I'm a morning person now, plus hate mail for airports.
I wake up at 7am to the sound of a deep, rumbling motor, and I am transported back to my childhood bedroom; the distinctive sound of our family car, a ‘79 Trans-Am, pulling into the driveway, my Dad returning home after the night-shift at the airport. You might be thinking 7am seems early for me, and you’d be right, but this past December, I became a morning person by way of adopting an adorable puppy named Mary. In this new routine, it’s time to take her outside, so I roll out of bed (slowly, I’m still acclimating), and we venture outdoors together. There’s no Trans-Am in sight but now hard rain is falling, and the pale morning light is a supernatural kind of blue. Let’s call it, January Blue. All my life I wanted a dog, and now that she’s with me, I don’t mind the rain or the mornings so much anymore. We play fetch for a while as the city wakes. Mary shakes off the raindrops signalling it’s time to go, and we return indoors for breakfast.
☁️ Daydream Trash by Shannon Hemmett ☁️ is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
It’s been a minute since I’ve written to you. December was a whirlwind, and January is ticking away too. Thanks for sticking with me. Between tours, we’re always eager to get back on stage, but one thing I am grateful to have a break from is the total madness of airports. Are you old enough to remember when air travel actually used to be, dare I say—kind of fun? I’m thinking of the eerily utopian footage of airports pre-9/11. Spaces that contained a kind of futuristic magic, allowing people to traverse the world in mere hours, feeling the genuine excitement of a holiday or business abroad. There are no smartphones. Everyone looks cheerful and at ease, chit-chatting with strangers, arms loaded with Marlboro Duty Free bags. They glide through security, shoes on, Swiss Army knives and matches tucked, with no nefarious agenda, into their carry-on baggage. If you’re travelling in the 80s and earlier, feel free to light up a ciggy in-flight and get Mile High in the lavatory. Make sure you swing by the open and unlocked cockpit door and say hello to the flight’s Captain and First Officer. The general vibe is cool man, let’s drink rum and Cokes and winter in The Bahamas. The surreal horror of 9/11 and its aftermath has not yet poisoned our day to day existence. How did we seem so civilized then? That world was real, but not anymore.
Today, the modern airport and all it’s logistical nightmares is one of the most irritating, teeth-griting parts of tour. Allow me to illustrate: At the airport early and ready to chill before boarding? Well, your gate is a 15km trek to the opposite end of the terminal, the very last gate at this airport in fact. You have 200lbs of music gear? Sorry, you cannot take that luggage cart with you and the moving sidewalks are all under repair. Arrive at the gate with time to spare? Gate change. Bus to a new terminal, and wait on the open tarmac in some kind of climate change induced once-in-a-100-years weather event. Oh, you have musical instruments for gate-check? Your industry standard cases you’ve used on every other flight are inadequate for air travel, please find a shipping container immediately or throw your guitars into the trash before boarding. Ah I see that you have musical instruments for gate-check. I’d be glad to assist you. What’s your band called? Please leave your items with the gate agent and a crew member will happily take them aboard for you. Well that was nice ‘n easy. Upon arrival, a baggage handler will throw the instruments into a truck bed parked three storeys below the aircraft and you can retrieve it, maybe in pieces, at the oversize baggage claim. Got a doctor’s note in CovidTimes clearing your health to travel? You cannot board this flight, please make your way to the rental car counter and drive three days south to San Diego. Booked your van rental months in advance? Please wait 3hrs in the car rental centre with hacking, drippy nosed travellers to discover your vehicle has been recalled by the manufacturer and is unavailable. While you’re at it just gouge your eyes out and punch yourself in the dick repeatedly so an ambulance can get us all out of here and to our hotel.
You have to laugh. It’s not always easy to keep a cool head with all the surprises when travelling, but somehow I have the temperament for it. You can usually find me at the check-in counter using my world renowned Canadian niceness and trademarked Calm Voice™ to work through the hiccups.
On the Leathers front, I’m excited to let you know that we’ll have a new single “Crash” available on all streaming platforms February 9th. I’ll be sending paid subscribers a preview in the days nearing the release. And in case you missed it, Leathers will be playing Cruel World 2024 at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 11th. To say we’re excited is the understatement of the year. It’ll be a milestone for us to share the bill with bands like Duran Duran, Interpol, Blondie, and so many more. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be there too!
I’ll close out this entry with some lyrics from a new, unnamed song that will appear on the upcoming album:
broken bones and feathers life's a tourist trap love's a foreign language i'm without a map four of swords ticking clock a butterfly under the lion's paw i should have known better i buried the thought wishing well the hidden cost a ballerina waits in the jewel box
Until next time. XO