So as we all know there is a price to pay for everything in this life, not of course for those who stick to their diet but rather for those who sneak in a Wahoo’s fish burrito, something certainly not in his diet plan and then, barely a week later, repeat the sin with a shrimp burrito at Poquito Mas.. I should have been aware at that point that the following calamity was inevitable. I’ll explain.
I was meant to leave California a few days ago but due to the fact that Dany Saadia, the director of my next movie, was in LA working on the film, it was decided that I should stay a few extra days there and spend it with him, thoroughly planning all the score and other relevant music that should be included, mapping out the scenes and bouncing around all the ideas that we had in order for my music to be empathetic to the story that he is trying to tell. So far, so good. I’m quite good at that sort of a thing. It’s far enough removed from real world issues that I can thrive in that sort of an environment. Real world issues in Hollywood would appear to be remembering to get your parking validated and ensuring that your credit in the movie is something very pretentious sounding, you know, like ‘director of negative silence’ or ‘creative sonic ambiance consultant’ other than the ‘music by…’ that I was expecting. I am sooooo out. Anyways, the important thing, and with my usual disregard for relevance to this story, is that I now have a very good excuse for watching the sex scene over and over again.
So where was I? Oh yes I was leaving LA. Now as has been my good luck in life I am able to travel quite a lot but have yet to solve the mystery of why I always need to buy more luggage whenever I travel somewhere. To start with dirty laundry takes up more space than clean clothes : fact. Also the US is the only place where I can buy shirts that both fit me and say MEDIUM on them. The ones in Europe that fit me say EXTRA LARGE. Now, I don’t know about you but I prefer being a medium to an extra large. It, sort of boosts my morale and compensates for my draconian diet which I mostly try to adhere to, except when in the vicinity of a good Baja taco stand, something which seems to have a kryptonite effect on my resolve. Anyway the point is, the US dollar is very poor compared to proper money at the moment and I could afford to indulge myself on this trip with some very fine garments which, not only fit me but have the prerequisite morale boosting M on the label. OK, and I seemed to acquire some other stuff along the way, come on, there was a sale at Fry’s and I had a chance to buy books in English for Violette, oh and…and … OK, let’s just say I’ve been a good capitalist while in the US and, in my own way, been trying to help the countries flagging economy by buying lots of shit. Not very existentialist, I know, but hey, it’s January, the sales are on…
Ah, so, I’m rambling. So there I am at LAX checked both my bags, went through security and my little USB drive set the alarm off, so I had to put it through the X-Ray machine and,well, that was the last I saw of that, and after a great deal of looking around for it the security people suggested that another passenger had ‘accidentally’ picked it up.
Well, you know, that happens, people are forever picking up other peoples laptops / shoes / small children etc at security points…Unfortunately it contained both of the albums that I’ve recently finished with Harold Budd…
But wait, it gets better. The film production company who provided me with my replacement ticket routed me through London to get back to Paris, where I could then take a 3 hour train journey back to my part of France. Now, this sort of connecting flight situation always makes me nervous because whenever, in the past, I’ve lost my luggage, it has been under such conditions and most often through Heathrow. So needless to say I stand around at the luggage carousel at Charles De Gaulle until everyone else has left and then make my loss known to the staff who tell me that it’d be a good idea to wait until the next flight from London which arrives some three hours later. Umm, Did I mention that it was 26 deg C when I left LA and 0 deg C in Paris? Or that my coat was in the aforementioned luggage? Well it would be, really wouldn’t it, it was, after all, turning out to be one of those days. The type of day when it becomes obvious that I am an entertainer, even without my guitar. So as the snow prettily started to flutter down outside the terminal I decided that I had to wait, perhaps change my train ticket as I’d already missed my train, so I stared towards the TGV station.
That’s when the soldiers with the machine guns accosted me. No doubt I had attracted their attention by wandering outside an airport, in the snow, with no coat and no luggage. While one of them held me the other slipped away with my passport and, after an eternity on his walkie-talkie, returned to tell me that I didn’t have a problem.
Fucking right I had a problem, I was freezing my tits off, having lost my albums, my luggage, missed my train and about to be shot or, at the very least, arrested for vagrancy. I was set free and decided I had to get warm, so the twin arches seemed my best bet, a fact who’s irony was not missed by me given the hard time I’ve given Macdonalds in my weblog previously. But a momentary lapse of concentration made me forget it was a French Macdonalds and it wasn’t until I’d ordered my filet-o-fish and was told that I’d have to wait for it to be cooked – at which point they’d bring it to my table, that I realized my naivety. After some 15 minutes waiting (I was glad of the warmth) and my pathetic little sandwich hadn’t materialized, I went to the counter, reminded the young person, who apologized, (well, as much as someone with a plastic name tag can ever really apologise) then handed me a cheeseburger to placate me while she prepared another filet-o-fish.
Now, call me an optimist, but I really did believe that I’d get that filet-o-fish, but hey, c’est la france and when I returned to the counter a few minutes later to ask about my missing filet-o-fish she told me I’d already had a cheeseburger and couldn’t have the filet-o-fish as well. My expression perhaps suggested to her that she was about to have her arms ripped off and put in the McFlurry machine so she had a word with her superior and gave me a cup of coffee instead. I didn’t have much fight left in me so I went into the airport concourse and sat with my coffee until some kindly person tried to put a coin in the empty cup that I was holding and a CRS officer came and moved me along.
I’m rather fond of the next part of the story, for I’m sure that this sort of thing is unique to me. I can’t quite imagine this happening to the likes of Bono, Morrisey or Sting, or even to nice, talented people. But they sure happen to me… I went back to the carousel to retrieve my luggage which was meant to arrive on the later flight, the one I’ve waited three hours for, only to be told that, not only was it not there but that they have no trace of it. Merde alors.
OK, I’ll just have to fill in the paperwork and they’ll deliver it later, right?
“Are you insane Mr Guthrie? it’s Friday and our baggage handlers don’t look for things over the weekend so the soonest that they will look for it is Monday”.
Ah, sorry, I forgot I was in Europe for a moment there. I foolishly thought that the word service as in baggage service above your desk meant exactly that. Fortunately for her she didn’t have a McFlurry machine nearby.
So, it’s snowing, I’ve no coat, been detained by the military, lost my album, my baggage, been offered change because I look like a homeless person, been cheated out of my filet-o-fish and now told that if I ever see my luggage again it won’t be for a while. I’ve missed my train home and now have to try to get to Paris in order to get another train from Montparnasse which costs more money, as my previous ticket was non-transferable. I’m getting really tired as my body clock is 9 hours out and I really just want to be on my own, so I jump on the RER to go to Paris, choose an empty compartment and gently close my eyes. About a minute later the train stopped at the ‘parc des expositions’ and about a hundred excited, chattering, middle aged women, obviously returning from some convention and, of course, a fucking accordionist, who, despite being very good, came pretty high on my kill list at that moment, just for playing about 30cm from my ear. I did think he was good though so when he finished and was handing round his cup asking people for money I was prepared to give him a euro for his effort. I was not, however, prepared for him to hold out the cup to my neighbour, look at me with a look of pity, pass me by and hold out the cup to my other neighbour. The same euro coin, it should be noticed, ended up in a coffee machine in Montparnasse. I think by now I don’t have to tell you that the machine kept the coin but didn’t furnish me with my required beverage.
I’m home now.
I had thought that when I returned home it’s be really cool to write something about being in Hollywood doing a movie. Well, that’d have been fun, and true even. But perhaps not as entertaining, right?
I’ve checked about my bags with the airline. It’s as though they never existed. The contents were probably sold at a London market this morning. If that’s the case it’ll be a long time before I’m able to do any more concerts as every part of my live set up was in the second case.
And all because I ate a burrito.
… I seem to have problem with posting.
Ditto for the disgruntled stalkers amongst you.
Of course, those who have a heart which is true and teeth which are white and straight can post.
Ah, well if there was anyone matching that description around here, apart from myself of course, they’d apparently have a problem too.
Sorry but it’s a spam thing, folks, the whole site has been flooded with them and my weblog guru, Jack, who provides this fine public service absolutley free (and from the bottom of his (dark) little heart) is trying to find a solution to this problem and says he’s buying dinner next time any of you are in San Francisco until he can remedy the situation.
For dinner reservations contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in California just now and just passed the day with Harold Budd, which was delightful, listening to all the mixes that I’ve recently done for our up and coming release. It has progressed from ‘a bunch of pieces’ to a work which begins somewhere then takes a journey to it’s conclusion. It has taken on it’s own life and personality now. Just sitting together in the studio listening back to this gave me immense pleasure. So, while it’s not exactly ready to be released yet, we are naming everything and thinking about the artwork, it is on the way and now is something real, not just an idea and that is a really nice feeling.
I’m just about to start work on something else which I’ve not yet mentioned here, namely another movie… This excites me a lot and has surely been provided for me as a reward for sticking to my lo-carb diet. I’ll post more details once I’ve got into the work a bit further but in the meantime if I am seen to bitch about a n y t h i n g on my web log this week, then feel free to remind me how lucky I am in your comments.
…in California and it’s sort of rainy and cold, which means, well basically, I came 8000kms just to see people that I like… hmmm …lol .. Surprisingly, this trip, unlike countless others, before which all my, lying bastard, Californian friends told me it was always warm and sunny, I packed a coat and was pleased to see my friend from Seattle, Ted Grudowski, shaking with cold and looking forward to returning to the relatively sub tropical Pacific Northwest. Now, it has to be said that, well broadly speaking, and from an ecological standpoint, the depletion of the ozone layer seems like a bad thing…. but, you know what?… Well that sort of a sentiment usually comes from the early phase skin cancer class, the southlands seem to produce and it may seem a little selfish of me to say so, it only seems fair that if all the folks with money are going to hog all the sun, while trying to block it out with their darkened car windshields, then they shouldn’t bitch about a slightly debilitating skin complaint that has essentially been brought on by their own fucking lack of respect for the rest of us who have to freeze our tits off in the winter. Now before I sound like some whiney fucking moby type liberal little bitch, hear me out. Please. I’m for sharing the hole in the ozone layer so that we can all get warm in the winter, so that the poor Pacific North Westerns, like Ted, don’t have to suffer the indignity of feeling ‘slightly chilly’ when they visit the city of angels and that I, for one, don’t have to spend three thousand euros every winter to warm my home, with no chance whatsoever of getting a tan while doing so.
So naturally I was delighted to meet someone in a Denny’s restroom (that does sound wrong but you know what I mean) somewhere on the 101 who indignantly informed me that this year ‘he had a pipe burst’ and his wife had to ‘wear gloves’….He was sweet, he’ll die soon, but the point that I felt rather uncomfortable as an ‘alien’ to have to point out to him that people in Chicago or Minneapolis may have feelings..er.. slightly incongruent to his own. He was genuinely appalled at my lack of respect and bitched me out for being, er, unAmerican…..
A few of you that know me and may read this will, of course, see the irony of this statement.
But in a way, he’s right… I mean, come on, it is rather chilly, it’s just not right…..