Palookaville
Santa Cruz, California
August 10th, 1999

By Pat B!

Photograph Smile

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First off, despite what some head-up-his-a** (a quality he has also displayed quite often in the past, I must say) San Jose Mercury News reviewer may have said, the audience in Santa Cruz was no where near in need of being kept awake! True, the audience was mostly filled with Beatle fans and the curious (some of whom bought tickets just due to our enthusiasm in line!), but they proved to be a very attentive and appreciative crowd won over by Julian even though few of them apparently had heard much of Julian past "Valotte" and "Too Late For Good-byes." Outside of the few clueless who chattered a bit during "Photograph Smile," I'd say that everyone there was caught up in the show and had a wonderful time, and only the reviewer with the John Lnnon bug up his butt was missing John during the concert. (By the way, the reporter mentioned "How Many Times" in his review, along with "Cold" and "Day After Day" as being 'hypnotic', but Julian did not perform "How Many Times" in Santa Cruz....) Julian did mention that he had a frog in his throat, and after performing the first song, "Get a Life," he spoke to John and put his hand to his throat, obviously telling him that all was not quite perfect with his voice. His voice did crack a couple of times during the show, but outside of that, it truly amazes me how closely he comes to duplicating every note as sung on the CD--when you see him in concert you know for a fact he doesn't need to rely on studio tricks to sound great, that he really is just that good. The band performed flawlessly again, and as always, seemed to be having a great time. Julian (and Bob) certainly knows how to pick them!

Now on to a more detailed report of the day..... After arriving late in Santa Cruz to meet Karen from LA and give her her ticket (mia culpa, don't even ask!), Jen, Reina and I arrived at Palookaville for sound check around 4:00. There was one other fan all ready there (not a lister) and others followed after. We had a great time waiting for Julian to show up. Trudy came by (Hi, Trudy!) and mentioned that while we were hanging around in line, Julian was wandering around Santa Cruz going in/out of shops (Santa Cruz is a nice little town...) Another guy we met in line told us he had seen Julian walking down the street and casually followed him into an antique store where Julian bought a brown leather jacket (yes, we know for how much $$$, but won't tell!)-- the day was getting chilly, typical coastal weather, and a jacket came in handy! The guy didn't think the woman knew who she was waiting on, so he told her and she got all excited and asked for an autograph, which Julian of course graciously gave her--after all, she couldn't keep the one on the charge card receipt!

We were standing right in front of the door everyone had to use to get in the place for sound check, so we got to see a lot of PushStars as they carried stuff in and wandered back and forth. As has been stated before, they are nice guys, and say very nice things about Julian. I believe it was in San Francisco where Phil asked the audience how much they had paid for their tickets "What, maybe 20 bucks? Well, let me tell you, the show your're going to see from Julian is worth at least 50 bucks!" answers the bass player Dan "I'd say more like 90!"

We also saw a lot more of David, who we had met in San Francisco when he kindly took our gift for Lucy. He is a very nice, if quiet and soft spoken, Scotsman who Julian referred to during the show as "David, guitar tech extraordinaire!" (Many cheers for David, ours the loudest!) Julian also did a very funny Scottish impression, saying that the term "If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!", was invented by or for David. When the guy behind me tried to do the impression also, Julian corrected his accent and did the impression again. It was very funny, but I guess you had to be there!

So, back to sound check.....the band arrives, they go inside, they wander around.....Julian is obviously late and they have done all they can do w/o him. But hey! This is good for us! John and Greg come out for a smoke, and Jen says this is our chance to get them to sign our "Proud of It" shirts, which we are of course wearing. They do so nicely, even though we are rudely interrupting their ciggie moment. Next we see Manny standing around chatting, and though we interrupt him, too, he is very nice and signs our shirts. Then Matt wanders out (lots of wandering, Jules is late!) and he also signs. They all seemed to appreciate being asked, but maybe they're just good actors! (There's much talk of tickling and "oooo, right there!" we're all being very silly!) I tell Matt that Martin is the only one we don't have, and could he please tell him we would really like to get his autograph, too. Matt says he will tell him, and he'll come out when he isn't busy. Later, Martin comes out with some of the other guys, and we all say "Martin! Please sign, you're the only one who hasn't!" He seems a little startled by our enthusiasm ;-) but also very nicely signs. So now we have the entire band on our backs, and only have Julian yet to sign......

Julian finally arrives, just walking down the street like a "real" person <g>, wearing a cap and the new brown leather bomber jacket. He gets there around 5, but I think he was supposed to be there at 4:30. I ask him to sign our shirts, saying that everyone else all ready has. He says, "Then I guess I have to!" I give him the pen (thanks, Jen) and smooth out the area above the words (also above my heart!). He says, "Well, if that's where you want it!" and starts to sign, I say "That's exactly where I want it! Thank You!" He signs all our shirts (Mine, Jen's, Reina's) and then whatever everyone else wants him to sign also (just one thing, please) even though he is obviously late. Reina gets to show him her picture of her baby, and tells him it's the baby who's shirt he signed it San Francisco yesterday. He remembers, if you ask me, and signs her picture, too. He also signs someone's address book, because that's all she has for him to sign on (Nope, didn't leave his addy and Phone #) and some guy asks him to sign a dollar bill, cuz that's all he has! When you remember that all this signing before and after sound check cuts into his dinner break, it really shows what a great guy he is! I hope he knows how much we all appreciate it....we may only get a few seconds of his time, but with all the people asking, those few seconds with every one really add up for him......

After Julian finally gets to go in, we can hear sound check outside. When they do "I Don't Wanna Know," something is not quite right....it's not Julian singing! Karen, who is a big Greg Darling fan from his previous work, says she thinks it's Greg signing lead. While he is signing, he messes up and sings as part of the lyric "I should know the words by now...." After they do "I Don't Wanna Know," you hear him say, "you do the next one, you do it better". I should think so! The next song they do is "Cold"....with Julian singing.......

The Concert

Again, don't believe the reviewer, the concert was great. I only saw happy, satisfied people afterwards, certainly nobody bitching or wistfully wishing John was there. Everyone I heard sounded impressed. As for it not being sold out---we heard someone from Palookaville say at 8:30 (showtime was 9:00) that they thought it would be sold out by 9:00, so if not sold out, it must have been very close. I was in the front of the stage, belly up to it one might say, and slightly to the right, avoiding monitors, and right in front of one of Julian's guitars (so he has to lean down right in front of me to get it and put it back. It is not in the way, because David, guitar tech extraordinaire, removes it as soon as Julian doesn't need it anymore, and brings it back when he does, using fancy foot work to move in behind Julian yet never be in his way!)

We have had many concert reports by now, so I won't go over things all ready said, just point out of few things that were different about this show, going in song list order.

Get A Life: As I said before, after doing this song, the opening song, he did hold his throat and talk to John, obviously saying all was not perfect. This had me a bit worried, but it proved to be no big deal. His voice hung in there just fine, but I was glad that the next day was a rest day for them. I was to see them in LA in two days, and hoped all would be well by then. (That report upcoming....)

Day After Day: This was pretty funny. Obviously Julian was relaxed and having a good time. We all know the lyrics "....and if I die, I'll die in peace...." and then he kind of yells " if they'll ever let me!" and laughs. I was looking towards John and Greg to see Julian since I was on the right side, and they both seemed pretty surprised by this outburst from Julian, and also laughed. The audience yells and cheers in appreciation of this sentiment, and Julian says "welcome to the improvisational version!" But then he gets down to business and does right by the song. (Notice that the idiot reviewer commented on this song in particular, then didn't say anything about this....)

Faithful: We all know that he usually dedicates this song to his faithful fans (except when singing only to CJ, lucky girl!) In Santa Cruz, he starts talking about having two very special people in the audience, how they went to college together, and how the guy, Charles, wants the girl, Kirstan to know how he feels, and hopes she feels the same. The couple he was talking about was a bit behind us, and I think it was his way of proposing to her! They both looked so thrilled and happy, it was so sweet! Then Julian says, "I hope you'll both be very happy, Good Luck!" What a Guy! (I mean Julian, I don't know Charles! <g>)

Crucified: OK, everybody wants to know about the "dance". He did kind of a modified version of it, not as good as in San Francisco, and he didn't wiggle his butt at all going towards the drums (sorry, Reina!) I wonder what makes him do it so well at some concerts, then hardly at all at others? He must know that we're all such nuts, we love it......and that this is, after all SHOW business! ;-) Maybe the San Francisco version was so good because of the scarf that woman gave him, maybe some of you who haven't been yet should keep that in mind. And by the way, after the San Francisco concert someone breaking down the set gave that woman back her scarf....she held it to her face, breathed deeply, and giggled...definitely something to keep in mind! And by the way, he did sing the song great, I guess after all that is what really counts......... (ya, right!.....only kidding......)

No One But You: He did his new song and explained that it was about personal responsibility, as he always does. This is important to note, because of the following..... (BTW again, also well done, and this is a beautiful song, can't wait for the new CD to hear it again....)

Photograph Smile: As he is getting ready to do this song (he does it on the left side of the stage in front of Greg) he goes to light up a cigarette, explaining that even though it is against the law (very much so in Santa Cruz, can't even smoke outside there, if you're in a line.....) sometimes you just gotta have one. The audience starts yelling out times when you need one: sex, which he ignores, then stress: to which he replies: "No, not stress, finally, I'm happy now!" The audience goes nuts, yelling and cheering--it was great! Then he does the intro to PS, saying how he doesn't always do it, it depends on the crowd, and while he sings it some fools are chatty, but mostly he holds the audience. Then after the song and the applause, some guys asks Julian for a drag off his cigarette, since, of course, the audience can't smoke. While walking to my side of the stage, Julian explains to the guy that he can break the law for himself, but that he can't help the guy break the law, that's his own responsibility. While he is saying this he is getting his guitar from in front of me for "I Don't Wanna Know," and I yell "No one but you!" because what he is saying to the guy is exactly what he said while introducing "No One But You", and he smiles, and laughs to himself and says "That's right, no one but you!" My own little moment, I know, but I had to tell you......

Too Late For Good-byes: OK, so another 'my own little moment' I have to mention..... Everyone knows how he always breaks up the audience for a little competition during this song. The left side always goes first......then he comes over to the right side, where I am, and I do the thumbs down sign, meaning that they were no good, because obviously, I want my side to win. Well, he gets this weird, surprised look on his face for just a second---and I think, he thinks I am directing my thumbs down to him (meaning HE stinks!), me, in THE SHIRT, autographed, no less! Then he quickly smiles and says, "Oh, them.....well, that's nice!" (meaning I shouldn't be picking on them, either, I guess. He is so nice, he would never wish for someone else to loose, I guess! So now he thinks I'm just a typical, overly competitive American---ya, right---like he gave me two thoughts! Delusions of Grandeur, right Reina and Jen?)

Stand By Me: Of course, as always, he ended the concert with "Stand By Me" and left a very appreciative crowd. I'm happy to say before he left the stage he accepted from me a book I handed up to him. It's a beautifully written book about two things Julian talks about all the time: Living in Italy, and food. I know it is silly of me to think he would ever really have the time to actually read it (he is always so rushed and tired) and it has probably all ready been lost somewhere along the way, but I can hope...

So all in all, I had a wonderful time. He and the band did a great job as usual, and I had many unforgettable moments for which I will be eternally grateful! I, for one, am certainly looking forward to when he comes back next year, although I doubt I will ever be as lucky to get as close to him again as I did during this tour.....

Hope I didn't go on too long, (LA HOB report to follow later) Pat B.