I came here because I fell in love with Memphis. When I left New York, I thought I’d be moving either to Nashville or to Austin, but a friend suggested I take a look at Memphis. I came to take a look, happened to drive past a building in Midtown with a FOR RENT sign out front, and, presto, I’m a Memphian.
I am enchanted by Memphis. There is a vibe here, a spookiness, a feeling, that you don’t feel anywhere else. There is something very particular and special.
I’d lived in New York since 1989, and it was just time to leave. New Yorkers, particularly of my arty-groovy variety, always talk about how the city has been eaten up by money, and there isn’t a place for people to make art anymore. That’s true, but, really, it had just been a lot of years, and it was time for a change. New York will always be New York for people who love New York, and I just didn’t anymore.
I spend a big chunk of my life on tour, mostly in America, and I know so many cities intimately. I’ve been in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston, you name it, twice a year every year for twenty years. So in each town I know what neighborhoods I like, where the vibe coffee place is, where to get good food. But I’ve never really spent much time in Memphis. I’ve played at the New Daisy just a handful of times in my career, that’s it. As you know, you don’t get a real feel for Memphis from Beale Street.