Monday, October 28, 2013

Sadness and Gladness for Peter Gabriel

It's been a busy time for Peter Gabriel the last week or so.  He wrapped up his European leg of the Back to Front tour on the 25th.  Plans are under way for another European tour in late April and May of 2014.  So far, only four German dates have been announced (none for Leipzig, sadly), but I have not been able to find out when those tickets go on sale.

Peter also featured in a dynamite interview with The Guardian.  Those familiar with Q magazine will be familiar with the style of short questions similar to the Q Questionnaire.  PG did well filling his out in 1992, but he has really honed the art of the one-liner in 2013. 

And then yesterday Lou Reed died.  Reed was one of PG's close friends.  Reed and Laurie Anderson helped PG get together plans for the Real World Experience Park which never came to fruition but was a good idea at the time.  PG put up a touching farewell to Reed on his Facebook page today:

Oh Lou, where have you gone?

We have lost a great artist
And I have lost my friend.

It was your words and your work with the Velvet Underground that inspired Vaclav Havel to name the Czech revolution, the Velvet Revolution. You brought a ...
great novelist’s unswerving attention to the human psyche and soul and attached it to an electric guitar. That clarity and fierce honesty symbolized freedom, like nothing else.

You carried this honesty, purity and passion into whatever you did. Whether it was writers, amplifiers, artists, photography, tai chi, friendships, the glasses you designed or the journeys you had taken, anyone around you knew exactly what you were into; what you loved and hated.

You could be so difficult, narcissistic and intransigent, but anyone you allowed beyond that leather-jacketed protective and sometimes-poisonous veneer got to meet a special man that was sweet, tender and exceptionally loyal.

Watching you and Laurie finding each other was like watching teenage sweethearts. Everyone knew New York Lou, who could tell you all the ups and downs of the modern-day urban explorer, exploring drugs and sexual identity, but how many noticed the great romantic poet of the Power of the Heart that you wrote for Laurie. And what wry sharp intelligence you carried with you at all times, that could cut through any packaging and reveal the living and beating core.

It was always such a pleasure to eat and laugh with you and hear that high-pitched squeal of delight, echoing around the room and bursting out of nowhere.

Oh Lou, we’re going to miss you.

Reed leaves behind his wife Laurie Anderson, thousands of grieving fans and really screwed up world.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Recovering from Peter Gabriel Concert in Leipzig

I'm so tired and sore that I'm amazed that I'm able to type.  But it was worth it!  The Peter Gabriel Back to Front concert in Leipzig, Germany was INCREDIBLE -- even better than the show in Philadelphia last year.  The lighting was better, some of the songs had better arrangements (especially "This is the Picture") and had the best intro I've heard so far for the PG classic "The Family and the Fishing Net."

I also got to meet PG again.  I want to emphasize that I've happened to be very lucky. PG rarely meets his fans during the soundcheck because of  time constraints.  In the photo here, kindly taken by a Real World employee, you can see how stunned (and how fugly) I am. You can also see how well PG is.  He looks much healthier than he did last year for the Philly gig.  I guess that year-long vacation did him a world of good. I guess PG was right to go on that trip and I was wrong for bitching about his vacation.  Dammit, PG -- stop being right.

I'll write a more detailed account/review of the soundcheck and concert later, when my fingers aren't so stiff, but for now I'll mention that PG gave me advice on how to treat my migraines.  Later on, when the shock wore off, I nearly burst into tears from gratitude.  I've had a lot of fantasies about PG since 1986 and I have to admit that talking about headaches and migraines with him was not one of them.

However, that one minute of him genuinely giving a damn means more to me than if he shagged me.  Not that I'd say no if he asked (yeah -- like I have a shot) but it there's one thing I've learned in my mixed-up life is that having sex with someone does not equal giving a damn about that someone.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Me, Peter Gabriel, Sherlock Holmes and Leipzig

I think my writing career has hit rock-bottom, because that was the best title I could think up.  I've just hit the point in my career where even my subconscious doesn't give a shit anymore.  I've spent most of this year writing 350 versions of these titles:

  • How to Choose a Lawyer
  • How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
  • Do I Have Bed Bugs? (which, come to think of it, is practically the same as How to Choose a Lawyer)
Last week I had to write an article that began with this phrase "When you own a septic tank ..."  When I was a kid looking out of the window and daydreaming about my future, I guarantee you that I never thought, "I'm gonna grow up to write about septic tanks!"

I took these assignments because, quite frankly, I needed the money.  I have two dogs, two aquariums and a mountain of medical bills to support.  On Wednesday night, I'm off for what will most likely be my last trip out of the country ever -- a few days in Leipzig, Germany.  I'm going there to see a Peter Gabriel concert.  If I'm not crippled by migraines, I hope to explore Leipzig, too.

If this is your first visit to this blog, let me explain some things about me and Peter Gabriel:

  • I fell in love with him on June 15, 1986
  • I have met him a few times.  He wasn't impressed.
  • My biggest mental breakdown involved him (although he had absolutely no idea what was going on) and I wound up running away from home when I was 29 to live in the woods for about five years.
  • I tried having boyfriends.  The last one tried to kill me so no more boyfriends ever except for imaginary boyfriends.  There's a guy I've dreamt about since 1986 named Peter.
  • I've devoted a good chunk of my life and finances to being a PG fan
  • I'm now getting really tired of it.
Now, it could be that this concert will be incredible and I won't have a migraine and all that happy crappy, but chances are I'll come home exhausted, cranky and not looking forward to the rest of my life.

So where does Sherlock Holmes fit in?  One night when my insomnia was at it's worst, I rediscovered Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes on YouTube.  I had seen the first series of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes waaaay back in 1984 or 1985.  I checked out one of Arthur Conan Doyle's books from my high school library, but it was way over my head.  (Now that I've had to study Shakespeare, Conan Doyle is a walk in the park.)

Man, it felt like coming home.  I've had LSD slipped to me (one of my ex-boyfriends did it as a joke) but I have never had as good a trip as re-watching Jeremy Brett's 10 year stint as the Great Detective.  Sadly, Jeremy Brett (who's real name was Peter Jeremy William Huggins) died in 1995 at the age of 59. 

The Peter I dream about (remember I mentioned him?) usually fought with me in my dreams.  He insisted on being taller than the real PG and had a different speaking voice than PG's.  After I watched a clip of Jeremy Brett as Holmes did I realize that it was THAT voice I had been dreaming about all of these years.  So now Peter and I rarely fight or argue in my dreams anymore. 

So, Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes is my imaginary friend.  Some people have God as an imaginary friend -- I have Sherlock Holmes (or Mr. Holmes as he prefers to be called.)  He's stuck in my head and remarks on just about anything I do, see or hear.  He's not looking forward to this trip to Leipzig and he's not too thrilled about going to the concert.  He'd much rather I spent the time reading and listening to Paganini or Beethoven. 

Gonna be an interesting trip.  The one in my head, if not the one I actually encounter in Germany.