I wander up long cobblestone stairways overgrown with the Cupid’s praying hands & curled locks of English ivy
my bare feet coming translucent to the deep cool of winter’s bones melting in the youthful chartreuse waistcoats of new grasses’ playful tufts
by & by the hill swells & breaks like a wave into a delirious froth of cherry and plum blossoms
and our orchard tumbles down the other side like a million snowballs frozen in motion
it splashes into a dark current of forest, as the sun dips low in spring’s tangerine sky
An inhalation begins
and I think of you
I follow the powdery lilt of blossoms and magnolias ebbing & flowing in the evening air
Meandering wood paths carpeted with tiny bells of ochre & petals soft as the sunrise’s first clouds, and laced with burning nettle
A late-to-bed wood bee, with his fuzzy fat bottom, urgently ducks and seeks solace between cast-off leaves on the orchard floor
as a strobe-light flick of bejeweled brown wing appears, silently snapping invisible curfew-protestors from the air
I fall head over heels and run circles in my heart
I think of you
Doves jostle in their roosts overhead, spill from treetops and dissolve into the dark forest below
sleepy bees wander homeward, pockets heavy with pollen, giddy & softly drunk
overflowing the threshold of their honey boxes
above, an arc of evening song still echoes - a mad orchestra of birds throwing their hearts toward the sun’s farewell
and the blood thrum of the Earth’s heart beats electrically beneath my soles
I think of you
My bare legs swing out from the weeds at the edge of the orchard field, tangled with nettle, and a hitchhiker rides on my toe
brown and shiny as a nut, curled up, he slowly raises his head to peer at me with mushroom stalk eyes, as if waking from a dream
and then lays a silvery trail across my skin, a tattoo, or a kiss
I leave him on a dandelion at the edge of the stream, where the water is shockingly cold & clear
when it rises over my ankles
my breath hesitates
& starts again
I think of you
Copyright 2020 Amber Jade
The climate change
Between home and here
Is measured in the color of rain
It is not a thunderous watershed of tears
From the cheeks of betrayed fiery Goddesses
That rips boulders from the shoulders of mountains and throws them helplessly toward the sea
And it's not a mist like the empathetic breath of sea spray
Reaching a gossamer hand back to soothe the hardened black scars of volcanic rage
When rain comes down here, grey and dominant
it paints the forest in a sigh
shades of deepest vermillion and chartreuse emerge
truffle brown the trampled leaves
where my naked, cold Hawaii feet go seeking the sands of forest beaches
For some faint echo of the comfort of home
And then something happens
The blue edges of droplets
slow, like icicles forming, in their downward merging
They organize themselves soundlessly
to form perfect lines
The edges crisp and clean like cut glass
And the faces of people in shop windows and on street corners
organize themselves into the clean squares between lines
A picket fence of faces and rules and faces forms
Mannequin still as they are sped through assembly line structures of work, beer, sex, shame, consumption
with the terminal clicking of precise machines
Ikea melamine boxes and relentlessly similar stainless steel fixtures operate seamlessly
So the concrete tubes of public transportation
Shoot their yellow pills of humanity down the throats of the city
In perfect, pre-measured increments
A testament to design and efficiency
And the dark woods with their explosions of rapturous underbelly color
that lace the edges of urban synchronization
With dripping unruly tresses
Are allowed to argue the passionate cry of nature
Against the architecture of concrete pathways
Designed by clipped and trimmed humans to best complement them
Like a crib complements (and efficiently contains) a beloved but fussy child
The plaintive song of the wild heart
the padding of a Goddess’s bare feet on raw earth
Heard, yes, but from a measured distance
Copyright 2020 Amber Jade
Throwback Thursday, all the way back to '01!
Official Tour Album: This Desert Life - Counting Crows, especially Colorblind
Official Tour Theme: Learning how to say bellybutton, asparagus, and thingamabob in many languages
Official Tour Book: Bridget Jones' Diary (highly recommended!)
Colleen and I just got back from Europe, where we saw more of the inside of trains and train bathrooms than we ever wanted to see, got fat and sunburned and then skinny and pale, washed our clothes in a bidet. ended up in a hospital, and escaped Europe via a red-light district.
We landed in Frankfurt, Germany on March 30th with some seriously wobbly legs acquired during the 11 hour flight, and got on a train to Heidelberg.
Heidelberg has a most amazing castle eloquently dubbed Heidelberg Schloss, which means Heidelberg Castle. Yeah. It was quite lovely, what there was left of it after being destroyed and rebuilt countless times. The townspeople used to pay taxes to the prince with wine, which was stored in the castle in the biggest wine vat you could imagine. It was more than 3 flights tall and held over 220,000 liters. The ground water at that time was unfit to drink, so the castle's inhabitants could only drink wine and milk, and most people died of alcohol poisioning in their 30's. Oh, the good old days.
We watched rugby practice and attended a great nightclub with 4 levels of choice techno, pop, live punk and dance music before we headed for Berlin.
Berlin was, well...rainy. Technically, we were just outside Berlin in Gross Glienicke. Pretty much the whole time we were there it rained. We had to dry our washing with a hair dryer because clothes dryers are apparently against Europeans' religion. As are shower curtains. Picture having a normal tub and shower with a detachable nozzle, but to take a shower you have to sit in the tub and try desperately not to get any water on the floor while the dirty, soapy water swirls around your butt. Then, many houses have a seperate enclosed shower in the same room to shower while standing. The logic escapes me.
Due to the rain and our jetlag, nothing much got done in Berlin. Nut, we did have an epiphany while walking back from a friend's house where we had been horseback riding:
We took a jaunt off through the woods on what was meant to be a shortcut, and ended up in lush green wheatfields that stretched for a mile or more in every direction. It was mesmerizing.
Like a couple of crazed cows full of silly joy, we went running into the fields aiming for a tree on top of a small hill. The sea of teal-green wheat nveloped us, towering over our heads until all we could see were the stalks parting before us and closing after us. The feeling was like nothing else, like being in a green bubble where time stood still and all we could hear was the wind swirling above us.
This is where Colleen said, "This experience is like a metaphor of life. We could see our intended destination when we began, but it is now lost."
And then she landed the punchline: "I guess you just start off in the right direction and hope one leg isn't shorter than the other."
This has become my favorite quote of all time. She is so the bomb.
We decided, after quite some cold and rainy time in Berlin, that we wanted to head to Italy.
Colleen and I left our big luggage with a friend and packed everything we would need for 3 weeks into 2 small knapsacks and hit the rails.
As was to be the theme for our whole trip, the rails were beyond confusing, and we ended up running around Germany lost, and spending the night with 20 very smelly men in the waiting room in the Stuttgart train station.
If you are traveling in Germany, please note the following:
Staying overnight in the Stuttgart train station SUCKS! Avoid it like the Black Plague.
But we did catch a train through Austria where we managed to snag our own room and wound our way through a bit of the Alps. Incredible scenery!
By the time we arrived in Florence, it was hot and sunny, and we were thrilled!
In Florence, there are apparently no rules when driving any type of vehicle. The streets are a complete free-for-all where mopeds rule the day, driving up in sidewalks, through cafes, into your hotel room and out the window without batting an eyelash.
The Italian men are so pretty! The Italian women are all size 2s, because we couldn't even fit into the larges in any of the shops. Our expectations have, as a result, been completely skewed, and we shall never live up to our own standards for beauty again.
We found that the best way to avoid cat calls from men in the markets was to hold hands, which convinced them we were lesbians. That worked most of the time, but some of the men only liked us more. Hmmm. Perhaps they misunderstand lesbianism.
We stayed in an incredible hostel that was a 10 minute walk through vineyards from town. I rolled over on a rainbow-colored spider in my sleep, and woke up with 6 square inches of artistically-squished spider pasted on my thigh. Yay for me.
We visited a few choice landmarks, ate pizza and coconut and spit banana at the pigeons in the park (quite amusing, especially if you can dole out karma by getting the banana to stick onto the "bully" pigeons, and watch as they get chased around by the weaker pigeons for a chance).
We decided to make our other trip theme (the first was confusing rail travel) to be learning certain choice words in as many languages as possible. For instance, bellybutton is 'bauchnabel' in German.
The next day we were on our way to Rome.
Rome was, or course, exceptional! The history and the energy is amazing and infectious! The Colosseum, the fountains, the ruins, are larger than life and just......wow. We had to stay a few days in order to make a dent in the bucket list of sights. I have never done so much walking in my life.
We performed in a beautiful courtyard and bought Roman underwear and learned to hate other American tourists. Americans are the loudest, rudest, most obnoxious travelers. They were smoking in the Colosseum and dropping chip bags into the catacombs for god's sake!
Anyway, you all must try coconut ice cream. I've never seen it in the states, but it is fiercely YUM. We ate mostly ice cream and then burned off the fat wandering aimlessly through tiny Roman streets and Cathedrals and taking pictures of handsome Roman men. Rome is just the bee's knees for a couple of single chicks.
After Rome we attempted to see Pisa, but the leaning tower was reportedly leaning a little too much and was closed for repair.
On to the French Riviera!
We arrived in St. Raphael where, after a shot of espresso, we caught a boat to the little town of St. Tropez. Some lovely firemen directed us to a cheap hotel (just our style) where we got a double room with a sink and...a bidet. Hmmm. It wasn't the first time we'd seen one, but this one was... ancient, and perhaps plumbed completely wrong. The water filled from what looked like a drain hole and there was no spout. For lack of a decent sink, we decided to clean it and use it as a laundry-washing sink, and it worked out quite well.
Shopping there was great and quite cheap if you were patient, and we danced around on a court overlooking the Meditterranean while we ate rice pudding and baguettes and fromage (that is French for cheese. If you want to find a cheese factory, you ask for the closest fromagerie. really. Perhaps you already know this, but it tries us as funny.)
The next day we headed back to St. Raphael and the topless beaches where we tried to get tan, but mostly got really burned. We looked like lobsters for most of the rest of our trip.
On to Barcelona, the city of weird smells!
We spent a good portion of our time trying to find a hostel and just managed to squeeze into one of the most popular ones right on La Rambla, a major market street where jugglers and artists and street performers worked the crowds. Our window looked over a courtyard complete with cafes and wandering balladeers and a fountain, and lots of drunk people.
We danced for 8 hours one night on the wharf, spent $7 on a pina colada (oops), and saw an incredible theater production staged on the street that starred entirely alter-abled people. It was beautiful and inspiring.
We also spent a day with some very sweet Brits in a little Spanish town on the coast called Llansa, after getting thrown off a train in the middle of the night.
Asparagus is 'asparagus' in Spanish. How thrilling.
Colleen began to feel ill on our way from Barcelona to Paris (some serious foreshadowing here). We caught a night train and tried to sleep, but were not particularily successful.
Paris was very cold and rainy, and after some effort we found a hotel and Colleen and I went to bed. After sleeping most of the day and watching episodes of "Walker: Texas Ranger" dubbed in French (which is ALL WRONG I must say), I went out to forage for food.
There is no peanut butter in France. However, there is plenty liver pate. There is also no plain cheese. It all must have some sort of srange funk growing on it for the French to consider it to be cheese. I had to get cream cheese and jelly to make sandwiches. You know, health food for young American travelers.
Colleen still felt ill the next day, but we made an attempt to see the sights with Colleen waning more by every hour. We did get to see Notre Dame (really neat-o) and as far as the entrance to the Louvre. But, then, Colleen felt really badly, and what with the long walk back to the hotel, we decided not to risk her health with what would be many more hours of walking, and we turned back. By the time we got back to the hotel, she was in quite poor spirits and we decided to press on to Brussels so she could rest the remainder of the day.
Poor Colleen was very badly off on the train ride to Brussels! We arrived around 10pm and after laying her down in a waiting room, it was only 2 hours before I could get money, a place to stay, and rail tickets. We still spent 30 more minutes wandering around in the freezing cold, in the middle of the night, Colleen ready to die and me carrying both backpacks before we found a police station and correct directions to the hostel.
Colleen went to bed immediately, and was up and down all night with fever. While I went on a journey the next morning to try to find ice cubes for her, she wandered into the street and passed out. The locals didn't take her out of the street, but instead brought a chair into the street, which they propped her up on until she could get back to the room. A very interesting solution, but I am grateful that they were there to help.
Obviously, it was then we realized her illness was quite serious. We had to stay another day in Brussels because she was unable to be moved, and then we made the decision that she needed the hospital, and so we headed to Amsterdam where we thought we could find an English-speaking doctor.
To keep our spirits up, we learned how to say "bellybutton" in Finnish, but I am not going to even try to pronounce it.
The doctor in Amsterdam was no help, saying she would just have to wait to get better. For a couple girls who are notoriously anti-drug, we were surprised to figure out that he thought we were high, and that he flatly refused to believe us when we said we hadn't been partying "Amsterdam-style".
Colleen hadn't eaten for days and was very dehydrated and couldn't really walk, and I was getting very concerned. The doctor wouldn't give her an IV or take any tests, so we left and tried to nurse her back to health at the Amsterdam hostel. She spent most of the day sleeping, and I snuck out in bits to see the city and bring her stories and ice chips.
Two days went like that with Colleen getting no better. It was decided we would head back to Germany to take her to the hospital again, where at least she could speak the language (she is fluent in German).
Some very kind friends took us in just outside of Berlin, and we rushed Colleen to the emergency room right from the train station. The doctors immediately put her on an IV and took blood samples and chest x-rays. They thought she had contracted hepatitis, a very serious disease, possibly from infected water. Her x-rays showed serious swelling of her liver and other organs. They said she could have died, and put her in isolation. I have never prayed so hard for anything than for her to recover.
The doctors kept her in the hospital for the rest of the length of our trip. For a while we were concerned that she might be too sick to return to the states, and I was beginning preperations to stay by her side for as long as necessary. But once she was on IV fluids and anti-inflammatories, she had a very quick recovery, in some small part I'd like to think due to the good vibes and prayers we all sent out. They released her from the hospital the day before our scheduled departure.
I sang a few times when she was hospitalized, but without Colleen, it just wasn't the same. Our kind friends were so incredibly helpful and loving, driving me to and from the hospital, bringing Colleen treats and visitors, and we are forever grateful.
We traveled gently into Berlin on our last day to see Kuperwelden, a really neat display of human anatomy, right before we left for Frankfurt.
Our last night in Europe was spent in the red light district of Frankfurt, Germany, in a horrible little hotel across from a brothel. It was all we could afford that was close to the airport. We took pictures of the John's on their landings across the street and had enlightening conversations with the cockroaches in our room.
Thingamabob is 'dingesbumps' in German. I like that one.
Guess what bellybutton is in Russian? I don't have the right letters here to spell it, but it is pronounced "poo-poo". Go figure.
We arrived back home tired but none the worse for wear, and very happy that Colleen was back to health.
What a delightful ending to an unexpectedly adventurous trip.
BTW: What the heck do you do with $10 worth of miscellaneous change in 12 different currencies?
We have now been home here in Tucson for a few days, and Colleen was doing very well, but has now caught a nasty cold which has her back in bed again. "I'm so sick of being sick!" she has been yelling.
I have been hating the heat and looking forward to our West Coast Tour which will begin on the 20th of this month. But the monsoons have been wonderful, and we have two shows this weekend which will be lovely; playing for people who can understand my lyrics will be nice.
After this tour, I am happy to say that I plan on moving to Nashville for a few months to hone my songwriting skills and possibly get back in the studio for my next album.
This winter I will be all over the US and next summer Colleen and I hope to go to Australia and Japan.
Lookout world! We are coming to learn many useless words in your native tongues! Let us start with bellybutton!
This house is full of ghosts
You staring blankly from your pillow
like a translucent photograph behind glass
How unfair of me
the tables suddenly overturned on you
still the shock of surprise on your parted lips
I can hear you crying from across the city
the honest ache of departure ravaging your skin
and how difficult it was
how terribly difficult
to see you dangling at the end of the phone line
crying for rescue
and with the sharp edge of my words, I cut you off
For the depth of the fall
I cannot see you coming back
and now I have told everyone
confessed to the crime
so that we will not remain faceless and innocent
but irreversibly broken
and dead forever
From the book "Being" by Amber Jade
Copyright 2000 Amber Jade
I saw you on television
Your 2-dimensional belly like cellophane
Rhythmatic crafted fise and fall
Sweating in the bright lights
how long until you fell apart
behind the cameras
like wet cardboard
under the slightest
whisper of weather
From the book "Being" by Amber Jade
Copyright 2000 Amber Jade
Throwback Thursday, going back, back, back to '01!
I have been quite lax on my tour scribbles for the past few months. Life has been so fast-paced that I haven't been able to figure which end is up.
Those of you who have been to recent shows have most undoubtedly heard something about the nightmare with my 'new' RV, so I am not going to bore you with the further details, but suffice to say that 'new' is a relative term and RVs are stupid expensive and fall apart faster than J-Lo under a stiff breeze. After so many events that have gotten me recognized in the record books for worst lemon purchase ever, I think (knock on wood) that I have most of the RV's issues repaired. From the huge hole in the roof that developed within 8 hours of purchase, $1500 worth of new tires that blew hither and thither, miscellaneous appliance repairs, etc, it is now liveable. 'Course, I will never see the other side of the debt. Oh, well. I am not bitching (yeah, right), it has just been all-consuming.
On a brighter note, I am gearing up right now for a little West Coast bout and to help and participate in the 2002 Indiegrrl Tour. I am really looking forward to seeing my West Coast friends again and getting in some of that healthy LA air, which will be my new home for the winter while I am not touring.
Here's the past tour blurb:
"Is That A Chocolate Biscuit?" Tour
July and August 2001
Official Tour Phrase: "Oh, %*@&$#*!!! What is that noise? Is that thing
supposed to be hanging off the RV like that?"
Official Tour Food: Anything in a can, and cold
Official Tour Weather: Anything extreme that we didn't pack for
Official Tour CD Sales Pitch: "Please buy a CD! We are starving! Seriously!"
Let's just say that the tour started out, ummm... 'rough'.
Not 40min out of Tucson, one of my brand new tires blew, and the tire company refused to help us out. 115 in the shade and trying to find an unusual RV tire size in the middle of the desert, and the generator goes out so the A/C quits, the cell dies, and we're stuck for hours.
Lucky us, we find a new tire at a store 10 minutes down the road, buy it and have it put on, and have to leave our blown tire there so we can pick it up later and bring it back to Tucson for the warranty.
Unfortunately, we ended up having to cancel our first show.
So we spent the night in Phoenix (which is infinitely silly because it is so close to Tucson) with some friends who made us dinner (how sweet!)
Next day we were on to Las Vegas with no A/C, a problem that continued for the rest of the trip. Let's just chat about how much fun it is to drive a big RV in the summer with no A/C in the desert! Blech!
We ended up not playing in Vegas, which was just fine with us, and we stayed with friends who showed us a great time. Thank God for all you lovely people!
LA was fun with great friends who turned out at Canter's Kibbutz Room, where I had the distinct pleasure of singing to the door all night because of the room's configuration, but Stuart Smith sat in on guitar (whom I just adore!) and the wonderful people made it a night to remember.
Also, there were a couple of fans who had a bit of a toe fetish, and noting my bare feet as I played, and having consumed a good deal of alcohol, they wished to, let's see, how do I say this nicely, kiss my feet? Weird, I know, but I couldn't exactly run away. I have never had someone licking my feet before and I can say that I have now had quite enough of it! Very scary! Let us not go there again!
Berkeley and the Rose Street House of Music was incredible! I highly recommend this venue to everyone! Colleen and I participated in one of the best concerts I have ever seen, let alone performed in. The Indiegrrls Liz Pisco, Christy McCarthy, and Antara and Delilah were beautiful and amazing. If only every show could be like that one!
Old Millhouse Deli in Redding is one of our favorite spots, and home of the infamous 'Spider House' where Colleen and I braved taking a shower a few years ago in the scariest building known to man. There were so many spiders in that house (it was basically abandoned) that if one stood still, one could hear them moving.
The event was lovely, the food was great (as always), the place was packed, the grounds were soooooo pretty, and I have nothing but good things to say about our stay and the show. Yay!
Breitenbush Hot Springs is nestled back in the Oregon woods on a slope fringed with bowing pines and hemmed by a rushing white river. Another one of our favorite haunts, our stay was magical and the highlight was a wonderful show where we were surprised to meet our old friend Cedar, a phenomenal percussionist who played with Scott Huckabey a few years back. We traded much-needed massages for CDs and left feeling refreshed, despite managing somehow to lose my stage tuner (a guitar effect).
Skipping our Seattle show which I will cover later, we spent a few days in Vancouver, B.C., our favorite northern city. We rented bicycles and rode all over town in the rain, which persisted for days. The city was hosting a battle of the countries fireworks show out in the bay, and we got a waterside view of the greatest fireworks show we have ever seen. It was incredible!
We went to the island and Colleen bought the scented spray that she had been waiting a year to purchase since finding it last year on our tour.
Through the trip, the RV had been a constant nuisance, with parts falling off as we drove, appliances breaking and costing an arm and a leg in gas, which was about $2/gallon. After an ATM machine ate my credit card and we were unsuccessful in getting it back, we headed out and tried to keep our spirits high, though the many misfortunes of our trip were beginning to toll on us.
The high point of Seattle was meeting and playing with Jean Mann, an Indiegrrl with voice so sweet it could give you a toothache and a personality to match. Check her out at www.blueflowerfriday.com. We found a great amount of supportive Seattle-ites and had a great time. It was a bright point we desperately needed, and gave us the oomph to push on.
The Garage show in LA is one I will never forget. I was particularly struck by Stacey Golden, a supremely sweet Indiegrrl who was backed up by a killer band, Kimberly White, whose honest vibe I found very refreshing, and the enigmatic Shredmistress Rynata, who puts on a show the likes of which you have never seen! All the ladies were very talented and wonderful people, and we enjoyed them immensely. I managed to get the RV stuck in the alley behind the club, as parking was precarious, especially for a 24foot vehicle. Getting it out took nearly 10 minutes! I promised myself I would never drive the RV in downtown LA again! (now I'm moving to LA for the winter, and guess what I am driving? Yup. Typical.)
Hallenbecks proved another great Indiegrrl show, with some amazing harmonizing as the gals backed each other up and formed a jam session. Cindy Alter was extra-great, with her
bluesy-smoky-tender voice that I found incredibly inspiring.
Twiggs Coffee is a cool little listening room. After such a trial, Colleen and I got a little out of hand on stage as the long days had gotten to us. We could hardly sing we were laughing so much, and I almost had to tackle Colleen to keep her from taking over the mic and ranting on and on about her missing shaker egg (a percussion instrument).
We spent the days wandering Ocean Beach and letting the dog go swimming. The dog had a great time!
All hell broke loose on my way from LA to Joshua Tree, where I dropped Colleen off to prepare for a show with her talent agent. The plan was that I would play in Joshua Tree and then go back to LA to watch Colleen perform in a showcase, and also to perform myself as a special guest. I had gotten very little sleep for about a week, and the RV overheated on a hillside in the middle of nowhere where I was stranded with my dog and no cell phone for
hours until the police came. It must have been about 130 degrees or more at that location, and I began to feel very ill from the heat.
The officer that found me drove me 45 minutes into town (Joshua Tree is not much more than a few stops along a long highway) after pushing my RV over the hill and leaving it by a Circle K. He dropped me at the Crossroads Café where I borrowed a truck from an employee and drove back to the RV to get my equipment. There was no A/C in the truck, and after hours in the searing heat, no sleep, and great physical exertion and stress, I was feeling at the end of my rope.
By the time I got back to the café, I was becoming very disoriented and weak and feared I might have to cancel. But Angel Short arrived with her band and we split the night into four small sets (she was sick with a flu as well) and managed to make it through.
A good deal of my ability to pull it off was due to Angel and her inspiring music. She is a real talent. It was almost 2 in the morning before I got back to the RV. I tried the engine and it started. I was so thrilled that I decided to start back to LA for my sister right then, lest I should turn it off and it not start again. I slept in a rest stop in the 90 degree heat for 3 hours, the only sleep I had had in the past 60 hours, when I became to sleepy to drive. (Oh, the illustrious life of a musician!)
I got back into LA and met up with my sister and my parents who had come to see her perform at Universal City. A real hotel was such a welcome sight!
I got a few more hours of sleep, and then Colleen and I donned gowns for the formal event. Colleen won an award for her performance (of course!) and she backed me up in my guest appearance.
The next day, tired and burned-out as we were, my parents suggested that we sleep in and then visit Universal Studios before returning to Tucson, their treat. We thankfully accepted and spent the next day in the theme park (where a good deal of the attractions
were broken, which had been the theme of the whole trip) and left LA at night, a strategy formed to avoid the afternoon traffic and catch the best temperature, being that we were still without A/C.
The ride home was one of the most eerie experiences of my life, with 3 accidents out on the highway, one of which was a horrible fatality that had us stopped for 3 hours. I found them to be very disturbing and saddening. I was glad that Colleen slept through most of the accidents. After the last accident involving a cow which I nearly ran over again as it lay invisible on the side of the road, I decided to pull off the highway and rest until daylight. It was all too weird.
We sweat and tossed and turned for a few hours in the heat, and arrived in Tucson the next mid-morning.
After reciting the events of this tour to my singer-songwriter friend Kristy Kruger (most of the bad events I have left out of this for the sake of my sanity), she marveled that we could continue to tour. She said she had never heard of such a horrible tour in her life, and was sure that she would quit if ever it happened to her. In a way, that made me feel better. It wasn't just me! This tour really did suck!
Still, Colleen and I always have fun together and the people we meet make it all worthwhile. That is why we continue in the face of adversity. We love you guys!
Love and light, Amber Jade
I've already been there
in your living room late nights
washing my underwear in your sink at 10:53 am
You don't need to continually convince me
of how freeing it feels to cry on your shoulder
of the giddy awkwardness of a first kiss
You don't need to look into me with unwavering eyes
or turn my palm upward toward your face
to assure me of all the possibilities
this road may have to offer
It was long before you could say a word
I've already been there
From the book "Being" by Amber Jade
Copyright 2000 Amber Jade
Throwback Thursday all the way back to '02!
2002 Winter Olympic Games Tour
Official Tour Phrase: "brrrrrrrrrrrrr....."
Official Tour Food: brrrrrrrrrrr on ice
Official Tour Weather: brrrrrrrrrrrrr below 0
Official Tour CD: Kate Bush, 'Hounds of Love', songs Brrrrrr, bRRRRR, and 'I'm Freezing!'
Official Tour Book: Philip Dick's Second Edition (a great collection of short sci-fi stories in which perople are often really cold)
Official Tour CD Sales Pitch: "brrrrrrrrrrr...oh, wait, I meant to say: BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!"
Finally thawing out. I was beginning to think I would never feel my toes again.
Salt Lake is really chilly for a desert girl. And to think there is a whole country north of the US! What are they thinking?
The scenery in SLC and Park City was and is incredible, breathtaking, spectacular, vivid, inspiring and really durn cold. The funky-cool organic rave band Lost at Last and I traveled together for a good part of this trip.
I tried to get the ice off of my car's windshield one night by pouring hot water on it, but the water froze before it ran down and left a sheet of ice about 1/2 an inch thick that was impossible to see through or chip off. I had to get a ride back to my RV with the band manager.
I played some cool venues and stages, from packed clubs to a theater overlooking Main Street. Playing stages that were out-of-doors turned music into an extreme sport, dodging breaking strings and jumping around to keep the blood from freezing in my feet. I have discovered that there is absolutely no way to play the guitar with gloves on, no matter how hard you try. Just take my word for it.
I am going to spare you the entire account of this trip due mostly to me being incredibly lazy right now. However, I had a few of the best shows of my life up in SLC and came back with a few really stupid little Olympic trinkets, the ones beer companies give out at the bars for free. Cheap date. The people were warm despite the weather, and they made up for the chill factor.
Still, I can't get the imagery of the silent frozen countryside turning like the spokes of a great wheel outside the window as we cruised along the highway, and I can't forget the perfect soundtrack of Kate Bush's 'Running Up the Hill' as the Great Salt Lake spread out before us at daybreak, fringed by white mountains and an ice-blue sky. I hope I never will.
After living in LA for a few months, doing a little west coast stint, and performing in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics, I am back in Tucson to work on a few new studio projects. We're doing some tunes for television and possibly a few radio singles to start out the new album.
The Music Tree CD is finished, for the most part and just needs to be cropped and mastered. Thanks be to the wonderful Robert and Robin in CA, forever to be known as the music angels, for all their help with recording and teaching me to cook (or maybe just putting up with my bad attempts). The Music Tree would not be without them.
I am about to embark on a short tour between my west coast and AZ haunts with Rose St. and the Indiegrrls. Check out the events page for details.
Thanks to Sarah F. for all her help with booking and promoting and just being an all-around gem. She is the best intern yet. She did all of our AZ dates and is a real smart cookie. Yay, Sarah! If you or anyone you know would like to intern, email me for info.
Big monstrous hugs! - Amber Jade
At intervals my familiar panic starts anew
Like a brilliantly bright red blossoming wound
the eyes of my core terror snap open
and dilating irises fling themselves from object to object
like gasping fish who dangle from hooks
Every object that emerges from the grainy field of consciousness into focus
It’s a seeing that shocks and stings:
the suggestive curve of your spine
the vague pursing of your lips
all the meaning imagined in your half breath
A feeding frenzy for my brain cells
starving for love
they rip my thoughts to shreds
analyzing nuances, obsessing on conflicts
leaping from the precipice of a simple gesture
or the wobbling bow of a word cresting a mood
Into the bottomless uncertainty of tomorrows
But in every one
I'm dropped crushed-cigarette-butt-worthless
Having missed the last chance
To leap with my pride intact
to some safe pedestal of independence
And I cannot help but play the movie in my mind:
with some unsatisfied sneer
you are, inevitably, leaving me
and loving me like you said
making my insecure little heart face itself like this
Copyright 2020 Amber Jade
I have no idea how to remedy
the angles and gaps between us
Only to say what seems painfully complex and beyond understanding in one second
seems so simple the next
and I think that if we could remove the impotent maze of language
and return to our native tongue of touch and sense
the haze would lift and breath and bodies be so simply one
as they were meant to be
despite all the misguided architecture
of our best intentions
From the book "Being" by Amber Jade
Copyright 2000 Amber Jade
This poem is also published to the Library of Congress in "Letters From the Soul"
Amber Jade - Clicking my heels and irreverently tripping the light fantastic all the way to nirvana, with a 50lb bag of cheese puffs in tow.