Sunday, August 12, 2018

By Graham Parker and the Goldtops

WHILST ON A U.K. duo tour with Brinsley Schwarz in 2016, I got an email from Judd Apatow asking if I had any spare songs that might be considered for “one of” his new TV shows, as he put it.  I presumed that meant something previously recorded with a band but not released, so I said I didn’t.  But Brinsley and I had three days off and I returned to London where it occurred to me that of a bunch of tunes I’d been working on, one song, “Love Comes,” might be of interest, and I thought it was finished enough to send him.  I stuck the iPhone on the counter up against the kitchen tiles (which produced a nice kitchen tile slapback effect) and recorded it, voice and acoustic guitar only.  Judd loved it and asked how I would record it.  I bluffed some kind of vague answer then promptly forgot about it!  

A month or so later, Judd emailed me asking “Where’s my song?!”  Oops, I better get busy quick.  “Love Comes” screamed Martin Belmont on electric guitar to me, backed by brushes, bass, keyboards and maybe a clarinet solo (which turned out to be a melodica solo by Geraint Watkins).  After describing the treatment I wanted to Martin, I asked him to recommended the right people for the job.  He came up with Simon Edwards on bass and Roy Dodds on drums.  He also mentioned Neil Brockbank, an engineer/producer I’d met a few times and who has worked on many recent Nick Lowe records.  His studio was now located in fabulous Tooting Bec, south London.  Not exactly the upscale neighbourhood of RAK’s St John’s Wood, a convenient walk up the road from me, where we did the last Rumour album, “Mystery Glue,” but suitably cheaper.  I’d been thinking of Neil for a while and thought he’d be perfect to coproduce the kind of tunes I was now working on, and Martin’s recommendation sealed it for me.

We did a day in the studio and came out with one of the sweetest tracks I’ve ever cut, and by the time Neil had mixed it, I knew I’d got exactly the sound I needed for more recordings.  “Love Comes” appeared on Judd Apatow’s HBO show “Crashing” and by the time I was back into the studio with the same band, I’d become very inspired by the next four songs I had ready to go (soon after recording, one of those songs, “Dreamin’ was used by Judd on his show “Love” on Netflix).  After we’d recorded those tunes I listened to the rough mixes and continued writing songs that I thought would hang together as a conceptually consistent album, and then left it at that, to be continued after a four month spell in America.  It was there that I got a terrible email from Martin telling me the sad news that Neil Brockbank had died suddenly of cancer.

I had not known Neil for long but he was not hard to like being with, from both a working relationship point of view and a damn good bloke to hang out with.  It was such a great loss and hit me hard, and those people who had known and worked with him for much longer than our brief association must have been devastated.  I was so looking forward to getting back in the studio with Neil and the same personnel.  One of those personnel was his assistant, a young American fellow named Tuck Nelson, who lives in London.  He was in the USA working not long after Neil’s death, and I made it a point to get together and have a chat with him.  Luckily, Tuck felt the same as I did: let’s get back into Goldtop studio as soon as possible and finish what we’d started, in Neil’s honour as much as anything.  CLOUD SYMBOLS is dedicated to Neil.  It’s no accident that we continued to try to create what Neil had such a big hand in.  The first track finished was “Love Comes” and I thought it fitting to end the album with it, as the sound of that track is what Tuck and I did our best to echo throughout the record, even though we both agreed we couldn’t quite match Neil’s brilliant touch at capturing this kind of singer/songwriter music, of which Neil was specialist, but we gave it our all anyway.

The end result captures exactly the kind of music I should be making today.  There’s a few heavyweight emotional tracks it’s true, both “Maida Hill” and “Is The Sun Out Anywhere” being prime examples, and “Every Saturday Nite” is only thinly disguised as a jolly pop song by dint of its uplifting chorus groove, but the main thrust of the album is concerned with my signature swing and lyrical playfulness that goes all the way back to “White Honey” and “Lady Doctor,” from “Howlin’ Wind.”  And there’s six songs with the Rumour Brass on!  As stated earlier, Martin Belmont was the musical lynchpin and his suggestion of the basic rhythm section - Simon Edwards on bass and Roy Dodds on drums, was perfect.  Roy’s drum kit seems to grow out of my acoustic guitar, Simon’s bass is endlessly inventive and Martin’s guitar work is tone perfect within every song.  And with Geraint Watkins on keyboards we have a delightful mix of quirkiness and sweet country/soul riffs caressing every track.  What a unique musician he is!  

And in keeping with my current recording style that goes back to “The Mona Lisa’s Sister,” the vocals you hear are all live, played along with the acoustic guitar, not one single vocal drop-in took place.
I’m very proud of this record, no question.  And if your hips aren’t swinging two bars into “Girl In Need,” you might want to seek medical advice.

The album will be released on CD and hot pink vinyl LP. Signed copies of both are available for pre-order from the 100% Store (Link: . There is a money-saving discount for those who purchase both.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I can't claim to have listened to all this stuff.  Very little of it, to be honest.
In fact, there are a few discs here that I haven't bothered to listen to at all.
I, perhaps pretentiously, consider myself to be a current artist involved with current songs, some of which my delicate artistic, yet dangerously gnarly, hands were strumming through a few hours ago in an effort to remember what the bugger I was thinking about when I wrote some of them, which was even before I mixed the last album, "Three Chords Good."
Yes, I like to be ahead of the game.
What does surprise me though - whenever I do actually bother to listen to an old live recording - is that even though my memory of those past brutal tours tells me that my voice was always as shredded as Parmesan cheese, it actually wasn't as bad as I think it was.  Perhaps because of my complete lack of experience as a singer in the early days of GP & the Rumour, I could barely talk before many gigs, let alone sing, having done all the things you should not do with human vocal chords the night before.            But with the audience in front of me and the fear of looking like a complete prat, I'd somehow find at least a little something in the vocal chords when I hit the stage.  Judging from what I've heard here, I obviously found more than a little something.  Sometimes, there's even a touch of nuance and soul in there, those elements, as Bruce Springsteen kindly pointed out on the documentary, "Don't Ask Me Questions," of all the things that "made the music so great," - that "soul and emotion" behind the "caustic" yell that took it above the level of some mindless rabble-rousing "a-pub a-pub a-rocka/pub-a pub-a rocka!" nonsense that some critics might think sums up my worth.

As for the Rumour, well, I never doubted that even on a night we considered to be pretty flat, they were always good, and often superb.  We might be playing the songs at a pace that flatlines any hint of subtlety and swing, two of the prime ingredients of the band, but they still had alarmingly creative musicianship and made up for the amphetamine-on-steroids approach with some blinding coordination that defies logic.  What a band!  They should really be backing someone who can sing properly!

Luckily, here in this collection, we do have a modern performance that satisfies my "current" sensibilities in the two discs that make up our recent appearance at the lovely Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN.
New stuff, old stuff, it doesn't really matter.  It was the last show on our second modern day tour of the US, so we're pretty hot, and I'm thankful that we were able to use the in-house recording gear to capture a real stonker of a night.  Thanks to all at the Fitz to their help.

And finally, thanks so much to all the contributors who made this set possible, and of course to John Howells for wanting to do it and pulling it off with great conviction, determination and skill.  And look at that brilliantly mad artwork!


Buy the Graham Parker and The Rumour Official Bootleg Box here

Saturday, June 22, 2013


GP & the Rumour on the set of "This Is 40."
USA release August 2013 (hopefully in the UK/Europe around then, too).

(Being a blurb about the upcoming live DVD/Blu Ray featuring me and the Rumour's complete performances on the set of "This Is 40."
If you don't feel like reading my ramblings below, just go directly to Shout!Factory and make your order:
It's very good.)

  "Three Chords Good" had been recorded in July 2011, but the full band had still not been onstage together since the very end of 1979.  The possibility of touring was no more than that: a possibility, but perhaps one with a certain inevitability behind it.  But there was one gig that by now had become an intriguing certainty.
  We could tell that Judd Apatow was deadly serious about a shoot with the Rumour for his in-progress movie "This Is 40" when the cameras, manned by the Gramaglia crew, who were in the process of producing the documentary "Don't Ask Me Questions," turned up at the studio.  This was Judd's idea, and so by now there was no reason to doubt that we would indeed all meet again for a two-day shoot in Los Angeles scheduled for the last day of August and the first day of September, 2011.  As previously stated, this was going to be our first time onstage together since 1979, and compared with turning up at the Nag's Head in transit vans unloading our own gear in a thunderstorm in some depressed town somewhere, it seemed about as likely as us being booked in the Enormodome to an audience of thousands, but even cooler.
  I was vacationing on the coast way down in the south of North Carolina but had to vacate two days early because of Hurricane Irene.  I got back to New York state in time to be greeted by Hurricane Irene, a monster storm that did less damage to North Carolina than it did to Vermont!  The thing was getting worse as it moved north, and even had the classic eye going for it, which I walked out into in the eerie silence before the back end of it came through with winds hammering outside at an alarming clip.
As the power went out and the garage under the house filled with water and trees bent double, I was never more pleased to know that I was going to be getting on an airplane bound for the West Coast, but whether I'd actually get to the airport was becoming more questionable with every hour.
  The day after the storm, as people were assessing the damage, I called the driver who was sent up from the city to collect me, and told him to wait by the downed tree in the road about 500 yards away.
  "I'll bring my stuff and climb over it," I told the driver.
  It took two and a half hours longer than usual, due to I-87 closing down in at least one section, but I got there, and with the certainty that power would be out for a good eight days, I put the chaos out of my mind and enjoyed the flight, even though Jason Segal was sitting behind me and talked - I kid you not - for the entire 5 hours of the flight!  (When the plane landed, the guy next to me said: "I cant believe that guy behind us talked for the entire flight!"  I agreed, equally incredulous.)  But I had put the headphones on to block out the racket and watched "Arthur," trying not to pick up too many of Russell Brand's mannerisms, because at some point in this upcoming two-day shoot, I was also going to be doing a little acting, my second attempt after having already been on-set for a couple of weeks previously when they shot the backyard party scene of Pete and Debbie's birthday celebrations (my bit with Charlene Yi in that session didn't make the cut, but there might be some of it as an extra on the Blu Ray; I don't know, because I haven't got a Blu Ray player) and I did not want to go all Russell Brand on its ass.
  So, I arrived in LA and checked into the Sunset Marquis, an old stomping ground for me, until the modern world - which favors only people of great wealth - made its prices beyond that of most people who aren't Hedge Fund managers, or Sting.  I found my way to this whole new area of recent development on its now vast grounds, walking into my "room," which was big enough to house a small nation, where I studied the bathroom fixtures, wondering what had gone wrong with my life that a hotel room (more a cottage, really) like this was now something I would have to take a out a mortgage to stay in.  "I thought I was doing alright!" I was thinking.    "Oh, right, I am," my feverish brain reminded me.  "I'm a principal actor in a Judd Apatow movie." (Jet lag...what can I tell you?)
  Once I finally got over my almost erotic fixation on the finer points of bathroom design, I put on some trunks and strolled down to the pool, where I found three Rumour members, two in the water looking svelte, one at full stretch on a couch about the size of the hotel rooms I usually crash in.
  The band members who had arrived from the UK recounted their pampered 1st class Virgin Airways flights, describing their onboard seats/beds as being about the same size as the hotel rooms they usually stayed in, and a jolly time was had by all as the rest of the band members drifted around, and there we were, GP and Rumour, in somebody else's element.
  After a day or two of rehearsal, we were picked up outside the hotel at the usual amusing movie-making time of around 6AM and were driven (in a behemoth Mercedes van) to the Belasco Theater, about 50 minutes downtown in the already miserable Los Angeles traffic.  The parking lot had been taken over by the trailers, and I found my one (my name on the door, natch) and stepped inside into the air conditioned arctic temperature, did some vocal warm-ups, had a breakfast fit for a king followed by make-up and dress, followed by the call and a walk next door to the Belasco itself.
  It was probably about 9AM when we stepped inside the theater to be greeted by a large melee of crew members and extras milling about, all swathed in a cloud of dry ice, making it feel unsettlingly like it was actually about 10PM and the show was about to start.  What a joint!  This place had apparently been closed down since about the same time as me and the Rumour had called it quits and had only recently been reopened after an excellent refurbishment with many art deco details preserved.
  Judd and I had agreed on a set list of about 12 songs, which I knew we would have to perform over and over again in various configurations with a multitude of camera angles each time.  Two long days.  Singing "Protection" at 10 in the morning may not be ideal, but I'll take it, and we had a great time onstage hitting that natural musical symbiosis that we always had.  And we looked pretty good, too, as good as you can make a bunch of blokes who can get bus and tube passes in London for free can look at any rate.  Even extras, in the breaks, were asking me: "Are you on iTunes?  You guys are great!"
  Well, a new fan is a new fan.

  There was talk right off the bat of the possibility of the footage at some point being edited together and sold as a stand-alone DVD.  The generosity of Judd and music supervisor Jonathan Karp did indeed come through, as it did with everything else they proposed, and some of the "This Is 40" folks who put in the time for this are noted in the credits, but I'd also like to thank all the producers and technicians who worked on the film and got behind us, some in big ways, some in small, and all of it important.  And it's nice to have your show introduced by Paul Rudd.

  The sound and visuals are really something to behold.  This will not happen again...



Monday, March 25, 2013


In 1984 a party was held in the the Natural History Museum in New York City to celebrate the record breaking sales of Michael Jackson's new album "Thriller."
The invitation granted to a select group of people was a white cotton glove, bearing the words:
"Walter Yetnikoff, Don Dempsey, Allen Davis invite you to a MICHAEL JACKSON THRILLER PARTY.  2/7/84 9PM.  AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, CPW at 79th ST.  BLACK TIE.  RSVP Susan Blond

I got this glove from someone who was attending the party.  He was a staff member of CBS Records who was close to Michael at the time and accompanied the artist to the event.
It is in good condition, a little faded from time but the invitational words are still clearly visible.  It has a very small tear on the the index finger, probably because I wore it to the event!

Now I've given it to my daughter Natalie to sell - more dosh for her trip to the land of sari's and sandals.  Rickshaw rides aplenty I shouldn't wonder.  I hope she brings me back a T-shirt that says: "My daughter went to India funded by my valuable collectables and all I got was this crap T-shirt."

Here's the link:

Sunday, March 17, 2013


My daughter Natalie, world traveler that she is, is about to embark on a visit to India and other rather dodgy areas in the East, for what reason, no one really knows.  She'll be traveling with her boyfriend - which affords a modicum of assurance - but he doesn't know what they're doing either.  I'd feel safer if she had some financial cushion in order to buy her way out of jail, hostage situations, and other everyday trials of the mystic lands.  Not that I had any safety net when I was legging it around Europe and Morocco etc., but times were different then.  Knowing that she won't have to beg for food, however, is at least something that might provide me and her mother at least a modicum of comfort.  Therefor, I've been giving her things to sell (hey kid, earn it!).   One of them is my marvelous old Sony Walkman Pro Cassette Recorder WM-D6C.  It's hard to let this awesome piece of hardware go, but now that I have a teensy MP3 recorder to do my rough demos on, a much easier device seeing as you can email the results to your band rather than snail mail them cassettes, which might baffle modern day band members anyway, it will just sit in a box doing nothing. 

  I listened to a Sam Cooke cassette of greatest hits on it the other day through headphones and very nearly reneged on the offer.  The sound was amazing.  Bright, clear high-end, rich middle ground and deep bass greeted my ears, making digital MP3 recordings sound like the thin excuse for fidelity that they are.
  What am I thinking? I found myself thinking.  Sell this, so that my daughter can get wasted on primo Indian black in some crap hole hotel in Calcutta?
  Whatever, it's too late to stop now.
  This is the very machine that I recorded the "Carp Fishing On Valium" tunes on, which eventually were turned into a CD sold on this very website.  This is the machine that I recorded the demos for "12 Haunted Episodes" on, which I listened to over and over again on high volume in headphones and decided right there and then (after a few buckets of Bad Chardonnay) that I should record the album solo (albeit in a proper recording studio), then add the musicians later, an idea that would horrify my engineer when I insisted that this was the way this album was going down.
  This is the machine that I have recorded the rough demos for many albums over the years: "The Mona Lisa's Sister,"  "Struck By Lightning," "Human Soul,"...the list goes on.
  Well, here it is, a piece of GP history, sold off for a passel of stomach churning curries, served up by Hindus with their thin penance-earning arms held in the air and the ability to turn their bodies into pretzels at the drop of a rupee. 

  One of these fine gadgets just went for almost $500 on eBay and they often go for something in that area, but no one on eBay has to my knowledge mentioned that I (or any other reasonably well-known rocker) has recorded tons of tunes on one, including an album made available commercially.

  This item will come with a signed copy of the CD, "Carp Fishing On Valium-the songs," recorded on this very machine.

Here's the link:

  Put it in the hands of a GP fan (then I can borrow it and record a rendition of "Happy Birthday" on it, personally, for you) and my daughter can continue to spend much of her life in complete aimlessness, but at least she'll have a few bucks for a curry in her pocket.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

CARP FISHING ON VALIUM, reissued, with three more stories added

After getting the rights back to "Carp Fishing On Valium" from ST. Martin's Press a year or so ago, I sat on it for awhile, rather distracted as I was by a few other things involving an old band of mine and a Hollywood movie.
  But with a bit of work behind it, it's out again, in both paperback, thanks to our own John Howells' Tangible Press, and also on Kindle and other E-reader formats, that marvelous new expression of light (in terms of weight) entertainment for travelers and people with weak arms. 
  One thing I knew I had to do was punch it up a bit, give it a bit more heft in the form of more stories, something to induce the gullible to buy it twice (!), basically. And so I plugged the old computer in.  You know the one: it's the size of the QE2, runs at sloth speed, looks like an old wooden TV set minus the rabbit ears and hums like a bee sting on a gout infected foot.  Hauling that old thing out of the attic and out of its box is still compromising the couch-bent spine that resides in my back and the pain killers are to this day in constant use (not really), but it was worth it.  Buried in the mounds of moulding bit-rot in the ancient Apple's innards were three unpublished stories in various states of (de)composition.
  It transpires that after the editing and re-writes of the ten stories that made it into the original Carp Fishing collection, I still had three other potential stories left over, one of which my editor, Tim Farrington had had a go at but bailed out when he found himself disgusted with the premise of what he called "the whole fucking Peter Pan crap" that the story was deeply invested in.  Yes, Tim - who had called me "The Mark Twain of Surrey" - was not at all keen on the bent of this particular story and thought the sudden emergence of the 13-year-old Porker's magic powers was a travesty of the highest order.  Well, this sowed the seeds of doubt in me as to the stories' veracity even though as Tim then said: "Paradoxically, this is some of the best writing you've done."
  That second assessment I agreed with ( who wouldn't?) but it turned out that my feeling anyway was that the ten stories we had both accepted were actually a fairly well-rounded collective in their own right and did not need any further additions, so I stuck with those and called it a book.
  But still I continued composing tales, in thrall of the idea that I was now in fact a "writer" and not just a song writer.  Being a writer, I decided, was a man's job, and being a song writer was a boy's job, because it was so much harder to write stories, apart from the fact that you didn't have to use rhyme, something I conveniently overlooked at the time and which of course makes song writing pretty damn manly and tricky in its own right.

  The three tales that missed the original boat are presented in the new format(s) as a trilogy entitled "KERNLEY DAYS," Kernley being the fictional village that Porker grows up in, which is touched upon in some of the previously published stories.  One of the "new" stories is nice, one of them is naughty, and the other one is naughty, too.  In fact the third one is actually filthy.  Disgusting, really.  Gross, perhaps.  It's so hyper-sexual it should be banned.  I think when I wrote it I had the mercenary idea that the book needed to be sexed up a bit, so I forced the issue and stepped into the abyss.  That's supposed to sell, right?  Of course, it wouldn't have worked for me anyway and the book would not have sold any more even if this particular piece had been at the level of Sade or Welsh.  As it happens, the book sold over the amount of the advance anyway or it wouldn't have made a second edition in paperback, so it's worked out fine that "A Dearth Of Women," the grossly explicit story in question, has been hiding in that almost pre-Internet computer for all this time since about 1999 at least. 
  The first story of the trilogy, "The Flat of My Hand," - the one that upset my editor so much - involves the acquisition of supernatural powers that the narrator wields to solve a womans' heinous violation by a Scottish Sergeant Major, with much abuse of the power along the way.  Young Brian Porker can't resist a good old trouncing foray, most of it directed at a certain Mrs. Hooght, the mother of one of Porker's pals who our (anti) hero has recently left stuck up a tree which the poor fellow consequently falls from and breaks an arm (Hooght The Younger's older brother turns up in tale number two of the trilogy), an injury which the fishwife Mrs. Hooght squarely - and quite rightly! - blames Brian, ringleader and troublemaker that he is.
  The second story, "Did Otis Play The Big C," is the one of which I'm perhaps the most proud.  Porker is now 17 and is clubbing it up in the "desolate southern suburbs" where he hears a rumor (sic) that Otis Redding played in a tiny club called "The Big C," a fairly new establishment he frequents quite regularly to dance to soul, Motown and ska and occasionally try his hand at picking up birds.  A ham-fisted sexual encounter occurs in this story, too, but thankfully nowhere near as graphic as the examples in "Dearth."  How could he have missed Otis, playing in the dank and minute quarters of a night club a mere ten minute bus ride from his home?  Blue, blue, midnight blue are the colors (sic) he sees (like the background color of the "Otis Blue" album cover) on tattered shreds of posters - along with letters that echo the title of the parenthetical Otis volume - below newly ripped bills adorning the telephone poles on the way to the club as he goes to see the (to him) awful pop/psychedelic band Tomorrow and to meet the green-eyed blonde girl who will later help him with a surfeit of virginal spermatozoa.  Oh, what fun I had writing this one!  Fiction is fiction, which means that like song writing, it takes a grain of reality and blows it up out of all proportion, and somewhere nagging at my memory for years has been this idea that I did indeed (in real life) hear somewhere, from someone - back in those days when word of mouth was often all you had to go on to find out who was playing where - that Otis had in fact played the Big C!  I'll never know (I've looked it up but can't find any evidence) but imagine if, somewhere around 1966/67, this had actually happened, that my (and Porker's) idol had graced the stage of a joint that held maybe a hundred people in a town called Farnworth (in reality Farnborough), a short bus ride from Porker's (my) youthful abode.  And poor Brian (who?) missed it!  After all, I (Brian Porker) did actually (really!) stand in line at this very club to see Martha and the Vandellas there in this approximate time period only to hear - as me and some mates stood in line - the announcement of one of the clubs' hirelings who had reluctantly, risking life and limb, appeared at the head of the line to shout: "Sorry, but Martha and the Vandellas can't make it tonight!" before ducking back down the venue's stairs leaving a lot of grumbling moddie boys considering charging down after him for a good old fashioned bout of severe agro (only halfheartedly it turned out: we simply went home).  
  Now if Martha and the Vandellas were at least scheduled to play there - and they had had a much bigger hit than Otis ever had - why not The Man himself?
  This terrible memory haunts me to this day.  What do you do with trauma like that?  You write about it, that's what.  And you turn it into fiction, because nothing else captures it so well.



 Buy from


  Well what do you know?  Someone has unearthed the info I dreaded:  Otis really did play the Big C.  My meager and as always impatient research got me as far as the 1967 Stax tour of Europe featuring Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and Otis Redding, among others.  My thinking was that in the unlikely event that Otis did indeed play the Big C (aka the Carousel) club in the humble town of Farnborough, a very short bus ride from where I grew up, it may have been a stray gig he did tacked on to the beginning or end of that tour.  But it appears that he played there in September 1966, a couple of months before my 16th birthday.
  I don't know exactly when I started going to the soul clubs in the south of England but it most probably wasn't until '67 that it became something of a regular event, when I got a Lambretta and some of my older friends had graduated to cars.  And so, even though I was immersed in Otis's music by then it would have been easy to have been totally unaware that my idol was doing a show right under my nose.
  You may be able to tell from the main body of this essay (see above) that if I did ever did find out that he played a gnats' whisker away from me, I would be, if not devastated, at least a tad bummed out.  Very simply put: I am.  Somewhere between devastated and bummed out, that is.
Yes, I'm bum-tated.  Deva-bummed.  Very fucking pissed off, describes it just as well.

  Hey, but the story would not have existed if I'd known for sure about the Otis gig in a club the size of a shoe box and gotten to that show, which must surely have been mind blowing, like having Otis play your living room.

Here's the proof:

Monday, January 14, 2013


The creaking knee joints and tweaky lower backs, the minor arsenal of rattling bottled medications, the cries of "Oh gawd, my bloody lumbago!", the fevered panic attacks that percolated through the ranks in seismic waves threatening to evince mass hysteria, as if we were about to face armed combat in enemy territory, the detached retinas wobbling like drunken black ants in jelly jiggled loose by the massive boinging of cavernous halls, aircraft hangers still unpeopled at soundcheck but hopefully (please, hopefully!) packed by showtime, the airplane-induced ear pressure failing to pop until deep into purpling night hours waking the near dead with a jolt like shotgun retort that kills all further sleep utterly, bringing abject exhaustion once again from sticky hotel breakfast time onwards through the long, dank misery of travel day...and did I mention knee joints?
OK, there might be some exaggeration involved in the above sentence, but seeing as my memory isn't what it used to be, how would I know?
It could be startlingly accurate.  But not one of these largely imaginary complaints could have stopped me and the Rumour from giving it all and laying it all down every night of the tour, and in turn getting it all back from the most marvelous audiences we could possibly hope for.
It is true, however, that a frisson of nerves could be felt before we took the stage on our first gig in Tarrytown, but - for me at any rate - that all disappeared from the moment I walked on stage and heard that welcoming roar and the first chord struck of "Fool's Gold," which sat there fat as a hog without a hint of nervous speedy up, steady and nailed to the ground like a rock.  I felt utterly confident of the band behind me, the strength of the set list, and sure-footed enough to strut around that old wooden stage like a monkey in heat the moment I reached the first song without a guitar strapped around my shoulders.  No problem - this was gonna be a blast.
And so it continued to be from beginning to end (true, the turn-out in Poughkeepsie was as disappointing as I expected, but it didn't lower our intensity one iota), from the east coast to the incredible experience of the "This Is 40" Premiere and the jam-packed Roxy gig in LA, to the home away from home Park West venue in Chicago and the classic high-end concert hall airiness of St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater.
It was all good.

We are all grateful for the support we've had, both in the area of record reviews for "Three Chords Good," very few of which have been silly (meaning no one has foolishly called it a classic and no one has foolishly called it rubbish either), and for the reviews of the live performances (meaning all have been positive and some have rightly called them classic).  A gratifying result for all of us. 

This has not been about touring for touring's sake, or about making money (a six piece band with three crew members...staying in hotels? This costs money!), but we felt we had to get out there for a short while at least and be a part of the "This Is 40" entourage (I did a few panels with various cast members both before and during the tour, and then there was the Premiere...) and bash some instruments around for the heck of it.

Talking of the Premiere, what a night it was on December 12th at Grauman's Chinese Theater in LA where all except for me (as I'd seen a screening in August) saw the movie for the first time with a capacity crowd and joined everybody there marveling at the quality of Judd's and all the casts' work on a screen so big, you had to keep moving your head from left to right in order to keep up with the fantastic camera work and editing.  It really made you wish every cinema had a proper sized screen instead of these postage stamps in the cineplexes.  Whatever size the screen, don't miss this movie.  I think it's Judd Apatow's finest work, not to mention the incredible double bill of Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd.  They are just excellent in this film as are so many performances, too many to mention.

Also got to give a big thanks to Conan O'Brien for having us on the show.  My publicists were working hard on all the late night shows but only the Conan folks had the good taste (!) to go for it.
We also did some radio appearances on our "days off" and if they have not all been aired yet, keep an eye out for them.

Thanks to Primary Wave, thanks to Shorefire.  Thanks to everyone.