iggy and the stooges

in australia, u.s., europe, korea + canada

march to september 2013

a word's-eye view from mike watt
of gigs done by the stooges w/him on bass

saturday, march 23, 2013 - perth, australia

   seven at night on tuesday my sister melinda gets me from my pedro pad in her car to the lax kuko which ain't tough at this time and in this direction. I've been home only five days and it was a packed five days, playing catch up and making sure I could get the bluefin my buddy rudy gave me up to drummerman larry in his buddy luther's pad in los feliz to q up so I could see how his cooking was... let me tell you: it was righteous! he did it up real simple w/olive oil and sea salt grilled w/wood from what was growing in the backyard and it smoked up incredible once he got the weber going right. man, was it good. I had just played w/him w/the stooges in austin march thirteen (yeah, last week!) where for sxsw we did nine of the ten songs coming on the new "ready to die" album due out april thirty. it was a blast playing those new tunes live and the first time I shared a stage w/larry since august. we did prac for two solid days before that gig at the mohawk w/ig giving us much focus, having us focus much on the tunes especially w/us in the rhythm section, damn if it ain't just the best you want leading a band, truly. now I didn't get to austin from pedro - actually I bailed the morning after the twentythird gig in as many days - that last gig being in exeter, england and me flying from heathrow for the mohawk austin gig the next morning - we drove three hours once the set ended and we packed up... who's the we? it's a most happening trio I have the honor of being part of: il sogno del marinaio along w/guitarslinger stefano pilia and drummerman andrea belfi - two great GREAT cats I consider truly my brothers. we did a euro tour in support of our "la busta gialla" debut album that came out at the end of january. of course I had to prac w/them cuz it'd been a while since we played together so four and a half days of solid prac before the first gig were spent in an old farm house outside bologna in italy, not too far from a prison for that region. this is new kind of band for me where I neither give direction like w/my missingmen or take direction like w/stooges, it's more like a collaboration for me. I've learned life is about taking turns and this role is an important part of my life. I'm very grateful to my fratelli stefano and andrea.

   I'm very grateful for stooges too - next month makes ten years I've been learning from them and trying my hardest on bass to do good cuz they deserve everything I got. I love stooges music and they're beautiful men, incredibly kind to me. these next five gigs we got are in australia, my third time there w/them, fifth time altogether (first was w/porno for pyros, second was w/j mascis + the fog). for the first time though, I will be part of a tour here that starts in the west and heads east so that means a hellride in metal tube breathing farts the whole way to start. the first leg is fifteen hours to sydney - yeah a half hour more cuz some lady decided she didn't wanna go and so the rule is your bags have to get off if you do so they had to find them - actually for this kind of flight it was good being in an aisle seat w/no one next to me even w/the two little ones in the row in front of me crying most the way, this "premium economy" gave my knees a huge break. yeah, maybe my second time on the upperdeck of one of these airbus 380-800 big boys quantas uses. I've left the yellow clothes sack in pedro and instead have what's my first sack w/wheels and an extendable handle I can use to push it in front of me, kind of like a walker cuz my port knee is still weak as fuck. it's small enough to go in the bin above the seats and still carry one stage outfit, two levis, one pair of socks, nine pairs of chonies and the "going home flannel" w/no prob. it did have two sections that wasted all kinds of room but I cut that out w/my swiss knife during the five days in pedro which makes sense cuz it's a swiss case. fucked it ain't yellow but I did my best w/yellow electrical tape to make it like san pedro high school colors, sort of. I wanna be albe to spot this sack from afar and generic black ain't helping that. of course I got my yellow coat cuz I don't need that heavy black one I used w/the fratelli. it's fall time for australia (opposite our california spring) so temps should be in the 70s during the day, no prob. I really did that heavy one for europe in feb/march though cuz it was freezing, literally. anyway, I konk as much as I can cuz we're arriving to sydney in the morning and that's my anti-jetlag plan: if it's morning arrival, konk on the plane and if it's night arrival, stay awake. on the same flight w/me is drummerman larry and brother steve the stooges saxman. I ain't gonna talk about the chow cuz I 'pert-near never talk about hikoki chow but I will say this about the bradley terminal at lax that fucking weirded me out: only six weeks ago when I left to do il sogno del marinaio tour I chowed at the "pink's" pad they had there and this time you couldn't even tell it ever fucking existed - poof, like that, fucking gone w/out a trace... fucking erased w/out even a smudge left though there's two sides of a white cube now where it used to be...

where pink's hot dogs once was a the lax bradley terminal

damn. I had some ramen at the sushi boy nearby but man, that was a blow to me - don't know why but it was. maybe it's sort of like a cipher for the impermanence of things - like a mortality staredown into my look that can't avert but damn if I didn't try. shit, it was a from the inside bone-shaker. christ, if that can happen to "pink's" then who/what is not doomed to be washed away by the tide? damn. maybe it moved to another part of the terminal? for sure the gate we left from, 134 is a brand new one for these new jets, I think the bradley terminals getting eighteen new gates, nine of them like this, something like that... shit, I looked all over and couldn't find anything on this - shows you how "shallow" the reality on the dealio the internet just can be... damn. anyway, don't wanna get hung up on that... reading "the pillow book" (translated by meredith mckinney) by sei shonagon has for me here a trippy counterpoint - though her voice is a thousand years old, it's 'pert-like she's big time alive and speaking right to me, her lists of things, her eyes/ears/nose connecting w/her mind as her wit defines herself timelessly unbound. what a righteous thing she wrote, very trippy. okashi indeed! trippy too how words like "beauty's precious cuz it's brief" truly can resonate forever (for example, this lax "pink's" disappearing episode - mono no aware fucking indeed!) inside me, such is the duality of the grand canyon gaps in our conscious. thank god for onnade for this insane bassman on this hellride...

   clear customs/immigration real easy, two different kinds of dogs are not iterated and the officers most kind. larry helps me by carrying the red bass james williamson had brian michaels make for me in his cart w/his stuff. there's a chow pad not too far from the gate called "hero sushi" where I get two big maki for seven bucks total (one australian dollar = $1.04 u.s.) where the "california" is pretty plain/lame but the katsu chicken is really good, fifty-fifty on that. by the way, we flew over the international date line and lost wednesday (it's now thursday morning) but we'll get it back going home. quantas again, this time a boeing 767 and each seat's got an ipad to use for "entertainment" shit - I put down the pillow book to watch three bbc shows on the great barrier reef fuckin' mindblow of a place, god damn! the largest concentration of life on the planet, these shows say and the interconnections are a fucking trip. much respect - I like shows like these. I discover all kinds of trippy life cuz of these, this time I get my mind blown by finding out about the cassowary - crimony, the deserve respect or what?! the plane was late getting into sydney so we get into perth at almost one pm - time zone is three hours behind sydney so only fifteen hours ahead of my pedro town now. very sunny but w/a cool breeze here, very nice. roger's a great cat who's our driverman - larry asks him what do you call someone from perth, "is it a perthan or what?" roger just says a person from perth is yeah, "from perth" which makes sense. we pass a what's labeled an el camino ss but damn is it tiny! much different here than the ones I remember in the u.s., even the older smaller ones. we all trip on that. my old buddy tony was a pool man and a happening pool man was a cat w/a 70s era el camino...

   I think this is the fourth time I've been at this 'tel... it's called "the duxton" and the first time I was here was in 1996, the first time I ever visited australia. I remember going w/the porno guys out on the water (it's the indian ocean out here), being towed on a giant banana-like raft pulled by a big motored speedboat and this was a time when my wrists hurt so bad I would wear my watch on my ankle... a couple of tight turns doing many knots per hour flicked me off and flying a few times - bye bye watch! oh man, I got some memories of this town... a subway sandwich from across the street made w/tuna w/some avocado, pickles and olives cost twelve bucks! I chow that and keep up 'til eleven so I can get on australian time.

   friday I popped at seven bells and did big soak - should've done that last night, I know but sometimes I'm baka and space. the tub could be longer, could be deeper but at least it's a tub and the water can get hot. like I said, I do big fucking soak. I go down to do asagohan chow and find brother steve, shovel across the table from him. the cooklady fries up two eggs for me and I chow that w/roasted 'tater pieces, tomato and a buch of shrooms (not tripping kind though). I swallow coff too. back in the eleventh floor chamber I konk in, I read what others say about "the pillow book" (so great we get free internet at this pad) and damn if there ain't some interesting fucking essays regarding it (one here for example and here also - what would she think of a lower person like me? - ha! I don't care!) - I found a place w/a buttload of translations too, many different languages (including fucking luis borges, damn!)... everyone, check it out - not your typical chimping for sure... timeless, truly.

   roger the driverman arrives w/james williamson and the rest of us join them for a half hour drive to fremantle park to do soundcheck. yeah, soundcheck the day before the gig but it's better than none at all and plus it's kind of a free prac for us... understand the last time we did a lot fo the older tunes was like six months ago (seven for larry) so this a good thing. they ain't ready for us yet so we do prac w/small amps in the backstage area, the backup bass rented is one of these new gibson "sg "basses - yeah, they call them that now, no more "eb" designation which maybe makes sense cuz so many motherfuckers have tried to talk to me about how I play an "sg bass" and they I gotta enlighten them to the fact that they're actually "eb" basses, eb-0 for the one pickup and eb-3 for the two pickup kind. my opinion is though these newer "sg" basses ain't that happening, ESPECIALLY the pickups but also the wood and the feel. I like eb basses before 1967 but really, "a poor carpenter blames his tools" (a great man once said) so I get to doing prac w/james and larry 'til they're read for us on stage. we get a whole hour and can do every tune. larry's got an new "old styley" rogers kit and james is playing two marshall half stacks plus a vox ac-30, he's got them up on a riser like usual. of course brother steve's blowing on the same old selmer tenor (mark VI) he used on the "fun house" album...

steve mackay + james williamson (l to r) at soundcheck in perth - mar 22, 2013

I got two ampeg svt-cl amps/cabs which after a couple of tunes I gotta ask mr slouch if they're both on cuz I hear nothing out of the top cab (yeah, the one w/the mic!) - nope, one was unplugged, whoops (one is being slaved off the other). I also gotta get the gain up to one pm and not eight am, get some mids in there... happening I get to do this cuz lots of times I hobble up on stage for the downbeat and never have one note prior to showtime to check amp shit out. the monitorman james is very cool people and works hard to get a sound good on stage which has got some wind blowing to hassle that work. he's focused though, much respect.

   we finished all we're supposed to do tomorrow night, right on time. damn, sure pays to keep things moving and les "whinging" as tourboss henry would say. I like that kind of philosophy. there's a man who's been watching us on his bike - he asks me to come down but the stairs have no rail and I'm still weak in the knee and afraid so he comes up to tell me his perth town is like my pedro town - it's a working town... he's read my tour diaries and he knows the minutemen... we say "d. boon" almost at the same time! big hugs.

   back to the 'tel and I go to that subway sandwich pad cuz I'm tired and it's close but the meatballs are gone - maybe a good thing cuz the only time I had them was before an ottawa gig w/my missingmen where I blew it out getting up on stage, fuck, not even one note played yet and all down my leg... anyway, I get one I never had before called "pizza" and olives, jalapenos and capsicum - what they call bell peppers here. it's only $7.50 in their money. I go back to chow and konk kind of early, popping for a half hour around three but konking right back which is good.

   gig day and I'm up seven and a half. once again brother steve is at the trough and we share morning shoveling together. he wants to get learned about putting his sax on people's tracks that get flowed to him and I wanna help w/him that. it's something I do a bunch myself. I chimp up diary since I left my pedro town. I right spiel for someone putting out a boxset - always scary when you do that for someone, just like doing bass for a track of theirs cuz you don't know if they'll like it - hopefully they tell you how they feel no matter what they think of you as a person. if you tough enough, you should be able to take it cuz aesthetics are a trippy thing and very subjective. oh, I got an answer from the "pink's" bossman richard via fakelook saying in fact their lax stand is closed so I ain't totally fucking nuts. he wrote very kindly to me. I told him I've been chowing at his pad since the late 70s when I found it cuz it was right near "blackie's" which was a pad that had punk gigs for a little bit then. he wrote maybe in the future they try to open up again in lax but 'til then, c'mon down to the la brea one. you know me and my old buddy tony the pool man used to drive up to hollywood just to chow their dogs! tony would like to go look at the old guitars in some stores up there too. anyway, there was the coolest man working at "pink's" then - I seem to remember his name was johnny and he was always the best to us both. man, I miss him. miss tony too - he was my oldest friend in pedro since moving there from virginia, he died not too long after ronnie from apnia, choking on snoring while konked, damn. he was a real good man, beautiful. it's bday for brother jun from lite - was so glad I got to see them play at the granada house last week in austin - I will work bass tonight for him in his honor but of course I work bass tonight for stooges like I do every time I go to bat for them, w/everything I fucking got. stooges music deserves everything I can bring to help make it happen, it is big time responsibility in my mind, not just punching some fucking clock. actually I'm lucky I think to have learned this early about doing music whenever, work hard at it and don't take anything for granted - d. boon was a man big time responsible for helping me learn that.

   at six pm james williamson and larry visit my room for a prac, we use little amps and I use that shitty new gibson bass - it's ok for prac though. we get through all the set list ig's given us w/out a neighbor complaining, luckily I'm on a "end room" and we played pretty tiny too. half an hour after we're done we're in a van driven by matthew and head for fremantle park - the west coast blues 'n' roots festival is the event we're playing and on as we arrive on the stage we're gonna work is robert plant and his new sensational space shifters proj though we hear versions of some his famous led zeppelin work. the man can still sure sing. james was right to prac at the 'tel though cuz there's also sounds coming from the stage that's in a tent nearby. they got a real nice layout for chow and goddamn if they're ain't some mustard, hallelujah! there's good stuff to make sandwiches too but no fucking bread - just some premade sandwich quarters that taste big time fucking mazui - no disrespect but I had to spit out the bited I took... there's chow in the bowler's club room (yeah, there the game of bowls usually played here) and matthew brings me over and I get a hunk of salmon w/what I'm told is couscous from israel (ptitim) which are bigger in diameter but really tasty, this good and ain't too much though we still got an hour and a half. I get into my silver/gray dickies work outfit when I get back w/the guys. ig gives us only a little briefing and he's in a good mood. first gigs of tours, even little ones are a scary for me some - it was the last time I played in this town (two years ago for the "big day out" fest) that I couldn't see the "sharp" indicator on the tuner and played like three or something tunes w/the fucking 'a' string at b-sharp, fucking baka watt! actually that was the last gig of that little tour but it still resonates in my head. that was w/much sun and I couldn't see right though - james got me a korg tuner w/big ol' indicators after that.

   at twenty after nine w/ten minutes to go, I hobble over to the stage and get way in the wings on my side. the wind is much calmer than yesterday's soundcheck. it's a little cooler but it won't be for me that way for long once the set's underway, nope. wind makes me scared w/these big outdoor canopied stages - pori, finland for example in august of 2010 was a huge nightmare for me when a storm cell came down but I don't wanna think about that now - I do think of the brave young finn man who came up and saved me after everyone ran - aaahhhh, don't think about that now. it's calm here in perth... I wanna be part of bringing a storm of stooges music.

   I can see the guys from the other side - I holler to helpermen jos and mr slouch "they're coming!" and bam, it's time: I use the sidemouse tripod cameraman's shoulder to help me shove off for the final hobble, jos gets the bass around me as james rips open "raw power" and I'm in, right after larry. damn if he ain't doing this tune the most like scotty-san I've ever heard him do, whoa, trippy. the fucking cable is under my feet and I too scared to move so I just bear w/it. ig's up front and leading the charge w/that mic stand planted tough. sound is good up here, monitorman james is right on it. I could use more ig singing though and jos helps me w/that, andrew too. I got both bass amps working, max has got real bass though an amp through a mic to work w/if he needs blended w/the direct (he told me yesterday he uses 'pert-near all direct), he's the tranny and we're the motor. he's a good man. "gimme danger" up right next, band is tight and happening feel/release from the gig-goers. starting to puddle a little - I look over and see both james and brother steve wearing leather coats! well I ain't shirtless ig but... larry's in that boiler suit he's worn every gig I've been w/him w/the stooges. ig informs the folks that here's "burn" and it'a new one. I try to keep it legato w/my playing the verses, getting good reaction - maybe folks have heard this here? well damn if it ain't good reaction to another new one following it up: "gun" - ig asks folks if him w/a gun is smart move or something like that. well this tune's rocking it - I'm an insecure person but I tell you that's how I'm feeling, lovin' it. I got good focus too, it's all stooges and not crazy thoughts in my head. that cable under my converse bugs me though so I get all that extra behind me and also roll up my sleeves for "1970" cuz here comes the insane bus, careening - it hits hard, damn, what a trip. ig's opening now too, using more and more of the stage - he feels alright! (just like the lyric) ...and so do I, so DO I! we got a new way of starting "search & destroy" - just james and that's what he does, rhythm guitar solo 'til his lead and that's where me and larry thump on it, brother steve on clave sticks. ig did say to the folks it's harder playing new songs, easier playing old songs before the last one and sure enough we charge hard here but I think we can bring it w/the new ones too, I ain't just saying. love wailing on this baby though, love it - love 'em all. then something trippy - ig calls for dancers - yeah, "fun house" next and he calls for dancers, first time ever for this number and it's a great cuz goddamn it's a sure enough dance-it-up number big time. quick as shit like forty young perthons are up on stage w/us - first cat was a clown for jumping on ig cuz damn, he couldn't done the timber thing on a man forty something years older than him - baka. ig's a human man, have some respect. jos helps the sitch. it's pretty intense, dancers got me right up against the drum riser, up against my amps but they tackle or hurt me - much respect to them. they do dance up a forking storm and I love that. also, the tune's dynamics really lend themselves to this sitch, not just one dimensional - great call by ig. it is tough in a way for me to key on him cuz I have ZERO eye contact on him, can't see him for all the flailing bodies, not one iota. I'm working totally on vocal cues from him. what's a trip is "l.a. blues" cuz this is where the stage gets cleared and the chaos of the music reflects big time on the sitch cuz goddamn if I don't some fists flying and shit, what? somehow we keep the trip keep a rolling though james pedal dachau is disturbed some, larry keeping us waiting (keeping me!) 'til he thinks james is back ready which he is, "night theme" only has a hitch when my bass amp mic has to get some adjust - jos helps me w/this but it distract a little bit, a moment of a "b part" actually. big puddle of sweat now at my feet, we're into the "skull thing/beyond the law" tag team which actually goes straight into the "johanna"/"kill city" one, it's a big tag team, 'pert-near a total one from the "kill city" album, works good but man, "your pretty..." is due up next and... ig gives an audible for us to skip forward and into "I wanna be your dog" wich I think was an excellent call. I don't why but I was think this when we doing prac both yesterday and earlier today - ig did right, real right. it's a smokin' "...dog" too, I mean steamroller-ville. I take the bass way soft for the breakdown, ig nods "yeah" then alternates giving the crowd peace signs and middle fingers, good move - freedom of choice. we finish up w/a "no fun" where I get it happening right from the start - last week in austin for some reason (prolly cuz I'm a fucking baka) I did the right chords but totally wrong in the syncopation, damn, so embarrassing. I got it together for the singing but the intro I clammed up like a motherfucker, crimony. I make sure I got going right tonight, ig's laughing his head off, having a good time. we get off quick to the side once done, get the word from ig: "penetration" and then audibles which is what in fact happens in not too long. first audible after a piledriver "penetration" is "the passenger" - ig counting me in at the last minute, thank you ig! then he calls for "your pretty face is going to hell" by doing an intro he's worked up for a bit now but still dynamite mindblow. it's off the track 'pert-near but never out of the ring or over the ropes, hard-charger! then ig calls for "I've got a right" which we ain't practiced and confuses james cuz he was anticipating "open up and bleed" so he ain't w/me and larry for a good while or he's in w/trippy interpretations of this baby. ig ain't pissed though, ig's a good time w/it and even in the breakdown does a righteous dance for everyone - calls himself out in fact to do it and tears it up, respect! we do get to "open up and bleed" next and man, what a coda. love this tune and prolly cuz of that tour w/my fratelli in europe just ahead all this stooges world, my hands are real strong for bass, real good and worked up well. I can go faster and faster and keep up w/larry's crazy stuff - we outlast james, then brother steve and then I even outlast him! whoa, first time I was the last cat playing completely alone. I heave the bass off (such blows this baby takes) then bow deep to the gig-goers and give a low fist before hobbling off, the gigboss viv giving me his arm to get my down the stairs. I hobble back and not take the van to keep my joints loose cuz damn if playing w/this fucked up port knee make everything stiff. driverman roger helps me w/helpful arm from getting runover by our own van w/the rest of the guys in it. whoa, that gig was one intense piece of seventyeight minutes!

   ig does a runner so we don't get a debriefing but james tells us backstage he really liked be on stage w/us, so very kind of him. we discuss the gig amongst ourselves, mixman max, jos and mr slouch now w/us pretty quick after getting everything up. their opinions mean much to me. everyone in good spirits. gigboss viv tells about how it was a real hot australian summer and how electricity really costs here now - he had a nineteen hundred dollar monthly bill cuz of the airconditioning having to wail on it. damn. he rides back to the 'tel w/us too, matthew at the wheel. driverman roger had put me in the wrong boat first - that's for james heading for jamesland, we'll see him tomorrow. gigboss viv tells us about the australian native people on the way back, heavy stuff but I wanna learn. somehow we get to horse racing, he says a mare named "black caviar" is tearing it up over here. I love going to the track w/my dear bud raymond, miss that so much w/him now in nyc w/him and aida raising their bo willow.

   we pull up to the 'tel and look at the welcome mat laid out for us just as I pop the hatch:

the welcome matt at the duxton in perth on mar 23, 2013

much respect, how inspiring! must've be a wedding here, huh? I wonder where credit should be given regarding the color and texture, my mind ponders what kind of chow can evolve this way? sorry for the poor shot, I was nervous but somehow I don't step in and slip on it - I get up to my chamber and konk right quick cuz damn if I ain't tuckered much.

monday, march 25, 2013 - adelaide, australia

   sunday I pop at seven bells and soak in the tub before down eleven floors to the trough - they're still making me sign stuff even though it's supposed to be free - will checkout be a hassle? aaarrggghhh. you know I wear the same clothes every day and I had to borrow shaving cream from brother steve - I think people maybe think I'm trying to get away w/something. hell, I just wanna do good bass for the stooges, that's it. first pat and then john from wilco see me and visit some, they sure are nice guys. I know them cuz of nels being w/that band a while now. their boss sure got some cats who can play their asses off, I shit thee not! a nice surprise seeing these two, nice one. speaking of nels, for record store day the good folks at org music http://orgmusic.com/ are putting out a seven inch fortyfive of me and the black gang (nels cline on guitar, bob lee on drums) "live" doing "rebel girl" on one side and "30 days in the hole" on the other. record stores were important to me big time when I was more younger - "chuck's sound of music" in my pedro town is where I bought my first t-rex album, my first bass and learned stuff from roy mendez-lopez w/d. boon... yeah, it wasn't just store w/records but instruments too! "zed of london" in long beach was big time in my life for punk - can't remember the name of the tall man who worked w/mike and his ma... was it steve? damn it. he had glasses I remember... he always had time to talk w/me, very cool people. "I need that record" was a doc I was in w/a bunch of cats talking about why record stores were important parts of our lives.

   man, that's a tangent but not too irrelevant I'm thinking. anyway, checkout at ten and a half and yep, there's a prob but it's regarding the minibar - I never get stuff from the minibar but the man don't wanna believe it. roadboss andrew helps me out. they guys nice and suspicious of me at the same time, weird. he thinks I have an australian accent even, what? I wish him well. all these folks who work at 'tels, I wish they could believe I empathize w/them big time and I ain't the enemy. maybe I'm paranoid the paranoids are after me, I don't know. ciao, brother, all that walkie-talkie action for what? matthew drives the boat I'm in to the airport, he's w/us the whole trip and so his gigboss viv - I'm just realizing that now, I am a fucking slow learner. both are very happening, so nice to be w/them. we take off from perth airport around one pm. I got a row to myself, whoa. the flight attendant thinks I'm from new york city! I get to hear drummerman larry's mixes of the new album jessie evans is soon putting out. he did real good. love this interface he's got too, something from sound devices called a usbpre2, damn, happening - didn't know about it or the company... slow learner watt. off to adelaide - we lose two and a half hours in the time zone change and the flight is two and and a half hours on a quantas airbus 320. we get to "the hilton" in downtown around 7:30 in the evening. oh, yeah, I saw some scared up land from mining,

some mining seen from the window flying western australia on mar 24, 2013

I know we got that happening in the u.s., hell, there's that huge one near salt lake city so I ain't trying to point fingers - lots of pock marks too from salt lakes, former rivers and gullies... real trippy sights from up in the air -

chain of slat lakes seen from the window flying western australia on mar 24, 2013

I love aisles on plane rides but windows can be pretty when there's no clouds and landscapes like this. later on the ground I ask gigboss viv about mining here, he says the richest lady in australia lives in adelaide and her money comes from that. he tells me adelaide is the only big town in australia not built w/prison labor, a different history than the rest. he says it's kind of a "nanny state" - I've heard brother steve use that term... yeah, they have states here like we do back home, adelaide is the capital of south australia (perth is the capital of western australia). I'm told twentythree million people for the whole country which is about the size of the u.s. w/out alaska. these two states are like half the country in area but less than a sixth of the population... a buttload of mineral wealth though. very kind of viv to learn me this kind of stuff cuz I like to know about the pads I visit, I'm a curious person.

   we're right by the chinatown part of adelaide and I hobble over there and find a chow pad called "mangkok" and they got tables on the sidewalk. nobody's sitting any so that's perfect for me. nice night, nice breeze - looks like the moon will be full soon, it's waxing. I chow "salt and pepper squid" and it sure is good, lots of chilies, garlic and onions season it up. I get to use hashi too - first time on tour! I got my own of course in my back wack 'puter sack but never seem to be w/it when it's time to shovel this trip. at home that's all I use, love it and have learned to not really be into spoons and forks - it has nothing to w/any culture stuff, it's the idea or maybe better to say the use, yeah, I like using them better to get shit up to my in-door. I hobble back and see all our team in the lobby - there's charney, she's the lady who took care of us when we were on the "big day out" tour in 2011, big hugs. she's taking care of mavis staples on tour now - she knows the drummerman stephen hodges, hodge - he was the drummerman for my first opera and did the first tour of it w/me and joe baiza... damn, what a small world, ain't it? everyone's gonna go chow but I just did so it's up to the third floor for me to be chambered and soon konked cuz I'm tuckered.

   gig day and I pop at seven bells, soak in the tub and head down for the free shovel. a cookerman makes me two fried eggs and I chow that w/mellon, bacon and toast plus some coff. outside it's totally gray like lots of mornings in my pedro town. well, they're right near the ocean here so no wonder it's like home. looking at the sky last though I only recognized orion, different stars here. I read "the pillow book" 'til time for soundcheck at four.

   oh, the ride was a little late getting to the 'tel - like a total baka I opened the hatch to white van that wasn't our white one... hell, in the u.s. w/concealed weapon laws and all, I prolly would've gotten shot! this driver was very kind and forgave me. man, that was stupid. we go over every tune we're gonna play tonight. me and james got the same kind of amps we did in perth but larry's got a pretty beath ludwig kit this time, lots of rattling but he works it good

larry mullins at soundcheck in adelaide, australia on mar 25, 2013

despite him hearing a big time smeared image of what we're playing - this pad I'm told was built in 1927 and it's got those kind of acoustics for our sitch. thebarton theatre is its name and it's got a real charm but amplified music is a tough test for her, I can imagine what max is gonna have to wrestle... hell, drummerman larry can't hear what me and james are doing! well, "work the room" is the best we can do and bellyachin' don't help. they got real good chow here right after for us. I have a little steak, a little chicken (india style) and a little chicken - three actual small pieces to go w/potatoes and a olive/tomato/onion salad. we go back to the 'tel for two hours. getting to meet the beasts of bourbon guys on the way out. they're a great band and got back together just for this run of gigs w/us - they did only two pracs, just one of those w/tex the singer! damn.

   I chimp diary 'til time to shove off, we get to the theatre just in time for me to get in my outfit and go see the bourbon beasts kick off the gig. man, I'm really digging it, smokin' cats, really happening. what a good way to get fired up. brian works some mean bass! everybody's kicking up much dust in this band, truly.

   our turn's at nine and a half - I go up early to get behind the curtain on my side, productionboss (I learned this label from tourboss' henry tour book) andrew helping much w/his little flashlight. nina's there to watch, I get nervous before going on always, she talks to me some and the minutes seemed not as much as hours - I see henry bring up the guys opposite side - ok, here we go... I bring my quickest hobble on - jos gets the bass on me while james gets "raw power" on and running, whoa, we're off. so glad the monitorman put my amp sound from the mic in my wedges instead of that clack-clack of the direct (mr slouch put new strings on before last gig) but I'm thinking this room is REALLY digging b-flat cuz damn if that don't jump out - a chords too in "gimme danger" and I'm thinking I gotta fight the standing waves w/some dynamics in the handling of my paws on the strings. larry's got that piece-o kit like I said but this man can work a crate of chains so I get in tight w/him. andrew (by the way, he's here doing that work cuz roadboss eric couldn't come w/us due to commitments w/the barge bar in nyc - miss him much) was most considerate in putting a fan blowing on me cuz it's pretty warm though I wish larry could've had one too. james' playin is very inspired, hiw whupping out that lick in "burn" to get it really cooking, it gets a real good reaction from the gig-goers, of course they know the first two tunes but these two new ones (we do "gun" next) are working real well w/them... ig tells the folks we're from stoogeland, I like that, like it big time. "1970" w/ig really REALLY wanting brother steve to blow and man, is that sax blasting good and bitchin'. new way of starting "search & destroy" - james alone starting it w/me and larry coming in under the fist note of his solo, glad I just rolled up my sleeves. ig's on fire, singing real good even w/these acoustics (how does he hear the key?), he asks for dancers before he cues me for "fun house" - whoa, second time now w/this number. the adelaide dancers tear it up, pretty intense - can't see ig at all in mob, have to go by singing only - like being blind cuz I'm usually watching him so much when we gig. there's the clear off again for "l.a. blues" - shit, I tune up between bashing and monkey humping but damn if I don't sound out - not so much in "night theme" and "skull thing/beyond the law" but in "johanna" I switch from playing anything on the 'd' string to just the 'e' and 'a' ones. the prob though is the acoustics of the pad cuz I do a quick check after "kill city" and "cock in my pocket" - yeah, the only time I can cuz ig runs these real REAL CLOSE and damn if I just don't make it in time for "I wanna be your dog" - not cuz of the tune check but cuz a cramp just came up on the inside of my portside forearm - never got one there before but it's 'pert-near a crippler... I pray and try to relax the most I can and somehow the fingers still work. damn if I didn't drink a whole box (yeah, it comes in a box) of coconut water. shit, it comes back up in the closer "no fun" and I seriously rub the fuck out of what's the other side of where the "popeye muscle" is before we go back for the encore. "penetration" is right up and thank god the fingers are working the fretboard - don't know why this happened. "the passenger" up next, the first chord each time around is an 'a' and damn if that don't sound weirder than hell. ig gets it though, somehow canceling out all the weirdness, I think he thinks I'm playing the wrong notes, it sounds that strange. the folks are very kind though - ig thanks much and then tells them about rights and stuff like that before having us do "I got a right" and then two more new ones, "job" and "dirty deal" which are a blast, truly. blast off though is "your pretty face is going to hell" cuz man, we really let it rip and tear it up... the smoke clearing for "open up and bleed" where in the coda, the part I'm doing is made so unclear by this pad that it's total guessing for ig to work it, fuck I wish I could make it more clear. when he asks me later to play the right stuff for this part I can totally understand why, what a ton of blursville we had heaped up on us. james being on the other side of things prolly didn't help as well but he soon got back on - it was total braille 'pert-near. I let go the ending cuz larry had no fan and my heart was going out to him. it's still a happening gig cuz of the heart of people, we gave them eightyfive minutes and also cuz it's stooges and I love every moment playing this music. of course I hate the clams I blow (I think the choruses in the last tune had me doing a root to fourth instead of an octave - think?!).

   ig comes in to debrief us, james ain't here but us other three are - he tells steve he's looking real healthy and he's right, brother steve's great. the beast of bourbon guys come in, ig thanks tex much for playing w/us and it's a good time talking w/these cats. brian says his brother is mixing something I played bass on - yeah, I try to do bass on as much stuff I can that folks send me, good investment in my bass journey. guitarman spencer gives me his album he just did w/kim salmon, respect!

   on the ride back to the 'tel, gigboss viv says the gig went real good from where the people experienced - he said it wound up more and more, he said it was unbelievable how we didn't stop and kept getting more and more intense. whatever the acoustic hells were for us was wrestled real good by mixman max - yeah, he said he had to "fight the room" but man, he's a man w/a work ethic and not a giver-upper. viv hearing me bellyachin' about 'a' notes jumping out - damn, I'm glad he gave us some perspective. I get too much into my own head sometimes, such and idiot I get like, damn.

   I konk pretty quick once chambered... fuck I spaced and didn't hose off. I think I was afraid of the tub cuz of being too tuckered. I was out before I knew it, right on the deck.

wednesday, march 27, 2013 - melbourne, australia

   tuesday I popped at seven, do some soak like I should've last night - fucking konking filthy really ain't happening, also baka of me was forgetting to wash the purple shirt so I do that now, turning a sink full of hot water w/a tube full of the 'tel shampoo black w/filth real quick. I put on the onstage outfit shirt on to go shovel from the trough downstairs w/cuz it seems I didn't have to really bring it and its associated pants cuz productionboss andrew brought two already (I got three sets total of the silver/gray dickies ensemble) - oh well, came in handy for something. I wanna save the going-home-flannel just for that: going home. guess who do I happen upon once seated w/a oil and vinegared salad olives, two fried eggs, taters and bacon plus melon? drummerman hodge! wow, he's in this 'tel and though charney said he wasn't feeling well, it ain't the case cuz he says he was tired. man, we have a big spiel catching up on things. he tells me the trippy way luck just put him in there w/mavis staples via the rick holmstrom band - I'm so very happy for him. he's just the best and I'm so lucky I've gotten to do stuff w/him - like "blues for bukowski" w/chirs murphy for example and of course my first opera - he's a really a humble man who loves music and loves dance. big hugs for hodge. here's a funny thing: he didn't know nels' bro alex was his twin - I actually enlightened him to that fact! we here on this planet to help each other learn, damn if hodge ain't learned me tons.

   nine and a half and we gotta pull anchor for the airport. were on a virgin 737 this time but less than ninety minutes flight time, I get to sit next to brother steve when some lady w/the bologna seat gives it up to get the aisle and put us two together. timezone change is thirty minutes, we're in a very warm melbourne just afte one pm. this australia's number two town in size, capital of its victoria stage and where gigboss viv lives. our gig's tomorrow so once we dock at "the langham" 'tel just south of the yarra, across from the train station, I hobble around flinders street - I remember two years ago spending much time here... hmm, "lord of the fries" - ok, refresh the memory... they're ok but the "tijuana" I get is mazui, all mashy/mushy w/not one fucking iota of snap in it's dog, bun's ok though. james williamson sees me right near the spot where last time I was here I got run down by an idiot bicycling on the sidewalk, fucking baka. it was a miracle I wasn't hurt bad. anyway, he heads for a supermarket run and damn if he don't catch me right after the pedestrian bridge on the way back to the 'tel! that's how slow I am w/the hobble - actually I do the slow-go to be careful. just don't wanna go down for the crumple if I don't have to. it's autumn time but man, you'd think it was summer. there's some swelter. I get into the slim nietzsche tome someone gave me a few weeks ago in liverpool, "man alone with himself" which I think is part of his "human, all too human" book, it's got lots of aphorisms and stuff like that which takes a baka like me many readings to absorb it all. I think every young person should read mr nietzsche but then maybe it's ok for these years I'm in too... never really thought of that before. weird how his sister fucked w/his stuff, huh? asshole.

   gig day and the trough here if both free and good. I sit w/the crew guys and shovel spinach, mushrooms, toast, eggs, england type cheddar and salmon - wish they had aqua frizzante but hey, that's ok. everyone is good company, I like listening to them and I'm chowing slow which uh, yeah, makes the chow get less hot the longer I take but actually as my fingers got tougher for bass, my mouth got more sensitive so it's kind tough for me to heat hot (temperature-wise) chow and easier as it cools. I chimp up the adelaide gig for me diary.

   we got soundcheck at five so we leave an hour before. we're at a pad where the do boxing, it's called festival hall and twice as big as the pad we last played. ceiling is lower and the layout opposite - way wider than longer. there's acoustic tiles in the overhead too so much less standing waves making a nightmare of the sound. the stage is like a temporary thing set up on the deck so there's no "wings" as it were - sort of like "the palladium" in hollywood, like you're coming out of a cake. I got the same kind of amps I've had the last two gigs, two stacks of svt. only a little buzz when I take my hands off the strings - monday in adeliade sounded like crickets, really loud ones - the trippiest thing but keeping my hands to the strings muted that. james shows me a picture of his brand new granddaughter sophia elizabeth, beautiful! tonight he gets to use blackstar amps like he does mostly in europe in u.s. larry's on a ludwig kit in better shape than the last though the hihat is kind of weird. we don't go through the whole dealio but hit most of them. jos does a good job singing lots of them, it'll be great when he has them all down, helps us out a lot for soundcheck.

jos grain in melbourne, australia on march 27, 2013

mr slouch in melbourne, australia on march 27, 2013

mr slouch removes two barrier fittings from the deck in front of where I'm to stand, very kind of him cuz even the littlest rise can send me over. I had a single bread slice sandwich w/this lunch meat and some kick ass england mustard that made hairs on the back of my neck erect themselves and then ignite. the real chow is after we check w/a slice of eggplant parmesan, a little roast and taters - not much cuz I ain't needed it but it's tasty. the cookerpeople are so kind to get us some coconut water so I drink that down when it comes and get back to the nietzsche. we ain't going back to the 'tel which I'm into cuz too much driving.

   two hours later it's time for the beasts of bourbon to start the gig and I go watch them after getting the stage outfit on. I go to the middle of the crowd and though I can get right up to the stage, I ain't that far. the band is incredible, really good. it's scary people bumping into me cuz of my knee but I don't let that freak me out too much cuz I'm way into the set, I see the whole thing. tex is a great singer and the whole band makes such a good and rocking sound, all of them. I can't be into these guys enough, sorry for foaming like I am, sorry... in a way though, I ain't. cuz I truly do dig them.

   whoa, I got a little sweaty there. our time is coming. matthew leads me up to a little room behind where I can get on the stage five minutes before the rest of the team, he tells me about his first trip to nyc ever coming up. it's nine when they come up and pass me to get where likes them to come on: stage port. hard for me to see I wait from tourboss henry's word. I get that word and wheel my hobbled ass our and around, I'm there in time not to miss my place in "raw power" and the gig's underway. damn if the gig-goers ain't right off the bat sharing what they got, whoa. I did more stretches this time beforehand so not as stiff as last gig but still forever stiff cuz on my un-genki hiza sitch. anyway, I got the strap to high on my bass. like a baka I thought maybe a little high might fight off crampage but now I'm thinking it might actually bring them on. my worst fear besides blowing clams at a stooges gig is cramps crippling my hands. jos put a fan on me, one just starboard and it's great cuz I know sweating too much brings the cramp crap on. "gimme danger" is up second after the initial raw assault. oh no - the mic stand almost caught jos in the face, I see mr slouch laugh cuz he saw it from the pit too but I'm grateful jos missed getting hurt - that was a trip. the sound's ok up here, nothing like the blur and confusion of last gig and not like "the palladium" either. we go right into new one "burn" after and I blow a clam: the first b part instead of d-a, a-g I fucking choke on d-a, a-e aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh, what? I bear down on myself and gather what I got not to let that happen again. it was just a moment but not a moment I want to happen again. I adjust the bottom, get the bass a little tight for "gun" cuz we don't a reggae thing but I need something married to the kick. it's a fine line, a little goes a long one in this sitch. roll the sleeve up for "1970" let it roar, he flies down to his knees to beg steve to blow that horn, man, what a move... my eyeballs 'pert-near popped out of my head w/my heart flying out my mouth but somehow I keep it together, crimony! now the set list says "search..." next but ig calls for "fun house" which is what I start right up hearing that, he's got his reasons and I ain't gonna second guess, neither does the band. he calls for dancers to get up w/us at the same time, it's wild. I notice a young man watching w/a minutemen tshirt on but he keeps at the barrier, he don't come up. several cats do - at some point the security says no to some and ig asks them loosen up, "have a sense of humor" he tells them. it's a wild time but folks are nice and don't assault me. a few guys wail on air bass, alright, one man his knees on the deck. this is a good tune for dancers, you know the jim brown thing comes right through. clear the stage w/some "l.a. blues" - clean the palate for "night them" - maybe I cooled out a little quick w/the "love supreme" lick cuz larry won't give it the go in fear of james not ready? hmm... I think I had the 'e' a little sharp for "skull thing/beyond the law" but maybe not too bad - I get it right while james plays alone the opening chords of "search & destroy" - ig called an audible. I can hear it right for "johanna" after too, something that was pretty difficult to tell a couple nights ago. ig sings this really good, he's been singing great all night and some righteous dancing and moves, it's a new touring season for us and he's loosening up into it. "kill city" of course does the follow up which dovetails right "cock in my pocket" that he does in moat between stage and barriers. now there's no cameras or sidescreens so it's parts like these where he's working for like twenty cats and us on the stage I guess are what most folks are seeing during that. I feel awkward, wishing I could shake more crazy but my fucking knee... he calls right quick for dog - man, is it wailing. in the breakdown last gig he did intros for the band - one trippy thing was him saying "we got rock on drums!" - tripped larry out big time, him saying so after but tonight ig just gives barks, growl and snarls. this kind of dynamic has a wild drama to it, really happening. we finish w/a slammin' "no fun" and then come off, james helping me get down the big step. all gig he'd be coming over to my side some to check things out, very considerate of him. ig puts his hand on my shoulder, "penetration" his says so we get out there and I get the bass on just in time and we chug that baby hard, following it up w/a blistering "I got a right" that again delivers happening drama w/it's breakdown and dynamics. "dirty deal" next, larry slamming a great tempo, ig thanking the folks big time for listening to a new tune before bringing one from the past that's moving pretty big time much along, "your pretty face is going to hell" is piledriving but I like I tell larry later when he questions the rate we were going - I said "larry, ig was right next to me and in front of your kick drum - he was slappin' that mic is his palm and a rate I was trying be w/on the bass so no, I don't think it was too slow." we finish up w/an "open up and bleed" that's got no clams - ig even directs me w/the groove before the third verse. I got no cramps, I could take the coda our forever but I feel larry hurting and when he's just too raggedy andy-ed to let go, I toss the bass off and give him a break. the gig's done. man, were we moving there at the end or what? great GREAT crowd, what an honor to play for. ig was so right to thank them much. respect.

   I get out of my outfit kind of quick cuz it's soaked. I did a cramp but it was in my upper starboard arm when matthew grabbed it to steady me down the steps. never had any during the gig tough. they start coming on so I have some coconut water. I go out the room after a bit to talk w/bourbon beast brian - I show him my knee scars and then he puts my hand where on his spine you can feel the scar tissue crunch around the rods and screws he's got from his back hurt - gives you a perspective for sure. he's a beautiful man. I get to meet his wife and then he tells me about recording w/steve albini, something we both share. larry invited mick harvey and it's been a good while since I've seen mick, so good to see him again.

mick harvey + mike watt (l to r) in melbourne, australia on march 27, 2013

we talk about new music he's doing, about eric drew feldman (trippy how larry met him on a city bus in s.f.!) and then tourboss henry comes in to bring him to ig. everyone's in good spirits, especially james and I'm just so glad I only blew that one clam and didn't cramp. I was very grateful for the sound too. mixman max talks to me about david bowie and his journey - part of what max calls his "music rebirth" was tin machine where max got to work his sound many gigs. max know much about music and is big time passionate about it, quite an inspiration to me. I love cats who don't take music for granted.

   production boss andrew gathers all for the first boat out, last hug for gigboss viv cuz he's going to colorado for a vacation w/his family. leaving the building, it's apparent it's been raining pretty big time, damn - just like that? it was cloudless and broasting earlier today! weather changes quick here, yep. I get up to my chamber to soak some sore bonds, oh man. it was a good gig but the soreness piper must paid. I konk quick and hard.

saturday, march 30, 2013 - byron bay, australia

   thursday I popped at seven feeling weak - actually I konked weak and thought it was gig soreness but I believe that was a mistake and now am convinced I'm under attack from sickness bugs. I don't feel fever but there is a harsh dry cough that rattles my bones when it happens. I have to hunker down and take precautionary measures. I got ibubrofen for the soreness and even though this tub ain't that long or even deep (actually a matter of where the overfill drain is, not the actual volume), the water is good and hot and I do a couple of soaks before the morning shovel. I even use the robe they got (just one, don't need stereo) so I don't get chilled. down at the trough I chowed what I did yesterday but when I get back and start chimp diary, I ain't feeling that well so I gotta punctuate bouts of chimp w/chunks of konk. out the window it's pretty gray and rainy but by afternoon it relents w/some sun out so I go to get some chow by the flinder street station, a pad called "dim sims" and they got dim sum the size of a kids fist, I get a couple steamed and a couple fried. I see this stuff called ginger wine - what? I try some of that, mazui - fucking terrible. god damn, no more of that. the dim sums are good though.

sidewalk message outside flinder street station in melbourne, australia

damn, is the wind blowing like a motherfucker or what? it's wailing (tomorrow I'll read a fucking brick wall blew down on swanston street and killed two people!) like a motherfucker. I 'pert-near got blown off the pedestrian bridge (the one w/tiny ponyfish island bar under it) over the yarra at one point, the rail saving me. crimony. the sickness ain't got me but damn if it trying. I help james find a way to use flash on his ipad so he can witness this incredible work to draw inspiration from. I only wanna help him all I can.

   friday is travel day out of melbourne and I had a few soaks last night before last trough here at this 'tel. I put on fresh (these others lasted ten days!) pair of levis, have one pair left for going home wednesday. down in the galley, I only have salad w/oil/vinegar and thin salmon slices w/capers all mixed together plus some cranberry juice. we all get hit for internet charges at the ten am checkout but tourboss henry comes through w/refunds for us, respect. getting nickeled and dimed by a fancy pad sure is weird but henry fights for us. the sun's out and the wind calmed. ninety minute flight on a virgin 737 in a bologna seat between mr slouch and james williamson, first time I ever flew sitting next to james. I read sei shonagon's "pillow book" cuz I'm missing it, fred nietzsche's got me missing it some! we land in the resort town called surfer's paradise (a gold coast suburb in queensland)

1956 holden panel delivery outside qt hotel in surfer's paradise, australia

around one pm cuz the time zone we're in now puts us one hour back. this town's about fiftyfive miles north of where we're gonna play tomorrow night in byron bay in new south wales so we'll have some driving involved. it ain't for nothing, there must be some reason and knowing tourboss henry, it's a good one. w/gigboss viv gone, one of his lieutenants named kara is now w/us. I'm already missing viv's insights - forgot to mention his history lesson to me on the gold rush that really got melbourne happening, interesting stuff. his people were originally from cornwall in england so of course I immediately though of robert newton and I got him to teach about the patron saint of pirate talk the other day! one day I wanna do a gig in cornwall, one day...

   back to separate 'tel world, we say bye to james and on the way to ours, after telling mr slouch about the century motorcycles shop in my pedro town (mr slouch knows a buttload about motocycles), drummerman larry enlightens us to this trippy story about a farmer in pentaluma (in nor cal) that had a son who was killed riding on a vincent black shadow so he went and searched out and bought all those kind of bikes he could find, disassemble them and then buried the parts on his property - ain't that a trip? me and him are on the thirteenth floor at a hotel called "qt" not too far from the water, you can the huge-ass waves pound surf and see cats kite surfing and stuff. it's good friday so most stuff close but I find a little market nearby, "pit stop" and they got "chook" (slang here for chicken) which means small broasted chicken so I get half a one along w/a sausage cut up into chunks on a roll w/mustard. I'm feeling weak so konk for a while, getting up the huge windows full of dark. yeah, the windows are two big sliding glass doors and there's a tiny balcony w/a little rail - I ain't brave enough to go all the way on it cuz fuck if we ain't way up. what's it called - no vertigo cuz that means just not know if you're up or down... I think it's acrophobia and crimony if I ain't got it pretty bad. well, I go downstairs for some but see larry so go talk w/him. it's good friday so you can only get a beer if you get some chow so I get a taco that has no mexican taste. me and larry talk much. there's a italian label that wants us both to record together as a duo so we plan maybe for august in berlin at his buddy ingo's candy bomber pad. man, I gotta do some composing soon as I get back to my pedro town excited for both this and "canto due" (part two) album for il sogno del marinaio... exciting stuff for watt. larry's done producing and kinds of stuff so it'll be interesting to see what he comes up w/from my bassed-tunes and getting to wail the stuff up w/him in real time. I get all excited but gotta keep it calm and konk not too late for the gig tomorrow...

sunrise in surfer's paradise, australia on march 30, 2013

elevator lobby on thirteenth floor of qt hotel in surfer's paradise, australia

   gig day that was a better konk than last night but still I feel under attack. it's a free shovel at the trough but man, what a zoo. understand this is a very touristy area and it's fall time for the gold coast - this is last of the season so actually it could be a lot worse. I have some eggs and toast, not much - they asked me if I wanted water and when I said ok, they tried to charge me and I just looked at my hands and after a bit they said well it's ok. damn, I hate to sound like a cheap-ass but goddamn. I'm so glad tourboss henry fights for us getting gratis morning shoveling and internet, truly I am - especially when the australian dollar is more than the u.s. one and the price of this shovel is thirtytwo - yeah, I heard the cashierlady tell two ladies from japan that and both of them did big time aboutface after asking "you mean two people" and the lady said "no, one."

   back up in the chamber and while learning from a master tourboss henry flow us reviews of the gig... man, this cat wes holland did way better diary than I did for the gig wednesday, much respect to him! shit, I sure wish I could remember better, even chimping the stuff the very next day! also I get this poem from my buddy charley plymell he just wrote:

Soren not good candidate for born again
  too avant guarde be Kieregaard
more like punk Rimbaud in that regard.

Wouldn't be good company at cafe
  with Shopenhauer who couldn't find his dick
always mad at Goethe for humping his mother
  both more like Hamlet of little hamlets
his World of Will and Idea
  revealing in that time "Will" meant "Dick"
in Willy's sonnet about three lovers.

It's all too Freudian, that fraud on cocaine
who only used himself for theory an became
  too paranoid to be a subject himself
like Shopenhauer who wouldn't let the barber use a razor
  "Better trust fear than faith" had no use for religion
like our contemporary, Richard Dawkins
  we're all a pile of cells anyway
fighting to survive like Fredrich
  who thought himself a Pole not a Prussian
with superman's soul, being puny no fun
  as he fell and hit his head
and like Hank William's Robin
  lost his will to live but rebounded
like a prophet at the university of Bonn
  drunk & digging the obscene
like S. Clay's & his checkered Demon.

Nietzsche refused to be a plaything of the God's
and knew the Lord can't tolerate a rebel
  he wouldn't be suckered into a myth called God
like blond beast aristocrats chloroformed by civilization
  hell no the creature of perversion turned on himself
praying for a miracle, jilted by sexy Finish bitch
what to do but fill the ego and write poetry
  while "all the gushing fountains speak louder"
But never so apparent his Danger of Culture:
  "We belong to a time in which our culture is in
  danger of being destroyed by the means of culture."
the shadow-sham U.S. Government should take
  this up with its Ways and Means Committee?

                                                  - Charley

I love charley, he teaches me by feeling - I feel stuff when I learn from charley, even if maybe it's the other way around.

   I chimp diary and lay low, resting up 'til james comes at a quarter after four to do prac w/me and larry here in the "sunset room" at our 'tel. this little fender mustang amp ain't like an old fender amp - it's got all the bullshit modeled sims crap that sounds really bad for bass - no can find one straight sound, nothing w/out either an echo or a reverb or a tremolo and an absolute lame-ass eq for bass, just terrible. anyway, it's just for prac and I think it and the little one by orange that james is using get donated once these australian gigs are done.

   margaret gives james, larry, brother steve and myself a ride through some pretty tough traff so the fiftyfive miles takes over an hour and a half - we pass a town called "tweed heads" and wonder if it's full of old fender amp enthusiasts! I tell james he should maybe get a 1955-60 fender 3x10 combo bandmaster amp - man, does j mascis sound good through these babies! james is a gearman so I'm trying to put a bug in his ear plus I think for recording it might tear it up for him. this gig is called the byron bay bluesfest and not much past after crossing into new south wales we get there, losing an hour cuz of the time zone change - no need to change the watches cuz we'll get it back going home after the gig.

   matthew's there to welcome us and there's charney again! I first chow a piece of bread rolled up around a hunk of potato chips along w/a slather of mustard where the seeds ain't ground (love this stuff, love all kinds of mustard!) but soon matthew brings me to the chow area and they cook me up too real small steaks w/some taters along w/three sauces to chow these w/that includes a pesto one, whoa! man, did I have some good pesto last month in genoa, molto buono!! I talk w/the beast of bourbon guys at the table cuz fuck if we didn't just miss them, damn it. kim salmon played w/them tonight too! crimony. he talks w/me a while, him and brian and tony sure are cool people. fuck, I gotta bail and put on my outfit - I come back and everyone's gone... damn, I see tex though at another table and get to meet his little boy louie, looks like he's gonna be a drummerman later in his life! I see managerman dan, great cat - big hugs... talk w/him for some and then here he is - nels, fuck yeah! whoa, haven't got to him in a big while, I mean where we get to talk some - not much since he's moved to nyc. I stuff as much convo as I can before he tells me I got the duty and that I do... I ask andrew to bring me five minutes early, we're going on at 10:30 tonight.

   we're playing in a big tent. I heard it pissed down rain last night so maybe that's smart but it can get humid in these babies. it's a big long one, not round and not wider but longer. mr slouch and jos are getting everything together. haven't seen any of the stuff but I think larry's working the same kit he did in melbourne but w/a different snare. james has got the blackstar amps from last gig also. kim, brian, tony and spencer from the beasts are up on my side, I'm waiting in the wings. I see you tourboss henry flash a flashlight at me from across the stage, we're off! jos gets the bass on my just as "raw power" bursts from james' guitar. larry does scotty-san intro and here we go - ig racing out in a wild dart, leaping! I'm wondering if I'm using the same ampeg svts (they're blackface classic ones) as last gig cuz damn if the one acting as master goes into thermal and goes kaput - I'm out of the race! I keep playing though cuz mixman max has the direct still going. the singing and the bass go out of my monitors too, whoops. productionboss andrew comes out and tapes the setlist to the deck - I got it memorized anyway but thanks - what I need is bass... it's going in and out, he gets something happening and during "gimme danger" I got something though it's a little flaccid... gotta hold focus though, my starboard knee got weird position a couple times (it's gotta work hard cuz of other one) but thank god I'm together and not crumpled... keep it together, watt. ig tells the folks we got a new album and here's "burn" which he says is about fucked up shit, the gig-goers respond real good and same for "gun" right after, little pits breaking out and stuff... "1970" next and jos one hands the spare svt behind the stack of cabs up w/one hand up on top of the blasted one - that's fucking eighty pounds, crimony! I see mr slouch run up w/s hell of a worried face, like him thinking there's gonna be a timber but it's ok. I get things dialed in for "search & destroy" and we got some bass on stage now, thanks VERY MUCH TOTALLY to jos, great job. ig asks for dancer, hollers "fun house" and it's wild time, many byron bay gig-going dancers tearing it up - all sight of ig lost, james too... I play for the faces right in my face. a bare chested-man w/upperarm shoulder tattoos and no hair air-conducts me from his knees. henry chases off one cat coming around to get larry - what? maybe borracho, huh? people are pretty nice to me, they don't knock over the weak-kneed man. brother steve is blowing beautiful on that sax, just beautiful. pretty good sound up here for a giant tent. we stretch out "l.a. blues" cuz of some drama mr slouch has w/a dancer who's got trouble figuring out the dance is over. I'm careful w/monkey-humping the amps cuz of the spare one on top, that's all I need is a timber. I quote the coltrane parts just for nels and hodge out there, hoping they're out there somewhere and getting this in the gut as well as the head... actually they understand, understand big time. we pickup from tattered dance pieces and begin the dive for the coda w/a tight "night theme" - much sweat puddled on the deck below me like if I was a leaky bsa or norton but from all the coconut water instead. ig back to bring in w/a dance for "skull thing" and then a listen-up for "beyond the law" - did I count are end-out here wrong? larry throws me a lifesaver and flurries the finale making it moot, thank you, larry. ok, one moment and then a thunderfuck of a "johanna" is brought forth, whoa, gear-switch to "kill city" and BAM! into "I wanna be your dog" - much steamroll w/us end over end over end into the heads w/the sound. ig intros "beat that guy" w/what it's about in very econo words - they get it. james does real beauty w/his guitar solo, ig singing w/all heart, great new tune. "no fun" getting called a split-second from ig right after's too quick for james though and mercy it's a good thing ig stops us quick and than restarts us w/a goddamn. we're out and over for a huddle - back real soon, "peatration" right out the boom-tube w/some explained intro for "I got a right" between everyone's eyes (my too!) - ig does an audible, "cock in my pocket" and he's down in the moat and working it for the folks w/maximum contact - security tries to heave one guy but ig let's this cat pick him up and hug him and saves the guy from a manhandling, beautiful, it's much caring right there and for real. "your pretty face is going to hell" is next and w/the band like a fist, crimony. we leave w/an "open up and bleed" where I think I finally realize what ig wants from me in the third verse - it's one root note for each chord, he even says it on the mic. damn, if I ain't the slowest learner ever! steve blows some real pretty sax for that part too. we end up as just me and larry as the we - singer, guitar, sax all make their exits and when larry finally let's it all go (he said this snare he had to work was no fun to play, the horror), I lay the bass down real careful on the deck - real careful.

   I hobble back to the backstage place and get out of the stenched outfit right away. we wanna pull anchor soon as we can cuz of the traff and stuff involved. margaret does a righteous job dealing w/it all while we talk much history, very specific history us in the van and why we're in this van doing what we are doing now but maybe thinking out loud and try to figure why is what. and w/the gig james said was ig was happy (he had to do a runner) so that's righteous news. hellrides to and from gigs are tough, ig was telling me when we arrived tonight but it's good to see something like that matter in the longrun w/a man who believes dearly in working a gig.

   back at the 'tel, productionboss andrew is a couple chambers down from mine and asks if I'd watch a soccer game w/him and I'm not that learned about it but do that, he shows me stuff and we talk for a couple of hours. the geordies lose but I got taught some stuff. only three substitutions allowed, damn. I konk hard at like two and a half but fist I hosed off, kind of proud of that, to konk not so filthy.

tuesday, april 2, 2013 - sydney, australia

   easter sunday I popped at six bells - no tub to soak, only hose-off in the shower so after that I be still on the deck a couple of hours - yeah, just think and not try to konk but try to protect against the sickness - weird kind of cocoon state w/mind all open... eventually I go downstairs to find pretty much zoo conditions - not to sound like some kind of stuck-up but damn if I ain't got less and less hankering to be in among crowded stuff - I wonder if I ever was into "people watching" or whatever I've heard folks say what's attractive about hanging out a mall or whatever. w/my fucked-up knee too, I get afraid and have to try be always aware of potential hells... man, it can wear you out. I have the omelet lady make a omelet w/leeks and chilies - w/toast it's good and I chow salad w/that too. the sickness bugs are still at bay and not got their hold on me but damn if they ain't still at the gates or it feels like it anyway so I go back and chimp diary for last night's gig. damn, I'm kicking myself for getting no picture w/nels, no picture w/kim salmon, fuck. I get an email w/a couple of poems from my friend professor andy that he'd written:

The grief lies not in dying, for Moira spins this fate,
But before the prime of life, before my parents.

The grief lies not in dying, since this fate awaits us all,
But before the prime of life, before my parents.
I had no wedding, no wedding song, no bridal bed.
Here I lie, the object of love for many,
In the years to come, for many more.

The grief lies not in dying - this is appointed for all -
But Plouteus reft me from my wedded wife, Demetriane.

The grief lies not in dying, for Moira spins this fate,
But before he'd reached the prime of life and the measure of youth
Swift death took my child Tatas away.
Wherefore his good father Zoticus and Domna who bore him
Erect for their perished son, this everlasting stone.

The grief lies not in dying, stranger, since Moira spins this fate,
But before the prime of life, before my mother.

Kerellaios, the chief soothsayer says:
The grief lies not in dying, since Moira spins this fate,
But before the prime of life, before one's parents.

My distress lies not in my dying, for this is meted out to all,
But before the prime of life, before my parents.
I had no wedding, no wedding song, no bridal bed.
I died at eighteen, my parents
Did honour me with this tomb, for the sake of eternal memory.
For Demosthenes, fond of the hunt.

they are trippy to read on easter, I always get trippy thoughts on easter anyway so this is happening. it's like crack of dawn being a cipher for "what can happen" (potential) or something like that, a collision in my head between boy memories and thoughts in the moment - just being glad to realize something like that. I get a good feeling when the first sun of easter comes. here it's raining so clouds hid all that. it doesn't go all day though, off and on. likewise I alternate that "be still mode" and chimping 'til 'pert-near six when I figure I should chow. I go to that "pit stop" pad looking for some easter dinner "chook" but they had none. what they had was what they call "chile con carne" but I call it a kind of chili con carne thing on top of thai kind of style long dry rice. I get one of them sausages cut up and put on a roll (they don't call it bun) w/mustard - they wanted to flood it w/butter but I asked please no, w/all due respect but butter ain't needed w/something akin to a hotdog trip, right? german's might tell you that but goddamn if they ain't into butter too, ask il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea!

   I start singing w/the magpies. I heard these tori songs so I started trying to mimic them - damn if it wasn't magpies who came around... yeah! I go to the balcony - I let them see me... strange sight: gaijin, huh? they sing in key, you know? interesting. a 'tel lady comes w/a box from the van that brought us home last night, courtesy of productionboss andrew - most kind of him. mr slouch and drummerman larry come by and they give me a good visit, very interesting gentlemen. they don't stay late. I konk in the chair I was talking to them in! fuck, I was tuckered.

   travel day is also bday for d. boon which is always intense on me. trippy close to yesterday - ha, did I just chimp that?! I mean what day it was yesterday. I put a link to his name from a piece david rees wrote just now - I've never felt I had to do that but, hmm... charley plymell sends me this poem:
A tree grows in the park in pedro
where jumped in front of eskimo
he change the fret from day glo
to beat high gong on d' moon
be d. boon, d. boon, d. boon.

d. boon leaping at the l.a. street scene in 1984
beautiful! thank you, charley! me and d.boon both double nickels now - and raymond will always be six months ahead of me. man, do I lean on these guys, I lean on them heavy. I get afraid... but then I get inspired/excited. just thinking about all, this I could chimp buttloads here, buttloads but instead I run away from the 'puter (can't run away from my mind though) and shovel one more time from this pad this pad's trough: omelette w/only chilies plus salad and I also watermelon for larry - he tells me it will help w/the cramps and I believe him. the sun's out today. we pull anchor for the airport at ten and a half.

   the security lady w/the xray machine wants to know where these keys are she's seeing. I got my wallet in my jacket and the keys are actually in the wallet - I've locked my ass out of my pad and the boat (econoline) so many times that I always got spares in my wallet. it's only fifty minutes flying time but sydney airport is busy so we're in a holding pattern, we land at around two twenty which is three twenty cuz of another time zone change. lots of airplanes and timezones when you tour australia! this is a pretty town, australia's nyc (more people live in sydney than both the populations of south and western australia put together!) and it's a harbor town - we're right near it at the "intercontinental hotel" - have we been here before? hmm... right where the ferries are is only a couple of blocks - seems like this is a different 'tel - anyway, it was one of these cruise boats I got scotty to go w/me and tour the harbor, a great memory for me being w/him. we had a great time. I see aborigine people doing dijiridoo and clave sticks, they're busking so I flow a couple of dollars, they sound really neat. I listen for a good while, hypnotic.

some aborigine buskers near the quay in sydney

kind of near there's some chow pads so I get fish and chips to go from "quay seafood" and tell me I can pick the kind of fish so I choose flathead cuz I never had that before. 'pert-near fifteen dollars! anyway, I then go back to the 'tel to chow it. they gave me a huge hunk, long and slender fingers-like connected at one end, yeah, like a big hand, trippy. it is good. there's a sack in the 'tel room from a record company, giving a welcome w/their name spelled out in chocolates, a card signed from a nice man named tony. well, forget the chocolate though, I chow the flathead instead, real tasty. I konk early, can't remember the time.

   gig day and I pop to immediately go soak. not real long tub but kind of deep w/no run-off valve so I can get it good and full. fills up fast and easy to get hot. sore body's digging it. I have some feeling of attack on me from the bugs but it's calmer than the last few days. down at the trough, it's free and I do salad w/salmon and olives plus some kind of cultures you drink in a bottle, like a yogurt? back in the chamber, I hunker down and get in protect mode still, read much on this onnade stuff on the internet, 'pert-near exhaust the links I find. lots of rubber stamp and xerox though, you'd think there'd be more trippy angles but I do get beat into me most the context folks have come to understand about this stuff. you know I wanna make up my own anyway and I have: these ladies thought out loud and let the freak flag fly. funny how there was no lady writers after them in those parts, why only this little window? like one of sei shonagon's spiels (#160), "things that are far but near... relations between men and women." stucazz!

squid at the sydney fish market

an ibis near the sydney fish market

   timothyben from galucci arrives to bring me to the sydney fish market so we can chow some squid w/his brother jake (the other half galucci), in his station wagon's his wife and new shipmate, beautiful, bella, bella!!! it's always an honor to be w/these cats, there just the best. the first time I met them I actually got to do a gig w/them here in sydney at mexican chow pad called "pacifico" w/brother steve - I remember scotty being there and watching wail on stooges tunes. what a night. more recently me and brother steve contributed to their latest album and timothyben did an doc on me for the abc where he works. getting to chow this squid w/him and jake by the water here's really happening. we get in a good couple of hours of spiel on all kinds of stuff. I am intrigued by these ibis birds, damn they're a trip. timothyben says if your in an alley w/one, give way cuz they're kind of belig. I wouldn't doubt it! they wanna know about my projs, about what I got going - I ask them australia stuff too. man, I wish I could spend all day w/them but I got soundcheck and the lobby trip is at four. they drive me back - I notice this monorail but they said it was a gimmick and soon will be closed. damn. whenever I see these I think about back home in so cal and how "real rail" might help w/all the plug and traff...

   I get back to the 'tel just in time to bail to the hordern pavilion where we're playing tonight, holds four thousand and is some kind of typical arena, a big square box, seats are on the sides, a big cement deck. it ain't as bad as the adelaide pad but not as good as the melbourne one, my opinion. we go through the whole set. mr slouch has gone for the a/b box so if one amp goes down, one is there and besides that, there's a spare amp on top of each live ones so it looks kind of - kind of way up there but I trust their judgement, mr slouch and jos - just gotta watch the monkey humping. stage is a built one so bouncy but I think not too big - no wings though even w/some curtain action. good chow for us, I shovel barramundi across the table from tourboss henry who has the same. he has some fun w/me tearing apart some foreign words, I am a baka and get so much so wrong. he found a gomi can outside called "watts waste" and flowed me a shot - I saw no apostrophe so maybe not exact same name?

watt outside the hordern pavillion - photo by henry mcgroggan

   beasts of bourbon on at eight bells, I watch their whole set and dig it big time. righteous. even in a pad like this, it's big. drums and bass hurting which is a shame cuz tony and brian are kicking up much dust. tex bring the fucking beautiful fistful of voice and both spencer and charley whup rockin' guitar, just fucking happening to make me wild. I get all little boy and hobble quick as I can to their room when they're done to get a picture w/them...

the beasts of bourbon and watt in sydney on april 2, 2013

love these cats, truly. what can I do to repay them for all they've done to fire me up for my turn? I owe them big time. I've drink five little boxes of coconut water by the way, I'm ready to sweat.

   nine and a half is when we're on. matthew brings me over to my side five minutes early. I can see the hall way, see james and larry... then I see ig, see andrew's flashlight tag me - time... I got hobble up these stairs and get all the way over to jos soon as I can - fuck, I do (somehow) and get the bass on w/moments to get fist in and the fingers on frets, we're bring this packed house "raw power" and it's flame on, fuck yeah. they got bass through the direct box in my monitors and damn if that ain't a bunch of clang but I ain't gonna bellyache about it now. this band's on the move and real wild - we follow up the original rush "gimme danger" which sure as hell ain't no mellow fellow. we were told this gig was gonna be filmed but no matter, it's full on stooge music even in this mood which is till pretty minder-bender, james peeling the solo off just as critical as the previous hardcharger. no relenting for the new one either, ig let's the gig-goers know there's an album coming their way and "burn" is one way w/dealing w/the fucked up shit going on these days and implores them not to give him a gun cuz he's crazy and he'll shoot everyone - "gun" has him doing a stage dive strong, high-arcing and solid right into where there could be a pitcher's mound. it surprises all us in the band, we didn't see that coming, nope. I don't even get a chance to roll up my sleeves for "1970" however, we're railroading the set right into that asskicker, it ain't the first time tonight he's gonna tell everyone we're going "right up the ass" (his exact words). brother steve is persuaded very gently to BLOW - not! ig over to his side (stage port) oh his knees to make his point and soon over in front of larry's kick (by the way, we got all the same stuff again, since melbourne it's been driven around in a truck though larry's got a much more happening snare) to let us know he "feels alright!" and damn if I ain't been hollerin' that a few times myself. we end it w/a big 'e' w/me pulling on that bottom string like I was using the bass for a bow - ig looks over and gives me a nod, yeah! I get the sleeves up for "fun house" but just barely cuz here comes a rush of dancers invited by ig much crazy-ass and I'm quick up against my amps trying to keep them bumping into me from both not knocking me over and blowing any more clams then has to be. it's real tough, I try playing the theme for a bit while things "settle" - totally that's the wrong cuz they don't settle - they're running into my head stock and the tuners are taking blows. this accident stuff, not intentional but there's a mob here and lots don't see the monitors next to me and trip over, going straight to the deck - even tour boss henry trying to chase someone goes over and down, damn. thank god for the tune's dynamic cuz that helps, it telegraphs some kind of relative calm before the next chunk of buckwild. actually it's a real good time, let me tell you. I just wish my knee was better. "l.a. blues" is some real crazy as and damn if brian from the beasts ain't right by my amp so he helps out beating on the strings after I get done w/a good bout of monkey-humping the amp - I present it right to him. it's kind of like a trippy recital cuz the stage ain't really getting cleared and I got this crowd of folks as like an audience right in front of me. I just go off - I can't see ig... finally the people tide recedes and I bring in the "a love supreme" quote and we're into "night theme" I even got all tuned up in that crazy shit, mixing in drones for the tuner w/divebombs on the fretboard... "skull thing/beyond the law" next and I get hit w/one of ig's water bottles - from ig! it don't hurt though, not a all but there's a big puddle at my feet and that's scary. ig goes to town on a mic stand w/us then into "johanna" - I mean, whoa, many beats 'til it bends all up and snaps - like a foot or two in front of me, I can feel the blows. "kill city" follows immediately and I hold my ground w/the wet deck, I'm stiff as starch and feel but any risk is just that, risk so I let the wild go through the bass and not so much the body though damn I wanna "turn the boy loose!" or "give the boy a goose" or whatever - I wanna drive the tune via these big strings, via the thump. ig runs up to me and larry for another calm "right up the ass" suggestion and just like that he's down in front of the stage working the moat for "cock in my pocket" - damn, he gets up and down them stairs like nobody's business... another stage dive from him as james solos in "I wanna be your dog" then he's on the stage deck right in front on his back, then he's on his feet at the front of the stage: "I need love!" he tell the folks and I echo that cuz I'm feeling it. great group of gig-goers let me tell you. in the breakdown he introduces the band, "toby dammit for rock action" this for larry - very kind of ig to tell the folks about us, very kind. we close w/a "no fun" where after the intro I decide to do the rest of the song on the 'e' string - hey, it's a happening way to do it! we come back not long after w/a chugging "penetration" followed right up w/another stage dive? damn, that was w/out music! mr slouch working ig somehow back over and up, amazing - he's a big man but man, it's a sea of folks. ig calls the people sitting in the seats in the back and sides "bourgeois" (tells to put the lights up so everyone can see them) and says he wishes he could "slime" which of course prolly means leap on them all sweaty like he's been doing w/these upfront cats. I tell you, from time to time I have taken my eyes off ig for like a sec to see these cats up front and they're really into it, you can't ask for more spirit from them and they're packed shoulder to shoulder... ig asks if he can get a right as mr slouch gets him back up - we give him "I got a right" that's kind of skidding off the rails - first verse me and larry lose james a little - brother steve on clave sticks must've helped him get back on. real solid "you're pretty face is going to hell" quick after though. "open up and bleed" for what ig says is "the last song we play in your fucking great country" - he thanks them much for being here for us. I do that part after before the fifth verse w/just root notes at the top of each chord, I think this is what he wants. the coda gets cranked up pretty quick w/larry cuing on ig going off and coming back a few times, dancing the wildman and doing it up insane. james is matching him w/just as insane guitar - no licks here, all spaceshots for the moon! brother steve blowing HUGE honks w/the bell of his sax all into the mic like it got ate by it. one by one they all leave and even larry who usually won't stop 'til will, let's go - I throw the bass in a big arching heave stage starboard and sure enough, jos is there catch it like a champ. I go to get my glasses but there's another pair up there, not mine... what? oh mine are there but there are these also - mr slouch even comes up to assist but its ok, I get my own ones on and do my last australian bow... hobbling off, matthew gets me down the stairs, very kind of him. brian offers me his stick.

   whoa, shirt off right away and some that perrier in a cup... but man, no cramps, no fucking cramps and I soaked my outfit down to the socks and chonies! damn if I don't hand andrew the sack I stuff the stenched outfit in w/out first taking the john coltrane pin off my shirt though, ah fuck. well, it served me good - I'll ask missingmen drummerman raul to make me some more. for some reason I get into explaining curtis mayfield's "superfly" and even singing some of the spiel to brother steve, what? somehow we got talking about psychedelic songs, larry getting of on steppenwolf! of course mixman max has much to contribute cuz he is deep in music stuff, real deep and has uncanny knack to make many connects - he is truly the enlightener!

max bisgrove in sydney, australia on april 2, 2013 andrew burns in sydney, australia on april 2, 2013

of course larry as well is big time music man explorer/discoverer, as in his own way mr slouch and jos and henry and andrew... everyone on this crew is very interesting cat, let me tell you! I love it. james already has left us for upstairs but he thanked us all for bringing it to the gig, most kind of him, most kind. I like doing good for james, doing good ig, doing good for stooges. eventually us here talking the music stuff get up the stairs there in a while for a bit... I get to talk w/charley of the beasts and he's telling me about the fight he's having where he lives in melbourne to try and get where his pad's not touristed all up w/a sky car and shit. spencer talks to me about ariel bender and some billy gibbons talk from me about that cats licks - both spencer and charley's got great guitar licks, big time. brian says he wants to send me some tunes to put bass on - whoa, this coming from a great bassman! I get to talk a little w/deniz tek, so great to see him, wow. soon though productionboss andrew says I gotta pull anchor so I hobble to van and we're quick towards the 'tel. once there, james asks me to take the bass so I don't space in the morning, I do. he said we all did good and ig was happy. righteous. big hugs to matthew - what a great job w/all the help he did for us this trip, damn, respect. we say bye here, man, what a great cat, truly.

mike watt + matt doherty in sydney, australia on april 2, 2013

   up to the chamber, into the tub quick for soak... it's only just after midnight but I spend 'til almost one in there w/my soreness but find enough strength to climb out and crawl where rug is and konk. the australian gigs are done.

   it's way calm checkout, quarter of noon - thank you, tourboss henry, thank you! I even get to chow w/him for last belly up at the trough, again salad and salmon for me. he's gonna help me the flying I got planned to do the recording w/both larry and the fratelli this august. I join him, brother steve, jos and max in a van to the airport - we all say bye to productionboss andrew for prolly the last time cuz he's patti smith work ahead for him... at the 'port we say bye to our england friends 'til next we meet in our land. this team is a real good one and the spirit strong. I feel honored big time to be a part, truly. me, larry and brother steve are on two pm quantas 380 airbus (big one). I get lozenges before we get on, just in case. there's still some metal and damn if you can buy anything for two dollars - I've bellyached enough about high prices here, sorry. anyway, they got these chairs that take that much - these are chairs that give you rubs! I got say they give good ones in the lower back, damn if they don't! five minutes worth, pretty ok, really. we're on the top deck, like the way we flew over. I konk before we even take off - wake up almost an hour later, we're still on the ground... I think I heard something about us having to refuel. well yeah, it's 'pert-near 7500 miles, "is there gas in the car?" (you know that tune the dan did, right?). I konk for a good long while, then chimp this here diary along w/more "pillow book" reading (many back of the book stuff to refer to!). now sydney's eighteen hours ahead of my pedro town and this flight's thirteen hours so yeah, I get back before I landed - and get that wednesday I lost two weeks ago back. I get yelled for hobbling into the "wrong immigration line (blurry directions), then the officer checking passports calls me a rock star - hey, I'm only baaman, I swear!" big wait for the bass and then long line for customs - the officer there keeps asking what I do and what's in the big yellow bass case, hmm... I work bass and that's a bass? "ok, welcome home" - two hours from when the plane landed I'm throuh though this is an early anding on a shoolday means my sister melinda can't get me so I have to get a cab - fucking $65 for one from lax to my pad.

saturday, june 1, 2013 - houston, tx (usa)

   ok, here's the first full-on gig since australia, the last two "appearances" being promo stuff for the new "ready to die" iggy and the stooges album in new york city. it's in houston so it's good it's not much later than june one cuz that town gets a little warm...

   they have me fly thursday but our prac will be friday - only three hours on a united 767 w/me reading natsume soseki's "the gate" karen let me read - gotta get that back to her soon as I can, forgetful inconsiderate bastard I am, damn me. she deserves respect and it's a good story too. oh, before we took off I had a "kobe dog"

undercooked 'snapless' kobe dog at some lax chow dump

from some pad my brain has now blocked out, it was ok but... damn I wish they wouldn't have gotten ridden of the "pink's" dog stand at the bradley terminal, fuck. the 'tel we're konking at is the four seasons in downtown houston but what's good is catty-corner right close is a chow pad called the "phoenician deli" that's got great fucking chow there, I see brother steve and we chow falafels in his chamber later. after that dave dove comes and visits - he's the man who besides connecting me for the second time w/the representative from corwood industries (frist time was two and half years ago in orange county and u.c. irvine) also has this great organization called nameless sound that is just beautiful. he wants to get me and k to work dos for his kids, maybe we can do it january. anyway, dave's a great cat and we have bulleit fueled big ass spiel. much respect to him. dave also works trombone, bass clef. respect.

   friday we have prac at fitzgerald's which is a club I played w/my missingmen like eight months ago. it's own by the same people who are running the festival, the local weekly in houston, the free press summer festival. we hear the gig tomorrow's "clean" (sold out), respect to them. we're brought vegetarian mexican chow (yeah, trippy) that's really good, especially the green curry tamales (what?). we have a real good prac, we're upstairs and set up like a gig was coming down here. after I do a phone spiel w/my friend andrew who writes for the chronicle and then I get a visit from dano and patrice, two beautiful folks me and my guys konked at their pad the last couple times in town. love these two.

   gig day and we got soundcheck at nine am. this gig's the free press festival and it's on like four stages at eleanor tinsley park which is located on the buffalo bayou which is where the city of houston first started. we're on the saturn stage and do as many tunes as we can. mr slouch as set up the two svt-II stacks I used at prac yesterday on a little riser and man, they sound good. one of the best ever ampeg setups I've used and you know I ain't the biggest fan of them but damn if these don't sound good. everyone goes back to the 'tel but not me. I got a gig on the neptune stage and so go over there.

   whoa, it's humid as a motherfucker but it could be so much worse and same w/the bugs - they must've had a cool winter here. there's a tent w/air conditioning and though I ain't into that stuff much, it does let me dry my fucking soaked clothes some. I meet stefan gonalez, he's from dallas and the drummerman for this jandek gig I get to be part. very nice man. I get to meet his brother too. the representative from corwood industries soon gets here too and we have a good long talk about all kinds of stuff. I really like him. this is a great honor for me. ten before one pm and it's go time for us, I got a svt w/its 8x10 cab but it's nothing like what I had for stooges. this one's got built-in fuzz tone, a little beat but maybe kind of interesting. I love this jandek music, love the rep's sense of things, the heart in the music and the soul, love it. this is great honor for me, truly. I am most grateful, really I am. I wish I was a little less scared but what can I do? try my hardest is what this man deserves. I wanna do more! the rep is big time inspiring, crimony!

   I get brought back to the 'tel and soak some. before-gig-prac is in james' chamber and he's afraid I'm gonna stink his pad up but I come in there clean and me larry go through all the tunes w/james, me on the pig nose amp he got me, him on a little fender battery powered dealio. we get brought over to the park at six and a half, we're on at ten of eight. there's no mustard but I make a sandwich anyway. damn, ain't sandwiches better w/mustard? I think so. I drink four of them powerades, terrible shit but the coconut water we had yesterday is not here today. oh well.

setlist for stooges june 1, 2013 gig in houston

   cuz of the sitch, the band has to come up on the "wrong" side which is my side - there being no wings to hide behind, me and brother steve kind of hide towards the rear where the stairs come up. right at ten before eight I see james in a trot w/larry right behind him, ig right behind them so after they pass, we follow them and I got good time to get the bass from jos, actually I got it slung before james is guitared up via mr slouch - that don't happen to often! this makes for some extra hollering from (yyyyyeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!) w/the fist in the air - ig comes running out as "raw power" chords jam out to start us up, I look over and see dano and patrice up in this stage-port-side scaffolded area way higher that the stage - they got tickets that let you do that, dano said he threw down some serious dollar for them, trippy how my eyes just found them like that. now it's hot and humid but maybe less hot than earlier w/the rep from corwood industries but maybe not so much... the sun's lower but not down. the gig-goers are from the start way into, big time hollering from them, thank you much. these amps are sounding good, even for ampegs - so good of eric getting them serviced and stuff, he's worked w/stooges in austin before. I see our eric in the moat, actually not that big of one and kind of the same w/the stage, ig's working 'pert-near every inch of it though. instead of being where larry's starboard crash cymbal is like usual, I'm right next to his riser which is kind of high up, the other side of me is big monitor wedge so it's like I'm in a little pocket. cuz of my knee I can't really chance moving around anyway. ig asked us earlier to run the set tight and that's what james is gonna do since the first five tunes start w/guitar except for him clicked in by larry for one of those so "gimme danger" is right up and ig does waits a good number of rounds before singing, giving a little spiel as well. even w/the break in between our last gig he's singing real good, the band is on a good chug and I'm digging it. maybe a breath between and one from the new album, "gun" is next, along w/a breeze off the buffalo bayou, that sure is nice and a pit breaks w/young people becoming a dust devil unto themselves w/their dancing, lots of fun. photographers are allowed in the moat for the first three tunes and they're in a tight bunch snapping the hell out of ig when I see a whole beer from a cup rain down on them and their fancy camera, oh man. the playing w/stefan and the representative from corwood industries earlier sure got me good and warmed besides giving me the thrill of working bass for him again, I got a twofer out of that! here's where larry clicks in james: "1970" (I roll my sleeves up meanwhile before joining them) and like what usually happens here, ig informs the folks it's it's going right in the asshole... that it does. whoa. larry w/just one floor tom, he's got a blue sparkle gretch kit - maybe it's his? think so. james has his black star amps and I'm pretty sure road boss eric is driving a truck to so cal cuz our next gig a week from tonight in long beach... "search and destroy" w/james in man-alone mode to get us in about another breath - he's running them tight but I'm ready and we throw it down solid, I mean like freight train. anyway, THIS GIG is in full-plow mode now, we get our first break as ig asks for folks to dance w/us on stage - we get about twenty of them, ig telling the security to let them up and not be dicks and then calls for "fun house" which I bring in w/the anchor bass james had built for me - had to put that in here cuz it really does play nice, has great intonation and a good solid tone. some of the dancers form a chorus line w/hands on each other's shoulders, ain't really seen that before, kicking their legs out and shit like that, pretty trippy. it's a real good time. kind of different also is me pretty much left alone so I'm a watcher besides a bass worker. now I've been smelling either transformer or speaker voice coil windings getting heated up, even smelled them at souncheck but wouldn't you know in "l.a. blues" that monitor wedge by me starts smoking and catches fire some, whoa. right away it gets hit w/towels and unplugged - I guess what james calls "monkey humping" on the speaker cabinet got things lit some, huh? sorry. there's no pause but I do freak a little a misread larry's clicks and come in on "night them" on the first snare instead of the beat after - baka watt, my first real clam of the gig. fuck, got thrown a little but not bad, right back on, I check tuning on the tiny gap I got for "skull thing" called that cuz it's only the first part of the original ("skull ring") w/out any singing - even though I try and get things right between the coltrane quotes I do in the freak-out, I ain't getting another chance 'til 'pert-near the set's end. we work this aways as a segue into "beyond the law and maybe I clammed a coming out of it's intro? stayed in key, I know that but I knuckle down cuz you know how clams can start piling up if you don't watch it. baka watt. after the bridge, ig sure has some nice steps. someone throws up mardi gras beads and jos gives them to ig's wife nina who's watching right from the side. the breeze has stopped, goddamn. I'm feeling it now, whoa. at least "johanna" has a slower tempo though, us doing it really heavy and laying it way down. I finally can kick into "ready to die" w/out the spaced fluster on the get-go, fucking baka slow learner watt - here's a respite even a tiny breeze to go w/it which goes a long way w/this shvitz of a gig, humidity alive-wise. still I wouldn't trade doing a stooges gig for anything or bellyache too serious about it, the folks too we're playing for must have it just as bad or prolly worse so wishing for a fan to blow some air around I'm thinking is maybe kind of sissified and stow that shit below and keep it together for "I wanna be your dog" but not just that cuz "no fun" is right after that and deserves the full-on which I give it, larry w/some big-ass grins when I look over, him broasting in the boilersuit, yeah! actually it is pretty fun. "your pretty face is going to hell" next and damn if I don't clam after the first chorus, not real bad but bad enough to chimp it here in this tour spiel - how many times have I played this? what a dick. I lost focus for a moment and that's all it took. I was looking right at ig too and then over to james to both 'fess up in a way and very much to get back on board. kind of slippery neck now. the closer is "sex and money" (great tune from the new album) - we've been told no encores so this is it. going pretty good, especially for a new tune, me and then larry laying doing a groove while james gets on a guitar (made for him special from a cat in france) tuned open for him to work slide. damn if I know the end's coming though - yeah, chugging pretty good w/the band and then here I get surprised w/us in the coda w/out me realizing it - BAKA WATT! luckily I was on the tonic and not sourass, maybe not w/the closing riff (missed it!) but stopping when everyone else so at least I was some in the moment. god, I could've broke my leg off in my own ass for that. ig tells the folks thanks, they were beautiful, truly.

   we get done and chan w/her band comes back to meet us. they got held up and missed the gig, security wouldn't let them in, damn. cat power's playing here tomorrow so we'll miss them which for me is bunk cuz I really wanna see this version of her music. man, is she a way a righteous singer. her band folks are very happening people, beautiful. I spiel w/them as much as I can 'til I'm told the boat's pulling anchor and I don't wanna keep james waiting so I gotta say bye.

chan + her band, james williamson, larry mullins + watt in houston - june 1, 2013

   back at the 'tel, dave dove and his brother come and bring me to an r and b club in the fifth ward called "the silver slipper" and man, this pad is really happening! lightnin' hopkins used to play here I'm told... right now the house band is incredible, righteous. oh man. and hey, the representative from corwood industries is here and he's got a bottle of tequila! oh oh...

   I pop the next morning and there's a bunch of bottles of water near me - and I see a wheelchair in the corner, what? trippy. eleven am and it's back to the big airport here in houston and on a united 373 back to so cal, tour boss henry's on this flight. I get back just in time to do prac w/my secondmen, good to play w/pete and jer again. you know what? my port-side ankle hurts a little bit, kind of swelled up too...

saturday, june 8, 2013 - long beach, ca (usa)

   for a bassman in pedro, what's there not to like about a so cal stooges gig? actually for this one, what's there not to like about a stooges anywhere?! well, there is something I guess a little more happening w/a stooges gig being in so cal - especially across the harbor in long beach - about eight miles from my pedro town! hell, I could 'pert-near paddle over in my kayak!

   day before gig we have prac... where? west hollywood! same place as always which means on a friday it takes me a little over an hour and a half to get there. of course no drive is too long for watt regarding the stooges and the swinghouse folks are most kind but damn if it can wear you down a little. the helpermen from england (mixerman max, jos and mr slouch) are here and they set up all they can for what we usually do ourselves - maybe we've done prac here a dozen times? in fact the first time I ever played w/james williamson was at this pad. we're supposed to start at eleven am - I asked for that cuz damn if I don't have a gig w/my secondmen playing w/fear in orange county tonight. it's the juggling routine. I'm most grateful to james having us go through all the tunes only twice cuz damn (again) if it don't take 'pert-near three hours to get to that gig I got behind the orange curtain. that's how bad traff can get in so cal - believe it! max helped us out w/singing too, love prac even more when he's there for us like that instead of either the other guys trying to read my stupid-ass lips or doing the counting game. he's a good singer too. jos does some also and I love it. we gotta work mr slouch into the act. I brought everyone in the band and crew mike watt throbblehead dolls so now they got both baka books and figurines of the baka bassman. all these cats deserve it cuz you know they've been most kind to me, truly.

   it's gig day and james told us it's gonna be too loud to do before-gig prac where the dressing rooms are at the venue (right in front of the ol' timey ocean liner the queen mary) so I offer up my pad.

larry mullins + james williamson + steve mackay in watt's prac pad in pedro - june 8, 2013

it used to be the officers' latrine at the upper reservation of the fort macarthur army base which got handed over to the city in the 80s and parts got used to make up the angels gate cultural center and I've been in that head for twentyseven years now. I got the part of the head where the shitters all were so I tore them all out, put up a bulkhead and a hatch and that's where I prac up the music I bring to people. it's small and narrow but good enough for a trio or in this case a quartet cuz brother steve is w/us. I got a drum set always set up that's from parts perk flowed me cuz I got tired of waiting for dudes to set up/break down. larry says he's fine w/it, even though it's a beater. james plays through tom watson's blackface fender bandmaster (says it's not his sound) ands brother steve goes through the p.a. which I got its speaker boxes mounted up where the bulkhead meets the overhead on the north side. now this ain't w/tiny amps but like really playing - james says he's gonna get his lawyer after me for white lung cuz the pads in these days were all made of asbestos but I got rug, mattresses and paint covering all that shit and it's the floating fibers anyway that really give it to you. I'm just so happy they came and did it in my prac pad. actually I wish I could give them all tours of my pedro town - I do take larry and brother steve down by warehouse one on admiral higby way and the the ghost fish memorial mr cheng unveiled in memory of our once HUGE tuna fleet ("startkist" and "chicken of the sea" started in our town) last december but man, is it too brief. james is staying up on the hill (palos verdes) so he beats back up there soon as we're done. one day though, one way one day... I wanna show these guys my town. hell, I love showing everyone I can my town, the stuff I know since I came here when I was nine from virginia (pedro's closer to vietnam than norfolk, my pop was a sailor in the engine room for the navy). brother steve has stayed at my pad for the earliest pracs when james came aboard - we'd make the hellrides to west hollywood together 'til he found an old friend of his he played w/in holland who now lives near marina del rey. never got to give him the tour though, damn.

   my sister melinda was gonna take my ma to see the gig but thinking about us going on at 10:15 pm tonight and being right by the water w/her not feeling all the way strong at seventyseven, melinda decides maybe she'll leave my ma at home and I agree though damn if I didn't want her to see me w/these guys! we did play here - the stooges w/ronnie on guitar - in 2004 and she did see me then, the only time w/me on stage w/ig so at least there's that but damn we were earlier for that reason. oh well. I head on over around nine pm, only takes a little bit to get there especially cuz the traff is all gone due to this being on since way earlier in the day... it's called the ink and iron fest and it's not just music but tattoos and hopped-up cars too. one really lame thing about getting here when I do is that I miss the dirtbombs which I dig much. damn. east bay ray comes to say hi as I change into my outfit, road boss eric helping me get the boat parked pretty close to where I need to be - yeah, driving my own econoline to a stooges gig - WAY FUCKING INTO IT! and getting to konk on my own deck after - EVEN MORE! klaus flouride too, I wanna give klaus bass stuff for him to do guitar on... yeah, he told me last december when I recorded up in berkeley for the "ready to die" album that he was doing guitar for the lengedary stardust cowboy and so wheels started spinning in my head. he sure is cool people, I had righteous spiel w/him one breakfast up north after that session at fantasy.

   I get up on my side of the stage way in the back so no one hopefully see me - took risky up front. when I see james start trotting, that's when I get my quickest hobble on and make for jos w/the bass, I got two svt ar stacks (ar? am I baka?) up on short riser, sounding pretty good as we whup into "raw power" and the folks in so cal go fucking off. right away though I notice two sections, an up front "haves" and way more behind, I guess "have nots" which I fucking ain't into and I know ig ain't for damn sure but TOOT TOOT PHILADELPHIA, this fucking boat's underway! we're midships this time where nine years ago queen mary was too our port and open air behind us. I think us being in front of her gives way more focus for the sound. my old buddy dirk (the cat who took the cover shot of "double nickels on the dime") said it was the best sound of any gig he's been to and he's been to a bunch! that reminds me, the first time I met james williamson was at that gig here nine years ago! damn. anyway, don't let me space too much - "gimme danger" is right up after - dirk says "raw power" is his favorite album so I'm glad we're giving him some tunes from that though I'm way into us doing these brand new ones like "gun" (next) too, good stuff from this album w/ig on the cover w/a dynamite vest! "don't give me a gun!" he tells the folks and then we follow it up (and in) HARD w/a "1970" now that james don't even ask for a hihat click in anymore - neat, him starting these first five tunes off himself including the modified "search and destroy" which happened one gig not too long ago by accident and ig dug it so that's how we do it now. the band is tight. all these pracs are way worth it, so glad. glad too I got it together enough not to clam though maybe w/the next one, "fun house" I got some stumblebum, not a bunch but some, a little? the dancers are a hoot. man, they had to climb to get up but they're spontaneous and having a good time. I think I did ok now that I think back but I have those other suspicions too, damn... I take it out on myself some w/a little pound-down w/some crazy "l.a. blues" and lay into really a bunch but tune her back up (man, she got flat!) for "night theme" (back to rocking the half-step on the b-flat again) and into "skull thing" plunge into "beyond the law" and some throttle-back on the tempo but for damn sure not the heaviness for "johanna" where I feel a little stumbly w/this fucking bad knee - hold on, watt. that's all I gotta do now is crumple, especially w/a barnburner like "I got a right" getting served up right quick and GOING QUICK (rocket sled) right into (as soon as ig calls it, like in one second!) "I wanna be your dog" which is wailer. no way for ig really to stage dive, the moat to wide, stage too high - maybe they got side screen video shit, I don't know but I can testify ig's been working this gig HARD as a motherfucker, truly. he's on the deck, he's in the air, he's singing and dancing like nobody's fucking business, let me tell you cuz I ain't just saying, it's fucking real-o mind all the way. brother steve let's the quiet (ok, quieter) part really have some sax, sounding great. "no fun" for the not-for-real-closer but a great set up for "your pretty face is going to hell" which is where I make up for the clams I blew on the is baby in houston (the shame). the actual finish is "open up and bleed" and this where I really fuck up for the night. it's in the ending. actually I could've went longer - james said ig asked if larry could hold out in the coda before upping the meter and then we really get it going - I could've went longer of course but I feel another knee twinge so I look over at mr slouch and try to reach him w/a big toss of the brian michael bass but the knee gave me a big itai (pain in jap) right then and it was a real lame-ass toss that don't make it - not only that but it crashes into james' guitar which he's put on a stand after leaving the stage (only me and larry are still up there) and busts off a tuner on it, crimony! at least it made it through pretty good (built like a tank) but man am I embarrassed - james gave me a look, not a happy one but more like a "you dumbfuck watt" one and damn if I didn't deserve that. ig's behind james amps (I don't remember doing this before but it's the sitch of this stage and I guess we got time for not much so after "penetration" - this is where I find out the bass is in good shape we try "sex and money" (a new one) but james uses a different tuning (an open g where he plays slide) and the guitar he gets handed ain't in that tuning so after some bars of me and larry doing the intro, ig halts us - we give 'em another new one "dirty deal" instead which goes good but it's a little weird, ig says "that was anti-climatic" as him and tourboss henry come off the stage - I feel I got no one to blame but myself for that stupid shit. I ain't strong enough to throw that bass right - I did it in sydney and it worked but never again, I ain't trying that anymore. man, talk about regrets. I don't even get into my levis and flannel, I just keep the silver-gray dickies work clothes on and bail to my boat after not much time, enough time to apologize to james and his wife linda - I feel like such a fucking baka. it was only that very end fuckup, aaarrrgggghhh. I see bob lee and elise as I hobble to the boat, so glad to see them but can't hold back the lame feeling. road boss eric guides me to the boat, helps my lost ass - big hugs for him... he can't be w/us in europe this summer and I'm gonna miss him bad...

   anyway, many regrets as I drive my econoline up over the gerald desmond bridge, onto terminal island (this is where the navy base used to be, big can terminal now), over the vincent thomas bridge and into my pedro town, many palms of the hand upside my forehead the whole way. it is eerie quiet in a way, having to live w/myself like that. I feel so stupid. I konk 'pert-near quick on my deck (I got no bed at my pad, love the deck) in my outfit, too ashamed to get out of it, even w/no one around - well, one person: me... and I know what I did. sure, it wasn't on purpose but I should've been thinking better. that was a good gig and those were beautiful cats we played for. maybe it's good my ma didn't see it. the next morning I pop, hose off and after it's the usual sunday breakfast chow I have w/her and my sister melinda at the crack of dawn w/them when I'm home and I make no mention of the gig, we talk instead about a movie on the turner channel, one from the forties about trippy shit for those days. I go to missingmen prac right after w/tom and raul.

thursday, june 20, 2013 - london, england

   it's saturday june fifteen just after two in the afternoon when my sister melinda takes me to lax airport for this gig... why five days early? that's cuz I'm in jugglingman mode and mixing other music projs w/stooges stuff. timo in dublin has asked me and my il sogno del marinaio fratelli to open up for thurst's chelsea light moving at whelan's on bloomsday which was something I could not possibly pass up if there was even a sliver of a chance of doing. actually I was gonna leave my pedro town early early to brighton in england to record w/brother sam for our cuz proj... me and him scaled it down from two to one day (he's righteous people and most understanding) to record "components" for the second chapter of this proj. the second time I get to play dublin on bloomsday, the third time I've been there then though cuz once I spent three days on the 100th anniversary - the only time I went to a foreign town that didn't have a gig or music stuff involved... I got to stay w/anto in the skerries via my buddy nez who now lives in sapporo and they both learned much about the real town that inspired mr joyce's "ulysses" so big time. basically the whole book all happens on this one day in this one town. oh yeah, it (june sixteen) is also the bday of my best friend raymond - ain't that a trip? well, if you know about "double nickels on the dime" then maybe you wanna know 'pert-near all the tunes I wrote for that album were inspired by that book cuz I had just finished it (I was twentyfive years old then) and it a PROFOUND effect on me.

   anyway, at the airport I find out united airlines has overbooked my flight to london (that's where I go first cuz that's where tour boss henry booked me for the stooges gig) and I 'pert-near have a cow but keep calm... when the gate lady gets there, she gets me a bologna seat which is fucking way ok cuz better than missing the gig - yeah, they offered me four hundred dollars if I would take a flight the next day but... what the fuck though? why are they allowed to do shit like that, I mean overbooking cuz what if you're really counting on being somewhere and I understand about nature and shit not in anyone's control but this seems like lame fucking business practice but anyway, whew, I breath some relief, you know? oh and speak of fucking currency, what about this game: I take the australian money I got for per diem from the stooges tour there a couple of months ago and trade it in for england pounds... I get 220 for 410 australian dollars. if you look at the current exchange rate it's like sixtyone pounds just floated up into the ether, motherfuckers... currency exchange: money for nothing and the dicks for free, stucazz! I read more of soseki's "the gat" but konk even more cuz it'll be morning when we land and that's how I fight jetlag (if I land at night I try to stay awake while we're flying). now I land in london so have to get on a aer lingus flight for dublin at quarter after three, two hours after touching down at london heathrow. luckily everything's on time, even w/rain - yeah, it's summer but in these parts you'd hardly know that... guess who's on the airbus 320 w/me to dublin? fucking thurst, crimony! seat in front of me even but the flight is way light so he asks me to sit w/him in his row. we spiel big time, he's an old buddy so we catch up some. oh, I gotta say it's big time security when you fly into london and then to dublin - like they take a picture of you just after landing and then before you get on the plane to make sure you're the same cat! anyway, il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea is there w/miss hiyori who helped on our tour back in feb/march, both came from germany. we all four share a cab which is good cuz it's forty euros (about $53 u.s.) and that's w/no traff cuz of a soccer game, stucazz! we split four ways. at the venue's our guitarman stefano and the rest of thurst's band here: john, keith and samara who are all righteous people. so is brother timo, so glad he made all this happen. both bands soundcheck and lar from adebisi shank shows up - love this cat... I spiel w/him 'til time for us to hit it 8:45 pm. I didn't bring a bass, chelsea light moving samara is very kind to lend me her fender mustang. of course the strap is for her so it's 'pert-near up to my chin and like a necklace on me plus it's got flatwounds for strings - what a trip. I kind of like the flatwound thing though - I got a les paul signature bass at home I'm having my buddy dirk put flats on... remember james jamerson used flats and he's us bass cats' patron saint, much respect to him! no prac and the last time we played together was back in march so soundcheck we did every tune we do now in the set, respect for most kind house knobman chris. the gig-goers are most kind to us. after my spiel to them about bloomsday, we do deliver what we got complete w/some clams from the bass player but not bad enough to pull the keel out of the water - I'm so grateful for fratelli ste and andrea playing like motherfuckers and kicking it up good, so proud of them. it was a pants-shitter for me but I was really glad we did this, I really felt grateful.

mike watt + stefano pilia + andrea belfi (l to r) in dublin, ireland - june 16, 2013

getting to watch thurst and his crew from the balcony was righteous too. someone brought me "the tokyo-montana express" by richard brautigan but for the life of me, I can't remember who, damn if I don't feel like a total 'tard. I liked chelsea light moving very much, I got way into it. man, what a great bloomsday for watt. I must've sweated a bucket and a half worth. timo had brought some sobe from close by and man is that good, first chow I've had since the dung I push through the in-hole on the plane.

   I'd asked thurst's drummerman john if I could get over the irish sea w/them so I could get a train in bristol for brighton and do cuz stuff w/brother sam. he's a most kind man and lets me aboard so I leave w/them in the tour bus they just started up on, the driverman is gondor and actually the company is a german one the stooges used one time a couple years ago, the big skulls they had painted on their busses now little ones cuz of hassles from the politzei. outside the club we're docked like three or something hours and I konk during most of that and get woke up after gondor gets us to rosslare where the ferry will take us to goodwick in wales.

post card thurston showed watt when they got to wales - june 17, 2013

thurston moore + john moloney (l to r) in wales - june 17, 2013

that takes about three hours and I chow a "bap" which is like a big hamburger bun w/a fried egg and some bacon on it. me and thurst rap more... the last time I was on a boat w/him was when him, kim, me and k went to catalina from pedro in 1987 - damn if didn't wash the entire deck w/puke from his gut and got bluer and greener in the face that fuck I don't know what... man, I felt bad for him. k puked some time but kim held her cookies. it was rough seas though, I will admit. there's some motion in the ocean this time but thurst keeps it together good and I sense no seasickness his way. it's another three hours of driving to get to bristol, we stop on the way and I get this chow called "pork pickled pies" which is two little balls of sausage w/dough around them you chow cold (I've yet to see a microwave in an england convenience store) and I guess there's some pickle tast but at least I don't hurl so that's ok. I get two gummi oeufs also cuz they look so trippy. in dublin miss hiyori had given me some sour haribol pasta-fruta that were much better but I gotta say these look trippier.

   gondor gets into bristol a quarter after four in the afternoon and takes us right to the temple-mead train station - I said to look for the big clock and damn if this ain't a train station w/a big clock! I say bye to everyone, once I popped for the ferry ride, I never konked again and had good spiels w/everyone, the whole chelsea light moving team are truly righteous cats. I big them farewell and safe seas (they got a gig here tonight) and go get a ticket for brighton. it costs 'pert-near fifty pounds (around $77 u.s.) and leaves in less than hour which is good cuz I gotta piss and move slow cuz of my still-hurt crippled up port-side knee. glad this little man sack I use now for clothes has wheels and a handle cuz I use it for a walker (pushing it in front of me rather than pull it behind like most peckers do) but it's a little bit of a hell w/stairs. everything on time and even sun out now, lucky fucking watt. I'm on the great western rail line and I gotta make one train change and a little town called cosham just before portsmouth (hey, the portsmouth back in virginia is where I was born!) and fucking I negotiate that move pretty good, get on the southern line to brighton. the whole trip takes 'pert-near four hours. miss hiyori lent me a leash she wants to use for bands on her label so I call brother sam when I get to brighton about a quarter after nine and then go to a chow pad called "the bystander cafe" across the street to shovel a jalapeno burger while waiting for him. seems like the burger was cut w/some bread but it's ok, I didn't hurl after. we spiel some - he gets here right from his work - we get a cab for his sister's jess pad and spiel w/her and husband andrew w/the aid of this bottle of jim beam timo gave me (didn't drink any last night cuz I was brought some scottish whisky w/an ankh on the bottle) and have a good time. they got a room at the top of their pad I konk in.

   tuesday I pop kind of early and do like a two hour soak in this huge tub they got in that konk room I was in. beautiful tub, it's got feet to hold up, real ol' timey and deep so I get my beat up knees all submerged, righteous. jess cooks us up some egg and bacon on a toasted bread, then we head over to not too far away to the park studios where brother sam has the day before set up his drums and a bass rig for me. oh, on the way we stop and get jamie's bass - every time I've gotten to record w/brother sam I've been lucky enough to use this bass. it's a japan copy of a fender jazz from the 70s that I really REALLY dig... plays and sounds SO fucking happening. I'm most MOST grateful to jamie being so generous, truly. the plan is for sam to drum the first shift w/me and then his buddies ashley, vinny and dave to do likewise 'til we get done at eight at night. it's eleven am when we start. the studio bossman is very cool people named ed who I actually met six years ago when he did monitors for the go team! - slowly it comes back to me... man am I 'tard, so embarrassing. yeah, ed is very together and his studio is tits, I love it. no waiting around for anything, just go and he captures it. the building's from 1860, he had to redo everything, damn he did a good job, truly.

   now the idea behind our proj cuz actually comes from his go team bossman ian's ideas about making songs around samples from stuff and what we thought we'd try something along those lines but instead of other people's stuff, we'd use fragments from us jamming and improvising to make samples that would be components for tunes. we got a our debut album 'pert-near done but wanted to start on round II - actually we did last year but he wants to get more happening and this time bring in other drummermen. I just tried to get whatever going so he could have a lot of "events" to choose from at the end of the day. I didn't talk about anything much except a little intro to briefly explain this concept to each drummie before we'd just go for it. my hands somehow healed up pretty ok and brother sam said we got a lot possibilites generated - ha! my words not his. I really am grateful to vinny, ashley and dave

drummermen ashley marlowe + vinny proper + dave campbell (l to r) in brighton - june 18, 2013

who were really good cats and put much spirit into it. ed too, what a man. a trippy proj, kind of unique in my sound world but that's what both me and brother sam want, something trippy. all the drummer have their own thing going, such righteous rivers and creeks to drink from! there's a tiny break and I have a slice of some pretty terrible peetz, down their w/abominabo's or pizza butt. mazui. I don't puke though so I guess it is ok.

   we went a put all the shit back in his prac pad, it's a wood working and ceramic pad too. a nice cat named graeme is there working on stuff and he talks to me about a bunch of interesting stuff 'til the guys are done and then we go meet up w/the go team! bossman ian who's moved back to brighton after living briefly in manchester. actually he's from wales originally. he's a very interesting man and I haven't really had a good spiel w/him in a long time so I windbag and yammer for hours w/him first at a chow pad name "wagamama" where I get yaki sobe that's pretty good, I was surprised and then at so me bar I can't remember it's name and they had blaring bogarting music but didn't care cuz like I said, this cat's interesting man. he's gonna do seventeen day road trip of cali/oregon/washington in august so I try to suggest some stuff about that like san simeon (the elephant as much as the fucking "xanadu" castle!) and big sur. he wants to know about what parts of the u.s. are more loose, what are more uptight - I tell him we're all mixed up! he asks me about the our take on our version of stasi stuff that's in the news lately and some how we manage not throw up all over that but it's close. could make one cynical, huh? you gotta keep your powder dry! I tell him a bunch stories about my pop when I was boy and him in the navy, in the engine room - I can remember lots about that. my memory can be really terrible about other stuff though, crimony! must be two am when we're done and me and brother sam go back to his sister's pad and I konk way quick cuz fuck if I ain't way beat. oh yeah, just before that chow pad I neglected to notice a speedbump and damn if I didn't crumple, brother sam pulling me up so at least I didn't sprawl but fuck, some itai on me, some strain on the starborad-side (the good one) knee. fucking bozo watt.

   pop at the crack on wednesday - heard rain all night but now there's sun. brighton's right by the sea so lots of kamome (seagull in jap) crying out. one last soak in the big ol' timey tub, whoa, needed that after last night's crumple in the road. I get to meet his niece and nephew liberty and oscar, great young folks - we talk about legos some. their ma jess (sam's sister) makes an egg on a toast for me and takes us to the train station after and I'm worried about being late but everything's pretty much on time,

sam dook at the train station in brighton - june 19, 2013

one last big hug for brother sam - I take the southern rail bound for victoria station to clapham station and get off there for waterloo station cuz the 'tel I'm show from the google world is six minutes walk (half hour hobble for me!), it costs almost twentyfive pounds, half of yesterday's ride but not near as far. still pretty good if you think about it and I'm forty minutes ahead of lobby call for stooges prac. this 'tel is called "h10" and we're just south of the thames river in southwark which is right near where we play tomorrow, great. funny though we gotta go pick up james williamson

looking west from the waterloo bridge in london - june 19, 2013

on the other side, the part w/all the traffic! in london stooges 'pert-near always prac at this john henry's pad and that's where we are again. the helperman have decided I can just use the two laney amp stacks and forget the eden preamp and I'm convinced after a little fit. they're good cats and I love them. I am baka and slow learner. james had some fun w/me about breaking his machine head, even rearranging some shakespeare quotes to do but said actually the damage I caused was way econo. still I was embarrassed. baka watt. we prac for 'pert-near three hours and then ig comes and joins us for another almost two. it's no filler and all focus, love it. there's a couple of minutes where I can go up and get this kind of stew from their cafe, it's called "hot pot" but it's like a stew w/trippy spices, I really like it got my hashi w/me to bring it down, great. it's a good prac, ig's serious about this gig tomorrow but then gigs are serious things for him and I very dig that, love him.

   we get back to the 'tel about seven, these two young guys from italy living in london now, giorgio and omar come and interview me for some docs they're making - really good cats. I don't mind the three hours we spend doing it not one bit, I'm really into being part of these works they're doing, respect. I find a chow pad called "masters super fish" nearby on the waterloo road and for five pounds get a huge piece of breaded cod that's really good!

masters special from masters super fish - june 19, 2013

it ain't too greasy either, nope. I dig it but don't know if I could eat this all the time. I like grilled fish but once in a while this ok and hey, I'm in england so maybe... I konk early cuz fuck am I tuckered, totally spent, tsukareta.

   gig day and I pop at 'pert-near nine, that's how tuckered I was, crimony! I don't feel hungry so fuck foraging, I get right to chimping diary cuz I got a buttload to chimp and even then you know I'm gonna space on some stuff, I'm such a 'tard. damn how I wish I could really do good diary, make everything count, make it a journey and make it breathe, be interesting.

   we got soundcheck at two pm, this gig is at the royal festival hall and is part of a festival yoko ono is curating called the meltdown festival which is something we did at the same pad but w/ronnie six years ago and that curated by a man named jarvis, a nice cat. driverman clyde's here, he's gonna be driving stooges stuff around this tour - he just got his degree to be a barrister, I'm so happy for him. he's really good people. I give him the mustard I got in dublin to carry cuz maybe I can't get that on the plane. so glad I got that cuz yeah, none to go on this sandwich I chow, a little piece of one actually. for soundcheck we do the newer ones all the way and abbrev'd versions of the others. it's sounding pretty good for a room like this, respect to mixman max, respect!

james williamson + mr slouch at the royal festival hall - june 20, 2013

mr slouch and jos have things set up all good also - a small but VERY EFFICIENT team, these three cats from england who help stooges, I respect them big time. mr slouch has built a treble booster pedal for james called "the screaming penguin" that james is digging and gonna use it tonight. sounds great. larry's got them drums herr masshoff built for him in berlin, I think he even got a new snare but he's using the original. we get done and take forever driving james to back to his savoy 'tel but it's always good talking w/him, all of us tripping I think this time on carol kaye and her ideas of how things went down in her music world. I would love to learn from this lady in person though, just am too scared.

   I chimp diary when I get back to the 'tel 'til six pm pickup time. I'm in the outfit I brought, kind of wrinkled cuz of the tinniness of the man sack but hopefully not too bad. the weather's really nice now, sun out and everything. after getting james we go back across the thames where the gig is (yeah, shouldn't they pick him up first? whatev!) we see yoko ono walking, no big posse, just a couple of cats w/her. man, eighty years old, pretty incredible. BIG respect. I start pouring down the coconut water when we get backstage. I keep thinking of focus, focus, focus... bofus?

   nine bells is downbeat so I get to the side I'm on (stage-starboard) eight minutes before. forgot to say roadboss andrew is w/us for this gig - roadboss eric has to stay in nyc cuz of his work and there's a lady named jane doing the rest of the gigs on this euro-leg of touring but for tonight he's here and he's the one that gets me to the stage but then leaves to bring the rest of the band to the other side. driverman clyde helps me up the stairs thank god cuz there's no fucking handrail, thank you dearly, brother clyde! jos has got the brian michale bass, I got enough time to get it on, get my glasses off, even get the strap under my collar and then get my fist in the air as ig comes flying in stage-port as james williamson wails on "raw power" in scalding way, I mean we're kicking it up buck wild right out the gate! the gig-goers get way wild, this fucking pad is ol' timey in a way, not in actual years when it was built but w/all seats up the middle at a big angle and then boxes on the sides... the overhead must be like a hundred feet up and folks going all the way, truly "nose bleed" ones, you know? crimony! the pad just fucking erupts and ig's feeding from it and give them all he's got back, beautiful two-way, fucking definitely not calm reception! "gimme danger" next w/out a word - ig told us he wants to run it tight and that's what goes down, it's the pounderosa for these folks tonight, for us too. pretty calm on my body now though and I keep focus, lock in there w/stickman larry and I'm right in front of the side of his kick drum. tight playing, all the prac is totally worth it, we deliver "gun" w/all our knuckles, full-frontal. ig's singing and dancing beautiful. james is first man on all these first tunes and brings "1970" w/ig in the last choruses under brother steve sax wails rolling on the deck in front of them, incredible - damn! it's blowing my fucking mind - "blow, steve!" ig hollers! "FEEL!" no breath or hesitation, "I got a right" up next and into overdrive, polllllllllumba!!!! james is really really playing good, spitting them notes out w/big meaning, brother steve next to him now on clave sticks, still on them for "search and destroy" which follows in another seamless seque, this is fucking relentless takedown on the gig-goers but damn if they ain't really digging it, crimony! ig says something about before dying when we finish, it's an invite for folks to bumrush this squarejohn pad and dance w/him while he's still alive - it's one moment I got to roll up my sleeves in these sliver-gray dickies work clothes before he calls for "fun house" and I give him the bass for it... soon the stage is jammed w/all kinds of cats, wild dancing all over and I vibe on that AND THEM (the dancers) - a mindblow but maybe not all the way that in fact it's long-time gig-goer rob pargiter joining us first, hurling his body up and rocketing onboard in a sideroll, fuck yeah! it's way wild on stage but the gig-goer dancers very kind and respectful w/no trouble towards us, just wanting to get it on over stooges music, respect to them. I hump the laney speaker boxes w/the bass as the bologna for a bit but make sure I got things tuned up before "night theme" from "kill city" and the stage getting cleared, damn I did get it back up and am glad - don't need any sourass at this point. it's all one freight train now, the "skull thing" motif being the only thing not from that album that we run here, "beyond the law" and then a thunder-churner "johanna" - ig does a drop backwards into the folks right in front of me during the guitar solo... damn, he didn't look and I'm so glad gig-goers in that moat area were right there to get him or crimony, I don't wanna think what could've happened BUT the london cats are right w/him and keep him buoyed big time. a new one, "ready to die" which is a good pacer, so glad "...right" already got done w/up in the set's front. ig does a forward fall for james' "I wanna be your dog" solo (I pivot the octave under it for the second half) and again folks are glad to cushion him, thank you most kind people, thank you! it would kill me to see ig hurt. in the breakdown part he introduces brother steve and the folks holler for him, respect! we're right into "no fun" and a bra flies up at my feet but I pay no mind after glancing to make sure I'm safe from a bombardment (more calm than a used rubber or a paper sack of shit). we finish w/a pert-near immediate "your pretty face is going to hell" and I feel a cramp in my port-side calf after the first chorus which throws me some, the first tiny clam I've had all night but it worries me some cuz the puddle of sweat on the deck in front of me is kind of pond-sized now... damn if I didn't do like five coconut water cartons before we played and three during... we come off into the wing where those guys came, still on stage but behind some p.a., ig gives me the thumbs up, I dig that much - I give larry big time neck rubs while ig preps us, asking for the time which tourboss henry says "fiftytwo minutes" - damn, those were some fiftytwo fucking minutes, crimony! we're back on for "penetration" and another new one, "sex and money" right after, these two are fine and most of "open up and bleed" which follow but it the crazy-ass end part my hands start to cramp and they cramp up HARD - I mean the worst ever in my life it's happened. my thumbs curl up as far as they can go, each has both joints bent up as much as they can possibly be and my index fingers will only stay extended while my palms wanna v-up inward like nobody's business. I gotta do the whole coda using just middle fingers on each hand, oh my god! I can't believe these... fucking extreme beyond belief. me and larry are making for chaos along w/brother steve 'til he gives out, ig comes by in a coat that looks like that one on the back of the "raw power" album - never seen that before and I know it ain't the original... he's drinking on amaretto like he told us yesterday during prac he would - it's trippy... I don't think he realizes I can't play worth a fuck in this condition but I don't want him to worry about it anyway - I wanna do good for him, do good for the band and the gig. finally james gets his chair and his lap guitar ready and looks over at me. damn, at least I could make sounds kind of in time. he goes into "the departed" which is the song for ronnie. helperman jos comes and tries stretching out my thumbs by they just won't loosen up, just won't, fuck. luckily it's a calm tune but I blow some clams - I can't get my thumb behind the neck extended even though jos time and time again bends it up straight, fuck. it's insane. ig yesterday said this was the set, it was it and we weren't doing any more but the crowd is so beautiful I know he wants them to have more cuz they truly deserve it. he introduces me and says I'm from southern california, I give deep bow. he introduces larry as old friend in for rock action. I say silent prayer for scotty-san. he calls for "louie louie" ("in the key of a" he says) and fuck if I can't play it worth a shit - I have to switch to open notes, damn if there ain't clams here too. what a nightmare. I fuck up the ending but maybe it's kind of good james fucked it w/me. ig turns to us and laughs. he calls for "cock in my pocket" and for some reason my hands loosen up and I can play most of it, cramping up mostly just in the last parts. I never thought I'd wish this before but I am very glad we're done. I toss the bass a little way starboard to jos who catches it w/no prob. I don't know why I did that except maybe I was so grateful to get it out of my cramped claws. man, w/out jos, it would've been even worse, much respect to him. I follow the guys off - no hand rail so I'm afraid to come down the stairs. roadboss andrew helps me, thank god. oh my god, what a total hell that ended up being for me.

   we go to our chamber and I start getting out of the outfit immediately. ig's euro bookerman john giddings comes into to say hi to us in the band, he's most kind. he talks a little about how some thought this was not maybe a right gig to do but that was wrong and I big time agree, it was great gig, ig worked it righteous and the folks were fucking right on! I get the purple shirt on and am in my socks (soaked w/sweat, everything got flooded) when ig wants to introduce us to yoko ono in the green room, where we have the chow. I got a clean pair of chonies in one hand, wearing the soaked ones but a least the purple shirt can hide some of me. he introduces me to her, saying "mike watt on bass" and she says, "oh, the bass player" (actually I played w/her and ig last year at a gig in downtown l.a. at the odeon) and I bow and tell her "sonkei" which is "respect" in her language. ig introduces everyone else, james as his "collaborator" and the tells me to go put some trousers on, I'm so embarrassed... he says was only joking but I go and get these soaked chonies changed and then some levis on. my hands in the ice bins seem to help but stil they're freaking out. I go back into the hallway and I hear ig talking w/yoko ono, just them and he's telling her, "...this band does a lot of [prac] and they got discipline, playing very tight - kind of different for this kind of music..." - stuff like that and that's so righteous of him to speak kindly of us, much respect to him, truly.

   I go upstairs to meet in the bigger green room. tv smith and gaye from the adverts are there, so glad to see them. mrs yuka also, wow - and ms yuko - yatta! incredible musicians, beautiful. ms yuko even gave me a rilakkuma book, holy shit sugoi!

watt showing cramped hands to ms yuko (l) and jose (r) after meltdown gig - june 20, 2013

rilakkuma  book, ms yuko's gift to watt - june 20, 2013

I show both her and my friend from valencia who's lived in london a while now, jose, my fucked up and big-time cramped hands (still!), itai/dolor, que chingao, kuso! anyway, so gald to see them both. kim did a gig w/her head/body band - ain't seen her or bill in a while - I heard ikue mori was w/them tonight (saw her w/dna thirtysomething years ago!), damn if it was at the same time as us next door, aaarrrggggghhhh!! big hug for kim. sean's here, he's doing all the music for his ma, so good to see him... he's doing lots of bass too, respect. their bookerman david's here, the other person who works for is bob pollard who I dig big time. whoa. a u.s. guy introduces me to two of the pussy riot ladies who haven't been arrested and I speak to them of d. boon, of good struggle in the face of horseshit. I guess there's big drama even w/in their own ranks but I'm still glad yoko ono made it happen for them to be here. roadboss andrew gives me the "pull anchor" signal so fare thee well, watt is out. at the 'vators I get to meet max's lady hanah, very rightous people. I discovered later another man here w/jos' fraoise is jos's brother! damn... man, I wish I could've rapped some w/him, just to see what he was like. I did get to meet both of mr slouch's, peter and eddie-baby, crimony! man, are they some tall men!

   I gotta bail cuz we got a real early pop at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I recognize this room from seven years ago but I don't get my camera out like I did last time. it is a trippy feeling I have thinking back to then. I'm so glad ig said "the departed" as for ronnie when we got it done. I wish I could've played it better, even w/them fucking cramps. what a weird life, a weird way things go... I soak some but not too long cuz I gotta konk and protect my health. man, tonight was a trip. whew.

saturday, june 22, 2013 - frydek-mistek, czech republic

   I don't know how I did it but I popped on time, fuck! 5:45 am lobby call for czech republic trip, first part being a flight from london heathrow to frankfurt on a lufthansa 737, an older one that's late getting in so we leave late but our hauptman steps on it to shorten the flight to sixtyfive minutes. before boarding, me and drummerman larry chow egg and bacon on toast - no, I mean that's what I had cuz larry had egg and sausage on an english muffin (his cost more). we have good spiel about all kinds of shit including getting ate up by mosquitos and how fucked it kind of is popping at the crack of dawn after a gig on a day off... what's that about? the flight into frankfurt was delayed and then passport contro, another security and a fucking hellhobble in terms of distance at this 'port had me worried some but then the next flight is delayed too so that's a relief. I couldn't find a reisenbockwurst like I wanted but I do find a double double frankfurter w/a roll and some mustard... I bring it on the plane but don't eat it 'til we're in the air (good snap to it!) which is like an hour on the ground cuz a plane was gonna come in for a crash landing (we saw the firetrucks all readied) but luckily that didn't come to be. it's only about an hour flight on this lufthansa crj 700 - oh, at the gate I saw a new huge a380 and asked the airline lady if that was ours, she burst right out w/a belly laugh, "yeah, why not?" she said. once in the air, you wouldn't believe this flight attendent's voice over the intercom: total peter lorre, complete w/what sounds like him whispering into his collar, we land at a VERY WARM katowice airport in southwest poland - whoa, summertime here for sure! henry's ceo partner ania meets along w/their assistant ania (same name). good people, good good people - so glad she's here - yeah, she was in long beach too (henry's ania), maybe first time to cali! respect. we drive about seventy miles (I'm bare-chested and sweating like a pig, larry, our wise one asks for more air conditioning which prolly saves our lives) southwest across the border into the czech republic aiming their third biggest town, ostrava which is where our 'tel is, the "hotel imperial" and damn if we ain't been here before. my memory has no recollection but james remembers, says it was raining hard. a search of my very own hoot page confirms to me the weakness of my fucking lame-ass remembering, we did indeed not only konked here but fucking played their town back in 2010! baka watt. it's five pm when we check in, I konk immediately, yeah, out for the night - that fucking tuckered! good thing too cuz I felt sickness coming.

downtown ostrava, czech republic - june 21, 2013

   gig day and I pop (damn, 'pert-near twelve hours of konk!) right before the morning shovel at seven bells and go get my mouth filled by fried eggs, toast, tomatoes and hot dog sausage they got in the free trough. I get coffed up to so I can get caught up on chimping before our soundcheck at two. we do the whole set, of course some tunes abbrev'd and time for larry to deal w/the venue's acoustics in respect to lowend bogart but we're back at the 'tel in time to be chowed by the 'tel here at five... I get a nicoise salad and what the waiterman is most fresh, tuna (ain't we landlocked here?!) which might be kooky cuz that kind of salad has tuna but appearing to be from a can so I get a double double on that! I go konk for half hour and then go foraging for a sack for my soiled outfit for after the gig but can't find anything... finally I see a little trash can and pilfer it's little sick but it makes me late for lobby call - aaaarrghhhhh, fucking baka watt. james even went up to my chamber to get me, little did he know I was sack foraging in the corridors. I promise tourboss henry I won't do that again... I gotta get a roll of plastic sacks to keep w/the man sack - damn, if I ain't a slow learner.

from the good old days in ostrava, czech republic - june 22, 2013

   tonight's gig's in a hockey arena called "areal tj slezan" about fifteen miles south of ostrava in a town called frydek-mistek. very cool driverman peter who got us into czech from polska at the wheel again. built in the communist days, it's a trippy design w/the building looking a little like a bird's wings spread. way high overhead but many many short red "towels" hanging up in the rafters to cut down on the "roller rink sound" these pads never designed for music typically have. we arrive eighty minutes before the quarter after nine go-time and not surprisingly, the dressing room is one of the locker rooms. they got cans on coconut water so I start going to town on them and get into my outfit, no wrinkles which is very unlike our last gig in london where I donned one from my man sack which kind of like a washcloth, it was so crumpled up. we're all in good spirits, ig comes into give us a briefing and we get to talking how happening the gig-goers were at the london gig. I ask him about the jacket he put on later in the encore that night, he said the company that originally made that jacket you see on the "raw power" album cover has started making them again and it's one of those. damn. that's a trip.

   getting close, tourboss leads me to my side of the stage but I stay in the back, behind a curtain. the opening band's stuff is here, many keyboards things - they were called tata bojs and we could hear them some in the locker room but never got to meet any of them. damn. I think they've been around for a while too, even before the wall fell and shit. well, here come the guys right on time, house lights go out. now I got a lot of ground to hobble across and damn if I don't get to jos w/the bass ready to hand me w/just a moment to spare, maybe only a second for airfist and fuck if I miss the first d to b-flat move... when it's time to go, no dawdle from james cranking up "raw power" to get us under way, we're fucking off! immediately the czech cats get lit too, whoa. jos put a big fan on me, just starboard of the the monitor wedges he's got perpendicular to my amps. this is great, it will w/cooling me off. for the first time I play w/my shirt sleeves buttoned up to start w/even! "gimme danger" is just as roaring as the opener but next w/a new one "gun" trips me out some cuz damn if all the cats in the front I can seeing singing the words, whoa. respect! "1970" right out the gate, we're hooking them all close like last night, ig gives himself his first whole bottle water over the head, the band charging hard for him - soon he's on his knees for brother steve on his sax. there's a moat between the folks and the stage and for "I got a right" he goes down there to work the deck. back up on stage in the break down he tells people he's a human being and deserves human rights, fuck yea. james then right quick takes us into "search and destroy" and whups it up, larry rolling out the pounderosa as well. time now to roll up the sleeves, ig asks the gig-goers for some "ass on stage" which means please every one get up and dance w/the stooges. some of the "uh!!!" are on the upbeat or even between which is trippy on the drama but I'm thinking "fun house" is the best tune for the invasion, better than the "real cool time/no fun" and "shake appeal" dealios we've done in past though I loved them much too. these czech dancers are kicking up much dust - one big fella slipped trying to get up and actually got wedged into some stage support stuff, ig making sure he was ok why I kept the riff percolating quite back w/the larry-man. very young people here though one cat around my age comes up and tells me, "I like you very much. minutemen" - he's got white curly hair and a beard. I see a "dickies" shirt on a young man who pogos right by. everything very coexistant, happening. the only violence is me on the bass and speaker boxes for "l.a. blues" and I knock the mic crazy and got get it back (helperman jos is over w/ig) while still whupping it up, same w/the retune but I'm in good "night theme" after james' guitar switch (damn that sunburst looked red at this point last gig in london - I thought I was tripping!), now this ain't the "leopard lady" one you see on "raw power" but a replication by brian michaels w/jason lawler pickups wound to sound same also. "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - I'm digging the grind on these laney w/them getting their tube front end rode harder, good when james solos and it's just rhythm section and brother steve behind him. "johanna" next w/the last e chord still wringing, course it's in e too! james wailing out the leads and I hear him good, yeah, even in this hockey rink - we then go right into "ready to die" and again I see the folks singing the words to this new one, a sort-of shaved haircut w/a bob in the back, syncopating it against the moat rail perfect w/handclaps, respect! that moat is too big even for ig to stage dive and though he tests the water some, he holds back when james solos in "I wanna be your dog" and instead does some deck flail and worm twist. "no fun" and fooling folks we're done before the real closer "your pretty face is going to hell" which does have one clam from the bass player, a fucking b where an a should've been when we bring the intro back around after the first chorus, aaaaarrrrrggggghhh. baka watt. we hurry off to a little chamber in the back stage-port henry had the gig folks build and ig looks up at larry, brother steve and myself when he sees us looking at him w/our lined up top to bottom like a "three stooges" trip and he goes "larry, moe and curly" - we all crack up and go back and do a six song encore beginning w/a pumping "penetration" and then "sex and money" I start right on the close of that last previous note - I know ig likes to run the set close and tight. ig does band introductions, I'm "mike watt, punk rocker from southern california" - digging that much, thank you, ig. "open up and bleed" w/an endo that ain't a spinout into cramptown for me like last gig, I got not one iota of cramp in any of my body, hallelujah! we get into the crazy end part and ig's got that leopard coat on again. once james and brother steve are out, me and larry skeeter and skid off w/ig directing us, "louie louie" gets the audible right up, there's some stumblebum after the guitar solo but ig channels things calm and gets us right again for his little rap - we even end it all together right! we just didn't prac it in london and was rusty... if we knew that was coming then - oh well... no pathetic excuses, especially from me! ig calls "burn" for the final baby tonight. I think me and james blew some clams here but nothing to lift the keel out of the water, great gig. I toss the bass to jos and catches it good, the man's got hands!

   on our way to the dressing room, we pass some gig-helper folks w/pony keg of "pilsner-urquell" - a very VERY good beer, I shit thee not! these folks are very kind to hands some cups of some righteous crisp and cold thurst-quenchin mouthfuls, respect! back in the dressing room, james enlightens me and larry to this "hobby" of some folks in germany dressing up and getting into native north american trips, assigns me the job of finding out why this is so when we get back to the 'tel, I use my macpurse to find spiels like this and this and this plus even a german take on this german thing. I find there's not really much agreement regarding what this is all about besides maybe people tripping on other people cuz it's trippy. I mean, why was there a time when tiki bars were happening in our land? and what about that ramona myth that was used to help sell so cal to the midwest and east coast? humans are trippy animals. it's good to wonder about shit though and I'm grateful to james to have gotten me going on that. I wonder what larry thinks? he's a tennessee cat living in berlin for ten years now...

   I do a good soak so I can konk clean, so grateful for not a speck of cramp I had to deal w/tonight, amen.

monday, june 24, 2013 - zagreb, croatia

   yesterday the plan was to bail at two pm so you know what? watt is happy as the pillsbury dough boy w/the tsa man at the airport ("please keeping poking me, sir!"). now if we had a gig today and had to pop at the crack, no prob. but to pop at the crack the night after you play you fucking brains out and do it just for a day off can really frost my balls cuz there's a good chance I'm gonna get sick for nothing. if I got sick for a gig, no prob cuz I love gigs but I don't any fucking early pop to go somewhere to do nothing. I ain't bellyaching, just thinking out loud here. I popped at eight, I feel alright (lifted from "1970" lyrics). I go shovel pretty much what I did yesterday and get to sit at a table w/driverman/barrister clyde which is always bitchin' cuz the man is most interesting. brother steve joins us after a bit, alright. at nine, clyde's gonna drive jos' boat w/the gear in it to zabreb in croatia which compared to his last hellride is much calmer at about four hundred miles. he had to drive 'pert-near a thousand miles to get here from london and the chunnle had been shut down for a security thing to boot, crimony!

   I get caught up on the diary - chimping's all done, now just to get w/the pictures. what I do these days is try to put one picture for each day. I find out both last night and tonight there's a "supermoon" w/tsuki, brightest it's gonna be. actually I didn't realized it was last night, thought it was only tonight (and fuck, I missed geshi (summer solstice) the day before - fuck if I ain't a baka airhead or what? anyway, I let go w/my flow list to tell folks about that and about a 1967 take on "ulysses by james joyce" I got turned on to cuz fuck, that was a week ago today and I don't I think I ain't spaced on that for a buttload of years, fucking makes me angry at myself. just didn't have the access to the net, fuck. it was raymond's bday too. fuck. anyway, better now than never. I let it fly right before pulling anchor here at this 'tel.

on the way from ostrava, czeh to katowice, poland - june 23, 2013

   driverman peter takes whence we came, I'm w/drummerman larry and brother steve. this time let me tell you about the seventy miles to the airport in katowice (poland) as far as what's out the window. it's raining in ostrava but that's just there, the weather clearing up but not being too sweaty. pretty countryside too BUT you wouldn't believe the amount of fucking coal mining. even ostrava had a buttload of rusted out plants from soviet days. this area is called silesia and is famous for coal mines and man, have they milked it. I think they're trying to clean things up, I heard ostrava itself used to smell real band... me and brother steve's czech friend kamilsky said they're turning one of the huge once-mega-belcher toilets smack in the middle of town into art spaces and stuff like that. good move, bravo, czech people! we get to the 'port around three and a half a gotta wait for the same kind of flight at six and a half that got us here: a lufthansa crj 700, one of those little guys. in the meantime brother steve gets shook down by customs and asked to prove his sax is his. now this is the same selma tenor he used on the stooges' "fun house" album, by the way. good thing he has a paper for he's been carrying since 1980 he says. I see the whole thing go down and actually the customs man was pretty nice about it, apolgizing much. larry comes over a raps about organs and I tell him about my secondmen organman pete mazich who's way deep into that stuff. gotta connect him w/larry's los feliz buddy luther who's also an organman.

   theses chuck taylors I got have finally been done (feeling the deck through holes in the bottoms), so I put on the ones I brought in the man sack and dumped the old ones in a gomi can before I board the plane.

watt's worn out chucks ready for gomi can at katowice airport

once onboard, I fix the laces cuz I hate the x-cross style, I like them straight across and then running them underneath the sides cuz there's less stress along the sides. it's an hour to the frankfurt airport and though there's a passport check, there's no security and even more accomodating (I say that cuz we got like a half hour between flightss) is the gate ain't too far away, in fact it close enough for me to have currywurst but damn, they put catchup w/it also and it's too sweet. aaaaaarrrrrggggghhh, why didn't they ask if I wanted catchup bumrushing this wurst? I choke it down and I guess it's ok cuz I didn't puke. right after a croatian airlines a320 is ready to take us to zagreb, that takes an hour. on the plane they're selling marlboro cartons of cigarettes for twentysix euros (like $3.41 u.s. a pack) which is way econo but I ain't smoking these days.

   zagreb is the big town in croatia and my pedro town has a lot of folks from that country but they're from the coast, the part called dalmatia mostly. the lady who gets us is actually from split she tells us, dalmatia's big town. actually our pedro dalmatians are lots from an island called vis, like nanny's ma - nanny does my shirts for my tours. trippy connect. I think this is my fourth time playing in this town, second time w/the stooges. it's twenty of eleven and we ain't gotta to far to get to "esplanade zagreb" which is our 'tel here, trippy spanish in the name, huh? the "supermoon" has to deal w/much cloudcover... no full disk (it is full though) but damn if that bright silver it's got tonight ain't trying its hardest to slice through. it's kind of ol' timey pad, everyone very nice here and they let me get mr slouch, max and larry beer for three euros each even though they use kuna. july first this country becomes part of the e.u. but I don't think w/the money yet. mr slouch tells us about being part of a team that did speedway (he was a mechanic) and it's a trip cuz I used to watch that stuff at ascot in gardena as a boy, my newspaper delivery boss would take me. wild shit, repect. soundcheck is at one so we end the windbagging at one for konk.

   gig day and I pop at eight and hurry down to shovel from the free trough. I have a salad (!) w/oil/vinegar/tomatoes/onions/horseradish plus a toast w/mushy scrambled eggs/bacon before going back up to get my yellow coat cuz damn if it a rainy zagreb today. the gig's an outdoor one at a park on a man-made island in lake jarun (which is made by the sava river) and is called the inmusic festival and we did maybe the second one they ever had...

wristband for inmusic festival + watt's limited edition g-shock giallo watch

it was when we were w/ronnie, I think it was 2007. very soaked ground, very gray skies so maybe terrible for the gig-goers tonight? we are on late and lots of times stooges gigs bring a halt to downpowers, I sure so hope so cuz man if I don't feel for them, feel big time empathy. scary too for me so I use geisha boy steps. we do every tune in the set, do every tune in abbrev'd form, first time for that but the band is tight and it makes sense, good call from james. we get back to the 'tel and I chimp diary, getting caught up, pictures and everything. I know it might seem like I'm 'tard but I feel a big relief. even there's burden I kind of feel w/diary, I also feel it big time helps me focus and not get too unravled on tour.

   I leave early for lobby and what I'm think is our nine pm gathering time. I see larry hoofing back to the 'tel and realize I read james' last email about lobby time wrong like a baka. fuck... I'm a baka. I use the time however to chase down the photographer for the photo on the up coming "mouthful" album - that'a the name of a proj I was part of that recorded in memphis a year and a half ago, the resulting album 'pert-soon is to be released. trippy lineup for me, it's trumpet, two saxes, clarinet, drums and bass - no guitar or keyboard. I wrote three of the tunes for it specifically, not a lot of experience w/horn stuff w/me except for brother steve of course w/the stooges and I got him on board for this - first time either of us have recorded in memphis.

   right time for leaving for the gig, the driver's talking w/drummerman larry about the six bijelo dugme ("white button" in serbo-croatian) albums he just bought. now I know about this band from my buddy stanislav and later my secondmen organman pete - the were huge band in 70s in former yugoslavia which of course this land was part of. I get in my outfit once I chow a pork chop and a little pasta kind fo the thing in the galley. it was a good grilled cooked, tasty. cuz of soundcheck, james says we don't need a pre-gig prac so instead we spiel about more about cultures getting into other cultures, making guesses about why (a continuation of our previous german/u.s. indian spiel). there's a band from australia that's already played and now there's one from england playing now. the really good thing is the rain has quit, righteous.

   late gig, we're due on at quarter after eleven so five minutes ahead of that I hobble for the stage. I get up on stage-port and find there's no way to get across to my side unseen so back down and driverman clyde helps me across the muddy grass and then up the ramp to where I can hide a little bit and still be close enough to make it to where I need when the time comes. I gotta hold on to a pole cuz there's a big drop where I'm waiting - this stage is pretty high up and actually doesn't feel that secure - whoa don't wanna thing about that now... the lights go off and I see james leading larry in a trot. kind of stumblebum from james' intro for "raw power" or just seems that way - actually my sound is kind of lame when I likewise stumblebum in - a "dink" midrange w/no bottom, it was nothing like this at soundcheck... no time to bellyache though, we're underway and there's a gig to do. "gimme danger" I've notice these last couple times ig is waiting longer to come in singing - not too long but longer and that's why you'd have to be a total baka to try and sleepwalk through a stooges gig, you gotta be big time on your awares. I ask jos for a little more angle w/my speaker boxes cuz I can't hear the laneys over this crummy monitor sound. I wonder if there's a phase issue? this gig is being sponsored by a beer company and many beers are getting tossed not really up at us but on each other as we deliver "gun" at a good clup, "I got a right" bang after that. they got stairs for ig to climb down so he can work the moat. I see video cameramen too so maybe there's screens on the side of the stage? prolly. the band is chugging tight. james gets us right into "search and destroy" which I really feel a good undertow, a powerful one and ig riding it too much like a surfer w/total autonomy from the waves. I keep my shirt sleeves buttoned up for "fun house" - that fan's blowing good, real good! I drank some coconut waters ahead of the gig still. ig calls up for dancer and damn if it ain't a massive pogo up w/us and them. I see eric melvin - holy cow! I love this cat, he's just the best. I had great honor in serving on a bunch of punk rock karaoke gigs w/him. looks like he's having a great time. man, what a surprise. I get a little buck wild for "l.a. blues" and hurt my shin on the platform mr slouch has the laneys up on when I monkey-hump the amps. baka watt. I go to get things in a tune and eric's gone - damn, I wanted much to hug him. damn. it really was wild but the zagreb dancers are civil in their wildness, respect to them. I hope I got all those notes in on "night theme" cuz it was a little blurry at first... I make one more tune check as james revs up "skull thing" - ig jumping back out to join us and I see ig needing water but can't find the right way to communicate that to jos and some play all the stuff I need for "beyond the law" cuz it's got no real gaps, you know? I just hate to see ig for lack of water, especially in his mouth. actually at this time of night and w/this weather, I ain't seen him pour any over his head and damn if I ain't still rolled up my sleeves. we're next right into "johanna" and I notice james has been much over near the drums, I'm wondering how his sound is over there... I know he likes to find the spots where he hears everything. later he'll tell us felt weirdness here but I thought we laid it out good and heavy - he did freeze on the segue next going into "ready to die" but got real quick, w/in a bar even. always alert ig caught though, I see him look over. ig's got a good sense of the big picture, always did since I've been w/him which is 122 months now, man, that is a little while, huh? I've only done dos for longer! anyway, I've got this baby now, used to have it a little rough w/the transition (ig changed the bass from the album which was a james williamson riff) - I can get it out and grooving right from the first figure... it's got good bounce. now for "I wanna be your dog" james really ups the tempo and the band does a flying version. I can't say ain't into it - ig digs fast! stage way up though so rocket j squirrel leaps but much woofs and snarls though, biting on the mic cord. "no fun" next w/out larry bringing a close, another good bounce, zagreg folks digging it, ig working them, hanging by bent arm from invisible monkey bars for emphasis. closer "you're pretty face is going to hell" and I did it pretty much the best I have since maybe australia? I gotta be honest about it and tell you I think it is. I turned the fan off... the sounds better - you think that could've had something to w/it, it is front of the monitors... we're done but I come back from whence I came cuz it seems far where they are. I feel stupid by myself, I look over at tourboss henry... they're prolly thinking why is that idiot over there. actually there was a spilled water bottle and I did wanna chance slipping in that also. I'm just paranoid w/that fucked up knee. so glad the rain helf off for our whole gig, not just for us but for the gig-goers. I'm so releived also when I see james trot out, we gotta be doing "penetration" next and yep, that's what he plays. trip ending by larry though and a little stumble from me to get sex and money going, james now w/the opening tuned guitar so he can play slide. brother steve has a big solo in this tune, a whole verse and a chorus - righteous. ig faces us in front of larry's kick to conduct are finish tight. then I check tuning w/the tuner muting me and like a total 'tard, space on unmuting it so I ain't there where I should for the beginning of "open up and bleed" - ig looks over and I feel like a fucking idiot, I look over a mr slouch and he laughs, that helps some - I get my rear in gear. the p.a. folks have got the pieazo pickup sound from james' guitar like trotsky icepicks coming through the monitors, I can't ig sing and ig can't himself sing but still we plow through - this band is that together. respect. comes to the end part w/just me and larry and then here comes ig in the leopar coat again - what's that thing made out of? ig's making hands to like wind it up but I'm looking over at james for his nod, thank god it comes soon cuz I don't want ig to think I'm ignoring him, it's just that james told me to wait for his nod... I wonder if he told ig about that? anyway, spurt it away (like five glisses on the e string from me) and quick right into "cock in my pocket" which is a trip to see ig sitting at the edge of the stage singing a tun like that. the coat ain't thick but w/the temp now, I bet you it's handy. he's still gotta dance though - calls out for "louie louie" and we got it tight the whole way 'cept for one clam the bass player blows, a one note one but someone captured and that's what I call karma. damn me. we close the show for real delivering "burn" where james again brings a lead in early but you know what? it sounds like it might go there! the zagreb cats were sure great to play for, deep bows from me. I toss jos the bass which he catches easy. larry helps me down the steep stairs, my life in his hands. thank you big time, larry.

   I get out the sweated outfit in minutes - this has gotta be the quickest pull anchor we've done ever, like ig doing a runner - which in fact he did. some huge four wheel forklift blocks our way though once we're in the ride... james asks me about this "47" tattoo I got on the back of my starboard upper arm, guess he saw it when I was changing though like ronnie, he always freaks out when I do that but hell, I grew up in navy housing and don't care about getting naked. anyway, I tell him one reason is for my half-brother justin, got it on my fortyseventh bday - he's thirty years younger and it's for our pop (in his memory), a way of being in solidarity and he'd just showed me one he got on his forearm w/my pop's intials but I am more shy. back at the 'tel and I drink one of those beers from a company that sponsored this fest, ozujsko, but I kind of choke it down. I don't puke though so maybe it's ok. after washing purple shirt in sink w/shampoo from the 'tel and then putting it on hanger, I do a quick soak in tub myself and then force myself to konk after checking w/james to see if that "germs, guns and steel" book I found out about from him is the right one he wants me to read. it is. trippy, like me and d. boon in the old days! damn, gotta konk, it's 'pert-near coming on two...

wednesday, june 26, 2013 - goteborg, sweden

   yesterday and I pop at six and a half, good time to get out and down to the trough for a quick shovel before the quarter after seven pull anchor for zagreb airport. quick shovel on another salad like yesterday morning but more vinegar this time w/the olive oil. on the ride, me and larry talk about igor vidmar, the man who got me to first start playing the former yugoslavia starting in the late 80s. man, I miss him - he was a true tripper, a great cat... good thoughts for brother igor. I wrote him a song for him on my "ball-hog or tugboat" album, not too baka that "song for igor" is its title, right? sometime I ain't so subtle. we got gray skies but no rain, am into that. we're using rented stuff mostly for the next two gigs, driverman clyde onto marmande in southwest france. safe seas to him, truly.

   at security I have to empty out whole back wack 'puter sack but it's no prob. smaller airport and no big lines, people nice though some getting on the bus and on/off plane w/peckers pushing on the crippled dude (me) but that's everywhere. waiting for the flight and watching up at a monitor hawking zagreb's wares (trippy seeing it in "departures" part of 'port!), turns out the 'tel we konked at here in town was built in 1925 for passengers riding on the orient express when they stopped here. damn.

close up on art near the elevator in esplanade zagreb lobby

I'm guessing this is the same coratia airlines airbus 320 from whence we came cuz I see "dubrovnik" painted on its side. the daily workhorse? I know for sure we're getting to know the frankfurt airport! about eighty minutes and we're on the ground there, lots of hobbling after passport check and then security again... still more hobbling for me and at a cart on the way I get a reisenbockwurst, roll and pickle plus mustard hanging from a bottle upsidedown where it's like you're milking cow to squeeze out a puddle I mix w/some fried onions that got onto my tray. I'm chowing up cuz I plan not to chow dinner tonight like I did in zagreb cuz that would entail me changing over to the local currency, croatian kuna or in this case swedish krona and I don't need to add to both the coin collection for back home or the monetary loss so yeah, scissor supper and hold out for the free breakfast trough. it's an older model 737 on lufthansa for an hour and a half to reach goteborg on the west side of sweden, we land at the landvetter airport about three, no passport check even. I had bologna seat but shorter trip made for less hell. gray skies here too like earlier down south but also pretty mild and not cold. this is sweden's number two town and I'm trying to remember if I ever played here before? my fucking memory... we never see james or ig or tourboss henry on these parts of this tour leg (or konk pads, it's split up) but max rides w/us from the airport and I get to learn about the old marquee and eel island clubs of the 60s from him. usually it's larry, brother steve and me in one ride and the rest in another but I'm glad max has bucked that. I find all the cats involved most interesting and like being around them. so much of the time I'm on my own anyway on tour. damn if we don't smell fish on our way to baggage claim, ain't that a trip? I know we're by the

   we're at a "radisson blu" 'tel, cousin of the one we were at in stockholm last year. walking around the central train station, it's very cosmopolitan and a check on the swedish wikipedia page says since 2012 about 27% of the pop had a either part or full-on gaijin (foreign in jap) background. it's my own ignorance I think making me kind of surprised... I like mixed and I guess I get used to thinking only so cal is that way, what a fucking baka I am!

art outside near the central train station in goteborg, sweden

it's one of the great things about this work I got, physically going to different pads and getting some first-hand experience, nothing like it - I'm most grateful for these experiences help getting my mind opened up. this town is laid all along sweden's mississippi which is called gota alv where it meets the kattegatt part of the north sea, a sailor's town but I guess the home of the goths in the old days... maybe an example of some of the cyclic things human, from pretty much calm out crazy wild. I go back to the 'tel and read the soseki book before konking pretty early, don't know when but the window seemed dark, kind of... long days in summer the more north you go, you know...

   gig day and it's five bells when I pop! I get a good good soak before the trough open an hour and an half later (fingers/toes all pruned up) and since it's scandi, there's pickled herring and salmon so I have that w/some shrooms, toast, tomatoes and bacon. mr shimmy wants spiel about his new "3579" album which is great so I chimp that. drummerman larry flowed me a link to a program called "the last kings of norse america" on red ice radio where robert g. johnson & janey westin are interviewed in regards to something called "the kensington runestone" plus other related stuff and what they know about it. trippy shit here, damn.

   four bells and were driven about fifteen minutes to an amusement park similar to the sitch last year in stockholm at grona lund, in a kind of band shell called stora scenen pa liseberg. it's raining some, skies real gray. I gotta do little geisha boy steps to keep safe, don't want a "down goes frazer!" like what happened last week in brighton. we do the whole set in abbre'v form, like one big song. mixman max ain't into this and I can see his point but james is... we do full version prac of "the passenger" though but ig's request, jos singing it a la jimmy durante. when we finish it's back to the dressing rooms and the nice people part of the gig bring me a steak w/a truffle sauce which turns out for me to be kind of lame, too much covering up and I think I would've had w/just salt pepper but hell, I tried it and know better next time. oh, when we first got here I had a small sandwich that james scolded me for cuz of ruining my dinner appetite but actually altogether it was ok. I can't play stuffed of course but I had no chow since that shoveling at the trough way early this morning. don't wanna be running on fumes for the gig, right? there's a couple of cans of coconut juice but larry's right about maybe us trading all these soft drinks they give us for like ninety percent of that? our rider is really wack w/what we actually want which ain't that much. like mustard, you know? and what's wrong w/broccoli if they wanna give us that? we are simple chowers.

   there's no opening band. we're due on at eight pm and I'm way into that. I think one think that might've made last gig zagreb a little tough was going on at quarter after eleven, a late nighter for a band like us. another great thing is the rain went away. it's gray but it's dry and that's happening. I go up a few minutes early and see the place where folks can see us is pretty much filled up good. I'm close enough to easily make the hobble towards jos and get the bass from him, actually before james gets his guitar on or even starts "raw power" - is that a first? whoa, need some up on the loud knob - I got two stacks of new blackface svt classics, cabs stacked sideways on each other w/the heads between larry and the cabs on a riser holding all my bass stuff except the tuners and d.i. - they're on larry's riser. this is mr slouch's idea and I got an idea of my own to supplement this maybe for next time... fuck, no time for that now, there's a ton of folks in front of a bunch of rides before us in need of full-frontal of stoogeness, here's "gimme danger" once our opener has kicked shit off, ig's bringing it strong, us behind him, following his lead - I wanna be a hard charger too! I got my sleeves rolled down and buttoned, new one "gun" after the two old and bold, ig's having a good time w/it before back w/even older, "1970" but you know maybe very well where this one's going... where the sun don't shine! I look at the list but w/my glasses off and on larry's riser, maybe the type's a little small cuz larry starts up "I got a right" and damn, if I wan't in the moment... hell, I ain't even gonna try and think about that! we get down to whuppin' this up BIG time. that ain't james' blackstar amps I'm hearing, it's rented marshalls and they got kind of the midrange coming off of brother steve's claves, no girth. ain't terrible though. "search and destroy" immediately from him once w/stomp down "...right" w/larry on a rented ludwig kit but great he brought his own masshoff snare. I try to unbutton my sleeves while ig calls for dancers but I'm too slow and he wants "fun house" so I bring, up come them dancers and they swarm him, I'm watching it, clearer for me than usual though some cats come up and try to mime words, show me some steps. it's a good time and I spank the bass good in "l.a. blues" w/larry getting some way good freakouts, brother steve blowing on his tenor like "maceo on acid" like he likes to quote someone else who said that - I forget but for me when I hear/feel him, there's a bunch of soul. it's cool out but hell if I ain't sweating now for "night theme" and make sure I'm tuned up right for "skull thing" - another slight adjust for "beyond the law" cuz you're gonna heat it beat like a motherfucker in "johanna" w/it's octave slammed half notes if it ain't. larry gets one click on the hihat in when he see ig raise his hand - I see it too but he stops but james don't and charges out w/"ready to die" w/out him, larry's left behind and I wait for him to join though the parallel universe thing is not avoided and even if ig is singing on the other side of whatever. the chorus comes though and everyone jumps on, that pivot on the b-flat makes it real way clear for a meeting point and from then on we have it tight and together. man, that was a pants-shitter and I think in the older days ig would've stopped us and start over but we recovered good, snapped right back. ig even called out james' name for his guitar solo at the end! righteous he trusts us. I wonder why james left the starting line w/out his drummer? anyway, no prob/got fixed, onto "I wanna be your dog" and no stage dive from ig but damn if he didn't look he might! james ain't as fast in zagreb but I still hold it back a little - I think it can never be too fast for ig! I really like pacing ig's made for us w/this set, like how he puts "...right" up there near the front instead of around here. I turn the fan on as the ending chords ring on - "no fun" coming right out from under, way groovin', very happening. the three cameras on tripod way out in the middle seem silly, there all stiff and everything, like a movie set. I guess there's sidescreen maybe showing the gig in real time? hard to know from where we are. "the passeger" is the closer, first time doing this since last year and I'm talking w/ig, never did prac w/him on it even. there's parts where james don't alternate the last chord g one time and e the other and I wait for him to switch so I can get on board w/him but I guess he's doing the same thing - ha! next time I'll stay to where I am. ig digs it though - well, we end real tight and come off w/ig telling letting us know it was a good job. he's in great spirits. he tells james to go back out when he's ready and I hobble in front of him which though I'm a little is so good so I don't get in the way so easy. we do "penetration" right into "sex and money" real smooth, larry helping me w/the last hit of the former being the one of the later and then we do "open up and bleed" where ig asks the crowd if it'd be a trip if he died in goteborg - there's kind of a bunch a talk about dying at the gigs lately from him, scary for me but I kind of know it's hyperbole (big word time) and working the room too. man, I want ig never die, I love this man much. before the third verse he asks if it ever gets dark cuz you now about being this far north - he tells them he's only having fun, he knows what up... prolly the most crazy sounding version of "cock in my pocket" I've heard james play cuz something wrong w/his fischman pedal (actually one of five he has) that makes him sound like he's squeezing on a duck or strumming a uke w/rubber band strings! trippy lead though, interesting. he clicks every pedal he's got for "burn" though and it's prolly a good thing, ig w/the cheetah-on-the-back coat on but taking it off for the real closer, "your pretty face is going to hell" after thanking the people much ("hey dad!" he says to one cat in the front and damn if I don't see a big viking-like man (except for horn-rimmed glasses!) kiss the shit out of him when he working the moat starboard-side... I mean he was mackin' all over him: arms, back, face - ig cracking up big time, unbelieving it was happening - me too! it's a good time though, truly. what a fun gig. thank you, goteborg people! tourboss henry gives me a backpat saying good job, much respect to him, truly.

   ig does a runner, we go back to the dressing rooms and laugh about the funny stuff during the gig, those clams and that "cock..." guitar sound, stuff like that. everyone in a great mood. we thank the venue helperpeople, they were very kind and yeah to be back at the 'tel before midnight, right on! a little spiel downstairs and then I go back to soak both me and the purple shirt for tomorrow's journey to norway. I only feel my soreness a little bit right now and konk easy.

review of june 26, 2013 stooges gig in goteborg, sweden in local paper

friday, june 28, 2013 - oslo, norway

   popped thursday at seven and got everything ready to go. mr slouch said he wanted us all to chow at eight but only brother steve's down there when I arrive on the dot - love this yellow watch, not only is solar powered so I don't have to worry about winding it or getting a battery, it also checks in for a signal for an atomic clock source periodically so I don't have to adjust it either. I like how there ain't a lot of folks wearing yellow watches either. actually it seems less and less watches are worn cuz people lean on the leashes so much these days, __________ (you fill in the blank w/creative cuss words, please). I chow what I did the day before but fuck, I forgot my hashi so have to use shovel, I mean fork. I have watermelon like larry likes me to though he arrives kind of late... max has to go through six eggs to find some softboil he likes. mr slouch has a point when he says they should have like a little hot water tub and you boil your own - I've seen that at some troughs before, good idea.

   nine bells we pull anchor for the airport. cloudy but still sunny - will around 170 miles north by northeast make a diff when we get to oslo up in norway, our next gig? fortyfive minute flight on wideroe dash 8-311 turboprop (very kind flight attendant wants to know what work I have and is into ig when I tell, tak!) to oslo airport in gardermoen (they got some art embedded in little chambers in the deck in the baggage claim area, weird trippy glass things!),

deck at the baggage claim at oslo gardermoen airport

about fifty klicks from downtown oslo (norway's biggest town plus its capitol) and "the grand hotel" which is right by the norwegian parliament and where we're staying (trubonegro's happy tom tells me "where all the nobel peace prize winners stay") - we get in around one in the afternoon. the elevator I get in w/max and brother steve stops working but at least the hatch stayed open. brother steve's in the chamber next to me and lends me fingernail clippers, I just hate working bass w/any kind of a nail and am most grateful. also way into drummerman larry flowing me "flash" by the moving sidewalks which had zz top man billy gibbons in it. trippy shit, damn. it was raining when we landed (those miles did make a diff!) but though not yellow beams, the skies do dry and I hobble around real careful. like w/these lands w/the non-euro/non-pound currencies and being in each only two days, I resist changing monies over and the plan is just to starve/dry out 'til the morning/night next day where there's free trough from the 'tel and likewise at the venue. as for the heavy economy fall of europe lately, it didn't happen to norway, one reason cuz of all of her north sea oil and stuff is spendy. how many times in this neighborhood for me downtown, maybe four? five? I don't get tired of it though: past the national theatre (mr ibsen was mr joyce's favorit playwrite)

statue of henrik ibsen in front on national theatre in oslo, norway

and there's lots by the water and sailors here are proud of having wood and not fiberglass boats, beautiful. a lot of work w/the maintenance but beautiful. damn, there's a big munch exhibition but a little tricky w/me in my state to get to so I hobble back after a while and after chowing the pieces of fruit that was wrapped on a plate in my room - I guess everyone who checks in gets one, I chimp diary 'til the sun finally sinks behind a roof next door around ten pm (still don't get total dark though) and do a big soak in a tub good and deep enough if still a little too short - well, can't have everything.

   gig day... pop at six and shovel from the trough here. they got fried eggs already made up that taste fresh and you saw your own slices to make toast. there's smoked salmon that's real good some trippy salad w/tiny cubes of goats cheese w/red onions and tomatoes. fuck though, I space on what floor I'm on. so embarrassing - I knew I was wrong when I saw this trippy half of floor and on the bulkheads no pictures of sailboats (can remember that shit). the doorman and me have a laugh about it - 740 and not 440 I find out, crimony. to the water w/a sunny morning two gulls doing the trippiest foraging together, one doing sitdowns every now and then but both singing their brains out. trippy crow/ravens keep their distance but doing a strange side-stepping on them, these kind are black w/big gray patches, much different than ours in so cal. I remember I got attacked by a couple in finland but they got driven of by jays - now that was a trip! I take pictures and spend more time, see the nobel peace prize building and trip on the old fort on the other side, love the water... missing my pedro town. hey, I drink tea after hobble - it's called "white tea & pomegranate" - never had this before. I don't know much about o-cha (tea) but like this. for me macha is the best, very powerful - not england kind though I've had some strongs kinds of that too but nothing like BRIGHT BRIGHT finely powdered macha. one time mrs yuka showed me the ritual of doing that shit right, gave me and my a set of the things to do it when I took her to new york city - she ain't been since she visited from her little wyoming town to see her sicilian grandma when she was a little girl. besides taking the circle line around manhattan and then visiting ellis island and the statue one next to it, I walked her around and showed her shit in nyc as much as I could, 'til her feet were bloody stumps you might say. her biggest kick was chowing on the sidewalk in little italy - it was fleet week and all the sailors were in their summer whites. we chowed w/mrs yuka in chinatown. damn I wish my ma could've saw me earlier this month in long beach... damn.

   a quarter of three is time for us to get over to the gig for soundcheck - it ain't that faraway and it's called sentrum scene here's what happy tom wrote me last night about it:

"...awesome venue you guys are playing, the cradle of rocknroll in Norway: there were the first teenage riots ever in Norway after the screening of "Blackboard Jungle" in 1956!"

damn, a piece of history, alright! you wouldn't there was a gig here really, the sidedoor or a big rectangular non-descript office/apartment-looking building takes us up a few floors to this big room that was once a cinema. there must be a lot of stuff in this building but this room has got a high overhead and done up w/lots of pattern that looks like the grills on vox amps, that diamond-patterned trip, you know? we do the abbrev'd setlist we did last gig after I ask for the mic on my cab to get moved to the other side. I had called mr slouch last night before konk about maybe switching sides w/the amps and cabs so they wouldn't have to throw so far where I stand near larry's starboard crash and this will help me from hitting the mic in the monkey-humping part I do in the set. I respect mr slouch's opinion much and know aesthetics matter much but he hears me out here w/these practical issues. speaking of issues, larry's got some probs w/the rented ludwig set's hihat (I'm using the same kind of rented stuff I did last night, new svt classics and same w/james a la a vox ac-30 and two marshall half stacks) so he's gotta keep on that when we go up stairs and I get another sandwich (I got one when we arrived) of some good baked bread w/cheese and ham. they got mustard but damn there's sugar in like they do it in bavaria. I ain't into sugar in the mustard like I ain't into sweet ketchup in the curry - that's for others and so be it, I want tart. anyway, they're cooking us up a dinner but it won't be ready for an hour so me and brother steve follow james and just hoof it (I hobble, brother steve goes slower w/m) to the 'tel cuz lobby ain't 'til eight. it's a little scary w/the cobblestones and lots of peeps (it's downtown oslo pedestrian mall parts) but doable. at the 'tel I get the "superdooperlooper" album http://whartontiers.bandcamp.com/album/superduperlooper my old friend wharton tiers has just put it out, trippy and I like it. you know once wharton recorded me and bob quine w/lee ranaldo, steve shelley doing bobby dylan's "visions of johanna (a freeze out)" in his studio? bob quine along w/ivan jullian (both of dick hell's voidoid guitarists) were sensei to d. boon and I dug them much too. everyone said bob quine was mean and watch out but he was really kind to mean. he told me the first cat he saw play electric guitar was buddy holly in ohio (kent, I think) the year I was born ('57, the same year as sputnik), damn!

   eight bells and we gather at the 'tel door for our return to the venue. the driverman tells that bomb let off last year by the fucknut who after that went to a youth camp to shoot all kinds of folks to death was only a little way up the road. I guess people from other places was kind of an "issue" he had and maybe it's likewise w/the upcoming election. a shudder goes through me I try to hide w/laughs. it's elevator land w/the dressing rooms and stage on different floors. I'm glad to know there's the stair option also. my pop always tried to pound into my head the idea of always having a bravo, a plan b. was father's day last week? fuck, I forget and actually I get sad cuz damn, I miss him much... fuck, twentytwo years later and it's still that way, strong on me. we pass ig's room, he's already here - I wave and say "hey ig!" as we pass, he hollers back "hey mike!" I get into my outfit, find clean chonies in a sack. roadboss jane so nice to us. we're due on at nine and a half, maybe we're here a little early but pass the time easy w/spiel about james dean and jokes. ten minutes to go, I leave for my place to get on stage, jos brings ig's wife nina who helps me down the stairs, very kind of her. this whole team helps me so much, a big reason I try my hardest, that and it being stooge music which I love so fucking big time. james shows us his newest fake fingernail, it goes over the one on the index finger of his picking hand. he's been putting one before every gig on this tour - I don't know when he started doing this but he's making a point now to show us. pretty trippy. I think it's good he's thinking about protecting his assets.

   mixman max has been using miles davis "bitch's brew" for intro music and it's on now. I'm in between curtains stage starboard so no one can see me. I am nervous like usual right about now... we're two minutes late (!) when tourboss henry gives the house light kill signal - I see james followed by larry appear and that's my cue to get my hobble on... good, not that far and jos has got the bass around me like the pro he is, in one smoov move. again lots of time like last night, I actually see james before "raw power" erupts out of his hands! that don't happen much but here we are and the norge folks want it so it races out to bring it, bringing it hard. there's some little papers like fortune cookie fortune's floating around - am I really seeing that? small stage, I like this in some ways cuz he always can have ig your filed of view w/out having to turn the head much and w/the gig-goers going off in front of him, it's surreal - I gotta maintain though and get lost in it, gotta work the bass. damn if I can't feel it all electric in a way, hair standing up on the neck then... wake up! someone's chucked a cup of coke w/ice and one cube gets under the foot w/the bad knee - fuck, I slide and 'pert-near go down, my heart seems to skip, crimony! mr slouch pretty much quick comes and gets the ice wiped, very grateful watt for such vigilance, truly! I almost slide the other way to get some bottom up cuz now the amps are on the other side of the speaker boxes, not a problem of ice but the fan keeps me from closer and I'm awkward w/my cojo knee. I don't go down and am right the for "gimme danger" but damn, how lucky can I stay? "hunker down, watt" I tell myself and miscount when I got my fill under james (I only do two now, four apart) but that ain't maybe that critical and I'm in time... "gun" and I got some time to adjust the top box which is run by the top amp (good thinking from the helpermen), I slide on the knob but get it back - klutz! I get away and over more by larry where it's best to be anyway, he's doing real good w/that lame piece-o hihat he couldn't get fixed cuz it's suck-ass in the design department. ig tells the folks thanks and "bless you... this one's going right in the ass" as james brings in "1970" and ig takes first "shower" of the gig was a bottle of water going over his head... I can see yiannis from greece's brother thymios right in front of him, singing every word! yeah, yiannis is the only left home w/thymios here, bro vangelis in brazil and cousin themis in florida... some wild floor tom (scotty came up w/this) to cue the ending and then larry brings us "I got a right" which is full-on harpoon toss, ig delivers a stage dive. the moat is real small, especially where they built for our gig a little "table" to give the the stage a "bow" of sorts. I think this is asked in our rider, not exactly a table but an extension. the gig-goers explode for "search and destroy" - whoa, like a pile of mr nobel's invention, crimony! I'm smelling something electrical cooking, like transformer windings or speaker voicecoils... is asks for "asses up on the stage, right now!" it's time for a call for dancers and him literally calling for "fun house" - I got just enough time to get the shirt sleeves rolled up. and here's thymios, steppin' big time to the beat of the living dead right in front of me, wish I could hug him but I gotta work bass. the dancers get a little wild, a lady's butt almost bowls me over, tourboss henry comes to my rescue. crowd gets thick enough cats can't see either my monitor wedges or the fan and are tripping and falling all over the place... damn, I hope everyone's ok. it's wild, folks are lit up here w/us and though a little scary (mainly cuz of the fucking knee) it's a good time! I love people getting down w/the stooges, love it! I wail on it for "l.a. blues" - where the speaker boxes are now, the riser doesn't hit me in the knee and the bass headstock doesn't hit the mic, very happening. sad thing is I never see thymios again, damn. I know he's gotta still be here, out in the crowd somewhere but not where he was. he got swept out when the stage got cleared, finishing up as we start "night theme" and it sounds like I'm pretty in tune, on through "skull thing" (an abbrev'd instrumental of "skull ring") and "beyond the law" but in "johanna" I can tell the low 'e' is a little flat and fix that. is'g mic went out in the first verse but jos has always got a plan b mic w/cable at the ready (maybe even a plan c one too!) so when ig gets this he has us keep going so he can bring in that first verse right, in its entirety. the band's w/him, we stay the course. after two gigs of misfires, "ready to die" is more happening tonight w/james doing a twist on the solo it sounds like, different than the album which I think is way ok. another stage dive from ig, a running one to set off james' solo for "I wanna be your dog" and right near the end one of my amps tanks, the top one. I'm amazed to see jos whup up the back up one - it's fucking eightyfive fucking pounds and before ig can start the first verse of "no fun" he's got it hooked up and I"m back in the race. great job, mr slouch came over and assisted. our last tune again like last night is "the passenger" which I think I do really ok 'til the very end where I think it's done w/only one set of "lala's" instead, what a fucking baka I am. it's a stumblebum but maybe not a total clam. fuck, what an idiota. we go back, I'm actually first back on the correct side... I feel embarrassed and move more to the opening, everyone more in than me behind the current. we're back out for the encore doing "penetration" w/james kicking out blister lead, smokin' - he switches to open tuned by mr slouch guitar for slide on "sex and money" which I pretty much got now under my belt thoroughly and can work it tight w/larry. brother steve has his smokin' solo of the encore on sax here. ig tells the folks about his grandma coming from here, that he has norway blood in them, big roars from the folks for that. mr slouch had just given james a trippy-sounding tuned guitar for "open up and bleed" but I'm wondering if it ain't me and look at the tuner I got on all the time and it reads good - jos tuned it up just before handing it to me for these encore tunes... damn, what is it? james won't give me a look so I just soldier on. we whup it good and fast, larry doesn't hear my glisses though when james give me a nod after again changing guitars but he's out soon enough after realizing I ain't playing any more - ig now in his leopard coat does the infamous count-in for "cock in my pocket" he goes to the stage's "bow" and delivers it there, shedding the coat for "burn" which has righteous churn and then end the night w/a "your pretty face is going to hell" that's a real pummeler, crimony!

   one of the pad's staff holds up the elevator so I make my own mouse-way up the stairs cuz damn if I sweated all up. I am cramped though, none! fucking happening. I really think it's that fan. I had drank four of these big coconut waters I've never had before, that prolly helped too. I quick get out of the sweated outfit. I ask james about the "...bleed" tuning and he said it sounded weird too. whew, in a way that's a relief cuz I was feeling kind of maybe I was more crazy than I... well, it is still a trippy thing cuz mixman max comes in and he says he heard nothing weird that way - what? max has incredible ears too. damn. oh well.

   mr old buddy happy tom from turbonegro lives here and he's brought w/him bobby zodiac, singer of the oslo motherfuckers who also taught literature at harvard in cambridge back home for four years along w/a writer friend and euroboy who is WAY INTO james as a guitarman to look up to. I'm so glad he's here w/james cuz I know it means much. james is also very kind to him - it's a great thing to see something like this, very happening - a meeting from two way different places, a beautiful thing music can do.

happy tom + watt (l to r) after sentrum scene gig in oslo, norway - june 28, 2013

   me and larry join these guys a couple blocks away at a small pad called "robinet" where someone working there said they're glad we came (it's owned by an old friend of tom's). I have a great rap w/smiling tom and bobby about all kinds of stuff, about raymond is one of them! these guys are very aware of things like wobblies but also current struggle and shitstorms. fucking intense, I can dig it!

   comes two bells though and I pull anchor, I'm on tour w/the stooges and though I was very happy to visit w/my friends, I got responsibility to have it together for these gigs. I wander and get lost some - euro streets ain't mostly on grid and it ain't too hard to do that but a young man gets me back on path near this statue of a big cat, prolly a tiger cuz I think "tiger city" is this town's nickname.

statue of tiger by elena engelsen in oslo, norway

man, this part of oslo on a friday late is sure wild, quite a scene street, crimony! and get this, damn if I ain't like fifty feet to the 'tel when the weak knee gives out, I mean like just folds up and the better one can't bear me so fuck I drop like a dead weight right on both knees, like one of those little puppets where they're rigged up from the bottom w/elastic going to a base where you push thumb and the whole doll immediately collapses into a heap - you know those? it must've looked insane. this black man w/his lady was approach and w/in feet and about to pass by when they saw me crumple and he ran right over, leaving her and though he was too late to break my fall, he got me right back up and asked if I as ok. what a very nice man and so quick to help like that, beautiful. I was kind of in shock so the adrenaline helped keep me up and I thanked him much. I got into the 'tel lobby and there was a handrail I could get up to elevator w/and then using the bulkheads. I get in the tub and soak, I soak and soak... my knees are the size of casaba melons, crimony. I put just enough water in the tub to cover my knees, hot as I can stand it and then konk... that's right, konk in the fucking tub!

sunday, june 30, 2013 - marmande, france

   popped in the tub and it's drained I refill it w/boiling hot water to get one more good soak in... damn, it's still 'pert-near impossible to get out of tub cuz ob hurt knee (more hurt knee cuz other is also hurt) and no fucking handle to hold on to, I crawl over lip tub and onto deck. I don't go down to shovel at the trough, I just lay on deck to rest hurt hizas (knees), both hurt but port-side way worse. I'm hoping/praying I'll hold up for today's travel and not be a burden for the team. comes nine and it's time, I got fifteen minutes to make it down and check out. fuck, I'm astonished kind of that I get it done. I use the wheeled man sack for my clothes in front of me as a walker.

   it's gray but it's dry, we leave whence we came, back fifty klicks to gardermoen airport.

steve mackay at the gardermoen oslo airport in norway - june 29, 2013

I notice this 'port has much wood integrated into its design, norge's are proud of the lumber technique, respect to them. we take off around noon on a klm 737 bound for schipol in amsterdam, big-ass winglets are a give-away it's a newer 700 model, those lufthansa ones we've been on have zero of that, they're older 300's... but man is that boeing design a workhorse or what? john fogerty sang about them in a ccr song over forty years ago! at schipol for me it's a schlep but mr slouch provides w/the little carts they got here that work even better for me than my man sack - brother steve attends me but I ask him to go a head so he don't accidentally bump me and send me tumbling. some interesting art on the way on the bulkhead?

art at schiphol airport's terminal b in amsterdam - june 29, 2013

we arrive at the gate just before it's time to be boarding the plane, yes! cojo friendly: stairs both up and down to get on. some how I start singing some lyrics from the dan ("only a fool would say that") and who's the only amongst us who knows? max - this cat is deep, respect! I'm in same seat (20f) on a different plane/different model an embraer 190 - what are the odds of that? I have my first chow of the day, a ham and tomato on big fresh brown bread that's got sesame seeds... damn, I can't believe how fresh and good it tastes, maybe the best hikoki chow I've ever had - I shit thee not! we're on klm again, bound for bordeaux, the flight's just a little longer, we get in just before four pm.

   vivi picks us up, he's one of alain's crew, the cat who always does our french gigs. oh, larry's girly bag is missing, damn. he makes a claim and hopefully it'll come tomorrow. this used to happen to me all the time all over. I feel bad for brother larry but these things happen, damn. I think what's worse is again he ain't got a shower... neither do I for that matter. the 'tel s the "pullman bordeaux aquitania" in bordeaux du lac which is way north of real bordeaux (the town) and in the fucking middle of nowhere - closest store is u.s. style "big box" mersh pad. I recognize this lake some cuz I skirted it on my way by bicycle to the city of bordeaux from when we stayed at golf course in margaux the last summer I ever played w/ronnie, five years ago now. man, that was a hellride but I had busted my camera and wanted to get a new one... plus I was going crazy at that gold course pad a little bit! I get sad, thinking of ronnie... I go outside and hobble a little bit to survey the sitch but gotta admit to myself I ain't strong enough to make the mission. as I turn to hobble back, jos and francoise are coming up the road - they say they'll get me some salami, bread and cheese. at the 'tel hatch I see driverman clyde, he did the thousand miles from zagreb, congrats to him. he said it was over three hundred euros (about $400 u.s.) in just tolls! I'm glad he's here safe. he's going to that big box store too. turns out jos and francoise ran into brother steve at the big box store who brought the chow to my chamber and I exchange it for euros. it's three euros for a bottle of bordeaux wine from clyde - you'd never see that price back in so cal! very kind people to help me, very kind. I konk around ten.

   gig day and I pop at seven, hurting pretty bad in the knee, leg stiff as a plank. sunny outside the window though, I see a momma duck and her babies on the lake. I go down to shovel from the trough, asking twice if it comes w/the room cuz it wasn't on a paper like most times we get... I get the affirmative both times and chow some pieces of grapefruit, scrambled eggs (not into milk into them though, sorry but not sorry enough to say no!), bacon and a drink to help w/cultures that live in your guts along w/some coff. there's a big group of u.s. older folks who appear to be in this land for the first time - one lady keeps telling her buddies "I love the french, they have cookies for breakfast!" over and over which has me running for a hideaway corner table but still I'm glad these folks made the trip to get some first hand experience and not just let a television and the shill that's hired to tell them how things are. I wish everyone from land could visit over here, I'm very lucky my work lets me. I go back up to my room and use the shower hot as I can stand it direct on my swelled-up knee. I got a gig tonight so I use it a little as possible, catch up on chimping diary and read the rest of that "the gate" book. damn, did those folks take some blows, crimony.

   lobby at four pm, we've had no prac... me, larry and brother steve are taken by an older man named 'fredo in a vw van to marmande, about sixtythree miles southeast of here.

old boneyard on the way to marmande, france - june 30, 2013

I think ig and james are coming from lafitte which is on the other side of there and closer. we arrive around the same time, no little prac amps so I guess no before gig prac either. also there's no chow cuz it gets served at seven but we're on fortyfive minutes after that - too close, they're might be some pukin' otherwise but a backstage helperlady is very kind and we trade the ten sacks of chips they got in our room along w/a couple bowls of candy for some ham, cheese, bread and some mustard that's kind of england style w/strong horseradish fortifying it. merci beaucoup! marmande is on the same river bordeaux is, la garonne which is a big one and in fact flooded not too long ago. there's mosquitos larry's allergic too that he kills, finding a couple - he's played here in this region like fifteen times and once got all bloated in one arm cuz of a bite so he ain't messing around, I don't blame him. I get to say hi to our francegigproviderman alain and his lady, he always asks me "ca va?" ("alright?"), I give him hug and kiss from chair cuz hard to stand up now.

   this gig is part of the garorock festival ("garo" = la garonne river maybe?) and w/downbeat coming up, I ask to get to my jump place ten minutes before that and roadboss jane takes me from the tents we got our rooms in across a field where there's two hugh stages, one getting setting while the other one has a band playing and I gotta say someone was thinking cuz they face south so the setting sun ain't in your eyes while you're working the gig, bravo! at the foot of the stairs is driverman clyde and cuz of my outfit's pants been a little looser in the leg than levis, I pull up them to show both him and jane my fucked up knees. they're shocked about not only the swolled-up size (especially the port-side) but also the big scars on both cuz of my surgeries in my early twenties I had to keep my kneecaps from constantly dislocating. from my late teens to then was a horrible nightmare time w/that, you would not believe the pain and trauma caused by that shit. even though I got it band now, it was nothing compared to those days. the risk was fifty percent for each leg that'd it go stiff but still I went for it cuz my sitch was so bad. I was so lucky to come through both. anyway, I hear the miles davis intro music so that's my cue to get up the stairs. there's nowhere to hide so I just stay right near the stairs and sit on some road cases facing backwards. sure enough almost to the minute I see everyone in band except me appear coming up the stairs for the go... I make my hobble realizing my lame-ass condition so as to be fucking careful as I can but make headway and not trottle down to a mosey, jos does a great job putting the bass around me as I get my glasses off and onto larry's drum riser, fist then in the air and hollering yeah! to welcome ig who comes flying in from the wings as "raw power" spills out of james' guitar, g - o for showtime, the gig-goers holler likewise! I keep my eye on ig. the little "bow" they built for him is not even w/the stage and I gasp cuz of being scared him might trip in those boots he's got on and go over (fuck, are we like ten or fifteen feet up or what?) but he keeps his footing and delivers - I'm thinking we're off to a good start and hell, I even got my sleeves down and buttoned up. it's a little warm but jos has got that good fan he brought w/him - we're playing on our own stuff cuz clyde made the hellride from zagreb, 'member? "gimme danger" is good too - james looks on over but I realize he's looking through me - I think he's looking at the monitorman to turn his acoustic guitar mode piezo pickup sound louder in the monitors. it's trippy I feel like a ghost, he's looking right through me. a cup flies up on stage and he boots it right off, it is me that's the ghost cuz that seemed very real. ig thanks the crowd w/some french as james' guitar rings out "gun" and first larry and then my bass are in, good crowd w/much spirit for a new one I don't know how many people could've heard it before... it drives hard though, good thump/good bump - ig sings it excellent - I think in the old days, the vaudeville expression was "selling it" and that's what he does great. not to rest on that though, here's back-to-back smoke-belchers, "1970" and then "I got a right" which you know are piledrivers but it seems to me six gigs into this run, they ain't wilting one iota. damn, feel like buttkickers w/no let up 'cept the maybe the breakdown in "...right" but the gig-goers kick up right into the groove - ig not have to say a thing, them just spontaneously w/him like that, incredible link they made w/him this close into the set. "search and destroy" next and it's like a celebrate w/exploding minds kind of thing, HUGE release and ig giving him all he's got... he wants them to dance w/us and we go some up on stage but maybe the smallest this run so far and they cling pretty close on him which cuz of my fucked up knee being bad since the oslo crumple, I'm kind of relieved cuz I was a little worried. I don't wanna fold up for the band for anything, you know? man, am I digging doing "fun house" w/these laney amps and not those rented ampegs like the last two gigs, it's like night and day... I know "a poor carpenter blames his tools" so I keep my "notions" in check but dig expressing a fondness for this laney trip. I space on getting the "giant steps" quotes I put in "l.a. blues" 'til AFTER the monkey-humping, has that ever happened before? don't know but just wanted to get it in some time and not totally space on it, I am fucking a baka... regroup for "night theme" and am sure glad knee is still holding on and deck not too slick due to sweat from me - fan is working good for that. "skull thing" right up, think I went to far w/the 'e' string damn it and it's sharp... get it back in for "beyond the law" maybe? can really tell w/the octave thing in "johanna" but this is where the set gets weird. drummerman larry has the weirdest hihat click-in I've ever heard him do for this tune - and no fill like he does to roll it in - it's all a blur so I get on over to james' side more and just get the bass going where he's decided the riff should be - ig comes to rally us w/a count in and sure thing larry's back there w/us and things are ok... that was trippy, did I imagine it? "ready to die" right next and it's good, ig in the moat - there's cameras so I'm guessing folks can see him on sidescreens, I mean those cats not right on the barrier w/him? hope so, think so. I see a camera right near mixman max out there in centerfield (or is it second base?), try to hold back a little to maintain groove for "I wanna be your dog" cuz again it's coming out of the gate fast. "no fun" feels like a good time and it sure seems ig's having a good one - understand I don't when or if ever this band in ten years plus I've been w/them has done SIX day on/day offs like what this gig here makes for us and he's fucking tearing it up. respect. james starts up "the passenger" real smooth but still I'm glad ig counts me in and I think this is the best I've ever done w/this tune, james looking over and smiling even - thank you, james! we come off the stage and head for the little house tourboss henry had built and on the way larry tells me "johanna wasn't on his list and that's why what happened happened. now me like an idiot reveals this to ig at this moment, when we're getting ready to get the word from him about what's next. man, do I feel like a fucking bozo has I hear this baka words tumble out of my baka mouth but luckily ig's cool about it and says "shit happens" which of course it does and actually I deserved a scolding I thing for being so stupid to bring something like that up at such a moment. man, if I could break my leg off in my ass, I surely would right then but instead hobble off and get the bass from jos who's tuned up it up good for me and get "penetration" underway w/the rest of the guys. I don't think I've ever missed the ending of this tune the way I do it today, like miss the whole retard in the coda (like a 'tard) but I do get the last note at least... fuck if I know what happened here - I think the stage sound got weird in different places - same w/some of "sex and money" but it would snap right back too. I've been looking at larry and his face gets redder and redder, I'm think he's boiling but later he told me it was embarrassment, oh man. "open up and bleed" goes good though w/ig coming back on stage w/that leopard coat during our crazy outro and and calming us down to a halt and then asking us to listen very carefully to what he has to say which turns out to be and intro for "your pretty face is going to hell" which we get lit up big time, the crowd w/us like they have the whole time - HUGE respect to them. james lets me use his shoulder to get to the side of the stage and larry does the same to get me down the stairs - gig's done.

   ig's getting in a car, I just so happen to by hobbling by cuz I don't wanna take the van back, I wanna loosen up this leg that's been pretty much stiff the whole show - I ask him about the gig, he said it was a good one, my arms in the air, "yatta!" I make some turns but get back to our place eventually and am just glad the land was dry (there was flooding here I heard last week) and I didn't go down cuz of tripping on anything (many clumps for hazards for a cojo like me)... we talk about the gig some, talk about the trippy stuff. james says he'll see us in rome, adria and daniel from barcelona band the excitements (who played earlier - they know roadboss andrew!) come by to visit - they're cats larry knows and we have a good time rapping w/them, really good people and from the heart, respect to them. time to bail and the gig people have made us plates of chow, very kind. it's an hour or so back w/brother steve and larry, we talk about the gig most our ride, it's on our mind.

   maybe eleven when back and I chow some of the plate stuff from the gig, damn is it good: fish hunks, think chicken pieces, grilled veggies, damn. I wash the purple shirt in the sink and hang it up. knees starting to hurt... force myself to konk.

thursday, july 4, 2013 - rome, italy

   on monday, popped first four bells to swallow some ibuprofen cuz of the fuckin' knee-pain and then mercifully got more konk 'til seven when I hobbled around to get the stiffness on said knee gone enough to be kind of safe in the shower for a hosing off. comes eight and I get to the first floor a chow, max enlightens me to the fact that you don't have to poach eggs using vinegar if they're fresh. one day I gotta try poached eggs, huh?

   it's sunny when we check out at eight and a half. there's thick traff plug and the taxi drivers toting us are nervous but we get to the 'port w/an hour to go, I'm very grateful. the bordeaux airport actually is pretty ghost-towny which I can dig - crowds moving in 'ports scare the shit out of me and my lame leg. I got both a window and a seat empty next to me for a hundred minute flight from bordeaux on an airfrance "hop!" embraer 170 across france, over corsica

flying over corsica on way to rome - july 1, 2013

flying over italian boneyard on way to rome - july 1, 2013

and southwest along italy to rome's fiumicino airport, we're there around two in the afternoon. you would not believe how fast this pilotman taxied but then looking around at all the vehicles at this port, everyone's jamming pretty much in a blaze! weird I use that word now cuz I just read of horrible fire in arizona killing nineteen fireman, fuck. my heart sinks as I chimp this, damn. fuck. every sad thing you read, fuck I wanna holler crying look away hug care for throw up hands crumple hide. the now sitch for me though is to get through this 'port w/out tumbling, many folks not looking where they're going and I gotta watch out hard. soon enough though we're all in big van headed about twenty something miles for a big hill in rome, the northwest part of town at a 'tel called "rome cavalieri" where we're staying, huge tv tower right in front of the pad. we're actually on the other side of the tiber river from the old town, just north of vatican city which is good for me cuz I've seen a lot of the ancient rome (though there's still tons I ain't seen!) but never have been in the pope's land so I wanna try and do that. today though I'm keeping still cuz of this fucking knee - maybe tomorrow too... see we don't play 'til thursday. can you believe being hobbled up and being in a town like this one? crimony! well, you gotta play the hand you're dealt and not feel too sorry for yourself cuz fuck if it couldn't be prolly a million times worse! gotta keep the badge-buffing (even for taking blows!) in check. there's big tub here so I get good soaks in. chow calzone and spaghetti brought to me.

fountain outside rome cavlieri hotel - july 1, 2013

   tuesday pop after very lame restless konk cuz of hurt knee. no free trough at this 'tel so have roll, cheese and salami. bassman joe lally comes by so I can do speil w/him for my radio show and actually so happening it goes over so I got enough for a "part two" for next week when I get back to my pedro town! anyway, joe is big time righteous people and I got tons of respect for him. hearing about his journey through music is very interesting. he lives here now in this town, him and his wife antonia raising their daughter and taking care of the mother-in-law. damn I wish I wasn't so hobbled cuz he had an adventure for me planned like this:

" ...near the colosseum is San Clemente church which has a church underneath it and then a pagan church underneath that along with the water that runs under the city and feeds the drinking fountains. You pay to go down to what is essentially a musty basement, but it's kinda cool. You can hear some nuns sing with a harmonium around 4pm at a basilica near that. Then there's the Palatino on the other side of the colosseum where Cesare lived and looked down on his kingdom."

crimony, I'm frustrated in knowing stairs are the HUGEST hell w/my sitch 'cept perhaps trying to run which in no way I can even attempt... his mother-in-law baked a pie for me, a berry one.

saint peter's basilica, the vatican - july 3, 2013

   wednesday is day for vatican city visit and joe lally comes w/antonia in a car to bring me down hill and around the city's walls to where there's a huge HUGE line. fuck. how am I gonna handle this w/m fucked-up knee sitch? luckily - I say that cuz of my sitch - a tour guide person says I can avoid this huge-ass nightmare and do the museum of roman stuff, the sistine chapel (which is what I really wanna see) and then saint pete's - even though there's more money involved then I'd do this way, I weigh up in my head what is doable for me w/my knee this way... it breaks my heart to tell joe and antonia this cuz I would so much wanna spend the time w/them but I gotta think about tomorrow and the stooges gig plus the three after that... fuck, choices like this are not easy and very frustrating no matter what... damn. the guidelady elaine is a real good one, much insight and perspective from her and not like a fucking squarejohn. the roman thing is huge.

inside saint peter's basilica from the cupolo, vatican - july 3, 2013

looking up at cupolo inside saint peter's basilica, vatican - july 3, 2013

veronica in saint peter's basilica, vatican - july 3, 2013

looking up inside saint peter's basilica, vatican - july 3, 2013

inside saint peter's basilica, vatican - july 3, 2013

   I know catholic and christian is lots what's up especially here in saint pete's and I'm big time awed but this museum has tons roman, all kinds of sculptures... glad I got to see it first though I put some shots second here... uh, just cuz!

in the garden of the vatican museum - july 3, 2013

in the garden of the vatican museum - july 3, 2013

inside the vatican museum - july 3, 2013

roman art inside the vatican museum - july 3, 2013

roman art inside the vatican museum - july 3, 2013

right before the sistine chapel - july 3, 2013

   now understand I saw these thing ancient roman first, then the sistine chapel and then saint pete's... hey, there's hadrian - I took andrea and stefano to the wall he built near scotland, I asked them "you wanna know how north rome got?" and showed them. well, there's a bust of him and not too far away a bust of his lover, antinous. lots of statues of the pagan stuff, just beautiful and it's easy to understand what helped the renaissance along was a rediscovery of this kind of art and form - yeah, there's lots of renaissance thngs here too. of course I wanna see michaelangelo's incredible work the most (no cameras, only the mind kind), trippy how he was a sculptor and kind of shoved into painting by the pope but damn if it mesmerizing for me, not just the form but the stuff he chose to paint and how he put it all, the story it tells. the guidelady says everyone wants to hurry up and see other stuff but I wanna take a bunch of time there and she's cool w/it. no cameras allowed and some motherfucker saying "shhhhhhhhh!" all the time - actually other motherfuckers making him do that cuz they won't have respect and be still but I try to take in all I can in the moment and make it last. I do the same w/saint pete's which is incredible and impressive but for me maybe not as much as a mindblow. I did get to ask the guidelady one last thing: when the sun's getting created, why is one cat on the side of it showing his culo and she says some folks think that's a symbol for the moon - ah, perfecto! there's lot to trip on in this work in the sistine chapel, michaelangelo's own faces on some tired skin even. in saint pete's I get kind of the feeling I got in seville w/the big cathedral there, a lot of money went down. incredible craft though, crimony... I wanna drown in marble! I have acrophobia so looking down from the cupola is scary for me, even w/a fence to stop a tumble - a coward feeling is hard to beat down.

swiss guard, vatican - july 3, 2013

   last scene of the vatican I get is what joe lally calls "the pinocchio guards" and this cat looks like he's ok w/where he's at. they're actually called swiss guard but they sure do look trippy, I can see joe's coming from!

street musicians near vatican city in rome - july 3, 2013

frutti di mare pizza from 'sora franca' near vatican in rome - july 3, 2013

   chow (I know that sounds like something else in italy but for watt it's too shovel food things down the in hole) a couple of blocks from the vatican city wall at a pad called "sora franca" and the waiterman is from peru, soon he goes back home after working here twentytwo years. a couple of groups of musicians, italiano mariachis-type? I feel a fellow musicman thing w/them even w/their little tours VERY local. the "frutti di mare" peetz is real good, they got china style chili oil to put on also. a little taxi ride up the hill and then that clay stuff for the knee and ankles after big soak. trippy. man, am I worn out. it's a good worn out though.

   gig day and I pop six - found the switch for the transoms to keep out much of the sun but again I'm restless w/konk - my knee ain't all swolled like when I arrived here but the big muscle behind that's right about the calf one got worked pretty good all the vatican hobble and it takes some good soak to find me some relief - they can everything fancy about this pad but thank god for the long and deep tub w/plenty of hot water. damn if this languid flower don't float. it's the fourth of july and I flow a shot saint pete's looking down from up in the copula to list people and also share this from england saying reading books and writing books is good for the mind. of course I tell them about this tour diary I'm chimping as well. I wanted to tell them about joe lally being on the radio show too cuz I'm so glad he came up to the 'tel to do that. oh, last night my knee got the clay shit he's wife antonia was so kind to donate and damn if it didn't make things better - on my feet even too. never tried it before so know little what to expect but it did something, I can feel.

max bisgrove at capannelle ippodromo, rome, italy - july 4, 2013

   quarter of two is shove off time for soundcheck. this gig we're doing tonight is part of the rock in roma festival and is being held at a horse track called the ippodromo capannelle only about ten miles southeast of this fancy pad we're at, just inside the ring road ("grande raccordo anulare") but it takes fortyfive minutes cuz yeah, we gotta take a route via the ring road that makes it about sixteen miles total which ain't that far but roma's got some "stau" as larry learns us is traff plug he hears where he lives in berlin and they're measured in klicks. first time I've seen james since the gig in marmande, him and larry are amazed when I tell them I went to vatican city w/out a passport - what?! I explain some stuff I found trippy like the third of the moses stories on the sistine overhead but get more to the point explaining to james that when I first got to rome and wrote him an email expressing my ideas about prac (fallout from our rhythm section spiel on the way home from the marmande gig) I wasn't asking for full-on pracs but tiny amp ones but my words are fumbled and clumys... aaaarrgggghhhhh, fucking baka watt. anyway, we're in the jockey club for a dressing room,

inside the jockey club at capannelle ippodromo, rome, italy - july 4, 2013

italian race horse weinor

I make a sandwich w/some cheese and crudo (ham), pocketing it and getting up on the stage for a check of all the tunes but in abbrev'd form. it's a little warm but not bad. the stage has got a low-md resonance but I also don't think it's that bad. james and brother steve go back to the 'tel when we're done, me and larry hold the fort - hell, if I want two rides I don't have to make and they got catering here too. I get a bowtie pasta they got w/little pieces of crudo and there's a red chili w/a knife for you get your own slices - damn, if that shit ain't fucking on fire, crimony! there's some fish too along w/some meatballs - believe or not it's the first time I've had meatballs in italia... they're little ones, maybe some folks who never been here don't realize the chow here and what they call "italian" chow in the u.s. and not the same, nope. I have some salad too and talk w/larry and the crew about driving through hurricanes on tour, "white knuckllers" is what we called them. fucking pants-shitters, let me tell you - I was a the wheel both times I've been. after shoveling I start to leave for the jockey club when this HUGE GIANT-ASS storms rolls in quicker that shit and dumps a buttload of rain on us, pissing tons for like twenty minutes and then like that, it blows out and away. damn, I knew I thought I smelled it coming when our check was done. good now though and not tonight for the gig, whew. I climb the steps through the stands slowly to the jockey club, get in my sliver-gray outfit and find this righteous l-shaped couch that's long enough for full legs and starboard arm stretched all the way out. plugs in the ears and konk-mask fitted, I'm out cold.

   earlier I was told we'd be hitting it ten after ten which was changed from a quarter of ten - I pop just as the openers, local cats called rewild go into what turns out to be their last tune... damn, wouldn't you now it but these folks flowed me this very tune to put my bass on the outro - their bassman gianluca is playing my line as I make my way all careful onto the stage and by his side - he's playing the line I wrote even, crimony! I got to meet him after chow, a big man - maybe as tall as raymond and so nice, beautiful spirit. they finish up and I congratulate him and then all his bandmates. the way down the stands from the jockey room was way scary (no hand rail) so I just decide to wait here 'til we go on, in the back where no one can see me.

   it's sixteen after when james and larry pass me to get on over and behind a screen stage port. we ain't hardly late - here comes ig and he asks where is everyone - see the ramp is on my side and I point over to james and larry, I get the feeling ig's kind of in a bad mood a little. he likes to hit all together and not piecemeal. yeah, it's not the most encouraging thing before we start but I understand he's got a lot on his shoulders and wanna be there for him. all three of them now together, it's too far for me to here what's being said but I see them start to move along w/tourboss' henry's flashlight pointing my way, it's go time - I get my hobble on and holler to jos it's coming down - he's wasn't aware and the stage is dead dark, he's hollering for lights but they don't come and I'm just glad I make it over to him and get the bass w/out tripping - james ripping the "raw power" chords out very much for real w/larry kicking in and damn if we ain't underway - ig leaps right past and the roma gig-goers light all up, bursting w/hollers, holy cow! sound on stage is good so why I do go to 'c' early after I hear ig sing "honey, just can't quit" when I should've went back to 'f' I'm thinking now as I chimp this? it's a fucking clam that's why and I address the situation w/pure resolve: "don't fuck up anymore, watt!" I holler on the inside at this 'tard on the outside. the stage ain't on the race track but rather right in front it and running along side, 'pert-near aiming straight at the ciampino airport which is on the other side of the ring road and every few minutes you can see a plane coming in but they ain't close enough to bogart the gig sound w/jet motors (thankfully). what I do see flying REAL CLOSE and hearing him REAL GOOD is ig - we're now into "gimme danger" and already he's worked up a good sweat cuz a big twirl in the air from him wets me w/a spray - I think of the microphone he had spinning in marmonde last gig during "no fun" where he does his bit where it goes coiling around him and damn if it didn't catch him in the shoulder and HARD which had me wince cuz I never wanna see ig get hurt... he took like a soldier but damn if he didn't feel cuz he said so as I said bye to him right after we got done and he was getting in the car, damn did I feel for him. he still had a bunch a tunes to go after too but did he show it? hell no! righteous work ethic, righteous. out the barrel next is "gun" and that unloads into "1970" - larry's got something wrong w/his kickdrum to fix before we can up and heave "I got a right" and man, does ig want it and want it now - he hollers a second time for it which make me think I ain't gonna unbutton these sleeves and roll them up ever tonight... he's mad but larry it's going pretty right quick (hallelujah) and when we get to the breakdown and the folks are right w/ig and the beat, I see ig's face light up and get happier, the band is tight behind him and the crowd ahead of him connected tight w/his flow, it's coming together. "search and destroy" right up - it goes boom like the july four in fact it very well is tonight (trippy, huh?). he tells the gig-goers he feels lonely so come up and dance w/him, calling out cats to join him, "you w/the mask, the masque! - let him up here!" then calls for "fun house" and I bring the bass, one dancer tells me it's the second time he's done this w/the stooges - I'm sure this is the first time stooges ever did roma but maybe it was another town. I double up the "l.a. blues" monkey-humping but I think I got 'e' a little sharp after, damn it. I wish the tuner was faster! pretty fast stage clear cuz maybe a dozen or so dancers tonight but they were good ones, "night theme" following them off and into the "skull thing" and "beyond the law" one-two punch which kind is a three punch one w/a "johanna" hitting for the kidneys and damn if I ain't gotta say here comes a round house w/us bringing "ready to die" the very next moment. ig's a good mood now for sure, working the moat for "I wanna be your dog" and coming back onstage w/a big string of beads around his neck. he's tosses them and they land by my amp - followed not long after by a beer bottle but at least it's plastic. there's kind of stringy glow in the dark stuff too, of course a bra - seems like there's been one 'pert-near every gig this run, is it the same lady (or dude maybe)? "no fun" into "the passenger" and we're off - james says to me and larry, "not bad for a bunch of stumblebums?" and well I gotta say the band played really good - I never clammed again after that first one and ig was incredible mindblow and I'm so happy he's happy now - "the whole nine yards" he tells us and then to james, "whenever you're ready" - james tells me and larry, "the full monty" which I'm thinking is go for all the rest we got on the list... I hobble out first soon as henry says ok and damn if there ain't one of those glow in the dark things on deck I 'pert-near trip on but luckily don't and get steady enough to join "penetration" w/out a hitch. we continue to cook w/"sex and money" - I've finally seen my buddy phil from super fast girly show w/his lady emma - there's been many pits formed by the crowd and he's in one up front now, emma against the barrier, careful now! some calm w/"open up and bleed" before it starts its windup and then ig doing an audible, asking us to listen very carefully and then bringing 'your pretty face is going to hell" and we blast it solid, "burn" right up next and damn if there ain't a pit going for that baby too! folks are digging it. we finish up absolutely w/a battering ram "cock in my pocket" and then my bass toss to jos choking up when it gets caught on my laminate lanyards I had in my beltloop but I catch the bass before a deck slam, get it untangled and over to jos, total comedy mime unintentional from the stumblebum supreme. me and ig are last up the stands, tourboss henry helping him and roadboss jane helping me - ig looks back and laughs, "hey pops!" and I can't help but crack up too. what more is there to say? it's a good fourth for me, thank you stooges, thank you roma!

   everyone up in the jockey room w/a good spirit. moretti beer - when have I had that last? now days lots of peroni - james enlightens us to a malfunction called "peroni's" I never knew of. damn. larry didn't know either... crimony! shorter drive back to the 'tel cuz more direct route w/out the ring road cuz of way less traff this late at night, brother steve says he talked w/ig and he got in a real good mood, thanked the band for playing good. that is way happening to hear. one in the morning when we arrive, the hotel dick rides up in the elevator w/us, just to make sure! (it's one of those kind of pads). a good soak, heavy konk, out.

saturday, july 6, 2013 - albi, france

   yesterday I popped at seven for one last roma soak. good tub here for that though I wish there were some handles to help a cripple extract himself a little safer but I go real slow... real careful... damn if I ain't real sore, only one dose of ibuprofen left to, gotta save it. we drive back whence we came to fiumicino airport, it's hot and sunny. jos offers to help w/my man sack but it's better for me to use it for a walker, pushed out in front instead of being toted behind and I go real slow, let everyone get where they gotta get which is eventually like me but there's been no gate assigned yet. I find an upstairs chow pad called gusto and have maybe the biggest airport chow I've ever had: a steak cooked right on the grill, a plate of peas w/calamari and a plate full of spinach along w/some coff. I never chowed once from that 'tel we were in - by the way, tourboss henry came to drummerman larry's rescue when the desklady wanted ninetyone euros cuz he moved stuff around in his chamber's fridge to make room for provisions he had got at a mercado - some of these burn ward's got motion sensors in their fucking fridges to detect if anything's been moved - beware!

   I find brother steve after chowing and sit w/him. our flight gets a gate, we take off at twenty after one (an hour late) for toulouse on an airfrance a320, a pretty new one (oh, larry wants me to read roberto bolano's "the savage detectives" so goddamn it I will). about eighty minutes later we land at blagnac airport in toulouse and drive about fiftyfive miles northeast, then stop at a supermarket called "portes d'albi" and I get some albi cheese (kind of bleu style), albi salami and bread plus a gaillac wine for way econo. big respect for jos having us do cuz the 'tel ain't near a store really.

on the way to albi, france - july 5, 2013

we then procede via a detour around albi (the tour de france is coming through here) and on to a 'tel called "la reserve" which is a small twentytwo room pad that either was or is a vineyard. the town is right across the tarn which is the big river around here and we're on the opposite shore. it is very peaceful pad and everyone's staying here - no division of labor. man, does the salami, cheese, bread and wine go real good together, really good... I'm big time digging it. I soak after and konk pretty early, brother steve brought me some ibuprofen and that really helped, he sure is a dear, truly.

   gig day and I pop at seven bells - bright sunny morning out the window, the river tarn serene making righteous scene... damn if there ain't a robot lawn mover doing the fucking prowl and mow on its own, surreal. the trough is free and damn if you don't get to cook your own bacon, damn! never done that at a konk pad before. they got little pancakes too, like three inchers you also heat up on each side and w/that I get some yogurt w/grapefruit in it. the helperlady fries me two eggs too. the folks here are very kind, really nice.

   we got a one pm soundcheck, I find mr slouch working on one of his laney amps... he tells me the roma gig had me going through both speaker boxes but w/only one amp cuz this one here he's got apart took some of that sideways-rain during the brief storm after soundcheck that day and is out of the race. another check before we start doing an abbrev'd set for max and it's still out of the race. check was interrupted too by long "find the feedback" ordeal 'til mixmeister max came up on stage from out in front and got it fixed in a matter of moments, this man has technique, much respect to him! it was larry's kickdrum. a little warm out here in this park called pratgraussals. when we get done james asks me to go w/him to the chow tent which is good cuz he also hears me out on some stuff, I'm most grateful to him for that. I chow some really good stew they got here along w/some zucchini in the same gravy. we get back and I do a big soak, tub is pretty ok for that here and pad very quiet. though the internet ain't all that happening here, I hear final mix of "clams get blown today" from me and my il sogno del marinaio fratelli - niklas and bjorn did good w/making our take on "time has come today" by the chambers brothers in their bear cave studio over in cologne. I think we're gonna release it as a one-sided twelve inch fortyfive cuz it's 'pert-near fifteen minutes long!

   tourboss henry has drums/sax/bass men come early to the gig for shoveling dinner so over the tarn river for the pause guitare festival, it takes only a few minutes so I lead larry and brother steve over towards the chow w/like three hours to go before gig time. somehow the cojo (cripple in espanol) loses both these cats! turns out they turned around and turned back w/out telling me but I didn't wanna chow at the chow tent anyway cuz it's a zoo w/a huge line - I was just waiting for them to them that. I hobble back and roadboss jane I guess feels bad for us and gets chow brought to our little room - fuck, is it good chow: salami and cheese from around here, crudo, pate...

some chow backstage at albi, france - july 5, 2013

and then later some chicken w/onions and salad, really tasty but man, I gotta hold on - good we got a good while before playing and got here early, crimony! for me better chow before than after, only not too close to playing before. vivi comes by to enlighten us w/an incredible joke, me and larry helping him out w/the days of the week in english. I get in my outfit and start swallowing all the coconut water they got here for me. about nine and a half, james arrives. ig comes by soon, said he dug roma gig but yeah, a little tough at first. he is inspiration for me, truly - never give up, keep going and charge hard, work your way out of your hell, grow some backbone and get to/keep at it.

   the banzai charge will start at quarter after eleven so I get up the ramp and hang by the starboard-aft part of the stage where there's a curtain ten minutes before that. one minute early tourboss henry gives the flashlight into my eyes from across and in the back and I know it's go - I hobble sure but quick as I can... fuck, I poke out one of the lenses of my fucking glasses when I take them off after taking the bass from helperman jos, damn me. I gotta pick it up off the deck cuz I don't wanna stomp it (worse: tumble cuz of it!), somehow I get it there and in the nick of time am there for james who's way into the "raw power" intro, larry right ahead of me. packed park full of lit up gig-goers, the albi folks roar along w/ig, emotionally strap themselves to the ride he's taking them on, a full-frontal w/all he's got. it's amazing to witness, even from behind though at points ig's right beside, w/in inches - mic stand flying and landing (w/in inches) between my planted legs - feeling better than in roma when I got itai (pain) in the "good" knee 'pert-near soon as we lifted off. not a lot of overhead running both boxes w/one head, at least I got more amp in the monitor wedges than direct which helps w/that fucking "dink" that can make me crazy... I turn up some bottom which is a little tough cuz of where the fan and monitors are - actually the fan was on the other side of where it's supposed to be 'til just before and besides that, turned off - just sayin'. jos gets it turned on for next baby "gimme danger" which is good thing cuz even this late it's hot and humid up here. in defiance though I got my sleeves buttoned down and plan to keep them that way. baka watt is defiant! "gun" up and not much eye contact from larry which is different, he's usually way into that which I dig... wonder what's up? I fucking come up a whole step sharp for my entry for "1970" - don't get distracted fucking idiota stunad watt (I know we're in france now but I can curse myself in italian), stucazz?!!!! I'm back right w/in a moment but goddamn, what a stupid clam that was, stupid. it ain't the best sound on stage but that's no excuse - I do ask jos for more of ig's voice which he gets happening, need it for "I got a right" cuz we cue off ig and it's not a counting game. he's got a new way of bringing in the singing for "search and destroy" - giving some time w/some "hey!" hollers, pacing it - I tell you, he's runs this set tight. I like though and it's a real good order, very happening. he can speak french good w/the gig-goers and does so, finally asking some to get up and dance w/us for "fun house" and I can feel what's lacking running just one laney instead of two, I don't want mr slouch to feel bad but I can feel it, especially w/the bottom when it has to reach down deep. I take it out a little bit (not a lot cuz I understand the sitch) w/two rounds of monkey-humping on "l.a. blues" and even rocking the boxes some, yeah, my weak-ass self somehow got capable of doing that a little. the french dancers are good and there's actually a couple of england cats from the band who was ahead of us, the violinist and helperman from pete doherty who seem to be having a real good time, alright. coming out my amps for "night theme" sounds like only midrange - I know mixman max out front got it right for the gig-goers and face it, I get in for free so they should be the ones getting the good sound and I should be ok w/whatever - I sincerely believe that. tuned up all good for "skull thing" though hard to tell w/out hearing any thickness on the 'e' string but for "beyond the law" and "johanna" I definitely hear now wobbles so that's good - still hardly any eyes from larry though, something's gotta be up. james and him follow my tempo for "I wanna be your dog" but ig ain't having it and wants to speed it up, ok. sorry. stage too high and moat maybe too big for stage dive? you never know... there ain't any "bow" built for him either - more french for the folks in the breakdown part, the crowd is really w/him, righteous. "ready to die" he's a good mood w/happening steps, he likes this tune I know it - and wouldn't you now it that there's an old boneyard right next to us here? I don't think he did but I saw it earlier, told larry. we do "no fun" and then like a total baka I take my bass off, mute it w/the tuner and then lean it on the monitor wedges - what? we still got "the passenger" and I get it back on and ready just barely before ig counts me in - damn, that was fucking stupid, fucking "just like a prannie" - someone in england in the older days might say (I just learned this from that troggs in-the-studio thing). we come off to the stage - remember to give bass to jos instead of being a baka and taking it w/me like last gig - we're back on for "penetration" I got time for first in the air here unlike when we started. "sex and money" and I'm getting that piezo pickup really harsh from james' wedges - hey, it's real good for me to hear that on the other two tunes the use it, "...danger" and "...bleed" but here it's painful, actually it's different than the other two cuz it's a mix and max tells me it's great out front so I just gotta bear it. someone almost skidded off in the first chorus - I know it wasn't the singer - however we get it very together, real good. "open up and bleed" - ig first tells the folks this tune is about "before I was iggy" and we bring it good, rapping it up and going into "your pretty face..." - like we have after ig asking us to listen good - maybe we should just change the setlist cuz I don't think "cock in my pocket" is ever gonna come next which is good for larry cuz he's told me that's a hard move, coming right out of the wild-ass wind-up for "...bleed" and in my head, "...is going to hell" sounds real good here, ig conducting our outro right from down in the moat and coming back up to lead us into "burn" that has a little drama in it for me: someone tosses up sunglasses that hits ig and for some reason it startles me and I 'pert-near lose my footing and almost crumple but somehow remain upright but there was a little clam as my hands freaked out some - it was all in just a moment. I calm myself by watching this white moth, first one and then another one after that - trippy how the stage light get them lit up and they fly/float in front of me, are they aware a gig's on? we end w/a "cock..." w/a good spring in it.

   I come down the ramp following everyone and there's a car waiting for ig and gets in and has tourboss henry yank his boots off but henry's flashlight is still on even w/it in his back pocket and it's shining up into my eyes and blinding me - I'm afraid I'm gonna step off the curb wrong when francoise comes to help me, whew - that was close. man, is my shit weak or what?

   in our little room I find out larry had a real bad time, he was getting killed w/too loud of amplifier sound cuz the amps were positioned not enough in front of him. his own monitors were shoved into the clip-zone that was no help and painful as well. man, I feel bad for him. james says he's gonna make sure and do something about that. man, my heart goes out to larry, he tries so hard. I tell him he can always count on me to follow direction, he's just gotta let me know. I think these fucking diaries make it all sound like "man-alone" but actually I am very committed to the idea of rhythm section big time, absolutely.

   one am it's back to the 'tel, into the tub w/watt for some good soak. max said it was a good gig, I thought so too - just feel bad for larry getting punished-fucked in the ears, damn. I find a switch that makes blinds come down on the big window hatch to seal my chamber tight from the sun come morn and then konk hard.

tuesday, july 9, 2013 - argeles sur mer, france

   sunday I popped just before nine cuz this chamber was D A R K as a womb w/those mechanical shutter drawn down, let me tell you. I have three of them little pancakes w/bacon I cook myself along w/yogurt before getting a call from james saying a taxi will soon be here for a trip across the tarn river and into the old town of albi. he ain't there when I'm there when he told me to be but max and sophie (a friend of alain) is so I go w/them to what I learn is one of the best preserved castles in france, the former palace of bishops and now known as the "palais de la berbie"

palais de la berbie in albi, france - july 7, 2013

which happens to also be where the toulouse-latrec museum is - yeah, this artistman henri was born in albi so his ma set this up here so folks could see lots of his work. I love his style, it's econo in the way he don't have to fill everything up in the frame. his lines have big curves and his style very distinctive and alive - I love! I spend much time seeing all they got there, some other stuff too but mostly it's from him, all his posters and works when he was a boy, some from his last year alive, so young for him to have to leave us. I think he got dealt a tough hand w/the inbreeding but he let art shine a huge love light for us. beautiful., righteous, infinite mindblows!

garden at palais de la berbie in albi, france - july 7, 2013

this castle has got a pretty garden and is nice here by the river. I don't go into the albi cathedral but damn if it don't look from the outside ike a castle too!

albi cathedral - july 7, 2013

albi cathedral gargoyle - july 7, 2013 albi cathedral gargoyle - july 7, 2013

albi cathedral gargoyle - july 7, 2013 albi cathedral gargoyle - july 7, 2013

me and max see james and he shows us where he chowed, across the road and I get some calamari tapas while this singerman accompanies himself w/a mechanical organ that uses cards w/holes punched in them that he can speed up and slow down but the real intense thing I find is his gestures w/the hand that ain't cranking cuz it's wild and full of expression, his face too. I don't need to know the words to know he means it.

organ grinder man in albi, france - july 7, 2013

   back at he 'tel I do a big soak cuz of all that hobbling - there was tons and a good amount of stairs but well worth it for me. it's a nice town, albi - gigboss for stooges france gigs alain said he grew up in toulouse but would come here to visit when he was young - I can big time see why. I chimp diary and then konk pretty early, I'm tuckered.

   monday I pop at eight and have one more shovel at the trough. I have some of those little pancakes again but also w/some fried eggs. our next gig is another french one but in the catalan part near spain and we don't fly, we're riding in a little bus/van.

over the tarn and into albi, france - july 8, 2013

we'll prolly see ig and james when we get there, they're in that little plane they've been using - I think maybe it's been the same one this whole tour leg but I don't know cuz I ain't seen it. the weather here and also the land is a lot like california, we pull anchor at eleven and though we gotta back track to toulouse, we make it in four hours. whoa, there's the mediterranean, beautiful. we stop actually before we get to alenya at a gas station and I get a caesar chicken sandwich and chick roti potato chips to go w/it. kind of crummy but not greasy and it holds me over cuz actually I never do have a dinner - when we got to the 'tel, soon enough comes enguerran and his compadres simon lola to film me for his "rock and roll over" film. I get to talk about phoebus and clair who are two characters in the movie that I imagine having known early in their career. it righteous I get to be part of this, so kind of enguerran. he's not from the 70s but there's that going down w/his proj. james sees us when he gets done and we're down in the chow pad part of the 'tel and says I only know 80s but he's misinformed about that. my first gig was seeing t-rex at the long beach auditorium when I fourteen - now yeah, I was a boy then but hey, I was born in 1957 so I know SOMETHING about the 70s - hell, actually all of my teen years we're in the 70s, fucking ALL of them. I'm twentytwo when the minutemen started in 1980. anyway, james said "how cool is that?" when I say my first gig was t-rex cuz he said him and ig really liked that band too, they both saw them in england when they went there to record the "raw power" album. james is still learning about me. neat we're in the same 'tel together and we had this encounter, he's very kind to my french friends too. oh, ig also came by earlier to say hi oh his way from swimming, he heard about the museum trip we did in albi. so glad enguerran and his compadres could meet them both and come out and let me be in the film. you know he met me by coming to the el sogno del marinaio gig in montpelier back in february. trippy how things happen, huh? he's interested too in my old punk days, the old scene, wants to hear about it... I'm happy to tell what I know/lived!

   gig day and I pop at seven, join jos, max, clyde and mr slouch for morning shoveling - I have a salami/cheese little sandwich and a couple of hard boiled eggs w/some coff. interesting cats, these men from england. we talk about pigs, bears, and even genetic engineering and dubious practices. they gotta bail now for the gig and ten and a half is the time for us in the band. now coming here yesterday and seeing the sign "los motas" above the front door rang a bell in my head even though the name "cela alenya" (the name of the 'tel) didn't but as we bail, I see nearby a boneyard I recognized and sure enough, we stayed here did stay here before - in fact this festival we're playing, les deferlantes d'argeles sur mer is also why we were here then, we did it w/the patti smith group three years ago - my fucking slow-ass memory is gradually putting fucking two and two together, crimony! by the way, that sign for me is a hoot cuz "mota" in mexican slang is what I puff before konking lots in my pedro town though brother steve tells me here "the mountains" is what it means. anyway, I totally remember this chateau valmy vineyard has we get up to it, how could anyone forget?! it's the last gig I did w/a good port knee cuz the next one in istres is when I went down in the last note of the first tune! yeah, it's bee three years now...

   prolly cuz of a stooges rider jos wrote years ago, larry apperas on stage w/a giant broccoli floret for the mic stand...

jos at sound check at chateau valmy in france - july 9, 2013

jos helps us out w/singing lots for the check so we don't have to play the counting game (big respect to him!), I think this broc does have a good sound to it.. we do all the tunes in abbrev'd form as has be lately the case but still it takes a while cuz of lots of probs w/larry's kick drum and ring/feedback crap. we do finish right on time at non though and man, do they got some great chow here: salad stuff made up of onion, roasted tomato (yeah!), eggplant, pimento drenched w/olive oil and mozzarella pesto along side of that plus some greek style w/cucmber, feta, olives - just fucking righteous. pork medallion, baked tomato/eggplant (different but same but fucking tasty) and fettucini pasta - man, a great chow and for sure I don't need a dinner again!

   before we get into the van for the ride back to alenya (actually this pad here is more near argeles sur mer, hence the festival's name) alain shows me where this pad keeps the twelve flacons that live here - now I understand why I saw one fly out over where mixman max was when we were doing soundcheck. I see a cage w/an african gray macaw also... man, those are some good talkers. we get back and I get caught up on chimp diary and getting pictures for it together. the internet here is like last pad, not that happening so I can't get anything uploaded but oh well, it's ready to go when I can. I get stuff I need ready for a last tour I wanna do of hopefully of "hyphenated-man" this upcoming february - april, one more go-around for the folks here in europe cuz the other one I did was kind of small. then I finally put her to bed.

   we bail at nine for the gig and I get to ride in the back seat of sedan w/james, don't think that's ever happened. I tell him why I like wearing this purple shirt on tour, how I can wash it in the sink cuz it ain't cotton. I love cotton but for tour life like this it's hard to find laundromats, let me tell you. anyway, one time years ago ig saw me and brother steve on the street in austria and said it was kind of like cartoons, like the way the characters in those things are always wearing the same outfits. he's right and I still try to be that way. me and james also talk about what a good tour it's been. kind of more packed together for a stooges tour but that helping for good things in lots of ways. at the gig there's some venison salami, small diameter stuff that's pretty good. vivi brings some soosh - what? well, it's maki made w/flowers, strawberries, grapes - trippy stuff. I ain't about being authentic w/this kind of thing but it does taste a litte mazui, not for me. that fucking salami's happening though. I drink three half liters of coconut water.

   we're set for eleven go-on, another late one... ten minutes before I begin treacherous journey - I say that cuz even though a red cloth dealio marks the path you walk on, under it can be some very uneven ground - remember this is actually a vineyard. it is though a beautiful place to have a gig, truly so I hope I don't sound like I'm bellyachin' too much, just pointing out I have to be really careful, especially all gimped like I am. I get up the stairs on my side and can hide right around there cuz of the edge of a curtain, actually I can sit on a drum riser that's on the side, prolly for the next band or the one just before... yeah, motorhead was supposed to be on an hour before us but lemmy has got some health stuff their tour got scissored - I'm thinking one reason this gig is clean (sold out) is cuz lots of folks wanted to see them. a band earlier when we got here from the 'tel even did "the ace of spades" prolly in their honor. big respect from me to lemmy, big ones. the band before us on the stage next door (it's one of those deals where one sets up while the other's got an act running) is going right up to our downbeat but damn if I don't see tourboss henry leading ig and the guys to the other side of the stage and then I see larry running out waving his hands right at eleven bells so I start my hobble, real fast but deliberate so hopefully I don't crumple - james has got the "raw power" chords going and I get the glasses off, bass from jos and rist in the air in plenty of time - ig comes in flying through the air in a twirl from stage starboard. immediately it's like smoke machine has gone off but it's from the gig-goers I realize, they're stomping up a storm of dust to the fucking beat of the living dead, I shit thee not! my bass sounds tiny on stage - ig hollers louder before we start "gimme danger" so I turn up, I think mr slouch does the same for james' guitar. larry prolly just pounds harder. I'm hoping the sound is better for him this gig, he's had bad luck w/our other two french gigs this leg. the people are in full pogo for "gun" - lots of good time I see glancing in some faces I can, also already people got like bandito-look cuz of rags tied to keep dust down coming into their noses and mouths. "1970" up right next immediately full on up the yang, that kind of thing - BAM! it's boom-boom time, full-tilt but no easy boogie. I'm digging it. I space some too not realizing "I got a right" is right up next but then getting it together pronto when I hear larry and not james (james is man alone these days to start "search...") and I got the bass amp so up that when we breakdown, there's some overtones - I wish I could calm down the compressor some but where they got the laney head (other side of the speaker cab from the drums) there's both the fan and the monitor wedges in the way and there's a good chance I could tumble so avoid the risk. we're into full-blast again soon as if brings back the chorus - he hollered again for "louder" but w/one amp only this all I can do. "search and destroy" has no calm parts anyway, we fire that off and man, are the gig-goers w/us - I wonder if any came from catalan part of spain cuz we ain't that far from there? sure is passionate crowd, not to take away anything from the catalan part of france! ig calls for dancers to get on up and w/us, hollering for "fun house" so I bring it - gigboss for stooges gigs in france alain right there next to me to help w/the melee, almost right away a cat comes hurdling in and trips over my monitor wedge and goes flying into the deck, alain gets him back up, this ain't a gigboss kicking back on a couch but very hands on! respect. driverman clyde's down in the moat working that piece as is alain's capo vivi - there's no deadweight taking up space on the stooges crew! tourboss henry's right on the other side of me, guarding larry's drums and mr slouch is w/james. the dancer do real good, I can see ig digging it. we're into "night theme" for the stage clearing, all that wild still pretty humane, a good thing... cuz of the gain I got going, lots of feedback w/monkey humping (james' term, believe you me) the bass in the bologna seat against the speaker grill. "night theme" next, just getting the 'trane quotes in - also am keeping the sleeves down, buttoned up - I tell you (I told james in the ride over also), not one iota of cramps since using a fan on me since that london "meltdown" (appropriately named!) gig where at the end I had the worse hand cramps of my entire life. it's nice weather out tonight anyway but still am glad for the fan - wish I could see the moon but maybe it's a new one, I think... "skull thing" - james still counts his riffs even though brother steve's sax lines pretty much make it clear where we are - speaking of brother steve, for the first time ever I'm seeing him doing a stooges gig in a white shirt, one of the cuban guayabera ones. respect. ig does the first verse of "beyond the law" closest to him and he is tonight. james is pretty close to larry's kick drum for "johanna" which is away from his amps some, not lots but some which might mean something, he's checking out something, the way he's got his turned too makes me think that. he goes back to his usual place for "ready to die" so I'm wondering if we'll hear something later about that one. ig sure has fun w/this new tune, so glad it's in the set. I know it's a trippy subject but it's fun to do, I think it's the music, goes good coming out of that slow powerful one (much drama!) and then sets up good for "I wanna be your dog" - at one point leaps right in front of me and cuz of being scared for my weakness I'm a little startled but damn if he don't come w/in a cunt hair of me, no danger, no flailing against a weak person but a total professional move which usually I would be stoic like w/the mic stand hurtles, even the ones that go between my legs but this one I lost some nerve and might've even clammed a little - just a little though and even w/me losing some balance, I didn't tumble. it was bozo stuff from me, lacking w/the hard stuff a little. again for the breakdowns my bass is a little overwrought and overtones are keeping from a good touch. I got one more gig w/this setup... mr slouch said he'll get that other head fixed before the belgian gig, first one of the next leg in like three and half weeks. anyway, back to now - "no fun" right up and real good, "the passenger" after for the closer. very nice people to play for. on the side of the stage, we get the word from ig and he puts his cheetah coat for "penetration" which is the first time I think I've seen that. the truly last song for us tonight is "your pretty face is going to hell" and damn if down in the moat while ig's working the crowd that he brings in some fake-ending "helllllllls" that 'pert-near fool me but I wait and get back on w/james while ig comes up stairs to do the real ones and we finish up a little shorter than we have, I think more bands on the festival had everyone playing a little shorter.

   it's a scary hobble back for me some cuz of the uneven ground and no lights behind the stage but larry helps me by letting me hold on to him. it was a good gig, everyone happy. james debriefs me and larry about "...pretty face..." and I let him know how I clammed and the sure enough, he's curious about "johanna" so larry talks w/him about it, something about mitch mitchell or maybe keeping from doing too much mitch mitchell - it's good he says to talk about w/james, I agree. vivi brings up some chow via the very chef who cooked it - very cool, very cool. only a little for me though, usually I try not to wolf so much after playing. sad in a way to leave vivi and alain, they're always so kind but I'll see them again some day I hope...

vivi in albi, france - july 8, 2013 alain lahana at chateau valmy in france - july 9, 2013

a french bassman stops me on my way out about rickenbacker basses and I tell him they're good ones - k used it for the "slip it in" black flag album, she always made a rick sound real good.

   now tonight is a different trip than all the others this leg. we're in this bus w/seats - actually many more than us cuz it's just larry, brother steve, jos, max, mr slouch and jane to drive two and a half hours to barcelona cuz that's where we can get a direct flight in the morning to milano. it's the same driverman that got us to alenya but a longer bus, don't know why but he does good. at the border there's much searching by the policia but when they ask through the window about us, I say we're u.s. music people when he asks what's up and he's very kind to wave us right though w/a big smile. the 'tel is actually at the barcelona airport so that's neat, we can take the shuttle. four am now - damn, I hobble back out to find the bus gone - fuck, like a baka my glasses fell off my baka head... damn, everything blurry. I konk on the deck in my chamber clothed, we gotta bail at nine I think and it's four am now... man am I an idiot to lose those things but you know what? it's been over a year the one sides been held together by one of tom watson's guitar strings that vince meghrouni kuldged together for me at a punk rock bbq gig - now I HAVE TO get that taken care of, fuck have to get new ones! things happen for a reason, mrs yuka once told me... that is some wise shit, truly. baka bassman konks thinking about that...

thursday, july 11, 2013 - milan, italy

   pop at eight and can't figure why I konked in the clothes cuz I wanna hose of which I do. maybe better than konking naked? too much trouble becoming de-clothed? is that a word? I go downstairs and find the team shoveling, even larry which I usually don't see. I put some salami w/cheese in some bread, chow that w/some kind of bacon w/skinny french fries small pile and a hard boiled egg. mixman max is intense about boiled eggs, he likes soft-boiled ones done right. I think the best would be to have raw eggs and a water boiler so he could work it himself. there was one pad like that maybe this tour leg? damn, one more gig to go and it seems like it's all blur, hey - it's ten gigs if I count the bloomsday one w/my fratelli, right? jos is a righteous man to flow me glasses he found. they're actually pretty terrible and not strong or right enough but at least I can see the numbers on my watch. I gotta make the stuff on my 'puter bigger though but apples do that easy if you got the handicap stuff happening, just option/command and + keys. I thought for sure I was gonna have to chimp diary totally by touch - I can do qwerty keyboard using the bumps on the f and j keys but who knows... there's weird angle things too w/these glasses, rectangle shapes look like trapezoids - what's that about? fuck. still, I'm most grateful to jos.

   good weather outside, we take the shuttle to the barcelona airport at nine. we pass the "damm" brewery, yeah, that's what it's called. I think I've drank it before, it's kind of mazui like "cruzcampo" - sometimes I reverse that name, it's foul taste casing me to real some at the thought. the passport man tells me it's downstairs cuz e.u. travel means being calm w/that. we ain't got a gate yet so brother steve spots me and I ain't too slow for him, together we find a seat near a board so we can get the gate news when it comes. we talk about him wearing that guayabera shirt last night - actually it was fake cuba but still the style. fact is brother steve was married to a cuba named annie and a buttload of real ones from cousins and uncles... man, would I dig to have one of those. they ain't a flannel but I like them - especially for where we're going, sweaty-this-time-of-year milano. brother steve found some old tapes of music him and annie made in the old days and I'd love to play that on my show - I've played everything he's ever given me, I'm big time steve macakay listener/supporter. he's be out actually five weeks now cuz he did gigs w/kamilsky before the stooges ones, one even had drummerman larry join them. eighteen months ago I had him join me in memphis - we got a proj called "mouthful" coming out not too long for now. I think I've already chimped about it in this diary here, sorry for repeating myself if I did but I love brother steve.

   our gate turns out to be the last one on the terminal and brother steve finds the handicap seats, wouldn't you know they're amarillo like my coat and watch! too bad these lame glasses ain't also but I ain't gonna complain.

mike watt at the barcelona airport wearing glasses borrowed from jos on july 10, 2013

   we take a alitalia embarer 175 (ninety minute flight) to milano linate airport at ten of one, ten minutes early - who says time is "only a suggestion" in italy? my italiano bandmate fratello ste, that's who! him and fratello andrea have great amounts of funny bones inside them - actually all my bands do, I've been really lucky that way, love that. can't believe when I met sam henry and asked him how it was to be in the wipers (loved their first three albums) and he said one tour rule was "no laughing in the van" - crimony! lucky watt again, I get to sit next to brother steve but damn if we both don't konk the entire ride.

   it's mushiatsui here in milano, whoa. flew through some huge clouds too. we're transported to the north part of town, a 'tel called "nh milano" which keeps up the recent tradition of fucking lame internet but actually I commend them on taking it even further into bullshit-ain't-gonna-work land. it's farmed out here to some company called stiffbomb or something like that - I am not one of those who blame the italians for everything... or the french... or anyone, in my mind everyone's capable of clamming and fouling something up, I won't stoop to the "figured it all out" pose as far as who got the monopoly on being 'tards. I hobble around outside the 'tel and find we ain't too far from the u.s. consulate and some other lands too. I find a chow pad called "tsukimi" (looking at the moon) but it's closed now, cuz of the siesta thing it'll open at seven. I get one of these wraps to hold me over, a ham and cheese one they heat up for me to go. back at the 'tel I chow that and then soak (yatta, they got a tub!) before I konk good to make up for rest lost last night. around eight and a half I rouse and hobble back to that "tsukimi" pad and have some ikamono and yaki soba, the former being squid fried w/onions and a light light breading that's really good. the yaki soba has an italian taste to it, the sobe like buckwheat spaghetti. there's some asahi beer to go w/it, a really good chow for me. I see jos and clyde on the way back. turns out jos' van konked out, something w/the turbocharger. they got here in town and the equipment in another vehicle but it's scary to see what it's gonna be to fix it. you know it's been a bunch of hellrides for clyde this tour leg, respect big to him... think about the big ones, all them fucking miles!

   london to ostrava: around a thousand
   ostrava to zabgreb: around four hundred
   zagreb to marmande: around a thousand
   marmande to roma: around nine hundred
   roma to albi: around eight hundred
   argeles to milano: around five hundred


   'pert-near wore a groove in those east/west west/east moves! I feel really bad for jos cuz that van has really served him well, over 200,000 miles on it. damn my heart goes out to him. I know how the boat's the center of the touring universe and man, for me it's a real crusher to get broken up over some other hell than a beatdown on your boat, just is. understand I don't claim to speak for everyone but my heart goes out to jos. and I just know driverman clyde worked it good to cuz that's the kind of man he it. it went down not too far west of but goddamn did they (the fucking folks from the burn ward) stick it to them to get the gear to the gig. just as I wrung my hands in empathy, rain started coming down and what I heard later from mr slouch, it was fucking hail the size half-golfballs - not whole golfballs like oklahoma but more like pints, you know them kind of marbles? I konked after trying to read these glasses... I'm most grateful to jos for coming through for me but damn, they just work for the writing in the books and the paper that's too little.

   gig day and I pop at eight, I got the curtains close up pretty good to keep out much sun - yeah, it's sun cuz all them clouds must've puked up enough to whither themselves cuz it 'pert-near all blue and if there's kumo, it's white wisps of it. downstairs they got some bacon w/scrambled eggs that I'm glad ain't got milk in them but I'm kind of tiny w/the proportions and no toast - I got yogurt w/some dried cranberries to go in it... and a couple of salami slices on the side, fuck - have I had some happening salami here and france lately or what? I gotta be bellin', debu watt.

   I chimp diary but what takes some time is deciding what pictures to put for the diary - putting pictures in the diary is new for me and I don't really know how to carry it yet - I don't want shit gratuitous. at quarter of four we saddle up and then get james and go about five miles west to another horse track like roma, but it ain't like the pad in roma - we're on the curve in some kind of corral kind of space, it's a shill gig for alfa-romeo called city sound 2013 and there's an alfa-romeo car on a platform stage starboard w/an angle to it. so ok, whatever - it's fucking singore silvio's town, anyway - right? I know there's gonna be good gig-goers to play my heart out too whatever, good people everywhere even w/dicks w/some shorter pieces of stick.

   no "jockey club" rooms for us like the ippodromo in roma, here we got portable airconditioned cans, maybe a little too much coldness though it is humid here in milano. we do soundcheck and towards the end, the tunes change from abbrev'd for to full-length but for the goddamn life of me, I decide to have a little fit over it, a work-stoppage even which is fucking weird - there's great chow in a tent nearby after and I'm grateful james let's me speak of my fucking bakaness about that w/him some. insecurity should not be handled (actually very much NOT HANDLED!) in such a baka way, aarrrghhh, embarrassing and pathetic but I hope to learn from it... this far into my life and still I find it full of lessons like this, fuck am I baka slow learning fucking idiota, I swear. ok, get back up off the deck and try to be a better person.

   I think about this much but luckily larry's there in the dressing room to talk about vital music stuff so as to keep me from wallowing too much cuz that ain't gonna be very productive either. around eight we hear the rewild guys, the same cats that were w/us in roma are opening up again. it's our last gig w/roadboss jane... man, she's been just the best - so glad tourboss henry brought her on board, BIG RESPECT to her.

jane woolfenden + henry mcgroggan (l to r) in milan, italy on july 11, 2013

   I make my way to the stairs up to the stage on the side I am and talk w/the rewild guys as they break down their stuff. real nice cats and w/big balls too, they're gonna roll the dice w/a journey to london and see what happens. marco so kind to me... bassman giancarlo gives me huge hug, said he learned much by watching soundcheck - oh oh, did he see me throw fit? quiet fit but still a fit. anyway, giancarlo gives me HUGE GENUINE HUG before I go up on stage - I ask him as I hobble up stairs, "for signore silvio's town?" and he answers "yes, for that stronzo!" so yeah, that's where I'm putting some feeling tonight along w/big time focus to stooges. I grip on to the poles holding up the stage, there's many more w/this older style than the ones now days... I wonder which is safer? so glad we had the big storm last night and not now... five after nine, we're on in ten minutes... "keep it together, watt" I hear myself plead...

   hey, a character-builder is a great way to end a tour leg I think, better than at the beginning. the amazing thing is ig's work ethic now matter what the case. I see him lead james and larry over to their port of entry and damn if I can't feel his enthusiasm to work this gig all the fuck way over here - I charge as much as my hobblin' ass will let me and get the bass w/lots of time, maybe the most ever? I don't think james has even started "raw power" when I get my fist in the air and holler, the gig-goers coming in close to the stage as ig hurdles on it and beckons them - we're off! stooges music has got me lit once again, works every time! not I just gotta not blow it. BIG FOCUS, we fire off this gig w/a blistering "raw power" - crimony! "gimme danger" and "gun" just as hard and furious and the milano gig-goers? they're right w/us, it's a character-builder for all of us but no one's cutting any shorts - especially the bow of the boat, mr ig! he wants "1970" up the yang so that's where we bring it, real solid but not stiff, ig on his knees like the first gig of this leg, on his knees asking brother steve to BLOW that sax into the stratosphere - the feeling's the same w/a spear-chucked "I got a right" - holy smoke! the crowd is w/ig all the way, he unites them w/some claps in the breakdown, then he rips the night apart w/the outro - "CAN YOU FEEL IT?" fuck yeah, I can! we bring "search and destroy" - bring it just as intense, life is not a rehearsal! ig calls for dancers, up come the milanese and start stepping buckwild - whoa, look out, watt! "fun house" - everyone's having a good time, apparently a REAL GOOD TIME cuz when I start the monkey-humping in "l.a. blues" someone starts "helping" me - WHAT?! this has never happened before... I'm afraid to look back over my shoulder to see if it's a man or a woman, I can't really tell by the shoves but they are in rhythm, crimony. I'm kind of glad when it stops, was feeling a little strange inside. I guess "that's showbiz" right? back into duty mode, no time for reflection here, "night theme" requires all my attention and so I let that other stuff go. james brings in "skull thing" and then gives me the eye contact for "beyond the law" - I see brother steve again is in the white guyabera shirt, blowing great for "johanna" w/his licks in and out w/a blaster solo from james, me and larry learning from the soundcheck earlier to keep the groove tight for them. we come right back w/a new one, "ready to die" which is far from where we are right now, at least in terms of seconds if not lightyears - blazing lead again from james to finish it up, mercy. "I wanna be your dog" right after and I think ig thinks I'm behind james so I move over to right in front of what I call a blackstar version of a vox ac-30 so I'm getting blasted w/that and make sure I'm on w/the guitar w/out a doubt - later larry will tell me I wasn't off but I cue of off of ig always - it ain't about feeling you're right or wrong in this sitch, it's about being connected there in the moment. I stay by james' amps the whole tune, moving over back to my side only when "no fun" fires up which is in like a wink of an eye - actually I wonder if we ever did - never mind, it's a big segue which is like a lot of the set and I can dig it. the set ender is "the passenger" and though I think I can come in right finally, I still appreciate it much that ig counts me in - it's better than money in the bank cuz then I TRULY KNOW I'm on. I toss, I mean loft the bass over to jos and follow the rest of the team over to where tourboss henry has got his flashlight-beacon beaming.

   there's a curtain back here and behind it, ig says we're giving them the whole nine yards. this man plays for keeps, excellent way to work a room - no jive. he tells james it's all up to him when we go back and bring it - on james' word, we go out for "penetration" - I barely get the bass on in time, I think I dawdled a bit like a baka, damn me for not hurrying my hobble more. I'm there though (lucky watt) and make damn sure ready for "sex and money" too, taking my cues for the choruses from james w/his very kind (and reassuring - watt is most insecure baka!) eye contact. you know, last italiano gig, the roma one, ig used "fuck fuck fuck" to get beat going in the encore - not really right tempo but I thought "right feel" - you know? tonight here he instead asks if everyone had a good time, he thanks everybody for making it a good gig for him and he let's them all know he's most grateful - we give them "open up and bleed" before beating that down into a lurch on his cue so we crank up "your pretty face is going to hell" like it was nobody's business. whoa. we then do a smokin' "burn" and then the closer "cock in my pocket" - first time this tour leg we did the set list like it was printed, ain't that a trip?

   off the stage and I take the stairs down slow in order not to take them the fast way (capito?)... ig and james are gonna do a runner and go right for their airplane which is flying to london (so glad the weather held for them and the gig-goers)... I get to say bye to ig as I pass the car w/him getting the boots off, "see you next in belgium!" I tell him and brother steve lets me use his shoulder to navigate the not-so-even grass field.

   we ain't here long. larry said it was really humid for him and tough but damn if he didn't play like a motherfucker, he really did good. the fan again helped me, I swear that wind blowing on me has meant (I think) not ONE FUCKING CRAMP since we've been using it, I'm so SO big fucking time grateful for jos helping me w/out that - I meant that on top of a lot of stuff but shit, you don't how that fan has helped me w/something I was getting to feel so helpless about. damn I wish I could help him somehow w/his van... damn...

   at the 'tel, I soak for not that long but enough to get less filthy than I was when I got in the tub, making sure there's enough soap in it so I don't leave a ring! I worry about shit like that, believe or not. I think of the cats who have to clean 'tel rooms, fuck, I don't want them having heavier hells than they gotta pull. I konk grateful we did these last ten gigs good. I think this has been one of the most intense tour legs in the ten years I've been w/these guys but everyone pulled together to make a great team. I really felt good to be part of such a unit, to help bring stooges music to the people.

   it was only midnight when I konked so getting to pop at eight bells meant I got much good konk. this is good for my health. I have some yogurt and fruit at the trough, my last italian chow 'til I'm in bologna come this december to record second il sogno del marinaio album. we pull anchor for milano linate airport at nine bells, take off at a eleven and a half on a british airway a320 for london heathrow, w/the euro coins I have left I get two boxes of "golia" lozenges, they're good and I'm always paranoid about having a coughing fit on a plane so I like them at the ready. actually, I ain't smoked since coming back from the australian tour and that was only a little bit (didn't smoke at all on that tour and only a couple of times w/the fratelli on our il sogno one), what happened was me feeling a cough that was intense and wouldn't leave so I aid to myself "fuck that" and put a plug in the jug. I'm joining the england helpermen who'll stop there while I'll continue to so cal. mr slouch says it's gonna be eighty degrees in his town, crimony! last night he said it was his last gig ever w/us, damn I sure hope that ain't the case - I really really like him. as we taxi to the runway, we pass an ol' timey boneyard, the kind w/the little crypts. damn, right next to the runway! I can guess which prolly came first... we fly over the alps and past lake neuchatel - that's the only lake I've ever paddled a kayak in. when we land I get some chow, I think about looping the london thing 'pert-near four weeks later and do terrible fish and chips from this terminal five place. I didn't get sick though so maybe it wasn't that bad... didn't have any tast however. the real sad thing is I got separated from mr slouch and didn't get to hug him, damn it. fuck. damn. gonna miss him much.

mr slouch flying back to england from italy on july 12, 2013

   lI finally get a gate a halfhour after the board would said it'd but then I sit three hours on the runway in british airways 747 (an old one) cuz there was some fire (or maybe not) somewhere and london heathrow buttoned everything up. it was sweaty and I rode it out in a sweaty konk. turns out the man next to me w/his little daughter is an actorman so I get to learn some about that from him, his mill valley story and how maybe it's easier me being a bassman. I try to stay up as much as I can so I can get back on pedro time.

   like a baka, I never checked my leash and of course since I last used june fifteen it's out of juice. I have no way of contacting my sister but ain't I just the luckiest motherfucker to find her standing at the "arrivals" part of lax when I finally show up there at 'pert-near eleven pm? I guess they gave her wrong infos about the flight and she showed up three hours early and just parked for a buttload of time, spent it reading at "lenny's" (!) not far away on century boulevard. what a beautiful heart my sister melinda has, truly. she gets me back home, drops me off and who's that sitting in a chair in front of my apartment's hatch? it's my ma! (she lives in the apartment next door) - she says it's been real hot and hard for her to konk. me and melinda will chow w/her sunday morning like we usually do. ok, all done, time to konk on my own deck.

saturday, august 3, 2013 - lokeren, belgium

   off again for the last europe stooges gigs for this year, just three - I should be back in my pedro town in ten days. I had some trouble coming back from last leg, somehow caught a stomach bug that laid me low for a week, blowing it out the back every day. I think I got it on the plane ride home cuz it started not immediately but three days after landing, the time usually I get sick after getting infected. food poisoning is different, hitting right away so I don't think it was that but whatever, I'm better and ready to get back in the ring for the cause of the stooges.

   wednesday my sister melinda got me at five pm for a fight from lax leaving at eight.

melinda watt bringing her brother mike to lax on july 31, 2013

kind of neat leaving later, get so much done before being sealed in the tube and breathing farts for many many hours. I'm on american airlines w/a pretty new flying tube, a 777-300er (these babies save twenty percent on fuel compared to a 747, I read) and just before boarding, my name's called and damn if they don't put me in a wheelchair - I still got the back wack 'puter sack on even! they said there was a request for one but I never made. sure, my port-side knee is I don't why though but I got pretty sore still w/the ten hour flight, which lands at heathrow around ten am thursday - england's eight hours ahead of cali time. there's a doctor who exhibit here at london heathrow terminal five

doctor who exhibit at london heathrow airport,  on august 1, 2013

and as I'm taking a shot I see stooges helperman jos - hey there! we're flying together to brussels. he fills me on his blue sprinter van - had to abandon ship, fuck. at least it got out of that ripoff mercedes pad in milano, fucking burnward. him and driverman clyde got it near the airport and put on a new turbo but the motor was blowing big time smoke, prolly rings - he had a buttload of miles/klicks on her so... well she served him well for many many years. sad when a boat goes down though, very sad.

   jos tells me england's been having a heatwave and damn if brussels ain't the same way. only an hour on british airways a320 and we get in just after two. we get to the 'tel and damn if it don't look familiar - it's called the "steigenberger grandhotel" but it used to be called the "conrad" - we've stayed here before, w/ronnie and scotty... I ain't a totally delusional 'tard - not total anyway. good long tub for a good long soak... I don't why but these flights I just did beat up pretty good, damn am I sore. there's a little store like a block away and I get some cheese, salami, baguette and wine - those all go good together and it's something I never chow in my pedro town.

   friday is prac day and after a free shovel at the trough downstairs (a little one: yogurt, eggs/bacon, toast), I got a bunch of spiel I gotta write up. quarter of noon, we bail for prac not too far from the 'tel called "the six" and though it ain't really a prac pad, studio boss alex has set up real good for us. helperman chris woo is w/us this run, good to see him again. mr slouch is now w/scotland band franz ferdinand and also on board for roadboss is andrew cuz eric's in nyc minding the barge bar near chelsea in manhattan. it's sweaty, me and drummerman larry both do the second time around w/our shirts off. it's in the 90s, VERY HOT for brussels. good to play w/everyone again though, james and brother steve.

   after prac, mrs peak and her husband bill have made the journey from strasbourg in northeast france to show me their brand new shipmate roch, he's 'pert-near a year old now and just beautiful! what a wonderful little man, I hope I get to somehow learn much from him. mrs peak has brought many pictures from the tour she went on w/me and my missingmen in 2011 - she wants me to sign a bunch, no prob cuz I got a little name and it takes a while but not too long. mrs peak is excellent photographer but I think she's gonna be spending a little time w/the okasan work cuz shipmate number two's showing pretty big on her already, soon come I'm guessing. bill's very interesting to talk w/and we have a real good time. I know one day all three of us will be sitting at roch's feet and listening to him but for now, he wanders the room while I windbag. he only falls on his head once and that's the only crying from him, just a couple yelps. he's a really good cat. I'm so very happy for mrs peak and bill, happy big time.

watt + roch (l to r) in brussels, belgium on august 2, 2013

   gig day and I shovel like I did yesterday, not really that much cuz hell I ain't that hungry. forgot to say mrs peak brought a vietnam/thai noodle trip that I dug chowing last night. I'm just gonna hold out for the gig chow. it is blistering outside, crimony! I think it's the hottest recorded temp for this town, that's what I keep hearing people say. we're on way past sundown though so I'm glad for that. I'd rather always play early than later but maybe today... me and larry do a prac w/the little amps in james' room. I'm so glad to do this on top of the full band prac yesterday. it helps build up nerve w/me.

   we bail at quarter after eight. I spaced and had to hobble back up to my chamber so tourboss henry went ahead w/ig. fuck I'm a spacecase sometimes. good thing skull is attached to spine in my case... now the gig's in lokeren which only about twentyseven miles northwest of where we are in brussels but takes an hour to do it. this called the the lokerse festival and there's a couple painted interpretations of the shower scenes of janet leigh from hitch's "psycho" movie on the bulkhead, very strange...

dressing room backstage at the lokerse fesitval in lokeren, belgium on august 3, 2013

trippy way to get ready for the gig! roadboss andrew takes me to the chow tent immediately and I have to best grilled sea bass w/mashed potatoes and spinach ever, I mean this shit is fucking good! crunch on the skin and one up just right, what a taste symphony in the mouth, thank you chef-meester wherever you are, dank je wel big time! there's a buttload of time cuz we got here early so no prob w/the digest. I get into my stage outfit.

   11:30 pm is go time, this gig's a late one. thirteen minutes ahead of that, francoise leads me and ig's wife nina up to the stage. we're out in a field (I can see a "sportshal" building) but they've put up all kinds of fences and booths, even second-story type of balconies in on the sides and back. the field's deck has been covered w/iron plates, big ones, maybe six by four feet that aren't flush but actually on top of each other so I gotta watch close to make I don't trip and crumple. so glad francoise has got a flashlight to help. we get up the stairs and around the back to my side of the stage. the place is packed and I can feel the gig-goers excitement, helperman chris comes and brings me the brian michael bass - whoa, usually I gotta hobble over and get it right as we're going on but now I can warm up some and not just churn my hands on each other. the dj is playing elvis presley... four minutes to go and here's the miles davis music from mixerman max coming over the p.a. - I know were close... jos gives me a signal, the lights go out and I see henry's flashlight from across the stage in the back but a camera is unknowingly in the way... gotta go, start the hobble now, jos is holding the cord. I have to the cameramen excuse me but I also gotta not trip and crumple... please, sir - a lot of stage cats usually don't think I'm in the band, that I'm just some weirdo - well, I am just some weirdo but I also just happen to be in the band too. "raw power" is coming from james' amp but jos gets the jack in the bass right in time for me to even get a couple of seconds of fist in the air and holy moses does the band come blasting out full-on w/ig at the bow! I mean I ain't trying toot our own horn but man, am I fucked 'pert-near knocked over by this, it's a fucking crazyass horsemen galloping from hell crazy hardcharge, I shit thee not w/the belgian gig-goers fully collaborating w/us, pits starting right up and much hollering. I can't think of a gig-start this fucking blasting - I mean they're all intense but goddamn if this don't blow the doors down. jos and chris got mr slouch's amps sounding good for me along w/the monitors - actually the belgian monitorman is way on it, righteous sound on stage - I just need a little more of ig's singing and chris gets that happening during our next number, "gimme danger" - this stage's "bow" for ig is quite a big one, it's long and fuck, kind of just like a boat's. they got the laney amp w/the transistor power section on the bottom cab so I turn that up a little - man, the tube power section laney is so much better sounding, so much! I really like these laney amps so much better than ampegs, I really do. too heavy for my watt solo touring though, especially w/this fucked up knee. jos, chris, mr slouch - these are very strong men and can handle this sort of thing! "gun" up third, the roar of entrance has yet to diminish, not a bit! I ain't just saying this either, believe me cuz I feel the dynamo in full flail, even upping it some more "1970" (james bringing it in so quick ig ain't got a chance to say word one!) - someone throws a beer and it hits me in the top of the head - not a can or a bottle but actual fucking beer, I have no idea how it could fly that far but damn if it don't wet me up some, I gotta laugh. the tempo hikes up further w/us into "I got a right" - ig way out on the stage's bow of the boat (in lots of ways HE IS the bow of the boat!) and uniting w/the gig-goers in the breakdown part, some drama here, happening... down to a more medium speed "search and destroy" that's got nothing "medium" about its hitting power, nope. ig calls for belgian dancers, an appeal to the folks to "tear shit down" and get up and join us - a little earlier he told them he feels like a freak so yeah, c'mon and freak out w/the stooges, freak out to "fun house" w/andrew guarding me some but the belgians cats are very together and no belig - pretty wild for me to get wild for them and freak out myself for "l.a. blues" but damn if the nut on my bass' output jack comes off and andrew comes over w/that light blue "sg" bass (yeah, they don't call them eb-3 or eb-0 anymore) gibson gave me in toronto the day after the stooges got all their shit stole after a montreal gig the night before in the summer of 2008. mr slouch recently put in a different pickup for the bridge position but it still sounds like a piece of shit HOWEVER it saving my butt now so I ain't gonna bellyache. "night theme" up, first test for it after doing some "a love supreme" quotes from me coltrane... "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - a little flat on the 'd' string but I can chuck it up w/some left hand - just now time to tune in this part of the set cuz we're right into "johanna" next, whoa! watch that mic stand, watt! it's a miss but close, ig's a pro. "read to die" and I can see the nut that fell of the red brian michael bass - gotta get that when we're done I remind myself. the part of the neck I play on "I wanna be your dog" makes the 'a' string on this piece-o sound prolly the best it does anywhere on it as we blast that baby, "no fun" following right under the last chord which don't sound that good but at least I'm there for the band and not completely miming it. there's some spiel for ig so I get the 'd' string tuned up and make the rest are also... james misses the first 'f' chord in "the passenger" but we're (I'm talking drummerman larry too - man, has he be nailing it tonight) all right together and damn if ig don't even have to count me in - he looks over and smiles, I'm thinking yeah, this band listens to each other and can survive a crisis like this, they're playing TOGETHER and not just executing parts. a scary thing for me though is cramps in the hand - I thought I felt them in "...dog" but they're really trying to come on here now, I tell myself I gotta relax and pray somehow they subside. for some reason I think of me and d. boon at the beach near ensenada in mexico and watch him swim real calm like... there in my mind I can see d. boon swimming calm and damn if these fucking cramps let my hands free to play this fucking song. this is first I've gotten these since using that fan after the real cramp hell I had in london june twenty, damn. I wonder what's up? I drank three cans of coconut water - maybe I need more (I will do more next time) or maybe cuz it's the first stooges gig after a few weeks? I do know this bad works me harder than ANY of my other music, I shit thee not. we come off back stage and behind the curtain right in the middle is the little "room" set up - ig asks if we can do "penetration" and I say yeah so we go out in do that, james imploring me not to his guitar has I hobble w/the bass out there (it's in tune now so I thought to just bring it w/me) - next time I'll tell him I'll go around the drum set so there's no chance of me being a fucking stumblebum around his stuff... this tune does not sound that good w/this fucking bass, aaarrrggggghhhh... one more, "your pretty face is going to hel" and cramps threaten again but once more the d. boon swimming imagery works to help me survive that - shorter gig, tonight, we're all done. whoa, what a gig, a real good one.

   down the steep stage stairs real slow... there, I made it. at the bottom is jan from tomlab - he came all the way from cologne, respect and big hug. no time to hang out much though, we got an hour drive ahead of us and it's coming on one am... real quick I'm out of the stage outfit and into my street one - roadboss andrew gives give me a sack "you stench it, you stow it" I say and he's into that. larry does the same. I find a cranberry juice bottle and empty the contents down a sink and carry it in a sack w/me just in case for the long ride. there's some plug on the highway cuz of a wreck but soon we're around and down the road. everyone's in a good spirit. we get to the 'tel and I show james the bottle - it's got piss in it. him and roadboss andrew are disgusted, what's w/these guys? fuck. I just wanted us to hurry up and got home w/out having to stop... you think they'd thank me. damn. I soak just a tiny bit to get clean and then after washing the purple travel shirt in the sink and hanging it to dry, konk. whew, late one.

tuesday, august 6, 2013 - berlin, germany

   sunday I pop at ten, shirt's all clean and dry - success! actually I did a pre-pop cuz clyde has 'pert-near five hundred mile hellride to berlin and wanted our sacks - some refused and wanna check in but both tourboss henry and roadboss andrew asked for us to do this drop w/clyde and I'm happy to do so cuz in my case what the fuck, you know? I then go back up stairs I just hold still for a while - afraid to konk cuz I don't wanna be late for the eleven am shove-off but then fuck if I ain't late anyway cuz yeah, that's when shove-off was scheduled but a quarter of ten was what was spoken to me in the ride last night (which I spaced). you know what though? we still shove off right on time (I shit thee not) but the boat w/james went early cuz faith was lost in me. max says it's ok so I feel better. I hate letting anybody down. nice, sunny and hot out, I hear it's the sweatiest brussels ever recorded this last month. it's a brussels airlines airbus 319 we're taking to berlin but you know what? it only took fifteen minutes to drive to the 'port so we're like two hours early. I didn't shovel from the trough but then I'm thinking I ain't really hungry and just sit and look at the art at our gate - there's a dude schlepping, there's a coke machine sporting the mannekin pis motif (is that art?) and yeah there's also a toyota sawed in half, hmm...

art at the brussels airport on august 4, 2013

coke machine at the brussels airport on august 4, 2013

   a little more than an hour after we take off we land at tegel airport in berlin - I dozed off even though I tried hard not to. this airport is righteous and tiny, carousel for sacks right at the gate! karma gets us though and there's a big wait for the two sacks that got checked in... I ain't in any hurry and damn if I ain't got the chance to rap w/the driverman norm, whoa! so glad to see him again, he's driven a few times over the years, great cat. what's real funny is driving through a sunny berlin to right near the brandenburg gate where the 'tel is (the wall used to be near), up drives clyde so we got our sacks - there was no advantage in checking in! tourboss henry's waiting and he's laughing, shaking his head - same w/me too - "karma wails" as someone once said! the 'tel we're at is a fancy pad called the "aldon kempinski" and it's right near the holocaust memorial and the brandeberg gate, we get there about six pm. I'm beat cuz of not a lot konk, really late for a stooges gig last night. I soak good, they a nice long/deep tub. you gotta put the water in first though cuz it's in the middle and if you wanna it hot, you get your balls burned. had to learn that... a few times.

   monday I pop and the paper had "no" x'd out for "breakfast included" part but why wasn't "yes" circled? I roll the dice and go for it but just a little bit, yogurt w/blueberries and a couple eggs this ladycook offered to make me. I'm part of a trio call il sogno del marinaio and the drummerman andrea is originally from verona in italy but has been living here now in berlin a couple of years. like drummerman larry, he finds it econo here for a gig town in europe. first we see a frank gehry piece right by the 'tel,

frank gehry whale piece in dz bank in berlin, germany on august 5, 2013

a huge kind of whale in a bank - right after I see drive by a trabant - ostalgia!

trabant on the street in berlin, germany on august 5, 2013

we then go via rail to the kreuzberg part which was the first part of berlin I saw - it's fucking thirty and a half years since us minutemen and black flag played a pad called "s.o. 36" and asks if I wanna see an exhibition by a cat who was very connected to that pad, martin kippenberger but first we shovel and I get doner and salad w/a can of "cola turka" at a chow pad called "imren grill" - andrea says this is his favorite kebab pad. it's much riding the s-bahn and u-bahn - we make it to the hamburger bahnhof museum for contemporary art but damn if it ain't closed cuz it's monday, kuso! that's ok, I tell fratello andrea just getting to spend time w/him riding the trains is good enough for me. I see some sailors from the mexican navy in their summer whites at the hauptbanhof! we then go further into the east part, to treptower park and after hobbling among some beautiful maple trees, nice cool shade cuz though not as hot as brussels, it's still wailing on it and pretty humid. then we come up on this huge second world war memorial the soviets built a couple of years after v.e. day. now the first time I was ever in berlin (west berlin in those days) I saw the tiergarten memorial the soviets built then (not far from the brandengberg gate) but this is the first time I seen this one cuz it's way over in what used to be east berlin, the side controlled by the ddr. in some ways it's similar but in others it's different... fuck, I don't why but for some reason I think of monuments back home I've seen on tour for our civil war. I get a sick feeling in my gut somewhat every time I'm around stuff like, empathetic feelings about those killed and those w/the resulting loss. I wanna puke. d. boon wrote a minutemen song that had these words:
   there are no parades for the heroes
   all I see lined up are the widows
and damn if him singing that this moment now I hear ringing in my fucking head. it's a weird thing. I don't feel like chimping any more about this. we see a trippy sculpture by stephan horota nearby across the road:

trippy sculpture in treptower park in berlin, germany

   gig day and I just get some coff, I chimp diary about the belgian gig. at 2:30 pm a car comes gets us band guys for the soundcheck. the venue's a pad stooges have played before, w/ronnie and scotty in 2008 (actually where I met drummerman larry, him and jessie evans opened the gig!) and it's in an old fort called the zitadelle spandau (right near used to be a prison where rudlof hess was the last only prisoner, they tore it down after he hung himself) and way over on the northwest side (our 'tel is 'pert-near in the center) so fuck it, no driving back after - we'll stay for gig time... even james decides so.

james williamson at soundcheck at zitadelle spandau in berlin, germany on august 6, 2013

it's hot and muggy as a motherfuck, doing the check in the fort's courtyard is helped for me by the fan - we do an hour's worth and soon after chow's on which is fucking way happening. where they got the chow has trippy pictures of mark ryden art on the bulkhead, whoa... have you seen his web site? crimony! I have some salad and penne pasta both w/these trippy mushrooms that taste really good and some salmon to go along, really tasty. the dressing rooms are kind far from that courtyard we're playing and real sweaty, we got one fan going so brother steve's on deck and keeping still. I get into the gig outfit and start doing these little cartons of coconut water - all they got, like ten of them! I ripp them open and pour them in a glass one at a time, fuck the tiny straws they give you... I sure as hell don't want cramps in my hands tonight.

   so righteous having gig time a quarter after eight! top of the hour and refusing a van ride (sorry andrew), I hobble over to the stage assisted by francoise, I don't know how nina navigates the old cobblestones in those heels so effortlessly but I gotta be BIG TIME careful not to stumble - so grateful to francoise. the opening band are local cats called pothead and their crew is packing up behind the backstage curtain as I go and hide on the side where my stuf is. quite a big drum setup they got, many mics! ten minutes to go and mixman max puts on the miles he's got for intro music. w/him is james dougill, a buddy of his who lives near mr slouch w/a small production company that's gonna fill in for max in vienna friday cuz... max is getting married!!! much happiness and congrats for him and hannah, I wish could be there for them - I will in spirit! being behind the curtain and not on the side I can see the van come up w/minutes to go and ig's leading the guys out and up the stairs... outside and at this time so flashlights ain't really happening - I see james and then larry start their trot so I know that's my time to hobble out quick as I can - jos is ready for me and in fact has the strap positioned to get it right on me, bam - I'm in and we're on, like the old days (james told me), we lift off using "raw power" throttled hard. the berlin gig-goers pop right off w/the go-off, pits starting right away, hardly a mote between us and them and stage not that high, just over there heads so it's a good connect w/them. very young cats, lots of fire - we give them "gimme danger" next, ig singing really good, selling it w/righteous moves also. the fan I got saved me at soundcheck and is working good here, so grateful to jos. I'm glad larry's got one too cuz I think only in australia a few months ago I think he's used one - in that heavy-ass boiler suit too, crimony! let's turn up both bass amps a little... I got a little time for "gun" cuz it's james and then larry THEN watt. man, the folks at all the gigs we've been playing this for dig it big time, great tune. to think ig had me change the bass line (the retarded one I came up w/originally) at the last minute at dave grohl's pad made a lot of difference. ig's got perspective! respect. james jams "1970" as close as he can to the ending but this time ig still get in a "up the ass!" as we jam it hard, ig on his knees for brother steve to blow his tenor w/all he's got - glad he got that deck time earlier. now the list says "I got a right" but james doesn't give larry a chance and instead goes for "search and destroy" (this year he's been starting it alone, ig likes this version) - even as ig hollers "can I get a right?" - he turned his head quick when this different tune happened but he goes along w/it, the band is tight - just give us the number and we'll do it! I'm thinking ig is gonna have us do "...right" but nope, he wants folks up on stage from the crowd to come dance "fun house" w/us and that's what happens - it's a blast. fuck if that jack on the brian michael bass don't lose it's nut again... please don't blame him, my guess is there ain't enough thread exposed to get some good turns on it. right quick I get that blue gibson backup bass from roadboss andrew (he hollers at me "don't do that!") that sounds like turd but can save bacon in cases like this. I find the nut and put it in my pocket but as we go into "night theme) andrew doesn't realize that and when I try to explain the sitch, I clam one of the chorus - aaarrrggghhh, baka watt. I get it together right quick though and next is the "skull thing/beyond the law" medley which goes right into "johanna" which goes straight to "ready to die" (later james told me he played the same lead twice but I guess I was too stupid to figure that out - I still thought it sounded real good!) and then immediately after "I wanna be your dog" - ig does a fall-away backdrop "stagedive" into the folks who are most kind not to let him hit the deck even w/them pogoing and finally "no fun" where I clam for one tiny moment at the head of the first verse... tiny, ok but still fucking baka and I'd like to break my leg off in my own ass for doing that. real trippy thing is ig getting mic cabled tangled up on james' guitar's headstock, crimony! even bigger trip is how it didn't knock it out of tune or just rip it out of his hands! a gig is a dynamic thing, huh? "the passenger" is our closer, ig counting me in and then for the first time, he has us extend the ending, conducting us w/his hands as he works the crowd. he's been speaking some german w/them at points, you know he spent some time living in this town...

   I hobble to the back of the curtain but actually "the little room" is off to the side and tourboss henry has to help and direct my stupid ass, fucking baka watt. when we go back out, I go around the back of larry's drums so not to scare james into thinking I'm gonna run into his guitar (very fucking possible!) but it takes a little longer and I don't know, maybe james' guitar was muted some as he started "penetration" cuz I can't come in w/him on the lick but gotta wait to deliver the eight notes. I think that's ok, everything's tight and I'm chugging w/larry. what's really happening is helperman chris got the brian michael bass going and I got to trade him the lameass blue one for that, respect to him. I go right into "sex and money" for two bars and then larry joins me like we've worked out but when comes time for james, he's on the other side of the beat - ig finds it and sings w/him, me and larry snap the beat and switch it right over to get things right - this band listens to each other, I tell you it's no five separate player pianos filled w/song scrolls! excellent recovery. we go into "open up and bleed" after ig tells the folks about "before he was iggy" and how some douches didn't want him to become that man. it's a good take, for the freak-out coda I watch larry the whole time and damn if he ain't going off. I can keep w/him as he winds it up but then it's a little tough to hear where he's taking in it so I just start chopping pieces of the lick up to fit w/him - ig comes over w/his cheetah-on-the-back coat on and examines our affairs, yep... wilder and wilder, james gets his other guitar and then w/a nod I know to gliss it up and get out, larry right after. ig nods and then gets up to the lip of stage that somebody's got a pretty face but it's going to hell - you can guess what we play next... it's a shinkansen (bullet train in jap) damn if I ain't fooled at the end by some what I've called "false hells" cuz they ain't really the four for the ending cue but james reads them as final ones even if they are early and so I just lay out 'til that final 'b' and know it's done - ig brings "cock in your pocket" next right quick. even w/out cameras he's be working the moat, shaking hands, happy young men grateful and some kisses too, I see one lady very glad - much gratitude ig shows for folks putting out good vibes for all the hard work he's been doing. he asks us to do "louie louie" in the key 'a' - ok, we bring it. trippy, only one verse 'til the guitar solo, ok, no prob. me and larry end it w/him on the four, james alone on the next one but it's a tiny one. now here's "I got a right" - wow, so good it came now, especially for this town! it's wild but tight and final spear chuck for the night. beautiful berlin people, thank you. we're out and francoise helps me down the steep stairs and back up the cobblestones to the dressing room, I'd rather not take the van and get all stiff. what a happening gig, very happening!!!

   immediately I get out of the soaked stage outfit - hey, no cramps the whole gig, all that coconut water worked but the real trip is out the window we see all this lightning and wind just wailing like a motherfuck, damn! rain starts coming down sideways and there's all kinds of thunders. crimony, I guess I don't see fratello andrea or shige - insane weather, really crazy. a buddy of larry's come by though (larry's lived in berlin 'pert-near ten years now) named ben and he's cool people, very nice. he's got his own version of "open up and bleed" he tells me and shows the tattoo he's got of the title on his arm, respect. we have a good talk, he's very interesting.

   we pull anchor and bring along two of james' buddies, a lap steel man named fred from sweden and his buddy from australia who in fact saw me play w/porno for pyros in melbourne when he was a boy (1996). clyde follows us w/the rented van for equipment w/their bikes in the back, saving them from having to pedal in this fucking storm. norm, the cat who got us from the airport is driving us and happy to get them near where they gotta go. norm's a real good man, respect.

   whew. back to the 'tel and pretty quick I'm in the tub for a soak. no cramps but still I'm beat. the phone rings, aaarrrggghhhh - whoa, it's larry's buddy ben and he says to come on down so he can say bye. I towel off and get dressed again, go down to the first floor but can't find either him or larry... this 'tel guy comes up to me and says my presence is requested in this room in the back where there's a grand piano that larry's playing and ben's singing to that, both improvising this very heartfelt stuff - me and a buddy of their's name pepi are the only ones except some 'tel stasi staff who do surveillance from time to time. it's surreal, pretty much transporting me, especially after a short break where ben explains some stuff and then both him and larry go back for round two, ben asks for a sentence and I give him something about being a sailor and at sea... damn, it's really beautiful what they do, fucking balls out. maybe it's an hour and a half since I came down, crimony! I gotta konk so big hugs and then I bail. man, was that a trip... I konked pretty much tripped out - real glad though, that kind of you trippy, you know?

friday, august 9, 2013 - vienna, austria

   wednesday I pop and chow more of that yogurt w/the blueberries plus some eggs and toast, not too much. ben had told larry about a chowpad in vienna and so I'm saving my gut-space for that. we pull anchor at ten and a half, norm driving us over to tegel maybe about two hours early - this airport is great cuz it's so tiny and there was not traff. waiting for norm, I went and got some ibuprofen for my soreness and they had a little tin of mints I got also w/stamped on it, ampelmannchen! more ostalgia!

tin of mints w/ampelmannchen embossed on it in berlin, germany on august 7, 2013

all traces of the storm are gone - you think that moisture would've bursted and dump out along w/the rain but it's humid as a motherfuck as we wait. first time for me on this airline, kiki (partners w/airberlin) on an embraer 190 that takes just over an hour to get to vienna in eastern austria. it's really blazing here, crimony! I've never seen europe like this, never!.

   by three we're at "le meridien" which is a 'tel right on the opernring (opera ring road), a big block from the opera house, you can see karlskirche (saint charles' church) right near - I fucked up and called it mark's instead of charles when I recommended it to james on the ride into town - it's really a trippy piece of building, my opinion... 'pert-near looks like it's got two minarets! they're all carved up big time and there's a great yahweh in the pyramid above the altar inside too. the driverman recommended kirche am steinhof but it's four and half miles west - too for me to hobble, damn, wanted to see that too. this fucked up knee. damn.

   I accompany james and larry to chow at that pad ben in berlin had recommended last night ("cafe anzengruber") but damn if they ain't closed for vacation. right close by though is a "restaurant beograd" w/serb style chow and I get that kind of salad and bean soup to go authentic wienerschnitzel yeah, to be called that it's gotta be made w/veal and not pork. I've only schnitzel made from pork in europe and it's cousin tonkatsu in japan so this my first time. they make it really good and so is the soup and salad, a real good chow and james is most kind to springboard for it. he said it's for me and larry dealing w/his clams but damn if I think he's just being kind and I'm most grateful to him.

   thursday and I shovel some salmon and fried eggs from the trough for breakfast. I hobble around - it's a hundred degrees (f) wich I'm told is a record for this town. there's a pool by the karlskirche and cool off some there.

karlskirche (saint charles' church) in vienna, austria on august 8, 2013

I got no hat so gotta be careful. lots of stuff around, the opera house, saint stefan's cathedral - old timey and not as wack but still interesting though the tourist mob is scary... who's gonna knock me over? luckily I remain upright somehow. I get for dinner some asia-style take-out from a chow pad called "quick box" - I don't know exactly where they're from (they never heard of chow mien) but this "crispy duck and noodles" I get tastes real good when I take it back to my chamber. the folks there are real nice and it was econo.

   gig day and I shovel some toast, tomato and beans w/the crew guys. it's just me and driverman clyde soon cuz everyone bails. he says the rental vw van he's using is really underpowered. we have a good talk about punishment cuz I had flow him a link regarding the practice of "blowing from a gun" which I ran across somehow (that's how hyperlinks work!) when trying to remember some details of mr poe's "the cask of amontillado" short story, "immurement" being a form of capital punishment (getting walled up) and I thought maybe this had something to do w/fucking darts and a blow gun but boy was I wrong... clyde sent me back a link to the case of this cat damiens and here at the trough he tells me about the milgram experiment which like an total baka I mixed up w/the stanford prison experiment which maybe ain't TOTAL baka but baka enough. anyway, clyde is deep on stuff like this, implications, you know? he never settles for just a shallow surface cursory nod and I like that. he's deep and interesting cat. respect.

   an old friend of me raymond's, hans takes me to see hieronymous bosch's "the last judgement" in the academy for fine art's gemalde galerie - this pad is like five hundred feet from the 'tel. now nine of the "little men" I used for my third opera came from this work of mr bosch's and to get to see it in person is incredible trip for me. I study and study. there's the arrow-pierced-egg-man, own-horn-blowing-man, fryingpan-man, head-and-feet-only-man, shield-shouldered-man, boot-wearing-fish-man, lute-and-dagger-man, jug-footed-man and wheel-bound-man... I only seen these in books before and now in front of me, they 'pert-near seem to wanna pop out and dance it up - I'm losing my mind! hans knows much about art, we discuss tons. his guess this painting was first painted black and then stuff brought out from that back ground. my knees get sore but there's two chairs here in front so I can sit and study, actually I can get big picture more... "forest for the trees" - I get caught up in the little "men," the tiny amalgamations. it is a strange symphony, this work. we have no letters from the man, no diaries - only his work but he did put signatures on several of the maybe twentyfive paintings folks think he did which was unusual for those days - "hieronymus bosch" was not the name he was born w/but I think he wanted to be known for his work and let the paintings speak for themselves, no supplemental windbag (like what watt does). art is a trippy fabric that connects humans!

   hans really wants me to see the "chamber of wonders" exhibition at the kunsthistorisches museum in the marie-theresa platz part of vienna which is not that far of a hobble but we are running out of time - stooges soundcheck is coming up. I have to let go of this "judgement painting" even w/so much I wanna fucking look at. I get a head-and-feet-only-man figurine.

figurine of image in bosch's 'last judgement' in vienna, austria on august 9, 2013

it is crazy amazing stuff at the kunsthistorisches museum but damn I gotta come back and spend a couple days to see this all in a good way where I can absorb that fucking infinite mindblows in that pad, crimony! both me and hans have to laugh w/our eyes wide open at 'pert-near every fucking thing here - holy cow! we get back just in time to see brother steve waiting for our lift to the venue. big hug for hans, bye bye for now.

   the venue is called arena and it used to be a cement factory but when it was abandoned, it was squatted in the 70s. it's not just one building but a compound. tonight we're playing on the outside stage but I remember playing inside in one the buildings as a minuteman w/black flag in february of 1983, outside it was snowing like a motherfuck. it was us minutemen's first time ever to vienna, first time to europe. I didn't know bosch's "last judgement" was in this town, I didn't know where any of his stuff was. I didn't know I'd be making an opera using his little men... I for goddamn sure never would've imagined playing for the stooges! life is a fucking trip. none of the people working here were from those days but they all like to hear about me being here. actually a year and a half ago I brought the third opera here w/my missingmen. that was a trip... anyway, we go through the whole set for james dougill

james dougill at arena in vienna, austria on august 9, 2013

and of course for ourselves - glad I got the fan here cuz damn if it ain't hot but the sky ain't clear any more, I think a storm is approaching... helperman chris

chris wujek at arena in vienna, austria on august 9, 2013

brian michael bass at arena in vienna, austria on august 9, 2013

clyde strain at arena in vienna, austria on august 9, 2013

did a great job on the brian michael bass - he had to remove the big washer but this means more thread for the nut on the jack. we bail back to the 'tel and I get in a big soak. at the morning shovel I kiped three of the tiny liverwurst sausages and chow that w/the "lowensenf" mustard larry gave me when I first saw him in brussels. love this kind of mustard and it goes righteous w/the what I'm squeezing right out the tube and into my mouth. kind of like old astronaut way of chowing, huh?

   seven bells and we meet up for the ride to the gig, pretty sweaty backstage but for sure a storm is about to start kicking up. I get into the stage outfit, larry find a bowel of some of the best handmade guacamole I've ever had, I shit thee not - I know, we're in austria but some motherfucker here really got it right. the opening band is called mother's cake and I think from innsbruck - my buddy hans is from that area, in austria's west. I can't stop chowing this guac, damn! I do drink all the coconut water they got, do some stretches cuz I don't want cramps, nope! ig comes in, asks me if his cues are ok and I tell him they've been right on the money, 'pert-near every one of them - he nods and goes to his chamber. james comes in and expresses some concern about getting hit by lightning... oh oh. me and larry trip on some of the hilarious posters on the bulkheads - "absinthe minded" ???

   go time's supposed to be ten after nine but tourboss henry says we're going on earlier cuz it's starting to sprinkle on the gig-goers w/rain. elevator down to the stage level (back stage is up a floor) and I wait by the hatch that leads to the stage cuz there's nowhere for me to hide. some torrid stuff is coming over the p.a. - it's driving jos crazy (it sounds like celine dion, I wanna gag!) but finally here comes the miles - hey, I can hear the bass line for the first time, it ain't all blurry like usual. it's econo bass line, I like it. I see the band come around and go to their side (ig likes coming on stage port) and then w/henry's flashlight cue, I got a little ground to cover w/my hobble and so get a move on. jos is there w/the bass and it slings on me... no rain coming down as far as I can tell but lightning flashes for sure. the whole pad is packed to the back and the sides, everyone hollering - I holler too w/fist in the air as james gets "raw power" going w/a really REALLY LOUD guitar, crimony! trippy cuz I think james d (filling in for max) only has like a 96 db limit to work w/and man, I wonder if the guitar alone ain't bogarting all that! my knees hurt, I'm a little scared but also excited to see ig up there working - not just me but the whole pad is keyed on him. he hates cement decks but it don't mean he ain't going for it cuz goddamn he is - lightning now is going from cloud to cloud, big bolts, crimony! "gimme danger" right up, james giving the monitor lady a signal - she's on my side so for second he was looking at me! silly goose watt. I turn my amps both up. this deck makes for terrible bottom, makes the bass thin. I can barely hear the drums through all the guitar but larry's slammin' hard. he gets fooled some by james starting "gun" in a trippy hiccup way and for the first time ever I think I see him w/the head down and not letting go but after some searching around james finds him - I stayed out instead add to the mixup and join in when ig does, interesting how it all came together like that! no autopilot for this, stay tuned in, folks! larry looks over and laughs. maybe a little spun, james skips the next song on the list and goes into "search and destroy" - ig looks back... you know ig's got no song list be he knows what's up - he writes it! he goes w/it - man, lightning now is really ripping across the sky, big "flash bulb" bursts and clouds connected via zapping bolts, crimony! ig ain't gonna let us get away w/out playing "1970" so right as we end "search..." he hollers for it and wants it "straight up the asshole" - we bring it. hard. ig then wants dancers up on stage to join us for "fun house" and damn if rob pargiter ain't here and 'pert-near the first one up, having to heft himself up on the cement deck w/maybe more than just a little effort. ig cues me to bring the bass and rob's dancing right there in front, doing his groove - fucking right on! tourboss henry next to me in front of larry, roadboss andrew on the other side but I still gotta dodge some flying gig-goer bodies, still it's a good time w/everyone big time indulging in the squeeze! francoise, yuki (roadboss andrew's wife) and nina come out from stage starboard and get their own dance on, wild! I don't think I've ever seen that, special. I can't see ig, big crowd around him but he's directing us w/his "huh!" cues, big and little we bring it up and down - I let some cats pound on my bass after I snap off a note w/a string bit as we get into "l.a. blues" and feel someone give me back pats as I "monkey hump" (james' term) the speaker boxes, being a little careful of the jack - helperman chris got more thread up on the jack but it also meant getting rid of the big washer that helped spread the stress out around the wood - I give the pounds more to the neck rather the body and it seems to help her stay in the race unlike the last two gigs which is happen cuz damn if that blue gibson sound like turd. I get the brian michael bass tuned up between freak-outs after my bout w/the cabs, pats on the back from somebody kind of tripping me out chased me out of that mode - can't remember people really touching me all that much before, seems more common now - prolly I'm a little paranoid cuz of the fucked-up knee. "night theme" brought in by larry, he's the decider then james is (he's got his coat off now) for "skull thing" and I can see his lips move as he counts the riffs off... me, I use brother steve's sax lines and he's never let me down but I acknowledge james' nod for "beyond the law" cuz I truly believe eye contact's a good thing for a band on stage and not a sign of weakness like I swear I think some douches think it is, fuck that. the moat's a pretty big one and ig's down there working it for "johanna" - incredible how some the lightning flashes seem to be in time, damn! no cameras, no sidescreens but ig up close and personal w/the folks... he gets up on the side where paramedics are w/a gurney just in case and sings to them! he's covering quite a bunch of ground, stil out there for "ready to die" and giving james props in his guitar solo, we move right to "I wanna be your dog" and he moves to the other side - I try hard but lose site of him, I think he's in front of the stack of p.a. speakers. he finally rejoins us on stage for "no fun" (larry doesn't even wait for a final "...dog" hit to bring us in) and I remember last gig's clam I blew here and make sure to avoid it. a tight take on "the passenger" has us finish - for now, off to the side and rear we go, ig and james sitting next to each other as I lean in, it's an interesting view... back out for encore time, even w/going around the back of larry's drums I got time to get the bass from jos and get into "penetration" right, some chucks a plastic glass of beer and hits me in the foot but no hurt - comes the last note and I make it the first one for "sex and money" w/a happening solo from brother steve on his tenor, ig right up in front of larry's kickdrum for the finish. man, the gig-goers have been great: many pits and much good spirit, things slow a little (first time all night!) for "open up and bleed" - not slow in the coda, no! I'm tighter w/larry tonight as we're the only ones playing 'til james gives the nod, well tonight ig w/his cheetah coat on did some "yeah" supplements as we were winding it out, first time for that. the coat comes off comes the second verse of "your pretty face is going to hell" though and no doubt about where the ending is tonight (james is certain I blew it in berlin! ok) - "cock in my pocket" up right next and I see a lot of laughing faces in the front rows, yeah, I look out for a peep or two cuz it's hard to find ig - he's back in the moat and right at the barrier w/the folks. back on the cement deck w/us for "burn" w/james guitar screaming up at the lightning, so glad none of that's striking the ground, he earlier had concerns about that and yeah, that's a scary thought. "I got a right" immediately gets my mind off that and into big time fast mode cuz that's where the tune is, woosh! the closer for the night is "louie louie" and of course it's in the key of 'a' - we end right w/ig sing the last "go" all together, I get the bass to jos, get the glasses on and bow deep before bailing while ig does his last bye byes to the folks. they sure were a great crowd, truly.

   the storm's hitting hard so way to go see my buddy hans, the part where you meet your guests is a washout, damn. we pull anchor pretty quick, get back to the 'tel by ten. I get the "going home" outfit out, pack up the stenched stuff in the rolling man sack and the soak in the tub for a good while. no cramps tonight (thank god) but I got sore. these were three happening gigs, so good for last europe stooges gigs of the year.

   next morning me, larry and chris bail at quarter of nine for the airport. no trace of last night's storm, none. berlin was like that too, trippy. mother nature wails! before we bailed I chowed a little bacon and a fried egg plus some yogurt, last free shovel. the line to check in is huge one - I have to bring brian michael bass w/me so I can bring it to next gig (next week in seoul, korea) cuz james asked me to help and I'm glad to... I get to the gate right as boarding is supposed to start but the flight coming in is late so delayed twenty minutes... can't get upset at shit you have no control over cuz it only hurts and does nothing to help, gotta just roll w/the hand you're dealt. I get on a niki (berlinair partner) embraer 190 flight to dusseldorf that takes seventy minutes and just hope not just my hobbling ass but the bass makes it too - hard when you have tiny layovers. luckily I don't have to do security again at dusseldorf and I manage to hobble over quick enough for the eleven hour flight on a airberlin airbus 330, haven't ridden on these kind of planes much and my first overseas flight on this airline. I'm relieved we're running ten minutes late - why? cuz the captain they gotta load up some late luggage (hah, the brian michael bass!). tiny-ass leg room (fraud term, should be leg non-room), I can only chimp last night's gig cuz of cramped up curled up hands arms - clown in front of me leaning way back and always jerking. however, I'm glad I'm here anyway cuz I had resigned myself for an overnight in dusselfdorf - hey, home of kraftwerk and der plan so maybe not that bad! there's a film I see, "l.a. confidential" and the reason I do is cuz I always avoided it cuz I love james ellroy much, the man who wrote the book the film is supposedly from. I really dig the four books he did on los angeles, they were the first four of his I read: "the black dahlia," "the big nowhere," "l.a. confidential" and "white jazz" and even got to meet him once at a reading at "roman's" - got him to sign copies of "white jazz" for both me and raymond and in mine he wrote "stab out, l.a. style!" I asked him why danny had to die in "the big nowhere" and he said the politics and culture of that time dictated that. whoa, I still think abou that - he's a tall man, I remember. anyway, many people said that this movie was lame so I forever stayed away even though I heard mr ellroy was on the set helping... turns out I liked this movie! I can't believe but I could some of mr ellroy's voice. of course a movie ain't ever gonna be a book BUT... I will tell you something that disturbed me. I couldn't remember what got changed sometimes, I couldn't trust my memory. fuck. I felt like a goddamn 'tard. I have to re-read but that ain't a bad thing, I've done that w/lots of books, why not? in fact I'm glad I did in lots of cases when I did, learned much more stuff I spaced on the first time! fuck though, it did make feel puny and stupid - like maybe I should have more of my shit together.

   my sister melinda is waiting for me at the bradley terminal - took 'pert-near two hours cuz of the customs line, crimony. immigration was real quick though, the officer greeted me by name seeing me, says he reads the hoot page even, damn! much respect to him, very kind. six pm as we drive down the harbor freeway, pedro's been in the 70s my sister tells me - very mild for this time of year... after some sweaty europe, ain't that a fucking trip! glad to be safe home.

incinerator stack in san pedro, ca on august 10, 2013

saturday, august 17, 2013 - seoul, south korea

   wednesday at nine in the morning my secondmen drummerman jer gets me at my pad cuz my sister melinda's teaching eight graders and school started yesterday... luckily jer has the day off (he's a longshoreman here in pedro) and can help me get to lax for my one pm flight to seoul.

jerry trebotic bringing watt to lax on august 14, 2013

I've never been to korea before so I'm excited on that level - a new land for me... check in is easy, just gotta give them the brian michael bass michael-2010-anchor-bass.jpg I got w/me now cuz of the sicth w/the remaining stooges gigs for the year - no more just watt and his man sack plus his back wack 'puter sack which both can go w/inside the cabin w/me - I gotta do the check in game which is ok cuz it's what's gotta be done to do these stooges gigs and I love stooges. the make me sign a liability waiver and a "fragile" tag the put on the case but this bass is built like a tank so I worry not. I'm at the bradley terminal which has been expanded w/new gates to handle the big airbus 380-800 planes which is good cuz that's what I'm on for my flight, on korean air but first I need to shovel something - the "pink's" that used to be here is gone (already chimped about that earlier in the spring) so instead at a chow pad called "sushi boy" and get a bowl of tonkotsu ramen. it's simple and it's tasty. I did cook myself something earlier but that was at four this morning, it was a chicken breast cooked up w/stirfry veggies plus lima beans and black eye peas - a favorite "symphony" of mine.

   the boat's full, you gotta remember we got the biggest ktown outside of korea. these new airbusses got ok legroom for the chumps in the chump seats like me. I'm gonna arrive at night so I do my best to stay awake on this twelve hour flight as much as I can... I see a couple of movies on the little screen on the back of the seat in front of me: "bullitt" w/steve mcqueen (one of my favorite actors ever) and "hud" w/paul newman (pretty good too) - both of these are from the 60s and very happening... unusual roles for both cuz mcqueen as a cop and newman as a heel? what?! trippy but both did real good. I really like how mcqueen would use less than needed to be said - yeah, less is more. I guess in life these both had a rivalry w/each other. I'm so glad they cared about their work and didn't settle for shoveling out slops whatever however. much respect. steve mcqueen in a sailors suit for "the sand pebbles" - me and d. boon's favorite movie when we were boys. even though we couldn't figure it out then, we still dug it, dug it big time. I fell w/it again when I read the book of it, an incredible story written by richard mckenna, his only novel.

   incheon airport is actually on landfill that connects two little islands called yeongjongdo and yongyu... it's about forty miles I'm driven in a car to get to samseong-dong, the neighborhood of seoul where the 'tel is, right next to the gangnam part (psy can tell you about that place!) and called the "intercontinental hotel coex" - trippy sculpture out front...

sculpture in front of intercontinental hotel in seoul, korea

I'm way up on the twentysecond floor. in the lobby though I see stooges tourboss henry and my old friend henry rollins talking in the lobby - hank flew all the way out here to see the stooges, big respect! sun just coming down, we're sixteen hours ahead here from pedro time and in fact crossed the international dateline so it's almost bye bye to thursday... after getting advice from hank, I hobble over to the 7-11 (same as back home but smaller and chow different) across the road next to the buddha temple grounds - I wanna visit there when I can. now it's about 1100 won to the dollar and a third of a liter bottle of soju is 1600... it's less than half as much for a can of beer. crimony. soju is kind of like half the strength wodka we got, about forty proof. I konk around ten and chow nothing, waiting for morning for next round.

   friday and I'm up at six bells and the paper they gave me says free trough starting downstairs at in a half hour but when I get down there then, mr rollins is 'pert-near already done w/his plate, crimony! I thought for sure I was gonna open it up. it's a good trough, all kinds of fresh chow - I have a big salad w/like six kinds of lettuce along w/capers, tomatoes and olive vinegar. the cookerman fries me two eggs I chow w/some dim sum dumplings that's got leeks in them. back in my chamber I find my macpurse is out of the race - screen dark if though it'll boot - I have a patch the has patrick mcgoohan holler "I'm not a number, I'm a free man!" every time I log in successfully and I hear that but see nothing plus the fan in it is blasting and it's running only on its battery and not the wall. oh well, I got four and a half years out of her which is good for a tour 'puter, very good. 'puters and shit take blows on tour, big time.

   we leave for prac at noon and go to a pad not too far away called "dream factory and in the basement is a studio we're using for prac, all the stuff we're using for tomorrow's gig's here - eric (yeah, eric's on board for this gig as roadboss!), jos, andrew and max has gotten it all ready for us. I got two stacks of svt-vr (vintage reissue? I don't know, could mean that) but using just one for prac, they look pretty spanking new. it's sweaty here so the shirt comes off, same w/larry but not w/james or brother steve. we go through the set a couple of times. the folks here are very helpful, really good people. you can smell some mildew here just like w/the 'tel which is a fancy pad so I think it's seoul's weather that is intense as far as humidity, like living in southern florida. whew. good to prac though. we get done around five and go back to the 'tel, passing where we're gonna play tomorrow - now I know why we're konking where we are, it's close to the venue, just west and hey, I notice they drive here on the same side of the road that we do back home... for some reason I thought it was like japan but I'm wrong... it's so good to get a chance to actually go to places and have real-life experiences - a great thing about this job I am eternally grateful for! guess that's a tangent, right?

   james williamson is very kind and invites me and larry to chow korean bbq w/him across the street at a chow pad called "black pig seoul" where we get led upstairs to a table w/a hooded smoke-sucker kind of contraption over a hibachi-like coal grill in the middle. I've had yaki-niku a bunch in tokyo courtesy of mr shimmy but finally I get to have korean bbq in korea, first time! james and larry have never had it anywhere. they trip on how you cook the raw stuff they bring and got on little plates for us - actually we get the assist from a workerlady there after james asks the chow pad boss what to do... it's really good eats, really good. we have a happening time. so nice of james to have me and larry aboard like this. we have some korean beer called "max" that's ok, better than a "dry finish" one I had before. we go back to the 'tel and watt's just out of gas so I get up to my chamber and konk.

   gig day and I pop early for the righteous trough downstairs but damn if henry rollins ain't finishing just as I'm arriving! I thought for sure I'd... don't ever underestimate a cat like him - he is most productive man! I shovel another huge leafy salad w/those things I first chowed in england w/it, capers - they got a trippy taste that works righteous w/the lettuce, onions, oil and vinegar, love it. me and larry got prac in james' chamber at three so I wanna get my hobble on so I can see something of the town. now I know the "real seoul" is prolly north of the han river and here we are next to the money and gangnam neighborhood but whatever, better seeing here than inside a chamber and its four bulkheads, overhead and deck, right? there's clouds providing for some overcast so that might be a little calmer on me too. I first go to the bongeunsa temple cuz it's right across the road. beautiful stuff here and up a little hill so righteous breeze. there's a statue of kannon here but they call her gwan-eum here.

gwan-eum at bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

now what I thought was buddha wearing a hat that looked like a table reveals itself to be the sky when I get close enough and under! of course I am a baka, a slow learner!

buddha at bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

I also tiny buddha put in a little space under some temple pavement.

tiny buddha at bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

other beautiful stuff also.

bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

we have a bell like this in my pedro town that the korean people gave us on our two hundredth bday - it ain't too far from my prac pad.

bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

intense guard dog/lions are common to lots of asia temples I've found. same w/these kind lanterns.

bongeunsa temple in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

this morning from my window way up in the 'tel I could see a big cathedral, korea has many christians but damn, it's too far for me to hobble so I set my sights on a park where two korean kings and a queen are buried, seonjeongneung

seonjeongneung from my window at the 'tel

seonjeongneung park

seonjeongneung park

seonjeongneung park

(notice they don't cut the tree but prop it up over the fence!)

which is only a mile a way but I get sidetracked some, walking through fancy big building territory and end up way on the other side from where the entrance is so instead circle the pad... man, it's starting to heat up big time, I soak my whole outfit... not much oldage here except for this park and that temple stuff, it's all new-build around these parts and actually the sidewalks ain't gonna many folks on them, I bet real downtown seoul is much different but this is where I am and this is what I see. maybe one day I get to come back and see more, I hope so.

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

watt in gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

gangnam part of seoul, korea on august 17, 2013

   I get back to the 'tel after my four hour hobble and need both to was this purple shirt in the sink and myself in the tub cuz I know it's rude as a motherfucker to come into james' chamber w/an odor that can easily knock a buzzard off of a shitwagon and we got prac at quarter of three. me and larry go over the set w/him, doing our tiny prac style and we get done 'pert-near when we gotta get to the lobby for the gig cuz this is an early gig, something all of us dig. we're playing what might've been for track and field at the jamsil sports complex which was used for the 1988 summer olympics. this gig is called the hyundai card super concert 19 citybreak festival and we meet the gigboss who's a pretty young guy. everyone's really kind to us, there's even mustard in the dressing room. also here is henry rollins, yeah! time passes so slow when you're waiting to play but w/henry, it goes by real quick cuz he is most righteous w/conversation, he's got great spiel.

   six pm is set for blast off wich is righteous cuz it's early but maybe a little tougher than later cuz of the heat. we've been w/a cloud cover but I think that's passed... what's really intense though is the humidity, I mean it's a sopper. actually I think it rained earlier but no matter, still boiling! fifteen before six I get led up to the stage which is fucking huge, really big. of course this is a sports stadium used for the olympics, not gigs! I can hang back on my side to the read w/no prob. a huge infield, that's where most the folks are, hardly anyone in stands. there's two other stages too so folks are coming through the tunnels from that as I wait... talking w/the man who helped us w/prac yesterday - fuck, I forgot his name like a babo (baka in hangul) but he's very VERY cool people and his english really good, he lived in mission viejo (south part of orange county in so cal). rapping w/him makes the time go by quick which I'm grateful for. I see the fan for on the side of my amps, not plugged in - I ask tourboss henry about that and he has jos get it right quick, thanks so much. it's gonna be swelter so I need all the help I can get. I see him join the other henry on the other side of the stage and then go to the back...

henry rollins + henry mcgroggan (l to r) at citybreak festival in seoul, korea on august 17, 2013 - photo by choi sun yoep

I think go time is arriving. fuck, right on the button at six, james and larry do their trot out and I got some ground to cover w/as quick as a hobble I can muster w/out crumpling. jos gets the bass around me just a james starts up "raw power" - I made it and now get fist in the air, whoa, the gig-goers respond big time and start roaring - mostly young people, right off the bat they're there to welcome ig w/huge hollers as he comes flying out, surreal. they respond w/very much synchronized moves ig does, almost like they all did a prac w/him to get it together, phenomenal! (none of us have ever been to this land except henry rollins) "gimme danger" up right next and I get some twists on the amp heads to get them up some cuz damn if there ain't some air to move! actually the humidity makes it like none his, every air molecule sodden and flaccid - that's what it feels like but you couldn't tell by the reaction right now of the peeps and later mixman max would say this tune "SOUNDED HUGE" (his words) so all I can do is try my hardest to do good for stooges and focus. funny I just chimped that cuz following tune "gun" has me getting lost when james takes his first solo, I'm following ig - I thought I was... I get back on but then in james second solo 'pert-near the same thing happens - looking at larry though I get back for the last verse and end it tight w/him and james... aaahhh, so embarrassed - how did I do that?! I double up on my focus efforts cuz no time for hand-wringing w/a out-the-torpedo-tube blaster "1970" popping out like it is now on me, I join and indulge in the squeeze! humidity starting to get felt now but fan's helping big time, helping to force air down the lung. I can imagine what it's like for ig but damn if he ain't handling like a champ. of course the waterbottle over his, good strategy. james does his intro for "search and destroy" w/me and larry joining him like we've doing - ain't the album version but ig digs it, to think it came from a clam! shows to go you. the band's pulling together tight, we fuckin pave the road w/this baby - is there a breath next while he calls for dancers? no! there's no dancers at this gig, ig calls for "fun house" and they goes downstairs into the moat and then into where the gig-goers are! if he can bring them up on stage (I heard there was some heavy shit not allowing it) then he's going to them. of course this stage is way high and the moat really wide so he has to make the trek on foot but you know if things were a little closer he would've gone air mail for damn sure! it's been a little while now since we've done "l.a. blues" w/out a crowd around - not that I ever saw them then cuz I was busy w/the monkey-humping (james' terminology) and it's a little difficult cuz the deck monitors' are in the way of me getting up and into the front of the speaker cabs like I like to do, damn it. I don't wanna crumple. I do wanna get the bass back in tune. I'm pretty sure but damn are the amps opened up all the way cuz in "night theme" I can hear them wanting to go off so I pluck a little (just a little bit) calmer then here comes ig to grab the mic stand for "skull thing" even though he does no singing in it, he uses body language to re-ignite the crowd after us w/the machines just subjected them to a freak-out... james looks over after his twenty-count (yeah, he counts the "skull thing" riffs every time) for our segue into "beyond the law" which lays out the big e-minor carpet we got to drape on the folks for the next couple of rides... ig dancing up some fine steps as he works the stage, port to starboard. righteous. for the coda I accidentally hit the drum riser and thinking I hit the 'd' string tuner and so I go for the octave 'e' in "johanna" on the 'a' string just in case I did a baka thing... I get distracted somehow and fuck up one of the d to g, b to g tags for sure I did that baka move (later james will tell me he heard it), aaaaaarrrggghhhh - larry's having trouble w/his kick drum moving all around and jos has gotta be there to get that back happening, actually it's been going on all gig but that's no reason for me to get flustered and clam like that, what a fucking idiot I am - I look over at roadboss andrew and laugh, he prolly think it's at jos but the reality is I'm looking in the mirror! ok, I get it together and do the rest of the tune right, same goes for "ready to die" and damn if I ain't ready to puke, that's what this humidity is doing w/me but I fight back w/resolve... and if I gotta puke, then I'll puke w/out a pause in my playing OR a clam, I resolve that much w/myself in that moment but stay in the moment - time now for "I wanna be your dog" oh lordy, train keeps a coming, crimony! no matter what tempo larry clicks james in at, james has his tempo so I disregard that hihat and get on over close to james to make sure I'm on board correct. ig's on the deck for the solo, man I can't believe his strength and stamina - he ain't just lying on the deck but got some worm going, mic cable in his teeth. wild. "no fun" next and he's got the gig-goers synching up again w/the arm moves, groovin' and they're into it. more as we move to "the passenger" which gives us some calm as far as tempo but I gotta to commit to the tune cuz this is a stooges gig and I never wanna look back EVER and say I cut a short at any moment when I was helping the stooges, nope. here comes three blister-babies now - I had said something during the briefing earlier backstage to ig about this part but that was now I realize maybe little boy fear poking it's head out from the manhole cover and time backbone up and help get the shit moving instead of getting in the way. "I got a right" is right out the rifle barrel and down the fucking "we's jammin'" chute, fucking whoa. am I aware of the fucking heat and humidity about ready to make me puke? I am. am I aware we slow down just a tiny bit for "cock in my pocket" maybe? I am but get to it and hang on, I don't puke. I am aware of a lady in a burqa out in the back, sort of starboard, rocking out in a burqa? I am and if she can do it done up like that then I got man up and do what I gotta do in the outfit I got on. ig don't let us pause though and takes the tempo back up for "your pretty face is going to hell" - holy cow. I'm pummeled but somehow hang on and keep playing, don't puke, don't keel over, crimony! we go into "louie louie" and fuck if my hands don't start cramping now. ig comes on over when we take it down and introduces me to the folks just as my hands to go into lobster boy mode and luckily the resulting stumblebum ain't too much of a nightmare - ig's laughing but I think he's unaware of my dilemma, he's just having a good time cuz you know what? it is a good gig and it is a good time, just complicated a little bit by these weather some. what a time to really cramp though, just as he calls my name and then brother larry. bam, we're done and get quick as we can to the side to hear the word from the man - he says "penetration" and that's all so that's what we do but not right away w/the bass player - yeah, when I get the bass there's no sound for a while but then it kicks in, maybe it wasn't plugged in all the way, I don't know - I had it left it on the deck and I know jos had many things to do. anyway, when I do get in, ig sings the coda for the gig, james beefing it up w/a great guitar solo and it's big deep bows for the korean gig-goers who gave us so much of their spirit and their heart. damn I wish I could dance like minzy for them...

   in the dressing rooms and hank's w/us, so glad he's here. ig is too cuz comes in and it's the first debriefing in a long time - love seeing ig after the gig and getting the word from him. he's in a great spirit. he tells me and hank about this book he's reading called "the skies belong to us" by brendan koerner and damn if his spiel ain't enough to get me lit up about it (next day hank told me ordered a copy!). it's a good time, a real good time. hell, only nine bells too when we get back to the 'tel... there's talk of more shoveling but for me, I wanna soak some and once I get going on that, the fact I got beat up and tuckered out big time from that work on stage is most apparent on me and damn if konk don't come down like a hammer and I'm out.

   one more shovel at the trough - damn, hank beats me again! I discover though the paper that told me 6:30 am is different than the "open six am" I'm seeing by the hatch - that's what's up, ok... "slow learner" like I chimped already, I am a fucking slow learner. I get to ride w/hank to the airport though, just me and him. the hour or so it takes to get there goes like that though, just like that. we're on different airlines but going to the same place: so cal. incheon airport sure is clean and damn, there's flowers in the head even - don't think I ever seen that...

the head near gate ten at incheon airport in south korea

I'm on the korea air 380-800 that goes whence I came - maybe the very same plane? same route backwards and usually there's a tailwind this direction... we get like half an hour earlier into lax cuz of that but before we take off I spend all but three hundred won I got left to get potato curry chicken "breadie" which is ok, a soft cylinder of bread stuffed w/that stuff and nuked in a microwave. real korea chow here was great though, I got many good impressions on my first visit to this land, so glad I got to come, truly. I konk a bunch on the ride home except for one movie w/jack nicholson written by a cat who grew up some in my pedro town, robert towne. ok, dig this: take off was at three pm but we land at twenty of eleven am - we got back the time I lost going to korea wednesday, still is a trip though, huh? landing before you take off! my sister melinda brings me home, very mild here in my pedro town, in the low 70s and dry - much different from where I just came from. right away I gotta get this ssd out of the kaput macpurse and into an external case - save that data! machines will be machines but man, that was a neat trip, I dug it.

sunday, august 25, 2013 - toronto, canada

   friday morning a little after ten my secondmen drummerman jer gets me to lax for a one pm flight to toronto. I think james williamson's twelfth or something gig w/us was in toronto and here we are looping it... that was thirtyeight months ago and look all that's happened in between, damn. I get a tuna sandwich from a chow pad called the "homeboy cafe" which is part of the homeboy group that helps w/getting things together for cats who might have had some challenges. it's a good sandwich. four hours on an american airlines 737-800 gets to me to toronto airport around ten at night (toronto time is three hours ahead of so cal) and a nice man named mike drives me in an econoline van to the "trump tower" konk pad not too far from the university in the middle of town. oh, on the flight I was reading "imagining los angeles - a city in fiction" by david fine which I'm really digging. it's the reason I made myself watch the whole "chinatown" movie on the flight back home from seoul last week. good good stuff.

   saturday I pop at seven bells to forge for chow cuz like u.s. and unlike europe, these kind of pads have no free trough. I see tourboss henry, helperman jos and mixman max in the lobby and they said a pad called "sunset grill" is only a couple of blocks away so I hobble towards that, much construction going on but still much beatdown in evidence...

storefront on younge street in toronto, canada on august 24, 2013

those cats said "econo" but eggs and "peameal style bacon" (was curious cuz never heard of that but ended up being like ham slices) and coff for eleven bucks ain't real econo especially w/the canadian dollar about ninetythree cents u.s. but it tastes pretty ok. I think maybe it is kind of econo though cuz I'm told toronto has pretty spendy standard of living, there's been a huge real estate boom. a couple days ago I opened up the macpurse I use for tour to get the ssd (solid state drive, not mechanical hard drive) out and found that where a rubber foot had come off, there was open access to the motherboard and damn if that part of the board didn't have corrosion and stuff all around - right where the harness going to the screen was so no wonder I had no picture. well, the ssd was good and I found a macpurse online for sale that though two years newer than this kaput one (it was a 2008 macbook pro 13"), it could still run snow leopard and so I went for that. I have desk mac pro I use at my pad and use the macpurse more for tour and doing my radio show at brother matt's - this trip though I gotta use an ipad I got a while ago to help when I want interntet infos w/out starting up a 'puter, like watch an old movie on turner and wanting to know what happened to some actor - it's terrible for chimping cuz of the input but it works ok for a few sentences. at one we got prac at the gibson guitar place, maybe my third time here - first time was day after all the stooges stuff got kiped in montreal and where the nice folks working here gave me that blue "sg" model bass (they stopped called them "eb" now) we've been using lots of times as a backup (saved me twice week before last!). the stuff we're using for the gig is here like in korea but larry's got one of his actual kits, james has got his amps. I'm using two older svt stacks but they sound pretty ok, the speakers are in good shape. we go through all the set and then ig joins us an hour and a half later and we do the songs he wants to work on w/us, we do "gun" twice. ig brings MUCH FOCUS to the prac, I love it. we do an abbrev version of the set after he leaves and then get back to the 'tel around six pm. in my pocket is a righteous gift from jos: "colman's" double superfine mustard powder, crimony! much respect to him.

   my friend tina group up in windsor and so has a lot of canadian friends. her buddy judy drives her to come get me and bring me to her and husband mike's pad for some chow in "the annex" part of town. they got a film company that makes trippy stuff, very interesting. you wouldn't believe today's weather - I've never seen it this nice in toronto, totally like a righteous day in my pedro town. you know, summer humidity is not just a north-south thing in north america, it's anything east of the rockies being mostly one motherfucking sticky sweaty not comfortable way to have summer, be it saskatoon or saint louis, mobile or miami - believe you me. anyway, to go w/this weather, michael has cooked up some really good chow, grilled salmon, pesto pasta and happening salad. friends marc and his wife judy (two ladies here named judy!) come by and so does another buddy john (soundman w/tv and film, like the work k does) - they're all beautiful and great cats to share this good time w/and I am most happy. marc had the most righteous book store in town but damn if didn't have to go the way of so many others now... scissorsville - crimony. respect to him for being a true book believer. I am tired too but hold out long as I can, marc brought some canadian whisky. I'm so glad I got to meet these people. fuck, I could learn a buttload being around and listening to them but at the same time they're real generous for having their ears and minds open for some of my windbag also, how very kind of them. how very nice of tina to connect me them, truly.

   gig day and I chow some eggs at the same pad I did yesterday morning. the weather's more overcast and humid, yesterday is gone. we got soundcheck at noon. the gig is part of the riot fest - we did the chicago one last year, in three weeks we're gonna do the denver one. we do an abbrev version of the set we're gonna do tomorrow, I watch james to see when he wants to trim whatever parts and get to the next one. it's all sweaty but worth it, I am definitely not allergic to prac and know it helps gig time much. the venue is a park called fort york and has some history to it... besides being where toronto started, the u.s. seized it for like five days in the battle of 1812... trippy how that war might've been about the u.s. trying to annex canada - I was never taught that in school (they taught me other reasons) but I wonder... I'm glad we're friends now, both w/canada and england. actually it was prolly the native people who really got the worse, that seems to be the story so much in the new world. in canada they're called "first nations" which I like better than indians cuz you know what? columbus fucked up - this ain't india. what a baka thing to call folks here that. anyway, we get done and going over to the boat, who do I see but j - working for him is where I first met roadboss eric fischer, he was working for j then.

j mascis + eric fischer (l to r) in toronto, canada on august 25, 2013

dinosaur is on the bill w/us today, minus murph - I'm told he's rejoining them next week. I'm hoping for the best. driverman duckie takes us back to the 'tel. I konk on the deck for a nap after a soak. not a long one cuz we bail again at quarter after five. I panic cuz I can't find my camera. turns out I left in the van and driverman duckie has tried to fill it pictures, eric and andrew

andrew burns w/watt's camera in toronto, canada on august 25, 2013

helping them but damn if duckie has very little skill at getting anything but blurred out lame pictures, I'm sorry to have to chimp it here but it's the truth. he wants me to put them in my next picture book (first one here) that he's convinced I'm working on. actually, all the pictures in my book are pedro ones, they're from my town. tour ones are for tour memories! there's some traff for the gig but eventually arrive and right away I see damian from fucked up who's a great cat - I met him when he was a younger man

damian abraham in toronto, canada on august 25, 2013

(guess I was more yonger then too, huh?), I got him in to see me and during the "ring spiel" tour of 1995 here in town at the opera house cuz it was sold out and he had no way in. I see lou - big hugs from him, I gave same back. and damn if it ain't john and stanislav who drove all the way from cleveland, crimony! I'm so glad though cuz they've seen me w/the stooges, not in the ten years and four months now I've been w/them. stanislav comes w/me to the chow tent and I shovel some pulled pork as he tells me about how koja makes due w/whatever sitch confronts him and for music now in the balkans, it's a little bit tough. I'm hoping big time things turn around. stanislav is great people, a righteous cat and of course koja's a bass brother to me, much respect. I have to bail now though and get into my outfit so I get on to the trailer... james, larry and brother steve already there and waiting for me. man, time flies when you're spieling, I'll tell you what.

   onstage for us is supposed to be a quarter after seven but cuz we only got one hour to try and do nineteen tunes, ig wants us on sooner. makes sense to me. there's stairs stage starboard (my side) so I go on up at seven, not a lot to hide me but this is the sitch: the angle of these stairs would make it too tough to try and get up to where I gotta be from terra firma. james' wife linda comes up to watch and talks to me about stuff coming up and my lame knee - makes the time and damn if I ain't surprised when I hear jos holler to be alive, a look down at my watch and yep, we're five minutes early... under the yellow tape and over to get the bass, I even get the strap under my collar as the whole pad starts boil up and pop for "raw power" - ig flies out from stage port spinning and I catch the look on his face showing "let's fucking do this!" and the gig's way fucking on. the overcast has lifted but not enough to serve as a good block for the sun - there was worry about that yesterday. whatever, work the room. I see helperman andrew (his mode this gig) talking w/james... how can he hear him? (later james told me andrew had forgot to spray that anti-sticky stuff on his guitar neck but the on-stage din made it hard to relate that using words) man, the toronto folks really answer the call as ig sings his heart our for them, james wailing on his lead guitar w/me and larry doing our best to plant the undertow for them - brother steve on the toots from his tenor before going to that little kykeyboard for "gimme danger" and it's these two tunes where photogs can get photos but ig's oblivious to them, he's working the room and photogs get in for free. the prac paid off, "gun" comes fucking tight and strong, roaring right behind that (or right in the behind) is "1970" and ig brings the third verse four bars early which is no prob if you're in the moment but prolly a HUGE one if you're using to counting shit and connecting dots. I love the idea you gotta be heads up working w/this band and it ain't rubber-stamp duty. the fan they got for me can't tighten up to hold a position so jos tapes it up. not real sweaty w/degrees but there's some humidity, I just don't wanna cramp up - the coconut "water" they had for me was full of sugar and not really happening but I forced down four tall cans - "search and destroy" is the final piece of the five part front of the gigs we do w/out a pause, quite a piece of freight, quite a piece! the stage is a little flimsy and I'm tolk it's scary for dancers to join us but ig calls them up anyway for "fun house" though I notice roadboss eric limits it to about ten. at least some dudes are up here, I remember the last riot fest we did (in chicago), the gig folks had like eight young girls join us, pretty powder puff, I was thinking. these dancers are pretty good, pretty groovin' - respect to them. cuz of their small numbers I can actually see ig sing the tune and do his own dancing - whoa, been a while... no, wait a minute - I'm wrong cuz last gig, the one we did in seoul last week had NO DANCERS, it was strictly forbidden and ig never even mentioned or beckoned for anyone - well, you know, I like the dancers joining us and dig ig for wanting that to happen when it can. I think it shows some of what he thinks a gig should be, I think it's happening. I do more neck than body w/the bass w/the monkey-humping cuz of a couple little cutouts - my "andy bass" is here for backup (eric drove stuff up from manhattan, that's why larry's playing his own gretsch kit) which is good but I wanna work the bass james had built for me to do these gigs. it's some pound-down for "l.a. blues" and I ain't talking about just punishing this bass but pushing on the "giant steps" quotes then calming it w/some "a love supreme" ones... all in tune for "night theme" I'm hoping? yes, I'm in there for "johanna" and do the coda way up on the neck, thicker thuds that way. ig's been working the moat, it ain't too wide and gig-goers can easily reach across so they get the up-close experience while I guess the rest of the folks further back (like maybe 99.9%) see nothing but us machinery operators on stage cuz I don't think there's any side screes w/live tv. hell, I'm watching ig myself! I did catch a glimpse of j on the side there but mainly I got focus on ig. he introduces james during his guitar solo on "ready to die" and then lets it rip for "johanna" - man, his singing's righteous. there's a little bow for him at the center/front of the stage and damn if it don't use that for a springboard in "I wanna be your dog" and does the javelin toss w/his body into the folks, fuck if I didn't feel that coming and then when he lifted off, I couldn't but gasp some - eric fishes him out and gets him back on stage, incredible, holy cow! he introduces brother steve in the breakdown part then we whup it up to get out but still letting it ring... he's been coming over to the front of larry's kick drum w/some "c'mon!!" a few times during the gig and here too as we get into "no fun" - I'm wondering if he thinks we're doggin' it? tempos are sounding solid to me, maybe he's signaling affirmations which very well maybe cuz we we end this tune he asks the people here if they're tired of us and they answer a huge no to that so he says, "I could do 'the passenger' if you want" and w/that james starts it up on a guitar handed to him maybe kind of sort of somewhere being near in tune - that's the way my fucked up self heard it, taking ig's ig count and screwing it down w/larry, kind of uncertain how to end cuz ig has the peeps do the last la-las themselves but I'm there w/larry - james too and of course brother steve... we do it and maybe a third of a second later ig asks if he can get a right, he asks a second time as we're bringing it in even and then BAM! we launch and PLOW! we were briefed on maybe this next one getting cut cuz of time but nope, what other tune is gonna happen when you hear ig holler "ONE TWO FUCK YOU PRICKS!" but "cock in my pocket" and damn if he ain't in the moat again working it from down there. we haven't come off the stage and ig told us at prac yesterday no encore so after his gentle intro for "your pretty face is going to hell" we fucking pave the whole pad w/that juggernaut, totally into the roll-me-over and under, last note being the first note of "sex and money" and the set's done, we got everything ig wanted in and no bogart on the time, yatta!!!

   whoa, outfit soaked but that's ok cuz there's some awful tasting beer made worse cuz it's in no way cold or even a degree below body temperature (is it kidney filtered too?) but that would be bellyachin' and after a while some ice does come - maybe we can do something w/that hot sack of guac that was here in the trailer? james brings his buddies and family aboard, they're really nice. I'm a little embarrassed for prolly having an odor to me so I put myself outside and there's tommy who's gonna go on next, josh is w/him and on drums - good to see both again, tommy gets the big sweaty bear hug cuz I was mindless to my current state. they're doing the replacements (this is their first gig in twentysomething years) and the singerman paul comes over to say hi - he remembers when the minutemen played w/them at cal arts thirty years ago, he remembers it was halloween even... I thank him for remembering that - I bring up what d. boon wore (us minutemen wore costumes of course), it was several layers of green and when he asked me what was he, I was kind of stumped... he said "an artichoke" - of course, stupid fucking watt. man, that was nice of paul to remember that night so long ago. damn. I feel most grateful... and also for the fact I didn't cramp up or clam at the gig. those things might not seem connected by I'm feel grateful none the less. I think good things that happen shouldn't be taken for granted.

   ig's over on a chair by his trailer in some towels. I asked if he dug the gig and he said he did, I'm real happy. I tell him he sounded great. I try to go where folks on the list might be cuz I put albert on and he's an old buddy - actually larry really wanted to get his autograph cuz of the cowbell bit chris walken did on "saturday light live" back in april of 2000. none of the real b.o.c. guys are in that but mr walken is beautiful. I can't find tina and the friends of hers I chowed w/either. oh well, it's the sitch here, the way things are put together. ok, I take the first boat back to the 'tel.

   it's not even ten pm when I get in my chamber but I'm soaked and tuckered and so after soaking in the tub a good half hour, I crumple up against those pillows I piled next to the bulkhead and konk on the deck. I have strange dreams, unexplainable which is only right cuz their dreams but for some reason my fucking mind keeps searching for some kind of rational angle to it. this would bring semi out of the konk before I'd sink again due to all the tiredness on me.

   damn if it ain't time to bail and I'm so glad I prepared everything to go - everything that is except getting my new eyeglasses off the deck and putting them on my head - I gotta go back and get them but a hotelman is most helpful and it seems I ain't holding us up anyway - the van to bring us to the airport ain't here at 7:30 in the morning like it's supposed to. it's raining a warm rain, like kind of in a hawaii. the ride gets here (first got into a ride that wasn't ours!) and then there's buttloads of traff - guess driverman duckie was wrong about that... and where is he anyway? some other cat gets us to toronto airport and luckily there's about an hour to go. we got a relationship canada like we do w/ireland so actually our imimmigrationnd customs gets to be done here so when we land, we're already ok. who's on the same flight going to so cal w/me? brother lou barlow! I don't get to sit w/him but I do get to rap w/him before we board, the rain not delaying us. I read the rest of "imagining los angeles" - righteous book, mr fine did a very happening job - everyone in so cal should read this! lots good stuff out the window for the four and half hour ride on an american airlines 737-800, yeah, my whole row is empty so I get some shots of trippy stuff like the grand canyon and downtown l.a. my secondmen drummerman's wife kel is there to get me cuz my sister melinda is teaching eighth graders at a quarter of one when I landed.

   I get to my pad and look what's waiting for me... the replacement macpurse and damn if it don't just boot right up from the drive I plucked from the busted one? very fortunate watt!

saturday, september 21, 2013 - byers, co

   thursday at 4:30 am I get this ring-ding-ding-a-ling as I konked on my pad's deck... it was my sister melinda asking where I was. "I'm konked, that's where I am" I told her - she was twelve hours early, she misread my email to her. dohhh! twelve hours later she came by again and this time took me the united terminal at lax.

los angeles international airport on september 19, 2013

we both laughed about what happened cuz I've done even stupider shit. it was busy for me, always busy before I bail but when I fly at night I got all day to get done what I can so I try and pack in all that's possible and it gets me tuckered. that's ok cuz once I get where I'm going, I'm just gonna konk. I wanna put something in my gut though so as I'm heading to my gate I pass this "wolfgang sucks" chow pad and an ad for meatloaf. I'm wondering what meat loaf from a bourg pad might be like and damn if it ain't seventeen bucks! the mash potatoes it's sitting on is ok but the loaf itself sure tastes suspect so I only go for a few swallows. damn what a waste - live and learn. actually I've more to learn from this as the next day will reveal. only two and a half hours to denver airport and their time zone (mountain) is only one hour ahead of my pedro town's. the bologna seat is empty next to me on this airbus 320 and I'm in aisle so that's happening also. during the flight I finished "the bastard hand" by heath lowrance which was recommended to me by a kind soul who had heard about this stupid stuff going around that the novel was dead. I don't think the novel is dead and for sure this book's one reason why it ain't. and wouldn't you know it but banned books week is coming right up and damn if international talk like a pirate day ain't fucking today - all kinds of important days are on us, john coltrane would've been eightyseven come this monday! I remember last year at brother matt's doing an edition of my watt from pedro show entirely in pirate - it tripped him out I could stay w/it the whole show but I was inspired... in fact, I have this dream where it's only one day a year we DON'T talk pirate. anwyway, easy flight to denver and happening to get in close to konk time. a real nice cat named joe picks me and I realize it's the first time I think I've flown to this airport. as we head for downtown, we pass this intense sculpture which joe says is the town's demon horse or "el mesteno" is what the artist luis jimenez called it but he never lived to see it done cuz it fell on him while he was building it and killed him. his son finished it. it's got blazing red eyes and veins all pumped on it intense, crimony. the 'tel is the "four seasons" and I get there around eleven pm. whoa, doesn't feel too much like neal cassady's town but joe tells me his brother actually has a bar where they got a letter from that guy to jack kerouac asking to pay off his tab, something like that but anyway, ain't that a trip? joe sure is cool people, took me to get me a little beam even. I soak in the big tub they got here and then konk.

   friday I pop at seven and the suns out quick and bright - not a cloud in the sky. now colorado last week had horrible flooding due to huge rains but I think lots of denver got out a little lucky but not all of it but where we are downtown now though you wouldn't even know it. there's a chow pad a block away called "my express grill" and though it's got mainly mexican chow (smells good too!) I get burger and a coke - I get the coke cuz it's a mexican one and brother steve says those are made w/real sugar and damn if it don't taste different. I guess they use that instead of corn syrup like in everything else (and why is there a diabetes type II prob?) but I wanted to see if I could tell it wasn't the same. this pad is econo and the chow good.

sign on some building in downtown denver on september 20, 2013

   noon is lobby call for prac and prac is at a pad few blocks from the 'tel called the "summit music hall" (speaking of a few blocks from the 'tel is the larimer lounge which a pad I've played at least three times - never knew it was this close downtown, baka!). there's no bass amps yet so I just go direct for the first bunch of songs and that's when they arrive, what I'm using tomorrow: two ampeg svt classic stacks. helperman chris wooj is helperman w/us and I give him a mike watt throbblehead for all the help he's done, I give him one of my picture books too. he's a good man. a couple of hours of us running through everything and then ig comes, we do tunes he picks and like always, there's much focus. he's asks me to go up an octave the first two lines of the fourth verse, no prob. I love prac w/ig cuz it's all business, 'pert-near like a gig - I love it. I do all this stuff w/ig using the andy bass which has been used for the u.s. stooges gigs backup bass, chris put it up here during the break and what the hell, the brian michael anchor bass is way down there on the deck... james asks me why I was using this and that's why. roadboss eric had brought some moisture, a sports drink w/a "limon pepino" (lemon cucumber in espanol) flavor - you say no way? I say pinche guey! we get done and back at the 'tel my gut is feeling weird... actually it was all flight and last night/this morning too and I thought that chow I had at "my express" might've calmed it down but I think that was short term cuz that foulness overcame the good chow and now I'm paying for that "wolfgang sucks" poisoning I got back at lax. the lemon cucumber water helps some but mainly I just try to lay still 'til konk comes. I can tast that bunk meatloaf in me somehow, repeated blowouts don't seem to work. at least I ain't pukin' but I'm wondering if maybe that would help? I just hunker down and somehow konk pretty early, like eight.

   gig day and I pop at six, do a huge soak and then get tacos at that "my express" pad. they work good and I feel better, they bind me right up. we got soundcheck early: nine bells. now the gig we're doing is the colorado version of the riot fest which actually's fortysix miles east of denver in a town called byers at something called may farms which pretty much looks like a big open space on the plains. maybe they used to ranch here, maybe they did farm but it looks like for rec use these days. where we are is a few stages and some amusement rides.

stooges roadboss eric fischer + tourboss henry mcgroggan (l to r) at may farms in colorado on september 21, 2013

the weather's still pretty great but I see some clouds gathering, not much though and it's a little sweaty as we go through the set, james abbrev'ing it where he sees fit. I see the tera melos guys walk across and give them a fist in the air. we 'pert-near get through everything but the eleven am cut-off has become fifteen minutes earlier and instead of stopping, we do the last two very abbrev'd - james making his point. the stageboss made only subtle finger-across-the-throat gesture so things didn't escalate. it takes like and hour to get back so it's back over to "my express grill" for some more tacos (good machaca ones) and I chow them while doing a remote broadcast for my watt from pedro show - I'm man alone mode so a lot more music than spiel today. we got lobby call at seven for the gig.

   seven rolls around and I'm all bathed and w/an outfit in the plastic laundry sack they got for their burn ward services here - no thanks, I'll bring my soilage back to my pedro town but thanks for helping w/containing the odor. it's 'pert-near an hour each way to this pad but it goes fast cuz of good spiel. tourboss henry hips us to tonto's expanding head band after larry brought up these cats malcolm cecil and robert margouleff who helped stevie wonder make four very happening albums in the 70s. the dressing rooms are in this kind of room they run the weddings in (you can rent this pad out for weddings too) and we're upstairs where there's some coconut waters for me to get my insides wet w/though it's not that warm at all but I'm taking precautions. there's nothing worse than fucking cramps when you're trying to play, 'pert-near nothing. there's a lot of good bands at the festival but from where we are, you can't hear anyone. I don't even know who's on before us, fuck. we're to go on at 9:25 pm so ten minutes before that helperman jos drives me and nina to the stage and I usually like "driving to/from the stage" but man, this is a hike. mac from superchunk is there for a moment, I hug him quick cuz I got get going - man, I love that cat. I find a place where I can be back out on the side and out of sight enough but still have a path to hobble to my station once the time comes. the tera melos guys come up to the edge of the stage (we ain't to high up) and I get to say hi for a minute (love these guys big time) but then here comes the van w/the guys... time for me to hobble to my go-from place... over on the other side I see the signal - then james and larry emerge in a trot - time for me to hobble... here we go! jos gets the bass around me and hits the mute as james is strumming the "raw power" chords. larry comes in w/soctty-san's intro as I get my fist way up high and holler YEAH! - ig comes out gangbusters to join in and the place rips open w/hollering, the gig is on. many many young people - pits break like that. I keep my eye on the man. we're in the key of c and this something I noticed at soundcheck: this "stage" is like made from a portable-whatever truck thing w/the sides of the trailer folding out and becoming like the roof or whatever. what it means is not such a stable situation and w/sound it's fucked up - some notes REAL LOUD and some way tiny nothing, like this key of c but soon as we start up the second tune which is in e, "gimme danger" goddamn if the bass and kick drum shaking the whole fucking place down. really inconsistent... maybe too much material the same so resonances and nodes are more exaggerated - a good stage has many different "properties" so resonances seem to cancel each other out and not present such an uneven sound but whatever, we work the room (or the field in this case). the gig-goers are having a great time and I just hope good for them and in our mixerman max, I got big time faith cuz the man is on it. "gun" is in c and man, is it kind of tiny, especially when "1970" (in e-minor) roars in right after - man, you wanna know about up the ass as ig suggests over james intro? "laughing at me and you" for goddamn sure. the band's cooking though and ig singing great, a smaller stage does make for more focus for him and maybe saves on some energy cuz he ain't got as far to run back and forth - the man is incredible w/what he puts into a show, just the best. love it. drives me to ignore my stiff fucking not flowing self - hands to bass are good but damn if ain't like I'm just balancing on some doof's stumblebum's stilts or something like that. I plant myself in front of larry's starboard crash. there' a ride called "moby dick" stage port and what I thought was a train of cars that led into some kind whatever is actually one unit swung around by four huge swing arms, like they were in the tube part of a huge wave - I see it action as we bring "search and destroy" and it blows my mind how wrong I was and damn, I hope nobody had any of that shitty "wolfgang sucks" turdloaf and then went for a spin there - no! ig asks for dancers and somehow immediately the stage is flooded. everyone's got a great spirit but goddamn are they bouncing hard. well, ig likes a stage w/some bounce but this one is 'pert-near ready to bounce-bust! the dancers are leaping up and down - fuck, I see the drum riser bouncing - hold on, larry! we're playing "fun house" and fuck if we're gonna let go but, shit - just don't let the lights fall on us, you know those trusses up there. I see james amps bouncing on their little platforms and fuck, my big stuff is way about to come over, back and for shaking, back and forth. it's a miracle everything stayed up. so wild on stage ig actually sang the ending twice cuz I couldn't get james' and larry's attention, the sea of folks was so much... they're all good people, don't get me wrong but this stage was way too lightweight for this sitch but somehow we make it to "l.a. blues" and I am relieved - a most grateful "giant steps" quote from me in the wild-ass parts and then as we calm it, "a love supreme" - happy ahead of time bday to john coltrane. back in the key of c again for "night theme" and my bass returns to tiny. then switch to e-minor for "skull thing/beyond the law" and WOMP, big heaves of blur result. "ready to die" and ig introduces james during his guitar solo, makes some mime w/the mic cord noosed up around his neck, it's a new tune but has got a kind relax swing while still be a rocker, good pacer. "I wanna be your dog" right next and the moat here is kind of small but ig goes down in it to work the middle part. no tv cameras or stage sidescreens so it's all personal. ig come back up to end it w/us but you know what? we flow this one into "no fun" lately so when come down when ig does, I 'pert-near clam but somehow don't and get right in there w/larry and james and we push it good, the gig-goers keying on ig and having lots of, well, fun. that's a trip. james changes guitar for "the passenger" and we get a little break so ig introduces the rest of us and then we bring this non-stooges tune but folks dig it, there's no denying. no encore tonight, we go straight to "I got a right" which goes straight out to the folks like it was via lightning rod, the connect is that intense. ig is riding the vibe like a surferman 'pert-near, it's buckwild but at the same time very together - trippy how that works. "cock in my pocket" right after and ig's back in the moat and working the upfront folks good. he whups them into a froth and then we halt for a moment soon as we finish so he can enlighten a certain someone to where maybe next their bound - we blow "your pretty face is going to hell" right out of the tubes and into the waning gibbous moon (about two o'clock, stage starboard) before finishing the whole enchilada off w/a thumping "sex and money," brother steve w/a big solo in that baby. whoa, the gig's done... like that.
   I get my glasses and stumble for the stairs... a very kind man grabs me and says "I got you, buddy" and he gets me down the stairs and across the uneven ground to where the van's supposed to come and get us. I thank him much. usually I hobble back on my own but this distance is too much and the ground abunai (jap for dangerous). nick from tera melos is here, love nick and hug him big time. me and him are gonna record w/both nels cline and deerhoof drummerman greg saunier in nyc for a proj called "big walnuts yonder" hopefully sometime in 2014. he's an incredible musician and person, his dream is to record w/nels so I'm doing my best to make it happen.

   we get took to where the dressing room is and damn if the worst fucking beer in the world is in the ice chest. one kind is about ninetynine percent hops (for big time fucking pipe rust taste) and the other kind is mixed w/peach flavor - can you believe that shit? not to sound like belly-aching but I saw big banners out there for pacifico and that's a righteous mexican beer that ain't spendy so what the fuck? we all have a good laugh about it, remember toronto. the real lame thing about toronto though was not getting to see my buddy albert cuz I wanted so much for everyone to meet him. whatever about this beer stuff, at least there's many big bottles of san pelegrino, jos is very happy about that after eric finds him a bunch, fishing them out through the ice in the bottom of the chest. we get the next van back to denver and miss the huge traffic plug. I soak good and long in the big tub that 'pert-near blocks the head, what a strange layout. there's a taco left from that chow pad I got a block away this afternoon, though I don't like to shovel after gigs I chow this and it's real good. I konk tuckered just before midnight.

   I pop at seven sunday morning, the boat's shoving off to the 'port at nine so I head on over to "my express grill" for my last meal there (the only pad I chowed at here in denver!), a breakfast burrito w/chorizo I get put in a sack. shove off time and who's gonna join me, drummerman larry, saxman brother steve and helperman chris? it's fucking mac, righteous! you can't see the chow sack here but I'm holding:

mac mccaughan + mike watt (l to r) in denver, co on september 22, 2013

fuck, I can't remember the driverman's name but he's the same cat (very cool people) who also took us to/from the gig yesterday - he hips us to some strange ideas about denver international airport when I relate to the guys the story of the demon horse as we pass it. big hugs as we separate for our different planes, hasta hermanos! I didn't realize when I got here thursday night this 'port is big time made up of tents for roofs, trippy. I'm on a united airbus 320 and konk 'pert near the whole way home except for a little peak at the "hemispheres" zine in the plane seat pouch in front of me. damn if I don't see a story from brother douglass rushkoff in it, a story about how people now days thinking they're in the present more cuz of these fucking smart leashes and the obsessive behavior w/dangling from them is actually making us less in the now and his argument is very persuasive, I can dig it and am so glad my leash is 'pert-near only for talking when I need to (panic sitches) - that's why my sister got me one (she has a two leash plan) and why I use either my macpurse or desk one for email and web stuff... I need a fucking buffer so I'm able to try harder to be in the now! what a trippy surprise. it's only about three hours total to get to lax and my sister melinda arrives to get me. I ain't got the anchor bass I left w/cuz roadboss eric said it'd go on the truck to san jose so it's easy hobble to her boat and she gets me to my pedro town about one pm which is good cuz I got secondmen prac in a couple of hours. I start chimping this diary here before I forget too much...

saturday, september 28, 2013 - san jose, ca

   yesterday was a friday and I had to fly up early which is a prob if I'm thinking my sister melinda can get me to the 'port cuz she can't cuz she's got her sixth graders to teach so my secondmen drummerman jer comes to the rescue. he's gotta be on the docks at eight but if he yanks my ass out of our pedro town at six and totes me to lax then he can make it to work pretty ok. that's our plan and it works out good. so what if I got here a couple of hours early, been than just one minute late, right? yep. it's only fifty minutes on an american eagle crj 700 to do the three hundred and thirty miles northeast that's needed to get to san jose and twenty after eleven tourboss henry guides me to where helperman jos is waiting w/a rented minivan, beautiful cali weather I left and am now in again - very similar. usually it's always a little cooler up here but not today. san jose has got some history, I read up on it. actually it's the fucking number ten town in the country now - I remember when it was just a sleepy little farm community but it does go way back, even was the state capitol for a year. where we're staying is right where the town started and in fact this 'tel, "the fairmont" (I thought there was only one, in s.f. but henry tells me it's a chain originally from canada... well, I confess to not knowing much about fancy pads, that's a fact) is where san jose's chinatown used to be and got "mysteriously" burned down "deliberately" as this plaque says:

plaque in downtown san jose showing where chinatown there was burned down in 1887

of course lots other immigrant people were here too (by the way, san jose and california are spanish words) along w/native folks like the ohlone. this was spain's first town in "alta" california - "baja" means lower cuz there used to be two calis they used to run.

immigrant memorial stuff in downtown san jose, ca

immigrant memorial stuff in downtown san jose, ca

immigrant memorial stuff in downtown san jose, ca

my history here goes back to just after minutemen days and getting to share a bill w/a band called tripod jimmie which had tom herman from pere ubu, a cat who's a huge hero to me and d. boon since we first seen them play the whiskey in west hollywood for their "modern dance" tour in the late 70s.

   lobby call for prac is one and a half, james himself comes to pick me up in front of caesar chavez park... along w/brother steve and larry, we're all that's needed for prac cuz james shares prac pad space w/the carless hearts about thirteen miles northwest in mountain view. brother steve's been here before cuz when james first started re-learning stooges, he did it w/these guys and him for a gig they all did together of that material in san jose at the blank club in 2009. james has got a vox ac-50 he's letting me use through a 2x12 vox cab (speakers kind of beat but good enough for prac) - the vox amp is a trip cuz my first "real" bass amp was me buying one of these from d. boon's neighbor in park western, freddie apodaca when I was a teenager. it had a big single 18" cab and "kaleidoscope" (remember them?) was painted on the back of it but I never really used it for gigs and ended up letting d. boon use it to record stuff that would become the minutemen's "joy" ep, "bean-spill" ep and part of the "politics of time" comp album. the first amp I used for a bass w/four strings (not a guitar w/two strings removed like I'd been doing for a couple of years) was some piece of shit w/no power or tone made by a company called "rosac" (who???) and man, what a fucking pile of lame. anyway, back to now: james brought his early 70s fender p-bass for me to use, same one I recorded my bass for the iggy & the stooges "ready to die" album up at fantasy in berkeley. larry brought his snare and cymbals for nothing cuz the careless hearts man let him use everything. we go through the whole set twice w/a break in the middle to eat some chips at a "chipotle" which I confused w/a "chili's" and was about to puke... it's only a little bit though cuz james has a big chow planned for us when prac's done, an india chow pad called "amber" not too far. his wife linda and son jamie meet us there along w/helpermen jos, chris, roadboss eric and mixman max who also brought his new wife hannah.

stooges + crew minus ig + henry at restaurant called 'amber' in mountain view on september 28, 2013

we ain't got india chow in my pedro town which is a shame but I can tell you what I really love: hot fresh garlic nan that I've rolled around a good hunk of spinach w/cheese cubes in it - fuck, what a symphony for the mouth, crimony! love it love it, dearly. we have a good time, missing only henry and ig.

   gig day and I pop at seven and soak good and long in a too-tiny tub but better than that even smaller round one that shares space w/it in the head. soundcheck is early, ten am, and is at where we're gonna play tonight: on an outdoor stage at saint james park which is only about a half mile from the 'tel. light rail running right along side one side. the weather's beautiful, more cali blessings. there's some good soup somebody made that I chow on stage while kick drum drama raises it's ugly head but jos works it out w/the soundman. it's a small stage but prolly fitting for the occasion. we wail quick through what we can cuz there's a james williamson q and a at the mcenery convention center (three blocks from the 'tel) at 12:30, you know we all wanna see that. actually does a really good job and though I've heard some of the stories before, there were ones new to me and real trippy was james deconstructing the guitar parts for "search and destroy" into sections he attributed to the stones' "jumpin' jack flash," the ventures' "walk, don't run" and for the verses, the good ol' conga line beat! trippy. I was very proud of him and the folks watching dug it, steve wozniak even sat near where I was and checked out lots before he had to bail.

   I go get three tacos the closest I can hobble and it's a chain pad called "baja fresh" which at least ain't any "chili's" shit. not a lot of flavor but not a lot of grease either. I don't puke after chowing them so that's another good thing. I do a remote broadcast of my watt from pedro show in man-alone mode cuz well, I'm alone so it's mostly music. now that spiel james did which I saw earlier and tonight's gig are connected - both are part of this c2sv music + technology festival and the bossman dan had me sign a poster shepard fairey created for the event even earlier at the convention center, kind of a trippy mix but then james williamson is not only in the rock and roll hall of lame - he's being inducted into the hall of fame where he went to college (cal poly pomona) also - it's a mixture! comes six pm it's time to get over to the park, we're to go on a quarter before eight.

   we arrive and I see omar and terri from bosnian rainbows - damn if they just didn't get done playing, fuck! great to see them both again though, last time was le butcherettes opening for stooges in hollywood at the palladium at the end of 2011, something I helped get together cuz I dig them much. here too is jello and I get james to take our picture:

mike watt + jello biafra (l to r) in san jose, ca on september 28, 2013 - photo by james williamson

I missed omar and terri but I do get to see thee oh sees who I've heard a lot about but this my first time seeing them live and man, can these cats kick up much dust or what? they're really happening, I trip on how their bassman petey plays a jazzmaster guitar all eq'd to sound like a bass, damn! he's really grooving though and sets up a good thing for guitarman john to really wail on - I get to meet john after they get done and he gives me five of their records... I'm gonna be playing them much on my radio show and wanna see live again, great band, truly. dimitri and mario of off! are here, they played last night but damn, I missed them cuz I was just tuckered after that indian chow james invited us all to.

   getting ready, I get my sliver-gray dickies work clothes outfit on and drink up some coconut water though it ain't very hot but nice and mild. the backstage tents are just w/in feet of the stage, everything real close. ten minutes before go! time I get at the bottom of the stairs on my side of the stage, only like six or seven stairs to ascend so I can get up to the back of both ampeg svt stacks w/not too much difficulty... the band passes me as they head for the other side (ig always likes coming on stage port if possible) and that's my cue and I hobble up... looks pretty much like a character builder but I only glance so as to focus on what really counts, playing good for the stooges. james and larry dart out and I do likewise, jos w/the bass and I got only little distances to cover on this tiny stage... "raw power" coming out of james cabs which are on top of each other, upside down - here comes larry w/the the come-in fill and boo-bom, I'm in w/them and the gig's on, brother steve tenor tootin' right along. ig works the "room" (park) like it was a one-chance ever to do such a think, he makes the moment vital and everything insignificant... 125 months serving w/this man and it's still the same, not one iota taken for granted and total banzai blitz blasting out both barrels, no softballs were tossed then, none now. I still got the same rush - yeah, 125 months later and still the same fucking rush, I shit thee not! the san jose gig-goers are hollering their brains out, some I know are from the city (s.f.) and elsewhere cuz richard reilly for one came by the 'tel earlier, spaced on mentioning that (so do christian from peace creep and my very own old pedro buddy richard fuckin' bonney!), sorry! I gotta turn the bass amps up when we get done and right before "gimme danger" cuz it's sounding pretty toy up but what's really toy is once we finish that and james tries to start our third one "guy" it's like whoa, tiny rubber bands on uke sounding coming out of his amp... ig hold us up, wants the prob fixed. panic time... spaz out and pull every cord out time... james just turns every knob he can up all the way, helperman chris trading out one box for another on his pedal... is it a cable? ig fucking beats to death a mic stand and I little bit cower cuz it's right next to me and damn if he ain't really sending that motherfucker to the deck. I don't get hurt though, whew. james goes w/what he's got, some volume but a terrible tone, weird kind of karma on us now but we got this gig to work wherever, however... it's up you-know-where for "1970" and this train takes no backsliders, this train! someone throws a sharpie up on stage, what? no time for scribbling right now, people, nope! weird guitar sounds but at least they got some loudness so bass and drums will help push hard as we can but ain't that the way we always go? yep! reconstructed "search and destroy" all together here for prolly last time this year - I had a heavier feeling about that at the beginning of last gig, I told ig's wife nina as jos drove us to the stage but after last night's chow and the spiel that went w/it, I feel more of a chapter ending than the whole book. ig tells folks the stage ain't strong enough for more than one dancer to come and join us though I gotta tell it feels a lot strong than last week w/that fucking "bouncy castle" we worked in byers! the one dancer lady that gets up on stage w/us is buckwild though, damn can she fly and damn if ain't kind of mindblown by the display, crimony! is that richard reilly reaching up and grabbing ig's leg as he works the corner? damn it, richard - let them man be! I see jos give him a talking to and I'm glad. people gotta get out of their own heads, think about more than just themselves and their hankerin's, you know? crimony. I beat the brian michael bass up good but w/respect for one last time, I got told it's going home w/james after tonight (not too far, he's in saratoga which is about ten miles southwest of here) and damn if it ain't served the stooges and served me well, brian michaels did a great job building that. from "night theme" we go into the "skull thing/beyond the law" medley, sounds like I got tuned back up after the monkey-humping... not much of a moat between us and the folks but ig works it for "johanna" coming up to give this other mic stand (other one destroyed) a big boot. gear shift w/new one "ready to die" - strangest mix of smiling and beatdown words from ig, heavy again like that going straight into "I wanna be your dog" which turns around again for some trippy kind of yucks for "no fun" - hey, james' sound improved - maybe it was that other guitar cuz he made a switch after the monkey-humping freakout... we go next from "the passenger" straight into "I got a right" which is balls out and then I guess we hoist the other part out too , "cock in my pocket" w/ig back in the moat. I've been looking back at larry time to time but finally I get to relate to brother steve on "your pretty face is going to hell" cuz of the part we do in unison to bring the chorus - well, usually he looks over at me but this it's pretty much on the one-way but who's to say the whole gig he was looking my way w/my attention on ig? prolly. just trying to focus and prevent clams - we go right into "sex and money" and damn if I didn't go into a chorus early on this one last gig and then neglect to 'fess up on it the diary - what kind of shit is that? baka! off to the side we go, there's a little tent (next to the little stage!) and ig tells james to take his time cuz it's one of those kind of gigs... I say "character builder?" and ig laughs and says "yeah, character builder!" we go out and do "penetration" - I still got the bass like a baka so james asks me not to bash his guitar w/it (I promise him I won't) and in fact helps me back up the stairs w/a good strong arm which I am most grateful for. ig tells the folks a little about where "open up and bleed" comes from and then we bring it, me and larry doing the whup-it-up part at the end w/ig coming back out w/the cheetah coat on and checking out our freakout 'til james gives me the signal and I then I cue larry into shutting this baby down and bringing "burn" which he does... eventually - seemed that way. what's a real trip though is a bunch of ladies all naked but painted (their bodies painted) come up on stage to join us, I have no idea what this is about, nobody told me anything about this but they don't get in the way and I just focus on ig anyway. we finish and I get the bass off but ig tells the folks we can do a tune where you don't have to use your brain - he calls for "louie louie" and we bring that for the closer. we're done.

   I go off the stage on the other side after tossing jos the bass (he's a very good catch, has never dropped) and see bob lee and elise so I go talk w/them, these are beautiful people and I love them. I gotta get out of the wet outfit though so must say bye... on the way to the tent I see john and nick from tera melos but only a little time though - AGAIN, FUCK! I don't wanna get sick though so out of this sweated-out ensemble and into the levis, flannel and yellow coat. jesse from fantasy studios is here - he recorded all the cali parts of "ready to die" w/james, an incredible engineer and righteous person. his assistant jason is here too! happening. I go bring ig a mike watt throbblehead - he's the last to get one of the team. I thank him for truly help me be a better bassman, big time truly... 125 months worth, incredible lucky watt si how I feel - I bow deep to him and get back to the other tent and find jello talking up record stuff w/james, most interesting... I sit on a couch w/jell and then he talks w/me about all kinds of stuff including the old days... I find out the two main guys in angst were brothers, joe pope and jon! damn, I never knew that. he also tells me they were colorado like him, people who came from there to s.f. and got involved w/the punk scene. he talks to me about wesley willis too, about the time wesley went to boulder to meet his pop. jello's got tons of good spiel, very interesting cat. he really liked the gig too, said it was his favorite of all the stooges ones he's seen. whoa. then v. vale comes in - crimony! I give him big BIG hug. much respect to him, much. we're out of time though and I gotta pull anchor, damn it. I do get to see roadboss eric's buddy peter and visit w/him some... actually eric gives me a "safe seas" that makes cry, I think he means he's going over the side. I tell him I play in nyc next on new years, w/thrust - I'll visit him then and see his tug he's working on restoring. big love for brother eric fischer, big love.

   I got the andy bass we've been using as backup for u.s. gigs and will bring it back to my pedro town w/me. I get into the tub and soak some, not even midnight yet but I'm tuckered - what? knocking at the hatch? it's my old pedro buddy lis' husband kenny and soon he brings his buddy grant and la-ni from girls with guns w/her buddy... I guess this bourbon richard reilly brought earlier should get opened now, I was gonna leave it for the help. I think the last stuff we get talking about is blimps verses dirigibles when there's pounding on the hatch and it's the 'tel people saying it's way loud so I have to tell everyone bye which though they're nice, I am very tuckered.

   sunday morning and nine bells is when we I gotta shove off for the airport. damn, I'm in the same ride w/ig and tourboss henry, they're even on the same plane, an american eagle crj 700 like the one I got here yesterday on. at the gate ig tells me about some cars he's had... interesting stuff, okashi like the way sei shonagon meant it - I don't remember even saying bye cuz I love hearing his voice and learning from him. he says california is a comfortable place - except for hollywood... I big time agree w/him. thank god I got pedro.

   fifty minute flight, my bass turns up right away once I reach baggage, not even at the oversized area like usual but on the regular carousel. my sister melinda's here to get me, only eleven am and I'm at my pad at noon. I got prac w/petezo and jerzo at six... time to start playing catch-up cuz I got a year PACKED w/music stuff to get to but let me tell you straight that what a righteous incredible time I had this year working bass for the stooges, MUCH RESPECT TO THEM!

this page created 23 mar 2013