September 09, 2006

4:26 PM
I just wrote a long essay when ye olde computer crashed. Darn.
Here we go again......

I'm in Luzern, Switzerland where we just got out of one hellacious traffic jam. 60 kilometers(38 miles?) in distance took nearly 3 hours. Grumble grumble. I've purchased a 15 day train pass, but my tour is 18 days long, so I'm traveling with the band SKAFIELD from GERMANY for two days in order to save myself $200. Traffic aside, it's been nice hanging out with them. They're a wonderful band, combined with wonderful people. A great formula for fun. They have been teaching Deutsch to Hiro. And of course they have fallen in love with him as is the norm everywhere we go. He could truly solve the worlds problems if he was in charge. He's progressing rapidly with his Deutsch, never afraid to use it when appropriate. Perhaps he will be fluent by the end of the tour.

The SKAFIELD guys like to drink beer. This morning the singer walked out of the hotel lobby with a beer in hand looking like this was normal practice. In fact half of the band drank a beer as their first beverage of the day. INSANE!! Hiro hung out with them until 5 AM, whilst they sang German songs and continued to drink throughout the night. I was fast asleep.....lusting after the thought of my head hitting the pillow for most the day, so any neighboring noise was not heard. ZZZZZZZZZZ.....

We stayed at a FORMULA 1 hotel last night. It's a chain that I've experienced on previous tours in Europe. None of the rooms have bathrooms. Just a bed and a small towel. But that's fine. There's communal washrooms on each floor and the rooms are quite clean and the price is right. That's all I really care about.

Let me see, back to yesterday:
Most of my day was spent in misery. In two days, I managed less than 6 hours sleep. It was catching up with me, as my mind started playing tricks on me. My friend Benno had picked me up at the airport. He was the promoter of my show that evening. But with at least 7 hours to kill, we went to his office. He runs a record label and it was a good chance to try and use his internet, but I couldn't think straight so I surrendered to the thought of writing back someone with crazy sleep deprived answers. My attempts at sleeping on the office couch were thwarted by the constant ring of the telephone and the sun shining bright through the window. I killed time by walking around the block aimlessly, attempting to sleep, using the restroom, and then repeating. Like a machine I tell you!!

I told Benno I had to get some sleep or I would be in big trouble, so he took me to the hotel where I managed to pass out for a little more than an hour. No time for a shower as Benno knocked on my door and took me to the club. He hired a cello player to accompany me at the show. It was BENNOS 10 year anniversary for his record label and he wanted it to be special. So I had a rehearsal scheduled with a cellist from the symphony. Damn, he must be laughing at how easy my songs are. Upon arrival I met Moritz whom was very nice as we exchanged pleasantries and then did a quick run through of the songs he would play. I started waking up and feeling normal. A cup of green tea was being sipped and perhaps I was ready to go. There were over 500 people at the show. Surely not because of me, but a Swiss band called NGURU who were quite popular. It's always difficult playing my acoustic set at SKA shows. Though I love SKA so much, it's just so different than my acoustic music. Promoters all over the world still love putting me on these SKA bills. It's just a little tough knowing that the young audience wants to dance and here comes this old man on stage with an acoustic ready to rock out some WOODY GUTHRIE jams. YEE HAW!!!

Anyways, I played and I felt uninspired. But I still appreciate the chance to play music. I met some really nice people, a young woman made a homemade MIKE PARK shirt, nobody threw anything at me, I sold 15 CD'S, and damnit!!! I'm in SWITZERLAND!! So all is/was good. The suprise for the evening is that BENNO had SKAFIELD learn songs of my past. i.e. Skankin' Pickle, The Chinkees, The Bruce Lee Band. Uggghhhhh.. I couldn't believe it, but there I was going on stage to sing songs of more than a decade ago. Silly, but to be honest I had fun. It was neat to jump around on stage and pretend it was 1996. The rest of the evening I enjoyed the music. Trying to keep my body moving in fear of passing out. The show ended late around 1 AM. By the time we loaded up and made it to the hotel it was already a quarter passed two. One look in the mirror displayed one tired old man. A salt ringed Dillinger Four T-SHIRT with blood shot eyes finally would be sleeping. AMEN.
Mike Park