Stories indeed. Managed to leave my laptop at the security checkpoint at Boston’s Logan airport. Only realised when I got to Charlotte on the way to Houston. It took another 36 hours before it was located and that was rather a worrying time. With my head a little stressed I played the first of two concerts in the Houston area. I was so relieved when the computer was finally found and forwarded to Memphis.
Houston was a lovely time, staying with Sean and Rebecca who are good friends and wonderful people. Sean is the minister of Mercy Street: probably the most socially engaged Church set up I have ever come across. They seem to gather together every social demographic at their Saturday night service and the whole set up and atmosphere was very impressive to this tired sceptic. I played a show after and it really was a great night. Early Monday we flew to Memphis and I got to see my first NBA basketball game. Nancy Chase, the promoter got us some great seats and we watched the Memphis Grizzlies narrowly loose to the Denver Nuggets! The Americans do all that razzmatazz better than anyone and it was quite the experience. The next day I did morning TV and then toured the Civil Rights Museum. This was incredibly moving and told the story of the Civil Rights movement in the USA with the climax being that you stand on the balcony of the motel where Martin Luther King was shot. I had to blink back the tears at almost every exhibit and there is a lot there. Highly recommended. Had a great gig in Memphis that included an Elvis song! I first went to Graceland in 83 and this time I stood by the gates at midnight and peered through. I remember playing in the British Boys Golf Championships at Downfield GC Dundee the week he died. I had reached the last 16 but lost the next day. I blame Elvis. I loved the Las Vegas period, amazing band and that rich melancholy voice contained so much sadness. It still moves me. Two hours sleep then flew to Winnipeg via Chicago. Your head really does get messed up with this schedule. I came in off a balcony at Memphis because it was too hot and the next say I’m in Winnipeg where the cold takes your face off. Superb crowd at Winnipeg show, we had a great night together and after I hung with friends including Russ Romaniuk who played hockey in Cardiff. It’s so good to have all these connections worldwide. One-hour sleep then flew to Edmonton!! Hope your keeping up with all this. Played Athabasca, a small community 2 hours drive north of Edmonton and then Edmonton on Friday night. This show was a big highlight for me, big crowd, so up for it and good timing towards the end of a tour when I’m a little jaded. Finally we drove to Calgary where I played last night and I’m now sitting at Calgary airport waiting to catch the big bird home. It’s been quite a tour. Lost stuff and found it, laptops and pedal boards. A big figure of eight around the continent of N.America. Twenty-five shows with press and radio commitments, 11 flights and too many rental cars to remember. More great memories but it is definitely time to go home though there is not a lot of respite there with the UK tour starting a week Tuesday and a ton of radio to do this week to publicise things and rehearse with Miranda. I talked to Martin Sexton on the phone today and I’m very much looking forward to hearing him open each night and to Miranda adding double bass. Have been playing some new material here as well as covering a Dave Mathews song ‘Where are you going?’. Have written sketches for around 8 others so it’s been a productive time too. I may just nod off on the flight home.