Junior emailed me this morning that he would go ashore in Ecuador and Skype us in the afternoon.
Which was great, except that he didn’t say whether this would be HIS afternoon in Ecuador or OUR afternoon in New Zealand.
As it turns out, it was both — his 6 p.m. and our noon. Win!
Except that wi-fi had not come to Ecuador.
Everything would have been just fine if he’d been in Peru, which is where I thought he was and which has wi-fi.
Who knew there was any difference between Ecuador and Peru? I mean, they are both somewhere in South America. Or possibly Africa.
I’m not totally sure about that.
But before you judge me on geography, Junior isn’t sure either, and he is there. Apparently, when you are a pro musician on a flashy cruise ship, every port starts to looks the same.
Junior’s photo captions from last year’s European cruise would usually read something like:
“Street scene in Venice. Or maybe Rome. Not sure. NO, it was Barcelona, because I had awesome pizza and a Spanish beer just around the corner.”
The Barcelona visit also included heartbreak. My son fell in love with a red leather jacket, but he could not buy it because he forgot the PIN for his debit card. And they would not accept his New Zealand bank card, which he thought was just outrageous.
I did some back-of-the-envelope figuring the other day, and tallied about 30 countries he’s visited in the last four cruise ship gigs.
Let’s compare that to his Daddy. When I was his age, I was a newspaper reporter in Waco freeking Texas who had visited a total of ZERO foreign countries. A BIG weekend for me was sneaking off for a boozy, bluesy night in Austin.
As much as I like Austin, Barcelona wins hands down. As does Peru, Ecuador, and whatever other countries he is soon to visit down there in South America.
On this latest cruise, Junior is working his musical buttooskies off.
His main job is being a pianist, accompanying all the hotshot acts that come aboard — singers, strings and bands.
His ship kicked off its world cruise three weeks ago in Miami with a Rat Pack bash, featuring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.
OK, it wasn’t the ORIGINAL Rat Pack, if you want to be picky. But it was a big deal – with 40 musicians, including my No. 1 Son.
Junior is also conducting and arranging for a 20-person choir. Next week, he’ll do a singer-songwriter gig of his own tunes. This thrills me to bits because he has a real gift for songwriting, and you never know when you might be discovered.
Someone in the audience just might tell their mate Michael Bublé, “you really have to record this incredible song, “*What Good Am I” that I just heard this crazy Eurasian Kiwi play on a cruise ship”.
This is not so far-fetched when you consider that we understand the *Beatles were discovered at a Walmart grand opening.
In the last year, Junior has met or played with all sorts of cool people including:
- An older lady who had worked at hotels in Europe and looked after Miles Davis and his wild buddies back in the day;
- Brilliant musicians, including one who’s frequently on Letterman, and an incredible Broadway singer; plus
- Bruce Springsteen.
OK, he didn’t actually meet Bruce, despite my grand plans (covered by this blog some months ago).
Anyways, the Missus and I are really looking forward to Junior’s next Skype report about the choir gig and how he went with this own tunes.
Hopefully, we’ll also get an email loaded up with his new originals.
Probably about travelling.
Crying at the airport when he said goodbye to his Sweetheart (and his amazing parents, ahem).
And discovering awesome food and beer and comic book stores while lost in South America.
Because that’s how **Junior rolls.
* We may need to check this with Paul
** In case you wondered, “Junior” is the one and only Eli Moore. Go here for a listen to his originals. One tune should follow another. More are under his old band — search for Rojak Jazz. And HERE is his new website — www.elimooremusic.com