It seems my tummy bug hasn’t been satisfied yet; after a night of pleasant sleep punctuated with episodes of tiles on bare feet I awoke with a present need to visit the heaven-sent drug store across the street from the hotel. Inside I found a baffling array of pills, food, electrolyte replacements and an even more dizzying cornucopia of et cetera. Stocked with things to put in my body that would hopefully remain in peace, I chatted via the magic of video with my loved ones and ‘did a blog’ before going to work.
With all the gear set up already, it’s a classic case of sitting around waiting for things to happen today. The most exciting thing was Dan’s purchase of a sniffer dog from Sears. Production Manager Dave didn’t take it too well when the dog detected a bag of illegal Alabama asparagus in his bag and the FDA taped off his office. His last words before being arrested for produce crimes were ‘Don’t forget to tape that Friends episode I was telling you about,’ but I forgot to tape it and knew he was going to be mad. Fearing Dave’s wrath, I made up something else for the feds to nail him, and I went to Sears and bought a box-set of the popular TV show instead.
After linecheck I was still feeling pretty ropey. It’s not one of those illnesses that causes me to believe the world is against me, I’m just feeling gingerly; slow movement helps.
As usual, Leonard did a lone soundcheck for a while, and played a version of Passing Through with his guitar. I’d expected a longer soundcheck just because it’s the first show, but when the rest of the band joined him they ran through the staples and finished pretty early leaving plenty of time for dinner — not that I ate much, I have virtually no appetite.
The start of the show was delayed by 15 minutes but when it began, it kicked off with a standing ovation. Everything ran smoothly as far as Mitch and I were concerned — no boo-boos, glitches or hitches and before the second set he told me he was pleased with how things were going, wondering when the first-night jitters were going to kick in causing some colossal mistake to redden the face of its perpetrator. A mere minute after showing such concern it seemed Leonard himself, playing Tower of Song, missed a note on his keyboard and with theatrical abhorrence at his lack of chops, pounded the keys randomly and spun, pretending to break the device over his knee.
I must admit I missed much of the show, having to run time and again to the big bowl, but I shan’t elaborate, save to remind those who feel it’s inappropriate to share such personal events on this medium the subtitle: The Life of a Leonard Cohen Roadie. When I began recording events in August 2012 (which will be available in the book, hint hint) I wrote that this job is a life and this life is a job. There is an abiding entwinement of the two concepts and that’s just how it goes for us roadie-types, we are the people behind the people — people with soft middles.
There were no big surprises in the set tonight; Democracy was missing from the set list, but forewarned of its imminence, Mickey and I got the right instruments to the right places in time easily.
With no load-out tonight, I cleared up the kids’ toys pretty quickly and relished the chance to get back to the hotel where I might hopefully live out this tummy bug’s final moments. One of the last things you want when travelling overnight on a bus is to have an intestinal bug, and that travel awaits us tomorrow night after the second show. Fingers crossed…