As I creep my way out of the cold, fog-filled stone streets of Amsterdam and into the hotel, they eye me with suspicion. “They’re on to me,” I think, and then realize that I have a giant poster of an obscure homeless musician duct taped to the front of my body. It’s either that, or the towels. Every day we open the door but a crack and leave the “do not disturb” sign on the handle. They’ve responded by leaving bundles of towels and soap outside each day. Each day a giant bundle of towels goes in… but nothing ever comes out. We’ve also been obsessively calling the front desk, demanding that they give us our package from Germany. Each time, they’ve refused, claiming it’s never arrived.
On the desk is some kind of survival spork and I carry metal chopsticks at all times. A long line of parachute cord is stretched tight across the length of the room from the door to a gas line. It’s continuously dripping with socks and long underwear. In a wild attempt to overcome wasteful weight in travel, Kevin and I have stripped our wardrobes to the barest essentials. We arrived with nothing but a book bag of clothes that we wash with hotel soap in the sink each night. Anything else we need to keep warm or look good can be produced with duct tape and towels.
The posters have been a master tool for meeting people. Everyone loves asking me about the guy on my chest and I have a pocket of postcards with the dates of our screenings at gunslinger height. I have it down to a smooth snap and the cards are in their hands. If I talk enough about our insane twelve years of working on this film their eyes glow and their grip on the cards shifts like they are more likely to survive the trip home.
Our second screening of, “Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah” went pretty well. Kevin wasn’t able to get an HD tape made in part because that Tsunami you heard about destroyed the factory that makes tape. He decided that the Beta copy of the film didn’t look nearly good enough and so he got them a digital copy of the film by using the sd card in his pocket camera and a laptop. A good sized crowed stuck around past the QA to hear Gurf Morlix perform and while the funny but crude, “Wouldn’t That Be Nice” got a few on the run they all loved the beautiful songs like, “Ooh Love” and most made a point to meet us afterwards. The legend of Blaze is definitely continuing to spread.
As a random bonus I ran into Andrew Berends at one of the schmoozfests. I still insist that it was my blog post that finally tipped the scales and had Hillary Clinton calling for his release. He doesn’t disagree. Fortunately Kevin hasn’t thought up a scheme to get us arrested in Amsterdam for the same kind of publicity. Yet.
Above: Kevin Triplett sporting a custom duct tape tuxedo made by a fan of Blaze and Kai Mantsch with the poster. We’ve been telling people that it’s a playfully told, fun and uplifting movie about a homeless musician who gets killed.