Austin, Day Nineteen
Last day. I’m still dicking about with last little vocal things. A very nice tall man called Bruce comes in to do some backing vocals with me. He’s a good natural singer and just the ticket. It’s just one simple part but having another voice helps a lot. He’s a songwriter but it’s difficult to track down his work on the web as he shares a name with Bruce Robinson, the British director of Withnail & I and the recent very underrated The Rum Diary. I get distracted by a highly entertaining interview with the director from a 2011 issue of the Independent. He tells a story about when he was drinking five bottles of wine a day and he ran out. He got in his car and as he was driving to the nearest off-licence noticed in his mirror some prick in a silver van hanging on his tail-lights. He braked hard to get it to back off but the guy just braked too and stayed right on his arse. So he came to a stop and got out to remonstrate with the driver to see his wife’s horse box hitched to the back of his car. There’s also a Bruce Robinson on Wikipedia who is an ex-baseball player and, confusingly, now also a singer/songwriter. I am later informed that my guy is actually Bruce Robison (one ‘n’) and find him online. He’s written three country number ones so maybe his vocal overdub will bring my song some luck. Thanks, Bruce.
I’m weary of the bunker. I’ve not spent so many consecutive days in a recording studio since 2001 in New Jersey with Iain and Commissioner Gordon, and that was mainly mixing. And drinking. Iain and I found a dive bar situated on the stairway of an obscure exit in a subway station. Full of major alcoholics, it was a magnificent oasis in uptown Manhattan. But it’s been a dry few months for me and with a 5am start I’m not going to start boozing tonight. Which is a shame as I could do with a blow-out. Sobriety is all well and good but after a while you need to feel…abnormal. I want to be in the state of being other than myself. I want to be abnormal.
I exchange a gentle farewell with Mr. McC, a shy man on the whole, and drive off into the night. Rain is coming, the air is turbulent with its threat. But that southern heat is still there, sticky like spilt sugar. The emotion of leaving stirs distantly inside me as I drive. More places to which I’ll probably never return. No matter, I’m moving on. Motion, momentum; they keep the demons at bay. Tomorrow I’ll take the car back and pull my property from the boot. A microphone, a guitar, a computer, some records and books. I went down to Texas and then I went away.
75 Responses to “Austin, Day Nineteen”
haha. those burr oaks never got me either…praise the universe! cheers. trust your album making went fabulously. you were a refreshing visitor to austin. heading to boston soon. house sold. book restoration and hugo is off to become a painter at risd. xo the nakashimas
Thankyou Leslie Crowthercounts for your comment about Justin’s gig, I’m so envious of you right now. Hope you got some footage to upload onto Youtube.
So I blasted down to sleepy provincial Lincolnshire from Yorkshire tonight, and found a town unlike anything I’ve seen before.
You expected at any moment to be called to council of war with Cromwell in one of the ancient buildings. I was disappointed to find however that the only steel I was likely to taste was one of those posey metal cup jobs in one of the myriad coffee shops.
I was a little surprised to find the support act was not only good, but that he was a fairly normal human being . This was most assuredly not the territory of “Dereck here’s my National Insurance Number Meins” or “Kooky, Super-Shy Heidi Spencer” neither of whom you felt should reasonably be on stage without a carer.
I saw some flyers at the back, and it seems Justin will be doing another of his fabulous blogs, as they were advertising that all his tour writings will be published in book form available from 9th March.
Justin came on stage looking rather dapper, and before you knew it Your soul was stolen. There were a few oldies such as Just like a Man, and then interspersed amongst the usual requests was the new stuff.
“Make a Pearl” was the first if Ive remembered the title correctly, and straight away you knew it was going to be ok. Its funny but waiting to hear new tunes for the first time you feel like an expectant father pacing the corridor outside the Labour ward. Will it have all its limbs? will it be a healthy and wholesome? Will it tug at my heartstrings as it makes its way into the world.
I need not have worried (of course) and although I think it will probably need a few more listens for me to get the full appreciation, the next one was even better.
“Half of me” sounded like a schizophrenic conflict of the soul. Of the inherent selfishness fame brings. It was troubled and brooding, whilst somehow at peace. Angry yet accepting. Satisfied yet ambitious. I suppose it was a song about an internal war (the great war?). There was only one thing I didnt like about it and that was a lyric about being ready to retire. I hope against hope that it is either not autobiographical, or if it is, the “Half of me” (Justin) that wins the struggle is the one who keeps the fires going.
The final new song was called Priscilla. Of the trio this made the least impression, but Justin’s music has been a part of the tapestry of my life long enough for me to learn one fact. If the first time you hear it, it doesnt slap you between the eyes, you will probably find over the months it has a way of inveigling its way into your conciousness. You will probably wake up with it one day pulsating in your head like a reassuringly insistent hangover. Maybe you will be in an important business meeting and you miss important tranches of the converation because your trying to remember a lyric in the second verse. Sometime you will almost certainly be at a family gathering, and you will be secretly wishing everyone would just go home so you could belt out the new song. Yes these songs really do encroach (as Justin once said about his sideboards).
The Ipod was more in evidence tonight than usual for some backing drum beats which sounded great on the whole, although it changed the character of little stars, which is a song that is normally so incredibly stark. I liked it, it was just different.
The between song banter was as good as ever, it makes it so much fun to go to several concerts on a tour when each one has these little individual moments of banter and chat that makes it different from the next.
It was a great night with a surprisingly good atmosphere for a seated venue. The heavily banked flooring seemed to give it an immediacy you dont always get in a theatre. And then the lights went up and it was all over so quickly. I always enjoy listening to the conversations around me afterwards as I leave. People who dont know the music or havent seen Justin since the Del Amitri days. They are always blown away by the voice, by the performance, by how just one man and a guitar can hold an audience in the palm of his hands.
One such conversation on the way out of the venue involved a family asking the mother if she was alright, and her reply was this: “Do you mind if I dont talk for a few moments, I’m just trying to take it all in for now. It was so beautiful I cant believe it. I feel incredibly emotional after that.
I love it when people “get it”.
Thanks for the review Les! Always great to read your reviews. That’s exactly where Justin’s tour diaries belong in a published book.
Thanks Kim, Thanks Glinda. Yes it feels such a privilege to be there as I will be again on Sunday, so I always try to pass on a little bit of what I feel for those who cant get there, but would love to be.
I know how much appreciate it when others do the same for me, so if anyone is going tonight Id love to hear about it.
I will definately be buying the book Glinda, after all we are all part of the story. Justin’s blog is just so beautifully written, that it feels like a beacon of quality fighting to illuminate a mediocre world. If there’s ever anything thats worthwhile supporting, then that would be it.
Absolutely Les. Gotta have the book. Looking forward to your next review Les!
Have just read the Yorkshire Post myself. It sounds like the album is not too far away, my stereo is quivering with anticipation.
That’s the first time i’ve heard or read it being called a stereo, enjoy the cold shower!
I think Valentine’s Day is a load of bollacks but would it be cheeky of me to wish Justin a happy Valentine’s Day. Imagine him serenading you today! Wow. I’m off to have a cold shower, a cuppa tea and a good lie down. Good luck with the tour Justin (not that you need it). Fingers crossed for some new tour blogs.
STOP PRESS!!!!!……………………According to the Yorkshire Post, the new album is called “lower Reaches”!!!!!
Really looking forward to the tour Justin. Following it makes me feel like all is good with the world. Thanks for coming out.
I, in common with most would relish another tour blog, if you feel the inclination.
So its manufactured ‘valentines day’ scmaltz everywhere tomorrow, and then a fortnight of Currie lyrics. A perfect antidote.
Have a good one.
Tom Cruise wouldn’t dare jump on my sofa! Lol. To think as a 13 year old watching Top Gun back in 1986 I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. My, how things have changed. Now if Justin wanted to jump on my sofa-BRING IT ON!!!!!!!
Thanks for that website Glinda. I like what he said about Tom Cruise.
You’re welcome Kim. Yeah me too…Tom Cruise in a real creep.
Have just found out Justin is doing a show in Oman this Tuesday night. That would make for a great blog read just to see what he thinks of the place.
Hi Kim. The gig is actually Wednesday 6th. Al Bustan Palace Hotel. I’m sure he’ll love Muscat…:)
Thanks Kathy. I read he’s in Abu Dhabi Thursday and Friday night, there’s a destination I’d love to visit. He could play on the moon and I’ll be there.
This has made great reading, and in a way I’m glad I hadn’t read it at the time but instead all at once.
Looking forward to hearing that album. Curious about the overall sound based on the equipment :)
I hope you are following the Australian Open Justin. Andy Murray is doing really well, he won the third round yesterday. I’m hoping the men’s final won’t be Murray/Federer as I really like them both but if I had to choose I would want Andy to win as Roger has won it quite a few times.
One thing we both would agree on is that Justin is a brilliant musician, not to mention good looking. I’m eternally grateful for this website, at least I can “talk” to him and fans like yourself. You’d have to admit you are probably having withdrawls from not reading any new blogs. Oh well, as the saying goes ‘all good things come to those who wait’. Anyway sorry if you thought I was out to create war, I meant no harm. Cheers.
Read between the fins Kim and give it a rest already.
M: I came here for a good argument.
A: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.
M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
A: It can be.
M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
A: No it isn’t.
M: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.
A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
M: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’
A: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!
A: Yes it is!
M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.
A: No it isn’t.
M: It is.
A: Not at all.
M: Now look.
A: (Rings bell) Good Morning.
A: That’s it. Good morning.
M: I was just getting interested.
A: Sorry, the five minutes is up.
M: That was never five minutes!
A: I’m afraid it was.
M: It wasn’t.
A: I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to argue anymore.
A: If you want me to go on arguing, you’ll have to pay for another five minutes.
M: Yes, but that was never five minutes, just now. Oh come on!
M: Look, this is ridiculous.
A: I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid!
M: Oh, all right.
A: Thank you.
A: Well what?
M: That wasn’t really five minutes, just now.
A: I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid.
M: I just paid!
A: No you didn’t.
M: I DID!
A: No you didn’t.
M: Look, I don’t want to argue about that.
A: Well, you didn’t pay.
M: Aha. If I didn’t pay, why are you arguing? I Got you!
A: No you haven’t.
M: Yes I have. If you’re arguing, I must have paid.
A: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.
M: Oh I’ve had enough of this.
A: No you haven’t.
M: Oh Shut up.
Angry man: WHADDAYOU WANT?
Man: Well, Well, I was told outside that…
Angry man: DON’T GIVE ME THAT, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS!
A: SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT! YOUR TYPE MAKES ME PUKE!
YOU VACUOUS STUFFY-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!!!
M: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!
A: OH! Oh! I’m sorry! This is abuse!
M: Oh! Oh I see!
A: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.
A: Not at all!
A: (under his breath) stupid git.
Let’s call a truce Glinda. I’m sure he is reading this and having a chuckle to himself that 2 women are defending him. Isn’t that every man’s fantasy. Lol.
I wasn’t aware there was a war on Kim. In any case, one woman, one sole mate. Fin.
Glinda, for you to insinuate that I’m insulting Justin or his website is an insult to me as well as the great man himself, I’ve adored him for 26 years and would NEVER dream of putting him, his music or website down in any way. As far as I’m concerned Justin can do no wrong, I’m sure he can even walk on water if he tried! Yes he is entitled to a break from things as he worked his arse off (what a lovely arse too!!) in the States but I was hoping he could at least post a recent photo of himself on the site to remind us just how handsome is he. As for the ‘nothing ever happens’ comment-come on the pun was there to be said. Luv ya Justin!!!!!!
Are you quite finished ranting? Your “pun” is as insulting as it is inane. Justin is in no way under any obligation to post content, or, as you so eloquently put it, “pull his finger out”, just to placate you my dear. As for Justin being insulted by me…all I have to say to that is…I’m the fish! lol
Was only joking Glinda.
Also forgot to ask please update your complaints page.
Couldn’t agree more with the last 2 comments. Come on Justin pull your finger out and give your fans some new stuff, I’m wanting to rename the website ‘nothing ever happens’. As for Thatcher choking on biscuits I’m sure you would be a gentleman and give her mouth to mouth resuscitation!
With respect Kim, this isn’t McDonalds. The album will be done when it’s done you know? In the meantime, if you’re bored, why not focus on something else instead of criticizing the site?
Like a wayward clownish vampire who’s dark cloak is festooned with bells, whistles and balloons, you have once again changed the cover of your blog to hide the emptiness inside. So let us begin at the beginning and open the covers on the open book Mr Currie. Your public awaits. We wait and we wait, sentinels staring across the seas of dross, awaiting release from the days of darkness. Have we finished already? Not a bit of it. Let the music ring out as an antidote to winter. you will see the people’s eyes shine. I cannot wait. January is a frigid month, but with Feruary sping comes at last.
Or putting it more succinctly…….. hurry the fuck up with your new relaease, and, put something fucking interest on this site again before we all go mad….
Happy New Year Justin. Wishing you all the very best for 2013 as well as the tour and new album.
No Kim you’re not naughty. But I’m not into kidnapping. Santa doesn’t do prison. Ho ho ho no. ;-)
Is that you Justin pretending to be Father Christmas? If it is can I sit on your knee?
Merry Christmas Justin. As I said in my birthday message eat, DRINK and be merry. Father Christmas didn’t deliver the thing I wanted the most this year-you under my Christmas tree. Oh well maybe it’s because I’ve been a naughty girl!! Anyway have a good day what ever you do.
Happy Birthday Justin. Hope you are well and keeping warm, have just googled Glasgow weather and my goodness it would freeze the balls off a brass monkey. What ever you are doing today have a good one and most importantly eat, drink and be merry! Cheers and take care.xxx
When people say things like “its the thought that counts” invariably they are a cunt. So although Im fashionably late in sending my best birthday wishes to add to the slush pile…….. Its the thought that counts. Best wishes Leslie Crowther (who also counts).
All well and good but what happened to the horse?
Well its been a while and poor ol Seabright NJ has been all but washed away—still the memories of an evening there in ’96 with Del Amitri remain! “Roll to Me” still in rotation at the local Publix grocery store here just west of Atlanta…especially on Senior Shoppers Day. Staring birthday #60 in the face I wonder where the time went! But go it did. Just glad Justin and Iain are still tunefull! We could use a show in Atlanta if y’all are so inclined. Best wishes!
C’mon Obama. You can do it. YES YOU CAN! I feel weird saying that coz I have no interest in politics and I’m in Australia. But I really want him to win. Who on earth would call their child Mitt, they are things you wear on your hands.
Thank you so much Karen. It’s like a science fiction movie. I’m going with my family back to help my old neighbours in Highlands NJ. I just saw some footage on the news of how bad it is. Heartbreaking to say the least. xxx
This is the only thing that made me laugh since this nightmare started.
I’m ok thank you Karen. It’s been a rough week but we are all pulling together to help each other the best we can. xxx
Good to hear you’re ok Glinda. It must have been devastating! Thinking of you all over there and sending my very best wishes. Stay strong and take care. xxx
Wonderful, thank you.
I’m guessing by now Justin would be home doing one of two things, sleeping his jet lag off or he’s at the pub making up for lost time. He’s earned a well earned rest after working so hard in the US, I’m glad he got out of there when he did coz of the monster storm that was approaching. I guess you could say he got out of there ‘just in’ time! Sorry Justin I could resist, it had to be said. Still having withdrawals, thank you to the two who responded to my last comment. It’s good to know I’m not alone, was even considering setting up a JC support group!
If you’re flying home, be safe. Seriously.
Is it just me or is anyone else having withdrawals from not reading anymore new blogs? Please hurry back Justin, your fans need you.
Im with you Kim.
We need a post-script, just to round things off:
“Arrived home tired and cold. Cat said she remembered my face but was having trouble placing me – but, seeing as I was here – would I open a tin of tuna for her…and put the heating on high?
Spent the evening so wasted and legless I’d lost the power of speech and bladder control. I have no idea how I got home, but woke the next morning (was it morning?) to eggs Benedict, and can confirm that you can sometimes get both at home.
I am a legend in my living room.
This is merely a synopsis – the highlights – and needless to say Mr Currie has better prose, grammar and punctuation, and would make it an altogether more engaging read.
Something like that?
Like that M!!
p.p.s. You got outa here just in time. We’re about to get pummeled by “frankenstorm”. You’d have been grounded here for days at the airport if you left next week.
Great new pics in the “grotesques” section btw. xxxxx
Are you ok Glinda?
“I adore you. Tell him if you must, I no longer care. I mean to have you even if it must be burglary”
Withnail & I, what a film.
Hello, JC. It appears you are having a busy year which makes a change you lazy ‘get’ It’s all very well hiding away in Scotland for years on end but the fans are out here waiting for new material so come on mate get your finger out.
I saw you in May at Runcorn and have my ticket a Christmas present from my eldest daughter for the gig at the waterside in Feb. Once again my fifteen year old is coming along and like me she can’t wait. Take care and safe journey home.
It’s snowing here in Yorkshire!
It can fuck off snowing Karen!!
‘like’ ha ha
Ah a dive bar, now it becomes clear. I always wondered how ‘I’m An Unbeliever’ not only didn’t make it onto the album, but wasnt the single from ‘Can you do me good?’ :-)
I wondered after your post the other day about people finding old ‘B’ sides from behind the bins if you’d ever regretted leaving a song off an album and would replace it now if you could with hindsight.
But then what on earth would you have left off?
The diary has been fabulous, I think weve all loved coming to Austin with you. If it pleases you, Id certainly love more entries in the weeks/months before the tour.
I hope you are ready for the look of indignation the cat has been saving up for your return.
I cant wait for the tour in February, and I’ll get to as many as I can as always, I cant think of anything else Id rather do. Safe journey home.
Good luck with it all, not that you need it! Be prepared for bitter cold when you get home, it’s bloody freezing. Safe journey and thanks for a great read this past few weeks.
Dear Mr Currie,
It’s been enjoyable sharing your journey and I hope you have found it a pleasant experience. In some ridiculous way, I feel a very small credit for whatever you have produced this past couple of weeks or so, tenuous for sure, but real none the less.
This said, I feel honour bound to purchase for cash money, whatever product from these endeavors you choose to release for sale.
To that end, please forward your bank details at your earliest convenience to facilitate my depositing said cash, thus avoiding any nasty tax issues.
Further, a good friend of mine tells me he would like to purchase 20,000 copies of any new album and will do so as soon as he can release funds currently held overseas. To facilitate this, he would need a small cash loan of indeterminate amount, in order to settle with his foreign representatives. Please express this advance asap.
Thank you for your timely response.
Enoch Sani Abacha (retired)
It is with a tinge of sadness that we say goodbye to these wonderful blogs, will miss them terribly. So you want to be abnormal Justin, I think we all are to a certain degree. Name me one person that is normal in this world. Hope you get home safe. Please can you post a recent photo of Abdul on your website, I’d love to see what she looks like now.
A little melancholy in the leaving. Sweet sorrow.
Am saving my blow-out for my 50th (as I have an auto-immune condition that blocks all attempts to get shit-faced on recreational additives), where I shall, with impunity and without conscience, lasso myself a virile 39 yr old, take him home and furiously shag him all night – that should unclog all the pipes! I will not need to know his name or occupation, his political beliefs or taste in music – I won’t even want his number. He’ll just need to be beautiful and co-operative.
I forgot to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It’s been enchanting, delightful, thought-provoking and well worth following.
So what happens next?
After the well-deserved rest, glass of chilled Chardonnay and long-awaited Eggs Benedict, of course…
For a moment there I thought you had one of your testicles in your hand.
Safe journey back to wet, cold, dull Blighty Sir, it might even be snowing in Glasgi!
I’m going to miss these posts….roll on this records release and roll on February!
Justin, put that acorn in your pocket and keep it with you. It will bring you luck. They are the fruit of the sacred Oak tree and traditionally symbolic of strength and health. And because the acorn only appears on a fully mature oak, it is considered a symbol of the patience needed to attain goals over long periods of time. It represents perseverance and hard work. Attributes with which you are most certainly endowed. Listen to your goodfairy! ;-)
Enjoy your well deserved bevies. We all need to step outside ourselves and forget. Sleep well and have a safe and relaxing journey tomorrow.
Love, Glinda xxxxxxxxxx
ps…great story about the guy with the horse van hitched up to his truck! lol xxxxx