from grant hart:
Now all these years later we're going back out on the road again together. It's an honor, a privilege and, quite frankly, a god damn miracle! We're calling this run 'The Tour Tour Two' and you are all invited. Onward!
from mike watt:
it was dennis pelowski who approached me last fall about doing a month w/the meat puppets in the u.s. midwest and east coast and I felt very lucky to have been asked. I go way back w/the guys, love them dearly. then I found out grant and greg of the huskers would be on board also for some those gigs and I felt even more lucky cuz yeah, I go way back w/them too... you've just read about "the tour" we did in the spring of 1985 together - actually the last time all three trios (husker du, meat puppets + minutemen) were together. damn, hard to believe...
isharing the stage w/me this tour will be the jom & terry show which feature missingmen guitarman tom watson and secondmen drummerman jerry trebotic. now we ain't toured in fifteen years (check the hoot page) but I've been playing w/them a buttload in their regular places (second/missingmen) and prac has been happening so I'm chomping at the bit to get this tour on and be w/some righteous brothers I dig so dearly - you watch them help watt work his bass better cuz there's nothing more inspiring than working the towns w/true brothers!
from bal'mor we get on I-70 which goes northwest right towards pittsburgh, excellent plan, thank you grazie. maryland's got a trippy shape, this arm-like part sticking out to the port. like all the drives this tour, it's a pretty one... I dig all the different parts of the country. heavy though when we pass near antietam - one time me and d boon visited here, we visited every civil and revolutionary war kind of thing we could on tour and here's where the biggest killing for our land happened, terrible. terrible.
I get us into pennsylvania at eleven and a half, pull over at the first gas station I see for pony switching - the rudder goes to tom, jer's out of the race and has to go to the bench cuz the benadryl has whupped on him big time. he had to take it though cuz the "organic" waffle he chowed at steve's gave him an allergic reaction and his tongue swelled all up. he's gotta watch the gluten stuff. territory not too far from where "the deer hunter" was filmed? no no, that was more around cleveland and I think even washington state... I don't know, I always think of that movie, going through these parts, western pennsylvania - we see an old barn w/lots of cows but whoa, what's this on the road? a huge truck tire piece laying on it's side - tom dodges it, whew... gotta look way down the road for potential nightmare and not wait for it come right up on you. a little down the road I smell asbestos, prolly from some truck's brakes. there's a couple signs promoting coal mining... really? ok. is that smart in the long run? maybe that's a unintended consequence about those signs, maybe people will think about unintended consequences? I don't know, it's all up to all of us and not watt.
by taking this route and leaving when we did, we get into pittsburgh w/very little plug - way into that. we gotta get across some river (there's three big ones here) and a little west to the millvale part where we're playing tonight. the venue's a converted church (someone said from the 1700s, what?!) called mr small's theatre and I gotta take some loops cuz of one-way streets and drop anchor a quarter of three in a pretty happening parking spot. pulling in early sure has it's advantages, let me tell you. I meet the monitorman ben who is very cool people and knows edward and has done gigs w/his food band. edward tugs on my leash and tells me he's coming, yes! I tell him to bring his guitar cuz of course we're gonna do the b.o.c. tune together - and so is curt - yeah, we do soundcheck w/soundman luke (very cool people who is into being fourth man after hearing speech) and curt brings out the slide to try it out w/us, alright! the chow is cooked here and I get just a cheeseburger made here but it's a good one, I dig. I go into the boat to rest some after the chow but the humidity this side of the rockies is coming and damn if it ain't a sweat pit in there. I go and sit on a chair by the side hatch and it's way more calm. the promoter rep jennae is kind of assaulted by everyone (like my guys) about how to pronounce her name - like shouldn't she know how she likes it? I apologize and ask to work out an early dealio which she is kind enough to do. big hugs for edward when he gets here, he hugs big time too. I told him elmo said he can use his, he'll be by tom. it's show time soon, I'll see him near the finish line.
we hit at a quarter after eight and even though there's a huge roof here which usually means roller-rink-sounding-land, it's pretty good. the pittsburgh gig-goers are most kind, always I have a good time here. before we started I ask about the 31st street pub and the electric banana - of course there's folks who remember. I do it for joel, do it for johnny and judy - I put a lots of what I got in it, 'pert-near the whole thing cuz I'm a little weak... I get a tiny mad at jer missing some cue but him and tom do pretty fucking good, much respect to them. I get no heckling, only focus from these gig-goers here tonight. I dedicate "forever/one reporter's opinion" to mr tom and the seven fields of aphelion and lay into it hard. lots of the gig I feel we're having a good time - I mean everyone, on both sides of the edge of the stage. I bring on edward and cris after the final speech and we whup up on the b.o.c. tune I've been doing since me and d boon were young teenagers. curt's right next to me, right to my starboard... lots of times I'm looking at him looking at me looking at him and it's trippy - I love it. it means a lot to me. over by tom is edward and he's ragin' full-on, beautiful.
I hobble over to the table by the front hatch and sit by the merch table, whew. there's mr tom and maux, crimony! they say they got here right when finished, damn, so sorry. I got excuse myself to rap w/the people - many nice folks, yes. lots of old, lots of new - david, a man we stayed at after a gig at jerome's pad fifteen or something years ago tells about his little girl then that's all grown up now. david's very sincere about his feelings, much respect to him. he wants to talk w/tom - I know it means much so I hobble off to the boat and try to find him. at the last minute I get a card from a man who says he's got an eIectric banana web site - whoa... he gives me a card.
find jer 'pert-near loaded the boat all by himself, respect to him. again the shine cart is most happening. we use the navigatorio gps to get to gary in sewickley (northwest of downtown pittsburgh) who's having us konk w/him again - third time. it really comes through cuz there's been new stuff built it doesn't know, much construction it doesn't know but it still doesn't freak out (this morning it was funny when it put us on all four cloverleafs TWICE to get on the I-95 in delaware - me and jer laughing our balls off but bearing w/the sitch, came out ok) and gets where we need to get, gary's pad. his wife jes had made up some sandwiches and after I get done hosing off and into the nightwear, who arrives? mr tom and maux, righteous! they live in the next neighborhood. so good to have a big spiel w/them cuz it's been a long while. they brought me a bottle of "pigwhistle" that's 'pert-near done but I get two swallows out of it - never heard of before but it's good. one sad spiel is hearing about jive asses ripping mr tom off... yeah, some jive asses even be funded to do such a thing, I can't fucking believe it - what the fuck is that about? some douches have no shame? man, I wish I could spiel forever w/these cats I admire so much - I wanna also show them my pedro town so when they say they're gonna visit so cal I get REAL HAPPY (good antidote to that nightmare story about the rip-offs) and can't wait. hostman gary is just the best, he knows how to get the good time going, two of his buds are here too and by the volume of jer's yammer, I know he's lit up. thank you big time. I'm out of gas and can't remember if I told people buenas noches before konking. lo siento.
thursday, may 18, 2017 - cleveland, oh
pop at twenty of nine - the konk mask is working if even it ain't a very good one (white inside/red outside - what the hell?). looks like the bright blue skies we've been blessed w/might be on the wain... oh well. gary's wife jes has made up a big scrambled egg casserole but my gut is feeling more like the yogurt, blueberries and pineapple slices gary gets me. that was very kind of her though, very much. gary's pad is happening, many MANY records and music stuffs. is he is missing even one bob pollard records? forget about it! he's got the issue of "magnent" zine I did an interview w/bob. he's even got black moth super rainbow's first ever release - he showed mr tom and maux last night and they were trippy on that. respect. gary's gonna move though cuz this pad is coming apart, he says next time he'll be a couple of miles away. he's most kind, big bow his way.
we pull anchor at twelve and a half and I wheel us northwest on I-71 towards cleveland. we see "seven fields" as we get out of the pittsburgh area... could there be a connect between connection to this and maux's nom de guerre? she's got a new album coming out, can't wait to hear it. mr tom's got an anthology he's getting ready. of course we get threatened by asshole driving but I'm here to chimp about it now so you know we survived. oh, I got an email from adam harvey regarding his collab he did w/me for the waywords and meansigns proj that derek pyle's got going that celebrates james joyce's "finnegans wake" work w/music collabs. adam wants to make a video interpretation of our collab and write him back, "sure" cuz I'm into it and want as many people as possible to know about mr joyce's work. I also got emails from tim smith at sony/legacy and andrew rossiter at org music about the upcoming first time vinyl version of my first opera "contemplating the engine room" this fall for its twentieth anniversary. the plan is to include w/it a downloadable recording of the "five man opera" at a pad (now gone) "jillian's" in downtown long beach back in cali on february 6, 1998 which is pretty unique cuz not only does it have both nels cline and joe baiza on board but also the only live performance of the guys (nels cline and stephen hodges plus myself) who did the recording. gary davis captured it and then later mixed it, did a good job. steve reed not only did the mix in the house that night but I had him have his own mic to sing along w/us. I love steve reed and miss him much. I did tours w/him from the late 80s to the end of the 90s and then he had to scissor touring cuz his landscaping business would suffer so when he was gone cuz the peckers who'd promised him they'd keep together would fucking let him down time after time. crimony.
I get us at my buddy demos pad in the shaker heights part of cleveland at three bells, right on sched. crimony. what's he got for us? pork tenderloin and chicken he's q'd up w/this righteous jerk sauce along w/carrots and asparagus - it's all fucking righteous tasting great, very good eats. thank you big time, brother demos. time to talk about big walnuts yonder, I do skype spiel w/brother tsvi for a premier guitar piece on this proj. I've done spiel w/tsvi before and he's a great cat to relate stuff, asks right on questions and never makes you feel uncomfortable - even though there's a lot of great cats writing pieces from spiels out there, I wish I could do all mine w/brother tsvi! he has definitely got it together and makes it fun and not a fucking hell burden. after we get done, I then roll us to the venue, it takes 'pert-near a half an hour but overall this day's driving had only tiny plug. had a lot of assholes on the road making it scary for us though. we drive through the parts w/some cleveland museums and art stuff.
I get us on over to nearer lake erie and where we're playing tonight, the beachland ballroom and my first time ever there. curt's parking the pup's boat (a rented chevy van) - he does most their driving and I park us right next to him. we talk about how good it was to see edward last night. managerman jeff is cool people, I tell him for a long time now my cleveland area gigs have been w/kathy at the grog shop but this is a meat puppets tour and anyway, uncle ray has bugged me for years to play this pad and so now I can both make him happy and check out how it is. bob teagan came w/his cameras, chris and mel are here to - happy to see some michigan, love all three. bob gives me forty bucks for that $1.06 a cup coff at crapdonalds... I try to give it back but he won't let me, he says we got coff for the rest of the tour. it's trippy for me wondering why is hanging on to this coff thing - is it really the greatest bargain ever? it's hard to figure but I love bob and will split the bones between the team. managerman jeff sets up a little table in little side room stage port for me cuz the backstage is down steep stairs and my fucking knee can't help it. he brings me soda water and chips w/a happening salad. a very kind cat, truly. I chimp diary 'til our turn to check, soundman mike is into being fourth man though a first he thinks "the speech" is something I'm gonna do for the gig-goers and not just for him right in the moment. that's pretty funny. he's cool people. I go back to the chamber and find out from the internet we lost brother chris cornell, terrible. chris was always kind to me, always. this is very heavy to me. I didn't see him all the time or lots but eevery timeI did, he was just the best. I'm gonna do tonight's gig for him.
managerman jeff brings me chow they cooked here: a fried breaded chicken piece, some rice w/kale and a salad. it's good. reverend guitars boss ken haas comes to visit, he says jer told him to come harass me - I go "what?!" maybe it's dry humor from ken, huh? I'm real glad to see him and tell him the twelve k dc resistance pickups are the one and he'll get to hear what they sound like in action which is real important to me. I tell him the pickup screw repair job joe naylor did in grand rapids is holding up great. he tells me all future wattplowers will have these pickups but it'll take a month or two for the bodies w/the deeper back bevel will arrive. alright. ken says he also brought a guitar for jer who bought one for himself, reeves gabrel model. I met reeves back in january at the namm trip where the wattplower go the big announce and shared the stage w/him at club in o.c. I really like him and damn if he can't work the guitar! respect. ken departs and then like on cue, uncle ray (w/some little cheeses and canned 'dines in a sack) takes his place. he says it's been rough and could spiel w/me for a buttload of time but doesn't wanna bogart me (his words) so he leaves after a little bit. I thank him for the eats and give him a big hug - I say it was a good idea to play here and thank him for all the times he's told me to work this pad. damn I wish he would come later to demos' pad like he used to but there was some drama about a stooges gig they were gonna both go to together (it didn't happen) that still ain't be repaired. I wish w/all my heart that someday it will.
demos asked me to do at tonight's gig w/a tune I wrote for the first minutmen record, "joe mccarthy's ghost" so I have us open w/that. well, I gotta wait cuz jer spaced on doing the setlists again. crimony. we do good for not doing that tune in a good while - respect to tom and jer. then I tell the gig-goers the next one is for brother chris, "little doll" but really I meant the rest of the set. it is prolly the best bass solo I do this tour. however, in "sweet honey pie" I choke some... it's hard not to cry, it mixes in w/the sweat, I really blow the "forever" part of "forever/one reporter's opinion" though, clams all over the place and barely keep it together. I don't think I'll ever get used to losing people, it's real hard on me. I rally though cuz the band deserves it, the gig-goers deserve it and brother chris does. I gotta try my best. I do two speeches tonight, beginning and end only. the sound here is really good, I like this pad. my men played real good too. it was very emotional heavy for me but I was lifted by good spirit for the gig-goers. one weird thing was mentioning pittsburgh and getting some like rival stuff so I give how that's kind of crazy by telling them about never hearing belgian jokes before I went to holland. "it's not where you're from but where you're at" like rakim says on him and eric b's first album, right? everyone's ok though, even w/a guy up front who keeps hollering for us to play a tune the band doesn't even know. I guess he wanted me in jukebox mode. sorry but you were bumrushing some.
I go to the merch table, managerman jeff helping me through the crowd to get there w/my hand on his shoulder. many kind folks wanna give the good word. of course there's some memory lane stuff... I'm thinking now this stuff w/remembering back is important to these people telling me these things is cuz it was important to them. in some ways it isn't about me now cuz I'm the guy from back then now in some ways BUT I would not be who I am now w/out those days. of course I'm a work in progress, I believe actually everyone is. I'm very VERY grateful for the support people gave me in those days PLUS these days. in a way there's no seperation except for the fact that now is now and is where the dynamic is. how can we even be sure what exactly happened? it is good memories of stuff - I love edward and georgie, they helped me so much in a very rough time. I say this cuz most of this looking back stuff is about the fIREHOSE days. out of the thirtyfive or whatever years of touring, it's those seven years w/edward and georgie I get talked to about the most. those years were very hard for me, learning how to play w/out d boon was very VERY tough. but then even talking about a tour five years ago can be a little rough if it keeps going on over and over. I'm just so glad these people say they understand when I tell them I'm very grateful they're here for me now, in 2017. I truly am. I'm so glad they helped edward, georgie and me also - same w/d boon and georgie before and all the stuff - stooges! perry, peter and perk! j and george berz! k and me! thank you, good people! stanislav is here to say hi - he's the spark that got the fire going that resulted in the "pedro-balkans four-way" ep that came out last month on record store day - I got my secondmen to jjoiningin w/thee melomen from zabreb, vasko atanasoski from skopje and disciplin a kitschme from serbia for a seven inch - us covering each other's tunes. I hear john petkovic is back east doing some stuff finishing an album but where's wasco? miss him. I do meet miss melvis and john from dual decible system, so happening - I can't wait for their new music.
everything stowed, boat ship-shape - we holler fare thee well (damn, never saw uncle ray again) and head back to demos in shaker heights. hose off and then... the hot tub out in the back! jer's already in it, I join him soon and there's different places that put the jets in different places on your body, righteous bubble rub-like blasts all in the sore places - crimony, in the arch of the foot - BIG TIME doing it! hands, wrists, ankles, lower back - everywhere gets its own shot. demos joins us. then some rye and scottish ale he's got and interesting talk d boon would dig - had to say cuz I know he would and bring it righteous perspective. another good time at demos' pad, I konk happy and grateful.
friday, may 19, 2017 - chicago, il
pop at six and a half, too early but I had anxiety about not shoving off early enough cuz we got chicago next and have besides a gig there, there's a four o'clock interview at radio station wgn. for a goodbye present gives me a jesse owens coin, beautiful. I add it to the shrine on the dash but only in temp place cuz we need velcro to seat it where it belongs - tom has little themas set up around dramas involving all the vignettes on the dash shrine here in the boat. time to shove off, eight and a half - I wanted us bailing thirty minutes earlier but demos kept going on and on about how long it takes... do you know how many cats give us underestimations about driving times, sometime two, three, fucking four hours off! I know he means well though, it ain't cuz of bad intent. he let's me get a shot of him w/his revolutionary war flag.
there's dark skies but not the hail and thunderstorms demos says were forecasted to have a good chance of happening, that's a happening development. we go south through 'burbs that takes us to the I-80 (ohio turdpipe), I point us west. crimony, half this road is under construction! it's good the roads are getting worked on the though, don't get me wrong. there's lots of cold weather so when warm comes, they gotta get it going - I can dig it. when we need to fuel the boat I also try a chicken sandwich "w/no hormones" from boogerfling, it's still terrible. mazui.
I get us across the border into indiana 'pert-near right at noon. that's when the rain starts. there's no "oasis" of "service islands" on the indiana turdpipe ('turnpike' in pedro speak) so you gotta get off for gas or like I wanna do, switch ponies. trippy how we're just south of the border w/michigan but never over it - I never am on this way to chicago. anyway after passing the first exit I go for the second one - like an hour from the state line where we left ohio behind. there's machines to take your money so it's a slow-go but no one behind us. when finished, I flip a u-ee and put jer in the driver set. jer immediately has to deal w/construction plug, sorry about that - didn't know but after when I'm tired, I'm tired and it's time for pony switching. after the plug, wouldn't you know it? a fucking oasis w/fuel so we fuel up the boat while fill up the piss jug - I got a technique where I put the jug in next to where the hatch's hinges are and that way nobody knows what's going on... out of sight, out of mind - you know?
back on the road, we open up one of those cans of 'dines uncle ray gave me in a sack w/them, oysters and little cheeses. they're in mustard - great. oil are the worst for tour - either water or mustard are happening for tour mode. we chow them all up quick, I service jer. we pass laporte - that's where trumpetman willie waldman lives. northern indiana is total plug but at least the rain stopped. we pass the time zone line into central and get back that hour we lost ten days ago. jer gets us across into illinois twenty of three according to our adjusted clocks and onto the skyway. the rain returns once we clear the skyway. into town it's total parking lot on the interstate. we big time crawl into the downtown, I call the wgn producerman peter and tell him the sitch. he understands... fuck, he lives here! we're under the loop, the boat's getting shook by the train above us, whoa. it also blocks the navigatori gps satellite reception so I get us on some open road. jer does good w/all the traff hell and we actually find the parking lot at the tribune building, producerman peter coming down to get me - I ask him if I can use my piss jug but he says to instead use the head they got upstairs where the station is. damn if I can't move fast enough but it ain't a full-on pants-pisser, only more of a spot-job. anyway, they can't see this (or smell) on the radio so fuck it. I meet justin of "the download with justin kaufmann" show who is most kind to me and we hit like that, boom bada binga - I dig that kind of flow. he asks me good stuff regarding my music journey which has lots of d boon, raymond pettibon, john coltrane, b.o.c., ccr, pat smear, using music as a form of expression, d boon's ma, stooges, walt whitman, tom watson (so glad he came up w/me), trying to be a student for life, bass, jack bruce - all kinds of stuff justin let's me rap about, so very kind of him, truly.
I get the wheel back and wade the boat through some insane fucked up driving - you would not believe some of the shit we witness going only a couple of miles but do make it safe (some of the route is right along lake michigan and damn if the waves ain't wailing but not looking like they'd be surfable... more like water heaving in a bathtub) to where we're at tonight, lincoln hall. schuba's runs this place and I've worked that pad a few times (dug it a lot) but it's my first time here. they got parking for us too - I trade greg norton (yes, porcupine's w/us tonight - one more time) spots, he's beautiful to do that plus immediately after he gives me music from his own gang font, some demon fuzz, atlantic bridge, magnum and the l.a. carnival - can't wait to check it out, I thank him big time for the turn-ons. the venue people are very fucking happening, from underboss lady maggie to managerman doug, monitorman frank and soundman chirs plus all the other's I'm too stupid to remember their names including the two latin cats in the back that cook me the most righteous lincoln hall burger w/cheddar and lots of onions, best burger of the tour is now what I chowed here tonight. soundman chris hears the speech is into it, much respect to him. monitorman frank to hear what I know about that band rush (their name's on his jacket).
I talk some w/pups managerman dennis and then hear porcupine when they hit at eight. they got me inspired to do better than maybe I can, respect to them and thanks much. nine is when we're on and I take it slow down the stairs... don't wanna really go down the fast way, right? nine bells and I give the first speech. the chicago gig-goers are fired up. I tell them I was conceived here - I was. I wasn't born here (I was born in portsmouth, va) but I was conceived here, my ma told me so herself, I shit thee not. we bring the set. w/all the folks here, it's really tight sound, much different than the check but in a good way. monitorman frank is right on it when I ask for more of my spiel. the mic falls down in the roky tune, damn. I have us start it over. tom and jer are both playing great though jer's getting a little bambam w/the snare so I ask him to soften those blows up some and it sounds better. later tom and jer will say it's prolly one of the best gigs of the tour and except for me a little weak in the voicebox, I'd be happy to agree. there's a little spaceout for the last tune but curt arrives to help deliver the good time on the b.o.c. tune and we finish up most grateful to the spirit and focus of the chicago gig-goers here tonight.
I hobble my way to the merch table after putting away my stage stuff which is way up front and at one point these two ladies give the good word and I thank them but I gotta keep going cuz of where I gotta get to and... well, one says "you're not nice" and really, I wasn't trying to be mean, I swear. I did keep hobbling after thanking them but didn't mean any disrespect by continuing to hobble. I wish I could've explained that but there was no chance to. I really don't intend to be rude to people ever, no - just the opposite, I want them to know I'm very grateful they're hear. at the table my old bassbrother bob weston is here - big hugs for him and the wattplower I got put in his hands by me. his thoughts mean much to me. he likes it's feel he tells me. damn, I wish I could spend more time w/him. bye bob. stanislav's sister snez is here, yes - she asks how was stanislav when I saw him in cleveland and I told her good. it worries me some to get asked that and I feel a little scared - I love them both much. many of tonight's gig-goers come and give me the good word or to get stuff signed or both. some more father and son teams, beautiful. some bass sisters also, respect! kelly hogan from the flat five, alright! that's so bitchin' - I had her on my radio show not too long ago. when you meet someone in person though it's different, just is. so glad I could tonight. I meet w/the managerman doug once more and thank him and his crew here, good cats.
I hobble out in the boat and see my old friend robert vodicka who ran new alliance after it went to greg at sst. he's been in so many towns to see me, now he's here! big love to him. I get strapped behind the wheel and I wait for pup's managerman dennis while pushing address data into the navigatorio gps... he eventually arrives, finishes up some stuff w/me and says maybe there's future trips ahead - I'd be way into that, yes! I thank him for everything and that means what has happened plus what might happen. eventually our whole team arrives and we can head for sauk village where a kind man named jamie has offered us to konk. it's fortyfive minutes away but it'll give us a leg-up on the ride for tomorrow's saint louis gig and I ain't just talking distance but even more important: avoiding fucking plug w/the traff.
I'm now convinced that the strategy of debating things after gigs on tour is not a sound one. maybe some music stuff that just went down at the gig but not other things like organizing the end game to what else the fuck, you know? the drama inside the boat tonight makes that really apparent to me and I'm resolved to revise that policy. the drama outside the boat is even more intense though: a fellow driver of these roads might've been borracho ('drunk' en espanol) and while doing the "bob weaver" gets us involved w/him via his starboard whatever kissing our port towards the aft, BAM! this happens right near of the freeway part of our journey and as he passes (no pullover, like I was expecting that anyway?), we see more of him doing the "bob weaver" thing (head bobbing up and down, vehicle weaving big time), right down the next offramp which thank god ain't the one for us, we're the next. it was tag alright but luckily we weren't it and like ishmael said, we lived to tell the tale.
there's address in sauk village the navigatorio gps doesn't know and jamie's pad is one of them. a yank on his leash plus jer's smartleash map app gets us where we need to dock for the night, jamie out where we need to make the turn, waving a flashlight. we drop anchor in his driveway and I see the damage from that borracho fellow driver... it's black colored plastic stuff, prolly it was his starboard mirror. there's no dent and I bet a good scrub at one of those self-serve car wash trips will get it, I've done it w/the same thing resulting from find the boat parked and gifted from a generous reckless vehicle operator. jamies pad is peaceful and just what I need. I hose off and get in the nightwear, his musical buddies marshall and jill come over (jamie says they've all played together), we all have a good time. jamie apologizes for his internet connect being put to his machine via internet but since it's a mac, I show him how he can use the wifi part of his 'puter to share the internet w/us. I couldn't tell you how to do it w/a windblows machine but I can w/this mac mini he's got. marshall's got a good mind and shares 'puter experiences w/me like apple // and bbs - yeah, you used to call people's pads to connect! crazy. speaking of crazy, we discuss some current affairs... jamie cooks up some peetz to go w/some beam. marshall and jlll bail when lateness dominates... the air mattress turns his music room into a konk chamber, I'm out!
saturday, may 20, 2017 - saint louis, mo
pop at nine bells, demos' konk mask is helping me konk better - I'm most MOST grateful to him. respect. I didn't hose off last night, don't know why but know I gotta now. jamie makes coff from this olde-timey machine, from the 70s - no, it ain't mr coffee but from around that time. we have some good raps about all kinds of stuff mixed in w/email work and diary chimping - jamie's really easy going and it's a good relax mode he's got the band in w/which for me is happening recovery mode from last night's before we got here drama. pull anchor at noon... was raining all night and even this morning but now it's stopped. bye byes to jamie for being such a kind man, truly. bye to good champion dog bean too. before getting on I-57, I take us to filling station and they got some wisconsin smoked ham I get w/some "green machine" juice. tom gets some curds w/dill (again wisconsin) and I use the ham slices like tortillas to make burritos out of them around the curds. tastes ok but gotta admit I don't hear the squeak from the curds like what greg norton said to look for to see if they're fresh. well, there's is something about them cuz an hour later I gotta pull us over for only one reason - blow it out or foul the boat. damn if tom ain't gotta do the same thing! there was something about those curds I think...
twenty after three I pull off somewhere south of effingham for pony switch, tom on the wheel while jer moves from shotgun to bench cuz obviously the mota he puffed has made him useful for not much else except ballast. tom takes south and south through farmland through champaign, the univ of ill school town - damn, I used to play there all the time and now I can't even tell you the last time I was there except it was a while ago. we merge into I-70 w/tom still doing great w/the rudder, jer still passed out on the back bench. I'm chimping diary. we go from east saint louis (bye bye illinois) over the mississippi for the last time this tour (hello missouri) and two exits later we get to the old rock house ten after five, good job from tom for getting us here safe. we're real close to the our land's biggest river which is a frist for me in a long time - my saint louis gigs have been way more inland, by the university stuff. I used to do a pad called mississippi nights down here (managerman jason says it's now a parking lot for a casino)... crimony, I heard the cat who owns this pad was a part owner of that old one! I remember the last gig us minutemen did (fall of '85) there where d boon was getting me to try not eating meat and there was this HUGE pot of spaghetti the mississippi nights folks made for us that had like five pounds of hamburger meat. I asked d boon why was he chowing it and he said it was to teach his body why it happening to eat meat. "oh" I said. I still kept meatless cuz I wanted to stay steady w/what he asked me to check out. at the end of that year though I quit that plan, losing him hit me hard everywhere. hard to write about those days...
tonight's gig is at a pad called the old rock house and securityman ogre has me dock the boat where we can bail easy come the end game, speaking of which, managerman jason get it all lined up for that on his too - nothing like teamwork. speaking of which, soundman tony is way into the speech and working the fourth man spot, right on. the pups actually loaded in right in front of us, I get to rap w/bassbrother cris which is always a privilege for me as is w/his brother curt who I get some rap in w/also. lately the pads have been having the backstage being accessed via big amounts of stairs and w/my fucked-up portside knee, I can't spend time w/everyone like in places where it's all one deck. we do the check w/soundman tony quick and good, then chow gets brought to me but it's salted-out too much for watt (one bite told me) so I'll just skip dinner tonight, no big deal. the folks working here are most kind and I wanna repay by not being anything but grateful.
I chimp diary 'til 'pert-near onstage time (eight bells) and then hobble up to where I'll work, a little more access for me than last night which I'm into - was almost "down goes frazer" in chi-town. all those exposed windows that made the check sound like we're in a roller rink is now blocked w/bodies and those saint louis gig-goer bodies have minds that decide to support us out loud right out the gate, most happening! both tom and jer tear it up, especially tom - now that he's got his own wah-wah back (porcupine casey fixed it), some of what I was missing is now back that way but also he's bringing a life to the set I can really get the qi fired up in me from - you know qi, right? it's my qi and me not leeching off of tom's but rather tom's artistic expression via guitar, singing and dancing that's igniting what's inside me. it's like a field-effect trip, like how pickups work on a bass - a VERY strong influence that I feel for the better, a hand up. it's a real good set, the capper being curt up there w/us for the b.o.c. tune, most bitchin'.
I hobble to the merch table in the back and get the good word from folks while jer has a major hell w/the sky opening up on his drum stuff he just got out there from the stage, crimony! jer does good lots of time in panic sitches though and later he relates to me the damage control he enacted and survived the ordear. one cymbal stand didn't make it though BUT jer brought a backup stand so he's still in the race, good thinking. meanwhile I spiel, sign and get usies taken (selfie means one, right? usie can mean more than one, maybe?), so glad people keep me in their life in 2017 whether it's the first gig they've seen me or w/a story (or stories and stories and stories and...) from however back - I really mean it when I tell them thanks.
I've stayed w/marty and holly before but this time they have clara jane aboard, an righteous shipmate who runs the deck here. when dock at their pad in the franz park part of town and my watch says one after ten, fuck yeah! his buddy chris and him tag-team me for some real good spiel - he drinks off the bottle of old crow he has so I use some of that bulleit I was given last night - we never drink off each other's bottles on tour, it's nothing personal but we don't wanna pass bugs around and keep our health the best we can that way. everyone in the boat has their initial on the bottle's cap and we're strict about that. oh yeah, forgot to say right after entry I hosed off and got into the nightwear - this is how watt really knows the gig's over. we're also granted laundry privileges, so kind of holly and marty, truly. chris and marty move our spiel to the porch outside and I relate what I know about football: a narrow period between 1969 and 1973 when I knew all about that game, people like joe kapp, coy bacon and tom dempsey. I hope I didn't get too loud, that sometimes happens. I know I konked happy though - that's cuz I was w/good people!
sunday, may 21, 2017 - columbia, mo
pop at ten after nine, that's a good chunk of konk for watt. it's sunny weather out the window which makes me grateful - weather is so fucking acute on tour, huh? marty cooks up scrambled eggs w/potatoes and some gravy - that's what I have but he makes all kinds of stuff for everyone... he's missing the ham though - he had some ham he wanted part of all this but don't know what happened. then he says him and chirs did cheese and crackers downstairs after I konked. mystery solved? besides good chow, marty does good spiel and I'm into it. I don't know if it's cuz they started their voyage pretty close to saint louis but damn if he don't know a lot about the expedition lewis and clark did in the early 1800s. I could rap w/him for hours and this is in the daytime w/out whiskey. his ma arrives and we talk some about people - I tell her you wouldn't believe how much in common we all have and some of this "big differences" shit has been exaggerated prolly not on purpose. she says she thinks more people should meet each other from other parts. I'm lucky w/my kind of work about that.
we shove off just after one, first bid farewell and thanks to marty and his ma, he gives me a jarritos mandarina for a going away gift - whoa. I get us to I-70 and point us west. at wentzville I pull off at some mall land and while tom and jer hit up the home depot for some clamps to keep the board in back up cuz we ain't got enough merch to keep it us but enough to come flying through the gap I had petezo build cuz when I'm not touring in the boat I got a kayak named "zaby" I have in here cuz I paddle tues-thurs-sat when home in my pedro town at cabrillo beach. when the boat's in tour mode, the kayak comes out and then this board goes up and blocks where that opening for the 'yak's bow is. we do a can of 'dines w/mustard on top of triscuts, jer being the force-feeder. I take only a couple in the mouf.
we pull into columbia at three, the rose music hall is where we're at tonight but no one's here now so we wander. columbia's the big missouri college town and the old downtown's small but sill too much for me to hobble so I go back and take the boat to a mexican called "el rancho" and get four tacos carnitas there, I dig it. good mexican taste though I think the cook is salvador or somewhere a little south of mexican. good chow is good chow though, I'm most grateful. they got jarritos mandarina also - fuck, I don't think I've ever done two in one day but today I did. did I mention no meat puppets tonight? yeah, they have the day off so it'll be us w/two local bands working this place that used to be "mojo's" - it's here where the last time I played this town was - like ten years ago. crimony.
back to the pad and there's folks there now, I meet soundman justing and he gives good focus to the speech and is into it - also said he talked w/last nights soundman tony so he had a leg up on tonight. respect. I meet the gigboss katie. again, respect. very kind, everyone here. after the check, I go to the boat and for the first time this tour I get a good pre-gig konk: three straight hours out like a light. I do miss the openers (john galbraith trio and saint gnome) but man, you can't know how this revitalized me, you can't know - whoa.
tom rousts me ten minutes before go time. he's got throatcoat tea for me, thank you, tom. in the initial speech I tell the folks about the two columbias that I know: the one in south carolina that james jamerson was born (watt's wrong - he was born in south carolina but on edisto island - all this time I've been a baka!) and the one here in missouri that... for some reason I think of darryl jenifer - a bassman I big time admire but don't exactly know what his connection w/this town is/was... maybe something about the school? I remember doing a gig w/the bad brains in nijmegen and he had mizzou sweat pants on... fuck, whatever - he's bad on bass and you know what I think about mr jamerson: we all on the boomstick owe him everything. we bring the gig. I feel super strong, I mean for watt - I feel super-strong. the band charges hard. the columbia gig-goers bring it back... there's a massive pogo and then a pit, cats hollering the words and there's fists in the air. it's a wailer of a gig. I skip the second speech and have us finish up "cut" thinking that if folks want an encore, we can bring the b.o.c. and not have jer stink up another nano flaccid pitiful grope at trying to do "fun house" which I don't think anyone deserves. I want jer looking good anyways, I never wanna put him in place that puts any hell on him - he's a good man and doesn't deserve that. we pow wow behind the curtain, tom w/me first and I tell him how blown away I was by his playing and singing again tonight - he's a roll! we end the gig strong.
I go to table where the merch is and talk w/folks. many good hearts share kindness w/me. some bassbrothers too. respect! I settle w/katie and then we're off for a pad in town tom set up... tom's got a great sense of where the boat can be safe and we have healthy areas to konk in, a kind bassbrother named matthew welcomes us aboard, him and his wife jenny most kind. I get to hose off and get in the nightwear quick, then spiel good w/matthew about all kinds of bass stuff - I even have him try the wattplower and check out his standup and cello though I'm afraid to starting try to get music from them. I did do a proj for kill rock stars in the 90s called li'l pit where I forced myself to compose and record on a standup I got from a nice cat who eventually got it back from me... I was not strong enough to work this and also I think too warped to let go of bass guitar enough to really wrestle the grandpa right. some stuff I can't remember talking to matthew about but that ain't his fault - actually, it's stuff I said I can't remember! his spiel was real good and as nice as his kindness. I konk happy thankful, truly.
monday, may 22, 2017 - kansas city, mo
pop just before nine. jenny makes me coff and makes me a kind of french toast which is glass pan filled w/eggs and pieces of toast plus cinnamon and then put in the oven. good tasting! I can't remember when I had french toast last but I dug this. we spiel about stuff before she's got a meeting. I hip her to "the prisoner" and flow the mp4 versions I got cuz I think matthew would dig these too... it's almost a mission in life for me to turn on as many cats as poss to these seventeen parts of an intense hole that has spoke to me since I saw them as a boy in navy housing around when I got there in pedro from norfolk in virginia. I hose off again - hey, it was happening last night and we got time, should be good again and it is.
great weather even w/the sky not empty of clouds, we pull anchor at two. there's a drum shop near where we played last night and jer wants to see if he can replace the part that snapped on a stand of is in saint louis. out of luck but the ownerman brian comes out to say hi to me, very kind of him. I wheel us west on the interstate, towards the final gig of our missouri I-70 trifecta (saint louis/columbia/kansas city) and the clouds do get darker as we head on straight but hilly road. lots of overpasses have some people w/flags that seem they're expecting something... turns out going the other way (east) is a caravan of motorcycles, something for vietnam veterans. no gas stop today cuz of tank full enough to do the two hours, about thirty miles out from destination, a missouri state trooper pulls me over. there was a flatbed truck or trailer on the shoulder w/lights flashing and a car on it but damn if there was anyone in either vehicle. anyway, I know now what those signs we've been seeing mean: :move over for emergency vehicles w/flashing lights" - the trooper says it means you move over to the next lane. here I was mocking those signs by saying of course you don't ram them but didn't realize it meant move over a land. I for sure do now. no ticket and just a warning and a run through of my drivers license, vehicle registration and insurance but that's real quick and then a little interview about where we're going and when I tell him he wants to know how far east we did and it takes me two tries cuz I spaced on portland, maine and he says "whoa - what kind of music?" and of course I tell him jazz-fusion and quickly we're on our way. he was a nice officer, really was. I promise to move over from now on when I see such a sitch - speaking of which: jer says it was prolly a set-up cuz he saw the same thing going the other way on the other side. no matter what, something I learned today.
arrive in downtown kansas city (a sign on a pole says "crossroads arts district") and drop anchor at the record bar at three, I've never been here before and use sixteen quarters for parking until jer brings padmanager chris up to me - I'm all set in the passenger seat and am enlightened to the fact we can park free right in front of the pad, alright! that is very happening cuz you don't how many times in the old days you had to roam and roam and roam and... you still gotta do it if you're at the mercury lounge in manhattan but more and more gigpad folks are into helping the bands that come work their rooms dock their boats. I meet gigboss andy and set up the end game, he's happy to oblige, respect to him.
it's the last monday gig of the tour... trippy we're in kansas city on a monday night cuz in the old days there was a blues pad called "the grand emporium" but on mondays they'd let punk rockers have gigs. they had a righteous little kitchen too. the first pad I played though was "foolkillers" - maybe some kind of community space? anyway, at four george arrives w/bassbrother mike and his buddy alex, he wants to chow us at a pad called tannin , like two blocks away. I have rib eye, george's choice. george has been archiving away at getting stuff from charley plymell for a kansas home cuz charley's originally from holcomb, ks and not cherry valley, ny where he is now. george gives me a shirt charley gave him to give me, righteous of him. it's plaid and short-sleeved. I'll wear it in pedro, maybe at some gigs but not on this tour - every gig of this tour has the gig shirt, it's got just five more to go and then... into the donate box. the rain that was coming on us when I hobbled over has now let up. I thought the chow was real good, have had one like that in a long while and it felt special. thanks so much, george, you got a good heart.
I hobble back to the gig pad and give the spiel to soundman paul who seems a little puzzled by my spiel but when he brings up joel hamilton (tony maimone's partner at studio g - tony's a big bass hero for me), I know it's gonna be ok. my gut is feeling ok too... I think that steak ain't gonna hurt me. I was a little scared cuz of being a little out of shape w/chowing that kind of stuff in the last few years. actually my gut is feeling way better than a week ago when I might've been bellyachin' (ha! perfect expression for this, huh?) about it in the diary but all that's behind me. I can tell you this about my knee too but you never know how lame it is to be not right until you're not right. good health is so much taken for granted, you know? crimony. I go and chimp in the dary in the boat w/the shirt off, very comfortable. we've really lucked out on dodging the humidity that can be so much an energy-sapper and it ain't really a north/south thing, no - it's way more a east/west of the rockies trip, that's what touring all over has taught me about north america.
eight is the schedule and you can put money on watt not stalling one moment and hitting that sharp. of course "set beginning" means first speech. I say something about it being our last gig of our missouri I-70 trifecta, mentioning the two towns already done, columbia and saint louis when someone hollers out "fuck saint louis" and I holler back "fuck that! we got too much of that hate crap going already" - something like that... man, we gotta man up and grow a pair - we truly have to get it together and spread the respect. that's what I think. the gig goes good, lots of it cuz of the kansas city gig-goers w/the spirit they bring but also cuz tom charges really hard and jer does good too. well, he stinks up the b.o.c. cover some cuz he tried to play it slower and it was kind of like the I-70 we took earlier today, pretty straight but lots of hills, up and down. we discuss it later and decide not to try and play it slower. oh, I broke a string - the 'd' one. I ain't done that in a bit, my hands ain't that strong so much. it took a little while to change too... tom came over to cut some excess off (remember this wattplower is a short scale: thirty inch) before I jam it through - I load the strings through the body to help w/the tension probs short scales can have. maybe these half-rounds ain't as flexible as a roundwound... I'm digging them though.
at the table where merch is slung, I gulp down the soda water w/a lime in it I love so much after playing my brains out. who's there to greet and hug me? john, andy's brother - two kansas city cats that go way WAY back w/me, from minutemen days and have just always been the best. big love to him. andy now lives in portland - seen him last march (or was it feb) when me + my missingmen were touring w/toys that kill, I dug that tour. anyway, lots of kindness from lots of gig-goers, in a line to greet me and/or get picture or stuff signed. fred from omaha's here, I 'pert-near spaced on that - saw him going in to work the gig... fred drove two hundred miles to do this - much respect to him... also, much respect for all the kindness and good word from these cats here, truly.
I get to get the end game going w/gigboss andy who's the man to help me out, also getting homemade chili sauce from his partner, fucking right on. a HUGE thanks to george's buddies mike and alex for helping tom and jer w/the gear load-out, essential aid for us, merci. right before getting in the boat I gotta spend time w/nurse rockett and steveo - they drove all the way from arkansas for the gig, beautiful. I love these two, truly. there's a sticker on my t c electronic blacksmith amp (the one I've been using for this tour) of doug rockett, karen's brother. he was a dear friend of mine that diabetes took him way WAY too soon. he was a righteous man w/a huge heart, became a foot doctor. it was a hard blow losing brother doug, I think about him all the time. big BIG hugs for karen and steveo, big ones. in the boat w/us is wint who's the son of a buddy of my buddy kevin who came across the river from lawrence not just for the gig but to fix up a konk pad for us - ain't the beautiful? big love for brother kevin. wint guides us to the union hill part of town and there's a safe lot for the boat right next to the pad where he lives w/his pop, mike. mike and kevin went to college together. wint's a bassman so after I hose off and get into the nightwear, we talk bass - kevin's in on it too, damn if didn't prolly get the first wattplower available, went right to the reverend guitars boss ken haas himself! respect. he has me sign the back of the headstock. wint asks me about working bass w/out a boost pedal and getting shit up for solos and I tell him I do it via the volume control on the bass itself. you don't start the gig w/it all the way open so you got that FULL ON capability when you need it. same w/the tone control, never have it dimed up unless that's what you need at the moment. for me, a set is like a landscape w/lots of hills and valleys, deserts, bayous, forests and plains - all kinds of shit and I just ain't into negotiating that stuff via stompboxes. I tried it w/my second opera - three tours worth but damn if it ain't the thing for me. been trying some earthquaker ones for recording though, just befor tour I did a bass solo using two of them for a tune for brother vasko and his bernays propaganda band. we all have a good time but I run out of gas and need to konk, the air mattress so fucking happening but I gotta admit that maybe the one kevin has got tom is maybe three times better? it's fucking three times thicker, for sure. fucking takes forever of this real loud-ass pump but I can imagine the good float he's gonna have. you know what? I don't remember getting on my mattress...
tuesday, may 23, 2017 - oklahoma city, ok
pop at twenty after eight. tom pops soon after - well maybe he got no konk cuz that fucking air mattress he used was bullshit and went totally flaccid. crimony. we should've used the other one in the boat... from now on I'm carrying three air mattresses in the boat at all times, I just am. same w/the shine cart - always gonna have it... fuck am I slow learner. crimony. now tom says he found me in the kitchen, konked on the deck w/my face right on the hardwood. damn. I must've later gotten up to piss and then went over to the air mattress cuz I know that's where I popped up from.
kevin cooks up a good chow of fried eggs (over medium, I'll take these every time over scrambled), sausage patties, hash browns, sourdough toast and fruit/berries/strawberries - good stuff. he loads us up w/all kinds of other chows for the boat: sandwich fixings and... well, I gotta tell him to stop cuz we ain't got the room or the guts to hold it all and damn if we're gonna have chow all over and turning the boat into a bug nest. thank you much for the kindness but please - there is such a thing as too much chow. mike sets up his little prac putting green for jer near where tom's chowing and damn if jer doesn't puts his ass right in tom's face, what a fucking dick. sometimes jer does shit like this, it ain't out of meanness cuz jer ain't got a mean bone in his body, it's just a sad case of "all about me" unawareness behavior he stumbles into every now and then. jer has a real good heart though, he'd never intentionally would be a dick, I know it. just the scene of jer's ass in tom's face, him w/his putter and tom w/his plate of chow and the ass not allowing him to get the fork to his mouf was disturbing.
we take aboard as much chow kevin can foist on us and bid both him and mike farewell along w/sincere thanks for all their righteous kindness. it's just after ten when we pull anchor w/me on the wheel - I always take the first shift in my boat. pretty good weather, it looks like. it's gonna by I-35 the whole way today. the ipod on shuffle gives us "crystal clear" from the brother's sister's daughter album "bsd" (itunes here) and I tell the story to everyone in the boat. nels wrote it on his first flight to japan for he first recording ever there, I arranged it w/mr shimmy and ms yuko for our brother's sister's daughter proj. I even have the hand-written manuscript of the music for it, at the time he entitled it "diamond queen" and it had no lyrics. ms yuko changed that. that group was a very interesting collab and we did three albums... only one (the first) has come out so far... I know mr shimmy is very busy but one day hopefully.
not far past wichita I pull us over at one of the kansas turdpipe "service islands" just before two for pony switch w/jer and some fuel for the boat ($2.16/gallon) and also a dump cuz tom bogarted the head where we konked and the last fuel stop had just one dumper (jer walked in on the guy - he says he's been doing that all tour) so I get a good blow-out chance here at "ez-go" (appropriate name) now you get on/off these "islands" in the fast lane and damn if there ain't some clusterfuck w/a truck speeding its ass off, trying to force the issue w/a fucking pass, the guy in front of us 'pert-near stopping - I tell jer to slow down so he doesn't get into this tangle and thank god nothing happened though it could've gotten real bad. jer keeps us rolling safe, twenty minutes later we cross in oklahoma.
four bells, jer gets us to the we play tonight (we see gas for $1.96/gallon on the way, cheapest of tour), the 89th street collective in the northwest part of oklahoma city - hey, I've been here before... it used to be call "the conservatory" - ain't that a trip?! well, nothing wrong w/recycling a pad, nope - especially when it means playing here cuz I like this town much. I explore next door, what used to be "size records" 'til padboss nick comes out of the venue's hatch and invites us in. whoa, a lot of changes like the stage being put on the adjacent bulkhead - before it was on the same one the front hatch was and now if you're at that hatch, you look at ten o'clock to see it. they moved the bar back, just made it all more open and more together. we load in and soon after the pups arrive... out in the back where they docked (we chose in front of the pad cuz... uh, that's where I'm used to, this is the third time here for me), curt hips me to john c riley (never heard of him before) and I hip him to nick tosches and his "country: the twisted roots of rock 'n' roll" book - fuck, I gotta get it to him. curt's deep about music, really is. respect. what's trippy is elmo says while curt was talking to me about john c riley, cris was doing the same w/tom and jer inside the pad - parallel universes, huh? I wonder how shit like that works...
the soundcheck trip starts w/the pups like usual. meanwhile I put the other three strings from the pack I got the 'd' string last night and put them on, kind of lame job w/the 'e' string but I'm thinking it'll hold for now (too many fucking winds, didn't break off enough). what's unusual w/our check is that I didn't really give "the speech" to soundman jacob but instead just ask him to be our fourth man (he's into it, had worked w/me vzd's before) before I got sidetracked and started windbagging about boris (can you believe they've been around twentyfive years now? crimony!) - he's got some boris stories too and so that's how it went before quickly checking, the way we do. sometimes I get distracted like that, like a baka. the feel spectres arrive - so good to them all again, guitarman matt's having us konk at his pad again, most kind. I hear them do their "elephant song" for soundcheck and it's great. guitarman matt says he's got chicken for us so I forgo foraging for chow and instead go out to the boat and konk hard.
tom rousts me for gig time at nine, he's got a styrofoam cup w/hot throatcoat tea in it for me, most kind colleague. we bring the gig. in the spirit of will rogers I'm gonna call it the rope trick tonight. the rope trick goes good not just cuz tom and jer are playing their asses off but also cuz of the magnetic field generated by the oklahoma city gig-goers here tonight. I look much at the folks while playing, picking up on their most kind focus. one thing kind of trippy and it's my fault but maybe the spiel's a little too "roller rink" ('wet' in gig-speak) w/the effects - I prefer it a little more dry. I trust soundman jacob much though so even w/this I don't say anything over the mic and just ride it out. I don't want soundman jacob embarrassed by any blurt out of me. what I can do is play my heart out and not try to mix the band from the stage in midstream.
I go to the merch table and do that which gets done there by me after gigs. I sign another wattplower bass (hey, I just found out orange is available now!), me and this bassbrother talk about stuff about it, about the roundwound strings at 100-80-65-45 vs the halfwound 105-85-70-50 ones I've been using the last bunch of months. we're almost out of everything which is good - you don't wanna bring home merch but at the same time... you know it's a dice roll about the whole dealio and mainly, I tour to play and not really sling. there are tonight posters from feel spectres guitarman matt I sign, that's neat. many kind gig-goers. whoa, justin's here! he was a flaming lips helperman when I first met him years and years ago and it's so good to see him again, truly it is. BIG hugs. he says we can spiel later.
I settle w/padboss ted, good cat - he asks me to come back and for sure I will. tom and jer do a great end game and the boat's ship shape for pulling anchor which we do and meet feel spectres guitarman matt at his pad which is truly a bitchin' one. the story is some folks from greece built it in the late 50s in a modern style for those times and matt has only encouraged that path w/his additions. ranch style single story. I see on a coffee table a more modern edition of "how to keep your volkswagon alive" by john muir which my pop gave me when I got my first vw... whoa, the memories come flooding back from those days - I would later come to own five of them (one at a time!) - three bugs (68/63/64 - the 64 is the red one on the "double nickels..." cover), a squareback (67) and a bus (63), doing all the repairs myself cuz of that book (rebuild engines, brakes, front ends - you name it). I think this book has got the beginnings of my "we jam econo" philosophy - I know I was thinking of it when I wrote "the politics of time" (the tune, not the album!) lyrics as a metaphor for what we were doing w/music while at same what we were doing to make a life. vw cars were very econo and easy to do self-work on. I even got my sister melinda into it and worked on friends' vw probs - even linda (the lady slinging for the pups) had her bus worked on me and raymond's pop regis' - I couldn't keep my hands off them! I thank my pop big time for getting me into them (he liked to show me how stuff worked) and for mr muir and his righteous book that's heavy w/stuff besides just mechanics. big respect to him.
I chow that chicken our host matt told me about, a little broasted one and justin comes over like he said he would and rap a ton about all kinds cuz we gotta catch up. some knob creek helps. he's known matt so it's kind of a three-way and we have a good time. so good to see justin again, so kind of matt to share his pad. I run out of gas eventually and konk.
wednesday, may 24, 2017 - dallas, tx
pop at nine, hose off again. our host matt is very kind and cooks up some bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. coff too, happening. I go to the chamber I konked in to chimp diary but it's 'pert-near like I'm still in the kitchen, swimming in a blather of massive windbag jer's got going w/matt... for sure more than two hours of non-stop yammer I think matt was into it so I wouldn't call it a full-frontal assault from jer, more like a greek chorus kind of thing w/the chorus itself being the focus, topics being only suggestion to keep everyone safe from horrid silence. jer's been working hard all tour and deserves to relax and matt's a most kind host. these are what good tour mornings are made of. tom's konked where he was konked last night, I can tell he needs the rest cuz he's a little beat up. he's been working on stage though, no denying and I got my fist in the air for him... jer too but he relaxes in another way lots of ways: w/yammer. they're both good men.
pull anchor at noon. it's gonna be like yesterday: all I-35 and matt's pad is right by the belt to get to it. the weather is happening w/no humidity and lots of sun, very mild. quickly down the road, someone realizes we've donated the cooler and all that chow kevin gave us back in kansas city. this is what happens when you either forget to or have a lame baka check. damn. twenty of one, just before ardmore, I decide I'm dividing today's drive in two - like yesterday cuz I'm getting kind of wore out some and w/out the big pre-gig konks (except for missouri), it's adding up on me. we stop at a "flying j mascis" (actually "flying j" but that's our "boat talk" term for it) and tom decides he'll take the helm. twenty after two we cross into texas and are told by the border sign to "drive friendly, the texas way" - alright, I hope that's how it is here cuz these days it seems the rest of the country ain't... you should've see the shit we witnessed today - well, tom was almost forced off coming on and I had motherfuckers leapfrogging and then slowing down to just fuck w/us at one point, others tailgating cuz I just guess they got the habit. I just let all these fucks fly further and get out of our life.
I talk about nurse rockett and steveo more, how I met her brother doug and all the years we were friends. I also tell the team about monday night in kansas city, what steveo told me when he saw x just recently and used my name to get back stage. I konked at karen and steveo's a couple of years again when il sogno del marinaio came through memphis to do a gig there. steveo had a picture of both me and him in our nightwear and when he had john doe look at it, joe doe told him "don't you ever fucking show me something like that again." the steveo said john doe asked him "was there whiskey involved?" well I can tell you: damn right there fucking was. south of denton I-35 gets really bad, man, they gotta get this improvement going - it's in the process but damn if don't seen things ain't going fast enough. gotta be patient - gotta be safe. late is better than dead.
we ain't late though, were fortyfive minute early getting into the deep ellum part of dallas (we see the back of the book depository on the way) for the five pm load-in and tom docks us in a lot about a block from club dada (place is locked up, no one here yet) which is where we're playing... I move us to a different slot but then find out they want ten bucks so I move the again to a lot across the street for five bucks but then a spot opens in front of the gigpad but then a better one opens where no can get in behind us - the fifth spot. I paid five bucks for the lost across the street but when the pups arrive (shortly), I lay it on them so it don't go to waste.
gigboss kris and soundman chris arrive a quarter after five and we begin building a gig. I remember kris from a year and a half ago... he ran one of the three gigs jeff smith (of saustex records) set up for a short texas run for me and my missingmen - one was dallas (w/kris), austin (for the corn lovers fest) and san antonio (I ain't played that town in a buttload of years). it takes me a little to remember and I'm embarrassed for it but it all comes back, kris is ioof w/some cats here, their lodge is in waxahachee. tom and jer send soundman chris to get "the speech" from me and since the other time I worked this room was w/the fratelli (il sogno del marinaio) so he's got an idea where I'm coming from and is into being the fourth man. the room's acoustics make things tough but I know from last time soundman chris has the skills. miss hiyro brings me some yaki-soba from a chow pad a block away called "deep shushi" where I've shoveled before - it's good, some gyoza too. I gotta re-string the 'e' string on my wattplower - I didn't break off enough of the string and so too many winds on the post, making for a lame angle to keep the string in the nut slot. I was baka. I now correct that. the check goes good, soundman chris knows how to do it. I go to the boat and konk.
eight and half is go time, tom routs me ten minutes before, cup of throatcoat tea for me and do I need it now at this stage of the tour. it's only feet to the hatch - I don't even bring my yellow coat (the konk was kind of a sweaty one) and the stage right there in the corner, only a step up. I give a spiel about the three kris, chris and cris cats we got in the house tonight I'm big time in respect of (gig boss, soundman and bassbrother), then we bring it. no more second speech adding to three - only beginning and end ones. I do stop us in "the big foist" cuz jer losing all sense of tempo. actually, there's a prob w/where my bass amp is - too far back and to the side... luckily wheels make it easy to adjust for that. the room's acoustics make the snare sound like it don't even have a wire (snare), more like a timbale. soundman chris though gets things together and tight, amazing. respect. the dallas gig-goers are fucking way w/us, respect to them. it wasn't a build up either, it was right out the gate - I remember one gig-goer starboard of me helping w/the bass solo I do in the third tune, I did the whole thing for him, looked him right in the eye the entire time and he sure as hell got me over w/it, I shit thee not. I bow his way. there is a hardware prob I had to deal w/and it was another pickup screw issue, this time one of the screws that hold in the pickup for the 'g' and 'd' string - the one on the 'g' side. it wormed it's way up and by the time we've done a third of the set, I gotta get that philips driver joe naylor gave me in grand rapids and twist that baby down. no prob and it stays the whole gig but I did have to stop the set a little. hey, that's real life - I don't carry either a backup bass or an assistant hair-tech. if worse came to worse there's always brother cris' bass I could ask to borrow.
short way to the merch table and a bench seat so folks can sit w/me as we spiel and shoot shots (pics) and things get signed. lots of warm feelings, thank you so much, good people of dallas, thank you. I sign a bass but it ain't a wattplower, it's a fender j - hey, I like those. I'll sign any kind of bass if it's used to aid and abet in being creative, no prob. one guy's got a "project: mersh" shirt, d boon drew the design on it. this gig-goer tells me "this shirt was built to last!" fucking right on. hey, I get to meet that cat who helped me w/that bass solo, yeah! much respect. lots of kindness, lots of repeat offenders - meaning people keep coming to see me, some as far back as "the twilight room" days. I promise them I'll keep pushing, keep on keepin' on.
gigboss kris settles w/me and we get our konk pad host for the night, a happening guitarist named jeremy in the boat w/us for role as real-life navigatorio. I've konked w/him many times, a righteously kind man. his wife melissa and son liam also. he takes straight down elm and past the book depository building where we lost president kennedy - there's the grassy knoll, there's the fence (jer's into this fence, the three tramps trip), the place where mr zapruder filmed - all that nightmare and at night time... trippy for me even though it's buttloads of times I've seen this place.
we get to nearby irving, not far and it's just after ten bells. jeremy's buddies john and klaus to greet us plus of course his family who's made us lots of good stuff to chow and drink. I hose off and get in the nightwear quick as I can. klaus leads a talk on grunge and then gets involved in one I some got up into about broken arrows - no one here knows about them... well, my pop was a sailor who worked in nuclear engine rooms as a machinist mate so I know some cuz he told me. everyone should know something about this stuff, right? klaus said he thinks folks should so they can weigh in and maybe do something about it. makes sense to me. oh, about the grunge thing - it was kind of about flannel shirts and how I got into them. I kind of co-opted them from the ccr singer john fogerty. I was so insecure about not know how to play the bass to his songs and though if I wore his shirts, d boon would still like me. it's a good time at jeremy's pad, so grateful for all his kindness.
thursday, may 25, 2017 - houston, tx
pop at nine and a half. I had popped earlier to piss when it was still dark and needed some water for cottonmouth and damn if I knocked a glass over but thank god it didn't shatter. lucky watt. jeremy and his family are so kind and to fuck up like that would've been so lame. when true pop time comes, jeremy brews up the coff, most bitchin' of him. I get a bunch work done which ain't too social as far as conversation w/jeremy but I gotta this done - big walnuts yonder debut album came out three weeks ago and there's also other stuff like a tour coming this fall in europe for il sogno del marinaio. I hope I don't sound like I'm bellyachin' cuz I'm into all this and more... I just got asked to record w/mike baggetta and jim keltner on june one, fuck! a total pants-shitter but I got man up and grow a pair... so kind of chris schlarb to think of me... I just got the demos and charts. oh yeah, there's a panther burns album to record w/larry for tav falco, very excited about it. tom has to konk, I know he's beat up some (some?!) - look, it's like we're like the older cats w/the kitty (jeremy) hopping all around - end of the tour especially, some beatdowns on us and though we're not slaughtered, we are hurting a little. jeremy says he understands, very kind of him. all this kindness is BIG time appreciated by us. jer's strong enough though and he does a walk w/him. I chimp diary while tom continues his konk.
we pull anchor at one. it's I-45 again, from whence we came yesterday (deja vu all over again) but we're riding this baby out of town all the way to where we gotta go, 'pert-near. this first sixty or whatever miles is pretty fucking beatup road and construction to replace the beatup along w/the assholery and stupid fucking dangerous bullshit non-driving that's been happening everywhere the entire tour, just compounded cuz of the road stuff. at least no pluggery on the high seas for me but it is exhausting, dodging hell after hell. at fairfield just before three I pull us over for boat fuel and pony switch. I donated my fucking boshi, damn it! they got a boshi ('hat' in jap) w/a wide rim here that I can get for twenty bucks. I really need to get one cuz if I get too much sun on the port-side ear, it'll give me a lot of trouble. jerry does the rest of the ride, he's got pluggery to slog through - whoa, look at that big-ass statue of sam houston out of nowhere - you know he was a unionist? I think more people should check his story out. I love this town we pass' name: new waverly. I don't need to tell you why, do I? oh oh, it begins to be mall land and full of plug (at least the road's nice), once we get south of huntsville and into conroe. crimony. we pass a chow pad called "china border" - for some reason, that sounds trippy.
we drop anchor right at five at the white oak music hall not all that far from downtown houston. you understand this town is like where I'm at in so cal: big time fucking sprawl. dano and patrice are here, we're gonna stay w/them tonight. they help us load. it's humid as hell, here's come east-of-the-rockies summer. oh boy. I meet soundman john coming to help w/two carts but we got our own shine cart and don't need. I do get to give him "the speech" upstairs though (upstairs is where we're playing, not the downstairs - they got two stages here) and he's into being our fourth man tonight. he's quite a challenge w/the way this pad is - I hear it's only fourteen months old but some of the design things like windows behind the band and all-cement deck along w/other stuff to make it yeah, a challenge to work but I believe in soundman john, he's got a good spirit. there's a room to the side of the stage and I just camp there, forgoing a search for the real backstage but this is fine. I meet the gigboss anthony there and we discuss the sound and he's totally on the ball about it, bringing it up at the meetings all the time. he's a good cat. we work out a plan for the end game. I chimp diary 'til ten before eight cuz eight is go time.
we bring our music. folks filling the room make for excellent flesh baffles and things are a lot better than before acoustically. the gig-goers ain't just flesh baffles though, they got good warm feel and share it w/us open-armed. david ensminger, who wrote this piece for the show tonight is right up front singing 'pert-near every lyric he knows w/me, he's righteous people and ain't afraid to show his enthusiasm. after we do "sweet honey pie" I holler roky erickson's name cuz this is where he's from and he wrote that song. tom and jer play good, some hiccups but very lively and dynamic - I'm really proud of this band. you know, it was kind of a challenge - the band doesn't have the kind persona something like the bands of mine each of them come from, the secondmen and the missingmen. they did it though, they brought it together, like they did fifteen years ago when the jom & terry show last toured. I'm really grateful to them. also grateful to soundman john for wrestling w/the challenges and help deliver our music to the gig-goers. when we finish, patrice gets up on stage w/a box, she tells the gig-goers she's celebrating my bday, she gets them to sing me happy bday as I'm putting away my amp and bass stuff... what a trip cuz my bday ain't for another seven months! very kind but also very trippy... I can wait those seven more months to get older!
I meet w/some of those gig-goers when we get done, the ones who wanna share congrats and memories just being here NOW which is truly kind, believe you me. there's a group, damn I can't remember their name but they got the fire to make music and I love it. music is such a righteous thing. every night I get told hard times were made livable cuz of music and it's a real good thing I think about being part of it. music can be a happening connecting fabric. gigboss anthony comes up to the table and settles w/me. we pull anchor. damn if the elevator ain't working though... one of the helpermen here actually gets stuck in it so we shlep down the stairs but we got lots of hands to help, thank you, good people.
'pert-near ready to roll, my buddy dave dove (he's part of nameless sound) comes up to the boat w/someone he brought to the gig, joe mcphee - oh man, respect, "BIG love!" I tell him and he grabs my hands and says, "that's right, BIG love!" he tells me about being ornette coleman's guest at john coltrane's funeral, about his first recording session - the bassman was jimmy garrison. beautiful man, I feel a spirit from him, a good one. thank you brother dave for bring mr mcphee to me - whoa. I would've been so nervous if I would've known ahead of time, oh man. big hugs. big love.
dano and patrice kind of shadow us to their pad but then they're ahead, then they almost force us off the highway - they do force us off the highway! it wasn't on purpose and we got the navigatorio gps so there's no real hell, we get to their pad a little after them. they get the curds happening! they're originally from wisconsin so they know what that's all about. i hose off and get in the nightwear. no laundry here but the gig flannel can get washed in the sink and it does. we have a good time. dano breaks out the "I'm a mess" button used to wear (the ACTUAL one, he got it at an auction), incredible. dano shows me two flyers I made for minutemen gigs thirtyfive years ago. damn, I should've kept those - I don't have even one! crimony. dano plays me some ivory music from the 70s that's beautiful. the book that comes w/it also, the label numero uno really does a good job w/this stuff. the terry ork one is a total mindblow for me - the first richard hell single!, television's "little johnny jewel" oh man, oh man... I start remembering back. I wish I could read this whole book but I'm beat and need to konk. another happening time at dano's and patrice's - thank you both so much.
friday, may 26, 2017 - austin, tx
pop at ten after false pop at eight - patrice and dano asked me for coff but I asked for a little more konk and that ended up being two more hours. I hose off and shave for the last gig. I don't think I'll ever wear a mustache or a beard again. you can feel that east of the rockies humidity trip today more than ever, it'll be more intense I think in austin - that's where this tour ends up. patrice cooks us scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes plus figs from her yard. they're good - thank you, patrice. dano's got a watt box, stuff he's finding (he collects all kinds of music stuff) regarding me. I thank him for that besides his most kind friendship. we pull anchor at one
it's a massive plug getting out of houston west on the I-10, brutal pluggery on the high seas, let me tell you. can't hurry love so I just have to wait. it's crazy to get upset about shit like that cuz there's nothing you can do about it except make yourself sick which is stupid and helps nothing not one iota. oh yeah, last night a most kind gig-goer hipped me to the fact of the name of the chow pad that inside the gatefold picture of that righteous mexican chow, it was called "leo's" but closed down a while ago. get this: some cat "recreated" or whatever the fuck the fucking picture, and then chowed it - it's filmed here. crimony. well, we've left I-10 for tx-71 andI'm just thinking of that when I take the final exit for la grange (speaking of zz) just before four and pull the boat over at a filling station started by some czech people in the late 20s. I get a rueben sandwich that's made right there in front of me and it's pretty good, not too much sauce like the one I had back in grand rapids. I put jer on the wheel cuz that was my plan to not get too wore out for the last gig. I wanna do good for the pups one last time. we get into downtown austin around five and half and to the gig pad which is called barracuda now but it was "red 7" when I played here last - hey, I've played here twice before, that's right. it's changed for the better, especially on the inside. I stay there cuz though we're playing outside in the back, it's just too sweaty. padman zach helps us get all situated and says we're ok in happening place to have the boat. I meet managerman carlos and he's also happening to work w/and gets me a topo chico, real cold and real good. I meet soundman harry, he hears "the speech" and is into it. happening. I find the air conditioning duct blowing down in the room w/the inside and park my ass RIGHT UNDER that. austin is eightynine degrees w/beaucoup humidity right now. pups arrive at six and a half. tom turns curt and his son on to his new device - an omron electrotherapy tens unit.
linda gives me some advice about espanol which is great but I don't think she knows exactly where I'm coming from so explain to her why I say what I say before "the glory of man" I tell her to watch this tune from enrique inglesias called "baliando" - this will help to know where I'm coming from. my tune has a strong bass line for dancing and I wanna acknowledge it! it's about having some fun and maybe an open mind wouldn't hurt either - for all of us. I chow some variation on the bibimbap trip from the chow pad called "korienta" right next door. it feels healthy going in my mouf and down my throat into my gut. it's got avocado slices - yeah, I'm missing california a little bit... yeah. soundcheck w/harry goes good and quick. I find a corner inside to park my ass 'til the ten pm go time. my old friend cary shows up and he tells me about some out of town adventures had w/his work. always good to see cary. there's other cats too and since it's the last gig, it's ok but it does wear on you to spiel for a gig. I just can't go to the boat cuz of the swelter and same w/the backstage so I'll spiel here just I can stay cooler and not suffer, I admit I don't think I can ever get used to humidity. I don't wanna sound like I'm bellyachin' though - it's been actually a lot of bitchin' weather this tour that could've been a lot more sweaty so I hope you hear gratitude in my chimping here and not just bellyachin'. it's been lots of cali weather, believe you me - we've been blessed that way much.
time to bring it one more time. the gig is clean and so is packed for the performance, you can feel the gig-goers wanting us to kick up as much dust as we can and I can understand that and not wanting to let them down. thank god my hands are healthy - a little sore but healthy. I give the tour's last intro speech and then launch into what we've been doing:
the ones that ain't covers are stuff I wrote for d boon and georgie when we were minutemen. damn though if I don't have the same prob I did in grand rapids and kansas city - this time it's the screw for the 'd' and 'g' string pickup that's closest to the 'd' string - it's coming up and by the time of "forever/one reporter's opinion" it's fucking fallen to the deck but I see it and bend down to grab... I stop the band and use that phillips driver joe naylor gave me. I just gotta go down more cuz the pilot hole were drilled a little big, just like joe suggested back in grand rapids. the gig-goers are most kind about the tiny delay, I just get it screwed in and fixed w/out discussing - there's no third speech either, only two. the gig-goers deserve as much music as we can bring them. tom has some little clams, a little spacing on some words and jer stumbles in a couple of places but overall they do real good, keeping the spirit up and and the focus taut, not giving into laming out cuz it's the last gig - they're bringing it like they mean it and I'm most grateful to them... all tour, they've helped me so much, truly. I love these men. how many years have the austin gig-goers supported me? buttloads. I love them, truly, wanna give back as much as I'm getting. the last tune of the tour has help not just from curt (who's been doing every gig we're both on since that first time in pittsburgh along w/edward) but his son elmo - yeah, handing down the legacy of d boon, me and the b.o.c. - elmo's good at learning things fast, respect to him. jer clams the tune royally but somehow we keep most the keel in the water.
I go to the merch table way of the port side (if you were on stage looking out) and drink down iced up topo chico bottles of mineral water quick. whoa, am I sweaty. sweaty but glad though and happy to share some spiel w/the gig-goers... hey, here's chris scroger who I'm a massive fan of, he's a most creative and succinct artist, BIG TIME respect to him from me and always righteous to see him again in person. I love playing him reading his poems on my radio show, just love it. of course there's people w/stories from the old days, at least one who's bummed at me cuz the picture they got w/me was lame (so sorry), people who tell me it was the first time for them, they didn't know who I was but... very kind to hear stuff about me doing ok w/my guys and working the gig, especially about bringing new people in w/out any hype, just working the gig - that's really kind of them. I'm not just a jack in the box from some folks memory chest though there's nothing w/that, it's just not the only thing, there is some value in the moment w/what I'm doing regardless of what happened in the old days. of course when I think of the old days, I think of d boon and sometimes get sad, other times I'm so happy I got to play w/him and I try to spread his spirit w/out coming on like a dick leech about it. sometimes thinking about the old days can be strange and weird w/me, sometimes it can be like something to help me out right now - it's trippy about that.
the pups do "up on the sun" last, a beautiful tune d boon admired much, especially cuz of curt's orchestration of all those guitar overdubs, he loved it - so do I. right away after me and my join in for round II of "tomorrow never knows" but a porcupine-less version since those guys are back home in minnesota and wisconsin. again cris has me play his bass, trades it in for two drumsticks that he uses for both musical and theatrical purposes, he's righteous at it. jer's got lots of stumblebum and though the groove doesn't end up beached, he 'pert-near lamed it out was some lame half-assed fills (now I know for sure where the same thing came from in chi-town... was a mystery to me then, not now though). again shandon took the floor tom so he can't be faulted. this time I stayed in e the whole time, not going down to d cuz I heard mr mccarntney's version and it seemed like that's what he did. I don't think I got the lick right though - I stuck to root, fifth and octave! a good way to end the tour: I get to tell cris I love him when finish.
I hobble to the front room where the ticket window is and settle there, letting everyone know how grateful on behalf the band we are w/the great cats we got to work w/here, truly. finishing a tour w/a clean gig is a bitchin' thing and having good folks working w/you is big time a blessing. my men have got the end game going, patrice and dano at the boat's hatch getting in their last shots and saying their beautiful well-wishes. bye bye, everyone - bye bye! us then making the most silent ride of the tour to the konk pad - I head us for jd and sarah's of many birthdays in austin's south side to drop anchor. there they are their hatch and after a quick hose down and into the nightwear, we have a good time. tonight jer even drinks a little brown - no getting wined up for him tonight. we have good spiels about all sorts, jd and sarah are beautiful and share their good spirit w/all they got, most MOST kind. I konk way happy grateful... righteous way to end a tour!
of course, a tour ain't really done 'til you get the men home safe.
saturday I pop at ten bells, whoa. I feel weird that there's a saturday wasted, that there's no saturday gig on a tour when there's only fiftytwo of them a year. well, that's it then... only close to fourteen hundred miles we got to git home since the last day of this tour did end on a friday. it is good weather, looking out jd and sarah's hatch, though and a look-see at that happening weather web site that looks at the weather along a route you specify says just some big winds ahead which is way better news than hearing about the storms we just missed in the midwest. jd and sarah has some coff and fruit for us for asagohan ('breakfast' in jap), I can dig it.
we pull anchor at one, big byes and thanks to jd and sarah, beautiful people, truly. I get us on us-290 west through the hill country (buttloads of vineyards out here) for two and a half hours 'til it runs into I-10 and then we get on that... it's gonna be a while on the I-10 for us! after an hour I pull the boat over near junction and get a subway sandwich, maybe the last of the tour. I fuel the boat and hand the rudder to jer. the landscape starts changing big time west of sonora, real flag and trees replaced by bushes.
six bells we get more fuel at fort stockton, me and tom switch positions while jer stays on the tiller. I'm now on the bench port-side and chimping diary for the last chunk of today's drive... the plan is to drop anchor in van horn, get a good konk and shove off at the crack. jer does good, gets us to van horn around eight and on tom's hunch, we get a motel-6 that's single story and we can put the boat right outside our hatch. I get to do a soak... not real deep and can't stretch the whole way out but it's still a soak and how may have I had this tour? 'pert-near none. my aching bones get a short reprieve... I konk like that right after, big time beat.
pop at five and it's still dark. I wheel us west, w/in a short time we get an hour back we lost at the tour's beginning. the sun comes up at five and that wind I was worrying about? it's a tail wind and I have to use barely any pedal. crimony! the sun comes up and we can see ciudad juarez in mexico, right across the rio grande when we hit el paso around seven and a half... cuz of a righteous turn-on from hermano eric via shitter, I put the boat in at a taqueria called tacos chinapas and get the huevos rancheros, way happening, I dig much. roasted jalapenos even. wild flavors and I feel stronger. I'm ready for one more shift on the rudder.
there's big winds now buffeting that's wearing me out keeping us safe. I get us over the border into new mexico around eight, switch ponies w/tom at deming... he lasts an hour cuz of trouble w/his eyes so we get fuel and put jer at the wheel in lordsburg. ten after eleven we cross into arizona and get back our last hour ('zona doesn't use daylight's saving time) for the tour. I konk soon after and don't pop 'til we get to tonopah - I holler that when I pop and jer drops anchor there around two for the tour's final pony switch. I didn't plan it that way but that's the way it worked out. no speeding for watt, the sign over the freeway once we're back going is "slower is better than dead" and I can dig it. I don't do less than the limit cuz that can be dangerous too but for sure I don't speed.
at four I get us across the colorado river (not the texas one but the one that starts in colorado - we were following it getting this tour's first gig) and we're into california. even though it's the mojave desert, it's still california and I always feel the difference - my men do also. there's some scary shit w/stupid drivers making shit dangerous (the whole tour's been like this - every fucking where, I can't believe it), seeing a truck off the side of the road totally engulfed w/flames - even w/all the years of driving, I've learned a bunch on this tour about keeping the fuck away from assholes, that's what matters - not keeping up w/them but getting the fuck away and keeping my men safe. here at the chiraco summit I become so acutely aware of that fact - you never stop learning if you're healthy, I think - that's what I believe and damn if me right now w/the boat and this sitch ain't another lesson in the fucking classroom of life, hear hear! ok, past that and even while still reflecting on that, I realized we need fuel once we get to the coachella valley and I combine that stop w/a springboard for jer to hit the moronga casino - tom goes w/him to witness. he fills up too, making $79, he says. must've been fifteen minutes! it's good to have your men happy as well as safe.
we finally leave I-10 for ca-60 in riverside and then ca-91 to get through the inland empire and 'pert-near the pacific ocean in manhattan beach where tom's to be delivered - I get them around eight. jer's next in rancho palos verdes which is just north of my pedro town. when it was unincorporated it was kind of considered san pedro - that's where the navy housing I moved to from virginia was at - it's gone now, been plowed for some nightmare tract home clown proj which will clog western avenue (yeah, the same one that goes up into the val!) even more. jer says he wants to get out before that happens. his wife kel and daughter riley help unload his drum stuff and finally I get to my pad at nine bells. whoa, that was some hellride but we're safe and that's what matters. it's also righteous it was a very happening tour w/gigs that meant much to us, bringing it to the gig-goers which we're all so grateful to for their respect and support. I get to hose off in my own shower and do a good long one, feeling big time gratitude to my men, the pups and everyone who helped big time making "the tour tour two" a bitchin' thing to have sallied forth on.
this page created 13 feb 2017
this page created 13 feb 2017