Off the Rails with Station to Station, part VI: Big Sky Country
Memoirs from the train on Doug Aitken’s Station to Station tour. Originally published via Art Nerd Los Angeles.
We got off the train for just a few hours in Raton. The film crew shot some stunning Eleanor Friedberger footage while we darted around town and picked up southwestern gear. We left the train as a bunch of urbanites. We returned adorned in turquoise and cowboy hats.
The Santa Fe event site was fantastic. We had a whole new roster of musicians join us for the Happening: Cat Power, Thee Satisfaction, Nite Jewel and Handsome Family.
When we got back on the train in Santa Fe, train producer Adam Auxier and his sister Lauren had a surprise for us. We would be traveling through New Mexico. While on the tour, we were missing the season finale of Breaking Bad.
La Posada was the site of the Winslow Happening. A historic hotel right on the tracks, La Posada was the perfect host for STS. It is also a favorite of Ed Ruscha, whose cactus omelette was the featured menu item at our pre-Happening dinner on the lawn. Jackson Browne joined us as our Winslow Happening headliner and provided a spectacular “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona” moment. Cold Cave, Thee Satisfaction, Giorgio Moroder and Cat Power rounded out the night.
Barstow was just 2 hours away from home for many of us. It felt strange to be so close and yet still three Happenings away from the end of the tour. We’d made it back to the west coast and we were a mixed bag of emotions. The Barstow setting was epic – in the literal sense of the word. The Skyline Drive-In was our event site. The desert landscape was other-planet-like. No Age, who had been our tour brothers for the majority of the dates, reunited with us and performed beneath a massive drive-in screen as the sun went down. Beck made his first of two STS appearances while Peter Coffin’s UFOfulfilled our alien-spotting expectations.