Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Safety First


We got back from our travels Sunday night and trying to catch up here with our impending tour/album release in a few weeks. Can't get space in my head to come up with anything coherent in the way of a post, but why should that stop me?

Since they passed the law in France that every car must carry on board a neon safety vest (and safety triangle), safety vests have become an obsession. There were supposed to be heavy fines imposed (90 euros) if you were caught driving without a vest in the car after July 1, but they were impossible to find. In the plan to make the autoroutes safer they somehow forgot to stock the stores with enough of the damn things. There were so many people traipsing from LeClerc to Carrefour to Super-U in search of anything resembling a fluorescent gilet that they had to amend the rule - now we have until October 1 to steal, I mean buy, a safety vest.

There've been times in my life where I crave the perfect pair of black knee-high boots, and on a busy street I zero in on every pair. It's as if everything else is a mere sketch - the only thing I see in detail and 3-D is the boots I crave. Same with jeans, if I have in my mind the ultimate dark wash slightly vintage looking jeans, I'm scouring the crowd, and if anyone's sporting something close to my object of desire everything else melts away.

So it is now with the neon safety vests. Aided by the fact that they are designed specifically to show up. On the streets of Limoges or Whitstable the only thing I can see are the brutishly loud, ill-fitting things, usually worn by red-faced workmen. There we were at Edinburgh Castle last week, surrounded by history and pageantry, and Eric playing with the Proclaimers in front of 8500 people, and all I could think was "gotta get a vest."

Safety of another kind was on my mind in Norwich. We were returning to the Brickmakers, the venue where back in September I took a foolish risk and really hurt myself. Maybe it's something about the citizenry of Norwich, who as an audience tend to enjoy things in such a laid-back manner that you want to hold a mirror up to check if they're still breathing. It's just the Norfolk way I guess, but last time it made me want to do something, anything to shake things up a little bit. So I jumped off the not very high stage at what seemed like an appropriate moment.

It's something I've done before and been fine. But this was not one of those times - the floor was slippery, I had (the perfect knee-high black) boots on, and when heel met floor I fell and hit my head on the stage.

It hurt my tailbone, my head and of course my pride, but I crawled back onto the stage and carried on playing. It was only when I noticed the previously stony faces of the audience looking increasingly uncomfortable, concerned and even downright horrified did I realize that I was covered in blood.

Eric and Charley who runs the club took me to the emergency room where a doctor glued my head shut. Better than stitches I thought, only I had to endure glue in my hair for months after. I tried searching online for some solvent to get it out - believe me, there are way more websites out there catering to gluing and ungluing things from the scalp than you could ever imagine. In the end I gave up and let it grow out.

So this time when we played Norwich I decided no matter what, I wouldn't pull any more stunts like that. Just going through life is dangerous enough. So risky, we need to wear safety clothing.

13 comments:

KudzuCarl said...

Hmmmm. Any relationship between bashing your head open and the decision to wed the Wreckless one?

Just asking......

Andy said...

Mrs Wreckless,
It's heart warming to know that rock 'n'roll is still alive.
Most of the band I saw (albiet on the TV) at Glastonbury looked so dull! What happened to antics like climbing the lighting rig? Mind you if you do this make sure you wear your neon vest! Meanwhile I'll stick with my new ventures in folk music, we have the option of getting the audience to join in singing the choruses, it's a good way to check if they're still beathing. (And a good way to gauge of how drunk they are!)

andy said...

Standing there covered in blood you must have looked more like Amy Rugby!

Rosie said...

wow what a rock and roller! I dont think I have ever jumped off a stage. I got carried onto one once because my skirt was too tight for me to make the step , but that is another story..

Le Tigre in France said...

Wow! You're so Courtney Love! Karen O fell off a few years ago..she climbed back and did a song before she said she thought she had to go to the hospital and had to leave!

The Hound said...

I don't understand. Under what circumstances would a driver need a yellow saftey vest? Are you supposed to wear it while changing a flat? Does it inflate in case you drive off a bridge?
BTW don't feel bad about the stage dive. Last time the Stooges played New York City, Iggy took a header into the crowd and they just watched and let him hit the chairs---and he landed hard! The first ten rows where all holding their stupid cellphones over their heads to prove to whoever the hell was at the other end that were were actually there. Nobody would risk missing a second of their cellphone moment to catch the little guy. He came off stage howling in pain. Maybe rock singers should wear the yellow vests so the audience knows to catch 'em when the dive into the crowd?

Pieter said...

I echo the comments of the others my delight that you and the stage survived your co-mingling of time and space and black boots.

By the flow, I think the term steal might be a bit too felonious a term for you to use. I prefer stating I did not steal the item, rather I was borrowing it for an extended period of time with the full intent to return it.

Albeit it might be slight soiled and in need of repair, but I definitely never intended to keep it till the end of time.

Michele said...

A head can be glued? I'll have to add that to my long list of things I didn't know. Glad you survived the fall. But I admire you for giving it your all.

travelling, but not in love said...

Rock. And. Roll.

BTW my local department store is limiting the purchase of hi-viz tabards to two per customer!

Ridiculous...

KudzuCarl said...

Let me know if you want to start selling bootlet yellow vests out of your house. I would be happy to ship you a box of them for cost plus a small handling fee plus a copy of the album plus two tickets to the show in Atlanta in September.

amy said...

Carl, remember - he's your cousin-in-law now!

Andy I did see the singer of the Kaiser Chiefs climb a lighting rig during a televised festival show. But he was very careful climbing back down...

I think being hoisted onto the stage cause your clothes are too tight is very rock, Rosie.

Where is that Karen O now, Le Tigre? I think she's great.

Hound, I miss seeing you! You've got it right, you're supposed to put on the vest for changing the tire. Over here many people are driving around w/the vests draped over the seats to avoid having to be stopped for a vest check. (In Spain I hear you need 2 in the car) Thanks for that Iggy story - in some ways it makes me feel better and in other ways it confirms why it can be hateful going to shows these days.

You' re right Pieter, "borrowing" is much more neighborly.

I think they came up with the glue idea for kids Michele. Funny what you miss when you haven't been in an emergency room for several years...

TBNIL, I must start calling them tabards - much more chic!

Not a bad idea Carl, only god forbid the douane (customs) open the box. hope you can come to the show in Atlanta anyway.

halfpear said...

Shows covered in blood are wonderful aren't they? I did a Parenthood Benefit at the Wetlands some years ago and didn't realize until Jimmy Ford alerted me that my nose was bleeding copiously all over me and my guitar.

I think it makes the performer seem more human somehow.

Love
Peter

Je ne regrette rien said...

I got mine (vest et al) at the local gas station. OMG - now that is what I call headbanger extraordinaire, by the way.