Of course I was younger then, bright-eyed from not having spent ten years or more staring hopelessly at computer screens. Now everywhere you go people are staring at screens and myopically jabbing at them with stunted digits. That's where we're at now - we've had the stone age, the iron age, the bronze age, the machine age, the space age, and here we are in The Screen Age.
I routinely sit and wait for crappy adverts to load up before I can check my emails - weightloss, middle-aged women in your area just dying to meet you, car parts, fishing tackle, viagra, holidays in Corfu, eczema cures that have doctors infuriated... Occasionally I click the close ad option and a box pops up offering me advert-free browsing at a not immediately obvious price. So it's not about weightloss, dodgy dating, car parts, fishing tackle, viagra and all the rest of it - no, the purpose of the advertising is deliberate nuisance, a form of extortion - pay up and we'll stop tormenting you with all this crap.
I am determined that these people (whoever these people are) won't manipulate and control me and my life so I sit here steadfastly waiting to read my emails or see what's happening on Facebook while little annoying adverts for breast implants, grapefruit juice, garden furniture, incontinence cures and even Barack Obama load up in side panels. Twenty-first century civilisation. We've come a long way.
I'm sure Gary Horowitz won't mind me putting his wonderful photo of me and Amy being whisked away from the Take Me To The River Festival in Hastings-on-Hudson last Sunday. We had a great time though it's always a fearful business playing in the open air in cruel daylight to an all-ages crowd who are as intent on soaking up the sun as they are listening to music. Looking at all those people from the stage and seeing the kids running around and the tree tops against a brilliant blue sky I must admit I had one of those it's great to be alive moment. Don't tell anyone I said that - I've got a position to keep up.
I used to think I was an unhappy person and I'm sure a lot of other people did too. But I'm not - I may have been, but not anymore. Life is full of annoyance, day to day stuff like the crappy ads, and bigger annoyances like what happens when I get old / have a stroke and end up paralysed down one side / break a leg in a freak gardening accident and can't afford the medical bills... But I keep managing to push it all away and have a great time on an almost daily basis. I'm sure that's going to worry a few of the fans I have who think that you can only write songs when you're practically down and out. I've never subscribed to that idea, the starving artist in his lowly garret. People work better when they're warm, dry, well fed and healthy, and that includes artists. I wish the Republican party understood that - I can't believe the stupidity and cynicism of a ruling party who don't see the sense in looking after the workforce. We had enough of that in England under Margaret Thatcher. Here's a track from our new album:
07 1983 by southerndomestic
It's actually by Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby - Southern Domestic is the record label. But that's the internet for you.
And to finish, in another shameless attack of self-promotion, here come the tour dates. Come and see us play, stick around afterwards and say hello, buy an album and maybe even a t-shirt - help us pay this months health insurance which we have courtesy of Obamacare. We'll blunder through live versions of some of the tracks off our new album, A Working Museum, plus a few old favourites and you might even have a good time.
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby on tour….13 ASBURY PARK NJ USA, The Saint buy tickets
14 PHILADELPHIA PA, The Tin Angel - EARLY SHOW - 7:30pm!! buy tickets
15 SOMMERVILLE MA USA, Johnny D’s buy tickets
18 WASHINGTON DC, The Black Cat buy tickets
19 RALEIGH NC, Berkeley Cafe http://www.berkeleycafe.net/events.php
20 COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, Conundrum http://conundrum.us/concerts/index.html
23 RICHMOND VIRGINIA, Banditos - details to follow
29 PEACE DALE RI, Roots Hoot house concert – email firstname.lastname@example.org
02 INDIANAPOLIS, Do317 Lounge 1043 Virginia Ave, Suite 215 buy tickets
09 SAN FRANCISCO CA, The Hemlock Tavern http://hemlocktavern.com/
11 SEATTLE WA, The Funhouse, with Mark Pickerel + Johnny Sangster http://www.thefunhouseseattle.com
13 PORTLAND OR, Mississippi Studios EARLY SHOW – 7pm!!! buy tickets
16 SAN DIEGO CA, The Soda Bar buy tickets
20 PASO ROBLES California, www.vinesonthemarycrest.com email@example.com
21 LOS ANGLES CA - details to follow
25 DALLAS TEXAS, The Allgood Cafe
26 AUSTIN TEXAS - details to follow
28 MEMPHIS TN, (to be confirmed)
30 CHICAGO - details to follow
02 ROCHESTER NY, house concert
03 ITHACA NY, The Nines