Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Bonjour!" from Killerland

It's been hardly a month, since I left San Diego, and already it feels like much longer. It's cold outside, scarf and coat weather, and my hair's getting too long like it was in the summer. Not that it's a bad thing or anything.

First of all, I've regained possession of a camera so I'll be able to do what a proper blogger does and show, in images, what I've been so incapable and/or lazy to do in words. Unfortunately, no words or images can describe properly my sheer disdain for the city of Las Vegas, where I spent the first two weeks of October. Every day unbearably dry and every strip mall on every corner exactly the same as the one before it with no diversions anywhere to alleviate the boredom instilled by the constant neon and indoor smoking.

Actually, I guess I like the indoor smoking part. (Click 'keep on reading' for the full post.)

I didn't have a camera for the Killers' first trip to NYC, when we filmed Saturday Night Live, so there's no real proof I was ever there, except for the video footage which was on Youtube for a little while before NBC Universal swiftly and predictably removed it. In any case, I've heard it's re-airing on November 22nd so superfans and ego strokers alike should be able to get their fill. To recap, I loved being in New York in the fall, witnessing the real and wild energy of a live SNL taping, shaking Amy Poehler's very pregnant, very talented hands, seeing Anne Hathaway's astonishing beauty in person, and playing in front of my sister who was in the audience. The one thing I'm still kicking myself about, besides not having a camera, is not introducing myself rather, slobbering all over, Tina Fey while I was at 30 Rock. Not only would I have slept better that night, but maybe some of her superstar status would have rubbed off on me in the process, catapulting me to non-Las Vegas-centric success!

Who knows, right?

Anyway, in case you missed it, I can't believe I was actually there when they did this. What was great, was actually seeing it reverberate across CNN for the next week and realizing, "I was there!"

I found myself watching Sex and the City, late night on TBS, after returning to Vegas, feeling equal parts appalled and wistful that I was stuck in Vegas for another two weeks and, therefore, not in New York City in the fall. A few things come to mind after re-reading that sentence. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed, but moreover, do women actually like that show? Sitting through an hour of it was like staring at the facade of the New York, New York casino for a week through my window, both overdrawn and glaringly unreal. Especially that freaky Samantha chick.

Kim Cattrall

Skip, skip, skip. I don't even like writing about being in Vegas, two weeks of my life I'll never get back. Rehearsed productively, played two shows, spent a lot of time away from the Strip in downtown Las Vegas, played blackjack, went up a little, down a lot, then back up to even. There is a damn good sandwich at Capriotti's though... I'll need to take a picture of their Capastrami next time I'm there. Holla at me if you know what I'm saying.

At the Wynn Hotel, Andre Agassi Benefit

After Vegas, we returned to New York to play at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I made new habits out of going to the lower east side, going to the Library across the street from Katz's on nights off, getting lost in Harlem at the most dangerous hours of the night, and finally getting some duck in Chinatown. But, yes, yes, the Hammerstein where, as Rolling Stone puts it, "the set design was Miami hotel chic: white tiger backdrop, light-up palm trees and orchids laced into amplifiers."

In case you're curious

What an event it was, eagerly attended by superfans, yuppies on their nights off, coked up models, and celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Chris Martin. The sets are starting to feel like, "The Killers' Play Their Greatest Hitz!" with songs from their upcoming album "Day & Age" sprinkled in. The crowd response has been uniformly nutty and I guess it's no secret the Killers' live show is truly a sight to behold.

We've not played much since then. A few TV appearances here and there, for example Taratata in Paris, where I giddily introduced myself to Chris and Chris, the rhythm section of Vampire Weekend and confessed that I still have not been able to get their CD out of my car. It remains there even now, embalmed in my car parked in Vegas while I'm abroad.

With Vampire Weekend in Paris. Yes, it is blurry. No, I can't fix it.

Taratata Set

Luckier still, me and Tommy, the newest addition to the Killers touring gang and saxophonist/writer/spelunking extraordinaire, were able to finagle a few free bicycles and rode all over Paris during our stay. Of course, I have the requisite photos of the Eiffel Tower and Champ d'Elysses, but I won't bore you with them. Among the weirder things I saw were roving, costumed rollerblading gangs, a Tom Sachs Hello Kitty exhibit at the Eiffel Tower (which I think is also going on in Manhattan), a Flaming Lips inspired teenaged brass band playing on the steps of the Opera House, and Claude Debussy's grave. Surprisingly, Paris a very bike-friendly city as well as a very American-curious city. No fewer than three Parisians asked who I was voting for in the presidential election. One of them was ready to jump all over me if I mentioned McCain. Fortunately, good times were had all around when I proved myself to be no friend of George Bush or the GOP. This against the backdrop of thousands of "W." posters all over the city. One regret I have is not being able to see Oliver Stone's movie in Paris where I'm sure audience reactions would have been priceless. Gobama.

The Inimitable Tommy "Max" Marth (also pictured, crepes-tacular spectacular)

Seriously, this is just to prove that I had a bike, the tower is incidental


Holy Baguettes

Brandon @ Paris Show

Ronnie @ Paris Show

Dave @ Paris Show

I'm currently in London where I still have not done a single lick of work. I plan on finding some to do, I swear, if I can ever get to sleep. Instead I've been sight seeing, finding time to blog, and watching a bit of television. The American elections are all over the news here too but the English people I've spoken to seem considerably less curious about my views than their French counterparts. Also in the news, when I woke up yesterday morning, was that Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were under fire for lewd comments made on Brand's BBC Radio 2 show about Fawlty Towers' Andrew Sachs. Now, I'll be surprised if anyone back home knows who these people are. Russell Brand I discovered on Conan a few months ago plugging Forgetting Sarah Marshall and whom you may know better as the host of this year's edition of the VMAs. Andrew Sachs played Manuel in the show John Cleese did after Monty Python, something I got plenty of on the bus of the last Killers run. I don't know why I know Jonathan Ross, I just do, from Youtube, he's like Letterman over here. Why this is at all relevant and not just gossip is that The Killers were scheduled to play the Jonathan Ross show later that evening. And, just as the crew was removing last case from the truck, the word came down that Ross was being suspended indefinitely and we had no show to do. It's been strangely satisfying to be involved in some small way with this huge drama unfolding across countless newspapers in the tube. Also cancelled, Miley Cyrus.

I've been a state of limbo ever since, filling my time with finding out just how big this city is, riding the tube for seemingly hours, shopping in Kensington, visiting Abbey Road studios, and finally finding out what all the fuss about Wagamama is about. Oh, and the women are impossibly beautiful here and they're all immaculately dressed. Come to think of it, so are some of the men. Some of the coats and boots I've seen since being here, sheesh.

Bacon Sandwiches @ BBC

The Green Room at the Jonathan Ross Studio

Anyhow, I'm done, I need to sleep, I guess I'm not as caught up as I thought.


Rosemary said...

Finally. Did Joanie tell you I was upset you hadn't blogged from the road? We miss you, friend. (Or, should I say, Ex-Friend.) Have fun on the road.

carogooch said...

Ooh, thanks for saying that the women in London are impossibly beautiful. What a compliment!

Tyler said...

Thanks for the update Ray. Great blog post, please keep them coming!

Unknown said...

Vicariously I live through thy blogz. Keep it up, kid. I nominate Gossett as the new Killer bassist.