So yes, I’m quoting the song that most San Franciscans must be thoroughly sick of. Hardly a way to endear myself to them, but I needed a title to tie in somehow with this trip north towards Sacramento and San Fran. We’ve officially left SoCal and our friends there, and we’ve been driving through strange mountains, both grassy and muddy, that remind me of an old Robert Louis Stevenson poem about being sick in bed as a child and making mountains out of the bedclothes, and playing with trains through the imaginary landscape. The hills here really do look like rumpled blankets, pulled upwards by a great hand.
The show last night in Ventura was superb. Zoey’s Cafe is a small room crammed with music lovers, and once again it was sold out. It’s been a good tour thus far for selling-out, no negative vibes intended! I think we’re all settling in to the tour a bit more now. The first few shows of any tour are toughest, as you refamiliarise yourself with the set and performance… and warm up your voice.
There seems to be some sort of unofficial competition to see who can travel furthest to catch our tour. We’ve had people travel from San Diego to Ventura in rush hour traffic, from San Fran to San Diego, and tonight in San Fran we’ve been tipped off that two fans have travelled from Brazil (to propose too!). Mental. Thoroughly impressed with people’s willingness to travel here. Being Irish, I’m not sure we’d do the same. We’re far too easy going. To paraphrase Bill Shankley (Liverpool football manager during the 60s), if we were playing in our own back garden, we’d probably draw the curtains. HUGE thanks and respect to everyone who travels to see our shows. Humbling!
I was disappointed that we didn’t have time to travel up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) all the way to Frisco. That road is renowned for its beauty and is described in detail by many writers… unfortunately we’re left with a rather ordinary highway, mostly straight and rather boring. Apart from the strange rumpled blanket hills and the flat desert land beforehand, the only notable views are…
… a rather horrific looking abbatoir that stretches for miles, with thousands of cattle, penned in, and not a blade of grass to be seen. I can’t imagine Temple Grandin had much to do with the design of this place.
… and an area covered in beautiful wind turbines. People complain about, and campaign heavily against, wind turbines, which provide clean, green energy. I just can’t understand it. How is a slimmed-down, sleek, modern windmill not an improvement on a coal/gas/oil burning power station, or a nuclear plant which is dangerous, leaves lethal waste for hundreds of generations to come, looks awful, and is essentially the cause of many’s the war around the world? What was interesting about this farm was that alongside the big, slick white ones that we’re getting more used to in Ireland, were the old, old, looking turbines that looked like abandoned nose-cones from first world war bi-planes. I have photos!
We eventually roll into San Fran, through crazy heavy traffic, peer out at what Mick informs us is Alcatraz. I imagined Alcatraz was out at sea, not sitting in the harbour… it looks much less daunting in real-life. I’m not planning to test out my escape plans though. Besides which, we’re much too busy.