Sunday, July 19, 2015

And then there was none......

going.....going....GONE.....
We had an incident.  We drove 7 hours of a 9 hour drive only to be turned back around.  It was a glorious ride.  It was the last show.  It was supposed to happen.

Back at the mo everyone was feverishly packing ready to get on these earlier than God flights I'd booked 3 weeks ago.  Smoke up anything you wouldn't dare take with you, last flirtatious moments, last forcing of last minute clothing and shoes into your demolished broke down suitcase..... and I'm out.

 I stayed up all night.  Walked from the hotel to the airport in the pouring rain in my new Rick Owens....to the floor.  It was freezing on the 1st flight.  But oh the flight to Naples.  The devil himself opened the aircraft doors.  "Hot as balls" as my grandmother would say.  And it was.  Just getting on the navetta autonoleggio to pick up my rental car was a bitch.  All I could think about was getting my Fiat so I could be all Italiani cute.  As soon as received the keys I realized I was short one bag....my entire SUITCASE.  Like what the entire fuck?  I come off of tour and my brain goes to straight jelly?

Leave it to old Italians to help a damsel in distress.  One of the attendants told me to wait where the shuttle stops and I'd be able to ask the driver.  I waited.  I saw the shuttle enter the parking lot....old man helper is pantomiming as only Italians can and if I'm not crazy, I swear he pointed to nipples and then pointed across the parking lot to me.  Hardy har laughing Italians.  Whatevs....they had my bag.

Next issue...no auxiliary in the Fiats....so I had to get a Ford.  I love music too much to be without my own playlist.

The serpentine streets on the drive to Torre D'Alba from Napoli made a 33 mile jaunt 90 minutes.  None of the streets have names...or if they do you can't see them.  PLUS you're distracted by Mt. Vesuvius and just crazy natural beauty all the time.  The Gulf of Naples indigo waters filled with boats - any of which have my husband on board - I couldn't check in fast enough.

My cute little watchtower is incredibly well appointed, the pool is cold but refreshing, the grounds are well kept by Claudio who is also well kept.  It looked exactly like the air bnb ad.  Nothing could be more perfect.  Seriously.  This place is heaven.


So much so why do I think I have to leave and make a tour itinerary?  Tell me why I cannot sleep in past 8am?  Why do I always have the urge to "do" something?  My planning wears me out.  I laid out at 9am this morning, tried to jump in the cold ass pool, then went back indoors and forced myself to sleep until 11am.   The 15 churches basilica bells serenaded me to the terrace so I could look down at all I was missing.   I couldn't take it anymore, I had to have a mimosa or bellini stat.  After all, it IS Sunday.

Sorrento is touristy as fuck however.  The ports beaches had folks lying on sidewalks like beached whales.  This was not fancy shmancy... My Bougie alarm went off and that was that.  I had to get up out of here.

Taking an elevator back up the cliff from the ocean, I ran into a shmancy restaurant with Bellinis and beautiful men who said Mama Mia when I walked into the room because...that's what Italians say apparently.  And my fancy shmancy 60 euro brunch had me starving.  Bullshit ass shmancy.  Good, but my ghetto alarm was ringing and so I too had to get up out of there.

My host told me about Nerano...beach city en route to Positano along the Sorrento Peninsula.  So I would take the 30 minute gorgeous drive in my manual transmission Ford over towering bluffs, through brick and orange piazzas, crawling through tiny alleys that would scratch up my side view mirrors and finally winding down long streets with rows of olive trees, pink, white and red oleander , mingling with bougainvillea and hibiscus.  All of the plants I love.

 As soon as I jumped into the turquoise rocky waters, all was released.


The drive, the broken suitcase, the last show, the late shows, the lost passport found, the shit talking witch hunts, the blue ovaries, the defector, the bad haircut, the good haircut, the castor oil and finally the coach flight that magically turned into business class.

I am so grateful to be taking a vacation.  I just wish I knew HOW.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

EURO PART 2 and CASTOR OIL

All my girls told me I needed castor oil.  When we arrived in Gdnask both Roxy (hair and wardrobe) and Chef Stefanie brought me some castor oil.  All natural.
My girl Nisa hailing from Oakland said..."oh you need to get you some castor oil".

Who even knew that castor oil was the black girls guide to edge growth?

I have some strong hair.  But I scratch.  My hands are constantly in my head.  Always...for evermore, giving my hair dresser a cardiac arrest each time I come home from tour.  She knew I was doomed when I said I was going on this tour.

And this tour...as exciting as it may be...is hard as all get out.  Not only because of the strenuous schedule but because of the demands of the particular artist.  Not crazy demands or nothing.  Just time.  It's like we all hold our breath hoping he gets to the next city.  "He needs you and the world needs him.." ?uesto pep talks me...."But I'M LITERALLY SCRATCHING MY EDGES OUT".

Then there's ye old pressure of the white man.  I think maybe I had one week of PMS, black church shootings and facebook arguments and I literally lost it.  I had a cold, I gained back all the weight I'd worked off, my skin lost the "glow".  I argued with my boss.  Granted I have 2 other tours happening, but they truly manage themselves.  I can't boast "grace under pressure" when I've lost all my grace.  Point is...how to do you regain it, when you've lost it?

Nothing like a transcontinental business class flight and an air bnb dream to take you out of that fire.  I had to have a real life vision board.  Not that vision boards aren't real life.  But I need my vision to happen in like...2 weeks.  So I found this:



And baby...when I tell you I'm finna live my whole Sophia Loren, Talented Mr. Ripley life with my private pool over looking the coast? Some how, the holes I keep putting in my head don't even matter.  I may even brush up on my Italian....see if I can get that old thang back....

When both of my girls brought me castor oil...thought of me enough....I knew I was getting the care I needed from the people who would give it me.  It's a job that requires giving all day.  And people taking all day.   No need to ask them to give it to me. Duh.  It's nice to know of a sister circle out here looking out for the cook out.

We get to Rome today. Can't wait to see how show #2 goes.  If it's anything like my new growth...we gon' be alright.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

We Set THE TOWN OFF!

I wonder how many cancer cells I’ve caused myself holding in what I really want to say.  Men get to be “offended” all the while still putting their knees in my back while I’m wearing a bikini coming from the neighborhood pool party.  But yawl offended.  

The good news is, great Bay Area weather and an abundance of fun set my entire weekend OFF.  The Bay was turnt.  Yes because D’Angelo was in concert and it was opening night.  YES because Dave Chapelle was playing across the bridge at the Fillmore and I had tickets.  YES because the Warriors were playing.  AND my momma was there. The concert seemed that much more sweet after the one point loss.  People danced away their sorrows to the sound of the Black Messiah.

And it was the first time I’d seen the show.  We’ve been in rehearsals for 3 weeks and our boy likes to burn the midnight oil.  Anyone who knows me knows 10:30pm is about my limit.  I falls asleep ANYWHERE.  After the first week of sleeping on the studio couch (gross and gross cuz I’m a germanphobe), sleeping on the studio FLOOR (like I was camping), back and hips all hurting like a 40 year old should, I decided I wasn’t going to be able to make rehearsals.  That said, the show reached far beyond my expectations.  I also didn’t notice over the past 3 weeks that this dude has been working his ASS off.  Like a whole different person showed up to the Fox Theater than the person I saw bleary eyed at 4 am while I staggered out of the studio 18.  Maybe I can’t see.



The Town was off the chain.  The funniest man of our time, Dave Chapelle came from overtime about 10 deep – one being Neal Brennan.  Now THAT’S a power couple.  Goapele.  Martin Luther. Chaka. Bobby Seale.  Yes.  Bobby Black Panther Power to the People Seale.   What a wonderful evening after all was said and done.  A great beginning to a fantastic tour. I remember why I like it so much.

Today I wore my good tight pants to work.  They wasn’t offended no more.






Monday, June 1, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust......

Great long week of working.  My head has been spinning since picking up my new client.  I always had the Roots Picnic show on May 30th but with the new client schedule - the only thing I was hired for - had I Heart on the calendar the same day.  How to be at two places at one time is one of the hardest things to decipher running a service oriented business.  That fucking Wonder Woman meme means fuck all.  And guess what?  You may not make the right decision.  Being strong in your decision takes....I don't know how long, i'll let you know if I get rehired.

That PLUS this picnic.  I've decided to add a new email for the people. It's called "TFTTickets@gmail.com".  It's an email for the fake hollering ass niggas (or women these days) who seem to need a week or so "warm up" period before asking for what they really want: tickets. Let me tell you, that warm up shit is not only aggravating, it really and truly it just hurts my fucking feelings.  I'm pretty much "Bitch 101" - bark is worse than bite, intentionally aggressive so that I don't get hurt, blah blah blah.  Living on the road with mostly men over the course of 16 years just may have affected my trust gauge.   Then I don't trust MY picker...which is sad.  That said, I'm not really interested in small talk.  Just ask me for tickets.  It's all good.  I'm not a prude so I don't need to be promised anything to give up the pussy, just ask.  It will be yes or no.  No need for fake promises.  No need to ask deep and meaningful questions about other projects I may have spoken to you about in our "close and deep convos"....just come to catering, I'll give you a pass to the after party.  Thing is, I DONT CARE ABOUT THAT STUFF.  What I DO care about, is small talk BULLSHIT.  If you're my friend, be my friend.  Friends support, not take.  If you're a groupie in this - tfttickets@gmail.com is probably your best bet.  That way no one wastes time or game.  No small talk. No false attempts. No, nothing.  You get what you want and I get what I want...all joy and peace.







Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gettin while the gettin is good.....

I saw my boy at yet another Samsung Lounge....3rd one in the last couple of weeks, each time a different client...."I see you came back to the darkside".....
referring to the genre of music this time.  While I am blessed to be choosy, this game is unforgiving. You take a break, you try to plan your picket fence lifestyle,  you leave yourself vulnerable for one minute and that's when some blonde 20 years your minor, toes creeling over her fall '12 wedges is tryna cop your spot and tell you how something "typically" works. 

Chile. Please.

That picket fence will be wrapped around my villa in the south of France with my 11 Godkids on spring break and a bevy of younger lovers....this month. If I choose. I leaves no money on the table.  Why? Cause ain't NOBODY checking for you in this cutthroat, misogynistic, greasy -bikini-in-the-summertime music industry. My late great mentor #Dixpop told me, literally begged me not to get have kids..."it'll ruin your life." Not everyone's but some. Maybe some that were destined to do more, see more, access more...or less. I'm still fumbling through but thank God that was presented as an option to accentuate my womanhood verses define it by 2.5 kids and a mini van.

So here, on the eve of yet another world tour where I jump off and on with other clients, I stand to prove me to me. Work hard, play hard, love harder.  I know I seemed busy before. But yawl ain't seen nothing yet......



Saturday, March 7, 2015

RED LIGHT SPECIAL

Dear Amsterdam,

Why must you always feel like home?  You are the point of the tour where everyone breathes.  You are where I know of the best laundry mats.  And while your Argentine steak houses are redundant, we've been able to find that ONE where only locals go.  The Italian restaurants know us by name.  We have the nerve to have our favorite smoke shop.

What?  A new one?  Indeed.  I'm there!  Amnesia....is a jewel on the Herengracht.  This uppity ass neighborhood where the walk ups are on fleek and everyone has all they damn windows open like I ain't supposed to look.  High ceilings and moldings and shit.  Think Montana Ave in Santa Monica.  Not Beverly Hills uppity, but them heiphas ain't got no jobs neither.  Which is probably why I found my NEW naked spa, Sauna Deco there.  Because jobless heiphas can take baths in public.

Favorite new fantastic store Kiki Niesten - this eccentric woman who's collected clothing for over 30 years.  She removes the label and sells the item at percentage of it's original cost.  I can't wait to find a spot to wear this Botega dress.  And the gloves...oh the gloves....they are truly too much.

Across from Miss Kiki's  shop is a wonderful store  Outras Coisas. This designer, David Simkanic, makes AMAZING leather goods. Then accents with towels, scarves, white plates...because I need more white plates.  These black candle holders I bought are the absolute TRUTH...dear GAWD.
It's the kind of store that has nothing you need but EVERYTHING you want.

And finally, The Canal House a JEWEL mind you....23 room boutique hotel of a 17th century house or 3 put together.  Rooms are good size.  Not cheap, but absolutely lovely.  Having the run of house there would be a bomb birthday party.  Courtyard, whisky, naked spa and weed?  What are we talking about here?

After leaving the Herengracht neighborhood we move a few blocks away...more boutiques, less uppity neighborhood called Jordaan.
Jordaan is where I found a cool spot, JD Williams Whisky Bar with a cooler Proprietor from San Francisco.  I already told him I'm biting.  Had nerve enough to go twice.  Couldn't help it.  They had Taco Tuesdays and Konge fried chicken bites.  Come on now!

All in all, I love me some Amsterdam. 2 shows left.  I'll be on US soil by Sunday.  Praise Him!

Monday, March 2, 2015

That one time we got strip searched in Sweden........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFkSENBFhy4


16 years.  16 years of border crossings....all sorts of borders....Canadian, Mexican, Algerian, Argentinian, Chinese..... hell I've even crossed into Cuba.  Never...NEVER in my life have I been asked to drop my drawers and take of my shirt.

Part of the tour manager crossing the border game is remaining calm and more often than not, keeping my "chip-on-shoulder" "stand-up-to-authority" brethren to keep their lips shut for the sake of getting through.  Let's say for the 30 plus times you've gotten away with carrying, you get caught once.  Shut the fuck up.  You had it coming.  No it ain't racist.  The white jawn had to strip too.  Agist maybe.  Whatever the fuck....the dog smelled the right people.  We got rid of it.  no harm no foul.  But please don't act ignorant at the border.  It's exhausting keeping myself in line let alone entitled ass American ass adults.