June 28, 1998

10 years ago today…

So on http://www.blackcrowes.com/ they have an online radio. And today they put on the show from exactly 10 years ago today. That was a very strange time for the Black Crowes and their fans. After a hiatus of a year and losing their lead guitarist and bass player, the summer of 1998 was filled with hope and uncertainty. They started their tour with the new guys a week before this show and because of the internet really starting to catch on in summer of 1998 (for me, at least), I was able to find out almost every day what the setlist the night before or 2 nights before had been. This was a wondrous thing for me because in the mid-90s the only way for me to find out what setlists were being played on a tour, it would come from me collecting tapes and seeing what was written on the tape and thinking wow, so this was the setlist for the show in say, San Antonio in early May 1995. Now of course people at the concert send text messages to people at home who post onto the internet what the current freaking song is!

And this is my point a bit. 10 years ago today. I was just starting to use the Internet more often, going into chat rooms and finding tour dates of bands and ebay. It was at the beginning of the nadir of the internet boom of the late 90s. Think of how things have changed in 10 years. 10 years ago I was amazed at the idea of someone putting up the setlist onto some website thingy that i could access from my desk at home in my boxers. Now I’m not amazed at the idea of people sending text messages while they’re IN the concert still and before people even get to their cars in the parking lot, me, on the other side of the world now, if I’m still up, can find out what the setlist was. I can wake up tomorrow morning at 7pm and look at the stats of the just finishing Dodger game.

I have flown across the Atlantic about 20 times since then. I’ve written 4 books, had a fashion show, a music festival and photo exhibitions in 5 countries. Half of this time I have lived in Germany. That in and of itself is insane to think about. There is no way that I could have predicted in the summer of 1998 that I would ever live in Europe. In fact, that summer is memorable also because it was that fall that I moved to West LA where I lived for about 18 months. That year had an enormous impact on my life. Really, it is the last 10 years that have have the greatest impact on my entire life. I have become an adult, albeit immature and barely responsible, in this time. I have travelled the most, experienced the most, learned the most, more than I ever learned in the ages 14-24 in school. I have really learned things, like how to open a bank account in German, how to get a permanent residence permit in another country, another language, a new job that is good work for my lifestyle.

I have lived in 6 places since then (LA, OC, Toronto, PA, 2 places in Freiburg). I have made a lot of new friends but the old friendships are still strong, you know who you are, Clog, Roman, Moondog, Borrevik, and of course others but you know that distance cannot penetrate our friendships completely. I’m glad to know that all of our lives are continuing and growing.

My parents moved 6 years ago and it was probably one of the smartest things they ever did themselves and their marriage. They could barely afford it and it just skyrocketed in value right after purchasing it, and they have put a lot of money into it, buidling a huge terasse and now I hear a freakin’ waterfall somewhere next to the horseshoe pit I have yet to see as well. That house has become party central and my parents have built a 5-star resort in their backyard, I couldn’t be happier for them. My parents are still healthy, thank god, my mom has a bout of cancer 2.5 years ago but she beat it back and they’re doing great. And from this distance, it makes me feel so lucky because I can still afford to be so far away from my folks, they are both lively and fun people, in their prime of their lives.

So a lot has changed in these 10 years and basically most of it for the positive. The rest can be chalked up to growing up. Now the song “Wiser Time” is on, and the lyric that defines a lot of can be summed up: “you ask why another road song, funny but I bet you never left home, on a good day, it’s not every day, we can part the sea, on a bad day, it’s not every day, glory just beyond our reach”.

Indeed…

ps The Black Crowes more or less officially opened their 2008 summer tour with two shows near Boston. In the 2-hour shows, only one song was repeated and it happens to be their single on some radio stations. It’s called “Wounded Bird” but the cool this is that it was the first song one one night and the last song on the other…

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