A tap on the shoulder
Saturday, December 16, Philadelphia.

I'm at the posh Bellevue Hotel, in the room next door to Lenny Kaye's. Thirteen-year-old Jackson Smith has arrived from Detroit, and the prodigal guitar player of the family is crashed out in Lenny's room. I'm trying desperately to reach Tom Verlaine, who's in a room downstairs. I've got to get an interview with him before this tour is over. Oh, shit. It's over tomorrow. I gotta really hump now.

Later, in the darkness of the Electric Factory, there is a tap on my shoulder. Whenever that happens, it's an omen. I feel something of import coming on. Before I can turn around, a woman's voice whispers to me, in a beautiful German accent: "What is your name?"

I turn around to find this mysterious gal I've watched at some of the other shows on this tour. I've privately dubbed her the Bird in Space Girl, because she reminds me of the sleek Brancusi sculpture by that name. She's the most beautiful woman on the planet, I've decided. And now she's asking me my name.

"Hi," I say. "I'm Al."

"I'm Jutta," she says. "Jutta Koether. I've seen you."

"In Danbury," I answer. "You're Thurston's friend."

"Actually," she replies, "I'm really Kim's friend."

We chat. She's a writer and artist. And she brings up the Brancusi exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Unbelievable. This is too perfect.

"I'm Tom's girlfriend," she says.


"You know Tom. Tom Verlaine? He's been looking for you all day."

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