The White Page
  A Road Diary


 

Subject: Season's Greetings

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999

From: Alan


Well, first I guess I owe you all an apology of sorts for a temporary lapse of reportage from this page over the last two months, but that would be totally out of character and I'm sure you're all by now aware that if I'd had something worthy of your attention, I'd have let you know.


Unbelievably, it's that time again, when the world goes into overdrive in a frenzy of guilt-ridden gift buying and seasonal swarming, preventing any sort of normal passage to and from the habits that support and comfort us through the other fifty-one weeks of the year, rendering people like me helplesss and cringing in a futile attempt to escape the maniacal fervour that seems to fuel the the entire season. Like Jack Nicholson's 'riddler' grin fixed, rigor mortis fashion, to cover the blatantly stressful foreplay to Christmas.....and this year's millennial New Year.

Now let's get this straight - next year will actually be the final year of the second thousand, because they didnít start counting with year zero. No, they started the whole thing at year one, so this brouhaha about upcoming New Year's Eve is just that....hype and tripe, because thereís another year to go before we technically enter the new era.

However we will buckle to popular pressure and drink the toast among you all, for fear of being seen as luddites and flat-earthers amidst a sea of bacchanalian revelry and wild gratuitous sex that will no doubt prevail on the appointed evening. I donít know which comes first, but weíll just have to wait and see how they do it in Dallas, Texas, since that's where we are performing this time around, along with the Pointer Sisters, among others, including some circus act (which may well turn out to be the pointed sisters, for all we know)

All I've seen of the 'holiday spirit' so far, however, is road-rage and competitive hustle to gain THAT parking space, or THIS shirt with the totem (last one in XXL, sir) and THOSE shoes for New Year.......you know, the ones with the lizard tongue and the rhinoceros-scrotum uppers, when the guy that's really got it together is the wee fella' with the bald head and the saffron robe sitting crosslegged in the foyer chanting his mantra away all to himself, and anyone who has a spare nanosecond to listen, never mind make a donation to the spiritual tribes that sent him here in the first place on a fool's errand of timing and placement.

So, friends, be kind and patient and generous.......do not pass him, or his buddy outside with the bell and the Starvation Army hat trying to gather a meagre pittance for the less fortunate among our fellows - you know, the ones who made a botch of their first year in day-trading and the legions who lost it all at the roulette table, for theirs is a world of self-loathing and furious recrimination that can only be assuaged by your personal donation. As for the poor and the needy........let them Cut Cake!

On a sad note going into this annual hullabaloo, I have to report the death of Jeannie Duncan, wife of Mollie, our original venerated sax player and pal who now lives in Majorca, Spain. Our heartfelt wishes go out to him and son Dan for this very unfair loss. She was someone who has been around this extended global 'family' since before the white band even started, and we all shared the best and craziest of times together. Mollie and Dan, however, are currently working on a recording project together which they hope to release in the new year and which, word has it, is sounding very good indeed, so there's hope and inspiration to balance their sadness.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to give my personal benediction to all who have helped make 1999 probably the most successful of our 'second-time-around' career in this business of show. Who could have imagined that we'd be included in two hit movies - "Bowfinger" and "Blue Streak" - plus a national car commercial in the United States, as well as having our first major-label record release in thousands of years with "Face To Face.....Live" being distributed by EMI Capitol back in August.


Quite apart from those lucky strikes, this has been the best touring year since the seventies and our heyday, not just because we managed to visit even more of the Globe than usual, but because audiences everywhere have been responsive beyond belief, and generous with their praise when we meet people after the show at the merchandise stall; this seems to have become a popular post-coital event that makes our evening as well, obviously, as yours. Thanks to you all, chums, for being a part of our re-surgence (and for willingly being part of a CIA experiment to see if we could still brainwash the general public into parting with its hard-earned pocket money).

Well, it remains only for me to relay the best of holiday wishes from everyone in the band......Onnie, Eliot, Fred, Adam and myself, and also from Matt, Phil and Ezrah (our doughty crew) who hope that you will find us somewhere in your neck of the woods next year, and, having survived whatever Y2K is going to throw at you, will be ready to join us in something WaY2funK for words, and Y not I say, when our continuing motto has always been that most positive of ancient Latin sayings, "Nil te illegitimae carborundum"..........roughly translated as "Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

Happy holidays to one and all, and may Santa fill your sheer nylon stockings with untold goodies.