yes, I accept much their invitation to try and help make music w/them through my bass - wow, what an opportunity! like I said, they are very generous. I hope I can learn much from them.
so here's me talking not about stooges but two I guess what might be called "side projects" but acutally, I throw as much as me as I can into these and not just a "side" part. this is how it's been w/music w/me since the end of fIREHOSE, not really a "main" band for me but opportunities to express myself in challenging situations that will hopefully help me learn more. I mean there's "mike watt + the so and so" bands w/me always but that's cuz I'm more in charge of the tunes and tours w/those units. a twofer like dos or funanori is where I defer to the stronger partner and then w/porno for pyros, j masics + the fog or the stooges I'm fully the helperman. I've learned that for me, life is about taking turns and every role is a chance for me to learn something - hopefully. I am most fortunate to have situations w/talented and singular musicians/composers cuz it's very exciting for me.
it's a three hour flight from phoenix to memphis and ninetynine percent of the time I never talk to who's sitting next to me but I get my seat switched by one of the flight crew so some kids can sit together and there's a lady named audrey who starts talking geology to me once we're in the air and over some mountains. I fuck up and think her accent is from england (never ass-u-me) but she's australian/south african and her parents were scientists so she's intense w/knowledge. now I replace the copy of soren kierkegaard's "fear and trembling" I fucking spaced and donated back in crans-montana (switzerland) and was re-reading that again (I mean from the last time - actually I first read this in my twenties but I'm convinced I'm bound re-reading this a bunch more times, I know for sure right after this time here even) but learning all kinds about what is fertile and what is fallow cuz of geology and then all kinds of other stuff like evolution and diversity among both nature and human culture keeps me in coversation here. just before we land I'm surprised to learn she's only twenty years old! this happens to me a lot, it's hard for me to guess ages and anyway I've learned to not look down on anyone cuz of maybe I've been on the globe more years than they have. so many younger have amazed me w/how much they can learn me, it's a trip. it's a two hour later time difference between memphis and my pedro town so we land around midnight. there's someone from the festival to pick me up and also four crew guys from a band going on before us. all five of us cram into a towncar - tight fit but they seem like nice cats. we pass by the motel where martin luther king junior was shot - that picture where jesse jackson is pointing comes right to my mind and there's a wreath on the rail right outside his room door. we also pass the door of the rooming house assasin james earl ray ran from. it's cool the driver pulled over to point all this out, much respect. there's a sadness I feel way inside, in a deep spot. I'm dropped off at the peabody hotel a couple of blocks from beale street. this is a fancy pad that's been around for 130 years and they're big into imagery of ducks for their 'tel. I guess the big fountain in the lobby used to have both them and alligators in it but now there's like five or six mallard ducks they march out from the roof where they konk, down the elevator and march out to the fountain every morning at eleven bells. when I get to my room I find the desk people only gave me a key and no room list so I know where none of my guys are... I lay out some blankies and konk.
I pop on gig day at six bells and soak some sore joints in the tub. it's gray but at least not drizzling like last night. weather changes quick in memphis - cold air coming down from canada and warm air from the gulf colliding. I walk down beale street looking for coff but everything's closed, just guys hosing down the street in front each kitsch joint, embarrassingly naked w/out nighttime dark to help the neon signs cheese it up for the touristas. the area between the peadbody and beale street is much different then when I was playing memphis in the old days... the cotton warehouses are being converted into lofts and condos are going up all over. as far as "retail," there's all the huge del amo mall-type stucco shill sheds - the only place I can find coff (nothing is open, nothing) is at an arefucks that's in some peabody centre combo cinema-chain trough-gap clothier that's got for some reason something I like, I pretty big whatever looking like carved jade bunch of horses running, like old china kind of work but when I take a shot of it, a security guard comes over and tells me "no pictures of things - only each other" (what "each other" ??? I'm by my fucking self!) and then a fire alarm goes off so at least she gets out of my face and I got the shot anyway. man, to have a jones for coff and have to stoop to swallow it from this fucking place, damn - I got barely a spine sometimes it seems... I beat myself up some inside the head for this. I get back to the 'tel and read the kierkegaard book, it informs me:
"in infinite resignation there is peace and repose; anyone who wants it, who has not debased himself by - what is still worse than being too proud - belittling himself, can discipline himself into making this movement, which in it's pain reconciles one to existence. infinite resignation is that shirt in the old fable. the thread is spun w/tears, bleached by tears, the shirt sewn in tears, but then it also gives better protection than iron and steel. a defect of the fable is that a third party is able to make the material. the secret in life is that everyone must sew it for himself; and the remarkable thing is that a man can sew it just as well as a woman."
this writing of his is trippy, it's hard to know what to think but that's not the point (w/me), it's more just that act of thinking and not knowing where any of it is taking me... fuck, I've been trying hard to loosen up my head. I am open to letting kierkegaard trip on his shit and then wonder on it - let go and let it be, then come back to it... it's trippy writing that way. I am not in my twenties - his words are the same but I am different, different somehow - I am not in my twenties. it's good I'm reading this again, my life is a trip - one look in the mirror and I'm laughing tears. mirrors are scary for watt.
we have soundcheck at one bell but it takes a while cuz there's p.a. problems. this gig is a big festival right by the mississippi river called the "memphis in may international festival 2007 - beale street music festival '07" and boy, don't that just roll off the tongue? I wonder who came up w/that? anyway, that's what it says on the pass and poster and it's better than the "cellular south stage" name of where we're at, that is south of the "budweiser" and "autozone" stages. I get a picture of scotty w/big muddy behind him. damn, she's a mighty fucking river - holy moses. it's always blown my mind to see the current wail through her and pretty intense too is the tugs shoving like twenty barges all bound together, damn. now that's a gig! the other side of the mississippi is west memphis in arkansas, there's two bridges across her, an older one and and a newer one. about twenty miles northwest of west memphis is earle, arkansas and that's where my pop's pop's people were from, where my grandpa was born and raised. I go to check out my bass, good to hold her again. I go to put her back in the stand that helperman chris uses to hold the guitars and am not careful - the little bass takes a tumble, fuck! now if this was before the repair to the headstock where a new piece of mahogany was grafted on, it would've snapped for sure - break number six since I've owned but she holds strong and there's no damage period, whew. I would've flooded this plane between the river and the levy w/my tears for sure. oh, speaking of condos, up on that levy where it used to be all magnolia trees, guess what's there now? big changes for memphis, big changes.
ronnie likes to get out of dodge quick after soundcheck so as soon as we can, where back at the peabody. I've had no chow so my friend michelle takes me to a que pad called "payne's" and I shovel some really good pork ribs, yeah! I think of "brother in laws #2" in san francisco and how my plumber friend richard fuckin' bonney told me it's gone now - it's called something else and run by other people... man, did I dig that pad - best ribs ever but this pad here is good. she then takes me to "goner records" and I get some little richard, david bowie and the pretty things - ronnie's a big fan of the pretty things and I really got to hear them when I recorded the wylde ratttz w/him. the bossman at the record store says he's got a label and flows me some cds he's put out, that's really nice of him and I'll play some on the watt from pedro show. michelle then takes me to where she works, "the buccaneer" and there's lots of nice cats to rap w/there - I tell my gene simmons stories and stuff like that... the bar tender is married to the sister of my good friend doug rockett, probably the one I know best from memphis. he's very cool people. jerry lee lewis is gonna play this festival so I wanna see that - I had brought the boilersuit at soundcheck so I don't have to go back to the 'tel so no stress on that. "the killer" is great and I dig it much. sure, he's an older gentleman and they got his piano and even his singing buried too far in the mix (what the fuck is that about) but I'm way into it. there's lots of baseball hats and beers in each hand types and some fighting breaks out in front of the stage so jerry lee tells everyone to simmer down or he's gonna quit - he even gets up off his stool and starts to walk off when some m.c. guy tells everyone "the killer's not gonna continue if you don't chill" which sounds kind of trippy to me but it does clam enough for him to get to "great balls of fire" and finish up. I go to the stage we're playing at (insert corporate sponsor name here) and hear two pop-punk bands from the trailer while I wait for the stooges to get in. ig comes w/nina and I get to meet her ma, very nice lady. I get into the boilersuit. ronnie says he likes the haircut my sister melinda just gave me. thank you! we talk some and then begin our usual pre-gig pacing. there's continual young girl shrieks for the pop-punk band before us, bizarre but that's these days, I guess - or was that the beatles days? what do I know? I remember being a boy and not liking the beatles cuz all the girls liked them - that reason only made me harldy ever even hear them so I got way more into the who and the cream instead. I'm weird. now listening back - and I've probably already said this - but paul mccartney played pretty good bass and john lennon was a great singer. finally at eleven and half bells we get to go on, it's obvious 'pert-near none of them shriekers are left but I'm way into doing stooges and charge out of the gate when ig holler's "let's go!" and the asheton brothers crank "loose" up. the stage faces north and so if that's twelve o'clock, then it's ten o'clock where my eyes stare off accross the missippi into arkansas and towards earle, where my pop's pop was born and his people was from. man, they would be tripping to see me w/my john coltrane pin on and working the bass to help the stooges, huh? good. or whatever cuz it is what it is. my mind wonders on it some though which ain't good w/a gig underway so I get my eyes back on ig and he's tearing it up, bolting too and fro w/his voice sure and playing for keeps. he's getting this motor band revved up and we're next flat out for "down on the streets" and he's real o-mind for sure, scotty downbeating to ronnie's chunk which actually at the same time ronnie chunking to scotty's downbeat, watt grouting in between those tiles. something revived from gigs past - "1969" now comes after and I'm digging it here though shit, I'd dig it anywhere really - great tune. however, I stumble on the monitor just starboard of my amps (still using the eden stuff) and though I don't hit the deck, I strain one knee some keeping myself right and damn if that don't hurt - fucking baka watt, aaaarrrrrrggghhh. no time to feel sorry for myself though - must keep in the moment... we're into "tv eye" then "my idea of fun" then "dirt" - ig prefaces that last one w/"sometimes a big shit makes you feel like a little shit but at least you still got your feet on the ground" - yep, damn straight. he gets folks up on the high stage somehow to dance w/us for "real cool time" and "no fun" which is beyond me how that got done except for the fact these memphis cats got some kind of hustle going for them, some kind of enthusiasm - well alright, much respect to them. someone throws up a little iggy pin and I put on my boilersuit, next to mister coltrane. band intros followed by "1970" comes out the pipe... "I feel alright!" yep. steve's turn to join us. "mindroom" into "fun house" into "l.a. blues" into "skull ring" - bam bam bam bam but then yank... ig pulls the plug and we're off to the wings, waiting on his word. he calls out "not right" and we're back w/that and then "she took my money" before he cues w/an a spiel for "little electric chair" - he runs right up to me and asks on the mic "you got bass?" I've been hugging my amps so close I haven't noticed that there's no bass in the monitors for the rest of the band. I shake my head "yep" - we never paused a moment. "c'mon mike!" he extorts the bass solo notes out of my machine and I give it to him then we're off once more. he tells us "I'm fried" and we're back on to do that "I'm shit fried!" he yells in one chorus... damn, he's really pushing hard - amazing and as usual I'm in total awe, I never get tired of seeing this man work. he calls out for "double dog" - whoa, been a while since we've done this. it's the closer, we're done. the boilersuit is soaked. when I sit down in the trailer, it's impossible for me to get back up for a while cuz my knees are rusted stiff. oh man. there's big joy in me though... I take one more look across the river. hmm... it's not where you're from, it's where you're at.
a little ride to the 'tel and I shower up this time. yeah, this time maybe I'm cleaner than the deck I konk quick and easy on. when I pop, I start chimping diary - no free shovel w/u.s. 'tels. at elevn bells I watch the ducks do their march from the elevator to fountain in the middle of the lobby - me and about two hundred other people all crowded around to see these six little mallards do their waddle. the whole thing takes about twenty seconds. I got some snaps though somehow w/the digicamera. the driver that takes me and scotty to the airport used to work for fedex and there sure is a buttload of their planes here, he tells us it's the main hub. my plane to phoenix is cancelled cuz of what they call maintenance (hey, better than being in a crashed one!) so I first gotta fly to dallas, then phoenix and then finally long beach but at least I make it in time - time that is for a gig in my pedro town. tobi vail from kill rock stars is playing w/a band called the old haunts and they wanted to play pedro so recess records todd set up a gig at harold's (an old bar from the 50s on pacific avenue) and it's an honor for me and my missingmen to be on the bill, even though we're going on a little more than a hour after my sister gets me into town from the airport. a little before gig time (we're on second) it's a trip, this cat philip hilliard comes up to me and says if I remember him - well, not much by looking at him but sure, I remember the name and the cat from more than thirty years ago - last time I saw him! whoa. he still lives in pedro and asks me to shoot arrows w/him, do stuff but I ain't got a lot of time to spiel cuz I gotta play so I give him my phone number and email. I play my fucking brains out and my guys do good, even w/the same fucking toy p.a. that always seems to be at the pedro gigs (funny shit). philip and his wife watch the gig - I know cuz I saw him once - but I never hear from him again, guess the music tripped him out. can't blame him though - how many bozos from those old days became punk rockers anyway? I am what I am. I do wish him the best though and it was neat seeing him again, love seeing cats from the old days but I just can't wallow in the old days - I got these now days to learn me shit, that's what I'm committed to... it's what I'm here for - to learn.
sunday, may 27, 2007 - landgraff, netherlands
since the memphis gig on the fourth, I had a couple of gigs w/my missingmen guys opening up for this great band from tokyo called melt-banana. man, they're amazing - somewhat kind of like hardcore a bit but arched out on their own angle w/a sound all their own and using very personable musicianship to whup it up into a total mindblow. I got to play w/them seven years ago in florida once - even got them on stage w/us for a tune I wrote for the minutemen called "bob dylan wrote propaganda songs" but they've taken what I experienced there and hurtled it to a whole other dimension. at the same time both my jaw dropped to the deck and my gut was busting w/disbelief laughs. we tried hard the first night w/them but after seeing them go how they do, we really doubled up our effort for the second one - I even got to do a spiel for the watt from pedro show w/singer yako right after their soudncheck which inspired me even more cuz she's really got it going. an ultimate moment of bitchiness happened when they had us aboard for the stooges' "fun house" in an encore blowout, looooooorrrrrrrdddd! they're old friends of my missingmen guitarist tom watson's and he told me agata is his favorite cat working the six string. the only person I could even slightly compare to in some degree is a tiny bit like nels cline but only w/in maybe the same solar system, not even the same planet. I was much in awe of bassist rika, holy cow - I wanna learn pick again! righteous grooves and drive, excellent composition in the parts. I had to bestow one of the rilakkuma pins eiko gave me in tribute, just had to. a few nights later, I was w/dos and opening up for another wailer of a band, xbxrx - crimony, what a rush! man, am I digging what some folks are doing w/music these days. music-wise for me on the challenging front besides getting it together w/my bandcats for gigs was hammering out bass parts for the funanori proj that's helping me re-invent myself. I love it. my best buddy raymond pettibon even did artwork for the cover, an inkwork inspired by steve mcqueen playing jake holman in "the sand pebbles" (please everyone: if you wanna know me a little better, both see this film and read the richard mckenna book it's based on!) - me and d. boon's favorite movie when we were boys - he made him doing that squint he was famous for and it's beautiful, we were talking about all kinds of stuff while he was working his brush. raymond is profound on me, always has been - the hugest light in my sky, the brightest bulb and most gracious. this funanori work is helping me grow tremendously as a bass player - the kind of thing I'd like to find in every music situation I'm put in - and maybe as a person too. I'm very lucky to be a part of it. oh yeah, funanori means sailor in japanese. my pop would trip on that and dig it - I can see him w/a big grin and shaking his head now. man, I wish I could play for my pop - he only got to see me once, a little before cancer killed him in 1991. life is a tough classroom.
my sister melinda got me at five bells (I hope every reading this knows I've adapted this bells shit for landlubbers cuz on a boat there's only eight bells total, one for each half hour of a four hour watch - don't mean to confuse anyone) friday morning so to get me to lax (l.a. international airport) for my flights good and early but I had the ipod wake me w/coltrane's "ascension" (what better way to pop?) at two and a half. "two and a half?!" - yep, I was nervous and didn't wanna fuck up. sometimes I force shit on myself like that to ram it home on me. I was frettin', I've been through some grieving - kira wrote me the best line in an email:
"when you feel low, just picture the little white one (her tiny dog hombrito) running on the beach for the first time and being surprised when a little wave hits him on the paws..."
now that image is a soothing relief-bringer, big time - thank you, k. I got the insane "fear and trembling" from kierkegaard's wigout wrasslin' w/his own head - man, am I into the one-on-one w/the thoughts weighing a ton w/this cat. what a fucking tripper! turns out this 757 I'm flying doing five hours in to get to new jersey is the sam exact one that's doing 'pert-near eight hours to get me to the cologne-bonn airport in germany. that means the same gate too. I chow a nathan dog while I wait for the second flight, I like the way they got skins and they snap. I put myself to konk cuz I'm landing in germany come nine am, hopefully that'll help slay the lag that'll try to come on me. oh, why germany? cuz the first gig of this two-show-go is in the limburg part of holland which is this finger in the east that goes into walloon part of belgium (french-speaking) - their big town is maastricht, roman bricks in the centrum (old town) and that's where the first e.u. treaty was hammered out. anyway, it's closer than amsterdam even if it is a different land. I saw saxbrother steve mackay at the gate for ride number two but we didn't sit by each other 'til where in the van and be taken to interconitental hotel in dusseldorf. I was last here to play w/my missingmen back at the end of last november to play a club called zakk, it was a very happening gig - my guys did great. this is 'tel is a fancy pad w/glass 'vators that ride up and down in the open, a huge and tall skylight roof over a huge lobby but the old town is close enough to hoof so that's what I do, following the rhine (germany's mississippi - fucking barge boats carrying cans two-high!) to what must've been where it mostly schloss (castle) and there's all kinds of folks in the streets cuz of some festival so I get a wurst and then a big bottle of beer but they won't open it in the trinken-storen so I comb the cobblestones w/my eyes 'til I see a thrown-away used up lighter and use that to pop the top. I sit on a bench have a big think as liquid and solid go down the hatch. oh yeah, getting caught up in that huge run-on of a sentence had me space on between doing that and arrival I did a tub-soak and then konked accidently not on purpose for maybe six hours - I did have a plan to hit the moers festival close by cologne to see that cornelius band I saw last month but then I weighed things and though I'd better let up on that. I headed back just as dark was coming - nine bells - and it was a good time too cuz while I'm reading the kirkegaard, there's all this flashing outside the window but I never part the curtain cuz I'm caught up the crazy-write but in the morning when I open the trough at six bells, helperman chris tells me what we had last night was a cloud-splitter lightning storm rain gusher. oblivious watt. that trough was some good shovel too. the u.s. tour is done now so that means out-of-u.s. gigs where the morning brings free troughs and the skid loader does get busy - the back-hoe would too if I had one. we're talking all kinds of stuff, even sun-dried tomatoes, incredible bacons and black/brown breads, culture-burstin' yogurts, salmon/herrings, olives/peppers/huge pimentos - all creamcheese stuffed and other trippy tart stuff - green, pink and I know not what to call it. if you get enough down in this free first one of the day, you don't have to pay for other ones that aren't so that's my strategy. you know what? I got into this pad early enough yesterday that I did one then too - this is round two! my fucking memory... shit, come to think of it - I did pop after that I didn't know that happened happened. it was like three or four bells in the morning and I don't know how but the tv was on - I thought it was a dream but it was this show called "rockpalast" - I know it cuz it's taped near here in bonn and I did w/bob lee in joe baiza like nine years ago - during the euro tour for "contemplating the engine room" I believe. anyway, they had motorhead from like 'pert-near two months ago and I was digging on the tone of lemmy's bass and his singing, whoa. I don't know who were the two guys playing w/him but the sixstringerslinger had "welsh wanker" on his guitar strap. there was an australian band on after w/some more older gentlemen, rose tattoo and I liked them too - great singer, angry anderson (in a boilersuit!) and good riffs from all the cats playing. rock and roll on tv, weird. weird how they came on to me, like how? oh, there was a trippy band I knew nothing about that was on actually as I was coming out of the konk and it really made me think I was making it all up in my head cuz they were dressed like pirates w/cats playing bag pipes, harp, hurdy-gurdy, dulcimer, all kinds of old-style but w/guitar-bass-drums too, kind of like a medieval rock or folk metal trip. there was a wooden tall ship prop behind them and huge helm wheel in front of the drum set. the band was called in extremo. the singer's name was "the last unicorn" or something like that... I think they were german but it sounded like all kinds of language being used, I don't know... it was pretty much surreal to a mind in the state I had mine, coming out of the sueno. I thought somehow I was making it all up and projecting it onto a television that wasn't actually on except inside my head. motorhead and rose tattoo snapped me out of that though!
ok, it's sunday and gig day - this part of the world is nine hours ahead of my pedro town part so the morning I landed turned out to be saturday morning - we're playing at five bells, as afternoon is tumbling which I think is a great time for a festival gig, politically and aesthetically. it's an hour and a half away so that means we're shoving off at two. this festival we're doing is the oldest longest running one in the world, it's called pinkpop and this makes year thirtyeight. the dressing pads are like shorty-cans and come four bells, I leave my stooge guys to go find jasper - he's a cat my dear dutch dude bookeman-for-euro-gigs-for-twenty-years carlos got me to help tom and raul when I had to bail to do stooges gigs on that "parallel universes" tour last year. he writes for a 'oor" which means ear and is a dutch music magazine. looking for him, I run into eric who was the m.c. at the first gig of that tour, the radio vpro broadcast. he's a great cat and though we don't find jasper, we get to talk a bunch which is great. turns out jasper got to the area we're at and is waiting by the shorty-can dressing room. it's really nice - cali weather and from what jasper tells me, much different than yesterday where the same place was a deluge. alright, the stooges brought the sun! four flights of four each formations of dutch air force fighters fly low over us and of course ronnie knows what kind they are and calls out their type numbers. we're only playing a hour so ig tells us the shortened list - an abbreviated version of what we already do. eric prints out the set lists and I finally remember to tell him what I've always noticed: both "fun house" and "skull ring" have two words each in their titles and not just one... talk about ticky-tack! baka watt. I laugh cuz I've made the same clam many times.I get into the boilersuit. scotty says "mike's getting naked" and ronnie tells everyone not to look. oh, scotty's been w/his family in aachen so it's the first I've gotten to see him - big hugs. he's in a really good mood - so is everyone, alright! eric goes and gets my bass after we hear all the instruments sound out and helperman jos throws out his "oi!" yells to set up the monitors. I notice the screw on the back of my machine heads are loose and eric gives me a penny to tighten them - yeah, the slots are that big! tourboss henry leads us out to the stage and the metal steps have a real steep grade - like an old dutch pad! ig asks henry if we can go and when he gets the gee-oh, he yells out "let's go!" and we're off. I get to my side quick and put my glasses on the riser, plug the little bass in and wait for the asheton brothers one-two to fire this gig off. damn, "loose" is out of the barrel and the sound on stage is really happening - much respect for chris getting my rig going - oh, ampegs for the first time since the last euro gig I did - two ampeg-II pros w/an 8x10 cab each and they might be rentals but they ain't that beat up either - lucky watt! low riser too for scotty's drums which I really REALLY dig cuz then he's way more there w/us - he's told me the same thing and ronnie agrees also - the two foot and higher risers aren't that happening from a point of view of cats trying to playing tight together. fuck, scotty is slamming, right out of the gate. man, this is the smoothest I've done "loose" ever, whoa - what's that about? iggy is incredible - already, we just started! I can't help it, I always get this feeling, watching him - my eyes nailed to him, glued to every flail of a a bodypart he makes. now he's behind me in the middle of "down on the street" and I have only looked back at him once - the very first time at coachella where we did the very first stooges reunion gig (april 2004) and after tripping on what I saw (ig fucking the shit out of the top of my amplifiers), this is the one time I kind of look out at the folks - there's lots of pink hats out there, I wonder if they get handed out or do the dutch dudes buy them? they are very enthusiastic, lots of spirit. "1969" is back where I dig it (third) though I'm into playing it anywhere cuz I love it so - scotty's really got it revved up, whoa! he's smiling big time, I can tell his batteries are all the way recharged - no scowlers today! animal song time next - "I wanna be your dog" and instead of doing the javelin toss dive into the folks as ronnie starts to rip out his lead, iggy climbs down and works the crowd from the moat between the stage and the barrier but reaching over and engaging w/them big time while still singing his heart out. I mean we're really high up and that would be quite a plunge. he stays down there but there's huge screens on each side of the stage so hopefully there's some cameras on him so the crowd can watch ig and not just three guys operating instruments. he stays down there for most of "tv eye" too - I'm wondering if the rest of the gig's gonna have ig in the trenches? no, he climbs up for the "ram it!" parts after some rope trick w/the mic cable - it swings 'pert-near upside my head but he keeps it reined in just enough, whew. he stays up onstage w/us for "my idea of fun" and right befoe the second verse, he starts tearing up the curtain that hangs from the lip of the stage and folks are digging that. he likes involving the peeps w/the chorus so he casts the mic out but the moat is a wide gap and it doesn't quite reach out far enough which might be good cuz it might hurt some to get konked, huh? there's like a little lower stage running in front of us wide enough for cameras to run across and he works that. before we do "dirt" he gives this rap: "fucking bless you... you know, in life, sometimes you're up... sometimes you're down - sometimes you're a little english boy w/a hit and sometimes you're not but when they say you're dirt - fuck it, at least you're down to earth" and then brings this baby way home hard and strong. playing a little slower does not mean having to play softer! "real cool time" and come guitar solo time, it's "let's dance w/the folks" time - he implores "now get up here - invade this stage - let 'em up her, break this stage down, go! c'mon, whoo! alright, baby! c'mon darlin' - we will have a real cool time, we will have a real cool time tonight - stay here! stay here! - no fun! no fun!" and sure enough, scotty gets us into "no fun" right quick. dutch cats are hopping all over the stage and going off (earlier jos had fixed up some boxes so folks could get up to the camera runway and then the stage cuz otherwise it would've been intensely difficult to join us), alright! this time ronnie's guitar solo brings out something in someone cuz two dudes drop their pants - well, one wears his like ankle bracelets why another guy gets all the way naked. what a trip... it doesn't seem like anyone's on dust. "thank you dutch dancers" says ig and then introduces us before we lift off w/"1970" - steve's entry point for the gig come the end. "mindroom" next (I get a water swig in while ig and ron do their duet) and then into "fun house" - yeah! "l.a. blues" blows up into a thousand pieces and then we get taunt again for today's closer, "skull ring." we come off to the side and ig tells steve "I'll get you" and I'm thinking he's gonna thank him in the encore tune cuz he missed him where he usually does in "mindroom" and sure enough, when the sax comes soloing in our encore, "little electric chair," iggy says "on saxophone, steve mackay!" - yeah. I think I clammed the the second riff of the intro - late on the octave a cunt hair... baka watt but I did the rest pretty ok. man, if you could just take back one note sometimes! I think ig even felt it cuz right at the same time he hollered "fuck me" but it sure looked like he was looking at the crowd and it was like only a millisecond after but it still could've been cuz this sensei is big time aware. well, he's only human - look what happened to helperman chris... I know ig totally did that on accident, he'd never do that on purpose - oh, I forgot to tell what happened... early on, maybe in "1969" the mic cord got tangled in the mic stand and chris went to fix things up and ig was making a move, working the crowd and didn't realize chris was up close and to his side and did a kickout which caught chris in the head, knocking off his brand new glasses and putting a gash in his head, over his right eye, 'pert-near like it was from a boxing fight something. ouch, damn. we finish up and get down those steep stairs - I see jasper and give him a huge sweaty hug before getting back to the shorty-can dressing room. everyone of us dug the gig much, a great cherry for this summer overseas run. ig finds out what happened exactly and is very sorry - it was a total accident - he offers to buy chris two new pairs of glasses but chris bent his hurt one back right and they're ok. I thank chris much for the happening sound he had on my amps and thank jos for the great monitor mix - the dutch dudes had a great system to work w/too. much respect from me for everyone, sincerely! ron and scott have an interview so I go out to have a beer and catch my breath, just be calm for a bit. I return to the shorty-can dressing room as the interview winds down - it's w/an isreali jounalist (we're playing tel aviv july seventh) and he asks me some things too as I get out of the sweated-soaked boilersuit and into my gray flannel shirt and levi outfit - what remains the same? the converse chuck taylors! slouch is working w/a band on the bill here and comes by to say hi - great to see him again. we're shoving off soon so I better chow - there's some really good veggies, steak, shrimps and a bunch of salad I get on a plate and do it up w/the habanero from my belt holster before I shovel it down.
the same cat who's been driving us since landing at the airport, michael, gets us back schnell - he leans on that accelerator! steve, eric and me have good spiel while ronnie konks so time flies as fast as michael's hauling us. get back to the 'tel, only about ten uhr... trippy being after a gig w/out scotty but he's going to amsterdam now w/his family and will join us in switzerland the day before the gig there neuchatel. I have a glass (like a shot neat in a highball) of jim beam w/ronnie - twelve euros - just short of fifteen dollars! this is why I hardly do this, 'tel bars (or most bars period) are fucking burn wards. I am feeling the soreness too and do my old man hobble after good nights to him, henry, rik and chris - everybody did so good, I'm very grateful. I get up to my chamber and konk w/in moments of hitting the deck.
friday, june 1, 2007 - neuchatel, switzerland
the day after the pinkpop, monday, I popped myself at six to open the chowpad downstairs for my last time here cuz we're bailing for switzerland at 11:30 and I got a journey to make here locally before we do that. I get one more good shovel in while some older cat in outrageous eyeglasses yammers non-stop into a cell-leash in several languages which is in a way quite remarkable but in another, a total bogart. I see roadboss eric and ask him about the adventure he wanted me to go on when we're driving back from the gig yesterday - he already did it last night but told me where to go: 16 misenhopstrasse, in the red light part of dusseldorf which isn't too far from the 'tel here - it's where kraftwerk's kling klang studio is. it's gray and drizzly rainy but not enough to put a damper in the pamper so I find it - a big yellow tiled building that shows no sign of kling klang but there's other tennants who aren't so anonymous there. I first got into kraftwerk in the 70s as a teenager and liked them ever since though I don't really know their more recent stuff - love "radioactivity" and "man machine" much. I get pictures w/the digicamera and some sourass comes out of a spielhaus (gambling pad) to give me a face full of stinkeye so I git qucik. I get back to the 'tel just as we're about to bail. there's a regional airport in dusseldorf so we don't have to go back to the cologne-bonn one and fly to geneva switzerland. when we land, ig walks w/me some on the way to the luggage part (long-ass way) and suggests I do "a love supreme" on all bass - one on the bottom doing the melody and the other improvising ones overdubbed on top - do it on my pro tools digi002 at home and the maybe have perk do some drums for it after. I like the idea and will do it - I ask him if he's ever heard of dos, a band I've had for twentyone years now, just two basses and he hasn't. steve's walking nearby and hips him to that band, me and kira had him aboard for our encore when we played in san francisco a couple months ago w/devin hoff (a great bassist who plays w/the nels cline singers). trippy the stuff ig doesn't know about me, even after four years but he's always shown interest in me, he's very kind. we drive a little more than an hour north from geneva to the town of neuchatel which is on lake neuchatel and not too far from fribourg (other side of the lake) and where german is spoken for swiss instead of french like in neuchatel, geneva and even most of fribourg. I think switzerland breaks down to around eighty percent speaking german, fifteen percent speaking french and five percent speaking italian. there's a tiny romansh part too. officially, this country's called "confederaziun helvetica" (why the countries abreviation is "ch"). the gig is going to be friday night so that means four days off, whoa. scotty's w/his family in amsterdam now - I'm missing him, so is brother ronnie and probably everyone else. the other thing I'm missing is my bass - I thought it would fly w/us but instead in went w/jos and the rest of the equipment in his van, he'll get here thursday night. damn, that's lame for me... four days w/out me touching it is something that never happens w/me and I so wanted to work on the funanori stuff too. it's very frustrating but what can I do? nothing but stamp my feet and cuss, shit. the lake is beautiful but this weather has its weather all churning, whitecaps even. time to re-read kierkegaard's "fear and trembling" again. this 'tel is really beautiful in its own way, right on the lake w/some of the "modular" rooms right over the water on stilts but all of us except ig and ron are on the second row back, up on land. it was built for a seimans electronics convention and then never tore down - it's called hotel palafitte. there's lots of modern stylings like the whole bulkhead facing the lake being all glass and transoms to open and close electrically. the call these rooms "pavillions" and everyone has a hot tub w/water jets and a 'puter but there's wifi so I use my own aluminum purse (mac powerbook 12" g4) and scissor the windblows machine. hardwood floors w/no rug so that's means I gotta use the bed, damn. like that's a major hitch! I take a hoof around and we're like five klicks (about three miles) north of town, there's nothing out it in these parts store-wise except right across the highway but everything's closed cuz of a national holiday. I know where I'm going tomorrow though cuz one look at the menu is major ching quan dough. I'm gonna hold out for the morning shovel cuz that's gratis and should be substantial, seeing how it usually w/us and 'tels in europe. hopefully tomorrow brings paddling weather too. I see ronnie at the bar when night comes and try a couple of glasses of absinthe - there's some tradition of it coming from this area? I had a glass only once before, in london at some club j had me go to and couldn't feel it - I was told it was lame. this is supposed to be the real thing and I can't really feel anything either but then maybe I don't what's supposed to happen, I mean really know. aahh, who cares? doesn't matter. it's good talking w/ronnie though. I konk like I usually konk except different cuz this ain't pedro.
tuesday I popped at six and headed straight for the trough after some soak - ron's six and half theory was for room service and not self-shovel so I'm sent back to wait for seven bells. the wood planks that make up the walkway are filled w/snails making their forever journeys, I get some shots... trippy eyes on stalks. ronnie meets me when the trough is available, there's eggs they cook up for you to order, fresh breads made up intense w/euro tradition, yougurt, bacons, several genoa type salamis and cheeses - a good shovel. oh yeah, coff too but in small pots so I go through like three. I go back to my pavillion and re-read the whole of "fear and trembling" again, wailing on it like it was a riff itself playing me... trippy, I feel strange reverbations after that I sense w/out them being connected to thoughts - like how a certain face can grab you w/out knowing why. the weather clears a little for some hoof and I make it to that market across the road. for twentyseven swiss francs (about $), I get some cheese that's like roquefort, five tins of sardines, a big long baguette, a twelver of heinekin, a sack of chips and a pack of rice cakes. saxies steve comes by for a visit after I tell him of the store and he brings me some soup packs that you just add hot water to (he hips me to how the expresso machines each chamber has can provide that), sort of the swiss style of top ramen. the crew guys go bowling somewhere near for the night but w/my lame knees, I can't risk it. the weather kept the lake too heavy for paddling, the segmented plastic sections of the little dock out front bouncing like crazy w/the roughness. gray skies w/thunderclouds makes for what doesn't seem like almost june in so cal - well, it's not so cal! I konk and have some unfathomable dreams though they seem to taunt me w/fake ciphers. right, "seem to taunt me" - if that ain't the most terrible chimping ever then I don't know what is.
wednesday and I pop to meet ronnie again at the crack - alright cuz usually I never see him at the morning shovel but he's here w/me and in great spirits, he said he's brought a few books and is tearing through them - he likes historical stuff like d. boon did. we both trip on how it's weird w/out scotty, we're missing him. what I ain't missing for sure is the rainy weather of the last two days cuz today is all sun, yeah - like cali! I'm into it. the 'tel people are very nice and the deskman gets a "technician" (that's what he calls him) to drive me on down to this little marina north a little ways that has a boat club and I can rent a kayak there. whoa, I've never paddled either in europe on a lake period before. both the young cat who drives me and the boathouse guy speak not much english and mostly french but are very nice and happy to help. some funny shit though cuz of me kind of lame communicating. the boathouse man gives my a river kayak - no keel on its round hard bottom (for shooting white water) and it's a little hole kind - he even offers me a skirt, something that goes between you and the lip of the kayak and where you sit but I say no thanks - I'm on a lake, not rapids! the paddle he gives me has a huge feather to its paddles - I'm used to them being right in line w/each other - I ain't no racer so I ask him for one like that (mine back home adjust so you can have it either way but this one didn't) and I get this old wooden one that weighs like fifteen pounds - funny, it'll be a good workout. acutally, I didn't realize the thing about the keel 'til I started paddling and the 'yak would track for shit - I was all over the place! port, starboard, port starboard... I finally got a handle on how to compensate. it was a long and thin 'yak so it was pretty fast. I got to where our 'tel is located quick and tourboss herny's girlfriend anya and roadboss eric both get shots of me paddling all around, lots of huge swans all around me. of course like a fucking tonto baka I am, I shoved off w/out charged up batteries and miss the really happening shot when three swans all at once took off right in front of me, w/in a couple of feet. it was a trip cuz they're huge and it takes much running w/their giant black feet - right on the water - to get themselves airborne. I paddle by a museum made on the grounds of a roman archeological find called latinum and then pretty north up to some bullrushes that I heard what seemed like at least twenty or thirty different kinds of bird calls - man, I wish scotty was here to experience this! the gave me a chapo (hat) too which was good cuz if you can believe it, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun way bright. the lake was calm as could be too and very clean - even pretty far out there I could see rocks on the bottom. pretty warm water too - everything different than paddling off my pedro town. I got back to the 'tel and eric asks me if I wanna join him and steve for a walk into neuchatel - sure! we walk along the lakeshore and the weather's still holding out for so cal-like goodness. how I think of home when the sun is like this! the water too... even if it is lake water, I still think of the sea. we go by where the gig's gonna be, the festi'nuech open air festival... whoa, the same tent that was at crans-montana back in march - a big six pole (at least) one. we go to the old downtown when eric has to get back so me and steve some time at a cafe where I get a falafel. very french but still swiss, it's neat here. we hoof back and after a bit, steve comes over so we can do an remote edition of the the watt from pedro show. he's a great guest to have, lots of good spiel. we play the traditional okinawa songs I got on the ipod in the background the whole time. I thank him when we're done and chow some of the soup stuff he gives me, boilng up the water in the expresso machine and putting it in a cup, mixing in 'dines to cuz I got a few cans left. I konk and have weird dreams of being lost and running around aimless - typical watt ones.
thursday morning I pop early and repeat the same shovel routine - ronnie's there at the trough like usual but we do it outside. looks sunny enough, I'm gonna go paddle again but this time instead of having someone drive me, I wanna pedal to the marina so the 'tel let me borrow a bike and I use a bike path they got to get to the marina. trippy pedaling a bike w/low handlebars - always is cuz I'm used to high ape-hanger ones. same w/the seat, mine is one w/no shit in the middle, just two pads to hold the ass cuz it's healthier on me and I'm weak there anyway from that illness that almost killed me. well, I get to the marina and no one is in the office or around that can get me a kayak... ah shit! I can't believe it but that's the dealio... I wait around and search everywhere but no one, damn. the skies quickly lose blue and the sun's fading behind some clouds... what? I decide to pedal as much as I can cuz I got the feeling rain's coming. the marina's the opposite directon (north) to where neuchatel is from the 'tel so this stuff I haven't really seen much of - I pedal through a couple little villages going up the hills, lots of vineyards around and also, lots of clouds of tiny black gnat-like flies that go into my mouth if I leave it open so I try not to. it's really pretty out and I pedal much before the sky turns really dark - time to get back to the 'tel quick, watt and whew, I just make as the the rain starts wailing down. whoa. more 'dines and soup for dinner, I get the radio show I did w/steve yesterday done up for uploading and get it up at the twfps.com site. alright, another one in the can! I konk w/the kierkegaard getting read over again by the slow learner mind.
friday is gig day, finally it's here and so is my bass - jos brought it last night, having to drive through all that hell-rain, much respect to him. one more morning chow w/ronnie and later soundcheck brings that bass into my hands finally - damn, four days w/out touching her - arrrrggghhhhh! we check and I try the eighth note thing w/"...dog" instead of chords on the 'e' - that's how I'm gonna roll w/it tonight, I decide. I get back and chimp diary 'til gig time, we're on at 10:30 and good thing the tent's here cuz it's pissing down rain big time. I get into the boilersuit and do my stretches, waiting out the agonizing time it takes 'til downbeat. henry leads us to the tent, planks laid out where it's all soaked. the tent's full of folks - ig holler's "let's go!" and "loose" is waiting for us to deliver it - I'm trying a new way of standing, w/my legs spread wide so I make the letter 'a' kind of w/my body, johnny ramone style. playing w/my knees bent is just killing me - more than bending down like I do in "down on the streets" - we follow that w/"1969" and it's trippy w/the bass being not played all this week, I'm a little unconfident but don't let that shake my focus on ig - that's what I got to compensate really, that's it. I'm one of those "use it or loose it" kind of music people, I think. "I wanna be your dog" has me doing how I did it at soundcheck - I'm sure I sound stronger this way - thank you, dave alexander... can't imagine why I had the insane notion I could do it different. baka watt. "my idea of fun" w/ig letting swiss dudes help sing w/their french accents, trippy. ig's on fire, you couldn't tell he had all these days off, same w/ron and scotty. as usual, I'm feeling like the weak link but trying hard. trippy standing this way. here comes "dirt" and ig gives a look-see over at me like "are you in tune?" and I am but there must be some overtones so I try to play w/more definition. come on up and dance time w/"real cool time" and "no fun" which is lots of fun cuz these swiss cats bring buckets of it w/them up here w/us - metaphorical buckets of fun - I'm loving it. big hugs to as many of them as I can when we're done. band intros, "1970" shooting out of a cannon and landing into the "mindroom" net, whoa. re-ingnition w/"fun house" and splinter-splatter on the way up w/"l.a. blues" 'til we're in orbit w/"skull ring" - splashdown w/"trollin'" and we get off to the side and wait for ig to tell us what's next. he calls out "not right" and "I'm fried" so we go and blast them out, back again off in the wings and iggy says "one more - chair!" so here we go w/"little electirc chair" and there's no ronnie at first cuz a wine bottle flies up at the stage and hits right on the mute button of his tuner pedal, shutting him off. almost immediately, ig's hit w/a belt - yeah, there's been shit flying up all night (I even got an iggy button I plucked from the deck!) but a fucking belt? he's not hurt though, not at all and just continues to sing his heart out like he's done all gig - even w/the sore arm (yeah, right before we started the gig, he said to hold on cuz his arm suddenly got thrown out some but then got it back). I think ig picks up on the way I got my legs spread cuz he comes in real close w/me during my bass solo - too bad I'm playing wrong notes - not out of time really or out of key but just different ones - like I spaced or got spooked cuz I think that's what happened, damn... well at last it wasn't a capsize! backstage, ig comes to debrief us and explains about his arm, saying we got like two hundreds there and like half of his aren't happening. man, it's amazing how he overcomes the blows he's taken, he's such an inspiration to me and makes me think any bit of whining - even the most tiny whine - is the biggest kind of bullshit you could even buy into it. much respect to him. ronnie shows us the phonograh he got off of a u-boat, whoa! I guess someone brought it for him... tweed case and everything.
we're bailing for the airport in geneva early and it's two hours driving so like at four am I have the ipod have coltrane's "ascension" get me up and at it for pushing off. bye bye pavillion, 'pert-near a week being here! that's trippy. me and steve are travelling together as far as newark new jersey so we hang together through the plane delay that comes on us due to some maintenance thing. the u.s. air a320 getting us in time for re-scheduled flights cuz the ones in the origianl plan are way past (I'm lucky I got to leave the little gibson bass w/jos cuz that's the only one I made this flight - having no check in bags cuz I can bring both the 'puter and man sacks in the cabin w/me)... it takes nineteen hours to get to lax and then another hour for my sister melinda to get me to pedro but it's worth just to be back safe. hell, I was thinking yesterday I might get to see bob lee drum for the amadans but that disappointment is still tempered by me getting to soak in my own tub... mighty grateful watt, absolutely
wednesday, june 20, 2007 - london, england
hmm... since getting back from switzerland on the second... I did my first "silent movie naration" ever - yeah, a couple days before a screening of guy maddin's "brand upon the brain" up in hollywood, I was asked to narrate the ten pm show. whoa, I never did anything like this before so I answered back the email from their team, a lady named jess that sure, I'd give it my best. turns out that producerman jamie's first time at a punk gig was a fIREHOSE gig at the rat in boston. I got there at six and procucerman jamie coached me w/a fast-forward tour through the film using a dvd on a laptop, explaining me little things to look for but leaving most of it up to me to interpret. this was a trip cuz I didn't really "see" the movie as he was doing this, only bits and pieces so I actually learned about the movie as I was doing it when showtime came down. that was a trip. you know what, maybe I should just quote back some of an email I flowed a dear friend the day after this went down, here:
it's hilarious in a way, quoting back what I've written and having to read again - seeing all the fucked up ways one can cofuse others by being a total idiot at the task of trying to communicate by the written word... you know what I gotta do? I gotta break down and re-read shit before I let go forth from my head. I think one of the problems is that I'm thinking to far ahead of what to write so I can get kind of musical take on it, 'pert-near try to make it like a song so it sings kind of but in doing so, I lose track of the little things - yeah like there literal reading someone might take from it cuz like they're not in my head and having to take cues from what's actually chimped and can only guess at what I might've been try to intend. what gets chimped (actually there to be read) is either wrong fucking words, lack of words, fucked-up order of words, retarded reiterations, clams of omission, spelling clams - the whole fucking works, a litany of illiteracy. god damn am I weak at this writing shit! I think folks are both very patient and tolerant to wade through my drivel, truly. if I could just get the nerve to re-read and correct the more obvious (to me) bullshit, I think that would help. I am such a coward.
I did some banyan gigs (perk's band) and recorded a few songs w/them too during this period. just love that steve perkins. only one time w/him was w/nels though - my favorite banyan combo! however, it was an honor every moment I got to make music w/him. he helped me w/some drums for the funanori proj - one of the most econo bass parts I wrote ever and miss kaori composed excellent music to it in return - "baby steps" is what I called the song which was funny cuz when we ran it down it again for a banyan version, trumpetman willy was much embarrassed cuz I guess though the bass line for the most part had no intervals, the form stumped him - "giant steps" for sure!
I got to lax three hours early for my four pm flight monday, a non-stop to london heathrow on a air new zealand 747-400 where each seat has their own tv set. now I never watch airplane movies but ronnie told me to see this "letters from iwo jima" movie clint eastwood did and though I had my fill of war movies as a kid, I watched this one. I hate fucking war movies. the only cat who makes out alive is this baker who got forced into the army and all wants to do is get back to his wife who's got their baby coming and I was glad for that. the rest of it made my stomach turn, a bunch of shit. maybe that's what clint wanted me to think, I don't know. I got nailed in the head by someone trying to get his bag out of the upper baggage compartment but at least he wasn't carrying a bowling ball. him and his wife just got married, very nice people from manchester coming home after tahiti. they said it was a burnward, not much econo. I get in on tuesday at eleven bells in the morning and only after wait for my little man sack of clothes (including a jinbei sent from japan!) cuz you can only bring one bag on flights to england and yes, it made it. didn't have to bring my bass cuz I left it w/helperman jos after the neuchatel gig - thank you much, jos. roadboss eric and helperman chris ride w/me to the city inn, a 'tel about a block from the thames river and right near the lambeth bridge in westminister. waiting for me in the lobby is jose, a great cat I met last december at the all tomorrow parties gig in minehead. he takes me to him and his girl kyoko's pad in islington for some chow they're gonna cook me after we first do the watt from pedro show - my first one ever done over here. jose's from valencia in spain and tells me lots about that there - the stooges will play near that town in about a month. he lets me jam some on kyoko's white thunderbird, nice bass. my blue one is a non-reverse though and lots different but this one's good. right before the radio show, we get a visit from sam and kaori of the go! team - wow, this a huge surprise! I handed down my little aluminum purse (12" mac powerbook) to missingman tom watson when I got this new macpusre (15" macbook pro) last week and hook the snowball usb mic, fire up the peak software and get the radio show underway. sam has to bail for his buddy dj scotch egg's gig opening for devo so he can't join in but I'll try and do one w/him at glastonbury saturday. jose shares much 60s garage musics from bands in spain under motherfucker franco, he also tells of his own musical journey and we play tunes from that too. my knee is killing me from that slip last week and then all the time in the cramped airplane seat (about ten hours) so I'm feeling my years but what's really lame of me is letting it cause me to get all hung up on my age, that's fucking stupid. actually, I really only feel less young when I'm hurting from soreness - I don't look much in mirrors any way. it's a real nice time at these folks' pad though and the pain is actually beaten down by my engaing w/them - they're beatuiful and very kind to me. of course miss kaori is miss kaori: amazing. I try and explain to all three of them my fascination w/rilkakkuma and why I find it way deeper than any kind of "hello kitty" shit. it's probably obvious to them I'm a fucking lunatic but still, they're very kind and hear me out. they're gonna come to the gig tomorrow, alright! the chow jose and kyoko make is righteous - a paella, a pizza, a spanish-style tortilla (like a omelette w/potato - nothing like the latin america kind) and an onion-and-avacado-tomato-in-vinegar-and-oil salad made close to like the kind my ma makes. it's some really good chow, mucho gracias from grateful watt. I get back to the 'tel and konk sore but very happy.
gig day and I pop to shovel the what they got for trough on the ground floor: full english breakfast which means fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato and toast - no beans though, wonder why? I re-read kierkegaard's "fear and trembling" again for now for the seventh time since I got it a few months ago. I'm getting to 'pert-near memorize parts of it now! I don't hoof to be calm on the hurt knee and this drives me a little crazy. soundcheck is at three bells so me and steve have slouch's wife deb (she did all those hellrides for me back in december for the atp stooges things) takes us first to the savoy where ronnie and scotty are staying cuz they came a few days earlier to get a lifetime achievement award from mojo magazine. the gig is right across the river near this huge ferris wheel called the london eye at a pad called the royal festival hall and it's part of this thing called the meltdown festival. for amps I got two eden wt-800 heads w/two 4x10 cabs each but they're mismatched - the boxes are eight ohms and the heads are four ohms. the heads look pretty beat up too - why do people treat rentals like shit? first time I touch the little red gibson since switzerland - I love her, big kisses. there's sandwich quarters in the green room and we all get our share stuffed in hankies to take back cuz the 'tel chow is big coin and fuck that - same w/the waters. london traffic is plugville, crimony! deb does good though and we just bear it - good thing we ain't that far. I konk in the couple hours we got before having to get back to the gig... don't know why cuz I got konk on the plane and thought for sure I was on the same time everyone else is here. we repeat the same transpo routine for gig time, now I got my boilersuit in a plastic sack cuz I'll need this to bring it back when all sweaty. we get to the venue as the opener is playing, looks like we're going on at 8:40, ten minutes later. it's a small chamber we're in and I do my stretches as ronnie does his pacing around me - close quarters. there's much construction going on so it's understandable. finally I get my bass and stretch the fingers for a few minutes - my main exercise is running through my "...electric chair" solo. tourboss henry then leads us to the stage - no real wings here but still we're brought around to the side where ronnie's amps are and w/ig holler of "let's go!" - there's this tall guy w/glasses introducing us and he ain't even done yet when I run out to my side, plug in and then put my glasses on scotty's drum riser - damn, it's a high one and I'm so into those kind... I wanna be right w/scotty as much I can but fuck it - this is the hand that's been dealt. he hihats in ronnie for "loose" and the gig's underway. I spread my legs wide w/my back right on the speaker grills to feel the push. damn, I can feel something wrong w/the amps right away, they're choking. well, paddle on, sailor. the seats in front of us (yeah, seats - there's no pit) are up on a high angle so it seems 'pert-near like a wall of them "down on the street" next and I don't know how I got down on my knees but I did for ig's amp hump part but even more incredible is how I got back up. I did though and ready myself for "1969" but ig calls out for "a fucking animal song" and we're into "I wanna be your dog" instead. I only use chords on the e during ronnie's guitar solo, the rest of the time doing straight eighth notes cuz I think it's stronger. to make sure, I listened to dave alexander's first album bass on the ipod just before bailing for the gig. damn if ig don't stage dive into these fucking seats, I don't know how he didn't take a forehead blow on the back of one of them and especially on the tip-over he immediately does after... crimony! he pours a bottle of water over his head and then hollers us into "tv eye" - I'm learning how to shake myself silly standing this way instead of the old way cuz I have to, it's different. if it saves my knees though, it's much worth so fuck it... life is for learning. another audible from ig, "dirt" is next rather than "my idea of fun" and I look to scotty to make sure... yep. my amps are working good for this one. ig sings this really good from the heart, I'm loving it. "real cool time" roars out of ronnie's guitar, I follow him in and then scotty after me - ig calls for dancers once he's done singing the dealio and it's a low stage so anyone can get up easy - I have to point and laugh for a sec at a cat close to my age pogoing in a suit, taking of his jacket - there's a couple of these cats but mostly they're young people having a good time, swarming around ig and digging it - I can dig that! same w/stagedancer tune number two - this tall cat comes over to me and gives a slow-go interpretive dance of "no fun" and then tells me he got into working a p-bass after seeing the "down look back" gig at hammersmith apollo last year, wow! band intros before "1970" - tonight I'm just "mike watt" and it's a deep bow from me in thanks to ig, so good for me to serve here, thank you thanks millions of times. fists in the air from me for scotty's and ronnie's intros, much love to them to from me. we jam the tune hard - finally I look out towards the crowd and I'm distracted in the first chorus, blow a clam (right timing but wrong notes - baka watt!) and then immediately and get my eyes glued back on ig to hold focus... not so strong watt. for an instant there I didn't know where the fuck I was in the music (again, baka watt), thak god ig's the bow of the boat. "mindroom" gives me time focus in my head while ig ruminates on taking "a trip into the mindroom" cuz that's what I do but make sure the ojos are fixed on him so I don't drift even a tiny bit - I mean this w/out even playing! it might seem pathetic but fuck, here I am and what I do about it? everything I fucking can to try and get it together for these stoogemen. "fun house" into "l.a. blues" - steve blowing sax hard and fine, inspiring for me. though I hold back some on "l.a. blues" cuz sure enough, the bass amps are totally failing and I'm feeling a little self-conscious anyway... I can't say this is my best gig and not cuz of clams - no, more of a nerve (or better: lack of nerve) thing. obviously not totally though cuz then surely I'd bolt like the total coward but man, I wish I had it more together. one thing though: my fingers are really strong and both index and the middle one are working together good, like a flipper. thank god for iggy being a tether focal point and the asheton brothers playing so good. can't really hear steve that much tonight, damn. trying to get feedback out of my amps when they totally fail - probably protection circuitry kicking in cuz they're overheating. oh well, time to mime it for "skull ring" - at least I got a direct signal going to rik. our last tune is "trollin'" and doing it the way ig worked out for us in neuchatel, w/the truncated ending but scotty is unaware and me, like a fucking idiot, forgot to "pop tart" (cue) him for the ending so he plows on - ig trying to get his attention but no success w/that so he leaps up on the drum kit, 'pert-near going over the toms and onto scotty who then gets the idea to stop and does - we're off... but off to where? we try to stage port behind ronnie's amps but when ig pulls back the curtain, there's only bulkhead - it's much a tappian (as in spinal) moment cuz all the seats are up at such an angle, there's no hiding us from them. nina's sitting on equipment case, laughing - I gotta laugh too. ig says to get back out there so we do to play "I'm fried" - hey my amps are working again and they're still on for "not right" but konk out for "she took my money" - oh well. we come try and come off again - still no where to go so we try the stage starboard and there's an opening w/stairs down and that's where henry his, him having to come back around... I gues the way out was in front of ronnie's amps and not behind - again, oh well. it wa funny. what's funny too for me is in the next tune - our last one, "little electric chair" - after my bass solo (hey, I did it ok - could've done it better of course but at least no trainwreck - man, was I kind of hanging on though - like all gig, 'pert-near) ig is working these "boxes" - like little opera balconies way up on the port but he's like ten feet in front of chris and where I'm standing, it's looks like he's giving chris his own private little dance (the back of ig's head is towards me so I can't see his eyes apparently directed up at the boxes behind and over chris' head), I mean it looks surreal in a way - like here's a big sold-out gig and the helperman (who is a righteousman and I love him) gets the one-on-one w/iggy. of course this all just an illusion but man, is it funny to me and I gotta and laugh and even point - sort of like when I saw that cat my age pogoing! well, we get done ad we're off - right off stage ig's on his back on the deck cuz he sure as hell gave it his all - like always, he is such the inspiration. he tells me "good playin', wattsi" - wow, my head bows down to him, even w/me sittin' on the deck right near (I'm tuckered too). those three words are worth more to me than... well.. I just wanna do good for him, do good for this team. ig says "it was nice of jarvis to introduce us the way he did." I guess that was the tall cat at the beginning while we were coming out - that was nice of him and later I was told he picked us to be part of the meltdown thing, he was the curator.
I go up to the dressing room and thank steve and the ashetons but don't stay long - I told jose I would see him at this aftershow thing they got on the fifth floor (yeah, we played on the third floor) so I run up there and stay in the sweaty boilersuit on purpose cuz I wanna get a picture w/miss kaori in it - she used to wear an orange one in her old band. I'm the only one there and just on a chair in the middle, folks slowy fill the room and two nice cats talk w/me about old stooges film stuff, eight millimeter. man, I would love to see dave alexander on film playing so I can see where he put his hands for the songs. I know he used a pick but I wanna see his fretting hand. the lady who opened this gig, scout, talks w/me and wants to do my horoscope. kristian, the guy who played w/her is someone I met already, in fact he's putting together the book version of the minutemen "we jam econo" documentary - ain't that a trip?! indeed. finally jose and kyoko w/miss kaori come and I get to get my picture! we talk and talk or I guess I talk and talk - such a relief for me to get done cuz this gig was a pants-shitter but fuck, ain't they all w/me? I gotta get out of this soaked suit eventually so I go back up to the dressing room and there's the photographer mick rock talking w/ron, scotty and steve, wow. I get into my levis and flannel (no plaid on a stooges tour though!) and put the sweated duds in a plastic sack. I get back to my friends and find the stalag staff is kicking everyone out so I tell roadboss eric I'll get back seperate from them and we go outside not too far to where the thames river there and keep talking. it's beautiful for me. me being older though, I gotta fucking piss and can't hold on easy but there's good hiding in this modern design of the building's outside and well, sorry london but it rains a lot here and hopefully it got washed away quick, maybe later tonight even though it's incredibly quiet and peaceful and not even cold - like I said, beautiful and so are these folks. I tell them about my pedro town and my life there. shit, I gotta piss again and am embarrassed, of course but after I do it - so do both the ladies, one at a time. ha! they ain't scared, that's righteous. it's coming on late and they want the bus - man, I wish I could give them money for a cab but they want me in the cab. damn, I want them safe... maybe this town is different than where I'm from. a cab ride for me - and it ain't far, just back across the river and a little bit is ten pounds, 'pert-near ten u.s. dollars! like five minutes, I ain't kidding. this town is expensive. I've had two righteous nights in a row and think about that, konking quick and happy.
saturday, june 23, 2007 - galstonbury, england
thursday I got popped early and shovelled some big trough w/brother steve. hey, it's sunny and I go by the thames when I get done, the north side this time and the town is a lot LOT noisier. I think and think there by the water - man, it's got a current to it. at noon we push off to the bbc studios to do his taping of the jonathan ross thing, a big talkshow cat in england. he asked us to do "I wanna be your dog" so we prac in front of the cameras for that. oh man, the same amps as last night! maybe they can hold out for one song and only the top two boxes are plugged in anyway. in the dressing room, they got cans of tuna and bread so I make a sandwich - that'll be my chow for tonight. first iggy and the asheton's are gonna be interviewed but I like a fucking idiot, I 'pert-near follow them out - my thinking fouled up and I thought it was time to play the tune... aahh, I'm so embarrassed I run back to where this hatch leads to outside and sit on a curb and kvetch on myself, I miss hearing their spiel. I join the stooges when it's actually time to play and we do our tune, iggy is amazing w/him running all over the studio and working the song good, real good wailing from ron and scotty too. I shake mister ross' hand as we come off - whoa, he's a big man. my legs are shaking like crazy and I go outside to freak out some w/out bothering anyone. the guys come out and ig says there's a wine bottle w/my name on it - he said I did good - much thanks from me. I take the bordeaux and there's jose and kyoko - at the last minute I was able to get them on the list to come and they made it, alright! I ask them to come to the 'tel so they can have the wine and meet steve, he's in the room next to me so he comes over and we talk, me and steve having some beers. I wear the jinbei that was sent from japan for the first time on tour, I really dig it - the most comfortable thing I think I've ever wore. I can tell they dig steve and of course why not cuz I love him much too. again they won't take cab money and bail to catch the bus when it gets late. I stay up to get the watt from pedro show I did at their pad ready for online and put it up cuz I know the slow intenet conncect will go better w/most everybody konked and not using it. fuck it, it's a travel day anyway.
friday I pop and do one more shovel and then check out. we find out the morning troughs weren't free but for some reason, I don't get charged but everyone else did. I hope this don't mean any bad karma - I asked the desk lady if I owed anything and she said no. it takes us four and half hours to do a two and half hour drive west to chelwood, near bath and close to where we're playing the glastonbury festival tomorrow. it's not a regular 'tel but a "manor house" called hunstrete house and instead of room numbers, the chambers are named after birds. I'm given swan but on the way, I see a room named after a duck that's called a shoveller - hey, that should've been my room! the dinners here are like forty pounds so I'm gonna starve it 'til morning, when the trough is gratis. at a gas stop, got a sandwich and some poatato chips anyway - I picked the ones I did cuz of what they were: the sandwich was chickedn and stuffing (yeah, stuffing!), the chips were feta and olive, ha! we ain't got those "flavors" back where I live! they were ok. this manor house is way out the country and there's like fifty deer fenced in w/it. there's furry bumble bees that are black and orange. it's very VERY quiet which is very ok, I'm digging it - I still got the jinbei on. me and steve watch the jonathan ross show and man, the stooges sound good! funny, they played a clip of ig doing part the same song in 1977 w/people like scott thurston (on guitar!), glen matlock and some cat from the nitty gritty dirt band - whoa, what a contrast. the interview went good, ron even hugging scotty at one point. ronnie does good spiel, so does ig. steve says lots got cut though like when scotty gave ups to john coltrane as an influence on the band... fuck, why did they do that. the jonathan ross cat though is a smart man plus he gave the stooges much respect. I think it went good. I konk happy.
gig day and I pop early to be the first one for the "full english breakfast" shovel. this kind of meal always has the same items, it's a trip... must be a tratition thing. I'm gonna push off w/the crew at one so I can do another watt from pedro show from the festival w/my buddy sam. I get all my things to gether cuz I ain't coming back - we're leaving straight after we play to get to poland for tomorrow's gig - yeah, two in row is something not done much w/the stooges. it wasn't raining at the konk pad but it is here on the festival grounds, a farm about twenty miles away. this festival started as a hippy thing in the 70s and has really grown into a wailer. last year it had to be cancelled cuz there was a rain so hard in made virual flash flood and washed lots of tents away so this year the old cat that runs this spent a bunch of money for a drainage system. there's only a little rain now but it must've poured yesterday cuz there's tons of mud everywhere and big heavy clouds looks like there's gonna be wet from the sky for sure. roadboss eric helps me get a hold of sam and he meets me but he's gotta get to his car to get his music so I can play it on the show. I think the parking must be a trek and a half cuz I gotta wait at the gate (he's playing w/the go! team tomorrow and his pass is good for only that day) most of that time, the skies open and I gotta put a piece of cardboard I found somehow dry over my head 'til his girlfriend romy comes by to get me a yellow cape w/a hood on it - she calls it a "waterproof" - and that helps me big time, many thanks to her. a nice cat named duncan from a band called maximo park recognizes me and we talk some. I give him a sticker - I got brown on yellow ones now (later I'll see it on his guitar when he's on stage - much respect!). man, I sure wish I could get around more and see bands but that's impossible w/my shoes and the ground conditions. everyone (I'm told there's 177,500 in attendance) wearing huge rubber boots which makes sense. there's no way I can sludge through this muck in my converses - hell, I gotta do little geisha boy steps to stay upright... I'm very fearful a fall would twist my fucking knees. we were gonna do the show in his tent but eric comes through (many thanks to eric) w/a wrist-thing for sam and we do the show on my 'puter in the dressing room trailer. sam's had terrible luck w/a virus making one of his ears permanently deaf but is coming out the depression that brought on and charging hard w/music. he's got his own 100 pets band and where he lives in brighton is a bunch of music cats being creative. we play what tunes he brought and spiel much, finishing up just before the stooges guys arrive. I'm so glad to see sam happy, so very glad. I go get into the boilersuit. it's hard for me to stretch cuz my shoes are so muddy, it gunks up my hands and that'll make it impossible to play. damn. we're play at eleven bells - last on "the other stage" and it's a slow go as henry leads us out though at least the rain's while me and sam were watt from pedro'ing it - the sun was even out but the ground is no way any dryer. we get to the top of the stage stairs - there's a hug sliver canopy over it all so rain won't be a problem that way if it does come down for us but damn, I would hate have folks getting poured on. I hear music being played from somewhere - it's creedence! ronnie's wearing some brand new rubber boots almost up to his knees, all us others though are how we usually are. scotty was gonna change his but said fuck it. ig asks if we're ready - yep - "then let's fuckin' do it!" I run out and over, plug in (the bunk amps gone, I got two ampeg svt-II w/an 8x10 cab each) and the asheton's launch this gig w/"loose" - boom! "always, baby!" ig hollers after the first verse. I feel a giant cramp in the back of my port calf, damn it. what the hell, try to shake it out. the strap is weird at the bottom of my bass but nothing critical, ha! my life is a comedy. when will ever get it together? never! the band is blasting, blasting now into "down on the street" and I am tripping on how ig is turning his thing on like no end, crimony. it's real o-mind for sure. he twirls by me right at the guitar solo and I'm awestruck to get into dave's lick for being under ronnie here, damn - just one go around, I at least get that together. that fucking cramp is still there but I get on my knees anyway for his time to leap up and bass amp hump. next is "magic number" time w/"1969" - scotty's in full stampeding herd mode. the rain's holding off - either that or scotty's drums are making it stay up there. "I wanna be you dog" - there's two tiers of stages, one for cameras but the camera people aren't on that one cuz of thinking what iggy might do to them, we got hipped to that before show time. fair enough. iggy can't stage dive though so instead hops from on our stage down to that narrow "track" one and then into the moat and starts putting the mic and then himself right into the muddy folks, his first bath w/that. he gets back up w/us in the middle to lose his heart "in the fucking sand!" here comes the bottled self-shower of water he does before "llllloorrrrdddd" ing us into "tv eye" and it's hard-hard-hardcharger, ram IT - whoa! he's running the tunes really tight, bringing "my idea of fun" up immediatley. back down to the ground and the folks in the brown MUD - some helping sing the chorus... kind of funny w/their accents but they get the words right. ig's new plan for "dirt" is have scotty go right into it when "my idea..." is done. I wait to get a look see from ronnie before I start so there's a few more bars of drums alone than usual. ig sings the chorus different, kind of more clipped. he's still beautiful w/it though. "real cool time" up now and yep, he asks the folks to come on up and join us and at first there's only a couple, then some cats w/a banner of a band - is that gonna be it? nope, a full on stream starts making their way up, tracking all kinds of mud and turning the stage into almost like the ground is. it's really going for "no fun" - maybe a couple of hundred up there w/us now, whoa. I got lots of man kisses, beard-on-beard - some of them using their hands to hold my head - I gotta play and so am kind of helpless but it's not angry stuff their doing on me, in fact it's pretty adorable. I get plastered w/mud, it's all over the little bass - the tuners, the strings. some girls kiss me too - one must be drunk cuz she's trying to do the tongue thing and holding my head w/the hands but my mouth ain't going open... christ, the guys don't try that - what's up? it's just fun we're having. somehow I stay on my feet w/slipping. there's like ten minutes to get folks off, kind of a slow-go but it is a high stage and I think it's good no one got thrown off though security starts to get rough w/some so ig tells those cats to cool it - "hey, don't hurt that guy - he's dressed like a clown" (he was dressed like a clown, some kind of jester hat on). I had to step between some anger and a young guy cuz I did not want anyone get beat on my watch, fuck that. I didn't even have to put my arms up, just kind of slide over. ig sings some of the standard "the shadow of your smile" and after starts like a hawker at a baseball game - "popcorn, get your popcorn" - then he introduces me (once again I'm "the minuetman mike watt" alright!). folks are still clearing - ig calls "someone get him a guitar" to ronnie cuz he's doing a change and helperman chris w/busy w/the clean up. later we would read some jounalist reported ron had a fender guitar stolen (he doesn't even have one on tour!) and other horseshit you wnat not believe and it's get repeated by others and others - where's the fucking integrity in reporting? some clowns (real clowns!) even said we encored w/"the passenger" and "candy" - what fucking toliet bowl were they chowing from at the time? anyway, ig introduces me a second time - I'm "the minuteman" again which is very kind of him - then scotty, then ronnie - then we're into "1970" and steve gets his. ig slips and takes a three-piece fall near the end: first butt, then back and finaly head but he's ok and still all-the-way over-the-top though gets a breather a little, ruminating w/"mindroom" before full blasting "fun house" - one what a slam we're laying on it tonight. my cramps finally gone and I'm loosened up, alright! I even roll around on the muddy deck for "l.a. blues" (a back somersault roll even!) and do my own bass amp hump but to its front and not its top. I feel the least self-conscious I have since I gotten to england. finally... man, am I full w/the mud though. it's all on the bass and all over my boilersuit though it's all sweated out and that's helping the mud rud down. I put the bass into feedback mode 'til scotty clicks us into "skull ring" and we finish it up. we return to wence we came and again ig tells me "nice playing, wattsi" while he's liquid down to lead us through two more, he calls them out to us - man, am I gonna try hard, harder, hardest (for watt, you know)... "not right" straight down the pipe and then the double dog - a reprise of "...dog" w/steve w/us on sax. ig does a great sustainer note under ronnie's solo. I play most of this last one in front of scotty, lovin' him. man, this was a good gig, whoa. we get off and I go back to where we came, where we I did the radio show w/sam while the stooges go do a bbc tv spiel - there's sam waiting for me! alright, big hugs. not a lot of time cuz we're flying right out to poland, like I've already mentioned. there was some picks of ronnie's on the deck and I picked two of them up, now I give them to sam, having ron sign one. two of sam's music friends, tom and alex say hi - nice things about d. boon from them - alright. I give them all "econo" buttons. I have to say bye to sam and get in the minvian w/the guys. we stop right before leaving the grounds, the stooges having to do some more spiel for a bit and then...
it's to bristol for a ride in desault falcon, a private twin engine jet that fits everyone w/a seat instead of some having to bench it like when we've done this previously. there was a mortar and pestal painted on the rudder, that makes me think of what I get a hankering to do w/my bones sometimes - poweder them hurt cuz they get so sore. maybe a pharmacy company owns this plane? it's a hour and a half flight to wroclaw from bristol, we're flying like at 42,000 feet, like a mile plus over what commecial airliners do. it's a very smooth ride. just before we took off, ig came over and to sit across from me to say the bass has been sounding really good these recent shows. I hope it's not ridiculous for me to put this in my tour spiel but it just means so much to me to hear that - I am a very insecure person about most things in my life even though I keep plowing ahead it's not like I ain't fretting like nobody's business, it just wrings me out again and agian but I feel it's something I gotta feel or I'll never learn to get more on down the road. I am just such a slow learner about it all, it's taking me a lifetime to learn to live a life, try to get some sense of my own around it. fuck, do I stumble w/my stupid clumsy fucked up notions and bad guesses - ASSumptions, the works. I just wanna good for ig and the guys here. I know I'm strange to them though I don't try to be. aahh, it's all fret if I linger to long to think on this... poland's time is an hour a head and we bailed around three so it's almost six when we land at wroclaw's copernicus airport, a little one - wroclaw's right near the german border w/the oder river running through it (in polish, it's the odra). the sun is up bright - I saw it rise through the plane windown as I chowed some white fish I got served. there was trippy cheese too that had ground-up walnut in it's sheath (or whatever that's called - the outside part), that's what it smelled and tasted like. oh yeah, I forgot to say all our stuff wouldn't fit in the luggage bay - we had some in the aisles even but we did it and there's the polish gig folks to get us to the sofitel 'tel downtown. this pad's brand new, glass 'vators to take you up. the moment I get to my room, I'm on the deck and konk w/everything on - muddy converse and levis too, yep.
sunday, june 24, 2007 - wroclaw, poland
I pop at like four in the afternoon cuz I was fucking beat. I'm glad the konk came on me like I did. at that huntstrete pad in chelwood back in england, tourboss henry gave me this dvd/cd package called "escaped maniacs" that came out of a gig we did at lokerse feesten in belgium back on august 6 of 2005 and I was listening to it, checking out some of the stupid shit I was playing. man, some of it's really not happening... I'm really glad I got those stooges records w/dave alexander on it to help me get right w/stooge music. I know what I was thinking except for maybe I wasn't thinking and just being a fucking idiot. I am a slow learner. even the tone too, yech. I've got a long way to go, a long way - like buddy rich would say, huh? yesterday sam gave me an old paperback of ernest hemingway's "the old man and the sea" - right on the money, huh? even the shit about saying I plow on, even w/the stumblebum shit - to be honest I have to admit I learned that from d. boon, it's not my idea - he was totally for plowing on and had few doubts where I'm nothing but - however, I did learn to plow on from him and that's what I continue to do, it just necessary for a fool like me. I'm in the big life classroom and what I need is more homework, more retrospect... that's a big problem - you can see even in this tour spiels I chimp, me being afraid to review them, to re-read and proof it. shit, I should've been doing the same w/the stooges boots and live cds I've been given cuz what's in my mind in the moment is totally fouled w/all kinds of screwed up shit and I don't my ass from elbow about what's really going down. I need perspective from honestly being introspective and weighing shit up for the sake of truth - like I remember reading something about john coltrane saying all real musicians are after some kind of truth - it ain't a jive hustle to see what the fuck you can get away w/no, not at the end of the day, not w/the bottom line - the reality on the dealio. I'm putting this here cuz this was much on mind and it was, believe or not, out of appreciation for those kind words iggy said to me last night on the plane cuz there's a part of me deep down that wants to be able to look at myself and honestly feel I deserve such kindness. this is what this point in my life is about, not some god damn slowburn. these are intense times for me but it's needed I think - shit, I think I've always needed this - it's a way I have to learn to accept. all this is hard for a fucking thickheaded stubborn fuck, used to certain shit - full of delusion. real musical people in my life are the greatest gift for me ever. amen.
I get in my jinbei, eric went and got both my boilersuit and jacket washed and they should be at the venue. at six bells we're carted off to a hockey rink called "halle orbirt" cuz it was moved from a outdoor pad called "stadion olimpijski" which is good enough for me. backstage there's a huge table of chow, polska stuff that's probably been sitting around and got some bac (short for bacteria) but fuck it, I make a sandwich first from the keilbasa and cheese and then one w/salmon w/some thickness to it, using rolls w/a nice crust. there's a poster saying this gig is part of festival wroclaw non stop but maybe it's many days of shows cuz there's only one band playing w/us tonight and they're on now, sounds like locals by the singing. this is first time in poland for me and the first time playing for polish folks. their language is slav and sounds a lot like the croatians back home in my pedro town. my boilersuit is all clean and on a hanger - I put it on. eric brings my bass, chris got it all cleaned and put new stings on her, much respect to him. I warm up. around nine bells, we're led to the stage and the pad is pretty much filled, folks are excited. "let's go!" hollers ig and here we go w/"loose" - I got the two ampeg II stack thing going like last night but they gotta be rented from here in poland. scotty's got a gold lame ludwig kit that looks like it's from the 70s, alright. ronnie's got two stacks of marshalls like usual. ig was saying one of his arms was hurting but it's hard to see that cuz he's whirling big time. he's working the crowd good. I did some good stretches so no cramps. "down on the street" and I finally get it right under ronnie's leads, right from the first riff - alright, slow learner. "1969" and then "I wanna be your dog" follow, kind of like what we've been doing. the polish folks are into it real nice, great spirit. "tv eye" and then "my idea of fun" - funny to hear the accent (funnier than england even!) but it's sincere when ig puts out the mic for some cat-in-the-crowd turns w/it. we're right into "dirt" w/out an intro, like last night but w/a little more space though ronnie looks over at me to bring in the bass earlier than what I had done at glastonbury. the stooges are a band of the moment - no autopilot, I can dig it! ig calls for dancers to help w/"real cool time" and "no fun" but security at first doesn't get the idea and he hollers to one of them, "let him up, you nazi!" not a lot of cats up w/us but they're enthuisastic. steve comes on for "1970" - "mindroom" - "fun house" (man, my fingers are feeling sore now, especially the hand that works the frets, something that I usually don't get - the tips of the other hand are a little tender too). I kind of wish my stage volume was louder cuz I wouldn't have to play as hard or maybe it's just a mental thing but I do know my fingers go harder when the sound's softer... hmm... maybe it's cuz my hands are sore and that's why I'm feeling that way though... fuck, watt - what's up?! I can't get as wild w/"l.a. blues" but still, it ain't no kind of calmness. I think my 'a' string got a little sharp for "skull ring" - like that last few times, I put no fills in it even except for some glisses going in and coming out of the chorus cuz I think it's stronger that way. we try "trollin'" the new way, the shorter way and scotty nails it though I think I might've capped a half-step up, what? baka watt. ig calls out "not right" - he said he might... we end the set w/that. we come back for "she took my money" and I play that about a hundred times better than I did in london last wednesday - I'm thinking about that right now... boy, did I do that one weak - so what if they amps went dead. I kick myself in the head for that but am glad I'm doing it better now. shit, if I could only relive gigs to get them right, huh?! we finish up w/"little electric chair" - I'm kind of wishing we could've done this at glastonbury but ig knows what's up and that's the double dog went down. not tonight though, we're done.
whew, that was a hard gig for everyone - stooges shows take a lot out of a gig-doer! mercy. we drink some zywieck beer, eric has some of the ginger kind (still has alcohol though). there's real polish wodka but I don't dirnk any... I do get a bottle of bordeaux to bring to warsaw tomorrow - asking everybody first cuz I don't wanna be a bogart. back to the sofitel, there's a little bar called "mike's bar" but I don't own it. they guys get these kind of exotic drinks mixed but I have just a little jim beam, just a little. chris is very funny, making everyone laugh. he's a good cat, I love him. I konk w/sore hands tonight, that's trippy. this is when I feel old or when the knees are hurting - not when some asshole writes stupid shit like in he did in that london paper last week ("graybeard... using the amp to prop himself up"). what a fucking gasbag... all he did was let everyone know he's a jealous shill, prancing about trying to do a hatchetman dance all real butch. ok, let's make fun of viejo... drifting off to sueno...
thursday, june 28, 2007 - blois, france
ok, since I had no chance to hoof the town yesterday cuz of having to get much needed konk as soon as we arrived here, I am determined to get some before we have to bail today (monday) a quarter before ten. I pop at seven and hit the trough downstairs which is a pretty good one. then outside for me, into the cloudless blue sky holding a righteously bright sun (think of so cal after the morning june gloom has burned off) and towards the old town w/the digicamera empty memory readied to be stuff. this town has been german and polish at different times in history and was german close enough to the second war to keep it from being pummled so there's lots of oldage here and I snap it up w/the lens and mind. I get all 404 shots the little machine can hold. I'm so new to poland - what's polish, what's german? what's human? I found the window of a little shop w/carved wooden rabbis. I see something I never realized before - there's a tribute thing to soliarity - I always think of my days as a meterman for the edison power company in long beach cuz that's what I was doing when that was going down here, well I guess it was more happening at the shipyard gdansk (german name: danzig?) but they have a symbol here of what looks like a twin-barbed fish hook - us in the u.s. were always shown graffiti-like writing of the word solidarity or solidarnich (sp?) w/the red/white banner of the polish flag but I guess that's what the folks here used. ha! first-hand experiences are important, even if self-deluded... it's still the self and the impact of existential passion - for me, the waking up to the fact of being such a dumbfuck profound... forever a lifetime of revisionism for me! I'll find out more about this symbol later in warsaw.
we get to warsaw that afternoon via wroclaw's copernicus' airport. now I was in the jinbei last night after shedding the boilersuit cuz the gig was done, in the jinbei at this mornings chow and then old town picture-taking and hell of ain't in it again at the airport - no zoris on but no socks either in my still-muddy from glastonbury converse sneakers. fuck it, I'm flying this way even if helperman jos says I should be out of my "pajamas" (I tell him jealously will get him nowhere). acutally, this is mean thinking about it now cuz at the time I have to be honest in saying I was obilivous. I had the ipod in my ears and blasting creedence so I didn't give a fuck what anyone was thinking, even my own team. I hope that wasn't too embarrassing - I tried to keep from being too close. shit, my regular outfit was all filthy (filthier). the plane is an arielin at-72 turbo-prop which means loud and w/the hatch at the rear, those sitting up front are actually at the back of the bus. the most upfront one is me w/helperman chris in across in the next aisle. this man never vibes me out, he always there for me so I always feel comfortable around him. all the guys are good man, I just feel bad if I make them feel uncomfortable... I live a singular and have to make few compromises in my personal space so like I say, I get oblivious - this is not a good thing if you wanna make those you like not weirded-out. I decide to give them a break and be on my own the next days.
our next gig is in france so the rest of our time before bailing to there on wednesday will be here, the town where scottish tourboss henry has lived for nine years. warsaw had 'pert-near nine out of ten buildings destroyed in the war so not much is old. we're carted from chopin airport to the radisson sas hotel in what was the middle of jewish ghetto, no trace of that now or anything but new money putting up glass and steel towers. there's a noodle house across the road called "red orange" and I get some to-go soya noodle soup and something called "drunk duck" which is duck w/a spicy sauce you pour over it but didn't realize the bowl holding that was for that and chowed it like soup too. there was asian writing on the sign and all kinds of look like that in the pad but the cooks were polish, I could see them making the chow. the monies here are sloztys (about three of them to one u.s. dollar) and a pack of cigarettes translates to about $2.50 so that chow was pretty econo too. I rap w/soctty after some, he wants a jinbie too. we watched the glastonbury gig on the bbc website - damn, it sounded good and iggy was incredible. I dug on scotty digging it, love it when scotty's happy.
tuesday found me konking most the day, I think the tour so far had me incur much sleep dept that I had to pay off. I found an email from a nice cat named wojtek I met after the gig in wroclaw - he knows some folks here in warsaw that have a small touring company (http://www.warsawtrip.pl) that can show me around but I fucked up, thinking we were bailing thursday instead of wednesday but I am still determined to do it so ask to start at ten am tomorrow and so as much as I can 'til I have to bail w/the stooges team at quarter of two pm. I am such a fucking idiot. I had to konk though, it was my body telling me cuz my mind was helpless to it. I even missed the big chow all the guys did w/tourboss henry's girlfriend ania. about once every six weeks to two months this happens to me, just does. I did chimp up the diary to catch up before it came on me after shoveling in the morning though.
wednesday I pop early and after shovelling (saw ronnie and did it w/him - he's got yet another cold, oh no!), I ready everything so I can just bolt and check out when done w/my tour. at ten I meet wojtek - not the one I met in wroclaw (oh I forgot, I met him again at the airport when we landed here - that's when I gave him my email address... my fucking memory!) but another one that's gonna start the trip w/me and they have his partner agnes join us when she can. he takes me right to middle of town and up the palace of culture and science which was built by the communists after the second war. it's looks a lot like a u.s. skyscraper from the 1930s and not much like what you think was a traditional kind of palace. you can see the whole town from here and probably it's the same vice-versa which might be why they bulit here. not many hills - the building laid out on cardinal points - wojtek shows me the different parts of warsaw in each direction, some thrity stories up here at the top. he's an interesting cat and puts things in his own words that's quite personable and not just regurgitated spiel. we go to the uprising museum, agnes joins us and her too is very personable, making the learning of their town very interesting. we spend a while here cuz I don't want to be cursory though it's very hard on me... the history here is very hard for me - maybe I'm too sensitive but fuck, the nightmare that went onto these cats... all the pictures of faces... there's displays of all kinds of infos and descriptions but it's the faces... stompdown from the nazis for five years and the when they rose up (the pictures from the uprising's beginning has lots of happy faces!) for sixtythree days, they lost two hundred thousand people - ninety percent civillians... stalin not helping them, being just across the vistula... they take me to that part, praga. this is where roman polanski filmed for "the pianist" since there's no old warsaw left he could use. we stop by the king's road where like all europe, a palace for the ruler would be but this is all re-done, nothing original left. they made it to look like the old days. the river is huge and wild, different than most towns where it has lots of nature and the town grows not into it but away from it. this makes for much beauty and ecology. man, I wish I could've spent all day w/these folks and learned more and more about warsaw and poland but I gotta bail - oh yeah, that "fish hook" symbol solidarity used - it's acually the bottom part of an anchor and part of the letter 'p' when it was originally used - during the uprising of 1944. my hosts get me back perfectly on time - big hugs for them and much thanks - I'm in my gray flannel shirt and levis of course for this flight, a two hour one on a 737 for paris. the immigration officer lady has me tell her my birthday cuz I'm not looking like the village people mustache man in my passport but she's laughing much too... see, I don't have to be wearing a jinbei to be looking stupid. we get into de gaulle airport around four and a big bus - one that can hold like fifty or something passengers comes to get us. there's lots of traff so it takes like three hours to get blois, southwest of paris by what's normally around a hour and half. it's ok though, a fun trip - one reason is cuz phillipe, the man from "rock & folk" magazine is w/us and makes things nice. we get a 'tel called the mercur (part of a big chain) around ten at night. ronnie's feeling better from his cold, we have some beers. a lot of ground covered by watt today, lots for my head to ponder. I konk at midnight.
thursday is gig day and I chimp diary to catch things up w/that and the hoot page/internet stuff after some trough and a soak in the tub 'til three in the afternoon - I got a call from brother steve about us checking out then when we bail for soundcheck which is ok for me cuz shuttling around wears on my ass... I'd rather park it at the gig if I'm able. we're brought not too far away to the chateau du blois - home for ten french kings during the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries though it started getting built in the twelfth, lots of additions to it in different styles. me and steve get a personal tour after soundcheck (ron and scotty soon back to the 'tel) that's way interesting - such a great side-benefit of this bass job of mine. this pad has much art in its building, two kings have medici wives and we're focused on them and also the period of religious war in france, the assassination of the de guise brothers happening right in the king's bedroom. a lot in this castle has be restored and then w/that, the period of the restorations were incorporated so everything's not so hisotrical but it's still all very beautiful.
we're playing out in the courtyard. it's one night that's part of a series of gigs for the tous sur le pont festival. there's a paris band called plasticines opening up. at seven bells there's a dinner chow of steak made like a stew sort of in gravy, rice and veggies that I like much, a big salad made french style first too. the plasticines are girls around twenty and play rock and roll. the whole courtyard is filled for what's called the "tous sur le pont festival" - we're one night of many gigs here. it sure is good to see alaine again - he puts on every french gig the stooges do, he's a good cat. I like playing hard for him. we get ready, the asheton brothers coming as the openers play - I see ig and say hi, he went straight to france after the wroclaw gig so it's been a few days since I seen him. around 9:30 we go on. scotty's got a dw set to play so he's good and loud but damn if it ain't on another taller riser... I sure wish this could change and it'd be a lower one, oh well... I got two ampeg svt-II bass stacks put as usual, each cab sideways and on top of each other - the amps next to each other on top of them, everything belted down w/a nylon strap. "loose" first out the gate. I'm using more front pickup, like two thirds instead of half or even one third tonight cuz there's lots of bass in the monitor and it's from the direct signal and not the amps so pretty sharp but besides that, I think a rounder sound for knobman rik to work w/might be better for the band after listening to that glastonbury gig w/scotty, even on little 'puter speakers... I don't know, I'll rik after. I'm sure glad I had my little bass w/me in warsaw so I could prac (oh, by the way - the w is said like a v in poland so the folks there actually say something like "var-sha-va" for their town... I never did get a handle on how to say wroclaw right but eric did) and not be like I was in neuchatel a couple weeks ago. yesterday's journey w/the knees bent up has me stiff though (fuck, always something w/you, watt!) and it's really tough getting down and then back up for "down on the street" - damn. I wasn't anticipating that. I try not to chuck (pull up) on the stirngs for the end part of "1969" cuz I cold hear me going sharp (again, from that webcast) and was thinking more "front and back" kind of like a violinst does to get vibrato and feel but not so much fucking w/the pitch. "I wanna be your dog" has the return of the ig plunging in the peeps as if they were a pool - been a few gigs since that cuz of the situation but this is one ig likes best, not too high and no big fucking moat in between him and the audience. my knees hurt in "tv eye" probably cuz I'm trying to shake my legs, damn it. thinking back, I should've shook my whole body harder but I'm still getting used to standing and playing this way w/the legs spread. did I clam a little at the beginning of "my idea of fun" I'm thinking maybe? hmm... ron and scotty sure are playing good - I know if I did I was right back on the track and w/them, all of us behind ig. woomf, right into "dirt" and me coming in like the old way, ronnie does the guitar-trade real quick. great singing from iggy, I'm digging it - he's back to his old phrasing. the blois people are really receptive and into the gig, no prob bringing them up to dance for "real cool time" and "no fun" - in "...time" I play the one riff in the beginning through the entire tune 'cept for the last two go-arounds, just to try it. wish I could a recording of me playing w/the stooges on this song this way cuz maybe they syncopation's better. intros next and when it's ronnie's turn, the crowd goes wild - ig doesn't have to say his name and says so, alright! "1970" charges as hard as "mindroom" launches into outer space and then gets snapped off tight into "fun house" becoming a splatter spray in "l.a. blues" HOWL HOWL HOWL - "skull ring" pops it, my bracelet barely hanging on! last is "trollin'" - hey, we got this one now - no prob but I pop tart for scotty to make sure. we get called back out - and not calmly... this old castle's getting it's walls shook and not just by the band (though shook by the stooges it certainly is) but a lot of hollering - thank you, good people of blois. like an idiot, I put three punches on scotty's kick drum and knocked the pedal off - ig not aware while jos is trying to fix it so when he calls for "not right" it's more like "not ready" but we get it together... so sorry scotty-san (got too happy) but later he says it was never on right the whole gig anyway but still, that was a baka fucking thing for me to do. not a lot of stars you can see but at least no rain - we wail on "not right" and then "little electric chair" w/iggy having us close w/round two of "I wanna be your dog" - it's not exactly the same as ther first time when the double dog gets brought in cuz the second always has steve mackay's sax whereas the first time is always before he gets started w/his tooting (he steps on at the end of "1970" and plays all the way out). I have to hestitate w/the coming down the stairs - I let ronnie go first even cuz there's lights and I can't the see the hand rail and it's scary for me to use stairs w/out a handrail w/these fucking knees. I do the go slow. everyone's happy w/the gig, there's a great spirit all about. ig calls over the wall in the dressing room "you there, watt? you've been having some nice moments on the bass." that's very nice - I chimp that here in the diaries cuz much do not that stuff for granted, it's very precious to me. I thank ron, scotty and steve much for playing as great as they did and letting me be w/them. this is a historical place (no shit) so no smoking's allowed... I go out - hey, there's steve's czech friend camille, great to see him again. I tell gigboss alain he put together a righteous show for us, big mercis to him and his helperman viv, great cats.
I get into the civillian clothes and hobble over to the bus, outside the castle walls and after putting my two little sacks on board, sit in a little doorway step and look for some stars up in the sky... I see one for a moment but then can't... I start getting some heavy feelings, 'pert-near crying ones - sometimes that kind of thing just rushes over me, don't know why except maybe it's some kind of bank account thing like karma but I pull my knees up to my chest and rub them as much as I can, like I was putting big rubs on my mind too... it takes a while for everyone to come out - ig in a car first and then everyone gets on the big bus - understand this ain't a tour one but like tourist job w/all seats. the band guys get me think happy stuff cuz they just my some joyus music... the hour and a half on to paris goes by pretty quick. I chow the weirdest kind of pizza - weird cuz the topping is stuck to aluminum foil and not pizza crust! I don't know why but I chow lots of it... weird. on the rue rivoli at the place des pyramides is where the hotel regina is and that's where we're at the next bunch of days, it's like three and half a.m. when I drop onto the deck, konking right like that in the civillan clothes. I was tired, both body and brain.
saturday, june 30, 2007 - borlange, sweden
pop at eleven bells on friday which is right at the cut-off for the morning trough but actually this is quite ok cuz of all the shovelling I did w/scraping the pizza topping from that aluminum foil on the bus ride here. I want to hoof that off and even more, finally get a look-see inside the louvre after many times being on the outside of it. I've always been afraid of not having enough time but today I'm getting in at least seven hours worth. it's only a few blocks from the 'tel. I enter the big glass pyramid in the middle of the courtyard and pay eight and half euros and then get to the first floor (in europe, the first floor is not the ground floor like in the u.s.) of the denon wing where the italian thirteenth to seventeenth century paintings are. there's lots of ancient sculptures on the way, one of them the winged victory. damn, this is stuff-you-only-see-in-books stuff, right there in real life. it's a trip, very profound - a picture in a book is better than nothing but it is not anywhere the same as being right there. there's some locked gates to the painting stuff and then very lucky for watt, they get open just as I get there, a long-ass line extending far from the corner I just turned but they let me through - I swear I did not bumrush. I wanna see da vinci's mona lisa so I make for the middle of the hall where it is. she's on a big wall put up in the middle of big room where the wall donesn't reach the ceiling or the bulkheads - those are filled w/huge paintings of veronese and the like but she's just maybe three feet in height. they got her behind thick glass but still, it's much different than any picture I've seen of her, just different to see the real thing. there's a rail a few from her and a crowd's gathered but it opens up to let me right front and center and I stare for like twenty minutes... I hope people didn't get pissed but there was room to each side w/folks coming and going, little kids going under the rail... I was just grateful to have some relative peace in contemplating here. the remarkable thing I was struck by - never ever seeing this in photographs of the painting - was her eyes... my mind block everything around them like forehead, nose and mouth - just her eyes and it came to me I'd seen them before and damn if it wasn't in some pictures I got of john coltrane! it was a trip, I don't know how or why but that's what lit up in my head and stayed there... I started to hear play in my mind even. then my thoughts went to the background around her! then the mouth and then soft roundness of her lines. it was a trip. I finally broke out of the spell to turn around and see the huge wedding feast at cana - what a contrast! a good move by whoever set this shit up, bravo. as I went from room to room, I went very slowly cuz all this paintings were very emotional, me getting moved by 'pert-near every one. it was probably the most intense picture-seeing trip I ever been on, I don't know why but it was. I got drawn into my scenes, the colors and the subject joining into epiphany after epiphany and I know I must've been muttering outloud even (not too loud though) cuz it was just mindblow after mindblow for me. the huge french paintings of the napoleon time were a fucking trip too, damn. that raft scene of gericault's and dante and virgil in a delacroix - yeah, a bunch of delacroixs just like there was more than one da vinci. I don't know much about art and the painters but I try to learn from what raymond tells me though I get embarrassed by being so ignorant of things about it, I have so much respect and reverence for it... I must learn more from him, read more too on my own about it and then get his perspectives - this is how he's taught me much about other things all through the years. anyway, I then moved to the sully wing on the ground floor w/the old greek and egyptian stuff - whoa, the venus di milo, damn. beautiful sculpture after sculpture, a fucking marvel. what a trip w/all the ancient egypt - again, I move real slow and try to take in as much as I can, absorb it somehow. I move up to the second floor and see incredible french seventeenth century paintings - I'm making my way to the richelieu gallery (wow, david's portratit of him is intense!) to check for a bosch in the netherlands fifteenth century rooms - what the fuck, why not? I'm thinking this pad closes at six but then find out actually it on wednesdays and fridays it's open 'til ten but my knees are getting sore... whoa, they got the ship of fools here and I spend like a half hour studying every little detail I find bosch put there - these rooms ain't nearly as crowded as the other's I'd been and so I'm left much alone and dig that. there's a weird life in the painting, it's only like half as high as the mona lisa. it draws me in big time - I know it's bunch of borrachos and bakas (obviously an allegory for gluttony too - "you racka disciprine!") but there's something more to it for me, mystery and riddle like summed up sort of like the owl-like face hiding up in that tree tied to the top of the mast. it's probably my own fucking mystery - how the fuck I think the things I do but this work kicks up the spark to get me tripping - again, the realness of it here, how the brush stroke is actually right there and the cracks in the wood - yeah, I think it's painted on wood. man, this motherfucker really gets my head spinning and the mouth hanging open. I get to thinking about so much music in a lot of these paintings here, either singing or instruments working, that's striking on me. painting and music, yeah - makes sense. of course bosch has a fucking idiot playing a lute here - they're all fucking idiots in this work, maybe that's why it strikes such a resonance in me. I go down to the lower ground floor and make my last foray, to see the collection of islam art. it's very beautiful, I fill the rest of my camera up w/what I can (the let you snap w/out the flash everywhere except the denon wing and apollo gallery (damn, didn't get to get there anyway - so much I missed but I wanted to really get into what I could see and not but cursory, just wanted to be that way) - much more than half of my four hundred shots are of the ancient egyptian things but it was to stop and take the time to let as much as the thing I was tripping on could work me the way it could that I was trying to focus on, let it work my thoughts and not the other way around.
I hoof back to the 'tel w/my head quite full, that was stunning - ha, when do I use that wor?! hey, I think it's called for here cuz I was otherworldly in many ways, tripping on many levels. I run and into rik and jos, tell them where I've been and they got a bunch jokes about the head - I guess "loo" sounds like they way I'm saying "louvre" - I alway like making them laugh even if it's not my intention, they're good cats fro england. then I run into steve and we go find two blocks away a "8 to haight" store and then got sixpacks of heineken for five euros - you know at the 'tel that one beer at the bar costs eight! I shit you not. we do the obvious and then he continues of for some forage while I get back to the 'tel w/my thon baguette (whoops, forgot to mention that) I go a couple blocks west of the 'tel on the way back from the louvre mindlow. I pay ten fucking euros to get online and put up the watt from pedro show w/guest sam we did at glastonbury - finally, it's been 'pert-near a week... sorry, sam but the connect I had in poland was too slow. then the thon (french for tuna) - I chow that, have a beer and then konk like that cuz I was tuckered and the mind heavy w/weight to take. it's a good konk though.
gig day and I pop at five and soak (didn't get a chance last night cuz konk came swifty) 'til the trough opens up down stairs (I'm on the first floor and only need stairs - you'd call it the second floor in the u.s.) and I shovel some eggs but not much cuz there's a lot of milk in the scrambled, I'm not much into scramble if I have a choice anyway and there's no choice w/the ouefs so I shovel w/the got but more fruit/yogurt - yeah, eddleberries! really happening. of course this is probably where "french roast" coff comes from and sure enoough it's like the "french roast" I throw down in pedro come morning but I will admit this is better. I then go chimp diary 'til we got lobby at eleven bells to drive to bourget airport (right next to the french aerospace museum) to take a private jet - again, it's a dassault falcon but the emergency card on the plane says "falcon 2000" so maybe that's what we took after the glastonbury gig cuz it looks the same. it's a two and half hour flight to the little dala airfield in borlange which is like a two hour drive north of stockholm. as we're landing, scotty says the country looks a lot like "u.p." - upper peninsual, refering to the most north of michigan - all the trees and such. this gig is called the peace and love festival and I learn it's about eight years old though the first ones were kind of small. there's more than just gigs, there's conferences too to try and make peace and love work - that's what one of the young folks who pick us up from the plane and take us to a 'tel called the park inn... yeah, not too scandi of a name and the second floor is actually the floor above ground one, like the u.s. nice folks all around though and there's a long tub to get a soak in cuz I neglected that this morning in france, cochino watt. I chimp diary. henry asks me to come chow some - ok, there was real good private plane chow like little trippy kind of canopies and salad things so I go chow some carne w/the crew guys (ms yuko calls the ones w/them staff) and eric learns me about the blackberry some, I don't much about them except some cats I flow emails to come on theirs. I think it'd be too much a leash on me and not enough buffer though, that's just me and the gig I do working bass... also, my mental state - I need buffer and maybe these guys need it regarding me too cuz I know w/out trying, I can rub people the wrong way which I feel bad about cuz I like them. it's not from bad intentions, I'm just crude and used to man alone mode. I've worked tight w/cats though like my band guys and have been very close but that's a different trip. life can be about different trips - it probably is, in fact. a festival person says mick ronson's son is here at the gig - I go "whoa!" cuz I dug mick ronson's guitar much and tourboss henry says he worked some w/mick ronson and in fact it has something to do w/how he made the connect w/ig cuz he was w/glen matlock's "rich kids" (mick ronson was producing a record for them) and matlock also did bass for one of ig's bands then... what a trip, henry's been around - much respect to him!
it's like three minutes in the minivan to get to the back stage of the festival - why didn't we hoof it? there's a little drizzle but not much. the dressing rooms are trailers, I get the boilersuit on and then read the last ten pages of "the old man and the sea." it is heavy on me. him and the boy will fish again, the boy will learn things and the old man's life will have another kind of importance but it was vital he did what he did alone. of course by teaching the boy, that in turn will learn him stuff he otherwise never would've - that's the nature of such thigs,. I tell the guys they just gotta read this book, especially us being cats who we are. of course they know the spencer tracy movie - they know so much about old movies, I love it. I quote them this from page nine:
he was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. but he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.
but in my head, I was thinking of page 505 - I mean fiftyfive:
"I told the boy I was a strange old man," he said "now is when I must prove it."
scotty says he'll read it.
time comes time to do, ten bells. you wouldn't believe how light it still is. we get to the top of the stairs... ig asks if we're all ready... "ok, let's do it!" we run out and it's the first I've seen of how it is for this gig - big moat, ig leaps good but I don't know if he's gonna bridge that gap. right before playing, eric brought me the little bass as usual and I decided to play "loose" way up on the twelfth fret, using the fatest string, the 'e' one. well, here we are out of the gates and I already space and do the first like the way I have been. fuck, I'm ridiculous. I do play the rest of the way I planned though and might stick to it. "down on the street" and I feel he cramp in the back of my port calf again, what the fuck's that about? man, I stretched out good backstage beforehand today. the rain has backed off which I think is a blessing for the folks who had no cover though our stage has it. I got both an ampeg II and an ampeg IV which ain't as good even though it's newer, there's only tube preamps but it does have a master - problem is that these ain't being driven hard enough - just my opinion. I'm not talking volume wise but the sound character but I wanna make nice so I go w/what's been put up. I got the pickup blend (the bass' onboard eq is bypassed - rik don't want me using it) about half-half for some reason but after "1969" and "I wanna be your dog," I push it to like seventy percent neck to thirty bridge. standing in front of scotty's riser gives me a good feel and I love it but I'm too far off the amps and getting only the direct from the monitor I got right starboard of them and firing at me - rik doesn't want me have the mic bass coming through there cuz of potential feedback but it's a harh tone on it's own. I just bear w/it for "tv eye" and "my idea of fun" - shit, I blow a clam in the first chorus of "...fun" for a moment, going backward to the other chord I was supposed to be at - baka watt. for "dirt" I get way more in front on my amps and scotty's slamming (though ig was urging him on to play harder in "...dog" it was more about him not feeling it as far as the whole p.a. sound and local loundness restritictions rather than tippy-tap w/the flea eyelash on the freckle kind of thing) so I'm keeping right in there but am not that smooth in a way - not way out but not way in either, hmm... just a feeling I'm relating cuz obviously I'm too close to be really objective. for "real cool time" I stay w/that root note thing and go my old way only towards the very end... ig gets only like ten or fifteen young cats on stage cuz of security, saying "this is no nazi gathering!" this one young man comes to dance in front of me and now I ain't saying he had halitosis or anything but the fucking stinkbreath he was housing would've spun the windmill on an old dutch painting. christ, I stop to wonder what my fucking breath must smell like but not for long - not 'til he gives me another pass... we move onto "no fun" and I restrain myself more in the end. band intros, "1970" and "mindroom" - I put the little bass' pickup blend to way more neck, 'pert-near full for "fun house" and it's sounding good, for me probably the best ever - that's what I'm thinking now. I wack the 'd' string way out w/"l.a. blues" - of course not on purpose but that's what results from the spaz I'm trying to relate to ig's emotion for that baby... I can see he's arm's hurt a little. he's been really trying to fire the crowd up, get things thumping - man he's singing and dancing so good and the asheton brothers right there w/him and also steve, now that he's joined us for the end game. that 'd' getting sourass is one reason I got no fill riffs anymore in "skull ring" though I put it in once right before guitar solo time just to see and yep, it's out of tune. I think the song is strong w/the relentless interation thing though. we finish up w/"trollin'" and there's no 'd' string ever used in that one - I don't think one song on "the weirdness" ablum had me using either the 'd' or the 'g' string. we come back for "not right" and it's the first time I bend my knees and stand like I used to all gig - that cramp I was whining about at the beginning was gone by "1969" so I think the spread leg thing is helping me. I also took ronnie's advice and ate a couple of ibuprofens an hour before coming to the gig. wild w/"little electric chair" - not only does ig come up to me for my bass solo but stands right starboard of me and even puts the mic to bass amp speaker for a bit - wow! righteous. thank you, ig. we end up w/the double "...dog" and are out - the crowd really loud for more, much respect to them.
we bail for the little airfield w/in a halfhour, time to get back to paris. on the plane, I sit where I always sit - the first one facing foward on the port side. ig comes up to me and says he likes the bass these gigs and claps my hands in front of me in much thanks to him being so generous and tell him I owe him my bass notes. he's there's some nice things I've been doing w/the bass and I tell him I watch him 'pert-near one hundred percent of the time and he says he knows and likes the connection. these are big words to me, very important to an insecure watt and it just makes me wanna even work harder for him, work harder in all my music w/all the people I've been lucky enough to have be so generous w/me. the falcon jet loaded up w/everyone, it takes off like that - woosh and soon we're flying whence we came at 41,000 feet - damn. it gives helperman chris a huge sinus headache to be up that high though, I feel bad for him. scotty, chris, steve and me all share the same front space w/the rest of us aft. I try to keep the voice little but I did start singing some dylan towards the end, probably fucking up some of the words. it's three and half bells in the am when we get to hotel regina after landing in bourget and rolling back in a minivan. last time w/this outfit, the gray flannel shirt and this particular pair of levis along w/the socks and skivvies... when I pop I'll don the last week outfit cuz that's what we're moving into now, the last week. I pull the stenched boilersuit out of the plastic bag and let it soak in the tub of shampoo and then hit the deck for konksville.
this page created 27 may 07