I think i have been photographed more than the Eiffel Tower this month, and iv shaken more hands than Prince Charles, the tour rolls on and why not. We started the week in the heat of 96 degree’s plus down at Solana Beach and here we are in Vancouver with it feeling like November in Sussex. The air is fresh which is lovely and my day is filled with gratitude and love for all things. The tour does roll on, and each day we seem to evolve further as a band, which after all this time is something of a good thing. The set seems right, even if i try to find holes in it, the audiences seem to love the textures and the pace. Santa Barbara was hot, and on stage we melted like weeds in a meadow, outside homeless people mixed on the streets with the kind folk eating Italian food under awnings. A gift from Mr Apple arrived, and wow the new i phone really is something else, although the software to download your music is cumbersome and time consuming, so far its taken four days! but thank you Mr Apple. I have been buying Apple since 1987, its been a journey of loyalty and possibly addiction too. Its like the white shirt, it fits. If the shirt fits, plug it in.
San Fransisco was dog eared and in passing i think we have been too many times at that well, its possibly a little empty. However a great show and a chance to meet Ian Black a man who used to fly Lightning jet fighters, I was in awe and am now watching his postings on line. An amazing dedication and love for all things with wings attached. His lifetime passion. Like mine is in music and song. My manager Racheal flew home, she had been with us for a week, and it was sad to see her leave, she is such a great spirit a true adventurer. Top manager too. We have the three RV’s on the road, and it seems to be working out, the Large family wilt in one, and manage to juggle children, child care and long drives, plus playing like kings and queens on stage. Glenn loves his RV and camps most nights in or around each destination, with Miles as his Tonto. I admire the way he always turns up on stage with a fresh shirt looking so great. And then there is me in my tidy yet empty RV, not much in the fridge and a bed still to be slept in, although i have slept plenty on top. Its noisy and the gearing growls as it goes up hills and down the other side. Still its a good place, and most nights i lay still for an hour while it sits in the streets outside the venues. A home from home, possibly. The crew, plus Melvin and Simon lol around in the big tour bus, the crew are the best you can get. Carly is just there, all the time looking and being there for you, I’m so lucky, we are so lucky. Peter provides the best in ear mix you can get, Adam the best sound and Danial, the Roger Moore of the crew, the best lights and images. Bam on guitars, lots of them too. Chris, they call him little, which must mean I’m big, does all things. Gary is our tour manager and looks after us all, he is gentle and prompt. He cares, and thats such a gifted talent to have.
A long drive from SF to Bend, yes Bend, passing Weed on the way, yes Weed, 7 hours in the bone shaker though some of the most amazing countryside, mountains and RV parks, rivers and more RV parks, its all out there, and America loves the great outdoors. We mostly stayed at a resort for a day off, with rocking chairs and nice food, a walk to the private airfield and back, a few naps, some more food and a gig, 5,000 feet above sea level, so we all felt the lack of air. On to the shoulder, the arc that is Portland, the best gig on the tour so far, Seattle and Vancouver. By not trawling these waters over the years we seem to have maintained a following, and thats without TV and radio, so we are really blessed. Portland was so amazing, such a great show. Seattle was in a beautiful hall, it reminded me of the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. Canada, Vancouver and the hot Commodore Ballroom where we almost blew some fuses on stage, it was so hot. Somehow the tiredness of the tour and four shows in a row got to us all, one by one i could hear us falling like October leaves. We were shown pictures of us playing there in 1980 with Jools, i looked classically out of myself, those were the days of hungover trudges through each day, bruising myself out of each and every moment. Drinking for me was a way of life, i knew of no better way than to mask my feelings for what was really happening, i grew to suffer in silence and soak up the pain in equal measures with the crispy and controlled joy.
I have seen so many pictures of me recently from past tours, on Facebook and here today on the promoters phone, i feel blessed with my sobriety and the inner simple waters of each day.
Meanwhile back home Mrs D has invested in some chickens, and eggs are being hatched, she loves them, and i would imagine the cat will too. Home is where the heart is and i miss the routine of home and the love that waits for me there. A dozen eggs on the kitchen table too. In other news my Fancy Pants record on the Pledge website has stalled, with 69 sales and the only show on the horizon sometime next year. Chris Difford The Musical is now the place to see and hear the album for yourself, all you need is a pass word. Its a great collection of songs, and I’m so sad its not doing better than it should, although i think being on tour here and in another place in my head does not help. The focus has to be on Squeeze. Its clearer to me than before how much i quite like Squeeze, as the t shirt says, and we are closer than we have been for many a year. So CDTM will stutter on and i hope find its feet once i have a chance to play The Edinburgh Festival next year, that was the original plan. Back on tour however and I’m signing more Tea towels than Danial O Donnal, all we are missing is the oven gloves! After the show at the merch stand i see faces and i shake hands, i sign things and filter out the emotions from the reality of each moment. Like the Eiffel Tower i light up when approached, up at the top i can see for miles, and miles and miles, its a great place to be. At one end of the line, Glenn and pen, and at the other me and pen, its been 43 years down that line, how did that happen so quickly? Here we are thinking about next year and another record, another world away from truck stop Idaho the next stop on our journey.