Chris Nelson takes a dive

Our 1989 European tour was a mess.  Band management, handled in-house, could be summed up as “hope for the best.”  Sometimes it worked.  This was not one of those times.  We committed to seven weeks away from home before we actually saw whether there were enough dates to make it worth our while (there weren’t).  As our bassist–Stephan–was someone with whom we had little in common (best as we could tell, as he rarely spoke), we made the perhaps understandable, but nevertheless short-sighted decision to pass up traveling with a European tour manager who could’ve doubled as soundman in favor of someone we thought it’d be fun to travel Europe with.  And no doubt, were we not so far out of our depth, we would have been right in our choice of Chris Nelson, taking time out from The Scene Is Now and Mofungo to don his self-styled factotum hat.   We brought him up a few times to sing “Let’s Compromise,” which he recorded with Information and we covered on New Wave Hot Dogs, before switching his turn in the spotlight to “1969.”  And what a turn.  Creating mayhem wherever he roamed on stage, one never knew what would happen next.  Twenty-five years ago today, we were in Madrid, at the just-the-facts named Rock Club.  It was a big place, but it was also a free show, so the attendance was sizable, as was the height of the stage.  Who could blame Chris for picking this night to stage dive?  Unfortunately, equally blameless were the people up front–turned out it wasn’t quite as  packed as it seemed–who to a man got out of his way.  As loud as we were playing, I still imagine that I heard Chris land.   He had a noticeable limp for quite a while, and we decided to remove “1969” from the rotation for a few weeks.