I hit the streets of Manhattan this morning with Guy, he in search of a new camera and I in search of a set of speakers for my iPod. A successful outing on both fronts. New York City's been transformed over the last decade from seedy and potentially dangerous to clean, welcoming and proud. Always one of the world's great cities, it's become the Manhattan everybody wished it could be. I never get that feeling of having to look over my shoulder and as always one can get anything you could dream of, at any time of the day here.
It was a short flight to Philadelphia to play the Mann Centre, another outdoor amphitheatre in a beautiful old park. The day was hot and humid and the crew had a steamer of a set up. As Philly's close to Nazareth, PA, home of Martin Guitars, there were a couple surprises for Matt and Guy courtesy of MK. If you've been following either Guy's or my journal you'll be familiar with the beleaguered, hopeless, eBay uke of Guy's. You know, the one that's dropped, scraped, kicked and verbally abused. Waiting in the dressing room was a brand new Martin soprano mahogany ukulele. A quick tune up and that first strum was heavenly. Mark, Guy and I played a few Hawaiian tunes and the little Martin uke sounds fantastic. Over the course of the tour Mark has been teaching Matt guitar and there was a Martin guitar waiting for him as well that sounded like a million bucks right out of the case. A couple of instruments that couldn't have better homes. With new ukulele in hand we happily trundled off for a meet and greet and suddenly the Hit It Assholes sounded like professional assholes. What a difference that uke makes.
Another gig much like last night's, relaxed and seriously well played, all firing on 12 cylinders. The only annoyance was a guy in the front row who kept waving at anybody who's eye he could catch on stage wanting us to give him a pick or a stick or a towel. This went on from the first tune through the final encore. What in the blue hell world are you thinking about pal? He's not the only one. People come up in the middle of a song with things they want signed. Do they really think we'll stop the show? No way folks. We're working up there, sit back and enjoy the show we're trying to put on. It was the topic of discussion on the flight back to N.Y. Still, we thought it was a great gig and had a ball playing.
Ended the day in Guy's room with Danny, gin and tonics, The Golden Gate Quartet, The Coral, Sol Hoopii, Engineers, Air and The Scissor Sisters among others on the hi-fi.