mike watt + the secondmen
watt - thud staff, spiel
pete mazich - organ, singing
jerry trebotic - drums
(left to right, w/jer's baby rilei between him and pete)
steve kaul - the man outside the van
monday, april 15, 2002 - tempe, az
Woke up at six mon morning w/ a lot of eagerness and anticipation- This was going to be my first major tour and I was much excited about playing these gigs w/ watt and jer; we'd been rehearsing for about 3 weeks before and had nearly all of the material down, but the three newest songs we had only worked out a few days prior so we weren't quite on the saddle yet .(closer to the horses ass) - watt strategically put these songs at the top of the set so we could knock em' down quick and stay off the anxiety trip but me and jer were going to have to lean on the crib sheets for the first few gigs. All of the tunes were a much needed musical challenge for me as I am used to playing wedding gigs and the cover band trip for many years and I finally felt my sanity slipping this year..if it wasn't for my best bro Tone and my wonderful second half Lil the kill, I would be a frustrated mess. (you can only play "la bamba" so many times before you start puking up blood and bile) I have to admit the weddings and other gigs did much to better my playing over the years but I had become bored and frustrated and watt really pulled it out of me w/ the Madonnabes first and now as a secondman. Thanks for lighting the fire again... ti si ono pravo
Me and Lil said our goodbyes (I'm really going to miss her and the girls and baby tony- la familia keeps me grounded) hopped into the boat (I was riding shotgun first) and we were off. Pedro was overcast when we left and it rained for a time on the 91 and 10. I found out that if you sit shotgun you're in charge of taking snaps of the trip so this is what I did for the most part. The sun creeped up around Indio and the weather was warm and I got some cool shots.
We passed the cali border into arizona- major dust clouds for most of the ride thru the desert; nothing but a dirty gray-white as far as the eye could see. Very humbling but majestic in its own way. The sheer vastness of it all puts you in a different mind-frame- very isolating; makes you realize how small a speck on the big blue ball we all actually are. Snapped a lot of shots of the indigenous cacti and joshua trees on the highway- a beautiful sight ruined only by the many cookie-cutter tract house developments that have started to dot the landscape; a major fucking land bogart if ya ask me. Watt tells me that the original plans were based on military housing. The strip mall cloister-fucks are even worse. How lame can it get!!?
We pulled the boat in to nita,s around 3:30 PM and did the load out; beautiful weather (much wind but very warm and dry) The gig was an outside one and I was hoping that the wind would die down later as I was having visions of my cheat sheets being blown away never to be found again and I would REALLY have to sweat the gig. Did a quick set-up and sound check, (red &the black) then we did the breakdown so the first band, Matthew could do their check.. watt went off to work on the eputer and me and jer went to grab some chow. We ordered up some mexican (real good seafood enchilada and baja fish tacos)
We met up w/ jeff from Sacramento in the bar (a very cool and musically articulate dude who flew in just for the gig) then went back to the green room (a cool old silverstream trailer at the side of the stage)and rapped for a while, after which I went for a little sueno at the back of the pad. Watt was already conked in the boat. Didn't hear most of the first band's set but from what I could gather it was a lot like Radiohead. Very tight set but no stage spiel w/ the fans at all. I think that it's important to at least acknowledge the audience - after all, they are there for you.
We went on at 8:45 and there was already a lot of people milling around the front of the stage. We opened w/ "boiling blazes", one of the new tunes and blew some clams. I was praying that I wouldn't completely go to shit and I tried to maintain eye contact w/ Watt- all the while trying to stand on one trembling leg and the other one on a volume pedal while switching leslie speeds (we set up in kind of a circle at the front of the stage) watt was nervous too as was jer.(I think watt was more nervous for us than anything else.) We plowed thru the first, clams and all- tho' the kids didn't notice ecause the tunes were new.(they could tell a little from the looks on our faces) This was followed by "puke to high heaven" which was better but the tension was still thick. The third and final new one- "bursting man" was the toughest rhythymically and we missed a couple of cues but we pulled thru. I gladly threw the crib crutch on the floor as watt launched into the rest of the set. The fans dug on it and they were very appreciative; they all seemed to have an open mind to the bass-drums-organ punk trio format and to the sound of the old songs as well as the new. Much respect to you all.
After the set, we milled around in the audience and were given much encouragement by everyone. Frank Black went on next; the set sounded really tight altho' I thought the drummer's snare was bogarting the mix. Met Frank afterwards and nearly flamed him up w/ my cigarette (sorry bro) A real nice cat.
Met up w/ Rob(whose pad we were crashing at) and he helped me and Jer load up the van while watt sold t-shirts. Went inside and listened to moris teper for a couple of songs.and signed some t-shirts . watt has some very gracious fans and all in all I was happy about the gig. We piled in the boat and went off to Rob's pad to crash. Laid out on the deck and rapped about the gig while Rob's big labrador bud, gave me a good face wash w/ the tongue. Conked out real quick.
well time for another spin around the country w/the boss. this time out its pete, mike and myself as the secondmen. we took 3 weeks prepping for this outing and just were able to get the format of the first of the new tunes. I guess it'll be road prac. for a few shows. I'm not too strained w/the thought of clams at this point, but that'll change I'm sure w/practical application. at 8 am mike and pete show up at my pad and we load up for the road. this is nothing like the last tour when we left on sept. 11th and kel was freaking about the shit that went down that day. saying bye to kel and rilei (my little one year old) is always tough. me and the baby have bonded tightly over the past year and hearing her call me dada makes it all the tougher. after a rather quick goodbye mike unfurled the batwing and were off. taking the 91 fwy out to riverside (yuk) we connect to the I10 and head for tempe. once were in the low desert near banning the winds start a wailing. I went through this low pass the week before w/our rv and the winds totally blew the awning right off the side of the the p.o.s. this time the boat loaded down fairs better then the high profile vehicles we share the road with. like the bridge over the river coi, we spanned the land. there's no break from the gales all the way to tempe. I take my midday nap that's usually shared w/rilei, something that'll be greatly missed by this daddy.
in town we pull into nita's hideaway and discharge the gear. were outside for the first gig and sharing the bill w/frank black. they haven't shown yet so we check first. After pete and I head inside for a drink and hook up a menu for some chow. outside we have a airstream trailer for our green room and we grub inside. jeff from sacto shows and hangs w/us. great guy, stayed at his pad last trip to no. cal. pete konked on the couch and I rap a bit w/jeff. we'll see him again in sacto at the end. frank black shows (real name charlie) and they unload then bail, no check. the opener matthew arrives and set up. nice guys from the east, they drink all the beer.
I hang in the trailer while matthew plays, kinda pop u2ish sound. we set up and throw all caution into the wind. the first three tunes all an intense lesson in how to shit thy pants in front of a crowd. with a quick wipe we continue on and finish up. the ice breaker.
after the show mike hocks the shirts at the club entrance and inlisted the help of rob the cat for his stints w/p.j. harvey, capt beefheart, and tom waits it shows. we say so long to charlie and back to robs pad for happy land sleeps. I get a goodnight lick on the face from his dog bud and I'm out.
pop at six, soon time to shove off for another tour. this has been a hard last two weeks for watt. on the last day of march, I got a knock on the door from the new owner of the apartment building I lived in for the last eight years. he tells me he's moving his family in and me, my neighbors and old buds, tony and dirk, are being given thirty day notices to get out. shit. I didn't even have thirty days since tour starts on the fifteenth. lame too is the fact tony just had hip replacement surgery. dirk has no idea what to do either. we all three have to scramble - so fucked to break up our great team. anyway, life deals you a hand a you just gotta play it the best you can. this new owner guy says he doesn't he even want to live here - he'll only do it for a year so he can get a better loan rate from the bank and then'll rent the pads out at a much higher rate. so goes this tired cycle of those w/the coin making those w/out do the panic dance. aahh, whatever, I can't waste the energy fighting or even thinking about it. so very lucky for me, I found another pad in pedro. no garage or view of the harbor but still in my beloved town. it's by the hospital where I was a pot and pan scrubber boy in the kitchen as a teenager (starting wage: $1.50/hour! I got my first car w/it though). it'll add about three more miles to my pedaling route in the morning but that surely is not a bad thing! the jam to box everything in my "museum" and get it over to the new one was insane. on good advice, I chucked many artifacts - I'm such a shit-hoarder. and she was right (as always), less ballast and more zen is a freer feeling! this is relative though, I have to make another sweep when tour's done and I unpack. the entirety of the new museum is stuffed w/packed boxes, waiting for my return. there was no way I was gonna get that done in the short time left before tour starting. I have to say the stress and anxieties where intense on me. seems the start of a tour is always this same vortex that sucks all kinds of events towards it, crowding all my time w/nightmares and dilemmas. good thing I only scheduled one local show in the month up to when I left (hellride w/perk and peter), usually I have them up to almost the night before I leave and this freaks me out much. this time it would've been 'pert near unbearable. my last chow in pedro was dinner w/my ma. she made trout w/green beans and a baked potato. it sure was good. she's gonna check my mail for me when I'm gone.
ok, so that's the domestic scene before I bailed. there's a musical side to the craziness too. the first five weeks of this tour has me w/the secondmen, my bass-organ-drum trio that I'm going to record my next record w/that'll be called "the secondman's middle stand," a piece about that sickness that almost killed me two years ago. it's always scary to go out w/a new band but this can be considered a "good" kind of scary cuz it helps me grow, it challenges me and keeps me out of re-run mode. pete mazich is on organ and has played w/me in the madonnabes and masina as has jerry trebotic, who's on the drums. they're both two great men from pedro - hey! I have an all-pedro band again for the first time in a long while. that's very happening. both are daddies too so I gotta be extra safe and get them back to the little ones. one lame thing is that pete's boss won't let him off more than five weeks so he has to bail after the detroit gig. tom watson will join me and jer starting w/the grand rapids gig and we'll perform as the jom & terry show. tom is a great cat to come out and help me like this I don't have to cut the tour short. when I'm going out to play for folks, I try to do as much as I can as I'm rolling on the seas. that's why this tour is sixty gigs in sixtyone days.
I get my clothes together for the tour. this is not so easy cuz fucking idiot watt didn't mark what was in the boxes he packed and doesn't know shit-all where anything is. what a dork. luckily, I used the sack I use for clothes on tour to move my levis and had them already to go. the flannels were on hangars and I moved them as all a bunch and could get to a lot of them. couldn't find the socks and underwears though and had to buy new ones the days before - aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh... me and pete packed the boat (my 1990 ford econoline e-250 van) w/our stuff the night before to see if his leslie would fit (that's an amp w/a twirling speaker that hammond cats use) - damn, is it huge. he has to use a synth keyboard w/a hammond b-3 module instead of his real b-3 cuz that's huge too. anyway, we fit it all and I get the boat to jer's this morning at eight to load his drums. it all fits but there's no room for the little fold-up bike. damn, no pedaling 'til tour's done, oh well. pete's wife ljil, brought him there to meet us. I say goodbye to my goddaughter rilei, jer and kel's daughter. I missed her birthday party yesterday (though her actual birthday isn't 'til thursday) cuz I was just so busy and apologize to her. she just turned one. I did get to chow w/kira though. it was her idea and she helped me get strings for the little bass and thick industrial bags for the shirts. her headaches and puking have gone away since she's changed her diet to cut out dairy and starches. back to tour departure - ljil takes some pictures of us and we're off. jer's got no walkie-talkie this time, kel wouldn't let him take it cuz of mega $ spent on last tour's bills. I can see that reason plainly but it'd be good to have one just for emergencies. I tell jer I'd lock it in the safe but too late, we're on our way.
north on the harbor freeway (I-110) - bye, pedro! pete takes his first shots w/the little nikon digicamera I just got a little while ago. it can hold 612 shots at a time and transfers the shots to the ibook through the usb port - no more floppies to deal w/and that's good. much sharper shots but then that other camera was five years old and stuff like that has come a long way. it was pretty econo too, a refurbished one but in excellent shape and works great. pete gets some shots of the port. our last looks for a while. we take the riverside freeway east and of course there's plug galore w/the fucking traffic - one thing I won't miss about this town, for sure! at san bernadino, we're east on the I-10 and heading for the mojave desert. it rained last night but the sun came out this morning (who sent that?) but the cloud cover was still pretty heavy. rain came on lightly but as we crossed into the desert, that stopped. what started then was some strong-ass winds and big dust blowing. damn, almost on the verge of obscuring everything - sand coming across the road and all. luckily, a lot of the wind was tailwind and actually helped push us. when it did end up a crosswind, I had to hold the wheel tight cuz we were sure getting the buffeting. the boat held on though, thank god. at the border w/arizona, things got better. the clouds kept things from getting too hot, it can be sweltering out here.
at four, we pull into nita's hideaway. the owner mark and boss charlie welcome me and it's good to see them again. I've played here bunches and dig it much but tonight we're actuall playing outside in the back w/frank black and a band from chicago called matthew. there's a funny flier of me and charlie (the frank black one) on the door w/giant heads and little bodies and it's pretty funny. charlie had to come from san diego and he's a little late so he cuts his soundcheck and we do "the red and the black" for ours, quick and short. john, the cat who did my sound last time, does it this time - he takes that job from the sound company cats who've be hired - great! then it's to the boat to konk and think of the words to the first three songs of the set. see, I'm doing the first part of my next record and I keep spacing on the fucking words. this is a very heavy piece, sort of like my engine room opera though it has a happier ending (I made it through shit and it didn't kill me). I loosely based my saga w/that sickness shit on dante's "the divine comedy" where the getting sick is the inferno, the healing part is the purgatorio and the getting well enough to work my little bass and pedal my bike is the paradisio. the words to that first part pull me back into those moments when I was at my lowest and there's deep down defense things that repulse against those feelings. it's a weird thing. I want to confront those nightmares so they'll stop haunting me but it's tough. it's hard for me to deal w/difficult emotions like that - stirrings deep inside me but believe or not, the whole dealing w/that shit and coming to death's doorstep actually got me brave enough to deal w/things deep in my heart. it was definitely a "middle stand" for me (seeing I'm in my middle years). I got brave enough to let them out, seeing how life is so fragile, one might never get the time or chance to make things like expressed. you have to deal in the moment. hell, I was most definitely chained to the moment w/that shit - it stretched seconds into fucking years, it seemed. before sequestering myself into the boat's aft, I did see geoff from sacramento who gave me some good 'dines - a mexican style spiced-up kind. they were good. then to pour over the words. the temp is pretty mild so no sweat box in the boat except from my nerves.
matthew does a good set. nice young men. good singers too. we're next and on early, 8:45 pm - I dig that. here's the secondmen's first gig as well as the first gig of the tour. aahh - I'm scared shitless out of my mind, right away. the words fly from my head and not out of mouth - maybe more likely into outer space - I'm fucking choking. I plow on, almost doing some type of scat or whatever, my guys hold tight and stick w/me - they're great. they sense the panic in me and laugh and this helps cuz I laugh too. I can't think of a better way to handle it - throwing a hissy fit would be the worst shit I could do. I am only a notch beyond a deer in the headlights at this point and deep down, I decide maybe at least I can try and convey the emotions if not the fucking words in english. aahhh. I screw up the music parts too. a good thing is that no ones heard this before so maybe it just sounds like it's supposed too, huh? oh my god. we soldier on. I can't believe this - after all these years and all these gigs - this kind of shit still happens to me. oh well. after like fifteen or so minutes, we're done w/that part of the set. what a fucking swell of relief as we go into madonna's "bedtime story," something we did w/the madonnabes. can you believe it? I fucking can't but I do start to think of things, think of those who give me strength when I'm feeling tiny and weak and get it back together. in turn, my guys bind to this confidence and feel better too, it's easy to tell. I am definitely not the iron man some folks think me but I'm not a bailout either. I'm gonna try my fucking hardest. it's hard for me to hear the organ, it's so tiny. maybe I'm playing too loud but then again, I can't hear pete over the drums even. outside gigs can be like that. folks are tripping on us so I suspect something's working. we begin to plant and hold our ground better. I dedicate "the big bang theory" to frank black. I get strong enough to even really let loose on a wild version of "sister ray" and reach for john coltrane's spirit. I just wanna get out of this head trip I'm in. I will say thank god for laughter. it definitely carried the day tonight (does that makes sense?). we finish w/"chinese firedrill" and I feel I actually lived that song w/this set! a lot of cats come up to me and tell me they dug the set - I have to laugh more though inside so they don't feel I'm laughing at them when it's me I'm aiming it at. I sling shirts even though I'm in the under twentyone part and talk w/lots of the folks though I feel really insecure. seems no one knew what to expect. whew.
I watch charlie's set w/a big weight lifted on my shoulders. he's great and his band tight but maybe they could be a little crazier? charlie's really inspiring though and makes me think much of d. boon. I tell him this after the show. he says maybe d. boon's here someway maybe, he doesn't know. this makes me think. I tell him I think of him all the time and maybe he thinks of me when I do too. maybe all of us. it's a weird collection of feelings of me. there's a part that really wants to beat up and pummel myself for blowing shit so out of the water w/the clams and spaceouts. then there's the part that's hysterical cuz I can't believe what I just did. finally, there's a part that says I should be grateful for even being here to put myself on such a spot and see what happens. this is all a trip for me. as folks file out of the gig, I sling some more shirts and say thanks for coming. robert, a cat from here who's made me a secondmen logo, designed that d. bonn sticker, brought me puerco verde and has just done all kinds of nice things for me, helps out. he calls his wife and says it's ok to konk at his pad close by so after I say goodbye to the nita's folks: charlie, meagan and amy (who has a baby coming), we follow robert home. oh, a funny thing about amy's boyfriend - he asks if I work w/mike watt and I tell him sometimes.
he's got a great pad and I'm out on the couch. robert's dog, bud, is one live wire. he's full, full of love and affection. after everything, I am so beat though and konk comes quick and sure. at least I'm spared the blow by blow analysis my mind is wanton to do. I think the choke was that big. I guess that's what this diary is for. life is some funny shit.
tuesday, april 16, 2002 - albuquerque, nm
Woke up to the sounds of Rob's family starting out the day; Bud (rob's pooch) gave me another face wash w/ the lengua so I was ready to go in no time. Rob's wife made us a very tasty egg scramble and some much needed coffee, so we happily chowed. I popped my vitamins and packed the bag and we piled the stuff into the boat. We took some snaps for rob and said the goodbyes. It was a very homey place to
crash at and we all felt really at home (this is something that you really welcome on the road) Very cool vibes- Much thanks Rob.
We had quite a hellride to N.M. (7 hrs.) and I was riding shotgun to the captain again, so I was in charge of navigation and the snaps. Passed thru an area before the arizona/ N.M. border that had cement dinosaurs on the side of the road in various poses and some real silly looking ones w/ legs hanging out of their mouths (some N.M. humor)- got some cool shots of the "window rocks" which are large rocks that after being windblown for ages develop holes in them; ergo the name.
I took the wheel of the boat for the last two hours of the trip as watt was really tired and needed some rest. We pulled into Albuequerque about 3:30 PM and scoped out the club. It was a place called the "Launching pad"; good size w/ a decent PA but all brick building, so it was going to be an echo chamber.
We had some time to blow (load in and soundcheck were a couple of hours away) so watt went to go add to his kachina doll collection and me and Jer went to go grab some chow at this little place called Fresh choices- (all-you-can-eat pasta, pizza, and salad) -decent chow.. We walked back down to the club (Albuequerque's main strip is not too big and almost dead in the afternoon; an unfortunate result of the strip-mall disease affecting the outskirts) and we loaded in. The soundman chris, got there shortly and we did our reg. soundcheck tune, "the red and the black"- sounded cool albeit echoey. Afterwards I met spot; our opener for the first leg of the tour and an old friend of watt's from the sst days and a great musician/multi-instrumentalist. Also met and rapped w/ a cat named Leonard- a fifty-ish biker-looking kind of guy who was a minuteman fan from way back and personally knows nearly every punk band and musician that you can think of- he even knew some of the cats I played w/ in Long Beach! A very nice dude.
we weren't going on til'midnite so we had much time. Jer chimped a little diary, I watched the news and read some show blurbs in the local music rag and watt worked on the 'puter before the pre-gig conk.(sometimes the pre-gig time is kind of boring, but then again it is what you make it)
Around nine PM the doors opened and people started to pile in so I hopped in the back of the boat for my pre-gig conk; It gives me a little chance to gather my thoughts and and listen to the people milling around the boat, but also a much needed rest (I'm not a spring chicken anymore and the shows are extremely intense and take a lot out of the body) I also get really nervous and self-conscious being in a pad before the gig so the conk helps this out. I've been playing for about 33 yrs. now (20 in bands) and I still get nervous before a gig- I guess if it stops, I won't play.
I heard watt open the door of the boat and climb out so I knew it was close to the shaming hour- Icame out of the back and we walked into the pad. Spot was still doing the last part of his set so we sat down near the stage and listened. Spot's amazing- plays banjo,violin, guitar and sings. Writes some real cool quirky songs and the few peeps in front of the stage were digging it. We also met up w/ Laura and Nicole whose pad we were crashing at after the gig.
We did the first three songs ok (better than the first show)- I was very nervous and spent the time twiddling knobs on the keys and praying to god I didn't lose my place; didn't show much energy and it showed. Not a good thing- The crowd can immediately clue in on you if you're not showing some conviction and it brings down their momentum. Watt also needs to know that we're fully w/ him and it fucks him up if we're not. It was obvious that this was not going to be an easy crowd to win over, but I tried to keep smiling. The rest of the set went pretty well; not too many clams and we were starting to lock in w/ each other a lot quicker. I also got over my statue trip and got into the music much more. (this was the first nite I actually broke a sweat) watt was doing a spiel in between songs and did his Liberace joke and some joker yells out "keyboard sucks" (I didn't hear it, but watt told me about it later) - Some people just feel a need to call attention to themselves so they try to bogart a performance by doing this kind of pussy shit. Really fucking grates on me. Watt says I should channel this anger into the performance so I did. (works like a charm) A girl named Camille kept grabbing my arm during some of the songs and kept telling me I reminded her of Billy Preston which I thought was very cool of her. (for every dick there's a nice person) but she also tried to bogart the limelight when we did "chinese firedrill" by coming up on stage and telling watt that she loved him and offering her hand in marriage-(I don't think he was prepared to take a walk down the aisle) but either way it was her b-day and she was a little bellige from the alcohol consumption. She had on a real tall pair of chunky shoes and I'm really surprised she didn't take a dive.
We ended up not doing any encore which was just as well as the crowd was a little trippy, but I think we won 'em over and maybe made em' think a little. Got a lot of positive comments from the people; many came up to me to say how much they dug the bass-organ-drums thing and a few were even hip enough to say that at the beginning of the set they weren't so sure but it grew on them. I love that kiind of honesty; people always tell you that they want to hear the truth but when you give it to them they either get bellige or defensive- it's human nature I suppose , but I love the truth- brutal or not- it frees the mind and soul.
Had a couple shots of my favorite poison (Bushmills) after the show w/ Laura and we rapped about music and life in general. She and Nicole got some chow for watt, we loaded up the boat and followed them to Nicole's pad where we stayed up early rapping w/ mike about the old minutemen/sst days and listening to sixties acid rock. Nicole set me and jer up in one room on a bunkbed (I had the upper berth) and gave Jer a little tiger pillow and me a small teddy (it felt so homey and sesame street) Laura came in before she crashed w/ her boyfriend Anthony and told us a bedtime story (I'm not making this up) and made sure we were all tucked in. Watt was conked out on the couch and so ended another day for the secondmen.
morning comes and I arise to the sounds little feet pattering. robs kids and wife are about and prepping for a new school day. the girls rain and rylee and the little boy mason. we sat w/the kids and enjoyed a fine breakfast. after a few snaps we take on the new days toil. Heading north on poop 101 to I17 it's a couple hours to flagstaff then east on I40 through the arizona high desert. On the way we pass many roadside oddities. Two towns that come to mind are twin arrows and two guns. I wonder who's gonna win the battle in that feud. Futher on we enter the petrified forest, well actually the logs have been placed on the roadside as tools for tourist traps. One of which is the dinosaur land exhibit. Realistic scenes of jarassic unrest dot the shoulder on either side. Not to be out done, down the road a bit is the looney tunes dino disaster spectical. Taking advantage of a fine display for a few lousy bucks at the trading post. After crossing into nm pete takes the wheel and gives mike a break. We pass some vistic mesas and drop in on the rio grande basin where albi lies. I direct pete to the launch pad on central ave. in downtown and park for the gig.
Pete and I go out and look for chow while mike goes shopping at the indian store for kachina dolls for his collection. Thinking I'd return later to check it out myself we continue on for din. Pete suggests an all you can eat diner nearby. 7 bucks for the lot. It's a little bland for my taste, but not dissapointing. Heading back we pass the indian store and it's closed. Damn! Next tour then. I hang out in the club and run into laura and nicole. We stayed at nicole's pad on the last tour w/the jom and terry show. Good thing they recognized me cuz' I couldn't spot them by memory. Sitting for a while we catch up on thangs. They offer their pad to crach after the show again. Very kind ladies indeed. Laura's new man anthony joins us for a drink. Soon its time for the show.
We get set up and once again I place the cheat sheet on the kick. Maybe by the forth or fifth gig I can dump em', but for now I'm crutching. We start up and many a clam is blown by all. Courage under fire I always say. Well most of the set goes off well til' the end when this girl camille starts in on mike w/a suave and well delivered marriage perposal. Love is in the air tonight. Not being one to give up easily she hops on stage for chinese firedrill and starts w/a yammer during the rather soft beginning. Mike stays the course though and is not phazed. She continues then kicks into a curevo shuffle. Whew! Pete gets a little pep talk about stage presence and we knock out the encore there after.
After pack up we follow laura and nicole back to the crash pad. Last time there I shared a room w/a hamster that never slept. All night on the wheel of pain he ran. No hammy this time, the poor little guy bought the farm. Nicole has two girls, but they're away tonight. So pete and I will be sharing the bunk beds. I get the bottom bed and leave the top for little peter. Laura gives me a stuffed tiger pillow that I had before and I happily cuddle w/him. I ask for a bedtime story and laura a rather bleek version of a sad and graphic tale of mayhem. I am not calmed. As her and anthony leave pete and I laugh of the sillyness of the day and shut my eyes to dreamland.
pop and get big loves from robert's dog, bud. the little ones are soon up, along w/robert and his wife, tira. great family. tira cooks us up some scrambled eggs and w/ham in it and we all sit around the dinner table and shovel. the oldest daughter, rain, drew me a drawing a couple of years ago that I have hanging in my practice pad. it's of me w/the little bass. she's off to school. robert says she's becoming quite an artist. well, that figures cuz he is too. we gather outside the boat to shove off and I want to get a family shot to send to robert later. the youngest, mason looks right at the camera w/his ma and pop but his sister rylee is too she and hides behind her dad's leg. funny how kids can be that way. oh well. we say our farewells and are down the road. thank you much, locker family.
they've finished the az-101 loop we can avoid the plug of the I-17 through phoenix. we hook up w/I-17 north of town w/much ease but hit a plug some miles further. looks like a car went off the road hard - sage brush and tumbleweed are stuck thick in its grill and the rest is pretty smashed up. you can see why too - people are driving very wreckless and take huge risks w/weaving and lane changing. the big trucks are really scary, barreling past w/hardly a hesitation. folks are so casual about the actual physics of pushing these steel sleds the way they do. white crosses on the side of the road are a constant reminder of such a mentality and it's consequences. even fucking idiot watt, a little distracted - just for a moment drifted a little in the lane and a careening truck hits the horn and gets my attention quick. I admonish myself intensely and give thanks for another chance at being so damn stupid. you have to be vigilant up to the yang on the road - no doubt about it. makes me redouble my efforts big time. outside the mind, outside the boat, the ride is pretty. partial clouds keep things cool and we pass much mountain terrain as we ascend towards flagstaff. lots of saguro cactus are all over. my head puts their shapes in the form of big middle fingers tell me to wake the fuck up and keep alert. we pass a town who's name I really like: bumble bee. kind of slow going, the boat's motor is tired as the oddometer is coming up on two hundred thousand. maybe the last tour for this engine. love this boat though - love her so much. I talk soft to her constantly. the landscape turns to fir tree forest as we climb up to seven thousand feet. at flagstaff, we turn east on I-40, the old route 66. just a few miles and the fir trees disappear into desert, devoid of any trees. we pass tiny tiny towns like twin arrows and two guns - these pads are more just like single gas stations and the one in twin arrows is closed. at winslow, we enter the navajo reservation - this is the biggest indian reservation in the country, it goes all the way to the new mexico border. we pass the road south to meteor crater - damn, one day I gotta go down that road and check that place out. it's always such a hellride between phoenix and albuquerque, I never get the chance. instead, I just get the taunt of the sign - every tour. we enter the petrified forest and there's some pretty accurate dinosaur statues placed off the road. lots of petrified log trunk in broken sections lined up around too. pete snaps many of them. further down is some pretty hoaky dinosaur statues w/ people hanging out their mouths and them attack a school bus and such. all of these ones have pretty bugged-out eyes and look pretty crude. quite a contrast between the two groups. just past the border, in gallup, I hand the helm over to pete - first time for him piloting the boat. seven hours is just time enough for me in my present state. pete does good. and gets us the remainder of the way in a hour and a half.
we're in downtown albuquerque at a pad I've played many times, the launchpad. good people here. I rush down the street to chow some fish before the pad that has it closes. all out of trout but there's catfish - ok, just as long as it's broiled. there's green beans and mashed potatoes too. good stuff. then quick to the trading post store that has the kachinas, only a few minutes left before they're closed. I get some every tour I'm through here (which is 'pert near every one) and this time I get an owl and a sunface kachina. they're beautiful and they'll ride w/us all tour so maybe there'll be a little protection for us as a bonus. I have them boxed up good but I think their influence will still have effect. I'm hoping so. back to the club and who's here? spot! great! he made it! he tells me he had quite a hellride coming out from austin. strong headwinds has his little car battling the whole way, like thrityfive or forty miles an hour. he tells me it really wore on his nerves. well, I'm glad he's here. he's doing twentytwo gigs w/us this tour. his set is all him. on the door of the club is a flyer for the shins, a band from this tour who's record, j played me when I was touring w/him. I dug it - wish I could do a gig w/them sometime. they're one new band I kind of knowof. an old albuquerque friend, leonard, shows up and it's great to catch up w/him. I dig him much. he's good people and has the most buoyant spirit. he's a biker guy and was doing construction work right in the neighborhood so he decided to stop on over. me and my guys do a quick soundcheck w/soundman chris. I go to chimp diary and then get a salad before returning to the boat - not to konk but to get more confidence on these new song words. my mind is such a scatterbrain about this shit, recently. damn. got to try and get this together. I do this on the boat's bench while pete konks in the back where I usually do.
I think we're on at eleven and come into the pad to see that spot's just started a little bit back. a local band called mister spectacular, who used to be called fatso opened up but I was in the boat, too engrossed in the word-soak on the brain w/the lyrics I have to get together. spot is great - it's just him on acoustic and electric guitar. he's a a very happening player and his words are funny too. me and him go back to the earliest sst days. he's a true brother. we're on next. aahh, I'm a little braver w/the words but we're still blowing clams left and right w/the new stuff. how can I expect my guys to play good when I am so shaken up myslef and can't lead worth a dime? jer was actually better last night but pete gets distracted w/some equipment failure and his just stands here, staring at his keyboard. after the gig, w/no disdrespect I ask that he tries to break out of that shell and get live w/the folks. we have a tough show it a way but it's a definite charachter-builder and I'm so glad we did it. even w/all the clams. this is the only way up and over the rim and out the hole we're kind of in. only the second gig w/these guys but I can see us getting it together. I just had to take the chance and try another context for me to work the little bass in. re-runs are for old "I love lucy" shows. boy, did my sister like those. anyway, I have to dare more in my life w/the art, can't be timid. I got some great guys and they'll help me as much as they can. there's a stupid comment from the audience, something like "keyboards suck" and I don't say anything but rather channel that energy into my playing. maybe too much, I quickly break a string. someone tells me to have jer do a drum solo and I tell him to start his own band if he wants to tell folks what to do. damn, watt - panties kind of bunched up, huh? I laugh, tell the guy I'm kidding and then ask jer to wail on it. jer is so stiff and scared, his solo is really timid. damn, we gotta get over this hump. tough gig. maybe it'll help make a tougher secondmen - that's what I'm counting on. this lady, camilla, who comes to lots of my shows has been hollering at me all gig to come to her pad after cuz it's her birthday. she's very nice but I'm trying to do a gig. between one song she yells from the front of the stage, "watt, I know you're in love but I want to marry you." damn. she eventually gets on stage during the last tune, a soft one and is yelling all kinds of things on the mic. I focus on my band and the music and am doing the spiel into the same mic she's hollering these things w/at the same time. very bizarre. we get an encore and end things pretty ok considering. ok, gig two down.
nicole and laura, the two ladies we stayed w/last tour (w/the jom & terry show) have us over to konk and help load out. this nice cat sean brings out his bass for me to sign and damn, it's a mid-60s gibson eb-3, just like the little bass - what a trip! he's doing a band w/a buddy that's sort of like me and kira's dos but also w/drums. I wish him luck. lots of nice words from the folks even though inside I'm wishing so hard I could get us better together. I know if I can lead better, my guys will deliver more and be more sure. it's up to me, watt. I gotta get it together. I say hi to richard bonney's cousin tony and brother steve - so good to see them cats. we're going to follow our hosts to nicole's pad. camilla's friends ask me to come to her pad for her party but I just can't. she's very nice but I can't. spot goes over to her pad in my place. happy birthday, camilla.
we get where we're going and laura's boyfriend anthony wants to talk w/me. he was a dj at uc santa cruz and interviewed me many years ago when I was a fIREHOSE. he has lots of musical questions. very nice man though. I'm just so tired after all the hellride. all three are very nice people and I try my best to keep up but damn, am I tapped. somehow though, the time passes. that's right - the clock moved up a hour when we crossed the state line so maybe that's why I got something in me. nicole was almost killed in a car wreck as a teenager and we talk about how it is to come close to losing your life and how it feels as you're just hanging on - what an impact it makes on you. intense. she's half italian too, like me - you can definitely see it in her eyes. my eyes aren't open for long though and I'm sueneo solid when the motor swallows the last of the fumes from watt's tank.
wednesday, april 17, 2002 - santa fe, nm
Wednesday, April 17th- Santa fe, New Mexico
Woke up in a real giving mood up there in my narrow berth in the sky (this was a child's bunkbed) so I decided to offer Jer the gift that keeps on giving- I opened up his nostrils and eyes w/ a warm and nurturing blanket of methane which would forever remind him of the cost of sleeping in the luxurious confines of the much larger lower bunk. " I love the smell of methane in the morning; it smells like....victory- veni-vidi-vici.........
Nicole made us some coffee and I had the breakfast of champions: french vanilla slimfast and a cigarette- took a much-needed shower and then we loaded up the boat and took off. Santa fe is only about 55 miles from Albuequerque so we had a relatively short drive and since Laura was coming to the next show , she hopped a ride on the boat w/ us. The road to Santa-fe was a small two-laner so we got some cool snaps of old adobe huts and houses. Easy trip.
We pulled into Santa fe around 3:00 PM; we were playing at a pad called the Paramount- there were two rooms- we were playing in the smaller one- mystifyingly called the "B" bar- about a hundred capacity pad w/ red wallpaper on the walls and pictures of butt plugs, dildoes, and blow-up sex dolls w/ plastic bags over their heads.(a real mustang ranch vibe) We were supposed to play the big room but we would've had to end the show at 9:30 because of some dance club (trash disco) that holds court there every wed. nite.
Very fucking lame (this is exactly what I was running from) so they decided to move us to the smaller pad.
Load in wasn't for another couple of hours and watt was chimping some diary so me and Jer and Laura decided to go scrounge for some chow. we walked thru the center of town and came upon the chuck jones museum (chuck is the guy who did Bugs Bunny and daffy duck) there was some very cool old cartoon cells and celebrity photographs (all for sale and none cheaper than 600 bucks)- we rapped some cartoon talk w/ the proprietor and then took off to find some eats. Found a little joint called the atomic grill and had some real good pizza and mediocre caesar salad. I took out my cigarettes and laid them on the table to keep from crushing them in my pocket and was immediately notified by the waiter (who called me "Mr. Winston"- a smug reference to my cig brand) that smoking was NOT ALLOWED- "Did you see me light up sphincter boy"? (we were sitting outside) "No sir, but"....... what a fucking putz.
We walked back to the pad and along the way saw all the vendors hawking their over-priced southwestern trinkets for the un-suspecting tourists, and some high-end boutiques. Santa fe is a neat little town tho' (kind of reminds me of Palm Springs 20 yrs. ago) and I'd love to come back.
Got back to the pad and did the load-in and sound check along w/ spot. (the other band - Davotchka, hadn't shown up yet) showtime was 10:30, so we had about 3-4 hrs. to blow; I slipped into the boat to do a little reading ("Rose Madder" by stephen king) a real brutal book about spousal abuse and its consequences. Conked for about a half hour when I was awakened by Laura who asked if me and Jer would be into going to ten-thousand waves; a japanese-style, (clothing optional) communal hot bath w/ her and Anthony. Watt had gone to a teen center in town to do a spiel, so we decided to go. Laura and anthony really sang its praises, it was close by and relatively inexpensive (and we were both sore from the gigs) so we went
We drove thru the center of town and out and into a small driveway leading to a narrow winding gravel road. came upon a place that looked like a Japanese hotel in the forest; woodsy, pointed architecture- a lot of grey flatstone accents- very cool. Inside, there's people at a desk like in a hotel and a gift shop selling all forms and scents of ten thousand wave hand lotions, soaps and aromatherapy oils, butt scrubbbers, insense and the like; very beverly hills....(I did try the mystic rain sandalwood face lotion tho') I smelled like a copy of "cosmo".
Anyway, they give you a kimono w/ a key attached and you go into a shower area/ locker room (men's on the top floor, women's on the bottom) where you strip bare-ass, take a shower and throw on the kimono along w/ some flip-flops. Outside, you walk a short distance to a walled in area w/ a sign on the door that says :Communal Baths, Clothing optional- being that I didn't have any swim trunks there was only one option.....I walk inside and there's a big hot-tub w/ a bunch of people already doing the soak-(Jer and anthony were already there so I dropped the kimono and went in. REAL hot- but the body got used to it quick.- I sat right in front of a water jet and let it pound the soreness away. A staffer came in and offered us some cold water- it was nice to say the least. Ain't nothin' more relaxin' then kickin' it w/ a cup of cold water w/ hot water shooting up your ass.... Laura came in and stepped into the tub and we all rapped about the previous night's gig. (getting naked in front of a bunch of strangers is a real ice breaker) then we all proceeded to the sauna and sweated all the bad out. I felt really relaxed and good and went to take a cold shower. I strapped the kimono back on and went to take a little look around the joint; nice landscaping , mellow surroundings-very conducive to relaxation. Time was running short so we got back into our civvies and headed on back to the pad. This short diversion was well worth it.
Got back to the pad and Davotchka hadn't started yet but the trash disco trip was starting to gear up so me and jer went to go check it out. We were standing next to a ledge above the dance floor just people-watching and rapping when a young lady wearing a micro-micro mini hits the dance floor w/ her friend (also a young lady) and starts doing the booty quake to "Disco Inferno". Me and jer were naturally making comments about their "stature" (for lack of a better term) as guys will do and the song ends and the girls return to their table. All of a sudden the girl w/ the micro-micro turns around and gives me such an intense fuckme look that it made me feel uncomfortable. Me and Jer walked back to the B bar and sat on the benches outside the room and read the local music rag. A few minutes later the same girls walk by and start asking the doorman about the band. I look up as they walk by and the micro mini girl lifts up the back of her skirt and flashes me her ass-and she was wearing the butt floss. Oh my........Those were the two hardest come- ons I'd ever gotten. Toot- toot philadelphia....
The gig went off very well- couple of clams but the crowd really dug on it - many positive comments from everyone altho' I still watch the crowd and see those who look around to see if anybody else grooves on it so they can too. Peer pressure is a tough thing....we conked at a friend of Anthony's; it took me a while to get to sleep- it was really hard with the watt, spot and jer symphony of snores going on.....
I awake to a sharp piercing violent rip of pete's early morning rebirthing. This one split the springs of the mattress above. Throwing caution into the wind I pop up and hop in the shower for decontamination. Mikes up and chimping while I eat a leftover tuna sandwich. The plan is to drive east on I40 to the turqouise trail hwy north. This is a kind departure from the power hwy. we normally traverse. I take many snaps of the scenic surroundings and vistas.
Sante fe is only an hour and fifteen from albi so we have a chance to shop for supplies and walgreen's. vitamin c, and a phone card to keep myself healthy and kel happy. Pete and laura take a walk in the adjacent mall. Laura rode up for tonight and her man anthony will drive separate. I cruise the floors looking for a restroom and some kinda music store. No music shop in this clown cave. Back to the boat and over to the paramount to kick til' soundcheck. Laura, pete and I take a walk to downtown for some lunch. On the way I spot chuck jones' warner bros. store so we step in for a browse. I'm a huge fan of the old bugs bunny era jones toons. The store is filled w/classic toon cells that I can see hanging on the wall at home. Only $950 each, no problem. I think someday they might not be so far out of reach. It be a good gift for rilei. We leave and find a patio cafe 1 block down. As soon as we take a seat outside this young pimplefaced water boy approaches and zeros in on pete. "hey mr. winston you can't light up out here" he said. "do you see me smoking?" pete replies whille no cig is present in hand. Ass wipe # 1. Drinks and food arrive and I quickly gulp down my 2.75 lemonade. I ask water boy for a refill and he says "your joking, this is downtown sante fe". Ass wipe #2. Returning to the club I find a soft bench seat inside and take a siesta before check.
The room tonight is tight and the stage is a bit creeky. They added wings to accommadate more band. I set up on the stable center. Mig is our sound guy and helps w/a quick check. laura suggests that we take a ride up the hill to the ten thousand waves japanese spa. A chance to soak in friendly waters compells me. Anthony shows and we go for the short haul. I'm told that no swimshorts are required. Buffet style. At the desk were handed a key and a kamono and go upstairs to the man room. The communial bath is right beside and I take a peek. All men naked to their ears. I file in and start a soaking. The others join soon after. Laura immeadately shows her softer side and hops on anthony's lap making all somewhat uncomfortable. I turn for the sauna. It's just right when I step in, but of course the dude who shows after had to dump about 5 gals of water on the rocks and turn it into a pressure cooker. I go back out and take a plunge in the cold tank. This water is about 45 degs and constricts my arteries in seconds. I'm awake! Back to the tub and some females have arrived though everyone is comfortable w/the all nude forum. Even the little three year old. After an hour and a half I'm done and shower up. downstairs I find a relaxing lounge bench and take in the space. Nice feeling for my body. Laura shows and back to the club.
While waiting for the shows to begin pete and I walk next door to the big club and scope the disco. a couple people are bumping and I notice two girls get up and start grinding. One has this super tiny mini on and begins shaking like a paint mixer. We analyze. After a song they head back to their seats and bootylisious gives pete a dirty stare. al fuego! muy caliente'! we leave fast. First band is almost done. Kinda cabaret vibe somewhat like giant ant farm, forgot their name though. Next spot slides down his set and people dig. We come aboard and do better on the first three, but I clam up the middle set a bit. Maybe too relaxed from the tub. Afterwards we go to crash at some kids pad and they have a room cleared for us. mike and spot konk while pete and I sample some pizza and beer for a few. I say by to laura and anthony and set off to bed. inside the bunk house spot is wailing up a storm w/his 747 thruster snore machine. Mike's going to, but its more like a cessna. Then pete and his third chair weez. It's a long night.
wow, pop to birds singing - there's some parakeets in a cage here in the kitchen. that's a nice thing to wake to, very pleasant. this pad has a very good vibe to it, not trying to sound corny. thank you, nicole. I tell her about this dream that came during my konk. kira was in it telling me she was going to france. we were having some strange kind of meeting to discuss things. she was telling me she was getting married too when she got back. it was a bizarre dream and I couldn't figure it out. my guys wake up and they're going at each other - I guess they were in bunk beds w/pete on the top one, drilling farts through the mattress down to jer in the bottom one. good fun. we've got a short drive to santa fe today so we decide to take a scenic route. laura is going to come w/us. her boyfriend anthony calls some friends to line up a konk pad for us tonight. we east a little bit on I-40 and then take nm-14, the turquoise trail. it goes through towns like golden and madrid (pronounced mad-rid here), tiny ones w/old shacks and art shops among the foothills. a pretty drive. we get to santa fe and the first thing you notice is all the buildings look adobe-like. this is part of the building code here. we stop at a mall store and every goes in to get stuff except me, I stay w/the boat. they take a long time and when the finally do reappear, they say they got lost looking for the head. such are malls. earlier, laura was telling us how downtown albuquerque is getting killed by all the malls in the suburbs and folks not coming there anymore - just staying close to where their track homes are. oh well. we head on over to the venue, which is near the center of this town.
we're playing in a back bar room (the "b bar") of the paramount. disco is going to be in the main room. the last time I played this town was in the fall of 1998 w/the black gang (nels cline and bob lee version) doing the last go-round for the opera at a place called club alegria, I think. it was w/the geraldine fibbers. this pad is neat but maybe laid out a little weird. the stage is actually one little semi-round thing w/extension wings on each side. almost have to straddle the gap but we'll make do, no prob. those guys go to chow and I find a copy pad to make duplicates of the set list. I find a store nearby - funny about this town. lots of northeast u.s. license plates and yuppie-type shops. what I found is like a gourmet store you find in brentwood or beverly hills. I wonder what is behind why this town is the way it is? I know georgia o'keefe, the painter lived here w/her photographer husband steiglitz and maybe that's why there's an artist bent to the town. there's lots of money though and in lots of ways it doesn't seem like most of the state. I get some green chili stew and a bagel w/all kinds of different seeds on it. good chow. there's also another can of those 'dines that geoff flowed me in tempe and I have them w/these corn chips jer took from that trailer that was used as a dressing room night before last. I then chimp diary.
soundcheck time. we hook up the peavy amp I brought for tom to use later in the tour so I can hear pete's organ on my side over jer's drums. the soundman, miggs, does a quick soundcheck w/us and then I'm brought to a teen place to do a spiel on what I am (!). hopefully, it will give these kids confidence to be what they are and not be afraid of that, despite all the social pressures. that is the goal of my spiel. this place is called wharehouse twentyone (http://www.warehouse21.org) and they try to make resources available for people to realize ways to express themselves. sunny, a cat who played w/porno for pyros on an australia/new zealand tour I did w/them six years ago has a ma named ana, who's the executive director and asked me to do this through an email before tour. I told her I'd be glad to, this is one of the things I'm trying to do w/my music. she's here and is very nice. the man in charge of this "event" is antonio, a cat from l.a. who had a zine in the old days called "ink disease." he's great. he lets me make a long spiel of opening remarks, telling the folks where I come from and how and why I got into music and punk, where that led to and what I'm doing now and my reasons for it. antonio tells them about what he thinks makes me "do it yourself" (diy) and his experiences of seeing the minutemen. he's very kind. he asks for questions, saying that this group is usually a very vocal bunch but you can tell there's some fear for the museum relic watt. I really don't mean to do this, I just must appear so weird for them, sitting up front there w/the little bass on my lap, talking the way I do about the things I'm saying. there are some good questions though. I can tell that being from the old days, folks might think what they're doing today is warmed-over or unoriginal and I try to assure them that that's not the case at all. a lot of that is just circumstance that I was born before and them after and this has nothing to do w/the potential of creating stuff that's vital, personal and original. I use the example of the pocket knife. the art is not in the knife itself but rather in what is to be carved w/it. for me, the punk scene was a means and not an end to itself. of course, I have to talk about d. boon cuz my connection w/music was a very personal one w/him but I have much respect for that scene cuz it inspired me much to break through my fears and try to express myself. that spirit still lives inside me and is not just a uniform or an image. I tell them about my heavy sickness and how that made these things even more important to me and released things deep within me. life is a dynamic flow and not just fixed points in a static universe. I tell them when I come back to town, I will do a gig for their place cuz I truly believe in what's going on here. one fucked thing about the gig I'm doing at the paramount is that there's a twentyone plus age limit and this shuts younger people out. I hate that.
antonio gives me a lift back to the pad and I go to the back of the boat to konk. I konk really hard, like almost four hours. I pop just in time for our set. I miss both spot and these cats who opened who were from colorado, I think their name was something like devotchka. I'm sorry I'm not sure of what it was cuz I didn't see it spelled but I did meet them at soundcheck and they were nice folks. their sound was trippy, w/accordion, bazouki, tuba and fiddle, quite eclectic. the pad is pretty much packed and we start our gig. oh boy, more clams w/the new stuff but I'm getting a little more assured. my guys soldier on admirably, even w/their share of goofs. I love their spirit. the crowd has a great spirit too and it's a pleasure to work for them. spot comes on to play "the red and the black" w/us but it takes him a while to get it together - sorry, but we gotta wail. he'll get the hang of it. w/watt it's dash and bash. I think the flow and momentum of a gig is very important and can kill shit bad if it's fucked up. pete is much better w/the stage presence thing. I talked to him about this after the albuquerque gig and impress upon him that this ain't just prac and we're in front of folks trying to make things vital. not to be a hambone or anything but to just let the spirit take him. jer is a little internal tonight. I had to holler and hit his cymbals a couple of times to get his attention. had to holler at pete once too cuz they just get preoccupied. I know lots of this is from the stuff being so new w/them and believe it will come around - we might just become "a well-oiled machine" even! I did like lots about tonight's gig and judging by the folks talking to me when we're done w/the encore, they did too. I still had to laugh bunches still. I really want to get my shit more together.
we pack up and follow anthony and laura to the pad we're konking at. there's like a small party going but there's a side room and I lay my bag out pretty quick and get ready to go down for the count. spot konks w/his feet at a right angle to my head. it sounds like he's talking on a phone w/these "yeahs" and "uh huhs" but I realize he's talking in his sleep cuz these pretty huge snores start emerging from him. now from all my touring and learning to konk anywhere, this bothers me not in the least. a few moments and it's sleeptown for watt fast.
thursday, april 18, 2002 - lubbock, tx
Had a relatively uneventful trip from N.M.; I chimped diary for most of it- We got to lubbock about 5:00 in the afternoon and did the load-in and sound check; heath tolleson, a local musician was the opener along w/ the great spot. The gig was some kind of pre-party bash for an upcoming festival-first time in 18 yrs. that watt had played there.. Me, mike and jer all took a pre-gig conk in the boat (I had the front seat)- the boat was parked in front of the pad- a place called the blue light and it was crammed w/ college kids drinking cheap beer- I also noticed that nobody had any tattooes- (looked like it was going to be a dream gig)
We started w/ the three new tunes, and scanning the front of the stage I saw probably what was every punker in Lubbock. At the end of the second song somebody yells out "what the fuck was that"?, but we kept plowing thru; we had gotten a reaction. Mike decides to make a joke about how San Pedro has the greatest ratio of gays to straights and how they're all big longshoremaen- and then introduces the band as a couple of longies from Pedro- dead fucking silence from the back- a few snickers from the handful of people who got it. The rest of the gig was good, not too many clams but it was a tough one; we played like an auger thru armored cement. Thanked the sound dude(otto) rapped a little w/ some of the fans after the gig (incl. an inked-up dude named dirty charlie who told me it was the best show he'd ever seen in lubbock-much respect charlie) we piled into the boat and went over to heath's place and rapped w/ Nick (guit. And mandolin player) and heath. Very nice cats all around. I conked happy. (heath actually covered me w/ a blanket and I told him he would make somebody a good wife someday.
Up and out. No time a wasting were on the road to texas. Long haul, bout' 7 hours to lubbock. I call kel at the gas stop and wish her love and rilei too. Todays her b-day. YEAH! Happy 1st my little one, I'm sorry daddy can't be there for you. XXXOOO! I LOVE YOU! We had a party on Sunday before I left at uncle randy's place. Lots of family and kids and the big bouncer and food and fun for all. I'll see em' in nyc in a couple weeks. We pull into lubbock after a long flat drive in e. texas. This is the home of buddy holly and waylon jennings. Buddy's face is plastered everywhere and his song titles are imprinted in the bricks on the sidewalk. Tonight's show is at the blue light. Total frat beer joint. One dollar pitches on thurs. and ladies free. I feel like second billing to brew.
We check w/the help of andrew and oj (no relation). All's well and time for din. Across the street is this pad the hub brewery. I get a turkey wrap and fries and save half for after show. Tired I knok on the bench in the boat. I can hear some band jamming for what seems like hours. Thinking it's the opener heath tolleson I can't believe they'ed play that long, but pete finally wakes me and says spot almost done. "I thought that was the first band I heard" I said. When I pop the door I see this band in the parking lot next to us. just rocking out to the cars in the lot and a couple heads. Inside the scene is apparent. College kids getting tanked on cheap beer and our mission is clear. Win over the hearts and minds. Set up and start w/the new ones to a eager crowd of locals who stand up front. Many others are about and seems a tad bewildered. We are not shaken as they begin to stir. I'd say near the end we enlightened some souls to something different.
Afterwards we get the gear cleared out fast and I join spot in hitting up the bbq across the street. Some damn fine sausage. Heath flows by and we follow him back to the crash pad for the evening. We rap a little and I ask about any extra rooms for my sleep. He pulls out a couple mattresses and I get a quiet space for the night. No spot rumble for me. Call kel and wish her a goodnight. Rilei is 1 and 1 day. 2:05 am
pop and hose off, no towels so I shake my body hard to do as much as I can do - drip dry. come back to that little side room and tell my guys we're shoving off. we gotta bail early cuz another hour gets lost at the texas border and there's four hundred miles to get driven. we're in the boat quick and down the road - not a cloud in the sky, everything overhead is bright blue. I steer us south on us-85 to the interstate and it's east on I-40 after we hit that cline's corner pad. man, I've driven past that place so many times. they've got tons of signs along the roadadvertising it as the greatest stop you can make on the freeway and I remember that once on a tour that had nels, I actually stopped there to chow. what crap! garbage. all talk w/those signs, believe me. even if they have nels' surname, it's the worst. the lesson is that many signs full of boast do not a good pad make! this time I'm just there for boat fuel. I give the cashier forty dollars for gas and when the pump shuts off at ten, I wonder if I was an idiot and didn't switch tanks (the boat has two, a front and rear one). even still I used more than ten dollars in one of them (the gas is $1.69/gallon, which is kind of high for out here). turns out the pump was set for only ten - that's a relief. I get some hot spiced peanuts and find a key chain new mexico license plate that says "pedro," the old style yellow ones. well, not that old of style cuz it says "new mexico usa" - like they need to say that? aaarrggghhh, that's always bugged me. I put it on my key ring and we're down the road.
guess there was some drama for pete last night plus me, jer and spot had some sort of snore symphony going on so he konks hard on the bench. we're coming down from the elevation we we're at but there's still some up and down w/the road. pretty scenery, lots of green in the red rock. lots of stupid signs too but after a while, your eyes learn to look right through them and see just nature. some man-made stuff is ok, like these pads that have decayed into nothing but rubble. a tiny town called cuervo has bunches of them. we call these pads "fixeruppers." funny, you think of what dreams came and went w/these now ruins, what ghosts maybe still live in them. near tucumcari (the signs for this town almost always say "tucumcari tonight!"), we stop for some subway sandwhich ballast. I get turkey breast w/lots of mustard. onward to texas where the landscape flattens out, good bye new mexico. there's construction so no border signs (damn, we like to get snaps of that) but you can tell it's texas cuz they always have a night time speed limit that's five miles a hour slower than the day time one. pete asks what difference does five miles a hour make and I tell him a traffic citation. we see the hombres (our word for the law) running a dog through a car that's been pulled over - drug search. that's why I asked jer to dump the two mota sticks someone gave him before we left santa fe - I don't need that shit in the boat if we get confronted w/that and you never know when that number's coming up. through wildorado and then amarillo, we turn south on I-27 before we reach the "big texan" restaurant where a plethora of billboards have been enticing drivers to gag down a seventytwo ounce chew toy piece of cow for free (in tiny letters, it also says you gotta do the whole dinner in one hour). the digicamera's getting it's battery charged so we miss the chance to snap the "cadillac ranch," maybe seven old cadillacs buried a third up in a row at a thirty degree angle. coming about south brings right into a major headwind, whoa. the boat handles it though and gets a silent prayer of thanks from watt. I love this boat. she gets a new motor for sure from watt after this tour.
pete trips on all the grain elevators we pass. his first time in texas. we pass towns like happy and plainview, he's snapping shots like crazy out the window. tour's a great way for him to learn the country - great for anyone, really. I still am. the I-27 ends in lubbock and we drive to buddy holly avenue, where the venue's at. it's called the blue light and I guess tonight's gig is a pre-party for the texas tumbleweed festival going off this weekend. after setting up, I walk around and find this storefront radio station that's got a board from the fifties in the window. pretty neat. you can see in further inside the pad the dj working the radio w/'puter screens and modern stuff but this old board on display is neat. buddy holly stuff is written all about, this looks like an am radio oldies station. waylon jennings was from this town too but I don't see anything written about him. oh well, both cats were pretty happening in my book. we do soundcheck and meet the opening band which is named after the singer, heath. they're very nice people and heath says it's ok to konk at his pad after the gig. me and my guys chow across the street at some brew pub call the hub center, that's a trip chowing w/my guys like this cuz I don't do much of that on tour. why? it can make me crazy (more crazy?), gotta have some space. anyway, I get this salad w/a boiled egg, bacon and chicken strips in it. weird but at least no grease. then it's to the boat for diary chimping and then konk.
whoa, some loud sounds outside the boat. guess a band is playing outside in front of a place called "frank and stein" (which has it's exterior done up like a dungeon somewhat). I mean, this is loud. almost gig time anyway. I try to work myself up w/the words for the new tunes, I keep fucking choking on these, can't figure it out. this bar is obviously a frat kind of one though the people working here are very nice, the soundman o.j. and the guy taking care of us, drew, especially. lots of the crowd though - well, it's one dollar pitchers of beer and girls get in for free - you get the picture. I ain't taking an attitude towards it though, I'm trying hard to grow out of that shit and not be as redneck as those I'm supposedly afraid of. there's no justice in that. folks come from different walks, you can't pre-judge. shit, I haven't played this town in seventeen years w/the minutemen and I'm hankering to give it a go. damn, I start to remember that gig - the p.a. was so tiny, d. boon had to sing through my amp! if I blow some minds, great. for sure, I'm not above anyone - maybe just coming from a different place. it is kind of scary though but then, gigs are just scary for me, period. spot's running late, I gotta have a talk to him about that. we set up as quick as we can and start the gig up. you can tell there's some tripping but that's ok. I'm choking on the new tunes - I blow the whole bridge in the first one - aahhh! my guys adapt though and we soldier on. there's some comments getting yelled out but then there's folks coming up front and getting into too. there's punk people, cat's in cowboy hats, whatever. this is good, watt the poloarizer but maybe bring some different elements together too. we just go song to song and let no dead air exist in between, we keep the momentum up. the only I really tell the crowd is near the end when I tell them my mission is to try and blow minds. oh and as a great man once said "all the squares go home!" (well, I guess it was the lady playing trumpet in sly stone's band). spot joins us on "the red and the black" and "sister ray." I really go off on that last one. really, really intense. then the soft "chinese firedrill" and we're done. they want us back! I dedicate the song to "everyone who got picked on in school." the promoter's rep, danny, says thanks - I never did get to see the actual boss, a cat named lane arnold. I really wanted to say something to him about his name and the syd barrett song from the old days. oh well. lots and lots of spiel w/people after the gig. much good will here to go around, I feel very lucky and fortunate. of course, you hear all kinds of apologies for their town - always this kind of inferiority complex stuff and I try to reassure them that it's ok and I feel honored to come here and work my stuff. "it's not where you're from - it's where you're at!" so funny about people and perspective and stuff. fear is the enemy, mystery is ok. getting your mind blown is ok too. especially mine!
we follow heath to his pad. funny how these cats drive like a nascar dash, thinking those in the boat (us) know where we're going. we don't. luckily, his tail lights grow tiny but don't disappear altogether. I just don't want to take chances, racing like a crazy man. w/the boat, I try to keep safe and sane. we do indeed make it. getting settled at his pad, him and nick, his mandolin player, say the nicest things. I think of d. boon. I always do when people say kind things to me about music. I'm quick into my bag and got the mask on. I do talk a bit w/the eyes covered but soon the adrenaline runs out and konk smotes the consciousness.
friday, april 19, 2002 - oklahoma city, ok
Woke up and took a cold shower (heath forgot to pay the gas bill) which I really needed as I was in major grog mode from listening to the watt-spot nasal symphony all nite (picture two giant whoopee cushions being jumped on repeatedly)- we had a hellride to oklahoma so I conked most of the way in the boat.
Got to the pad around 6:00 pm ( a place called VZD's) and did the loadout- went inside the place- a cool little restaurant w/ great chow. had some really good hot dogs-(the manager told me he orders em' special from houston- Ah tell you what) we set up and waited for the sound guy while watt chimped some diary. The guy still hadn't showed around 9:15 and we were going on at 11:50 . me and jer were getting pissy. Finally the guy comes in around 9:30 and proceeds to take his sweet-ass time; I go to the boat to confer w/ the captain and it is decided that we will move the stuff and let the first band -20 minutes to vegas do their check. Me and jer move the equipment and I go to the boat for a conk. Jer goes to the Tenacious D show which is in town.
Watt wakes me up around 11:30 and we go inside to hear the last songs of spot's set.
The gig went off well; watt was pretty on but I thought I played like a slug- I was nervous and a little grumpy - many apologies to the captain.
Jack black came to see us after his show and rapped w/ watt for awhile. We were going to crash at this girl Terry's house so we piled into the boat and did the caravan (the race is on Terry has this huge, very cool two level house w/ saltillo tiles throughout and a big brahma bull's head mounted in the living room. She also had a computer so I emailed Lil the kill, Tone, and the girls, and afterwards I was pretty beat so I crashed in a downstairs bedroom to the sounds of acoustic guitar and off-key singing......
This was a night of very bad dreams for me. Houses collasping and angry people wanting to get me for causing the damage. Volcanos exploding, lava chasing us down the street w/no where to run. I'm covered in sweat from the tension. I tell mike of the dream and how he was one of the angry people in it. He laughs and says maybe its related to the fact that I got married in hawaii near kilauea and our family was around us all week after the wedding. I just couldn't shake them. Though they were helping w/the baby and that's the reason for having them around. Still I want a real honeymoon someday, so does kel. This summer for sure. So I suppose that could be it. I don't know. We pack up and start backtracking to ok city. I sleep almost before we get on the interstate, waking up in amarillo at some gas stop. That's it.
I awake in ok and we pull up to vdz. I jump out immediately and go to order some stuffed mushrooms and spinach salad. Yummy! This place has fine chow. after load in we sit and wait for the check. last time no check. this time no check. just seems that the check don't wanna happen here. Chad the boss is cool about it and asks if I'm willing to head downtown to see tenatious d. why not? Grabing a brew each we head out for some humor. At the entrance of the venue I run into terry and jill. Terry's pad in ok is where we kicked last time, and jill and I rapped endlessly over some libations. Terry's glad to see me and offers us a place for the night. Their both sweethearts. Said they'd see me later at the vdz. We enter and I notice bad sound from the system. Echo chamber to the third. Blahhhhhhh! I tell chad that we need to bail at around 10:45 to make it back for our show. We stay and watch the last film they show between sets. The first one had both guys in the desert doing what were to think is acid, but in fact it turns into a twisted male birthing scene. Butt baby is born. The following short has our duo start by fighting on stage over money and the film rolls showing jack black weeks later working santa monica blvd. for change. Picked up by g.k. they head to a parking structure and commence the deal. W/no money g.k. stiffs black again. He takes it in the face for nothing. Some funny shit. I see the girls on the way out and say I'll rap later w/em'. Chad and I go back to vdz.
Spots just finishing when I walk in and I wake mike and pete for the show. We get on about 11:50 and the crowd is pumped. A few clams but nothing too lame ass. The show has great energy. Mike porks his amp for sister ray and does some hendrixess behind the head solo action. The "d" guys show up as we encore. Glad to see their support. I get off at the end and go for a drink w/jill at the bar. She tells me that her boyfriend asked her to marry him. I think sometime in june. Go luck kids. Back at terry's some heads show and make noise til' early morn. I elect to crash in the boat.
pop and hear spot gasping as though he's breathing through an aquarium pump. damn, he sounds underwater! hope he's ok. I go to the head to hose off. surprise! no hot water. ok. I soap up first and then let the ice cubes spray out on me. damn, is this shit cold! aaaahhh!!! quite an eyepopper, if I might say so. better than strong coffee (or something stronger). I put my eyeballs back in my head and go out to chimp diary. spot is trying to get his 'puter online and having lots of problems. compuserve crap. poor spot. lots of cussing from him. I chimp on. pete wakes and then jer. we thank heath much for all his hospitality, what a sweetheart. I wish him luck w/his music and everything. he tells us there's no hot water cuz of the bill not getting paid. oh well, those things happen... it was an intense experience anyway so I'm not complaining.
the sky sure is heavy and rainy looking. as we shove off, drops hit the windshield. oh oh, let's skat. we're back north on the road whence we came yesterday, I-27. the scenery is as flat as it was yesterday. intense the way there's no hills. interesting though. lots of grain and corn fields, looks like planting time now. jer konks in the back while pete chimps diary up front. at amarillo, we turn east on I-40 and pass that big texan pad, the place w/the seventytwo ounce gutbomb chew toy. looks like the big neon cowboy sign is gone. we stop for gas and I get some 'dines, ones I haven't tried before, chicken of the sea. I know them more for tuna. no matter, it's friday anyway. I get some crackers and chow them. it's almost a four hundred mile hellride again today and we have lots of time to spiel. we pass the largest crucifix in north america and next to that, a water tower styled on the leaning tower of pisa. onward through a little town called texola and we're into oklahoma, land of the very red clay. the rain's letting still just drops and drops and makes the grass bright green in contrast to the red of the earth. pretty. there's hill here and much pasture w/cattle and horses - different than that panhandle part of texas. we drive through the cheyenne-arapahoe nation. well, not their original home but where they got put. sad. cherokees were put in this state too and they were from the carolinas! you make up your own mind about that shit when you're hearing news about ethnic cleansing. anyway, I talk to my guys about some of problems I'm having on my own. I'm having a hell of time getting the words out during the set w/this new stuff. playing it too. I mean, I've never played anything almost this bad ever in front of people. terrible. it's so bad that the re-living and going over the set I usually do when I'm trying to konk after a gig that I play weak is getting suppressed cuz the guilt I feel is big - I mean this is a way beyond simple chokes and clamming. it's terrible. thank god my guys are strong and hold true. I can't figure why except maybe the subject is still too fresh and intense on me to play as just music or whatever. I stumble on it badly. it seems like I have to relive it as it's coming right out of my mouth! aahh, no separation between the art and the experience. maybe we should do the purgatory or paradise part. the hell part is truly a hellride. I've never had it this rough before. I make for such a bad leader for my guys, how can they take direction from a hapless nutcase? not to make excuses but this moving right before tour has shook my shit up heavy as well. in so many ways I am fragile, I have to admit. too brittle. I have to get more calm and be able to bend w/these hells that come up - or that did come up... shit, that sickness started two years ago. I have to say though, I still feel some of it - I am not the same as before it threw me down. I'm thinking about these problems w/my playing now but in order for me to get through the set, it goes out of head just before and while I'm in the middle of it - some kind of defense mechanism to let me cope. the same thing after when I can't believe the shit I blew. I think it would kill my ability to even try it if I had to directly confront this nightmare of trying to get things to the point and on the money. after all these years of working bass and delivering it to people, to think I'm this pathetic at it - it scares to me to no end. I wonder what is happening to me, am I regressing into more of a 'tard or incompetent? emotionally, this is quite devastating on me. I just can't figure it out. these are thoughts that surely don't fire up inspiration in my men. I have to tell what's in my head though, they must surely be wondering what the fuck is up w/me. it is quite a dilemma and this tour's biggest problem. I want to overcome this shit and get it the fuck together, surely. I could see if I was drinking or fucked up w/chemicals but this is not the case. it is a new way of doing a trio for me but the other tunes are going good. no, it's something about the sickness it's speaking for - it's touching something inside me where I'm the weakest ever - tiny, helpless. I feel in the head like I did in the body the first time I toured after getting well enough to give it a go, like I had no center to put a focus in my body to move the music. like a baseball pitcher who can't center all his force on delivering a pitch, no way to concentrate his windup. like a g.i. joe that's supposed to have all his limbs connected at the center w/elastic but that elastic is stretched out weak. aahhh, it's plaguing me so. really bad. all I can think of to do is just keep plowing on and give it my best. pete and jer are champs for sticking by me. the folks too who come to witness this. I am truly a lucky man. I want so bad to do good for them. these are strange days for me.
we get into oklahoma city and pull into vzd in the north part of town. this pad's a restaurant too and the give me a salad w/a chunk of salmon, nectarine slices and walnuts in it. trippy but tastes really good. chad's the boss here and I dig him much. the posters and stickers from righteous man rob and florida got delivered, great. thanks, rob. the stickers are of the boat and are round w/green on white. happening. the poster has a pettibon drawing on it - some guy looking into another guy's eye w/a magnifying glass and the caption reads, "hamlet might reach him." I love raymond truly. he is very much my virgil for this pilgrim. I don't know of a man who has taught me more. I get on the net a chimp some email and then it's too the boat to think about the challenges up before me on this tour. no need for soundcheck cuz this soundman is moseying big time so I waive our right for the sake of the gig going off on time. no prob.
it's a hard think. makes me feel so tiny and wanting for a light, an inspiration to help springboard my ass. I realize I have that if only I could realize in it my playing, manifest that love, that power in working that little bass and delivering my spiel. god, it puts a fire in my gut and blazing sun in my head - I should be able to challenge that like solar cell or a boiler and power this shit through. like I said, it's a hard think for me but after a while, somehow, someway - I konk. we're parked right in front of the pad so when I pop, I catch spot's last tune through the window. I did hear the first band, a local unit of young ones called twenty minutes to veags, for a few tunes before sleeping and thought they were good. I grab the slinggin' sack and the little bass and head for the stage.
we do better w/the sickness songs. I'm better w/the music part for sure. the spiel still has part getting stuck in my fucking throat, my head blanks - aaarrrggghhh... the rest of the set goes better though pete smokes some clams. I can imagine how this whole thing is so intense on him. I am very determined and really play my brains out - it's the frist friday of the tour and I'm letting those 'dines and that salmon I chowed earlier come up to the surface help me paddle this little bass big time, like I had to oar for my life. in a way, I do. these folks are very kind and give us an encore. I change up "little doll" and put some intense bass solo in the front part. going off in "sister ray" really pumped me up for this, I fuck my amp while going at my machine like a crazy man. I like the low the amp puts in where my lap would be if I was sitting down. I get ecstatic. I fucking go off. I want too. bad. I sweat my whole outfit, first time on the tour where I'm drenched. I dig it. there was some release for the fucked-up-in-the-head-man tonight. thank god. I'm proud of my guys too, they're coming along.
I sling shirts and these people have the most warm-hearted things to say to me. I can't thank them enough though I try. the actor jack black comes up and spiels w/me for a bit - he wanted me to play w/dave grohl on his last record but I was busy on tour. he's on tour too but it's a littler one. a nice cat. this young man tells me flaming lips wayne coyne was outside the gig listening but never came in. same thing last year. this pad ain't too big and you can hear good from outside through the glass but I wish I could rap w/him again. last fall at least I got some spiel in on the phone but tonight I was just had to get to the boat and do some alone time. oh well. I have much respect for him and always have. I get told his new record is out in july. good luck, wayne.
I finish slingging and pack up. trophy wife pete stewart made the hellride up from wichita falls and says he'll see me in austin. terrie, the lady who dressed as dorothy when I was here last halloween again invites me and my guys to konk at her pad. I settle w/chad and thank him much. I meet reggie, a younger cat w/a new club in town, the green door and he tells me how much into tsol he is. I tell him jack's an old friend. thanks yous to everyone and it's off to terrie's. she's got a really happening pad - split level, set stones for floor, neat furniture and much uniqueness to her place. I'm worn out. I guess a party's happening but I'm in my bag quick naked and the mask on. this lady, jill, who was dressed as poison ivy when I was here last talks w/me a bit but I can't continue long. the piper must be paid for going off like I did at the gig. alright w/me, that's why I tour - to go off w/the little bass. I love it. especially when I can get it somewhat together.
saturday, april 20, 2002 - denton, tx
Watt wakes me while terry makes us some chow and buys me some smokes(thanks terry) she was a very gracious host and a very nice person (AND she has a righteous record collection)- we get back into the boat and I conk the whole way to Denton.
We roll into Denton around 3:00 and it is a cluster-fuck. We're playing for an annual thing the university frats put on called the fry street fair; open containers are legal so it's a shite-trough. Bar owners charging 4 bucks to use the bathroom- overpriced greasy food-god bless capitalism. We were playing the show w/ Frank Black so it looked to be a promising but it was very hot and humid and we would get a few drops of rain every once in awhile; there was no tarp over the stage due to some bullshit local fire ordinance-we just might end up doing the dance of the electrocuted punkers....
The band right before us - Brutal Juice- really worked up the crowd; they are a big local favorite-very aggressive shit and the guys in the band are really nice cats. Watt cut the first three songs off the set list and mixed up the rest so we had a shorter set but it still packed some whoop-ass. We ripped thru the tunes like a piledriver; we were really starting to lock in on the songs after a week of playing. The monitors were shit and cutting out so watt and me had trouble hearing some of the vocals but we pulled thru like a charm and the crowd really dug it. Right in the middle of "sister ray" it starts to rain and the water is splashing all over as we're playing it- real cataclysmic- and the crowd caught in on the vibe. Cool show. We stayed for Frank Black's set and then loaded up the boat and headed on over to crash at local drummer John McIntyre's pad (which he shares w/ his cool lady, natalie) After we dumped the baggage we got invited over to wally's(he emceed the show and played in between sets w/ his band -cornhole) He has a very large pad and patio and we chowed down on some wicked que' and rapped. All around very no bullshit, hospitable people (very european almost) had a very good time
Went back to john's pad and conked on the love-seat. Conked very happy too.
Mike wakes me and I go inside to chow some cereal. Terry's up but looking tired. Pete got the bed downstairs while mike took the couch. Terry got a blow up mattress somebody put together last night and placed her in. she doesn't recall being put to bed. Probably better anyhow. I take a shower and we depart soon after. Only three and a half hours to denton and the weather looks like possible showers. Today were playing a street festival near north texas state. I guide mike in w/his ibook street atlas. And we pull up to the madness. People crowd the area around the fair. After parking mike decides to stay w/the boat in case anyone tries to block him in. good thing I find out later. Pete and I get our passes and go exploring the scene. Lots of hippy like kids frolicing around and drinking shitloads of beer. I mean everywhere beer and kegs and booze. Total debachery in the street. The cops just stand and watch it all. Must be a texas thing cause' this'll never happen in l.a.. they'd start shooting eachother or fighting and cops would start beating. I mean that could be the worst case secenerio. The least, it shut down before it ever got to this stage.
After wandering and watching some bands jam we go back to the delta stage for our show. Mike is still in the boat after four hours without a good parking space. Some dude left his truck in the load in area and is blocking everyone from getting in or out. Lame ass. What can we do but deal w/it. W/some help the gear is thrown and set up quick. Mike comes straight from the boat to the stage. I can see he's fatigued from sitting so long, but that won't bring him down any. No check for any bands today. Coulda' used it. The monitor cat has a tough time getting any good sound at all. We soldier on. I'm a little stiff and can't hear any singing, but we do well to pull off a good show. At the end some dude in the front row yells for a set list, so I throw a stick instead. It misses his hand and lands in someones else's. I throw another and off his hand again. This time it hits a girl square in the face. Ouch! No more throwing sticks for jer. Frank black is on next for the second of three shared bills we'll have. They only play for about forty five minutes cause' of the time limit for the fair. Great set from em' though.
I pack up and rap some w/john mcintyre whom were staying w/tonight. Sitting in the boat ready to leave some dude towing along his lady starts in about being booted from the fair. "you can't kick me outta here, I am music! I brought these people here!" exclaimed the disheartned drunken frat boy. Wally's band corn hole played in between acts on the delta stage. Funny lyrics set to cheesey songs. I like em'. We round up some folk at john's and cruise to wally's for some chow. I run into eric, corn holes drummer, and exchange hearty welcomes. A true texan to the core. He's boiling some ribs for the q.. looking good for some meaty grubbing. Along w/some steaks and beer it's a total meat fest. No sides, just meat. I'm way tired and tell mike I'll be in the boat konking. Soon were heading back to john's and sleepy time for jer. John's dogs moondog and scrappy doo say goodnight.
pop and go out to the boat to put on clean levis. damn, I've been wearing the same pair these first five gigs but they got way too wet for me to wear again. it's unhealthy too and I must watch my health close. that's funny w/these fucking cigarettes, huh? well, I'm gonna quit them too but not now. I have a very addictive personality and must use some benign kind of proxy for now after purging many other poisons from my regimen. kira wrote an email telling me to quit smoking even. I understand. I'm just so fucking out of my mind now, even more it seems. I will try and get it together. there's a righteous simese cat here. a big furry one too. both of them are quite kind and nice to me. jer konked in the boat last night and I roust him when I get jeans. pete's downstairs and I get him up next. there's a shower there and I hose off. it's got a big window to the outside w/a type of garden set up - what a way to get clean. trippy. terrie cuts up some nectarines and apples and gives them to us w/some grapes. she goes to the store and gets some bagels and stuff and makes me little sandwich. very considerate. thank you, terrie.
we shove off for texas, south on I-35. a three hour straight-shot. the red clay turns to gray granite and you can see the results of living in tornado alley all over: trees, fences, signs, barns, sheds - all kinds of shit upended and tossed about. whew, scary. we roll past where gene autry's from, there's a great gene autry cowboy museum by the zoo in l.a. pete and jer are pretty beat, they were up late w/that party last night. pete says I was rolling on that couch and knocked a glass of water over, freaking everyone out. I can toss about when I konk sometimes. that's what's scary about beds for me - I can roll right out of them. it was l.a. gray coming out of ok city and a little rainy but that quits as we get the near the border w/texas. the wind is up there though and I have to keep a good grip on the wheel. we come into texas and you can feel the humidity. not too bad but it's there. remember, I live in cali where it's dry even though I'm right by the water in the port. I'm sensitive to this shit and it oppresses me. can't stand air conditioners either. anyway, we pull into denton and head for fry street.
we're playing the fry street fair, an event where they block of some streets and have bands play on outside stages. we're on the delta stage, some kind of alumni group for folks from the university here. the only other time I played this town was ten years or so ago w/fIREHOSE andit turns out it was a big music school. I found this out by asking for paper to make a set list and they gave me sheets w/staff lines printed all over them! aahhh, I was so scared to play in front of "musicians!" it was a pants-shitter gig for me. well, obviously there's no open container laws here cuz everyone is walking around w/beers, sixpacks, cases, coolers, whatever. lots of college people. we pull up to the gate and have to wait like a half-hour in the street why this massive pervost tour bus, all painted up w/cuervo hype and w/a trailer, trying to maneuver out of this lot. we find someone to tell us where to go and the lot we're directed to is very much plugged. I find a slot but fuck if I'm gonna get the boat towed so I send my guys out to chow why I play guard dog. well, I pull double-duty and also play diary writer too. it's getting sweaty. funny looking at young people looking mostly the same. why don't people take more chances, especially when they're young and don't have too much to lose at that point. I see this all the time at festival kinds of things. that herd part of humanity always makes itself obvious at these times. I think I'm the only idiot here w/a flannel on - well, only one, period. it's a blue one, I like to wear that color in texas. it's one I got in pedro and it's a dickies one. pete likes wearing dickies pants. I crack myself up realizing I'm thinking about clothes! I might be more fashion conscious than I realize! 4:30 comes and it's time to pull the boat near the stage to load in the equipment but some cat in one of the bands playing has plugged the entrance w/his red truck. damn. I gotta stay right by, next to the curb and wait. it's like an hour and a half. in fact, we have to load out from this spot. the boss of this stage, a young man, apologizes much but I tell him that clusterfucks like this are par for course. the only reason I dig playing festivals is to turn on people who would never probably see you at a club. everything else about them is pretty weak from my perspective - lots of grief. I still them though and probably always will. it'd be a nightmare to make a career out of it though!
ok, things are getting tight - we're on in ten minutes and I'm still in the boat! I've been sitting in this blessed craft for three and half hours! I changed an 'a' string on the little bass cuz I had a weird feeling it was gonna pop. I also made a set list different from what we've been doing just for this gig. I want to be real confident in such a squarejohn situation so I scissor the newer tunes. I hope this don't seem too chickenshit. they're for my people who've seen me a bunch and what to know where I'm going lately. most of these folks have never seen me and have nothing to compare me w/so I don't feel that need so bad and the scared shit dealing w/this latest stuff might not be appropriate. it's a call I make w/reservations but it's one I feel strong about. I actually walk from the boat, to the stage and start playing the set - like that. no warm up or even a little stretching. it's kind of weird but one life is made of many gigs and some are just gonna trippy. it's ok. after being in that boat that long and seeing/hearing how regular everything is crowd/music-wise. I want to go for the throat w/this gig. I mean crazy. these thing never have soundchecks so you just go for it. damn, is the stage sound band - christ. I hear nothing but the fucking over-the-top bogarting bass player. and cymbals - loud! no singing or organ, that shit is nothing but mime up here. I definitely want to make a impression though and fully go for it. one thing about tuners like this korg dtr-1 that uses l.e.d. lights, you can't see them in the sunlight so like an idiot, instead of testing w/my ear (the only way I did it w/d. boon in the minutemen days) I rely on the tuner and can't see the sharp light on for the 'g' string. aaarrrrrgggggghhhhh - I'm not using that string much in the first tune and luckily, I don't have to. I get that together when we finish it up. I really really lay into the little bass and luckily, she hold all her strings fast. at one point, I'm even my knees and if you know about my fucked-up knees, then you know how pretty crazy that is but I don't care cuz I'm fully off - I'm letting out all the pent-up shit that fermenting on me in the boat. I want to do good but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to be accurate, I want to be emotional. I have lots of punk in me, even w/all the years and learning how to play more notes and whatever-that-means kind of shit. I think of d. boon, jonh coltrane and those I love. names come out of my head and even spill out of my mouth. I don't mean to but it's just erupting out of me - I'm kind of in an out of mind state. I want to be esctatic. like last night but even more so maybe. I want to help people be brave expressing themselves by being brave myself. it is not a time for spiel but a time for wrestling and yanking these tunes out. no pauses between any of them, only play play play. the heat lets up a little when some rain come but it quits quick. I feel pretty cramped and it's hard to get my hands to do what my mind wants but then I decide not to let my control anything and give it over to my spirit - the tightly packed flame inside me. like a burning coal but not the coal itself, rather the heat radiating off of it. I can feel the waves flow through me, the blood gushing hard through my plumbing and damn, my heart! my pound pound pound heart is pushing right through me! I only get soft for "chinese firedrill." then one more crazy throw w/"little doll." I fuck my amp again but just a little cuz I am out of gas. no konk before this gig like last night. I pack up my shit and hang my mouth open, I can hear my ticker resonate right through the teeth. they're trippy throbs, like electric current creating some kind of fur around them - the strangest sensation. lots of nice people shake my hand and I wish I could be more coherent w/them but I can't catch my breath much. the kid monitors apologizes but I try hard to let him know he did the best he could and it's alright, he was very sweet. the stage boss pays me w/a check and apologizes too but again, I let him know it's ok too - these things are like this. this drummer cat named john introduces himself and we get talking. he has a remarkable resemblance to flea if flea had a beard and wore glasses, even his voice. I ask him if we can konk at his pad and he's into it. I have to get some chow though and walk down the street and find some buffalo wings. the man serving them, drew, knows of me and we talk a little about minutemen and such. good chow for a hungry watt. thanks, drew. my heart is still pounding out of my chest. frank black + the catholics are about to start and I go over to see them. charlie sounds great, he is such an inspiration to me. he has songs that really touch me. one's about a son taking over from his pop when a revolution is coming, great. I walk close up to the stage but on the side. I feel so wrung. I have to sit. it's all grass and that makes it easy. I lay out. almost an hour after getting done w/my set and I'm still kind of gasping w/the breaths - boy did that gig thump on me! I'm staring up into the sky. the moon is exactly at half, bright against the blue and straight over my head. I narrow my eyes on her. clouds, dark ones roll in front and I lose her. I keep eyes still where last it was and just hold that stare fixed. the clouds move past. still there - just obscured, only a little faith to wait it out. I watch the cycle repeat, over and over. moon, diana, hunter, half-seen/half-whatever - is it just a half? for this time. cloud passes/masks. trippy how that other half is there but it's not blocked, you see sky where that other half should be. it's another way of not being seen. like invisible, like radio waves. there but undetected, not hidden. a subtle difference. what a difference. it makes me tears come from my eyes. ain't that weird? all these people standing around, I don't give a fuck. charlie's doing a great job working the songs out for them. I imagine myself invisible to them. well, flannel visible - grass where the head should be except when a throng walks by - then I'm all hidden. charlie and his cats get done and I finally got my normal pulse back. I go back stage and thank him, then get in the boat to follow john to his pad.
whoa, am I sore! so glad it's only ten. john's got a neat little house w/his girlfriend natalie nearby and there's some righteous dogs here. a dachshund named moondog and a scottish terrier named scrappydog and they're little lovers. there's a doberman too but that's kept in another room and I can't think of it's name. the other two are all over watt and very interested in "reading my newspaper" - smelling me all over. john wants to go over to wally's - he's a cat who has a band called corn hole that played between the other acts at the festival. he wants to drive us but I opt for taking the boat myself - no disrespect but I'm tired and might want to bail early and all. we go over to wally's and he's got meat to q for us he's boiled first in beer. he gives me a whole slab of pork ribs when they're done cooking. that's it but that's enough - I'm stuffed. damn, are they good and conjure excellent thoughts in my head. different follks come up and rap w/me - wally gives me this fold up cloth and wire chair that allows you to put your feet up and I, in a weird way, hold a strange kind of court. I'm pretty sapped but have several different conversations w/these cats, one at a time. a lot w/wally - he's cool people. I never move! when it's time to go, I thank everyone and we take the boat back to john's. I get in my sack to konk but earlier, I had asked john to put the 'puter in a safe place. that's where the konk mask is. the safe place is where the doberman is! john went back to the party but luckily, he returns and I can retrieve the 'puter and w/it, the konk mask. this is great. I can konk now knowing I won't pop at the moment sunlight comes. I pop early but need some konk. the two little dogs cuddle on me. the dachshund snuggles in cuz those kind like to root by nature. it's a nice thing they both do for me. I konk w/living contact. thanks puppies.
sunday, april 21, 2002 - austin, tx
We all woke up at the same time and chimped a little diary and took our showers while Johnny mac made us some bacon and eggs in tortillas which me and watt immediately doused in hot sauce and inhaled. Loaded up the boat and we were off towards Austin- (thanks for the good chow and good vibes, john)
Chimped diary most of the way (I was way behind) and we made a stop in Dallas to see the place where JFK was killed (near Dealy plaza). Watt showed me the exact spot where it went down and where abe zapruder was standing when he filmed the whole thing- we even stood on the grassy knoll and tossed some theories back and forth; I don't think there was any way Oswald could of fired those shots himself- you have to physically see the trajectory from the book depository to appreciate the impossibility of this. The former texas book depository is now storage for the dallas courthouse and the sixth floor has been turned into a museum, mysteriously called the "sixth floor" museum complete w/ a gift shop selling more nauseating trinkets to the busloads of tourists that flow thru. Another example of capitalism rearing its ugly side to turn tragedy into cash. These types of pads should be made free to the public as an example of human brutality and folly(especially the Warren commision farce that investigated the entire incident) people should not have to pay money out the back for this. Bogus- but I'm glad we stopped to see it.
Got to the pad around 4:30 - it was called La Zona Rosa and it was big- warehouse big and had a huge sound system w/ full lighting. We did the load out; this was our last show w/ Frank Black and w/ Matthew who did our first show w/ us and this looked like it was going to be a cool gig. Did the load in and sound check which sounded fine altho' the monitor engineer, a guy named John "Hazmat" Haddad was giving us some serious jive rock n' roll attitude; I was looking at the monitors (small EAW's that weighed a TON) and as I have technical interest in such stuff I asked him what they were loaded with- (Mackie now owns EAW and I was wondering if it was some kind of a proprietary speaker or off-the-shelf item) This cat tells me "money"- what a fucking putz! I smiled and made friendly but I knew what side of the road this schlemiel was walking on. Watt had to ask him three times to get him a straight mic stand but princess still gave him a boom. Sheezzzz....mike went to the dressing room to chimp diary and me and jer went to walk around in search of cigarettes. All the major clubs in Austin are a few blocks apart so we checked some of em' out- saw Antone's but it was locked as some band was doing a check. We walked for about three miles and finally found a 7-11 and made our purchases and headed back to the pad.
Me and Jer sat around and had some chow and Matthew went up and did their set- it was really tight and the crowd responded well. We were up next and the crowd was waiting . We started the three new tunes and the people were into it- this was the best night for me musically and I was definitely on. We all did really well. "Hazmat" however decided to work from memory on the monitor mix and muffed shit up pretty bad. The vocals couldn't be heard on stage so he blamed it on a faulty mike cable (which was not the case) and we had a wonderful 120hz hum in the monitors all during the performance. He was also slamming the Coltrane CD that we had on before and after our set. He apologized profusely to me after our set but he'd already shat where he eats. (I just kept on smilin'and being friendly). The FOH mixer was a young lady named cassie who was totally pro (no attitude ) and from what I could hear, did a fantastic job. (thanks cassie)
We stuck around for Frank Black's set once again and the crowd really loved him-me and jer had a few cocktails and rapped w/ some of the local musicians. Nice cats.
I grabbed all our waters from the dressing room and with the help of the stage guys, we loaded the boat up. Much respect to those guys- Oscar, Sims and I can't remember the third dude's name but all three were down cats. Many thanks.
We were crashing at spot's pad that nite so we headed on over and hit the deck- I gave Lil the kill a ring and we rapped for a while about the tour and stuff. I really miss lil and tony, and the girls but I'll see them soon. Conked happy once again.
I spring up and greet the day. the doggies slept w/mike on the couch and are still lounging there. John's lady natalie is up and talking w/us. she turns on braveheart and we begin to pick apart the storyline. Many key facts about the story are missed. Like the fact the main battle was over a bridge and not in a field. Or that they didn't have the face paint. Also, william wallace wore a beard. History vs. hollywood, hollywood cheats. John in the meantime is cooking up some morning chow. we all enjoy the fixings and thank him greatly. We say bye to all and jump aboard for austin. I lounge in the back while pete rides shotgun and chimps out some diaries. I awake to see were in austin and I direct mike to a mars music I hit up last time here. Need some stuff for the kit already. Have a couple busted cymbals along w/some odds and ends. All I end up w/is some sticks and cymbal cups. Pretty lame for a chain store not to break up hi-hat pairs, but so it is. I'll keep searching. Other stuff will be harder to find. Like the lug case for the bass drum. It's an older kit and I might not have any luck w/replacing it. We park at the club la zona rosa and discharge gear.
During the check the monitor guy named john starts in on the 'I'm the bro here' speil. You know making fun of anything said and slow to act on our needs for the stage. Mike and I end up moving monitors up front for the crowd when johnboy doesn't feel the need to. Mike also asks for a straight stand three times while smartguy just throws his mic on the boomer. Then the monitor mix goes through some ups and downs til' its going. Cassie the main mix gal does a great job w/her end and no complaints filed. We hand cassie the disc for our pre-show sound(coltrane of course)and rockjock starts kacking on the man. What a maroon. Pete needs to get some smokes and cassie tells of a 7-11 down the way. Someone else mentions a smokeshop around the corner so we scope it first. Not being able to find the place our walk turns into a multiblock marathon. Sometime later the 7-11 is spotted and pete gets his deathsticks. frank blacks guitarist is there in the bubble van but doesn't see us. we miss the ride and hump back on foot. Waiting around backstage I chimp some more and talk some w/the stage cats. Very cool folk.
The band mathew is still opening for frank black for 3 more shows then they go back to chicago. I hear em' from the couch backstage as I add more thoughts to my page. Very radio friendly band. were up and the crowd looks enthusiastic for sounds. I feel good for playing, loose and happy. The first three go off well w/very few clams. Wheew! I notice the monitors don't sound anything like the check. they're all small and lost w/no punch. Rockjock doesn't have it going on at all. Musta forgot all about our check settings. Typical. The only sore spot mike has w/me is overplaying in sister ray. Ok, I'll try to keep it contained bro. Still I think we won over the hearts and minds of many. Job well done by all.
The stage cats help w/load up and its done fast. Pete and I go inside for a cocktail and rap w/some local kids about music, pedro and road shit. Steve and mike, two of the kids, show how good effort effects ones outlook to different ways of presenting a new perspective. They dig our show and talk of starting something w/the same sensabilities. One small mission is completed. Many more to go. Mike's ready to go and were in the boat going to Spot's pad in no time. on the way mike helps a homeless guy w/some dollars and I give em' my tortilla chips. Mike has a very good heart towards the needy, something I admire greatly. Back at Spot's I chimp a little and bed down for the night.
pop and soak in the long tub they got here. that feels good on my bones, I was so sore after that gig. john gets up and goes to get some stuff at the store for us: coffee, eggs, tortillas and turkey bacon. he cooks it up for us and it's really good chow - thanks, john. it being sunday, I call my ma and everything is ok back in pedro. she went to my new "museum" (pad) and said it was incredibly stuffed w/boxes - it kind of blew her away. I've asked her to get my mail while I'm away and put it there so the mailbox doesn't get too stuffed. today is the last day of the first week of tour, eight more to go. back here in denton, natalie puts on the tv and it has that "braveheart" movie on. john turns down the sound and plays music from a band he's playing w/called raul duck. good sounding. this house they both have is done up w/tons of plants, natalie works at a plant store. I like that. I think I should do that w/mine when I'm back but the unpack job is gonna be very major. we'll see what room is left for living artifacts!
we thank both our hosts and the puppies and shove off, south on I-35. outside of cali, pete's only been to seattle, eugene, nyc, bangor, memphis and las vegas in the u.s. all this is new for him. last tour ("time to cat and not mouse" w/the jom & terry show) was jer's first and when we played dallas, we only drove by the jfk assassination area. this time, I opt to pull the boat over and stop so they can see the whole thing by hoof. they even go up into the sixth story memorial in the old book depository building. I've been there before and it weirds me out w/the gift store, admission and stuff. I'm glad they preserved this but to make it mersh is weird on me. whatever. I take shots all around the area w/the digicamera. the new theory is that the bullet might of come from a sewer in the curb near the grassy knoll so I take shots of that too. it's a weird feeling in me being here - always is. I was almost six when that happened. it freaked my ma much, that's what I remember the most. I remember the funeral march on the tv going so slow too. aahh, sad memories. violence, it always hurts me deep and shakes me up. back to the boat and I bled the water out of the motor's cooling system. we head back south on I-35, through waco (more violence here too) and on to austin. texas has these things called frontage roads (the "french road," we've called them since minutemen days - we didn't know that was a generic term for these and thought it was one, big motherfucking long road that went everywhere!) and there's strip malls all about them near and in towns. we find a music store north of the school (university of texas is here) and pete gets a tiny mixer so he can feed his organ sound to the peavy amp so I can hear him on stage better. we put that amp between mine and jer's drums. we then go to the venue.
this pad is called la zona rosa and it's my first time here. I'm very surprised to be told it's been around like fifteen years cuz liberty lunch was right near by and I played there tons of times for mark pratt. it was great to play there. it got leveled for a computer sort of company building to go up where it stood. "progress" - right. more like a bunch of suckass shit. this is our last gig w/charlie, I'm gonna miss him much. we were going to try to do "the big bang theory" or "chinese firedrill" w/him but there's not enough time to learn all the words. oh well, that's ok cuz his spirit is definitely willing. he tells me to write in my tour spiel that he's a lame ass but I can't do that cuz I don't believe he is. he makes beautiful music and is an inspiration for me. I treasure knowing him. we'll play w/each other at another gig, I know it. "no wine before its time," a great man once said. the people working here are great. this lady, cassy, is gonna mix us and she's very up for that. the stage man, oscar, is great too. there's only one jive guy, one w/a lot of talk - like the people you had to work w/in the old days, when rock and rollers thought punk rockers were the worst - lots of attitude but I don't waste any energy throwing the negativity back, why bother? you meet fewer and fewer of these people every day now, their time is done. this cat just doesn't know it yet. he'll find out. I don't have the time or inclination to help w/his lessons. actually, it's pretty funny to see someone acting like this. whatever. I make a sandwich out of some bread, tomato and roast beef on the table here. lots of mustard too. my friend, cary, a cat who's come to many of my texas gigs, shows up w/some austin prize hot sauce and some texas-shaped chips. not too much heat out of the sauce but some good flavor and that counts w/watt. thanks, cary. he's just had surgery for cancer, had a tumor plucked. chemo's next. I wish him the best. what a fucking nightmare cancer is. hate it. I have so much respect for the strength people show who are in that fight, they're inspiring and make my problems seems quite, quite tiny. helps watt gain a more healthy perspective all around, helps me not feel so fucking sorry for myself.
it's too late to hoof to town lake, I wanted to go down there and think but it's dark and I don't want to get lost and also, it'd be hard to see anything. I would like to just be there in a way though... the bats that come out from the congress street bridge are gone 'til fall, they're in mexico now. they're righteous to see when they come out at sunset. oh well. matthew, that band that opened up the first gig of the tour in tempe is opening again tonight. I hear them as I chimp yesterday's events into the ibook. before you know it, it's our turn.
ok, about our gig in four words: I lost my nerve. my guys were fantastic and I was so proud of them, the crowd too for having the open minds that I'm so fortunate to have playing for. thinking back on it, I can maybe come up w/some factors that might've attributed to it. for one thing, I got to writing about that moon stuff I saw and stuff and this had an effect on me. it was so freaky how that would grab my attention while I was on stage, trying to do a gig, damn! the writing bogarted time I needed to konk so I didn't get to do that before we went on too. once I started rolling w/the typing, I just kept going 'till I got done and it was 'pert near time to play - we were on early cuz it was the slot before charlie and not headlining. this gave me no chance to calm myself and rather, it intensified insecurity feelings I get when I look back and analyze things - even if they went ok cuz of the process of composing into words what's happened the day before or has gone through my mind, I get too self-conscious to pull away enough to get in the moment, get in the space w/my guys that's gonna deliver our sound and performance. this is not good for watt when he's going to try and play his best in front of people, especially when I'm pretty insecure anyway about the whole deal. I am not a born entertainer. basically, I got into this music thing to be w/my friend, d. boon, when I was a boy. it's weird how things have worked out in this life. anyway, back to the gig: I kept think of that half moon when I was playing and somehow it was making me think of myself has half of a man. isn't that weird? I know that's weird but it kept going through my mind and I couldn't get focus. instead, I got afraid - more and more. I didn't play so well and I can imagine the cowardly image I was projecting. I didn't say anything stupid (thank god) but I did choke. not so much w/blowing clams (though I did in the first tune big time when I felt sheer terror - god, all the f notes where they should've be d one and vice-versa) but w/diffused (and confused) effort - I was all over the place in some ways. the kids were very nice and I felt very bad after. I felt very humbled too (maybe that's a good thing?) - so much I could barely even talk. it was very heavy on me, intensely. I was a quiet watt, I know folks must find that hard to believe but I felt I was very much cut down to size. I sat by myself after slinging shirts - it was so embarrassing to hear the nice things from folks when I knew in my heart how lame things went - and waited 'til we could load and then bail. I didn't even have the heart to wait 'til charlie was done. I did go out front and see him play and him and his band were great. I changed my flannel first so maybe no one would recognize me (right). the rosa folks were great except for that one talk talk guy who's work, by the way, was (though I don't want it to sound like I'm not taking responsibility for my lame performance) terrible. I could've maybe put up w/the 'tude if he was competent but the reality was... shows to go you, huh? there's somebody like that everywhere sometimes - it wasn't the pad's fault. the boss, scott, was very kind and the young backstage cats were awesome. the mixer lady had a giant poster of me to sign before I left. maybe I can learn something from all this? that's what life's for, whatever the results, maybe. I wish I had something beaming to say, especially after the last two gigs which were ok in ways - at least I got ecstatic enough to get out of my fucking head and still be able to play well w/my guys.
some good news. I got to see some old friends that I felt blessed to see again: doctor doug rockett, pete voskamp and mike mcguire. thank god for friends. the sad waves of heaviness would wash over and drown this island of me for sure w/out the warmness they're so generous to share w/me. one couple, a guy and girl spend much time talking w/me and expressing such niceness - I am taken aback from how differing our perspectives are of the same gig! their take though is so positive but genuine and not saccharine that I give them a poster. it's not like they won me over to convince myself I actually was tits-ass on the little bass and spiel and performed incredibly cuz I knew exactly all the short-comings I fucking choked on but that they would be open enough to see something probably in their own selves. they will probably raise beautiful children - isn't that bizarre for me to say? it's how I felt and touched me w/an essence rare. trippy. my secondmen guys too - who are both pops themselves w/little ones, they stood tall and strong w/me and never flinched. they have fun w/some funny and hilarious talk in the boat on the way to spots and I enjoy much but can't share hardly w/them. I am too subdued. I appreciate it though, they are very up and happy. this is great to know. what a real, real blow it would be if they were down in the same pit I am now. this is the best part of being in a band, knowing your guys can float you over these intense rapids racing on through your head. they are the best tonic, the best medicine. words from friends that aren't phony but genuine and get you to laugh and somehow make things fun out of the pile of shit you just tripped up in, this is quite a gift.
we get to spot's after I blew by the onramp for ben white drive. well damn, there's was no sign - just an exit number, lots of construction here in austin. can't tell you how much different this town is than when I was first here in the early 80s. sounds like I'm making excuses again, sorry. it was a fucking blow-by and I had to make a loop. like tomorrow night, I'm gonna have to make a loop emotionally and recover from tonight's face plant. at spot's, I'm on the deck and in the bag w/hardly a word, just can't muster them. I pray for konk to come quick and I'm blessed it does.
read week 2 of the tour diary
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