Between Hurricane Sandy and the recent U.S. election my own achievements with ITPG seem hardly worth mentioning. But music is important too. It was a realization, at the conversation with Margaret Moser in Austin, when I said “In our house pop stars were more important than politicians.” My mother never mentioned politics, nor did my dad, hardly – but pop was talked about all the time. The songs and the haircuts. As it came out of my mouth I thought, phew, that explains a lot. The comment drew a cheer from the crowd. I think some of them felt the same way as Mom.
I can’t say I’m not dead chuffed with the success of the book – I am, although I should have expected it, given the die-hard loyalty of the DD fans. Unlike most first-time authors I already had followers, so it should not have been a complete surprise to see the book in the top ten of charts in the U.K. and now the U.S.. I let go of any expectations regarding sales a long time ago. Maybe that’s why I got the reward. When I was working on the book never once did I consider getting it into sales top tens anywhere. What a wonderful surprise, thank you for that.
It’s been a heck of a run, this book tour. Awesome! Every city I got to visit, every meet and greet, every in-store P.A. and on-stage conversation I got something out of. And I admit it, I really did not miss any of the guys, although I did miss that four-string machine gun when I walked onstage for the first appearance in Central London. But how could I feel uncomfortable for long? The waves of love and approval that came washing up onto the stages from you out there in the audiences assured me, time and again, that I had nothing to fear. That I could do no wrong, in a sense, and that the book had been a good idea, and we were all in agreement on that. Even more-so, the approval ratings themselves were strong. I have had almost an entirely positive consensus on the content of the book. Excuse the political tone to this blog – the lengthy election campaign was still fresh in my mind as I started writing this!
It seems a long time ago now; Bath, Glasgow, Manchester! Roger would say to me, ‘I can’t believe you’re still on tour!’ Truth is, I love to travel, I love getting out and about and meeting people, visiting cities like Chicago, again and again. I feel there is a little part of me in almost every city in the Western world, that’s one of the benefits of having a career like mine, and I like checking in with those little parts of me, every year, if I can. No one was pushing me to get out and promote the book around the U.K. and the U.S., it was Wendy Laister and I pushing the publishers to get behind our initiative (more politics…) because that’s the way we roll!
For now, I am taking a staycation in Hollywood, California. I need to get bored for a week or two. Then it will be December and the release of the Italian translation and an event in Milan – which is important to us – and some one final appearance in the U.K. prior to Christmas.
The band had a terrific conference call earlier this week with Mark Ronson. All systems are go for a return to work in the studio first week of March. I could not be more excited about that.
A few words for those suffering from the effects of some of the worst weather to ever hit the North-East coast of America. Having two kids living in downtown Manhattan I watched with shock as the intensity of the storm hit home. My step-son Travis acknowledged the experience was for him a major exercise in character-building, which is not all bad news, but I realize for some people it has been so much more than that, and not a positive experience in any way. All of us away from the danger zone are heartened by the resilience of the people of the area and wish you all the best of luck for a return to normal as soon as is possible.
In the meantime, thanks for taking the ride with me, into the valley of the Pleasure Groove.
Love John X