mike watt + the secondmen
"el mar cura todo" tour 2004 diary
week 2

pete, watt and raul in front of the boat in lincoln, ne - week 2 of tour - 2004

pete mazich - organ, singing
watt - thud staff, spiel
raul morales - drums

(left to right)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

thursday, september 23, 2004 - boise, id

from raul:

   Left spokane at eight sharp, gotta hell of a drive, and we're gonna try a new route. On the the way outta town we picked up some lil' homies from a homie machine. For those of you reading not to sure of what the i'm talking about, they're these miniture gangsters, theres even chickas, girl gangsters, and check this dudes in wheel chairs, fucked up right, this is what little kids are buying with their moms quarters while she buying the grub... i would get the metal band stickers, anyways we get them as sort of like fortunes, they're gonna be our tour personas. I still haven't figured mine out yet, it's an old timer, he's wearing a black overcoat and a fidora, he's got a little john waters mustach and his hand in his coat like he's reaching for a gun.

   Drive to boise was good,on the highway we stopped to take a photo of bob lee road, an old drummer for watt, seems like we stopped right after we saw, but i must've ran four blocks to get that picture, besides that, just read, wrote, and talked with watt. Load in as soon as we get there, the place is called nuerolux, i've never been, last time i was in bosie f.y.p played a club in the back of someones house. Behind the drum set there's this giant crown with flashing lights all over it, things big, like six feet big. It's auctually pretty fuckin' silly, but it looks so funny, i gotta have em' leave it on. After sound check pete and me go over to barts house Barts an old friend of bands, and the boys always stay at his pad when playing bosie, this time things are no diffrent. He makes his own dough so we chow down on some real proper homemade pizza, i hadn't eaten much of any thing besides corn chips and candy since breakfast in seattle, so this was a much needed, long over due lunch... thanks bart.

   Hangin' out at barts pad was very relaxing, chill backyard, with a couuple of dogs on the deck, but i look at my watch, and it's about ten, so we should get back to the club to check out the other band... i can lick every son of bitch in the house...how's that for a band name, i was half expecting some skinny little mo' kid or something. I don't know, the singer was a definite bad ass who could defiently kick my ass, and maybe the drummer,who , by the way was a real bad ass musician, but i think i could whip the other three, lucky for them i don't like to fight. Guys in the band were super cool, and seemed to have their shit together, tight on stage, and real considerate to the other bands, the olny thing kinda off setting to me, was their number one hit with with a bullet called fuck machine, but whatever, i'm a pussy like that sometimes, just the way my momma raised me. A band got added on last minute, timonium from l.a. I see a familiar face walking towards me, and it turns out to be a guy in timonium, i had met him at my place, when his friends from gainnesville, the reactionary 3 had played a show at 673, all the timonium girls and boys were real sweet too, wish i wouldv'e gotten to see them make music.

   Our set went real well, not as much yammer as i expected, someone told me that i reminded them of the drummer from yes, whats that all about, shit for all i know maybe i do play like the dude from yes, thats cool... i guess. We're playin' like a fifty three minute song i think it is, and the set just flys by, i'm happy about that cuz it means that we're not draggin' or bored on stage, when we're done plyin' i don't wanna be done playin' , that's partly my fault, seeing as how i don't know any more songs, oh well theres always the next gig to play.

   Psychedelic flashing crown floating behind starts to get a bit intense towards the midle of the set, and i loose concentration for a couple minutes. Some funny stuff was comin' from the crowd, this totally wasted dude is up front moaning along to the songs, i really can't tell if loves it hates it or what... seemed like he was trippin' on heavy shit, another guy was makin' bird sounds sounds, and after the gig he gave us all like ten hugs a piece, must of been some good acid.

   After the show we go back to bart and steph's place. Steph is married to bart, they're also in a group together called hot dog sandwhich, steph plays bass, and bart's on the skins, also hangin' out, are a couple of their friends, amanda, and her man friend. just sittin' around drinkin' some beers, you know. Mike's a good story teller, and tonites bedtime story, is the one about the bass player, who goes to istambul to play his bass in a cave with the stooges, its's a good one, and has a happy ending. After story time, and another beer, it's time for bed. pete, and me are gonna share the moter home out in the back yard. Sleep came on the instant my head hit the pillow. mike woke us up like a tornado, jumpin' around yellin' it's chow time sailors, all the while with a big smile on his face. bart made a kick ass breakfast, bisquits and gravy, homefries,blueberry muffins, and some o.j to wash it down, bart's so cool, even left the sausage out of the gravy for me, cuz i don't dig on swine, thanks again bart. Chow was good, real good, i waspretty much eating until we where out the door. Bart was already off to work, so we all gave steph a hug, mike took her picture, and we're off...bye bye idaho.

from pete:

   popped at darren's and immediately went to go shave as we had a bit of a hellride and we had to bail quickly. having finished this mundane task I rolled the bag up and we loaded up the boat w/ our stuff and we were off once again. much respect to darren and his lady for having us once again. also, much luck to jeremy on his apprenticeship; you're working with the best bro.

   the ride was pretty mellow and I got in some great reading time; "the gulag archipelago is an intense book and the shit that Stalin and his crew brought down on the russian people was truly horrible. It's definitely a must read. mike manned the helm for a good part of the trip and I took over for the last seventy miles. the chief guided me into town and we pulled up in front of the pad (the neurolux), right around six and loaded the gear out. The soundman wasn't around yet but we set up and I chimped a little diary in the interim while nursing a vodka. half hour later the soundman (a nice cat named larry), shows up and quickly gets us set up. we rip thru the "red and the black" and it sounds really good; I'm really glad because the neurolux was the site of one of the worst gigs for me last tour and I wanted to do my best this time around and I wasn't going to let anything sour it (I was definitely on a mission). Bart (who we were staying with) showed up and he dug on the check'; he didn't get to hear us last time around as he had a gig and couldn't make it until late. I wanted to play good for him (and his wife steph too).

   I finished up the chimp and packed up the ti book; bart invited us to go over his pad for some chow and a kick back so we rolled over w/ him in his tour boat. he made us some kind pizza (he's a killer cook), which we chowed down w/ much fervor. we headed on back to the neurolux and got there just in time to catch the second band's show. They were called "I can lick any S.O.B. in this place" and if you ever get a chance to go see them, by all means go. The singer/guitarist, mike is a very sweet man and the band is balls out. I was way into them. country-punk-roadhouse blues turned upside down! they're from portland and portland should be proud. check em out.

   the band finished on time and got their stuff off quickly; very cool and a welcome change from the spokane bogart. much respect guys. me and raul set up our tools and I went to go wake the chief. he sauntered on stage and we were off. we ripped thru the piece and our dynamic was great- no loss of nerves for me this time; I just fucking went off -rollie kept the freight train moving and watt kept it on the tracks. it was a great show and the folks showed us much love. there was a small amount of clammage but as I said before we have honed a great recovery and didn't get into any major stumble-fucks. we finished up to great applause and I was just spent when we were done. watt slung the merch while me and raul packed up the gear and loaded it into the boat. I rapped w/ the guitar player of the opening band for a while; I was sorry that we didn't get to check them out. he's a real nice cat and gave me a cd. we finished loading the boat and rapped with the cats from "I can lick any S.O.B... and they were totally down cats. they were also playing in salt lake the next nite and I invited them to our gig to hang. very sweet cats.

   we hopped in the boat, descrolled and steamed over to bart and Steph's pad where we rapped till the early hours of the morning and watched a video of the best of Christopher Walken on SNL. finally around four AM I felt the sueno coming on and I happily conked out. laku noc sviraci.....

from watt:

   pop at just after seven - no costume change yet cuz I'm still committed to wearing the same outfit for three days three times each this beginning of the tour - hell, I might make it that for the rest of the tour even! seems to be working... I think I forgot to mention that yesterday morning I put on the shirt that kirsha gave me in new orleans a few years ago where she put "bass = love" on the back of it. it's not flannel but it's plaid and plus, it's got pearloid snaps like the blue one I'd just been wearing. it's gone long sleeves though which is kind of good for driving and heading off "trucker's arm" - that sunburn shit you get from having your port arm in the window for hours while driving. damn. I stuff my konk sack in its sack while darrin makes up some coff. 'pert-near eight bells and we're off. bye darrin and jeremy, thanks much.

   just before getting out of town, we get gas and I get some nuts to chow. the minimart here also has a vending machine that sells "homies" for fifty cents each. these are big in l.a. - little figurines of latino community caricatures, which I have about thrity on a bookcase at my pad in pedro. raymond digs them too. I ask my guys to each get one after I do the same for myself and I tell them maybe they'll be a symbolic parallel for each of us w/the luck of what we each draw from the machine. I get one that has a cat w/a backwards baseball hat and baggy clothes (!!!) and he's got maybe in one hand and a sketchpad in the other - on his shirt, it says "painter." pete's cat has an open pink shirt w/one had out, palm out and in the other hand, a briefcase. raul's got a man w/a dark overcoat and a fedora, he's got one hand reaching into his coat's inside breast pocket over his heart. since raul's riding shotgun, I ask him to use tape to mount them on the dash but the sun's heat makes that lame. pete's got some superglue though and that does a much better job. now we have both mascots and alter-egos to help us on our journey, alright!

   the ride between spokane and boise doesn't have a direct interstate route so what I've done before is take secondary roads that do go that way. that involves some major grades, following white water through the bottom of some intense canyons and though it's beautiful, it can sure can wear on you. not just me on the wheel (sharp turns too meaning slowing down to twenty mph) but on my guys, 'pert-near enough to get them seasick w/all the coming abouts and such. so, I'm thinking of doing more miles but keeping to at least four lane stuff for a higher average mph and less climbing for the boat. that means backtracking west some on I-90 and then heading south at ~ and getting into oregon at pendleton (love the shirts!), getting through the cascades there at la grande over the I-84 and taking that into boise. we're very much blessed w/good weather.

   we pass that "bob lee road" again and this time we gotta get a shot of its sign so I can email that back to bob lee. I pull the boat over and raul runs back to get the shot - success. onward. at ritzville, I bring us about south on us-395. it's easy going on the boat so far and I can dig that, love her much. we do our daily prayer: "bless the boat, bless the band, bless buddy" - "buddy" meaning the picture we got of buddy rich taped on the boat's ceiling, showing off some intense choppers w/nothing but an intense grin. raul's kind of new to navigating but he's sitting in the seat where that's what's asked for and we get a little mixed up in kennewick, going over the columbia river and do two blow-bys but they're only one off-ramp later and loop back to get on track again... no big deal. another crossing of the columbia (let me say it again - such a huge piece of water!) and we're into oregon, I get the boat gas at pendleton and we start our climb. so great it's not snowing - I had a nightmare of a time coming the other way through here as a passenger - I was helping j mascis w/a fog tour and maybe it was a february... we were pulling a trailer and the guy driving (not j) was not happening w/the safety thing at all, fuck. that was fucking petrifying for me and it was at night too. so glad the road was closed at la grande and we had to stop until morning. that was one huge load of shit for me to endure - I couldn't even look out the windshield and just stared at drummer george berz's face (he was looking out the windshield), totally white w/fear.

   back on the road, we talk about last night's gig some. there was this guy who yelled out "you're old" when I couldn't remember the name of the opening band and it turns out this it was his birthday - he talked to me when the show was done. turns out he was a bass player also and was turning forty. he was just joking and feeling his years too - he was a really nice guy and said very nice things to me. a lot of gigs have taught me to not to quickly or over react to what people might say cuz you don't really know where they might be coming from until you really get a chance to talk to them so why not give them the benefit of the doubt though I did come back a little w/something like, "what? fuck that!" I was laughing the whole time though cuz compared to a lot of folks who come see me, I am a little older. you'd be surprised though how there are still times when there's a cat who's even older and will tell you that when they're thanking you for playing. so weird us humans put such emphasis on the age thing, must have maybe a little to do w/marketing but maybe there's something hardwired in us about that too. I feel lucky people ain't too age-prejudiced and dismiss me outright w/out giving me a chance, I think that's pretty open-minded of them.

   after clearing the mountains, we pull into ontario (not the canadian one!) for gas and I have pete wheel us the last hour or so into boise. makes no sense to drive tired, none. we're playing the neurolux, a pad I've been at many times. we pull up and load in at almost six, we lost an hour moving into the mountain time zone. we set up but can't soundcheck w/soundman larry until a couple of drivers are replaced in the p.a. so I go across the street and chow some wor won ton soup at a chinese restaurant I usually am at when playing boise. I put lots of chili and some rice in it. it says on the paper placemat that I'm born in the year of the rooster. the fortune cookie says I'm going to benefit from life experiences. hmm... these insights from chinese wisdom makes me think - it makes pete laugh when I get back to the club and tell him but he wants to keep the fortune cookie paper so I give it to him. we do our soundcheck tune (the p.a.'s been fixed) and then this water color artist named mark wants me to meet his buddy terry cuz he's a big fan of mine and I sit and rap w/them and their friends. they're all artist folks and we get into this discussion of what is art and stuff like that after I tell them about being in idaho as a boy for a bit while my pop was get trained in working a reactor in atomic city (he'd later do this in engine rooms on boats). what a jump and ain't that a weird thing to try and define?! I bring up marcel duchamp cuz I dig him much and mark says he was a "thinker" instead of a "doer" though he does acknowledge some his works ("nude descending a staircase" and "the bride stripped bare of he bachelors" plus the readymades) - mark is sort of an absolutist in a way and thinks most everything is bullshit. we talk about bukowski too. they're very interesting people and I'm all ears - mark says sometime he'd like to teach me how to waterpaint - wow, that would be wild. I've always had a hankering to paint or draw but have never have really tried it cuz maybe I'm too scared. I have such respect for raymond's work but feel so inadequate to give it a try myself... maybe some day. man, if I could ever develop the skill, I know someone I'd love to do pictures of - I've thought of this for years but have never got up the nerve. I guess I try to paint in the meantime w/my bass but someday... it's time for me to do a phone spiel w/a denver radio station. he asks some trippy questions which is nice - you know how you can tired of the same ol' same ol'. I then go to the boat and konk cuz I'm beat.

   pete rousts me when it's gig time. seems there were two openers - we only thought this one band was opening, this one from portland called I can lick any son of a bitch in the house (pretty big cojones to call your band that, huh?) and I really wanted to see them but was just too fucking tired. turns out this band called timonium played before too. some of their members talk to me and are really nice - shit, I wish I could've seen both of them. it's one of the lame things about me konking before I play like I do but I can't see another way of me doing my best w/the limitations I have (unable to sleep in, just not the strongest in general, etc.). last time we played here it was yammer city but this time folks are much more respectful and attentive. the gig goes good for us though I do fuck up a stanza in "pluckin'..." and even acknowledge that by working into my spaceout in the moment it happened. I've learned much to laugh at myself and in a song like that one, it makes a lot of sense - not the same thing as the issues in "burstedman" or something like that. there's one cat who yells "the red and the black" the entire time - I bet he was gald when we finally did that for the encore. one reason why I've been giving us a tiny inro before we play the piece is to let folks know that I'm playing this long thing and it's like one big song, cut into nine parts. I guess I used to yell out my favorite tunes when I saw bands I liked too so I shouldn't be too weirded out. I hate the idea of disappointing anyone though. at the same time, we gotta be more than human jukeboxes on stage too. it's a weird thing cuz I verry much feel I owe folks who come to us a lot but still want to be able to challenge them w/stuff maybe the won't expect. it's a trippy balance. this same guy (who's probably very much a sweetheart, I could tell) hollers for "if reagan played disco" in the most quiet part of our set, during the roky cover. oh boy.

   much niceness from people when we're done, truly. much gratitude back from watt. that man w/the song suggestions (he also had a special bird call thing going besides a faux-spanish interpretation of the roky tune) tells me he has a lot to tell me by it'll have to wait for another night. hmm... then this cat named kevin who played drums w/caustic resin when I took them on tour a few years ago (maybe the "putting the opera to bed" tour?) says hi and gives me the hat his cousin mike died wearing. he was given only to sixteen to live after a childhood accident but held on until thirtyfive. whoa, a very special hat - that was very sweet of him. it trips pete out cuz it's the same kind his pop svetko wears - one of those fisherman kind w/a short brim all around it. I'm going to wear though, of course. speaking of caustic resin, that group's mainman brett is here, just back from playing for mark lanegan on a eurotour. he's in good spirits, having just moved to seattle and it's great to see him again. it's kind of a trip that while we're in the moment, doing the gig and all that it seems like you might not be making any connection but then at the end when folks tell you all these nice things it makes me want to try harder and just focus w/my secondmen guys to make sure we can deliver the piece the best we can. I've always been so insecure and just one reason I leaned so on d. boon and still have to think of people who inspire me much to keep from totally running away and trying to hide. anyway, although my music might seem like I make it just for me, I feel much in debt to folks to do whatever I do the best I can cuz of such open heart and mndedness they show me. very much so. it's always quite touching on me at the end of the gig here like this.

   bart and steph have invited us over to konk so after all our goodbyes (great to talk w/the timonium cats who are loading out in the alley in front of us), we follow bart in his hotdog sandwich (his band) van back to their pad. steph goes w/her friend amanda who wants me to put my mouth on the poster she got by using lipstick - maybe she got the idea from the lipstick mouth pressed on to the back hatch of the boat (below the bullet hole) by tom schlote's wife in vancouver (I found this out w/an email from tom - we were wondering where that came from). anyway, I wore lipstick once before, when I was in raymond's "sir drone" movie w/artist mike kelley. the movie's opening sequence has me putting on lipstick and kissing a drawing raymond made of sid vicious. I'd never put on myself or even wore lipstick before that or since but I tell amanda sure but she wants to put in on my mouth herself. ok - she does and I put my mouth on the poster. kind of weird. steph says vaseline on a tissue will get it off my mouth and I'm a little doubtful (the shit feels like wax) but in fact it does. everyone's in good spirits and talking much - I try to hold on and join in as much as I can but tiredness whups up on me and I just have to konk. I did get to tell them about brother matt (a good pedro friend I do the watt from pedro show - twfps.com) w/cuz they're big burning man fans and brother matt has been to like the last eight. I think my guys (pete and raul) kept going but can't be sure cuz sueno came on me fast. tired watt.

friday, september 24, 2004 - salt lake city, ut

from raul:

   On the way to the club as i'm typing this, about twenty miles outta salt lake. just ate one of the hottest peppers i've had in while, a orange habenaro, got a whole bag in the boat that we picked up in sacto. The peppers where grown from a seed mike left behind on his last tour. Day after gig, the waiting before playing last night seemed like it would never end, i wasn't feeling to hot, so that may have attributed to my lack of patience, but man the minutes were creepin' by, so to kill the boredom of hangin' out at an empty bar, i went for a walk. I've been to salt lake before, but never got the chance to check any of it out. When i, or if i, ever imagined what it would be like to hike around salt lake, i didn't imagine it to be intimidating, but when i was walkin' around i had i kinda scrary feelin' going on' like i had to keep lookin' over my soilder, a creepy place if you asked me, could've been the particular nieghborhood i was in, full moon, or maybe i was in the creepy mood, also, i've never seen so many taco carts in all my life, vinnie vegas would be so happy. One neat thing i saw, was about thirty people on bicycles, with a police escort.

   After walkin' some, i decide, maybe grabbin some food could be a good idea, shit pretty slim pickin's for a picky eater, taco johns, blah, and a bunch of carnage asada, two for a buck taco carts, yeah i know i'll catch shit from everyone, for not opting for the cheap tacos, but i don't eat meat, and if i did i wouldn't buy it from a little cart on a corner, guess i'm conserveative that way. Dosn't matter, cuz i'm in luck, vegetarian chinese place right across the street from the club. Today is the first day i kinda feel homesick, i missed my bike by the third day, but it took ten to miss home. Not that i really missed it, i was just missin a few people in general. While i'm walkin' off the food, that ruled by the way, rice noodles, with mixed vegetables, and tofu...mmmmmm, i run to someone on the street who recognizes me from the hoot page, kinda scary at first, i'm feelin' a weird vibe comin' off the town, and then some random person starts to approach me, got defensive for a second, real nice guy though. I tell him i'm looking for a quite place to make a phone call, and he suggests the ritzy hotel across the street, now why didn't i think of that. Good call, inside there were little personal phone booths. When i go to grab the phone off the reciever the cord is super short, and the phone flys outta my hand, and smacks me in the eye... damn that hurt... holy shit i'm bleeding. So yep, there i am sittin' in a phone booth, homesick, with a bloody face, and nobodys answering thier phone. Finally i call home and talk to lena and tony for a while, and that makes me feel alot better.

   I was out for a while, and when i go back to the club, it's packed, fuck the last thing i feel like doing is being at a show, just to much noise for me to handle right now, think i was just grumpy, i had a red stripe, and took about a ten minute nap, hey, it worked, and i felt much better, i get real anxious before we play every night, and i think that was starting to take it's toll, not as nerveous though, and that's good cuz i'm all outta fingernails to chew off. I thought the show was good every one was seemed to love the piece, mike was bummin' though, during the third song, he busted a string, i think he was pissed cuz he wasn't prepared for that, and me and pete had to leave the stage, and tear the van apart looking for strings, messed up the momentum, chopping it in half, we got it back though, and all seemed forgiving. encore set was so much fun, watchin' people smilin', and dancin', all in all, pretty good set despite the intermission. There's also gonna be people that always yell out what songs they think you should play, so i'm not gonna write about those ones, and just let it slide. Met dandy don dalton from san pedro, he lives in salt lake now, such a sweet dude, one of mikes good friends from the minute men days.I've been meeting lots of rad people at gigs, hello rad people. Stayed with dandy don,he was realy into history, and he had all these old war propaganda posters everywhere i didn't do to much hangin' out, was real tired, so i took a hot shower, and hit the sack...good night. In the mourning don made us eggs and waffles, and some black coffee to wash it down, i chowed it real quick, while listening to him and mike talk politics, had a smoke, and jumped in the van, gotta hell ride to denver. See ya.

from pete:

   I awakened to the gentle voice of the chief ; "wake up sailors! eight bells! I rolled out of the bag and rolled up the bag and headed into the kitchen. bart and steph were already up and bart had cooked us a very kind breakfast (biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs)-we wolfed it down w/ extreme prejudice. I hopped in the shower for a most welcome hose-off and felt much better. we watched Christopher walken on the tube again while watt was busy posting the first week's diaries on the web. "I gotta feveah, and the prescription is more cowbell".

   we packed up our bags, loaded the boat and were off once again. much love to bart and steph for having us over again and making us feel at home. you guys are the best.

   the trip was a relative hellride so mike did the first shift at the helm while I got some good sueno, then it was my turn to work the wheel for the ride in. the weather has been very kind to us so far and mr. sun has been smiling down on us for the most part. we got in front of the pad (a place called egos), and I went to go dock the boat in back while watt and rollie went to the radio shaft next door to replace the battery charger on his digi-cam which he had donated at darren's pad in spokane. The two sound cats, dave and mike helped me get the gear on stage and by this time raul and watt had returned so we set everything up. and got it all miked. the stage was a little iffy as right in the center of it there was a huge post so we had to squeeze in, but the closer we are the better. we ripped thru the check and it sounded pretty good so we broke down and I chowed on some very kind hotwings and chimped some diary. mike(the souncat) graciously let me borrow his cell phone so I could call lil the kill and little tone. tone answered and i rapped w/ him for a bit about school (he just started kindergarten) and he told me about the new friends he's made. my little man is very into school and I'm very proud of him. on his first day he was a real trooper and didn't cry at all. I miss walking him to school in the morning and just having him around. ever since I bowed out of the corporate cluster-fuck, I've gotten much closer to him and it's weird not having him around. I talked to lil for a little bit and I miss her much too- she's busy working on an internet based business (she makes really cool custom jewelry) and she's been working hard building a web site for it. she's gotten out of working at barfucks (as has raul) as the corporate world seems to be getting more and more about beating down the good workers and rewarding the ass-kissers and back stabbers. she's in a much better place now. I got to thinking about my girls too; my older one (nicole, or pickle as we call her) is eighteen now and living on her own but I see her more often than before, while my younger one cindy is growing into a beautiful person in her own right. (and she has her old man's sense of humor). I'm very proud of my babies and am very fortunate to have such cool, understanding kids.

   I finished up the chimp and just then raul showed up and we had a couple of beers and listened to the opening band (J.W. Blackout). mike the soundcat also plays guitar with these guys and they sounded like a good-old fashioned country roadhouse band. they finished their set and I went to go wake the chief up. I get outside and this woman who says she knows mike wants to talk to him. I say ok. I rouse the boss and introduce him to this girl whose name is jennifer and I walk back into the pad to help rollie set up the tools. about ten minutes later the chief ambles in and we rip into the set. all goes pretty well but the sound of the monitor mix is very dark and it's hard to hear the vocals. right as we're coming out of "bursted man" mike breaks a string and grabs a pack out of his bass case- but he doesn't have an "e" string (the one he broke), so me and raul fly out to the boat and we're scrambling around in the dark for about ten minutes ripping the inside of the boat apart looking for the strings. we find em' and jam back inside; mike's being inundated by "requests" from a few borracho individuals so it's none the sooner. he winds the string on and we launch into "tied a reed round' my waist" but the momentum has gone down quite a bit and it takes a little while to get going again but we never got it fully back. we come back to do the encore tunes and they're much more energetic but I think the dylan was a little weak on my part this time around. on the last song there's much yammering (due in no small part to the magic of alcohol) and me and watt mimic there gabfest w/ our hands which calms them down a bit. we finish up and the crowd gives us much love. me and rollie sign several posters and a cat named matt comes up and graciously donates a tasty nug' to the cause. I rap w/ him a bit- he has kids too and we talk about em'. nice cat that matt.

   good old dandy don dalton helps us load in the gear along w/ jennifer (who is now so borracho that she can barely stand) and we hop in the boat to head over to don's pad; she wants us to give her a ride home but the boat is filled and we can't really babysit anyone, so we send her back into the club to call a cab (it takes a good ten minutes of convincing for her to do this). we felt a little bad about the denial sitch but we had to get to sleep as we had a hellride in the morning and we had to be outta dodge by eight bells again.

   we get to don's pad, settle in and burn the nug' amongst us-leading to some interesting conversation. after a while, everybody bails to go conk but me and mike stay up and raid don's fridge and chow down some pickled habaneros while drinking tea. we rap about the gig and razz each other and mike plays games w/ don's fish who seem to enjoy him thrusting his face toward's the front of their tank. I love that man watt, I really do.

   I down the rest of my tea and slip into my bag on the deck. sueno doesn't keep me waiting. buona notte musicanti......

from watt:

   pop and realize that damn, yesterday was john coltrane's birthday. I said his name in celebration of his righteous art like I do most every show but forgot to say something about that. what an idiot. ok, one more day in the current outfit - three outfits times three days each to make a righteous nine. bart pops 'pert-near after I do (a little after eight and a half bells - I think I konked 'pert-near three last night) and starts cooking up sausage, biscuts and potatoes. turns out pete and raul are konked in a trailer in the backyard so I go back there and stir their slumber. they show me thanks for that w/sunshine-like happiness.

   the tour started on a thrusday so the last day for a week of diary is a wednesday. we write our daily entries the day after they happen so the first week of tour spiel should've been on the hoot page yesterday but the hellride from spokane to boise made that hard so I'm coding stuff up now to get week one posted. damn, my guys have caught on yet to the common format that would make this go so much easier but they will cuz they're very much fast learners. pete should know but it's been a year since the last one and raul's kind of new to 'puters though he now really wants to get one. bart's chow is righteous - we thank him much and he has to go to work. I get the hoot page updated and get email - so hard it seems w/the hellrides we have this part of the tour - there's one from man outside the van steve kaul that says we've lost the amarillo gig on november fifteenth - fuck... I hate losing gigs, no matter where they're at. seems this has something to do w/the promoter getting messed up w/business regarding a van halen concert - why should my shit be dangling on what happens w/something like that? oh well, maybe everything's connected in some way, kind of like gravity? there's a great cat there named skitz that we both played w/and stayed at his pad so maybe we can do a backyard gig or something - anything but tread water, seeing we're out there. I did a benefit gig just outside amarillo once for a young punk rocker who got ran over by a jock and it would be good to play that town somehow. we'll see...

   time to roll now though - the next gig's in salt lake city and that's six hours away. the weather is all the way happening and cali-like in the best sense so we're in luck that way. we head east on I-84, stopping at a supermarket to get more coldsore medicine cuz I'm just about out of that camphor shit and the irritation this thing's giving me kind of makes me mean - I tell my guys that so they'll understand a little where some weird shit that spills out of my mouth is coming from - not to not take responsibility or make excuses but this hurting in my mouth wears on me. I take us down across the prairie here as pete konks and raul chimps diary - he's into doing this early now cuz he hated getting behind - good man. we get into burley for gas and I get some 'dines - finally I find some prince andrew kind - twice as expensive (two bucks) but at least I found some. what a trip, there's hardly any in the stops we've made... usually they're mostly everywhere. the boat's onward, crossing the snake river many times (hence the name?) and into utah after finally turning south. we then take the I-15 and at tremonton, I had the wheel over to pete for the last hour and a half of driving. raul finds that bag of habaneros we got in sacramento - pete had put them in the back where it was dark to help them keep longer. I don't think raul's had one before (or didn't know he did) cuz he chows one of the orange gems in one bite, whoa. he's soon singing a singular song. those 'dines I got we bathed in mustard and that's happening - anything but oil (usually I just go for water-packed ones) cuz they're.. well, too oily. so I load up a cracker w/a hunk of 'dine and chomp a bite off one of the habaneros and mouth that onto to the top. then the whole thing goes into the hatch and I'm lovin' it - soon I got that righteous sweat going, the one's that's only induced by chilies. I go for more and then I notice this letter - the bag w/the peppers was inside another bag which had a note and check out what was written:


   ...a few years back you touched the life of a cat named danny... you gave him a single habanero pepper and he cherished the gesture and your words so much that he sowed the seeds and reaped the bounty of peppers, of which he dubbed "wattbaneros" and then spread the offspring seeds to peeps all over the planet and encouraged cats everywhere to plant their own seeds and spread the magic all across the land. your one pepper has returned to you many fold...

         - ron

   so, this bag of chilies we got here seems to be from one passed on by me. it should be noted that very probably that chili itself was donated to me by a grower so all of us sharing the chilies are like links in a chain - something neat to think about and maybe that's the point of mister ron's little note... much respect to both him and danny.

   dowtown in salt lake city, we pull up front of ego's. I've never played here before. from what I understand, it was just changed over from a dance club. coming out the hatch is charlie, a cat who's been a part of my gigs in this town now for years. tim irwin, a cat doing that minutemen documentary called "we jam econo" w/keith schieron says hi and presents me w/an idea for a word-for-word transcription of what's said in the film for a book - that sounds intersting, hmm... he says him and keith are working hard to get the film out this december. pete pulls the boat around back and we load in. soundman dave gets us situated - the stage has a weird pillar in the middle so I set us up between that and stage starboard cuz I'd rather have it a little cramped than to have us divided up by that. we check and then I chow some hot wings charlie has gotten us. some diary chimpin' outside of the boat in the back and then I do two phoner spiels. after that, it's time for watt to get some much needed konk, whew.

   a yank on the leg from pete means it's gig time and I depart the boat for the stage. I missed the the openers, a local band called jw blackout - I know, big surprise. the man helping soundman dave, a cat named mike, was in the band and I would've liked to see them - shit, I wish I could see all the openers but there's only so much voltage in these batteries of mine to parlay in any given tour day. my apologies. we're ready to go and start the piece but damn, I'm getting the shit shocked out of my mouth when it touches the mic - aaaarrrggggghhhh. must be a shitty ground somewhere. in "burstedman" I break an 'e' string - aahh, I knew I should've changed strings cuz I was just thinking, "hmm... ninth gig now..." and worse than that is the fact all of the ten packs of strings I got in s.f. are in the boat! pete and raul run outside in the back to scour for them while helperman mike switches my power to an outlet w/a ground that'll stop me from futher electrocution. some cats in the crowd want to hear a story, want to hear about what happened at the queen mary. I'm thinking maybe they're talking about the stooges there last november and tell them my ma came and saw me play but one guy says "you played w/george hurley" which absolutely right - I did that as well. we did some old minutemen songs as a duet (we've been asked to do that again this december in england for the all tomorrow's parties festival there too). I feel like such a shmuck cuz this "...middle stand" piece is to be done as one big song and not to have a big fucking spaceout between the inferno and purgatory parts, aaarrrrgggghhhh. after what seems like forever (in my mind, anyway), pete brings me a pack and I quickly change the string and we're back in the dealio. man, have I learned some lessons w/this gig - change the strings regularly and for sure have an extra set on hand for the gig! what tour is this for you, watt? what a fucking moron. the band picks it up good though and we gather momentum - thank you, pete and raul. I think we end it up pretty strong. probably no matter how it gets done, it's still gonna be kind of weird, whatever but like I've been telling people - it's just something I gotta do right now.

   the folks want us back so we come back w/the encore pack. man, there is a lot of yammering for the roky tune. so much so that I gotta make w/my hand like a duck quacking and even mime some yammer w/my very mouth berfore I do the "strikes midnight" line. not out of contempt but cuz it's so funny how loud such yammering can be. shit, I do the quiet roky one at the end like that on purpose, kind of like my own version of an election or a referendum, sort of. we get done and it's such a trip to find out that some folks were paying attention, even very much so - it wasn't a total yammer but maybe that instant of the situation polarizing things can mean something - if anything, maybe to help not get to precious on myself. if people can talk over a dork on stage if they want to then maybe it's not such bad, might help put things in perspective. it's good training for me to learn both tolerance and focus. they might sound weird but I want to acknowledge that everything is not about me or even me and my guys even though it might be our show. I don't really understand fully what I'm trying to do exactly but it does feel right, kind of. like I said, kind of a vote - sort of!

   I guess encores are traditionally supposed to be like that but they've become machine-like in a way. I have to say though that I am truly grateful each time I get one cuz I never want folks to feel like I'm trying to milk them for one - fuck no. we do our do and then I sling, that's the time when I get to hear personally from folks and sometimes I think it's then when those who want to express things personally come up and talk to me. seems it might be not too wise to determine how it's going while in the moment cuz it can blow my mind how people can really like what you think is going to hell in hand basket. there's a lot of cats here who've haven't seen me in a while - for some, many years. that's makes me happy they want to see what I'm up to. it's another reason I want to record more often. too much atuopilot isn't healthy although I have to say it's pretty to be using crusie-control on a watt tour! maybe that's more from an inside perspective, I don't know. I'm just glad folks want to check back in when they can. there's a guy who's been in red bluff, where my pop grew up. there's another cat who was just in pedro this very morning and is going back in a few days. there's guys who've brought their girls to see me for their first time - not the guys but the girls. I hope I don't make those men look silly. what I'm trying to convey here is that I feel like a part of a trippy family, like I'm the weird uncle who comes to dinner w/some spiels and adds a little something to the gathering. of course, I'm there to learn too. it's very generous for folks to let me into their lives like they do. I'm so proud of pete and raul too cuz they're such righteous brothers to have on board and really give it the go.

   old buddy don dalton is here to both help load and give us an invite to konk at his pad. doctor bill, gives me the good word - many thanks. I settle w/charlie and say my thanks/goodbyes - he's been there for me here, always. I like this new pad he's got going and will be back. the boat loaded up and don w/us, we cast off for his pad after a short delay - man, I'm glad I'm not all borrachoed up like I used to get. it's a narrow maneuver down this alley but a straight watt is a careful watt - though I'm always hoping for a lucky watt, whatever. it's not like I got anything by the balls, just a little more careful hopefully. we get to don's and I get some throatcoat tea in me - first time on tour and I think I gotta be careful. one thing about long hellrides is spieling too much in the boat - we're talking hours on end. I know it might sound weird but that's actually more intense than hollering your brains out on stage! don's got some friends over, very nice cats and I talk w/jeff some before I got call it quits, hit the deck and don the mask (sorry, don). out.

saturday, september 25, 2004 - denver, co

from raul:

   Spent about ten hours in the boat, fuckin' long haul to denver from salt lake, even hit some traffic when we got to town, but we're right on time for sound check. spent most the ride, chimpin' yesterdays diaries, and talkin' with mike,while we both snap pictures, pete was crashed so he'd be fully rested for the second shift. Schedule for the long haul works out good, mike drives first shift, while i chimp, and pete sleeps, then second shift, pete drives, while i take the bench, and mike does his chimpin' , he also navigates pete right into to port, then after sound check, mike gets the konk shift, and while pete does his chimpin' at the club, i go exploring.

   whatever town we minght be in. Lastnight that town was denver, did the usual, grabbed some coffee, and tried to find some good snaps, also called up jessica, she over at my house, there was a show at 673 last night, a band from sacto, and some band from italy, whos name i can't remember, but for sure it wasn't raw power, after talkin' on the phone a while, i walk back to the club, just as pete is done with his diary.

   I've never been one for back stages, or being able to seperate yourself from the people who come to the shows, that's kinda lame, and i'd hate people to get the wrong impression, but on tour it comes in handy, cuz sometimes you don't feel like being at a show, or hearing some band full blast, ya know, sometimes you just need a quite place to relax your ears and body before you play, so tonight after walkin' around a few hours, i was happy about our situation, it was sad, the night before all i wanted to do was rest for like ten minutes, and there was no place to go, so i crashed behind the stage with my fingers stuck in my ears, gotta find my ear plugs. anyways, backstage, it was just me, pete, and the singer of local 33, a group from ft. collins, who played the gig. It was real chill, hung out and read onion, ate some chips and salsa, and had a beer, there was also a bathroom, and that ruled cuz i needed to scrap some hair off my face, and didn't really wanna do it with a bunch drunk dudes everywhere.

   The opening bands were drag the river, and like i said before local 33, and they, the both bands, were pretty much country bands, it was a trip being booked with not one, but two country bands, they were good, and seemed like honest dudes. So after their sets are up, it's our turn, besides playin' the drums, and marking where the bass amp, and bass drum go on stage, i have one other job, and that's to grab some water for me and the boys, tonite mike asks me to make some tea, for his throat... gladley, so after that i grab a bananna, and go to the stage. Place is pretty crowded, about four hundred people, and thats packed to me. Playing was great, and becoming alot more comfortable on these bigger stages, they way the gear is set up on stage helps too, cuz it's just like the prac pad, real close together, i think it trips people out that we only use the center of the stage, ya know, like why are they so close together when they got all that space, well it's so, atleast from my point of view, that we don't become seperated, lost in our own little world, and we can keep a close connection. I thought we did a good job, of course like every show, there's mistakes, but make the mistakes work, and we can recover... with most people not even knowing, i'm trying to learn these songs inside and out, so i hear all my mistakes, i just try not to let it get the most of me, cuz once it happens it's past, so i can't dwell while i'm still trying to get through it, but if i remember, i can try to right it the next time around, cuz i noticed, i spent the first part of playing, worrying about something i wasn't sure of five songs down the road, if i don't think to much i can play in the moment, and my muscle memory will pull me through. Met lots of cool folks after the gig, i never get off the kit after a gig, and just walk away, usually i'll start breaking it down right after we're done, that's when i get the chance to talk to all the folks at the gigs, cuz their waitin' their turn to buy a shirt or whatever, just say hi, it's cool, i've never gotten as much positive feed back, as i have from watts fans...real sweet people.

   After the show, we follow nancy, one of mikes friends, back to kevins pad, that's we're staying. Nancy got us all kinds of food and beer... healthy food, and good beer, two of my favorite things... thanks nancy, your a sweetheart, and it was a pleasure meeting you. After a few fat tires,and a great johnny cash documentry, i decide it's nap time, one more hell ride tomorrow, after this it's gonna calm down for a few days... it'll be good , i'm sure the boys could use the rest. Take off my sneakers, find a spot on the sofa, pete and i konk right in the middle of talking to each other, man it was a long day.

from pete:

    pop at don's pad and he has graciously made us some chow consisting of eggs and tortillas; I plop some pickled habaneros on top and strap on the feedbag. after our feast we gather up our bags and bid don farewell; much respect for having us once again bro.

   we steam off and I immediately conk on the bench as I'm going to man the helm once again for the second shift. during my boat-board sueno I had a dream that we were playing "beltsanded man" in salt lake city but I was the only one on stage and raul and mike were set up off to the side. mike is yelling at me to look at him but I keep yelling back that I can't see him. clam induced sueno? who knows?

   we pull up in front of the pad (the bluebird theatre) a little after 6:30 as we had gotten stuck in a major plug on the freeway. the soundman, jubil and the monitor cat allen helped us unload our gear and set it up right quick. we do the check aand everything sounds copacetic. The bluebird is a great old vaudeville theatre and they have a great sound system and vibe; I really dig on playing theatres. I go back to the boat to change as I had been wearing my jami' pants all day and wanted to change into some dickies and a flannel. I grabbed my leftover way' sandwich and munch that down while walking back to the bluebird where I go down into the band room to chimp some diary. They have some kind habanero salsa and chips and I munch some down as the burn does wonders for my sinuses. I finish up the chimp and raul comes down and me and him take care of our shaving duties, then kick back and rap. Jameson's Irish whiskey is sponsoring the show and they had given us a bottle of my second favorite liquid nightmare (the first of course being bushmills) which I do a couple of shots of w/ water to sand down the nervousness. I feel a little better but I'm careful not to overindulge and I follow it w/ more water. the first band (local 33) finishes playing and the second one (drag the river), starts up. both are good country bands altho' I wonder why they're booked on the same bill with us as it's a kind of apples/oranges type of sitch. I then remember reading that bill graham used to do this kind of booking at the fillmore so it's not so strange to me anymore. In fact , I actually think it's a good thing (exposing folks to a mixture of music).

   drag the river finished up their set to much applause and I go to wake up the chief and grab the merch box which I throw up on stage. I set up the B3 and leslie, then go to move watt's thud box in position. mike soon ambles in, plugs in the baby bass and we rip into the piece. the sound is excellent and we bulldoze thru like champs. I get distracted at one point in the set and I flub but it isn't too noticeable. the rest of the set goes w/o a hitch and I do a decent version of the dylan song (I'm slowly getting better on the delivery). the crowd was very into it and gave us much love; me and raul signed a few posters while we packed up the gear and rapped w/ a few cats- everyone was very kind to us. we loaded the gear into the boat while watt settled w/ the boss then hopped in and steamed off following nancy(an old friend of watt's from new orleans) to her friend kevin's pad where we were crashing for the night. after arriving at kevin's pad we settled in and had a little chow; nancy, god bless her kind soul had set us up w/ all kinds of stuff- cheese, tabbouleh, marinated tomatoes, smoked salmom, four or five different kinds of red wines- she even brought a jar of ajvar which is a croatian pepper and eggplant relish that I absolutely love (nancy comes from an eastern-european background and has been chowing the stuff since she was a kid). needless to say we ate like kings. we watched a video of johnny cash and munched and rapped w/ kev and his roommates. I soon felt the effects of the day wearing on me so me and raul slipped into our bags and drifted off. laku noc sviraci.....   

from watt:

   pop at seven bells and hose off - new outfit today cuz I've completed my plan to wear three outfits three times each. ok, I'm a lunatic. I have to say that a clean outfit can feel good! don's up and cooking us eggs w/tortillas. he puts some pickled habaneros in them he's got - I forgot to write that last night, me and pete had some before we konked. they were good. we got a major hellride ahead of us, 'pert-near ten hours out of utah, through wyoming, across the rockies and into denver. oh boy. I got an email from ceej saying the wrestler big boss man just passed away, damn. I've got a little figurine of him in my practice pad - loved his theme song, "you're doin' hard time" much too. those cats live hard lives, don't know if people realize that. there's more than one way to do a hellride. at the table, don talks a little to me about the election coming up. since I'm travelling all around, he asks me if the country is splitting into two different pieces. I don't know about that but express my hope I sure hope it ain't (maybe we're actually 240 different million pieces already?) but maybe there's some insight in the matthew collin "guerilla radio" book regarding weirdo-nationalism so I give him the one I've got in the boat, the copy I got from dragan - the cat who put on the stooges gig I did w/them in serbia back in july. I know, another land but still scary. I don't have time to tell him but not a lot of people are actually talking about this election except for some friends.

   we sally forth and of course, I turn out the drive way the wrong way and have to loop us back. good call, raul! back on course, we get on I-80 east and go through the canyons towards wyoming. excellent weather, again we are blessed - so far so good on this tour. last week we heard there was snow all through wyoming and even in denver but no trace of that now. pete's konked in the back. much grade to climb but the boat is can do, even if it's a slow go. I don't push her too hard. I tell raul about the time w/fIREHOSE when I did a 340 degree spin (not this boat but the one we had before, a gray/silver 1975 e-250 for econoline) after hitting black ice on somewhere down this part of the road, way past park city but before the border. I think I subconsciously blocked out exactly where it happened cuz it was such a frightening thing - georgie letting out a blood-curdling scream as the rear of the boat came around but I kept it together, foot off the brake and turning into the spin. we ended up in the median and I had georgie take the wheel when we finally came to a stop cuz I had no more nerve left for that day. what a pants shitter... speaking of which... we cross into wyoming and I gas up in evanston. we cross the continental divide, like seven thousand feet up. sometimes the road is so straight, you can see if for miles cuz of the hills you coming down or going up. we go through green river and rock springs - my ma was born and raised as a little girl in a coal town called dines near here. only a ghost town now, it faded when the coal ran out (a company town). I'm getting some gut pain - must be those hot wings I had cuz it's got that kind of feel. damn. both my guys are konked now. I don't want to stir their sueno so I piss in this big cup that I got full of coffee at the last gas station. now, the middle years have made it kind of tough sometimes to hold other stuff in when I'm letting piss out but this gut pain (eating some tums does no good) has put some heavy gas in me. I can't hold on and this shit pushes a dumper right out of me, oh fucking hell. it ain't a total nightmare scene cuz it does get contained in these skivvies I'm wearing (after the illness, I went back to wearing them and socks - something I never did after coming to cali from virginia) but can you believe this? holy fucking where's the depends, batman? what do I do next? keeping fucking driving, that's what. it's not like there's a whole lot of places to stop at anyway. I start thinking and my plan is to wait 'till there's a gas station - one of them old style ones - w/no cars at the pumps and stop there. I spot a combo station/mechanic pad at wamsutter... I even gas up the boat first. then I hit the head, a small one and thank god they got a big stack of paper towels here. I go to work and what a fucking mess - for the love of pete (no, not our organ player)... well, no babying out of this - get to it, watt. I can soak the towels and get as much as I can but it's hopeless to try to expect to get everything. some's even on my shirt sleeves, christ! not all the dump got conatined too - some got between my right thigh and pants leg, must've squirted out when I debarked from the boat. man, I go to town though and fly about like a insane rapidly deflating balloon - no one ever comes in the head so it's not like I'm totally w/out luck. it must reek to fucking high heaven in here. ok, I've done all I can do. actually, I only changed the skivvies and when I get back in the boat, I notice the right thigh and the crapped trapped there between the skin and the levi. idiot watt. drive on though - before the lady at that station is in total holler mode from disgust. there was no shit anywhere - on the deck, commode, sink - whatever cuz I cleaned everything but I couldn't put those paper towels (like fifty of them) down to flush so I put them in the trash can and hence the reek. fuck, I'm sorry - truly. I got them towels wet when I cleaned myself w/them but there was way not enough to do things right so my mind gets thinking again... hmm - another small station but one of those truck ones w/showers, maybe... there's one of those old sinclair ones in rawlins, about half of the rear tank down the road and I pull the boat in there. my guys are still on the unawares - I ain't got the herat to tell them and it seems I got things "contained" or whatever. this time I take another pair of levis besides another skivvie plus a big garbage bag and the nice lady there rents me a shower for five bucks. there's only two of them but no one's at the station. this is truly a blessing. I get cleaned up right and while I'm doing that, maybe a thousad or so cubic feet of toxic vapors are vented - all that poisoned me must be purged now cuz all my pain is gone. don't ask me why, but I wash the shirt sleevs and the shirt tail that were fouled w/soap and keep that on. I want to try and keep the three-gigs-to-an-outfit sort of still going. so good to feel clean, let me tell you. I get this all done in a matter of minutes, thank the lady and hand the wheel over to pete. whew, that was an ordeal! 350 miles is enough driving anyway. raul goes to the back and I take the navigator seat. chimping tour diary helps me carry my mind away.

   at laramie, we get gas once more and turn south on us-287 towards fort collins. soon we're in colorado (bye bye wyoming and treasured recent memories) but there's construction to plug us up some. we get through that and then in town, turn east to dogleg onto the I-25 and take that to denver. 'pert-near six pm now so we get some commuter plug. I navigate us into the blubird theatre on colfax - a pad I've played many times and dig much. it's an old vaudeville theatre (love that) and has great folks working here. monitor man allan and soundman jubile set us up for soundcheck quick, good cats. my old friend doug kauffman talks w/me, it's so great to see him - we last saw each other last month at randall's island for the stooges at that little steven's underground garage festival thing. when we came on stage and I saw him on the side there, I could believe it and was fired up much. I mean, there were others there to inspire me much too (including the cats on stage w/me!) but to get to play bass in the stooges for doug kauffman was way wild, damn. we do a quick run-through of "the red and the black" and man, my voice is weird - what's up? hmm... talk a little w/pete downstairs in the dressing room and damn if it ain't forever for some cat in the head - hope he ain't hurting like I was earlier today. all I want to do is shave. fuck it, I do it right there next to pete, using water from the ice bucket in a cup. trippy but it worked.

   I bid pete bye and hoof down the street a couple blocks to a pad called "bastien's" and chow this steak. just twelve ounces of cow and some green beans - the menu says "south beach" or something but it's half the price of the other steaks (they're like twenty bucks) and I want steak cuz I purged every bit of whatever out of me w/the traumas in wyoming. I'm feeling a little weak but feel way better after shoveling this. actually, I take my time to make sure I can absorb as much as I can, break down the meat. it's really been tenderized too which is good cuz a gig w/a lump sitting in your gut is fucking way lame. I feel better now. back to the boat for some immediate and heavy konk.

   pete shakes me out of heavy slumber and tells me we had two openers and they both were what he called "roadhouse country" - he said kind last night's band was country/rock so maybe there's a pattern? unfortunately, I can't tell you first hand but I know their names were drag the river and local 33. I did meet tom from drag the river at soundcheck, a nice cat. I get up on the stage and put the little gibson bass on. I say my opening words to the crowd and feel my voice all choked up - what's this? oh man, looks like some blow-out w/that. it's a tough gig for me that way and I gotta really reach to get anything out of me. fucked up, damn. life is a trip. oh well, sailor... my guys play good and the folks are really nice to us, very attentive and not at all into yammerin'... well, not until the very last tune of the night which I have to admit is a bit of test cuz I get the band real small. there's kind of a hassle or something between some people, right below me and I play the second verse twice - partly cuz pete did another lead where he was supposed to leave it open for the bridge and partly cuz I wanted these cats in the beef to get the meaning of what roky was trying to say here ("somehow you never took to fright").

   much kindness from lots of the gig-goers as I sling, truly. all tour I've been getting this and I am so much grateful for their generosity. jay fox says hi, a cat who goes down to the south pole from time to time. there's people from the old days, people who've seen me for the first time - all kinds of niceness. nancy from new orleans now lives in fort collins but has a friend named kevin who has a house not to far from here and we've been invited to konk there. I see the houseboss jim here who I dig much, settle w/him, get the boat, we load up and then head on over to that pad. on the way we see a xmas light show w/all kinds of emergency vehicles - someone's flipped over and that's tragic. me and raul saw the same thing w/a pickup truck and it's trailer on the I-80 earlier today in the rockies. it makes me put my hand on the boat's dash and just hope for safe seas - it's scary as shit on these roads.

   we get to the pad and there's a place for me to roll out my sack and that I do 'pert-near quick cuz I am whupped. only one more hellride tomorrow and then finally some little ones, whew. I can hear pete and raul going to town on some eats nancy was so kind to get us, that was sweet. I'm set for konksville now though.

sunday, september 26, 2004 - lincoln, ne

from raul:

   fuckin' hell ride to lincoln, plus we're gonna lose an hour. we've only been late to one sound check, which was the first, and we told our selves we wouldn't do it again, but just because we're not late don't mean the sound guy won't be. So we leave early, which means we get there early, shit, lincoln, on a sunday, we luck out and are playin' right next to a place called recycled records, pretty rad store, i didn't have to much time to really check it out cuz it closed at 5:30, that's cool cuz the check is at six anyways, yeah right, dude didn't even open the club till 7:00, oh well, just hung out with pete watchin' the perves walk in and out of the porn shop...good fun. When we finally load in we're told, that we're the olny band, i don't know if that's good or bad i tell mike, it's reality. the plus is that we don't have to lug our gear off the stage, the bad part is , well, that there no opening bands, ya know, every thing needs to warm up. at sound check the boys teach me how to play this ain't no picnic, rad song. got a couple hours to kill, and i see a lonely pinball machine in the corner, so i know where my next two hours are gonna be spent, rats, dump in two quarters, and damn, bum flippers,oh well, as i'm walking away, feeiing a bit defeated, a couple walks up about to make the same mistake i did, bum flippers i grumble. We get to talkin', and turns out, these kids drove a couple hours for the show... that's dedication. Harper and amanda, real nice folks, talk with them for about an hour, mostly about the scene where they're from, and the places they've been. Amanda even gave me a calling card, and when that runs out, she hands me her phone, so i could finish my talk with a friend back home, she was having a shit day, and it's not too positive when the phone just cuts off, i hate that. so thanks amanda, you saved the day.

   Gotta be on stage by 10:00 tonite, olny about a half hour down time, since i spent a while on the walkie talkie. Start up a conversation with a dude wearing an orphans shirt, guess they played a basement gig the night before in omaha. Show time, rough gig for me, the sound was real quite on stage, and on top of that mike blew his voice, which bummed him out. I think it was defiently my fault that it was a rough show, i just wasn't all there, and the fact that i could hardly hear mike singin' or playin' didn't favor the situation at all, but like all the other shows, every one seemed to enjoy it. It's hard to tell from the stage what the crowds thinkin' so i gotta give them the benifit of the doubt, assume they're into it, and just do what i'm there to do, play a good gig.

   At the gig, miked asked for a place to crash on the mic, ended up at annie and erics house, really sweet couple,with an awesome pad, musical equiptment, and books everywhere, they also had a cat that looked just like simon, that's my kitty at home, this cats name was montreal, and boy was that animal out of control, but in the best way. Stayed up for an hour or two drinkin' pabst, and conversin' , and pretty soon it was time to hit the hay...goodnight. Woke up at about nine to the sound of mike singin' to his oatmeal. Annie, the awesome girl she is, decides she wants to go to the store to get some more eats for breakfast, so rad, she picked up some soy milk and blueberry cereal, bagels, and a bunch of fruit. I had a shower, then ate some breafast with the bird, little guy was chowin' on the litle pieces of apple i was feedin' em'. After that we kinda lounged, and just enjoyed each others company, not in a big hurry today, olny a three hour ride to kansas city. Said our goodbyes, snapped photos of each other, and jumped in the van, on our way to k.c., oh yeah, we also got stuck right in the middle of campus, looking for the post office, dumb asses...see ya.

from pete:

   popped at kev's w/ a nasty burning in my throat; looks like I'd finally brought a bug on me from all the short choppy conks I'd been taking (the booze and cigarettes didn't help either). the shit was making me real nervous as I did not want to get sick on tour- it would be an absolute nightmare. I vowed to get some sudafed to help clear this shit out and to drink plenty of fluids. we munched down a quick breakfast cobbled together from the stuff that nancy had brought us the night before, loaded our bags in the boat and were off once again. much respect to nancy for the very kind chow and to kev for letting us crash at his pad.

   the trip to lincoln was going to be a hellride (our last for a little while), so I immediately went to conk as I was going to have to man the helm again for the second shift. I downed about five bottles of water between sueno (and refilled them again) ,so I was feeling a little better but I still had a nagging burn in my sinuses. the conk did me much good and the burn dwindled down to a low scratch so it took a little of the stress off of me. my voice was also a little hoarse since the denver gig and I think this was due to the altitude there (you get much less bang per breath at higher altitudes).

   we got in front of the pad (knickerbockers) around five, so I docked the boat near the club and me and rollie went to go hoof around in search of some life; no go- being that it was sunday there were few souls around and everything was pretty much closed. the boss of the pad showed up around 6:30 and let us in- the soundman, mitch showed soon after that and miked us up. we did the check' and everything sounded kosher so I went to go chimp some diary and I made myself some throatcoat tea to ease the burn. we were the only band on so we didn't have to break down the tools which was very cool. some peeps began to drift in around 8:00 and by the time I finished the chimp around ten, there was a number of people in the club. we were scheduled to go on around 10:30 so me and rollie blew some time rapping about home. soon the witching hour rolled around so I went to go turn on the leslie and then went to go wake up the chief. me and raul waited by the side of the stage for the boss to show and when he did we immediately launched into the piece. oh, and I forgot to mention that during our check' we worked up a version of "this ain't no picnic" which I loved doing last tour. it's the only d. boon tune that we do and I'm way into the lyrics (I lived that shit for twenty years), plus I like to think of it as my personal tribute to d. boon. hope you're hearing it bro.

   we played the piece well but we had to bring the dynamic way down as watt's voice was raw and he didn't want to blow it out. the people were very quiet during the piece but they gave us much applause after (which means they were actually listening). the only lame part was some borracho woman in the back was yammering it up during the quiet parts and watt made some comments over the mike directed at her. I hear her mutter loudly "fuck him, he's an asshole", and I really had to restrain myself from making any nasty comments to her over the mic. what a putz. turns out she had gotten free tickets to the show and didn't even know who watt was and at that point in the show the magic of alcohol had reared its ugly head. she shoulda' stayed home. she even offered her pad up to us later on watt wisely declined; what a sunday surprise that would've been.

   we didn't have a place to crash so watt asked on the mic if anybody would put us up for the night- we had several kind folks come up and offer their pads but we ended up staying w/ a couple named eric and annie (eric was a bassist and his band had opened up for bazooka at one time). we finished up the encore tunes w/ much intensity but I could tell watt's pipes were cracking. me and raul broke down our gear while watt slung merch, then quickly piled everything into the boat. we followed one of eric's friends to eric's pad and once settle in we sipped tea and rapped w/ eric, annie, and a friend of theirs named justin. annie played me some improv stuff that she had done on their puter' (annie plays keyboards too), very cool ambient organ stuff. I dug on it much. she also saved my life as she had some sudafed which I downed quick and which I hoped would rid me of the burn.

   we rapped for a little while longer, but the gig had really beaten all of us down and we conked quickly w/o much prodding from the sandman. laku noc sviraci......

from watt:

   I pop at seven bells and we're gonna move out quick. upstairs I find all these things nancy got us: ajar, tabuli, hummus, bread loaves, pear nectar, sparkling pear juice (!), coffee and a french press, cheese - all kinds of things, it's amazing and truly generous - thank you so much, nancy. she bailed last night in her truck so I couldn't thank her but am doing it much now. I've never made coff w/a french press but raul was working at an arefucks before tour and shows me how. life's about being here to learn. we roust pete and then it's into the boat w/as much of nancy's provisions as we can handle - we still don't have an ice chest, damn. we take lots though. five hundred miles ahead of us so we're gonna roll now. we're still blessed w/great weather, grazie dio. there is a big wind blowing but it's a nor-easter and that's the way we're first headed, northeast on the I-76 so it's a benefit to us as a tailwind, pushing on us along and letting me get within a couple of miles of the nebraska border on the gas we started w/in the tanks. pete immediately konks on the back bench and raul's does mostly the same up front, next to me but that's ok cuz I'm focused much on keeping us safe and getting us onward. east of the rockies here is pretty much flat and not much work for the boat as far as having to climb grades. finally, after a week and a half - I know she digs that! it being a sunday makes the roads pretty clear too which is something I can very much dig. into nebraska a bit and that's where I-76 ends into I-80, which we take east. this is the same road we were on in wyoming though it's the great plains rather than the rockies. lots and lots of corn. all the different lands are pretty to me in their own way, a righteous thing that tour allows you to in-person experience. we roll through kearney - I played this town once w/the jom & terry show - there's a prairie arch monument over the freeway here. man, I remember that gig - the foozball game being played in the back drowned us out during "walkin' the cow" - too much! some nice cats though - wish I could remember their names though I do remember rex, he was a trip - an interesting young man. d. boon's pop was from nebraska, I just thought of that.

   we stop to get gas just east of kearney and time for fresh ponies - pete's turn at the helm for the last hour or so. we chow up the vittles nancy flowed to us instead of waiting forever in this slow-as-hell 'way for a sandwich. w/no way to preserve the chow, we might as get as much down our hatches as possible rather than let it rot. I pile tabuli on hunks of bread and put habaneros w/it (from that sacto sack). really, really good. my guys are digging their mouthfuls too. I tried some of that "sparkling pear" - it's called "izze" when I was driving the our last parts of colorado and I'm sorry to say I didn't dig it all that much, kind of gamey and hard to even tell it was pear. oh well, everything else is wonderful - thank you again, nancy. when paying for the gas, I get this pen they got on sale at the counter. this baby's as big around as a banana - whoa! won't lose this... will keep it on the dash. it cracks my guys up... pete says (like tony montana in "scarface"), "say hello to my little friend." at the counter there's a hispanic heritage guy who says hi to me. there's latin cats working here too and I let raul know. the wet floor sign even says "piso mojado" - I don't know how many know there's people like that in nebraska, cuz there's so much stereotype clogging up brains. I think it's very happening, very much what one part of what the u.s. is, folks from different pads. reminds me of home too. the cat says to me, "california, huh?" (he must've saw the plates) and I say uh-huh and he smiles "alright!" I smile "yeah!" right back. much respect to him. I tell raul that he'll meet andy in john in kansas city tomorrow - these are guys w/mexican roots that have heavy midwestern accents - they've been coming to my gigs for twenty years. they are very happening cats and I love them. kicking up on stereotypes is a good thing. I don't know how many people say I don't look like I belong in a band. they can break that off in their ass sideways. actually, it's pretty funny to hear people talk like they do that way. I might even be that way kind of w/squarejohns so I should learn to get it more together too, huh?

   sunday means time to call my ma so I do that on the walkie-talkie. would've done it this morning but there was no cell system for the machine to jack into further out west, had to wait for some town. my ma's says she's doing good and the same for my sisters - she wants to know how tour is and I'm happy to say my guys are in happening shape and the gig-goers have been most kind to us but she's get maybe a better idea by reading what's been chimped in the diary. there's nothing in there I wouldn't want my ma to read and she can some of the voice of pete and raul too. of course she worries about me but she thinks it's good I'm out working the towns too - she just wants me safe and healthy, something I'm into also. pete gets us into lincoln about four pm (we lost another hour moving into central time a little after getting into western nebraska) and it's a quiet town here on a sunday. the club is called knickerbockers and it's maybe the third time I've played here - it's locked up but the record store next to it is open. they got a lot of good used music, whoa! great pad. I maintain hard and don't drop any monies cuz boat space is tough and I'm getting music (cds, 7 inchers, etc.) from the gig-goers every night and I want to leave room for that. hah, my name's listed for "live videos" for sale and I ask the lady if it's me taking of my clothes or what? I laugh and go out to the boat. I hope she didn't think I was mad or anything cuz it was just funny to see that. I guess she might be weirded out cuz it was a bootleg or something. there's too much more important things gonna down in this world than to get heavy on an indie record store in lincoln, c'mon! I go out to the boat and chimp diary. I hear some screeching and then see this van pulling a trailer coming around the corner and stop - some tattooed young man runs out of the van to pick up a fender the trailer just lost - whoa. a whole fender... safe seas for those cats.

   the club opens up and we load in to do soundcheck, finding a righteous spot right out front to dock the boat instead of on the side of the street where we were. we do a soundcheck w/sounman mitch, a nice young cat w/a great 'tude - so crucial w/a soundperson, seeing they are the tranny for your motor (which I call the band) to get the power to the wheels. this room has got some old tin tiles for the ceiling, very happening. also happening is the gigantic guitar some artist fabricated for the wall, 'pert-near twenty feet from end to end, whoa! looks more like art though - don't think you can play it. I talk w/mitch and it appears we're the only band - I kind of thought so maybe cuz of the poster in the window (funny, it said "don't let your meat loaf" but the actual spiel is "don't let _the_ meat loaf" - chinese whispers, huh? I think it was also called "telephone" back when I was in grade school). I go to the boat and konk heavy big time. no dinner chow but it's ok cuz I'm not that hungry. tour can do that do that to me. I never force myself - I chow when my body tells me it's time. I've brought myself learn that for my non-tour life even... like the pop group song says:

   no sequence to follow
   no fear of tomorrow
   a life of timelessness
   a kiss of neverness
   we'll dare eternity

   pete shakes me awake at 10:30 pm and it's gig time. man, I'm hoping my voice holds up. I'm thinking it must've been the elevation, being a mile up, my throat being all tight and then hollering/over-compensating. fucking idiot watt. we start the piece and damn if they're ain't shit coming out the spiel-hatch of mine. shit. well... sailor on, sailor. at least my guys are playing good though raul's rushing it w/"burstedman" - we're still get that one together as a team cuz it don't matter that me and pete's got it - we all gotta get it cuz that's the way I write music for my situations - no hiding, like a three-legged stool (one leg weak and it's tumbling over!). I know raul's trying his hardest and he's doing good - this is just unfamiliar territory for him but he's taking it on in good spirits, I'm rooting him on all the way and I know pete is too. these lincoln folks are very kind to us, especially me w/the challenges given w/this strangled-up voice, some of the words don't even make it out. there's a little yammering from some borracha near the end and I say something about it but during the encores, I tell everyone it's ok if they talk when they want to cuz shit, doesn't everybody have enough of those playing cop on them and ordering them what to do? they don't need watt doing the same thing on top of that. I think these folks are quite generous and there's lots of nice words when we're done - even the borracha lady says she never heard of me but liked what she heard, she even invites us over to konk but we've already accepted an invite from this couple, eric and annie (I had asked from the stage if anyone had a safe place for the boat and space for us to konk). as we load out and fix up to leave, this older cat w/a mohawk (well, not older than me but older than most mohawk kids) tells me some very nice words about d. boon - much respect to him.

   eric and annie ride w/this cat named justin and we follow them to their pad. it's a neat place w/a good spirit. there's a righteous little orange tabby cat named squeaker (maybe that's her nickname?) that loves to play bite, hold and kick - wild. she loves rubs and purrs like a motor. justin's a student studying law and has seen me in bigger towns but this is the first time in his home one. eric was in a band that opened up for me called think - he plays bass and annie plays cello. he knows steve reed, my soundman for many years/tours and asks for him. steve's doing great and playing w/jon wahl's amadans w/bob lee and can't tour w/me anymore cuz of his landscaping business but I still love him much. how many times have I trusted that man w/my life? he's a rock, like pete - good, good people. lucky watt. I have to get out of my outfit which got wet w/sweat so I don't get sick and annie gives me a robe to wear. it's a trippy one, kind of short for a man and smooth feeling, silk-like. I must look ridiculous but don't care, I'm warm. we talk lots, puffing cigarettes on the porch (they have a quaker parrot named kama and smoke hurts her), then justin has to bail. me and pete are hitting the throatcoat tea - so great charlie got that for us back in utah. after a little bit, I go inside and then I lay out in my sack and almost konk but don't. when everyone else comes back in the pad, I ask to take a shower cuz I think it's filthyness keeping me up. annie asks if I want a hot or cold one, hmm...? maybe warm. I'm given a triple blade razor to shave w/and that's trippy cuz I never have used one of those before. works good though. I get back in the sack and have weird, weird memoryless dreams - seems I'm not actually konked but awake and walking around (pacing?) the inside of my head. strange. it seems things just get a hold of me sometimes and effect me deeply.

monday, september 27, 2004 - kansas city, mo

from raul:

   Ride from lincoln to k.c. was ideal, just enough time to chimp, and have a smoke then we're there, mike drove first, and pete landed us.Downtown k.c. looked pretty desolate, maybe we just caught it at that time of day. Show up to the club a bit early, which is good, gotta get to a post office, so does pete, so we get to walkin' , and find one just right down the street. As we're walking out this car pulls up, and dude points a finger at me, i know you, didn't you play drums in f.y.p, then duh, it hits me, kansas city, oh, i know some folks there.Turns out i know this particular folk, it's scott from the sex offenders, a band from k.c. we used to play gigs with, last time i saw scott was about six years ago, when he was living in seattle, very random, very cool. After the post office we hit up a record store called recycled sounds, rad store, so much cool stuff i started to get irratated, so i just read some zines, i get way to tempted, better save money for the road, and not blow it buyin' records, but damn i love vinyl. Back at the club just in time for sound check. Grand emporium, mike been doing gigs around this area for atleast twenty years, even pointed out the old punk club where the minutemen first played, place called fool killers, it's a cell phone store or some shit now... oh well. met a few of the guys who used to go to club, andy and john moreno were two of em'...it's neat meetin' old punk rockers, and gettin' to see what they did with their lives, and how they brought those ethics with them.

   After sound check, pete and i go next door to grab some slices, good stuff. Playin' with a local band called the billions tonite, spend most of the down time hangin' in the club, reading the local weekly, i need to go check out that new zombie flick... sounds like it's gonna be great. It was cool, a friend from cali came to see the show, and didn't know i was playin' in the group, when she came in, it was so out of context, that i had to do a double take, it was defiently a rad suprise, really cool to see her. Not to much time before we take stage, so i spend it catchin' up, and also hangin' out with this guy we met, steve, another watt fan who reads the hoot, so he treats pete and i like old friends. Gig went well, it's kinda funny, the past few nights, there have been these guys who take it upon themselves to tell us what songs to play, especially during the quite parts , what are they thinkin', like mid song we're gonna stop, and be like you know what, that drunk bastard's right, screw this song, lets do the one he's wants to hear, it cracks us up...sometimes. Still jumpin' the gun on some stuff, it's always been a problem of mine... playin' to fast, it's tough sometimes to make the transition from fast to slow, i mean trying to play mellow is a new thing for me, i'll get it though, and it'll be that much tighter, people don't seem to notice, but i do, and so does watt, but he really wants me to get it, so he's been pretty patient. Other than dumb flubs here and there, i had a lotta fun on stage last night.

   After the show we load the gear...obviously, and go to mike and lauras place, also along for the ride is kevin, super cool guy who drove up from lawrence to see the show. good fun, got some adult bevrages, and got our man dance on. stayed up drinkin' and bull shittin' till about two. Laura and mike have this hugh pad, four stories, it's a trip, the kitchens on the fourth floor. It was hilarious, mike was kinda drunk, and he was lookin' for his car keys, so laura could move his truck back in the drive, everyone's searchin', and it turns out there in the ignition, with the car still running across the street. after a bunch of saucein', i gotta go konk, and i have a blast doing it. Eggs and toast have been a main stay breakfast on this tour, and this mourning is no exception, i chase em' down with a couple of good porters, beer for breakfast, gotta love it. Man i feel like i'm on vacation, wait i am on vacation, and i get to play gigs everynight...life rules. Spend the day in true porch core fashion, hangin' in front of this rad house, playin' with cats, in a beautiful nieghborhood in k.c. Also got my laundry done...real interesting right,good thing about the mat though, they have pinball, and galaga... the universe does provide, plus there's a rad book store across the street. After doing clothes, i hop next door and pick up a paper back of short science fiction stories. We're only about a hundred miles from the next gig so time is defiently on our sides. Man it's nice to have a clean shirt on again... bye bye.

from pete:

   popped at eric and annie's pad; the hyde to jekyll transformation was especially heavy on me this morning as I had waken up about four in the morning to avail myself of the happy water (and as a result almost pissed in watt's lap as he was sitting on the can in the dark), and when I got back in the bag I could not fall asleep again (the sudafed helps you in many ways but it's like doing speed if you're trying to conk). bone cracking aside, I felt much better and the burn in my sinuses was pretty much gone. I went to hose off and felt even better still after. annie went to go buy us some chow and asked if we needed anything else; I requested some sudafed and she refused to take any money from me. what an incredibly sweet woman; eric is a fortunate man indeed. I chowed down some fruit and checked my email- watt asked me if I would be willing to sing "boiling blazes" and "beltsandedman"; I agreed w/ some trepidation but if the boss is not doing well, I was more than happy to help him out- I didn't want his voice blowing out. this would not be a good thing. I quickly wrote out the lyrics and went over the phrasing in my head. I felt I could reasonably pull it off despite my nervousness.

   we packed up our bags and loaded them into the boat, took some snaps w/ eric and annie and we were off once again. much love to both of them for putting us up and treating us like family. I wanted to get to a post office so I could send some bones back home but after some searching we did a blow by and opted to send the stuff when we got to kansas city instead. I really had to conk as I had second shift at the helm once again so I got to it immediately and consequently felt much better when I got behind the wheel.

   we arrived in front of the pad (the grand emporium) early, so me and rollie had a couple of hours to blow before the check- which we spent sending our bones back home out at the local post office and cheking out some very kind vinyl in this cool old record store. we headed on back to the pad and the soundman, conrad let us in. we loaded in the gear and I scoped the pad out; very vegas w/ granite floors and low-light sconces. highly foo-foo. watt had last played this same pad w/ firehose and he said it had looked completely different before. conrad got us all miked up and we ripped thru the check'; very echoey but I figured that the sound would even out once there were some bodies in there. we broke down and I chimped my diary-afterwards me and rollie went to a small pizza pad next door and scored some chow which we munched down in the pad. some folks were starting to come in and this cat steve who'd been coming to see watt since the minutemen days rapped and hung w/ us. the openng band was called "mr. billion" started up their set and they sort of reminded me of tortoise in a way, albeit w/ high tenor vocals. some old friends of watt's (andy and john) showed up and we rapped w/ them. extremely nice cats.

   we went back to the band room and rapped w/ steve and a friend of raul's who had showed up to the show - very nice peeps. "mr billion" finished up their set and I went to go rouse the chief and grab the merch box. having done my pre-show duties, I went to await the arrival of the boss w/ rollie. as customary he ambled in , plugged in the baby bass and we began laying the musical asphalt. mike's voice held up well (which was great as I had my doubts about singing these tunes). The crowd gave us much love and were very quiet during all the right parts (altho' some cat kept yelling out "red and the black" during "pluckin'' and "pelicanman". we finished up the piece to much applause , then came up to do the encore stuff which we pulled off very well (me and rollie tried very hard to keep the stage volume to a minimum so mike wouldn't have to scream his brains out). I clammed the timing on the little intro parts to "I have always been here before" and watt decided to give me a taste of my own medicine by slowing things down to a crawl (lesson learned g). the sound was awesome; much respect to conrad for twisting the knobs in all the right directions.

   me and raul broke down the gear as watt slung merch; many people came up to us w/ so many nice comments- it made us feel real good. we loaded up the tools in the boat and headed on over to mike and laura's pad (laura had played bass in the long beach music scene and knew all the peeps and bands I had played in). very nice lady. after we had settled into the pad, we ate pickled peppers and rapped. the sandman came soon and I settled into sueno mode. buona notte musicanti....

from watt:

   I pop at like seven. I find the orange kitty squeaker konked all curled in a ball on me too - righteous. feels good to pop clean. new outfit for the next three days - the flannel I'm wearing on the back of the new album, fresh levis and socks - all these gigs will be in missouri, a state I've been missing the last few tours so it's good to have the clean clothes besides still being consistent for my outfit rotation plan. all that weirdness in my head added up to maybe not the most restful recharge for my batteries though. I'm still in good spirits cuz like I said, the pad here is conducive to that. at last, only a three hour drive today too - alright! I chimp diary 'till annie pops and makes me some oatmeal - not that instant but the old fashion kind, it's what I eat every morning at my pad in pedro. so nice of her. there's a dish of peanuts and I ask her to put those in cuz sometimes I do that w/the japanese style nuts (they're from mexico though) I get from mister kim's store on my way home from pedalling or paddling. w/that I chow some slices of apple she's cut up for me too. the parrot they got here talks to me some - it likes to click and purr even. reminds me of the wild conjures we got in my town, a colony of them from mexico - there's several in so cal. I call them the loudmen cuz they're from the jungle and yammer constantly. their short wings (they only have to hop from tree to tree originally) make them look kind of funny when they're flying, having to beat them like crazy. they are quite a site and I love them much, always calling out "loudmen!" to them when they're flying near while I'm pedaling in the morning.

   eric and my guys pop and it's a slow morning for us cuz of no hurry to get rolling. eric gives me "illuminations - essays and reflections of walter benjamin" by hannah arendt after I tell him of my bloomsday adventure in ireland this last june (the 100th anniversary of the day "ulysses" is to have taken place) after seeing a joyce anthology on his shelf. it's trippy to find out neither eric or annie don't drive. they haven't been around to a lot of places but know a bunch and are sure open to things - maybe cuz of their connections w/the arts. I am partial the opinion that the arts are a fabric us humans can share and find that a reality more than just a theory all the time. it gives lots of common ground where I never have to feel a total alien around people who are interested that way. eric works for a non-profit group and I relate to him how I find it trippy how hardly anyone is talking about the upcoming beauty contest, I mean election, in the towns we've been through. it trips him out too. he says him and his friends are talking about it but I tell him that I mean not between me and folks I know (though there's not a whole lot of that either) but what I'm noticing in public. maybe it's going on via television or radio - I admit I've 'pert-near none of that on tour a very little newspaper either. the focus you need for tour kind of does that though it does make you open to hear what others are saying as you relate w/them in the moment and that's all over the place: the gas stations, chow pads, stores and of course the clubs and venues.

   pete wants to hit a post office so we ask for directions to one before dear good byes to eric and annie. hmm... them not driving means not being as aware of the one-way streets and we end up in the middle of the university of nebraska campus - oops... maybe we'll just wait and find a post office in kansas city! before getting all the way out of town, we get gas. whoa, in the minimart inside they got the reddest hot dogs I've ever seen - there must be coloring added to them or something cuz they are fucking red red red. I have to get one. hmm... no different in taste, must just be a color thing. my guys are cracking up. I wanted pete to drive and raul to use both the map and 'puter for navigating but pete is way tired - he had to use some psuedophed last night to fight off allergy and I guess he didn't sleep that good either. I can hang for a while so I wheel us east on the nebraska highway (state road 2). I learn raul about the difference between the interstate, us highway and state road systems - how they got they're own symbols on the map and stuff pertinent to that. when we hit the missouri river, we cross into iowa and turn south onto I-29 and follow the river a few miles, continuing on into missouri. it's another day of great weather though it started out gray like it does back home in cali (we call it "june gloom"). it's sunny now and mild w/the temp. luck is still w/us that way. I-29 goes right alongside the missouri and in saint joseph, I get gas for the boat and have pete take us that last seventy miles. raul's learning about navigating quick and I wake just as we're getting into kansas city. I tell him navigating the road is a creative and intuitive process cuz everything is not as spelled out in a map or w/software like you might think. we get to the venue at five pm, right in the middle of kansas city at 38th and main.

   it's been fifteen years since I played this pad, the grand emporium. lawrence is an hour away, in kansas (there is a kansas city, kansas across the river but the big town is the kansas city here in missouri - don't ask me why!) and that's where I've been playing the last bunches of tours. this place has really really changed and I heard it's just happened. the grand emporium was a hardcore blues place w/a "grace's kitchen" in the corner serving up ribs and stuff, flyers and posters all aged and stuck to the wall, everything painted black and beat to all hell, cigarette smoke and beer saturated into it's air - all of that (mondays were the nights they had punk shows) but now you might think it was a hollywood club - nothing at all is the same, pretty trippy. we load in and meet conrad the soundman. I relate my old experiences w/him, wild how things change. I go a couple blocks down and get a box of crackers, a tin of anchovies and a giant hot pickle - this is my dinner chow tonight. I start eating that on the hood of the boat (we're parked out back by the load-in hatch) and this cat comes up to say hi - turns out his curt from this band orange donut that opened for the minutemen on the corner here at a place called foolkillers twenty years and two months ago, whoa! foolkillers was a cultural center but is replaced now w/a telephone exchange building. it's good to see curt again, he's had quite some heaviness w/life since then but is better now. he wants to see us do the b.o.c. song for soundcheck. my old friend john comes by to say hi, he lives only minutes away and it's so great to see him. both him and his brother andy are like family to me, seeing me first at that foolkillers gig all that time ago and still seeing me 'pert-near every time I come through here or lawrence. I really do have a sort of extended family w/folks through music, it's a trip and I value it much. there's these three cats named jeremy, grant and duane and the drove three hours to see the gig, damn. jeremy plays bass and says he's glad I made it through the sickness. everytime I get told that on this tour, it touches me much for folks to care like that. again, let me say it: lucky watt. I sign some stuff for jeremy (he's a bass player too and has me sign the "bass player magazine" w/me on the front for him) and then do the soundcheck for conrad and both curt and john watch. then I got an interview to do on the phone. konk follows quick after that.

   a leg shake from pete means a yank out of the konkzone for watt and the gig is on. man, that was a heavy one cuz of such tiredness but I'm ready to go. I met the openers after soundcheck, the billions who are from lawrence and the seemed like nice guys. sure wish I could've heard what they were like but... many apologies to them for my limited amount of strength. the weekly they got here was nice to say I wasn't a burnout, even after all the years. I gotta prove that now. my voice is better, I think the altitude in denver tighten up my chords and then I strained, trying to compensate. that was a stupid move but they're more together than last night and I'm very much thankful for that. not all the way, not at all but at least something better. we do the piece good, a much improved "burstedman" though "pluckin'..." is a little rushed and I gotta pull back on my guys' reins. part of the remodeling of this place meant putting in a couple of huge video game screens and I've had to watch these the whole gig. weird, kind of like a sports bar thing in a way - you know how they got all those televisions going. it's kind of funny. these folks were very polite to us though near the end, in the last two tunes, a couple of guys just feel the need to holler "the red and the black" all through them during the quieter parts. pretty funny, in a way - almost like it's scripted. it's ok. I forgot about last night's encore but for the first time this tour we did d. boon's "this ain't no picnic" and we do again tonight. pete says he really REALLY relates to this song. of course, I loved all of d. boon's tunes. we do the other five we've been doing too - talk about rushing tunes, tonight's version of the roky song gets so ridiculous w/my guys that I tell pete over the mic "I'm slowing it down even more, bro!" in response to counteract what seems a snowball effect him and raul have got going w/the tempo - then the gig's done. a lot of cats came from lawrence, that was nice. there's a lady who plays bass and is from huntington park, cali (intense part of town) who tells me about some oil that would help my joints but I can't remember what it was for the life of me. I told her I've been using flax seed oil too and she that's good but it's got to be oxidized. hmm... I wonder if they shit I'm using is that? there's another lady bass player too and she's w/mike, who's a good friend of kevin - the cat I usually stay w/in lawrence. I love kevin and likewise mike. it's at mike's pad here not too far away where we've been invited to konk tonight and the boat'll be safe. again, like all the gigs on this tour, lots of niceness from folks as they talk to me as I sling. big hugs for andy and john - love these brothers so much. there's a cat who plays a moserite bass like dave alexander - whoa. he saw me w/fIREHOSE at this pad fifteen years ago. much respect to everyone like that, for them to let me into their lives. good luck on that bass, good luck w/that poem, good luck w/that painting, good luck w/that story, good luck w/your lives - I want to so impress that on these folks who are so generous w/me.

   jackie, the bosslady from pipeline, is very kind too. so is big john who works w/her - he got me some special hot chili sauce from the bottleneck's jackie in lawrence. so good to see once again robert vodicka from the sst days too. mike and laura get in the boat w/us and direct us to the pad - an old three story house that mike's restoring. that's what he does now and he's got construction hands to prove it. he has a lot to say. he graduated in religious studies as a jayhawk but is from hibbing, mn - where bob dylan grew up. he definitely wants to talk about the election and it freaks him though he doesn't really have a party in the running cuz he's socialist. we eat a jar and a half of chilies a buddy of kevin's grew and pickled, they're good.laura's from long beach (just east of pedro) and plays bass - has a rickenbacker just like kira's and knows folks pete's played w/there (pete played w/long beach band bourbon jones and the dibs). she took mike up to my practice pad in pedro but I was on the road then. he's gotta come back and I'll give him the tour. I told andy and john that too at the end of the gig, back at the club. god, I wish I could give everyone a tour of my town - maybe they'd understand another side of me but then agian, maybe they wouldn't! they'd at least know a little more of some of things I find myself referring to, like the way miss marple solved cases in agathy christy's books, doing that (I never read them but kira did much and told me that - she said I was like that about pedro). more of that throatcoat tea and I have to bow out cuz of fatigue weighing much on me. I wish I could keep up. mike wants me to konk upstairs in a bed but it's too high on the deck and I'll tumble. he's got mattresses on the deck here so I lie them out for me and pete (I like the deck but a hardwood one is tough - I'm more akin to a carpeted one!) and sack out, even w/everyone spieling away. lots of tours have trained me well to do that.

tuesday, september 28, 2004 - columbia, mo

from raul:

   Do a total blow by on the way to the club, it's sorta my fault, but no big deal, mike wanted to see some of columbia anyway, so i thought i'd use the passing our street excuse. When we find the club, the first thing outta mikes mouth is "roadhouse", good call. We decide to get the gear on stage, it's pretty early, and the sound guy won't show till seven, but when he does show we'll be ready. Nothin' to do really, i don't wanna leave cuz the sound guy minght show early, so i just grab a coke, and get to chimpin', there's also t.v., so pete and i watch some seinfield. tonight we're playing with a band called sleepy time gorrilla musuem from oakland, who i've never heard, that's a pretty rad name, and there oaklandish, so i'm psyched to check em' out. When they show up to club, i'm down right eager, they're like a family of musical nomads. First off they travel in this hugh tour bus they call big black, total peddlers too, they all have bicycles tied to the top of the bus, and when they start loading their gear out, there's all these homemade instruments, bass drums bolted to cymbal stands, and saw blades for cymbals, whole precussion set ups made from metal pans, and other random shit, totally curious to see what kinda sounds they make come out of this stuff. After sound check i introduce myself to the band, super sweet people, it's rad to meet some one with a tri hawk, and they're the nicest person, dosn't suprise me, but it pretty much shows you how stupid stereotypes are, that shit needs to go right out the window.

   Few hours before show time, and i need some chow, so i decided to go check out downtown columbia, and see what's up with food scene. Find a pretty good sandwhich place, and grab a vegi sub, after i eat, i grab a sammy for pete, and check out the record store across the street, i take that back, it was more of a dvd/ cd store, they did have a little seven inch section, and i picked up a nasty facts record for two bones. After eating, i walk back to the club, just in time for sleepy times sound check... pretty intense. Spent the next hour reading a book i picked up yesterday... understanding american history through science fiction, a bunch of short stories that parallels past with the future, read an aurther c. clark story, and then watched sleepy time. Man they're amazing, just they're set up looks so interesting, and these people, they had on all this white face paint, and these matching druid clothes, and these crazy big spiked arm bands... they were just scary to look at, they brought their own light set up that went at their feet, and it made these creepy shadows all over the place, and the sounds they made, just as scary, if i had to relate them to other bands, i think a mix between the birthday party, and mr. bungle, wouldn't even do them justice, a total mix of theatre, history, and music.

   Boy this was a rough gig for me... no moniters, i know that sounds stupid, but it's hard to play when you can't hear anything, oh yeah, plus the snare had this lame ring to it, the mic was laying on it, i couldn't hear that either, no moniters, but i should've picked up on that one, i mean how good can a snare sound with a mic laying on the rim. The shitty stage sound made it really hard for me to dig in to the songs, i was spending to much time thinkin' wow this sounds really crappy...oh well, it happens. Sound on stage and the sound going out to the ears is way diffrent, sleepy time had the same problem, but they sounded great, and folks seemed to like our set, so maybe it was just me. Man even the load out was rough, the back stairs were next to this rank smelling grease troft, god, the smell was aweful, smelled like every one there shit there trousers. After mike does an interview, we go to the pad we're sleeping at, john and derrick. Trippy pad, had carpet in the kitchen, tile in the bed rooms, and all the electical sockets were up side down, real nice dudes, thanks for the space. I slept in to about eleven, that was rad, i must of needed it, even slept through breakfast, now that's a rareity that hardly ever happens. hop in the van, and set the controls for blueberry hill.

from pete:

   popped on the deck and immediately proceeded to hack my fucking brains out; the cold, the mota , and the cigarettes were taking their toll on me- I vowed to cut some of this shit out. I went over and shoved a handful of pickled jalapenos and habaneros in my maw and waited for that kind burn to kick in; mike told me that this was the way that the american indians fought off sickness and let me tell you it works gangbusters (and the peppers are loaded w/ vitamin c- they're about the closest thing to a perfect food that you can get) I was feeling much better quickly but I was still coughing up slugs like a cat hairballs. I knew I had to ride this shit out cause' it's the body's way of purging the bad.

   i went upstairs to wash up a little and mike was cooking us up some chow for breakfast; i rapped w/ him for awhile and made some tea for me and watt. mike had made us some eggs, bacon and toast and we chowed down w/ extreme prejudice. afterwards me, raul and watt went to go do our laundry at a pad right down the street. me and raul then checked out this cool used book store- I wanted to buy everything in the pad!- they had some righteous tomes in there.

   we headed on back to mike and laura's pad where we sat on the porch and rapped with them and their bud kevin (a very nice cat). we had a short trip to columbia so we had some time to kick back- a very welcome thing for me, as I needed a little brain-wash time. watt finished doing his email work and we loaded up the bags into the van and said our goodbyes to mike, laura, and kevin and we hit the road once again. much respect to you guys for sharing your pad w/ us and the great conversation.

   as customary, I hit the bench seat and read "the gulag archipelago" but soon drifted off to suenoville. I soon awoke and we were pulling into the parking lot of the pad (a place called "mojo's"), loaded out the gear and set it up on the stage. it was still pretty early (around 4:00), so we had some time to blow once again. Raul chimped diary while I watched the news and seinfeld on the tube while nursing a vodka rocks. the soundman, brent showed up and miked us up quick and we ripped thru "the red and the black". it sounded a little off as raul's drum monitor was blown and we didn't have the extra oomph from that speaker. we broke down the gear and I went to go put in some chimp time. raul went to go take a hoof down town. the opening band showed up;they were called the"sleepytime gorilla museum"- real nice cats and they went to do their check. they had a boat-load of equipment (alot of it homemade) and a cool old green tour bus. carla, their violinist knew nels cline and carla bozulich. small world.

   I was finishing up the chimp and rollie comes back w/ a sandwich that he had bought for me. he's a real sweetheart. much respect g. S.G.M started their set up and me and raul decided to watch. I'm glad we did. they blew me away- an awesome combination of theatre and music (they wore costumes) and their frontperson/guitarist nils, strikes a very compelling figure. I could not begin to describe what they sounded like-you just have to witness the trip yourself. check em' out if they blow into your town. you will definitely have not seen anything like them. after the set, me and rollie helped em' get their gear off stage and set our own tools up. I then went to go wake the chief and grab the merch box. me and rollie waited by the side of the stage and as soon as he came in we manned our machines and were soon off. we played pretty well but the start was a little rough and the intensity wasn't exactly up to par. the peeps were very quiet during the entire piece but it was only because they were really listening. they gave us much love. afterwards, we launched into the encore and some of the intensity came back but we were still a little off. we did good tho. rollie and me broke down the tools while watt slung the merch to the strains of coltrane. watt had to ask for a crashpad from the stage again and several kind peeps offered their pads up-we opted to stay w/ two cats john and derek as they had a place close by. we loaded up the gear into the boat; watt was doing an interview in the front and we rapped w/ john and derek while we waited for him to finish. he was soon completed and we hopped into the boat and steamed onward towards john and eric's. once there we settled in and were soon off towards suenoville. laku noc sviraci....

from watt:

   pop at nine and a half bells - whoa, but my body needed it - I sure can feel it. am in much better shape for it too cuz lack of good konk is a definite shortcut to sicksville. don't want to be there, not even for a drive through. I can't find the shower - the head has only a can so maybe it's upstairs but I don't wanna bug anybody so I chimp diary. mike and laura rise after a bit and get the coff going while kevin gets together chow when he pops. seems raul was up before even me but he's been on the porch outside so I couldn't tell. up on the third floor is where the stove is so we eat there. kevin's a sweetheart for cooking like he is for us but I gotta give the scrambled eggs he got going more time in the pan cuz their way runny - no disrespect though. only two and a half hours to tonight's gig in columbia so we got time for much needed laundry and mike says there's a laundromat a block away... well alright!

   we hoof our stuff up for washing, then mike and kevin take me to a 7-11 cuz the walkie-talkie my sister melinda got me a couple of xmases ago (she got tired of circling the airport to get me when I'd come in on a flight) uses these pre-paid cards which is pretty good cuz it keeps a lid on this kind of shit. these "leashes" or whatever are good when you really need them but what a fucking collar to have around your neck as far as a life goes. damn, to think how original secondmen drummer jer trebotic would fucking phonemate forever on his... call up to talk about whatever just to do it - like a jones in your bones. he even called me last week from the docks to see how tour was, which was righteous to hear his voice but it gets me to thinking that maybe nobody else was home and he just had to call someone cuz the machine was in his fucking hand! I do cherish him caring about me like he does though, he's always been great about that. the point is I don't want a life wrapped around a walkie-talkie! it does do some real good though when a situation really is hurting for one help though, I will not deny that and it's for that reason I put more minutes on it - just in case. harder to find these 7-11 stores in the places we've been rather than cali too. I get that and then back to the laundromat where my clothes need another go-round. I should've put two loads of soap in cuz your clothes kind of "ferment" in the stench bags, some of them have been sitting in there for more than a week. what would've been smarter is to buy a bottle of liquid detergent and have some for this and the rest of the tour. it dissolves in the water better than that powder shit too (it's what I use at home). idiot watt. so, round two w/the wash but the dryers are in good shape and I'm hoofing back w/my arms full of wash (no way can I use the plastic sack I brought them up cuz it's thoroughly stenched much and would make this washing stuff all for naught). not far though and it's dumb luck I don't drop and leave a fucking an idiot trail of socks and skivvies behind me.

   such generous hosts but time to say bye to mike, laura and kevin (oh - congrats to kevin on his recent marriage and new son!) cuz it's tough getting into the town you're going to at rush hour so it's best to beat that. east on I-70, the road all our missouri gigs are on this tour. this state's much more hilly than the plains ones west of here. columbia's a college town (mizzou, university of missouri) in the center of the state. been like six years since I last played here - I think it was the last tour of the "...engine room" opera w/nels and bob lee. we pass a town called boonville - no 'e' after boon, just like how d. boon spelled his name. we pass biffles, some lame bbq joint that I'll never forget cuz brother steve reed got poisoned there big time - we called it "getting biffed" - that crap was foul. again we're blessed w/cali-like weather except for some winds that buffet us some. better than hell-rain or cold though any time. I'm having raul navigate me in since in the seat mandated to do that and well, he needs the prac anyway. he gets a route plotted but then puts both the analog (paper rand macnally map book) and the 'puter away so when it's time to make our moves, he can't follow as we go along and soon we're blowing clear south of the town - I wave to the university as it grows smaller in the rear view mirror and then decide to pull the boat over. we got plenty of time so why not use it to help raul learn some about this part of the mission - getting there. first lesson to learn is that you can't get where you want if you don't know where you're at so that's where we gotta start. we get the 'puter fired back up and the map book open. sure enough, we blew right past the street we needed but we find it on the loop back. this is a new pad and I've never played here - it's called mojo's. we're there plenty early and bossman cheenie let's us load ahead of when the soundman will show. whew, there's an odor to this grease dumpster near the load-in door, holy cow. when done, I go to the boat to chimp diary. I get hungry and get one of those "dungbag" burritos at the gas station across the street (mojo's is actually behind it). I gave up eating these a long time ago but a bean one shouldn't hurt as long as it's like the only one I have this tour! I remember us being in kansas city after a gig one night real late and d. boon walking into the pad we were staying w/like a foot and half long version of one of these and telling me they were ok if you got the ones w/out the meat. yeah, right - we both laughed. it was a like a fucking roman candle and man, was d. boon fartin' up a storm (and the boat) the next day! chowing this made me think of that - chow does to that me sometimes, brings back trippy memories - sort of like smells can on me too. at the store counter there's these writing pens that are topped w/a hand cradling an eyeball and I can't resist - now the boat has two weird pens on the dash. we used to have a giant eyeball candle up front but the sun melted it up too much. I like the idea of having something like this to keep an "eye" on things.

   we do a soundcheck w/soundman brett and realize the amp for raul's monitor is out of the race. so it goes, that's tour life. we meet the opening band, friends of carla and nels' from oakland, cali called sleepytime gorilla museum and they're some really nice cats. wow, they got a ton of pieces for their band to play on - homemade instruments and everything. they tour in a big old bus and have bicycles strapped on the roof - reminds me of the pedaling I'm missing out her on the road. so great to share the stage w/such neat folks like this. I then go to the boat to konk.

   pete gets me for gig time and on the way in, I see blue note boss, rich king, who owns this pad too - he's come to say hi. first played for him twenty years ago w/the minutemen when the blue note was on the business loop and near a great chow pad named gil's (I think that was the name) that had righteous blackened red fish. sure great to give him hugs again. not the hugest crowd - I gotta play this town regular again and build my thing back up here but no matter tonight cuz I just have to play my heart out and I know for sure my guys will too. they got pretty fired up by the sleepytown band - they said those cats were fantastic and I sure wish I could've seen them but I very much still needed konk even w/the "long" (long for watt) one last night. I've already expressed my frustration w/this but it's a choice I have to make to keep healthy and give the strongest throw I can when it's my turn to be w/my guys on stage. some trouble as we begin - the snare mic is sitting right on the rim of the snare so I gotta fix that, even as we're playing. it extends out the "burstedman" intro and I think this puts a kink in the tune cuz my guys are rushing things again after doing so well w/it last night. distractions, huh? we rally though and get it together but "pissbags..." has me having trouble w/the envelope filter pedal. the sensitivity's gotta be set so or the sounds don't get going right. that's a relative thing cuz I gotta make my volume fit the situation at hand - the room, the stage sound level and stuff like that so it's kind like trying to dance on a rug that's moving. the voice is still rough in me but at least not totally choked up - I got to keep myself from yammering in the boat on our drives but that's kind of hard cuz pete and raul are such interesting cats to talk to. will try harder. it's all cuz of straining on that denver gig - I was sure an idiot w/that. oh well, here we are now and I have to deal w/the hand that's been dealt. this crowd is very attentive and there's no yammering to compete w/our soft parts - much respect to them. even w/my shortcomings and the kind of screwed-up "burstedman," I think we did ok w/the piece. the folks have us back and we do the new six song encore plan ("...picnic" seems like a good thing to permanently add) and then we're done. the sleepytime folks are very nice to me, telling me the dig the piece much. trippy how they black out their teeth but I can see how they involve many dimensions to their show and I love the commitment. they take several pictures w/me. good cats. just after "the red and the black," I called out for a pad to konk at w/a safe place for the boat and many kind souls offer up invites. these cats who are room mates, derrick and john, get the nod from pete and that's where we're staying tonight. again, more generosity - not just being open to the piece and having me and my guys play the way we do but helping us the konk sitch too - much respect. I sign a bass guitar, love doing that - a fender too, whoa. play it in good health, brother!

   I settle w/the bossman cheenie (I hope that's how you spell his name) and what nice cat he is too. I hope I don't sound like total foam when I express all this gratitude w/how good me and my secondmen get treated cuz I do sincerely mean it much - it makes me want to work this shift even more the harder. I do an interview in the boat during load-up w/boone stigall who has a local fanzine called "the trouble with normal" (he gives me issue #71 - alright!) and he asks me great things, taking spiel out of the realm of simple cliche which I very much appreciate. there's a cat who says hi to me from those days when the minutemen played here - he's as old as me and just as glad to still be alive, amen. we follow derrick and john to their pad and they make up some throatcoat tea and vegetable broth for me, very nice cats. I dug that shower in lincoln - the one after the gig instead of waiting for morning and do that again tonight. these guys are 'puter people who use macs and check me out on my tipurse - they notice the bosch I got as a desktop (a detail of one his "temptations of saint anthony" paintings) so I hip them to what I know about him. derrick than shows me a book of his favorite artist, eric white. he's trippy. wild we can share this stuff.

   whoa, three bells already! time to konk... which I do.

wednesday, september 29, 2004 - saint louis, mo

from raul:

   Played the duck room at blueberry hill last night, pretty rad place, cool old stuff everywhere, lots of early fifties and sixties rock and roll posters, i never knew james brown was a drummer, how 'bout that. As soon as we got there i spent atleast an hour checkin' the place out. Collage close by, so typical collage drag, record store, smoke shop, vintage clothing store, and various other hippie junk shops. After drinkin' a couple of strong cups of coffee, Pete and i go out in search of the post office, after that we split up, he's thinking about getting a tattoo, and i'm thinking about getting some food in my stomach, remember when subway use to suck, now it's about the only fast food chain i'll eat at, the other one being the occasional taco tuesday at del taco, three bean soft tacos for a buck. So i eat, which is good cuz i need something to soak up all that coffee, a bunch of caffine on an empty stomach sometimes gives me the shakes, or i find it really hard concentrate, my brain jumps from here to there, and theres just no focus, i don't mind being wired, that's why i drink caffine in the first place, but it sucks if you can't figure out something to do after... not a problem for me , i'll just go into vintage vinyl, and tear it apart. End up finding a couple of records i want, first pink floyd record... piper at the gates of dawn, and a kinks l.p., really cheap too, that's why i got em'. In l.a., if i could even find em', I'd never even seen the kinks one before, they be at the lowest twenty bucks a record, today ten bucks for both. I gotta go quick, the post office closes in five minutes, and i need to send this stuff back to pedro, no use buying records if i'm gonna let them melt in the boat. After that's done, it's just about time for sound check, sound guy bob is a cool dude, he tells me lenny kravitz is taping a radio show there tomorrow, and he's bumming. Supposedly , bob says, he heard l.k. is a giant dick, and you can't even look at him or you can't make eye contact or he'll throw a little rock star fit, what a weirdo, i totally believe it too. While we're doing the red and the black, the other band shows up, local boys, group's called dead celebraties...left handed drummer... real friendly guys.

   It's starting to get dark, and all the bars, including this one, are filling up with students, so i take a long walk, in the other direction. Almost went to see shaun of the dead, but it's a long tour, and i rather save something like that for when there's absolutely no other options. Decided to walk across the tracks, and see what lies past yuppieville, exactly what you would expect, a pretty rough lookin' nieghborhood, that's probably, pretty pissed off that it has to deal with all the out of town students, and the trendy bussiness that follows them into town, inevitably, fucking up their part of town, with brew pubs, shoe stores, and a million fuckin' sushi bars, and a couple of fresh mex places for good measure, i just need some shaving cream, so i'll hit up the family dollar... noticed alot of french speaking folks. After that i check out a comic book store, and walk back to the club to play some pinball, got four games outta two quarters, couple of free games, and a match, some how manage to get all the balls stuck by the plunger, and the machine breaks and i can't even finish my last game, @#$$%*&#.

   Head back to the duck room, named after, yep, you guessed it chuck berrys duck walk, didn't chuck berry get busted a few years ago for having cameras in the toilets of the womens bathroom in his lake charles restaurant? Weird dude with to much time and money on his hands. Anyways i head back down stairs to scrape the hair off my face, and have a shower. Dead celebrities go on, kinda teen idles rock n roll pop thing going. Who the fuck still picks paridise city on the juke box? Answer, the hillbilly badass shootin' pool right in front of me... paridise city in iowa city, almost as bad as pickin' brown eyed girl, or even worse... hotel california, which by the way, is supposed to be all about doin' blow... whatever.   While i'm upstairs having a drink, i'm watching this dude try to pick up on chicks, he's useing the i'm wasted, so what's up thousand yard stare, that dumb shit worked, after about the fiftenth girl that walks by, one lady takes the shitty bait this dudes fishing with, can't believe it, that auctually worked for him, hey whatever, even funnier than that, within two minutes of talkin', dude looks bored, and starts staring over her shoulder at the girls friend... collage. Show time, this was my favorite gig so far, sound was great, and people were really into it. The room was a nice room to play in, and all the folks there were nice to play to, i felt the exact oppisite as i did the night before at the columbia gig, got into it, and had a blast on stage, folks were even up front singin' and dancein', man i love that... when people aren't intimidated by their surroundings, and let loose, which is i need to do as well. Guy came up after the gig and asked me how long i've been a jazz player, jazz player i say, well i've been playing this piece about two months. He said sounds like i've been studying the stuff for years, i give him the puzzled look, and keep breaking my stuff down... thanks for the complement dude... even if i do think your full of shit, but time does change every thing, and maybe someday i'll deserve that complement.

   Meet all kinds of cool kids after the show, and this guy with a recording studio offers us the space, as a quite place to stay, yeah quite. We show up and some dude is playing drums at one in the mourning... party time, i'll let the other dudes tell y'all about that situation, i'm sure they have lots to say, and i really wanna go for a walk, but before i stop writing, i just wanna say thanks to kevin rager, and dan the man, the guy who studio it was, he showed me the real quite place, which was next door, where the auctually studio was, hugh place, heard nelly recorded there, anyways thanks dudes. woke up pretty early, and didn't wanna go back to sleep, it's always the same time in the studio, sorta like a vegas casino, no clocks, and no light in, and no light out. I let pete and mike, and kevin sleep for a few hours more, no reason for us all to be up this early, when i finally do wake everyone up, i make some coffee for me and mike, smoke a roach from the night before, and play the kit next door for a while, it's almost time to go, and we got a six hour drive to iowa city, hit three states today, how many states did you see? Hello mr. ibarra, vinnie, tony, kevin, st. jacob, and the rest of my friends back in pedro...see ya sooner than later... every one else reading, until tomorrow... bye bye.

from pete:

   popped at john and derek's and went to do a hose off; the hack wasn't as bad this time around as I had cut way down on the chokes and mota. after completing the primp I went downstairs and pulled some email duty after which I watched "the daily show" w/ john. I made myself some throatcoat tea and just kicked back and rested the brain. I still had a bit of a burn in the back of my throat but I was doing much better than the previous nite. I was also drinking boatloads of agua which made me piss like a race horse but cleaned out the system good. John had to go to work at noon so we loaded our gear into the boat around 11:45 and were off once again (I, of course once again hung out in the bench seat and grabbed some good sueno which I truly needed). the hellride wasn't too bad (about five horas), and we got in front of the pad (the blueberry hill) early. me and rollie had a major coffee jones going so we hoofed it on down the street to the local barfucks; now mind you lil the kill was fired from the buck' for bullshit reasons and I refuse to give patronage to these kuyp motherfuckers but rollie also quit the bucks' to go on tour and he still had his partner number (which entitles him to comp purchases), and we try to take advantage of this shit to the nth degree. The barista that served us couldn't find rollie's number in the puter' so he comped us the coff' anyway. sweet man. we left him a major tip. fuck starbucks.. not my kind of company

    we hoofed it on over to the local post office so I could mail my bones again to the kill; having completed this we went to go scope the town. we went back to the blueberry hill and hung there for awhile; I checked out the all the snaps on the wall that the boss man, joe had taken w/ all of the musicians that had played there. very cool. rollie was famished and went to go get a sammy while I hoofed it solo to check out the sights. I checked out a local tatoo parlor as I had a jones to get some more ink but I haven't seen anything worth sitting for yet; I wanted something that would reflect where I was in the now- but I still haven't found it. found a cool thrift store and bought myself a kind jacket (it was waterproof which is what I wanted), and a cool black "t" which had a swastika crossed out on it. (I'm way into this symbolism; the swastika was actually an ancient pagan symbol which the nazis co-opted and thereby attached negative connotations to). fuck racism.

   with bounty in hand, I made my way back to the boat and rapped w/ mike for awhile-he was way into the "t"and its ramifications. we loaded our gear out of the boat and into the pad; the soundman, bobby miked us op proper and we ripped thru the check' the sounf was very down so no worries on that end. we ordered up some chow from the pad-tuna salad which we liberally sprinkled w/ some fresh habi' peppers that I brought from the boat. nice burn g..helps the sinuses.

   the opening band, "the dead celebrities" showed up and ran thru their check'- very cool hardcore shit and the guitarist's name was elvis (which is points in my book from the get go). I chimped some diary for awhile then rollie showed up and we went to go have a few cocktails and check out the ladies (and there were some tasty ones I tell you what).

   the celebrities' finished their set to much applause and I went to go rouse the chief and snag the merch' box. me and rollie set up the tools and as customary went to wait for the boss by the side of the stage. In he rolls and we rip into the piece; I have to say that we were all "on" and the machine was pumping- very few clams and heavy on the intensity. I was way into the set and it was truly one of those magic nights. the peeps were way into it as we were and showered us w/ much love. we finished up the piece and came up to do the encore- we hit it even harder and the folks reciprocated; it was arguably the best show of the tour so far. we played hard and we were more importantly, playing together (us secondmen were becoming a volatile live machine). we finished up the set to much applause and me and rollie packed up the tools while watt slung the merch- I was very happy w/ this gig and as I tell everyone-it's my job to make the folks forget that the guitar ain't there- I think I finally pulled it off this nite (if I could do this every nite I could be somebody) much kudos to bobby the knobsman for makin' sound right.

   we loaded up the boat and were soon off to a pad that some nice peeps offered us up- specifically a cat named dan who had a recording studio. we settled in and rapped w/ alot of cats that were hanging there; I was the last one up yammering politics and studio gear w/ dan and a really nice cat named john. finally, around three A.M. I headed over to the studio and rolled out the bag and climbed in. sueno came fast.. I love you st.louis. buona notte musicanti....

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and am really starting to dig the idea of popping clean from the last gig's work. I chimp diary for about an hour and then derrick comes downstairs ready for his work but he makes time to rustle me up some coff. him and john are sure nice cats. trippy about this pad - the kitchen floor is carpeted! don't think I've ever seen that. besides that, john says his bedroom floor has linoleum - go figure. they got wireless here so I can get time online... what a trip - I get an email announcing an art show from... (go ahead and guess) eric white (ewhite.com) - is that a mindblow of a coincidence! I wish derrick (or is it derrek? sorry if I'm fucking this up) was here to show him but he had to already bail. I tell john though - he's gotta leave for work too so we get ourselves together and head out. wow, once again great weather has been bestowed on us. very happening.

   saint louis is only a couple of hours east on the I-70 so we roll that way. the third stop on the "missouri leg" of this tour and the third day for this outfit. weird, yesterday and today I'm finding myself w/out wearing skivvies - oh... that's right, I wanted to wash as much as I could so I was freeballing while at the laundromat and then forgot to put on one of the washed pair. I'll do one more gig this way and then get right before I konk tonight. I hate doing it but I got watch out w/those these days, these middle-age days. you know what's funny? ways people have to hold things in the back of their pickup trucks. we get behind this one guy (but not for long) who's got his jumper cables held down w/his spare tire and w/the tailgate open. guess you'd call that "the gravity method" or some such. probably works really well when you hit a bump and even better if you're at high speed. I get around him quick, not wanting to experience how our windshield would hold up against such things hurtling towards us. too much. raul navigates us in, he's now hip to the idea of "spurs" and "belts" (interstate highway terms for a road that meets only once, a "spur" denoted by a three digit number starting odd and twice, a "belt" denoted w/the first digit being even). we take the I-170 (a spur off the I-70) into the university city part of saint louis where we're playing tonight, the duck room of blueberry hill. I played this pad when it was the cellar of a restaurant called cisero's in the old days but have played here a few times in its current mode. it's own by a cat name joe edwards who has the walls covered w/pictures of him and celebrities. he's got a great smile. there's lots of chuck berry stuff (he's a friend of joe's and plays here once a month) and lots of kitsch dealing w/ducks. guess it comes from the "duckwalk" he's made famous while playing guitar. trippy pad. since we're here early, I go get a greek salad and chimp diary while pete and raul hunt down a post office. before I get my fingers going, I find that hoodie shirt in a bag on the boat's deck - I've been looking for it since it was given to me in vancouver and love reading the comic that was in there w/it - something called "drippytown" (drippytown.com) and it's a crack up. that's why I like hanging on to 'pert-near everything I'm given cuz even if it takes a while 'till I get to it, I very often find my self interested in the donate that's been laid on me. I just want to tell the folks who've made such donates my way that it's very much appreciated.

   pete returns w a new coat (the one he brought isn't waterproof!) and a great t-shirt, one w/a red circle w/a slash through it over a swastika, as in "no nazis, please" - I can dig that. he went into a tattoo shop too and almost got one in sanskrit but held off. pete has lots of them. I was raised in navy housing where everyone's pop had tattoos (my pop had three - they were scrolls and on one forearm he had his name "dick" on one and my ma's "jean" by it and then on the other forearm he had one that said "mother") so I don't know, I guess I've had an aversion to them on me. if I did get one, I wonder what I'd get - maybe that compass on my little gibson bass? I like that a lot. maybe one of the cat I had for seventeen years (the man)? maybe just a germs blue circle? maybe one of those w/the man jumping out of it? a real germs tattoo was just a circle burn from a cigarette - hmm... raul went and got a bunch of records and mailed them back to his pad - smart man. we load our stuff in through the back down an elevator and do a soundcheck w/bob, who's a nice cat. the soundman is our fourth man, you know. righteous when he's into it, truly. the bosslady kate gets us chow. we all have tuna salad, me and pete chopping up some of those habaneros from sacto. man, they've been keeping well. we meet the cats in the opening band, the dead celebrities - locals that are nice guys. they said they just got the call this afternoon! alright. I go out to the boat and konk.

   pete yanks me out of konkdom a little before ten bells and it's gig time. ready to go, I call out for dottie, a gig-goer for some years now and a wattlister - I want her to take shots w/my digicamera cuz we have yet to have some of us playing but I can't find her - someone says something but the lights are too bright so I say my little intro like I've been doing and we do the do. kind of a weird sound w/the kick drum all over the place up here on the stage but we're playing good together. I trust bob to get it good out there and that's where it counts. my voice is better, slowly coming back. pete's been righteous about having some throatcoat tea ready for me when I'm come up to start the show - much thanks to him. I can't tell you how much support pete and raul give me, they are such true sailors - solid SOLID cats. righteous. this saint louis crowd too are righteous folk - giving us all their attention and way low on the yammering level - much respect to them back cuz they're bringing tons to us up here as we deliver the piece. a much better "burstedman" tonight - much better everything really. I'm very proud of my guys, honored to be doing this w/them in front of this crowd. lucky watt. someone in front yells out "where did you find this guy?" regarding raul and that makes me feel good. lots of happening comments from folks all tour about raul - many from cats who've seen me w/lots of different drummers so this is a good thing. I've been really REALLY lucky about having righteous people playing w/me, such a gift. I look good making them look good and w/them giving it their all like they do, it comes about very natural. I've always tried to make up compositions that will bring out the best in them cuz by doing that, they'll bring out the best in me. we finish and the folks bring us back for more - pete does his best "it's all right, ma (I'm only crying)" yet of the tour, I think. raul gets on the other side of the beat for a bit in the cobra verde tune but recovers ok for the refrain on the coda - recovery is a very happening thing.

   we finish, I sling and talk to folks - seems like more than a few are here to see me for the first time, thank you! this one guy talks about how deeply the "...engine room" opera affected him, much respect. this one cat tells me it's his birthday - people still celebrate birthdays? well, ok! dottie comes up and says she didn't hear me call for her but her friend did - I'm just glad she could come... we'll get shots of us playing somewhere else down the line. again, much respect for all the nice things I get told. we load out the gear and who shows at the boat when we're done? joe edwards! alright, we get to take a picture w/the man. he sure is a nice cat. he comments that we've done a nice trick, disguising a cadillac escalade as a ford econoline - we all bust up! some idiot an suv almost boxes us in but w/some turns and churns, I get us free an lose - suddenly, we left.

   this man kevin's invited us to konk at a friend of his named dan who has a studio in an industrial park. him and his buddy ride w/us - we teach them how to know where "port" is - it's got the same number of letters as "left" so that's how you can remember which way it is. we get to the studio and there's a lot of folks there, must've been a session going or something. nice guys - this second grade teacher named marty has quite a set of pipes and sings along w/the tunes playing on a stereo. I lay out my bag - even though there's another room, I'm thinking if these cats see me konk and let my guys rest too. I wish I could hang out but I'm just too beat from tour life and don the mask - a definite hint that I am done for the night. however, this is not noted and the party goes on and on - marty in full karaoke mode. luckily, many years of touring has trained me to konk however and the only the thing that stirs me a couple of times is marty's head on my leg (he's using it as a pillow). they're sore from my endeavors and the weight puts some pressure on them - sorry, marty. I adjust the angle of my bag and continue to konk... I notice kevin on the deck nearby too... well, alright - deckmates! no sacks though... guess midwest cats got warmer hides. so much for the "missouri leg" of our tour, good stuff.

read week 1 of the tour diary

read week 3 of the tour diary

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this page created 01 oct 04