It started badly. It was raining as we drove over there on Good Friday and I had forgotten to buy beer the night before, the tent I’d brought turned out to have no poles or pegs and I didn’t have my shades.
The rain cleared as we put up the rest of the Spines camp and it seemed like most of the musos I’d come to know where there already with their families – there was an expectant buzz going around and it felt great to be part of it there with my troops. Then the festival began.
We got up on stage just after dark that first night. We had been playing gigs of one sort or another in the weeks leading up to this one and we were fired up for it. I had met Hannah here the year before and now she was such an integral part of the band – she gave us glow sticks for our halos, Mike and Warwick got us the great sound and Neil and Imon introduced us to a sold out house.
The Spines played really well – we all drove the bus that night and it was a perfect timeslot because all the kids could see us but I could play as loud as I wanted. The songs we played were reflective of what we are focusing on at the moment, the sound we’re
getting and everyone got swept up in it.
It was special for me – there were people in that crowd who knew my songs or my work at least and by the time got out the Gretsch and started dancing around with the feedback they were calling out requests like Go To New York, The Ghost of Del Rey and There Goes The View – we did them and we could have gone on all night.
We did Sex Can Be Sad as the encore and it was hilarious.
There was a huge bunch of musicians that I really rate in that audience as well and they loved it too. Once again Neil and his team had done a superb job of selecting and programing performers and now I could kick back and watch everyone else do their thing – so good.
The next day when Tyson, Ed and Rick were setting up to play, my voice came booming out of the PA and a series of demo and album tracks from the eighties played – it was surreal watching them mime my songs in my head. They did a great set and at one point all these children started painting over the tarp – my eyes welled up in tears I guess with pride for my part in the creation of this unique event and it was embarrassing because I didn’t have my shades…
So I slept in the van and paced myself on the beer but I had a few more adventures and I woke up to watch the sun rise every morning. There was no big superstar jam at the end this year but Lisa Tomlins got up with the Rebels and sang us out – magic.
Just as we were about to leave, Neil got Lisa, Hannah and me singing my song Stop Forever a couple of times on acoustic on the front porch in the morning sun. My voice was shot but it was the perfect way to go.
(For previous stories about Tora see The Ghost of Electricity # 30 Tora Tora Tora, and The Ghost of Electricity # 54, Tora Tora Tora – Part Two).