Nine-eleven Uptown John and Harley-Davidson

On 9-11, in 2013, I was in Napa Valley on a Harley-Davidson rolling to Will Call for my ticket to see the reigning master of Americana music. That night, John Hiatt and his Combo played Uptown Theatre, a historic theater in a historic town on a historic date.

Napa is very old-fashioned but it’s also a gateway to the American palate of advanced agriculture, great wine & food, fine art…and music. The Town is a diverse ramshackle El Norte community of church-goers — at mass that week, the priest had us all pray for a 49ers victory — together with farm-workers, winemakers, and elderly hippies all under assault by upscale B&Bs, exorbitant real estate, and tasters in long black cars with tinted windows. Napa has a split personality and Uptown Theatre personifies that perfectly.

theater entrance

The Theatre is a time portal transporting you to an 1890s where musicians sing into microphones and play electric guitars under cool lights for an eccentric audience swirling Duckhorn Merlot in a misty noire. It’s like a Fellini movie without the sex. Still, Uptown has it all: decor, vibe, great wine, and vintage fans. Looking through the curved glass of Duckhorn, I noticed a shimmering visage of beautiful silver-gray. When I was young, I never thought gray would look so fine. But it does. Uptown is a place to be around old people and not feel old.

When I think back on it now, the night is rendered in a strange sepia patina. Hiatt’s music is partly responsible but it’s more than that. I remember riding away after the show wondering about a lot of things to the rumble of the Harley. The air was thick with Americana.

The Dark Knight at Uptown Theatre Napa

At Uptown Theatre September 11th 2013

Published by

Nico

Publishes Steel Wheels - The Tao Of Motorcycling: http://steelwheelsblog.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s