Operation: Ben Harper pt.3

11/22/13

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blog post #3

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Santa Barbara                          5 hour drive                                San Diego

feel free to tweet to @BenHarper as well if you want to help my mission

Beautiful Santa Barbara

 

Santa Barbara has by far the most beautiful women per capita I have ever seen. I noticed this while playing outside of Ben's show, as well as hanging out with some new friends I made afterward. Very generous folks there too: I was given three tickets to Ben's show, a huge bag of Vietnamese food, and a whole pizza. I gave the tickets to some folks who bought my CD's, and the food to some homeless people, but nonetheless it made me feel like one could probably survive by playing music on the street there. I wonder if I was given these things because people thought I was a bum...

San Diego and the Great Radio Station Battle

 

Arriving in San Diego was exciting. That's where I grew up and have family and friends there. It was nice to have my brother come with me to the venue and hang out while I did my thing. He was a great ficus plant.

 

I set up right in front Copley Symphony Hall, expecting to get moved by security, as had happened at nearly every other venue. I set up anyway, started playing and, as expected, security asked me to shut down. But to my surprise, the head guard came back out and rescinded the order. Watch that moment >>>>

Local radio stations 91X and 94.9 were a block away, waving their flags, trying to attract the eyes of all the Ben Harper fans. When they saw the crowd building around me, both groups marched over to get in on the action. 

 

Watch the clip to the left to see some of the comedy that ensued. I have to say I probably listened to 94.9 more growing up, but 91X stuck around the whole time and gave me a lot of promotion love. A few of my songs were even played on their station the next night on the Loudspeaker show. 

 

 

My brother David with Ben after the show

Los Angeles: the Good, the Bad and the Strange

 

After relaxing in SD for a day, I headed north to Los Angeles for the last show at the Disney Symphony Hall. What a bust! There was no central entrance (everyone took escalators from the parking garage) so I felt it was not even worth setting up. On top of that, Ben left right after the show with his family, so I didn't get to say goodbye.

 

The next day I had a gig at a strange place called Genghis Cohen. An Asain themed restaurant with a vibey stage attatched to it. The show was, shall we say, intimate, because I don't know many people in LA so I played for about 10 people, unplugged. Surprised to learn that one of my best friends, Roger, had moved to LA (sooner than I thought) so it was nice playing for him as well.

After spending the night on a comphy couch via my old college buddy Evan, I met up with another friend of mine, Anthony Hall, singer/songwriter extraordinaire. This is a shot of us walking the Venice Beach board walk. 

Where Things Stand with Ben Harper and Concluding Thoughts

 

As it stands now, my management is speaking to Ben Harper's management about doing a show in the near future. The fact that Ben and some of his crew now know me should help my chances. Regardless, the trip was a beautiful experience. I loved thinking on my feet, constantly moving, meeting new people, seeing old friends, and making new fans.

Brooklyn Follows Me to San Francisco

 

The morning I was supposed to drive to Santa Barbara, I  found my rental car window smashed in and the content of the car rifled through. Anyone who knows the history of my car in New York has to laugh at this. These people follow me everywhere I go! Luckily I had everything of value in the trunk but they snaked my leather jacket. Oh well. Could have been worse. I went back to Enterprise and they exchanged the car for the exact same one. Because I bought insurance for it, I didn't owe anything. So I basically got the equivalent of a car cleaning and half tank of gas....sweet, thanks thieves.