"our oars became wings" tour 2002 diary - week 8

mike watt + the jom & terry show

shot of tom watson in 2002shot of jerry trebotic in 2002
shot of watt in 2002

tom watson - guitar, singing (just filled pissbottle)
jerry trebotic - drums (enjoying a mouthful of wens)
watt - thud staff, spiel (being chowed by jer while driving)

(clockwise from upper left)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

monday, june 3, 2002 - fort collins, co

from tom:

   in the morning I wake in some heavy heat and wash up. we move out and hit a laundymat before getting on the road again. it's only and hour or so to ft. collins and when we get to the club we ask about a movie house near by and get directions and a car lent to us so jerry and I go see spider-man. I'm a sam raimi fan so I check out all his films and even though this one's a big budget movie it still has his cheesy humor and over the top effects and it was totally entertaining.

   we get back to the venue and load in at 5:30 and then the brides show up and we go through our routine and hang out together downstairs as the dark clouds start to approach and begin to drop some rain. we try to get in touch with our friend bill stevenson but we learn that he's out of town, too bad. jerry and I go find some food at a place we tried to eat at last fall and I have a bowl of tortilla soup and a dinner salad. we tell the waiter about the gig and then head back to the club and wait for the first band to go on. it's a monday night and with the rain I'm thinking that it might not be such a great turn out but as the first band leghorn plays people start showing up and by the time the burning brides begins there's a decent audience. when we go on it's pretty full and the sound is good so we play well. our set is about an hour and twenty minutes and we finish at about 1 am. faith and levi offer us a place to stay and they seem like real nice people so after our pack up and load out levi hops in the van and navigates to their house. it's perfect, a driveway for the van a couch and two beds. before going to sleep I go with levi to the 24 hour market and pick up some stuff for the morning and when we get back I hit the sack on a very comfortable matress and that was that.

from jer:

   I awake in my room to the sound of the fan blowing on me. my bladder is my alarm clock. as I sit on the pot I notice the bathroom theme is all playboy. magazines and shower curtains. I check out a few articles and then check to see if everyone is up. mike is chimping in the living room while tom is already walking about the house. our short drive gives me time to shower up and shave. I ask mike about doing laundry and he's found a mat close by. we proceed and get the clothes done. I chimp some waiting for the dryer cycle. I fold and hop back into the boat for the short haul up I25 to ft. collins. it's a different place than last time. the ogden theater. mike finds parking in the back and I go to investigate the surroundings. the club is large w/a cap. of about 750. I wander up front and meet the manager ken. he's very cool and helps us out w/a beer. I ask 'bout where a post office and movie theater might be. the post office is no problem, only a couple blocks from here, but the movies are a 15 min. drive. with all this time it would be nice to check out a flick. ken then offers, from the kindness of his heart, the use of his car for myself and tom. whoa! thanks so much bro. he gives us quick directs and were off to the show. I hope to see the new star wars, but we have to settle for the spiderman screening instead. the time issue. I immerse my mind into the story and enjoy the movie completely. tom's already seen it, but its no matter to him as he doesn't care about seeing it again. the movie's done and we jump back into ken's t-bird for the ride to the theater. mike's waiting and we load in for the sound check. soundguy joe gets the monitor thing set up then does the f.o.h.. if any problems arise, he'll have ta run back during the show and climb the loft to the monitor board. I mention to jason of the brides our trip to the movies as my escapism for the mind. mike hears this and start throwing very negative spats at me. he must think I want to escape the tour, which is not true. I only meant it has a therapeutic value for the brain. he walks away w/the wrong idea about what I said. w/all the checking done make my way to the boat and chimp for a hour or so. the rains come and the lighting show is spectacular. soon my hunger grows within and I stroll the street w/tom looking for a bite. there's a nice pad 1 block down that we had to pass on last tour due to the overcrowding. this time the weather is keeping the masses away. I order a smoked salmon salad and a glass of cab.. the food is good and the waiter zachary has done a fine job. we mention to him that were from out of town and playing across the street. being in a band he's interested in the show. I offer a guest list spot for him and a friend. we then return for the openers.

   I sit downstairs and talk w/the brides while resting on a couch. driving hazards takes the forum and we tell of close calls. touring gives one a different view of the dangers of travel. we see many roadways and more scary situations than one can imagine. I start to knok and miss the first band as well as most of the brides set. I sense the end of the set and get up to wash my face off. it's a quick jolt back to alertness. outside I wake the boss and get the set lists for the show. w/the kit set up I wait on the side of the stage as mike walks up from the green room. in a split second he slips and falls on the steps. as he picks himself up I ask if he's alright. "that's not funny jer! fuck man don't laugh!" he screams at me. I didn't even laugh, I just asked if he was alright. I tell him what's up? not another misunderstanding. I sit at the kit and we continue to exchange some words. I'm intent on settling this one right now. this negativity shit has got to stop. we start the show and I'm still kinda fuming. my tension is released on the skins. about have way through mike seems to notice my disdain and makes a gesture of him being tossed off the stage in a humorous manner. I somehow crack a smile and feel some lessening of the friction. the set concludes and it's a low clam event. only 3 encores tonight as we finish the show.

   I meet this guy levi that had offered to mike his pad for the night and he's willing to help w/the load out. I'm glad for the extra effort 'cause of the rain outside. we dash and load to make our quick escape. levi rides w/us to make the trip smooth. he does get a little lost, though we do make it safely. inside I meet levi's wife faith who offers us drinks and food. downstairs is an extra room w/a bed that I humbly accept and take my withered body to for a hopefully restful night. I do call kel before sleep time and talk for a few mins.. we say our good-byes and I'm out in a flash.

from watt:

   pop and feeling restless so I forego hosing off and immediately take to hoof. cloudless blue tent for a sky above - a taunt? you know how the mind gets, waiting for things... hankering - or dreading... aaaarrrrgghhhhh, the price of being aware or maybe seemingly aware, partially aware, aware only of what appears aware to us? serious navel-gazing now, huh watt? I can get in these states easy sometimes. the pain from the toes have subsided enough to save me from limping and I can hoof ok. this is very much residential but not track homes - an older neighborhood. I follow the street as far as it goes west and then turn around and do the same east. the toes hold out ok. I get back and a cat there makes me some cof, wish I could remember his name cuz he's a nice man but I must surrender this one to adversary alzheimer - damn. he gives me the cof and then bails. I roust my men, no one else is up so we have no one to thank but I find a picture in my 'puter bag that someone gave me of myself playing w/lee ranaldo last summer (it was us riffing and improvising to james joyce's "finnegans wake") and write "mike watt thanks you" and leave it by the door. hope ryan, mark or laura got it.

   I passed a laundromat while I was hoofing and we go there to do wash. tom and jer go off to scour for chow while I chimp diary. you gotta seize upon wash pads when you see them cuz you never know how long it might and worry might loom over if your outfit supply will hold out. we finish our stench scrub and head over to I-25 and take it north. only a hour drive. looks like they're gonna track home and strip mall the entire space between denver and fort collins. oh boy. we pass a couple of turf farms, where they grow grass for lawns. trippy. it's also a trip how all this suburbia starts here cuz eastern colorado is very much empty. just east of here is the rocky mountains, very beautiful. it brings quick weather changes though and clouds are filling the once empty skies. we find the pad we're playing tonight, the aggie theatre, a new place for me. seems it's a converted movie theatre. last time I played here, I was at the starlight and this place is owned by the same cat. after docking the boat in the rear lot, I go down the street and get some soup and a caesar salad. the soup is a trip, it's a cold one that's dill and what tastes like sour cream in it. good though. I return to find that the manager, kevin, is loaning tom and jer his car so they can go see a movie. I go into the aggie to have some soda water. kevin's gotta bail so he has eva get it for me. we start talking about how I got to do what I do. her brother was into black flag and stuff so she knows some about punk. all the physical stuff at the gigs put her off so she says she became a hippy. it's funny for me to hear about someone young and in these days deciding to be a hippy. I thought that stuff was over when I was young, in the 70s. she obviously knows about punk from the hardcore scene and not much about the 70s stuff. I tell he about what excited me about it, the glam and rocky horror picture show roots and the old hollywood days. I told her how boring college was for me, especially the social life there and how I was much more attracted by the weirdness of pogoing to crazy sounds and bigger than life personalities. I met some incredibly intelligent people there, raymond pettibon was one of them - smarter than any people I met at college. it was very exciting for this guy living in pedro to make the drive to hollywood and get in on the underground energy there. it seems like so far away in timespace now but in other ways, I feel those days still rushing in my blood. it was very inspirational to me, it's hard to describe. glam and glitter was like that for me too even though I never dressed like that, I loved the music. w/punk, I did dress crazy for a bit 'til I got so much shit from squarejohns that I said fuck it and kept my punk look inside my head to dress up my ideas wild and on the outside, I just went back to wearing the clothes I did in high school and before. I wanted shit that was charged up and kinetic. for me, the hippy stuff like grateful dead or watever just didn't jolt me enough. I remember the black flag guys really being into that band - I never got that but it's cool. different pokes for different blokes - they might say that in england, huh? eva might trip on that but I never told her, I was to busy w/my own thoughts/history. she's patient to listen but I can't go on too long cuz I tire easy w/my throat and just general being under the weight of late tour duress. I must retire to the boat and chimp diary in silence.

   my cats get back and we do a soundcheck w/soundman joe. the brides show up. this is critical to our soundcheck since tom is using dimitri's amp - very kind of dimitri. the amp I brought for tom burned up way back in mobile and has been serving as boat ballast ever since. damn. damn too, for the skies have opened up w/much rain but maybe that's good cuz there's been drout here. can't expect the world to lay down for a watt tour (check the vain shit, watt). I try calling billy (descendents) but he's on tour overseas. damn. I dodge the shower dump and bolt for the boat. I konk there quick to sounds of rain falling on the top bulkhead.

   there's a local opener, leghorn and of course the brides but I konk too heavy to see either one. sorry, truly. a roust from jer brings me to consciousness. I had this strange dream which was about trying to figure how I was figuring into the dream. is that enough levels of crazyness? it was though I was a hearing and these people were trying to determine how I best I could help things. they were dressed very nice, they were very attractive too I could tell but not directly - it was if I seen them a long time ago and now I was perceiving them chiefly through memory. they were debating my case in very frank terms but I could tell they didn't want to hurt my feelings. this sensation was very strong in the dream, it was though these were the two main themes wrapped about each other: feeling sorry for me and wanting me to face the truth. I could see myself w/my hands and forearms on a table, like they were nailed there. I was trying to speak but I felt no sound coming from me, I could feel only my mouth hanging open. this piled up more embarrassing feelings in me. I felt embarrassed I had to be at this "hearing" at all. I knew it was for my sake and no one involved though I don't really know how. anyway, it was finally decided I should not have a physical presence, there was just too much, uh, you know - too much too much, too much me. it would be better if I would be funny stories and as a consolation, I could pick which funny stories could represent me. the meeting was over and I was dismissed, I was told to think about my story choices in my town, alone and w/out help. this where the dream left me, in the new pad I just moved in before tour w/all these boxes around me. I was wondering about these boxes, trying to determine which funny stories where in which boxes. since I had to go on tour and like an idiot, I forgot to write was in each box on the appropriate box, I was confused (this is very real - what I nightmare I have when I get done w/this tour) and at my wits end about finding the right way to fit in w/those people at the hearing. aahh, it was disturbing on me, a kafka fit. I got sweat even on my forehead. I put on my coat even the rain's stopped, it's kind of cold.

   start the gig. the dream has weirded me up some and I seem very preoccupied w/the compressor controls on the amp. I either set the threshold to high or the amount of compression for too much squish. hmm... I wonder why it was ok at soundcheck? I think I'm obsessing a bit on this which is lame cuz I should be focusing on the cats who've paid to see me. shit, the ones who haven't either - I should be fucking together period. I don't have much confidence tonight - it's pretty apparent. on top of this, jer's speeding things up - like last night. not bad but it did throw off "guts" last night and "liar's beware" tonight. we talked about it a little bit, I know he's trying and he'll do better tomorrow. he'd do a lot better if I was doing better. I do get things a little more together by halfway. I think besides weird dreams, I'm also frustrated by my voice getting worn out. it getting like this makes it tough cuz I feel I can't express things I want to try to. when my voice is in this shape, it's like I reach out and just can't grab it - aaaarrrggggghhhh, does it put a gnarl in my stomach. I can tell as the set goes on, I grow weaker and weaker in the monitors and it's not joe's fault - it's the idiot w/the bass on! the crowd is very kind and forgiving though and has us back. I'm only able to do two encore songs - last night was the last of the wailing encores for this tour, I'm afraid. that's a shame cuz I wish I could give back as much as I feel they're giving me. a hard gig for a hard case. oh well, I could console myself w/saying it's the fiftieth gig in a row - I did tell the folks that, apologizing for the hoarseness. it is true but I just don't want any copouts on my part. I'm glad tom and jer played good for the most part - very glad. I had been a little angry at jer for coming back from the movie and telling the manager kevin here it was good to escape. this pissed me off cuz he knew about the way the tour was going to go from the beginning and I really, I don't need that kind of shit especially at this point in the tour, when it's the toughest - you know, morale-wise. I ask him to please understand what I'm saying and put himself in my shoes. another thing that just before the gig, I tripped on the stairs and instead of grabbing for me, he just makes some loud sounds. I tell him about my bad knees and just try to keep me from getting hurt if he can - for me it'd be a natural reaction to try and grab someone who was falling. see, little things like this get thing weird on a tour. in the big scheme of things, jer's doing alright though I have to say I get hardly any of the same grief from tom. sometimes he lollygags a little when it's time to leave. to be fair, I have to admit that both my cats ave more to hit me over the head w/than I do w/them. they're both very kind and have the biggest hearts ever. even if I do have a problem w/something, all I have to do is explain where I'm coming from and they're both quite understanding. a lot of what confuses them is my weird over-reactions that I sometimes have - they have no idea why I'm acting the way I am. this is completely my fault and insane. it's a high priority thing w/me to get this better. I have no problem later on admiting to stupid shit and saying I'm sorry but it's in the moment where I have the trouble. anyway, thank you much, tom and jer - you are both true brothers to me, the best anyone could ever wish for as shipmates. I made fun of both these things during the set - fake pushing myself off the front of the stage and then mock laughing, dedicating songs to escapism - shit like that. I am a weirdo and shit doesn't stay in watt long - well, not if I can help it. one "real" thing that made the gig really tough though was having what george hurley would call a "totem pole" which by that he meant having to play a gig w/out first taking a dump when you had to. he said he pounded up inside him like a virtual totem pole, his face matching the ones carved on the pole. I think my "pole" was carved up from that steak kevin made us in lawrence, I think it was kind of a shock to my system cuz when I got done slinging, it was a motherfucker to deliver. damn.

   this couple, michael and sandra, offer us a pad to stay but like w/dan last night, it's too far to drive for watt after a gig. it's in cheyenne which would be great cuz it's wyoming (where my ma was born though on the other side of the state) but I just can't muster the energy. there's another couple, levi and faith and they live within blocks which along w/having a safe place for the boat is perfect. we take levi w/us after packing up and thanking all the folks here at the aggies plus some cat from a joe carducci label o&o band, drag the river, but fuck if I can remember his name now though I truly mean no disrespect. I should say the leghorn cats are great too - one's a bro of a friend who's buds w/my man dan from toledoland - plus, they're a good band. w/levi giving directs, we're at his pad 'pert near quick after overcoming a few street dobuts. I stake out the couch position in the living room as tom and jer do chow w/levi and faith. I've been rendered putty by yet another day of tour but that's ok - honest konk for honest work.

tuesday, june 4, 2002 - salt lake city, ut

from tom:

   levi is making some breakfast bagels when I wake and shave and go out to meet their little boy otis in the living room. otis is sweet little kid about three years old and I make some small talk with him as he watches some cartoons. this is our ideal situation for lodging and faith and levi are a great couple and make it a comfortable stay. we take some photos and say goodbye and get on the road to salt lake city.

   it's another long drive into wyoming and all the way across the state and I take over from mike at the wheel. when we enter utah the terrain is suddenly looking very familiar to the western environment we come from, and we enjoy the beautiful red rock bluffs and plateaus. the weather is clear and except for some gusty winds it's a perfect day. we roll into the liquid joe's parking lot at about 5 o'clock and we load in and talk with earl and charlie there for a while till the brides show up and then the sound man matt.

   after our checking jerry and jason and mel of burning brides and I run over to the thrift store that I always go to here and check out the selection. I ususally find something good but I leave empty handed this time and then jerry and I go to the long life vegi house chinese restaurant up the street which I also have gone to every time here. the food here is clean and reasonable and when we get back to the club our friend don dalton stops by to say he is sorry but he can't make the show tonight but gives us dirrections to his place where we always stay when we come through. don is an old friend of mike's from pedro and a great guy with his own band in town called new house. I'm sad that we won't be hanging out together tonight. mike is resting in the van and jerry and I sit with the brides in our little backstage room amusing ourselves. they are some great people and it is so nice to have that when touring, there's so much time to kill that it is more fun to have someone to kill it with. I have a couple weiss biers with lemon which is very refreshing in the dry air of salt lake.

   at 9:30 the burning brides start and in the club there are people sitting at tables on stools and I walk up on the dance floor right in front to hear them better and maybe get some other people to come up to. it works a little and I kind of help break the ice for the crowd and they really start to dig the music. the brides sound great and clear tonight they get much applause and after their set mel sells merch to the locals and then we start to get set up. the coltrane come on over the p.a. which signifies that we will start soon and it brings people closer to the stage and when mike walks up onstage with his bag of toys (t-shirts and posters) he almost knocks my guitar off the amp and I cringe thinking that could've been the end of the show. but no and we blast through a couple tunes and mike breaks a string and we pause a moment and then try to pick where we left off. the show is a little weak in points and the tempos are a little off sync but I think the people like it and we move on with everything we've got. sometimes the long drives have that effect on the shows. I have a good time anyway and at the end we get praise from the nice folks and sign posters and then load out and head to dan's place. when we get to don's we raid his fridge (which he gave permission to do) and don gets up and I say goodnight and go downstairs to sleep on his waterbed.

from jer:

   I've been tossing for some time in bed fighting the bladder valve. mike soon enters and wakes me fully while chimping on levi's 'puter. I pile upstairs and wash off the face to awaken. levi's got sausage pucks going in the kitchen and their little boy otis is chilling next to mike watching cartoons. I pack my stuff up and the family comes outside to see us off. we take a few snaps and wish 'em much thanks. I still have a sleepy head and take the bench for the first half knok. this ride is about 8 hours to salt lake and I sleep off half of it. somewhere in central wyoming I switch w/tom and do some chimp action in the shotgun stool. we skirt north of the high rocky peaks upon a plateau that has more calm grades. as we enter utah the terrain changes to more mountainous marvels. I take heed and snap many good shots out the window. plenty of peaks still have snow capping 'em and I think of winter time and snowboarding. we soon pass park city, one of the many sights of the last winter olympics games, and get a shot of the big ski jump. you know the one where the guys fly on the ski's down the insane jump that no one in their right mind would dare. soon were at liquid joe's and getting the gear out. the brides haven't arrived yet so I lounge in the green room and drink a beer. mike's done using the phone line in the office and I grab the laptop to do some e-mail shyit. w/the brides on sight we check and shuffle the gear to make room for our guests. when they finish mel and jason join us across the street at the thrift store. no good finds today and the place is closing in 5 min. anyway. tom and myself get a bite at this veggie china pad and return for the brides set. I chill in the green room and chimp while they play. I'm able to finish week seven and punch it to a disk.

   the b.b.'s are done and I wake the boss. just outside the next to the boat is a dude hurling his brains out while the girlfriend talks him through it. he turns and asks me if I'm w/the jom and terry show. after identifying myself he approaches to shake my hand. I tentatively reach out and ask if he covered w/blow by. I'm assured he's not and talk to the gent for a couple mins.. very nice and very drunk man who wants to bring some paintings into the show to be signed. I see no problem and suggest it be done after the show. "I'll buy you a drink if your still standing at the end of the night. "I say to the man. mike's up and I return inside for the show. don dalton usually attends the gigs, but had to baby sit his daughter and dropped by quick to leave directs to his pad for the konk later. I get set up we start the show. the sound is good and I have little trouble w/anything until we play liar's beware. I fuck up the timing between the verse's and chorus' throwing the shit all out of whack. what a bonehead move. I get a look from mike and just shrug my shoulder's in disgust. sometimes the suck just comes out. as we finish I spot the drunk guy w/the painting and sign them along w/tom. after a short time chatting w/the locals I work on getting the gear in the boat. the nice folk working here help out much and I thank 'em for the effort.

   I bust out the directs from don and get mike on the right path. inside don greets us and offers drinks and eats. I chomp a quesadilla and some juice then off to bed. my ears are ringing furiously and getting to sleep takes some time. normally I'll stay up and talk to help the ears to settle, but everyone just crashes quick. I lie in bed waiting for the tiredness to overwhelm the high end whine inside my head. eventually it works and I'm out.

from watt:

   pop and hose off. levi and faith are up early and make me cof. I meet their little boy otis, he's great. levi cooks up little pieces of steak to put on bagels w/eggs and salsa, they're some great chow. faith sits w/otis to watch some tv. this prompts me to talk about some of the tv I remember as a boy. well, first I talk about "the prisoner" which they have no idea about but when I start to describe the show, faith asks how old I was when I watched it. actually I wasn't a "little" boy but just before teen years. I then remember back to what I liked (or what I remember anyway) as truly a little one. I remember "gumby" and some cartoons, "felix the cat," "bugs bunny" and the roadrunner/coyote ones. there was some puppet stuff too, "fireball xl5" from england. I tell her about a blackboard my ma got me when I was little, it helped me learn to express myself cuz I was always writing on it when I learned someting, this one was a big one that stood on wheels. she also got these world book encyclopedias that I went through when I started to read, I went from a to z and it was neat in the way that I learned a lot of infos by tangents from one thing to another. of course, I liked the astronaut and dinosaur stuff the best but tried to make sense and absorb everything that could hold my attention. I guess that's what a 'puter on the web w/search engines is like now days but maybe even better. faith says she's got otis going on a laptop now - levi's a consultant and there must be like four or five 'puters here in the house. they are a nice young family, so generous too w/all the niceness for us. much love to them.

   I'm wearing a red-white-blue flannel mike murphy gave me for xmas a few years ago. I'm gonna make up for last time I was where we're playing. it was the winter olympics back in june and this one gig had us playing some festival type plastic dome thing where there were booths set up along the walls. one booth, facing right at us, was selling purses. they were purses of all sizes made up to look like the u.s. flag. oh man. that's it, just tons of purses looking like that was all they sold there. comical. big saddle bag ones and tiny change purse kinds w/everything in between. no olympic flags anywhere (this booth or otherwise - I guess that logo is licensed and you have to pay to display it) so you could barely tell an olympics was on - you think it was the fourth of july at the wrong time of year. anyway, this was weird in my mind, trying to juggle the two perspectives, a supposed "world" event and "usa usa usa" so I made a comment on the mic. I asked for all the most macho and buffed-out u.s. people we had here to buy the tiniest flag purses and walk around town w/them over their shoulders to show everyone we weren't afraid of anything. boy, did all the sound get sucked out of that dome when I said that. you could hear a tumbleweed roll by - and it was february! so ok, I'll wear flag colors on a flannel to help make ammends. I still think the tiny flag purses slung on hugely strong-looking u.s. men would of been an interesting symbol though.

   it's a hellride to the next gig which is in salt lake city. this is how it is when you're out west cuz the towns are further apart than back east. it's 'pert near five hundred miles we have to cover today. no rain but there's clouds topside - this will help though to cut down the heat. usually, I take us-287 straight to laramie but the cheyenne thing is stuck in my head so I decide to take the interstate there instead. I've never taken this route and I'd like to compare it timewise. even though a road might be less miles, the interstate can beat it cuz of no stops or a higher speed limit. a divided road is definitely not as safe as an interstate either. so it's I-25 north and it turns out to be about a half-hour slower but then the boat can't do the hills as maybe a vehicle w/a newer heart (motor). I'm glad I went anyway cuz I finally got to see that lincoln statue where his head comes out of this wall of rocks that I've always see on post cards. west on I-80. we get gas in laramie and I'm tempted to go to joe carducci's (he lives here) but we roll on. I wanted to foist on him cuz where was he last nigt? I did hear he was at the chicago gig for four songs but then bailed. "why, joe" aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh. I get a post card in the gas station and make it out quick to my ma cuz I'm thinking of her in her home state. the gas station lady says she'll put it in a mailbox for me, thank you. shit, the way this tour has had me, I've hardly gotten to send any post cards out and this bums me but what can I do? I have only so much time and energy to allocate to things. onward westward. jer chows me w/chips that have the guacamole from lincoln and some "melinda's" chili sauce, they're really good. thanks jer. never over seventy degrees in the boat and the wind not that crazy, we're lucking out. man, can the wind blow in wyoming - especially around rollins. so much openness in this state, except for the mines and mills that occasionally pop up. of course, there's billboards all along the road - lots for this "little america" gas station/restaurant/motel w/these pictures of happy, happy, happy give-me-a-fucking-break faces suffocating you w/fakeness. actually, it's good fodder for every fucking joke you could think of at the moment. man, would the ride be more righteous though w/out all the billboards. shit, the whole country would be this incredible movie playing across your windshield and portholes if these things could be at least limited in their fouling. I know, I know - the battle for your mind and their market share. instead of complaining, maybe I should just join in and do a "pre-tour" and flyer up the entire route I'm to take w/mike watt flyers, "enlightening" folks to my impending engagement and attempted reincarnation of the sacred nurenberg torch rally. maybe this spectacle could be bigger than the actual gig, like a lot of the "bait and switch" embraced by materialism (or this world in general). maybe the point to this life is more about the hankering than the acquiring, huh? the treasure kept sacred being held aloft w/dream, untainted w/the dirty hand. meanwhile, this boat's wheel is much dirtied w/watt's paw. this point of the tour is hard on me. the physical blows are adding up and taking a toll. the hellrides are longer to cuz of the west's nature. I've got to hunker down a little and consolidate what forces in me can hold me together. we're back across the continental divide. for some reason, my gums on the left side are hurting - maybe an extension of the pain from that part of my throat that connects w/a sinus pain. it's weird how these forces of oppression are allying themselves against me. head pain (I don't mean brain pain) is a motherfucker. at wamsutter, I hand the wheel over to tom so he can take us the rest of the way through wyoming. beautiful rock stuff around rock springs and the digicamera is snapping. just inside utah, we're low on gas and we stop to fill up and I'm back on the helm. on through the land parley found (gotta read about this guy sometimes), park city and the winter olympic stuff. so much different than when I was here in february, doing gigs around that event. well, visually cuz of green instead of white but also w/the climate - one of those gigs was downtown in salt lake city w/twentytwo degree weather - aaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh, my fingers were like frozen 'gars and would not bend - like working the bass w/seal flippers! this route will always spook me too - though we're going the opposite direction now - this is the road I did a 340 degree spin after snow left black ice all over the road one morning on a fIREHOSE tour. that was more than ten years ago but it shakes me to the bone still. a big reason I hate touring in the winter and avoid it all cost. it was only my love for perk and nels that I did that olympics shit and the other rocky mountains gigs at the beginning of the year w/banyan. in the end though, like most experiences I somehow get through, I'm glad for what I learned from it. it's just the facing up to it while I'm confronted w/it that scares me so and makes me dread. the fretting, the fretting - I am a bundle of anxiety, a fucking knot, a fucking idiot. pain puts memory scars on me, apprehension puts brakes on my forward roll. it's good I have folks to inspire me along - good? it's 'pert near essential. I don't know what I'd do w/out that kind of help. it worries me so I just have to put that out of my mind - not for a moment entertain that kind of world and how it would be. of course, I have to motivate from within and I have enough crazy energy to get that going - a bonfire in the head worth - but reason will get you only so far (reason here meaning just the thought of thinking, not particularly thinking correctly)...

   I wheel us into the lot of liquid joe's, where the gig is tonight, in the sugar house part of s.l.c. booker charlie and boss earl are there to greet me, I'm happy to see them always, even though it's a hellride everytime to get to their town and I might be a little beat. charlie orders some hot wings like he usually does. funny how some cats define "hot" - I guess I just got a high tolerance cuz these babies are pretty tame. thank you still, charlie. I go next door to get some ibuprofen and sage cough drops. I think those orange ones are too acidic and putting pain on the soreness in the back of my throat. aahhh - the ailments! I get some more hydrogen peroxide too to boil the bugs out. it's my favorite fixit potion and is so econo too! healed up my ear, heals up lots w/me. good shit. I come back and do an interview w/brian from slug. he asks me good stuff which is great and keeps spiels from being rubber stamps of each other. then soundcheck w/matt, he's a good cat. I go into the back room to chimp diary - there's great pillows on the couch that say "rockstar" on one side and "rebel" on the other, I guess depending on your whim. luckily, I feel a fart coming on, sit on one and drill it good. can't remember which side but it doesn't matter. dimitri from the brides comes in. whoops, I hand him the pillow w/out thinking (hopefully, w/out stinking) so he can read it's message. sorry, dimitri - awkward moment. the hotwings are here so I tell him to dig in. he tells me about his band getting signed to v2 (richard branson's label) after a little bidding war and how things are intense for him now, all the money getting talked about and all that. I wish him luck and to be careful. already, the former drummer is suing him for big monies. mucha suerte for you, dimitri.

   to the boat now w/watt for needed konk. hellrides wear me out. spiel wears me out. chimping wears me out. watt is worn out. I konk deep. I miss the brides. I would've missed any other bands too but they're the only cats w/us tonight. sorry. jer comes and gets me for gig time. aaaaarrrrgggghhhh - like last night, I forget a pick - I do the first three tunes w/a pick in honor of j getting me to play w/a pick again. so instead, I use a quarter. pop! broken 'e' string in the third song. damn. I change it pretty quick though and we're back on course. we play good together as a band, I'm not so distracted w/the compressor cuz I've got that where it's good. I can focus pretty well though it's a tough go on the worn-out throat. some cat up front really wants "joe mccarthy's ghost" - he's even asking for it during the soft tunes which adds a real sweetener to such senstitive numbers like "walking the cow" and "chinese firedrill" - "asks," damn - he's hollering for it. I know I've hollered stupid shit too or have been so drunk I was spieling loud over the little parts. what can I say except karma wails. no admonishments from watt, I just keep the gig rolling. it's a good one, just wish I was in better shape in the voice, so frustrating. alright, I quit harping on this, I'm sure you get the point. these salt lake folks are quite generous w/the niceness.

   after encores, sling and chat w/the people. one man brings me artwork to sign, it's really good. thank you. I say thank you to tim, who I forgot to write about but earlier, he came by and talked to me about maybe making a piece on the minutemen, some kind of an oral history thing where folks talk about how the minutemen affected them and I could give some history on us. sounds interesting and he's from the skateboard world, which I can really dig. we'll talk more about this in the summer, sounds interesting. I've always wanted some way for people to know about us that weren't there but have been very wary on how it would be framed. this might be happening, we'll see. many kind words from people, one couple just getting married - that's nice, met at one of my gigs.

   my friend don, who lives here but is from pedro, couldn't come to the gig cuz he's w/his daughter but he left directions for us to get to his pad. I thank all the liquid joe folks for all their kindness and then we load the boat up and bail for don's. I feel at least two hundred and fifty years old tonight! when we pull into don's, I quickly lay the sack out in front of the fireplace I always get next to but no fire tonight, things are quite moderate. don offers though - says there's logs left from the february banyan stay. that's cool, bro. I'd be konked before they got lit, the shape I'm in. w/the konk mask on, I hear my guys go through their ritual of after gig chowing and yammering - only part of round one though cuz sueno soon overtakes me.

wednesday, june 5, 2002 - boise, id

from tom:

   I wake early from an abstract dream that started with me getting dressed in a tuxedo and getting ready to go to some kind of function with someone that I didn't recognize. it was a guy that had a suit on but wasn't wearing a jacket and he convinced me to not wear mine, but when we get to the funtion I see that he has another jacket there and I get pissed off at him for telling me not to bring mine. at the party someone shows me photographs of something that really offends me and then I get angry and smash one of my acoustic guitars (which for me to do I would have to be crazy with rage). I have no idea what all this means so if anyone has any opinions please let me know. I do know that I wake with the feeling that I've lost something or that I'd done something wrong, not a good feeling but I did have a deep sleep on that waterbed.

   I go upstairs and see don and meet his daughter madeline and have some coffee and food. we don't have a lot of time to chat though because we have a six and a half hour drive to boise, so we take some photos and say thanks and goodbye till next time and get on the road. I'm still feeling strange from my dream and I climb in the back and doze off again for about half the drive. when we pull off the road to get gas we switch positions and jerry drives and mike gets in back and I do some writing for the next hour or so and then just take in the scenery of southern idaho till we pull onto boise and up to the neurolux where we are playing tonight. this, like a lot of the clubs we are playing is my fourth time with watt and when I go inside I see that they have done some renovating. the stage is pushed back and widened a little and the side has been knocked out to add another room with a pool table and bathrooms. it looks real nice. jerry and I take a walk to the post office and then grad a bite at a little vegi place that I've gone to each time I've been through. as we walk back we go past a street fair where there is a little stage and a jazzy-rock band playing to a yuppie crowd drinking beer and children running through a fountain spouting water in the middle of the square. it's not that interesting but it's cool that they do this sort of thing here. boise is great city and it's really kept up and clean despite the old buildings and probobly some harsh weather. I like the people here too.

   we get back to the neurolux and the brides show up we help them load and then we load and do a soundcheck. our check gets cut short though by a big pvc pipe that falls out of the ceiling while we are playing and bouncing of the floor and hits jerry in side of the head. luckily he's not seriously hurt because if he set up his drums in the standard place where drummers set up (along the back wall) he would have been. we stop and puts some ice on his bruise and we break down. our friend bart who lives here saw the whole thing but couldn't do anything about it in time and explains that it was probobly left up in the ceiling after reconstrution. after that jerry and I get a ride with bart over to his house to relax for a couple hours.

   when we get back to the club the first bandis playing and the guitarist is playing an electric twelve string and it sounds nice, of course it makes me want one. next is the burning brides and they rock out and the people love them and I do too. I talk with a girl named amanda whio is sitting at the same table I'm sitting at and she says she just turned twenty one on monday and the best thing about it is that she can go to shows now. I tell her about what we're about and we have a nice conversation about music and living in idaho. after the brides we go on and we play much tighter tonight. it's a good show and by the time we're done things wind down and then we pack up and go to bart and steph's place along woth the brides for the night. we spend an hour or two trying to find a saturday night live skit that bart says he has on video tape but without luck. it's a good time anyway and soon I have to find my place to sleep. I'm exausted and I'm light a light when my head hits the pillow.

from jer:

   mike wakes me and I can smell the breakfast cooking. I take a shower and shave up first. in the kitchen tom is sitting w/don and daughter maddy for the chow. I join in and have some eggs and waffles. I load up and don w/maddy come to take some snaps posing w/the boat and crew. we soon shove off and make our way northwest towards boise. I can see in the distance the bingham canyon copper pit, also known as the world's largest open pit mine. it's damn big! looks like the whole mountain has been chopped off. I'm guessing maybe it's fifteen miles away and the scale is enormous. this whole area is stricken w/facial scaring of the land. I get a many shots as possible and document the intrusion of our mother earth. soon the land returns to farming spreads and much sugar cane is grown here. you'd think the potatoes would rule the area, but whatever grows rules. this drive is long and I'm finally allowed to take the wheel for a leg. the winds are kicking some and I keep a firm hand on the wheel. a couple hours later were in boise and hunting for the neurolux lounge. I park the boat in front of the pad and crawl inside plopping down on the cushion seating 'round the sides of the club. I come to maybe an hour later and my gear has already been discharged. I stagger to the stage and begin the set up. the guys tune up and we start our check song all sexed up. we get maybe 1 min. into the tune and I suddenly take a blind side shot to the head. I stop and grab my cranium in confusion and pain. the guys don't know why I've stopped and turn to question my actions. tom then notices a large 8 ft. pvc pipe lying on me and lifts it off. local friend bart approaches the stage and says he saw the pipe fall from the ceiling out of a hole. the large flashing crown gracing the rear of the stage lost a lamp in the accident and I luck out that I wasn't set up in a normal drummer position where the pipe would have cracked me right on top of my scull. mike says "I guess the sound check is over." I stumble to the bar and get a bag of ice to take the swelling down. the soundguy apologizes for the obvious. w/that I get a double screwdriver and drink my aches away. bart offers to take us to his pad for some cool down time and tom joins myself for the trek.

   I sit in the living room and get bart to put on the laker's game for a mind numbing session. they play a great game and I forget 'bout the head for a while. we talk some on the saturday night live skit I find to be the funniest thing I've ever seen. it's when christopher walken is a record producer for blue oyster cult and insists on getting more cowbell for don't fear the reaper. "I've got a feverO and the prescription is more cowbell!" w/classic deadpan walken delivery. bart says he's got the video and we franticly search his collection for the snippet. I'd say a good two hours is spent looking through the archives w/zero luck. we switch back and forth to the game and cheer on the lake's for the big win they get. time runs out and we return to the club for the show.

   I kick in the back while the opener jams out. mel from the brides listens to my tail of woe. I tell her that the owner is gonna get an earful when we talk. I motion e.j. the tender and ask who the owner is. after being pointed out I give the man a tongue lashing on the in's and out's of rock & roll safety. he apologizes and offers a drink which I accept. the brides take the stage and I get close to watch. they rock hard as usual, not chinching on any volume, and I dig the assault. it's our turn again and we open the flood gates of love. I concentrate on doing a good show, but in the back of my mind is the thought of more shit falling from the ceiling. the show goes well and the modest crowd fills the room w/exuberation. another gig in the can and I survive the dangerous stage.

   the pack up is fast and we follow bart to his house. the brides also follow and the caravan arrives intact. I claim the same basement futon as before and head upstairs for the continuing saga of the 'where's the snl tape'. we work at it for another two hours and I finally give up. bart will send a copy when he finds it and I'll show it to mike then. I wander back to my nook for a well deserved night's rest.

from watt:

   pop and hose off, I puts lots of the water from the nozzle in my mouth cuz the hurts there are pretty bad - a bit of pain. ouch. hang on, watt. I shave too w/out looking in the mirror - fuck it, that's the mood I'm in. don's up when I'm out and makes me some cof. thanks, bro. he makes me some eggs and waffles and some mate too, an herb tea from south america. he gives me a fresh habanero chili cuz he wants his little girl maddie to see me it raw and so I do that for her. I love them. she just lost a tooth and got some compensation under her pillow. alright. don says the town is getting over its olympic thing and is kind of in a weird state. hype withdraws. says he wants to come out to pedro and pedal, that'd be great - c'mon. I can't wait to get back so I can do that. I mean, I'm dreading getting back to deal w/all the boxes from that last minute move but what a small price to pay for getting to pedal in my town again. I really miss that. missing things is weird, it yanks on you so hard. learning to deal w/loss is hard for me, always has been. I guess missing things that you think you have a pretty good chance of seeing again is different than missing the things you know are gone forever but that yank is still there, the one that pulls memories up from you - first they're the good ones that make you burn yellow inside and then glow orange out and then the bad memories, the shit you wish would've never happened, especially cuz it was probably your fault - you curl up inside w/no color, only hollow and in a perpetual cramped-up twist. horrible. you try to push it all out and get philosophical about why things happen and what's to be learned from it. if you let it stay out there in emotionland, it'll come back on the reason part someway, usually some bitter route that has your mind working pathetic scenarios and unhealthy shit. that's when I breath deep and push those bitter worms out of the holes that get tore in me, in my heart it feels, even. they're blind, burrowing worms and are just full of so much fester - they love feeding on wallow and self-pity. the memory mangles what's missed. after a while, it's hard to know exactly what's missing in a conscious sense - it becomes more of a feeling, a feeling you somehow get used to but never get over. it makes a weird voltage inside, a current that shakes me. so I'm missing my town, even if there's some little nightmares waiting.

   nine bells and we gotta bail, another hellride - this one up to boise. clear skies ahead though. bye don - see you in pedro. west on the I-80 a bit and then it's north on I-15. you can see the strip mining along the way, yech. there's this huge copper mine pit near slc, I forgot to mention seeing that as we pulled out but maybe it was something in my mind trying to get me forget it was there. there's some things you very much want to blot out but maybe it's good folks can see what a mess some stupid behavior can bring. you hear all this talk about the kids but what are we really gonna be leaving them? what will be our legacy, the price of our today in terms of their tomorrow? touring around is a great way to see some righteous nature but also some tragic bumrush on the earth mother. I veer the boat northwest on I-84. up the big grade to snowville and then over the state line to idaho. my pains are getting the best of me and I hand the helm over to jer for the first time on the tour. thanks, jer. this is the state I'm in, kind of hobbled. onto the back bench to chimp diary and try to get my mind off the hurting. can't tell exactly where it's emanating, just somewhere in the head, in the throat-jaw-sinus area. jer works the boat good - we pull into boise, idaho's big town at about three. we get a spot right out front but that means the meter wants a quarter every fifteen minutes. yep, that way out here in boise too. we have to feed it 'til six, damn. beats a fucking ticket though or having to park where it's easy donate. the club tonight is the neurolux, my stop in this town now for the last four or so years, every tour. I dig working for the boss alan here, very low key but always gives much respect. thank you, alan. wow, he's done some changes! he knocked a bulkhead and moved things back, then knocked down a perpendicular one and put the heads where a clothes store used to be, whoa. same big crown sign blinking from the stage though. that thing is like a strobe light that gets really warm. I think it's a trip but jer bums having to play in front of it. this place must hold three times the folks it used to now. I head across the street to get some wor won ton soup at the chinese restaurant there. I get it spicy but have to stop halfway and holler out the door to tom (I think I got everyone chowing here to think I'm a nutcase) cuz he's going to the post office and I gotta put my medical bill thing in the mail - that time of month. too embarrassed now to finish in here, I have the young cat here put it in a to-go thing so I can chow it in the boat. most times I truly do hate sticking out. soundcheck time and we do one w/soundman ian. tom and jer get there individual things checked first while I wait in the boat. I have to admit that the drum check isn't my favorite part of tour - it makes me insane and I have to be away fo it. I see some older cat come out of the club, cursing his head off. what's that about? when a pad has regulars during the day, you can get some bizarre reactions from people who've been sucking it down all day and have no idea what you're trying to do. sorry tom and jer upset you w/their sounds, I dig them. I go into the pad for my turn and then we all three check together. halfway through the first verse of "all sexed up" - no drums. oh no, jer's holding his head. seems a plastic pvc pipe, maybe four inches in diameter, fell from the ceiling and caught him above the right eye on the forehead. I see two bumps come up quick. what was that thing doing up there, dangling like that? didn't even notice it. shit, it could've been another curtis mayfield thing, where he got paralyzed after getting hit w/a light scaffold that blew down in an outdoor gig in new york. he was on a tour, doing all these outdoor city sponsored gigs at the time, I saw the one right before in long beach. that was a real tragedy, he was a very one of a kind guitarist and never could work anything below the neck again. glad jer only got a glancing blow. I feel very bad for him. ian couldn't believe why that thing was there, maybe a hold over from the construction? I'm just happy my drummer and goddaughter's pop ain't more hurt. fuck, does tour bring weird events on you.

   the brides show up. jason comes up to say hi and finds a five dollar bill by me, all folded up. he asks if it's mine, I tell it no and give it back to him. he gives me three ones out of his wallet. that's pretty righteous of him, even gave me the bigger piece of the split. thank you, jason. my boise pal, bart, comes by to say hi and asks if I want to come to his pad before the gig. "no, I'll just konk here in the boat now but thank you," I tell him. he's also invited us to konk w/him and his wife steph after the gig. tom and jer go w/him now and I them I'll hold the fort in the boat. mel gives me some abesol (sp?), a pain reliever liquid for teeth. I don't know really where to put it cuz I still can't pin down where the hurting is exactly. damn. I just put it all over the left upper gum, take some ibuprofen and pray for relief w/some konk. before I enter the sanctum though, I see some songs from the openers, local cats called juan fangio. they're fronted by sam, who used to be in the leaving trains - I love falling james and his cast of characters through the years. one righteous bass player was miss koko but I think she's bailed now. oh well. senor falling will persevere though, he's an inspiration - truly. sam's band is great but konk calls and the mask goes down for watt in the boat quick. sorry, guys.

   a shake from jer lets me know I missed the brides and it's our turn. up to the stage w/watt and his sack. man, is my throat tore up good - aaaarrrrggggghhhhh. the fiftysecond gig in a row. another thing that bothers me is that I can't shake like I want to. I dig making like a dervish but just can't get it going - maybe this tour is a week and a half too long, huh? shit, fIREHOSE did seventyone gigs in seventythree days - fiftysix in a row but that was almost ten years ago. it makes mad I can't go off - you know, go off to get off. I hate just the "stand and deliver" shit - I want to fucking spaz, get into a state. just can't do it. my band plays great, much respect to them. it's the dork w/the big picture in the window that can't get his flail motor on, that's the problem. ian's given me great monitors so that helps some. the cats in the crowd are very supportive, much respect to them. I huff and puff but just can't get this house inside me blown down. aaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhh. hard gig for watt on that level which is important to me. like I said, the crowd is kind though and we get an encore. I break the 'g' string right away but continue on to do "little doll" and "little johnny jewel" w/only three. fuck it, it makes me dig deeper and that's what I need/want. much niceness when we're done and I thank everyone much. I wish I could've given back so much more. I don't want to say this again but I will anyway: aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhh...

   of course, alan has to bail early so I settle w/ian - no prob. I thank everyone at the 'lux for all their good nature, lots of folks who are still at their tables too cuz I feel so guilty about such a worn watt. we pack up one of dimitri's amps w/us and they take the ballast - looks pretty much like they can't join us in vancouver tomorrow - wait a minute, DAY AFTER TOMORROW - TOMORROW IS THE ONLY DAY OFF OF THE TOUR! we follow bart and the brides follow us - everyone's at bart and steph's tonight. we roll past the old boneyard w/the tiny grave markers for soldiers, eerie. when we get "home," I sprawl on a love seat and am 'pert near paralyzed. I am so beat and done. I guess bart has a lot of "saturday night live" shows taped and while tom and jer were over earlier, they were looking fo the christopher walken episode w/the "more cowbell" skit to surprise on me. unfortunately, they couldn't it then and can't find it now. they keep searching even after I have to take a powder and make for the cellar space w/"watt konked here" written all over it. not actually written on it but as far as this spent man is concerned, it damn well is. thanks to all my friends here for tolerating such a lifeless lameness. this is not art imitating life. this is age showing it getting a little bit over me. damn, do I want to fight back but for now I must run away to swing at it another day. I can't even spiel. you know watt must be hurting - lo siento. sueno, gracias.

thursday, june 6, 2002 - seattle, wa

from tom:

   in the morning I shower and and get my things together. I hear steph swearing in the kitchen cause she forgot to put the pot back in the coffee maker after starting it and then bart gets up and starts to make some breakfast for eveyone. waffles, bacon and eggs and coffee. the brides rise and we all eat and try to gross each other out with talk of disgusting things. we have a good laugh and then we say goodbye and start out on the 600 mile drive to seattle. soon jerry is asleep on the back bench seat and mike and I observe the beauty of the changing landscape as we cross into the eastern side of oregon. we go over the blue mountains and down into the low lands through pendleton where they make the wool shirts and then hook up and drive along the edge of the columbia river. we take many photos of the sites along the way, some of people parasurfing in the strong wind and others of the trains going in and out of the tunnels on both sides of the mighty river. after a little past halfway I take over at the wheel and drive through troutdale and around portland to connect to the I-5 to go north to seattle.

   as we get close to seattle we plan our over to west seattle where our friend sandy lives. we left a message but it didn't sound like her so when we arrive she's a little bit surprised but hospitalble and happy to see us anyway. I've known sandy since she was thirteen when she used to live in hermosa beach, she's always been involved with the music scene but I only see her when we come though seattle. it's great to sit and talk with her and she gives us a tour of her place and then jerry and sandy and I go out in search of some food. mike stays and writes. we get stopped at a couple restaurants because it's kind of late and finally go to a chinese place called new luck toy that has a kareoke bar attached and we order and drink tea and listen to the sour notes bellowing from next door. the food's okay and the environment is strange enough to be interesting so we have a good time. we get some hot and sour soup for mike and head back. it's beautiful outside and seattle's lights from the city across the bay shine in the clear night.

   when we get back mike's asleep and jerry makes a call to kelly and sandy and I talk for a bit and then I put my bag on the floor and say goodnight to sandy's dog dozer and sleep.

from jer:

   the first day off of the tour and I wake to bart making breakfast. I kick on the deck in back and chow while mike tells all of the wen. a fatty, oily deposit on top of the scalp that older folk commonly get. my appetite is ruined. he doesn't let up for the entire meal. I get packed and we head out for our 11 hour ride to seattle and a night off. I take the bench for the first leg and sleep another 6 hours. when I arise were next to the columbia river heading west on I 84 towards portland, oregon. I enjoy the view and switch seats w/mike to take snaps while he rests. tom drives the remainder to seattle and straight on to sandy's house. I hoped to be able to have dinner w/matt chamberlain's girl dan'e, but the ride was a bit longer than anticipated and we have to try for tomorrow. sandy takes myself and tom for a bite nearby at a chinese pad. I eat 'til satisfied and return to her house where I knok for another 9 hours.

from watt:

   pop at the crack of dawn and head up the stairs. the puppies are on their sides, konked on the deck. go and hose off. a search of the kitchen returns no sight of cof procucing machinery but I remember steph and jer walking to some place last night for their beer so I figure there might be cof in a hoofable distance. I sally forth, great sky full of sun to greet me. maybe spring is here, even w/just a couple weeks 'til summer. turns out there is a pad and I cof up there. a return finds bart and steph up, bart's getting chow readied - he's making up waffles, eggs and bacon. there's a little table in the backyard and I sit out to get some sun soak. the brides wake and join me at this table. I find it a great time to enlighten them to way of the wen. my sister melinda cuts hair for a living and she does a lot of older blue hair beehive cut ladies. they can have these things called wens on their scalp. what brought up her mentioning this to me was another discussion we were having regarding what is the worst smell ever that's had the chance to assault you. you'll see why. the american heritage dictionary definition for a wen is a cyst, especially on the scalp, containing the fatty secretion of a sebaceous gland. think of an apple turnover or dumpling stuck to your scalp w/glands in there working overtime, oozing oil and grease for years. add to this some ingrown hairs growing in there also, coiling themselves around into bunches within the sludge (or pudding). this can be going on for years, even decades - w/all this organic material also rotting and becoming putrid, fetid and just generally decomposing, you have a potent custard/stew. I guess guys are prone to this too but maybe the years of hairspray give the women an edge (or greener thumb). back to my sister's tender relationship w/them: let's say you're working in a salon and combing the hair of some lady who has one of these happily maturing under the hairdo and a bristle of your comb accidentally catches and hooks onto it's crust, tearing it open. my sister said you'd see that salon clear out faster than you can make your mouth into the shape to say the word "wen" - the stench is indescribe, unimaginable - any attempt at description would very much fall short. powerful enough to make very geriatric old ones knock over the walkers as they bolt for the hatch. ok, we're very much ready for chow now. bart brings it on and everyone, fired-up w/my inspirational talk, shovels fanatically.

   I check my email cuz I have the chance. wow, here's a piece from my belgrade radio dj friend, slobodan vujanovic (http://www.b92.net) that seems somehow pertinent:

the people-houses and the people-supermarkets.

people-houses are the ones that welcome you, offer you what they have, and you can even stay over night.

people-supermarkets are the ones that work 24-7, have everything you need, you're not able to spend the night there, and you have to pay at the end.

the real problems start when you mix what you entered.

or what you are of the above.

next chapter in 'meeting humans is the last fun on the earth':
   kind of a parallel to my voyage here in ways, huh? blended in w/a little serbian experince. thanks for the wheel within a wheel, slobo. right now, we're a wheel: rollin' rollin' rollin'. big thanks to bart and steph - good luck in your search for the "cowbell" piece. safe seas to you too, burning brides. into the boat. today is the only day off of the tour. whew - that was fiftytwo gigs in a row. we'll spend most this day w/the boat though, getting to seattle. I wheel us west on I-84 and over the border into oregon and across our last time zone - we're in pedro time now. eastern oregon has got very similar terrain to what we have in cali, the hills and shrub stuff that makes up the quasi-desert we got as you get closer to the mojave, even this north. we gotta go north and over the blue mountains, through pendleton (home of some righteous flannels, I dig them much) to the columbia river gorge. man, I remember making this trip w/j winter before last - what a difference! that was one fucking hellride, w/a trailer and a someone at the wheel that made the go over the icy roads so scary, I could only peep out by looking secondhand - watching the face of drummer george berz as it looked forward through the windshield, very much white in the face and pale w/fear. so insane to do that then and at night to boot! things got so bad, they closed the road and we had to konk in la grande. I got a poem out of it the next morning though. I had other stuff going through my head but my hand in the snow made an interesting connection... anyway, back to these days, this time w/much better weather and myself at the helm - it's west alongside this enormous river, the columbia - incredible and there's daylight to see it (besides being safer, daytime sailing gives you the benefits of such eyegifts). big tugboats pushing lashed-together barges full of grain on this huge water, a current so strong that there's waves and choppers. we say several windsurfers and even a couple of cats "kite surfing" - their feet on surfboards (w/foot mounts) w/their hands holding handles attached to lines connected to kites, pulling them along strong enough to do jumps and flips - pretty intense. on the other side of the river is washington, vehicles paralleling us on the road there. along side us is a railroad and we switch over it many times, trading places w/being the closest to the water. we then come past the john day dam. pretty big. bigger yet though the dam at the dells and this is where I have tom take the helm from me. thanks, tom.

   mount hood looms ahead as we roll for portland. I'm in the back now, resting a bit before chimping some diary. I don't know why but I think of jimbo. I really missed seeing him in his town this tour. only a little email note a few days later too saying "sorry, I was sick." that's how it goes. not much time for watt, he's getting married in august. this is the way it goes, folks fall in love and outgrow watt - him in his singular bass wrestlin' world, working the towns in his econoline. so many times his pad was my port in new york city. I had many adventures there, many experiences I can never forget. I don't know why they're coming up on me now or why jimbo's so much in my thoughts right now. that pad is no longer, all that left now is memories. very strong ones though. I think about after gigs in those days when I played nyc, everyone getting aboard the boat and coming to jimbo's pad, me all sweaty - drinking lots of whisky and puffing mota, then planting myself on the deck there - just two huge rooms. righteous q on his roof too. then times of just spending days w/out gigs, flying out from pedro and spending time w/him or seeing his town w/him and on my own. learning the trains and the neighborhoods. hoofing all over, every morning by the hudson. at least one incredible sunset over it, west towards my town - all those miles, all those moments away. how profound on me. miss you much, jimbo.

   tom guides the boat through portland and then north on I-5, we're into washington after seeing it across the river for so long. evergreen country, this side of the mountains and out of the gorge. after nine and a half hours, we pull into west seattle and dock up at sandy's pad. an old friend from l.a. who lives here now, she invited us over. trippy pulling into a town and not playing a gig - strange and I'm not so used to it. sandy's puppy is very happy to welcome us, however. very much! so excited w/the new "newspapers" to read (smelling on us). I use sandy's line to get email and what a trip - email from jimbo! can you believe that? I wonder if he picked up transmissions emanating from my head? however, his email is not happy - in fact, no word from him directly but rather a forward of a news article: dee dee ramone has been found dead at age fortynine. very sad. bob lee (friend and black gang drummer) sent me this:
memorial haiku for dee dee ramone

what did he give us?
rock boiled down to a burnt pot!
and that ain't nothing.

dee dee dreams about
the beach boys with marshall stacks,
makes it happen now!

one bad thing about
living on a chinese rock:
crushed by avalanche

fifty-third and third:
doug takes it, then gives it back,
proves he's no sissy

did he say "I don't
wanna walk around with you"
when death came over?

carbona not glue!
now I wanna sniff some glue!
make up your mind, pud.

now we'll never know
what that strange "something" smelled like
down in the basement.
   thank you, bob lee. heavy when someone goes down that had great effect on you. one of life's hardest lessons for me is losing people, it's very tough on me. I don't think I'm ever going to get used to it. I met dee dee a few times, a couple times w/the ramones and once w/his own band. he was always very nice to me. I was just getting out of high school when I first heard him and his bass style was big on me, really driving - I dug it. eighth notes were new to me used that way, don't ask me why - it was the fucking 70s. he sure showed me purpose to being a bass player, propelling things instead of just going along for the ride and boy was his style econo! like I said, I dug it. I tell my guys this news and they're saddened too. they go out w/sandy to eat chow somewere. I'm beat and lay out my konk bag on the couch and fill it w/the pounded watt body. only 10:30 but I'm through. maybe my earliest konk of the tour, huh? there's big armrests on this couch and sandy gave me some big pillows so I organize myself for konk thomas jefferson style, where he propped his top part of his body up cuz he thought too much blood in the head was bad. maybe he's right cuz it's always been hard for me to konk w/my head flat on the deck. drift on now, thinking about jimbo. did he sense me thinking about him? am I sort of an mental broadcaster or were those thoughts of him during the hellride some kind of premonition that I was going to get something from him? I've thought about my little bass being like a transmitter for mind stuff, not through playing it but like it had a line straight into my head. I even entertained the thought of it being a receiver too. don't know about that though

friday, june 7, 2002 - vancouver, bc, canada

from tom:

   I wake at about a quarter to seven and see sandy as she's going out and then fall back to sleep for an hour or so. when sandy gets back we have some coffee and then jerry and sandy and I go out and have breakfast at a record store cafE and then drive around to try to find jerry's friends place. we finally find the house and we see den'a and she shows us her and matt's place. matt is a drummer friend of jerry's from pedro and he's out of town playing drums for garbage in mexico so we chat for a moment with den'a and then back to sandy's when we get back mike is ready to go and hit the road to canada. as we drive along it starts to rain but it clears up by the time we get to the border. we stop to pick up a worki permit for me at the canada side of the border and after a few minutes they let the fee slide because mike had gotten one for pete on eastern side already. that is very cool of them because they could make things so much more difficult if they wanted to. we make they final thirty miles into vancouver and get to richard's on richard's by five.

   the starfish room is where we used to play and it was directly across the alley from this new club but there is only a giant hole in the ground where it once was filled with construction vehicles and foundations for a new building. it's kind of sad to see it go but the same people are promoting the show at this other place and the stageman destry is still here too so we see familiar faces. the burning brides will not be playing tonight because of permits so we play alone and it's an early show too to make room for the disco that starts at 11. we get set up and check and jerry and I walk down the street to soobeez where I always eat when we come to play. the food is great and it a good deal since the american dollar is strong here and the loud techno music gives it kind of a euro feeling. we get mike some soup and go back to the club.

   we agree to go on at 8:15 and play till 9:30 or so and so we do. we kick into "all sexed up" and about ten seconds into it my amp just stops. jerry and mike go on and destry comes over to help me but we can't get it started again. mike and jerry do a variation of "little doll" and I play my guitar acoustically as if nothing's wrong until destry gets back with a new amp head and we push on doing the best we can. I struggle a bit with the new sound but what a great rebound for us that destry got another amp so quickly. I play with as much feel as I can even though in the back of my mind I'm sweating over the amp problem. the fact is it's not my amp it belongs to demitri of the burning brides and I know what it means to him so I'm hoping it's not too serious. we get to the end of our set and ask us to play more even though time is running out, so we do. when it really is over they convert the club into a disco and pack us out quickly and we follow jeff from the vancouver band station a over to lee's house for the night. at lee's we see the rest (or at least most) of the station a and few of their friends. they had a bar-b-q earlier and are still raging on the strong canadian beers. we have a good time hanging out with everyone and at about 2:30 I go in the room with two single beds that jerry and I get tonight and unroll the bag and hit the sack with sounds of celebration from the other rooms leaking in.

from jer:

   my bladder alarm works once again and I tromp up the stairs for the toilet. I wash up and inquire w/sandy 'bout a chow spot. she wants to go over to a book store w/an attached diner. mike decides to stay as tom and I join sandy for the shoveling. the place seems alright and the food is ok. tom has some trouble w/bumping the table and spills all the drinks. he's forgiven. then at the end of the meal he does it again. not forgiven. I ask sandy if we'd be able to search for dan'e's house. I'd love to see the pad as well as her. we set off in the direction that it might be a get a little turned around. it takes a good 25 mins. to find the house. dan'e greets us outside a brings us in for a tour of the home. they have a great view of puget sound and the surrounding islands. two shelties meet us as we enter and run along on our walk through. their still working on the makeover and it looks like the finished product will be unique. I especially like the egyptian theme room. she's getting ready to go to l.a. and hook up w/matt who's right now touring w/garbage while butch vig is recovering from an illness. it's great to see her doing well and I hope to see matt in l.a. in two weeks. I think he's recording there for a month or so. we hop in sandy's ride and return to her house where mike awaits. once again were on the road north. I anticipate a wait at the border while tom gets his work permit. mike and myself have ours from the canadian gigs back east. it's a decent wait, but were not charged for tom's as an add on for the permit. nice to save the bones. w/the border behind us, vancouver is only 40 mins.. I snap up the scenery and dream of returning here in the winter for some kind snowboarding. mike find's our way to the club, richard's on richards. or as the border guard said "dick's on dicks, and their not even gay!" we park out back and I go searching for a way in. the doors are locked, but the office across the street is open and the nice lady informs me the soundguy is on the way. I hump it back and find monitor guy destry at the front door. he's waiting for someone w/the key to show. moments later were in and I tell the guys we can load from the back. f.o.h. guy rob helps out and we check fast. the show is early so myself and tom go quickly to chow at subeez. very tasty food w/an atmosphere of techno. I could do w/o the music. time's running out and we return to play. the brides didn't cross the border to do this gig 'cause of the fee's being more than the pay they'd receive.

   it's a nice looking club, but the sound is way chamber ridden. the check was all drums projecting. I expect a noise fest and prepare for the worst. we have an eager crowd and the set begins. in about 10.3 sec. after starting tom blows the brides hi-watt amp. we don't panic, instead mike gets me to start a disco beat and the bass/drum show in on. we play at least 25 mins. of this before soundguy rob brings a replacement head he rented down the street. excellent thinking bro! w/o missing a beat we enter the regular set. the guitar tone is horrendous and tom does his best to wrangle it. a skill test for sure. we do survive the hazing and return for a couple encores. a wonderful crowd helps a tough situation. after the gig three kids from town help me move the gear into the boat as the club turns over to the dance klan. I stow the equip. and enjoy some mota w/the kids. one of the guys from the band station 'a' is here and offers a pad to crash. great! they're very cool cats from these parts.

   we follow jeff through the street of vancouver to the band house. the parking deal is a carport in back. I suggest mike park it in the street since the hood looks alright, but he ends up getting the squeeze job done instead. it's gonna be hell backing the boat out in the morning. chris from sta.'a' is in the kitchen and shows us an extra bedroom w/two beds for tom and I. we stay up a while talking and drinking canadian bud (it's 5.0 % alcohol here) and chowing some left over bbq. I ask sean if I can use the phone to call kel and then go hide away in the bedroom to talk. tom follows me in and plays a serenade while I chat w/my lady. I grow weary and say goodnight to my love. tom returns to the party and I fall to sleep.

from watt:

   pop and hose off. trippy soap here w/oatmeal in it, hmm... works though - we now have a clean watt. funny, by chance I just grabbed a flannel and it happens to be that one that young man's ma gave me in cambridge - looks like all the canada gigs on this tour are gonna be done in this shirt. just wish it had the fortyfive degree bias on the pockets. oh well. sandy makes me some cof and a bagel w/cream cheese. thank you, sandy. she goes and gets breakfast w/my guys at some chowpad while I stay and chimp diary. I can't be chowing every meal w/my guys, that would drive me up the walls. sometimes is ok though. I'm gonna do something different w/tonight. usually, I get a ho in bellingham so I can but the t-shirts there and then come back over the border - you can't bring stuff like that across. therefore, I never stay in vancouver overnight. however, this time we're w/sandy here in seattle and I think it's too far to make the 140 mile drive after the gig back to seattle so we'll konk on the canadian side tonight. why not? it's a great town, a great land - it's just circumstance that keeps from konking there. when my guys get back, we say bye to sandy - she's gonna celebrate her ma's birthday w/her today and tell her we'll see her tomorrow.

   across the west seattle freeway and then north on the I-5, through seattle and onward towards canada. evergreen country, so very pretty except for the scarred blight where you can see the clearcut on the forest. usually they do this on the other side of the hills that hem in the freeway - very obvious when you're flying over in a plane - but there are parts very much visible. pretty disgusting. there was drizzle when left and it turns into a full on rain but then after about fifty miles, it lets up. thank you - like we haven't had enough rain this tour! we get a righteous rainbow right across the bow of the boat and jer gets some snaps - a huge one, beautiful. I tell jer about my knees: as a boy, the surgeries on each of them in my early twenties and the two times they've gone out since then - both were when I was playing on stage at gigs. total fucking nightmares when it happens, I'm very much reduced to a cripple for months. the beasties wanted me to write a piece on my knees for that magazine they had for a while and I did one that I've received many comments on it ever since, how it made people wretch and wince at my painful experiences. I've had a lot of physical pain in my life, it's probably shaped my personality somewhat. when the minutemen did the "paranoid time" ep, part of the title came not just from the fear of nuclear war but my terror at when these fucking knees would give out again. words can't relay convey the full-on hell of hurt the kneecap dislocating can bring. you lose control of every muscle, the immediate pain contorts your body into one big fucking torque so you fall and fall hard, there's nothing you can do to catch your fall cuz your arms are extended out as far as they can go, along w/the eyes popping out, tongue reaching for the skies and mouth so wide open that the lips wrap around the back of your head. a world full of ouch, to say the least. jer doesn't know this part about me and I enlighten him to this knowledge in order for him to understand why I got so weirded out tripping on that step in fort collins. it's some bad shit for me, a huge weakness. what can I say? at least I can walk - if I'm careful.

   we get to the border town of blaine (on the u.s. side - the canadian one is called douglas) and I register the band stuff w/u.s. customs. the officer recognizes me cuz I have a friend named lis who was working here. she's in the port of l.a. now, hunting stolen cars for customs. he's a nice man. it always seems our folks are gracious about this part of the dance - it's the coming back across that can get touchy. on the canadian side, the officer in the booth asks some questions, I show my papers (already got my work permit when I crossed over for the montreal and toronto gigs) and he let's on through. however, tom doesn't have a work permit - pete was w/me then and tom was still in cali. sure, I could go and drive straight into vacouver but I want things right, especially being a guest in another land. I drive into immigration and tell the lady our story. I don't say anything to get the guard in trouble, that wouldn't be right. there's some delay cuz this young officer is confused to why I've change ponies half-way through the ride but an older gentleman, a cat who's seen all the hustles and whatnot gets everything in order and in fact, I don't get charge for tom's papers. thank you much. maybe an hour delay but tom's got his work permit and that's what counts. no search and that could've taken longer. I alway allow like two hours for the border cuz you can never tell what's up. I remember coming through douglas here before and there was a canadian officer training four greenhorns on how to search a vehicle - guess who won the lotto? I think you'd have to be nuts to try and sneak shit across a border, truly. I couldn't make a good liar anyway, the bean-spill would be just bursting out of me. before the september shit and after, I've always been squarejohn about borders.

   further north on now what's canadian-99. it's thirtytwo miles to vancouver from douglas. there's some plug on the road, trippy how the main conduits into town go through residential neighborhoods w/no left turn lane even. vancouver sure is a beautiful city, right up against the mountains along w/water from the pacific ocean. very cosmopolitan too, lots of different folks. we pull up just in time for soundcheck in the alley of richard's on richards, where we're playing tonight - very much a disco. across the alleyway is a huge hole w/a crane in the middle w/lots of construction about it - this used to be the starfish room, where I played many gigs. it's a memory now. terrible. this pad tonight has horrible sound, it was built for boom boom boom - dance. destri is here, he's did monitors for me many times at the starfish. he sees "june 16th" on the set list (an old minutemen song) and is thrilled cuz that's his birthday. I tell him that's pettibon's b-day too. also bloomsday, the day joyce's "ulysses" takes place. we do a soundcheck w/rob, oh my god - I ask my guys to play light cuz it sounds like a roller rink in here. the boss, peter, comes w/his wife chrsta and daughter erin - a family affair. good folks, truly. there's good fruit here, some peaches, plums and bananas. I have two of each. good chow. some yogi tea too for the throat. the queens of the stone age are coming in a few days and I ask erin to say hi to josh for me, dave grohl and mark lanegan too - they're playing in the band too this tour. I got to see them at the troub before I left on this tour and the band was smoking. what a drummer dave is and mark's voice is gorgeous. this cat smas comes and gives me a mingus vhs tape, some 'gars and hot sauce he made. thanks, smash. he's a regular at the talkbass.com forum.

   no opening act, the brides didn't come across and there's disco later so we're going on at 8:15. whoa, like a gig in germany during the 80s! no time for konk tonight, watt. we get up and start the set up. a few bars into the first tune and tom's guitar is gone. something up w/his amp. something really up - it's dead. I do bass solo w/jer behind me, first w/the disco beat of "all sexed up" (in honor of this pad) and then to "little doll." this is something, I don't remember doing this in a while. it's like ten or fifteen minutes worth. soundman rob runs and gets some mesa boogie amp to replace dimitri's hiwatt and tom's back in the race. horrible sound though, damn - not tom's at all. not like the hiwatt is either (tom's a fender man) but this is total spongy mush. we soldier through though - tom's a real champ, truly. the vancouver cats we're playing for are very emotional - like the montrealers in some ways and they give up so much heart, I can't tell you. such sweeties. much love from watt for you cats. they do not keep their emotions inside. what god awful sound but they are very tolerant of it and really tap into what I'm trying to deliver. I'm very touched. my guys did really good considering too - tom especially but jer smoked too. thanks, guys.

   we get done and I find a box of stickers in my amp case and just give everyone a sticker for nothing. I didn't even know I had these cuz I left everything w/sandy but I guess I spaced on these. this lady gives tom a button that says "general strike" and he pins it on me. right on. smash has invited us to konk w/him but he's way out in a burb called barnaby (where joey shithead lives - a true legend himself and inspiration) so I respectfully decline when we're invited to the station a house. station a is a band that's opened fo me a couple times here in town and are a great band, very cool peeps. we follow jeff and christy over in the boat after the loading up and getting out of the oncoming disco assault. no offense to the dancing folks but we must be going...

   we get to the pad and there's someone mowing the lawn at this time of night! whoa. a tight squeeze to get the boat into the backyard/shed thing but I shoehorn her in. lots of nice folks here. they cook me up some wieners and I chow them on small rolls w/mustard. some good snap to them! I have some salmon (fresh right from these waters) they q'ed up w/garlic. we visit much w/everyone - I play some creedance on a guitar w/station a chris - damn, the strings on these are tiny - never can quite get the hang on them but those ccr songs are timeless w/me. one of the station a guitarists, sean, is really cool people and we talk much. I go to konk in my sack but my throat hurts and I go back up to get some yogi tea made, sean's glad to do that for me, thank you. more talking for watt w/these peeps, the tea has made it a little more possible for me - somehow I have a second wind, even this stuff has no caffeine. one of their bandmates, barry, is in japan and they call him up so he can talk w/me. very sweet of all of them, so full of heart. they're funny too. the phrase they like to say is, "keeping it weird." very open folks. lee's the lady who owns the house and her grandpa was a bus driver who built it. he died on the back steps and everyone believes his ghost is still here. must be a happy ghost cuz there's such a good, good vibe here. there's some crazyness: a cat named sean (a different one from the station a cat, he's got a band called notes from the underground) loves to get loud, do something called the "hump sandwich" (which I have the honor receiving from him and this lady chisty - holy cow, the local customs one can run into - it leaves me a little red in the face) and sing a song praising "half sip, half sip" - whatever that may or may not mean. eventually I run out of whatever kept me going this long (I've been wearing the konk mask over my forehead ever since coming up for the yogi tea) and get back to the konk sack and submit to the healing slumber that can brings comfort for this sore wreck of a watt. thank you, good 'couv folks.

saturday, june 8, 2002 - seattle, wa

from tom:

   at about 9:30 we rise and the others start to get up too. lee and bill start to pick up the bottles from last night and chris opens a beer while mike and I drink coffee and wait for jerry to shower. jeff and christy get up and we decide to get a bite to eat before crossing the border again and so bill comes with us to show us how to get to the dutch breakfast place. we have a satisfying meal with everyone and then say goodbye and head for the u.s..

   on the drive to the border I start to think about the amplifier problem and how to get it fixed. after getting across the border I call sandy in seattle and she makes a couple of calls and calls back some info on a repair shop in freemont which is noth seattle and we navigate our way there and meet jeff who pulls the amp apart and puts new tubes in it and a fuse. it's fixed so we pay him and head to the crocodile cafE where we are playing tonight.

   when get to the club we go in and mike's new bass is there so we check it out and I get some food and then brides show up and we break the news to dimitri about the amp. he takes it well especially since it's working. we all load in and set up and get things situated. time goes by and the sun goes down and our friend sandy shows up and we hang out talking till the first band, the ruby doe, starts to play and we go in to check them out. we played with them last fall and remember liking them so I watch their set and dig it. the brides go on and put on a great show. the sound is good in here and the soundman jim always makes it a smooth gig so I look forward to playing when it's time for us. we play well even though I have problems with my pedals and have to plug straight into the amp for the show. we do a long set and finish by 1:30 and I hop in sandy's truck and mike and jerry follow us back over the bridge to sandy's place again for the night.

from jer:

   the morning is here and I wake and wash. looking at the kitchen I know there's no way breakfast is gonna be cooked. all those who crashed here last night get together and caravan to breakfast at a dutch diner. we all cram at a dogleg table and mike starts in on the wen talk again. appetite inhancer. I order a dutch benny (eggs benedict w/salmon on top) and pay extra for the fruit. dense but fulfilling. I wash down the meal w/some decaf coffee and rest while the other finish. we bid adieu to the group and head south on canada 99 to the border crossing. daytime weekend traffic clutters the highway. when we reach the border the wait is about 40 min.. usually mike will cross back over the same night, but seattle is only 170 miles so we stayed. the wait ends we a quick crossing and no search's. back in the u.s.a.. 10 miles in I suddenly have a intense pain in my colon. I tell mike to pull over now! we stop and I run to the can where I blow up like kilauea. gotta watch the coffee intake. I shuffle back tuckered and toiled. the bench seat is a welcome sight and I rest my aching bowels. I sleep 'til seattle where mike stops to get dimetri's amp repaired. next door is a thai pad and I get some crab rangoon. the amps done and the damage is $157 (an extra $50 for the rush job). I still need to get some sticks soon, but it doesn't look good for today. we make the short romp to the crocodile cafE in downtown and discharge the gear. we get the check done and I order my meal from the kitchen. sandy arrives and hangs out w/tom and the openers ruby doe. I use tom's phone to call some friends for the show, but have little luck. old pal skerik is in town and has a show late. I put him on the list, though it's iffy that he'll attend.

   inside I watch ruby doe for a couple songs and then rest in the green room for about 45 mins.. tom comes by and starts goofing w/me. that gets me up and jumpy. the brides do their set and it sounds great. the attendee's get into the band's jams. I wake the boss when they finish and gather in the green room to wait. as were ready to go on mike's friend eddie from pearl jam walks in to wish us a good show. mike ask's him if he wants to sing a stooges tune. "maybe big train mike. I know the words to that one." eddie says. I sorta remember it, but it'll be scary to try after soon long. so on we march. the set goes well, 'cept for some trouble w/tom's pedal's again. he just unplugs 'em and we forge on. we finish out the set and step off to regroup. eddie enters and says he'll just watch the encore. we go out and do a few more. I think it went quite well. very low clam count. during the show this guy tavis (mike know's him from banyan and hellride) helped out w/any problems that occurred w/my kit. I mentioned the need for new heads and sticks and he offered to hook me up w/a friend at shitar center in the morning. I get his number and will call tomorrow. our set time was late so the venue soon empties and I recruit a couple roadie trainee's. load is done and we take sandy to her car.

   we follow sandy back to west seattle and park in front. inside were greeted by her dog dozer who's a very friendly pit bull. I fasten together a toilet paper pipe for some mota mike acquired. I take a small amount and head downstairs for the night's much needed rest. damn are my ears ringing off the hook. I lie for maybe 1 hour before it subsides enough to fall asleep.

from watt:

   pop and find the hugest pain in the second front molar on my port side. damn, seems like there's a lining around the tooth where it meets the gum that is just throb-throb-throb. hoo boy. what's this about? I take some ibuprofens and then go and hose off upstairs. w/that, the newly scrubbed watt goes into the kitchen and the cof machine is easily found, along w/cof and filters so I fire that up. man, pretty beer bottled up here, our canadian hosts were sort of hoistin' it last night, huh? fun people though. I go into the backyard and find sunnyness, thank you. I go to the boat and get the hydrogen peroxide gargle and mouth/throat washes going. I do several. there's pain in the back port side of the throat too. the foam generated is heavier than shaving cream but after about the fifth one, I feel the pain subside - ah ha, I must have some kind of gum infection around that tooth. it does feel a little puffy around that area when I push w/the tongue. back into the pad and folks are rising. we sit around the kitchen, drinking cof when somehow, someway - the subject of wens come up. great, a new group of eager students, ready to learn. I go into much detail, like w/the brides in boise, trying to further their learning by using as many food words as I can. I also try to conjure allegories of brith and the wonder that leads to such a miracle. I can tell by my hosts' faces that they are forever grateful for me handing down this essential knowledge. I have high hopes they'll do the same in times of great sensitivity. ok, great - now I'm really in the mood to shovel something into the gullet. everyone else wants to puke or so they think 'til they get in closer touch w/their inner self - then they realize they been truly have been made hungry and want to take us to a dutch chow pad, where the specialty is panneckoeks (pancakes).

   getting the boat in here last night took a couple of moves but man, is it tough getting it out. damn. both tom and jer, working each end of the boat, help guide me w/cunt hair sized tiny moves to shoehorn this baby out. the angle is a nightmare and there's a drop-off from the cement to where the yard starts plus poles to hold the roof over this shed-like storage area. I wouldn't say it's like a garage cuz the sides are all open. anyway, using patience (I've developed this much when I'm w/the boat in park/unpark mode), I get her out w/out bringing everything down or bringing down the fence behind me - success. grazie dio. we follow the station a team to the dutch chow pad. it's a trip how mouth/gum/tooth pain can color and overpower almost every thought in your fucking head. it's better now than when I woke up though, for sure. that molar was so tender, I couldn't touch it w/my tongue. I know this is a pancake place but I'm scared to get the doughy stuff near the tooth. I instead order an omelette, one called "the mariner." it's good, made real thin w/ocean chow in it like shrimps and fish. onions too. more talk about wens helps everyone w/their digestion and general well-being. my face beams proud.

   we must leave our canadian comrades and we thank them w/hugs and wish them much luck. south now on the 99 highway back to the u.s. there's a bit of a plug at the border, a lot of cars but we slowly make our way past the peace arch and the booth lady is quite nice to us. seems the older officers, the ones who've seen a lot, aren't as judgemental and willing to swing the heavy stick of power just for the fuck of it. there's nice younger officers too but it seems the ones who've always rode me hard are kind of jock types. maybe they were just having a bad day, I don't know. I've never tried to get away w/anything at a border - never. why? it's crazy. I've always done everything I've been asked. it's a powerless situation to be in but what can you do? I like playing other lands and then I like coming back home. this trip back and forth was painless and I'm grateful. onward south on I-5 for seattle.

   we need to get dimitri's amp (the one tom's using) to a shop. tom called sandy and she was great helping us find someone. we get on over to condor electronics service in the fremont part of north seattle. turns out the tech there knows me from him working w/mark lanegan. great. while he's fixing the amp (a bad power tube blew some stuff), I chow some spicy pork soup from this thai pad next door, kwanjai noodles. very happening. jer gets some of these fried wontons that look like - you guessed it - wens! we pack the fixed amp in the boat and head for the crocodile cafe in the belltown part of seattle, the pad we're playing tonight. darin from spokane meets me w/the new bass he's made me, the "purple plower." it's like my little gibson but w/some changes I suggested, like a telecaster headstock (I'm always hitting the 'd' and 'g' tuners on the drummers cymbals), bartolini pickups and narrower nut (were the strings sit in grooves at the top of the neck) and it being made of different wood than mahogany (he used alder for the body, rosewood for the neck and ebony for the fretboard). his ideas were to make the neck two octaves and the spacing a little wider where you pluck too. it has the same kind of bartolini preamp I put in the eb-3. it plays and sounds beautiful. the only problem is the intonation so he's gonna do a little more work on it and send it to me in pedro. I can't thank you enough, darin - truly, a beautiful piece of work. it's got wonderful inlays in the neck too: a pelican, an anchor, a bike and a cat. amazing. can't wait to weild this bass for folks. the bosslady christine is here to meet me - always a joy to work for her. the shirts from tannis are here too, they now say "the jom & terry show" and tom's face is where pete's was. alright. I wish I would've done that w/the batch that went to bob teagan's pad. fucking idiot watt. I have some spinach w/grilled onions and shrooms on it. good stuff. I meet the opening band, a local one called the ruby doe. I've played w/them here once before, nice cats. a quick soundcheck w/bill - who's done sound for me way back w/fIREHOSE at the central tavern and I'm ready for konk. big time. out to the boat and my shit is out quick.

   tavis, the cat who got me the only alaskan gig I've ever done (it was last summer w/perk and peter distefano), bangs on the boat and wakes me. I missed both the locals and the brides, damn. I head for the front door and the stage. a guy asks for me to help get him in cuz he was kicked out for being an asshole. I ask him to apologize to the door man. he does and admits he was wrong. it was awkward for me to be in the middle but if the guy was willing to atone and change his behavior for the better, then ok. as I go to get up, ed vedder hugs me. great to see him. we had a good visit when we played together at that ucla thing thurst curated in march (called "all tomorrow's parties") but he has some bad news, beth got attacked and hurt by some idiots in santa monica. nothing stole, just hurting. another thing that makes me fucking angry and sad too was that they were on skateboards - what? that's like hitting someone w/a bass just to do it. what a desecration. fuckheads. when will we as humans learn to get over this fucking violent shit. I want to say it so loud it loops around inside me and comes out tiny. please people, give this shit up. I hug ed hard and tell him this gig's for beth. in the boat I was thinking about going off for this gig anyway. the last two gigs have had me up on stage, just holding on - almost like I'm fulfilling the old man role and just barely standing up through it. tonight, I told myself, I want to go off. I'm gonna shake myself silly. well now, especially I'm going to rattle hard. truly. sure, it's late in the tour and i'm beat but I can do it if I push hard. I'm gonna do it. I want to lose myself in the physicalness of playing anyway. my insecurities and crap like start creeping into my performances w/the "stand and deliver" shit. I hate that intensely about myself when I don't get man enough to stand that shit down. when it comes to this business, I'm a dervish about it and must get the shake, the body rattle going. I'm a flame dancing on a stove, not water in an ice cube tray slowly turning to ice in a freezer - fuck that. I get real tight on my guys, right up on jer - between his cymbals and over his toms. tom gets right in too and we're like one, I love it. tom has trouble w/his pedals and I tell him to go straight into the amp and forget that dachau shit. we're lit and the band's playing good. I'm wearing last night's flannel (that's how little I sweated which is so fucking weird for me) and I'm soaking it up good now, the levis too. we finish we a soft and tiny "chinese firedrill" - I make it a plea for folks to put the scissors on violence. I ask them to hurt a machine before they hurt flesh. please. I know people love things like cars, boats, basses even but we gotta learn that people gotta love people enough to not inflict sick shit on each other. I mean, there's a lot of mental shit and that's gotta be dealt w/too but this hurting on each other w/the physicalness has got to go. it goes way back w/us and probably way deep but it's gotta be ended. get rough on a bass like I do, or w/a skateboard - get physical as hell but... it gets frustrating to try and make this point more clear. that's why I used a little tune to help me mean what I'm trying to say. "living this life is like trying to learn latin in a chinese firedrill."

   we come back and do three stooges songs. I break the 'g' string but don't stop to change it. fuck that, my guys have good momentum. then "sister ray" all crazy and "little johnny jewel" - "if you see him looking lost/man, you don't have to come on so boss." we're done. good vibes, words and thoughts both ways w/me and the peeps after. thank you all. thank you too to the croc people, great. we load up and follow sandy over to her house in west seattle. I am drained from this gig but still happy for it. I didn't do the elderly or scared stiff thing and it makes me feel a little good about myself. me and tom are laid out kind of near each other and talk a little bit cuz of the adrenaline still racing in me. I fight that off too though cuz konk is much needed in this last week - that starts tomorrow. gotta be strong for this last stretch coming out of the final turn. I think about being at the track and watching the ponies w/raymond - I konk happy.

sunday, june 9, 2002 - portland, or

from tom:

   in the morning we have coffee and then sandy drives jerry and I to guitar center to meet tavis and pick up some sticks and heads for jerry and strings for me. we get there and it's not open yet but tavis has worfs with the manager and they let jerry in to get the stuff. we get some food and then back to sandy's and say goodbye and start the drive to portland. it's not a long drive but we have a load in time of 3 o'clock so we are in a little rush. we get to dante's at about four and no one's there so mike calls the promoter and he tell's him that load in isn't till 6, that's show biz. we wait in the lot and I type for a while as jerry sleeps in back and finds something to eat.

   we finally get in and load and talk with soundman stevie till check. the brides show up and do their thing and jerry and I go with ryan and his father to a little bar/resaurant and eat. I order noodles in a curry sauce but by the time we get our food I loose my appetite and decide to go back to the club. it's pretty crowded and I see a couple friends and talk till the brides go on. they rock out and I take it all in until it's time for us to play. tonight is on a tight schedual because there is some kind of strip show going on at 11 after we're done, so we make our change over as fast as possible and set up and play. I have technical problems with pedals and plug staight in to the hiwatt and we plow through the set. it's good and we play a couple encores and then we rush to get off the stage and make way for the next show. we break down on the side of the stage and watch some of the dancing for a while till mike pulls the van to the side door and we load out. our friend eric hops in the van and he shows us the way to his place which is a cool little house behind a huge old mansion type house. we walk down the lush path to his place and we find our spaces to sleep and that's what we do.

from jer:

   I wake from the basement and shower up while the others have coffee and chat. I give tavis a call there's no answer so I leave a message. sandy has us pose for some pictures in the living room for her archives. I give tavis another call and he picks up this time. he'll meet us at the shitar center in half hour. sandy loads us up and mike stays behind. we get to the store at 11:30 and tavis is waiting. they don't open 'til noon, but tavis tells me he already talked to a manager and they'll let us in early to get moving. he bangs on the door for a good 10 mins. 'til a manager finally opens the door. "can I help you?" he asks. this is where tavis start in on the name dropping thing. "I work for tommy lee and steve perkins, there my clients and I'm gonna bring 'em up soon so you need to work w/me." the manager doesn't seem to care much and I drift over to where tom and sandy are standing. they continue w/the dialogue and the voices are getting louder. it's now maybe 10 mins. 'til noon and I suggest we wait for the doors to open. the manager guy then agrees to allow one person in to get stuff and I'm elected. the cash drawers are not ready yet and I have to use my credit card. this is something I don't like to do. the drum dept. guy gets my stuff and the manager hovers over him like a vulture on roadkill. he makes sure I get no deal what so ever. my embarrassment is totally complete. as I walk back to the front door the manager turns to another employee and says "well I put out one fire." what a fucker! no tact at all, though tavis lacked in that dept. as well. I show tavis the receipt and he insists on taking it back in when the doors open. I just want to leave as fast as possible. I make a stupid mistake and give him the receipt. my address and phone# are on it, but that don't guarantee shit. besides it's a credit card sale and no refund can be made w/o the card. I cringe and we part ways. we make tracks for a diner for chow and eat quickly so the road can be tamed.

   at sandy's we say bye and shove off for portland. mike kinda peeved about leaving late. our load in is at 3:00 (earlier than usual) and sandy didn't pass on a message from mike 'bout making breakfast short. I, of course, catch the heat for this. I don't know what it is w/him riding me on shit all the time. I'm not trying to cause any friction, but he points the finger my way like I'm supposed to assume the guilt or something. what a waste of energy. this only succeeds in bringing me down. feeding the fire is not my way of confronting this, so I just set my mind to other thoughts. the drives only 3 hours and I rest most of the way. at a little after 4 we arrive and I start to unload the van w/tom. scanning the front door it's obvious the place is still closed. all the gear goes back in the van. mike calls and finds out the soundguy we be here at 6. they told the brides, but not us. typical. I shrug my shoulders to the news as mike asks to talk w/me. in a more calm manner we come to an understanding on the sitch. in I pour back on the bench seat for some more napping. 6 p.m. rolls around and we load in for the check. the pad's called dante's inferno. it's a gothie sorta place w/tattooed ladies behind the bar and a fire pit at the front. we go on early so they can have a strip show after the bands. tom, myself and watt fan ryan are joined by his father on a search for dinner. I stop in a bar and watch the end of the third game in the nba finals that have the laker's up 2-0 to the nets. this one is pulled out by the lake's and it's just routine now. we walk about and find a noodle bar that has good bowls of the wet stuff. I slurp down my gruel and talk w/ryan and father. tom's eager to return for the show and I join him.

   I meet some of tom's friend's in the back bar. very nice folk. one of the guys points out the poker machines in the bar. I remember doing some gaming here last timeO..and winning. we take machines next to each other and I soon get up $15. I cash out and take the winnings. I'm now 4 for 4 on the gambling thing this tour. the brides get going and I watch from the back. w/little time to change over we start playing asap! the pad's packed and we drive a good beat to the crowd. we lose a some eye contact, but still stay on track 'til the end. only a few minutes left to encore. we do a couple more then get rushed off stage by the help. they want the burlesque show to begin. in 5 mins. there's girls dancing and shaking upon the light boxes out front. bill jennings, and old band mate from the charms, is here and we talk while watching the show. his partner eric is also fixated on the sights. I order a drink and watch the parade of artists. it's a surprisingly classy show w/modern dance, fire twirling and a old school vaudeville striptease. kel would love this. mike soon comes looking for us and we load the boat.

   eric has the crash pad tonight and we have him ride along for the easy directs. were in a hood w/large mansions and he has a guest house apartment just below one. after a short walk on this path we hump it upstairs and I lay out my bag on the floor. I talk w/mike about the show for a spell and eventually drift to sleep.

from watt:

   pop and hose off. I go to bring my konk sack to the boat and let my senses take in the fine weather - it's like pedro and reminds of pedaling by the water in my town. I linger a bit. sandy's up when I get back and makes cof. her dog doozer is full of morning pep and wants to spread it much my way. a very fine friend. dogs embody so much of those they stay w/and it very much shows. when I was a meter reader for the power company in long beach around the late 70s, I'd see at least a hundred dogs a day (I had to make four hundred reads daily). I got pretty good at judging how the people of the house were by the dog on the premises. I mostly found it wasn't about the breed at all. like this one here, doozer, he's got pit bull in him but you couldn't find a puppy w/more love. he's just so fired up always w/showing his affection. I chow a bagel and make some of that yogi tea. jer's gotta get drum stuff and tom needs strings - tavis last night said he'd help them out so they're gonna bail and take care of that. this being sunday, I call my ma and she says everything's ok, including my sisters. that's good. my last call for her from tour - god willing, the coming sunday will find me shoveling some chow she's cooked me. I chow breakfast w/her sundays when I'm in pedro but I don't think I can make it back quick enough (the last gig of the tour is saturday in goleta, about two hours away) so we'll have dinner. my ma says my voice sounds rough and I tell her not to worry cuz this is what happens w/eight straight weeks (minus one day off) of working it. my ma worries about her boy. I tell her I'm trying my best to stay healthy and overcome what hells come my way. my pop was a sailor so she knows this tour stuff kind of. she always finishes the call by asking me to tell my buds hi for her. thanks, ma. see you soon.

   tonight's the last sunday gig of the tour. everyday this week is the last whatever day of the week it is of the tour now. we've come to this point. it always amazes me, even after all these years, when we get to this point. there's just so many things that can go wrong and fuck up, I feel very fortunate and grateful to weather yet another hellride. watt, you are one lucky mohterfucker, even w/all the little shit that might get thrown in the way. if I stepped back far enough to really look at what's involved, I'd probably have the holy shit scared out of me but I've alway just got into it, up to the knees, the waist, the neck - fuck, all the way over my head in it so being so close up on it keeps me from having the big picture scare me enough to bolt. sure, you travel around w/these internal monologues going through your head, these insane self-naratives an whatnot but the huge fullness of the way I work these hellrides occupies me pretty much, pretty much to the fucking brim. it's kind of on purpose, if you can read between the lines here. it might be sort of easy to see how my insane shit might overwhelm and fuck up everything so I keep it in check w/the reality of having to do the do, to make this shit work. I don't have much taken care of for me. I've said this before: 'no babysitters on a watt tour" and that goes for the goofy dork of a bassplayer himself. luckily, I have momentum from my days w/d. boon. lucky too, I've been blessed w/boatmates that are quite key and full w/heart. in ways, I wish I could work the other machines at the same time I'm doing the bass but since I haven't acquired that ability (yet), I'm very fortunate (and glad) to have cats I respect so much to share the stage w/and work these towns I roll through. they have interesting minds too which is real important to me. it's the tradition I come from. I've met some incredibly intersting and genuine personalities. it makes it possible to stay a student (of life) forever cuz folks like that have so much to teach me. things don't get in a re-run mode and the jaded shit don't get a chance to take root and fester. you can imagine how shallow a pool it would be to dive into if it was just filled w/posers. then think about doing laps for twenty-plus years. like the iggster said, "I want more."

   I'm chimping diary and taking care of tour stuff, waiting on my guys. where are they? sandy took them for that music stuff and then she said they were gonna chow but we got at least a three hour drive to portland and loadin is supposed to be at three - it's one now. damn. they finally get here and we gotta go - now. a quick goodbye to sandy - thank you so much for everything. so righteous of her to be here for us - she's had tons of shit happen w/her recently: her ma having to go through hell w/doctors and surgery, job harassment w/the nightmare that goes along w/that and now starting up a new company - it's so generous of her to help us. tom's known her since teenager times and since the old sst days for me. always a great lady. thank you much, sandy.

   I'm a little pissed at jer. he said he lost his paper w/the gig times and that kind of info. why didn't he have me make him another one? anyway, there's one always taped on the top bulkhead of the boat, right above where I sit at the wheel. it's a little bit bullshit. sometimes jer forgets why we're out here - it's to play fucking gigs! he's a good soul though, just not used to this way yet. he's learning though. south on the I-5 and we're through some beautiful evergreen country. you gotta love the northwest and especially when the rain let's up, marvelous nature. quite distinct from the rest of the country. I get over my hissy fit. turns out it's all for naught anyway cuz when we get to the pad, dante's - it's all locked up! a call to the promoter informs me the time was switched to six - the "opening band" (the brides) were told. ha! this is funny. I apologize to jer. he also tells me about the nightmare at the shithard center. someone trying to "help" him out really fucked up things by name-dropping up the yang and coming on so that the manager got real irate and made things fucked for jer. my apologies. why do people do that? buffing badge using other people's name is like hype - all fluff and surface, nothing under it that means anything and when the bullshit clears, nothing of substance to show. all for appearance, a bad game to get into. that cat who gave me the book on mingus in madison, ryan, is here for the gig w/his pop and they give me a good 'gar. thank you much. stevie the soundman comes in a little bit and we can load the stuff in for the gig. storm and the other ladies who work here buy me some thai soup w/pork in it called "fruity pig" and it's really good. thank you, ladies. storm's a really good singer from san francisco and we talk a little about life. funny about life and music. we do a soundcheck w/stevie and I go check email in the office (thank you, frank). shit, I forgot that all the s-k folks moved here to portland so I email carrie a note inviting her to come. how fucking last minute, huh? damn, I wish I could play for her again - what a way she has w/her guitar! oh well. I get an email from mister meltzer and he's sorry he can't come cuz he just got this little cat who needs to be nursed after medical stuff. me and him are going to collaborate on some music soon. we'll talk about that when it's a better time. I love playing for richard too. both these cats are such heroes to me. so what, I'm gonna go off on the gig tonight like they were here, I don't care. I went off for ed last night. well, I did it for myself too - so good to break out of that "feeling your age" thing I had going in boise and vancouver. I still don't know why I let that get a hold of me that way. I just gotta try harder. to make sure, I get to the boat to konk good and have the steam up for it. outside, sailors walking around. it's the rose festival here in portland and some navy ships are here - we saw them while we were coming over the bridges into town. beautiful weather. I take some snaps of the orange-lit sun sky before retiring.

   jer comes and shakes me out of a konk where a dream had me spinning and flying through the air. very bizarre. somehow, someway I kept missing the ground. I'd come so close to smacking it good and then it seemed like I'd just graze it by a cunt hair. weird. I'm in a sweat. I grab the shirts and go in. it's an early show cuz there's a strip thing when we're done (what?). guess that's regular for this pad. it is a trippy pad: tables w/tablecloths and black curtains everywhere - kind of like a cabaret or something. it is neat though and the people working here are great, truly. we're about to start when tom's pedals fail. damn, again. straight into the amp for tom, like last night. oh well. I fucking forgot a pick again, so I use a penny. no matter, I really get wild on this gig. hardly any room on the tiny stage - gotta be careful w/the fucked up knees but I really give it to the little bass. big time. tom and jer are w/me all the way too. good j & t gig, to be honest w/myself. good crowd to play for also, really much so - they show a lot of heart. I have my blue flannel from manhattan on and soak both that and my levis, down to the underwear and socks even (I hate fucking underwear and socks). I do wish my voice was stronger but at this point in the tour... I wish I could reach down my throat and get at it like I can the little bass - boy, do I. I dedicate "venus" to dee dee ramone and also tell the folks something else I learned through some email. it's from ro, george hurley's sister in law and she told me george and is wife jessica just had a baby boy. he's named garrett george hurly. so, one spirit leaves while another arrives. trippy about life that way. I break a 'd' string for the last few tunes and play w/out changing it, tearing into my little bass passionately, hollering love names into the air. a manic "sister ray" to finish things wild - I do say richard's name on the mic and john coltrane's. we get done and this lady comes up on stage and bear hugs me hard, saying she's glad I'm alive - she's crying too. thank you. later, her friend tells me she's from the old punk days too. much love from younger folks too, a cat who saw me first in mississippi, others who just want me to keep going. special sentiments to me, it means a great deal. I wish I could find words to really relate the feeling. it makes me want to play even more intensely in the moment. that can be soft too, I don't mean intense just in the sense of kinetics. you know, the way I do "little doll" now when I bring the band way down and let folks in on the way my feelings are making me breathe or rather, me breathing over the mic to let them know how inside I'm feeling. the folks, by opening their hearts, give me a confidence to let out what's boiling under my surface, let it work through the the rhythms, the notes, the bendings...

   we have to clear the stage quick cuz of the next event. I settle w/the boss, keith. he tells me about the gig situations w/the "big" bands, the "big" game, the money squander and all that. what a hustle. we both laugh at the huge joke lots of what this racket is. so much puffed-up chest and posturing - the sfx and clear channel crap. a bloated and rusted-up creaking wreck of corrupt nothingness - fool's gold and ponzi schemes. get me a shovel! dick leeches. you need a cast-iron belly to stomach this shit. better is a good sense of humor. me and keith both laugh again. I thank everyone who helped tonight like rob and kelly - I give stevie a shirt. how many times have I said the band's only the motor, the knob man is the tranny. I pull the boat around and get my guys. they're watching a lady get all limber w/her clothes off to a devo song. there's all kinds of different work in this world. we get keith, the cat who runs sightworks w/bill (these guys host "the watt from pedro show" - my internet radio thing) in the boat w/us after loading up and go to his pad, a former maid's quarters behind a mansion. whew, am I on empty! I lay out on the couch in my konk sack, lower the mask and am quickly out. my last thoughts are grateful ones, grateful I could muster some fire up for these last couple of gigs. maybe nine weeks is too long for me now but it's hard to give in to that. I think I can make the mind get over on the matter if I just get it together enough. always something, huh? either confidence or physical beatdown or whatever... they all seem like excuses to me. I'm from a tradition of grapplers, I'm a minuteman... what the fuck?

read week 7 of the tour diary

read week 9 of the tour diary

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this page created 13 june 02