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Cat Tales: July 2012

Posted on 31 July 2012 by brett

Pearl Jam Prague Finale

Pearl Jam Prague Finale

The Pearl Jam show in Prague was so inspiring that we decided to spontaneously follow the 10 Club to Berlin for two more shows. It did help that our new PJ friends (Dave & Lauren) offered their hospitality in Istanbul if we joined the parade. And, just when things were getting exciting….. we met our favorite guitarist Mike McCready at the Prague rail station.¬†What an amazing guy traveling like a normal dude with his friends and family.

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

In hindsight, I wish I had told Mike about my friend Kevin. I vividly remember our sophomore year at the University of Maryland listening to Mike’s side project “Mad Season”. Kevin loved the “Above” album and always wanted to play it along with Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains Unplugged. Mad Season is up there with some of my favorite albums of all time. The band consisted of Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), a friend of Staley’s from drug rehab and of course Mike on lead guitar. Like Kevin, Mike had alcohol abuse issues…. but fortunately was able to turn his life around. I wish I could say the same for Kevin and think about him everyday. We badly wanted Pearl Jam to play “Release” in Kevin’s memory. Continue Reading

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Pearl Jam & Berlin, Germany

Posted on 05 July 2012 by brett

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

Our decision to leave Prague and follow Pearl Jam to Berlin was spontaneous and what life’s all about. That morning, we scored two seats in Section 102 and a small guesthouse in Wedding, Berlin. We approached the train platform in Praha to notice a bunch of 10c members crowded around Mike McCready. What?? OMG!!

At the right moment, we jumped in for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Brett said, “dude?” and Mike was like, “where you from?”. We should have made a request or said something witty, but you know how that goes. Mike is such a cool and genuine dude. He travels independently by train with his family. It’s actually much easier in some ways than trekking to the airport, etc…… and, there is 1st class. We couldn’t wait to get to Berlin and share our story!

The Berlin Wall Near Wedding

The Berlin Wall Near Wedding

Not too far from the Wedding District in North Western Berlin are remnants of the Berlin Wall. We did a self-guided tour of the “walls” with watch tower foundations in between. Some parts of the wall are brick and intact. Others, are rusted steel beams. Pictorials exist all over with stories of escape attempts. We read about a young boy who scaled the wall and ran atop before being gunned down. There, remains a memorial with his story. Our favorite story is of a man who drove a pickup truck filled with sand, his wife, and child through the wall and then multiple barracks. There are sections of the wall where one could technically be on the east side, but think he’s on the west side. We met friends who shared their family story of migrating from east to west. They followed the “economic miracle” in West Germany (around 1950) as the Parliamentary Democracy prospered. Children secretly carried household items everyday to school until everything was moved. Continue Reading

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