Wednesday – April 16th
‘I like beautiful melodies, that tell me terrible things’ – Tom Waites
Well the sun is out today but there is still a chill in the air. Not sure when the weather is going to turn into a normal New Orleans spring. They are still getting snow in places up north.
Mickey was telling me about his movie adventure. He has had a number of bit parts in a few horror movies. This time he has a small role in the new Will Farrell movie being filmed in New Orleans at the moment. Mickey was in a scene being filmed last Monday at the old Gretna jail. The scene involves him sharing a cell with Will and getting pushed around by the guards. He told me that Will is a nice guy and he takes the time to talk to the extras unlike a lot of other ‘stars’.
I went back to the Magnolia Grill for breakfast. A young guy looked after my order and he spoke with me for a good 10 minutes. His name is Anthony and he is working at the grill during spring break. He attends LSU (Louisiana State University). Nice young man, he told me that I have to come to at least one Mardi Gras. He even wrote a note in my journal ‘I have ordered you to come to Mardi Gras’! Signed – Anthony. Not sure if that will get me another leave pass but you never know.
I went and picked up some postcards to send back home. If you don’t get one it must have went astray in the mail.
It has turned into a real nice sunny afternoon and I passed away a few hours’ people watching from my balcony. I wish I had a dollar for every person who stops and takes a photo of the apartment. It must have something to do with all the disco balls hanging from the rafters. William came back from walking the dogs. He told me that if I even wanted a semi-permanent place to live in New Orleans then he would happily do a deal for me with regards to the apartment I stay in.
The free music at Lafayette Square starts at 5 P.M., I am a little hungry so it being only 4 P.M. I called into Felix’s Oyster Bar off Bourbon. I know this is a very popular place to eat oysters because I have walked past Felix’s at night and there is always a line of people on the sidewalk waiting to get in. I was able to get a place at the bar not far from where the oysters where being freshly shucked. I ordered a dozen char-grilled oysters and a voodoo pale-ale. The oysters were excellent, plump and larger than those we get back home. No needs to worry about being attacked by any vampires that frequent the Quarter tonight as I thing I have just eaten 6 cloves of garlic.
Billy Iuso’s band is just firing up as I meet up with Stew and Carol. I bought two of Billy’s albums home with me last year. I recognized a few pf the punters, a man with an Ian Fraser moustache dyed bright green (may suggest that to Ian), the old free hugs man. He is at must concerts around town. I spoke to him last year, he is well into his 80’s. Dressed in shorts and his trademark Hawaiian shirt and always with bright coloured socks (of a different colour). He has a sign on his shirt ‘free hugs’ and he always seems to be dancing with pretty ladies. Rob Steinberg (Treme actor) said g’day as well as the festival staff. Anders Osborne is also back stage and I got a photo with him. Andres has a very interesting story. He came to New Orleans form Sweden many years ago and has never left. He is now one of ‘awlins finest guitarists/singers/songwriters and he is always on the Jazz Fest bill. He has fought some demons and come through in one piece. As I have read many times about New Orleans, all is here for the taking (and has been since the 1700’s) and it is easy to go along for the ride either with drugs, alcohol, debauchery or whatever else may take your fancy. Anders is one of the strong ones who has got his life back on track.
Also back stage is a lady I have seen many times up on stage interviewing guest and introducing artists. She works for the local Fox T.V. network and shares the stage every Wednesday night with the Saints football cheer leaders and an ex Saints football player. The Saints are the major sponsors of the concert series. I told her I was on my fourth visit to the Crescent City. Anyway next thing I know she is doing her mid bracket spiel when I hear her telling the crowd that she wanted to welcome Rob from Australia to New Orleans and the Saints footballer is calling out ‘mate, can you give us a who dat in an Australian accent’? The crowd cheered. Stew and Carol both came over to me laughing and Stew said ‘what the fuck just happened, how come you are getting named from the stage’! As the old saying goes ‘it’s who you know’. Over to you Mr. Smith!
The Honey Island Swamp Band are the main act for the night. Although I only saw them a few days ago at French Quarter Fest I am very pleased to see them again. Anders got up for a tune as well
I went and had dinner with Stew and Carol after the show and then went back to their home for a cup of tea and a catch up. Stew dropped me back at my apartment around 11 and another great night was enjoyed in ‘awlins