Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Road Trip 1

I'm headed down to Maryland, get me some crab soup and shoot the breeze with El Zee and the Headset Tribe. Hardest workin band in publishing, the cats who work the toll-free phones. Suits in the city think they're an anachronism. But it's all about human contact and trust. You wanna sell more books, you gotta talk to booksellers. And, even more important, listen to them. Shoot, buyers know the difference between real hype and fake hype. El Zee never told a fib in her life -- unless it was true. Pretty impressive for a salesperson. And the Tribe is just as trustworthy. If they don't like something, they let everybody know. In four-part harmony. We're gonna have a fine time, they all know how to eat.

Then on to Lynchburg, Virginia. I wanna see if the town's changed since Falwell croaked and went up to heaven. Plus there's a lady out in the woods down there I've been achin to catch up with.

Cholly said the important thing on a road trip is the music you take along. For him, it was usually Workingman's Dead or The New Riders of the Purple Sage. "Then there was one time I was smokin a doob and listenin to the Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East. This was in Pennsylvania somewhere, around Altoona. And we came up to a railroad crossing where the lights were flashing. So I stopped the car. All of a sudden, somebody behind me blows his horn. I looked around. We'd been sittin there for half an hour. And no train ever passed by. Weird."

For me, it's Gram Parsons coverin the Louvin Brothers. I'll be cruisin along in the right lane, big tears streamin down my face, thinkin about the days before GPS and Google Maps, when you could get really lost.

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