July 1, 2019

Tour Diary - July 1, 2019 

I have to re-do my car rental today. Devotees to the tour diary may remember that last year I scratched a car and ended up losing a bunch of money because credit cards only insure your rental for 30 days and I was over 30 days. And the guy that helped me at Hertz was not my normal guy. Yeah, I have a normal guy that I deal with at Hertz here in Bremen. 

He’s there today. “Are you planning on just using the same car for your next rental?” “Yes.” “Is it ok, do we need to look at it?” “Nope, it’s all fine.” “Ok, very good.” 

He processes the paperwork. 

“My boss tells me you left some feedback about your rental last year.” 

“I sure did.” and I explain to him what happened and he pretty much sides with me. Doesn’t help me much now but that’s a thing. 

He asks where I’m playing this year and if I’m playing Breminale. I tell him I am and he tells me he was planning on being there. That’s cool. 

I have rescheduled the drop off of my rental so I can drive down south and pick up my Mom at the airport and then drop the car off after that. Only 25 euro more for 2 extra days and drop off in Munich. 


Tonight I’m playing with Todd Partridge. We’re in downtown Bremen outdoors at a winebar/restaurant. It’s almost next door to Litfass which still makes me sad that they can’t have shows anymore. Those were some good shows. 

Anyway, it takes me about 20 minutes of driving around to find a parking spot. Todd is already there and he helps me unload and carry the PA. It’s a super easy set up that takes more time to carry it from the car than it does to set it up. 

Engel Weincafe is the name of the place and Norbert and Barbara show up and advise me to get the Flammkuchen. It’s a flatbread pizza, no sauce and I had mine with tomatoes and pesto. It was delicious. 

Shockingly it has gotten cold here. I mean it’s not freezing by any stretch but being that Saturday and Sunday were like tropical weather - mid 60’s feels like a different month. Patrick shows up and Kai and then Sara. 

Todd is up first and he’s making me miss my resonator. He has a bunch of songs in open G tuning that are fantastic. Standouts to me where “Wandering kind” and then he did a John Prine cover. We talked about doing a Greg Brown song “64 Dodge” but then didn’t. And then the last 10 minutes of his show were dominated by a dog barking about 20 feet away. To the point that Todd actually “barked” a chorus to one of his songs. Always something right? 

I plug in and start playing. I figure since he did a John Prine song, I’d do a John Prine song but then I forget and just start playing, going from one tune to another and have a good show. I get a little bit of singing along in APB and sing it for Kai. In the last 10 minutes of my set a drunk guy wanders up, slithers past me and sits down right in front and proceeds to drum along with my songs - on the table, with a spoon. Playing accents on the cups and just wanting to be the show. He’s sitting across from Kai Kampf and we make eye contact a bunch of times and it’s absolutely ridiculous.(1) At one point the spoon flies out of his hand and lands at my feet, I put my foot on top of it and he’s down on the ground and lifting my foot up so he can get to his spoon. 

You really can’t make this shit up. 

I finish up and we’re breaking stuff down and a woman comes up to me, she’s only heard the last 30 minutes of my set and is sad that it’s over. “You sound like David Lindley.” Now there’s a comparison I have never heard. David Lindley is probably best known for being the lap steel player on Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” but he’s also a solo artist that is an amazing guitarist. She continues with her comparison and it’s very flattering. “I hope it’s ok that I compared you to someone else.” “If you are comparing me to something that you love, then it’s a compliment to me.” She buys cds and writes down my next few local shows on a piece of paper and leaves and then I see Jim. 

Now this is really strange. Jim Salinger played the Replacements Tribute show that I organized in Los Angeles...13 years ago. He played a show for S&W years ago and is in the area visiting his wife’s family on vacation.(2) And we have a fantastic hang out and catching up. So long ago but bits and bobs of memories of that night start coming back to me like how we raised money for someone doing a documentary on The Replacements and then she sold all the footage to another company that then just started over. (3) We have a great time talking about southern California housing market, raising kids in LA vs Germany, US Healthcare vs German healthcare (no contest win for Germany), living in L.A., Insurance company fee schedules and how most Americans don’t understand how they work. Tea. We even start talking about getting hamburgers in Germany and his wife says “there’s a place in Berlin…” and we both say “White Trash.” She says it definitively and I say it questioningly because I know that White Trash closed down two years ago. This is the level I am at with hamburgers in Germany - a German woman is trying to tell me where to get a good burger, 6 hours away from where we are and I already know that it’s closed and out of business. 

I don’t know what that says about me besides me liking burgers. 

Anyway - it was a good night. Everyone happy. 


(1)Almost as bad as the time a woman brought her own tambourine and microphone to a show. (mic was not plugged in) and then proceeded to stripper dance in front of me while playing the tambourine. Hey Matt Froehlich - am I remembering this story right? 

(2)His wife grew up just outside of Bremen but they both live in L.A. with their kids. 

(3)This is how I got left out of the documentary. :(

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