Today we leave Dallas for Atlanta. Thank you to Sarah for driving us to the airport and for my first experience of skyscrapers in three weeks. If I haven’t been in the studio, I’ve either been asleep or in the car for seven minutes travelling backwards and forwards to where we are staying, driving towards the airport on the freeway through the city felt like rising above the water from the deep, lifting beyond the line of the trees into the sun from the shade, hitting the plain from the valley. Giant Texan and American flags were blowing in the wind outside car dealerships. The crisscrossing freeways were taking thousands of pickups around the city and some miles out we came to a construction site that seemed to be another half a dozen freeways being built. This is Texas.
The flight to Atlanta was bumpy later on as we flew into a rain storm but otherwise quiet and smooth just like you want it. Olivia has never been to Atlanta before, she was amused to hear the woman in the front seat shout out, “Alabama here we come” as we landed. We were at the back of the plane and we waited for everyone to get off before we moved, I always wonder will they ever find a way to ‘deplane’ more easily, the sides of the plane rising up like DeLorean doors and the seats slide out onto the tarmac. What about the rain you may ask? If we carry on flying planes there will be no more rain.
They also haven’t figured out the pick-up at airports and in the massive Atlanta hub, the baggage carousels are on the same level as the check-in so you have people being dropped off and picked up in the same place. Sessioneer Craig was picking us up, or trying to, in the end, we made it into the car but not without holding up people behind us who were holding up people behind them ad infinitum, this place is never quiet.
Craig picked us up in his wife Holly’s jeep which has a sky roof and it was lovely to have the fresh air coming in after being cooped up on the plane – until it started raining again. We got to the hotel, checked in and came straight out again to go to an Indian restaurant for dinner where we met Holly. Tomorrow I start one of three days in the studio, co-producing and playing guitar on a handful of Craig’s songs. Craig was previously in a band called The Reach, you can check them out on your streaming services.
As we ate, the rain came down, the weather pattern is changing as we head north, New York on Saturday will be colder. It was 78 degrees when we left Texas and Atlanta wasn’t too cold either even with the rain. We are in another city and Olivia will have the opportunity to check it out whilst I’m in the studio, but I’ve been here many times before and she will enjoy experiencing her first visit. On the way back to the hotel last night, Craig drove us past a famous landmark, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, that’s something that makes you think.
Music today has been Deep Purple’s first album, Shades Of Deep Purple (1968) because sessioneer Florida Brian was asking me about which lineup I’d seen in the seventies. This lineup of course was the Evans/Simper lineup. Singer Rod Evans went on to form Captain Beyond, with ex-Iron Butterfly and Johnny Winter members. Bassist Nicky Simper went on to form Warhorse. Those two bands are another story that may be told in the future. Shades of Deep Purple never gets mentioned as it’s a sixties album by a seventies band with a different lineup, still, I always liked it.