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finally found an open store called 'World Market.' I asked the clerk for the address, so I could call a cab. This really threw her, so she had to go in the back and ask around. In the meantime, I asked another clerk for a phone book so I could call the cab. He then had to go off somewhere to find one. When he returned, he said they did not have one. So I asked incredulously how they could not have a phone book. To which he spat that they did not--and that he couldn't just "make one, sir". Well I didn't cotton to that sarcasm and we got into it a little.  In the end, Danny had to come get the three helpless musicians. I'm still mad.
       The tour went further North and East from there. All the gigs were really good with a double bill that was drawing great crowds in places like Annapolis, Boston, Fall River, and Northampton. In New Haven, CT, I was on a mission to have a slice of Sally's or Pepe's pizza. These two pizza places have often been judged to have the very best pizza in the United States. Sure, you could make an argument, but they have topped the lists repeatedly.  And, you're either a Sally's or Pepe's devotee. We're drawing a line here. I didn't have time to do any of this because of time restraints but our hero -- Billy Davis -- showed up at sound check having just come from Pepe's. So I got a cold slice. All in all, it's pizza, and it's real good. I guess when it comes down to it, we're talking about the crust here, and that was heads above your average pizza.
       The next three days were spent in Ellsworth, Maine. In case I haven't mentioned it, low temperatures on this tour were averaging 3 to -6. Highs were 3 to 15. It was cold and white everywhere. From there, we drove to Bellows Falls, VT, through stunning New England back country. We had a great show at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. At the next show in Troy, NY, my amp broke again. Although I was able to partially repair it myself, it was a different break this time and I new the ol' girl would never be right.  I must get a new one. Well, they ain't cheap, and they aren't easy to find. I got on the horn a hundred different times to locate one. I don't know what your scope of readership is, Billy, but . . . let's just say I was pretty frustrated with the 'Motion Sound Co.' (ahemů) . . . I finally got hold of one online and had them send it next day out to the tour. She's a beaut.
      Buffalo may have been the coldest of all. They even had warnings of frostbite possible  after .005 seconds of exposure of any skin to air. Here's where things get fun. When leaving Buffalo and heading southwest around lake Erie, I was driving the van, as the weather turned to whiteout conditions. Although I was maintaining a safe speed and distance from the traffic on the highway in front of me, something happened and I realized I needed to come to a fast stop. With the trailer pushing from behind, I wasn't going to be able to stop in time. I was heading right into the back of a semi-tractor trailer. Everyone in the van was wide-eyed as we knew we were about to hit the truck. In that instance we all had concluded that we would definitely rear-end it.
     The weight of the trailer and the ice were too much for the anti-lock brakes. The lane to my left was not as clogged.  A pick-up was boxing me in, but moving just a little faster than I was.  At the near moment of impact, I was able to move to the left and avoid the truck by maybe a foot. There was silence in the van for a good ten seconds until the eruption: "Holy shit, -- oh my God" . . . etc.  Oh, my pumping heart! 
     We then headed to the Midwest for dates in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Benton Harbor and Chicago. St. Louis was the only place on the whole tour that didn't have mountains of snow, but temps still remained way below freezing. The last show was at Fitzgerald's in Chicago where--as usual--we tore it open.   
-Joe Terry

Dave Alvin's new 2007 lyrics

A US Soldier Boy on leave in West Berlin
No music that rocked but got a thousand violins
They want to hear some American Music, American Music
The whole world digs that sound from the USA

Well it's a howl from the desert it's a scream from the slums
It's the Mississippi rollin' to the beat of the drums
They want to hear some American Music, American Music
The whole world digs that sound from the USA

They're pickin' bluegrass in the mountains singin' doo-wop on the streets
It's the sound of freedom in every single beat
They want to hear some American Music, American Music
The whole world digs that sound from the USA

They got the Louisiana boogie and the delta blues
Country swing and rockabilly too
They got jazz, country-western and Chicago blues
It's the greatest music that you ever knew
It's American Music  It's American music 
It's the greatest sound right from the USA

Well there's a US soldier boy on leave in east Iraq
If you can't play the music you better bring him back
They want to hear some American Music, American Music
The whole world digs that sound from the USA

Now on BlastersNewsletter.com you can read old Blasters newsletters in full color with expanded additional content from the period. Also for reference, is an extensive tour date archive for the Blasters and Dave Alvin.


AMERICAN MUSIC -editor/writer: Billy Davis      editorial assistant: Craig Frischkorn
contributing writer Tom Wilk
SUBSCRIPTION INFO: Publishing 4 issues quarterly.  Send $10 for 4 issues (worldwide). 
If paying by check, payable to BILLY DAVIS.  Mail to: PO Box 210071, Woodhaven N.Y. 11421   
e-mail: davistb@aol.com  BACK ISSUE COPIES: $2.50 per issue worldwide

The Blasters Allentown PA at Airport Music Hall
August 2, 1986     Photos by Rose Hever

Billy Davis photos                    Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men

Jan. - Feb.  2007     
The Coldest Day's of the year tour

Bellows Falls VT at Boccelli's 2/1/07     

<< New York City at The Bowery Ballroom 2/2/07

Troy NY at
Revolution Hall 2/3/07        > >