I took the subway up to our gig opening for DMB at MSG.
It soothes me to take the train up to an important big-league gig, rather than a car service or something. I did the same thing when we played Letterman.
It was humbling to see these guys playing Mexican folk tunes to bundled-up commuters; they’re playing the F train, I’m en route to Madison Square Garden. Buskers are the hardest-working people in show business. I’m almost superstititious about giving buskers money. I tried to play in a subway station when I first moved to New York, at age 18; I folded after 10 minutes, it was so hard.
MSG gig was good, too; we relaxed into the tunes, rather than trying to blast to the back of the hall. That’s the trick to playing these gigantic rooms. And we kept looking at each other, like, Isn’t this fucking amazing?!
I did a tune with DMB, a freestyle on “Jimi Thing.” I came up really early and had to wait for my turn on the mic as Butch and Leroi took long solos. I stood there trying to look like I was just cold-lamping, when in fact I felt like a big dork. I think my solo was OK, though more subdued than I would’ve liked. I did better when they invited me to do it again in New Hampshire, wilding out a little more, doing a little call-and-response-then-SCREAM thing with the audience.
Facing a sold out Madison Square Garden, incidentally, is FUCKING KOOL. The DMB dudes were so kind to invite me up there. The level of niceness in the DMB camp in general is really wonderful.