At this point, this blog is more like a diary...I'm so far from blogging in real time. The tour is over, I'm writing this in my bathrobe in my living room. Pablo Fiasco is snoring on my couch. So, New Orleans - or as I call it, "vegan hell." We arrive in pouring rain on 8/25, the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, our hotel is in the warehouse district. Every time I try and get to the quarter, I get soaked. Local ska musician and dj Maddy Ruthless gives us a place to practice. New Orleans is a Bad Manners headlining show, no Beat. That means we play longer. Some band members STILL don't know the fucking tunes....dicks. The practice space is in Midtown, which was heavily damaged in the flooding post-Katrina. Finally, I get some sense of the trauma, which you don't see in the area around our hotel. I wanted to make some sort of connection between Katrina, the BP spill/response and 9/11 in NYC - how these disasters (really the failures of our institutions & incompetence at all levels) are emblematic of something about the world today, but I've lost the thread. Basically, we're fucked...we've lost our competence. /rant. Amazingly, Buster is allowed BACK into the US after his UK sidetrip, and it appears that we will have to finish this damn tour... On Monday, show day, the rain lets up a bit. We check out and head to the French Quarter. A few of the guys get a ride to visit Maddy's reggae record store, but I miss out on that. Haters. Anyways, we wind up at this gumbo place that actually has two items on the menu that I can eat. Bland, soupy, dishes, but hey...Then it's a day of bored wandering around the French Quarter on a Monday. Nobody's out and the bars are dead. We go into one with blues band. These guys have the SRV/Albert King/Freddy KIng Texas blues thing DOWN. We can't drive the 40-foot RV in the narrow streets of the Quarter, so Maddy Ruthless ferries our gear over from the practice space in two trips. The woman is a saint. I don't think she realized how needy the BM crew is. We need a lot of help to pull this one off, and she comes through like a champ. Thanks, Maddy! She also dj's the show, with mod/soul man Matty. Good sounds. The club has put a local band on the bill...they sound "emo." Gotta start somewhere, I suppose. Bad Manners plays the first "official" headlining show of the tour. The 6 headline dates were only booked 3 weeks out, and it shows. The club is half-empty. Our fans always carry on like a packed house, and we play our hearts out as usual. Turns out that heart is no substitute for actually knowing the songs. Again, some band members didn't do their homework and don't know the material. We give a so-so performance. I'm so sick of excuses at this point. There's no good reason why people shouldn't know the tunes by NOW, if you didn't know them when we left LA. It's not about calling people out -I'm trying to convey my frustration at the laziness and contempt for the BM fans and repertoire. Buster has been claiming, and will claim every night for the rest of the tour that it's his birthday. Someone has told him about the New Orleans birthday tradition of pinning money to your coat, so that well-wishers can add bills to the pile. I am now so sick of being hot, sticky, sweaty and constantly hungry. The RV smells so awful after 2 days in the Lousiana heat., I wonder how I'm going to get back on it. We leave after the show, headed for Texas. No question about it, we are headed West, in other words, homeward-bound for me!
The saga continues: New OrleansJake - Sun Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:46AM