I played a lot of shows at the Tonic over the years. One of Blue Skies For Black Hearts first shows, our lineup lacking a bass player, was at The Tonic, probably in 2001. Michael Lewis and I kept that band rolling for 15 years.
I played an early solo show there too, circa 2014, when I was still trying to figure out if I was committing to playing acoustic guitar or still lugging the whole Fender amp and Gretsch Tennessean to the club. I played both that night, having plenty of room to set everything up and easy load in through the back door that opened right to the stage. I think that was the last time I took an electric guitar to a solo gig.
I can't even start to list the number of shows I saw at The Tonic. Just about anyone in a Portland band over the last twenty years or more, played a show there. It was one of the clubs that helped us have a strong music scene.
I wrote it myself, in my song, So Long City. "Nothing ever stays the same." But I still wonder, will I even recognize my hometown, the next time I pass through? Maybe I should be listening to the wisdom of the elders, Jagger and Richards, when they wrote, "Our love is like our music, it's here and then it's gone." Maybe, having No Expectations, is the way to go.
The picture above is from NE 28th Ave. This is the new building on Sandy Blvd that is enveloping like an amoeba, PermaPress Recording's old location. Jay Martin took this picture to show me my old studio in March of 2019.
So Long City is the album's title track to my 2016 solo debut. I cover The Rolling Stones' No Expectations on my second album, Down In The Wash, which is out May 14.