September 29, 2004

My iBook died. I took it to the Apple Man, and he sent it to the iBook Patch for eleven days. Eleven emailless days = fabulous and terrifying.

Last Friday, I went out to San Francisco to open for Karl Denson at the Fillmore. I hung out with my good man Frank Riley at a Peet’s, talking about Diane Arbus, and his days on the barricades in the 70’s. Then I walked back in the cool foggy night, ambled onstage, and played a 45-minute set during which my guitar shat the bed. I stumbled through to the end.
After, I was selling CD’s in the lobby (where they still offer free red apples to concertgoers, a tradition dating from the heyday of Bill Graham in the 60’s), talking to a couple fans. A guy walks up just as I’m telling two dudes about Ethiopia. “Oh yeah, you were in Bahar Dar, right?” says the guy. He speaks with an accent, and says “Bahar Dar” correctly–like “Bar Dar,” with big rolling R’s, so I say, Hey, are you Ethiopian?
“Yes.” We talk for a little while. “So, you enjoyed the Azmari, he sang about you?” He makes casual mention of a few other details from my journals.
You mean that you read my blog?! “Yes, I enjoyed it.” He says he’s from Sacramento, that he’s been in the US since 1999, and that he drives to San Francisco with friends for concerts occasionally.
So, are you a Karl Denson fan? “No, I’ve never heard him. I Google Ethiopia every once in a while, and I came upon your site. I saw you were playing the Fillmore, so I drove here.”
It turns out that if you Google “Ethiopia Bahar Dar” I’m on the first page! And, incredibly, if you Google “Ethiopia Azmari” I’m NUMBER ONE.