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.
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.