thursday may 5, 2005 – 1st tilbrook show in dallas at the gypsy tea rooms, lodging at the parker mansion
on to the next tour – 5 shows in the u.s. (dallas, austin, houston, lexington, nashville) with glenn tilbrook of squeeze, then 2 on our own at new york city’s living room (stomping grounds of norah jones) & my alma mater, the university of pennsylvania alumni weekend extravaganza in philly.
plane to dallas via salt lake city, where a lovely woman reminded us, repeatedly, to purchase snacks in the airport ‘cause they don’t serve food on the planes anymore.
rejoined allen after our brief 5 day pause in l.a. for a short break and the cd release show at the key club (great time for all, lots of friends and a good show featuring our friend steve mazur guesting on guitar, in spite of massive jetlag having arrived the previous night from frankfurt and, of course, an honor to hear sara bareilles open the evening). allen late to the dallas airport, used his mom as an excuse. box of cds exploded in baggage claim, taped up by a slightly overzealous airport attendant, many thanks to him...
packed up the tour vehicle (a life-size game of tetris), allen’s dad’s chevy tahoe, filled to the absolute rim with a wurly, full drums, bass rig, boxes of cds and all our suitcases, leaving just enough room for 4 to sit semi-comfortably. headed directly to the parker mansion, where chris parker, a friend of allen’s and mine from alamo heights high school (yes, that’s really what it’s called) in san antonio, texas, lives. massive house, many bedrooms, huge beds, bathroom the size of many people’s bedrooms, pool, jacuzzi, wine cellar, you get the idea. oh, but the kicker – massive flat screen tvs everywhere, including one tilted downward to face you as you max and relax in the tub.
“tin star” for lunch, kind of a gourmet taco place with cheap/excellent margaritas. then off to the venue, dallas’ gypsy tea rooms, where we met glenn for the first time (what a nice guy, very chill, indicated that they run a relaxed ship - quite a change from the alanis tour’s layers of administration). muse and the stereophonics were playing there the night before in the two-room venue, and actually played just before us at antone’s in austin as well (they’re a day or two ahead of us on the texas circuit it seems).
glenn tilbrook, for those of you who don’t know, was one half of the pop phenomenon, squeeze. chris difford wrote the lyrics, and glenn wrote the music to songs like tempted, black coffee in bed, up the junction, pulling mussels from a shell, goodbye girl, etc. they basically made it big by the time they were 20, having been writing and playing together since the age of 15. elvis costello produced one of their records, which included tempted, perhaps their biggest hit. anyway, it’s a wonderful thing to see him out playing old squeeze songs and lots of new solo material each night, really enjoying himself out on the road after so many years doing it. more on that later...
glenn’s drummer marco & adam negotiated sharing the drum kit on the gypsy tea room’s small stage, and carson the same with lucy, glenn’s bass player of the fluffers, his backing band. spongified furniture in the dressing room (easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth in case of unusually moist activities), soundcheck, hang for a bit, then play our show to a throng of texas squeeze fans. wurly reed on its way out, massively flat note indicating reed #37 (a above middle c) would soon be history...
glenn tilbrook and the fluffers play long double sets every night, sprinkled with squeeze’s greatest hits, and an occasional nancy sinatra cover & keyboard/vocoder solo. 2nd set finds glenn and the fluffers standing on the bar doing acoustic versions of black coffee in bed and goodbye girl to the delight of the crowd – lucy (bass) plays a pineapple maraca for these songs, and steve (keys) plays melodica solos.
chris parker funneled jack/cokes my way all night, leading to my certain demise halfway through glenn’s 2nd set. at autograph timeafter the show i’m lying supine on the aforementioned plastic furniture. pack up the gear and hit café brazil courtesy of chris (bring me that coffee!/adam drinks salsa through a straw/gabe naps a bit), & back to the mansion late late night.
SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS AT THE PARKER MANSION
carson – freddy krueger room just off the oversized bathroom
adam – king size overlooking the pool/jacuzzi
allen – guest suite with 4 post bed
gabe – mattress on floor, passed out instantly