Thank you, everyone, for all your lovely birthday messages. I had a great day and what a place to have a birthday – New Orleans, Louisiana!
As soon as we pulled up outside the House of Blues, we were warmly greeted by a couple of older ladies enjoying an afternoon tipple outside the bar next door. One of the ladies was confined to an electric wheelchair and was intrigued by our Mercedes sprinter, asking questions as she peered inside, wondering out loud where the ramp would go if she were to get one. Her friend, who I assumed was the bar owner, noticed the birthday balloons tied to my seat and offered me a birthday shot. That’s southern hospitality right there!
Myself and Paul, popped in for a cheeky half and to claim my birthday shot after load-in. The girl behind the bar, on learning it was my birthday, came over and pinned a dollar to my t-shirt. I was told it’s a New Orleans tradition as people can usually spare a dollar and anyone who sees that you have money hanging off you will know it’s your special day. So for the rest of my evening in New Orleans, I enjoyed smiles and birthday greetings from strangers as we wandered the bars and streets and my one dollar increased to about $27 by the end of the night! (To the guy who pinned a twenty on me mid-show – thank you but that was unnecessary, I tried to find you after the show to give it back or buy you a drink with it!) Since the uk has ditched the pound note, this practice would be very unlikely to take off over there but I can tell you it makes you feel great! Thank you warm-hearted people of New Orleans for a memorable day. I also apologise to anyone at the show for the occasional bum note on the bass. It wasn’t me, it was the tequila! Very unprofessional but hey, it’s my birthday!
Today’s show is in Dallas. Not exactly a stones throw from New Orleans. I just came out of a gas station on the way to be approached by a very timid and worried looking Phil Campbell. ” Nick, I feel terrible” he said. My heart sank and I braced myself for the terrible news thinking something awful had happened but instead… “I opened the van and your birthday balloons escaped and have floated away”.
In that moment, I’ve never loved that crazy lunatic who tears up the stage like a banshee so much. If this band ever became huge, I don’t think we need to worry about Phil’s ego getting out of control! He has a heart of solid gold.
So, like birthdays, balloons come and go and I’m happy to think that a memento from my day in New Orleans is now floating free, high above the state of Texas.
See you in Dallas.