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Ah, youth... 

There is a middle school right up at the end of my block.  At 2:30 every afternoon, the kids get out of school, and I love watching and listening out my window as legions of them walk by, the savage ballet that is adolescence in full bloom.

Not much has changed.  The guys brandish their contrived swagger, overcompensating for their awkwardness and  lack of confidence.  They swear and yell and insult each other and fight.  They are such awesome, lovable little pricks.  I look at them and I see myself way back when (like, oh, maybe last Tuesday, or this morning).

And the girls still break their hearts.  One gutsy little guy clearly has set his sights on one of them, and had decided today would be the day - he was gonna try to walk her home.  She said, gruffly, "What are you doing walking this way? I thought you lived THAT way."

 Hang in there, kid.  Keep swingin.'  Nothing worthwhile comes easy.  And you, honey - don't hurt him too bad.  He seems like a sweet little dude.

Going over the setlist for the upcoming European dates in May... 

And I'm taking my main guitar along this time, so just in case another airline tries to destroy another one, I ordered the "spare".  In reverse colors, of course, because I'm  just THAT cool.  It was shipped from Miami today.

Speaking of arilnes and guitars, I'm STILL pissed about this...

Still a great job to have... 

A few years ago I had completely overbooked myself, and after a particularly long stretch of non-stop live dates, I was exhausted and my perspective was all out of whack. I was only seeing live performance from my myopic little point of view, and not that of the audience. My girlfriend at the time said something I have not forgotten: "You may be sick of these songs, but you're the only one who has to hear them every night. Many of the people are probably hearing them for the first time. Who knows, maybe someone's on a first date, maybe someone lost someone close to them that morning, or maybe someone's just really into the music. Whatever - you have no idea what they might remember from seeing you. You create moments for people." That put a lot of gas in my tank, and I have not forgotten it.

Out of my league... 

We played at Pier 60 in New York City for about an hour and a half tonight and helped raise $1.2 million for Alzheimers research.  I am now sitting at a fundraising dinner with over seven hundred multimillionaires from the metro New York area who are all casually bidding at an auction for $10,000 dinners and $30,000 Hampton yacht rides like they’re just going through the Burger King drive- through. There was a $150,000 bid for something just now. Guess which guy doesn’t belong in this room! I’m almost drunk enough to raise my hand and say “one seventy five!” and then sheepishly admit that all I have on me is a couple of twenties and a spare set of mandolin strings.

My favorite couple... 

They are my favorite couple. I don't know their names, but - well into their 80's, they come into the local bar for happy hour about once a week. There was only one avaliable seat at the bar today, next to me, so I got up and said "Please, sit together." They thanked me and sat down together. I know they like Sinatra, so I dumped a twenty into the jukebox and punched up a marathon of however much non-stop Frank a twenty will buy you here. Then I stood behind them and watched. 

He is the consummate old-world gentlemen; pulling her chair out for her and taking off her coat, and ordering drinks for both of them (and hey, they can DRINK, don't try to go toe-to-toe with them!). She is beautiful. Her smile is as vibrant as it must have been when she was in her twenties, and she raises her glass with a youthful, mischievous twinkle in her eye. You can see he worships her. They laugh and sing together. They hold hands. It's like they started dating two weeks ago. 

OK, so maybe his belt is up around his chest, but the dude has CLASS, and he still knows he struck gold many years ago . There is just a lifetime of lessons to be witnessed here. If you take just a moment and get over yourself and try not to be too much of a self-involved prick, you might just learn something. Always drink with old people. And respect your elders.

Thank you, WOCM! 

And then you read on today's radio report that WOCM has you in regular rotation with 17 spins this week, so you find their "listen online" link and just two minutes later they play your record.  So you can go back to bed now...

Radio warming up to the new album... 

Thanks to our new "believers" this week: KPFT (Houston, TX), KFAI (Minneapolis, MN), KSYM (San Antonio, TX), WGDR (Plainfeild, VT), KHSU (Arcata, CA), and KBMF (Butte, MT). Over 50 stations now spinning the new album! Some scenes from "recent episodes", click HERE.

Back to Belgium! 

The JT traveling musical circus returns to Belgium in October. A magical land where the hotels have beer vending machines in the lobby.  Be more like Belgium!

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