Friday April 11th
So close, but so far away!
‘If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician, I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music’ – Albert Einstein
The Internet connection has not been great hence the delay in the posts. First thing this morning I was able to upload two posts.
On the way down to the second day of the festival I ran into a parade heading down St. Anne St. to Jackson Square. New Orleans loves a parade and any reason to put one on is acceptable. The parade had brass bands, miniature ponies, knights on horseback and people dressed in all sorts of costumes sashaying in that unmistakable New Orleans dance step. Throw beads and smiles were the order of the day.
I finally picked up a local phone which costs next to nothing and includes $40 of texts and calls which will see me through the time I am here. I need to be able to call the friends I have here in town to see what bar I am supposed to be at on any given day.
Breakfast today (11:30) was from the Desire Oyster Inn food stall. Fried Oyster Rockefeller with penne pasta and hot garlic sauce. Now that should cleanse the system. I think I am becoming immune to hot sauce!
The sun has just broken through and I can feel the heat on the back of my neck. I must remember to put on some sun-screen. I missed applying the sun-screen to my ears yesterday and my right ear looks like a slice of red tomato.
The first band today at the Abita Stage is called Sweet Crude, they are pretty good, quirky and a lot of fun.
My main aim today was to see the Honey Island Swamp Band. I know that some of you reading this blog are fans of this New Orleans group. I would describe them as Louisiana Southern Rock. They are a mighty fine band and I have most of their albums. It is great being at the side of stage as I can get to talk to the musicians before they go on to play. I had a chat with Aaron Wilkinson the lead-singer and he gave me his email address. He is real keen to get to Australia and I told him about our club. Aaron asked me to keep in touch he even gave me a couple of C.D’s to spread the word back home.
It is real cool being back stage, the Production Crew have all said hello and I fell like one of the gang.
One of the people I befriended last year was Jimmy Carpenter an incredible saxophone man. Jimmy plays with many bands around town and I was thrilled when he came up to say hello and welcome me back to New Orleans. Jimmy is playing with the Honey Island. I got to enjoy another mighty fine set of music.
I went and lined up for a beer and a guy in front of me asked if I was a Chicago Cubs fan (I was wearing a Cubs cap). He was surprised to hear my accent and I explained why indeed I was wearing the cap. My brother Herbie and I attended a game in Chicago in 2012 the Cubs v the White Sox. He was pretty impressed as he was also a Cubs fan. We had a good chat about baseball and the state of the game in Australia.
Kermit Ruffins and band are next on stage. Stew got Kermit and his daughter to sign one of Wendy’s magnificent photos. I have taken with me about 20 blown up prints of shots Wendy took in 2103 .
The crowd is starting to get to the enormous stage. Next up is Dr. John and the Nite Tripper. I have been hanging out for this. Fancy being side of stage for the good Doctor. He has to walk past me to get on stage. Well was I disappointed or what. Stew came up and apologized and told me that everyone needed to leave the area, Dr. John is a very demanding and private man and we all had to clear the side of stage. Stew said go and get in the photography area, which I did. We had about 30 minutes to wait. I could hear a lot of the press photographers talking about us only being able to stay for three songs before leaving. That is ok as I am dead centre of his piano. Stew came down the line and reiterated we could only stay for three songs. O.K. Then with about 15 minutes to go all the V.I.P guest were told to leave as well as all us ‘professional’ photographers. Many of the press guys around me were none too happy. Apparently there would only be three sanctioned photographers allowed. Well that is a bummer as now I have no chance of getting even remotely close to the stage. Stuff Dr. John I cracked the shits and went over to the Zydeco stage to listen to Chubby Carrier.
Even though I was disappointed in not getting to see Dr. John I still had a fantastic day.
I wandered home and picked up a take-out (take-away) of meat loaf, mashed potato and beans. I also bought some salt as there was none back at the apartment. As with all things you buy food wise in New Orleans the salt container was super- sized. The smallest salt container I could buy was a 737 gram monster. I guarantee it will still be half full when we make the trip back next year. The good thing is that it only cost $1.39
Now as I said I am running a day behind, I have already lived Saturday and I can tell you it has been the most exciting and enjoyable day I have had in the Crescent City. You will have to wait 24 hours for the next post.
P.S. Go the Bulldogs