Notes from Basque Country II


Later that night, Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Mike Watt is on bass. Iggy is out of control, getting almost naked onstage and inviting fans up to jump around with him. The security guard looks like he’s going to kill himself.

Next day, Gang of Four plays and they’re also extremely entertaining. The singer played a microwave with a baseball bat. And it didn’t sound too bad. Scott McCaughey is in the audience rocking out with some redhead.

Then, Big Star, who are really good too.

At some point we cancel our credit cards and then we feel safer. We have a nice day wandering Vitoria, not lost at all for once. Our bags are at the train station in lockers. We have more pintxos for lunch and hang out in the park reading newspapers.

The Nomads play, My Morning Jacket rocks (I feel. Lou thinks they’re pretentious).

Pearl Jam plays to an enormous crowd. I’m like, whatever, cuz we’ve seen them before (opening for the Rolling Stones) and most of the excitement at hearing those 7th grade favorites of mine was pretty much used up then. Although it is fun to see all these Vascos sing along and rock out. Eddie Vedder, who is hugely drunk, scores major points with the audience by reading a statement in Spanish about his appreciation.

During their somethingth encore I am getting antsy to get to the train station because I’m worried we might not be able to get to our lockers for some reason. Turns out it was closed, BUT! There was a side door. Then the door to the locker room is closed and it’s dark inside. But phew! It’s open. We retrieve our bags.

We call a taxi, it comes, we sleep, it drops us off at Bilbao airport. But wait. There are some other poor souls sitting outside the airport too. Could it be – it’s closed! Who closes an airport? It’s about 4 a.m. and freezing. I put on another sweater and Lou’s socks. He puts on the Azkena jacket (“Rock: The Power of Guitars”) I’d bought a few days ago and we cover ourselves with the strawberry towel. All our purchases are coming in handy.

At 5 the aireportua opens. Ahh it’s warm. We check in, at Iberia for some reason. Have a croissant. We fly to Paris. Another croissant on the plane. Oh God, we’re tired. No coffee, staying away from coffee so we can sleep on the plane home. Flight to Houston is delayed – why? We wait and wait. On the plane movies are watched and so many meals served we think they’re trying to kill us. We still eat them, of course. Last night, Sunday, Houston. Fly to Pittsburgh, pick up bags drive home and bam! Out.


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