Chapter 2 (Washington, D.C.) - 2008-11-11
(lookup on archive.org)
Chapter 2 (Washington, D.C.): You can subtitle this one "The First Victim, or, Why It Pays To Have a Really Great Guitar Tech."
Right before we began rehearsing for this tour in October, I read Alex James' autobiography, "Bit of a Blur" (2007). In short, a decent but in no way a great read. If you're a big Blur fan, you'll find enough in it to keep you interested throughout the duration of book. If you are a casual Blur fan, I would probably suggest reading a biography on Damon Albarn, because Alex James doesn't have too much to say about the musical or artistic side of Blur. As a big Blur fan, I found myself wanting to know more about Graham Coxon than anything else. But I'm a guitar player, so go figure. So here ends my short book review section.
The reason I was thinking about James' book was because that's pretty much how my last week and half felt: blurry. We started in Columbus, Ohio, and now I'm in Washington D.C., with stops in Cleveland, Toronto, New York, and Atlantic City along the way. Somewhere in there was a meal at a Bob Evans [above]. But rather than putting all those experiences in narrative form, sometimes a simple picture says more.
What you see in this photograph is a repaired headstock on one of my guitars, one that, let's say, "fell" out of my hands at one point of "United States" during the first of the New York shows. Without getting too existential (or should it be Existential with a capital "E"?) and not asking what happened or why, the happier story is that the guitar is working perfectly and in use every single night. In fact, the guitar didn't miss a single show, and for this I have thank my guitar tech, Jason Baskin, one of the best techs/tone sculptors out there (and a really good friend). To be honest, he did give me a little grief for giving him some extra work, but I really did deserve it.
So the tune goes something like this: When things get blurry, guitars get broken.
A few nice people have taken the time to write in and ask questions, and I am very happy to try and answer one or two questions if it is something I can even respond to. Someone sent in question in regards to the extended ensemble. If you've had a chance to see us play on this tour, I think their musical contributions speak for themselves. But in terms of what they add to playing with the band, I would say that it has been one of the most rewarding musical experiences I have taken part in. Gabrial, Stephen, Gingger Shanker (yes, with two G's!), and Kris are all fantastic musicians and great people. With all the nonsense that surrounds being in a band, the two-and-half hours when we actually play are extremely musical, and these four musicians have significantly added to that particular element of the show.