October 21 2012
This may be the quickest I’ve ever back to backed blogs in a long time. I’m sitting here on a sunny day off in Switzerland listening to my friend Chris Catalyst’s band Eureka Machines and it totally rocks! Chris plays guitar for Ginger Wildheart AND Sisters Of Mercy. Pretty rad resume if you ask me. Talented lot Ginger has surrounded himself with. They’ve all got stuff going on. It’s super inspiring.
We drove overnight from Paris which was completely mental! Felt like South America. Just explosive energy. France is amazing for us. In 2010 we played the soccer stadium to a gazillion people opening for AC/DC in Paris. AC/DC draws festival sized crowds. The kinds of festivals with multiple big name bands on the bill except there’s only one band on the bill-AC/DC. HUGE. Bigger than Aerosmith. Bigger than KISS. Probably creeping towards Stones status.
We’ve gotten ourselves hooked on these old 70s and a little 80s television shows like Midnight Special which was a music program on which artists performed. They are addictive. For every sweater vested Ambrosia there’s a vintage Aerosmith or KISS clip that makes it all worth it. Plus I find myself completely transfixed by the young Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt and especially Olivia Newton John. She literally took my breath away with her performance of the uber catchy song Magic. I tweeted about it and a friend showed it to the real Olivia who is a nice lady living in Beverly Hills or something. I was mortified but Olivia said it was ‘sweet’. How sweet of her to pretend like that doesn’t happen daily.
Oh and also Debbie Harry is some kind of demi God. Those old clips of Blondie are bad ass. She is my hero but everyone knows that.
We’ve moved on to the Old Grey Whistle Test which is an English show from a similar time period. I was enjoying The Damned, PIL, The Ramones and The Police. Amazing.
These things keep me up alllllll night when I should be sleeping but I love Rock And Roll put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
It was sad leaving the UK. We do love it there so. The people are amazing to us and as I’ve mentioned so many times I am enamored not only with the general history but the musical history there. I could stay there for years and still never run out of things to seek out.
Rich Jones from Ginger’s band says that Paul Cook from the Pistols and Paul Simonon from the Clash live right in his neighborhood. I was like whaaaaat!?! That’s just crazy to me.
That’s not to say for a second we weren’t looking forward to moving south to Belgium and beyond. We have Rock N Roll friends and family well into the heart of Europe and we look forward to seeing them all.
Our first stop was in Brussels, Belgium which totally rocked. That was my first appearance on stage with Ginger Wildheart and his merry band. I casually mentioned one day that I could play The Revolution Will Be Televised from the self titled Wildhearts 2007 album. Next thing I know I’ve got Chris’ guitar on in front of the good people of Brussels playing that very song. The best part was that at the end of the song they inserted my name with full lyrics written about me which was beyond surreal and a humbling honor. Ginger is an honest to God hero of mine and for him to have me on stage was a trip enough but to have made up funny lyrics about me was unbelievable. Life is crazy.
Our set was insane. The best thing about playing with Slash is there’s never a night we ‘phone it in’. It is full on every time. Looking forward to returning to Belgium.
Apparently the Iggy Pop dvd Avenue B was shot there which was a trip for me as I’ve watched that a thousand times. He sat right on that stage and sang Nazi Girlfriend. Crazy!
Next up we were back in Germany. We’ve been lucky enough to get to Germany a lot including the trip to Dusseldorf to shoot that Monster Truck thing not long before.
I went up on stage with Ginger and friends that night to do Revolution Televised again but this time the album version not the alteration that features my name. Always a blast. This time I had my own guitar and amp so Chris could stay up there with us. Awesome.
The German show was fierce. The planets aligned and we came out swinging. Some nights it’s jus like that. Someday I’d like to make a record in Berlin so i can spend some extended time getting acclimated. That would be amazing. Remember those awesome Berlin era Bowie records. I’d like to do a record in New York City, London, Nashville, Berlin, Paris etc etc etc I think that would be an awesome way to bring new mojo every time to a record. Maybe someday!
It was unfortunate to only have one show in Germany this time but what a show! We’ll be back before you know it! See you soon!
Then we had a day off in Paris which is always amazing. I have seen so much of it with still so much I will never see. Since it was Frank’s first time we tried to do the ol’ Paris once over. Arc De Triomphe to the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower. All on foot. Good walk. I’ve never been inside any of those attractions but I like to catch a glimpse of em whenever I’m in Paris.
That night we met up with Rich from Ginger’s band for a bit around the Moulin Rouge. Rich and I have known one another a long time. He is a talented guy. I’m proud of him for making a career for himself so far from home. He was born in England but he grew up in Canada. I’d like to do some extended time in London. Paris too for that matter. Ya never know!
I got up with Ginger and the gang for a third time in Paris but this time I played Suckerpunch from the first Wildhearts album. That’s a rowdy one. Big fun!
As I mentioned above the crowd was on fire. We were in the dressing room area listening to the audience going mad. It reminded me so much of Argentina. France has been incredible to us and this night was no exception. It was a rowdy, sweaty night from song one to the end and beyond.
We played Far And Away for the first time since the acoustic Guitar Center Sessions program. That is an amazing song if I do say so myself. Myles really tapped into some magic there. One of his best vocal performances ever. Gifted boy.
Thank you, Paris. See you again soon!
Funny how familiar Paris is now when I’d only been there for the first time in 2010. That shows you how many times we’ve been there since then!
So now an overnight drive from Paris to this hotel room in Zurich. A little Old Grey Whistle Test then George Lucas’ first film THX 1138 starring Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasance, a little sleep and then POW Zurich!
Man, that’s a weird ass movie. I can see that it didn’t really catch on. It’s out there. A little too ambitious I suppose but he followed that up with American Graffiti then a little underground film called Star Wars that changed everything. Respect.
Hoping to catch a bite or a coffee with my Ginger brethren. Good people, the lot. John Poole, the bass player has a solo project coming down the pipeline and is taking pre orders online. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
I’ll be back to join you after the second half of the Euro-Apocalyptic Live tour.
Big sloppy love!
Your loyal and humble servant