Mike Law (Wild Arrows)
SPB: What is the most valuable thing you’ve lost on tour?
Mike: I almost lost a show, does that count? On tour I have a tendency to want to walk around and see everything I can, sometimes until four or five am. It's usually one of the big positives for me about traveling. Last year on Wild Arrows tour I had a great time walking around Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn all night. I saw the sun come up in Riga over the the Daugava next to some of the last few Zeppelin hangers in the world. But other times it doesn't work out so well.
On the first New Idea Society tour in Japan I got really lost a few hours before the show. I didn't have a cell phone but I figured with a few hours it would be no problem to eventually find my way back. The problem was that the Osaka neighborhood I was in, of course, was one of those totally packed neon glowing cluster of blocks. Not only was there stuff everywhere but the venue was on the 25th floor of a big building. So it wasn't at ground level and there are a lot of other big buildings around. As I wandered around I tried to ask people about where the rock club was but even when I found someone who spoke English they didn't know. I was trying to narrow down the big buildings when I realized there was only 45 minutes until our set time. I started to panic a bit and I got more frantic. I could picture Tadashi and Hideki's faces as they told me it was OK I missed the show. But it wouldn't have been OK. It was a huge sold out show and they had flown us over for the first time risking a lot of money for themselves. Suddenly, I saw a computer store and I ran in to use one of the display computers. I figured if I could sign into my email I could see the name of the club and someone could show me how to get there. The keys are all obviously in Japanese. I run in and claw at them, only 20 minutes until set time. I clumsily get into my email somehow and scroll to the last itinerary only to see TBD next to the name of the venue...! I am literally sweating at this point, 10 minutes to set time, and through the window my eyes lock on the backpack of a girl walking briskly by, it's a pin with my band name on it. I practically knock someone over rushing out the door and I grab this poor girl. She swings around to look at me and understandably looks startled, a 6"2 guy just grabbed her arm. I start pointing at her pin and talking fast. All of the sudden she realizes what is going on and points at her watch, it's 7 minutes to set time. We start running and... no exaggeration, I was in the the building the show is in, it just looks totally different from that side of the street. In my defense, a lot different. We run up an escalator and smash the buttons on the elevator and it comes immediately. I get off and run past security into the back room, it's two minutes to set time and I slow down. I walk to the backstage and I see everyone is really, really, stressed that I wasn't there, then immediately mad that I was so irresponsible. We walk on stage and to this day it's one of the best shows I've ever played. But I did learn my lesson, now I carry a copy of the address where I'm going in my pocket when I go for a walk, every time. I didn't get to say thank you to that girl, hopefully someday I'll be able to.