I woke up Friday in Zaragoza, Spain, so hoarse I could hardly speak. How did that happen? The stage monitors the night before had been crystal clear, and by now I’ve learned to sing without blowing out my voice even when I can’t hear it at all. Then I remembered the jam session.
“When you were singing on the same mic with the screaming guy last night, it was crazy,” Mark told me in the van. “It just sounded crazy.”
After Thursday night’s show at La Ley Seca, which was great fun, we piled into two cabs and headed for an after-hours jam session. Delta Moon’s entourage included the owner of the nightclub, our agent Pepe Ferrandez, and a young woman with a beautiful smile who kept insisting in perfect English that she spoke no English, and who from time to time would exclaim out of nowhere, “I love this moment!”
“The rule of this jam session,” Pepe said, “is that you cannot bring any instruments. You must play whatever is there.”
What was there was a room full of writhing bodies and a band blasting so loud that the singer’s first scream went through my skull like an electric shock. A minute later another group took the stage, fronted by a young woman in heels and a white minidress. At first she had a problem with the microphone and looked very serious, but the instant it came on she started jumping around and shouting — no words, just “Eyaah! Eyaahh!” Here’s a few seconds of what that was like:
Then it was our turn. Some African guys in front started clapping and singing “Hey Bo Diddley” along with me. Then the band dropped out and the whole room was clapping and singing. Later we got back up and played “Rolling and Tumbling.” I turned to my right and suddenly we had a horn section, then turned around again and a guy in dreadlocks was playing a solo on an African drum. The screamer from the first band appeared beside me, echoing every line I sang on the same mic. If he was singing in any particular language, I didn’t recognize it.
Later at the bar he told me, “My father was South African. My mother was from Eastern Europe. I’m not from anywhere. I’m just a guy.”
So it continued until after 4:30 in the morning, when our band, minus entourage, rode a taxi through the still not quite deserted streets back to the hotel.
“You told us this was a serious jam session,” Marco, our Italian bass player, said to Pepe. “Instead it was delirium.”