I've never had this dream. A VW camper van, a guitar, and a black iron pot. What? I've never really camped that much, maybe in the back yard as a kid or for special occasions. I guess we did build a lot of cabins in the woods. I enjoyed being in the woods building something out of our own imagination. Once we finished, we chewed tobacco on the roof and spit off of the roof. I would rake the leaves and clean up a 20 ft. radius around the cabin but never could keep em away. Every cabin ended the same way. Snake! Once they found their way in, it was done. I'd never return to it out of fear.
As a kid VW's were a big part of my life. My dad had an 1972 Orange Super Beetle. He used it to go to work and I'd scrub it with a light brillo pad to get the factory residue off of the paint. We'd sit on Mamere's porch and admire it when it was clean. I'd tell everyone how the restoration process was going to happen and they would giggle at me.
I was getting close to driving age and my dad was taking me seriously as my parents always did. We got the engine rebuilt and bought a junk VW for spare parts. I loved to exchange interior parts and fenders and to see how the parts worked. We got the engine back running so smooth and prepped for painting only to buy this hot rod of a VW before completing it. We soon regretted that decision. Though the car was an amazing street rod, we lost precious times of imagining and working on it together. It was my first lesson in the laws of instant gratification.
What a gift it is to be touring again. I spent years idly watching from the sidelines as others built careers for themselves but it just didn't make sense for me. It scared the shit out of me actually. That old music business model. I didn't want a jet plane with my name painted on it, or my face painted at the New Orleans Airport. The thought of those things makes me sick. I think it's antiquated. The rock star thing. Hell, I saw a young artist video the other day and he completely ripped off Dylan to perfection. I'm sure he was cool to the folks that don'n know Dylan but the next Dylan is not imitating Dylan. These things are the sort of thing that make me hide for 5 years and make music and file it away. These are the sort of things that make me want to run off with "Kind of Blue" in the woods and listen on repeat.
But you somehow muster enough courage to get through all those feelings and move on. You put on the hat and you play. You let your imagination lead you and allow your vision to steer you.
The Rural Experience was a nice venue to play in. Artist Rebecca Rebouche hosted the event and Kristin Diable and I played shows. The more I play venues, the less I like it and start to feel like a machine again. I'd love to learn to take the feeling of playing in the woods to the venue.
Pop Up and House Shows have been really good for me. I've been meeting lots of people who have written me over the years and it really makes these shows special. I have numerous experiences with folks who have traveled distances for a show only to host a show of their own afterwards. It feels organic to approach music this way. A shared experience as opposed to a hip advertisement trying to hook you. I never tried to get people to like me. It's a silly concept.
It's good to keep in mind those VW experiences from childhood. When I was on Atlantic records; it felt like I sold the fixer upper for the hot rod. Everything was cheapened and my hands weren't touching everything and loving the experience anymore. The other day, someone inquired about a show I'm playing in Austin and she was surprised that I wrote her back and not a publicist. I should have told her I was the publicist.