watt's "more light" tour 2001 diary, second leg - week 5

j mascis and the fog

shot of watt in 2001shot of george in 2001shot of j in 2001

watt - thud staff, spiel
george berz - drums
j mascis - guitar, singing
(left to right)

eric fischer - tour boss
ray rupprecht - soundman
david scheid - helper man

steve kaul - the man outside the van

wednesday, april 11, 2001 - new york, ny

   pop early and find a blanket wrapped many times around my head like a mummy. whoa, what was going on there? like an idiot, I konked in my wet levis w/no shirt on. the blanket was folded longways and way too narrow to cover much more than my head and shoulders so I was very much in pneumonia territory - what a fucking idiot. my head is clogged w/congestion. aaarrrrrgggghhhhh! down jimbo's stairs quick and over to the cubano pad, the "west side." such great chow here. over to the river and let my mind ride the tides. then back over to jimbo's. he's konked hard, I think jimbo had too much to drink last night (maybe too much to think too?).

   I'm feeling a little upset and insecure. been that way since I woke up. must find a solution. I want to get some flannels and feel protected. there must be some thrift stores somewhere here in big cement town. I call elizabeth up at her work and she tells me about a salvation army store up on eighth street. jimbo says there's some used clothes place on broadway and I head up that way looking for it but can't find anything like that. it's on the way to the salvation army pad so no loss. when I get there, I find some good shit. there's pendelton coat. not just a flannel but a full on coat made of 100% virgin wool. damn. I think pendeltons are like the grail of flannels and this is a trip to find a coat. of course it's itchy to wear and I really dig that. keeps you awake and aware you're alive. I also get a blue flannel (no name brand) that's been worn and washed tons so it's the most softest - I love it, especially on my cheek. one more flannel, a red one. I don't dig red much for shirts but it's got a great fabric, real tough and kind of rough. a contrast w/the blue one and I dig that too. I'm gonna wear the blue one tonight along w/that pettibon badge that cat in the midwest made me. I'm already starting to feel a little better. damn, eighteen dollars total too. there's some bargains in this big town.

   back to jimbo's. he's still in bed. damn. do some 'puter and then over to the club. get one of those nyc dogs they sell from the cart on the corner, w/mustard and that sweet onion - only a dollar. put new strings on yesterday so I could play aggressive and tonight I'm gonna try even harder. elizabeth is bringing her friend trey and I want to play good for him, make her proud. before I left jimbo's, richard hell called and said he might come to the gig and bring his daughter. whoa, that would be a trip. some people have an incredible effect on me, I get so, so caught up. I don't understand it exactly. I guess it's just kind of a foam or a gush or something like that. richard was my first punk rock hero and when I put a picture of him on my bass back 1977, it was like a line in the sand for me that I had crossed and never wanted to go back. fuck fascist rock and roll, I was now a punk rocker in charge of my own crazy-ass way. I got lit. so great to hear his voice on the phone. our soundcheck goes good. this time we set ron's amp next to george so I don't have to be the luncheon meat so much in the mascis-asheton sandwich. I mean for the spiel, it's tough on the throat to holler like that, even more so w/the toy p.a. here. I love the guitars penetrating me but j wants me doing the spiel too so I gotta think of that. ray got so mad last night cuz of not being able to give me enough w/the toy shit available - so mad he wanted to bail home, saying "I might as well be doing mime myself cuz there's nothing here I can get going." I tried to reassure him that I dig his efforts, no matter what kind of stupid shit he's gotta manhandle and in this journey, you work the room. one life is made of many gigs anyway so just try to make the most of the moment. I just want to let him know I think the world of him and am so glad he's on the team, working w/us. I respect him much. I wish I could provide him w/better tools, I can't believe the horseshit cats w/pads foist on bands if their main goal is to present music where it can sound the best, not just getting away w/a half-ass. another thing, ray don't need the house guy giving him fucking constant grief. that guy is supposed to aid and support, not make the problems even bigger. damn.

   I'm staying put 'til gig time. we have a new opener w/us now for the tour, a seattle band called _love as laughter_ and they're pared down to just two dudes, sam and zeke. it's an acoustic thing, very much different from the sub pop record j played for me last tour but still really good. nice cats too. they put on a good set. I'm wearing the pendelton coat over the blue flannel, I feel safe. juan rosenfelder comes again. great to see juan. he's willy nelson's promo man and really wants to get j hooked up w/him. that would be incredible. one day, one way. no richard hell, damn - he told me though there'd be a good chance he'd get too tied up so I understand. I'm gonna think of him anyway while I thump, it'll help me do better. elizabeth comes w/her friend trey. he's got a funny story regarding me. almost ten years ago I was playing in houston w/fIREHOSE (opening for the _butthole surfers_) and we had to bail after we played, there was a big hellride we had to do. well, I backed into this 60s ford falcon w/the boat, a nice clean one and put a dent in it. damn, fucking idiot watt. I guess he was sleeping in a car and saw this bozo get out of a white ford econoline van, stomping and kvetching about. I remember the incident completely. I got a paper and put my address and phone number on it and then placed it under the windshield wiper. he said he thought it was great that I didn't just bash and dash. in fact, when I got back from that tour, the cat who owned the falcon did call me but said things were cool and I didn't owe him anything. what a gentleman. I think his name was tony. thanks, tony. funny hearing that story though I have to admit I did interrupt trey a few times while he was telling it. why do I do stupid shit like that? it's a horrible fucking habit. it feels like I'm making it some kind of control issue or something like that, it's the most rude shit ever. I wish to god I could cure myself of it, makes me feel like such a shithead. I have to work harder at that. I don't like it when that stupid shit is done to me, why can't I learn how to control myself and get it fucking together. I confound myself so many times. fucking jerk. I get a poster from a listener. it's a handmade one w/a drawing of a cat w/a shirt that says 'pedro' and the head only shows a huge mouth, wide open w/some teeth knocked out. very fitting.

   ten bells, our turn to go on. we start w/"the wagon" and damn if I can't hear one word of j singing. I get lost in the first chorus for a moment. damn, what a clam. not too big and the ball kept rolling but damn - get it together, watt. "I'm not fine" is next and is eerily appropriate but we play it good. ray gets j's voice up and I can hear it ok. I learned this from working w/perry, follow the singer, he's the biggest link w/the crowd. not everyone has a guitar or a bass but everyone does have a voice and can identify w/that the best. the voice is the bridge to connect the folks w/the chumps on stage. into "back before you go" and there's a big bass solo for you, trey. he does bass too and that's for him. speaking of solos, j jams a big one in "thumb" - we haven't played this tune in a bunch of shows and it feels good to do it again. "same day," "all the girls," "little fury things," the peel medley and "waistin'" follow. in "amma ring," I get another one of those tear blasts in the part when we're heavy w/wail. it's only a squirt and not a stream but it's still intense. I wonder how it happens? j reaches some notes that just yank it out of me.

   we bring ron on to do some stooges tunes. out in the crowd is evan dando and I ask him to come up and sing the first one we do, "down on the street." seems he only knows the first verse cuz he does just that one, three times. he gets all the words in the next ones though, "real cool time," "1969" and "no fun." like j says, he's a human jukebox and knows almost every lyric to every tune. he's not very animated though, just crouching between me and ron. what's up? I thought he'd do like the iggster for sure. more like dez sometimes when he sang for the flag. no hollering either, oh well, ev-style. time to end now, I can see j sort of pissed. he says to me: "bumming." whoops. no more evan for the next ones. backstage, evan acquiesces to j's will. he's the boss man and I gotta follow his will. not that I have to but rather, I want to. it makes sense. we go back on and do "I wanna be your dog," whoa - this one's a riot. I shake my head crazy like an haywire electric toothbrush. "arf! arf! arf! arf! arf! arf! arf! arf!" "so messed up, I need you here!" "lose my heart on the burning sand." great tune. next is "1970," first time we've played this one on this tour. big headrushes doing the "it's all right!" parts, oh my god. watt's swiveling on his ankles. hold on, bozo. "loose" next for more insane wildman. thank god for the big solos j and ron whup up in the middle or I would've surely toppled. the tiny and dumure "tv eye" is next. ron said the stooges always did this last at gigs and I feel so proud to play along side the man who laid the blueprint for punk guitar out all those years ago and is still kicking up dust hard. not only that but the bonus twofer of having that fully blown top fuel guitar of j's upping and upping the ante on the whole pile. I come off the stage w/a heart attack but it's a happy one.

   damn, am I sweated thoroughly and breathing harder than a pufferbilly. just gotta sit and calm down a bit. sweet words from evan and his sister holly. good ones too from juan rosenfelder and the boss, jeff who owns this club. lots of people saying nice things, boy though, is it packed in this dressing room. I just stay still and try to recover, I am so soaked w/sweat. all these voices in my face, kind words but kind of overwhelming right now. so great to have elizabeth sitting here. w/her, I feel real, she never doublespeaks w/me. finally, luisa says there's a bar where everyone's gonna go and we walk in the drizzling rain there. after a half-hour we find out it's the wrong bar we're in. wondering where j and luisa were. we go down the block to the right one. much cozier, complete w/a fake fire in the fireplace.

   it's amazing to watch elizabeth work these goofs who keep trying to hand her lines. she drills right through them w/reason. I don't know what they were thinking. their posing has them frozen and ripe to be broken. great spectator sport for watt. she can certainly handle herself. this one guy starts fronting on us w/a "I'm from here, where are you from" load of 'tude and elizabeth says "kansas city" and this really sets this cat up to show his cards. nothing wrong w/being from kansas city - hell, charlie parker and lester young were from there - but she just wanted to give him enough rope so he could hang himself w/it in front of us and burp up his bullshit all over his bip. who's the hick, smartboy? who's the real rube? this guy spends the rest of the "conversation" trying to yank all the foot he has stuffed in his word hole. fat chance. he even admits he started talking w/us cuz he saw the tag on my 'puter bag that says tour stuff about the senior mascis and the fog. shallow gully. why can't folks just be for real and decent? why all the 'tude?

   time to go now. w/my 'puter bag, digicamera bag, and sweated-out flannel in an empty chip bag, we make our way up towards jimbo's. it's almost four, damn. "please, elizabeth - take a cab" and she does. thank you, the worry would kill me. so nice of her to spend so much time w/me on a work night. thank you, elizabeth.

   I want to put my mouth on something. I try hard and usually hold back from after-gig chow but I wanna give in tonight. new york city, gotta have a liverwurst on a roll and I get one at the market by jimbo's pad. mustard, lettuce, onion and tomatoes. then up the six flights and jimbo's still in bed - never made it to the gig. in the dark, on the deck, I chow the sandwich and savor these trippy east coast tastes. they're good. I feel much better than I did when the day started. a trip how that sometimes work, huh? happy konk for watt.

thursday, april 12, 2001 - baltimore, md

   this morning I do not pop but slowly try to free my head of all the mocos it's now stuffed up w/and plugged. damn. sickness at the doorstep but I will fight it and not let it in. into the shower and many farmer-blows later, I'm somewhat free up in the sinuses. I have body ache too, time to be wary, very wary. this will be the fourth assault on me since I started touring in september and I will beat it back like I did the other three, I am determined. I will not roll over.

   I have my last chat w/jimbo and then there's a loud tone from his intercom that means the van is here w/the fog to take me away. bye, jimbo. see you again soon. we go through the holland tunnel, onto the pulaski skyway and then south on the new jersey turnpike for baltimore. man, is the freeway plugged. for hours and hours we crawl, l.a. style through the steel and rubber river. aaarrrrrggghhhhh. we stop to fill up for gas, george fills up on "roid rogers" fried chicken - it'll be hurting him later. out of new jersey, through pennsylvania, delaware and finally into maryland and onto tonight's town, baltimore. we're playing at _fletcher's_ in the fell's point part of town, where they used to build the clipper ships in the old days.

   even w/all the traffic, we get there w/tons of time. we have a strategy we're applying to head-off possible problems. in fact, j asked me if we should cut this gig cuz of this danger. the prob is there's a sound limit for gigs here, 110 decibels. my plan is to do just a tiny soundcheck, play really low - maybe not even a song and then when gig time comes - go for it. problems right off the bat for me though when I try and play my amp, much breaking up sound in the 4x12 cab. god damn it. what's up? I thought it's supposed to have all new speakers. will have to check. besides _love as laughter_, we have another opener, _cursor_, tim "dancer" herzog's band from chapel hill, north carolina. dancer, along w/the drill j just bought, helps me take the back off this hurt cab and voila! we find not four new 150 watt white label celestion speakers but rather three of them and one old black label one. what's up w/this? luckily, there's two new 150 watt 12" speaks in the truck and we swap one for the old black label, which we suspect is kaput. put everything back together, test it out and yep, that was the problem. I am so relieved. eric even started calling around for and svt cab, it's just been so pathetic w/this marshall stuff. j digs it much though so I'm happy to accommodate him. both of us can't fathom why all four speakers weren't new. oh well, it's an orange world.

   tiny soundcheck over, I go downstairs to get some chow. I'm really feeling under attack w/this threatening sickness and don't want to risk succumbing so I won't make the walk to the waterfront where there's some great seafood chow. there is, however, some great 'cream of crab' soup here w/bunches of fresh maryland crab in it that I perk up w/the "hot sauce from hell" stuff mike mascis' dc buddy gave me (like a doof, I forgot my "dave's ultimate insanity sauce" at j's in amherst). it's good. lots of mocos running out too cuz of the chilies, great. I get a caesar salad too for intestinal scrub, all pretty econo. lots of soda water too. then back upstairs and to the dressing room for 'puter chimpin'. there's a tv in here and it can't be shut off (not like theses guys want it off anyway) so I go into the little office here for peace. I am feeling really stiff.

   dancer's band, _cursor_ goes on and I can hear him through the floor really well. he's playing the rickenbacker bass he bought in australia. sounds good, even up here. j sees the set and tells me dancer faced the drummer the whole time and only show rear end to the crowd. he's also got one of j's straps on which trips j out. the band's a trio and eric calls their sound 'math rock.' I liked what I heard, will have to see them play when they're w/us once more in charlotte. up next is sam and zeke and they do a real good set. some cat dressed like fxxx dxxxx heckles them all set but then offers to "party hard" w/them when they're done. that's a trip. nothing like a cookie-cutter clone actually stepping out of costume to become a real person and act nice. restores the faith a little.

   we're up to bat now. I'm feeling stiff and head-stuffed. will have to reach down deep to pull it out for this one. I most definitely want to though. we start w/"severed lips," a good one to do when there's no chance for a soundcheck. in fact, this becomes the soundcheck tune. the 4x12 cab is holding up good, so glad it was just that old beater of a speaker. I'm wearing that heavy red flannel I got yesterday in nyc but I'm kind of feverish so I'm glad I got it on. just a couple more tunes and the adrenaline should kick in... "I'm not fine," "same day," and "the wagon" are next. whoa, look at that - a pit and some dancing. the pad is packed and there's a great spirit for the bal'mor cats. pumped-up bass solo for "back before you go," then "all the girls," "budge" and "waistin'." in "I've had it," a kid jumps on the stage and keeps trying to get my attention. bro, my first responsibility is to j and get some decent bass for him happening. being your clown is very much secondary. I hold focus on the tune. he stage dives. "repulsion" then "amma ring" and we finish up w/a sweltering "not right," whoa - what a freak out at then end. I very much have the adrenaline in me now. kind of subdued crowd but we come back to do the cure's "heaven" anyway. where's dancer though to do his part at the end? david has to step up and fill in and he does, grandly. thanks, david. onto the stooges' "down on the street" where me and george kind of ball up the ending and then the perennial "freak scene." good gig.

      I talk to many in front of the stage and get the good word. thank you, baltimore cats. well, one lady hasn't got the good word for me. she gives me a very hard look and says "you sound better w/less notes." ok, that's valid but why the mean attitude? whatever, you got leave that alone or it's briar rabbit and the tar babe syndrome. run away. I go to talk to the boss, lisa, and catch up. she wasn't aware of the sickness I had last year. good to see her again. timmy cook and alli, the couple w/the ferrets say hi, great to see them too. wish my old friend craigo (from pedro) could've come, he lives here now but he's probably away somewhere, building zoo habitats (that's what he does). I've known him since fifth grade.

   ok, into the van and wait for cast off. I'm conserving as much energy as possible to fight this invasion of my tissues. we get to the ho and it's konksville quick. sure was good to see the dancer again.

friday, april 13, 2001 - richmond, va

   pop and feel sore but better than yesterday's pop. soak these ached-up joints, hurt from those invading bugs. venture out. next door is a gas station w/chow. kind of like a deli. I get a whole tomato stuffed w/tuna, must be the size of a softball. I also get a pickled onion. it's the size of a baseball. alright, a spherical breakfast! get some backwoods too. love the way the people behind the counters this way (south) call you 'baby.' very sweet. I sit out on a curb and chow my spheres. mmmm. back to the room and chimp on the 'puter 'til we roll.

   south on the baltimore-washington parkway and past that scary nsa place again. around the capitol beltway and over the potomac, past the masonic washington shrine in alexandria. trip to get that, the capitol building and the washington monument all in one view. that's probably how they wanted it, to make some great triangle or something that would have heavy significance if viewed from the air. then the plug hits. damn. well, it's good friday so maybe everyone's trying to get out of dodge for easter. maybe it's always this way, everyone getting on the l.a. freeway parking lot tip. pretty frustrating but I've learned just to relax. "can't hurry plug," remember that motown tune? something like that. on to the I-95 and even more of it. see a message on the back of a truck: "careful driving is a civic duty." I'm into that. sure is a pretty drive though. nice forests here in virginia. I was born in portsmouth, by the water (and norfolk) but we're going to the center of the state, to her capitol. we get into richmond and eric, using his global positioning software on his 'puter gets us into some neighborhood. I tell him I know where the gig's at, I've played there before. it's at _alley katz_, by the james river in the old part of town.

   we're early but that's cool. this pad's doors are in, well, the alley! I help us load while george and j take the van by the college (vcu) to look for some food. after I help the guys set up, I forge for chow myself and go to a pad I've been to before, the "main street diner." I get something called a "syrian paco" which is a pita stuffed w/refried beans and hummus plus sprouts. real good. a kid named james who does bass comes up and talks w/me about stuff and then who sees me in the crosswalk? ralph doll! one of the doll brothers, three guys I grew up w/in navy housing in pedro. his other two brothers, frank and david are in a restaurant across the street. I tell him to come see me when their done. I say bye to james and go up to the dressing room to chimp. j and george show up and we do soundcheck. the doll brothers show up and we do "the red and the black" for them. I go to get some bar-b-q pork they got here for us and george takes the plate that I'm setting up, right in front of me. why is this guy always thinking of himself? it's really getting ridiculous. I ain't gonna let it get to me though cuz I'm here w/old friends. just one more incident where george shows his true colors. he probably doesn't even realize it, he's just used to his way. I love him though, I just wish he would just give me a little respect. oh boy. back to my old buddies, I rap w/them while sitting on a curb outside the club. now frank came and saw me for the first time after thirty years last october in raleigh but this is david and ralph's first time. it was 1971 when all three of them moved away from pedro. whoa. they come up into the dressing room and we have a long spiel catching up on things. thirty years worth! ralph's a school teacher, frank's and accountant and dave's a parole officer. they're all real interested in what became of me and san pedro, they miss it much. they only lived four years there. I tell them they should come and visit. I'm very glad to see them and learn about what's up w/them too. these guys were always the best to me, always made me feel like I was someone. they remember a lot of the cats we grew up w/there. they're also sad to learn the navy housing is rundown and closed, the seabee baseball field is no more, lochman farm dairy next door gone (w/tracy austin's racquett club and condos built over where it was) - all that stuff that was our life, erased. so it goes. they want to know how I got into music, back when I knew them, I still hadn't met d. boon yet (met him the year after they left for virginia) and started learning how to work the bass. they found out about me through an newspaper article frank seen in his town (norfolk) written about me cuz I was a "home town" cat that went on to do gigs and make records. thanks, chris grier, for writing that. I took him for a week in the boat on a tour w/the pliers last spring. trippy how things connect, huh? anyway, I'm just so glad to see the dolls again. I want to play good for them. they all drove many miles to get here (none live in richmond) so they'll have to bail before we're done (we gotta go on late tonight, 11:45). I give them all big hugs.

   _love as laughter_ does their set. the place is packed and responds good to their stuff. sam is a great singer and they have happening tunes. the boss, chris, comes up to say hi to me. he's great, always been very nice to me and I dig working for him. there's bunches of fat, raw asparagus and I chow tons of it. my piss will be smell funky tomorrow, you know how it is w/that stuff but I dig it much. our time is now and it's down all the stairs to the stage. good vibes from the richmond folks, roaring to go. we start w/the stooges' "down on the streets" and man, does that chug. j impresses me every night, no matter what the tune, he's a hard-charger and blows me away. I told those doll brothers to watch him, there's nothing like it anywhere. the man can cook. he might not sweat but he can blaze. I'm wearing a shirt this salior who just got out of the navy gave me in missouri, in honor of my old navy housing friends. it's a dungaree blue one and the thing is sopping wet by the next few tunes, "back before you go," "same day" and "out there." been a while since we've done "out there," that's cool. j makes some great set lists. I'm always pleasantly surprised by what turns up at gig time. he has a great sense of both flow and dynamics. sometimes we're in the same key a little too much but that's a trifle (seems he likes to put the ones in 'g' together). then two set staples "I'm not fine" and "all the girls." after that it's another one that hasn't made the rounds in a while, "mike's house." george starts it before j's got the guitar on so he waits for us to go around once. that's a trip cuz george is usually so late w/starting tunes. I almost got caught too cuz I was trying to light a backwoods - stupid fucking watt. I really wail up at the end w/a big-boomer solo. I remember the last time we did this one, j asked why I didn't kick the shit up a notch and I felt I had dropped the ball. I had been thinking before that I had be overplaying there but according to j, not at all. sometimes the man isn't as verbal as you might think and so you try to read between the lines but I'm getting the idea that j says exactly what he means and if he doesn't tell you you're fucking it up then maybe you ain't. does that make sense? anyway, it's a joy to boom up here. "budge," "waistin'," "blowin' it" and "amma ring" follow. all smokin' - especially the extendo version of "amma..." - like last night, maybe ten minutes long! over the top. j cooks it up so good. I'm in another ecstatic rush, shaking this fire hair like a sprinkler torch. we close w/a tough-to-do "tv eye" cuz the toy moinitors ain't doing jack shit. total fucking mime, aaaarrrrggggghhhh. for encore it's "I got a right," "little fury things" and "I wanna be your dog." been a while for "...right" - we didn't do that w/ron cuz he was made to play bass for the "raw power" album (actually, him and his bro scott saved the day for that one) and he don't like doing any of those tunes. don't balme him but I do dig the tune much. however, I'm sloppy in it on the little bass and in "...dog," I space the second verse pretty hard and have to wait a couple of times around before the words come to me. why? they're my favorite ever! "now I'm ready to close my eyes, now I'm ready to shut my mind." we're done.

   I don't back upstairs but rather hang out w/the cool virginia kids. they're so nice to be w/and lots of them play bass too. good thing, I find out later cuz the bosses wife (co-owner) gives j a hard time about going on too early and playing too short - she said "we could've sold a thousand dollars more of beer." sorry, m'am but we went ON at the contracted time and played OVER the contracted amount (eighty minutes - the contract said sixty). instead, a bunch of kids got to take pictures w/sweaty old "uncle watt." funny cuz the boss chris thanked me so much for the gig. hmmm. I then go to the van to change out of this very soaked outfit and just sit and reel from the spin cycle I was just engaged in. j comes in the van too to laydown on a bench seat. we're both beat. it's worth it though to put out like that. nothing wrong w/playing your fucking brains out. finally george comes around and we can get to the ho. problems though, the reservations eric made on his powerbook over the internet didn't get through to this fairfield inn so they have to put us up at another pad. we get over there at like three and I am very much out of gas. the rooms are big enough that david can join george and eric, he's free of the soothing symphony we snore to him each time he's w/us. his loss. there's a living room in these pads and I konk there, right against the hatch. a little mota from one of those richmond kids in a can poked up w/the leatherman tool and I'm taking the g-train to sleepytown. sure was great of those doll brothers to come back out of the past for watt. intense to see them, made my heart glow. thanks, bros.

saturday, april 14, 2001 - charlotte, nc

   damn, was I tired - I pop at like ten or something. but the good news is that the sickness is being stomped. I am going to overcome yet another onslaught and invasion attempt for them god damn bugs. thanks, body. I guess I just needed to konk late. usually when I do, it's cuz I have to - the body is just worn, it ain't like a lazy thing. the reserves are tapped, plain and simple. "a man's gotta know his limitations" someone once said. deserves to be said again. this pad has jets in the tub and I bubble away for a half-hour, especially on the soles of my feet - that feels real good and trippy.

   the ride to charlotte, though some miles, is an easy one - no plugs. south on I-95 and then southwest on I-85 through greensbourough and on to the queen city, charlotte (funny, cincinatti calls itself the 'queen city' too). funny thing is george ain't taking it too easy behind the wheel. he's driving today and man, is he doing it aggressive. at one point there's some dick jamming us and instead of backing off and letting the ass out of our life, he's trying to get ahead and we're like at eightyfive miles an hour - in a van! I ask him to please calm it down and we have some words. damn, I do a lot - a lot of driving in vans. I've spent more time behind the wheel than all the guys in here put together. I wish I could get a little respect about this. makes me fucking mad. we're not teen agers in a hotrod. we're cats in a van trying to safely get to the next gig. I wish he'd save his aggressive shit for the stage and the drum set and just go easy w/the driving. it really gets me mad. I had to deal w/this shit w/the sound guy from the first fog tour. he ended up hitting something and getting arrested. why up the odds when it's already a scary thing being out on these roads. I tell j I want to be in the truck tomorrow. I really do love george but I disagree w/this course of action. we've left in plenty of time (which I dig) and we can get to the gig on time w/out speeding or taking crazy risks like weaving through traffic w/a thousand land changes. the shit scares me. how can I even chimp diary w/the horror scenes playing out in front of me through the windows? anyway, after cooling off a from my little harangue, I apologize to george about the manner of my protest but not the substance. I know it my seem like in my writing here in this diary that me and george are like close to duking it out but that's really not the case. we just come from different perspectives sometimes and sparks fly w/the friction. deep down, we got a lot of love for each other. things like tour just tend to bring little stuff in a more bolder light and make them maybe a little more exasperated. there's nothing that a good sit-down and reasoning can't solve. back to tour in progress now, there's big nascar track here and I believe where dale earnhardt, who was just killed in a race, was from. even a champ can get killed racing. risky shit.

   we get to the pad, the _tremont music hall_ and I say hi to penny, the great lady who's the boss here. she didn't know about my sickness so I fill her in. even w/the internet and such, not everyone you work w/in this buisness (or racket) can know what's up 'til you tell them. sometimes you only see them once a year or even every other year. I love working for penny, she's the best and she runs a great pad. all the folks here are 'top shelf' as my friend curl would say. we're playing the big room tonight, the other room is where I've played the last two times I've been here.

   soundcheck and I ask ray to come fiddle w/the sunn amp. he's been telling me he wants more aggression out of it, like the old lou sound for dinosaur and I ask him to dial it in while I play. he gets it real grindy and finds an eq where I can get above the kick drum but below j's guitar in tone. thanks, ray. that shit is impossible to hear where I'm standing on stage. you gotta be out there by the soundboard, where ray is to get the true picture on how shit's coming together. he's now got three sends from me. the direct out straight from the little bass, the boom from a mic on the 15s be driven by the svt-II and the crunch from the 12s being fed by the sunn. different options for different tunes and in particular, different parts in those tunes, like a bass solo or something like that. what I really dig about ray is that he cares. he ain't just trying to get away w/whatever he can. the man cares. I couldn't ask for more. a man on stage puts his sound in the man w/the knobs - it's a certain and undeniable truth.

   everyone goes to chow. I walk the area around the club. the weather is just so righteous. a perfect time to be in the south, before the humidity starts to beat you down. the feel of the air is so gentle, I feel I'm being held up by invisible baby blankets. just such a soft billow from a mild breeze, clean air flushing the lung. I really dig it. I walk slow. I want to savor this. I head on over to a gas station and they got pimento cheese sandwiches. well, all right! I get one of these and some salt/vinegar chips. I stuff the sandwich w/the chips and put it down the in door. real good. more hoof. hardly anyone on the street, and everything real easy going. I'm enjoying myself. things are real quiet too. I dig times like these at different periods. helps me level the rough spots in my mind. I feel like the most casual kite w/out a tether, just floating about.

   dancer's band _cursor_ is opening for us and they begin right on time. thanks, tim. this time he faces sideways, he's getting there. however, the room robs his bass of punch. I watch them this time instead of just listening through the floor. they're really good. much respect. jody, the guitar cat has got a single cutaway gibson melody maker guitar - just like the one d. boon used for the _minutemen_ "joy" and "bean-spill" eps plus the "what makes a man start fires?" album but jody has a humbucker pickup instead of the strat one d. boon had. funny to see dancer's strap. it's the bondage one some "strap designer" in clevelnad gave j - he swaped it for the one of his that dancer kyped. sorry, dancer. good set though. _love as laughter_ is next and they do great as usual. folks give them an ear too which is very open-minded and cool of them. sometimes people won't give the openers a chance and only want to see "their" band. a lot of times the openers are there cuz the headliners want them (unless it's a corporate pawn gig). j really digs this band. I do too and does george and the rest of our team.

   "the wagon" has us off and it's a steam roller. whoa. "I'm not fine" second (we've playing this a lot second - sort of like the first tour w/"same day" always being second). the monitors are great here. the cat is right there all the time at his board and his very attentive - I can hear everything. thank you much, bro. then "waistin'." good take. blister into "raisins," I do an especially agressive throw at this baby, love it. solo it up hard w/"back before you go" and then slide into "same day." george is playing so much better tonight than last night where he didn't even break a sweat. he says his kick pedal was sliding all over so j tells him to use a guitar pick to shim it up on the bass drum hoop. good thinking, j. the man is a drummer, you know. always will be. that's one reason his guitar is fierce - it's the hands. a more dynamic time now w/"alone," I light up a backwood for this one. I remember what that lady said in baltimore and try to play few notes, keep it more simple. then "budge" and "the lung," finally getting that one pretty clamless, overcoming that tendency to throw in the 'a' where there should be a 'b' - fucking slow learner watt. "I've had it" follows and this trips the crowd - they weren't ready to hear watt holler some black flag. of course, "repulsion" is next and a heartfelt "amma ring." we play the peel medley next which is a weird spot in the set but I can dig it. "no fun" is the closer and we do kind of a short version cuz j pops a string.

   for an encore we do a little version of the _funkadelic_ tune "maggot brain" (watt's request) and then insert "heaven" to let the dancer make up for spacing when we played it in baltimore. he does great, bellowing out the "you" right at j from the bottom of his gut. thanks, dancer. "freak scene" finishes us up.

   sad to leave the dancer, I wish we could play many more gigs w/his band. I love him much. I go to the van and change into dry clothes like last night. so much healthier for this swelter sweater that I am. I talk w/lots of carolinians here, there very nice folks. I give a pick to a young bass player from "babyshaker." this lady ann tells me about her first ever recording session where she was so scared to play in front of no one so the producer, don dixon, got on his knees in front of her and hailed her w/out end. she got her confidence. these young folks want me to go to a bar they really like w/them, like the young folks last night but I can't do it, must conserve resources and kick this sickness assault for good. thank you much anyway. wait 'til they're fortythree year old punk rockers and still want to throw as hard as you can. you gotta pick your fights, pick them careful - don't squander. the ho is just a little way down the road and it's on the deck quick w/the konk soon to follow. steady, sailor.

sunday, april 15, 2001 - st. augustine, fl

   again, a fairly late pop for me - like nine in the morning. body still fighting skirmishes w/the invaders, kicking them to the curb. tonight there's no gig so it's just a drive day. next gig is tomorrow in orlando so why not make it a calm drive - why try and get there tonight? long drives beat me up and if there's choice, I'll opt for splitting shit up so you don't spend umpteen hours in the ride. ray is of the same persuasion so we're gonna drive together and let those cats get their macho drive jones fed. our plan is to go 'til like seven and then get a ho, konk early and then do the last couple of hours the next day. this way, we get some real rest. I hoof up to the main road and call my ma like I do every sunday. it's easter sunday, in fact. my ma says the town is ok and my sisters are doing good. happy easter. I hoof further down the road and back, go to the van on my return and chow some 'dines I got there w/crackers and chili sauce. not easter ham but close.

   into south carolina, we ride towards columbia and then turn east to chareston but then south again when we reach that familiar I-95. into georgia and the sky opens w/some big storm. hoo-ee, damn. very large drops. however, I feel comfortable w/ray cuz he don't take ridiculous chances and makes me feel safe. we listen to the radio, something that never goes on in the other vehicle. it being sunday, there's some gospel. another station has oldies, another has hip-hop. the only thing fucked is all the fucking commercials, one reason I'm not much of radio man. the one in my boat burned out even I haven't replaced yet. I got a portable am radio for traffic shit (remember, I have to navigate the plugs of l.a.) only. laker games, too. feeling relaxed in the passenger seat makes it easy to chimp diary so I do.

   we get into georgia and pull of for gas. I get some boiled peanuts, some w/cajun spice. this is some good shit, they way the nuts plump all up as a result of all the soaking. I get another pimento cheese sandwich too, like last night. this is my chow for the day. I get some sobe drink too, the kind w/the st. john's wart in it. this can help calm you a little bit, I've found.

   what's running through my head? well, gathering my thoughts for diary chimpin' for one. it keeps things from just blending into one trough of mush. the day is the fundamental cycle: the sun rises, the sun sets. one life is made of many days. it can be a metaphor for a whole life. like bloomsday in "ulysses." one fat book about one day when you can also say it's talking about all the time before and a guess at the time to come. trippy how we seem to want to abstract that out, the sensation of the one day/night cycle, not the joyce book. that's abstract enough! maybe not so, if you know how to read between the lines and hear the inner voice there. I wonder if my spiel in these diaries has an inner voice or do the seem just like grocery lists of events and happenings? I remember first reading "ulysses" as a younger man and finding it like a long list of other lists, losing site of what "actually" was going on, ie: bloom goes to the post office, bloom takes dump, bloom has solitary tug-of-war on the beach, etc. joyce obviously was trying to tell a story but maybe I am too. really, I'm not trying to make so much a documentary but rather the trials of a crazy man trying to make sense of things. this means there's lots of subjective stuff that is prone to change and revision. I'm thinking out loud even if I am running down lits of things that happened or rather, they way they are perceived by watt to have happened. one reporter's opinion. "what could be romantic to mike watt?"

   when we get into florida, the storm ceases and blue skies open up. we come up on jacksonville, one bookend to the I-10 (the other being santa monica in cali). ray makes an astute observation. five lanes each way through these parts. he says we should get south of this and then look for a konk pad when things get back to two lanes. makes sense, avoid the morning commuter plug. we get to st. augustine ("oldest u.s. town") and find a "scottish inn." it's seven and that's good, we ain't tore up and it'll be a calm rest. funny, the cat working there shows us the room before we take it to make sure we can deal w/it. it's fine. we park the truck right outside our window to guard it, park it sideways even so cars will block it from getting took. a couple of days ago, friday (the 13th), I got an email from charlie's wife saying charlie (frank black) got his trailer stolen after his phily show near there w/all the equipment they had, like eighty thousand dollars worth. damn. plucked the whole fucking trailer. I feel so bad for him. I put out an appeal over my flow list for help. anytime any of us loses our tools, it breaks my heart.

   I get on the 'puter and get a very sad email. joey ramone died this afternoon while we were driving. a big loss for the team. it shakes me up much. the ramones meant so much to a lot of cats like myself who felt marginalized by 'correct rock' and the whole load of shit that was getting foisted on anyone trying to be different in the 70s. they represented a way of letting your freak flag fly - not by asking folks to copy what they were doing and sound and look just like them but just go for it and find your own way. for me and d. boon, it was the biggest gulp of fresh air our lungs ever took in. it made us minutemen. made me what I am today and am still becoming. much respect to joey ramone.

   ray's already konked. boy, he was tired. I'm glad we made time for decent rest. time for me to konk too.

monday, april 16, 2001 - orlando, fl

   pop and soak in the tub. they ain't got set up that way but I stuff a wash cloth in the drain and make it be so. venture forth into the morning, blue sky above pierced by bright yellow sun ball. I hoof along the highway toward a lighthouse. when I get there, I find the "lighthouse" is a shill for some "family land" type of bullshit pad w/paintball war, miniature golf, etc... I knew something was up even at a far distance cuz I was headed west and figured there was at least the rocky mountains between me and the pacific. I turn around and hoof the other way. I find a snake squished in the road but it's been pulverized pretty much so it looks like a label off of a beer bottle. can't tell where the head was or anything, just traces of scales.

   ray gets up and we bail. south again on I-94 'til daytona beach where we turn west on I-4. see a billboard and it says: "aggressive driving habits are acquired at childhood." hmmm. makes sense. not a lot of times you see stuff on billboards that makes sense. like those signs for 'gentlemen clubs.' I'm sure there's nothing but 'gentlemen' in them. turn on the radio and there's a 'clascic rock' station on. they're talking about the ramones and like three or four of these dicks are sounding just like that assholes I heard on the same kind of stations twentyfive years ago. "punk sucks," "it ain't music," "it ain't rock and roll" - one of them even says "fag." a listener calls up and says, "hey, I liked them - 'blitzkrieg bop' - all right!" one of the assholes on the station then says "well, I guess it's one of those things where if you're into it, you're gonna like it." whoa, thanks for the einstein pose, mr. mensa president. fuck these guys. I guees though, in a way, you gotta at least respet the fact they're not disguising their contempt like a lot of other jiveasses who just dick-leech off of whatever and then lie to your face. these guys wanted to be on the record as hating the ramones. so be it. we can always change the station and we do.

   orlando is the home of disneyworld and there's some major plug getting in. why is this some peoples' idea of a vacation? to each his own. just wish it was easier to get into town. the other thing is the two kinds of driver here in florida that are really scary. there's the vacationers in rented vehicles, going as fast as they can and driving their vehicle into the ground ("cuz it's a rental" - more consumer mind set) and then old folks who never turn their head and do like forty on the freeway. the combination of the two makes for hellatious road conditions. totally scary. we do make it downtown eventually and get the pad for tonight, the _sapphire supper club_, owned by my friend, mr. jim faherty. noa at the club here is very sweet and helping me out, making space for me to do my 'puter shit. this is gonna be a trippy gig in a way cuz this is where I started w/the fog - just a week shy of six months ago on october 23, 2000. boy, was that a clam bake, I was blowing them out like chowder out of a hose. I had just been on a six week tour w/my own _pair of pliers_ (tom watson and vince meghrouni), who's last gig was october 21 and I had only one day of practice w/j before his tour started. what a wail. I think I've come a long way. tyler, the cat from the paper who wrote a piece on tonight, said something like "watt had is hands flying all over the neck except in the right places." well, tonight I'm gonna make up for that. it was such a pants-shitter for me to play that first fog gig but in some ways it was very happening. like george said, "the excitement factor was definitely there." thanks, george. I just don't want to be a 'clammy davis jr.' tonight. gonna try real hard.

   get done chimpin' and I got the urge to hoof. see j and george on my travels, I guess the ho ain't too far from the gig. it's great when it's only stumbling distance when you're all sweaty from playing. was gonna forge for chow but fuck it. go back to the club and there's veggies on some platter in the little band room. evan left a message for us on the wall, he played here a couple of days ago. wow, that must've been right after he sang w/us in nyc. thanks, ev. back to chimpin'. the _love as laughter_ guys, sam and zeke get in and they give me a baseball hat they bought at a gas station. it says on the front of it, "world's greatest grandpa." thanks, sam and zeke. sam has one the same style but it says "zero to naked in 6.2 beers." these are some funny guys. they're a great band too. their set is a tough one, hard to get anything out of the crowd - what's up w/that? damn. the ho being so close allows j to hang there 'til near set time for us. too near! we need a set list, j. he actually phones it in to eric. whoa, what's that about? pretty funny, whatever. my is not to reason why, mine is but to...

   j shows up right before set time. we start w/"waistin'," which seems appropriate. man, I'm focusing hard - I'll show you, tyler (just kidding). I'm serious about the focusing part though. I'm puffin' a 'gar and the smoke's kind of making my eyes water. oh well, I gotta have it out for the ones that require my spiel and we got black flag's "I've had it" next. it's a trip doing this one cuz you know a lot of folks aren't expecting it. especially the 'alternative' people who don't even know punk. for the folks that do know the old stuff, it's a pleasant surprise. for the others, well - whatever... I don't give a fuck what they think. j wants to do the tune and we're gonna do it - in fact, I'm proud to do it. it's a good tune. a great preface for "replusion" too which we do next. then it's the peel medley but j's purple guitar seems to have microphonic probelms - squeeling. when we were in amherst, orangeman re-waxed the pickups but the problem is still there. damn. good take on the song though and at the end when I do the ruts part, I get the same blank looks from the "altern-o-people" as I did w/the black flag song. this one takes a lot of lung, it's a constant "when you're in a rut, you gotta get out of it, out of it, out of it, out of it, out of it." I have to really hold on in order to not fall over from headrushes. next is "all the girls," "same day" "and "loose." by this time, doing the spiel for the stooges song is really tough cuz there is nothing in the monitors. the amps that run them are probably heating up and putting out less and less. I'm trying to get ray's attention but all I can see is the top of his head. he's probably having a hell of a time wrangling a sound out of this system. seems w/these toy setups, he's always got the house guy yammering away in his ear, telling him the system's "gonna blow" like scotty in _star trek_. poor ray. tomorrow I'm gonna try that ear plug thing again where you can hear your voice resonating through you your skull and you don't have to rely on electronic gadgets like monitors and such. 'the self-reliant man,' that's something to shoot for. "mike's house," "I'm not fine" and "little fury things" follow and I'm doing ok, not a clam yet. put the 'gar back in my mouth for "amma ring" and this makes things tough. the jam at the end is so intense, I almost swallow it. too hard to flex w/the beat, dig in w/the rising and falling tide of the flow and my mouth just wants to make shapes to the notes anyway. finally, towards the end, I spit it out. it was so sopped w/spit anyway, it was barely still lit. we end w/"the wagon." can't believe it, the whole set w/out a clam, damn. I feel kind of good about that. I only step off the stage a little ways and wait for those guys to come back for the encore - I'm so soaked, even my socks are wet. we come back and have sam from _love as laughter_ sing "I wanna be your dog." he looks kind of like iggy in a way. he's wearing flip-flops on his feet and tosses them off to go barefooted. he does a great job w/the vocal and has amazing pirouetting moves to bet. he keeps the mic high over his head except when it's time for words. there's a big gap between the chorus and the next verse and then he sings most of the first one again. that's ok though cuz he's really doing good. much respect to sam. we next do "just like heaven" and david nails his "you" parts good. finally is the stooges "I got a right." again, I don't go all the way back to the dressing room but rather sit by the merch table. lots of kids come up and talk to me there. big ones too like hugh manity and gabe. so many good words from these cats, I'm happy to be able to work the bass for them. it makes me not really think of the sweaty state I'm in. I don't know where the van is and can't get into dry clothes. this is kind of a hell for me. ray is really upset about the toy system here and keeps giving it to noa. I feel bad for him, not having the right tools to sculpt things proper. we walk to the ho and I'm so beat I just crumple w/the blankie kind of quick like on the deck in the wet clothes. well, I did take the sopping flannel off and buttoned my jean coat up on me in its place but still, konking in wet pants will prove to be a stupid move in the morning. I'm just so tired, I don't take this serious enough and fall into the arms of sleepytown like that: bink.

tuesday, april 17, 2001 - st. petersburg, fl

   what a horrible night of konk. this is florida where air conditioning is on all the time and w/these wet pants, what a fucking nightmare. I had a terrible time, dreams of lost in the wilderness, sleeping in snow, on ice, in swamps, head underwater - the works. it was torture. I gotta make sure I got the wet stuff off, even if there's no dry clothes, it's better to be naked. aaarrrrrggggghhhhh. I shake my head silly. a hot bath gets the chill that's gotten down to my bones off me. thanks, tub. it's like five. after an hour of that I try to konk again but it's useless. I lay there and try to think of calming images, like bare feet in warm sand. eventually, I just say fuck and put those wet duds on (not the flannel though - it must weigh ten pounds w/the wetness) and it's out the hatch w/watt.

   I'm in luck though. not a cloud and all sun. no humidity either, just all solar glow heat. I make sure to avoid any shadows cast by buildings and bathe in the sungift. there's a little place selling pork sandwiches, three bucks too. I get one of those and some coffee and walk over to lake eola. I find a shadeless piece of low wall and sit there and bask, chow and sip. three kinds of warmness, prying loose the cold and clammy from me. a little bird w/one leg tore off comes up to visit. I mean, right up. I give him some bread. the lake has got all kinds of birds. mallards, geese, swans, lots of long leg ones I don't the names of. I take a walk around the lake when I'm done w/the chow and coff. I'm starting to feel much better. I talk w/the birds, doing whistles and clicks. there's a big black swan-like bird w/a bright red beak that digs visiting w/me. a boy and girl mallard come right up to my feet, no shyness here. same w/the squirrels. it's the first time I've ever had to run from them! folks must chow these animal a bunch to make them so comfortable w/people. I'm having a nice time. hello friends!

   I spend a bunch of time there at the lake, 'til it's time for us to bail on the short hop to st. petersburg. the van and my bag, dry clothes at last - I don my last outfit. lots of traffic has us a slow-go and when we get to tampa, I tell these guys I need to do laundry. I need dryness after last nights ordeal. we try to find "thoroughbred music," a music store that was pretty good down here but when I call information on eric's walkie-talkie, the operator says they've been sold to "sam ash music." more consolidation of the industry. oh well. we go there and I wait in the van. j says it's more mersh than a "guitar center." damn. we get directions to a laundromat and both me and j dump our stench in the machines there. he takes off for a health food store while I hold the fort. I get a greek salad at a pad called "classic greek salads," whoa. I get some backwoods too. "black 'n sweet aromatic" flavor. back to the laundry I chow the salad. good shit. potato salad underneath too, what a trip. never had it like that before. I call petra back in cali to see if she can go w/thalia and see us fog play at the el rey in l.a. on the 26th. both her and thalia recorded w/me and perkins as _li'l pit_ before I went on the first leg of fog touring this year. we did four songs. we got a single out on _kill rock stars_ (one of my most favorite labels ever) a couple years ago and this is the follow-up. petra says she's almost all healed from the horrible accident last fall where some asshole hit her w/a car as she was crossing in a crosswalk. people should be more fucking careful w/motor vehicles, god damn it! unfortunately, she can't come cuz she's doing a show that night for a harry smith thing at ucla, a duet w/bill frizel. that's very happening, so happy for her. into the dryer w/my clothes and I'm fit fresh w/clean outfits, alright! j comes gets both me and his clean clothes. we then go to a community radio station, wmfn, a little bit always and do a spiel there. very nice people, they ask me about the tour diary I keep. of course, they pick up on some of the negative things that bother me sometimes but I try to remind them there's lots of positive shit I say too. I tell them my main purpose is to give folks confidence to go wild w/their art, expression and craft. I say if they see what goes on in some crazy man's head as he's trying to get down the road w/his mission then maybe they won't feel so alone or the pressure to measure up to some phony image or cliche. just become who you are and try to treat people decent along the way.

   we're finally on our way to st. petersburg, on the other side of tampa bay. long bridge to get there but you might think it's just freeway cuz it's not very high off the water. the pad we're playing is the _state theatre_ and it's in the old downtown. dave and tony run it and they're good cats, always kind to me. dave's hurting w/a bad knee and liver stuff. being uninsured medically like myself, he understands the shit I'm going through paying for the treatment that saved my life. what kind of price tag can you put on your life though? I'm just happy to be fit and working again. I get an email from elizabeth, she's in charge of a bob marley dvd chris blackwell is putting out. I'm so proud of her. I saw bob marley in 1979 and it was an intense experience. he was quite a man w/such a gift for music. I remember seeing him dancing as he sang there at pauley pavillion, his hair looked like snakes dancing in the air. beautiful songs. me and richard bonney went and brought all this weak mota but much quanity. we rolled it in notebook sized pieces of paper and stuck it together w/straight pins. the crowd was mainly black folks dressed very nice, like it was a _temptations_ concert or something and they looked at us like we were insane. we thought this is what you do at a reggae concert, it was still very new to the u.s. and our first one. everyone was laughing though, it was not a heavy vibe. we embarrassed but still had fun. it was a great show.

   after soundcheck, I'm in the backroom by myself while the rest of team chows. I like this time by myself, second only to my morning time by myself. watt has to have space to think, I've got head full of thinking that will drive me insane if I don't dedicate some time to it. not many voices in there but a big, persistent one. my newspaper writer friend chris grier (who wrote for a virginia one and now is writing for one here) comes says hi w/dwayne, a cat who did a spiel w/me for the herald-tribune here. dwayne's a bass player and talks it up w/me. he's not sure of the little bass but I tell him to listen before he judges too hard. I love it so I'm biased a bit. chris was trying his hand at touring w/a band but quit them one night after a gig when he got tired of dealing w/people who dug smoking crystal methamphetamine more than the tunes. plus they were making him the shit boy to carry the turd pail. fuck that. he snuck out the room and took a grayhound bus home. good for you, chris.

   _love as laughter_ go on and it's a weird gig for them, nothing back from the audience - blank slat except for one kid doing taunts. they played only thirty minutes cuz they were late going on. I had to scold them a little about that. I really like them though but time waits for no one and it won't wait for them. they didn't mean it, they're good folks - just a miscalculation at chow.

   our turn and we start w/"blowin' it." damn, does my amp sound loud, must be this room which is some old theatre. sounds good though, real aggressive. we play "keep the glove," one we haven't done in a while. I blow a small clam but then lay into probably the best solo I've ever done in this tune (I think, anyway). follow that up w/"same day," "waistin'" and "the lung." there's some kids in front of j just howling and waving shirts like it was a sporting event or something. most of the are nice but one was a real wigger. this idiot tells j "play 'no pain' ("feel the pain?") and I'll give you a hundred dollars. or else I want my ticket back." he hands j his ticket and j hands it back to him and the doof throws it down. he's got a mad dog look in his eye, he's a definite wigger. the crowd polices him though and gets him out of the house when he tries to grab for the mic. asshole. we do "all the girls" and I blow a giant clam right near the beginning where it's a note that's gotta hold for two bars. whoops, nowhere to hide. I hit a 'f' when I should've hit 'g' - damn, idiot watt. I make it up w/a good take on "I'm not fine" and a ripper solo ride in "back before you go." right before that tune some kid yells "play one for joey (ramone)." j says back "they're all for joey." I love you for saying that, j. hold on watt, yank yourself into the moment and and knuckle down. in a way, I'm kind of mad at myself. hell, I was clamless last night - what's up watt? "budge" is good as is the stooges' "down on the street" but then in "the wagon" I blow a couple clams j blows up an amp. aaaarrrrggghh. I've been wearing my ron asheton yellow shades all night but for "amma ring," out of respect for amma, I take them off. we do the cure's "just like heaven" and david does a great vocal take at the end of it. thanks, david. we end w/"tv eye" and I go all out and shake myself silly. I really, really push hard in this one. for the encore we do "more light," been a few gigs since that one too. j says to do "get me" for someone in the audience. that's nice. we do it up good. we close w/"freak scene" and I play it standing behind george (did "more light" that way too. I try to show folks we're a 'rhythm section' visually).

   I don't go backstage like last night and just talk w/the people. lots of good spirit again. a bunch saw me put the opera to bed at this pad a couple years ago. I get some nice well-wishes for making it through last year's sickness. very nice of everyone, thank you, pete. go upstairs and talk a little w/chris, dwayne and j. dwayne wants to talk bass and chris wants to apologize for not having the bio he's writing to me done yet. I tell him it's ok, "no wine before its time." george is going to stay at his old girlfriend christine's house and do laundry. this leaves space open so the _love as laughter_ duo will stay in the room I'm in. sam turned twentyseven at midnight, zeke is still only twentythree. I like them both. they want to hear some stories so I tell them some when we get to the ho. I'm tired though and have to konk. I'm changed into dry clothes however and I won't have that same shitty experience I did last night. I give them both a backwood (their first ever) and take a couple puffs of my own, then swoop downward towards the pillow on the deck. the lights are still on when I pull the mask down over the eye and it's only one but I have to make up for the lost sueneo previous. sweet sueneo, do your heal spell.

read week 4 of the tour diary

read week 6 of the tour diary

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this page created 18 apr 01