Thursday, May 24, 2007

Give 'Em Enough Europa

Back in NYC now for a few days from a whirlwind of a Dutch tour, an excellent outing with the guys and myself playing in Utrecht and Amsterdam wherein the band jelled as never before...ran into my friend Ori Kaplan of Balkan Beatbox at JFK before we embarked and had a nice unbumpy flight over the pond (knock wood for the future...)

Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters in Amsterdam, May 2007

l-r: Jerry Harrison, Ernie Brooks, Jason Candler, Billy Ficca, Gary Lucas

l-r: Jerry Harrison, Ernie Brooks, Jason Candler, Gary Lucas, Billy Ficca

l-r: Ernie Brooks, Gary Lucas, Jerry Harrison, Billy Ficca, Jason Candler
photos by Arjen Veldt | Click to enlarge

Due to a passport snafu Jerry had to miss the first show at the Tivoli...but we made up for his absence in the lineup that night with a firestorming set that alternately skirted the edge of the free improv abyss at times without a total descent into the maelstrom and soared into the blue(s) empyrean (like way over yonder...)--meaning, we had a hell of a good show, considering we parachuted into Schipol Airport in Amsterdam that morning, drove immediately half an hour to Utrecht, and after pit stopping at our lovely hotel in the country (thank you Dander Grande and Eva Van Vlassaker from Mojo Concerts) we made show at the Tivoli with barely any recovery time (less and less clubs these days throwing in that extra recovery free day...what me worry, I discovered enormous reserves of energy back in the Knit Fac 21 shows in 22 days barnstorming era of the early 90's tours of Europa and learned quickly to operate at full firepower on 2-3 hours sleep...)...Jack Pisters and his crackerjack S.C.A.R excellente trio (hi Jamie hi Victor!) opened both nights for us and proved a very complementary opening act, they did a really compelling and good psych rock set replete with sitar and long hypno-grooves and were fun to be on the road with as well (plus Jack lent me his ancient Fender Showman and in tandem with his Roland JC-120 I really got a 3-D sound going particularly on my '46 Gibson J-45)...

Live at the Melkweg, Amsterdam 5/17/07

Gary Lucas

Gary Lucas

Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters (l-r: Gary, Ernie Brooks, Jason Candler)

Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters (l-r: Gary, Billy Ficca, Ernie)
photos by Arjen Veldt | Click to enlarge

"The Milky Way Express--ALL ABOARD!" croons an ecstatic Jimi on my favorite (albeit little known) Hendrix jam entitled "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" (a psychedelic acronym if ever there wuz'n, check it out), and sho'nuff our maiden voyage at the Melkweg next night was a good 'un, Jerry Harrison showed up fit and ready to rock in the company of his lovely wife Carol, my guys Pascal Plantinga and Eric Don and Arjen Veldt were there and my guy Co de Kloet taped the whole set for NPS and I'm listening back now to a tape of our show composed of equal parts thunder and lightning (such low and powerful drum and bass frequencies as to put one into cardiac arrest, the whole stage is perched on a massive sub-woofer which literally rocked us on our heels), it'll air Sept. 6th over there--one of our best shows I kid you not!! My band fucking ROCKS (and gyres and gimbols...)

Dutch fan Henk Langeveld's drawings of Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters from their May 17th Amsterdam show | Click to enlarge

Next day I went down and did an acoustic workshop at the good old Paard in the Hague thanks to my friends Jack and Marielle for hooking it up, followed by an evening acoustic concert there...also did an interview with Paul Tingen, who wrote a terrific book about Miles Davis entitled "Miles Beyond" (Billboard Books) which is particularly insightful about Miles' great unsung electric fusion period, particularly complimentary to the barbaric yawp over the roof tops of the world of the legendary and largely unsung Pete Cosey--very well-researched, will send you back again for multiple listens, quotes in there too from "Vampire Circus" vid star Peter Keepnews (Keepnews is good news)--you can order this directly from Paul here--and well worth the bread--I inhaled most of this tome on the flight back home, and it is a must-read...

Gary at the Paard in Den Haag, Holland, 5/18/07

photo by Danijel Mihjlovic | Click to enlarge

the next day flew to Paris for my best show ever at the Sunset Jazz Club in Les Halles, an acoustic romp enlivened by my guy and fellow Mod and Gonster ace saxophonist Jason Candler who took the bus from Amsterdam that morning so's to sit in with me (what a trooper!)-- the club had bumped me up into the main Sunside room for the occasion, and the joint got nice and packed, my friend Elli Medeiros looking lovelier than ever sat in on a plangent "Dulce" and an avant-tangent "Skin Diving" from my new album (Elli's in the new Catherine Deneuve flick and her name is writ large on posters currently all over Paris)--Melissa Mars had to play a show in Tunisia unfortunately so she couldn't make it (we wrote a song together which will be on her forthcoming album on Universal which we were gonna debut--tant pis, till next time)...

Gary and Elli Medeiros live at the Sunside Jazz Club, Les Halles, Paris, May 19th, 2007

Gary and French rocker Eric Duchamp outside the Sunset Jazz Club, Les Halles, Paris, May 19th, 2007

photos by Patricia Lecompte | Click to enlarge

My French label posse from Production Speciales was there and Christel and Emmanuel esp. from the label really made me feel at home avant show, as after they picked me up from CDG we sat and snacked out at a bistro out in the mad Saturday afternoon streets of Les Halles, for me a croque monsieur and pepsi plus got to mooch alot of Christel's delicieux salade poulet ...saw lots of old friends and fans at the gig including my new friend and collaborateur Eric Duchamp, an amazingly soulful singer/songwriter/rocker who gave me an advance mix of a new song I contributed guitar too, "La Corde", from his upcoming "Dans Tous Les Sens Du Terme" album, sounds really cool!--also delighted my guy 'n gal Mark Lyon and Laura Brunelliere showed up unexpectedly (newlyweds now, I dedicated my arrangement of "Our Love is Here to Stay" to them, which was commissioned by Glenn Kenny for HIS wedding last summer, Glenn happened to be down the road apiece at Cannes that weekend along with Richard Porton)...also old friends like Nick Hobbs, Nick Healing and his lovely wife and family... and new friends like Herve Bossuat from the French Ministry of Ecology and the Environment, who wrote me a few months back that this year he had discovered my music for the first time and then ordered a sizeable number of albums from my catalog...what a great night, played 3 hour long sets and was ready to keep going and going and going, and after some delicious 2am crepes with nutella and bananas purchased from a street vendor some fans had touted as making the best crepes in Paris Christel and Emmanuel and I wandered around and around looking for the entrance to the massive car park which resides under Les Halles where Emmanuel had stashed his ride, car located successfully after a Seinfeldian search we then drove around and around in circles looking for the exit from the car park then over the river and through the woods to Belleville, destination Roy Stuart's sumptuous atelier near the Folies Bergere (where the cover shot for the US, French and Russsian editions of "Coming Clean" was snapped) and then I finally crashed into an 8 hour trance, most sleep I've had in months actually...and then it was 11am Sunday morning time for an interview with Guitarist Magazine which was okay really though was a bit groggy to tell the truth, and chilly chilled--pleasant weather in Holland but tres soggy in Paris, so stayed inside afterwards as the heavens came tumblin' down down and went back for a nap-- and then got up for a jam with Roy whose new movie "The Lost Door" looked really hot on his Avid editing system (have done a lot of music with Roy over the years--few know this but Roy played drums in an early CBGB's band back in the day called Pigeons of the Universe which boasted a pre-Plasmastics Richie Stotts on guitar and a pre-Patti Smith Ivan Kral on keys--you can hear some of our collaborations on the DVD which comes as a free insert in Roy's last Taschen book "The Fourth Body")...his lovely Chinese girlfriend Ellisa cooked us a great veggie dinner, and then we all crashed--went back to Amsterdam next morning to pick up my gear and do a little r and r looksee, then home again home again after a wonderful week in Europa, very fun trip, and every gig a stand-out...

but no peace for the witty and last night the Gods and Monsters trio of Ernie me and Billy played a worthy benefit for Question Mark of the Mysterians at the new Highline ballroom where we ran into Legs McNeill, Danny Fields and Jim Marshall sitting ringside (just re-read Legs' seminal "Please Kill Me"--wotta great book!)...well organized by local boy and sometime ? collaborator Gary Fury, other guests included Tommy Ramone in a bluegrass duo, and original Blue Oyster Cult member Joe Bouchard doing a solo singer/songwriter set, plus Genesis P. Orridge and Paul Schaffer in the finale...I played a smoking jam with Gary singing, Joe on bass, and John Hawken of the original Nashville Teens (and Strawbs, and so many other great UK bands) on keyboards on the Nuggets perennial /J.D. Loudermilk-penned "Tobacco Road", big fun and we did a rave-up at the end Blues Magoos stylee (my late uncle David, who promoted rock shows in Rochester New York in the late 60's and who later bought the Voit Corporation, once brought a package bill of said Magoos in their flashing neon psychedelic suits opening for The Who circa "I Can See for Miles", with Herman's Hermits the headliner into the Rochester War Memorial in 1967, a show forever burned on me brain)...

and now I'm off to play a semi-private publishing party for my guy Mitch Myers at Sweet Rhythm, check out his "The Boy Who Cried Freebird" (HarperCollins), gonna play solo and then jam with my friends Sex Mob...a bientot!




Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link