Greetings from Berlin...

JUNE 7, 2005

Photo: T Shaw

Hello Friends,

Todd, Taylor and I arived here at the hotel in Berlin last night a little after 10:00 PM Berlin time after an exceptionally smooth and easy trip from Los Angeles to London, connecting three hours later to Berlin. It only took nine hours and change to get to London, which is about what it takes to get from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh if you go through Dallas on most days.

JY and Suzie had been in London for several days, taking it easy, and getting thier jet lag over with in the comfort of a nice hotel there near Hyde Park. Lawrence and his family came from Paris where they had been to visit the Louvre. Ricky came from Spain. It's probably the most spread out we've ever been as a group, so it was cool to see everyone in the same place again as everyone met and hung out in the hotel lounge, catching up.

As we drove in we passed by all the well known historical Berlin sites, getting an impromptu giuded tour by our cab driver. It made the trip a lot more interesting than we'd expected and so today I headed out to retrace some of the ground we'd traveled over. Unfortunately it started raining on my head so after getting to what used to be "Checkpoint Charlie," the allied crossover point between West and East Berlin, I turned back to towards our hotel, which is about 50 paces inside what was once East Berlin. There are two rows of cobblestones representing where the wall once stood to give you a reference point.

It's ironic to see the guards, now working for the beaureau of tourism, posing for photos. What a difference a couple of decades makes, huh? I was here years ago sitting in a hotel restaurant doing an interview in a window seat which allowed me to look over into East Berlin. It seemed so colorless and drab, lonely and sad. A few years later I was there with Jack Blades and the two cities were in the process of blending and accepting each other. That was a tough transition for everyone here. Now it feels very upbeat, hopeful and on the move, its past growing smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.

In a couple of hours we'll head to the gig for a soundcheck and we'll be officially under way here. So far so good on getting on line. I'll post whenever possible. Until then...


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Previously published on on or about the date mentioned.