After excrutiating and wearying immigration/taxation hoop jumping nail biting trauma the first Mekons dribble into this tour’s homebase of Chicago midweek last week and the rounds of ferrying, farming out and blowing up air mattreses commences. Sally has taken the brunt of the preliminary stress and chaos and we thank her. She is our bold leader and we are helpless without her. Our simpering gratitude is met with understandable snarling and muttered threats of physical abuse.
Geography is not our friend. Two in from LA, one from Brooklyn and three from Heathrow UK and there is little time for pleasantries before we are whisked off to Miller Beach. Janet Bean, our old friend from Freakwater and Eleventh Dreamday, has a fabulously huge place there, perched on top of a sand dune just below the arse end of Lake Michigan. She also has a pool and a well-stocked fridge.
Mekons have not played in our full eight-piece glory for over 3 years. We have no idea why. Life often gets in the way of the punk rockin’ when you’ve been at it for 35+ trail blazing years burrrowing on the fringes of unpopular culture.
So, why now?
Just this vague feeling that we should probably get together and this July everyone is miraculously willing and available. So we decide to play a bunch of gigs in and around Chicago, then jump in a van and head east to play more gigs and record a new album (skillfully writing all the songs in aforementioned van as we hurtle down interstates in various eastern states and states of hungover decrepitude and semi-consciousness).
DAY ONE: Lu our saz player goes for a walk around Miller Beach and gets lost. There is a small tsunami of comment on the online community bulletin board. A thirty something red-bearded stranger has been spied wandering menacingly and peering into people’s windows making eye contact with terrified residents. Lu is short sighted and 57 (flattered to be identified as thirty something) and is confused by all the attention, which rages on digitally even after Janet has explained he is house guest.
Here is a photo of Lu. He is a very gentle man. If you glimpse him out of your window and he looks lost offer him assistance.