Austin, Day Eight
I take a walk around the little golf course in the sultry tropical morning. I’d say run, but running’s for twats and George Bush. When White-Knucklehead was in power he used to complain when he couldn’t get enough fucking running in. Like it was more important than slaughter and race-war. He just couldn’t face a long day’s killing without a jog around a ranch with his goons. Stupid little man.
I drive to south Austin to find a boot store. The last pair of cowboy boots I had were bought in El Paso, Texas in 1990. I feel I ought to make it a 22 year tradition, like acts of altruism and anal sex.
As I am scoffing breakfast at a taco trailer I hear my name shouted. I don’t turn around but years ago I would have done and have been sure it was somebody I knew. There are too many Justins now. I didn’t come across one for years and then all these little pricks started cropping up all over the shop. Not that its rarity made it any less of a wanker’s name, but now I’m in a club of wankers to which I wish I didn’t belong. Still, at least I’m not a Tarquin or a Crispin. As Frank Zappa said when quizzed about the cruelty of his kids’ names: some people call their children Ralph. When they ask your name in modern coffee outlets always say U1776A112.
The sun burns off the early canopy and begins to scorch my back. I’m in plaid cotton today, much as I would have been in 1994. I don’t feel that much older but the mirror is becoming a traitor of monstrous proportions. And somedays I wake up and shuffle, bent and twisted, to the bathroom like Grampa Simpson. I know my insides are as rotten as buried fish from all the self-medication but it’s the visible rot that’s hard to stomach.
We cut three more tracks in the afternoon fairly quickly and move on to some percussion overdubs before the drummer, Josh, has to get back to his real job with White Denim. These guys work hard, like most pro musicians. It’s difficult to make this thing pay. Songwriters are shirkers and skivers by comparison. We sit about waiting for ideas to come floating through the ether and when they hit we take all the cash. The idea is that there’s nothing without the song but you take away all those players, those arrangers and ornamentalists and the authors would be fucked. They’d be singing their stuff on street corners to shrugs and sniggers.
The next morning is still humid and rain starts to drizzle as I walk to a cafe. I take a table outside when it suddenly erupts into a mournful downpour making a wonderful sound on the awning like warm applause in a vast concert hall. A lady talking to her friend at the table next to mine starts crying, softly. She’s using the noise as cover and is seizing the opportunity, as camouflage. A little deluge laps at the edge of the patio forcing some to shuffle inwards, dragging their wrought iron chairs rattling over the concrete and sheltering their laptops. As the rain eases the lead-coloured sky is upon us like a mist. The air, decadently thick with moisture, fills my lungs like steam. The street around starts to glow in the respite, in the relief of the brief letting go.
17 Responses to “Austin, Day Eight”
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Running is for fools and some fools run for President. Love the blog Justin. You should write your own poetry anthology.
Looks like you could be in for a busy time for the last quarter of 2012 unless you multi-task. May I suggest you consider the anal sex your act of altruism, thus killing two birds with one stone, as it were. That’ll be two things off your to-do list, and as you’re already hunting out cowboy boots, you’re freeing up your diary for life-enhancing stuff like…writing postcards from the edge; counting ants and trying on new and interesting under garments. Er…watching telly in your pants? Taking up line dancing? Yoga? Yoga’s good. Baking cup-cakes? Enough guesses. Come back with a stetson.
Reading your blogs makes me picture it all in black and white and maybe the music is too?…is it arty and grainy and cool to match?
I defended you against Marti Pellow a couple of days ago (friend at work has his pic as screen saver) – each to their own and all that but I argued that you were better – musically and looking (obviously) – however I won’t show her the pic of you in the bunnet with the beard. Don’t want her to get too excited.
I can just imagine what the colour of your insides must be. Your lungs would be black from smoking, your liver would be a lovely shade of green from drinking and god knows what other colours are in there. You’ve probably got a whole rainbow of colours in there. You really should look after yourself because you only have one body and if it fails on you ‘you’re gone’- that was a great song. RIP Del Amitri.
Well KIM – thank you for your wonderful positive and uplifting comment. Are you currently going through rehab for depression by any chance?
Justin – I’m right with you. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and thought “Jeez – you’re f*cked!”
As my doc says “It’s just anno domini – we’re all getting older”.
Your music still inspires my playing and writing to this day, so don’t worry – you’re still pretty cool!
Lol. No FatmanStratman I’m not in rehab and I’m not depressed. I just worry about the lifestyle Justin leads, I would really hate to think that something could happen to him. Actually there is one thing I get depressed about-Justin won’t tour Australia anymore so I have to be content watching him on Youtube. I saw the Dels in 1990 and they were brilliant. I always say Justin is like a fine bottle of wine-he gets better with age, I love that man to bits. He puts a smile on my face everyday.
Kim didn’t mean any harm there fatman. You didn’t have go there.
Ain’t no crime to have depression or addiction issues either.
Well if you think you’re rotting inside and out, I must find putrefaction appealing because I find hearing your velvet tones and looking at your deliciousness sends me wild!
Now….. stop fishing for compliments, you old git, and get on with the job at hand!! ;-) xxxx
P.S. Loved the description of the rain…. I love downpours like that!
I like the name Justin. The only exception is Justin Bieber, whenever I google you he comes up as well, little twerp.
I still remember the giddy excitement I felt as I took the bus into Leeds city centre, in the summer of 1992. Of course that was to buy “change everything”.
Somehow this diary is building up that same sense of anticipation. I don’t know if it’s because I was younger then, but the bus ride home was a kind of sweet anticipatory torture. I promised myself I wouldn’t dismantle the cassette’s protective cellophane till I got home in order to drink in every detail: the lyrics sleeve notes, and the artwork.
Just think as the bus meandered through the streets like a confused pigeon, I didn’t even know that the band had put a special inscription: (in my copy only right?) that before I go out tonight, I should change everything. I loved handling the music then, there was something warm and comforting about vinyl and cassettes, something tactile and inclusive. Music was more?… more? …… well just more somehow.
Yet this feels the same, I love the fact that its creation is being shared with us for whatever reason. I’m looking forward to seeing the new stuff and trying to work out which songs were cut when, and if the final textures are redolent of the various blog posts here. The synchronicity of café-woman’s abating tears, with the lessening rain might be captured somewhere amongst the chords as minor gives way to major.
I know that my sheer love for this music, that at 22 marked me out as an intense and thoughtful individual, probably makes me a bit of a twat at 42 but the thing is I’m so pleased that as we all get older and more cynical, there is still something that moves me to become the idealistic, open and receptive individual I was then. Thanks for sharing with us Justin, thanks for words and music that move and inspire, and mostly thanks for still creating this musical legacy that gets better and better
Oh and before you go back to the studio tomorrow, change everything!!
you, mr crowther, are as eloquent as mr currie. nice.
Thanks B, but writing is the least of it, you should see what happens when I count in the church of Jesus Christ.
Seriously though, as a kid my love of language was fired and inspired by Del amitri lyrics….
Like a ticket inspector running for a bus
Irony’s revenge surrounds us.
And it’s ironic that he promised you he’d never let you go
When he’s left you used-up and disturbed
And I said “Just as the early bird catches the worm
The early cat catches the bird”
But that former owner is keeping his word
They still take my breath away, even now
Keep admiring yourself Justin. With your handsome looks you have every right to so sod off to everyone who thinks otherwise.
FFS! Just get on with it and stop admiring yourself.