Tour Diary – New York City (Feb 7 – 10, 2011)

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Well that was quite the four days. There is no question that this is the best city in the world. I know that it’s a boring choice but it is what it is. Sometimes you just got to give it up and strive for #2. We started the week off with two sold out shows at the City Winery: which is a nice way to start a week. Monday night was a bit dusty. We haven’t played live since November so the set might have been a little careful. Tuesday night we let it out, and remembered why we like doing this so much. During the afternoon I did a bit of browsing at The Strand, which is always a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Rich Wallach attended both shows and very kindly gave me a copy of Kerouac’s, The Subterraneans. As always, it was good to see him. Wednesday we taped the Jimmy Fallon show. It was one those classic TV days. Lots and lots of waiting and then BAM you’re on and BAM you’re off. All of the folks at the show from the stage hands to the backstage staff to the band to Jimmy himself, were exceptionally welcoming. On Wednesday night Al, Pete, I and a long time friend of ours, Mia, went to see Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye perform at St Mark’s Church. It was a benefit for the Poetry Project which has been running out of St Marks for 45 years. The sanctuary has quite the amazing vibe. It has heard the voices of Ginsberg and Corso and Carroll and Burroughs and Ondaatje and of Patti Smith, who 40 years ago to the day (less one), along with Lenny Kaye appeared on its stage, her live debut, in front of all the hip cats of the early 70’s New York scene . She blew them all away and the rest is RocknfucknRoll History. Tonight she blew us all away. She recited some of her early work; read a bit from her book; paid homage to a handful of mentors, most of them dead, many of whom were at that event 40 years ago; and said goodbyes to a few friends recently departed. She even sang a number of songs, just her voice and Lenny on guitar. It was astounding. That gig could not have happened anywhere else in the world but downtown Manhattan (I don’t care how hip Brooklyn gets it will never be home to the ghosts that inhabit the East Village). A wonderful sidebar to the night was the audience. The Old Guard, with their perfectly worn leather jackets, their scraggily grey hair, and their air of belonging, all sat in the first eight or so rows: along the walls sat the next generation, with their perfect skin, their teased, dyed hair, their unknown, exciting futures stretching out before them (god how I envy them and envy is not an emotion that is easily evoked in me). A perfect New York City happening.

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Thursday night we participated in a concert at Carnegie Hall. In the afternoon I went for a walk through Central Park. It was cold but sunny, with high blue skies. The park was pretty much deserted and so beautiful. The show at Carnegie Hall tonight was a celebration of Neil Young’s music: twenty or so musicians and bands each performing one song and then getting the hell off stage. These things are always awkward, from both a performance and social point of view. I’m sure that there are some people that really enjoy the socializing backstage, being part of a fraternity, but I hate it. The biggest drag is you don’t even get the opportunity to let off steam on stage because you are limited to one song. But I think there was a lot of good music played tonight (Patti Smith and her daughter Jessie did a very delicate version of Its A Dream) and I hope that they raised a lot of money and that the money gets to where its suppose to go.

I love this city. It an inspiring and invigorating place. Friday we go home and on Monday and Tuesday we’ll continue to work on Sing In My Meadow. I’ll be letting you know how that is coming along. Keep in touch.

central park 4

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5 Responses to “Tour Diary – New York City (Feb 7 – 10, 2011)”

  1. kv Says:

    February 12th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    well being from ny the city is a great place and vey beautiful and cool hip aand happening as only ny can offer!! living in atlanta for the past upteen years sometimes i miss the nyc attitude and all the great scenes there ya know it it stays in your blood!! but atlanta sometimes reminds me of the city with all its neighborhoods and funky places!! as well as canada,i love it there always have,went there as a kid and get back as much as possible,but anyway the shows were great as always,have been a huge crazy junkies fan from day one way back in the late 80s and continue to be!! have seen you kids probably a hundred times and still counting. thenomad series i have to say is totally my favorite and thats alot from me cause i dont have a favorite record,they are all my favorites,but being in atlanta i know vics work well and have seen him play many times. demons is awesome the only band that could pull that off isthe junkies for sure,i think this is the best or one of the best vocals margo has done, really she has totally gotten into the music of vic and its just amazing,her voice has definetly matured in a good way!! i mean that with all respect ha ha anyway its great and excited to hear more!! be well and safe take care you kids rock on!! come back to the city!! viscardi

  2. Kevin Says:

    February 17th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Caught ya’ll at the Carnegie Hall tribute. Your right about the curtness of the “one song and then you’re off” approach to such a night, but it allowed a lot of folks to get exposed to an audience and that’s nice, as well as raising some money for a good cause. Loved your performance, as well as the Roots, Betty LaVete, Aaron Neville and Patti Smith was really wonderful, basically singing a poem by Neil (“It’s a Dream”). Only in New York.
    Kevin (NYC born, raised and livin).

  3. heartnsoul Says:

    February 20th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I am so glad that the ghosts of NYC-past, present and future touched you during your recent visit. The spirit and energy of this town certainly brings out the creative and hip muse, when we are lucky enough to capture moments such as the ones you describe in this Tour Diary.

    The band’s performances on Tuesday and Thursday nights (the two shows I was so lucky to attend) were inspiring. The breadth and beauty of your Nomad odyssey continues to render me speechless and in awe. THANK YOU for bringing it all and leaving it here for us.

    Until next we all meet again on the road, we will find you in virtual spaces.

  4. Tom Says:

    February 22nd, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Mike,
    Joanne and I just returned last night from 4+ days in Manhattan … We spent the lion’s share of our time strolling Central Park (as always) and there isn’t a single place on earth that compares. Even in the February cold, it’s a slice of heaven here on earth. Sorry we missed you guys by a week or so, it would have completed a perfect birthday weekend for my baby. Anyway, see you in Florida soon (I hope).
    Tom

  5. trish Says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Being in NYC sounds great, but how about a trip to beautiful Southwest Colorado???

    Any possibility of playing a fundraiser for our nonprofit? We’re Medicine Horse (www.medicinehorsecenter.org) and we do a lot of amazing things for people with our horses as our partners.

    We would provide you with one great vacation in Durango- trail rides in the mountains, hiking, rafting, biking – a beautiful place to stay, lots of good food, a really fun venue to play at and an adoring audience.

    Saw you all at the Paolo Soleri in Santa Fe many years ago – just amazing!

    Any possibility please email us at info@medicinehorsecenter.org.

    Thanks!!