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2005-08-06

I was right. The poet flaked on me for lunch. Then, I figured that someone was going to show up for me, treat me nice, and be my friend. And, that person was going to be me. I treated myself to a helicopter ride over the the city.


It probably was a terrible idea to get into a helicopter. After Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Holly, and Bill Graham, I think that it's common knowledge that nobody in the music industry should ever be allowed in small aircraft of any sort. It's like asking to die.

I wasn't asking to die. It was more like I was asking death to dance with me in the sky. Only in this case death was a prostitute that cost $32 (250 SEK) for six minutes. Oh, and with dangerous whirling blades.


Please keep your heads and arms and kittens and adorable bunnies away from the whirling blades. Unless you can't help. In which case, go right ahead ladies and gentlemen!


The big white tent is the stage where I played. The big yellow building on the right is my hotel.


Luleĺ from above.

I made it back to land without dying, so I decided I should have do something else dangerous. So, I ate some sushi. Sushi isn't dangerous in and of itself. But, I have a rule which is that you should never trust Asian food in Europe. It's always bad. Like whirling blades, only more suspect and surely worse tasting.

The sushi was great, however. I should have known when the sushi chef was actually a really old Japanese guy. He had deep vertical wrinkles in his face when he smiled—the kind that made me instantly trust him. I ate until I was way more than full. When friends are far away, you have to be your own friend.

The concert was more fun that evening. There were more people there and they seemed to really care about what I was saying and singing. I told stories about my songs and my life and explained lyrics to them. I think it's better when you can understand why an artist wrote a song—then you can look deeper into your own heart and see how the sentiment relates to you.

Later that evening my hotel was evacuated. They thought there may have been a fire. I grabbed my computer and camera and ran outside to avoid the shrill, piercing alarm sounds that filled the air in the hotel. Forget burning to death. The fire alarm must be worse than the actual searing flesh and choking on smoke. I really hate the sound of alarms of any kind—they dig deep into my calm and piss all over my parade.

It turned out that there was no fire in the hotel. But, something worse happened. Eighties rock band Europe performed. They reunited for this, their only European gig that year. I watched four or five songs, and I have to admit they were very solid. I could see what all the fuss was about. But, I don't like big concerts—the people, the shoving, the loud music, and a bunch of songs I didn't recognize. I waded through thirty thousand people and made my way back to the hotel to try to get some sleep. Tomorrow I would fly back to Stockholm and I wanted to be rested.


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