The clerk at Enterprise asks: "Is this
I'm a bit surprised, considering my
reservation was for a "Mitsubishi Mirage or similar," but
apparently a Mercedez-Benz CLA250 is what passes for an economy
vehicle in Wine Country. The price is the same, so I
opt not to make a fuss. I've got an appointment with a saxophone
wizard in Sebastopol, and if I have to spend a sunny afternoon cruising through the backroads of Sonoma County in a luxury automobile to get
there, well, sometimes artists have to make sacrifices.
There is a subset of adjectives more or
less reserved for the elderly- words like "crotchety," "wizened,"
"gnarled," and "cantankerous."
Gino is not necessarily any of these, but he is stooped, venerable, and kindly. He speaks gently and moves
slowly, but seems in good health other than an elastic bandage around
his right hand, which I only notice after he winces at my handshake.
He keeps two pens, a notecard, and a pack of Marlboros in his shirt
pocket. He quietly invites me into his garage workshop and assesses
the state of my saxophone.
What strikes me about Gino
Micheletti is his attention to detail, his sense of nuance.
Every little task is executed with exacting sensitivity. Hold this joint with duck-billed pliers so the post bends up here rather
than down there.
Use a pipe cleaner to apply adhesive. Don't close the glue bottle too tight; it'll make it hard to
open later. Hundreds of little methodical tricks and tweaks accumulated over a
lifetime of trial and error. In about two hours, Gino cures my saxophone of
all of the cumulative ailments of life on the road. Normally,
getting work done on my horn is just a matter of course. Today, it
felt more like the makings of an "I Ate At El Bulli” piece.
But enough about my day. Let's talk about last night.
Seriously you guys (and gals and whatever else). Petaluma was lit. The Mystic
Theatre is aptly named, for there is certainly some magic in those
walls. Things went from zero to rowdy in a hurry. I'd be doing both
of us a disservice if I neglected to mention that last night (and
also in Santa Cruz) our friends Zeke and Benjamin from Con Brio (who
have been supporting us for the majority of the tour) came out at the
end of the night to help us play "When Doves Cry” and now I don't
even want to cover it without them anymore.
has been a nice day off. Tomorrow morning, we'll be back in the cozy
confines of the bus for the home
stretch of this tour. It feels like I've been away for a thousand
years, and it feels like we just left home yesterday. I'm excited
for the next few shows, and I'm excited to get home and do nothing,
and then I'm excited to almost immediately stop doing nothing and do
Mardi Gras instead, followed by more nothing, then Okeechobee
festival, then a bunch of other stuff and then eventually death. Happy