I like to think I'm a night person, because that's my job, but now I'm a father of three. I'm trying to become more of a morning person. I don't know if it will last. I have two choices, right? Either I'm bitter about getting up early, or I start drinking wine earlier and get to bed.
I'm up in the morning and functioning fast. Last week I helped my girls make their lunches and cooked us breakfast. Just scrambled or fried eggs, usually not much more. I only need a little bit of fuel. I'm happy with an egg. Then I drive my daughters to middle school, so no wine with breakfast. I can drink Everyday [the Dreaming Tree blend of gewurztraminer, riesling, albariño, and viognier] when I wake up first thing. But not if I have to drive. I love wine--I've loved it since before it was legal for me to really love it.
For whatever reason, I've recently been delaying my first cup of coffee. I live in Seattle, and one of my favorite coffee shops is near my girls' school. I crave it throughout the morning, but deny myself that first sip until I've dropped them off at school. That's maybe an hour or hour and a half after I get up.
There was a time I may have pretended a greasy breakfast helped a hangover, but it never did. The best cure is patience. And maybe a Bloody Mary. Or oxygen. I was on a plane once and the pilots were kind enough to give me some of their oxygen.
When I'm on the road, Fiona, my chef, makes breakfast. It's crazy how good she is. My breakfast is simple: two eggs, maybe an omelette with a little tomato, onion, and ham in there. No cheese. Can't eat cheese before a show, or drink milk--anything high in calcium isn't good for my voice. I drink tea before a show. And wine afterwards. Or whiskey. Or vodka...
Backstage there's always nuts and fruit, a juicer, an espresso machine. We take it all with us, so it's the same every night. Fiona basically has to move a restaurant and feed over 100 people breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. When people come and work with us they always comment on how amazing it is--What is going on here?!
Everyone can make a lasagna, but I make a f--ing good lasagna. I make a good broth, too. Really good soups. I like comfort food. And things you can throw together with cheese, when I'm not going to sing.
I can run out for milk and don't get bothered much. People might recognize me in the grocery store, but they're mostly mellow, just tell me a song they like. In Seattle, it's more likely people will see me and reply with an eye roll and audible "ughhhhh" before walking away. I like that, but have to admit I have a tiny jealousy for people that can cause panic on sight. When we opened for the Stones, I did give one woman hives. When we first started talking she had a lovely complexion, but after two or three minutes, blood was rushing to bizarre places in her face and neck that blood should never go.
Sometimes I stop into the doughnut shop near my house. Seattle has awesome doughnuts. Last week when I was in line, I thought the woman behind the counter looked familiar. When I got to the front she said, "This is weird..." and her cheeks burned a bright red. I realized I recognized her from years of the front row. I said hello and ordered my doughnuts.
I usually drink espresso while writing music. Wine is to lubricate life, not lubricate writing music. I'm usually lazy and inconsistent. That's my method. I'm often trying to come up with something that is finished. Finishing things well is important. It's something I don't do as often as I'd like.
The best music -- like the best wine -- doesn't have a stick up its ass. It isn't arrogant. In creating something, you have to be adventurous. You put yourself out there. Whether you're making something out of grapes and dirt or notes and words.
At the end of the day, family makes me happy. Popping a bottle of wine on the porch, sharing it with friends. That's what life is all about.
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