Blurred Time Continues
The War Pipes
A Trip with Ralph
In a Birmingham Diner
The Blurs tour and practice, weave and spin, weave and spin. Tommy
and Mike continue writing---the band is managing to write music that is
fifty years old--as their flyer has pronounced: "The best old-time band
this side of the Great Depression. Fate Norris, June 19, 1929."
As summer begins, the band is trucking around the states, from Alabama
to Michigan. They even manage Canada.
Every month, tho, they come home and play the Cradle.
Winter, 1977. Winter was interesting. Right off the bat we got stuck in a raging blizzard in New Philadelphia, Ohio. We were trying to drive to the Chicago Folk Festival. Stopped overnight at a folksinger's house, bringing down the blizzard on our heads. Bravely setting out in the beefalo the next morning, we find ourselves on I-79 alone, nothing but jack-knifed semis all around, a slick drifting power, 20 below, 20 miles an hour, Jack at the wheel. We get off at the first possible exit, put on the chains (lol), go back to New Philadelphia to watch TV. Eventually we find an airplane heading for Chi-town and get to the fester with about 1/2 hr to spare before our set. It's breathless and somewhat jittery, but I can remember nothing untoward at this late date. We decide to ride Amtrak back to New Philly and our wheels, get our tickets, and then discover that Amtrak is a bus today as the rails are snowed under. Oh wow. The trip back is an endless backroad ride as the bus goes to each snowed-in rail station. We are deposited in Canton or somewhere thereabouts at 4 AM. It's maybe come up to zero now. The "station" is a little box with a rattling heater and broken windows. Guess Canton had torn the real one down back in the '50s, when that was the popular muncipal thing to do. We get a $25 cab back to New Philly in the dawn. (And by cracky, just remember, back then $25 was about what a new car costs today, kids!)
Uncle Wide informs us that we're going to Europe for six weeks.
Hot damn. We know a singer over there, Patrick Couton, from Nantes.
He gets us a used VW bus (poisson volent) which we will tour in.
He'll keep up with it otherwise and use it some. Later other bands
tour in it, including High Woods --Walt has a nice story to tell about
a border crossing. Maybe he'll write in here sometime and post it.
We fly over on Icelandic, stopping in Reykjavik at some moment in the eternal
day they suffer and refuel on schnapps, then head on to Luxembourg.
Crossing into Germany over the Mosel, the vopos detain us.
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