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Saltwater

Saltwater

  • レーベル検索 Bill Poss
  • リリース 2014/11/26
  • ミュージックジャンル New Age
  • フォーマット CD
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価格: ¥1,617

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商品詳細

Bill Poss is Bill Passalacqua, songwriter, storyteller, adventurer. He has been making music and touring for 20 years. A big part of his show is the stories between the songs, which provide humor, context and background. Here is a chapter from his book 'The Bill Poss Travelogue', written about his travels with the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Steam Show. Crazy We're all a little crazy in this group. In my experience, anyone who has been on the road for more than a tour or two is at least a little crazy. I'm not sure if this life makes people crazy or if crazy people are just naturally drawn to it. It might just be that all the normal people eventually go home, leaving an ever higher concentration of crazy on the bus. But I do think there is something about life on the road that teases up the crazy, drawing into to view what 'normal' people hide in the basement or bury in the back yard. It comes and goes. I often look around and feel like the Marilyn Munster character in this particular show. But no doubt everyone takes their turn in that role. Maybe it's the shadow of our creative and artistic sides, articulated by exhaustion, overexposure to strangers and each other, booze, and what I call 'no-nest-syndrome'. No-nest-sydrome is the result of living on the road, where you never really have a chance to get comfortable anywhere. Most touring acts 'go out on tour' for a week or two, whereas we 'come off the road' for a week or two, now and then. But even when we come off the road, we don't have a nest that is our comfort zone, at least not one that is our own. Fred is the only one who has his own place to go home to, but even that is just a big hall with a kitchen, downstairs from his studio. Another big factor is that we don't get to maintain our close relationships in a face-to-face manner. Even with modern technology, I can't get a phone plan that allows me to call my Mom (in Illinois) from Canada without paying around a dollar a minute. The flip side of that is that living three or four in a bus, spending most of our time rolling down the road and sleeping, it's really hard to find an opportunity to be alone. So we get a little claustrophobic as well. Then there is all the free booze. Ten years ago I was on the road with Slaid Cleaves. I had been driving around the country in my pickup truck, playing bars and coffeehouses all over the US for a few years. I was happy to get a chance to open for Slaid on a run up through the Midwest. It meant playing for a hundred or more attentive listeners every night, which was a fairly new experience for me. I got the job by making myself useful. Slaid was riding the wave of his very successful 'Broke Down' CD and was invited to play at Robert Earl Keen's Texas Uprising in Houston on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The invitation had come in late and Slaid already had gigs booked in Oklahoma City on Friday and near Rolla, MO on Sun. So my job was to drive Slaid and the band to the airport on Sat. morning for their flight to Houston, then drive Slaid's van to St. Louis and pick them up on Sunday morning. But I had to have my truck for my solo tour home and that complicated matters for me. My plan was to drive from Austin to Rolla, catch a bus from Rolla to OKC, then the rest would make logistical sense. It's a long drive up to Rolla and I thought I might look for an opportunity to make a few dollars along the way. I was rolling through W. Missouri late in the day when I passed an old-school road house and decided that was my mark. I walked in with my guitar and was saddened to find that karaoke had taken over the stage for the night. But the karaoke had pretty much run it's course and the bartender started asking me about my guitar. Turned out the bartender was the owner and he asked me to play a few songs on the mic, which I did. The karaoke crowd wasn't very impressed, but the owner fed me and bought me a few drinks. He also invited me to stay in his deer cabin, just a few hundred yards behind his house. He showed me around his bar as I drank his beer. Turns out he had spent a decade driving a tour bus for his wife's country band. There were photos all over the bar of the band on stage, in the bus, and pictures of the bus as well. He bought the bar with the proceeds from selling the tour coach. I asked him why they came off the road and he told me that everyone had lost their minds. It was late when we got the bar closed down and we arrived at the deer lodge for a night cap. He was a pretty 'country' fellow, but it seemed odd to me that he had a deer lodge within shouting distance of his actual house. I never met his wife but there were pictures of her all over the lodge, mostly 'on-stage' photos. She was beautiful and appeared to be a real pro. She had released a record but it didn't sell well and the label lost interest. I drifted off to sleep on the couch while he was still talking. I knew it was rude, but I was starting to feel more like a hostage than a guest and I had nowhere to go, so I just let it happen. When I awoke it was quiet but there was smoke in the air. He was standing in the middle of the room with a cup in his hand and a straw in his mouth. It must have three or four a.m. by this point and I tried to just close my eyes and go back to sleep. But it occurred to me that he wasn't smoking. Still, I figured if there was danger, he would have said something by now. But I was pretty sure he'd seen me open my eyes, so I sat up and took a closer look. It turns out we was smoking after all. But not like I'd ever seen it done. He was smoking crystal meth. I didn't want to be too nosy, but I figured that if he didn't want me to know he was smoking meth, he would have done it somewhere else. And it became clear that he wanted me to know. He wanted me to be his confessor. So we started talking again and he told me what he was smoking and that he'd gotten started on the long drives on the bus, that his wife had almost left him over it and so much more. At any other time, I would have been anxious to hear the story, I would have been taking notes. But it was the middle of the night and I was so tired. But I remember getting another beer and listening to him talk for a couple of hours. Not only had he gotten hooked on meth, but it turns out that all that driving had a very deleterious impact on his health. He was still, years later, suffering from back pain, hemorrhoids and joint pain. His wife had gotten involved with another man, but he just kept driving. She threatened to leave him and he did stop for short periods, but it never stuck. When the label dropped her, they just played out the schedule and went on home. He sold the bus, and bought the bar. The hardest thing to forget was that he said he tried to quit the meth by switching to booze, but being an alcoholic took too much time and energy, whereas smoking meth gave him more of both. Eventually I fell asleep again and when I woke up, he was gone. I had a few hours to Rolla and wanted to get there before the bus ticket office closed so I rolled on down the road. I got to Rolla right around 5 p.m. I stopped and asked where the Greyhound station was. Unfortunately, the station had been closed and the stop was just a parking lot behind the McDonalds. So I called Greyhound to try to get a ticket over the phone. I only had a few dollars left in my wallet, but I had a credit card, which I was planning on using for the ticket. I also had 26 dollars in dollar coins, but I never had to use them. Turns out you can't buy a ticket over the phone, at least not then. You also can't use a credit card on the bus. Shit. So I had to figure it out. By now it was around 5:30 p.m. and I needed to come up with about $40 plus food and drinks by 5:50 a.m. The next morning. I knew what my last resort was: stand at a gas station and find a couple of people who would let me pay with my credit card and take their cash. It's an old trick that I had used before. But the first option was to find just the right bar and try to play some songs, sell some CDs and in a dreamy trifecta, get food and beer thrown in. I stopped at a bar-bar, not good because they were there to drink and interruptions were not welcome. Next was a full-on restaurant, and that doesn't work because I needed a more interactive atmosphere than families sitting around tables eating dinner. BUT I got a tip from a waitress, who recommended a bar across town that was just right. It was a local restaurant with a side bar and a happy hour. There were 5 older guys standing around at the bar talking. The bartender looked disapprovingly as I walked in with my guitar. I asked him if I could talk to the manager and he said, bluntly: 'What do you want?'. I said that I was a traveling musician and that I wanted to play some music and try to sell some of my CDs. He rolled his eyes and disappeared through a door into the restaurant. When he got back he said 'Okay, you can play some music, but don't bug anybody and if you suck or offend anyone, you are out of here.' I said, 'Thanks. How about floating me a beer?' He didn't even answer me and didn't bring me a beer. I took a look at the guys at the bar and got my Gibson out of the case. I sat on a bar stool and started singing Roger Miller's 'King of the Road'. The guys looked at me when I started singing and their conversation stopped. When I finished, one of them said: 'How 'bout some Hank Williams'. I hoped he meant the original and broke into 'Jambalaya'. Then Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Steve Goodman, etc. About the third song in, someone noticed I didn't have a beer and ordered me one. They were gathered around and a few more guys walked in and gathered around. There were, at one point, about 10 men gathered around. I somehow suggested one of my own songs and they were IN. So I played a few songs off my only CD (at that time) Reckless Pedestrian. The bartender started buying my drinks and asked if I wanted a burger and fries. The guys were giving me cigarettes and cold beer. It was a party. The place started filling up and the bartender told me I needed to wrap it up before 8 because they were scheduled to have, ugh, karaoke. I finally provoked someone to ask me what I was doing there and I told them my situation. They all, each and every one of them, reached in their pockets and threw some money on the table. I pointed out that I had CDs for sale, so if anyone was inclined, for $10, they could take one home. I sold about 5 of them and at 8 p.m., I counted $86. Plus I had several beers, a pocket full of cigarettes and a burger and fries on the way. It was just the turn of events I was counting on. But the heart of the troubadour is fickle. Sure I had accomplished my goal and exceeded all expectations in doing so. And I'd had a great time doing it. But it had only served to make me consider the possibilities. I had agreed with my new friends to stick around and sing a couple of Hank songs at Karaoke but by the time I met that obligation and finished my burger, I was out the door, looking for another bar to play. So I looked around for the right kind of place and thought I found it. There were a few people there, they had music posters on the wall, a stage and sound system. I asked the bar tender if I could get my guitar out and he said 'No'. One of the patrons got on my side and asked why not. So he called the owner and asked him. When he put the phone down, he said that the owner wasn't comfortable with having a stranger come in and start playing. Presumably he wanted to be there under such circumstances so that he could shut me down if I sucked. BUT, the bartender bought me a beer and my dream ended there. By the time I left, the night was over, I was just happy I didn't have far to drive. I positioned my truck so that the bus would have to pull right up next to me, in the expectation that the lights of the bus or the sound of the engine would wake me up. I crawled into the 'bed' in the back of my truck and fell right to sleep. It was light when I opened my eyes and I knew right away I had missed the one and only bus from Rolla to OKC that day. I simultaneously came to the conclusions that 1.) I would be hitch-hiking to OKC and 2.) it was raining. Shit. I went to the hotel next door and washed up. I helped myself to some free continental breakfast, and a coffee to go, grabbed my guitar and hit the highway. I had stuffed pair of underwear, a clean shirt and about 10 CDs into my guitar case so I was traveling pretty light. I'd hitch-hiked plenty and knew that it was a crap shoot. I figured that the guitar would help and that the rain, while dampening my clothes and my spirits, would probably work in my favor. Standing there with my guitar case in front me in the light rain, I got a ride in no time. He was a traveling salesman who played guitar as well (ding!). He was only going to Springfield, but that was a couple of hours down the road, good progress. I happened to get dropped in front of a Bob Evans, so I stopped in for another cup of coffee, and since I was ahead of schedule, sat down for some biscuits and gravy. I didn't even get all the way down the on-ramp when a guy in a construction truck pulled over. He was a big, bearded, classic-rock fan and he was headed home because he couldn't work in the rain. He had a big jug drink full of ice and Diet Dr. Pepper. There were two more two liter bottles of it on the floor by my feet. I made a crack about him liking Diet Dr. Pepper and he told me that he drank nothing else. No coffee? No. Beer? No. Water? No. I took his statement as a challenge and I lost. Anyway, he was very nice and he made a point of dropping me at a good spot in Joplin where he thought I would have a good chance of getting a ride. But that part about the Diet Dr. Pepper was weird. Again, it was no time before I had a ride. This last ride I would need came from an older man, a fisherman who did not want to fish in the rain at the Lake of the Ozarks. It was my luck that he was from OKC and lived pretty near the club. The Blue Door is in the 'inner city' of OKC an he did not think I should be walking around there with an expensive guitar. He was a crotchety old Korean War vet and he started talking about politics. I was pretty sure I was going to get a lecture about something, and I got a couple. That's the price of admission. But it's all part of the experience. I got to the club around 4 p.m., a couple hours earlier than I would have on the bus. Greg told me I could have a nap on the mattress upstairs in the loft. It had a big patch of blood on it, but it was dry and I decided it was better than being awake, and I awoke an hour later to the sound of Slaid's band loading in. The victory of the night before had been turned to folly. I'm certain that if I'd have called it a night after the karaoke, I'd have gotten a good night's sleep and been awakened by the bus in the morning. But instead, I sat around in a strange bar with strangers and drank beer. Long after it had become evident to me that my good luck had run out, I stayed at it. BUT the lesson I took away, drifting off to sleep on the floor of Slaid's band's hotel room, was that by NOT doing the right thing I had saved $66, gotten to meet three pretty interesting people and arrived at the gig in time for a nap. It was a win-win-win! So when I say that we are crazy, I don't mean clinically. There may be some of that too, I'm no doctor. Perhaps coocoo-for-cocoapuffs is more like it. We start seeing the world from our unique perspective, and the world looks different in motion. So we make decisions based on that viewpoint and they may be perfectly rational, but they look crazy to our stationary friends. As for the club-owner on meth, I guess it's also true that sometimes we make bad decisions. One more last anecdote before I leave this subject behind because being 'in motion' means more than just rolling down the road from town to town. It also means being under pressure; pressure to manage our lives and businesses in the small towns and big cities between gigs, pressure to stay healthy, pressure to be on time while remaining mindful of other peoples' needs, pressure to get where we are supposed to be day after day after day, pressure to stay sober before the gig and pressure to have a drink after. There are times when it feels like too much and I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. Maybe sometimes I do. We had completed the Tin Can Caravan in Santa Monica, CA and Ryan had booked us back to Port Dover via Seattle and Edmonton. It was the long way around, but we had to get back and that's where the gigs were for us. It was pretty rigorous, with long drives every day. Fred was apologizing every night as I would talk to him about the distance to the next gig and the plan for getting there. We made it all the way out to the 'Shield', the stony, beautiful, crumbled-down mountains that range across the top of the Great Lakes and we were tired, our buses were tired, and we still had 16 or 18 hours of driving to go. We were playing a sold out show at the Finlandia in Thunder Bay when the manager of the restaurant downstairs mentioned to me (too mirthfully I thought) that the road to Wawa, our next night's destination, was totally washed out. There was some discussion about whether they might get it patched up, get a lane open, about flying Fred in for a solo show, or canceling the gig. Our promoter, Cal, had a friend with the OPP who was going to let us know after the gig whether there was any chance of getting the road opened in time for us to make Wawa the next day. It should have been a six hour drive normally, but driving around, through Timmins, would add twelve hours to the trip. It's hard to fathom that if you are not familiar with that part of the world. It would be like someone saying, 'Sorry, you can't go straight from St. Louis to Chicago, the road is out, you'll have to detour through Pittsburgh.' By the end of the show, we learned that the wash-out was definitely not going to be passable. Fred and I talked briefly after he got done signing CDs. He told me that Cal only knew of five tickets sold for the Wawa date so far. We expected to have around 100. He asked me what I thought and I told him that we were going to have to drive through Timmins anyway, unless we were going to blow off both of the next two gigs. If we left straight from the gig, and drove all night, we could be in Wawa by 2 or 3 p.m. It would cost a fortune because there would be no stopping for grease, but we were going to have to drive the miles anyway. I knew that he was way ahead of me on all of this, but I think it helped him to hear it out loud. Fred hates to miss any gig, even one for an uncertain house in the middle of nowhere. So we packed it up and rolled all night. Tired as I was at 3 p.m. when we finally got to the Cicada Lounge at the Wawa Motor Inn, I was delighted to learn that we were actually playing at the place with the giant duck on the roof. I'd always assumed it was the chamber of commerce or an outfitters. We decided to go ahead and set up and sound check right when we got there so we could get a nap before the gig. We were running sound ourselves which meant more work and time. It was impossible to stay focused, I kept finding myself sitting down in front of a plate of wings, or nachos, but not eating. I was sucking down Cokes. Coffee came and went. Water! I need water... Shit. We ended up with a great crowd and a heroic show. But we were all 100% bat-shit crazy by the end of it. We couldn't form sentences. We laughed at nothing. Beer didn't taste good. I didn't think I would ever not be tired again.

詳細

アーティスト: Bill Poss
タイトル: Saltwater
ジャンル: New Age
発売日: 2014/11/26
レーベル: CD Baby
フォーマット: CD
バーコード: 700261415420
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