Friday in San Diego

02011-07-15 | Photos | 7 comments

I last checked in a week ago, from Seattle. On Saturday we played the Bend festival to an enthusiastic audience. On Sunday we performed in Portland – we liked the Alberta Rose theater and loved the neighborhood – and then we had a day off in Napa on Monday. Four us had the good fortune to dine with Michael Chiarello at his Bottega restaurant. I had not met Michael before, but I knew the evening was going to be special when he took away the menus and asked if we minded if he just cooked a few dishes for us. I love, love, love when a chef improvises. By that I don’t necessarily mean inventing new dishes on the spot, but creating a spontaneous “set list” – like I do when I perform solo. Michael then talked about the syncopation of a meal, the journey created by multiple courses, the accents, hitting different parts of the palette, and so on. We enjoyed fabulous food, great wines, a free-flowing conversation and returned to our hotel after more than four hours.

I joked with Houman about the ups and downs of touring… one day we perform in a club with a bad sound system and the next in a fabulous theater or performing arts center, one day we cannot find a decent meal in or around the venue and the next day we are invited to Tetsuya’s in Sydney or the Bottega in Napa! Touring is very interesting indeed. I love the ups and downs – they remind me of the seasons in general and the dramatic weather in Santa Fe.

After the sold-out Napa Opera House we performed at the Livermore PAC, which was also sold-out and where Houman and I decorated a guitar, to be auctioned off for the performing arts center. After the concert we drove south to San Juan Capistrano. In the early morning hours I was met by my friend Joe Mozdzen, and after our annual breakfast at the Ramos House we took a bunch of photos. This is one of the 60 we picked – out of hundreds. It’s a little different and quite intense. Too intense for an album cover, but perhaps a good choice for the inside. Joe captured many different expressions, some of which I will share in the coming days.

I am writing this in San Diego, where we arrived around 02:00 this morning. I was scheduled to do a phone-interview for San Antonio at 09:00 and having to choose between sleep or pre-interview coffee, picked sleep and had coffee afterwards – at Caffe Italia on India Street, of course.


  1. Vic

    Once again, I must say what a wonderful performance you and Luna Negra had last evening at the Anthology. I was going to buy tix for the Club Nokia performance, but felt the environment at Anthology would be a much better place to see you perform. And it was. I always enjoy watching your performances in a venue where you can be close enough to the stage to see you coax your guitar into making such wonderful music. Looking forward to the next time your tour brings you to the So Cal area.

    p.s. Thanks for keeping OFJ alive and well.

  2. Panj

    Super Super Super Photo!!! Kudos to Mr. Mozdzen!!!…WOW!…can’t wait to see the others…what a delecious treat to look towards!
    Now I must change my mind, as to a statement I made to you, some time ago Ottmar, when you were talking about maybe going into movies. I personally thought your Music was so much more important, because of the great Healing Power! Well NOW I think someone should cast you as Yul Brynner! You two are so obviously cut from the same cloth, not only in handsomness but you also share a special electric energy,
    With an excellent script, your genius and your impeccable work ethic…I bet there would be an Oscar Nomination for sure…:-)
    Hey, plus ‘someone’ would have to do the Movie Score…LOL
    Thanks for sharing…God Speed

  3. Steve(Brokerbiker)

    Great photo. Sorry to hear about early morning interview for San Antonio station. Do you recall which one, perhaps I can find it. Looking forward to Thursday show here & Sunday in Houston.

  4. Kaz

    I love the picture Ottmar! This picture confirms for me that you are the ‘GODFATHER’ of the Nouveaux Nylon Nation! Are you sure you’re not Italian? ;) Bravisimo!

  5. Steve(Brokerbiker)

    Great performance in SATX tonight, the best of so many I have seen over all the years! Sound in The Majestic is great. Liked Michael and Houman at opposition on stage.

  6. Panj

    Dear Ottmar, was looking at your last photo today, enlarged so I could play novice iridology reader…:-)…What nice clear eyes you have. Eyes of a Warrior,I believe. Depth of feeling and Strength of focus!
    I hope you guys had a fantastic Concert tonight at the Majestic Theater! (Lucky San Antonians)…and I hope it brought you LOADS of smiles!…to help traverse the miles! God Speed!


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