Thursday, October 31, 2013

wilkommen aus deutschland!

james has been going over like gangbusters here. people say they've never seen anything like him. two encores each night! i've even gotten compliments when he calls me up to sing with him, the one i wrote after we first hung out. "you sure know how to do cute," blake laughed. "they just love you!" i don't "do"cute as much as, i think, have my family's friendly, polite, kinda weird temperament, which might come off cute. still, it was a nice compliment.
i feel fortunate to've gotten to go on the trip as james's personal assistant & bundini. i mean, i'm not part of the band; i just got to go, which is pretty cool! still, he's blown up madder as a hornet many times & sent me home about 100!! "oh no," smiled scott. "you're coming next time, too." james has smoothed out a lot over the course of the trip as it has proved to be so hugely successful. he wrote me a card thanking me for accompanying him, & i'm pretty happy about the possibility of another adventure. "things can only get better," as he wrote in a song not yet in his repertoire, "when you're with me." i can see these european tours will be lucrative for james; he's gonna be big over here real quick, if he just holds it together, & he says he will!  it's all up to james, as most of what happens, for those of us privileged to grow up without huge want or war or strife, is up to us each.
the group's made up of me, the band, & road manager willsie, who's also our tour guide & a historian of sorts! now & then i wish there were another female along to chat with, but oh well: i'm happy for the funny & big-hearted company; they're a good bunch of fellows, for sure. we're loading up to leave for switzerland right now, a halloween show at a showcase place near the swiss alps. then tomorrow morn buttcrack early it's back to the states, where, tho europe has so many advantages by comparison, we can't wait to be again!
shows have been at the friendly café de weegbrug in netherlands, where we climbed 3 flights of tiny, narrow staircase after the show to our little beds. "is this where anne frank stayed?" joked max bangwell, to the matronly owner's puzzlement. they fed us like kings & queen & standing at the cozy bar, we enjoyed cup after cup of heavy, fragrant european coffee w/sugar & crème. in the morn, we got delicious fresh eggs fried on a square of bacon atop white bread. yum!
next was dark, long bar blue devils, beside an abandoned military barracks in a small alley through the windy cobblestoned streets of arras, france; the proprietor, herve, a large tough-looking fellow, embraced james heartily & repeatedly, so much did he love the show, feeding us beforehand from big bowls of french fries, french bread, & a thick, wine-flavored stew ("a meal fit for digging ditches all day," i said). after that was a grueling 12 hr slog to altdorf, south germany; we rolled out the van with tired james swearing a blue streak cause it had been one long-a** day, but the clean, well-lit, 50s-themed club hosted the most wonderfully happy show, with the band banging it out to cheering, dancing crowd & large honeymoon-suiteish room awaiting us that night & next morn, sumptuous german breakfast spread of cheeses, glass jars filled with fresh jams, hard bread, fresh yogurts, & thin, thin sliced black forest ham in beautiful airy breakfast room, its whitewashed walls typically bavarian, that is, painted with german greetings & bucolic scenes.
the last show, in the black forest, required another endurance drive, albeit willsie took us the scenic route on country roads bordering austria, then france to view the bodensee & verdant vineyards & fields & dark trees & thick forest resembling both grimms' tales as well as the black hills of the u.s.a. i missed the show cause i got sick, but it was the most popular of all, with standing-room only & loud, friendly late-night partying for the band. i laid there on the bed flashing in & out of consciousness, worrying, "they must be tired - they messed up that song!" then realizing, no, they're just fine: YOU ARE SICK! next, "oh crap, i love that song; i'm missing it!" so it was an outstanding time for the band, not so great for me, but oh well. next morning i was greeted just like part of the family with another great breakfast that featured a "real german egg," prepared by the kitchen, soft-boiled, egg so fresh, the yolk stood dark & plump before being plucked by spoon.
that day willsie took us to both a castle & treiburg, "the biggest tourist town in bavaria," he explained, where we bought an inexpensive cuckoo clock to celebrate our recent 1st anniversary as well as other knick-knacks & then had pizza from an italian-run joint & i liked my margarita pie, wood-oven baked, quite well. at night we rolled into willsie's 4000sf house, spacious, w/gleaming ornate floors & walls bearing paintings of hawaii, from whence the family migrated, & in morning woke to beautiful view out his back picture windows, view of forest & trees, much greener than at our mountain home, & he says there's a hawk's nest up there someplace. i went out in the cold & watched a black bird with orange beak & white crest hopping in the bushes, pecking for a morsel. willsie took us all for a few hrs of touristing in stuttgart & james & i went solo, having a grand time exploring the schlossplatz, which willsie explained was most infamous for photos of hitler & his army parading upon. the swastika that once topped the train station has been replaced by a mercedes symbol, the schlossplatz now a one-mile pedestrian shopping mall. james happily ate his way thru the train station, then up & down the schlossplatz as we looked in stores & at people & statues & museums, tho we didn't go in the last. what a fun time. :)
this morning, i decided to go for a jog & got spectacularly lost amidst the corn- & other fields. it was a cold, cold morning & it felt great to finally run again, but i got more than i bargained for & ended up shin-deep in frozen grass for quite some time, my path even obscured at one point by a giant seeming-dung pile! finally i got directions from a nice young woman who pointed me to the "street where the americans live." i was so grateful to get back here!!! now we're off to pick up max, & then it's the last show, & ain't life grand? :D :D
 pictures will come soon, once we're back to california. be well, & hope you've enjoyed reading this little report. auf wiedersehen!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ruh-roe, blabla, whiteboy!

... a bag i need for carry-on for tomorrow's plane is at the mountain house. ruh-roe. it'll be ok.. i just gotta improvise, gotta get back being to the organized flake i was before, 'stead of the just plain flake i've slid into being... i know how to be organized. SUPER-organized! i know i'm still organized to some degree, having two households & such with neither yet having fallen into the san andreas fault/ocean, but being in a new family (1 yr now!) requires compromise all around. i've compromised by letting things go here & there, which is hard for a borderline-ocd like me! -- it's more realistic, tho, to choose one's battles. towels on the ground, trash missing the trashcan, don't flip out, jenny. pick it up or let it be. arggghh!! ... aaaah...
as we drove back from the mister toad's wild ride saturday events, i was recalling how some years, my super-organized anal personality produced a class of organized, happy, whip-smart, super-quick, on-the-ball little rascals. some years, tho, my demands for perfection (at least in the eyes of the child, or in the eyes of some parents) just brought loggerheads & frustration...
oh well. i no longer teach. in fact, i do very little, it feels like, compared to my old life. a few years of it was ok, but i'm kinda getting sick of being semi-retired... am hopeful when we return from europe, i'll  get on some of the back burner projects. who knows: after europe, things might blow up real big for james in a very positive way! he might get too slammed-busy to do anything except be whiteboy james & ride that wave as long as it's cresting! for me, i like being the support cast. yes, if our lives were a movie, james'd be the star & i'd be a character actor in the background... i've always preferred being the background, even being a sometimes band leader. i like twisting knobs & shoveling coal in the engine. that's probably a delusion of control, too, a great & powerful oz kinda i'm-in-control illusion, but it suits me better to be part of the engine, not the train itself.
being married to the train, well, at times it means step back & admire its force & beauty; at times it  means stand back!!, & at times it means hit the switch so we don't have a derailment!!
back to me, at very least, when we get back, i'm gonna start making decent recordings of the many, many songs i've written. where to go next? if not a helping profession like teaching or library or some such, songwriting, maybe. maybe publishing, tho now that i wrote that, i realize i don't want to publish: i just want to write. except layout, i dislike every other element required to produce a publication!! ... maybe voice acting. boy, would that be swell! maybe visual art, cartooning, say... now how to combine all that? that would be the cake, all right!
saturday was a sometimes miserable, sometimes lovely, seemingly-unending series of drives, 1st to guadalupe, where i, then james took the stage for the salad bowl fest in that pretty little seaside town. then more driving on more windy pretty road to taft for a birthday party for a very appreciative lady who turned 60! then more driving, more driving to the mountain home & finally, ahhh: waking up to the sight of the mountain & blessed quiet. we finally got back here & had our 1st anniversary yesterday & james finally got the bop-it toy he's been wanting for years. it's an annoying but funny gadget, like simon for hyperactives. he said with a big grin he's bringing it on the plane. nooooo!!! -- however, it would be funny if he pulled that contraption out on the plane... i hope, meanwhile, to rest on the plane as well as finish the book mama lent me, "the singular pilgrim" by rosemary mahoney, which tells of the religiously-skeptical author's six pilgrimages to sites such as lourdes, varanasi, & the holy land... it's extremely thoughtful & well-written & i recommend it highly... in europe this next week, hope we get to take a day trip to some roman ruins near the swiss-german border & see as many other sites as possible in our short time & that we sell lots of halloween CDs (we ran out of t-shirts, dang it!!) & that james KICKS BUTT!!!! here's a promo i made for him. hope you enjoy it. now back to packing... 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

James & Jenny Page at Kid Ramos Benefit at Harvelle's Long Beach

 hey! look at this cool video the gals from seahorse music promotions made last night! the pix also are from them... thank you so much! this was the 3rd kid ramos benefit show, & the crowd turned out in healthy numbers in support. ... my husband looks terrific throughout, but then, he's a "future movie star," so i'd expect none less. :)
     last night's show was different than i'd anticipated! that's what happens, tho, when one has expectations. it was my first time playing with max bangwell in many, many moons & i did my little set, glancing side stage during "the big g" to see a familiar rabbity grin: phil alvin standing there in greeting!... my set culminated w/james coming up to sing w/me, our good luck song, so to speak, which you see on this video. :)  on break, i spoke a little with mr alvin, who wore awesome black alligator-looking boats he declared "still dusty from kernville." i must admit, i felt a bit noiiiiviss talking with phil by my lonesome; i'd hoped we'd all chat, him james & i, like in kernville. he grinned & told me, "you know, yer a purty good piano player," & my brain flew out of my head & i started stammering ridiculous things, blubbering & sputtering all over myself like a dumb bell... "baby, you gotta get over being so hard on yourself," said james later. "in this scene, you run into the same people over & over. and you're unusual: you're a REALLY NICE person. so of course people will wanna talk to you." i thanked james for the pep talk & also for placing me in the position to get musical praise from phil alvin, my musical hero for 30 yrs (read all about our relationship with phil in below post, if you wanna)... "don't thank me," he said. "you're GOOD. that's why he said that. he doesn't just throw out compliments. i remember the first time he complimented ME!"
blake watson was there & switched off with scott lambert so that james could come up next with full blues express & wallop the crap out of everybody. at one point, he started reciting from memory "dance of the freaks," the gasp-inducingly filthy & funny last track on our halloween cd. phil strolled out from backstage & surveyed the scene: "aah, the old toast," he commented wryly. at conclusion, either babalu or scott lambert called out at james, "pervert!" but "no, no," i said. "no pervert. more like a foul-mouthed choir boy." it's true: james is rough & tough & not someone to mess with, most definitely, & his act has been at times quite, quite prurient, giving people a false notion of his interactions with women (or as he'd say now, "woman"). he is healthy in love, true-blue, loyal, committed... what a refreshing & happy thing!! we agree we are rather eccentric, even strange people, but "weirdos," we've known many, but no, we  are not!
i was outside smoking when james came out & said, "baby, he just dedicated 'border radio' to you!" arrrrgghhhh!! aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!! more proof i shouldn't smoke!!!, i thought, running back inside... "he said from the stage, 'this goes out to jenny page, whiteboy james's wife. cute couple,'" james chuckled. wow! thought i, watching phil sing "border radio" in strong, clear, nimble voice. wow! phil & matt samia led that set, phil pulling out songs like "i'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you," "the big f chord," a joe turner medley, & a haunting, almost norteno-flavored "t for texas." "that was rugged," declared phil afterward, smiling, always a professional, said james, but the large crowd was happy & cheering & phil's singing & vernacular guitar-playing, well, james & i had stars in our eyes, jumping around & dancing at the soundboard, having a blast... we got home & ate tacos & marveled about how our lives are turning as we approach one year of marriage. then it was luck luck luck luck luck!!
today i volunteered at library & got dollar store stuff like sardines & peanut butter & aspirin for our trip & i've been making a james radio promo to send to european stations & later i run, but for now, i clipped a bit of "big blues train," then wrote a little script & had james voice over it, & it sounds so frigging invitingly cool!!! his time is coming; he's just gotta hold it together, & we know he will. he's been waiting, he says, his whole life for "this," & he's just too, too talented for his star to warm only this small area. he's gonna show what he's got to the world; however that plays out, i know he'll shine bright & wide...
one last pic from the seahorse gals, from last week. jane intveldt, who saw me perform for the first time that night, was really enthusiastic about what i do on stage! it's increasingly wonderful to see these women week after week, digging the show. when i was in bakersfield, that was one of my most favorite things, having women listeners & even fans. i had such a hard time for so many yrs with friendships with women. i know now it's cause i couldn't look at or like myself, so how could i like them? tho no glowing picture of self-confidence these days, i can say i like many, many people & definitely value female friends & acquaintances... some might say "keep your friends close & your enemies closer," but i say focus your attention on what is worthwhile: life is short; have fun, be useful, be grateful, & cherish your loved ones.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


... me, jenny page with "the dusk devils express," then the great whiteboy james & the blues express, then the great phil alvin with whiteboy james & the blues express! ... all to help pay medical expenses for kid ramos, who is ill with cancer, all at harvelle's, downtown long beach, 9 pm-12 midnight... we are gonna put on a swell show for a worthwhile purpose. (poster is below under oct 2...)
having a lot of fun making videos with iMovie... the latest is called "god talks to james at 4 a.m." it's on the whiteboy james youtube channel. we improvised an enjoyable skit & i greatly enjoy doing that as well as experimenting with voices. i do hope that someday the voice acting thing comes together... guess i need to get my act together & actually send in audition audios. kinda like playing the lottery: can't win if you don't buy a ticket. godfrey daniels!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

jekyll & hyde

remembering to back it up slow

all is well. autumn has fallen upon the san joaquin valley, where we visit for the moment; it's the nicest time of yr around here. yesterday night on the mountain was freezing clean & cold; this morning brought beautiful peaceful blue skies & lovely mountain & quiet calm. mama & i just took cookies & banana bread over to aunty rita & aunty dodie. aunty rita fell & broke her foot & couldn't be at today's birthday party for sister angie. we heard some funny stories, many about when my aunts were young & drunk & loose, like about when aunty dodie got drunk one night & took off with a guy on a motorcycle & when they got to the stop sign, the guy's teeth flew out & he had to pull over to go get his teeth. aunty rita talked about dear departed "uncle" danny, james's smoking buddy. she said it took time for him to "get over his ways," like  "learning to come home after work 'stead of staying out all night at the bar & visiting his friends. after a while, he told me, 'do-rita, i want to be home with you,' & that was that, he just started coming home." ...  we got back here & james was sleeping soundly & dad was fixing the outside pool toilet, which overflowed today at sister angie's party: "too many butts," pronounced dad. my cousin mary frances & her brood are a good, solid, admirably happy & well-adjusted bunch; my sister is a good, kind, talented, capable person married to a loving, friendly barrelchested preacher. he & james get along splendidly because both wear their gigantic hearts on their sleeves... we miss them all, but i know eventually we'll have more time together, if we're meant to (what the heck did that mean?? oh well...)
at the party, i played piano rather laxly, in my tired state, & opened my eyes to see that a family friend of chubby, youthful countenance had pulled up a chair near the piano & was listening along, bobbing his head, his eyes closed peacefully... then 90-yr old don, who had been taking video of people at the party w/his new camera, shot me singing a wanda jackson song. he snapped off the camera with a grin & announced, "well everybody, look for this footage to be appearing soon on youtube!"
... last night we attended a nighttime football game on the frazier mountain w/friendly young family of james's; there & today, i've much-enjoyed watching & observing kids of various ages, from 3 to 16 & up (some of the "kids" are as old as 22... still kids, tho). kids are relatively unconvoluted, fresh, funny, interesting, ever-evolving, filled with promise,  "not done yet," as mama has said, comparing young ones appropriately to baking bread. heck, with people of any age, positive development & growth require a big dose of patience & temperance toward ever-changing others & self. ... ... ... ... ... !!! .... in fact, think i wrote a whole thesis kinda on that idea about 5 yrs ago! yes, duh, i'm reminded a person "needs some space to back up a little bit at a time," said aunt rita. a person "can't just put it in reverse all of a sudden just like that."
... i texted the young man just now, to check in with him on behalf of his father & me, & received his reply, characteristically terse & polite: "all is well." since that's where i started, be it synchronicity or accident, i take it as my cue to end this transmission.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


man, i do NOT feel well... so here is another pic of us dancing & having fun side stage while watching blasters at fest recently. james had saved it on the computer here, so i guess he liked it. we danced some last night, too, but i was woozy & wobbly, so we sat down so i could leave the real dancing to ppl who know how to do it, like the friendly blues-promoters female quartet that showed up & shouted praise & promised to bring the crowds to harvelle's from now on... very cool! ... next wk's special guest is phil alvin. phil alvin! james's & my hero since we were teens! difference is, growing up, i didn't believe phil or anyone who was from remotely to hugely famous was "real" -- i worshipped from afar & jokingly referred to him (and about 50 other celebrity men of attractive visage, including james) as my "future ex-husband" (also in the group were ralph meeker, boris karloff, gerard depardieu, johnny weismuller...).  i really, really liked him (he was cool! he was really smokin' confident & attractive!)... but didn't think he was real. he set in my mind a certain physical ideal, tho, i now realize (james calls some of them "big monster guys"), & i got the right one: james the lionhearted. james the wild brain. james the stop sign. james the talented. james the "future movie star." yes, i know how lucky i am... i am regularly told so... a lotta times by guys! (ah, alcohol...) anyways...
on the other hand, james at 15 (hey! remember that show? you don't, 'less you're middle-aged. back then, i thought "james," played by lance kerwin, was quite soulful & cute, but he wasn't "real" either, far as i was concerned), james who's had his head in the ether but feet firmly planted, heard really cool music playing while at baseball practice, left practice, jumped a fence, snuck in an auditorium, & found himself watching the blasters from side stage. or something like that. the man has more stories than a whole compendium... the movie of his life will reveal some... what an amazing one he's already had, with so much more to come! anyways, he told me that when the blasters went on break, he went up & introduced himself; phil alvin gave him some sh*t, but took him under his wing & that led way to james being apprenticed by many famous roots musicians on the LA scene in the '80s, he & phil becoming fast & close friends... anyways,  now we get to do a show with him. james, of course, has done many shows w/phil, & i sorta did if you count the elvis shows i used to do, on which blasters often headlined. but this'll be the 1st time we together've played on the stage w/phil.... that elvis show in 2010, that's where i first met james in the flesh, so there's that connection, too. he tells the story much funnier & sweeter than i do, so i won't... besides, that's far beyond enough blablablaing for now...
going to lie down now.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

"if you ain't right, you're goin' down there..."

... that's a hint to one of the songs on the halloween CD we're putting out tomorrow!... it features two songs i wrote, seven tracks total, from fun & spooky to fun & filthy! "the bride of frankenstein" is the one that initially drew the attention of whiteboy james (now my husband james) to me! he says he was surfing the internet late one night about 3 years ago & my weird DIY video caught his eye & he thought, "i have to meet this person!!" we both love universal monsters, especially karloff's monster, tho james also loves lugosi, who was a junkie & somewhat misunderstood... some of the weirdest cuts on this CD actually are the ones i do, like the obscure rockabilly-swing tune alluded to above (tho no theremin on this version)... of course, james adds plenty of his own weirdness. i wish my voice recorded as smoothly & fully as does james's, but of course, james has one of the very best voices that exist, so i'm setting my sights pretty high! i know i have a good-enough voice, certainly interesting-enough, & i'm happy with what i have developed over the yrs... the other original on the CD, i wrote it two weeks ago for james -- it's called "jekyll and hyde," a roy brown-style jump tune that features a mouth solo, like red mackenzie kinda, but i didn't use a comb... james has played me red mackenzie, who would fire his sidemen, then play their parts himself on comb, which sounds kinda jerky, but maybe his sidemen were the jerks - who knows?... crap! i just looked red mackenzie up & he's yet another musician who died from the bottle!
- anyways, i think "jekyll and hyde" could be a hit! at least a modest hit in this american music genre we inhabit... something, anyways! yes, i'm better at song-writing than other artsy skills i enjoy, i think, & i figure eventually i'm gonna settle into songwriting & being a sideman, which i'm very happy about... so now i've got 6/7ths of the CD mastered after countless hrs of trying this & that (this was my maiden voyage on garageband; i'm pretty excited about it now, after all the initial tribulations & frustrations!)... just waiting for james to get home & record vocals for J&H, then the CD'll be ready to go!
- please email me or james if you are interested in getting a copy, "sure to be an underground sensation," said one of our friends. which is part of the reason she's our friend, you know. :)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

eat your greens...

we are playing this festival in a few wks before getting on the plane to europe. (wow!!!!) i was contacted by randy, a really nice fellow. my band the dusk devils played a few events for him out in the desert, where he then lived; at one, it was so hot, in the green room some ppl were betting on whether the elvis impersonator onstage at the moment would, decked out in black elvisy leathers, succumb to heat stroke or heart attack. (he didn't, fortunately...) we went on & the stringed instruments couldn't stay in tune, as happened to scott abeyta at the kern rock n blues fest last weekend...  at another show promoted by randy, all i remember is i wore my green blingy skirt (it's at the mtn home right now, along w/most of my nicer show clothes) & was treated like a million bucks. folks at those shows were so  hospitable & friendly; i'm looking fwd to this one! only been to guadalupe 1x, in my former life: it looked small, humble, amiable, with quite-pleasant climate...
last night was the 1st show/"benefit" for kid ramos. i stomped out the funnest set yet cause i needed to get done to make way for headliners james & billy watson... the crowd was great! it was the most cheering & whooping i've gotten at harvelle's; "they love you, baby!" james said, & i did feel it & wow, how lucky am i?... billy watson is the most polite & light-hearted & genuinely humble person you could meet of such talent. he & james could be fast friends, & i hope they will do so... we oohed & yelled & aahed at the beautiful, subtle, skilled & melodious ways he played harmonica & laughed with wonder at his winning voice & lithe soulful gentlemanly performance. prior to billy hitting the stage, james went out & stormed it like a wolverine. he was funny & ferocious. billy came on & said, "hey! i just love whiteboy james! and aren't you glad he's on OUR SIDE?" james & i sat side stage & he looked at me & said, "see? he gets it." ... well, back to tracking halloween songs... we are nearing getting done -- it's gonna be a fun, fun little disc, i think! :D

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

super big huge gigantic immense enormous fun

billy folsom took these photos of us sidestage at the rock n blues fest saturday night, dancing & watching the blasters. we agreed it's the most fun we've ever had being out & about with a significant other... we can anticipate many more moons of such fun, along w/the speedbumps & average days that make up Life... :) i photoshopped out my monkey ear on the mid photo because... this is my blablablog & why the heck not?
i went to a mtg & james went to watch boxing at stevie's & now we're hanging out blablablabbing & writing/editing & recording music & enjoying the eve. soon will be sleepy time. tomorrow is another day, fiddle-dee-dee. remember to read the stoics or something spiritual that will lift your heart & that this week on bill moyers will be writer wendell berry. my folks had me watch bill moyers when we were in bako the other eve & i realized wendell berry sounds much like one of james's kentucky uncles... this past wkend, lisa cee told me that she loves my accent. i asked james & he said, "yes, you do have an accent. it's hard to put my finger on..." i've long-heard this, the mysterious accent comment, or remarks about my vocal pipes... anyways,  there i go again on a tangent, so think i'll stop because ultimately no se importa! have a nice one & remember again to read something challenging & rewarding to your soul or brain or best, both...