We stopped for the night in Fargo on our way to Winnipeg. Apparently you can have your photo taken with the actual wood chipper used in the film Fargo - it's just down the road and you can buy one of those silly looking hats with ear flaps to wear while you're being photographed. Or maybe you can rent one for the occasion, I don't know, but I don't think we'll be needing the hats because it's very hot outside even though there's a howling gale blowing, which is disturbing but perfect - when it comes to round here neither of us has driven north of Minneapolis before. We're a long way from anywhere we might consider normal and the weather is adding to the otherness of it all.
Before we head off up the trail towards the Canadien border we're going to venture into downtown Fargo. Amy has already been out - she discovered a Target and a Starbucks. It's disappointing to come all this way and they've got exactly the same everything as you might find in Watford or Washington DC. I was hoping to trade a couple of blankets for a Bowie knife and the various supplies we'll need as we head out further into the wilderness. The wind is still howling around the Travel Lodge & Suites here and I'm doing my best to be faintly terrified.
We had a great show at Schuba's in Chicago the other night. The situation was possibly more weird than anything Fargo and its environs can throw at us because we were sharing a dressing room with the two young acts who were doing the late show, and both of them were accompanied by a full compliment of parents. The one group, Skating Polly, who are all set to become the greatest thing to come out of Oklahoma City consist of two half sisters, one seventeen, the other only thirteen. They had a young balding guy with them who fussed around their equipment and repeatedly told us how awesome we were. I thought he was the drummer but he turned out to be the dad and tour manager. The other act was Emily Wells - she tours solo with half a drum kit, a violin, a lot of electronics and a very sweet boxer/mongrel dog for company. Tonight she had her parents with her.They were helping with her merchandise. They appeared to be a lot were younger than either of us. Amy's daughter Hazel came to see us and she said she felt old. The dressing room was cluttered with thirteen year old's homework and the youngsters tirelessly twittered right up until showtime - only a few tickets left for our show tonite at Schuba's with Emily Wells - it's going to be awesome. Let's make it a sell-out! Something like that anyway. I felt like a sleazy old git by comparison and I'm sure I said the F word in front of the thirteen year old.
Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers came to see us play. He raved about us on Facebook afterwards -
Just home from the most entertaining evening I've had in...forever. If you get the chance to catch Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby on this current short tour, don't think twice. Go! I thought Ray Davies, Neil Young, The Beatles (in a good way). Best night out in years. I was thrilled to bits.
On Saturday night we played in an old factory building in Manitowoc (that's us in the photo above). I still can't pronounce Manitowoc with any confidence. We had a great time with the promoter, David Smith, and his family. He introduced me to the work of Phillip R Goodwin. I'd seen his illustrations before but without knowing who he was.
I hope we see some bears on this trip...