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Off the Rails with Station to Station pt VI: Big Sky Country

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to present a series of Art Nerd ‘On the Inside Tip’ posts by Stacy Conde! Stacy spent the better part of September 2013 on Doug Aitken’s Station to Station cross-country train and we are fortunate to have her share her behind the scenes tour experience on Art Nerd City Guides.

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.

Massive sky in Raton

Massive sky in Raton

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.

Santa Fe style

Santa Fe style

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.

It may by blue, but it’s the bomb (note: not the real thing, obvs)

It may by blue, but it’s the bomb (note: not the real thing, obvs)

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.

Not our train, but a beaut just the same

Not our train, but a beaut just the same

Electric Chan

Electric Chan

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 UFO fulfilled our alien-spotting expectations.

En route to Barstow

En route to Barstow

Life on Mars... or Barstow

Life on Mars… or Barstow

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  1. […] Memoirs from the train on Doug Aitken’s Station to Station tour.  Originally published via Art Nerd Los Angeles. […]



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