Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Today I embarked on another cultural exchange mission to Amsterdam. I saw my buds up there, did some shopping, enjoyed a couple of coffeeshop hangs. My customary agenda.

I thought we’d never get underway. My train departure from Paris was delayed nearly an hour. Very rare. At least I had the VIP Lounge for comfortable chairs, clean washroom, cheap coffee and the day’s newspapers.

Aboard the Thalys High Speed train. I read that Tom Petty was making a return to Paris that evening after a twenty-year absence. And it looked like Marti might be attending. Our Amsterdam pal Mr. Haze was on the case.

File photo of Mr. Haze, who was totally fucked up physically following a nasty accident at home. Shortly after my arrival in the ‘Dam I found him groaning at his crib. He’d had flooding in his apartment and was laid low by a wet version of those deadly narrow Amsterstairs. He’s recovering from broken rib injuries. Despite it all, he reached out to a friend on the Tom Petty tour and hooked Marti up for the concert.

I visited with Mr. Haze, made sure he had everything he needed, then after errands and lunch, made my way to the 420 Café.

I had a super hang with my Amsterdam amigos Jimmy Mack and John Sinclair. We smoked and joked, Jimmy filled us in on his recent grandfatherdom, compared notes with Grandpa Sinclair. John informed me that he’ll be gigging in Paris this month. I’ll fill you in on all the details when I have them. Watch this space, as well as Facebook and The Twitter.

All too soon I was headed back to Central Station for my journey home.

At about the same time that I was rolling down the line, Ms. Marti was settling into her first-row center mezzanine seat at the Grand Rex for the Tom Petty show. Thanks again, Mr. Haze!

Tom played all the hits Marti knew, and then some. She reported later that he had been in top form. So did our music freak pals from Barcelona and Marseilles, who were elsewhere in the house.

Upon arrival back in Paris, I taxied over to the Rex to meet the krew after the show.

We went to late dinner across the street at the Madeleine-Bastille, a big brasserie. Marti is with Luisa and Manuel.

Sergio, Daniel and me. Sergio had flown up from BCN that morning, had lunch with Marti, rendezvoused with his pals Luisa and Manuel, then gone to the concert. Daniel was up from Marseilles. We’ll see him again at the Gov’t Mule gig next week.

Are you gonna finach that spinach?

Here’s Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the Grand Rex:

Tom Petty
& The Heartbreakers

June 27, 2012
Grand Rex
Paris, France.

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