The Kids Head Home

July was an interesting month. On the 4th I played Atsugi with Max Blues backing me after their set. Tara Tinsley kicked off her 2008 Japan Tour on this bill so I brought her up for two numbers at the end of my set. She had sent me a demo of a new song SWEET MUSIC and I was making all kinds of suggestions about what would sound good when I decided to just overdub it myself. Now we got to play it live together. Next was Ike & Tina Turner's BABY GET IT ON, my usual when duetting with a female vocalist. Her guitarist Dan Quigg took over her acoustic for the sake of bringing him onstage but I would have liked to have had him play more. Keep your ears and eyes open, you'll be hearing his name in guitar circles real soon. All that happened after an eventful evening bringing them in from the airport. The first part was smooth but getting them on a train from Yokohama with all their luggage was something else. When we arrived at Atsugi dripping sweat and exhausted we found out our rooms were someplace else, another event. After checking in and trying to get what little sleep I could everybody and their mother decided to call me. Sometimes I really hate cell phones. They did their tour up around Sendai -clubs, radio shows, TV and a couple baseball games- and we stayed in touch the whole time. It was interesting seeing all the pictures on MySpace, a couple American kids fresh off the boat getting taste of hardcore Japan. This ex-pat got a few chuckles out of it. The idea of musicians sitting in with the other bands on the bill seemed to pick up, Tara and Dan each made guest appearances. That's always been one of my favorite things about being a musician, jamming with friends. They came back to Tokyo a couple days early to do some sightseeing before flying home. I picked them up in Shinjuku on Friday evening and we had a very late dinner like only musicians can do. On Saturday Suzi and I took them to Jindaiji, one of the oldest temples in Japan on some very sacred ground. Ate some soba, saw the Botanical Garden and generally enjoyed the scenery. Fortunately the monkeys stayed home that day so nobody got any bony elbows in their ribs. In the evening we went to the hemp restaurant in Shimokitazawa and then had coffee at Segefredo's. I think that was the first time Dan had real espresso! The next day we all went out to breakfast and then it was time to put them on the Limousine Bus to the Narita and say 'goodbye'. Our time together was short but well spent, I hope to do a double headline tour with them someday. They're good kids... and excellent musicians. You'll be hearing a lot more about them in the future... but you heard it here first!