Day Two – April 10th.
I had a great sleep and didn’t wake up until Noon.
It’s a nice day in New Orleans, not hot at all. I went down to Belle’s Diner for a Seafood Omelette (Shrimp & Crawfish).
Saw my friend Dinah who owns my local laundry (Suds ‘dem Duds) and she welcomed me back to New Orleans as did the workers at the Quarter Master.
I then wandered down to get a SIM card for my phone. Jackson Square is closed as the stage in being prepared for the French Quarter Festival. I did see one of the security guys (Fess Security) I know (Sherman) and he also said, ‘welcome back man’.
Paul Murphy a friend of Way Out West phoned me. He was in Florida for a Blues Festival and is coming by Greyhound Bus tomorrow to link up with an Amtrak train to Chicago. His bus is due in at 8 AM and his train leaves at 1 PM. We have planned to meet up for breakfast.
Thought I would head over to Frenchman Street around 7.30 for a bite to eat and a couple of beers. The Spotted Cat was packed to overflowing so I tried Café Negril. Got me a bar seat. The band playing is called ‘The Four Sidemen of the Apocalypse’, and they are very good. Old/New styles of Jazz. Drums, guitar, bass and sax/vocals. I got myself and Abita Amber, telling myself that I would stay for just an hour. A woman came up and ordered a stubby of Guinness and then proceeded to pour it into a plastic cup. I could hear a groan all the way from Erin.
There is a young guy sitting next to me who introduced himself as Lew. He was down from Jersey for Wrestle mania which was at the Super Dome over the weekend.
A trombone player walked in and just joined in with the band. He was introduced as Dr Dave. He sat in for a couple of songs and then packed up to go off to his gig. He and the Sax player had some very good banter with each of them having a shot at the respective worth of Sax Players and Trombone players. I think the Sax Player won as he asked the audience what the difference was between a Trombone player and a dead snake in the road. The answer he said was that the snake had been on his way to a gig. Boom, boom.
There is an old Hippie dude up dancing by himself. He sure has got some cool moves. As they say, you gotta dance like no one is watching. Our own Jack the Hat would be hard pressed to match this guy’s moves.
Lew is a nice guy and he has lots of questions about Australia. He has plans one day to come down under but when I told him that it takes thirteen and a half hours flying from L.A. to Melbourne he said, ‘man I can’t even sleep that long’. I just heard an Aussie accent in the bar. A family from Sydney.
I am enjoying the front man of the band immensely. He reminds me a little of Jimi Hocking in looks and for his humour. They play here every Tuesday night so I will bring Wendy along next week. Here is a YouTube of the band at Café Negril. https://www.facebook.com/cafenegrilNOLA/videos/1196492650371938/
Lew left as he has a plane to catch home tomorrow morning. I have just noticed that the band on at 10 PM is John Lisi and Delta Funk. I have a couple of C. D’s of theirs. There goes the planned early night.
Two older couples have taken up residence at the bar with me. The engaged in conversation once they heard my accent. They are all from New York. The guy is a retired N.Y. fireman and the other was a Special Investigator with the F.B.I. They all had visited Sydney but had not been to Melbourne.
John Lisi is as good live as he is on C.D. The drummer is incredible not the least being because he has at some stage been horrifically burnt to his face and he has no fingers just little stumps. How the hell he manages to hold drumsticks has me buggered.
I finally got myself home at midnight, a little puffed I must say.