baggetta + hodges + watt
"wall of flowers album release tour"
read the tour diary!
at coalinga we pull over for fuel and I get some chips to put in the liverwurst sandwich I brought w/me. that's right, you can get these kind of sandwiches in my pedro town at darko's (south shores meats) for four bucks each (I always get two and save one, hence what I got now). I always get them w/lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard. love it. you can't find these even in most nyc deli's, let alone in so cal. I'm a lucky man. we switch ponies, chris now at the helm. I guess I'm front starboard w/hodge behind me. it is so green, you wouldn't believe it. prolly cuz of all the rain we've been having. we do get rain but not 'til past little panoche (what a fucking name for a town!) and it ain't all that rough, I'm so grateful. we can't figure out how to get my ipod to work w/this boat's audio stuff so no sounds from that and instead it's fucking hours of fucking windbag from watt but I've never toured w/mike or chris before so these spiels are new to them plus they got some good spiels of their own - it's a good time and the hours fly by.
not too bad of rain drizzle as we go through altamont pass and it's about five when we get to downtown oakland and luckily find parking right in front of the uptown lounge which is where tonight's gig's at. we hear it's clean (sold out), alright. they want us at six so right close is a chow pad called xolo where I get a machaca burrito. it's eleven bucks but I knew that so it ain't worth whining about cuz I didn't have to get it. I know stuff is so expensive in places now, even oak-town... 'pert-near three liverwurst sandwiches from darko's.
I hobble over to the venue and dig it, good feel and nice people. I meet soundman avery and he's very cool to have as our fourth man, he's also a drummerman, respect. the amp that's provided quits during our check. it's a g-k 400rb that's beat. the cab is a 1x15 w/input jacks looser than seventy year old prostitute (throw the hot dog down the hallway) so we don't know what's up but then it's starts working again but w/some more grind than before, hopefully I can get through the gig. I meet the gig boss julio, very cool people - he says he can get a bravo (plan b) going if this piece-o fails. we do our check - hodge is using the openers drums and the opener happens to be scott amendola! w/him is saxman philip greenlief. scott played in the nels cline singers and is a great cat. we spiel much. he enlightens me to the fact his grandpop beat the shit out of buddy rich for almost running him over ("buddy was a prankster") and assures me buddy's claim that he knew karate was bullshit (scott is learning that stuff and is a brown belt) - I believe him.
me, mike and hodge do an interview w/john from kalx, good cat. mike has this concept of "post-genre" regarding music and maybe I'm thinking I'm way into that. he talks to hodge a bunch about tom waits and john hammond, both who hodge has worked w/and it's interesting stuff to hear. we finish up and soon scott and philip start their set, also very interesting. scott works a bunch of electronics w/his drums and what philip's got going works really good w/him. it's got a happening feel, lots of heart and trippy too.
ten bells and our turn... it takes a couple of times around for me to get "the pink room" together - fuck, I keep rushing the two beat rest, damn me. oh well, not the end of the world and maybe it was interesting seeing me twist in the wind like that. I get the groove going, aiding and abet mike tearing it up - amazing how he's going direct w/out a guitar amp! he's just using this fryette preamp, going straight to the p.a., so glad soundman avery's on our side! big respect to him. cuz I heard mike in the interview w/john from kalx saying he doesn't like to do things the same way over and over, I try to put the accent on the next tune ("I am not a data-point!") on the two instead of the three-and. well, it's pretty awkward and what a curve to throw to hodge as well as myself. crimony. we try all kinds of stuff and keep stumbling, farfromgrooven (you know that german word?) compared w/the original. maybe watt ain't good enough yet w/this. well, I tried. it is kind of bizarre and I can imagine what the gig-goers are thinking but try to hold focus. it's only pieces of a big whole - remember, mike wants to run the set like one trip. I stick to the plan for "hospital song" and am pretty competent (some, still need more nerve), I'm building on it. I feel better after that last stumble although I think that experiment was worth doing... so glad mike has open-mindedness about that, most grateful. he's a very sympathetic player. I can fell for him cuz I know he busted open some blisters on his fingers and you know that must hurt like a motherfucker. "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" is the first tune w/spiel and I think the gig-goers were surprised. hodge started us off drums-alone except for the effects he's running in parallel - he's got a little table next to him and is firing this stuff off. there's a point where he misses a fill and just leaves it open and damn if we still ain't time and drop right back in w/my "the eye at the top of the pyramid" spiel. I can hear cats gasp at the drama that created. crimony. it's getting like we really are playing like "a thread through heads has all ears." crimony. the gig-goers bring us big claps, grazie so much. segue into "dirty smell of dying" and it's a such mood changer, I dig it. contemplative into bailando. respect. I like how it's cooked up. watt lays for the mike/hodge "blue velvet" duet. more big claps from the gig-goers. respect to them. next is a charge hard w/a solid "liberty calls!" - yeah, I'm getting my sea legs, getting this together for mike and hodge. getting it together w/singing the verses over the bass lick cuz if that ain't kind of tough for me to get going BUT I will - count on it! "wall of flowers" is the closer - not clamless but not total horror either. I think I'm getting it more together, I'm trying hard for these guys, they deserve.
we get asked back and do the stooges' "fun house" - hodge has an excellent idea to drop the snare out in the verses, very happening. I like the gig much and thank as many gig-goers as I can, so grateful for the sold out gig. la-ni's here w/her boyfriend, alright! a good friend of brother steve, her pop was the guitarman snakefinger (brother steve toured a few times w/him). she was really in the david lynch "twin peak" connects in our set - she pointed out three of them to me. trippy. I meet the padboss robin and her husband, very VERY nice folks and we talk much about all kinds of stuff - I think they might book a gig w/greg's new version of black flag, whoa! I really like the pad and everyone working here. gig boss julio came through - the amp held up! I meet a buddy of his who had a "plan b" amp just in case but things worked out. I get some whiskey from so cats who got a band and I learn about it 'til I gotta pull anchor and get the boat. mike wheels us to a super 8 'tel in vallejo - we gotta konk cuz it's a 630 mile hellride and there's some scary weather forecast (I like the nws site) so we're gonna bail at six fucking bells. I do a quick soak and konk a little afraid right after.
saturday, march 23, 2019 - portland, or
Crack of dawn, Schlarb wheels
No ice on pass, killer vibe
Killer music, sweat
pop at five, one hour 'til we shove off so I hose off and get shit together in the meanwhile. I could hardly konk last night cuz of being afraid. that doesn't help anything though so I gotta get it together, gotta get it together. it's dark out and drizzling, we first fuel up and I get what was maybe called a "cheddarwurst" - a kind of hot dog... for sure it was in a hot dog bun - and w/mustard. I get some coconut water too, love the stuff (my favorite brand is "o.n.e." - really dig it) and I chug it w/the kind-of food stick. chris then does the drive-through at crapdonald's to get some health food. north on I-5 once we're east enough on I-80 (taking the I-505 bypass), the weather is fucking holding, alright. there are some micro-climate kind of downpours but none last for long. I am MOST grateful. still really green. not too far south of redding, we pass red bluff - my pop grew up in that town. I'm gonna call my next missingmen album "dick watt" which is how most people knew him. his name was james richard watt but I never once heard him called james, never. by the way, I'm an uncle now! a few months ago my little brother justin (he's thirty years younger than me) and his wife pati brought little santi to see me and my sister melinda in pedro a few months ago. "red bluff" is also the name of the second part of my first opera... up into the shasta parts the reservoirs are looking good - they were so low a few years ago, it was scary. crimony. we stop at weed at ten and a half to fuel up and switch ponies, mike now on the rudder. also what's good is the signs warning of bad weather or notices to chain up are not enabled or are turned sideways. I am so relieved, espcially passing the last california town called hilt - looks like the siskyou pass is clear and were across the border into oregon, YES! I am very VERY relieved. whew.
we see lots of trees full of blight, looks they're being killed by fungus all over them. terrible. chris tells me about this guy pete buttigieg - never heard of him... interesting. maybe he's got some good ideas? for sure we need some good ideas. also for sure we got some good luck coming up here, mike wheels us to a best western 'tel in oregon city at three and a half. all that work, these guys deserve some konk!
the tub here is huge and I do a giant soak, huge relief for my sore joints. hands are holding up good though. cut my fingernails cuz man, I cannot stand working bass w/any kind of a fingernail going on w/my fingers - I need them short.
at five and a half we shove off to get to where we're playing tonight, turn! turn! turn! just after six. look who's here: andy from kansas city! last jom & terry show tour I did I saw his brother john in kansas city - that's where he was when I meant them both back in 1984 - yeah, I've known them for thirtyfive years. big hugs for brother andy. he was a fireman but I think retired now. it's just so good to see him again. the man who seems to be in charge at this pad is ben who is very cool people. he makes me a pastrami sandwich that ain't typical to the kind I've but is really good. he's got the first album by the blue oyster cult playing over the house systerm - not loud cuz it seems this pad is kind of a cafe type neighborhood pad. I really like it. I meet dan phelps who's opening up the gig tonight. nice man and he's gonna be man alone tonight w/ his guitar and pedals. hodge's friend jose from revival drum shop arrives w/drums for hodge, so kind. it's a trip, spit stix teaches drums for him - man, that cat is a righteous drummerman. respect. hodge met jose cuz he was teaching him drums down in long beach. trippy. I chimp diary.
the rooms fills and fills - not so many really young people, different kind of trip here. I go the back when the gig's about to start - they got a little stereo that you can listen to on headphones - I use them not to hear music but like for earplugs. it's real crowded too, here is a little room for me. dan does real good to kick things off, a big journery he brings us on w/much terrain change and landscapes. respect. mike gamble and his trio after, happening instrumentals w/stand-up bassist - I like mike's licks and rockin' help from his rhythm section - yeah, bassman andrew has his stand-up pumping along w/some good drumming. the guitar licks innovate into all kinds of possibilities - I keep feeling the word FUN listening to these cats. respect.
our turn and the 1x15 was using on a table is gonna be for me but I think in my case on the deck would be better so helps me situate that. thank you much, andrew, also for the walter woods amp driving it. very kind man. the "secret treaties" third blue oyster cult album is playing now. oh, there was the thin lizzy "jail break" album on earlier - I dug that too. hodge is kind of behind me again... damn I wanna be w/him and not in front of him, giving a face full of ass - I'll also be able to see his foot working the kick drum better. you can't know how much I play to the kick drum, the closest note to my bass on the stage.
anyway, nine minutes of ten we bring it - whoa, full house and not much breeze blowing so it is sweaty already. first up is "the pink room" and "I'm not a data-point" which I kind of hook 'pert-near into one tune... finally I get "the pink room" happening right from the beginning though there was still some b.o.c. coming through the p.a. (had to ask the soundman to fade that out), maybe that in itself was a trippy segue? I think this is the best start I've had since the tour started. "hospital song" (both parts) right after and though there's some clams from me (little ones), I like what we brought. "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" is the tune this gig I had the most struggle w/and for sure I ain't blaming either mike or hodge but I wanna go soft w/the verses and that means maybe I gotta let them know that them coming down more in those parts might help me - losing the kick drum has me laying out 'pert-near the whole guiatr solo, arrrggghhh. hey, laying out maybe might be better than being a bozo flopping around on the other side of the beat. I play hardly any of the notes I'm supposed to in the chorus - thank god hodge goes to town in those parts, kind of "gong" to blurr out all my clams. I talk to hodge about it a little when we finish - why? that's not too good a way to work a gig in real time... I should've waited 'til after the gig. that was dumb of me. it's a mixed bag w/what's next, "dirty smell of dying" which had some hiccups and stumblebum after a good start but also got together and ended up happening - "the sandwich theory" in effect here. mike and hodge get a break from watt w/their "blue velvet" duet and I rally and do a pretty good "liberty calls!" w/both of them - I still gotta get a better take of the bass under the spiel in the verses but it's hard, nothing to sink the boat though cuz mike and hodge are real strong together in this part of my opera. "wall of flowers" (I blew one spaced moment but I think/hope it was too foul... mike played so fucking good - all night he was tearing it up and so was hodge) is last and really is last cuz no encore - don't wanna foul up mike's music, nope. have to get it togther. but I'm feeling for the gig-goers, it's so hot and sweaty that when we finish, I hobble right off the stage and over to my buddy andy from k.c. and hug him up big time, I hobbled out right to him, just like that cuz that's what I felt I should do. BIG respect to brother andy.
lots of gig-goers give me the good word, so kind, truly. the man who built mike's guitar, saul koll, is here - so good to see him again. he's originally redondo or somewhere around there and my secondmen drummerman jer trebotic played w/him in the charms, that band also had bill jennings who w/eric dayton, run sightworks which hosts my radio show - it is a small world at times, huh? trippy. eli from brothers johnson's buddy is here to have me sign his eugene chadbourne/sun watchers album - I actually thought he was gonna give it to me and told him I already got it, I'm confused. we talk a bunch and damn if I didn't space on his name... damn me, he's such cool people... and I'm a forgetful idiot. there's two younger cats from our pedro town - all three of us are glad to see each other here in portland - gran respeto! I spend the rest of the time we got there talking w/the pad man ben, he is very cool people and interesting, damn I wish I had more time. he pours me some brown and a glass of soda water, most kind. we gotta pull anchor and get back to the 'tel. thank you much, ben, thank you. there's nothing like good people, nothing like it.
back at the 'tel I do a big hot soak and then konk. hard. hard but grateful, truly.
sunday, march 24, 2019 - seattle, wa
Easy drive, good coff
Seattle turns out big time
Pulled side, bloody thumb
pop at six. fucking damn me for not hanging the gig shirt up to dry. I did wash last night before konking but I found it this morning all waded up in the sink and not hanging up to dry! well, I it put over the shower head to dry as much as poss 'til I have to bail at eight and a half. what a fucking bozo. at least b-o got scrubbed out... time to bail and I just put it on and figure my body heat will dry it up. it does but still I got kind of a dishrag feel going...
mike at the wheel, for the second time he runs the same stop sign he did yesterday, right by the 'tel. I remind him of that. we chow at a pad called "la luna" for free. yesterday when we arrived where we were gonna play, there was this cat leaning up against the pad's bulkhead right by my hatch so when I get out he tells me he's waiting for the held tickets cuz everything is sold out. I ask him name and tell him he's on the guest list. he tells me his wife wants to come so I say ok. later he comes by when I'm chimping diary inside to see if he's really on the list. I tell him yeah, I wouldn't jive him. well, he owns this chow pad and invited us for breakfast in the morning - most kind of him, truly. hodge stayed at jose's pad (jose provided the drums for last night) and they both join us here. I get the "logger" which is a breaded piece of pounded pork w/thick white gravy on top w/a fried egg on top of that - it's real good. thank you so much, brother ben. oh, there's a cat who works at this chow pad named james that played w/the stooges and cramps at a 2003 festival in the basque country. he was in a band called fireballs of freedom. alright! trippy about people in your life, huh? I am truly most grateful.
I go to the boat after shoveling (first time I got to use my hashi on this tour) to chimp diary while those guys continue their windbagging - I've already bagged enough wind. chris at the wheel we head north on the I-5 for the last time this mini-tour around ten bells. chris has a great theory about these times being informed by the mcmahon junior jive version of professional wrestling - not maybe everyone but for sure the douche in charge. jive. we talk about pedal (effects for musical instruments)... mike likes them but chris don't. I tried them for my second opera, had trouble operating them doing bass - hey, I tried. I did a session w/nels cline where he used thirtysix pedals and a trippy thing is when I asked which was his favorite, he told me it was the volume pedal! I shit thee not. hodge's buddy jose gave us each a copy of his "the stoic drummer" book which is full of econo aphorisms and I'm surprised the other three cats in the boat ain't hipped to the the fact that "the stoics" was actually a school of greek philosophy, a pretty interesting one... I'm gonna send via email tomorrow to all three from the encyclopedia britannica (I got a 'puter version on my macpurse) cuz my stumblebum explain was prolly kind of lame... time to instead tell more shitty jokes.
ok, we got a smoove way for us, weather and road-wise - any hells instead are provided by fucking assholes who obviously think "sharing" a public road is all about them and their fucked-up risky dangerous way of risking everyone's life is fucking happening. assholes. it gets worse every day - that last tour I did w/my jom & terry show opening for the meat puppets was incredible... the fucking stupidity I witness and was forced to have foisted on was a crying shame. terrible. assholes. anyway, getting closer to where we need to be, I know we're gonna make but don't know if I'm gonna so I tell chris I gotta dump and he pulls over to an arco (seems they always got the good gas prices) to fill up the boat while I hobble over to their head and fill up their tank (or turd pipe). gray skies but dry skies above us - I can dig it. at one and a half we get into seattle and to the ballard part of town to get mike to the offices of fretboard journal to do a video interview. us other three drive around the ballard to find a parking place where we can drop anchor 'til he gets done. hodge and chris debark so they can go hoof while I stay w/the boat to chimp diary. after a while I hobble to the corner to a huge modern type supermarket and get some soosh, a california roll for six bucks. back to the boat, hodge soon joins me, I keep chimping diary while hodge soon starts snoring away... konk is a bank account so I'm glad he's gotta a chance to chip away at that debt. he's been playing his ass off and prolly needs the rest.
chris must've went to where mike was cuz just after three they're I see them hoofing towards me and hodge in the boat. mike grabs the wheel and us to a ramada 'tel right next to the sea-tac airport we gotta fly to minneapolis tomorrow morning. at six bells we pull anchor for the venue. it's in a part of seattle I've been before, a neighborhood in the south called columbia city.
the pad is called the royal room and right away, there's a righteous vibe I start feeling - I open the hatch for what turns out to be the padboss/soundman brad pushing my stuff for tonight: an ampeg svt head and a mesa-boogie 2x15 cab which even though it ain't the top of the pyramid for me, it also ain't the gig where you get to be the sploogie boy (working the towel on peep show boof after it's been "utilized"). I don't like to get too precious about equipment but man, it can be tough working a real w/toy stuff. I right away order chow from the barboss nathan (very cool people) and soon he brings me some blackened catfish, dirty rice and colored beans. in the meantime, I for the first time this tour give my usual watt-to-soundperson spiel where I ask if they would be into turning our trio into quartet by including them. he's into being the fourth man, much respect. I had done this so far cuz it's mike's band but we were spiel about in the boat coming up here (amongst about ten thousand other things) and he's into this kind of technique. back to the chow, there's three kinds of hot sauce available: two are new orleans style and one is mexican - I go for the tapatio and shovel it in the back room. there's a sign on the inside hatch saying "maximize your donations" which is a trip cuz in our slang, "donate" is a spin on spacing and losing shit - like me just finding out I donated my tuner in portland last night! baka. soundman brad though says someone donated their tuner here earlier today and I can use that. life's a trip. you know, me and d boon never used tuners at gigs. anyway, crimony, so much musical stuff here, whoa. actually hodge is using a full trap kit they also got. lots of this in overseas, I hope more u.s. pads have a real "backline" available for cats caught in a sitch where that would be so happening. respect. dan from last night is gonna open for us again, just us two though w/no third act in the "bologna seat." me and mike rap about physics and astronomy stuff in the back room after a little soundcheck - soundman brad is surprised by how short the check is... I just fucking hate long checks - doing the set is for prac before the fucking tour, right? crimony. my old friend sandy from going way back to the sst days arrives and I get to introduce her to mike, hodge and chris. she's going through some really heavy stuff but her true spirit is kicking up much dust against those assaults and I'm so proud of her for kickin like kato despite the foisted hells on her. MUCH respect.
dan (did I call him david? so sorry for being such an idiot!) kicks the gig off to a full house (sunday too, thank you most kind seattle gig-goers!) and he brings another take of his "landscape journey" way of one-manning a set. seamless and also not a rerun of last night. respect! he gets the pad lit for our turn, thanks much, brother dan. nine bells and w/out a word, we bring "the pink room" w/hodge actually flipping the switch to crank the gig handle. from there to the closer it's 'pert-near one BIG tune, I like the way mike works the set like that, very happening, especially for someone like watt. I can bring it in now w/no clams (no "trying it out" like georgie used to say), it's a good feeling to get that under my belt and plant myself strong out the gate. I dissolve for a second before bringing "I am not a data-point" which has got a lick that I ain't ever gonna abandon, just ain't cuz I dig it so much for what it is. total accident how I found too, you know? wrasslin' this for a while, I dissolve and let go for mike and hodge - each gig so far has had mike never ever truly alone cuz hodge is usually right there w/him w/some kind something going on. it's watt who does they laying out it spots which I think is important for the set to breathe and it seems ok w/mike. hodge counts "hospital song" for me when the bass finally is required and we drive it on in and up into. there's a couple of chords I spaced on - it's like what I felt w/helping the stooges - if I don't focus totally on the moment then there's a good change I'll find myself not knowing where the fuck I am and I feel really bad about letting mike and hodge down by fucking up like that. I think though we're supposed to work this stuff w/mike more like a risky skateboarder and not so much like a xerox machine so - mike's given us such latitude and open-mindedness, a very generous man. very generous too are the gig-goers, after "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" they most kind w/big claps. I feel real good about rallying from the caca I spewed everywhere when we got to this point. hodge set up tonight closer to the front of the stage so I can always see his foot work his kick drum pedal so I can always have a visual just in case I can't hear the blow of his beater on the head. I so much these days are playing to the kick drum, so much. thank you big time, hodge, truly. interesting version of "dirty smell of dying" - mike juxtaposing righteous stuff on me and hodge doing bailando (espanol for dance), him scissoring the coda and duetting it up w/hodge for "blue velvet" (like I was saying, whenever watt lays out, it's a mike/hodge duet - mike 'pert-near man-alone in this troika) before the actual sample from my first opera for the "liberty calls!" intro gets rolled out by hodge... it's a huge throwdown - fuck, if I wasn't so cojo (espanol for cripple, in italiano it's zopo), I would be dancing up a storm! I fuck up the spiel w/the comeback after the middle blowout, damn me. it was stumblebum, pilot error - mea culpa fucking watt. baka. I could've done better w/the closer "wall of flowers" too - I will! tomorrow. the stage has no hand rail so I ask the folks as I'm trying to get off if they want an encore so I don't have to take that risk more than once - asking for that feels so lame but the gig-goers here are so kind and into it that I relent and bring the stooges "fun house" in at only the starting tempo cuz hodge is off to the races. it's ok, this is the mike baggetta/stephen hodges/mike watt interpretation! kind of like super-imposing the "tv eye" beat over it (hey, it's from the same album!) but what really is happening is hodge dropping the snares for the verses. there is a little drama after the second when I holler (it's a cue, not a beatdown) BLOW!!! and the idea is both mike and hodge go totally off 'til the breakdown but hodge keeps back to the beat and so I'd holler at him again BLOW!!! and again after again he goes back to the beat, BLOW!!! on and on, maybe five times? crimony! we finally get to the breakdown. whew. that was a trip. the gig is done, it was a good one! thank you big time seattle gig-goers and the royal room people, thank you truly!
after getting my stuff put away (got to do it right after, first things first, please), I get done and rap w/many most kind gig-goers after one of them helps me down from the stage (no hand rail here either!) - one lady gives me a piece of paper w/the names toody cole and tres shannon on it, she says they're two suggests for guests on my watt from pedro show (twfps.com), thank you! a bassman w/his bass (he wants me to sign it, of course, no prob, bass brother!) has a story about helping me and my secondmen load up sixteen years ago, crimony! thank you so much for sticking w/me all these years, for working your bass! righteous. lots of good word from lots of good cats. I talk w/sandy, nathan giving me basil hayden's neat - crimony, good bourbon, whoa! very kind, very kind. good catching up w/sandy cuz good people in your life's a really good thing, truly. time to pull anchor, hugs for sandy. I tell the boss lady I wanna bring my missingmen here in the fall cuz I'm digging it.
mike wheels us to the 'tel and I do a big long hot soak... well, four of them words are right and I ain't talking about the tub being too short but I don't wanna sound like I'm belly-achin' silly tiny stuff cuz that's fucking pathetic. I think this gig was the best yet of the mini-tour. I'm most grateful to mike, hodge and chris - thank you, BIG thank yous from watt. ain't even midnight when I konk, WAY into that. lucky fucking watt, lucky fucking watt.
monday, march 25, 2019 - minneapolis, mn
Missing the palm trees
But, We Came To Play
pop at six bells. I pack up the mansack after shaving (watt I don't think will have a beard or stache ever again in this lifetime) and include the gig shirt cuz I luckily brought one of my lined flannels (my ma loves giving me these for my bday/xmas and I used to hate them 'til I figured they got a place in my life that actually is happening) and will use that for the flight. see, I didn't wash the gig shirt in the sink last night and I don't wanna suffocate anyone in the plane sitting w/in a mile of me (that includes the skipper). I get the other pair of levis on and plastic sack these stenched ones which have been really starting to fall down much cuz like w/my fucking leash, I forgot to bring a fucking belt on tour. baka.
lobby call at seven and a half - the shuttle's too full for the first trip so me chris (hodge has already left and mike's returning the rental mini-van) take the second trip and w/in minutes are at sea-tac airport. I got "pre-tsa" on my ticket (maybe every fifth flight I get these?) so that's more calm but I don't mind anyway - I have yet to EVER be treated by a tsa person. once clear, I get a handmand "the caesar" sandwich from a chow stall next to our gate and it's pretty good even if their version of sourdough is kind of trippy (no big holes, instead millions of tiny ones and no crunch), it still feels good in the mouf and w/the veggies and everything else, feels healthy (no fucking grease). mike finally arrives, the security scan showed metal in his stomach (what?) and so a little more check out was required. all's well now. you know what I just found out? hodge brought a telecaster guitar JUST to play in his 'tel room! first time ever I've seen a drummerman do this on tour... of course he also has GIGANTIC cymbal sack also and two big whale sacks - damn, what a schlep... I don't think watt is capable of managing such a thing. we're on an alaskan airlines quarter of ten am flight to minneapolis on an airbus 320. hey, I got an "albert ayler" (aisle seat), happening cuz of my fucked-up knee. trippy how this airline organizes their seating, I'm row ten and then the row in back of me is fifteen - what happened to the other four? anyway, it's three hours to minneapolis, where the time is two hours ahead from where we just were so I adjust my watch and then chimp diary. the lady's water bottle in the other albert ayler seat across from me can't handle the cabin pressur when she opens the spout so I get a shower - not a big one, I ain't belly-achin' about it. "the law of unintended consequences" is always I good thing to have in the back of one's mind to keep the badge-buffing ego in check, I think. land at three, can't find our luggage carousel, terrible design BUT they do have a cat playing piano in the baggage area, all fucking right! great idea. love it.
we eventually find the correct carousel by asking somebody. we see mike looking for his luggage - why ain't he getting the rental vehicle? you piece out the work, we gotta discus. anyway, he wheels us into downtown minneapolis in our second rental of the mini-tour, a dodge caravan (not "grand"), very similiar but I guess less bonus. the gig people put us in this hotel millenium pad, long time to check-in... maybe four when I get to dump in the head of this kind of fancy pad.
five and a half, we head for icehouse mpls which is where the gig is tonight, not far from the 'tel. soundman alex introduces himself, nice cat and he's into being the fourth man tonight, alright. this a chow pad too so I order soon as I can this item they got: wagu sirloin and it's a plate of japanese-style steak and some duck in the shape of a twice or three times as big pat of duck that's crispy. I've never chowed something like this, it's great.
the padboss brian introduces himself and he's cool people also. we talk about steve mcclellan a man I've worked for him many times over many many years in this town and love him much, truly. respect. he's got different work these days (so he prolly can't come tonight) but still runs a non-profit, set up a scholarship in my name at a music school even. there's an svt w/a 8x10 but damn if 'pert-near all the speakers are shot so we go for a 4x10 that's here also. I really ain't into 4x10 boxes by themselves cuz of the phase problems but better than nothing. it works for soundcheck. I go chimp diary.
[hey, look at this shit! I found I already wrote about what I just chimped now - what a fucking baka! I'm gonna keep it cuz it's so fucking weird I could remember that from yesterday - I'm a fucking stonad! here it is:]
order wagu sirloin from barman peter, very kind to chow watt some high endy stuff like that (thinking of last night w/the basil hayden's from nathan in columbia city) there's also some duck in a form like a two and a half inch square pat that's got a lot of crunch, drops of mustard on the plate to go w/this and the beef - so fucking good. crimony! mike shows me his cut up fingers - ooh... I suggest some "nu skin" to help - that's what ed fROMOHIO used. imagine your most sensitive nerve are at the tips of your fucking fingers! crimony. another trippy thing: on yesterday's drive to seattle from portland, I was asking everyone in the boat about them getting cramps and none of them say they get them... what?! I get them all the time and in fact, my hands start doing just that right then and I show them - they're not real bad ones but you can see how my fingers are being pulled into crab claw mode - when I sweat really bad I can barely play cuz that hand won't open. I get them in the leg, calf and foot arch also... even in konk and it makes me pop away and I gotta jump up and use my body weight to stretch the cramped muscle up. well, can you believe that mike told me in our encore last night that he either got a cramp or pulled a muscle under his left armpit so I showed him techniques I have for stretching out: elbows over your head and triceps on the bulkhead, then bring your chin to the bulkhead. also pulling your wrist w/the other arm straight out and finally, 'pert-near like you're choking yourself out w/your chin in the crook of your arm, reaching back to 'pert-near touch your shoulder blade. anyway, that's not as bad w/him now but the fingers are really getting to him so he's on the hunt for some of that stuff edward used. he tried tape, didn't work... hope this does.
soundcheck reveals the svt w/its 8x10 box ain't happening, speakers are shot. switch it out w/a 4x10 (which I've come to find not happening for me but will use to make a gig work) but keep the head. that'll work I think. I said some stupid stuff to chris about the mic position and felt like such an idiot the man deserved both a explanation and an apology for spilling such stupid shit out the mouf or w/a non-respectful tone or whatever I ain't ever could defend. he deserves no such silly shit from me and is very kind to hear me about how it matters that I make it better to him. I show him where the mic goes he's a taller man and it's not his job to adjust but if he finds it a little low and wants to put where watt's mouf is I show him it's right where his chin is. this is not an out for as far as me being more responsible for my behavior. same w/the tape for the other mic (the one he uses for his recording), I think I went off a little last night cuz it was hard for me to tear the tape when putting my stuff away so what does he do? he substitutes velcro for tape - what a righteous and elegant solution... something positive coming to help for a solution and not just stomping your feet in a fit: first sugar bowl, then tea pot, first sugar bowl, then tea pot... crimony... these kinds of fits help nothing and prolly make things worse. I think it's important for me to have a good think about this kind of stuff.
[ok, now you got to see that bucket of clams, let's continue:]
a gig-goer named jim who saw me a bunch in illinois - going back thirtyfour years - comes up to talk me about stuff... after the coal ran out in the town in wyoming my ma was from (dines), the town closed so peoria, illinois was where she went to high school. we relate to each other stuff like gigs he saw at mable's, the blind pig (champaign one) and the highdive... how billy zoom is from illinois - how I was conceived in chicago (born in virginia though). after our spiel and some spiel w/other gig-goers, I lay down on the couch-like trip I'm parking my ass on since I got here ('cept for the soundcheck) w/my hat over my face and konk.
no opening act tonight, padboss brian agrees to let us go on a half hour later cuz I asked him if it was possible due to my friend steve petermeier can't get here 'til then. brain is very cool people. such a great thing when you got a gig boss that's happening. steve mcclellan taught me that way back in the old days and it's a great thing never to forget. nine bells and we bring it, prolly the best "the pink room" of the tour for me EVEN w/mike breaking a high 'e' string pretty much since note one - not only missing that string but it sending the whole guitar a half-step out of tune. mike's balls-out and doesn't stop to change or tune - this reminds me much of d boon, very righteous and inspiring. I bring a bass solo in the in f-minor instead of major like I did last night or c-minor the night before. this works much better, this is how I wanna do it. however, as I fade out I feel the amp has had it and get flustered. damn. in and out, distorted in a lame way - I'm so shook, I can't get the "I am not a data-point" lick going, holding to long on the c-sharp. damn me. I think of mike over there stage starboard w/his challenges and not folding up - why can't I man up and grow a pair? I bear down and get that riff going even w/my amp trouble - in and out - hey, it's like a pedal... maybe some people would pay big bucks to achieve this "effect" - mike starts kind of doing on purpose what I had no control over - like he was throwing me a life-ring or maybe like a "if you're gonna dance a polka then so will I" kind of trip. we keep plowing, "hospital song" has the bass there most the time but man, it's rough. somehow ok for "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" maybe cuz of the lighter playing most of the time. mike's doing real good to compensate for the out of tuned one-string-short guitar he's working, incredible. a little tough to do the spiel over (I was wondering if it was the room's acoustics making things weird - there is a real high overhead) but now I know what a sitch he was in. MUCH respect. damn. the amp really starts fucking up in "dirty smell of dying" (prolly very appropriate I guess) and I'm looking over at chris who says he's getting signal but obviously it's this amp that's a going down and going down hard. damn. luckily "blue velvet" is a mike/hodge duet so I get to let the amp cool down. that makes for some recovery for "liberty calls" but the sound is like... well at least there is sound now. "wall of flowers" last and not least, no sustain hardly w/the notes having fart-like suffixes. the horror. the horror. I hobble down the stairs (fucking righteous there's a hand rail!) and I see another svt there holding steady the staircase! I ask the man there, "please?" and soundman alex comes down to hook it up. we try "fun house" and though it ain't the best sounding either, at least it ain't totally ain't there. whew, lots of challenges tonight but maybe that wasn't a bad thing. at least I didn't stamp my foot, throw down my piece of chalk or alternate between sugar bowl and tea pot poses and instead kept trying and trying. hodge I think was the glue that kept everything together, really happening of him to do that. thank you THANK YOU hodge, thank you.
right off the stage after I get my stuff put away (great idea chris had for attaching his mic for the spiel using velcro instead of tape, great), gig-goers come up and give me the good word. of course I'm feeling big time insecure but realizing what just went down, I just start laughing and rapping w/all these cats, very kind of all of them. padboss brian gives me some booker's bourbon, whoa - more really good brown. he's been so kind ever since we got here, really beautiful. cats like this is who you wanna work your hardest for. these gig-goers too, so many nice cats. steve petermeier and his wife are - they made it, great! good to see them again. there's a gig-goer who tells me about him asking me years ago for help w/a name for a band and I suggested "'pert-near" which I totally remember. some shit I actually can remember - seems no reason why some stuff's spaced and some stuff's retained but that seems to be the reality on the dealio. chris is at the merch table and I join him there and folks rap w/me and do the record sign thing - never a prob, very kind of them to want. trippy people how lots of folks want me to know how long they've been w/me - I'm so glad they're still here, w/me in this moment. it's very generous and makes me wanna push as hard as I can w/music... I feel I kind of owe them, truly.
we gotta pull anchor. final big hugs... the challenges the gig brought us ain't the massive blows but kind of trippy test and the gig-goers really were kind, most generous. I'm beat though and konk quick and hard soon as we're back to the 'tel.
tuesday, march 26, 2019 - chicago, il
Cheese curds, I can not.
Club, full of kindness; even
Though too much stage fog
pop at six again, what's w/the consistency of doing that every morning? in my pedro town I usually pop at four and a half or five. I got time, we're gonna shove off at nine so I go downstairs and get some toothpaste (they give it to me for free, little packets like it was mustard or whatever) cuz I spaced on that along w/my leash and brush my mouf. then I do a big hot soak. I put both coff packs (only thing free in here) and make a half of cup from it so it's strong. I meet the crew in the lobby and we pull anchor. easy getting out of town (no stau) and the sun bright though the temp ain't
quarter after noon we pull over about 60 miles from madison to switch ponies (mike now on the rudder) and it being wisconsin, I gotta get some curds and I get a sack of garlic and dill kind. gas is $2.75/gallon - not a whole lot cheaper than my pedro town ($3.08/gallon when I last got some) which is kind of unusual - we're usually more pricey. east on I-90 still (we rode it out of minneapolis). chris tells us he's be nominated as a "rising star" producer in this year's downbeat poll. he tells "another thing to fail at" but I say it's a good thing and I'm proud of him. respect. we see these manufactured communities w/their tract homes and malls - orange county is the template... and so it goes. I chimp diary. we cross the border into illinois ten after two, the fifth state on this tour. a half hour later we stop at an "oasis" (we're on toll road now and you can only get stuff at these pads) and I stay in the boat cuz fuck, I got curds. trippy, you know they're good when they squeak on your teeth (greg norton enlightened me to that... he wrote and said he was sorry to miss me last night cuz of having family stuff... he usually is always there for me). I chimp diary. sun's out bright and it's getting warmer - not cali but closer to it. an hour later we get to tonight's 'tel, a super-8 in elkgrove village by o'hare airport cuz we got a real early flight tomorrow morning. we're gonna stay here a half hour so I say fuck it and stay in the boat to chimp dairy - it'll take me 'pert-near fifteen minutes each way w/my slow hobbling. no prob.
quarter after five (fifteen minutes late, pretty good considering the stau) and we pull up to sleeping village which like 'pert-near every pad this mini-tour is new to me. nice cats here, soundman hunter's way into being the fourth man for tonight, bassman doug brings me a musicman hd 150 head w/a sunn 2x15 cab, jeremy's got some drums for hodge (his) and I meet his bandmate dustin (they're opening for us tonight) in the back room... we talk some about john coltrane - "I think every musician is looking for some kind of truth" I try to remember him saying (mr coltrane saying). dustin's into it. we talk a little about john coltrane in the navy - that's what's on the button I'm wearing over my starboard pocket. staff lady margaret is also the light lady and asks what we want, I suggest she interprets what we bring tonight, prolly totally new for her. she goes and gets mexican chow for us from a nearby chow pad. in the old days, chicago always had real mexican chow, prolly the most north and east place that had it the country when I first started touring. I don't know the name of the pad she got it from but I think it was close by... I get three tacos al pastor and some frijoles, me gusta, good tastes in my mouf bassman doug is also some kind of boss here and tells me about this pad: just one year old, alright. the neighborhood is called avondale and kind of on the north side. mr tom just played here six days ago and the gig was clean (old vaudeville spiel for 'sold out'). respect. I tell him although I was born in virginia, my ma told me I was conceived here and in fact gave me the address of the pad she was living in which I checked out during the time the stooges recorded "the weirdness" in the fall of 2006. soundcheck is smoove, I think this bass amp trip is gonna work... it's a little fuzzy and fifteen inch speakers are a little slow for me but I still think it's gonna happen. oh yeah, I donated yet another tuner. damn me. baka. good thing they're econo (less than ten bucks) but why be so fucking baka? I gotta find a way to reduce doing this kind of shit.
eight bells when dustin and jeremy go on. jeremy not only drums but triggers samples and dustin not only does sax but also keyboard so they're pretty full sounding for a twofer. it's kind of cinematic, like a sound film. they do a good job.
nine is supposed to be us but the downbeat is seven minutes later than that - I stand at the ready the whole time, maybe people tripping on that? well, the stage is pretty dark so maybe I'm like a shadow on the wall, I think there's just four lights being used and none of them white. hodge brings "the pink room" and we're off. mike is using no amp on stage and instead is going through a preamp that goes to the p.a. sound fourthman hunter is REALLY the fourth man for us. my bass amp stuff doesn't die when the dissolve comes, it's there for me for "I am not a data-point" and I got the lick going good right from the first time I work it. there's a clock in front and above us that the gig-goers can't see but we can. I use to make sure I keep the "mantra" going eight minutes (I think that's what it was - I waited 'til the clock said 9:20) w/only loudness/softness dynamics going plus sometimes either stressing or de-emphasizing the final note (b-flat) of the figues depending on how hodge is bringing things - he has several little go-to's for this tune where he uses them in blocks of four or eight - I listen to him very carefully, I think is something I can do that can be really helpful to mike who's playing his ass off right out the gate. man, I really dig is vision of working an electric guitar plus those boxes, one of them up on a stand, some kind of eventide delay. another trippy thing for me this gig on the tour for this tune is I hobble from where I usually am back right in front of the bass amp up to 'pert-near a foot or two from the stage's front edge and try to animate my body w/the piece. now I gotta be careful so I don't keel over but the "mantra" really gets to me, moves me. trippy fucking riff. interesting how one part can be played buttloads of ways depending on how massage it in relation to what the other two guys I share the stage w/are doing. I get back to where I can see hodge's kick pedal, right in front of my amp and wait for mike's "hospital song" intro part, hodge counting me in when he feels it's time, I'm listening close. I feel I gotta be really driving in this ture to help set things up for mike, gotta be focused and thorough, hold fast. hey, I already got the "man alone solo freak" out of my sister w/the opener, right? forgot to say that right at the top (de capo) I had to turn the bass eq on the amp down, like all the fucking way and there was still buttloads of low - maybe cuz of all the exposed cement in this pad? the pit they got up front? or is it the amp/speakers themselves or a combination of both? the important thing is not to bogart w/low flow cuz it ain't a reggae band, I'm hoping it's ok - I got a strong feeling fourth man dustin is on it. he gave me that kind of feeling right from the start when I met him. "dirty smell of dying" is where I start having problems, I guess in the second half or whatever... I start feeling disconnected. for someone like watt, this is a real problem. for sure "blue velvet" is a duet and I'm glad to lay out. I'm back w/the band for "liberty calls!" and feel better about doing spiel over the riff - there's no way I can think this kind of thing out, I just gotta beat into my muscle memory and actually keep away from thinking about and let my body learn itself to move my mouf in the right way to make words while my fingers work the strings - it takes prac and like I've said before: real prac are gigs. now I believe you need prac (not at a gig) to prep for a gig but the real prac is a gig so the more gigs I do real prac w/this finger/mouf sync trip, the more together I can get it. same as it ever was for me, no short-cut on that truth. the truth is although I don't blow many clams in our closer ("wall of flowers), I've let mike down - that disconnected stuff really gnaws at me and I try to express that frustration right away in the back room w/him and hodge. I can keep it in, I gotta let it out. to me, a good gig is 'pert-near like a good conversation. anyway, it ain't long cuz it doesn't need to be, I've said my piece. no encore tonight either, prolly my fault. mike's the skipper, I wanna abide by what he wants from me, I don't wanna let him down. I can't bottle up too much strong feelings though... it ain't healthy for someone like me - he deserves to know what I'm thinking. I ain't good at mind game stuff, never have been. that don't mean I ain't an idiot and fuck up so much. anyway, I start thinking about mr wittgenstein said about words and let it go. I have a little talk w/hodge (one on one) to help make clear what I was trying to say wasn't misunderstood - that can be fucking worse than the original dealio itself! that's what life's taught me, I shit thee not...
I pack up my stuff... drummerman jeremy talks to me about growing up near cinncinati and being a skateboard competition where they used "brave captain" for his performance music. he moved to new york city when older to pursue jazz and now is here cuz it's closer to where he started. in some way that reminds me that before our set tonight, I was talking w/mike and hodge about sun ra and wrote john szwed wrote about him ("space is the place"), how learning about mr blout's music journey had quite an impact on me. "brave captain" had words I wrote expressing a lack of cconfidencein myself.
I meet some gig-goers like dustin (decorators union guy, not opening saxman!) who comes to so many of my gigs. the huge anchor necklace he gave me years ago still rides on the dash of the boat. a relative of chach's and her friends say hi - chach is the cat who brought me, tom and raul (my missingmen) to china for the first time in our lives, an eight gig tour there... it's been two years now and what a mindblow that was! thank you big tim xie xie, chach! he's gonna bring his band to pedro this july to record an album at casa hanzo, my secondmen organman peetzo's studio we've put tother the last ten years. man, peetzo has done a righteous job and is still improving it a piece at a time, he just built us an echo chamber and soon is gonna start on a plate reverb... much respect to peetzo, much! big time hvala (thank you in croatian) to him.
I talk to chris a little about my frustration and he says it might be from having expectations and that maybe so. I always wanna hear his perspective about things. I tell him maybe I ain't the right man for the job - I ain't trying deflect blame. anyway, we're ready to pull anchor - got the early pop coming before the crack of dawn - a staff man here tells me this pad used to be a cabinet making factory that was remodeled repurposed. respect. very kind treatment here, good people, I'm most grateful.
on the ride back to the 'tel, we talk about curtis mayfield - I actually saw the last gig he did (it was a free gig near the long beach city hall) before that light scaffolding fell on him in brooklyn and paralyzed him from the neck down for life. he never again got to use that trippy tuning he did w/his guitar, I heard it was:
some black keys on the piano! hodge gets to talking about mavis and I ask him about pops - hodge always shows much respect to the staples people and I much rrespectfor him for that.
I do a big hot long soak in the tub and konk around midnight, out like that.
wednesday, march 27, 2019 - northampton, ma
Sleepless early morn
One band connected again
J, volume on ten
pop at four, don't know how but I did. we're gonna pull anchor quarter after five so there's nothing wrong w/a four am pop. I make the free coff using both sacks and then shave - last of the shaving cream, I was baka not to bring fresh little can. baka. I'm gonna fly in the lined blue flannel again but this time pack the big yellow jacket in the yellow mansack to cut down a little on the sweating to death trip. I'm learning from last flight. we gotta fill up the rental and I get orange juice, usually don't but feel like today I need it. of course it's dark still. pretty uncrowded here at o'hare and damn, can't believe I got another pre-tsa - that's two in a row and I don't think that's ever happened to me. crimony. this flight's on delta so I don't have to pay thirty bucks to check in the mansack like I had to on alaska, more good luck. my gate's at the concourse so it's a hobble but that's ok, I'm kind of jonesing for my daily hobbles back home - I've cultivated ten different hobblin' routes in my pedro town and do one each morning, I tell myself, "trade talk for walk, a new way to welcome the crack of dawn." each is between two and half to three miles and takes about an hour to ninety minutes to do. we got a lot of parks and stuff on the waterfront in my pedro town to draw from, here's the list:
watt's hobblin' routes
of course I also still do my elliptical trainer stuff, this machine has twelve different routes and are a half hour long each, I do one after doing one of my hobblin' routes while at the same time watching some kind of doc via youtube.com - the flatscreen tv I got to replace my crt one (22 watts vs 145 - paid for itself real quick!) has wifi to tap into my internet connect. hobblin' in my pedro town presents buttloads of eye-gifts but using the elliptical trainer (which is inside my pad) has got to be the most boring thing ever, every second seems to take an hour so learning stuff via watching docs really helps w/that shit. remember I ain't a jock - I'm a cojo who's trying not be too weak. it's also good for my head. the counter lady is most kind, she gives me a pre-board gee-oh plus moves me up a few rows cuz I'm a cojo - never had both those happen together for me before. lucky watt. I get some kevita lemon ginger and dump that down, I like meyer lemon vinegar the best but this is ok too, helps me somehow. we board at seven and a half - big time at least half-empty: luckier watt! also lucky for mike cuz we got musical instruments for the overheads and there's buttloads of room. yatta! maybe cuz this is a shuttle (same kind of flights all day)? it's a boeing 717-200 and a flight attendent lady let's move to a row w/no one in it, two more up to the bow. these planes got two seats port and starboard for each row, I take port and put both windows up. it's sunny now but a little hazy. flight is only a hundred minutes to laguardia in queens, ny and the ride really smoove. set the watch ahead an hour, we're in the edt zone now, my pedro town three hours behind from here.
mike's at the wheel since we've landed, we talk about the first bunch of black sabbath records and why I really like them: the way mr iommi used his guitar riffs to set up a sitch where geezer and bill ward could swing and rock in such an interesting and righteous way, I've always dug that about that stuff much. very inspiring and a huge influence on me and my writing. mike likes hearing about minutemen too so I give him some more stories regarding us, all kinds of different angles. we stop in springfield at two to first chow - I ask chris to please get me what he's getting and I'll pay him back (saves me from having hobble) and he brings back a "barbacoa bowl" that I like, thank you, chris. then we then go to a red roof 'tel in west springfield to check in. I dump, return - the car rental company called mike to return this mini-van we just got (same model as west coast one, grand caravan but it's maroon) to return it for an "inspection" - what? are they crazy? why did they rent to him? mike sends a very clear email back explaining he's not into putting his passengers at risk, you know: what the fuck is up? the man says he'll get half off what they were gonna charge him and we don't have to go back to nyc. crimony. hodge tells me he lived in schenectady - I lived there for a while cuz my pop was getting nuclear training at a g.e. plant, the same one his pop got some learning at - ain't that a trip? I was actually near schenectady, outside a little town called balston spa. my little sister marilyn was born there. anyway, mike gets us to a red roof 'tel in west springfield, not too far from northampton and after checking in, we get on over to the iron horse music hall in the old downton around three and a half - soundman jim already ready for us, good cat. I've worked w/him before. respect. mike's using a fender twin and there's some drums here hodge really likes. dinosaur drummerman murph comes to say hi, murph! love this man and it's been a while since I seen him - maybe last time was when dinosaur invited me to play some stooges w/them for j's fifty bday party three years ago... too long! we have a good spiel. at four and a half, dinosaur road boss john brings lou's svt bass fridge. it's an old timer but it's in good shape, has been taken care of. quick check and I get to meet mike's pop, ma and uncle - I tell them it's a big honor to get to work w/mike. for some reason I also explain that "old man" in the tune we just did part of is slang for a skipper in the navy, nothing to do w/age. I tell them I wanna do my best for mike.
j and his boy rory arrive and w/dinosaur road boss john (he's also in the band sunburned hand of the man), we go to the "thornes market" and chow at "paul & elizabeth's" - it being new england, of course I go for a bowl of fish chow and a "kale caesar" salad (I chow half so I don't puke during the gig and get the rest to go). I have a good talk w/j, catching up w/him. he did such a good job w/the "unwilling to learn" unknown instructors album. crimony... and him w/georgie - BIG TIME CRIMONY! man, can j play. intersting man for me too, always has been. also interesting is his boy, rory - whoa... eleven years old and kicking up much dust! he's playing drums but also likes rap, wearing two fly gold chains (not big ones but not tiny either. I recite some of what I know from eric b + rakim, schoolly d and stuff like that... I haven't kept up. damn me. john's very cool people also. what a great chow w/three fucking happening cats. I'll always look up to j as a sensei but man, I dig him as a dude too. respect.
back at the venue, we go downstairs to what rory calls "the backstage" and I like that cuz "green room" always kind of weirded me out for some reason. of course there's dicks drawn all over the bulkheads - I give rory a sharpee and he starts adding to the collection. he's a got a unique way, the balls are way big and the perspective is kind of from the top or from the bottom... pretty singular. he also gets some profiles in the also:
his pop is laughing. I introduce mike and hodge to j, so glad j gets to see me do this and damn if he ain't got a mosrite guitar in his car. this pad has a roeland jc-120 so I ask him if he'll do the stooges' "fun house" w/us at the end. he's into it, yeah. mike told me he listened to a lof of dinosaur when he was young. so great of j to do this.
quarter after eight and it's show time. up the stairs and up on the stage, I am so nervous all of the sudden to play in front of mike's folks and his uncle. I'm shaking under my levis and try to settle myself by using that nervous shit to take the tune or rather getting into the tune cuz I'm fumbling all stumblebum but I guess "channel" into something for the gig - mike said at soundcheck to charge hard no matter what, even if it was uncomfortable or whatever and he's the skipper so I man up. later in the tune I bring in one of my two solos of the night w/the loudest I ever get and lou's amp handles it no prob. whoa. even shook me up, I can imagine about mike's folks and his uncle... at least it broke the water and I got myself together some but I bring in "I am not a data-point" real soft and kind of keep it there, just let the room breath and give the set a good start and getting some depth and dimension. mike is really happening w/his work over me and hodge - hodge now giving up all the straight takes and keeping it like the "snaky feel" he told me he felt at our first prac. hodge does really good, happening to play this w/him and I think it contrasts good w/the opener. I get a little nervous again for when I come in for "hospital song" - holding on but keeping the ocean inside I tell myself, "you don't go down, watt - you don't go down!" and firm up, somehow losing that tremor that was to claw its way back into me. whew. I give hodge a real long time before I bring me and mike in for "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" cuz in a way it's both a great palate cleanser and a mood establisher for another dimension for what we're trying to do w/these ten gigs. this ain't a just a gratuitous drum solo and hodge shows great restraint and is much groovin. I blow some clams but I'm so nervous singing in front of mike's people for the first time 'till I forget about everything but the tune and let rush right out me. it's a pants-shitter and I'm steaming it up some. "dirty smell of dying" has got mike really creative w/his sounds - man, he redefines for me a lot what the guitar's about, especially when gets that shit dancing on top of the little latin trip me and hodge give him. then comes the rockin part, yeah! hodge set's it up and we're going to town. whoa. no coda form mike and instead we crumble it down and I kind of do a bubbler for my second solo of the night. the dynamics w/the band are really good tonight. whoa. really good, I feel. "blue velvet" tonight for me is even better than last night. crimony. it really makes "liberty calls!" pop out, oh man, it's a freight train barreling down, full steam! crimony. and like that, a quick fade - hodge right w/m. BIG respect. it's the first "wall of flowers" all tour I get pretty much together, 'pert-near no clams. I think back when I played j + the fog like eighteen years ago, don't know why but I do... maybe something about this tune but at least I don't space and hold it together - it dangerous to wonder when you're woking a gig - dilutes your focus. people want an encore - mike runs to get j and here he comes w/his mosrite. I played it downstairs (best a klutz like me can do w/the skinny six string stuff) and man, it plays great - j said he just got the fretboard and frets done and man, it's really smoove. he cranks all the way to the top the jc-120 (bob mould loved these babies) w/some kind of diode-clipper box all the way cranked and it's "fun house" the way j knows how to do it: KRANKED! crimony. I'm digging it though. it's a fucking mindblow and runaway freight train crazy - wailing like a motherfucker "WE CAME TO PLAY!"
we're done. crimony. my hair's standing up on end, eyes bugged out. I thank j much for being here and tell him it means much to me, always does, every time. the man is an inspiration. maybe one day his boy rory will get to see me play w/his pop (he had to bail right when we went on, has school in the morning). big hug for j. I get the word from many gig-goers, many kind people. a buddy of mike's pop is very kind to me, a trumpet player from mike's pop's band. very kind. I go say hi to pad manager man neil and he's got some whiskey he's infused w/ginger and stuff, trippy. big hug for murph and john too after he has me sign the fIREHOSE album I made the week my pop died... there's words to the tune "quicksand" we covered on the back - tony 19 wrote them in his own hand here and it's very intense on me... we lost brother tony 'pert-near a year ago now it was a terrible blow on me. he was BIG TIME inspiration for watt, you can't know - us minutemen loved the dils much but tony for me was prolly for me as big as a sensei as dick hell was - up there w/d boon. losing people is the hardest lesson I've ever had to learn and I never get used to it, never.
mike and chris go konk at mike's parents' pad after dropping me and hodge off at the 'tel. I do a hot as I can soak cuz the water's pretty tepid. crimony... like trying to make from what comes out of a garden hose. I give up and go konk... for a little bit anyway. I think this was the best gig of the mini-tour up to this point. for sure it was a good rally for me from last night's stumble. I gotta thank the guys I'm w/much for helping me w/that, truly.
thursday, march 28, 2019 - philadelphia, pa
Sleeping, laundry, yes
Old wood, history, great sounds
Full to the rafters
pop at seven - well fuck, I popped like four or five fuckin times cuz this terrible lame shit sitch at this 'tel AND me being the stupid baka - I forgot to bring my nemaki (nightwear in jap) and w/when I shiver pop at two and realize the heater for this room ain't working and the fucking comforter is thin as gauze - shit, I should've at least brought my man sack (now in the boat at mike's parents' pad) and use the lined flannel but I fucking spaced. it's just a terrible night for me as far as rest, just terrible.
me and hodge get picked up from this 'tel at ten and a half w/chris at the wheel, I ask him to please soon as I get aboard cuz of my frustration. hell, I had to do like three hot (actually it could only get to fucking luke whatever) to get my core temperature up - arggghhhh, don't wanna think about it cuz then I'll forever belly-ache and fret - mike gives his pulled-pork sandwich last night's pad (iron horse) gave him cuz of his allergies - they got his order wrong. this sandwich really cheers me up.
chris at the wheel, we end up a the exact arefucks we were at yesterday! no chow for me though, I got mike's sandwich and I'm thinking that barbacoa bowl maybe wasn't too mexican tasting but at the moment I was hungry and it taste fresh and healthy. we head back from whence we came yesterday pretty much 'til it's time to deal w/the nyc metro area. twenty after twelve we pull into the last service plaza we can in connecticut to fuel up, I find some of my favorite kind of coconut water, "o.n.e." - I just love the shit out of this stuff, especially when it's fucking ice cold. bye bye connecticut, we're soon over hudson rive on the tappan zee bridge - they're building a new version parallel the old one - like what they're doing in long beach back in cali right now w/the gerald desmond. happening. through more woods (lots of woods in new england - you should see the fucking fall colors, righteous) and right at one and half we cross into new jersey - bypassed that whole nyc fucking plug stau stuff completely, YES! well worth the extra miles it costs, well worth it.
we get to talking about religion - well, trippy old testament stuff related from watt's take on them, not authority but me showing what makes me trip on them - I was first talking about walt whitman and original u.s. diy anyway and tangented off into that - happens a lot w/me and tour spiel. these cats are kind enough to bear w/that, I'm most grateful. chris hips me to this marjoe guy who was originally long beach - first I heard of him. I did find out about some long beach cult stuff called morningside by accident when I was a meterman... chris has a proj called psychic temple and now I comprende a little about where that name came about... always wondered about that. damn, we get caught up in the fucking nightmare these gps (it's in their lack of good fuzzy logic is my guess) can sometimes put you in: tiny roads in tiny towns, tons of stop signs/stoplights... what I've found is you have to use your own human intuition mixed w/the capabilities of the machine - the worst is just being a slave to it and being led by the nose like a baka. we live and learn, you know? ain't trying to be high and mighty, just trying to relate some experience.
I see billboard's using emojis and chris says "we're going back to hieroglyphics" and you know, I think he's right.
right before the border w/pennsylvania (we're still in new jersey), in mount laurel, we pull into a 'tel called the hotel ml at ten of four, mike checks us in and I foul their facilities - we head on to phily (we're just outside, to the north) after crossing the delaware river on the betsy ross bridge... sure we'll be a half-hour early but w/plug stau (old words: rush hour) coming on, for me it ain't a hard decision. I played here once before, w/the fratelli (il sogno del marinaio) in 2014 so I'm a little familiar - w/it we get in front of the load-in hatch at four... chris did all the driving today. respect.
rthis pad's called johnny brenda's and it's in the north part of phily called fishtown. man, it used to be really beat in these parts but it's - mike can tell you about all his moving around brooklyn as things "changed" and stuff. anyway, this pad used to be a boarding house upstairs and an old man bar downstairs - that's what padboss greg tells me. we get to rapping, damn if he wasn't in the band back schoolly d when when schoolly wanted mix his trip w/rock. I loved schoolly d's "saturday night" big time (we'd hear it a fifty times a tour in the boat), "parkside" and "p.s.k." also. fIREHOSE even got to share the stage schoolly here in phily (I think april 26, 1988 at a pad called 'revival') and when I met him, he shook my hand, took his sunglasses off and told me "my name is jesse" and I was like, whoa! big inspiration for me... thinking back... big inspiration. all the area that had to boarding rooms were gutted to make way for where you play and it's like an old timey theatre in a way, stage coming from one corner pretty big, like you're coming out of a cake and a balcony above - very unique gig pad, I dig it - much chcharacter ars nova workshop rep chris arrives w/the equipment we're gonna use tonight: hodge gets a smaller gretsch drum set and a jc-90, never have seen one of these before. anyway, he ain't gonna use it and instead just use the monitors - they got way fucking happening monitors here. respect. I got a pretty new ampeg pf-500 fliptop bass amp combo w/two 10" speakers... can't believe I'd be working gigs w/a 2x10 combo but I think it's gonna work. soundman tim is very cool people and into being our fourth man tonight. respect to him. I meet the "showrunner" marley, very nice lady - I've never heard "showrunner" in this racket before, I thought it was a hollywood thing. there's so many levels of appartchik, huh? 'pert-near like heian period japan! there's a ramen pad right near called hajimaru and I get their house special to go. the order lady asks me what's w/all the yellow and I tell her it's help me know what's my shit - black is so omni you know w/the music racket. love black - that's the way I like my coff but I need help recognizing my stuff quick. during my order she asked if I've been to china and I told yes, two years ago - she says it's been twelve years for her so I think that's where her people came from. I get back to johnny brenda's and we do check - there's a massive bogart w/the low end... I find the room is loving e-flat so I whip out the chart I always carry in my wallet and find it says 156 hz and ask soundman tim to notch that big time. we go to the first chorus of "no one ever says old man..." and that's good enough. thanks tim. I go chow that ramen in the green room (says "green room" on the hatch - I never call them that... sounds theatre like that term I learned today "showrunner") and I like it much. oishii. nothing like good ramen or any kind of hearty soup for gig fuel, really whups me up. after our check, I go to the... uh, chamber to chimp diary.
no opening act like last night, showrunner marley comes to tell us it's showtime, let's bring it. w/out a word, hodge brings "the pink room" and I got my nerve (rally from last night's gig beginning), in fact I got enough nerve to look 'pert-near every gig-goer in the eye, I mean as a much as I can but I ain't closing the ojos, trying engage a little bit. my first responsibility is too the guys I'm on this stage w/but in a way, I gotta realize that folks that give you attention (like tonight's gig-goers) deserve to be in on that too. amen. I whup out a trippy bass solo at the end - hey, john coltrane's first pad (bought it w/his g.i. bill money) is over on thirtythrid street, near the zoo. I can't stop thinking about him tonight - part of it I think is the gig-goers here, they really bring it and it's a spirit that's bigger than me which always makes me think of john coltrane - I don't need to look at the button of him on my shirt I always wear at gigs, I fucking feel it way down deep and deep is where the bass flows, it all makes some for some sense I can't put in words so yeah, I feed the bass w/that via my hands - thank god I got my hands... I had a big scare last early august when I popped early in the morning and couldn't use my starboard hand. there was no pain, just couldn't snap my fingers or put a key in a lock or even fucking shave or brush toofs, it was that pathetic. took fucking two months to come back and I was both praying and squeezing the fuck out of this rubber squeeze job (big replica of a yellow peanut m & m) kris back in so cal gave me. anyway, I got my hand back. I think it was from konking on my wrist and cutting of the circulation, fuck! anyway, I'm most grateful - there was another scare right after but later - need to spiel about this gig cuz I think ended up being better than last night's. since the opening tune's a slamming strut, I bring in "I am not a data-point" real slithery like it was in some marsh sort of, squirming around but still real solid has a foundation for the band but lalegatop the yang. a lot of it has to do w/the lick (it's a one-lick ride that's got it's variation only in dynamic and accent) being close to the nut and using low strings plus lots of chromatic in a rolly-polly way to work the fingers to work it. I can sync face and akawkwardoot plants also. first time I got enough confidence w/mike and hodge this tour to be where I am... it's the gigs we've done and the gig-goers in this moment that's led to this increase in some nerve I need to get on this - I lost focus though (a little) and maybe came in the next piece ("hohospitalong") too soon? I fucking forgot to look for mike's cue, what a baka. he bears w/me - oh, he got a brand new fender twin reissue and I can't believe how good he makes it sounds, no pointy-pierce but instead fatty-fuzzed. respect. much drama in "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" and I ain't talking lame drama but the tune, the gig-goers and the men I'm working it w/writing a script in the moment as it comes... fucking trippy. maji yabai. I got a new way of ending the b part of the latin section (this motif still cracks me up but I play it as sincere as possible) on the one w/no pickup - leaves better room for some hodge fills. I think I'm gonna ask him to lose the cowbell on the snare when we leave that world and get into the rockin hard charger part. let's see what he says. it's him and mike's turn next to play "blue velvet" w/out and man, it gigiveshe set a breather I really think it deserves. now just cuz I ain't playing does it mean I should didiluteocus so I watch both of them the whole tune - they deserve, I truly believe that. dynamic gets hiked to the overhead w/us bringing "liberty calls!" - I mean crimony. whoa. no clam like last night w/the comeback for the other verse. I'm swsweatingike crazy but that's cuz I'm reaching way down and know I gotta relax it up for "wall of flowers" so it can breathe - the tune this time and not just the set... I try to work the holes as much as poss w/this baby - there's one spaceout but mike can bear w/it - he's got a talent like nels cline. this band is not three rolls of player piano scrolls being feed into three seseparatelayer-pianos, I'm digging that much - not just for "clam-cover" but for being a thriving petri dish in real time. we go off stage a little longer cuz I need a whole bottle of water (thank god a very cool staff cat here put all the waters in ice after soundcheck. respect) and then we bring "fun house" which feels a little weird in the bottom/low mid - wasn't like this the whole set but it's ok and fucking really driving and wild - we miss the breakdown and like a stumblebum I ask to do that part again - what?! yeah, crazy but I love stooges so much and anyway, coming back, I'm on the other side of the beat kind of, can't get it together - I ask hodge to work his hihat straight a few times - it's crazy but when I count us in for the coda, we come down right on it, thank you big time mike and hodge.
I ask chris to come up and help me get the two mics I spiel into free and my hand is shaking so hard, I can barely help him. I can't get my mic (e/v nd96) into its little sack even, my hands are crazy shaking. crimony. after getting my shit up I get the good word from many gig-goers. my old friend timmy from delaware is here and he gets me a shot of beam and it calms my shaking down - thank much, timmy. so much kindness from these cats here tonight, oh man, so much. steve white gives the good hug. the big man if front of me all night gives me three giant ones - I don't wanna let go! BIG LOVE! (he was calling me old man a bunch after we got done w/that part of my frist opera too). bassbrother pug talks to me about this wattplower prototype so I explain about using three coils to make like a traditional way (one coil closer to the bridge under the two high strings, other coil opposite) and then that inverted (one coil closer to the nut under the two high strings). there's still more to come on this, like another pickup for all for strings (a humbucking j-style pickup) just south of the fretboard. glad to rap w/pug about this stuff - he blbelievesn bass like me. so much kindness. showrunner marley gives me some rye I guess they get made for here and I like it, her glass goes to the deck though cuz of my stumble (fuckin knee) - oh man, I fucked up the tour. she tells me it's ok, crimony - right away the cleanup rags come forth - I'm so so sorry, I'm a fucking baka but everybody's so kind, they're all laughing. ok.
we pull anchor and it 'pert-near quick we're back at the 'tel but I'm too beat to soak so hose off instead. yeah, maybe best gig of this mini-tour yet.
friday, march 29, 2019 - beacon, ny
Chris, New York driving
Not for him. Loud groups teach us
Together, here, now
friday, march 29, 2019 - beacon, ny
pop at five. don't know why cuz shove is eleven bells. fuck it, chimp diary 'til caught up and then... well, when I'm tour, I gotta focus on that so I kind of lose track of news stuff but I did the douche 'tard (I say that cuz he likes making fun of them) had a nuremberg rally in brother steve's hometown and it make think of this ("corruption corruption = corruption corruption)... I love alternative tv and got all their first seven inchers when they first came out - love them still - for me, very happening! respect. best wash the gig shirt's had all tour but space on shaving cream so have to try for dry lame one - been a long time since I tried this but I don't want beards of staches again for me ever. done w/it. my buddy in cherry valley, ny,
I spent time last night reassuring hodge about that weird version of the break down in "fun house" that happened last night, I really want him to know I believe in him and just was thrown off and not together for that part, I was all flustered and stumble bum. just like reassuring him about certain semantics, I just want him to not have a miscommunication clam all stuck up in between us. hodge is beautiful and hears me out, very kind and open of him. I really owe him for his tolerance, really really owe him. hodge is a beautiful man.
last night this one gig-goer gives me the address of a new john coltrane mural, not too far his pad (the one he got w/his g.i. bill, up on 33rd), on diamond street, just west 29th st. damn, we're konking on the other side of the river so I'll have to wait for next tour... which by the way is this upcoming tour, september and october w/the missingmen supporting a soon to be recorded new album. last month, the other two members of il sogno del marinaio, stefano pilia (this proj's creator and guitarman) and paolo mongardi (replaced original drummerman andrea belfi) came to my pedro town to record our third album "terzo" at "casa hanzo" (the studio secondmen organman peetzo built in his backyard). I used my les paul signature bass (les paul was kind enough to actually sign it at a soundcheck at a torrance club years) that I just tore out all the original electronics and instead put in a curtis novak humbucker version of bisonic darkstar pickup going straight to an output jack and I also replace the terrible three bolt original bridge w/a way happening hipshot one designed just for these piece-o's. man, peetzo got such a good sound w/this bass. we used a reddi direct box on one track plus an ampeg pf-20 going to a eden diso10 enclosed speaker (it's like it's own boof) on another track. happening. much respect to peetzo, truly. fratello paolo used the 70s ludwig kit we got there always and fratello ste used d boon's black tele where I augmented it w/a firebird pickup in the middle. curtis novak makes righteous pickups, much respect to him. anyway, I just got an email from fratello ste:
he's a beautiful cat, I love him. he's mixing and producing the "terzo" album - he's the man to do it. him and fratello paolo both live in bologna and I've been there in winter - fuckin colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra, I know they dug being in my pedro town, even if we did get some rain (it was unusual w/rain in so cal this winter). I got an email too from my buddy charley plymell in cherry valley (ny) recommending me some elderberry syrup to keep healthy - damn, I wish tonight's gig was closer to cherry valley cuz a huge hellride at his age ain't happening... for sure I wanna get one close to his parts in the fall so it ain't so tough. I miss him much... me and petra (as pelicanman) are putting music around his "planet chernobyl" for an opera - his libretto but just me on bass w/pet on singing and violin, very econo but total focus to the point.
pull anchor quarter after eleven, chris at the rudder, skies are gray - blue is gone but no rain... yet. still, we've been some lucky motherfuckers w/the weather this tour, really we have so I don't wanna sound like an ingrate. we head north and cross back into new york via the lincoln tunnel. people are driving like assholes, big surprise. we see a few people getting tickets, that's a surprise. why are we going to manhattan? mike is gonna pick up this amp to use for the next two gigs. it's a sound city 1x12 thirty watt se 30 - feyette bought the rights to sound city and is making amps now from the original dan reeve designs. he's gotta get it from 38th street and 8th avenue where their east coast rep is. problem is besides the fucking plug is there's no parking so poor chris has to keep rolling - I go get a sandwich at huge deli trough called "essen's" and get a italian hero. I've kind of giving up on chowing a lot of process meats but once in a while - especially here in nyc, why not? it's got that vinegar thing I like sometimes along w/like five meats all canceling each other out. it's still good. chris finds a park place close somehow - well just a space w/the flashers on and not too long later hodge and mike come w/the amp - whew, we can get out... maybe seventy minutes were in that crazy place. crimony. I spent so much time there starting in the later 80s and even into the early 00s but man, it's wack. still a good energy gets attracted there from all over the country and world but it's just organized more and more insane cuz of much too much maybe. I don't know. I don't want it ever hurt - never but I think it's better for me to live in my pedro town and visit here for stuff like gigs or seeing raymond.
up (north) west side of the hudson first, then over on the tappan zee again, I get a 1/8" to 1/8" cable so my ipod can use the aux input on this rentend dodge caravan so we can have the first music ever on this tour. some migu - their first two albums. ms yuko is incredible drummer and mr shimmy did righteous job making these two albums for/w/her. a quarter after three we drop anchor at a super 8 in newburgh, fifteen minutes south of where we're playing, in beacon. I hear pete seger used to live there. anyway, we rest a couple of hours before going there, the gig's at a 150 year old library now called the howland cultural center and its look is truly singular.
whoa. gray skies but no rain, mike finds parking close, lucky us. I try talking w/soundman thom about our trip but I think sometimes I sound so much like an idiot that people just tune me out w/out knowing it. he's a nice man and I know he ain't be rude... it's just these acoustics, I think it's gonna be rough on loud music. anyway, there's someone here that arrives I got no problem windbagging a HUGE spiel on, my old buddy john de vries (he was in the trio agitpop that played alongside minutemen and fIREHOSE) who I ain't seen in many MANY years - so fucking good to see him. we must windbag for like a hour or something straight, just so good to see him again. a great songwriter guitar/singerman, I really hope he gets more music cooking - he's the man who wrote "the big bang theory" that I love playing - he says he's got some other tunes for me too, fucking right on.
the gigboss james is most kind and says I can chow in the office where the din is a little less oppressive... he's very intent on showing me his throbblehead of me - oh yeah, for chow I get some cheese pizza which fortunately I don't have to make the hellclimb up the stairs to get. very kind and understanding. running out of time, I say we scissor soundcheck cuz there's two other bands before us tonight and doors are coming soon. bassman jed from one of the openers 16 hundred pound pig lends me his orange tiny terror w/2 1x15 speaker boxes (don't know make) and I don't what it is about the eq on these tiny terrors but they are strange and I've never been able to get a good sound out of them but at least it's in good shape (so are they speakers) so I'll try my best. I'm most grateful to jed for the loan. after checking it out, I go to the office and climb under the big table they got in their w/chairs all around it so I can konk cuz I'm feeling a little weak... wanna play good for john tonight, play good for mike and hodge too. other opener 100 and zero goes on and somehow I konk - I say "somehow" cuz you would not believe how fucking loud shit is, like monkeys flying out my ass, 'pert-near. that's how fucking tired I guess I was.
ok, our turn and I can imagine being in the gig-goers shoes, just being rolled big time by TOTAL DIN - see the overhead in the center of this old pad must be sixty or something feet up and there is nothing anywhere to absorb loud except human flesh. it's a good crowd but not enough to even put a dent in the acoustics dillema, we got no one here sixty feet tall, ok? I am in such a bad mood as the changeover goes over... call it empathy maybe cuz I'm totally putting myself in the shoes of the gig-goers, folks who threw down dinero to get what? punished-fucked in the ears and face? fuck that. I make solemn resolve for tonight: I will stay little no matter fucking what. hope to god the rest of the trio is w/me cuz that's only option I see where we can take back this gig and make it something musical - nothing against anyone doing what they do but I'm really intent on this. I know it ain't my band and I got no right BUT in the picture, I want people to check out great guitarman mike and great stickman hodge and they won't be able to do that if it's a fucking a buttload of too-load force-fed down their moufs, you know? I'm trying to stay BIG PICTURE about this sitch... I know bass is the deck and if the deck pushes/squeezes people to the overhead, what about the stuff built above it: guitar, cymbals, snare, etc? it'll be butt-town, believe me - all entitlement and nothing about building a real gig - not in my fucking book. SO I bring in "the pink room" tiny - I get even more tiny w/next tune, "I'm not a data-point" which I get so tiny you could sneeze and blow it off the deck here - what a beautiful deck too, a righteous sitch WHERE you gotta use your brain and not your bowles so much (bowles should always be involved but maybe not so dominant? e caveat emptor), I just think by mean putting the dink so down there tiny that mike and hodge can hopefully (god willing and by their caprice) and join w/me and work this incredible an incredible sitch. they do. "hospital song" in my opinion is beautiful. the interesting conversation (always the goal in my opinion for a honest gig getting delivered) really reveals itself I feel w/our take on my "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" even w/the jump-outs w/the "yo ho's" - that's why headroom is ALWAYS important I think... "don't fence me in" I think brother woody guthrie said. I kept bass in "dirty smell of dying" really little, just like it was a vamp on earlier take on "...data-point" cuz I felt same sense of responsibility - of course to the men I'm serving w/but also w/the gig-goers too, I can't divorce myself! excuse myself for the "blue velvet" duet mike and hodge dance w/together - what's important in this part I feel is to keep good eye contact on mike to cue the gig-goers that this is a band and not a sad sack of clown shit full of three "personas" or whatever jive they're selling at reddit and 4chan. capisci? "liberty calls!" is strong but still not a bogart on the venue's acoustics, I feel. big fist in the air for mike's trio! no better way to end then him on lead guitar for his "wall of flowers" closer. did we do "fun house" stooges encore? I am not sure... I would not testify in court if we did do it that night.
right after, I talke w/gig-goers, many kind folks. one guy, I get so foaming on cuz of being amazed the gig wasn't a din (there were some feedbacks, I ain't gonna say it was perfect), said you brought it but c'mon, it's mike's band and damn if hodge ain't all over everthing (meaning not shy). people get happy, I understand. after one cat, I sock myself for some reason in the head and break my eyeglass. mike repairs the real quick w/super glue he carries... he reminds me of georgie - right there w/the right stuff at the right time.
big weight feeling lifted off my shoulders cuz goddamn, am I grateful - MOST grateful to mike and hodge not yanking it up big BUT truly being sensitive to the sitch and working the room -I am truly most grateful to both of them. TRULY! this could've been for me the worst gig in my life but mike and hodge, IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH, they pull it out and watt is not man alone w/his fears but part of a team that CAME TO PLAY, cam to WORK THE FUCKING ROOM and cut fucking shorts. INFINITE RESPECT from watt for them, forever respects even, truly.
gig boss james' buddy steve most kindly donates some kind of brown whiskey, whole bottle, most kind. I get the good word from so many... platypus revenge - damn right, I will check it out! what's really important though, after talking w/everyone, everyone w/a kind heart who came tonight - it's to thank mike and hodge for staying w/the little bass and keeping shit down to work this kind of room, I am TRULY MOST GRATEFUL for them operating such restraint, truly
I forgot to mention a most kind man tom who earlier showed me a drawing he did of me and d boon.
somehow, he dropped a quarter in my (metaphorically) and I opened up a huge sack of wind on him regarding something about d boon and georgie but he was most kind to absorb that. I get to rap again w/john de vries (from pough-town!) and he remembers to me about some of the heartbreakers, billy on bass - he saw him play near his end... john's lost a lot of people in nis life recently, terrible blows... his postcard bassman patrick irish is here w/his left-handed wattplower! so great to see him - all three of us here, up the hudson river some...
back at the super 8, hodge brings a bottle of brown (I think it was from texas) that gigboss james' buddy steve MOST KINDLY donated to us. first time I drank w/part of the team after a gig. love hodge. I get most peaceful konk.
saturday, march 30, 2019 - new york city, ny
Nothing can go wrong
So much true music. Ava - damn!
Thank you thank you much
pop at seven bells and do big long ass soak in the tub. drain water when it cools, do i it again! nothing can go wrong on the last gig of a tour, even a mini one. you've made it this far w/all that can go wrong and there you are: the closer, so for however it plays, that's the way it goes and it's ok. it's ok. I do the coff here then wash that down w/big BIG water. love cold water down the mouf. check the mansack: going home shirt is ready for it's job tomorrow... only shirt all tour that gets worn only once. out the 'tel hatch - last 'tel of the tour... some delay of game though first - pull anchor at eleven and a half - hodge forgot to set his alarm but hell, it's only seventy miles we gotta go. mike at the helm... he lived fifteen years in the new york city area and maybe is more adjusted to the insane driving there - pretty much wore chris out and I can empathize big time. just before noon we cross back into new jersey (west side of the hudson river) - sun's coming out, righteous. tour philosophy: nothing can go wrong on the last gig cuz if you've made it this far... crimony. using the cable I got yesterday (thought I donated it! I was baka), I play spielgusher for my co-travellers, first time listen for all three. I remember when this was coming out and I was on tour w/my missingmen - first thing every drive was hearing this whole album. I think it 'pert-near drove tom watson insane! we cross back into new york via the george washington bridge around the twelve and a half - there's traff/plug/stau but it'll be getting bad (bridge and tunnelers) - some motherfucker cuts us off, going across the solid white lines, missed us by a cunthair, what fucking asshole son of a bitch - here, let me immortalize him.
we get on the fdr drive going south w/out getting killed. halleluja. getting off at 116th street (spanish harlem) cuz hodge really has to dump - in my mind it's mandatory if a man on board has to dump that we drop anchor soon as possible - the way he first made it sound it was like he wanted coff - I feel so fuckin stupid. mike has to dump now too. in the old days, nyc pads never let you piss or dump, I'd have to plan out my hobblin routes to accomodate such emergency go-to's... fucking nightmare. turntable bridges across the east river... reminds of the time in 2006 where I stopped on my way to some summer gigs in europe w/the stooges for three days in nyc - three days I spent w/ma there/here in the big apple. she had only been here once before, as a little girl travelling from dines, wyoming to brooklyn to see her grandma (the one from sicily) via a five day train ride. I filled all three days as much as I could w/this town w/her - I put us on the circle line cruise that goes all around manhattan to show here it's an island (I always wanted to ride it anyway) and that's why the turntable bridges made me remember that... I took her to the met, carriage ride in central park, elis island (where her people entered), little italy - chowing on the sidewalk on mulberry street and it was fleet week so lots of sailors in their summer whites - she really dug that, chinatown, wall street, trinity church - I walked her 'til her feet became bloody stumps. even konked in the same 'tel room as her (it was by the u.n. building) - I had never spent so much time w/my ma since maybe when I was a boy! so glad I did that, so glad I did.
finally reaching manhattan's lower east side around one and a half, we luck out and find parking a block or so away from the venue, very fucking lucky. we agree to meet at the boat at four and a half - I turn about face and hobble 180 degrees opposite their direction... I mean how much watt can they handle? so I'm giving them a break. I hobble south ten blocks and west a few more 'til I hit katz's deli on houston at ludlow. w/the line outside, it takes fortyfive minutes and $24.44 to get a pastrami sandwich on rye w/mustard (pickles on the side) in a sack for my back wack 'puter sack. I make the hobble back north via avenue a, stopping at tompkins square park to have a good sitdown w/myself, chowing half of this real good chow. I think next time I go back to chopped liver though, next time...
hey, I'm half a hour early but why not go by the pad... it's open! it's called coney island baby (trippy lou reed album, by the way). I meet soundman tyler, very cool people. he's into being the fourth man tonight, fuck yeah. respect. he's gonna check this guitar-banjo-mandolin trio first - what's trippy about that is he says for a gig they got here next week! what? first time I ever heard of that. anyway, he's got a mark bass little mark amp and an ampeg 4x10 speaker box - a good one cuz you know I ain't 4x10 for the get-go cuz of phase stuff and one of them being too short and feeding bass only to the back of your calves but this has got ports on the bottom to bring it up another four or five inches. I got a mark bass little mark tube amp w/a 1x12 box in my living room so I can always prac there. good stuff even if tonight's amp is only 250 watts, I think it'll hang for what we gotta do. I meet the gigboss ryan - hey, this used to be "brownies" way back, huh?! I'm talking about may 20, 2000 and me getting back on the horse after almost being killed by that illness back near the beginning of that year. after not being able to work bass cuz of tubes put in me after the surgery that saved my life (one coming straight out through my bladder wall w/out any kind of fitting!), it was a trip trying to play again once they got pulled out. I had not stopped playing since d boon's ma put me on bass when we were twelve. trying to play was impossible, I had become so atrophied and weak - I had no rhythm, no anything - just lameness so I went to town on stooges... not a lot of chord changes but BUTTLOADS of feel so it was like "little doll" over and over AND OVER - it started coming back but I was still in a panic so I called j to see if he would do hellride east (meaning us doing stooges tunes w/a john coltrane approach - I had done this earlier w/perk and peter from porno for pyros and they would call it hellride), he said he'd get murph and damn if we didn't do that on this exact stage 'pert-near nineteen years ago, what a gig - what a re-charger! just seeing j and murph a few days ago makes these thought about them even more intense, how they fucking helped me, I owe them so much. I also thank mike stuto so much for making that happen - it was his pad at the time. again and again, I thank j and murph so much. perk and nels did a version (hellride west) w/me at a gig on the santa monica pier - can't remember where but I do remember wearing my fucking scrubs w/the ass hanging out in the back cuz I was feeling like "fuck you, illness - you didn't kill me!" man, what a rush of memories flowing over me now...
ava mendoza by herself, playing a rob radack guitar kind of in a self-supportive blues style, very inspiring and I'm into it. what better way to get lit for a gig, thank you big time, sister ava. right when she gets done I ask her to do "fun house" w/us - before I even asked mike, what an idiot I am, jumping the gun like that. idiot. I ask mike and am so glad he's into it also. actually, ava asked me to get on this gig months ago and I wrote mike about it and he righteously said to bring it. alright, much respect to him. during the changeover, I talk to mike about cold war shit like the nuclear triad, broken arrows... what the fuck was that about? crimony.
here we go, last show... pad is packed and folks right up on me so I can be kind of still but w/the big strut of "the pink room" that's gonna be tough. I hold back though and try to keep it grooving while at the same time, letting open strings ring so it's kind of a little chaos-ville too. it's all about the feeling especially w/one parter tunes - for example the next one "I am not a data point" - I fake end and duck this lick (I'm really into this lick and the way mike and hodge use it for a dance partner, beautiful) THREE TIMES, never did that yet on this mini-tour... I just felt it, just feel the dialogue we got going know is very fluent and not like three player-piano dealios being feed their own roll of player-piano script or whatever you call that stuff. it's a real dynamic thing - can't wait to see what music mike composes after this experience of doing ten gigs w/me and hodge, can't wait! watch that headstock, watt - don't want anyone hurt or going out of tune, gotta keep a good angle w/the whole machine, keep the headstock up high, 'pert-near bill wyman style! one more time w/the "hospital song" - love this tune, love playing it. I finally hit no bad notes in the choruses of "no one ever says old man (to the old man)" - took ten fucking gigs but finally I think I did it. of course there's no WRONG notes but there are clams and I have been blowing them big time this mini-tour in this part. the gig-goers are very kind not to yammer in the tiny parts, much respect to them. last hat dance for "dirty smell of dying" - so glad mike was open-minded to me and hodge's idea for some latin motif in the set. it's drived from the intervals I did on his album but the feel is way WAY diff but he's ok w/that, he likes stuff being dedicated to the moment and not so much into fixed and frozen stuff. kind of nels cline school but of course nels would call himself student if I said something like that to him. mike, ava, nels, e# (mike's playing w/him tomorrow) - very interesting time for guitar these days, very interesting. all ten "blue velvets" I heard this mini-tour have been different, all of them - most bitchin. mike is not a xerox machine! respect. "wall of flowers" finally and I realize something, prolly cuz of the whole notes involved but not plucking too hard w/a whole notes keeps it from getting choked and gives it more bloom - hello? you mean it takes a life time to figure that out? fucking slow learner watt! ava joins us for the stooges' "fun house" (someone filmed it here) and man, what a BLOW UP that next ensued. face-melter! usually one guitar is enough for me on stage but not like this, I'm diggin both barrels in the ear holes, doin it. diggin it. them doin it. hodge kicking up BUTTLOADS of dust, high and mighty but still w/that hodge thing he's got. I even get bit by one of his cymbals but tough it out and try to make it look like nothing happened. we bring it down after the KABOOM! all together and just like that - like it was prac'd much! damn, music people who listen while they play... crimony! what a way to end a tour, what a way! smokin!
ok, quick pack up (I did give a little spiel about this pad used to be brownies w/j and murph helping me here back in 2000) and then many gig-goers to spiel w/and show gratefulness. we did it, we made this mini-tour happen - one more time I help chris w/the mic fastener velcro, we overcame probs w/good solutions and teamwork. dug it. dig it. grateful. chris has bunches of stuff to listen too, curious to see what he creates w/it. much good word from the gig-goers. my old friend tina helps me get to the bar where a very kind barman gives me some basil hayden brown, damn. very kind. michael azzerad and dan kaufman both intense writers, dan also does beautiful music, barbez is one of his projs I dig.
it's getting to that time where we gotta once more pull anchor... the plan is to go to some chow pad that has some connect w/here but when we get there, it's somewhere not for us so fuck it, let's just go to jfk and tough it out. it's midnight when mike gets us there - one last hug for him from us three, even pays right there, for the whole tour, very ship-shape. damn. much respect. the jetblue terminal here at jfk is pretty empty... I find a corner, take of the soaked tour shirt, put on the going-home-shirt and then use the mansack as a pillow, got the wack sack under my arm and somehow konk on the linoleum - don't ask me how but my body felt it, believe me. I am so sore when six bells comes (hey third pre-tsa in a row, can't believe it!) and it's boarding time... at the gate, loud LOUD fucking announcer lady coming through trumpet-blast speaker right over my head! I laugh, looking at chris - yeah I'm back w/him and hodge... hey, no bellyachin from watt - HE IS GLAD to be aboard. it's an airbus 320 fully packed but I luck out that the person in front of me and leaning into my lap, so very glad about that.
we land at nine am and the way long beach airport is, you walk right off the plane w/no gate, just down a ramp into the outside air, love it! especially w/typical so cal weather (righteous) and no big crowds to fight. cuz of spacing of not bring my leash, my sister melinda just rolled the dice on when I'd arrive and she here's to bring me to my pedro town. I'm gonna shower and get some chow at "the enchilada house" on bandini, love chowing there and I've been missing the taste. trippy little mini-tour, so glad mike had me aboard, so glad.
this page created 21 mar 2019
this page created 21 mar 2019