SuperDee's House

Friday, March 24, 2006

A'dam Hamburg London

Hello friends,

Well, here I am back where I started - in drizzly London. Except this time I've got no luggage anymore. Yup, Ryanair (the Euro equivalent of Southwest with even less frills) has gone and misplaced my wheelie bag somewhere between Hamburg Lubeck and here. So I've got my day bag with my passport, credit cards, my book, my ipod (no speakers or charger), my camera (no charger or usb cord), my journal, and the clothes on my body (hat/coat/scarf included) which I actually have been already wearing for a day or so.

Interestingly, all I needed to do was write that paragraph and now I feel much better about the whole thing. I'm checked back into the St. Giles Hotel (where I was at the beginning of the trip), I'm gonna go look for a store that sells underwear, a toothbrush and that sort of thing (Marks & Spencer will probably be my spot). And I really want to see Mary Poppins so I'll see if there are any tickets available when I'm done here.

Let's recap a bit... Last you heard from me, I was going to the Black Crowes. The show was amazing and loud. The Paradiso was incredible - I want to see every band there! (Scott and Lissy, I was thinking of you guys a lot. Man, I wish I got to see Phish there!!!) They opened with "Wiser Time" one of my faves and encored with The Beatles' "I'm Lonely" which was my omen that going to Hamburg was a good idea (which it was, by the way).

I was quite ready to leave Amsterdam - kind of like that feeling when you've been at JazzFest in NOLA for one day too many. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about going to Germany. The word "Germany" conjures up a lot of negativity - just a product of lots of stuff that I learned growing up - stuff from the past, of course. I had arranged with my new buds Gabe and Robin to meet for the train and to crash at their hotel room after the show - I had an early flight the next morning (this morning). We found a few Umphreaks on the train and the anxiety was quickly subsiding...

Met this great JamBase fan from Slovenia, Miha, who was telling us about his first experiences with Phish. Amazing that it's really not that much different from ours... He got the hook sunken in at his second show (after he had to go the second day because he didn't believe they'd play a totally different show of stuff he had never heard on the albums) and wound up doing the entire next Euro tour in 1997. I loved listening to his story because it mirrors all of ours and he's on the opposite side of the world.

Hamburg rocks! As soon as we got out of the station, the first person we met, our cab driver, was super cool. He was spewing off all the American music that he loves - White Stripes, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams ("Sr.," he emphasized). We immediately got the sense that Hamburg is a real laid back city. After meeting some more uber-fanatical Umphreaks for some German beers - there were about 10 or so on the entire Euro-Tour - it was time to go to the venue for the show.

The show was good but to be honest, I wasn't paying attention too closely last night. I was enjoying meeting the MANY people that came out to see Das Umph! There really was quite a turnout - mostly 40's german men, likely prog-heads. The song choice was pretty deliberate - technical enough to impress their German fans and enough new songs to sell the new record. I worked the merch table for most of the second set and cds were flying like hotcakes. Good stuff.

I met and talked to a few people who were very impressed with the band and were so happy that we came out to Hamburg. Apparently, for all the American bands that come, Hamburg is their last stop. The few people I talked to knew and loved JamBase. Germany seems to be a pretty rockin country and everyone was saying that Berlin was the spot. All in all, I love Germany and would like to start there next time!

Except...... that somehow, my suitcase got missing. (JK, I had to check it! Euro weight standards!) The Ryanair people seem confident that it will be recovered and they'll send it back to me in SF - this is highly unlikely in my mind. The only thing that is bothering me is that I went to use the WC and the bags were already coming out when I came out and I'm just wondering if someone decided to take two suitcases with them instead of one. The Ryanair ladies tried to assure me that there's no way that would happen - that's the New Yorker in me, I suppose.

Anyway, I've got some of my favorite clothes, some American cash and the keys to my apartment in there but whatever, right? I'm safe, I've got plastic, I've got my camera (thank GOD because I have taken like 600 photos!!!) and I'm in London for one more night! So, if you don't mind terribly, I'm going to run along and have a stroll and see if I can't rummage up some theater tickets for this evening (and maybe a new shirt).

Love to all....
SuperDee

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