Oh what a good night sleep that was. The Pinot Noir mixed beautifully with whatever it had to mix with, and made me fall asleep like a stone. No rush, I have another day to spend in Hollywood… time to take things slow; especially when considering the awful lot of driving that I’ll have to be doing over the next few days: Phoenix, AZ tomorrow; Denver, CO on Tuesday (1,400km away from Phoenix); and Kansas City, MO on Wednesday (1,000km away from Denver).
As usual, no day can start well without coffee, so we decided to explore Hollywood Boulevard, west of Argyle street, until we hit the nearby Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, some ten blocks away.
For the most part, it was a really annoying walk. I guess the fact that this is Hollywood makes it right for all sorts of merchants to be very intrusive when offering their goods to you, be it a girl for the night or a bus tour showing you celebrities’ houses. Who the f**k cares where Tom Cruise lives. Show me the coffee.
Things started to get really interesting as I approached Hollywood Boulevard’s intersection with Highland. Within seconds I was swimming in a sea of people gazing at millions of side‐shows. I have seen about four million Marilyn Monroe lookalikes. People dressed with bizarre costumes, others dressed with particularly bizarre clothes. Jeroen kept shaking his head saying “this is crazy”. That’s because he hasn’t seen Las Vegas yet.
My friend Jonathan and I came to an agreement that Las Vegas gives a person a really unique sense of freedom; there’s a feeling, when you’re there, that you can do anything you want, whenever you want. Well, the atmosphere in Hollywood this morning was very similar (although not as extreme as Las Vegas).
A quick sandwich at Quizno’s Sub and I was lurking towards Johnny Rocket’s hamburgers. I heard of that place before but never tried it; I vowed to never leave Hollywood before I do.
Wandering around the sea of people seemed really pointless to me so we sat down at the nearby Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Caught up with emails plus some project I’m still working on (nearly done, though). Went back to the hotel after a couple of hours, again swimming through millions of hip, cool and extremely bizarre people.
Decided to try out Johnny Rocket’s before the show, as I have been burnt before, going hungry to a concert… never a good thing. Folks, let me save you some time: it’s rubbish. I will never go there again. In & Out Burger, a Californian chain (I got the lead from Alex Flagg), is way better. Look for it when you’re in California.
Frozen yogurt was our next craving, so we went to a place up in 7095 Hollywood Blvd, called Cantaloop Frozen Yogurt. Funny place, never seen anything like this before. The frozen yogurt is actually self‐served, and you pay by weight. It was the best Frozen Yogurt I have had in years.
While in there, I noticed an Israeli girl talking Hebrew to her boyfriend. Naturally, as when I hear people speaking my mother tongue, I stared. She looked at me and asked me “Do you understand what I am saying?”. So I replied to her in Hebrew “כן, אני מבין מה את אומרת” (English: “Yes, I understand what you’re saying”), which made her laugh. Nice couple, we had a little chat.
Something hilarious happened once we reached the venue. I was going to pick up the tickets, Jeroen was going to cross the road in order to take a picture. On the corner, there stood a ticket‐scalper. As I made my way, Bo Ramsey (Pieta Brown’s accompanying guitarist) made his way to the opposite direction (a greeting “Hello Mr. Ramsey” remained unanswered once again. Total and utter courtesy fail, if you ask me).
The stars were aligned just right so Jeroen, Ramsey and Mr. Scalper occupied the same few square feet… when the scalper tried to sell Ramsey a ticket for the show. Jeroen later explained to the scalper that Ramsey actually plays there. I laughed my arse off hearing this. I mean, come on. Arguments for and against ticket‐scalping aside (I have an extremely negative opinion about it, but who cares), at least know who’s performing.
Had to catch up with quite a bit of blogging so I missed Pieta’s opening act. Nancy was there to make writing more enjoyable; she even got a sneak peak at the unpublished text. I’m sure it made her happy.
The band went on stage at 8:50pm to a cheering crowd. I was seated at the front row again, this time a few seats to the right of the centre—right in front of one huge speaker which kind of made me miserable unless my head was turned just at the right angle.
I liked today’s show better than yesterday’s, simply because I liked the setlist better. For the second time so far in this tour, A Night in Summer Long Ago was played (one of my favourite songs). Cleaning My Gun resurfaced with Richard Bennett kicking the venue’s ass with that 12‐string electric.
A particularly beautiful Why Aye Man solo today, with Mark doing things to his Gibson Les‐Paul that are most likely only allowed in California (well, in California, really, anything goes).
I feel like I have been more… how to say it… restrained today with my reactions to the music. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great concert; I just sunk into thinking about all sorts of things. Maybe I’ll write about those later on during the tour. The music, though, served as a perfect background to that thought‐process.
An extended encore tonight as well. Been a pretty long show. Good job, though. It’s been great.
A slice of pizza after the concert, with Nancy and Vikky, then back to hotel.
2:00am now as I’m signing off this post and going to sleep. Long drive tomorrow to Phoenix, AZ.