Today Ben and I had to say goodbye to a very good friend of ours, Luke. I met Luke the Bernese Mountain dog in late 2009, roughly the same time I met Ben. It was around this same time I decided to become a full time musician, which is a pretty rough decision to make. There’s lots of failure, self-doubt and fear involved in the whole process. While Ben was going to his real job I was at home writing songs, hating myself, and desperately trying to take myself seriously. I also had to take care of Luke. Were it not for that I may have melted into a pile of mushy mediocrity that smelled strangely of whiskey and marijuana. I have always had crippling shyness and there are some days I simply do not feel capable of leaving the house. But because of Luke I not only had to leave the house, but I had to talk to total strangers and explain to them what breed my beautiful dog was, how much he weighed, and how much he ate every day. It’s hard to walk a 135 pound dog with long lustrous hair around a creepy neighborhood and not get attention. Luke got me through the worst summer of my life in this way. We would walk to the park and lie in the grass together every day. Then he would listen to me writing “indestructible Machine” and never judged the crappy throwaway songs I may have had. He had energy I couldn’t muster up most days, but he could also be incredibly lazy, like me. At night when I tend to come alive, he was always there to have a dance party. Whenever I would go to the record player he was right behind me with a big smile on his face ready to do the two step. Unfortunately, cancer took our Luke away to soon at only 5-years-old, just 2 weeks before his birthday. We got to have one last party with him and even though he couldn’t dance through the pain, I know he was happy to watch us have fun. He always loved a party. Oh, and he might have eaten a TON of bacon on the night of his big send off.
Today was one of the hardest days of my life. But I know Luke is happier not being in pain. He knew we loved him and I think he has already brought me good luck from Heaven. Thank you Luke for making me a better person.
It’s good to be home momentarily, although I’ve also been jonesing for the road in a strange way. Something about the last tour made me appreciate the people I play music with more than ever. Our shows were messy, vulgar displays of rock and roll and I don’t think I slept for more than 2 hours a night. The day after we got home I played for 12 hours, finishing and writing new songs. I can’t wait to record them (just a couple weeks!).
Today I went and picked up Richard Hell’s autobiography. I remember when I was 14 or so getting a ride to the record store to pick up a copy of Blank Generation. I was obviously a couple decades late to the party but I felt so very cool having that record. Most of my teen years were spent reading his writing, underlining the best parts about sex, and wishing I were his girlfriend. (Yeh, I was always this cool…)
Obviously (thankfully) that romance never happened but it definitely shaped the artist I am today, I hope for the better. Really enjoying the book so far and occasionally pausing to smoke and gaze out the window wistfully. It’s finally above 45 degrees and not snowing. Good weather for wistful gazing. Even better for wistful wandering. And the best for wistful songwriting.
That’s all for now. I’m really excited about all the good things in the future–and I hope this is not a case of dramatic irony–
So, we are supposed to already be in Sweden. But after playing the Outlaw Snowdown (again this year, one of the best times of my life) we had some troubles on Wolf Creek Pass. I was feeling super proud of myself being able to get up at 4 am to make sure we got to the airport on time but just as I was dozing off on our way through the mountains I heard Ben say, “Uh oh. Worst case scenario.” Apparently we had a flat tire. Actually a shredded, mangled, flat tire…..
Todd made several phone calls (“Well, we’re as safe as you can be on the side of a mountain” was repeated throughout) and we got a tow out of there, replaced the tire with our spare aaannnnd….it started almost falling off. So we’re sitting in a parking lot of a closed tire repair shop when an old man walks over and tells us to follow him as he knew where we could get it fixed. This is where I started to feel like I was in a horror movie…But he turned out to be a benign fellow and not the serial killer I took him for (sorry dude….) He gave us the phone number for a dude who could fix our tire and and after some negotiation he came out and fixed us up. We were off! But sadly missed our flight and the rescheduled one. FINALLY heading out today.
So, there you have it. I know nothing about cars or tires and I don’t even drive so forgive my horrid description of what makes things go wrong with the thingy ma doos on cars. SEE YOU ON THE ROAD!