mike watt + the missingmen
read the tour diary!
not too long ago original missingmen drummerman raul morales along w/paloma brought on board new shipmate sofie so that means no more big tours for him but of course he will be on missingmen recordings and local gigs he can do... raul is now a pop! not too long ago, original missingmen guitarman tom watson lost his pop and now he's like me (lost mine in 1991), we're both missing our pops. it's for that reason I named this sally forth the "dick watt tour 2019" - named after my pop which is also the name of the next missingmen album, continuing the theme. me and tom have been touring for twenty years now! crimony. standing in for raul this tour is big man nick aguilar who we all think is up for the job. we've been doing prac 'pert-near every day a month before the tour I did bass for flipper and the three weeks since. d boon, me and georgie went to school w/his pop rudy (san pedro high, class of 1976) so in a way it's a total connect - ain't life a trip?!
"dick watt tour 2019"
I wonder if mr vonnegut knew about discordianism cuz damn if "cat's cradle" didn't come out THE SAME YEAR (1963) greg hill and kerry thornley came up w/their trip - I've let folks know before how much the erisian stuff had on me, the "principia discordia" especially (I got a version on my hoot page, been there since I put my site up). anyway, it tripped me out enough to pass on to bob-san in new mexico. uncle ray's always foisting this and that on me but this had a genuine resonance I could related to, thank you much uncle ray. I'm supposed to see him later today, he moved from ohio (cleveland) to virginia (gloucester) not too long ago to live w/a cousin.
weather is in righteous so cal mode when we pull anchor at one and I wheel us across the potomac and by the jefferson memorial and all the sakura trees, pentagon next and then it's plug city on the I-95... it takes 'pert-near three hours to do 114 miles. arrive five before the four pm load-in time, soundman alex already there to help us out. free parking right out front too. soundman alex is into fourth man mode, great cat. he likes our quick check too. right after eric the smokeman and christina of saucy (they live in petersburg) bring the greatest q for us - third time now for me and damn is it righteous shovel - I use my hashi to keep me from getting too crazy. it's so good - I ain't trying to just say bland gratuitous hot air, I really mean I really dig it and there's much symphony in my mouf w/all the different parts of their chow choir they brought and damn did they bring - we go a buttload for breakfast tomorrow. I hope this great chow gets my bowels together cuz while we were setting up for soundcheck, I was pissing out my yang - VERY LOOSE bowels and farts blowing like like a fucking sirocco.
I am fucking beat cuz no nemaki last night (had to get washed cuz of night before) and fuck if I ain't got so used to konking in them that's it's hard now for me not to! I meet some of the openers j clyde morris guys who are very kind to me but fuck if later I don't fuck up their name cuz of bad memory when I try to thank them from the stage. baka watt. I go to the boat and konk hard, I mean hard. I do pop while the second band piranha rama are still playing and kind of hear them in the boat as I chimp diary. tom comes w/the throatcoat ocha fifteen before ten, good man. he appears ready to go and it's inspiring.
ten on the dot I bring us on, the gig-goers here in richmond are ready to go - whoa, virigina-california connection. we bring it, one of the strongest beginnings for us this tour. I still wanna work more on dynamics w/this b.o.c. tune - same w/my own "statement" cuz coming out "forever/one reporter's opinon" he's got those opening chords just too thick and bogarting. I don't write much on guitar but I did do that and I was inspired by curtis mayfield - d boon picked right up on that. there's a rug in the corridor I work behind big man and fuck if right after the tune toddski did together w/me that I crumple - I stay up for a while and try to balance but then I realize I'm going down and go into bring in the elbows and shoulders, prepare for roll and tumble mode. nothing gets hurt - the wattplower even stays in tune! "down goes frazier" I tell the gig-goers, so sorry I am for prolly scaring the living shit out of them but it ain't on purpose - I'd rather have this weakness than something wrong w/my hands or having to sling a colostomy sack. gotta keep stuff in perspective... I've actually learned to protect myself when I feel that feel and first-most, try to keep myself out of possible danger, like looking way down the road when I'm at the rudder in the boat. very happening gig though - I blame the gig-goers and both tom and the big man for bringing it, crimony. so fortunate watt gets to be w/all involved tonight, so fortunate.
I sling some shirts and get the good word from the people - so much they wanna tell me about the old days... I SO MUCH wanna let them know how grateful I am that they're here now - sure, I appreciate much ever gig-goer that was ever so kind to see me at gigs past but put yourself in my shoes and find at sixtyone that people w/big hearts don't want me just in their pasts as a memory but are still willing to give me a chance in the fucking NOW! whoa, that's a mindblow for me and a HUGE reason I keep pushing and pushing. I don't wanna take anyone or any of this for granted, I've always wanted to earn it, not just skate on whatever that in long run is prolly jive. does this make sense? unlcle ray's here w/his cousin - he's living in glouster, virginia these days. good to see him but I ain't got much time to rap w/him which is too bad but the reality on dealio... so sorry, uncle ray.
the boat loaded up, I settle w/production repman justin up in the wheelhouse. he's most kind - lots of peeps you do gigs for these days are most kind - can't say it was always like that in the older times but you know what? maybe you work for an asshole once, maybe kind of baka to go back to someone who thinks you're just a pile that needs to get blown out of their yang. crimony. I wheel us to brother kyle's in mechanicsville, takes a little bit but it's worth it.
maddux is there to greet us, growing up! I'm here to witness. six dogs make for a righteous welcome also. I don't use much words w/them cuz I believe they mainly live in a world of smells, even w/their barks. I just want them to know I love that the pack is here and they want me a part. I hose off soon after - real good to get kurei ('clean' in jap) cuz I sweat so much usually working gigs - the navy used to have to give my pop salt pills when he was in engine rooms many decks down in the boats so maybe it's in my genes. I don't mean to blame anyone, kind of like that w/my knees. anyway, I get out the head and see big man so I talk to him about my top barefaced box being sideways and cuz of that the logo's sidewise but function's gotta be a priority over looks in this sitch. I say that cuz he got a little bent when I asked him to put the front kick drum head where the hole is starboard for easier micing that way and who cares if the brand name is perpendicular w/the deck, I mean really? crimony. he says he gets me. I really try, I always talk big man eye to eye and never look down on him, he deserves respect.
I got an appointment brother kyle made for me for boat maintenance early in the morning so I can't spiel too much though damn if I don't wanna! it's always a good time at brother kyle's, always. righteous connect, truly.
tuesday, october 15, 2019 - carrboro, nc
I wake up in Maddux's bed at about 10AM. I slept pretty damn good I think. After taking a hot shower, I go downstairs to get some coffee in me, and Kyle cooks up some eggs for me to pair with leftover barbeque we had yesterday - such a damn good breakfast, my god. We pull anchor from Kyle's at about 12PM, and we're off to North Carolina. I've never been to NC, but I'm eager to see what the shows will be like here. I've heard much about Cat's Cradle, so I'm also really excited to play here for the first time, and hopefully not the last.
We get to the venue a tiny bit early which is nice; it's always better to be early than late. The soundman for the day Will is really friendly and helps us set up and soundcheck quick. When I go outside to grab mike when it's his turn to check, he's talking with the man himself, Jon Wurster! One of my favorite drummers. He's coming to the show later too, awesome. After soundcheck, I walk upstairs to the green room, and try to catch up on diary for a little bit while I drink Topo Chicos. I get a little hungry and walk over to this place called The Spotted Dog with Tom. I get down on a greek salad with a side of their hummus and pita which is righteous.
Early show tonight for us, we're on at 9. The opening band tonight is The Paul Swest, and we are even crashing at the guitar player's house tonight, Phil. As I'm outside waiting to go on, I give my dad a call to catch up with him. I love my dad, and I'm starting to miss him a lot, my ma too. When I don't see my parents for a long period of time, it makes me appreciate them a lot more...I think that goes for everybody. After I hang up with him, some borracho guy (I forgot his name) tries picking my brain about a bunch of random and pointless topics, and I hate to sound like an asshole here, but wow, some people need to learn to not step over their boundaries. This guy even puts his hands on me like he's known me for years which made me extremely uncomfortable. Not in a malicious way or anything, but still. Alcohol does amazing things. Luckily, my friend Sarah who lives in Raleigh, drove out to come see the show, and she's here to steal me away from that "conversation". Sarah is a friend of mine who I met in Long Beach mutual friends, and love for Ween - she was even nice enough to hook it up with tickets for Ween's double-night-header at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO last year! Those were two great gigs I will surely never forget. We only get to rap for a bit, because I gotta go set up the stage to play.
I'm really feeling this gig tonight. I can tell that the people in the front are really stoked to be here. We sound really good. My timing is a lot better than it was last night too, especially on "The Red and The Black" - sometimes I tend to rush this one right in the beginning. In fact, Mike says that my only problem with my drumming is that I tend to rush sometimes. I think this is just because it's easy to get ahead of myself during a gig, and forget how important it is to lock in with a bass player. Eye contact with him is so important and I need to continue to do my best to make that connect with him for the rest of these shows. Besides that - I can feel us getting tighter and tighter with every gig now; progress is being made. Not just performance wise, but our stage presence is a lot more natural and together as well. Great fucking show from us I think. I get the chance to talk with Mr. Wurster for a little bit after the show and he has nothing but nice things to say. I'm really glad that he enjoyed the show. As we're packing up, I say goodbye to Sarah and tell her that I hope to see her in Long Beach soon, because I'm probably not going to be in North Carolina for a good while.
We head to Phil & his wife Shannon's house after we pack up. They're very sweet and accommodating; there's lots of sparkling water here that I chug, Truly's too! Ohhhhh yeah. I get ready for bed downstairs in my konk area with Tom. We don't have to be up early tomorrow, so I'm ready to try to catch up on some sleep.
kyle makes coffee and food and we shove off to carborro. we play cat's cradle, a staple for us, but tonight, like the black cat in dc there is a new smaller live room added in back, which looks really good for us. before gig time i walk down the street to get a cesar salad with seared ahi tuna on top. we drink tea backstage and listen to phil's band play some freestyle jazzification. before gig time i see mac who has some music for our travels and after gig we load and see john w in the crowd. afterwards at phil and shannon's we talk some and eat some and i take a bath and sleep on a mattress downstairs.
pop at seven and a half - I gotta get to the bad brother kyle set up for the boat to get maintenanced at. it's kind of a drive but the weather's good BUT... no go w/the so and so "pre-owned" "all models" type of pad, I need 100% ford pad so huge thanks to brother kyle for trying but... get fuel on the way back for $2.20/gallon though, most econo of the tour. brother kyle cooks me up scrambled eggs to go w/the saucy bbq ribs that are leftover from last night. his boy maddux won't chow breakfast and is kind of in grumpy mode. I've notice slow-go for more-younger types... see it in the big man even. you realize watt ain't around more-younger people much - or even the other kind! I am and have ben man-alone mostly for the last 'pert-near thirty years? you lose touch and the way I am, crack of dawn is 'pert-near the pinnacle of my day - you don't how much gets written or recorded by me at the crack of dawn. also that's when my biggest chow of the day is had, a start cooking it up soon as the first piss is done and coff is on the make. look, people are different, as it should!
I do internet work and chimp diary while doing parallel universe w/spiel w/brother kyle 'til pull anchor time at noon - last hug for a while for brother kyle - I wheel us south on last fucking section of I-95 we gotta do on this tour and then southwest on I-64. a little more than a hour later at dimwiddie, I gotta drop mr brown off at the pool - hey, no butt-spray and only solids, good color too and plus they're floaters. we cross into north carolina right around two and half way to durham a pull us over so tom can drop some off at the lake. still not out of the woods but my gut bugs are getting reassembled. man, that was a rough two days - my levis and chonies can testify... we cross into north carolina about three (byebye virgina), so much poplar and kudzu outside the window since brother kyle's - I gotta tell you about an incident in durham: some bozo is drafting someone who has a blowout, pieces of tire everywhere and of course they both freak out - the blow-out guy starts heading for the outside shoulder from the fast lane and the tailgater starts zig-zagging... this is one reason I keep a big cushion ahead of me so I got time to deal w/this kind of shit and I get us safe w/a big slow it down. whew. anyway, the so cal weather holds and we're at the back of the cat's cradle in carrboro (just a little ways across the border from chapel hill) five before four, five minutes early. padboss doug is there to greet us. padboss dough set up boat maintenance for tomorrow morning at a real ford dealership for me! he has topo chico tansan ('sparkling water' in jap) too! what a mensch! righteous people! I've been to four of the five cat's cradles, this one being the most but never to this back room - it's new to me since I've been gone away so long (baka watt). soundman will has done my sound in so cal, he used to live there. he's righteous people too and way into fourth man mode w/the knobs. much respect. we do soundcheck and miss hiyori gets recommend for china chowpad across the street (she told me some asshole driving a car and using a leash was distracted and 'pert-near ran her over crossing the street and didn't even care or apologize, total fucking asshole'pert-near killed her, fuck! she's shaken w/frear some. crimony,, GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE - FOCUS WHEN YOU"RE DRIVING, BE SAFE!) but maybe the worst wonton soup of the tour - not unhealthy but just watery and no taste/feel of nutrition. noodles we too were sopped and most unsubstancial I'm sorry to chimp here. important time now too cuz of my below the waist probs. I need bulk - raw onions to help build flora... I gotta go move the boat - fuck, no parking as I circle and circle and circle - I even circle and circle in chapel hill on main drag franklin like a baka (wrong turn) but finally find a place in an italian chowpad next door to the front of the cradle and get a cold "italian sub" sandwich which I'm surprised is so good. I chow it in the boat and the konk hard as fucking 'pert-near possible. crimony.
tom rousts me at a quarter before ten w/a tiny cup of hot throatcoast ocha - damn I gotta get a big one like that idaho baby I donated earlier in the tour like a baka. damn, I missed local openers the paul swest which is really a shame cuz one of the bassmen, phil, is where we're konking tonight! I just ain't strong enough and need the konk, fuck, it's a reality I have to face. so sorry to phil and his band. so glad he made it on the bill though. the carrboro gig-goers are full of feeling for us as we bring it, most grateful watt is amazed at this and doesn't take it for granted, I push harder. I gotta stop the first tune cuz I can't hear the 'd' chord in the chorus - there's really bad standing waves causing all kinds of weird stuff... luckily soundman will comes to the rescue and gets that shit handled - thank you BIG TIME, brother soundman will. this happened to ig the first gig the reunited stooges did at coachella, ig stopped "dirt" and asked if we were in the right key - tonight was the exact same thing happened to me! I told ig yeah and he then to me, "start it again" just like I told big man. crimony. that was physical acoustic prob but there's also a human being prob: there are two yammerer's that wanna bogart every soft section, they're totally in their own bubble and damn if they ain't like only six or something feet from in front of the stage! I break an 'a' string (second string break of the tour - that ain't happened in a good while!) on the last note of the stooges' "tv eye" and decide to end the gig there so these bogartin yammerers can't make for any more drama - the most kind carrboro gig-goers don't deserve that.
I don't really sling, only some xl shirts are left - I do get the word from so many kind people. both superchunks mac and jon are here (actually jon had a big rap w/me while I was forcing down that mazui caldo and gave me some b.o.c. cufflinks - thank you so much, most kind jon) and I got big hugs for them. jumbone's here, he lost his brother tahred and I'm so tore up about this - very sad for me... I hug him a real long time, loved his brother much. losing people is a lesson I never learn, it's always very hard.
I get the boat backed into the back, a little hard but I do the go-slow and get it done. ownerman brother frank is here to do the settlement in the boat w/me, man oh man am I so glad to hug him - I actually saw him standing w/chuck jon while the gig was on, something hard for me cuz I'm so focused on my men. it's good catching up again. we spiel about all we can spiel - lots about my bookerman steve kaul which I've been w/now thirtytwo years. much respect. so glad I could give brother frank a clean gig, he's supported for a buttload of years.
I wheel us to standup bassman phil's pad in the woods of chapel hill, fucking herr garmin puts us on I nightmare ditch path that thank god is short and we survive arrive alive at his pad which is bitchin. phil's got epsom saltz and a tub for hot water for me, yatta! shannon too is so kind, she makes room for the air mattress and has cans and bottles (both!) of tansan for us. after the big soak (oh my god, I 'pert-near dissolved), I spiel as much as I can w/brother phil, gotta get some gas in the take so I can get the boat over to the maintenance dealio at eight tomorrow morning... I get a real good konk in. thank you big time, phil and shannon.
wednesday, october 16, 2019 - asheville, nc
I wake up at about 9AM. It's raining outside pretty heavy. We don't have to leave until about 12PM, so I take my time waking up. Mike is gone servicing the boat. I hop in the shower and put on some James Brown to try to start my day with some positive attitude. After I get dressed and ready for the day, I rap with Phil as I make some oatmeal for breakfast, stoked on that. He also has some lunch meat and sandwich bread, and he lets me make a sandwich for the road.
We get to Asheville at about 5PM. A younger cat (he's 25 years old) named Zandy is doing sound for us today and he's excited & eager to be our fourth man for the day. After we're done with soundcheck, Tom and I eat a nearby coffee shop / casual restaurant that has a cool hippy vibe to it,& we both get down on some different salads that are both really good. Mine is a greek chicken salad, and I also have some way tasty sweet potato with it on the side.
There's a lot of people here tonight, and I do my best to get myself pumped up before going on stage...breathing exercises, fast-paced walking outside, jumping up and down, etc. 9:30 and we're on. Hell, am I feeling it tonight. The crowd has some young folk right in the front with smiles on their faces, obviously stoked to be there and digging it hard. Dynamically we are super on it tonight too, I feel. I make a lot of eye contact with mike throughout, and the audience as well. It's really hot on stage, but I prefer this - the more I sweat, the better I play. I think for the rest of the gigs, I'm going to tell the sound guys to keep it hot on the stage, at least for me, if that's possible. Don't want to make Mike and Tom sweat any more than they already do. The only challenge is a good amount of unnecessary yammering from this audience that's a bit of a bum out. During Mike's spiel toward the end of the set, some guy shouts "HEY MIKE, WHO'S YOUR DRUMMER?" and Mike immediately responds "Yeah why don't you shut the FUCK up?", and the audience bursts into laughter and tells this guy to shut his mouth. Overall, this is a really great gig for us, I'm proud.
We head to a hotel for the night after loading out. Tom and I are sharing a room. As he's in the bathtub, I hear a knock on the door. It's Mike, & he's just sporting a towel around his waist - "I BRING YOU SALTS, MAN" - he's holding a big bag of Epsom salts for me and Tom to use. Hell yeah, thanks Mike. I lay down for bed, eager for Atlanta tomorrow; I've never played a show there before. We're also doing Adult Swim's FishCenter. I'm a huge fan of Adult Swim's content, so I'm really excited to see what that is going to be like.
it' raining in the morning and we a slow start to the journey west to ashville. we stop for food once and arrive at load in time. it's windy and chilly outside as we load in. it's a nice live room/bar with a large downstairs backstage. i have a couple friends here and reach out to them to see if they would like to check out the show. then nick and i go around the corner and order food at a nice organic type place. i get a greek salad with steak on it, that has become my go to dinner before gigs these days. back at the club we meet the other band and we talk a bit downstairs. cool people. soon the room fills up and the shows goes well, fun show for me, relaxed. after packing up i see my friends mason and summer and we talk and they offer their place for us to stay but we already booked a motel. damn it, next time. after that we head to a best western and sleep.
pop at six and a half. I gotta get the boat to ford dealership in hillsborough about twelve miles north but it's raining pretty hard and of course people are driving like assholes - on an undivided road too, fuck! I mean what the fuck?! why?! fucking assholes. I get there safe though and the serviceman is good people, inspects the boat and finds the front balljoints got maybe a quarter inch of play - I've been feeling some vibration when using the brakes but was thinking it might be the rotors out of true - he says it might be a combination of the two. I'll get to that soon as I'm back in my pedro town. I thank him much. it took two hours - no prob, I chimp diary in the meantime, getting back to phil's a little easier cuz the rain let up but the fucking assholes on the road didn't AND I took a wrong road in hopes of making frau garmin recalculate a better route but that diceroll turned up craps... took twice what it took on my first drive! baka watt. I have good spiel w/phil - I stopped him from playing music and then relented cuz of course that would've broke his "no grumpiness" rule and I didn't wanna be an asshole. phil's from virginia and has very interesting spiel, lots of cross connects... so glad I got to spend time w/him.
pull anchor at twenty of one, twentytwo miles up an undivided road (nc-54) in the rain (not as bad as this morning but...) w/motherfuckers tailgating... get on the intestate (I-85) and head west 'til more west on I-40 (from there about two hundred miles to where we need to be)... rain quits soon I take us off for fuel in burlington while get dropped miss hiyori and tom get subway sandwiches near this fucking giant and I mean giant "granddaddy's antique mall" - I mean this pad was HUGE. crimony. my sandwich is pumped up w/way too much mayonnaise and damn if I ain't gotta blow it out but a stop at some little store had a lady say there's no head (right, how does she pull a full shift w/out using the head) so I say fuck it and will wait for the venue which is fucked up cuz I think turd is so poison you gotta dump (literally) soon as possible (but like I told big man, don't push), get rid of that crap. I've heard some people dump once a week - what the fuck is that about? first time I think I get it right and call my ma on a wednesday - I wanna call her twice a week instead of once cuz of her health... I spaced and was a couple days late - never on sunday but these wendnesday ones have had me fuck up it's good to talk w/her always, I love to hear her voice and she's always there for me and cares for me and my people much. I love my ma. major plug cuz of a truck losing a tank for a water tower - what? be careful people! there's a few more wrecks and a plug getting into asheville but we arrive alive at the mothlight (on the awning out front it reads: "the mothlight at mr fred's") and there's a cone for us for parking right at the hatch but also includes someone who should really think about how they treated someone who's working their town that night parked in front of us. no wonder that fucking clown won, I'm thinking. I say I'll be konked in the boat before the gig if there's any prob and we can work it out.
the gigboss jeff is cool people and so is padman dennis. it's been a long time since I've played asheville, maybe it was w/j? a good talk w/soundman xandy and he likes the idea of fourth man w/the band - in the band! after check I meet joe, ryan and mike of minorcan - really nice cats, really nice. joe says he did a tour that was 75,000 miles long and it blew up their van - fucking 75,000 miles?!! that makes my tours seem piddly (maybe twelve thousand miles for this one?), much respect to him. ryan says minorcan tours regionally, no big hellrides. my chow tonight is a real good one: from a pad called "foothill" close by, miss hiyori chooses a spinach salad w/feta cheese, walnuts, cubes of beets and onions w/a hunk of brisket cooked real good - her choice and she it had chow she knows from germany. she did righteous pick for me. I go to the boat and konk - you know it: hard.
I pop w/tom rousting me and w/a small mub of throatcoat ocha that kind of cools off quick cuz it's samui ('cold' in jap) - I had to konk w/the yellow coat zipped up, orange knit hat on and w/draped w/one blankie. I take to both mouthfuls - yeah, small mug... we gotta work on that. I go through the peeps to get to the stage - kind of like a tall cupboard and sounds that way but that's over-ruled by most happening fire brought by the asheville gig-goers though I gotta use cuss words on some cuz they wanna bogart the gig w/yammering - fuck, I do only two spiels the whole set! anyway, the band plays really good. I got new strings on, all four of them and they don't stretch much, love this wattplower. I did pull on them good before though but still. I blow some clams but not bad - big man blows a couple of verses of "this road" but he got one good - we've organized his hihat playing for that one now that I feel he's got a lot of the other tunes down. he's rushing parts of "beacon sighted through fog" also but a lot drummers w/me have done that - ask raul and/or jer. he's on a good path and so is tom. I'm really proud of these guys, really proud and grateful. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm overusing those words, I don't wanna sound jive cuz I feel this stuff in my heart.
I don't sling much cuz we ain't got much, just a few xl tshirts. I do the memory lane strolls w/people intent on recounting olde-timey gig-goings and they're all good people and I'm grateful to them like my guys are w/playing, I wish I could convey that enough to them. one lady goes off on me cuz - actually I don't know why exactly but she keeps showing me pictures her brother took from 82/83/84 whatever she thinks they're from and yes, I think they're very nice but I can't spend forever w/this stuff and this guy tells me she's his wife's best friend and I better treat her right is... I don't know what to say? I mean, what can I do to make it right w/out being bogarted on w/there's stuff I really gotta do - I don't mean any disrespect, truly I don't. she kept hollering "don't fuck this up!" and the guy's is taking usies of us both which I don't mind, am glad to do but I wish he could help me w/his wife's friend - I wish she was here to help cuz this was getting a little crazy. I feel bad now writing about it... w/all the problems in the world, why this kind of drama? I don't know what to do to avoid this, I'll try the best I can but I wanna thank folks for coming to see me play and to STILL keep coming to see me play. it's difficult for me to figure out a solution here... I try my hardest to be genuine.
it's a long wait for gigboss jeff to get to the boat and settle w/me - I'm wet w/sweat and a little cold but so glad to finally see him and also real glad he's happy w/the gig cuz I am too. big respect. mike baggetta is here w/a second album from our baggetta-keltner-watt session we did a couple of years ago w/chris schlarb at big ego in long beach, stuff not on the "wall of flowers" album. so good to see mike and respect to him for coming all the way from knoxville, where he lives now. he's written some songs for me and hodge to record w/in december plus some california gigs - can't wait!
we say by to so many nice people and shove off for a hendersonville 'tel which takes 'pert-near an hour (we witness the remnants of I guess a vehicle on fire cuz of seeing firetrucks) and it ain't the best cuz the deskman is jive and maybe if I wasn't there, he'd wanna mouse money of miss hiyori? he says she has no res - what? she has res number... he backs out w/a bullshit figleaf move, most jive - this is one reason why I hate konking at 'tels... people - some pads have corrupt motherfuckers trying to take advantage of tired peeps who need konk - fuck that! I hose off a little pissed, strange some people are - they got the wrong line of work they're in. I ain't in a good mood but damn it's late and it's stupid to konk angry.
thursday, october 17, 2019 - atlanta, ga
I wake up at about 8:30 and take a hot shower to wake myself up. After I get my shit together I get down on some decent hotel breakfast - biscuits with some sausage gravy and eggs. This should hold me over until Atlanta. Tom and I pack our things in the boat and Mike gets us on the road right at 9:45 as we planned the night before.
It's a pretty long haul from Asheville to Atlanta but Watt gets us to Adult Swim HQ at 2:30; an hour early! We're introduced to Mara who helped set this whole thing up, and a younger worker here named Jay who help us load in our things. They have really good backline in their studio, so I only have to take in my my snare, cymbals, pedal, and throne. After we get our gear set up in the live studio, I take a stroll around the office to get a sneak peek of what the production side of Adult Swim is like. One of the workers there, Daniel, is wearing a Dinosaur Jr. shirt, and I compliment him on it - he says he planned on coming to the show, but he has a wife and kid at home that he has prior obligations with. I tell explain to him and his coworker Sally that I'm super happy and geeked out to be here, because I grew up with Adult Swim shows, and still watch and enjoy a lot of their content today. Because of this, they give an Adult Swim gift bag just for the hell of it - items include an actual Master Shake that you can actually drink out of, some Adult Swim shirts, a Rick and Morty keychain that we ended up putting on the dash of Mike's boat, and a bunch of other awesome little knick-knacks. This was so nice of them.
After about an hour of strolling around Adult Swim HQ, we head to the studio to perform for FishCenter. We do two songs immediately back to back - "On the Counter", the first track on Jumpstarted Plowhards' Round One and a Minutemen tune, Beacon Sighted Through Fog, probably one of my favorite songs to play - not just with Watt, but in general. It's one of Hurley's many shining moments. After finishing these two songs, we walk over to another room for one of the most bizarre interviews I've ever done in my life. These Adult Swim guys have such a niche brand of humor that it's truly within its own world - you either love it or you don't. Watt does most of the spiel but he's really good at it; I can tell that the interviewers are really enjoying going back and forth with him. We get a few callers, including Tom's brother and his mom, , and they end up having a "giraffe mating sound effect contest" and it's some of the funniest shit I've had the pleasure of experiencing. My favorite line from the interview is when someone assumes to Mike, "So this is your son" and Watt's reply is "Ah no, I have no biological children." When the interview is done, we go back in the studio for one more song - "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" - I really love the context behind this song, and it's a real fun one to play. As soon as we're done, helper-people for the day Mason, Tina, and Rebecca give us a hand loading our stuff out to the boat, and we're off to The Earl.
It takes us almost an hour to drive FOUR fucking miles to get to the gig - wow, traffic in Atlanta at this time of the day is bad. Good thing we are quick with our load-in and soundcheck stitch so we aren't too worried - we just don't want to leave a bad impression on the venue. There's a lengthy staircase that we have to load in through, but thankfully we have Hiyori here to be the much needed helping hand. I love having her here with us. The soundman here named Wiggins (Wiggins is his last name, he goes by that because it's easier for people to remember), and I enjoy rapping with him as I set up my drums. This stage has a bit of a trippy shape to it, but I dig it. Brent Hinds walks in as we're soundchecking; apparently his other band Fiend Without a Face is opening last minute because unfortunately, the band that was originally supposed to play the show had to drop off. I speak with him for a moment and thank him for jumping on the bill last minute to save the day. Mastodon is a band that holds a big place in my heart. I went through a gigantic phase where I listened to them almost everyday in late 2017. Blood Mountain is one of my favorite records of all time. I'm really excited to see him play in a non-metal band tonight, though.
The venue feeds us some really good chow from their restaurant backstage - I get down on a salmon salad, and also snack on the Atlanta-signature boiled peanuts, plus some hummus and veggies. It's all very tasty. Boiled peanuts are fucking happening! After chow, I meet and hang out with Tom's friend from the art world, Tiff, and her friend Lee who she works with. Tiff is really funny and nice, I like her energy. Lee and I spiel back and forth for a while too, before it's time for us to go on.
We hit the stage at about 9:45PM. I dig the atmosphere of this room - it's packed with people close to the front, it's hot up here on stage, and the lighting is good too. I feel like I'm a little sloppy tonight but the gig-goers after say otherwise. I gotta stop overthinking; I know most of my mistakes are small. I fucked up "This Road" a little bit and rushed a few parts toward the beginning of the set, but other than that, a good performance from us overall.
As I'm loading out, I'm thrilled to see a few people that helped us out at Adult Swim earlier - Mason, Rebecca, and Tina. They even help me load out my gear. I say my goodbyes to them and tell them that I hope to keep in touch. Finally after we're all loaded out, we head to Canton, a suburb about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta, but it takes us almost a fucking hour and a half to get to our konk pad. It's Mike's friend Will's house - I met him briefly at the show tonight. We arrive at about 1:00AM and boy am I fucking beat. Will shows me to my room for the night - it's actually his boy Miles' room but he's asleep in another room for the night. After hanging out with Will and Mike for a while, I'm so ready for bed.
we get on the road early because we have a taping at adult swim in atlanta this afternoon before the gig. we are going to play live for a show called the fish center, which is show on their network that highlights bands and also has an interview of the group. it's really smooth, they have it together and have a backline for us so not too much gear to move. we set up and when the program starts we play two songs right at the top, then we enter another room for an interview and some strange games they have going on there. my brother will calls the chat line and he and i compete to try to emulate the sound a giraffe makes during mating while my mom watches it online. will wins. then we go in and play another tune and thats it. we hang with the cool people working at the studio there and pack up to get the earl to load and soundcheck.
i like it here, a good room with a good restaurant in front. there's food backstage but i order a salad and eat. my friend tif is coming and i'm looking forward to seeing her. she's a good friend i know from the l.a. art world and we've played music together and always have a good time. she has since moved to athens georgia but we stay in pretty good touch. when she arrives i hang with her and her buddy lee who i'd met when i played at tif's gallery for the closing of a john fahey show of his paintings. she has a cool thing going there, and it's great to catch up with her. the night goes well, i see some familiar faces and after that we roll to will's place that's a ways out of town. great house in safe neighborhood and i take a bath before bed.
pop at seven-forty. force downs some filler shit from the lobby - like the other two 'tels on the tour but supplemented w/lame-ass version of grits. as least I don't puke. we got so cal weather so that's a real good thing, pull anchor at ten. we cross into south carolina (unfortunately no south carolina gig this time, only a conduit like w/wisconsin - I'm gonna make up for that in the 2021 tour - already have started planning) just before eleven and getting back on the interstate I-85 at greenville where I get gas from a pad that's across the street from a botanica, viva! build the... what a bunch of koolaid-drinking fuckheads, who's doing what? I remember playing this town once and I liked the gig, even remember the opening band's name: the peach puffins... can't remember the pad though - I do remember clemson being close by... fuck, I wish I could remember better. it's less than a two hundred mile drive but man, the plugs and staus are more and more the closer I get us to atlanta. crimony. lots of asshole driving too, surprise. it's everywhere - started really getting bad I noticed three years ago, when I took the jom & terry show to open for the meat puppets... crimony.
I didn't prepare the men early enough and am an idiot about where to go - I need help cuz the driverman has to drive and not to also be navigator but even being such an idiot it is a little after two we get to the tbs studio where "adult swim" gets made, in fact twenty minutes early. I've been invited to play three songs here w/my missingmen and answer some questions for a live broadcast. showrunner mara helps us go where we gotta go to get the gear in and where to put the boat. helperman jay helps w/paper work and actually get enlightened to what we're gonna bring (there was some confusion w/one of the songs and what is jumpstarted plowhards when it's mike watt + the missingmen that's preforming even though one of the tunes is a jumpstarted plowhards one - even has the drummer that played on the recording (big man), I hope it doesn't sound all confused up like it does to me but hell, I tried. it was just howard trying to use the opportunity of me touring while at the same time this proj me and todd are getting rolled out. I'm happy to help however, todd's a good man. the soundman here is mason and I like him. seems he's just trying to capture what we're trying to get together. I brought the super twin and my amp cuz I think that's what we need needed. tom's using a fender twin they got here then he's got his pedalsby also. we do the check and then go to a green room to wait for the twenty after four go. I chimp diary. it's time and we do "on the corner" back to back w/"beacon sighted through fog" then go to meet the four guys who run "the fishcenter" and they ask me stuff like what's my favorite blue oyster cult song (I answer "stairway to the stars" - remembering how they did it live to open up their show) and I also enlighten to them to what this tour is about and I think I get some john coltrane stuff in - big man and tom spiel also, tom actually is part of a "contest" they got w/call up callers - yeah, I tried to answer some callers question but when tom's brother will calls up (totally surprising us), this contest starts that pits tom and will in a battle for who can most closely guess what it sounds like when two giraffes are boning each other. they each get three "non-cartoony" tries at guessing this. I'm doing my best to keep the laughs inside me, I guess will's w/their ma and these guys try to get her in on it - ask her to judge who's did better but she won't participate. really trippy. I like these cats, they're good on the improvs, quick on the wit. there's some game big man plays moving coins around but I don't understand. I guess I should see this show. they have us play one more tune, we do "political song for michael jackson to sing" - oh yeah, I explained about the jumpstarted plowhards cuz it's kind of confusing maybe for them about what we're doing. everybody here's so nice to us, they really are. we weren't posed or made to do anything - so respectful of what we do and our own person(s). I wish there was more of this, especially in the old days where motherfuckers did not want you to be you but had some fucking whatever for you to goose-step to. bullshit. they even invited to us be on again when we do the 2021 tour. much respect. we're out at quarter after five and this downtown is total plug - a wonderful thing happens though: a dude let's us in w/all the plug we have to wade through - what a righteous kind thing this man in his car does for us, totally out of the norm of most drivers we've been sharing the road w/and I 'pert-near have a heart attack, kind of. it's crazy, like an hour to travel three and a half miles.
get to the earl just before six, fuck. gigboss phil and sondman wiggins are waiting - even have a house drum kit set up and a fucking svt 8x10 box to help things if needed but my team is quick w/the load-in and setup - boom badda binga, like that! much respect to them. same w/the people here at the earl, love working this pad. twelve years ago I interviewed brother atsuo of boris here even - I was here w/out doing a gig, crimony! anyway, soundman wiggins is way into the fourth man spiel and the quick-check. after we're done, an old buddy from here, chuck who's got a great site called the bittersoutherner.com comes up to say hi and I hug him big time - it's been a long time. great cat, chuck, truly. I tell him about this book I recently read, edward bonekemper's "the myth of the lost cause..." cuz what he's doing now w/his site made me think of that but man, it's so good to see him again, so good. I find out dang dang dang that was supposed to open, can't cuz a man w/them passed away, rick. I feel real bad about this... fiend without a face will open for us tonight - I think both bands share bassman stiff - he's really good bassman, really good and I like his take on working bass. I chow righteous olives they got here in the backstage, also hummus and boiled peanuts - fucking happening combo. from the earl kitchen I chow a turkey burger, first of the tour. I chow a lot of turk in my pedro town, use it as starter part of watt-style stir-fry. I then go to the boat cuz I'm running on fumes, qui tank 'pert-near bone-dry. crimony.
tom rousts me from a 'pert-near three hour konk, I was blasted and needed it much. he's got the hot throatcoat ocha and it's in a big mug, very happening - thank you, tom. he's also got the same loud shirt he wore at the adult swim fishcenter trip earlier today, he ain't wore it all tour and it's new for me. pretty neat. the fiends got the gig lit good, the atlanta gig-goers are primed and open their big hearts up for us, much respect to them. I like the gig much - there's hol, an old friend I see for a moment, crimony! I play harder. I gotta shake tom once cuz he had both boost boxes, hope he ain't too rattled by that (actually he thanks me later but damn me in a way)... he looks good in that shirt, by the way and he's got great body language w/the steps and everything. big man's doing good too, some work still needed for "this road" but he's got the dynamics for tom's soliloquy in "fake contest" down. it's one of my favorite gigs of the tour - thank you both atlanta gig-goers and missingmen. I end our work after the stooges "tv eye" cuz I felt it was the right thing to do.
I sling some when done but mainly get the good word from the most kind - there's hol, big BIG hugs! tim from indian lakes is here - he let me and the lite brothers konk at his pad eight years ago... now I'm getting all nostalgic - big hugs for him. tommy from the rent boys who's always here for me and the c-11 dudes who twentyfour years ago let me konk on their couch and the most righteous d boon shrine at their pad for him, HUGE respect. this nice cat talks to me about leeds band solanki (pentti turned me on to them) who riffed on "buzz or howl..." w/a righteous record of their own - he knows the drummerman neil who is now in bilge pump - small fucking world.
I settle w/the gigboss phil, me and him talk about tour stuff cuz he has experience w/what I do which I really dig cuz folks can relate on a level different than just hearing about this kind stuff, they too have been all up in it, to quote something a great person once said. we keep on pushing is the verdict. I sign a watt throbblehead for the passed away man brother rick that will go up here at the earl, this is a heavy thing on my heart - but brother rick helps me w/knowing exactly why I gotta give it all I got when I get to work a gig... thank you big time, brother rick.
I wheel us to will's pad like eighty minutes away (for us) to union hill, way north of atlanta. it's a beautiful pad, I really dig the way it's laid out, especially the lower floor w/the kitchen - like one big room in a way, respect. I soak up stairs in some saltz after tom - I ask him to do first cuz he deserves. man, is the soak good. so is being here w/will... he tells me his pop just retired - tom's got the screw keychain he gave me, a screw is what pushes a lot of boats and it's the rate badge for machinist mate - my pop's job in the navy. I konk hard and fast cuz I'm fucking way beat and I feel real safe here. thank you much, brother will.
friday, october 18, 2019 - birmingham, al
I wake up at about 10AM after a very very good konk. As soon as I get moving, I run into Will's boy, right in the middle of his tracks. Miles is his name; he's 6 years old. I say to him "Hey, you must be Miles. Thanks for letting me sleep in your room for the night." He nods, and I give him a fist bump. Right after this, I run to the bathroom. This is my first unload of unko in about 4 days. This is indeed a feeling of relief. Digestive issues truly are no fun - they really have taken a toll on me, especially within this last year. I take a much needed shower, get dressed and head downstairs to the kitchen. Mike hates that I only shower in the morning and not before I go to bed, but I'm just so used to it at this point. Will has an assortment of breakfast for us - eggs, sausage, fruit, and biscuits - all really tasty. I also pound a good amount of coffee, of course. I rap with Will and his boy at the table for a while before it's time for us to go.
Mike gets us on the road at 12:30PM on the dot and we're off to Birmingham, Alabama. I've never been, but I've heard really good things about this venue, so I'm excited to see what it's like. Apparently, we get to crash at the venue too, which is way fuckin' happening because that means no driving after the gig. That's how they do it a lot of places in Europe!
We get to the venue at about 4PM for soundcheck and load-in. Mason the soundman and I spiel back and forth as I set up my drums. This place is pretty big - the stage is too. I play make sure to play quiet for the soundcheck. When we're done, we walk upstairs to the area where we'll be konking, and damn, is it fucking great. There's a kitchen, fridge, plenty of beds, records, books, hell, even funny costumes and animal heads that we even fuck around with for a while to pass the time. Downstairs is a coffee shop/bar attached the venue that has probably almost every video game system you can think of. I play some classic Super Mario Bros on the NES they have set up, and Super Smash Bros with some random guy hanging out downstairs on the Gamecube they have set up.
After screwing around for a while, I go across the street to get a salad to bring back to the venue with me for dinner. It's alright, but definitely not worth what I paid for it. Mike is chimping at diary, and I speak to him for some advice. I ask him what he thinks I should do if I want to take my drumming to the next level, and possibly make it a career of mine. I know it's very hard to do, but if I can't do it full-time with my life, I would love to do it at least half of the time. There are two major things I need to work on, he says - one being timing and dynamics, and the other, get a website. I never really thought of making a website for myself until he brought it up to me. Thankfully he said he'll help me set it up once I get all of the assets together for it. I really appreciate this of this of him, I know he wants to see me succeed.
Almost gig time, we're on at 9 tonight. It's not a bad gig by any means, but I rush a lot of the material, for some reason I don't know why. I think I'm just a little nervous because we had a lot of time before it was time for us to go on. I don't like to wait too long before gig-time, I get way too anxious. It's okay though, I'll make sure to rally tomorrow and focus on not to make the same mistakes I made tonight. When we're all done with the gig, we pack up all of our gear, but we plan to pack it up in the boat tomorrow morning before we leave.
It's time to head upstairs to bed. Will from Atlanta is here, with his wife Autumn this time too. They hang out with us upstairs until about 2AM. Time to konk. We have a bit of a drive tomorrow so I want to try to get as much rest as possible.
will has coffee and food going downstairs and we talk and eat and i spend some time with his boy miles, six years old and super cool. we get assembled and say goodbye and head on through the georgia country side to the highway towards birmingham alabama. we play at a new club for us, the saturn which has a reputation for it's comfort for the bands playing there. it's a big-ish room with a nice stage and great equipment. the load in is great too, roll onto the stage. there's a coffee place/bar attached that's filled with video arcade games and memorabilia from science fiction films and kitsch objects everywhere. upstairs is an entire apartment for touring bands to stay. pool table, bedrooms, kitchen, washer/dryer, etc etc.. very nice. you could easily fit 10 people in there. after check i go across the street and have a steak sandwich, cuban style. we have plenty of time to enjoy the accommodations and take a shower and lay on the bed in the room i'm in tonight. by the time we play i'm very relaxed. we don't have to load our gear out tonight and we all just chill out upstairs with will and his wife who made the drive from birmingham.
pop at nine bells. will cooks me up some scrambled eggs for me is most happening w/some toast and some links, I make little sandwiches of the stuff and chow it that way. will then gives me his new music, it's under the name of iriamu and the album's called "toulon, a travel journal" - can't wait to hear it. I chimp diary 'til we pull anchor, it's twelve and a half and the sky all full of california weather. we retrace last night's route to get here 'til we get to I-20 and the head west, cross into alabama quarter of three... but now it's two cuz we're now out of the easter time zone. I discuss nels cline connections w/everyone in the boat, hip them to how mr shimmy (brother's sister's daughter), yuka honda (floored by four) and nick reinhart (big walnuts yonder) all ended up happening - each asked me about nels cline and I told all three the same thing: if you wanna really know him, play w/him and he's very generous about that, always very much there for me. then I talk about my secondmen and missingmen second album plans - of course tom knows a lot of this and big man knows it's raul on drums for the missingmen album, they both don't much about what got in store for the secondmen album, especially w/pete - it's hearing brother koja from the ipod that brings that up, just like hearing "crystal clear" (a brother's sister's daughter tune nels wrote) brought up what I was talking about before that. I stop us in oxford for gas, $2.29/gallon but down the road I see it for $2.15... like hearing the audio version of "ulysses" the ipod gives us in ten minute doses (unabridged), factoids running through mr bloom's head draw their parallels w/me. avoiding lots of assholes and rude road behavior, it's three and a half arrive alive/survive when I get the boat into the avondale part of birmingham and to a pad I ain't played before called saturn which makes me immediately think of sun ra - helperman zack guides us into the garage where you load in and we're 'pert-near t-boned by an asshole passing on the right as we're trying to back in - can you believe this shit? how much longer are we gonna be this lucky? fuck.
we load in soundman mason helps w/seeing if my vocal mic can be saved w/a cleaning - there's a piece of foam rubber between the mic grill and an inside screen that's fully laminated w/stuff from my throat. I pull that out and he cleans the grill. I tell him there's a masonic lodge caddy-corner from this pad and he says a relative (maybe it was his grandpa? my fucking memory...) was one so I'm thinking maybe about his name... I ask about the q pad across the street and he recommends a kind of chicken sandwich I can't remember but I do get a smoked chicken & white sauce sandwich - "saw's soul kitchen bbq" is the pad's name and I bring it back to the venue and up the three flights of stairs where we're gonna konk tonight... man oh man, way WAY fucking happening, way fucking happening - I shit thee not. what a fucking righteous konk pad. the gig pad is happening too, the two together is prolly the fucking best twofer I've ever worked. man am I mist grateful to padownerman brian, MOST GRATEFUL. I have a great spiel w/him (was man or astro-man? drummerman birdstuff) about his pad here - maybe it takes a dude who's put in a bunch of tours (he says he did 3300 gigs) to know get a handle on putting together a bitchin gig pad. MUCH RESPECT to him, MUCH. we speil about a lot we got in common and that's a lot, especially music and tour. I bow deeply his way and then back down the three flights of stairs... soundcheck is quick and damn if my mic is much more clearer w/my voice, thank you big time soundman mason.
back up the three flights of stairs... I the sandwich and like it very much, not typical and w/its own style - feels healthy too. in comes dan sartain a cat I first met when me + my missingmen played w/him at the paradiso in amsterdam. he says he has a barbershop and offers tom a haircut - actually, sometime last week tom was cutting his own hair, maybe big man helped. raymond always cuts his own hair and that's a mindblow for me... no way am I that skilled, no fucking way. my sister melinda cuts my hair. I chimp diary.
no konk tonight, I chimp until go time... there's a tv here connected to a camera that shows the stage. I see big man set up his drums and then in front of everyone, take out his fucking leash and get caught up in that fucking ritual. crimony, not professional - what a fucking clown. I don't mean to be critical cuz he's really trying hard for me and tom but this is a real let down - I mean it's a real tiny thing in the big picture, infinitesimal but I gotta say something to him when I get down there, ask him to do that kind of shit off-stage. lots of life is learning by doing and he's doing real good - this is not a put-down of him, please don't read anything weird into any of this. I get down the three flights of stairs and join big man and tom backstage. we usually don't say much cuz I don't wanna weigh down my guys before they're gonna play their ass off but I do mention what I just chimped here to big man and remind tom of some tiny music stuff to do in the set. of course I blow some clams right in the first tune like an idiot but my guys help me right myself and the birmingham gig-goers bring total support also. in the first spiel I tell them about the time raymond had his first art show in new york city and I went there to be w/him and we left (it was kind of weird scene) and went to see sun ra who had a gig going - it was at "sweet basil's" maybe? I think so... anyway, we got all bourboned up and whle mr ra was doing a trippy version of "somewhere over the rainbow" somehow we ended up in a conga-line w/him. love sun ra music - john szwed's "space is the place..." book on him I give HUGE recommend to, amazing story. I gotta go step on tom's black box (ocd pedal) during his solo in "on the counter" cuz he spaced on that. he's been playing so fucking good since the manhattan gig, it's just small stuff now. I'm also digging much his voice part of our set including when we interact. thank god tom's w/me on this tour. I'm proud of big man too. I screw up and flip the choruses on the roky tune, what a fucking bozo.
I sling and spiel w/the gig done - there's a cat who's buds w/mike rouse - mike's the x managerman/roadboss and I did many x gigs w/my secondmen for their forty bday celebrates. I get a giftbox from anniversary couple jen and ben, so nice of them! love ben's metallic k.o. shirt cuz it makes me think of stooges... I think of stooges so much - really REALLY miss those guys. love stooges music, one reason I'm doing two of their tunes this tour. many kind words for me, I'm most grateful - also many kind words for big man and tom, really dig that too.
I go back up the three flights of stairs and settle padownerman brian. we have another big spiel, I could spiel w/this man forever. big BIG hugs for him when we're done. he lets me put the boat in the garage and I give him a last little spiel about broken arrow shit, kind of scary thing to part w/and I'm thinking now what a fucking idiot I am... why do I spiel about what I spiel about sometimes? crimony. back up the three flights of stairs to the most ririghteousonkpad that's part of a gigpad ever - will and autumn (we konked at their pad in union hill last night) join us and the spiel gets to literature cuz autumn teaches that and the spiel goes to stories from the old testament, I love tripping on that stuff sometimes. dr henry abramson in a youtube.com lecture says franz kafka's stories might have some inspiration from that trippiness, I watch his spiels all the time when doing my elliptical trainer routine in the morning (here's the one I'm talking about regarding mr kafka) - there's some evidence that maybe he got interested in seeing yiddish theatre. trippy. I'm most grateful to juan rosenfelder to turning me on to dr abramson, I've learned a buttload of stuff from him. will and autumn bail, so glad they could visit and made the hellride. I'm soon out.
saturday, october 19, 2019 - louisville, ky
I wake up at about 10AM, feeling not so hot from last night. I think Will and I got too happy with all of that whisky upstairs, and I snacked on some sweets too. As soon as I shower and get dressed, I walk downstairs to the coffee shop that's inside the venue. Workerman Jacob hooks me up with a cup of their house cold brew coffee and a simple homemade breakfast biscuit sandwich. We hit the road at about 11AM and Mike educates me more on road signs. Red, white and blue signs are simply interstate. White badge signs are part of the US highway system which was an early attempt to try to unify the state roads - the numbers stay the same, but the honorific names change. I never really had to learn about this kind of shit because when I started learning how to drive at 15, I've always relied on my smartphone to guide me to a new place, and to be honest, I still do. Mike says that it's good to have those resources though, but you can't always rely on them - "use your intuition."
It's a really long drive from Birmingham to Louisville today, with only 2 stops in bum fuck nowhere for gas, so I snack on starchy stuff pretty much the whole time, like hummus, pita chips, nuts and fruits, not a lot of stuff with protein...I start to feel weak. I'm still reluctant to try sardines. I start to get in my own head a little bit. Tour is almost over, it's hard to believe that there's only two weeks left now. That first month went by fucking FAST. I start to worry a little bit about post-tour depression. I don't want to feel like a loser when I get home. I know I'm a busy guy in general, but this is totally something else, and I'm at the zombie-mode point where I feel like I can just keep going on doing this forever.
Mike gets us to Zanzabar at about 6PM - we're a little bit late because of the fucked stau we hit. Soundman Joe helps us load-in and get the soundcheck done quick, though. We strike our gear for the opening band tonight - Cat Casual and the Final Word. I'm ordering some food at the bar with Hiyori now, and two young ladies with Jim Beam fits on have some shirts with the same brand on them - baseball style, they look comfy. I ask them if they're for sale and they tell me that they're free if I buy one of their specials for $5 - I tell them I don't like to drink before I play but when they found out that I'm playing here tonight, they give me one anyway and tell me to buy one after. So kind of them. I love baseball tees, they're really comfortable and awesome to sleep in on tour. I finally chow down on dinner here and I finally feel a lot better after - a homemade chicken salad sandwich with hummus and tater tots - really tasty.
We're on somewhat early tonight at 9PM. I catch the last half of Cat Casual's set and they're really good - they get the stage warmed up real nice. It's gig time now. I try my best to not rush at the very beginning like I did last night. Throughout the whole show I keep a really steady tempo throughout all of the material. I barely blow any clams either - Watt and Tom too. The lights go out on stage a couple of times, and we have no idea why. This distracts me during "Anxious Mo-Fo" and I fucking blow the ending. The soundman Joe tells me that there was a software issue at the bossman was supposed to warn us? Well, whatever. Tonight's performance is a very good rally, especially after our underwhelming delivery last night in Alabama. I'm very confident in our playing.
After packing up everything, we head to Steve's house for the night - we actually stayed with his younger brother, Pete, in Somerville! Crazy. My stomach is really, really hurting right now though. I stumble inside Steve's house and ask him where I'm sleeping at immediately - all I want to do is lay down. This is easily my worst flare up all tour - it must have been something in the chicken salad I ate earlier that caused it. I'm not too bummed though, I just want to sleep. Steve listens to me well when I explain my stomach issues too, I really appreciate when people show genuine concern. I go downstairs to show some good face to Steve and his wife + drummerman Tim Barnes who is here too - I sit and chat with them until I just can't anymore - it's time for bed.
i awake in my bedroom and take a shower, there's a little coffee and chips and salsa and we get loaded and ready to ship off and leave the beautiful saturn to drive north through tennissee and most of kentucky to get to louisville. we've played here at the zanzabar before but there has been a lot of changes done to it since then. the large outdoor patio has been tailored into a bigger live room and a detached place for us in a little old house right next door. we order food from their kitchen, i have the burger with a salad and do some writing. before we play our friend scott shows up with his wife monique with whom we will be staying with tonight. before we go on, a great musician friend b.k. brown peaks in and says hello. i was hoping i might see him. after gig we get to scott and monique's house and we chill out with them and their son for a while, great folks and a sweet house in a nice part of louisville. there's a certain, i can't put my finger on -thing about louisville that i always dig. i get to sleep in their daughter's room for the night, while she's away at school.
pop at seven and a half bells, piss and then make coff. what a fucking righteous gigpad to konk at. crimony. I shave and scrub mouf to celebrate. oh, gotta get the garage hatch open... rainy outside, ten-twenty on the clock... it takes 'pert-near an hour to get out of town, I shit thee not - all the construction has confused frau garmin, she's got us loops so I force her in one direction to make her recalculate. we have another class on the highway system, big man seems to need it. I'm glad he wants to learn it. b.o.c.'s "hot rails to hell," john coltrane's "om" and jim o'rourke's "there's a hell" comes up w/the shuffle-mode ipodded soundtrack of the beginning an hour and a half into our what turns out to be a seven hour hellride. I usually wait to begin the music which really is only for three of us since big man has his earbuds w/his own soundtrack going. it's ok - unless you wanna talk to him about something. later on he does wanna talk about something, he wants to get a website going which is what I recommended when he asked me how to "take things to another level" yesterday - my suggest was that AND more prac on dynamics (after the gig I also recommended working on tempo) so using his leash he finds the domain nickaguilardrummer.com is free and gets both that and a hosting plan from the networksolutions.com site, I'm proud of him. he wants to learn some of the simple html I use to run my hootpage.com and I'm way into that. the big man can work up some hustle and it's impressive. much respect to him... and he did it right in the boat while it was rolling! hey, there's a saturn V! (we go through huntsville), cross into tennessee at twelve and a half, byebye alabama. quarter after two, I pull us off not too far north or nashville at a offrampe for white house, a gaspad called "nervous charlie's" - $2.28/gallon - tom's gotta bring the $50 prepay to them cuz I gotta piss like a race horse, thank god for this piss jug I got... back on the road, my leash gets a message from jim jarmusch, very kind of him. he had me talk about stooges for his doc and I knew he loved them, I just knew. much respect. damn, I spaced on the time zone change, we're back in eastern time! usually time zone stuff is east west but theis ride was all I-65 south to north, I was baka! have to be more alert about this stuff. it did stop raining - when did we cross into kentucky? I fucking space but realize it soon as I did see the corvette museum pass by on the port. sometimes that shit happens w/me, especially when there's lots of construction which the border part did have.
anyway, five after six I drop anchor in the back of zanzabar - whoa, things have changed here! I remember playing on the deck in front of another bulkhead and the backstage place which across the street is now 'pert-near a hole in the ground! we're two fucking hour and five minutes late big gigboss mark ain't pissed and helps us load-in, shows me where the backstage is (a little pad right next to the load hatch and let's me order chow - my eyeballs immediately stab into "z burger" which I get w/raw onions to further help improve my gut bugs sitch. he enlightens me to the fact we're sharing the stage w/locals cat casual and the final word who are very nice people, honor to share the stage w/them in their town. the burger is really good, whoa. crimony. I'm digging all the pickels. seven hour drive I did today but fuck, no time for konk. soundman joe does gets both the fourth man spiel and the soundcheck real quick and good, happening man. respect. I go back to the backstage part (or little house next door) and chimp diary... no time to konk but I don't want my mind to wander.
we were supposed to hit at nine-fifteen but that ends up being twenty minutes later - no big deal, I do get to see bundy brown before resting a little, dig him much, good to see him again. we have a real good gig and a big reason I think is the lexington gig-goers buoying us up cuz I thought for sure I was gonna run out of gas cuz of no pre-gig konk and the long drive w/the rain and fucking asshole drivers... tom is playing really good, also big man was way better about not rushing things - prolly best "the big lounge scene" of the tour. the lights do go out twice which ruins the "anxious mo-fo" ending but those things happen... however I do scissor the next tune cuz I got a little freaked out. no freak out from me like last time at saturn in "we are time" cuz tom's real good about his new parts - it never got bad enough to stop the tune anyway. all ends well though and I even got the roky words correct.
I sling zero tonight but that's ok - I get much good word in the state where richard hell was from. one guy though asks me to bless him... I told him I'm only a bass player. I hope it ain't mad. I tried my hardest to play good for the gig. I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's hurts when this part of the gig comes, even w/the stuff where people wanna tell me about gigs they saw me at thirtyfive, twentyfive, ten-whatever years ago... I'm so glad they're here for me in 2019, so glad.
settle w/gigboss mark in the boat, he's got a hellride in front of him, doesn't live - he does invite me to play lexington next tour, actual home town of richard hell, yes! thank you thank you!
I put the boat on over to lieutenant scott burns pad not too far away after a great quick load by me team - thank you much miss hiyori/big man/tom - I do have to inch out of the alley and then by the curb where we're konking but I'm ok w/the boat and take my time and make sure I'm careful - remember, the boat is the center of the touring universe.
it's a real good time w/scott and monique, I get a soak in right away w/some salz - they ain't very good salz but it's a good salz. brother tim barnes is here too, love this man. it's a good time w/good spiel, lots of. I'm most grateful, good spirit in this pad.
sunday, october 20, 2019 - nashville, tn
I wake up at Steve's pad feeling a lot better after my insane stomach flare-up last night. There's no "cure" for something like this, but a good night's sleep is the best way to feel better after a shitty episode. I take a shower and get dressed. Steve has breakfast laid out - after last night, I make sure to eat carefully. I have some eggs topped w/avocado wrapped up in corn tortilla + some fruit - really simple and small, but really tasty too.
We need to hit the road at 12PM for Nashville, so I enjoy some downtime for myself. I watch some Ted Talks, and this one in particular that I really enjoy.
We pull up to the Exit/In at about 3PM for load-in and soundcheck. This place is really big, that stage too. Above the bar is a huge mural with every artist who's played here...some folks named Elizabeth & her husband Eduardo stop by to say hello - we're staying at their pad tonight; I meet and say hello to their daughters too. I speak with Elizabeth for a bit, and she tells me that she met Mike when he was doing Porno for Pyros in the mid-90's.
I'm not feeling right in the head, or in my gut today. I go for a long walk down the nearby strip and call my dad to blow off some steam. I think I'm just starting to get frustrated with not feeling like myself physically, and I feel like I'm starting to gain some weight. I'm really glad that my dad is here to talk to me in this moment because he really does listen, even if he can't relate with me with every single issue I have. Sometimes all I can ask for is a pair of ears that listen, and I'm grateful for this. After I hang up, I look around inside of a Buffalo Exchange that's across the street from the venue, to try and thrift some new clothes for myself, but there's nothing really worth spending money on. I walk back to the venue and hang out with Watt & Tom, plus Holly and Jill - two old friends of Watt's, they are very sweet. They were even at the Atlanta gig a couple of nights ago, too!
It feels like forever before we go on stage tonight - probably because the hour we gained traveling from Louisville. I just want to play and go to bed already, not feeling so good at all today. It's finally almost gig time, and we're on at 9:4. I can't speak for others but I really feel like we put on a good show tonight. I rush a little bit of the songs in the beginning, but recover in the middle of the set and continue strong throughout. There's a lot of people in the front who are smiling pretty much the whole time too, and this gives me a lot more confidence. As I'm packing up my things, I speak with a young couple in the audience - they said they flew from Florida to see us! I ask, "Why are you all the way out here from Florida?" They explain that they've never been to Nashville before, so they took a little vacation to check out the city and see us play as well. I tell them that we promise to hit cities in Florida for the next tour in 2021. Simple moments like this make me very happy.
We load out as quick as we can while Watt settles with the boss lady Jenna. After this, we drive to Elizabeth's house for the night, she's about 30 minutes outside of the city. I'm so tired, but I want to show good faith to Elizabeth, so I stay up and spiel with her and the rest of the crew for about an hour before I head upstairs to go to sleep. Definitely worth staying up for, all of us share a lot of genuine laughs together. She's letting me sleep in her daughter's room for the night which is very kind of her. I love getting my own room at a konkpad. I'm a little cold, but there's lots of blankets and a heater too, which helps me gently fall asleep at about 2AM.
the morning routine is a good time with the fam and we check out their chickens in back and hiyori gathers clothes out of the dryer and we have coffee and eggs and wrap with scott and monique and enjoy the so-cal weather on the porch. soon we roll to nashville to play at the exit/in. it's a medium large room across the street from a club called the end, the smaller punkier club that we usually play. it's funny that this is pretty much the only street that i'm familiar with in nashville. i know theres a lot more to to it than this, but like most towns i only get a featured glimpse of the total experience. i did get to check out the country music hall of fame once before on a tour with lou and raul. we get in early and load in and wait a bit for the sound guy jack. there's a wide stage here and nice backstage space to chill in before we get to work. holly and her sweet friend Gillian come early with some mexi-styled foods.. i help them eat a little of it, and i fill up on chips and salsa and water. mike's booking dude and someone i've known a long time, steve kaul comes by and it's good to have few words before the gig. i haven't seen him in quite a while so it's cool to see him here in nashville. he's been 'the man outside the van' for watt for a very long time, and i think how good it is to have a friend working these gigs and tours. there are a couple of acts before we go on and even with a big room like this we play to a very good group of people that makes it feel really intimate. we pack and load and move on towards elizabeths place somewhere outside the city center in an area unfamiliar to me but we find her in front of her house on the dark street in her neighborhood. i have a nice time talking with her as we organize our stay there. i've known her through mike for a while and she is an extremely generous host and i appreciate it very much.
pop at nine - I thought it was eight (didn't change my watch)... scott's soon up and gets me coff, we rap about stuff like this tour - I tell him about the challenges. he cooks up quesadillas like his brother chris did back in mass but he's got eggs from his own hens in the back yard and these got no frijoles refritos but still they're good.
sundays I chow w/my ma and my sister melinda when I'm in my pedro town. when on tour when I can I call my ma. this sunday my sister melinda calls me a little before the usual eight am time (ten am here in lousiville), she says our ma had a slight heart attack and she's gonna call 911 for her to go the hosp. I chimp diary and try to keep it together. my ma got bladder cancer five years ago and they cut it of her. then copd got her and she quit smoking for six months but the jones was too strong and she went back to cigarettes. I'm in scott and monique's backyard, trying to keep it together. my ma has been very weak, no more driving her car for more than a year. we pull anchor at noon, I never changed my watch and think it's eleven... I'm not together.
big hugs for scott. wheeling the boat whence we came makes me focus. my sister melinda calls and I talk to her using the bluetooth ear-trip. she says she's in the hosp emergency room and I gotta to talk to our ma - she says she's got the phone up to my ma's ear and to talk cuz she thinks my ma will hear what I'm saying but can't talk back to me. I tell her it's her boy and I love her... she's a big part of what I am. I tell her I know she's tired, I know she's always been here for me. I tell her "I love you ma" and then I my sister melinda comes on and we gotta stop the call. I keep the boat right at the speed limit, keep the keel in the water - I try to keep my keel in the water. the people driving like assholes all around us don't know. it's real quiet in the boat. it's like 180 miles to get to nashville - we get that hour back. I thinking all about my ma, so lucky I got to spend so much time w/her cuz we lived next door to each other the last thirteen years. my sister marilyn calls. we don't see her that much cuz she lives up in silver lake. this is hard... I ask her to please go help our sister melinda at the hosp.
we drop anchor at the exit/in a little before three and not too long after securityman jay lets us in. the load-in's got a grade to deal w/but soundman jack helps us w/that, very cool people and very into fourth man mode for the band - I see a picture of porter wagoner on the bulkhead and for some reason I think of eddie noack's version of "psycho" which was a trippy leon payne tune - soundman jack trips on it when I play it for him. gigboss jenna puts the wristbands on us. bruce fitzpatrick from across the street ("the end") comes to visit - my first nashville gig was the minutemen working for him at a pad called "cantrel's" more than thirtyfive years ago. check is good and quick plus it's in front of my old friend elizabeth and her husband Eduardo - he's gotta fly to nyc for work so I get to give him a hug and say hi to their two daughters catherine and julia. rod taylor who recently did a review of my wattplower bass comes by to see what's up w/the wattplower mark II prototype III I'm working this tour - the wattplower he reviewed was the mark I and he wants to hear what changes I've come up w/so I assure him it's 'pert-near the same as a mark I but w/two more pickup options so that way there's three choices instead of one. of course the original sound is there, I would fuck w/that. we spiel a bunch about bass, all kinds - we could do bass spiel forever I feel. good man. I meet and talk some w/openers (both locals) jocephus and the georgetown massacre and some of look what I did - nice cats and happening to share the stage w/in their town. hol and jil - hol was at the atlanta gig and is an old bud, righteous I got two great ladies at the gig tonight, it helps me big time w/this sitch w/my ma, you can't know. hol's oldest daughter lily rose is going to m.i.t., that's so bitchin, respect. her and jil bring some chow that's supposed to be mexican and tastes healthy but doesn't taste mexican. that's ok. hol says the people working there didn't know what a tostada was. hol tells about jil getting half her pinky bitten off. fuck, she shows me ant tom. crimony. this asshole was beating his wife and jil tried to stop it - this lady was a friend of hers. can you believe that shit? so many wannabe butch motherfuckers these days, assholes. makes me sick. I'm so sorry for jil. I go konk in the boat.
quarter of ten is our go time, tom brings me the throatcoat ocha. I go to the pad, say hi to jay on the way, good cat. everyone here is. I gotta focus for the gig... can't believe I konked cuz my head is all spinnig but that's how tired I was. whew. I wanna do good, gotta keep focus. pretty ok show though, I was scared to be in front of my friends but on the other hand there's the nashville gig-goers who are bringing it and then thinking of my ma... whoa. trippy gig. tom and big man play good, real good - right away I spaced the beginning of the second verse of the first tune - "orange alert" I'm thinking from "the prisoner" prolly (the only tv show I ever liked) and rally myself - hell, I'm most grateful for how that works, most grateful! I blow other clams but not enough to roll us over and go turtle... the roky tune has much significance to me tonight even though I think reverse some fucking words - can't remember now, even the next fucking day.
I sling when we're done and get the good-words from the gig-goers. jb and raelyn are here - whoa, they were guests on my show not too long ago it was back in march... very nice people. both elizabeth and hol had to bail so I don't see them but I get to thank many for being here for me and the band NOW in 2019, I really do appreciate it, you can't know but hopefully you might. bassbrother matt (from clockhammer) gives me two magnets for the inside of the sidehatch of the boat, one's the cover of the first wire album and one's for "junkyard" by the birthday part. big love to him, he's a good man. I also got some 'dines by someone very kind but they're in oil - I like the kind that either in water or mustard only. I know he had good intentions though... I do get to sign a wattplower someone brought - a green one... I think the first batch of the mark II wattplowers will be green, think so.
steve kaul, my bookerman for thirtytwo years, "the man outside the van" now lives here and I am so glad to see him, so glad - I love this man big time and he's always been there for me, ALWAYS. I get to meet his assistantman ethan too, great cat! so different when people no longer are known only through email, it's a great thing to meet some people in real life, a great thing. I tell both these guys my next tour w/the missingmen, a counter-clockwise one middle of april to beginning of june 2021 to make sure I get to parts I didn't this tour and to play songs from the upcoming missingmen album I'm gonna do at "casa hanzo" in my pedro town before that. just so glad to see steve, so glad... he introduces me to the padownerman chris who thanks me for playing here, he liked the part about "there's only fiftytwo sundays in a year" spiel. I settle w/jenna and find out she works bass too. I tell her about raul (real missingmen drummer) raising his daughter w/paloma instead of the ma having to do it herself like w/my ma and jenna she can big time relate. compassionate lady.
we pull anchor (great quickload by the team) and I wheel south to franklin, maybe a half hour away. elizabeth's pad is really happening, again the kitchen is part of one big room in a way and I love it. mrs elizabeth is and has been so kind, twentyfour years now I've known her. there's a bottle of dickel. I konked in the tub like a fucking idiot. I left the leash in the boat on purpose...
monday, october 21, 2019 - saint louis, mo
My alarm blasts in my ear at 8AM. I take a really nice hot shower and get dressed. Elizabeth is making breakfast for us, and there's plenty of coffee too. There's eggs, beans, sausage, and corn tortillas. I'm making breakfast tacos. I make a couple of sandwiches for Tom and I too with some turkey breast from Elizabeth's fridge. I'm always grateful when whoever hosts us allows me to do this because it saves a lot of money for us in the long run AND it's healthy road chow.
The drive to St. Louis is very long, but I take advantage of the time by trying to gather assets for my website that I plan on building. We're all so busy right now being on the road, but Mike says when we get home after tour, he'll put aside a whole day to help me build my website - I'm super excited and grateful for that.
We pull up to the Blueberry Hill and Duck Room after a drive that seems like forever. Marcus is the really nice and welcoming day of show person who shows us where to load in our gear. Shortly after we meet the soundman Dan who is way into Watt's pre-show spiel. He looks really young but he's actually in his mid 30's - he said doing this kind of work keeps him young. I eat a salad and a turkey burger from the resturant upstairs after we're done with soundcheck and it's really fucking good - econo too.
We're on at 9 tonight. Mike dedicates this set to his ma so I want to do my best to bring it for her, and everybody else in the room at this moment. I do very well tonight I think - only a little bit of rushing and a clam during "This Road" but it's okay - I'll make sure to rally tomorrow. After we're all packed up, we head to Marty's pad for the night. Marty is a really eccentric but extremely friendly cat who welcomes us with open arms. He keeps calling me "little Hurley" which I find both flattering and funny. He shows me to my room for the night and I find myself falling asleep shortly after this; I am quite beat from today. Hopefully after a good night's sleep, I'll feel a bit more refreshed tomorrow.
morning at elizabeth's is great, but i feel strange for some reason. maybe it's the weather, or the lighting outside this morning. she offers some tasty food and drink to us and we eat and pack and head out to St. Louis. it's a peceful drive through tennessee, then a large part of kentucky and along the east edge of the Mississippi River till we see the arch of St. Louis, and cross the muddy waters into missouri. i do a lot of thinking during drives, but some of my favorite time on tour is with talk in the boat. it's a trip to have that space and time to talk intensely about things that probably will never leave the van. i like that. we get to the blueberry hill landmark restaurant/bar where the duck room is located downstairs. we load in the back and use their elevator to access the room we play in. we're a little early so there's a little chill out time. after check i go across the street to a bbq place and i get a Caesar salad with brisket on top. i take some to go for later. i see marty in the crowd, we will be staying with him tonight. it's nice to see his face again, and after the show we get to his place, hang with he and his buddies and i take a shower and get to bed in an extra room downstairs to avoid being attacked by his cat.
pop at seven bells, go piss and start doing my work. I get done before anyone else is popped, I go and sit on a chair in the back of elizabeth's pad here and there's a real strong wind blowing through the big tall maples that are here, it's like she's on the edge of a forest - no fences... the wind is trippy on my face, I hold my chin up to let on my neck and when I do, I see this leaf from way high up get blown off and tumble slowly down, such a dance it has - one of her own, her way - 'til it comes to what seems the softest rest on the deck. I look straight up at the sky... it is a strong wind. back in the pad elizabeth cooks up chow for us, I ask her for two burritos cuz that's what she's making. I chimp diary 'til she's done and then it's time for us to go, nine bells. I'm first to the boat and there's the leash where I left it. there's a message - I call my sister melinda and she tells me at what would've been 3:23 am nashville time, our ma had to leave. she was so tired... and she was so hurt - the cancer came back and it was in her cervix. her heart gave out but she was at the end of the journey. five years of copd too, so much hurt and weakness on her. it was maybe sixteen hours or something at the hosp and then she was gone. oh man, what she did for me, all she did. I love my ma, a big part of me is from her - like my pop but for twentyeight years longer - trippy my ma had to leave during a tour named after my pop... the boat gets boarded by everyone and I tell elizabeth - we were at her pad, we were konked but we were at her pad... I think about when her ma had to leave... whenever I called my ma or knocked on her hatch I would always say first "ma, it's your boy" - always, always. I always wanted her to know, right away it was me "it's your boy, ma" - oh man, whoa. crimony. nine bells now, gotta pull anchor...
I tell everyone in the boat I'm now an orphan now and then it's real quiet for a long time. I wheel us whence we came last night and then northwest on I-24... silent in the boat all through tennesse, I tell everybody I'm now an orphan - I remember saying that and something about a cassette tape from my pop to my ma she asked me to fix, I digitized it and made a cd for her of it - only listened to the first couple of his words cuz it was for her and not me... those few words sounded strange though and I remember her telling me his voice sounded strange too, he sounded like he had some medicine or something in him and sounded not like him. this cassette was from the early 80s I think. weird to think of that now but I relate it to us in the boat here now, then back to quiet. cross into kentucky at ten and a half, I pull us off at first chance to get fuel for the boat and dikes (diagonal cutters) to get rid of this fucking stupid zip-tie on the curtain rod and I'll use it to move some of the boxes on tom's pedalsby so it's easier for him to use - I saw him accidentally hit the tuner and mute his guitar several times last night. I want tom to have the best sitch ever to be a missingman for me. I start to talk now but can't stop about my ma. twelve and a half we're in southern illinois and pass both a multi-car wreck and get passed twice by the same ambulance later - once w/the lights/sirene off and then w/them on. crimony.
we get on I-64 at mount vernon and continue northwest, the rain letting up more and more 'til it's totally clear and like my pedro town on a nice day when we cross the mississippi river and get into saint louis. I holler at the big man (who's konked) for some help cuz not only did I put in the wrong street number but also me and tom are looking for the pad (the blueberry hill duck room) on the wrong side of the street! not big man's fault but we need his help. I gotta use my hand to gently summon him though instead of hollering. at least ten times I've worked this pad too, what the fuck is w/me? the mentors "cardboard condominium" from their "rock bible" just came on too... we also got a few doses of lenny bruce earlier... we're a hour and a half early for load-in but that prolly saved us much plug which would've added more hell to the six and a half hour ride. no penalty for being early. I trip like I always do on the padownerman joe and all the photos on the bulkhead showing him w/people. I don't know if there's a gigpad like this one anywhere. well, upstairs is a chowpad part but I consider them together.
soundman dan arrives when he's supposed to he hears my fourth man spiel out and is into it. respect. gigboss marcus arrives and is also righteous people. the toilet won't stop flushing for like a LONG time in the backstage room and soundman dan says it's from chuck prolly meaning chuck berry cuz he played here LOTS. soundman dan digs the short soundcheck, happening. I meet the openers, they're called ultraman and they're saint louis, glad to me them. I ask if they know kaiju and they say they do. I learn later they drank beers w/me back in the 80s.I chow some udon miss hiyori got for me from a nearby pad called "baton" but they forgot to give her broth so I boil some water. I chimp diary to try and keep it together.
nine bells, our turn... the saint louis gig-goers welcome me - big man starts w/out me giving him a cue so I stop him cuz I wanna say this gig is for my ma which I do. first time and prolly only time I say something before we play, I wanted this tour to be that way. I got the lyrics and down better tonight and maybe am playing better but I skip three tunes w/out realizing it 'til later - something I do realize in the moment is that I do two tunes out of order... I gotta buck up and get it together, so glad tom's kicking up much dust and big man's pretty good too. he's rushing some but he's rushing less than he has been. he did have "this road" down but tonight's third verse stumbles - he's trying though and I know it's tough for him. he's really on the path I think though and man, do I need his help now, tom too. so glad tom rallied after manhattan... crimony, that ride to d.c. was a nightmare, the only parts in the beginning that kept from losing it was talking to my ma and raul using the bluetooth.
anyway - thank you good saint louis people, thank you truly. they give me much good word and I sling some for them, sign stuff. kemp's here, beautiful man. he shows me scars from surgery, crimony! but he's still kemp. love this man and his boy, I remember him when he was two and now he's a man! crimony. bill from grandpa's ghost is here, whoa - been a long time since we toured together... I remember the only time I got to play duluth was w/them... in the lobby of an older theatre - a speaker box rattled off another and fell and broke my port pinky toe... had to ride that one out.
settle w/gigboss marcus and for having to use an elevator, the team loads up quick - gotta wait for the car who's blocking us' driver to get done pissing behind the dumpster though - people, you gotta evolve to piss jugs! I think thinking about stuff like that now is some kind of buffer w/the hard reality of the dealio on me.
I wheel us to marty's not too far away and it's a weird drive - not cuz it's about brother lou's "the blue mask" but something else... crimony, this doesn't feel good, feels like after manhattan gig and that shakes watt up... I'm not sure about where marty's pad is though I've been here twice before and know I'm close... tom gets out but goes to a pad w/another address! someone will a towel he says said "???" luckily nothing bad though - marty appears at his pad a two doors down when we call him - he saves the day. he's got chris and jeremy w/him, all very nice to me. man, I need it but damn me if I didn't like an asshole start chowing fucking big time which I really HATE doing to myself after gigs - I like waiting for the morning. man, what's up w/me - I slipped up big time. that was really really stupid.
tuesday, october 22, 2019 - memphis, tn
I wake up at about 8AM, pretty damn early. I did go to sleep pretty early though. I take a shower and get ready for the day. He has some raisin bran cereal that I eat with a banana for breakfast. After a little bit of time to myself, we hit the road for Memphis at about 10:30AM.
The venue today is called Lafayette's Music Room - Mike played here a few years ago with Tav Falco. The load-in stitch isn't too happening - no ramps or flat surface - just 2 small flights of stairs which isn't the most comfortable. The soundman Keith is generous and helps us get done with a soundcheck quick. I say hi to Tom's friend Terri who is here, she is so sweet. I met her briefly when she was visiting Pedro a few months ago. I go for a walk to make a deposit at a nearby bank, and also do a phone interview with a real nice cat named Tracey Schulz, from the Austin, TX radio station KOOP. It's really fun to talk with him, and this really helps me blow off some steam in this moment. I haven't felt the best these last few days on a mental or physical level. I think the tour is just starting to catch up with me a bit...but, I keep pushing. I'm glad that I still can. I genuinely have no desire to go home just yet.
I get back to the venue and eat a salmon salad with some sweet potato which is pretty good. Terri and I talk for a while too. I go backstage after this and I have the absolute pleasure of meeting Dr. Herman Green - he brings a long a few of his friends - what a guy. He's 89 years old and still playing the sax like a monster. I have to mention that he is absolutely hilarious too. Mike asks if he wants to do "Fun House" with us and he's for it.
Tonight's gig isn't that great to say the least, though. Herman can't get his saxophone to work, so that was a bummer that he didn't get to play The Stooges tune with us. It's a bit awkward of a setting too - people are sitting down the whole time (it's a chow pad) AND there's a private party going on upstairs too. On their way out, these motherfuckers are yammering the entire time during one of our softest songs in the set, "Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?" which is beyond frustrating for all of us, especially Mike. Not a great gig. We're all going to make sure to rally tomorrow.
Terri, Hiyori, and all of us pack up the boat as quickly as we can; I want to get out of here and just go to sleep. We head over to a nearby AirBnb where we will be konking at for the night. I like staying at people's houses first, AirBnbs second, and hotels last. I think AirBnbs are way better than hotels because they're much safer for the boat and have much more of a "home" setting. I get my own room for the night but the only thing that's lame is that the washer and dryer happens to be in it as well. After I throw my laundry inside the washer, I get ready for bed, chimp on some diary and start to fall asleep. Thank god for earplugs.
today i get to see my friend terri in memphis, i'm looking forward to that. also, maybe tim and laurie too.? hipfully. we have a little waiting time to load in, but eventually we do and organize stuff on stage, with help from soundman, kieth. before checking i see terri enter so i greet her and give her a hug. afterwards we go across the street for some ramen and Japanese curry french fries with a fried egg on top. very delicious. we are the only act tonight and we start at 8. i see my friends tim and laurie we talk some until it's time to play. it's kind of a challenging stage and space and i feel that it's difficult feel connected with mike and nick. we get through and talk backstage and then i meet a few of Terri's friends that came to the show. all very cool people and after load out we roll to an air b&b that terri hooked up for us. it's perfect and we all find our sleeping spots and call it a night.
pop at eight, so glad tom discovers how coff is conjured here. I pay both him and big man two days early cuz of spacing some on that earlier in the tour, fucking baka watt. they deserve. gotta chimp diary on the chilly windy porch cuz of sitch w/either loud stuff or around me someone's gotta hover but there's no other way to do work and I gotta do work to keep it together, especially now. I think stuff can affect (or is it effect?) people in ways that might not be aware of and in turn, that can affect (here we go again) those around them... it can be confusing but something's up... like last night on the ride here... I'd have to be a zombie combined w/some big time denial not give it any thought. well, I gotta keep pushing.
marty's got work and offers pad key but it's a good enough signal to bail and I have us pull anchor at ten and a half, go through some neighborhoods to get to I-55 (double nickels!) but frau garmin does good, it's an easy outta-saint-louie for us. I wheel us south for a bit before fuel stop near the mastodon trip they got near here - damn, I wish we had time for that... I know a mastadon ain't a dinosaur but man, was into dinosaurs as a boy in virginia - that and space stuff like astronauts and spacecraft. it's sunny but w/a big wind that's pretty chilly - like back in saint louis this morning. cross into arkansas a quarter of three, the ipod shuffle gives johnny cash 'pert-near when we pass by where he was born - what? my pop's pop's people were from around west memphis here in arkansas, a town called earle - I really wanna play in arkansas next tour but maybe not earle. we cross the hernando de soto bridge over the mississippi and get into memphis at about three and a half (five hours to do 380 miles)... I know where to load in here at lafayette's cuz I played here four years ago in the panther burns led by tav falco (love this man!) - the load-in hatch is in the back of the pad but there's a beer truck and a beer van block where I gotta dock so I drop anchor across the street and wait for 'pert-near a hour 'til the beer vehicles move, the van man very cool to make a space for me after the truck leaves.
soundman keith is very cool people and let's me do my spiel. padboss roscoe is also very cool and brings up the antenna club - this is where the minutemen first got to play in memphis. he gets me a plate w/a blackened red fish on top of red beans and rice and it's good chow for watt. soundcheck goes good though maybe tom's a little loud for a supper club w/a balcony... I ask him to come down some. I'm afraid to go and konk before the gig so I keep busy backstage chimping diary. very interesting to get visit from dr herman green, terry safford and their friend cecil mcdaniel - I got to make an album in memphis w/herman and terry along w/brother steve mackay, willie waldman and dave aron - mouthful was the name of the proj and god willing, some day it will come out - willie promised me that (I paid for the recording). it had NO electric guitars! trippy proj.
what ain't so interesting is the gig and I apologize big time for that. however, I did get some trippy stuff from ian regarding his new band and he said I could share it:
From: ian mackaye
music is a precious thing, incredible. so are real links w/people. I wanna take that stuff more to heart even though I felt it true since d boon days... it's the jacob ladder w/a cat coming down w/outstretched hand...
before I pull anchor from the pad, a most kind man named elmore comes up to the hatch and talks to me about paddling kayak - I can't believe he's strong enough to do it in the mississippi, crimony! much MUCH respect to him. beautiful man.
tom's friend terri found an air bnb for us here in memphis for tonight cuz we had no konk pad offered - second time ever I've been in one and damn if it wasn't here in memphis when me and larry helped tav recored an xmas album two summers ago at sam phillips recording, ain't that a trip?! it's a mile from rhodes college and seems very safe for the boat and clean for the crew, the two main things I look for in a konk pad. no drinking for me tonight and I get 'pert-near eight hour of konk - they're in four two hour bundles but only tiny awake parts in between. miss hiyori has sack of salz and do a big soak before konk (at eleven bells, can you believe? ONE good thing about going on at eight w/no opening act and doing abbreviated set) - my nerves and body are way into it. thank you miss hiyori, tom and terri very much.
wednesday, october 23, 2019 - new orleans, la
We're all up early because we need to hit the road by 9 for New Orleans. We pack up our things, say goodbye to Terri, and we're off. The drive to New Orleans almost has no traffic which is great and there's a lot of beautiful scenery on the way too, which is refreshing considering most of our drives haven't been that pleasant to look at.
We get to One Eyed Jack's at about 4:30. It's in the French Quarter - the streets are very tight here and parking is so fucked. We see some cones in front of the venue though and thankfully they're for us to park there. The load-in stitch is pretty easy as there's a big hallway for us to bring our things inside with no issue. The soundmen today are two cats named Roy and Yohei, they're really nice guys. Shortly after soundcheck, I ask the DOS person Candace where I can get some decently-priced authentic New Orleans seafood - she recommends a place called Deanie's Seafood. I take a walk to the restaurant and get down on a cup of crawfish chowder and a salad with lump crab and oysters topped with bacon and hard boiled egg as well. It's really tasty and I definitely get a bang for my buck.
The opening band tonight is a band called High - they're local. I talk with them before they're set about music and the same people who we happen to know through music. I watch their set too, I get heavy Superchunk and Dinosaur Jr vibes. They also do a cover of "Look at the Rain" by Meat Puppets which is a great way to end their set.
It's almost gig-time now. I'm really tired from just sitting around all day from the hellride, so I throw some cold water on my face and chug some water and La Croix to try and wake myself. I'm waiting to go on backstage and I meet Richard Egner aka Dick Deluxe - he's an old friend of Mike's who lives in New Orleans now. He's gonna play guitar during "The Red & The Black" with us tonight! He tells me that he lived in Sunset Beach, CA for a while and we happen to know a lot of the same people. Small world. He's an extremely generous cat, this man. It's gig time now. Dick absolutely kills it with us during the BOC cover, righteous! We blast right into "Fun House" and the set starts to flow really nice. The band sounds really good tonight; I need to thank the audience for flowing their positive energy toward the stage tonight. There's a good amount of yammering - specifically one obviously drunk lady in the front with her boyfriend - another lady tells her to shut up which makes me laugh - she gets her act together after this. Because of this, we do "Self-Referenced" instead of the Roky tune to end the set. For only doing it once at soundcheck earlier today with no prior practice of it before this, we do it justice. I need to work on the way I hit the toms, though. Georgie does more of a gallop while I do more of a simple syncopation. I'll play it better tomorrow, I'm sure of it!
We load out as quick as we can because we have a bit of a hellride from New Orleans to Houston tomorrow. We're crashing at Mike's friend Rob's house - he's pretty much the only person in town who is doing his best to keep the avant-garde scene alive in NOLA, as Mike tells me. Gotta love that. We get back to his pad, and he is a pleasure to spiel with - one of the most generous people I've met this tour, I dig his energy. We all spiel about our love for Robert Fripp, especially his guitar playing on "Heroes" and his golden age records with King Crimson. When I'm finally tuckered out from the spiel, I head upstairs to bed for the night.
i have a great nights sleep, maybe the best of tour. morning is a little chilly and moist, but looks like it's clearing up for our trip to New Orleans. i say farewell to terri and we lock up the little house and start our travels southward. it's a long road through arkansas and louisiana with some expected traffic into New Orleans but not too bad. we wrestle the local streets into the french quarter and luckily we have cones saving a parking spot in front of one eyed jacks, a great joint that's an "if the walls could talk" kind of place. it's busy on the narrow streets outside with all the tourist cross traffic and i get a tip for a place called green goddess to get a healthy and tasty french style salad from. i have time for a short meditation before the doors open. the opening band, high, plays their set of dinosaur/puppets styled rock before we play, i like them. after our show we load out as quickly as possible and go to rob and julie's new place and i spend some time talking with julie about costuming and stylist work in movies before i shower and nick and i share a bed upstairs.
pop at seven and use one of those coff machines that use cartridges. the coff's ok but I think this idea is bullshit and too closed in. anyway, I chimp up yesterday's nikki ('diary' in jap) cuz it's 'pert-near four miles to new orleans and I'm gonna be tuckered big time when I get there - for sure I'm gonna try to konk before the gig - I gotta not let this fear of thinking too much about my ma put a scar on me regarding that. w/out good konk, you can't have good health and that mean you can't play good for people or make sure your crew is safe. fuck that. got break through that hellwall and get regular on pre-gig konks.
terri's so kind to us, gonna take care of the last part of being in one of these air bnb - tom says it cost us $140 (I reimburse him) - cheaper than any of the three 'tels plus more safe for the boat. pull anchor at nine bells, south on I-55 (double nickels!) again, forty minutes later we cross into mississppi (byebye tennessee!) and I pull us over for gas, $2.17/gallon here in hernando. you can smell the chicken cooking but the next door's "zaxby's" (never tried their crap before) opens at ten. a little further down the road at senatobia (love this town's name!) I try another "zaxby's" but it opens at ten and a half! not meant to be. we instead go for subway sandwiches and I'm rolling the dice that they don't fucking bogart it w/mayo like what happened to me on the way to asheville. trippy thing is it's right next to a china buffet - just like that pad! what? yes, pert-near like cuz damn if it ain't all bogarted w/fucking mayo and I gotta blow it out, so I stop us in winona - have to walk it off after. shot right out of me like I was fully lubed by the projectile that was flying out the chute it was lubing or something like that. it was strange feel. I wheel us further south, through jackson where more asshole drivers make it weird and have to blow it out again - no more tuna from subway sandwiches can't handle the amount of mayo they cut it w/no days. the second blowout is in gallman twenty of four and fuel the boat last time before new orleans. many cans of peanuts under the table where they sell them boiled makes for a weird scene in my head. secondmen organman peetzo calls me and we spiel w/me using the bluetoof. he's getting a patch bay going w/the casa hanzo studio he's got in his backyard (part of his garage), it's such a great thing in my life and I'm so happy to be a part of it. of course we talk about my ma - he lost his ma not too long ago also. my ma loved peetzo, she dug all the people who sallied forth w/me on tour missions. she knew tours were team efforts and I couldn't do them alone and was real glad I good cats w/me. she knew I was most grateful and likewise she was too. weather like my pedro town the whole way makes all the miles the best they could be to travel. out of mississippi and into new orleans quarter of three, soon we're on causeways over bayous, very distinctively Llouisiana and trippy. weather calm w/humidity now, you can only imagine summer time here. crimony. w/weather I'm always thinking of my pedro town but I am glad to get to see so much variety w/tour life. like it even better though when these other parts are like most times in my pedro town - I am spoiled baka!
not too bad a plug getting into new orleans proper, I get us to one eyed jacks in the french quarter at four and a half, half a hour early and damn if the padboss candice ain't got cones out for us - first time for a watt tour to have that here - even back when it was known as the shim sham club! crimony. I remember soundman roy from being here w/tav four years ago, I think monitorman yohei too, both very cool people and our check goes boom, like that. we prac "self-referenced" too and pretty good for first time ever playing it. very happening of padboss candice to bring stuff backstage cuz of my prob w/stairs. I kind of like the karma back here too cuz this was a burlesque theatre and this is where the ladies got ready for their show, the mirrors, chairs and lights here and everything. they got a head here too, happening.
for tonight's chow I get a four piece at "willie's chicken shack" a couple doors down cuz the pad I used to always chow at, "the camellia grill" is now gone and it's place some lame merch joint... same sad paradigm repeating itself everywhere like an unsubtle plague puke. I'm enlightened to the fact tonight's openers (there was no opener last night) are local cats high but damn if I never meet any of them 'til the bassman later as I'm bailing for the boat. so sorry. it was an over three hour konk for me, I was so tuckered from the hellride. getting the rest I needed was grat but also the fact I didn't freak out thinking about my ma was a big relief too, sometimes a buttload of fatigue can be a little positive I guess.
tom rousts me ten of ten w/the hot throatcoat ocha and I make my way through the new orleans gig-goers to the stage and meet dick deluxe - I asked him to do the first tune w/us and he's ready to go. both me and him got to record an album called "north beach jazz" 'pert-near ten years ago, a beautiful experience. we bring it and the gig's on. I rally from last night, big man and tom helping much, dick too w/this first tune shove he's in on - big time I'm most grateful. righteous spirit from the gig-goers right in your face, love the way this pad is for doing gigs, love it - one of my favorite in the country - wish all former little burlesque theatres could be gigpads! a little trouble near the end of our set, some w/tom or ideas I'm having about tom and then there's also some yammerers who think even having only two spiels for a gig is too much... to head off any more trouble w/that I have us do my "self-referenced" tune we prac'd earlier at our check, tom sings it so good, love it!
I try to sling some stuff from the stage but only tiny bits move which is ok, I'm just glad they came to see the gig. joe and todd from mobile are here - they made the two hour hellride, crimony! love joe, love todd. so glad to see them, so glad. they got a band together called _beast rising up out of the sea_ (videos of them here, here, here, here and here) that I got to share the stage w/the night jack had to leave us... man, that was tough on me - I owed that guy a buttload for what he did w/bass and singing. I get to sign soundman roy's bass - he's a bassbrother too! many most kind people give me the good word, big hearts and important reason to rally, real important. I get a present sack from andres of the quarter rats.
settle w/helperman jason real quick backstage, quickest settlement of the tour. yatt! however, long load-out cuz shinecarts can't really be used that well cuz of all the stairs involved. I wait in the rudder seat of the boat while the team loads up and use gaman ('patience' in jap). rob of anxious sound is letting us konk at his new pad in the gentilly part of town. we get in at ten after midnight which is righteous. we have good spiel w/rob, I always do cuz he brings it. I hose off and am into the nightwear - his new pad here still in unpack mode but truly most happening to feel safe and relaxed in. thank you tons, rob.
thursday, october 24, 2019 - houston, tx
I wake up at Rob's house at about 8AM - I got only about 5 hours of sleep I think, but I don't feel too tired. Mike is using my hotspot because we couldn't figure out how to use Rob's WiFi last night. I chug down some coffee and hit the road for Houston at 9AM on the dot.
I'm a little anxious on this drive today, but doing alright overall. I'm really digging on sardines now - really tasty protein that you can eat on the road with no issue. They especially taste good with mustard, tortilla chips and roasted chickpeas. I'm finally starting to feel a bit of general exhaustion from this tour but I keep pushing. I can only imagine how Mike and Tom feel - they gotta sing every fucking night too! I'm looking forward to our next four shows in Texas though - the last shows I played here with Neighborhood Brats were some of my favorite gigs I've ever played, easily.
We get to the White Oak Music Hall in the late afternoon after I wake up from a long nap. The seems to be on the outskirts of town; I get a little bit of a weird vibe from it. The place is very industrial looking, and it doesn't have the usual aesthetic like most of the venues we've been playing have had. It's really humid outside, but the place does have air conditioning, so I'm really grateful for this. We load in our gear upstairs using the elevator they have handy and get done with our soundcheck pretty quick. Bossman Anthony fetches us some chow from a nearby noodle house and it's pretty good - I get the lemongrass chicken with rice noodles which will definitely hold me over until show time.
We're on at 10PM tonight. It's a bit of a rough gig for me personally but the band overall sounds great. We do "Self-Referenced" at the end really good too; I definitely play it better than I did last night in NOLA. There's some yammering from the audience that makes it difficult for Watt to give his second spiel, but that's been happening every once in a while this tour. They're not as loud as the NOLA crowd last night, though. I feel a bit weaker than usual after this show, which bums me out; I'm supposed to be the physically stronger one Mike and Tom can rely on but sometimes my stomach just acts up out of nowhere that I can't just fucking help it. There's a lot of people trying to talk to me too that are extremely borracho which makes my load out process a lot harder, and I can't fucking stand this. I truly understand that people are just being nice and want to show good faith, mean no harm, etc...but it starts to take a toll. Sometimes someone all that needs to be said is "Hey, I enjoyed that". None of this jive-ass fake-praise bullshit. I'm really bad at telling people when they step over certain boundaries. Thankfully, Patrice and Dan-O (the people we are staying with tonight) are here to help me schlep all of my things downstairs as quick as we can. It's raining now, and the air is humid too...man, I don't dig this Houston weather.
We get to Patrice and Dan-O's house fast after the show, and my mood quickly changes from annoyed to almost the exact opposite. Patrice and Dan-O truly have such a wholesome and welcoming energy and make us feel right at home. They have gifts for us too - some Daniel Johnston art from the man himself for, miscellaneous pins, nightwear for Tom, and even Day of the Dead style masks that we can wear for Halloween! We were struggling to think of costumes so I'm glad this is settled. Dan-O is a big time collector of all sorts of memorabilia. You name a record, and he has it. He specifically shows me a Big Boys original Frat Cars 7" that I geek the fuck out on. He also as the original "I'M A MESS" pin that Sid Vicious would famously wear - crazy shit. It's really cool to see all of this stuff in person. He has so much more awesome stuff but I don't even know where to go on. After geeking out with Dan-O and his collection, we all share some good spiel for a couple hours at the dinner table, but as soon as I start to get tired I go to my room for the night. Tom is asleep next to me with his konk-mask on.
we have a little time to hang with rob before we have to get going to Houston. he's a good dude and we have a lot in common. it's a long trip over the bayou and causeways across louisiana to texas. we go through beaumont tx. and see many sights of oil industry, we wind up in houston at the white oak music hall. we played here before and we load in the humid houston air. i'm gonna see my friend lisa l tonight, looking forward to it. we order food from a vietnamese place and i get beef vermicelli salad and drown it in hat sauce. before gig i see lisa and her sweet daughter nina and a couple of her friends and we talk before i have to get ready to play. it's a fun but strange night, and we load out asap and roll ti our great friends dano and Patrice's place like we usually do. dano shows nick some of his punk documentation and memorabilia collection which is catalogued and neatly filed in what seems like hundreds of storage boxes lining the inside of their house. i've been here 5 or 6 times before and never see the same thing twice, unless i want to. i try some of the homemade salsa and guacamole that dano made, take a shower, then nick and i share the room with two beds for the night.
pop at seven, fucking put on wrong glasses - no wonder I can't fucking read the craptop screen - they're rob's glasses! I'm a fucking baka. new glasses when I get back... I used these shitty ones cuz they ain't all busted up and glued together like my "good" ones - I need good ones that are in one piece! brother ted from flipper turned me on to some sites w/econo stuff where I just plug in my prescription. I wanted to before this tour but got all fucking busy-crazy w/prep. baka watt. rob makes up good coff for me, he's a man who uses nightwear and the big man is impressed. fuck, I wish I could get big man to hose off BEFORE he konks so he don't stew in his own sauces especially now I've convinced him that sweating hard is good for the body, not a sign of weakness and what better way to get that going than to wail on it during a gig. flush those poisons out, man, flush them out w/honest work!
we pull anchor at nine cuz we got 'pert-near 360 miles (all of it on I-10) to cover and they want us at venue at four. not long after going over the mississippi for the last time this tour at baton rouge I pull us over for fuel about a quarter before eleven at a shell station in iberville that's also got a subway sandwich bad and will try what used to be my usual but w/beef instead of tuna cuz hopefully there'll be no fucking mayo. miss hiyori helps me w/that while I service the boat which takes a while cuz motherfuckers leave their vehicle at the pump while doing other shit. crimony. lots of causeway over bayou on the drive, lots. I imagine john fogerty writing a different kind of song about these parts - how would it go? what's a fucking trip is there's three lawyer men: gordon, morris and bart that got like a buttload of billboards saying how they can make right your eighteen wheeler wreck, car wreck, work injury - whatever wrong righted about a quarter of three I get to the border of texas and you can't imagine how much hombre in those like twenty miles, we even get an escort on our six for a time but one never fucks w/speeding, never. I see at least seven or eight tickets being won by deserving assholes and at least twenty something hombres in different forms (marked, unmarked, suv, muscle car, motorcycle) wailing on and STILL motherfuckers are acting like assholes and driving dangerous stupid tailgating swerving cut-you-off fucknut dumpshit lame-ass so terrible... maybe the fucking driverless car is the way - ain't that a goddamn fucking pity? get a handle on being responsible, people! what the fuck?
look out texass, byebye louisiana - I stop us to dump in rose city and fuck air out the boat cuz big man didn't warn us when he opened one of those nashville-donated 'dine cans to feed his face... now if he'd have warned us then me and tom could've got our 'dines in mustard going - you can't smell 'dines when you're chowing 'dines also but big man has still gotta learn about working w/a crew, using teamwork for stuff like this - not just on the stage. he's doing good though, learning by doing - just don't wanna have him take these advices personal cuz they ain't meant to be, he's doing great and I'm real proud of him. only one big plug on houston's east side (the houston metro area is like forty miles from it's middle! sprawled a lot like so cal back home) to get to the white oak music hall, three and a half when I drop anchor! success: arrived alive.
we're playing "upstairs" at this pad (there's a few stage including an outside one and I meet soundman jacob and give him the "fourth man spiel" which he is into. yatta. gigboss anthony - he says we can order delivery from "jenny's noodle house" (this pad ain't near any chowpads) and he says he ain't taking a merch cut even though the contract says to - most pads I do don't so this is in line but still bitchin of him. I order pho after gigboss anthony's recommend. it's fucking good - love pho for tour chow. the one thing though is they should give you another "bowl" or whatever cuz you always get the fixings separate and then it's too much shit to fit! crimony. I meet the d.kosmo (big band version) and they're great cats plus have a righteous sound - I hear their soundcheck and it's way happening. big respect to them. I go to the boat to konk and do so hard, we got three hours 'til downbeat.
quarter of ten tom rousts me - had to get the shoes off... oh yeah, like an asshole I donated a sock and brought on tour only one pair... fuck, they were yellow ones time. damn it. well, when I came from virginia to california, I stopped wearing socks (and chonies) 'til the illness 'pert-killed me when I was fortytwo. that policy reversed itself after that. I go through up the elevator and through the crowd, right up to the stage cuz they got stairs right there starboard, great. we bring it and it's a yammering spirit the houston gig-goers bring us tonight. I think the band plays good though I wish tom would've been louder - I hate it when it seems he's miming it, I need him so bad to be w/me - it ain't a reggae band, it's a power trio. big man does real good though he's a little distracted w/adjusting his fuckin ride cymbal, gotta talk w/him about that. he's way w/me w/most of the tempos though, making great progress w/that and sweating it up too, all right! it's houston so I gotta do the roky tune, even w/the yammering, even w/someone hollering for daniel johnston - I don't know much about his past but I did get to spend a bunch of time of him the first time I met him, it was first fIREHOSE tour and we were opening for butthole surfers and sonic youth (gib's poster said SONIC BUTT FIRE) and daniel was wearing a macdonald's hat and gave me a cassette - we talked for about two hours w/me windbagging about the who before "who's next" and him about the beatles - I listened to the cassette later and right away came up w/a version of his "walkin the cow" (my spelling) which I first recorded as the lucky sperms w/steve shelley (steve's name for the proj, we only did that one release). I tell the houston gig-goers about playing a gig on november 9, 2017 that ben lee put together - joey waronker (love that man, first met him in walt mink) was on drums and some other very nice people, we did a kcrw radio broadcast earlier that day and then at night was a show at the orpheum. there was a point at the radio trip where it was just me and him in a room and I asked him "do you remember me?" and he looked down, said "no" and quickly left the room. I told the houston gig-goers that. oh, you know who else is from houston? billy gibbons and mayo thompson - I think during the first spiel of the night I said that. I got respect for both of them too.
I sling some from the stage when done. get to say to tom bunch - he did all my houston gigs up to his "the vatican" pad cuz that's when he bailed for his california stint. there's much kindness from lots of houston gig-goers but also it's a little trippy w/lots of repeat coming from some cats - love the bassman lencho, a great brother who talks to me later at the boat, serious hermano - gran respeto for him for me big time. anyway, there's a man in chair I gotta hug, beautiful man w/his body broken. damn. pete stewart's brother david too is here. so sad we lost brother pete stewart from wichita falls... we did buttloads of phone calls w/each over many many years. very heavy.
gigboss anthony does the settlement trip w/me in the boat, it calms me some - he's got a great spirit and also lencho coming over for one last abrazo. cody one more time wishes me safe seas after I wished it on him first. we spent a good time one gig in san antonio - at "the paper tiger" - won't forget it.
starting to sprinkle, I get us on the wrong road going to dano and patrice's but we make it safe and they're pad is an emotional oasis for, so calm and safe I feel here. quick I hose off and learn they're bailing from here for... san antonio! crimony. they've cleared the deck for the air mattress and we all have a good time w/lots of good spiel. this is gig one of their texas trifecta they're gonna do w/us! I get to meet patrice's kame ('turtle" in jap), actually she's got four!
friday, october 25, 2019 - dallas, tx
It's cold as fuck here in Houston this morning, wow. It's raining pretty heavy too. I slept really really fucking good though, I really needed that after yesterday - I felt pretty weak pretty much all day. Patrice and Dan-O have breakfast ready for us too - lots of eggs, sausage and guacamole. They're coming to the show tonight in Dallas AND tomorrow's gig in Austin so I'm really glad that I get to see them again these next couple of days.
The drive from Houston to Dallas takes us about 4 hours with barely ANY plug getting into the city - people warned us of bad traffic (especially on a Friday) but there's basically nothing. The bossman outside of Three Links, Scott, shows us where to park. I actually met Scott when I played here back in April with my band Neighborhood Brats when we did a short tour with the Adolescents - that was so much fun. He remembers me and him and I spiel back and forth for a while...he potentially wants the Brats to play either the tattoo festival they hold there OR the annual birthday party show of Three Links...I would love to do it if it's feasible with everyone's schedule! I really do dig it here, truly. We're here really early so I chimp on diary for a while until it's finally time to load-in and soundcheck. The soundman is a younger Cat named Chase who is really cool - him and I relate with each other on many levels. I meet the drummer of the opening band tonight, his name is Jordan. I compliment his drum kit...it's a custom C&C drum kit. Jordan actually knows Jake who is the co-owner and is nice enough to immediately put me in contact with him to see if they can get a custom kit going for me...wow, I'm really excited in this moment. Hopefully something comes out of it!
As soon as we're done with soundcheck my buddy John hits me up to tell me he's about 30 minutes away from Dallas - he lives in Denton. John is also a drummer man - an extremely talented one too, for that matter. He plays in Drakulas, Lost Balloons, and a couple more that I can't remember off the top of my head right now - but let me tell you, he's a hell, and I mean, hell of a drummer. I met him when Lost Balloons played at Harold's Place in Pedro back in early 2018. He shows up to Three Links at about 8 - his friend Andy is here too, I've never met him until now, but him and I have a lot of the same common interests too so it's not awkward by any means. We eat across the street at this place called Cafe Brazil - I order the "build your omelette" with chicken and various vegetables - it's okay; nothing special and kind of expensive but I wasn't in the mood for Texas barbecue or anything gnarly at the moment this early before I have to go on stage.
We get back to the venue at about 9 while the opening band "Yaz Mean" is just starting their set - wow! These cats fucking rip - especially their drummer Jordan. Like, this guy has mind-blowing chops - very impressive. He's obviously classically trained. Soon after this, I meet Jeremy at the merch table - we're staying with him tonight; he tells me that he's happy to meet me and excited to be hosting us after the show.
We're on at 10:30 tonight. I'm waiting near the stage to go on and Mike is wearing a T-shirt over his usual gig shirt, which isn't something he usually does...there's certainly some significance to it I bet. We start off the set really strong as I'm feeling the energy from this crowd A LOT tonight. There's a couple of younger looking cats in the front who have huge smiles on their faces which gives me a lot more confidence in my playing, but I don't get ahead of myself either. Other than a few minor hardware issues on my end, we do the set justice tonight.
We get to Jeremy and his wife Melissa's house about a half-hour before midnight. Melissa has some things to munch on - I ate dinner pretty early so I snack on some really good of her homemade vegan shepherd's pie and some assorted fruits and veggies. I have a couple of beers with Jeremy and his really nice friend Rob who was also at the gig tonight. It's really late now (almost 3AM) so I think it's about time for me to go to bed.
patrice has coffee and food started as we organize ourselves in the wet and chilly Houston morning. dano and patrice have been our houston connection for so many years that it's a bit of a shock to learn that they will be relocating to San Antonio soon, which means we probably will do more gigs there in the future. they plan to be at our next two gigs so when we get in the van to head to dallas we aren't saying goodbye yet. a few hours later we enter dallas and pass the infamous book depository and navigate to the area known as deep elum, where most of the clubs and various night life exists. there are cones in front of the three links club and we wait for the rain to subside and load in. it's still cold and wet but not that bad. it's a cool bar with a small stage area like the bow of a boat protruding from the back wall. cozy feeling but a good size for us. nice folks run the place and it feels natural to play here. we do soundcheck and walk to a place for a caesar sald with grilled chicken but the chicken is cold and i ask to send it back, something i almost never do, but for 15 bucks it seems like the right thing to do. i get some funky vibes about it from the staff and they offer to make another one for me, but i've lost my appetite for it and the place and leave without eating. kind of a bummer cause i'm hungry. i go back to the 3 links and drink tea and try to rest in the office upstairs but i decide to go next door to a mexi place and order a bean and cheese burrito which is also cold. it's kind of funny at this point and i eat it anyway. pretty lame. there are two bands before us so i go back to the couch upstairs and try to meditate but it's not a good one and decide to shave and clean up and that helps. both bands are fun to hear, very different from one another, and i dig that. we see dano and patrice and our buddy jeremy whom we stay with here. it's a good night and fun crowd and we get help from friends to load out and jeremy comes in the van to guide us to his and mellissa's house where mellissa has much food and treats all ready. she's amazing that way, very very sweet and equally cool to be around. i shower and sleep on an air mattress in jeremy's music room surrounded but guitars, perfect!
pop at eight bells - thought it was seven cuz of the darkness which is due the rain that's continued I guess through the night. the weather radar maps on the internet show louisiana getting hit hard - we made by one day. a great thing about the westward leg of a u.s. tour is that the winds are prevailing easterly so you can get through storms quicker if they're on you and then they're past. the other way the motherfuckers can actually stay w/you for days - one I had one system on me over a week! crimony. damo cooks up a great chow, scrambled eggs w/good body, FRESH potatoes and sausage patty w/toast to make for most happening shovel, prolly last one here cuz they're moving to san antonio - dano and patrice say houston has priced them out and dano wants to retire. I trip on patrice's turtles - she's got four and they're beautiful though I ask her to add one more cuz shi ('four' in jap) also means 'death' in jap.
pull anchor at eleven, dano guiding me through the mud and sea grass... at his pad, maybe for last time - so many good times at this pad but they have to end. it ain't hard rain but it's gray and still wet so why do motherfuckers have to engaged in race mode? we witness a lady talking on her leash, another one grading stuff - pencil in one hand, paper in other - others in work vehicles acting like total assholes w/cut-offs and tailgating... turn signals are a sign of weakness. it's I-45 north by northwest 'pert-near the whole way (about 240 miles) w/buttloads of construct but we see only ticket winner from hombre - some hombre tailgate too - saw this in atlanta in fact - it's a fucking culture of bullshit lame-ass driving fad taking over current day vehicle operators w/no regard to laws of physics or priority of life goals. I wanna hang my head in disgust but at same time even more take care and deliver my crew safe to where we need to be so we can use the arts to express ourselves. I get us off at willis just before noon eo fuel the boat but we find nothing on our side the road... go head north through town and see a church for sale but no gas station... see some schools ("willis wildkats") and then there's the freeway onramp. damn. next offramp has gas though and on the side we need (I hate fucking out of the way fucking fuel safaris). we witness the consequences of asshole driving, it results in a plug and then seeing a lady w/a blankie over her shoulders, vehicle crushed and other on flatbed wreck-mover. akumu ('nightmare' in jap).
this tour we've seen very few expressions supporting douche piece of shit but there's a sign evoking god idea involving him. koolaid gulper. as dallas looms, I point out to big man the sixth story of the book depository... vote out clowns, don't use violence - don't be stupid. gibby's pop told me he heard the shot and looked up and saw mr oswald right in the face. so much construct now done, very easy to get into the deep ellum part of dallas this time for me, I drop anchor at three links twenty after three, pad boss scott w/three rings on his coat there to greet me. love working this pad, love it. respect. it's both cold and wet. miss hiyori gets yaki-soba and red fish soup from "deep sushi" chowpad a couple blocks down the street, plus some sox w/embroidered "dallas" on them cuz no sox is prolly real stupid in this weather.
we load-in and meet soundman chase, a real nice cat into the fourth man dealio. the chow miss hiyori got is good. gigboss chris also has more mersh gig across the street at "tree" so had double duty. love this man. he tells me about the tornado here last sunday, did two billion dollars of wreckage. crimony. maybe nine touched down but no one killed - not just trailer parks but rich people pads too. he tells me also about his family, people in key west where u.s. one ends - k's ma lived on big pine key, not far. I could talk w/gigboss chris for a million years, most interesting man. we do quick check w/soundman chase and I meet one american werewolf academy man - I've played w/them before here but I meet no one yaz mean - these two bands are tonight's openers. the thing is I'm real beat and also feeling kind of weak... there's a "fuzzy tacos" pad next door and I get no arroz, no frijoles and no queso but everything else in a "brisket burrito" trip. it's good and puts more strong in me than that jap chow which was good but for some reason not enough. I got more than three hours to get konk... but first I read email (the pad's internet reaches the boat, yatta!) from big man's uncle tom (his ma's brother) said I could share it ("Mike, u can share. and it's not kindness, it's respect to a fellow mercenary who never drank the kool-aid. Yup, we do learn from the naive kids but its up to us big dawgs to teach the puppies how to piss on on every tree they pass and leave their mark. u da man brother Mike"):
"Raindrops On Roses And Whiskers On Kittens"
now that's a tour spiel, righteous of him to share.
coldest time in the boat this tour - I gotta zip the yellow coat up to the chin and use three blankies plus ear plugs, eye mask and orange knit hat to cocoon myself into a insulated konk stich that can work and it does... I pop only after a roust from tom - someone gives him a shirt to give me and though I don't see that cat, I do see the words "trophy wives" printed on it and immediately put it on. pete stewart from wichita falls was in the trophy wives.
the doorman and moneylady need to see my drivers license to make sure I ain't an asshole trying to bumrush and I make my way through the crowd. I tell the dallas gig-goers this gig's for pete stewart and we bring it, really REALLY good start. the spirit from the dallas gig-goers is righteous. tom's playing his ass off and so is big man but then stuff develops strange - big man gets distracted but a faulty moon gel and tom starts spacing on both words and when to step on the right box - not bad but strange. what really goes weird is me slipping on a set list and crumpling ("down goes frazier!") for the third time this tour, second one on stage. only hurt is bass on my balls but that's spread out cuz of big flat part and starboard index finger cuz it was caught in the strings - it was last note of "forever/one reporter's opinion" and I prolly scared many gig-goers, sorry. big man gives me the hand up and we're quick into the next tune. should we do encore? I hate milking anything... worse come-in ever of the tour for "tv eye" from big man - I end the gig right after w/a shout out to john coltrane but it's not john coltrane music that follows... soundman chase later apologizes but those things happen.
I sling zero amount but do get good word going both ways w/the dallas gig-goers. I short-circuit as many "history lesson" spiels as I can cuz I'm just getting all filled up w/that kind of stuff. "I've waited thirty years to finally see you" for some reason feels better than "it was thirty years ago when I first saw you" - really does. we only have the moment. I think of pete stewart and am missing him. patrice helps me off the stage - her and dano are here and will be w/us again tomorrow in austin. righteous.
on the way to the boat I meet daniel from new fumes and I apologize for to him for not having the bass for him yet for his stuff he got done up for me. I will I promise when I get to my pedro town, he's a music man that deserves respect!
gigboss chris settles w/me in the boat. padboss comes up and we do a threefer for the moneylady working a leash-camera. jeremy gets in the boat w/us, he'll navigate us to his pad in nearby irving. part of the route brings us the exact place john kennedy was shot to death, I point it out w/word but the boat's right where his lincoln continental was - I let the big man know... it's a heavy feeling on me for a moment though I've been here buttloads of time. jeremy says mr oswald's wife lived in irving and it's a museum now.
jeremy's pad is always a real welcome pad, great spirit here. there's chow of course and brown to go down, his wife melissa is as righteous as he is. there's a buddy of jeremy's here named rob and I have a real good spiel w/him after hosing off and getting into the nightwear, most intersting cat. it's a great time even for the late time that's unusual for this tour - yeah, I don't know why but most gigs this are earlier trips. it makes for a later one like this one easier for a less younger watt and for that I'm most grateful.
saturday, october 26, 2019 - austin, tx
i wake and Melissa is busy with coffee and things and we have a nice morning just hanging out with she and jeremy. very kind people. we play in austin tonight at the barracuda where we have been playing in the recent years. we arrive early, before it's open i go for a walk up and down 6th street, a section of town that's completely lined with bars, clubs, food places and souvenir shops. live music pours loudly out of every bar into the air. tourism is a big part of austin which is one of the biggest music meccas you can find anywhere. both good and bad in my opinion. when i get back to the barracuda i see nick's father, rudy who has brought a bbq feast for us to stuff ourselves on. he's a great man. the doors are open now and we eat before loading in and soundchecking. after check we have some time on our hands and we all retreat into our corners to chill out. i use the backstage room out back that doesn't have comfortable seating so i put 2 benches together and put the rug from the floor along the top and lay down for a while. sort of relaxing. time continues to pass and i go in the club to check out the 1st group, whit that are a cool tight band with a front lady on guitar and voice and another young lady playing keyboard. 2 guys on bass and drums complete it and they have cool groove and are obviously trained players. fun to watch. then a one man show does his thing using loops off guitar and plays drums and sings some crazy tunes. also fun to watch. we have a good show and our friend steve t is there and i have a good time wrapping with him. it's a fun night and we load out and go to jd and sarah's place for the night.
pop at eight bells. damn, I think the air matress is kaput. fuck, I love this aerobed one. damn it. we'll get another aerobed one - count on it! I get in the clean outfit, feels good. there was no washing machine/dryer at dano and patrice's though they had everything else in more. it's their last gig seeing us this tour, such gret people. so is jeremy and melissa - melissa cooks me up some fried eggs which are the first non-scrambled ones all tour. it's very relaxed for me here today, pretty much clear skies and so much calmer than last night, I'm most grateful. also to our most-kind hosts... I ask jeremy to flow me some ideas and see what bass I can throw him back. pull anchor at noon, get to I-35e (trippy about I-35 splitting how they do - same thing north in minnesota w/minneapolis and saint paul!) via I-20 and then south. seventy minutes later I pull us off in waxahachie to fuel the boat after some asshole 'pert-near ran us off the road by passing not only on the right from the should but while I was switch lanes to the port
that took about four and a half hours to do 200 miles, I drop anchor in front of barracuda at four and a half (terrible writing form) and it looks like parking is gonna be a sticker three times, $6 each so you figure that total. it's close to the hatch though and I don't think we can get boxed in. I've played here when it was called "red 7" and its current name. soundman alex is here at five to open up and let's me in, good cat - we rap a little... I ask him about this sign over the hatch of a little pad by "stubb's" that had "libery lunch" written on it - liberty lunch was a pad I played many MANY times and always dug it there, good memories - especially the head there for one thing! mark pratt ran it and I always dug him much, real good cat. acutally first minutemen austin gig for us was at the continental club which still exists - mark and terry pearson had that pad then, we played w/some cats called the tail gators (whoa, they're still around - here's thier fakelook page!) who had righteous bassman keith ferguson aboard - man, I dug that cat's way of working bass, loved it (found some "touring tips" from him here). anyway, we're a hour early but soundman alex arrives to open up things, very cool people. not much later who shows up? brother rudy - the most east he's ever been from our pedro town! he's big man's pop... me, d boon and georgie were all part of the class of 1976 san pedro high w/him - ain't that a trip? he's w/his buddies frank and jose - they got a buttload of q from a pad called "ironworks" - when rudy asked me for q suggest my recommend was "franklins" cuz the boss there saw a missingmen austin gig (w/raul) and had us come for a tour and a buttload of fucking righteous q but this stuff is happening and I shovel much rib (pig/steer), green beans and slaw. managerman nate arrives and him and soundman alex (WAY into being missingmen fourth man) have to work out some p.a. probs (turns out to be a lame digital snake) but soon as they fix that we do a quick check, the way I like. drummerman frank of we are the asteroid and ashley come to visit - we got a plan to make music together, I like the way he can do a shuffle (we toured together when I was helping flipper back in august) and said I'd write him three tunes on bass and let nathan do guitar and put it together in a studio they use... maybe bruce luce after? let's see! we have a good spiel and then I'm into the boat and konk quick and hard. fuck if I don't even get to meet openers daniel francis doyle and whit damn it... the prob is I just get too tired and there's a good chance I can't give a good gig - not to make excuses but being beat is something I can do something about w/a good konk... never any disrespect to people I share the stage w/for a gig though, never wanna make that happen especially cuz of some heirarchy shit - that's why I always wanna strike the stage too so cats can have the same sitch we get. anyway I'm so tuckered that konk comes to me despite the fucking racket from across the street. crimony. trippy thing happens though - I pop somehow at 10:17 maybe cuz in my mind that's when I knew that's when the parking would run out - I arranged it w/tom for him to come to the rescue but when I look - I see no parking slip from him in the window so I go to the machine to get one... people come up and try to rap w/me but I'm in a half-konked state and can't get the machine to work - I do eventually but then when I get to the boat to put it on, again more attempts at engaging me and man, I don't wanna be rude but I am tired and wanna get back to konk - it's the latest gig of the tour (on stage at quarter of midnight) so I can still get in a hour and fuck if I don't need it. hell, I find tom's slip in the wheelwell... must've fallen off the windshield, oh well. at least no ticket for us. I go back to konking. I hope people don't take offense of me being kind of half-konked cuz I was, sorry!
quarter of eleven, tom rousts me and I go 'pert-near right to the stage after soaking my voice chords in hot throatcoat ocha... much good spirit from the austin, gig-goers, oh man. I kind of need it more a little bit cuz I wanna do good in front of the big man's pop alongside his boy, it's really important to me. we bring an it's good - thank you austin gig-goers. there's some yammering and I decide next tour I just do one spiel, maybe that'll help. big man plays real good for his pop. there's some rushing but not much and tom really brings it - he even puts a whammy on his jazzercaster during my second spiel, interesting. I have us do the roky tune cuz he lived here and I feel I should.
I sling some but do more spiel - here's tim and beth, big love to them. and not only frank but nathan and gary too from we are the asteroid, love these cats big time and so good to see them. no asking to be on the list either, just coming and supporting me - I'm gonna do the same next time they're in so cal. great cats. nathan hips me to the fact the stubbs club people bought the "liberty lunch" name cuz after the old cat passed, the sauce people have some kind beef and so they wanna rename and what a great pad name to have - like I said, so many good gigs I had there. makes sense. bassbrother steve from white denim is and I got big hugs for him, love this man and his pop was at the birmingham gig last week. respect! I hobble over to the office hugging daniel francis doyle, I apologize so much for not being strong enough to enjoy his gig (I learn later my men did) and wanna have another try some time. man I wish watt had more gas in the tank!
I thank soundman alex and managerman nate for so much great assist and settle w/gigboss rosa who's also great people, love working this pad. outside I meet joey lin - long LONG time since I've seen him... he spends much time in buenos aires these days - man, I gotta go play thos parts south of our border but still is america (the continent), man I hope I get enough time to do that, play for our neighbors, brother/sisters. big hugs to dano and patrice... brother rudy too, so good to see him - hope he dug me and tom w/his boy.
I get us down to south austin and over to jd and sarah's, beautiful pad full of kind spirit, love it and love them. we drink the brown and chase it w/the q soon as I hose off and get in my namaki, it's a real good time. some onade talk cuz I'm inspired by it much, especially the nikki part. oyasumi. BIG domo to jd and sarah.
sunday, october 27, 2019 - lubbock, tx
we rise early, have coffee and some eggs but soon we say goodbye to sarah and jd to get on the road to lubbock. it's a 7 hour+ drive on a state road that takes us through small towns along the way, places i probably would never see otherwise. finally we get to jake's back room that's in a strip mall connected to a sports bar with televisons everywhere and smoking allowed inside. i've been to lubbock once before but this is my first time playing here. it's an early gig on a sunday so we get on set up and check asap. before gig time hiyori, nick and i get food from the sports bar area and have a long wait to receive it. so, i eat up and make tea and get ready to play. it's sort of a large room and it's a little quiet tonight, but we have a great show. afterwards we go to tanner and ashley's house and set up sleeping areas and get to bed early.
pop at seven bells. jd cooks me up some scrambled eggs w/tomanegi along w/tomatoes and avacodos, great chow. we gotta kind of scurry cuz of the hellride ahead of us. so grateful for the kindness, we leave jd and sarah all the q that was left from our shoveling. can't wait to see them again and in the meantime hopefully I get more many birthdays music from them.
pull anchor quarter of ten cuz we got 'pert-near four hundred miles to cover and all but a tiny bit are us-hwy roads where the speed goes down to 35 mpg when you pass through tiny towns. I think it'll be a interesting drive though - I ain't trying to sound like I'm bellyachin, gotta play the hand your dealt best you can. I get gas on the way out town, $2.05/gallon - most econo of the tour so far. big strong kaze ('wind' in jap) but zero clouds in the sky, righteous about that for our journey. trippy looks (I call them "eye gifts" sometimes) at tiny towns like lometa, scallom - at goldwaite (around noon) I pull over to drop unko. at early is where us-84 shares the road us-183 - then mullin (larry!) and zephyr - us-84 only after early, santa anna - lots of windfarm at noodle dome and then the only interstate of today's ride at abeline for like thirty miles... twenty of three I get only $20 of fuel cuz at this pad that I find out is acutally a grocery store you gotta buy these cards and can't get refund if there's a balance - nope! landscape sure is changed, nothing like the hill country around austin but more flat and less trees. interesting. lots of cotton - seems more stunted then what I see in cali, is that true? there is a lot. the twenty bucks is enough to get us back on to us-83 and into lubbock quarter after five... there's a cat at the sidehatch in the back of jake's - maybe hence the name "jake's back room" cuz all the tv's are separated from where we're gonna play, thank god. you know what? I think I played here before... there was one other lubbock gig too, maybe a few years after but I think both were w/my secondmen. anyway, soundman tommy is very cool people and way into working fourth man for us tonight, much respect to him. he's gonna be light translater also. I go take a walk around cuz the seven and half hour hellride got me big time stiff. after quick and good check I find out there's no opening act and in fact, soundman tommy says we can pick our onstage time! I suggest eight and a half (it's a sunday) and he's into it. oh, I gotta chimp here gigboss hilda (great lady) provided two helpermen for our equip schlep which along w/a loading ramp, made things way happening. miss hiyori get me a caesar salad but it takes so long I never chow it cuz I'm way konked in the boat - I'll save it for tomorrow morning.
tom rousts me at twenty after eight and has the hot throatcoat ocha. this is one of my favorite gigs of the tour, the band is really playing good. we got some updated ideas for "this road" and "we are time" - oh, big man lost a stick and I had to chuck it so I wouldn't step and trip on it - a real good gig for me and I think fourth man soundman tommy was right on it, same w/his lights interpretation. respect! the lubbock gig-goers had a man leading the charge w/some great dancing, really kept it up to - what a morale-raiser, yes! I feel sincere spirit from the people that are here, I'm most grateful for that. I come off the stage feeling really good.
sling nothing but sign shirts alreay slung from miss hiyori. such kindness to those here who wanna tell me. I even hear about a proj where larry victims family did drums and lubbock cat here did the bass. yeah! there's a man who I think is named heath who asks if I remember konking w/him at is pad in 1985 and I can't - I told him I'm grateful big time if we did but I just can't remember and I was too fucking stupid to do diaries back then ('cept for a europe one in 1983) but I did find this on the hoot page for thursday, april 18, 2002 in lubbock, tx concerning the konk part:
and here's what I wrote about tuesday, november 16, 2004 - lubbock, tx concerning the konk part:
I think tonight and these two nights are the only lubbock, tx gigs of my life - am I totally an idiot. I meant nothing but grattitude to this man, really I did. gigboss hilda is so kind w/the settlement and we got them two nice cats to help us schlep so the load-out is way quick. thank you good people in lubock!
big man met a cat named tanner at the austin gig last night and he's invited us to his pad here in town for the night. his pop was w/him at the gig and actually turned him onto my music years ago, much respect to his pop! he's reall kind people, does welding besides drums and we have a good spiel. I do no alcohol and konk at eleven, my body needs it so much I feel. a good hose off first though - gotta pound that into big man's head that it's a happening thing to do.
monday, october 28, 2019 - albuquerque, nm
it turns really cold over night and in the morning it's almost freezing. i try to make coffee but have some difficulty with the coffee machine in the kitchen and soon we get on the road to New Mexico. the land changes and the earth turns to that red soil color. before we get to albuquerque we take the I-40 east to a town called cuervo and drive through the ruins of the old town that has dissolved back into the earth when the highway was built right through it years ago. we take some pictures and then continue to albuquerque. the launch pad is a place we've played many times, right in the middle of town and load in the back and nick and i walk up and down the street. we stop a diner called lindy's, i have a green chili cheese burger and coffee. very good. the man waiting on us asks where we're from and we talk about New Mexico and i mention i have family from the area and i tell him of my great uncle ernie watson who was public spokesman for the local sheriff years ago. he says he remembers him. then back at the club and we play pool and chill out before gig time. afterwards we go to jeremy and heathers place and talk in the kitchen till sleep time.
pop at seven. try to make coff w/one of these fucking machines that have name that starts w/a k - bullshit device, con device to get you to buy THIER cartridge crap... what's wrong w/paper filter where you can use any coff and make it any strength? how fucking lazy are we getting w/shit like this? crimony. tanner's at work but his lady ashley's here w/her boy and they're most kind to us. much kindness for us in lubbock, thank you truly!
we pull anchor at ten. the sky is really gray but dry. pretty cold too - I feel heaviness w/the weather coming so maybe it's really good to get out of dodge. I get us back on us-84, more of that road west, more cotton fields each on each side... a hour later I pull us over to get fuel in littlefield and inside where you pay they got part of it for the "laredo taco company" and the jefe there recommends the chicken tacos - says "california is where the hippies are at" when I reply to his question where I'm from - I think I hear someone call him gabriel, he first asked me "hablo espanol?" and I answered "poquito" and then laughed. he said something about hippies again, maybe repeating what he already said. I thought it was worth chimping in the diary. I don't put just anything in the diary, there's a reason I put what I do in the diary. I rudder us on more of us-84 west, lots of cotton on both sides of the road... the last big texas burg we drive through is muleshoe and then it's across the boarder into new mexico at texico around twelve and a half which is now eleven and a half cuz of the border being also a time zone border and after noticing fort sumner is on the way so I decide to visit the little graveyard there that's got billy the kid's grave in a cage w/two of us his "pals" (that's what it says on the headstone), I do it not just for me but for big man and tom also. since were visiting stuff that's on the way (still on us-84) to the next gig (brother ted from flipper's way into that, big respect to him), I wheel us a hour north to cuervo on I-40... last time I was here was w/the fratelli on the "canto secondo" u.s. tour and damn if a lot of the beatdown buildings are now gone. crimony. good to see it now there's a only a few left... maybe they got strip-mall plans? fuck if I know but I wanted big man to witness pads literally melting into the deck (tom's seen it, been here w/me before) but just some crumble-up left... fuck. people, please sieze the moment, shit is so brief, so fucking brief!
I wheel us next to albuquerque's downtown in about two hours straight to the back of the launchpad (I know where to go cuz I've been here buttloads of times, going back to when it first opened, I think) at four bells, lucky barman jesse's here to let us in cuz load-in is actually six. thank you! need to walk off that 350 miles I just drove and there's "lindy's diner" a couple of blocks away - so sad I pass an empty maisel's indian trading post where I got tons of my kachinas for many years every time I was in 'burque on tour... read about it closing this last summer, damn - I get a hatch chili and chow it on the way back. miss hiyori brings me seafood udon from nearby "sushi hana" and I feel big time rejuved. domo. I chimp diary 'til soundman andrew arrives and he's way into my spiel regarding the fourth man job I'm offering him, right on. good cat.
managerman roman gives us the full buy-out, loving that. thank you! riders do not drop out of the sky, right? I gotta get konk in the boat, need it for the gig and for my health... takes three blankies to keep me warm (like dallas last friday) but I'm out though openers russian girlfriends wake me for a while 'til the tiredness takes me back into konkdom - that's how fucking tuckered I am. tom rousts me though w/twenty to go 'til ten and a half go time. fuck am I glad I got the extra blankies here in the boat though cuz it was 'per-near as frio as fuckin dallas was, I shit thee not. I make my way to the launchpad back hatch...
the albuquerque gig-goers are very vocal and very kind before we even start but I continue this tour's tradition by just bringing it w/a signal to the big man. there's a heater going right over the stage - what? kind of sweaty and 180 degrees opposite from what it was just like in the boat. good gig though for the most part but I do get pissed when trying to get through the second spiel - I actually don't get through it cuz of all the yammering... I have a good think about this stuff later and decide next tour I do no more spiels and instead make a poster or like tom suggests, make a overhead projector spiel so people can read the info and as far as me personally, I will make only music w/my guys for a gig and therefore get rid of stuff that really puts me a bad mood - no disrespect really for anyone but people are paying big money to see a watt gig these days and it really pisses me off that some feel they gotta bumrush and bogart anything quiet you might got going, be it spiel or the roky song or even a part of something like they way I've modified "anxious mo-fo" w/decrescendo. it fucking gets me really fed up, really does so tonight I end w/stooges' "tv eye" and don't even really sling, I'm fuckng pissed. so sorry - sorry to everyone, even the borracho yammerers. I gotta change my gig strategy so I don't fucking so easily go off.
tonight's settlement w/roman is the most tiny one of the tour - everything's been wired to the bookerman! crimony. big hugs for him, soundman andrew too, righteous cats. it's been the longest time but here's jeff, the man that let me work his standup bass (even recorded w/it for the li'l pit proj w/thalia, perk and leo!) for a number of years, so glad to he beat the cancer that was trying to kill him... he's got a righteous pop group shirt on, never seen one like that before. I wish I had more time to spiel w/him but we got a real hellride tomorrow (like 470 miles) and I got get things rapped up quick here. I do get the good word from a number of kind people, one of them a friend of tom's named paul that's very interesting but we gotta get over to fellow 'burque musicians jeremy and heather's so we can konk.
jeremy and heather live in the south valley part of town which is new for me. they got a band called a hawk and a hacksaw - that's how I met them, they were guests on my show - they are very happening people, I drink brown and spiel w/them after hosing off... hell, I could do that forever w/them, their pad is righteous and so is their dog and cat, everything here beautiful to watt (they're big balkans fans also) but I'm fucking tuckered and must konk.
tuesday, october 29, 2019 - phoenix, az
i we hang with heather and jeremy and talk about music until time to go. we have a long drive today and we head west all the way to flagstaff and then to phoenix. 8.5 hors on the road and we locate the valley bar that has it's entrance in alley in the middle of downtown. load in is down the elevator into the basement and we set up and check. i go next door to a thai place and get a bowl of won to soup and a vietnamese coffee. back at the valley bar i see earl liberty who's in town for work and we talk a bit until the fire alarm goes off and we all have to evacuate upstairs where i see elmo kirkwood hanging with his friends. he's a very cool dude and a nice face to see, a great guitar player like his dear old dad. i watch some tunes by fat grey cat who plays first and the father figures after them. fun show. i see cris and ruth too and it's always nice to be around them. we stay with our buddy matthew for the night.
pull anchor at nine and a half - fuck, spaced on bringing the container of black beans left from my chow heather made me - also w/that chow was eggs scrambled and cheese dumped it, real good. damn me. fuck. anyway, I'm most grateful for the full-on blue in the sky even if the temp is real low... trippy how in my pedro town if it's bright sunny like this then it's certain to be warm but not in most parts! everyone in the boat is most kind though to let me not use the heater and use blankies to keep themselves warm so as to aid me w/manning the rudder... a warm boat for long rides really wears on me, fucks w/the keep alert parts of my mission to arrive alive. I wheel west on I-40, away from the sunrise. "sun" makes me think of zia - I think new mexico has the best flag in the union, always have... so fucking econo, love it. best flag. I can't remember where we get gas and that's prolly cuz I had some drama w/the big man but it was soon after crossing the rio puerco - I remember cuz tom pointed it out to me. tom preps up some 'dines w/mustard on crackers and we share them - big man is offered but says he ain't hungry for them. I think miss hiyori chows some. we steadily climb up to 7245 feet (!) at continental divide (at around eleven and half) I pull us over over at the "top of the world" souvenir pad and get a clown kachina - I was just so bummed that skip maisal's shop closed that I really wanted to take a chance at getting a kachina at somewhere other than the bullshit fucking lames shillshacks like whatever corners, whatever ranch, whatever used to have the "scared indian" image (they've airbrushed that now from their buttload of eye polluting billboard bullshit fucking garbage bogart laming out the view out the boat's window) - this pad also had somewhere for me to drop unko which I had to do 'pert-near as bad as a try for a kachina. the clown kachina is beautiful and all striped up. I get us over the border and into arizona at twelve and a half which is now actually an hour earlier cuz of this state not using day light savings time. speaking of the border, just before it we see the worse wreck of the tour on the side going east, oh my god. like four or five or whatever semis and they trailers destroyed and shit all over the place - I do not slow down to gawk but instead cross myself and think of everyone in the boat w/me. the fucking consequences of not taking this driving shit seriously, I FUCKING HATE IT!
at one and a half I pull us over in winslow for fuel, we decided to go all the way to flagstaff and do that route to phoenix.. the wind is really fucking blowing hard and it's both hands on the wheel big time. actually I always drive w/both hands the wheel mostly, ten and two, that's where I keep them, ready for a bravo if we need it (drilled into me by my pop) and not one finger near the crotch like I see lots of over-confident assholes do. around the meteor crater the boat is really getting buffeted but good fortune's w/us and we head south on I-17. there's some real assholes taking chances w/everyone's life as we descend, fuck it - it'll make me insane to dwell on it - just keep us safe in the boat. just after bumble bee (gotta go there one day, maybe like cuervo used to be?) is where saguaros begin, love these babies - incredible, they don't grow their first arm 'til their 'pert-near old as me (I'll be sixtytwo this december), fucking crimony!
so pleased we got NO PLUG coming through the northern suburbs, NONE! praise be. I get us to downtown phoenix at four and a half (lenny bruce doing a most happening bit from the ipod), circle the building the venue's supposed to be in twice and then let tom out to run inside a building that has many pads... I'm figuring it's in there and get the scoop from someone involved w/tonight's gig. once more around the block and I have big man yank tom's leash - after what seems like forever, the word from big man is that soundman mike wants to get in the boat w/us. he shows me the alley to turn into and there's the valley bar entrance, voila. I get to park at the other end of the alley and there's a permit paper to put on the dash, most happening. we gotta load via an elevator cuz the pad's in the basement. ONE FUCKING trip using the shinecarts, these devices are fucking righteous to tour w/and I'm so glad big man upped the bucks to get one just like mine - should last him a buttload of years and be essential as poss for him. soundman mike is way into the fourth man spiel (he fucks up though and calls it a "speech" - wrong!) I teach him port and starboard learner trick (how many letters in left? how many letters in port?) and explain about me being cojo and run cord and kick drum shit on big man's starboard. me and tom realize it was eight and a half hours for me to drive the 470 miles to get here, whoa but also it's this tour's last real hellride. dio caro.
we do quick check but actually do an extra tune - "this road" so tom can try out this new suggest I got for pedalsby action, to help set up "art analyses" better. for me, the set as a whole is really important and not get too caught up in any one particular tune but we got the set pretty much together so why not work on little stuff? wanna give our version of the pop group's "we are time" more dynamics too. miss hiyori brings me a soup from a nearby thai chowpad that's really china style w/wantons and clear broth (no coconut or peanut stuff) and fresh vegetables to-go pho style which by what I mean by that is they come separate from the broth and wantons so they're more crunchy. good idea. same prob though as w/to-go pho: the bowl ain't big enough to hold the brother, wantons and fixings. damn. I clean my mess up w/the napkins. the ownerman charlie (great cat, I've worked for him now for seventeen years - I have BIG respect for him) provided two bottles of chili I wanna try tomorrow - now I gotta get to the boat cuz I'm really fucking beat. there's two locals opening, fat gray cat (I later get to take pictures their singerman and bassbrother cris) and father figures - I get to talk a little w/michael who's always been the best to me... I tell him how trippy it is these thirtyfour - thirtyeight year old songs I wrote for d boon and georgie kind of still make sense now - so good to see him again. there's a fire alarm and we clear out - out on the street padhelper paris says it was a false alarm but you can't know that... the boat's right near so I head for there and big wailing konk I feel I really need, I am real REAL tuckered, I shit thee not.
twenty after nine, I'm rousted by not tom but bassbrother cris and ruth, whoa! so good to see him again, ruth too (she works stand-up bass) and the accompany me to where padhelper paris lets us in and after a hug I go right up to the stage to get this gig going. I sling the bass, give the "turn down" mime w/my hand to soundman mike and cue big man to start the gig... I think it's good big man starts the gig, so glad I changed the set list the way I did even if it meant losing a couple of tunes. the phoenix gig-goers are way full of the spirit and real close on the stage here, I'm into it. later I will call an asshole an asshole when he says "I guess no fIREHOSE" or something like that ("none of my three operas either, asshole" was my reply) but that's one asshole who feels the need to bogart and not let us be us. we got some miscues and tiny clams but tonight I really like what we bring. ok, we work some stuff out in public and maybe I should revise that policy but I still believe strong in working a room, something really hammered into me w/my time helping the stooges. where I find myself today, I really can't see what I'd be like w/out that experience, I shit thee not. so proud of tom and big man, they really come to my rescue so many times and the bring so much LIFE to this music I wanna share w/the gig-goers.
I sling 'pert-near everything we got left after the gig, even as beat as I am, also getting much good word and kindness - there's earl liberty, a bassbrother from way back I love much. backstage I spend a bunch of time w/bassbrother cris as he catches me up on the latest meat puppets incarnation which now had original drummerman derrick bostrom back on drums! they also got keyboardman ron stabinsky aboard and cris talks really up on playing w/the band now, he's loving it in so many ways and you can't know how happy that makes me, so fucking happy. I love this man much. the gigboss nick comes to settle and that's a good time to cuz he got to work the man outside the van steve kaul and we spiel some about that. great gig all around for watt.
I get our loaded-up boat over to brother matthew's a little north of here in a cul-de-sac where the boat can docks safe. I really dig his pad: one floor w/the living kitchen kind of integrated and open, ranch style and using raw surfaces, his bulkheads w/art he digs and damn if I don't too. I hose off and get in a shirt and chonies sitch cuz the namaki ('nightwear' in jap) is soiled and is in the bolsa ropas sucio, waiting for dumping into brother mattew's scrub device then dryer. he's most kind. we have a bunch of good spiel 'til I'm spent and big time out... out but most gratefully out.
wednesday, october 30, 2019 - las vegas, nv
i we have foo and coffee with matthew and talk about music and his fanzine 'fluke' before getting on the road to Las Vegas. it's a long drive on a state road and just getting out of the phoenix area takes a while. we see some joshua trees along the road and some more saguaro cacti too. the terrain becomes rocky and our elevation increases so the temperature lowers and soon we arrive at the club and load in. there is a small kitchen with an ordering window attached to the club and i order their green salad with carne asada on top and it's one of the best meals of tour for me. excellent. there's a room in a bungalow in the yard behind the club space and i hang in there with the heater on to rest before the show. i'm just conserving energy for these last few gigs. we see our friend kevin who is out here from lawrence kansas to see us. we stay with him when we're in his town. he has a hotel here for the night and invite us to stay with him and his buddies for the night, so after we play we meet him at the marriot and nick and i share the fold out couch and hiyori and mike have the air mattress in the middle of the room. i spend some time talking with kevin before i take a bath and go to bed.
pop at eight, man are my bones way more less sore, way more... I needed this konk more than fucking anything in the world at this particular time. brother matthew is soon up and makes me righteous coff - I mean this stuff is from whole bean, black and strong. most grateful... maybe best coff of tour - don't know but damn am I diggin it, end up gulping three cups! rap w/brother mattew about the hoot page ... he's had his zine "fluke" since 1991 (started in little rock, arkansas) and so I know he can relate to what I'm trying to do w/it: preserve zine ethics - no fucking middle man, "let the fluke flag fly!" - I really fucking thought the internet would be about everyone having their own website and run them just like they were paper and ink zines you make up yourself and NOT flocking like moron herd components to shitter, fakelook, instantham, etc - I ain't against those places for being what they are but rather wanna keep them in their place by seeing them more as telephone poles to put your flyers up on and not shrines to kneel and worship them w/such "real relationship" clown dance fake life stupid pose bullshit. I'm in love w/zine ethics, always have since I got turned on to them. brother matthew is most kind to fix up breakfast chow, kind enough to fix up sandwiches for later in the boat - even apologizes for only having one kind of senf (dijon) - he is too kind. I've known him now ten years! we take a shot in front of the boat, the stern part where it says "econo" on the bumper. we got pedro-like weather, most righteous for driving - thank you for making that happen for us also somehow too, brother matthew!
pull anchor twenty after eleven and get us out of town and towards las vegas first on us-60 north and then on us-93 north at wickenberg where I gas up the boat for $3.29/gallon quarter of one. you wouldn't believe the number of little white crosses on the side of the road... that's the mark of a traffic death but I wonder why no star of david or crescent moon or whatever? anyway, there's a buttload on this road - yesterday's route too and in fact all over the country but these last two days show a shit-ton. there's no interstate the way we're going... YET - yeah, there's signs for the "future I-11 corridor" which means something's up that way. kind of trippy for the interstate system since odd number are supposed to be smaller in the west and whoops, this I-11 is gonna be east of I-15... anyway, we go through the arizona joshua tree parkway - for some reason I thought this was just a cali thing but yet again, I find myself wrong. they got chollas here also - watch out for those babies. crimony. then there's saguaros again, love all this stuff and the rock formations also, great eye gifts for watt. 'pert-near two I pull us over at what's called nothing that I first found out about when touring w/tav falco five years ago... I think before that I never noticed it like and asshole. it pays to fucking pay attention - I'm just a slow learner. it's a ghost town but even when it was happening I think the population was four cuz that's what it says on this beatdown convenience store wreckage. we spend a little time and then I get us back north on the highway, tom using both bottle of the chili we got from ownerman charlie at last night's gig pad to give live to some tame salsa, the one w/habanero and mustard's really good for me. I get on the I-40 - this part also still us-93, the road that we'll stay on 'til las vegas - just before three and tom's gotta dump unko. first offramp w/a coiling boof I pull us into and who do we see but the oh-see's boat - I scared their driverman. back on the road, I notice the way this new I-11 is (first part just done), you can't see hoover dam from here - crimony, I remember when you used to drive right on top of it! stuff changes - that's what stays the same. anyway, there's las vegas just as the interview august blume did w/john coltrane in 1958 just finishes up (tom can't stop from laughing cuz of all the dish washing in the background in the first part) from the shuffled ipod (some great migu and sawako also made the random cut - so many trippy coincidences this machine has provided us this tour... why did they quit making them? assholes!), prolly means so many different things to different people. I for some pedro cats it's the one town they go to that ain't pedro - ain't that trippy?
I get us to where we play tonight, the bunkhouse in the fremont east part of town twenty after five. boss ryan (born and raised here) is great people and so is barman dillon who also I hear can work a mean guitar (his band dark black I hear kicks up much dust)... I've always wondered about kids that grow up in this town. I ain't gonna any more. soundman glenn is also cool people and is way into fourth man part of our gig here tonight, righteous. we gotta do good for big man's ma, gotta. I don't meet anyone from strange mistress but I meet eric from water landing who are also playing tonight. he's a very kind man to me. he says we first met back when he was in lancaster, pa - I remember that town and remember blind pigeon records - played much of their stuff on my show - gotta see what's up recently w/them recently. after chowing a salad made to the cocina connected to this pad, I head for the boat... it was six and a half hours to do about three hundred miles... seems if you take the google maps estimate and add a hour and a half to that, then you'll have more of a reality on the actual dealio. I'm fucking tuckered.
it's a fucking three-blankie w/the yellow coat and orange hat konk in the boat before I play tonight, fucking big time freezing. so happening I got all these blankies in the boat from all the years... from the other boats I've had too. tom rousts me and w/a few minutes to go, I make my way from the curb (we got most convenient parking - I was an idiot to not mention that) to the pad's hatch and w/a wave to the boss ryan, I get up on the stage (righteous they got a handrail for the steps - I think last night too... I'm really a baka to not mention that) and get the bass on w/one sling - that never happens. I'm so nervous cuz of the big man's ma being here (I will never meet her though), I fucking clam a bass solo I've been doing since me and d boon started playing blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" (prolly the first bass solo I ever learned by copying) as teenagers - what a fucking total baka. I get it together for the rest of the set but that ain't saying my perfomance ain't clamless and like I chimped earlier, I give some directs for upcoming gigs right on stage in real time - very strange but I feel like somehow I wanna mix show biz w/real life in the moment... kind of the idea I'm trying to get across on how I set up the band - like we're in prac pad and you're peeping in - 'til you stop and then for the longest time I can't figure out why 'til I get enlightened w/some factual info. I have us do roky erickson's "I have always been here before" for big man's ma after prolly our best take on the stooges' "tv eye" of the tour.
I don't sling but I do get the good word - whoa, I get a commemorative trip coin from a man who served on the enterprise - same boat my pop did... he did twenty years in the navy like my pop did. he gassed up planes though where my pop was engine room people. big hugs for the man, BIG hugs. brother alex sandavol from pedro gives me the good word... love to meet pedro people now living in other towns.
I settle w/the boss ryan in the boat and then go to a 'tel my longtime lawrence, kansas friend kevin has booked for all of us, some kind of suite at the mariott near/on the fucking strip. it's a nightmare at first w/the parking cuz I don't feel the boat's safe but the parking dude there let's me park inside the building where they got their pickups and vans, at a taxi stand in fact and I feel a lot better, even get to put the club on. I'm most grateful to this parkingman, very kind and understanding. kevin's got a lot of buddies up there but we get one room/kitchen/head to our own little group of four and take it over for konk purposes. remember we're working a tour and not having a vacation in las vegas like his buddy. kevin completely understands and after I have a good soak w/the last sack of salz I got, we do lots of good spiel about songs I wrote in the minutemen days and stuff like that 'til I got hit the air mattress (this one's ok but still it ain't no aerobed) and am out solid. still can't stop worrying about the boat though...
thursday, october 31, 2019 - santa ana, ca
i it's halloween morning and we get the van out of parking downstairs and say goodbye to kevin and start our trip to Santa Ana. it takes a few hours by the time we pull up to la santa where we play tonight. there is more time to wait before we load in the downstairs live room area. it's warm here and i feel some fatigue so i take it easy on a couch for a bit. upstairs i run into rudy and nick on my way to get some food and rudy offers a half of a Cuban sandwich to me that i accept and it is delicious. we have some dia de los muertos masks to wear tonight and i modify mine to work work for singing and with my glasses. the first band stormhouse does a cool set of tunes and a fun band to watch. we do our gig to some very nice local folks and victor k is there too and says hello, it has been quite a while since i've seen him. it's a good time and we load out to head to nicks place in rpv for the night. almost home, glad things have gone great for us and it's good to be home safely. i sleep in one of his families extra rooms after a shower.
pop at seven and a half not cuz I wanna but cuz somehow the curtain got left opened - me and tom talked about needing total dark for good rest right before we konked last night too. crimony. I shave and brush toofs cuz damn if we ain't got the california border coming up... something about crossing that border to back home, it's a trippy sensation/feeling I always get - and love. I make coff in which I gotta use a sack of arefucks which I hate doing cuz they organize to put out mom and pop pads. shit. I chimp diary 'til it's "make like shepherds time" ("...and get the flock out of here") at ten but do make time to explain the wattplower mark II prototype III I've been working cuz he's got a mark I. he's real proud of his son doing guitar and so am I - father and con making music connect, fucking right on!
the shinecart helps us even in this sitch (miss hiyori thought of it last night, great thinking!) and we wheel everything to the boat - yes, the boat's here and it's ok, yatta - BIG FUCKING YATTA! you can't know how relieved I feel. big hug for kevin and the we pull anchor. byebye las vegas, I roll us south on I-15. blue skies and good predict from the big man using the nws site, most bitchin.
eleven bells and we're over the border into cali BUT I wasn't ready yet! crimony. I don't want any fruit in the boat and you know 'pert-near every gig on this tour we get fruit. crimony. I didn't realize there was only one exit for the nevada bordertown primm and blew by that like a total baka. we're lucky though and there's is an exit before the inspection station and I get off that but the closed/shutdown whatever has no trash cans and I littering like an asshole (I hate littering 'pert-near as much I hate asshole dangerous driving) and go back into nevada and drop anchor in primm. me, big man and tom each get a gyro from "the mad greek cafe" in primm, last town in nevada and then I get some fuel for the boat cuz I never go below quarter tank (learned the hard way in the first econoline I got, the one I got from georgie) but I get only get $35 worth of gas cuz of the $4.57/gallon burnward price. here's a trippy thing: the counter lady is convinced I'm from the phillipines. I tell her I wanna go there and my pop did many times w/the navy but I have yet to. she it ain't convinced though, maybe cuz it's halloween? back on the freeway, we once again enter california and at the inspection station the borderman asks me "what are you hauling?" and I tell him music stuff cuz we're a band, making bass playing motions w/my hand - he waves us through w/a smile, very kind. man, there's buttloads of burn marks on the side of the road... each one's a vehicle that prolly went up in smoke. crimony. it is the mojave desert though and I'm real glad the boat's been so good to us, truly. what I don't like is asshole drivers and there's that here in cali also... every fucking state in the union we've been in has them - even the ontario province in canada! location seems to have nothing to do w/it, nothing. abuse of a certain type of freedom is what I think is at the root of it. fucking assholes playing dice w/all our lives - PLEASE QUIT IT! about one and a half I pull us over to fuel up in barstow, #3.80/gallon - all the other pads have the 87 octane for the same price. so grateful this time tom actually washes the driver's side window - tom's cleaned the boats windows EVERY day this tour, he does more than just play guitar and sing well. oh yeah, I tell him that all tour I've been hearing him say "taking on the bullshit" in "mutiny in jonestown" and like an idiot I've been forgetting to say it way bugs the fuck out of me every time I hear it - "please tom," I tell him, "please, 'taking on bullshit' is what I wrote" and he's kind enough to understand. tom's really beautiful about that kind of stuff, he really is. it's one of the thing that makes him a great cat. he never uses excuses or tries to defend himself w/pointless babble - christ, I get enough of that from other people. crimony. in corona we get on the artesia freeway (ca-91), whoops, it's "beach cities" if you're going west on it - fucking "names" for roads are jive, don't get me started about the "hollywood freeway" (used for parts of both us-101 and ca-170!) and then onto ca-55 just before orange hills - yes, we're now behind the orange curtain!
I'll play 'pert-near anywhere in these parts cuz I really feel bad for gig-goers there, hardly any pads last, breaks my heart. tonight we're in santa ana, one of orange county's oldest towns - the pad's called la santa - and it's in the downtown - new for me though I did play a couple years ago at a festival ("block party") a across the street, trippy. I drop anchor at three and a half... no one here yet but it gives tom a chance to modify the masks patrice gave us back in houston for use (me and tom need bigger mouf holes in them so our voice can get to the mics) and it seems they're gonna prolly be fucking right one for the job. it took five and a half hours to do about 270 miles, I'm beat and lay on the bench 'til five when I'm enlightened to the fact big man's inside - what about us? when I do get in, I find we're playing in the basement and I met the gigboss/barman brian who is very cool people. we load in down stairs which is tough but doabale. an hour later soundman sal arrives and is way into the fourth man spiel, we do a quick check. happening man knows his room and his gear. big man told me there was no opening act organized for tonight and I ask him to use his booking skills (he's been booking gigs at alex's) to find some he said stormhouse are his friends and they can do it. great, good job from big man. I go to the boat for konk, miss hiyori brings me three tacos she got from a nearby chowpad. I then konk really REALLY hard.
tom rousts me at ten and says we're going on in fifteen minutes. I hobble down the stairs, put on the bass, put on the mask, give the "turn down the john coltrane" mime signal to fourth man sal and ask the big man to bring it. prolly one of the most doable halloween gigs I've ever done. I've always considered it a sacrifice and it's only one day a year but it's important to me to let folks know I believe this is the one day all year we admit we wear costumes, I truly do. the mouth part is a little weird, I don't know where the mic is fitting exactly w/it but try my best. the band plays really good and I'm real proud of them. big man's pop rudy brought tshirts for miss hiyori and it's the second time he gets to see his boy play w/me and tom. I think he does real good for him, real good. rudy's always given me support and I never get afraid w/him there but instead feel fortified, he's got a righteous spirit he ain't afraid to share. beautiful man. the santa ana gig-goers are most kind also, the ones here give great respect. I dig the gig much.
I speak w/many gig-goers, much kindness. one man though I think I might've offended by saying I wanna play zurich like twenty times more instead of hearing about a gig I already did there, I'm very sorry cuz I didn't mean to offend but instead tried to explain what I really felt. I'm very sorry for a lady's son who's here tonight but couldn't get into another gig cuz of a twentyone and over law cuz of alcohol. this is terrible - they let underage people at baseball games and there'a alcohol being served there... does that sound like a double standard? bassbrother victor's here too but damn if I only get to say hi - I wanted bad to spiel w/him... a gigboss in flagstaff wants us to share a bill there, maybe in the spring...
I settle w/padboss/barman brian and thank him much for having us aboard, not just w/words either. big fist for fourth man soundman sal too, great cats both of them. bassbrother sppike mike's and w/rudy plus a strong brother stephen, we get the shlep up the stairs w/the equipment real good and quick soon we're bound for big man's pad in rancho palos verdes.
rudy and big man's ma andrea are waiting for us as I get the boat to their pad, takes about fifty minutes. I get to do a big soak right away w/the last sack of salz from germany. I'm really beat. so good to be in nightwear after that most happening soak, really is. very grateful to rudy, very grateful to andrea, very grateful to big man, truly. I'm out.
friday, november 1, 2019 - san diego, ca
i there's some time in the morning to hang at nick's with his mom and dad and nick whips up some tasty breakfast for us all. it's a relaxing time before we have to start our drive to San Diego, so i sit with rudy in the back yard area and talk about life before we need to depart. it's a friday so i expect a lot of traffic but it's fairly open and we arrive just a little before load in and park in front of the casbah club that's right under the landing path for planes to the San Diego airport. i like it here, played here many times and it is always a good time. after the load in and set up and check i find a little booth in back to lay down in. i feel like a dog or a cat that takes advantage of every chance to rest. once the doors open i retreat into the small office room and curl up on the tiny love couch to continue rest. i check in with hiyori to see if she would like to use my jacket cause she's outside in the patio area selling merch. i see bro matt and ray f and jovi and watch some of the first band play heir groovy tunes. i dig them. then shake before us play too, good songs. we have a good show too, it's a good time and we do our best to load out efficiently and get in the van to go to ray and isabell's house for the night. i shower and go to bed. it's our last night sleeping together as a band and i think about it before i fall asleep.
pop at nine and a half, prolly would've konked longer if curtains were more black out than the orange they are but I ain't bellyachin cuz big man's folks are beautiful. I had nightmare that was very weird... where I konked is the room big man's grandma lived in and I don't know if that had anything to do w/it but maybe my mind did after learning that info. crimony. I never met her but I wonder about spirit stuff sometimes - elizabeth back in nashville said something about spirits lingering a while before they really go... I talk to rudy and andrea about some dying stuff. rudy talks about how he met d boon: at pedro high his last name (aguilar) and d boon's (boon) are alphabetically right next to each other so same homeroom. rudy plays bass and he says they even jammed together once. I never knew about that 'til rudy told me. my ma's in a "wall" at the same boneyard d boon is planted, across from what used to be the navy housing we came from virginia to live in when I was nine.
I go look at rudy's 1966 ford ranchero, it's really nice and I like it. it's got a 289 v8 and four wheel disc brakes, he's got plans to make mods, he tells me. he also says he wants speaker boxes like my barefaced ones after both hearing and schlepping them. big respect to rudy. we pull anchor at two bells. I go through wilmas to get on the I-405 south which becomes the I-5 after not too long - the same road this tour started on six and a half weeks ago. crimony. tom preps some 'dines in mustard on crackers, adds that tinto sauce that we're really digging that charlie flowed us back in phoenix. the closer to san diego, the bigger the plug, it's five and half when I pull the boat up to the casbah (three and a half hours to do 120 miles and that's w/lots of hov lane) - managerman jeff (ownerman tim's up in l.a. for anniversary party I'm told) has move right up - good to see him again, great people. soon I'm giving soundman bryan the fourth man spiel and by the end he's into it, very happening. it's total weather like my pedro town so very comfortable to chimp diary in this pad's outside part w/jets blasting overhead real low - lindbergh field is real close which means it ain't quiet but... I've always wondered about the apartment above - what kind of folks live there? do they pay negative rent, like someone's throwing them the dinero to have live music seven days a week blast up from the deck? trippy.
teej and kevin from hurricane kate arrive while we check w/fourth man bryan - he's real good at running down a real troublesome ring, much respect. I produced their "mayday" album that was recorded by peetzo at casa hanzo last year. good guys and so happening their opening up. there's a new guitarman, blake and I trip on that cuz I thought it was mark (old guitarman) who had somehow (big time) changed... fucking idiot watt. after check big man's buddy jaimie brings us some happening mexican chow, enchiladas for me that are really good, BIG respect to brother jaimie. I then go to the boat to konk, I got three hours 'til downbeat and damn if that time ain't all the way used up w/konk.
tom rousts me at a quarter of eleven and I wait 'til there's three minutes to go, bathing my throat cords w/the hot throatcoat ocha he brought me. I'm through the casbah hatch when who's there for me w/big arms open for a hug? brother matt, yatta! BIG FUCKIN YATTA! man, have I missed him this tour, missed him bad. can't wait to do another radio show w/him - eighteen years we've been doing it. righteous. he helps me through the crowd. I give the "turn down" hand move to soundman bryan and then signal big man to bring it and that he does - hey sppike mike bassbrother is right up front w/big man's kick drum in his face - BASS! tom's got the wammy bar on his jazzercaster right from the first note, alright! new for him. the band is playing real good and the san diego gig-goers are bringing us support by the fucking buttload, much respect to my men up here and those out there, truly I'm most grateful. we're on our way to finishing this tour STRONG. however, during the first spiel I keep fucking up the name of the other band that shared the stage w/us bus blake's, shake before us and it makes me feel like the biggest doof, like I don't care enough to get that right. what a fucking doof, really. I apologize big time, I'm clearly not together about that and I'm thinking no wonder people yammer when the dumbshit bassplayer on the stage clearly doesn't have it together. I rally and work the bass even more focused then before that spiel. we do pretty good, am proud. one thing that frosts me though is the harmonic that tom's guitar gets going in "the politics of time" end part. old buddy jovi (see him in "liberty calls!" video w/me, he's got glasses on where we're on the boat and dancing in that silver lake club) gets me off the stage, strong good man, love this guy. about "...time" me and the band agree to mute that guitar part and maybe have to tom dance instead... I guess he broke a string on "we are time" cuz he's on the telecaster for "tv eye" stooges tune we do for encore. the gig-goers actually let me do the quiet roky tune after kind of yammering during the second spiel where I explain some things about this tour.
I sling shirts when we get done, get the good word from many many folks - it was a good gig I think and a lot of stuff is in real time though there's some "way back when..." stuff that I wonder if the person saying that really wants me to interact w/what seems like a prepared speech. I try to reassure them I'm most grateful they didn't "outgrow" me and still wanna see/hear what I'm doing these days. I do appreciate everything before, I do but I also am glad for now. the sac-town gigboss brian mckenna is here and reminds me he was at both the second and the second to the last gigs of the tour. of course teej, kevin and new man blake are most kind and my guys really liked their set. leonard from 'burque's here, yatta! I missed him so bad earlier in the week when we did the launchpad cuz he comes to every gig in that town I do or at least tries to if he can - I give him HUGE hug.
I settle w/ben - he knew about "e.t.i." from b.o.c. - crimony! man, ain't that a trip! mindblow for watt in a way. at the boat is more jovi, we could speil forever! there's john too - this man came to the rescue five years ago when we had no konkpad for the night here... what a good heart, truly. I'm still very grateful to him. such kindness from people, it's precious. I wheel us north on the I-5 about twentytwo miles (first part has an little watt emotional steam-blast that tom thankfully puts a cork in) to old friend ray (he was sst promo man) in encinitas, his pad empty nest now w/him and isabelle having raised their two sons. I have big spiel w/him after hosing off, we talk about super session drama and stuff like that. it's a good time. thank you much, ray for being so nice to me.
november 2, 2019 - echo park, ca
mike wakes me and i organize and go downstairs and see isabelle and say hello. it has been years since the last time we've seen each other and i think of how strange it is to weave in and out of relations with people over the years like this. so much time and things have gone by but it's cool that we've all stayed pretty true to our paths and that feels good. i sit and eat and drink the breakfast offerings from them, talking about the past and things to come. we eventually get back into the van for our final gig drive of this tour. it's a warm day, blue skies and dry air. interesting to be back in our usual climate. fall time in Southern California is often very dry and warm, and i notice some particles in the air from the fires in Santa Clarita, etc.. as we drive north on the I-5 through san onofrey and san clemente, and into southern Orange County it feels more and more familiar, and then continuing on through the inland empire the air gets even more dense with pollution from the city. we roll into downtown l.a. from the east side and along the 101 fwy we see all the landmarks we all know. we arrive in echo park at noon, and we park in a lot behind the echo on sunset blvd. mike and hiyori walk across sunset and i walk east to find something, coffee? on sunset i get stopped by someone who asks me if i play guitar with mike watt, i say yes and he says that he had just seen us play at the 3 links bar in dallas a few days before. funny how that happens. i guess i was easy to recognize because i've been wearing the same shirt everyday since our show on the fish center at adult swim in atlanta on october 17th. i walk on to 3 beam pizza for a slice and a topo chico and sit in the air conditioned shop for a little while and write. i remember that we left nick sleeping in the van in the parking lot and as i walk back to check on him he calls to say that he's going to the book store by the parking area, and soon after i see mike and hiyori as they return to the van. mike says there is and open parking spot in front of the echo so i run over to save it while mike drives around to hopefully get it. unfortunately by the time i get there it has already been acquired by someone else. i continue to stand on the sidewalk there to wait for the next open spot. i see nick for a second as he's looking for food, and i suggest that he try lassen's market on the corner of sunset and echo park ave., a couple of blocks away. they are sort of a condensed version of whole foods market, good quality stuff and not in-expensive, i think he might find something tasty. after a while a spot does open up and i call mike to pull around as i stand in the spot to save it. it's a perfect place right in front of the doors of the echo, but as mike pulls up the young lady who is sitting the drivers seat is still on her phone.. frustrating. finally i knock on the window to inform her that we are waiting for the spot, and she pulls out and we pull in and drop the final gig anchor of tour. we still have some waiting before our early load in time of 2:30, and mike and i pace the sidewalk and read the flyers in front of the club. there are some crazy band concepts and names out there. it's entertaining enough till jake the sound man shows up and we begin the final load in of the dick watt tour. it's one of the easiest too. we roll right into the club and on stage in no time. nick shows up and helps with it too. at this point it's all very systematic, but it's also very apparent what role hiyori has had with everything. she puts on her gloves and opens up a cart and loads it up and helps fill in any blanks in the process. i usually don't feel relaxed until everything is onstage and ready to be mic'd u,p and i think that most stage guys must appreciate our efficiency. mike gives jake the lowdown on the stage and sound perimeters as nick builds his kit. it's kind of like the last game of the season, a paradox of us at our most tuned and conditioned state and the most fatigued at the end of this journey. a strange weight has been lifted even though we have one last swing at this version of mike's bands, one of my favorites to have been a part of. as i set things up i think about this tour in hindsight, the great moments and the troubled parts. i focus on my own certain times that were difficult, not just for me but as a band. i have had so many trips with mike, and so much pride to have gotten to be a part of these times as well as learning something new each time. it's a challenge and it can expose ones weaknesses and strengths in a very intense way. at this point, for me, i feel gratitude. it's a feeling that can take a long time to recognize, the compression of tour and the process we are in to do it can make it difficult to see. however, now my reflection is something that floods in all at once. it's a humbling feeling, 20/20 and all that. one part reminds me of how much i appreciate the opportunity to play this music with these great players and that mike has been someone who has offered these situations to me. we all want to do it better every time, but i know that i can work on being more consistent. it has been a tour of many variables, and right now i'm thinking about the best way to learn from them. on this trip mike brought up a concept from an unusual source that it would be a good idea for all of us to spend more time in cemeterys, and my understanding of that is to not fear death, and to not forget all of the efforts of the ones before us, and to recognize all of our roles in this brief existence. to treat ourselves better, to treat everyone better.. to use every second of this short time and to earn our own place in that cemetery. (i added that last part). anyhow, i like to have tools like that to keep me on track...and if that's the one thing i take from this tour, it's a good one. it's nice to have some time before the show to hang with mike and reflect on parts of tour, the good and the less good. it wasn't an easy one, but it might be one of the most powerful ones for me. tonight we play with restavrants a two piece that do some nuts out crazy cracklin bluegrass freakout jammin' and i see my mom and bro, will, before it's our turn to play,. i also see friends that i havent see in a while and that gives me a good vibe. all goes well, it's an early show which is fine with us, i know we are all a bit worn out from tour. it's a tight pack up and load out and i put my gear aside to be taken with my mom and will. it all happens very quickly. strange how at first it feels like such a long time for tour to come, and then getting in all the practice before it can kind of drag on. then all of the sudden we jump in the boat and get to the first gig (which seems like a year ago), and then we submerge into the routine of wake, drive, load, play, pack, sleep.. wake again, for the next month or so, plus all of the variables of weather, gas, food, health, the kind people that help to connect those dots. it's almost a miracle it works as well as it does. of course it's all due to mike's process, methods, and commitment to the tour ethics that we abide by. he always says that he's just trying to get us home safe. again, he did. thanks mike, thanks hiyori, thanks nick.
pop at seven and a half. ray soon comes down and makes me coff, then cooks up scrambled eggs, bacon and gallo pinto. very kind. isabelle comes down and we all talk about the fucked up scene w/people driving like assholes. terrible. I get out of the nightwear and put on the tour shirt for the last time. we pull anchor a quarter of ten after thanking our nice hosts - actually I'll see ray in less than two weeks hopefully in nyc for an event for raymond... I'm supposed to read from the "sir drone" script raymond wrote for the movie he made w/mike keeley, ricky lee and myself back in 1989... man, I remember those days - I was still married to k! I think raymond did a righteous job. I'm so glad he wants me on board for this trip. whoa... looking at the imdb.com "sir drone" page, I found these quotes from me:
Personal Quotes (2)
I think these are accurate, I think I really said this stuff... it's good when you see yourself quoted and it ain't bullshit or made up. respect to these imdb.com people for doing that.
a few block's from ray's pad at a red light a motorcycle man says to me through my open window, "I'll race you for the homies" - he can see the shrine tom's built on dash! he pulls a wheelie when the green lights up. respect. I put us I-5 north, getting some gas in calabasas (where chip and tony of the dils are from - they were HUGE influence on us minutmen, tony on me especially) and using this freeway to get us 'pert-near (need a little bit of us-101 for the end) all the way to echo park part of l.a., just east of silver lake and hollywood. we park a block away from the echo just after noon. the load-is for two and a half so we're early. it's an early gig which is a righteous way to end a tour, I'm most grateful. across the street from the venue is a chowpad called "happy tom's" where I get some econo huevos rancheros, very good. I see a parking spot open up in front of the echo and tom runs to get it but... I go park a few blocks away where it's free and also easier for me to put the boat where we can load-in the easiest. it's pretty warm, I chimp diary in the meantime... tom calls and a place has opened up - I make it in time but the lady's on her leash forever... tom implores and she relents, even better the space behind us opens but some ladies get that but then behind them opens up and tom negotiates a pull back so we got the boat's culo right at the fucking venue hatch, very fortunate spot! I give those ladies the two dollars they put in the machine. what a bunch of chimping for such a tiny drama but hey, it's the last day of the tour! I chimp more diary.
padboss beegee is very cool people and after letting us in to do the equipment bring gets us chips/salsa, hummus, blueberries, topo chico and nuts to chow on - I'm digging the chipotle hummus, crimony. tom comes up to the backstage where I'm chimping and has a real good talk w/me about the tour. we decide: next goal is second missingmen album, goal after that is counterclockwise spring 2021 u.s. tour for it - we wanna do twenty more years together. I meet stickman tyler from openers restavrant who are local cats, glad to share the stage w/him here tonight. earlier soundman jake sounded like he was into fourth man job and he takes a little long to check us cuz this room is very tough acoustically, real tough. he works w/us though, good man. respect. I meet the other restavrant man, troy and he also seems like cool people, originally from texas and now in torrance. he was a one-man band now they're (him and tyler) a twofer.
from some asian chowpad close miss hiyori brings a soup that's got duck meat in it along w/flat noodles and it's fucking happening. crimony. good spice too, trippy how rich it is. can't finish, will keep rest in boat and chow it back in my pedro town. I go to the boat to konk, still got a little while to get some in. tom gets me at quarter after seven, fifteens minutes 'til our tour's last go-time - I soak vocal chords one more time in hot throatcoat ocha to get ready for gig. I hobble from boat hatch to pad hatch - very close! then I hobble through crowd to stage and take off wack back 'puter sack for last time this tour. I give soundman jake the "turn it down" signal by moving my hand like I was turning it down... once he figures that out, I give the big man a signal and the tour's last gig is off... sound is really REALLY bad for the first tunes, I oh my god - the one k hertz is insane! fourth man soundman jake is on it though and damn if it don't get things shipshape - much MUCH RESPECT to him. crimony. the band's playing good. I remember the last time me + the missingmen worked this stage, tom tripped over norton wisdom's paints and destroyed his fender bassman amp head. not tonight - tom's playing up a storm w/his ma and brother will right in front of them, they're right at the edge of the stage for him, righteous. I can see big man's pop rudy not too far back from the center of the stage's edge looking right at his son... both sitch's seem kind of scary for watt but damn if they don't play real good - big man at times seems to wanna rush but he recovers good each time I let him know, I think he's trying hard to stay in the moment. hell, I blow some clams but not too big of ones - I guess I'm a little nervous just thinking about their sitch's, playing in front of family. my pop saw me play just once, a fIREHOSE gig up in fresno - he let us konk at his pad after, I think it wasn't too much of a lame thing for him - I remember him 'pert-near laughing the whole time... my ma saw play a bunch, even one gig w/the stooges, in long beach in front of the queen mary. I feel good about tom and the big man making it possible for us to finish this tour strong. for the second spiel, I enlighten the echo park gig-goers (who have been real REAL kind to us) to the fact my pop's name was JAMES RICHARD WATT though I think only the navy called him that. my ma would sometime call him "james" but mostly my pop was a dick and that's why there's a hammer on the poster and shirt - my pop never called a cazo a "dick" and used the word "hammer" instead. I also attempt to she light on the material we did to make up our set:
mike watt + the missingmen "dick watt tour 2019"eight tunes have an asterisk (*) and that means they are from other people that had a great impact on me. the twenty others were written by me for d boon and georgie between thirtyfour and thirtyeight years ago. some were never even played live let alone recorded, others were both. one tune is for the jumpstarted plowhard proj ("on the counter") I co-wrote w/todd congelliere.
I settle w/the padboss kyle and find both tom and big man gone - they took their equipment to their respective parents' vehicles I guess and bailed cuz all that's left in the boat is my amp stuff. toot toot philadelphia. I am tired, time to get back to my pedro town. I have walk by my ma's hatch for the first time since... well, since. very heavy for me. I'll always be my ma's boy. man, is it a heavy blow... I keep myself upright, steady as she goes, steady...
I wanna thank so much tom, big man, miss hiyori and all the gig-goers plus people that help make the gig happen including the man outside the van steve kaul and his helperman ethan. all these people helped make the "dick watt tour 2019" what in turned out to be. lots of challenges on me but that was the hand that got dealt - I'm so grateful for so much help w/all of it, truly I am.
this page created 5 jun 2019
this page created 5 jun 2019