Thursday, February 28, 2008
The John Mayer Cruise
Current mood: loved
I guess I could have posted this blog under the category "Travel and Places". The week consisted of travel on a flight from my home in New York to Miami, then by boat from Miami to Freeport, Bahama's. But it wasn't about the destination or the means of transportation. We could have hiked the Appalachian Trail and ended up in northern Maine huddled in tents. We could have gathered at any given hotel in any state, our host was just kind enough to elect a tropical climate. We would have followed him anywhere. So "Travel and Places", not my topic of choice.
It could have been posted under "Dreams and the Supernatural" for obvious reasons. The entire trip was surreal. From shaking the hands of my living hero's to dancing with pop diva's in front on hundreds. This trip was nothing I could have ever expected. I packed the bare minimum and let the trip take me instead. I was up for anything and elected heavily against sleep. I accumulated 7 hours in the 4 days. Most of which were on pool decks in beach chairs, or flat on the sand next to the great Atlantic. I still look at the pictures and have to convince myself the week really happened, and that I was really there.
I could have posted under "Music" because no matter where you went, you couldn't get away from it...even though no one was trying. We had great live shows throughout the day and evening, and Francisco Vidal took it upon himself to play until about 4am Monday morning, only stopping just in time to pack his things and check out of the boat. But if you weren't in the casino, you could catch one of our several jam sessions on the Lido Deck. This boat was packed with so many great musicians it was hard to tell who paid to get on the ship and who was being paid to be there. It was to my surprise that all of the hosted musicians were beyond amazing. Guest's were falling in love several times a day. Mostly with musicians, sometimes with other guests . You could leave the Lido deck screaming "I LOVE DAVE BARNES" only to find yourself in the Caribbean Lounge laughing, crying, and falling hard for Brandi Carlile. With only a half hour to reflect on the way the Brandi just changed your life, before you know it Colbie Caillat takes the stage and your heart is now torn 3 ways. When your Captain, John Mayer, hops on stage with her during "Battle". you come to realize you'll never be the same. Colbie was offstage at 1:30am and somewhere and 2:00-2:30ish-3:00-4:00ish I found myself spinning her around in the Disco listening to DJ Dela. Maybe it was the corona dancing...maybe it was the Lemon drops that Dela and I shot in the DJ booth with Logic. All I know is that my hangover was cured when Colbie dedicated song "Out of My Mind" to me the next morning in the Adriatic Lounge. She asked if she was bad last night, I told her she was perfect. She laughed the way you remember laughing as a kid, when you smile because you want to, not because its the polite thing to do. Then a group of the nicest guys backed her up as she was singing my song...and I felt my heart melt. I felt my heart melt in the same way I melted in the Q&A with John Mayer. I fell in love with this guy (in the straightest way possible) years ago when I heard the songs on his self released album "Inside Wants Out". I knew that every word he said was genuine and real. He didn't say it to impress you or mislead you. He said his words because they tore at him from inside and he needed to let it out. Over the years, Mayer's life has been well documented by TMZand US Weekly, and there have been times that I've wondered if the fame has gotten to him. But during the Q&A session he re-enforced every reason I ever fell in love with him in the first place, not just as a musician, but as a person. He's one of the few people that can make one simple statement and make you feel like you were never alone in the first place.
As Mitch Albom once said, "The only time wasted, is time spent thinking we're alone". This got me realizing what this cruise became to me. It wasn't just a few days of great music, endless partying, and never ending food in a Utopian setting of the Bahama's. To me, it was about the people. My friends.
I felt as though each person on that ship was the best friend I ever had. As if we were all friends since grammar school. As if we shared every moment together for the past several years. I stood beside a woman I had just met while Brandi Carlile performed her song "That Year" about her friend who took his life at age 16, and her inability to forgive him until nearly a decade later. There must have been 500 people in that room feeling the same tear fall from one eye. At that moment the woman and I felt such a unison, the whole room became one as Brandi stood with her pigeon toes and microphone. We all felt heard what she said. We all felt what she felt. We were all best friends mourning the loss of a loved one. It was pure intimacy. And we all felt it. I don't know how else to describe it. Dave Barnes was also able to create a unison among the crowd with "Everybody Knows but You". He simply told us the lines to the chorus, and we belted along like our mothers recited those lines to us in nursery rhymes. We all celebrated, for no particular reason. We were all just happy to be there under a unifying purpose, love of a common thing. Weather the common love be as broad as music, or a specific as John Mayer...we each had it in common. And it was so strong I came back a different and enlightened person.
I spent 4 days with the best friends I ever had. You can see all the pictures in the album entitled "The Cruise!". Rumor has it (from John himself) that next year will be 6 days...so I better start training. To my friends, I'll see you all next year...and don't ever lose touch!