Oooh, cold today, like cold enough for Texans to really, really think it’s really cold. It’s really only colder than it was, but yes, it was one or two steps past T-shirt weather and when I left the house, I went back in for another layer. When you’ve lived in Stockholm, anything this far south doesn’t really qualify as really cold, I don’t see any snow, so if it’s not cold enough to freeze, then it’s not really, really cold. Have I said ‘really’ too much in this paragraph? Really?
It was another walk to the grocery store today (in the cold). We went via the coffee shop, where one of the guys is easy to talk to and the other difficult. You get the feeling that some people have this attitude of ‘Why are you being nice to me?’ or ‘I don’t know you, so leave me alone’. Haha. I guess some people aren’t communicators, some are suspicious, and some are probably misanthropes, but I think a general feeling of awkwardness towards strangers is apparent, and this is America, in Germany it’s worse, haha. It’s hard to break the ice there in the supermarket queue, here, the ice is thinner and people do actually respond to human connection, small talk – the first step to overcoming loneliness. It’s like a sunny disposition can be seen as a weakness. A French girl told me that if you smile at someone in Paris, they think you must be stupid, haha.
In the supermarket, a screaming fellow behind the food in the staff area turned me into a momentary paranoid gun-fearing European, but allegedly there is a shooting every night in Dallas. On the way out I mentioned it to a staff lady and the security guard, she heard, he didn’t, they didn’t seem too worried about it. As I was talking to them, a man in an electric wheelchair said he recognised me and told them I was being humble, haha. So I presumed he knew some past records, but on the way out he said, Chicago? Did he mean he saw me play in Chicago, or he thought I was in Chicago? Haha, but which one?
On the trip to the supermarket, I made some calls, spoke to Space Summit Jed, spoke to friend Jeanne in New Jersey, engineer Kevin, and cellist Tess for the Texas projects – most people in America don’t seem to answer their phones. Old friend Rachel Gutek called me back from LA. Rachel worked on the artwork of a lot of the previous records.
Music today has been Elton John’s fourth album, Madman Across The Water (1971). It reached No. 8 in the USA and from there he went on to live at the top of the charts all over the world, but these early albums pre-feather boas hadn’t quite established him everywhere yet – it only reached No. 41 in the UK. It is thought of as a “foray into progressive rock” which I don’t hear at all (although listen out for Rick Wakeman on two songs). The extended version of the album has a great version of the title track with Mick Ronson playing guitar. It just sounds like an early seventies piano songwriter album (with Bernie) to me with some warm, thoughtful tracks and the classic song, Tiny Dancer. Great, if you like this kind of thing.