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D.C. band E.D. Sedgwick is on tour through Europe to Dec. 11. This marks the first in a series of tour diary entries from singer Justin Moyer.
I make a record and must go to Europe, where people still buy records, to sell it. I am 35 and have been doing this for 10 years.
As soon as the tour dates are set, things go wrong. Singer C., whose voice is all over the record, the record’s cover art, and the record’s promotional materials, says she can go, then, for very good reasons not discussed here, cannot. Like President Obama contemplating the loss of David Petraeus, I agonize for 24 hours before accepting her temporary resignation. Singer C. is replaced with Singer L., a Los Angeles-based actress, food blogger and, uniquely, the star of a cult film popular among lesbians.
In October, I spend about $4,300 on a flight from Dulles to Berlin. This flight leaves on Thanksgiving Day. A cheaper holiday flight seems smart until I realize that a death in my family and a subsequent change in plans will prevent me from having even a Thanksgiving breakfast. Singer L. and I celebrate by seeing “Lincoln” at the Georgetown AMC at 10:30 a.m. We find that Sally Field has been miscast and, like the Civil War, the movie is overlong.
When we report to Dulles to fly to Europe, we are told our flight was cancelled weeks ago. Why are we here? we are asked. Yet, we were not informed of this change by Delta, Air France, or Priceline, and are in an embarrassing position—-we have hauled all of our gear to an airport for a flight that does not exist. The only choice is to rent a car, drive home, and leave the next day.
On the way back to D.C., I realize that I am coming down with the flu. After hauling our guitars back into my house, I try to go to sleep, but am plagued by fever dreams about Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward trying to pass the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. In the dream, Lincoln doesn’t know what to do.
In the morning, when I should be preparing for a show in Berlin, I go to work to avoid taking unnecessary leave. It is the day after Thanksgiving, and few people are around. I research the Passenger Bill of Rights and file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. It is bad to miss a show. It is worse to become one of those people—-a 35-year old musician who argues with airlines, weighs his luggage compulsively to avoid paying overages, and sends emails unlikely to be answered to the DOT on Black Friday.