Thank you for a fantastic US-Mexico tour. I am anchored, delighted, and pale with gratitude. The reception in Mexico was beyond words. No attempt to describe could do justice.
Most stirring of all:
1 CHICAGO, US
2 MEXICO CITY, Mexico (second night)
3 MEXICO CITY, Mexico (first night)
4 PUEBLA, Mexico
5 GUADALAJARA, Mexico (first night)
6 MONTERREY, Mexico
7 SANTA FE, US
8 LAS VEGAS, US
9 GUADALAJARA, Mexico (second night)
10 PHOENIX, US
BELLY FLOP: the Shrine, Los Angeles. When it goes wrong, it certainly goes wrong, and this venue is an open slum. Degradingly, the front of the hall is an orchestra pit so lowered that I found myself singing to a mass of hair. The people at the front - who possibly paid the most - were quite literally down a hole. It was embarrassing for me, and surely humiliating for them.
I stopped the show at the Royal Oak Theater in Michigan in consideration of the audience - who were being unashamedly assaulted by the in-house security. It is difficult to watch this happen, especially when our friends (such as Douglas) are being forcibly choked to death simply for being there. If such attacks happened at the opera or in a night-club, the victims would rightfully sue. Strangely, in-house security sense that they have freedom to manhandle patrons of ‘rock’ shows. I wonder why? You all know how to contact the Royal Oak Theater. The Head of Security at the Royal Oak was the one inflicting the most damage. He obviously thought he was still down at the abattoir - or wished he were.
We had been over-cautioned so continuously about dangers in Mexico, yet we met nothing at all but great support and warmth. The audiences were the most loving (and loud) that I have ever experienced. Everywhere we went people were very gracious, and eager to help. It was a dream tour, and we all felt that we were resolutely home, burdened only by the practicalities of wondering how soon we could return.
We all enjoyed the Conan O’Brien Show, especially after the sinking loss of the Jimmy Kimmel Show being dropped. We only had one other free night to do the show, so Jimmy asked his booked guests ‘Lady A' if they would switch their slot so that we could fit in; but they refused. Oh.
I now no longer expect to live long enough to experience an offer to record for a grownup label. This topic would not sound quite so banal had I not mentioned it 47 times already. I promise I will not mention it again. The world, I expect, will somehow endure, even as the follow-up to ‘Years of refusal’ grows less and less likely. End of subject. I promise.
I am very grateful to our new agency, William Morris Endeavor, for their astounding efforts to make this recent tour so enjoyable and triumphant. No management, no label, no promotion … all that we have are fantastic ticket sales. Which means you. And there is no greater thing worth having.
I have the most magnificent live crew on the planet. If I said my thanks forever it would not be long enough.
Thank you also to Kristeen Young for dragging her make-up case up and down life’s highways once again. The growing dedication of so many people who travel from city to city to follow the tour proves to me that now is better and stronger than the past. My admiration for those who refuse to miss a single concert is almost too emotive to voice. Words fail me.
Well. As the year dies, I return to England to prepare for the High Court circus of the NME case. Instead of simply saying “sorry” (for re-writing the answers to my last NME interview in 2007 in order to make me sound racist), the imperious NME would rather spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds in a High Court duel to the death. The fact that they have chosen a court drama over simply apologizing reinforces the notion that their original intent all along was to invent a sensation. So, here it is. And it is difficult to imagine anything more tragic from a magazine with such a gold-plated history. Of course, the court hearing itself will barely touch upon the actual 2007 interview, and will instead attempt to link my name to almost any unpleasant historical incident from the Irish potato famine to the murder of Medgar Evers. With the help of their giddy fan base at The Guardian newspaper, now is the NME’s big chance to scorch me off the human map for good. And what a triumph that would be for them. What a proud and eternal boast.
Oh England, oh England - is this all you have to offer?
Just very softly
London, December 2011