mike watt's diary
now I'm gonna abbrev a little here cuz it was six solid days of prac in the hollingdine part of brighton after taking a united express bus from london heathrow and by a great fortune getting to konk at brother sam's sister jess' pad by queens park cuz her and her family are on vacation. the prac pad was actually a little studio brother sam and his buddy calls "the cave" at a bitchin' collective called "coachwerks" and lucky for fucking watt he chose for drummerman eda`who served time w/the boredoms and drumeyes and they both put in days together of prac to ready things up for me. I suggested we do every song from the album cuz for sure that the set will be 100% cuz and nothing but, even of course a powertrio interpretation ain't gonna be a mirror the album, that's where it's gonna start and the original vision uncompromised by being scared to wrassle w/each tune. we did at least thrtyfive hours or prac. we did get visit from wire singerman colin newman who had just moved to brighton w/his wife malka. man, that was a trip to do raps w/him. interesting man and I don't to say how influential wire was on the minutemen, incredible. he's quite funny too. brother sam would cook me chows too, for both breakfast and dinner... I never had lunch cuz I felt I didn't need it and didn't wanna cramp prac. I did it all sitting down w/the dan bass - brother sam had me do two parts w/a fuzz box he lent me. him and drummerman have buttloads of effects and samples - we owe the album but I was worried about flow so suggested in some segues since brother sam wanted to bring five guitars, a keyboard - oh what a nightmare the keyboard thing was 'til we got one of jamie-san's go team! ones - lots of the stuff we're touring w/is from the go team! (thank you so much, bossman ian!) and some of the sensibilities too, I think if we didn't some of that then the tunes would've been compromised too much and be too empty of their album spirit so I agreed they should bring all that crap if they wanted to. I will bring the fuzz box for the two parts I need. oh yes, fuck - all the words I gotta remember, aaarrgggghh! well worth the challenge though, I owe brother sam and the cuz album much. I wanna work hard for brother eda and bleeding heart recordings chris davies also - of course for the gig-goers, damn straight for the gig-goers, they deserve!
I did get some chow other than what brother sam cooked up for me - like I got some shish kabob once at a pad by brighton electric - the last night of prac was not a coachwerks but there cuz well, we wanted to try a prac of just setting up - I wanted to suggest some setup too like w/my trios... putting the drums up front and then also getting rid of shit we don't need to bring since we're already bringing a buttload. one other thing too - it was only on the last day I actually did prac standing up. now fuck, the first day we went eight hours straight w/out even a piss or chow break but for me w/my lame knee standing that much I would surely take blows. most of my days in brighton were rained on. yeah, august and supposedly summer but buttloads of rain... damn, I wish they could pipe some of it over to cali where we're in year four of a drought - trippy about that shit, huh? monday I had fish and chips at a pad called "friday fish" and they used four huge sheets of paper to wrap and damn if all four didn't get soaked all the way up! I had falafel another time by the brighton electric pad (by the way, it was here that we recorded all the jams that went on to become tuneage for "tamatebako") when we were loading up the boat - trippy this van they rented brother sam is vw crafter which is just like the one we shared w/the czech guys back in the spring... big motherfucker and hard to park but you know what? we sure got a lot of shit to bring. I mean I got the go! team's svt bottom and a mark bass head plus that fuzz box and my dan bass of course (the man sack and 'puter back wack sack also) but brothers sam and eda have TONS, I shit thee not. for the tour tour a shirt charley plymell sent a month ago, I love it.
gig day and it's raining like it's... fuck any time rather than late summer? I don't know. could be worse. like they say in vaudeville: "work the room" right? brother sam makes me his last fried egg, bacon (england kind) and toast but w/some potatoes he's boiled, cut and then fried. we pull anchor twenty minutes later than the one bell we agreed but damn, he had to get a buttload of shit done - hell, his car's still getting certified by the car certifier (m.o.t. pople?) who says he needs new shocks so his sister jess is gonna help w/that. damn she's so generous w/her pad for us. miss hiyori arrived from hamburg (she's gonna sling merch) cleaned up much, I did as much as my crippled ass could. first town on this tour is one I never played before, it's east of london where the north sea meets the english channel and is called ramsgate and damn this part of england called kent has got a ton of history - I know d. boon would dig the fuck out of it. fucking "the canterbury tales" and mr becket getting the back of the head wack, right? crimony. anyway, we're using brother eda's tomtom for gps navigatorio and he says he hasn't updated in many years - what? his work is driving a cab for hire (different from a taxi), he owns his own car which is a skoda (made in czech). anyway, it being out of date, it doesn't know some of the newer roads. we gotta stop at brother sam's parents pad in peacehaven which is a little east of brighton and damn if the roads in this town are like deer trails and the rain coming down doesn't help. this is where brother sam grew up since he was nine he says, he'd take a bus into hove (next to brighton) for school, about forty minutes each way - time to do homework! brother eda's been at the wheel and he navigates the treacherous route well, respect. I get to meet brother sam's ma for the first time and she's very kind. she talks about how amazing it is music can bring people around the world together and I agree. brother sam brings some merch stuff I guess that was sent here - he's been juggling so much stuff, it's insane. well you know he's done lately only gigs w/the go! team which is so much different in so many ways - I asked both him and brother eda how many local gigs they did last year, the results were brother eda: three and brother sam: zero. they are not used to this way of life. oh well. both of them are up front - I'm staying in the second row and I get to hear them debate incessantly about taking this road or not for quite a while and finally suggest someone please decide? I've said this area kent is new to me but actually I remember doing a festival w/the stooges at something called "the hop farm" and damn if I don't recognize the roofs of these barns where they dry hops, they got a trippy vent that I remember. damn, that gig was the last time I saw lou reed - him passing way not long after really made me sad cuz I loved so much of his music.
after the trip north to crawley it's east 'til we hit the sea and reach ramsgate twenty after four which is only twenty minutes late, whoa. this pad is called the ramsgate music hall and the soundman al is waiting outside the hatch for us. our first load-in, whoa - what a buttload of crap, maybe it's good w/got this huge boat, huh? this pad reminds me of livehouse in japan, kind of. there's the music room and up a couple of flights is the bar. the padboss jules, like soundman al are righteous people. jules has quite the collection of olde-timey boomboxes all around the periphery of the pad. our set up takes the entire stage. we are very fortunate the good folks here are allowing us to do the entire set for soundcheck and that's what we do, soundman al working the entire time w/his, respect. I meet the opening act mike collins which is him w/his buddy both on guitar - they've known each other since been real young and sure are nice cats. that was a three hour check! I've never done one that long though my part was less than a minute but it was an hour for the set also. a kind lady gives a lift to me to where we're chowing, "tastes of kumar" and it's india chow so I get the spinach that's got the cubes of cheese in it along w/nan bread. it's really good, whoa. it's kind of hard hobble back for me but I make it in time to hear mike collins, he's good.
our turn is at nine and a half, here we go... man, what a pants-shitter for me it had to get done, we have to break the water. the pad is full of very kind people, lots my age or at least closer to my age than younger, interesting. the bossman jules told me there's music people living here like adrian sherwood and skip macdonald, crimony! the pop group's played here and so has wire - he gives the latest cds by both bands, so kind. anyway, I blow a bunch of clams and space on some shit but somehow we get through it... I have to say brother sam and brother eda played really really good (the time they put in before I showed totally, well, shows) and what kind-hearted folks the gig-goers are, truly. they have us back for an encore... we've played everything we know - the gig is done! I get my stuff and make my way slow up the stairs and sit by the merch table while many good folks give me the good word, very kind! everyone also very interesting and lots of gratefulness for me coming here. well, I think I'm gonna make ramsgate a regular tour stop for me, yes!
the konk pad is a travel lodge not too far away but there's a fuckup so half us stays w/bossman jules not too far away. before konk takes me I think about what really seems amazing to me - in six days we made a gig that could bring the cuz "tamatebako" album, crimony. I mean there was lots of clams blown but damn if we didn't 'pert-near pretty much do it - we did it! whoa... I konk most grateful. the tour's fucking under way!
thursday, august 27, 2015 - leffinge, belgium
popped at eight, konked, popped again at ten and then a soak in the tub - forgot to mention I soaked last night before konk. love soaks after working hard bass. out the window is a rainy royal harbor - not that big and mainly a marina for private boats is what I see... check out and meet the rest of our team out front the 'tel - one more hug for gigboss jules and I promise I'll be back soon and he says maybe w/mr doug wimbish cuz he comes here at least once a year, wow! you know I got to play w/him last january in west hollywood?! I thought it was gonna be some lame jam in e-minor thing I was invited to but it ended up doing all of funkadelic's "maggot brain" (every tune) w/doug and damn if blackbird mcknight, michael hampton and george clinton coming up and joining us! fuck, I almost lost it, foaming big time - I remember in "back in our minds" when the chorus came around I looked over at doug and he looked back w/a nod like, "you got this song, watt" and you never knew a happier doof on bass from pedro in all your time, I'll tell you what. I had a grin big enough to swallow the top of my head up - that was a righteous thing, truly.
we make for dover not too far but of course there's gotta be some drama - even though it's common sense to use the big road to dover, brother eda's committed to this fucking gps navigatorio so it's scenic route so it's gold course on one side and ocean on the other, rain coming down. eventually we join the real road - hey, sandwich is on the sign (brother sam's teaching about signs here like "soft verge" meaning no shoulder and "op stack" having something to do w/trucks lining up cuz of the big delays caused by searching for refugees trying to get across via the chunnel on them) and I'm think is this the famous "inventor" of a fucking chow 'pert-near everyone does now everywhere? the rain's coming down, happy summer. oh yeah, one of the headlight's burned out - you pay out twelve hundred pounds and the motherfuckers rent us a boat w/a burned-out headlight, of course none of the "backup bulbs" will fit but luckily when we get to the ferry terminal in dover (yes, there are white cliffs here), they got a store where I find some for ten pounds - I had us get here an hour and a half early so there's time to switch in the good bulb. this takes some work but damn if brother sam ain't got the knack and after a while he says "sorted" and then we gotta duck tape the housing (prolly the reason the bulb in it blew, got washed out w/rain or something maybe) and I feed him strips of duct tape to do it. we're on the p & o "spirit of britain" and she bails five after noon. she's pretty steady in this weather and the two hours go quick and pretty ok once I find a place in the back w/out the mob of kids just being kids of course but... I park my ass in front of a model of this very boat - damn, three big bow thrusters on this baby which means no tug needed to get her around.
we lose an hour coming over the channel to calais but we'll get it back after doing the five gigs we got booked over here. we head north to belgium and I explain to brother sam his land had calais at one time but henry the VIII lost it. I tell him about agincourt and crecy too which were both explained to me by d. boon... and so this is how things are handed down, right? now this whole time I think we're supposed to play in port town called oostende tonight which I've only been cuz of taking a ferry sometimes from there to england but actually we're playing a nearby tiny town called leffinge and the pad is called cafe de zwerver w/a padboss who is very cool people named lode. very happening soundman who has the nickname d, fucking right on. we're in the tiny town's middle, huge church in the middle we're next to but after a few shots, the rain pushes me back in and upstairs. it's another three hour load and setup - for the rest of the band cuz watt does a couple of sentences, one bass note and then we do two tunes, all done. a man named dirk comes w/some chicken cooked w/coconut, some couscous and a salad of tomatoes and scallions. it's good. d comes up and talks to me about touring w/bob forest and the fishbone guys, friends of mine. d's been around but definitely he's still a belgian cat, respect to him.
no opening act, we're on again at nine and a half. there's twirly stairs down to the stage. now can you fucking believe I lost my set list from last night? I did and so will have to use brother eda's which is on his kickdrum (I'm having him set up close like raul in my missingmen or jer w/my secondmen) - what a fucking idiot I am. I blow less clams last night but also blow by "fickled fortune" cuz I couldn't see it on the list - baka fucking watt. the leffinge gig-goers are most kind and focused for our second gig ever. I still can't get the one fuzz box to do two things so I think tomorrow I go w/trying two boxes, one for each tune I gotta use it cuz they are two pretty different sitches. aaarrggg but at least I didn't hit the tuner for the solo (only a short mute!) like last night. I spaced on less words in parts but I also ran out tune to get the last line in on the tune we got for ronnie. I think I forgot to cop to weird tuning feelings I had last night (it was hard writing about last night cuz I don't want to put a kink in the spirit I need to keep pushing harder) - it was a pedal of brother sam's that does wack pitch shifting and it was yanked out and/or bypassed - actually that was a relief cuz I thought I was going insane and delivering prolly the most lame version of anything ever! love the fact cats prolly were putting that up on lubeddude (youtube.com) for the eternal shaming. learning in public, time to man-up and grow a pair, right? ok. I'll get into a tune-by-tune shakedown a little later but not now. I did ask brother sam at one point and I think some gig-goers heard that, oops. tonight brother eda faded out w/me on two he didn't last night and I dig that much. both the other cuz guys did really good tonight, much respect to them.
I get to the merch table and sign stuff folks want me to - damn, I will say the posters came out really nice w/brother sam's art and the good job making them, good call from miss hiyori. I talk to the gigboss of my brugge gig w/the missingmen last year, great to see him and also the cat from wagonman who was at the brussels gig a few months ago. a drummerman named anthony and his guitarman bart are most kind also. I have a big talk w/lode about when he was young and seeing gigs at belgian gigs like democrazy where dos played 'pert-near thirty years ago. he gives me the first belgian beer that I ever tasted w/hops in it, now that was a trip! well, I can testify lode here is keeping ethics from those days still alive - no nostalgia show but no horseshit either. what an honor to work his pad.
speaking of oostende, we are konking there. finally we pull anchor twenty after midnight. gig two done, whoa. hotel du parc is where need to be and after fligths up, I get a narrow but deep tub to soak... I'm into that cuz damn if I ain't sore but I sure don't wanna sound like bellyachin' cuz damn if this cuz proj truly coming along... so into be a part of it! like drummerman steve hodges once told me when we were recording my first opera: "being a little scared is like being a little scared."
friday, august 28, 2015 - deventer, netherlands
pop at seven bells... hey, there's bright sun on the other side of the curtains, yatta! also there's a smell of bread baking - reminds after a late gig is so cal when the panaderias are getting ready for the morning... love it. free shovel here (we're on the continent) so I do geisha boy steps down the stairs to shovel some scrambled eggs (so glad not so much milk in them - would rather have none but...) w/little parts of bacon and a roll plus yogurt w/some of what we would called fruit cocktail in it.
I tell the guys diesel's gonna be cheaper in belgium than it is in holland so right before the border we find some for 1.15 euros/liter (about $4.80/gallon - the euro is real weak right now). well, it's a real slow go to get past antwerp, a fucking crawl - maybe it's the good weather on a friday and every motherfucker wants to get out of dodge? whatever. brother sam's behind the wheel now - oh, funny think getting fuel. he's never had to do what all u.s. people have had to do for a very long time - pay in advance so he gives the counterlady twenty euros. now I'm like "what?" and say what we do is give them what you figure is too much, fill your tank and get the change - he's never done that, can you fucking believe? yep. and then there's also the currency thing - I explain that he lives in poundland so he wants to bring home as little euros as possible, what he should do is spend as many euros in eurolands that he can so... hell, I'm gonna let this shit explain itself, ok? he's beautiful though and ain't all bruised up in the ego a bit - brother sam is a very humble man. he's learning too (hopefully also brother eda) that you don't a fucking boat this big in the fast lane after having truckers honk their horns and shout shit at us - by the way, we've seen both england and france groups of hells angels. two bells, we switch ponies, brother eda back on the helm, it's two now and still two hours to go... whoa. at least it ain't raining but that also means no fucking air in the back cuz of the bullshit no-windows crap in this boat's backrow seating. a half later we cross into netherlands ... still no rain and plug free, yatta! we find this boat's inverter ain't working and brother sam's got a lame battery so he's out of the race. we get so more traffic but the weather holds... we get into deventer finally around four and a half - right in the old middle of town (platz?) is our gig tonight, a cafe named de hip where we're gonna play downstairs, biggest stage of the tour yet. very cool people here, a young tall man named jur helps up schlep while I do il guardiano - actually this is the only job I'm useful at cuz of my fucked up knee. so be it. thought I donated my camera but a bunch of panicked private moments finds it in one of my back wack 'puter sack's fucking zipper pocket.
damn if the weather didn't turn out to be like me pedro town here, I'm most grateful after all these days of rain. happy summer. I mean, this is some righteous pedro (as in my town's name) weather: no sweaty, no cold, no humidity, calm breeze, blues skies, good fucking time, that's right. the soundman is also the padboss and he is righteous cool people named fonz. I didn't say that other way you've might've heard so whatever, ok? he's a blast and after soundcheck (my part of it is one note and two sentences of spiel) where we do two tunes, fonz's wife monika serves us a mushroom soup and then a chicken/vegetable thing done up thai w/a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers - really really good. after we talk a bunch, me and fonz cuz we get joined by professor mike - a friend of mine from the u.s. I met in sheffield, england first time I played there w/tom and raul who now is a nederlander (he just wrote a book on the first dead kennedys album) and I've always found him just the most interesting cat to spiel w/and along fonz here, damn if we ain't got a rap going about stuff from sticks in the shoes if you're bad at xmas here to econo neighborhoods getting the bumrush - hell, it's time to go on (ten pm) before we know it, crimony!
REAL SLOW I go down the steep stairs and get up to the stage after big hurry up to get a setlist done (learn from last night, watt!). everything's like soundcheck cuz there's no opening band. w/out any spiel from my word hole we go into the first tune and I follow brother eda's temp, work his groove - he know how to hold back. the gig-goers are beautiful and bring open minds/hearts w/bitchin' energy... I see roland from utrecht, "lost-his-mind-man" and that's so kind of him. we got a good start and damn if I don't finally get the "france gnarl" solo out there. brother sam's also got me a separate fuzz (rat pedal) for the "sand and bones" on the only other time I use a box on this tour. I asked him to put the fucking name of the tune on the box for the appropriate tune, I'm just not that together w/these - you should've been there for my second opera live where I tried using like five of them! anyway, the set's going good 'til after the bridge in "spinning basket net" (again it gets wild response) when what can go wrong goes wrong, the little casio machine goes into another tuning and I think I'm out of my mind or whatever - kind of like on the first night. then we got problems w/the mic for brother eda's tongue drum feeding back. there's feedbacks all over as we run down the set. I gotta say though I blew some clams - they weren't form ones like I didn't know where the fuck I was and they were also kind of in the key but still, wrong note or a fucking stumblebum - the good thing is I know I just gotta bear down w/more discipline and the cause w/me won't be hopeless for these fellow cuz brothers of mine. anyway, it gets so bad later on w/this tuning thing that I ask brother eda to enlighten brother sam cuz you know he has one bad ear cuz of an infection he got just before we started our cuz proj in 2008 (the cuz proj was for me personally one way I though I could help him some way w/that hell he was going through). all the tunes really get beat up w/feedbacks but we soldier on and I'm thinking soundman/bossman fonz has good for it for the folks cuz after I got much good word. no chance for encore cuz the john coltrane music came on right after I told people to start their own band but maybe that's very much ok. whoa, that was a classroom w/wrestling w/what's dealt to you for damn sure but you know what? I still had a good time in lots of ways, I shit thee not. I just knew I had to keep my spirit up. I do call myself on the fucking clams and they get no pass but I left that stage w/a smile on my face, I shit thee not.
lost-his-mind-man roland brought his buddy and we have a good talk - he's buddy's a bassman and tells me the story of that utrecht gig back on may day... he's beautiful and so is lost-his-mind-man roland, both these guys. professor mike joins me upstairs and we do much more spieling in between thanking gig-goers and signing stuff, getting into trying understand in what ways the powers that be wrangle to hold sway on whatever the fuck they think they got by the short and fucking curlies. I thank him much for giving a chance tonight during us playing. around midnight professor has to get on a train for home. he might be in so cal for fall so I offer him a tour of my pedro town if I/he can.
the konk pad is across the platz and called the hotel royal and I see a kebab pad but damn I'm glad I didn't chow there cuz that ain't a good idea for someone like me late at night. I thank both fonz and jur much for everything and it ain't long before I'm out. gig three for cuz was a trip - oh, we got to leave the shit on stage so no driving and I guess the guys beered it up. I sent HUGE thank you vibes their way though cuz they never gave up and kept on pushing, beautiful men. first friday of the tour done.
saturday, august 29, 2015 - hummelo, netherlands
popped not much past eight after some false starts to go shovel from the free trough downstairs - best scrambled eggs in europe maybe ever, like one connected slightly-browned blob. after chimping diary for yesterday, I get on over to the other side of the platz to the de hip pad and meet a gig-goer from last night who is so kind w/words of how the cuz album translated over w/a gig good - saying he meant though thinner than the album, us three live delivered lots of what made the tunes on the albums cuz tunes which is 'pert-near what we meant to achieve, whoa. I didn't prompt him on any of this, he just stuck it out there. like this weather today - just like my pedro town w/sun but not too hot or humid, just right. looking over at what I thought was a church right out of a hieronymous bosch painting (well we are in the netherlands!), I get hipped to a friend of the gigboss fonz's that it ain't a church but called the waag, that was built in 1550 and where stuff got weighed... he said supposedly some cat who worked there got boiled for using lame metal for minting coins - they still got the cauldron! the oldest bicycle in holland's there - what a fucking baka I am for not check out the museum there, damn me. this man also talks to me about how dense netherlands is but still the farmers can grow buttloads... the prob is the "industrial farming" crap techniques their forced into to compete, totally 'tard moves concerning the future. I tell him my land's faced w/that too though we ain't as dense w/our population. he says he's an old hippy (his hair don't show it however) but I tell him that what he says for me is good common sense so please not to worry. gigboss fonz has got a good buddy and a good helperman also - jur comes by to give us a hand. big open market in the platz here, maybe cuz it's saturday? lots of fresh fruits and veg... good fish getting cooked smells up in the air too. we pull anchor around one bell w/brother eda on the wheel - soon past the platz we pass the toy museum, another fucking pad I could've visited, fucking baka watt... tomorrow I hit the van gogh for sure!
again there's drama regarding whether we're on the right road cuz they are toy ones going through tiny towns but I try reassure brother eda that we're on the right track cuz of me seeing on a map where we're going is like twenty miles south and looking at the sun, that seems happening. I guess I gotta do what I did last tour w/tour boss macario is make a map of the route using the web the night before since we got no atlas and I agree it fucking retarded to be hostage to a fucking gps machine. brother eda won't let go of the fact that the gps navigatorio calculated time keeps getting longer even when I tell him that shit at best is a guess any way... fuck if I don't see a sign after about a half hour in that says we're nine klicks (about 'pert-near six miles) away from hummelo which is the small village near where this manana manana festival where we're playing today - the first of two festivals for this tour. kind of amazing some woods in the netherlands - they got like seventeen million people in the space of two new jerseys! after watching the band before do the slip-n-slide spinning his tires in the mud for twenty minutes, I meet the gigboss pieter (he says this driverman has some technique - turns out it's the band before us' tourboss) who is also in automatic sam who I've played on my radio show was also a the 2002 tilburg asheton asheton mascis and watt gig that was instrumental BIG TIME in getting the stooges reunion going after ig inviting the asheton brothers to record w/him for his "skull ring" album. ain't it a fucking small world? crimony! he's very happening people, so grateful he having cuz aboard and the really neat and interesting festival - he says a duke owns this land and we're actually doing this trip in his garden! I wish more dukes would did shit like that, right? brother eda gets the boat in through the mud, great job. we unload and move out to the lot. when back, I chow a grilled porkchop, holding it by the bone which they don't cut short over here and a little coleslaw.
I meet some of the cats in the band before us, the deslondes and the bassman works a standup fitted w/gut strings and we talk some about that... he says good ones cost three hundred bucks a set, damn! the stage we share is called "de veranda" and it's set up like a fucking front porch, I shit thee not. it's been raining all week so the ground has tons of mud especially where vehicles have been but it's a slow-go for watt w/geisha boy steps wherever. just so glad for the cali weather though cuz it would've definitely been worse. what's trippy for a festival is we get a soundcheck cuz that never happens. soundman george is bitchin' people and gets things going good but we got a hang up five minutes before the go time - brother sam's got no keyboard or sampler going so... time... to... freak... out... NO NO NO, brother sam finds the fucking weakass cable and I ask brother eda to dump it in the gomi ('trash' in japanese) so it plagues NEVER again. ok, we're ready to go.
most the folks have cleared out for other parts of the festival, bitchin' pontoon bridges, everything worked into an artistic state and trippy little spots for trippy activities and stuff and w/the hour between bands why shouldn't they go there and the other stages but damn if when we get going that they get coming, BIG respect for them! our gig goes good - I'd say the best of the tour yet... fucking for sure for fucking watt, really tiny amounts of clams I blow considering. brother eda is solid as fucking rocks and anchors us solid, fucking great job. it's panic time for brother sam it looks like before each and every tune as he switches shit, pushes this, does that - man, do I have it easy compared to his hell but damn if he don't deliver, even w/that baseball hall that seems screwed on to his head, head all bent over and singing just wonderful, he's learning to project that voice of his. soundman george hollers from the board he's gotta piss and 'pert-near right away he's back and we're go. the gig-goers are having a good time and damn if it ain't infectious - hell, roland lost-his-mind-man from utrecht is here, shit fucking hell yeah! (later he tells me his buddy milan wanted to see us again but homework's got him hogtied, sorry, brother) - you know there's families and stuff out here but cuz has got some little kids dancing even plus cats 'pert-near my age, crimony! it's a real good time for me but there's one frustrated part for watt trying fight his spiel through for "song for ronnie" that turns for a flicker just a little sour but I boot myself out of that shit quick. I'll talk w/brother sam about it after. he does really great - both guys help me out so much w/this proj, I owe so much for both of them. I'm also most grateful to the open-minded-hearted gig-goers to give our proj a shot. I can't remember when I did my last porch gig but sure glad I got to here. what a righteous feel w/the sun just going down so the lightman got to do his thing - did I smell evidence of a smoke machine? hah! it's trippy how you don't know how you're looking but maybe that's for the good. goddamn am I happy after the last cuz tune, I ask the gig-goers to start their own band w/my bass held high in the air.
there's stairs leading up to the porch (of course) and lots of folks come up to give the good word and get pictures. I meet a man (I learn later he plays in reverend shine snakeoil co which brother sam said he saw and thought were great) who remembers seeing me play way back in nyc but fuck am I too baka to remember the name of the pad, damn me. there's a man named alexander from germany that wants me to play his land - I very much wanna and that's the plan for me and the fratelli in il sogno del marinaio in 2016 cuz only u.s. got "canto secondo" tour. if I'm sure about one thing in my life it's that I love working bass everywhere I can.
we can't get our boat in to load the gear cuz of the band after us having theirs plug the access. turns out the driverman is also the drummer and they're checking so gaman ('patience' in japanese). gigboss pieter says the law here won't let the olde-timey building near the stage selling jim beam sell it w/out it being in a mixer so I gotta drink what tastes like one part per thousand coke/bourbon. no comment (ok, comment: mazui!). we're konking in a tent like everyone else so once eventually we get the boat loaded and parked (good job, brother eda), I hobble towards that area, totally slowing down the team cuz of bakas not caring and 'pert-near running my lame ass over. there's tons of creative stuff... along the way we see something called a "freak show gribus on wheels" and damn if this ain't a fucking trip, whoa. some images definitely branded now into my brain! after a time, we depart from the trio of silver caravan trailer wack and after the pontoon bridge and canopy of umbrella/lightbulbs find our tent among the herd - it's very nice and roomy w/four konk sacks and mattress, damn if a lot of care ain't been put into this festival! I'm in awe that I made it all this way w/out crumpling, mercy. I chow what seems like a big meat ball I stuff in a roll which tastes like meatloaf (hamburger cut w/bread) but some lowensenf (best german mustard) makes it real good. I'm beat and konk hard, must've been only ten but so fucking what... "a body gets tired working hard bass" some baka once said.
sunday, august 30, 2015 - amsterdam, netherlands
popped first around three bells cuz of huge thunders and lightning flashes you could see through the tent's bulkheads which was a good thing cuz a flap next to me was open w/only screen to keep out rain that was blowing against my side - right where the bass was, oh no! that's why it was good I popped so I could move that and zip the flap up. I konked right after. second pop was cuz some yopporai ('drunk' in japanese) bakas in next tent started hollering and making like a fucking alarm clock cuz prolly due to the magic of alcohol so after twenty minutes of that w/out it relenting, I make like the sun and rise. damn did I have some nightmare too - like I was on the side of the road and to get safe I leaped into a side-of-the-road pad via a tiny window and got stuck and that's where this peregrine falcon started pecking me up some but not tearing the shit out of me but for some reason the only thing I seemed to be thinking of was finding out whether it was male or female one, don't know why. damn I was relieved to pop out of that motherfucker and find out it was just a 'mare and the reality on my motherfucking dealio. well, there's no power here and 'puter battery tired so I can't even chimp diary... I gather my shit and make for the stable that's at the entrance cuz maybe there's power there. brother eda joins me, he can't take those loud bakas either. much safer w/sunlight and no bodies on the path back, I enjoy the calm much. it was trippy yesterday but much more surreal for me now to trip on this scene, whoa, like a set of a mind movie. I come up on those rariteitenkaravaan trailers again and do more big look-sees at these intense creations, whoa - I'll say it again. something else, much respect! outside the stable it looks desolate except for one security lady. after sitting around some on a log I start thinking maybe I go back to that tent behind the stage we played last night cuz I know there was power to run that fridge the beers and water were in. then I start thinking about all the mud and aubnai ('danger' in japanese)... just then brother eda finds a sidedoor into the stable and finds both an outlet and an extension cord, yatta! he has some freeze-dried miso soup mix and makes me up a cup of that, kind man. I chimp diary.
the team gathers around nine and a half hour later we decide to get out of dodge. not enough mud to hold us back. it's west for about an hour and an half to get to downtown amsterdam and real easy cuz real early means light traff w/no plug. all that crazy lightning/thunder/rain from last night is all transformed into sunny california like weather now. paradiso is where we're at tonight, it's in the leidseplein part of town. it's been ten years since I last played here (my second opera w/my second-string secondmen) and in fact, this pad, originally an old church (it was painted all black then) was the first gig on the european continent the minutemen ever played, back in early 1983. damn was it cold that night, we we're touring w/black flag. eleven am but there's folks at the venue and they're kind let us park here. still sunny weather, it's the first day of a cultural celebration amsterdam is having so many folks are at the museumplein seeing all sorts of stuff being put on. I have to kind of search to find some friet and mayo which is what I gotta have at least once in holland and damn if we don't leave this land tomorrow. I need some energy for the hobbling I wanna do now also. I've been a few times but no matter cuz I wanna go again, the van gogh museum cuz I always get inspired seeing vincent's work. it's a twenty minute wait in line for it but for me, worth it. I look at every painting vincent's got here today and the strokes just jump out at me this time in therms of bass... I feel them like think punchy notes on my bass working a tune. I'm gonna use that sensation tonight to work the gig. vincent in my mind had struggles but not a total wack. the current theme uses "when I give, I give myself" which I think is bitchin' as far as putting meaning into your expression, fucking flying it up there. much respect. I believe vincent loved art big time and it makes me a believer that way. I love his ideas about art, about "the yellow house" and about not using painting to be compete w/a camera but to the transmit feeling from the heart. I finish the visit kind of sore but total whupped inspiration-wise. I get a little dutch organic burger w/lettuce and konk on the grass for an hour behind his museum.
five is load-in so I start hobbling the way back, very dangerous cuz dicks and I cobblestones make for many hazards but I take in slow and damn if I don't crumple which surprises the fuck out of me, getting back to the venue in time to meet the guys. the paradiso people let me downstairs and though it's changed so very fucking big time, I still remember being down here w/d. boon and georgie, ready to go on before black flag right after the band before us was run off the stage by nazi bozos. d. boon asks us "are we gonna let them run us off?" and georgie said "fuck no!" and damn, I w/these two guys all the way and nod my head but I was kind of shitting a pecan log. fuck if they didn't do their salutes and other bullshit but we just kept charging. I can remember it like yesterday just now, damn. well yeah, load-in at five pm but it's twenty after seven before I'm fetched to do my clown act for soundcheck - cutting it close for chow... I like two hours ahead of downbeat to stuff the gut sack so I don't puke on stage but I'll try and deal w/it. soundman dick is into being the fourth man and likes the 'd' note, alright I give him one. monitorman heidi is also cool people so he's our fifth man tonight. I go down to dressing room and wait for the pho that's coming. it's a half hour before we're to play so I wail the soup down quick, damn is it really fucking good, fresh and healthy - I feel fortified up some after all that hobbling earlier in the day. nine bells, me and brother eda go up to the stage together...
fuck, I spaced and forgot the bass, I'm a fucking baka! brother eda is beautiful and goes back down to the dressing room to get it. now we can start the gig. we bring but damn if I don't switch up the intervals in the first tune - what?! it ain't a boat-sinker but what a goddamn baka cluck I am. I see ajay (he's got a band called king champion sounds now but I met him years ago w/him mixing j mascis + the fog) from the stage for "song from ronnie" (sam does this great tonight and I sing the last line personally right to him, respect. there's some small clm stuff and though not as good as last night, in my opinion I still had a good time. I got little things like some words still fucking ending up like and damn if I didn't start "tamatebako" in the wrong place but it's no nightmare like last year. we do the t-rex tune for roland lost-his-mind-man cuz he came to see again - all three dutch gigs - what a brother, dankjewel ('thanks much' in dutch), truly. the amsterdam gig-goers are sure kind to us, much much respect to them cuz only a little bit of yammer where yammer is 'pert-near the currency around according to ajay and I will not ever doubt that man!
monitorman heidi helps me offstage, he's beautiful brother. I visit w/ajay right after, big hugs. painterman phil w/his wife kathelijn show and I get the good word, him also discussing his buddy john who I wanna interview when I get home. I meet some cats from ottawa in canada - two of them were at the minutemen gig in hull (right across the river on quebec side) w/locals porcelain forehead - I can't fucking believe that. they remember we did two sets, fuck! we have a good time remembering what we can, big hugs all around. holy cow! of course a good rap w/brother ajay, love the man much, truly. also I get to discuss some serious stuff w/occii soundman gary, who I dig much too - he learns me some about jeremy corbyn - interesting, big thank yous to gary, didn't know. he knows about our bernie sanders though. interesting times.
time for watt to konk though cuz he's beat. I start my hobble, using my mansack for a walker (in front of me, not behind) and after a few blocks I realize I don't know where the fuck I'm going. "the quentin" used to be the old place but that was decades ago - I'm a baka! monitorman heidi pedals up and does guideman to "backstage" 'tel a few blocks down from the "american hotel" and damn if it ain't actually that far from "the quentin" and yeah, they share the same layout where each floor uses common heads and showers but I'm in the basement instead up flights of infamous olde-timey steep dutch stairs! there's all kind of band stuff decorating the room like trap case latches and a snaredrum for an overhead light, etc. very much a rock 'teil, huh? it's good enough for konking though, way good enough and maybe it's midnight when my fucking lights go out and I'm down and prolly snoring up a fucking konk storm. I'm beat big time.
monday, august 31, 2015 - antwerp, belgium
pop at eight w/a little bit of a thumper, drink some water to calm it. there's a free trough upstairs so I slowly do the big grade climb and find they got an electric griddle and a bowl of raw eggs - you cook them up yourself! I do two and but some of the happening euro cheese on top and fold the sides over so not really an omelette. I have tomato cucumber slices on the side plus coff - good shovel. looks like it rained last night but clearing up, sun coming. I chimp diary and get the hoot page updated.
time to get back to the venue for the load-out. me w/the fucking bajo, back wack 'puter sack, and mansack used as a walker - I take my fucking life into my hands trying to hobble in this town. not only the locals taking so much for granted and barely missing me w/taxis, bikes, fucking scooters and one man electric cars on the fucking sidewalk... it's even worse w/the tourists, totally unaware stupid motherfuckers waiting to either get killed or kill you. fuck, somehow I make it in one piece to the paradiso. last night I asked ajay for help w/a music store for a contact mic for brother eda's tongue drum. he got the infos to brother eda and damn if brother eda didn't find the store and get the contact mic - FOR FREE! yes, the store just gave it to him, can you believe that? crimony. good job. we load up, helperladies from the paradiso helping us, dankjewel ('thank you' in flemish). we pull anchor and immediately turn into wrong way traffic, brother eda at the well... eventually we get right, he puts long time fela drummerman tony adams on the cd player. it's fucking humid. I chimp diary. it's gonna be around 160 miles south for antwerp which is the last gig of our continent leg of the tour. just before two and right before the belgian border we pull over to check oil, tire pressure (can only do front cuz compressor ain't strong enough) and switch ponies, brother sam on the helm now. getting kind of humid w/a hazy sky. tot ziens, holland. two pm and after passing one of the lamest public art things ever (not your fault, belgium) which I remember from being here just in june w/my missingmen, we find only one man at the venue, it's the het bos gigboss pieter who's just the best - hey, the club's closed this time of year usually but he opened it tonight just for our gig, what a very kind man. he's swabbing the deck here, man alone and says to get the stuff out and come back at five after 'tel check.
after load-in we go to the konk pad, a 'tel in the berchem part of town called the "tulip inn" - same pad as last time I played het bos. fifteen minutes after getting here the sky opens up w/rain and strong wind - even some lightning! damn if weather don't change fast here. way happening we already loaded in! sam at the wheel, we get into some fucking gordian knot of a traff plug, some lady freaks out in her car and won't move in the intersection after we come out inadvertently from a bus depot - you couldn't script better comedy, right? anyway, we get back to the venue only two minutes late and who's there w/padboss pieter? last tour's antwerp gigboss koan, big hugs for him from me, fucking all right! he baked some bread and his wife crystal made some righteous green coconut soup and veg lasagna w/some kind of orange stuff (ground up carrots) that's fucking happening. it takes only two hours to set up and do sound check. only one tune for check after one bass note and a few words to check my mic. soundman bram built a little two step stairs for me, respect to him! he remembers being missingmen fourth man back in june and is into being fourth man for cuz tonight, most happening.
now I get to chow the good stuff and go back and do that while I also write my ma saying I'm ok cuz I fucking spaced on that again this week, what a baka your boy is ma, I'm so sorry. I then do a set list cuz someone kiped my one from last night - I know cuz he had me sign it! look who's just comes in as I poke the lasagna w/the hashi? it's my dear old buddy carlos from zeeland - I hug and hug him big time!
carlos booked all my europe gigs for 'pert-near twenty years and is just the best. we spiel about lots of stuff like thurst and walt whitman - he don't know about walt whitman, didn't know his 1855 "leaves of grass" was big time d.i.y. so I hip him to some of that and his buddy - who's u.s. but don't know him, only knows of him but that's ok cuz like someone once said
"the only thing new is you, finding out about it."
no opening act and it's nine bells for us to start - it's nine bells and time to start but like a fucking 'tard I got my bass once again not w/it and brother eda has to shlep it, I feel so stupid... and then even more stupid is trying to start w/out the amp fucking on. ok, got that together but then I start getting nervous, thinking about carlos watching me - what a fucking bozo, aaarrrggghh. I do good w/charley's tune - hell, thinking about charley's helps! can't wait for me and petra to put music to his "planet chernobyl" piece but c'mon watt, get it together here... I stumblebum the first speech, words to the gnarler (I'm using a cipher?), am shaking like a leaf for charely's words via brother sam but I keep the bass there w/brother eda, respect to him. I get "slipstream" kind of together and even the next couple but then blow some clams in "fickle fortune" (still in key but still wrong like a doof) and some really GIGANTIC spaceout. let's not discuss anymore of the set but damn I should've done better for carlos, for the other cuz guys, for the great antwerp gig-goers who gave much focus and great spirit. for the padboss pieter, for koen and crystal - crimony!
carlos comes to carry my bass off stage, I hug him w/embarrassed arms. he has to get back to rotterdam. I love carlos.
at the merch table the koen's got a "the master and margarita" shirt - damn, I never seen one before ever. he's got a lot to tell me. also the good word from so many, so kind really - a couple of young men have me sign their cds and one's got a shirt that says "I am wolves" and I'm enlightened to find it's the name of band called I am wolves - gotta check that out. arnaud from billions of comrades (great group!) is here, whoa! big hugs! I feel that feeling in a way of man are people sure nice even when you feel like such and idiot yourself, I think the cuz music has something about it - so much respect for brother sam I got, man, so much.
now tomorrow's got be a way-early pull anchor cuz of the ferry situation. there's been a fight between the workers all fired by this one company forced to be folded cuz it was part of a monopoly thing so time to get to the 'tel and konk quick. big hugs for all these beautiful belgian cats, I see them again soon as I fucking can. I get hosed off and ready for konk but then it takes a little bit cuz of the beatdown in my head for all the gig-chokes and me trying to temper it w/thoughts of olde-timey stuff from another time and world, strange. I konk w/out even knowing though, mercy.
tuesday, september 1, 2015 - london, england
pop at six bells cuz I just gotta for the tour, for the team. I hose off and out that hatch like that - the elevator ride is funny, brother eda pushed the wrong button and 'vator goes up instead and these two older jam their way in. the got the trough going so I grab some ham and cheese and stuff it half a baguette. we go to the boat out back. finally brother sam shows up. we pull anchor twenty of seven.
ten after eight pull over at truck stop to switch ponies (we're about half way), brother sam now at the wheel. forty minutes later we're over the border and into france - no border checks or anything, you can tell cuz the signs go from flemish to french. we get to port du calais twenty after nine. as we get closer to the ferry terminal, you can see the human sadness - the refugee camps on the other side of the double barbed-wired topped fences, the young men on the highway w/police coming for them... we keep driving but go slow cuz people running out from the trucks could get hit.
we're on the "pride of kent" and she pulls anchor (literally) at eleven and a half. I set my watch, 'puter and digicamera to ten and a half cuz we're getting back the hour we lost crossing over last thursday. both the weather and the sea are much calmer than it was then which is good cuz this boats a lot smaller and more beat but fuck, just as long as we're safe is what I really care about. I find a place near the back w/some power - time to switch out the continent plugs for the england ones. auvoir france. I chimp diary. we drop anchor after two hour voyage and immediately go the wrong way coming out of the dover ferry terminal, time to bring her about, uncle sam at the rudder. going the right way now, some rain comes on us but still the sun is out. fuck, forgot AGAIN to write my ma on sunday so I write her now to let her know I'm ok - what a fucking baka I am. I notice the price of fuel here: $6.50/gallon for diesel, the cheapest I've seen it in this land in a long time. a little further down the road we pass a "b & q" and brother sam says he can get material to make a cover for his amp speaker box to protect it from rain on load-out/load-ins... I tell him to go for it since we're early and it's on the way. we gotta use a fucking crapdonald's parking lot to park cuz of our fucking huge boat but hey, they're good for more than just food poisoning sometimes, huh? grazie.
we're in the elephant and castle part of london and in the arch of a viaduct w/out a sign is called corsica studios and that's we're playing tonight. get the boat up on the sidewalk (they say 'pavement' here) five of three and start the load-in, it's like two and half hours 'til I'm "summoned" or what... 'til then the gigboss anthony goes and gets me india chow, the one I really like which is spinach w/chunks of cheese in it w/this garlic nan bread I chow it w/and crimony do I love this stuff, grazie gigboss anthony! I am summoned for soundcheck... I'm kind of not into how I had shown where brother eda should have his drums - they've been moved back, what? soundman jp is very cool people so... no... couldn't be him - whatever, I don't want the fucking drummer in the back though. we soundcheck w/jp and I ask him what note does he like - he says he likes 'd' - yeah, d! I give him a 'd' and we do a tune then done... back upstairs and chimp diary, meeting some of the people we're sharing the stage w/and also bob brown (did the "france gnarl" video for us - where I turn into a cat) and his buddy steve sexton, good cats. I share w/them some of my nightmare little league major hell shaming stories and they tell me about their cricket ones. we all agree we ain't much into sports except I gotta admit loving watch basketball w/my buddy raymond.
a great man once said:
"you can wish in one hand and shit in the other, now you tell me which one fills up first."
I go down and see and incredible one man show called ichi cuz prolly that's his name. this cat has it really going on, very fucking amazing and total mindblow - creates his own fucking world and lets us in on it, most beautiful and generous. you gotta experience it. next on are the wharves which is an all lady trio, the bass using a copy of a hofner - I just got a china made hofner beatle bass to use for the upcoming tav falco tour I get to be on this october as part of panther burns. I put la bella flatwound strings on it and it's really fun to play - already recorded for chris schlarb w/it a couple days before flying over here. forgot to say I see my old friend jose here - I'll spiel w/him later, better to focus on the now for this gig. of course bleeding heart recordings boss chris davies has my ear upstairs some but he also knows to keep watt from full-on spiel before I play - brother eda even made a sign to say "guests welcome after show only" but I thought that was rude and ask him to put it up. I think he thought spieling w/carlos so much last night hurt my performance but I think it was more about me being nervous about playing in front of carlos rather than spieling w/him big time before.
I got my bass w/me and brother eda even turns on my amp for our ten pm liftoff. right from the start I get good feel from the elephant and castle gig-goers, my buddy jose's dancing on the deck right in front of me (kind of a high stage here), fucking right on. I'm a little nervous but not like last night. I switch around some intervals in "houdini" like a fucking bozo. I have some fun w/the next two though, will I ever be able to do the spiel ok for "france gnarl" - not just right words but where they're supposed to go? baka. we have good flow w/the next chunk of our set, good playing between us three I'm feeling. we have trouble or maybe rather the timing gets slippery for us - maybe it's cuz damn if I ain't still the weak link in the band. I do think the form got a little fucked up to but for me that really don't matter w/this tune. we get an encore! thank you elephant and castle gig-goers, thank you big time!
slowly off the stage, so glad they got both a handrail and a big metal handle to help me - so many fucking stages have none of that, aaarrrrrgggghhhh. willy from this great zine STONE AGE gives me the current copy and "on writing" by charles bukowski - I tell him that man is buried in my town, same boneyard as d. boon cuz he lived his last fourteen years there - I got to meet him once in pedro, he was very kind to me.. I love his writing, it's a good time for me but also makes me feel in trippy ways. for me I also see a discipline in him wanting to always write poems, I like to think of me chimping diary on tour like that. big hugs for my buddy jose, I know "the lighthouse keeper" was hard from him, I could feel it weighing on him, his elbows on the stage and face in his hands... abrazzos grande for him, truly. charlie from situation press "the truth of revolution, brother" I'm grateful big time to be a part of - I look him right in the eye tell him, big smiles from both of us, fucking right on. ben from a band called mister susan gives me some of his music, domo. joe from lonely voyage records too knows lots of my irish friends and the tera melos and lite brothers - fucking small world, huh? well dig this: that cat lee who was at my missingmen gig three months ago south of the river here at the windmill and had me spiel into a recorder for a piece he's doing gets into telling me more about his "15" proj, interesting... it blew his mind to find out d. boon's bday is april one - so it goes. like the two brothers who just lost their pop and we're talking about that kind of heavy thing (my pop passed in 1991), things are hard to figure out why but it seems we gotta play the hand the gets dealt, at least for the sake of the next shift. these are all great cats.
we get to leave the stuff inside the pad and dock the boat on the sidewalk outside (grazie) so we take a cab to a konk at "pasha hotel" about twelve pounds away (about $18), sam's little brother ollie w/us (I find out later he's a fine artist, just graduated college but going for a master's respect). I just am too beat to do much - I don't even hose off... I konk.
wednesday, september 2, 2015 - leicester, england
pop a quarter on eight, hose off cuz I fucking konked before I had a chance to last night. I try and get caught up on some diary cuz I got a little bit behind, there's gray and a little bit wet skies out the open window - this 'tel needs to have the window open, you know? out on the curb at eleven for a cab back to last night's venue but we gotta go a block off it cuz the cabman says there's cameras that'll catch him ever a couple of car lengths down the side street - I ask him what kind of people you think "man" or "monitor" or whatever those kind of cameras and he says "mental midgets." ok, makes sense. just a trippy sitch, cameras everywhere. back at the venue, yes - the boat's still on the sidewalk. we load it up and head north.
it takes us an hour to get out of london, we stop to get diesel - half a pound more a gallon than in lewisham. we continue north as brother sam runs down tomorrow's plan which has got us doing four songs for bbc radio 6 and then a gig at the ruby lounge, both in manchester. the ruby lounge gigboss jay is just the best and is gonna let us get in early so we juggle all the shit we need to do to make both trips happen. twenty after two we switch ponies, brother sam at the wheel. the weather's holding but damn if these clouds don't look heavy. half an hour later the oil warning light on dash yellows it up - just checked in antwerp and the oil was fine... what the fuck is this? there's half a quart (liter here) bottle half full in the hatch pocket so we put that in (it's half full) and damn if the light doesn't go off so we get the gallon (four liters actually) jug and I put some in but am careful cuz the worst thing would be to overfill and blow the fucking seals out. the light still won't go out but I can see on the dipstick we got at least two-thirds of the "safe zone" filled so fuck if more is going in. the oil light warning stays on but there's no drips and smoke out the tailpipe. I get my first subway sandwich of the tour and damn if it ain't the best one I've ever had from that chain! I'm not addicted or even a fan of the chain but compared to crapdonalds and burger fling, my body is a lot happier w/less grease getting poured into it. it's got black olives, onions and mustard w/the tuna but the bread is much better than the other stuff trying to poison me. the potato chips are bunk though - "lamb and mint" really? tastes like a glass full of salt. I my daily psyllium caps - nothing like fiber w/this shit, right?
we get to leicester about four and a part of town and a pad I've never been but ian's done my gigs for years and I trust him. this pad's in kind of industrial area and is called the musician but it ain't open so after having some pictures of us as a band, we drive across the highway to a 'tel called "campanile" (I'm told it's a french 'tel chain) 'til about six cuz that's when people will be there - I meet soundman malcolm who's sixtyfour years YOUNG, he's a great cat, much respect. we do the "fourth man" discussion and he's into it big time, alright. gigboss ian arrives, big hugs for this man who's done my gigs since way back in this town (there used to be a pad called "the charlotte" that's been torn down for condos) and he's just the best. he gets me what I had last night: india! spinach w/chunks of cheese (not cubes) and tomatoes - a little different style w/really soft garlic nan bread which is really really good, better than the elephant and castle one that gigboss got me last night though that was good also, I'm into this even more! I don't get to india chow much so yeah, maybe it's baka to hear me go so off about this shit, sorry.
we have opening band and they're echolocation who've I played w/before at "cookie jar" downtown here in the pedestrian mall (by the way, that padboss tin is here, great to see him again!) but I like them better this time w/live drummer rather than drum machine. they're really good guys and I have a good time w/them during set up, very friendly. I go chimp diary after our two hour check (and I ain't counting setup) which includes my one bass note and four words on the mic, then our "houdini" tune. when doors happen, who comes to say hi to me? it's clyde from stratford-on-avon (willy shakes' town), driverman for the stooges a bunch - him and his pop had a company but on the side he did school and is now a barrister (one of the two types of lawyers in england). for fun he does karate and jogs/lifts weights but you would never get one vibe of jocksterism, he's just beautiful people, not one drop of 'tude from him educating himself either - I look up to him much as something I would aspire to, even thinking what a fucking more happening place this world would be like w/more brother clydes around. like always we have real good spiel about tons of stuff. ok, I gotta stop and do gig, it's our turn now: the cuz show.
damn if I don't flip over some of the intervals for our opener (again!) but already I'm feeding off the good feel of the leicester gig-goers cuz I think I've really gotten over worrying about what the fucking form is for the tunes - not taking anything for granted and not giving respect to the cuz tunes but at this stage of tour I can "work the room" more than trying to confine it some kind of "self-study" kind of fucking "isolation boof" (sic) or whatever though even at the very first one in ramsgate I've tried to really kick hard against that kind of shit and pull my head out of my ass. alas though, some clams still get blown and the potential for a boat-sinker always looms not too far and very abunai ('dangerous' in japanese). the bass solo in "france gnarl" had the level knob all the way down so that was a fucking incredible lead for that then, right? I am baka - should've look down before the go, before we started, right? aaarrrrrgggghhhh. in "sand and bones" I try chris davies' suggestions from after the gig at corsica studios and I still think the drums were too loud but the slower tempo was much better. I like the whole set, it's good fun but damn if I didn't hear the hear the bass in the encore tune or whatever and think maybe I was in the of 'k' for the first couple of verses. you know what I noticed tonight? I mean besides my fucking baka clams... I was look ing over to stage port and noticing gig-goers looking at brother sam's pedals instead of him while he's singing or playing - ain't that a trip?
we get done and I heard for the merch table. I say bye to clyde and tell him how important it was to me he was here tonight, I mean big time truly. I then meet a bassman from sunderland named haz and he tells me he gave gigboss ian the original magic teapot, crimony! I sure hope I get to see him again somehow soon. oh, another bassman named tim who spent time before the gig (forgot to mention, sorry for being baka) gave me a cd from thee telepaths where he sweeps the thunderbroom for them and damn if we didn't having a good time talking about b.o.c. cuz they had a tune called "flaming telepaths" on their third album. a nice man w/a cane named kevin (I say that cuz I much empathize w/him, mi soy cojo) gives me two disks of his music - crimony, speaking of getting some music, there was a cat last night's gig named guilherme who's living in sao paulo who gave me a cd he did ("pharoah & the underground") w/incredible sax man pharoah sanders I forgot to chimp in yesterday's entry - damn me for being so lame w/remembering, damn me! raymond (pettibon) must've take me to at least half a dozen pharoah sanders, at least... the man's mindblow totally. man, has raymond learned me much.
boat getting loaded up w/me doing guard, I talk to some of the pad workerpeople right before we bail about richard III (they found him in car lot here) and the barman knows the whole story about the discovery which is really interesting and then I notice a light on in the window upstairs and he tells me that's the landlady and I make baka comment about keeping her up but the barman in fact says she can't konk w/out some boom boom boom coming up from her deck!
time for bidding farewell and pulling anchor, one more hug for gigboss ian magic teapot and GIANT THANK YOU, love him much. back at the 'tel I do a soak in the tub which really helps w/the itai ('pain' in japanese). soaked clean, I konk quick.
thursday, september 3, 2015 - manchester, england
pop at eight bells and hose off quick - we got a full day ahead: two stops in manchester: 1) the ruby lounge for the ninth gig (halfway point of this little tour) and 2) a session for mr marc riley on bbc radio six. I'm gonna use the 'o' word here (opportunity) and not stoop to lame shirk shit and bellyache using the 'b' work (burden), ok? that's just the way I see it. they give me "full english breakfast" at this 'tel - free! usually england's like u.s. about not giving you something like that at 'tels but maybe it's cuz this chain is french owned? have no idea why but the lady did check w/the desk lady. I go out and wait for brother eda w/the boat. we pony up but where's brother sam? seems this 'tel's desklady is new or whatever - she there's a prob w/the "rooms being taken care of" - aaarrrrrgggghhh, this kind of shit - we don't need it cuz brother jay is waiting for us to do a load-in at noon. we decide to bail and call ian magic teapot to help us w/this, not meaning to lean on him but what can we do? there's a line of folks and this lady's flustered. we don't need the karma of a konk and dash but we'll get it right w/his help - you understand why loves gigbosses who beautiful deep down and not jive shills? all payment ain't in the coin.
brother eda at the wheel, it's about three hours northwest to manchester and we run through many patches of light rain but nothing too heavy. I've played the ruby lounge before and recognize some the north quarter of manchester it's in, especially the art w/the sax motif but I swear the little alley street you gotta turn in (no load-in via the entrance) brother eda just up and found himself on it - there was a little blow but damn, did that wander land right in front of our fucking lap or what? when brother jay arrives, bear hug from me for him. he's even got a loading dock and cart for us. the only thing of weak is soundman emlyn can make it 'til about twenty of three and though we're all set up, we gotta skip soundcheck and get on over to mediacity where the bbc are for mr marc's show.
skies are gray but rain holds off. brother eda can't let go of the fucking baka time estimations this fucking gps navigatorio MACHINE displays even though it's been wrong so many times... brother sam's instructions from the radio people said to "give it a good hour" to arrive but fuck if they gps navigatorio bullshit generator ain't right this time and it takes way shorter. so fucking what, I still ain't sold - I still say you'll get upended if you pin yourself to this fucking donkey pinata, you know? mr marc's assistant michelle is way happening people - I remember her from last year's cuz session and she makes everything right for us. we (yeah, "we" - watt just brought his bass) brought drum stuff but not all and four of the guitars plus a huge pedal board - can you believe that shit, these guys make it so hard for themselves but fuck it, we're here and I'm in a trio them. the soundman is michael and he sets mics and stuff on his, me and brother sam using little amps they got here - I think mine's a roland and his is a vox. brother sam's picked the songs we're gonna do but brother eda nixed one ("thinkin' 'bout thinkin'") and I suggest the replacement be "bad veronica" so we could get charley plymell on the bbc since we were already "bringing him" via sampler on tour. brother sam agrees, alright. we run through everything and it goes pretty good, we think we're ready. for another dj, gideon coe in london - we do a pre-recorded "the wheel and the ring" and damn if each take I get worse and worse, blowing clam after clam in the bridge... why? live I have zero problems w/this baby but now... well, I am sitting down and so the neck's in a different place, especially for the 'b' on the 'e' string... I don't listen to any takes and tell the other guys they can decide w/out me. brother eda says to bring down the rhythm section and brother sam decides best on the singing take - of course the one he chooses has two clams in the bridge from me - what a fucking bozo! I philosophical about it though, like it's a self-humiliator unintentional move instead of just plain clams.
michelle wants me to draw my face w/a marker on a tshirt using a picture of me from the back of my second opera ("the secondman's middle stand") so I try my hardest - I've never really drawn a face from a picture before. luckily maybe is I had a big "village people" mustache going in these days and that ain't too tough, mercy.
mr marc riley arrives, me and talk about cats from the old days like mark perry cuz I wanna know what they're doing - fuck if they weren't the hugest inspiration on me and d. boon along w/pop group, wire, fall - all kinds. I ask him about that giant drum sound on the first fall album... man, I could rap w/this man for years about stuff! he's so kind to hear me out. I start going on about the atv b-side to "action time vision" ("another coke") but my memory won't let me get it together good enough to make any sense w/it - luckily it's time for him to get ready for his show and watt to go and collect himself some.
it's time for us, he does what they call here "chat" which is most kind and kind of an intro and we go into "slipstream" which I feel good about - much better than that pre-recorded tune for gideon coe as far as my playing, I looked around at everyone - marc too, I just wanted to bust out of that fucking uptight thing I get going when I'm self-conconsious. I think I did this tune better than any of the gigs we've done on this whole tour - thank you much, mr marc! he does more "chat" w/us - hell, I feel him most sincere so that "chat" word seems weird but what I think is people in england use it different than we do, maybe it has the meaning of being more lightweight back home? I don't get that one from mr marc, he looks you right in the eye and is totally in real time, no trips or vibes going on... for me he's one the easiest cats ever to rap w/and have a good time. we do "bad veronica" - I get to say charley plymell's w/us, alright! then we do "song for ronnie" and I read the walt whitman stuff I read at ron asheton's memorial... I didn't know what to say cuz I'd never been at one of those things before - not for d. boon or my pop or anyone... I didn't know what to do. I rememberin' asking ig if it was weird to read these words by mr whitman and he said it was but maybe was ok then cuz it was a heavy time. we finish these two and mr marc talks to brother sam about cuz history, current stuff (this tour) and future plans (cuz II album). we then gotta say bye and head back to the ruby lounge, taking a shot w/him first before we bail:
time for comedy, takes brother eda about twenty minutes to get the boat to us cuz of some construction hell or whatever but we still make it to the ruby lounge in time - fuck, we miss the first band, local cats called fighting but we do get to see some of the other locals sharing the stage w/us, pop.hysteria.victim who are a duet and have got machine drums going. the singer/bass lady's from eastern tennessee I find out when they talk w/me. very nice people. you know who else is playing? my old friends the meat puppets but they ain't here, they're at the university... damn, I wish we could play here together - life is trippy that way sometimes.
we get right up after I heard drum check from the dressing room - we got to leave some stuff up (must've been weird for the opening bands, I hate that shit - they deserve respect and not treated like a fucking yard dog) but man, that ain't no showbiz, fuck, c'mon. I get brother eda to get this baby going, fuck all the primping and preening already! I have a good time. I missed a bunch of octaves last night when we started and so I focus on trying not to let that happen but at the same time I wanna show folks I'm grateful big time for them being here and let's share some fun, some spirit from the guy even if it's laughs... some of segues tonight I try to roll my eyes in time, round and round. the gig's a bunch of fun for me, I dig it. bitchin' to play "the slider" for gigboss brother jay also, high point of the tour!
I go to merch table, sign stuff and get the good word from the manchester gig-goers, the were so kind and focused at the gig and here w/me now, more of the same from them - really genuine... I'm so glad I ain't half-assed any of these gigs, not that I ever do but sometimes fear will bottle me up some. even though w/the pants-shitter element of having to learn/do in the moment for this tour I've still managed to get my mood up and over into the good time zone - I don't wanna break my arm patting myself on the back about it but I am happy I manned up some about and grew a pair. thank you so much all you gig-goers this supporting cuz which means supporting also watt. one man tells me he was standing next to the head of the england literary society or something like that, something way high up in the education system for literature and it was trippy being there and seeing an old minuteman work his bass at the same time. life can be trippy like that is all I can tell him. he sure is a kind though. man, I wanna worker hard to live up to these kinds of things... I feel I owe gig-goers and listerners MUCH, it's kind of like a debt I'll never make good on but wanna go down swinging w/trying - no fucking shorts w/watt and putting out for people kind of enough to give him a shot w/listens or witnessing. I meet a few bass brothers also, much respect to them. I'm trying to remember where I last signed a bass... damn me - it was a foreign copy of a gibson eb-3... aarrrggghhh, my fault.
real slow time w/the pack-up, crimony. that's ok though cuz I'm a cripple and can't help much so I would be baka to get on anyone's case. I wait outside on the corner in the dark after giving brother jay one last bear hug, what a beautiful man. he leads us to a 'tel I've been to before that's in stumblin' distance, it's called "sacha's" and damn if I don't konk in the fucking tub, popping at like three bells all wrinkled up and the water drained (don't ask me how), konked back on dry land... what a fucking doof I am.
friday, september 4, 2015 - liverpool, england
pop at nine, fuck was I tired. the coff in the room is instant and for trying to stomp some on a caff jones, terrible shit but yeah, for jones servicing - it'll do so I take it down... mazui ('tasting terrible' in japanese)! speaking of mazui, I chow three sticks of this shit called "pepperami" - you could swear this is something that some clowns would invent and sling back home that's got prolly got more preservative than a hundred gallon vat at a chemical plant soaked in them - what's wrong w/me? miss hiyori's gotta understand she can't be handing me shit like that - but I ain't saying it's her fault, it's watt's for putting them shitsticks in his mouf! chimp diary 'til eleven bell 'tel bail time, find boat w/ticket: twentyfive pound fine (about $38), cost of doing business in tour mode, crimony. I see four different parking police spreading the ticket love, one happy recipient pointing at his watch while making happy face mouth shapes at head-shaking not-listening ticket presenter... my eyes find some art to settle the mind on, thank you good city of manchester for being so kind:
right next door is a half-outdoor chow pad named "northern soul grilled cheese" and I get a "new yorker" butty ('sandwich' in northern england slang) which is kind of like a rueben and damn if it ain't pretty much better than lots I've had in nyc, it's got it's own taste and I'm digging it. we pull anchor and head west for liverpool (about thirtyfive miles away!) where brother phil has got a gig for us tonight near the chinatown part there at a pad called the east village arts centre. our weather is gray but gets sunny and pedro like as we make the hour drive, brother eda at the wheel. you can see new money is coming into liverpool but w/it, like brother phil tells us later, fifteen venues have shut down in the last two years, aaarrrrrgggghhh. we meet him a few blocks from the venue at the 'tel we're konking at which is actually upstairs from a studio, "studio 2" and he talks w/the desklady - his liverpool accent is a beautiful thing but her's seems different... showing the chamber it changes and damn if I don't hear k, kind of - I ask her "where are you from?" and she says "fairfield, connecticut" - whoa, k was born in new haven. I ain't totally baka, huh? nice pedro weather, I try and catch up of chimping diary while brother sam tries to dump the football in a bank and get some guitar strings - he had a buttload of separates in some plastic box that got all sweated out w/humidity and corroded them what a fucked up way to carry strings on tour - a lot of amateur hour w/my tour mates, let me tell you! I later get an email from brother eda saying:
Im with Sam.we just came back from long waiting bank things shit.fucking tired..but lording time now.
load-in is four bells but they have me stay at the 'tel 'til they get their setup thing together. that means six for me and brother phil brings me over. I like the room - high overhead but shorter throw to the back so maybe not so roller rink. soundman tom is cool people and into being fourth man. the setup was w/out me so bass amp is in wrong place and drums again are too far from front of stage, I want the rug all the way up to edge, I need brother eda up there w/me, damn if we ain't the rhythm section and we're the majority in this band! after soundcheck brother phil gets me the house chow mein from some chow pad in the nearby chinatown, I spike w/chili from his emma's own hand (contains fresh habanero, yes!) and it's really happening, oishii ('tasting good' in japanese)! brother turns me onto this video of an incredible one-man drum piece in tokyo from last month from a cat named ryoskue kiyasu and damn if I ain't inspired big time, sonkei ('respect' in japanese)! reminds a little me of seeing z'ev up hollywood in the old days of the movement
we got an opening act and they're a liverpool band called the seawitches, very nice people and their music cinematic. our turn is at a quarter of ten and we bring it, I always wanna gig 110% for brother phil and we get pretty much to that tonight. there's a little lowend feedback on brother sam's acoustic guitar for "fickled fortune" but soundman tom pretty much quick got that scissored, respect. the liverpool gig-goers are happening for me to work for, genuine w/their focus and not one bit of yammering even in the tiniest of parts, respect to them also. the only thing bumming me out a little is not getting to play for dixie, brother phil and emma's new little baby, aaarrrrggghhhh.
at the table right after we're done I get to talk w/many kind liverpool people including the seawitches people, really good folks. pasha's here too from super fast girlie show, the band he's got w/brother phil - both on bass w/drummerman allan who's actually now at the gig we're doing tomorrow so I miss him. we get to talking about stuff and something about something and I need a metaphor to make a point so I use the blind man groping for the right person he's "looking" for and mime such a sitch which makes the security man (by this point it's only pasha, brother phil and me in the pad) cry uncle and bolt for the hatch... oh well, didn't mean to weird him out.
to be continued so they both accompany me to the 'tel and camp's set up where the other two cuz guys are konking, me in the nightwear after quick hosing off. we have big time spiel for a real good time. these cats are beautiful. lucky fucking watt.
saturday, september 5, 2015 - portmeirion, wales
pop at eight and a half in wrong chamber - what?! too much beam maybe... I go to my own chamber and chow what's left of the chow mein from last night after hosing off. we got cali weather from the looks out the window - how long will in last? it was george hurley's bday yesterday, just realizing that now, damn... wish I was close enough to hug him. heading southwest towards wales w/brother sam at the wheel but in less than an hour he needs coff and damn if it takes forever for him to get that but brother eda's thinking good - he suggests we check the oil and yep, it's a quart, I mean liter, low so I add. he checks the lamps - all working but the dash warning light stills says one's bad - unless it's bad itself! the oil warning light hasn't come on again, whatever that means... fucking idiot lights.
we pull anchor finally w/brother sam rejoining us as passenger, brother eda at the helm. we pass chester (where I met yesterday's gigboss brother phil at a festival around three years ago) and then we cross into wales just after eleven and a half. soon we're off the highway and onto tiny winding roads, very rural and the names of places are unusual for me cuz I don't know welsh. lots of shepherding, sheep all over chowing the very much green that's everywhere, pretty purple heather on the hill tops and stone fences kind of like I've seen in scotland - it's really really pretty countryside. we're on this road for around eighty miles and get to portmeirion a quarter after one - not portmeirion but like an industrial a mile or so away which is where you park and then a shuttle bus brings you and what you need to play to the actual "village" of portmeriion. once at the bus shuttle place at portmeirion we have no way to get the equipment (even though no drums or amps, this band carries a buttload of stuff) to where we're playing at this festival no 6 - it's called the "lost in the woods" stage and damn if it ain't just that for us now. one thing that's great no matter what is the weather, it's like what we got back home. people hear told me yesterday was rainy but there's no trace of that now.
a kind man I didn't get the name of gets me to our stage but I can't find a way that's safe for me w/my fucked up knee so instead I slowly hobble down the road that leads to... the village. it got started to built in 1925 but how I know it is from "the prisoner" tv show made from 1967 to 1968. this was my favorite tv show of all time as a boy - hell, I didn't even know it was color 'til I got the dvd box set of all seventeen episodes (that's all they made). what a trip in this day and age I got mp4 versions of all of them on ipod! as the village slowly reveals itself as I use geisha boy steps to very carefully go down this gravel road, a young man calls out my name and stops to talk w/me, he tells me his name is laurie and we spiel about all kinds of thing but mainly "double nickels on the dime" - he has the cd cover and he wants me to sign it. I wanna talk about "the prisoner" cuz seeing the village is my mission before we play at five... I have to move on but I tell him I can see him later.
the village comes into view. damn if this festival way filled w/tons of folks but still the only-until-now physical presence for me of this place that was only an image from a screen for fortyseven whatever years is now starting to blow my mind. there's also much abunai ('danger' in japanese) cuz motherfuckers lost in their own trips have no idea I'm cojo ('lame leg' in espanol) and every few seconds I'm 'pert near bowled over but I don't let it stop me. I do get a little pissed though, motherfuckers! I know it ain't on purpose, nobody's being mean to me but it's the inadvertent thing, like the pecker running me over w/his baby carriage - I feel on the back of my knee (the fucked up one) and it starts to buckle, fuck! I don't know what stopped me but I don't go down. I snap shot after shot, each w/a connect to when I was a boy watching this on our fucked up tv, having to slap it sometimes... we had recently come to california from virginia cuz of the vietnam war and my pop being a sailor. all this stupid "gilligan's island," "car 54 where are you?" and shit like that and then suddenly I see this show - blew my fucking life, I think actually helped change it some and not for the worse. I stumble into chirs davies (bleeding heart recordings boss) and spiel some w/him, he offers to help me but I gotta see as much as I can w/the time I got. somehow I know shit will not wait for me once the gig's done, I don't know why but that's how I feel. I see a young man wearing a coat similar to the one number six wore in the show and though he has the piping, it looks too black so I ask him about it. he's kind and tells me actually he had it made in vietnam! I ask him if he knows about them being sold here and he says he thinks it's up there - "there" being where he's pointing towards where one of the towers in the town is so I make my way to this little square and recognize where number six lived... it's a gift shop now. some people people in costumes from the show are at a table right near, a sign says they're from the six of one group and they got a smaller version of "rover" that a very kind lady says I can get my picture taken of by here, she even puts her cloak on me for the shot. the man at the table starts giving me the "please pay and join us" spiel but I'm actually more of the unmutual persuasion... I've been an internet follower of the show for a long time via the usenet group alt.tv.prisoner and you wouldn't believe the drama that used to go down there. I just wanted to know everything I could about this show and had no need for the drama. I say I wanna check out the pad mr mcgoohan's character lived in and go do that. they got the original coat he wore in a picture frame and two reproductions for sale but damn if they ain't both sold. there's coffee cups and other kitsch regarding to show but I just get a button for my shirt, to go w/the john coltrane one. it's got the pennyfarthing bike and the number six on it. I hobble further, connecting more of my memories to this physical reality, tripping on all of it... 'pert-near every object they would film and so I'm seeing so much but also missing stuff - like the cement boat on the beach, I can see the beach from a couple of look out places but not around the point where this boat is. there's also the issue of a buttload of people bogarting lots of the view and nuance but hell, it ain't all about me so I gotta let that shit go... and I do, mostly trying to stay safe but also sop as much as I can w/the sponge part of my mind.
fuck, I could write about this ever - I could write about how each of the seventeen episodes and in each of those how each scene that's got a pice of here that's in it relates to how I related that in my fucking mind and also where I was in my life, age, sitch - all kinds of shit cuz I was always thinking of it and then in the last how many years of having the dvds, revisiting and pondering the shit further. it's a big part of my life in a trippy way. I hope I don't sound like a fucking putz - I mean it was just a fucking tv show but...
I got a gig to do and fuck, it's my first welsh one ever and plus - fuck, I'm here! I try one more vista, it's even called lookout but it's a hard climb (for me) up and damn if I ain't scared to death to try and get back down - this fucked up knee is WAY worse w/downhill than up - what do I do?! this man offers to help me, I didn't even get his name but he gets me down safe and even finds the right path for me to our stage. such a kindness. I arrive to see the end of the band before us, aldous rh - I think that's the band's main man's name. they play really smoov soul grooves and they're pretty young too. I can't believe it when the main guy quotes curtis mayfield from his "curtis live" double album - "we don't need no music, we got..." he says "bongos" instead "conga," then "tumba" and then "soul" like curtis did but fuck the way he phrased it, I just know he knows and that's fucking deep cuz that's before "superfly" and fuck, like twenty or more years before he was born! I'm kind of blown away - I grab his hand when he comes off stage and ask him if he knows curtis and he says yes, crimony! by the way, you know curtis tuned his guitar trippy, to black keys of his ma's piano: f#-a#-c#-f#-a#-f#. I got to see him play for free in long beach in 1990 which was the gig before he had part of a stage come down on him in I think in brooklyn, paralyzing him from the neck down. a terrible blow for us, he was beautiful musician.
mr marc riley's here and comes to talk w/some as soon as I set up (I'm using a ampeg w/a 4x10 box up on the riser - so fucked that brother eda has to be behind us but that's dealio here), so good to see him again - hell, he's the cat that made this gig and cuz of that this whole cuz tour possible. we have brief spiel but it's good one for watt, very inspiring. I wanna do good for mr marc.
we get forty minutes so some tunes got the scissors but we keep the sequence intact as much as possible. "sand and bones," "fickled fortune," "tamatebako" and "song for ronnie" are purged from today's list. the soundman darren agrees to be our fourth man but he's mixing behind brother sam's amps, what?! never seen an arrangement like that before. we get the go and bring it. trippy playing to the other side of a pathway that connects the village w/some rave dancing area, lots of folks hoofing by while others watching so I throw a lot into it. since the rat pedal failed in liverpool (spaced on mentioning that), I got just one pedal and I use it once cuz of the scissored order for today's sitch. I think I got some words wrong - I think I got some wrong all over the set but am trying to make up for it w/enthusiasm. we brought in the encore song as the encore song - no encores in this sitch and I felt we should play that tune no matter what, do it for mr marc.
I never got to speak to him again - this is what I wrote in an email to him the next day:
about yesterday after we played: one of the stageboss ben took me right from the stage to a golfcart - he said we had to hurry and get the stuff up to where the shuttle bus was cuz he had use of the golfcart for only a tiny while. so I sat there as he helped me through the woods while they loaded all that crap the other two guys in cuz use - I just had my bass. I was wondering what was going on in the big plan, like I was gonna be brought right back cuz I wanted to visit w/you but instead I was made to be guard of the stuff while the golf cart went back. I had to sit and breathe fucking bus golfball-sized hunks of diesel exhaust - these motherfuckers wouldn't shut their motors off w/them parked 'pert-near right on top of me and I couldn't abandon the equipment w/all the folks and maybe potential donate so damn if I wasn't fucking trapped. then when all the cuz and all the equipment was here the shuttle bus man said we had to get it all back to that industrial park a mile away. the 'tel these guys booked was in chester - two hours of winding road and they wanted to record stuff for next cuz album the next morning (like right after I chow now) and so damn if we had to bail. your wife did come to the golfcart before I got hauled away and so I gave her message saying how much it meant to me to play this and I owe you much for a ton of things - fuck, I didn't get to see slug or dutch uncles either - very frustrating for me is like mild way of putting it to you, aarrrrrgggghhhh... most sorry for all that but not meaning to make sound like any kind of excuse but I can imagine it sounding kind of like bellyachin' so sorry for that also.
now I hope this doesn't make it look like the stage people we're anything but the best cuz they big time were. stage bosses ben, johnny and devin were beautiful as were soundman darren who even could chow while do his work. we were very lucky to have such happening folks to work w/and I think what I was showing in that windbag of a spiel for mr marc w/some frustrations w/expectations of what I wanted rather then the reality of what to do w/the sitch at hand. I'm so glad the band played good and the portmeirion gig-goers most kind and for an outdoor festival, pretty damn focused. all the crew and so many of the folks personally thanked me, I was truly honored.
I threw a little fit w/our team about the chow - they wanted here and I though it would make us too late to where we're gonna konk and suggested maybe a chowpad on the way but then relented and had a kind of roll vietnam style but the stuff they used to fill it was not fresh at all and pretty mazui. chow tents out all day in the sun maybe doesn't keep so well. I let go that frustration and am grateful we did pull anchor a quarter of eight cuz it two hours to do seventy miles on the little welsh roads and in the dark. it would've been different if we camped where we played but we didn't so I'm we did what we did.
a "travel lodge" in chester is our konk pad and they got a tub which ain't much that deep or wide but enough for watt to soak. that hobbling around sure beat me up some. out of the tub, I konk quick before it's even eleven. what a day, actually pretty much a mindblow when I think about it. crimony.
sunday, september 6, 2015 - leeds, england
pop at eight, so big soak in tub that barely holds me but better than nothing. at this point of the tour I'm pretty fucking sore and actually still feeling all that hobbling around "the village" saturday... I still think it was way fucking worth it though so I should stuff a cork in the word hole and quit bellyaching... the plan for this morning brother sam has is for me and brother eda to record chunks of stuff for potential cuz II album. I'm worried I can't give him good enough stuff cuz of being in tour mode but I won't shirk. outside it's pretty gray but at least not raining. we pull anchor at nine w/brother eda at the wheel, seems to be the regular routine for tour now. tonight will be our last sunday gig - every day's like that now 'til saturday's end game.
now chester to leeds is about eightyfive miles or an hour and a half. this fucking boat's burning oil. the guys were trying to check it w/the motor cold but I ask them to wait for next stop and then a while after that wait to check, sure enough she's low and brother eda added another quart (liter). all that winding road stuff in wales must've ran her heavier than usual. out of chester, pass an exit for a town called "clock face" - man, what's the story there? (of course wikipedia helped me out later) you know brother steve mackay (stooges saxman) would be hankering to chase that etymology down - he really got me into that shit, cognates and all that when we did stooges touring together. love that man. in this last year he's had to fight lung cancer, heart disease and torn intestine but is fucking doing it, so much love for him. I'll see him later this year when I get to his parts in pacifica to record him for part II of our sock-tight proj we got w/dirk vandenberg (man who took "double nickels on the dime" cover shot) and raymond pettibon, two of my best friends. music is a bitchin' thing share, I can truly testify to that. we pass a sign that says "highest point on a motorway in england" - I point that out to brother eda at the wheel. I also notice that we're in yorkshire and fuck if bill nelson didn't have a song called "adventures in a yorkshire landscape" on the first bebop deluxe album - I really liked the first bunch of albums - maybe not the third one so much but really like the fourth "opera" or whatever... the last "straight" rock album I got (1976) cuz it was all records from the movement for me after that. I tell brother eda about charlie tumahai who was the bebop bassman and I really dug his bass and backup singing, fucking happening. that reminds me - yesterday brother phil said he worked w/andy fraser who just passed away back in march in cali (I didn't know he was living there)... man, I dug that cat too.
ten and a half we get into leeds - a half hour too early so nearby's a mall that's horrible reflection of something very common I got back in my land... there's even a "pizza butt" and a fake u.s. "diner" called "rosie's" w/a four wheel drive monster truck out front and "happy days' music playing inside. I get the huevos rancheros just to see what kind of fucked up thing it could be (like what you'd find in the midwest thirty years ago - not one percent mexican about it) and sure enough the "tortilla" is the size of a medium pizza w/two fried eggs, some canned jalapeno (all vinegary) slices, a little bit of tomato cubes, melted whatever cheese and not even a tenth of a percent of anything mexican tasting about it - oh yeah, there was england style bacon strips on it too. I didn't get sick so I guess it was ok but... oil check on the boat, gotta put in some more oil and though still no black smoke or drips underneath, there's a definite odor to it.
the studio (called "suburban home" - after the descendents tune!) is in part of an old textile factory area so nearby. the studioman matt (also sings in the hookworms who did the same festival yesterday we did - both of us in "the village") is very cool people and sets me up w/a pbass w/flatwounds and bartolini pickups (!) through an orange matamp through an ampeg 1x15 cab plus a direct via my favorite direct box a radial jdi. matt gets a good sound out of me, running our stuff in a logic daw via an imac. now there's enough about fucking gear - nope, it's not cuz I forgot about what eda's using - he's using the house kit, an older ludwig - he gets his snare (I asked him to please use stuff here so we don't have build a whole fucking gig) but brother sam actually asks him to use a deeper one from here (they got many snares to choose from) - why couldn't do what I did, just jump on what they got here cuz it's good stuff! sometimes these guys really frustrate me w/there "theories" and stubbornness w/dealing w/the reality on the dealio. anyway, I try my best for 'pert-near three hours - maybe it was just two but fuck, I'm in tour mode plus sore hands and well, I love brother sam and love cuz and just hope he got something from us he can use, I dearly wish we aided and abetted some for the cuz II proj. we thank matt much (he has tolerance of a saint to hear this clown trying to get his together w/a drummerman that sure can play. fifteen hundred hours (my pop used this navy talk at home for telling the time), let's end this. thank you big time for matt hookworm, thank you - incredible one man show and very competent w/his pad... I recommend everyone recording here!
only a few minutes away is where we're playing tonight, the brudenell social club (a neighborhood workingman's bar from like a hundred years ago!) and we drop anchor there at three twenty and park next a can (a shorty, twenty footer) in the back near the load-in doors... I've played here before w/tom and raul, when the gigboss nathan got some tears via cutting up habaneros for our salsa. man, I felt real bad for him. anyway, there's not a cloud in the sky and very much weather like my pedro town, righteous. I love brother nathan, great gigboss - he's got habanero chili for us but whups out what he used this time making it: latex gloves, YES, the man lives and learns! he is inspiring. we load-in and do soundcheck w/soundman trev is a most happening cat, much respect for him. he's into fourth man role, YES! we get done and I meet joe from bilge pump who are also on the bill. joe makes his own amps or modifies them his way. he's very cool people and love hearing him talk - I know the york accent from stooges helperman jos. gigboss nathan, a pal of brother sam's named raine who comes by to spiel w/him - they all got a neat way of talking. I like all the accents in england, they're all interesting. I must sound like fucking idiot to all of them. joe's drummerman neil arrives and there is something I gotta ask him about. raine helped me understand some cuz he lived w/these guys - it's a band called solanki that pentti in finland (turku) turned me on to last tour (last april - june) and I was fascinated by all the connects w/minutemen. drummerman neil enlightens me to the facts of the band's creation: solanki was the name of the landlord. there was a gig that was gonna happen that needed one more band so him plus the bassman got this guy who never heard of minutemen and told him to listen the copies of our records they had and play like that. "the basement" was the recording studio where they made it. what a fucking trip. I think d. boon would've been very proud though to be part of something so far away from us, same w/me and I bet georgie also. we were very humble about our band, we were just happy to be part of the movement. I tell neil my opinion about their band regarding him saying "we were a minutemen band" cuz what I hear when I here that record ("buzz or howl under the influence of leeds 6") is their own sound and yeah, referring to us and maybe informed some but definitely they had their own thing going and a big reason it fascinates me, not just ego-trip cuz there's some connect w/us. gigboss (actually he's padboss too) nathan gets me india chow, of course spinach w/cheese and garlic nan bread but the spinach has also chunks of potato and chilies - I shovel it up, loving it big time.
three bands tonight first one is two piece from around her called new woman and I dig them much, they got a spirit I'm digging and watch all their set - I got earplugs from brother sam - they're connected w/a something like a shoelace, trippy. I need these to watch bands before I play or I'll have lots of probs w/my own gig. there's no bass in new woman (I couldn't find a web presence for them either) but I ain't missing it so much as w/other people who try it... I'm always thinking "that poor lonely kick drum" but not w/these cats. next is the bilge pump guys and fuck, do they bring it, crimony! they set up in a row, a power trio w/the bassman stage port (opposite of me w/cuz) who also does most the spiel. he's got his bass going through a marshall and I think joe told me builds his own fuzz box. joe himself is quite animated and big time - I think you can tell, maybe wilko johnson? he's got his own thing though, absolutely, good sound too. drummerman neil really tears it up - maybe a little brendan ('gazi) and greg ('hoof) but again, his own trip and now rubber stamp - full of life get it lit up w/a stick in your hand, kick getting kicked and slippery fills, really happening. I watch their whole set too and am inspired.
we hit about ten of ten and the leeds gig-goers right away focus up and support us, unknown and new but it don't matter it feels, they're giving us a shot. first spiel I'm embarrassed that we're playing up on the stage while the other two groups tonight we're on the deck - damn if this don't mean we ain't "sharing the stage" then, huh? I don't let it throw me too much. I try my hardest and I know I ain't alone - same w/the gig-goers, 'pert-near like team, yeah! respect! brother sam has some issue w/the "fickle fortune" guitar ringing out heavy on the d chords and later trev tells me he was putting to much into his amp. yeah, he don't go direct w/the acoustics but uses the amps and that one has bigger soundbox and is prone to resonate stuff. he won't look over at me so I can't let him know it's happening - brother sam has one ear kind of shot cuz of a sickness years ago (actually one reason I wanted to play w/sam, sometimes I feel I can only help w/music stuff, I'm so fucking stumblebum about shit), I even says some stuff but he can't hear. I really enjoy the gig. fucked up of me for being a little bummed when gigboss nathan moved us from the "game room" to this main stage - it was a good move. respect. didn't mean to put that on brother sam, either... fucking paranoid watt. time to man up and grow a pair.
I go to the table and get the word for kind leeds folks. my buddy mave tells me about his two car family and coal projs, can't wait to hear, can't wait. cats my age rap w/me, that's wild - a bunch of them. an italian cook named ronald really wants to be my... he's just beautiful, I ain't gonna embarrass him, he's a good cat - I'll help w/that "request" or whatever they call that shit over there. very happening, so glad to get be here, truly. I meet a cat from pittsburgh who did a gig backing up the rep from corwood industries and him saying he wanted to do a rock band and that recommended me... whoa cuz damn if I ain't got to two different gigs w/him, truly a mindblow and I loved it.
I talk w/the bilge pump bassman emlyn and damn if don't build what he calls "rust pedals" - they're overdrives put in a can and he says they're based off a preamp part of a traynor amp - ronnie loved traynor amps, crimony! everything's connected! the way he does words and bass I feel a connect w/him from the gound up - ain't that a trip? really glad I got to meet neil and hear the solanki story and their guitarman joe... what I would do to get an amp made by him, like for recording (tube amps for gigs for watt is too much for his sitch these days). so glad I got to see new woman also.
Ibrother eda's loading up the boat - what? gigboss nathan said we could keep the stuff in here and the boat outside cuz he says parking is tough by the 'tel and so he'll drive us down and then back tomorrow morning. brother eda "sees the light" and gigboss nathan drives to a 'tel from the "ibis" chain and once in the chamber (I like the econo design), I hose off before konking quick cuz damn if it ain't two fucking bells - what?! yep. yank the cord, watt...
monday, september 7, 2015 - glasgow, scotland
pop at eight bells, hose off cuz of gut reaction - no thought involved, trippy. they got great liquid soap bottles hanging on hooks in both shower and by sink, way into this econo way powerful simple design, am very impressed. lather it up. go down to shovel from what I thought was free (unusual for england/u.s. anyway) but later found out not - I am not a ripoff and would've never shoveled the tomato, scrambled eggs and sausage I did know it was supposed to be eight and a half pounds (about thirteen bucks u.s.)... I don't feel like I got away anything but instead I just made a deposit in the fucked up part of the karma account, damn me - even though there's a ignorant plea I could try and dance around. baka fucking watt.
ten bells is shove off time so out the hatch - I give the desk lady the kagi ('key' in japanese) and she says thank you - I didn't find out about my bogart 'til in last night's gigboss nathan's ride and brother sam told me. happy ignorant baka watt? indeed. he's a little late cuz of can't find keys and I tell him about the hook I got on the bulkhead in my pad where the kagi ring ALWAYS goes since memory started it's whatever on this journey I'm on. I also show him the copie of the boat and pad kagis I keep in my wallet... I relate the story of me having to call minutemen drummerman georgie for his kagi (I always give boat kagis to my men) cuz I had locked my in the boat in front of our pedro post office w/the FUCKING MOTOR RUNNING like the biggest fucking baka ever. thank god georgie was there to come to the rescue. we get back to last night's gig pad and the boat's loaded up in twenty minutes, me shaving my fucking face so I can come to scotland w/it smoove. big hugs for brother nathan and we pull anchor headed north, skies pretty much full of sun. brother eda's wheelman first, of course.
love this drive, pretty countryside in its own way like england and wales has in their way, eye gifts for me. lots of sheep and stone walls all bendy w/the hills and dales. but just before one, we come to total stop, forty minutes of two miles an hour then twenty minute stop for diesel, more plug. these no shoulder roads get total plug when a semi breaks down - hell the tow truck's big enough to tow them have to get through the fucking plug! two bells and we got better traff again - back on the motor way too, brother sam now on the wheel. tranny/clutch does not sound healthy, yet another kink in the vw crafter hose that's been bringing us from gig to gig. I don't wanna jinx her w/bad thoughts and instead try to have empathy for her. I ask both drivermen to go easy and even kind of her baby her, they agree - so glad no butch fronting w/this team. we switch ponies just coming up on glasgow - brother eda on the rudder, a little stress on him cuz the gps navigatorio lost its way once we pass the central train station - the gig is downtown though so we're close but all the construction and stuff it don't know about has it lost. I ask brother sam to use the phone and call the gigboss ian. hey, that man has advice to enlighten us in regards to getting us the fuck where we need to be and not loop around the one-way streets and especially the hills w/our hurt boat sitch. we'd call this an alley back home that the pad's in, a heavily cobblestoned one but damn if this is where we gotta be, a pad called stereo and damn if this ain't the third glasgow gig I've done in a basement w/a chow pad upstairs, I dig it though - a good pad for the last monday show of this cuz tour.
I've been watch these guys unload the big speaker box for two weeks now the most baka way so I hobble myself up into the boat and show them how to use gravity and physics - a crippled cojo like me by myself does what both of them have been doing together and man-handling this shit using (abusing) their backs for no good reason. I use the wheels to lower and put it flat down, push it half way out the boat, hobble out and onto the ground and then let gravity pull it to the ground slow and safe - I do it w/not one iota of lifting, none. I ain't trying to act like a fucking know it all but it was just paining me big time to watch these guys time after time not figuring it out and making shit so much harder dangerous for themselves. for my part I feel very guilty about not being able to help them much cuz of my fucked up knee, it gives me terrible feeling. I meet gigboss ian, a real nice cat and very kind to me, carrying my bass. I hear this pad used to be in the old days where they printed a big newspaper, interesting. soundman alex is into being the fourth man he's got gray mic stands instead of black like everyone else, I think I'm into it. I go up stairs to the chow pad part to chimp diary while the guys set up their gear (bassman already set up his).
there three other acts w/us tonight and the one called sumshapes comes up a sits at the table I'm at, the bassman ali gives me a jar of "we jam econo" jam which is made here local. the guitarman jer is an old friend brother sam's - he (jer) gave him his first music job. drummerman richie was in the stretchheads who opened for fIREHOSE in this town... small world. they're great guys and I'm honored to share the stage w/them. I do soundcheck and meet the band going on first, a trio called breakfast muff - really cool people. finally I meet howie reeve who've I've shared bills w/before and we even have seven inch piece of vinyl coming out real soon, we each wrote each other a song. I told him I already have a two bass band, have had that band (dos) thirty years now but ok, let's make a single so that's how that came about. I like meeting everybody I get to share the stage w/and think that's an important thing to do.
I got upstairs and get the artichoke gnocchi for chow. it's good, especially w/tobasco soaked w/the big bottle they bring me. gnocchi was totally designed to be chowed w/hashi, I love that. soon as I'm done it sounds like the first band is going on so I make my way to the cellar and find a chair. using the earplugs brother sam gave me, I sit up close and experience breakfast muff who kick off the gig w/a bang, great band - a power trio where everyone switches off and plays everything, gets their chance to sing... kind of riot girl spirit - there's a man w/two ladies and he gets his singing there also. the songs are great and I have a good time w/them. howie seems nervous and does 'pert-near more spiel than playing lots of his set. I wish I could do something to help him. he was talking to me about something w/these s.f. folks I think I shared a stage w/before, apogee sound club maybe? aarrrrggghhh, my fucking memory, so sorry. big hugs for howie after. sumsounds bring their music, another power trio but... you know there's a lot of things you can do w/a trio - like this I got w/cuz or w/il sogno del marinaio or my missingmen or my secondmen - it's trippy what you can do w/three cats and sumsounds is more proof I think regarding that. the got lots of trippy timing things going - not the same planet or solar system but maybe a neighboring galaxy of the bilge pump guys in leeds a little? very much their own band like those cats in leeds. much respect.
now I didn't say here but between each of the three acts I saw I had to go sidestage (no backstage here, just sidestage which is very fine, I like) and lay on the deck, I don't know why. I had strange body feeling. well, it's our turn to play and all that goes away, thank god. now it's a monday - the last monday gig of this cuz tour but damn if glasgow wasn't most kind and brought it for us, really really thank you from me. the other two guys up here w/me are playing their asses off, the glasgow gig-goers bringing and damn if I don't wanna be a part of that. I think I'm a little stiff though, a little self-conconsious but not too bad. yeah, hardly any clams but I could've upped the go-off some - I will tomorrow, I will try. something I tried that didn't work was the bridge on "sand and bones" where I didn't use the fuzz to see how that worked and it was lame... won't be doing that tomorrow. I fucked up saying greenock wrong in the final speech, so embarrassing. that's where james watt (same first/last name as my pop) was born and damn if the nose/eyes thing ain't like my pop's pop b.b. watt were. I know statues and paintings ain't photos but damn...
we get done and there's no john coltrane playing so I start saying to myself "john coltrane john coltrane john coltrane" over and over, getting kind of louder but never to shout or holler - after maybe the nineteenth time I start hearing part three of "a love supreme" - such a relief. a watt gig now days w/out john coltrane just feels wrong, even. I go to the merch table and sit and rap w/the people. I get the good word from so many cats, lots repeat offenders and I'm most grateful. one man actually saved the day cuz soundman alex couldn't find the john coltrane and this can't gave him to use his very own one he just bought before coming to this gig - I shit thee not! can you believe that? crimony! on another note, this man daniel asks me how to stop copying others and find your own style and I suggest composing. then he asks me what do you do if you lose the cat you play music w/and that's very tough to answer. very heavy. I tell him I got told "keep on keepin' on" - it was on a paper a young man who was working on a john fogerty video gave me - mr fogerty wrote that to me and I put it on the "if'n" label. anyway, this man's name is daniel and he asks if he can help us shlep and of course he can I tell him. he's very kind. BIG hug for him. long time gig-goer grahme talks to me about the nearby apollo (now tore down) where a lot of gigs were in the older days for a while but also about greenock cuz he knows tons about there. he tells me about the sensational alex harvey band who me and d. boon really dug. we talk about johnny winter (I loved that white trash "roadwork" album) and rory gallagher too. good spiel.
my old buddy dep has invited us to konk over at his pad here in glasgow again so he rides up front to give directions. there are many stairs to climb to get where he is but it's a righteous pad and the boat is safe. kirsteen has put their new little shipmate bill to bed but her and dep bring great spiel and we have a good time, truly. so glad everyone here now knows everyone, it's a trip about who knows what but I know dep is WAY DEEP w/music and monorail music is just the best to search and trip on what you can stuff in your ear-holes there, love it, love him. I konk about three, got only half the nightwear on - you guess which...
tuesday, september 8, 2015 - edinburgh, scotland
pop at ten bells, crimony - one of the latest pops of the tour but I think lots of my body needed it, hands and knees for sure... port-side kata ('shoulder' in japanese) also. my grandpa b.b. watt had real intense arthritis when I knew him, couldn't close his hands, his knuckles 'pert-near the size of cue balls. he had a plymouth valiant and loved driving cuz of the vibrations of the road coming up through the steering wheels and kind of giving him rubs. I soak in the tub while dep cooks me up some "scottish dumpling" which is real close to what seems to be what we call "raisin bread" in taste and consistency. also on the plate is scones which is like friend thick tortilla big pieces, tomatoes, fried egg and sausages w/nutmeg in them - all real good all together, they way I like chow: in interesting ensembles, blending "taste harmonics" in my mouf. I then chimp diary.
brother eda took boat into town to get stuff for his drumkit at a hardware store. he gets back at two, the time we set to shove off for edinburgh which is about fifty miles east. there is much construction and echoes of back home I see out the window: tracks homes and strip malls/shopping centers... in my mind maybe not our finest export. the skies are gray and that's how this legoland crap makes me feel, gray and blurry w/out much feel except for maybe a sterile one. actually I like gray as a color cuz it can contrast good w/so much but by itself? brother sam at the wheel, I'm forever wondering about the differences our lands have w/signs to inform drivers, "slip road" = "connector road" brother sam enlightens me once again, thank you much.
we get into edinburgh and head for the middle of town and of course we're going the wrong way (for happening load-in, not illegal driving!) but this fucking gps navigatorio quits once you've blown by - what kind of shit is that? brother sam wants to a fucking three point turn w/this oversized piece-o on the cowsgate road? I plead to be safe and bring her around - brother eda re-does the fucking machine and... drama over, we're on the side of the street we wanna be - I've worked this pad sneaky pete's before w/tom and raul for a "hyphenated-man" tour a year and a half ago so I know just where to put the boat's rear hatches so they don't block the pad's hatch. it's four bells - right fucking on time, what do you think? this morning I did a list of all the load-in times and drive estimates (padded w/fudge factors) for the rest of the gigs of the tour so alas, no more drama that way but hell, we can find other shit to bring it, right? what's kind of hard here compared w/back home is coin laundries but there's one near here I remember so maybe this yellow jack can become for a while a little less filthy but no luck, five pm is latest last load can go in. oh well. I was worried about the stage not being able to handle the cuz setup but damn if I was wrong, everything fits fine. I was baka paranoid for nothing. after we check w/soundman gordon (good cat and into being cuz fourth man tonight), I meet johnny from the woods and he's a nice man, I tell him about cuz and this tour cuz he asks me. he's got a clarinet man w/him, interesting: singing, acoustic guitar and clarinet duo. he's from scotland but has spent the last seven years in australia, he's returned whence he came. howie reeve's gonna play also but he's still on the train - dep's gonna use the same way to get here later. the two hour setup for two-thirds of cuz begins, the other third (me) is up in about two minutes. I check email... bass brother cris from meat puppets is just done w/his europe tour, he sends me this:
very inspiring for me. I hobble out the hatch. am I crazy or has that plaque I saw last time I was here for james connelly been augmented w/a picture and a wreath? I am really suspicious of my fucking memory. I'm glad the memory of mr connelly is here and I had my eyes open enough to see it and am here to once again be able to bow towards him. I turn the other way to forge for chow... there's a pad down the road called "brew dog" (but no one inside w/backward baseball hats) where I get a "moo dog" for chow which is a "pie" - not maybe what you're think w/sweetness but maybe more like a chicken pot pie back home but w/different crust, the crust is everywhere and not just the top - it ain't just sitting in aluminum foil.
back to venue just in time for my bass note, couple of words and all of us together for "houdini" - ok, soundcheck done. no dressing room here but there is a chair and I park it where hopefully I ain't in anyone's way. a man named tony who was at last night's glasgow gig is here again for this show and he's brought his pop, I'm very glad to meet him. he wants to talk bass and maybe cuz it's scotland I really get into talking about jack bruce, how much I feel I owe him and how him dying last fall really hit me hard. I was playing w/the fratelli in mobile, alabama and it was a real tough gig for me to do, getting the news when we got to the pad and I got internet. after the gig too at brother todd's pad - I drank a quart of whiskey (something he had I can't remember what brand that someone left - he don't drink) and watched youtube.com after youtube.com video of him doing "white room," "tales of brave ulysses" - him rolling over big time mr clapton w/the live "crossroads" and all the stuff he did on brother lour reed's "berlin" album. I fucking played his cream bass once, I shit thee not. harvey kubernik took me to bruce gary's pad in the val and damn if jack bruce didn't sell it to bruce gary. he was very nice to me and let play it for a while, crimony it played like oh my god, crimony. I never met him again. I never met jack bruce. I owe jack bruce so much, still do - always will and it's ok. I think tony tells me his pop learned bass listening to jack bruce, I ain't sure but I think that's what he told me. the music's kind of loud. they both sure are nice to me. I then talk w/a bass brother who goes to school here name martin. he wants to transcribe a couple of my tunes for a class so he asks me about how I'm doing my plucking hand in "formal introduction" and some fretting positions on another (fuck, can't remember, what a baka I am) - and I give him my email address so I can film me playing it and send him an mp4 video... I learned this from mr shimmy, much better than notation I think.
johnny and howie both have good sets, last tuesday gig of the tour starts off good. nine bells is go-time for us cuz of dance club later, fine w/me - hey it's a work night. we bring the cuz set and the edinburgh gig-goers are w/us right from note one, very generous of them and open-minded. soundman gordon is right on it when my mic cable is cutting out in the "houdini" rap - he flys up on stage and switches it out like a champ, respect. there's some clams for me tonight but I thinkI do pretty ok BUT I do do a baka thing I've been lucky not to do all tour 'til now - hit my bass on some of brother eda's hardware and get out of tune w/the 'd' and 'g' strings, damn. on thing I don't dig about these gibson basses is not having all four tuner on one side cuz it's tougher to do stupide shit like this... and fuck if it don't happen in the worst place - right before "the lighthouse keeper" where I use them strings much and poor brother eda's highlight vocal of our show - arrrrggghhhhh, I'm so baka, so very fucking baka. the show must go on, even if I'm much shamed. I get out of time some in the loud part of "thinkin' 'bout thinkin'" cuz my confidence is shook some but you know what? the edinburgh gig-goers help me rally w/their spirit and focus, again I wanna chimp here I am most grateful. great part of the tour for me, these two scottish gigs.
I 'pert-near tumble off the stage trying to get down but this kind man dave helps from crumpling - he even gets me a bourbon, most kind of him. oh... I remember him from another tour, so sorry! across from the merch table bass brother martin comes back around after many good cats give me the good word, much warm feeling from generous edinburgh gig-goers, thank you - I hope I show gratitude I really feel truly! I've chimped that martin goes to school here but he's from up north and he says he can get me aberdeen and inverness gigs, crimony! I would dig so much to go there... this is exciting news, righteous possibility, thank you bass brother martin. last time I got to spiel a while w/a great cat named angus but this time I only get to say hi, sometimes that happens. I meet a lady named cait who flew from dublin to see this gig, that what's she said. howie says she did bass for the pogues - once I met that singerman, it was in west hollywood and he was wearing a hawaiian shirt! anyway, very kind of this bass sister. that man dave who earlier saved me visits w/his bandmate and I don't know why but I end up talking about why for some reason one pocket flannels freak me out... well, he's wearing one - so is johnny from the woods! I tell them both I'm so sorry and don't mean to put anything on them, man, do I feel baka. these are some great cats. I get a live pop group glasgow 2014 cd-r that says "mike watt's copy" from a very kind cat that goes way back w/me, seeing gigs w/fIREHOSE at a pad called "the venue" near the train station here that I guess is now an art gallery topped w/condos. I think he's got knowledge of every scottish gig I've done (including stooges and j mascis) and here I've spaced on his name... what a fucking baka I am. I big time apologize, brother.
we pull anchor at eleven and a half - amazing! I'm very happy. brother dep is w/us, riding up front w/my two bandmates. only about an hour drive - brother eda does half and then pulls into service place and runs into bushes to piss, brother sam takes the wheel and we continue once brother eda finishes watering the trees and everywhere else he's been. drop anchor at dep's pad at half after midnight - earlier than last night and we were in the same town! ok, we have another good spiel like last night, dep saying he liked edinburgh's gig better than glasgow's cuz they're were more clams tonight! can you believe? it makes sense though - he explains he already has the album and knows it, what he wants at a gig is something live. ain't that a trip? I agree w/him, excellent philosophy! to think back when I was way younger and people at school the next day after an arena rock concert would say if they really enjoyed it: "it was just like the record" - what a bunch of fucking putzes! I don't blame them really, it was the culture or actually lack of culture that deformed up their thinking. that's why I joined the movement, lucky to have a chance to. much respect to brother dep. I konk happy.
wednesday, september 9, 2015 - newcastle, england
pop at eight and a half, skies are gray out the window. I hose off and get on the mac purse... get news about stooges saxman brother steve from stooges helperman jos, he is in critical condition in hosp w/sepsis, christ... the same thing that 'pert-near killed me fifteen years ago (the illness) - in the last year he won fights w/lung cancer, heart disease and intestine stuff - he was warrior. I love so much. I was supposed to come and record him and his beautiful sax playing for the sock-tight chapter two proj w/my raymond and dirk but ran out of time - so I got plan to get to his pacifica town soon as I get home from this tour. we've been talking and email much, his spirit so much up there and strong. he even had another china tour planned. this is terrible news and really heavy on my heart... I don't know what to do. ain't it a fucking trip that I was chimping about him in this diary just recent, like a couple days ago? things that happen for real can bring me fucking intense mindblows, let me tell you. crimony. dep tells me he found out "we jam econo" minutemen doc producer keith schieron just had a lemon-size tumor plucked from his head - it was squeezing on his brain. that happened to my friend nanny, thank god she made it.
kirsteen makes us trippy breakfast of corn tortillas, chilies salsa sort of, fried eggs - it's really good, thank you kirsteen... little bill has two great cooks in this pad, respect! unfortunately we gotta pull anchor and head south, until next time: hugs and byes from the heart from me for my dear friends. looks like a bunch of film trucks... you wouldn't believe how much filming in my pedro town hollywood does. brother eda says glasgow is getting shinkansen ('bullet train' in japanese) to london, only two hour ride! he says it's gonna change this town. he points us east on my suggestion cuz I remember the plug we had coming into scotland monday. I fill the boat w/mindless spiel like I usually do - I think luckily they can't really hear me from the back. I chimp diary as a form of ball-gang to put mercy on them.
just before noon we put into one of those motor services area and drop anchor where it's nice and flat, wait ten minutes and then check the oil: almost below the hash marks so it's a liter into her. I show these guys just for example how filthy the air filter is just to hit home the fact this baby has not been cared for/maintenanced worth a damn. one side of this place is for filing up cars and one for trucks - the truck side has regulated air compressor that can do fucking 140 psi, alright! we need sixtyfive for the back and fiftyone for the front - all four are four psi down each... at least they were even. we pull anchor, brother sam puts ishi on the cd player, everybody aboard happy. we pass edinburgh (taking the east way south instead of the west way we came up to glasgow on) and blow-by the way to jedburgh but get back on track pretty quick - it's smaller a roads (carriageways) but more direct and I don't want us to hit that construction we faced a few days ago. also we get to see different parts of scotland and not rerun. we get put on little road by the baka gps navigatorio - I saw the sign to newcastle but brother eda just plows ahead, his mind handcuffed to this fucking machine. daijobu ('ok' in japanese)... we pass through houndslow, takes about one second. funny thing about this little road is that it's got a buttload of speedcameras, what?! we pass through greenway, that takes a few seconds and then pass a sign for a ricahrd hillary raf memorial - sometimes I mention minutia like that, why? d. boon would know is my best guess. anyway, onward down the tiny road to coldstream where we stop for diesel and switch ponies - another half an hour stop cuz these guys are who they are but I budgeted that shit into the "fudge factor" for our total time. turns out this is a border town so when we pull anchor, we're quick into england and w/brother sam on the wheel. gray skies and a little cold - first I've had to wear yellow jacket in a while and kind of need it. anyway, I get all einstein and decide to look at the fucking road atlas (incredible invention that uses paper) and discover that we should've stayed on the highway and went to jedburgh cuz by taking that tiny road to coldstream (a697), we're way too east to see hadrian's wall cuz by that point it had all its stuff kiped to build roads and whatever - remember it's 'pert-near nineteen hundred years old. well, "no wine before its time" a great man said, "you can't hurry love" said another. the fucking fumes are choking me out, let me tell you... so relieved when we reach the ouseburn valley part of downtown newcastle and drop anchor at the cluny about three and a half, whew... fresh fucking air.
joel's the gigboss here, love this man. he helps us shlep the gear, cleans and vacuums the dressing room - I look for the sage advice that was on the bulkhead by the dressing room hatch when I was here w/the fratelli (see march first entry)... it said:
nothing here now though - I can see the bulkhead's been painted since and the sage advice has been lost to future generations EXCEPT through this diary I'm chimping now! I meet soundman dave and he's cool people, alright, he's got good spirit and is into fourth man role, I'm real glad to be working w/him. the way the stage is here has brother sam changing his setup some, pedalsby (missingman tom watson's word for a pedal board) being perpendicular to the stage front rather than parallel. I'm set up in two shakes and then visit w/guitarman ryan of one of the openers for tonight, petrol terriers and we have a good time spieling about all kinds of stuff. he remember's "bullfrog blues" by rory gallagher!
us cuz guys do the part of the soundcheck involving me which is the length of the "houdini" tune plus maybe a minute and then I get on the internet to find this actor from england I couldn't think of when I was spiel w/brother sam about what kirsteen said after the glasgow gig, saying he had a cockney accent - I thought a cockney accent was actor mike cain or singer roger daltery when he's talking or this guy - bob hoskins is his name - I really like him... trippy to find out his grandma was roma - respect! the year of birds drummerlady danni comes into the dressing room - this band has oli in it, a man I've collaborated much w/via his detective instinct proj, so kind of him to have me aboard, some I got to be w/him and karen schoemer also. I chow a lambburger - it's ground lamb and not a lamb chop... if I ever had one before it must've been here.
I chimp diary 'til the gig starts and then watch oli, danni and their feedback guitarman open the gig. oli rips it up on his rick bass, he's using my mic cuz I spaced and forgot to bring it w/me. danni's great on drums, I think it was a last-minute scramble due to a sad sitch. I feel lifted by their gig. next are the petro terriers and great drive from bass brother joe, wow, much respect. right in there too w/great sticks and stomps from drummerman jamie (bass I used for lots of the cuz recording was kindly lent to me from another geordie named jamie, the go! team one, love that bass!) and guitarsingerman ryan is lit real good, lifting more - I'm ready to do first cuz gig in newcastle ever!
whoa, this gig is a challenge to say the least. for me the worst part is getting the ear-holes drilled w/blasting monitor-based punished fuck via the keyboard in "spinning basket net" and then not hearing the key for "the slider" encore and having to re-start the tune, head a little bit bent in shame but for brother sam, he had major hell and character building test. I think there was two different problems: the signal chain w/his guitar stuff had major kink killing 'pert-near all his sound w/the guitar amp and then something on the sampler/keyboard end getting out to soundman dave's stuff - maybe a bad direct box or something in this pad's electric plumbing? there was much buzz and hum all through the set besides stuff like charley plymell's voice only working first half of "bad veronica" and things like that but I give both brother sam and the newcastle gig-goers much respect for bearing w/the sitch. brother sam kept on pushing and didn't freak out - it reminded me of the missingmen gig the night that scotty passed away last year on the ides of march in the french part of the alps where he had no guitar the ENTIRE third opera but never stopped to tried to get it happening. of course me and raul never stopped the piece either and just soldiered on. I will never forget that night cuz finding out we lost scotty after gig before konking broke my heart. I loved that man so much... anyway, another thing that made this gig a little different was yammering from two dudes. I gotta say 'pert-near this whole tour every audience has been most kind to us w/focus and respect by letting us do very quiet parts w/out yammering. well, this has nothing to do w/this great town or pad but two dudes couldn't put the cork in the pie hole - I even called them out at "the wheel and the ring" end but to no avail cuz they were in their own world, so be it. I guess seeing people w/the eyeballs tied to their leashes would be just as bad - I'm grateful for the big time kindness people are most generous to share w/us. it is a good gig putting spirit in me. I do wish we could've stuck closer to the times cuz it was work night and I don't like gig-goers abused that but I'm gonna do something about that in nottingham - me and the guys are gonna have a "chat" about it like they say.
I go over to the merch table (such a hassle for me to get the papers, yellow cord, bass and mic in the bass sack - why can't I get better at this?) and this big tall man and his lady who were at the glasgow gig night before last are here again, MUCH RESPECT to them. we talk a bunch about both gigs and also bass, a real nice cat. ben (I last saw him on the stubnitz) gives me his blue oyster cult button - what a treasure! I put it on and wear it proud - I recite some the lyrics to their "o.d.'d on life" tune and explain how I think they re-worked the chorus live much better than the album version although I love "tyranny and mutation" very VERY much. ben wants to move to berlin, I wish him big luck on his mission... I think that berlin will be a very lucky town to get such a righteous cat like brother ben!
the gear is packed but we get to leave both it and then boat here safe at the cluny, thanks so much to gigboss joel - I gotta check out his band apologies he tells me about after a big hug and getting into a cab for a two pound ride (brother eda is amazed how econo the ride is... remember he does a 'car for hire' in brighton for a living), adios 'til next time! his pop was at my last gig there.
the "travel lodge" 'tel has it's elevators out so the staff brings up in the staff one, very kind. whoa, a handicapped room - convenient for my cojo self w/lots of giant handles in the head, I very much dig. why is it on the fourth floor though? it don't matter. I have a real good soak and then soon konk, my last thoughts for some reason are baka self-beatdowns for calling oli's band "year of the bird" both times I thank them like a total fucking baka, so embarrassing. what the fuck is wrong w/me? don't answer!
thursday, september 10, 2015 - nottingham, england
pop at eight, hose off and forcefeed the free-freezed dried coff these 'tel people are kind of enough to provide. today I'm gonna get caught up on diary so I go to town on the chimping. I've been the day before late for 'pert-near a week now, terrible. I can't recall 'pert-near anything if it gets too past and it also takes longer to do cuz of all the more effort it takes to make sense of things. at noon we pull anchor, out front of the 'tel and waiting for the other guys, I get eyes filled w/blue sky - the gray yesterday never got to rain stage and now is nowhere to been seen. finally everyone's here and we return by car for hire (different than cab cuz they can't cruise, must be called). gigboss joel is there to w/the shlep and load-out while I do guardiano and choke down a dry chicken panini (baka, it should be panino!) that miss hiyori was good enough to go get cuz of the involved and those four flights of stairs shlepping the mansack, back pack 'puter sack and bajo really tore me up, I'm most grateful to her. I didn't mention that drama getting down to the lobby, did I? it was scary. we pull anchor at twenty of one, the gray sky of yesterday is gone and filled w/sun though there's plenty of clouds - white ones though. I dump the fucking sack of fucking five or six cheese packages "aging" in what is now a gomi ('trash' in japanese) sack.
it's 160 miles south to nottingham - I ain't played this town in fifteen years, last time was w/j mascis + the fog at a pad called the "boat club" by either a lake or a river... man, it was loud. I'm talking about j, not the pad or the people. still love the guy though, amazing man in a lot of ways. he's invited to come to nyc in early december to celebrate thirty years of dinosaur. there's some neat town names along the way like scotch corner (where the m road turns into an a road for a while, what?) and thirsk ("hey, did you hear that the first gig of thurst's tour is in thirsk?") - it ain't clock face but I still like them. just south of weatherby is boston spa - boston spa is where I lived in upstate new york (near schnectady) when my pop was getting nuke training at a plant ran by g.e. - anyone remember ready killowatt? twenty after two pull over on one at one of those "services" place to switch ponies and check oil. back on the road, twentyfive of four we pass an exit for sherwood forest - little john/friar tuck land, ahoy! half an hour later, brother eda's gotta piss. I ask him has ever worked one? tom watson of my missingmen fucking can, this cat is incredible - he can do little opening bottles to the brim and spill not a drop w/me fucking driving over cobblestones, I shit thee not. the man is phenomenal and every milligram of my respect. he is the big daddy. we get into nottingham twenty of five and right near the "rock" boneyard is where we're playing, we gotta blow-by cuz the load-in's from the rear (I can hear mark stewart saying "that's what she said, har har har!!!")... out the hatch I meet a cat who saw me last year in sheffield and says I singed his poster "I wanna play nottingham" on it - ain't that a trip? I hobble around the corner to the front of the pad I meet co-gigboss russ out front of the maze http://www.themazerocks.com/ even though the sign says "forest tavern freehouse" and we have a good spiel about all kinds of stuff. maybe I brought the california weather, it reminds me of home - hey, I got an email from my ma so I write her back real quick - I spaced on writing her this sunday, can you fucking believe that? terrible of me, terrible.
I pass down the street and see some pretty trippy storefronts, some closed like a trading card autogrph collector - there's an old crhistain church that's been turned into a hindu place now. many diverse peoples on the street. I get a donner down the street at a pad called "uni take out" and I had the cookerman put on raw onions/tomatoes pickled chilies - it's good. padman adam arrives wearing a "vans warped tour" hat (I've done parts of some of those!) and we build a gig on a stage that's got some curve to it so brother sam adapts to a setup sort of like last night at the cluny. co-gigboss russ and me talk about bad knees... he's had eight surgeries, fuck. man, I feel for the guy, truly. soundman phil's into being our fourth man, saw me w/tom and raul at the harley in sheffield, he's got a good spirit. after a couple of hourse of set up, we're ready for me - brother eda's got a new cymbal he got in newcastle
I go out to the bar part of the pad and chimp last night's gig up in my diary 'til I meet the guys part of "the support" (opening bands), the singerman dave of crime wolf who are pretty much a new band (they don't have a pressence yet) he tells me but are gonna record soon and will send me some. I in turn invite him to my pedro town for a tour I'll give him. his two bandmates join us and we do much spiel 'til the gig starts and first up is this man from nearby derby named richard j birkin play soft singing using pedals to play over his melodies and then singing and acoustic guitar. his music is beautiful and I tell him I wanna play his stuff for petra cuz some of his things made me think of her. he says he's gonna be the softest band but from the crowd I tell him that we got soft parts too. he bets me one pound he says from the stage and I reply w/something like "my life against a donought!" and to that he asks "a doughnut?" I tell him about petra when he's done and get to shake his hand, alright. next up is crime wolf and they kind of remind of the gummy stumps from glasgow, kind of. the lineup of guitar, drums and singer/poet is the same but they each have big time their own sound - can't wait 'til they record.
we've worked it out so we can go on at the time the gigbosses asked us to, ten pm. brother sam's gotta piss so that's delayed us some but not much. he should be taking care of that shit a half hour before if he wanted to be more professional about it. I do think I made a breakthrough w/the rest of the band earlier when they agreed to hold off the beginning of the second verse on "song for ronnie" - this fucking far into the fucking tour and brother sam tells me "if eda-san understands this then ok" - what? I don't even know what that means! that tune ain't rock and roll but for fucking sure it ain't :player-piano feed the paper scroll in the here" - c'mon, aleady! play w/some sensitiviy, coddle and cradle the tender parts of the show, charge hard on the hard chargers. the nottingham gig-goers are most kind, beautiful and focused as we bring what we do. for the second time this tour though are two yammerers, maybe three but unlike the two that were still really into our set, these folks tonight are in their own world, working on a night move. I think the co-gigboss russ gave the main yammerer some kind eye (marty feldman eyes?) and yammering it did from then on cease. we have a good time, the nottingham gig-goers very happeing to share good time w/us. one weird thing at the very is brother sam runs off stage w/his amp making all kinds of noise - luckily one of the crime wolf people knows how to stop it. what's that about? he prolly didn't know... I gotta give fourth man/soundman phil a hug for his being there w/us.
I go over to the couch near the merch table and get the good word from the gig-goers, so nice to me - I can't help but smile and laugh in gratitude, shake hand w/genuine grip. a sixtythree year old man (he wanted me to know that, maybe cuz I'm six years younger) wants to talk captain beefheart - fuck yeah, I'll talk captain beefheart! he's beautiful, spirit just bounded from him. the barman comes over to shake my hand and gets a bourbon for me, thank you - I ain't saying for the whiskey but for the true look in the eye that we're here together and it's a good time w/no jive. a younger man tells me he has a band called sick bookies wants advice for the band and I suggest they find their voice by making what they're doing as an ensemble an interesting conversation, that's what I try to do. I show him my thumbprint and explain we already all got an identiy, now how do we make that work to make a vital expression, especially in collaboration w/others. trippy mission, huh? another younger man wants to talk about both jandek and stooges, I'm into it, into it big time. he doesn't wanna bogart and says he's got work in the morning (understood) but gets caught up in the rush of emotions, it's contagious - me too! respect. back in the spring when me and my missingmen worked a gig on that boat in hamburg (see may six entry), this lady nicole was there and she's there to show me a picture of a gold-painted bass I gave to kim gordon years ago, a fender jbass w/thunderbird pickups... she says the guy who took the picture says it's unplayable - what? hey get it fixed! that would be my advice if asked. it still has the b.o.c. sticker on it though, that's strong.
big hugs for the co-gigbosses, phil gives me this mindblow book of some of his art he's done up, whoa! we get to leave the stuff here safe and take the big fucking barge to a nearby "great western" chain 'tel and a tub there makes for a good soak and then konk whups over me, I get took out.
friday, september 11, 2015 - exeter, england
pop at eight and a half to garbage truck wake up sounds but sky full of blue like when we arrived yesterday, thank you! I remember telling brother eda that having a quiet pad is important (he's looking at getting a new pad) but have to admit there's no defense against leaf-blowers in that regard. other than that though, I have very quiet pad in my pedro town and really dig that. it is great blessing, like good weather. we pull anchor from the 'tel and get back over to the venue, a ring on the back doors, a few rings brings a guy who says he knows nothing of the venue, he rents a room upstairs and sells tobacco. we load up the boat w/our stuff, I go check email and find there's been a fund set up to help brother steve - fucking right on. love this slogan to go w/it. all loaded up, bye bye nottingham - see a truck painted up w/a logo saying "wipemasters" - I am a baka not to get a shot of it, damn it.
we drive through "the national forest" - they got a town here called ashby-de-la-zouch, is that a fucking name? yeah! we got some plug around birmingham... hell, not a big wonder seeing as it's this land's second biggest town. it ain't that bad but it wears on brother eda. one pm, we hit a "services" area to do the oil read and switch ponies. I do the car stuff while everyone else heads in to the crapdonald's/kfcknsht - miss hiyori brings me back half a tuna sandwich from a subways which I augment w/chilies from that jar brother phil gave us in liverpool, I use it now as a piss jar - hey, not too deep but the mouf is wide. bye bye m1, soon we're on the m5 to the southwest, brother sam on the rudder. we pass through worcestershire... home of the sauce? I played the big town worcester w/the fratelli a few years ago.
we pull over to another "services" area ten of three just outside bristol (home of the pop group) - I see five hammerheads in their port, it's total plug and hard for us to get to the petrol part of this fucked-up design nonsense shit place. we diesel up but can't clean the windows cuz no fucking squeegee, fuck. there's also plug on the highway, arrrgghhhh... brother eda on the helm, we talk about samplers drummers can use w/their drum set to set off shit at gigs. fortyfive minutes of wheelman is too much for brother eda which is ok w/me, no shame in telling people you're tired. I think in fact it's a healthy thing to do.
right in the middle of downtown exeter is a pedestrian mall and where the cavern is - it'll be my third time playing here, I dig it much. we drop anchor just before the load-in time of five bells and the padboss joel comes to help us shlep, it's down some stairs and the pad itself has quite a vibe - the name ain't an exaggeration. the stage is little so I go for the 4x10 speaker box already there and brother sam is gonna have to literally play behind brother eda but like they say in vaudeville, "work the room" - there's no problem. I love the backstage here, the tiniest ever but still has room for a head! there's a trippy circular 'pert-near a flue thing also besides a whole bulkhead of electrical stuff. pad helperman ben has to come in many times cuz the circuit breakers for some of the lights keep tripping - there's gotta be a short somewhere which is scary, right? I'm talking about potential fire, total nightmare. I say a prayer for the cavern. gigboss jon has provided for w/sandwich fixings so I eat a sandwich which is real stupid cuz pad helperman ben is also a cook and is making up what turns out to be great fucking happening but my gut gets all full on the packaged kind of awful but fucking gut filler - I've ain't done this not every gig this tour but too many times - I hate it. I had some lame chow habits this tour and I have to confront myself over it. of course at my pad I don't do any of this - never eat bread or butter even except sunday mornings when me and my sister chow breakfast w/my ma. also there's the elliptical trainer and my kayak - damn if I don't miss paddling my kayak real bad.
anyway, it's like two and half hours since we've loaded in and damn if the other two guys in cuz are dawdling - soundman jack asks to "get crackin'" cuz there's a curfew tonight. oh man, what the fuck? I ain't part of that kind of shit, no way. arrrrggggghhhh. gigboss jon tells me he think's soundman jack's ready for me but he doesn't understand that these guys take a buttload of time to get things up and checked - my part is .01% of the fucking dealio! it's my fault though for not asking what time we're on stage 'til AFTER the soundcheck - what a baka I am... how long have I been doing this. anyway, I had matt from capri-batterie who's sharing the stage w/us tonight... cool people, I have some jokes w/him. well, we ain't exactly sharing the stage cuz all our shit's bogarting it! they gotta set up on the deck IN FRONT of the stage! they're an interesting band, a baritone guitar (matt) and drums band. matt asks me advice about what kind of speakers will help the more guitar kind of sounds not get lost and I suggest trying ten inch ones instead of twelves or fifteens and maybe a box w/some baffles (tuned holes/vents) to get the octave under while still keeping some punch. I don't know what the "capri" part of their name means but I tell him I went to the island near it call ischia when I did a stooges gig in napoli hoot_stoogestourdiary2006b.html (I also visited pompeii w/brother steve then - see the july twentytwo entry). ischia has pedro connect cuz a lot of the italian immigrants in my town are from there. he never does tell me what his bands name means but they don't matter - they're playing richard hell! "blank generation" - yeah! doors must've just opened...
I try to chow the bolognese pasta helperman ben mad but too ful so I put a plate on top supported by the cholula bottle and lowensenf so the shit don't get squished. I usually don't like chowing after gigs but I think maybe tonight... I watch capri batterie and the only mic they got is on matt's voice, no drums or the baritone guitar amp... whoa, that's weird. now drummy is tearing it up - the last tune has like 150 false endings, I shit thee not. first we're supposed to go on at nine, then 9:15 but ten minutes after that's the soonest - I just don't want are set getting scissored so I get the shit happening soon as the stuff on the deck gets cleared, even as the last stuff gets toted. this band has no intro, we just go. I keep a bunch sideways cuz I don't wanna give brother sam all ass all night, right? it's a good time, I keep looking at brother sam and he's laughing, I do some bent-over moves. first speech done and damn if I don't go into "slipstream" instead of "france gnarl" - no wonder it felt weird, like interesting tuning... I look down at the setlist - yep, what a baka I fucking truly am. both cuz guys look at me like I'm out of my mind and so w/my eyes, I confirm it. we get right but I'm thinking maybe in "sand and boners" I put in an extra verse of bass lick like a bozo... even though the band bears w/me and we ride it out (brother sam vamping and making it sound like we meant it). brother eda waves his hands in to get folks whupped up but I'm big time good vibe from the exeter gig-goers, helps me much from caving into my own shit though this tour's music makes it easy for gigs to be not too much pants-shitters and maybe at this point of my life I'm somewhere that the music I get to be part on this tour brings things in me that ain't so obvious and then maybe somehow I help brother sam and brother eda too, even w/my rough talk at times. the different kind of stage setup we had to use is really a kick for me. I dig it much, the difference. I have a good time.
at the merch table - I get off the stage w/hitting my head cuz yeah, it's my third time and it's like going through water-tight undogged doors on a boat - it's gotten brother sam three times today, damn I feel bad for him. I go to the merch table and all kinds of good word gets shared w/me. I think about brother steve and that sickness on him and how I love him... bobo from cornwall is here w/her boy and gives me some righteous cornwall stuff - wonderful. she wants me to pass on love for brother matt and for damn sure I will big time. we talk about cornwall's robert newton - patron saint of talk like a pirate day - coming up the nineteen later this month. a younger man tells me his pop raised him on "double nickels on the dime" he really dug d. boon's "cohesion" and I tell him so did I - it was a tribute to roy mendez-lopez, a cat who taught him flamenco stuff on guitar, taught us prac was important, taught us much. his pop comes by and I get to meet, talk w/both of them, beautiful. a man my age is going back to boston after twenty years living here. he told more he went back recently and was shocked big time regarding kenmore square. hell, my ma's town where she grew up in wyoming, dines is a ghost town, nothing left. he's a good man. we both agree what can't be changed is the act of change. time is a fucking locomotive, 'nuff said.
gigboss jon helps us shlep gear back up the stairs to the boat, this is a good man who shows it w/doing, no front. it's raining too and he's got no coat on, crimony - respect! we ain't gotta go too far (praise be!) to get to a 'tel called "the bendene" that is so righteous for having parking big enough for our big joke ride and being non-chain, a pad character but not fancy and for a 'tel, I can dig it. longest tub of the tour and ok deep also, big fucking soak for watt. then konk.
saturday, september 12, 2015 - brighton, england
pop at eight bells - no rain clouds out the window, I see a swimming pool though... in england, whoa! I bet this gets a week's worth a work a year. it's in great shape though... my old friend tony was pool man so I know some about it. broke my heart when he passed away five years ago, a very dear friend to me - my longest running friend since my coming to pedro from virginia. every time I see a pool I think of him... he'd take me to the airport or pickup me a bunch of times when my sister couldn't help me w/that... hell, I think of him all the time - like w/d. boon. I gotta tell you learning to lose people is the hardest lesson every I have to learn, I never get used to it... I find my necklace anchor laying on the deck - fuck, it must've got stuck in the blankie and my rolling around snapped the chain... I find the chain - I got both and will get it repaired but I'm very superstitious so I put the anchor in my levis pocket so in a way I'm still wearing it.
tonight's the last gig of the tour. we pull anchor at nine and a half, brother eda at the helm. forgot to chimp about what I chowed for asagohan ('breakfast' in japanese), I am baka - we got free shovel here, made to order england breakfast that ain't all greased-out and tasty. real nice people, I recommend if you gotta konk in exeter! brother sam talks about his three month u.s. in his early twenties, trying to do a luxx tour but getting to see a lot of the country even if the tour crumbled. eleven bells: time to switch ponies and check oil. brother eda sees a compressor to check the tires - great thinking. the tires are down only a pound or two (if you take this machine or the last one as bible), we pull anchor a little sprinkle on us yet w/sun bright through cloud hole, brother sam on the wheel and soon passing weston-s-mare which is where you can get off and see dismaland - if you got tickets... it's gonna run through twentyseven of this month but the only tickets available won't go on sale 'til sixteen - I fly away tomorrow so even if we had the time it's a no-go, damn. rain quits at noon, alright BUT drama now w/the guest list for the last gig... christ... my opinion is for sure it should be brother sam and eda's family members first. brother eda suggests colin newman and his wife and I say if he really wants to then ok but my buddy jose's ticket is gonna be bought by me. so fucking whatever. yeah, north on the m5 and then east on the m4, rain has stopped and the traff does too once we reach the ring road, m25 which is kind of lame for brother sam cuz he wants to switch ponies (he's been driving a whole two hours) but the "services" he thought he could drop anchor at are east of the intersection so we get on the m25 and go... slow... it's a fucking crawl. you know I'm chimping diary. finally we hit a "services" area but it ain't just to switch ponies, it's piss time too cuz well, these guys are allergic to piss bottles. I had a jar in for pissing in just in case and some motherfucker threw it away even thought it was fucking labeled... damn. I ain't used to the way these people tour. I kind of threw a fit too about hanging out in this fucking parking lot when we're only an hour or less away - please get me out of hostage mode SOMEBODY, please! man, watt's got his panties all bunched up, huh? sorry. gomennasai ('sorry' in japanese), truly. venting like this in reality ain't even a nick or scrape into much I love these cats.
we get to brighton about three-forty, brother eda is tripping on how calm it is here downtown for a saturday but you know what? I'm into it. they both say they wish they could tour more but I tell them it would kill them - they talk about going back to "normal life" but I remind them that "normal life" is tour for me - I fucking hate that word "normal" anyway, what a fucking jive way to put things if you really thought about and didn't just have your mouf open and find it spilling out. we're like a block (not even) from the road that runs along the seaside, not far from the brighton pier actually - the pad's called sticky mike's frog bar and damn if don't immediately see across the street a btichin' old synagogue - man, I wish I could go in. this neighborhood's pretty beatup (crimony, you wouldn't believe that pad right next door south of sticky mike's) but it ain't all that pad at this temple - who knows how inside might be way happening. anyway, I look at what I can from outside, do il guardiano work while the rest of the team does down the stairs load-in. fucking do I feel lame-us about not being able to help and stair at my converse in shame... just then two dudes who know brother sam arrive to help out, trippy how that happened. one just got back from berlin and saw fratello andrea - small fucking world, righteous!
low overhead where we play, soundman is tom and I give him the spiel about the fourth man. I also warn him about the big setup the rest of cuz, how long it takes - when it comes to my part of the soundcheck, he wants another tune but I gotta tell him sorry, not enough time. I hobble over later to his desk and apologize for the two hour load-in/set-up, that's one of the probs and also tonight there's a curfew here so we gotta get the ball rolling early, two acts before us and I want them to be able to check. one's called joeyfat and they're most kind to let the cuz up prevail on stage. bassman jay asks me if he can use the amp that I'm using from the go! team - hell yeah, I tell him, would be honored to! he's cool people. he 'pert-near looks like he's california but don't tell him that, ok? proud to share the stage w/him being from tondel hill too. javi from grasshoper gives me tshirt w/a penny farthing bike oriented towards "the prisoner" and I'm most grateful. he's cool people and he's also underaged but I tell him I'll hide him hear in the dressing room cuz I can. last year I got to see him and his play not too far from here, closer to the sea and near the sand. he's got a genuine spirit, respect. the gigboss is colin and this is the man who's put me on the last two times in brighton, he also helped big time brother sam get the whole tour together. he's done some homemade pico de gallo that is fucking happening - best salsa of the tour by a mile and I ain't trying to blow any smoke up the yang either. there's some salami and some camembert cheese I use w/the senf miss hiyori brought from germany - am really grateful for that. england's got great mustard but damn if there ain't any w/this sandwich stuff brother sam asked for - w/out mustard on sandwich I feel like I'm trying to pound down a glass of sand, I shit thee not.
the gig's about to start - oh, luke from the audacious art experiment came by w/copies of the seven inch w/howie reeve me together - he's nice people and I wanna have him on my radio show to talk about his journey through music... I tell him we'll do it when I get back home, maybe next week. it's trippy I'm gonna home only tomorrow after this twentyfive day adventure that seems like only a day or two - that's day by day tour mode my head gets in, huh? yep. first on is daniel wakeford who brother sam knows through gareth and the carousel people who I think are really happening helping folks. daniel's got words he sings that really inspire me, great stuff for a tour's last gig - thank you big time, daniel. next are joeyfat and I watch them w/colin next to me - not the colin gigboss (he's working the door) but colin newman. whoa, he's here at the gig! crimony, I better have it fucking together. joeyfat is inspiring for me also - I found later the drummerman didn't like being out front but he did it to help the gig, most kind man. the two guitarmen have greta report w/each other w/the music, there's no fluff, just enough - actually very interesting conversation and that includes the singerman wearing xmas lights and working the deck (the stage's too full). I talk to one of the guitarmen after giving praise to each bandman and damn if he didn't share the stage w/me before, he was in a band called headquarters when me and the fratelli did our first gig for colin, at the prince albert here in brighton a couple of yeas ago. I ask him about the one pocket flannel too, what is up w/that? I give him a big hug.
our turn at nine and a half, right in line to finish and beat the curfew. gigboss colin runs a tight ship, I like that. everyone has a good time too. my amp won't work! nope, joeyfat bass brother jay like a responsible cat would. I think I'm nervous - I can't find the paper w/the walt whitman words on it - they survived the whole tour. I had to make a new setlist cuz someone grabbed the second one I've had to make last night in exeter (no big deal) but that's just a list of thirteen song titles - yeah, maybe it's a good time to list what we did every gig this tour:
cuz 2015 tour set list
the last tune's a t-rex cover from an album of theirs w/the same name. brother does the last first click-in of the tour and we're off, the gig's on. brother sam's singing and playing great like usual and same w/brother eda w/his drum set - love it that gets to do it for two of his three sons, I let the twelve year old play my bass earlier, the younger one a little shy but both are beautiful. I'm so nervous I'm shaking like a leaf - especially when I look over and there's colin newman and malka right there to the side, stage starboard, crimony! I clam the last note of "fickle fortune" - at least it was in key but fuck... I rally myself. actually I had trouble w/the tune before cuz of maybe standing waves cuz of the lower overhead? I look over at brother sam but maybe I'm the only one hearing it wrong. for sure there's a funky overtone on the snare... luckily I ain't stupid enough to let this throw me all the way and ruin the gig. I do have a little trouble w/the spiel in "song for ronnie" cuz of dudes yammering like only a foot or two from me - borracho stuff like at some u.s. gigs where you got boys and girls all hammered who don't even know what band is playing. I know I set myself up for this kind of stuff using pianissimo but I really believe playing w/dynamics makes your band stronger and more interesting. life is about taking fucking turns, not one dimension - either all in hale or all exhale. for the last time I tell everyone to start their own band and the tour's done.
w/a trembling hand I shake colin newman's and tell him what a pants-shitter it was to play w/him there, I owe the man so much. I'm thinking of d. boon. I'm shaking shaking his shoulder. I hobble upstairs, I don't mean to be so embarrassing. the good word from many folks I'm most grateful to get, even the sticky mike's padboss and the "lady behind it all" he explains. he's got a velvet jacket like brother jay in manchester had, like marc bolan had, crimony! lots of most special spiel from the gig-goers, some shortscale bass advice for a hit of bourbon from a good cat I last saw at the windmill in brixton. there's a man from the south shores part of my pedro town, he's living here now - we talk about back home... whoa, there's ms kaori from the go! team (she came?!) and her old bossman ian (him too?!) - he only gets in one sentence but says it again after I cop to clams I blew - he says "it's a good band" and you can't know how much that means to me. I can still him saying now, "it's a good band" - whoa. then, out of nowhere comes a hand, coming for my hand... it's jamie (it his bass on all the recorded cuz stuff) and like a dream his face is right there and it seems like he's in a forest green track suit and he says there's a train waiting and I try to say the names of his daughters but I think I fuck up and stumblebum like a baka. whoa, just like that... it's more gig-goers but I'm kind of spaced a little... I do get it together enough to thank both colins that were here tonight for us very VERY much, reflex move cuz in my heart it just came out. I then get a little spacey again but do spiel w/good-hearted folks, then fanny helps me out - she helped cuz out last year w/the two radio appearances I still can't believe happened but were totally instrumental in making this tour a year later happen. chris davies from bleeding heart recordings joins her - I tell him I wanna help him all I can... the sticky mike padboss brings me a bourbon and there's disco music going so I get up and start dancing the best I can, very strange but I just felt I had to do it. fuck maybe a little while's worth, I don't know but I'm sure I didn't tumble or crumple, thank god. trippy way to end a tour but a happy one.
romy rides w/us as we head for henfield where brother eda lives, about ten or something miles northwest. she's got a big trip to the u.s. coming - I ask here if it's her first and she said no, she got to do california one w/her family as a teenager and I try to help her remember her route I think some of it was p.c.h. cuz of her remembering the elephant seals all laid out on the beach (she mentions "pismo" also) and prolly us-101... hearing about california starts resonating heart strings w/watt - I wanna paddle my kayak at cabrillo, I wanna holler hola to the pelicanmen! I'm sure glad I got to be part of the tour though, I tell brother sam has a huge heart. you know what? I think this was before we started driving, it might've been still at the pad when I was huffin' and puffin' after all that hobbled hoofin" - damn my memory, only the next fuck day too (I'm chimping this on the flight, we're fighting some turbulence now). at his pad, brother eda breaks out some soba soup for me, kaiso (seaweed, fucking great!) and even some sochu. we have a good time. so glad to hear that three of brother sam's sisters were at the gig too, it meant a lot to me his family could see - hopefully the rest, including his ma and pop too next time. I konk not too far away on the living room deck.
pop at seven bells, hose off and shave. I got the "going home shirt" laid along w/levis and chonies washed from a week ago for "going home outfit" and having mercy on the people riding in the plane w/me. I've done that to people before in the old days and it was terrible. gudren makes me coff, very kind. the two boys pop later as I chimp the last of the exeter diary entry... time is running out so I'm nervous and can't chow - we have to get the yellow jacket from brother sam's sister's pad on the way to where the bus (national express) to london heathrow shove's off from in the downtown, a couple of blocks from the pier. arrrggghhhh, baka move: the driver's side window is a little down but this is a safe neighborhood it seems. speaking of baka moves, one time in birmingham, alabama I went to the boat in the morning to discover some baka (me, I was the baka) left the driver's side window ALL the way down, crimony! I am so baka sometimes, more baka than both the two cuz guys put together, I shit thee not! I'm too nervous to chow but it sure looks good - I grab one small sheet of nori (roasted seaweed), mmm... love it. finally we shove off, I wish the two boys much luck in life. lots of motorcycles on the road... in my pedro town it's like that on weekends, I guess "weekend bikers" maybe and the lots of loud pipes, something VERY common back home (you prolly can hear them sometimes on my radio show - not so much in the background!). we get to brother sam's sister jess' pad and get my yellow coat - much thanks from me for not just that but getting to fucking konk here while we prepped up the band to do a gig, make a tour - what an incredible contribution to the whole reality on the dealio, I am most grateful big fucking time! I would bow deep if I wasn't strapped into the seat. last time I get out of this ride once more when we arrive where we're supposed to - I'm glad she made it and we got here safe but man, she needs to be taken care of bad. thank you, boat.
gray skies and looking like rain but it holds off - we get one last picture together, the band that did the cuz "tamatebako" album live. whoa, still can't believe it but boy do I feel big time honored to be a part of it, truly. last hugs are actually on the bus - bye bye brother sam and brother eda, watt loves you much. more sun as we go north, some stops at gatwick and total plug north of there, we gotta take the ring road but I budgeted in time for this so that helps w/easing nerves and my onaka ('stomach' in japanese) - I got prac w/tom and raul tomorrow! despite the plugged traff (actually it's mostly caused by motherfuckers looking looing on some wrecks - just like in the u.s., being baka is universal), get to london heathrow central bus station only four minutes later than scheduled, happening. air new zealand in terminal two, that's where I hobble to and it ain't much longer 'til they announce the gate so I get some katsu curry at chow pad called "yo! shushi" (can you think of more cornball name or what?) that's only five pounds and ain't that terrible for 'port chow. actually I get a can of that citris san pellagrino soda water which I love (dig mandarin flavor too) and it could prolly help was down dog turd if I had to chow that. hobbling towards my gate which is kind of far, and airport workerman asks if I would get in this electric and let the driverman get me closer to where I need to be, whoa - very kind. only about fifteen minutes before boarding when I get there - damn if things were getting cut of short, huh? very lucky watt. funny contrast is me then experiencing big rudeness from two separate assholes (in line and on plane) flying higher class than me while trying to get to the back of this 777-300 but I ain't gonna waste any more effort chimping about here in my diary than I already have. I got an aisle seat in the fiftysecond row w/the seat next to empty, lucky watt! I see a movie called "lost river" that is kind of strange and ain't totally mersh to me and has a good heart but ain't up to the work by mr joan cornella maybe? I do know rob from possum dixon was in it, good cat - didn't know he was in this 'til I saw him... someone told me he got into doing magic acts, respect to him. here's one I could see much of and I add another round w/is the 40s movie "the big sleep" which has got some plot (mr chandler via mr faulkner) and I am way into humphrey bogart. how many scenes in the pad w/the head that opens to hide the camera? finally that head gets bashed! that head always used to weird me out. the plane lands after ten and a half hours in the air. immigration and customs now has automated kiosks to help w/passport control and I think it is quicker. my sister melinda's here to pick me and get's me to my pad in pedro just before nine pm, whew. sure glad I got to do first cuz tour ever, sure glad now to be able to konk on my own deck. it sure seems life is about taking turns...
this page created 28 august 2015