Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orbital Encounter at the Asheville Airport

Paul, Paul, Me & Phil
Back home apr├Ęs Sandy without power in CT for two days now.  But things could be much worse of course, as tales of loss of home, business and even life are recounted on the news.  Thankful for our neighbors with generators and one house at the other end of the road has electricity so I went there to finish my extensive Moogfest write up and get it off to PopMatters. 

La Guardia Airport is under water, so if we didn’t rent a car to drive back we’d still be in Charlotte.  We had tried to change our tickets to an earlier flight on Sunday when it looked like the hurricane would mess things up in NYC, but that would have thwarted our latest encounter at the Asheville Regional Airport.  This small hub never disappoints us after a weekend of Moogfest revelry.  Our first year we traveled with members of Neon Indian and last year we were asked to vouch for Brian Eno to help him through security. This time we sat down for some lunch in the one and only restaurant, and spied Phil and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital across the way with their own entourage. 

It always seems that Paul Seymour, being a musician, always says the right thing with a cool vibe.  I am “just a fan” and get very star struck, running at the mouth with stream of consciousness ramblings that rarely have anything to do with anything.  (For interviews I write all my questions down after careful research, so that experience doesn’t count!)  So I let Paul go over and say hello, as we’d probably be going to be on the same small plane later anyway.  I could tell the guys were smiling at each other and conversation flowed as Paul introduced himself and I tried not to stare.  Paul came back to report that indeed we’d be on going to the same gate and they’d be happy to take a photo with us there. 

At first I took a picture of Paul with Paul and Phil but then Phil called over one of their traveling buddies to take a photo of all four of us and I could hand over my phone as well.  Can hardly remember what I said but it was something about the great show the night before and how we went to the top row of back bleachers and could see that absolutely everyone in the packed arena was dancing along, including us. And how the impromptu jam during the "Shaping Hits With Moog Hits" panel earlier in the day was inspired fun (video below or on Youtube here).

As we were going through the line to show our boarding passes, they were both asked if they were “willing and able” to assist as they were seated in the emergency exit row.  Phil joked that he was hiding under a jacket but lifted it up and thrust his hips forward to show that he was ready for action.  When asked the same question, Paul said quietly how he was a good screamer, ah that wickedly good British wit. Our little plane went up into the heavy layer of black clouds buzzing big time with propellers working overtime.  I could see some rain drops coming down between bits of white flakes, as the mountains grew smaller and another adventure laid before us.