, concert-wise. Although the baby has limited our nights out, I still managed to see almost all of my big faves this year - Springsteen, Dylan and Brian Wilson with cheap seats to the McCartney show in hand.

How cool will it be to see Cream? I know that the reviews from London were just alright - but like the critics say "add a star if you're a fan." This is music that certainly took me places - and never getting a chance to see them "back in the day" it will be like plugging in a missing piece of my teenage years. I remember watching Cream's farewell concert at my friend Iain's house - oddly enough it was broadcast on local TV - and thinking "why are they ending this?" I didn't realize at the time that these bands didn't exist sole for my existence and as years went by and I gained more knowledge of their situation its a wonder they lasted as long as they did. All good things must come to and end - and if Cream didn't break up we would have never had such wonders as Ginger Baker's Airforce!

I did get to see Eric Clapton many times over the years. Sometimes he was amazing, sometimes not. A few years back I saw Jack Bruce as a member of Ringo's All Starr Band and he was the highlight of the show. He performed "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "White Room" (with Todd Rundgren having a blast on guitar) and I remember thinking how great it was to hear these songs being played.

I wonder if I should get a pair of bell bottoms for the show?

Monday, September 05, 2005


I really, really love Louisiana. Maybe because every single moment I have ever spent there has been wonderful. I have visited many times, with many friends and lovers. I have never been to Mardi Gras and only went to Jazzfest once. I prefer to visit when the city is not so crowded and it's easier to get a table at my favorite restaurants - a list that keeps growing and growing.

I do admit that a great deal of my time there is spent under various influences but New Orleans alters my state of mind way before that first bloody mary. Each state in this country may be different, but Lousiana is way different. If you've been there and you are a living, breathing, feeling person then you have felt the spirit that seems to rise from the ground in that place. I can only hope that all that spirit finds it's way back when the sun truly begins to rise again on the Gulf Coast.

My thoughts this week were about some of the people that made my time there memorable. There was the cab driver who picked us up from Frankie & Johnny's and on the way back gave us an improtu tour of the neighborhood, far more enjoyable than any of the official tours. Another bus driver - this time Lizz's cousin Christy flagged down one of those small luxury buses and asked the driver to take us from the Quarter to the JazzFest fairgrounds - and he did, singing for us all the way. I also thought about the gold toothed counter woman at Mother's who couldn't quite believe that I was going to eat a fried oyster po' boy AND a "Debris" po' boy (which is a po' boy made from the drippings off the roast beef cooked there at the restaurant - think of the most amazing pot roast and gravy hero in the universe and you might be doing this justice). Hey, it was my last day in town and they just don't play this kind of jazz back home.

If there ever was any doubt, Louisiana now owns the blues. Do what you can and learn what you can. The wake from the waves of this storm are going to be felt for a long time.