j mascis and the fog
j mascis - guitar, singing
(left of him is bob, right is luisa)
watt - thud staff, spiel
(left of him is dc & nyc guest guitarist ron asheton)
george berz - drums
(left to right)
eric fischer - tour boss
ray rupprecht - soundman
david scheid - helper man
steve kaul - the man outside the van
wednesday, april 4, 2001 - lancaster, pa
david and ray are about to bail as I pop, whoa - usually I always beat everyone up for reveille. bye guys, safe driving to lancaster. this is gonna be my cherry gig for that town, I've never played there. even w/all these tours, there always seems like there's more towns to play that I ain't done. we gotta bail early ourselves and I get to the van after a hose down. pretty close by, we go to some health food chain store (yep) and they got soba noodles. only time I had these was last tour in japan so I get some "pumpkin" ones w/a fish stock. they got pears also - I get one of those red anjous. mmmm! those noodles are ok too but I can't taste the pumpkin. maybe it's the backwoods?
southeast into pennsylvania, past pittsburgh and then east along the pennsylvania turnpike, through many tunnels and on to lancaster. funny town names nearby like "intercourse" and "blue ball" (trip they're near each other, huh?). it's a new town for me but an old one. the western frontier for the colonial times and a hotbed for the revolution. it was the western frontier at that time. when we pull up to the pad, _chameleon_, I hoof about the old downtown to check things out. there's the oldest hardware store in the u.s. there, "steinman and co." it's now a cafe. down the street is a huge building w/a giant sign on top that reads "watt and shand." I'm curious. I find out later it was a department store but now is empty. sure wish I had the digicamera to get some great shots. there's a place where thomas paine (from the revolution) had pamphlets printed. I find a neat record store called "young, angry and poor" that's got lots of good punk records and stuff. I get a little 'germs (gi)' button for my levi coat. j's already been there and got two t-shirts, a _discharge_ one and a _stooges_ "fun house" one. good score, j. me, I'm more partial to shirts that button up and have pockets w/flaps.
we're waiting for soundcheck to start, where the fuck is the sound guy? there's lots of band pictures on the walls, obviously this club is on some sort of circuit, trippy how I never got here. only about a hundred or so miles west of phily. we're all set up and ready to go. the p.a. looks pretty toy. the sound person finally shows up, like two hours late now and you should hear the turd dumping out of his mouth. I think his name is mary or trixie or something like that. nothing but 'tude from him. he talks some shit to george and instead of confronting him (waste of energy, I've been through that dance before), I go straight to the promoter and tell this guy is acting like one big asshole. he's giving ray a load also. we don't need that, nobody does and it's totally unjustified - the dickhead is coming at us totally out of the blue. the promoter, a young cat who's obviously a fan, assures me he'll "kick that guy's ass." I go downstairs tor read the new "rockpile," the _fog_ is on the cover and george wants me to look at it. I'm alone there reading and I hear quite a tap dance upstairs. eric comes down in a little bit and tells me the owner came at him like a bulldog (he was a smaller stocky dude) and knocked him down. seems the fucknut soundchump told the owner he was being threatened by eric. the promoter guy went running out of the building (he never did return and his wife, who was supposed to be selling shirts, fled too). when eric explained to the owner what had been going down candyass and his fucking hissyfit, he apologized profusely. he comes down to the dressing room and says to everyone there, "sorry for the technical problems." I tell they weren't technical problems but rather a definite error in social skills. this guy starts making excuses for him and taking the blame himself. whatever. I know what happened. this cat won't learn 'til he takes responsibility for his stupid shit, I don't care if the owner bends down for him. again, whatever - I'm not making any eye contact w/him. he dumps a load on the openers too - a band that was w/us last tour too from athens, called _elf power_. this motherfucker just won't fucking give anyone a break. for the third time, whatever. everyone is ignoring him as much as possible. he'd be almost invisible if his panties weren't so god damn bunched up.
the elfs do a good set despite the hell. much respect to them. chris lausch shows up w/two buddies and gives me a bolivar 'gar. kind of dry and hard to keep lit but it's a good one. thanks, chris. our turn is next I'm wearing that funky shirt w/no pockets that kirsha gave me. the p.a. is so fucking tiny and ray says the limiting is so hardnosed that he might as well be doing lights. damn. what shit. it's a neat building, an old f.o.e. one w/righteous tin-tiled ceiling but there's much too much sheer surface and the sound is bouncing all over the place and makes everything a din. aaaarrrrgggghhhh. j forgot to write a list of what guitars get what capos (devicees that pinch the neck off, making the strings shorter) to use so david is lost. whoops. we begin w/"waistin'" and my ears are already ringing - the sound just goes round and round. nothing out of the monitors and guess who's on the monitor board? mr. mouthful, aaaarrrrgggghhhh! whatever (yet again), we will soldier through. "back before you go" is next and I play a twisted up bass solo inspired by... you know what? I'm giving this cat too much thought. hopefully, he will learn from this whole experience and be a better person or maybe he won't, it's up to him. this is my last mention of anything to do w/him. "I've had it" and "repulsion" are next and we blow it out hard. damn, if these speakers in the 4x12 cab ain't gonna go any second, they are so very much over. "all the girls" and "same day" are next, I get it together and do the ending choruses for the latter right - I feel good about that. you can recover after clamming, that's the wonderful thing about life. we do a real long version "alone" and j lets that guitar scream and holler. I dig it, even w/the head buffets. "budge" and then "I'm not fine" damn, what a din. sure are nice tiles up their on the ceiling when I look. the 'gar chris gave me is impossible to keep lit by now. folks, a 'gar can get old and dried out - like my lungs in that ho a few days ago in madison. a good test is bitting off the end. if it snaps in your teeth and doesn't powder, you're doing all right. otherwise, well, you can imagine. it's like trying to suck-start a harley getting that motherfucker going. "the lung" and then a turn at the "amma ring" to bring some love in the pad. we seal the set up w/"tv eye."
john petkovic (cobra verde wordslinger) is in these parts to visit the factory where they make "peeps" fluffy candy things (his day job is a writer for the _plain dealer_ newspaper) and showed up at the end of our set. we want to give him a chance to redeem himself of all those clams blown last night (however, he still do a righteous job) and give another try at the stooges' "loose." no cheat sheet, no stage clothes, no stage shoes - just pure john and he's great. I can't hear the words so I can't tell if he got them right but so what, he's kicking up some major dust. he does clam up that end part where the band breaks for him to deliver some drama so instead he starts hopping bing-bing-bing and then on the last note trips back and starts to fly. he tucks his legs under and does a cannonball right on top of j's pedals. damn! he splits his lip and there's blood - iggy would've been so proud. we then end the night w/"freak scene."
backstage, rummager, don flemming's old drummer comes by to visit. he lives in harrisburg, near here. I haven't seen him in a good while. another apology from the owner. I go out front and there's a lot of good cats who want to rap. there's two phily cats who come to my shows a bunch and I thank them for making the hellride. they give me a lenjo of mota, thank you. I thank chris "delaware" lausch too, this is the town he grew up in and I finally got to play here. all packed up, we go to the van and there's these two cats out there wanting autographs. notice I said 'autographs.' one cat is older than me and he has me sign blank papers, photos, magazines - is this stuff going on sale on ebay or what? he has a photo taken of me w/him too. you gotta wonder about this stuff but karma wails and I want to be grateful to anyone who wants to support me slinging bass so que sera. sure is funny in a way though. we get to the ho and it's konk time quick cuz we gotta pop at the crack of dawn. hellride to cambridge tomorrow, we'll leave at like eight. short rides after that though (we'll be in new england) so I ain't dreading it much. better than leaving after the show at night and trying that crazy shit. I've done enough of that and would rather roll early than late, the odds are just way better and you get a good konk in too. and konk I do. it's just me and ray cuz the room eric and george got has a couch and david can avoid the snoring. his loss.
thursday, april 5, 2001 - cambridge, ma
pop at the crack and bail right away, we got a hellride to cambridge. we'll travel through five states, that's the northeast. we're blessed w/great weather - nothing but blue above. the first hour and a half is total plug though getting out of lancaster. it takes that long to go just twenty miles. in the rand mcnally atlas, you gotta watch those red roads. I'm way into the blue ones and can handle the orange ones ok but those red ones, they can be foot paths. they usually run right down the main street of little towns, w/all the traffic lights and thirty mile per hour crap. I'd rather go a little bit out of the way to hit the blue (usually it's an interstate) cuz you'll more than make up for the distance you save if it ain't too ridiculous. just my opinion. we back track a little to get us off this nightmare route we started through reading and get an orange road (usually four lane and divided) up to I-78. then east into new jersey. george and j are konked in the back and it's me eric up front. ray and david left an hour ahead of us w/the truck. our atlas is seven years old (why don't we spring and get a current one - it's a whole seven bucks. oh, that's right - there's two of them in the truck and they're recent - why do they need two? stereo?) and it shows construction on the belt around newark but we roll the dice and go north on it anyway, up to the tappan zee bridge. we're in luck, it just got done and over the hudson we go. no plugs yet. then through the money hoods up past armonk (ibm hq) and westchester county, brewster and into connecticut at danbury and catch the I-84 east. this is the good way to skirt the traffic mess of new york city. we have only one tiny plug due to some construction and it's clear sailing. onward through hartford and then into j and george's home state on the mass pike or what I like to call it, the richie blackmoore pike (the mass pike's symbol is a pilgrim hat and that's what I saw blackmoore wear when he played w/_deep purple_ in the 70s). we get to the pad, the _middle east_, at about 3:30 and beat the truck. I find out later from ray that they turned south after the tappan zee bridge and did I-95 through providence. they are so lucky they didn't get caught in a major plug. that route is notorious for that. in fact, ray told me he had to talk david out of them going through the holland tunnel and right over manhattan to long island! that would have been bonus dunderheadedness. funny how cats who have none or hardly any experience at this think they wrote the book on it. poor ray. david's gotta learn some humility and get his priorities straight maybe. ray's been around - he ain't.
getting to gigs early is so great. no pressure and you beat the rush hour too. this pad has good chow too - how I wish pedro w/would get a chow pad serving up fare from this part of the world. I get some grilled lambchops w/rice and salad. of course, being in boston, they have to throw in a side of baked beans! funny. it all taste so good though, I love the spices of the middle east. each bite of the chop lets me think of such good things, my favorite things race forward into my head as my mouth savors the flavors. I dig it.
then I go down to where you play here (it used to be a bowling alley) and go into the little dressing room to chimp diary on the 'puter. luisa, j's girlfriend comes via the chinatown nyc to chinatown boston shuttle. good to see luisa. j's brohter mike comes too but not just to watch - his band the _warblers_ is opening up the next three nights. tonight's their cherry gig. two of the cats are from a band called _buzzbomb_ and the fourth memeber lawyers at the same place mike does. I've been looking forward to this all tour. mike gives me an ep he did on four track, the _warblers_ "letting it fly in lo-fi." he plays everything on this. thanks, mike. robin, the cookie lady from athens who lives here now, comes by to give me a bunch of brownies like she usually does. _southern culture on the skids_ is playing at another pad here in boston so she's gonna go give ed fROMOHIO some too. he does guitar tech for them. later, she'll come back to tell me he's quit that gig to work on his new band, _grand national_, the same trio I played w/last fall in raleigh. can't wait to see them play again.
the _warblers_ go on and I get out front to take shots of them w/the digicamera. I get like thrity five shots. they're great. some funky tuning stuff going on (jazzy dissonance?) but the roll it out hard. funny to see mike in a turtle neck sweater (and they say flannels are sweaty?) but I really dig it. my favorite tune is their cover of "another planet, another girl" by the _only ones_. great to hear mike do the solo on it. the drummer's got a _husker du_ "metal circus" shirt on, all right. the bassy rolls his head about when he plays like those dogs in the back windows of cars in the old days. they all do real good and I'm inspired. _elf power_ is next and they do real good. a hellatious thing happens w/j. him and his bro went chowing and on the way back after taking a dump at the star mart, j sees our van being towed away! he runs like a wildman after it (mike said he was wailing) and gives the cat forty bucks to get it back. whew! thanks, j. he's got quite a rush now to do the gig.
our set starts out ok, though george is hardly making eye contact. he's kind of spaced-out (kind of?), he smoked mota before we went on and whatever... but that the least of my problems. after a great "blowin' it" and "back before you go," I hear the speakers in the 4x12 cab really rub bad in their voice coils. they start getting really intermittent too and I know they're gonna go. fuck. the sidefills are so full of j's guitar, they're really painful - don't know what's up there. we do "same day," "waistin'" and "little fury things" and the shit is almost es todo. very much so. I sing flag's "I've had it" and by the end of "repulsion" they are gone, cutting out completely. I tell eric to please unhook the cab but too late, the svt-II has shut down. hopefully, the protection circuit in it has kicked in and saved it. all I got going now is that marshall through the crummy 8x10 cabinet and the direct going to the p.a. I ask eric to ask greg, the house monitor guy to put my bass through the sidefill and I at least have something audible but man, is it plinkin' - dink, dink, dink. fuck. onward, sailor. next is the john peel medley, "budge" and "I'm not fine." - man, am I not feeling fine. like I'm a total hand-puppet, trying to pick my ass through the bottom of my jeans. I wish I could just let go and forget about the sound or tone and just play air-bass, just let my body go and dance w/the beat and get the feel that way, not rely on what I'm used to. it's hard. I just gotta get over myself and do j and george right. the folks who paid to see the gig too, nobody needs a self-absorbed bozo tripping on himself. "all the girls" and then "the wagon" - shit, am I playing sloppy. george keeps looking somewhere else, spacing and I can't get his attention. I need help, george - please. aaarrrrgggghhh. "amma ring" next and I'm really rough here. so much plink, aaahh. in my mind it's just total kvetch on myself. man, am I glad on "loose" is next. I even do the spiel on that one bad. I noticed a little swelling behind my left ear and I might have some infection. it makes my voice rough. the crowd is very nice and has us back for more. we do the stooges' "I got a right" and I'm finally getting it together. too bad only the cure's "heaven" is left. david is supposed to sing the last bit, the "you!" parts but he's scared to come up front. I give him the finger to help him feel inspired. he relents and comes up but it's too late for the first round of them. he does the second round great. david, get some nerve. see, this scaredy-cat shit I let get going was catching. aaaarrrrggghhhhh, stupid fucking watt.
we get things together and I say thanks to mike for sharing the _warblers_ w/us. I go upstairs and there's a cat there from croatia who saw me play in zagreb there ten years ago w/fIRHEHOSE. such a warm handshake and hug, I gotta play there again. there's some band up here playing some free stuff, it's good. downstairs to the van and we're off for the ho. ray and david follow us in the truck. we get on a road that follows the charles river and trucks aren't allowed. we get lost (ain't j and george mass cats?) and pull over for directions at some ho (not the right one). the desk man there says there's a thousand dollar fine for trucks being on the road we were on - dohhhhh! a little more wandering and we find it. so many recriminations running through my head as I lie on the deck. I gotta make up for it tomorrow night. thank god life is made up of many gigs, always the possibility to redeem oneself if you blow a gig and choke like a big dog. funny thing was that j really dug the gig - even ray said he couldn't tell the amp went down. good thing we got that countryman direct box today - damn, forgot to write about that. always some other things that should've gone into the spiel here. I hope those who read this realize I don't get everything that goes down on tour here. too much weight for one brain to take but I'm trying. gotta keep trying. don't have to try too much to konk now though. I'm out, quick.
friday, april 6, 2001 - providence, ri
pop and soak at the crack of dawn. all gray out. I hoof. nothing about except a police station and an ihop. even though they got shitty chow, I pick the ihop. shovel some pig in the blanket, swallow coffee. hoof. think. wonder. back to the room and chimp diary on the 'puter. roll to providence. short hop, even w/the traf. however, rain comes down as we enter the town. blow by the pad, the _met cafe_ and then catch it on the loop. no blow-by w/out a loop, it's been said and I believe it. george says "I hate loading in w/the rain." eric says "but you don't do any loading." I say "i'm gonna say nothing and stay positive." j says "p.m.a." I get out and help ray and david w/the loading.
well, what are we going to do w/the bass? those 12s are gone. I'll just have to elevate the 2x15 box (on top of that 8x10 cab turned sideways) and just use that w/the ampeg along w/the marshall head going through the 8x10. at least we got the countryman now for a d.i. ray is stoked on that, says cambridge was the first time ever he truly heard the sound of the little bass. what comes out front is more important than what's up on stage, I just gotta get over myself. I can do it. I'm gonna try earplugs again tonight too - these moitors are toy and j's told me the earplugs allow the voice to be heard resonating through your skull.
I gotta send a payment in for my sickness last year so I hoof over the post office. rain all down on me and I only have the levi jean jacket. oh well. I try to navigate the awnings as much as I can. atm first for the jacksons, then the p.o. for the m.o. they got an old one like the one we got in pedro. the one across from jimbo's in nyc also. all from the 30s, w.p.a. stuff. built to last, lots of brass, great murals and art deco. forgot the letter so I gotta go back and then to a copy shop for xerox. aarrrgghhhh, the minutia of tour life. filing get the letter in the slot.
then soundcheck. this setup is gonna work ok for tonight. another hoof to this trailer near where the post office is. it's the "haven brothers diner." I get a cup of kidney beans and a cup of soup. the kidneys are deep red and real good, bathed in a thick sauce of themselves. the soup is chicken w/rice in it. good chow. back to the pad and I go to the little dressing room and don the mask. I konk for like two hours - great! allmost the same routine I have my own tours. the mask is key. we're in the same building as _lupo's_, a former department store turned gig pad and there's doors connecting. tonight, they're having _dark star_, some band the recreates actual gigs the _greatful dead_ played, i.e. "tonight we're doing may 3, 1972" or something like that. oh boy. it's packed and there's spinners right be where we're looking in from. some bouncer wants us gone. dick. we we're getting some good laughs. spinners for virtual jive dead. it's a wild world.
the _warblers_ do a great set, mike's got a jean jacket on over his turtle neck. double dipping into the fashion arsenal, huh? _elf power_ is next and goes over real good w/the prov-town crowd.
our time has come and no buddy rich pep talk, what's up? I guess we're early and ray didn't know. we like to have five minutes of buddy firing up his band to help fire up the crowd and also to totally confuse them. tonight, ray's gotta an idea he wants to try where he plays the buddy stuff in between tunes to kill the dead air while david hands j another guitar. good plan, ray. we start w/the blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" and get it almost down good except for maybe eight bars from the end when george stutters and turns the beat around onto the wrong side. woops. I get back on his side and we end it together, we'll get better w/this one as time goes on. man, do I feel good, love those pre-gig konks. "blowin' it" is next and goes down good. same w/"same day" and "back before you go." like night and day w/last night's gig. something to learn here. just got get over it if shit goes down and transcend the hell. in "get me," I get the parts together and do the solo up right - ok, redeemed for the mighty clam I blew in it the last time we played it. "little fury things," "all the girls" and "budge" follow. the marshall head for me blows a fuse and is out of the race. eric changes the tubes during "waistin'" but the fuse blows again. I don't think it's bad fuses. my hunch is the speakers in the 8x10 cab are bad. bunk speakers for bass are such bad news - too much current has to move to flow the low. I tell eric, fuck it. I can go w/what I got. I'm enjoying myself and hardware failure ain't gonna bring me down. we plunge into the stooges' "not right" and I dedicate it the "other mike" (mike mascis, leader of the _warblers_). man, I go crazy in this one and holler much during the jam part at the end where we freak out big time. then "amma ring." here I go off again at the end jam but in a different way, trying to get in touch w/the winds blowing through my spirit rather than the fire as I did in the last tune. we close w/"the wagon" and I'm blowing the pitch pretty bad on those backing things j wants me to do ("you won't see me"). the throat's a little tired. right!
we come back and do a twist on "I've had it." instead of following it up w/"repulsion" as usual, j says to go into "freak scene" instead. trouble is, we forget to tell george. so he gets a little balled-up when j hits those beginning chords. he catches on quick though and we're together on the one. he's playing so much better tonight than last night. I asked him earlier to please wait 'til we're done before he puffs the mota. he just plays so much better and has an easier time giving me the eye contact I like to help me along if I get a little confused. we finish w/"tv eye" and in one of the tune's last singing lines, I get a little of time w/j. I hold up though and get the last one tight. always a tightrope walk w/watt! that's ok, fuck the cruise-control and autopilot modes anyway. no way to live a life or do a gig.
mark from warren is here w/buds including joe, who was assistant to providence's mayor - the guy who was just indicted a few days ago for corruption. great to see joe, seems he just ran for office and lost by just a few hundered votes. good luck next time. next time I'm in town he wants to take me to chow "on the hill." can't wait. I talk w/other prov cats and it's a good time w/the happening spirit going around. gimili's sister maya has a friend in town, tim, that wants us to come over. me and ray are staying at a ho near the interstate loop around town while the rest of the team heads for western mass. I'm so not into driving at night if I don't have to, how many times have I said it. trouble is, this kid's buddy ain't home and says we can walk to another pad but, geez - I am soaked w/the gig's pore pourings and though it has stopped w/the rain, it's cold and I feel the chill on the bones - pneumonia threat. I have to bow out gracefully, me and ray get on to the ho (the map is slightly off but I get directs from a 7-11 and dodge taunts from dickhead frat fucks). as I prepare my deck bundle, ray puts on headphones to listen to music. that's intense, I can't listen to anything after a gig, my head is ringing so. laying there, I feel great about the way I played tonight for a change. it's a trip cuz j and george really hated it though not cuz of playing but cuz more of the sound. j said the stage was too high and it was the worst sound of the tour for him. I trip on this, even though the making of the event requires a team effort, the experience is hardly a shared one, always coming from a subjective tip and completely different things to the different peeps. that's a trip. this is my last thoughts before konk takes me.
saturday, april 7, 2001 - amherst, ma
soak for an hour after popping at eight. a bagel and an england muffin, then out into the morning. the rain is gone and good sunwarmth coming down from on high. we're in the woods here and I dig walking amongst the trees down the highway. my bag w/the clothes and backwoods is w/the other guys in the van so I walk to that 7-11 me and ray stopped at last night and get some 'gars there. not just backwoods but some "tijuana smalls" too. I remember these as a kid and yep, they're still just as shitty. read the email and get some devastating news. d. boon's pop, danny boon, passed away last night. he had been suffering a long time from emphysema and just couldn't get enough oxygen into his blood anymore. he hurt for so long. he has peace now. danny boon was like a pop to me, he treated me like a son. I love him very much. it's so hard to lose people, one of life's hardest lessons.
in the ride northwest to amherst, ray discusses things that pester him and pester me too. like, what are the priorities of a tour? is it the music and the best way to get that done or is it shit like, "how am I gonna get away w/the least effort possible?," "what color toilet paper am I getting my ass wiped w/now?" or "why isn't there any bookstores or coffeeshops near this fucked-up venue?" we wonder together about what is going on in some cats' heads that you have to work w/on a tour. especailly when they can pollute the vibe so heavily w/the lameass 'tude they spew. ray's got a great perspective on this, he's been around and has learned the ropes. he loves music too, it's easy to tell. that's not that apparent to me w/others. I feel lucky we got ray on this tour. he reminds me of my soundguy, mr. steve reed, a man I love very much. I feel "knobs (mixing board), boom stick (bass) - same thing" - all paths to help make some music, give j the best shot he can at delivering what he's got. gig team.
tonight's gig is at the _sky box_ at the campus center at umass. we find the loading dock to a big, tall building - we're playing on the eleventh floor. I go to the "bluewall" cafe and get some chowder. I dave it up big time and get some fluids flowing. then I chimp diary. back upstairs for check and I ask for us to do away w/that 8x10 cab, I just don't trust it. orangeman is in s. hadley, a town nearby, and fits the old 4x12 w/new speakers though they're eight ohm impedance so the cab ends up eight ohms. now this makes for 2.67 ohms total when you parallel it w/the 2x15 cab so that's kind of lame cuz you can set the ampeg for either two or four ohms. also, the cab w/the 15s will get two watts for every one watt the cab w/the 12s get. aaaarrrgggghhhh. a good thing is that orangeman brought the new sunn 1200s amp, the good folks at fender (sunn is owned by fender now) sent to replace my lame one that kept going down. maybe I can get three amps going, one for each box, huh? I'll try it in dc, not tonight. I tell j thanks for having us play the blue oyster cult song last night, the one I started playing w/d. boon like thrity years ago. I told him about d. boon's pop's passing and the added significance in playing that tune, even though I didn't know he had died yet.
there's a dressing room for us and it fills quickly w/family and west mass friends. j and george family and friends. j's bro (the last _warblers_ gig w/us is tonight) and two sisters. geroge's ma, pop, brother and sister. gimili's family too. her pop, brother and sister. there's friends like kurt (he's already borracho and getting real loud), zeke and good ol' murph is here too. alright! I'm gonna have murph take shots of us w/the digicamera like he did back in october at the bowery ballroom in nyc. gimili's pop talks to me. he lives on martha's vineyard and I want to check that island out, george says we can play there. he flys little planes too and I'd like to get taken on one of those since I've never done it. I tell george's pop it's an privilege to play w/his son. I must seem funny to both of these men, I always feel awkward when parents or family engage me when they actually know what I do and it concerns their son or daughter. I don't know why, it's always been that way. like having your ma at your little leauge games when you're playing them as a kid. I've never got used to that feeling. they're all very nice folks, however and I think it's great they want to see j and george play w/the "weird guy from pedro" helping them. "not forgotton" bob lawton comes by (sonic youth gig booker). he lives in northampton now. good to see him. no byron coley though, damn. really wanted him to check this out. oh well. thurston is playing w/his _male slut_ band in nyc and kim is in minneapolis, doing a lecture on yoko ono, I'm told. damn, wanted her to see me do this too. luckily, thurst got a chance in tokyo in feb and even played w/us for one tune. I want all my friends (well shit, everyone: gig-goers and listeners too) to see me in a role I don't play that much (sidemouse). I'd also like them to see j too. he's got some wild alligator shoes on cuz he went to a niece's christening earlier. whoa.
I do have to leave the room after copying the set list from j's plan on the 'puter to a sheet of paper w/cues for ray. everyone's great but I gotta clear my head a little for the gig. I find an empty little hallway and sit in a chair there. no one finds me for a while, I'm hid good, 'til some girl stumbles onto where I am and does a one-way conversation for a while. lucky stars are thanked many times when she moves on and I get a little more peace. things are running late - damn, I hate when that happens. I miss the _warblers'_ set. I miss the _elf power_ one. sorry to both bands. I just want to get shit together so I can do my best for the family folks. this is one of the most nerve-wracking situations for me and I want to do good for both j and george. funniest thing is the guest list, there's 140 names on it and 106 show up. much respect for the promoter tom for greasing that through. god damn, fucking town + 1, huh?
finally, our turn. we start out w/"loose" - j's got us doing three stooges songs tonight. the mics are dancing all over the stage. the low end is shaking them silly. no monitors for me now though the monitor cat will get them going great for me later in the set. his name is chris and he recoreded the first dinosaur record. I let david know about the mics and he tapes one of them down w/the purple duct tape. all right. ray's asked me to keep my mic kind of pointed stage right so the cymbals won't have as easy a time blowing through but that's dancing around too. we go into "blowin' it" (second time in a row it's the second song) and that's a scorcher. I've found out that the second part of this tune is actually part of another one entirely, "the look I live for" or something like that. "I'm not fine" follows and I give the signal to monitor man chris to get me out of mime mode so I can get the key in at least the same country j and the song is in. thanks, chris. next is "back before you go," "the lung," "same day" and "waistin'" - j and george are doing great for their families and I'm amazed I'm somehow keeping it together w/all my nerve shit and hanging in there in the ring. I'm scared to look out but I haven't done that kind of thing much w/this band anyway. I'm either looking at j or george most the time. the john peel medley, "I've had it"/"repulsion," "all the girls" and "budge" roll out the chute and chug good though the mic on the 4x12 cab keeps doing its dance. wish david could see this. after the gig, ray will tell me he kept getting signals from that mic going in and out, pretty obvious why that happened. we go into "amma ring" and j does some solo at the end, wow. incredible. it seems to sweep over me like a waterfall or a big wave on the beach in mexico where I literally am surfing it w/the little bass. in fact, the little bass seems to be part of me and I'm actually bodysurfing it - shooting me out into the air and back like a little doll. whoa - thanks, j. we end up w/a crazy "tv eye" that almost careens off the track, you can hear it squeeling mad. I dig that. what other way to play stooges? I have no idea.
I wait by the stage when we're done to see if we get an encore. lots of good word from the kids around me. thank you so much. j and george come back and we do "more light." then it's "not right" again and like last night I go nuts on this one in the jam. I am truly inspired. "she can't help cuz I'm not right." "freak scene" for the finale and we're done. ok, hometown gig (for must of the band) done. success. I thought we did real good.
pack up time and j takes me to his pad. on the way, we stop to get toilet paper. the _beechwood sparks_ just recorded at j's and we guess they did a lot of dumpin'. there's gonna be a little get together and I'm konking there tonight anyway. unfortunately, no bob - he's in nyc so I'll have to use the heater in the studio ("bob's place") to keep me warm when I'm ready for sleepytown. j's got some 'puter memory in the mail so I plunk into his powerbook for him. he's got 320 megs of ram now. macs are that easy. folks start coming over and it's a good time. all of the sudden, the sky opens up w/lightning and tons of rain. whoa, just like that. damn. one of j's bro mike's bud's from dc brought me three kinds of hot sauce and I decide to try them. one of them is pretty hot and right in front of gimili, murph just chugs it, straight out the eight-bottle. damn. he spits it out in the sink but holy shit, he must be feeling it. damn. I have a real high tolerance so later when we go for a chip w/the "dave's ultimate insanity sauce" and split it between us, I get the effects but no pain. I don't see how murph, being a newbie to this kind of stuff can maintain. damn. hot sauce. this is as wild as the party gets and at almost three bells, I call out "sueneo" and head downstairs. my shit is out in moments, man am I tired. the last thing I remember is bob - his spirit lingers.
sunday, april 8, 2001 - nyc, ny
pop and soak in the tub. there's 'green apple' hair shampoo and I use that, what a trip. the soap's in a bottle too so I use that for bubble bath. watt doesn't like to leave rings. it's way cold and still drizzling so the bike ride j and his bud john were telling me I could do this morning are definitely out. damn. the path ran through the woods, past farms, cows, the river and everything. next time. I call my ma like I do every sunday and we talk about d. boon's pop. she didn't know him much but knew me and him were tight. especially as a teenager since my pop was never much home. it's a sad talk. I ask my ma to come see me and the fog play when we come to l.a. and bring my two sisters. that would be neat.
luisa gets up and makes me tea and a peanutbutter sandwich. mmmm. j gets up and plays my favorite roky erickson album. just us three here, it's so great - they are a happening couple, so easy to be around. j's gonna drive us all to nyc in the van along w/george's new drums. he bought an orange ludwig set yesterday for six hundred dollars.
before getting out of town, we stop at a natural foods kind of supermarket and I find some good stuff. I get all kinds of chilies: jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, etc. for less than two dollars. I get three pears: d'anjou, red bartlett and bosch. finally, a pound of braised collards. good eats for the ride. it's raining and gloomy but I feel safe w/j driving. he keeps good space, a safety buffer in front of us and doesn't take crazy chances. he's relaxed and not all hyped-up. it lets me relax.
we talk about amma. there's a site I went to the other night, ammachi.org, where I went to go get information. I was curious myself but also there's a friend of mine named jen who wants to know more about her and j told me to start here. there's a link to magazine article links that are put out by her people for those interested. jen does yoga (the bikramkind) and wants to go to india - she wants me to learn yoga and go w/her this summer. I just have to an album this summer though cuz damn, it's been more than three years and I just have to do one, I'm hankerin' big time. india can wait. it is trippy how I'm meeting people who are searching the spiritual paths these days. it interests me. no one seems pushy, seems like they're all individual journeys and I feel no pressure from anyone. I think I would naturally rebel if I felt that but I am genuinely curious and interested.
man, is the weather crumy. just gray, cold and rainy. it takes us four hours to make new york city. we come in via the west highway down to canal street and then, since it's a weekend and the traffic going this way is plugged to fuck w/'bridge and tunnelers' (non-manhattanites), I tell j to let me out here and I hoof the reamining way to jimbo's pad. it's almost six and maybe I'll get color in my hair from elizabeth. that's a trippy thing I've tried since summer. jimbo's such a dear I have llaves (keys) to his pad and I find out elizabeth is w/her buddy heather's baby in connecticut. oh well, maybe tuesday. it's funny to read her email about how baby jakob will be wailing and wild and then blink, just like that, konk right out on her shoulder.
speaking of which - man, does it feel comfortable here on jimbo's deck. he comes home and we talk and catch up. love jimbo. he says how about some cubano chow at the "west side restaurant" on church street. he goes down to get some but comes back soon cuz they're cerrado (closed). oh well. jimbo suggests some pizza from "two boots." he calls them up and orders a mushroom and red onion one. when it comes, he pulls a piece for both me and him. he then puts the box in the oven. I don't really notice but the oven is on. we're chowing this great pizza (this ain't domino shit) - just love the crust and everything when jimbo jumps up and runs for the kitchen. I guess he spotted smoke coming out of the oven and whips the door to it open quick and pulls out a burning pizza box, the one that this slice came in! seems the box was touching the sides of the oven, igniting it. jimbo says we were moments away from the whole pad going up in flames. damn. he blames himself for being stupid enough to put that box in there but I congratulate him on quick thinking and reaction to put it out. I got the digicamera out and took shots. pretty scary scene. well, we made it through and maybe learned something ovens and pizza boxes. we chow the rest of the peetz. tastes even better knowing we ain't all burned up. jimbo says we wer so lucky. I agree, I'm a lucky man.
now jimbo's got a short cord on his phone and you can't move far. he's got some show on about that admiral, horatio hornblower and like lots of the show is big sea battles (wooden ships and iron men) and mutiny stuff going on real loud. elizabeth calls and I try to talk w/this all going on. I must've seemed like the spaciest idiot ever, trying to keep a train of thought going through all that. sorry, elizabeth. it was probably an hour of yammering on my part and jimbo ends up missing "the sopranos," a show he keeps wanting to watch but keeps spacing on, he tells me. sorry, jimbo. I'm real beat and I don't even realize I'm slipping under the waves of the deep sea of sueneo. damn, ron asheton is getting in tonight and staying at the soho ho right across the street on west broadway. well, my body and mind demands it so I submit w/out a vote. blink, konk just like that.
monday, april 9, 2001 - washington dc
pop after like ten hours of konk - whoa, there was some sleep debt paid off there! hose off and then down the six flights of stairs from jimbo's pad to canal street. over to the cubano pad for some huevos. then a hoof to the hudson for a think. not much time, we gotta get to dc to play the _black cat_ there tonight. I go back up to jimbo's to get my 'puter and camera bags. jimbo gives me a bottle of "two dudes habanero hot sauce." not too hot but great flavor. they grow their own habaneros too, all right. thanks, jimbo. I'll see him again tuesday.
walk to the soho grand where ron is staying and eric's already there waiting. ron comes down, great to see him. big hugs. there's an add on the wall outside the ho here that advertizes some caviar, like for $130 an ounce! some scottish salmon for $35 a pound! damn. we wait for a while for the others to come w/the van. ron discusses w/me the virtues about being on time. he go into that working on movie sets. finally, the rest of the team shows up (well, ray and david left yesterday after getting stuff fixed at orangeman's western mass) and we board. look who's in the front seat - bob! alright, bob's on tour! fantastic. luisa's coming too. full boat.
the drive south is really plugged through new jersey. we crawl, l.a. style. I'm a veteran of those wars so I try to calm george as he gets upset (eric is the one doing the driving, by the way) and try to explain to him that anger only eats away at yourself in a situation like this. it's beyond you and you just have to endure. what I do at home is leave lots of time so I don't feel pressed or panicked to get where I gotta go. I also get many things done on the same trip. I call it the loop. I try to spend the least amount of time possible on fucked-up plugged highway and if I am stuck, try to stay calm and not let this shit get to you. it's a true test, for sure.
after five states, we get into the district of columbia. for the last leg, we take the baltimore-washington parkway in and go past the nsa. funny how they don't show what those letters stand for or how it doesn't appear in the rand-mcnally map. who gurads the guards? a tiny blow-by followed by a loop and where there. I go into the pad and find ray at the soundboard. he's very pissed. oh oh. trouble between him and david. I tell eric he's gotta get this defused, we can't have things fester. I go across the street to the laundromat, no more outfits for watt. I help w/drying the towels that get used after the gigs too.
get done and go do soundcheck. I'm gonna try a different setup. I'm gonna have the bass go to a a/b box and then feed one end to the sunn 1200s, which will drive the 4x12 cab and the other will go to the ampeg svt-II to drive the 2x15 cab. I can get the sunn to get grindy as all hell.
sitting in the dressing room, talking w/ron, it's great listening to his stories from the old days and his reflections on what's going on today. he's so psyched-up to play w/us. so great. too bad fugazi's on tour cuz it would've been hot to have ian sing some stooges w/us on top of throwing in the ring w/the original deal ron. I asked ian through email and he was so into it. oh well, one day I'm gonna get to make music w/him for sure. I eat a small greek salad. the chow comes so late here sometimes. not dante's (the boss here, who's the greatest along w/him lieutenant bernie) fault but the list got to the cook so late. aaarrgggghhhh. a salad's not too bad but these cats are eating heavier fare. I think george is having onion rings and lasagne or something. damn. bob is the center of all the attention, both accepting and radiating tons of love. so much I love that bob. big chest rubs for him and he lays lots of face kisses all on me. thanks, bob.
_elf power_ does a good set and then it's our time. we start w/"the wagon" and it's right away into high gear. the crowds always dig this one. j writes such good set lists and changes it up every night. thanks, j. that's one way to keep things from getting tired. another is to keep a fire in the head, wail on your state of mind. "I'm not fine" is up and it's a wild stomp. can't hear my monitor though and this kind of lame, especially when you're singing your brains out. can't see the monitor man either and I really hate that. a lot about ensemble playing to me is about making contact and playing together - even w/the house cats and crew. go into "back before you go" and damn if my stomp box (the "full drive 2") ain't turned down all the way. in the middle of my solo I gotta bend down and turn it up, shit. gotta check that before we start the set next time. on to "the lung" and fuck if I don't hit an 'a' where I'm supposed to hit a 'b' - I think this is the second or third time I've done this - what's up, watt? tiny clam (it only lasts a fraction of a second) but I want to get the shit together. I must be thinking of scary things instead of flames of love. that's what I usually like to play to: tongues of fire, licking my mind into such a heat. like good chilies. I feel at one w/the little bass and most physical while at the same time, lost in delirious passion. the trick is to still stay on the same planet as your band and play well w/them, cemented in the moment. the drive and what you can bring to them though resides in the heart, I believe. that's why I think it's good to be honest about your feelings this way and let them help you. using thoughts of love as a springboard to paint w/the little bass. to make actual, emotions that make you want to celebrate this crazy state you find yourself in. it reminds me of some quatrains from rumi:
it is your turn now,
you waited, you were patient.
the time has come,
for us to polish you.
we will transform your inner pearl
into a house of fire.
you're a gold mine.
did you know that,
hidden in the dirt of the earth?
it is your turn now,
to be placed in fire.
let us cremate your impurities.
love rests on no foundation.
it is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.
a suspended ocean,
riding on a cushion of ancient secrets.
all souls have drowned in it,
and now dwell there.
one drop of that ocean is hope,
and the rest is fear.
will drink wine night and day.
they will drink until they can
tear away the veils of intellect and
melt away the layers of shame and modesty.
when in love,
body, mind, heart and soul don't even exist.
fall in love,
and you will not be separated again.
to love is to reach god.
never will a lover's chest
feel any sorrow.
never will a lover's robe
be touched by mortals.
never will a lover's body
be found buried in the earth.
to love is to reach god.
this is how I feel these days. it is strange to play in such a rowdy, rebellious way - making middle fingers sometime to go w/anxious hollering? those are ways of my younger days and they are ingrained on me heavy and intertwined w/my being. I want lights of love from my eyes too so I can share the fire I have inside. how will it be interpeted? I am terrible w/this, everything jumbled and confused - not knowing how to fit. maybe they can't fit and can only stumble and bumble along. I do feel driven though, however it's organized - like a motor swallowing gasoline. it makes me want to wrestle this little so intense, like yanking myself through it like a needle hole somehow, pulling my self inside-out. a state of emotion so intense that I'm carried beyond rational thought and self-control. a trance, freny or rapture even. I try to keep looking at j and george to maintain some kind of link w/the terra firma but I admit it ways I want to be free of it. harsh realities. somehow to transcend, huh? I wander here, back to the gig on april ninth in washington dc. "same day," "waistin'," the peel medley, "all the girls," "amma ring" and "budge" follow and go good except for breaking an 'a' string in "waistin'" (why is it spelled that way? I wonder). david told me to change strings too and I thought I could make it to nyc, stupid watt. I should've listen to him. aaaarrggghh. I get it changed quick though, faster than j can do his coltrane improvisations. I'm getting better at this, manning the pliers and all. we bring ron on to do the next seven tunes and they're all stooges numbers: "real cool time," "little doll," "loose" and "no fun." whoops, george was went into "no fun" when it was supposed to be "...dog" but what the fuck, we'll do that first for the encore. it's so intense w/ron here, right next to me - I mean really next to me - maybe inches. he's using a full marshall stack and it's roaring. so great. we come back and do "I wanna be yer dog," "not right" and "tv eye" and the gig is done - whew! much wet from this bout!
say bye and thanks to dante and bernie - all the nice cats here at the black cat. great to see alec, ian's bro too. I get two tins of great norwegian 'dines too from a nice cat named fred. thanks fred. pack up and those guys are driving to nyc (four hours! how fucking crazy is that - whatever) while me and david will stay a little north of here by the beltway in maryland. I've discussed before my reasons why I think it's such stupid shit to drive far at night when there's no pressing situation. I'm just hard-nosed on this. fortyfive tours have taught me this. I'm grateful to the others for respecting my choice in this matter and not making it a nightmare issue. me and david find rhode island and that's also highway u.s. 1 and it takes us straight to the ho. man, am I depleted. oh shit, I donated those 'dines to the pad - I spaced and forgot them. aaarrrgggghhhh, watt! laying there, I'm a little frustrated w/my forgetfulness but am truly amped over the big jam w/ron and the two more coming up in the big apple. elizabeth's town too. sueneo, watt.
tuesday, april 10, 2001 - new york, ny
pop at super 8 ho and hop in the tub for some splashing around and a soak. feels good on me. go out and find the sky gray and windy. oh well, I know the sun's behind all that somewhere. next door is some pad w/pork chops and grits. I chow those. mmmm. now to hoof it off. feeling a little creaky in the joints, am I under assault from some sick bugs? hope not. the battery in my little keychain flashlight is dead cuz, like an idiot, I left it on last night. don't know how or why? maybe rolling around on the deck did it. damn. anyway, I'll hoof up to this store up here, near the belt and get some. there's tons of traffic on this road and they scare me w/the sidewalk being so close to the fucking curb. sometimes it's missing altogether. so intense about how people ain't careful w/cars, not realizing what kind of crazy shit can get happening, just like that.
there's some pretty posies so I stop and contemplate them on the way back. then me and david head out in the truck, north on the I-95 towards new york city. the traffic is a breeze for us today, no plugs at all. we pass through five states to get to our destination: maryland, dleaware, pennsylvania, new jersey and finally into new york. yep, the northeast. you do that where I live now and it'll take at least a thousand miles to do that! on the way we talk about the probs w/cats on the same crew not knowing what each other is thinking. this is probably what went down between him (david) and ray. david last toured w/_le tigre_, a great band but w/tiny equipment and loading into clubs at seven at night, just before doors. w/j, you gotta unload tons of stuff and that begins usually six hours before they let the audience in. david likes to have time to visit bookstores and coffee shops so he'd like to load in even earlier while ray likes to wait for the helpers to show up so they can, well, help. david's taller than me (I'm six foot one) and can hang w/the big tote but ray's in his middle thirties and would appreciate the assistance. there was a time when they stopped at a music store and ray tried out mics there. david waited in the truck, he knows nothing of musical equipment (he only learned how to tune a guitar w/this tour!) and so he didn't have the inclination to go inside. this struck ray as though maybe david didn't have his priorities about tour right (the number one goal: music. bookstores and coffee shops come second). I sort of tried to speak for ray's position even though he wasn't there in the truck w/us and david agreed. he said he thought the crux of the problem was them both coming from different experiences and having different expectations of each other. sounds to me like things will be better now. tour brings on strange tensions - it's quite a compressed situation. these are both good men though and I believe in them, am proud to serve alongs side them.
we make the whole ride here in four hours. even the traffic into the holland tunnel is light. right before, I get some shots of the empire state building, the world trade center and of course, the green lady holding the tablets and the torch. we're playing the next two nights at _wetlands_ and that's right by the tunnels exit into manhattan, corner of laight and hudson, not too far from the river one of the streets is named after. jimbo's pad on canal is only like four blocks and this part of the route I take every morning I'm at his pad after I pop in the morning, when I hoof down to the river and around roosevelt park, the place w/the trippy otterman sculptures.
david parks the truck at the loading dock and I get out and tell him I'll see him later at souncheck. I east on laight, over the pedestrian bridge onto canal and up the six flights to jimbo's. great to see jimbo again. he's gotten rid of the porcupine look w/his hair and is parting it down the middle again. we spiel and catch up on a bunch. damn, it's been a whole day since I last seen him.
go to the pad and the booking cat there, jake, gives me a package of "depends," a kind of a diaper for men. last time I played here (the day after frank sinatra died), it was w/the _black ganag_ doing the opera and before the gig, jimbo cooked these steaks for us on the roof of his building. well, that meat didn't sit good in me and on the first note of the first tune, I shit my pants. now this was before I was wearing the 'little white suits' and so it just flew down my leg onto my ankles and into my shoes. that was intense. thanks, jake. what's getting me pissed is the slow go at getting everything miked up for check, what's up? damn. elizabeth's gonna put color in my hair and then we want to eat some chow. you know, I always spend my time around the pad for soundcheck and the gig, I hardly go to restaurants and prefer to just hold the fort at the pad we're playing so soundcheck length doesn't matter but tonight is one night when I want us to get done on time so I can go. wouldn't you know it, this is the night when everything is going wrong. the amps are hooked up all wrong, the house p.a. is screwed up, the monitor system is for shit... it's really fucking pissing me off. it feels as if things are fucking w/me just cuz I am going to do something for myself a little bit tonight. it's really trying my patience. two hours go by and I'm still waiting. I got my arms folded now and I'm really beginning to get steamed. we do "repulsion" for a check song. nothing but feedback. ron comes up and we do a little stooges but the monitors are all haywire. ray's got his hands full tonight, what a basket case of a system. that and the house sound guy constantly yelling at him. enough w/this shit. I'm done. bye, see you at ten, downbeat time. off to jimbo's.
I get there and it turns out I'm about twenty minutes late, aaaarrrggghhh! those guys just don't what this little request of mine means to me. I don't ask much of these guys at all but this is really important. for a minute I'm really angry for getting jerked around like that but then calm myself. elizabeth says it's ok. jimbo has to go to a dinner and brings a bottle of some chablis he's got. he'll come to the gig later. elizabeth puts the color on me, even in the beard. feels like pudding. when my hair gets this long, my sister melinda calls it 'fire hair' and that it is now. I don't want to cut it 'til I'm done touring w/the fog. sort of like a playoff beard thing w/hockey maybe or what sailors do for their tour of duty. the hair takes it good and I'm all dark there. mr. gray is hidden. this is my third time having this stuff on me. I hate mirrors but look in the one in jimbo's head anyway and find what a very happening job elizabeth has done for me. thank you, elizabeth. such a vain fucking watt, time to get going for some chow and get the set list happening - I forgot all about that.
we go over to the "west side restaurant" on church street and have the best roast pork sandwiches. we have to really get them down fast cuz time is running out. shit. well, better than nothing. over to the club and no j - what do we do for a setlist? eric asks me to do one up. ray asks to do "severed lips" first cuz of all the p.a. hell. that's a soft tune and he can get things rolling. I make the list up to where we're gonna bring ron on and do stooges stuff when j comes in the dressing room. great! thanks, j. he says my list is ok except he replaces "little fury things" w/"budge" and then writes out the stooges songs - we're gonna do seven of them tonight. _elf power_ just finishes up, it's their last gig w/us. they're going to do a europe tour now. good luck. they're really nice people and it was a joy sharing the stage w/them. thank you, sir deamon brown.
we come up on stage and start w/the aforementioned "severed lips." such a weird stage setup, we're in the corner of the club so everything on stage is setup on an angle. j's side is where most the folks are so he's turned toward them, way to his left and it's like I'm twenty feet behind him. so strange. it's like he's out on a plank out there. "same day" and then "I'm not fine" - boy are these monitors fucking mime - I can't hear one fucking thing. we're supposed to do "I've had it" but the "big cheese" fuzz box fails again. this has happened a bunch this tour. instead, we go right into "repulsion" and then "blowin' it." boy does that one get hairwire. I think j went over too long on one part but hey, whatever - keeps us on our toes. I like the band recovered and kept things together. listening to a tape of it might be a whole other thing but it the spirit of the moment, I thought we did great. "all the girls" has one of j's strings caught under his capo and that sounds funky. some trippy things are up tonight, gremlins? next comes "back before you go," "budge," "waistin'," and then j does a beautiful solo in "amma ring." beautiful. we next invite ron asheton on stage to play w/us. due to the weird stage setup, there's a huge space in front of george. that's where we put ron. however, his amp is on the other side of me plus j's got ron going through his fender amp. I am really getting drilled w/guitar, incredible. I mean I really dig it but w/these shitty monitors all I can sense in my voice is the flexing of the vocal chords cuz I can't hear shit. I start using that johnny thunders' line from the "stations of the cross" roir tape, "turn these piece of shit up." I know ray's got his hands full and is doing the best he can but it is frustrating. we do "real cool time," "not right," and "loose" - wow, what a blast! twin dueling guitars shooting watt into both sides. such a frenzy of guitar blast. I put the pick down and do these w/my fingers. ron's got this trippy way of arching over his guitar and then throwing the picking hand out in a sort of semi-townshend half-windmill. it's great. he really let's it wail like that in "not right" when he's not firing off the smokin' leads himself. we come off the stage and breathe a little. my head is ringing like a bell. damn, is that shit loud! love it though. we go back and do "little doll," "no fun," "I wanna be your dog" and "tv eye." I don't know what to say about these tunes, they rushed over me like niagra. sometimes he felt like I was just swept away, as if trying to paddle my oar in the maelstrom was futile and piddling. of course, I was a part of the whole making but in that torent I felt that both my voice and the little bass were mere grains of sands next to these great boulders, j mascis and ron asheton. much respect.
we're done. jimbo's here and he's had some of that wine he brought to his dinner, I think. juan rosenfelder is here too, great! don flemming also pays his respects - thank you, don. people are talking about going to some palce called "walker's" but I'm both beat and really wet so I'd rather go back to jimbo's. me and elizabeth walk over to canal and then she takes the subway up to her land, in the hell's kitchen part. I never get used to how you can be out late in this town and not be toatally nuts. in pedro, it would be very risky to walk around at this time. it does unerve me though. I just can't forget about people like her like that and ask her to call at jimbo's when she arrives home safe. at jimbo's, him and don flemming are already there, working hard at the mota. I'm tired and just sit and then that call comes and I almost fade in the middle of spiel. she's safe, good. ron comes over and more people. I'm too beat to even look and just see black clothes, such a surprise for new york city (right). no offense to anyone but I gotta drop out of the race. I go into the other room and fall asleep crying, can you believe it? I can't understand me most times. damn. adios noche, hola sueneo.
read week 3 of the tour diary
read week 5 of the tour diary
loop back to mike watt's hoot page