Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I woke up mid morning after wandering the streets of New York City late into the night.  Took a shower, dressed and spent sometime looking over the equipment to determine what the problem was the previous night.  I decided to minimize the risk and settled for a different rig, crossing my fingers that it would work better this time.  As always, I only blame myself, problems always arising from human error.  Pizza for breakfast!

At noon I met an old friend of mine who I had not seen for many years, Mike, a former roommate from the University, sharing a year rooming together in 1975-1976.  We were both older, both successful in our own ways, with so much happening in the intervening years.  But we were still friends just like it was yesterday.  Mike had a treat for me, driving into Manhattan from Brooklyn on his motorcycle.  The plan was to spend the afternoon driving around NYC, have a cigar and a drink over lunch in Greenwich Village and end the time with a short trip to an up and coming hip section of Brooklyn.  It was a fabulous experience, getting to see the city in a way I had never seen it before in my life.  All these sights seen from a different angle,  sky scrappers whizzing by.  The five hours went by quickly, Mike dropping me off at the hotel where I returned upstairs to prepare for this evenings show.

I changed, gathered up my gear and went out for dinner, smoking a cigar as I made my way to the theater to stand in line.

The band seemed to be more in tune with the audience, and the crowd was more into the show than the previous night.  It was Sunday night, the true fans willing to stick around late into the evening and risk being tired and hung over for work in the morning.  The band responded by putting on a great show.  Lots of smiles from Jez and Nick.  Ian seemed to be in a good mood throughout the show, not sensing the usual tension among the band members who in the past would look at Ian expectantly, waiting for his directions.  Not tonight.

As is always the case, it all comes to an end so quickly and I find myself standing outside in the cool summer evening near the back stage door.  Tonight they erected a barricade between the door and the street behind which the sizable crowd gathered.  Gordy was no where to be seen this evening, perhaps busy with his new friend from the previous evening.  Will came out and signed some autographs, spending some time chatting with a group of women who I believe were part of the VIP crowd.  He was standing right next to me, I being fearful of saying something stupid to this legendary figure.  Ian was in good spirits when he stepped out, his pen autographing whatever was put before him.  I was standing behind one or two other people watching all this unfold.  I was stunned when Ian and I made eye contact and he immediately extended his had out to me, we shake and exchanging pleasant remarks, I thanking him for another fine performance.  Off into the waiting taxi and he's gone.  There's a new young guy directing things involving the band these last two evenings.  I make the comment to him and Ian, asking whether he's the new Peasy (band manager).  This young gentleman jokingly highlights the difference between himself and Peasy by patting his belly, this guy in his all black military style ensemble. Stephen, Jez and Nick came out together and we chatted for a bit.  Once again they departed together, heading down an empty street in the direction of Union Park.  I was in heaven.

I wandered the streets making my way back to the hotel.  I gulped several beverages in an effort to rehydrate.  Ray's Pizza provided a late night snack.  It was sad to think this week and now come and gone.  All that was left was to sleep, pack and return to LaGuardia Airport to catch an early afternoon flight.

CMJ wrotes:

Last night, the classic drama-pop masters, Echo & The Bunnymen, played the second of two sold-out nights at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. They’ve been touring the U.S. this month in support of their new album, Meteorites, released on May 26 in the U.K. and then June 3 here in the U.S., via 429 Records. They doled out a mix of old and new material interspersed with chatter from leader Ian McCulloch’s barely decipherable Liverpudlian accent, though this time around his singing voice and stage energy were better than the last time the band strolled through NYC a couple years ago. The Cutter, The Killing Moon and especially Lips Like Sugar seemed to be crowd favorites, the newer songs went over well, and a fair bit of dancing and arm-waving went on throughout. This brazen Brit bunch continue to prove they still have some viability left after all these years.

Download the audio here (better quality than the YouTube Videos):

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


That time had come to make the pilgrimage to the big city of New York to once again experience Echo and the Bunnymen at Irving Plaza.  I took a few days off to visit with family and friends and to spend some time on the beach.  And I did a lot of the latter, spending about 40 hours of the few days I was on the Island near the ocean.  I flew into NY, had dinner with family and at the end of the evening I requested to be dropped off at the beach I spent so much time at while growing up. All for the purpose of experiencing this beautiful place on the day of my birthday that began at midnight. A storm moved in while dancing on the sand in the darkness as I listened to music, legs wet from the surf. Strong wind and pelting rain whipped the sea into a frenzy, something that I had never seen before, the high tide covering the beach with water, waves lapping the sand dunes. What a loud night in the tent that the wind succeeded in flattening atop me. Wonderful!

Two nights with the Bunnymen.  I stayed at the same hotel as last time.  Killing time by hanging out on the street watching the world walk by, enjoying a cigar.  I did walk by Irving Plaza but saw no sign of the band, assuming that they had arrived early and were set up inside.  Dinner and then off to stand in line for an early entry and a place up front.

Need I say it was a fabulous show?  Their music carries me away to a beautiful, far off land.

Hung out at the theater exit hoping the band would be kind enough to come out and say hello.  I was not disappointed.  Gordie was trying his best to make friends with and attractive young woman.  Caught Will and Ian as they made their exit, thanking both for a wonderful performance. Will said that there was going to be an after party at a destination he provided, but my legs were not in a condition to allow me to walk that far that late at night.  Stephen, Jez and Nick acted like buddies on this visit to NY, departing together and heading off for what I assume was to look for some fun at a place of their own.  I did spend a little time speaking to them, telling me that all was well with the band, having found that place where they all worked well together.  And it showed in their performance with Ian giving a very relaxed performance and smiles being flashed by other band members, particularly Nick and Jez.

Back to the hotel where I had a slice of pizza before heading upstairs for a long sleep.  Plans were already made for some fun Sunday afternoon.