- Essays: On The Road (And A Little Off)


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Murfreesboro, TN, August 6, 2005 - - So I'm out the door again, getting on a series of flying aluminum tubes on my way back to Europe, on a mission to spread democracy.

This summer's effort has come about in a series of odd incidents, half of which made me feel like maybe I'm in the wrong profession, or maybe not even in the profession at all, and the other half coming as reminders that I once promised myself that no matter what, even if it meant dying on the road, that I would play music at every opportunity. That if I die even being just the best musician that I personally can be, that it will be worth it.

My friend Ray Brand, a noted guitar player and all-round cool dude, passed away week before last, and I think it was Ray's passing and the remembrance of the holiness of his attitude toward the pilgrimage that we musicians undertake that finally prompted me to write the paragraph above and to say okay and start looking around for a cheap way to get to Europe.

Tomorrow I'm going out to Nashville International (yeah, right) to get on a Southwest flight to Baltimore, where, six hours after my arrival I will, so I'm told, get on an Iceland Airways flight to Reykjavik and then on to Frankfurt. I'll say HI to Bjork for you while I'm in Reykjavik.

In Frankfurt, I'll take the ICE (short for "very freakin fast" in German) train to Utrecht, where my friend and web dude Riny will pick me up and take me out to his little town out there on the polder or somewhere. At some point during the next couple of days The Doc and I will get together, play a warmup gig in the Netherlands, and then we'll be off to the wilds of France. I plan to take notes and transcribe them on one of the public internet sites using the hellish French keyboard, and thus keep you up to date.

I'm also going to take my camera and though I won't be able to immediately upload the pics I take, I'll get around to it at some point, maybe back at Riny's, maybe back home twenty-one (approximately) days from now.

But now Mama has come in and told me to come to bed so that I can get started tomorrow.

I'll write from the road.