Tour memories / ranking, Matt Walker leaves
I express my very sincere thanks to all of you who attended our shows of April and May - all of which were fantastic, and often beyond belief. My gratitude, I realize, could never be enough.
Nights of bolts of lightning:
- JAKARTA, Indonesia: Tennis Indoor (10 May)
- SINGAPORE, Singapore City: Fort Canning Park (8 May)
- SAN DIEGO, USA: Valley View Center (22 May)
- TOKYO, Japan: Garden Hall (3 May)
- SEOUL, Korea: Ax Hall (6 May)
- KAWASAKI, Japan : Citta (21 April)
- NAGOYA, Japan: Zepp (2 May)
- FUKUOKA, Japan: Zepp (26 April)
- STOCKTON, USA: Bob Hope Theater (26 May)
- TUCSON, USA: Music Hall (23 May)
Even the most difficult night (Hiroshima, Japan) was terrific, although promotion throughout Japan was painfully zero. Oh, could it really be anything else but! The most breathless delights were Jakarta and Singapore. Why have we been kept apart for so long? In Jakarta and in Manila we seemed to fill the whole city with belief, and we were met with enthusiastic admiration everywhere. In such places, it was encouraging to read reviews that were not written by people who were determined not to understand. (That sentence is garbled, but it makes sense to me.)
I have never in my life experienced a crowd such as that of Jakarta, who sang each song so loudly that their voices caught all of the onstage microphones and warped the sound into a mad bellow of love. Later, backstage, we were numbed by the joy that Jakarta had given us.
I fell in love anew with Japan. It hit me like a lightning thrust, and I woke each day eager for the love of it all; a civility unlike anywhere else on earth. America could never catch up, and England could never be in the race in the first place. By comparison, England is a country of condemnations, whereas America is a country of exclusions, with the obvious inequality of all. Japan has the most finely perceptive culture I have ever known, and I am thrilled to witness the emergence of broad and wide vegetarian options on all restaurant menus, as the dumb misery of eating death recedes. Record shops also continue to exist in Japan – most notably Tower Records, where we are allowed to remember the joy of 'accidental discovery'. I apologize for having so many birthdays, but the impassioned crowd at San Diego justified the agony of another year gone. This crowd were noticeably bolder, loudly assured, and full of confidence. There was a vicious sensuality to the audience that I had never previously known. Yes, even after all these years.
Our little covered wagon has lost drummer Matt Walker, who was eager to bring his term to an end. No bargainings could persuade him to stay, and his interest drew its last breath at Stockton. Behind the kit, Matt was a greyhound unleashed, and his great work on Years of refusal will always and forever speak up in his favor. His exit is sad, but he had no wish to continue, and a branch falls away. We are no closer to port where record label interest is concerned. I promised I would never mention this again. But I just have. The soul is tried all over again as the jackboot of dictatorship strangles England. This week, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee presents a new lesson in the force of tyranny, and is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor - and all done, quite naturally, at the public's expense! It is degrading to anyone of intelligence. While dictatorships throughout the Middle East are gently condemned by the British government, there is no examination of the extremism enforced by the British 'royals', who remain the most overpaid and most utterly useless people on the planet. Having done nothing to earn our respect, they demand everything by return. It is a cunning and extravagant form of benefit fraud. I should mention that I am frequently asked to appear on BBC television's Question Time to air my views. But is it possible to engage with the British media and not be carved-up? I doubt it.
Meanwhile, somewhere else, far away from tabloid Britain, the moon retains its friendly silence, and the world is all before you.
In reverent spirit, keenly alive
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