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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Lonesome No More

May 4- The van is swerving back and forth, fishtailing on the verge of collapse as Soundman/Driver/SpandexPantsConnoisseur Mitch guides us down the long and windy expressway from Glasgow to Leeds, rolling his cigarettes all the while… As good a time as any to type you two days’ worth of updates. (TBA mothers, worry not. We’ve arrived safely if you’re reading this diary entry, as I must have Internet access to post it to the Web.)

Monday was Maximo Park roadie Scott Fife’s fortieth birthday, and Glasgow is his hometown, so the evening had even more of a party feel than the rest of the tour. (An impressive feat.) My TBA intro followed the finer points of Scott’s first forty years as I imagined them, and Maximo Park covered ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ by the Only Ones in honor of the man’s day of birth. (The Maximo boys have taken to imitating my introductions when thanking the Blood Arm for supporting them… perhaps a fight is in order? Or maybe hugs? I have yet to decide.) By the end of the evening Mr. Fife’s skin had turned the brightest shade of pink I’d ever seen a man change into. He looked like a strawberry.

This raises an interesting question… I had always assumed it was a Jewish thing, to turn bright red when intoxicated, as I always appear sunburnt under the influence. Then I met my wife—a half-Korean, half-Caucasian princess—who suffers from the same affliction as I do. We’ve passed it onto our children as well, Penelope takes on a beet-red tone when we fill her bottle with wine. Now there is Scott, a Scotsman, and he has it too. Does this fall along the same line as the gene that makes my pee smell funny after I eat asparagus? Or is a cherry skin-tone while drinking simply a Jewish, Korean and Scottish thing?

Nathaniel, Dyan and myself met up with our friend David from Sons and Daughters for after-hours cocktails when the show had wrapped up. David’s band is just finishing their tour with Idyllwild and getting ready to embark on some solo dates. Check them out if you have the chance, the tracks we’ve heard from their new record are amazing! (This paragraph is basically a carsick plea for them to send me a copy of the new album. Forgive me).

Fourteen hours of sleep followed the above, then a lot of old stuff. The Oldest House in Glasgow, the Oldest Pub in Glasgow, the Necropolis (the Oldest Cemetary in Glasgow), that sort of thing. Someday I hope to be associated with the Oldest Thing somewhere. This has always been a goal of mine. In high school, Zachary and I shellacked a pair of donuts and carried them around as pets, the goal being to someday own the Oldest Pair of Donuts Ever. My dog ate them, ruining that idea—and her digestive tract, she had the runs for weeks—but the dream still remains.

It was nice to finally walk outside for once. When there are shows at night, we drive to the hotel, drop off our stuff, then head to the venue for the rest of the night. So it felt good to stretch out our legs and act like tourists. Someone had spray-painted “HERE LIES BOB HOPE” on the back of one of the centuries-old tombstones resting in the Necropolis. This is to be permanently filed in the Why-Didn’t-I-Think-Of-That section of my brain. No wait, that was disgusting. I loved Bob Hope.

Now there is a gig to prep for. Details tomorrow…

May 5- At our pre-show meal yesterday at Yates’s in Leeds, a dreadlocked man carrying a boom box plopped himself down on a chair between Dyan and myself. He was a sad drunken Londoner, he said, and he just wanted a few minutes of our time. We shared some stories from the road, some stories from home, and he seemed to cheer up a bit. Then he asked, “Wanna know how I really feel?” I had grown fond of him, I really cared about how he felt right then. When he pressed play on the boom box a familiar song blasted from the speakers: I’m lonely/ So lonely… Kermit the Frog’s ‘It’s not Easy Being Green.’ That’s my song. I found my soul brother, right there in Leeds. He has dreadlocks and a green boom box.

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slapstick, the chief protagonist becomes President of the United States based on his ‘Lonesome No More’ platform after a plague wipes out the majority of the world’s population. According to his plan, everyone in the country is assigned a family name and number. So if you were assigned the Blood Arm-11 as you family name and number, then everyone who shared the Blood Arm name with you would be you cousin, and everyone with the same number would be your brother or sister. If I were given a vote today, I’d cast it in favor of someone with a platform like that. Or the guy with the funniest name.

Now I must get busy…

-Ben Lee

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only TBA moms did not have to worry about all the future drives...but nice of you to keep the mums informed.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shout out to The Blood Arm moms.... Thanks for having such great kids...I'm in love with them, all of them. :-)
-me moi yo

5:27 PM  
Anonymous cuckoogirl said...

i met a TBA mom and dad yesterday!! dyan's parents were at the ulu show and we met them outside beforehand. her dad took a picture of me, her, nathanial and my friend. it was a rocking show, well done!

4:41 AM  

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