The Black Swans Tour Diary: Blog 5, 6, 7

(Duffy note: The Black Swans sent me these three entries while I was on the road, away from the internet. Sorry for the delay.)

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9-15 Rainy Night in Georgia: Not Georgia, but that’s what Canaan was singing all day and Noel was grunting along in jest of my love for Tony Joe White as we walked around in the rain, which is what it does every time The Black Swans play in New York. So we went to a bar too early where they were interviewing really hot women for future bartentder positions and now I have the first hangover of the tour. Ouch! The gig at Piano’s was good. People listened but a few missed us who wanted some since we switched set times since Lou was running late. I pulled a fast one at the club and all parties agreed to give us a bar split instead of that other negotiation.

Here’s a puzzle: 4, 67, 42, 20, 45. What are these numbers? No, not the one that drives Hurley crazy on LOST, this is the amount of money that the Black Swans can’t live on. Take X at the door, take Y off the top of that, and give us Z percent of that, and there is shit. This has been the biggest financial loss of a Black Swans tour so far, but what about the music? Pretty good I think, but Dark Plums (see track 4 of Sex Brain) don’t taste good for breakfast and some mornings that is all we got. Thankfully, our best friends in Williamsburg just woke us up with coffee and egg and bacon sandwich. We leave for New Haven now.


9-16 Waking with the Dead: The Black Swans rocked New Haven, sort of. There was a nice article in the daily paper, big and bold with quotes and stuff, but I never saw it. And Rudy’s filled up at $3 a Yale-er but not because of us, it just did. Lou looked beat down from the bar life, as he prefers the arty venues, but the Black Swans more than anything are an actor in an absurdist play I wrote in a dream. The show was mild and wild, giggles, walk-outs, and hollars. A mid-50s hispanic woman sat stage-side with her man, and she yelled things like “I love you” and “God bless” and “You are beautiful” throughout the set. I was happy to have a woman’s attention so more than once I leaned over and said “Ditto”. It felt good to pull some songs, not care so much, scat Dylan lyrics mid-song as my tribute to the Never Ending Tour history that took place at Toad’s Place right down the street. 3 shows in row without my posters appearing, which always makes me sad and mad.

We made $120, and Julian was there to witness. You Columbus-ites might remember him from Buckeye Donuts, I almost did. So he gave us a place to stay in a funeral home 30 minutes away. He picks up dead bodies; his g-friend trades their blood for chemicals. Not as creepy as it sounds, but I haven’t been downstairs since the sun rose. Last night we had a proper greek dinner in a garden so I felt human again for 5 minutes. Canaan hears that the nation’s best hotdog is down the street a few miles. It is called Super Duper Weenie. Time to be an animal. My side hurts from floors, my body aches all over. I feel older than the person I was on the glorious Northwest tour last Spring. Sunday, and headed to New London, CT. Lou-Lewis and Clarke- says the show will be great. But he’s a positive person and I’m not. I could have called this blog ‘Sunday morning Comin’ Down’ but I think I’ve used that one before.


9-17: This is blog about why I need to stop thinking, judging, and being negative, so here: The day starts out with the Super Duper Weenie post-funeral home shower. I get slaw, chili and dog times 2. Then we ride into New London. The venue looks bleak, glass front with nothing inside except white walls and a lonely Black Swans poster hanging in the window. There is dog shit on the street and thugs, old and young, shooting dice, begging, hissing and pissing, plus the rich stepping off the ferry heading home in SUVs. Sunday and sleepy, minus the bagpipe chorus outside the Irish bar, and because the whole thing smells like bust, I start to driiiink and think. I consider bagging the show. The first band is full of 15 year olds, and I watch them get dropped off by their parents. I think, I am an old man in comparison, singing songs about hard-ons and existential doom and gloom, why would they want to see this/hear this? But I get talked out of the whole thing, turn my head on right, and wise up. The Black Swans make it a hat show: Canaan is the visor that lights up, Noel is the orange fishing cap, I am the blue ball cap with “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch” slogan blazing truth. Thick Thieves are great, for any age. The people stay, mostly high school age. I skip Sex Brain songs as a self-imposed parental advisory, we play mostly Who Will Walk… songs for the first time and lots of new ones. Everyone seems to dig it, we sell CDs, some to a sheepish young lady who tries to hide the Sex Brain in a blush, make $60 and call it the best of the tour.

Afterwards, I make a friend that shows me the beach, plays me some Jerry Garcia acoustic band cd that was my favorite record of all time when I was 17, and then I smoked some pot for the first time in years. Stayed at the Quiet Life household, super nice guys, and a good band. We saw deer in their yard last night and had a bagel for breakfast. Even my hair-bald-anxiety patch/scarlet A is growing back. Providence tonight. I changed my guitar strings this morning, and I feel prety good.

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