Pipes. These ancient reminders of man’s need for pleasure. I walked into my study a few minutes ago. I call it “my study”, but really it’s just a small bedroom where I have a desk, my books, guitars, and pipes. So yes, it is my “study”. It’s where I sit and smoke, read, and write songs. I have numerous rosaries hanging on the wall. I love the rosary. I went without it for 42 years. Now, I can’t go anywhere without it.
I polished my Ser Jacopo Van Gogh “Picta” pipes today. Beautiful work. Jean Carlo Guidi is truly an artist. Van Gogh is my favorite painter. He was the Bob Dylan, the Leonard Cohen, the Luciano Pavarotti, the Jim Harrison of his time.
I have come across a very beautiful estate piece by Tom Eltang. I was very fortunate to spend a little time with Tom at his workshop in Denmark a couple of years ago. Tom is a remarkable pipe maker. His energy and focus in quite amazing. He makes many pipes, and each one is masterful. I believe this Oliphunt shape, inspired by Bo Nordh, is Tom at his best. If you are interested in this beauty, email me.. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lightly smoked, well cared for. Mint condition/Estate. One Star series/High Grade.
6 and 3/8 inches long, 2 inches wide, 2 inches tall, bowl 15/16ths diameter, 1 5/8 deep
One of the most intriguing places in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque. No matter how many times I walked or drove past, it demanded my attention. The stone wall in this photo is from ancient times, back when it was called Constantinople. Istanbul is an amazing city with an even more amazing story. From Crucifix’s to the Crescent Moon, so much of who we are today plays well with how this city became what it has become.
One night I was walking near the Blue Mosque and smelled a familiar scent. It was latakia. I walked toward where I thought it was coming from but never saw anyone smoking a pipe. I did notice many cigarette smokers. I kept walking and came upon some Bavarian tourist. They were waiting in line for coffee. I decided to have a cup of this very strong muddy liquid so unlike Starbucks. By the time I left Turkey I had grown very fond of it. After a bit of small talk over our steaming brew, I pulled out a pipe and loaded it with my recently acquired Balkan Sobranie, Joseph, from Bavaria, asked to smell the tobacco. “Ahhh, this is very much like what my grandpa smoked.” I lit up and they all lit up their cigarettes. If I recall correctly, they were smoking Dunhill Reds. A young Turkish man walked by smoking a hand rolled cigarette and it hit me why I was smelling Latakia, it was in the Turkish mans cigarette. At least, it smelled very much like it.
We finished our coffee and they invited me to join them for dinner. We had a wonderful time eating Lamb Kabob, drinking Raki, and smoking the Hookah.
My band played a few tunes this past Saturday at a little gathering of friends here in Oxford. It was good to be playing with Jeff again. One hour of mostly new songs, with a few from the album thrown in. We like playing the new ones..
Last week I went to Nashville to do some writing and recording with my band mate Jeff. We recorded the new set for the live show, and worked on a new tune called “Inside”. The next day I met up with Jody Davis and we went and had dinner with Pete Prevost. These are two very cool dudes folks. Pete had prepared an incredible meal. That, along with some high gravity IPA’s, made for a very nice evening.
Pete is a great collector of tobaccos. He even gifted me with a tin of Grousmoor from 2010. Thanks Pete!
As most know, Jody and Pete are very successful musicians. I also play and write a tune every now and then. As the night wore on, and the Hops kept pouring, we found ourselves making music. Pete on the Lap Steel Guitar, Jody on the old Les Paul, and me on a 1920’s Parlor acoustic. We jammed!!
A friend asked me if I had a favorite pipe? Now, I’ve been asked this before, but for some reason this time I had an answer. Usually I say this is too hard to answer. I would close my eyes and imagine my pipes all lined up on their stands. Little soldiers, comrades, friends; scanning them slowly and seriously. Having to say one is my favorite seemed somehow wrong. Each pipe has a story. Each one means something special. There’s a Mastro De Paja I’ve had since the mid 90’s I bought just before traveling to British Columbia to record an album. Every time I smoke it and listen to Bruce Cockburn, I’m back in beautiful Vancouver. Then there’s my Bamboo Poker by Jody Davis. Jody made it special for me and was a birthday gift many years ago. My first Julius Vesz, a Bing Crosby styled Apple. The pipe that “started it all”. But when he asked, I said without hesitation, “My Peterson “Emerald” Rusticated, XL-2 Canadian.” Wow, I said it! I was even amazed myself. But I have to tell you, I love that pipe. It cost me $62.50 in 1993 and it has been a workhorse ever since. Once I was riding horses with a buddy in the hills around Nashville and it started pouring down rain. I had just filled my Peterson with 965 and had it burning right. Instead of putting it in my bag, I turned it upside down and kept smoking. I didn’t lose a speck of tobacco, and it never went out.