After Chris and I spot a double rainbow, the LA rendezvous is successful! I spot the Pillows singer/guitarist Sawao and Noodles singer/guitarist Yoko while helping with gear. Then we gather at Honda-Ya to eat and drink. The Pillows drummer Shin happily finds the Shochu, and plenty Sapporo goes around! Lots of electricity and excitement for the tour! I struggle to communicate with the bands and crew as my Japanese is poor, yet thanks to the translation of volunteer Yoshio, the Pillows guitarist Yoshiaki and I write some English for him to say to the crowd on stage about his gratitude for American support for Japan during their recovery from the earthquake. We talk about our mutual love for Reggae, and Yoshiaki’s roots in Hokkaido, and of the Ainu! It’s fun to observe everyone unwind; it was a long flight. We didn’t leave until way past midnight!!!
During 3pm load-in at the El Rey (so much history, such a beautiful theatre!!!) a handful of kids are waiting. While wheeling gear inside, I wonder, “is this happening?” Jamming my thumb on a cymbal stand didn’t wake me up, so i guess i wasn’t dreaming?
From soundcheck, setting up merch, gluing Tom’s mohawk, the blur of playing a 45-minute opener, in the green room during Noodles’ set as Sawao strolls in just to hang out with a beer, the random stroll outside after the show, bits of conversation between friends and couples sitting cross-legged on the curb with new t-shirts and cds. My English is good but I still am unable to describe this feeling. Whatever, it overflows.
We are back in the Bay after an easy drive, time to rock Slim’s!!!