mike watt + the secondmen
"el mar cura todo" tour 2004 diary
week 4

watt, pete and raul - week 4 of tour - 2004

uncle ray in cleveland in 2004

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

(left to right)

uncle ray w/chow he cooked up for us (bottom)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

thursday, october 7, 2004 - chicago, il

from raul:

   Double door, never played there before, played the fireside bowl, and the broken bottle. A few years ago the jag offs played this off the hook house party, at a place called the community shower loft, best chicago club in my opinion, just recently saw the girl who lived there... annie, we bumped into each other at the stork in oakland when another other band i'm in played with her group, this is my fist... check that shit out. About half an hour from the club, was a hammond wharehouse, and pete, the hammond lover that he is, i mean c'mon dude can build em', called up the factory, and set up a tour for us, he had the biggest grin on his face the entire time, he loved it, got to tech talk with the techs. One of his dreams is to endorse hammond, and, check this shit out, he talks to the vice president and gets the endorsement, congragulations to pete, he deserved it, keeping the hammond alive. After the tour, we load load the new organ in the boat, and set sail for the double door, chicago is hugh, just a masive city... i love it.

   After the sound check i had mike drop my photos for me, once that's done, i got to steppin' out, got a bucnh of stencil, and wheat paste photos, lots of anti bush, anti capitalism stuff, most of it was done by a crew called the stencil army. Kinda just took a straight path on my walk, just keep going forward until i wanna turn around. Club was packed lastnight, played with two locals, camaro rouge and oh my god!, the two best bands we've shared the stage with all tour, camaro rouge were total rock, sorta like thee headcoatees with the vocals, and dead moon with the music, simplicity in the best way, and, oh my god!, they where bad ass, had the same set up we did, drums bass and organ, when you got someone who knows how to play the organ, the fact that there isn't any guitar never comes to mind, it fits with drums and bass so well. Cool folks running the double door, total hospitality. Show time, had so much fun on stage, made up for champaign in the best way, sound was excellent, and the crowd was totally into it... thanks chicago, totally put my nerveousness at ease. A couple oof clams, but over all i think we all did a pretty good job on the piece, one of my favorite gigs so far.

   After the show we packed up, said our goodbyes, and made our way to debs place, a friend of mikes from texas who lives in chicago now... sweet lady. She had the coolest place, lived in an industrial part of chicago, on the fourth floor of this hugh warehouse, big space, with a great view of the city, art everywhere. Right before i went to bed she gave us a slide show of photos she'd taken, it was like a picture bed time story. In the mourning pete asked me if i remember getting up and tryin, to take a piss out the window... must of been sleep walking, i guess i got up started taking off my pants, and was about to start pissing, when pete yelled my name, and asked me if i knew what i was doing, yeah yeah, i got it under control... wonder if i ever made it to the bathroom. Didn't get a chance to say thanks to deb, gotta hell ride to cleveland, so we left as soon as we got up, so here it goes, thanks deb, it was a pleasure meeting you, and thanks for everything... bye bye.

from pete:

popped on the couch feeling very groggy and still tired. did a quick wash up, gathered up my stuff and ran down to the boat. rollie had gone to a health food market across the street. much thanks to willy and his crew for letting us crash at their pad. me and watt crossed the street and went in the market where we got some coff' and I got a chocolate chip cookie (love them cookies). got back in the boat and we steamed off towards chi-town; this was going to be my first gig there as I hadn't been able to play before cause' of the day job bogart and I was excited much. not only that, but a friend of mine that I had met thru the hamtech newsgroup, harv olsen, had hooked us up to take a tour of the hammond-suzuki plant in illinois and I was totally happy about this. The other reason for my excitement was that I wanted to endorse hammond; it's been a lifelong dream of mine for some time now and they have a small (but stellar) roster of endorsees (jimmy smith, joey defrancesco, scott mays, and tony monaco). these are all jazz cats (save for scott mays) and very heavy players, and to be included among them would be an honor. I also wanted to bring something punk to the table.

   I conked in the boat most of the way but gave harv a call when we were about fifty miles out of chicago; he gave me directions and we agreed to meet at the hammond plant in about an hour. using the directs from harv and our map in the ti book we pulled up to the plant in pretty good time. harv was waiting for us and led us inside- I felt like a little boy again as i walked thru the areas where the organs and leslies were built and assembled. mind you, this was nowhere near the setup that the original hammaond factory was (they had like three plants at one point -they were on diversey and western avenues in chicago), this was a much smaller plant (maybe 10,000 sq. ft.). but it was nonetheless a heavy vibe for me in there. to say I was fucking tickled would be an understatement.

   harv gave us the full tour of the pad; they had don leslie's old test station from the leslie plant in there along w/ several original pieces of manufacturing machinery from the original leslie plant. he introduced me to ray, ham-suz's technical development chief, a very articulate man, and he let me play around w/ their new baby, the XK3, which is a single manual digital hammond that they produced. stickler that I am for the original tone, I think they did their homework on this box, it sounded awesome (I was particularly enamored of the vibrato sound and the programming capabilities). I wanted one bad(we're playing a show w/ the pixies in december in ny and I can't bring number #1 (my gigging B3), so I really needed this board; also for europe next year). I pulled out the bones and made the purchase, then asked them about their endorsement sitch. they explained their criteria to me and altho' like a dumb-fuck I had not brought a copy of the "middle stand" to give them, I did have a copy of the album's promo poster and tour itinerary to give em'. I promised to send them a copy of the piece along w/ some snaps when I got back home. I spoke w/ the VP of the company, dennis capiga- a totally down-to earth cat, and he played me some demos of the xk3 that tony monaco and joey d' had done. very impressive. he shook my hand, gave me his business card and there I was, a fucking HAMMOND ORGAN endorsee!! wooh hooh!!! dennis told me jokingly, "you could be a little more excited huh"?. I told him "bro, I'm ready to jump out of my fucking skin right now" and he laughed and shook my hand once again. nice cat(I wish more VP's were like him). I thanked him (and harv) profusely. this was truly a dream come thru for me. I rapped w/ them a little while longer, then I went to the back of the plant w/ harv to p/u my new axe. mike and raul had gone to a local radio shaft to buy a new inverter for the puter's (the old one had bit the dust), and they were waiting for me in the back. first thing I did was come inside the boat and lay the good news on them;rollie was very happy for me- I then planted a big kiss on the chief and thanked him much for indulging me. I love that man, I really do. me and rollie loaded the box in, I said my goodbye's to the hammond cats and harv, and we were off once again. much, much respect to harv olsen for being the gracious man that he is, for helping me out w/ my sometimes mundane gear questions, and for helping one of my biggest dreams materialize. I owe you big. Also, many thanks to dennis and the other ham-suz cats for having us over and taking me aboard as an endorser.

   we were a little bit off schedule, so we had to circumvent the freeway after part of the drive; we avoided any major plugs, and were in front of the pad (the double door ) in about an hour. we had to park a ways down the street, but a cat from the pad promised us he would move a vehicle so we could park right in front of the club. ver cool. there was a book store two doors down fom the club and watt reminded to go see if they had a copy of "the sand pebbles"; went in and sure enough, they had a paperback copy of it- score! I was very eager to read it. watt really wanted me and raul to read it. it had always been his and d. boon's favorite flick but when he had read the book, it had really left an impression on him. it is very much an allegory to many things in our world now.

   the soundcats, ben and jesse showed up and got us miked up quick- we ran thru the check' and it sounded really good. I was freaked a little about the show but a double shot of stoli fixed that. what was drilling me was the excitement about getting the endorsement coupled w/ the guilt of having spent a decent chunk of my tour bones to buy the new box. I needed it tho' and I pushed that subversive shit out of my mind. I went down to the office to call my bro tone, but I got his machine again, so I left him the news in the message. I miss tone alot.

   I went upstairs and got into chimp mode- one of the other bands, "oh my god" began to set up their gear and I noticed that they had a leslie cabinet; turns out they're an organ, bass, drums trio also. I was way into this (I almost never meet any other organ players on tour). the organ player's name was iguana and he was a really nice cat. they plugged their gear in and ran thru the check'- this cat was a monster! a very cool dude too; turns out he knows watt and watt actually stayed at his pad once. small world. I continued the chimp and listened to "machine head". I was feeling good. post chimp I went down to the band room and hung out w/ the "oh my god" cats. a friend of their's, a cat named thax, was a poet and he let me read some of his work. Very cool, painted an awesome picture in my head and I told him so. he reminded me very much of allen ginsberg; I am enamored of wordsmiths in general so meeting one is always way cool to me. he told me he would write a poem about watt - he did so in about fifteen minutes, let me read it and I have to say it was a trip. again, it painted an awesome snap on my brain. he asked us if he could introduce us by reciting the poem. I was way into it and I was sure the chief would be too.

   the opening band, camaro rouge came on and I grooved on em'for awhile (I heard the licks and the licks were hot). I went back to the band room and kicked back for awhile, I really needed some quiet time. I was still feeling a little freaky, so I needed to mellow out. "oh my god" came on and I went up to listen. what a fucking epiphany! they were bad ass; brendan the drummer pounding over iggy's wicked organ bass and wild comps while the bass player and singer, billy pounded the thud staff into submission while belting out the spiel. very compelling front man. I was truly inspired to play my fucking ass off. o.m.g. finished up their set and I went to go rouse the chief. I had made him some tea and handed it to him- then went back to help rollie set up the tools. everything was soon in place, thax came up and read his beautiful poem, and we were off. what a gig! we played really tight tho' there were some of the inevitable clams as I had lost my focus a couple of times. the folks were way into the set and showered us w/ much love. we went into the encore w/ equal fire and mowed that lawn. the dylan song felt a little iffy to me and my voice was hoarse, so I think I wrongly started it out a little weak on the vocal side (I'm still trying to scope out my feel on this tune). we finished the set to much applause and I was completely exhausted. we piled the gear into the boat and were off towards deb's house (an old friend of watt's). deb lives in a loft in an industrial part of chicago and it it so beautiful up there (as soon as I walked in it just smelled like home). we rapped for awhile, then deb gave us a brief slide show w/ old pictures of her friends and family. it was very down. watt drank his throat-coat tea and faded into his bag, while rollie passed out soon after that. I was way too amped up to sleep so I began reading a "tape op" magazine and sipped on a beer. deb came out and we rapped about life and music; she's a very articulate lady and also truly down-to-earth and easy to talk to. rapping with her really made me realize how fortunate I am to be able to meet people like her; I'd met many just this day- thax, dennis, iguana- people who had left a profound impression on me on many different levels. it's truly a trip and a blessing. while we were talking, raul wakes up and stands looking at the floor, then walks over to the wall where deb has a box on the floor, and there's a george clinton t-shirt on it. he starts leaning into it and it's obvious that soon the happy water will flow. me and deb started yelling to wake him up out of his half slumber and he turned and walked into the bathroom to complete his task. I fell out of my seat laughing and even deb laughed about it. imagine raul pissing on george clinton! sacrilege!

   we rapped a little while longer but I was really feeling exhausted; this gig had taken alot out of me (the whole day actually) so I bid deb goodnite and rolled myself into the bag. sueno was forthcoming. laku noc sviraci.....

from watt:

   I was brought out of konk into pop mode w/the weirdest chiming in my mind, a dream containing choruses of "pluckin', pedalin' and paddlin'" over and over, as if like each refrain was one of these righteously colored autumn leaves being carried on a breeze, my whole mind's view being filled w/leaf after leaf, tumbling and turning. and such colors - to have sound interpreted this was had me captivated. trippier even was the fact it was my own song - I usually don't hear my own songs in my head and even less so in my dreams. I couldn't figure it and tried to "look" closer at what was going on and as I did so, the vision morphed into layers of what seemed tissues, waving like a fish's gills in water. whoa. no shower (only tour mode could let one tolerate such behavior of one's self) and yesterday was day one of the next round of three for the shirt I got on now so fuck it, I just scrub my toilet mouth w/a toothbrush on the teeth.

   everyone in the pad was still konked so I rousted my guys and we piled into the boat. much thanks to will and his buddies for the hospitality but my organman pete really wants to take up this invite he got from a cat named harvey at the hammond-suzuki plant in the chicago area to take a tour. pete plays a 1965 hammond b-3 organ he put in a chopped box w/steel legs. he's got another one involved in a current project too back in pedro. pete's great w/fabricating and working w/things mechanical. he loves the hammond organ so it'd be great for him to go where they come from now days. before bailing from urbana here though, we go to a health food store where raul hoofed for to both pick him up and for me to also fill up on some flax oil cuz I just ran out. we do that and then of course have to make a wrong turn before looping back and getting right for I-57 north. we stop some thirty miles north at a 'way for sandwiches - I let pete and raul out to get that while I hit up a auto parts pad I saw nearby to get some white grease for the side hatch and a new radiator cap cuz I think the rubber in it has some cracks. when I get that stuff and then go back to get them, I find they both spaced on my chow but this 'way is a drivethrough so it's quick to rectify watt being the chowless one. my guys comment on how sourass the help was here - yep, I get the same thing at the window. oh well. we continue on 'till we hit kankakee and then pull off so pete can call harvey at hammond. I spot a stationary store too and hit that cuz the envelopes I got yesterday were just legal ones and the bigger manila jobs hold receipts better. I get some little pads for econo too - seems I'm lacking for a scrap of paper just when I need it. everything together, we get back in the boat and pete directs me to where we need to get going.

   the factory's in addison, which is in the suburb part of chicago. we take I-294 to get there. the factory is in an industrial park type of area and it's really not that big but that don't surprise me as much as when harvey says the demand for a b-3 has shrunk to having to build but two a week. damn. harvery's a cat in his sixties and has seen a lot and has an interesting way of putting things - very earthy. there was a time when there were five hammond factories going at the same time in chicago but what killed sales was losing the home market. he said the churches were always loyal but when people stopped buying hammond organs for their home, things collapsed. he said the "drugged-up rock and roll jackoffs" using hammonds never helped sales much, contrary to how it might've appeared. even though harvey's been around, he's embraced the internet and email lists and is quite current on certain personalities who puff up inflated egos in the name of knowing what's what in regards to these instruments. for most of them, he has a common endearment: assholes. I think of cb radio days when I was younger and how some people used that (my landlord vince had one and I'd listen in when I was at his pad) sense of anonymity as a dick extender. pretty funny. he gives us a full-on tour and gives insights on every part of what's done here - from the parts that come from japan to be put together for the organs to the leslie speaker boxes and the replacement tube amps and the point-to-point soldering they do like the old days, speaker motors (leslie speakers have the highend go through two twirling horns and the lowend go through a 15" driver that has a spinning drum in front of it), cabs, etc. it's all pretty amazing and pete's foaming much though me and raul are quite interested as well. of course, the new organs have all this computer stuff none of the old ones had but what's neat about one of these new ones called the xk-3 is that it's only fortyfive pounds (compared to over two hundred w/the one pete's using now) and he can fly w/it to do gigs. dual voltage too for europe stuff. they hammond folks here say they'll sell one to pete for cost and if he hangs around for the vice-president to get back from lunch, he can ask him for an endorsement thing. pete asks me and I say of course, anything for pete. as things would have it, the inverter that warren buddy mark gave me a couple of tours ago (an inverter changes the twelve volts dc in the boat to 110 volts ac so we can run the 'puters and battery chargers off of it) suddenly melted down so in the meantime I can go back to a radio shack I saw on the way and get a new inverter there. I do so and find a 140 watt one - twice the seventy watts I need for the 'puter which is ok cuz overating power stuff is always a better way to go. it's got a little fan too which'll help w/heat (that's what really cooks them up). I get two spare banana plugs for my speaker cables too, just in case. when me and raul get back, pete is one happy man - he's got both the organ and the endorsement thing. we load up we he got, thank harvey and make for the double door which is where we're at tonight - in the wicker park part of downtown chicago. good thing it's coming on three cuz the traffic's really starting to plug up and we get in right before real nightmare time.

   they got a parking space for us right by the load-in door on milwaukee (I so love pads that do this for you) and I dock the boat there. good thing we left early from champaign cuz it took a lot of driving w/the hammond mission and all even though it's only 140 miles away. I get a burrito at a pad a couple doors down called "big horse" and the hermano there makes it up real good, gracias. there's a used book store and I ask pete to immediately check for richard mckenna's "the sand pebbles" and we're in luck - finally! man, how long have we've been waiting to find this baby?!!?! I've been wanting pete to read this for as many tours as I've done w/him and now that can finally happen. he's been hankering for it too. you don't know how many pads we've checked for this great tome. it was very instrumental in my making of the "contemplating the engine room" opera, james joyce's "ulysses" too. writers have such an influence on me, love 'em. there was a movie version of "the sand pebbles" made in 1966 w/steve mcqueen and that was me and d. boon's favorite movie as boys though we found lots of it hard for us to understand at the time. I have to admit I liked the book much better when I read it (I was on tour w/porno for pyros in 1996 and found it at a used book store in pittsburgh - didn't even know there was a book!) though the movie will always have a special place w/me cuz of the d. boon connect. lucky pete today, huh? lucky us!

   we load in and do a soundcheck w/soundman jesse and monitorman brett, two great cats. eveyone at the double door has always been so nice to me the many times I've been here. there's a poster that catches my eye in the window - john cale's playing here soon, alright! love him much.

   I first do a photo shoot for this photographer name haley for splend.com and then an interview across the street w/a cat named jc for "stopsmiling" magazine. haley makes the pictures go quick which is such a blessing and jc makes the spiel very interesting w/a conversation like flow instead of straight q and a which is more to the way I like these things to go. he wants to come to pedro so I can give him a tour even, hopefully maybe in december. I love giving folks tours of my town. we get done and then it's straight to the boat w/me for konk cuz damn if I ain't all the way tired.

   justin (a cat we konked w/one tour) and his band oh my god plus another chi-town band called camaro rouge are the openers - all nice people but fuck if I'm just to konked to see either of them, damn. pete and raul said they were great though. pete wakes me w/leg grapple and I'm out the hatch and into the pad for gig time. this poet named thax (oops, I fucked up and thanked "fats" from the stage - what a fucking idiot I am - I apologize much, thax) wants to introduce us w/a poem and I say sure. he's nervous and stumbles some but he's a dear - thank you much. me and my guys start the piece and they do real good - my voice is under the gun some - a little more strange then usual w/all the spiel today... seems like I'm still playing catch-up from that straining I did in denver, fuck. when I tell people we're doing a long weird song, maybe I should tell them it's a fiftythree minute song cuz I don't think they realize how long a "song" it is. this folks are pretty much very nice to us though, in fact much so. I think we rallied and bounced back from the champaign gig which I'm so w/in regards to my guys. there were some parts where they still get ahead of me at times, we're still aiming to getting things more taunt but overall, pete and raul did great. the folks have us back and for some reason, pete's take on the dylan song isn't his best - I think tonight might've been his weakest of the tour but I love pete so and could never really be truly disappointed... these things happen. god, how many times has watt blown it? the only other really weak move we made together was again pete and raul out-running me on the roky tune, still need work on this one. I don't think there should really be a straight time and they should follow me to make it more dramatic, seeing it's the closer. they agree but admit they're both having a tough time w/it. I know we'll get as a band sooner or later, I know it. funniest holler from the crowd tonight: "where's the mustache?" (in an almost disappointed tone). of course, my putting that here now means someone will try to outdo that. however, it'll probably pale cuz

   probably my smallest slinging at a chicago gig ever but that's no big thing - the reason I come to the towns is to play w/my guys for folks and the slingables are way secondary. I get lots of nice words - bob weston (shellac, volcano suns) says hi and thanks - that means much. I talked to his fellow shellacker senor albini earlier on the phone (their drummer todd told me to call when I saw him in minne) but he was knee-deep in recording sesh. I'll see all three of them in england in december. I say hi to a cat I once pedalled w/along lake michigan - damn, what's his name and what's the name of his buddy, the cat who's pad we konked at the night before the bike stuff? names can be hard for me but the experiences stick w/me much better. much respect to them. I get handed this bass to sign my name on - it's a 1969 gibson thunderbird II non-reverse bass refinished in cardinal red and it sure is beautiful, oh my!

    we load up the boat. justin from oh my guy relates the first gig of their last tour where all the equipment was donated from a van break-in - damn, the horror of horrors for anyone in tour mode. easy maybe to understand why watt's looking for a safe place for the boat over comfortable digs for him to konk - gotta keep the priorities straight. that's so sad for those cats, shit. the last few times here I've been invited to konk at my friend deb's industrial loft pad where the boat docks inside on the bottom floor while we konk on the third. kind of a tight fit to get her (the boat) in but I finangle it and soon we're in for a slide show deb's showing on her wall. there's shots of scratch acid in "wizard of oz" dress - david yow as dorothy and david sims as the tin man plus deb as a little one w/her family and shots of corey necro on motorcycles before he wrecked on one. it must be three by this time and I can hold on no longer and so konk in my sack I soon do.

friday, october 8, 2004 - cleveland heights, oh

from raul:

   Had a bit of a drive from chicago to cleveland, also some nasty weather, mourning rain, but once we got on the interstate we just sailed right past it, and hit some sky that was a bit clearer. Heavy towns once you hit the indiana side, modern world waste lands, nasty chemicals, and factories everywhere, and the people having to live right next to this shit... must suck, two towns over where i live there's a crap factory, but i'm not it's nieghbor, so i really don't get the, what i imagine to be, the very oppressive feeling of living next to that kinda stuff, seems like it would over power the mind, and you'd hit robot mode, kinda of lifeless, where there is definite life. Anyway back to the drive, nothing to out of the ordinary, mike at the controls, me, the clumsy navigator, and pete the konk machine, dude can sleep on command, he did stay up till about six in chicago though, so i'm sure it was a much needed rest, plus he's gotta get his swerve on later, so all is in order. Something kinda of funny, and sort of damaging did happen along the way, i walked in on some dude during mid wipe, it's a wierd thing catching someone dropping a duece, back stage at the bathroom, i don't know, it's not like i've never seen some one take a shit before, but it usually, for the most part, a pretty solo thing. I knocked, and he didn't say anything, so i opened the door, ever heard of a lock buddy, every one standing in line to get sandwhiches saw him, that's a good way to kill an appitite... sorry i laughed dude, but it was pretty funny.

   Get into cleveland right on time, drove through the flats, mike pointed out where he used to play in the early days, and where the majority of the early cleveland punk bands started, rocket from the tombs, who some went on to become dead boys, peru ubu, and i'm sure a ton more, that i've never even heard of. Playing the new grog shop, only about three blocks from the old location, but from the stories i heard, there was a world of diffrence... new spot, all the same employees though, and they where the sweetest bunch. Met a friend of mikes from the old cleveland scene, uncle ray, one hilarious mother fucker, the kind of cynical humor that turns out being positive, smart guy, knew alot about all kinds of random things, turned me on to some cool stuff. After talking with uncle ray for a while, we do up the sound check proper, then i decide to get some coffee, and see what cleveland hieghts is all about, reminded me of high school for some reasons, probably all the kids hangin' out smokeing cigarattes, or a place where an uptight white guy minght take a girl for a real boring, psuedo culture date... whatever. There was a place called revolution books, right next to where the old grog was, communist book store, uncle ray had told me that they where never open, so i guess this is one of their rare appearences, and i should take the oppertunity, and check it out, cool place, reminds me of the anarchist book store in down town l.a, i only had a few minutes to look around, but that's enough time for me, found a couple books i wanted, bullets... by bob avakian, the chairmen of the u.s. communist party, and one called hungry flames, a bunch of short fiction stories by black authors. Hit up the grocery store, picked up some aregyles, a can opener, and a couple cans of black beans. I didn't make it back to the club until way past ten, totally missed the first band... it happens. Caught the band before us though... sounder, pretty rockin', even did a credence cover.

   Had a good gig, lost it a couple of times, draggin' the beat, small shit like that, when that happens, mike will usually look at me and calmly say "focus", i love that, it works every time, and i'll slide back in, and it starts to feel right, and sound so much more convinceing, it can't really sound to dramatic when i'm rushing the parts, it'll sound like i'm trying to keep up, or play on top of the other sounds, i wanna play right along side with them, that's what it's all about, none of this seperate shit... one cohesive sound. Good crowd, not completely packed, on account of the sold out gig across town, and get this the show was put on by the promoter, competeing with her own shows, never the less good times. After packing up, we hop in the van and set the controls for uncle rays place. I konk almost as soon as the door closes behind us, boy was i beat. Slept on the floor with every thing in my pockets, woke up feeling like about five and change, but that soon changed, uncle ray made the crew some good grub, and that always makes me feel better. the boys and i took a walk to the mat, to try and get some laundry done, but that didn't quite work out, as were walking up the owner is stomping up the street curseing the dryers, the dryers don't work, now you think about that, that's what she said, you think about that, what a funny thing to say, well, we did think about, and it'd be pretty stupid to wash our clothes, and not dry em', so we decide to get the stank out in oberland, bye bye uncle ray, it was a total pleasure to meet and talk with you, bye bye cleveland.

from pete:

   I was awakened by the gentle prodding of the chief and I was still way beat, but we had to get going as we had about a seven-hour hellride to cleveland (we were losing an hour due to the time change). I hopped in the shower for a quick hose-off and by the time I got out, the guys were waiting for me downstairs and I could hear rollie yelling out my name. I scrambled all my stuff together, flew down the stairs and hopped in the boat. off we went again! much respect to deb for having us over and for the great conversation.

   I conked thru most of the trip, but assumed the role of helmsman for the last hour or so of the trip. we steamed into cleveland and docked the boat a little ways from the pad we were playing at (the grog shop), as the parking sitch was a little lame. me and rollie went in to scope out the pad and it was pretty cool (nice P.A. too). one of the cats inside the pad graciously moved the boss's car so we could park in front. me and rollie unloaded the gear and did the set up on stage; in the meantime the soundman, mike showed up and got us going w/ the mikes. An old friend of mike's, uncle ray, showed up and we rapped; ray was the cat that had initiated our "meeting" w/ cheetah chrome on the first tour and he apologized profusely. no need for any apologies I told him, I kind of welcomed the experience. chris rees and his lady mel showed up along w/ bob teagan; it was great to see them and chris brought me the bottle of enzymes that I had left at mike shepherd's and which he graciously shipped to chris's pad. mel wasn't feeling too good, I felt bad for her and I know what ahe was going thru.

   we ripped thru the check' and things sounded kosher, so I rapped w/ chris for awhile; he was going to record the show while bob was going to film it. very cool. watt was doing a spiel in the band room so I waited for him to finish up, then went in and got into chimp mode. I put "machine head" on and started to write....

by the time I had finished, all three opening bands had done their sets(I had a lot to write about), so I got some tea going and went to go rouse the chief. went back inside to help rollie set up the machines- and we rapped uncle ray and a cat named jeff (who taught me some kind tai chi stretching exercises). the man ambled in, started up the baby bass and we were off... we ripped thru the piece w/ a few clams, but we played it strong. the people seemed to like it, but after we finished it some people began to yell out song titles and the like. one cat was particularly aggressive and watt told him "I don't knock cocks out of your mouth while you're working". he shut his pie-hole. watt had a little more fun w/ the crowd and we launched into the encore tunes; again we played strong and the crowd dug it. me and rollie packed up the gear and went to grab a cocktail. mark and john from cobra verde showed up- it was really good to see them-I'm really fond of those cats, they're true bro's. Ed and frank couldn't make it but we would see ed the next day as he was playing in the opening band at oberlin. I rapped w/ jeff for awhile and he showed me a picture of his baby daughter (adorable little girl) and told me that he was going into politics in order to create positive change in his community. very heartening thing to hear. much luck to you bro.

   having loaded up the boat and passed the merch' to chris rees to hold for us (we were again not taking it into canada), we hopped in the boat along w/ uncle ray who navigated us back to his pad in no time. we got there and rapped a little, but again I was very beat so I slipped in the bag and conked immediately. buona notte musicanti....

from watt:

   pop at eight and roust my men - don't know when they hit the hay but I can guess not right after me cuz of the slowness to wake, their lack of pop. we gotta move though cuz cleveland's like seven hours away and we'll lose another cuz of the time zone change. I hosed-off last night (I like that better than the morning though lots of times I forget or it's cuz I'm just fatigued way too out) so all I need is coff... deb said some was in the freezer but I can't find it so I get a bag we got donated from under the navigator's seat in the boat. while I'm fixing that up, I'm trying to make sense of the weird dream visited on me last night. in the minutemen days, I always had this trip-out about having to go on stage w/out a set list cuz we used to do so many songs (they were little ones), I'd have nightmares about it - sometimes right before playing (though I didn't konk before gigs so much like watt does in the more current days). well, this morning I woke up befuddled as a motherfucker about getting the right times going for a gig to do. this is kind of crazy since this is the first tour since my "contemplating the engine room" tours where I DON'T use a set list cuz the piece is just one big song cut up into nine pieces and the six tunes of the encore always get played in their same order. hmm... don't know what to make of that. anyway, I can't remember what songs or what they were for, all I could make out clearly in the dream were each tune's times and the big dilemma seemed to be about having to add them up - like I had a master list I was picking from and making a set for the night where I had to get fortyfive minutes worth up (I don't know where I got that time - this "...middle stand" piece is around fiftythree minutes and the encores total around twenty) but it was the math that was making me crazy. you go to the next minute after you reach sixty seconds so this seemed impossible. no matter how hard I tried, I could keep a running tally going - aaaarrrrgggghhh! it was more frustrating than I could handle and made me panic, rage and yank my fucking hair out. I'd have to start over again and again and again. I'd put the times in different orders, trying to add them that way... where did the times come from? I couldn't really see any titles in my dreaming - fuck, it was weird. I think just I decided to just play until they made stop when I woke up cuz that did bring some relief. damn... what happened to dreams about erotic shit? I've been having a slew of weird-ass, big time. must be telling about something or other. of course I'm one insecured idiot, for sure.

   I pile my guys in the boat and leave a thank you note for deb. actually, raul came down w/me and then locked us out when I got the boat maneuvered out but gratefully, pete didn't need an additional motivational asskick and came down under his own will. he was beat bad though, I could totally tell that. damn - not to be angry at pete or anything (and I told him that) but these long drives are a little tough for watt these days - if I can get him to help me out the last hour or two, it makes such a difference. otherwise, it weighs tough on me. I mean like the seven, eight, ten hour ones. stuff under that is no problem. later, pete tells me he was up 'till 5:30 am or something - no wonder he was tuckered! so what, I still love pete and I'll plow on. he was strong enough to relieve me later anyway. he helps so much in other ways also, believe me - pete's my rock. anyway, back to life w/the secondmen in the moment: chicago is gray w/drizzling rain - must've come some time after we konked, oh well. I pull the boat over after getting it out of the long-ass alley you gotta take to get in/out of deb's and navigate a path out of dodge - raul can't find where we are now (tom watson's usual dilemma), he'll get it but we don't have time now. I get us on I-90 east and out of town, then onto the east indiana toll road which then the west one, rolling through some intense industrial blight the northern part of that state has to endure. my heart goes out to the folks living there. right before we get to the ohio state line, I see something I haven't before: motion detectors that warn you if an animal is coming to run across the road, like a deer. this is smart. what a horror to see bloody carcasses on the road, let alone the danger to getting like that yourself as a result of a wreck. it's one major reason I don't like driving the highways at night, scary. first chow since a handful of granola and some funky kind of muffin at deb's is a "chicago dog" from a gas stop (these fucking toll roads only let you get what they make available at their "service areas" but at least this is a vienna dog... the bright green celery relish is a trip). as we get onto the ohio turnpike (I-80), the grayness turns to blue topside - the rain acutally stopped coming down just after gary. pete is all the way konked on the back bench and raul was soon likewise (watt alone w/his thoughts - aaahh!). . whoa, the suv behind me at the pump has a trailer w/a big sled all shrink-wrapped that's got written on it "special delivery to s. claus, north pole" - hmm... I get us past toledo and then have to call for fresh ponies... please, pete! he rested up enough now and we just got a hundred miles to go. there's actually an open exit between the two states' turnpikes and this gas station has tins of 'dines for just a buck each. I get all five of them they have and chow one right there while rual gets and 'way sandwich. then it's to the back bench for me. I want show raul how I handle a navigate - even though I'm in the back and get pete to the east part of town, in cleveland heights via I-90 and us-322. I show him how I keep my eye for one-to-one correlation between what streets I'm seeing as the boat comes up on them and those in the book or on the 'puter. it's not like I'm smarter or anything but rather I've had a little more prac at it.

   we get to the grog shop, where we're playing tonight. actually, it's the new grog shop though it has the same old name. they still got the old awning but it's inside now and mounted on a wall. great to see kathy again. she's even doing another gig tonight at another pad, a former croatian hall called the beachwood w/a nebraska band. her new pad has like a fern barn/dance thing downstairs for those kinds of scenes but upstairs where we're playing is the new grog. it's only a couple of blocks from the old pad and it's funny how that place has had nothing done w/it - that after rushing kathy out for "upscale condos" or whatever stupid shit. kathy even said they want her back but after all the work into this new pad - no fucking way. anyway, she orders greek salads for me and pete while raul gets another kind (he wrote his order himself so I don't know what though I know he doesn't chow flesh). we do a soundcheck w/soundman mike, a good cat from the old pad. uncle ray shows up - yeah! he gives me a can of shaving crane w/a few disposable razors plus "the last samurai" by helen dewitt - he swears it's nothing like the tom cruise movie but what do I know about that except that he's in it? I'm a fucking 'tard about such... well, such such. the salads come and I shovel that w/the "louisiana hot sauce" he also brought me. damn, not even tart, let alone I'm feeling pretty beat up so after doing a phoner spiel w/walter from a paper in lexington, ky (we even got to talk about richard hell, being that's his home town - I got to tell him about two summers ago when richard gave me a tour of the guggenheim museum near central park in nyc, that was a righteous!), I hit the boat for some big time needed konk. whoa, sometimes my body/mind is needier than a motherfuck for that.

   there's three bands before us: the back monkeys, tight whips and sounder but I was way too down under the sueno seas to see those folks, sorry. I know, broken-record time but what can I say? pete does the leg-shake summons and I arise. just getting out of the boat, who do I see but cobra verde singer john petkovic - yeah! big hugs for john. the upcoming election's on his mind and he's coming from sort of the same place steve mcclellan was back in minnesota - third parties are needed. I volunteer the idea maybe to just get rid of parties, period. it's my understanding the founding fathers kind of bummed on the concept of "parties" as a way of organizing for politics. well, I got a gig to play so more talk w/john later - good to see him though.

   whoa, a friday night and maybe the biggest cave (love that description - "biggest cave" - like most full emptiness or something) I've ever had in cleveland. that's ok, character builder time. what makes the gig kind of tough though is the wideness of the new grog... don't mean to complain (cuz I love kathy) but the focus is diffused where as the old grog had a straight shot at the folks. oh well, "work the room" - something from vaudeville days that I very much believe in. the piece is kind of tough for me to do even w/my guys cuz of the stage and its wideness also. we're not as close in having the instruments talk to each other as close as we have when we're really cooking but I'm not trying to say it's a total stinker, just tough. the monitors made hearing myself hard, not too strong. we did the worst take on the roky song ever this tour. oh well, it'll help learn it right - I know it. chris and mel came up from detroit and mel's taking shots, even w/sickness it looks like she's got. they brought bob teagan w/them and he's got his video recorder going - damn, wish it wasn't this gig maybe but then again, maybe it should cuz everything in life should be able to teach you something. I don't know if I could watch it but maybe hearing from others who can'll learn me. when we finish the piece, I do something I haven't done on tour, I do maybe ten minutes of banter w/the crowd before the encore... I think I'm inspired by this time cobra verde opened for me in asbury park at the saint and john tried to work the crowd this way. it is very awkward, I'm obviously not too good at more than thanking folks and asking them to increase their potential for expression ("start your own band, paint your own picture, write your own book, poem... let your freak flag fly" or some such). people are forgiving and thank us much for the gig when it's sling time cuz we're all the way done. much, much respect to them. these three brothers drove from a town in pennsylvania called wattsburg - that's a trip. they got a band too, alright. chris and mel say hi - didn't get much a chance to talk w/them cuz of konkage but chris gives me a bag of red savina habaneros he himself grew - righteous - nothing like the works of a farmer. a big hug for hermano bob teagan. a big thanks to alex for all he does for me too. mark from cobra verde (drums) says hi, love always to see him - I tell him of my plan to come here and and make a record w/cleveland cats and would really dig him to be aboard. more election talk w/john (he liked our cover of his tune, by the way... I was awkward to do that in front of him and blew some clams, damn) - he wants to flow me a transcript of a speech clinton gave in 1998 that he says was almost a direct read of what this guy who ordered the war we're in now w/iraq. trippy too is this spiel I hear while getting a soda water at the bar - one guy's a soldier in the army and not into the current action and the bar tender's a civilian who's for it - hmm... we load up the boat w/the gear and uncle ray who's invited us to his pad to konk. bye byes to the new grog...

   uncle ray almost has trouble remembering how to get to where he lives but gets us there in spit of that - man, it takes a little bit of time and I'm way tired. into the sack 'pert-near immediately upon arrival for watt. I wish I could spiel more but am just too worn out. next stop: sleepytown.

saturday, october 9, 2004 - oberlin, oh

from raul:

   Show up to town pretty early, the drive was a little less than an hour i think, i don't remember completely, i was in the back listening to mr. jonathan richman and the modern lovers, and i thnk i fell asleep for a minute. pretty easy to find a laundry mat in oberlin, not the worlds biggest town. while the machine was scrubbin' out the stank i took a little walk, then laid in the grass and read a few pages of meltzer, the day is of to a beautiful start. gotta find wilder hall, that's where we're gonna play, you'd think that students who went to the school would be able to give decent directions on campus... don't assume, we did, and we where wrong, suddenly we where there. cool spot, right in betweeen the campus post, and the mini grocery store/coffee shop. Just about enough time to get a bite before sound check, so pete and i walk to the nearest chow hall, yes, vegan food, got a veggie burger with hugh portabello mushrooms, and giant pieces of avacado... so good. Make it back just in time for sound check, all the crew working at wilder were so rad, and it sounded excellent. Had a few hours to kill, and today i'm on a mission, i know a few people who go to this school, and i wanna find em', i mean i could just call em', but that kinda takes all the fun out, plus i'm way more into the chance meeting on the street, it has a good suprise element. Within the hour me and evan find each other, he was looking for me too. I met evan only about four months ago, when another friend, rebecca brought him over to 673 in pedro, such a rad dude, we got to talking and it was like we where old friends, oddly enough i met him the same day mike called me up to join the group, so he was the first to know besides mike and me. Anyway we decide to go over to his place right off campus, and as we're walking down the street, becca comes flyin' around the corner on her bicycle, she gave me the funniest look, out of context, why would she ever expect to see me walking around campus, it's great to see her, after the hugs and hellos, she has to keep peddlin', so i tell her i'll get directions to her space and see her in about an hour. Evan and her had a rad place, reminded of home, hung out a bit, met a band called the auditors, they where on tour and had played the house the night before. Two down and one to go, and right on scecdule in walks dean, great to see him too, spend about a half hour catching up on whats going on with each other, he's booking a tour in january, and we decided it be a good idea if killer dreamer hops on, r.t.a, clorox girls, panty raid, and killer dreamer... shit, bringin' it... now all we need is sexy. From the basement i hear someone playing electric funeral, dean tells me the house band is gonna be sabbath for halloween, and he should go cuz he's bill ward. I hop over to gibsons, grab a couple tall boys, and pull out the map, and set out for hales hall. Real easy to find, and i'm there ringin' the bell in no time.

   Hugh place, it was the old gym, now it's an art/music building, and this particular class only has about ten students, and so the students all have their own work spaces that they can use when ever they want, pretty privlaged... i think that's rad. Becca is working on an architecture project, designing a place she calls " the party room", i don't know what it has to do with a party, but i think it's beautiful. After about an hour i feel i should go, she has work to do, and i want her to get it done so she can make it to the show. Back at wilder, i get some more cafffine, and climb up the stairs on the side of the building, have a smoke and enjoy the view. Playing with a cleveland band called the new lou reeds, one of the members is also in cobra verde, who originally do riot industry, a song the second men cover. Right before their set pete and i met a girl named grace, i remember seeing her across the street from the laundry mat, cool girl, she said her roomies where all out of town, and we could stay at her place. Good show tonight, the sound was on point, and i think we did a pretty good job, it's always hard to know what the crowd is thinking, but just give em' the benifit of the doubt, and more times than less you'll find they really appreciate it, and were just playing the polite audience. After the gig we headed over to the place we're staying at, mike did the konk, seeing as how he was gonna drive the hell ride to toronto, pete and i walked over to a show down the street. We missed the band, but just in time for the frat dance party... great, they where playing the weakest tunes... typical, but they did let me get on the tables for a minute, that was fun. good night.

from pete:

   popped at uncle ray's; I felt pretty good but I could've slept another couple of hours. we had a really short trek to oberlin so we had some time to kill- it was decided that we would do laundry detail as the stink bags were filling. ray cooked us up some kind chow for breakfast and we mowed that down quickly, gathered up our stuff and all hoofed it down to the laundromat. as we were getting ready to enter the pad we were informed by an older woman that the washers in the place were operable but the dryers did not work. major taunt! we headed on back and on the way me and watt rapped about the history of the political system in the former yugoslavia (croatia and serbia specifically), and how certain events influenced the situation that exists there today. I think that if some of these
cats in pedro educated themselves more about this shit and had more of an open mind, these lame hatreds wouldn't exist. in a perfect world maybe?

   we arrived back at uncle ray's and hopped into the boat and took a cruise down to a music store owned by a friend of his. we walked in and there were many old vintage instruments including an old cordovox accordian! (I used to own and gig w/ one). well, I had to strap it on and jam; I was a little rusty but I pulled a few polka riffs on it. I sweated my ass off doing it as these things weigh a ton. whew! watt documented the proceedings on his digital cam. brought back some memories.

    we bid ray goodbye and once again we were off. much respect unc for the chow and for turning me on to the amazing work of lynda barry.

   we were in oberlin in roughly an hour and immediately found a little laundromat and did our duds up. out of curiousity I decided to check out the expression pedal that I had bought along w/ my new keyboard. I opened up the box and imagine my dismay when I realized that the box was filled w/ leslie connectors (200 of em'!) fuck!, not only had I not gotten my expression pedal but I may have affected ham-suz production! being that it was a saturday, I couldn't call the hammond cats, but I would have to deal w/ this shit quick. what a bum-fuck!

   we finished up the duds and went looking for the pad we were playing at (wilder hall on the college campus). we found it soon enough and me and rollie went in and scoped it out. the cats were still setting up the PA so we hoofed it into town to score some chow. we found a little pad called the "feve" and did it up kind. oberlin is such a beautiful little town and we walked around catching all the sights. we passed thru a section of the park and I noticed a wedding photo session going on, complete w/ horse-drawn carriage. this of course brought out some demons in me and I went into a very vicious rant on weddings to poor rollie-he was a good listener as always and let me get it out of my system. I really despise the whole felliniesque, "i gotta top my cousin's wedding" sitch-I really used to love playing em' but now it's nothing more than a big floor show. they've squeezed any little soul out of these gigs that they had. I will still do one for a friend, but other than that; es todo.

    we got back to the pad, loaded tthe gear out and set it up; the soundcat, chris miked us up proper and A.C., the monitor cat made sure our stage sound was good. we ripped thru the check' and it did sound very good. I retired, as was customary to the side of the stage and went into chimp mode. I finished up the chimp in a couple of hours then went upstairs to the band room that a cat had givem me a key to. g, it was kind; wireless internet access, a shower, and I had the whole pad to myself. I read thru my email, then went to shave and shower. somebody had left a spliff on the window of the head and I indulged w/ extreme prejudice. it was if somebody had read my mind! I came out of there totally relaxed and ready to do some damage. the opening band "the new lou reed's" started up and I went to go give em' a listen. rollie was already down there and we grooved on em'. they finished up their set and I went to go rouse the chief - I made him some tea and handed it to him, then went back up to help rollie w/ the tools. the chief soon ambled in and we were off. we started off strong and steamrolled thru the piece; the crowd was phenomenal and were way into us. there was minimal yammering and they hung on every note. the stage sound was awesome too. many kudos to A.C.

   we finished up to much applause and broke down the tools quickly and got them loaded into the boat just as fast; there wasn't any merch to sling so it made the job easier.

   we rapped w/ steve, ed, and sandon as watt was doing a spiel in the band, and as soon as he was done we went to go crash over grace's, a nice lady who had offered her pad up to us. we settled in and me and rollie hoofed it down the street to an after-show party that was going on. the kids there were all very complimentary to us and I had a blast. I knew we had to get up early so I hoofed it solo back to the crash pad (rollie wanted to stay). I fell asleep as soon as I had the bag unrolled; I was only awaken by grace and rollie coming home later- listening to her climbing the stairs was akin to hearing the budweiser clydesdales marching in a parade. damn! in addition, she cranked up the "william tell overture"(and repeated it several times to boot), so I conked to a symphonic cacophony in my head (better that than limp bizkit I guess). the sandman cometh. laku noc sviraci....

from watt:

   pop at nine and uncle ray does just after - a late rise for watt but then it was after three when I sacked out. the dream I had was very strange but at the same time I could almost swear it was a movie I'd seen and it was being replayed in my head though I couldn't place it's name or whatever. I wonder if it was anything like that... there was this surreal sense of a world too perfect, all kinds of squarejohn folk going to and fro in a super-vivid, daytime-lit and richly colored happy-happy mega-cliched xerox-upon-xerox world. pleasant faces w/smiles upon smiles, something sinister kept prying on mind, me thinking - knowing - something was up. in fact, there were two people (a couple, a man and a woman) who were onto to it too and trying to warn me. somehow I understood that people were coming up close on me to in fact get a knitting needle behind one of my eyes w/a jab deep enough to lobotomize me big time. it was a really scary dream. I'd get lulled and either a little group of elderly people or someone w/a beguiling meet-and-greet affectation would be 'pert-near close enough to do the deed and I shake the lead out of my joints and bolt free. at one point, I saw the entire bright blue pseudo-glorious sky shatter (!) and fall to pieces, yet it was like only a back drop and I found myself trapped on what seemed like a stage w/these un-ugly zombies and their mission. they were relentless but couldn't run - they were just perpetually on the move for me. instead of trying to totally flee from the scene, I would try hiding behind tiny doors or florescent curtains and they somehow escape just in time. the couple would dart in and out and sometimes separate and help me individually - it was crazy. I could never see their faces enough to recognize them but all the others (the ones slowly after me) had features fucking generic beyond belief. what a holy hell... I can't relate how happy I was to be "rescued" by popping awake and so glad it was really cleveland and not that shit. it was very much like I was trapped in what was no way a dream and only like a movie I first saying it was when I tried to describe it to myself, thinking it bundled w/some memory. crimony.

   uncle ray wants me to go w/him to the pad called "bonnie-lynn donuts & coffee" that has what he says either "both donuts and coffee or coffee and donuts and it's always 1961" - well, it's not totally 1961 cuz there's flags around like so many other stores put up after those nyc airplane attacks. I don't eat any donuts and uncle ray doesn't have any coffee but we have some of what each didn't - I have three cups full cuz they're little ones. there's something interesting in the paper laying there. I don't read much newspaper on tour anymore so I'll keep more on my focus thing (no tv/radio news at all 'pert-near either) but it's the "palin dealer" and I know john petkovic writes for this... I'm curious. it's pretty much bunk but one story grabs my eye and I tell uncle ray about it. it's a religious column where the writer gives his reasons for religion not being put into politics (see tommy jefferson for more on this) and I like the thinking here cuz it makes sense to me, one being how can you heal the wounds politics can open up w/religion used to help pry them open? we walk back and uncle ray cooks us up some scrambled eggs w/peppers (no heat kind which is weird cuz uncle ray hasn't always been in cleveland - he lived in cali some too), bacon and tortilla chow. my guys like uncle ray much and so do I... he has tons of good spiel, asides from his life adventures and insights from the lightbrights in his head. he likes to crack himself up a lot also. I update the hoot page w/week three of the diaries and spend a little time learning raul about diary flow after reading some of his chimpings. it's not a matter of right or wrong, it's just about being consistent w/the time flow. I tell him if they heading of the entry is october third (for example), then write about that day, starting w/whenever that day and ending whenever that night. he's been confusing by writing about the time he's doing the writing in - like if he's doing the october third entry on october fourth, stuff from october fourth is chimped in and that confuses things. shit, I did the same thing w/that diary I did w/the black flag/minutemen tour back in 1983 and had to unweave things somewhat to make the thing readable. he's got such a happening spirit to learn things though, he's very up w/his energy to help both me and pete out - he's a righteous to have on tour and never whines - he's real good peeps and I'm so honored to have him aboard. pete digs him much too. uncle ray talks to pete about his take on "gigs" - not the ones we do w/music but the other kind people do to pay the rent. he wants to know about pete's old job at the cat food lab and why he scissored it after so many years. pete says it was making him crazy and I can understand that, pete's got an active mind. uncle ray wants him to elaborate on it though so I hear pete do that as I code up the 'puter works. pete makes a good case - fuck, we're talking about life and endeavor here! it is balls out but shit, he's put in his time. I dig touring w/him much, what a spirit he's got firing him up.

   we hoof over w/soiled outfits to scrub them at the laundromat a few blocks away but as we're almost there, this older lady walks by and says the dryers don't work. uncle ray checks and yep, she's right - she should know cuz she's the owner! glad we found out before we had a sack each of wet outfits! ok, time to say bye to uncle ray and try to do wash in oberlin, where the next gig is, at the college there. it's just west of cleveland so not even an hour away. first uncle ray wants to us to see his music store friend rick and try to get him to go to the show tonight - the only way uncle ray can see us tonight. it looks like a long shot cuz ricks seems agoraphobic from what uncle ray relates to us. oh well, he is a nice cat and pete wails for a bit on a cordovox accordion here in the store. I even shoot a little movie of him doing it w/the little digicamera. probably the last hug for uncle ray 'till next time - bye, brother. right before getting on I-90, I stop to let raul use the post office and I get some coff for me and gas for the boat, telling pete he should get a carton of his cigs instead of nickle and diming himself a pack at a time. I get one too even though I have half of the one I started tour w/cuz I've been averaging like four cigarettes a day - lots of times I take a puff or two and then put the cig out to do the same again later if I get the jones. at this rate, I won't need to get any more really. it helps w/getting over the whisky jones when that gets creeping up on me. might sound weird but it keeps me healthier than otherwise. anyway, they got coff w/pumpkin spice and that's why I got it cuz I never drink hardly any after crack-of-dawn time. trippy taste. I've cooked up pumpkin pies from scratch - love 'em much. through downtown cleveland and onward to tiny oberlin, a little town that has this liberal arts college that goes back to 1833. I like schools w/small student bodies, makes more sense to me - this one has three thousand. we find a laundromat and do the do w/that duty, I chow some 'dines w/a few of the habaneros chris gave me last night - whoa! no wonder that sickness from milwaukee wouldn't stay in me! the red ones thuy grew were like these too, ay carumba! some bad news though: remember the happy times brought to pete by the hammond-suzuki factory visit day before yesterday? well, he checks on the expression pedal he got w/the xk-3 organ and instead of it being in the box - there's two hundred leslie amplifier connectors! similar boxes but way different contents, whoops. he also notices the organ is one that's been returned from virginia cuz it was damaged. fucking whoops again. pete's livid but in the end, philosophical about the whole thing and will call the hammond people monday. life deals out the weird hands sometimes. he finds solace in reading "the sand pebbles" though as our clothes wash/dry - he's digging that book in a major way. uncle ray gave raul "gulcher" by richard meltzer and he's busy w/that. watt chimps diary.

   we get done and head over not too far to the school. we're playing wilder hall in the stuudent union, a room I played both in the late 80s and early 90s w/fIREHOSE. the same cat who had me aboard then is having me this time, chris - much respect. he's in his fifties and the two students involved are tom and louis who are some good cats. chris wants to talk about the election - tom went to a kerry rally early this morning but chris is a nader man. he laughs when he said he went to school w/tom's dad. hey, we can't all be born on the same day! october ninth, I've been thinking about today and I'm much inspired to play. two carriages w/amish aboard pass me by the boat - I smile at them and then shaping my mouth to show them "hi" and return the waves they give me. I am taken much but that moment, our parallel worlds passing making me think I'm not totally different cuz I feel other-wordly amongst the squarejohns too. the soundman's name is also chris and we do a check w/him and soundman a.c. then louis takes me to the cafeteria and I get a caesar salad but the lady asks me what else to add so I pick artichokes hearts, red peppers, olives and onions - whoa, good eats. these two young men come up to me while I'm shovelling and want to talk, they're evan and j.d. nice cats and evan says a sweet thing, he says what he liked about reading what I said once was the stuff about punk being about friends, like me and d. boon and how we let folks in on that part of our life by making it part of our music. then this cat travis from the school paper here called "the grape" does an interview w/me. we talk about lots - he has some great questions but I want to impress him how young people today are very generous w/the minutemen about letting them into their lives cuz we were such a small thing in those days... punk itself was pretty small, very much a minority in those days - tiny. for young people today to let us have some meaning on them is very generous. people who've let me into their lives... what a gift on me and so open and kind of them. I am fired up to play so much tonight, october ninth! gotta konk though so I got the gas to do it. I head for the boat...

   pete gets me at like twenty after eleven - damn! I missed the openers, the new lou reeds (that's their name) which have the bass player from cobra verde, ed. sorry, brother. weak watt, only so much gas in his tank. not midnight yet so there's still some of the ninth left - I get us up quick to start our set. I am so inspired, so lit to do this gig tonight. I pull my guys taunt to the piece and work the little bass intense. they're w/me too and it's really a good gig for us. the monitors are as good as the ones I got in iowa city which were the best of the tour so far - much respect to a.c. cuz what a happening job he got going. so much a difference when that machinery can help out, whoa. anyway, I could be hollering down a sewer pipe maybe cuz this is one of those gigs on a tour you feel almost born to do - like this as the reason IN FACT your were born for. that's weird, huh? I'm just trying to relate what's going through me - might not be so rational or maybe it's even super-rational, an understanding so imbedded that trying to put in my everyday talk is futile. even my abstract talk is lacking, I can't make the leaps my heart seems to w/things like this. the thoughts are more like whirls down to in my soul, eyeball rattlers and hair stand-uppers. what luck that yesterday I grabbed into my clothes sack and pulled out my "bass = love" shirt from new orleans for this run of three days cuz it fits pretty good already but even better tonight especially w/this bass on and my guy w/me. I'm glad this gig turned out this way, it seemed like a righteous celebration and I think for me it very much was. my guys liked my spirit too. even though we trainwrecked the roky song - I had to grab raul's raul cymbal and have him stop but pete did real good on it. ok, one part at a time, we'll get it!

   I thank people one at a time for letting me into their life for a bit, we pack up and I thank monitorman a.c. much - he says working his machinery is getting to be second nature w/him. bossman chris is proud to tell me he's had shows w/me across three decades - thank you, chris! my guys are in a hurry to get somewhere but there's an interview I've got to do w/a cat named jonathan that has me inspired as the spiel I had earlier w/travis, it's like that w/me today even though now it's way after one. I put him in the navigator seat of the boat while I'm in the wheel one - at first he's so nervous w/the tape but machine but he gets over that... the questions are good ones and his intent ernest and sincere, it's very much flow to do these kind of spiels. we they're good like this I don't think they're all about me which I like.

   raul says this lady named grace has invited us to konk and it turns out the pad is right across the street from the laundromat! life is full of circles sometimes - even don quioxte returned home. no one here, maybe they're at the party raul and pete are intent to be at. I ask them to please not stay long - at least pete so he can get some konk in order to help w/the at least eight hour hellride we got tomorrow. I kind of know that plea's in vain but not in a judgement way - hey, we all got a gig - mines to get some of kind focus not only for me (though that's got be on a bottom-floor level) but for them too. I understand both raul and pete are quite generous to let me into their life too. remember, I'm just the bass player here - a tired one that needs to konk now.

sunday, october 10, 2004 - toronto, ont, canada

from raul:

   Had a pretty long haul up to canada, mike did most the drive, and then had pete land the ship. Early sound check, five o' clock, it's just about four now, and i need to eat. Pete suggests a japanesse restuarant that he and jerry went to last year. I've only just startred to dig on sushi, ya know, california rolls, mild stuff like that, and i've only been to one other sushi bar in hawaii, they had a mini stream set up, and little boats sailing by, and you picked out what you wanted off the boats. the food at this canadian place was so good, i had a bunch of rolls, sweet and sour soup, and some vegetable tempura, all fully loaded with tons of wasabi. After lunch pete and i go out for a walk to check out the city, from just walking a few blocks i notice toronto has a lot of little neo cave man drawings everywhere, so with camera in tow off i go. took atleast seventy pictures of the most random things, met a homeless kid who gave me the toronto graff tour in exchange for a cup of coffee. Spent an hour trying to find a pay phone, well not just a pay phone , but one that worked, most wouldn't take my calling card, some where just busted, so most of the calls consisted of one minute conversations that all ended with this one sucks too, call you back in a minute, then i'd hafta find one that would take my card, in all the miles of walking i ended up back at the club, and that phone ended up being the best one... doh! talked to a friend for about an hour, made me happy to know all was well back in pedro... atleast with this person. Played with another band on tour from illinois, nice peeps.

   Our turn, good gig, second canadian gig this tour, i like playing for the canadian crowd, they seem to genuinely enjoy it, that makes it so fun for me, to see the crowd respond with smiles, it really puts me at ease, i think the boys had a good too, i mean i can't speak for them, but they seemed happy after, my only major problem is being able to play slow, especially after putting everthing into the song before, like trying to play roky after playing the pop group... fuck that's a shitter. Sometimes i'll even start thinking about it a few songs before we auctually play it, totally setting myself up for disaster. The only thing that kinda threw the set for a loop was when pete kinda snapped at a gig goer, i mean dude did deserve it, he was kinda mocking pete singin' a song, i don't think intentionally, guy was smashed, but i had talked with him earlier, so cool, he seemed to be the biggest fan there there, and i think he was just real exited, i was watching him while we were playing, and he was totally inspireing me by singin' and dancein' to all the tunes, and when pete, for better words told him to zip it, his smile did a flip, and i could tell his feelers were hurt, and i know for a fact pete didn't mean to do all that, hell, i'd be ten times more frustrated than he is, every night he puts his heart into this shit, and every night, some one is trying to hear themselves over him, and tonight he'd just had it... he felt pretty bad about it too.

   Stayed with a friend of a friend of mikes named shiabon, beautiful lady, so sweet, i've never met a sophisticated lady who rolls her own cigarettes. I was pretty tired, so after chowing a can of beans i went and found a quite room and crashed, gotta be up by seven tomorrow, long hall to montreal, im pretty exited about that, not the drive, but about being in montreal.

from pete:

   watt woke me w/ a nudge and I went to splash some cold water on my face to wake up; I was still very groggy from the symphony experience and I knew i had to take the helm of the boat but luckily enough I had the haven of the bench seat to get my sueno. we grabbed all of our stuff, hopped into the boat and we were off once again. much respect to grace for putting us up and the excellent choice of early morning music bogart.

   I conked heavily and watt woke me up to man the helm for the last couple of hours or so. mr. sun was smiling on us secondmen heavy and this was a most welcome thing. we pulled up in front of the pad (the legendary horseshoe tavern), loaded the gear out of the boat and set it all up on the stage. me and rollie decided to go out and score some chow; luckily, I knew a japanese pad down the street that me and jer had haunted on the previous tours. it was very kind and rollie loaded up major. it made us both very happy. we hoofed it back to the horseshoe and rollie took many snaps of the interesting toronto graffiti. back at the horseshoe, kippy the soundman had showed up and was busy miking up the machines. we ran thru the check'; the tones were impeccable as always (kippy has mixed us a few times already), and I felt good about it. I was really excited about playing this gig as all the other ones I did at this pad were my last or next-to-the-last of the tour and were bittersweet at best, I really wanted to play good for the peeps. the opening band showed up and ran thru their check'; they were called "the reputation" and they sounded really cool- their singer elizabeth has some awesome pipes on her I must say.

   I set up my chimping post at the end of the bar and the bartender joe poured me a stoli rocks. I took a sip and the words began to flow. after the homework was complete I went to relax a little and listened to the reputations' set. very cool band, I dug on them much (the audience dug on them too). I went into the bar and a cat named randy who had seen our shows before came up and rapped w/ me (his buddy norm was with him too). very nice cats. randy's a union guy and we rapped union politics for awhile. I was way into it.

   the rep' finished their set and I went to go make the chief's tea and rouse him. went back into the shoe' and helped rollie set up the tools after which we waited for him to amble in. a few minutes later he comes in and we were off. we ran thru the piece very well; we were playing way together and it was a tight little ball of fury. I clammed up part of the bridge to "pissbags" (watt had to stop and tell me to wait twice!- damn I felt stupid about that), but all in all it was a good show. the only feather in my crack was when randy, (the cat who I had rapped w/ before and who had really got his drunk on by the time we did the encore), began to yell "there's something wrong here" while I was doing the dylan tune. I incorrectly misinterpreted this as him making fun of me (I think he was just reiterating the lyrical context), but I stopped singing between stanzas and told him to shut the fuck up. I felt really bad about this; it was mean, unprofessional and I shouldn'tve said it. the poor cat was just way into the show. I am so sorry g'- you just caught me in a bad amped up moment.

   we finished the set to much applause and me and rollie broke down the tools while watt rapped w/ the peeps. I got many compliments about the playing and it made me feel very good. I also told randy's friend norm to please apologize to him on my behalf; big asshole move on my part. shiobahn, a friend of another of watt's friends showed up and I rapped w/ her and her buds for awhile. very sweet ladies.

   we loaded up the boat and followed shiobahn back to her pad; we settled in and she made me the most kind smoked mackerel sammy; it was the perfect capper to a great gig. we sipped on red wine and rapped for awhile but the sandman started calling so I slipped into the bag and conk came quickly. buona notte musicanti...

from watt:

   pop at seven and a half bells and roust my tired men for their way-deep konks, they must've turned in late or something. I had a dream that was most wack - it was as I never slept one bit and instead watched myself laying the whole time, the entire five or whatever hours it was, crimony. now if that was the case, then I'd be more tired than a motherfucker right now but I'm not so I must've gotten rest. in the dream, I was so still but my mind seemed racing and thinking about all kinds of shit - maybe all spun up from the show, it did make me much excited though my beat-down body would've been hard-pressed to be showing at of that. it was if I could see my head illuminated from the inside as I was looking down on me, like the way a jack-o-latern looks w/a candle blazing on its insides, my skin kind of glowing from under it. when I popped, it wasn't like I popped but rather decided to get up since I hadn't even konked... it was weird. I thought for sure there was a constant clop-clop of stumblebumism, echoing through the planks and up into me - first shaking my body and then settling into my ear holes like they were buckets to be filled up w/them. some bizarre shit.

   the sun's loud w/yellow and blueness prevailing - some clouds where we're going though, west w/some more backtrack 'till we turn east again at detroit and into canada. the first mission though is to leave ohio and we gotta drive a bit north on ohio-58 to catch the turnpike. some old ohio farms and we pass by... one's got a big windmill, holland-style. I pull the boat in for gas and get a chicken wrap, easily the worst fucking chow yet I've had this tour, yecch. the only way I can choke the turd down is to chase each force-feed w/a handful of potato chips... damn, is this thing bad. I need some strength though cuz it looks like pete won't be in shape to take over for a while - maybe six hours at the soonest cuz this poor man is konked most thoroughly. funny, raul said the band they went to see at that party had already played so I guess much of what they did was yammer. I love my guys, always. if I even begin to think anything but - even a little, I remember this:

   ta-sui was asked,
   "what is the point to concentrate on along the way?"
   he replied,
   "don't be self-conceited."

   (thanks much to ceej for relating me that)

   I gotta actually go east an exit on ohio-2 to catch the turnpike west, guessing that from how the map looks. turns out I was right to do so though they almost got an entry point directly from the oberlin road. I tell you, access on these private roads can be way lame. something I've learned from gigs though can find meaning here though, "work the room" - can't very well rebuild the roads w/my mind, can I? those clouds ahead end up behind as I turn north at toledo on I-75. bye for now, ohio (we have cinci coming up later). going through detroit of course makes me think of the stooges. man, I'd like to call ron but we gotta roll and in canada my walkie-talkie won't be able to work - I can't call him this early cuz he usually pops at one or something. I want to get the boat's tank full one more time before having to pay canadian prices so we get off a couple of exits before the ambassador bridge. pretty heavy here, people hollering about the price of a lightbulb - good thing I only need gas. there's no on-ramp back though so I got loop from whence we came, aaarrrgggghhhh. one more time past such a gloriously beautiful refinery w/one of the tanks painted up like a basketball in honor of the pistons winning the ring last year. what can I say? they deserved it much by playing like a team - the lakers imploded. anyway, we come up on the bridge (which is the u.s./canada border here) really fast - before I expected and blew by not getting to u.s. customs first and registering the equipment. luckily, a bridge maintenance cat has a kind heart and gets through an open gate back so I can hit customs w/out having to go into canada and back again - what a fucking loop that would be! thank you much, kind sir. I haven't gone this way in a bit as far as coming into canada, the last few times have been in the east and then re-entering here. that ain't much of a fig-leaf to hide the fact I was fucking idiot and didn't think enough ahead. lucky watt here. the u.s. customs man is very nice and process up the form quick for me, thank you much! over the ambassador bridge now - a beautiful view of the city w/the air crystal clear and blue skies (that always impresses me, coming from a big time smogville), silver spangles bouncing off the detroit river righteously. the canadian customs man is a young one and a little heavy, very dark shades on and asking things a couple of times but already having our work permits from the douglas crossing back in vancouver and of course him determining we're ok makes for driving right through w/out either immigration again or a search. thank you too. I most sincere about this, really. the border is an eerie zone - the calmer, the more grateful I am. we head through windsor and onto highway 401 which is the big east-west one. lots of corn growing on farms out here, not too much different from south of the border. we roll through london and the weather's still holding up pretty good - some clouds but no gray blankie. w/about eighty miles to go, I figure pete's awake enough now to get us in and it's here where I wanna be careful cuz of tiredness and city traffic coming. I use our mapping tools to get us to the legendary horseshoe tavern (for many years a country and western pad, since 1947), the place of the last bunch of years in toronto. I use the little-used non-blow-by method and my guys are ok w/that.

   a great parking scheme here - you just pull up into the back w/the load-in door right there. cuz of that foul shit I had this morning, I'm hankering bad for something substantial so chow were I did last year, a soosh pad (sushi) across the street. I get a rainbow roll and some miso w/stemed clams. this time I figure to pull each clam out of the shell, dumping each into the soup and after that's all done, then eat it then one clam at a time get a dip. that was a crazy. ignorant. the roll is kind of shy on the fish (a rainbow one is a maki covered w/fish instead of the usual seaweed) but it's ok and I feel much better. I play pretty intense after a shoosh chow though I don't do it much (not the most econo of chows). going back to the venue, there's a parade coming down queen street. it's a taiwan something or other and there's dancing dragons manned by people running around inside them, eyelids blinking and all - some man gives me a taiwan flag - trippy cuz in the book pete's reading, "the sand pebbles," the sailors on the boat call these flags "gearwheel" cuz of the design in the upper corner, a kind of a sun maybe? I'm not much of a flagman but I don't want to be mean, he was so happy to give it to me. back in the pad, we do a soundcheck w/soundman kip, a cool cat. the boss on duty tonight is a young man named ewan, very cool people. it's canadian thanksgiving and the usual cats are away but it's great to hear of ewan's recent adventure in the pit in front of keith morris and then serving on a panel w/him the next day. he asks me about the bags too - pat bag now plays in the damned and is married to singer dave vanian. the opening band is from chicago, the reputation and they're good folks, their singer's written me emails before and likes my sunrises of pedro. whew, w/all the driving today, konk time for watt in a very needed way. outside I meet a couple of cats who've been to a lot of my shows. we talk a bit about things, the u.s. election some though they have such a different perspective than back home which makes sense cuz they're from here! they have a good knowledge however and I couldn't say the same about most of our folks about their stuff. gotta keep yourself in check about that, the center of the universe thing. I think it's cuz of the consequences maybe so they might feel they have to know. sorry about that. whatever, I will never lose respect for the people here though. I hear what these guys have to say and that's more interesting than telling them how much I don't know what to think. I hope the best for all of us. they let me go and konk.

   the summons from pete and it's gig time. kip's got the monitors up nice - my guys too have happening focus. some good holdover from last night's gig? seems to go that way cuz tonight's show is on. one of those two cats I was talking to in front of the boat is up right front and very much into the piece though maybe a little borracho. no matter, he's just carried along w/us, I got 'pert-near as much sway into it as he does. a very attentive crowd, zero yammering and all attention on us, as much respect back to them for the huge amount they're showing us, very kind of them. raul jumps ahead of me a little in spots but not as bad, he's learning to read me better and pete's on fire - we've got it together tonight. a gig can be such a weird equation, the things that go up into adding up to a good one. we finish up the piece and I talk a little to my guys about some fine points (not that big of a thing) and then go back to play some more like the folks want. a trippy thing happens in the dylan song. that cat up front, the nice one I was talking to before konking. well, he was getting more and more into it, even slapping my bass strings in "pelicanman" but not in a mean way but the dylan lyrics really inspire him to "collaborate" w/words of his own and in one quiet place he hollers, "something's wrong hear" and pete inserts "shut the fuck up" into what he says next in the song. when we finish it, I tell pete over the mic, "I think he just wants to get into the hole that you're in" (referring to a line in that song and trying to make the guy feel bad cuz I could tell he was hurt by pete saying that). I know pete didn't mean it - hell, if I responded to everything shouted up at me, any focus I would have would be totally lost. another thing is that this guy really likes us - he's been to tons of my gigs and in fact pete was talking much to him right before the gig! it was just one of those things and after the set, pete tells me he's really sorry. he tells that cat's friend too - as well do as I cuz it was not thought out well and just an over-reaction. pete's got a very good heart and wouldn't want anyone like that hurt, it was a mistake. one cat in the crowd gives me a button that says "pedro man" and I give it to pete. I want him to get over that, we all mess up some. the toronto folks are very kind and spread much niceness to me. love = bass, a good slogan. gotta make those words live.

   a friend of mine in nyc, tina, lived in this town here for ten years and has many friends. one of them siobhan, has invited us to konk at her pad not to far away so we pack up the gear and I say my byes to everyone at the horseshoe and the reputation - they're playing again w/us in providence, ri. they're bass player talks to me some about "following your own path," saying he likens me to doing that. he loves nels cline too, what a nice man he is - guys like me and nels really appreciate that and even more, try to live up to such words. siobhan gets in the boat w/us and we get to her pad, an upstairs apartment that's really long and narrow, like a boat. it's pretty righteous w/a personal feel to it, not generic. I am so beat but try to hold on some. I tell pete and raul while I get them in front of me the crux of I see myself w/them on stage - not as leader as much as someone who's job is to provide focus for us to key on - like a coxwain in a scupper boat. then siobhan w/pete and me are talking about human natures (raul's slinked away to the kitchen by now - he always seems to be making food when we get to the pad we're konking at, something I try to stay away from cuz it's not the healthiest thing for me). siobhan's boyfriend made a film called "the corporation" that sounds interesting, she tells me something a marketer developed called "the nag factor" of an item to be shilled - that's the amount of nagging a child will put on its parent to get them to buy it. I wish I could hold on for more. I make statements to contribute when I muster up enough strength but eventually run out of steam and konk.

monday, october 11, 2004 - montreal, pq, canada

from raul:

   Seven plus hours to montreal, me and mike sat up front, while pete konked to prepare for second shift in back, your basic drive, me trying to chimp, mike speiling about history, got into telling me about the french/indian war. I even fell asleep for awhile, when you lose rest, i think your body adds up lost time, like a bank, and when it wants to, it takes it's time back, and it will put you out. I remember chimpin', then i remember wakeing up two hours later. When we get about a hundred miles away pete and mike switch, and i hop in back and mack a peanut butter cookie with a coffee chaser. Started reading the love craft book i picked up in champaigne, about twenty pages into it we hit montreal. Such a cool looking place the guys say it reminds them of europe, i wouldn't know, that's kinda lame, twenty six years old and i've never been to europe. Have an interview on the radio, and trying to find the station was a nightmare, first it started off with wrong exits down one ways, even turned down the wrong way on a one way, we're all making jokes about some billboard, and mike screamed, i was more startled by the scream than the situation, pete just about shit his trousers, suddenly they where there. Enter james, the nice young man who's going to talk to us on the radio, cool guy. We have atleast an hour to spare so we spend it talking, every thing from books to public transportation, canadian thanks giving, cottages, and the seperatist movement, all kinds of random stuff, real smart guy. Radio interview went good, i didn't really say to much, get sorta nerveous in front of microphones, it was fun though, i like listening to mike, he's got all sorts of stuff to talk about. Down town montreal was intense, packed full of all kinds of people, drivers were nuts, and ink drippng of everything, big city... fantastic.

   Wasn't as tough to find the club, as it was the radio station, so we're there in no time. Sound check is not for another hour, so to kill the time i head out for a walk to find some coffee, and check out the city. Back at the club i met some friends of mikes, all very sweet,they even helped us load the gear up a flight of stairs, one was chpu, he runs a book publishing place, and he published a book of mikes lyrics and old minutemen tour diaries, after sound check pete and i went back to his place, while mike stayed behind. Cupu had a such a cool place, totally his own,very secular and it was only four blocks from the club. I Was there long enough to get a tour, then i'm out to check out the city. Walked around for a couple of hours, this city rules, can't believe all the canadian bashers you hear. this town kinda reminds me of a bigger, french williamsburg. Went back to chpu's place a couple hours before showtime, he had all this produce that he wanted to get eaten... not a problem, so i steamed some rice, and cooked up a bunch of diffrent vegetables, with a bunch of garlic and olive oil. So good to have a place to cook up some grub, especially before the gig. Back at the gig i realize fuck i forgot the coltrane cd back at cupu place after running back and checking my bag, i think oh fuck i forgot it all right, all the way back in toronto, cupu suggests a diffrent coltrane album... cupu you saved the day.

   Really rough gig man... real rough. During the set i remember feeling so guilty, these people paid to watch three americans stink it up... place reeked of clams. The whole show, they were all stinkers, from start to finish... i felt about an inch tall. I don't know exactly what it was, maybe it was a combination of bad sound and fatigue, i really don't know.On tour things go in cycles, fuck that, life goes in cycles, and the wave always breaks, and maybe today was just one of those days, when things go all the wrong ways. Montreal defiently did not get the show they deserved, people still dug it though, said it was excellent, and that, in a way makes me feel worse, just say we blew, we both know it's the truth. I was so relieved when the show was done. After the gig we went back to the pad, and had some tea and green, feelin' abit better now. Mike and i talked about how lame the gig was, and what steps we could take to make the next one better, just keep trying diffrent things, in diffrent combinations, see what works and what dosen't, i really wanted him to know i tried my hardest, he knew, he said he didn't think i'd go up there and not give it my best. Gave me some good personal advice, he knew how to articulate exactly what i was thinking, and trying to explain to him, with out me even saying a word, it was so trippy, but with the amount of playing this mans done, it makes complete sense. Tomorrow's another show, and another chance to redeem this shitty one.Until tomorrow... bye bye.

from pete:

   popped at shiobahn's pad and felt good; didn't get a lot of sleep but felt freat nonetheless. did a quick wash up in the head, rolled up the bag and we loaded our stuff into the boat. and we were off... much respect shiobahn for having us and making us feel truly at home. abrazos y besos.

   we had a bit of a hellride to montreal so I decided to catch some conk on the bench; I read a little of "the sand pebbles" (I really dig on this book- much respect to watt for turning me on to it), but soon I was drifting..I pulled the blankie over my head and I was out. I was awakened by watt some time later and after shaking off the grog I manned the helm for the last part of the voyage into montreal; I love this city as it reminds me much of europe and the french-canadian people are very nice cats-very earthy peeps. we were doing an on-air interview at a college radio station in town so watt guided me in. I missed our offramp as I misinterpreted some of the chief's directions and we ended up doing a looping session- montreal is a bitch to drive around as there are so many one way streets and it's a mind-blow to navigate. watt tells me to make a starboard and I do- right into the direction of oncoming traffic! we all yelled out a collective waaaahhhh!!!!- cars were honking at me; luckily, I pulled over to the curb right as I made the turn and we gathered our testicles off the deck. damn! close one. needless to say I was driving on eggshells the rest of the way but there were no further mishaps and w/ the expert navigation of the chief we were in front of the station a little while later.

   the cat that was doing the interview, jesse, met us at the door and we rapped w/ him for a time. very nice man. he told me about the history of the french separatist movement in montreal; fascinating stuff and very similar to the shit that's been going down in croatia and serbia ( see, people are the same all over). we went down to a local market and grabbed some juice and stuff, then hoofed it back to the station for our spiel. jesse gave us all our due; he asked me and rollie about the tour life and asked me a little about how we recorded the piece. I was way into the spiel and we all had a great time. much respect to jesse for having us.

   the pad we were playing at (), was just a short ride away and we were in front in no time at all. since we arrived a little early we had a couple of hours to blow so I went to go make some highly necessary phone calls; before we had come into toronto we had had to pull my new hammond board out of the back so I could get the serial numbers (we had to add it to our equipment list for the border cats). imagine my chagrin when we opened up the box and it turned out to be a unit returned for repair!! fuck! I was very fucking pissed to say the least, not at the ham-suz folks, but at myself for not looking at the box more carefully before we loaded it. so now I had a box of 200 leslie connectors and a dead axe. just fucking titty. I called up dennis, the vp and explained the sitch to him; my plan was to mail the connectors from vermont and ship the keyboard when we got to providence. my gear would be in turn sent to pedro so we wouldn't have to deal w/ the extra ballast in the already stuffed boat. dennis was sympathetic and said he would handle it. I also called up harv olsen and told him about the sitch; he assured me he would try to expedite it. I felt much better after and felt a little giddy again as I pondered my good fortune of representing the only company I'd ever want to represent. what a mind blow!

   after awhile, dan the promoter showed, along w/ chapu (who put out the "spiels of a minuteman" book), it was very good to see both of them. last tour we had crashed over chapu's pad and I found him to be a very cool man. dan, chapu, and phil (one of the bosses of the pad), graciously helped us out bringing our gear up the very steep flight of stairs to the room. we set up and michel the soundman, got us miked up proper. we ran thru the check' and it was very echoey (high ceilings, wood floors) but we figured things would even out w/ some bodies in there. having done the check, we went back to chapu's pad and I chowed down on some absolutely delicious soup that he had made, it was very welcome. I called up lil the kill to tell her about the hammond endorsement deal; she however, did not share my enthusiasm and it really bummed me out (to tears almost). I talked to my little man tone, but I was really down about this rain on my parade and wasn't very attentive to my little man-I'm very sorry little sailor. needless to say, the call was a short one. I called up my best bro tone and it was truly good to talk to him. I told him of my convo' w/ the kill and he did his best to make me feel better and it worked in spades; thanks tone, I truly love ya bro.

   I did my chimp duties them went to hose off; I felt much better and me and rollie hoofed it over to the club. the second opening band was halfway thru their set and I went up to the bar and indulged a bit to calm the senses. they finished their set up and I went to go make some tea and rouse the chief. I then went back up to the club to help rollie get the machines in place. the chief soon ambled in and we ripped into the set. I could see from the beginning that the man wasn't into it and I tried to goad him and rollie on. the sound on the stage was a little weird, there wasn't any diffusion on the ceiling and the sound was bouncing all around the stage. mike broke a string on "bursted man", but we saw it thru and he changed the string (it didn't bogart the momentum too much), and we launched right into "reed round' my waist". the montreal folks were very gracious to us in lieu of the clams and lackluster playing and we garnered much applause. btw- donated anther coltrane cd but chapu god bless him, ran back to his pad and got "kulu se mama", so we were golden again. after the set we packed up and a whole slew of nice cats helped us out carrying the gear downstairs. much respect to you.

   we steamed back to chapu's pad and settled in; this sitch w/ lil was still heavy on my mind so I decided to give her a call and hash things out. I talked to her and she apologized to me and explained her feelings to me; it of course involved the bones I had spent on the new board and I totally understood her completely. fortunately, me and the kill never waste time arguing about anything so we quickly put the matter to rest. we talked for awhile; we had other things that were in limbo and we made a clandestine deal w/ each other (it in fact involves the shaving off of my stach' and beard-I would only do it for her ). lil is my soulmate and home to me. I love you very much lil the kill. and you too, my little man tone.

   I felt a great burden had been lifted off my head and I felt much better; me and rollie burned a little of the the midnite mote and rapped for awhile- the sandman however began to make his appearance so I climbed into my bag and drifted off. laku noc sviraci...

from watt:

   oh man, rushing water - under and over, not really sensing I'm in any kind of a craft and 'pert-near like I'm something like a fish but I know I wasn't a fish cuz it just felt that way... that was one part of the dreaming I had but it wasn't the one I woke up to. the one I woke up to was seeing this lady getting out a car, someone I thought I recognized but then obviously didn't though she knew me enough to say she was phranc's friend. phranc! that's a lady folks singer from the old punk days in l.a. - I actually first saw her in a wild band called nervous gender (they were great and I dug them much though they were quite a mindblow!). anyway, phranc soon appears, coming around from some corner and she's got her arms full w/these stuffed dolls. I look at them close and seem convinced I know of them though I can't say what any of them really are - it's embarrassing for me cuz nothing but pause comes from when I'm ready as ever to tell her what I know about each of them. she just laughs at each attempt until finally I popped awake. now I think I should've awaken not to this dream but the rushing water one cuz I found I've pissed myself. not a full on flood but soaked skivvies for sure. what was that about? this minus thrityfive sack's now a piss bag for sure. only a little damp where my ass was - like I said, it wasn't a flood but drizzle. I did this last in austria but I was borracho (it was this past july, w/the stooges). I don't understand my fucking life. what it does do is put the fear shit in me I get when I think I don't have a lot of years left. it's not all the way panic, it fact it's more like a solidifying thing as far as being determine to get things together as much as I can to be as productive as I can, to make each breath count to the fullest. hmm... carrie telling me the body wants to forget physical pain - maybe but then it might be the mind part reminded even more of how total that physical hurt will be one day, enough to kill me. I guess that's more of a dread than a memory then. seems to manifest itself kind of in memory cuz I get these tremors, this total visitation of an intense hurt and its moment, like it's imprinted indelibly on some page in my thoughts. a page I can't help to turn right to, even though I'm trying to avoid it as I'm thumbing though. when I feel insecure in my body especially it seems to come up like this even more pronounced. again though, I don't think it's completely negative, especially if it hammers home to me the need for me to rally and get it together, make the most of what time I do have. man, I want to live but maybe that life isn't just a physical one. in ways I've reconciled to myself a life through my impressions on others, how maybe they'll talk to their little ones about me, let me live on that way. there's people I've told so much about myself and I know they've always been confused and wondered why about that but this is the reason I think I've done things like that. it's not like I have so many things about that it's important their known cuz I'm so special (on an arrogant or self-important angle) but more of a way of me transcending what might befall me on this physical plane - might? ok, will... the question is really when. I'm so gald I got to find out so much about d. boon, he was so open to share and in that way, I keep his spirit going and not just from guesses but what he passed on to me. this is weird talk, I know but it's been hitting home on me since the sickness and this middle age stuff I'm in. really, I'm trying to be more earnest and not fatalist even though the clumsiness in my trying to explain things here might suggest otherwise.

   siobhan only has an instant coff jar that I can find so I boil water and choke down that. 'pert-near eight bells now and I gotta have my guys up so we can make the hellride to montreal - like almost seven hours - there's a radio interview at three. south down spandia (love they way you say that street name), east on the gardner express way, north on the don valley express way (amazing how a city this big has so much green so close) and then once more east on 401. cuz of the fall, the trees are painted up bright and righteous w/the yellows, oranges and reds - I'm digging it - we ain't got this much in cali. we stop for gas and raul gets me a tuna sandwich at mister sub's while I fuel the boat. gas is almost a dollar a liter (the canadian dollar is almost eighty u.s. cents - much on a rebound from what it's been these last years and there's 3.78 liters to the gallon) or three bucks a gallon u.s. for supreme (the boat'll ping w/out it). it's been around $2.20 in the states. as we get closer to quebec, the grayer the skies get, the sun getting eventually choked out but at least there's no rain. there's definitely some wind though but I've seen much worse here. one reason might be cuz there's still leaves on the trees and that makes for a brake. it also makes for the beauty I've tried to describe, all the painted-up colors of the leaves. most canadians will tell you they think it's a boring drive, this stretch between toronto and montreal until you remind them of those autumn colors. I just realized we didn't hide this little scene that raul's cultivated on the boat's dash for the border - he got one of these plastic figurines of junkyard dog, a black wrestler (though he looks hardly like the junkyard dog me and raymond knew) but it's got a hole in his yang so you can make sort of like a puppet w/it. he got this chuck norris figurine (his yang has no hole but his joints are hinged) and has him w/his head stuck in junkyard dog's yang. there's an orange indian, a mohawk figurine given to me by rachel from the minneapolis band called the blow up from many many tours ago that's ready to put his knife into chuck's back, maybe when he removes his head from it's present fitting. I try to make the boat as squarejohn as we can for the border - hope this little scene was overlooked. it was after that milwaukee gig and there was an article in the daily paper on me, w/a picture - pete was included but raul was cut out - maybe that had something to do w/him constructing that little scene the next morning. funny, tom and jer both had fun making little scenes like that to w/stuff on the dash. me and pete have yet to get so "dollhouse" (or is it "playing army" maybe?) w/our creativity. another stop for gas, just out of ontario province and into quebec and I hand the wheel over to pete for the last sixty miles. I'm using directions howard sent me instead of navigating purely by the map cuz he neglected to say what university the station's at (it's ckut). these directs aren't the most clear and we do some blow-bys. one of the loop-backs is misread by me as to try and take a one-way street the wrong way!!! no!!! we go only a few feet before pete gets us to the side and then w/u-it around to make things right. I ask pete to always make sure it's safe - no matter what the navigator says - that comes first - even if it's out watt's own retarded mouth. I care so much about pete and raul's safeness, it weighs on me like a ton of brick. it's why on a long drive, I just don't do the little bit further needed cuz I feel I might be at the most fatigued then and put us in a real danger.

   anyway, we find the school, mcgil university and park right out front cuz of the holiday (yesterday was the canadian thanksgiving turkey day but today on monday is when it's a governmental day off) and do an one hour spiel w/him. I want pete and raul to be part of it too cuz one of the main things I maintaining in this spiel is my focus on giving back to my town through these two pedro guys playing w/me. it's so important to me to have a pedro band now, even more important than doing this opera I got going now though that's big time in my endeavor too. I guess a better way to put it is my band of pedro guys doing this "...middle stand" piece right now is my main focus as far as mike watt regarding music now in the moment. how the piece relates to others, I don't know but I do know parts of me are going though pete and raul, maybe helping them develop their own musical persona as the journey takes them down this river. that's the gist of my spiel w/jesse besides letting him know about the middle-age analogy of this opera and not just the literal sickness parts of it. a man afraid to die w/something in his heart, something he was afraid to let out before the hurt and now wanting very bad to get it out and wrestle down that fear. how things get put into a perspective when something like that comes up on you at that time in your life. I didn't want to die w/those things locked up in me... I didn't want to die w/all the work I still have/need to do. I wanted to really live, not give up - no!!!!!

   the gig's not too far away at a place called the west end cultural center but I can't see a sign for that. what I do see is la salon vert - the green room. looks like stairs - one flight of steep ones! oh boy. we got help though - there's pat and kat (these folks came to my town a few months ago and I gave them a tour) plus chapu. chapu's the cat at l'oie de cravan here in montreal that published my "spiels of a minuteman" book of lyrics I wrote for the minutemen plus some essays by richard meltzer, thruston moore and joe carducci. there was also a little tour diary of us and black flag on the road in the u.s. and europe during early 1983. I sure wish I would've chimped tour spiels for all the following forays I did - it didn't hit upside the head to be on to that again 'till 1998 and I've been chimping them since but fuck, I missed like fifteen years worth. idiot/asshole watt. I see some flyers on a pole here by the pad's hatch and one of them's for tonight at casa del popolo, where I was at last time I played this town. dan's put on my gigs for many years and he brought me into that pad for that gig but I'm wondering why I'm not there again cuz I really like mauro, the man who makes that gig happen and also a member of god speed ye, black emperor. it kind of weirds me out to be competing against him - I can't do this next time I'm in montreal, no. me and kira have even been asked by mauro to have dos be part of a festival next spring and we're very honored. on other dos news, I'm having mark garza make her a "kira-rick" - a bass based on the rickenbacker kind she's used for years but w/things to suit her more like being three-quarter scale and having electronics to give her more definition and punch. it should be done by xmas and I can't wait for her to play it.

   we a soundcheck w/soundman mimi, a nice guy who has a trippy p.a. setup (speakers on stands - one on each side w/bass bins for the stands' bases). the stage is not my favorite kind of setup, it being the type where it feels as if you're coming out of the top of a cake. lots of sheer surface on the walls and a hardware floor make for some pretty bunk acoustics... oh well, work the room and don't whine - good words to live by. pat and kat invite me to chow and that's so sweet of them but chapu asked me already to have sweet and sour soup he's made. later, I have to even say no to him too and instead just eat some 'dines - one red savina habanero of chris rees' was left in the boat by accident (no produce is supposed to come across the border) so have that w/the 'dines - holy cow, do they kick much pass the regular orange ones - crimony! I dig it though and soon konk.

   two montreal bands are opening, you me and the enemy plus priestess. I miss both cuz my konk is real deep (didn't rain but sure is cold), damn. I've played a song from you me and the enemy, it was sent to my p.o. box and I liked it. anyway, I climb up those stairs and go to the gig after gettting the shake-shake from pete. almost right away, I'm scared out of my head and fuck if it gonna be a lame gig for me. to let folks down like this is THE WORST and I hate myself so for it. maybe my lamest performance of the tour yet, damn. I'm frightened, I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed - the whole deal... I can imagine what my two guys on stage w/me think. I've humiliated myself. I tell the folks I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it. I didn't shirk and quit but it seemed I just couldn't get myself out of a hole I'd obviously dug for myself. aahhh, so fucked up - I really wanted to do good for the close people I got here and just everyone in general who's always supported me. seems this has to happen every so many gigs, I guess it's just a matter of when and not why. god, I wanted to shrink up like the tiniest ever so bad. chapu brought some books for me to sling and I just didn't have the nerve to do that - I was humiliated. no one's fault but the guy w/the bass. some folks come up and talk to me afterwards but I feel so unfit to receive the generousness but tell thank tank you anyway. klank (ewan), the bassist who lost his sight but goes to all my shows let's me play the new bass he's made himself, called "tonehendge" - it's quit a bass and balances perfectly. trippy w/a square-back neck, never played anything like if before. he cheers me up some cuz he's such a sweetheart - so are the cats you me and then enemy - I talk a bit w/dominc, a very nice cat. I tell him to check out the pop group cuz he might dig what they did, hearing his band. really, I just want to hide real bad, damn. dan even left and I have to settle w/the bartender. aahh... what a shity way to help these folks celebrate their canadian thanksgiving - dan even brought a pumpkin to put on the stage and a round green squash. I'm a fucking idiot. I shake mauro's hand cuz I'm so glad to see him cuz I love him but not cuz of the weak gig I put him through - it's a horror... I feel my face red w/shame. well, I talk to my guys about it and resolve to do better tomorrow, no matter what. that's all I can do - tonight' gone.

   pat and kat once again help us w/those steep stairs and the loading. they're a great couple. they want to come to pedro again and I want to show more - didn't have time to do it all when they came. more talk w/cats from both the openers - really nice people... aahh, I'm so embarrassed cuz of being such a suckass. I could've described all that went down but I would really be pounding my self down about it. I am anyway inside but why sourass the folks around me by doing on the outside too? there's so many kind people that are generous w/their support, even wanting me to play new foundland. sure, I'd love to have the chance to lame-out there too... I gotta stop this, I just am a very low confidence state right now. chapu rides his bike home after helping us load too and we set for his pad soon after, which is only a few blocks away. he tries to talk good about the show but I'm embarrassed and bury my face in this book he's got about criminal tattoos in russian prisons during the communist times. it's a fucking nightmare. his cat, mister thompson, is quite nice to me and gives me cuddles. I do not deserve these. I deserve nothing but the best backhand karma can deliver to me. I feel like a bucket for all the shit to run into. I surely don't deserve the konk that somehow came so quick on me.

tuesday, october 12, 2004 - burlington, vt

from raul:

   Not a big drive day, but we have border to deal with, plus we still gotta find our way out of this city filled with dead ends, and one way streets, after our good byes to cupu... beautiful man, and a few missed cues, we reach the border. Border lady seems real sweet, but still asked us to pull to the side so they could check us out. Oh shit i thought, their gonna tear our stuff out, and cut the boat in half, it happened to me before... fuck. Mike walks out a minute later, smileing, saying the guy told him that mikes probably been doing this longer than he has, and he told him to go ahead and pass right through. Where about an hour outta town, i read some lovecraft, and watch the trees go by... beautiful place. When we get to town, mike calls up kelly, one of his friends, and the person who's letting three stinky guys crash on her floor. My first time meeting kelly, total sweetheart, her and her special man friend duane are both very cool people. After i cook myself some lunch, and scrub some dirt of my body, last nights show seems a little bit farther away, Good i can't carry that shit too long, it'll fuck with tonights show, i'm feeling real tired though. Parking in front of the club is a nightmare, fuckin' doing circles around the block, club should always have band parking, it sucks, some places just don't care about bands, not their problem... whatever.

   About two hours before sound check, so in the meantime i'll grab some coffee, and try to get some chimpin' done. The only place to go is a super crowded cafe, and the only table is right up front at the window, atleast it's warm. Coffee just not doing the job, after three cups, i still like walking death, gotta snap outta of it. Time to load the gear up, nectars, is the club down stairs from the metronome, and these bastards where no help at all, all sorts of nonsense rules. First of all they wanted us to load our gear in the back, even though we were right out front, and they wouldn't let us park in the back, ok, we'll deal with it, can we atleast put some chairs out to save our spot i ask, nope, it's against the rules, whos stupid rule is that, so that meant we'd lose our parking, tough they said, you guys can park four blocks down the street in a paid parking lot, these guys are creeps, fuck them, we're not gonna take these creeps shit, so the secondmen and some of the guys from swale just start rushing the front door with gear, so much easier, only one flight of stairs, insted of the three flights in the back, you can tell dudes are pissed, but fuck these jocko homos for trying to pull some bull shit power trip, would've been so much easier if they were just cool with us, but their not cool, so thet's outta the question. Heard later that one goon got up in mikes face to talk some shit, i think watt just walked away from him. Later i found out that these nectar guys are planning on buying the metronome, and are gonna fire the whole staff, that blows, cuz all the people who ran the metro are so nice, and know how to treat people, these new guys guys probably can't wait to get their old high school football buddies on the staff so they can get nostalgic, and push people around lke the good ol' days... dick heads. This whole deal defiently got my blood flowing, halling the gear as fast as we could, i'm very awake now, and i feel so much better.

   Hour before swale starts so i take a cruise around town, not to much in the way of anything except brew pubs, and over priced clothing stores, i do find a record store, pop rocks i think it's called, pretty cool place, pick up the jaylib record, my friend chris kholer told me i had to hear quazimoto rap, and he's on this record, so there you go. Swale is about to start, so i make way back to club. Place got pretty crowded quick, i'm excited about about this gig, lots of expectation from myself. Swale was pretty rad, mellow, blusey, good songs, with lots of feeling, they closed their set with war pigs, defiently in homage to dush, no that's not a misspelling. I spend most of my time before the set with kelly and duane, nice people, also thanks to the guy who brought up the jar of pickles and throat coat, you rule. Tonight was by far my favorite gig to date, and especially after montreal, boy i needed that, the folks were real into it, there were even punk rockers dancing... i loved it. I think the other dudes had a great time too, except maybe mike was a bit irritated with his voice, i was watching him sing, and he'd be singing but no sound would come out, that must blow, it sucks when you can't make your body do what you wanna do, he tried his hardest though, so much respect for that, i've seen singers cancel shows for nothing more than a sorethroat. Mike also left a couple songs outta the set, i think on account of his voice, but it could be me, i don't know, they are my two biggest problem pieces, but i thought it gave us more flow, who needs me stinkin' up a song to ruin the mood of a good show.

from pete:

   popped at chapu's pad and I felt pretty good; went to go wash up quickly and packed my gear up - we had to get going as we had to make a border crossing and we didn't know what awaited us (our papers are consistently in order but you're basically at the whim of the border cats). we bid chapu goodbye, hopped in the boat and we were off once again. much respect to chapu for having us once again and for making us feel at home. there will always be a place at my pad for you.

   I read a little of "the sand pebbles", then drifted off- watt woke me just before we had to cross the border and we waited inline w/ the other cars. the border cats were nice to us this time around and we passed thru w/o any hassles- a much welcome sitch. since I was sitting in the navigatore position I had to bring us into town; I did so w/o any problems (tho' a couple of the roads in the town were closed due to construction), but I improvised and in no time we were in front of kelly faucheaux's pad; we had stayed w/ kel the last tour and she had met us at the club w/ some shrimp e'touffe and after tasting that chow, I was sold. I hadn't seen her in over a year (we had comminicated via email) and she looked good. I was much glad to see her. her boyfriend, duane greeted us also. very nice cat. kel's son, norman was at school so I didn't get to see him (he's such a sweet kid and made a big impression on me last tour). I asked kel where the nearest post office was as I had to ship the leslie connectors back to ham-suz. she gave me the directions and me and rollie hoofed it over to the P.O., took care of business, then went to grab some chow. I found a kind little deli and got a tasty turkey sandwich. back at kel and duane's pad we ate, then transferred the new load of merch into the back of the boat. I read a little of "the sand pebbles" until watt gave us the signal to evacuate. grabbed my puter' and hopped into the boat, and we drove the few blocks to the pad we were playing at (club metronome). we pulled up in front but there was a major parking bogart so watt had to dock the boat about a block away. I knocked on the front door and there was a cat in there (he was sitting right in the window facing the street-looking right at me, yammering on a walkie-talkie), but the prick wouldn't open the hatch for me. ok, well fuck you too. I went around the back, walked thru the kitchen area into the bar area; there were some cats milling about so I introduce myself to a dude behind the bar and ask where we could load in. he pointed me in the direction of the boss man who was sitting in a booth rapping w/ a couple of other peeps. again I introduced myself and apologized for breaking in the conversation and where could we load in?. he looks at me and I could smell the tude' welling up in him; "now wait , who are you and whaddy-you want here?" he says, so I repeat the whole spiel and he gets a corporate lilt to his voice. "you can only load out in the back and you must immediately move your vehicle; parking will be available in front of the club after six when people are getting off of work." fair enough, I thank him and go out side to scope out what we're dealing with. the stairs are in three flights and look to be a major bumfuck, but the clincher is that we can't even fit the boat into the alleyway; very narrow (even if we could, we couldn't possibly turn the boat around once we got in there), a next-to-impossible sitch. if we parked the boat on the street, we would have to roll the equipment over a really rough asphalt alleyway which was definitely not good for the tools. I couldn't figure out why this cat wouldn't let us load out thru the front. I go back to the front of the building and I soon see why. there are two clubs in there; one is the metronome which is upstairs, and downstairs is a pad called "nectars". the cat inside was probably the nectars' boss. I hoof it down the block and lay out the sitch to watt who tells me to stick around the front of the pad until a parking slot opens, hold it, and flag him down. I go back, and me and rollie go next door to a little coffee pad to feed the jones. I grab a chocolate chip cookie too, and I read while rollie chimps. I spot a car moving out , so I tell rollie to go flag down watt while I hold the place. watt soon rolls up in the boat and we score the spot. our check' is not for an hour so I mill about and find a music store. I find a little yamaha portable keyboard and spend several minutes jamming on it. the boss man then informs me that they're closing the hatch in a few, so I hoof it back to the boat where I read "the sand pebbles" until load in.

   the cats from the opening band (swale) showed and we knew the guitar player as he had played in a band that had opened for us in vermont last tour. knowing the sitch w/ the load-in, he went to try and go persuade the boss if we could quickly load up the front stairs. the boss grudgingly agreed and we carried all the gear upstairs lickety-split (w/the gracious help of the swale' cats). sergei, the soundman, a real nice russian cat got us all miked up proper and we ran thru the "red and the black"- the sound was excellent, it's nice to work w/ a man who really knows his room and tools. we broke down and moved everything to the backline and I went to do some chimping by the side of the bar; in mid-chimp I hear the two bartenders rapping something about the nectars' cats downstairs. I ask what's going on; apparently one of the bartenders' friends works for the nectars' cats and heard thru the pipe that these pricks were buying out the metronome and getting rid of everybody there. they were rightfully pissed at these motherfuckers as one of em' was a college student(it was his sole source of income), and the other cat had child support to pay. I told them that they were being pricks to us and they told me that ever since this new nectars' "management" had taken over they had gone out of their way to try and drive the metronome's business into the ground. he described one such instance to me- apparently, metronome's beer kegs are in the basement of the building and these fucks would lock the doors so the metronome cats couldn't change em' out when they were empty. very slappable behavior if ya ask me. he said there were several similar instances but didn't go into detail. I was fucking appalled!- I told em', "look, we do tour diaries and watt posts them on the internet, maybe it would do these cats good to have their bullshit antics aired on a public forum". they were way into this idea so I gave them all the website info which they posted on a blackboard behind the bar. karma back up yer yang's nectarheads!

   peeps were beginning to show and having finished up my chimpathon I listened to    the swales' set. very cool stuff and their singer/ keys player has awesome pipes. they finished up their set w/ a very cool version of sabbaths' "war pigs". I was way into it.

   me and rollie set up the tools and I went to go rouse the chief; I told him about what the bartenders' told me and he was equally incredulous. I went back up and me and rollie waited for the chief to show- he soon ambled in and we were off. we were all on fire this night and played thru the piece w/ much gusto. and the peeps reciprocated in kind; we garnered much applause and many nice comments from the folks. much respect to them. the sound was also phenomenal so much kudos go out to sergei for making it really happening for us. the only bogart of the evening was again to due to boss nectarhead; it seems that watt attempted to go talk to this frat-boy princess about his disrespectful behavior and got some major mouth-foam action from the dude- watt said he just let the cat go off on his saliva-spewing tangent thus letting him demonstrate his verbal gymnastics to the rest of his employees. the only thing I wish for him is to one day get fucked like he's going to fuck the metronome' cats. and that day hopefully, is forthcoming shortly.

   we loaded up the boat and were back at kel and duane's pad in a short time; we settled in and burned some of the midnite mote after which I conked w/ extreme prejudice. dosvidanja musicanti....

from watt:

   pop on chapu's couch at like eight bells. sun out bright in the window, I look forward to making up for last night, that's what's very much on my mind. I woke up from a weird surreal dream, one where I felt like a windmill and the vanes being my legs. instead of shoes, my feet were stuck in kayaks. in seemed this was being revealed to me in stages so I was deep in figuring out how this could be as I realized more and more. how could I have four legs. was the "hub" at my hip or me knee? how could either of those joints hand a ninety degree angle? the absurdity of it all could shake me from frettin' on these "dilemmas" or whatever I was convinced they must be. everything was real tan too, like the color turds can be. I know a lot of things can be that kind of brown but for some reason, I could shake that loose from that connotation - weird... cerrote on the mind, great. chapu makes me coff and I get the boat moved onto his street where we have 'till the street cleaners come to move it. my guys are still konked. mister thompson lets me give him rubs, it makes me think much of my man (the silver tabby cat I had for fourteen years) and I miss him so much. even when I was feeling my big time worst, he was there for me, always. I miss that man. good rubs to mister thompson. chapu's got this guy playing on his cd player, he's trippy and I like him. don't know his name though. I asked chapu but of course my fucked up memory let it pass, even the next day (just found out it was kyle fields and little wings from a chapu email). sort of sounded like that palace brother cat - thurston took me once to a gig he was doing in echo park. I love it when thurst takes me to things I've never been to before, like william parker or edgar oliver. he's the best. raymond like that to, he brought me to see yma sumac, little jimmy scott and al hibbler - just to name a few. both these men have broaden my senses 'pert-near more than anybody w/bringing new people (new to me) into my life. others have done that w/their words and thoughts though both raymond and thurst are good w/that too. I am a lucky man. if lame shit comes up on me, it's usually my doing. it's that point in my life where it's ok to admit that - should've always been "but I was so much older then..."

   time to bid chapu adieu, big hugs for him. shit, my hair is much grayer than his - who am I trying to fool w/this "hat" anyway? melinda, I love you but this color you but in here... well... I get my guys down the stairs and into the boat, we're off. one more time: I'm sorry for the lameness of my playing and will try harder not to be so that way next time, montreal... I make the same commitment to my guys for tonight in burlington. on time in canada is now done though it takes a little while to find the champlain bridge that takes us from the island that makes the heart of montreal to the rest of quebec and east on their highway 10. I kind of wanted to make for highway 15 and on to I-87 once we crossed the border but now I realize that would've been a stupid move and raul was right in directing me more east before turning south cuz burlington's right off of I-89 in vermont and we would've had not a smooth roll east once into the u.s. - lake champlain is right in between! I realize too I was a little bit hysterical and even more so yesterday w/pete at the wheel - time to tone it down, watt. I swear I don't know what gets in to me - it's not just blowing gigs either although who knows? maybe that has something to do w/something somehow? I just figure I gotta get a handle on what I can get a handle on and go from there. sorry raul, sorry pete. we pass the last bunch of french canadian farms before coming on philipsburg (thier side) and highgate springs (our side). the customs lady at the u.s. booth wants us to pull over to have a look but the young officer at the desk asks if I still got the equipment listed on the form and then says ok - I ask to sign it though and he says I've probably done more of these than he has. that might be true but he's still very kind to make our way back home into the u.s. a gentle one - thank you, sir. I get gas at the first pad I can and get a tuna sandwich - sure not the 'way kind but not as bad as that foul wrap I had in ohio. it's mostly bread, like a po' boy from the real old days. funny, I only really eat bread much on tour (like w/sandwiches) cuz at home I've 'pert-near cut it out from what I chow reg. same w/poatatoes, rice and pasta - have cut those shovels down much. the weather's great - no gray left from yesterday and all sun to paint the fall colors up bright for us. pretty, pretty, pretty as up and down the vermont roads we go... the granite state - much of it easily seen. all the different parts of the u.s. and canada this tour have been great feasts for the eyes - love it all.

   we drive straight for pad of the lady we stayed w/last time here, kelley and her little boy norman. norman's away today but her boyfriend dwayne is here, nice man. they got the slingables we had mailed here and put those in the bags for the boat. then pete gets to the post office so he can mail hammond back those connectors they're missing. pete says everything's getting righted after phone calls to harvey and v.p. dennis. I know that was weighing heavy on pete. in fact, he was on the phone for like an hour last night at chapu's w/ljil over organ issues. he was convinced it was going to be his pop svetko and it was a trip to find out instead it was ljil. oh well, he worked out a deal w/her - in return for what he got, he's gonna shave his beard and mustache off for her. doesn't look like he's doing it yet though - maybe he's waiting for the tour to be over. he did tell me he felt self-conscious enough! don't worry, pete - there's no more a self-conscious fucking goof than the one that's usually driving this boat (he's the one on the bass). kelley has some leftover chow that tastes good. after some chimping of tour spiel, I gather my guys and we drive the little way to downtown and where the gig is. no parking close by so I put the boat a couple of blocks away and chimp while pete and raul wait for a space in front of the pad to open up. my old vermont buddy terry bradshaw (not the football player) comes by w/a bag of apples and a big bottle of cider, thank you terry. after a bit, raul comes running to get me - a space has been freed and we get a spot right in front. this pad's called club metronome and it's upstairs from some hosehole that troughs up whatver. you've seen these kind of fronts in every college town, another pitch to cow the herd. the head clown won't let us load up the stairs in front and wants me to put the boat down this tiny alley to the back where besides losing a hard as fuck to find parking spot, we'd have no way to get the boat out. three flights of rickety stairs too. what's up w/that? we wait 'till the coast is clear and jam the shit up the front stairs, scheissmeister a little upset when he saw what we done - not cuz it made sense but cuz he was "defied" or whatever. piss on that, he's out of line and his strut pose is weak. I don't waste my energy w/these guys, their life is about regression and aggression, all front and puffery - a waste of time. I won't justify the show by giving it an audience. we do a soundcheck w/sergei, a cool cat from russia who's lived here for a while and is also the soundman for the subdudes. the opening band is a local one called swail - their main man opened for me last time - nice folks. I go downstairs to do a phoner spiel. I ask the guy behind the pizza counter if I can use the phone using a charge card I got at a gas station and he's kind to me and says yes. I'm answering questions from this nice cat named steve at a newspaper in knoxville when that guy who was huffing and puffing before starts a little song and dance for me, stomping and stammering - "get off the phone!" ok, but how about a little respect, what's this about? he wants to fight but I'm not gonna give it to him, he panties get more bunched up and he tries coming on w/more a more butch pose but I am shutting him out, not giving in and getting caught up in his troubled/issued self and he's 'pert-near having a conversation w/himself, responding to things I guess he'd like me to say. I tell steve I'm sorry on the phone and get away as fast as I can back up the stairs, still hearing him and his little performance which is really making him look silly in front of his people. speaking of which, it was really sad to see the guy who was nice enough to let me use the phone, squirm cuz of obvious fear from her highness' princess moves and put on the monkey face to me. what a load... why am I wasting any words on this crap at all? these situations will happen as long as the world has assholes and saving face means more than humans treating humans decent ever will. well, pete tells me later these guys are buying the upstairs - where we're playing and firing everyone so whoever thinks they can shit on people like that do indeed deserve a big fuck you. no wonder we got treated the way we did, it's indicative of what's clearly a fester. one more phoner (I find a payphone a few blocks away) and then to they boat for a konk. I eat a can of 'dines first though, using the rest of that red savina chili. damn though if I don't get it on my hands and when I'm done filling a piss bottle, man is it time for a ride. whoa. damn. after that calms done some I konk.

   pete's shaking of my leg w/one hand while his other then hands me some throatcoat tea marks the start of gig time. a good crowd here, nice folks who want to see us play. damn if I ain't doing the marcel marceau though cuz barely a word is coming out of my mouth. can't understand it but I'm intent on rallying myself and being worthy of both being w/my guys here on stage and in front of the folks who've worked to get the bones up to come to the gig. this is a nightmare but I'm gonna stare it down - just like w/the trouble that threatened me earlier when I was trying to do that phoners spiel, I'm not letting it bind me up and distract me - even w/something this acute to this situation. I just keep trying my hardest, remembering what cowering did for me in montreal (nothing besides making it lamer!). I break a 'g' string but this time having a pack waiting just in case, it's only moments to be back in the race. I've learned from the salt lake city experience! pete and raul are doing really well tonight, I know they want to rally and make up for the gig last night - we all had such a shit for a gig... I know I'm big time to blame, being at the rudder at all. even though I'm weak in the throat, I'm up to my upmost w/not shirking that responsibility. these burlington folks are very really generous, much respect to them. we do the piece and they want us again - I admit inside I'm embarrassed for my shortcomings but very grateful to everyone, I let them know too. after the encore, I talk and shake hands and sling too. I'm glad that even w/all I'm having a time w/that we rebounded back to where we were w/the toronto gig... gotta make it up to montreal next time for sure. big thanks to sergei for doing what he could - he tells me he just saw the jethro tull guy and he blew his voice out too. I feel bad for him... I saw him as a teenager - those guys seemed indestructible in my mind. I never could relate to area-rock but I guess they're just people too.

   andrew settles w/me as we get the stuff up - he's a great cat w/a very up vibe and it makes me feel good we could play for him. all the cats working here at the metronome were something else to us - such a contrast w/you know who! by the way, we got most the shit down the front stairs but pete had to manhandle his leslie down three flights of fucked-up shit in the back. damn. he's a rock though and never complains. big BIG respect to pete mazich - never a better man one could ever sail w/and I can testify to that w/all I got to bring to bear. I know he inspires raul too. we're both lucky to have pete aboard. some cool burlingtoners helped us load out and take pictures w/us - thank you, guys! an easy go to get back to kelley's and her w/dwayne are waiting for us. I get in my sack 'pert-near quick, I'm spent but try to talk a little cuz I want my guys to know I was very proud of them, they really turned things around for us and helped me much. they tell me they felt for me. my men are generous men, good cats. much love their way. out.

wednesday, october 13, 2004 - albany, ny

from raul:

   Playing valintines tonight, i've been here once before with f.y.p, that was about five years ago. Place is a little diffrent, for one the stage is in a completely diffrent place, but atleast the stairs are still there, so is the super fast pac man machine at the pizza place next door, the back of the club is like a little urban jungle, cats and squirrles everywhere, i find my self a little buddy, and spend a half an hour following it around feeding it sun flower seeds. Hangin' out in front of the club, i meet two johns, the first john is gonna record the show, and the second one is johnny from stanton island, both pretty bad ass in there own ways. Got a big flight of stairs to deal with, so we put the two johns to work, and the gear is up in no time... thanks guys. Set up and go through a sound check in no time, mike not here, he's busy doing speil, so we have a few minutes before we play a song, with this free time i hang out back stage, and try to get some chimpin' done.

   Playing with a local band tonight called struction, pretty balls out, total noise in the best way with real melodic vocals, very nice girl and boys, even gave me some music, one of there new records, and some euro rapper named dizzy rascal... thanks. The shows not super packed, maybe on account of the debates, i'm really not sure, that dosn't bother me a bit, i'm just happy to be playin'. For some reason there was a trampoline back stage, get your exercise on before the gig, ya know. The boss, howard was real cool to us, making sure everything was taken care of, and we had everything we needed, all i wanted was a trampoline back stage... score, dude made some pretty bad ass pico de guyo with habenero thrown in the mix... goos stuff. Show time, i always set the drums up right up to the edge of the stage, and usually there's no drummer pedestel, i hate those things, puts you at a distance with everything else going on, the crowd, the band, totally isolated on your own little island, any who, this particular stage has one, and it can't be moved, so i have like a two and a half foot space to shove my kit into, fit like a glove, yeah, like a little kids glove. Played pretty well, mike had a blown monitor, so he probably couldn't even hear himself, with a fucked voice that can't be good, screaming as hard as you can just to hear yourself over the music. People seemed to dig on it, stanton island johnny was the best, up front singin' along, he even started smacking my cymbals around, he tried his best to get the crowd wound up too, yellin' at em', c'mon lets see some movement, what the fuck... thanks johnny.

   Staying with an old friend of mike, karen schomer, sweet lady, mike was telling me that she used to be a writer for a news paper, and that she had just finished a book. Man she lived out in the middle of nowhere, but when we got there it was so worth it, beautiful home,, even had the old light switches still in, they're buttons, not switches, reminded me of my aunts house in back in l.a. I was pretty tired, so i found a sleepin' spot, flipped on the boob tube, and watched a little bit of the debate re-runs, got bored of that pretty quick, bush is just an arrogant jocko homo with no heart. Woke up to a pot of freash coffee, that, along with some cereal and toast, got me fueled up for the drive to n.y. It's supposed to be a short drive, but if you've ever been to n.y. you know the traffic is screwed, and the city confuseing, and you'll be lost driveing around for hours just lookin' for a place to park. After eating, i meet loretta, karens daughter, cute little girl, very sharp, she had three kitttens in a room on the side of the house, and the on the floor where about a hundred little pieces of rope cut up for the cats to play with, it looked like she cut them new ones every day, and she was very particular about the size, each cat had its own size it liked the best. Told me, sometimes grown ups don't know how to play with cats, she liked the idea of that, knowing something that a grown up didn't, i have excellent cat playing abilities i told her, then i showed her a picture of simon, my cat at home. Spent a good half hour showing her the ropes of advanced cat play.

from pete:

   popped at kel and duane's and went to do a quick wash up. I felt pretty good and my hack had all but disappeared which was right square w/ me. I checked my email on kels' puter' but it was alot of spam bullshit (why do these cats persist in flowing me this shit?). having deleted all the crap I packed my stuff up and sipped coffee while the chief finished his puter' work. we signed a tour poster for kel, threw our stuff into the boat and bid her and duane goodbye. much respect to you both for opening up your home to us again.

   the trip to albany wasn't too bad so I spent most of the time reading "the sand pebbles" and conking on the bench. rollie navigated us in expertly and we were in front of the pad where we were playing (valentine's) in short order (he was definitely cultivating a good grasp of this navigational stuff). we docked the boat and I hoofed it down the street to a drugstore to purchase some necessary sundrie items. having completed this task, me and rollie hoofed it up the street; I was looking for the pad of the cat that we had stayed w/ last tour (I wanted to invite him to the show)-I kind of knew where it was, and indeed I found it after about ten minutes. didn't look like anybody was home so we found a way' nearby and rollie scored some chow. (I was not in a way' mood). we hoofed it down to a parkm and kicked back for awhile watching the squirrels frolic . we headed on back to valentine's and howard, the boss of the pad was there and let us in. it was good to see him again; he always treats us real square and is a very sweet man to boot. he had made us some salsa from habi's that he had grown himself. it was very tasty, and the burn was kind too.

   we loaded all the gear in and set it up on stage. john, a cat that had recorded us last year showed up and helped us in addition to again bringing us some goodies. he even brought me two little airline-size bottles of bushmills'- what a totally sweet man! much respect to you john.

   the knobsman showed up and in no time we were ripping thru the check'. it sounded good so we broke down and I went to try and chimp. new jersey john, a cat that I had gotten into maxwell's last tour shows up and he wanted us to sign his bass case. which we did. I drew up my best keyboard picture for him. john's such a nice cat. I went into chimp mode.

the first band, struction' started their set and I listened- two guitars and drums, no thunderbroom but they sounded wild. I especially liked the pipes on the young woman who sang and played guitar. very intense set. they finished up and I went to rouse the man and grab the merch' box.

   the set was decent, but my organ rumblings were a tad stumble-fuck- I was starting to feel a little beat and it all came to a head on our last two encore tunes. I was in the middle of the tunes and I felt the energy just drain away from me; I started to feel weak-in-the-knees and I took a fast swig of water that helped a little but basically I was "no mas". the crowd was very nice-they were way into the piece and gave us much love. me and rollie broke down the tools while the chief slung merch', then loaded the boat w/ the gracious help of the two john's. much respect to both. we were staying at a friend of watt's named karen, so we hopped into the boat and followed her back to her pad. we settled in and I made myself and watt some tea,but he had already conked byt the time I got it to him (rollie was out too). karen produced a bottle of elvis presley cabernet and I sipped and rapped w/ her and her husband dave about pet-food manufacturing and watt's sickness- It was a cool capper to a cool evening. I felt the adrenaline start to fade so I slipped into my bag and was out pretty quick. buona notte musicanti.....

from watt:

   the little cat kelley has wakes me w/some pounces - a lot of energy in this little one! I can dig it. it actually lets me konk again for a bit 'till kelley comes w/her little boy norman, who says I look different. I laugh and then konk again, this time awaken again by the little cat around nine bells. norman's gone now, wish I would've had time to visit w/him, oh well. I dreamed I found myself in a cat suit - well, I thought it was a cat suit but when I pulled on the fur on my arm, it felt like MY fur - what? it seemed unconnected but lose like when how you feel on a cat, the way they're like a bonepouch. I was such a bonepouch and when I went to feel on my face, I 'pert-near scratched myself cuz of the claws. it was then I felt the whiskers. I then got really really still. what was I to do now that I was a cat? why didn't I have a cat thoughts? I didn't want to mouse, didn't want to make my rounds to make sure everything was where it was last time I checked. what I wanted to do was figure out why I was like I was - what had happened? was I always a cat who dreamed it was watt and then woke up to find I had forgotten my whole existence before? had I pretended too far? it was a bit of a panic for me. I thought of my cat, thought of the purrs he made. I tried to purr but it was caught in my throat, caught up inside my chest. I tried to make myself like a motor and purr from deep inside. that worked but then it seemed to rattle all inside me - too much and I crumbled. I was pieces of cat, all on the deck. slowly, these pieces melted and made a puddle. it was then I found myself looking down on the puddle and seeing my watt face reflected up at me. I looked weird - not different but the watt face I always seen in mirrors and it was obvious I was weird, something I always suspected before (and why I've been kind of scared of mirrors). it made me stress then, stress so hard that I just had to let go and stop trying to figure it out and then that's when I felt a release, a release so huge I collapsed into the most abandoned I could be and let go, let go of the thinking and I drifted off, I felt like chimeny smoke dissipating 'till I lost consciousness and regaining it only w/those pounces from the little kitty.

   kelley made me some chow and we talk about the military life - not us as active members but growing up as "dependents" (that's what they call spouses or children of military people) - her w/her ex-husband and me w/my pop. trippy life. I think some of my pop's sailor life got into my blood and pushes me like it does w/touring. obviously it's a romanticized perspective but then so much of my thinking is like that except on the weird econo practical level. an econo dreamer, watt. dwayne gets up and we talk some of florida, where he's from and then say our byes and thanks - kelley was so nice to help us out so. first a trip to the post office and then south on I-89 for a little bit then back to surface road w/us-7. last night andrew gave me directs on a way to get around lake champlain w/out paying a toll. I gas up the boat and get a tuna sandwich which takes what seems forever for the man to make but he's new to his gig and is older than I am. I'm learning to take these things as lessons in learning patience. that's why I leave lots of time to get where I'm going so I don't get uptight when it time for me to once again get taught. I can be such the fucking demand-o! horrible. I want to get better at that, have been for some time but it's slow going. it's beautiful weather again, bright outside the boat and colors filling us from inside to outside. I snap as much as I can w/the digicamera. lake champlain is beautiful and I'm thinking how righteous it'd be to take the ferry across - seems there's many places the go from. we stick to andrew's plan though and continue south on vermont-22a. man of the towns are from the middle to late eighteenth century, damn. the headstones in the boneyards are really thin and at angles cuz of settling. lots of hills but none to big, the boat handles it all ok. where they had to make way for the road, granite shows - no clay around here it seems, all rock. west on us-4 and then the state line w/new york. we pass through whitehall where a sign says it's the birthplace of the u.s. navy! I think of my pop and what he'd have to say. we get on ny-149. not all the orange is on the leaves, some are on pumpkins and I see some huge ones, damn! the adirondacks - old dutch haunts where the rivers are called kills. not the hudson though - that's called a river though it's much littler here than where we'll see tomorrow. I-87 and south into albany, first passing by ballston spa. my family lived here a bit in the early 60s when my pop was getting schooled in nuclear boat motors and my little sister marilyn was born. some of my earliest memories I still can bring up are when she came home from the hospital, the car ride and the bottle warmer that plugged into the cigarette lighter and then when she got put in her crib, me looking down and tripping on how I saw no focus in her eyes. at the time I couldn't figure that out, it was weird on me.

   raul does a great job at navigating and guides me right to the venue, a pad called valentine's run by a great cat named howard who I dig much. luck puts us in a space right out front. I get a salami sandwich at a little store nearby and then chimp diary 'till bartender mike opens up the club. when howard gets there, he gives me a bag of habanero peppers he's grown himself - alright, the boat's once again stocked! staten island john says hi - he's here early for the show and says he's gonna see a bunch of them this tour, what a nice man. he's a plumber and wants me to play staten island which one day I hope to do. another john, the graphic design man gives me a care package w/'dines, triscuts, jerkey, and black beans for raul. thank you, john! yet another john arrives to bring me to a radio interview on his show at the college, suny albany. it goes well, me getting to talk about me and punk in these days, the piece and even some political stuff, like where am I w/that currently - have I changed since being a young minuteman? no! it's a good spiel, thank you to john and his three friends there (they take me back cuz his car was futzing out - they trip on the idea of being middle-aged and doing art though one's poet - they want to know "how do you do it?" and I try to tell them you gotta try your hardest at you being you, getting back up each time you get knocked on your ass). I get back to my guys at the club and soundcheck w/soundman andrew - I get the one monitor w/the working horn - thank you, andrew. the opening band is a bass-less band called struction who are nice folks. glad to meet them. I go down to the boat for my konk and karen schoemer, an old friend comes to say hi. she just moved a little way from here up from new jersey w/her husband dave and little girl loretta. she's invited us to konk after, thank you! haven't seen karen since last raving like a lunatic on whisky a bunch of years ago at their pad. it was w/nels and bob lee, the last tour for the "...engine room" opera. she goes to get coff and I konk.

   pete gets me for gig time. oh boy, another tough time w/getting the spiel out but I focus hard on my guys and do ok, not losing my nerve. we had to set up weird, 'pert-near in a straight line across cuz the drum riser is nailed down - I like raul on the deck w/us so he had to set up way up forward and pete felt he was too far from me so I know it was a tough one for him. I thought he did good though, raul too. like last night, I cut the verde and roky tunes cuz it's just beyond what I can do now. that makes me sad but there where I'm at now. there's another debate w/bush and kerry - maybe the last one? howard told me when we got done though he was watching the baseball playoffs. tour's got me pretty cut-off, I just gotta gather my wits around this mission w/my guys and the piece for now. I didn't mean to rush ahead - it's not the biggest albany crowd for watt but they're all so nice to have us play and much respect to them. michael, who always brings me cds of stuff has more again this time, thank you. when people thank me for coming to their town, I hope they know I appreciate them saying that much, even when I have a hoarseness that would make a glass full of sand feel wet. there's a cat here who saw me play w/the minutemen twenty years ago, in nyc. wow. to not let me be just forgotten, to see what I'm playing like now - that is very generous. much thanks upstairs to howard (yes, another club w/stairs!), "we win some more than we lose" he says to me. much respect to you, howard.

   we load up and say bye to both johns and then follow karen to her house in neiverville. dave's there to say hi (he did babysitting) and I get my sack out right away. it was kind of a drive or maybe it just seemed that way cuz I was tired. my guys talk w/them some but I'm too tuckered - sorry. konk sure is a deamand-o and I can't muster enough to have him denied. whew, so ends week four.

read week 3 of the tour diary

read week 5 of the tour diary

loop back to mike watt's hoot page

this page created 16 oct 04