Stepping off the afternoon train in Bayonne I was swallowed by damp. A fine wet mist hung in the air, softening edges; it smelled of salt and mystery. I dragged my bag noisily through the pretty cobbled streets, stopping to take a breath on the Pont Saint-Esprit. I leaned on the parapet and watched the … Continue reading Oysters On The Edge Of Infinity
At the window of my suite in the Citadines hotel, I yawned and looked out across the square at clutches of elderly Parisians huddling in fear as gangs of shouting, spitting teenagers slouched by. They call it a suite because in a sort of alcove off the bedroom there’s a sink with a hotplate next … Continue reading Fighting Vainly The Old Ennui…
“Dear passenger, this is to inform you that your flight with us tomorrow has been canceled. Thanks for your understanding. –The Alitalia team.” The email reached me during a break on my last gig in Paris. A warm Wednesday evening, I was standing outside the club, absorbing as many of the sights and smells as I … Continue reading A Series of Minor Inconveniences: Paris-Rome-Potenza
The Metro spat me out into the muted streetlights of the Place du Chatelet and I headed across the river. I’d been in Paris a week and had so far avoided the centre of town– the crowds are too young and the beer’s too expensive– but tonight was the grand reopening of one of the … Continue reading A Night at the Huchette
I looked up and smiled as the lights started to swim. It was a few hours after landing, and I appeared to be at a small round table on the street outside a busy brasserie somewhere in Montparnasse. My movements leading up to that point completely escape me– I think there was a cab ride, … Continue reading A Page from the Jet Lag Diary: Paris
I’m the problem. It’s me. Florida is fine– they know what they’re doing, lumbering around blinding freeways in their hulking SUVs, eating their fried fish fillets, painting stuff beige, keepin’ it familiar. It’s just that I don’t get it. I try, really I do. I went down there with the best intentions, eager to spend … Continue reading Will Someone Please Explain Florida to Me?
I’m about to board a plane for the first time in 14 months and jet down to sunny Florida. Like drug-induced hallucinogenic paranoia, it’s a state I haven’t been in for 25 years, and one I have mixed feelings about revisiting. Working the Caribbean as a lowly musician aboard monstrous American cruise ships, the town … Continue reading Back to the Beach
Apologies for that grinding, squealing noise– it’s just the agonised turning of my rusting gears, protesting after more than a year of neglect. It’s worse than just lack of practice, it’s a soul-deep inertia, my limited life skills desperately longing to remain at rest. But the giant seems to be awakening– I think that explains … Continue reading Pass the Lube; it’s Jazz Time
The word “hike” is one that fills me with immediate and profound dismay. Like when other people hear words like dental surgery or experimental jazz. I immediately conjure up visions of craters and cliffs, ropes and crampons, dehydration and mountain rescue. Normally if I was invited on a hiking trip, I’d fumble desperately for an … Continue reading Let’s Get Ready to Ramble
I’m not the only one who dreams of escape, am I? After ten months of no gigs, no travel, the same four walls (seventeen actually, my apartment has a lot of weird angles), the endless repetitive news cycle, the North East winter well and truly settled in, surely we’re all mentally tying together our bedsheets and clambering out the window to run off and set up shop somewhere exotic and romantic...