Driving in the German twilight, on the right, the high Rhine, on the left the grapevines for the sweet wine that’s made in this region. We are listening to one of Gerd’s CDs in the car, Sonny Terry, blind bluesy singer and harmonica player, singing songs with titles like Pepperheaded Woman and I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Dog Anymore. It made me think how different eras see it all their own way. I thought of The Stooges and Iggy singing, I Wanna Be Your Dog. I’ve been catching up on a few of the albums that I bought recently since the tour ended, Paul Brett’s Sage and Hokus Pokus today. If you’re interested you can always go see the playlist:
Although the waters have receded somewhat the Rhine is still very high. You can see the line where the water reached at its peak but below it, the bottom of the trees are still underwater.
Canada geese preen themselves on the shoreline. Gulls are floating on the surface of the river, a chilly breeze leaves ripples on the driving current. The brown-hued Egyptian geese waddle in the grass near the footpath and cormorants perch themselves on half-submerged branches and fallen tree trunks. The barges still slowly crawl backwards and forwards between Switzerland and The Netherlands with their industrial cargos and national flags, the captain’s car parked at the stern of the ship (How do they get them on and off?). There’s something peculiar about the steady serenity of the slow paced boats with their rugged exterior and heavy cargo. How do they even float? How can a gargantuan craft be so silent and go about its industry so calmly?
There’s a certain way we like to drive back to the house from the shops, around a bend that is so exquisitely engineered that you hardly have to move the steering wheel. I wonder if it is in fact a perfect circle and we are in an eternal loop, unaware of our repeated ecstasy. But this time we came out of the bend to a large piece of metal lying across the road, too late to avoid it, we drove over it with a double clunk. It was like something had fallen off another car, hard to imagine here in Germany, Vorsprung durch Technik!
I played Clannad’s first album from 1973 today and Olivia recognized a couple of the traditional songs from her Irish music book for the violin. So she picked up her mandolin (that she has had no time to learn or practice) and started reading the music and playing the tunes on an instrument she doesn’t know. Impressive. She spent most of the day studying three different languages, Swedish, Portuguese and Indonesian while I watched football. Ha ha. As I said, impressive. But then we both caught up on two episodes of Picard and learned some Romulan. Impressive.
My Anekdoten bandmate Nicklas confirmed that he and his partner will definitely be coming down to Penzance on March 18th. We have a chemistry as guitar players together. It doesn’t happen with everyone you play with but it does with him. Different styles that somehow compliment easily. I never imagined I could play with a band as complex as Anekdoten, but somehow my approach to the guitar and percussion fits in with the music and the musicians, Nicklas, Jan Erik, Pete and Anna Sofi, amazing musicians – all of them. The way they effortlessly execute this difficult music and how it affects a certain audience so completely is an intriguing experience. How is music like this written? It is quite literally music from another world and it’s a privilege for an alien like me to be invited to dinner.
I’ve been told that my involvement in various different projects distracts and confuses people. I think each project brings something fresh to the next project and having different roles is inspiring to me. Surely just being the keyboard player in Bon Jovi would be boring after a while. But I suppose the money is good, the audiences are huge, the percs vast, the luxury travel, imagine the records I could buy and the building to put them in! That’s it, I’m joining Bon Jovi! Not sure what I would do? Perhaps be the translator for the Romulan tour?