well, what a blast monday was. we're here in reno and it has still taken all week for the glow to even start to wear down. in new orleans it must be electric... just making it a bit easier to get back to the dirty work once again (times-picayune columnist chris rose gives us an idea).
in case you missed it monday was new orleans' coming out party. the uber-arch enemy of the saints were coming to town. the atlanta falcons were 2 and 0, the saints were 2 and 0. they got the superdome all fixed up and invited the whole world to watch. we sucked-up the hype all afternoon on espn, looking for faces of friends in the sea of people. it all felt like the build-up before a superbowl game. man was it worth it! the bayou boys whooped the dirty birds 23-3, and, for this week, own the nfl south. not only beating them but making vick and company look useless. this was not their day. it was ours. they may go on to bigger and better things, september 25th will always be our day, and god did we need this.
i don't think anyone really cared if the saints won or lost. we were just so damn happy to see that beautiful building back up and running... but as has been noted in a few places, there were things that didn't seem quite right. the crowd seemed very vanilla, not at all like the regular mix in the dome on any given sunday during the fall. i guess that just reflects how things are down there. there are a great many things there not right yet.
but for one day the city got to blow off some steam, and was rewarded for it by a fantastic football game, the likes of which had not been seen in new orleans in a very, very long time.
of course there was another story monday. u2 and green day (plus the rebirth and new birth brass bands) ripped through a 9 min. medley just before the game that was heartfelt, a bit political and all out fun (but what was that 'house of the rising dome' thingy?).
we are almost outta here and on the road to the easy. the house is rented, the remnants are being packed as i peck and the trip starts on october 11th. the energy around the wreckroom is focused... get the fuck home! so i guess we will...
...and just in case you missed all of this somehow...
...and if that ain't enough, here's the bands doing a photo shoot on the abbey road crossing...
oh yeah, and the live mp3 of the show at the dome, ripped and posted on yousendit for a lil bit o' time:
during our trip home last month s.a. and i sat with my dear friend, the reverend mr. freeze, and reminisced about the good old days for a few hours or so. s.a. just sat and giggled as we dredged thru our collective memories of all the shit that happened at concerts we had attended (if i had told her alone she'd would have thought me making it all up). she found it all very amusing and quite unbelivable, even tho i have played numerous shows for her claiming i was there. she still seems a little skeptical, but more willing to accept it as truth now that it has been corroborated. also, i may have mentioned it in here once or twice the fact that we attended nearly every concert in the greater new orleans area from 1970 until... well, until it all seemed to peter out.
almost all of those shows are preserved on tape. mr freeze would get his trusty sony recorder in concerts everytime, usually by using subversive and underhanded means (well he didn't get away with it everytime, he did get caught once or twice, but somehow still got a tape of the show. he is amazing like that). his list of live recordings is unbelievable and every now and then he surprises me with a copy of a show we went to that i forgot all about, but there i am, all over the tape, yelling and being a rock-n-roll fool... ahhh, those were the days.
a few shows were truly historical. the sex pistols next-to-last gasp on jan 8, '78 in baton rouge was one of those unforgettable events (documented here in the w'room awhile back) as was the wailers show at a warehouse a few months later (disscused here). to hear this stuff all these years later just brings back a rush of memories and goose bumps, just knowing that i was there while all this was happening.
back then it seemed every band, big and small, came thru the easy. new orleans was the one city most of them claimed they loved to play. the place most cited was a warehouse on tchoupitoulas st. it was a real warehouse, a huge rickety old building with a leaky roof, no air and just nasty enough to make ya wanna go back next week to catch a low priced rock and roll show. it was always too hot in summer and too cold in the winter, but man did that place rock.
the crowds were always loud, boisterous, and usually all drunk and hopped up on something or another, as they were in almost every other venue in the city like the municipal auditorium, the dome or any club (tho the pistols show was the most outrageous concert ever, and that was in baton rouge). it certainly was a blast then. i can't see that scene ever happening again, anywhere... ever again. it's a whole new world now, and never as much fun as it was tho. but i still have the shows to listen to...
...i know i promised the reverend i wouldn't let these shows go as a whole, but i can't help using pieces, some of this is just too good not to share. so here is a taste of just a few of the concerts i was fortunate to see (if ya listen close i am the one with the biggest mouth, mr. freeze is on the whistle), in mp3 for a limited time via yousendit:
well, a bit of cool news found today. it looks as though U2 and greenday are joining forces for a new single, a tribute to new orleans with proceeds going to music rising, the organization that u2 guitarist the edge helped start to house and support the musicians that were affected by katrina.
the song is a cover of the 1978 punk single 'the saints are coming' by the skids, an obscure scottish band known more for the fact that their guitarist, the late stuart adamson, was the hands behind the band 'big country', who had that seminal 80's hit song 'in a big country'. 'the saints' is an obscure tune to be sure (it did make #48 on the brit singles charts), but one that seems to be a great fit, for the bands and the city. dunno when it's coming out and it's not leaked yet, at least i can't find it from my usual sources. but when i get it so do you...
even better, both bands are playing on september 25th during the monday night football broadcast from the superdome in the heart of the big easy (dang, another three weeks and we'd be there too). what a great shot in the arm for the city. there is a game that night too. it doesn't even matter if the saints win, tho it would be cool to take down the falcons too... 'specially this early in the season. but that is all just a game.
the edge has been getting the musicians devastated by the hurricanes more help and attention than any other celeb, and he's getting some big names to help out. gibson guitars and president clinton have also got in on the act. gibson has built a limited edition les paul (painted like mardi gras in a flood) to donate and get proceeds for the affected musicians on the gulf coast. bill just handed them out... we should all be so lucky to do so much.
i trashed the post i had planned for the anniversary of that thing, it has been just too much katrina overload and i really didn't feel like adding to the mess, so to speak...
well, we decided to chuck it all in here and head for home in metry. 'casa de wreck' is humming along better than expected and this house in reno is going nowhere fast (the neighborhood is now packed with houses for sale, unlike a year ago, pre-k, when we coulda got anything we wanted, what a difference a year makes). so the girls gave their 2 week notice and that means we are outta here!
we're gonna pack up kimmy and kid, harpo, sadie, sam, 2 frogs and the cat, and everything we haven't already moved and, as they say, just do it. i think the trip home last month did it, well, that and the idea of spending another winter here maybe. we leave here in about 5 weeks and everything is all set, barring another, uh, nevermind...
it's funny how people here in reno react to the news of us going back to metry. most of them still think we are kidding, but some think us crazy and foolish (then again most of those have never been east of the rockies). yeah, we may be a bit whacked going through all this just for it to happen again... this year?... next?... in 5?..., oh well, home is where the head is, so that's where we're heading (and none too soon to suit us).
i guess it is sorta like the old west down there, or like the old south, since new orleans has always been a pretty tough town. its history is bloated with atrocities of all sorts, man made and not. it makes for a pretty resilient breed of folk too. we know nothing's very easy in the easy right now. we still got work to do as does almost everyone else we know. but we got a good feelin' about this. we feel very lucky, a lot of people still can't get back at all, or have nothing to come back to. the thought of that makes me wanna cry. it's really hard to say goodbye to new orleans.
the yats (locals to ya'll) always said the reason the city parties so much is because we're just living in a bowl, five feet below sea level, surrounded by water, and waiting for the crack. sure it's not exactly safe, but where in the world is safe?
at least with a hurricane you have a fair amount of time to get outta the way. not like living on a faultline or in tornado alley. the price of living in the easy is worth it, the food, the music, the people, the good times and even the bad times; it's all too good to give up.
we are itchin' to get back to all the little things we love about that place; grabbing beignets and cafe ole around the corner each morning, hanging out at tipitina's or snug harbour gettin' a nice dose of southern culture, or boiling crayfish and drinkin' with family and friends in the backyard watching the thunderstorms roll in on a hot afternoon... oh yeah, and po' boys anytime of the day within a walk away...