12 March 2007

Turn the clock to zero honey, I’ll sell the stock we’ll spend all our money, we’re starting up a Brand New Day…

I think one of the coolest concerts I ever went to see was Sting at The Greek Theatre here in L.A. during the Brand New Day Tour. I had always wanted to see him, it was a sold out show, but because I was working for Miles Copeland’s record company, Ark 21 Records, we all got first pick of tickets before they were released to the public. Despite this, the tickets were very expensive (I paid $125 each – more than I will ever spend again), but the show was worth it! Dido opened for him – I was already a fan of hers and she was part of the reason I wanted to go to this show. All around the whole night of music was really amazing.

What I didn’t expect that night was the ‘star’ power that was in attendance. It was my first real idea of how odd the realities of this place this can be. That you can you walk around outside a concert and see the entire cast of “Friends”, turn your head, be face to face with Dustin Hoffman and his kids was kind of trippy. Until that moment it had never occurred to me that there were places for ‘us’ and ‘them’ to interact outside of a soundstage – and that it would be part of the ‘normal’ deal here. Some days, even all these years later, I still shake my head and go…WOW! You almost never get used to it.

I have to say – I really love Sting’s work. My uncle calls him Stink, but I disagree. I know his solo work isn’t as edgy as his work with The Police, who I also love, but that’s the point of it. It’s a different form of musical expression for him that has always touched me. As a solo artist his music imbues the intricacies of jazz and rock while staying true to his romantic and literate self .

His first solo project, Dream Of The Blue Turtles, I thought was without a doubt the best CD of 1985. It started him on this path of expression that would set the tone for the rest of his career. You never know what he’ll come up with next and you never know what musical genre he’ll infuse into his repertoire. Whether writing a country song about a friends divorce in “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” or using an old Russian folk song for inspiration on “Russians”, or feeling an African beat “Desert Rose” he reaches out and does something slightly different every time - he’s simply not afraid to explore.

Speaking of exploring… Rebecca and I set out Saturday to take pictures for NUMB. The idea was to capture NUMB in it’s most basic and expressive form. That meant no beach pictures, no mountain scenery, and no lakeside shots either. That’s cool. I can step outside of my comfort zone and see what the world holds. That meant going downtown to the warehouse district and points farther east to see what we could find. We found a lot. We found streets I’ve never been on, seen people I’ll never see again, and discovered that there are parts of this city where very few tread on the weekends. We almost felt alone.

As we were searching for our next location I looked up and saw an OLD Mcdonalds restaurant that had been converted into a Mexican food joint. It may have been one of the first Mcdonalds in L.A. for all I could see. It coincidentally was lunch time so Rebecca swung the car around and pulled in. Great idea. One problem. I don’t speak Spanish (I speak French) and thusly couldn’t understand the menu. There was a moment of panic, and not just because we were the only Gringos for miles around the parking lot, and considerably out of place, but because I didn’t want to embarrass myself when I got to the counter. What do I do? If I order the wrong thing I’ll be destined for life in a bathroom thereby cutting off any chances I have of finishing this CD. My life and my stomach hung in the balance and depended on my ordering the right thing.

Thank god for cell phones. Thank god Abby answered. As she translated the menu, which alone started to make me sick (ew, tongue, brains and all that) I got to a point where I just had to ask her – what CAN I eat? Just tell me what chicken, pork, and cheese are and I’ll go from there. She saved the day. So did the guy in line behind us. The only other person to acknowledge us hopelessly lost creatures was also a big help. He guided us through and made tasty suggestions. I got pork and chorizo tacos and by far it was one of the best Mexican meals I have had in a long time! Though I did spend some unwelcome time in the bathroom later that night (they may have made/mixed stuff with beef products – not the place to ask whether they do or not) it was still a very cool experience and one I’ll never forget. Overall it was a very cool and fun brand new day!

Thanks for tuning in…Until next Monday….CHEERS!!!

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