Day One: Los Angeles, CA to Albuquerque, NM
Drive Playlist :: Our Top 20 Records, of all time, or just what we wanted to hear on this tour.
Dan :: #20 Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown
Heather :: #20 Timbre Timbre s/t
Todd :: #20 Radiohead Kid A
Ben :: #20 Broken Social Scene You Forgot It In People
Dan :: #19 Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
Heather :: #19 Massive Attack Mezzanine
Ben :: #19 Pinback Blue Screen Life
Awake at 6am after taking a red eye yesterday from Hawai’I makes it feel like three in the morning. Eyes sting, mouths crease in perpetual yawning motions. Nothing sounds appealing but returning to bed with shades drawn. Outside, Silver Lake slowly comes to life amidst the overcast dawn. My dog, Peno, and I walk down the sidewalk passing the occasional clump of high schoolers, hoodied and crusty-eyed, and I try to remember how to pray. 7000 miles in 15 days. It’s a daunting task even if it wasn’t our first tour outside the west coast, even if we weren’t traveling in a rented van, even if we had any idea what we were getting into.
I confess to shouldering more than my fair share of anxiety concerning this tour—giant 15 passenger vans rolling over after one of us falls asleep at the wheel comes to mind immediately, stress dreams of drowning or being unable to complete a task while the world waits on, mini panic attacks throughout the day. I suppose one could rightly ask, “Ben, what the hell are you doing to yourself?” and they’d have a doozey of a question.
My answer is pretty simple; I know it, it’s right here on my fingertips, but then, if you all knew the answer what would be the point of reading? So my answer to the question of all questions—what are we doing here and why the hell are we doing it?—will have to wait 15 days. For now sit back and relax like the four darlings are right now as we cruise along on I-40 corridor through the bushel-ed high desert, hurtling into the unknown.
* * *
We’ve just finished lunch at El Placidio in Kingman, Arizona after taking a tour of the Mojave Museum where Dan’s father, Shannon, is the museum director. Shannon told us an anecdote for each piece of art in his office, including a rather sordid tale on how he ousted the assistant director, who used to share the office, down to the basement with the other “relics.”
As we traverse winded shrubbery clinging to flattopped mountains beneath massive boomer clouds promising lightning and a few fall drops, Dan tells us how Shannon bought one such mountain and built a house in the deepest crevasse he could find. Shannon has a reclusive side that has become more pronounced with age. Physically the man is in good shape, with strikingly similarities in mouth and teeth structure to his son, our guitarist. His story telling is quick-witted and unrelenting. Dan is no anomaly, he is his father’s son.
Here comes the rain!