Discovering Japan

Derek Trucks takes on the world

Good luck finding Derek Trucks in his hometown of Jacksonville. Though Trucks and his spouse, four-time Grammy nominee Susan Tedeschi, own a home there, the 27-year-old slide guitarist is on the road more often than not. Besides leading his own eponymous blues-based collective, Trucks is a full-time member of the Allman Brothers as well as an integral part of Eric Clapton's 2006/07 world tour entourage. And though he's a distant relative of yours truly — we believe our great-grandfathers were brothers — matching surnames still wasn't enough to get me on the guest list for a recent Derek Trucks Band show in New York City. But on the 55th anniversary of Pearl Harbor (at least in the States), the two Trucks finally conversed, via telephone from Derek's hotel in Tokyo.

Outtakes:So if it's Thursday night in New York, does that mean it's close to noon on Friday in Tokyo?

Derek Trucks:That's it. It's the future.

Yeah, it does feel a little strange. How's the television over there?

You know, I haven't watched too much of it, but there are a few English channels. The rest of it is just chaotic.

Have you been able to watch any sports?

No, I've pretty much missed all sports since I've been here, except the sumo tournament that just came on.

And you've got money on that, I guess.

Oh, big money. A lot of yen.

You bought your first guitar when you were 9 years old and started playing professionally just a couple of years later. In fact, you're the youngest guitarist onRolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. When you took that guitar home for the first time and put your fingers on the strings, did the roof of the house open up, the clouds part, and angels sing? Or did it take a little longer?

[laughs] You know, it's back and forth. With anything, you know, you have moments where you feel like you know what you're doing, and then you have other times where you feel like you've got a long way to go.

Tell me how the Clapton gig came about. You belong to two other bands, but I guess Eric Clapton is someone you make time for.

I got a call out of the blue from him. It was definitely unexpected. He wanted me to come play on that J.J. Cale record that just came out (The Road to Escondido), so I flew out there, and it was a great experience. A few songs into the record, he asked me to join the band for a year, so that's pretty much a no-brainer. It's not something you would turn down. Rob Trucks

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 29, at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $30 to $45. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.Where Do You Buy Your Hair?

Reporters are nosy people. That's what they pay us for. That's what we scored highest on our vocational aptitude tests — minding other people's business. Some reporters, like the ones who discover that Firestone tires blow up or that carrots give you cancer of the hair, save people's lives by being nosy. They get to ask deep, probing questions, like, "How long will it take for us to pull out of the (fill in the blank) war?" or "How many people died in Rwanda?" But when we're interviewing a 16-year-old rapper who, bless his heart, stumbled onto a hit single, even though the poor thing can't spell single, there's nothing deep or probing we can ask. At the same time, we can't just shoot the breeze and down a few beers with the kid either.

But inside our heads, there are other questions floating around, questions that would break a P.R. rep's heart. Here are the questions reporters wish they could ask but can't:

How much do your titties weigh?

Yes, you, with your big, giant titties that are as big as my head, how much do those puppies weigh exactly? Can you sleep on your back, or would they crush your rib cage?

Couldn't you tell he (or she) was marrying you for your money?

Come on, Britney. Be honest. You know he was after your dollars; don't be ashamed. Have you ever seen Chris Rock's wife? She's beautiful; no way she would be with that scrawny loudmouth if he was not pulling down the big bucks.

Who told you that you could sing?

Could somebody please tell Jamie Foxx that he was just acting like Ray Charles and that the movie is over? You and Ashlee Simpson... who erroneously told you that you could sing? They lied. You can't. So please, just stop.

Where do you buy your hair?

Solange Knowles, girlfriend — if on Tuesday your hair is shoulder-length while on Friday it's halfway down your back, we know you went out and bought it. And really, that's cool, but hey, don't keep it a secret. Some of us might need some new hair too. Spill. Where did you buy that silky, Korean imitation human hair, and who sewed it to your head? Olivia Flores Alvarez

Chef Ferdinand

Now we know why it's so much better on holiday: Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos, author of a Guardian column as a self-described "gastro-adventurer," has been savaging menus worldwide on his band's travels. Somewhere between telling Terry Wogan how he made it and hitting the transmission party, Kapranos noshed on a pork chop sandwich in Munich, sipped coconut in Singapore, lapped up corn ice cream in Rio — and compiled these into a book, due soon, titled Sound Bites: Eating on Tour With Franz Ferdinand.Endure the pun, dear reader, for you can very nearly hear the victuals in these tales. At one point, the former cook writes "I scoop out a dollop" of bone marrow in New York. "Glistening. Pink. Gelatinous. It reminds me of placenta. I spread it on the toast. It tastes... good... very good — homely, comforting. It would be perfect for convalescing." The word slurp contains too few u's to convey this scene.

Not all musicians can craft such images nor make it sound cool to leave condiments in your Glasgow fridge for two and a half years nor make such a persuasive pro-haggis argument ("the chieftain of the pudding race, maligned in undeserved disgrace"). But so long as red wine and chocolate truffles lead to Al Green on repeat, food and music will be wed. Kapranos' book could signal an onslaught of culinary books from pop stars, if they can only expand these dining diary entries:

Christina Aguilera: "The back stage tonight was pimped out! So much food! I made a pig of myself. Not Britney level but still you know pretty bad! I dipped my celery stick in dressing and smelled some cheese cubes and ate four Triscuits in like an hour. After the show I even got through three 40s before I passed out. I love you East Rutherford!!"

Bono: "In Kinshasa, I had a devil of a time securing even a simple snack of cashews. You would think that when you ask a Congolese shopkeeper, of all people, whether his wares are cruelty-free, he wouldn't stare at you as if you were visiting from the bloody moon."

Ludacris: "Breakfast in Long Beach was chicken and beer. Lunch was chicken, no beer. For dinner I made beer-battered chicken with potato salad and beer on the side. Had a chicken snack later, but I told my crew to stick with beer when we played Madden back in the bus. Hate it when fools get the controllers all greasy."

Ted Nugent: "Scarcely had the maître d' seated us in my customary booth when a waiter bustled past with an aperitif, and the aroma of rosemary and braised quail eggs met my senses. Wang dang sweet poontang, what an aroma! The baroness, seated to my right, must have seen the foodlust in my eyes. 'I know you've been famished since croquet this afternoon,' said she. 'But do save room for the crème brûlée. I venture that it rivals your own.' If only every tour could bring me through Luxembourg!" Sam Eifling

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