We crossed into Spain through Andorra, the tiny country high up in the Pyrenees mountains. At the top of the pass our little van chugged to a crawl- pissing off a few Porsche drivers- high enough to look down on the French ski resorts to our north. Barcelona was our first stop, an unseasonably warm February day.
God, Spain is wonderful for a rock band. Every night the fans came out in droves. Madrid was a madhouse, made all the crazier by the Real Madrid/Bayern Munchen football game happening in the stadium a few blocks from the club. You’ve never known fear until you’ve been surrounded by German soccer fans all dressed like the Cat in the Hat
The morning after the Madrid show we taped an appearance for national television, playing six songs on a sound stage that was built in the early seventies for the fascist version of Laugh-In. Then a series of increasingly madcap shows, in Valencia, Huesca, and Bilbao. At the Bilbao show, which we played with the Datsuns, dinner was a steaming plate of beef tongue. Hooray!
Eric and I then flew back to Madrid to play a theater show for a couple hundred little kids and their parents, as part of some cultural program funded by a bank. Word of the show seemed to have gotten out to the Madrid hipsters because there was a line of slouchers in army jackets trying to get in after it sold out. No children were harmed.
After the show it was back to the airport, where we flew to the island of Majorca to meet up with Nabil and Jonathan for a seafood dinner. The club was in the absolute center of nowhere, the only place on the entire island of Majorca where you couldn’t find a single German. It quickly filled up with locals, though, and we played for two and a half hours, treating the crowd to, among other things, perhaps the first and only ever occurence of a bongo solo during a cover of the Pixies “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven”.
Then it was a flight back to Bilbao and the long drive through Bordeaux and Lyon to Geneva, and now finally to Dudingen, Switzerland, where cows were invented. We’re playing tonight with a Swiss emo band, (or maybe they’re orch-metal), that sounds tight and loud echoing across the frosty fields. I’m freezing my ass off sitting in the van to write my blog on my BlackBerry, dreaming already of going back to Spain.