"europe tour 2019"
I get to work bass for original drummerman stephen depace
and guitarman ted falconi w/mr david yow singing!
read the tour diary!
30 jul tue - nottingham, england at the rescue rooms
31 jul wed - bristol, england at the exchange
01 aug thu - blackpool, england at the rebellion festival
02 aug fri - glasgow, scotland at cca
03 aug sat - leeds, england at the brudenell social club
04 aug sun - london, england at the garage
05 aug mon- gent, belgium at dok
06 aug tue - amsterdam, netherlands at paradiso (small hall)
08 aug thu - aachen, germany at the musikbunker
09 aug fri - karlsruhe, germany at alt hackerei
10 aug sat - bologna, italy at freakout
11 aug sun - milan, italy at circolo magnolia
13 aug tue - vienna, austria at chelsea
15 aug thu- bielefeld, germany at forum
16 aug fri - hamburg, germany at hafenklang
17 aug sat - helsinki, finland at kuudes linja
20 aug tue - berlin, germany at bi nuu
22 aug thu - munich, germany at rote sonne
23 aug fri - innsbruck, austria at p.m.k
watt's tour diary
when we check into norwegian airlines. they want $92 for my bass to go on board - what? ok, last time I ever on purpose am on a plane by these people. what's even worse is that they take the bass from me at the plane and put in baggage - I got a letter from the musicians union (afm, I'm part of local 47) saying people like us can take our instruments on board cuz it's our tools. I got a fucking soft case so where's the protection? total fucking bullshit and I will not use the airlines again - I'm warning my music friends about this bullshit. I ain't gonna let it drag me down though so I laugh it off. motherfuckers. the flight's on a boeing 787 dreamliner, my first time I think on one. not so special. we are in a place w/bigger seats so it prolly ain't coach. I read "letters to a young poet" by rainer rilke. trippy advice from him. I read ludwig wittgenstein supported him some w/some of the inheritance he ran through kind of quick (his pop was something like the steel czar of austria). speaking of that kind of stuff, I'm two-thirds through the philosophize this! internet show and I recommend. for poetry: first edition of "leaves of grass" by walt whitman. lucky watt, I get to sit next to david yow, most interesting man... I love him.
we touch down at london gatwick at two pm their time (they're eight hours ahead of california and it was about a ten hour flight) and some comedy issues. david rushes off to baggage before clearing immigration! the tour is scissored right there but flipper drummerman steve is real smart about picking this border lady to help us out, she's really kind and goes the extra way to find david and get our c.o.s. number stuff figured out and the right stamps put on our passport pages. whew. me and ted had to wait in the glass box section but it turned out ok, thank you big time ms most kind border lady. the next comical episode is looking for the boat we're gonna ride and the roadboss who'll be manning it. he can't meet us at the gate so we gotta go find him and don't realize there's two different levels for arrivals and departures... of course we're waiting on the wrong one for the boat that never comes.
after a little bit more than an eternity, we find him in his blue mercedes 316 sprinter. whew. the third act is us now having to go around london and get to nottingham. roadboss mike's company is crooked mile touring from innsbruck, austria (he's originally from pisa in italy) is teamed up w/robert and gate to hell equipment in dortmund, germany - I worked w/robert on a euro tour of my third opera w/macario back in 2014, good cat and it's great to meet mike - I got a great vibe from him already. we did some emails some months ago and he's way into driving safe and sane plus all the other stuff that makes tour happen the best they can. much respect to him. it's fucking 'pert-near ten when we get to the 'tel in nottingham, much wander to find it and it was a buttload of plug to crawl from gatwick. I had the whole back row bench to myself but it takes some to get used to these seats. I will, I've done it before. no bellyachin out of watt. even when we find out none of the tour's 'tels have been booked 'til the german gigs have been booked cuz I just am way into getting to play w/these guys. I do however konk more fucking sore than you can imagine. whew, a little tough.
gig day I pop at seven and hose off. after some delay of game cuz of misunderstanding (me out waiting on the street like I'm playing hooker), 'pert-near twelve when I hobble over to best western 'tel closer to the gig (will save the band money) and just beat the rain - yeah, it started raining! you know, heat wave and then rain - typical. I chow some ramen from a pad across the street called "oriental market" (mr kim would NOT like that name, no!) and some ocha w/shoga, good tour stuff for watt. I chimp diary.
roadboss mike and the band are to pick me up in front of this 'tel at quarter after three but AGAIN, I'm out there waiting (like I'm playing hooker) BUT w/yellow coat on (I brought the light one but it's got a hoodie) cuz of the rain... I wait and wait when miss hiyori comes to tell me a message from my guys that they can't find this 'tel - what?! ok, I hobble three blocks and arrive at the rescue rooms quarter of four, meet soundman mark who is very cool people - I talk to him about last time I played his town here, it was 'pert-near four years ago w/brother sam and cuz... the pad was called "the maze" and I hear it just closed. I remember the time I last played nottingham was in 1987, opening for sonic youth (I was w/fIREHOSE) at somewhere called "madi gras" but damn if that name don't ring a bell. well, fuck it - my goddamn memory. the soundman is important to make good connect w/cuz it's 'pert-near us the motor and him the transmission - I learned long ago you can't mix a band from the stage, especially the bass which throws way out there into the gig-goers. I got a good vibe from mark, much respect.
roadboss mike and steve appear - this pad has several rooms (even a small stage upstairs) and looks not that old. everything pretty together. anyway, good to see the guys - they ain't lost and we got a quorum to put on a gig - the first for this tour! I feel bunk about not being able to help w/the load in, especially when I'm using an ampeg svt (boat anchor) w/an 8x10 cab (fridge). steve sends me upstairs to the dressing room - hey, I volunteered that he could watch me try and load but that was a stupid thing for me to say... I just feel so fucking guilty. you know, back home I'm using for an amp a dna 1350 (weighs eight pounds) for a preamp and to drive giving six hundred watts to a barefaced supercompact 1x12 box (weighs twentythree pounds) plus a crown 1502 xlr (weighs seven pounds) in mono bridged mode giving twelve hundred watts to a 2x12 barefaced super twin (weighs forty pounds) - the whole enchilada weighs a hundred pounds (rack case for the amps weighs fifteen pounds) - less than one of these ampeg svt classic heads along w/it's road case! crimony. for flipper gigs I got a fuzz box. I tried using effects for my second opera and for the cuz tour I used one of brother sam's for a bass solo in "french gnarl" but mainly I don't us them cuz they hurt the low end and ain't that what bass about? this box I'm using, hooker's green bassmachine let's lows through so you can still sound like a bass, even w/out a "blend" control, I'm really into it... it's also really tiny so I can carry it in my bass sack. the amp stuff from "gate to hell" w/their cases are so SO fucking heavy but at least they work well and no blown speakers. stuff looks very well maintained. respect.
upstairs in the dressing room, I chow a burrito from "barburrito" than has only a tortilla and pieces of steak cut into little cubes. beat combo (used to be called pre-birds) kicks of the gig and kick up much dust as do grey hairs go on (both are locals) - these cats reminded me earlier I also played nottingham w/j mascis + the fog, of course... a pad called the boat house. my fucking memory.
ok, nine and a half and the first gig is on. I fuck up the first tune but ted comes to the rescue and bails me out - thank you big time, brother ted. I am just so nervous. fuck. david's a great ice breaker though and has got me laughing enough not to totally freak out. I get it more together. I still blow clams but not as heavy. the nottingham gig-goers are a little shy but still really supportive. david launches himself into them several times, they start to loosen up and have a good time w/him. very happening. ted and steve are playing great. it's the fucking bass player who has to get it together. "one more time" becomes the slogan for "brainwash" - we have a great time w/it, steve gets in on it too - "don't you be giving me that 'one more time' look!" these cats have excellent spirit. it's a great way to start a tour w/a POW, even w/the bass player disappointed w/himself. I'm gonna double up and rally tomorrow - count on it - I wanna do good for these brothers the gig-goers too!
it's raining like a sieve... the club people are kind to let us keep the stuff here 'til the noon tomorrow. thank you much. miss hiyori helps steve pack up drums, she's a drummer herself and is way into it. when the packup is finished I go in the boat w/the guys to show them the closeness of the three blocks to the 'tel. one more apology from watt for the clams and I'm out. I go and think about how I soiled myself 'til I konk.
wednesday, july 31, 2019 - bristol, england
pop at eight bells, damn do I feel a hell of a lot better as far as that beatup feel I got from yesterday's ten hours on the plan and seven and half hours in the boat. this konk really recharged me and I'm most grateful. we shove off at one after one and head southwest - we got about a 140 mile drive to do. mike at the wheel (he'll probably be on the rudder the whole tour - it's his boat), we got gray cloudy skies but no rain. fifty minutes later we pull over at tamworth services (like a turnpike "oasis" back in the u.s. w/nothing but chainstore crap troughs) I guess for some chow - I had a ham sandwich from the chow ted secured from last night's rider so I ain't that famished but I do got some facilities to foul so I do just that when we drop anchor. seems like they're already fouled when I get in the head I see like four of the cans are all in geyser mode, blowing out turd... had an odor to. I retreat, get some coff and get back to the boat. david gets back on "the shelf" area about the rear equipment compartment and we pull anchor. swerve to avoid birmingham at this time of the day finds us no stau (plug) and I'm most grateful for that. of course no stau is better than any stau but I'll take what we get and be grateful for it. I hate fucking stau. I chimp diary after fixing up another sandwich from last night's stuff to go w/the coff.
we pull into bristol quarter after four - there's no wander! so cal weather too - all the gray is gone! this pad's called the exchange and they got a cafe also plus a record store. I heard it's now community supported, fucking right on. go upstairs to the dressing room - ted's right after me, w/steve already (we had sidemice to help schlep the load-in, respect!) on the couch - steve asks ted what's up and he says he's looking for somewhere to sit... the room is full of chairs! now that ain't nothing cuz I go to the head and bring my 'puter back wack sack and the stall being all narrow - when I use the brush to clean up my fouling, I fucking splash the turd water on the sack, fucking idiot I am. damn me. I use the liquid soap and... fucking forget it. arrrggghh. I hobble downstairs after eating a salami sandwich and talking w/roadboss mike - arrrggghh, no senf (mustard) - steve gets me for soundcheck. soundman andrew's very cool people. they got they're own 8x10 fridge box so I'll just use the head we brought w/it. soundcheck goes good and is just two tunes, I like that cuz I hate long sound checks. I think you should prac before tour and we did: four whole days worth.
I go outside to do an interview w/james from a local radio station bsr - he knows a buttload about me and so the questions are great and to the point, maybe offering insights generic stuff just can't bring. thank you big time, brother james! he wants the stooges reunion origin story, stuff about husker du inspiring us to do "double nickels on the dime" and how I got connected w/this tour and the flipper guys. I'm most happy to oblige! I tell him how much the pop group (bristol band from the late 70s) influenced the minutemen - thank you so much bristol for giving birth to such a band!
I go inside (such righteous so cal weather out here) to hear the opener, locals sugar horse who really work the dynamics. respect. neil from tripper came all the way from plymouth, so glad to see him. when this tour gets done, I'm gonna fly back here to england and take the train to plymouth so I can record for two days w/his band... I flowed him eight tunes before sunday's flight, just bass on one side and a click on the other to serve as launchpad/springboard to help them let their freak flag fly. can't wait.
I meet two cats I met at "the moon" in cardiff a couple of years ago on an il sogno del marinaio tour and damn if they ain't so kind to give me a cd of john coltrane's "both things at once" - really kind, what big hearts. I got this when it came out ("lost" recording made the day before he did the ballads stuff w/johnny hartman) but it means a lot about their generous thoughts. I'm so lucky w/this kind of work to meet brothers like this. like brother kliph - he came here from the same place they did, cardiff though he's originally from kansas - he's most kind to schlep a falafel wrap for me for dinner which hits the spot and spared me some hobbling - that spiel went long but I ain't bellyachin cuz I think it was a good spiel, well worth it.
we're gonna hit at quarter after nine so I go and set my stuff up, that fuzz box and the cords to connect it up. this time I am determined not fuck up the first tune! the sound on stage is great and the bristol gig-goers are most focused. david's in great form: love his singing and good banter between the songs along w/happening dancing, love it. steve's bringing me in w/tempos, big help for watt. these bass lines are iconic and I love digging it big time. I mean it's trippy how much I'm laughing like crazy while at the same time these tunes are big time heavy - it's the flipper dangling duality, love it. using the neck pickup on the reverend guitars wattplower II prototype III for these gigs - it's a rio grande pitbull alnico humbucker, like the one in the dan bass. works good I think for the grind the flipper sound needs while taming the mids so ted's guitar doesn't get bumrushed. ted's playing great and steve's slamming. I can't help but sing the choruses for "that's the way of the world" and david sees this and brings the mic stand up to me - w/the mic in it! I get some choruses in. this wasn't intentional bumrush but he knows how to work a room, run a gig. respect. I think I'm getting my sea legs w/these tunes too, not like last night when I was shitting a pecan log - don't get me wrong cuz I laughed hard but I was so scared, kind of buried in me was a tremble and then the clams... fuck, I can't regret, have to make geisha boys steps and be grateful for that. dave works me into the bits between tunes: "last night in nottingham, we were all naked in a hotel room and mike watt has stuff written on his balls" or something like that. ted got something similar except he was in a pink bunny suit that was too small and the ears flopped down in his face. steve was spared. it's ok w/me cuz david also cares about my port knee that's weak... again like last night he gently gives it rubs at one point. very kind man. he's balls out too about diving into the crowd. crimony. I mean, he's a launcher. the bristol gig-goers love it and help him out, dance along w/him and server also as choir - alright! it's the "one more time" stuff again, beautiful. this band has a good time w/gigs but still delivering the goods, I really dig it.
we finish up and lots of good word from the gig-goers and signing stuff - jeff w/the big hair (famous around here for going to buttloads of gigs, he saw me last time I played bristol) is now doing sketches in real time and I sign the one he did of me. good to see him again. good warm feelings from the gig-goers, so glad for everyone, most happening. young bassman zach and his friend madeline get one last spiel in (I rapped to him earlier when we first arrived), I hope he finds a real creative way to express himself on bass. I thank soundman andrew, good work. hit the tub soon as I'm at the 'tel - first soak of the tour of my sore self. I'm most grateful - not for just that but these flipper guys for giving me a chance and these bristol gig-goers for their big hearts.
thursday, august 1, 2019 - blackpool, england
meet up w/the team at the future inn for ten bell pull-anchor. we got a sack w/a paper in it under the boat's windshield wiper... it's a seventy pound ticket for parking in a loading zone but roadboss mike says he wasn't parked in such a place - maybe fight it? arrrggghh. david gets up on the shelf for some shelf-life. we got mild weather - there's clouds but it's dry (no rain) and not too hot, nice breeze as we head up england's west side on our way to blackpool, roadboss mike at the wheel. him and me are the only ones awake. I chimp diary. we hit some construction plug around birmingham. steve pops and we talk about banksy, he's from bristol (we think). it was near where steve lives in hollywood that that "mr brainwash" movie (maybe not correct title?) end part where the art show is went down. trippy. I remember around when I played "the fleece" that banksy helped out a boxing place to help kids stay out of trouble by painting on one of its hatches and then auctioning off the piece to keep them from getting closed - I thought that was bitchin. we get through the plug/stau and quarter of one hit the moto stafford services for piss stop. david uninserts himself from the shelf and I remind him of last night's "ever" lyric rework:
you ever remember writing a song
ted asks me to please chow and then spiel cuz I'm spitting out pieces of a sandwich I made from the stuff from last night's dressing room. whoops. well, my pop used to tell me: "boy, seems you ain't enjoying it unless you're wearing it." sorry pop. sorry ted. on and off rain starts and so do on and off plugs. damn. gaman is the japanese word for patience, good to remember. sunny skies as we get nearer to our destination but the road construction is still aiding and abetting plug/stau. roadboss mike does good though and get's us to village 'tel in blackpool ten after three which I guess makes it a five hour trip. the best thing though is we're safe... look, we get there when we get there, correct? everyone checks in but me so I can save the band money (they gotta pay for these rooms) and there were off to the parts by the water - I can hear seals (sea lions?) from here and a buttload of gulls which are as loud as the ones in brighton... the ones in my pedro town are way more quieter - I wonder why?
my first time to this town, I guess it's a resort place that's it's ups and downs. we're here to play the rebellion festival which has got like 350 bands over four days (today's day one) on a few days. we're gonna work the "empress ballroom" one and after a look-see, seems we can use the backline everyone else is which is great to save us the schlep. so glad clipped my fucking toenails as I was waiting for the guys at the 'tel (VERY happening to have the extra set of llaves), I feel like an idiot asking roadboss mike where the boat is cuz I didn't know we weren't coming back. damn me. you can tell this pad was really happening years back: frank sinatra, the rolling stones - all kinds of people have worked here and the furniture in the production room is olde timey fancy, wallpaper too. crimony. I hobble out to the common area to tell steve about missing my stuff as advised by ted and don't wanna wind him up - we ain't going on 'til quarter of ten. I share w/him some word collector stuff.
casey from orange county (adolescents drummerman and also d.i.) is here - his first time to england he tells me. he works the camera and birdy of pnx news does a spiel w/me and ted. when done we get a very nice visit from penelope and greg of the avengers - they're old friends of steve and ted and just finished an acoustic set on another stage. we talk about all kinds of stuff - somehow tony 19 comes up (dils bassman) and it hits me hard about losing him last year... I really REALLY looked up to tony, he was a HUGE hero to me. his brother chip (dils guitarman) told me I had to see him quick cuz the cancer came on him really fast. it was very difficult for me but I had to do it, I owe tony so much. it reminded of the last time I saw my pop as he was dying from cancer - in a hospice too. it was a pound-down on me but looking back, I'm glad I got the chance to talk w/him a few hours. he signed my 1956 fender bass "love u mike, 19" - this is the bass I do most my recording on and I really REALLY think of him now each I start working it. man, did I love that man, truly. very hard losing people, hardest lesson life keeps teaching me and I never get used to it. tonight I play for tony.
the production boss lets us into our dressing room I chow some of the chunks of chicken w/bread they got for us there. we see the bands on for today and man, some great names like nofnog, the pukes and counting coins. wish I was stronger and so see them all, see all the different stages but that's where I am now. a present for david gets delivered, a beautiful package of danielle de piccotto music. respect. you can't really hear the music from where we are we get the word it's time to get out and set up for the gig. they got an older ampeg svt, one w/out a master volume but I think it's gonna be ok. steve's on a riser behind me and I can't get to his side cuz of the amp positioning so it's gonna be a little like the majestic ventura theatre in ventura last week - I gotta look back to see david. we get the gee-oh at quarter of ten. man, what a big pad - to the side and who's there? milo! (descendents singerman, they're going on after us) - I introduce him to the flipper guys and david - actually I ain't seen him in quite a while... he asks if I can play drunk enough to do flipper and I enlighten him to the fact that I can't do that any shit more. I tell him 1998 was when I soiled myself w/my black gang (nels cline and bob lee) - soil myself in front of minneapolis gig-goers and nels cline and bob lee - let down the gig-goers, nels cline and bob lee... for shame. I wish I could've broke my leg off in my own ass. won't drink and play again. milo says he understands. we go on. ted brings in a tempo that's trippy for me - I wish he'd stomp his boot in a way but it ain't my band and I should learn to learn his way. I get it but things change when steve comes in - I'll learn! the acoustics of this is QUITE a challenge so struggles w/tempo might also not be so hard to fathom. watt in front of the drum riser ain't his best position to serve at either but you the thing about life: you have to play the hand you get dealt. david gets his arms under his shirt so only the hands show out the short sleeves and I 'pert-near keel over from laughing when he uses this arrangement to start playing bongos on one of the bouncermen's bald head at the lip of the stage. that man is good about it though - david's done many plunges into the people and every time after, these bouncermen help hoist him back up, most kind of them. the gig-goers too are very generous to let david ride them like he's at a rodeo. crimony. this many has energy, this man has spirit! whoa. inspiring. I wish I had stronger knees. david's been protecting that weak part of me during the gigs, most kind of him. I'm trying to hold back the tempos. I wish I could hold back the time too - you think sixtyfive minutes was enough but damn if it ain't cuz "sex bomb" has gotta get scissored. damn. oh well, nobody's fault... just the way of the world.
in the dressing room at first I feel maybe I should quick and bail but then think no, it'd be good to do spiel and knit together anything that might've gotten torn any. first a big rap w/ted then a big w/steve, it's a good time. the spirit gets lifted - a real important thing I've learned about touring. that and listening, I'm working on it. damn, I missed fear) (david got to see them) but I thought it was important to do what I did.
the konk pad is like a hundred yards from the hatch, I shit thee not. "adelaide lodge" is what it's called, kind of like a bed and breakfast pad more than a 'tel. I got like a ton of whatever in moments after hosing off. I was way tired but that ain't a bad thing: tired cuz you were trying your hardest for flipper, trying to give them your best notes.
friday, august 2, 2019 - glasgow, scotland
pop at seven. I chow some nuts - been getting into more of that... ain't had a greasy full england breakfast yet this tour... and maybe I won't. I shave - no beards for me any more, I like to play in front of people w/a clean face. my hair's a little out of hand though, I'll have my sister melinda cut it soon as I get home. I catch up on emails - toddski at recess records and getting ready to release the jumpstarted plowhards debut "round I" which is me writing eight songs w/only bass for him to add his guitar and singing to and then having a different guest drummer for each tune. interesting, I think he did a good job. mike baggetta wrote too about doing some gigs his way (big ears festival in knoxville, etc) next year in march, hodge on drums. we're planning on recording an album as mssv this upcoming december. mike's a good guy and an interesting guitarist - we did a little tour last march and I enjoyed much playing w/him. I know hodge from him drumming on my first opera, real good cat. we get over to village 'tel (not to be confused w/the village) and gather the tribe for our most north gig of the tour maybe? it's 'pert-near two miles to get there... for sure it's the only scot gig this tour.
we pull anchor at eleven but gotta hit a pharmacy on the way out of town cuz ted's got a hurt in his back - he thinks something w/a disc cuz of pushing dudes off stage who were falling into steve's drums. we gas up and man is it fucking humid. david puts a hot compress on ted's back. man, I hope he gets better cuz I really don't want him to hurt... you know he's gonna be seventytwo in september? yep (last night I found out steve is s we talk about his wireless set up for his guitar - first time he used it on this tour was last night, ampco makes it. big clouds and it is humid... once we're rolling on the highway it's ok but these motherfucking sprinters have no ventilation for the backbench (I'm on the second bench back, the furthest one w/the equipment bay right behind me. david inserts himself for some bday shelf, he turns fiftynine today. as we get closer to scotland on the m6, roadboss mike mentions how the landscape changes - sure does, lots of sheep and stone fences in these parts. it's cooling down too, great. I chimp diary. quarter of two, we pull over at the southwaite moto services to make sure we don't get to glasgow too early. ted gets a little pillow for the small of his back, to push the heated compress up on him more. we continue on... 'pert-near 2:30, we cross into scotland. steve tells us a story about mabuhay impresario dirk dirkson hitting him in the knee w/a sock full of quarters cuz the band wouldn't stop playing, even w/the power being shut off (drums can keep going though)... steve said he stopped then. he's got a buttload of good music stories and shares them, I dig it. good conversationalist. three and half, real close to glasgow we pull off - at gas station - I think roadboss mike had to drop some friends off at the lake... four before four we're at cca - last time in glasgow I was here il sogno del marinaio but it was pissing rain then so we load in the alley instead of out-front. this place I really like, great sound and everything. the gig boss (423 productions rep) johnny meets us and gets the load-in going, we get to use the 'vator, alright. soundman john was the same cat who did sound when I was last here, he does great work. respect.
david's been procured a kilt and gets that fitted on himself, looks good - looks like a black watch tartan. he's put the word out for a sporran but I think the word got out too late. oh well. trippy look w/cowboy boots, good enough I think to ready him for his last year before the six-oh. I chow slices of corned beef w/dijon mustard - everyone's worried about me and different mustards... I try to tell them I like them all EXCEPT maybe that bayern kind w/the honey put in cuz watt's way more a man that's about hot and sour NOT sweet and salty. the main is there's mustard here PERIOD cuz since the first we've had NONE. good thing miss hiyori brought a tube of lowensenf, I'm most grateful. we do soundcheck I'm really digging that stage starboard there's room between where I can put the amp and steve's (plus no drum riser, yes!) - this way I can be beside him and NOT in front of him, way better for communication. I'm way into it. we bring on the bagpiper malan to check w/us, he's coming on board for "sex bomb" to go w/david's kilt. now his pipes are in b-flat and ted wants to keep the tune in a-seven so I chuck hard on the root not while malan (a young glasgow man who maybe don't know much about old u.s. punk but has a real good disposition) uses some tape on some of the holes they finger on these things to flatten it out some so he'll be in the ballpark. sounds pretty happening, I'm into it.
I meet the openers, sweaty palms and they're a quartet from around here, nice cats though they prolly think my spiel is insane... I wouldn't blame them. I go back to the dressing room while the flippers chow downstairs (this pad has one built right in) to chimp diary 'til it's showtime and then I go check out sweaty palms bringing it. I like them, very trippy and a good sound of their own. respect.
quarter after nine and it's our turn. we bring it. it's a great gig - maybe cuz of david's bday (he reads a bday card from a gig-goer - had to run backstage to get his reading glasses - you wonder why I play w/mine on? then again, if I tried stage-diving, it'd prolly happen ONCE) and he's popping balloons all over the stage - right away gig-goers are on stage and dancing, some get the mic from david and sing entire verses, it's buck-wild. this room has such a tight righteous sound too. david is dancing his dances, beautiful. he's twirling round and round, the kilt goes up... he was promising hand-stands but I don't think I saw any - if I ain't looking at him, it's then either ted or steve cuz I like focusing on the band I'm working a stage w/and can't handle much distraction, ain't good enough and flipper deserves 100% of what I got. I think I'm getting my sea legs w/them though cuz I start of a few tunes w/out steve having to click me in - by that I mean not bringing them too fast but where they're supposed to be. I'm really glad about that, I really wanna do good for these guys. david asks ted and steve to skip "life is cheap" and they agree, we do a real good and long "sacrifice" and then the closer - we get malan on stage w/us for "sex bomb" - he's got a solo and then ted has me come in soft w/the lick and bring it up and up - there's a stage invasion of dancing gig-goers... way wild but no one hurts me, much respect to them. the bouncerman is overwhelmed. people fall into steve's drum set and after the second time of that, he starts pushing the cymbal stands over, timber they go but no one gets guillotined. the gig is over.
I get my stuff together like the cords and fuzz box... soon I'm talking w/many gig-goers, great cats w/happening spirit - some I've know for a long time like grahame and my old buddy dep (works at monorail music - a righteous record store here in town) and big BIG hugs for him, he's had me konk at his pad tons of times and I love it, love him. after much spiel w/many well-wishers, I go back stage and there's two cats sitting there and I say hi to them, then make my way to the beam. I start rapping w/the drummerman from sweaty palms and his buddy when one of those cats I just told you about comes over and asks me about my wattplower bass and my fuzz box, so I show him the stuff (this box is so tiny, I always rides in the soft bass case. I start listening to his voice and get to thinking, that ain't a scottish accent - fuck, it's east bay ray! what a fucking idiot I am... that other cat must've been klaus, ah fuck - what a fucking no-memory stupid shit I am... I apologize so hard to ray. I guess they got a tour coming and just flew in and came here. damn, I gotta right an email to klaus and apologize. I feel so fucking stupid. my mood though gets really improved when ted comes up and tells me steve played great and the songs had happening temps - even the ones I started... whoa, maybe I am getting my sea legs! david keeps telling me I'm the weirdest person he's ever met, prolly cuz of what I'm saying and/or the faces I'm making - not on purpose but maybe cuz it's a part of my fabric or something? I apologize and he's says it's ok.
steve brings me to a little bar in another chamber right next - this pad has many chambers, right through this hatch the dan is playing and he gives me some whiskey, the we go to the boat - big hugs goodbye to gigboss johnny and pull anchor. we're at an ibis 'tel that's got a rock music theme, not so squarejohn. I get a beer and sit/spiel before get in the 'vator. finally in the konk chamber I hose off and konk really quick and hard cuz damn if I ain't beat.
saturday, august 3, 2019 - leeds, england
pop at eight. go downstairs to the ibis trough to shovel. see drummerman steve he enlightens me to the fact ted got through that clinic stuff and finally got here safe. he tells me a friend from the u.s., madeline, took ted to the hosp for an exam regarding his back. whew, I am relieved... been worrying about all night. I love ted and want him as well as poss. steve shows me the messages on his leash... guess ted was given the wrong ibis 'tel address and had much wandering at four the morning. crimony. david said he was wandering too... maybe we need more infos about where we're at? I don't know. pull anchor at twelve and a half... I inquired about load-in time (no one has any infos about 'pert-near anything) and when roadboss mike enlightens me to the fact it's 3:30, I'm wondering how are we gonna cover the two hundred miles we need to do to get there in time. oh well, we get there when we get there - I believe the main thing is to get there safe so that's that. however me fucking spacing and 'pert-near donating my bass helps fucking nothing... someone slap a blad-spot on the back of my head for so fucking stupid. I left in the lobby and lucky a workerperson put in a lost and found closet, dio caro. I gotta double up and being careful - that's my main tour tool besides my hands! fucking idiota watt, fucking idiota. it must've been when we first checked in and I was sitting by the check-in desk which was a piano... that 'tel was a neat one AND very kind people working there that saved my bass. thank you thank you BIG TIME. I gotta learn from that fucking major clam blow.
I explain to david about me doing the "that's the way of the world" off-mic. he'd come up to me last night during that part of the show and said "I don't need any help" but actually I was just caught up in the tune and not trying pat him on the top of the head, I apologize sincerely. it is trippy having a seven bar chord figure instead of an eight but that's part of the flipper way of doing things. david tells me he didn't mean and it's ok in fact. I thank him as he inserts himself into (onto?) the shelf... I chimp diary. two bells when we cross back into england - we were in scotland just a little more than one day. crimony. lots of wind and big clouds but no rain. south on the m6 (whence from we came yesterday) just past tebay at ten of three we pull over not for chow but like right before we got to glasgow yesterday.
ted's smart to take a water hose (we're at a fueling station) to the filthy fucking windshield (hard to find a squeegee at england fueling stations)... I bird shit was piling up serious. good thinking, ted - much respect to you! he says that compress he put on yesterday is still hot! crimony. serious stuff.
head east at m61, m62 - one more diesel stop and we finally get to leeds quarter of five at one of my favorite pads in england to play ever, the brudenell social club and who's right there waiting for us where you load in: nathan! love this man... him and his ma run the pad and do a righteous job. it's 106 years old, used to be a workingmen's club. I think it's my fourth time working here. big hug from watt. I also meet the cats we're gonna be playing w/for the next two weeks: we are the asteroid a trio from austin, texas. very cool people. guitarman gary was in ed hall and fIREHOSE shared some bills w/them. drummerman frank play w/bassman jeff pinkus and bassman nathan did a shift in the butthole surfers - we're sharing equipment and so since we're late, why not let them check first... they do a tune that makes think a little of zz top w/a shuffle riding under it. we do a little check after, soundman duncan's done my sound here when cuz came through here four years ago, good cat. a short check and then back to making a sandwich w/a "bap" (kind of round soft circular roll) and some lunchmeat slices and mustard but I do only one - ted tells me to wait for dinner and that way there's sandwich stuff left over for the drive tomorrow which I think is good thinking. I go mett the opener for tonight, some locals named blacklisters who have to set up on the deck in front of the stage - man, I hate that. this is ain't my trip though so I can't throw my weight around and just have to bear it. I think bilge pump had to do that at the cuz show... that's a great band... miss hiyori is gonna get some delivered indian chow so I ask for my favorite: garlic nan (bread) w/sang paneer (pureed spinach w/chunks of cheese in it) - I wrap the spinach in the nan burrito style and man, the symphony in my mouf when those three come together inside it. unfortunately instead of cheese what gets delivered is chicken in the spinach so I'm kind of disappointed but it still tastes good, don't mean to sound like I'm bellyachin.
blacklisters hit at seven and a half and the gig is on. they remind me some of david's earlier band, the jesus lizard but of course they are themselves. we are the asteroid are next and they do good - only two minutes over. I've found sometimes friends by accident or whatever can kind of bogart - doesn't matter much on a weekend but getting stalled out and having to go on real late during the week is kind of fucked. these cats go over only two minutes, most kind of them. we bring it at nine and a half. the leeds gig-goers are most kind to us and the band is stomping. david's on fire and into the crowd right away. he lived here in the 70s cuz his pop was a fighter pilot w/the u.s. air force and tells jokes involving soccer players from back then - he introduces me as one, peter or paul something. he's great. since the blackpool gig I've been letting him have little "bass solos" on my wattplower, holding it up for him so he kind of do a little bongo fury on it, a few seconds of rapid slaps on all four of my strings. he makes them always a little different, they're great. I read somewhere on the internet some weisenheimer talk some shit about flipper was gonna be lame for these gigs w/watt cuz like I was gonna play too many notes and ruin the songs - what a jive ass to judge me like that w/even seeing or hearing any of these gigs I've done w/them. of course flipper tunes have iconic bass lines and I've done 'pert-near nothing w/them except a couple of tiny trips on two of the numbers - nowhere do I do fills or anything like that. it's just pathetic how some peckers just was pigeon-hole you into some kind of one-trick pony shit, fucking jive. tonight we do "life is cheap" w/david winning one out of two arm-wrestling matches during the tune and re-phrasing the chorus into "life is not cheap" which I dig much and mouth along for some. steve's got kindling all over the deck from working the sticks the way he does w/his hihat - like w/camping: in tents.
putting my stuff away, here's tommy bink - gotta give this man a bear hug, dave woodcock's guitarman. much respect to him. so good to see him, missing dave... I ask him to pass my best well-wishes. james pennock too came up from sheffield for the gig, hugs for him also and some talk about the new book his wife is writing about new world native people who went over to the old world. so many good people here being kind to me, I'm most grateful.
back in the dressing room I rap much we are the asteroid drummerman frank, he's is very cool people - they all three are but here's frank w/me now and we're drinking some brown, talking about keith ferguson and all kinds of stuff... I really dug mr ferguson's playing, what a great bassman - minutemen got to play w/tailgators in austin once - I just dug his way of working bass, big time. I think it's gonna be some fun two weeks w/these cats. there's a young man from here in leeds that tells me mark e smith actually kicked him out of this same dressing room. I ain't gonna be like him. we talk about the fall, "dragnet" is my favorite album of theirs... "slates, slags" and the early singles I dig big time too.
time to pull anchor but then I'm told the cats (or some of them) in bilge pump are here outside so I hobble out to find them cuz I love this band! man, I wish I could spend the rest night rapping w/them but I can't. damn. damn again. damn three times... gotta get over to a premier inn not too far away and I'm so fucking wore out, I don't even hose off. damn.
sunday, august 4, 2019 - london, england
pop at six and hose off - konked too quick to do it last night like an idiot. fucking baka. at nine and a half take a five pound cab ride to 'tel called "village" to rejoin the flipper team - maybe part of the same company that ran the one in blackpool? looks like it. I'm thinking david still hase the second set of boat keys since he borrowed them for that interview he did yesterday but like a fucking idiot, I find them on me. bozo. read on the internet about assholes shooting people to death in texas and ohio. terrible. hurts me.
we got about two hundred miles to drive ('pert-near like the last two drives), pull anchor just after eleven, tight squeez to get the boat out (she's a longboy) but mike w/steve guiding does real good. respect. soon we're south on m1, headed for london which is our last gig in england. an hour later, just north of nottingham (we looped it!) we stop at one of those moto trips and get a pasty... I get back to the boat and see david got one too - stereo! he inserts himself back onto the shelf when he chows... I can't finish mine cuz I just can't. the nearer we get to where we need to go the bigger the plug gets... thank god it's a sunday. past the ring road (m25) it breaks out though and we're lucky we're playing in a north part of town called highbury to try and scissor down the amount of london stau we gotta wade through. we're nine minutes short of on-time for load in where we're playing, the garage - a pad I think I played twentyeight years ago.
soundcheck w/soundman richard and monitor james - my pop's name was james richard watt - a fuckin threefer! there's some cutting out on my rig... damn if I don't shake the speaker cable and find the prob... it's the goddamn speaker cable. you know, I'm thinking about it and this shit has been happening since I started getting it. james comes to the rescue w/a house one tonight but I also gotta enlighten steve (he's also the tourboss besides drums) and roadboss mike. the weakest part of a tube amp is the speaker cable cuz they got big out transformers that need a load (speakers) ALWAYS connected when operating or you can blow the EXPENSIVER transformer. a shorted cable is even worse. trippy about monitors: steve only wants drums in his, he asks james for "a good drum mix" - no bass?! we do "...shine" and he's on the other side of the beat - I stop us, just to get on the right side of what's up, right? nothing personal. he gives us chow money after the check - ten pounds - says, "spend it all in one place" so I hobble for a trough to shovel from and there's a pad called "pho house" and I get the house pho... for 9.70 pounds and flow them the .30 left from the ten - I "spent it all in one place" - I told them watt can take direction well. speaking of which, ted suggests I move to the middle bench in the boat so I can both get more air and also not have to holler to get heard by steve who always rides shotgun. good thinking again from ted. he's a good reasoner. there's no air in the dressing room so they got this loud-ass fan going but fuck, what do we do? put up the urusai ('loud' in jap) or fucking suffocate? ted makes it better w/a re-positioning of the fan in the hall outside the hatch w/the hatch open. the we are the asteroid guys hit a seven and a half. they're loud but the fucking fan 'pert-near all but washes them out. they do a flipper cover I can kind of tell, maybe something flipper did w/the melvins.
our turn quarter after nine. I set up and then go back to join the guys - first time this tour. ted suggested it and I think he's right to do it that way. now the sound on the stage is really bad. all the gigs up to this point have had great sound but this one here... well, if anyone deserves the best sound the pad can bring, I think the gig-goers should get it - ahead of the dudes on stage. we get in for free, right. anyway, the london gig-goers have a lot of fire and are very open w/it, respect to them. this pad's got a stage barrier and right away david's over that to dance w/the people, love that about him - not shy. well, coming back over somehow he goes down on that barrier... it looks like his legs got v'd open and so he came right down on his balls, I mean they got planted on top of that barrier. crimony. huge empathetic rush comes over me and I 'pert-near stop playing to grab my balls in response - I can fucking feel it seems. david comes up to the kick drum and balls one fist w/his feet spread wide - he's turned around so the audience can't but I can - he's only a couple of feet away and the veins on his forehead come way up. I can see him focus really hard and rally himself... hell, he does just that and we can contine. however, for "get away" he does the words to "life is the only thing worth living for" and someow it comes together. whoa. we actually end up doing "get away" w/the correct words later in the sett, before some strange version of "brainwash" that's got a lot of the motifs doing four times around beore the f instead of three like the original. I though I was crazy but no, some iterations were like that. I try my hardest to stay w/them. real good "sacrafice" even w/sound I ain't digging - am hoping soundman richard has got it together for the people. I'm really chucking hard on the root for the closer, making for it a big DOING. one bouncer man was very kind helping david up and down, monitor man james too w/fishing out the mic cable. one gig-goer has the germs circle on his jacket sleeve by his wrist, ain't seen thta before.
we're done and after I pack my stuff up, I go onto gig floor to find my old friends jose and kyoko, known them since the go! team days. of course there's many other gig-goers still here so I get the good word from them, thanks much. one cat named brendan is really into mike baggett's "wall of flowers" album and keeps telling me that. respect. I go backstage and meet the tour bookerman tony - looks like a young man. I meet the press lady lauren and then talk again w/that mike baggetta fan brendan. he's cool people. I then go out to meet jose and kyoko again cuz they've offered to bring us to the 'tel, a pad above a pup in islington called "the cuckoo" around midnight. we have a huge spiel about current stuff... haven't been w/them in a long time so it's good to have these moments. pull anchor tomorrow's early though so it's time to say oyasumi. quick hose-off and then I'm out. way tired.
monday, august 5, 2019 - ghent, belgium
pop at seven bells - the plan is to get picked by the flips at eight and a half. there's a light rain as I'm waiting when I get word that roadboss mike can't get the boat into this hood cuz of street limitations due to the boat's size. a little drama, huh? I hobble in the rain to a bigger street and being calm - it seems life has thrown me kind of a test to see if I go off but I know that won't help anything so I keep vigilant so I tumble and/or crumple and just think gaman ('patience' in jap) plus comical perspectives on the whole sitch. roadboss mike finds me a cab - I'm so surprised cuz I was looking for the boat but it's a good strategy he's got to scoop me up and bring me to the boat. it's so great to see the team again, big relief for everyone, I can imagine. not too tough getting out of london but it takes some time of course... down the a2 into kent and onto dover... we have a good time hearing about the message former member of the flips sent me, says he's glad I'm getting good training w/them, very kind of him. maybe good training for the "master peace" he's got in mind? me and brother steve of the stooges did a bunch of collabs and that was very happening. man, I miss that man much... it's hard for watt to lose people. I just heard brother koja is doing better - it was heavy on my mind when I found out about his hurt a couple of days ago. I love this bassbrother.
we make it to white cliff town dover at a quarter after twelve, just in time - the guys tried to go the whatever place you can wait but w/in minutes the word goes out to get the vehicles... short stay for them! ten minutes to spare (crimony, we just made it), we're gonna take a p & o ferry called "spirit of britian" to calais in france, then drive to ghent in belgium. it's rough seas cuz of the rain but damn if the ferry ain't pretty much really stable, amazing when you see what's going on outside the windows. time zone change: the clocks move ahead for us an hour so we should drop anchor at two and a half. I go up to the ninth deck and get some fish and chips along w/some peas. david's got some french fries and we chow together, talk about last night... I tell him much respect for recovering from slipping and catching the barrier w/his balls last night - like doing the splits and coming down on the balance bar. crimony. he pulled it together and hung on so we could complete the show. I don't think anyone could see cuz he was facing the kick drum, right in front of it. now if you ask me, it's big time understandable why he might've not know what tune was next cuz damn if I'd know either - fuck, I prolly wouldn't even know what planet I was on. I can completely empathize w/the man. I thank him truly for his work effort and keeping the bow in the wind. he asks me about using hashi to chow w/and I explain it keeps me from shoveling too fast.
after we pass all the not-too-long-ago razor wired topped fences, we get caught in a huge plug and have to big time hurry up and wait. crimony. ted tells me about these shamans from the east dressed in red and white wold follow the mushrooms and sell them to rich people. interesting... maybe mr bosch got turned on this way? the plug finally breaks open just before four bells. even w/the light rain, gray skies and big wind, I still got my shirt, socks and shoes off - even on this middle bench, I can't fucking breathe. the hell of it all. we cross into belgium just before four, a little sun comes out and the rain stops. I still got no air. I also gotta keep chimping diary cuz of the driving when it gets close scares the fuck out of me. anyway, I bear w/it and we get to ghent about five.
this pad is called dok but there's a connect w/democrazy which had a pad in the old days dos hoot_dos.html played in maybe 1988? this is a first for me here... some kind of canal dockworks repurposed into artistic stuff.
the stage is 'pert-near outside under a big cement overhead. and there's huge black side canvases hanging on the sides. gigboss erik comes up to the hatch to welcome us right behind we are the asteroid drummerman frank. we drop anchor and unload the boat. whew. that was a journey but here we are for the rest of the tour's gigs here on the continent, first monday gig of the tour.
we do soundcheck w/soundman xavier, good cat. john dikeman is gonna join us on sax for "sex bomb" so we do that w/him. I talk to we are the asteroid bassman nathan about his bass, an eastwood modern repro of la baye 2x4 bass from 1968 where they made only fortyfive of them. he went and got a speaker cord to replace the bunk one we've been using all tour. thank you big time, brother nathan.
chow cook is koen and he's made us great penne pasta and grilled zucchini - well, he's made us much more but cuz of the fish and chips I had on the ferry, I can't stuff too much in the gut. it is really good though. miss hiyori meets us, she took the eurostar train. I go chow by the part of this place next to the canal and play area for children - maybe there's a childcare center here? lots of handmade stuff here, repurposed to be useful in this sitch and artistic as well, I can dig. ted joins us. we talk a little about this morning, he says "experience is when you know you've made the same mistake twice" which to me is very wise. I had started chimping so I explain why I do nikki to him, to keep focus. he says it's a good idea. it's a very nice sunset w/the canal barges that having converted to pads tied up at the dock and bathed in orange. I can hear the we are the asteroids guys start their set.
our turn is at quarter after nine and steve hands me the set list w/two changes made - he's removed "get away" and "live is cheap" cuz the set can be only one hour tonight. sound is so much better on stage tonight compared w/last night EXCEPT for the monitor in front of ted... ted likes some of my bass in his monitor and this wedge has its speaker blown and it's real bad sounding. arrrggghhh. I can tell it's a tough gig for david but it's inspiring how keeps on pushing and works the pad, it helps me w/my bass wrasslin - thank you, david. the ghent gig-goers are very into it and enthusiastic, oh man, so kind, thank you. as the gig goes on though, that fucked-up monitor gets worse... there's a smoke machine and david does a great job pantomiming it to look like he's farting up a storm. it's blowing all over me and I can't stop laughing. it's a good time tonight. "brainwash" throws me for a loop, sometimes it's three times around before the breakdown, sometimes... gotta ask about this later. david does great doing those little bits he does on my bass, love it. the ghent gig-goers are righteous w/sharing their kindness, great respect to them. we finish up w/john on sax and he's really happening, great job. we are the asteroid drummerman frank's just starboard of me so I give him baka faces while takes pictures w/his leash. I really enjoyed this gig.
I pack up my stuff and then steve gives me a hand down the stairs that's got NO FUCKING HANDRAIL. crimony. when are pads gonna get this stuff together? big love to steve for the essential help. anyway, out in the crowd I'm looking for bassbrother arnaud from billions of comrades but can't find him... I see brother koen instead, great to see him. during the gig he asked david to do a snoop dog joke and damn if he didn't bring one, david's incredible. I'm really thirsty though and there's big lines for beers and stuff so for the first time I go to the backstage... there's the worst shit here ever, jim beam w/fucking apple candy-ass flavor. the horror the horror. fucking terrible. I propose to we are the asteroid drummerman frank that he do drums for three tracks I'll send him of just bass and click, ask him if he'll do three different shuffles for me (he says he's got easy access to a studio back in austin), add some percussion too. he's into it, great! I thank john for the sax he brought, he does great and the whole band digs him.
time to bail, we're all in the same 'tel which is an "ibis" really close by the venue. I hose off and drink a "duvel" I brought - lots of belgian beer is very distinctive and really good - my favorite is "kwak" - I last drank it w/scotty-san... man, I miss him... miss him so much.
tuesday, august 6, 2019 - amsterdam, netherlands
pop at seven but last night's konk time was earliest yet and so I got good rest. I need a new konk mask cuz sun wakes me and these chambers ain't sealed enough to keep it blocked. not bellyachin about the sun though cuz I'm very happy it's out bright rather than it being drowned in rain. got an email from larry (he did drums the last two years of the stooges) and he's gonna mix our tribute to scotty-san soon in berlin, fuckin alright! today's the fifty year anniversary of the release of the stooges first album too, ain't that a trip? me and larry at casa hanzo in my pedro town (peetzo from my secondmen built it in his backyard) last month recorded an instrumental version of "1969" for two part seven inch vinyl coming out on record store day. we both love scotty much, beautiful man. on the internet, tell folks about the venue change online and I get asked about my slang for writing nikki ('diary' in jap) so I replied w/something from wikipedia regarding that, what's called there the infinite monkey theorem - it's just something to keep me humble cuz we all know history is "his (or her) story," correct? I think it's easy to get fooled otherwise. no chow at this 'tel for breakfast for me today, things are changing for europe 'tels that I used to know, getting more like u.s. ones. I forgot to mention the beginning of the set... hard for me to get it together - I'm gonna ask ted to start us off even though that's not the original form, it's a big favor to me - especially when it's starting of the gig.
I go to the boat early, HUGE benefit of having your own sleutel ('key' in dutch) and chimp diary. we pull anchor twenty after eleven and head out of town north towards the border via antwerp. around twelve we pass into netherlands , weather is like so cal and I'm loving it. this was the first no fucking carne border I ever crossed in europe - the way you could tell you were out of belgium is when the lights down the middle of the highway ended. I think it was the same w/them and luxemburg too... kind of the beginning of the eu in a way. it was called benelux or something... anyway, steve wants to know about windmills. I got the encyclopedia britannica on my 'puter and tell him the persians invented it and not the dutch though they're great marketers (same thing w/wooden shoes - lots of different people wore wooden shoes in europe in the olde-timey days). I look behind me... david ain't inserted! whoa. he does find the fucking can that's been rolling around under the benches and driving us crazy. it's an aluminum can w/a paper label and it says "don't mess w/yorkshire ale" - ok, we won't. david also shows me he can belch at will, quite a skill. respect. we hit a huge plug, maybe a bridge's gotta be raise to let through. we break through eventually and pass through rotterdam at one, I get homesick a little seeing all the cans and hammerheads (containers and cranes). two bells and we pull over at a bonjour filling station and I've alway tripped on these ways of selling chow here in holland where there's little hatches you pull open after putting money in a slot... they got a modern version exactly like that here! I get a panko-covered kind of chicken stick thing (two euros) and a coff (you also use coins to procure 2.30 euro)... it's costs .50 euro to piss so all the stuff I did here didn't involve any people. whoa. outside w/chow and rap in so cal-like weather... interesting technique to keep birds out of the trash - put iron crow statues and black pieces of pastic wrapped around the dumpster cage!
I tell the guys about lots of museums (the rijksmuseum, the van gogh museum, the stedelijk museum, etc) not far from the venu (we have first day off since first gig tomorrow) and steve brings up a "torture museum" he went to somewhere in this town once and that inspires me to enlighten everyone w/this device the pear. at two and a half we get to the southwest outskirts of and boom-bada-pinga, we're at the 'tel... right across the street from each are the two we're using - I'm in the "westcord fashion hotel" (yeah, what a name for somebody like me) - we're here only like a half hour and then we begin the hellride to the venue...
it's very hard to get around this town and all the construction makes it even tougher plus we're in a big vehicle... I can see the venue from across a canal - tons of canals in this town but roadboss mike has gotten us close enough for me to be able to help some... just before four we complete the comedy routine and drop anchor at the paradiso. at the load-in hatch, I meet an argentine gig-goer w/a camera named sebastian and we talk about he seeing stooges in his homeland. I relate to him how frustrated how I've played such few latin american gigs in my life - what's that about? me and d boon's one big dream was to one day one way do a tour of the entire pan-american highway plus any other road possible in a van, like we do in the u.s. and europe... crimony, I keep hoping! he's a nice cat, I put him on the list. we're playing the small hall they got upstairs... the padboss emily is very helpful as are the helpermen who schlep the gear up in the 'vator. very kind. up three floors in the 'vator to the "small hall" - and meet soundman nils who is cool people and I ask him to not use a bass mic on the bass cuz I might trip and please use the direct out the head instead of a direct box. it's then when we discover AFTER A FUCKING WEEK that we don't need to take the fucking bass cabinet out of its box cuz it's got a hole to get the bass cable to it. whew, that'll save some schlep-hell big time. gigboss noot stops by to check things out... we were supposed to have out amsterdam gig at paradiso noord (a newer place opened up by the paradiso about eight klicks away) but the was switched to the here. I like playing this room much and in fact my first dutch gig was in the big hall w/the minutemen and black flag in february of 1983. glad to be here again. ted's back is acting up on him again. damn. I hate to see him hurt. we do soundcheck... looks like we CAN'T use the fucking svt speaker box in it's case cuz of fucking rattling so I guess we ain't such stupid slow learners. monitorman mario says watch out though cuz they took the wheels off so it could fit in the case and that makes in vulnerable to tipping and maybe falling backwards... ok, good thing to warn us about. we work out our opening tune w/steve going first. there's no way of me missing if he does that: none. fucking sock-tight. renato, a portuguese. saxman appears and we're glad he's here to do "sex bomb" w/us, highly recommended by last night's saxman in ghent john. we play the tune and he's happening. respect. I ask lightman danny not to let it go pitch black on the stage cuz ted can't see his frets, he's most kind to help out.. everybody's on board for tonight!
steve helps me schlep some of my stuff - my knees are feeling weak (especially the starboard one cuz it has to compensate for the weaker injured port one) - to the dressing room in while miss hiyori's directed by monitorman mario to where some shwarma is and she gets herself and me one. really good but trippy - wrapped totally like a burrito but w/no mexican taste, all shwarma taste (I like it!) but sealed up non-pita style.
david gets to talking to me about stanley kubrick - david knows a lot about acting and movie stuff, really interesting. shandon (played drums for meat puppets for twelve years) moved here recently and he gives a visit. steve comes back from chow and talks to me about hal blaine and the music stuff around him. incredible stories. he's also got a trippy take on the flipper band name and implements that on our dressing room hatch.
fuck, I forgot to the countdown and here it is at twenty of nine and we now got five minutes before we go on! I'm a total baka. so sorry to steve and ted. up the 'vator and we find the small hall packed. the amsterdam gig-goers are spilling over w/their energy, very generous. I see painterman phil right up front, same w/lost-his-mind-man roland who prolly came all the way from utrecht. miss sally too, fellow bassist so I gotta to play good not only flipper but her too. according to the new plan, steve brings in the set and his intro is great but then he clams so he stops and starts over - hey, it happens. the sound in this room is great, up on stage too. "I saw you (shine)" tonight is really happening - we take it down dynamically 'til it's just david and he's beautiful... the light do go out, musically (they actually did in glasgow, I think david planned that w/the lightman). next tune is "that's the way of the world" but I play "life" instead like a total fuckin idiot. why? I hear ted holler "wrong song" and immediately stop. fuck. what a bozo. I can't believe it. the whole pad laughs at me and I truly deserve it. as marlon said "the horror, the horror" and I hang my head but then rally and play the right tune. after a few tunes later steve gets up off his throne to holler first david's name and then mine - so very kind of him. david then jumps on the drum set for a "drum solo" to "voice" what he thinks about that move. ted got some new picks. when you see him rubbing on his guitar strap, that's him actually trying to make smoov the pick edge after the strings make them sharp. I think he uses 56mm, pretty light. his playing like every night on this tour is righteous. david lets a lot of the crowd sing some stuff at gigs, sometimes they're singing it in the wrong place but I think it's kind of like ig having the stage invasion when the stooges did "real cool time," "no fun" and "shake appeal" - I always loved that and love what david's doing. respect. he works my bass w/a beer can in one interlude between tunes, my little wattplower can take it. I like the word change he does "life is cheap," life is NOT cheap. respect again. renato and his sax joins us for the closer, he's really good. much stage invasion but no one gets hurt, it's fucking wild though. thank you big time amsterdam gig-goers.
I put my stuff away and talk bassist miss sally who plays for rotterdam band gfr and show/explain to her this mark II wattplower and let her play it, she's used to long scale (the wattplower is a thirty inch shot scale). regis who's bassman for toulon band hifiklub joins us w/his new wife, we got a "pedro -> toulon" and "toulon -> pedro" proj in the works, an album will come out not far away now. wim and gideon from paranoid state are here too - love these cats, yatta! miss hiyori puts the drums away, we are the asteroids drummerman frank helps her. downstairs some old friends of ted and steve visit, deBisou and her friend, really good people and I like them much.
the paradisio cats are really kind w/helping w/the load-out schlep and roadboss mike's wife julia joins us (she does the same work he does and just finished a tour w/poison idea) to the ride back to the tels. tomorrow is day off and this is where we're spending it. I think I see everyone else again on thursday... they got a really long and tub here and that's truly bitchin. I do HUGE hot soak 'til wrinkled like a prune and the konk like sack full lead dingleberries. not even one bell yet too. yes.
thursday, august 8, 2019 - aachen, germany
gig day and pop at eight bells. ww had first day off since first gig yesterday, we stayed at same 'tels and cuz of my knees being so sore, I just held the fort and stayed in the room. another problem is my port-side ear... I got it burned up in a fire thirty two years ago and though it looks ok, there's lot of scar tissue that gets all ulcerated up if it gets too much sun, hence me wearing this fucking bucket hat all they time - it ain't a fucking fashion statement or anything stupid like that - it's to protect my ears. miss hiyori on her way to have laundry done (she uses a lot clothes on tour but she also helps w/my levis and chonies), she gets me a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (waterstof peroxide in dutch) that I pour in the port ear and then hear all bubble up as it's killing the bad pugs. then I right my head and let it drain out. w/in a few hours I was feeling better. when I get in the boat today, I'm sitting on the other side, the side w/my starboard ear closer to the boat's starboard window. you would think w/the tinted glass and wearing the hat I'd be more protected but nope.
we shove off ten after noon and head southeast towards the most south dutch province, limberg. after an hour and a half w/pull over at a shell and I've never had a dutch hamburger before and I get that w/pom fritz which is french fries and here they like it w/mayonaise. I'll get it once. both are ok, blackbirds watch me chow it in the nice californa-like weather. I check the price of diesel and it's about six dollars a gallon after the conversions (liters to gallons, euros to dollars). back in the boat, we continue south. I chimp diary when the show outside the window freaks me out. just after two we hit stau but also pass the road to tilburg which has importantance in stooges reunion lore. it was a gig at that town w/a proj called asheton, asheton, masics + watt that got the word around to ig that ronnie and scotty were playing together again. ronnie told me about ig calling him (they hadn't spoken in like twentynine years he told me) and saying, "who's this indie guy stealing my treasure?" and ronnie said "you know my number!" (ronnie lived w/his man) but that was the beginning of the stooges reunion in my opinion... we owe it all to j. getting closer to the border w/germany, ted asks me, "what's that mike, three o'clock?" and damn, w/out thinking my head snaps starboard ninety degrees - it's fruit trees under tents to keep out the bugs and I tell him that but I also let him know I know he knows what I know letting other people know what for regarding direction on board a vessel - like that "over there" crap don't mean shit... like who's "there" or what the fuck, right? damn. ted's a deep cat.
cross the border into germany 'pert-near three, less than a half hour later we're in aachen and at the musikbunker which'll be my second time playing here, it was w/the czech guys uz me doma about four and a half years ago. they got some good chows laid out for us once se follow the corridors to where we need to be - this was a world war II bunker that's been repurposed and definitely and unique pad to put on gigs. I make a sandwich from a hard brown roll, thick cucumber slices, salami, salmon, little sausages, senf and some creamcheese wich is really happening in my mouf. ted explains to me the malt process w/whiskey - fuck, I never had gotten that straight and was too stupid/lazy - so many times I was just about to get that happening and then... I let it go, let it go. well, now I know and it seems the "malter" is the cat w/a big part involved w/the flavor that results. interesting. thanks much, ted.
I've talked about getting together w/we are the asteroids drummerman frank about a collab but talking w/him about who would record his parts in texas, bassman nathan is the cat he's gonna do it w/so I ask nathan more about it, I find out he also does guitar so maybe... he's into it - ok! I do soundcheck w/the flipper guys, we try another way w/for the opener tune - let steve try it again. our check done (seems like the plan will work), it's time for our friends to check.
for chow they got rice and curry but I'm full from that sandwich, however padboss lars (beautiful man, most bitchin to see me) gets me some ice cream - like last time! I ain't ate ice cream in years... this is really good tasting. he has me read this letter and it's the bookerman jeff who did these german gigs for flipper this tour. he wants me to write something to his buddy aaron, a bassbrother and I'm most happy to do that. it means much to me to have a connect - when we got here a bassman jochen brought his bass for me to sign, big kindness showed to you I think should be payed back somehow.
our time on stage has been moved from ten after nine to nine twentyfive but a look on my watch when I'm actually on stage says twentyseven ten - I chimp this cuz some germans like to make fun of themselves about always watching their watch... the fact of it is is that watt watches he watch a lot too, I shit thee not. arrggghh, we gotta use the lame version of the list, same sequence, I just like the other one better. we try the new way to start our set and it goes good. I gotta turn up though so I do. david brought a bowl of little sausages on stage and puts them on the drum riser - this gives me a sense it's gonna be a happening gig. right away the aachen gig-goers give us big love. second tune and I stay in a holding pattern while david runs off to get gaffers tape from roadboss mike (who's slinging merch at table just starboard of the stage) cuz the mic cable won't stay in the mic - fifty year old prostitute syndrome. I think ted kept going w/the song form which I prolly should've done also but... he's a champ and gets back on board - of course, he wrote the song! maybe sometimes I'm too much of an anchor? actually we had a false start cuz steve brought in the tune w/a two count and I didn't know that "one two" meant here we go. the way I do two counts is "three four" cuz that for me makes it a little clearer - a three count would be "two three four" etc... when I hear "four" I know there's no ambiguity, it's sort of like when my pop had me never use the word "right" for "affirmative" when giving directions - he said there was too much ambiguity in a job that was really important: navigatore. david's very generous and let's the gig-goers sing "that's the way of the world" but they get the part where they're supposed to sing it all wrong. this tune has a form of seven bars and that's trippy for people to get - cuz of the two, four and eight indoctrination in lots of pop music. it happened last gig at the dam also. maybe it's a setup from david? he later hands out the little sausages. some more "is it three times around or is it four times" around confusion for "brainwash" like at the dam also. steve told me it should always be three but... we close up w/a very powerful "sacrifice" and a horn-less which is made more apparent after having sax for the last two gigs. but something trippy happens when david brings the music up to me for a watt holler - I leave the "cash register" for the upper register for a little bit. it happens a couple of other times too, really trippy. didn't mean to do and there was no real implementation of notes, more of a freakout. I've never left a flipper lick to do stuff like this, trippy.
gig done, I get my stuff together and go the backstage and thank padboss lars to have us, I really REALLY like working bass for him, no matter what the sitch. no bourbon tonight, it's irish whiskey and I have some. I'm lit from the gig and foam some on ted and the on steve, these gig have been such s mindblow for me, next is david. watt's in big time grateful mode, these band guys and the venue man... fucking righteous.
I hear we are the asteroid drummerman frank tell miss hiyori not to start breaking down the drums so quick - what? people got their idea I guess of getting stuff done. I know she like to get stuff "owata" ('all done' in jap) and that ain't bad thing. I think he'll come around and understand. time to go konk, we're at the "art aachen superior" 'tel and damn if I don't konk before I even get to hose off. I am tired, tired but grateful.
friday, august 8, 2019 - karlsruhe, germany
pop at eight bells and hose off. the trough downstairs is incredible, reminds me of stooges days in fancy pads. well, the rooms here have kitchens and living rooms - they're 'pert-near apartments. anyway, the trough here is incredible: I can chow a full on salad w/arugula! buttloads of thick cucumber slices. liverwurst! my first scrambled eggs and bacon of the tour! crimony. I'm most grateful. the lady asks for nineteen euros which is a buttload for a watt chow but this is so good/fresh/healthy/oishii that I got no problem giving it to her... she comes back and gives the bills back to me, saying it was on the room, ordelay!
in the lobby they got a statue of charlemagne and steve wants to know about him so I tell him what I know. we pull anchor at quarter of noon and plow east towards cologne and then right before it, head southwest toward karlsruhe - it's about 220 miles total to get there, right on the border w/france and on the edge of the black forest. it'll be my first time playing this town...
gray skies but only once a little drizzle. kind of humid, I got the shirt off right away. david inserts himself onto the shelf. I chimp diary. my ear's getting better: the hydrogen peroxide works. fucking stau slows us up. there's a fucking sign lit up saying "staugefahr" - like you gotta be told you're fucking hardly moving or what?! roadboss mike enlightens me to the italian word for stau is "coda" which makes good sense cuz in music we use that word for the ending part, in this case it's maybe like "the end of moving" or something like that. so many bridges on this road you can't really be aware of when driving on them - this stuff was built for moving tanks during the cold war and they needed to make it easier for them. prolly very expensive to build but the u.s. army was here and so was our zeni. we pull over twenty after one rastplatz - .70 euros to dump, self-cleaning can... I've seen these in japan.x back at the boat, the spiel gets to be about snoring cuz of a postcard david got and he enlightens us to the fact his uvula ('grape' in italian, ain't that a trip?) had to be removed cuz he was choking himself out when he was konked w/snoring. we're back on the road and soon roadboss mike points out where charles bukowski was born, a town called - mr bukowski lived his last fourteen years in my pedro town and is buried there, in the same boneyard d boon is (taken a couple of friends to his grave - says "don't try" but I've never been to d boon's)... rain starts coming down but not for long. on and off w/the rain, on and off w/the staus... as we closer to karlsrue, the weather lightens up. roadboss ain't that into turn signals for lane changes, hmm. I thought the were just for smart people any more?
just before four we cross the rhine and get into the karlsrue area, an autobahn sign w/the time, date and temperature says thritytwo degree celcius which is like ninety fahrenheit. crimony. just after four we're at the alter schlacht - inside is where we're playing tonight, alte hackerei and the gigboss chris is there to start things up - he says we got an hour so we head for the 'tel for check-in and get diesel first at a "total" station who's got it 1.20 euro/liter - $5.15/gallon, pretty good for europe. quarter of five we're at a radisson blu in the south of town. the room numbers are on the carpet outside each chamber so steve 'pert-near freaks out but then the enlightenment of discovery on the deck brings him calm. david had lost one of his hearing aids while he was on the shelf when we arrived but a quick calm scour brought him success after not too long.
we drive back to the venue. since dealing w/my ear getting hurt by the sun (getting much better by the way) my new location in the boat, middle bench starboard side has me the back sidehatch man now and I ain't being careful enough and causing the hatch to slam when I roll it open, like an idiot. roadboss mike let's me know that and I'm so sorry. I own my own boat too and want it to last as long as possible. I feel like such an idiot to be so careless. gigboss chris talks to me about seeing me at other gigs in the past. his helperman andrea, like him is very cool people. a little bit of drama to get the soundcheck going but we do it w/soundlady ann - this ain't a huge place so it's pretty straight forward. I'm gonna try and do what I did last night and leave my fuzz pedal and the cords behind the amp. you know we got the same band opening for us, we are the asteroid and they're cool people - I think the stuff is safe there.
I ate too much sandwich to do dinner so I sit in the backroom and it is a total shvitz - big time humidity also. then a huge-ass cloudburst comes out of nowhere w/lightning and everything. crimony. twenty minutes later it's gone. then it's back w/out the lightning, just a downpour but damn is it coming down. still sweaty though. we are the asteroid hits at nine. the backstage is literally behind the stage so we get the whole gig w/out seeing them. interesting. drummerman frank is seriously kicking up some dust. crimony.
ten is downbeat time for us. I'm already set up and turned on - soundlady ann asks if I did anything cuz she has no bass sound... what? did I do anything? she keeps asking me. I'm confused. anyway, I start the first tune up, just to get ted and steve on stage. ted's guitar joins my bass a few times around and then steve comes in but it's backwards so he shuts it down. I think that was a good call. I know ted wants the bass first but... steve gets the groove going and THEN I jump on and everything's kosher - the gig is on. the karlsruhe gig-goers have much fire, even w/it being packed and sweaty, respect to them. I'm really holding back in the movement department (like I move much anyway) to conserve on what I got and keel over from heat stroke. soundlady runs up and changes cords on my direct out... when we finish the tune after we finish the tune if everything's ok and she says it is now - must've been a bad cable. we continue on. steve's playing much of the gig w/his eyes closed, prolly same kind of strategy. we're like playing in a little cupboard so the sounds a little compressed but it's a good time and for sure a good feel. I like this. except the heat but that's ok... I have had way worse. david's doing it up somehow though - the stage is kind of small for him so he's in the crowd lots. he let's some sing - they fuck up where the chorus goes in "that's the way of the world" - I think it even throws ted off but he gets back on. I'm right next to steve so I hear every drum thing hit. the wattplower stays in tune, no prob. david earlier had asked me if his working it threw it out of tune and I told him, no way, it's quite ok - the wattplower can take it and I dig it, keep on keepin on, david! steve's holding on. ted's on fire, whupping it - inspiring me but I do keep my body calm and feet planted. I don't how the karlsruhe gig-goers can take but they do. much respect to them! it's trippy, most of these tunes I have no idea how long they go, I end when I hear steve end. well, the end of the gig comes and we're done - both my first karlsruhe gig and the first half of this tour. whew.
I quick get all my stuff together and then through the hatch to the backstage. I gotta get my mouth wet quick. they play five stooges songs in a row, I'm singing to them all, love it. love stooges! we breakdown, schlep and load-out. me being coxo has me in guardiano mode, I talk w/gigboss chris about german bands from the movement that had big influence like der plan, abwarts and d.a.f. gigboss chris is really good people, goes back - he knows. I wish I could play is home town tier... or here again. back to the 'tel and I hose off right away, damn if that don't feel really good. I was talking w/david and nathan earlier tonight about gary floyd and think about him as the waters coming down on me. I konk really quick once the hose off's done.
saturday, august 10, 2019 - bologna, italy
pop at seven bells and hose off even I did last night cuz I have to. quick dress and get down to the trough to shovel. I choose braised salmon, a little scrambled eggs (a little runny, we're real close to france), many shroom halves, many thick cucumber slices, sun-dried tomatoes and a little bacon. whoa. good stuff. I go back to the chamber and shave - I will never wear a bear or mustache again! get the word out about tonight's gig and then hobble to the boat, checking out on the way. 460 mile drive today, we pull anchor ten of nine, steve was waiting on me in the lobby but since I got one of the boat keys, I always go straight to the boat and scissor the lobby. remember, I'm cojo... oh yeah, monitorman mario at the paradiso taught me the portuguese version cripple (bad leg), coxo which is pronounced "ko-sho" - good for someone like me to know! not even an hour later I gotta blow it out and explain that to roadboss mike, a rasthaus (I can't remember) is a klick away and I don't soil the boat and/or foul the air. it's this chow, so much different than in my pedro town - very good and healthy but all the cheese and bread my body has to get used to. actually I know about this and brought psyllium husks but like a baka, I ain't swallowed any yet this tour. what I do on the road is drink fourths a bottle of water and then use a paper made to work as a funnel and get the husks in there, put the cap on and shake like crazy and then quick drink it. steve points at this truck that's got "discordia" painted on it, some name of a logistics company I guess. anyway, this is an instant button-push on my mind cuz I was way into discordianism since I read the principia discordia (also an early 'puter version on my hoot page here) right out of high school, it went hand in hand w/my involvement w/the punk movement. nobody in the boat knows about it - well, david knows about the kind-of-stepchild church of subgenius but it's all blank stares when I talk about eris and the stuff around greg hill and kerry thornley which I can understand maybe... well, it's a trip to see a cargo truck w/this written on it - a look on the internet shows it's a bulgarian shipping company - they gotta fucking know, correct? actually, it ain't all just in the past... check out historiadiscordia.com for monthly discordian spiels. ok, back on the road.
eleven bells, we hit the swiss border and it's total butter, I mean it could be even more - we don't even get talked to, let alone have to show passports or have the boat searched. thank you thank you thank you much, most kind swiss border people! we're gonna get to italy via gotthard and then onto italian border town chiasso - roadboss mike enlightens me to the nature of that town: lots of dirty money. border towns are like that all over. oh, I remember a swiss border story - the hard ons (australian) band were gonna share a bill w/us (fIREHOSE) in rimini at a pad called "velvet" and they show up late w/nothing, of course we let them use everything we have. they told us that the boat they were driving had bald tires (thank you boat renting people are total fuckheads) so they weren't allowed by the swiss border people in 'til they got new tires. well, they do that ($) and then get allowed in but this piece-o they're riding in catches fire and burns to the ground - the lost everything except what they were wearing. nightmare. crimony. I really like playing here (hell, I like playing everywhere) and I say that cuz it's a shame this tour doesn't have one swiss gig and instead it's kind of just a "transit" for me this time. oh well. twenty minutes after our crossing rain comes down. lots of tunnels, of course - this is switzerland w/a little bit of money, I think per capita here is $80k or something? just before noon we pull over at a rasthof, I think roadboss mike go to get coff and I bet steve went for some chow. we got peanuts here in a can from last night's dressing room larder. just before one and about ten miles from the gotthard tunnel we hit really heavy stau, really heavy... the tunnel's got construction going on... mike re-routs us using the navigatore gps at amsteg and it's the scenic route but at least we're and thank god it's summer cuz for the pass would be closed... it is very happening w/the eye gifts and maybe we're lucky to get to see this instead of being in a ten mile tunnel. twelve before two we cross over, 2.1 kocks (6890 feet) up. crimony. down the pass, there's brake lining (asbestos) smell, I'm praying it ain't ours... we soon reach the first town past the pass - I think it's my first time in airolo, we're now in the italian canton of switzerland. we don't stop but at least now I can say I passed through it. we hit lugano at three - one day I wanna play this town, have wanted to for years. five klicks from the border, we pull over for a pit stop and I get a good dump going, the psyllium husks are working! I forget to wear my boshi ('hat' in jap) and it's like eighty something fucking degrees, blazing sun - I'm a baka! quarter of four we cross the border into italy - completely open, more butter! grazie grazie border people, we still 170 miles to go. guess who passes as we pay our first pedagio? the we are the asteroid guys in the little citroen they rented in england! steve tells to go back to brooklyn... he then tells us he meant new jersey. five bells, we drop anchor for diesel... 1.90 euro/liter $8.15/gallon! we gotta do what we gotta do. we gotta wait for what? slow pit stops w/this crew... we pass parma (parmasean cheese), we pass modena (balsamic vinegar)... lots of farmland and it's a total shvitz in here - they try the air conditioning. no difference but that's ok - like last night's: play the hand that gets dealt. just after six and a half we drop anchor at freakout in bologna - whew! e fata ('we did it' in italiano).
padboss gainluca's here to greet us at freakout the pad we're playing, freakout where I've done a buttload of gigs. gianluca's cut his hair, whoa! good to see him again. we catch up w/some good spiel. I talk w/soundman daniel, good to see him again also. I explain just using a direct w/out any mic please cuz I'll trip and fall. he's skeptical cuz lots of ones he has to deal w/make the bass sound like a fucking toy. I agree w/him BUT not this one, hooker's green bassmachine. after soundcheck he tells me yes, this one's got bottom and is different than the other jive ones. my il sogno del marinaio guitarman fratello ste is here, so glad to see him - big hugs! he was in sardinia for two weeks on vacation. he's looking great, looking healthy. he's mixing and producing our "terza" album we recorded at casa hanzo in my pedro town. we talk and talk about me playing w/flipper, my fuzz box, future plans - we're thinking of releasing in summer 2020 and then tour europe later in the fall. good plan, he'll let our drummerman paolo (he's on vacation now w/his family) know he gets back. there's chow that giancarlo had made up that's really good: pasta w/olives and cherry tomatoes, tuna too. some salad w/it and I'm into it. I go to the little side room and konk.
I'm on stage and it's 11:06 - the pad is packed and steve's ready but no david so ted goes gets him... I'm thinking david would've heard us and come right quick. first tune is pretty together but stops before I get in... well, that's ok. I get in and there's something different about my sound. I mean I'm there but something's up. whatever, I'm here to be flipper's bass man and do the best I can so I keep that the most focused thing I got. you would not believe the spirit of the bologna gig-goers, the most intense crowd of the tour - they got david hosted up way high and it's amazing to both watch and then be part of the music part - he's really inspiring to me. this is a hard gig to work too, make the shvitz of karlsruhe seem like air conditioning land 'pert-near. in the picture it's ok though, I wouldn't trade for anything - even after that nine hour hellride, it's still all worth it. david asks to scissor "life is not cheap" (his revision which I dig) and since we went on w/only one set list, I'm calling out the tunes so it's easy to honor his request. no sax for "sex bomb" but it's ok, the bologna gig-goers are like a sax! much respect.
I put up my stuff and realize I was playing w/the wrong pickup on! what an idiot - I used the reverse pbass pickup setup, moron. why didn't I look? something to learn. off the stage, many local gig-goers give me abbracci (hugs) and most kind words, beautiful of them and most kind. I give the love right back, most grateful. even w/all the sweaty humidity, it doesn't matter w/them, fucking big time bella. have to get out and get some air though or else I think I'll keel over... I make it out the big hatch and do both guardiano and have big talk w/fratello ste about the gig. he really the gig and the sound, loves ted's way of working guitar. I tell him about me using wrong pickup, I show him wattplower II prototype III I'm working this tour. I tell him something else is strange w/my sound, I gotta check it out at soundcheck tomorrow. man, I'm such an idiot sometimes. fratello ste has to pedal away, he came by bicycle... can't wait to see him again. so happening he made it possible for me to be in a european band, so happening. from my firehose days, it's enrico croce! wow. lonnnng time. some spiel to catch up. we go back to my fIREHOSE days and so does this cat pietro who rode w/me from pisa to genoa, we have a good laugh over him telling me "porco dio" when I asked him for italian for "can I please have a receipt - you should've seen the look of the toll both man's face go from happy to fuck you very much just like that... me hearing pietro laughing to death in the back... I feel like such an idiot cuz I knew what was coming out of my mouth was not right for what I asked for. we have a good laugh about it. crimony. oh man, here they are, all the way from ravenna: it's stefano, david and nicola of the spacepony - so good to see them big abbracci for all of them, so happy to see! not much time though cuz the boat's shoving off, damn. I get to talk some to david about our longshoremen back in my pedro facing automation hell - he knows cuz part of dockworker network (he himself is a longshoreman, called a stivatore here). love these cats. I suggest a split seven inch w/them since stefano left the chronics (I've done two w/them). they're into it, maybe we write the tunes for each other again?
we pull anchor and head for the "imperial hotel" not too far away. hose off immediately but konk at three bells, way too late for me. baka. I did get a righteous email from fratello ste though:
sunday, august 11, 2019 - milan, italy
pop at nine and half! now that is really late for watt but cuz of the transoms (used to be real common on italian pads), the chamber can get super dark and I can really konk. otherwise, any kind of light makes for short stay for me getting any kind of konk and that's lame... it's actually unhealthy. I hose off again. the hot water here is kind of yellow-brown so I use the cold to brush my teef. I skip breakfast cuz mike says we're gonna stop on the road. it's only a seventy mile drive today. yatta. we pull anchor. hearing roadboss mike and steve talk, it appears roadboss mike's gonna be getting into being a bookerman again, hmm...
ted lends me his nail file - I think it's the first time in my life I've used one... you know what's a trip? I used nail clippers this morning cuz of feeling so weird on stage last night. I just cannot play w/fucking nails, weirds me out... like fingernails on a chalkboard - not the sound but the feel, feels fucked and I can't handle it. so anyway, thank you, ted. david points out the slack high tension (sic) power wires - trippy. these babies run really low to the ground compared to the ones back home, I wonder what's that about? it was arcing power lines that caused some huge hellfires last year in california, important stuff to get together. we get to be talking about music - steve tells me about getting turned on to funk early and then the spiel gets into the blues - all groove stuff and I tell him david (david's in on this too) I flipper's a lot about the groove. it's fucking sweatier than hell back here on the middle bench... we get into milano just after three - well, actually the gig's in segrate (about eight miles east), where the linate airport is. the pad is calledcircolo magnolia inside a nearby park right by a lake - tonight's gig's gonna be outside. first we check into a 'tel called "bb hotels smarthotel linate" (prolly cuz it's right next to the linate airpor)t. looks it's part of an area that was a military airbase repurposed, the 'tel itself is brand new in spare style w/the toilet square, same w/the bidet next to it and a shower in another chamber. the art is on the overhead.
quarter after four we're back in the boat and headed to the venue. it's got a few stages. real nice crew here, real nice. soundman donno and helperman simon and cats I'm too stupid to remember their names but they're most happening. it's real sweaty. soundcheck is kind of long... it's a deep stage and I think we set up way too back, oh well. I like to be as close as I can to the bow of the stage as possible. anyway, I find out what was lame about the last couple of gigs w/me w/my sound. it's gain structure. I used the bypass switch on the fuzz box and found way out of balance: too tiny when engaged. I move the leve up to three o'clock, drive all the way and treble on one. much better now. soundcheck done, david's friend maria takes shots of us in the head and out on beach chairs. we go to the chow table to wait for dinner and thats when the fucking zanzara ('mosquito' in italiano) hit us. fuck, I can't believe these bastards. really tiny, they ate me alive last tour I did in italy - it'll be two years ago come october. bastards. the crew bring the chow and it's fucking happening: farfalla pasta w/olives and chickpeas, gnocchi w/mussels, roasted potatoes, green salad and steamed asparagus - really really good. oh man. I go into the dressing room cuz I'm thinking it's a better refuge against the fucking zanzara and also there's a cooler so watt chimps diary. we got 150 minutes. however, steve's stories have me enthralled and I can't focus on chimping. no a bad thing, steve's interesting like ted and david, I'm very lucky to get be around them besides also getting to play w/them.
gig time comes and right at ten and a half we bring it. man, are we machine operators (everybody but david) way the fuck back on stage, like twenty feet! I did something at soundcheck but I'm also glad I'm like a foot from steve's hihat, way into that. w/the gain structure happening now, I can really feel my sound and thump in good w/the flipper team, I'm in fully grout mode now, way WAY happening. it ain't about bogart, it's about gluing stuff on stage together for the gig-goers. these milano gig-goers are most kind w/many hollering our names out - three of us like kind of our cousins in a way, right? david points this out. he also dances up a storm. there's a divider here (remember london at the garage?) but he don't get hurt like he did then but I think he accidentally broke the lady photographer's sunglasses. oops. he also puts his hand on my heart for a while, I give him beats from it. one tune went too fast but I think the rest had good tempos, I was really to hold it back. it's a good time for us on stage, really is. character builder not w/standing. it's folks like this I wanna work gigs for, people w/funny backbones, a back made of funny bone, at the same time playing/singing their asses off. the humble way to really express yourself w/out getting too full of yourself but really meaning to try bring a gig sincerely w/out all the fucking jive. I thank these gentlemen, I thank these milano gig-goers. we finish up after seventyseven minutes.
I pack up and hobble down the stairs (a little scary) and out to where the folks and get lots of good word and abbracci from the milano gig-goers, so kind. giacomo who did a spiel w/me here in milano 'pert-near two years ago, so good to see him again, big abbracco for him. my old long-distance friend carlo is here too, so good! luciano (alexander de large) is now here in town (he's originally a bari cat) and I'm so glad he came to the gig. I tell him to say hi to giuseppe for me, both great cats and music people. luciano says giuseppe has a bambino arriving soon. yatta! great news.
back in our dressing chamber, steve trips on the mike watt throbblehead one of the gig-goers brought to have me sign, he can't believe it. believe it, steve! I know it's trippy but it's part of the journey I'm on. a couple days ago ted asked me what's a cross between a donkey and a zebra's called and I told him I didn't know... he told me "zonkey" but a look at wikipedia says zebroid - who do I believe? talk starts about those planes that were flown into buildings. I start thinking of think for some reason about that donkey/zebra naming thing while at the same time really listening close to everyone's here's out-loud thinking... I think it's cuz I start kind of getting weird vibes but w/friends I wanna show them respect and not make them feel thrown away, even when the talk starts to go to conspiracy theories, this is the feeling I get... everyone in the room here has some thoughts on it... I don't want them to feel muted and also, I ain't saying I'm above it all - that mason stuff I searched around about after working for mr handley (an old lawyer who was one) in the early 80s though was more about tripping on the symbols that so much we bathe in rather than literally being gullible and buying into wack shit - I credit this to me studying the principia discordia real hard when I became a punk rocker. anyway, I just listen. I think it was this guy (another real piece of shit) who just hung ("allegedly" is the responsible thing to say) himself after getting arrested for trafficking girls for rich fucks spurred this on. I wanna zero in on learning more about using bass so esoterica like discordianism is enough diversion to rob focus from. liars will really try to throw their way if you don't protect yourself, I believe. the kind that are wanna be butches really are bottom feeders, I told this to steve earlier. I ain't no expert but I will not swallow the koolaid regarding that crap. life is too short, we gotta keep that in mind - like david says w/his revision: life is NOT cheap. fucking right on, david.
we pull anchor and get back to the 'tel, mike has to go back to get something and I volunteer to a guard for his stuff when he needs me to like w/miss hiyori or the gear at a load out/in. I might be il zopo but I can do that kind of work. I hose off and am beat. I'm out 'pert-near like that.
tuesday, august 13, 2019 - vienna, austria
it's monday and I pop at seven bells, hose off again to make sure that zanzara repellant is off my body and my hair. last italian gig tonight, 170 mile drive heading east so pretty mild which is good cuz kind of hellride tomorrow. I make sure I do some psyllium husks. I catch up on the diary that got spaced by steve's spiel - no disrespect to him cuz he was very interesting. it's the same w/ted or david... I will always make time for them. one bell and just outside brescia, roadboss mike pulls over for chow at an "autogrill" but decides it's too small and we move on. smart move - I know he knows these roads. the skies gray up a little and there's some rain. I got bit by those fucking zanzara last night but there little ones - hope they stay that way. there's some on my hands and some on my ear lobes. I saw them attack me on stage last night but then there were also chips of wood flying from steve's sticks that seem to be them also but I was just prolly freaked out w/nothing I could do. they're also on my port side neck/chin. motherfuckers. I couldn't swat them away cuz I had to play the bass. we hit stau but it breaks free after not too long. one and a half and we're chowing at an "autogrill" at montealto... I get a salad w/tuna, olives, potatoes, tomatoes, boiled eggs... even fucking capers. crimony. david doesn't finish his breaded chicken cutlet so he donates it to me and miss hiyori, very kind of him. back in the boat, he inserts himself onto the shelf. we pass verona at two and a half - fratello andrea (original il sogno del marinaio drummerman) is from here. he just wrote me and had great news: he opened for the radiohead singerman for a summer europe tour and it went over so good (him solo drums and electronics) that he's been asked now to open for the same guy in the u.s. yatta! it's sprinkling on and off now... tonight's gig is supposed to be outside at an amphetatre so it might after to be moved another place if the weather's too wet.
twenty after three, we make it to padua. rain stopped. we stop for diesel, the pad ain't even open, we pay at the pump w/steve's card. this is a rough ride even though it ain't long... the windows have been closed most of the drive... and I'm dying of no air. crimony. we get to "hotel rosa" twenty of four in abano, (eleven klicks southwest of downtown padua) and we dock here 'til five and a half. in the meantime I gotta hose, just do.
the gig's another eleven klicks southwest of the 'tel in galzignano terme but a little slow-go cuz we're going up into foothills full of vineyards, very pretty. the venue is an outdoor amphitheater called anfiteatro del venda and at the foot of the "access" road, giancarlo from freakout in bologna is here to greet us... so good to see him again. I never did get the local promoterman's name but this guy wants roadboss mike to take his boat up this steep-ass dirt road... right away I think if it DOES make it - what if it rains? no fucking way down except in toboggan mode. crimony. he starts to climb and I say I don't feel safe - I wanna get out... he stops the boat and I get out and do climb via hobble... fucking dangerous otherwise and baka. thank god roadboss mike took the boat back down and that baka plan aborted. I get to the top which has very beautiful vista and is itself wonderful and find also from "freakout," soundman daniel - he's here to sell records and fuck if I'm so fucking stupid not to recognize him just cuz he's wearing glasses and has hair tied up in back... I apologize big time for being a fucking baka, such a fucking baka. anyway, the we are the asteroid guys are here and said after one try in their little citroen, they couldn't make it... the promoterman did it after three tries (in reverse, backing it up) - what the fuck w/us in our big boat? really fucking baka. the plan is to schlep the gear up w/the promoterman's car in shifts... david records the whole thing on his smart leash and converts into keystone kops fast mode. crimony. we get all the stuff up and that's when the sky opens up and the rain comes down. the p.a. and lights are set up on this wooden plank stage - that shit is getting totally soaked. also on the deck are like five or six portable tent like trips that we got our stuff under... there's nowhere to go so we use the cases as benches. the drums get set up under one tent and then we wait and wait... I'm wondering big time why the "plan b" that I heard about this morning had not been put in effect? damn. I talk w/gary from we are the asteroid about history stuff, spilling what I know about vlad lenin and after w/the soviet stuff. in the last couple of years I been reading a buttload on joe stalin and also mao ze dong. fucked up. d boon I think would've dug gary cuz of the history thing, d boon LOVED history. cuz of touring, it was even more happening cuz he could be in places he read about in person! who says tour is hell? bakas! everybody gets a pizza to chow, I pick shrooms and chovies after david says anything but those two things. thin crust and no cheese but w/tomato sauce, I really like it, something really simple and elegant about it. six after nine, the plug gets pulled on the gig, it's a washout. we get another opinion so we the ask to ask the p.a. man, he asks who is responsible if someone's electrocuted? I think that's a VERY good question. he breaks down the p.a. we break down the drums. the rain stops but for how long? more discussion. ted asks me to join him and tell the gig-goers we're so very sorry but the gig is scissored. I spend much time w/them, explaining one cat's shirt (it's raymond's work on the cover of "what makes a man start fires?"), the story behind it - all kinds of minutemen stuff. I really feel I owe all these people for what happened and I can't schlep anyway so this helping out how I can. the padua gig-goers are most kind and beautiful to deal w/this kind of blow, such a disappointment and it weighs on me. I talk to many of them and sign their stuff - one cat drove a hour to get here... hell, even david (tomorrow's gig's bookerman/gigboss) and his buddy manford came! scheisse. I am very grateful to the promoterman for taking me down the hill, in the dark and as steep as it is, I would've prolly tumbled for sure. I'm asked my opinion about what should be done and my suggest is to share the loss. I feel bad for gianluca, I don't want him to feel like he let us down... stuff happens sometimes and we still stay friends. we go back to the 'tel and I hose off and soon konk - it's before midnight. yatta.
gig day and I pop at seven, longest konk of the tour for me and the garmin vivasmart 4 says my "body battery" is at one hundred percent. yatta. I go downstairs to the trough and shovel two hard boiled eggs, two little rolls w/salami and a bowel of yogurt w/half of a canned peach in it plus swallow black coff. real good for me. I check the internet w/my macpurse and get this message a gig-goer named alessandro who was at last night's wash-out:
"Truly a shame that the booking agency did not have a plan b. And even worse. They let you guys have the honor to explain to the people that the gig had to be cancelled. Amateurs. See you next year!"
we pull anchor at nine and a half, stop at a farmacia before bailing from albano to get some mosquito bite relief roll-on balm that helps kill the infection from the fucking zanzara bites. we get out of dodge and head east, got four hundred miles today to get to tonight's gig in vienna. quarter of eleven, we hit stau on our way to the border via udine. cazzo. david's inserted himself onto the shelf, ted's got the whole back bench to himself and has donned his konk mask. this stau turns into parking lot. steve brings up cb radio and truckers - I believe some of "internet culture" started w/that stuff, people w/fake names "handles" which aids and abets talking shit w/out having to take responsibility. after a half hour we pull off at a "my chef" and I get a tea that's "senza zuccheri" (no sugar) but has lemon and lemongrass. never had it before. the "pause" turns into forty minutes... there's zanzara by the tree we're parked by and I just can't get bit up any more. finally we get back into the stau - it looks like it's construction at the root of it so you can't hurry love. it's a little moody between us and I just shut the fuck up after have a tiny say about compromise. can't hurry love, you just have to wait. it's real slow-go, things don't break open 'til quarter after twelve. yatta. twenty of two - we cross the border into austria at vallach, the weather is fucking righteous: cool and dry. just found the tour's bookerman just got scissored. just after two, time for another forty minute piss stop. no zanzara here. getting kind of gray in the sky. I'm getting some pictures for the diary together cuz I got a little behind. quarter after five, we hit raststation to tank up, 1.57 euro/liter ($6.63/gallon) for diesel at this shell. I stay in the boat... whoa, only twenty minute mosey... what the fuck is that about? we get into town w/out a stau - yes!
it's six and half when drop anchor at chelsea which is a pad I've played three or four times now, I'm into it. last time I was here think it tav falco came and saw me play - he's lived here in vienna many years now. the we are the asteroid guys are already here and help us schlep the load in... so great they're here to share that burden, most kind of them. the bookerman gigboss david joins us not long after - he had to go the same route we did (he was at all three italian gigs including last night's wash-out) and shared w/us the same righteous experience w/big-ass staus. well, we're all here and we all arrived alive so I am happy. my friend staff who lives here but is from spain arrives and after soundcheck w/soundman tomas, we spiel outside - oh, he also found us a saxman for "sex bomb" who's a croatian cat named vid who's a big man and I feel has a big heart. glad to have him aboard. right outside the side hatch near the stage starboard at a bench I chow some wienerschnitzel which is a bread veal cutlet (not a fucking u.s. hotdog) along w/cold potatoes, it's really good. steff and his friend carina spiel w/me about stuff like kaiju and yurei like hanako-san - not to be confused w/koi hanako - maybe the longest living fish (226 years)? interesting they're interested in this stuff, much more interesting than other spiel about trendy populist crap going on now BUT it's important to be aware and I learn what I can from steff about the vox bakas back in his native spain and the clowns here where he lives now, one had to quit which is great cuz when I last played here, the clown had just "won" w/lies up the yang. karma wails and sometimes we get made aware of it, huh?
the we are asteroid guys go on at nine and a half and get the hole gig through the side hatch, they're playing really good together. their guitarman gary is year of the tiger and here I thought that didn't exist - I was thinking year of the cat, house cat and not big cat! I am baka. drummerman frank and singerbass nathan kicking up much dust also, heating up the stage for our turn.
we hit at 10:37, only seven minutes late. the pad is packed and the vienna gig-goers share right away much big love. danke big time to them. ted asked me to come in w/him for the first tune and we get it pretty much together w/steve, david right away in the pit dancing/singing w/dancing gig-goers there. slowest "(I saw you) shine" of the tour, like molasses in january - I can dig it. david does a variation on working my bass between tunes by doing that w/his port hand while he works ted's guitar w/his starboard - he's like "lucky pierre" (the socket man)... it's a improvised moment and david's really REALLY good at that. steve's really slamming on the drums tonight even w/him in a kind of cubby-hole due to the nature of this venue's location (viaduct for sbahn train), he's thinking there's guitar and bass in his monitor but a holler out to soundman tomas reveals that ain't the case, it's this stage's acoustics. maybe it's a good thing he hears me and ted though - just a thought... he always asks for for ONLY drums and no ted, david or me. I always have david in my monitor and ted's good and loud onstage, I stand right next to steve's drums. I like playing in a band by hearing the whole band instead of just "man alone" mode, that's just me. I want BIG picture so I can fit the bass in as good as I can. really good gig tonight, I enjoyed very much.
out the side hatch and into the southern californian-like righteous climate, many vienna gig-goers give me the good word, most kind of them. two of the destroyed but not defeated guys are here (bassman markus and guitarman lelo), so good to see them. I'm looking all over for tav falco but can't find him, damn. I see p.m.k boss max but keep calling him "chris" like a total baka - what the fuck is wrong w/me? that happens sometimes, I get important infos all fouled up in my head, tangled/twisted and it's fucked. embarrassing, I really like him. last gig of this tour is at his pad but I think he came tonight cuz he won't be there for that one.
I thank everyone for everything, hobble up to the backstage (my first time back there) and meet the co-owner who's got europe only mike watt shirt from a long time ago on. much respect. a little spiel and then steve comes up to say the boat's loaded so I pull the ripcord, big hug to gigboss david who helps me down the stairs and lets me have a beer for the 'tel, very kind of him, everything he's done for this gig is just righteous. so kind. roadboss mike gets me a falafel on a round bun kind imbiss, very kind of him. he gets us to "exe" 'tel not too far away (but no fucking parking, terrible for roadboss mike) and the great news is there's a tub in this top floor room (overhead has big angle) so I real quick soak my sore joints 'til my skin is all pruned up. then I konk.
thursday, august 15, 2019 - bielefeld, germany
wednesday in vienna I popped at seven and half and do tub soak cuz why not if there's one available... maybe the third one on this tour? get the most out of it, I'm thinking - good soaks are bitchin on sore joints. absolute. shoveling's included w/the room so I head for the galley, roadboss mike enlightens me to the fact there's parking tickets for both us and the we are the asteroid guys. damn. they're gonna spend the day off (tour was booked this way) visiting prague, great idea, good stuff to see there. I get to shovel breakfast chow w/all three of them, first time this tour. they're very kind and interesting. find out both bands' boats got parking tickets last night. pull anchor at ten and a half - so cal weather w/no humidity, mild temp - very happening!
one bell and just past wels we drop anchor at a raststation - I gotta drop some friends off at the pool. roadboss mike buys me a can of green tea, very kind, even though I wanted to break a bill to use the head - he then gives me the half a euro I need for that. grazie big time to him. stop in only twentysix minutes. quarter after two and we're at the border w/germany... no one manning the border so it's border but there's manned patrol cars parked in ready to pounce mode, parking lot full of vehicles getting searched but we continue as we were, no probs. we're headed for nuremberg and we'll konk there so the hellride to next gig is cut into two pieces (total haul will be 583 miles, this leg is 325) since today's a day off. lots of construction going on to make for some stau. I ask the guys about the difference between them playing w/rachel and me (rachel is the regular flipper bass player) and that gets me to talk how much respect I got for the flipper bass lines, loved how they're composed. david says last night he noticed the vienna gig-goers dancing to the "mantras" from the bass and I totally agree w/him. these bass parts are econo and iconic, big time. so much about feel, I love them. they grow a lot of corn around here, it's the bavarian part of germany. at three and a half we cross the danube. I notice a trippy neo-classical whatever and wonder about it... road sign said something like "walhalla" - as in the odin stuff? don't know
not total stau but a buttload of traff. sky full of cloud but the weather holds... just before four we pass the ausgang ('offramp' in german) for ingolstadt... thinking of the conspiracy theme from the other night, everybody knows of adam weishaupt, right? I listen to wav files to both sides of a seven inch vinyl me and larry are putting out for record store day, come november for record store day. him and ingo at candy bomber did a bitchin job. much respect to larry and ingo. larry worked a wah-wah on my fuzz bass to get like ronnie, real REAL good job! he also brought on board a pump-organ. now I gotta do the art - got two photos I took when I served the stooges (125 months), one of scotty in france and one of scotty and ronnie in austria I'm gonna use. man, I miss them both so much... oh, speaking of conspiracies, the town we play tomorrow is supposed to actually not exist...
twentyfive miles from where we wanna be we pull over for a piss stop. it's a short one (for us), david gets a piece of kitch (this one's a sign you hang on your wall) for his pad that translates into "w/out a cat, a house in only a house" and I can relate, I had a cat for fourteen years I loved so much, I could never get another one after losing him to brain cancer. we drop anchor at the "hotel leonardo" at twenty after five, our day's mission is accomplished. everybody goes to do wash but I will only be a liability so instead hobble to look for a salad w/some fucking fresh vegetables or whatever's green cuz my body is jonesing bad for it. only processed meats, cheese and bread is getting pretty too much on me. we're just southwest of the old town and damn if there ain't like a dozen spielhalle ('gambling place' in german), I mean a bunch. I luckily stumble onto an "aldi sud" and get a salad and lowenbrau beer for a couple of euros, econo. the bavarian gig I ever did was at lowenbrau keller in munich w/black flag and minutemen in 1983. that guy was my first punk rock hero. when I put a picture of him on my bass, it was like drawing a line in the sande in my pedro town... there was no looking back after that... back to these days: everyone else gets back w/the wash. I show miss hiyori this kebab pad I stumbled upon while hobbling earlier, it's called "patara schnell" and the donner teller has got turkey meat instead of chicken or lamb - my first time chowing turkey kebab and it's good. oishii. salad also, yeah, more salad for watt. I hose off and konk like at nine - why? prolly cuz I was tired.
gig day and I pop at quarter after seven. there's free trough here for me and I shovel many thick cucumber slices, tomato wedges, cooked shrooms, some scrambled eggs w/parsley in them and toast, I wash that down w/coff. I just can't take down processed meats, cheese and bread twentyfour-seven. I go back to my chamber to hose off, shave and chimp diary. check out and wait for the team at the 'tel hatch and damn if I don't realize that even though I did a baka check, I was really baka and left the charger for the camera in the fucking chamber bulkhead... total baka. miss hiyori saves the day and retrieves it. my fucking memory or better yet, lack of it.
we pull anchor at eleven, there's some light rain and gray skies, some stau too (more construction to add more lanes like yesterday)... it'll be a 270 mile ride north by north west to bielefeld - so glad we split the hellride into two parts, so glad and most grateful to roadboss mike. rain quits soon and so does the stau. yatta! david inserts himself onto the shelf. oh, found out about that walhalla trip by the danube we passed yesterday, it's something from the 1800s to acknowledge german stuff germans were trying to get an identity as far as a country together. there's busts and plaques of famous german speakers inside. something that really intersted me was a plaque put there in the early 2000s (everything else is way older) acknowledging the widerstand which I never knew about by name. I knew about the white rose people but not the red orchestra and other stuff like that. this is a great thing about touring, expanding what you know AND what you don't, great thing I think.we pass big flock of stocks feeding on the ground - I'm too slow to get a shot. damn. I've never seen so many together before. damn my slow ass. the rain comes back. roadboss mike says, "summer's over" - I think he's right. noon we pull over for diesel, the station's also got a chow pad called "pizza bill's" and I get a bockwurst, brot und senf (giant hotdog, bread and mustard) for 3.80 euros/$4.25, pretty econo where at the same place a schnitzel is over twenty... only thirteen minute pause, the team's getting pretty good! we continue, rain and at fulda: stau. it breaks open same time rain konks out - is that by accident? a little after two is break at rasthof just to do it, why not? twelve minutes. I'm into it. no more rain but the clouds are. we talk about "dr strangelove," "failsafe" and "five days in may" - steve spent some time in new orleans, a lot of trippy things in that town regarding jfk... we driving through hesse now - remember the hessians? steve says his shoe size is getting bigger - is that a trip? he said he was a ten and a half and is now a twelve. those pants he got were the wrong size too, guess the size stuff is different than ours... I know it's that way in japan by experience. rain again once we get out of hesse - rain w/the sun out! then the sky gets dark and it really starts coming down.
twenty after four when we get to the venue but it prolly seemed like the next day for david cuz he's gotta piss like a race horse. he won't use a piss bottle or even a plastic sack - that ain't me anyway, the venue, forum has a place he can put his piss in. a great cat name ralf is there to meet us and upstairs ursula is cooking up some chicken, smells great. there's a plate of sliced avocados w/tomatoes and onions and I put that on a bun and chow it down. that's all 'til ursula's cooke WHOLE food... I need a break from this processed meat and cheese thing. sorry.
the last time I played bielefeld was in 1991 at a pad called "pc 69" - it makes me think about the fact this town ain't too far from osnabrook - a town I played w/minutemen opening for black flag (same tour w/the "lowenbrau keller" gig) in 1983 (first time ever us three minutemen had ever been to europe) at a pad called "hyde park" that I will always remember for two things: one was getting to meet richard hell (my first punk rock hero) for the first time - I was speechless and he shook my hand and said, "hi there, mr minuteman" which made me even more speechless and number two was eating my first pizza w/olives in europe and finding out they don't pit them and I fucking 'pert-broke my teef. crimony.
we do soundcheck w/soundman ralf and it's great he does them quick. I do get to show ted how I work mr left hand for "love canal" so he can show rachel (regular flipper bass these days) cuz they say her hand hurts her - I use a fingering that allows me to play then tune w/only fingers moving and not also the hand. you do have to hit the root w/your pinky though but then there's a fret for each finger, pretty righteous composition - don't if it was bruce or will but like all the flipper bass, I'm a BIG fan.
check done, back up stairs and ursula's chow is WAY fucking happening - those chicken breasts she was cooking up are now in tasty sauce w/red bell peppers, some righteous arugula lettuce w/cheery tomatoes and pine nuts and most happening dressing - I'm loving it. there's great sprudel too, it's called "cherusker classic" and it's real mineral water not just having gas pressed into it. we are the asteroid guitarman gary joins me, ted and steve on talks about the nature of energy and also matter for that fact. interesting.
the we are the asteroid guys hit at two after eight, only two minutes late. it's guys like this you wanna tour w/cuz it's about respect and I wanna give it back - no abusing friendship and doing the do, having fun everyone. I like how they all three play together, not just a wave at each other at the start w/a "hey, I'll see you at the finish line" player-piano scroll type of dealio. they work the room hard, like they mean it. it's a good time.
the got they stage lit for us, I'm most grateful. it's seven after nine when ted brings in the first flipper tune and asks me to join him. I get kind of close, prolly the tightest I've ever been this tour but really sync in when steve brings his drums. I've learned pretty tight w/this man, 'pert-near sock-tight (thank you richard meltzer for this term, I use it also for a proj I got w/raymond pettibon and the man who took the picture for "double nickels on the dime," dirk vandenberg) but there's some tempo drama later in the set... maybe the "molasses in january" feel for "shed no tears" I brought was not such a good idea, (later ted told me "it sounded like some kind of blues") whoops. I have big respect for ted and don't wanna make him angry. I happy ted is a happy flipper. the bielefeld gig-goers have been amazing all night, really - they get the biggest stage invasion of tour going, up there w/glasgow and though steve got up off his drums for a sec... he then got back on - oh yeah, "sex bomb" was the slowest version all tour and ted started it off for us, his call. I can dig it and think steve did too cuz he made it a real long version. there was one gig-goer all night hollering how flipper wasn't up to his standards but luckily everyone ignoring him gave him no influence on ruining everyone else's good time... anyway, who's up on stage for the closer? this guy! maybe the alcohol was wearing off... or his ego wore off - whatever, he was making no more trouble so I was real glad.
gig done, I'm glad too that the vibe got lifted and there was more happiness everywhere. I am very grateful for stuff like that and why try my hardest to help keep at that even if I blow some (some?) clams on the way, I'll try to make up for it. so much good word w/the gig-goers plus pad staff, it's before midnight when (not w/out a little drama) we make it to a 'tel that's maybe stumbling distance/maybe not, HOWEVER it's called "b and b hotel" where each chamber doesn't use a key but rather a punched-in code. after some delay of my own doing I hose off and soon konk, I'm beat.
friday, august 16, 2019 - hamburg, germany
pop at eight bells, hose off. free trough so I head there and fix up a bowl of cherry yogurt and fruit cocktail plus a plate to hold cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes. I get a roll and stuff it w/two tiny insides of some liverwurst suppositories or whatever (it's plastic casing so I can't call it sausage), it's good. you know in my pedro town I can get liverwurst sandwiches for four dollars each (I always get two) at darko's ("south bay meats") on western av/twentyfifth st in my pedro town - I always get them w/just lettuce/tomato/onions/mustard... fuck, you can't even find that kind of stuff in new york city delis these days! once a week or ten days I chow these sandwiches, love them to death. I gave a hardboiled egg and a coff too. all three we are the asteroid guys join me at a table and I tell them how the movement really shaped us minutemen and especially the sst and black flag guys, I think it would be just me and d boon doing credence and b.o.c. in the bedroom together forever if it wasn't for those two HUGE things in our lives. I'm gonna miss these guys. they've helped us big time w/the schlepping too, most grateful to them for that. a great side benefit of touring is having the chance to meet happening cats, I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me.
after all that rain from yesterday, it's great so cal-like weather even w/a sky full of clouds. we pull anchor quarter after noon and before getting out of dodge, we stop to get somes stuff for the boat that's new for me. it's part of a smog controll system, to cut down on c-o2 emissions and roadboss mike says every four thousand klicks he puts in this stuff (he got it a repair garage right out the 'tel) - first time I've been enlightened to this. interesting. first we head for hannover, we got only 150 miles to do today but I think we're gonna have some construction stau according my earlier peep at the google map. out of bielefeld and on the open autobahn, it's time for david to insert himself and he makes it be so. more can't look at the road cuz of all the fucking tailgating, just buttloads of it... damn. we pass hannover at one and a half... not pass but try to avoid autobahn stau using tiny road w/every other motherfucker using same detour creating its own stau. crimony. at lest the weather is very nice. some asshole pecker towing a trailer full of weedkiller runs a stop sign and cuts of us off, what the fuck? good to know there's selfish motherfuckers everywhere and not just back home. fuck, that pissed me off though. stupid motherfucker. roadboss mike passes him when it's safe and I just look at his face - he knows he fucked up. ok watt, let it go. I'm catching up on tour pictures - last couple of tours I've waited to the end and it's just too fucking much. crimony. you think they'd learn from our example - building more lanes only puts more tailpipes on the road, stau solution VERY temporary... I should know, so cal has five hundred miles of freeway and it all fills up. we pull over for diesel not soon as we're back on the autobahn. I go piss. all aboard, we discuss tomorrow's helsinki gig - gonna fly there so I suggest leaving the bajo w/tourboss mike and let him take it in the boat to berlin - I'll use whatever... just as long as it ain't five or a six string. I'll bring the hooker's green bassmachine and my wack back 'puter sack and that's it. oh, and an extra pair of chonies.
we eventually get into hamburg - you know watt digs harbor towns, especially when the weather's like so cal - pull up to gigpad hafenklang at four bells... maybe my third time playing here? big man soundman jan welcome us aboard - we're right across from some big fucking shipyards, very impressive... all we got now in my pedro town is larson's. the we are the asteroid guys are there to help us schlep the load-in, very grateful for all they've done for us this tour. gigboss isa is most kind and soon there's sandwiches w/incredible bread for us. crimony. no dinner for watt tonight, I just ate it here! ted reads me riot act regarding tonight's gig, "I don't want a repeat of last night's gig!" he implores and I can dig it. he asks me to review cuz otherwise I might play what I did the night before, he says the same thing to steve. I immediately go downstairs to the back stage room there and my macpurse has mp3s all thirteen flipper tunes we're doing this tour (mainly from their respect records) and put on the ear buds and lay down to listen - I realize now that those three sandwiches had buttloads of butter on each side of the bread and man, am I feeling it. all thirteen flipper tunes add up to one hour one minute (I'm using itunes and it easily shows that) and I listen through two times... for the third time around I pound out each and every beat of all thirteen tunes on my body w/my hands. yeah, we don't play these tunes at the same tempos as they are here but it's still good training and I wanna do what ted asked me to do.
besides our we are the asteroid friends, there's a local band also playing called potato fritz and it's their twentieth bday. beautiful. I was busy w/the man-alone flipper tune review so I missed as well as the last set for this tour from we are the asteroids which is unfortunately but you gotta have priorities: I am to aid and abet flipper. our turn comes at quarter of ten and I get out there five minutes before. ted brings in "the lights, the sound, the rhythm, the noise" and asks me to join him as steve gets his drum stuff right and ready... he joins us and the gig is on. the hamburg gig-goers bring it, very emotional and involved. respect. I see we are the asteroids bassman nathan up front and damn if david doesn't jump on him and he gets the face-to-face sing-sing, it's a good time. I see nathan smoking cigarettes, I see feel many people smoking cigarettes and it's packed in here - like the old days, a gas chamber. crimony. last january makes for six years of no cigarettes for me so I big time feel it. tough, kind of. david takes my mind off it though, he dances it up like crazy and has a different goofy face to match each one I throw back. then I try some hip thrusts, trading them w/david - I was thinking of the birthday party's tracy pew, an incredible bassman I got to see w/them at the roxy in west hollywood a long time ago. I try to do some inverted ones too (culo poking at my amp), of course in time w/the tune's accents (I think we were doing "love canal"). now tracy had the circular grind that I can't even get close to, so much respect to him but I wanted the best tribute a cojo like watt could give to him. david gives miss hiyori's buddy sam (they got a band called kosmoshice) some gangster slaps and that big time opens up a blockage I have had ever since we were all talking about peter lorre's character in "the maltese falcon" - I knew it was joe something and then suddenly, one part of my brain screams at the other part as I witness the chin slaps been delivered from david to sam, JOE CAIRO JOE CAIRO JOE CAIRO! thank you david for relieving me of frustration of forgetting shit, at least regarding this one thing. crimony. the hamburg gig-goers are super-happening to work bass for and the flipper cats are way cooking w/gas but the combo of cigarette smoke and all that butter in my gut 'pert-near makes me wanna keel over. crimony... but like per in that "bad shit" tune where he goes "won't go down, won't go down!" - I hang on and don't go down. great gig but very hard one for watt tonight. fox joins us on sax for "sex bomb" - she knew brother steve mackay and I think of him much... thinking of steve help in that last stretch for me, I really think so.
gig done, I pack my stuff up and backstage I am very subdued. however, I am very happy ted is happy - ted thought it was very good gig and you can't know how fuckin bitchin that is for me. yatta! steve and david said they had a good time also. even w/watt w/beatdown and in kind of hunker down mode cuz of that, it really brings HUGE joy on me to see the guys like this, really does. I big time wanna aid and abet in making something like this happens, it's best it can be for me, it's way up there in what I feel is important about working a gig... about what's important to you genuinely about why you do what you do, your most sincere intention that's free of the jive and shill shit.
it's goodbye time too for the we are the asteroid guys so that's a little sad but it is inevitable w/these kind of sitchs. I gotta commitment I made though to drummerman frank and bassman nathan (though he'll work guitar in this sitch), three "chuffles" for us to collaborate on via file trading via internet - pedro/austin connect. big hugs to them and for guitarman gary also - I sure will miss his history lessons... I got a good one from him on sam houston and santa anna before we pull anchor... after our last schlep and load-out... I'm gonna really miss him - man, I wish he could've been around d boon, I REALLY think they would've made bitchin connect. damn.
roadboss mike gets us to the konk pad "hotel pacific" in the sternschanzel part of town right at two bells. crimony. in the chamber I have hug bout of geri ('diarrhea' in jap) and blow it big time. can is still in one piece but barely. I hose off. damn, maybe it wasn't just the butter but a combo that hit me. whatever, I gotta konk cuz I'm beat and so do.
saturday, august 17, 2019 - helsinki, finland
pop at eight bells. more geri blow out but not as massive as last night. I hose off. downstairs is small free trough, I shovel a big roll I cut in half and fill w/slice hard boiled egg, cheese where I had to cut off outside and some kind pate-livewurst thing - there are no veggies. I have a small coff w/it and nothing else. it's gray a little drizzle out through the window. back up in the chamber I ready my stuff for today's trip. I will bring in back wack 'puter sack the fuzz box and the cords/power supply that go w/it plus two pairs of chonies and the purple backup shirt. the man-sack will stay w/roadboss mike as well as the wattplower bass - steve asked tonight's gigboss to provide one for this gig and guaranteed a fender pbass so that saves me much hell regarding schlepping at the 'port and on the plane. we're flying to helsinki in finland and returning to berlin, germany tomorrow. this is huge relief and many times I've worked basses that ain't mine. all I really need is one w/four strings (I ain't a five or six or whatever string man, just four) but if it's a fender, especially a precision (if it's a jazz I turn off the back pickup), no prob unless it set up really bad and in that case I can still get though the gig but it entail some hell. I should've thought of this earlier (I'm a baka) but even at the last minute (yesterday), steve and the helsinki gigboss came through, much respect to them both.
ten and a half and already in the boat, roadboss mike arrives to pop his hatch and tells he puked four times last night and then just now... miss hiyori said she had weird chow feeling too. this happens, all the different towns and all the different chows and we're all different ourselves. in the old days I got poisoned so man times, SO many times I kind of developed iron gullet. however, I ain't immune and still have to be very careful. we pull anchor quarter of eleven... none of the other three parts of the team report any puking or diarrhea problems. good stuff. half hour later we're at hamburg's helmet schmidt airport, our flight's on finnair. roadboss mike drops us off at terminal one - we do the big good byes and "see you soon in berlin" along w/hugs... we do the check-in at baggage drop - usually I use the kiosks but I ain't got our confirmation number... the desklady is very nice and even gives us our return boarding pass for tomorrow. we're downstairs, this is a gate where buses take you to your plane and damn if the chairs ain't got rubber or nylon feet so it's a fucking squeak and a half unless you pick them which I do... one thing I can also do on tour is play guard-dog which is happening cuz I feel so bad at being not able to aid w/the schlep cuz of my fucked up knee but I can guardiano quite well. a bus comes and brings us to an ebarer e190 and I get to sit next to steve. it's an hour and a half to helsinki international airport and the clock also moves ahead an hour cuz of the time zone change. it's quite a hobble (for me) to the baggage claim - they use euros here and I use a vending machine to get some sour gummis (the only sweets I really like) and damn are they tough! they're good and sour but a really strong chew. ok, a long hobble (for watt) but everything turns up safe. yatta! now we're ready to... wait. it's another "arrival at the airport shitshow" where we don't know where to fucking go to get picked up. we guess at a couple places, like the taxi stand and where cripples (like me) get their rides but... then who's there to come to the rescuse? jens! yes, he's found us - nobody know how but he does (we were actually at arrivals for terminal 2. truth be told, this airport's got a lot of construction going on so it's kind of a mess. cloudy skies but maybe in the 70s. he picks up in a modern vw van, lots of room... steve was worried. we arrive at five bells - last one out of the boat, I'm the last to meet gigboss artemi - both him and jens know about "bar loose" - a pad I've played w/my missingmen and actually the stooges visited once when we (meaning me helping them) played an ice hockey rink... I got a story about it: the gig before was a czech one where ig asked me to do a sixteen bar bass solo for "little electric chair" which was from his "skull ring" album and was one of three he did w/the asheton brothers - first studio stuff w/them in a buttload of years (prolly "metallic k.o." and that was live recording) - fuck, just let me quote from my diary (scroll down to "sunday, september 9, 2007 - helsinki, finland") entry of that gig:
" ...whoa. backstroke into home port w/"skull ring" and we come off to get the word from ig - alright, got the orders, we go back out and blast out "not right" and then it's my time to get some "total proof of karma" in a way, brought to me care of the "little electric chair" tune we do next. for my time in tokyo last month, I remember chimping in my tour diary what a great idea to actually "feel the beat" - the way the migu people helped me do 7/4 for their recording I did w/them there, having physical sensation instead of click track, when ms yuko beat it out on my back. now I have to say to myself, "ha! be careful for what you wish for, watt!" near the end of the tune, where I have a sixteen bar bass solo, ig pushes me up from behind towards the front of the stage for it and I'm wondering "whoa, this is a trip - ok, thank you" and then as I'm working out the solo, he starts whupping me up on the ass w/the mic, right on the downbeats - yeah, I could "feel the beat" - for damn sure!!! it was right on time though and it was also REALLY hard but not like I was gonna shirk or throw some kind of hissy fit - I just got into though I think I flinched on some them. it was fucking funny and totally unexpected...
so I've always good memories of finland - even w/being almost killed in pori (scroll down to "sunday, august 8, 2010 - pori, finland") - love my experiences here, love them everywhere - I like playing everywhere, it brings me life learning big time, love it! need it! every land, please give me a chance to play there, visit there - learn there!
ok ok, let me get back to this tour! (fucking tangent-crazy watt, sorry!) tonight's venue is kuudes linja and the people there to work w/us are most kind. this cat sam who's got a backline company here has provided me w/an ampeg svt-II and an 8x10 cab to go w/it plus a fender p, looks pretty new - I gotta use a philips drive provided by ted (this man comes prepared) to lower the pickups some so I can play w/some dig-in and we gotta switch out the cord from the direct box to the amp - that's soundman imarii's helping out there and I'm ready to go. I just supply my cords and fuzz box. right away right, thank you helsinki people much for coming through! the backroom's got some coleman's mustard david prepared by adding water to it (it's powdered in a tin). padboss sonja has gotten things together for us, trippy bread that goes good w/the salami and potato chips I stuff in it and you know that coleman's good for the sinus blowout. ted hips to news about a new (!) john coltrane release - something he did for a movie back in 1964. man, I love this man - it's why I always got a pin of him on my shirt when I do gigs. right it's a shot of him when he was in the navy, when he got to do his first recordings. thank you much, ted. by the way, ted told me on the way up to the first flipper gig I did bass for ("majestic ventura theater" back on july 26), us two driving together to/from my pedro town that music-wise when younger he was more into jazz not much into rock. I asked him what was the first rock band he saw play and "quicksilver" was his answer. the gigboss artemi comes backstage and says me and ted should go to a chowpad - me and ted are already chowed up on the happening sandwich stuff they got here! I tell gigboss artemi I can't fit any more. ted says he'd rather keep the buy-out money - I agree w/him! anyway, we relent and let gigboss artemi get us some falafel trip from close by, brings back in the sack - maybe I'll chow it later though I don't really like chowing after gig cuz I feel it ain't all that healthy. steve and david went to some pad gigboss artemi had set up so it's just me and ted. ted's pretty cerebral, lots of time we're together w/no spiel and it's very ok. I respect him much.
opening band are locals called kansakunnan ylpeys ('pride of the nation in fin I think) and their saxman (I think his name was willie or the finnish version of that? you know I can be so terrible w/names - not on purpose but like I gotta fucking hole in my head... how many times did I call "p.m.k" boss max at "chelsea" in vienna fucking chris 'til he had to tell me, "don't you remember my name's max?!" so fucking embarrassing... even today, I chimp gigboss artemi now in the diary but before he corrected me, I was fucking calling him martin like a total bozo - I think that was more cuz I heard wrong but still... damn me for this kind of stupid shit. crimony) asked to do "sex bomb" w/us and steve approved. they hit at eight bells and get the pad lit. I'm most grateful, nothing like that from cats going on before you. david gives me and ted forty pushups, I think it's pretty but ted says they were only half ones.
nine bells and it's our turn. prolly our biggest gig of the tour (the gig in blackpool wasn't really OUR gig, we part of a big festival) and the spirit is HUGE, thank you big time helsinki gig-goers. we've worked our intro out to be ted starting "the lights..." and then asking me to join him while steve goes through this ritual of tiny moves on his stuff and prep instead of just hitting it... david looks at me like? I feel what he means. when steve fires up the groove, I know the gig is really finally under way. praise be. both the bass and the amp I've been provided w/work most bitchin, I'm so grateful to backline man sam for coming through. prolly the best sound I've ever gotten out of an ampeg svt II. seems like ted's diggin the tempos, his playing is beautiful and steve's cook w/gas good - I fade out a couple of tunes ("...shine" and "sacrifice") just so he can end them on his own, very nice how he does that. this along in the tour and I'm still diggin david's voice, it's strong and burstin w/intent, love it. good dancing and facial artistic expression as well. me and him get another nod in for a bassman tracy pew respect, HUGE respect for brother tracy. it's a great gig, huge blast to share w/the helsinki gig-goers. crimony! I think though for "sex bomb" the mic wasn't turned on for our saxman guest - I know I saw him blowing his brains out (he was next to ted) but heard nothing - like the most expressive mime-job ever, I shit thee not. I know he was blowin though, I could feel it.
we come off the stage and the saxman gives a bottle of jim beam to swig from... now I gotta be proactive and keep from getting sick (sharing swigs ain't maybe smart that way) so kindly refuse when he tells me it wasn't from backstage, it was from the bar! I guess david had journeyed that way and got behind and up and kyped it? don't know for sure cuz I couldn't see it do to the nature of this pad's layout but what a trip. we got our own bottle of it here so I have some and rap some very happy helsinki gig-goers, one of them can can heads drummerman janne who must generously gives me the band's latest release. kiitos ('thanks' in fin), brother janne. gigboss artemi arrives and we have some real good spiel together - he knows pentti up in turku - well, pentti's also working on his music degree in tampere also so he's splitting his time between the two. love this cat, he's righteous and we got collab plans for a proj when he gets time, can't wait, CANNOT WAIT! ted, steve and david really dug the gig and that's real good to hear for watt, love it. flipper music for me is a lot about "feelin it" - it really is, I've learned so much by playing this music, learning it right by feeling it much - actually playing slow is way tougher than playing fast... trippy I just wrote milo (descendents singerman) about that, telling him being fucked up for me would not help but make terrible my ability to really feel and play flipper music the way ted and steve want it. it takes much focus and FEEL - believe you me! tonight's gig was for their buddy steve platt - ted and steve would prac at his spot when there were w/krist on bass... I never knew him but when a brother's lost you gotta let him live by rememberin' him - ted said something like that to me, "people live when you remember them."
jens waiting for us in the van he used for the airport schlep outside for us and it ain't long before we're at the "scandic hakaniemi" - our 'tel for tonight. I am soaked w/sweat so into the shower for a hose-down real quick, real hot water too. damn, they got a sauna here but I'm just too tuckered to sweat it out there - afraid I'll konk in there actually so I use the mattress they got in here, ain't even twelve bells yet.
tuesday, august 20, 2019 - berlin, germany
jsunday (still in helsinki) I popped at seven and soon am in the 'vator to shovel at the free trough, steve's already here w/a plate in his hand. told me he's been up since four and a half... he's been telling me it's been really hard for him to konk on this tour. still he's kept his health which is hard to do w/little konk. respect to him. they got huge pieces of lettuce here, don't know what kind but it's darker and got more substance than that iceberg bullshit kind I don't really dig. there's herring here too, yes plus berries I mix w/the thin kind of yogurt you find a lot here in europe, digging it.
jbail from the 'tel at nine, jens is there to bring us to the 'port which we came. finnair again but this time were on an airbus a319. two hours to berlin, I'm in the baloney seat between steve and david. we land at tegel airport, love this kuko. baggage claim is only a bunch of yards from the curb for pickup, roadboss arrives in a matter of minutes - we both wait for the rest the group waiting for their sacks, this is the only delay of the arrival not-this-time-shit-show. we learn. timezone change, we get that hour we lost yesterday back. roadboss mike gets us to the "centro park hotel" in the neukolln part of town around one and a half. I am beat and will guard zimmer all day/night. miss hiyori gets me a kebab "sandwich" from a nearby pad called "gul" where the meat is chicken and the bread quite good, unique to this kind of chow, good crust crunch but somehow still thick and soft. I do much catch-up work on 'puter, so much to do when I get home - we are in the home stretch. of course in between is the tripper recording in plymouth, england - I write their mainman neil to get everything kosher and solid. miss hiyori to the rescue again, for dinner, it's frutti di mare to go from nearby italian chowpad "mona mia" which I dig much, lot of good clean fresh stuff wash me out from the insides. weird konk... maybe sickness attacking me? must hunker down.
jmonday pop at seven, go shovel trough a half hour later. I chow scrambled eggs, soak thick cucumber slices and tomato wedges w/olive oil and balsamic vinegar before cutting them into small pieces to chow w/my hashi. I try to make tub out of shower cuz they got like five inch raised portion on tiled deck. too small for my legs though even w/them all crossed up. damn. chimp diary. hobble for lunch, get falafel and salad teller at a turkish pad called "avci" maybe a klick away, very good. original il sogno del marinaio drummerman fratello andrea gets us in a car he rented and we then get drummerman larry and go visit ingo at his candy bomber studio at tempelhof airport (was used for berlin airlift), we get to listen to the stooges' "1969" version me and larry did for upcoming record store day 2019 in november. larry and mixed it here and it sounds great. very happening to visit w/ingo again also, we have good time. fratello andrea gets rid of rented car and we take taxi to a chowpad in neukolln real close to where larry stays called sippi that I recommend big time. I hardly chow at spendy pads but this is my second time here, larry says it's his go-to pad. we meet dean roberts who's pad I konked in last time I played w/fratello andrea in this town. he's great cat and it's so good to see him again. he introduces me to his friend saxman andre vida and we have interesting spiel about organized labor and stuff related. he's got a friend, writerman max who calls up josh haden in the u.s. on his leash - so good to talk to him... we set up something in september before my next tour where I'll do two tunes w/him at his residency at "love song" in downtown l.a. we close the place down w/much windbag, so good to be w/my friends here, so good. maybe two bells when I'm back and konk quick.
jgig day and I pop at seven and a half and hose off, repeat same chow routine as yesterday. check out from this 'tel, pull anchor at eleven bells and head for tonight's 'tel, about four and half miles north - this one's called the "moxy hotel ostbahnhof" (tonight's gigboss will pay for it) but first we diesel up - 1.15 euro/liter - $4.36/gallon (whoa, best yet this tour)... we drop anchor just before noon after passing the venue (it's under schlesisches tor train station, it's called bi nuu), burgermeister (david recommends) and the ramones museum. trippy 'tel, modern style but spare. only thing lacking is tub but hey... we pull anchor for the gigpad at two, half hour later we're under this train station, the dressing room under that... after I do guardiano and the stuff's schlepped, under where we playing is the dressing room and I meet the gigboss frank, real nice cat and he's got a bitchin little dog named bowie. he prints up twelve set lists for us (using MY list), now we got enough for the last three gigs. pretty interesting place for a venue. the stage is the coming-out-of-a-cake type - not part of the building - kind of resonate w/some notes louder so ted turns me down, we check w/the nasal-flutes (there's six of them) and andre on sax, gonna be trippy. I meet the opening cats tonight, locas heads. (the period is part of their name) and dysnea boys and the each got at least one auslander ('foreigner' in german), all nice guys. the cat who gathered the the nose-flautists is david's buddy alexander hacke - danielle de picciotto's husband - ain't it a small fucking world? I interviewed her for my show a couple of months ago - crimony! nice people, truly. miss hiyori goes and gets me some pho from a vietnam pad nearby and though it ain't like the pho I know back home, it's still good... I think I might have a fever - hope not but... soup's always good - roadboss mike gives me some vitamin c kind of fizzy stuff in water, I take it down and feel maybe some better, maybe. I'm drinking little bottles of sprudel, stuff from a company called spree which is the river right next to this pad. cigarette smoke is getting to me, I can't breathe so I head upstairs and outside and there's that "burgmeister" pad - steve said he chowed there so I it - I get a "meister alles klasses" that has a cheese and bacon on a couple of burgers, it's prolly as good as back home, maybe better - the cheese taste is different and I asked for some mustard... it was a good taste but I can't fucking finish it, shit, I'll get sick - like gut sick. there's some trippy art, kind of wall metaphor stuff but damn if everbody smoking out here is getting to me - in the open air! I've been done w/them myself six and half years and oh man, I don't know. I don't wanna sound like I'm bellyachin... I go back to the gigpad and they got richard hell & the voidoids playing "liars beware" over the p.a., alright! I am lit about this and the fever fear subsides some. cigarette smoke up here though so I gotta descend to the understage (as opposed to "backstage"). I do go up to see the opening bands, listening to how much different the room is now packed w/people when compared to the 'pert-near empty space it was at soundcheck. BIG fucking difference.
jwe're set to go on at quarter of ten and me and ted make our way up and onto it w/ten minutes to go. david suggested something downstairs about waiting 'til ten but I'm thinking of the gig-goers just standing there and having to endure... for what? I ain't into it and tell him. like a bozo though, I knock over steve's waters that were on my amp case while he was moving his drums from up against the bulkhead. a big reason I don't have fluids around me on stage is the clumsiness this fucked up knee brings me and knocking shit all over the place. it ain't on purpose, I swear. steve asks me not to make a sound while gets ready, understood. ted comes over to me and asks, "is suiting up for a fight?" I think steve's also worried about david not showing up but you now what? ted bringing in the opening chords and the w/me following him low - oh, I'm wearing his glasses - he gave them to me as I stood there at the ready cuz I broke mine just before getting on stage cuz there was bob mould and I just had to hug him (me and d boon put out the first husker du album the same year minutemen first opened for flipper) and the hug from me was so big and awkward, I broke both sides of my glasses (not just one - first time ever) against his chance - what a fucking doof I am - first flipper prac I hugged ted too hard and did the same thing but just one side. ANYWAY, steve brings in his drums and we're underway - immediately I feel a change in his mood and it's a good one... a happy steve is a happy flipper, just like w/a happy ted - ted's in a great mood and playing up a storm, just like steve - these two cooking together is something to be part of, let me tell you people - nothing like it, it's really fuckin bitchin. david comes roaring out and right over the monitors into the berlin gig-goers, doing the entire opener w/them in their space. beautiful. not too good of sound on stage but remember I get in for free. I'm right next to steve's highhat (a matter of inches) so that's real good for keeping sock-tight w/him at all times, playing just a cunt-hair behind to keep the rhythm section tight like james jamerson would do w/benny benjamin - and/or ureil jones and pistol allen - all three incredible drummermen and damn if I don't owe mr jamerson 'pert-near more than I even do jack bruce - so much handed down by pioneer cats WE ALL OWE I feel big time. much respect. between tunes steve tells me he's really like the difference between the gigs where it's like a church in these moments and then stuff like tonight w/the berlin gig-goers never letting down their spirit and letting their freak flags fly even we ain't playing. ted's having some probs (I learn later it was a power supply falling out of the transformer that's been schlepped from gig to gig, ted had good solution to stop this by turning it's side) but we never quit and never dampens ted's spirit, he keeps charging hard. at first I think thought it was his wireless sitch cuz he showed me how he changed to wired sitch (the way I always go) but his "charge hard, keep spirit" is real strong one w/his morale way up high. very inspiring for me. even his shoe coming off (zipper was down) doesn't beatdown on him, he keeps fire lit and that stokes mine, steve too - really kicking up much dust and at the same time laying down serious groove. in "sacrifice" I can feel the entire pad churn. david tries three or four times to get out a joke where we keep cutting him off - I think it might've been why I kind of rushed "that's the way of the world" but maybe it wasn't - it was just me blowin a clam. for the closer we got eight guys on my side blowing nose-whistles and damn if none of them keeled over while doing it - I can imagine they had head-rushes up the yang, no? andre (I met him at the chow we had at sippi last night) is blowin alto sax next to ted (stage starboard, where he always is) and somehow loses his stand so has to use one of his hands to hold the mic in the bell. crimony. there's a stage invasion and someone falls into the drums causing steve to quit but then he gets back on and rides the rest of the tune out, he's having too good a time.
jI put away my stuff and thank as many berlin gig-goers as I can before go understage. all our beer and most the whiskey (ted had me put what little we had left in my back wack 'puter sack I always bring on stage w/me) have been drunk but gigboss frank comes through w/another bottle of beam and beers, most kind of him. I introduce steve to my buddy larry - larry did nine years of drums w/ig in the 90s and when steve tells him how he confused him w/the drummerman larry (there's two letter that are different, an i instead of an e and larry's also has a s at the end), larry tells him the of the time in dublin where ig destroyed like sixty k euros worth of stuff on stage, threw all larry's drums into the crowd and the butt-naked sat on larry's lap and hollered right in his face "keep playing!" the u2 singer after in the dressingroom asked larry if every gig was like that. bob mould's standing right next to larry and I introduce him - ain't seen bob in a couple years (except right before the gig for a sec, enough time to break my glasses) and though he ain't got much time, we try to catch up as much as we can... we talk about grant... love bob, he's worth thousands of pairs of glasses broken to me. larry's buddy king kahn is here. we need to pull anchor. grande abbraccio to fratello andrea, same to fratello ricky (spaced on saying I saw him a little bit by coincidence at last nights chow, sorry for being such a stunado - he's excited to book fall 2020 il sogno del marinaio tour, MUCH much respect to him cuz I'm excited he's excited - I will write fratello ste about it soon as I can). big BIG hugs to larry. I hobble upstairs...
damn, it's terrible steve had to do so much schlep. we go across the street and get donner, chicken ones. they're good, steve loves his. he's new to them. I learned much about them touring w/the stooges. we pull anchor, back to the 'tel. hose off, konk quick. out.
thursday, august 22, 2019 - munich, germany
wendesday pop at seven and a half and take the 'vator down to belly up the trough for the morning shovel. two hardboiled eggs, thick sliced cucumbers and tomatoes drowned in olive oil and balsamic vinegar along w/a bowl of pineapple pieces, yogurt and blueberries plus some coff is what I bring to the table across from steve who's already here. he wants to know how I get yogurt down using hashi and I tell him I do it china style by putting the bowl right near my mouf and 'pert-near pouring it down w/the sticks helping out. I don't usually chow w/people I'm in a band w/and it ain't anything personal, I just wanna give them a break actually. this also goes for my secondmen and missingmen. well anyway, this morning I break that tradition and chow w/steve, we have a good spiel. back up in the chamber I chimp diary w/looks through the window at all the different trains going by, huge bahnhof nearby and maybe eight or more sets of tracks.
quarter after noon we pull anchor, berlin has much sun to wish us bye... our next gig in munich but it's tomorrow night so why not part it out - steve says leipzig is today's stop point and the rest tomorrow. a half hour to get out of berlin and southwest on the autobahn, some construction staus on the way but no huge ones. I got the shoes off, socks off - of course the shirt's off - that's how watt rolls in a stuffy ride. I chimp diary in between trying to catch good eye gift in the window w/the digicamera (I got a sony hx90c). around three bells we pull into leipzig. we're at an ibis 'tel and. a chow pad called "indian crown" is nearby and I get spinach w/cheese it along w/garlic naan and dig it much. david shares w/me something his pop wrote and I ask if I can share it here - he says yes so here goes:
A Wild Weasel crew from the 13 TFS led an Iron Hand flight in support of the strike against the Ha Dong barracks. The flight lineup was:
I didn't know what a wild weasel was so I looked it up... pretty balls out - "you gotta be shittin me" was their motto. my pop was in the vietnam war too but he was in the engine room of some nuke boats (uss long beach, uss enterprise), he was a machinist's mate and worked his way up to senior chief. I wish I could've met david's pop, wish he could've met mine...
gig day and I pop at quarter of eight, hose off. sunny weather looking in the window when I lift the shade. yesterday was 120 mile ride southwest, today is south for 270 - so glad roadboss mike pieced the berlin-munich trip out. I should've hobbled around cuz there's so much to see here in the middle of town that I find interesting: a huge platz and nearby saint thomas church w/mr bach buried there and the menddelssohn monument restored (nazis had destroyed it). saint nicholas's church ain't too far either. man, I was baka not to sally forth earlier. I did get the word out about the debut fitted album that'll come out eight november. it's a proj w/two guys from wire - wire had a incredible influence on the minutemen... I don't know what we would've sounded like if we didn't hear their "pink flag" album - prolly like some kind of bozoed-out blue oyster cult crossed w/creedence - it's total mindblow I get to be a proj w/these guys, d boon must be laughing big time. anyway, wire bassman graham invited me to be part of this festival they got called "drill" and were gonna have an so cal version at the echoplex. he asked if I would both join him and wire guitarman matt (the "new' guy) and also supply a drummer - I asked bob lee from the last version of the black gang (band I used for my first opera) - I asked him to think of great german band can drummerman jaki cuz he had recently passed away. we did one prac earlier on the day of the show and then the gig. I suggested the proj name "fitted" from a lyric graham wrote for the song "map ref. 41°n 93°w" ("the curtain's undrawn/harness fitted, no escape") cuz it sounded so much not pedro talk to me and graham said the title referred to him flying over the state of iowa on a visit to the u.s. (I think for promo). the gig was wild - me and bob lee really dug it and I guess them also cuz they agreed to have me and bob lee record bass and drum tracks at "casa hanzo" in my pedro town (run by my secondmen organman pete mazich) and then fly those to them in europe (matt in england, graham in sweden) where they could "fit" the parts they created. matt then later did righteous job mixing it. crimony. well, one of the tunes (the last one) on the album is actually the very first jam we did at our only prac. talk about spontaneous! I'm really into being part of this - I would've never believed when I first heard wire and fell in love w/them that something like this was waiting way down the road... life sure is a trip - hard for me to even begin to fathom. sure am grateful to graham and matt - bob lee too of course. maybe we start second chapter in january? I think that's the plan. internet isn't all bad, same w/digital recording... it's part of what makes stuff like this possible for me.
the google map said there were eight construction staus on this route - something funny on the back of this guy's trailer we pass in one: "stau ist nur hinter doof! vorne geht's" - "traffic jam is just behind stupid!" is kind of the translation but not good one, I think it's more like "stau not so bad if you're at the front of it!" (thank you maika). one thing I don't think I've mentioned about german autobahns - there's no billboards selling stuff on the side of the roads. roadboss mike says we get "mike watt signature" schnitzel cooked for us by his mother-in-law tomorrow in innsbruck. I tell him you can read my initials (also both my sisters) upside down and throw hands at him to show it. two bells and cross the border into bavaria - this used to also be the border between what used to be called east and west germany. man, vehicles fly on the autobahn... for the first time on the tour I hear steve say, "mike, look out!" - he always rides shotgun w/me behind - remember I had to move here to protect my ear. ten of three we pull over for diesel 1.49/liter - . fourteen minute dawdle, I'm the last into the boat cuz my slow ass not only pissed but also got a bockwurst, brot und senf - I had one my first full day in germany and now on my last, bookending it. I get some gerolsteiner sprudel also, my favorite german kind of water w/bubbles. last night I noticed a bash on my wattplower bass... just aft of the output jack, on the edge of the front. I got no idea when/where/how it happened... cosmetic hurt though, no biggy. ted suggests using nail polish but miss hiyori has none. digicamera got dented also so lens cover will not completely close - you take blows on tour! on the side of the autobahn see a sign for alexander humboldt this is the first cat to talk about climate change, by coincidence I was reading about him last week... what a fucking trip! I mean I've know about the county up in nor cal forever but never knew this connect w/it... fucking slow learner watt.
just after five, we have to stop cuz the address given doesn't really show us anything... the gigboss is waving his arms and leads us a block or two to the venue, it's called rote sonne and it's down a flight stairs in a very non-distinct building (maybe offices for insurance companies and the like?) that's got construction going on w/it. the cat who makes us these tasty little sandwiches, peter is very cool people. he was at the gig minutemen did w/black flag at the "lowenbraukeller" back on february 19, 1983! crimony. they called us "minuteman" on the flyer... I remember someone throwing a stink bomb on stage while we were playing and some u.s. guys from a volleyball team or whatever all borracho and starting fights. it was nuts. we each get our picture taken by gigboss sebastian, he's also a photographer. very quick w/his hasselblad, much respect to him. we do soundcheck w/soundman paul and this space is pretty live, I don't need half of what I used last gig but let's see when folks get here. everybody goes to get chow but I'm gonna hold the fort, it's just too much for me to hobble around and plus, you know my policy regarding chowing w/the men. I chimp diary. I get brought back a shroom and chovie peetz and chow a couple of slices. actually, I'm kind from peter's chow - love this "plose" aqua frizzante, I drink 'pert-near three liters tonight! I'm told it's from the dolomiti. we got local cats opening the show called analstahl and they hit at five after nine. in the back chamber where we're at, there's two big ashtrays - a portent of what's to come?
we hit at twenty after ten, ted asked me to wait 'til steve gets his gloves on before I get up on stage. the munich gig-goers are revved up for showtime... damn, it's been a long time since I've played munich, I shit thee not - kind of like birmingham in england, the countries number two city but hard to get gigs there... trippy about that. anyway we're here now and the gig's underway. david later will tell me it was hard for him tonight, how he kind of felt he didn't wanna do it but then when came time to do and he was w/the band, stuff started happening inside him to give enough go to get it together for us - I'm most grateful. there's times when the munich folks hoist him up to the overhead, he actually get turned upside down w/his cowboys boots (I think he lost a heel) dancing on the overhead w/his pointed totally towards the deck, it was big time surreal. he had a prob w/mics busted for "...shine" but we just kept the vamp grooving and rode out the technical hells 'til he got things ship-shape to start singing again. "no wine before its time" a great man once said. tonight I used different pickups for different tunes seeing I spaced and started the gig w/the wrong one. kind of trippy to do this, like fooling w/the amps midrange eq, the amount plus or minus and where the center frequency is. nothing to interfere w/what's really responsible for the band but just some kind of tiny experimenting. we do the slowest "life is cheap" of the tour - it feels like how steve wants to rock it so I'm w/him. hardly any lights but tons of cigarette smoke - the former gets ted on the mic to voice his thoughts on that and the later had steve 'pert-near choked out to death. I got empathy for both these men, I understand much where they're coming from. still we keep our oars in the water and it's a good gig, much heart from the gig-goers and david in the moment, helping us all deliver the moment. much respect to these gentlemen I've been allowed to share a stage w/all tour.
we finish and the munich gig-goers want more but that's all there is, das tut mir leid, truly. I pack up my stuff and a kind man helps me off the stage and I hit the bar for some more "plose" sprudel, love it. much good word from most kind people, including bass brother from opening band. I think last time I played munich was when juan rosenfelder's pop ernst came and saw me... I think about that now. I talk w/gigboss sebastian about coming back here w/my other projs, he's very kind and open to that. I also tell him I feel so bad about not being able to schlep stuff cuz of my fucked up knee... so glad however my hands work good enough to work bass, I'm so grateful for that. important to keep the perspective.
I forgot to mention matt mottel took the train from salzberg in austria to come do "sex bomb" w/us but got here too late for that but he does get to do the show and help w/the schlep. he's gonna ride w/us to innsbruck tomorrow and join us on the last tune of this tour's last gig. finally we pull anchor.
it ain't 'til one and a half that I get up the three flights of stairs and into tonight's chamber. this pad is called "hotel marinadl" and it's old school, I'm into it. even the stairs, I just took the slow-go to eventually get there. a double door opens to a balc over a courtyard... I think it's the first time ever I've looked at the stairs this tour, ain't that a trip? especially for someone raised during the space race. after hosing off, I konk really quick.
this page created 19 july 2019
this page created 19 july 2019