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THE SPIRIT SPEAKS »
From The Spirit's Journals - posted Feb 6th 2008
We'd just been signed by Columbia, off the back of the Sopranos, and they were making sure they got their money's worth. During the whole American tour, Columbia gave us one day off in three weeks. They don't like to give you days off; in the ledger, its pure loss. Instead of selling five thousand dollars worth of tickets, they’ve got to pay the driver his daily rate for going nowhere, cover hotel rooms, and fish Rob out of whatever squalid tank he's ended up in.
'If we give them a day off they'll only get themselves in trouble' say The Management.
'I'm pissing blood and I need a shower' we cry,
'I'll call you back in ten' they reply, 'I'm in the middle of playing golf with Dan fucking Silver'.
So we were excited, one cold night in Detroit, to find ourselves playing truant in a real American city, the like of which we'd only previously glimpsed from behind the curtains of the Pram of Doom. We headed straight to the nearest bar where Larry, a walking self-parody of the English pop star abroad, addressed the barman:
'Hey man, know anywhere in this town we can party? Some joint with girls and drugs and shit!?'
The handsome black barman considered the buffoon before him, then coolly replied 'Sure I do. Let me make a couple of phone calls.
'We'd hardly finished our margheritas before we found ourselves in the back of a Lexus with tinted windows, bombing silently down a broad north American freeway. Deep House on the CD deck...
Awesome.... this is what I’m talking about!
Americans are, in fact, generous hosts, and disarmingly friendly. These chaps didn't know us from Adam, yet within five minutes of meeting us were personally driving us to a club just so we could have fun on our day off. A fair way out of town as well, this place...in fact I was starting to get just a little bit paranoid when we pulled up to a forbidding red brick building with a red neon sign in the front. I couldn't hear any music, but the building seemed to throb quietly...
Inside, pandemonium reigned. Entering most American rooms is like walking onto a film set, and this was no exception. The sight of 500 young Americans desperately having 'A Good Time' is Terrifying. Every American is the Star in his/her own private feature film. They’re all pitching themselves, jockeying for facetime, building up their part. In the act of 'partying', as in all things, they're fiercely exhibitionistic and competitive. A whole room full them doing it at once is Hysterical.
Somebody presses a 'bud' in my hand, and I’m just orientating myself to the unreality of the situation when we're whisked away. We've been invited to a party somewhere, where, Larry assures me, there will be drugs and girls and stuff.
In the car park, we're climbing in to our rides when an extremely good-looking young woman with black hair I’ve never seen before suddenly appears and snogs me with some enthusiasm...
Gor Blimey, and God Bless America...
(continued next week)
(c) Orlando Harrison 2008