☎️ I Received a 5am Wake Up Call From… Alex Himself!
Dec 12, 2023
I hope you’re doing great...! I’m back in Virginia at Alex’s home with The Long Shadows as we’re getting started to work on loads of new music, finally! I’m so thrilled to be here with my best friends after what has been such a long and crazy year on pretty much every possible level. The vibe is crisp around smiles, hugs, great conversations, nice music, and of course, all of this under Alex’s never-beaten welcoming spirit and generosity!
It’s right now Saturday morning, precisely 10:36 am, and I’m on the third floor of Alex’s home, listening to The Pogues with Joe Strummer’s album Live in London. I wanted to honor Shane MacGowan’s recent passing, which I watched parts of yesterday, and where artists like Nick Cave, Glen Hansard, and Lisa O’Neill sang at the Saint Mary of the Rosary Church in his hometown of Negagh in the Irish county of Tipperary. Sláinte, as they say in lovely Ireland, to all of you punk rockers at heart out there, as another great one, a legend, has gone.
Last week has been a busy, crazy, but unforgettable one! As you hopefully know, Miss Isabel, Alex, and I traveled overseas in order to ship all of your wonderful packages for you to receive at home before the year ends! These initiatives are always a mixture of thrilling and stressful, especially for Alex, where he has to beat the clock writing thousands of personalized letters to everyone involved a few days before leaving, allowing some time to finalize the packing and the entire organization of it all.
Miss Isabel flew to Paris, Alex went to Frankfurt, and I traveled all the way to Tokyo, all of us staying on-location for approximately 24h! Alex decided it could be great for him to organize a meet & greet with a few friends for a few hours! How amazing of him – and of everyone who decided to show up! This is precisely what Alex stands for and thrives for, this human connection that truly means the world to him! I’m so thankful since I believe there was no better way for him to share an unforgettable moment before heading back into the studio after what has probably been the longest and hardest year of his existence!
On my end, as you know how lucky I am when it comes to traveling with Air Canada, I’m always kinda nervous especially knowing that if anything goes wrong, things will be complicated, as I’m only in Tokyo for a few hours! After my plane was delayed more than one hour, I started thinking “Here we go again!”, but everything ran quite smoothly for me, as I landed in Tokyo at around 6pm, got all my luggage, and ran to the post office right before it closed, managing to ship everything on time!
I then got to my hotel, which was right by the airport, at around 9pm. I had some work to do, and some calls to make, so I went to bed at around 1am as there was nothing to do around the hotel, not even a great restaurant! This is tragic when you’re in Japan! Then, I heard my phone ring, like really loud. It’s pitch black in my tiny hotel room, I’m trying to understand where I am, what’s happening, what’s that loud noise. I can’t find my phone, I open the light, and see on my phone screen “The Alex” – this is how I wrote his name in my phone contacts. I start being worried, still half asleep, thinking “If Alex is calling me, something’s wrong for sure!”
I go “Salut frère (we call each other “brother” in French)”. And then my mind kicks in as I can hear he’s in a public place, either a pub or a restaurant: he’s in his meet & greet party, and I might be on speaker phone where everyone can hear my low-end, exhausted, and worried very early morning voice! My first reaction was to look at my phone again making sure the Facetime call was an audio one and not a video, otherwise, I think I would’ve fainted! How much shame can one handle, right?!
Alex goes “Hey brother, how are you? You sound as if you were sleeping!” I then went “Well, I was! It’s like 5am here in Tokyo!” Alex continued laughing a lot as if he didn’t know! “Oh! I’m with a few friends here in Frankfurt and we wanted to talk to you!” “How nice of you! What an amazing idea! Sure, pass the phone over and I’ll be delighted to speak with everyone there!” (This is not precisely what went through my mind though, as I was more thinking I needed a coffee and a huge one then and now! But before I had the time to say anything related to needing a second to get my head straight, I heard “Hello Jeff, this is…” So here I was, standing in the middle of my hotel room, heading to the bathroom hoping I could at least throw some cold water in my tired face in order for my brain to reach at least 70% of its normal functions, but I froze, my brain now thinking “Too late, buddy, let’s roll, I’ll give you my best, good luck!”
I finally spoke with everyone present around the table starting and ending with Alex! We had such a great time, and I felt really special and privileged to be a part of this incredible moment! Truly loved it! Life is so rich! I couldn’t sleep anymore, so I went to the gym to run on the treadmill while listening to the Pod Save The World podcast. Long day ahead, flying back to Montreal, driving back home, then driving again for another 14 hours down to Virginia with Miss Isabel!
And here I am, since last Wednesday evening, with The Long Shadows, where we’re gathered to put down what will be Alex’s next and new album! We’re all so thrilled and on fire, especially following what has been one of the shortest but most soulful and memorable trips ever! Thank you all so very much for being part of this incredible journey, which is just getting started! I truly can’t wait to invite you with us as we’re diving into this new chapter. We’ve all been waiting for so long!
Stay tuned and always keep an eye on The Club App!
Since last Wednesday, December 6th, I've been doing daily videos talking about songs I previously shared with you this year within my missives. If you missed any of those, make sure to log in and take a look as I’ll be doing this until January 6th! It's a daily rendezvous!
I really enjoy reading your comments in the app! For Alex and myself, to gather, share, and build around music is such an empowering thing and we feel so blessed and grateful to do so with you!
I also did a Spotify playlist for you to enjoy and listen to as loud as you can!
See you again next week for the last missive of 2023!
Let’s be great to one another!
Your Host and Friend,