Day 15 North America Tour- Wednesday 25th July 2007
Well, this morning was little hazy to say the least. We left Kentucky at 11am and are currently on the road to Detroit; home to many a successful musician. The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Detroit Cobras, The Stooges and the Motown greats. We are really excited about going to Detroit given the music history so I hope I’m not disappointed.
We are only about 20 minutes from the hotel just now and looking forward to getting a lie down for 30 minutes before we get ready for the gig. My back is aching from last night’s dancing! I must’ve been throwing some great shapes!
Detroit is also well known for car manufacturing and heavy industry. As we drive into the city just now, it’s like a scene from Bladerunner. The skyline is really grim. There are chimneys belching smoke, huge mountains of coal, miles and miles of flatland jam packed with factories and ugly abandoned buildings. I suppose it makes sense that a grim looking place would produce great songwriters since miserable settings and times generate the best songs!
Well, Gill and I have just returned to our room after having a beer in Frank’s room chilling out to Neil Young on my trusty wee portable speakers. The emphasis is on “a” beer since after last night, my body needs recovery.
If I am brutally honest, we thought that tonight would be the night we get booed off stage. The reason for our confidence plummeting minutes before stage time was because the act before us were playing Bluegrass acoustically around an ambient microphone. It was very good but they were as far removed from The Hedrons as possible; a banjo, double bass, an acoustic guitar and a mandolin. The crowd seemed to lap it up and we were really worried about going on. I could feel that Detroit was not going to meet my expectations. Drastic action was required.
Maybe it was the “sex with an alligator” just before we went on (don’t worry, this was a shot given to me by the bar staff) or it was the natural balshy attitude that comes when I need to put up a front but by the time I was sitting behind the kit, I was ready. We were booked to play, we were excited about being in Detroit. We were about to show these people what playing with passion is about and if they didn't like it, then tough!
We fired up the intro, playing every note with gusto and heart felt emotion. The attitude and energy was raw. The blisters on my thumbs were raw too. Tippi was spinning round and round like an Ian Curtis style energy ball. The air was tense as I eyeballed the audience, all the time pummelling my drums. We finished the first song which is an instrumental number and we paused for breathe. That 3 seconds as the amps died away felt like minutes. We waited for the reaction and then some burly guy from the back screamed, “PUNK’S NAAAAT DEEEAAAD!” and the room erupted in applause. I breathed out!
Detroit did not disappoint. The audience were nuts and after the show, the queue at the swag was wild.. It was all hands on decks shifting CDs and t-shirts. The gear had to wait while we chatted to every single person in that room.
When we actually got out of the venue after 11pm, we were knackered. We weren’t tired enough to go to sleep though and decided to meet up in Frank’s room for a wee nightcap and wind down to some lesser paced tunes. The events that were about to unfold though, were that of a very bad dream.
Myself, Gill and Tippi got into the lift at the hotel. Rosie had already disappeared off to her room, disowning us since we were being loud and winding up the poor boy on reception. She is wise and we clearly, are not. Given that this is day fifteen, all the hotels are starting to look the same. Gill and I could not remember what room we were in. She reckoned that it was the 4th floor, so along we went, knowing that we would recognise the layout of the rooms when we got out the lift. So we got out the lift at the 4th floor and left Tippi to take the beers up to Frank’s room on the 6th floor. As we walked along the corridor, we remember where the room was.....413. I had the swipe card ready when I got to the door. As I reached out to swipe the card, I noticed that the door was open ever so slightly. I froze, as did Gill. We both stood there in silence and as my stomach lurched, Gill took a step back. The only thing I could think was that my computer was lying in there (my life is stored in it) along with the passports. Well, there was only one thing for it. We had enter the room to see what had been stolen. I have never been so scared in my life. Images of downtown Detroit were racing through my mind; all the down and outs stoating around outside, crazies talking to themselves, the junkies.
I kicked the door open and jumped back in case anyone was still in there. When it looked safe, I clicked the light on and stared in complete disbelief at what lay before me. The room was a shell. There was nothing in it. The table where my computer had been was gone. The beds were gone. The drawers, fridge, TV and suitcases were gone. We walked in to the middle of the room, jaws gaping.
Now, speechless is not a word usually associated with myself. My legs felt like they were about to buckle. Common sense was trying hard to reason but the panic was taking over and winning. Well, I do have a vivid imagination. This was no film or dream, we were standing in the middle of our room shocked and confused.
At this point I started to calm down and thought, wait a minute, how could someone walk past reception with 2 single beds, a TV, 2 suitcases, a sideboard and table? We wandered into the corridor scratching our heads. I tried to remember where Tippi said her room was and was sure she said the 6th floor, so we marched to the lift. When we were in there, we started to think that maybe our room was on the 6th and we’d just forgotten......this had to be the case. So, we got out the lift on the 6th floor and walked to room 613 this time. It was the exact same layout as the 4th floor. We got the room 613 and I reached out to swipe the card in the lock, praying that it would work. We got the green light, walked into the room and there was the TV, the sideboard, the beds, the suitcases and my computer. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
I’m laughing now but at the time I thought I was going to collapse with fear. We went along to Frank’s room and filled him in on everything that had happened in the last 10minutes. How pathetic. He’d left us alone for 10minutes and chaos erupted!
I think we were a wee bit freaked out, so we didn’t stay up in Frank’s long and came back to our room....the right one this time. I put the card in the swipe and opened the door. We stopped dead in our tracks though. There was music playing. We hadn’t turned on the TV and my computer was switched off. The terror was setting in again. I couldn’t believe it. Gill was the brave one this time and bounded into the room. It was the radio alarm clock! Some muppet had set it to go off at midnight and Christina Aguilera was belting out. Jeez.
We’ll be going to sleep with the toilet light on tonight so we can see what’s going on. We’re terrified!
Night night x