Today we went to visit the George Floyd memorial. It was cold and snow covered the ground, some thoughtful freezing moments standing there. Across the road, a cafe, the owner came out and told us to feel free to come in, warm up, use the restroom, get a hot drink. So after a while, we went inside, Fred and Gerri Ann were waiting for us outside. We got talking to Billy, the owner. He told us that it used to be “fight back and get 18 years or do nothing and get 18 months”. The police don’t come here anymore, the police station is closed. At a table members of the George Floyd memorial brass band, Brass Solidarity. We met Kristin (saxophone), Butchy (flugelhorn and trumpet), and Ray (violin, viola, and tambourine). Nice people, a conversation with musicians in this highly charged place.
We left and drove to Mill City Sound Records in Hopkins to meet Space Summit Jed and Lisa. We were originally going to Electric Foetus, a shop that massively supported the ex-band in the beginning but Boxing Day fell on Monday this year, the day they are usually closed. At Mill City Sound, I got talking to Ric who has played drums with Matthew Sweet for 25 years (he was also a member of Velvet Crush) and I bought some records, David Ackles – Five & Dime (1973), Blodwyn Pig – Getting to This (1970) with a coloured cover I hadn’t seen before. The Brothers Four sing The Beatles (1966) and two Ian Dury – Do It Yourself (1979) with covers I don’t think I have, I think I’m on the way to having nearly twenty of the thirty-something different covers. I also got the Pink Floyd 4xLP Pulse box (1995/2018).
Dinner down the block, the six of us in a casual bar/restaurant, a nice way to say goodbye to friends and sessioneers, although we’ll be seeing Fred and Gerri Ann in Dallas. But it was cold, we were hopping from building to car to building as fast as we could whenever we were out. It was a mean -16°C/3°F but it seemed colder, a damp cold, a cold that penetrates your bones and when you finally get inside you lean stiff against the door, slowly bending back into shape, thawing, coming back to life.
Back at Fred and Gerri Ann’s we took some pics in the studio. It’s our last night in town and last night staying here in their lovely house with their generosity and friendship. Now we have to get to work in Dallas. Fred will be flying down on New Year’s Day to start on January 2nd. Gerri Ann will be driving down with the amps and guitars, it will take an overnight stop. We only have six days in the studio but we will make a good start on Fred’s record. Will keep you posted on progress.