watt - thud staff, spiel
pete mazich - organ, singing
raul morales - drums
(left to right)
steve kaul - the man outside the van
thursday, september 16, 2004 - santa rosa, ca
o here i am in sacramento, third day of tour, and just now on my first entry... sorry mike shit man where to start. Ideally the first day of tour would make the most sense, but thats not where the ride started for me. it was about a month before when mike called me at the job, told me about the pickle, and asked me if i wanted on the crew. Auctually it wasn't really a matter of question, it was more of like here' s this great oppertunity knuckle head dont let it pass by. Oh mike by the way i dont know if i could pull it off. DONT THINK, just fuckin' get in there and do it. So about a week later i quit my current gig, makeing lattes for yuppies, told the others dudes sorry, and put killer dreamer on a two month hiatus. Which by the way guys thanks for the support and understanding, and started playing as a secondman.
For now i'll skip the the other in betweens, and get to the first day of the first gig. woke up at seven just to get some last minute shit done. For some reasons the tour gods make it impossible, and theres always some shit to take care of, i dont know, maybe thats just my tour god, but once that was done i had a couple hours left to make my last breakfast at home for a while mmmmmm twas very tasty, and shared with an awesome friend, thanks jessica. After chow i proceded to pound cup after cup of black coffee, pulling my mind and stomach to strange nerveous places, but still very familiar, sorry jessica, my nerveous energy was cranked couldn't sit stand talk or do much of anything except chew my fingers off. laid on the floor in the dark, got high, and listened to dylan. Thanks again jessica, you saved me that mourning.
Finally we, re off. drive up to rosa was great, the boat already feelin' like home. Pete, Mike, Roky, and me. Not to eventful, mike and i snappin' pics of every bridge and cool cloud configuration... fuckin' stone bags. these guys are great, hilarious senses of humor, nothin is sacred.
I'd really did a good job of building this nerveous feeling about the first gig. About two weeks earlier a couple of friends from the east bay paid good ol' 673 a visit. them being fans of watt, and in san pedro naturally asked what mike was up to, and told me they couldn't wait for the first day of tour, they we're already planning on going. Maybe i'll see ya there i tell em, no way you guys are gonna drive to the gig. Ya we're gonna drive to the gig, then we're gonna play it so they totally freaked, and where really happy for me. How fuckin excited are you. Im not... spend to much time stressed out about learning the piece. Which wasn't total truth, cuz i was pretty psyched abut hittin' the road, and playin' with mike and pete. So the whole two weeks i'm thinkin' great my bros are gonna watch me clam up the first show, i'll never here the end of it. I'm a nerveous person some times, and really know how to let certain things get the best of me, like bakin' clams at the first show while the dudes and a couple hundred people watch me go down in flames. Well it surely wasn't the best, but i didn't go down in flames, blow up, shit my trousers or do anything else beyond recovery. oh yeah check out holloy from L. A. chris and jim brown two bad ass mucisian, and a couple of bad ass dudes.
I guess what i'm getting at is that friends are really important, and are there to help you get through whatever, and it was pretty dumb of me to even think i'd be distracted or embarresed. Man cuz if those guys didn't show up and support me i would've been screwed. so i wanna say thanks to chris kholer ravi, craig d, and sean dog even though you guys yelled at me from the crowd, it was good to hear you and know you where there. Also thanks to my roomies at 673 for being there you guys rule, Thanks pete and mike for puttin' their trust in me, and thank you lily for sayin' my name when it mattered. Buy the ticket take the hell ride...
I wake up on thursday morning and take care of the last few things I have to do before I take off w/watt and raul on yet another cross-country trek in the boat. Jer had to bow out as he was up for hiring down on the docks so Raul stepped in to fill the void. we've had some pretty intense pracs over the last month but raul did his homework and we have worked up the material pretty tight. I'm pretty excited to go out this time; I was bummed by jer's news but I know he was in a tough position and had to make a decision- I'll miss him alot. much love jer.
I gathered up all my bags and stowed them in the car; the previous night I had packed all my tools and extra parts for my Leslie (I didn't want to have a reprise of my problems on the last tour). I woke up lil the kill gently and went over to tone's room and roused him too. I'm going to miss both of them very much. Lil got her coffee jones going and we were off to mike's pad. five minutes later we were in front but no boat was to be seen in sight; I figured mike went to go gas up the boat. Sure enough, he puilled up in a few minutes and I loaded my gear and said my goodbyes to tone and lil. This would be my first long tour.
Me and mike drove down to the local Rite-Aid to get a cassette adapter for the radio so we could listen to mike's ipod; this would be the first tour for me where we would listen to music and spoken word on the ride. Mike also brought me a copy of a book about radio B92 in Belgrade during the war years, and I brought along a copy of Solzeniczyn's "gulag archipelago", so I had plenty of reading material for the jaunt. we were close to raul's pad so I hoofed on over to get him- then we walked back and waited until watt showed up and hopped in the boat. And off we went.
the trip was a pretty long one and I did a lot of reading and sleeping on the way; I thought about the upcoming gig and tried to get the lyrics to Dylan's "It's allright ma I'm only bleeding" straight in my head (there was a lot of them). we pulled up to the pad (a place called the "last day saloon" and began to load our gear out. The promoter, a cat named K. C. helped us out along w/ a couple of other cats and we got the gear inside and on the stage. The soundman, Jerrod, miked us up real quick and we did the "red and the black". Everything sounded good so we broke down and went upstairs to chow. K. C. had scored us some real kind tacos aand we dug in. watt went to conk while me and raul rapped w/ the guys in one of the opening bands, Holloy ( chris and jim), while the first band Esperanto was on stage. very nice cats.
Esperanto finished and holloy went up to do their thing. Me and raul went out to listen and I was way impressed w/ their intensity and musicianship- much respect. Holloy finished up after a couple of songs (they were long songs) and it was time for us to hit the stage. we set up and I went to go wake up the chief- he roused and I grabbed the merch box and went back in to the club to wait. A bunch of raul's friends showed up and we rapped w/ them while we waited for mike. He soon ambled in and we went into the set. we had a bit of a false start as K. C. accidentally kicked out watt's ac plug which shut off the amp. He reconnected and we were off.
I have to say I was very comfortable playing the piece- there were some clams on my part and it felt like we were pushing the songs a bit but we played an intense set; it was a good way to start off a tour. The crowd was very receptive (albeit there were some that didn't know what to think), but that's good - maybe they needed a good mind-blowing. I felt really good about the gig.
watt slung merch from the stage while me and raul broke everything down and moved it to the side of the stage. Some cats helped us load up the boat and we were off. this cat named Arema tagged along w/ us and mike dropped him off in san rafael... he enthusiastically questioned mike the whole way and promised us that he would come to the next nite's gig w/ his lady and their baby. we drove back to san fran as we were staying over kenny and lisa's once again. I love staying w/ them cause it feels like home. We parked the boat and piled into their pad and settled in- we tore into some mota brownies and rapped for a while; kenny related his experiences trying out for jeopardy and such were his powers of storytelling that I drifted off in a contented stupor. Laku noc sviraci...
pop at four for another tour. four am, as in eh-em. just sunday, me and pettibon went to that ramones thing in hollywood... so great to be w/raymond one more time before shoving off like this. sad gig though - johnny couldn't make it w/the cancer sickness on him so and then yesterday afternoon, it took him. hope he's jamming good w/joey and dee dee now. hard to think about those things when they grab you that hard... gage was there and talked to me a bit about james ellroy, the writer. yes, we're both fans - anyway, we got to talkin' about how clipped his writing's getting and yes, we can dig that. in fact, me here chimping this in now, I'm thinking hard on that... seeing I'm doing one big song this tour - one big song put into three parts of three parts each (which = nine, the special number - but everyone knows that already, right?), one big fiftythree minute piece - the only way I could tell the tale of that hellride that almost took me a few years ago - anyway, for some strangeness or whatever, I get to thinking of minutemen days and writing songs for d. boon, writing songs w/d. boon and how intense they were in their littleness and all and, fuck - why not? it makes some sense to me, try and keep it together for the musical long-haul by keeping head-stuff I got going clipped, kind of in that ellroy way. I've always been partial to abbrev besides (that's short for abbreviation) so clipped it'll be in relating this tour's spiel this sally forth.
it's been a couple of intense weeks before shove-off hour like it's always been. seems I never get it together that way. stress. worrry. fuckin' just frettin'. the h-hour comes closer and panic gets louder, inside the head louder. I get my last wash in. yellow coat that my ma got me needs to be sudsed. I use that for pedaling and hell if I got a shirt on under it. therefore, the chemistry resulting's obvious. since I pedal up to my last pedro day, that's why it's the last load before adios. I cook up a chicken breast and broccoli in olive oil. that's what's in my last pedro shovel. homesick pedro thoughts as it goes down - I ain't even left yet! move desk 'puter stuff to tipurse 'puter. the story of having two 'puters: one for sailing and one for, well... not. something new for this tour: I ready an ipod. it's one of the first ones but it still has eight hundred pieces of sound. might as well try a little of this. long time since sounds in a watt boat, it got wearing on me from the fIREHOSE days. we'll try this: feeding the ipod to a little boom box thing and see how that goes.
another new thing: drummie. "the secondman's middle stand" stickman jerry trebotic is unable to sail so six weeks ago me and pete start learning the piece to raul morales, a pedro cat but twenty years my junior. this is a good thing though. raul has a spirit. sure, the music is way foreign to him but he's eager. way. me and pete dig it. dig him. there were some days in august I had to bail to do stooges. those were righteous gigs. but there was weighing on me during them cuz thoughts of raul. and the piece. both of them, together. pete helped though and learned him up himself. raul dug that. we all can dig it. a link in the chain, something to be - I can dig that. hand to hand, handing it down. the man w/the beat in his hand. balancing this piece three ways, that is the sense to be made. raul's on board and that makes us a trio.
thoughts back to the moment: get all the mail that needs sending sent. aahh, can't find that adapter to put ipod to boom box! dumbfuck watt. ljil comes and drops off pete - shit, too busy being the crazy man - I don't get that last goodbye hug in. regret... aarrrggghhh. pete is a rock, pete is the rock watt builds this tour on. petros = greek for rock. no fucking shit. this man is there for you, he is everything doubt ain't. truly. so glad I got pete, damn. I go get the adapt thing while he gets raul. we all get together at that gas station of gaffey and fifth in our pedro town. fucking spaced again: need bags. not lame glad whatever shit but toughness, those ones they use for cleanup at constructions sites. we go get them at whatever depot and then finally but tire to freeway. damn, eleven am - an hour after plan. idiot watt.
put him on the wheel then. ok - straight up I-5 for like three hundred miles. through the val, over grapevine and into the really big val - the san jacquine. the boat's running good. harbor city phil prepped her right. probably her last tour, fourteen years now at sea. the oddometer says 250, 775 miles - at least they're not knot ones. weather's calm though after grapevine, there's no cloud cover so I get the left arm truckered up and reddened some. I gotta watch the port ear though. that's the one that caught fire in 1987. looks ok but that healed-back stuff is scarskin. it don't deal w/a sun pounding proper, nope. the arm can cook some but not the ear.
one gas stop - buttonwillow. I chow a sandwich from the 'way - first one for the tour. haven't been eating bread much since getting hipped by thurst last summer... I get most my carbs now dark green veggies. anyway, I chow tuna on these breads here. at this we discover the tour's first donate too: the fucking rear tank gas cap. fucking idiot watt. must be in pedro on pump number three. tonto. the ipod gives is on suffle. we get lots of bill burroughs and then over an hour of lenny bruce's berkeley gig. I get it to give us nothing but roky erickson after that. we get to santa rosa via s. f. so it's I-580 and then over the bay bridge into the city, getting to marin by way of the golden gate bridge and us-101... I call the pad in santa rosa, "we're probably an hour away" - you know where that came from... my dork move losing us that time in pedro this morning! aahhh, I hate making anyone wait... I promise my guys this is the only fucking dawdle of the tour.
we pull up to the last day saloon in santa rosa. the boss k. c. helps us load in. jim brown, a cat from an l.a. band called bluebird says hi. he's in one of the openers, holloy. good to see him. his buddy chris on drums is happening. he's got a dante "inferno" for me to sign and wants to watt speil regarding that. I let it flow while chowing chicken tacos k. c. has got for us. good comidas. chris digs commedia spiel too. what a trip those words are close, huh?! he gives me a gift, a poem-object thing and even w/d. boon's name spelled b-o-o-n-e, it's beautiful. love to you, chris. k. c. gives me a bottle of costillo salsa habanera and it's got some flavor. green habanero is trippy (pretty sure the ripe chilies are orange!) but the yucateca kind is good and so is this. more fire would be good but at least there's flavor. I'm coming more and more to that kind of understanding. still - "no burn, no lean" - this means much to me. I say hi to the cats in the other opener, locals called esperanto. good way to kick of a tour. our soundcheck w/soundman jarrett (hope I didn't fuck up his name) is quick but consequential - it's the first time we've played w/raul in front of other folks - not a lot, just the other bands but still, the first. of course we do blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" - a tune I played w/d. boon since we were young teenagers. I realize this is my first santa rosa gig in like fifteen years. whoa.
back to the boat and I konk hard. I get woke by an old friend, cass. she was long beach when I met her. she's always put intense rubs on me and does so again. it helps me pop though. those hours at the wheel piled up on me. her little boy is eleven now and it's wild hearing about him being creative and all. god, he was tiny when I last seen him. cass was gonna have us stay w/her and her man joe but she was gonna help a lady deliver her baby (cass midwifes) but the baby's waiting for tomorrow. instead, we'll konk in s. f. w/lis, another old friend (a pedro one though). that set, I go inside for this tour's cherry gig. shirts came when we arrived so I got those for after. lis' sister nanny drew a great scene of a wave ready to pound us in the boat - some satire for the tour's "el mar cura todo" name. of course, my cat (the man) is there and getting tossed in the tsunami is my 'yak. we had to put her in the prac pad (her name is "zaby" - a nine and half foot kayak made in french canada by necky) to make room for the music making machines.
kind of a fancy room to play, I get my little bass on and am ready. k. c. wants to spiel first though and accidently kicks up my cord. whoops. the first part of the first tune ("boilin' blazes") is fucked up and we gotta start over. these things happen. I am determined to keep it together this tour - even try to look in folks eyes while we're playing even. that part is real hard but I'm trying. first time me and pete playing in front of folks w/raul. he does good. he's kicking it up though I can tell he's 'pert-near afraid as I am! pete's a rock and I think we both lean on him. I get some nerve up though which is good cuz both my guys waiver a little but they got me to be strong. I have to admit that I'm a little more confident this tour than ones before in a way though it's no "world-by-the-balls" thing in the slightest. it's just that my goal is a little more focused maybe. I want to tell the piece the best way I can, take folks on a journey. I can imagine hardly anyone knowing's what's up to what I'm doing - like kira would say, "blank slate" so it's up to us to detonate the mind bombs. well, it's up to me to help my guys get us to deliver it in a three-way.
raul's got a friend here who's kind of borracho and he's vocal w/his thoughts while we play. I think we got the landscapes ok w/the according moods but damn, I wish I could get myself more focus. I'm not all that bad - maybe. I can say I'm not completely spacing out. I just wish I could stuff that scardy-cat inside me further down while we work this. it's righteous having a pin of john coltrane on my shirt - much respect to craig ibarra for making me it. I could look down on him or look across at pete and it calms me, settles me down to work it right. well, at least help. watt's gotta get watt going and do it up. raul clams a little in "pluckin'... " - that's ok, he's not going over the side and stays w/us in the ring. even pete spaces on a three note thing but that's ok too. something new for me this tour is pedals. these are effects to color my bass, trippy. even trippier is working them and I'm klutzy at it. it distracts me some but I gotta learn to get over that. what needs to be told clear here is the story which might as well be an allegory. I've been telling people about that and the piece lately. seems important to, like I must.
we finish the piece and folks want more, much respect to them. we do five encore tunes. pete sings only one song this tour but he does great w/it, a dylan one - a dylan one that was my favorite when I was a boy. done w/these encores, time to sling and nice words from people as I meet w/them. much gratitude for them, truly. there's a young man who's yammering at me much - almost like a cop trying to show he's not undercover. we pass through san rafael on our way back to s. f. so he'd like a ride. we do our first load up - everything fits ok (raul's drums have no cases) so we put this cat (he tells us his name is rema) at shotgun and he yammers at all three of us as we drive south. he knows lots about me through the hoot page. that must be a weird picture! he's seen gigs too though and explains about that. he knows about songs me and raymond wrote together. he says he has a little one and wants the baby to see tomorrow's show cuz there was someting about a age limit at tonight's.
rema gets dropped by us at the san rafael downtown exit. then we're back across the golden gate and into s. f. , lombard to embarcadero and to lis and kenny's by the baseball field. barry bonds might hit his seven hundredth homer there soon. kenny let's us dock the boat in the downstairs where the embroidery factory is and we then follow him up to the pad. lis is konked but he talks w/us some and feeds us guapo's brownies. not just brownies but guapo's brownies. they're stale like rocks. I take them down like a glass of sand. then I'm out like a rock myself.
friday, september 17, 2004 - san francisco, ca
After the rosa gig we decided to go back to the city so we could get a decent sleep. stayed with some old friends of the band, lisa and kenny a couple of really nice folks. Mike in mike fashion, this is watt callin' do you got the fuckin' brownies or what. Lisa, oh you guys are here, then mike, no we're some where out in outer space orbiting the earth, yeah we're fuckin' here , so whats the word on the brownies. Word on the brownies was we where orbiting in outer space after chowing those things. pete, mike, and kenny then had the craziest conversation about parts of history i knew zilch about, so i just sat back listened, and tried to learn a little. Sleep was good that night, it was a long day, one show down, sixty four more to go
woke up pretty early. The show was at bottom of the hill, not to much travel to do, so we had all day to do whatever. I took on the mission of finding the boat a new gas cap, since we donated the old one to some pedro gas station the day before. Ended up the only shop that had em' in the right size was out in daly city. So i took the14 mission bus all the way to the end of the line. How fuckin'cool one day i'm at home, then next day on an adventure in san frncisco takeing photos , just doumenting every thing i saw. Hung out in the mission most the day, had some good pizza, and a real good day exploring the city
show up for sound check pretty early, mike was meeting some one at the club for an interview. got the equipment on stage, and set up way before the sound guy even showed. So, for the next couple hours i was rotateing between walking, reading, smokeing, playing pinball, and eating candy, you know the important things. Hung out with some friends who showed up for sound check, and after that went on a walk with pete to find the closest chow hall. Yep, you guessed it more pizza. Back at the club i spend most of my time with craig d, just talking, tellin' tour stories, watching the club fill up, all the while the nerveousness chomping on my brain. sold out gig, great more people to watch me take a header, naw im not as jittery tonite just the usual. everyone telling me dont think so much is maybe starting to rub off. Guy we had met the night before gave me some photos of the rosa show... thanks dude very much appreciated. sound on stage wasn't as good as the night before, so that kinda had me feelin'a bit off. Plus i have the tendency to play and/or start the tunes too fast , so right outta the gate i'm a head of everybody else. Gotta work on that. No major clams, just the usual, playin' to fast, comin' in to quick, flubbin' parts of pluckin' and a weak solo... it's only number two... sixty three more to go. took a minute to get used to being on stage, but once i was over that, it was a good feelin'. Seeing familar faces in the crowd, watchin' mike pluck the bass makes me happy, and i just cant help but smile, and once i start smilin', i get comfortable, and more or less everything falls into place, starts to feel more natural, and with that i think, the sound kinda gets a more organic feel, ya know, it's not just notes trying to be played in time, it's everyones deal kinda melding or danceing with each other that makes for a real musical expierience, not just heads and hands making sounds, if the feelin's not there it's not music, its just motion making noise, and i don;t wanna be the dick head who just makes noise all the time.
Konked at kenny and lisa's house. Place feels like home, those are some real nice people. kenny flowed me all of these old concert tickets from the sixties, pink floyds first american show, jimi hendrix live at fillmore on new years eve, stuffs gotta be worth some cash... thanks man. Lots of cool art all over their pad too, place is real cool We're playin' sacto tonite, which means short drive, which means more time in the city... chug about four shots of espresso, and off i go explore, took about a four hour walk all through lower mission, and down town. Had some lady freak the fuck out on me, i was snappin' pics of something and she comes walkin' through screamin'what the fuck i'd tell about those pictures, stop takin fuckin' pictures... thought she was gonna attack me or something... sorry lady. Stopped over at whole foods to grab a tooth brush, and some chow... yeah real interesting shit right. Went back the pad ate, said our good byes, hoppedin the boat, and sailed to sacto bye bye san francisco.
woke up on the deck at kenny and lisa's pad feeling a little gluey; the mota brownies had taken their toll but I would shake them off soon enough. we're playing in town tonite so there was no hellride and we could hang out at kenny and lisa's. this was way cool w/ me as I needed to catch up on the diary chimp and I wanted to relax a little. raul went out to buy a gas cap for the boat as we had already donated the old one on the way up to san fran. me and watt stayed and chimped diary. weheaded over to the pad we were playing (the bottom of the hill) at about 4:00 and we were in front by 4:20 unloading the gear. we se set up and read some of the local rags while waiting for the soundman to show up. after kicking it for an hour , the soundman, phil shows up and mikes us up proper after which we run thru "the red and the black" w/ much fervor. we broke the tools down and put it to the side so the other bands could do their check. I retired to the back of the club to read some solzeniczyn.
me and raul collected the buyout and hoofed it on to a local pizza place where I foolishly wolfed down a meatball sandwich (it was good tho') w/ a glass of decent merlot. after slipping off the feedbag we headed on back to the club where we rapped w/ some of raul's friends until the first band "-nuke infusion" started. I listened to them for a bit then went upstairs to conk out before our set. raul woke me up a time later and I went outside to shake off the wooziness,. the second band, heavenly states, was done so I went to go wake up the chief. I opened the side hatch on the boat gingerly and shook him awake slowly and told him the time was nigh. I went in the back of the boat and loaded up the merch box and took it inside. I sat by the side of the stage w/ raul and waited for the chief to arrive; in a few minutes he ambled in , set up the pedalboard, plugged in the baby bass and we were off. we dug into the piece and played w/ more articulation than the night before , but the intensity level wasn' the same to me. we clammed on some parts but our recoveries were consistent and we plunged on. I'm really impressed w/ raul's learning of the piece; he really hunkered down and did his homework and it shows. much respect bro. mike stopped "pelicanman" towards the end (he had to piss really bad), but we came back on and finished it up. the crowd gave us much love and we came up and did the encores- The dylan song was coming out better on the delivery and the crowd responded in kind. Overall, I liked the gig tho' I made a mental note to myself to focus a little more concisely. we loaded up the boat w/ the help of some nice peeps and headed on over to kenny and lisa's where we gratefully settled in and floated on to conk land. buona notte musicanti........
lis wakes me w/a foot yank at seven cuz I gotta move the boat - the morning shift it starting downstairs. whoa, them brownies are in me hard now. so glad I can go further into the building's bowels to bring the boat around instead of trying to back it down the narrowness we came in through cuz that would be a certain nightmare in this state. talk about hard to get a focus on, damn. once I get into the street, there's other nightmare - no fucking parking anywhere. circle around, circle around - aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh. an hour later and finally find a lot that will take the boat - turns out it's 'pert-near right next door to where I started! life is hilarious. big time. there was some stale-ass weak-shit garlic and whatever sort of pizza that kenny said was chowable and I did get some of that shit down, both last night and as I was getting on my shoes for this mission. it was the worse. hopefully the garlic was somewhat real cuz that stuffs good and helps scare away foulness.
these guapo brownies weigh you down. blood filled w/lead, that's what I'm feeling. 'pert-near a fucking malaise even, sort of. I buck up hard to fight it. no more chowing any on those, shit. I feel cement-boned - even worse is feeling cement-headed, in the mind. I could see it putting me out after eight hours of solid skippering in the boat up from pedro but enough's enough! back at kenny and lis' they play an episode from "the prisoner" - my favorite televison show of all time, something I saw as a kid and recently got the dvd box of all seventeen episodes (it was on for one season in 1968) which I dig big time. I guess the bbc america channel is re-showing them and kenny is a "tivo" meister to no end - he records all kinds of stuff. he works the remote ("the penis" is his nickname for it) like an extension of the browser part of himself and programs switch from one to the other in chucks appropriate to the attention he rations to each. easy to get seasick in that boat. he steadies it for "the prisoner" episode, the "it's your funeral" one. raul's never seen this before and pete is only a little familiar. even though I've seen it bunches, I'm way into it. I sure wish I could find an outfit like number six, that would be a trip! I talk to lis about the clothes things regarding this - the piping around the edges of the blazer, the actual color of it (I believe it's brown) and the narrow lapels (which I really love!). for some reason, eveyone else is focused on the shoes both he and the other village people (hah - that's funny... too bad I shaved my "village people" mustache off this tour cuz I wanted to be clean shaven... I know, I know - that's weird for watt on a tour but... ) - ok, people in the village are wearing which are what you'd wear if you were on a sailboat maybe - deck shoes? I try to fill in all I can to help my friends absorb what they're able to.
raul goes off to an auto parts store to replace the donated gas cap while me and pete continue to listen to kenny. maybe three or four hours later, it's coming on soundcheck time so we head on over to the venue. it's not far away and it's a place I've played many many times before, the bottom of the hill. we unload and do a quick soundcheck w/phil. this cat named andy comes by and takes me to amoeba records in the haight. he writes a column where he gets advice from people on what music to get but letting them go through the bins and explore. he's a nice cat and curious about what catches my eye. I find this seven inch vinyl of two screamers songs, "magazine love" and "cholo jump" which is a trip cuz they never released any records while they were active cuz they thought that was old fashioned. I also get a cd called "coltrane time" which has cecil taylor on piano w/trane, trippy. I get another one of the mahavishnu orchestra's "lost triad sessions" for some reason - I think I was talking to andy about the first concert I went to, a t-rex one. I also saw mahavishnu a few years later near where I saw marc bolan so maybe that's why. I don't get a lot of records so it's mysterious to me why I get what I get. I wish I was more like thurston about that. he makes it like a passion!
andy takes me back to the club and I'm gonna walk some to drive out that thickness the guapo brownies have stuck all inside me. I find a chow pad named "the garden of tranquility" and can dig that name. I shovel some bok choy lamb and then continue w/the hoof, trying my hardest to yank free. leaden by guapo's brownies, damn. the walking helps though. I get back to the boat and konk. I'm out for 'pert-near four hours and have tons of weird dreams that have nothing to cling to so I can't recall what to put here. nightmare shit like that is pretty par for me at the beginning of a tour though - so many insecurities manifest themselves in me then. what I clearly remember is my cousin david watt pounding on the boat hatch and putting the roust on me. he's w/his wife tenya and they've come to see the gig. I'm glad to see him cuz it's been some time since I last have but I rev up slowly from the konk. my talk is garbled, the thinking clouded. damn.
only a few minutes to go before showtime - I've missed both the openers, the heavenly states and nuke-infusion. I was thinking maybe I should explain what we're gonna do? nope, fuck it - just "hi there" and hit it. the lights are pretty bright and it's hard to see folks but I try hard and stare out there way. the organ is really loud on stage, whoa - hard to hear the drums. raul's doing good though and so is pete. sure is weird working these pedals. there's feedback w/the vocals some but phil is on that. I'm trying hard to keep it together and focus what I got going w/the piece, what I'm attempting to get across. crazy thoughts though. even panic ones, a little - but I'm lucky that somehow the keep in check. work this bass, work this piece - cement me and my guys into an ensemble. middle-page punk rock life is funny. I'm into it though, seems more real than all the other shills that could be foisted my way. we get to "pelicanman" - to the ending part and I can't hold it any more - I run off the stage to the head (sure glad it's close) and piss like a racehorse. I get back on the stage and then finish up the song w/my guys. ok, the piece is done. the folks want some more so I say "here's a hippy song all made fast" and we do the b. o. c. one. when I'm insecure, I try to have humor help but... anyway, much respect for the people - again, like last night in santa rosa. we do the five encore song thing and thn the gigs' over
manny folks come up to me to say nice things. I almost feel something pre-emptive, like, "I know that was a weird piece but at this point of my life, I just have to play it. " I'm wondering if that was even more retarded than saying nothing maybe but the last thing I want to seem is full of myself. like I said yesterday - short thoughts crowd my head even though this is the tour of a fiftythree minute piece. bits of thoughts, little bites of them - lots of them whole but tiny. I'm wondering if it makes good sense to try making a cross between an early minutemen record and the wrestling one I did almost ten years ago. hmmm... showing up in some town that's not pedro (like cleveland) w/only a bass and a bunch of tiny songs - playing w/whoever and seeing what happens. weird, I'm thinking this now... folks are telling my nice things about the gig - my cousin dave waits some but then has to bail and waves bye. wish I could've gave him one more hug, oh well. chris touchton, a young man from mobile I dig much (he's got a band called the hawnay troof w/ from bratmobile) comes to say hi and I do get to hug him. like raul, young people have a good effect on my being, inspire me much - I'm so glad my middle years are finding them finding me, keeps me learning. the guys in the nuke infusion band tell me they've been seeing me since they started seeing gigs and I give them much respect.
ramona's not here but the bossman in charge is a nice cat and says it was a good night. we load the boat up and head back to kenny and lis' pad - kenny in a tiki shirt meets opens up the rollaway door and lets me put the boat in a space where I won't have to move it later cuz it's a weekend. seems him and lis got their energy burned up at the tiki art thing they went to and missed the gig. that shit happens. no guapo brownies for me so I lay out in my new konk sack that brice from 688 flowed me. quite a mummy bag though I got it unzipped and am using it to drape me. I try to keep up w/the coversation but konk lays its thing on me and pulls me asunder.
saturday, september 18, 2004 - sacramento, ca
Fuckin hell ride tryin' to get to sacto... so many cars everywhere. Made a hour and a half drive into three plus hours. Showed up to the blue lamp a bit early so me and petey went and grabbed some sammies. good grub. During sound check i feel kinda weird, real live sound on stage, and i cant hear the bass for shit... oh well it's been five shows in and lookin' back this was my best gig. really comfortable on stage, i like the lower stage it's good being eye level with the people watchin and listen' the closeness is comforting, i dont feel on display its just people hangin' some playin' tunes and a few more listening.
Seems like everywhere i go theres always some one from pedro or someone whose just driven through for no specific reason... pedro's everywhere, i mean the guy who owened the club had even lived there for a minute. Anyways the gig, lots of nice folks there to see what this piece is all about. It's weird to have people come up to cuz they recognize from some picture in the paper or something. for instance jeff and his lady friend walk up and instantly start rapping with me like old pals or something, such sweet people. Watt seems to have the nicest fans, Jeff even flowed pete and i some bud.
show went good, nothing majorly disastorious went down, and i felt pretty comfortable, like i said it's the smaller club, and the lower stage. After, people came up to tell me what a great job i did and all that, it's like, were we at the same show, cuz i'd need extra fingered mutant hands to to count all the clams in that bucket... Thanks so much though guys, it means a lot. Met a few cool locals, like the guy who came up on this super cool cruiser, dude goes to the door, and they won't let him in, door guys teling him the show is sold out, i'm hanggin' out side listening to this thinkin' that blows, so i go up and tell the door guy that he's my guest. Guy is stoked not olny is he getting in, but he's gettin in for free. We get to talkin' mainly about bikes and sacto, and he asks where i'm from, pedro i tell him, no shit i've been there once, just wanted to see what it looked liked... see what i mean pedro's everywhere. Also met two girls who were sisters, they were super cool, and one played bass, and just thought mike was the bees knees. They had a punk band they said so, i start quizin' em on sacto punk rock. The banannas they say, who is that, i've heard of melt bannana. Not japan, sacto man, the bannanas, probably, in my opinion, one of the best bands ever to come outta that town, but we all have opinions and we all know what you can with em' but in all seriousness, bow down to the mad poetic drunkin' genius that is the bannanas... silly sad sweetness, that makes for the funnist sing along dance party ever... music straight from the heart my fave record is forbidden fruit , buy it from planet x records outta bloomington you will not be disapointed. Stayed with an old friend of mikes from pedro... concepcion, and her husband mario, see, pedro's everywhere. They were super nice, and even gave me the guest room with the most comfortable bed i've ever slept in. Stayed up for a while and shared a bottle of good wine, bullshited about all kinds of stuff. Mikey rolled up the smokeables... dude can role a killer dooobie... brother. They were catchin' up, and mike was telling her about when he was sick, some intense stories. I've always been curious about it olny knowing a little bit, but that, at least for me, is not the sort of thing you ask someone to talk about, kinda just wait for them to share, intense shit, so glad he's still here... love ya mike. anyway, time to konk, gotta bail by eight bells. Holy shit just met the drummer of the spits... another fave of mine. Wake up to mario makin' the crew breakfast... man these people rule. I had a can of black beans floatin' around my bag, so they acompany one of the best veggie ommlettes i've had in a long while mmmmmmm, nothin' like some tasty fuel to get you going... man i love food... i like food, food taste good, i like food, food taste good. After gassin, up pete and i finish off the smokeables, say our goodbyes, and start sailin' nort towards portland.
I woke up once again on kenny and lisa's deck ; my mind was still a gluey from the brownies but I was feeling much content from the gigs (albeit I was content from day one). I went to go take a much needed shower and felt much better afterward - I chimped some diary and watched a little of the tube.
we had a short drive to sacto so we didn't have to leave kenny and lisa's until later in the afternoon- I much appreciated the relaxation time and listened to some music that I had brought with me; bijelo dugme, riblja corba (what's called ex-YU rock now)- it's stuff that I listened to and that greatly influenced my playing when I was younger (especially bijelo dugme), and I find that I've been going back to it alot lately; it's like reading a favorite book over and over, each pass you pickup something else. Lisa had ordered us up some bagels and we chowed down w/ fervor.
around 3:30 or 4:00 we gathered up our stuff and said our good byes to kenny and lisa; I was sad to go, as like I said- staying w/ them is like being at home and they're always so nice to us. much love to both. we took off on the short jaunt and made it to sacto in like an hour and a half- the pad (the blue lamp) was still dark, so me and raul hoofed it on down the street and grabbed a little chow at a togo's and went back to the pad and loaded all the gear in. we kicked back and chimped some diary while we waited for the soundman to arrive. he finally made it over and miked us up quick and we rolled thru "the red and the black". everything sounded fine but the room was a little bouncy cause' it was empty and we were getting some upper mid bumps but it would even out later when the pad got filled w/ peeps. afterwards, mike went to go conk in the boat and me and raul kicked it in the back of the club, chimping diary and rapping w/ the soundman, clint. Our sacto saviour geoff, showed up w/ his lady and brought us some dines' and libations and we rapped w/ them for a bit; much respect to geoff as I could tell he wasn't feeling well but he bucked up and came to see us any way.
the opening band, "mr. metaphor", came up and started their set and we listened to them for a while; they were pretty cool and they're enthusiasm was infectious- I had to go outside after a time cause my ears were thumping from the bass and I didn't want to burn em' out before the gig. the metaphor's finished btheir set and I went to go wake up the chief and grab the merch box. As I'm walking back in I see concepcion show up (concepcion's ex-pedro) and I give her a big hello and a hug. me and raul set up the tools, watt ambles in and we're off once again..... the set went off very well and the few clams that materialized we recovered from. I ate shit on the dylan tune as I munched some of the words but it turned out ok. I still needed to focus more but I was starting to hita stride. we were doing a bang up job of playing together tho' the piece was geting much more articulate on the dynamic and less steamroller. the crowd gave us much love and actually sang along on some parts ; I heard some "pissbags n' tubing" being yelled out in unison and on "pluckin', pedalin' and paddlin'. somebody was kind enough to bake us some chocolate chips and I shared some w/ the peeps. (much respect to their baker- they were very kind - and I have a weakness for chocolate chip cookies).
i was very happy w/ the gigs so far (they've turned out better than I couild've imagined ). much respect to the chief and raul- we're turning into a tight unit. we broke the gear down and again w/ some help from some nice peeps got it all loaded into the boat. we steamed over to concepcion and mario's pad and laid out the bags ; we rapped for awhile and drank some really kind red wine and I drifted off to sleep..... happily. laku noc sviraci.
pop and head straight for outside - I get to thinking that maybe for luck, I should wear the same thing for the first three gigs and not even shower or shave for them either. this kind of comes from me already doing the first two shows like this and since I've been so taken by the number three (one third of nine), maybe I should go w/it. ok, done. I hoof over to the ball park. senor bonds in fact did get into the seven hundred club last night w/a homer. I get some coff and a bagel and hoof some more by the water. this tour's called "el mar cura todo" and damn if that's not the first thing I'm thinking as I look across the blue and think about the big picture. this ocean water here, a big bucket of wet to float some thoughts in - huh, watt? I'm proud of my secondmen guys, think they're doing great. three legs to prop up a stool to set this opera on, wild. I get some more coff but at a book pad called borders, some kind of chain thing. me and raymond still haven't found time together to make that "richard II" play into a movie yet so I've been reading all I can about the period shakespeare lived in and this book called "I, elizabeth" catches my eye. one of those "historical novels" where it looks like the author, rosalind miles, has written it in the first person as elizabeth herself! these things are funny, it makes me think of robin maxwell's "the secret diaries of ann boylan" or amichee minh's "becoming madame mao" but maybe I might get some insights somehow to help do a good job for raymond. man, I still feel residual crap still from guapo's brownies so I have even more coff when I get back and find lis awake and making up a batch.
I got the 'puter going and do emails as much as I can. get so swamped w/tour demanding most my time. I space out thinking it's sunday and call my ma. I always chow w/her on sundays when I'm in pedro and try my best to call when I'm not. saturday's her day for errands though and I get the machine. then I realize what a fucking idiot I am. tour can easily let you lose track of time which reminds me to ask raul to get a watch! he never knows what time it is and I tell him "c'mon, bro. " I only spent fifteen bucks on mine. he's a quick learner though and will get this tour thing down. he bails to wander while lis spiels w/pete - the tv has that same episode of "the prisoner" on again (the magic of tivo)! I'm doing the chimp-chimp on the machine but join in when I can. lis' room mate danielle wanted to come last night but got a headache. her boyfriend richard comes to tell me he met me in blacksburg, virginia and of course, I was wasted. how many people have told me that? I'm sure I have been at times but you know, I have to think twice cuz it's almost like they make it a romantic kind of thing. he also said I told him to quit his band and he did. hmm... can't remember that either. that doesn't seem to smart of me seeing I'm always telling people to start their own bands at the end of the gig. maybe I told him to quit so he could start again? hard to remember. he seems like a nice man though. makes me think of that cat andy who took me to amoeba records yesterday cuz he said he was from charlottesville, virginia. people from that state make me think of when I was boy and living there, it's trippy. danielle wants to play bass and is left handed. she wants to know whether she should get a right-handed bass (which are way more common) and turn it upside down which means having to cut a new nut or just finding a left-handed one. funny that kira's left-handed but plays a right-handed one cuz she thought the fretting hand should be the more happening one. I relate that to danielle but also tell her to look for an econo left-handed ones made by fender under their squire label. she goes and gets us bagels that got some egg in them.
afternoon coming on now and kenny finally arises and joins us. raul comes back too and him and kenny peruse kenny's collection of concert ticket stubs. kenny gives raul a jimi hendrix at the winterland one he says is worth three hundred bucks, whoa. kenny collects lots of things. he might get a shot at being on that jeopardy show, having gone through some levels of try-outs. good luck, kenny. I take on even more coff to flush whatever's left of what those guapo's brownies put inside me. damn.
we say our good byes and head over to the shithard center so I can get bass strings for the tour cuz I only had one extra pack. I get ten sets for a hundred and a half. we then make our way back over the bay bridge to get over to sacramento. man, the traffic is plugcity on the I-80. looks like they're building a bridge parallel to the bay bridge east of yorba linda. we finally break free past pinole (raul says that's where that band green day is from) and get to tonight's venue near the center of town. I guess it's ahh-nold's town these days. this pad is called the blue lamp and this lady deseray lets us in though at first she thought we were some nuts being idiots and banging on the hatch. ed, the cat who runs the place comes on board and tells me about lexington, kentucky - where he's from. I tell him richard hell was from there. ed almost moved to pedro, what a trip! wrong neighborhood though and he bailed. pedro can be like that - fuck, any town can. we unload the boat and set up - they got a stage here. lately, my sacto gigs have been at the ironsides and that's got hardly a stage which makes it tough for folks past the first two rows to see anything so that makes this pad kind of better. the soundman shows. his name is clint and met me in boise like fifteen years ago. he's a nice man and we do a quick "the red and the black" for him. I gotta turn the bass down a little (whoops). I go across the street and get a salad, come back and see tonight's boss, brian. man, has this cat done a lot of years of gigs w/me! always great to see him though and we talk a little before I seal up the boat hatch to chimp and then konk. oh - I met the guys in the opening band, mister metaphor and they seem nice, one's gotta a huge fro, rob tyner style.
I pop to find 'dines on the windshield, thank you! great tour chow, sardines. I bring my bass in and make my way in - the pad's packed, three good crowds in a row so far this tour, many thanks. again, just a hello and then we're underway. really, I don't what to say w/out sounding like a shill so just make w/the music. a lot of organ on the stage again. maybe it's the frequency where those sounds live that make them so much up-front up here. I have on/off probs in the first tune again - I wonder what that's about? it disappears after a few chokes, hmm... what is that? oh well, onward... tonight I can actually look people in the face and try my hardest to do so and project my voice more besides. I gotta instill some kind of confidence into the piece, if not into my self. there's some clams but my guys do good. they rush a little in the last of the hell part and then drag a little in the middle of the heaven part but that's just small stuff. I'm very proud of them. last night, I hit a bunch of cymbals during raul's "angels gate" solo cuz he just seemed stuck on this one crash one but tonight he works the others in too. I made sure I pissed before we went on (a gatorade bottle when I got the little bass out of the boat's aft) so there's no panic tonight w/that.
the folks have us back for an encore and we do our five - pete let's the dylan one breathe way more though I gotta ask him to stay on the mic cuz he gets a little far back on it. raul loses time in the roky tune but this one's become such a part of my fabric that I still can maintain it, even w/him rushing all around it - he'll find his way, somehow - I'll be patient. we get done and geoff from the wattlist comes up to say hi (I saw fellow-lister evan last night in s.f.), good to see him. pete says he got a tin of those portugese 'dines geoff likes from him. this lady gives me a sack of cookies she made us. there's these two sisters - one of them plays bass and though she's shy about that and it's her sister that spills the beans... I dig it when bass players talk to me - I signed this one young man's bass at the start of this tour in santa rosa. pete shows me a sack of habaneros someone donated too, grazie! zack from hella is here and gives me a book he wrote, its got a cd in it too - thank you. w/him is drummer janet weiss - oh my dear! wow, she saw the piece and so early on too. we talk about george hurley a little and what an influence he is on her. she's very happy to hear me and georgie have done a couple of duet gigs doing minutemen songs and are invited to do the all tomorrow's parties festival in england this december. it's so good to see janet, I did not expect her here. dave from don't mean maybe and his wife just moved here and invite us to konk but old time friend concepcion and her husband mario have already asked us. always so sorry to have to say no when people are so nice to have you aboard, damn.
bye to bossman brian, clubman ed and soundman clint. man, all the shows brian has done for me, all the years. a good cat. he flows some mota even. we follow concepcion and mario to their pad and when we get there, concepcion gets the cd of "... middle stand" and shows me the back. now concepcion goes back to the minutemen days, I've known her a very long time. she says "I was at the gig and looking for this guy" (pointing at the idiot w/the mustache on the back of the cd - me). I told her I was in the boat konking and she said she was so glad to see me w/the face shaved. she said, "as a girl, I look at this picture and think, he could be tender but I don't want to have that kind of sex w/him" w/the emphasis on THAT KIND in her voice. mario said it kind of looks like a prison thing. I tell them both I was trying to look like I was going to fight that sickness that was trying to kill me - that's why I had my bass and my hand in a fist. trippy how they picked up that other thing. that as not my intention. nope. they're good people though. guess I put out confusing images. my fault.
there's a little cat they just got that looks like a baby version of my cat I called man. tiny. there's a little dog too that's just adorable but maybe ten years old. it's a japanese kind called a shinju. there's a great spirit in this pad. I konk quick and easy.
sunday, september 19, 2004 - portland, or
Drive to portland is good, we really lucked out with the weather, ever since frisco the news was given' us horror stories about some hugh rain storm, we got rain, but nothing like what we thought. So we get right on time for the sound check, super nice guys who knew what was up. Big club, instantly nerves kick in to overdrive. maybe just relaxin' and gettin something to eat will help, it did. got some really good falafel and a side of onion rings at the club
After grubbing pete and i decided to go walk around and explore portland, good times, petes a brother. Ran into this bike crew who were prosting cars by getting together with mass amounts of folks on bikes and stopping traffic, and pretty much taking over parts of the city... super fuckin' neat. Got a good shot of some dude on a homemade bike, super high off the ground with a big giant umbrella on the top. Said he really couldn't stop, but if i was quick enough i could snap a photo... i did
With lots of time to spare, we decided to hit up a used bookstore we came across, this Place was hugh, about four stories high, and a block long... very proper, never seen a book store that big in my life. Four stories big we gotta check out the top floor right. as soon as we hit it, i see retodd of razorcake fame book, alright, place is super proper. so i'm just diggin' into this store, and i start thinkin' about this part in the nirvana video were novaselic is makin' fun of mr. big, i think it is, just goin' on about how dilluted rockstars are, and i think to myself holy shit that is kris novaselic, turns out he's doing an in store to promote his new book, even crazier than that, turns out pete knows him, and is friends of the family, cuz they, yep you guessed it, from pedro... The world shrinks before your very eyes. Ofcourse he's super busy talkin' politics with the crowd, sorta of question, and answer thing, but we gotta at least say hi. Guy has defiently got something to say, he'll for sure become a bigger voice as time passes. No more music for him, change through the spoken word.
Back at the club, place is super packed, very good for a sunday, which of course starts to tense me immidiately. Hangin' out down stairs drinkin' a beer, and outta no where a couple of more people from pedro walk in, dump my hand in my pocket, but no luck, the worlds not there, but its defiently getting even smaller. Spend at least an hour talkin' with a couple of old friends of petes who now live in the portland area.
Right as we're about to go on, clay from the clorox girls (anoher fave of mine) comes up and asks for some spots on the list, i mean right as we're about to play Ya know mike's startin' the first song, and someone is askin' me about guest list shit, i couldn't even get close to doing it, but things work out, and the universe does provide, and they get to stay. boy i'm i glad, cuz like i said familar faces have been my savior at these bigger club shows, thanks so much for the support dudes. Playin' is pretty good, except for a few missed counts on my part. Crowd is real into it, excuse me while i change the subject, but i just wanna say congragulations to joclyn and brad lackey, they just got hitched southern style after moving to portland from the east bay, and i just wanted to wish them all the best, two really good people, it was great to see you guys, Anyways crowd is wasted, but it's great, every body moving along to the music, i love that, takes tension away, cuz people seem to enjoy it on a diffrent level. fuck, another cool thing, i met richard meltzer, you know vom, pre angry samoans... electracute your cock, fuck, get with it, that shit is over twenty years ago, so classic. bye bye.
popped at concepcion and mario's and immediately went into hyde to jekyll mode; bones cracking , stretching of the extremities- in a few minutes pete was back. Mario, bless his heart had gotten up early to cook us up some really kind chow (egg omelette w/ asparagus) and some really good salsa roja and verde (very welcome). we strapped on the feedbag and fully sated , we piled our stuff into the boat and were off towards Portland. we had to hit the road at eight bells as we had a nine hour hellride in front of us. much love to mario and concepcion for once again making us feel at home.
The ride was relatively uneventful; me and raul flipped for the coveted bench seat and had some good conk in each case- and chimped some diary. mike did the first seven hours piloting the boat while I took the helm for the last two; we had some downpour along the way but for the most part it was clear seas. mike navigated us in on the ti book and in no time we were out in front of the club (a pad called berbati's pan). we loaded in all the gear and set it up , then the soundman, dave and helperman jeff miked us up and we ran thru the check. everything sounded copacetic, so we broke down and me and raul went to go get some chow. I had a lamb pita and it was just what I needed. we got to talking to some peeps that were sitting next to us and invited them to the show, but unfortunately they couldn't make it.
one young lady by the name of chula agreed to come and we assured her that we would put her and a friend on the guest list. I went to go call some friends of mine from pedro to let them know I was putting them on the guest list, but the number was disconnected and I hoped that they would show w/o the call. Me and raul went into the head to shave and both of us were feeling much better afterward so we decided to go for a little walk around the town. we hoofed it up the street a few blocks and spotted a book store; both of us being literary fans, we walked in to check it out- the pad was huge! four floors of books! I was in hog heaven. I decided to narrow down our prospects and asked a clerk where the musical books were located- "pearl section" she says, three floors up (the pad was divided into colored sections). we headed on up three flights and upon entering we noticed a crowd of people: somebody was slingin' spiel. I paid no mind and headed over to the technical section; raul points out to me that it's kris novoselic giving the spiel- what a trip! I hadn't seen kris since our mini tour w/ eyes adrift nearly two years ago. I listened to him rap for a little while, he's pretty articulate politically and really wants to create change. I had read that he was stepping out of music to dedicate his life to political change , and after listening to him , I think he made a wise choice. I waited till he finished (raul recorded a little of his spiel), then went up and greeted him in Croatian. he was like "hey , what brings you to portland"? I told him about our gig at berbati's and invited him down, but I figured he would be busy signing books and such and probably wouldn't come. It was good to see him again, tho' and it was also good to see that he was dedicating his life to positive change in our political system; I don't know about you folks , but for the last few years I've been feeling that fucking fascist boot pressing harder and harder on my neck and I think it's high time we cut that leg off.
we hoofed it back to the club and made our way downstairs to kick it before the gig. I rapped w/ raul for awhile about music and the secondmen in general; he's a really bright soul and I'm thankful that he came into my life- this whole sitch being a secondman is a constant learning experience for me- be it from watt or raul- I am truly fortunate and grateful that I can spend these days with them; sometimes I wish it wouldn't end.
Rob and wendy showed up and I was ecstatic to see them (rob's an ex-pedro cat)- he always tries to come to the shows when we're in town (he came to see us when we played w/ the peppers' ), and I was glad to see him there w/ his wife wendy- she's an independent spirit like lil the kill (reminds me of her much). I wanted to play good for them. we rapped while the opening bands were on and took some snaps, then headed on up to hear the last part of the band's set. "we heard the licks and the licks were hot". they finished up and cleared off their tools and me and raul set up or stuff after which I went to go rouse the chief. as we waited for watt to show , one of our buds from last tour showed up- eric, and we rapped and decided that would be staying at his pad. love that cat eric. he came to our show w/ the peppers' last tour and we had a blast.
the chief finally ambled in and we were off. we steamrolled thru the set and the crowd gave us much love. I got real nervous at some point during the dylan song and choked , but watt and raul pulled me thru. we were coming way together as a band and our clam recovery was getting way better. I felt good about the set save for some sloppy-ass playing on my part but I was way into the show. Afterwards we broke down the gear, and loaded up the boat; eric had mysteriously disappeared so we were lost on a place to crash- luckilly wendy and rob had left me their land line number and I called them in desperation. wendy gave me the directions to their pad which was about a half hour from portland. we plugged the addres into the ti book and I navigated watt to their pad (tho' I think he had his doubts). upon arrival , we settled in and wendy and rob went out of their way to make us feel at home. I conked very quickly as we had indulged in a little mota prior to laying out. I conked contentedly...... buona notte musicanti..
mario shakes my toe, hastening the pop I was just about to do. it's a little after seven in the morning and we gotta be rolling by eight cuz we have a five hundred and sixty hellride ahead of us to portland. not only is it the number of miles there's the trinity and siskiyou mountains to go over. this is the boat's last tour (shhh... don't let me say that too loud cuz she might hear me) and the miles have gotten her a little long in the tooth so I gotta go easy on her on the grades going up. anyway, I can smell mario cooking up chow for us as I shower and put on a new outfit. of course, levis but that blue plain short-sleeve shirt I got from some cat in madison a few tours ago (it's even more righteous cuz it's got pearloid snaps instead of buttons. ) and I wore every day of the summer stooges gig I just was on. it was for daytime wear though cuz iggy likes me onstage w/t-shirts. I also washed it in the sink every other day w/liquid soap. this is what I'm gonna wear the next three days. I figure even luckier than three days in one outfit we be doing that three times in a row. sailors get superstitious. I then roust my guys and we find that mario's made us up a giant omelet w/asparagus cooked into it to be cut up pie-like for us to chow along w/strips of bacon. we shovel cuz not much time dawdle w/the hellride impending. leaving early makes more sense to me than trying to get the miles in late at night after the gig. last night janet was just talking to me about that - she related the story about this portland band exploding hearts trying to get back after a san francisco gig and almost everyone getting killed in a wreck. damn, does that shit weigh on me. there's enough odds against you being on the road w/out having to up them even more. the sun's up bright and that's righteous. much respect.
bye bye to concepcion and mario as we roll from their front lawn. it's one road all the way, I-5. north through the sacramento valley, we pass where they're growing rice and that trips raul out. lots of rice is grown in these parts. no ipod coming out of the green wack sack today - three gigs done and already the ears are starting to bet beatup and they need rest. pete passes out like a rock - he's in tour mode, his fourth one now w/me and his acclimatized nicely to the drill. thirty miles south of redding, we roll through red bluff - this is where my pop grew up and something makes me wanna pull over to get gas but instead I keep going. I think of him much though, his boy the bass player. man, we getting to know each other more and more when that cancer shit cut him short thirteen years ago. well, I think of him everyday - I ain't just gotta roll through red bluff for that - and there's always this image of him behind me, holding me close to him and saying "my son, my son. " he always made me feel that was a very real thing and he could never be embarrassed of me, no matter how kookie I was in my endeavors. that was a very righteous thing of him - he wanted me to be my own man. he didn't always understand it but I was always his boy. trippy feelings, huh?
at redding we get gas and then start our climb into the shasta parts. pretty sights, turntable bay and all. man, is the clay red here! last time I did this, there were snow flurries threatening but this time things are fine. weather's such an issue on tour! pete pops and shows raul the fine art of chimping tour spiel into his 'puter - he's got a g4 tipurse mac powerbook like mine 'cept mine got a tihandle I got for it, makes more like a purse and I can dig that. mount shasta's all cloud-covered when we pass her. we get up through weed, my pop worked on a farm here as a teenager before he joined the navy. finally, we reach the border w/oregon (funny how they call s. f. and the bay area there nor cal when there's still hundreds of miles of cali north of them!) and it's over siskiyou summit w/the highest part of I-5, 4310 feet up. we get some drizzling rain but not much. trippy they got a shakespeare festival here in ashland, says so on a freeway sign. you think might be just logging and such. at roseburg, I get gas and pass the helm to pete. seven hours driving's a good stretch for me today. it's his first turn at the wheel this tour and he does good. it's just me and him this tour cuz raul doesn't have a driver's license - he gets around pedro by pedaling. that's ok though cuz his job is to run the drums, that's why he's on tour w/us - me and pete can handle steering the boat.
we get into portland just before six pm - right when load in is supposed to be. whew, a ten hour hellride but make it in safe is well worth it. the gig's at berbat's pan, in the old downtown just east of the williamette river. I've played here a couple times before but not in quite a while. the folks putting on the show, thrasher, have a cat to help us unload and I get to thinking that since I put on a new outfit, maybe I should shave too so I go into the head and start doing that. this security cat comes in and says "man, you gotta leave - this isn't a place. " I'm like, "what?" he says "you gotta go!" and I tell him I'm the guy in the poster - in fact, it's a picture of me clean-shaven. I haven't been that way in a while but I cut that village people mustache off two weeks ago for the stooges gig where we opened up for madonna at slane castle in ireland (to no avail, I didn't get to talk to her anyway. I did get to see her soundcheck and the first part of her gig - man, she was amazing! I guess I could've foisted on her cuz she did walk by me but I was way too afraid and much in awe) so I look pretty much like that idiot on the poster does (looks like they got the shot the used off my hoot page from a couple of years ago). he looks and then apologizes but I tell him it's ok, better for me to be kind of whoever and not so specific. one thing that doesn't match the poster is my hair cuz my sister melinda put color in it to the hide the gray. I let her do it but really, I don't why. my ma was into it also, she had a box of stuff on the table when I'd go to chow w/her and mindy on sundays. something about "looking young for young people. " whatever, shit. we do a quick soundcheck w/soundmen dave and jeff, playing "the red and the black" - man, does raul wanna play this one quick! maybe it reminds of his hardcore bands. funny though cuz the tune's from the hippy days!
I meet w/jenny to do a spiel for the neumu.com site. we do it in the boat. I already called richard meltzer to come meet me after cuz he emailed me he wanted to chow the day before but the spiel is in full swing still when he comes by. he gives me his new book, "autumn rhythm" - righteous. he says he'll take a walk and come back but when he does, we're still going so all three of go to some pizza pad a block away and richard gets me a slice of sausage peetz. let me just say it's not tasting like new york city, ok? jenny is very interested in where I am in my life and where I think I'm going, what went into this "... middle stand" record and the like. I try and explain as well as I can but richard helps much cuz of his talent to distill stuff well. he reminds me of raymond pettibon, the way his mind can sum things up and get it right on the dime. love it. love him. he hasn't heard the piece - damn, I thought I mailed him one soon as I finished it. idiot watt. well, he'll get to hear it tonight. it's gonna be scary playing it for him, just like playing in front of raymond but I gotta to do it. I am so lucky to have people like this in my life, incredibly so. we spiel for hours but the time goes by like it was all just seconds worth. what makes me really happy to hear is that a biopsy richard had for prostrate cancer turned out to be benign, thank god. he tells me and jenny about the new book he's writing, a love one. trippy.
whoa, almost gig time! I missed both the openers, the kingdom and the joggers but good thing I looked at my watch when I did. a good crowd, especially for a sunday and they're in good spirits too, very vocal. hope they're ready for the long weird song. I have to say it's a tough gig for us. raul's a little lost at times, loosing count of parts and stuff like that. his spirit is good and he never falters in that regard. much respect. maybe I have something to do w/it cuz it's a little hard knowing richard's out there and I wanna do so good for him - his first time hearing it and all. I'm not totally clamming it up and I even am looking as much as I can at the crowd but I'm a little wobbly. no liquor in me though - not a drop of any ethanol this tour yet, just wobbly w/nerves. kind of hard to hear things right too - pete's organ is wailing. I let him know about that and he gets a much better handle on it. what I really want my guys to do is to fight the tendency to become isolated on stage - in one's own head - and make sure we keep things ensemble, like we're trying to build an interesting conversation. I'm still awkward working these effects pedals - damn, what a dance. when the piece finishes, I'm proud overall of my guys and very grateful the folks dug it and want some more so we do the encore stuff. I dedicate "the red and the black" to richard - he wrote lyrics for the blue oyster cult (though not this one). quite a crowd when we finish and it must take 'pert-near an hour to talk and sling to them. the cats from the opening bands are very nice to me, much respect to them. same w/all the nice words from folks who dug the show. I can't express here how much it touches that even after all these gigs and tours, people want to still see me work the boom broom and flow my spiel. it's all very generous of them, truly. last night janet from sleater-kinney told me carrie might come and I think that had me a little scared too, besides richard being here already. I hope I get another chance to do better and maybe she couldn't come - richard told me such nice things after the gig, saying bringing in a organ was a good move and "it ain't prog!" but I want to do better for both of them, for everyone including the two fine men sharing the stage w/me. aahh, the recriminations one can run on one's self when these things get done! big, big, BIG hugs for richard - so glad to see him. oh, I forgot to mention he sent me a fifty poems he wrote and spoke so I can collaborate w/these recordings in a project I'm calling spielgusher. that's wild and I'm very excited to get happening when the time's right. jenny did great w/the spiel too, so glad she was happy to have richard on board also. this lady hollers out "you can piss in my sink" - what? I then recognize her... she's christy from jacksonville and last time I played her town, she had us over to konk but her pad was still under construction so the head didn't have a doorway from the hall (only for the bedrooms it was between), I had to piss like a racehorse when I popped in the morning and I couldn't find it no how. I fucking had to use the sink but this wasn't done being built either and the piss went all over the deck... fuck, I was on my knees mopping w/paper towels quick. anyway, she's here in portland and laughing about that whole mess. you can imagine how embarrassed I was. sorry, christy.
eric, the man who streams my watt from pedro show (twfps.com) from his company's servers was here earlier, according to pete but by load up time, he's nowhere to be found. almost always, we stay at his pad in this town. oh well, just hope he's ok cuz I dig him much. there's this couple that pete knows named rob and wendy (actually friends of his buddy tony's) that moved up here from pedro and they left pete a number to call in case we need a konk space. eric missing - konk space needed. pete calls. directions to somewhere a halfhour east, in the boonies near troutdale. before we bail for there, I talk w/trey, who's a cat who's done my gigs here before and now has a this business, voodoo donuts right here by the club. he's a good cat, calls me "his touchstone" - much respect to him. he gives me a shirt mike king made for his shop - THE mike king, the cat who did the cover to the first wipers album ("is this real?"). I remember who excited me and d. boon were when his band opened for us at the satyricon and he invited us to his pad to konk. that was righteous. pete also told me he saw krist novaselic earlier at a book store, doing a spiel regarding the political situation. richard had good thoughts on that when we chowed though I love hearing krist talking about such things too. richard called ralph nader a "suicide bomber, " wanting to take the democrat party out in maybe his last run. I think the democrats sure could've ran a better candidate. man, it's like last time. my hope is that the country can survive whatever happens come the once-every-four-years beauty contest we somehow think is the most major thing we got going political. to somehow manufacture consensus that way (thank you, mister chomsky), how bizarre.
anyway, pete yammers on the horn w/wendy to get directions but good thing we got the 'puter w/road map software ("route 66") and find out that "lewis and clark" is actually "lewis and clark state park" and not a road. the roads we take are tiny backwoods ones but sure enough, we find the pad and it's on like five acres. rob's a nice man. him being from pedro has all the rain they get here wear hard on him but he does like lots of other stuff about it. these are some very nice folks, maybe not so up on what's in at the moment but genuine and for me, that's way more important. much respect to them. I show them the technique regarding how I use the mask to let folks know it's time for sleepytown and then "blink" - I'm out and konked.
monday, september 20, 2004 - vancouver, bc, canada
Gotta deal with the border today, so that means all the merch back in the states, and all the boys on our best behavior. Crossing borders is always a nerve racking expierience. Its funny how nerveous you can make yourself for no reason, i mean we all got our passprts, and mike has all the papers, and still, even though i'm clean, i'm still wondering what theier gonna call me on, ya know, like maybe about five years i go to canada with f. y. p, we all cross illegally under a fake recording contract, they find a pipe in our van, and our bass player has a felony, that was a very intense search, but they still let us through, i couldn't believe it we we're real lucky, and we are today too , All goes according to plan, and we sail through... hello canada.
I like canada, driving through it from east to west was a brutal hell ride that tour, eightteen hour plus drives, but the cities are pretty interesting. So vancover, downtown sorta reminded me of kiddie san frascisco. We get to the sound check on time, do that. Sound guy says to call him trouble, cuz he's either gettin' or givin' it, he's seems kinda thrown off when pete and i start throwin' around some unsavory words, joking of course, this sound guy hasn't seen trouble, he's just this sweet middle aged canadian sound man. Some nice locals hangin' after playin' the red and the black, i decided to go exploreing, lots of diffrent nationalities going on in b. c. seems like a real cool place. I do the usual grab some caffine, and go check out all the places people usually visiting a city wouldn't go, tryin' to get some good graffitti flicks, and see the real part of city. People were blazin' full on everywhere, even in the bar we played, as soon as we hit the first note people were lightin' up doobies like it was a fuckin' dead gig or some shit. Gig was good, crowd was really eunthusiastic, and seemed pretty opened to diffrent things. Stage was real small, pete didn't like the gig, said he had to spend most the watchin' the side of the stage making sure he didn't take a tumble off, it olny would've been about a foot fall. I think it would be pretty bad ass if pete was rockin' out so hard he stagedived, for me it was perfect, every one was real close, also i gotta chance to make up some of the mistakes i made in portland.
Opening band was cool too, very canadian, you know tight, and very precise, they even did a rad verson of winters frankinstien. Turns out the drummer also plays for the hanson brothers, ernie, super cool dude, it was the last day of tour, and they seemed happy to be home. Early show, dumb asses wanted to clear out a hundred drinkers, to let in twenty people for an open mic, good for us though get across the border, go to the room, and get some much needed rest bye for now canada.
I awoke to the sounds of the chief moving about; keys jangling, chucks stomping - and I rolled out of my bed. wendy was already in the kitchen frying us up some eggs, but I really needed to hose off, so first things first. I got out of the shower feeling much better and I saw that watt was outside talking to rob- this meant that we were ready to go and I had to deny the eggs- wendy, bless her soul insisted that I take the eggs w/ me but I didn't think I had the time for all those moves so I quickly gathered up my stuff and ran to the boat (she did succeed in getting some kind raisin bread into my hand before I ran out. oh yeah, and wendy introduced me to their kids- they are absolute dolls and made me think about my little man tone (I miss him alot). much love to rob and wendy for putting us up for the nite. I'll see you when you come to pedro.
we had a decent hellride to canada and I slept and read "the gulag archipelago" most of the way. we got to the border in good time and as usual the canadians were very gracious and we got thru w/ no hassle or strip searches. I spotted the actor william hurt in the immigration office as we were getting our permits; he seems shorter and older in person.
we pulled up in front of the pad (the media club) a short time after that and did the load in w/ the gear- the soundman, a cat by the name of trouble, helped us w/ the gear and miked us up expertly. ran thru the check' and everything sounded decent, so we broke down and put the gear offstage. I went to the bar and chimped diary for a couple of hours while the opening band removal, did their check'. They were an instrumental band and had good musicianship- they augmented their sound w/ samples, very trippy. Some peeps were staring to flow in so I moved to the band room to finish up the chimp and get a little quiet before the storm. Raul came in and we rapped about the set a little; things we needed to focus on to help the piece and the other songs come across a little better. we were coming together much better on stage but we still had to focus harder every night on the dynamic.
removal finished their set and we loaded our tools on stage - afterwards, I went to go wake up the chief. me and raul waited side stage for the man to show and sure enough after a few minutes he strode in, plugged in the baby bass and we were rollin'. The set started a little rough as there was a lot of low end in the monitors and it was difficult to hear the small parts. watt was yelling at me to turn down the organ and I was feeling my nerve start to slip; my brain was doing somersaults as I started analyzing my every note and I was losing focus big time. we were playing on a stage that was a half circle so me and watt had almost no room to move around- it's really fucked trying to go off in a two-foot perimeter. I clammed up some vocal parts on "pissbags" and this shit succeeded in blowing what little confidence I had out the window. I played the rest of the piece really fucking tippy-tap and amateurish; goddamn embarassing. The crowd was somewhat subdued but we garnered great applause after each part (canadian peeps are always cool to us Thank god I had mike and raul as a safety net. we finished the piece and went to the side of the stage for the normal discussion w/ watt. He wasn't down on us too heavy as he acknowledged that it was a difficult pad to play (and I assume he noticed the dejected look on my mug). I was relieved that he wasn't mad at me as I wanted to make him proud. I was still ashamed tho' - we went back up to do the encore tunes and I did a little better (clammed only a couple of times in the dylan tune), but I still felt that I had fucked the crowd out of a good show. I'm glad we would be back later in the tour- I promised myself to make it up to them.
afterwards we packed up the gear and I rapped w/ tom scholte and his lady frida afterwards; they said we sounded awesome and I was very thankful to them for saying that. (tom had come down to pedro when we recorded the piece and stayed at my pad). he's a very down cat. We loaded the boat up and steamed back to bellingham, washington where we had gotten a room earlier so we could stow the merch. the only shining part of the evening was tthat we didn't get hassled at the border and we were back at the mo' by 11:30 P. M. feeling antsy, me and rollie (my designated nickname for him), hoofed it thru town to find a place for some chow and sauce. we walked around for about twenty minutes and finally found a small shite-hole sports bar. we settled in, ordered up the sauce and rapped. after a while a cat comes up to us and asks for a cigarette. I gave him one and I could tell he was a little borracho because he was talking a little bellige. He introduced himself as Aaron and sat down and began to regale us w/ stories about his two wives, his musical career and his boxing prowess (it was similar to seeing a car crash on the freeway).
after a time he kind of floated away and went to go sit w/ a friend of his. I got up to go to the head; aaron came in a few minutes later and began telling me about his ongoing education; he was evidently studying for a doctorate in "rhinoplasty" "no shit, I say, surprised that doctorates are being offered in such a narrow field w/ such reckless abandon. His friend comes in and they start playing good cop/bad cop w/ me (the motive being to convince me not to fuck w/ this tough, boxer-ass future rhino-plasterer). then suddenly the future doctor starts getting a little touchy w/ me. I tell him that conversation is fine but to keep his fucking hands to himself. He says "oh yeah, well I got a gun" (I glanced down quickly to his leg and knew he was lying). I tell him "well I bet that I can shove that gun up your ass faster than you can pull the trigger". He says "oh yeah"? I look at him w/ a big grin and say "yup". him and his buddy then continue the little word game w/ me and I say, "listen bro, I just want to go and finish my drink", and I open the door of the head. He jumps ahead and slams the door yelling "you ain't fucking going anywhere, I'm not finished with you". I think to myself, "OK I'm going to ride this out and try and calm him down in the process. I try to change the subject but this cat ain't having any of it. Raul sticks his head in the door and asks if everything is all right, I tell him yeah. I hear the bartender saying she's going to call the police and this is my cue to exit; rhinoplasterer doesn't stop me this time and I go back to sit w/ raul. I apologize profusely to the bartender and explain the whole sitch to her. Evidently these cats hadn't endeared themselves to anybody all nite and so good riddance. what a trip! I guess this was just one of those cats w/ a napoleon complex and it all comes out when the magic of alcohol kicks in. I was just glad me and rollie didn't suffer any shit due to these motherfuckers. The bartender gave us a free round god bless her soul and we downed it and booked. we went to a grocery store and bought some bread, turkey, and cheese and hoofed it back to the mo, got in the boat and chowed down. I've really grown very fond of raul in the last month and a half that I've known him, he's a true bro. After our post-midnite chow, we went into the room and w/o much prodding fell immediately asleep; I for one, was glad the day was over. laku noc sviraci....
rob's turn to put the touch on watt - trippy how I've been woke two days in a row cuz usually some unknown force usually pushes me up right on time... well, I was 'pert-near there anyway, in the process of popping when I get the tap. I wanted to go the full three days w/out a shower, like how I started the tour but I think I better just stay w/wearing the same outfit three in a row, three times over so I can stay healthy. a tour like this, you just gotta be healthy or it'll be such a total beatdown. even though we konked at three am, we gotta bail at eight this morning cuz it's a six hour drive and we got both the border and getting a pad right before that to cache the slingables before we go over. wendy makes us coff and there's bagels - she wants to make us more but we gotta move. much thanks for everything to rob and her as we bail. all three of the dogs and their three little ones too. coming from where they are, we cross the columbia river on the I-205 belt and roll north through more evergreen land - more green ever even than oregon, both these states are righteous that way. I wanted to tell rob that's what all the rain's for but didn't want to rub it in.
of course the border weighs on mind but I was relieved when I got the word from anthony (lieutenant for my gig-booker steve kaul, "the man outside the van") saying immigration was cleared and we got a system number pluse pete's minister's permit was issued (I've just been "rehabilitated" by the canadian government and free now of having to have that) so even though I have no documents, I am somewhere in some 'puter system giving us authority to do a gig w/our canadian neighbors. how do you spell relief? we roll through fife, through tacoma, through seattle and on into bellingham, about thirty-something miles from the border. just before we get off the freeway though, a patrol car behind on the side of the road lit up his lights and came on right behind us but then passed to get this minivan that had just raced by. another reason I don't speed (besides just being safe). I get a room at the cascade inn, where I always go when we do this and as I'm doing that in the office, pete and raul tell me one of "tenants" lays a good dose racist shit about how the owner here is a "fucking iraqi" who even "has his family clean the rooms. " his accent has always sounded like someone from india to me but whatever, that's not the point. I hate relating stories like this but then hopefully think that maybe someone who reads it might think twice - even me cuz humans are frail to this weakness. at least that lady helps them out by staying at their pad though, huh? jesus, this human race. we unload the slingables and head for the border.
first the u. s. side - our side. I register the equipment and the man is very nice and respectful to me. thank you, sir. then the canadian side. everything in order, the officer lady there even makes our work permits good for the two gigs in montreal and toronto also (they come later, october 10 and 11). there's some young men from sacramento in a band called the snobs that tried to get over and whoever booked them said it was no problem to just come on over and go for it. oh man. I feel bad for those cats but they understand and don't blame the canadians. in fact, the customs officer let's them come in as visitors. turns out one of them is the brother of this cat I know named zippy who plays in this band bargain music, that's a trip. so, a very easy border crossing - much, much thanks.
we're playing in the more east part of vancouver at a pad called the media club. trippy little stage, might be a tough gig cuz of that but the soundman, a cat named trouble, is way happening and very much into. so righteous to have the soundcat on your side from the git-go. I always tell them that we're just the motor and they're the tranny - they get the power to the tires and make the gig go. a label cat named patrick from sony/canada - a nice man I've known a while now comes by to say hi - he's arranged an interview for me to do w/the cbc w/a cat named alexis. he's great and asks me some neat things including something called the "ninety second egg" where he fires off question quick and I gotta answer them as fast as I can. he really likes the fact I had a band called the madonnabes and trips on finding out that the guys who played organ and drums in that unit helped me make the "... middle stand" piece. even wilder is him hearing about the stooges thing w/her in ireland a couple weeks ago. life definitely is a trip.
we do soundcheck w/trouble and then I say hi to erin and her ma - timbre is the company who's done my gigs for years and it's a little family company. peter's the pop but he's had his daughter erin do my shows lately. the beastie boys are also playing in vancouver tonight and he's w/a man I admire much, billy rahmy, who's the beastie's tour manager. billy did that gig for the chili peppers last october when I opened for them and it was a blast getting to work w/him everyday 'pert-near for a month. man, is he good people. I then go head up the streets a couple of blocks to look for some chow. there's a "bento box" (vancouver style) for nine dollars canadian (about $6. 50 u. s. ) and it's really packed w/chow - miso soup, teriyaki chicken, sushi w/huge fish hunks (I think the biggest I ever had), a salad and tons of rice - so much rice that I only chow like a quarter after taking it to the boat. konk then takes me, I'm a little beat.
pete opens the hatch a rousts me. shit, I missed the openers who are local band called removal. I know the drummer ernie. I know him cuz when I came up to help the doers (they were called system a then) w/bass (their bass player barry fell off a roof and was almost killed), I also did spiel (I used a poem I wrote a few years ago called "all saints day in someone else's town") for a '45 record of theirs to help w/the group doctors w/out borders. that was really neat to help out w/both of those things. I was just so tired - I thought I could just lay down for a moment after chow and then whoops... it's pete at the hatch saying we're on. I ready my stuff and say "canadian brothers and sisters, I know this is gonna be a long and weird song but it's something I just gotta do at this point in my life" and we start the piece. whoa, the monitors are pretty toy but trouble gets them going the best he can. I can tell the sound is getting to pete - there's a lot of a low end from his organ distracting him and I'm trying hard to keep him from isolating on himself, join in w/the band. I can also see he's go no where to stand and that's making him cramped. we do ok though my bass sure is sounding a little weird. it's a tough gig though I think the band blew less clams than last night. I am keeping my nerve better than a lot of tours, I'm kind of amazed to say. I am just trying so hard to get it together. this piece is important to me. the folks are most kind to us. we finish and one guy gives me a hoodie shirt and some comics. mota too but I leave that cuz no fucking w/border issues for me, no way. I get some 'gars too. these two brothers want to know how they can have their band open up for me next time. I get asked this a lot. almost always, the local promoter for each gig gets the bands who end up the openers so I tell them to talk w/them. they know their town much better than watt does even w/me playing them as much as I do. "a man's gotta know his limitations" someone once said. putting my stuff away, I find out I hooked up one of the speaker boxes backwards and so they were out of phase - what an idiot I am! I meet the new singer for the doers - they're out on tour now but this lady, sarah, is going to fly out and meet them in halifax. one day I really want to play out there, it's a part of canada I've never been to. heather, this lady watching the doers' pad while they're on tour invites us over but we gotta get back south and over the border. they told her I dig melons and had some for me to chow too, damn.
wow, only ten pm - we went on at 'pert-near 8:30 - I can sure dig this. we head down route 99 (trippy how the old north-south road in cali, oregon, washington state and b. c. all were called "99") but I'm seeing we'll need a little more gas to get back across. whoa, $1. 08/liter (about three bucks u. s. /gallon) so I just get twentythree-something (a twenty and all the canadian change I got in my pocket). there's these candies called "wine gums" and that intrigues me and pete enough to get a little box of them. they taste like jujubees, remember them? maybe not as sticky but sort of. the border crossing back into the u. s. is very smooth, the officer there taking our gear registration form, looking at our passports and then letting us on in. thank you much. hardly any traffic and it's an easy ride into bellingham. I feel a sore on the inside of my right cheek so I want some hydrogen peroxide to put on it. it takes three different gas stations before I find a bottle but I do finally find success. maybe it's a cold sore though. stress always seems to bring these on. tour life certainly brings on stress. especially the beginning. and the few weeks before it. but I've already said that once... right?
I lay out my 686 bag. that's the snowboard company that gave me it. same w/the "tool belt" I wear. this belt is a trip, has a phillips driver, a flat blade, three wrenches and a bottle opener - all in the buckle. trippy. the bag's righteous too. easy to be warm naked. I'm on the deck w/two of the pillows. pete and raul bail to hike for some chow. this late? ok then. not me though, I'm out. like that.
tuesday, september 21, 2004 - seattle, wa
It a nice short drive from b-ham to seattle, so we don't have to leave to early. mike woke up earlier, and got the oil changed in the boat, it was super cool of him to let us sleep in... thanks. felt so good when i woke up, i'd been pretty weary from not enough sleep, man that was a good rest. Even had a lot of time in the city. I had to to a music store for a trap case. See i had been useing this golf bag as a hardware case, and a couple of days before in portland i put my stands in the opening bands golf bag. Boy did i get the shitty end of that deal, thing didn't even have a handle or nothin' so fuck that, i dropped a few bones on something worth having.
Showed up real early to the croc. Cool by me, i'll have plenty of time to check out seattle, and run some errands. Soon as we park pete and me bounce over to this mexican restaurant called mama's, real good eats, it's on second ave. down the block from the croc, if your ever in seattle check it out. After eating a meal like that a walk is defiently the way to go. We decide to head down to the water front, and see whats happining down there, again we travel by side strets, and alleys, and i get some pretty good pictures. We went to the wharf, and got our tourist on, it was real fun, saw a jug band with this lady rockin' a washtub bass, and a friend from l.a. , small world. After that we start making our way dowtown to explore the scene down there We see the typical down town stuff like crazy guys yelling at traffic, tranvestites playing guitar, singing songs for cash. We start makin' our way back... very proper walk. When we get back pete decideds he's gonna chill back and chimp, so i decide to go back down town, and take care of a few things... gotta send some stuff home, get a watch, and pay my dentist, thanks dentist for fixin'the holes in my teeth right before tour... even though he did the wrong tooth first !@#$%*&
Sound check is at six, so i'm back by five, the boys are at the clubs cafe, pete's chimpin' so i go sit with him and read some local music mags, and have a pot of coffee. Mike comes in has a bowl of soup with some tea, after that we load in the gear sound people were real sweet... evelyn and jim, they did a real good job, turns out jim has been doing watt gigs for a long time. After the red and the black i go grab a beer find a corner in the bar and start tryin to catch up on chimpin'. During that time the club starts fiillin in. A friend of the band comes up to me and introduces her self... sandy. She's a friend of mikes, and a real sweetheart. Has real good stories about the early l.a. punk scene... i love hearing about that stuff, like i never knew the minutemen opened the infamous black flag riot show at the palladium, i decided to put the chimpin' on hold, and go to shortys, this awesome pinball bar with her and pete. When we walk in the d. j. is spinning an iggy song, the opening track for repo man I start talkin' about what a great movie that is, and sandy tells me she good friends with the leader of the punk rock crime gang... dick rude, she also tells me about his band, too free stooges, too cool. They have a couple of drinks, and sandy kicks our ass at medevil madness. Turns out sandy's a pinball champ too, came in third at some big all girl pinball tourament that just passed, oh yeah, she's also in a roller derby league man this lady kicks ass. Walk back to the club, the door guy/drummer from the spits tells us someone is lookin' for us, turns out it's ed vedder, he's looks at me and says i've been reading alot about you, and just fires this hugh smile at me. Real nice dude. Also met this real good guy named brian, i was chimpin', and comes and sits down and starts rappin' like he's known me forever, real nice people.
Show goes good except for a big flub in angels gate, we didn't stop though, and that's real important. Everyone except a few yammers in the back dig the show. Again the fans have been so cool, and olny have the best things to say. Lots of eye contact between mike and i, it's good, keeps me on the stage, and not in my own little world. dosn't make the mistakes go away, but it feels alot better, and plus he makes me laugh. Also, everyone who works at the croc is so cool, good place, with really good, positive people running it. I even saw someone wipe a couple of tears at the end of the last song. so yeah, all in all pretty decent show.
After the gig we drove back to sandy's, i drove with her while someone interviewing mike took my seat. Back at the pad i showered and had some adult beverages while writing about the portland gig, boy it feels good to be caught up, this is defiently the sort of thing you hafta keep on, i've already found out that it you don't it adds up real quick, and kinda becomes chore insted of something that should be fun, hopefully i take my own advice, and mikes too, and stay consistant, and do em' daily.... until next week, bye bye.
I pop in the mo' to the sound of chirping; no, not the chirping of songbirds but rather of a faulty smoke detector in our room- every fucking twenty seconds the entire night (very irritating to say the least). I jumped in the shower for a much needed hose off and I felt much better after. we loaded our stuff into the boat and we were off once again. The ride to seattle was a relatively short one so we got to the club (the crocodile), pretty early and me and rollie went hoofin' in search of some chow and we soon found it in the form of mama's kitchen-a very kind mexican restaurant. we ordered up, chowed down and immediately went hoofing along the waterfront to work the feast off. we went into the pike place fish market to take in the sights and raul snapped many impromptu shots of people walking and the street musicians playing. I found some croatian! magazines and read for a little while, after which we continued our trek back to the croc.
upon arrival, I kicked back and chimped diary while rollie continued on a solo excursion around the city. around 5:00, jim the soundman and his assistant evelyn came in; I didn't even recognize jim at first as he had lost a considerable amount of weight- he really looked great. we pulled all the gear onstage and after miking up, we launched into the "red and the black"; everything sounded great (working w/ jim is always a pleasure). afterwards we retired to the back and raul chimped diary while I skimmed thru the local rags. sandy glaze found us (she's an old friend of mike's from the SST days), and I gave her a big hug. I hadn't seen her since the last time we hit the croc' and it was good to see her. I introduced her to raul and we talked about our lives for a time. Sandy has a business called "sin n' linen" and she makes the coolest (and quality) duvet covers and pillow cases w/ custom 40's pinup girl prints on them. raul finished up his chimping and we hoofed it on down the street to this pad called shorty's to have some sauce and play some pinball (sandy's a champ at this game and buried me and rollie). the time was nigh so we hoofed it back to the club; the doorman told me somebody was looking for us and pointed at a table. I look over and it's ed vedder! I say "ed"!, he says "pete"! and we start to rap (now mind you we have never met each other before, I just know him from what mike has told me). what a totally sweet man. I introduced him to raul and we all rapped for awhile then headed on inside to start the clam bake. The opening band had finished and ed and sandy went w/ me to go wake the chief. I went back inside and we set up the tools and waited for the man to show. watt ambled in, woke up the baby bass and we dug into the piece. I was in a very good mood and I focused hard on watt and rollie; we played very well save for a few clams, and we really flubbed it on "angel's gate", although the recovery was great and I don't think anyone noticed (now ya know). we got thru the rest of the piece w/o clams and the encore stuff was strong. In the middle of the dylan song (on a quiet part) I hear someone yell "I'm outta here"! and I almost started laughing but it ended up cool. the crowd was into it and that's the most imporatnt thing. I was happy.
afterwards, I rapped w/ ed and he had many kind words to say about the show and about my playing and singing. much respect bro'. I also rapped w/ a couple of other peeps and they too were way into the show; It made me feel really good to say the least. Me and raul packed the tools up, loaded the boat and headed over to sandy's pad where we drank some great chianti, and rapped for a little while. I was drained but happy, and I greeted the sandman w/ open arms. buona notte musicanti....
pop at like seven and a half bells and hose right off, I wanna get the boat into the oil change pad down the road quick - it opens at eight. I get some coff at one of these drive-through pads that look like a tiny house. they're all over the northwest here, like gallons of real strong coffee can somehow inoculate you from bumming on so much rain. I know, that's a stupid generalization - sorry. what's neat about these little pads is that they're mostly independent, meaning not arefucks. funny though how they share this same hankering for silly names of the coff and they way they serve it. ok, we're all laughing maybe - both those slingin' and gulpin'. I am anyway. the sight of me must give them just as much of a hoot. I can't tell you the number of times people are giggling when I'm at a counter w/them. better that though than bumming them out, it's ok. the oil change man is nice and gets the boat done up quick. I get back to the ho and my guys are getting up - I ask pete what's that chirping we've been hearing every thirty seconds and he says it's the smoke alarm and kept him awake. luckily, I didn't share those troubles - all the tours I've done, I guess. we load the boat up w/the slingables and then head south on the I-5 for seattle - man, almost a week on this freeway!
it's not always raining up here and in fact, today is sunny and cali-like. alright. we get into town and I head for west seattle where my old friend sandy glaze lives cuz it ain't noon yet. I give her call and her day is crazy-busy though - she's got a custom bed stuff company called sininlinen - so we get back into seattle proper and over to the shithard center so raul can get a hardware case cuz the golfbag scene is wearing on him hard. actually, he traded the golfbag he brought from pedro to the drummer of the joggers (they opened for us in portland) for his golfbag but it's time for something he can carry everything in to lessen the chance of unwanted donate. I dock the boat and wait for them - raul eventually comes out w/this fabric bag, just like the three former-secondman/jom & terry show jer trebotic went through so I tell him what my pop used to tell me: "buy it right, buy it once. " he goes back and gets a tough plastic trap case by skb, the same company that makes the case I put my amp and preamp in. this will last him good.
we're not to far from where we're playing tonight, the crocodile cafe, so we then drive over there. belltown part of seattle. man, here at noon and the meters go 'till six pm at twentyfive cents for each ten minutes - fucking burn ward. 'pert-near worth it though to get a good spot near the venue, truly. pete takes raul to see the waterfront and all the stuff there. I catch up on some chimping w/the tour spiel and then I go get a number three at "sluggo's" - I always get a chili dog here when I play the croc (it's a few doors down) but the name of this kind attracts me to it. turns out it's a chili one w/tomatoes and cream cheese. I smother it w/the cholula hot sauce the got at the counter here. I then go to this record store I always go to across the street called "singles going steady" and get a germs pin (blue circle on white instead of the usual black) and a used cd of "half smiles of the decomposed" from guided by voices. I like bob pollard, we always talk when we're playing on the same bill and it's about time I get a record of his. I remember when thurston turned me on to his stuff maybe ten years ago. I know he was doing it before that be there's lots of moments in time where I get caught up in my own indecipherable tower of babble and become unaware of neat things that might be going on. this is one reason I try to keep my mind open and in learning mode. I've come to believe once you think you've got things all figured out, that's when you are truly fucked up and drowning in your own bullshit. it fucking reeks too and hopefully people will know it.
I get back to the boat and chimp more diary. good, all caught up. nothing like that feeling. trippy how chimping has become such a big part of my touring but I dig it much, gets you out of your head. that's weird cuz it's kind of about what's going on in your head. I guess it's the sharing it and cuz of that, trying to make some sense out of it. I don't know if I get even close to that though I'm trying. I just can't know what others think but maybe that's ok - however, I love folks like richard meltzer, raymond or thurston - cats who tell me very much what is on their minds and pull no punches. I like that, it helps me learn stuff - about them, about me - about other shit I would've never thought of in the first place. jim, the soundman, parks in front of the boat. looks healthy - lost weight and the beard. he's done my gigs for a while now and has always been the best. he just bought john coltrane's "love supreme" to play before we go on even. that reminds me - pete donated a cd of trane's "sun ship" in vancouver but I got three more. another donate was raul w/his drum rug in s. f. but counting the boat's rear gas cap, only three things so far to make up the bread trail a tour can leave. I shovel some trippy soup (don't know what it's called but it had tofu in it and was good) and a greek salad - the croc is a chow pad too - then we load in and do a quick soundcheck w/jim and monitor lady evelyn. trippy, there's a young couple w/their baby here to hear it - whoa, wonder what that's like for the little one?! we get done and it's to the boat w/me so I can konk and that I do.
there's two openers tonight - the dalmations and leukos - it was their second gig but I miss both due to the 'pert-near four hour konk I was immersed in. a yank on the foot from pete wakes me and w/him is sandy, great to see her again. so embarrassing in a way for me cuz coming right out of konk has me kind of retarded as I gather my wits. there's not just sandy w/pete to see me but ed vedder too. he's got a picture of his new little one, just born june thirteenth and named olivia. she's beautiful and I put her shot up front in the boat - her head is crowned w/daisy petals as she lies among some blackeye susans. been a little bit since I've seen ed but I'm glad he gets to see the new piece. I sent him the record right when I mixed it but a gig is always a different way to get it. good to see ed.
man, I wish I could've seen the bands cuz all of them are so nice to me as I'm waiting for us to go on. this is a kind of weird part of middle age - being strong enough to play 'pert-near every night for nine weeks. gotta ration my energy smart-like cuz it seems I ain't got that much to spare. 'pert-near a hard cold fact, huh? damn. I give a tiny spiel about what we're gonna do is kind of weird but I just gotta do it. kind of scary but I throw myself into it. some little clams in the chorus of the first tune but not too bad. damn, we're set up funky - should've paid more attention at soundcheck. this has happened before, pete's too far away and raul's kick drum isn't up against my leg - he's set up too much facing the bow. oh well - carry on, sailor. a good "puked... " and not to many word clams in "burstedman" - shit, it gets hairy sometimes having spit on that much spiel like that. I think of raymond when I do "tied a reed... " cuz I wrote it for him and I think this is the best of the piece I do tonight. I'm trying hard to gives looks to folks but find myself still closing my eyes some, damn. gotta get over that. pete's singing too far from his mic for "pissbags and tubing" and I holler that to him - he gets to closing his eyes a little too much also. I love it when all three of us are fully engaged w/each other and not just acting out isolated parts cuz that's not how I write music for a trio. an ok "beltsandedman" and then out of purgatory. we clam up "the angels gate" big time - probably the worst tune we've blown out of the water this tour so far but we pull together and don't totally swamp - pete and raul went into the first chorus early but somehow we manage a variation on the fly that keeps us afloat. whoops. those things happen - like I told my guys on day one, the key is to recover cuz that is golden. still some jerkiness w/"pluckin'... " and that's even w/pete's idea to swing his intros but I'm thinking that might be introducing its own troubles. they're not major though and what's funny enough to crack me up is singing "profound ways" where I should be using "cornball ways" - I even laugh in the moment on the mic cuz this seems to want to occur over and over... must be some mental thing of mine. idiot watt. "pelicanman" goes ok and we finish this sickness opera - the most I've sweated this tour and I know a lot of that was nerves. a little pep talk w/my guys while folks applaud to have us back - much respect to them and I tell them so. we do b. o. c. 's "the red and the black" and then pete does his best rendition yet of bob dyaln's "it's all right, ma (I'm only crying)" this tour. sure, there's still some clams but he does real good and holds on strong even w/this goof hollers "I'm out of here" during a unexpected (for him) quiet part. it sounded like he was yammering w/who he was w/and it wasn't directed at pete but I admire how pete held focus. we go into cobra verde's "riot industry" and that's fun to do cuz john petrovic wrote some hilarious words that hit heavy in a trippy way - I love singing them. right after "we gotta riot!" I put us into the pop group's "we are time" and I think this is our best version of this tune this tour. whoa. it's not for me to judge (I get in the gig for free) but that's what I think. we close w/roky erickson's "I have always been here before" and I dedicate it to little olivia before we play it - I sing just for her.
ok, we're done. sling and rap to such folks who have very kind words for me. some are in bands and give me their cds - thank you. one lady's from tacoma and hasn't seen me for fifteen years and wants to discuss the "me and you, rememberin'" song I wrote for thurston. ok. she has me sign a poster for her little boy. when I get done, me and ed talk about the election coming and the weird stuff about that - like w/richard a few nights ago. trippy how my friends are thinking about these things like this, it makes much sense to me though... there are no short cuts to the truth. ed tells me something someone told him about the masses and I relate something I read that emma goldman said, something like "there are no masses but rather small groups inspired minorities - the idea of 'masses' was an abstraction perpetrated to foist a brainwash on people" (my paraphrasing, of course). emma goldman was intense. he likes my germs pin, he says he's doing "lion's share" w/his band later this week. safe seas to you, ed.
we were so engaged in spieling that bosslady christine had to bail cuz of the time and I feel kind of lame about that. man, can time just wail by. we load up and I take this young man eric w/us in the boat and do a spiel for him and his tape recorder as we follow sandy to her pad. I was supposed to do this earlier but I was way konked in the boat. his buddy follows us and when we get to sandy's, there's enough for him to write up on so they both bid us noches. sandy's got a righteous dog named dozer (like in "doe-zer") and he's very excited to see us, doing quite a mandance on my lap for a bit. sandy has some mota our dear friend rick van santen gave her a while ago. rick past away around last xmas and it was very sad. we both knew him a long time and loved him much. when the minutemen couldn't play the whisky up in hollywood cuz of some ridiculous "violent sst band" reputation none of us or sst had anything to do w/whatsoever, it was rick who got us in, opening for fear. he was the best and everyone who was his friend (and he had tons!), missies him much. what a special cat. we talk about him late into the night. late is hard for watt though and I konk even harder.
wednesday, september 22, 2004 - spokane, wa
Spent most the drive cathing up on entries, showed up to the club, and already had some folks outside waiting for us, darrin huff, and his buddy jeremy. Jermey just moved to spokane a week ago from vancover to learn the ancient ways... well auctually he came to study the art of making basses. really good people, darrin even had a bass guitar he custom made for mike, had all these detailed inlays on the fret board... the pictures to coencided with pluckin' peddlin' and paddlin' and one of d. boon... very detailed. I always wanted to check out spokane, having never been, but today is not the day, it's raining outside, and the last thing i need if to catch a cold on tour, being sick on the road has gotta be one of the shittiest things to be... just nothing you can do about it. Spend time reading at the club, after that gets old i put a few songs on the juke, grab a pabst, and play some pinball, got a few hours before show time. Pretty proper music machine, ultra magnetic mc's to miles davis, thats kinda funny, miles on a juke, your defeintly gonna get your moneys worth with a sixteen minute jazz oddessy. Also sat and rapped with a watt fan named matt for a good hour, matt if your reading, howdy.
Girl who walked in during sound check was hilarious, she came in all drunk, and asked what we were called, aggressive gay sex from los angeles mike tells her, then we start playin' the red and the black, she starts danceing around smoke in one hand, can of beer in the other, i couldn't tell then, but this was defiently an indication of things to come. Pretty rough show for the boys, especially mike, he just told me a few minutes ago that he heard some drunk girl up front call him a slave driver, he also said she came up to talk to him after the gig to say she liked it, gee thats strange, cuz the way i remember it she was up front all night wasteing her breath telling us how much we sucked, givin' me the stank face the whole deal. oh well... can't please em' all. Pretty rough for mike in a couple of ways, first you got the folks that won't shut up, i guess every body likes the sound of their own voices, so they talk all day long. Sometimes that makes it tough to keep focused, then during pluckin' the fuckin' bass amp starts picking up the ball game or something, and when mike turns around to see whats up with the sound guy dudes is rappin' with his buddy about how good his camara was, not even payin' attention to the sound, oh well, like i said can't please em all, including us. I'm starting to become a bit more confident in my playing, still not nearly as good as could be, but that stuff just takes time, i'm just proud of my self for not being to scared to try, thats whats important. The folks who came for the music were all really good people, and you could tell they were irritatted with the scene, makes me wonder what kinda person pays for a show just to bug the fuck outta the audiece and the band. Don't get me wrong though the show was real fun for me, and i met a lot of nice people thanks spokane. It had been a long day, and a long night before that, so i was real stoked just to go back to the pad and konk, plus we gotta wake up by eight bells, i got a good nights rest Darrin's pretty allright, he woke up early to make us some coffee, and he and jeremy wished us well, and saw us on our way... bye bye spokane, next stop boise.
popped at sandy's, rolled up the bag and went to go shave. her pooch dozer gave me an extensive face wash w/ his tongue and he was so unconditionally loving about it that I had to lick him back. we sat around, rapped and read some mags while sandy made us a real kind breakfast which we chowed down w/ extreme prejudice. sandy called up her ma Iris so we could say hey and I rapped w/ her for a while; she's very cool people and I was sad that I didn't get to see her this time around. much love iris.
we gathered up our gear, loaded the boat and we were off once again- much love to sandy for putting us up once again. The drive to spokane wasn't too hellish and I did the last hour-and-a-half at the helm; weather was good and we steamed along at a decent clip. mike navigated me up to the front of the pad (the b-side) and darren huff was waiting for us w/ his apprentice, jeremy (darren is a way talented luthier and had built the purple plower for the chief). they helped us load out the gear and set it up onstage and bobby the soundman miked us up and had us going in no time. I didn't have a monitor mix for the leslie but our dynamic was good enough that we didn't have to wail too loud. right before we started our check a group of two girls and guys walk in and they're kind of checking us out (it looked like the ladies were a little borracho too), and one of the girls asks what the name of the band is. without missing a beat watt says "aggressive gay hardcore from Los Angeles". we then launched into "the red and the black"; it sounded good. we broke down the tools and I sat at the bar chimping diary. we rapped w/ a couple of nice cats at the bar, matt and ? and talked about music in general. the girls from the soundcheck came up to me and asked why we were so bitter and angry. I say well, we're not bitter but what do you expect when you come up w/ a bellige tude' like you did. She says "I wasn't bellige" and that kind of broke the ice (plus the fact that they were real cute helped too). the girl that came up and talked to me was named missy and her friend's name was layla. turns out missy is originally from bakersfield and worked at a bar that I used to frequent occasionally. small world. They play in a local band called "mang" (and evidently I was the only one who got the connotation); they gave me one of their cd's. They were real sweethearts and said they would come back and see the show later. I finished my chimp and me and raul kicked back and sauced a bit; the openeing band had not showed yet and it didn't look like they would till' late. The boss man came up to me and asked if we could go on at 11:00 instead of the alloted 10:30 and I told him that was cool if the chief said it was alright. he said he had spoken to watt about it and he was cool. we are total sticklers about starting on time as it is a work nite for most folks and coming on late is unprofessional and unfair to the good peeps that come out to see us. these cats finally show at 10:00 and start playing; they didn't finish on time and did a lot of dicking around. very bullshit. message to bands: if you're slotted to go on at ten o' fucking clock, then be there early and go on at ten o' clock. if you wanna play later, we will be more than willing to accomodate you by playing first, you can go on after us and play all you want. very simple. be fucking cool and don't bogart; it's not cool to us and definitely not cool to the folks who come to the shows.
we set up the tools and I went to go wake up watt- and we were off. we played well and the sound was good but halfway thru the set mike started getting radio interference on his amp that sounded like a conversation going on and this kind of bogarted the set but the people were very accomodating and liked it. I blew a few clams on the dylan song but I was getting more confident in the delivery. The one major steaming turd of the evening was all the constant fucking loud talking throughout the set; not the people in front, they were totally nice (except for one particular woman, but I'll get to that in a minute), but the people in the back. what a bunch of motherfucking yammerers!(it was like playing weddings all over again). mike even made a comment before we started the encore that now since they talked thru the whole set they could also yammer it up in the encore. the woman that I spoke of previously (who was obviously borracho) stood right in front of the stage the whole set and kept yelling out comments like "firehose sucks"(!!??), "who are you guys" and "you suck". All I can say is your daddy must be proud.
Albeit w/ all the bullshit, most of the crowd was extremely nice and a couple of people even apologized for the assholes in the back. we signed some posters and all in all I was very happy w/ the gig (rollie got some much deserved abrazos y besos). Darren and jeremy helped us load up the boat and we took off to crash at darren's pad; me and rollie rapped about the gig over a cigarette outside and shared a little wine. week one had gone down good and conk came quickly. laku noc sviraci....
pop at eight and half bells and immediately hose off, one reason being sandy's dumper is in a room in her bedroom and I don't want to pester her so there's two showers going the same time in the shower room - both the one in there and mine. whew. a look outside shows gray skies and some rain, oh well - hopefully it'll stay light and not make the drive too tough. we gotta get over the cascades and into eastern washington where spokane is. sandy's got this italian coffee maker you cook up on the stove and I fix up some coff. I chimp diary 'till sandy wakes and then she gets me happening on her wireless setup - first time on the internet since s. f. at lis'. sure seems tough getting on this tour. haven't had much time anyway w/the hellrides and all. the main point is to stay focused on the gigs and my secondmen guys so I'm not frettin' too hard on that. sandy cooks up some eggs, turkey sausage and tortillas for us and they're good. I do as much email as I can and then we say our byes to sandy - first though she takes a shot of me konking (simulated) w/my head on a pillowcase and w/a sheet over me from her company's linen stuff for her website. that's funny cuz I'm hardly ever in bed. I've suggested to her a line of "deck linen" maybe to also carry for weirdos like me. she calls her ma iris and so I can say hi (she's very much a dear) and then were off in the boat. sandy's the best, it's a great tour when I get to see her.
back over the west seattle bridge and then east on I-90. a light rain but nothing heavy though we too many clouds to see mount ranier as we pass her on our way over snoqualmie pass. the boat is handling ok, not so fast up the grades but she's pulling us along steady. many blessings to the boat. as we come down off the summit, my guys trip on how the trees disappear and it looks more and more like arizona. rain shadow effect from coastal mountains. my guys are interesting cats to ride in the boat w/and it's never boring. they read a lot too - I think each of them has like three or four books going at the same time, going one from the other. we pass through ellensburg and I think of the screaming trees cuz that's where they were from. took them on their first two tour, seems like ages ago. I guess it was the late 80s. mark lanegan just made a record, gotta hear that - man, does that cat have a voice! at vantage, which is a town on the west bank of the columbia river (it turns north/south in these parts), I hand the wheel to pete. that cold sore inside my right cheek is killing me. I find this "campho-phenique" stuff at "the store" (this is a tiny town) across from the gas station and it's fucking nine dollars but it brings me some relief. these things are motherfuckers and usually come on me when I'm stressed. well, it's obvious the state I'm in when I'm getting ready for and then starting these sally forths. once I get more in the flow of tour though, my attention gets focused more on the day-to-day and the less I get caught up in my frettin'. pete's gets us over the columbia (damn, is it a big piece of water!) and onward towards where we have our next gig. like I've written before, pete's my rock I can lean against. he is the man w/me here in the van. raul's coming along too - both me and pete love him. he's way into taking shots w/a digicamera a friend lent him. seems like he's got a sailor spirit about him like us, alright! damn, we pass under "bob lee road" about seventy miles east of spokane and I was too busy chimping to get a shot w/my little minolta dimage digicamera. fucking idiot watt. the thing turns on in like half a second too but I was still too late. bob lee (black gang drummer) definitely deserves his own road - much respect to him.
we get into town at five and set the gear up inside the b-side, where we're playing tonight. I played here before, maybe a year and a half ago. it's set up kind of weird but like they said in vaudeville, "work the room" so that's what we're gonna do. luthier darrin huff helps us load in - he made me that "purple plower" bass and has it for me w/mods he's done to it since I last had it, new pickups and a sparkle-purple finish. it's got two octaves worth of frets though so it's gonna take some time getting used to that so I'll just use it for encores if we get them tonight. much respect to him for making such a work for me. he's got a cat named jeremy from vancouver w/him who's helps us load too - jeremy's gonna join him in bass building. we set up w/soundman bobby but can't soundcheck yet cuz of the chinese restaurant next door. I go then go there and chow some "chinese pickel soup" which is what I had last time I was here and it's good. I put tons of chili in it so my nasal stuff can get routed out. I then go back to the club and we do a quick check - some local band called mang watches us and it's a trip that their guitar player is way into b. o. c. and recognizes "the red and the black. " I go outside and then do a video interview w/a cat named tol who last saw me in london w/fIREHOSE back in 1989 - whoa! he asks me some good stuff though and it's a fun spiel. I then go to the boat and konk.
we're supposed to go on at eleven bells but apparently the openers, a local band called belt of vapor showed up late it's way after eleven when pete comes to roust me. like 11:35 when we can finally begin - damn, why do bands bogart like that? when I'm opening for folks, I make it a major point to go on time, no matter what cuz I don't like being put on when it's my turn to go after someone. what is it about that? never ceases to amaze me the obliviousness some people are to this cuz for me, it's about common courtesy. I mean if they really want to go on late, why not go on after? stalling is fucked up, truly. especially on a work night! it's hard for working cats when they gotta pop early the next morning. anyway, enough of that rant - I didn't express this to the young guys in the vapor band and in fact thanked them for sharing the stage w/us. I always try to do that. hopefully they'll figure it out - maybe when it gets done to them! nah, hopefully they won't have to go through that. we start the gig after I give the one sentence intro I started doing in vancouver and damn if the top speaker box of my amp's not on. hmm... the piece is underway so I don't want to put a crimp in it but fuck, what's up? I get a little time as pete and raul do the intro to "tied a reed... " and wiggle the speaker cord from the amp to the silent speaker cab and yes, it comes on. many thanks. my guys play good though there's much yammering in this pad. some weird comments too - I hear this one lady call me a "slavedriver" maybe she's misinterpreting me giving my guys direction? I guess you gotta laugh. the other night I was told after the show I had "great stage presence" and I must admit this made me feel awkward too. one thing is not react and maintain focus during the gig and if you get told something after, show respect cuz folks should be allowed to express themselves, even if it might hurt or make you blush (or both!). we make up for the bowl of chowder we cooked up w/"the angels gate" last night but doing the best version (I think) of the tour yet. much respect to pete and raul. I have trouble w/"pluckin'... " though cuz some kind of radio interference comes through my amp is really weird. I ask bobby (the sound gets mixed from the side of stage - he's right at my foot) what's up cuz I thought it was coming through the system. wasn't his fault though - I find out later a giant radio antenna is nearby. we finish the piece even w/the yammering and negative stuff from a drunk lady up front (pete later told me he heard all kinds of shit from her - I'm glad I tuned her out after the "slavedriver" thing) making it seem like no one was hardly paying attention, the folks want us to play more so we do the encore stuff. we do pretty good though pete did blow one major clam - he said "not even the president of the united states" instead of "even the president of the united states" in the dylan tune and that's probably the heaviest lyric during our whole gig. such a submerged sound than what I get w/the little gibson one I love. plays nice though I have a little trouble w/the strap and the fret setup (more of them). the voice of a bass w/it's working in a band is something I'm very attuned to - it's like how I can pick out some people in my life's talking in a huge mess of people, just cuz of the way it is. this little bass I got has a voice that helps me speak w/out words.
I sling and talk to folks - even w/all the yammering making things seem as we were nothing but background noise, it's very apparent from all the nice words I'm getting that a lot of people dug the piece. this man names hal gives me an intense drawing of allen ginsberg his buddy drew and a signed copy of chuck miller's book of poetry, "northern fields" - some good poems here like this one:
only the japanese, the narrator said
who animate objects and things
give them credit for some life of their own...
with only one eye staring glassily up at us
tiny soiled dolls' skirts
the stuffing coming out
you imagine them found in some dump
but now retrieved, collected
for these last rites...
these strange images of ourselves
but no, beings in their own right
just as we in our way...
with souls no less
of wood perhaps, totem souls...
or given to them
by those that once cherished...
now they heap them up on a pyre and light it
all merging in one flaming rubble heap
and these few japanese pray then
you see them drop their heads slightly
as in sadness or reverence
pray for the souls of broken dolls
I put the ginsberg drawing up on the dash of the boat, held to the pad that sticks to the windshield under a clip that has between it a penny I found - a 1957 one - the year I was born. trippy that next to it is ferlingetti's book called "her" - I swear I didn't plan it. I always have the book there to re-read parts if I have to wait cuz of some fucking dawdling in traff (lots of that in so cal). this reminds me of the other night when richard meltzer told me about drinking "a fifth of wine" (do they call it that?) w/"larry" (as he was introduced to him) upstairs from city lights in s. f. - ferlingetti said his doc recommended this much each night for his health! well, the man was in his 80s so... I've been told the same thing ('cept only a small glass) and I do that before I konk back in pedro. sandy gave me and pete some in seattle, forgot to write that. anything to help this heart I got - I sure do put it through some stresses...
back to spokane and after the gig: we load and follow darrin to his pad, put the boat in his backyard and behind a fence. in the sack right soon I get on the couch. mask down. watt soon out but grateful we've made it through the first week of tour safe. whew...
read week 2 of the tour diary
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