Day 6: 30 July 2009 – London
We wake up at John’s apartment in London. It is decorated quite tastefully, and crammed to the ceiling with books and records. This is exactly the kind of man you want on your side, if you are in a rock band.
We gather in the living room in our pajamas to drink coffee and eat croissants. It’s almost like Christmas morning, the only other time a bunch of adults sit around in their PJs. I spot a special edition of Spice World high on the bookshelf. [Allow me a tangent here. I used to hate the Spice Girls. And then one day I got a terrible flu. I was wracked with chills and fever, moaning and sweating into my bed. A kind friend brought me emergency supplies: a vat of soup and a VHS copy of Spice World. Over the next 24 hours, I watched the movie on a constant loop, falling in and out of consciousness. I began to hallucinate that I WAS actually a Spice Girl. When I finally pulled through, I knew all of their songs and was a true fan. The same sort of thing also happened to me with Bear Grylls.]
I broach the delicate subject of Spice World. I suspect his possessing it has no irony. John is completely un-snobby about music. On the drive, we’ve had totally sincere conversations about how great Bryan Adams is. And John also recently released a compilation of Bruce Springsteen covers (which we contributed a song to). Evidently, this homage to the Bruce was a controversial move; some indiepopsters just can’t concede the merits of a working class bard from Jersey.
I side with John not only on the Springsteen issue, but on the entire philosophy. Great music gets made all over the world, in every genre imaginable. And I suspect that most bands draw influences from places far afield of their own “file under” genre. Hell, Motley Crue just wanted to sound like the Sweet and Slade, both great bands. Too bad It didn’t work.
Anyway, I probe a little deeper and discover that Jerv is batshit crazy for Ms. Emma Bunton, aka Baby Spice. We spend the morning watching videos from Emma’s solo career. She’s a much better singer than I remembered. Plus Jerv says the press is always teasing her about her weight–which makes me root for her even more.
Then we go walk around London. We see Hyde Park, the Natural History Museum, Prince Albert memorial. We pause for a pint in a truly old pub that is full of old oil paintings, flickering candelabras, and antique furniture. “How do you not spend all your time here?” I ask John. He just smiles.
Before the show, Nick and I hit an internet cafe and I tell him how I really, really would love it if we could have just ONE show where I can simultaneously hear myself sing, and my keyboard doesn’t cut out, and we don’t make any mistakes, and the audience goes crazy. Nick then reminds me that the show I desire is a perfect storm, the likes of which rarely happens. I then remember that not being perfect is still fun.
The club, Barden’s Boudoir, is in a basement, really cozy and cool at the same time. On the bill are two great bands, the Still Corners and Hong Kong in the 60s and all three bands playing have female singers. This never ever happens.
We have our best show of the tour.
I am terribly sad to be bidding Lawrence and John farewell.
Tonight we’ll be pulling an all nighter, traveling to Sweden starting at 2AM. It seems utterly insurmountable.