Farewell to Texas, and all our friends and musical partners, two months in the studio with Fred (in Minneapolis), Jed, Rajan, Brian, and Craig, and all the musicians who contributed, Tess, Paul, Abby, Jason, John, Salim, Rich, David, Olivia, and all the tech staff, Kevin, John, Sarah, then there’s the Al Di Meola gig and the Love and Rockets gig to thank, Half Price Books and Bucks and Paul at 14 Records, the tour with Salim and the lads, Joe, Jason, John, Rich, Olivia, the three bands, Buttercup with Joe, Jason and Eric and The Deathray Davies with John, Jason, Mike, Andy, Nick and the other Kevin. All the support on the ground from Doug and Liz, and Andrea, Alan, and all the regulars who came to see us play, I can’t remember everyone’s names. Last but not least, William and his idea about Phase 3 of The Archive, which will be revealed soon. Thanks to Sarah and Salim again for their constant support and Tone Shop Guitars and Rhys for constant help and advice. In the meantime, everyone who has contributed to Phase 2 should send Olivia your postal address (to email@example.com) if you haven’t already done so. So, it’s off to the airport.
Sarah dropped us off in the thick heat, and we bade farewell on the curb, melting into rivers of human wax and trickling on our separate ways. Inside the terminal, we regained our form and searched for the check-in, which was surprisingly empty. The flight itself was uneventful, just three and a half hours, and I managed to listen to two albums I liked and one I didn’t. The first listen was the second Gentle Giant album, Acquiring the Taste (1971), great! Next, the second Caravan album, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You (1970), great! The third didn’t matter.
We arrived at Newark, but had to pick up our bags and change terminals. It wasn’t quite as hot as Texas, but it was still hot, so we melted again. Inside the terminal, we regained our form again and searched for the check-in, which had hundreds of people waiting. It seemed there were three flights at the same check-in zone, Tel Aviv, Lisbon and Porto. As the Tel Aviv travellers dissipated, the Portuguese travellers seemed to grow but eventually, we made it through to the plane through security and began the desperate search for veggie food – 2023, 39 years since I stopped eating meat. Chinese place – no chance, burger place – no chance, burrito place, yes, but tasteless without all the things I don’t like. Another normal day.
The fun began as we boarded the plane. First of all, it was delayed an hour with no explanation, and when we finally made it on we passed by an odd drunk-looking fellow in the exit row. Cuts on his hands and arms and a suspicious-looking bandage around where you might shoot up. Olivia randomly said something about lots of legroom and he responded like a drunk guy might, like everything was fun. We thought no more of it but as we taxi’d the crew all ran to the middle of the plane, the exit door cover had been removed – it was him. It started a whole mess of panic among the passengers near him who weren’t feeling safe with him on the plane, and eventually we taxi’d back to the gate and the police came and removed him. We left two hours late, nighty night.