Friday, January 26, 2024

Notes From A Holocaust WINTER TOUR 2024


On Sunday I fly to Los Angeles with my daughter, Leila, on the occasion of her 18th birthday.  The last time I took a trip like this with Leila -- just the two of us, with no other family members -- was, I think, when I could still pass her off as what the airlines call a "lap baby."

When a kid is under two years old, at least in the US, you can just fly with them on your lap, they don't even need ID.  I flew with Leila like that frequently, up until she was 2-1/2.  By that stage, when she was clearly six months too old to be an official lap baby, I was just hoping as we boarded the plane that she wouldn't say anything too sophisticated, that might make the airline workers wonder, but if any of them ever suspected she was over two years old, they never said anything. 

Soon after those early travels together, Leila started going to kindergarten.  By the time she was old enough to decide whether she wanted to go on tour with papa or stay home with her two mamas and her friends at school, there was apparently no contest, and my offers to take her on tour somewhere were consistently rejected, understandably enough.  Adults are pretty boring, after all, when you're a kid and you have the easy option of hanging out with other kids.  And when you're an academically-inclined kid, taking weeks away from your studies might not be such an attractive idea, either.

But now Leila is done with high school and not yet in college, where she seems to be heading by autumn, and months earlier she had brought up the idea of joining me on the road sometime.  Of course I was overjoyed by the notion.

It was just an accident of timing that we're going where we're going together, for the most part.  We had at one point been planning on a different trip, mid-2023, but then there were scheduling conflicts with that one, and I suggested the next trip I had planned, which happens to be mostly in France.

It's a happy coincidence, because unlike her monoglot father, she speaks not only English and Japanese, but French, as well.  Her grandmother Nadia was from Alsace, and generations later, thanks in no small part to the support of the French government to support French nationals studying in the French language internationally, French fluency in the family continues.  The French government paid her tuition for the French International School she went to for most of elementary school, here in Portland, Oregon.

As can be readily observed by anyone looking at the tour graphic up there, there aren't a lot of gigs, for us being away for a whole month.  There's an exciting reason for this, which is that most of the time we're spending in France -- most of the first 18 days of February -- we'll be working on a new album project, spending time all together in a big house with other musicians from elsewhere in the US as well as from France, Ireland, and Australia.

After Leila and I spend a few days in southern California -- along with concerts in Topanga and Los Angeles -- we fly to southern France.  There will apparently be a lot of documenting of various kinds going on surrounding the album project, and I'll be sharing things along the way, I'm sure. 

On February 18th, if the train drivers aren't on strike, we'll head up to London.  In addition to doing concerts in London, Hastings, Leicester, and Portsmouth, we'll also be in London for what supporters of imprisoned journalist Julian Assange are calling Day X, the dates at the Royal Courts of Justice that may be his last chance at avoiding extradition to the US. 

If you're in California, France, or England, I hope to see you somewhere over the course of the next month!

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