"the cord that spun its own top" tour 2003 diary - week 4

mike watt + the secondmen

shot of jerry trebotic in 2003shot of pete mazich in 2003
shot of watt + the stooges in 2003

jerry trebotic - drums
pete mazich - organ, singing
watt - thud staff, spiel
(w/the stooges - ron, iggy + scott)

(top to bottom)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

tuesday, april 22 - columbia, sc

from pete:

   popped on kevin's deck and went to go hit the shower; jer was still hosing down but I went in anyway to shave. I waited for jer to finish, then I went in for my soak. I felt much better after and I gathered up my stuff and went down stairs- kevin had made us some sausage and muffins and we munched down happily. Kev's lady joy woke up and a friend of his stopped by and we rapped a little while. I read a little of a book that he had laying around- it was called "tape op" and basically had interviews and articles w/ bands that did their own recording projects (guided by voices was one).

   the book was very informative and as a dyed-in-the-wool gearhead, I absorbed it eagerly. Kevin also graciously donated to me some old copies of "tape op" magazine for reading material on the road. anyways, watt finished up his puter' work, we gathered up our things and hopped into the boat and once again we were off. much respect to kevin and joy for having us over once again, and for the great mags.

   I snagged the bench seat in the boat so I immediately got to reading my newly acquired tape op mags; I soon drifted off and slept for the remainder of the trip. Jer woke me up as we pulled up in front of the pad (a place called the senate), and we got out to scope the sitch'. nobody from the club had arrived as of yet but shawn, the drummer of the specs was there and he greeted us w/ some strange news; one of his buds had told him that the club was closed down- maybe a rumor but who knows? we decided to wait it out for a little while. within about fifteen minutes a cat in a van shows up and it's not anyone from the club, but a locksmith. I as k him what's up and he says he was sent to change all the locks in the pad (not a good sign). somebody from the club was supposed to meet him there, so again we decide to wait (I, in the meantime relay all this info to watt who gets on the horn to steve kaul). the locksmith cat jimmies open the door and the alarm goes off; we happen to be right across the street from the columbia police stationhouse but no one shows up (the mystery deepens). another car pulls up and sure enough it's the cat who summoned the locksmith, but he's a representative of the building owner, not the club owner. The guy asks me if we're scheduled to do a show, I say yes, what's up? he tells me the cats who run the club have been a little short on the rent for the past couple of months and that if they don't present him w/ a check by 4:00, no show (keep in mind it's around 3:30). shawn tries calling the promoter but his voice-mailbox is full. again, I relay all the info to watt, who tells steve kaul , who informs him that the promoter didn't come thru w/ the gig deposit either. we decide to go to shawn's girlfriend's house (where we are crashing) , to try and form a plan of action. we get to kristin's pad and many phone calls are made- we end up getting a gig at the new brookland tavern (same pad we played at last year). the promoter finally calls watt back and it's evident that he's some jive-ass; we also found out that the second band on the show w/ us (rockefeller horse collar), was already booked at the new brookland, so they apparently had an in w/ this motherfucker (thanks for calling us ahead of time, asshole). at this point the specs were gigless so we put them on the slot before us, and r.h.c. would go on last. there was also three bands on before the specs so there were now six bands on the bill. we drive over to the new brookland and set up the gear; the soundman, pugsley mikes us up but everything sounds real toy from the get go and we blow a lot of time trying to get the monitors right but it's not happening. Pugs unplugs a mike cable from the stage snake and watt's amp loses about half it's power (this day is turning into a major bummer). we decide to use the specs bass rig and they are going to use our gear to hasten a setup bogart. some cat from the local college rag comes to interview watt and he asks alot of questions about the senate club bogart (it was very bob woodward). a cat from the state news also interviews him and wants to know what went down ( there are obviously some real shady dealings going on here- more so than we thought). it's getting late so we strike the gear and me and jer go get some chow next door. we finish up the chow and go back to the club; it's already starting to fill up, but alot of those people are for the first three bands so I'm hoping that we don't have a cave on our hands. I chimped some diary then went to go get some hydrogen peroxide ( I popped a filling on the very last molar on the bottom right side of my mouth and I've got to keep it clean or face a major infection and a world of hurt), I got the peroxide from a circle k down the street, rinsed and gargled real quick, chimped some more diary, then talked w/ scott, the specs bass player for awhile. the other three bands had finished their sets and it was time for the specs to go on. I have to say that they sounded better than the night before and me and jer watched them intently from the floor. they finished their set and it was time for us to do our thing; I went to go wake up the chief and we hit the stage. the gig is a nightmare from song one; monitors squealing (when they were working), a persistent low frequency feedback throughout the whole set, a complete mess. pugs tried to fix shit but he was obviously in over his head. the crowd, to their credit were very cool and we got much applause, but I was really embarassed by the end of the gig. Alot of people told me it sounded real good out front, but on stage it was atrocious (what a wonderful day). we packed all the gear in the boat and followed shawn back to kristen's pad; watt conked, but me, jer, shawn, kristen and some other friends decide to go to this all nite beer bar and sauce it up (and sauce we did, till five in the morning).

   After we were all well steeped, we piled into shawn's ride(w/ his equipment filling the back) and rode back to kristen's pad, all happily marinated. I tripped into my bag and conked immediately. I was sure glad this day was over.....

from watt:

   pop the same time I have been this whole tour mainly - early. sun up and bright but no swelter - yes! kevin makes coffee and sausages. yep, that's it but it's good. reminds of that chow we had after the gig in denton, tx last tour where went over to this house that had members of this band we shared the bill w/called cornhole and they cooked up all this chow - everything meat and nothing else. singular. joy is half korean and grew up navy like me so we much in common to talk about. I tell her about mister kim in my town - I miss seeing him each morning near the end of my pedaling. it's gonna be a trip learning a new morning routine, paddling a kayak in the harbor. I'm ready for it though and kind of excited. I'll pedal once or twice a week but not like before - I'm weak there. kevin has a keen eye for sizing up things, like trends and scenes. it's quite interesting to hear his analyses. seeing a map of the charleston area on his wall, I imagine it would be a trip paddling out here - maybe now though before the swelter and bug fest hit. he tells me about this town inland called summerville where all the monied people went in the summer cuz it was torture here in the old days. that's why it pays to organize the tours to hit the towns at the right time. w/everything else intense about this endeavor, it pays to have the weather on your side. of course, even w/planning a lot of luck is still involved. my guys take up our end of the spieling while I get on the phone and do a richmond interview for the gig coming at poe's. the writer likes that I remember fireflies, crab apples, cardinals and honey sickles from when I was a little boy in virginia (they don't have those in pedro). she says it sounds like touring has had a influence on my thinking. yep! I think it would be great for everyone to do some kind of touring of their own and let that maybe have some effect - I'd hope for a positive one!

   time to bail so byes and thanks for kevin. much luck for him in his coming challenges. quickly out of town and east on I-20, towards the capitol, columbia. it's only a couple hours away. we leave the lowlands for higher parts but not too much - no alps here but there are lots of firs and rolling hills. pretty. we pass the place kevin was talking about, summerville. we talk about those folks who couldn't leave for this town and had to work heavy hell w/the bugs and the swelter. I think it good to remember the whole truth about the "good old days" - as much as you can learn about it. might make you think about trying to make things better in the days you're in now. what my pop said about his days in the 50s still ring in my ears - he said, "those weren't any 'happy days'."

   almost three hours and were in columbia. jer shows me and pete the right way to get where we want w/out having a heart attack over getting the map read right. thanks, jer. this place is called senate park and is part of a building that houses a swill house called "steamers" - we all get a good laugh out of this. shawn, the drummer of the specs (who played w/us last night) has disturbing news - a friend of his said something's coming down at this place and sure enough, a locksmith shows up and pops the lock, replacing it w/another one. we ask him what's up and he says he's been told to meet the building's owner here and change the locks. as I get on the phone w/the man outside the van, steve kaul, the building's owner does show up and tells pete and jer that if he doesn't get a check for the lease by four o'clock (it's that time cuz he's got a ballgame to go to), there's no gig tonight. the locksmith set off the alarm while opening the pad so two employees come down and see what's up. I get a call from the guy who booked the show and he says everything's broke but he can get us another gig at where we played last year, the brookland tavern. I say sure cuz if I'm in columbia then I should play for people in columbia, however it has to happen. there's already a gig there scheduled that has three bands from the college (usc - the one here, not the cali one) so we can play w/one of the bands that was going to open, rockefeller horsecollar but not the specs. well, since the specs are our new friends and I don't see why they should get cut, I call mister kaul and work it out w/jonathan at the club that everyone gets to play - the specs will use our stuff for a fast changeover. it is a weird thing that this came down on the day of the show - someone must've seen this coming... it's hard to know what's up when you're playing different towns every day. the last time this happened was about a couple years ago in missoula, when the promoter flaked but at least we had like a week notice and could improvise something at a blues club and it worked out ok. some good folks are helping us out here and that's very happening. that's the way you find it in the world - some dicks but then some cool peeps to keep you from getting cynical and thinking everything's fucked.

   we go over to the "new" venue and I say hi/thanks to the young bands and we set up for a soundcheck w/the young man doing the sound, pugsley. the soundcheck is kind of difficult cuz of lots of feedback problems and something happens w/my amp, the sound shrinks to tininess, damn. the bass cat in the specs who is very nice, offers the use of his amp. thank you! however, it's pretty tiny even in good working condition so I'm imagining a "challenging" gig. so what - like someone told me years ago, something from the vaudeville days: "you work the room." a reporter first comes from the college paper, "the daily gamecock" (their team's called "the gamecocks") and then from the big city one. they really want to know what went down at w/this senate park closing thing and I tell them all I know which is what I've chimped in this diary. the college kid is kind of tripped out by me - he knocks on the boat hatch while I'm w/the 'puter, entering in yesterdays adventure. it's a little warm, not bad but I got my flannel off anyway. I don't realize what he mainly wants - I think he wants to talk about watt world like a normal spiel I do but as I go on and keep getting cut off, I realize he wants only the scoop on this club closing thing. ok. he does his thing and then wants a picture of me w/the barbie purse but w/my shirt on. ok. funny cat. the other reporter is right up front w/what he wants and so I lay it out, how everything happened. trippy the attention being given to something like this. he's a very nice cat though and has seen me before - he's not a squarejohn acting corny, he just seems to want to know. I do think this part of a bigger story though... maybe I'm one panel in the whole comic strip of it all. I go to get a battery for the little bass (it has a pre-amp that I modified it w/that uses it) and some cherry sours - well, they call them michigan cherries here. I've been pretty good about not chowing candy this tour but I relent today. I go back to the boat and finish my chimping and then konk.

   jer gets me when the specs have one more song to go. by the time I get it together, they're done and we're right up. wish I could've seen them, damn. I've been pretty relaxed about this whole thing mostly cuz it would be insane to rack yourself over crazy stuff and you just play the hand you've been dealt the best you can. jonathan wants to give us all of the door after a hundred dollars for the p.a. and that's better than taking a big goose egg and even worse, miss a chance to play this town. this gig is pretty tough for us though, right from the beginning - there are no monitors and there's squaling big time in the mains. poor pugsley is trying his best and you can't fault him for his effort. it's even comical how bad the feedback gets - I start whistling along w/it. my bass is 'pert-near not even there and I can tell there's a lack of confidence in my guys trying to carry on w/out that rhinocharge of wailing bass enveloping them as is usually the case. they're sensitive to that kind of stuff and it shows to me they really listen and care about how us all three are playing together. unfortunately, I can't be there for them that well cuz of the situation. they carry on despite the handicap (cuz of me) and I even make some jokes about for once not pummeling them w/lows. trippy how you can used to certain ways but we're definitely improvising tonight. whew, what a tough gig. the folks in the crowd though are very, very supportive and forgive all the technical/mechanical crap which means much to me cuz the tells me that got both the open hearts and open minds a cat on stage can be truly grateful for. when we finish, they have us back for some more and then lots of good talk during the post-gig sling. much respect for these good folks of columbia to make the best out of what was kind of a nightmare situation. I thank jonathan too here at the club for helping me out so much.

   I go out to the boat to gather myself and this lady who saw the show, amanda, comes to talk w/me. she talks of d. boon and what she thinks I'm trying to do w/out him and is pretty much on the money which is kind of trippy cuz I find it hard to verbalize that kind of stuff in the first place. man though, is it late - I settle w/jonathan after the rockefeller horsecollar guys (their bass player has seen me for years and tells me some very kind things) and we finally get out and follow shawn to his girlfriend kristin's pad which she shares w/college roomies. I am quite beat and lay out in my bag on a sofa, quick after getting there. it's funny, amanda in her car and some other lady (a drummer, pete says) in her car all followed to make a big caravan. I got the mask down when I hear everyone's going to some all-night beer bar. an already-sauced jer fills my ear w/foul liquored-up odors and slurred words meant to convey everyone wants me to get a good rest. that's very kind and thoughtful - everyone willing to continue the struggle of taking on more inebriating fluids elsewhere in order for watt to have a peaceful konk. no luckier man could be watt to pals like pete and jer. I love them dearly.

wednesday, april 23 - athens, ga

from pete:

   popped at kristen's pad w/ a bit of a head shiner but none the worse for wear; jer and the chief were already up and jer was hosing down in the shower- I popped in to do a quick whore's shower and shave and by this time kristen and shawn were up and around too. kristen made us some real kind french toast (a very welcome munch after the saucing of the previous evening), and we strap on the feedbag w/ glee. after chowing down we say our goodbyes, make our way down to the boat and load up our bags, and we're off once again. much respect to shawn, kristen, and all the specs cats for the good vibes and good music. I hope we see you soon.

   the ride to athens is about five hours and I conk the entire way. jer, bless his soul, endures the hell ride in the navigator's chair so I can catch some good conk(I didn't wake up once). we pull up in front of the pad (the 40 watt club) and unload all the gear- the sound cats are already there and we set up all the stuff on stage. we had stopped at the local musician's whorehouse and watt had purchased himself a brand new crown power amp to replace the blown eden amp. he hooks everything up and the sound is still not there. very strange. after trying several combinations using the opening bands bass rig, we come to the conclusion that it's a preamp problem, not the power amp as we had first suspected. one of the cats from the opening band loans us a peavey amp which we use as a preamp to power the eden. The last couple of gigs we couldn't really hear the roar of the baby bass and it was a bogart to say the least (watt compares it to a tripod w/ one leg missing), all low end, w/ none of the rumbly mids we were used to hearing ( this is where alot of the chief's notes speak). the peavey would get the job done but there was no compression on the head, so sustain was out the window but it would get us thru the gig, so no more peavey jokes). barrie buck had called and offered us her pad to crash (she's the boss of the 40 watt), so jer would get his favorite, the happy room, I would get my favorite blue room and watt would get the loft (I do love that house).

   chris and dan , the sound guys, miked us up proper and we did the check'; the sound was balls out and we could hear everything just titty(a welcome change from the past couple of nights). it looked like the show would go down great. I was a little worried about my tooth tho'; it was starting to make my head throb and I had to do something quick or I was going to be taking an unwelcome trip to the dentist. Dan, the cat from the band five-eight (they opened for us in pensacola), shows up and we rap for awhile- I ask him if there's any pharmacies around and he says there's one down the street but it closes at six (in twenty minutes). He offers to go get me what I need (dental wax). feeling a little relieved, I get something to munch on at the pad next door and wait for dan to return w/ the goo. dan comes back soon much to my relief and I fill up the hole in my tooth w/ the wax (much thanks dan). me and jer hoof it thru town in search of chow and we find a little pad called the new orleans cafe. we order up some seafood gumbo and jer also gets some raw oysters. after the munch, we head on back to the club and I get down to some chimping while jer passes out on the couch in the backstage area. Barrie comes in to say hi and the club manager comes in to bring us our waters and stuff (a real nice cat named craig), and I rap w/ him for a bit. we talk about the jive-ass attitude of some of the bands that we have seen; third eye blind had just done a show there recently and they had fake amps lining the stage (all miked up!) while they were going directly into the board, and they had a keys player in the fucking dressing room behind the stage (they should put that shit on VH1 behind the music). It pisses me off to no end- these cats perpetuating this rock n' roll jive ass myth on MTV, and the kids all eat it up- I hope they really enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame, because jive and tude' aren't for the long haul- karma reaped is karma sowed. the opening band, hayride, finishes up their set and I go wake up jer and the chief. we get on stage and start the set- on the fourth song watt snaps a string and we come to a grinding halt. watt's getting nervous, he introduces us and some cat yells out something to him- he snaps back, but apologises immediately- me and jer haven't locked in -we're playing really loosely and it's fueling the fire. we aren't really going off as we should and our momentum is dropping- I'm really trying, but watt is making me nervous and I'm on eggshells for a little while (the equipment problem didn't help the sitch either). watt throws me and jer some sneers and we start getting it together during the big bang theory. we finish the set; the crowd is very appreciative and we go backstage for the customary gig rundown. I tell mike he needs to be a little less aggro, but I understand his nervousness. we go back on and do "little doll" and "funkier than a mosquito's tweeter" (which we learned the night before) and then watt goes into "funhouse" (which I don't know, but I've heard). I play along to the bass lick but watt stops us cold and proceeds to teach me the right lick in front of everyone (pete pops out of the wedding cake naked). we pile drive back into the song and soldier it thru- the crowd is loving the shit and gives us major applause. we finish up the encore w/ "only you will know", "om-om-om", and "little johnny jewel". Phew!! mike starts to sling the merch and me and jer break down the tools. a cat named mike raps w/ me and buys me a bushmills- and some real nice cats cats that came to our atlanta and athens gigs last year show up to say hi (tom and eric). we pack everything up and barrie snags me a bottle of bushmills for a night cap (hugs and kisses barrie). we load the stuff into the boat and just happen to snag a couple of polish sausage sandwiches from JB, who runs a little barbecue stand outside the club. He gives them to us gratis , but we kick him down a few bucks for his unselfish graciousness (I love that comeback sauce). we pull up in front of barrie's pad and pull out the bags- tom and his bro show up w/ their ladies, karen and ? , and we rap, drink beer and bushmills and listen to the stones' "exile on main street". jer gets up to dance w/ barrie and does his best mick jagger (all the more proof that white people can't dance), then tom and his crew bail and everybody else crashes. I stay up and read "rolling stone" until my eyelids start getting heavy and I retire to the blue room. and I conk....solid.

from watt:

   pop early and find the coffee maker, the filters and the coff itself - sometimes this gathering of these components can be 'pert-near impossible cuz of never being where you find yourself at the moment. the coff is good and helps me pop further. I am in my underwear, chimping away at the 'puter when erin, one of the roomies, awakes to find a strange mid-aged punk rocker pecking on what looks like a barbie purse. she's very kind though and makes us both some tasty pancakes. we talk about things and then are joined by another roomie, marilyn. she has the same name as my little sister, who's forty now - probably twice this lady's age. whatever, music is common ground for all the ages, huh? it's funny how the younger folks now are so much more open to music before them than in my days in the 70s. we would've been hard pressed to dig anything from the 40s or 50s in those days. I find there's a lot more tolerance for age difference now, even if they younger ones say you look like their dad or something. at least they say I don't act like their dads and in fact, that's kind of a mindblow for them. I'm all for that. it would be foolish for me to try a cop a young pose (how embarrassing) but it's not hard at all for me to relate w/them on a music level. I have to say it's quite nice to have young people be kind of age-tolerant in this respect. to be fair, I should do likewise cuz it's always so easy to say "what do they know?" I think it'd be much healthier for me to ask that kind of question of myself. kristin makes french toast for everyone while I do a spiel for a trenton, nj paper. after shoveling and yammering, we set off for athens. very nice hospitality from these folks.

   west on I-20, still on the weird part of the tour where we do a little mini-loop. pretty pines and still nice and calm weather make the short drive nice. after crossing the border (bye, south carolina!), we hop on us-78 which has a direct bead on athens, the big college town that has the university of georgia. this is a nice back road w/lost of neat eyefulls of beauty for us. there's some red, red clay here - whoa. some nice homesteads too, man. the road's not divided and there's a lot of curves but not many vehicles in use on it today and that's great. we chow some 'dines on crackers. we have some big laughs w/lots of jokes. this is a good, good crew I'm lucky to be part of here. I dig it.

   we get into athens about three and head over to where I've played for the last many years, the 40 watt club. in fact, I played the old one once too. doors are locked (that's a trip - usually they never are) but hiro's working at the record store next to it and he volunteers to help me out. first though, I gotta dump and I feel guilty about just fouling the facilities of the pad a few doors down so I order my second burger of the tour, a gouda one. damn if I don't blow that thing out in a un-planned second shift that I gotta pull even before I leave the pad - whoa! anyway, hiro takes me to this place that's got a bunch of peavey stuff and they got a crown power amp. I get it for five hundred bucks w/cables crafted by the owner. they're very nice. we get back to the 40 watt and it's open. monitor man dan and soundman chris help me make the swap out but still tiny sound. hmm... we pull one of the clubs big crown macrotech amps and still, tiny sound. I put my eden wt-1000 power amp back in and ask the bass cat from the opening band for tonight, hayride (his name is nick) if I can use his peavey combo that has one 15" speaker but it has a preamp output. eureka - that's it! it's my eden navigator preamp that took the hit in columbia (no blame to you, pugsley - you couldn't of known what happened). I'm gonna do tonight's gig w/the preamp section of a peavey combo (a tdk model maybe? I'm not that up on my peavey knowledge) through my other stuff. at least I'll have some volume. maybe not the best tone but some air will get moved so my guys can help bind around me. whoa, that took like three hours to figure out. can you believe how great these 40 watt cats, dan and chris, are for spending so much time and focus w/me and my problem? they have huge hearts and much kindness. it really means much to me cuz how many cats would've done something like that? same w/the store - those guys helped me out much too even if what they helped me w/wasn't really the problem. tomorrow morning I'll return this poweramp and see if they got any kind of a preamp I can get in the meantime. improvising on tour - keeps you on your toes! what's really fortunate is folks willing to help you out, that's a blessing.

   hiro gives me a cd of his new band plus a lot of beefheart stuff, great things like the chain bat puller sessions, out takes and boots - tons. much respect to him for all of it. generous hiro. he also gave me some pepsin (sp?) at that music store when I get a gut ache from that burger (one big blow-out wasn't enough) but man, does that medicine make you fart like no tomorrow. I circle the club maybe four or five times, walking off a trumpet blast w/each stride I take, clouds of foulness in my wake. this is pretty bizarre. the gut ache did go away though. quid per quo, huh? I see jb setting up his hot dog stand up and go and give him a tour shirt cuz I think he's a righteous man. he thanks me and I go back to the boat and chimp some diary before drifting into a konk.

   man, it's late, like after twelve when pete comes and gets me. hayride has already played - damn, missed them. they are nice people. once, I remember playing a gig w/them on the bill in gainesville, fl and they covered all of "double nickels on the dime" - that was wild. anyway, I get up on stage and we do our gig. much better than last night w/probably the best monitors of the tour to this point - dan does quite a job. the people in the crowd are pretty animated and into be more than just passive in the show. it is late and a wednesday night but they put out some energy. there's yammering some in the quiet parts but hey - they get told to shut up all the time in other parts of their lives. it's my job to work the bass and do some spiel that can maybe try and uplift things. that's the way of thinking I've gotten around to embracing lately. I swear these tour are not just to put some time under my belt or while away the hours but like some trippy kind of classroom where I'm there to learn. if I could find better ways to bind me and my guys tighter w/the tunes and in turn, focus the tunes sharper on the listeners, all the while making things animate from a sense of immediacy in the now so each gig would be particular to each event. all these pads, all these towns, all these folks and their own individual experiences - how great it would be to connect all these things to make your set so much a product of that moment and not the other way around - rounding off and generalizing all the specialness so you can ram xerox of the night before right on through. I'm trying to hear both the room and the crowd breathe - if it's out from them, then how do I breathe in back and the other way around. this is a challenge I think worthy for a cat who works the crowd. nothing dishonest or jive but a dynamic passing between these two parties, giver and taker, that almost allows for the roles to 'pert-near reverse for a bit. I'm trying. tonight I'm going a little overboard w/the "go crazy" bit cuz I'm just overjoyed I can hear myself again. "sister ray" is pretty over the top but I try hard to make it that way. there are some things I cannot make physical for sake of wrecking everything. this is where art can come and help watt out. the yearning I get in me, that I feel fill me can manifest itself in expression rather than possession, something like that. I know I can dream things that can never be but I can get whirling in dance w/that little one, that little bass and hear her sing to my grabs at her strings. I want to almost push through at her times and let her catch me when I'm out of breath, out of clarity and out of reason. her neck is math is sense is a home for my fingers, lost and clawing in air, desperate to clutch and cling - hold on to something. it is an art dream and I'm safe w/her. it is a crazy dance and I'm mad w/her - not the angry mad but ecstatic, head over heels and insane w/aliveness. I have a strange relationship w/her. in a perfect world, it would not be physical at all - it would be pure inspiration distilled into dedicated expression. the result would be something somehow affirming, uplifting but not far from healing potential. the violence of the exaggerations would have in fact tiny implications. they would be more like demons purged or ammunition for tons of laughs. what would be fertile would be all the love twisted somehow throughout. all kinds of great ideas would come out of this, incredible insights. such a mission for the little bass. and its weilder/wrestler/passenger.

   nice, nice athens folks after the show to talk w/watt - hand grabs hand - firm, soft, firm, soft. listen to them, consider that - now respond in kind. they are very, very generous w/the kindness. lucky watt. no reason to doubt why you should always play your heart out. settle w/jason, what a kind man here and a pleasure to work w/and for. I am very honored for the role and will be back on the next round. boss lady barrie invites us to that righteous house of hers, she says my konk space at the top of the stairs to the tower is ready. I'm ready, I spun myself a little insane tonight. it happens. before we leave the 40 watt, I say bye to jb and he gives me a dog, thick w/the come back sauce. it's good chow and I watch silver ingot moon lamp from the dark on high illuminating me next to the boat - silver off of white, like a necklace shining off the fairest of skin (wear a big hat during summer in mexico). you are a funny, sweaty watt - don't get me wet w/your hugs.

   I get my guys to barrie's pad and grab my bag for my ascension. lots of yammering below - tommy from atlanta and his girl plus barrie's new boyfriend joseph mix their voices w/hollering pedro ones from jer w/some speaking from pete. I cannot join them, I am through w/voice and am driven to mount the stairs, one by one. I reach my summit, lay out the bag and have this think that can't last more than a couple of minutes but for the life of me, spills out almost every feeling I've got summed up to this point. for sure now I'm spent. konk, embrace me.

thursday, april 24 - memphis, tn

from pete:

   watt wakes me up w/ a gentle prodding and I immediately drift off again; we have a real hellride to memphis- about nine hours and I'm still groggy from the nite before. After a time jer comes up to shake me awake as we have to stop at the musician's whorehouse on town to return the unused amp that watt purchased, and to get any kind of a suitable preamp to use on the eden rig. Barrie was still crashed so we left quietly and some some posters that she had. we returned the amp and watt purchased a peavey! tube guitar preamp that he surmised would be suitable. we manouvered thru the confusing athens metropolis and finally reached the freeway, on our way to the land of elvis. much thanks to barrie for the good vibes and bushmills...

   jer had the bench seat and conked happily while assaulting our lungs, eyes and nasal passages w/ his caustic, offensive fumes- the weather was really great until we got to tupelo- then the skies literally opened up and poured out their angry tears; we were graced w/ this relentless onslaught all thru birmingham, alabama and we witnessed several nasty accidents along the way. the chief is a very safe driver however, and we made it thru the storm unscathed. we pull up in front of the pad ( the hi-tone), and go inside to scope it out; very nice vibe and the boss, dave is a very nice cat and glad to have us there. we pull out the gear and set it up onstage; the soundman, joel arrives and mikes us up proper. a friend of watt's (michelle) shows up and listens to us do the check' (we are crashing at her pad ) and grants us applause after we do "the red and the black". I go to do a little shave and primp and then michelle drove us to dinner at a pad owned by her friends (the glass onion). I order a caesar salad w/ shrimp and chicken and it is very kind (and welcome). the boss graciously picks up the tab for us, but we leave him a token gratuity. we hop into michelle's ride and head back to the hi-tone- there's already some people milling about and it looks like it's going to be a great show. watt retires to the boat while me and jer go inside; he conks on the couch in the back while I get down to some chimping of the diary. while I'm steeped in the chimp flow I drink about a gallon of perrier and smoke about a half-pack of cigarettes. my hack is still persistent as the bug leaves my body, yet I still puff away (the worst thing about this addiction is that these things become your companions in a way). I again resolve to quit but I wonder if I'm just whitewashing myself. a couple of people come into the backstage and we sign some posters for them- they are very nice to us (I love the tennesse gentry). I call up my best friend tone and we rap for awhile; it's good to hear his voice and it reminds me of home- I'm very fortunate to have a bro as cool as he is ( he is truly one of the only people that has always been behind me thru thick and thin and has always been my sounding board for everything- I love ya bro'). I finish talking to to tone and continue the chimp and the first band starts up (the duration); emo, college-type rock w/ a rough edge- not quite my bag but they play intensely. They finish their set and the second band comes up (mad happy). they are a duo; guitar, vocs and bam-bam machine (from hoboken, jersey), and I love em' from the get go- they totally get the crowd into their vibe and the songs are real quirky. I finish the chimp, grab a double driver' and go out to listen- again, great sing-along quirky tunes and these cats are real comfortable on stage. I enjoy their set thoroughly, and the crowd digs em' too. they finish up and it's time for our clambake to start; I wake up the chief and me and jer move the tools into place and launch into the set. I'm totally ready to go off after holding back the last couple of nights, but I see watt is not into it. I know he's tired and worn from the hellride and all the amp problems, and I try my best to keep the eye contact going to spark him off, but it's apparent after a few songs that he's not going to dig in ( also not helping aat all was the fact that the air in the place was so thick you could cut it w/ a knife- the hammond had a moisture layer on the keys before we even started playing). the crowd was digging us but the gig was a tough one; all three of us sweated buckets and my eyes were burning from the salt in my sweat. we finished the set, and me and jer went off the stage waiting for watt to follow but he just went and plopped down behind his amp- he looked worn. we got up and did a short encore- and finished up the night. we broke down the gear and loaded it up in the boat, hopped in and followed michelle back to her pad. we got to the pad and pulled the bags out, went upstairs and literally all three of us crumbled. this was a tough gig and it had beaten us down hard. for the first time in the tour I felt really old. watt went to take a bath to alleviate his pain, while me and jer, muscles creaking, climb into our welcome bags and conk....hard.

from watt:

   pop and climb to look out the tower's windows. whoa. a survey of the domain. another's town. I miss my old pad in pedro, the one I had before the one I'm in now. I'm grateful to have the one I have but there's no view of the harbor which I very much loved. now, like lots in this world, love is in dreams. I can guess pretty good what it might look like and there's places I can go to and test my hunches. but not from the pad. it's almost underground and I live sometimes like 'coon does during the day. thank god for the bike. or maybe the kayak, since maybe that's the way it has to be now. whatever, I want my eyes connected w/outside too, somehow - especially if I'm being physical - to me, that makes sense. I hose off and in the head here there's a poster w/all these playing cards or maybe like tarot cards cuz there's no numbers but what they have on them is some object and then it's name in spanish. maybe two hundred of them but there's lots of duplicates. there's "el borracco" (the drunk) and "el soldado" (the soldier). "la muerte" (death) too. there's all kinds but these three keep grabbing my eyes. weird. "el mundo" (the world). I have heavy feelings for everyone, everything...

   el sol is out to greet me when I go to get a clean flannel from the boat. ouch, some gravel on my bare feet. I find coff but it's in bean and I'm afraid of waking everyone up. the music store opens at ten so no one has to pop that early - I wonder how long the yammering lasted last night? it's hard for me to partake in that as the years move on. it seems I only have so much energy so the question arises to where am I going to spend it - I don't have enough for everything. gigs take a lot out of me and since this is a big reason I'm out here on tour, I rather spend the energy on the playing. next goes to getting where the gig's going to be. after that is energy for chimping diaries cuz it's getting more and more clear to me that I like writing them, it's another form of expression for me and it's helping w/me developing skills for writing, which might play a bigger role w/me as time goes on. I have a muse that fires me up so and I just want to get my feelings out - artistically would be ideal but frenzied spiel would be ok too. way down on the list is yammering for yammering's sake though I must say I do plenty of it w/my guys in the boat while rolling. they both help reason out things where feedback is welcomed. sometimes following your muse is a solitary mission where you not much but your own thoughts most of the time. ever since little boy times, I remember myself kind of in this mode where the social thing never felt quite right unless I had a spiel where specific information was being dealt out, like "here's what I've done," "here's what I'm going to do" and "here's where I blew some clams." it's not always music either - you can attach these spiels to lots of my endeavours.

   I gather my guys and leave barrie a thank you note - she's always been so good to me. only us three are up anywhere in the pad and we make sure everything's ok as we load up in the boat and head out. we go straight to that music store where I got the crown power amp, just as they open. two guys are working today that weren't yesterday and they're happy to exchange the amp for the money I gave them yesterday, seeing I didn't use it at all. that's nice of them. they got a used peavey "rock master" guitar preamp that might get me through tonight. I think when I go back to cali, I can ask kira to use the one she used in the final black flag days, a yamaha pb-1. I but the "rock master" for a hundred dollars. these cats were very decent to me, thank you much.

   west again, this time on us-29 and towards atlanta. the weather's getting a little gray - grayer as we get nearer atlanta 'till rain starts giving us drops on the windshield (by the way - man, is it cracked - maybe four of them running like rivers across our bow. gotta get it replaced when back in pedro, stupid fucking watt). I take us around atlanta using the I-875 belt and loop us through all the burbs that have both popped and are in the midst of popping around this biggest town of the south. wish I could've played here this tour - I was scheduled to - but this stooges reunion thing in cali had to take some gigs out and since I hadn't played memphis in such a while, I thought missing atlanta, birmingham and nashville would be the best to sacrifice. not that I don't enjoy playing those towns a bunch (hell, I like playing any and everywhere) but it just couldn't all fall into this tour's scheme of things. my apologies to all those who may have felt slight cuz that was not my intention in the slightest. east on the I-20 now and the woods of western georgia turn to tree-lined rolling hills of alabama - all gorgeous green leaf, brown bark and red clay. we go past the huge talladega raceway, whoa! nascar is a big scene all over the u.s. but it's really mammoth where it was born, in the south. we're talking like 400,000 spectators at a race and stuff like that. mostly it's go fast, turn left - repeat, over and over again but people dig it. me, when I was a kid, I dug drag racing - go fast, no turns but try to stop after a quarter mile. this was in the 60s when I wasn't even in my teens yet but I dug it much - read all the mags and built some models. I liked the coupe class the most. it was wild for me and I daydreamed about it a lot 'till I met d. boon and got really into music. intense. when we reach birmingham, in the middle of the state, the sky just goes and opens up on us big time. I really mean big time, what a fucking pounding. I have to slow us down to like twenty cuz the rain becomes a wall of water you can't 'pert-near see through. it's almost like the hurricane stuff I went though in the florida panhandle a few years ago w/the last version of the black gang (last tour of the opera). holy cow! luckily, it abates just as we're leaving the interstate for us-78. it's called the appalachian highway and it's the most direct way to memphis from here. once we get to jasper, the road turns to one of those blue ones in the rand-macnally (divided four-lane) so it's 'pert-near freeway driving through some beautiful hill country. this is an old, rounded-off range but there you can tell there used to be mining in these parts. the road itself is new a really a smooth ride. we cross into mississippi and just at tupelo we get hit w/another wailer of a drencher - whew! have to slow way down again but after a bit the huge dark of the clouds gives way to the sun. man, was there some lightning you just don't see much where we're at in cali - hugh bolts that almost just stand there and snap the air hard - whoa! I forgot to mention we re-crossed a time line in georgia so we pull into memphis around seven - a nine and half hour ride, whew - I'm a little tired.

   I haven't played memphis by myself in about five years (last time I was here was in 2000, w/j mascis + the fog) so I don't know the scene much. this pad is called the hi-tone cafe and the boss is a real nice cat named dave. the soundman joel is cool people too and I screw in that new peavey "rock master" preamp and give it a go. whew, what a terrible sound but it'll get me through tonight. like my pop would say, "a half-ass in the meantime." we do a soundcheck and then a friend of mine from here, michelle, takes us to chow at a pad her friends have opened up called the glass onion. I get a greek salad and it's really good. we go back to the club and I got just be still some. michelle comes and talks w/me in the boat. I'm starting to get some kind of soreness in my bones - what is this? I got my coat on and wrap up in a blankie. hmm... what is this? my mind too, it seems to be weirding out and digressing on things... something is definitely up. when things starting hitting me up in the body, I start thinking very much about what everything is supposed to be all about - at least from where I'm at. I almost always end up at a point where what I know is so much less than what I don't. the oceans grow enormous as my tiny boat shirnks, I bob and flounder all among the crashing waves of resignation. sometimes I don't know how I hold on but I do cuz I have those in my world that spin lifelines - not like they're meant for me on purpose but they're there for me none the less and I use them to get a toehold, some kind of a footing, some sort of a clarity even if briefly so I can get my watt thing back in it's whirl somehow again. it's so strange how that works...

   time to play. whew, is the sound from this preamp god-awful but at least it's not the mime thing I had to trot out in columbia. the memphis folks are happening, even if a few are a little chatty - damn, it is late - must be like 12:30 when we went on. the were some local cats opening and then a friend of mine, mike ill w/his mad happy group. I'm so sorry I was caught up in w/myself in the boat and not there to see his group (love the records he's sent me) but things got running behind. this is lame thing for working folks or those going to school and I apologize. I try to get on as soon as me and my guys can get our gear set up - I am dead set against the so-called strategy of the "stall." back to our set: as we go from song to song, I seem to get weaker and weaker - I can't figure this out. there's aches in my bones like you wouldn't believe. the only solution I find is to laugh - does that sound crazy? well, that's what I do and do. I feel fever even. damn, can you believe this w/me having to fly to cali tomorrow for one of the biggest gigs of my life sunday? just the kind of luck for watt - man, this life is a trip. my guys play really tight and passionate and help me out big time - I think they can feel me slipping and try to take up the slack. thank you much, pete and jer.

   I really, really start feeling sore and weak as I sling when we're done playing. I don't want to hurry anyone and take my time thanking everyone who wants to talk w/me. I think I might've said some stupid things during the set (I really don't talk much this tour except to introduce my guys and a little spiel at the end before the last song and then when we come back) but I think my brain's getting a little cooked in the fever. I feel like I'm well over a hundred in my bones, big time.

   we follow michelle to her pad and her two little ones are w/grandma to make room for us. thank you so much, michelle. she has the biggest tub ever almost and fills it real hot for me and then puts in stuff you use for sick babies, something menthol. the hurt is really crashing in on me and this helps so much. I'm reduced to a puddle, a puddle floating within a puddle - it's trippy. I don't know how long I'm in there but somehow I get out and am laid out, all hurtness and everything.

friday, april 25 - san pedro, ca

from pete:

   the chief wakes me up from my very solid slumber; we had only slept about three hours after the beat-down of the gig the nite before, but we had to get to the airport to drop off watt ( he was flying back to cali to do the stooges' gig), and to pick up kel and rilei ( who were flying in from cali). I sucked up about a gallon of water and transferred my bags into the boat and waited for the chief to finish up his morning puter' work. jer came down soon after and we both waited (I was really happy for the chief- nobody deserves to do the bottom end for the stooges' thing more than him). watt finally comes down and we take off towards memphis international. much respect to michelle for having us.

   we pull up in front of the terminal, drop watt off (he gives us a last few pointers on the boat), we wish him much luck and take off to park the boat in the parking structure. we have about two hours before kel's flight comes in, so we go in search of some coffee and chow. we find a little cinnabon pad and dive into the sweet rolls and coffee ( the coff' sucks really bad but the cinnabons go down kind). I p/u a USA today to find out what's going on in the world and it's the same depressing shit- bush/iraq cluster fuck. we check all the arriving flights and kel's has come in- we see her coming thru the terminal and she looks tired; she's only slept about an hour and she's as beat as we are. we load up all the stuff into the boat (our original plan was to go see graceland and the stax museum, but we are so tired that we opt to make our way towards knoxville). Our next gig is in chapel hill, north carolina on mon. nite, so we have two days to get there; knoxville is about half way. the ride is relatively uneventful and kel reads to us from her current tome, "the laramie project". I drive about the first 200 miles or so but I'm beginning to nod out so I flip w/ jer. Jer drives for about an hour, I just start conking on the bench w/ rilei when kel spots a trooper signalling us to pull over. what the fuck? the cat gets out, and tells jer he was weaving on the road and have we been smoking dope in the van? jer calmly tells him that we are a band on the way to our next gig-(the cat obviously saw the cali plates and the van and decided he had an easy bust). he says he has a dog w/ him and asks us to roll up the windows while he does the once over w/ the pooch. he finishes up and asks us all to get out and do we mind if he does a search ( the dog evidently caught a whiff of something, but we strictly adhere to the rule of not carying any mota in the boat or any alcohol- period.) having nothing to hide , we agree and the guy proceeds to tear thru the inside of the boat w/ a flashlight- finds nothing, and asks us to open the back ( I am also asked to remove everything from my pockets and am patted down thoroughly). he pulls out all of our luggage and brings the dog out once again to sniff thru everything; the pooch has an obvious hard-on for my bag and trooper asks me if I have anything in it. "nothing but clothes sir", and he proceeds to go thru every individual article I packed . finding nothing, he is visibly frustrated and issues jer a warning ticket for the purported weaving. all in all I think we handled the situation coolly- he could have done a deep and hard strip search on me for all I cared- I had absolutely nothing to hide. to his credit, the officer wasn't an asshole- he was just doing his job, but we were obvious victims of common profiling. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, but we were a little peeved at the violation of privacy- altho' we were in unanimous agreement that we handled the situation calmly, and it could have been much worse. we pulled into knoxville around eight and immediately went in search of a ho' - most were booked up and we settled on a room at the best western. we unloaded all our bags and I took the boat for a little trip to the local walgreen's for some sundry items and to buy some nice wine for all of us to sip on later. I head back to the ho' and I see flashes of light in the sky and hear deep rumblings of thunder- uh oh, storm's a'risin'- and it looks like it's going to be a motherfucker. I bring the items in and we pop the cork on the vino- I go to take a long, hot, very needed shower while jer goes to buy some chow. while he's gone, the skies open and it starts pouring like the second coming- jer returns, a sopping mess w/ chow in tow and we get down to the munch. we all settle down to eat and relax, glad to have a modicum of serenity in our trip. I, along w/ jer am glad kel and rilei are w/ us , it's a little bit of home in the morass of touring. we sip wine, rap about the day's events and watch the weather channel and CNN. rilei is full of energy and kel desperately tries to wear her down by playing w/ her, she soon mellows as kids do when they're ready to conk- and soon we're all out, exhausted after a long, long day. laku noc sviraci.......

from watt:

   I do not pop but somehow am in time to get to the airport early enough. michelle has been so nice to me, thank you so much. I get my guys from her little one's rooms and drive them in the boat to the airport where I'm to leave them for a few days. they got a couple of hours to wait here at the airport for jer's wife kel and their baby rilei and then they're gonna drive east to carrboro, nc where the next secondmen gig is while I do this stooges reunion at the coachella fest in california. it's heavy for me to see them go and I give them so many good wishes as I say bye. I love these guys so and will miss and worry about them much. I know they can very well take care of themselves but I feel weird in a way about leaving them like this. they sure have good hearts to let me do this. I asked their permission before tour and if they would've had any reservations about me bailing like this, I would've had to bow out - even from such a great honor as being a stooge - cuz I feel much loyalty to them. this is a trippy thing here.

   I go into the airport and use one of those new self-check-yourself-in terminals at get my papers. I shaved and tried to look as straight as possible and I get no hassles in security, that's a relief. only an hour of sleep or a little more and I am dog-tired besides this incredible soreness in my bones. I go to get a sandwich - seven bucks for the lamest, soggiest, crummiest piece of whatever I ever force-fed myself. yech! time to board the plane and I'm out like that - there's two flights involved and this is the little one to dallas. when we get there, I have to walk around cuz it feels like my bones are going to fuse together, damn. I pass the book store and get this one called "in the casa azul" by meaghan delahunt. it's a bunch of little narratives from those associated w/trotsky and his mexican exile including the two years he lived w/diego rivera and freda kahlo. these people thinking out loud range from stalin's wife in russia to trotsky's bodyguard in mexico, to the peasant judas-doll maker artist lady freda befriends to the assassin who kills trotsky. it is abstract yet quite sad. there's lots of sadness in it, really - lots of betrayal, all around. I read the whole thing cuz the plane is packed and impossible to get any konk on. this lady who wrote it, meaghan delahunt wrote it well, I think - I'm surprised to find it her first novel. I didn't read it like history though you can feel it steeped w/it - it's like that "becoming madame mao" book in a way... all the fucking hurt us humans can put on each other. strange to make some kind of poetry out of it. it did make me think, made me cry...

   my friend from teenage years, richard "fuckin'" bonney comes and gets me at the l.a. international airport. he takes me straight up to hollywood and to some practice pad place called swing house and I wait for the team there. I'll see richard sunday. the swing house people are nice to me and make me tea and let me use the 'puter while I wait. ron and scott asheton are the first to come - great to see them! last time was in december for those europe gigs w/j - they look great and ready to play. we get all the stuff set up, I'm using two rented ampeg svt amps and my old gibson thunderbird II, a non-reverse one I call "bluey" and it's trippy to play after being in a case so long - can't remember when I played it last cuz I've been using the littel eb-3 one for my live gigs the last few years. after getting used to the long scale, I remember it's feel well. I've done tons of gigs w/this bass - all the opera ones were done w/it. I just hate bringing basses on airplane flights cuz they abuse them so - just hate it. this one will work out fine. it even says MINUTEMEN on it from letters arizona gig-goer robert locker put on it year ago. alright. one of my amps is beat to shit (the story of rentals, people never think of the cats who gets them next) but I'll do what I can - the other one's in better shape so I'll slave the beater to it. we do a couple of tunes but ron doesn't want to "get burned out" before iggy comes. ok w/me though playing helps keep my mind off the growing pain and fever that keeps piling up on me. damn. dara's here w/ron and she's in good spirits. everyone's excited about this. I'm holding on, somehow... I wonder what the fuck is wrong w/me?

   there's a ninetynine cent store a block away and i get a razor, shaving cream and pistachio nuts. I want to shave again for iggy. I need the nuts cuz that shitty sandwich was the last thing I chowed. funny, I'm starting to get funny sensations where the illness was - the same thing that hit right before my secondmen tour too but in a milder way. what the fuck is that? no bike riding since then... hmm... there's that thing ed fROMOHIO gave me years ago that goes over the driver's seat to like massage you, it's made out of beads. maybe that's irritated me down there or something. damn, I can't believe it - I can't be coming down w/the same thing again, can I? I think it's gonna have to be like my knees, I have to watch out for every potential threat and be really, really careful where the taint is getting put. I really can't believe this but the symptoms are just so similar. this is fucking freaking me out but I try hard to maintain. I don't want to be a problem for anyone and only help.

   iggy's stage man, jos arrives to get things together. he's from england and an interesting cat. he has lots of ideas about ideas - he makes a case to me why evolution is full of shit but not from the position of creationism. I'm not really into arguing the other side w/him but want to hear him out and hear his reasoning. he is very much a skeptic. he's funny too. henry, iggy's tour manager, is along w/him and relates to me some old war stories, like tour managing the damned in 1978 and being on the receiving end of gallons of "gob" or what we call it here, spit. henry's from glasgow. both these cats keep me laughing and help divert all the hurt that threatens to swallow me whole. oh man, can't wait to start prac - hope I can hold on!

   iggy arrives w/his mangager, art collins. ig's ready to go. art's so nice to me and makes me feel it's good to be part of this. very kind of him. all these folks are giving me much respect. I'm wearing the t-shirt scotty gave me that's black w/a picture of dave alexander on it. at the top, it says "the stooges" and I feel very proud. iggy's totally focused and gets us together to play right away. he's already got a song order picked, which is great and we start w/"loose" - god, am I nervous - this is a definitely a pants-shitter. I clam the ending by coming in a beat early - what a fucking doof. iggy calls me on it and asks my if I know what I did wrong and I tell him yes. I'm completely zeroed in on him and absorbing every word and gesture he makes. speaking of gestures, when iggy practices, he just doesn't stand there - it's like my own personal gig cuz he's leaping, twisting, howling - the whole nine yards, just like a gig - it's wild and I really dig it. we work on every song and then inside every song, we work on every beginning and every ending and transition even. the one we really got to get we together (or maybe more "I" rather than "we") is "dirt." I'm adding notes that shouldn't be there so iggy helps me pare it down to where he likes it. I admire the care he takes in getting this together, he's not some putz who's just gonna walk through this - he's iggy pop who's proud of his stooges work. I very much admire his dedication and concentrtion. I'm feeling that pain down there now more and more - it feels like a pool cue has been shoved up my ass but I'm not letting on to anyone about it. no whining from watt. he gets me to play the middle part w/a consistent groove and not all over the place - he reasons it out w/me and just doesn't bark orders, he's got a sharp mind and I dig his sensibilities. sometimes he'll say "don't get musical on me" and I know exactly what he means and I dig that - feeling and emotion come first not technique and self-satisfied "look at me" shit. everything in this band is to serve a purpose. it is sure one school night for watt but I dig it! he helps me purge the extra note I keep throwing in "loose" but says it's cool if I throw it in there every once in a while. he helps w/a mute I should throw in on "down on the street" - it's great, he says, "you know, mike - I'm glad you blew that clam in that first song we did cuz it made things, you know - a lot more human." I'm glad his not intimidated (is that the right word) into not telling me what's up cuz I'm here to learn, I'm here to aid and abet and help make this band sound the best it can. that's what I want, not an ego stroke. it's like going to the source for me and learning from THE MAN. it's quite an opportunity. he checks in w/ron on everything and ron's got great opinions and perspectives on it too. we work and work and work 'till scotty can barely drum any more - he didn't get any sleep last night either. I'm so excited but must admit I'm wearing thin too, especially w/the tiny amout of konk and hardly any chow plus the sickness really hammering in on me. ig sets prac for two tomorrow.

   man, does this steaming bath feel like heaven for watt. in his own tub in the middle of a tour - what a trip, huh? I'm in so much pain, hot tears mix w/the hot water I keep adding to keep things steaming. I forgot to mention I was taking ibuprofens during that prac, just to hang on and keep the edge off so I wouldn't holler out of nowhere. the pounding now is relentless, like I was w/child and baby wanted out - NOW! I can feel the growing hardness down there, like a knot. I even konk in the tub, waking at like two and crawling out to my deck by the couch and propping myself up against it w/my head up, tommy jefferson style and somehow I'm allowed into the sanctuary called sleepytown. thank god for tender mercies. what a weird/wild day for mister watt.

saturday, april 26 - san pedro, ca

from pete:

   I pop from a very restful sleep; the weather outside looks very nice ( we've been pretty lucky weather-wise on this tour so far), and I go to take a shower . I finish the hose off and check the time; it's nine-thirty- I've got a half hour to go grab some chow. just as I'm getting ready to go out the door, jer wakes up and tells me to grab some chow for him, kel and rilei (that was the original plan). I go down and load up a plate w/ some bagels, apple spice jelly doughnuts and bananas. kel comes over w/ rilei and grabs some waffles. we take all of this back to the room and proceed to strap on the feedbag. everybody takes their showers and we load up the boat w/ our stuff, throwing it out of the window of the room(the boat was parked right outside the room), clean it up a little and we take off for the center of town to go get some real coffee and to get my hair cut. we find a little pad and get some decent coff' and I go do the chop-chop(at a pad called the cutting crew no less). I felt much lighter and we went to stop at the local shit-hard center as jer had to p/u some drum heads. we took care of all of our business and were on our way in no time. i had the first shift for driving and the ride was pretty uneventful; we had a long conversation about marriage and relationships and the drive went fast. Jer took the wheel and we continued on our trek, stopping only for some chow at a schlotzky's deli. we got back on our way and the weather was still great but as soon as we got into north carolina we were greeted by a small downpour (w/ the sun still shining) which followed us all the way to laura's house ( laura is the drummer for grand national, ed crawford's band), where we were crashing for the next couple of days.

   we took all our stuff out of the boat (along w/ a leftover bottle of vino) and got ourselves situated. The whole crew was famished and went out for some sushi but I opted to stay behind and chimp diary( I was a couple of days behind), but jer assured me they would bring me some chow back. The crew returns soon and as promised I get some california rolls to munch on; I had finished my chimping by this time and I snapped up the rolls. I had a major jones to go out, but jer and kel were feeling sluggish and loaded down from the chow fest and just wanted to crash. Me and laura bailed and went to a local bar to toss a down a few bushmills and rap. we met a bunch of local peeps and ed crawford came down too, then disappeared mysteriously. It was the first time I'd met him- he's a real nice cat and I was looking forward to playing w/ grand national.

   after a while the sauce began to weave it's way thru the nerve endings and things slowed down considerably; it was time to go -we poured into laura's volvo and made our way back to her pad, it was only a few blocks away and when we arrived kel was still up so we rapped and ate some of laura's very kind salsa. the sandman came calling soon however, so I rolled into my bag and drifted off.....buona notte musicanti

from watt:

   I pop moaning in pain way before the crack of dawn and am quick into the tub for soaks. oh man, this is insane. I'm in a fever and hurting like crazy. the bath helps w/both the pounding down below, the aches and the burning up in the head. thank god my pad doesn't have it's own tiny water heater and shares a huge one w/the rest of the units like my old one did when the huge version of this shit tried to kill me three years ago.

   I chow some of this thai nood stuff kristin got me last night and couldn't eat. she asked what I wanted and I said a big, leafy green salad but somehow the order got screwed up. there was a soup that was good though, it was a trippy kind of coconut kind. I'm not that used to thai chow (we don't have a any of their restaurants in pedro) but like it a lot, especially the spicy squid kind. kristin's helping this helpless one much and I'm much grateful to her. she must find me pathetic and like a baby - this is what sickness almost always reduces me to. she takes me to the second prac w/the stooges at two.

   we work on beginning and ending bits, refining all we learned yesterday. iggy's just as focused and dedicated as yesterday. even when anthony (peppers) and rick rubin come in to watch a couple of tunes, he keeps us on course and the social thing on minimum. iggy's lady nina, who's very nice, sits right in front of him and watches but his concentration isn't fazed a bit. it's very inspiring to me. this cat leads by example and I dig it. like yesterday, iggy just doesn't sing the songs, he goes for it - just like it was a gig. it's a balls-out thing and not tame or tepid a bit. he's totally aware too of all the sounds and rhythms, what a cat to have lead your band and also be the front man - whoa, incredible. I never knew how those stooges records were made and could only imagine. during a break, I speak to ig's manager art about all this, what a mindblow it is to me - even w/me being around a bunch and having seen all kinds of stuff. even w/this hurt and sickness (I can't even sit down at this point), my mind is so fired-up to be here, to learn like it was like even mosque/temple/church or whatever - these pracs are hitting me at all kinds of levels. I've played the songs so many times in the last few years since my sickness but to get into them this way is a whole rebirth kind of thing w/them - sort of like when I heard them as a boy and was doing air-bass to them, wild! trippy how the time flies by too, even w/the hurts. we do the whole set, just like we're gonna do it tomorrow and it's very much happening, it's got a great flow. we're ready. those cats are going to go to palm springs now so they'll be close to the gig (it's in the desert, near indio) but I gotta go to pedro and get it together as much as I can.

   on the way out of the prac pad, I see an old friend who's a chili pepper roadman now, dave - he was w/the porno for pyros guys when I was helping them in '96. he relates a story to everyone about something I said when another roadman, toi russell, was having trouble w/a roomie snoring or something. I remembered something my pop used to tell me in such situations and said it to toi (who's a really great guy, by the way): "why don't you tie some rags dipped in alcohol around your ankles to keep the ants off your candy ass?" dave's always got a kick out of this and tells everyone. I don't see these folks that much cuz the way I live in pedro and tour econo. even though I keep to my own little world mostly, these cats still give me a lot of respect and that's very kind and generous of them. I'm always when I do bump into them time to time. outside the pad is flea and he's going to do a thing for the music school he's opened for kids in silver lake - big hugs for him. glen danzig, haven't seen for quite a while, he tells me about a festival he's got now that is out to destroy "mall metal" and the like. someone tells me ian mackay is here - what? he's jamming w/the chili peppers? maybe he's on bass cuz flea just bailed. bob forrest says hi - wow, all these l.a. cats that watt, who lives in the l.a. harbor is hardly around to see but it's nice to say hi now and I even get my mind off my hurts for a while. everyone sure is into this stooges thing - I can tell we all feel like we owe iggy, ron and scotty (dave too - r.i.p.) so much for being able to do what we do and draw so much direction and confidence from. would've there ever even been a punk movement w/out the stooges? hard for me to imagine.

   back to pedro and back in the tub - in and out now cuz I get too waterlogged after a while so I use this heating pad on THE AREA when I'm out cuz the heat helps so much, I can't tell you. the water's better but this is the next best thing. I want so hard to read a book, chimp some diary, even do a little email but I'm hopelessly blasted on the deck and just trying to hang on. it's hard to put even two thoughts together, they all get separated into little spurts and pieces - so frustrating and merciless. I hate to say it but it's a totally-in-the-moment thing but nothing anyone would ever desire - no escape, no way! how to explain this kind of hurt/pain/sickness? it's very hard - it's like trying to hold on to some rail or deck or something where you feel you're going to slip off and go from hurt-hurt-hurt (like a cringe) to screaming bloody murder 'till your hoarse (so it's almost like clinging). there is no relenting or pausing in any of this, just a constant on and on and on. my old pedro friends, the roeland sisters (nanny - who draws my shirts, lisa and hoolie) come pay a visit . I'm very sorry I'm not in shape to talk w/them much though hoolie's boyfriend goes w/her to get salad makings (I make sure I use up all my chow before a tour so it won't go bad while I'm gone, hence the fridge being totally emptry) and make me a green salad - something I've been craving much. it's nice to see my old friends again but I'm in no shape to really conduct any kind of a conversation and it makes me sad. I know I look so pathetic in front of them. it's a lame situation - especially when there's so much to be excited about regarding tomorrow's show. I can't believe the timing of all this still but do very much understand that life deals you and hand and this is what the one I have to play right now. I tell everyone it's ok if they leave cuz I'm pretty much useless. I hit the tub again when they leave and get some soak relief. I can't imagine how I finally konked around eight or something but konk I did. what a very, very generous god.

sunday, april 27 - san pedro, ca

from pete:

   I pop on the deck and i'm feeling a little dried out from the nite before- I watch the tube for a little while and watch rilei as she decimates her cereal bowl- with the cereal migrating towards the floor. she is such a little doll tho' and talks to me in her baby language while the cereal flies. I decide to go hose off in the shower and laura cooks me up some very kind eggs and cheese grits while I finish up the primp- I down the chow w/ much fervor. we are all on our way to a barbecue at jenny and neil's house (jenny plays bass in grand national) and jer is yelling for me to stop my fluffing and get a move on (sometimes I am so fucking vain). anyways, the crew loads into the boat and we head on out (laura has made up a very kind pasta salad and kabobs for the que'). Jenny made a great artichoke dip for the occasion and I park myself by the bowl and slam. some friends of jenny's show up and we start plowing in to the wine and the great que'. ed crawford shows up and we rap about his touring days; he has a lot of stories amd me and jer share our own. we pass around an interesting spanish bottle(called a "peron") which you fill w/the wine of your choice and drink. The bottle has a very narrow spout and you're supposed to tilt your head back and pour the wine in your mouth while pulling your hand back- this results in a nice long stream (like somebody pissing wine in your mouth). well, before you know it, everyone had great big red stains all over their shirts. Jer had to leave temporarily to take kel and rilei to the airport (I would miss both of them), but he was back in no time at all and we chowed on the que' and drank more wine. Things started winding down and a few of us decided to go check out the burning brides' show at the cat's cradle (the same pad we were playing at the next nite). the brides' were very cool and I really dug on watching them play- alot of energy and awesome hooks (the brides' had toured w/ watt, jer and tom on the last tour after my part was done). we waited for the next band to come on (my morning jacket), and I checked em' out for awhile, but I wasn't really into them. I couldn't find jer anywhere so I went to go kick it in the boat til' he found me. he finally came out after awhile and we headed on towards laura's pad where we watched the tube for awhile and rapped about the day's events; we had had a blast and everyone at the party was super nice (especially moni). I really like this town and couldn't wait to do the gig. we decided to turn in- the eyelids were getting heavy so we crawled into our bags and conked. solid.

from watt:

   pop early, hurting pretty much so it's quick into the tub w/me. relief, thank god. it's sunday so I'm gonna chow w/my ma like I usually do when I'm here on sundays. she's been very sick so I'm hoping she's feeling better. it takes me almost twenty minutes to make the two blocks to her apartment from mine cuz I have to take tiny, little geisha boy steps on account of my condition. I get there and she's doing much better though I don't why the fuck she's back to smoking - what's up w/that? I hate giving my ma grief though and am very glad she made it through her illness ordeal. when I called her on the phone last week, she sounded so weak w/her voice all tiny - it scared the shit out of me. it's good to see my ma but I wish my sisters could've come down to visit to. melinda's up in west hollywood and marilyn's in hollywood. funny, I would've never ever figured my sisters living there but melinda's been going to ucla (she finishes this summer) and marilyn teaches in the valley so where they're at is closer to where they have to be. it's kind of far though from me and my ma here in pedro, maybe twentyeight miles or something. my ma tells me they're doing ok though so that's good to hear. the sickness was really rough on my ma and she's kind of scared what I have might make her sick again so I try to reassure her she can't get what I have. around eleven, I hobble my way back up to my apartment.

   last night, a lot of that swelling went down so I'm better that way but there's still fever and weakness on me. thalia calls me and says she has strep throat, that's terrible. I hope she can get better soon. all theses people in my life that are sick, damn. kristin comes to give me a ride to the gig and she brings this "doughnut" I was telling her about (foam rubber covered w/plaid cloth big enough to sit your ass on and give relief to the taint) - I used one when I healed up from the big illness but it got lost when I had to make the move right before tour last year. this will help me much for the two hour ride out to indio, where the coachella festival is. it's still pretty painful w/all the bouncing about w/bumps on the road but somehow I konk for lots of the ride. we get there right as sonic youth is playing their last tune and they sound good. brian bowe from creem magazine (so great this has started up again - it was our favorite rock zine when we were teenagers) says hi and wants to spiel so I tell him I'll put these basses away (I brought the little fender 'stang bass too, just in case) but when I come back, I can't find him! it's hard for me to walk around but I try my best. I feel the fever coming on pretty strong so I go back to the trailer. the sonics trailer is next door so I get to visit w/them as they just come off stage. steve shelley and jim o'rourke are first and both look great and healthy. big hugs for them. big hugs for thurst and kim too when they come - so neat kim's playing a little gibson bass like mine though it's an eb-0 (only one pickup where mine has a extra little one by the bridge). lee and leah are last w/their little ones, cute little babies. I love my old friends and it's good to see them, especially when I'm so weak like I am. they've always supported me much and have been so generous. ron and scott asheton ride up on a golf cart and it's big hugs to them, so glad they're here. I go to look for brain once more where I first saw him but no luck, damn. I'm getting kind of weak now so it's rest for me. I hope brain understands. I've got the same t-shirt on I've been wearing for the practices - the dave alexander one that scotty gave me and over that, the yellow coat my ma gave me. the wind's picking up so inside w/me. richard "fuckin'" bonney, lisa roeland and kenny come by to visit and are understandably worried about my state. I'm very glad they're hear though. I see old friend billy rahmy and give him the biggest hug, it's been years since I've seen him. all these good people give me confidence to try and overcome these blows to my health and strength.

   I wish I could see some of the bands but I got save all my strength. a chill is creeping into my bones cuz of the fever and I start w/these shakes, small at first and then they become more and more violent on me - I wrap myself in a bed spread and wear scotty's "rock action" hat to get warmth inside of me. iggy's in his trailer and hopefully he's unaware of my nightmare situation. I know ron and scotty know and they're worried. I keep thinking about wishing I could set the amps up I'm using so I can know they're gonna be setup right. in the shape I'm in now, that would be futile. I'm just trying to get through all this hurt and not let anyone down, that would be the worst. I'm hoping and hoping I can get it together, thinking love and healing thoughts on me, thinking of those so important to me in my life and maybe even tugging on them a little. I don't mean too, I'm just kind of desperate right now. ian mackay comes by and tries to warm me up w/hugs. we got a half-hour to go. flea comes in and tries too, then he says the chili peppers have this nurse who helps them sometimes when someone's sick w/vitamins in their arm. I've never had that but I'll try anything now, I am at my lowest point. the lady is gentle w/me and puts a big plastic syringe full of vitamins into my arm. it takes life fifteen minutes - there's a lot and it's gotta go in slow. she asks if I feel any burning but w/all my hurts, I can't feel anything like that. when it's finally in me though, I do feel warmness in my hands and feet and then it spreads through my body, ridding me of the chills and those crazy shakes. they put me in a golf couse w/ron and scotty and we're off for the stage. thank you much, flea. thank you too, ian.

   it's crazy at the stage - we were put in a van after the golf cart ride and now are driven right up to the stairs - it's kind of chaotic but I get my bass on. we're not like we practiced coming on stage but somehow we get out there and I go to plug in - it's the wrong chord and my tuner's nowhere to be found! whatever, I plug into what get's handed me and I notice the mics not on the good cabinet - it's on the beat up one! this is funny. well, "a poor carpenter blames his tools," I've heard said so it's no time to get fussy now. iggy starts the gig. a big fever flash comes on me and I hit a note on the first hit ron and scott do for "loose" - I'm not supposed to do that! aaarrgggghhhh - this is a wake-up call that I'm gonna have to focus hard and fight the spaceyness this sickness is trying to put on me. I put my eyes right on ig hold on tight. we're off. man, is iggy wild on stage - running all over the place and he's singing good, like a champ. I feel more pale and whiter than a winding sheet but I think I got the fire inside to make this work. I can't believe I'm playing w/the stooges - it just occurs to me what is happening and it's really blowing my mind but I hold hard to course and follow the igster, who's totally in his game - it's his stage for sure. I stay back where my amps are to give him plenty of room. he's so inspirational, I'm giving everything I got and my eyes are glued on him. the next tune is "down on the streets" and the sound comes together more. the wind is playing havoc w/the sound from ron's amps but my bass is ok if not a little muddy. I'm not going to fuck w/it though cuz it does a heavy thing that's working w/scotty's drums. iggy's spinning like a top and singing in fine form. when ron's big solo comes, ig jumps past me and right on top of my amps and starts humping them big time. I turn around to see it better and it's like "whoa - can you believe this?!" the whole thing is so surreal to me, it's hard to believe this is all happening. "1969" is next and this is a mad stomp, iggy tearing it up w/lots of fucks in his speech but all in the right way. scotty's got the bellydancer beat down good. I'm able to hold on good now, the sickness must be in check through adrenaline now in me. I don't know exactly but I am very much fired up in the head and try to shake my body up too but it's hard. iggy comes to dance in front of me, as if to help out. man, is he something - wild! I still can't believe this. we go into "I wanna be your dog" and I do the riff like iggy showed me in prac - it's good this way w/a happening pulse. I'm trying to remember everything he told me in the last two days and put it here in practice cuz it all made good sense. I watch his feet, I watch his hands, I watch every spin and jump he lets fly - I feel like one of the kids in the crowd, watching the gig but I also get to play along somehow, it's wild. oh my god, "tv eye" next and I force my shit to get shook up as much as I can make it happen. this song has always made me crazy and wild, since I was younger. I let it rip now - I let it rip but I hang on to the groove, I know iggy's counting on me for that - everything to stay in their w/the drums and give him and ron a foundation to wail on. I don't play in the last part so I get the right cord (the one w/the right-angle) changed out and try to get my tuner hoked up but jos plugs it into the footswich jack. I get it together just as scotty starts his floor tom roll - time to slow things up a little w/"dirt" but for some reason, ig stops us after a few bars and asks if we're in the right key and I say, "yes" and so he says, "start it again" and so we do. that was trippy. I don't know if you'd really call that a clam cuz maybe it was sounding weird to him. whatever, iggy croons this one smooth and I dig it much. I came down on the volume some so I can still play it w/balls, like ig wants me to but it won't bogart up all the sound w/blurry stuff, like for a blaster tune. this has always been a favorite of mine, together w/"tv eye" and I'm so glad we're doing it - ron never liked doing it when we had j mascis instead of iggy. I think he smokes on this tune and am so into us doing it here. iggy really refined the middle part for me and dances all mysterious and twisty w/it. the only sizable clam of the whole gig comes at the end when scotty ends the tune a few bars early but me and ron feather it down to dovetail w/iggy so he's not left all alone. scotty's playing great though and this is a minor thing, very minor. iggy hollers "no fun" and we're into that one. here's where fever comes on me again for a moment and I lose some focus, at the beginning of verse two I play in 'd' instead of 'e' - aaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh... I corrected quick but I realize I have to keep a tight hold on and re-double my efforts to focus on iggy. fuck this sickness! iggy intoduces the band, "we are the stooges - here's ron, scotty, new guy mike and I'm fuckin' iggy!!!" wow, I would've never thought in my wildest dreams I would be a real stooge - this is a very big mindblow for me, incredible. we launch into "1970" and it's clear the decks! iggy is flying around like a tornado and swinging the mic, whoa! at the end, here comes steve mackay on the same sax he used on "fun house" - whoa. "out of my mind, saturday night!" iggy sings - out of my mind, sunday night - that's what I'm thinking right now about my current state - this is all so hard to believe it's happening. I can't believe I'm getting through it too. I haven't really looked at the crowd cuz of the focus on my boss but they've been sounding wild about each throw we make. they're very kind cuz I'm thinking how many were even born when these songs were written but then again, these tunes are way fucking timeless and will always blast! whay an honor to do the bass for them, much respect! iggy looks at me and says "fun house" so I lay down the lick and he lets out a giant "uuuuuhhh!!" that thumps me silly. whoa! yes! I've heard that intro ten million times but to be actually part of the real deal - it's crazy to even fathom - I'm caught up in it so. however, I don't lose site of the job at hand and get the dynamic down for ig to sing the verses and then ramp it up for the choruses. I take it down an octave for the "we've been separated..." parts and then kick it way up for the freak out of "l.a. blues" after ig sings "the fun house boy will steal your heart away!" mines done stole and we finish up w/iggy telling the crowd "I am you" and pounding the stage. whoa, fortyseven minutes and we're done. one of the gigs of my lifetime. love to you, d. boon - you were there w/me the whole time, keeping me strong enough. I get my bearings straight and bow towards the northeast before putting my bass down. much love carried me through this. to think I was curled up and shivering just a minutes before we went on. many, many, many thanks from watt. back to the trailer and we take some pictures. I'm really weak so I can't stay too long except to thank ig, ron, scotty, art - what a moment for me. I'm so glad I could help out instead of ruining things. what a gift that I'll never take for granted. the chili pepper have me join in their pre-gig circle and we silently give thanks and I say "love supreme" when we break hands so they can play their gig. time for me now to get back to pedro.

   kristin brings my konked-out self back to pedro safe. she really helped me out this weekend and that was so generous of her. I'm totally w/out strength or energy, I am tapped out. thank you so much, kristin. I am blown out and crumple to the deck in a pile. my blankies and the heating pad are here so I fumble and get that together, stumbling around in the dark cuz I'm too tired to get the light. ok, finally - everything still. my head is reeling w/the mindblow of all this: to get sick that fast and go through all that hurt but yet get to have my chance of a lifetime and be a stooge - it's all so wild. I lay on the deck and hear and feel tremors passing through me. they're gentle ones and they rattle me only softly, like gentle laps from ocean waves. oh, to be here near my water - I sure wish I could've pedaled down to the shore and have a good think, looking out over the sea, waiting for an eyegift of a pelican flying by. instead, I have to imagine it - like most of my hankerings. I did get to be a stooge though... whoa, whoa, whoa - I keep reflecting as konk takes me.

monday, april 28 - san pedro, ca

from pete:

   I popped on the deck a little grogged out from the wine/sulfite cocktail from the night before; I hopped into the shower and did the hose-off- nobody had arisen yet so I watched some trippy movie called "barhopping" on the tube and chimped some diary. jer's cell starts bleeping so I run into the room not wanting to deprive him of one minute of his verbal love pats. I continue w/ the chimping and laura wakes up- she offers up a blurry good morning ( her head is obviously in the same place as mine), and I ask her where the nearest coffee place is as I have an intense caffeine jones. she gives me explicit instructions but I just can't seem to get myself up from the couch. Jer wakes up and recieves another phone call- this time it's watt, who informs us that we won't be doing a gig tonite as he's been gravely ill all weekend; it seems that as soon as he landed in LA the weakness from the memphis gig started turning into a full blown fever and pain fest (the sickness was again rearing its ugly head). he barely made it thru the pracs', and spent the nights agonizing in the bathtub at home. he made it thru the gig on sunday, but only because the chili peppers' doc shot him up w/ some B-12 to take away the shakes. The fever passed thru him but he needed to rest another day so he would be able to start the tour again (I hoped he would be allright). we broke the unfortunate news to laura who called jen and ed. More phone calls were made and grand national ends up getting another gig at a local place called the cave (very cool as I really wanted to hear them). me and jer hoofed it into town to grab some chow and on the way back we ran into jen and moni who both work in a cool little gift pad on the main drag. we rap for a little while about the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the show, then me and jer hoof it back to laura's pad- he goes w/ her to p/u her gear while I stay behind to chimp some diary and reflect. I'm in a major melancholy mood and the chimping helps me out greatly; it's nice to have a day off but we were both itching to play and the extended shore leave wasn't helping the jones'.

   laura and jer return and we all decide to head over to jen and neal's pad. we arrive and and the rapping and saucing commence. Ed shows up w/ a couple of friends (karrie and autumn) and we rap and sauce some more. we finally decide to head over to the club and we offer ed a ride in the boat- he declines (five years was enough he says), so neal hops in w/ us to ease navigation. the pad is just down the street so we arrive in no time and go inside; it's a very cool place (a cave just like the name implies), and I immediately like the vibe in the place. they only serve beer(not saucy enough), so a few of us hoof it over to this pad called henry's which is a couple of doors down. Once inside, we proceed to increase the sauce level (me to the tune of four bushmills shots), w/o any consideration of the financial ramifications (as the chief says-"when you're not playin', you're payin'). now thoroughly marinated, we make our way back to the cave to catch grand nationals' set. we listened and sauced some more (we were now moving back to the beer slam), and I have to say I was blown away by their set. Laura is an awesome drummer; she plays w/ some fierce determination and ed and jen went thru a transformation in front of my eyes- they took the stage , and their dual harmonies were totally down. me and jer got up to do "the red and the black" w/ them - jer did the bam-bam and I did the vocals. The crowd went wild and was totally into it- I really wished we could've done the cat's cradle show w/ them, it would've been a blast.

   the nationals' finished up their set w/ a couple of encore numbers to much thunderous applause, and it was well deserved. very down band. we sat around after the show saucing and rapping and the crowd dwindles so me and jer decide to head back to laura's to crash. we walk out of the pad and there's about four or five units of north carolina's finest parked directly across from the boat. we figure that they're busy busting some heads or chowing donuts as they have their christmas lights blasting and they're not paying attention to us, so we nonchalantly slither into the boat and make our way back to the crash pad. we get back to laura's and jer decides he must have some cheese grits, so while he's in the kitchen cooking, I channel surf the tube and I guess I passed out (i don't remember). zasto pijes kad ti skodi?......

from watt:

   the morning after and I'm free of the fever and the hurt. I wake slowly and not w/a pop as usual but what a relief to have all that hurting gone. I'm very, very weak and drained but at least the sickness peaked in me and is now gone. what it left in its wake is a spent man. so it is but I'm not going to complain too loud cuz I'd rather have this feeling than the ones of pain and illness. life sure has it's trade-offs. this morning I was to play w/my secondmen in carrboro, nc at the cat's cradle but I'm in no shape to even thing of attempting that. I'll rejoin my guys in raleigh and then drive to our next gig in richmond, va. we'll lose one gig of the tour on account of this which in my mind seems very much a miracle see the condition I was in just friday. man, was I bad off and even last night - it's still insane to me how I got through that but I did so I have much, much to be thankful for and I truly am.

   I do something trippy. I pedal my bike to the pacific diner chow pad (I have no chow in my own pad cuz of tour being on) w/out ever sitting on the seat. I feel like I have to get some circulation through me, move all this inside me all around. when I get there, I chow "the acapulco" which is favorite omelette of mine here. when I'm done, I pedal back - again, never touching the seat. whew, that was a little tough on my knees! time to be still now and recover from that. only a few miles but it was kind of hard! it taps almost all I got inside, time to konk for a bit again.

   this is the weirdest day I've ever had in the middle of a tour - I've never been in my own pad, try to get my strength back up. life can sure deal you a strange hand.

   I wake in the afternoon but I'm so weak, it's hard to do much of anything but lie down and rest up. no bolts of stabbing, unrelenting hurts to beat me down but rather a feeling of just no gas in the tank. I konk on and off all day, trying to put solidness where I feel so porous (in my center). I'm thinking much of my guys out east, it pulls on my heart much to know they're just out there, waiting. I want so bad not to let them down. so glad I'm gonna only miss this one gig and be w/them again tomorrow, that's surely a blessing.

read week 3 of the tour diary

read week 5 of the tour diary

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this page created 6 may 03