iggy + the stooges
in spain, u.s., belgium,
england and croatia
august 2007

a word's-eye view from mike watt working bass for the stooges on tour

friday, august 3, 2007 - el ejido, spain

   no free trough at the okura so the early am bus ride on the day after the fuji rock gig is chowless for watt. faster back then when we arrived, maybe cuz it's sunday morning? again sunny w/that haze we get w/so cal mornings - this whole stay was like that except one brief shower on a late thursday afternoon. talking to people, we were lucky cuz a typhoon had been sitting off-shore and dumping rain on tokyo for a week straight. it was humid but that's what jinbeis are for. I wish I had mine on now. big thank you arigatos to ryoko for helping the stooges team out so much w/everything while we here. we get on the 777 for the twelve hour hellride from whence we came, back to charles de gaulle airport in france but this time west over china and russia. I konk much for much of the flight, the seat between me and brother steve mackay empty which allowed for some angled straight-leg so as to give the hurtin' knees some relief. we konk for the night at the same hyatt burnward 'tel and then monday morning take an airbus 319 to madrid. boy is it hot here, whew. not here long though, soon we're on a boeing 717 for almeria, in the southwest part of spain. it's the first time I ever flew on one of these planes. not as hot as madrid here but more humid. we're driven about thirteen miles west to vicar, up in the hills from the mediterranean though you can still see a little of it (the almeria airport was right next to the water). we're staying at some resort in a gated community called el envia: golf and wellness. steve says it looks like xanadu from "citizen kane" and when we walk down the hall to our room he keeps muttering "rosebud, rosebud" - yeah, it's got that kind of vibe for sure. that night I have what turns out to be my only whiskey while I'm here though for four euros, the very nice barman just pours from the bottle - I've never gotten such a econo jim beam hit ever like that in europe in all my years. I konk good that night but sadly that will be the only one. the next morning there's free trough and I shovel but soon after I'm on the deck in my room, rolling w/gut pain, slight fever and mucho nightmare. the whole day. I roll around 'till night comes and somehow that hell subsides so I go to balcony overlooking the golf course and find brother steve. we have a burger and a beer. that turns out to be my last dinner at this pad. I konk and pop early tuesday to a head full of mocos and much sinus pain and endless sneezing. fuck. I go trough and again have the gut wrenches, fevered-passouts and nightmares all day and continuing through the night. it subsides some by the morning but again it comes around - no pukes or runs though - can't purge whatever it is living in me. I wanna get out but don't have the strength or the means - the only bikes they rent here are stationary gym ones, the desk man says I won't get far. outside this place is surrounded by condos in the making and no shade anywhere. the town is like five miles away, the playa past that. I feel like number six in "the prisoner" big time. I get some emails out - one mercy is slow-as-hell internet but at least it's free out in the lobby so I get some of them out. I'm going out of my fucking mind though. I can't even chimp diary. thursday I go through the same routine but figure my sinuses must be fucked up from the air conditioning and shut that shit off and go for the ceiling fan... sure enough, my sickness in that area clears right up. gut is still wailing on me though. I think hard on this, the only chow I'm having is the free one at breakfast - something must be up w/that. either that or the water - the only water not in a bottle though is coming in the coff and I only have that in the morning so tomorrow, no coff. I spend a little time w/steve mackay, his gut's been hurting too. steve has more tolerance for some things and watches tv at these 'tels on tour though he also reads much - he's reading the same "kafka on the shore" by haruki murakami that I read last year, what a righteous story that was... very strange but a totally worth it mindblow - highly recommended! anyway I watch one of the worst movies ever w/steve mackay, some bullshit horror movie that had to be trying to be bullshit on purpose some - either that or a total cho-cho script, ineptness or a combination - whatever, I don't know how it came to be, it just made me think when the fucking bucket of turd finished up I thought about the time one is alloted in life and how much just got spent of that scant time on what has to be admitted as a total squander. the only redeeming thing was being w/steve cuz he's great to be around.

   friday was gig day. it worked for my head to have the fucking air conditioner off so at the morning trough I only have bran w/yogurt on it and no fucking coff - in fact I have psyllim husks in bottled water to help flush me clean. why didn't I think of all this earlier, like tuesday? what a fucking idiot I was about everything... I wanna use the shvitz in the "wellness" part of this place but the "free pass card" they gave me when I got here only works for the machines and not the shitz so steam-cleaning for watt. did get my only of around the outside of this place on foot though and the only time I ever had shorts on this whole trip but that's not cuz I always had my legs covered, it's cuz I had my jinbei. there's a balc for my room - that's where I hung my boilersuit to dry after washing it the day after we got here and there's some deck chairs. I lay out on one naked, ten minutes on each side cuz I know there's some vitamins you get going by being in the sun and I have been out so little in these past days here at "the village." this gig is called the natural music festival. a friend from valencia says the scuttlebutt about some of the stuff around here is kind of shady, about where the money comes from. the rolling stones were brought here last year and now they have their own festival. what do I know? the folks I meet at the festival are very cool people, very nice. who knows what's further up the ladder anywhere? who guards the guards? sometimes you walk into situations you have no idea about what is about what but I think the folks coming (the gig-goers) are genuinely into seeing you play so you give them all you got - it's a world outside of other realities that might make you wanna puke. I finally am capable enough to chimp diary and do that 'till we hit the lobby at ten pm for the half-hour ride to el ejido where the gig is, at the playa guardias viejas but no playa (beach) in sight. the festival seems to be in a big field up against a hill but it's hard to tell w/all the nightime and darkness. we're led to this big white tent that's got dressing rooms inside of it. loud air conditioners going, it's pretty hot and humid out but not in here. I have the boilersuit on but not socks - I brought no other clothes, I will go back to the 'tel wet in this outfut, fuck it. I have a ham sandwich from the three huge plates of that's prepared for us (why so much?) and stuff w/the insides of a can of tuna I open up. this tastes so good after so many days of churned-up guts cuz now my stomach is calm w/out that fucked-up coffee in the mix. this dressing area's pretty large, good for pacing. I get my bass after hearing it checked (ronnie likes to call out each instrument as it's getting a run-through before we play), first time I've touched her since japan! damn. I'm someone who plays everyday when I'm home, it's weird for that to happen to me, maybe I've said it before? "I came to play!" like the songs says. I can't recognize the band playing before us but there's some kind of sound getting back to this area, hard to tell what it is though. time finally. from the tent to the back of an outdoor stage pointed at a hill w/a small field in between, there's a lot of dust blowing. I got two ampeg svt classics going, ones w/master volumes. out of the chute - "loose" first but the guitar is tiny, way tiny. iggy calls for it a few times. I focus everything I got on ig but somehow I feel pretty relaxed, trippy. I know, mister rilakkuma w/stooges music sounds insane but maybe it's a specail kind of relaxed... I don't know - finding words to fit a body/mind experience is for me a kludge, even the best case. finding words that fit are a struggle in itself, I have too many doubts. no doubt that "down on the street" comes cuz that's the way we work it. I did get to work up the bass some backstage before going on but nothing before that since naeba in japan. I'm surprised how together I'm getting it together though, considering. "1969" up on the grill - speaking of which, there's huge bar-b-que smells from the chow stands wafting up to the stage, smells great. lip smackin' dog jaw droolin' good - "I wanna be your dog" - salivating to that chow cookin' smell "arf! arf!" people are coming around, filling in the space between us and the hill. ig working hard - over the head goes the water for "tv eye" and then probably the fastest "dirt" we've played ever - I mean at was chugging but that was scotty starting it off that way and I figured to jump on board his beat per sec. beats sitting in the "golf and wellness" prison, no wonder he wants to get things up - I think we all do. I know ronnie's talked about have "skull ring" faster and ig digs them all up on tempo. we've been cranking on "my idea of fun" for a bunch of gigs now and I'm the one pushing that I think, that's what it feels like but you know, like anything I chimp on this hoot page - I could be wrong cuz sometimes I get my shit mixed up or confused. I apologize, I do try to have somewhat together. dancer time, "real cool" dancer "time - and there's more than up in tromso but nothing like tokyo but still it's all very happening, a genuine spirit after a week of jive up in lock-down at "the village" - it's very liberating for me, like I could shake all that gut-wrench and sinus burst that had been hard on me the days since leaving japan. more of it w/"no fun" - go spanish dancers, go! iggy gives each us machine operators shout-outs after thanking them dancers and taking us into steve mackay on sax time: "1970" to "mindroom" (he hangs out a little here, like w/me and scotty) to "fun house" to "l.a. blues" and then "skull ring" wrapping it up. we're off but soon ig has us back on for "little electric chair" - when he has me go for my bass solo, he calls my name and then puts the mic up to my amp, a few bars more and he calls my name again - whoa, thank you much, ig. he was even doing some "airbass" next to me why I was working some chromatics - man, is that a mindblow for me, something that's a total trip on me. we get back stage and ig comes over quick for a debrief and says to ronnie, scotty and steve, "did you hear what mike was playing? whoa! it was like punk rock w/something like... jaco pastorius or something (laughs) - real strong sixteenth notes and good stuff" and I put my hands together up in namaste thank yous w/much bows, thank you thak you, ig. this is a trip for me cuz there's nothing more than I wanna help these guys how I can. I feel humbled, not ego-bloated not self-important but like somehow someway I kind of fit in w/these cats I so much look up to. much MUCH respect to them from me!

   back to "golf and wellness" land but no konk - our flight's are at six am so we'll bail at five. now we got back at two so yeah, it's like a weird place to be after a good long soak - hey, at least my gut ain't hurting! shit, I'd stay up for a week to be free of that - and to get around, hoof - see shit. man, what a week this has been... and after japan was so righteous. well, I guess it's all supposed to balance out into some kind of big lesson somehow, someway. for sure I want folks to know it wasn't it being spain, it was just a swirl of circumstance - I like this land. we get to the 'port in almeria before it's open - whoa, don't think that's ever happened to me before! trippy, this airport is run by a swiss company, swissair or something. mi amigo jose says there's a lot of things trippy about the money in these parts - how they got the rolling stones to play here last year, even that festival - I don't know. I wish I could've met more of just the folks but I was isolated. it was a weird experience for me here. I somehow hung on to my mind though, almost went crazy but I held on or someone helping. thank you.

sunday, august 5, 2007 - chicago, il

   we first flew to madrid saturday on one of those little crj 100 (canadian regional jets - just two little motors near the tail and pretty narrow luggage overheads, can steve get his sax up there? steve finds a way!) and then a big airbus 340 from there to chicago's o'hard so that's where customs got cleared for me - easy going back to pedro wednesday! but first we got two righteous gigs - the only two u.s. gigs this summer for the stooges. this is lollapalooza - it's only a weekend now instead of a whole summer tour but perry's still the boss - perry was the first cat I helped out as a sidemouse, w/porno for pyros. that was a great band and a great experience for me, the best even w/the trippy parts. I can tell you how much I got taught, how I got learned to this how way I've learned to angle to "big classroom" trip for myself. much much thanks for perry - perk and peter too, all beautiful. same w/other cats on that crew like teej, bagel, shawn london, shea, ty, paul v, big dave, kristian and curl. we're staying at the park hyatt downtown, not too far from both the lake and the gig (it's at grant park) and I'm hoping to see roky erickson cuz he's on at five today. the traffic is heavy but we get to the 'tel via econoline clubwagon at four bells - time enough for me to get upstairs, stow my sacks and get back to the driver (they're runners for the gig) so I can get a lift when they return to the venue. alright, the stage roky's on is right by the road and I'm dropped off and only have to pass through a gate and I'm there - just in time! beatle bob - a cat from saint louis I've kind of known a long time cuz he likes to come to gigs and dance on stage while the band's playing - introduces roky and he comes on. he's got a lead guitarist, a bassist and a drummer around his age (they're called the explosives) and he's playing electric guitar himself besides singing. whoa, there's that voice - only one voice like that... I love his singing almost more than anyone ever. it's beautiful. they start w/"it's a cold night for alligators" and play almost every song from his solo album (it was called "the evil one" for the u.s. release but I had the england one that came out earlier - it had that really trippy album artwork and the name of the album were in letters or runes I knew nothing of, didn't even know how to say it wrong). there's a nice man named dave by me and digging it big time - he asks me if I think john fogerty ever heard roky? I say "keep on chooglin'!" roky played "the interpreter" and "bermuda" from his rhino single. he sang his words to "starry eyes" w/all his heart:

starry eyes how can I get to you
my true little
starry eyes what can I say or do
for you my little
starry eyes
starry eyes forever shall be mine

starry eyes what can I say
to make you listen
starry eyes what can I do
for your attention
starry eyes
starry eyes forever shall be mine

when I'm alone I hear and feel you
I wish that I could reach right out and touch you
but knowing you're the one
to greet me and meet me
two alone in the dark,
may it be

starry eyes stars fall on me
starry eyes won't you listen
that I'm here being for you
starry eyes
starry eyes forever shall be mine

man, did I get the chills, such sensations running all through me. sure, I would've dug hearing his "sweet honey pie" or "I have always been here before" but I was so mindblown by all he did do that I wasn't disappointed a bit. for "peace" he played lead guitar even! he closed w/"you're gonna miss me" (a 13th floors elevator tune, he earlier did one other from them too) I ran back of the stage and to the side to shake his hand when he got done. he said to me, "it's great to see you!" w/the biggest smile and spirit so full of love, I could only say "much respect" over and over. danny clinch took a picture of us, then I nervously handed him my camera - roky gave the thumbs up as danny snapped us. wow, that was an intense thing for me, both the gig and then right after w/him. I hoofed back to the 'tel but I swear it felt like I was floating! I don't even chow. I think about every tune he did and run them over and over in my head, konking that way.

   gig day and I pop at seven and hose off in the fancy tub here - there's some kind of flask w/salts or whatever - I pour them in w/me, can't tell exactly what they did. there's one of those new kinds of chain bookstores close by and I buy a random house japanese-english english-japanese dictionary they got on sale on a table. I hoof around some, chow a "downtown dog" dog, latin guys working here, working all over - like in so cal. chicago is lots like that and it reminds of home, I dig it. I got roots here anyway, didn't live here but I was conceived here - thanks, ma! we go over the venue at two pm, I'm in my jinbei and settas. fuck, it's really hot and humid. the dressing rooms are behind a main stage named after a phone company. we're playing the other main one opposite, way on the other end of the park that's named after a brand of beer. I see ed vedder and we talk - I tell him all about me seeing roky yesterday, I'm still way excited about that. I tell him about the "thump track" the mi-gu people used in tokyo to help me get their song in 7/4 time... really feeling it! next door is the kings of leon trailer, ed tells me about turning bassman caleb onto "ball-hog or tugboat" so we go and visit them, they're young cats w/their own style who rock it up - I first met them at the "big day out" last year in australia. it's good to see ed, he likes the jinbei. I'm going through the eden bass amp stuff they let use for the u.s. tour back in april so I wanna go w/scotty (he always likes to check out his drums) and make sure everything's together - not that I don't have total faith in helperman chris cuz I way do. it took so long to get here on the shuttle though - I don't know if there's time to get back and get my boilersuit on so henry says he'll bring it when the rest of the guys come. they come w/just ten minutes to go (we're on at 4:15 pm) and I quick get into my outfit and then get my bass. I stretch out my body, stretch out my fingers and then it's time. gigboss perry was going to introduce us but he's not here and the show's gotta go so we fire up "loose" - I clam on the slur - don't know even if I hit my first note, the one before that cuz I think I had the mute pedal down - baka watt! don't panic now, watt... get it together - I do and focus hard on ig, he's leading our charge big time. when I get down on my knees for "down on the street" I see perry just starboard, yeah! he made it! alright. when we finish "1969" I look over again and holler his name, the only time I let got of ig in my sights 'cept some brief a look-to at ronnie time to time and scotty to pop-tart an ending. iggy is lit in the sunlight, howling "I wanna be your dog" and reaching way far for "tv eye" - ronnie slashing out the leads big time. the humidity is oppressive but fuck it. "my idea of fun" and keeping the tempo up there - ronnie said he listened to the record and it was ffffffast so ok, let's get it that way... stooges storm in hard, only to slow down some w/"dirt'' but even that we've had to throttle down some (not as fast as last gig but I think it was still moving along!). chicagoland dancers charge up in a stampede for "real cool time" and "no fun" - the biggest u.s. stage invasion we've ever had, bigger than the last nyc one and that was crazy! man, I'm kind of praying inside just to hold on, like "lord, let me get through this!" cuz I am really sweating and breathing hard. a little breath for the band intros and then full-on crazy for "1970" again, doable cuz I know I'll get some space in "mindroom" to avoid a keel-over. ig calls out "fun house" and it's go-off time for watt 'til the gig's done. "l.a. blues" especially is a spaz attack, going down to the deck twice and trying to beat the heat out of me by push push pushing. the final striaght-away is "skull ring" - tempo racheted skyward and then we're off... no encore, we're done. the boilersuit weighs a ton, all soaked and dripping. I gotta get into the jinbei, so I forgo the ride back w/the guys. one of nels' wilco bandcats gives me big hugs, wow, thank you. I get the shuttle back w/some nice cats who talk to me about seeing me in older days, not too older cuz they they're still not that old. they're very kind to me, thank you. I get back and chow some salad and roast they got at catering, some chunks of fish too. the soundman from that band the brazilian girls (I met the bassman jessie in benicassim) says he's got a half-gallon of jack daniels from jessie for me and I thank him but then give it to roadboss eric's brother in law, he needs it more than I do. now if it would've been jim beam... ha! it's time for watt to sit by himself, that was a crazy race w/the heart inside my chest, whew. I see perry drive by in a golf cart - not be driven but driving it, alright! he waves and I give him a fist in the air, "hey per!" he put on a good gig here, much respect. I get back to the 'tel and konk right after a big soak - I try them flakes again... what do they do? man, that gig tuckered me out but it's good to feel like that, like there were no shorts being pulled, all stops flat out. it felt righteous. this 'tel has some weird feelings for me, I've been here only once before, that u.s. tour and that was a heavy go for me right around when we're here 'til it ended. yeah, ended. I wanna wish for myself as being a liberator, liberating those only of myself, my rudeness. wouldn't that be a great thing? trippy thoughts to konk to. "starry eyes" bring calmer ones but only in some ways!

tuesday, august 7, 2007 - rochester hills, mi

   yesterday we flew from chi-town's o'hare airport and I finally found out where that 'port got it's name - from the first pilot to make ace in the pacific part of the second war... of course ronnie knows all about it and I ain't telling him anything new. you know, these tour spiels I chimp might seem like there's every this and that what goes on in my day to day while I'm working the rooms in the towns and lands but let me hip you to the reality that not everything gets writ (sic) up, nope. I mean yep. not everything does. my writing technique is poor. my memory is poor. my sense of priority probably doesn't line up w/a lot of others. to everyone I've let down, I wanna say I'm sorry. I apologize. these are not documentary, these are spiels and full of holes, clams, etc. it's not to be meant as a disclaimer, it's just on my mind I wanna spill it out here. I'm trying to get folks excited about first-person experiences cuz I feel a debt about turning others onto what I feel is a very lucky thing for me to stumble onto cuz of this particular work but all kinds of gigs can give folks opportunities that parallel it pretty much - look at my pop, I got kind something like it out of the navy - got to see world and that part of it opened his eyes, ears, mind... that's what he told me and I know it got me the hankering to get into this trip when I found out how it worked... one reason I don't bum on it and find it an adventure. sure some things come up that are very trying, even very uncomfortable but I try to weather that shit for the interesting shit that's bound to surprise somehow w/put a mindblow on me.

   ok, so we get into this suburb outside of detroit, a money one called birmingham and w/a 'tel called the townsend which has got some oldage (for the u.s.) w/no stucco outside. scotty's gone w/his fam. steve's two half-bros are coming to the gig tomorrow. helperman chris lives not too far away. of course ronnie lives in ann arbor but that's fifty or so miles west so he's here w/us. on tuesday it's kind of a drive to the gig - we actually stayed closer to it (the pad is called meadow brook and it's actually part of college, on it's campus). we do a soundcheck which is kind of different - not much of those lately. we prac "little doll" - I guess ron talked ig out of "atm" but I'm into to do any stooges, always. there's chow here so I shovel, man did I have some denny's-like crap last night, not much but enough to get fouled but not sick... you know that after-taste backwash in your mouth crap-chow can put on you. anyway, there's some good fish here and italian-greek style salad. this pad is an outdoor amphitheatre, like a smaller version of the pine knob pad we did early on w/our gigs, like maybe five or six? it became the "live in detroit" dvd. anyway, I'm using the eden set up I used at 'palooza sunday - david who helped the stooges use them asked us to sign the vt-300 heads so we do that when we're done. steve's gotta do a repair job w/his maracas cuz one split open and the beans fell out. he stuffs it w/aspirins and tapes up the gash. the big ride in an econoline clubwagon (like whence we came) back - I think this gig's gonna be a sweaty one cuz of both temp and humidity but fuck, it's for detroit and I know it means a lot for these guys and like I wouldn't go for it in timbuktu or wherever anyhow... I owe these guys. I chimp diary before heading out again - see why I like going w/the crew lots cuz the back and forth can really wear on me. there's one band opening up, a detroit one called ... this is not a festival gig, it's a stooges one so that means something different.

   holy smoke, no shit - even w/the sweatiness (I wear socks today but they soak up quick, soon as the boilersuit saturates), iggy blast right from the sling "loose" launches him from. he's still in mid-arc as we "down on the street" rolls out. my friend tina clarke (she's also a freind of danny fields - he signed the stooges to elektra) wrote me this:

> The Meadowbrook show was extraordinary, in ways that
> really shocked me. I've seen thousands of shows, but I
> ain't ever witnessed what I witnessed on Tuesday night.
> I don't know when this shift occurred but Iggy is no
> longer a performer, a musician, a rock star - he is
> Dionysus - and this isn't a reference to his penchant
> for fine wines.
> That show wasn't about music - it was art as alchemy in
> its highest form. Iggy's physical lexicon - so simple
> - the hip shakes, the poses, the angular port de bras
> is primitive yet erudite, teetering between sexual and
> comical. He walks a line as fine as you might say "a
> cunt hair" but never slips into self parody. Each
> action, each yelp, each time he says fuck, like in "God
> fucking bless you," each song is a signal, a prayer, an
> invitation to pure instinct. No wonder reviewers have
> been blown away. They don't even know what's really
> hit them - the universal id - the God of liberation
> through madness and pleasure: Dionysus.
> Iggy is so authentic, so feral, so intelligent, he is
> now more real than the culture that spawned him. And
> you, Scotty, Ron, Steve are like a furnace gathering
> more and more heat, every groove, burning hotter,
> digging deeper with each... it's hard for me to even
> call them... songs. They are now some kind of primal
> liturgy - an invocation for this ritual of collective
> consciousness, this initiation of joy and freedom.
> The audience wasn't ready to rock, by the end of that
> performance, they were ready to throw themselves on the
> altar's flames. I saw children, not yet adolescent
> children (as well as lots of older folks), literally
> leaping over chairs to get closer, even when the
> furthest they might go was only a couple rows, so eager
> to enter into this ecstatic communion.
> Iggy is Dionysus: his power on par with the best witch
> doctors in the business of voodoo. And you, Scotty,
> Ron, Steve are the sacred fuel for this
> transformation. Iggy has played with others, but no
> other energy source has unleashed as much transcendence
> as this band of brothers, literal and otherwise. It's
> spiritual eroticism, the Stooges burnt offering: a
> modern satyricon.

   usually my friends say "it's a trip" or "whoa!" and even it's hard for me to find words about the stuff but I guess finding a dionysus angle on things is one way to get it. I think it's way rock and roll but that's just me maybe, the detroit folks I thought had a big time spirit rocking too but maybe that's easier to feel on bass. back to the gig from my perspective: "1969" is a magic number, yeah ig tells us that and I agree. he leads us through that baby like nobody's business, grabbing me, scotty and ronnie by the soul and shaking the fuck out of us to get the rock rolled. I know he very much from every part of his heart is most grateful when he says "motherfucking thank you" - he really REALLY means it and he works even harder to show, ploughing into the people see cuz the seats are up close and so "I wanna be your dog" has him right there in their laps. water over his head and then some for the folks for a blow out "tv eye" and then he's out there singing "my idea of fun" w/them, back to just the stage for some slower churn w/"dirt" before get-on-board via "real cool time" and it's end part, he puts out the gang plank and we're boarded. pretty crazy and I'm slipping on a deck I made slippery beneath w/all the sweating, whew. "no fun" gets it going even wilder - some big cats on stage, older big cats - trippy. I find some round sun glasses and wear them for "1970" which is a challenge cuz they big time wanna fly off. ig soaks himself w/more from-the-bottle waterfalls, back thottles a little w/ronnie for "mindroom" and then big time crazy time w/"fun house" - oh my god. I said that cuz it just flew out of my mouth when I thought about what jolt this music put in me what it makes in me - it's not just playing parts. maybe that's what tina meant, I don't know, I'm trying to get it together on bass. there are young boy parts in my memory that get triggered by this band, yes - I was freaking out to this as a teenager so that's a trippy dimension I have to say is singular to my gig experience. from total out to singular riff: "l.a. blues" to "skull ring" and we come off, me on the deck w/legs folded under at ig's feet while he re-hydrates and decides on the next move. damn, he's has gone out - I see it in every fiber his body's got, in the steam rising from him... crimony! we got out and rip "not right" right out, whoa. the "double dog" and my take on dave doing stooges bass, trying to really trying too. I'm more soaked then 'palooza which is hard to believe though I didn't have quite the crisis point I did there in chicago about two-thirds through. watt and gigs are funny - just gotta get out of my head but still keep a focus, the amazing balancing act sensei ig's got going and I'm trying my best to learn from. we're off again and the asheton brothers go to the dressing room but I'm behind the curtain w/ig - he goes back out so I follow... he asks "do we have a guitar?" and then do "we have a drummer?" - ronnie gets out and joins us but no scotty for a while - I see the intense yellow-fire in ig's eyes and instead of waiting to start w/scotty like we've worked it - I do just go on the bass, like dave did on the album and here comes scotty and I gotta find the one again but I do and the song churns - I think it was last summer when ig knocked me down in holland that we last did this tune. I dig it. ok, we're done now for good and I go out to meet folks after some breaths - there's ale and no lager so that's a little heavy on me (is that some petty shit or what? really though, I got sick a couple of times from just that - maybe not sick but not feeling well and it was just from a little). I go out to meet some folks all soaked w/those weird smiley face sunglasses and some guys pulls them off and says they're his, he meant them for iggy and he wouldn't wear them. ok, no prob. I go back to get into dry clothes after saying hi to chris and mel. it's a hard ride for me back, I feel really pushed out, really spent and every bump on the road pounds on me - weird. you don't know how grateful I am to hit that deck and konk after hosing all that sweat drench - good thing the going-home-outfit goes on tomorrow cuz that outfit I just had on was fouled.

   next morning it's not a crack of dawn airport run, it's like nine and half bells and on the way back from getting coff, I see this yellow gym sack in this little sport store and it says it has a lifetime warranty. I'd like a smaller sack than the orange one for small runs (by the way, the orange sack is stuffed! them jinbeis and settas and stuff, whoa...) so hopefully it works out. I use it to put relief on the orange sack and share some load. it's only a four and half hour ride on an northwest airbus 319 and there' my sister melinda to get me at two in the afternoon. alright, just in time for missingmen prac!

thursday, august 16, 2007 - hasselt-kiewit, belgium

   tuesday morning my sister gets me at three am - time for another stooges tour leg for this summer. this'll be a shorty, just a week for three gigs. sunday I got to play a punk rock bar-b-q in west l.a. w/my missingmen, tom and raul. last stooges tour leg I got them jinbeis in tokyo and both of them decide to wear their's at the gig so for the second time I played in my too. it was a happening time, started in the afternoon at a pad called liquid kitty and there were a lot of friends from the scene's old days there. raymond came w/me. I'm gonna get him a jinbei too but I'll have to send for it. might be a little cuz summer based on their old calendar is about to end in japan but I'll try. I got my settas for this gig where tom and raul have to do what I did the first time I played w/a jinbei, use shoes they got. trippy, the jinbeis are all different but still a variation of blue so we look pretty close that way. another thing funny was raul coming w/a t-shirt on underneath - I let him know that was gonna sweat up quick so he took it off though both him and tom were skivvies... I said you can't rock the jinbei w/skivvies underneath but they both said they'd wait for next time about that. they did in fact rock pretty hard - even though we only had two pracs, I thought they did really good and was very proud of them. folks were digging on the gig, digging on the jinbeis. don bolles (drummer for the germs) has a band called the new power rangers that played earlier in the gig and they do all stooges covers from the "raw power" period. they're really good and each cat in the band dresses up to fit the part. at the end they did "I got a right" and I got called up to join them - the bassist gave me both his bass and the ss hat he was wearing... first time I ever played one of these new fender basses that's like their jaguar guitar (played like a fender jazz kind of) and first time w/a nazi hat on! right before us were the chairs of perception which are two of the original urinals (john and kevin) w/rob roberge on guitar. one amazing thing was they were playing just over a month after john had a massive heart attack that almost killed him - he was on life support machines for a couple of days. man, he played and sang so good - he had the best bass tone out of anybody I think that whole show... the urinals were a huge inspiration for the minutemen in the old days and john is still a big one for me today. they had me sing their "ack ack ack ack" tune which the minutemen covered as "ack ack ack" and leaving out a verse. it was wild to sing that w/them - wild to sing w/only a microphone and no machine around my neck - how does iggy do it! at the end of our missingmen set, we did their "surfin' w/the shah" and had joe baiza from saccharine trust join us for a big jam in the middle of it. it was a great sunday for me, a really good one. I sweated my jinbei up big time.

   back to tour mode: some probs w/the flight from l.a. to atlanta. I'm checked in and my bags get on the plane but they hold me at the gate, saying I'm gonna have to buy a ticket - what? some foul up somewhere so I miss that flight (my bags made it though - both the new yellow sack I got in michigan last week and my bass) but they put me on one two and half hours later which is no problem cuz there was gonna be a four hour layover in atlanta any before the flight to brussels in belgium. I see brother steve mackay but don't sit w/him cuz he got moved to business class, some place pretty foreign to me though I did just ride there cuz maybe the airline (delta) was saying sorry for their fuckup. there's more leg room so that's easier for my knees. it's another 767 to belgium and though I'm in steerage, I get moved to an emergency row exit cuz a momma wants to sit w/her kids so good luck there. me and steve find all our bags when we land - yes! very happening. the drive to the conrad hotel is amazingly quick or maybe cuz this driverman knew the way and didn't have to wander - we've stayed at this 'tel before, it the southeast part of town. the weather is white clouds against blue sky but the sun is out and it's dry. arriving at ten bells am means I wanted to konk much on the plane rides and I did but konk overtakes me anyway and I'm out 'till like six. luckily there's a little store close and I get some beers, half a cooked chicken (big time peppered w/paprika) and a long skinny baguette for ten euros (now that's about thirteen bucks u.s.). I konk yet again but pop and wander some, finding ron and scotty, I spiel a few hours w/the ashetons and we have a good old time... I laugh so much w/them, I love 'em. very interesting gentlemen too.

   pop on gig day about eight bells, inside clock still off. no free shovel at this pad - the trough goes for thirtyfive euros! hell w/that. I go w/the crew to the gig at noon. it's called pukkelpop and it's about an hour drive away. actually I played theis festival about five years ago w/the group asheton, asheton, mascis and watt - yeah, we did a few gigs like that after my j mascis + the fog tenure where we did stooges songs. me and j's greatest thrill was getting to play stooges songs w/the stooges, what a trip! this is before ig called ronnie and scotty to play on his "skull ring" album. anyway, the weather is looking like it could rain any time - man, the clouds fly by at an incredible speed - but it's dry for now. I get to see my friends in the go! team play... wow, it's been like seventeen months since I last did. ninja's hurt her knee, dislocating it and so I show her the zipper scars where the surgery was done on both my knees in my early twenties. I sure hope she heals up. I chow some salad/pasta, slices of duck in a brown sauce and zucchinis w/them in the catering tent, talking to sam about soren kierkedgaard's "fear and trembling" (he found a copy his pop had up in an attic) and jamie about haruki murakami's "kafka on the shore" (ain't that a trip steve mackay read that last tour?!). these books are both mindblows on me, I really dig them. I do a spiel w/their bossman ian for the watt from pedro show and then I go watch them play. I don't watch them from the side of the stage like most "access" cats do cuz the sound is shitty and you can really see what's going on so I go where the people are, out front. the bass is tiny cuz of sound restrictions (102 db) but the band is really good, I was really into it. I don't know these new songs they're playing so it's the first time for me but man do I get into it. well, not dancing so much as the kids around me are (my knees) but the band really connects w/them. miss kaori is like a lioness w/her hair and wow, to see her play and sing again... I got to hear her on our funanori debut, got to experience her compose and mix but I was in pedro while she was in london so I heard "results" and didn't get to witness "actions" from her but I do today. wow, I'm so lucky to be in a band w/her, that still amazes how that happened. well, it's her, being generous - funanori is mostly her, I really REALLY dig being a part of it and learning from her. I much ready too for this stooges gig I'm to be part of tonight now too after the go! team one!

   yeah, j and murph from dinosaur come to visit - I find out they're playing here tomorrow... sorry I have to miss that but am so glad to see these cats again - last time was not too long ago at benicassim in catalonia. I ask j about his signature fender jazzmasters cuz I wanna get one for tom watson (missingmen), his tele was not one that together - in fact it was halfass in the meantime we got on tour about six years ago! tom's always been talking about replacing it cuz it's not that easy to play, won't hold tune too good and squeals like a motherfucker. j finishes touring w/dinosaur about the same time we do - in the middle of september so I ask him if I can get one then. yeah, he's into it. he's into finding me a real mosrite bass like dave alexander used (you can see one on the "fun house" album cover) too but they're some big bones. oh yeah, speaking of basses - I spaced and left the d'addario strings I brought (always use them) in my clothes sack like a baka tonto idiot. I went asked go! teamer jamie if he had any and he gave me a set of ernie balls - 105, 85, 70, 50 so they're a heavy set... I've used those before - they're really good w/short scaled bass so the strings aren't as flabby but my less-younger hands were hurting cuz of solos I do w/my other music but I'm thinking "you know w/stooges music, it's different that way" so I figure these actually might be more happening. I should get some d'addario heavy gauge when I get back, let's see what happens here at the gig.

   it starts to rain some as I get on the boilersuit and the pacing begins (the band guys get here a little after seven). we're going on at 8:35 pm - I so much dig earlier like that than later. it'll be coming on night, dark about half-way. we're in a little room the size of a real shorty can. I tell the guys about the gigs I just did - ronnie doesn't wanna hear about jinbeis! scotty laughs. time comes. ig only comes in to sat to keep good ojo (eye) contact cuz of a big stage - good move. time comes. he leads us out. under the stage and to ronnie's side... "are we ready?" - "let's fucking do it!" I run out and plug my bass in but space on my first note - what? "don't be nervous in front of them, watt!" - that's what I scold myself w/but on the intro slur (of course we're taking off w/"loose"), the sound breaks up... same w/the first iteration of the main lick - whoa, bad connect so I pound on the little bass some and there she goes - I'm underway. whew, a little panic there. helperman chris really did a righteous thing by mixing a mic on the amp signal w/the direct signal instead of just direct - I can't tell you how many thousand times better it is for me to hear it like that. a big stage needs monitors but I play much better to an amp sound cuz that's what I'm used to in tiny pads. my fingers just lay and pluck better when I'd don't have the fucking "dink dink" w/no fatness or tone going on. I got two stacks of ampeg svt-II (speaker cabs sideways on top of each other) and for ampeg, if this model is in good shape, it's my favorite one of theirs. iggy is tremendous, incredible - yeah adjective after adjective and I will still come up short cuz this is what's really inspiring my playing - that and scotty slamming and ronnie soaring. these right have blasted me right off but I'm learning the dangling duality thing and keeping all the focus I can muster to keep on the moment. there's some distraction w/a lowend thing on stage, threatening to swallow up our whole sound w/a big bottom bogart. it gets handled by the monitor man and we keep it together though I do lose it and bam on the strings a couple of times though I get "down on the street" pretty smooth, except for some tiny clammage on a fill. I make it down on my knees for ig's bass amp hump time but am a little afraid to try and get up (no hand rails around!). they are much better and healed but I think I have fear in my head I have to war out... ah, it's complicated. never mind - "1969" and ig hollers "come on, mike!" just before he corkscrew twirls leaps in front of me during ronnie's soloing - whoa, alright! there's a big moat but ig gets starboard and still pulls of a deckplunge into the crowd come the "I wanna be your dog" solo, holy cow! shirtless man rolls dice, blows minds! it's pretty breezy up here so boilersuit isn't totally soaked yet but it's on its way. I wonder if ig's gonna pour water over his head for "tv eye" - he does two bottles! well, they were little ones. man, this tune storms out the stomp and ig's got some pow-wow dancing (in a way) going. I almost loose (I wanna freak out and holler) so I combat that w/rilakkuma imagery - that might sound insane but that's what I do... the music is in me so hard, I am not gonna lose the intensity but I gotta keep from freaking out so I think of him w/his blankie, w/his konksack, his pillow, etc... the "now, ram it" (the first one, the gentle one) comes in a part of the chug we're not used to and us three w/the machines wait for where we are use to so ig's doing his "ram it!" parts on the other side where we usually are but it's all fine - an artistic variation, we're all still together. I put two tags on the very end though, going w/scotty's set-up flam like a baka... well, at least I was on time. the real clam I blow of the night is in the first verse of "my idea of fun" where I'm on 'd' where I should've been on 'e' and I plead to have that recalled but that is jive and I must live w/it. we keep the tempo up and the song's good, ig down in the moat and working lots w/the peeps, getting them to sing, even if they get the words wrong. "dirt" is a little fast but nothing like in el ejido - that was the drag race and a half but you know, the band was together and I think scotty being the heart, should get a choice w/that one. I think ig likes hiking it up always live preferably over dragging it anyway. belgian dancers get the invite from ig for "real cool time" (kind of short here) and "no fun" (tons by this time are pouring on the stage) and you know what - this is where blew the other clam of the night - I was in 'd' instead of 'e' (again?!) for one line... I think my 'a' string got knocked by someone a little out of tune but it's joyous time w/the dancers - what a crowd around me... I think ig's behind my amps for a bit. many afternoon shadow on afternoon shadow beardrubs on me from guys' kisses. funny. even funnier is all the guys asking for a pick or a "plectrum" (they call it that in england) cuz ain't it obvious I'm using my fingers? they seem so disappointed when I tell them I have no pick and only fingers which are hard to give up. band intros - ig calls out scotty's b-day, "who's a birthday boy today?" and sings the first line of guess what song? we go into "1970" - "this is for the music!" ig hollers and we go for it, ron and scotty laying it out strong. steve comes out w/his sax for the end part, his entrance though he is involved during the dancing part - behind ronnie's amps, holding them up so they won't fall from dancer collisions. "mindroom" next and my chance for a last full tune-up - chris brought a boss tuner pedal to act as a mute so my korg can stay on all the time. I forget to un-mute though and when iggy calls out "fun house" I got nothing - I punch the boss w/my fist (it's up on the riser along w/the korg tuner, the d.i. box and my glasses) and I got a little stumblebum going w/the intro cuz I'm a little balled-up from that mute clam. I get it together. jamie's heavy gauge strings sound good and ain't too hard to go up on the neck w/though that's now and my experience w/ernie ball strings is they don't stay fresh long. anyway, now they're pretty good. it's a good freakout w/"l.a. blues" though I pound in my neck pickup w/some blows but I don't realize it 'till I try to make feed back at the end and it won't happen. just before scotty gets us into "skull ring" I turn the balance control all the way to the bridge pickup and do it that way. it's a sound w/more mids but it's ok, it's what I gotta do. we run off and I ask helperman for screwdriver cuz that's what I use to pry the pickup out from being wedged but I didn't say flat blade and he brings me a phillips. he quickly gets me a blade and I pop the pickup out and where it goes, closer to the strings but it's for naught cuz the gig is done. whew. I dug that gig, especially for a cherry (not a far one though cuz we were just playing last week). I'm glad I didn't choke for my friends. I'm too self-conscious and being in front of friends can be the hardest gigs for me in the world. they were right in the middle too, a special little coral right behind the first few rows of people.

   the rain held off for our gig but I get out of the sweated boilersuit quick cuz I don't need pneumonia and back into the grey and blue of my flannel (stealth - no plaid!) and levis. I go out and see sam, big hugs. I go by the chow tent and see sam's bossman ian, sit down and tell him some stuff about the gig. I tell him how I was into having bass from the amp in the monitors, how it let's me hear the bass growl and immediately I think of cats - big ones like tigers or lions, yeah that's it - a lioness... his guitar player is across the table and I tell that's what her hair was like, like a mane. I'm a lunatic, shit just flies out of my mouth sometimes. I don't mean to embarrass anyone though. they gotta bail and back to the stooge compartment room to share time w/j and murph. murph says it was the best he seen us, I get shy when I hear good things, I'm very grateful though, really. thank you murph. it's an hour drive back to brussels after we say bye. murph was saying their bassman lou was having probs w/his fender bass but it's one of theose '56 reissues that use the little pickup like a tele guitar has in the bridge except w/four pole pieces and I bet it got sweated up and soaked which shunts out the highs - used to happen me and d. boon a lot and that's one reason we went to emg cuz they were sealed in epoxy but man, was the tone harsh. bartolini makes a good epoxy sealed passive pickup and I tell j to check that out. I am tuckered and wanna konk as soon as get back though I did go to get matches and saw some of the crew guys downstairs - they asked me something about that stupid 70s show "the love boat" and I said I worked the parking lot for berth 94, the intro for that show was filmed using a princess cruise line boat at berth 95 and they say, "of course you did" but I did. that was a trippy coincidence, huh? now before hitting that deck I've been wanting to hit, I hear steve mackay across the hall bringing in his bud kamilsky - he never made it to the gig but he made it here. I like him and wanna rap so I spend like an hour learning all kinds from him, a great cat and a great musician, he lives in the desert outside of l.a. but spends some time back where he's from, the czech republic. much respect to him.

saturday, august 18, 2007 - staffordshire, england

   yesterday I popped at seven and right away soak some soreness out in the tub - damn, I meant to do it last night but got dragged asunder by the konk. I go to that little store to get a thun (tuna) baguette for 2.80 euro (about $3.70) which tastes good a breakfast at this 'tel is 35 euors (about $47!). adios conrad, thanks for the deck to konk on. they did have a coff machine in the room w/free coff, thank you. we bail at right before noon for brussels airport, a slight panic cuz scotty thought his wallet was lost and I'm so relieved for him when he found it in a suitcase. I keep my wallet and passport on me all the time, one reason I like shirts w/big front pockets for the 'port and always feeling for the wallet on my ass in my levi back pocket. I put them both in the boilersuit too on stage, I'm a paranoid. we take a one hour flight in an avro rj85 to birmingham airport in the midlands of england. these jets are pretty small but still have four jet engines, tiny ones. first time on brussels airlines for me. it seems the flight was almost instantaneous cuz we gained an hour on the clock. as we're waiting for bags, I go up to talk w/seasick steve, a blues man from the u.s. but he does most his gigs over on the side of the water and lives in oslo cuz his wife is norwegian. he's very cool people and I take a picture w/him. he just bought a camper to travel around to gigs. I sure wish him luck, he says he's been breaking out for forty years (ig, ron and scotty saw him when "the breakout" prize at the mojo awards last month). a nice cat named clyde drives us to this village north of birmingham called sutton-coldfield, we talk about drag racing and wow, he took a motorcycle to portmeirion where "the prisoner" tv show was filmed! man, I wanna do that one day, I really do. shit, I wish I could get one of those blazers patrick mcgoohan wore - those dark brown ones w/the piping. the weather has got blue skies w/giant white puff clouds but they're moving really fast so that means shit could change like that. in this little village is a pad called new hall and parts date back a hundred years. it's got a moat w/huge carp swimming in it and lilypads floating on top. the motto over the door reads "en bon foy" ("in good faith" maybe?). this is away from most everything and there's lots of green around, three more ponds (one has two hugh koi!) and a golf course. I can hear cars from a highway somewhere kind of off but still it's pretty quiet. it's a little like that pad we konked at before the glastonbury gig. as night comes on, the weather gets colder and pretty cloudy. I have to chow something so I get a hamburger and chips (big thick fries) and it's nine pounds (about $18)! hey, it's one of the most econo things on the menu. well, it is quiet around here. oh, there's music inside on these old record players, really old - like early sixties playing stuff like "diana and marvin" which sounds real good. no smoking inside anywhere so you gotta be out in the cold... I think maybe that's a law everywhere in england now since july first. there's a wedding going on out in a big tent area in the back and we can hear an elvis imitator singing to a tape. when it starts to loops, that's my cue to konk.

   gig day and I pop at seven, soak up (the tub's about as long as the brussels one - I can get my legs stretched out pretty much all the way which is way righteous) and then hit the free shovel at eight (yes!). ronnie's there, both of us open up the bad. I have the new hall breakfast which is what's usually called the english full breakfast: some shrooms (not trippy ones), fried eggs, fried toast (! a little piece though), bacon (pink like thin fried-up ham pieces), black pudding (which is like small dark bran/oat pucks), baked beans and a fat stubby sausage. I get yogurt on fruit too cuz I won't chow again 'till a little something at the gig before I play. I go and chimp diary after a big hoof around the grounds finally has to end cuz rain comes down. the gig's an hour away to the northwest so we bail at six. we're going on at 8:20 pm. the weather gets worse but still it's nothing compared to glastonbury as far as the mud thing but it is a little cold. the summer weather here is not much like it is back home, that's for sure. I go chow a lamb shank, some asparagus and what they call oriental vegetables kind of quick cuz I need some time for it to be in my gut before we play so I don't puke it up. I like chowing before rather after though cuz you burn the cals that way. this nice sax man named terry edwards comes to say hi to steve and I take their picture so I terry can have one - he said steve was a huge influence on him. I forgot to say but earlier steve gave me the "sonitus 2006" radon compilation - he's part of the radon collective which is this great posse of musicians all over the world kicking out wild experimental jams, lots of them improvised. good stuff.

   the deal w/today's v festival gig is we're playing in a tent like I saw the go! team in at pukkelpop and ig's signed a paper that says he won't have dancers join us and plus, our stage time is shorter. clyde drove us to the gig and also takes to the stage which takes a bit cuz we gotta travel the perimeter, it takes a bit and then we're put in a room ig's asks "is this the dog pound?" we're in here for the last ten minutes, I tell iggy max roach died a few days ago but he knows (docto art davis died a week before that). we all lost two great music cats there, GIANTS so I'm gonna play big time for them tonight. the stage is smaller than usual and there's a hundred db limit on the sound. I know knobman rik had to fight the sound poice at the last gig and will here too. that's how it goes but a quiet stooges gig is weird, right? damn. we're playing a shorter set though we still start it off the same, "loose" leading it off. I got the same kind of svt-II setup I had in belgium. the english cats have good spirit though ig's restricted from stage diving, he gives it his all, pushing his voice hard cuz of quiet monitors but he's singing great. he's dancing wild and giving it his all like he always does. "down on the streets" next, the band is playing great... even the bass player is doing ok. I keep my eyes on ig, checking in time to time w/the ashetons - scotty is wearing another kind of fuji rock fest t-shirt, he had one on at the last show too. now "1969" and at one point ig takes a swing at the air right in front of me, whoa. he's working the gig, not attacking me though. he goes into the moat for the middle of "I wanna be your dog" but can't leap into the folks like I know he wants to. it's weird but the cold is gone and I'm sweating much. we rip into "tv eye" and nail the "ram it!" parts - ig had a briefing w/us before. he also schooled me on the next one "no fun" and I play it like he said, hard on the groove. trippy doing that tune w/no dancers, really trippy. I'm clam free so far, I feel ok about a big bow in the band intros. "1970" into "mindroom" and then "fun house" (I have it together to start that right tonight) where I lay off the unison riffing w/ronnie at the beginning. it's really funky and hard to tell if we're coming off the stage tiny - I think we got it going pretty tight for the situation, still an edge going and not revue rock. we whup it up good for "l.a. blues" and I get some feedback going even. "skull ring" is the closer and the folks give us big ups as we bail for the van ride back to the dressing room. steve had to leave his sax case but henry brings it w/him not too far behind.

   whew... into dry clothes quick, watt. we all agree it was a trippy gig cuz of no dancers or stage diving but it was still a good one, just different. we don't stay long, maybe forty minutes cuz it's an hour back but we do a little better than that and we're back at new hall at eleven bells. there's another wedding going on here. I join ron and scotty outside - I brought only the little ford jacket (ain't it summer?) so I got a cord shirt under the flannel one - I have a beer I brought and a drink of bulleit's bourbon - never had that kind before and then retire my sore bones (wet cold his hard on my joints) to the tub and then on to the deck. noches.

sunday, august 19, 2007 - chelmsford, england

   sure, last night I could sign off a spiel I just chimped w/something like "noches" but was it as easy as that to actually come? no, it was not. my body was pretty much still for what, four hours? my head though was trying hard for escape velocity - or was it my mind? it had to be my mind cuz the head, being physical, gets tired. I don't know if the mind (the collection of ideas) ever gets tired, it gets distracted, gets confused, gets fucking tangled up. to look at things fairly, the mind on the witness stand - ha! is it the brain on the witness stand? go figure the hierarchy - how to be fair on oneself, truly "owe up" and shit like that - sacred shit! to find the right words, tell yourself the right words... here in this world of internal dialog, in the universe ideas, I stumble looking for "words" - what's that about? who's there to hear them, isn't that for communicating w/others? isn't there paths inside to shortcut the shortcomings of using "words" to embody each big deal you heave your hardest on to broker this trip between the brain and the mind? I've learned all wrong, confused things... caught up in spiel. reconciliations that seem to make kind of sense, put out the walk I seem to need to walk look in 'pert-right away like half-asses-in-the-meantime, big time. semantic twister, what the fuck? sometimes (not that much) it's ok though and a calm comes on me... so much wrangling to get that done though and lots it seems like an accident - like if I rolled the dice enough times, both fives would eventually come up. maybe it's about just giving in, letting go - taking the blow, a collapse. I guess you might call that an inhale. the body, nature's work - indict it like a birth blemish? ain't it really the behavior, the free will act of? blemish... birthmark? defect? bent-up brain? "you racka disaprine" w/the mind? a true liberator - liberating another from the likes of yourself, true responsibility/truly heroic. the clutch of thought clamped on the idea crew of innocents on the random lucky/unlucky mindboat while genes act out physical drama - some kind of actual happening no matter how fucked up it is perceived and very much misunderstood/mangled to fit the script of the unfit... every head unfit to bread threads read baldface, STRAIGHT from the page? ha, the night before I dreamed many poems. yeah, a dream w/out drowning in fear, I guess that's a dream. usually only some words but it's mystery how it works to be ok, interesting to find your mind unravelling a show of it's secrets (not revealing the secrets, no) like maybe - here, to get physical - real light touches w/whatever on the skin real light to make sensations that are a trip to experience, not having to know what it is or worrying if it's named right even if you got a glimpse... secret, better riddle? guess? alibi, kludge, conceit? deceit? crutch? device! it's so funny here writing about now later... I need a shitload of raymond's paintings to drown both my brain and my mind right now, how I wish I had that so much on me. people ask why I chimp tour spiel, ain't it obvious?! now all this was not under konk, not in dream or nightmare - hell, I was begging so hard for to konk to come on, so hard! reconcile watt - come up w/a fair half-ass, something you can live w/at least in platitudeland - no, no, no watt don't settle or that... keep on keepin' on - "joe christmas, joe christmas, joe christmas" - man, did faulkner put the mantra in my head or what? I know I did physically read it, light entered my eyeballs... my eyeballs - half the genes for them from my ma from her people in italy... what did I see in italy - these very eyes? WHERE'S THE FUCKING KIERKEGAARD?!

   I don't know how it happened but I konked 'till nine bells, damn. I chow what I did yesterday minus the fruit and yogurt - too full after the full england thing. you know, the gig went good last night, way less clams (hard to think of any but there must've been some) than thursday at pukkelpop but that was a happening gig, pretty intense and I was way into somehow being a part (somehow? how about bass guitar!). this ain't hand-wringing I had last night on music stuff. shit, to make sure, I chimp the diary for yesterday 'till we gotta bail at four, breaking it up w/rounds of hoofing around all the nature in back, the woods trail, the ponds, the fields, etc. of course I do this in between rounds of rain which come and stop all day - at least there was some blue yesterday morning and then gray... this is all gray and even sideways rain sometimes. we're checking out when we bail for the gig, the plan is to bail after tonight's set for a 'tel right next to gatwick airport where we'll fly home monday. the rain is coming down hard as we say bye to new hall, it's two hours and forty minutes of slow-go to northeast of london - chelmsford is in essex and is on the ruins of an old roman town. speaking of which, that new hall pad was in warwickshire parts, "shakespeare country" the sign said. historical, huh? well, this v festival is pretty typical though the bands we're playing w/are not the ones we usually find w/us - more mellow. it is the same bands that we played w/yesterday - yeah yesterday! we don't play many two in a row w/the stooges - when was the last one? last july w/montreaux and napoli. we're in a tent again but it's more like those six-pole ones like the festivals at neuchatel and crans-montana in switzerland - the sides are open, making for better acoustics and air-flow. another difference from yesterday is the dressing rooms (which are the same) are in a different place, they're really close to the tent we're playing in and what's far away is the chow so I chow only a little bag of potato chips and a banana. I do go hoof around the tent and out to where the folks are, I go out to the center 'pert-near. it's not raining here and even the ground's not that wet. I see the main stage w/a brazilian band playing... the bookerman john giddings is backstage when I return and I guess we were offered the main stage at one pm instead of the tent at 8:20 pm but everyone agrees the tent was a way better call, thank you john. I mishear him say glenn hughes for john hughes and start going off some deep purple tangent (he was one of their bass players at one point), mentioning glenn now lives in my town and then start trying to explain my pedro town, cans (containers), hammerheads (cranes to yank them up) and shit like that but it last only a couple of minutes cuz I realize I sound like a total fucking idiot. sorry, john.

   we walk up to the tent, into the back and over to ronnie's side like usual. hey, there's hay on the ground, lots of plastic bottles so I got watch my clumsy fucking self. plastic beer bottles - that's a good thing cuz one came up flying towards ronnie last night, 'pert-near right on his pedals... funny how they're kind of like bottle magnets. same set as last night - ig told us before we left new hall it might be a variation on the "fun house" album but then decided against it once we got here. "loose" has out of the gate. damn, these amps sound lame - probably same ones at last night (svt-II) - oh yeah, I had to to move the volume knob a cunt hair cuz of some dirt make the signal break up last night and also chris said he didn't mix a mic signal w/the direct for the monitors but tonight the tone's just laying really flat. I ask for more level at least, chris tries to help but it don't come up much - oh well, paddle on, sailor. I play too hard when I'm too soft sometimes, that can be a prob but I focus hard on trying not to do that and play consistent. you know, thursday I really wanted to move my knees, use my body like how I was witnessing before our gig but they won't make like I want them. I want my legs to dance, I wanna dance - I wanna be her but I can't. I can shake them like a shiver but I can't move them up and down off then ground, they won't come up. I'm frustrated and so I bend them like I was doing before the u.s. tour, what I started in neuchatel w/the johnny ramones stance - I do this for "down on the street" a lot even and same for "1969" but I have to remember I'll pay for it later and even worse, during the gig even. I don't what to say, it's not my mind - it's my body for sure - I'm older. it happens w/pedaling my bicycle, I have to go easy and sometimes I can't even stand up on the pedals, I gotta stay on the seat - even on a hill. anyway, back to the gig: I see the chicken-headed knob on my little bass' balance control on the deck - well, first I saw it was missing off the bass and then snatch it up off the deck once "1969" is done in put it back on quick - "where's the indent?" I'm thinking so I know where the 50/50 split is between both pickups. we're into "I wanna be your god" and there's no stage dive by ig but he's in the trough and still working the tune real good w/the folks. again - like last night - a real good response from the audience, much MUCH spirit and great to play for. man, these strings sound dead... I think they're new ones though cuz we brought all our sacks so I got the packs of strings I spaced on yesterday. maybe it's these amps sounding so crummy, I don't know. I use a little more back pickup for "tv eye" just to see what's up - a little more bite. ig's really putting out w/the singing and dancing, whoa... "you know I love her so!" yeah! I'm learning on his briefing from right before yesterday's gig to give what he wants for the end of "no fun" - yeah, it's another dancerless "no fun" but we get it going pretty rockin' still, differnet vibe but ok. man, I've been tuning a lot and I always like to be done w/that before the band intros so I quick and get that together (I was sharp even before the first tune, having to tune REALLY fast there but I got it), big bows to the folks for being kind, always. my fist in the air for scotty (he's really playing a lot of rolls tonight, trippy - he's right on though and smokin' w/the slams, almost like he's got demons to beat down in a rightous rythym) and ronnie (guitar searing soaring, tearing it up) - then ig implores us to do some "real music" and kick "1970" right out of/into the universe. he gently welcomes steve w/passion hollers that are sirens for a crazyman or that kind of feeling (for watt anyway) and fists in the air for steve in "mindroom" where three of us get a little break while ronnie and ig duet it. do I stumble a little on the "fun house" intro? think so but not enough to sink it. I whup it up and then groove it back for ig's steps and rapture-delivered words but take cues on all the dynamics he bundles up in it all. well, try to. blowin' it out w/"l.a. blues" - I get her to feedback tonight though I think I got the 'a' string out of tune just finishing up but maybe that was a funky overtone - I don't know but just to make sure for the first time ever I play "skull ring" w/the 'e' string only. trippy to do that. not totally as smooth as what I'm used to but maybe I should practice it this way, I'm thinking. ig looks back w/the "bar of steel!" line and laughs a little. alright. love this man, love this band. he had gotten down on his knees in front of ronnie for one of his guitar solos too. whoa, we're off, we're done. folks are giving us much hollering and claps but we're done.

   off quick w/the boilersuit. there's these rubber wrist bands that say "wank for peace" we saw when we got here and I leave that on. ig says he dug the gig, says "no fun" was rockin' especially so that's good new I was taking the direction right. I like making good for this band, getting it together for them. he brings maybe the most econo wine I've ever gotten for him at a gig - he says just a table one (label says something about "medoc") but any wine from ig tastes good for me. I'm learning about them from him. I don't much about wines, you know. I guess some expensive champaign comes (steve says it is) but I hold off on that. it's from one of the gigbosses. one of those comes by to say thank you and for the first time ever (I'm pretty sure), I get told "you're a star" when he shakes my hand. what a nice man. I've never ever thought of that about myself, he's being most kind cuz I think of others being stars or being in their starlight but that is not my station - it's just trippy on me to hear that. I mean I've been told plenty of very nice things all these years and plenty of shitty things too but I try to learn from the heavy ones and be very grateful for the generous ones - I don't know what to think about this... actually it's a trippy coincidence cuz I put starlight in a poem yesterday morning. I mean a much more accurate lyric in my mind is something I wrote twentyfive years ago that I actually got from reading what iggy said in a creem magazine interview: "I must look like a dork" though I wish this dork could move his knees more like he used to. I don't mean to go on about this but it was a very trippy thing to hear, mabye I was just vulnerable for something like that, you know, in a pavlovian way... my reaction was not what seemed a conscious one is what I'm trying to say.

   ok, maybe forty minutes and we gotta get out of dodge cuz they're gonna close the access road back here. clyde, the same driverman all of england for us this trip (there's another cat for the other vehicle but I never met him though he seems cool) has to weather both the slow-go and the weather but like all week, does great to get us to gatwick, south of london. in my head from the ipod is creedence this time instead roky like it was leaving new hall. helperman chris is the posse leader cuz henry and eric are elsewhere, not leaving w/us. prob at the 'tel though - here we are at midnight and the motherfuckers tell us the reservations were cancelled and there's no rooms though chris letting henry talk w/them over a leash somehow produces rooms after a half hour. we talk some w/some beer, some of it from me about tolerance (yeah, I should talk! well, it's an ideal anyway). konk after a soak - yeah, better thank konking sweat-clung. easy out at elevn bells though I agree w/steve about his idea about putting something on the web about hotelsthatsuckshit-dot-com or whatever cuz of in my eyes big time 233.84 england pounds a room a night?! what? that's $470 u.s. anyway, I agree w/steve and we're not whining, we're laughing/crying. it's an airbus 330 on northwest for detroit at close to two pm (loving that after a gig) - detroit is northwest's hub. eight and half hours there, you don't wanna know about what I shoveled... actually it was only the pasta and left the rest. I did have a tuna and cucumber sandwich in the morning, stuffing it w/salt and vinegar chips.

   hey, I found "fear and trembling" by kierkegaard - it was in one of the pockets of the 'puter sack, baka watt. here's something great he quotes from descartes that resonates somehow w/the tonto chimping this here spiel:

   "my design here is not to teach... only to show in what manner I have endeavoured to conduct my own... for I found myself embarrassed w/so many doubts and errors that it seemed to me that the effort to instruct myself had no effect other than the increasing discovery if of my own ignorance."

   yeah, this is read eight now for me of this book... seems he's got a hangup (yeah, just one!) w/teachers, I'll get into that more. of course I read this stuff like literature and am still figuring out the story. like kierkegaard himself says:

   "theology sits all painted at the window courting philosophy's favor."

   or is it johannes de silento? this shit's a riot. sure sounds silent, huh?

   two hours at the macnamara terminal in detroit and then aboard the same kind of flight I took 'pert-near two weeks ago after meadow brook. this is a night one though and it's rainy enough to delay the plane that's coming to take me (it's coming from providence, ri) but only about a half-hour. trippy, rainy england to rainy detroit. I bet my pedro town is sunny, just got a hunch! onto a full airbus 319 but there's a nice cat next to me doing sudoku - I wonder what that game's like but I hardly talk to airplane neighbors, especially the more I do this so I keep it just a wonder and don't ask. so great in a way not to have the little bass (jos took after last night's show and it's getting shipped to the next gig we got on the 28th in croatia) so it'll be just a wait for the yellow clothes sack - aahh! I go down the wrong escalator for the baggage area and about four or five steps down try to turn around and climb up but 'pert-near almost take a tumble and give up quick on that retarded notion - so lucky I didn't twist my knee SO FUCKING LUCKY! I can't believe why I tried that, why I wasn't thinking. I did go down and feel abrasions/scraps under my levi, on my port knee but am nonetheless so thankful cuz getting any more hurt would've been a complete disaster. there was no one around to help too. you can not be stupid in this world, I meaning oblivious cuz one moment of not being aware can really cost you. I am still such a slow learner to this. anyway, my sister melinda picks me up and gets me to my pedro pad by eleven pm. only six days home but it's way worth it. now to tub soak those knee hurts and give more thanks while thinking about this latest life lesson...

tuesday, august 29, 2007 - zagreb, croatia

   the last leg of overseas touring for the stooges for this year, that's what the word is on this next three week run. I know though there's one gig that's supposed to be in las vegas on october twentyseventh, somebody w/massive imagination has decided to kype barry hogan's idea and have the stooges do the entire "fun house" album like we did in england two years ago. well, we do all those songs any way, the only difference will be the order but it is trippy to hear like the record - I remember that gig well at the hammersmith apollo and was righteous to be both a part of that torrent and witness it at the same time, incredible. I'm into every stooge gig though, whatever format, town, time of day, what I'm wearing, what I'm not wearing - it don't matter cuz I love it, love love love it. anyway, only six days home from the last blast and sunday my sister melinda took me to the airport at nine after me and her had breakfast chow w/my ma, something I do every sunday I'm in pedro. now I had some habanero chilies left over from the last batch made and I was gonna be gone for three weeks so I gave all three of them to melinda before I went pedaling and asked her to give them our ma so she cook them up in the eggs. I get back and she said she used only two... comes to chow them and both her and my ma are fishing them out the scrambled eggs that obviously look like only a couple of bites have been shoveled out while I was on my way. what's that about? too much weight to take from the tiny orange jewels? I dug it. the first gig for this final run is in the big town for croatia, zagreb. no direct flights there so first I do nine hours in a boeing 777 to amsterdam. notice I don't mention the plane chow too much? I do chow it - not like the movies which I don't mention either but that's cuz I never watch them. instead it's ipod feed random tunes from the 5400 I got there now and forcing myself to konk cuz we're do get into zagreb in early afternoon and I wanna get on their time, them being nine hours ahead of pedro time. there's four hours 'til the flight from amsterdam's schipol to zabgreb but scotty's here to keep me company (ron and chris are here too but closer to the gate I think) or else it's the other way around... scotty never makes bones about being easy and 'pert-near always making time for me. there's smoking parts to schipol that let you do that and sitting in one (they're not chambers but parts of chow pads), I give him a copy of "the sand pebbles" by richard mckenna cuz I think he'd really dig it. actually I think everyone would but I want scotty to have this copy I brought for him, it's an old paperback one from the 60s, not long after it came out but you can tell it was right around the movie version of it w/steve mcqueen (1966) cuz the cover talks about it. we take an airbus 319 to zagreb - my first time ever on croatia airlines - and as we're boarding, a bunch of young people recognize me and speak w/me... of course they're from pedro cuz lots of slavs immigrated and live there, summertime is when they send lots of the kinds back to the old country to visit their relations. now almost all of ours come from an island off the dalmatian coast called vis and that's where these cats are going. most of them are longshoremen and know my secondmen pete and jer cuz they're on the docks too. it kind of surprises the stooges guys but if you knew my pedro town, it wouldn't too big a surprise. my seat's for the back of the plane (last row) but the flight attendant says there's a empty row near the emergency exit where there's more legroom and so I get to sit up where these young people are. they're gonna rent a car and go to the coast (zagreb is inland). we land is some pretty warm weather, like italy - jinbei wieather but I didn't bring my jinbei or settas this time. I brought it last leg and it was so cold and rainy, especially in england that I was wearing two button-up shirts under the ford jacket ronnie gave me. would've been good here though, whew. it's monday now cuz of all the flying and time zone changing, early afternoon when the festival people get us to the westin hotel where we're staying. yeah, the westin is a u.s. chain but that's where we are. windows open all the way but that lets in the warm and the air conditioning's a little stretched but it seems ok. I leave the window open, being up on the thirteenth floor (yeah, this pad has a thirteenth floor - something the old pads hardly had), maybe it's harder for the bugs to get up here. I test out the deck to see how it sits for konking and sure enough, I konk! how? probably w/the eyes closed and breathing slowly, I don't know. I wake up for a bit and go downstairs to move my legs - I get a beer in the bar and it's twentytwo kunas (that's the money here and that's about six bucks u.s.) for a big glass of the local pivo (beer in slav) called ozujsko. it's good. last time I played this town was in the spring of 2005 for "the secondman's middle stand" opera w/the raul morales and paul roessler version (mark three) of the secondmen, my bass-organ-drums trio. that was a great gig, the people w/great big heart and spirit. I sit and think about that gig, it was very happening, I'm happy to play here again. I go outside and though it's eleven at night, it's very warm. I see a poster for the festival we're here for - we're doing the second night but the first is tonight and damn, sonic youth is playing! aaaarrrrgggghhhh, I should've found out how to get to the venue and see it, damn me... baka watt. so I go back up to the thirteenth floor and konk, no appetite which is good cuz it's late for that.

   oh, I didn't mention any gigs I had between coming home from the last euro gigs and these cuz I didn't have any. I kind of did that on purpose, just in case things might've change at the last second. sometimes I cut things a little close. me and raymond (pettibon) got to see the beastie boys last tuesday though at the wiltern in l.a., a different kind of gig for their tour, one where they'd play mostly instrumentals and it was great. yauch had a big thump in his bass, mike d on the drums and adrock wah-wahing it up on guitar. lots of the sound had money mark wailing on the organ, really happening. fredo was good on the chingaderas too. good gig.

   gig day and I pop early, four bells - two and a half more 'till chows on and it's a free shovel, alright. I put the tv on the tourist loop they got on the default channel, one of the bits has some slav guy talking about free diving and how he 'pert-near dies cuz of running out of breath after no longer being a man at the bottom and when he finally breaks the surface and gets a big gulp of air, he's reborn. that must've gone over and over like thirty times w/some lame ones not worth remembering. the okinawa traditional music has been playing from the ipod going through the little speaker dock softly all night... trippy to hear that cat's voice over it while seeing him w/all the fishes, following the guy-wire up. I get to the trough area right at abierto-time but it looks like it's been run through by a herd - someone's been here. I see ronnie and he says a big flock of tourists were let in a hour earlier cuz they had to bail early so that's why things look like they are. the only eggs left are hardboiled ones so I have that w/the breakfast meat sausages - long skinny hotdogs. there's good homemade-style bread that's kind of yellow they're made w/egg. I get yogurt and fruit too. I go up to the chamber and read kierkegaard (you guessed it: "fear and trembling" yet again!) 'till I konk. I have fever dreams but I'm not sick, it's the heat. I got my shoes and socks off and see tiny flying bugs - how did they get way up here? I'm bit up w/the tiniest bites ever on my feet, nothing like mosquito ones but they itch... better get the socks on before I really have some welts and tore skin from my scratching. man, those fever dreams had me in some dilemmas w/past images of things I haven't thought about in a long time, I ponder on them. why does what come in those thing come like they do? hmm... I am convinced I am an insecure man. I get carried away w/some passions and then blurt emotional as it can get and then to reflect on that... and what might/could be consequences - aahh, the real hand-wringing! I just don't wanna wreck true channels to create through, must right the fucking boat w/that at all costs! I get on the boilersuit early. we ain't leaving 'till 8:40 tonight but I feel a need to have myself sit in that boilersuit - well, lay in it cuz I'm on the deck and rolling around, rolling out some rogue nerve shit. I think it's quiet, I ain't hitting much cuz I deck path pretty well wide enough, bed stopping one ends travel and bulkhead stopping the other. seven months now w/the boilersuit, it's broke in. I shave just before going down... hey, no cuts!

   I join the guys in the minivan going over to where we're playing, a lake called jarun in the middle of town that's got some landfill "islands" and probably looks really beautiful but it's dark and even w/a full moon coming, there's big clouds up and even lightning flashing. this gig's called the vip inmusic festival and the big sponsor is the nokia phone people. I haven't talked much about zabreb cuz I didn't hoof around so there's hardly any shots either but things are less showing there was a war here and a beatdown economy. people look happy walking around too though things might still be kind of tough I think things are better than they had been. the back stage is a low-tented area and the band before us is playing, asian dub syndicate who sound good. in the dressing room there's some tins of sardines and I open one cuz the morning trough was all I shoveled. they're trippy cuz there's veggies mixed in like they were from what I remember chowing in canned soup and they give the 'dines that kind of taste, I like it. there's some crakers called "tuc" I chow them on. there's still an hour to go and these digest easy so I ain't worried. I'd rather chow before to burn off the cals as long as it ain't right before playing cuz then that makes you slow. time creeps along... I get called into the hallway - the bass player from kultur shock, masa is here to say - alright! man, it's good to see him. he's in a great band and I dig the way plays. I just wish I had time cuz though things are running about ten minutes late (supposed to be on at 10:15), gig time's almost here. I'm brought my bass - whoa, good to hold her again. she went w/helperman jos after the last v festival gig and this is the first time I've touced her since then, maybe eleven days. of course I got basses at home and have been playing but it's not this baby. I warm as much as I can and then it's time. we get to the back of the stage - ig tells me to hold on at the stairs, I kind of figured we wouldn't be going up this time. he asks if we're ready and we say "yeah" he says "then let's fucking go do it - go!" and I leap up the stairs and run over to my side, plug the little bass in and take off my glasses (I always put them on the riser - hey, it's a low one - I really dig that!). there's two ampeg svt classics and two 8x10 cabs for my ampage and man, when they come on for "loose" and start beliting out bass, I'm so digging what helperman chris has dialed up, proabably the best sound yet ever I've had from ampeg amps. it's really not in my tradition to get up and just start playing through a setup I haven't set up myself - the first note I play is always the first note of "loose" (I think "down on the street" started the hammersmith apollo "don't look back" gig a couple of years ago though) and I'm just guessing what's gonna come but chris is I think getting more of what I like - I'm weak w/words describing but he did ask for that bass player magazine edition w/me on the cover, maybe to find something in the spiel there that I'm too word-short to convey. I want growl but I don't lose punch, a balance thing... throat but not too much nasal, no bogart woomf/no bogart dink - a glue for the tiles w/some mysterious persona - ok, so I ain't that mysterious w/bass! the croatian folks welcome us big time and ig let's rip right out the barrel and into "down on the streets" - I'm on my knees for the middle but I've been moving my legs as much as I can, I am determined not to be so static. I'm not getting into here but I had a lot anxiety coming here, all day embarrassment-fed shame shit. you loose sight of boundaries when you notice something and get foamed up. you know, first glance and you'd never know it (yeah, great sentence construction but this awkward for me, uncomfortable) and then they eye finds things, the mind binds things - christ, it's all wack from there and soon you're wigging. sometimes it is creative somewhat but the perspective is skewed, the life getting lived is narrowed too narrow for such a neurotic narrative to catch a full lung of real air. now you if you keep it to yourself, maybe that's appropriate cuz it's appropriated by means of the self - objective bumrushed into subjective, fucking hog-tied. how to plead: weak human? flagrant? fouled? there is a cathartic lining/escape clause: fuel the go-off! this is for the music though, like ig says and I got my focus dedicated to him and the asheton's - steve too, soon as he goes on. "1969" - we're playing under an awning on an outdoor stage but the rain is holding off. ig could use more of his singing in the monitor and asks for it - I like him loud too cuz I cue much off it. man, my legs aren't feeling too bad - the starboard one's a little stiff but it's moving... it's only now in "I wanna be your dog" that I get into the leg-spread a-frame thing but not even too much. no stage dive for ig cuz the moat's pretty wide - something tells me he would've still went for it but he works it from the deck, on the grass. back up on stage for the last version and then "shower from the bottle time" ("any of you hot out there?" he asks) before we kick into "tv eye" all kooked-up and groovin'. the pop-tarts are nailers and the "ram it!"s slammin'. I think about the chicken-headed blend switch and how it fell off at the last gig and I had to grab it off the deck and put it back on. well, I think it's pointing at a different place slightly so the blend is way more bridge position, I turn it 'till I feel the indent (that's fifty-fifty) and go for like two-thirds bridge for "my idea of fun" and I'm thinking about the words in a place that just had war, I can't do any smiling in this one... I try to keep the tempo up cuz that's what he briefed us beforehand. ig gives a spiel for "dirt" which is something his omitted of late, one about people making you feel like shit and scotty puts in a trippy fill to bring me in, this after his floor tom roll. I get back to more bridge for "real cool time" for more definition. I know knobman rik wanted me to stay at one pickup blend but chris has got the amps sounding so good - so much I'm not even by the monitor wedges just starboard of me for bass - I'm right in front of scotty's ride cymbal, digging the low riser he's on. whoa, he's playing a set of tama drums, usually never see him on those. that's rented gear - you rent what they got. ig calls for the crowd to "get up here and join the stooges" and soon we got some dancers, maybe two dozen, pretty controlled though they're leaping around pretty good. once we're into "no fun" one bigger guy camps it out right in front of me and gestures the rest of the tune, he does great - big hugs for him. no problem clearing this stage, it's done in seconds and after band intros, "1970" and steve's sax intro. "mindroom" unwinds while I see a pick of ronnie's and fish it off the deck, putting it into one of my zip pockets. ig calls for "fun house" I bring it out w/a side-kick to bring in scotty - see, I'm using my legs! I'm kind of surprised but I got the fujisaki hachiman guu little sack in my passport holder in one of the leg zip pockets of the boilersuit - that must be helping, that's what I believe. pound pound pound for "l.a. blues" but lay out for the last part... either that or I went to the "love supreme" part too soon... don't know but it's a variation and that's cool - fuck rerunland. back to a-frame standing for "skull ring" though, starboard peg is feeling a little sore. set done. off to the side and back, ig says let's get back for "little electric chair" and that's what we do, yeah I'm into it. the chicken-headed knob is still at mostly bridge so maybe my solo had some more definition? I could've played it smoother but at least I didn't clam it. I put the blend to half for "not right" and we roll that baby right out, woo! actual finish time now w/the "...dog" reprise, the double double that's it's own version - ig sings different, steve's on sax and I got full neck pickup on and try my best dave alexander, standing pretty much straight up - not just that but his bass playing style too. ig gets down in the moat and starts hanging on one of the awning nylon straps (sort of what a tent would use - staked into the ground) - oh no! at least he don't weigh much and even better, no tries to copy him! it's a good gig, the croatian cats give us much heart, much respect - hvala (thank you in their language), much hvala. time for some pivo (how they say beer), my boilersuit is soaked more than I can imagine and it's not that humid at this time of night. maybe it is? it's unbelievable how much I sweated though and I didn't bring a change of clothes so I'm sitting in the drenched... fuck it, I don't care - it was a good gig. ig comes in and show us his upper left arm/shoulder. he's re-injured a hurt form like twelve years ago. it's twice as big as his other side... man, I feel much for him. oh boy. he brings me a bottle of what he says is "local blueberry wine" and it tastes good, a trippy tart to it. a lot of noise from the other dressing rooms - we all share the same roof and just have dividers. pretty funny though, it don't last long - you can tell everybody's happy. we get back about one and half bells. everyone's bumming cuz we gotta get out at six and half for a crack of dawn flight - what? there's no gig for another two days... oh well. I soak the gig sweat off of me in the tub, soak good. then I'm afraid to konk, don't know why but I got two versions of roky erickson doing "starry eyes" and listen to them for four hours straight - can you believe that? my mind was in a weird mode, like super-inspired w/any need of stimulation or input, just roky and mindmovies my head running on it's self, kind of like a color organ to the tunes and not so much images. it was like smells and touch even. trippy, lying there on the deck like that. I did chimp a message at first but even more intense was getting one before that... not connected but kind of... hmm... reminds of this other roky tune "mine mine mind" - you know that one?

friday, august 31, 2007 - leeds, england

   yeah, so wednesday night I don't konk so I don't pop in the morning either - just roky coming into the ears 'till it's time to bail which is the same time the trough gets fucking opened but w/ten minutes to go, the cat there lets me in and I fix up four sandwiches made w/rolls and stuffed w/meats and fish (euro morning shovels usually always has sandwich type meats out) and stuff those into my pockets. six and half bells in the morning and we're driving to the zabgreb airport. no dudes from pedro here but there's quite a wait while we check the stuff in, always is cuz roadboss eric's gotta negotiate the overage w/the baggage among other things - there's five band and five crew and you get two pieces each but there's a weight thing to deal w/too so it's good to be patient and let the man do what he's gotta do. I wonder if it's the same plane we took to get here from amsterdam cuz it sure seems that way. there's a three hour-plus layover at schipol also before we get on an klm plane (can't remember every kind!) to manchester in england. there's a new way heineken is marketing beers over here - "ice cold" w/real ice frozen on the dispenser spigot and me, steve and scotty try some. you can smoke in parts of where you drink too... not many airports like that any more. the gig's in leeds, an hour east of manchester but the airport's here so that's where we're staying, at a konk pad just northwest of the city center, the lowry hotel which is butted right against the river irwell and next to the trinity footbridge which was designed by santiago calatrava, the same cat I who designed the new terminal at the airport in bilbao, the gare di oriente transportation hub in lisbon among other things. this pad's a burn ward so I find a little store not far where a tallboy stella beer is one pound ($2.02 u.s. now). this place is all metal and glass lot of the new pads going up and it looks pretty incongruous w/the oldage that's still standing that was built before it but that's like a lot of that way it is all over. I guess you do that or gut some oldage and stuff w/new insides. the river looks foul and I'm sorry for the mallards swimming in it, I even see a swan - one. the weather is gray and wind heavy. no chow tonight, I'm beat and the pocket sandwiches held me pretty good anyway.

   the next day we don't play and the clouds race by - bringing rain, cold and rain, then sun but still not so warm. I re-read all of the kierkegaard ("fear and trembling") yet again even though steve mackay gives me one haruki murakami's early-to-middle-period novels, "dance dance dance" - steve's on a murakmai kick now and reading everything he can find by him after I turned him onto "kafka by the shore" which I really liked, I think this cat's a righteous writer. I'll get to this one soon. there's free shovel in the morning which is rare for an england pad but I'm glad tourboss henry fights for it cuz that saves much ducats. after the big re-read, I remember spotting a korean chow pad w/some kind of special but when I hoof out across the trinity footbridge to find it at six bells, it's closed! things close up early around here but scotty and steve see me on the street and I chow what they call "chili con carne" (had to have come out of a can) at at pub close by. pretty forgettable, like the pub's name. it was next to a church that was turned in to a library by someone who's name is on it now. there's heavy no smoking laws now in effect in england so no smoking anywhere in a 'tel. that means we're on the back steps w/a bag of beer afterwards, into the night. some young people and someone closer to our age looking for autographs give ronnie an audience for a couple of hours and the older guy buys more beers but I don't have that much and bail around eleven to konk.

   gig day and after yet another "full enlgish breakfast" - I chow everything but the black pudding which ain't pudding how we know it in the u.s. 'nuff said. I don't think I'd chow our kind in the morning either but I would yogurt and do. I go out to see the sky heavy w/rain. it lifts some but the sky is cloud-swollen still when it does and the wind wails. I chimp the zagreb spiel. clyde is driving us to leeds, to harewood house which is outside of town on a huge estate and is a pretty big pad going back some. we're taken through the kitchen and past a giant old-style stove-oven (like fifteen feet long) and the sign says servant quarters but we get put in the "steward's room" before we get that far. there's some sandwiches, I think chiken-tika and cucumber? something trippy and though they're a little stale, it's ok. there's a band from scotland that sounds like rem playing as I go out, whoa - pretty cold but at least not raining. I go back and there's a copy of today's g uardian on the table. hey, there's an aritcle on the go! team and there's a picture of them - hi miss kaori! didn't expect that. I get the boilersuit on. there's only a little divider in the room that's only in the middle and doesn't divide much so basically ig's sharing the room w/us. he's in a good mood, even though he hurt arm last time, he feels good about it. I feel good too! this gig's a benefit for the children's scoiety, a good thing.

   we're a little late, maybe ten minutes - we were supposed to be on at 9:15 but what the hell even though this band's a lot about being on time, especially w/ronnie like w/leaving for the airport, etc... hey, clyde's taking us from the pad here to the stage which is an outdoor baby that's got an overhead awning but it's smaller than these huge-o-fests we've been doing. the square area of the stage is like half of those trips. so it's a little ride in clyde's minvan and then to the stage back stairs. eric's there w/the little bass - I had no warm up back at the pad, just gonna go for it... "work the room!" I get up to the top of them and ig's across from me but the folks can see me if I get more on board... this leaves no room for ronnie and scotty - kind of a keystone kops moment - ig keeps having to ask if we're ready - looking at each cat one at a time... "yeah? then let's go and fucking do it!" - I run out (we come out on ronnie's side so that's why it makes sense for me to go first so I ain't gotta run past anyone) and plug in. I look over to scotty - alright, a real low riser! he stick-to-hihat clicks in ronnie for both of them to start up "loose" and we're off. ig didn't put on that arm brace and is like he ain't even hurt, busting it open like you wouldn't believe. almost immediately I'm feeling no more cold, none. the crowd is under open sky but no rain on them but I can imagine a little wind but maybe we can heat that up. helperman chris again has dialed up a great grind on the bass setup which is two svt-II amps, each w/an 8x10 cab. man, are these gentlemen I'm playing w/kicking it out, god damn! a littler stage adds to it even. the cold don't effect ronnie's fingers cuz he's ripping his first lead out like crazy. boom, we hit the ending and click-click-click-flam into "down on the street" immediately. I work my right middle and index fingers together flipper-like w/lots of upper strokes to make like a pick w/the flesh parts cuz downs would put the nails more in there and I gotta chord (well, I don't have to - I don't think dave did but I do) the two lower strings together for this one. I didn't know how this gig was gonna be cuz it was a charity thing to help kids but it seems like the regular dealio - the photog people are in the moat (there's a pretty wide moat though the stage ain't that high up), snapping away for the first three tunes like usual. "1969" and I put more neck pickup in the blend - I was about 70% bridge before. twirl leap jump dance jump dance leap twirl - ig swings and sings it hard. "animal song!" - he's on all fours for "I wanna be your dog" and I see the moon up at two o'clock (if twelve is straight out front) cuz there's a hole in the clouds showing it waning into three-quarters, it being real silver-bright cuz it's way country-dark out here on this estate... the whole turns slit for a cat's eye, so beautiful... while ig is working from the moat, I let go my focus/stare on him and let the moon have me - I do keep playing though, thousands of gigs have pounded some discipline into me. the moon get's even more intense for "tv eye" - even w/the cold we felt before, things are heating up and though not a lot of water, ig still pours some over his head (I did get a chance to finally tie one of my shoes while he was doing that - can you believe I started a gig like that? baka watt!) and I shake my self all the way up I can cuz yeah, I'm warm but I wanna get hot, get sweaty... it's working! I thump this tune w/the right hand different than "...dog" - that one is more like the next tune, "my idea of fun" but what's really different is the left hand, the way I bend and pull of on the especially the 'a' string - like ig says, "you like to have fun w/it" - yeah! gotta be responsible to the groove though, ALWAYS. if I could have one wish though - just one wish and it don't really matter or weigh much w/the most righteous opportunity of just plain getting to play w/these gentlemen, if I did have ONE wish it would be to have more eye contact w/scotty... I know that might seem weird but from what I understand we both are part of the rhythm section, no? well, like george hurley said when I asked him for the same thing near the last days of fIREHOSE, "do I have to hold your hand too?" whoa, that shut me up - scotty ain't said that to me but it is one thing I wish and right now in the "ram it!" parts I wanna make that connect - ronnie does w/me. whatever, I love scotty no matter what happens forever. I bring a tiny bit more bridge pickup for "dirt" and get off the a-frame stance a little as well. again, it's the starboard that's more resistive to moving but I still try at it - the port one is fine and feeling light as a feather, yeah... I'm way glad about that! a little more bridge pickup for "real cool time" and I chord my lowest open string for the bars of e. ronnie's droning his open 'e' and I've done before - I do it again. ok, here comes time for the leeds dancers - they're slow to come cuz security in the pit is fighting w/them, ig telling the goons to "let 'em up!" which is kind of crazy cuz roadboss eric has a talk before every gig w/the local security team, prepping them w/what's gonna happen but when it comes time to do, some of them forget everything and act like they were never told anything. assholes. I think this gets stress going, up the violence potential if it's gonna come to that. I have to say it's a yin-yang thing though cuz where I am, starboard side where bassland is it's lots of joy and rapture. a trickle turns into a rush and the stage is way full. I'm a couple feet in front of my amp (I never move behind my stuff and hide out like ronnie - not meaning any disrespect towards him) but the kids after giving me hugs and kisses on top of my head (a little easier w/avoiding some beard-on-beard sparkups) they clear a perimeter around to 'pert-near guard me from falling/leaping accidents. one cat takes off his stooges t-shirt and wipes sweat off my face w/it, then wipes his face w/it - back and forth, over and over. my hands are both working the bass of course. we get into "no fun" and it's even more intense - young men telling me they love the minutemen - I can hear it even over the roar - I respond w/"d. boon!" it's a great emotion for me to feel - I'm a very emotional person but I hold w/the riff and don't fly off w/any "ramen" (noodley fills) - ig asked me to rock it that way and I'm determined to have discipline this way. we end the song and the hugs really start coming, the handshakes, yeah. much much thanks. nothing but joy where the bass player is on the stage, thank you again. it takes a while to clear the stage then ig does the band intros before "1970" brings us to the steve mackay part of the set, the part w/the sax. we roll intense, settle down some for "mindroom" and then snap it back up for "fun house" before crumbling down into "l.a. blues" and then letting "skull ring" take us out. ig hydrates and tells us the same three songs for the encore as zagreb except "not right" before "little electric chair" and this time for the double dog, I use one of ronnie's picks I found on the stage to try and do like dave alexander - it's hard for watt! I need some prac w/this, the pick's pretty thin that ron uses. gig done, we go back to the estate house and I ask the guys what happened to eric cuz it seemed he disappeared after the stage invasion. we find out he was first blindside punched in the gut and then slammed in to the edge of the stage while in the pit - some assholes were being out and out violent - seems a rib of his might be cracked. damn it, what's that about? there was nothing like that where I was stationed, guess I was lucky and the folks around me just wanting to have fun not hurting.

   some beers out by clyde and the car - he runs the engine to charge the battery cuz I guess the boom from the bass was setting off his car alarm the whole time and he wants to head off any trouble - sorry, clyde! the whole ride back there's talk of no more dancers which I would really miss, I think it's a great part of the show. scotty things so too. it's lame some fucknuts gotta ruin things. back in manchester, things are dampened - no one wants eric hurt. I really played my brains out and even w/that cold, I completely swamped my boilersuit and it's soaked in it's bag so I wash it in the tub cuz there's hot water pipe towel dryers (I washed it right when got here wednesday cuz of it being sweated out at the zagreb gig - shit, I gotta wash it every gig!) and then konk after buying chris, henry and rik a round - yeah, I never do that, I'm terrible. I am a social retard, maybe one of these makes up a tiny bit for it. I like them a lot, a big sorry to them. I am tired and bail right after. I sure hope eric's ok...

iggy + the stooges
on tour in july 2007

iggy + the stooges
on tour in september 2007

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this page created 18 august 07