watt - thud staff, spiel
pete mazich - organ, singing
raul morales - drums
(top, left to right)
steve kaul - the man outside the van
thursday, october 14, 2004 - nyc, ny
Short drive today, but this city is nuts for drivers, so we'll see. I always get this real excited feeling coming in to this city, it's so massive, so much to see... i love it here, i know it's sounds kinda cheesey, and maybe a bit obvious, but i really do. I have friends in brooklyn who hate manhattan, i just don't get it, anyway I'm totally excited to be here. Playing cmj tonight, i've never done one of these things before, kinda trippy, total industry stuff. Have two shows tonight, one for the collage reps, we'll play just a few songs from the piece, and at the second show we're gonna play the encore set, plus a few from the piece. trying to find the place was a nightmare, okay not a nightmare, but kinda tough, shouldn't of been, had it all planned out, just follow the street signs. Well we get to place where it should be and it's just not there, had one number missing off the address, lets try that again, turned out being only a few blocks away, but in a town filled with one ways, it was tough, to top it all off, there's a hugh bus blocking the street the club is on, and on top of that there's no parking, so pete and i haul the gear out double time, only to find we're supposed to use house drums, and their bass amp, mike's off to find some parking... off to a fabulous start. Alright, lets see what's up with this deal, right off the bat the sound dude is coppin' much attitude, tryin' to live up to some hipster sound guy stereotype... i didn't even know there was a such thing as a hipster sound guy... whatever. After we get the gear in he tells me check at six thirty. With a couple of hours to spare we go walkin' around the city checkin' out all the weirdness, kinda hungry, we decide to grub some mexican food, pretty decent, place reminded me of being back in pedro, after chow, we find a very comfortable set of stairs to relax on, have a choke, and people watch, after that pete decides to go back to get some chimpin' done, while i continue to explore.
Back at the club sound guy is pullin' the same attitude, i notice nobody is on stage so maybe we could sound check early, so i ask the guy if i can start putting the gear on stage, sure he says, they've been waiting for me, wait didn't i hear you say six thirty, no, that was the management he says, and they fucked up, guy is totally full of it, he told me personally when check would be... whatever, oh yeah, here's the fun part, we gotta play in like fifteen minutes, you guys gotta go on promptly at seven he says. Fifteen minutes later we're geared to go, but nobodys there, then outta nowhere, about fifty people come strolling in, trippy, they where the collage reps for the label, and they where going from show to show in a big group, this is all very foreign to me, but whatever, let's do it. Mike got on the mic and told them he didn't usually do gigs like this, he's a different kinda whore he said, they all cracked up, and we went right into bursted man, tripped me out, starting with the third song first. All the reps were real cool, and seemed to enjoy the tunes. After the set mike watt and the second men, mikes friend tina clarke, and my good friend matt army all walked down the street to where all the reps are having a pizza party, as we walked in in every one starts hooting and hollering, very nice welcome, some of the kids thought matt was in the group... he was wearing a flannel. After talking with the kids and having some slices, we make our way back to club, on the walk i call up a friend, suzy sharp from the soviettes, her group is playing the city tomorrow, and she's in town a day early, and i'd love to see her. Back at the club, matt army and me find a stoop, and have ourselves a tall boy, he has a free phone he tells me, and i can call any where i want, i wanna call home and talk to one of my best friends... kid kevin, we're roommates, and both killer dreamers. It was good to talk with him, it's been just about a month. He's doing good, and the house is doing fine, roommates are still crazy, and the cats in good health... that makes me happy.
Just about time for the second show, and guess who shows up, suzy sharp, and her friend libby, perfect timing. The second gig is way more packed than the first, and i'm pretty psyched to be playing. We started the set of with the red and the black, did the rest of our encores, then did a few from the piece. We definitely could have played better, but i think the energy of the group more than made up for it. As soon as we were done, with the help of matt and johnny staten, i started pulling my stuff off stage, we need to get the gear in the boat, fuck, there was equipment everywhere, i'd thought for sure i was gonna donate something. With the boat loaded and the crew all present, we make way to tina clarkes place, i wanted to go to another show, but we got a hell ride to morgantown in the mourning, so it's not the best idea i've had, when we run it by the captain, he agrees, not the best idea, he wants us to stick together, and get a good nights sleep so we're well rested for tomorrow, so i give ms. sharp a kiss on the cheek, and hop in the boat, and head over to tinas apartment... sorry i didn't say bye matt, but i'll see you next week. I'm glad i didn't go, i would've been ruined for sure. Tinas place ruled, books and records everywhere, mike tells me she use to be a music writer, she has the biggest snow globe collection i've ever seen. In the mourning she made the crew vegetable omelets and home fries, so good, we had to chow and run, big drive to west virginia, and i'm sure it's gonna be an hour just trying to get out of the city... bye bye new york, see you next week.
popped at karen and dave's pad; I felt really good and I downed some coff' to get the brain moving. I went upstairs and did a most welcome hose-off, as I was feelin' a bit grungy. I popped my enzymes then gathered most of my stuff and put it in the boat. watt, karen, and her little girl loretta had gone for a walk and when they came back, loretta showed us her "kitty room" where the cat's lived; she had a mommy and two babies that were a little skittish, but adorable. karen also had to pooches; shorty, a little napoleon of a pooch that spent most of his time being irritated that we had invaded his house (we quieted him down w/ a couple of milkbones). phoebe, the other pooch was very mellow and showed us much puppy love. we got some quick directs to the freeway from karen and we were off towards the big apple. much respect to karen and dave for having us.
we made it to the freeway w/o any hassles and more important, mr. sun was smiling down on us. I alternately read and conked in the back and we were in NY soon enough. we tried to find the pad but to no avail; the place just wasn't around. very weird. watt gives steve kaul a ring on the walkie but gets a machine. damn, the chief was getting frustrated, I could tell. he looks thru the contracts and realizes that the address is actually 116 suffolk, not 16 suffolk as it said on the itinerary. shit! we fly on thru manhattan and finally get close to the address but there's a film company filming a commercial and there is no parking whatsoever. we pull up in front of the pad (rothko) and quickly unload the tools after which watt does the vandance w/ the boat. me and rollie get the stuff inside, but we're not checking' for a few hours, so we decide to hoof around and search out where watt is w/ the boat. we covered all directions for several blocks to no avail; I then called lil the kill on a payphone to get watt's walkie number- having gotten it I called the man and he gave us his current location (in NY, most spots have a time limit of an hour- ergo, vandance). me and the rollster were getting a tad grumpy so we decided to scope out a decent chow pad. I had a hankerin' for thai again, but we spotted a mexican place and ran w/ that. the chow was awesome! both of us feeling much better, we hoofed it over to the boat's location and rapped w/ watt.
6:00 started rolling around so we went back to the club to scope out the sitch; we were playing two shows- one at 7:00 for the columbia college reps only (we were going to do the purgatory part and one heaven song from the piece), and a second at 10:00 where we would do purgatory, heaven and the encore tunes for the regular peeps. there were seven other bands playing besides us so the atmosphere was tense to say the least. the knobsman austin, who seemed to be calling the shots wanted us on at seven and at ten and there was a slight bit of tude' emanating from him. we literally went on five minutes after we finished the check'. austin seemed to be peeved about the fact that we were checking' at 6:30, even tho it was he that had made this questionable decision. 7:05 and still no one was around, but these rep kids were being dragged around from club to club so we waited. around 7:15 , about a hundred of em' walk in and we do it up for them. they were so nice to us and way dug on the stuff we were playing. we got many compliments. tina, who we were crashing with showed up and waited for us to break down. chris, one of the college reps, invites us to a meet and greet down the street, so we stowed our gear on the side and hoofed it on down to this pizza pad where everyone was. we walk in and get a goddamn ovation! it was the most incredible feeling to be so appreciated by those nice cats and I have to admit I was a little embarassed and humbled by it all. we sat down and grabbed some beers and went around to the tables and thanked everyone for coming to see us and being so nice. I rapped w/ several of the kids and they were way into the piece; it made me feel so good.
we left the pad after about an hour and hoofed it back to the club; it was a major cluster-fuck, but we wound our way in and I listened to one of the bands. they were really cool. jersey john also showed up to my surprise and bought me a drink; he said that he would be at all our shows when we came back to NY in a couple of weeks. nice cat that john. the band finished and we moved our stuff into place. because there were so many bands, austin had wanted rollie to use the house drum set and they had an SVT up there for watt to use. me and the rollster set everything up and just as we're about to go on , two cats come up and want to kuyp the SVT, as it belonged to them. I begged them to let us finish (told em' the boat was eight blocks away) and they were cool about it and left the amp on stage. Austin was a little borracho and I wondered how he would handle our tones, but whatever, let it fly. watt ambles in and we go into the encore tunes first. we were on fucking fire!! we hammered thru the tunes w/ extreme prejudice and then went into the purgatory and part of the heaven parts of the piece. we made a few clams, but the recovery was stellar. only lame part was due to the magic of alcohol, austin had neglected to turn the monitors on until the last two songs of our set. consummate professional my ass. highly slappable move (watch who you pull the jive tude' on g). The crowd showed us much love and I was very happy about the gig. w/ help from jersey john I got the B3 down and we rolled the stuff to the boat and loaded everything in. thanks again for the help big john. mike too. a couple of raul's buds showed up and we intended to go with them to the mercury lounge down the street but when I went to go clear our excursion w/ the chief, he was adamant about us not going due to the hellride to west virginia the next day. Realizing that the chief was in fact correct and thinking about the sitch myself I gave rollie the "es todo" sign and we hopped into the boat. my job is to make the chief's job easier, and I don't ever want to disappoint him.
w/ trusty tina in the navigatore position, we made it to a parking garage by her pad and docked the boat for the night. we grabbed our stuff and hoofed it the short drive to tina's pad where we quickly settled in to some cool rap and red wine sipping. I also took a particular liking to a plastic cow that she had and propped it up on a chair next to us to gaurd us while we slept. cows make me feel so peaceful, I love em'. the sandman soon cometh and I fully let him in. laku noc sviraci.....
pop at seven bells and when I go to piss, I notice that one of my necklaces - not the one w/the anchor but the one thalia (from my li'l pit band) put on me after a skateboard benefit in pedro - has snapped and the tiny beads are falling off, it still on me cuz it's kind of wrapped up in the anchor one. fuck. I wear things folks give me for luck, like they were totems to help me. I hope this isn't a bad omen, damn. I wonder how it happened, was I flailing about in my konk and hurt it? hard to really move about in that minus thirtyfive sack, hmm... I had a dream about seeing my little sister marilyn in her crib for the first time, I wrote about that in my chimpings yesterday cuz of the parts we were driving through. the whole idea about what you see in someone's eyes and how tripped out I was about not seeing any focus in hers. of course, she was just new and that's the way babies are then but in the dream, it was like an l trip - I had a bunch of those in my early twenties and it made things as though nothing was solid, nothing was certain and I had to think very hard about what REALLY I was thinking about. it was like I was being made to look back into MY eyes and they were the unfocused ones, the ones w/nothing behind them, windows for an emptiness. I found myself like a clerk in a huge warehouse and trying to account for things but whenever I'd get close enough to get a good look (everything seemed to be in shadows), it appeared nothing was there and it was a trick of the light that made me think something was there. it was very frustrating, like I had nothing to account for - no "works" of my own. since it was my head, the contents seemed very important to represent some sort of something, a way of knowing watt besides a dimension of physicalness. I felt shallow and inconsequential, like all I was added up to nothing. I felt in a weird way on trial to account for myself, to explain why I should exist. it was for this reason I was searching all over for "evidence" or whatever to prove I meant something. it was apparent this was a world w/out chow or shitting, one neither of processes or interactions but of substances regarding intellect or some kind of expression through an art. it was mirrorless, something I'm kind of into cuz of the weirdness I feel look into mirrors but instead, presenting me w/the nightmare of having to explain myself w/just a good spiel. this did not make me feel comfortable. I felt a huge need to be w/out words, w/some kind "items" or whatever in this mind/"warehouse" of mine. I had a pad of paper and it was full of crossed-out things I thought I had come across and then failed to find when getting closer. what put even more into a fit was trying to see what I had scratched out to find some sense in what I was doing. my memory seemed to be nowhere so I couldn't remember what I wrote moments after putting it down and then trying to see under the mark-outs proved to be impossible to do. I ended up pacing this "warehouse" lap after lap, wondering what could I do cuz for some reason, times seemed to be very much running out. this was not a peaceful dream.
karen and dave's baby loretta is a real talker for being so young. her parents are patient and never tell he to be still. I'm a little amazed on her ideas on colors - blues aren't as desirable cuz they're "boy" ones and she likes pink (she just got some new pink shoes). hmm... I ask her about my yellow jacket - what does that color mean and she says it's for both boys and girls. I feel good about that. dave fries me an egg and I go out to the boat and get one of the habaneros valentine's bossman howard gave me last night. I also get that peppered jerky john gave me (its package says its "damn hot" - right) and get another egg from dave and scramble that in w/the other one, mixing in habanero (chopped up) and the jerky (likewise). it's a good chow for me. I like cooking, nothing ever fancy and almost always simple but I like chowing from my own hands. I have to eat out on tour so when I'm in pedro, 'pert-near it's always made by me in my pad. we spiel some but dave has to go to work - he might get to come see the opera at maxwell's (he says he wants to) so hopefully I'll see him again then there. one trippy thing we talked about was him and karen knew about that reactor in idaho my pop was trained at in the early sixties (he later worked in nuke engine rooms on navy boats long beach and enterprise). I don't meet many folks who know that kind of stuff. he bails, then karen and loretta give me a tour of the garage/shed/barn/whatever in the back. this whole pad goes back to 1895, from an old dutch couple. then a railroad man was here who lost a limb and so got into raising chickens - I see some of the coop things here. there's mud wasp nests too on the walls - seems karen didn't know about these but they look vacated. I have some experiences w/wasp nests. one time as a meter reader, I opened a meter box and there was a huge paper nest full of wasps and they all swarmed my face but I hollered and beat on them (and or course, my face) w/this tennis ball on the end of a three-foot stick they gave us so quick that they freaked out and took off... by some miracle, I didn't get one sting though it did feel like my heart shot right out of my mouth. there's a pool in the backyard and karen shows me the frogs that live there - the pool's been in bad maintenance for years cuz the last owner was an older lady. their new pad is going to be a work-in-progress but I think it's really neat and something they can make so much theirs. karen and loretta take me on a walk to the post office, not too far. this little one is really bright, wow. I don't know why but I tell karen about something I want done when I'm gone. I want to made into ashes and then dumped into the sea - between pedro and catalina (this island south of our town). I want all the people who want to say bye to me to get a boat ride - be on the boat that takes the ashes out there to be dumped. I think that would be a righteous thing to do for folks, give them a boat ride. maybe some of those ashes would wash up on the rocks in pedro and I get home again but maybe some would be on tour forever, sailing the seas. maybe some would get evaporated up in the air even. I've told people about this before (I've told my ma and sisters several times) cuz I do have the fear someone might want to just plant me in the ground and then no boat ride. aaarrrrgggghhhh. "the sea cures all" - that's what I called this tour. nick tosches wrote that when he was writing about dante. if I couldn't live by the water, I think I'd like living in the desert. I love the water and where else to make you appreciate it even more? I remember my pop telling me about how the navy can bury a sailor at sea for econo but then he got planted into the ground. I've never been to his grave. or d. boon's.
we go back and I muster my guys for bailing. there's some kitties I say hi to but they're a little scared. this tiny little dog dave and karen took in barks almost always when I'm near though the other terrier dog is very friendly. sometimes I feel insecure about myself and get the weird feeling they can see through me and reveal a part I can't hide that's not so together, an inner thing revealing a fucked-upness about me... sometimes I even get that from little kids though it might be internalizing things all overwrought like an idiot. it's like I'm have this sense that judges aren't only in black robes or someone w/an angle to play. it can be powerful on me and very humbling. that's probably not a bad thing, regardless of what the reality of it is. hmm... anyway, thank you much and bye karen and loretta. we get back up to the interstate an I-87 south. of course more autumn eyegifts outside the windows of the boat - we got sun big time w/the weather luck holding on though there are clouds and karen said her parts are in for six days of rain. we've had a it pretty good so far this though, knock on my fucking wooden head. like I said, pretty pretty drive. when we cross into new jersey, my plan is to take the palisades parkway to the george washington bridge but then I'm thinking about the signs saying "passenger cars only" and the heighten security stuff of these days so I taken the tappan zee bridge over the hudson. raul suggests asking the booth man if the boat can go on the parkways here and he says it can, no commercial plates. good idea, raul. we take the saw mill parkway down and right where it goes from orange to blue road (according the rand-mcnally map), we see a horrible accident, must've happened seconds before we got there but it looks like the one guy involved (must be the driver) is sitting on the grass and at least not dead or bloody. his suv is completely demolished - looks like the passenger side hit a hug rock at high speed, all the way obliterated. airbags must've saved him and makes me think of the next boat... I gotta get a new boat and these new ones have airbags - I worry so much about my guys getting hurt, it weighs on me like a ton. we next take the henry hudson parkway down to the west side highway and over to 23rd street where this 'puter place that caters to macs called "techtronics" is. I wanna get a bigger 2.5" firewire drive cuz the twenty gigger I got is not cutting it. I park like six blocks east cuz there's a space open and I know there won't be one closer unless we're the luckiest fuckers on the planet and I don't want to chance it - I want to get this done quick. I can get pete "panther" (osx 10.3) at the same time too cuz the "jaguar" he's got on his tipurse (identical to mine) makes it run like a dog. I find an lacie eighty gigger for the same price they got their "self-branded" one that's only forty gigs and get that. what's that about? damn if it don't take forever and w/all the hoofing involved getting back too - fuck, if I didn't drink like five or six cups of coffee at dave and karen's (caught up in spiel and not realizing) - I don't make it back to boat in time to use a cup or a bottle. well, at least it ain't turd. motherfuck though... life is funny, I don't care. I'll do a lower-half costume change when we get to the venue. had to make up for the bones I saved on the firewire drive somehow, huh? karma is a bank account! east on twentythird street to second avenue and then south to the lower east side. the address I was given says 16 suffolk but there's nothing there. a few circle rounds and then raul searching on foot reveals jack shit. I call man-outside-the-van steve kaul but get fucking answering machine which rarely happens but it's happening now. damn. I ain't sitting in piss, it's on the front parts of my levis so I can handle that for a bit. tour desensitizes one, believe me and anyway, my life is fucking ridiculous. I've got the boat and I've got two guys w/me I love much so that's ok - I'm actually a very lucky man. I find an email from kato (mark kates) on the 'puter - kato's the reason I'm doing the second set tonight (the college reps for columbia are the reason I'm doing the first one), for his fenway records label night at cmj. I hardly ever do these "conference" things - the last one was w/j mascis + the fog (w/ron asheton) in austin four years ago and the other one was the debut of my "...engine room" opera three years before that. I love kato much and would do anything for him and I think it's important that the young people talking about my record get to see me in person and hear some of what this recent opera I'm doing sounds like played. anyway, kato's email has the right address - 116 suffolk, a new place called rothko and we make our way there. I don't have to mention the nightmare of traffic and parking in this town, do I? on top of it, there's a fucking "pizza butt" commercial being filmed across the street and bogarting like all hell. we unload the stuff and I circle 'till by pure luck, I find a one hour spot on delancy. I do the vandance to make sure of no ticket - getting a few minutes to get a liverwurst sandwich but mostly camped in the boat and chimping after changing into a dry lowerpart of my costume. just having the boat safe is enough to put my mind a little at ease. liverwurst is trippy - none of those sandwiches at the chow pads in pedro, I only get them here in this town. they taste strong and I like that.
pete gets me right before seven pm and it's gig time right away. tina's here - she's invited us to her pad in midtown to konk tonight, thank you much. product man chris brown brings the young reps in and we do parts of hell, purgatory and heaven for them - we don't have enough time to do the whole thing but I want them to get a feel for it. they are very nice and respectful to us - much respect to them. I explain I'm kind of weird and maybe that shows in the piece but I respect columbia much for never putting a boot on me, words in my mouth or shit in my hands - they've always let me fly my freak flag my way and that's the truth. people don't want to believe that but it's truly the case. I've never leaned on them and they've never leaned on me. I tell these young folks this and how it's an honor to show them what I do and have nothing in between to filter or mangle. we do pretty good w/the playing, even though I have use this other amp here instead of my own and raul's on some other drums. at least pete got to play his own organ. yeah, the only kind of lame thing about this gig is the sound guy austin has some issues. I know he rubbed pete the wrong way... I talk nice w/him and he's nice back - I've seen this before when people have kind of a backhand 'tude thing w/my guys and I don't dig but then again, I don't want him mad cuz he is mixing the sound - maybe he's afraid I'll pull some kind of rockstar shit and try to bogart but that's not my scene - why do you think I play w/a watch on? I finish up right when I was told to, even a little earlier so I can give a little spiel to the reps here about what I'm kind of about and how I appreciate their openess towards me. I get down from the stage and it's great to give josh rosenthal a big hug, an old buddy. after, there's pizza at two boots for these folks so me and guys w/tina walk up there so I can shake everyone's hands and talk to who I can. I want them to see there's no handlers or machinery around me. we come into the chow pad and they're all very nice, big claps and everything. I say thank you to each one of them. I talk w/davey, the college radio guy and chris. davey talks about harry chapin - know his work good, whoa. he speaks his mind - good. pete and raul are really glad I had them do this w/me - they've never seen something like this. it's just humans. in a racket so full of jive, there's always ways to be human if you mean it. that's it though, you gotta mean it. even a weird middle-aged punk rocker on bass from pedro. we all got our paths, go your own path - say hi to someone on their path... lose the bullshit, the front, the airs, whatever... "propaganada - all is phony" and then all is said and done... what really is to be said and what gets heard... what gets felt? I'm glad these young folks got to meet me.
back to the rothko pad and after a bit of spiel in the boat, it's time for the ten pm show. cmj crowd this time and I know there's a jam to get a bunch of bands on so I will in no way bogart. somehow my voice is holding up for both these gigs, I admit I'm kind of emotional and have intense intent but am surprised a little, none the less. soundman austin, you're funny - you don't get the monitors turned on 'till the last two songs - even you have to laugh when I asked you about it but I respect you saying the truth and that's what happened instead of covering it up. wow though - to hear only through the mains but whatever, my guys did good and I was proud of them. off the stage - big hugs to brain cullinan, I love him much. a little talk later but we get out quick... I go get the boat but freak out thinking I left my backpack w/the tipurse in it on stage... aaahhh!!!! no turns on red lights in nyc and the one-way streets are making me do a huge loop... finally I get to the pad, panic - get raul and pete panicked even and then realize I never took it out of the boat (which never happens - I always have it w/me). whew. we load up the gear - juan rosenfelder's here and I'm happy to hug him, love juan. kato too - I'm so happy I got to help him out. man, this is trippy cuz for the schmooze you think these things are (and they are), there's still ways to make them human and just cut out that other crap. be sincerely human and just play. we're out pretty quick but I do get to talk w/brian some. he's always had something interesting for me to hear. we put tina in the boat w/us - well, first pete asked if raul and him could go w/some people and I would've said yeah any other time but please not tonight cuz there's a hellride tomorrow to west virginia. we'll be back in nine days though so there's lots of time to visit then (matt, raul's buddy from brooklyn, helped us out - thank you).
up to midtown w/the crazy cab video game-like surreal world of dodgeball they play here w/the vehicles and we make it to a parking pad near tina's. she got a neat pad w/art that mesmerize my guys. she's got the same muslim prayer clock siobhan had at her toronto pad (turns out siobhan got it for her) and she plays the call - a little more canned than the one I heard this last summer in instanbul but still trippy. there's a lot of stuff for my guys to look and wonder at. pete and raul very much were into doing both gigs - something I think I'd get a lot of whining from mabye w/others but this is what a great crew I got. they're tight and they're genuine, they play for keeps and wail their hearts out. no room for babysitters on a watt boat or even a cheerleader and I'm happy to say these cats don't need them. I feel bad asking them to turn early like I am cuz of the miles involved tomorrow. commendable they gave me no grief - pete especially was right there for me. I wonder if raul thinks I'm old. well, I kind of am... I am tired really much so though and a shower 'pert-near melts me into a puddle. staten island john was at this gig too and flowed some mota, tina has some and drink for them too so maybe my guys got to have a little party instead of totally missing out? I wish I could keep up sometimes but hell, I am what I am. I gotta keep a hand on the focus rudder as far where we all gotta be together (one reason I don't hardly chow w/them, give them some non-watt time). the whole day, I never relented... getting tired that way is ok though, it's taken me a life to learn that. I am so forever grateful for people who help me, that is huge grace. now mask and then konk.
friday, october 15, 2004 - morgantown, wv
Long hall today, gonna see five different states, lots of talk about the american civil war, and actually just different battles in general, and the reasons why people wanna fight each other, and the logics of war... also learned about the mason dixon line, and the cumberland gap, probably junior high shit i never paid attention to, mike knows so fucking much about history it amazes me. The time seems to go by faster just talking or writing in the van without music, i think that songs set a time reference, and you can't reach that timelessness feeling that atleast i get when i'm in the boat, seven hours never passed by so fast, plus when i got the human encyclopedia sitting next me things stay pretty interesting. Show up to the club a few hours early, and the boss l.j is there waiting for us, we're gonna head over to his place across the river to eat some dinner. He has the coolest house, it's the old lock house, where the guy who controlled the river locks use to live, the river is about a hundred feet away, you can sit right at it's edge. I take a fully needed shower, i was stinkin' it bad, had to wash the funk of eight states off me, new york city alone left a visible film on me, as soon as i get out supper is ready. Damn l.j, chips and mango salsa, spinach salad, and the a hugh vegetable lasagna... mmmmmmm. After macking, i head upstairs, to lay down and get some reading in. I feel like a new person, stomach full of food, well rested, clean shaven, i even gave myself a hair cut.
Time to head back to the club, loading the gear is gonna be cake, a straight shot from the van to the stage, too bad i was just getting use to the stairs. Sound man chris is there, very cool man, for some reason the sound guy really helps what direction my mood will turn to, i kinda take their cue and come back with the same vibe they're giving me, well this man was very nice and made my good mood even better, some guys are very stand offish, like your invading their space, or wasting their time, those guys suck, and bum me out, and nine times ten, their skills suck too. Most the good sound guys are humble and willing to help, all the suckers seem to compensate their ineptitude with a shitty attitude. It's raining, and i need a walk and some coffee, all right it's a collage town, you'd think one person i asked would know where to score some caffeine... nope, so it takes me a minute, but i find a cafe a block off the main drag, it's right under their noses. After getting some coffee i slowly make my way back to the club. Show hasn't even started yet bands are just starting there sound check, so i grab a brutal bitter, and play mars attacks pinball, it's not the new one either with the monitor, this ones live action, where you get to blow up the saucer, and the aliens shake around all crazy fast, in one part you have to save the the Eiffel tower, and this over blown french accents comes in with things like save le tower, save le tower, hilarious... rad machine. Playing with two locals, moon, and braille drivers. Went up front to watch moon do their sound check, song was that good, and the people starting to come in followed me to the front, when they where done, everyone claps, mark, the singer, says thanks, but that was just our sound check, and we're gonna play that song and some others in about twenty minutes. The band was pretty awesome, some well written pop songs, mark gave me their record, and some new stuff they recorded... thanks. They started their set pretty soon after, and the place started to fill up with all kinds of friendly folks. Alot of moon songs where as good as the one they checked with, had everyones heads bobbing, lots of who and kinks influence, with a little bit of harrison on the leads. Braille drivers up next, the drummer for moon plays the guitar, and their drummer looks just like ginger baker... lots of early euro rock influence as well, both fun bands to play with.
I like setting up my drums to coltrane, it's refreshing, usually at a bar, right when the bands done somebody will put some over played out dated shit on the juke box, ya know. I'm excited about playing, the other bands were real good, and i wanna deliver the same, plus everyones been so cool, i don't wanna repay them with a bucket of clams. I thought we played pretty good, mike and pete thought different, they thought we weren't playing together, it's odd like that, because i've had some stinkers that they thought were the best shows... just a personal thing i guess. I mean there was no major mistakes, the only thing i wasn't happy with was me fucking up pelican man, just played it a bit sloppy, but other than that i thought we all did well. It's good to critical, and judge yourself fairly, but i don't think it's good to be too critical of yourself, if you over analyze to much, i think you lose sight of the big picture, whatever that may be, for me it's delivering the piece as a whole, maybe it gets scratched and scrapped along the way, but it makes it , it gets delivered. Theres a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it's pretty happening i can make it to the end, but now it is time to get nano, and work on the in betweens, smooth out some of the glitches... a work in progress, i'm still learning new things, and new ways to do things while i'm playing it, kinda funny to learn it live in front of people.
After we get the boat loaded, we're sitting out front waitin' for l.j to go back to his house, we're hangin' for atleast a half an hour, i bet he's having a blast in there, he doesn't wanna go home just yet, sure enough he's drinkin' a beer rockin' out to the ramones, tells me we should go if we want, just go ahead and walk in... nice people, donnie too... was a pleasure to meet you, thanks for everything. Back at the house it's total relax time, pete and i mack some leftover lasagna, mike teaches me a bit more about the 'puter, and it's pretty much konk time, got a long hall tomorrow, and i'm sure we could all use the rest.
popped at tina's ,washed up quickly and chowed the kind breakfast that she had made us. we had to move because we had a hellride to west virginia and it would take at least an hour to just get out of manhattan. we hoofed it to the parking garage where we had docked the boat the night before and loaded our bags in. we bid tina goodbye; we would see her in a couple of weeks again when we were back in NY to do our shows. much respect to her for making us feel at home.
I kicked it on the bench seat reading and conking alternately as I would again man the helm for the last part of the trip. watt woke me about a hundred miles out of morgantown and we pulled up in front of the pad (123 pleasant) a couple of hours later. it had sprinkled a little while earlier but fortunately no major rain torrents. the boss of the pad, LJ, opened the door for us and we were going to unload, but LJ offered us some chow at his pad which was about a ten minute drive away. we hopped in the boat again and followed him to his pad; and what a pad it was. it was right on the banks of the river, and it was one of the old lockmaster's pads (the river had these locks for the boats which would allow them to get up the river-sort of like the panama canal). beautiful old house w/ ornate woodwork and a great old curving wood staircase. I roamed around it checking all the architectural details. LJ's lady had made us a kind veggie lasagna, and he popped it in the oven. I made some tea for myself and the chief and chimped some diary while sipping. LJ also made us some very kind spinach salad as a starter. we dug into the lasagna w/ extreme prejudice and topped it w/ some fresh parmesan. damn, that was good. many kudos to LJ (and his girlfriend), for the excellent chow. a good meal is always memorable to us. after the feast we went back to the club; the soundman, chris was waiting for us and LJ graciously helped us bring in our gear. chris had us miked up in short order (he even changed the bottom mike on my leslie to an EV RE-20 as I had mentioned to him that it was my personal fave), and we ran thru the check. everything sounded excellent, so we quickly broke down and I went barside to go into chimp mode. I had two days to do, so I focused very intensely on the matter at hand. Jim the bartender kept me in vodka's for awhile and I sipped these and water while I chimped. The first band, "moon" went on and I listened while writing. very cool stuff. I chimped and chimped and relived the moments in my head but was pretty oblivious to what was going on around me other than listening to the band. the second band, "braille driver" came on and I gave them an ear also. great vocals and stage prescence. I way dug on them too.
I finished up the chimp and got up to mingle a little but I couldn't find raul. I was a little sleepy from the vodka and my muscles felt strangely weak. I tried to shake off the yawns by walking around but I suddenly felt really out of place in that pad; I don't know why, just one of those things. I vowed not to let it affect the performance. braille driver finished their set up and I went to go make the chief some tea, after which I went to rouse him. he was already awake and chimping diary so I grabbed the merch box and went to wait inside w/ rollie. it was freezing in that pad! the AC was cranked up and I was literally shaking w/ my jacket on. I rubbed my hands together to warm em' up- it's really hard to play w/ cold fingers. the chief soon ambled in and we were off. I tried right off to wind myself up but it just wasn't working; I made some really stupid clams and played very sloppy. it brought me way down and I could feel my confidence slipping. I kept telling myself to keep it going- fuck! what's up? I had to sing "boiling blazes" and "angel's gate" in unison w/ the chief as his voice was really hoarse and he didn't want to blow it out. I mush-mouthed the lyrics to "angel's gate" as I couldn't see what I had written down and this was majorly pissing me off as the chief was giving me the stink-eye and I was losing focus thinking too much about it. it was almost as if there was another pete on stage playing and I was looking down on the whole scene. what the fuck was wrong w/ me tonite? we finished the piece and the crowd was very warm to us (I still felt that I had fucked them out of a good show). My one saving grace was the encore; I thought I did picnic' and the dylan song well, but I was getting so self-conscious about the whole sitch that I just wanted to get out of that room. The peeps were very kind to us however and much respect to them. we broke down the tools while watt slung merch' and we soon had everything loaded in the boat. we waited for LJ to show as he was riding shotgun with us. we talked about the gig and I was way down. I felt ashamed. Kristin called and watt talked to her for awhile; he handed the phone over to me but I was feeling so shitty about my lackluster performance that I wasn't much of a conversationalist- sorry k. LJ had not known that we were waiting for him so rollie went in to get him- LJ just handed us the keys and told us to settle in. we drove down to his pad and settled in; I made some tea for watt and ruminated over the gig again. mike was sympathetic- he said we would do better tomorrow. thanks g. I was beat from my beatdown and I went upstairs and climbed into the sack..I was out quickly. laku noc sviraci....
pop to a gray new york city sky a little before seven bells. I go and tell tina we gotta roll early cuz the next gig is in west virginia - trippy how we'll go through five states but that's how different here out east is compared to where we are in the west. she makes up omelettes for us that are good - thank you fore everything, tina. she's lent me her brother's sleep sack so my can get washed - it has to be done by hand and then allowed to air dry or it'll lose all its warmness qualities and being on the move everyday on tour like I do doesn't really allow for that. much respect to her for making that happen for me. oh, what do I remember of the dreaming in my last konk... I was like the hudson river and that was a weird analogy for me on tour, coming through and past the towns... it seemed some wanted nothing to do of my "tour" and had their pads up on stilts or dykes/berms put up to keep out and away. I'd roar on past anyway and I could feel all the silt and mud being carried away w/me. it was strange and very nebulous, nothing too solid - like my form. I tried much to get a handle on it but a comprehension I could rest easy w/kept slipping from my grasp... I kept losing my attention and would see me looking toward a surface (of myself), light being filtered through my watery self and hypnotizing me into space-out trances. it was if the light became more and more like echoes the way sound does in a canyon. of course I had to immediately go for a piss check once I popped cuz of the dream's content but I was dry this time, unlike toronto at siobhan's. this was a good thing to find out, whew. a new shirt and levis for watt - the start of another three-day cycle (I did last night's gig w/out skivvies and those levis were good only for that). tina's been to pedro and she shows me a whisker from my cat, the man... wow. nanny has some of his claws, the ones that had shed.
we hoof over to the lot w/the boat and tina gives me pears she got for us - again, thank you. the plan is to get across manhattan to the west side and take the lincoln tunnel over to new jersey. the midtown traffic is total plug and madness, the taxi people really being idiots. maybe they should have these folks own their own cabs (like in london) and maybe they'd be more careful - I can't believe the risks they take. it's pretty aggressive and I think it's much better to laugh at all than react in kind - fuck that. it takes 'pert-near an hour to get across the hudson (about ten minutes to loop back to the tunnel entrance cuz of a blow-by, raul's still getting it together w/the navigating scene but he's coming along good). so scary in a tunnel totally filled w/cars and trucks crawling through it - my mind keeps thinking someone rear-ending a gas truck and then the fireball coming roaring on us - aahh... keep it calm, watt. we emerge safe though (whew) and travel some beat-up fucking road to get to I-78 west. new jersey is really pretty and rural once you get out the part near nyc, even w/the grayness of the skies. we stop for gas and I get another liverwurst sandwich and supplement it w/one of howard's habaneros. this one is better than yesterday's. raul got it for me while I fueled the boat and said the counter guy was tripping on his latinoness - he looked puerto rican and I think the mexican influx of folks coming to the northeast is wild on them. raul dug it, so do I - variety among people is righteous, I think - makes things interesting and keeps one in learning mode, great. we continue on into pennsylvania, turning southeast on I-81 at harrisburg. too bad we don't have the time cuz we come withing thirty miles of gettysburg and that'd be neat to show my guys. I know d. boon would've had us leave even earlier to make that happen but there'll be a time in a future tour, I know it. we cross into maryland and on to the "national highway" (I-68) at hagerstown. I wonder why that road's called that? trippy how maryland at this point in its westerness is mostly only around this road, like a tentacle reaching towards cali. it gets really narrow around a sideling hill, a mammoth cut-through job on the earth. not a tunnel but a cleave right though the mountains. these are old mountains and pretty rounded off, nothing like the rockies or sierras but the construction job was pretty amazing. at flintstone (wonder if it got its name before the cartoon?), another gassing for the boat and time for fresh ponies, I hand the wheel to pete cuz it's been over six hours. he takes us through cumberland and into west virginia - me and raul tandem a navigation to get us to downtown morgantown. whoa, in one move we went from the biggest city in the u.s. to the biggest college town in west virginia - trippy.
the pad is called 123 pleasant street (from its address) but I first played here years ago when it was called the underground railroad. bossman lj is there to meet us, good to see him again, much respect to brother lj. his girlfriend has prepared us some lasagna for us and so after load-in, we head over to his pad (an old lockmaster house on the monongahela) real close by and he puts it in the oven - really good eats. he made some salad for us that had cranberries in it and I dug that too. we go back over to the pad and do soundcheck w/a real good cat named chris and then after a phoner spiel, I go to the boat and chimp. not only do I chimp diary but I also code up the last weeks diaries from me and my guys so I miss out on my konk. it's not as intense on me as it was when I missed my konk in minneapolis cuz I was by myself and not spieling. I know it might not be that apparent but spieling can really REALLY tire me out, even the phone ones I do for press. I like it cuz people w/something say interest me and I'm always afraid of missing out on something if I constantly avoid conversation. the reality though is a have only a finite amount of energy and as the years make me a little less young, I find I have to be more careful on how I ration it out on a tour. god, I know that makes me sound feeble but it's where I'm at and I have to deal w/that. it bums me some but I just have to deal. lj's partner donny gave us some pears and I chow one, they're great - love 'em. though the boat was out front, I can't really hear the opening bands and maybe that's cuz of the rain or cuz I was intense in tour spiel world. they were two local ones, moon and the braile drivers and when pete comes to get me, he says they both were good. I go to the boat's to get my bass and find the rain's stopped. alright. last year our load-out was made so intense by the downpour that would just not quit here. that's a hard go - paul had just come on board to take pete's place, I remember this gig being very frustrating cuz paul was still learning to look at me on stage for direction. though he'd learned the stuff well, it had been six weeks since I left w/pete and jer for tour and then him taking pete's place. he did good though, I kind of over-reacted in a spazout when the gig was done but we made it better the next morning. paul's a beautiful man and it was neat touring w/him. my first keyboard project was a duet w/him in the mid to late 80s called crimony. I only wrote one song for that band but made bass parts to ones he wrote. it got me started on wanting to make a power trio w/an organ some day.
ANYWAY, back to the moment and watt w/the secondmen here in morgantown. man, it's late - after midnight but I'm not going to let me get like I was in montreal, no matter what shape I'm in - I just gotta plow through. it's another tough gig for me w/my voice and pete's helping me out some w/"boiling blazes" and a little of "the angels gate." we're not too sharp tonight, a little sloppy but the spirit's good. I've been thinking about this shit w/my voice and what could it be. I'm realizing that maybe it's as if I've been on tour for 'pert-near nine weeks now cuz when I got back from the summer stooges gigs in europe, that's when jer told me he couldn't tour this fall. I spent the next five weeks everyday (except for the times I did three other stooges gigs) w/pete learning raul the piece. some of these pracs went up to five hours, it was intense. of course I had to do spiel so raul could learnt to cue off those. he did great but I think all this prac took a toll on me and now I'm dealing w/the strains I've obviously put my voice through. I thought that what happened in denver was just an altitude thing and maybe it partly was (it did come back soon after that very tough lincoln gig) but I have to consider all the hours I put on my throat during our teaching/learning time in the pedro prac pad before the tour. like I said, there's some fumbleness but I think we did good despite that. a little frustrating cuz we can make the piece more powerful w/us binding together tighter but still, every night's gonna be a different take. the folks are most kind to us and bring us back for more. thank you all much. it makes it so much worth when people thank you for coming to play their town, truly. michelle, a lady who writes for the paper and saw me play here in the old days, gives me a big hug. thank you, michele. there's more than a few bass players who want to talk bass - I'm glad to do this and do it most gigs, I like the idea of us just taking turns being on stage and being in an audience. I have to admit that when I see a band that I w/out thinking focus in on the bass player and wonder how I would do the job they're doing, at the same time, trying to pick up on some new ideas they might be bringing to me. it's a trip. it helps me some w/the insecurity thing, not being able to live up to some reputation or whatever that might've preceded me and I let someone down. that goes w/folks other than bass cats too, of course - aahh, to fret like that so. sometimes there'll be someone way into what you're doing and then their buddy next time them 'pert-near rolling their eyes, like "whatever" and it makes me squirm. you can't make everyone happy - I know that - but what really weirds me out is having to live up to hype, I don't think I'll ever be able to that. the nagging thing inside me though is knowing I can't do my best in the spiel part like the way I am now. aahh, it's agonizing. I don't want to have to rely on anyone's charity about not having to hurt my feelings. even when I'm in good shape, I've learned not to "buff the badge" too heavy, it's silly cuz I know I couldn't live w/myself, acting like that. it's not my way. anyway, much respect to all these cats, I promise to do better next time.
so glad the rain's let up so our load-out is made easier that way. it's cold in these parts this time of night - we're waiting in the boat for lj and finally, raul says he wants to run in and see what's up. turns out lj didn't know we were waiting for him - ha! we were sure silly to not have gone and checked earlier. no big deal, it's always fun w/us three talking - the only real intense spiel-down is immediately after the gig, just to exchange some thoughts on the tactical. you get much more perspective as the minutes pass and I 'pert-near always admit how glad I am my guys do as good as they do, they are some fine sailors. we head on over to the lj's and pete gets the rest of the lasagna ready... I think at first it's for both him and raul but then he places this whole parcel of chow (like two bricks mortared together) inside him via a couple of bites... amazing. a mota hit from what donny gave raul and I'm soon in the sack tina's brother has used on mountains (he climbs them - big ones like mount mckinley). big train coming down the track outside, whoa... we're pretty much amazed but man, coming on four - a late one tonight. noches.
saturday, october 16, 2004 - lexington, ky
Massive amounts of rain on the first half of the drive to lexington, even drove through some hail, pretty intense stuff. Playing the dame in down town lexington, show up the the club about an hour before load in, we're in luck though, the boss, cole, walks up and lets us in, he also makes pete and i a strong pot of coffee. Cool place, it's three stories tall, up stairs is their hugh office, and down stairs there's a prac pad, an enormous green room' and a wood working room, and like ten other closed doors... hugh. Cole asked us if we mind the sound guy being a bit late, not at all,that gives us time to set up with out being rushed. Once the sound guy shows, we run through a quick check. Kinda bored, pete and i take a walk in search of some dinner. Down town lexington is down right creepy, maybe it was just my mood, but it feels post apocalyptic, pete said it reminded him of berlin, and there was no one around, i swear we didn't see another person for like fifteen minutes, zombieville, maybe it's just a late town we thought. After walking out of a shitty pizza place, and an over priced pub, we find, what we thought it was we were looking for, turned out to be the worst food of tour for me... blah. This place seems void of any personality, i'm thinking maybe it's because we are so close to the hotels, and there isn't even a local to speak of, just tourist, and anyone who vacates here, must be from somewhere pretty scary. I'm sorry lexington, i shouldn't be so hard on you, i just didn't feel welcomed or something, all the people i met that owned the dame where super cool, i guess it was just the vibe i got from that part of the city.
Playing with a band called city mouse, i've met the singer misty before, she's from east Los angeles, and used to work for a local label... small world, said she just got in car one day, and headed east, also told me alot of folks are mad at city mouse for getting this gig, it's only their third show, and some locals don't feel it's quite deserved yet... whatever. before their set i spend some time with her, and her friend hannah, playing super contra, nice people, their band kinda sounds like josie and the pussy cats or something. Place is pretty crowded, and everyone seems to dig on city mouse, let's see how they respond to the secondmen. I'm kinda in a weird mood tonight, i think maybe it the combination of getting rubbed the wrong way by the city, and that shitty meal i ate earlier, i sorta feel like barfing... blaaaahhhh!!!, i need to go lay down, so i head down below, throw on some richman, and relax for most of their set.
The sound was pretty decent when we sound checked, so i thought with the addition of people it could only get better... wrong, all i could hear was cymbals and vocals, kinda trippy, i don't know what happened, i pulled through though, the boys thought the set was decent, but i know i could do it way sharper, i can't seem to get a hold on certain things, and i'll keep changing the tempo slightly in the middle of a song, it's flippin irritating, i couldn't hear the keyboard either, and that's a shitter, cuz i sometimes need to use pete as a timing reference... oh well, it happens. Some girl during the kept screaming play one for downey, even during the quite bass solos, like mike's gonna just stop, okay, i dedicate this solo to downey, man he did an excellent job keeping his concentration, after the set, she came on stage and was trying to sling shirts all borrach' style, third of the crowd was smashed, very respectful though, they dug the set. Had a few people offer use a konk pad, but we opted for an old friend of mikes, dawn, sweet sweet lady, she told me last time mike stayed with her he almost got the cops called on him by her grandmother. It was a good night, stayed awake for a while shooting the shit with her and her friend wes, i felt like a mud, so i had some tea, hopped in the shower, and called it a night. I snuck of off to a room in the back of the house, and slept with a giant plant named Seymour... little shop of horrors. Hi ma, happy birthday.
popped at LJ's; I had had a great night's sleep and I felt pretty good. did a quick wash up, got the gear together and loaded it up in the boat- we waited for LJ to show up as he was bringing us some coffee and he soon showed up and fed our jones. much respect to you LJ for being so cool to us.
the road to lexington was a relative hellride; I conked in the back and alternately read "the sand pebbles" until it was time for me to man the helm- I hit the last hundred miles of the trip; watt had been driving thru a major downpour as we passed thru west virginia, but mr. sun came out on my part of the ride. the only fucked part is that I had to deal w/ a major headwind coming into kentucky. rollie guided me in and we were in front of the pad in a short time. cole, the manager of the pad (the dame) soon showed up and let us in. I was feeling majorly slimey and I needed to wash up big time. I had a couple of coffees w/ rollie and we loaded all the gear into the pad and set it up- we watched a luc besson flick on the tube; "the professional" for awhile, then I went to do a wash and shave in the head (finally shaved off my beard too, first time I've seen my chin in a while). Joe, the soundman showed up and miked us up proper and we ripped thru the check'. everything sounded cool so we went to scope out some chow pads; lexington was absolutely dead- we were actually wondering where all the people were. we found a little pad and munched out- it made us feel much better (and me less grumpy). we headed back to the dame where I went into chimp mode, then went downstairs to kick it for awhile. the singer and bass player for the opening band (city mouse); misky and kaye came down and we introduced ouirselves. nice cats. they went upstairs to start the set and I listened for awhile- I was so into misky's pipes that I had to go up and check them out. she was wailing and I was way into them. they finished up their set and I made the chief's tea and went to go rouse him and grab the merch box. me and rollie then set up the tools and waited for the chief. he soon ambled in and we were off once again. I have to say that we did the piece very well (I was determined not to repeat my previous nite's performance), and we reaaly came together. there were some clams of course, but we rammed everything home nonetheless and the crowd was way into it. we went up and did the encore set and it was equally on fire. much respect to the lexington cats for being so nice to us. me and rollie packed up tools while watt slung the merch; a young lady named masha came up to me to thank us for the performance; turns out she is serbian and I totally blew her mind when I started speaking to her in the language (I was thrilled to have the opportunity). we talked about the war sitch there and I told her we would probably hit serbia next year on our european tour- she was enthralled to say the least. very nice lady.
we loaded up the tools into the boat and followed an old friend of watt's (dawn) back to her pad along w/ her boyfriend wes. we got there and settled in; I made some tea for watt and myself and we all rapped for awhile until I felt the adrenalin leaving me. wes had gone out in an attempt to procure some red wine for us (much respect wes), but the attempt was unsuccessful due to the late hour. it was just as well. I was really beat and my back hurt from the gig. I scored a bed in the back room and sueno hit me in short order. buona notte musicanti.....
pop at nine bells - damn, we gotta get under way. w/weather like this (not raining yet but threatening big time), it's good to have a healthy time buffer so you don't have to haul ass. I get week four of the tour diaries up via lj's phone line and then hose off. lj's got coff but no coff maker, a search proves futile. I see a badger or something out in the grass by his pad, trippy little cat. he's poking around in the grass. I turn on the water faucet and he can hear it - damn, must be forty yards or something away. I know cuz I do it repeatedly and each time he puts his head up and looks in my direction but I'm on the inside looking out a window. I imagine him trying to see me through the window - I'm not close to the glass so I'm wondering if he sees me. it's trippy cuz I had a dream about looking in windows or rather, out windows and seeing reflections back on each other. in the dream, I was in the smallest of room and had to turn my head sideways to get my head into this smaller room adjacent. as it was, I had to be laying on my side w/my legs drawn up to my chest all fetus-like... this other room only big enough for my head if it too was side ways but I had to press it as close to the deck as possible - pressure on my eardrum from ear cupping and sealing up on the deck - I felt my eyes pulled in from this pressure but I felt compelled to get my head in there cuz that's where a window was. my arms were behind my back and there wasn't enough room to get them around my front. I felt I had to slow my breathing down to almost the bare nada cuz all the oxygen seemed to be getting used up w/each subsequent breath. I didn't feel like panicking or struggling though - it all seemed so matter of fact, like this is the way it's always been. weird. anyway, I got my head in the little room and one wall was in fact a window but then there were windows in front of that, like layers of window w/maybe a foot in between each. the windows weren't so clean, in fact filthy and the glare made it hard to see how far down I could actually see down. reflections upon reflections were confusing me. I could hear water rushing but not like I was an ark in a flood but more like pipes running just inside the walls - not exposed but I could feel them vibrating each time there was something rushing through them, like they weren't mounted down to good and resonated w/the pressure of them carrying whatever it was. I believed it was water - I pondered on this, how and why? I don't know. I just know it wasn't automatically like I knew it was water, I had to figure it out. through the windows, I tried so hard to peer and peer, no glasses on, my eyes were blurry. this went on for sometime and then at once I felt a pressure in me, like I was filling up. it was though I was a rubber raft and my limbs were pushing out straight. it was trippy to discover I was like marshmellow inside one of those chocolate-covered cookies and the room burst around me but was stuck to me, like the chocolate coating on the marshmellow - more and white w/the chocolate (which were the room's walls) become unconnected pieces stuck to my skin (of course, I was naked). I was full extended and the window(s) snapped into two, each half on each eye, like (get this) glasses! they were motherfucking coke bottles. it was then I thought of the funny shit we coming up w/on stage at club metronome in burlington - it was a pun on the name of a policy of imperialism rationalized as inevitable (as if granted by god), manifest destiny. our spin on it was "man erect next to me." when I popped, I laughed. it was weird.
I roust my guys and say we got to go. lj says he'll go get coff cuz one thing he forgot was a coff machine. we wait in the boat for him, seems like forever. we gotta move - we'll just get the coff when he comes back. he does and I get the coff from him right out his window, big hugs from him when I'm done. lj is very cool people - much respect to you, brother. he had quiche and chow laid out for us but we gotta move, lj is a generous man - again, much respect to him... someone who wants you to work his club, let you konk at his pad and chow you big time - watt bows deeply to you, lj. my guys dig him much too. funny how much a machine a lot of the music racket is and then there's folks like this - I've been so lucky to know about this perspective for so much of my years playing for folks cuz of the punk movement I came from but I never getting tired of saying how grateful for the act of human kindness shared by generous folks who'll have me and my guys aboard. it puts a glow in you, from the inside out (can it ever be the other way around? that might be scary to try and trust).
as we move out of town on us-19 (some intense hairpins for the main conduit!) and onto I-79, the rain starts up on us. whoa. the drive south to charleston is a pretty one w/it's dry - deep valleys along side the roads, up and down the mountain grades. it's still neat in a way w/all the rain but it requires much focus can shit can get dangerous quick and I want as low a risk factor going as we can - these idiots speeding by, the worst are the ones who do it in giant fucking semis pulling trailers - just crazy. tailgating too. well, let them get on by and I'm happy to be out of their way and away from them. I swear I'd like to print up som bumper stickers of my own version of "united we stand" - I'd put "united we drive safe on the roads w/each other" or something like that, sheesh. seems sometimes we climb right up into the darkest of clouds, they burst their swolleness w/huge raindrops on us, intense. at least the boat gets a good washing. cuz of the deep valleys and mountain peaks, there are spots where the rain just up and ceases - even blue coming on through for a bit. we get gas and raul runs next door to get a tuna sandwich from the 'way there. another one of howard's habaneros and it's good eats though a little thin on the innards, raul's is pretty thick so maybe they were running out. no matter, I can dig it anyway. there must be a motorcycle thing - lots of small trailers being pulled w/motorcylces on them. makes me think of the bikers in my town who absolutely loath anyone who would go to their kind of gathering w/out riding their own bike. there's a cat named donnie who I used to see at harold's (rivers of bourbon for watt there for a time) who was always nice to me... he'd tell about the hellrides he took to sturges and as years went by, he'd see more and more of this. when movements get co-opted, lots of times they get diluted seems to be the human lesson taught there. we get to chareston and onto I-64 west, lots of construction here in town but the weather's starting to lighten up. we get to the border on kentucky and it's all sun on us now, alright... thank you, bluegrass state! at grayson, pete takes the helm and gets us into lexington, where richard hell is from. he was my first punk rock hero, had a sticker of him on my bass at eighteen. he helped change my life on how I looked at music. d. boon dug him a lot too, loved richard's guitarist in the voidoids, bob quine (so sad he passed away a few months ago - I got to record w/him once when lee ranaldo had us both help him w/a cover of dylan's "visions of johana" - steve shelley did the drums). I help raul a little bit but he mainly does the job of getting us to where the gig is downtown at a pad called the dame. we're a little early (better than a little late) but at least we're here safe. my guys go out to hoof and forge for chow while I do a phoner spiel.
a pleasure to work for the bossman cole here, last time I played this town I was w/him but I can't remember the name of the pad - I think it was w/the pair of pliers (tom and vince). we do a souncheck w/soundman joe and then I go to the boat to chimp. I call thalia and tell her about the necklace getting broke. she's says it's ok, they're not supposed to last forever and she'll have another one for me when I get back to pedro. I never took it off, actually I didn't know how to... I just felt safer w/it on. I had done a benefit in pedro for the skatepark there and after the gig there was an art show a block away. I was talking to folks and kind of caught up in that and never noticed it getting on me. I was very surprised to wake up w/it on. sometime later, I told thalia about it and she said she put in on me, something about it helping to bring me peace. that was trippy but nice. I eat a tin of 'dines w/crackers - that'll be good enough chow for me tonight. sometimes on tour, that's the way I feel cuz I don't like feeling heavy for playing and my nerves. just enough chow to stay healthy, it kind of gives me an edge - same w/the studio. too much chow gets me slow. every now and then, a major shovel but I can't do that regular when I got this kind of duty. I finish my entry and then konk, blankies on me good cuz it's kind of cold.
pete does his summons on me and it's gig time. there was an opening band called city mouse who're from lexington and pete said they were real good. damn, wish I could've seen them. oh well, I'm inspired anyway cuz when my guys are lit up by the openers, I want to share that enthusiasm. we start the piece and I like the way we're doing it, the secondmen have a firey spirit tonight and I'm w/it. in fact, the only place I stumble is near the end, w/"pluckin'..." - I lose a whole stanza of the last verse cuz I lost focus. yeah, pete dropped some tempo on a lead-in but I should've kept it more together than that, embarrassing. it makes me a little weird for the final "pelicanman" but I hold on. we come off stage and I tell my guys they did good and then try to explain myself (and apologize) for "pluckin'..." goof. we do the shorten encore I've been having us do lately (though last night we did do the cobra verde tune) and then we're done. damn, I could've done "we are time" better - maybe it's my weakest take on that one this tour. aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhh. the folks are once again generous, many kind words as I sling. someone says they got some mota they want me to have - I don't have my glasses on yet so I can't see that well, especially in the dark but then I see it's dawn, she had us over her grandma's last time we were in town. that was a trip cuz her grandma didn't know we were there 'till morning and then almost called the man on me 'till dawn "enlighten" her to my reason for being there - that was a pants-shitter! I meet a bassist from ohio named ben and let him play my bass - he keep apologizing he's kind of borracho but he's not obnoxious or mean and I tell him not to worry - I want him to keep on w/his bass. his cousin erica is cool too - her pop was a sailor and in viet nam like mine. I want ben to stop worrying about looking silly cuz he's doing no harm, he never hassled me, I wanted him to try on the little bass, it's ok to. I let his cousin also to show him. I then get his buddy tom's email so I can send them a picture of me and him w/the little bass (I get tom to take it). it's a good time here, there's a lot of happening folks who want me to know they're glad I came here to play, much respect to all of them. I get to say thank you to walter, a cat I did a phoner w/last week - he had some good stuff for me to spiel on. there's a lady from downey, california that wants to make sure I know that - so does her boyfriend. she tries to help me sling, she kind of does for a bit though I wish I could do it myself cuz it just works better that way. I appreciate the thought though. this sound like it might've been going on for hours but actually, all this goes down pretty quick. we're sailormen and we got another port to head for so it's up and at 'em.
dawn's invited us to konk at her trailer park pad so we pack up the stuff to follow her and her boyfriend wes. first I settle w/cole and tell him what a pleasure it was to play for him again, thanks much. he apologizes that the only thing I asked for was hot water and he couldn't get that right but I tell him not to worry about that, no way. the trailer park's not too far away and the trailer itself is like any apartment on the inside, it's nice. I get the konk sack out and drink some throatcoat tea pete's fixed up for me. dawn has this trippy book on belligerent shit said about some by others, famous folks on other famous folks. I find some mean stuff put on henry james and chimp in the 'puter tipurse cuz I want to flow to raymond to see what he things - he loves henry james. raymond is like d. boon where I love bouncing things off him to help me learn more. me and pete get a scary story from wes about him being on the freeway when a tire from a big rig came off and bounced right in front and over him after shooting up way into the air. definitely a pants-shitter. w/that I get a little scared and try to run away from those thoughts w/some konk. not a bad thing to hear though - helps keep one humble behind the wheel... good medicine. next offramp for watt: snoresville.
sunday, october 17, 2004 - knoxville, tn
Got into town pretty early, and found the club with only one hitch, i had us going west when we should of been going east, only about a half mile though, and we had time so it wasn't too bad, just had to re route our distructions, and we're there. hopped out and went to the coffee place across the street. Man i didn't realize how fuckin' tired i was, but i'm sittin' on the couch in the back reading some, and suddenly i wake up and two hours have passed. trippy to, cuz i right when i open my eyes, i get up and go, still half a sleep, i make this turn into the first alley. I start thinkin' i'm i still sleeping, i feel like i'm in this total dream state, and the stuff i was reading right before i feel asleep had the same theme going, this man has reoccurring dreams of this old dilapidated city, and he becomes obsessed with what lies beyond, so he's go on a dream quest, and i swear as i'm walking along totally out of reality, the buildings start getting older and more beaten down, and there's no one around, and it feels like i'm in some other world, then i see a sign, i'm not dreaming, i'm in old town knoxville, place looks rad, it's totally deserted, almost like a ghost town, it is sunday though, and small towns seem to shut down on sundays. I walk around for about an hour looking for signs of life... none, so i head back to the boat to see what the dudes are up to, watts chimpin', tells me that they already loaded the gear the gear, thanks dudes, they knew i was crashed, and they went ahead and let me catch up on some sleep.
Old town knoxville has the coolest look, and with no one around, i felt like i had the city to myself, after exploring all the old alley ways, i make way to the old train yard and read a bit more. It's starting to get cold, and sound check isn't until eight thirty, so there's still much time to kill. I head back to the coffee shop, down two cups of pumpkin coffee, and a black bean burger, mmmmmm. Just as i'm about done chowing, i see pete walking down the street, he suggests we call up regina, the girl putting on the show, and go relax at her pad for a couple hours... good thinking, she comes to pick us up within' ten minutes. super cool girl, has a pretty rad house that is shared with three other people, meet the roomies, play with the animals, ya know, good times. Charlie, one of the housemates, is making some indian food, smells so good too, but i just ate so i have to pass, pete macks. Regina tells me they have a record player at the club, and if i want i should feel free to go through her collection and pick some stuff out, really good collection... i only pick one though... a dead moon l.p, that's just the way it is.
Back at the club, this place rules, we're actually playing a punk club, it's called the pilot light, and there's graffiti everywhere, and dollar shlitz... After doing the check, regina makes me a pot of coffee, and hands me a pabst, i love this girl, she also hands me the phone, eh, yeah, this is him, who is this, it's daniel from Chattanooga, and we're thinking about driving up to the show, very cool i tell i'll put him plus one on the list... how many y'all coming, oh somewhere between twelve and sixteen people, holy shit, i can't put all you guys on the list, so i talk to regina, turns out she used to hang out in Chattanooga, and knows most the fools coming, so even though it's a guarantee show she'll cut them all a deal, see what i mean, so cool. Playing with the pink sexies tonight, i was out front talking with the bass player, and he told me it was their second to last show, everything should have an ending he tells me, and i wanna end this while we're all still friends. They where pretty bad ass, he also told me they gave the singer a keyboard, to serve as a kinda leash, didn't seem to help, he was dry humping people, running around in circles, and only making short trips to the keyboard only to bash it with the microphone... good times.
I thought are set was pretty decent, except i dropped a stick on the first song, right before we went on i was outside talking to cole, and when i went to play, my hands were frozen, got warmed, found focus, and got into it. It was so good to see some friends, most people that i know from chattanooga came up, and even some that i didn't know, at first both regina and me were kinda scared, cuz if you know anything about chattanooga, you know these girls and boys can bring it, and with a gang of sixteen you'd be scared too. The people that ran the club, and at the, club put me at ease, felt like i was with my own, well i was, so many nice locals too, all around great gig, except for having to take a piss a third into the set, you see i start downing water about an hour before we play, and i can't piss it all out before we go on, plus i think i have a little baby bladder, so sometimes i pee like ten times within' the hour, so usually after the first set is done i head straight for the toilet, other times i just piss myself while i'm playing... just kidding, really, i put it in a cup, and i feed it to your mom... thanks melltzer. had a blast playin' knoxville
After pete and i, and half the chattanooga crew load up the gear, i say my good byes, and go inside to grab charlie, he's gonna lead us back to the house. Every ones beat, so it's pretty mellow back at the pad, mike konks almost instantly, charlie, pete and i retire to the front porch for a smoke, after chowing some leftover indian food. I hit the shower, then hit the sack. Y'all should check out these chattanooga punk bands, add/c, and queer wulf, their both on this hear records, a local label, they got a pretty rad punk scene going on. You should take your band there and check it out, town knows how to have a wreckless good time, and chattanooga folks, are some of the raddest people i've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
popped at dawn's and my back was hurting me from the previous nite- I should've let rollie have the bed instead of too-quickly bogarting the bedroom- serves me right (karma always comes around). I went to do a much needed hose-off and fortunately dawn had a massage shower head so I cranked that fucker up to rip-your-skin-off mode and let it pound my aching back (it made things a little more bearable). having finished my primp, I went to go grab some coff'; dawn didn't have any so rollie got some from our dry stores on the boat (she's a home and a feeder she is). dawn gave me some aleve for the pain but I opted to tough it out cause' that naproxen sodium makes me feel funny.
we packed up our bags into the boat, bid a goodbye to dawn and were off toward's knoxville. much respect to dawn and wes for having us and showing us some major southern hospitality.
the drive was a pretty short one as our rides go and I read "the sand pebbles" and conked. the back was a little better from the sleep and we were in front of the pad we were playing at (the pilot light) in good time. we had several hours to go before load-in so me and rollie went to a local coff' pad to get the jones going. we had the pad basically to ourselves so we sipped on the very kind coff' and perused the paper. I found out that christopher reeve died- too bad, I remember going to see "superman" as a kid and it sort of bummed me out. it was a shame that he went before a cure was found for his paralysis- he was evangelical in his aim to do this and helped lead the way for much research to help other quadrapelegics. he left a quite a legacy.
I was starting to get antsy after the coff', so I decided to hoof it around town; rollie opted to stay put as he was starting to conk on the very comfy couch in the pad and I didn't want to break his rice bowl. I took off and hoofed for about five miles, but didn't really see anything as it was a sunday and we were in a heavy industrial area. it was a boneyard basically- no one around. I did love all the old industrial buildings and the exercise and solitude helped clear my head. I headed on back to the boat and climbed in the bench seat; watt was chimping in front and he told me there was wi-fi access so I turned my air-port link on and read some email. regina, the boss of the pilot light showed up and graciously helped us load the gear in and invited us over to her pad to hang out. watt wanted to finish the chimp and I wanted to finish my email, so she left us her phone number so we could call her later if we wanted to hang and somebody would pick us up.
I finished up my homework and decided to go look for rollie- he wasn't in the coff' pad so I hoofed it around looking for him- not finding him I went into a local irish pub, ordered up an irish coffee and read the local music rag. I quickly bored however, and went to continue my search for rollie. I crossed the street and there he was chowing down in a little pad there. I joined him and we decided to call regina to come and pick us up. she arrived in about twenty minutes and drove us over to her pad; she lives w/ severa; roommates and they are very cool peeps. she had just made a curry soup w/ potatoes and tofu and we munched on this over buckwheat pasta. very kind. the time was soon nigh for the soundcheck so we headed on back to the pilot light. we set up the tools and soon the knobsman, carey showed up after which we ripped thru the check'. the PA was iffy but everything sounded good and I really liked the vibe of this pad. reg' made us some coff' and I pounded down about a gallon while chimping (made me piss like a fucking racehorse).
after I had left chimpsville, I went outside for a choke and struck up a convo' w/ a cat named brian who wanted to videotape the show. I was way into it (as always), and brian was a very articulate conversationalist. we shared very much of the same views on corporations and music. very nice cat. I went back inside as the first band, the pink sexies was starting their set and I wanted to give em' a listen. they had set up right in front of the stage and they . I was way into em'. they had a late 70's NY hardcore vibe and the singer went off. very cool. I went to sit in the back to gain some solitude before our set and to gather my thoughts. the sexies' finished their set and I went to go rouse the chief and grab the merch' box. I came back in and turned on the B3 and leslie then waited w/ rollie for the man to show up. he soon made his appearance, plugged in and we were off. I thought we did really good, we were all pretty "on" and there were a few clams, but nothing major. I was smiling it up the whole time and rollie and the chief responded in kind. the peeps showed us much love and were way into the piece. we came back up after and ripped thru the encore stuff- all in all I was very happy about the gig; I really love the knoxville folks. we packed up the gear, watt slung the merch and we had the tools loaded in the boat lickety-split. we followed one of reg's roommates back to the pad and settled in- burned a little of the midnite mote and I talked to watt's friend tone' for awhile on the walkie talkie; it was good to hear him- tone is way cool peeps. I went out on the porch and rapped w/ rollie and one of reg's roommates for awhile, but I was really beat down from the gig so I climbed into the sack and was in suenoville before you could say...laku noc sviraci....
pop at nine bells. got a shower last night (liking that more and more and it makes sense w/this clean konk sack) so none needed now, woke up w/out the marinate I've been giving myself since toronto and getting the sack switch from tina. I had a dream this trailerhome was like the boat and I was on tour, somehow morning had come and I had to get the gig but couldn't get out of the sack to wheel it to the next town. I tried and tried but couldn't budge, damn. then I looked out the window and things were moving by - hmm... I began to feel motion - we were moving! I panicked - who was at the wheel? I tried to holler but the hoarseness had become total and not a sound would come from my way-open mouth. I couldn't see either pete or raul... they must be in the other room, next to the head. damn, the sack was bound tight up around my neck and I couldn't free my arms to get them out to try and free me... it was a fucked-up situation, really. it seemed like hours (more like days!) and finally we came to a stop. I was totally upset but it seemed it was for the most insane reason: the fact I couldn't see my watch to know if we were late for soundcheck! I agonized and agonized, trying to figure ways to explain to both the promoter and the man-outside-the-van steve kaul. of course I wanted to tell the truth but thought they would think me out of my fucking gourd. this dream seemed really REALLY real and caused me much frettin' - what a relief when I popped... well, not at first cuz when I opened my eyes, it was all black - I thought it was night and we missed the gig for a second but then realized the mask was still down over my peepers. idiot watt, realizing that but still much relieved it was just a dream. dawn's up (must've heard me stumbling to the head, my balance ain't so good right after I pop) and she's got no coff but I tell her not too worry cuz we've got some from a generous donate earlier in the tour and just having a coff maker is good enough. we pour that down and then bid dawn farewell and thank you much.
it's a straight shot south on I-75 for knoxville and we've lucked out again w/righteous cali-like weather once again. well, maybe not so cali-like now cuz when I call my ma (it's sunday, the day I do that), she tells me so cal got their first rain in six months and it's a drencher. I talk to my sister melinda too and she's started being in class w/the kids for her teaching credentials, stephen white school in pedro. I'm glad she's right in town and don't have to do hellrides. she says the little ones are way into video games so she's going to explore that as angle to get them to learn stuff. me and her are not from those times (video game-wise) though we use 'puters, it's a culture not too familiar w/us. melinda's intent on making connections though, I love her spirit about this - it's not just switching jobs, from hairdresser to teacher but a mission of sorts. I think that's the way I am w/music too so maybe it's in the blood. I let pete and raul each talk w/my ma, I want her to get to know my guys - she reads the diaries but like a friend told me before, the human voice has something about it that's unto itself. I also am trying to put it in their heads to call their mas too so they won't be worrying... every ma must worry about their boy when he sallies forth. we stop for gas and as I pump, raul gets me a tuna sandwich from the 'way at the station here. I lace it w/one of howard's habaneros - damn, only four left (maybe someone will have a new batch soon?). today's 'way is way more stout then yesterday's paltry picking - though I wish I could get the tuna w/out the mayo. oh well. I point out to pete and raul the tobacco-drying barns and some fields have some of it coming in - a very trippy looking plant. I show them too the "bluegrass" isn't as blue as you might think but it does have a look of its own. we leave kentucky for tennessee and make for knoxville, only a three hour drive. we're not there yet though, still a potential wander when he the city. raul gets confused w/his east from his west and we 'pert-near blow through the town though I sensed as much and get off before head much more for nashville (we're on I-40 for a little bit). I pull over and consult the map - I make a little error myself direction-wise and bring the boat about to get us right. the gig's in the old town part of knoxville, only a block from where I played last time in town. it's called the pilot light and I went and said hi to the folks after that gig (it was at blue cats) - I'm sure glad we're here tonight instead of that last pad cuz it's way more earthier and what we're about. a sunday down here is like a ghost town and I find a good spot to park close easy. I go get coff - there's some pumpkin spice kind at a pad nearby but damn, it sure is watery. don't mean to sound like a whiner, sorry. I go back to the boat and chimp while my guys wander. regina, the gigboss walks by and says load in isn't 'till eight so we can go to her house but I want to chimp and also, I know I'd start spieling and I gotta be calm on the talkbox in my throat. I've been checking for wifi just for the fuck of it after finding a hotspot accidently in cleveland heights and what do you know? one's here. pete surfs w/his tipurse a while (he likes reading everyone's diary from the hoot page) and then bails for regina's while I hold the fort here in the boat. I got two emails from two guys at recent gigs we were concerned about. one's from that cat in indianapolis who was arrested at the end of the gig while we we're loading out. turns out his name is jon and after twelve hours, he was released w/no charges. great. he's got a label too, it turns out - records. alright. the other email is from the cat in toronto that pete yelled at while we were doing our dylan cover, randy. he's very sorry and apologizes much - I both write him back saying it's ok, pete didn't mean to get like that and I also forward his email to pete cuz he felt really bad about yelling at him. pete's a good man.
my guys get back and we set up for soundcheck - we'd already loaded when regina first came around. the p.a. has taken some blows here - ripped cones and it's sort of combine of different stuff - the monitors are pure toy but we love this place much - I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, just being descriptive. I'm very used to these pads, played lots of them as a minutemen and love them cuz they're worked w/love and not just crass whatever. what's can be neat about a pad is it's soul, which is much about the folks working there too. we check w/soundman kerry and then I hit the boat for konk but not before chowing down the righteous currie soup regina made that pete brought me - it's really good and even though there's no spoon, I just pour it down the gullet. I have some 'dines too and then it's sleepytown. I'm looking forward very much to playing tonight, the only bummer (just kind of) is that pete once again donated the john coltrane "sun ship" cd (fourth one this tour and I only brought four - not being bright enough to also put it on my hard drive - aaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhh... am glad though I got the original at home). not pete's fault really cuz he's got a lot on his mind, he does much for me as does raul, they are two very essential brothers to me, I can't stress that enough. a little thing like a cd donate is nothing in the big scheme of things although at first I grieved a bit for not having trane there to help us w/the piece - the "sun ship" being very much an inspiration for us and hopefully for the folks who've come to the show. I want to turn as many people on as possible to john coltrane and the gift of the music he brought to us. it's fucking righteous.
I konk w/my glasses on and not the mask, weird. pete's rousts me and it's 'pert-near midnight - another late one but there's a good crowd. I'm sorry I missed the opener, a local band called the pink sexies. pete and raul said they were both good though. the piece is tough - not just cuz of the monitor weakness but more cuz of my voice, fuck. however, I like the gig on the spirit level cuz my guys came together good. not at first, raul was a little blurry on the focus - I told him he should maybe get by himself a little - just a half-hour maybe and gather his wits, not let getting too social disperse the attention we need from him on his drums. I ask for a lot from him w/my music, I lean on the drummers much and push them way out there cuz I dig that. drums is at the heart of this kind of music - all three of us are really playing some kind of drums, only his setup is more pure. it's mostly rhythm w/some melody and harmony put on top of that but at its core, it's rhythm. pete had some clams too but overall I think we did good and the crowd was great, really. nice, nice folks and very receptive. they have us back for the encore - really digging the minutemen song and then I talk w/them as I sling. some cats from chattanooga, alright. there's a cat who says he plays jazz "but now I'm coverted," he tells me. much respect to him for being that kind. I meet a guy from the opening band that says he started a company called "owned and operated" w/joe carducci - I know that company, I know that man! wow. sad to hear it was their second to the last show but raul later told me the singer said they wanted to break up while they were still friends. all these cats are so cool and regina's brother worked the door, he's a sweetheart - I dig him much and tell him for sure I'll play the pilot light again. I sure wish I could give them the monies to get an intense p.a. in here that they so much deserve cuz of the heart they have here. I'll play here though even if I have to holler from a megaphone - no matter. much respect to the pilot light.
after loading out, we follow regina's room mate charlie to her pad and I'm pretty quick in my konk sack, being loved to death by this little black dog that's adorable, truly. there's a black cat that gets close but would rather groom itself in front of me, that's funny. the puppy is something else. pete makes me tea and raul preps a mota hit donated his way. grazie, raul. I'm beat but frist I want to call my pool cleaner friend tony back in pedro cuz tour's almost half-done. I miss tone much - he's my oldest pedro friend, met him thritysix years ago. 'pert-near every night I'm home, I call him right before konk - just after prac to shoot the shit. he's very dear to me. he says keith emerson's gonna tour soon. emerson, lake and palmer were his favorite band when we were teenagers. I put pete on the phone since he's on the organ and they have a good talk. I sure got good peeps around me. I konk happy and grateful.
monday, october 18, 2004 - nashville, tn
Ride to nashville was treacherous, clear skies for the first hour, but we could see some trouble brewing up a head, and sure enough, as we mention it, it shows its face, hard rain falling. Of course the truckers gotta bring up the danger a notch, so it seems like they're traveling in packs, going fifteen miles an hour faster than everybody else, somewhere along the way some car even tries to sandwich us into a semi, tense shit. Even when we hit town it's coming down like we're under a waterfall or something, and of course, i get us lost for a minute, which gives us a little more time to drive around in the rain. Finding the club wasn't a problem, i'd at a whole, about two minutes of total confusion on my part, but that's all the time it takes to totally blow by any street you might need to take, but damn, some times it's so easy to get lost on that little 'puter map.
Rain keeps up for atleast an hour longer, and as soon as it started, it stopped, just like that clear skies... hello mr. sun. Normally i love grey rainy weather, but on tour it's a whole different, the elements can defiantly work against you, and can just be down right scary to drive in. While walking around elliston ave., pete and i find a little thai cuisine place, hell ya!, they give you the option of ordering your food, hot, very hot, and super hot, i get the very hot option, while pete opts for the super hot, the food is some tasty thai, but super hot, taste like they spiced it with catsup. We both douse our plates with spoon fulls of garlic rooster sauce, aka hot cock, we finished off a whole bottle, no burn no learn. Waiter was trippin' on how much hot sauce we used, but i gotta remember, we are in nashville, where they probably think that pace has the heat... super hot my eye. Right after it stopped raining, it got really humid, and here i am, two shirts, a hoodie, and a jacket, i swear i needed five minutes ago, but know it's flippin' hotter than a fresh turd. On the way back to the club, pete and stop so we can both use the phone, i need to call up a friend in nashville, carrie taylor, i'm in luck, the number still works, but bad timing, i call just as she's getting sentenced in traffic court... doh!, also called home and talked to pops for a minute or two.
We got an early check today, and it even comes a bit sooner, the boss, bruce shows up... no, not that boss. After check, i spend some time reading the paper, waiting for ms. taylor to show up, when she does show, she brings another friend, roger, i just saw him about a month and a half ago, when a group he was in played 673 in pedro, carrie on the other hand, i haven't seen her since this time last year, when killer dreamer played nashville. I kinda flaked, and missed the opening bands entire set, i just wasn't in the mood for loud music. There's tornado and thunder storm warnings all over the news, i've seen a ton of thunder storms before, but i've never experienced a thunder storm before... knock on wood, that would be some pretty intense stuff. Well sure enough, right before we start playing it starts pouring, and with that comes the loudest thunder, and the brightest lightning... i've never seen lightning go sideways before, and i've never seen it go in all directions at once... now i have. Played a decent set, i felt kinda awkward on stage, that seems to happen every fifth or sixth gig, where for some reason i just start to get a weird feeling on stage, and it takes me a while to get used to being up there, i start to get all introspective, and on stage, that's not the best thing to do, i gotta be putting myself out, not pulling it in, that just doesn't have a positive outcome, i'm sure it's real noticeable too, and i don't wanna give off that image, but i just can't help it... all depends on my mood, and i can be a moody bastard sometimes. But i thought we did pretty good, i just felt put on the spot, like everyone was stareing, totally fucks up my concentration. During the encore set we played a song out of the order that we usually do, and mike stopped it during the middle, we played picnic, and then tried to start right where we left off, almost got it, but had a mini flub comin' back in, were all on different parts for a couple seconds, we got it back quick though. It made the crowd laugh, they could see we were having a good time with it. Had to load the gear out in the rain, while this guy who lived across the way was standing right in our way doing c. walken impressions, i could tell pete wanted to pop him in the lip, he was startin' to grate on me too, funny guy though, just not too funny when we're trying to lift a two hundred and fifty pound piece of equipment in the boat, while it's pouring. Followed carrie and roger back to his place, damn that girl drives fast, remember earlier she was just in traffic court too, plus it's pouring rain... crazy. Back at the pad it's pretty chill, cochran and heather are both out of town, so it's just the five of us. Mike and pete spend some time reading, while roger tells them his tour shit stories, and carrie and i hang out on the front porch for a couple of smokes and conversation, pretty soon after that everyone crashes, i stayed awake for awhile to watch the lightning, but i wasn't far behind, and just like that i'm sleeping like a little baby.
popped on the deck and slowly rolled out of the bag; my bones were creaking it up and I began the hyde to jekyll transformation, reaching out for imaginary handles but never quite reaching them. pops and crackles be damned I rose up and went to the head for a quick wash up then went back to the living room to throw my clothes on. I passed reg' in the hall and as she glanced over this vision of man descended from poultry wearing speedo skivvies she gave a slight chuckle. fuck it- inhibition was never one of my strong suits; pretty strange paradigm of being self conscious but having little inhibition. go figyah...
we rolled up our sacks and loaded all the stuff into the boat; bid reg' goodbye (she was leading us towards the freeway in her p/u tho'), and off we went on our next cruise. reg' got us on the freeway in about five minutes and we waved her on as she continued past our exit- bye reg', bye knoxville. hope to see you again soon. much respect to both.
the ride to nashville was a relatively short one (as our rides go), and I spent most of thhe time happily conked on the bench. raul and watt were talking rather loudly in the front about the navigational sitch and their raucous rap assimilated into my sueno (which involved us going from knoxville to nashville via pedro'), which made for quite quite a modicum of lucidity on the sueno. when I awoke we were in front of the pad (the end) and the rain was coming down albeit much more sprinkly. The end, if you remember was the location of my wonderful first meeting w/ the infamous cheetah chrome and I actually hoped I would see him again (I harbor no ill will towards the cat). it made that first tour all the more exciting for me. I then remembered that he would probably not show as I believe he's on tour w/ texas terri or w/ his own band. safe seas cheetah.
me and rollie decided to go scope out a place for some chow; there wasn't that many pads on the main strip, so we hoofed it up a few blocks until we spotted an indian place- score!, which turned out to be closed (taunt). not letting this bring us down we frged onward until I spotted a thai pad (mega score!); I could imagine that wonderful burn already. we went in and plopped down in a booth; port side of us there was a group of about ten cats chowing, from what I could gather about their conversation they were a country band that was taking a break from a video shoot and the director was a german cat. this was evidently one of the "new country" bands (they dress like rockers w/ the studs and rings an' shit), but w/ nary any ink in sight. they were kind of giving us the eye and I wondered what was on their minds. our waiter came and I ordered some garlic chicken (extra hot), as I knew our individual ideas of what is hot was different. we also asked for an extra bowl of chili garlic sauce as we might need to kick things up a notch. the waiter kind of chuckled under his breath as I ordered this, but he was probably thinking "it's his funeral". I rapped w/ rollie for a while and listened in on some of the convo' from the next table. it was very new country.
our incredulous waiter brought us our chow and we proceeded to strap on the feedbag w/ extreme prejudice. I tasted the chicken and indeed the "extra hot" was not sufficient enough to even flutter our eyelashes so we poured on the chili garlic sauce and waited for that kind burn to kick in. and kick in it did; the waiter came back to the table to ask us how everything was; he couldn't help laughing as we answered "excellent" w/ sweat just pouring off our faces. culinary masochism I call it- lovin' it.
mr. sun was smiling on us once again as we left the thai pad and we hoofed it over to a convenience store as me and rollie had to call home. I called my ma and my pop's, svetko answered the phone; it was good to hear him, I missed him much. I asked him how he was feeling (he had undergone a coronary ablation before I took off on tour). he said he was feeling great and that my ma was doing well too, but she was out and about while he was puttering in the garage. svetko's been quite an influence on me and I think we're finally starting to come to terms w/ each other (age can do this ), even tho' I still think it's tough for him to understand me doing this musical thing at almost forty; his eastern european background goes against the punk mentality but I can tell he's really trying and that's all I ever wanted from him. fortunately, he does still have an open mind and is willing to accept new things and hopefully he will eventually accept my chosen path. my ma helps him along on his journey (and mine also); she's truly the rock in our family and thru her runs an undeniable bohemian soul and spirit. I love and miss my mom and dad.
we hoofed it back to the end' and bruce the boss had the hatch opened. we rolled the gear in and set up- the knobsman, brad showed and got us miked up proper. we ran thru the check' and the monitors sounded very good (brad is another cat that really knows his tools and his room-much respect). I think rollie was a little off-put by his attitude, but I knew brad from the first tour and it's his way of testing your spirit. I laughed and rollie got it. I went into the head to shave; I still wasn't completely in to my beardless look but it was a good starting point before I get rid of the stache' and fuck it, a deal's a deal (makes me feel strangely naked tho').
rollie was waiting on some friends to show up at the club, so I hoofed it alone up the street; I had donated the last disc of coltrane's "sun ship" and I had to purchase a suitable replacement- also had to get a fine-point sharpie to rewrite the lyrics to angel's gate (I was helping out watt w/ the spiel so he could conserve the voice), and the shit I had up there now looked like hieroglyphics in the stage light. I went into a tower record store and they had an amazing selection of coltrane; everything but "sun ship" of course. I was gonna grab "a love supreme", but we had already played that on the last tour so I opted for "interstellar space". I also grabbed a stack of cdr blanks so we could burn copies. I paid for my bounty, then went to the local eckert's where I scored a double-headed sharpie; regular one side and ultra-fine on the other (just what the doctor ordered). hoofed it back to the club and gave all the cd's to watt who immediately began the burning. I went to a little bar/restaurant, ordered up a double/stoli rocks w/ a water back and went into lyric rewrite and chimp mode. after awhile, I got up to go to the head and rollie was sitting in the pad w/ his friends carrrie and roger rapping. I told him that I had a little more chimping to do and I would come back and join them. went back and finished up , then rapped a little w/ rollie, carrie, and rog'. I went outside and gave cindy, my younger daughter a ring- her mom answered the phone and we rapped for awhile; she was very upset as nicole, our oldest (who's living on her own), hasn't been maintaining much contact w/ her and she's very non-chalant about it when they do talk. this upset me too as she should keep a line going w/ her mom no matter what (especially if mom is reaching out to her)I tried to put her mind at ease as best I could and promised her that I would talk to nicole about it. I somewhat understand nicole's position as when you're that age and you're on your own you think you have it going on- I was very much the same way and I think that sometimes it's better to let the child fuck-up then to preach. after all, if you're never allowed to fuck-up, how can you learn? this thing w/ not maintaining lines w/ her ma is a different sitch tho'- not good at all and highly damaging in the long run. I have to give her a call and hash this out w/ her. I got cindy on the line and rapped w/ her a bit; she's truly my baby girl and I miss her much. she's the closest thing to being me (if I was a woman), and we share many things and views in common. she has such a pure soul and she's fast becoming a beautiful woman- I felt bad that I had neglected to call her until we were four weeks into the tour (and she really berated me for this; I deserved it too, what a self-centered fuck I am sometimes), but I promised her I would give her a ring every few days. I've gotten much closer to all of my kids (my whole family for that matter) over the last year and I think that scissoring my corporate job had alot to do with it (along w/ my subsequent change in attitude).
I went back to the club and listened to the first band (lovebucket) for awhile; they were very intense and the singer would wail on flute in parts of the songs- very cool. I went to the band room and sat in solitude for awhile to gather my thoughts. lovebucket soon finished and I went to go start the work; I made some tea and went to go rouse the chief, grabbed the merch box and went back in to help rollie w/ the tools. we waited for the man and as soon as he showed we were off. I was way into the piece and really hammered out the parts; mike aand rollie were into it too and we pulled everything off w/ minimal clammage. the peeps responded in kind and gave us much love- after the gig shakedown, we came out and did the encore and watt went into the dylan tune rather than picnic', which threw me off for a second, but I ran with it. two stanzas into the dylan tune, he decides to go back into picnic', so we come to a grinding halt, but the recovery was good. we finish picnic' and I start the dylan tune again- he stops us and wants me to start where I left off-not necessarily how I would've approached it but I should've been paying closer attention to the chief's signals. I wasn't fazed, and we ripped thru the encore and garnered much applause. I was very happy w/ the gig. we broke down the tools and loaded the boat- it was starting to thunder heavily, and we went fast as it looked like we would be in the thick of a torrential downpour right quick. having packed everything up we followed roger back to his pad and once there we quickly settled in; I found a copy of lemmy kilmister's biography and I gave that a read. That cat is intense! soon however, even the exploits of the great motorhead could not keep me awake. I conked while still reading. laku noc sviraci....
pop at nine bells cuz of the lateness of last night's konk. search for coff... no luck. I see the machine but no coff to put in it or even filters (we got coff in the boat - maybe we should carry filters too? hell, maybe should get one of those electric kettles at least for the tea - that's an idea). I go to hose off but can't figure how the shower part works so I do a soak - maybe my first for the tour? that's trippy, I always dig soaking in my own tub. I have to fold my legs in this one but it's ok. I have to say that the soreness I usually get in my joints is much calmer this tour - maybe it's the flax oil? my hands especially are ok when usually they're swollen up like churchill-sized cigar dowels. they're a little bit big but not bad. even my throat, though I'm dealing w/the hoarseness, isn't hurting me at all so there's no need for cough drop shit - I hate those cuz they're mainly the same as candy. as I soak, I think of the dream I had before popping (those are the ones I'm most aware of... sometimes I wonder if they're actually a new dream or one/part that has already been happening since my konk begins - I wonder how long it takes a dream to get going cuz sometimes if I have only fortyfive minutes of konk, I still get a dream). I was a pot and boy at the san pedro and peninsula hospital from ages sixteen to twentyone. I would scrub the stuff used to cook the hosp chow up w/mainly and other gigs too but that was the main one. I used a huge sink w/a intense sprayer to scrub them, next fille a huge metal basket-like thing that went into a huge rinsing machine and then put them on a big rolling rack for drying and getting them back to where the cooks used them. the water had to be 180 degrees for germ-kill so it was hot - I used rubber gloves. it was mostly ladies working there, all from the ethnicities of my town (which were many). they taught me a lot about each of their cultures and were very kind to me. in the dream, I imagined them all like teachers and I was in a school, each w/their own "lecture" or whatever for me. it was trippy, like me reviewing notes from my college days more than grade or high school. I haven't thought of these folks in such a long time so it was interesting to see what my mind had made of them, they each had such a unique persona, it was a trip how that came though in the dream. I don't if people realize how it's not really famous or those of accomplishment that can make such an impression on you but just folks in their own lives that make it possible for you to appreciate their perspective. in a way, it was like having a bunch of versions of my ma but not cuz I didn't grow w/them so I had to learn them to get to know them. I think they had a big impression on my life and why I've never even toyed w/the idea of misogyny cuz I never felt threatened or put down by them. I looked to them, in fact. the only other guys were ones my age except for the two porters, who were like trippy uncles to me. richard "fuckin'" bonney was a couple of years younger and it was there where I met him. however, there were no guys in this dream, just the ladies. it was like reading notes from a lecture (like I said) but I wasn't reading - rather, I was watching their spiels as they were giving them to me. one after another, I would walk down this line (for some reason, they were standing in a line) and stop in front of each one while she would talk to me enough for me to get an exact connection to her: the things she'd talk mainly about to me, her accent, her mannerisms - that kind of stuff. after every three spiels, I'd have to run to the sink and hurry to get the next rush of pots done, feeling the wet splashing out of the sink (it was at waist level) on the bottom of my shirt and pants (we wore white shirts and pants) and seeing my skin show through. I'd be so embarrassed each time to get in front for the next rounds, I was so frustrated not to find the aprons we'd usually use and I just had to stand there like an idiot looking the way I did. the were unflustered though and just took their time and was patient w/me. I tried to understand the best I could which meant remembering them as well as I could. that was it - remembering them as people and what they brought to me in my life, how they each touched me uniquely. it was a weird dream but kind of neat. I wonder what put this in my head?
regina is up when I'm done soaking and gets us some coff going. last night we had no john coltrane to play so she had some don cherry on before our set. after, she told me she played devin hoff - he's the bass player for the nels cline singers and has bands of his own in the bay area of cali. that's neat, devin's a happening cat. regina offers to show us the way to the interstate by having us following her in her truck so we do that after our thank yous and good byes to her - I also ask her about oil-change pads (it's been another three thousand miles on the boat) and she says to get off on papermill and there'll be something on the road paralleling the freeway. she gets us on to I-40 west and we're on our way to nashville. the weather's like an early morning in so cal so far. we find a jiffy-lube and I put the boat in there. pete and raul hoof one way while I go the other, finding a book store that's got some tomes on sale - I get two for four bucks each, "rosslyn - guardian of the secrets of the holy grail" by tim wallace-murphy/marilyn hopkins and "the apocrypha - the authorized version of the books that are not in the bible" edited by manuel komroff. maybe this is fiction but it's what I consider the most "non-fiction" of the stuff I usually read cuz that's mainly novels except this stuff on shakespeare's time I've been getting into to help me better w/raymond when we make this movie of willy shake's "richard II" - that should be coming soon as I get some time. I was a little bit intrigued by barbara patchter & susan magee's "the jerk with the cellphone - a survival guide for the rest of us" but wise up (what is that mean anyway - the rest of us w/cell phones aren't jerks?), I can the imagine the idea of such a book much better than the actual thing. the books I got in my head (that's what kind of book this, right? for reading while on the shitter) are more of the parallel threads I got going at the moment, two of them joyce concordances that raymond gave me. I meet my guys back at the boat as it gets done and we going a little more down the "french road" (an old minutemen-days term for a "frontage" road - we didn't know it was a generic term and thought it was just one long motherfucker that ran throughout the whole country! we'd pronounce it "frahn-taj") to a middle-east place they saw. I get a falafel from there, a pad called "ali baba's" and in it's thirtyfirst year there. most of west knoxville is new track home and mall stuff, regina was talking about how weak it is - I was laughing how I couldn't tell it from orange country (in cali) when I woke up there and walked around last time I was in town. those paradigms are so fucking generic!
back on I-40 and after about fifty miles, the sky comes down in buckets. whoa. what's really scary though is the way some of these people are driving, truckers too who should know better. jamming really fast and tail-gating or shoe-horning in lane changes - one car pulls right in front of me just before us getting into nashville. at the same time, a tractor-trailer did a port-side blow-by, hauling much ass. man, am I grateful we're saved any wreckage. it was very tedious driving the whole way, I kept much buffer space between us and the vehicle ahead cuz of the craziness. that hundred miles was a tough one. raul navigates us in but we foul up some (maybe it was my fault for getting off the freeway a little early cuz I thought we were blowing by the town again, like yesterday - I gotta have more faith in raul's skills cuz he's getting better) and have to loop around and back down the center of nashville to get to the venue, which is near vanderbilt. at least we get a quick trip down broadway which is kind of like hollywood boulevard in a way. a huge masonic temple there too, rotating sign and everything. we're playing the end (used to be called elliston square in the old days) and I find a spot out front. within minutes of parking and going to get a salad (there's a place nearby called "the gold rush" which I've always wondered about but totally regret going to cuz the chow was lame), mister sun has come out big time and is drying the boat out from the deluge we emerged from. I really can't believe it's all over though, even w/the clouds complete blowing out cuz just as fast, they can wail back in. I go a half block back down the street to "elder's books" which is a pad I usually get some book when I'm playing here, they got a weird collection. I get william faulkner's uncut version of "sartoris" - "flags in the dust" which was his third novel. he's trippy and seeing that pete's almost done w/"the sand pebbles" (we both want raul to really read that), I think it'd be a good one for him. pete good at digging into books, like paul roessler was last tour (jer trebotic more liked the games on his 'puter, even when it came to chimping his tour spiel - that's why they always cut off like they did, he couldn't keep it up long enough). I've noticed w/the cats I've played w/that book people mostly are more intense musically than tv people, don't know why... not in all cases, but a lot.
the boss bruce comes to let us load in (it's early but let's do it cuz who knows about more rain) - big hugs for him, dig seeing him much. this is twenty years now playing for him in the town - the first time was at cantrell's w/the minutemen. damn! we soundcheck w/soundman brad (a total cut-up that's cracking jokes every second - this man is singular!) and then I do a phoner spiel w/a cat from tallahassee named paul, a bass player who wants an angle on both a person who works that kind of machine and is an older punk rocker... sure! pete then comes by w/a copy of john coltrane's "interstellar space" that he got to replace all the donated copies of "sun ship" (though I found another wifi hot spot out here in the boat in front of the club and an email from chris rees said he might find us one for detroit) so I put it on my hard drive and make two copies for possible further future donates (just kidding, pete). I make a call to iggy too, leaving a message that the tour's half over after tonight and I'm thinking of him much. I called ron a couple of days ago telling him soon I'll be in his area since he lives in ann arbor. I think about the stooges much. time to konk now.
pete's at the hatch - I konked w/my glasses on instead of my mask and am disoriented. I get it together some and take the tea he's made me - whoa, luke warm - no heat at all. not to complain but that idea this morning about the electric kettle thing might be a smart thing. I go in the pad to a lot of grettings but then gotta go back cuz I forgot the bass, idiot watt. I go get it and get ready. pete says the openers, a local band called lovebucket was great. alright, that's a good sign as is the crowd. we start the piece and raul's a little out of focus again, pete kind of too - maybe it's the setup cuz his organ's far from me - almost like we're in that "line" formation that plagued us in albany. we gotta watch that when we first set up. actually though, we do overall pretty good - I really am proud of my guys and admire them much for what they do, much respect to them. there's some thing to aspire to, of course - it's good for a band to have goals (I'm talking about in a music sense - not w/sales or popularity! is that retarded?). I want us to get real connected in the moment - make the playing breathe. I tell them that for this, playing together is more important than playing straight time, just is. straight time is for click tracks and this band has to be more dynamic than that, slipping about but slipping together. it's a tough goal but we can aim for it and try. the cats in the audience are very appreciative when we finish and have us back for more. I screw up and have us play the dylan cover before the minutemen one - stopping it after the second stanza fo the first verse and asking pete to go into "...picnic" - then, as kind of a test, I ask my guys to pick up the dylan one where we left off but damn, we clam it up. I explain it again - more thouroughly, asking the crowd if I'm being a fascist dictator (they are quite generous and say "no") and we get back to it. I talk to pete and raul about this after, giving them ways to know when I want us to stop and where cuz that sure would've be righteous if we could've pulled it off cuz it was in the moment, not premeditated. I guess we're still trying to get the premeditated stuff down so maybe I'm asking us to run before we can crawl. I have faith in my guys though.
done w/the gig, I sling and talk much w/the folks who come up to me, they have huge hearts and show it. duane dennison (scratch acid, jesus lizard and now, tomahawk among others) says he really dug the piece - much respect to him... I don't think he was just saying that too, the way he described things and all - it means a lot to me - one day I gotta do music w/this cat (I think he'd make a great duo record w/nels, truly)! I know I made a weird piece, I don't expect everyone to like it but it's something I had to do now, it's about me now in these moments even though the sickness is a couple years back now. it's not really all about sickness. I say hi to bennett, a cat I've stayed w/in this town a few times - he's sure good people but raul's asked for us to stay w/a friend of his who lived for a bit in pedro. good to see bennett again though. stacy from the club here is quite nice to me - him and another cat have a bunch of old stories (damn, can't remember the other guy's name but he says hi from matt, a bassman on tour w/lambchop now) about me playing gigs here in nashville in the past, of course I want to come back again and again to keep on doing them. the rain is coming down way insane - way more crazy than on the drive over from knoxville. lightning is ripping the skies every few seconds - I bring the boat around and close up to the front hatch to make loading easier and a bolt hits a power pole right close and a transformer gets zapped - pop! the club's p.a. snaps off, hope it ain't hurt permanently. all of the suddenly, the rain calms to a drizzle, we say our thanks/byes, much respect to these cats.
we follow raul's friend carrie to her friend roger's pad on the southeast side of town. the race is on, why do people fucking do this? I'm in a big ol' boat, I don't know the town, I got cali plates, it's still bad weather... I honestly can't believe what's in people's minds, acting like this. maybe roger prevails (funny, raul said when he called earlier in the day that this lady had to call him back cuz she was in traffic court... for speeding!) and they slow down enough for us to catch up. I am not fucking taking chances w/my guys' lives and will get lost before I flip the god damn boat over. we get to the pad and I make camp quick, pete getting me some tea. both roger and carrie have been to pedro and start talking about the peeps there, I don't know much about the "porchcore" folks (fourth street just east of gaffey in pedro) cuz I've kept kind of to my self in my town but when I found out about them, I was way into it... actually, I couldn't hardly believe something like that would take root in pedro but hell yeah, I'm for it - it's the scene that produced raul! I tell them I was doing punk in pedro before raul was even born! this weird's carrie out and she leaves the room never to return but roger is cool (why should there be a split between old and young punks? time is circumstantial!). he's done some tours (on drums) and talks about playing w/strep throat and scarlet fever (at the same time, whoa!) plus shitting his pants and stuff like that. we share some tour sickness war stories. there's an aquarium pump behind my head that's really wailing - pete gives me some ear plugs and w/those inserted, I konk quick. whoa, tour's half done!
tuesday, october 19, 2004 - cincinnati, oh
Mike told me yesterday, that tonight is gonna be a hard gig, i didn't know what he meant, than i walked into the club, well theater, that's what it actually was, it looked like a reception hall... totally squaresville... sound guy told me he was married there. It really wasn't bad though, just a trip, defiently not a punk club. We got a hurt leg on the van, the left tire, mike's gonna take it to be fixed tomorrow. Did a little walking around Cincinnati, there's a bunch of low fog, kinda like california weather. Didn't do to much exploring, went to the second hand store a few blocks away, after that, went and found a phone, and talked to my ma.
This place is a trip, they gave us this hugh band room, we have the whole second floor to our selves, with a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't take advantage of, insted, pete and i ate some grub, and then took full advantage of the couches, and slept, i'd only gotten like two hours the night before, so it was much needed. It was one of those sleeps, that's a bit long to be called a nap, but a bit to short, to be well rested, so what i'm trying is that i woke up a total mess. First thing i do is check the time, holy shit, we're on in five minutes... what a dumb ass, the first band hadn't even played yet, and i'm falling over trying to run down the stairs, i was relieved to find out i had some time to wake up, no coffee in the place, so i just do the water on to face transfer, no i wasn't gonna pour hot coffee on my face, i wanted to drink it... dumb ass. The sleep was much needed, but it left me in some alternate dimension, something was slightly off, and i couldn't figure it out... turns out it was me. Played with a local group named ampline, total add music, ten diffrent changes in a song, never going back to the same part, and they were instrumental, i thought they were pretty bad ass, usually this kinda music, today we'll call it math rock, even though that makes no sense, well it's usually ultra tight, and actually pretty uptight sounding. I'm not saying this band wasn't tight, cuz they were, i'm saying they had a really warm sound, totally earthy.
It wasn't as tough as i thought it was gonna be, i was in a good mood from catching up on sleep, and watching ampline do what they do, plus i met the boss, crack up, he was defiently making sure we were enjoying ourselves. Crowd was pretty bad ass too, kids up front singin' and dancin', always makes me happy, people are afraid to freak out at shows, so seeing that always puts a smile on my face. It wasn't a rough gig until... yep, there's always something, well this something was a song, and for me, it got weird, real weird, real quick, it felt like some body slipped me acid, turns out mike heard someone talking shit, so he decided to give em' a slow one, i swear we played it half time, i could feel it getting slower and slower, and i swear i could see everything breathing, like the walls and the lights, time took on a whole new style. At first it was impossible for me to find the beat, i couldn't hear a lick of bass, once i did it became a bit easier... sometimes i think of mike as a mad genius, and i mean that in the best possible way. After the getting our gear loaded, we head over to adam schoens place, he's been a watt gig goer for years, good people, and he had a rad house, porch swing and all, stayed awake for a bit washing down some cheese and crackers with a high life, then went up to the attic to finish what i started at the club, yeah, that sounds good right before i go to sleep, cheese and beer, oh well. Had a bitchin' slumber, mike took the boat in for repairs, and let us sleep in... thanks mike. Said our good byes to adam, hopped in the boat, and stopped at the first way we saw, i macked a foot long tuna with the works, bye bye Cincinnati.
popped at rog's, rolled up the bag and went to go take a much needed hose-off; I felt much better after and I was once again ready to move mountains. we gathered our stuff, loaded it into the boat and were on our way once again. much respect to roger and lemmy for making our stay happening.
we had another short drive so as custom dictates I spent it in the bench seat; finally finished reading "the sand pebbles"- what a read. it bummed me out. I conked out the rest of the trip and awoke as we pulled to the side of the pad (the 20th century theatre). mike had heard something funny as he was driving and it turned out that the port side front shock had sheared itself off it's mounting, shit! we would definitely have to get this corrected before we went to detroit. At least the boat had warned us.
I went in to go scope out the pad; watt had mentioned to me the previous night that the gig would be a tough one and I realized now why. the pad was a movie theater built in 1941- beautiful design but not designed for live music; all hard surfaces but at least for the most part there was deflection (it did look like a difficult room to mix). we unloaded the tools and set up while brian the knobsman and his second, phil miked us up proper. we went thru the check' but the monitors were not too present. brian did em' up as best he could tho'. we broke down and pulled the gear to the side and I went to go up to the bandroom. what a pad! pool table, couches, even had it's own bar. I left my stuff in there and went for a little hoof in search of a coff' pad; nuthin' around so I went to the local way' and scored some chocolate chip cookies. felt better. hoofed it back to the boat and watt was rapping w/ these two cats, pez and adam. adam had gotten us a hookup to fix the shock on the boat in the morning so that problem had been knocked out (this was a temporary fix until we could do something more durable down the road). I was feeling real beat so I went back up to the band room and laid out on the couch. I conked for a good three hours and felt much better after; I noticed that raul had followed suit and he was laid out on the other couch. I went upstairs into the former mezzanine and sat up there for awhile soaking up the vibe; I wondered how many cats had spent time up there thru the years, watching the latest flicks and feeling up their dates- it induced a flash of melancholy. I went up to the "tower"(the former projection room), and rapped w/ the boss, mark over a beam/rocks coupled w/ some nug burning. mark is truly an oasis in the club owner desert- he's way into the music and into having a good time; very easygoing and cool cat. wish there were more like him. rollie came up and we all rapped for awhile, then listened to the opening band (ampline). very cool grooves coming off that stage and the peeps dug on it too. they finished up and I went to go do my pre-gig duties; I couldn't get any hot water out of the tap so watt's tea came out tepid at best (we would have to buck up and get an immersion heater soon). me and rollie set up the tools and waited for the man to show- he soon came in, strapped on the baby bass and we ripped thrun the piece. the crowd was very cool and dug on it; very little yammer in that audience. the sound was difficult at first; the first five tunes were a wash onstage, but brian tried the best he could- the room was a soundman's fucking nightmare. rollie was a little fast on the downbeat in pluckin' and there was some yammer from the crowd so watt pulled the tempo down to a crawl. we stayed w/ him tho'. we came out and did the encore w/ alot of fire and the peeps dug on it; I wasn't sure how they felt about the dylan cover- they were kind of quiet throughout, but they were just listening. afterwards, we talked to the peeps and they were very complimentary- much respect to you all.
we loaded up the boat w/ help from pez and adam and some other cool peeps- much thanks for the help (that b3 weighs a ton some nites). we headed over to adam's pad and settled in; I made friends w/ his poochy phoenix and she gave me much love. I went to the boat and grabbed a couple of cans of dines' and some crackers, laid em' out on a plate and poured on some juiced up melinda's habi sauce. we chowed down and burned a nug amongst ourselves- it was a cool little happening that made me happy. me and rollie rapped w/ adam on his porch for awhile but I was feeling the adrenalin wind down and I went upstairs and climbed in the ole' bag. conk came quickly. buona notte musicanti...
pop at seven and a half bells and hose off, there's some trippy soap that's liquid and in a bottle - says on the label it's an "exfoliate" type and feels like pieces of grit are in it. smells fuity too, weird. anything to try and get clean though. I popped w/this black cat at my feet. I got some pets in on it before konking last night - a long hair w/a righteous to the touch coat - and did likewise upon popping. damn though if my memories of whatever dream had got took from it! well, I'm not putting blame on the cat but my attention got sort of fixated (I miss my man cat so and lots of times I'll identify him w/a cat who's friendly w/me) and I fucking spaced on what I dreamed! what a bozo. must've been about something, that's all I can say, sheesh. there's a 'puter here and I get directs from the yahoo map site, mainly to get on the freeway cuz there were a lot of turns made on residential streets to get here. roger's gotta go to work so bye and thank you much to him - good luck w/the drums. maybe I'll see him in pedro... it's a trip but bands play at the porchcore house, like it's a tour stop. I saw a band from portland do a gig there once.
we board the boat and set off for cinci... a little loop around cuz I had little faith in the directs and a corner had no street signs (hard for out-of-towners!) but we find our way to I-65 and take that north. it's real gray but at least no rain, guess that storm blew out. pete said he was raging all night - I heard shit w/those plugs stuffed in my ears. pete finishes mckenna's "the sand pebbles" and is really bummed on what happened to holman and pissed at collins (the boat's commander) that was so fucking full of it... such a tragic ending cuz you really get to feeling for holman - he's got so much of the good that's in all of us and you just gotta root for him. at least he did good and his efforts weren't all the way in vain. out of tennessee and into kentucky, we pass by the corvette factory in bowling green. I've stopped here a few times for the tour of the museum - lots of righteous 'rays through the years - but not this time. we pass through the parts w/all the caves... man, would I like to spelunk one day, never have done that. at elizabethtown, we find a 'way and raul gets me a tuna one while I go next door to the dollar pad. I find saltines for sevenyfive cents a pop and likewise for sharpies. pete buys out all the 'dines they got that ain't packed in oil - alright, econo at fifty cents a tin! I line my sandwich w/another of albany howard's habaneros and then hip pete to an idea: spike up the melinda's hot sauce (no relation to my sister) w/some of that chemical shit (it's called "da' bomb" - oh, I get it) which has fuck-all flavor but does have the heat. this makes for a good mixture, melinda's has a good lime taste to it. man, I'm feeling some vibration in the steering wheel and hearing weird sounds
when we roll over some rough road - I think something's up w/the boat... better check it out soon. you get sensitive to the feel of your vehicle unless you're a total moron, things either feel right or they don't. you get blind/deaf to their dharma and you'll be taking blows harder than otherwise, that's what life's taught me. we get up to louisville and take the I-265 belt around so we can avoid any city-plug, getting then north on I-71. still no rain but man, is it gray and foggy. through newport (last town in kentucky before ohio - this is where you had to play in the old days before there was a gig in actual cincinnati). we cross the ohio river and head northeast of downtown to a part called oakley, named after the woman gunshooter annie oakley. as soon as I dock the boat, I get out and under the bow at the port side and sure enough, the shock absorber has has it's top mounting snapped off and it's cramped up near the spring. oh boy, those sounds and feels definitely must've come from this. gotta get it fixed toot-sweet, tomorrow morning. at least we got here safe, thank god. life is a fucking trip.
anyway, first time for me in this area (I usually play by the university) and the venue is called the 20th century theatre. the pad's owner mark greets me at the side hatch, asking if I'm "the legendary mike watt" and I tell him my name is mike watt but I don't know I'm the one he might be thinking of. it's a weird thing to think of yourself like that, sort of like you're a ghost and talking about somebody dead. it is nice for people to be that kind though, I'm just always worried about living up to such a title. better to come from some humility, like maybe I'm only as good as I am at that moment even if I might have some past... there's no shortcut to the truth. he's older than me but a real nice cat and shows me around. looks like a lot of folk and jazz people have played here. I told my guys last night that today would be a challenging gig and to be prepared. it was just a hunch but I had the feeling it might be tough, seeing the word "theatre" and noting the capacity. as it turns out, it's like an art deco era pad w/a high ceiling - not good acoustics for loud electric music. oh well, "work the room" - like they say in vaudeville. I think raul thought I might've been trying to scare him - maybe even pete but really, I just wanted them to focus and be prepared. I guess though that should be the case for every gig, right? I get some weird thinking going sometimes. we load in and setup w/soundman brian and his helper phil. the stage has no sides so it's like you're coming out of a cake. I didn't like how we were set up last night - in fact, I haven't like the way we've put the band on stage the last bunch of gigs so I have more thought to it as we put up our stuff. I ask raul to come back a little, so his shoulder is at the starboard corner of the back of pete's organ w/his hihat like the bow if his trap kit was a boat. this gives his kick drum good angle so it's right on my port leg but let's me get in close enough so I'm right across from pete. I can put good eye contact on both of them at all times and we can keep the band together close and tight. the stage itself kind has a bow, trippy. I discovered a laundromat next door so while things get mics on them, I put in what clothes I got from my filth sack and come on back for the check. this proves my theory about this pad's acoustics for us correct: total din. no matter, we'll work the room. bossman mark gets us chow from a pad he owns across the street, I get a caesar salad w/chicken. it's ten times better than the same thing I ordered at the swill pad yesterday. amen. I go back to the laundromat for dryer time and a find that (like an idiot) I put the money and soap in the wrong machine and so I have to reenact the wash cycle on the machine I got my clothes actually. holy moses. the tv's blasting (like it is in most laundromats) so I go to the boat to chimp diary and on the way there, this cat named pez says hi to me and gives me a button he made of d. boon which I put on, over my heart - thank you, pez. we talk a little and then I go chimp yesterday's doings, coming out to dry and then bring over the cleaned/dry watt outfits to the boat. old cinci friend adam sees me and I explain my dilemma w/the boat and he calls his mechanic friend doug to set up an appointment for the morning. I feel a little more relieved - thank you, adam. konk time now - should be an early show, maybe ten bells. that wouild be great.
pete opens the hatch, the time for playing has come - he's got a cup of tea w/water so damn tepid, his piss would've be like boiling compared to this. I'm not whining though, I'm laughing and so is he. the opening band were local cats called ampline and pete said they we're really good. shoot, missed another good one. I wish I was superman w/the stamina thing (by the way, someone told me christopher reeve died though the cat I knew mostly as superman was george reeves - still, it's sad cuz he was fighting so that paraplegic nightmare, I admired that much). I say to my guys to hang on and we start the piece - fuck, I forgot that bracelet I got in texas - aaaarrrrrrggghhh, I think I took it off in the boat to chimp, it was clanking on the tipurse. little things like that throw me sometimes, it's weird. I also forgot to put the strap on my watch in it's band-holder (or whatever it's called - there's one like it on a belt too) cuz it comes out and then flaps around on my strings (I wear my watch on my starboard hand even though I'm right handed cuz of the bend I have to do w/my port wrist - did I already mention that this tour? sorry if I did)... aahh. the sound is unbelievably bad, the worst yet of this tour - no monitors at all. same for the low end on pete's organs or any of raul's toms. the lights are bright in my eyes and I can't see anyone - what I see are these tiny white xmas-like lights over supper tables though I can't see the tables themselves or the people sitting at them (I know they're there cuz of soundcheck) or the folks standing in front of the stage at my feet. I feel self-conscious but I want so badly not to fuck up like I did in montreal... I throw myself into the gig. it's really difficult, I start becoming inhibited a little but then key in on my guys to get some focus. raul's having a real hard time, rushing "tied a reed..." really bad - I know it's a tough situation - it's hard for all of us. I feel under a microscope. it doesn't get as bad as the montreal gig did cuz as I feel like I'm gonna totally blow it again, I decide to improvise and get some control over the situation. I slow "puckin'..." way way WAY down. of course, it's impossible for raul to get a foothold but it allows me to somehow, I get my nerve back and finish up strong. I know it might've been a failure from the perspective of trying to get us to play together but it did put us in the moment and maybe that really is the top priority. we get off the stage and I tell my guys I don't want this band to be on auto-pilot, I asked them if they wanted that to be the case when we're in that side room last night in nashville when the piece got done and they each told me no, they didn't. I say ok then, don't worry cuz we know what we want to do and all we CAN do is WORK TOWARD that. it's better than us I having different ideas about what's to be done. I told them I thought this gig was going to be a challenge. I think it was a good thing though - some learning can't come through a walk-through. I love my guys. the people want us back, much much claps as we're talking these things and so we go back and encore it up. man, does it sound like a roller rink, aahh! it is much a mindblow though to get all the generous comments from the cats, I sling and listen to everyone... man, you can't really expect to feel what other people are feeling, that's why I think they always deserve you to give it your best, no matter what you think - the gap is just too wide and you can't assume anything cuz it's crazy and unjustified. I am very humbled by their niceness - it's been like this all tour, night after night... much respect to these gig-goers on the "el mar cura todo" tour... it makes me wanna try so much harder. the bossman mark really dug it too, much respect to him. he talks about him knowing the "port" side more than the "boat" one but would like to check that out one day. he says he likes what me and my guys are doing, showing folks that what can be important as anything else is just getting your guys up there playing something they feel and forgot all the image or the pretense or whatever. good words from mark, thank you much. it stuff like this plus all the things the audience cats told me when I was slinging that I take to heart, it keeps my fires stoked and helps douse the doubts. I could've done better this gig but I think it was still ok, I think it was a good learner for me and my guys and definitely a character builder.
we load up both the gear and adam, some parting good words w/the opening band cats and then we're off not too far to adam's pad, a house he just got that's a hundred years old. his wife kelly has a baby due in january too. once inside, I find my konk spot and lay out, pete fixes up some HOT tea and gets some 'dines going. fuck it, I have some mouthfuls even though I try not to chow late at night. adam then gets his own crackers out w/cheese and tofu versions of bologna, salami, sausages... trippy. I held fast after what pete fed me. he's yammerin' w/my guys but I'm wore out so down goes the mask. they move outside to the porch while I mosey over to sleepytown... adam's got such a nice dog - masked and sightless, I pet him as it slips me under and out.
wednesday, october 20, 2004 - detroit, mi
Spent the ride up to detroit in the back reading some love craft. This is the second time i've been to detroit in the past two weeks, the first time i just saw it from a distance. Right on the outs of town, is where you take the ambassador bridge over to canada, this time we went straight to the heart. Down town detroit is an intense city, looks like somebody dropped a bomb on it, one of my best friends, and roommates, tony, has a shirt that says i'm so bad i vacation in detroit. I'd been here twice before, the first time we played the shelter, right next to greek town, it was bad ass, we snuck upstairs to see biz markee, and the second time, we played the same stage as the biz. there seemed, to me atleast, that detroit had a good sense of humor, well at least the people writing on the walls did, one person wrote "rodeo", and it was all done with one line, yeah know one continuos motion, with out breaking the line, any way it was this bad ass cowboy character, and his hair spelled out rodeo, i thought it was pretty neat, also saw this turtle painted everywhere, it's shell was filled in with safety orange, and inside the shell it said "sars", i loved it, all kinds of funny shit painted everywhere. Sometimes that's the good thing about getting totally lost, you get to see the things you wouldn't normally see.
Playing a place called Alvin's, it's right across the street from wayne state, the clubs open, so we got a warm place to pass the time, some dudes are scopin' the place out for a commercial that they're gonna film there, damn people can come off as know nothing know it alls, this guy didn't do anything to me personally, i was just being a conscious observer, but this man was a douche, totally full of himself, i even heard him say "lets do lunch babe... babe, who the fuck says lets do lunch babe, how fuckin' hollywood cliche can you get. After a few minutes of this, pete and i decide to go do lunch... babe. Really good middle eastern food, so what do i do, like a dumb ass i get the vegi chile with a side of fries, pretty dumb, who goes to a bad ass restaurant and gets fries, i don't even like fries that much, if it's between fries or onion rings, i'll opt for the rings, or the salad, but not today, for some reason, before i could stop it, the words "side of fries" came out of my mouth... what a dumb ass.
Every one who's working at the club seems real cool, so that makes me happy, the other bands start showing up as we're doin sound check, and they're pretty cool too, the other drummer is psyched we moved the drum riser, must of been some egotistical hair metal drummer who came up with the idea of a drum riser. After the sound check, i spent a couple of hours walkin' around detroit, lookin' for a phone card, and a pay phone, so i could call liala, no luck. Damn cell phones are phasing out everything, some folks don't even have land lines anymore, just their cells. I made it back right in time to check out the first band, not the kinda sounds i'm into, sorta like ben folds, and when you think about that, he's just a younger version of elton john... sorta, and i don't like elton john... sorry, i'm not one of those people who can like music cuz the cheese factor, you know, the it's so bad it's good types, not me, for me it's, it's so bad it sucks... anyway, what made me enjoy these guys was they're drummer, pretty amazing, and he had a kit that could fit inside a tic tac, and dudes like six feet tall. The second band would fit perfectly in the pop rock section of your local record store, really good dude on the drums as well, i don't know how these guys keep perfect time, and i also don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing... just is i guess.
I thought we had a really good show, except for me droppin' the bit a bit, i guess that's where good timing would be okay with me, when i don't have it. Pete didn't share my opinion, well, he liked the gig, but hated the sound, said he was screaming his balls off, and he couldn't hear a peep, most likely the monitors weren't even turned on... it happens. Chris rees taped the show, and bob teagan filmed it... thanks dudes, hope it came out all right. So yeah pretty good show, some clams like always, but i felt that the energy was there, and most the time, no matter how good the tunes are, if the energy isn't there, you just got some lumps making sounds, bums me out to see bands who aren't into it, like what, you don't like what you're doing, well if you don't like it, please stop, cuz you're bumming out the people who go to shows, and makein' em' think they just gotta stand around too, plus you're plugging up the expressway making it harder for everyone else to get through, it's music, enjoy it. After our set i met a ton of the sweetest people, the two that stick out the most, where these two brothers, who had the biggest appitite for music, they didn't play the game, but these kids were punks, by saying the game, i mean dressing the part, and all that bondage crap.They were telling me how they moved into a punk house, with the hopes of starting a band, and the so called punks they lived with, didn't wanna do anything, but drink beer, and eat hamburgers, i guess you can live a life like that when you're hair is cooler than you are, you know, my days done, got the hair spiked up, nothing left to do now except eat hamburgers, and make fun of hippies... whatever, i'm just a dumb ass who orders fries anyways, i don't know jack.
Gonna stay with bob tonight, you know the gentleman who filmed the show earlier, i had met him a few weeks earlier in cleveland, good people, also along for the ride were chris rees, and his special lady friend mel, two of the nicest people i've met on the road, chris is hilarious, and mel is too sweet, they brought all kinds of good eats back to bobbys place. Bob had the biggest collection of band videos i've ever seen,, all filmed by him, i went to get a coffee cup, tapes, almost all the cupboards filled with tapes, pretty rad, had a bad ass gories video he shot, know that i think about it i'd like a copy of that, so bob if your readin', and i know you are would you be so kind as to make me a video compalation, with some of that footage on there, i'd pay you for the postage, my address, p.o. box 282, san pedro, califofnia, 90733, that would be so cool, and anybody else who still believes in mail, write me, i love gettin' mail. Had alot of fun hangin' out with these folks, sorry about the flood bob, it was beyond my control, it's a wacky world, and weird shit happens all the time, like going into you're laundry room, and seeing my bags floating three inches off the ground. Snuck off to a room upstairs to get some shut eye. Bob was already gone, split early to go golfin', bye bye bob, it was a pleasure. Hung with mel and chris for a bit, then hit the road... pittsburg bound. Thanks for everything guys, i had so much fun.
popped at adam's and did the morning hyde-to-jekyll; the muscles cracked and popped but it was a welcome pop. went downstairs to the head and did a quick wash down. watt and adam had awoken earlier to go fix the boat so me and rollie had some coff' and a few chokes out on the porch. watt soon showed up w/ the boat and we loaded our stuff in; he had also purchased a mound of throatcote tea and a small electric tea kettle; kind!, no more of the tepid water rock. we hopped into the boat and we were off once again. rollie did the bench seat and I chimped diary in the navigatore' position; the chokes, dines', and coff' were having their effect on the insides and the mule was starting to kick at the barn door. I informed the chief that it would be a good idea to pull over quick or we would be in a world of shit very soon (no pun intended). we found a station and relief came quickly (thank god for small miracles). I grabbed some quaker oat bars and we were off once again. I chimped for most of the trip until we were about sixty miles out of detroit then I switched to navigatore' mode and plotted our descent into detroit. I did a roughy as I was a little iffy about our location but we got it together and pulled up in front of the pad(alvin's), a short time later. we went in and scoped out the pad; the boss man,rob was there to greet us- a real nice cat. me and rollie were a little hungry so we hoofed it down the street to this middle-eastern pad called "byblos" and settled in. the chow was very kind; I had a mixed grill w/ chicken and lamb and I knew it would be a short stay as we don't pound the red meat at all on tour but goddamn it was worth it. middle eastern chow is very happening.
feeling a great deal better, we hoofed it back to the pad and did the load in; we had a few minutes till the check' so I went upstairs to do a shave and a quick wash. having completed my quick primp I came downstairs and chimped a little in the band room until the knobsman, josh showed up. He miked us up and we ripped thru the check'. The sound was iffy and there was a major resonance on some notes. my monitor was out completely so I did a little investigation behind the cab and found that the cables had broken loose; josh got em' back on and things seemed kosher again. I hoped we wouldn't have any further snafu's. chris rees and mel showed up; it was good to see them again and mel was feeling much better than last time I saw her in cleveland where she had been "stepford mel".the opening bands did there check' and I went to go chimp in the band room. poet big dan showed up w/ two of his buds J, and devin and we burned a small nug and rapped. nice cats. we had recorded an instrumental version of "chinese firedrill" for him to do some spiel over and he was excited to see us play. chris was recording us and bob teagan was also there to do the video; we would be crashing at bob's pad that night and I couldn't wait to see the video's of the gories' and tanko' again. he also told me that he had a video of the stooges w/ the chief playing and I was way into seeing this too as I had not seen the man wail w/ them yet.
the second opening band had finished their set and I quickly went to work; got the teapot and the tea going and went to go rouse the boss, then flew back inside to help rollie set up the machines. we waited by the side of the stage and watt soon came in. he plugged in and we were almost off but josh wanted to do a quick line check'-having done this we launched into the piece and it was a tonefuck from the get go. I'm screaming my balls off into the mike and there's nothing in the mix at all; no monitors, no FOH, nothing. there wasn't any organ in the monitor either. I kept making motions to josh to correct this shit but to no avail- I was starting to get really fucking pissed at this cat- what the fuck? is this cat fucking w/ me? I began to hammer on the B3 in anger and watt could tell I was going out of my fucking mind very quickly. he tried to calm me down and I channeled my lividity into the show. finally, near the end of the set the vocs came in but it was an upper mid bogart and I sounded like I was singing thru a fucking megaphone. there was also a very irritating resonance on the floor tom mike which watt dimmed down by putting his finger on the tom to damp it. where the fuck was josh? was he watching this shit? I looked over at the board and ole' josh is staring at us w/ his arms folded. fuck this! luckily, foh sounded pretty decent and the peeps dug on us (they were the saving grace of this gig).
we finished up the encore and the folks showed us much love. much respect to them. josh came up to me and asked "what's up"? (like he didn't have a fucking clue). I told him, "rough gig bro" and he pretty much went about his business. I was still pretty pissed about the whole sitch, but the peeps kind words made me feel much better. we packed up the tools while watt slung the merch' and we had everything loaded in the boat lickety-split. we headed over to bob'a pad and settled in; me and rollie emptied our stink bags and did some wash, and we watched the stooges, gories', and tenko videos. chris and mel had brought some chow and we chowed and rapped. I felt much better. I rapped w/ mel till the wee hours then rolled into my bag and conked immediately. what a character builder of a gig. que chinga eso!
adam brings me to where doug (a cat who's helped him many times) works and they say they'll try to get me out by noon. damn, the pad is packed and that's really happening of doug to make that so - thank you. adam takes me over to food store and I get four boxes of throatcoat tea and at another store close by, an electric thing to boil water (I guess you can even cook stews in it if you want to also - only ten bucks too, econo). we get back to adam's pad and I chimp diary 'till he gets a call from doug that they're done w/the boat - it's only ten. some bad news though. it seems the mounting was loose and wore at the hole in the chassis so it's not a tight fit (fifty-year-old prostitute syndrome) - we gotta get a washer welded in there soon to get it snug. 'till then, it's looking far down the road to avoid potholes on the port side and take the ride easy. I do that anyway (taking it easy on the boat) cuz she's long there in the tooth. I get back and gather my guys, kind of irritated (fuck, kind of a go-off actually) until I get it off my chest and explain the situation to pete... then I feel a lot better. we take I-75 out of town and north, drizzling rain against grayness. the rain stops after dayton but the gray doesn't, it's gets all foggy and then right before toledo, the sun comes out. trippy, there's a giant mosque right south of town that comes out from nowhere though I've seen this for years and have learned to expect it. trips my guys out though. pete navigates us in but once more I lose faith and get us off before the ramp he was directing me too, I thought we were going to blow through town again. I gotta learn to have more faith in my guys! we do get a tour of downtown detroit however that's pretty intense on pete and raul's eyes - there's a lot of beat-up stuff down there. we're playing alvin's, next to wayne state. I first played here as a minutemen. it was going again a few years ago and I did a gig here then but this is the first one in a while. we find a good parking spot out front. a block away is a mediterranean chow pad and I go there to get some shovel to go. I get a lamb pita and a lebanese salad. while I'm waiting, I ask the counter guy what it says on a wall plaque (it looks like arabic) and he says, "god is one." I sit down to wait for them to fix my chow up and this man sits next to me and says the plaque has the shortest description of god that's in the koran. he tells me the whole translation. I tell him I was in istanbul back in august (I did a stooges gig there) and went to the sultanahmet (blue mosque). he asked if I took my shoes off and I said I did, washing my feet and hands in the little places they have for that on the outside walls. I told him I also found something trippy, a synagogue built there a long time ago. seems the turks took the jews in when they were kicked out of spain, the year columbus found san salvador. I told him I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't have been there, exploring what I could and he said that's how you learn things, getting out of your box. I thanked him for the insights and went to the boat to shovel. man, the salad was huge w/lots of lemon and oil on cut-up lettuce. I dug the lamb too. we load in the gear and I set up my stuff and then do an interview w/a cat from toledo named jay for glass eye. it goes good. then yet another cat from toledo shows up, my old friend dan - great to see him! he's got a copy of joyce's "ulysses" for me but like I didn't get this already in my early twenties? there's songs on "double nickels..." inspired by it. anyway, it's very nice of him and anyway, pete's been looking for this a while so he can be his. dan a teacher but writes poetry - me, george hurley and joe baiza backed him up a year and a half ago at the same studio I did "...middle stand" at (karma, in pedro) and the resulting album ("the unknown instructors") will be coming out early next year. we improvised some jams and dan edited them and then added his poems. jack brewer appears also. it was great playing w/george and joe like that. dan's got a new adventure for us: he wants us to do the same thing w/david thomas (pere ubu) in either december or january. whoa, can't wait. we do soundcheck w/soundman josh and there's monitor problems w/pete's side. seems we get them ironed-out though. I then go to the boat to konk. oh, before that, chris and mel show up and I say hi - they're gonna film video of the again, like in cleveland. I sure am gonna try to do better than I did that night, I didn't do too good. it wasn't as bad as montreal (please know it wasn't anybody but watt's fault there - montreal is a great twon) but in that direction.
there's two acts w/long names - the main cat in each band's name w/something else, one was brandon wiard and his army and the other was jarrod champion wakes up. I missed both of them though I talked w/them before hitting the boat and they were nice cats. we're about to start the piece but then we have to do a line check. man, do I hate this - not to sound too precious but isn't this what's soundcheck is about? it kind of robs the set of some drama, standing up there while each instrument gets played. anyway, we're finally allowed to start and it's kind of all for naught cuz none of pete's singing is either in the monitors or the mains and there's some insane ringing feedback, both in the highs in lows on stage. I don't want to rob the piece of it's wholeness so I plow on (that's what I hated so about breaking those strings and having to stop - this is supposed to be one big song even if it's in nine parts - one reason I changed strings during soundcheck today). I can tell pete's getting livid but he's a true sailor and plows w/us. I think I did better than the cleveland show but the technical things were kind of intense. I had some issues w/the effect pedals I use, they were set weird. raul lost the beat a few times in "pluckin'..." - I stopped it and had us do a stanza over in fact - twice (the first time was my fault though cuz I fucked up the words) but even more maddening was this hum I finally found the source of by putting my hand on raul's floor tom when I'd stop for him and pete's parts. I wonder why the soundman can't hear this? oh well, things like that happen. me and soundman josh laughed about it after the gig. I think he's new to this stuff. we did our best and that's what counted. raul mis-read me stomping my foot for playing his kick drum louder (I actually use that for a signal to find the fucking beat!) but I think I've only hipped him to the signals for faster, slower, louder and softer. again, my fault. the folks have us back and pete does an excellent take on the dylan cover. we're done and I get much warmness from the crowd plus some visits from some friends - e wolf, an old dear one gets huge hugs from me and one too to bob at the newly-resurrected creem. of course another one for big man dan - he's gotta get back to toledo. a ma and her daughter have me sign a poster for the son who was too young to come. good vibes from lots of generous hearts, much thanks from watt for everyone so kind. alright, bob teagan - my oldest detroit buddy, we're staying at his pad tonight.
I settle w/jack and thank him for everything including the saltsa his girlfriend made. we load up and boy is pete steamed but he vents it out w/lots of laughs too. like I said, this man's a true sailor. we pack up, chris and mel follows us and bob teagan leads the way for where he lives, in a northeast burb called fraser. when we get to his pad, chris and mel brake out the chows they like bringing when I'm in town to play - this time they have dried mango slices (really good) and other stuff to trough on though I mainly feed on the mango. like always, I ask bob to fire up the tenko and the gories on his huge televison, then he plays the stooges live in long beach from last year he shot. 'pert-near three bells when I have to call it quits, I just all wore. the earplugs work good - combined w/the mask, I'm konksville easy... even as everyone else has their motors still in gear. so ends tour's week five.
read week 4 of the tour diary
read week 6 of the tour diary
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