In August of 2001, I made my first trip outside of the country. My brother and I were scheduled for about eight days total, jumping from London to Brussels to Amsterdam and back. To this day, whenever I listen to Emmylou Harris' Red Dirt Girl I'm seated on a train, and all I can see, while looking past my sleeping brother, are the never-ending green pastures of Belgium. But our most memorable day, and we had many, was the day my old buddy Mick Spencer drove three hours from outside of London to meet us at a pub on the outskirts of the city. Mick assured me that this was a fantastic place. When we walked in, this young Japanese guy (pictured below) was playing Tom Waits songs, and Waits songs only.
About an hour later, Spencer arrived. We sat for about four hours drinking Guinness pints. We talked about rock n' roll, and well, rock n' roll. My brother and I had plans later so we had to skip out a bit before the dinner hour. When I accessed a computer a few days later in Amsterdam, there was a note from Spencer. He told us that his friend and one of my favorite artists at the time, Peter Bruntnell, arrived about three minutes after we left. Bruntnell took the mic and played a number of songs. Spencer wanted to tell us, but he wasn't sure Bruntnell would make it, and didn't want to hold us up, especially if he never showed. I think of that day every time I hear this song.