Friday, October 6, 2006 road blog 10

First off let me offer my apologies for these long lapses. I MEAN to write more often but sometimes don't have the luxury for long stretches at a time. I am happy to say that they are usually due to a very active life, a very full career calendar, fatherhood, marriage and many great friends. Oh...and song writing. I had a fever and was sick for a few weeks there (thank you for the get well wishes) and got a lot of song writing done. My friend Brian from the Bottle Rockets told me last week that Neil Young wrote "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Down By The River" in bed with a fever..on the same day. I told him I was going outside in my pajamas so that I could stay sick and write some more. Autumn and fever both get me writing for some reason.

Anyway, I came a lot farther on a batch of songs I started on the road this summer. At the moment I should be sleeping but I'm not. I am quite unwise that way....often. Cracker are in the middle of three days of rehearsals for the upcoming European tour. We almost never rehearse. This is due to the fact that we gig so much that there is not much need unless we are working up a slew of new material or there has been a personnel change. In this case it is the latter...temporarily...our beloved Frank has some family obligations and can't make the European tour. Filling in will be our friend Nate Brown from Virginia. Nate has played some drums on our CDs and toured with us in his former band Everything and we also know him from his days playing with guitarist Gibb Droll (All Thumbs Trio). It's always a good shot in the arm to play with different people and I look forward to playing with Nate this month. I will indeed miss my Frankie though. Frank and I room together a lot out there on tour. We are similar in a lot of ways, not the least of which is a shared childlike and passionate enthusiasm for music. We are also the most extroverted two guys in our world as well. Many of you know this eh? Who are you most likely to find having a Sambuca or a Maker's with you "Crumbs" after a show huh? Frank and I discuss the pleasure and privilege of this joyous (most of the time) activity often.

We appreciate and genuinely like our fans as a whole. I count some of them as my best friends. However, on occasion and for various reasons, there are times when we don't socialize after a show. Please know that it's nothing personal. Sometimes we are on a tough schedule and have already been operating on very little sleep, or have to be up ridiculously early after getting off work at 3 am or so. It's a great job but still a job. Imagine if you will, trying to end your work day by hanging out in a room or alleyway full of rather drunk and excited people as you pack up a few tons of heavy equipment.....every day after work. EVERY day after work. Sometimes you just don't have it in you. We've actually had insults hurled at us for simply wanting to go to sleep for a few hours. Those of you who have been around us for a long time seem to be able to sense the nights when the hang just isn't going to happen. Thank you for understanding and respecting us. We are not aloof, just thrashed or are perhaps having personal problems as everyone does now and again. Or we are sick. Or someone just ripped us off. Or somebody just pissed us off by being rude or invasive. Or we simply want to go get on the phone and say goodnight to our kids or partners in a quiet place. When you do this as much as we do you sometimes just need a little space, a little peace and quiet. These things are very rare out there on the road. Time to sleep. God bless you my friends.

Hope to see you soon. Johnny