I can’t tell you how relieved I was to pack up and get out of Nashville!
I have nothing against the people; they were as patient with my Britt accent as anywhere else I have lived in the US. They really were mostly kind and helpful. A few friendships were made, some lasted some did not, you cannot please everybody.
But the weather! It was cold and wet when we were there and I kept hearing about how uncomfortable the humidity would be during the summer months. Steve had lived in the dry warmth of Hollywood, CA for 30 years. There are two things that make my man very grumpy, the first is being hungry and the second is being cold.
We did create some lovely music there; ‘What’s Going On’ was recorded there as was ‘Just One More Chance’ but that was against all odds as we had to try to record vocals and acoustic guitars in between the thumping of footsteps on the hardwood floors upstairs in the other apt.
Seven of the eighteen months we were there we were away on tour of course. So, all in all I now see it as a stop gap. Nashville was not for us, Steve was never going to break into the session scene there, between his non country, rock reputation and his poor eyesight meaning he could not read charts it was probably a lost cause.
We found a new friend in Squeeky the tabby cat (she found us) but had to say goodbye and re home her when we took on the tour. She was missed greatly when we got home in December.
But, the desert was calling and we found ourselves a house and an area in Phoenix that we love.
Last year’s tour has faded into the distance now, the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.
Of course we have lots of reminders on YouTube plus this blog and we have no regrets.
I hope the 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' album and the live DVD's from last year continue to do well, reminding people of Steve's contribution.
I think it is a testament to the strength of our relationship that we got through that tour without breaking up or at the least strangling each other or anybody else come to that!
I had to put my business on hold all of last year but I have been very lucky to be able to pick it up from where I left off. I am back running Custom Pouch USA, supplying transmitter pouches to the UK again and there are projects here that require me to design and source products for the company I had worked with before the tour. When they need a unique promotional item, I come up with the design, find a place to get it made and Bobs your Uncle (do you have that expression in the US?) I come up with a finished product.
On that subject, I will take the opportunity to express my opinion on the other side of the coin regarding this huge issue of having things ‘Made in the USA’.
I so want to have all the items I am sourcing made in the US but I have encountered problems that might surprise you and they could answer why there are still such a lot of people seeking out China.
I have four items on the go, one is made of rubber and I have been able to get that done here in the US with a great deal of help from the manufacturer. But, it has been an upward struggle with the others.
I have called countless companies for quotes and samples and up until recently I have received either no response at all or promise’s of action then nothing.
I do not want to have to contact China but unfortunately there may be instances where I have no choice or the product will simply not get made.
Buck up America, China is chasing your tail with their efficiency and enthusiasm for getting things done.
You cannot afford to be complacent and unprofessional. Ok, soap box chat over.
Phoenix is wonderful, yes, you have to work around the extreme heat and I have a strict routine for when I leave the house, sun screen and parasol in hand.
We are going to the gym four days a week, it has been a bit of a shock for me as I have been particularly lazy and let myself gain about ten pounds (ok, it was more), we both intend to lose a bunch of weight and stay healthy. On our assessment at the gym I had to do something called ‘the plank’, this is where you lie flat on the floor then push yourself up by your elbows holding your body straight for as long as possible. Steve did 38 seconds and I managed a pathetic 7 seconds!!!Yes! I need to work on this.
I am excited at the prospect of getting my children Holly and Mathew over in October, it will only be for about ten days but I think they will be itching to get back to their friends after that, we lead a pretty boring life compared to them!
We do have abundant peace and quiet here, oh the joy of that after last year. Steve is happy in his new studio room, his hippy, spiritual Deacon Cave where the walls are covered with Indian bedspreads full of intricate patterns and earthy colors. He has settled into recording but I am sworn to secrecy on the tunes other than ‘What’s Going On’. He will not rest on his laurels (is that another Britt only phrase?) and is stretching beyond what he has done before, pushing his playing in directions that will surprise and hopefully please both old fans and new. His unique style continues to mature like a fine wine, I can hear that, particularly after seven months on the road playing so many shows but that does not mean he is regurgitating licks from the past, I know how proud he is of his work over 40 years but he is always looking for new ways to make his guitars speak.
Ok, that’s the update from Huntersville, we are happy, healthy and still in love, what more needs to be said (: