mike watt + the secondmen
"el mar cura todo" tour 2004 diary
week 7

watt, raul and pete - week 7 of tour - 2004watt, pete and raul - week 7 of tour - 2004
signature on the boat by joe d in 2004
watt, raul and pete - halloween night - 2004

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

(left to right)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

thursday, october 28, 2004 - nyc, ny

from raul:

   Woke up on the floor at rays house, to the smell of ray cooking up some chow, i had an egg with a couple pieces of toast. The rear view mirror has completely busted of the side of the boat, so before we get on the interstate that's something we gotta take care of. After getting the run around, and driving around for an hour, mike has some success dealing with dickheads, and he gets a new mirror. Spent most the drive in the back chimpin' away, fell asleep for a minute, and woke up to pete and mike screaming about directions and traffic, we must be close. Ofcourse traffic is screwed, and we need to get on the east side of the east river, we end up taking a ghost bridge across, the Macomb's, we never did find it on the map, but we for sure used it to get across. Parking at the club is non existent, so we gotta park down the block around the corner, and load the gear across a busy intersection. We're a little late, on account of the mirror hunt, and some traffic, but we still have time to run through a quick check. Right after sound check, i meet Deanna and john, two really sweet people, john used to be a publicist for sst, and now he lives on the east coast, he's managing the band that's opening up tonight. It was kinda cool, Deanna just came up to me and introduced her self, told me she was making printouts of the diaries, and reading them while she road the train, and that she really enjoyed my entries, it's kinda trippin' me out that other folks read these, i don't even reread them, and now i'm starting to wonder how much nonsense is being put out there.

   After talking with these folks for a while, pete and i went for a walk and grabbed some mexican chow, it's a trip, twelve bucks for a burrito, at home i could feed the whole house burritos with less than that, but we are in manhattan, so there you go, eight dollar smokes, and twelve dollar burritos. When we get back to the club a young lady i had met at Maxwell's a week before was hangin' out front, janet, she was friends with little brazil, and had said she'd come by to say hi, on her way to a show across town, well, she did, and i was surprised, we ended talking out side the club for a few hours. The guys who run the club are pretty tight, they won't give us any money to eat, but they'll give us a case of beer, and i know why they're so eager to give us a case of beer, cuz they get the shit from their sponsors for free... cheapskates, i didn't get to check out the opening bands, like i said, i was out front for the first one, and down stairs keeping warm for the second. Twice so far i've dropped sticks cuz my hands where frozen, it would happen if i go from outside straight to the stage, i didn't wanna throw any sticks tonight, it such a dumb feeling, trying to keep the beat with one hand, while groping around for a stick with the other.

   The only problem i had with the whole show, was that the floor tom would not stop feeding back, it was this low rumble, that would just build and build, it was pretty over bearing, mike was asking me to put my hand on it to stop while i was in the middle of playing, i just had to laugh, i told him, as i'm playing that i only had two hands, his response, you can do it anyway, that sound sucked, but the situation was kinda funny, and he was right i could do it, i just had to play everything i play with two hands with one hand, my left one at that, it was pretty weird, other than that i thought it was rad, the place was a sell out, every body seemed real positive, and i had a ton of energy, the boys on the other hand won't say the same, i know they didn't like it as much, they weren't happy with the sound, neither was i really, but fuck it, i heard worse, and i didn't want anything to bring me down. These two guys i'd met a week earlier showed again, alex and kurt, this time bearing gifts, one of which, was a pumpkin that i put on top of petes keys... thanks dudes.

   After packing up the gear, mike went to get the boat, and sail it through the treacherous waters of manhattan, and try to find a spot in front of the club, it was pretty funny, walk to people screaming, you know who this is, it's fuckin' mike watt, now move your car up, yeah like this limo driver knows who watt is, hilarious, but he moved, and we got a pretty good spot in front of the club, it sure beats hoofing the gear across that busy ass street again. Staying at tinas place again, it rules, she treats us all like her little boys, takes real good care of us, and of course tonight is no different, she's been like our manhattan momma... love ya tina. Went to sleep within' the hour, sometimes you-don't really know how tired you actually are till you just stop for a second, then it comes on real quick. Spent a little while checkin out old photos of mike, pre minutemen days, he was kinda embarrassed of some, i totally understand why, but when you think about, being a goof is all a part of life, and so is latching on to styles, all that stuff molds you, i don't think there's to much to be said for being the same, at lets say fifty, as you were at fifteen, but then again, i'm only half way there, but i think i'm a lot different than i was at fifteen, and yes, some of the stuff i went through, an did, was done right embarrassing and stupid, but you learn from that, and figure out all new ways to be embarrassing and stupid... bye bye.

from pete:

   popped at ray's, did a quick wash up and went to munch a little; ray was cooking us up a very kind breakfast and I was ravenous so I plowed into the feast. he had some real kind hot sauce and I dabbed this on my eggs which gave them a very kind burn- really opened the sinuses g. we got our stuff together as we had to get a move on; manhattan was about a four hour drive but that shit never goes down like that so we had to give ourselves a little buffer. we also had to stop at an auto parts store as yesterday when we scored the parking spot at tt's there was some construction going on and watt had hit the shotgun side mirror on some scaffolding and it broke off (the boat is nearly impossible to navigate w/o that mirror). ray led us to a pad that he knew of about ten minutes away but they didn't have a suitable replacement. we continued onwards to another store that the previous cat had recommended that was near the freeway. well, the traffic started picking up and what should've been a fifteen minute ride turned into nearly an hour. we finally found the pad and the chief went in to see if they had the part. they did have the mirror but the cat at the counter felt compelled to give watt some lip for whatever reason. the mirror cost about fifty bucks but it was well worth it (can't drive blind on one side). we did the install right there, said our goodbyes to ray and were off towards new york once again. much respect to ray and sandy for having us over, they are truly cool peeps.

   I was sitting in the navigatore position so me and mike went over the freeway plan (which would likely change once we got into manhattan), to plot the trip in. we had a ways to go yet so I read my book on the making of coltrane's "a love supreme" for awhile but I soon drifted off. I was awakened by watt an undetermined later as he yelled out "where am I going sailor"? I snapped out of it right quick and pulled out the road atlas to see where we were. I got my bearings and directed him to the correct freeway and rested a while when we were on it. came to sort of a fork in the freeways, and we almost did a blow-by but we hit the right one and set full sail for manhattan. got into ny state and I pulled up the map on the ti book to try and lead us in; we had to get to FDR drive in order to get to manhattan so I had to quickly re-plot a route as watt did not want to get stuck in a plug(which seemed to be in the direction we were heading. we were running parallel to it so mike took a hard starboard onto a bridge (which I couldn't find on the ti book) to try and get to the FDR. we turned onto another street and I finally got my bearings but I couldn't tell whether it would get us to the FDR. we were cruising thru harlem and I found several streets on the ti book which were likely candidates but some of them were one way and useless to us. man, you think driving in LA is trying, try new york. it's a fucking madhouse and the drivers are very aggressive (especially the cabbies). people crossing the streets w/o paying attention to what's around them, cars weaving in and out of lanes w/ no signal, a fucking nightmare. we drove south on a side street until we found an on-ramp by complete accident, but at least we were on our way. we finally reached our destination about forty minutes later but we had to park about a block away from the club and roll the gear thru an intersection to load it in. we were playing at the mercury lounge; it was my third time there and I was excited about playing there again. dennis, the boss is way cool peeps and the sound is always good. we got all the gear in and set up and kev the soundman miked us up. we went thru "the red and the black" and everthing sounded pretty good so we broke down and me and rollie went down the street to score some chow. we found a little burrito pad called "manny's" and strapped on the feedbag; it was very good. hoofed it back to the club and talked to a bunch of cats that had come to our other NY shows; I was very glad that they had come again. I went downstairs to the band room to chimp a little and staten island john showed up once again (fifth show!). the opening bands started up and I listened to them and chimped away. rapped w/ john and rollie for awhile and finished up the chimpathon; terri and diana from WFMU showed up w/ some t-shirts for us and we rapped w/ them too. I heard the last band finish up and I went to make the tea. john went w/ me to rouse the chief and to grab the merch box. went back and helped rollie set up the tools, then waited for the chief to show. he ambled in, plugged in the baby bass and we steamrolled thru the piece. we played hard but the sound was a little off; there was a hum coming from the stage from the floor tom; I didn't notice it that much but it was bothering watt a lot. we plowed thru regardless and the peeps showed us much love; it was a good gig for me and I had a blast. even danny and mike from new jersey showed up! they told me that they had been on their own hellride and couldn't make it to the hoboken show- mike also told me that their iguana chub-chub had died. R.I.P g; mike and danny are way cool peeps and I was sorry I couldn't rap w/ em' longer. oh and crystal and rich showed up once again altho' they wouldn't let crystal in because she was under 21, very lame; they had invited us to a que' at their pad in brooklyn but we just couldn't swing the time. much respect for the invite guys, we'll catch you in brooklyn next time around. keep in touch rich.

   we loaded up the van w/ much help from several cats and we were off once again towards tina's pad. we got to the parking garage and once again garnered some attitude from the night shift there (they still let us in tho'). we hoofed it up to tina's pad and she had made some very kind lamb and couscous which I topped w/ some tunisian hot sauce and wolfed down (it was absolutely delicious, tina is quite the cook). we had a little red wine and burned a spliffy courtesy of staten island john (much respect g), and rapped for awhile. tina brought me over her friendly plastic cow (which induced much good vibes in me), and I conked out right quickly under the watchful eyes of the polyvinyl bovine. laku noc sviraci...

from watt:

   pop at seven and a half bells and then hose off. thought about my dream, a scary one where I was totally w/out sight and stumbling around. to make things really fucked, there was stuff all about just around knee high and striking me in my most weak parts ever when I'd bump into them, my knees. they really started falling apart in my teens and by my early twenties, I had surgeries on both of them. seems I was born w/the kneecaps too far to the outside and this fucked up the whole geometry of how they work and the stuff holding them together was stretched weak and they would dislocate. you can't imagine the pain (these things I'm writing here of my knees are fact and not part of the dream so it might be clearer to understand this intenseness on me), it'd send me way into such shock I would feel nothing anymore after a few seconds of one of them going out (there was this one time at the dairy cooler in the kitchen of the san pedro and peninsula hospital I worked in as a pot and pan boy when I was getting a tray of butters for the chow line and BOTH of them went out at the same time after hitting a cart that was - you guessed it - knee level... this memory comes up on me sometimes when I'm awake and I squirm and squirm 'till it some evaporates... I can't forget it ever, it is a pain so ingrained on me - a horror) and that's when I could put the kneecap back in place. this cat doctor mizaguchi cut on me and yanked them more inside (reattaching the ligaments further over on the patella) so they got tighter and they've only fell out twice since then. funny (what?!), both times were on stage during gigs. crimony, what a fucking beatdown. I went to family reunion thing once w/my pop and there were people from his ma's side (danish folks) that had it, some great uncles - the top of their shins stuck out like mine and their knees were massive and what you might called "kocked" or whatever. anyway, back to the dream: I was scared to move anywhere but I felt drawn to move, if only I could settle my nerves to sense where I was being pulled to. I could feel it like if there was a magnet and some iron fillings were in my head. if I was loose w/my neck, my head would turn but then I would start fretting on what might hit my knees and lose this "scent" (for lack of a better word). it was frustrating, a fucking hell. I felt a "door" out of this would come my way if I could only find a "path" out. I started making my legs stiff, like a goose-step (ugh) and taking really tiny steps. I thought of my first time outside by myself and walking after the illness, the tiniest geisha boy steps I had to use so my insides wouldn't fall out through the holes I had cut in me to clean me out - they were so deep and I had nothing really to keep the stuff melinda would pack into me (gauze to soak up pus) from falling out but keeping the gaps tight by keeping my legs close. in the dream, I figured (weird how that works, huh?) that if I did hit something, it would be sort of gentle and I'd be rigid enough not pop shit out. the main thing was to be patient and work slow. I had to relax too so I could allow the pull to take me where I could get free of all this. a weird was that I was very unsure of whether it was just dark or was I really blind and this bugged me too cuz why shouldn't I be aware of the truth of this, how could it be so beyond me? I felt like a real 'tard in a way, like it was me fucking up doing this and not just be a victim. there was a compelling thing in me to take some kind of responsibility for the whole dilemma like somehow I was couching it in terms for a shallow level of me to accept all this was being brought down on innocent watt but deep down I was convinced this was nothing but a lie to myself. this dilemma had moral components too, mixed in w/the physical pain ones - it was weird. in the dream I was sweating bullets but in lucid way I felt I could feel me also sweating bullets dreaming this dream... aaarrgghh, the duplicity. when you look at the sun and then look away, you can see spots of what the sun kind of looked like though polarized, white switching w/black over and over. I thought for a moment I saw the same thing - was it on the inside of my eyelids (were my eyes open or closed? I was confused) or in the dark. we're they my own eyes, reflecting somehow back? I let go of all thought and then concentrated superhard for one instant and just for a flash I saw color and knew they weren't mine cuz there was none of the peasant brown mine have. they were piercing too and not confused, not weary. I swooned and then became aware of falling and wanted to protect my legs so I kept them straight out as I keeled over. umph! idiot watt. I had hit my head on the deck and it was definitely cracked open. I thought and thought of what to do, wondering where I could find some tape of all things - like I could tape it up. I once thought this same thing when I was a boy (back to real life for a sec) building models and cut my hand open accidently w/an exacto knife, exposing all the muscles and shit - I could just tape it up. I dreaded so having to wake my ma up out of a dead sleep and having to tell her (I used to wake up before the crack of dawn then too)... in the dream: I felt around and couldn't feel any blood though. it was like me head was a coconut and all these thin things were in where my brain should be. this was much a trip and I felt really cold and still. then tears came hot and flooded my face and I felt a huge rush of feeling w/in me and I wrung it out in a single bodytremor. then, stillness. it was a while, all crying dried up and now I was feeling about w/my hands but not near my head. I found a book of matches - I knew it cuz I felt and tasted them, tasted the sulphur... weird, putting shit in my mouth like I was a baby. I lit the matches and saw the flame - it was darkness around me and I wasn't blind or had my eyes sewn/glued shut. the matches were burning bright and burning short - like an idiot, I lit the three that were all the book had but I felt compelled to see what these flat smooth things were that fell out of my head. I reached back and found they were pictures - photographs... and those eyes... then darkness again, my fingers fucking burning and wondering, eternal wondering.

   that dream unnerved me, jumbled me up. of course, being watt, I had to compensate by outwardly getting very together on the outside, in this woken up now. I scrubbed hard while I hosed down, down through many layers of skin, it felt like - made me red and raw. ray had put coff but the machine that makes it and I made a big pot of it up and gurgled the whole thing. we had to get that mirror for the boat, we can't drive blind. ray pops and makes us some eggs scrambled up w/cheese in them along w/bacon and toast - stuff I don't chow as much anymore (except on sundays, w/my ma and sisters) but it still tastes good and ray whupped up a good batch. he plays us a tape of his band beefy/dc doing a gig and we can hear how great he sings those tunes (ac/dc ones), buddy pete really happening on the angus guitar as well. he just started another one w/pete that has j mascis on drums and it's called lard zeppelin. whoa.

   time to get that mirror... ray takes us to a nearby auto parts pad but the man there says they have nothing so we're directed to a place by the mass pike which we have to take anyway. damn, it takes 'pert-near an hour cuz the traff is fucking plug-city! I got pete w/his head out the starboard window playing mirrorman big time. we get to this place and I tell the man what I need and he starts unloading some sourass 'tude on me heavy - even ray (being a bostonian and maybe used to it - though I don't think this is just a regional thing cuz I have confidence any member of the human race can stupe so low) is weirded out when I go w/him to get the broken-off mirror and he doesn't return w/me. I had just told the guy it was a third-party thing, in the days the boat was new it was the dealers who put on the mirrors and there were all kinds of stuff they used (they didn't come from the factory w/them). the guys "don't blame me, you were the asshole who bought it" and I gotta smile - I'm not giving in and giving the belig back... "you're a funny man, mister" - that's what I'm thinking inside my head along w/"all I need is to get this mirror and then I'm will get out of your hair" - not voicing a word of it, being calm and nice. he says they don't have this kind of stuff... I told him I was referred to come here by another store and he says, "that's what they tell you to get rid of you" which is hard for me to believe cuz the other man came running out to see if he could help and wouldn't he of just done that from the counter. wow, you would think there'd be a little more happiness since the sox made history but maybe something happened w/this guy just before I came in.a I see what I need right on the wall and just point there (there's a display of mirrors) but he's gotta "save face" (like in mckenna's "the sand pebbles") and won't go to that catalog it's in but I stay patient and just wait w/out showing grief or madness - I'm getting better w/this w/strangers... just gotta learn to more like it w/folks who are close! I'm trying though, really - maybe this all good training. finally he goes to the right catalog and then gets me the mirror. almost fifty bucks but it's worth it for me to have some peace of mind. safety for the boat is never an issue of econo w/me, I will pay any price. all of tour-world is rides on the boat, she is our ark. even w/that weird scene, I am happy - happy we got the mirror and happy I took whatever and didn't get sad or angry. maybe I looked or acted weird enough for that guy to have a laugh about it later, it's ok. I put the mirror on w/the wrenches I bought when I got this boat: twenty tours, fourteen years (last month) and 260,000 miles ago. big byes and thanks to ray - we go west on the mass pike, almost lost a toll both for a minute but back on course for nyc. I-84 southwest towards hartford in connecticut and then through all the "bury" towns - waterbury, southbury, middlebury and then danbury (where thurst grew up!) - it's beautiful wonderful weather again for us - our new england swing has really been special for us this way. I-684 into new york state, then I-287 'till just before the tappan zee bridge crosses the hudson (don't want to do that!) and south on I-87 - almost blowing it cuz of some confusing signs (don't the designers drive on the roads they make?!!) and we're south on the east river's east bank through yonkers, where the backdrop starts the change from trees to cement. just south of the cross-bronx express way (all this maneuvering is to avoid hellplugs of traff and so far we're lucky except for the plug to make for the george washington bridge), we get on this macombs bridge that pete never does find on either of our analog or digital resources! nonetheless, we're on manhattan and finding a way to get on f.d.r. drive. we find one at 135th street and though it's kind of slow, there's no lights and no stopping. even has a houston street offramp which is the road w/the pad we're playing tonight - our last of four nyc area gigs this tour (!!!), the mercury lounge. whew. always glad when we make where we're going safe - gald and grateful, I say a little something in gratitude inside... I dearly mean it.

   I find a place across the street (but on the same side of the club) and we roll the stuff over. parking dilemmas here too but we lucked out. soundcheck w/soundman kev and then I do two filmed spiels downstairs, one for chris, who's doing a walt mink documentary and one for a nice cat named mike who knows the poster children people (a band from champaign, il). both spiels are good springboards for me to flow some ideas I've been thinking about, kind of philosophical maybe though applied through what I'm doing, working the bass and such. some history too, mostly mine. they are kind w/me and let me flow. I changed my bass strings while doing the first one, that time of the week (I sound kind of female, huh? no offense). then I go to katz's a block away and get a chopped liver sandwich that I bring back to the boat and chow - they got trippy pickles that we have nothing similar in our town. this is the best chow I've had in these parts this tour, it's weird but I really dig it. I go to konk and at first am scared, a wave hits me like a sudden realization but the fatigue I've "invested" in w/the days activity overwhelms me and swallows me like a wraslin' mat and I konk mindlessly which kind of sounds lame but better than having fear stomp all over me, especially tonight.

   I miss both the opening bands, the other passengers and hopewell (my apologies) - pete gets me up from konk for gig time and I'm nervous - more nervous than usual, shaky so I plow to make myself move... I grab the little bass. missy and giby are near the hatch when I come in the merc, hugs. my lawyer rosemary is there - hugs, then again cuz it's been awhile. ok, gig time. get it together, watt. I plow hard and look at my guys much - it's that kind of gig for me. I want them close w/me so I won't be so afraid. aahhh, hate to complain but man, these monitors are sounding worse than last night and (the two miles of country road on the skivvies thing) which is weird cuz I've had great sound at this pad. damn. there's a huge ring on raul's floor tom too which gets so intense I just have to say something to soundman kev which is really fucked cuz I hate breaking the flow of the entire piece. well, I said it fast anyway. I really am trying my best and don't let the fear win over me, I kind of looked it down (not to sound like I got that much power or I'm some kind of badass - I just lucked-out maybe). it's weird, some thoughts - ones you hold so high in your mind, even in your spirit can at the same time maybe even intimidate you also - I don't understand how exactly it works except for the fact I know it's something that grabs me profoundly, shakes my very being. thank god, doing this piece, being here tonight - I got my guys... thank you so much, pete and raul. this sure ain't the brooklyn show but then it ain't the montreal one either. it's ok but as soon as I'm done I want to do it again better - silly watt - ok, I want to do tomorrow better... I'm gonna do my damndest! I tend to over-analyze too much, yep. the folks after the gig are full of the good word... yet again, john from staten island is here as is some other cats from the brooklyn and hoboken gigs - so much respect for you nice people... shoot, all these people. one guy named john who did promo for sst records like sixteen years ago says hi, whoa. after we play and people letting go of those good feelings like that can really put a warmness on you, making you forget the little things if it wasn't a total suckass of a gig (which then would make feel guiltier about getting their good will - aahh!).

   on the way the boat though - to bring it around so we can load it up, I get a big pound-down of sadness. I feel my insides drop or feel like they've been yanked down... I feel them collect in the bottom of my feet like puddles and it's 'pert-near overwhelming. I realize jimbo didn't come and neither did juan - not that that has anything to do w/it but those thoughts did just come then as I was going through this... weird. maybe I'm relieved even they we're here though I can't believe I would even chimp that here now cuz I love them and love seeing them. I'm all spun and fluttering weird in the head. I say stupid stuff, it comes out and I know if I asked someone about it they would say it has something to do w/being insecure... god, what a mess. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry... who wants to hear that when they come to see a gig, to see a friend - what kind of friend are you, watt? what kind of man are you? I remember years ago hr (bad brains singer) asking me downstairs at the old 930 club what kind of man was michael jackson - this was in the middle 80s. I don't why I thought of that now... I remember not knowing what to tell him. forget gender, what kind of person am I? thank god for the bass in my hand, what would I do w/out that - what am I w/out that? thank god for the momentum d. boon put in me, can't even think of anything w/out that. so, forget the what ifs and think about what I've done. I'm not sure, was it ridiculous and out of line? I am clumsy w/get things out of my head and over to others. aahh - the gig tonight, some thoughts of maybe starting out ok but not having it in me to lead my guys strong. I tried not to let myself dissipate but I think I wavered, hesitated - like going on a trip and being halfway where you're going to and thinking maybe you've left a pan w/water on the stove to boil... it must be all melting up now, maybe the pad's even been burned down. maybe I burned down other people's pads? I'm trying to relate something to these feelings, to make them live enough for words that can get read and be followed. I feel subdued.

   I have my guys w/me and that's a blessing, truly. we load the gear up - first this guy in a limo won't move but all these cats helping us help him understand - that's after she's asked him nice too. same thing w/the parking guy who's the same one that gave the impression he had enough of me last time - man, I hate being in people's hair... I just want the boat safe. tina talks w/him and he relents - thank you, sir. I'm not full enough to make much of a stand anyway and it's not just tiredness. I feel like an idiot, not about the gig though I could've done better there and I'm trying to tomorrow but w/words, maybe they were thoughts but then I tried to get them into words and it came out clumsy, fucked-up even. I don't know the boundary - no I know it but am fucked up w/it. I was trying to keep those things out of my thinking 'till this day but I know it was weighing on me and now I've crumbled. I have to apologize, have to take responsibility. we get to tina's (she's been so nice to us - fourth time now in two weeks - thank you, tina... she asks if we saw the lunar eclipse last night and though pete did, I was out konked - damn, they both said it was wild) and to be down for konk is more than I deserve but it makes it for a private way cuz my guys let me live w/it and I do need a show for them, I just gotta be there for them. I will. I gotta be there. those who need me will let me know how. gotta rally, watt... get it together.

friday, october 29, 2004 - philadelphia, pa

from raul:

   Woke up at tinas and jumped in the shower, after that had some juice and a can of black beans, tina showed me the new tea pot she got, oh very nice, then i remembered almost melting the old one last week... doh!... sorry tina. Not a hugh to philly, but we gotta bounce at ten, the parking lot almost didn't let us in at all, and he remembered mike from a week before, and said that he was doing us a favor, and that was a one time thing... a little sweet talking, and he let us stay under the pretense that we'd leave by ten. No problem getting to philly, just two stupid mistakes, the first being that we didn't go thru the right entrance at the jersey turn pike, and i had to run across five lanes of freeway traffic to get the ticket... scary. The other being me figuring out the perfect way to get there, and then realizing that we could of just went straight off the interstate... dumb ass, it only was like a minute detour, but i felt real smart taking us in a circle, but i swear the 'puter made it look like that was the best way to go, never trust a monkey. I haven't been to philly in atleast six years, and i didn't get to see to much, just the club, and the view out the window. Parking was a total nightmare, plus the street the clubs on, has their parking shut down at ten, so even if we could find a spot, we wouldn't be able to stay there anyway, shiver me timbers, that sucks, mike found a lot that would let the boat port a couple blocks away. We were there real early, the club was open, but the show wouldn't start for another nine hours, fuck it no time like the present, so i set up my drums, and stepped out for some food. Stacey, the promoter of the gig, gave me the cross streets of a good cheap veggie place, vegan philly cheese steaks, that's a pretty big contradiction... it would be more like philly soy cheese soy steaks. While searching for this place, i came across the liberty bell, i had to check it out, i mean how often do you get that chance. Man it was a hassle for me to get in there, not that the security was mean or anything, on the contrary the lady was real nice, but if you know me, you've seen my wrist are covered with all kinds of metal, and my belt, everything, and i did not wanna take all this stuff off, and my bag, that's a nightmare, who knows what's floating around that thing. I let the lady know that i'd been living out of it for the past month and a half, and i didn't know what weirdness she might find in there, she kinda looked at me funny, and ran it thru, no bombs, it reminded me of taking jet blue to oakland a couple weeks before killer dreamers last tour, the guy wanted to check the inside of my shoe, sure you can put your hand in my stinky rank shoe, who knows what it might feel like, i hadn't worn socks for a while, the look on his face was disturbing, he got swamp hand from my swamp foot, should've worn a glove dumbass. I remember they took my skate key, like i'm gonna dismantle the plane with that, the worst i could do would be loosen the captains trucks... i guess security can never be too careful... yes, that was sarcasm.

   Well after checking out a little piece of history, i finally found gianni's, i didn't try the vegan cheese steak as suggested, i had a hugh egg plant sandwich with some onion rings, oh it was grubbin', but not the cheapest, ten bills, i don't know, i'm not from philly so maybe that is cheap, but whatever, it was well worth it. The restaurant was a block away from a little trendy shopping strip, reminded me of being in the haight in frisco, lots of over priced garbage, for people to waste their money on, who i'm i to talk, i buy some random ass things, like the two little monster pencil toppers i bought in northampton, but those were only seventy five cents, and on top of that they look so goofy, not like spending two hundred bucks on a pair of jeans, doesn't matter anyways, people have different priorities i guess. It was the most random thing, i'm walking down the street, and i spot a familiar face, he kinda looks at me sideways, and i say citizen fish, yep it's the bass player of the sub hum anz, i forgot their on tour, so i remind him of his reggae band playin' a back yard party we had in pedro like eight years ago, it takes him a minute, but it all comes back, he was trippin', said it was one of the best chance meetings of his decade, after talking a bit, we exchanged our addresses, and went our separate ways... it's a wacky world, and it's only has space to get weirder. So within' the next few blocks, it gets even wackier. I notice this hugh tour bus in front of this theater, and all these hipster looking kids standing around it, wonder who's playing i thought, so i look up, and it's le tigre,, and the smaller letters underneath it spell out gravy train... holy shit, no fuckin' way, gravy train are some of my peeps from oaktown, and it'd be such a treat to get to see each other in philly. I didn't look for em' too hard, cuz i had to make it back to sound check, but i knew where they'd be for the night, and it was only a ten minute walk from where we're playing... hell ya.

   Showed back at the club at six sharp, only to find i was an hour early, oh well, i'll just bum around the block, till the sound guy shoes up. The sound already is ten times better then the mercury, so the fellas are happy about that, i have a good feeling about the gig tonight, i think it's gonna be real good, just a feeling. After the check, i head back over to the g train show, this time it's real easy to find em', right as i walk up, i see brontez walkin' in with a fry sticking outta his mouth, then heather walks out, and when she spots me, she starts screaming, so cool, what a nice reception, we do the hug thing, and she puts me on the list. I gotta go look for a music store, but i'll be back in a few... see ya then... no music store, but i did get a bitchin' pumpkin smoothie. It was so good to see everybody, i gave seth a big ol' hug and a kiss, and let brontez sit on my lap, he's such a perve. It was so much fun to hang with the girls and boys, i met kathleen hannah, she was real sweet, told me to tell mike that she loves him, and she wishes were all together. It was such a treat to get to see gravy train on tour, they killed it, so good, and folks were eatin it up, it's funny, they have these songs that people think are all dirty, but i know it's just about seths cat burger time... rip kitty. I got to watch the majority of there set, but i had to go back, so luckily, i'd said my good byes earlier in case i wouldn't see them after, plus there's a right time to make your exit, and i think i left at that time. On the walk back i hitched a ride with a tour group, it was real neat, this cloaked lady holding a lantern, taking people on a walking tour of the city to point out different historical sights, i got to see the print shop where thomas payne first had the revolutionary manifesto printed up, that's pretty cool... right. Made it back to the show just in time to see the perfectionists, they're the kids we're gonna be staying with tonight. Their band is pretty badass, their singer just took over the drummer duty, that's pretty rad, they're old drummer was givin' em' grief, so they just axed him, and became a three piece, grooved out bass lines, and really unmatching dissonant guitars, and a rudimentary drummer, that brought it all together perfectly, i guess about twenty three, twenty four ago, someone would've called this post punk, or maybe they just came off that way live, regardless, i liked em'. Didn't get to see to much of the northern liberties, by this time the club was packed tight, so i took off to go harness my chi before the gig. The only problem with tonights show, the last song, i almost think mike was slowing down on purpose just to keep me on my toes, we were so close, anyways it was a good show, real sweaty, with lots of energy, they even put an extra section on the stage so pete had more room, last time, he told me the backs of his boots were hangin' off the edge. Getting the gear was a hugh hassle, i can't even imagine what it was like for mike to drive the boat over, i'm sure it was a struggle, jockos everywhere, it was sick, there was almost a knife fight, right in the middle of the walk way that the equipment was going through. fuckin cops all around the boat, i felt so outta place, it was like a mini mardi grai, drunk frat boys and girls everywhere, but we finally made it out. Drove the busiest street, for atleast a half hour to get to the sleep center, and when we pull up the kids point out a garage for us to park in, no flippin' way, that things half the size of the boat, maybe we could cram it in there, yeah, but we'd have to go full speed. I'm pretty much out as soon as we get there, i set up a camp on the floor in the indoor porch, and feel asleep listening to the sound of the rain.

from pete:

   popped at tina's, did a quick wash up and some coff'; we had a short ride to philly but the chief wanted to get there early as the parking sitch was always a nightmare. I rolled up the ol' bag, said bye to my friend the plastic cow and we hoofed it over to the parking garage where we had docked the boat the night before. we threw the gear in and siad goodbye to tina, this time the last for awhile; much love to you tina for putting up w/ us so many times and for being truly nice.

   I immediately hit the bench seat and read the coltrane book and slept a little; the drive was short and we were in philly in about an hour and a half, but as always we had to park about a block away until we could score a spot near the club (the khyber once again). we found out much to our chagrin that the hombre closes the entire street on the west side after 10:00 PM, so we would have to unload and park the boat elsewhere. major lameness as this parking bullshit was a major nightmare for several gigs and the club owners never seem to take this into consideration. we found a spot a few doors up from the club and quickly got the gear in; sound check wasn't for another few hours so we just brought the gear in and put it next to the stage. I went into the bar and read the local music rag while watt went to go dock the boat at a suitable lot. I'm sitting there reading and who should walk in by CJ marsicano from the watt list; cj's very cool peeps and I'm glad to see him again- he's even brought us some dines' and fresh habi's form his garden along w/ three kinds of hot sauce. he tells me "happy belated birthday" and hands me a book for a present. it's "blinded by the right" by david brock, a tome I really wanted to read. much respect cj. I rap w/ him for awhile then go next door to get a chix cheesesteak sammy which I douse w/ a liberal amount of hot sauce. very kind. I go upstairs to get some chimp time in and do my email as I latch onto a wi-fi signal from somewhere's. three cats from the first opening band come in- eric, joel, and matt, and me and watt rap w/ them for awhile. they're really nice cats and offer us their pad to crash at for the night, and we rap a while longer then all head downstairs as soundcheck is nigh. we set up the gear on the stage and brandon the knobsman mikes everything up. we run thru the check and everything sounds pretty cool so I go back up to the band room to chimp and finish up my email. I read an email from my mom and of course she's worried about me but says everthing is cool on the homefront. she also tells me that they're re-stuccoing their house and that my old man is pissed that I'm not helping him. his exact words were, "he's out fucking around instead of helping me" (just when I think the acceptance is starting to seep in, the old croatian vibe rears it's cynical head). well like I always tell my dad, "at least you're consistent in your nagging". in all seriousness, I wouldn't be where I was now if it weren't for him and my ma so I have to cut him some slack. I'll help you when I get back OK? love ya pops, I really do.

   I finish up the chimp and go downstairs to check out the first band, the perfections' and who do I see but danny and mike from new jersey and staten island john (gig #6 jesus h. christ!-a true fan ). we rap for awhile and go check out the band; they are way intense and I'm really into them, they kind of remind me of the pop group. some cat in the back keeps yelling out "you suck!" and similar such comments which totally unnerve me; brandon the soundman much to his credit tells the guy to shut up and get the fuck out if he's going to be rude and even offered to refund his bones. good. cats like this should stay home and watch tv. alone. the second band comes up; they're called the "northern libertines" and man, if you get a chance to check em out', please do so. bass, drums and a percussionist/singer. very intense and one of the best bands in philly right now.

    the libertines finish up and I go to rouse the chief and bring him the tea, then haul the merch box back to the club. mw and rollie set up the tools and wait for the man to show up; he soon ambles in and we go into the piece w/ much intensity. we are all very on and the peeps are digging on it. I'm having a blast in comparison to my last gig at the khyber, but I'm also more focused on this tour than the previous one. we come out for the encore and dig in even more and the folks are digging it big time. we finish up and watt does the merch while me and rollie talk to a whole cadre of cool peeps who offer us many encouraging comments. much respect. we break the gear down and w/ the help of staen island john, danny, and mike, we get the gear loaded in quickly. downtown philly is a cluster fuck of borrachos and hombre as it's saturday nite and we want to get the fuck out of dodge ASAP. we wqait for the perfections' cats to finish loading their gear then follow them back to their pad. they tell us to park in their garage but it's obvious after some eyeballing that this dig won't hunt. we pull a compromise by parking the boat diagonally next to the garage and we grab our gear and go to settle in. we rap w/ the perfections' cats for awhile , then sueno begins to hit me and I crawl in the bag. I hear the loud crashing of thunder and lightning and I conk to the splatter of a downpour. buona notte musicanti...

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose off... I didn't mention the last night's hair stuff but I had my hands all in them before konking and this led somehow to how a younger watt had is so I showed a shot of me at fifteen - fucking ridiculous (but like it ain't now?!). the thing is that in these days, cuz of my worsening madness (or whatever you call it), I get compulsive behavior to yank at my hair that's very much promoted when it's longer. it's getting like that now - I usually have my sister cut every month and I've been away from pedro longer than that. this is as bad or as worse as the "color" issue for me, I hate both the silliness of me trying to hide my age this way (though I am totally silly anyway) and the almost tourette-like tick of yanking the fuck out of my head by the handful. anyway, I had a hair dream - I was swinging by it. since my hair gets curly when it's long (my ma's italian), I was flaling all about, not just twirling around an axis but more like a gas pump hose that's been all tangled and the handle stuck on "go" and geysering it up like a motherfuck. I felt motion sickness like when I was being carted as a boy up into the mountains and couldn't stop looking at telephone poles passing. color and dark would swirl in alternated waves, totally absorbing me. I was in tumult. it was intensely dynamic on me, trampoline-like. it wrung me out much and I was so relieved to pop and get dumped out of that one, whew.

   I get served up what tina made for pete last night, a lamb tagine chow. it was good. I put two hard drives, an ata pci card and a half gig of memory in her desk mac - took a half hour and everything worked good right away - that's a mac for you. we say our byes and give much thanks to her having us aboard these four times this tour, so much kindness for doing that - thank you again, tina. we make our way to the boat and I use that ninth ave way for the lincoln tunnel again which gets us to new jersey pretty quick. south on the nj turdpipe and after doing the dance you have to do around trenton (what a bowl of spaghetti), we get into phily around one pm. the whole morning's been an erie gray, trippy. the gigs in the old part of town, a pad I've played many times called the kyber. there's signs everywhere saying street parking can only go to ten pm (this is new) - shit, we go like at almost midnight! this parking fiasco crap is making me fucking crazy, almost more intense than worrying about playing the actual gig - what's that about? I pow-wow w/my guys and we decide to unload the gear where we can and I'll find the closest lot that will take us. two of the lots right close tell me to get lost, they say they do "too much business" and I guess the boat will be a pain for them. aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh. I do find a lot w/a kind guy who charges me six dollars more than the regular price to put me in - I'm not complaining cuz at least I've found something. I get a cheesesteak sandwich - hey it's phily. I then get all droolin' over this salad bar - can't resist the marinated artichoke hearts and asparagus rods but that proves to be a stupid decision cuz shit laying out that long is bound to be fouled and sure enough, it's "short-stay" - I blow it out like ten minutes later. the head upstairs at the pad here has no fucking wiping paper so I gotta use flyers - shit, they're printed on both sides too. tour life is definitely a journey. better that sourass shit is outside of me rather than inside. I find wifi (briefly) and get this email from uncle ray:

   ...everybody knows in hankie-lingo that shoving a white one into yr pie-hole with the left hand means "I scarf caucasian cooter." I owe you one, bro-- I gotta go duct-tape some more beach towels around my elbows now...

   he must be referring to the shot I used of him for week four of the diaries. no offense, uncle ray - all of us in the boat dig you much. I konk unkowingly w/the 'puter on my lap for a spell and it seems I got a bit more of the wifi (these things can be really iffy)... whoa, what's this one? coming right to the tipurse - I don't know why, it's not in me usually to want and see what the fairy emother brought just as I pop but what I get is 'pert-near a balm on me (I think I spelled that right). I don't feel I get to (or should be able to) shirk even the slightest in the responso dept but am I so grateful for small mercies (and a good heart/nature)... whew. hoof some to have a think about that... returning, I see staten island john is here again - six gigs now this tour, much respect! I ask him to work the little digicamera during the gig cuz I got no shots from it of us playing this tour yet. damn. he's helped us much w/the loading and everything, what a bro. wattlister ceej shows up early too and donates to us coltrane's "sun ship," habaneros he's grown, some tins of king oscar 'dines and three bottle of heatage: mountainman fireroasted habanero, smokin' habaneros, east of armageddon. thank you much, ceej. as for the first sauce - great flavor but not much heat, the second - good flavor/good heat and the third - big heat but too chemical in the taste. that's just our verdict and does not diminish our appreciation for you being so generous. we meet the three cats in the opening band which are called the perfectionists - matt, joel and aaron - they invite us for konkage where they live in west phily, more kindness to us. it's great when bands are so open and free of the 'tude you unfortunately have to wade through w/some people in this music racket, in fact it's much a blessing. they have an enthusiasm that's way infectious, grazie mille to you cats. we do soundcheck w/soundman garret and I go off to the boat for much needed konk - didn't get real rest from the tumult of last night... man, that wasn't even a journey - more like a fucked-up "amusement" (I use that word lightly) ride I just could not get of (I think in a way though there was a part of me that kept feeding in the quarters, what a weirdo - like a monk and his hairshirt, huh?). I konk fast and hard.

   I get a wake-up and a tea from pete, 'pert-near midnight now and we're on in fifteen minutes. he said both the perfectionists and the other openers, another local band called the northern liberties were both smokin' bands and damn, I wish I could've seen them but I was just too worn. I've explained this before but the konk shit before I play isn't a luxury, I swear. w/out it, I'd be even worse than I sometimes can be when I'm doing the self-soil and on top of that, I'd surely get sick bad. the place is packed and it's tough to get to the stage. at least the stage this time is wider cuz of them putting a section back in they had to remove before - this caused him to have a horrible time at our last one here, him being afraid of tumbling. I've been rallying myself all day for this gig, much so and reading that in nyc this morning really put some fuel in the tank that helps me do that... I'm invigorated (a funny word for watt to use but also a very happening state to be in). I temper those feelings though, balance them and not be the fucking go-off that keeps blowing it - everyone might be able to admit that to themselves, I'm guessing - but for a gig, I can use that and then pull together w/my guys to make the piece work. me and my guys, the three and the piece... one out of many - one conversation we hope to make interesting. these phily folks are great to play for, truly. well, all tour I've been graced w/some sincere well-wishes and patience even for me to get it together. what's intense is how my voice came back - must be all the fresh habaneros cuz it's not like I'm getting any chance to rest it. god, what a trial - that week starting w/the vermont one (even though the montreal one the night before was the worst - but that was a wholly voice thing, it was my spirit shook to shit w/afraidness) where nothing would come out, totally "miming it" or whatever. brooklyn was where it came back on, brooklyn was the intense moment of this tour for me, the one place I got it together in my heart on a stage for the piece, I was so driven! yeah, I was silly and a fucking dork even after but on that south paw stage... tonight is similar, even though I'm trying to will it more than it just happening and grabbing me - I still don't have it together enough to "summon" such things so it's still very much a "dice roll" for me. and you know how life is to - trying too hard can really fucking the zen of shit up, big time. there's some kind of "focused/relaxedness" combined w/a genuine heart-thump to cook things up right, it seems to me. something about the monitors having an upper-midrange thing and not being all boomy or muffled really helps. the monitors tonight are tiny and toy but what I can hear off the mains helps lots (kind of like brooklyn). trippy but pete's said the same thing about how it is w/him too. you don't really need "front-of-house sound" for monitors and it's crazy I think to go for that. you need something that helps you drive yourself that works better but I don't know if it's just an eq thing - it may be some kind of an "ambiance" thing though that sounds about fey as it gets so I don't know if I'm explaining it right. maybe it's something that can't be quantified or duplicated on command and just somehow "happens" - a result of the fates, hmm... I just love it when I get to ride it for a gig, there is nothing like it. I hope this doesn't sound like whining or making excuses, I'm just trying to wonder about something but chimping thoughts here. like all the spiel I have in my diary things, they're impressions and not judgements even though clumsy language might make them appear that way. back to real time in phily - the gig goes great and we do all the songs I planned to do when we started in pedro. I ask raul and pete to stop for the roky one though cuz they're driving it along to fast and not following me (maybe I'm making it too hard to - sorry, guys!), I'm trying to be interpretive w/it and not just hammer it out. I hardly am playing the bass to it myself even so no offense to pete or raul.

   we're done and good vibes back and forth between the gig-goers and the gig-doers, truly. thank you, folks. I get two paintings - wow, one's one of john coltrane - he lived in phily much of his life - this is where "cousin mary" lived too (he wrote a song that as a title) and the other's abstract but w/african influences, it appears to me. very generous. one lady has an i.w.w. shirt on, alright wobbly! much respect. I'm very happy and what a mood shift from after the gig last night (during the gig kind of and then in the boat and after, not on the stage talking w/people cuz they filled me w/good will to kind of temporarily stave off the bad shit) - tour, fuck - my life - seems to be like that so I have to really be restrained from making rash judgement shit that so much means fuck-all (sound like england, huh?) on a bottom line look. like w/nature, you gotta weather storms and make use of a good wind when it comes up.

   it's a hell getting the boat around to where we need for load-in but luckily I get close enough and then a policeman is kind enough to help me through so we can do the do w/that. thank you, officer. the streets have many borrachos making things crazy and pretty chaotic - there's even a knife fight on the sidewalk by the cars of the cats we're staying w/and boy, do I want to get out of dodge quick. again we're lucky to have cats like brothers danny and mike from new jersey (again, much respect to them for driving a thousand miles to do a gig at a deli plus a little extra to danny for flowing those habanero seeds to his buddy in sacramento) and staten island john to help us load up the boat quick, great. byes and thank yous to them, big time. then we follow the perfectionist gentlemen to their pad and the garage they said would dock the boat is way WAY small for the job (not complaining, just trying to deal) but I angle the boat in a way they say is ok so hey, the last hard part of the night is done. more hot tea and a little mota while we spiel w/our hosts. two are teachers - they are quite interesting cats and I don't why I think it's amazing they're in their early twenties cuz these has been proven to me again and again. it's neat too they want to hear from some weirdo like me and not just hear themselves (sometimes I wonder if it's me that's that way!). I can't spend much time so I try to make what maybe I can offer concise and to the point, something that can help "uplift" (like coltrane said). life's given me some lessons, I try to let folks check out whether it's worth their while to pick up on it. it's touching the respect they give you and not dismissing you as a lunatic or a has-been obsolete broken-down wreck. I'm not that strong but I can listen - the spiels I respond w/aren't totally from outer space. I don't want to issue orders, just relate some thoughts. m bones do ache but that's to remind me I'm human, a little man. I like get filled w/the wonder and that's why I'm trying to keep learning, even after fuck up after fuck up - gotta pull my creaky-ass self back up. a life is many days though - the sun rises, the sun sets. konk cometh.

saturday, october 30, 2004 - baltimore, md

from raul:

       Woke up and went straight for the boat, i wasn't feeling the most social, for no particular reason, so i just kicked it in the back seat and did some reading, after about a half hour, the boys came out and told me we're gonna go chow with the perfectionists, sounds good to me. The spot we went to had a hugh line, so we said fuck it, and opted to get started on the drive, too bad, i was looking forward to the pumpkin pancakes. I slept most the way to baltimore, which was only about an hour away, so it was just enough time to wake up, and feel real groggy, sometimes sleep can ruin ya' too. A few minutes after we showed up, pete and i walked over to a cafe down the street, i needed a place to chimp, and he wanted to grub, this place was called the paper moon, pretty trippy, half mannequins with robots glued all over them, they were everywhere, all kinds of weird nic nacs, it's cool, going into a restaurant, and it's like some eccentrics home, all personalized with old junk. It happened again, i got the chile burn in my eyes, i had cut some habs up for mike and pete earlier. I'm sittin' down at the table, enjoying a tasty beverage, and the waitress comes up and ask us if everything is okay, and do we need any thing else, i must have rubbed my eyes second before, cuz right as she's talking to me, my eyes start welling up with tears, then all the sudden i couldn't see, my eyes were stuck shut, must of looked like a retard, she had no idea what was going on, could you help me to the bathroom, i got chile in my eye, we don't even have chile she tells me, how embarrassing, cute waitress helps bumbling klutzy retard to women's room, news at eleven. It must of looked so silly, me being led through a restaurant, bumping into tables, with my arms feeling everything like a blind man... dumbass. I got to admit though, even though it didn't feel to funny, it was pretty funny.

   This is the only gig of the tour, that we're not closing, we're gonna play second, but i still set my stuff up anyway, we wanna play the whole piece, so it'd be good to get the gear on stage as fast as possible. there's a photo booth at the club, so i take some pictures of me wearing the blue uncle ray mask. Next door to the club, is an old row house, that serves as green room, ours is on the top floor, there's a couple of couches, and a table with a candle on it, perfect place to catch up on my diary. The room i'm in is between the bathroom, and the other rooms, so while i'm chimpin', i get to meet all the band members one by one, kinda convenient. One of the dudes gives me the heads up, and tells me to go chow down at the private party upstairs, it so dark up there, i can't tell whats what, so i'll just grab some chips and salsa. On the way back next door, i take a look inside the club to see what the crowd situation was like, place looks like a sellout, but it's full of kids, thirteen year old girls wearing fairy wings, is not someone you'd see at a watt gig, lot's of fans for the headliners, great, we're gonna sink like a bowling ball. I take the food back up stairs, do a bit more chimpin', then go check out the first band. This place is packed, to the teeth, and there's equipment everywhere, this should be fun. When they're done, i jump on stage and start helping with their gear, for more time we told the sound guy we'd be set up in ten minutes, and we did set up pretty quick. A few minutes before i went to the stage i'd meet some folks who where there to see us, so that puts me at ease, and makes me feel a little bit better, our friend mark is also taping the show, so he'll atleast get some funny crowd reactions. Playing for these folks wasn't as awkward as i thought, and it went good, no major flubs to speak of, and we had some good energy, there was a lot of chatting, but i was anticipating that, so it didn't fuck with my concentration... too much. After the gig we had to get the stuff off stage real quick, usually mike and i will stay on stage, he'll sling merch, and i'll break down my kit, but tonight we're go straight off. We can't take the gear out either, cuz there's so many people, so the crew and i wait it out, i hang out with some folks i met earlier, and have a couple adult beverages. I end up meeting the girl who was having the party upstairs, she tells me that there's tons of left overs, and to feel free to chow down, half the stuffs vegan, on account of her diet, that's perfect, lasagna...mmmmmmmmmm.

   We're gonna stay with a doctor, named ray, who was nice enough to answer our call for a place to crash, he lived in a row house about fifteen minutes from the otto bar. This is a different location from the otto bar i remember, last time i came to the otto bar, i was with the jag offs, and it was on this small back street right near down town baltimore. I remember me and jacob entering a spelling bee/ butcher knife throwing contest, yep, that's right, i still have the flyer. It was the weirdest, throwing this hugh knife at a rudely drawn target, then trying to spell a word, that's a smart combination, giving drunk musicians who've been on tour for a month butcher knives. Rays an all right guy, givin' us a place to stay and all that, remember he's a doctor, crazy hours, said he worked anywhere from eighty to a hundred twenty hours a week... thats intense, i don't think i could ever handle hours like that, so much respect for that, hopefully he doesn't burn out. We all laid down and joked around for a minute, mike said that tomorrow, we're gonna turn the drama to trauma... okay chief, good night.

from pete:

   pop at the perfections' pad and go upstairs to do a wash-up and shave. we decide that we're gonna go chow together and we follow them up to west philly to a breakfast pad that they know near penn state. the place is a cluster-fuck and we have to get a move on so we opt to go without and head back to the boat. we bid the perfections' goodbye and we're off once again. much respect to you cats for letting us crash at your pad.

   rollie hits the bench seat this time and I assume the navigatore position; I plot our course in on the big map as rollie is chimping and I get a general idea of where we are. I put the map away and get a little reading in; I start on the david brock book and it's quite a trip. I dig on it. we start getting near baltimore and I grab the ti book from rollie to plot in our descent a little closer- we're in front of the club pretty quick and w/o many hassles; the pad we're playing at is called the ottobar and it's my third time there- it's a cool place to play. tonite we wouldn't be headlining, we were opening for a band called "rasputina" (two cellos and a drummer). me and rollie hoofed it on down the street to grab some chow at a pad called the paper moon' (which me and jer had frequented on previous tours). I ate while rollie chimped for awhile, then we hoofed it back to the club to see if we could do the load in; mark whitehead and a friend of his were out in front (they would be filming us tonite once again) and we rapped w/ them for a few minutes. the promoter let us in and we unloaded all the tools; we didn't set up as rasputina was doing their check first, so we just placed the gear by the side of the stage and I feel asleep in a small booth. I was awaken by rasputina' doing their soundcheck and I watched or awhile; it was really cool- they used effects on their cellos and they sounded very guitarry. as it turned out we weren't going to get a soundcheck so I went to the band room next door to get in a little reading time and relax (rollie was already up there chimping away). I went in and talked to the rasputina peeps; one of the cellists was named zoey, and the other lisa. both very nice ladies (and they let me partake in some of their maker's mark whiskey too).

   the first band had finished up their set so I went to go rouse the boss and give him his tea. I went back into the club and the place was absolutely packed; it was an all-ages halloween bash and kids were packed like dines' in there. some peeps start yelling out our names and as soon as watt is ready, we launch into the piece- we played it very well except for some timing issues that keep plagueing me on pluckin'. there is much,much yammering in the crowd but the folks seem to dig on it nonetheless. I had a blast and several people came up to me to say that they really dug on it. we didn't do the encore set as we had a time constraint but this was a blessing in a way as we could focus our energies on the piece. we rapped w/ a whole mess of cats afterwards and listened to the rasputinas' set- they sounded really cool and wore victorian style clothes (they even did a cover of hearts' "barracuda" and zeppelin's "rock n' roll")- my sis would've really have been into them. they finished up their set and finally enough people cleared out that we could move our stuff into the boat. got it all loaded up and followed a cat named dr. robert back to his pad where we were staying. got there and rolled out the bags and after rapping for a while I conked very quickly. laku noc sviraci....

from watt:

   I pop at eight bells to find a guest of our hosts (another one besides us) leaving to volunteer for this upcoming election. two of the cats I was spieling w/last night here were independents but I don't know if this guy is. do independents work for people getting elected or do they just vote? maybe and independent can stir up the debate - I'm not talking about the candidate kind but the voter ones. seems a lot of attention gets thrown their way, huh? no loyalty issues to muddy things maybe. I'm sure glad there's a secret ballot. anyway, this guy has to tiptoe around pete and raul cuz they're konked right in front of the fore hatch. what I need is the llaves (keys) for the aft hatch (there's a deadbolt securing it that needs a key) so I can get a fresh outfit for the next round of three gigs. he knows nothing about that so I wish him luck w/his work to do. there was a cat from nyc at the gig last night that was here in phily to volunteer work time for the election. he gave me a wrist band that says "wake up! vote nov 2." I load week six of the tour diaries up to the hoot page (these cats have a land line!) after finding some earl grey tea bags and procuring some stompdown for the caff jones. getting on eleven bells w/everyone still snoring has gotta end - at least for my guys and at least one of our hosts to pop that rear hatch. I go topside and holler in the hall (I hate having to do that) and first kaitlin and then matt comes to the rescue but it's matt w/the key. all three perfectionists wanna chow and see us off so they get ready as my guys do while. I hose off and change w/what I just got out of the boat. it was trippy weather out there. last night it started thunder/lightning/raining just as we got into the pad here but now it's all weird gray - weirder than yesterday cuz there's lots of fog but not too thick. oh, let me tell some about some of last night's dream - it was like I was seeing one of those old kinescope (is that the word?) silent movies where they flickered lots but for some reason it was in color and not black and white. weird too was it was flat like on a screen but like a sphere almost, about the size of a baseball and three-d, like I could see around the side of it and get that perspective of what was going down which was a series of trippy vignettes - I say that only cuz I couldn't connect how the scenes were to be in making a single whole, if that was the case. for some reason, I found them self-contained in their smallness, sort of like - get this - an older minutemen record, like "what makes a man start fires?" or something. this is not me ruminating on it now as I'm chimping it here but rather how I was responding to it while it was happening. the scenes were weird: a man in waders fishing for bass in reeds, a kite getting loose from some kid and him chasing it all crazy, another kid throwing up an oldstyle lighter that's got string tied tied to it and a hanky's four corners to make a parachute, a middle-aged guy on a bike losing both wheels at the same time but some how not falling, a ball of string expanding rapidly and becoming more and more see-through, a horse skipping on one hoof at a time - all these little "scenes" running forward and back w/me seeing it at times real up close and then further, like I was in a space ship and seeing it sort of as a planet or a moon. it was trippy.

   matt, joel and aaron get their outfits on and we follow them a few blocks in the boat for chow. they have us park in front of police station to protect the boat (they're learning good things about having a band) and we hoof to where there's a trough but there's a huge fucking line (it's saturday) and I hate lines, crimony... we thank our hosts much and tell them it's better for us to take leave for baltimore. they understand and we say our byes and thanks - good luck to them in their endeavors - good cats (and a funny name for a band - pete said their sound reminded him of the pop group!). we take I-76 to hit I-95 but somehow end up in new jersey on the I-295 which is ok cuz it's bound for the delaware memorial bridge (that one we took coming from ian's pad up to wfmu last week) which will get us through delaware and into maryland. we're south of the mason-dixon line now for good the rest of this tour, we stop at a 'way and I chow a tuna sandwich prepped w/fresh habanero and a couple of ceej's donated sauces. good burn. not too long of a drive, a couple of hours in we're in baltimore - pete navigates us in a little outside so there's some bumpity-bump w/the beat-up roads but where the club is kind of far from the interstate we were on anyway - this pad is the ottobar, near johns-hopkins (the doctor school). we get a kind parking place in the alley right next to club's hatch, happening. it's kind of muggy and still gray though the fog we were driving through earlier is now gone. pete and raul set off to roam on foot while I hold fort in the boat and chimp more diary.

   tonight's an usual gig of the tour for us cuz it's the only one where we're opening for another act - they're a trio called rasputina who have two cellists and a drummer. there's a band before us too called skeleton key. there's a big cat waiting for rasputina - he starts a conversation w/me when bossman todd comes by to let us load in. turns out he's from west texas and just quit his job as a prison guard cuz the stress was getting to him. he said he was shopping and then felt a tingle in one arm and purple circles were flashing in one of his eyes and it spooked him, he knew it was coming from heavy pressures of that job. he says he likes seeing this band and has flown here for the gig. I tell him about some of my adventures in west texas, where the weather can change really fast. there was this one time I had to start a tour during summer in miami and had to drive straight there w/steve reed, dear friend/soundman (this was fIREHOSE days). right around van horn, where I-10 and I-20 split, a hot cloudless bright blue texas sky filled in minutes w/gigantic thunderheads and suddenly the boat was pelted w/hail - it was so insane, I had to pull the boat over and me and steve were laughing our heads off while it sounded like ten thousand ball-peen hammers were beating on the boat. then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped and the sky completely cleared up - like nothing ever happened except for wetness on the ground (the hail melted right up). that was a mindblow. this cat's name is chip and he knows nothing about my music but he sure is nice, offering to help load and all. bossman todd says some cat who owns a restaurant offered to chow us there but I'd rather stay put - very nice offer though, truly - so I eat some 'dines/crackers w/the smokin' habaneros sauce instead. the rasputina folks come so I say hi to them and then the skeleton key ones come - hey! I recognize this boat (van) - it's the one that was kind of in the way (not really though but they thought so) when were pulling out from tt the bear's a few nights ago - I recognize the logo on one of windows which has been either blocked off or painted over! I ask them if this is a crazy notion of mine and they say no, it's true cuz they were there and the cat who told me to wait cuz he'd move it, confirms it. even trippier is the bass cat is a man I met at last year's all tomorrow's parties fest at the queen mary cuz he was bass for james chance and the contortions! he was really good, as was james and the guitarist, pat place - hadn't seen them in twenty-plus years! tour life is funny. we wait to get a soundcheck but not enough time is left for us to have one which really is no bid deal - we'll get up there and work the room the best we can. it's silly to get all princess about such things - the main point in my head is to help make for a good gig, pulling together w/all the folks involved and not getting too self-absorbed or precious. the skeleton guys have a bunch of percussion anyway that needs setting up so it's best we help them out for that. we got our amps up so all we'll need is to get pete's organ and raul's drums in place to be ready. I want to do the whole piece so in order not to bogart on rasputina, we'll start a little early meaning we gotta get on in like ten minutes. we can do it or least try, we're gonna help make this thing work. I go to the boat and konk.

   pete gets me and the race is on... well, not yet cuz the skeleton key cats have LOTS of percussion, whoa. they're hurrying though and do good. we get our stuff up quick and start the piece. aahh! total organ concerto in watt's face - pete's b3 is blasting into my monitors. my voice is really muffed and hard to get a vibe on. the place is packed but most the folks are yammering like champs through the piece though there's hollers from folks too who want to hear us. we do pretty ok though I know I could've done better - hell, I'm always thinking that but it's not a disaster in the least. we really play our brains out - I'm proud much of my guys. I stop "pluckin'..." at the start of the third verse so maybe the crowd can hear how loud they're yammering - no lecture from me, just this little gesture. a thank you from me when we're done (no encore) and then we're right off but we can't get the equipment out - we'll have to wait for the gig to be over. I'm met at the stage by doctor robert, a cat who's a m.d. that sees my gigs - he offers us his pad (he says it's called a "row house") to konk, thank you much. some other cats come up and talk to me too - one guy wants to give me money cuz he downloaded my record for free, that's nice of him. I don't really sling cuz it don't seem proper - I like doing that where everything's done and folks have time but there's more of the gig to happen so I go outside for some air. people talk to me out by the boat. a couple of cats from a band called puddle rap w/me, I've played a song of there's on my radio show and the drummer has a talk w/me about black people and rock (he's a black man). he tells me some funny stories about this lady calling him the "whitest black man" for playing rock when me and him both know how much rock and roll was invented by black folks (little richard, bo diddley, jimi hendrix, on and on...) so we have some laughs on this. he wants to know about the story about the "rising low" movie w/warren haynes and matt abts having different bass cats on board for recording after alan woody (their bassman) passed away. I relate my adventure, doing ccr's "effigy" mixed w/little parts of a couple of others plus a jam w/them. a lot of people have asked me about this. I was quite honored to be asked aboard, truly cuz they were some very nice people. this man comes up to me and says he's tom headbanger and he last saw me play twenty years ago in denver w/the minutemen - he still has a "campaign trail '84" tour shirt where d. boon had drawn the design - wow. we talk about old times much but recent ones too, he's interesting and makes me laugh much. great to see cats from the old days cuz really, it doesn't happen that much. there's guys in their early twenties though too who want to talk - I'm weirding out the off-duty police doing security but hey, we're doing nothing wrong - just spieling. aaron's here again - he was at the dc gig too (same w/mark whitehead, who filmed us doing the piece again but he said the crowd hampered things, oh well) and he's says our sound was really small, making our presence really little. that's the way it goes sometimes, you roll w/it. thank you to aaron for giving us the straight take from the crowd though cuz you can't ever really tell what it's like from the stage.

   finally, the gigs done and we can load out our stuff - I then go to settle w/the bossman todd (baby leg, our big buddy here in town is away in new orleans right now - one reason it was great doctor robert helped us w/the pad sitch) and I talk some w/rasputina drummer john - he was a drummer in a ska band from fargo. we have a good talk about little town vs. big town stuff - he's an interesting cat and a great drummer. all packed up, we're gonna leave and strider comes to the hatch to tell me sorry we couldn't talk (the last time I saw him he wanted to spiel next time we could about joyce's "ulysses") but says to think about why he thinks like I'm that book's stephen dedalus in a way, cuz I "give wings" to others. that's a trippy take, I've thought I've had parts of stephen, for sure but some of those maybe aren't that positive! I got to hear more on that and bounce stuff around about it w/him hopefully some time later. I have to admit I've never been approached w/that before.

   byes to everyone, we follow doctor robert through the city. around one corner and trying to keep behind him, I miss a light turning red and go right through the intersection - FUCK! my heart totally stopped and so so SO very VERY lucky, we're not hit - no one came through. I say a prayer - pete says a longer one in itallian - my god, that was crazy. sometimes people don't know we can't really jam behind them in the boat. almost always I let them just go and if we get lost, we get lost cuz I just CAN'T TAKE CHANCES w/my guys in the boat - can't. this time I blundered and am so grateful nothing happened. what a pants-shitter, really. I can't let this happen again. we are quiet in the boat for some time 'till some humor helps tear up the tension that settled on us immediately. we all know we are lucky men w/what just happened. we don't even discuss it w/doctor robert when we get to his pad. it's another nightmare situation w/the boat's size in reality vs. what is believed that might can happen. I do get it up to the mirrors under a deck he just had built and it's in far enough so it's not in the alley but holy smokes, the boat is kind of BIG. it's no tour bus and there ain't a trailer but it's a long boy ford econoline e-250 van! just venting a little frustration - no complaints cuz doctor robert is very kind. he works 80 to 120 hours a week in a trauma ward, damn - that is intense. puts some perspective on our lives, we're all in wonder about that. he's gotta a new little puppy named monkey that was found in a shoebox on a doorstep, he's really cute but you can tell there was trauma on his life. doctor robert has the love to help him out, all of us can see that. we never tell him about the red light we ran - too much nightmare to bring that up - better to leave it rest and learn from it. a little mota from strider and then konksville, out.

sunday, october 31, 2004 - chapel hill, nc

from raul:

   HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!!!!!!, woke up, and left within' five minutes, got to get it together, there's still glue in my eyes. Hit the highway, and get to rolling, but of course, we got to stop at the first way we see. Everytime we''re looking for a subway, and we can't find one, i start singin' the adolescents song... no way. It's been a while, didn't see any off the freeway in the new england area, and there's no sign of em' on the n.j. turn pike, bull, so i've actually been craving em' for the past week. This time i refuse to cut the chile, no eye burn today, screw that. About a five hour ride today, the usual set up, mike, captain, me the clumsy navigator, and pete, deck hand... sleeping on the job, dudes sleeps more than tony, and that would maybe make a bit more sense if you knew who this mysterious tony was, he plays bass in killer dreamer, and we tour and live together, dude sleeps like thirteen hours a day. Getting to chapel hill is no problem, until we get about a mile away, i didn't get us lost, but i got lost, and thought we were on the wrong path for a few minutes... dumb ass, is what happened was, i jumped ahead on the map, and thought we were way more south than we actually were, whatever, we made it, and after waiting a few minutes, got a spot right in front of the club. Pete and i have a couple errands to run, so we get moving on that. On our walk, i notice that team america is showing at the theater down the street, at first pete doesn't seem to into it, and we keep walking, shit pete, we got five hours to kill, and i can only walk up and down this street like a hundred more times, plus it's hot as shit, c'mon let's go to the movies, we both been wanting to see it anyways, so with a little pestering, i convince him to go. Movie was pretty flippin' funny, made fun of everybody, especially americans, michael moore, the suicide bomber, double fisting hot dogs while blowing up mt. rushmore... hilarious. After the flick, we hoof it back to the club to see if anyone's shown up yet, sure enough the boss is there, so we can load in, and do an early sound check. Boss is a cool guy, todd, been doing shows with mike for the past twenty years, and besides being the boss, he runs the sound board too. After doing the sound check, it's time to check out all the halloween weirdness going on in chapel hill.

   I felt that i needed to call home and wish everybody i know a happy halloween, it's all our favorite holidays, and now that i think about, this is the first one i've spent without some of my guys since the third grade, like one of my best friends jacob, i remember being in gradeschool, and both of us working at the haunted house in angels gate, and we were together in brooklyn last year, so i've been with some of these people all my life, and i think i was getting a little homesick, no, wrong words, i just wanted friends to know i was thinking about em' while i was far away, and let em' know i loved them. I miss my bike too, i've only got to pedal once in seven weeks, man i'm usually on that thing for hours everyday. So yeah, i wanted to call pedro, and i don't carry a cell phone, so i took a real long walk to find a booth, and check out all the costumes. Usually when i walk around towns, i do just that, walk around them in a kinda of circle, that way, i don't have to do to much back tracking, just moving in a straight line. Tonight non of that, so i had to make the long walk back as well, it's good though, especially since i'm not on the bicycle, keeps me in shape a little bit. I talked to jessica and erin a little, and to my roommate kid kevin a little longer, his old band, the four letter words, are gonna do a reunion show, that should be off the hook, i mean just their old shows in general were the funniest, preaching the gospel of bob dobbs and the church of the sub genius, i had an old group, the jag offs that did a split record with them, only five hundred pressed, and kevin and i hand screened the covers our selves, try to find one, my friend gorbie told me that while visiting her family in croatia, she saw a copy at a record shop, now how cool is that. Well i finally made it back to the club, and i'm not late, i wanna make sure i check out the first band, but they won't go on for another hour, so lose a few pounds off my shoulders, and start hoofing in the other direction. The streets are all blocked off, and i heard someone say that the town was expecting seventy five thousand people, i'm thinking more like seventy five hundred, but who knows, i'm a bad judge at crowds, and the blocks were packed, i was lucky, i hit just as it was starting, and i was walking in from the front, so there wasn't hordes of people behind me, and i was able to stay on the fringes, and not get stuck in a sea of people, just an outside observer. I got out of there pretty quick, but before i did, i got a bunch of cool shots of all these pirate punks, tandem bikes with skull and cross bone sails, some of the folks fashioned their bikes into ships, and were flying big anarchy flags. They even had there own pirate punks marching band, and a bunch of pirate dancers. It was really neat how the rhythm brought every one together, even all the thugs hangin' out were bouncin' along to the beats, drums can be very infections, i had the idea of starting a punk marching band, it be so rad, and you could play anywhere. For me, that was the topper of the parade, so i headed back to the club, and started to get the vibe of the show, i hung out in the front, just trying to meet people, and talk about nothing inparticular, met a lot of cool folks, and got some funny pictures of peoples costumes, it's funny any other day, if you went up to a stranger and asked to take their picture that'd probably tell you to fuck off, but not tonight, people where posing for the camera, some folks were out right flattered that some one wanted to take their picture. Time for the first band to go on, the drummer was this bigger man dressed as a mummy, and he wailed on the smallest drum set i've ever seen, real angular bass lines, topped with scratchy guitar, they where pretty badass.

   This past week i picked up some mask for me and mike to wear, and tonights the night, this should be a heavy breather, an hour plus, playing drums with a piece of rubber over my mouth, fuck, mike has to sing and see through his, i can just hammer, and hope i hit the nail on the head. I did cut the mouth out a bit, i don't wanna hyper ventilate, but whatever, i got a group back home, and when we play, we wear garbage bags on our heads. Pete was pretty freaky looking, he scared me when i went to go drop my bag off a few hours before. He put on white face paint, and had blood dripping all down his face, it looked vicious, there's no way i could that, i can't stand sticky, and on my face, forget about it. I couldn't help laughing everytime i looked at mike, i got him this mask that looked like the retarded guy from goonies, they best was him singin'all serious, and one lazy eye is droopin' lower than the other, if this thing was real, i think i'd feel sorry for it , and want to be it's friend, more than i'd be scared, aw man, it was funny, he had to get in this stance to see out the thing, and it just added, cuz it made him look like a hunch back, he had the best look in the house. I was wearing a gypsy mask, with a big ugly nose, and a long pointy chin, and i had a red bandanna tied around my head, such a blast, wasn't the best we've played, but halloween only comes once a year. I actually thought we were gonna do a lot worse than we did, i suprised myself. During the red and the black, i kept thinkin' about Ed crawford, mike mentioned that he lived in chapel hill now, ed played guitar in fIREHOSE, i had only met him once briefly as a kid at a show, i was hoping he'd come by and do the red and the black with us, it be an honor, but no luck.

   After we get all packed up, we take the drive too laura and mels place, these two ladies have a band called the moaners. They live out in the country, had to take some dirt roads to get there, the street signs were nailed to the trees, such a rad place to live, the closest neighbor was a half mile away, but it was only fifteen minutes from town. I cracked a Milwaukee's best, hung out on the porch with the cats and dogs, and listened to sad country songs real loud on the radio, was a good ending to a good night... good night.

from pete:

   popped at dr. bobs and didn't have a chance to wash up; I rolled up the bag and we were out if there real quick as mike wanted to beat traffic. I was feeling really beat so I immediately curled up and went into deep conk on the bench seat; when I awoke we were miraculously in chapel hill. we went and scoped out the club (local 506) and the knobsman, todd was already there and let us in. a spot opened right in front of the pad; two girls and a cat were getting into their car and we asked if they were leaving; they seemed very confused at this question and threw us some way perplexed looks (I saw the looks they were giving us, the guy looked like he thought we were going to kick his ass), they quickly nodded yes and got in to their ride and took off while watt slipped the boat into the space. we had several hours till soundcheck so me and rollie hoofed it into town to buy some sundries at the local pharmacy. Having done this I decided to step into this little gift store where I knew that jenny, the bass player of grand national (ed fromohio's band) worked. I went in and it wasn't jenny working there but laura the drummer! she recognized me immediately and I rapped w/ her for awhile but it was really busy in there and I didn't want to bogart her time at work. she said she would come to the club after she got off of work. rollie suggested we go see a movie and w/ some trepidation, I agreed as we did have alot of time to blow. we went to see "team america" and it wasn't too bad of a flick- it very much reminded me of the old "thunderbirds" series I use to love to watch when I was a kid(but w/ much more adult themes). there were several hilarious moments in the flick but my advice; wait until it comes out on video or dvd.

   we headed back to the club and loaded in the gear then ripped thru the check'; everything sounded great and laura showed up and gave us a listen- she looked very happy and talking to her it seemed that everything was going good in her life- her band, the moaners had gotten signed and she had moved out to a pad in the country. I was really happy for her. she's very cool peeps. me and rollie went to snag something to eat; we were searching for something mexican but everything was closed so we found a middle eastern/greek pad and chowed down. I finished up my feast and headed back to the club as I had diary to chimp and I had to put on my halloween makeup. got back to the club and went upstairs to the band room where I began to layer the makeup on; my intent was to be a zombie so I started w/ a white cream base as recommended in the instructions-I looked in the mirror-woh! total kabuki action. I then applied black shading under the eyes and some color mix (green and purple) to achieve the desired disgusting pallor. I fucked up on the lining of my lips so I had to draw in a really wide mouth (like the joker). the band room was really hot so the white shit kept dripping down my forehead but I remedied this by standing in front of the air conditioner after re-application. I ran a mess of gel thru my hair and pulled it out w/ my fingers for that "gravehead" look. I finished up by putting on a white tee and dousing my head, face , and arms w/ about four tubes of stage blood. It looked absolutely hideous (like a cross between rob zombie and the crow). I sat and chimped and rollie came up and snapped a few pics of me in menacing positions. it looked really cool. I went outside to test the scare factor and I sat outside the club smoking a cigarette while people passed by. some didn't notice at all, but the ones that did really tripped out; a couple of kids ran away screaming and one black lady that walked by told me, "somebody done fucked you up real good boy". I laughed and told her that I had fallen off my bike. satisfied that I had achieved the desired look, I went upstairs to continue my chimp duties.

   I heard the opening band finish up their set and I made watt his tea, then went down to go wake him up and grab the merch. I went inside to help rollie set up the tools and we waited forr the man to show up. he soon walked in w/ the "uncle ray" mask on, rollie put on his old lady mask and we were off. the set was pretty intense and initially the monitors were squealing but todd fixed that up after a couple of songs and we really dug in. I had popped about four blood capsules in my cheek before we started and for effect on "bursted man" I chomped down on em' and the fake blood came gushing out of my mouth down onto my shirt and all over the B3's keys. It was all pretty nasty looking. we played a good set; mike had some problems w/ his vision as the eyes in the mask were about the size of pinholes and he would miss the location of the mic. It was very intense and the peeps dug on it much. we did a great encore set too. after we finished up a girl comes up to me and introduces herself as snjezana (she's the sister of stanislav zabic, a friend of ours in new orleans). I rapped w/ her in serbo-croatian for about a half-hour; I love when I run into someone who can speak the language, it reminds me of home. snjezana is quite articulate too, such a sweet lady.

   watt finished up the merch and we loaded everything into the boat, then followed laura and melanie back to their pad (melanie is the second half of the moaners- she plays guitar). they're pad was way out in the country and it is so serene and peaceful there. we pulled our stuff out and I was opening the side hatch on the boat and it jammed up a little and came out of both tracks, fuck! I grabbed it just in time before it snapped the holder arm. I tried to get the door back in but it was pitch black and next to impossible. I yelled for mike to bring his flashlight and we slowly coaxed it back in. phew! mike said the new dharma for the door is "dainty", that is, baby it. it would've been very fucked if that door had snapped off. we got our stuff into the house and rapped over wine and some nice nugs. melanie put on some hank III and we grooved to that for awhile but I told her I wanted to hear the moaners' CD and w/ some trepidation she put it on; I was blown away! they are now my new favorite band- very cool licks and vocals and an awesomely nasty guitar sound. I had known that laura was an awesome drummer but I never had any idea that melanie wailed so on the guitar. I asked her if I could record their song "heart attack" w/ organ and she was very cool about it. check em' out if you possibly can. you will not be disappointed.

   everyone had gone to bed but I sat for a little while longer on the porch smoking a cigarette until the sandman began to call me as well. I hopped in the bag and I was out right quick. buona notte musicanti....

from watt:

   pop at seven bells (we gained an hour cuz of the time change) and head up the stairs to doctor robert's head to piss - there is some SERIOUS angle to the these stairs, whoa. last night I was trying to reason w/pete about the option of removing every other stair slat and seeing what having to come down them in a hurry would then yield. too bad we don't have time to test it out cuz I want to beat the traffic around dc - even if it's sunday - cuz it can be way plug-ville w/that. I've never played the pad we're doing in chapel hill either but know it's on the main drag (franklin) so it'd be good to get in early enough to scope that scene out. I had a dream about being like a turkey cooking - not so much visuals but the other sensations you might associate w/imagining you were the bird getting cooked. once I did one by putting it one of those plastic bags to keep it from going dry (I think the year before I did cook one that got way dried out and that's why I tried this bag method) and that's how I was feeling in the dream - like getting cooked in my own juices. I could feel them boiling inside me but what was bizarre (or more bizarre) was the smells were good ones, like a real turkey cooking up and not a person (that must fucking smell horrible). I wanted so to start chew on my arm but couldn't get to it cuz of the tightness I found myself all bound up in the sack. it was see-through clear though I couldn't see through it cuz it was all fogged. it was a chow dream, lots of thoughts of chow and though I just explained the sitch, it wasn't much of a cannibal one - I've never had a hankerin' for peep flesh, even my own. I think the bag thing might've been a portent of things to come since tonight's the halloween gig and I'm gonna mask it up. little monkey the dog does some tiny guard barks but doctor robert doesn't get up though I hear him calm the tiny one down. I leave him a thank you note, me and my guys taking leave of his pad and excellent hospitality - thank you much, doctor robert. I forgot to mention that last night when I got done playing, he explained to me things about infections in the lower intestines, bits of chow getting stuck in folds down there and causing sickness which is shit I gotta worry about it cause of weaknesses from the illness that this tour's opera's about. even worse is stuff called fistulas - he says they can go on and on w/out healing right. weird shit but good to get the straight dope from someone w/some insights. our bodies can be such mysteries to us but then again, so can the mind. damn.

   we head out of town on I-95 to some grayness but that fades into sun the further south w/go. we outer-belt it around dc and miss dreaded congestion, alright. now into virginia, birthplace of watt (portsmouth). again the boy memories: fireflies, cardinals, crabapples and honeysuckle - things left behind for cali when I got there, pedro being a little bit closer to vietnam than norfolk. we pass the 333 foot high masonic memorial for washington in alexandria, I've taken many of my bands there (cuz it's trippy) but it won't be open at this time so we keep on passing. fall colors make viginia memories for me even prettier, the way they've cut the road to have the trees paint the view bright is just righteous. can't believe I'm not playing here this tour but next time for sure. a gas stop and tuna 'way-wich w/two of ceej's habaneros supplementing them along w/all three of his sauces (what the hell). it's a shame we lost that whole bag we got from that procidence cat, dennis. they got misplaced on the deck, above the trannie and got all cooked up and spoiled - fuck. I'm having to cut my own chilies now myself cuz raul burned himself in the ear after touching himself when he got done cutting. lo siento, raul. at petersburg, I wheel us southwest onto I-85 and just into north carolina, I call my ma. her and my sister melinda are chowing and they're both doing good, glad to hear that. my ma said I was in a paper close to our town w/a section called "heroes of san pedro" and I was on the page opposite of l.a.'s mayor jim hahn and his sister janice (our councilwoman). pedro is actually a part of los angeles (us and wilmington are the harbor part) and he lives in our town. my ma liked the paper people doing that and I think it's funny but that is very kind of them. I call nanny next and things are good w/her - she has a new animal for her brood, a rat named dewey. the worms haven't come back on the blue crawdad so that too is happening. my old friend tony gets the third call and he has some bad news: he fell on the job (cleaning pools) and popped his hip out (the plastic replacement one), damn. I know that means lots of pain and I feel much for him, I love tone. our fucking bodies. I wish him my best and hopefully these three more weeks will go by quick so I can hurry up and see him again, help how I can. we get to chapel hill about two and we find where we're playing tonight easy (local 5060 once we got on the highway that takes you out of durham and into chapel hill (raul got a little confused navigating cuz of exit number discrepancies w/the map). I park around the block to wait but then right quick one opens up perfect in front of the pad (you load in through the front door), alright. that stress-giver of a worry is gone for today! they close off this street for halloween too so it's good we got in early. the bossman john is just opening up and has me in, he wants to hear about the stooges stuff I've doing so we talk on that 'till I got diary to chimp and he's got football to watch next door so I say I'll see him load-in time.

   I do that diary chimping 'till soundman todd shows up - wow, todd's a cat who came to my gigs in the old days here in chapel hill and it's great to see him again and even wilder to find out he's doing the sound - I don't know I didn't remember that cuz he's been doing it here for many, many years. good to see todd again. we load in and while the setting up gets done, I head over to time-out, a fried chicken pad. I haven't chowed here in a very long time but I got a hankerin' for it. I get two pieces w/some collared greens and green beans, making for a good shovel. we get back and soundcheck and then I cut up on the mask raul got me so I'll be able to get words out for the gig. I'm glad it fits tight enough so it won't move much on my head cuz that's fucked when that happens. the eyeholes are tiny but I'll lame out the effect of the ones it has painted on so I leave them alone. if it's a challenge to the gig w/it on then it is - halloween comes only once a year. laura, the drummer for ed fROMOHIO's band (grand national) comes by to say hi and says edward's home - he didn't go on this leg of southern culture on the skid's tour. I sure hope he comes tonight and plays "the red and the black" w/us cuz that's what usually goes down when I play his town - love edward. we leave him a message on his machine telling him to come. laura's also in a new duet called the moaners and her bandmate mel will be coming w/her tonight. I gotta konk now though cuz I am tuckered.

   pete rousts me for gig time. it's so warm here that I didn't need either my coat or a blankie to konk w/and am in fact a little sweaty - fucking eleven bells at night too! bill mooney comes by to say hi and settle w/the shirts - they're made by him and his wife barbara in raleigh. they are very cool peeps, they gotta a little one now named oscar who must be a few years old now. thank you, bill. I missed the openers, locals called cantwell gomez and jordan which is a pity cuz I hear they were wild. I put my mask on in the boat (it kind of reminds me of uncle ray when he's got a healthy color going in his face) and then head into the pad. I sling up the bass and we start the piece, a unique take on it for the tour. I clam some notes - shit, I have to do everything by braille cuz even trying to look down at the neck can't really help. pete's got no mask (aaarrrggghhh, shirker) but he is done up good w/blood all over - raul's got like some ancient gypsy mask on w/a poka-dot rag tied like a scarf. we must look even more like the lunatics we are. there's a bunch of feedback and it takes todd a few songs to get that together but eventually he gets everything good. hard to breathe w/this headgear but I ration out my breaths, it's all well worth it in my mind. we do pretty good, I think. I don't take the mask off 'till were done w/everything - we play all our encores when the folks want more and then finally, a gulp of fresh air, whew! I talk w/peeps... dancer's here - last saw him in japan, he was playing bass w/a u.s. band touring there at a club in tokyo that eiko took me to on a day the stooges had off. me and dancer got to be friends when he was a helperman (and later a soundman) w/the j mascis + the fog tours I did, right after the illness. very happening to see him again - big hugs. I get a dvd of this film "nora" from jill - it's supposed to be about james joyce's wife and the life they had - thank you, jill. I forgot to mention that at the end of our set, I did a shoutout to high point and said it was cuz john coltrane was born there but I was wrong - he only lived there 'till he moved to phily - he was actually born nearby there in hamlet and the cat who corrected me comes up and I thank him much for that. just cuz your on a stage doesn't mean everything you say is right. another thing: I dedicated the b.o.c. tune to edward even though he didn't make it - it sure would've been great to play w/him again. oh well. last time I was in town, this cat told me about his grandma getting the alzheimer's on her and he had read to her what I had written about that in the diary. he said she dug it. I write on the poster he gets "love never forgets" and that I believe it does on some level, the love that moves the stars. I look for jumbones and tahred but don't see them, damn. I love the soaps I got that laura made - gotta ask jumbones for more cuz I only got a couple of cakes left, such a righteous lemon-lime smell they got! I see mike salmon and talk to him a while, he's going through intense times but still playing music and he says that helps. snez comes up and says hi - her and brother stanislav (hopefully I'll see him in new orleans) came from the former yugoslavia and have had an intense life. I don't get to talk much w/her but it's great to see her again, I get so whupped by the life of a tour day that 'pert-near at the end of it, I just wanna get the boat packed and us bailed but I hug her much and it's good to know she's doing good. she said she got to talk nashki w/pete some and talk about things. her life has been some journey but she's got more travels ahead of her for sure. if I could only visit before I play but I gotta dedicate that precious time for konk so I can do good for the gig. I can do before things not that much on tour and when I do, it takes it's toll. sorry to sound like a weakass.

   laura's invited us to konk out in the woods where her and mel live so we get our shit packed and follow them in her truck. it's been crazy on the streets, all kinds of wildness w/the halloween goings on. it's great though that they're doing it on the actual day and not relegating it to a weekend thing - I think it should be on october 31st, yep. it's up some dirt road where the pad is but it's not too bad of hike. one scary thing happens when we park in front of the pad - pete accidently almost pulls the sidehatch off of the boat! he grabbed it just in time though and then we booted it back on its track. the boat's getting tired, we gotta be easy on her. mel's got paintings she done hung up all over and they got the oldest dog I've seen for some time, whoa. he's cool though as is the "outside" cat who's very affectionate. he can't come in though cuz of three crazy little orange kitties who's domain is inside. pete fixes me up tea and laura shares some of their "organic" mota which brings on konk mode. I talk some w/her about music and edward but soon I have to take leave for sleepytown, I've laready laid myself out in my sack. laura gives me a burton greene cd she says is too "out" for her - it's got henry grimes on bass. he's a cat who played bass w/albert ayler and stopped playing for like thrity years. just recently nels helped him get back into playing again, much respect to him (nels is righteous). everyone moves out to the porch, everyone but watt cuz I gotta catch that snoozetrain... happy halloween.

monday, november 1, 2004 - atlanta, ga

from raul:

   Had a pretty long drive down to atlanta, so we gotta get started early, woke up to mike givin' me the leg shake, rolled outta bed, put on my trousers, said bye to laura and the cats, and got in the van, oh fuck, i almost forgot, i'm sittin' behind the couch drousely putting my shoes on, and pete taps me on the shoulder, and points to the back of the couch, oh fuck, right next to me is the biggest fuckin' spider i've ever seen, thing was almost as big as my fist, probably could've eaten one of kittens, the thing that creeped me out the most was the fact that it was inches away, and i didn't know it was there, what if i would've saw it crawling on my arm, i would've shit myself, gives me goose bumps thinkin' about it. On the road we had a few way taunts, ya know, you see the sign, so you go ahead and get off, and your looking, and it's not there, so you keep driving, and still nothing, this happened twice before we auctually found one, added a half hour to an already long drive. The weather has been muggy, not that into it, i'd rather be cold than hot, it makes me uncomfortable, feeling all sticky... whatever, talking about the weather is boring anyway, but being on tour, it becomes a main factor, and something that's always at the front of your mind, plus i haven't done laundry since detroit, so all my cloths are fuckin' nasty, and that, with the mugginess is not a positive combination.

   Mike knew the traffic was gonna be crazy coming into atlanta, says it's like one of the most populated southern cities, he was right, the freeway was like being on the 405 back home, but that was going the other direction, so i re routed us, and we went around the downtown, and bypassed all the traffic. The club was in this little hood, and you could tell it was slowly, but surely was being gentrified, you know, all this pseudo hip stuff, and within' a block, total hood, some of the shops hadn't even opened yet, lots of coming soon signs, six month leases, and most of em' gone before they even get properly set up, but there's always someone to take there place... for the next six months. We had some time to kill, it's about four, and we don't load in till six, so i went for a little walk, and stumbled across the local library, fell asleep reading ovids' metamorphosis. Woke up startled as hell, where im i, and how long have i been asleep, i looked at the clock, fifteen minutes had past, that's it, seemed like hours. I leave that time warp real quick, and go grab some coffee, petes's already in there doing the same. Feeling a little more human, only took two big cups of black coffee... time to load in. As i'm setting up the kit, i come to find that all the legs on the floor tom are stripped... fuck. So i gotta take off the head to get to the mounting, and run it down to the music store i had found earlier, the guy behind the counter was no help, i swear he even chuckled when he brought out this mini box of random drum pieces... guess i'm screwed. When i get back to the club the other bands are already there, and the drummer, having heard my dilemma, already has his floor tom on stage for me... my hero.

   After the sound check, i order up some grub, i think this is some of the best food i've had on tour, for sure on the top five, after wolfin' i go back to the kitchen to tell the cook how happy she made me with her culinary expertise. Met alot of cool folks who keep up on the hoot page, talked about pedro, touring, and how weird life can get, with a guy named bob for awhile, also spent some time with mark slick, long time friend of the bands, from providence, he just happened to be in town, so he came to check out the show, now that i think about it, he did mention he'd see us soon. Playing with a couple of locals tonight, brass castle, and untied states. Brass castle kinda reminded me of a stripped down federation x, if you know who that is rad, if you don't, look em' up. It be kinda hard, to describe u states, they were so freakin' loud, but i do know they had two drummers, and had full on techno parts. This one was a toughie, broken microphones, busted drums, circle stage, that made it hard to set up how we usually do, i could go on, but i won't, cuz even though it was tough, the energy was still there, and it was alot of fun, in the end that's pretty important, i don't think good sound always carries over as good as looking like you actually enjoy what your doing does, plus the crowd was real supportive, and that always helps. Hell, there's hundreds of bands i've seen who probably have sounded excellent, but i couldn't tell you any of the ones who didn't look like they wanted to be there, so many bands just go thru the motions... how lame is that, doesn't that totally go against the whole point of music as art, why even get into it in the first place, if your not doing it as some sort of self expression, unless your self is a desk job, and you just take it to the stage. I really have a hard time understanding people sometimes, i wonder why we do what we do, or do we even have any reason at all, i, myself i'm pretty bad at understanding the present, it becomes a little clearer when it's past, things are so much easier to figure out in retrospect, but i'm trying to get better at realizing why i do the things i do in the now. It's funny. after the gig was over, someone came up, and told me that when he and his friend first came in he pointed me out as a member of the band. He didn't believe him, cuz i was talking to local people, then he really didn't believe him, cuz during the intermissions i was helping the other guys load there gear off stage, he thought i was a fan boy or just worked there, what the fuck, i'm i supposed to be some asshole who holes up backstage, no way, i'd rather meet new people, and give someone a hand, especially drummers, we got so much shit to deal with, and everybody always wants to carry an amp. On this tour, i have the luxury of taking my stuff apart on stage, but for an opening band, it's nice to have some help, cuz the next band is always on you to get the stuff off stage, and sometimes you just need a breather, plus i have this thing with not just being at a show to be entertained, or to entertain, there's other things to be done, like help.

   After the gear is loaded out, with alot of help from some peeps... thanks, we head over to mike's house. He's a fan of the band, and a cool kid. He lived in this trippy warehouse, it was almost like a hotel, long straight hallways with doors every twenty feet, beer paraphernalia everywhere, said his parents just visited, they liked the place, but didn't like the bar in the middle of the living room... hi mom it's me your drunk little boy. I crashed on a mini fold out... sweet dreams.

from pete:

   popped w/ the gentle coaxing of the chief and I groggily woke up; I was feeling really shitty and it didn't help that I had slept for only about four hours- looks like sickness was creeping up on me once again but I only had myself to blame as I was up yammering when i should've been sleeping. what a dumb-ass! I rolled up the bag and as I went to grab my clothes I see a spider about the size of a buick on the side of the couch. I give it a nudge and yup, it's real. I tell mike and rollie about it and their fascinated and repulsed at the same time and both pull out their cameras and start taking snaps. we yelled to laura to come and check it out but mr. spider ran under the couch to safer quarters. I got all my stuff together and took it out into the boat while laura wrote us up some directs' to the freeway. with info in hand we hopped into the boat and steamed away towards atlanta. much respect to laura and mel for having us once again and congrats on their success. you both deserve it much.

   rollie had claimed the bench seat so I sat in the navigatore position and nodded off; man I felt like total crap. fuck! as soon as we stopped for a refuel I asked rollie to flip w/ me and I wrapped my head in my jacket and conked out hard. the weather starting in north carolina was very muggy and humid and when I awoke about five hours later I was drenched in sweat but I felt much better. mike, much to his credit had let me conk the whole way despite the hellride. My body was trying very hard to fight off the bacterial onslaught and I had a major headache along w/ body aches but I wasn't going to let this fucker take me down. we pulled up in the back of the pad (the earl), and we had several hours to go before the soundcheck so I hoofed it up the street to a little australian bakery where I chowed down a turkey sandwich and some water. thank god I was taking the enzymes as they were helping much in fighting the sickness. I sipped coffee and chimped diary for awhile then hoofed it back to the earl for the load in.

   we manhandled all the tools in and blake the soundman got us miked up in no time. we ripped thru "the red and the black" and everything sounded titty. after we broke the gear down, I went back to the band room to chimp some diary and I was feeling really light-headed so I decided to do something about this bullshit; I stepped out to the boat and grabbed three big habaneros from the dry stores and chopped em' up. I wolfed them down w/ some chips and salsa and let the burn take me. I felt really good afterwards. I think I'm going to lick this thing. the cats from the opening bands, untied states' and brass castle' began to filter in w/ their gear and I rapped w/ them for awhile while i was chimping. very nice cats. I finished up the chimp and laid my head down for a little conk; brass castle' had just gone on and I drifted in and out to the rumble of the bass. I woke up just as the untied states' were finishing their set and I sprung into action; made some tea and went to go rouse the chief then back to the club to help rollie set up the tools. I see tom cheshire from the last two tours and he hands me his new cd; tom is very cool peeps and a great singer- I gave him a big hug. rollie tells me that slick (mark) from the rhode island crew is in the house too- he's in town on business and he came to the show! good to see him again. watt ambles in and we start the set; there are problems w/ his mic from the get go and it looks like he blew the diaphragm in it(rollie also stripped the leg mounts on his floor tom and had to borrow one of the opening band's toms). what a bogart! blake frantically tries to fix things and gets everything to a workable level. the set goes very well regardless except for some timing clams on my part. The encore set goes well too and the peeps are very kind to us. me and rollie pack the gear up as watt does merch and w/ the help of tom, slick, and mike (another cat that we had met last tour and who I got trashed on bushmills with), we got all the gear loaded in the boat. mike hopped in the boat w/ us and navigated us to his pad. we got in and settled out on the floor and rapped w/ mike for awhile but the adrenalin was wearing off and I could feel the beat down. I made some tea for me and watt, downed it quickly and conked out immediately. laku noc sviraci...

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose off. we're gonna bail early cuz it's pretty much a hellride to atlanta, a lot of miles to cover and the traff can be a nightmare if we don't get in early and miss the out-of-work rush. the walkie-talkie is beeping, there's a text mesage - I've only gotten a couple of those before (hell, I get hardly any messagese cuz mostly I just use this thing for emergency or really important stuff that really needs it - that's why I call it a leash and don't treat it like the phone I have at my pad though mostly I've been using less and less of that). it's from chan and says "happy halloween" which is a trip. it's a beautiful day outside, wow - lovin' it. I make some earl gray tea and think of the dream I just had... I was in the bunkroom of the hughest boat - it seemed like a mile long! the bunks were like thirty high and went of forever. I had to climb way down cuz I was at the top and it seemed like somehow they'd moved up and my nose was right on the deck above me. I was feeling claustrophobic to end, like charles bronson on that little cart in the tunnel in that "the great escape" movie, aahh!!! I don't know how I got myself out to climb down but I did, even w/it taking w/like what seemed an eternity. I accidently stepped on what I thought was someone under their blankie in the bunk below me but there was no sound and it seemed kind of squishy for a body being there. I said I was sorry. no answer though - not even a growl and everything was deathly silent except for the sound of the engine room and the screws churning the water. this made me curious and so, like an idiot, I lifted the blankie and saw nothing but a bundled up blankie piled up to look like someone was konking there. as I climbed down, each bunk look this way - hmm... I waited until I go to the deck and row upon row of the bunks looked this same way - I felt like I was the only one on this huge ship. I also couldn't find a hatch out! it was as though I was sealed in this huge bunkroom. at first I was afraid to make noise so I creeped around checking random bunks and then everyone I could find, climbing back up on other rows even and they were all made up the same as the first one I checked. I got all panicky and didn't care about making noise and was running all over the place - my feet slapping on the deck cuz I was naked. it was werid and insane and like a paragraph in a kafka story, an elliptical one that you kept reading over and over cuz you'd think you had lost your place and had to re-read where you were to find where the thread was going. I am insecurity manifested, that's a fucking fact. I get my guys up and we all nearly have a heart attack when we find this spider (all furry and like a skinnier tarantula) that's about four inches in diameter (w/the legs) on the back of the couch next to where pete was konking on the deck. we speculate whether it was spread across pete's face all night while he slept. damn.

   we get directs from laura for the interstate and thank her much for everything. getting up to I-85 (which is also I-40 at this point), it takes us three forays to where signs say there's a 'way for chow but either they're closed or don't even fucking exist - aaaaaarrrrrggghhhhh. we find success finally though and I chow a tuna one load up w/ceej's sauces and habaneros he grew. back on the freeway, we take it southwest until I-40 splits off at greensboro and continue on I-85 through charlotte and into south carolina (we go through gastonia too, that's where james worthy was from). we pass the bmw plant in spartanburg - I wonder how many people know some bmw cars are made here in these parts (there's three michelin tire plants too). the skies that were so clear and blue when we started this morning turn gray and threaten rain when we enter georgia. I get off at the first gas station across the state line to fuel the boat and switch places w/pete. I direct raul to guide pete along atlanta's perimeter road (I-285) to ga-10 and we get into the east atlanta part where the club is w/minimal pluggage. us three work great as a team - both on stage and in the boat - I am blessed w/having very happening cats w/me. we're playing the e.a.r.l., a pad I've started playing since the point closed and dig it much. the people are good cats there, always treated me and my guys great.

   the rain holds off and it's pretty muggy, whew. you wouldn't know this was november, really! kind of like pedro if it was drier. I chimp diary until my friend gracie comes w/her new little boy, rhett. he's like a year and a half old and adorable. she calls him "the little man." we go to chow at a thai pad across from the club and I have pork w/rice. we talk about the election, she's obsessed by it (like kim was in northampton). she says having rhett has really changed her life and has her thinking much about how things will affect the future cuz that's what "the little man" will be inheriting. to me, that makes politics much more a reality than something to root for like it was some kind of sports thing, the actual consequences and not just rhetoric and bombast. I've notice mothers are like this and respect them much, funny how they get marginalized by being labeled "soccer moms" and the such. gracie is an intelligent working woman who chooses her words well when she speaks but also has a lot of humor. she does really good keeping rhett from being bored (remember, watt is yammering) and keeping her train of thought. I don't spend much time w/people before gigs usually on tour but I'm glad I got the chance here to be w/them now. I think this little man is going to grow up in an interesting household! being around little ones is rare for me but it is trippy. I've seen a couple now this tour. maybe cuz I have so little experience w/them makes me feel so amazed w/how they are. I'm always surprised cuz I try to remember what I was like then (and I really can't remember then that well if at all) and I feel like I was such an idiot, like I didn't have a thought in my head. I bet if I asked my ma, she'd say different but then I'm her boy. anyway, I liked this chow w/gracie and rhett much. can't wait to see him when he can talk and tell me what's on his mind. I go back to the e.a.r.l. and do soundcheck w/my guys and soundman blake. he just put a new eq in and the system sounds great. the folks here have brought us a try of broccoli, carrots and tomatoes - good fresh veggies and I shovel much of them. I then go to the boat to konk, no blankie or coat needed. I am wore good so I konk long and hard.

   pete comes for gig time and I need many headshakes to roust myself awake, wow. I get out of the boat and who's here but dave simpson, my old plumber friend from marietta (a town northwest of atlanta), damn! I haven't seen dave in a long time and it's great cuz I love him much. he used to have a whole crew w/him - good cats who came to minutemen shows and two of them started a band inspired by us called the econo dudes. everyone's gone there ways now but dave's here and he's looking in great health, much respect. I love young or new people but it's so happening to see cats from the old days that are still in the ring, makes me feel in a way a little less lonely. I hug him much and we talk a little before I have to go in and do the gig. I say hi to the cats in the opening bands, locals called brass castle and untied states and thank them for sharing the stage w/me and my guys. I try to do this w/all the bands we in fact do share the stage w/cuz I much mean it. it bugs me I miss this sets but my lameass body is so demanding on me for konk to recharge and make my turn at playing possible. I'm sorry. last time we played here, I didn't pay enough attention to how we set up and found myself way too far from pete to interact good w/him and that frustrated me to no end. we talked about that beforehand and made sure this was not the case. the problem tonight though is my vocal - I'm thinking it's the p.a. but now in retrospect, I think blake was right in saying it was my mic - the diaphragm being toasted. idiot watt, my spiel coming in and out, at times it sound like it was coming out of a tin can! other than that though, we did good except for losing focus on "pluckin'..." so I put my mic right next to pete and played a few inches from his organ. it must've looked funny but it worked. we get called for an encore and for the only time this tour, I give a "political" spiel (not a long one though and kind of funny) about tomorrow's election and about how we should put that job that's being voted on in perspective so we all don't get to crazy about whatever happens. I think politics is more than just a beauty contest that goes down every four years anyway. I might've said that before here in these chimpings this tour but I mean it. seems we freak ourselves out on this shit, like it was "reality tv" or something (which everyone knows is fucking scripted). I think I did this cuz I'm wearing this "wake up - vote - nov 2" wrist band someone gave me in phily. I say the last time we tried to split into "two different kinds of people" (fuck, we're really 280 million or how many we are kinds of people - ADMIT IT!), we had a terrible time and it wasn't too civil. I do wish we could use the days around this spectacle to actually talk about what the job really means in light of the constitution. I really think that document's a contract worth discussing on how we all live w/each other here. someone throws me a button that says "no on amendment one" which I fail to understand at first this is w/the state of georgia constitution here - one to ban gay marriage. whoops. I realize this and then put it on. why would anyone say to no to the first amendment of the federal one (idiot watt) though it seems there's plenty of (what I think are) misguided people trying to that by other means. we finish the gig, pete an raul did really good. the folks come up and talk w/me while I sling. I get a bag of "homies" - those figurines we each got in a machine up in spokane near the tour's beginning. there's a bunch here, trippy ones - thank you! mark came from warren, ri (at who's pad I konked at after the gig in providence) is here and says hi - great to see him again, he's here on business. I sign the pickguard for a rickenbacker bass, one almost like kira's... love making connection w/bass cats. there's a man age (maybe even older!?) who did a benefit w/fIREHOSE playing many years ago in l.a. and there's a couple w/him who have never seen me before. the guy says my voice sounds like I'd be in that band ministry or something - that busts me up! he did say the music was freaky though and I like that. this cat named mike offers us his pad to konk at so I tell him to wait until were packed up and then he can ride in the boat w/us. the main thing is that the boat will be safe, that's always our main concern though after some recent experiences, it'd be nice if it was easy to dock it too! thank you, mike. there's lots of nice folks w/kind words to share, big thanks to everyone for that too.

   I settle w/the boss and he gives me some posters they made for the show. it's got a pirate w/a bass neck and headstock for a pegleg and that's funny. we load up and I say bye to dave simpson and ask him if he can come to more gigs cuz I love seeing him. I promise I'll keep doing new stuff so they just won't be re-runs. he says he will - thanks, dave. mike directs us to his pad not far away which is in a former lumber warehouse. the lot we put the boat in has a locked gate, yeah! the couch I konk on is elevated a few feet, whoa. I'm kind of scared but it's only a matter of minutes before I'm out, not even getting much of a chance to get the tea down pete made me. tired watt.

tuesday, november 2, 2004 - charleston, sc

from raul:

   Kinda a long one to charleston so we get up and bolt pretty early, but not before having some caffeine, and waking up mike to get the directions to the interstate and the music store. We get outta town with ease and only a little traffic, and soon find our selves at the hugh chain music store, none of us really like these places, you got the employees who don't know shit, and you got the people showing the whole store how badly they can copy stairway to heaven or insert your most popular loathed seventies rock ballad, ya know whatever, it's all the same shit, it's like i'm really happy you just learned iron man, but why do you feel compelled to let the whole world know, dude, secrets out... we all know iron man, it's like learning to walk, i'm proud i know how, but i don't point it out to everybody in the room. Way besides the point, the point being we pretty much had to come here, we knew they'd have what we needed, and we really needed this stuff, we're on tour, so there's no time to go from shop to shop with our fingers crossed. I spent the first part of the drive in the back, somewhere along the line, i picked up a live hendrix disc, it's really good, it's a bunch of after hour jams he and his friends would do in his studio, it's pretty bad ass, almost all instrumental, so i was listening to that tryin' to get some chimpin' done, and yep, within' the hour i feel asleep. When we made our next stop for gas, and pete took over, i took role as navigator, and got us to the club, pretty easy, the interstate turned into the street we needed, so there's that. I needed to do laundry so bad, my clothes were so dirty it was starting to bring me down, especially in this sticky heat, all i had left that wasn't soaked with sweat, was a pair of black pants, and a black t shirt, fuck all that, i needed some color, and a pair of clean socks. I get the directs to the nearest laundry mat, and we are in a collage town, so it's close, eight block walk. While i'm doing the wash, i call home to get all the front page news... extra extra, shit goes completely sideways... congrationlations, you know who you are... and i wish only good things for you. I make it back just in time to load the gear in, mike tells me that in two days we'll be right next to a wash house, no way dude, that trip was way over due, and i feel much better, yellow t shirt, clean flannel, and a pair of shorts, that's smarter southern attire, none of this all black goth shit.

   The sound guy won't be here till eight, so i kinda mill around the club, watching the simpsons, enjoying a a duff draft, milled outside, into the eatery next door, and got a half sandwich. After the sound check, i go for a much needed walk. Earlier, i had heard about a code passed here, were people couldn't tear down, or change the structure, and from the looks of it, it's a truth. I mean most of it's redone, but it all just looks so beautifully classic, how it was meant to be, not somebodies seventies future vision, i wish pedro had a law like this, now even alot of stuff that was there when i was a kid is gone. When you think about, it's sad, it destroys all the history, and leaves a town always one step behind, always trying to develop over the supposed outdated, i'd take an old wooden home, over a stucko job any day, it has so much more character, the fucked thing is, that nobody cares before it's to late, then everythings gone, and you can't get it back, and your stuck with bland out-datedness, instead of beautiful old architecture, i don't wanna live in a future full of strip malls and track homes, it's a scary thought, and it's happening everywhere, don't people see the hugh mistake in this, or do they just see dollar signs, and ultra connivence? certain places, you don't have to leave your block to get everything you supposedly need, they're making pseudo communities like army housing, what about the outside world, and the things and people that make that happen, everything you need is not inside wal mart, and your ready made clone track neighbors, are not necessarily the people you should trust the most... one day all this stuffs gonna be old too, and it'll have no character, it'll just be dilapidated lifeless blocks of concrete... blah... anyways, it's just sad, and i personally don't like it one bit. On my walk i decided to hoof it down to the water front, from there you could see fort sumpter across the bay, something that i probably learned in middle school, then forgot, charleston is were the civil war first started. I also went walking through a grave yard with stones dating back to the early seventeen hundreds, with the war and all, i bet this is a pretty haunted town. A night walk in warm weather works wonders, and any feeling of fatigue i had were gone, i was feeling good, and was more than ready to play. This might could be a weird gig, lots of frat boys and girls, just not the kinda crowd i'm used to, ther's a split, people here fore the show, and people here for the buck a beer deal, regardless, i know why i'm here.

   The first band, telegram, had the loudest guitar amp, fuck, i had plugs in and it was still roaring, they were the second band i've seen cover war pigs, i'm sure as a homage to the dictator of the u.s. Today was votin' day, i have faith in california and a few other states, but i just don't know, whatever happens, happens, and we deal with it from there. I was watchin' the boob tube at the bar, and said a bunch of florida machines weren't even plugged in or some shit, and that votes were being lost, what's that all about, sounds a bit familiar, and a bit convenient for certain people... we'll see, it's still hard to believe that with all the information out there, people still support the dub, i don't get that mentality, but it's all pretty fucked up, you can't polish a turd, but you can tell someone it's a snickers, and if they're stupid enough, they just might eat it up.

   Playing was great, we were all in the moment, and it made for such a better gig, when we're all on the same page, the flow is so much better. I love when we all enjoy playing together, it's so much more satisfying, and i feel like with the communication between us, it gets a point across, that we're trying, not just on cruise control, and that we wanna play together, not just play tight, but be able to follow the mood, and not pull some ego thing on stage, it says alot about a person, how they act when they put themselves in front of people, sometimes they wanna be the only one up there, and they just tune the other guys out... you know what i think of that... weak. After the show, and the boats all loaded up, we wait for eric, from telegram, to, as he put it, suck down one last drink, and settle with the boss. We make way over to his pad, which is only a few miles away, he warns us that his place is in shambles, and that he hopes we're okay with that. When i walk in, i think to myself, so this is his definition of shambles, man i've stayed in some crazy houses, mine included, and this place was not a wreck. There was a motorcycle in the place, but even that looked like it belonged there. The tired hit me fast, and i found a sleeping spot, under the back of the motorcycle, total cat spot, and went to sleep, had really weird dreams about old friends, it was awkward, i can remember that, it was new people with old people, and me in the middle trying to get them together, and trying to make sense of it all... trying.

from pete:

   popped at mike's pad and I felt much better than the previous day (no booze and tea makes all the difference in the world); went to do a quick wash up, then rolled up my bag and we got the hell out of dodge. much respect to mike for having us over.

   I was sitting in the navigatore seat once again so with the directs' provided by mike I guided watt down the street to the main highway. we had to stop at the local shit-hard center so watt could buy a new mic as it definitely looked like he had blown the diaphragm on his other one and rollie had to buy some new leg mounts for his floor tom. I walked around and looked at all the new flavor-of-the-month keyboards but didn't see anything worth playing (there is just so much useless shit out there). rollie and watt finished up their business and we hopped back into the boat and got a move on. rollie read and conked on the bench seat and I sat in the front and read "blinded by the right" and rapped w/ watt. he drove for a few hours and then I took the helm for our final descent into charleston. the pad we were playing at (cumberland's), had moved a few blocks so we were again concerned about the parking sitch-everything was packed in front so we pulled into a side street close by and once again no spots, but I noticed somebody pulling out and I quickly flipped the boat around and snagged the space. score! we got out and went to go scope out the pad- it was much bigger than the old pad and the pa looked decent (jbl cabs and subs). we sat down for a little munch and I ate my half-sandwich left over from the way' that we had stopped at in the morning after adding two fresh habi's that I had gotten out of the boat. great burn, and I washed it down w/ some decent merlot. rollie went to go do his laundry and I chimped a little while we waited for the soundman to show up. cut to around 8:00 and mike the soundman shows; he's a really down cat- he worked for clair brothers audio for many years and knows his tools well. we unload and set up the gear and go thru the check- everything sounds good and we break down. I go to a back booth to finish up the chimp and rollie grabs the puter' after I'm done to finish his up. I sit and people watch for awhile and watch the opening band, telegram do their show. cool band, sort of like jesus lizard. a woman that's very well inked comes up and starts to rap w/ me (she thought I was watt). her name was cameron and she's a chef of all things. she told me she had seen watt many years ago and thought I was him cause' I was wearing a flannel. we rapped for awhile until I heard telegram finish up their set then I sprang into gig mode; grabbed the tea and went to go wake up the man and grab the merch. I helped rollie move the machines in place and we waited for the boss. he soon made his appearance and we dug into the piece. we played very intensely and it was probably one of the better gigs of the tour. there were many kind peeps there but also a butt-load of square-johns who yammered it up the whole time. at least they got a dose of something different to shake them out of their mtv and gap-fueled lives. much respect to the folks who really listened.

   we broke down the gear and signed some posters, then loaded up the old boat. we were staying at the pad of one of telegram's guitarists, a cat named eric and he hopped in the boat w/ us to lead us there. we got to his pad and rapped w/ him and his lady natalie for awhile but we were all really beat and the sandman hit us all at the same time. I conked very quickly. buona notte musicanti...

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and man, I cause a stir to mike's room mate who finds me on the dumper - I forgot to batten the hatch, thinking I was the only one awake. idiot watt. at least he came to the gig and know who I am and not think some total dork stanger is dumpin' in his head. I hose off and then have coff he makes - they just got a machine yesterday that has a timer and it's no wonder to me now that I popped to coff smell. last night a dream had me in a water tower, it wasn't filled all the way to the top and somehow I was suspended in the bubble formed between the water and the tower's top. the water seemed to be boiling but I felt no heat though I was bouncing like it was boiling. I wasn't touching the water - trippy, but I was suspended inside the bubble, like under some pressure. the "boiling" or maybe a better way to put it is churning (though I kept thinking boiling - shit, it was a dream and it's hard for those fuckers to make real sense to me) got more and more rapid and I was bouncing about more violently but not hitting the side (like in other dreams, I couldn't really move my arms and legs cuz they seemed leadened or stiff to the point I was 'pert-near inanimate but not my eyes - I felt those peckers darting all over the place, freaking out). finally the "bubble" or whatever popped right out of the top of the fucking tower and I really wigged - "oh shit, what do I do now?" I was launched way up and could see the water tower below me all popped-out on top, like plant that burst (that's what I kept thinking - a pod on the end of a big stem, in a way). I kept climbing at a slower and slower rate until it took what seemed like hours to finally reach an apogee and start down, the inverse of what I had just been through. as I came down, I felt all air rushing around me - the bubble had disappeared and the tower had seem to have shrunk to like a tall rose, half-bloomed. I came down right on top of it! well, it actually (actually?!! ha!) went through my right knee, the worse one and fuck, I was lying on the grass there wondering how I was going to get free w/this metal "flower" sticking through my knee. it reminded me of when my kneecap had popped out cuz I felt no pain - like when I eventually go into shock after that happens. it was weird, like a mixture of hurtful memory and then crazy shit. like a lot of dreams I have, I'm always left w/the "what do I do now?" dilemma. damn.

   to calm down (this one riled me up some), I chimp some diary and then get my guys up for a nine and half departure cuz the way I figure it, the shithard center (you can guess the commercial name of the joint) opens at ten and hopefully we can hit it just then. I'm gonna get another sure sm57a beta to replace the one that was funky last night - it's probably gone, I've done it to a few others too. gotta find a way to procure some new diaphragms to make them good again. I forgot to mention that last night raul had to borrow a floor tom from one of the opening bands cuz the lugs holding the legs on his are gone (thank you to whoever helped us that way, much) so we gotta get that going. mike didn't write directions so unfortunately I have to stir him from his slumber. he helps us out w/that and then we shove off, thank him much for the hospitality. the place is on druid hill road off of I-85, we get there right at abierto time and get what we need, happening. then it's around the perimeter road once again and east on I-20 to agusta. it's gray w/rain almost there but it holds off. we do our 'way thing again w/the sandwiches and I it's the last of the habaneros of ceej's - I leave the two left for pete who feels maybe some sickness threatening on him. I swear these babies can help that way, the same w/my voice - dig it, the enzymes too. and as for the joints in my hands - the flax oil is working big time there too. alright. we get into south carolina again and head for columbia, taking I-26 from there to get to charleston though I hand the wheel over to pete soon after making that move. we got some drives this week and I can't get more worn than I can manage. pete's dealing w/the shitty mirror on the starboard we got for a replacement well too - hell, he gets way enough prac on the docs moving those cans. much respect for pete. raul navigates him to the pad which ain't all that hard seeing the freeway ends and turns into the street we need! love raul, though - he's learning good w/us and fits tight - we got a good team.

   we're playing cumberland's but they've moved a couple blocks away and this is the new pad. I like it - I'm told it was a clothes store for eighty something years so they had to build everything from the ground up to make it a club w/a bar and a grill and stuff. just got done maybe three months ago. man, did weather brighten up - there's big white clouds hanging low but the weather is totally warm if not a little too much sticky, more than yesterday in atlanta. the cat at the grill - I think his name is tim - cooks me up a "blueburger" which is blue cheese dressing on a hamburger. hell, I eat only a couple burgers total in a whole tour, so this is ok. sure wish sinan, the owner was here so I could jaw w/him - this being president election day and him being an immigrant from iraq but he's gone to vote. I dig him much, he's a tight cat - I've had some good raps w/him the two other times I've played cumberland's. I tell the grill man whatever happens w/this election thing, we stick together somehow and not get all crazy w/each other - even though there might be some cheating or whatever (we should chase that shit down though, really - that is a poison to having faith in any of this - especially the shit w/'puter voting w/no paper trail. there was a cat from the hacking community at my gig last night telling me stuff about how we got open-source stuff the australians are using where shit can be verified but for some reason, let me repeat: some reason, we're going w/this diebold crap), we gotta keep it together. look, I've never fit in w/anything - I ain't no joiner, I've always been some kind of weirdo outsider but fucking breaking into faction shit that's gonna bring on stupid stupid fucking violent bigoted ignorant crap cuz that's what always happens when people get that way over living w/other country-wise. we can get through this, I swear. the pricks who hold the constitution in contempt will get a foot broken in their ass, karma-wise - I know it. this country was founded on protest, it's nothing to be ashamed of and fuck anybody who says otherwise or better, how dare they (if I may be so bold). the sowers will get the reaping but it's gotta be to the way the contract (u.s. constitoosh) puts it, that's what I think. we stay together and dish this out. then we make our own bands and write our own books, poems, etc... paint our own pictures. you know, I'm not trying to sound all high and mighty here, just trying to express some hopes. man, that burger went right through me - one reason I shy away from milk products - I gotta blow it right out. while I'm in the head, why not shave too... what the fuck. I see cole as I finish, this cat managed the new brookline tavern when I last played columbia, good to see him. we do a soundcheck w/soundman mike kind of late but things move slow in charleston, not cuz of laziness but cuz of the swelter. I meet the opening band, locals called telegram - nice cats. I go to the boat and konk w/my shirt off but almost wanna get naked.

   pete gets me after eleven and a half bells - whoa, is my head in a spin... trippy when you konk in a swelter. I get my shirt on, drink down the tea pete gave me and head on in. kind of a yammerin' crowd but that's ok cuz there's cats here to see me too - one guy yells "mike watt for president" (c'mon, I'm better on bass) and there's a big rebel yell, time to get this gig underway. damn, I look down at my shirt and notice one of my buttons is missing - not the germs or the 'trane but the carrie one. oh well, must've came off and is on the boat's back bench - hopefully. I tell the people I'm gonna do a long, strange piece and that's what we do. I am really motivated and my guys are right w/me. the pad is still getting worked on by mike to make the stage less resonant for some notes (the 'd' really rings out, damn!) but I'm not picky cuz at least the monitors ain't all boomy/woofy. shit, I'd rather listen off of the mains and have 'pert-near no monitors than that cuz the overtones make things really fucked - that's how it was last in cambridge and especially at the mercury lounge in nyc. I'm not trying to make excuses but rather relating stuff to say why I was kind of helped by the sitch to get wailing tonight in charleston. I mean, there were more than a couple of squarejohns that probably thought we were way wack but I was into tonight w/abandoned, playing as though the most important person in the world was there and for some freak in the universe, instead of being self-conscious and intimidated I was invigorated. I dig when that happens and really wish I could develop away just to summon it instead of having to pray for it to just happen or however it comes. I think me and the secondmen guys did great - I tell pete and raul so when we come off stage, expressing how proud I am to be up there w/them. we wail out the encores and then finish up, me slinging and talking to folks. lots of good cats sharing the good gig w/me, thank you much. rockin' rodney, an old charleston friend is here - alright! he gets me a soda water, veterano of many a fIREHOSE and watt gig - much repsect to him. there's a couple cats here to who saw the very last minutemen gig, opening for r.e.m. in charlotte - the very last time I played on stage w/d. boon was during their encore when they invited us on stage to do television's "see no evil" - me and d. boon each played one of pete buck's guitars. man, do guitars have little strings. there's another cat very interested in pedro, wants to know what my town is like real bad - wants to visit. I tell him to check it out, one way to get an angle on watt is to see his geography. there's on tall cat w/a red baseball hat (there's lots of baseball hats tonight) who gives me his cd and says we can konk in his pad, that it's safe for the boat and easy to dock but when I try to find him after doing all the spiel, he's nowhere - I guess he bailed. damn. I turned down many other offers too, oh well.

   time to settle up and while I'm waiting to do that, I get talked to by a cat who's got the stooges dvd (of last year's detroit gig) and is way into that - well much respect to him cuz I love so playing w/those gentlemen, a dream come true. ok, settled up and loaded up, what to do about konk cuz 'pert-near everyone's gone. there's a cat from the openers (telegram) named eric that says his pad has room but it's "nasty" (his words). I tell him if it's safe for the boat then ok. he rides w/us, trading port and starboard for "busting a right" or a left. he's good peeps. we get to his pad and pull in the driveway, in front of a golf (rabbit), a "yard trophy" and we go inside - man, he's pad is way alright... I guess "nasty" is a relative thing cuz if he knew what fiftythree tours has shown me... thank you much, eric. we talk a little and then he bails to leave us his pad as he goes w/his girlfriend (she's from virginia and we talk some about there), great there's a ceiling fan cuz of the heat. he said he sometimes hears marching and trumpets cuz the citadel (an academy) is only a block away. shit, I can konk through 'pert-near anything. and soon that I do, never knowing who won the beauty contest people were voting on... hope their dreams came true, for their sake. whatever, the rest of us will have to live w/it. even better, hopefully we'll be able to live through it.

wednesday, november 3, 2004 - gainesville, fl

from raul:

   Woke up under the motorcycle, and thanked my luck that it didn't crush me in my sleep, the night before i checked it , and it seemed pretty secure. The only reason i choose that spot anyways was to stay outta the way of people trying to walk thru. On the way outta town we make a quick stop, and mike and i grab some good coffee, no gas station crap today, i usually don't drink the station stuff, it just taste like dirty water, and makes me have to piss within' minutes of drinking it. It was neat, on the way to the interstate, we had to take a smaller state road, that took us thru a bunch of small towns, and showed us awesome scenery, really unique looking, trees growing over the two lanes, spanish moss hanging off all the branches. Wetlands all around, you could see the old irrigation lines were they'd grow rice, pretty neat stuff, old beat down boat houses, and some dinosaur trees, way past their last leg, some old guys. It looked like alot of em' had been blown over, totally derooted, these giant monster looking roots, the grounds just to moist, and maybe they just couldn't get a good grip, oh duh, there was just a hugh hurrican that tore thru about a month and a half ago. The drive takes about four or five hours, but like i've said... for some reason the time flies by, it's probably cuz i spend most the time doing the diaries, plus i'm not the best at typing so even when i'm done i still gotta fix all my mistakeks... see what i mean, and i don't even know how that happened, the letter k is on the other side of the key board from the s. We show up in gainesville pretty early, and parking is still a hassle, after doing about six drives bys of the club, we decide to park a block away, and as i'm getting out i spot a place right in front of the club, i tell mike and go running over to hold it. Within' not even a minute, some one tries to take it, and run me over in the process, i can see the boat rounding the corner, and all the sudden this little sports car tries to crush me. This guy is a bastard, so i gotta give him everything i got to convince him we're going to park there, finally after seeing the van he budges, and turns over the spot. Club isn't gonna open for another couple hours, and i need something cold to drink bad, it's hot as hell. After finding a tasty beverage, i pass the time looking thru a junk shop, and when that gets old, i asked the guy behind the counter about local record stores, turns out there's one a few blocks from the club, no future records, i know i'm not gonna buy anything, but it seems like a cool, as far as temp goes, place to pass the time. They have the 924 gilman book, so that's how my time there is spent, reading that book, i would auctually likke to pick it up, but i already have about ten books, three i'm reading, and i'm all outta space, even after picking up a third bag. Back at the club, i find pete relaxing in the boat, with his face in a book. there's a little homeless kitty hanging out under a tree in the parking lot by the van, little shit won't come close enough for me to pet it, it keeps a couple feet distant, i know how to get it, sardines. Little dude loved em', he was macking em' up. After making friends with the locals, i grab a table outside, order up a beer, and get to chimpin'. The waitress asked me what i was getting into, tour journals i said, she thought we were locals. She seemed really impressed with what we're doing, and we started to swap travel stories. She'd wasn't from florida either, and had done some traveling of her own, that's so cool, some people don't even realize that they have the oppertunity to go almost anywhere they want, and most folks seem real content, to live and die right where they're born. It's kinda screwed on both ends, cuz to travel these days, it takes fuel, and it adds to the distruction of the earth in so many ways, but to not leave your front porch is distructive to humanity, i mean imagine if everyone stayed in there place, information couldn't be shared, people wouldn't know anything bout anybody else, and your world would just be this one dimensional place.

   It's time to load in the gear and do the check, after setting up, george, the sound man asked if we'd give him a few minutes to take care of some last minute stuff, mike already ate, but pete and i haven't so we go to the restaurant nexxt door to grab some chow with the the promoter. After the grub session we went in for the sound check, damn they got the a.c. cranked in here. The area aroungd the club reminds me of long beach, hooters, starbucks, tons of white folks on one street, and hood a block over, i took about an hour walk, town is muggy, damn it was nine at night, and i'm a sweat hog, welcome to florida. Made it back in time in time for d.g.p, watched a little bit, then went upstairs to pace, sometimes i get real nerveous, and tonight is one of those nights, go figure, it's comepletely out of my control. Ya wanna know what happened t put me at ease, well, my bass drum kinda busted right as i was setting up, ten minutes before we go on. All thru the set it wouldn't stay, it just kept creeping up, so by the end of a song it'd be three feet in front of me, and when that starts moving, it gives everything else the room to roam... it sucked, and it felt like all my thoughts went to that, it also took away any timing i might have, i know boo hoo right, ,but whatever it blew. Also had this guy Aaron, who told me he's been to all the killer dreamer shows in l.a., and in pedro, well this guy was yelling my name, and not during the parts i'm playing fast or loud either, just all the quietest parts, whatever focus i had left, was eaten up by this dude, what's he doing in gainseville anyway. This show was pretty rough for me, i just wasn't all there, well, there's always tampa.

   Stayed with two of the sweetest people, alicia and steve, steve peddeled to the gig, so he gave us directions, and waited on his corner, with a big ol' flashlight on his head, to show us the way to his place. Very tropical, big hangin' trees everywhere, all kinds of diffrent sounds, buzzin' and chirping, it was cool, it was also hella humid. There was an outside shower, i hit that up quick, it'd been a little to long.It's pretty rad taking a shower under the stars, and this made me feel a whole lot better about life. Man these folks are so sweet, alicia insisted that i take they're bed, that's so sweet, for a person to give there bed to a total stranger, that says alot, these are some genuine people, and they're kindness means alot, thanks dudes, see ya soon... bye bye.

from pete:

   popped at eric's and did the fast wash-up, rolled up the bag and we were out of there quick. much respect to eric for having us over. watt pulled up the map on the ti book and plotted a course out of town and soon we were out on the highway once again. I still had a pretty bad headache so I took a few extra enzyme tabs to help alleviate the pressure. I hit the bench seat and conked out hard; I actually stayed conked for the entire five hours of the trip- looked like I was seemingly going to beat this thing. we got into gainesville w/o much hassle but the parking sitch was a different story- no spots! we had to do the van dance around the block about five times before we finally scored a spot, and fortunately it was directly in front of the pad (the market street pub). the place was a boneyard still so me and rollie went for a little walk to find something to drink; we walked a few blocks down and had no luck finding any convenience stores so we stopped at a taco bell and loaded up on some beverages. after the marination we headed back to the club; rollie stopped off at a vintage clothing store and I hoofed it back solo. I reached the boat and climbed in to kick back (I was feeling tired again-this sickness thing was still trying to get me down), so I read my book and conked alternately. rollie showed up little while later and we had a couple of drinks while we waited for the soundman to show up. around 6:00 we loaded all the gear in and set it up on stage, george the soundman was still working on the pa, so we went to go chow at the restaurant in the club while he got everything situated. the promoter, pat sat w/ us and we all rapped and chowed together. pat's a real nice cat.

   we went back to the club and ran thru the check'- everything sounded good and we broke things down and went upstairs to kick it in the band room. I chimped diary and watched the tube alternately- also did a little people watching; it seemed we would have a pretty decent crowd. I finished up the chimp just as the opening band was starting (dear glorious physician), and I went down to go give em' a listen. totally cool band and very intense. the crowd really dug on em'. I listened to their whole set and I was pretty mesmerized by them. check em' out if ya can.

   DGP finished up their set and I went thru my usual pre-gig duties, then helped rollie roll out the tools. watt ambled in and we steamrolled thru the piece; the set came off pretty intense and the crowd dug on it much; there were some bogarts on timing, but we were really coming together as a band- I got many nice compliments afterwards as we packed up the gear. we loaded everything into the boat and w/ some directs' provided by steve and alicia we rolled into their pad. (we had actually been offered up a place to crash by a really nice cat named evan and he waited for us, but unbeknownst to me watt had already accepted steve and alicia's offer). I felt bad about the miscommunication, but evan was cool about it. having settled in at steve and alicia's, we rapped w/ them for awhile but I was feeling the call of the sandman and I conked right quick. good gig. laku noc sviraci.....

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose off - I had a strange dream I tried to figure out while doing that. it was if I was continuing some of those "pursued nightmares" I had but for some reason, I had done what I had to do (whatever that was exactly) to alleviate that situation. I had the most calm sense of relief, like I could relax now for real. it wasn't a fake or mistaken sense but an absolute realization that I was free of those who wanted me hurt. I dug it and felt weightless, even bodiless. it was a golden daylight all around me, shimmerings and spangles in the corners of my eyes 'pert-near dazzling me but straight ahead my view was clear and it was like landscape after landscape of beautiful vistas, one from each part of the regions we'd been through - all different but all breathtaking, each in their own special way. I was cataloging them in my mind, one at a time, like taking an inventory. I wasn't coming towards them, they were coming on me but in a gradual way, so I could take in every little detail, like being in the boat and the windshield filling up w/each but I was free having to man the wheel. it was as though the boat was stopped and the spin of the earth was moving me through each panorama as it seemed. I felt buoyed up, no weight pressing down in my seat. it was the most gentle dream I've had all tour - no turmoil. the only worry thought I had was what in heaven did I do to deserve this and I tried retracing as much as I could my moves on tour. of course this became impossible to do, I just couldn't keep track and would have to start over and over cuz I wanted to get the sequence right. funny thing is that when I would give up for a while, I felt no burden of being a shirker - it was ok, in fact everything seemed ok. bizarre.

   I get my guys and leave eric a thank you note, noting that raul slept on a deck right next to a motorcycle that's getting built - right there in the room he was in... glad he's not like me and someone who rolls around when he konks cuz he would've had that bike right on top of him! we lock up and find our way out of town on us-17. we pass the pad we've stayed at the last couple of times we've been here, over on rutlidge - what a trip (that reminds me - no bass player aja last night... she was on the guest list - oh well). there's a coff pad nearby and I pull the boat over to get some of that. the counterman says it's gonna be eleven days counting the votes but kerry is short and the other guy's got another four years. it was close though, people saying it was ohio that decided. I hear one thing from the tv, "...we will be dissecting everything to understand why what happened" - humans are funny. my pop had this joke: "who came in second in the one-horse race? charley horse!" as he'd give me one (a charley horse) in the arm. that's what came into my head as I left the coff pad - oh, I got a bagel too.

   it's quite a hike down us-17 to get to the interstate (I-95) and it goes through old plantation country. once these two cats who work at one's that's been turned into a nature preserve called "caw caw" took us paddling - I think it was the first tour pete ever went on me, the first secondmen one (that sounded trippy). it was righteous and we even saw a huge huron. paddling in a canoe is different than w/a kayak but I still dug it. much respect for those cats being nice to us like that, what a gift. this highway goes through lots of wetlands and you get to see more than wailing on a freeway so if you got the time, it's pretty neat. we get on the I-95 and head south into georgia and through savannah, getting off a bit after to chow a 'way sandwich - no more hab chilies so I substitute sauce. oh well, better than nothing. into florida and around jacksonville's I-295 loop to I-10 west for a few miles and then south on us-301. it only goes through a few towns (some you gotta slow way down to like twenty - there's billboards posted ahead saying "speed trap" even) but it's way faster than the interstate through lake city cuz you cut off many many miles. at a town called waldo, we take fl- 26 and make it to gainesville at around three pm.

   man, it's hot. the suns been out all day but there's been cloud cover. they've gotten sparser now even w/it getting a tiny bit less humid but damn, you would not know it was november, holy cow. it takes more than a few loops to secure a parking spot but we soon find one (raul almost got ran over securing one that opened but the cat relented when he could prove we were really a band) in front of where we're playing, the main street pub. it's only like a block or so from the former covered dish (now being renovated into a pad called common grounds), which is where I use to play for brother bill bryson (also of the causey way). I have not been to this town since, maybe four years now. it's a college town, the university of florida's here (go gators). I start chimping diary while pete and raul go for moisture. someone from the club shows up and they let me in so I can chimp in air conditioning. I'm not really into (not really used to it - don't need it in pedro) but compared to the energy-sapping humidity, it's ok (remember, I'm an idiot in a flannel but even then I doubt if it would be comfortable for me). I get done w/my day's entry and go get a salad at this pizza pad nearby. I bring it back to the boat and add to it a tin of 'dines that are packed w/mustard and that makes for a pretty good combo - I shovel it down. we do a soundcheck w/soundman george - he's from charleston and did sound for a fIREHOSE gig there like fourteen years ago, whoa! I go back to the boat and hear this guy come up and say to his friends, "hey socialists, I hear america won." well, that's something, I could tell his friends felt they had to defend themselves, saying "not my america" - it's pathetic, this atmosphere in the way we're treating each other, give me a break. what's the deal w/us? sure wish d. boon was here to help me reason things out some. at least this election/rah-rah is done now. there were some signs up that kind of weirded me out, stuff like "god bless president (so and so)" that came through my head again along w/thoughts about this little walk I had around the club in phily which was in the old part of town. christ church is nearby, a pad where ben franklin and cats like that had services during the constitutional convention. on the plaque there it says something the church fathers did in support of the revolution, they struck out parts of their liturgy that had "prayers for the king." some people call it conservative to forget things like that - I swear I'm really getting tired of the way labels like "liberal" and "conservative" get thrown around so that they're way more like cuss words to call people names rather than really mean anything. I'm not trying to speak for everyone, just my feelings.

   I move the boat to the back of the pad where it'll be easier to load up the boat when the gig's done and meet the opening band, a local one called dear glorius physician - they tell me it's named after some writer I don't recognize (and damn, don't remember - sorry) and I tell them about carlos castaneda, a writer who was popular in the 70s w/shamen kind of stuff cuz I thought they said she came from some kind of reality-magic kind of thinking. I think I was confused. then they reference her to ayn rand (I know about her some). a little shrill for watt but what do I know. kira's ma named her from a character in rand's "we the living." I tell them a little about emma goldman, they've never heard of her. I never was that social in college - when I bounced ideas around, it was w/punk rockers at gigs... people like raymond and such. man, is he brilliant. I always ask him about things, love it. I talk w/the gigboss, pat, a good cat who's got a great energy. I see on a flyer that jucifer is coming to play on the 15th and ask him to say hi for me cuz I dig them much, ed and amber. their tour style is very inspiring, like camping - in tents (intense). ok, time for watt to konk now so I go to the boat and do that.

   pete brings me what seems a cup of spit w/a tea bag in it when he shakes me up - whoa, nothing worth a coat on the throat is coming from this but I don't mean to sound like a whiner or whatever. it's kind of funny and we both laugh. I guess the immersion heater got left in the boat. we do the piece - oh boy, the monitors are all boomy which makes things tough for watt. excuse the whining though. raul's having a tough time w/his drums moving around - I can tell it's challenging his focus and making keeping time a little hard, I think his "claw" (a device to keep the kick drum planted) is wiggling in it's mooring and not doing its anchoring job so well. we do pretty good though, even w/my screwing up some words (can't believe that this far into the tour but we are in real-time and the chance for that always there). it's only and handful (ok, maybe even two handfuls, fistfuls?). one thing that's a little hard on my focus is some cat hollering "raul!" really loud, over and over each time we're in a quiet part. usually, I can keep it together but tonight at one point I give the finger in the direction of the bombast (though I dearly support raul and love him much), now regretting it much cuz what the fuck does that come off as? like "fucking get over yourself, watt and deal w/the way this gig is going down and not how you would idealize it." looking back, I wouldn't want to do this again... negative shit begets negative shit, it's very hard for me to justify such behavior - I feel I was fucking silly about that, not a good move... lo siento (sorry). other than these things, the gig goes good and the gainesville cats are great to play for... go glad I've got a chance to do that again and will make it more regular. we do all the songs we know, way easier to do that now my voice is back - grazie dio. I talk to the folks and sling, much kindness from them. oh! bill bryson came and saw the gig and look what he's got for me: a big sack of habaneros, alright! big hugs for bill.

   I'm told by this couple alicia and steve that we can konk at their pad, thank you much. they rode bikes here so we use directions but like half-way through them, I panic a little and use the mapping software to find where we are, verifying I'm not a total lunatic (the streets are numbered and seemed to bypass where we needed but you had to get further down the road to get the right one). steve's shining a light on the corner we need to turn on anyway and we get to their pad alright. it's a neat place, quite unique to them and their very nice folks, very interesting. I spiel much w/them of history riffs or whatever comes into my head, adrenaline-fueled from the gig obviously but steve has got a disarming way of bringing things out and making you feel safe about it. there's three dogs here and the little one, rainy, runs the show. she's righteous w/me, snuggling upside watt for konk. a terrier w/a kind of a hairshirt-like coat, it's like konking w/a living pendleton - I'm lovin' it. there's still much warmness so I konk w/just this sheet that's here. week seven done. noches

read week 6 of the tour diary

read week 8 of the tour diary

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