A lot of bands stay at the Palace Hotel in Tonelle, New Jersey, as a lot of clubs have running deals. There's not that much more to say about that, except that that's where I'm typing this now.
I think I started to write that sentence thinking, "hmm, maybe I can launch into a colorful rumination upon the Palace Hotel through the ages and its meaning in the context of rock and roll in the northeast, drawing some kind of general lesson from years of accumulated wisdom about life on the road." But now I find I can't come up with any kind of rumination. It's just an old hotel by the highway. I feel fondly towards it because I've often stayed here after playing at Maxwell's in Hoboken, which most people who have toured in the northeast will tell you is one of their favorite clubs. (Last night at Maxwell's was a lot of fun, despite the fact that a flat tire on the way almost caused us to miss the gig entirely, which was stressful. A small crowd of mostly friends and superfans, plus some puzzled onlookers, and one drunk stockbroker trying to impress everybody with critical commentary and fancy dancing: you know, the usual. They were very nice, and hardly any of them made fun of me too much when I screwed up.)
I said I was going to blog from the road, and I still intend to try. You wouldn't think it would be any harder to bash out a few posts when you're riding around in a van or bus or hanging around at the Palace Hotel than it is at home, but it is harder for some reason. I always leave on tours, long and short, with grandiose plans for productive activities to engage in during the tedious travel and hanging out times. This time, I was going to do some blogging, and I brought along two novels and that new Paul Berman book. But, even on a short stint like this, it only takes a day or two for your brain to switch to "tour mode," a state of mind where you don't feel you can manage much more than staring off into space. Once you have entered "tour mode," you don't feel all that bad about sitting in a van for ten hours at a time doing practically nothing. I guess that's point, maybe. The over-used metaphor of a little switch in your head is apt here: that's pretty much what it feels like. (And after a long tour, it can be quite difficult to switch back.) The blogging frame of mind is totally different.
I don't understand this all that well, but I've always assumed it's some sort of evolutionary psychology thing, where our remote ancestors in the Ice Age had to develop the "staring off into space" gene so that they wouldn't snap during their long, hard, critically acclaimed but commercially tenuous treks through the steppes of Asia. It's just as well, because snapping would be bad.Posted by Dr. Frank at April 29, 2003 08:33 AM | TrackBack