Boise, home of the Taj Mahal curry house, and home of the wonderful Egyptian Theatre. Also home of the lovely Curtis Stigers. A day off and a wonder around town in the warm sunshine and clean air that escapes from the local mountains close by. Everywhere seems neat and tidy, its a model village of America, at least the downtown where im staying seems to be. I loved my table for one curry, on another table a couple who were full of the joys of spring. She was fizzing with love and he was including us all in their adventure, which consisted of them leaving New York a month ago to camp across America, out with the bears out with nature and in the mountains and parks of this wonderful open country. As i left i stopped to talk to them and reignited the story one more time. I wanted to invite them to the show, but they were on a different journey. He was a country boy at heart and her a city girl, it was lovely to be within menu distance of them both. Our gig was great, they all were, and off we went to Salt Lake City a further six hours down country. A big country. They missed a real treat. Maybe.
I was starting to feel the miles. When we arrived in Salt Lake my tour RV was swapped for a small rental car. I was in fear of the journey which lay ahead, in this small car with Dennis my driver, who i liked but could not hold a conversation with for very long. My car conversation went like this. Me… have you ever had an English breakfast. Long pause. Dennis…Yes. Long pause… but it was in Edinburgh does that still count? There was more but not much. He was young, he was into other things, and i was hungry for the East Coast. He was hungry for mixing desks and bands in clubs. To be fair I’m quite in the car too so the two of us were well suited. After the show in Salt Lake we had a small sleep in a hotel before heading out across country on our three day trip to Norfolk Virginia. 2,345 miles up the road. Day one. Up the mountains to the flat plains of Idaho and Nebraska, i was in Cowboy land, i was in Bonanza in my head, but really i was stuck in a small car with Dennis driving at the speed limit. This drove me mad, so i took over from time to time to hit the 70’s and 80’s of the freeway. By the end of the first day i was boss eyed as we pulled into our first hotel. At the airport in Lincoln Nebraska. Bed and alarm clock, up at the crack of breakfast and into the car for another 14 hours of mostly silence. I did manage to tune into some radio on the way, a whole hour of Grateful Dead Live, it was 1972 in my ears and i was tripping in a flat in Charlton South London. Soon we were heading for a Google spotted curry house 6 hours away. We raced, like a snail to Louisville Kentucky. As we approached Dennis told the there was a time change, the restaurant was about to close and we had an hour to get to it. He rose to the bait and we charged along the road, and as we arrived in the parking lot i could see the open closed sign about to be turned, so i leapt from the car and fell flat to the window pleading for a curry. It was like driving from Glasgow to London for a meal and thankfully while they hoovered up the restaurant we both tucked into some hot spicy food. It tasted amazing.
After the meal we made the decision to kick on for another three hours. As i nodded off i could smell the Dhall, Dennis was secretly trumping while listening to a pod cast on his headphones. Night two and we stop at a hotel near Charlotte Virginia. In contrast and in contact with Carly, our wonderful PA, who was with Glenn in his RV, we discovered they could only drive by day as a fuse had blown on the lights, they were going crazy, we were all in the same boat. This was whacky races. They had left before us but were now 3 hours behind. Melvin and Simon were way ahead with the crew in a real tour bus. They arrived the morning of the show. We arrived ahead of Glenn who made it with an hour to spare. It was a giddy gig in Norfolk Virginia, im not sure what i remember about it, if anything, but it was a bonding experience like none other. I walked on stage like Bambi, i was unsure of my footing. We all were.
We had travelled between two new Moons on this tour and reaching the East Coast revealed a night sky with a slither of a new Moon, it hung there like a rip in the darkness. I saw it as light coming in and Groundhog day had come to rescue me. We had one last drive together me and Dennis, this was up to Washington and then the real car turned up, on loan from Range Rover, a long wheel base Vogue. I was back in the lap of luxury, and my back that had troubled me before the tour was now almost gone from pain, i was in the comfy seat once again. Washington was a great show, really great. The following week seemed to get better and better, the band were on the final lap and no-one could break the chase. Dennis went off on tour with another band and i want to thank him for all of his help, its not an easy job at the best of times.