“A London diary of sorts (Day 4)”
September 1, 2003
The next morning was Tuesday and Ringo and I met up again with Hannah (from Roland) who asked me if the problem i’d had with my machine (back home) had been corrected (she’d given me the e-mail address to the person who spot on knew how to help.) I told her that the information I got from her absolutely did the trick and thanks. Before that info I was lost and throwing temper tantrums in the studio! So, Thank you, Hannah!
At the station, Amber asked me some questions about stuff and she’s very smart, that one. Knows her music. I performed ‘In my Heart’ from my first solo record (more on this record later) and a cover version of NRBQ’s ‘Ridin in my car’, which I found odd after playing it considering how much time I’d spent in the tube stations! Amber thanks me for coming and I hung out for a bit to see the next artist; an experimental ‘house music’ spoken word singer who performs quite bit in Germany. She was sweet, with really nice, smooth dark skin and an earing in her nose and a sweet voice.
After we left the station we headed up to Notting Hill for some Thai food and drinks. We walked over (off Portebello Road) to Bill Forsythe’s record shop, “STAND OUT!” (the same record shop supposedly HIGH FIDELITY was inspired by) but it was closed. Walked around a bit, went to Rough Trade to buy the Evan Dando but they only had it on Vinyl. As we were walking again by the shop we spotted Bill coming out of his shop. The shop was only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and today was Tuesday so he was probably doing something non-work related, I figured. We ran up to him and convinced him to let us shop, for shop’s sake.
After getting overwhelmed with the huge volume of amazing records that Bill has (not to mention a poster for my 12 BAR show!) I broke down and bought the Dando and the Jellyfish box set. Mike bought the new Ian Burgess (which features Probyn Gregory all over it. Probyn is playing trumpet and trombone with LOVE at the S.D.street scene), which is also produced by a pal of mine, Linus of Hollywood. Hannah had to get back to work and bid us farewell and promised to look into some questions I had about some gear. So, from there we hopped the tube toward Heathrow, back to Richard’s flat.
Richard “Rocky” Meehan is an old pal and, for anyone who bought LOVE merchandise at the POWERHAUS show in 1996, he sold it to you. But now Richard’s job had him in Birmingham doing God knows what. I would have suggested he get the ‘Brummy Brat’ to show him the town but I wouldn’t wish that even on Scottish Keith. So we made our way to the flat at about 8pm. Tossed on the Evan Dando and we immediately said to ourselves,’this should be called the Evan Dando and Jon Brion record’ cause Jon is all over it like Kelley’s blood on Tony’s hands.
After that we popped on the Ian Burgess which was excellent if I may say so. Around that time, the Curry we’d ordered arrived just as FATHER TED was coming on so we were in heaven with our curry and TV show. Apparently Father Ted was infatuated with a sex novelist down the road so Father Ted was trying to ‘speed up’ his Mass speech, much to the chagrin of the Nuns! He finally gets a drink with the woman and they’re alone, only to find out she’s decided to become a nun! Oh the horrors of being a Priest… After that, we watched a bit off MEN & MOTORS (why can’t we get this brilliant, educational program in the States ??????) until the REAL COMEDY CAME ON….
OASIS: Behind the music. No need for me to elaborate on this except to say that it was ‘Fek this’ and ‘Fek that’ pretty much all through the program. In one part, the Singer, Liam, gets barred for life from Quantus Airlines (the nicest Airlines in the world, TRUST me) for throwing bread on a passenger, hitting another in the head with balled up paper and for spitting beer on another passenger, not to mention calling the stewardess a ‘fekkin’ c*nt’ for asking him to fasten his seat belt.ALL THIS HAPPENED BEFORE THE PLANE EVEN TAXI’D ONTO THE RUNWAY!
We stayed up till about 1am watching stupid MTV videos and then Nike Harrison hit the hay. I couldn’t sleep and stayed up till 8am reading. Finally fell asleep but overslept, waking up at 1pm when I had a 3pm flight! I hurriedly showered and caught a taxi to the wrong terminal, which meant I had to haul ass to the correct terminal. This is why, dear Richard, when you get home, please know that I MEANT to wash the curry off the plates but I was late for my flight. And I promise to replace all the beer and wine we drank, OK?
So I made my flight, which was half full by the way, and I had a whole aisle to myself, which was wonderful. I tried to sleep but it was tough. I pulled out my ‘personal stereo’ and listen to Jonathan Richman’s excellent CD, “Having a party with Jonathan Richman.” Twelve painful hours later my plane landed at LAX. I eyed the Hollywood Hills, 15 miles away, from my window. After I went through customs and got my luggage I was answering questions from the Agriculture inspector. He asked about my guitar, you know what kind it is. The dumb thing is, he knows WHO I AM and what group I PLAY WITH. he asks me the same thing each time so he can make his funny joke at the end,’Oh, I wouldn’t know your music, I stopped listening to music when Buddy Holly died.’
There was no Que for taxi’s so I waited while I rung up Rusty. He texted me that he couldn’t give me a life so I’d certainly taxi it home. There was a Scottish couple that came up behind me. They were late for something and it was their first time in Los Angeles. They were from Fife. I told them I had been to Fife. How many times? Twice. They were impressed. I gave them my taxi. I thought, ‘welcome to LA. we’re not all bad.’ And figured that could be a slogan! “We’re not all bad!” It was 8pm (4am in London) as the taxi driver pulled onto Sepulveda Blvd on a gloriously warm wed. summer night in Los Angeles and eventually onto the 405 Fwy heading north. The driver was of Indian decent and for some reason brought up food, my specialty. ‘You like Indian food?’ he asked, as we passed the Marina Fwy offramp. “Yes, you know any good places?” He looked at me through the rear view mirror. “Not around here. You have to go to Glendale.”
We exited the 405 onto the 10 east to Robertson Blvd., heading north. He told me the name of the place in Glendale and I wrote it down in my note pad. But I knew it was futile, utterly useless. There was only one place, one country, one quasi-continent where I could enjoy a curry. And that was in England. Sure, I could go to Glendale but it just wouldn’t be the same. I decided to simply wait until I was in England again, on general principle. The taxi made a right off La Cienega onto Melrose and I was minutes from being home. The Hollywood Hills seemed close enough to touch now, as the driver made the left on my street. It was good to be home but I was still missing my home away from home, England.