Coffee in the hotel from 8AM to 9AM. At 9AM I am surprised with the request to play guitar on TV. I go back to my room and fetch my instrument. We leave in a mini-van, destination TV interview. Music from the radio station that is sponsoring the concert is blaring loudly. I don’t say anything. Maybe I am supposed to marvel at the effort and the many ads they are running for the concert. The colonial buildings in Quito are magnificent, but the new architecture is uninspired. We pass a Hyondai ad that proclaims “Liberate your Spirit”, with a photo of the Tucson model SUV. If it was that easy, simply buy a car and liberate your spirit, this would be a different world. That’s the core of the problem isn’t it? Poor people think having a car will liberate their spirit, people with some money hope that a bigger and fancier car will liberate their spirit, the rich believe that a second or third home will liberate them, and the very rich hope that the 100+ feet custom yacht will liberate their spirit… To have will never set you free. To be might, and from that follows to do…
After arriving at the TV studio I am asked which song from the NF CD I would want them to play. I reply that they can play any song they like. Then I ask whether I should tune my guitar – will I also play a song? The answer is that we will use playback, meaning I am supposed to pretend playing the guitar while “Barcelona Nights” is pumped through the system. Playback is cheesy, I say. What is cheesy, I am asked, what does that mean? Good question.
I am taken to the studio, where at present 3 young women are getting ready to present wedding dresses. A tech-guy points to a barstool, which I don’t like, but accept since the only alternative is a low chair on wheels. The techie looks for a hole in my guitar for his 1/4 cable. I show him that I don’t have a pickup and he returns with a big wireless microphone.
I am wired up for the interview and we have a few seconds for a soundcheck. “Proof of sound”, someone calls it, which I think is a nice phrase. Before I am asked a question, one of yesterday’s interviews is played back. They are enjoying my little story about being asked in Venezuela, Colombia, Argentinia and Brazil, didn’t I agree that the local women are the most beautiful in all of South-America. When I mentioned that the men in the other countries claimed that “their” women were the most beautiful, I was always told that those guys did not know what they were talking about… The inevitable question at the end of the video playback: What did I think of the women in Ecuador – say they are the most beautiful, the hostess whispers to me… I answer that all women are beautiful. Then I play a short version of “Snakecharmer”.
Back at the hotel at 11AM. Off until 1PM, when we will drive to the venue, the Teatro Nacional, Casa de la Cultura.