| Stony Brook Penn - 10/08/01
I got in the car in Manhattan to
head out to the gig on Long Island. Car time is phone time,
so I started my calls with LOD. He said that the war had
started and hung up. I asked the driver to turn on the
radio, and we listened together. As you all know, it was
awful. Just terrible. I just listened.
I got to the gig and the mood of everyone was the same. We
were all down and worried, like the rest of the world. And,
like the rest of the world, we had to figure out how to do
our job while this was happening. We had a meeting during
soundcheck to see what we were going to do. I felt it had
to be addressed; the feeling backstage was so intense that
I was thinking the audience would have some of that too.
So, we all met. And we all talked. Teller and I wanted to
hear from everyone. No one knew what to do, but everyone
was very helpful. The show had already changed a little
bit. We had cut Flag.
Some people were asking why we cut Flag. It's not because
people would be offended, I don't think that would happen.
There are a lot of reasons. We don't want to look like
we're flag waving to cash in on tragedy, but more basically,
the flag is just a different symbol. That bit is a
peacetime bit. The flag, when we wrote that, was a
complicated symbol that we wanted to talk about. It was an
intense bit about intellectual ideas. Now, the flag is a
symbol of mourning and patriotism, and although that bit is
about patriotism, it has nothing to do with mourning and it
has to do with a peacetime kind of patriotism. So, Flag
was already gone.
We didn't do a show very soon after 9/11, so we didn't know
what it would feel like. So, we all talked for about a
half hour. Everyone was very helpful. I was leaning
towards some maudlin bring-down at the top, and Teller was
leaning towards just keeping on. Teller
convinced me that we needed to just do our show, but I
wanted to do something, just to say that we knew something
was going on, before we went through the show. We talked,
and then we ran Polyester, and we played around with the
content of the bit to push it a little bit away from all
the religious content. I mean, we couldn't be more against
religion and this bit reflects it, but even alluding to
religion, even in a negative way seemed like too much.
After all that discussion, and a lot of time hunched over
my bass playing and thinking, we started the show. We did
inflatables and then there was that moment when we addressed the
audience. "Thanks for coming to the show tonight. It
really means a lot to us. Now, we're going to do our
little magic show." It got a nice laugh and some applause
and from there on, the show just swung. We've spent 27
years trying to make our little magic show seem heavy, and
this show it was right to make our little magic show, a
little more of a little magic show. Thanks to all of us
working together, we came up with the little nothing that
might have helped the audience watch the show, and sure
helped me do it.
And the show went really well and the audience seemed to
really like it. So, this is what we do. As this goes on,
we'll keep doing our little magic show.