“It’s conviction that saves this, again and again, through the only-just-slightly too over-touched sheen of its 80s hair-glam rawk production…”
“To the labels, the artists, the indies, the late night keyboard warriors, the shy bedroom writers that sent out their first tracks….”
So our Million Dollar Highway drive took us down and through sights and heights and split-pin turns, we could’ve flown with the eagles if we’d made a mistake on those corners on cliff tops and drops. We sucked in our bellies on the narrowest parts that twisted and fell with the mountains, we paused now and then to regain concentration, to make sure we were keen-eyed for driving…
‘It’s Rats to the Ratrace. It’s Rats on the Run…’ I Guess even rats can get tied up in twists. Hard not to see it as some kind of fail, back to scratching around on the decks going down, kicking hard to keep calm in the water. We’re back in UK with the same burn to go, to be living someplace somehow else.
What went wrong? Almost nothing. Three months in the US driving East coast to West then a month in Saigon, Vietnam…
Austin. Achingly hip and alarmingly cool. Coffee bean fetishists, thrift store hi-glam, nu-age craft ales in gleaming clean structures and retro set wide-eyed fresh faces.
Hot dog and burger bars tower their meats with all kinds of sides, only skyscrapers outside match their stature. Weed’s offered out by bar maids and waiters and I don’t feel young, pretty or thin.
Back home I had intent and purpose. I made shapes and sense of music and words and all time was divided, devoted. I made time to draw lines from without to within and direct them back out in new twists. People around me helped me build a home studio and they’d switch out the songs mine to ours. Back home I made time to make something with all of my tools at my tips.
Here we move place to place with a speed and a greed that breeds barely no time to take in. We breathe in the air but don’t pick up the scents, time to reflect slim to none.
We’re still star-fishing our way in and out, back and forth spikes out of Panama City Beach, moving on interstate spines. This is last trip where we go out and back before leaving our friend’s nest for good. Three New Orleans nights and return then it’s not so straight lines to nowhere.
New Orleans is glistening voodoo jewel jubilation with rhythm and heat in the pit of its soul. New Orleans sleeps rough in the dirt of it’s past, it’s disasters and racial divides. It’s truth is a sweet spot between.
Nashville has an ego. Lights, signs and neons all big as that ego with history gone to it’s head. It’s been ‘Music City – USA’ since WSM AM radio cast out it’s shout over 38 states with weekly live shows and recordings. Broadcasts began in 1925, name was claimed 1950 set against rock and roll. ‘Birthplace of bluegrass’, ‘home of country music’, ‘songwriting capital of the world’; There’s plenty of others to pick from.
Not too many families are neat. Webs and ties, some loved, some unloved, splinters and fractures fix and unfix; A thousand reasons appear to unite and divide. From the line down to me I’ve been lucky. In the line from me down, not so or not yet.
Rats on Run began here, in more ways than one. Took five years to work out what to do with the offer…
A man I barely knew and his American wife said come stay in the states anytime. He left UK for US and with wife and new life they’re deservedly proud; of each other, their changes, their hard graft and payoffs.