mike watt + the missingmen

read the tour diary!

left to right: mike watt, nick aguilar + tom watson

   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"

thursday, september 19 at moe's alley
1535 commercial wy, santa cruz, ca

friday, september 20 at old ironsides
1901 10th st, sacramento, ca

saturday, september 21 at the chapel
777 valencia st, san francisco, ca

sunday, september 22 at whirled pies
199 w 8th av, eugene, or

monday, september 23 at mississippi studios
3939 n mississippi av, portland, or

tuesday, september 24 at the royal room
5000 rainier av s, seattle, wa

wednesday, september 25 at the lucky you lounge
1801 w sunset bl, spokane, wa

thursday, september 26 at neurolux
111 n 11th st, boise, id

friday, september 27 at the urban lounge
241 s 500 e, salt lake city, ut

saturday, september 28 at the lion's lair lounge
2022 e colfax av, denver, co

sunday, september 29 at the lion's lair lounge
2022 e colfax av, denver, co

monday, september 30 at the reverb lounge
6121 military av, omaha, ne

tuesday, october 1 at the 7th street entry
701 1st av n, minneapolis, mn

wednesday, october 2 at schuba's tavern
3159 n southport av, chicago, il

thursday, october 3 at the rumba cafe
2507 summit st, columbus, oh

friday, october 4 at el club
4114 vernor hwy, detroit, mi

saturday, october 5 at the horseshoe tavern
370 queen st w, toronto, ontario, canada

sunday, october 6 at the grog shop
2785 euclid heights bl, cleveland heights, oh

monday, october 7 at spirit
242 51st st, pittsburgh, pa

tuesday, october 8 at the boot & saddle
1131 s broad st, philadelphia, pa

wednesday, october 9 at the rose & kettle
4 lancaster st, cherry valley, ny

thursday, october 10 at the space ballroom
295 treadwell st, hamden, ct

friday, october 11 at the once somerville
156 highland av, somerville, ma

saturday, october 12 at the mercury lounge
217 e houston st, new york, ny

sunday, october 13 at the red room at black cat
1811 14th st nw, washington dc

monday, october 14 at the richmond music hall
619 e main st, richmond, va

tuesday, october 15 at cat's cradle back room
300 e main st, carrboro, nc

wednesday, october 16 at the mothlight
701 haywood rd, asheville, nc

thursday, october 17 at the earl
488 flat shoals av se, atlanta, ga

friday, october 18 at saturn
200 41st st s, birmingham, al

saturday, october 19 at zanzabar
2100 s preston st, louisville, ky

sunday, october 20 at the exit/in
2208 elliston pl, nashville, tn

monday, october 21 at the blueberry hill duck room
6504 delmar bl, saint louis, mo

tuesday, october 22 at lafayette's music room
2119 madison av, memphis, tn

wednesday, october 23 at one eyed jacks
615 toulouse st, new orleans, la

thursday, october 24 at the white oak music hall
2915 n main st, houston, tx

friday, october 25 at three links
2704 elm st, dallas, tx

saturday, october 26 at barracuda
611 e 7th st, austin, tx

sunday, october 27 at jake's sports cafe
5025 50th st, ste a, lubbock, tx

monday, october 28 at the launchpad
618 central av sw, albuquerque, nm

tuesday, october 29 at the valley bar
130 n central av, phoenix, az

wednesday, october 30 at the bunkhouse saloon
124 s 11th st, las vegas, nv

thursday, october 31 at la santa
220 e 3rd st, santa ana, ca

friday, november 1 at the casbah
2501 kettner bl, san diego, ca

saturday, november 2 at the echo
1822 sunset bl, los angeles, ca

mike watt + the missingmen 'dick watt tour 2019'

tour diary

thursday, september 19, 2019 - santa cruz, ca

from nick:

   I woke up at about 8:30AM yesterday morning. I made sure to be all packed up by Wednesday night, that way I could wake up early enough to enjoy my favorite breakfast in Pedro from the Omelette & Waffle Shop - turkey sausage and eggs with spinach, zucchini and bell peppers and (extra crispy) home-fried potatoes from the Omelette & Waffle Shop. I just bought a sweet bag from REI last week that fits everything I need right on my back, none of that wheel bullshit like I brought on my last tour - it fits all of clothes, toiletries, laptop, snacks, medications + vitamins, konk sack, etc. with no issue. I really made sure to not overpack like I did last time (with Neighborhood Brats) which was only three weeks - this time I only brought a week's worth of clothes - 7 shirts, two pairs of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 10 pairs of socks, 10 pairs of underwear...okay - maybe I'm saying too much here. This is my first tour diary, anyway. Give me a break. You'll hear about my digestive issues another time. How old am I again?

   My grandmother, Angie Giacalone, passed away last week. She was 91 years old. Her and I were very close, as we've lived in the same home together since I was in the 7th grade. Last week, I was lucky enough to have one last articulate conversation with her that I'll be forever grateful for. I thanked her and told her how much I loved her for doing such an amazing job being my second mother and being the absolute best grandma that a kid could ask for. I also told her that every show that I play on this tour will be dedicated to her, and that she would be a constant thought on my mind. I'm glad I got to say goodbye to her before I left.

   I am so grateful that Watt & Tom have put their faith in me to fill in for Raul. It truly is an honor; it's hard to put into words how gracious I am. I hope that I make them, and all of the gig-goers proud. I don't want to half ass anything. I want to come home a better musician, and even a better man, if possible. I know this is going to be a learning experience on so many levels.

   I must have been 12 years old when I saw Watt perform for the first time. My dad's friends from work, Johnny Aralica and Pete Mazich (who also plays in the secondmen), were playing with their now-defunct group "The Angry" at dipiazza's and mike watt + the missingmen played after them. I had no fucking clue who watt, the minutemen, or what the fuck "punk" even was at the time. Needless to say I was completely floored by the energy that Watt, Tom, and Raul brought to the stage. I vividly remember walking inside right at the beginning of "the glory of man". My pop told Pete that I was a drummer and Pete gave him a CD Double Nickels on the Dime to give to me. Long story short - that record completely changed my life. In theory, I will forever keep Petezo in my top 10 people in my life - if it wasn't for him, I'd probably still be listening to the shit that I listened to in middle school - Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue...who the fuck am I kidding? I still listen to them. I owe Pete so much for how my life turned out. Anyways, back to the tour.

   Watt and Miss Hiyori pull up to my house in the boat about 10AM. I say goodbye to my ma and my pop - of course I'm going to miss them, especially because of what just happened with my grandma. We pick up Tom at about 11AM at his house in Manhattan Beach and it takes us almost 2 fucking hours to get out of L.A., which was sort of expected. Watt drove the whole trek to Santa Cruz with only one stop for gas at about 4:30PM - but by 2PM I had to piss so fucking bad... I tried doing the piss bottle thing but holy shit - my boinker just kept pulling a scared turtle and I couldn't go for the life for me. It's so hard for me to piss in a moving vehicle - definitely going to have to practice that.

   We pull up to Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz at about 5:30PM. Dan the promoter meets us outside to show us where to park the boat and load-in. Easiest load-in ever, right through the green room. Great hospitality. Great sound man. Easy soundcheck. Shortly after all of that I walked to get sandwiches for everybody with Tom and Hiyori. I should have just waited for the taco truck to pull up at the venue later - the smell of that pastor was haunting me, but my stomach was already stuffed from the mediocre sandwich.

   It's about 9:30 and gig time is at 9:45. I'm only a little nervous; just fuckin' ready to play the first gig of tour already. 9:45. It's time. We walk out to the end of Coltrane's "Pursuance" - part 3 of A Love Supreme. It was kind of a perfect moment.

   Tom starts the set off with "she don't know why i'm here" and we get right into it. My favorite songs to play are earlier in the set - "big bang theory", "conspirators oath", "amnesty report" - but I made sure to not blow out all of my energy too early. I started to get a little bit tired already after "forever - one reporter's opinion" but luckily, Watt is smart enough to keep the set very dynamic, so certain songs don't require much energy compared to others. Playing with Watt has definitely taught me that I do not need to hit my drums hard to get my point across performance wise. The best way to keep an audience interested is by being dynamic. If you're playing just all soft or just all loud - they're going to get bored quick. Overall, a couple of clams here and there on all of our ends, but that always comes with the first gig of a tour...not to make excuses for myself or anything. I felt as if it was a great first show of the tour, I know we're only going to get tighter as the tour goes on.

   Right after the set Tom and I break down and pack up everything quick while Watt goes to sling merch and rap with the gig-goers. After everything is in the boat, we pull out of the gig and head to our konk-pad for the night - Steve Slany's house. Talk about fuckin' amazing hostpitality. I get a bed to myself, beers, bubble water, and homemade carnitas immediately. I'm not even that tired yet because of the adrenaline rush from the gig, so I stay up pretty late talkin' shit with Steve and Watt. I must have konked out at about 2:30AM.

   I'm finishing up this tour entry after my stomach is satisfied from a homemade breakfast burrito by Steve - eggs, carnitas, guacamole and cholula hot sauce all wrapped up in a hot flour tortilla. Thanks so much Steve. I'm gonna miss your hospitality. We lift anchor at 1PM to head to Sacramento at Old Ironsides for the next gig.

from tom:

   first day of tour. i'm traveling light, say goodbye for a few weeks to my mom and bro (will's birthday) and jump in the van with mike, nick and hiyori. first stop the 405. a couple hours till we get on I-5 north. relieved that we are out of town and looking forward to doing gigs. nick is fitting in really well, he's a quick learner and hard worker, gonna miss raul on tour this time though, first time without him in years.

   the ride to Santa Cruz is pretty smooth, one stop. however, the 8 plus hour drive doesn't even feel that long, that's a good omen. we get off the highway and the club is right there, the load in is smooth and simple. nice place, nice people, good vibe. kind of the perfect first gig. pretty good, but fdi know we'll work out the bugs.

   afterwards we do a good pack and load, the first time with nick...we worked out some of the packing issues and it feels good. we head to steve's home and have the perfect first sleeping sitch for tour. nick and i have our own beds in a nice room and mike and hiyori stay up and chat with while i fall asleep.. but not before the carnitas!!!!

from watt:

   pop at five bells, so much stress always before a tour even though I've done buttloads of them, it's always this way. things get calmer when I shove off, always do... it's just the times coming up on it that twist up my nerves, arrrrrrgh. never had the boat packed w/so much merch but miss hiyori's has taken that mission by the horns, so be it. good weather, that's a righteous thing but hey it's so cal just before fall, a good thing - hoping the rest of the tour has such stuff. we pull anchor at ten bells and get missingmen rescueman big man at his pad 'pert-near where me and d boon went to junior high (dodson), I get to give his pop rudy a big hug and hope to see him in austin - he wants to come out and see us. rudy's from the san pedro high class of 1976 - same as me, d boon and georgie. he's a good man, had his boy first do a song w/me at "harold's place" in my pedro town ten years ago... when the big man was twelve! fuck, does time fly but here he is to help me and tom deliver fortyfive gigs in fortyfive days - I believe he can do it! so great he got a shine cart too, now we got two of them (counting mine) so load in/outs will be way more shipshape. respect. big love to his pop, I wheel us to manhattan beach to get tom watson - it's twenty years now I've been touring w/him, I shit thee not. thank god for tom, he's really been there for me big time. his ma and brother will are there to see us off, beautiful. of course I promise to get him back safe - the first two rules of tour for me is one) get my men back safe, two) play the best we can for the gig-goers and three - infinity) everything else. fucking plug (stau) city to get us up through the sepulveda pass - three fucking hours to get over the grapevine BUT we're safe and that's what really counts. we get there when we get there. since cruz is our first gig we gotta get over to the coast but the road (ca-41) has got big time construct so I blow by that and damn if it ain't 'til we're at santa nella when I head west - big man's gotta piss but he's new to using piss bottles and it just won't come. I never want the boat's tank less than a quarter left so I fill that up as he drains his. much respect for him not bringing any bellyachin' and dealing w/the reality of the dealio. 'pert-near nine hours to do 360 miles. crimony but we're safe, main thing.

   drop anchor at
moe's alley at twenty of six - this is where the first gig of the "dick watt tour 2019" is gonna be at. my first time here - lots of other cruz gigs have been downtown at the catalyst. thinking of santa cruz... this is where I bought my first even eden amp in the early 90s, I'm using a dna-1350 amp for this tour (dna is david's company after eden). for speaker boxes I'm using barefaced cuz of them being so light and still full of punch. gigboss dan is here to greet us, nice cat and damn if we ain't also sharing the stage, he's in tonight's opening band, village of spaces - crimony! that's so great. soundman david is very cool people also - also a bassman, respect. he's using an ipad to do the sound and damn if it happening, more respect! I let the big man know I don't like long soundchecks so drums get done, then tom and his guitar/singing stuff, then watt and finally all of us on one blue oyster cult tune. we get done and big man gets me some soup and a tuna melt sandwich trip from a nearby chow pad - much better for me to stay at the venue cuz less of a chance of me falling during a hobble that I can avoid if able to. brother dale comes by to say hi, he lives around here somewhere - had to bail from so cal... I love this man. he's a bassbrother but also toured w/the minutemen in the fall of 1985. we catch up on stuff, so good to spend time w/him. I listen to village of spaces do a bunch of tunes for their soundcheck and then go konk in the boat, I'm beat and soon I'm out.

   quarter of ten is our time, tom rousts me. first gig of the tour, here we go. I give no spiel, just give tom the look which means go. the santa cruz gig-goers right away bring big spirit, whoa, thank you big time. they know it's international talk like a pirate day so we have some fun w/that when I do give some spiel. back to playing, tom's playing his ass off and big man's doing good, just a little rushed at times. I let him know. I also blow some tiny clams, nervous watt. tom's a little nervous too but hey, that's tour and we're human - we gotta start somewhere and build it up. the sound is pretty strange at first but soundman david ropes it in. there's good flow to the set, 'pert-near like my operas... I guess doing those three I've done have really rubbed on me. now what we're doing is a collection of tunes but I did group them into little "blocks" of stuff I felt fits together - like "here's four tom sings" or "here's some where we both sing" or the words have similar subject matter or just the way the music flows - it's like I'm editing for a movie, stitching together all these scenes. interesting. main thing of this tour is to get tom ready for the next missingmen album. big man's helping us big time w/this cuz you know it'll be raul morales on the album. I'm calling the album the same as this tour, named after my pop - his name was actually james richard watt but I don't think anyone ever called him "james" except maybe the navy... he was always called by his middle name and mostly dick except my ma when she was serious, "richard" she'd say. my pop was a dick. that's why he never called a cazzo a dick, always called it a hammer. I dedicated the stooges' "tv eye" to henry kaiser - he lives in this town.

   gig gets done and I get the good word from the gig-goers big time - to be thanked for starting a tour in their town, big hearts truly. most kind, lots of hugs. real good big man gets his drums packed up and in the boat quick - great learner! tom too but he knows the drill. I settle up w/gigboss/bandman dan - whoops, gotta move the boat to let the taco truck out - back, we're done and I wheel us to where I stayed w/my secondmen when we opened for x last time I was in this town, bassbrother steve's pad. he's very cool people and we got lots in common - he grew grew up in my pedro town but came here to cruz in 1992 and ended up buying this pad here in the downtown (the part where we played is called soquel, steve tells us). he cooks up carnitas for us but I just drink some bourbon - I try not to chow after gigs really, it's better for me. steve's really good at spiel, we have a good time. before midnight too, yes! I hose off and get in my nightwear. air mattress inflated (I brought three of them), watt's ready for first tour konk. thank you big time, bassbrother steve.

friday, september 20, 2019 - sacramento, ca

from nick:

   After we pull anchor from Steve's pad, we hit the road and head to Old Ironsides in Sacramento. So much fucking stau (German for traffic) on the way there; pretty fucking frustrating that it took us about 8 hours to get from Santa Cruz to Sacramento. This was partly due to plenty of assholes on the road on their leashes and a lot of car accidents too. Hopefully no one was hurt, though. Watt really knows how to keep his cool behind the wheel - much respect to him for that.

   My stomach issues haven't been too bad so far, then again, it is only day two of tour. I don't wanna get ahead of myself. For a little under a year now, I've been experiencing horrible digestive issues, including extreme loss of appetite, stomach bloating, and...well, plenty of other things not worth mentioning. Maybe another time. Touring has always made me nervous because of this, but ultimately, touring is really what I want to do with my life, so those 45 minutes to an hour on stage are totally fuckin' worth the shitty pain that I gotta deal with sometimes throughout the day. I've been a lot better at maintaining it these last 6 months by trying my best not to eat heavy meals, laying off the dairy, going not so hard on the carbs, etc...but then again, I always make sure to treat myself when I can. Life is too fucking short, man! If someone is gonna make some good home-cookin' on the road for me, the fuck am I gonna do, say no thank you? I'm 22 years old. Fuck man. Anyways, back to tour.

   We finally pull up to Old Ironsides at about 6:00PM, and I am immediately introduced to brother Brian McKenna, promoter of the show for the night. What a kind cat he is. I complimented his Big Boys shirt and he tells me a bitchin' story about how he saw them in '83...Randy Biscuit in a tutu and everything - I am jealous. We decide on no soundcheck because Watt and Tom are already pretty familiar with the venue - in hindsight maybe this wasn't such a good idea because our stage stitch was a bit whack which we could have prevented with more time...more on that later.

   After loading in, Brian recommends a place called Fox & Goose to get some chow at. I walk over by mysel,f as Tom and Hiyori went to get ramen - I'm not big on ramen. I had a lettuce-wrapped hamburger with fries and half a cobb salad - no onions, no dressing. Just a few crumbles of bleu cheese is all I need (and that anyone should need for that matter. People really love dressing their greens with bullshit that takes away from the nutrition). My waitress was very kind and accommodating. Shortly after that, I meet up with a friend from high school, Elnaz - she lives in Sacramento now. It was a pleasure to see her and spend some time before the gig with her - she is too sweet, and a big supporter of all kinds of music. We need more people in the world like her!

   It's about 10:10 now, almost time for the gig. I'm pretty fuckin' nervous and having a bit of a stomach flare up because there's a LOT of people there, surrounding a pretty small stage. I think about thirteen people asked how old I was. Look, I understand that I look like I'm sixteen. Mid-set, some drunk gig-goer even shouted, "Who invited the eight-year old?". What a fuckin' comedian. Trust me, I am grateful that I look young for my age...hopefully, I continue to look like how I do now well into my 30's (if I make it there. Kidding, ma! I know you're reading this).

   It's 10:50 now. As soon as Watt and Tom come on stage - pressure's on. I dig small stages because the intamacy with the audience is intense, and gives me more adrenaline to do my best and connect with them. Watt and Tom dig this too. Immediately, Watt notices that the kick drum mic was on his side, which he specifically told me to make sure doesn't happen because he has a bad knee, and he can trip over a kick drum mic easily. I tossed the bass drum mic into my kick drum to prevent further issues - but it kept fuckin' moving inside the entire set anyway, which was lame. Tom's guitar cables were having some issues too, which made us have to stop during the set a few times, but I made sure to keep my cool and not let the disruptions from the technical difficulties and tension from the crowd get the best of me. I am getting a lot better at that. I used to let shit like that bother me so fuckin' much where I would literally beat myself up for the rest of the night. Performance wise overall, I thought we played good but we really gotta make sure our stage stitch is well-planned out before hand - last night Watt's bass amp was so ahead of me that I couldn't hear shit which was pretty frustrating. For the first time, I really felt like I nailed The Red and the Black. Watt said so too.

   After load out, we head to sister Conception's house to konk for the night - really really bitchin' mexican-style house. I get my own bed for the night, with a corner dedicated just for myself, which is always a plus on tour. Watt tells everyone that we need to wake up by 11AM so we can hit the road by 12PM. Conception made some albondigas soup for everyone, but my stomach was hurting, and I wasn't even that hungry anyway. Bummed I didn't get to try any. Before Watt and I konk, we have a real good conversation about the gig, and the concept of "the rally. He told me that he was proud of how I've been doing so far on this tour - not just performance wise, but with my attitude as well. Gotta keep pushing, and gotta do my best for the gig goers. I want to make them happy that they took the time to come to our show. I hope tomorrow at The Chapel in San Francisco tomorrow goes well - I have a lot of friends coming out to that one, and I've heard really cool things about the venue. Signing off, talk tomorrow.

from tom:

   morning in santa cruz is pleasant, but the trip to sacto is a mess, too many cars.. we get to old ironsides late and choose to forgo the soundcheck, there are two other bands before us. hiyori and i go get ramen around the corner where i like to eat when im here. good before playing. our gig is kind of a fiasco, kind of hard on us, my wah pedal is going in and out and cutting off the sound however, we muscle through it. a little bit challenging, and we can learn from it.

   we head to conseption's place, one of my favorite places to stay. in the kitchen there is a pot of amazing albondigas soup that her mother made for us. i have a bowl and retire in the back house/studio were there is a very cosy bed that is extremely comfortable. another good sleep to be had..

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, I had a good konk. wish the air mattress thing was in my wheelhouse in the old days but I guess no wine before it's time. bassbrother steve wams up the carnitas that was left over from last night and I chow that w/scrambled eggs he cooks up fresh... good shovel, big thanks from me to him. we spiel lots about my pedro town cuz though he's from a younger shift, he grew up there so we can relate to all kinds of common stuff. interesting cat. he also knew martin, the reactionaries singer - man, I miss him. anyway, I get into his spiel so much that it ain't 'til one when we pull anchor, stopping at record store called "metavinyl" cuz a cat from that last night said they wanted to buy some records from us. then I wheel us northeast to sac-town... fuck if it ain't like seven hours to do 150 miles - can you believe that shit? nor cal traff is just as plugged as so cal, I shit thee not, people. my ipod's got 'pert-near nine thousand mp3s on it - I got it on shuffle to keep us guessing what's next. big man knows a lot of bands I don't know - seems there's some coming out of this machine he doesn't know though maybe I'm helping add to his mind storage. as far as experiences go, I know he's added at least one - he's finally able to piss in the boat, even if it took a mug to do it - good man, I'm proud of him.

   the stau is fucking more and more total the closer we come on sac-town, it's incredible this plug shit but it don't help to freak out about it and just build up your gaman ('patience' in jap) cuz what else you gonna do? maybe we gotta do something w/transit, the commuter stuff? maybe it's all the tour econolines clogging fucking up the goddamn freeways? it's kind of funny in a trippy way. us humans are slow learners. what I don't really dig is people driving fucking dangerous and using their fucking leashes behind the wheel - maybe a big part of why the driving's so dangerous and shitty. you sit a little higher in the boat so you can see down and watch these motherfuckers do the gameboy like total bakas. I ain't into it.

   we do end up getting safe to sac-town coming on seven... gigboss brian's there to greet us at where we're playing tonight, old ironsides - love this cat, he's been doing my sac-town gigs for thirty years now. much respect to him. no time for soundcheck, I tell him to bag that so the other two bands can - hey, here's mark curry - he's got the baloney slot and I ain't talked to him a big while so we rap and catch up... he ends up telling me about this q and a he saw bootsy once do, incredible. captain cutiepie are the openers, locals like mark. I am so beat though, I gotta konk in the boat. I get the shirt, socks and shoes off and I'm out. a hour later tom brings ramen from some pad that cooks that nearby and he wakes me so I can chow but then right back I'm out. fuck if I ain't really tuckered.

   it's tom again at quarter of eleven, time for us to bring it. I fucking am so sorry I missed both groups who shared the stage w/us. what I find on stage is not really the way I like us set up... this is terrible, big man is actually behind my amp. right away we start having problems - well, tom's got the probs w/what cable stuff - I even take one away and give it to a gig-goer... by the sac-town gig-goers are very supportive in this time of struggle - tom's getting a buttload of probs still (later he tells me it turns out to be the power connect w/his "wailing demon" wah wah) but we keep pushing though, don't totally lose it which I think is beautiful of tom and big man, truly. I try to channel my frustration into working the bass, driving that point home as hard as I can. then some lady leans against the light switch, turning them off and then her arm goes onto tom's amp controls shutting them off so that's adds to the confusion of what's up w/his stuff. then this other lady's crawling across the stage - it's ok I guess as far as experiences and kind of trippy test in a way and I think we did ok that way. I was really proud of tom and big man - oh yeah, big man's kick drum mic was a nightmare in itself... we learn. you know we also had no check but this was just a reality check on the dealio. hey, I even got the second verse of "the red and the black" tonight - totally blew that last night so there you go.

   the word from the gig-goers right after is most kind - it shows to go you that you gotta let go of inside things when the main point of you working the room is to be kind of outside yourself meaning to me that you got a responsibility to the gig-goers to give it your best no matter what hand you got dealt. I'm most grateful. I sling shirts - yeah, I'm gonna start doing that again like I used to. people are most kind - the captain cutiepie people are beautiful, wanting to help schlep my stuff, respect to them. mark's bassman too - we played together w/josh haden (petra's brother) a few months ago, very cool people. we gotta do "the lime and the coconut" I tell him (harry nilsson, one part - all c7) next time we play w/josh. phil's here, the man who used to work on my 1990 e250 econoline! whoa, he drove up from mammoth. I play lots of his music on my watt from pedro show, respect. he's got a buddy eric who's got a wattplower that's gonna start jamming w/him - both of them are buddies w/quinn who's here too. damn, great little conclave we got here! I'm so glad to see them all. oh, forgot to mention the dude w/the b.o.c. shirt who noted we did two of their tunes tonight - big respect to him!

   last spiel w/gigboss brian - big hugs for him. old buddy concepcion is letting us konk at her pad again. she rides w/us there, taking us through a park so we avoid the construction - they're putting in water meters now, sac-town people are gonna now have to pay for their water. it's one and a half when we drop anchor and quick I go hose off in the tub w/those hand-held style kind of hoses and then quick in the nightwear. I'm feeling a little trippy, kind of crazy-tense so I pour on the calm-down thoughts and they win over that other shit. good to konk like that.

saturday, september 21, 2019 - san francisco, ca

from nick:

   You know that Magnetic Fields song "Come Back to San Francisco"? That very tune comes into my head whenever I'm leaving the bay area. I don't think I could ever live there (unless I was rich as Jeff Bezos or some shit) but wow, I really do love visiting, and last night was easily one of the best shows I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

   Tom woke me up at about 11:00AM. We planned on hitting the road by 12:00PM the night before because we didn't want to get caught in the fucked stau like we did from Santa Cruz to Sacramento. Conception and her lovely ma had some killer eggs, potatoes, and focaccia bread hot and ready for us - plenty of coffee too. I tried kicking caffeine about a month ago - that lasted about a week. My body relies on coffee to get me through the day; I never should have started. Worst decision of my life. Not really, though.

   We hit the road at 12:00PM on the dot, just like we intended to do so. We only have a little bit of stau on the way to SF and pull up to The Chapel at about 3:00PM. They saved a spot for us right in the back parking lot of the venue for the boat. The spot was nice and secure too, which was reliving because break-ins are so absolutely fucked in the bay. My friend Allie's band, Peach Kelli Pop, played at Bottom of the Hill a few weeks ago, and earlier that day while eating lunch, their shit got broken into - IN BROAD FUCKING DAYLIGHT! So fucked. Anyways, we're immediately introduced to possibly the best day-of-show person I've personally ever dealt with, Sydney. As we load out the boat, she asks if we want anything to drink - I kindly request a hot cup of black coffee, and my wishes are granted within minutes. After an easy load-in, we soundcheck with our fourth member for the day, Ingrid. I pick her brain and find out she's from Chicago and did sound out there for a venue I've played in the past - The Beat Kitchen. She knows her shit. Soon after soundcheck, I head upstairs to the green room to hang out with the crew plus Richard fuckin' Bonney - such good people, always good to see him; it's been a few years since I saw him last. He can't stay for the show though, he has a gig as a professional stage-hand. Sydney brings us a menu from the restaurant that's connected to the venue, Curio, and says we can order anything we want. I ordered the smoked beer can chicken, and baby kale salad. I'm not even kidding when I tell you that was some of the finest chow I've had the pleasure of munching on in a long time. No bullshit.

   After I eat dinner, I walk over to Dolores Park to meet my friend, Mitch. I met Mitch in SF a few months ago at another show I played with Neighborhood Brats, through my best friend from growing up, Neil. Neil moved up to the bay last year for college - him and Mitch attended the same school. Mitch is really good people, I'm glad I know a guy like him. He offered me some beer, but I don't like to drink immediately after eating a pretty heavy meal. My other friend Katie, who lives and goes to school in Berkeley (who I met through a very funny stitch, really not worth mentioning) meets us at Dolores too. Mitch goes home to change and says he'll meet us at the venue. Katie and I walk back to The Chapel and talk some shit over drinks - always nice to catch up with her. She's very sweet, intelligent, and has a killer taste in music. She's one of the few non-middle-aged, non-fedora-tipping people that actually enjoy shit like Teenage Fanclub and Guided By Voices.

   It's almost gig-time now. San Francisco-based band, MAYYA, is opening up the gig. I really dig on their sound - sort-of indie-inspired pop-rock that hits hard and isn't afraid to get weird at times. Their drummer man impressed me much - I dig on his style. It's about 9:45PM when they end their set. The venue is almost at capacity now (500) - naturally, this makes me a bit nervous, knowing that I had friends coming to the show as well. Pressure's on whenever my pals come to see one of my shows, but it also gives me an extra boost of confidence that's much needed in a stitch with nervousness.

   10:15PM now. It's time to go on stage. The crowd cheers with excitement when we walk on. Watt gives no spiel and Tom goes right into "She Don't Know Why I'm Here" per usual. The first half of the set was pretty fuckin' spot on, in my humble opinion at least. Watt and I made sure to keep plenty of eye-contact, that way we stay on time with each other, but he also knows that when I make eye-contact with him, it's gives me a lot of confidence, and genuinely makes me smile mid-set. Synergy like that really only exists in live music. Toward the middle of the set, Tom attempts to end the song a bit early on "E.T.I." which makes me clam it BAD - not a soft clam, but one so bad that it was completely obvious to the audience. Shit happens. Luckily, we get right back into the groove with "Forever - One Reporter's Opinion" - a crowd favorite, I think. After a couple of rough sports during "Case Closed" and "Mutiny in Jonestown", we end the last quarter of the set strong with some What Makes A Man Start Fires material - "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs" - "One Chapter In the Book" - "Fake Contest" - "This Road" - definitely some favorite tunes of mine to play. Watt and I really lock in with each other during the last song, "We Are Time". We walk off stage. Watt got on me for twirling my sticks - I don't do it because I think it "looks cool" or anything, it's just a really lame force of habit I developed since I started playing. I gotta quit that shit stat. Also, he wants to make sure that from here on out, his bass amp is even closer to me to limit the amount of clams, which I think is a great idea. We walk back out, Watt gives some spiel, and we slam right into the encore tunes - "T.V. Eye", "I Have Always Been Here Before", and "The Red and the Black".

   Show is over now, and it's time to schlep. My friends from back home, Neil, Kayla and Ashley are there now, plus Mitch (who I mentioned earlier). They are so kind to help me pack up my drums and guard the boat while I load up. They know that with tour it's hard for me to dedicate a lot of time to spiel, so I'm very grateful to have friends that support what I'm doing - shit like that truly means the world to me. Thankfully, I had a little bit of time to bullshit with them after the show with a round of "victory" beers. I say bye to them, Katie too. On the way out, I thank Sydney for her extremely accommodating hospitality and express to her how I wish every venue could be ran like The Chapel - definitely one of the finest places I've ever had the pleasure of spending time at. I can't wait to (hopefully) play there again soon.

   We pull the boat out of the parking lot at about 12:30AM and make the short trek to a hotel in Vacaville, CA. We gotta wake up early to hit the road to make the hellride to Eugene, OR, so sleep will be limited. Also, it's been about 3 years since I've had to take an English class, so please excuse my unprofessional writing style. I know I'm all over with the active and passive voice. My apologizes. Baka big man.

from tom:

   i used to live in s.f. so i'll probably see some friendly faces. a lot has changed in s.f. from then, rent is out of control like other places but here it's ridiculous especially since my time here. my first place was in the mission with rob holzman on 16th and guerero with dick's guitsrist  tim carrol and their "mood coordinater" Debbie gibson, plus another tom, and angie mima who lived in closet in the hallway. i think it was $165/mo. great location, the 22 filmore bus stopped right across the streetand some of the best mexican food anywhere right around the corner. also the weather is the most moderate in s.f.. slovenly moved here in 1984 from the South Bay in l.a. so it was a big change for us. we practiced down 16th at capp st studios, i would roll my amp down the street to prac. we shopped at the canned food wharehouse a few blocks away. Once in awhile - La cumbre!

   driving into s.f. Is a new experience. The bay bridge, the skyscrapers, gentrification everywhere, it,s all cleaned up. The chapel is right in the middle of the mission, not far from where we lived, but man it's like another place. It used to be a little rough and ragged. mostly white people now.

   we arrive a little early, but se set up and do soundcheck with ingrid doing sound. It's a beautiful room, i have been here before with lee rinaldo and steve shelly a couple years ago. Very comfortable and an amazing staff who are all cool, and cindy the mngr most of all. They all helped us so much. The food is very good too. After soundcheck we order from the menu, i get the warm salad with beer chicken on top. I usually dont order chicken, it sometimes freaks me out. Everything is delicious.

   richee boney A friend from pedro and a tour friend in the firehose days, slovenly did a couple tours with them, he's family to us. he shows up early cause he has he has to leave to work on a janet jackson gig, he's always a great one to hang with.

   i think the capacity here is around 500, but people start to fill it in and it's good turn out. it's a drag to play in big place when it's empty, i've done that many times. soon i see my buddy steve anderson the singer from slovenly, and then pat ryan, singer of a subtle plague. it has been years since i've seen pat. we're playing with maya again and the very cool folks in the band, and they are great, i hear a growth in the tunes. they have a great show and then we set up to play. it is a good vibe but i have some problems again, just stupid mistakes. and i feel embarrassed which just makes it worse. i dont usually fell this way, but i push on and get through it. i feel like i let mike and nick down, but i'll learn from it. again.

   we pack, mike is doing merch, we have our system now and it helps the load out and not to leaving anything behind. after that part i see my friend Amee and her boy, Nica. fun to talk with them. kenny is there too. another long time/no see friend. it's a fun day and night, but we have get going so we get loaded and drive to a ramada inn in Vacaville about 50 miles out of s.f. to avoid the morning traffic and cause it's a long trip to eugene. we get to sleep around 3:30, and we need to get up to leave by 8.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, whoa. needed it though. hose off in the tub. concepcion and her ma cook us up breakfast, righteous papas and huevos... big time grateful, they're beautiful. carmella is starting high school! whoa, I remember when she was born! much respect. me and concepcion know each other 'pert-near forty years now - you know she goes back to our pedro town before she moved up here to sac-town. very VERY kind to me all this time - her ma too. I bow deep their way always. HUGE respect.

   we pull anchor at noon and I drive us to the city, it'll take three and a half hours to make the hundred miles mostly on the I-80. so much plug! get gas in vallejo, big man gets some gomi ('garbage' in jap) sacks from the store... hey, a clean boat is a happy boat in my book. amen. anyway, what's important is we get there safe and the weather's much happening. it's a new pad for me here, the chapel which is in the mission part. they got parking for us and damn if they ain't the nicest - gigboss sydney and soundlady ingrid plus everyone else goes the extra whatever-it-takes, big time respect to them truly. righteous chow here too... I get the pig belly w/beans and grits cooked up like they're mashed potatoes - real trippy and good. damn. sharing the stage w/us is mayya who I met when she helped me celebrate turning sixty at ramona's. can't wait to see her new version of her music. my old buddy richard fuckin bonney from our pedro town shows up before his work to spend some good time w/me and tom, so fucking righteous to get to spiel w/him, so good.

   I'm tuckered and get to the boat to konk. damn if I don't pop in time to see mayya - I thought I was correct and came through the people to see the drummerman taking his drums down - I missed the whole fucking thing, what a fucking bozo. I did have a trippy kind of nightmare though when I was konk... it was something about the musical "hair" - thinking I was joe osborn and having to go do it but I had forgotten every fucking tune! man, it had me shook up. so strange, very insecure watt. I feel so stupid about popping too late and damn if just yanking myself from that 'mare would've spared that crowbar in the head but really I wanted to see/hear - I just am sometimes not strong enough. I am embarrassed. luckily slovenly singerman steve anderson is here and I give him a big hug which really helps.

   quarter of eleven is our go time and whoa, the pad is very much pumped w/spirt of the city's gig-goers, big respect - watt can't give enough respect, I feel so in debt to so many. it's a challenging gig in some ways - some my fault cuz I put my bass amp in the wrong place like a bozo. it's also a real challenge for tom - no hardware issues like last night but more of nervousness. I made it hard for big man to hear the bass cuz of my stupid amp placement and there's some screw-ups cuz of that but overall, I think we're getting together. I tell you for sure the gig-goers spirit here really was a factor, I owe them so much - my men too.

   I get to see kenny when we finish up, ain't talked w/him in five years. so many times I konked here w/him and lis - lis was one of the first lady punk rockers in my pedro town along w/her sister nanny (nanny did the art for the shirts and posters for this tour), oh man... he says me and him gotta talk one/one when there's a chance. so many gig-goers give me the good word, so kind - everyone digging tom and the big man too, makes really dig that. I meet tshirt bob - he slung merch for the stooges, he says ig told j thank you for helping reunite the stooges and I agree, j was big time responsible and that's beautiful of ig. I meet this pad's owner frank who's very kind to me, he says he liked the connect between the gig-goers and the band, real nice of him. glad I could work his room and be w/them like that - also his people working here were just as righteous. man, it's a real good night even w/the stuff we gotta still get together as a band.

   I wheel us north whence we came 'til we're at vacaville and we get a 'tel that's fucking spendy but I guess that's what we had to do, get's a leg up on tomorrow's hellride. I hose off and have a good talk w/the guys about tonight's gig - so glad it's no prob w/them to do that... you know some people ain't like that - fuck, some people won't even let their dudes use piss bottles... weird. I konk real grateful for this crew we got here, good fucking team. big love.

sunday, september 22, 2019 - eugene, or

from nick:

   I wake up at 7:00AM in the hotel. With only about 4 hours of sleep, I'm surprisingly not that tired. After packing up all of our things we head downstairs to make the most out of what a hotel has to offer. I have some oatmeal with peanut butter and half of banana with some eggs and turkey sausage. Surprisingly, not bad by any means. We hop in the boat at 8:05 and the hellride to Eugene, Oregon from Vacaville, CA begins. I keep myself occupied by writing my diary entry for the previous day, listening to music (mostly Built to Spill, The Berries, & Silver Jews), breathing exercises, etc. Much respect to Watt once again for driving the entire way with only two fuckin' stops! I finally did my first true piss-bottle as well - my aim was perfect and everything. Everyone is proud.

   We arrive at the venue, Whirled Pies, right on time at about 5:00PM. It's raining a little bit, but luckily, the load-in stitch is pretty easy. As soon as I walk in the venue, I get trippy vibes because it's literally a family-style pizza joint with a stage, and the room is big. I think, "Fuck, I hope this shit isn't a disaster". The show and stitch overall ended up being pretty much the exact opposite - more on that later.

   Kyle the owner introduces himself, shows us the green room, and lets us order whatever we want off of the menu. I order a gluten-free slice of smoked salmon pizza (I don't have celiac but I do avoid wheat products whenever I can) and a greek chicken salad that was way fuckin' happening - very very fresh and tasty. So nice of these people at these venues to provide chow for us.
The show is an early gig, and the opening band is The Madeleines - and the singer / guitarist is Devon - my friend I went to high school with, and the person's house we're staying at as well! His band got added to the bill last minute - too funny how shit pans out sometimes.

   It's 8:15 - the owner wants us on at 8:20. There's a lot of people here now - a near-empty restaurant at around 5:00PM ends up being pretty much packed! I am surprised, but not discouraged by any means. If anything, I am very excited to play, and make up for any mistakes made at the Chapel.

   We hit the stage. Watt's amp is way closer to me now, so I hear him way better now, and we lock in pretty much the entire gig. This makes my playing a lot more confident. I really feel as if we're totally locking in much better together this way, Watt too. Tom is sounding really good - a lot more confident with his vocals overall. As far as my playing went, I really need to stop doing that stupid stick twirling; again, just a bad habit. Also, I really need to lock in with Watt more during "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" - those pauses are very rubato and easy to fuck up if I don't pay attention. Overall however, the set was very strong. I think it was our best set of the tour so far. After the set, we all spiel a bit with the gig-goers, pack up, Kyle gives us a pizza-pie to go, and we head to the konk pad for the night.

   We get to Devon's, and just as I expected - total college-kid pad. We spiel with him and his roommate Brendan for a while before it's time to konk. Luckily, the drive from Eugene to Portland ain't bad at all, so we're not crunched on time.

from watt:

   pop at seven - we got 'pert-near five hundred miles to cover to get to tonight's gig in eugene. I check out my port-side elbow... it's ok but had to check cuz I crumpled near this 'tel's front hatch last night, forgot to chimp about in the diary. it was cuz my knee went out, sometimes that happens. I've learned roll as I'm feeling I'm going down to reduce the consequences. it kind of freaked big man - he's never seen it before... didn't mean to do that to him. there's free chow here in the lobby (for the money we spent, there should be maybe?) and I have some buffet scrambled eggs w/two kinds of some kind of meat in patty form. I use toast to make sandwiches out of them, one for later in the boat. we shove off just before eight. typical good california weather.

   first the I-505 short cut to I-5 north and then some worry for me. last night there was a trippy thing w/boat's gauges - a chirp was sound, "check gauges" appeared where the odometer stuff is and the temp gauge went to max immediately. after some seconds everything returned to normal but this recalled to me a prob I had a couple years ago w/the boat when two oxygen sensors lamed out and fed the boat's 'puter bunks infos - fucking would shut down the motor! now this didn't happen but damn if the 160 miles to redding ain't nerve-rackers for me cuz every so and so the temp meter would just shoot up and then go back down - no chirp and performance hit but just these wack reads w/the temp meter. it would go down after a little bit but then again and again... we pass red bluff, where my pop grew up and my sister melinda was born but I keep on keepin on. oh man, the anxiety. at redding I get fuel and uncap the coolant reservoir to relieve any kind of pressure. I touch the radiator - it ain't hot at all, I mean not out of bounds... the gauge is sitting right on the middle-mark... I think it's either a sensor or 'puter issue but then when I get us back on I-5 and wheel us through the grades up through shasta county, the needle never ever moves again. another trippy thing: I zeroed out one of the resettable odometer reads at the beginning of the tour cuz I wanted to kee a running tally of the tour miles but damn if that wasn't now back to zero - I wonder if the 'puter somehow reset? whatever, I never have any troubles all the way into eugene. we make it across the border and over the siskiyou pass around one in the afternoon and there's serious hills to pull plus rain starts to drench 'pert-near the whole canyon part of southern oregon but none of this seems to bring on the trouble I earlier had. crimony. of course there's asshole drivers taking ridiculous chances w/everyone's lives via shitty driving but that fucked up shit w/the temp gauge never once happens again. I get some gas in roseburg (oregon's gas is like a dollar cheaper than in cali right now at $2.80/gallon) and there's a subway sandwich shop across the road big man asked for earlier but he says he doesn't need it now... just over the border he asked me but I said I thought we should really keep going and get out of this dangerous rain and also see how the gauge drama would work out. ok then. the next eight miles a very calm. did we dodge a bullet? hope so... I worry so much for keeping my men safe, I fret about it big time.

   I get us into eugene at five, head for the downtown and a pad I've never played before but once did chow a slice of peetz here - it's called whirled pies and damn if there ain't a stage here and everything, pretty happening. soundman jack is there to greet us, very cool people. so is the ownerman kyle, very kind. he makes me the greatest big bowl of greek salad ever - finally some big time greens for me this tour, I needed that. I make sure I set my amp up smarter plus me and big man work out a way to get his drums right up to the stage's lip and work in a good angle for him so eye contact is way easy. I explain that his kit can be exactly like he digs it relative to just the overall angle which takes a little bit for him to comprende but he comes around after me w/some 'splainin. so glad he's flexible! I want him to be right there for the gig-goers... fuck, this is what us minutemen should've done w/georgie - he should've never in my opinion been behind us, no fucking way. in lots of ways I'm a fucking slow learner. I change up the soundcheck tunes also, having us do two instead of one cuz tom's gotta be there w/his voice - he really helps me out and I think makes the set a whole lot more interesting... also when we're together - we're doing some of the only tunes me and d boon collaborated w/regarding the words and I'm using both me and tom's voices to riff on that. these are all songs I wrote for minutemen - I mean the ones we play from the minutemen days but some never got played or even recorded - the lyric collab ones did (check out the first ones on "the politics of time" and some of the "bean-spill ep") but others just ended up on the cutting floor cuz, well, d boon and georgie just wrote better ones. I think seeing me now days do stuff I wrote thirtyeight years ago might be interesting for folks to hear concerning my song-writing arc, I mean if anyone's into something like that and so that's what I'm thinking. I ain't asking tom to be a fake d boon, just trying to add dimension to what folks might wanna know where I came from concerning how to write tunes. I will tell you something trippy though: it is amazing to me all these years later how some stuff seems so much relevant these days - THAT is a total mindblow! seems like only some of the names have changed... I also think of a set of what I'm doing now goes better as 'pert-near one big tune so I wanna make sure we make for all kinds of scenery flying past when looking out the windows: hills, beach, mountains, desert, bayou - stuff like that, in a musical sense and also helpful to us being able to bring it. I go chimp diary and finish my salad when we get done, talk some w/ownerman kyle who I really like.

   early gig - well, it's sunday and makes sense - one opener and they're locals called the madelines but actually big man went to high school w/the singerman devin! we're konking at his pad tonight too! they hit at seven and get things heated up. our turn is quarter after eight damn if it don't turn out for me to be the best gig of the tour - yeah, we're getting it together! big man and tom really bring it, I'm so proud of them both and the eugene gig-goers are really righteous w/their open hearts, respect to them. now I saying there ain't any clams but I think all three of us did real good together, I'm really happy w/us - I know we getting more happening and truly believe we will but this is great progress.

   I talk to the gig-goers and sling some shirts at the same time. karen (sister of my good friend doug rockett who got killed from diabetes, broke my heart) and steveo from memphis (near fayetteville in arkansas now actually) are here to visit friends, whoa! man, I wish I had time to spend spieling w/them. damn. glad to see them though, so glad. also I'm most grateful to the other gig-goers giving me the good word, so very kind. you know, these days to keep from getting sick I use fist pump so I hope folks ain't offended cuz I mean no disrespect. also I gotta save my voice - fortyfive gigs this tour! in a perfect world I'd spend forever w/everyone, I swear but just cannot do w/this sitch. I am sincerely grateful for all the kindness though, I really am.

   I settle w/the ownerman kyle and he thanks me for bring people on a sunday night to his pad but I gotta thank him for everything, I just thanked soundman frank for being our fourth man. when you got someone providing for a good gig in a town you come to visit, what better a twofer, huh? big deep bow to him.

   the boat packed up, big man directs me to devin's pad (nicknamed "the hills"), he sang in the madelines. him and his roommate brendan rap w/me after I hose off and get into the nightwear. after some small talk about the evolution of peetz, hamburgers and hot dogs they both wanna know about the old days of the movement (they're big man's age) - devin about pedro cuz he knows dirk vandenberg and brendan w/salt lake city cuz that's where he's from. I'm happy to give a perspective, good cats. so bitchin to be able to konk at midnight too. I always carry extra blankies in the boat and use them tonight, need to get good konk to stay healthy.

monday, september 23, 2019 - portland, or

from nick:

   I wake up at about 8:00AM after my worst konk of tour so far - I slept like shit because I was way too cold. I should have brought in my sleeping bag. Watt explains to me how bad it is to sleep in the cold because that's how you get sick really easily, especially after playing a gig in your own sweat. I usually don't like to shower until the morning time though - it wakes me up.

   We head over to this bitchin' food store / coffee shop called Party on Friendly in Eugene before making the short trek to Portland. The owner, Mark, came to our show the night before and offered us coffee and chow before we split town - so of course we stopped by. I went down on a fried egg sandwich with prosciutto, a deviled egg topped with smoked salmon, and a big hot cup of coffee with almond milk. Thank you so much Mark. There's nothing better than some healthy and hearty home-cooked on the road.

   Once we hit the road to Portland, I take advantage of the long drive to catch up on some konk. Once again, Watt drives the whole way no problem with only one stop. I am really looking forward to the Portland gig - the people there really seem to love music, especially punk. Plus, who doesn't love The Wipers and Poison Idea? Squarejohns, that's who.

   We pull up to Eric's house, our konk pad for the night, at about 12PM. Tom, Hiyori and I take a Lyft downtown to go to the Whole Foods (Hiyori needed some stuff) and I go to check out Powell's bookstore. What a fucking maze that place is. I don't even buy anything but a couple of stickers and post card because I don't even know where to begin with browsing. Tom decides to not even go inside because he knows he'll spend way too much money and walk out with a bunch of shit he doesn't need. After that, we rest back at Eric's pad before heading to the gig for load-in and soundcheck.

   Pull up to the gig at about 5:30PM for load-in and soundcheck, and we're greeted by the soundman of the day, Kyle. As I set up all of our gear on stage, I talk with Kyle about his background in doing live sound, where he's from, and all of that small talk. I explain to him that I feel like I'm bothering him a bit because he's trying to work, but he says he likes talking to every musician that comes into the club, and that I'm not being a nuisance. He's also grateful for our stage set-up - he explains that indie folk is pretty popular in Portland, with way too many "fiddles and shit" on stage - we share a laugh.

   After soundcheck, I meet the day of show person, Arian. She gives me drink tickets and a meal ticket. My stomach is bloating pretty hard right about now - I'm thinking it must be nerves, or the cheddar cheese that was on my sandwich for breakfast. Probably a little bit of both. I'm not letting this bother me too much though - I have a gig to play. Watt informes me that Lance Bangs is coming to film our set too, so this makes me even more nervous as well - gotta watch the clams. Around 8PM, despite my bloated gut, I eat a delicious beet salad with a hamburger patty and some fries for dinner that the venue was kind enough to provide. With my stomach issues, sometimes it's really hard to tell when I'm actually hungry or not, so I try to space out my meals throughout the day, and try to make sure they're not too big.

   It's about 9:00PM now, we hit the stage in an hour. My cousin, Michael, who I haven't seen since 2015 came to the show. He lives in Vancouver, and lives only about 15 minutes from the venue. I'm excited to see him. I hang out with him and his boyfriend - my first time meeting him. Ironically, his name is Michael as well, and they pretty much have the same outfit on - black shoes, jeans, and a flannel. Thank the lord they don't look alike at all...now that would be weird. Good to catch up with my cousin for a bit, and good to meet Michael #2. After we chat, I go inside to watch the opening band, Mascaras. Holy fuck. Best band we've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with on tour (so far), much respect to them. Their drummer blows me away. They end their set at about 9:45PM - we're on in 15 minutes. Before I set up, I run into my friend Natassia (originally from Long Beach, CA) and her friend Joey who came to show - great to see her, and great to meet him. I also run into my friend, and fellow drummer, Kristin. She plays drums in the band The Shivas, and also sings in another called The Rare Forms. She's the best.

   About to be gig time. We walk on, Tom and I forget to put out setlists...both of us baka. We wail right into the set as usual. I feel as if I'm not hitting my snare not so hard, which is good - really makes the set breathe and more dynamic. Overall, we play a very good set, but not as tight in the pocket as Eugene. Lots of things to learn from this set though - I must always make sure the stage is in tact. First, I must make sure all of my drums are lined up how I want them. Next, make sure everything on stage is marked with tape just right (drums, mic stands, bass amp, guitar amp). After that, setlists. Finally, make sure there's a clear path for Watt to walk on and off stage, because of him being "cojo" (spanish for cripple). Definitely don't want the man to hurt himself on stage.

   We load out super quick, I say bye to my friends that come to the show, and we head to the konk pad for the night. When we arrive, Eric is kind enough to give us some really good tequila he has in the liquor cabinet. Tom, Watt, and I spiel for about an hour over some drinks. It feels good to be on the same page after a gig. We go on about our strengths, our weaknesses, why we love playing music, why we are grateful for each other...goo-goo-ga-ga shit. But, shit like that is good because it helps us all remind each other how important we all are as a unit. If one of us is fucking up, the whole unit is fucked up. After this, it's time to konk. 2:30AM. I lay down on Eric's extremely comfortable couch and gently start to fall asleep, much warmer compared to the night before in Eugene.

from tom:

   we're up early and out the door to get some complimentary food and coffee from mark who runs a cool place called party on-friendly, very tasty. drive to portland, we arrive at eric and tamara's sweet home in the alberta district around 12. eric and tamara are there and we hang and talk for a while before loading in at mississippi studios not too for away. later before the gig i sit to do an interview with a nice person named amanda from pleasekillme.com. i do some stretching and a short meditation before we play, and just try to relax. i see some nice folks,  john m. etc.. i got in touch with my buddy kyle, should've contacted him earlier.

   show was fun and the crowd was great, i had a chance to talk with john afterwards and caught up on some stuff. great to see him. lance b documented the show so will the clams will be preserved for future generations to analyze and recreate if they would like.

   after the gig we head to e&t's, set up sleep sitch, i take a bath and bed.

from watt:

   pop at seven and a half. it's john coltrane's bday, righteous. just over hundred miles to drive too, alright. we got clear skies. only lame thing: like an idiot I donated my hashi, damn it. it's the sticks I use to chow w/and I keep them in a hashibako - that's donated too. fuck. devin and brendan are still konked when bail at nine but I drive back to look - nothing at "the hills" and then I drive us to last night's venue - nothing again. fucking stupid watt, fucking baka! big man says last night this cat mark invited us to his coffee pad "party on friendly" so we go there and he's real cool people... respect. I ask for a suggest and he recommends a korean kind of egg sandwich and I go for that. big bow to him and hug. I wheel us north on I-5 and chow that sandwich... yeah, big time happening! shuffle mode on my ipod gives some okinawa folk music and joe frank - it's joe's "a landing strip in the jungle" - it puts big man to sleep but tom's way into it. well, big man konked terrible cuz he forgot to use his konk sack last night, I told him he's gotta watch out for his health, a HUGE tour rule if you wanna be good at this stuff.

   now before we bailed I got an email from sightworks co-owner eric dayton (sightworks hosts the watt from pedro show) inviting us to konk at his and his wife tamara's pad but saying we can come over earlier so that's where we go... it's noon when we drop anchor in the alberta part of portland where they live. they're beautiful people, always so kind and so is the captain, their righteous little dog. their pad is like two miles from the venue too, way happening. we get to relax and it's a good time. oh, the boat's gauges had no probs - very grateful for that.

   just before five bells and I wheel us over to mississippi studios (my second time here) - prolly called that cuz of the street's name and ain't it fucking the best they got cones out front for easy drop anchor. production bosslady arain is there to greet us and soundman kyle hears the fourth man spiel and is into it. now that I'm chimping this, I realize I didn't give him enough time w/my mic - what a fucking idiot I am. I'm kind of raw in the speak-box... baka watt. I chow their bacon sandwich w/a salad from next door (they own also I think?) and who's here? lance bangs w/his buddy, they wanna film the gig. no prob, love this cat. man, the stress of the boat prob (those gauges) and the miles needed to be driven has got me kind of feeling it... I gotta get to the boat and konk. first I meet the cats sharing the stage w/us, mascaras - really cool people, an honor to be w/them here in their town. gran respeto. into the boat w/watt and fucking immediately I'm out.

   tom gets me, fuck - I missed all of macaras. shit. well, I was fucking tuckered and worse is my voice... what happened? no ocha ('tea' in jap) - tom used to always bring that to me. it ain't his fault, I'm baka. anyway, time to do my best for the folks here, I know tom and big man are w/me, this helps you can't know how much. it's ten bells and time to do it. very kind reception for the portland gig-goers and there's lance right by me w/his camera... oh boyl, wanna do good for them... and him... and my men... scary cuz there's cables by my feet, I'm such a klutz but fuck it, I just throw myself into it. the spirit is big time lift-up in the room, helping much the kind-of dented-up... fuck, I gotta be careful - no, right now I gotta bring cuz the gig-goers are bringing, tom and big man are bringing it... good flow - well, tom has some challenges but the band handles it really good, I think... makes it like that kind of stuff was part of our plan! I love tom. not getting the eye contact I was digging on this tour from big man though so I think I'll mention something to him. maybe it's cuz of me being kind embarrassed for not knowing where my voice is but at the same time I'm digging and laughing at points, it relaxes me. I think of john coltrane - I heard him say in an interview he thought musicians were after some kind of truth - I really like that. I buck up. I'm so grateful for everyone in this room. maybe I liked eugene's gig better which is kind of trippy cuz it was right after the hellride from vacaville but maybe there's some kind of delay I'm reacting to, I don't know. tour is a trippy test on your body and mind but I think worth it. I would not do this if I wan not into it. I ain't gonna bellyache anymore about my shortcomings. thank you portland gig-goers, thank you tom and big man - thank you everyone!

   I sling shirts when we're done, get tons of good word - generous hearts. one cat (pancake man?) though is bummed I give him fist instead of hand but man, I just don't wanna get sick and ain't trying to be rude. brother andy from kansas city's here - yes! love this man. him and his brother john go back w/me to my minutemen days when we first played their town at "foolkillers" though andy moved to these parts years ago to work as a fireman. hopefully I get to see brother john later in the tour, I'm hoping. a real lot of kindness, here's jess who got me to narrate guy maddin's "brand upon the brain" up at the egyptian theatre in hollywood a bunch of years ago... I was so scared. much respect to her though, truly.

   I get done and then wait in the back 'til the pad empties. I thank all the workers here I can, everyone so very nice to us. I wheel us back to eric's (a little debriefing on the way, good while stuff's fresh in the head) and he's waiting for us - parking right in front and there wasn't even any cones! crimony. I hose off and get into my nightwear. we have a real good time, eric's the fucking best. the whole team is really helping me, I'll rally for tomorrow but in hindsight - it was a good time. I think of richard meltzer. I called his name at the end of the gig, same w/a happy bday for john coltrane - man, I love those two. good crew though here also, helping watt through a little bit of a valley. it's a real grateful konk for me.

tuesday, september 24, 2019 - seattle, wa

from nick:

   I wake up about 9:30AM, after a really refreshing and well-needed konk. I take a bath with epsom salt shortly after - my back was a bit sore from the night before. I really need to start learning how to lift things properly when I'm loading out gear in a fast-paced environment. Eric heads to the store to get some breakfast chow, and cooks up some classic all-American bacon and eggs, and I toast up a sesame bagel for myself. He puts out some of his almond-milk based jalapeno cream cheese, which way good on the bagel. We chill for a few hours at the pad while Watt does an episode of The Watt From Pedro Show with Chris Slusarenko - also an accomplished bass man. His main project right now is Eyelids, and he used to play with Guided By Voices before their first hiatus in 2004. Naturally, I pick his brain about that - really cool to hear what it's like writing and working with Robert Pollard. GBV is easily in my top 5 favorite groups ever, if you didn't already know. If you know me, you probably already did. He offers to send me some of his shirts and records - really happening. We pack up, say our goodbyes, and hit the road to Seattle. Gonna miss Portland, and Eric's hospitality. I hope to cross paths with him again soon. I also hope to stop at Revival Drum Shop next time, too.

   About half way through the drive, I realize I fuck up and donated my black Levi's to Eric's pad. Great - down to one pair of pants now. Luckily, I can just probably have him send them to me somewhere on tour. Probably going to have him send them to Detroit, because that's where Tom is getting some stuff delivered to as well. More business cards too - I'm trying to make as many connections on the road as possible. For some reason, I'm starting to feel a bit car-sick and nauseous, which is actually unusual for me. My stomach issues are pretty severe with bloating and such, but luckily, I very rarely struggle with acid reflux and feeling the need to throw up. I try to not let it bother me, and sleep it off for a bit.

   We pull up to the venue, The Royal Room, at about 5:30PM. Watt parks the boat in a righteous spot right by the entrance, and we load in. The soundman and gigboss, Brad, greets us, and is very excited for us to be playing the room. We soundcheck, and put in an order for dinner. I eat a really good chicken and shrimp salad with chickpeas, while I listen to the opening band from the back room, Fine. Damn, they were good. Reminded me a lot of Slint, Wire, and Modest Mouse. Trippy but melodic noise-rock stuff. Very cool band and people, I hope I can play with them again soon and stay in cahoots with them.

   Early gig tonight, we play at 9:15. Thank God - we gotta drive to Spokane tomorrow, and they want us at the gig early...3PM soundcheck! I get that every place is different but damn, that's an early soundcheck! I complain too much. We hop on stage and everything looks ship-shape, just like how we intend - except my hi-hat microphone stand is sticking a bit out, potentially being a bit of a safety hazard for Watt. Other than that, everything looks and feels great. I spy lots of die-hards in the audience tonight, wearing lots of Watt, fIREHOSE, & Minutemen gear of course...hell, someone was even wearing a Pair of Pliers (Watt, Tom Watson, Vince Meghrouni) tour shirt from 2000! I compliment him on it.

   Watt and I make sure to keep eye contact with each other much more during this performance - it helps us both play so much better, and gives us a lot more confidence overall. The audience is super into that as well; there's nothing I love more than making a member of the audience smile during a gig - it helps me know that I'm doing an alright job, and that we are genuinely giving it our all. That's really the whole thing about doing a tour like this, I think. It's tons of fucking fun, but it's also a lot of phyiscal and mental work too. Like I said, I hope to return home a stronger man. Anyways, we definitely hit it hard in Seattle tonight, I am proud of us. I spiel with the gig-goers a bit, they are all too kind. They all think I'm no older than 16, which is common at this point. I take it as a compliment, if anything. Time to load out. Paul, the current drummer of The Last, is at the gig, and helps me load out. He just happens to be in town for vacation - real good to see him. He's a great dude, and a killer drummer as well.

   We follow our friend Sandy in her car - we're staying at her pad for the night. She is long-time friends of Watt and Tom - she's known both of them since she was 13 years old! We park the boat in a nearby parking garage, and walk over a couple of blocks to her apartment. She has two big pitbulls named Penny and Meatball. Penny is 12 years old, Meatball is just a puppy - only 5 months old. We take the dogs out for a quick walk, both are playfully aggressive and sweet. I sleep on a super comfy air mattress next to Tom. Gotta be up pretty early to make the mission to Spokane.

from tom:

   waking up at eric's pad is a good feeling, good people.. eric does a breakfast fir us all, we have some time to kill and we stay with eric till mike finishes his business then roll towards Seattle. not long again. out the door and heading north to a suburb in south seattle and find a spot on the corner next to the royal lounge. it's a nice supper club and live space. the first group, fine, plays plays some enjoyable minimal pop. i like it. we eat food and soon we play. sandy shows up and go to her place for the night after having some of her amazing plum torte, me and nick inflate the air bed and get some sleep together.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, watt was tuckered. I get the internet stuff I need to do every morning I can done and then get things together for a radio show - eric wants me to do an edition of twfps at his pad and has gotten chris slusarenko to come and be my guest. in the meantime eric cooks us some great breakfast, trippy kind of "bacon" w/a happening omelette - for me a great shovel and in fact I man-handle it instead of using hashi. I've been a hashi user for over fifteen years now, love it. I chow slower, am more careful... maybe even keep my mind more "active" or whatever (kind of brain exercise?), I don't know but I love using them and wish my ma would've gotten me into it. I then get the music for the show together not too long after chris shows up - nice man and we share a lot of knowledge of the movement. we do the show and has interesting musical journey to share. ends up w/where he is now, w/the eyelids it's hard for me to do my show on tour w/no days off but eric I'd do anything and am so glad he made this connect, so glad.

   I hose off and get my shit together, give the word to shove off and... what, did I lose my leash? I ask bot tom and big man to yank on it but no rings they hear - it just goes to windbag box so tom's thinking it's turned off, I'm inclined to agree. I search the boat... I did find other hashibako and hashi I always carry in the boat but spaced on... (eric and miss hiyori got me some hashi from a china store yesterday - I'm carrying them in a plastic sack) - anyway, in my back wack 'puter sack is my leash and I got reset it by popping out the battery - sort of like the boat's 'puter! well, they're both kind of relatively olde-timey so... just happy no donate and damn I also realized I had 'plan b' hashi all along (I carry in the boat cuz sometimes I get chow I don't shovel in my pad), happy watt.

   weather is still like my pedro town and I'm most grateful. coming on two bells - one last hug for eric and we let him take some shots of us belted in and ready to go... 'til next time, brother! his alberta part of portland makes crossing the columbia river into washington state way quick and easy. of course we're still on the I-5 and it's about 175 miles to where we gotta be. I don't have too many assholes give us shit on the road and about halfway there I pull us over to fuel up (I never like to go below a quarter tank) and next to the gas station is a burger pad called "mrs beesley's" (it's in toledo but NOT the ohio one!) and while I'm filling the tank, I ask miss hiyori to please get me one. she ain't used to ordering here though (she lives in hamburg, germany) and doesn't realized you got to specify the condiments so there's no senf ('mustard' in german) on it but fuck, I still like it. she's very kind to get - actually it's part of fueling "pit stop" routine we do when we pull it over - tom cleans boat glass, she gets chow, I fuel boat and big man... ? we'll think of something.

   you know for I-5 traff in these parts, especially starting w/tacoma, it ain't too bad and the location of this gig - let me tell you how I know about this pad: I played here last march when I was w/mike baggetta and had such a good time that I told the people working that I would be back next time I was in these parts. it's called the royal room and the part of seattle it's in is called captiol city which is south of the downtown so we avoid a buttload of plug, five bells when we show up and though it's like whatever-long it takes tom to navigate me into a park (for some reason "port" and "starboard" ain't good enough for him today... he's using words like "curve it" and ambiguous shit like that 'pert-near makes me insane), it is a fucking happening spot right by their front hatch - all's well that ends well, right? padboss/soundman brad is here in same role as he was last march, so good to see him. new cat is garrett but we met twenty years ago when he drummed for a band called spell... before that he was in the fluid. anyway, what a mindblow! another mindblow is find out a dude working here looks just like jacob from the criminal guitars ain't him but instead named nico! man, life's trippy. everybody here's really happening. much respect. they bring me enchiladas and collared greens and I shovel that.

   early gig, locas fine open the gig at eight so I got no time for konk and listen to them while I chimp diary. they got real nice green room here and it's right behind the stage. fine are really good, I dig them and am inspired. our turn is right after, maybe quarter after nine when we bring and damn if my voice ain't back. it's really REALLY important I get hot throatcoat tea before I go on, REALLY important. it was like pounding a glass of sand last night in portland, oh my god. the horror. I tried my hardest but a dry fucking throat is a dry fucking throat - not to make any excuses to anyone for anything cuz I owe the gig-goers my best and the seattle ones here tonight in columbia city are truly beautiful. this I gig I prolly watched them more than I ever do cuz usually I like to look at men and have good eye contact to work the gig better but the sitch here at the royal room has the gig-goers right in your face (there's a low stage here) so maybe that's why. there's a couple of cats that really got infectious spirit and it's contagious on me - thank you! the band's cooking pretty good and I'm real proud of big man and tom, really am. I'm also so grateful to have my voice back... hey, I already said that! I don't blow that many clams on the bass either - not to be too full of myself but it's a good gig for us I think, really happening... digging the flow too, no need hardly for the set list - like I can see it anyway - fuck, I need new glasses, just do! ANYWAY, I put the bass in the air and holler "start your own band" cuz I'm so glad d boon did w/me and look where I am now. we were twentytwo when we started the minutemen - same age as big man.

   I sling shirts from the stage and rrick king from guitar maniacs in tacoma is here and I immediately ask him on stage for GIANT HUGS, thank you so much, rick - love this man. I get the good word from so many - I can't do open-handed handshakes, so sorry - no disrespect but I can't get sick... most folks understand, thank you so much! people wanna tell me about the first time they saw me... damn I wish I could remember every gig - I try, good people, I try. I also try to talk to every one can, however weak and worn I am. finally I get to give BIG hug to don brown - a cat I've known since grade school (taper avenue) and whoa, he looks great. we ain't got much time to rap but he does come to our pedro town at times and I'd like to show him what I've found there since we went to school together. one guy we remember together that we still know is john deluca... john's always been very kind to me. I do wonder what happened to craig muranaka, john martinis, richard orienza... trippy about trying to remember back understand exaclty why that means what it does, huh? especially at this stage - I think lee ranaldo might even call it "the fourth act" - he used to say "third" to me but that was a little while ago...

   the co-ownerman wayne was in a band that played w/the minutemen when we headlined our first ever gig in new york city (1983) and damn if he don't give me a copy of a flyer that was made for it. crimony! it was at folk city west and I 'pert-near shat a pecan log but d boon and georgie charged real hard. I love being in a band w/strong men, love it. my old friend sandy glaze missed the gig but she's here to have us follow her to her loft in downtown seattle, one of the oldest buildings that's real close to the original skid row (where they slid logs into the water for transpo). there's some schlep and hobble but it's well worth cuz she is righteous and her pad safe and clear. love both her dogs too, righteous lovermen. I hose off and she's got a mattress for tom/big man while we got ours - it's a one room pad full of people that truly care about each other that konk just like that. amen.

wednesday, september 25, 2019 - spokane, wa

from nick:

   I wake up at about 8:30AM - had a pretty good konk. I take a shower and get ready for the day while Sandy is cooking up some scrambled eggs and potatoes for us - I have a banana and peanut butter with it as a dessert to curve my craving for refined sugar. While I was getting down on the chow (which was great by the way), Meatball chewed up my headphones! Oh well, he is just a puppy. But damn! I was doing so good at not spending money on the road, but now I gotta bite the bullet on a new pair of headphones.

   The ride to Spokane begins. I'm very tired for some reason, and in and out of konk for most of the ride. I'm not upset about this though - it helps pass the time, and it's really easy to fall asleep in the boat. We hit our first Subway stop finally - I really do love it. As Watt says, it is the safest fast-food to eat on the road. I eat a rotisserie chicken and tuna sandwich with mustard and an assortment of veggies and spices. Pretty damn good.

   We pull up to the venue at 3:10PM. They wanted us there really early for the soundcheck for some reason - why, I don't know. Luckily, we're the only band playing so after soundcheck we don't have to strike any of our equipment. Watt's old friend from back in the day, Mitch, is there at load-in time to say hi to us and help us with load-in - so nice of him, truly. He's even kind enough to drive Tom, Hiyori and I, to a nearby plaza to get some tour goods, since we have a lot of time to kill before the gig. We hit the Walmart, and the Dollar Tree. Fun fact - as a 22-year old, that was my first time ever walking inside of a Walmart - trippy. It was kind of just like a bigger version of a Target, I guess. I've never supported a Walmart because they're non-union, but, I really needed a new pair of headphones. I also buy a konkmask at the Dollar Tree - it says "Beauty Queen" on it.

   We get back to the venue at about 5:30PM - this gives me a lot of time to hop on my laptop. I finish my diary for the previous day and get to catch up on booking stuff that I need to take care of. I don't think I mentioned that on here yet - I help out with the booking / talent buying at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. Luckily, my bosses Paige and Alex are supportive of me going on tour, so they allow a lot of my work to be away from home. They know I'm just a phone call or a text away.

   I start to have thoughts about home - I don't miss it just yet, but I am thinking of my mother and father. I have concerns about my mother because she just lost hers, as I mentioned before. This is her first time being so alone in the house - it's just her and my dad right now without me there. I sort of feel guilty for not being there for her right now, but they totally understand that this tour is my utmost priority. I'm also a little worried for my father; the week before my grandma passed, he received the bitter news that he has prostate cancer. His father died from it, and his older brother was diagnosed a few years ago - but he fortunately kicked the cancer with professional treatment. Luckily, my father has "very treatable" stage one prostate cancer, and doctors are certain they are going to be able to get rid of all of it in no time. I just hope my father doesn't get ahead of himself; he doesn't seem to be overly concerned. If he's not going to worry, I'm not going to worry.

   I start to get a little hungry. I order a greek salad and some green chicken curry from the venue restaurant. Very very tasty. I go downstairs to grab a bitters and soda with lime and chat with the bartender, Danielle. Funny enough, it's her first day on the job, although she's been a bartender since she was 21 (she's 28 now). We talk about music, amongst other things. Soon after this, I walk upstairs to the green room, and find Tom - he isn't feeling so hot, so I go on a short walk with him to try to ease his mind off his troubles.

   There's no opening act, we hit the stage at 9PM on the dot. I don't really need to go into detail but overall, it's our most troubling gig of the tour so far. Watt's voice isn't sounding so hot (no tea), Tom is having some guitar issues, and I'm having my troubles having trouble getting into the performance due to discouragement. But, I soon get over it and look forward to rallying at the show in Boise tomorrow.

   After the gig, we head to Garett's house - our konk pad for the night. I rap with him and his friends outside over a couple of drinks in front of the fire - a very wholesome way to end the night.

from tom:

   sandy makes a great meal and we pack onto the van. we cross from the western part of washington to the eastern part, a totally different climate and look, and i like this drive. through pendelton along this prairie land to spokane. the venue is a nice size and we get to loading right away.

   tonight we are the only band so we can leave our gear on stage till after we play. hiyori gets some chinese chicken soup which is super good and loaded with veggies and noodles. after gig go to some nice peoples home for the night.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells, start chimping diary. soon I find myself in room that was full of konked people room full of popped people. sandy fixes up scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes for us. five month year old meatball dog is insane w/morning energy, nine year old penny dog is calm by my side despite frequent attacks by over the top pup, it's the nature of such things. they're both beautiful. pit bull terriers too but very loving. young one must chew though so there goes big man's earphones. that's what chew toys are for (purposely made ones). ten bells we shove off and as me and tom hobble through pioneer square, I explain to him some of the history I know of there. such a great place to put the boat - everything safe but I spaced on leaving my belt at sandy's like a fucking... she's righteous and retrieves - I owe her so much for so much for so many years, truly. byebye 'til next time...

   scary w/all the hills w/their big grade that we gotta do, especially w/the red lights and the big angle holding patterns but the boat is strong and can hang. the weather is like sunny so cal, we're again blessed... it's gonna be 'pert-near three hundred miles to get to tonight's gig. I wheel us east on I-90 over that big cement floating causeway to bellevue and we climb up into the cascades. very good conditions to go over snoqualmie pass, the fir trees start disappearing and the rain shadow landscape starts to dominate. we get to ellensberg (home of the screaming trees - I took them on their first two tours during fIREHOSE days) around noon and we stop for our fist subway sandwiches of the tour - miss hiyori's into get that stuff for us, I fuel the boat and tom's is the windows, getting them. big man is bringing up the rear as we wait... what's his job at these pit stops? I tell him his job is to not make us fucking wait. I tell him not to worry though cuz this tour stuff is a learn by doing kind of thing, no way can you give someone a buttload of instructions before you shove off for the first gig and expect them to have it all down. he's getting it though, getting it good. we pass over the columbia river, she is mighty even here where she's going north instead of east. later I see a sign that kind of trips me out - it says the most u.s. potatoes are grown here... I thought that was idaho's claim, no? it's on the license plates...

   anyway, twenty after three we drop anchor at where we're playing here tonight in spokane, the lucky you lounge - it's right near the railroad tracks and I think a kind of new pad. soon as I get the motor off, look who pulls up - it's mitch from "instant karma" in the montrose part of houston who did my gigs since I think 1998 and then later at a pad he had downtown called "the engine room" - maybe I was w/j mascis + the fog then. anyway, so glad to see him again and he helps w/the schlep, says he lives here now and coaches hockey - he's originally from boston. I meet the soundman jack and he's into the "fourth man spiel," so very happening. I meet the padboss kaleb also, nice man to me, respect to him. the knitting factory people brought this show in so we're waiting for the rep and in the mean time, set our stuff up. no opening act, interesting. we do a quick soundcheck (the way I like) and then mitch takes everyone but me to get stuff at a store including a plastic cooler - not a fucking lame styrofoam one like I got... didn't last even one fucking week - for the boat. the outside promoter reps eric and cameron arrive and bring us chips/salsa (mrs renfro's ghost)/soda water/pears/plums/bananas - all we need and instead of using downstairs "green room" (never say that word) w/my lame cojo knee, I use soundman jack's backstage (literal) space for p.a. they're very kind and since my rider stuff costs less than sixty bucks, they flow the rest to us for buy-out... miss hiyori using the internet finds a china chow pad close by and that means soup? yes, excellent kind tour chow for watt, tom asks for also. I go to the boat and konk.

   there's no opening act, tom rousts me a few minutes before go time (nine bells) w/some throatcoat ocha but damn, it's like body temperature (maybe kidney-filtered too?) and it don't do a thing for me. very challenging gig for watt, big time totally like portland was, as if I had just pounded a fucking glass full of sand. crimony. tom's got his challenges too. big man does good but could work on some body language to help both sell it and help his two challenged band guys. it's learn by doing w/tour, he's gonna get it - no heaviness on him. big challenge can lead to big rally - in fact I don't think you can rally w/out big challenges all peppered w/foulings. big man's our anchor tonight though, his shorts our nothing compared to ours. fist in the air for the big man! most grateful to him. big point I learn tonight is I gotta get us an electric kettle for my fucking throat, just gotta. we'll talk about tom's stuff tomorrow. watt has to get together what he can get together tough I can be there for tom and you can count on that happening, love this man... twenty years now we've been touring together - is there anyone else that's done us as much - ANYONE? I owe tom big time, BIG FUCKING TIME.

   I get the good word from the gig-goers which surprises me only cuz of our challenges but that shows you the big heart they got, HUGE respect to them, truly. I ain't really using open handed shakes and mean no disrespect but I can't get sick, good people, just can't. I've done experiments w/myself regarding this stuff and for sure it's a vector for sickness w/me and the palm to palm shake and the knuckle on knuckle has proven to be safer for me. hell, even elbow to elbow - like we're in the kitchen! darrin huff is here - big hugs for him - I also hand him the wattplower mark II prototype III to try out... you see people, a lot of where this bass comes from comes from ideas darrin and myself came up w/together long before the reverend guitar proj. this was years ago when me + the secondmen came through - well, actually it was before that cuz we were trading ideas via email before that. it was a nice bass and stuff, beautifully made but it didn't fit where I was at and he didn't have the resources to do prototypes so I just took it home after working the gig (I think it was at "moose's" maybe?) when the tour was done and eventually giving it to miss eva who played it a bunch and still has it. really, it's fucking beautiful. anyway, good ideas are good ideas and his thoughts and stuff along w/my practical experience went into the wattplower of course w/even more input of course ken and joe from reverend guitars who darren tells me he has respect for. please understand MANY prototypes have gone into the wattplower w/them which makes it why I work it - in fact this one I'm playing now is a mark II prototype! so kind of all these luthier cats to bear w/watt... I have to say it sure is righteous that people I'm working w/w/this stuff understand why I ask for stuff for them - me also leraning from them which notions I got might be pretty stupid too. it's all "learning by doing" stuff, like w/what big man's learning w/working tour the way we do.

   before I settle in the boat w/rep eric who's most kind - I talk w/john, a buddy of a cat I knew many years named pete stewart. pete was from wichita falls and recently passed away and it was very heavy for me. I never get used to losing people, never. pete would leave all kinds of messages for me when I was a way on tour all through the years. oh man... love you pete stewart, love you.

   a very kind man named garrett has invited us to konk at his pad in nearby spokane valley, very happening and he's most generous. I hose off right away and get in the nightwear... soon w/two of his buddies - I think they're related to each other - I mean maybe not garrett but... damn I get confused but anyway they're really interested about music and so I spiel about w/them and we have a good time. such kindness here in spokane... really grateful for everyone. good konk.

thursday, september 26, 2019 - boise, id

from nick:

   I have felt a little off. We've been doing a lot of long drives and having a lot of late nights, so I think the constant move is simply starting to catch up with me. I know it sounds like I'm complaining here, but I'm really not. That's just all part of touring - it comes with the job. Luckily, by gig time, I make sure to give myself enough time to konk in the van or at the venue, that way I'm pumped up with adrenaline to give it my all for the gig-goers. There's nothing I hate more than giving a half-assed performance when I know I could play better.

   Since our performance in Spokane was not as strong as we wanted it to be, we want to make sure to rally in Boise. Long story short, we very much do so. Watt's voice sounds so much better, Tom steps it up with his voice and guitar as well, and I step it up overall with "working the stage".

   After the gig, we head over to crash at Bart and Steph's pad - they've known Watt and company for years. They have homemade pizza ready for us - I cannot deny a slice. Their band also played the show with us - Hotdog Sandwich is the name of their band. They were really enjoyable to watch! I konk out downstairs next to Tom, and try to get as much sleep as possible before the next day.

from tom:

   we get on the road early and we stop at a subway and i get a 6" breakfast. another long ride to boise, we always like playing here and see our friends bart and stef, and we always stay with them here. but tonight we get play with them in their band hot dog sandwich. they play as a two piece tonight and are very great.

   i like this club, very cool people always. i spend pre gig time meeting the folks here. all goes well, i do better than last night. we head to stef and barts pad and eat his delicious pizza and i camp downstairs for the night.

from watt:

   pop at seven bells and get the stuff we brought stowed back in the boat. I find garrett's coff machine and make a glass of that and drink a quart of water. we're the only ones up so we leave him a thank you note and shove off just after eight. gray skies and some traff as I backtrack us on I-90 for an hour before south on us-395, my ipod gets us a big dose of mr burroughs reading his "naked lunch" and filling our boat w/that most distintive voice. pull over for fuel around ten at the colfax/othello offramp - like the sound of that... $3.06/gallon w/only one station - whoa. I get some "chesterfried" chicken/taters and proceed - big man says I'm "fucked" for chowing that.. I guess he's more than just in charge of drums, he's in charge of chow too, interesting. the weather's gray but holds as far as giving us hell. I briefly drop anchor to have tom run into a tallfarts in kennewick to get a electric water boiler cuz I can't do another fucking gig w/out the throatcoat ocha ('tea' in jap), just can't - too big of a challenge for watt. tom talks to us about his challenges from last night and in fact makes a call to deal w/it directly - this is when I think a leash is righteous to have - spock, kirk, bones and scotty had it happening as far as something like that helping us in the future. we get rain in the blue mountains but not heavy... the boat gives me that "tone" and red "check gauges" light for a few seconds again going DOWN a grade, hmm... about one and a half I pull us over in la grande for fuel - maybe recent law change, you can pump your gas in smaller populated areas, hmm... nope, not a new law - the counterlady says she think it's always been. slow learner watt. anyway, I get two hard boiled eggs and a neck pillow that's got a snap - easier for me to konk w/out getting kinks cuz I tried out big man's last night. around three I get us into mountain time zone so we lose a hour... half hour later we cross into idaho - byebye west coast states.

   soon as we're in downtown boise, some I blow by the pad - I say that cuz I've worked the neurolux buttloads of times but so much has changed... the china chow pad across the street's gone, damn. a few more port turns and there's bart - he's in one of the opening bands, hotdog sandwich - we finally get to play w/them (we'll be konking at his and steff's pad tonight), so good to see bart. whoa, it's pretty warm here, I mean for this part of time - better a little cold or even scarier: a little icier.

   after soundcheck w/soundman eric, I meet two cats from a small town called stanley that's near a town here in idaho I lived for a tiny bit called blackfoot cuz my pop was getting trained for nukes stuff (he was a machinist mate for nuke engine rooms) - there's a little part of idaho in watt, truth be told. I'm sure grateful to these cats for doing the miles to be here, damn right I'm gonna work my bass my hardest I can for them tonight. I get a baja burrito from "calle 72 tacos" where that china chow pad was and yeah, mi gusta, muy sabor. crimony. gran respeto. I go to the boat and konk.

   out of nowhere in the konk I hear drums and bass - fuck if I don't pop and realize it's hotdog sandwich and hobble straight to the venue (I was lucky to get a bitchin space not far from the front hatch), I hobble right to the front of the stage midships and witness their gig, it's fucking most happening for me, I love it. bart's on the drums w/steff on bass, both singing w/voices fitting real good together, I have a real good time and am much inspired by them, a little like w/those two cats from stanley... I'll be running on idaho fuel tonight! I gotta get more konk though and am very sorry to miss the hand cuz I've shared the stage w/them before but damn, "a man's gotta know his limitations" I think a great man once said.

   tom rousts me for the ten after ten go time ten minutes before and he's got the hot throatcoat ocha... kind of small cup but still, it helps me so much big time, so much - thank you thank you, tom! it's a chance for us to rally tonight, I think we can do it. the boise gig-goers bring the spirit to help out and I think we did just that - I ain't just chimping that here to make for some kind of fairy tale happy ending but that's what happened. I'm so proud of tom and big man whupped it up good also. I did have to holler at some yammering yammerers in between soft parts in the softer roky tune but overall everyone was quite kind w/us and it felt truly buoyant and sincere. man, I love it when your rally after a challenge, love it!

   "the bread man" - some folks here from my pedro town keep talking about that to me as I sling and thank gig-goers (so many so kind so truly are w/me, thank you thank you!) when we get done... trippy about parallel universes, huh? OH, I broke a 'd' string our set - ain't broke a string in a while, it was during "forever/one reporter's opinion" but we picked right back up - another rally, yes!

   I settle w/gigboss eric and we talk a little about my bookerman steve kaul, we both dig him - I love the man w/all my heart, he's "the man outside the van" - yep. good quick pack and we're soon on our way to bart and steff's pad near the old graveyard on roosevelt road. beautiful people, we talk some but I can't chow the homemade peetz bart makes for us cuz of the age of my gut these days, better for me to wait for morning, just is. I hose off though and get in the nightwear and they got washer/dryer for us that's just so kind... move the coff table for the air mattress also. crimony, it's already two am cuz of the time zone move and I'm fucking way tuckered. luckily the "spiel party" moves downstairs and I can cut the lights and get started konking, even w/some challenges w/that I get it going, need it to protect my health. whew.

friday, september 27, 2019 - salt lake city, ut

from nick:

   I wake up at 7:00AM ready for the hellride to Salt Lake City from Boise. I'm pretty much in and out of sleep the whole ride there. Extreme amounts of coffee and eating snacks while sitting in one place can only keep me awake for so long, and I kind of start to feel like shit. That's another thing that is bothering me a bit  - I feel like I've gained a little weight, which is unfortunate. My appetite has been a little fucked up too, due to the lack of schedule with eating. I'm trying my best not to let it get it to me though.

   We make it to Salt Lake City - same stitch as usual. Load-in, soundcheck, eat dinner (salmon and quinoa), and wait for the gig. The green room is very comfortable. I am tired but I don't want to take a nap because I want to be as tired as possible before it's time to konk.

   Without going too much into detail, I simply want to express that I love this particular gig so much - this is where I feel like the set really starts to come together. Our performance in my opinion was top-notch with only a couple of clams. So many kind gig-goers as well, who had nothing but nice things to say to us. After the gig is over, we head to Don Dalton's for the night - a righteous pad only a few minutes away from the venue. Don is an amazing cat - he's originally from Pedro, class of 1975; just a year ahead of my pop, Mike, George, and D. His band opened the show too! I get my own bedroom for the night - that's so happening. Tom and I soak in the hot tub before it's time to konk. We need to be up early the next AM for the hellride to Denver so I try to konk early enough to enjoy my slumber as much as possible.

from tom:

   early rise, i walk to a gas station with hiyori to get some gas station coffee, another drive to SLC, but it's not too bad and scenic through the vast lands of utah. we increase to the elevations the amazing rock formations. you can really imagine the time when this land was the world of the native peoples. strange how my perception of the west always includes the white european people from all the westerns and tragic battles. it has a peaceful feeling going through this more or less pristine landscape. i still echo's with a time without people.

   tonight we get to play with mike's good friend, don. he's my friend now too. we always stay with him in his beautiful home, a perfect host. however tonight is special because his band is playing too. when we arrive wait for the door to open and soon we don and is boys. i had trouble with one of cords last night, i tend to find every weak link or something to trip over. i have a murphy's  law syndrome, if it can happen it happens to me. sometimes that's a productive talent, but usually not. anyhow, don acquires 3 great  replacement cables for me, what a guy.. thanks don.

   after the motions of pre-gig stuff don's band rocks for a good size crowd and play some catchy utah tunes. whatever that means.? we do our thing and wrap up a fun show, and afterward i meet my friend, terri's friend jennifer, and a couple friends from L.A. john and pam. turns out they were visiting and out looking for something to do and saw the name on the marque and came in. crazy chance moment. cool to see them.

   after load out, we go to don's palace and nick and i jump in his hot tub which is perfectly heated. perfect for a nice sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells but let bart and steph konk cuz I know they're beat. bart usually cooks up eggs and sausages for us but we gotta bail at nine and see them w/only enough time to get a present from bart, a popeye olde-timey comic book. very very kind of him - both him and steph are the best - byebye!

   past the boneyard and the jack in the box (french cooking) tom knows all about to get on to I-85 and we're off, I wheel us eastward along much of the snake river. everybody in the boat is most grateful for good weather. ten bells and we're in mountain home (where richard mckenna was born - he wrote "the sand pebbles" - me and d boon's favorite movie was one made of it starring steve mcqueen in 1966... this book/movie had incredible influence on my first opera also) to fuel the boat and get some subway sandwich... I get us back on the freeway and damn if I don't see a semi wa /trailer that's got "holman" painted on the side - jake holman is the man cat in mr mckenna's book. crimony. only a half hour after chowing that sandwich that had too much of the yellow mustard foisted on it, I gotta pull us over in jerome to blow it out. I love mustard but this wa ridiculous. I also get a mug for the throatcoat ocha brings me before the gig cuz this tiny shot glass shit ain't happening. tom asks me about mormons and I tell him what I know. I got good friends that grew up that way, dirk (did the "double nickels..." cover photos and don (konking at his pad tonight after he opens for me) but also I've read some stuff on this but am no way an expert but I ain't anti either cuz I see no sense in that. it does help make the last part of the drive go by quicker. tom is a great spieler, even in the listener mode cuz he engages you sincerely.

   at three bells I get us to the urban lounge and drop anchor right out front, great load-in spot, righteous. I've heard this kind of location called some bullshit things but then again you have to consider the source. these three cats are there to interview me, their boss is del and talk to him a little about my sitch, that I can do too big of one cuz of where I am w/my health/strength (or lack there of) so please let's make it a little one while my guys set up for soundcheck. he says he understands. I tell him I'll do a bigger one in the future. it's for del williams' professor of rock and I'll talk about my minutemen days but I just can't do any more. del's cool about it, I promise him more parts in the future. I go rest a little on the boat bench and then chimp diary as load-in things develop. I read my diary for yesterday... all the detail I got for the drive - sometimes that happens but usually when I'm not at the wheel which is trippy cuz not once yet this tour have I not driven but I guess it was after-effects of the flipper tour I just or something? strange. there's a bottle of topo-chico still left from eugene - my favorite, you can't believe how I love this stuff after getting turned on to it by jeff smith. I love this agua con gas so much. the bubbles burn out the loogies I got from the spiel. we do soundcheck w/soundlady kitxia that goes by quick, dig that much. this pad is much wider than deep, so be it. like what they used to say in vaudeville: work the room. I'm grateful for the opportunity. I get some salmon from the chow pad next door cuz it's both friday and I think is somehow connected w/the urban lounge... somehow. anyway, it's good and makes me feel good. I go konk in the boat - I'm really REALLY fucking tuckered. man, that spiel I did w/those guys fucking really wore me out - even more than the hellride! truth be told. adam wanted to know some minutemen stuff and I tried my best to answer him. I love talking about d boon and georgie. I love talking about d boon before minutemen. I'm just not that strong and have 'pert-near just enough for tour and not really spiel, it's just the reality on the dealio.

   tom ain't gotta roust me cuz I heard my buddy donzo's band somehow through both the pad and boat's bulkheads (sort of like in boise w/hotdog sandwich) and catch their last few tunes. donzo's ma was the librarian at san pedro high when us minutemen went to school there (1974-6) and he's had me konk at his pad for years... I know he's always been into music and in fact me + my secondmen helped him to record an album at casa hanzo in our pedro town as sons of hanzo a few years ago. never seen him perform before, he does good!

   our turn is next, quarter after ten and right away the salt lake city gig-goers bring out, much respect to them. doing the throatcoat ocha from the big idaho mug really helps though I gotta use some hand signals to soundlady kitxia to get the monitors up... if she would only look up from her board... she does, viva! maybe the best gig of the tour so far in lots of ways. hihat mic ain't tighten up so my clumsy ass keeps fucking it up but I fix it back 'pert-near every time. set has good flow and both tom and big man are kicking up much dust. respect. the soft roky erickson tune near the end allows for assholes to bogart w/their yammering - it is from the bar part of the pad and it is a friday night... but we just lost him not too long ago and I really wanna do that tune, really do. I gotta stop "the red and the black" after a verse cuz the band is not together, no disrespect but it was a trainwreck and needed to be reset. hey, life is not a rehearsal - that title was meant to be ironic!

   I sling shirts from the stage w/the gig done, get the good word from so many gig-goers, most MOST kind. lots of spiel is about when a person first saw me and it's very kind but hard to remember ALL the gigs I've done - actually sometimes there's someone whose says "this is my first time seeing (hearing) you" and I'm also most grateful for that. grateful also for people accepting no opening handshakes from me, that you so much cuz you know how sickness bugs get spread. there's the reverend guitars local rep here to say hi, whoa! hi! love my wattplower! I sign a bass (not a wattplower) that a gig-goer for tonight got for "a young woman bassist" - he asked if I minded - I never mind signing someone's bass, NEVER - watt love all basssisters and bassbrothers, we are team!

   I settle w/gigboss kitxia - yes, she's both soundlady and gigboss! gran respeto. I hope to see more of this, very happening how things are changing positive this way. I like being part of it, really do.

   boat packed, we follow donzo to his pad not too far from where we gotta get on the freeway tomorrow morning for denver. he's got some buddies bogarting the driveway w/their car but they understand and pull the ripcord. I hose off quick and get into the nightwear. the air mattress gets setup right in front of the fireplace (in active now, there's drums in front of it - donzo's being more of a music man now! gotta konk cuz we got a hellride in the morning, sorry for not much spiel time this go, donzo. you know what also I should chimp here about? tom had a cable go kaput last night in boise (big thank you for that neurolux soundman eric for getting us through the gig) and he brought three replacement ones - I paid him for these but what a brother to help us out that way.

saturday, september 28, 2019 - denver, co

from nick:

   We're all up around 6:00AM - I take a shower and get ready to take off. Don has some waffles, potatoes and eggs ready for us - so happening; hot coffee too of course. We hit the road at about 8:00AM instead of 7:00AM, because he notices a storm coming our way. That's something so simple to check on, but also something that I would never even think to do myself. I'm glad that he is smart in that regard and constantly raises concern about our safety. The road from Salt Lake to Denver is long and boring, but also very beautiful to look at. I must have been in an out of slumber the entire time - I don't remember much of the ride at all to be honest. We finally arrive to the venue, the Lion's Lair, at about 6:00PM. I'm introduced to the booker man, Doug, who Watt has talked very highly about. I also meet Tony, who is one of the co-owners of the club.

   It's almost gig-time here in Denver. I'm really looking forward to playing because the place is super small - I love playing packed, intimate gigs. Slim Cessna is opening the gig - just a two man band with him on guitar and vocals and his buddy on a pedal steel - a real nice way to open up the night - country-inspired rock and roll tunes that I very much enjoy.

   We hit the stage at 10:15 on the dot. The place is packed and pressure's on, but I'm excited to play. Other than some asshole shouting "FREEBIRD" during our cover of the Roky tune, "I Have Always Been Here Before", the show was a very pleasant experience. I truly believe that I'm getting a lot better at not hitting my snare so hard. I'm starting to learn how to play with a lot more dynamics. I thank Watt and Tom very much for teaching me the importance of that.

   Show is over and I'm fucking beat. We are playing the same venue the next day, so we can leave all of our gear on the stage - what a relief. We head to the hotel for the night that Doug was nice enough to provide for us. I get my own room - hell yes. I'm so exhausted that I immediately fall asleep after hosing off at about 1AM.

from tom:

   early rise to start our trip and don has coffee and breakfast set up for us in the kitchen. we get out the door in the dark and start our trip to denver. we go all the way across wyoming drop south through Fort Collins and roll into town and load into the lion's lair tavern. a cozy locals place on colfax. cool people and a good vibe. we are playing two nights here which is a new thing for me, we can leave gear in the bar and stay in a ramada inn tonight and tomorrow night. we have a day off driving tomorrow, i think we all look forward to it.

   after checking i get fish tacos with nick across the street, they're okay, a little bland but not too  greasy. we kill some time in the little room in the back of the lair and i practice some things that have been giving me trouble. me and mike sit and talk with gig boss, doug for a while and wait till slim cessna and john get ready to play. they are a duo of guitar, vocal, drum machine and pedal steel. local heros i figure. people start to arrive and it's a great group of locals that are probably regulars for the most part. i meet michelle who was a previous owner of the bar and super sweet, for to talk with. after slim and john play, we set up and do our first set in denver. goes alright, i still have a few snags but i think (i hope) only we hear them. the night goes on and then doug leads us to our hotel for the night. i have my own room and i make the most of it. bath, etc..

from watt:

   pop at six bells w/in moments here's donzo w/reveille cuz he doesn't realize I got 'pert-near an auto-sense developed in me now to pop when I'm supposed to. of course I gotta piss (always first mission of the day) and he's got coff for me right when I'm done - what a mensch! I go look up our route for today, basically I-80 to I-25 on the nws enhanced data display site which is a fucking righteous tour tool and adjust our pull anchor time one hour ahead so this storm can pass through the first part of our trip. donzo makes me scrambled eggs and papas on the side - I can't go for the waffles he foists on the others but damn if the eggs ain't got tomatoes from his garden, fucking muy sabor - big abrazos for donzo from watt, truly. we shove off at eight.

   before I get on the freeway I get bunk gas (bunk cuz it's 85 octane and this boat likes 87) but only $30 worth - I don't like going under a quarter tank. the weather is happening, you can tell there was some big rain but it's a clear go for us now. only lame thing is lame fucking driving by fellow drivers we gotta share the road w/and I say that cuz speeding, tailgating and fucked-up dangerous roll-the-dice lane changes is just so fucking stupid and senseless. assholes. maybe driverless cars are the way to go, fuck... I wonder... we pass where in the late 80s us fIREHOSE guys 'pert-near crashed after hitting black ice - I turned into the spin and kept my foot off the brake, oh my god... I was shaking like a leaf, must've been at least a 270 degree counter-clockwise but I kept it on all four wheels as we ended up in a muddy infield (no k-rail divider or stuff like that - open ground), damn were we lucky. you can tell a storm just passed even more here. I get us into wyoming at nine and a half. big man up front but now konked. tom konked where in back where big man usually is. we're a little out of our usual norm but that's ok. wyoming is where my ma was born and grew up as a girl, the town's gone now, it was a company coal town called dines her grandpa came from italy to settle there. it was by rock springs but first we pass through green river which also was a title of a ccr song that d boon really dug and minutemen covered. a hour later I fuel the boat up at little america (actually a gas station whatever trip and not a town) for $3.10/gallon and ten tins 'dines w/mustard (the ones w/oil are too heavy for me, packed w/water ones are ok though) and some crackers. 'dines are tour chow that goes way back - you need no refrigeration so good to stock up in the boat. the asheton brothers told me they dug 'dines too. I get us back on the road and tom's back up front and feeding me 'dines on crackers w/that green jalapeno sauce we got in eugene (yeah, where we got the topo-chico, thank you big time kyle!) and it's good eats for me. thank you, tom. we're so lucky w/the weather - one hard thing though that way is the wind... soon as we're east of rollins, it really starts to fucking blow. of course asshole drivers come by in the their clumps - interesting how assholes of a feather cling to each other as they make things as dangerous as possible on their "mission" to get killed and/or everyone else unlucky enough. crimony. sorry to harp on this shit but it's a nightmare and TOTALLY FUCKING AVOIDABLE - what's up? I gas us up again in laramie and the gusts are 'pert-near fifty miles a hour... blow me down for fucking sure! I get a "fix your own" trip where you get a bun from a warmed drawer and I put a beef patty and breaded chicken puck w/some mustard on them and chow that cuz I wanted to see what it was like. verdict: filler but at least I didn't get sick or puke. back on I-80 w/the gusts really going now, we pass on the other (folks going west) four semi all crashed into each other - there was a jack-knifed truck all by itself back near evantson when we got into wyoming but this looks like a choo-choo train where the cars you know, kind of are in human centipede kind of trip? it's horrible. I never take shots of wrecks but I do a quick one of this cuz it makes so made why people drive so fucking risky in such a dangerous sitch. terrible. shit, I hit a bad spot on some road being still built on and damn if that could've sent us over... I prayed to high heaven most grateful - this is scary shit we're dong people - even if you're driving just a couple blocks in your town down a "quiet" street - these are steel/glass/rubber/plastic sleds travelling under the laws of physics, PLEASE WAKE THE FUCK UP AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OUR SAKES! it ain't no little kid fucking playground game. ok, got that out. three and a half, we go south on I-25 at cheyenne and soon it's byebye wyoming and hello colorado. plug/stau starts at loveland, makes some kind of weird sense. fuck.

   however I do wheel us to the venue only twenty minutes late - that after going through a rockies baseball game that's got people gathering. the lion's lounge lair is on the old downtown strip called colfax (also part of us-40) and the last three years I've been doing a couple nights in the first week of december w/my secondmen there cuz my old buddy doug asked me and I thought, hell - let's make it part of the next missingmen tour so something kind fo trippy for a watt tour, playing two nights back to back in the same town. I love doug, been doing my gigs since the 80s, real good cat to me, always. he grew up in ann arbor so we always talk lots about stooges and he's a bassman too - when I come for those december gigs he's let me use his early 60s fenders, I love working them. tonight's w/the wattplower though. he's got his buddy shorty holding the parking spot right out fornt - the "very fortunate to have spot" watt calls it - first I put us a block short cuz it said "pete's lounge" and I was thinking of secondmen organman peetzo - I am baka! soundman patrick ain't here yet so we soundcheck w/barboss tony and then me and doug catch up w/some good spiel. not too much though cuz I'm fucking beat from the 'pert-ten hour five hundred miler and am out for like three hours in the boat.

   I miss slim cesna, damn, so sorry but was running on fumes and needed some recharge bad. tom rousts me w/the big idaho mug of throatcoat ocha, yes! very grateful to tom. righteous heart shared w/us right up from the denver gig-goers, beautiful. we do the gig pretty good, maybe not as good as last night but 'pert-near. I gotta work on some gain stage stuff w/my amp set up to avoid some protect mode cuz you now how my wraslin w/bass can get a little thug - don't mean to but it happes. big man needs a little more angle on his setup too so I can get more face. tom needs to know "do you want new wave..." - that's ones' really important to me and why I put in the center of the set, sort of the hub everything else kind of rotates around thematically. speaking of which: I give only two spiels and starting w/last night in the second one I feel I gotta explain what we're doing this tour cuz I've been reading some kind of lame assumes about stuff people obviously don't know what they're saying and I can't really blame them but what I'm doing this tour is twenty tunes I wrote for the minutemen and then maybe ten watt versions of some songs from others that have really influenced me much. now some of those tunes for the minutemen I wrote never got recorded for an album or even played live - I thought it would be trippy for gig-goers interested in watt's musical journey to see where he was at thirtyfive to thirtyeight years ago. you know d boon and georgie wrote the best minutemen songs and that's why I try to show respect and not dick leech off them, not right, I feel. there are some trippy tunes in this set though that are kind of rare - ones where me and d boon both collaborated on lyrics - that hardly happened where he would write a line and then I'd write a line and so on. I show that by having tom watson trade those actual lines off w/me, like for "case closed" and "the big lounge scene" - oh, we also do a jumpstarted plowhards tune, one of my more recent collabs.

   isn't the "freebird" joke a little fucking tired! some tried to ruin the quiet roky tune w/that and it really pisssed me off but as I sling shirts to the other gig-goers, that pissed-off feeling leaves and I'm most grateful for all the kindness these cats share w/me. it's really generous and beautiful. people get drunk and fuck if I haven't said the most stupid shit in the word, yammered like a fucking yopparai baka - especially when I was w/raymond, I would sometimes get oblivious to anyting else and fucking bag some major wind like an asshole. not raymond though, he was always aware and polite. thank god I grew out ot that stupide shit. kazu and mio are here, yatta! kazu made us some tako-yaki, oishii. I have to chow some quick. beautiful people. there's a couple who wants me to take a shot w/them cuz it's maybe their thirteen anniversary? there's this other lady who tells me three times how I've been a bad influence on her. I tell her that it's the third time after the third time she says it and she gets pissed off, what? I didn't mean to offend. I'm sorry, really. sometimes it's hard to know what's the right thing to say. I wanna thank everyone I can. a bassbrother named stan wants to talk to me about bass tone so I have him come up and check out my amp setup. I show him about my finger techniques too cuz I think that's where a lot comes from also. he tells me he thought for sure "the glory of man" was slapped and he saw tonight it ain't (it was his first time seeing/hearing me). this bassman stan says he's in the food industry and he understands about no open-handed handshakes, that's reassuring. I really ain't trying to being anything mean, bump elbows is ok he says, all his buds do it. I get to say hi to jay fox, he missed tonight but'll be here tomorrow night.

   we can leave all our stuff cuz of the twofer sitch. yatta. big hugs for kazu and mio, their kuruma ('car' in jap) is parked right in front of us. we follow gig/padboss doug not to far to the ramada me + my secondmen stay in during those first week in december gigs here and check-in is w/in minutes - I say that cuz last december was... well, that's another story. there's a tub here and I get to do BIG soak w/salz in the water... man, you wouldn't believe how righteous this is on my bones. after pouring pruned-up self out I konk fucking naked cuz it's so good my sore and tiredness.

sunday, september 29, 2019 - denver, co

from nick:

   I wake up 11AM. Holy shit - best konk I've had all tour. I am so grateful to get such a good night of rest. After waking up a little, I call my friend from high school, Quinn, and also a recent graduate of philosophy at Humboldt State. He now attends graduate school at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He plans on driving down to hang out with me for the day and also plans to come to the show later. Him and I used to play in a post-metal sband together called Promontory. I am still extremely proud of the record that we made, you can listen to it here.

   Quinn picks me up at the hotel, and we're off. First, we go check out Wax Trax - dubbed by many as one of the best record stores in the country. The store is huge with a large selection of used vinyl at bargain prices and lots of new & sealed wax that probably has what you're looking for. As much as I love collecting vinyl, I don't really like buying it on tour because that's just more space used up in the boat. I simply buy a few pins for my bag - including Coltrane, Pere Ubu, Husker Du, and Jawbreaker. After that, we head to the nearby mall so my dumbass can buy a new pair of pants. I also treat myself to a new nice, fuzzy denim jacket to keep me warm for when it starts to get colder for this tour. Being from Southern California, I do not do well in the cold.

   I take an afternoon nap in my hotel room at about 4PM, and wake up a couple hours later. We head to the gig at about 7 - I eat at the gringo-mexican-style pad across the street called Illegal Pete's with Tom - it was pretty damn good actually. I meet up with Quinn at the venue after dinner - we catch up some more over a drink - he turns me on to Whiskey Sours. Uh oh. It's really good to sit and talk with an old friend. It's easy to forget about the simple and good times that you once had when you really didn't have to worry so much. I'm talking like I'm in my 40's. Jeez.

   Almost gig time - I'm feeling more confident and ready to play better than I did the night before. Our set is getting a lot tighter - it's starting to sound like one big song. A very enjoyable experience in Denver. Watt drives us back to the hotel after the gig, and I get ready for bed, feeling determined for the next day.

from tom:

   i do my best to sleep in, but i wake at 8 and get a coffee and omelet across the street and try to rest more. the time on the road can be wearing on the body and mind. i just want to keep healthy. it's a relaxing afternoon, just hang around till we go back to the lair and set up our gear at 7. same bill tonight as last night, easy change up with slim and john again. even more relaxed than last night. by this time we are friendly with the folks working here, we have a good night.

from watt:

   pop at quarter of ten - tuckered watt! piss and then call my ma and talk w/her and my sister melinda - they're doing what we all three do together on sunday mornings when I'm in our pedro town, chow breakfast my sister makes and watch "noir alley" or some old movie my ma can hip us both to w/both the film and the people acting in it. I always look forward to that shit, love it. miss my ma and my sister. I got other sister marilyn I miss too but she ain't in pedro so we don't see her as much. very proud of her though, a teacher for many years. melinda too's been teaching a while now.

   I go chow lunch w/last night's gigboss doug at a not too far away mexican chowpad - I get huevos rancheros and dig it, different than so cal in some ways. me and doug have a good time w/lots of good spiel, I'm way into it. we're chowing outside and a big gust comes and lifts three of the giant umbrellas from their mounts and they go flying. doug catches one of them and luckily the other two don't blast me. we get out of there laughing but doug's car's battery is kaput, he gets me back in a cab to the 'tel. we lived to tell.

   weird feeling for me while I play catch-up w/the tour stuff not having to get to another town... 'pert-near feel like doing laps around denver in the boat BUT I don't. I play catch-up and also rest my sore joints for the next five hundreder we gotta do tomorrow to get to omaha. there ain't nothing like salz in the tub w/hot water and doing a big soak. crimony. miss hiyori brings this packages of salz that really REALLY help me. I'm wondering if we got the same here in this land... I know we got epsom salts and they've helped me big time but this stuff is even more wailing on me, I fucking dig it. I'm gonna wait for after the gig tonight though, don't wanna waste what I got.

   no need for soundcheck so doug's asked us to get to the lion's lair lounge at seven pm, he's got barboss tony holding the most-fortunate-parking-spot place w/his coche. it's just down the street not far from the 'tel. slim cesna is opening again, such a nice man. much respect to him. me and doug do tons of spiel before I gotta get to the boat and konk. turns out we're going on a half hour later than last night just cuz.

   I have both tom and big man play a tiny bit softer than last night and I do the same. I think we're tighter tonight than last night - I really think we're on the right path w/this act we're touring. so proud of tom and big man. yeah, I did holler "you're prolly digging this, ronnie!" or something when tom starts tuning his guitar w/out muting it instead of firing up "tv eye" after my "lllllllllllllllord!!!!!!!!" intro and some other tiny things that ain't worth pointing out here but I think we're getting it together and damn if the denver gig-goers ain't really fucking kind to us, especially those who came both nights! crimony. oh, there was some drama for some weird reason in my first spiel cuz of a beer put near me when I could trip and fall cuz of it but that was kind of ridiculous and I could've handled it better. man, I'm such an idiot sometimes. I get scared cuz of being cojo, I don't ever mean to be mean, I swear - I ain't into it.

   gig done and much kindness from the gig-goers, very good ones from them. the cat who put the beer up there apologizes but I say it's ok, nothing serious - he gets me a soda water w/a lime in it which is really good (especially after playing your brains out) and it shows how it meant nothing but being generous. beautiful man. lots of good word from the gig-goers, old timers and new people, I'm grateful to all. kazu and mio again here, so kind.

   big farewell hug to doug after we pack up, 'til next time. we gotta pull anchor at seven cuz that needs to get done. I do get a soak w/the salz in though, a good one. I get what I need done and shipshape for the morning, I know we can do this. d boon's pop was from nebraska. I force myself to konk.

monday, september 30, 2019 - omaha, ne

from nick:

   My alarm wakes me up at 6:40AM on the dot - I immediately hop in the shower, freshen up, grab my things, and power walk down to the boat. We're off at 7AM right on the dot as we planned, and the hellride from Denver to Omaha, Nebraska begins. I've never been to Nebraska, but Watt has spoken good things of the gig-goers there, so I'm looking forward to the gig.

   I'm starting to get a little homesick out of nowhere. The only time I ever get homesick on the road is when I start to not feel the best physically - I tend to feel the best physically at home because my body is so used to the routine there. Plus, when you feel physically good, you're generally going to feel mentally good - they go hand in hand. But, I need to remember that it's important to adapt to your environment. Luckily, it's not that hard to take care of yourself physically and mentally on the road, if you use the correct tools to do so.

   We pull up to the venue, The Reverb Lounge, at about 5PM. It's in hip little area of Omaha called Benson - I dig the atmosphere of it. We're introduced to the sound man, Brendan. While I'm setting up my kit, I ask how old he is - I'm just curious. He tells me that he's only 20 years old! I was thinking that he was closer to 27 or something - he appears a lot older to me. He also tells me that he's been doing live sound since he was 10 years old! That's so fuckin' happening.

   We hit the stage early at 9PM. We really fucking bring it tonight. Definitely my best performance of The Red and the Black, by far. I really lock it in with Watt, and absolutely nail the ending. Barely any clams on any of our ends. The set is really coming together.

   After the gig, we head to our konkpad for the night, Fred's. Fred is a longtime friend of Watt who saw Minutemen and fIREHOUSE a lot back in the day. Thank you so much Fred. I always love when I get to sleep in a bed on a gig night!

from tom:

   not much sleep and then to omaha. have to leave the ramada inn, but it was nice to have my own room for a couple of nights. i think i made the most of it, bath, shower, shave, rest. it's another trip to omaha, hours to the colorado border and all the way across nebraska to omaha. long trip. when we arrive at the reverb lounge in the benson district of omaha. i remember this area from past visits, a little neighborhood with cool shops in old brick buildings. we find a spot right in front and load in. it's a new place for us, just around the corner from the waiting room where we have played before. it's run by the same people as the waiting room, it's just a little smaller but a good size for us. all nice folks working here and they help us get things going. after check i find a thai salad across the street and return to the reverb to do meditation. afterwards i realize that i spaced and left our tea kettle in denver, but it turns out there is a walmart right down the street, so i go get a replacement thats the exact same model. we need throat coat before the screaming begins.

   after show we go to fred's place where we've stayed before, great guy. i get my own room and bed and shower and sleep.

from watt:

   pop at six and a half, hose off. prepped everything before last night's konk so I'm ready to shove off. all the team's at the boat, righteous, pull anchor at seven bells, I'm talking on the dime - great team we got this tour, I'm most grateful. beautiful. also grateful for the most happening clear weather. quarter of eight stop in hudson for fuel and subway sandwich - the navigatoro gps put on u.s. 6 to get us out of dodge w/no plug and onto I-76. I love mustard but miss hiyori made sure they didn't bumrush the tuna HOWEVER why do they bumrush the tuna w/mayo? motherfuckers, please get it together. I pull us over at hilrose offramp so tom can switch w/big man - he's got hurt toe from getting it rolled over by one of our shine carts twice. crimony. I want him healthy but tour can bring hurts. he did tell me his fingers have healed up and I'm most glad for that. lots of flat land in these parts but still for me interesting - I like driving ALL OVER our land, never have had a boring feeling about any of it. damn if I don't wish everyone one of us who lives here could visit all the other parts they don't live in. I think we'd have a better consciousness and more realistic sense of who we are all are and shit could get more together, I truly do. I wheel us into nebraska at ten and a half, it's about there when I -76 ends and we're back on I-80, the same road we got across wyoming on - actually also how we got to the city too to work the chapel in the mission - I trip on the connects a tour can bring you. twelve and a half (an hour ago we crossed into central time and lost a hour), I pull us over in north platte (the town, not the river) at a flying mascis I get 87 octane for $2.50/gallon, best price yet. at the counter get to hear an enlighten soul end his sermon w/something like "...your governor in california's a fricken idiot" - not to me but a counterlady. when it's my turn to pay for what I pumped I tell her I've lived in cali fiftytwo years and it's ok - hell, we're running a surplus. my guess is assholes are trying to divide us (I mean the country) to benefit their own bumrush. it's a bad hurt on us, we gotta wake up to that bullshit. it's an old tired game being played, so fucking lame. anyway, I get us back on the road and chow the tako-yaki kazu cooked for us last night. it's real good. man, is that brother most kind, truly. tom's back in the starboard bow seat and is good company, always something interesting out of him and lots of time most funny. twenty years we've been touring together - think about that... I do all the time and it blows my fucking mind - longer than being w/d boon... that's the reality... I love him so much. big man was only two when me and tom started touring together - can you get into that? crimony!

   I wheel the boat into the benson part of omaha (actually used to be it's own deal way back but you know how "metro" trips swallow stuff up) and we drop anchor at the reverb room at just after five - just that much late, most grateful for the safe arrival after 524 miles, most grateful to arrive alive. load-in is right in front convenient and parking too is right there most fortunate. new pad the music room is separate from the bar room - dig that. I meet soundman braden and he's real cool people, way into the fourth man spiel and hips me to the knowledge that this pad's (new pad called the reverb lounge) connected to "the waiting room" which is around the corner and I've done more than a couple times. the boss john there has always been most kind to me, always.

   after soundcheck I do a spiel w/james for his "everthing's gone green" show on kzum, very kind and insightful cat, truly. what was supposed to be tiny spiel turns into serious bagging of wind, whoops. he's beautiful about it though cuz he was gonna try and make it tiny for me. his questions were good ones though and I felt I owed him full answers, not shallow crap.

   miss hiyori finds a nearby chowpad called "ika" ('squid' in jap) and brings me some niku udon soup... damn if it ain't really fucking good. she said they had "don chigon" too - fucking trippy, huh? fusion's ok w/me - so glad asia chow is getting bigger here in u.s., same w/mexican and you know I ain't talking "taco bell" shit - same as "yoshinoya" mazui kuso ('bad tasting shit' in jap). I write raul, we need shirts and him w/kid kevin and their calimucho operation are doing those for us, great cats. also demos in shaker heights is most happening to have them delivered to his pad so we can pick them... he's also letting us konk at his pad, he's the best.

   early gig tonight (yes!) - john says go time is quarter after nine. no konk in the boat (no time), I hear all of the wagon blasters do their from stage port in the dressing room (great sitch) and get inspired to bring it tonight to state where d boon's pop was from. even w/stuff to potentially put us off sched, my men are great w/the prod and the local guys are most kind to get their stuff gone from the stage for us, thank you much wagon blaster people, thank you much!

   the omaha gig-goers right off the bat bring, grazie. I'm lit and try my hardest for them, together w/my guys - they're bringing it, good rally - we're still on the path to getting it together, yes! I blow some clams, tom blows some clams and even big man blows some clame but in the big picture they're all tiny, I'm thinking - we're on the path to getting this show together... damn if I don't wish this could've been the first gig in cruz back in cali! but it can't, you have to build these things, especially w/new shipmates so gaman ('patience' in jap), it takes time. I thank everyone for letting tonight's nebraska-california connection happen, it was really a good time.

   sling from the stage when done, get much good word from the gig-goers... not all are omaha - pete drove from kansas w/his lady, he's the man who during my tours of the first opera gave the bracelet (he made it from a bicycle spoke) I've worn ever since getting it from him - he's got one on too! I've always felt I'd have good luck if I wore, a tour totem for me, so kind of him. some cats drove from iowa (some from great band fetal pig) - I wish I could play everywhere every tour so people wouldn't have to make the hellrides like they do but the country's just so big... fuck, no florida gigs this tour cuz of that - no dakotas, montana, no wisconsin, no maine - I feel so bad cuz of that. damn me.

   I settle w/john - he tells me my picture on the bulkhead at this pad was the first one up when they opened... I'm most honored, big hugs for brother john. such kindness, I find it all over this country and am most grateful truly so please keep that in mind if you read any kind bunkness in my chimping.

   we drive over to fred's pad, on the way have a hell-encounter w/some potential nightmare but are blessed w/dodging the bullet, so to speak. I just put my hand over my mirror cuz the brights from behind me were blinding my eyes. at fred's I get to soak in some salz and then spiel w/him and his buddy tim, another nice cat too who had to bail and damn if I space on his name... gotta write fred and get enlightened. fred's the best, always so kind to me and the crew I bring him, beautiful. thank you big time, brother fred.

tuesday, october 1, 2019 - minneapolis, mn

from nick:

   Fuck, I can't believe that it's already October. One-year anniversary of dealing with extreme stomach issues. I've seen so many different doctors, and still, none of them have been able to diagnose anything. I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that they may never find a "cure". Everybody has something shitty physically that they have to deal with - digestive issues happen to be mine. Tom has bad vision. Watt is crippled. Hiyori is allergic to polyester. My mother has lupus. I simply need to remind myself that everybody has something going on, even if it's invisible.

   We pack up at Fred's and get in the boat soon after I wake up. He doesn't have coffee, so we stop and get some at a bakery that's in the same plaza where Watt pulls up to get gas before making the trek to Minneapolis. I'm super excited for the Minneapolis gig, even though I'm a little homesick, and not feeling so hot physically - my stomach has really been bothering me these last couple of days.

   Last time I played a gig in Minneapolis was with my band Neighborhood Brats for our Across America 2019 tour back in April. We played at a place called the Eagles Club - a bar/youth center of some sorts. Holy shit, what a fucking gig that was! We played with a lot of great bands that night, specifically Green/Blue, a newer project with members of the Soviettes, Blind Shake and Birthday Suits, plus another really awesome band that blew my mind that night called I.V., that shares members with the band Color TV. You can check them out here, I highly recommend both VERY, VERY MUCH: IV and Green/Blue.

   Drew, the singer of I.V., is actually coming to the gig tonight - I'm stoked to see him. Not only because he's a righteous and hilarious dude - but he's also being kind enough to bring me an old zip-up hoodie from his old job, and some fuzzy gloves, because I spaced and didn't bring any from home. It's going to get way colder as we start to get more East, and I do not do well in the cold at all; me being from California and not so experienced with traveling and touring, my body isn't so used to extreme temperatures just yet. My penpal who I met in a music group on Facebook, Caitlin, is also coming to the gig with her friend Colby - I'm excited to see them too - both big supporters of music, new and old.

   We pull up to 7th Street Entry (also connected to First Avenue, the bigger venue next door) at about 3:30PM for load-in and soundcheck. It's raining - fuck! Luckily it's not pouring, and the soundman Tony is there to give us a helping hand with the load in - thank you Tony. We always appreciate an extra helping hand with the schlepping, especially in the rain!

   After soundcheck I head down to the green room to put my stuff down and go upstairs to eat dinner with Tom at the restaurant that's connected to the venue. They have Beyond Burgers on the menu - fuck yeah. I'm not vegan or anything, but I do love the taste and texture of a beyond burger - I devour one with a fried egg and some delicious house parmesan truffle fries. God damn, what a meal! Good thing it's still early and we're not playing for a few hours.

   I head back down to the green room and Tom introduces me to John deVries. He used to play in a band called Agitpop that was on Twin/Tone back in the day. He is an extremely nice guy - we talk about our love for The Clash amongst other things. He's also opening up the show tonight - stoked to be sharing the stage with someone him. When it comes time for his set, I head upstairs to watch. I really enjoy how he owns the stage by himself with only his voice and electric guitar. He delivers a very emotional and eclectic performance, with his "fucky" guitar-style and his captivating, passionate, unorthodox voice. I love it.

   I hang out with Drew when he shows up, we talk about music and life in general. It's almost gig time now - I'm not feeling so hot, but I'm determined to give my best possible performance for the gig goers. During the set, I'm feeling good, and within the first four tunes, my nervousness subsides. Once I get into it, it's hard for me to lose my confidence unless something really goes haywire.

   After the load out, I take a picture with Grant Hart's star on the wall, and we head to Steve's pad for the night. They settle us in like we're right at home. I share a drink with him and spiel with him and his wife Anne for almost an hour - fuck, I'm tired but they're so good at talking I don't even wanna go to bed yet! Thank you so much Steve and Anne. I wish we didn't have to be up so early for the trek to Chicago!

from tom:

   mike goes early to get the oil changed in the boat and when he returns he calls me to get everyone outside to start the ride to minneapolis. we play at the 7th street entry again, very good plsce and people running it. i dont know how many times i've been here. great room connected to the 1st avenue large venue where prince shot some of purple rain. as we enter the city the rain is coming down which is kind of nice except during load in. we do it quickly and park the van in the 1st avenue parking garage which is very cool. after check and i get some food next door at the depot which is connected and part of the whole 1st ave complex, we don't even have to go outside good food salad and blt for me, very sufficient. i go down to the green room to practice guitar and vocals, and soon john deVries shows up. wild to see him after such a long time. he's playing a solo set before us tonight, i love his songs and his voice. we hang and talk till time to play.

   after show we go to steve and annie's place for a very comfortable stay. its perfect for us' everyone has their own space to sleep plus a a garage for the van that locks, great. very sweet couple.

from watt:

   pop at six and hose off. I gotta get the boat into the elkhorn ford dealership for 3000 mile maintenance, I'm five hundred miles over but what could I do? the denver gigs were on a weekend w/the ford people closed. gotta take care of the boat though cuz the boat takes care of us, much respect. that gauge prob I truly believe is a gauge prob cuz the boat's running great... I'll get to it when I get time... we got four hundred miles to cover to get to minneapois and they want us to load at three and a half, crimony! I ain't gonna cower or bellyache, I'll do my best to FIRST get us there safe and SECOND try to be on time. I chimp diary while I wait.

   boat serviced, people at this ford pad most kind to me... get the team from fred's at eight and a half, get fuel for the boat - $2.34/gallon - crimony! can't find big man cuz he scourged for coff... crimony, I go off (apologize to him after) prolly cuz of wanting not to let the first avenue people down - hell, I'm been up since the crack cuz of maintenance for the boat. I think everybody gets the point, it's just the method of the delivery... I keep working on it - tom says I used to be worse. I'm really trying to get better. eleven and a half, pull over north of des moines to fuel up, I fucking did a blow-by machi-gai ('mistake' in jap) and thank god tom alerted me or we might've ended up in minnesota via illinois. fucking baka watt. trippy, agit-pop on my ipod, "big bang theory" too that the shuffle mode brings us - both tunes by john devries and damn if he ain't playing w/us tonight - how did this machine know? it has no connect w/the internet as far as I know... maybe it's got some kind connect w/us? I got a lame feeling in my gut from the chicken "tender" (not) miss hiyori got for me last fuel stop and after getting over the border into minnesota around two, I gotta blow it out at the "welcome center" big time. thank god tom's got some anti-acid "tums" pills I chew down. gotta watch the shitty chow... even after years of working on an iron gullet, I still can get poisoned though in my earlier tours it happened all the fucking time.

   the closer to where we need to be, the more rain the comes down - quarter of four we arrive at the seventh street entry which is part of the first avenue (you load in on seventh street), I've been doing gigs here since steve mcclellan ran the pad - it's also where "land speed record" by the huskers was recorded, the first full-length lp d boon and martin's label (new alliance records) put out. lot of history. load-in/load-out is fucking lame in the rain but what can you do? just bellyache about it? HELL NO, let's get it done. lucky thing is now they have you park here INSIDE - old time workerman and man I love much conrad guides me in. so good to see him again, so good. we try and catch up w/much spiel but still that ain't enough to get it together - I could talk w/this man forever, I really dig him. there's a tour bus already here, I found out it's for the new pornographers who are working the big room. I watch them soundcheck a song and then their bossman carl, bassman john and singer neko come and rap w/me, most kind people and I'm such a baka w/bad memory acting up on me strong, so embarrassing but they're just beautiful to me still. thank you good people, thank you. damn if I ain't social awkward so much.

   we do soundcheck w/soundman tony - he reminds me about me and lite brothers konking at his pad years ago, alright - more kind people in my life and then on the rebound! he's way into the fourth man role I ask him to be in w/us tonight and he gives the big yes - he's got a big beard now, I realize... gigboss eli gives the balance of the rider - a big reason I go for small rider - I chow caesar salad w/some korean rib vegan trip chunks from next door, "the depot" - more newness about here for me. I see john devries downstairs in the entry's dressing room - so good to see him again, saw him last march in beacon, ny during me helping mike baggetts w/a tour and that was after a buttload of years of NOT seeing him... big hugs for john, big ones. adam from the mighty mofos is here also (I saw singerman billy going through the maze to get from the boat to here), all three of us are sharing stage tonight. tom tells me water boiler was donated, said he did want me to find out but even the sack it was in - the good one w/the zipper so it could also hold the throatcoat ocha sacks and idaho mug - hey, the idaho mug somehow was saved! I tell tom he can tell me stuff like that and damn if he didn't replace it anyway. fuck, I am way tuckered and gotta some konk, back through the maze to get to the boat and I konk fucking hard and fast.

   I don't know how but I konk at five of nine, twenty minutes before our downbeat - no roust from tom? that's strange... a kind workerman from the chowpad helps me through the maze (obviously I appeared lost) to where I gotta be and tom's got the throatcoat ocha coming, I'm most grateful. doing a gig w/out this stuff (like in portland and spoakae) is the absolute worse for me, even worse than no konk which I can do once in a while but it's always fucked w/out the throatcoat ocha wetting down my chords on tour, really fucked - a virtual sand-pound glass glass-full on me.

   big man and tom are righteous w/the changeover, soundman tony too - they get it down good and quick! one lame thing is big man's water container and a water bottle in the corridor I use behind him to work the room so that's gotta get moved, I put by tom's stuff - we'll have a talk abou that later. I'm just a fucking cojo that needs safe corridor, so sorry about that. the minneapolis gig-goers are there for us from note one, HUGE respect to them. my guys play real good. I do have to stop a couple of tunes and start them over cuz tom's having some probs w/the spiel but then I blow some clams where I don't stop us - what? well, one of these tunes I consider the "hub" of this tour's set and I really wanna get this together and deliver it. we'll get it - remember, it's twenty years I've toured w/tom, longer than anyone else in my life. it's a good gig, really is. I had to tell some yammerer to shut the fuck up in the quiet roky song I do - then it flusters me and I reverse the chorus words, baka watt. still, pretty smoking - so proud of the big man and tom, so glad I get to do this tour w/the.

   sling what shirts we got - running low on all sizes - actually smalls and medium already gone and large will get spent after tonight. a gig-goer tells me some real hells he's had to go through w/losing his pop, his best buddy and hard health blows - I hug him up big. a big reason why I try as hard as I can w/music stuff, especially the live gig part. cats from the old days, cats from the new days too. one guy though has to get weird w/the no open-hand handshake trip... hell the new pornograhper people understood earlier when I met them... why is it a big fucking issue, I mean on the personal level? I just wanna keep my health together so I can do the best gig I can for folks on this tour - IT AIN'T ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT, I swear. man, us humans are weird species. fuck, what can I do? I move on to the next gig-goer who ain't so fucking uptight about this shit. crimony, talk about petty crap - can you they put themselves in my shoes for just a sec? I ain't trying to be anything other than watt that's grateful to have people show up.

   I settle w/eli and he's most kind, he even prints up some papers I need for the border stuff I got coming up in a few days for the upcoming toronto gig. to have cold soda water after a gig is so fucking happening - trippy, hot throatcoat ocha before and cold soda water when done! I say bye and thank everyone I can - I see steve mcclellan as I wheel us out, love this man and he promises to come to my pedro town for a tour I wanna give him. one more hug for conrad! another steve is w/us, a man who interviewed for his radio show years ago and now again he's letting me konk at his annie's pad not too far away. he's even got a garage for us to drop anchor in. I hose off and get on the air mattress soon after getting my word-out-for-next-gig work done. there's a bunch of yammering from big man that's kind of urasai... maybe I have a talk w/him tomorrow about that. small stuff though, he's doing so great, keeping up w/all of us.

wednesday, october 2, 2019 - chicago, il

from nick:

   I awake at Steve and Anne's pad at 6:15AM - we have to be on the road by 7. I rush to get ready, chug coffee, swallow breakfast, say my goodbyes, and we're off to Chicago. Another shitty night of sleep for me, even in a comfy stitch - it's really starting to get to me now. My stomach doesn't feel good at all either. Oh well, that's tour. I'm in and out of sleep the entire ride there again. Watt wakes me in the van as we pull up to venue at about 4:30PM. Even though it's raining outside, we quickly and efficiently load everything in. We're there a lot earlier than when the sound man is supposed to arrive, so I get a little bit of down time to do some work on my computer, catch up on diary, etc. We meet Liv, the person in charge of hospitality for the day - she gives us some meal tickets and shows us down the green room. After we do soundcheck, I eat dinner with Tom. Soon after, the opening band arrives, The Crustations, and Tom and I spiel with them in the green room. Good people they are - we talk about our mutual love for Prince and Tom and I explain to them that they need to listen to the Pop Group.

   Early gig tonight, we play at 9PM - righteous. I love the atmosphere of the room as it resembles a small theatre. We bum rush the stage and hit right into the set. I start a little bit too fast on the first song, but I don't get too down on myself because it is better to come out guns blazing than...well, guns not blazing? I pick it back up with a great tempo with Sweet Honey Pie...the set starts to flow now. My favorite part of the set is when Tom does lead singing for a beginning chunk after Fun House - these songs include "Conspirator's Oath", "Amnesty Report", "Beacon Sighted Through Fog", and "The Glory of Man". These are easily my favorite songs to play in the set, and some of my favorite songs to play on the drums in general. Watt and I especially lock in together on these ones. We sound great, I'm proud of us.

   I get a lot of kind words from the gig goers after the show, this always makes me happy - I truly thank them all. We load out very quickly with some help from the audience too which I'm extremely grateful for. After getting a little lost and frustrated on the way to our konk pad for the night, Jamie's pad, we finally arrive at about midnight. Jamie - thank you so much for housing us for the night and thank you for being able to provide a bed for myself - always so grateful for that. I'm ready to konk, we gotta be on the road at 9AM for the show in Columbus, Ohio! 

from tom:

   we get fed in morning and say goodbye till next time. today we go to Chicago, so we get on the road early to avoid rush hour traff. so many cars, one person in each just like home. both in and out to the city the lanes are equally stuffed. that's a little different from

   it's a maze getting the venue, but we do and load and meet the nice folks running the place. the sound man fabrice helps us setting up and run through our short soundcheck.

   a nice green room where nick and i rest a bit before the other group that's playing with us the crustations. all sweet and interesting people. pasha and group eats and hangs with us before their set, we talk about music... duh. fun.i see a great great guy i know here, doug m. after gig we roll to jamie's pad for the night.

from watt:

   pop at six bells, what can I say? that's the way it works. that's why initial konk for me is important. steve's up soon also...he gives me "writing for a spaceship" by j otis powell? who was a poet he knew. respect. he cooks me up scrambled eggs while annie does some chicken sausage - I can't eat the pastry sweet stuff cuz the only sweets I really like are sour gummis and even then just some times. easy out of him and annie's garage at eight, byebye and big thanks to them, so very kind. they're empty nesters now, both kids they raised going to college in the number one and three cities, I'm so proud of their contributions to putting some happening people out there for the next shift. watt never did that, neither did my sisters... they're both teachers though so maybe they're doing some kind of contribution... maybe somehow I am too? for sure steve and annie did. big respect to them.

   relative easy out of town - I'm grateful for only having to avoid dangerous assholes instead of both that and sit in fucking plug. fuel up at nine a little bit after getting into wisconsin, dry skies but gray. I chow none of the shit at the fueling station and instead tom fixes me up crackers w/the 'dines in mustard on them w/the green jalapeno sauce, real good. at noon pull over near the wisconsin dells for more fuel after just passing semi truck on its side all twisted up in a ditch alongside road - this is the reality of what can happen to anyone on the road. I hope the driver's ok. it's hard to eve look. down the road some cuz the onramp back on is closed, we find a cheese place (wisconsin has many cheese pads, it's a big dairy state) and I get some curds, I get a sack of them fixed up w/dill and garlic. greg norton says you know they're good ones when they squeak on your teeth and that's what they do. I get us back on the I-90 towards madison - no chance to see bucky pope this tour but I'm thinking of him - you know I did a seven inch w/him last year? yep, proj is called tone scientists and we're planning next on a twelve inch fortyfive. so sad for me in a way to pass through a state w/out playing a gig there, treating them as though they're some kind of conduit or something, hate it. into illinois around one, it starts sprinkling. lots of tolls but then these roads got lost of use on them. the navigatore puts us on I-39 so we can get into chi-town near o'hare airport and not along lake michigan which makes better for avoiding trucks but still there's assholes cutting us off and shit... plug comes as we pass the airport - a pickup 'pert-near plows us, going over an island but I swerve to avoid and we make it to schubas right on time four bells. another fucking eight or so hour drive but we arrive alive so it's way worth it.

   gigboss liv is very cool people. soundman fabrice has a problem w/out setup but grumbles through it... you gotta have the soundman on your side so we try our best to ease it for him. he's got an "intern" named kaela which is kind of new for me but anyone who can help to make a better is ok w/me. opening act the crustations ask to borrow our drums and bass amp - I meet their bassman david and he seems like a nice man who won't break my stuff. the pad here cooks me up a small steak sandwich and that's what I chow for dinner. I go to the boat to konk cuz I am fucking tuckered. every fucking day 'pert-near since seattle has been a fucking hellride - I'm grateful were ok and healthy but fuck, does it wear on me. thank god for these konks. howard really has to worry why I don't wanna do spiels on the tour? crimony. so glad he loves me though and I love him back.

   gig time for us is nine bells and tom brings me trhoatcoat ocha ten minutes before after rousting me. fuck was I out. I really REALLY needed that. the chicago gig-goers are most kind and ready to go, I give it all I got soon I get my bass on and make sure it's tuned. no monitors at first but the soundman fabrice brings them for me. I learn later the intern kaela kept asking tom to turn down - during the gig?! really weird. he's got just a little sixty watt combo. anyway, that's the way it goes - I later felt bad for him when he told me this but what can you do? you gotta have the soundman on your side. actually me and fabrice have a good laugh about stuff before I drove off - it was in the boat later on way to the konk pad that tom let me know what was up. anyway, about the gig: I thought we did pretty good. I did have to re-start "do you want new wave?" again cuz again tom couldn't get the words right and this ain't nothing against tom cuz I know he's trying his hardest but it's really important to me this tune gets done right the tour cuz like I've previously said, it's the "hub" of the set, the bottom line in some ways of what I want this tour to really home in on. I do pile on a lot of stuff on tom... twenty years of this now and still he's w/me, I'm most grateful, truly. you know, it's richard hell's bday and it really got me to thinking. he was my first punk rock hero and me putting his picture on my bass in 1977 really was a line in the sand for me... so many people in my pedro town hated the movement - I don't even think most of them new what it was but the stuff they thought the did know about it, the didn't dig AT ALL but I thought if richard hell could have a band and let his freak flag fly, then I could w/be d boon and we could try to do our own version of that - fuck what anyone else thought about it. I think about richard this whole gig and it gives me righteous focus and stomped out all doubts and hesitations. it wasn't like I thought I was better than anyone in this room but more like it was more like my turn to bring it and I didn't wanna let anyone down. luckily the big man had very happening focus though his set list 'pert-near tripped me up cuz it was in the "corridor" behind him that I like to work between him and my amp when I ain't having to do spiel on my mic. I couldn't ask for more from he at this moment, same w/tom. I'm most grateful for both. even w/having memories from 1977 to motivate me, I need real live co-conspirators w/me on stage for gigs in 2019, just do. the past helped make what I am now but it's a memory now and a gig is very much in the moment. thank god for richard in my life, same w/d boon and the stooges and so many others but in these kind of moments watt has to really man up and grow a pair - that's how I feel I can try and make up on the huge debt I will always owe. life is fucking trippy.

   time to be grateful to the chicago gig-goers and damn if they don't deserve it, they're so kind to us. lots of them wanna talk about the old days when they get up to stage while I'm slinging when the gig's done and I so much wanna tell them I'm so glad they're hear NOW - yes, the time when the first saw me's important too but past stuff is trippy in a way, hard to figure how it truly figures in stuff that is in the NOW, at the moment. all my time w/my pop is stopped forever in 1991 when cancer killed me but actually me thinking about him maybe makes him kind of here since I still am? same w/d boon since 1985... maybe it's a trippy parallel w/why these gig-goers gotta tell me about the first time they saw me or the last time they saw me... memory is such a deep trip w/me. after seventy minutes of asking these cats to listen, now it's my turn - seems fair, right? I wonder why I get feeling weird about it? damn, I'm so grateful for them - I never want a gig-goer at a watt show feel they've taken for granted, never. I know d boon would think something like that would be total horseshit. I feel grateful no one tonight tells me it's bullshit I won't do an open handshake w/them, that's very kind of them, truly. can you believe things can get down to that tiny of a thing? it kind of does when you think how fucking hard it is to do a gig sick. let me tell you. on the other "hand" I wanna let these folks know it was really important to me that they did things to make they were here for me and my men, it really is.

   I settle w/the gigboss liv in the boat, she has no prob that. respect. it was raining when I konked earlier but now it's calm that way. I wheel us southwest sauk village, about two miles west of the border w/indiana - on the way the sky opens up w/pounding rain. crimony. of course there's assholes driving like it wasn't like it was but we're lucky and survive the crazy shit. on the way, tom tells us how his pop and ma got together, really interesing and righteous romantic - they ended up getting married in switzerland and then had three boys in new york city before coming to cali. great hearing about this... twenty years w/tom and I never knew - his pop and ma would come to see us play many gigs together. sauk village has calm skies but the navigatore gps can't find our buddy jamie's pad - this happened last ime when me and the jom & terry show konked here two and a half years ago. what I end up doing is parking the boat at popeye's fried chicken pad and wait for him to come in his ride and have us follow him. he's got his buddies from the heelerz (very creative band) over and I talk some w/them and him after doing a soak w/the salz - kind of took a buttload of time for the tub to fill but damn if it wasn't worth it. in the nightwear w/the air mattress inflated, I spiel 'til I'm out of gas - one of the latest nights for me this tour. I was stupid about that but everyone so kind. I drank my first beer this tour, just one and it was trippy. we got another hellride and another time zone to cross tomorrow - I got an email from richard saying he's in barcelona, there's a picture of him on roof of a gaudi-designed apartment building, one I've been on too when I toured w/the stooges... he's beautiful.

thursday, october 3, 2019 - columbus, oh

from nick:

   Once again, even with a comfortable konk stitch at Jamie's pad, I still slept like shit. I also feel a bit of a throat cold coming on which is not good. These last few days of having horrible bathroom issues and slumber issues is really starting to get to me. Thankfully, I'm still keeping it together in my head. Of course the music aspect of touring gives me motivation to keep going. I need to do my best for the gig goers!

   I don't even bother taking a shower at Jamie's because I already feel gross. I simply wash my face and put some deodorant on - I'm tired and too lazy to shave even though I desperately need to. I chug some coffee and we're off at 9AM to head to Columbus. On the ride there, once again, I am in an out of slumber, struggling to stay awake and keep my cool together.

   We pull up to the Rumba Cafe at about 4:30PM. Chris, the sound man and DOS person opens the back gate for us. Hell of a guy, easy to work with, etc. Smooth load-in and soundcheck stitch, couldn't ask for more. I'm super tired but I walk to a nearby Greek restaurant to get a chicken salad and fried calamari that was cheap and tasty.

   When I get back to the venue I hang with the dudes from the band Vacation - a Cincinnati, Ohio band. They're opening the show tonight, fuck yeah, I love these dudes and their music so much. They're like if Guided By Voices meets the Ramones - very good with pop sensibility but also not afraid to get weird as all hell at certain points. It just works.

   During the gig, we definitely bring it hard, keeping the set in motion, not a lot of clams on any of our ends. The only thing that bums me out is that Tom's pedal has some major issues so we can't play The Red and The Black, which is my favorite song to play in the set. All good though - we get kind words from the gig-goers and a good amount of them come up to us after to show their good faith to us. I'm most grateful for this, always, especially when I feel like I didn't play so good.

   For some reason after this gig, I am way more tired than usual. As soon as we get to John Zuck's house, our konk pad for the night, I immediately head to bed. I am in need of a good konk.

from tom:

   our trip takes us through garry, IN and toledo, OH. ending in columbus in the center of ohio. we are  at club called the rumba lounge, our first time to play here. we park in back and load through their patio area into the club, pretty simple. nice dude running the place. i'm not feeling great so after eating al pastor burrito from a truck around the corner (which was very good) i do a meditation and drink tea and focus on the set. gig goes well with a pretty a pretty packed room. i'm satisfied.

   we then go to john's place for the night.

from watt:

   pop at quarter of seven, get the bones I owe my men to them for the second week of work they've done this tour, they deserve much. jamie makes up coff. I show him how I got his mac to set up a network we can use to access the net. it's actually just a little kind of plumbing using the sharing pref pane. so kind of jamie letting us do laundry - all these kind people helping us w/that... I can speak in behalf of the band that we're much grateful, MUCH grateful. big hug for jamie. us-30 for 130 miles, gray skies but dry ones. quarter after nine we pull anchor and give our big thanks and byebyes to jamie. can't wait to get new heelerz music from him.

   just after twelve noon (lost an hour going into easter time zone), I pull us over to fuel up just south of plymouth $2.38/gallon for gas the boat likes - I see big man bring his leah into the subway sandwich joint, why? everybody else does that addictive shit these days... hmm... we were talking about the old days at jamie's too... I don't a sandwich cuz of already chowing two boiled eggs miss hiyori got me a couple of days ago (love how the ice packs keep the cooler cold - great idea from tom, it beats the shit out of ice melting), those wisconsin curds and jamie's popcorn he flowed us a bag of. I pull us off at the first rest stop on us-23 after we get on it after us-30 cuz I gotta dump.

   we arrive at the rumba room in the clintonville part of columbus quarter after five, fifteen minutes early. soundman/gigboss (like brad in columbia city and ketxia in salt lake city) he is most kind to us, him making everything happening for us. it's warm - lots of clouds but the rain held off and it's sunny. soundcheck is quick and loud but that's cuz no audience yet... I've learned shit changes if bodies are brought to soak up the gig... miss hiyori gets me some tacos carnitas from a comidas truck around the corner soundman/gigboss chirs hipped us too - columbia and not mexico style which is trippy for me but good, I like... the tortillas are different, thicker... muy sabor. I go to the boat and konk.

   there's a cincinatti (speaking of cinci, my old friend adam is driving all the way here to see me but damn if I'm to beat to have chow w/him... he's most kind to understand my sitch) band called vacation opening up but I'm out cold in the boat trying to get rested up for our turn. so sorry.

   tom rousts me for the nine bells go and brings the most tiny mug of throatcoat ocha - like two shots worth of piss-temperature that really don't help but better than nothing and I know tom really tries his hardest. it's a hard gig for me, pert-near miming it but trying my hardest (tom's good at inspiring watt) - fuck, this is the town where ed fROMOHIO went to college... big man's playing his ass off, much respect to him. the columbus gig-goers have big energy and a couple have big mouths for the soft parts - I guess you gotta take the whole package which I'm grateful to do. we have a prob w/tom's "weeping demon" wah - it craps out at the end of the stooges "tv eye" so I go and unplug his board and plug his guitar straight into the amp so we can finish w/the soft tune of roky's we do this tour.

   I sling what we got left - miss hiyori's moved so much stuff. I get a flannel from a gig-goer, so very kind - there's a man who says he's got a chow pad but my stupid head (now that I think of it) thought he was talking about tonight when he was prolly talking about the morning... I'm so stupid. arrggghhh.. that man was so kind, he mentioned it two different times but I don't why I couldn't make sense of it then 'cept for maybe my head throbbing - it does that after gigs sometimes and I stopped using any ibuprofen or aspirin even - won't do it anymore. a man apologized for yelling during our last tune by saying he love that tune so much he couldn't help himself. I wish it wasn't an issue cuz I sure don't wan't anyone who spends money to see me play feel bad about something like that. I'm so sorry for getting so frustrated about that stuff, truly I am. the columbus gig-goers really brought and I thought they were/are beautiful.

   the team packs up and soundman/gigboss chirs is having probs w/his printer... we get the settlement done though and I thank him for everything, truly. I thank as many folks as possible - the vacation band man I get to say just before I roll us out. I'm soaked w/sweat.

   get to john's pad more than a hour before midnight, fuck yeah! his buddy down the street brings a bass for me to sign, it's for his son who he's trying to get to take it up. no prob for me soon as I hose off and get into the nightwear. a little spiel w/john and then I gotta konk, I'm tuckered, truly tuckered.

friday, october 4, 2019 - detroit, mi

from nick:

   I pop up from a much well-needed konk at about 9:30AM. We don't have to leave until about noon for Detroit because it isn't that far from Columbus - only about three hours. John has some stuff for us to make breakfast, and of course I have a big hot cup of coffee. Since I was so tired last night, I have a good time rapping with him on his porch about music and life in general. He tells me he's 10 months sober - that's really good to hear. He gives me some history about his music background, and while doing so, he also tells me about how he's been playing in wedding bands for years now as well, and that you can only play Margaritaville so many times before you want to off yourself. We share a laugh. Thanks for the hospitality John, I very much appreciate it.

   We say our goodbyes to and head to Detroit. Once again of course, I start to konk out. I don't feel so hot today, but I keep pushing. We pull up to El Club at about 4:30PM, and we load-in and soundcheck quick, with help from our friendly and accommodating soundman, Sam. I like his style.

   I walk down the street to Armando's, a nearby Mexican joint, to grab some really tasty Mexican chow. We are in the part of Detroit known as "Mexicantown", after all. After chowing down, I head to hang outside near the venue's outside fireplace, and drink a Club Mate. I drank those so much when I was in Germany this past summer, I never see them anywhere in the states! My friend Steven Schnieder shows up. Him and I have been Facebook penpals since about 2014, but this is my first time meeting him in person. He's just as eccentric in person as he is online, which is reliving to say the least. He also gives me some records and stickers to take for the road, fuck yeah. I'll make sure to send him a care package of some stuff when I get home. Him and I rap his time living in Long Beach, back from 1999-2003...way before my time (I was born in '97), and he also talks about how close he was with Josh Fischel. I never knew Josh personally; I really wish I knew him personally. I always have heard nothing but good about him.

   Early gig tonight, we hit the stage at 8:45PM. I don't feel so good in the head, or physically too for that matter, but I'm ready to do my best for the gig-goers. We blow into the set right on time - I fuck up and forget to tell Sam to put on Coltrane before and after the show, fucking fuck, I'm mad and upset at myself now. I have to make sure to always remember that for the rest of the tour. It's so important for the set. During the gig, I blow a clam missing a beat on "Forever/One Reporter's Opinion" - fuck, I hate messing this one up, it's one of my favorites to play. I also fuck up some timing with Political Song For Michael Jackson to sing. It's okay though - I'll rally my mistakes tomorrow.

   We head over to Bob Teagan's after the gig. Bob was kind enough to record the whole gig for us too, fuck yeah, thank you Bob. I'm tired as shit, but I can't sleep...probably because of that Club Mate I drank, and because it's loud as fuck downstairs. Bob has a huge stereo system. I come downstairs at about 2:30AM to find Watt dancing to "Kicks" by Lou Reed - too fucking good. I hang out for a bit, then head back up to try and crash out again.

from tom:

   north to detroit, we will see bob t. tonight and we play at el club where we played last time with the puppets. nice place in mexicantown. after check i go down the street for some enchiladas and am very pleased with the authenticity of the food.

   gig time comes and we do a good job. then load and head to bob's and we listen to blue mask at a very high level. i take a shower and nick and i sleep in two beds in a little room on the second floor.

from watt:

   pop at six bells and chimp diary, why waste time lying there? I wanna really konk when I'm situated that way. I think the way I was oriented might've had something to do w/some giving probs cuz damn if I didn't have it better 180 degrees opposite on the air mattress. john pops after eight and makes me coff. he works his bass while I work my 'puter. he turns us on to some zip-ties to help secure some of tom's pedalsby cables - I'm really thinking it's this ibanez wd7 weeping demon wah of his - it's the only old thing of all the stuff he's using, I mean everything: cables, guitar, amp, board, boxes, amp stand - ok, not the strap BUT everything else... I know cuz I'm the one who's gotten him all of it, I love tom much. I know it's material things but still, twenty years he's been there for me and I just feel I owe him to help focus on his expression and not let the material stuff weigh on him too much. tom's an artist and bass players are like glue anyway - what's glue like w/nothing to stick to? I tell you what: a fucking puddle. I don't wanna be a puddle, I wanna be w/tom in the missingmen, help all I can and if that means helping w/any and all material stuff, I'm gonna fuck do it. we gotta solve this dilemma w/the cutting out at the end of the set that happened last night... can't just replace this wah w/any way cuz this model is very special and one that tom's really into so I want the exact dealio but w/out any fucking up and cutting out. makes sense to me and I know tom watson is not some generic guy - if he's particular about something then there's a good reason for it.

   noon and we pull anchor, many thanks to john for his kindness... he helps me down his steps cuz the handrail is laying in the yard. safe seas to you, bassbrother john. blue skies, I take us whence we came on us-23 north to us-30 north 'til we're beyond our shared deja vu and onto I-75, passing toledo (home of reverend guitars) and into the mexicantown part which is right when you get into town, right by the river and the ambassador bridge (how you get to canada from here), we're here a quarter of four, fifteen minutes early. yatta! arrived alive. alyssa's the gigboss and gets things happening for us - w/the buyouts we get mexican chow from down the street (I think "armando's" is what it's called) and I get three tacos al pastor, good stuff for me, I dig it. soundman alex is way happening and into the "fourth man role" - trippy the rubber deck on this stage - he says they wanna pull it up and replace it. we git an opener called the 696 blues band - soundman alex says it's one cat who can set up where tom plays (he'll move his pedalsby) and me and big man's stuff can stay. I'm usually against this cuz for me it kind of shows disrespect to the people who you're sharing the stage w/but if it's just one guy on chair, then maybe it's ok... I just gotta get to the boat and konk cuz I am fucking really beat... most of the route I wheeled us through had stoplights, not much interstate! gladly not a lot of plug though, REALLY GRATEFUL for that. still, it wears on me and I wanna play good for the folks here.

   eight-fortyfive go time (was gonna be two hours later BUT... really dig it got changed), tom brings throatcoat ocha to the boat fifteen minutes before that and we're ready to go right on time. wish I could've met the 696 man, damn. anyway, I thank him from the stage and we bring it. tom and big man play really really good, tear it up and it's one of the best gigs of the tour for me. also helping out big time is the detroit gig-goers, they are wailing spirit on us w/hardly a hold-back. crimony. we do have that same prob we did last time - tom's weeping demon wah cuts out in the same exact spot it did last night, the exact same spot. he plugs his guitar straight into his amp and uses the channel that's got distortion so we get through the song and then the roky erickson soft one but again no final b.o.c. tune (we still did the other one earlier in the set), the roky one is again our final and of course there's some yammerers - fuck, I feel bad about calling them out but especially w/the ticket price this tour people are being asked to pay - all them bones to hear someone bogarting the soft spots w/yammering? fuck, there's only two spiels I do all gig between tunes and maybe like three soft songs the whole time (of course there's some soft parts even in loud ones)... can't people deal w/that - I don't wanna put some heavy weird thing on people, especially gig-goers who support and are there for you. damn if they're ain't any john coltrane to play when I'm done, the only thing that really bums me out about tonight - even more than that failed wah pedal. oh well...

   I sling only two cds, the spielgusher one and the "dos y dos" one, that's all we really got. raul's got shirts already delivered to demos in shanker heights, oh. I get the good word from so many kind people - one cat actually built/builds econolines (now they have front part-only for special jobbers - no ore cans like the one I have, they stopped making them in 2014), it's great to meet someone who makes the boat I put so much trust in to get us to gigs and home safe. a young gig-goers is here w/his ma, they're both most kind, truly. much niceness and good will shared w/me, I give as much as I can back w/the tiny time I got, so sorry I ain't got more. bassbrothers too. respect. I settle w/alyssa while the load-out goes down, real quick and good. all the el club people were most righteous, all of them. ewolf, my old buddy from here meets me at the boat before we bail, BIG hugs for him and he gives me a button from his first band, priceless. big love.

   I put the boat on course for bob's pad out in fraser, maybe forty minutes north, by twelve mile road. the navigatore knows about the construction and puts us on a good course - oh man, two and half years ago on that tour w/the meat puppets was a total plug here but we meet chris and mel at bob's - they beat us but we both beat bob by a half hour... he says he got lost in mexicantown. he's here though before midnight and that's a great thing. it's the wildest night of the town for me, I drink some of his rum he gots, terrible tasting stuff but great w/him blasting first tenko, then gories (tradition w/bob's pad) then home and garden, lou doing "the blue mask" and "kicks" - two tunes I dig so much it makes me 'pert-near cry... everything is at super db level, blasting, I'm digging it my nightwear, having hosed off and chowing some brie cheese and packaged yaki-soba that bob microwaves for me, chris and mel w/mota called "urine cake" that's two hit and enough, indeed. such a good time here, such a good time. bob brings it every time. first time I don't konk on his couch, this time it's on the air mattress but the couch is right next to me and where I put my levis.

saturday, october 5, 2019 - toronto, ontario, canada

from nick:

   I awake at roughly 8AM after a solid 6-hour konk. I immediately take a hot shower and freshen up. I'm exhausted, but mostly in the head. I think I just need to eat something and drink some coffee...I'm falling asleep again on the couch as I wait for everyone to pack up. We're out of the house at about 9:30AM. Bob shows us the way to a nearby diner - I forget the name. On the way there, Watt wants us to get our passports out, that way we have them ready for when we get to the Canadian border. I'm so delirious still that I don't even remember pulling it out of my bag; it must have fallen out when I opened the pocket where I keep it. Naturally, I lose my shit when I realize that I can't seem to find it. When everyone goes inside to sit down for chow, I nearly tear apart the boat trying to find my passport. I give up for a second, run inside to piss, and grab Tom to come outside and help me. He is most kind for going out of his way to give me a hand. Thankfully, after just a couple of minutes of digging, I find my passport lying on the floor of the boat, slightly hidden under a blanket. I have never felt so relieved in my life. I'm nearly in tears. First and only meltdown of tour, not bad for being one-third in. Tom and I go back inside, drink coffee, and eat some tasty greek omelettes. I have mine with egg whites, gyro meat, feta, and pita bread - extra toasted. Miss Hiyori decides to stay behind with Bob before we head to Toronto, because she's worried about passport issues...I think this is a good idea. I'll miss her, even though it is just for a day.

   We say our goodbyes to everyone, and start the drive to Toronto. We are very close to the border from Michigan. After one stop for gas, we realize that we have a shit ton of booze and fruit in the boat that we won't be able to carry over. While I'm in the bathroom unloading probably about three days worth of...well you know, Watt and Tom donate the booze and fruit to a guy at the gas station. His lucky day. Soon after, we arrive to the border, Watt registers our equipment, and we get passed within just a few minutes. The officer at the window gives us no issues whatsoever, as I'd like to think we give him no issues either - it goes both ways. What a relief, our lucky day too.

   After we get passed the border, I gently fall asleep in the back, for probably about three hours. During my slumber, I experience some of the most surreal dreams I've ever had. It's hard to remember the exact details, but it had something to do with a type of entity that was slowly taking over the human race by creating alternate beings of the ones you love and making copies of them. Very trippy shit. I wish I could recall more so I could explain more. I wake up feeling very uneasy, run inside to the washroom at a stop we make, and wash my face to snap me out of whatever I'm feeling.

   We're very close to Toronto now. As soon as we get into the city there's so much fucking stau that it takes us over an hour to drive about 30 miles. So fucked. Too many cars for the infrastructure. Toronto reminds me of a mixture of Munich, and New York. It's very busy, industrial looking, but also somewhat appealing as well. We finally get to the venue at about 5:40 - 20 minutes before our scheduled set time. We meet Ryan our soundman, he's a very nice guy and excited to be our fourth man for the night. After soundchecking, Tom and I walk a few blocks to a nearby Pho restaurant to bring food back to the venue for us. After we eat, I walk over a nearby record store, called Sonic Boom. Really cool place, it's like Amoeba, but kind of better in a sense? I don't know. The people are very nice, and one of the workers is actually already planning on coming to the show! Hell yeah.

   The opener of the show tonight is Martin Bisi, a well-known producer/engineer who has done stuff for Sonic Youth, Swans, Helmet, hell, even Herbie Hancock...him and his band rule the stage from about 10:00PM to 10:45, and inspire me. Their drummer man, Ryan (I think that's his name, baka Nick here) blows my mind with his chops. We're on in 30 minutes now, I'm feeling more pumped than usual, I think Martin's band inspires me in the moment to get up there and do my best.

   We start the set at about 11:15. Watt tells me multiple times throughout the set that I'm rushing which he hasn't really told me much all tour...maybe I'm a little too excited and quite literally and figuratively getting ahead of myself. Not to worry though, I can always rally at the next gig. Hopefully the gig-goers don't notice my rushing, or at least, hopefully they don't mind it. I need to remember to not make any noise whatsoever too during Watt's spiels, even if it means just opening a bottle of water. He only gives two the entire set...I should be able to be quiet during those parts. Despite our clams, our energy is good and it's a great show overall I think. The gig-goers show their kindness to us after, and I start to pack up my gear feeling grateful as can be that I'm here with Watt and Tom as we bring this music to the people who truly appreciate and enjoy it. It feels really good.

   As I'm packing up after performance, someone I don't recognize walks up to me toward the stage..."Hey, you're staying at my house tonight." I smile. He introduces himself to me as Chandan. He's originally from Fremont, CA, and now a professor of linguistics at York University here in Ontario. Watt has known him since he was a young man as a student at UC Berkeley. He is really fucking good people. I see it in his body language and hear it in his voice. He is married and has two young boys. I also see good taste, with his Meat Puppets shirt. He guides us back to his house, and shows us where to konk downstairs. Even though I need to be up at 7:30 to be ready to pull anchor at 8AM, I'm tired and ready to take advantage of enough sleep as possible.

from tom:

   in the morning we sort out stuff before going into canada. toronto is a great place, almost the same as being in the u.s. but juat a slight bit different. there's always a moment when you turn a corner an the vibe is different, more like europe. i've played with mike at here at the white horse tavern several times, always a good crowd and good time. there is also access to quality asian cuisine nearby, tonight it's pho. pho is one of the best things to put in your body before playing.

   we play with a band that martin bisi is playing in, i'm looking forward to it. they have a cool sound, vocal lllllloops, guitar, keytar and drums. great crowd, fun gig. it was nice to meet chandan who treats us to a fine home for the night.

from watt:

   pop at seven bells. man, I had a good time last night. I look out bob's hatch - we got good weather, thank you! bob wants us to chow w/him at a chowpad not far - he's been writing me emails about their greek omelettes so when we get there I order one while he's trying to talk me out of it, what?! I get it anyway and damn if they ain't got sourdough toast here - that used to be impossible outside cali... along w/us is bob's neighbor ron who does music and is very cool people, originally from scotland - he had a band called the opium trail in the 60s. he asks me what my goals are and I say I have many music projs I wanna do, that's really the focus of what I wanna do w/my life. I can't help but talk about john coltrane w/him, "I think all musicians are after some kind of truth" mr coltrane said and I really take that to heart. "truth" is a big theme for me w/this tour I'm on now.

   miss hiyori decides it's too scary for her w/a japanese passport (though she's lived in germany more than she did in japan) to get back into the u.s. cuz maybe she needs a visa so she'll stay w/bob and ride w/him w/the merch stuff I'm dropping off w/him to cleveland heights tomorrow. w/borders you wanna always do the right thing, you don't wanna cause any trouble or break any rules. we leave from the chowpad north to port huron and I get our last u.s. gasoline 'til tomorrow. we get all the fruit out and all four unopened whiskey bottles that's been given to me, a gallon's worth... I ate really drinking that much this tour anyway. tom wants to give them to the guy next to us getting gas and I say ok IF this guy promises he won't drink any 'til he gets home and is through driving. I don't know why tom just didn't let them in the trash can where I put them... we hit the border at noon. first I register our equipment on the u.s. side and am so stupid not to 1) have my own pen - I got a sharpee instead which is for signing stuff after gigs and 2) not knowing how many pieces of music stuff we're carrying. I tell the officer "two shine cart loads" but he shakes his head and tells me "you're not helping me here" so I guess and say twenty (turns out we had sixteen). damn, I'm stupid. the music playing in the office is slayer, a younger officer says he's way into it while the one w/me tells him he wants to put on some pink floyd. interesting. on the canadian side (after we cross the blue water bridge) the officer at the boof handles the whole dealio. this much different than the old days where you went inside and had a lot more to do - canada's let loose the work permit requirements for bands and I think we should do the same for canadian ones - you wouldn't believe what it takes for canadian bands to play the u.s., big bones involved too. he he asks why miss hiyori is missing (she's on the manifest) and I explain the sitch - he says he doesn't know the u.s rules but for canada it would be ok for her. he lets us through after clearing all he wants to know, very kind. whoa. thank you much, neighbor! I think it's the 402 we take east - all the big roads in these parts (including toronto) are 4-0-something on an image of a crown. weather holds for us and there's asshole drivers up here too like back home. I just keep it at the speed limit and make sure there's a big cushion of space always in front of the boat. it's 100 and 110 kph here, 62 and 69 mph which is ok w/me. an hour before toronto we stop at a "service-whatever" so I can release mr brown into the small white swimming pool. damn if I don't see big man coming to the boat w/his smartleash held out in front of him about waist high w/the screen pointing the sky - I wish I could've got a picture but you can imagine cuz you see so many people doing that days. who bring that kind of stuff into a public head? prolly the majority now days, huh? I don't want him to feel bad... maybe he ain't so much out of the norm? man, that word "normal" freaks me out, don't like it. "decent" or "humane" or "safe" I can handle but... I don't wanna get into it, just don't this is just petty little stuff w/big man cuz in the big picture - working drums for this tour - is doing really good, we're on the right path. I am most fucking grateful.

   I drop anchor at the back of the horseshoe tavern twenty of six (twenty minutes early) - the plug getting into toronto was over an hour and a half starting thirty miles west. crimony. anyway, we arrived alive so I'm most grateful (there's asshole drivers on these roads up in true north also - did I mention that yet?), watt likes to use that word "grateful" but damn if I don't mean it. I haven't been here in a buttload of years, so lame of me. I put the boat's culo right there at the pad's rear hatch which is w/in a few feet of stage, most happening setup here. I see gigboss craig, damn has it been a long time - baka watt! I gotta play here more I tell him w/a big hug. his lieutenant curtis gives us canadian money for chow and tom gets me some pho from up the street. we do soundcheck w/soundman ryan and he is righteous people - way into the 'fourth man spiel' and also working hard on monitors for me and my weak voice at this time in the tour trip. BIG respect to him. opening tonight is martin bisi from brooklyn... I first met martin right after d boon died and I was coming home from taking k to new haven to do an internship at yale - I stopped in nyc and sonic youth was recording evol - thurst asked me to play kim's bass and improvise w/drummerman steve shelley... lee had a poem about a car wreck he wanted over it. thurst also had me record w/steve to a song from kim fowley's "outrageous" album called "bubble gum" - I mean really play to it which means martin put the recording from the record in me and steve's headphones w/us playing to it. trippy. anyway, it was a big deal for me cuz I thought no one wanted to hear me play bass w/out d boon. it was after this recording w/sonic youth that I asked thurst to collab on a seven inch (which turned out to be "burnin' up"/"tuff titty rap"/"into the groovy") and he came up w/the idea for ciccone youth - understand I ain't on that album except for the demo for the seven inch which thurst put on w/out asking (ok w/me though, no prob) - I had nothing to do w/any of that other stuff on that album, how many cats have I had to explain that to them? buttloads. the ciccone youth seven inch had much to do w/me getting back on the horse but the ciccone youth album I actually had zero to do w/as far as being involved... yes, my "burnin' up" demo (made on a four track cassette recorder) is on it but I only found that out when it was released. thurst used to surprise me w/all kinds of stuff, like him using parts of two phone messages I left at him and kim's eldridge street pad for "providence" (the video is even funnier), love that man.

   tom and big man go get vietnam chow not too far away, they bring me back not the pho I asked for but won ton soup cuz tom mixes them up. both are good for me so no prob. big man whines about the back room being tiny and I put that in check, I tell him about the one in exeter at "the cavern" but you know what? I still think it's ok - it's got character! this one too. of course big man means no harm. I think he's starting to realize I really listen to what he says. I think he deserves respect. I go to the boat and konk really hard and deep.

   tom rousts me for the quarter of ten go time, he's got throatcoat ocha for me, big thank you for him. big BIG spirit from the toronto gig-goers, most kind, MOST kind. whoa. however, I prolly blow the most clams of the tour - none to put over on the side but... big man rushes some stuff too but we rally - my voice is kind of lame, having trouble w/the monitors even though soundman was so kind to work on them. who's really wailing his guitar good and the same w/his singing is tom, whoa, he's carrying this gig big time. I'm really proud of him - big man's doing good too but you know he's part of the rhythm section and if the bass part is fumbling around, it makes it harder for him. I don't fuck up everything though. I got hit in the balls w/the hihat mic boom, whoops. that gummed some mind stuff up but I recover. some of my fingers are on the wrong frets sometimes, arrggghhhh. no wah for "tv eye" and there's no prob for tom - for sure it's that motherfucking pedal failing. it's a really good gig cuz of tom and w/a lot of help from big man. I had some probs w/him regarding some stage stuff after the load-out, we figure out a work-around we can try in the gigs down the road.

   I thank the toronto gig-goers much - I got nothing to sling but lots want me to sign stuff so I do. I cannot stay away from canada for so long - baka watt. such kindness, I mean sincerely, thank you true north people. I settle craig and curtis backstage, really nice cats and we talk about stuff regarding the music racket. we have a good time catching up. man, again - I can't stay away so long!

   we get chandan in the boat w/us and head for the little india part of town where he lives but not for long cuz soon he says he'll be in scarburough, in the suburbs. I teach about remembering port (spelled w/four letters, just like left), he's got a happening soul that fills the boat. chandan went to school in the bay area and would see me do gigs around there. he's most kind to have at us pad. he's a linguistics professor now at york university and we talk some philosophy and I hip him to some stuff about using his keychain on his macpurse. I like to give back what I can after getting such kindness for me and my men tonight. thank you, brother chandan!

sunday, october 6, 2019 - cleveland heights, oh

from nick:

   I wake up at about 7AM on the dot and rush to get ready. Chandan's wife, Karen makes us breakfast. Mike and Tom are done eating, and I don't want to get ahead of myself, so I take a bagel and egg sandwich for the road, and a cup of coffee to go. We say our goodbyes to Chandan and Karen - and I thank them kindly for their quick but gracious hospitality - I hope to cross paths with them again very soon - especially Chandan. We didn't get to geek out about music enough!

   Mike, Tom, and I hit the road right at 8AM like we planned. It's raining, but it's not terrible. I sit up front for a while, so Tom can konk a bit more in back. We get back over the border with no issues -so righteous. We don't hit any traffic either, which we are most grateful for. The drive to Cleveland is quite beautiful. It's very green, and has plenty of pleasant scenery to look at - it's not a lot of industrial-ass looking-freeway. Tom teaches me from the back how to prepare sardines for Mike while he's driving - I do a pretty damn good job, I think. I still haven't eaten any yet! I'll stick to bananas and peanut butter for my car snack for now. I do love canned tuna fish - maybe I'll give sardines a try soon.

   We pull up to Demos' pad at about 3:00PM, and I'm excited to get some solid rest before our show in Cleveland tonight. Demos is an old friend of Mike's, who used to see a bunch of bands play around the time when he was a student at Ohio State University in the early to mid '80's. He has a feast ready for us as well; Greek-style. My absolute favorite. It consists of a homemade pork loin with fingerling potatoes, homemade sausages, a traditional greek salad with tomatoes, bell peppers and feta, green beans, burnt cheese, and so much more side fixin's. Definitely the best meal I eat so far on the road, and one of the best meals I've ever eaten in general. We still have a lot of time before we have to be at our show at the Grog Shop, so Demos offers to give me a quick tour of Cleveland. I hop in his car and he shows me around the older parts of Cleveland where he used to hang out, and the newer spots he likes. He shows me Pat's in the Flats, the old DIY-spot that is now non-existent where he saw a bunch of old punk bands play back in the old days. He also shows me the house where they filmed "A Christmas Story". He even takes me to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - that was really cool to check out for the first time.

   We drive over to the venue at about 6PM for load-in and soundcheck, and we're introduced to our fourth man of the night, John. He's an extremely kind and helpful cat. The opening bands tonight are Modem (locals to Cleveland) & Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (from Birmingham, AL where we are playing soon!). The Glory Fires' drummer looks exactly like Grant Hart and plays like him too - this inspires me and somewhat humors me at the same time. I feel a bit off tonight, but I gotta play hard for the gig goers.

   Tonight's gig was rough to say the absolute least. We must rally tomorrow.

   It's raining outside now, but luckily there's a lot of gig goers that are kind enough to help with the schlepping - I very much appreciate this. We get back to Demos' pad at about 11:30, and I'm a little hungry, so I have some leftover chow from our feast earlier. I get in his hot tub shortly after this - holy shit did I need this. I decide to give my pop a call, as I haven't had a solid conversation with him on the phone since I've been gone. It's really good to catch up with him, and to get some solid refreshing advice from him that I really need to fucking hear with how I'm feeling in this moment. I truly love him and his constant support, and when I'm at home, it's easy to take that for granted. After hot tubbing it, I stay up pretty late with Watt and Demos to spiel with them until I just can't anymore. I have a really good time with them though. Demos is such a pleasure of a person to be around - so generous and hilarious. I'm going to miss his company and his above and beyond hospitality.

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, chandan soon after and he cooks up scrambled eggs and a toasted bagel for me, most kind. I guess fuck the hose-off, let's get to the border soon and safe as we can, it's raining. very chandan's on the east side, where we need to go... absolutely no plug getting out of dodge on the gardiner expressway down q.e.w. around the lake towards buffalo and the u.s. rain quits, I get us some gas at beamsville, $1.12/liter canadian (of course) which is about #3.18/gallon u.s. some dude is camped out in the head but I'm directed to the employee head - I don't think it was an employee though! I had to piss like a race horse though so I'm most grateful. the drizzle stops as we cross the border just after ten at the queenston-lewiston bridge (or the other way, I've seen it spelled both) and the officer at the boof directs us to put the boat in a park slot and get my registration sheet from yesterday stamped. the office officer takes a look and then brings us in for a couple of minutes to do the stamp - very nice and quick, most kind border crossing. we're back home.

   tom instructs big man on how to prep the 'dines in mustard on a chip w/the tasty green "mexico lindo" salsa (gotta find this shit so I can get more - wonder if they got in cali?) for the wheelman (me) and he does a great job, actually tom does great job as instructorman - I love this team. we go through buffalo via hamburg - home of our good buddy marty - and eventually get on I-90 west, stopping at the only service island for some tom and big man dump. we let big man know that dumps are serious stuff and he should NEVER hold it but let us know soon as he feels it coming on so I can find a head, pull over and let him purge himself of the poison. piss is a different. twelve and a half, we're into pennsylvania for about forty miles, quarter after one we cross into ohio and the rain starts, only drizzle though. pull over to drop unko but the hatch won't latch so I piss only... while bc\buckling belt up I gotta let go off hatch and damnlady bursts in, no johnson showing though. I get us back on the road and we drop anchor at old buddy demos' pad in shaker heights part of cleveland at quarter of four - he's got a righteous chow being cooked up for us, beautiful generous man he is, truly. we catch up some w/good spiel and then I chimp some diary while he continues cooking and showing big man how set cheese on fire. when ready, he serves us up pork tenderloin w/taters and then some special greek village sausage plus greek salad. fucking really good like every chow he's cooked up for me and my men, starting w/ribs he did up for us years ago when he was living in madison. truly I am BIG TIME grateful to him, BIG TIME. bob arrives w/miss hiyori and poet dan mcguire from toledo (he's the man behind the unknown instructors proj) - bob wants to film us tonight, so good to see him again, brother dan also. our team now again is whole w/miss hiyori aboard. I chimp diary while everyone does what we can to get things together - tom's trying to work out getting a weeping demon wah in phily during our gig there tuesday or the the morning after on our way up to cherry valley. at least we're on the trail to a possibility w/this dilemma.

   I get us to the grog shop in nearby cleveland heights at six bells, two stools holding us a very grateful to have parking spot right in front of the their front hatch. I meet soundman john and he's way into joining us to make a quartet. I meet managerman wallace and he's glad we're on at quarter after ten ("it's a sunday" he says) but I wish it was nine pm like most gigs this tours BUT I love the padowner kathy much and would play at any time. I meet the bands shairing the stage w/us, modem from kent here in ohio (where d boon got the telecaster I used to write hyphenated-man) on and lee baines III and the glory fires from birmingham in alabama (sun ra's hometown) - I get to talk some w/them but never enough, I'm so sorry. I do get to hear both of their sets cuz I just got answer this buttload of questions howard flowed me - it's REAL HARD for me to do spiel on tour and it ain't about disrespect, it's about what can I juggle and in what priority for the sitchi in the moment? I owe the gig-goers and my men on this sally-forth first - the press I can better do from my pedro town but I love howard and hammer down and do it. no before gig konk in the boat for me tonight. wasco from scarcity of tanks comes by to visit, great to see him again.

   I don't wanna write about tonight's gig.

   I settle w/managerman wallace, he says padowner kathy's dog got mauled and she can't be here. oh man, I hope the little wanko ('dog' in jap) gets well soon, it needs stitiches. kath is one of the best bosses to work for in this racket, truly. while doing guardiano w/the boat I get to spiel some w/john petkovic, love this man and we discuss a cleveland version of my wrasslin record concept I wanna do w/him at the rudder. we wanna do a dance record too w/him - his idea. wish I was here to spiel w/hm more. we get back to demos' pad and big man does his first spiel for me w/the arts & entertainment editor of a local college (case western reserve) paper named yvonne. demos gets the bubbles happening in his hot tub and I float and get tossed in it big time. tom joins me, both of us naked togethered and getting bubbled up big time. it calms me down some and damn if wailing bubbles on the bottom of your feet and the back of your neck ain't the most incredible sensation ever.

from tom:

   it's raining when we wake, and some food and say goodbye to chandan and his sweet family. along the trip to the u.s. border, eastward along the river through old rusted equipment and corroding structures of industry from the recent past, i think it has a gothic feel, like mid-evil ruins. the gloomy skies follows us to the border and we get though quickly and go south towards cleveland. the weather warms up as we get into cleveland and park at demos' house. of course he has some food prepared for us, this time it's greek style.

   after a bit we head to the grog shop and get a spot right in front to load in. we have some time to kill and i'm still full from demos' cuisine so i take a walk and get back to the club to hear the first two bands. we do some writing in the backstage room and roll back to demos' to get some sleep. first i jump in the hottub where mike is already soaking. i get to bed as early as possible.

monday, october 7, 2019 - pittsburgh, pa

from nick:

   My body gets me up pretty late at about 12PM - but this totally makes sense because I didn't lay down to go to sleep until about 4AM. My body is very much rested, which feels really great both physically and mentally. I take a shower, do some work on the computer, eat some peanut butter toast with a banana, chug coffee, and get some stuff ready to have Demos ship home for me - he is most kind for doing this for me. Sometimes the boat gets so loaded with gifts that it starts to get really crammed in here!

   I take a picture with Demos on his porch, and we pull anchor right at 2PM. Pittsburgh bound to the venue, Spirit. I sleep the entire way to the venue, which surprises me because I had a really good konk last night. Whatever, I try not to question it - I'm on tour. I'm not going to question when my body and mind start to give out a little bit.

   We pull up to Spirit at about 5PM. The stage layout is a bit odd, but we're able to work with it just fine. Our sound man Warren is really accommodating and kind. Him and I talk about our love for Iron Maiden, because he's wearing a shirt of theirs. He recently saw them in concert, and he said that they simply blew him away. In middle school, they were easily my favorite band. I'm surprised I've never seen them live - hopefully I can catch them before they hang it up.

   As I'm setting up for soundcheck, I see no other than Ed fROMOHIO walk in! I introduce myself to him, and he is beyond delighted to meet me. I am stunned and blown away by how approachable and generous of a person he is. He's wholesome as all hell. He tells me he's proud of me, and I've known him for a solid three minutes. I am most gracious for my life in this moment.

   As I'm walking around the venue killing time, I meet Gary and Jessica - they're hosting us for the night after the show. Soon after this, I hop on the phone with Mark Barrett, for his podcast, Licensed to Talk. He asks me a lot of questions, including how this tour all came to be. I can explain this to him on the phone - it's a long, long story - I can explain this another time. Shortly after, I eat some dinner backstage by myself from the restaurant - a slice of delicious vegan pizza, and a steak salad that was quite tasty, and just the right amount to hold me over before a gig.

   It's almost time to play now. After having some nice spiel back and forth with Ed in the back, I head down to get the stage ready. Compared to last night, we rally BIG TIME, and this relieves me. I know Edward is watching and smiling too - I make eye contact with him a few times during the set - it warms my heart to see him enjoying the show, and the rest of the audience too of course! I wouldn't say our performance tonight is amazing or anything, but we definitely try our best to bring it hard for the gig-goers of Pittsburgh. We all need to work on achieving confidence gain, and get on the right track to finish this tour strong.

   It's time to pack up the boat - it's raining a little bit, but luckily the staff is kind enough to help us load the boat efficiently. We head over to Gary and Jessica's to settle down for the night as soon as we're all loaded up. When we arrive, Jessica has a huge helping of various foods laid out - damn, there's all kinds of shit here! Pizza, hummus, veggies, fruit, turkey sausage, and so much more. I stupidly stuff my face with all of this amazing show, but try my best not to indulge. That is, until Jessica points out a pumpkin-dessert hummus that I really go in on. Jessica also offers me wine, which I really go in on - I know I'm going to regret this in the AM...I try not to let this get to me.

   Gary and his neighbors are gigantic music fans, and especially fans of Guided by Voices - naturally, we bond over this. Gary shows me to his record room, and shows me all of his GBV memorabilia; setlists, show posters, and even a framed original pressing of Propeller. Gary is even flying out for New Years Eve for GBV's show at the Teragram Ballroom in LA - he asks if I'm going. I told him I didn't get a ticket in time, it's sold out now. Fuck! Hopefully I can find one for sale that isn't too expensive.

   After we spiel back and forth until the early AM (it's almost 3 in the morning now), I head downstairs to my konk area for the night, and I suddenly find myself falling asleep, somewhat comfortably, hoping I don't feel too terrible in the AM.

from tom:

   we have a slow morning and get ready to leave demos and cleveland. thanks demos! a ton of good conversation and personal connection, i always have a great time talking with him. soon we get on the road towards Pittsburg. lots of traff and windy roads into the city, but i like entering and driving along the rivers edge and over the bridges, it has a lot of charm.  we get through the windy roads to the club space. load and check and situate in the back room and do some diary. soon ol edward crawford shows up and we have a really good time talking together. he's one of my favorite people and always appreciate hanging out with him. after a bit tom and maux show and i love them too, always great to see their faces. it's a good time before gig time.

   after gig we roll to gary and jes' pad, tom and meau come too,,,,, and we enjoy some great foods that jes sweetly preparred for us. great time, great sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells. demos cooks up chow when he pops. it's a good shovel, big thank yous to him from me. big thank yous for everything. I play catch-up w/all I got on the macpurse craptop while demos challenges my parallel processing by manning the chair on my port-side and braced for much bagging of wind. some of this is serious, I'm talking about serious stuff and I appreciate it much. he will do baritone sax when I do my cleveland wraslin' record. pull anchor at two and half, byebye demos, big hug first.

   some drizzle but not bad, skies gray. I wheel us down some burb to the freeway belt and on to I-80, an hour later I stop us for fuel at a service plaza then onto I-76 and into pennslyvania. tom cuts me slices of salami from raul's carepackage that came w/the shirts, I miss raul so bad, love that man (called this morning out of desperation). whoa, ed fROMOHIO yanks on my leash and I get the bluetoof ear/mouf trip on cuz I never talk on a leash w/out one when on the rudder - he's lived in pittsburgh a good while now and says he'll be at the gig tonight, he sounds great. I chow some of the salami raul sent me (talked to him earlier this morning cuz I was feeling a little desperate), chewing off a couple of mouthfuls from the stick. trippy way to where the gig's at, we get routed by herr garmin (navigatore gps) through a neighborhood called troy hill prolly to avoid plug and then over the 40th street bridge (not far from the 38th street pub where I did many gigs for the padbosss joel there, always kind to me) and then east to 51st street where the spirit lodge is... I learned this part of town is called lawrenceville... tom jumps out to check the sitch and parking is easy in a lot and close to the load-in hatch, who's right there when I come out the boat? edward! big BIG hugs!

   this pad is trippy, stage is kind of different w/a roundy-front and kind of supper club mode. "moose lodge" upstairs (I'm told but never see). I meet the padboss leigh and gigboss katie upstairs in the back stage which is upstairs, both very cool people. I meet soundman warren and he's way into being the fourth man, I explain my weaknesses w/the knee. soundcheck exposes my bass amp not being hooked up correctly again... we rectify that. even more important is there's noise from tom's guitar amp - when we trade the purple jazzercaster for the telecaster, it's all gone - I think maybe a worn-out volume knob. we do the check and then edward has a talk w/tom in the boat. I chow "hanger steak" which is mouf-sized steak pieces you deep in vinegar and oil, trippy. there's little taters w/it too. my turn for the boat when tom and edward return, I konk real hard.

   I think there were two opening bands but I didn't get to meet or hear any of them, damn me. I got just only so much strength, I'm so sorry. it's our turn at nine and a half and we bring it. much MUCH feedback howls, especially when we get soft - must be tough for soundman warren and I feel for the fourth man cuz I know he's trying his hardest. hard w/my voice but I'm trying to bring as much as I can for both the pittsburgh gig-goers and for edward. of course I would do "the red and the black" w/him but he said he had to sell his guitar. crimony. he lost his ma last may also. man oh man, terrible. I love edward much... thinking of him all gig while at same time trying to keep tight w/tom and big man. I think it's a good rally, we come back come back come back - I'm most grateful. it's part of the human spirit I think's real important, the ability to come back and rally.

   I try to sling but not one taker on the shirts - that's way ok though cuz I'm so glad for people coming for the gig, priority over that. I get the good word though and that's more important also. slinging is way down on the list. thank you much good people of pittsburgh.

   I settle w/gigboss katie, she told me she got a pad around here for ninety k and now it's like way ballooned up - what's w/the same paradigm repeating itself all over? why can't neighborhoods get healthier and safer w/out become gentrified 'pert-near gated communities? crimony. I meet the two co-owners (spaced on their names, sorry) who thank me and I gotta tell them I'm here cuz of suggest from mr tom - and here's mr tom and maux, whoa! so glad to see them, so glad! real happy watt now.

   we go over to gary's pad in sewickley part of town (northeast along the ohio) - same hood but new pad, very happening. I hose off. gary's wife jess has all kind of chow up for everyone, whoa. much respect. gary's gonna come to so cal for bob pollard's new years gig and I invite him to come to pedro so I can give him a tour of my pedro town... gary's always been most kind. mr tom and maux arrive, yes! I get to rap w/mr tom as long as I can... I could spiel w/this man forever. we have have a good rap about mad magazine and horror hosts like seymour - this cat had a HUGE influence on d boon (first time he used "d boon" was signing a painting he made of seymour) - I inform mr tom of my meeting d boon and our early days of doing music... I'm a GIANT fan of mr tom's music and it inspires me to lay out this spiel for him. damn I wish I had more in me but I'm weak and must konk. good night for me though, real good.

tuesday, october 8, 2019 - philadelphia, pa

from: nick:

   Pop up at about 8AM feeling not so hot. Well, it's easy for me to know why... I am quite stupid for eating that much chow before bed, and mixing it with booze to - that's something I would absolutely never do when I'm at home. As much as I LOVE being on tour and playing music for the people, that's the one thing I miss about home - my somewhat consistent daily routine. It's way easier to plan out my meals and physical activity, so I never risk over indulging or going into that downward spiral of mindless self indulgence - both physical and mental. Whenever I'm on the shit, I don't like to put myself around chow because I tend to binge when I put the two together. It's quite scary - I can't stop! I never do that sober. Get me boozed up enough and I'll devour anything in sight, and go into this self-loathing thing all day the next day, and sometimes even for the next few days if I'm really feeling down. I apologize for talking so much about my personal issues here, but isn't that what a diary is for?

   We say our goodbyes to Gary and Jessica - I thank them so much for their generosity and amazing hospitality. I hug Gary and tell him that I hope to see him at the Teragram on New Year's Eve for the GBV show! I will do whatever I can to make sure I'm there. We're on the road early at about 9AM. The road from Philly to Pittsburgh begins - it's about 305 miles and a straight line across Pennsylvania almost the entire way, so it seems like forever, even though it's only 5 hours with no stops and traffic. I feel pretty nauseous the entire way too which isn't helping the ride go by any quicker. I am really dumb for indulging before bed like I did. I can't seem to get over this kind of shit, whenever it happens. I just need to remember that I'm not going to feel like this forever, and these terrible feelings shall pass.

   We pull up to the Boot & Saddle at about 5PM. It looks like an old cowboy bar, I dig the atmosphere inside and out. The load in stitch is kind of lame but, it is what it is. We work the room - every venue is different. I meet the soundman, Joe, and I pick his brain while I'm setting up my kit; he is a very cool and approachable cat. If there's anything I've learned while being on tour, it's that this world is very small. I ask him if he knows one of my co-workers from home, who is originally from Philly - Tony Godino. He immediately starts laughing and says "Do I know Tony Godino?" Holy shit, he knows him! Thankfully he has nothing but good things to say about him, but of course, a couple of soft, verbal punches to the chest about him as well...he's not letting him get off so easy.

   After we finish soundcheck, I walk outside to go for a walk. I notice that there's a Sprouts across the street, and I take advantage of their salad bar to eat a clean dinner after my binge last night. My stomach is still super bloated, but I'm ready to play hard for this gig. The opening band tonight is called Heatmap - I watch their set and very much enjoy it. I get Shellac vibes from them - spacy and mathy noise rock kind of stuff , which gets me stoked before I go on. We're on at 9:30 on the dot; and we rally, yes! Tons of great vibes from this crowd tonight - I can see in their eyes that they're joyed with the performance, and for the most part, respectful as well, except the one asshat that wouldn't shut up during our cover of the Roky tune. Man, that shit really gets to me, and I know for sure that shit especially bothers Mike. It's a beautiful tribute to Roky that I wish people would just shut it for, for just a measly three minutes.

   After the gig, we pack up quick and head to Steve White's pad, who actually lives in Delaware - but it's only about a 30 minute drive from the venue. When we arrive, I spiel with him and his bud and bandmate, nicknamed "Pug", before I head to bed. Boy, am I beat, and ready to hopefully feel better by the next day.

from tom:

   i wake from a fulfilling nights rest and have food that jes generously offers to us all, then organize and bail for philly. i a trip to the eastern side of PA, and along the way i make contact with luis who will be bring a pedal to the gig for me. what a great relief  and a nice gesture from him since we are on a tight schedule. we find parking in front after some effort but all works well with load and check and i go downstairs to eat two hotdogs from the bar. only $3.75! there are chips and water backstage. soon luis comes with my pedal and we resolve the transaction but he cannot stay for the gig. i have a feeling we'll meet again, so maybe next time. some nice folks play first then we get up in front of good crowd of philly people and do our best to entertain them. great turnout and fun show, then we roll to our buddy, steve's place and situate for the night.

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, jess is fixing up a righteous chow of scrambled egg, brisket, sweet potato pieces and bell pepper. it's real good. so kind. 9:40 pull anchor. byebye to gary and jess, big ones. I do a blowby on the fort pitt bridge (herr garmin gps gets confused last night by big buildings and when you're under bridges or inside tunnels) but it works out good cuz at a fuelman peopleless gas station there's a porta-shitter big man fill w/dump. I told him I'll pull over the moment he lets us know he feels one coming on - I don't want him holding any of that shit in, big time poison - it ain't like piss, you know? I get us to the I-76 penn turnpike and it's east for three hundred miles. just before noon I pull over just after somerset at a service plaza to fuel up... back on the road, I chow some turkey balls from jess. oishii. just after two I drop anchor at the highspire service plaza so tom can switch w/miss hiyori, first time miss hiyor rides up front this tour. usually tom switches w/big man but I think he saw big man konked and wanted to make the move while were traveling at seventy mph but I think it's too dangerous.

   I drop anchor at four-forty (six hour voyage to do xxx miles) in an alley a block from the boot and saddle which is where we're playing tonight, a pad new to me... I think this part of phily is new for me also, south side. barboss gina gets too many questions from me, I'm so sorry. soundman joe is most happening, into my spiel and willing fourth man. respect. the music room at this pad has olde-timey tin for overheads on the bulkheads! that's gotta be a later addition. I get some wonton soup from next door at "mui chang" - the cat there don't know about wor wonton soup - that's what I get in my pedro town. wontons are dumplings, of course and "wor" I think means "everything" in this case. after soundcheck I go konk in the boat real hard - oh, I found a spot out front and w/teamwork from tom and big man, we made it happen, yes! I'm out quick once the neck pillow's applied.

   I met two of the opening band guys earlier (they're band's called heatmap two from here and one from brooklyn - hard to do prac, huh?) but miss their set. I am on time for ours though, tom rousts me at quarter after nine for my fifteen minute prep w/the hot throatcoat ocha he brings me. gotta push through the crowd but no in a belig way, in a grateful way. big BIG spirit from the phily gig-goers as we bring it, another rally - fuck yeah for tom and big man, most grateful to them also. I put the last encore tune first and scissored the original first three, that's where I am right now w/the tour, I gotta deal w/reality. tom's telecaster breaks and he's back to the jazzcaster which for me sounds ten million times better and who cares about a little noise in the pot - I never hear it even tonight. it's a real good gig for us, a part two of the rally... fuck yeah fuck yeah.

   I sling 'pert-near everything that was in the tub, crimony! most generous people here tonight, most generous. much good word also, thank you, truly. timmy from delaware's here, yes! always. lots of cats are most kind that way. so great people are nice to understand my voice is weak and I can't spiel so much. gigboss amy does the settlement in the front seat of the boat, she's into it. good people. I ask her to tell barboss gina I'm sorry for all the questions.

   we head over to steve's pad in delware, a town called newark - stayed w/him last time I was in phily w/the jom & terry show (the tour tour two), he's most kind. pug's there two when we arrive (her garmin AND big man's leash both got lost - that's why I tell him he's gotta mix in intuition and not be leash slave). I talk a little bit about stuff w/steve and pug after hosing off, some of it's about party affiliation - I let him know after putting in mr carter (first time eighteen year olds could vote) but turned independent after. we need good practical thinking for the public trust, I advocate. kind of late konk for me though - I'll pay for it tomorrow, I know.

wednesday, october 9, 2019 - cherry valley, ny

from nick:

   I wake up at Steve White's at about 9AM on the dot - boy did I need a good konk.

   Watt, Tom, and Steve got up early to work on Tom's pedal board, so as soon as they got that finished up, we hit the road and head to Cherry Valley at about 9:45AM. Since I'm in a rush, I fucked up and donated my pill box to Steve's bed. Fuck, fuck, fuck! Thankfully I barely had anything in it, as I planned to re-fill it in the boat during the ride anyway.

   One thing that I don't know much about, that I wish I knew a lot more about, is literature. I was never a bookworm growing up. I was never forced to read much in school. My parents aren't necessarily lovers of literature. This has always made me feel a little bit less than everybody. Everybody loves to talk about their favorite authors, poets, books, philosophy, etc. It's just something that I have always struggled to get into, mostly because I have no idea where to start. As most of you know, Mike is a big fan of James Joyce. He constantly cites the novel "Ulysses" as one of his favorites of all time. He read it for the first time when he was 25, he tells me. I pick his brain about James Joyce and the novel Ulysses, specifically. Apparently, a lot of the themes on Double Nickels on the Dime come straight from that novel, like "The World according to Nouns", "The Glory of Man", and "Spillage", to name a few. He explains to me that if I want to get into Ulysses, it would be a good idea to read the epic poem, "Odyssey" by Homer - Ulysses is based on that poem. Odyssey takes place over the course of 20 years, while Ulysses takes place in just one day. This is so trippy to me. I do my best to hear Mike out on his interest in the book and his thoughts on literature in general. Even though I literally know nothing about what he's talking about, I find it all very interesting in this moment, and quite inspiring too.

   We arrive to venue, The Rose & Kettle, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I am intrigued by the way this place looks because it's not really a venue at all, it's literally a house that has been turned into a small fancy restaurant of some sort. Surrounding the venue is a few run down buildings - everything seems to be closed. It's like we're in the middle of nowhere almost; sort of like a ghost town. We walk inside and are greeted by the owner Matt, he is also the head chef - apparently the chow here is amazing; I'm looking forward to it for sure. The reason we are playing here is because Mike is real good friends with poet Charles Plymell - Mike agreed to play here so Charles wouldn't have to travel far to see him play. This place used to be his house, and he only lives a couple of blocks nearby these days.

   We sit down to eat at this big, fancy table at about 6PM. I eat a delicious meal of roasted chicken, various vegetables, and some of the best damn chips and salsa I've ever had - the chips are house made by Matt himself. Wow. I'm gonna make sure to take some for the road. There's a lot of people here, and I don't recognize any of them. I soon learn that his big group of people flew out from Minneapolis, MI, specifically for this show, and to spend time with Charles. I also learn that everybody here was close with Grant Hart - one of my heroes, that I never had the chance to meet. I don't throw that term around lightly. I meet tBrigid, Grant's wife. She is so sweet and kind - of course, I ask her about Grant, and she shows me a medallion of a snare drum with his name on it, that she keeps around her neck. I find this beautiful. I also meet Lori, the drummer lady from Babes in Toyland - I didn't even know she was in the band! I'm so stupid. It's a very good time sitting here with everyone in this moment. I am so humbled, and so gracious that everyone is making me feel a part of this just as much as they are.

   We play at 8PM tonight, and early gig, and there's no opening act. We don't do a soundcheck earlier, because there's no sound man - seems like we're just going to play this one by ear, quite figuratively and literally. This gives me time to do some maintenance on my drums, since we're just about half-way through the tour now - I tune up my heads, Watt tells me and Tom before the set to make sure to play QUIET, as he does not want to blow out this room. As a player, this is one of the most challenging gigs for me, but I do my best throughout to keep my dynamics tight and make sure to not get too loud during any parts of the set. I think I do a very good job doing this gig in a very intimate setting for the people. It is a very special show for us, and everyone else in the room tonight, I think. I am proud of us.

   As I'm packing up and saying hello to the gig goers, one person named Taylor comes up to me. He tells me that he saw me play with Watt when I was just 12 years old at Harold's Place in Pedro, all the way back in early 2010. I played two songs with the Missingmen, "Little Man with a Gun in His Hand", and the "Glory of Man". If you want, you can watch a video of it here, it's pretty funny to look back on these days. I am so tripped out by the fact that he saw me so many years ago when I was just a little kid, and so is he, especially. What a small fucking world.

   After we're done packing up gear and saying our goodbyes to these very kind gig goers, we head to Charlie's for the night. The drive to Charlie's took literally two minutes at most! I am beyond sleepy, so I walk upstairs for the night, and get my konk area ready for the night. Charlie takes care of cats, and boy does he have a lot of them. An orange-tabby (I think that's what it is) stays next to me the entire night. I slowly start to fall asleep, with a confident mindset, ready to take on the next day.

from tom:

   i awake sort of early and see that mike and steve have gone to Home Depot to get some materials to help re-fit my my pedalboard with a replacement pedal, an ibanez weeping demon wah, wd7, one of my favorite pedals. my old one has developed some troubles, and mike is really good with that stuff. he basically built the pedal board, and i will be eternally grateful for that.  he gets it together, steve supplies the drill and tools, and i leave my old pedal with steve to make some good noise with.

   we start to roll northward to cherry valley, a nice town in the forested area outside of albany. the writer and poet, charlie plymel lives there, a town with real beat era history. it's a pretty drive into the rural area and into town. we play at an old place right in the middle of the quaint center quarter, the rose and kettle, charlie's old home. inside there is a comfortable bar/restaurant set up on it's ground floor and we move some tables and set up along the back wall. there's no soundproofing and people will be right in front of us so we will have to play softly, to the room. all's well and after check we sit down for an amazing meal prepared for us and friends. it has a very warm feeling. charlie and his crew show up to eat and hang out before play time.

   the gig is a little tough for me to get the right volume and sound but i just plow on and do my best. it's a fun and cozy time, then load out and roll to charlie's place for the night. nick and i share a bed upstairs.

from watt:

   pop at seven and get dressed. steve soon comes down from his chamber and makes me black tea. we then go to a big box hardware place to get some velcro and zip ties - I'm gonna install the new weeping demon wah tom got last night in phily and replace the old one. the pad is close so we're back soon at steve's garage and he helps me out. very happening he's got tools and drill. we gotta drill into the pedal in order to use the zip ties to really secure shit. the first bit he gives me takes forever, luckily when I realize we need a bigger hole, that bit is way sharper and things really move. I gotta move the power supply to make the right connect but everything comes together and we're happening.

   I can thank steve enough, he's so much the man. HUGE respect for me. we shove off quarter of ten, I I get us fuel right after getting on I-95 north at service plaza still in delaware. I get us back on the road and tom makes 'dines in mustard on crackers for me. we both have some slices of salami from raul's carepackage. we cross into pennsylvania at ten and a half, rain has ceased (there was some drizzle soon after bailing from steve's pad). the ipod shuffle gives john coltrane's "ascension" - raymond played this for me, the first john coltrane I realized I was hearing. man, was that heavy for me... I thought he was a punk rocker - I knew he might be older but I didn't know he was no longer w/us... I knew nothing of jazz, I grew up w/arena rock stupid stuff - damn, so fucking ignorant. it was huge mindblow for me... then raymond started taking me to little jazz pads to see elvin jones, mr ray brown cecil mcbee, max roach, tal farlow, sam rivers, warren marsh, tootie heath, blind al hibbler, billy higgins, little jimmy scott and so much more - oh, a few times yma sumac at the roosevelt hotel in hollywood, once she blew out the p.a. w/her voice! beautiful, nipples like thumbs. I owe raymond so much, SO FUCKIN MUCH. he still keeps teaching me, 'pert near twentyeight hundred miles away from my pedro town... damn I miss all our time together though, really really fuckin miss it. cross into western new york at one and a half - parts I ain't in much (same w/the part of pennsylvania I just got us through) but real pretty and I did spend some time while my pop was getting nuclear machinist mate training at "the site" (what he called it) when we lived near ballston spa - half hour later I pull us over to get fuel at fort crane - I get a chicken sandwich that's kind of strange but I don't puke so that's a good thing. get back on I-88, I wonder if I've ever been on this interstate before? no lack of assholes driving on it though, fuck. big man asks me about mr joyce's "ulysses" so I tell him all I can about it w/out fucking destroying my voice. actually I ask him to read homer's "odyssey" first - seems all the books he's read have been assignments from school... I tell him the art of the novel is interesting and he might dig it. trippy coincidence is brother chandan just sending me this story on a lost chapter of "the tale of genji" was just found - yeah, some credit this lady murasaki shikibu for creating the novel. much respect to her for that! wish we really knew her name. I do like from that time (heian period) sei shonagon's writing better though... love her "pillow book" so much, always referring to it for inspiration, like mr bulgakov's "the master and margarita" - I really hope big man gets into reading novels.

   I get us to downtown cherry valley at four and drop anchor in front ot the rose and kettle right near four. I am fucking beat, I mean real beat - this used to be charley's pad 'til the padboss matt (real good cat, I meet him w/his apron on) made into a chowpad, very trippy but very happening cuz I dig the connect. anyway, the p.a. will be only for spiel so no soundcheck and I don't think I'm strong enough anyway. I konk really hard in the boat after docking it a block away. miss hiyori gets me for chow which I was gonna skip but it's for charley and I sit next to him, we both got tomato soup that fucking happening. at the table is grant hart's wife brigid and old friend lori plus people I don't really know but are very kind. man, I miss grant much - I tell some stories, I explain why grant never called me "watt" or "mike" but "bones" - greg husker does too... lots of sst guys called me that cuz the slang for money I learned for money ("bones") was new and strange for them - go figure, I thought everybody called them that. civilians... charley invites us to konk at his pad - so good to be w/him. so sad his wife pam is in the hosp w/diverticulitis... she recently had a stroke too. I feel so much for charley, I wish I could do something - it's a big reason I'm here cuz I wanted to play for him w/out him having to travel to see me like he has before. it means a lot to me. I go upstairs when the chow is done to get ready for the gig.

   we play at eight, no opening act - I ask my men to play this gig LOW. my voice is rough but at least I ain't as beat as I was when we get into town. tom's having some troubles w/levels, it's a different sitch w/things how they are but still I think we overall do good and if we would've gotten loud I think it would've been a nightmare. the cherry valley gig-goers are most kind to us. I'm thinking of charley the whole time, love this man. I was so nervous at first, even clamming the bass solo on the first b.o.c. song we do but then get it together... I gotta calm the big man some but he does good keep things calmer for tonight's sitch. challenge for tom but he stays in the ring and is never over the ropes. charley later tells me it's the best gig he's seen me do. I owe a lot to my men for that.

   no slinging from the dinner room deck, instead just some good word and soon we're loaded up and head down the street to charley's pad, a two hundred year old pad where friends come by and we have a good time. I chow a pulled-pork sandwich, maybe mark brought the pulled-pork? can't remembrer. I smoke some mota w/charley - he hands me a lenyo and I show him the way in my pedro town I learned to pass one w/out exposing the person you're passing it to to the cherry by pointing the cherry towards the palm and using two fingers and a thumb to hold the lenyo so only the part where you put the mouf is exposed. charley's great to spiel w/and I could do it forever but damn if right at midnight I gotta get to the air mattress and konk.

thursday, october 10, 2019 - hamden, ct

from nick:

   I wake up at 9AM - damn did I need a good konk. I take a really hot shower to wake myself up and get ready for the day. I eat some decent hotel breakfast with Tom consisting of some banana, peanut butter, and oatmeal, something nice and light to hold me over for a few hours. We don't have to leave until 12PM, so Tom and I walk to a nearby world market nearby - man I love these kinds of places - you can really get lost in them and accidentally spend way too much money. Luckily, I keep most of my funds and I only buy some hot german mustard and blueberry ghost pepper hot sauce. Can't wait to try this shit when I get home.

   The drive from Hamden to Somerville is quick and easy; it's only about two hours and there's barely any stau getting into the city. The only thing that sucks is that once we get into the city, it takes forever to actually get to the venue because it's practically all college town...these streets were not designed for the current times, obviously. We park in the back of the venue. Aidan, the day of show person comes out to help us load in. As soon as we get everything inside, Brian, the soundman is here too - Watt gives him his spiel and we have a real good quick and efficient soundcheck...righteous. This gives me a lot of rest time before the gig. When we're done, I walk by to nearby nail spa to get a manicure and pedicure - it ain't girly shit, it's just fucking good hygeine, ok? I'm not that good at cleaning my fingernails and toenails on my own, so it's something I always gotta do about halfway through tour - it's a worthy investment. You filthy motherfuckers should try it sometime!

   My good friend Nick is coming to the show tonight. I actually "met" him on Xbox Live playing MW2 when I was just 12 or 13...he must have been about 17 or 18 at the time. I noticed he had a Minutemen reference in his bio, and we became good online gamer friends, even though he was significantly older. I assumed that he went off to college or something, because he disappeared and never came online again after. I didn't hear from him for years, until I get a message from someone on Facebook in the summer of 2016 saying "yo this might be hella random but I think we used to play Xbox live together." I immediately knew who it was, so trippy. Anyways, Nick lived in Long Beach went he went to school there a couple years ago, so we hung out all the time then. He lives in Boston now, so he's really excited to be coming to the show tonight. He's a lifetime fan of all things SST, and probably the biggest Slovenly fan on the planet. He loves to punish Tom with praise whenever he gets the chance.

   My friend from high school, James is coming to the show too. James went to the sister high school that I went to - Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, while I went to Palos Verdes High School. We got to know each other well through the Youth and Government program that we did together - those were some really fun times to look back on. James has always been a fan of me for some odd reason...although we've never been the "best" of friends, he has been one of the few people from high school who has always continued to support what I do, and I will always be so fucking grateful for that.

   The opening band tonight is called Minibeast - the guitar player is Peter Prescott, the original drummer man of Mission of Burma. I'm excited to be sharing the stage with them tonight. Their set inspires me to bring it hard for the gig goers - really insane musicianship from them.

   Tonight's performance is really good from us, I think. I do my best to make a lot of eye contact with the audience and try to smile throughout to let them know that I'm having a blast. The sound on the stage is really good, as I can hear Mike and Tom both perfectly on every level - our 4th man Brian definitely knows how to hold it down. I blow a clam during "Forever/One Reporter's Opinion" by dropping a stick toward the end which makes the ending pretty suckass, but I know that the ggi goers don't really mind all that much. I rap with some of the audience as I'm packing up, and tonight is probably the most I've received the famous question, "How old are you?". I'm not going to lie, this does bother me a bit... it makes me feel a bit insecure about myself. In my everyday life at home, people still call me "kid" and "buddy" all of the time. Mike hates when people call me names like this because to him I'm not a kid, that's why he's always called me "big man" even when I was a just a "kid" when I met him at 12 years old. I'm the same age right now when he started Minutemen!

   It's raining pretty good outside after the gig, but luckily my friend Nick and helpermen Aidan and Brian are there to help us pack the boat - thank you so much. I give Nick a big hug before I leave and tell him that I hope that he stays strong and healthy both physically and mentally. Soon after, we head to our konk pad for the night, Chris' house. He's a lawyer and a big fan of music. I set up my konk stitch, and walk over to the kitchen to share some drinks with Watt and Chris before going to sleep. We're feeling good after tonight's performance and Watt expresses how proud he is of our team. I tell him that I'm beyond grateful to be a part of it, and that playing with him and Tom has been the most fun I've ever had playing gigs...ever. We fist bump, spiel a little more, and when my body starts to give out, I head over to my mattress to get a good night's sleep before New York. I'm excited to be playing my first proper gig in the big city.

from tom:

   we eat eggs and potatoes in the morning with mark and his son, and charlie, soon charlies friends show up for a bit. a short time later we start our journey to connecticut and arrive at the club pad we've played before with raul. tonight we play with the sunburned hand of the man band with john malloney and his boys. a very cool band doing space-trippy tunes that are sort of psychedelic and droney and kind of funny too. there's a nice backstage room upstairs where we all hang together before gig time. it's a good turnout and a good time playing. joe b. gets up and sings with us on the two BOC tunes. very cool.

   after load out we roll to a ramada inn for the night.

from watt:

   pop at eight - I didn't hose off or soak last night, ain't gonna this morning either... even though last night's gig was kind of a pants-shitter, it was my least sweaty of the tour... usually I soak the gig shirt, soak half the levi but not last night. I go to charley's kitchen and start up coff, then go shave cuz fuck it's been a couple of days and I ain't doing any more beard or mustache stuff, though w/that. charley's up and around taking care of his cats - I meet ragmop at his front hatch. charley shows me his pop's "sailor's union of the pacific" card, righteous. san pedro, ca branch, 1921. crimony. charley's boy billy comes by to tell charley about pam - she had surgery for that diverticulitis crap that came on her. I know this is hard on charley. billy lives in oneonta, about thirtyfour miles southwest, he's a fireman, I think. mark from last night w/his son eric brings potatoes makes runny scrambled eggs, I know he's trying his best. he's most kind. big man and eric connect w/both being drummermen. I wish I could be w/charley forever but I gotta head for connecticut cuz we got a show there tonight. man, I wish I could be here for him and I could learn so much also. it's so cal weather when we gotta say bye at noon... I'm so SO glad I got to see and play for him in his town. it's hard to say byebye...

   east on us-20 'til we get on I-88 and then the new york thruway. give big man the copy of mr beckett's "watt" charley gave me last night cuz 1) I already got it and 2) I hoping to god big man get's into reading novels. it ain't a foist, he asked me yesterday about novels and that got me going on this. I also think it will somehow even make him a better drummerman, I really do. tom fixes us both up 'dines in mustard and crackers w/the salsa verde I've been digging, good stuff. we get on the mass pike (richie blackmore road - look at the fucking hat he wore at gigs in the 70s)... half hour later I pull us over for fuel, blow out mark's potatoes and/or eggs, something not kosher... no blame on mark, maybe just weak watt - he did say he used a stick(s) of butter and I've cut that pretty much out of my chow thing... tom says he felt something too but big man says he's ok so I don't know. first time all tour the ipod was never on, trippy! sad to say it wasn't the first day w/out assholes doing dangerous stupid shit on the road - every fucking day of this tour has people doing the stupidest fucked-up lame driving ever. assholes w/no sense of responsibility.

   however, we do arrive live quarter after four, thank god... parking lot repaved here at the the space ballroom since last time I was here which is happening cuz there was like a lake next to us when the sky opened up and pissed down a storm... made the load-in a little difficult. padboss delaney is most kind (she says brian from wrtc is recording the gig - hoarse watt exposed!) and soundman travis talks a good game, he says yale ain't too fare away in new haven... k was born in new haven - doug wimbish lives there I think, both bassplayers I love. I work on tom's pedalsby gain structure chain and get that happening, especially from the board to the amp - I switch him to the channel w/a front end gain and get that way down cuz he was hitting it too hard - these fender hot rod deville III amps ain't all tube and there was some lame kind of bogart going on. I think we got this prob gone now (happened last night and I had to literally unplug him from his pedalsby and go right into his amp to get through "tv eye"). I got electronics in my background and understand these things - I so much wanna help tom any way I can. I think this will do it. I go outside and john from sunburn hand of the man arrives w/his band - I know john from thurst and now also a roadboss for j. good people - this is who our openers are tonight. john gives me four copies of the "bob lawton ep" by dos. whoa. big hug for him. I get a burger from a nice cat named pete who's got a pad right near called "the cellar on treadwell" and it's good eats, I shovel it in the boat and then konk. hard.

   tom gets me we're a little early - that's good for watt! even more intense - here's joe bouchard to see us, I ask him to sing both b.o.c. tunes we're doing tonight. he does fucking righteous, good dancing too. he had influence on watt's earlier bass learning, one of the few u.s. rock bassmen I could hear the parts and learn to play to - most of those guys were from overseas like jack bruce, geezer butler and john entwistle but not him and dennis dunaway - I owe both of the so much. of course james jamerson and larry graham were even more huge w/me but in ways, 'pert-near as much. the gig's a good one, the rally continues! the guitar amp mic was tighten up and is pointing at the ground, I gotta fix that. the corridor I use behing the big man as both a line to the hihat mic (great stand holder for the mic though - it's just the fucking cable) and even more akumu ('nightmare' in jap) is a big wad of duck tape in that corridor that 'pert-near puts on to the deck in a crumple but I do keep up somehow. whew.

   after, I sling shirts. the gig-goers here in hamden are beautiful, much good word and kindess from them. one wants five minutes later w/me and I'm sad to say no but I'm just too weak, just too weak... a man's gotta know his limitations, I'm so sorry. I wish I was a stronger watt but here's where I am now...

   I settle w/the production rep mario, him sittin next to me in the front seat of the boat. I give my thanks to everyone involved, gig-goers and pad people who were most kind and very much there for us. peter too from his cellar pad also - he gives me a byebye as we shove off, the rain finally quitting.

   I get us northeast of fartford to a town called manchester (I know, really original - I like native names for u.s. towns best) and cuz of medical emergency w/the nice cat who was gonna put us up, miss hiyori has us at another "raddison residence inn" type of konk pad, 'pert-near exactly like the one in vacaville except this time I don't crumple near their front hatch. I'm most grateful. fifteen to midnight too, WAY into that also. I do soak w/the salz, SO fucking good on my sore and swollen joints, so happening - it helps me like you can't know. konk ain't much that far away, soon as I wash the tour shirt and put it on a hanger over the tub to let it dry. not long after I'm on the air mattress and out, really REALLY fucking tuckered. whew.

friday, october 11, 2019 - somerville, ma

from nick:

   I wake up at about 10AM, feeling only somewhat refreshed, not entirely like I was hoping before I went to sleep. Oh well. I hose off in Charlie's shower, and pack up my things so I'm ready to go when it's time to pull anchor at 12PM.

   Mark, a really nice guy who we met last night at the show, was nice enough to cook everybody a big portion of an all-American breakfast - potatoes, bacon, and eggs. Mark's boy is here too, his name is Eric. He's also a drummer and a big fan of all different kinds of music like myself. I rap with him about all the different things we're into, while I eat my breakfast and drown myself in coffee like the caffeine addict I am.

   We say our goodbyes to Charlie and hit the road right at 12PM like we planned. The road from Cherry Valley to Hamden isn't too long; it's only about 4 hours. The weather is nothing but kind as well, which I really try to not take for granted. I have heard horrible tour stories about bands getting in the worst situations regarding bad weather.

   We arrive to the Space Ballroom at about 4:15PM. It's raining a little bit but luckily the people here are nice enough to help us load in quick. While I'm setting up my gear, the other band we're playing with tonight arrives, Sunburned Hand of the Man. I oddly recognize one of the people in the band, and when it hits me, I realize that I've seen this guy at Dinosaur Jr. shows in the past - at one of them, he even played second drums on "The Wagon" with Murph! His name is John Moloney, he tour manages for Dinosaur Jr, has played drums and continues to play with so many great musicians, AND he plays drums with the band that is playing with us tonight. Righteous! Can't wait to see them play.

   I eat dinner with Tom in the same plaza of where the gig is - I get down on a burger with some salad in the backstage area, and him and I rap with all of the guys in the Sunburned Hand of the Man before it's time for their set. They're all really nice and funny people. When it's time for them to go on, I watch their set the whole time and I'm completely blown away! Watching them really inspires me to bring it hard for these gig goers tonight - especially after watching John play drums...man, he's a hell of a fucking player.

   We're on at 9PM. I am really feeling this stage stitch and the crowd's energy almost immediately, and not really for any particular reason I can think of. I can see the excitement in their faces, and this gets me stoked to deliver our set to them. Joe Bouchard from the one and only fuckin' Blue Oyster Cult is here! He sings "The Red and The Black" and "E.T.I." with us, of course. So fucking happening! During the performance, I feel as if this gig is a turning point for me - not just with my playing ability of these songs, but my stage presence as well. I make a lot of faces with heavy expression that aren't staged but honestly very genuine. I play a lot better when I'm showing emotion during the set, even frustration. For example, During one tune, I tried hitting one of my crash cymbals on the bell and completely missed like an idiot. I noticeably laugh this off, and when I try again, I nail it, right in the pocket - this makes a lot of people in the audience smile as they can notice that I recovered. If there's one thing I've learned as a performer and a gig-goer, I don't think an audience member necessarily "looks down" on a band if someone on the stage blows a clam of any kind. A clam is a clam - sometimes you fuck up, and that shows that musicians are simply human too...not these fucking rockstars that are supposed to be perfect. Overall, tonight is one of the most fun gigs for me personally. So many great vibes and kind words from this audience, I am most grateful.

   As we're packing up, the security guard is keeping watch of the boat for us. He says to me, "Uh, wow, I don't think I've ever seen a band pack up so fast. I actually get to get a little bit of free time before I have to head home. So uh, thank you. Wow." I laugh at this and give him a fist bump and tell him to go buy himself a beer. After Watt settles with the boss, we head to a nearby hotel for the night - no konk pad tonight.

from tom:

   i have the free breakfast and we head out towards boston, i think of lou when we roll past westfield and holyoke. i've never been to this part of the boston area, we usually play in the cambridge sector. the gig pad is a cool old theater hall with a side bar/live room where another gig is going on. after check i go up the street to get a salad and i bump into the subtle plague brothers, benji and christopher. great to see their faces and catch up a bit. they're on their way to meet with a friend of theirs but will try to swing by the gig later. it's a rainy night and kind of chillyand after gig we head to our buddy, chris' place.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells. shovel some of the crap they got in the lobby: scrambled eggs and sausage pieces... even the apple juice tastes like plastic but I gotta say these eggs weren't as bad as yesterday. by the way, scrambled eggs I've had in france have milk added to them to make them mushy - maybe there's butter too but I think definitely there's milk. (is that an idiot sentence I just chimped or what?) we gotta pull anchor at noon so I get caught up on stuff and chimp some diary also.

   looks like rain as I wheel the boat to the I-84 northeast and then to the richie blackmoore road (mass pike), only ninety mile ride but boston greets us w/a storm plus we gotta drive through fucking havard to get to this part using one lane and in this downpour... well, we arrive alive in somerville and at the once ballroom twenty after two and a nice lady named kay who runs an antique shop a couple doors down enlightens me to the fact I can park in front of this pad... we gotta wait though cuz no one's there yet. first time for me in this part of the boston area or at this venue. I asked bookerman steve kaul let's try something different after my last time in the parts.

   there's a lot in the back, helperman aiden hips me to. soundman brian is way into the spiel recruiting him as fourth man, big respect to him. you can kind of tell who's all talk and who can walk the walk w/this stuff. I got a good feel about soundman brian. our check is quick and good. upstairs is the backstage and worth the schlep for my cojo self, I ain't there for long though - soon asmiss hiyori gets me caesar salad w/shrimp to go from "highland kitchen" a half block away, it's konk time for me. damn if she didn't slip and hurt her ankle, gotta move slow and careful like I always do cuz of my cojo sitch. I don't want her hurt, ever. not just cuz of all the help she gives but cuz I want her healthy. I want all four healthy as possible. we gotta be careful, we gotta be careful.

   after chowing I go to the boat and damn if I don't hear a sound like a can-opener going to town. I see a pretty new white sedan on the boats starboard stern bumper creasing its entire side. it's dark and raining. no one sees me. the driver keeps going, I see the huge tear running along its side, then it stops its reverse and goes forward out the lot. I go look at the boat, only a little patch of white on its end (the bumper's color is kind of sliver-gray) so we got no damage but fuck, I feel so bad about the other person. why are now all these vehicles all crammed in the lot, stuffed in all kind of insane angles and shit? how are we gonna get out tonight? I can't worry about now, I'm really beat and gotta konk so I can play good for the gig-goers. I'm out like that, the rain pelting the boat kind of helping w/that. oh, I was peter right before the "can-opener incident," at the hatch. he's an old friend and damn forgot to mention I met his two bandmen, niels and keith in his minibeast proj who are opening up tonight, so sorry. love peter much.

   tom rousts me, has a cup of hot throatcoat ocha for me. we were supposed to go on at ten of ten but there was some bogarting by peter's band I guess. anyway, the somerville gig-goers bring it right off the bat and we do too. I'm digging the gig, both my guys are doing real good but some strange stuff w/tom - I gotta shake him by the arm to stop him from using both boost boxes in "tv eye" - what's up? fuck, I don't wanna think the worse, don't wanna... you know I blew some clams tonight, so did big man but -

   I sling shirts and get some abuse from some drunks but it's out-weighed by tons from big loves from the gig-goers. I'm so glad they're hear for me now, they don't even have to relate anything about an earlier time to show me they care cuz I appreciate much these now moments.

   gigboss alex is righteous to come do the settlement in the boat w/me - him, helperman aiden and soundman brian are fucking so happening, I can't say enough good stuff about them. when you got cats like this w/you, it's is truly bitchin. he also gets the parking hell sitch cured so I can free the boat w/us in it - so happening w/everyone helping w/the load-out cuz doing it in the rain is a hell in itself.

   peter comes up to the boat and apologizes for the bogart but I say to worry and tell him I wanna play w/him again - epsecially in his new adopted providence, ri town. I wheel us to south to a burb called roslindale, takes about half a hour. lawyerman chris is there to once again give me and my crew a happening konkpad to be in. I hose off right away cuz I'm sopped in gig sweat, even the socks. it's great to be w/him again, truly. the air mattress also digs his pad, just enough space for right next to the head. we have a good time.

saturday, october 12, 2019 - new york, ny

from nick:

   My alarm gets me up at 9AM - Mike told me before I went to bed that we're leaving at 10, but he says he wants to leave at 9:45 now, so I rush to get ready. I take a really refreshing hot shower to wake me up. Chris has some really fucking good breakfast quesadillas ready for us with eggs, sausage and beans. Lots of fruit and coffee too shove down too. Thanks so much for everything, Chris.

   The time to get to New York from Somerville isn't too bad. The only part that sucks is the stau we hit once we get into the big city. It takes us almost fucking 40 minutes to only drive a few miles. Mike warns me of the fucked load-in stitch at The Mercury Lounge, so right when he pulls up the boat in front of the entrance, I'm ready to jump out and start loading in. Right when we're about to finish getting all of our gear outside of the boat, I hear Mike yelling from the front seat but I can't tell what he's saying exactly. Hiyori slams the back doors shut and Mike drives up to score a really happening parking spot that he sees up ahead. So THAT'S what he was yelling about. Good eye Watt, good eye.

   Alex is our fourth man for the day, and helps us get our soundcheck done quick and easy. After this, I have a good amount of time to myself before the show, so I take a walk over to this deli right down the street known as Katz Delicatessen. Apparently, this place is super touristy and famous, but I've never heard of it until today. Tom and I wait in line for almost an hour before we even get to order our sandwiches - he gets a pastrami on rye, and I get chopped liver on regular white bread. I do love the taste of rye way more, but it really fucks up my stomach these days. I also treat myself to a side of their house potato salad to go with it. I drench everything in hot mustard, and let me tell you it's probably one of the best things I ever eat - not exaggerating here. This place is definitely worth the hour wait, I must come here again next time I'm in New York.

   When I get back to The Mercury, I meet Jen and Shell from Shellshag in person for the first time - they're opening up the show tonight! Jen gives me my order of drumsticks that I had delivered to their pay; I'm relieved that they made it to their place safe and sound. I am really happy to meet and talk with them, such generous people. They open up the show early at 7AM and they get me so hyped up to play tonight, such amazing and genuine stage presence from them; amazing songwriting and so much fun to watch overall. Go see them if you can. As they wrap up, I walk outside to get some fresh (?) New York air. I notice that Mark Shue, the bass player of Guided by Voices outside smoking a cigarette. I walk up to him and introduce myself, trying not to be a fanboy. As I do this, I turn my head and it's no other than Doug fucking Gillard - the guitar man of GBV! I'm not going to lie, in this moment, I'm a bit shocked and starstruck. He's easily in my top 10 favorite guitar players, ever. I rap with them for a bit and take a photo with them too...just fuckin had to. Really really nice people. I walk back inside and watch the tail-end of Unnatural Ways' set - Watt is good friends with Ava Mendoza, the bass player in this band. They deliver a ferocious, chaotic, and technical set that really inspires me before it's time to go on.

   Very early set time for us tonight - there's another show going on after ours, so everyone's gotta be out by 10. We hit the stage at 8:30PM on the dot. I'm really feeling it tonight, I can see the crowd from the stage perfectly - I dig the intimacy of the place. The more I can see the audience, the more confidence I have. Mike and I really work the room; I'm really feeling his energy tonight. Tom's brother is here too, his name is Jeff. He's never even see him play before! This makes me make sure that I play the absolute best we can. I met him and his wife earlier outside. Ava Mendoza plays guitar with us during "Fun House" too - that was really cool. She understood the dynamics almost perfect too - we really get loud and soft in that one. Great gig tonight and love tonight from New York - I would say it's a successful first real gig for me here.

   After loading out we head over to Jen and Shell's pad for the night. Jen and Shell's pad is actually a photography studio that they rent out to clients, but they live here too. Let me tell you, this place is fucking HAPPENING! They even have my own designated sleeping area set aside for me, so comfortable, I am so happy and grateful for the small moments like this.

   The night starts to take a turn for the worse when I start drinking a wee bit too much tequila...which eventually leads to me over-indulging in snacks that Jen and Shell have laid out...don't even want to think about it. I'm mad at myself as I shovel sweets and whatever's in sight down my hatch, but I just can't stop. It's about 2AM now, and I walk over to my konk area hoping that I don't feel too awful in the morning.

from tom:

   chris has a huge bowl of freshly chopped fruit set up for us to enjoy and coffee too. then he makes some quesadillas with sausage and vegies and we have a little time to hang with him before we start our trip to nyc. we push through a few traffic spots and navigate the streets of new york to the mercury lounge on houston right near katz' deli. we jam on load in quick cause we're in the red zone in front of the club, but mike sees a spot open up just up the street so we grab that and score a great spot for the night. there are two acts before us tonight and it's an early show so we set up and take care of check asap. tonight we are playing with our buddies, shel shag, a sweet couple who live in green point brooklyn and who we stay with when we come through. it's great that we get to play together this time. after check i go to katz' to wait in the line for a sandwich like no other. it's about a 45 min wait, but well worth it and i take my pastrami on rye to go and head to the club to stuff myself with it. my bro jeff is in ny right now and i hope he makes it to the gig, it has been a very long time since he's seen me play. soon the show starts and shel shag are great, i love their two piece band. great songs and they're a lot of fun to watch. then ava's band, unnatural ways plays with my buddy devin playing bass. intense band with wild guitar and and crazy grooves. fun hang with all of them. i see my bro and meet his lady friend laura and we do our show and all goes well. it's an early show so we are out of manhattan at a reasonable time.

   we roll to brooklyn and enter the shel shag palace parking lot and we are greeted by shel and jen and have a nice time with them before i crawl into my sleeping space for some sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells. I move our shove-off time up a half-hour, I just got a feeling. a little rain is showing out the window. I chimp diary as chris cooks up righteous quesadillas that also have huevos and frijoles refrito in them, I stuff in sausages he's all so fried up. big bowl of fresh fruit he's prepared too. crimony, this man is beautiful. had the coff machine loaded up and ready for a finger on the begin button too. crimony!

   pull anchor quarter of ten, I've been in the boat in man alone mode for fifteen minutes - I gave them the fifty minute warning earlier... damn it. a man is in his moving truck in front of the boat and notices the cali plates. we talk some, he's a nice cat and fuck if that ain't hard work, lifting peoples' suff. he likes that I work bajo - he's a latin man but I don't think mexico and it don't matter so I won't ask but sure appreciate his kindness. he takes a sticker from me and puts on his truck. "gran amor amigo" I give him kind fist in the air. finally all aboard, I wheel us to the mass pike (richie blackmoore road - the hat, it's the hat!) to I-84, cross into connecticut just before eleven, half hour later in willington I pull us over for fuel, $2.76/gallon. got a jar of popcorn seeds from some young guy. will we ever pop them? the stuff he had that was popped and candy shit all over it, too much for watt. I-95 east along the atlantic ocean starting at new haven - yeah we retraced much of the day before's route but beginning here is the only time this way this tour. so cal weather greets us too, rain and grain are gone! don't even notice passing into new york cuz of all the construction but herr garmin has going into manhattan via the triborough bridge, there's been plug since western connecticut but now you can imagine... south on the fdr, we go by where tom was a little boy (77th street), he remembers the park near it - I think he was six when he moved from manhattan, ny to manhattan beach, ca. her garmen has us get off on twentyfifth street but doesn't know about the street fair at union square so I improvise. it's stupid to be a slave to a gps anyway even though I appreciate much the help it can bring you lots of time. forty minutes late for three pm load-in but not bad considering sitch... very lucky for us too is parking spot opened up right east of the pad on houston JUST as we were unloading the boat - I hollered "quick, shut the hatches and let me get there

   real good spiel w/soundman alex who is totally w/everything to help us, excellent fourth man material. so many years for me here at the mercury lounge - it's twentyfifth anniversary for them, maybe I was there from the get-go? part-ownerlady maggie and I go way back, she's ridden her bike over to say hi, so many times she's worked the hatch for me here. we talk about old times and then big hugs cuz she's gotta bail. she says tonight's check for me is their #20000th, can you fuckin believe? crimony. while big man sets up and checks, I get chopped liver sandwich at katz's, a block west. tried a pastrami for the first time last march but am backed to chopped liver, love it. also last march ava mendoza opened for mike baggetta's, hodge's and myself's little tour stop here (actually at "coney island baby") but that was solo and w/her replacing her regular bassman is my comrade devin hoff who I've never witnessed work electric bass guitar, he's always been on stand-up. we got a proj called the emma goldman bust-out brigade together, first album mixed and ready to be released. opening the threefer tonight is shellshag who has shel and jen for members and also has righteous pad I've been konking at for a few years now, beautiful people, truly. so happening to get to share a stage w/them also. after we check w/soundman alex, I head for the boat for a three hour konk - can you believe? I can.

   well, 'pert-near three hour konk - more like two and a half... I'm self-rousted tonight - maybe all the fucking horn honking at times constantly, I don't know but I get a call from nanny - she's one of the first punk ladies in pedro (I met her in the late 70s) and she also did the art for many of my tour tshirts including the one for this tour and the poster. she says it was a butt-dial but I am so glad she called cuz we talk about all kinds of stuff I feel I gotta talk to her about, stuff I can 'pert-near ONLY talk to nanny about. what a trip this happened... just over the tour's half-way mark too. so good to have this spiel w/her, so good. tom brings me the throatcoat ocha, good man and I'm most grateful. early show, we gotta hit at quarter of nine cuz there's another gig at this pad when we're done. I head for their hatch from the boat - so glad about this parking place too, lucky fucking watt. oh, I had to put my shoes and socks back on - yeah, the so cal weather we brought fucking had me have them for my konk! crimony...

   I get through the crowd to the stage and we bring the set. I wanna do really good for tom cuz his older brother is here to see him play for the first time ever. never met the guy but I wanna do for tom. I wanna do good for the manhattan gig-goers too cuz they're in big-time support and love-share mode, thank you very much. I like how things are going but "the tin roof" gets rolled and a couple times I got shake tom by the arm to keep from using both boost boxes. strange... he does a real good solo in "tv eye" though - I dedicated it to raymond just before hollering "lorrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!" - something strange is what I'm feeling while at the same time I think the band really is on the path to getting it together... fuck, I realize I've had the tuner on the headstock the whole time, what a fucking idiot - I hate that, arrrrggghhhh, hate it.

   I sling shirts after telling some asshole who yammered in the soft roky tune - I really put space before the last verse and fuck if some dick took advantage of that - someone tells me to "let it go" and I don't respond wanna tell them the same thing, why do people feel entitled to be such assholes? just don't show up if you think I'm some kind of dictator. I give two spiels the whole gig and still... fuck. tina and her husband are here, she wants to update my bio - I need new missingmen and secondmen albums first! it's so good to see both of them, kat and peter from three rooms press also.

   I finish up and go to the hatchlady annette to settle up, get check #20000. there's old friend jimbo but I got no time, so sorry jimbo. all the times I konked at his canal street pad, all the times! crimony. out the hatch, here's bassbrother mark and guitarman doug of guided by voices - double hug at once from watt for them, last time I saw them they were playing my pedro town w/me + my secondmen on another stage earlier. they had a hellride ahead of them to get the band stuff back to ohio - like me dring every mile of this tour so far! at the boat is jason (the other diamond brother) who helped schlep gear so I could leave it here and will also who revisits his famous shot from in front of the brooklyn bowl two and a half years ago, ended up chaining his bike up next to the boat again even!

   pull anchor and get over the williamsburg bridge to the greenpoint part of brooklny where shel and jen live, frau garmin getting a little confused cuz of the tall buildings. in the back of my mind I'm getting some strange feelings again... oh well, it's only eleven, fuck yeah! they're always most kind. I hose off. there's some jameson... scotty-san like jameson... maybe watt swallows a little too much. I really miss scotty, miss ronnie, miss brother steve.

sunday, october 13, 2019 - washington dc

from nick:

   I wake up at about 10AM feeling pretty ashamed of myself. Man, why the fuck did I have to eat all of that shit before I went to bed? Luckily, I don't feel too terrible physically but there is a dehydrated feeling in my gut that tells me, "Yo dude, why did you eat all of that fucking sugar? You're not used to that - cut that shit out". It's okay though. I need to realize that things like this happen on the road...sometimes you slip from your daily regimen, and shitty physical feelings will pass. I just need to work on not letting it haunt me mentally. I think being away from home and having such an important job to do every day on tour makes me get over the mental aspect of it more - I must do my best for everyone - Mike, Tom, Hiyori, and especially the people who come to see us play. It's the #1 thing that keeps me happy.

   Another thing I noticed is that I CANNOT stop chewing gum, which is a habit I picked up as of a couple weeks ago. I think I use it as a crutch for stress and long drives, but also the minty and or sweet taste is a stimulant to not eat anything out of boredom.

   Mike isn't in a good mood today, and immediately gives me off-putting vibes like something bad is going on. He's worried; I see it in his body language. I try to not let this bother me though. I know in my heart that I am doing my best. He would let me know if I was fucking up, as he has told me in the past.

   We don't have to hit the road until about 12PM for Washington, so this gives me some time to hang out with Jen and Shell for a while outside. We share stories and jokes over hot coffee, which makes me feel a lot better. Jen is even so nice to give me a care package of a bunch of their records, and a shirt as well. I am so grateful for this.

   We say our goodbyes to Jen and Shell - I give them both BIG hugs, this is a hard goodbye for me because they are such loving and wholesome people. They say that they're going to try to make it to Pedro in January; I really hope to see them around then.

   The drive from New York to DC is extremely long and awkward, at least it is for me. It doesn't help that I'm feeling like shit physically and mentally due to my drunken sweet binge last night. I try my best to sleep, catch up on work things on my laptop, chimp diary, read, listen to music, etc...to pass the time. I'm also getting a lot better at the piss bottle thing now too - I can almost go immediately with no scared turtles. It's about damn time.

   After a drive that seems like forever to me, we get to the Black Cat at about 6PM. We're in the alley now; Tom tries knocking on the door but no one's there. He even walks around the front, but no one's there. After waiting for about 10 minutes - someone pushes the back door open, right where Mike is standing, almost knocking him down right on the floor. Thankfully Mike was able to catch himself before falling straight to the ground. That was pretty fucking scary to watch.

   A nice cat named Sean is doing sound for us today and he's excited to be our fourth man tonight. The opening band tonight are some local cats known as Spirit Plots - I talk with their drummer man, and he tells me that he lived in Torrance for a while - pretty damn close to Pedro. We don't seem to know any of the same people though.

   After our soundcheck, Tom asks me if I want to go eat with him across the street. I agree, for two reasons. #1) I haven't had a decent meal all day #2) I need to get some shit off of my chest. After sitting down and ordering, I lay out all of my feelings on Tom. I pour out a great deal of all kinds of emotion that I have been bottling up for weeks...regarding my issues with eating, social relationships, anxiety, my future... I really need to do this, and I'm so glad Tom is here to listen to me. I don't even expect anything back in moments like this...just a listening pair of ears. He lays out a lot of emotions on me too, and I'm here to listen too. Things like this are necessary. It's a real heart to heart moment between us that I'll cherish forever.

   I get back to the venue and see my friend from El Segundo, Jason. I met him when I was in high school from going to shows - he's an all around great dude; a big lover of photography, skateboarding, and music. He's damn good at all three of those crafts. He made the drive from Baltimore to come here - about an hour drive. He also gives me a couple of photo prints of pictures he's taken in the past - one of Watt at the San Pedro Shred Festival a couple of years ago, and another shot of a band I used to play in called Gulag-A-Go-Go. I really miss playing in that band. This is truly so kind of him, thank you so much Jason. After we catch up for a bit, I watch the tail-end of Spirit Plots' set after dinner, they're ripping up the stage and are a real good band to warm me up. Their guitar player is the stand out musician for me.

   It's a Sunday night, so we hit the stage pretty early at 9PM. I believe it's safe to say that this is the best we sound all of tour so far. Tom really fucking brings it - this is the best I've heard him play all of tour, and this is the best I've heard him play in forever it seems, too. His vocals, his playing...everything. I think my talk with Tom helps bring himself back tonight. During the soft jam part of "We Are Time", I notice a familiar face in the audience. Holy shit, it's Ian Mackaye! So stoked that he's here watching the set - I did not expect to see him here at all. After the show as I'm packing up, him and I talk for a good chunk of time, and he's got nothing but wise things to say. Such an inspirational moment for me, truly.

   We are staying at Mike's friends house tonight, Pete. He used to play in a band called Peglegasus - they toured with fIREHOSE in the early '90s. We get to his pad and he has a real nice set up for Tom and I downstairs - sort of like our own apartment. I get my own bed too, so comfortable in this moment. I start to fall asleep feeling very grateful, and have a good feeling that the rest of the shows are going to go very well for us.

from tom:

   it's a slow wake and we have bagels and coffee and chill in the sunny weather outside and talk about the the next time before we begin our journey to d.c..we play the black cat tonight, i've been here many times. tonight we play in the red room which is a new space next to the main room. we load in through the back and up the service elevator across the floor of the black cat big room into the new gig space.nick, hiyori and i go across the street to get some food. hiyori gets hers to go and nick and i sit down to have a break from gig life. i get a salad and enjoy it and we talk about stuff. back in the backstage room i meet some friends of mike's and talk and i make some throat coat tea. the live room is a small space and i watch the first band play to a good crowd of people. i really like the guitar player. they are all good players.

   we do a quick load out, we grab the left over water and fruit and go to peter's place to get some sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells. jen is up soon and goes gets the best bagel ever for me w/best lox ever along w/best cream cheese. crimony! this is a rough morning for me, really rough. not total physical though my guts are rumbling, it's like my heart in a heavy way is breaking - not romance stuff but old connects seeming to be unravelling which is bringing me stress, so much I feel like I gotta flail and grab some kind of solution or lose my footing. sometimes emotionally I'm 'pert-near as cojo as my physical fucking knee brings me - especially deep gut punches like I'm feeling now. I know it wants to turn to anger but that ain't the way to handle it though I can't stop some word-bursts. I do plug it up though and prolly ain't the best company 'til our noon anchor pull which is a shame cuz shel and jen are just so righteous people but I don't have good hiding techniques when it comes to this stuff, just don't. the weather is gray - yesterday's so cal visit is leaving w/us - big hugs and loves to shel and jen as I wheel us away... 'til next time - hey, that might be in january cuz they gotta a visit they're planning to california to get an album done, alright.

   this is one of my hardest drives ever. besides calling my ma and sister melinda cuz it's sunday and raul (actual missingmen drummerman and also calimucho co-owner, what he's doing right now) plus toddski (biggest part of jumpstarted plowhards proj I'm involved in), I keep the mouf pretty zipped up. herr garmin puts on the veranzano bridge and we slog through across the whole of staten island (remembering bassbrother plumber john) and then across the goethels bridge and into new jersey and onto same named turnpike about one and a half. soon after, I pull us over at the molly pritcher service area, in new jersey they pump for you and the pumperman says he from nepal and knows about the yak on my boat hatch. trippy. nice man. I talk to raul. then I talk to tom. it's very important. next rest stop is the walt whitman one and tom run's in to get us both a nathan dog w/mustard and onions, we both dig that they got "snap" cuz of the natural skin casings.

   delaware bridge over the delaware (sure he threw that silver dollar that didn't exist yet way the fuck over) into delaware around three and then into maryland not long after and under the baltimore harbor to come into the district of columbia via takoma park (this is where we're fuckin konkin tonight, trippy!) and arrive here at the black cat quarter of six, fifteen minutes early - I take us right down the back alley behind cuz I've done this pad buttloads of time BUT not this "red room" which is a small bar room just west of the big room... I was in the big room thirteen months ago to help celebrate the black cat's twentyfive bday, doing stooges tunes w/devin and renata ocampo - we did a seven inch together for last year's record store day cuz of it! great couple.

   I'm realizing I never once got out of the boat during today's ride... the new jersey gas pump law has them do it and then tom got me that hot dog while I waited in the boat - maybe that kept all that unko ('turd' in jap) "sealed up" cuz damn if it did fly out once I hit the head - oh, managerman andrew 'pert-near knocks me down w/his hatch pop, whoa. fuck, I was really shook up, 'pert-near went down but he's a good cat - I suggest maybe he holler a warning before another hatch pop like this one. soundman sean is very cool people and great fourth man willing participant, a quick check and then I talk some to local openers' soul plots' bassman david (same middle name - blame my ma!) about the wattplower - he's got a great fender p, much respect to him.

   big man brings me a great salad that solves my guy probs while I talk w/the ocampos, devin and renata plus heather and graham who did the art for our debut seven inch soul plots that came out earlier this year... we talk about our plans for a full-length album. morgan's here t0o, dear friends I made from that gig I did thirteen months ago - actually ian mackaye's responsible for that happening, I mean me playing w/the ocampo's, ain't that a trip? morgan helped me at the hosp when I woke up in a gurney w/sensors stuck to my chest... what a fucking idiot I was to worry my friends like that, baka watt!

   fuck, it's gig time and I had no konk! well nine and a half is nine and a half... here's tom w/the throatcoat ocha fifteen minutes before, gotta tell everyone it's show time and me being cojo, I'm man alone making my way up the stairs. I get to give ownerman dante a hug on the way though, love this man - always here for me, always. love him.

   it's gotta be the most respectful crowd of the tour, so kind the dc gig-goers are to us, no fucking yammering in the quiet parts, none. aaron and his daughter jal are here, I see them up front. brother kyle from mechanicsville in virginia also. I'm a little scared, I'm a little worn out... fuck though if tom doesn't bring it - tom saves the day for me. oh man, is he bringing it, is he giving me the hand up I need so bad tonight - I was hoping for some adrenaline for some self-help but this is even better. big man's doing good, don't get me wrong and he is key here but tom really pulls out for us in the bottom of the ninth, he's the rescue man for the missingmen tonight - he fucking carries the show. I am so grateful, so thankful, so grateful. whoa. tom really got the words to "do you want new wave (or do you want the truth)?" happening tonight - so much of our stuff in the middle where we traded spiels I felt so good about doing w/him, felt really connected. man, I can't tell you how grateful I am to be w/him - w/the big man too - it must be trippy as all fuck for him but he's there for us, I know he's trying hard. I got two good men on stage w/me, I really need them, really need them.

   I don't really sling after, just ain't gotta in me but I thank as many as I can personally, cuz they were really righteous people to play for. michael pruessner is here, original nels cline trio drummerman I ain't seen since 1995 maybe... whoa. he's very kind to me. we talk about the gig he took me to at the dorothy chandler to see mr boulez conduct the orchestra there for mr bartok's "the miraculous mandarin" - what an impact that experience had on my life, incredible. what a great thing this happen.

   downstairs to settle w/managerman andrew but first talk w/ian and his brother alec - I get to hear a chuck berry story from ian, put that in your pipe and smoke it! love both these cats, beautiful men - I get learned there's a trio w/ian, amy and joe lally - "coriky" I think it's called (my fucking memory) - ian says it's a dice game where '3' is the winning roll. can't wait to hear, can't wait. I promise him to take care, feeling like such an idiot to cancel our morning together last time I was in town cuz I was so embarrassed. baka watt. one more hug for ownerman dante and we're off.

   I wheel us not far to takoma park part of town, 'pert-near the same route that got us here to the gig once we got off the freeway, crimony! pete's got the driveway open for us, his wife rachel inherited thus 125 year old pad and it's bitchin. right away he directs me to the tub downstairs cuz "it holds hot water better" and he's got a sack of epsom salts for a big long soak watt really digs, crimony! I can't believe how it 'pert-near soaks the soreness out of me, I feel it pulling right out through the bottom of my feet even. I get out and hug tom again, thanking him for all he brought at the gig. upstairs I spiel much w/pete cuz we go back to his peglegasus days and share buttloads of connects - w/today too, not just olde-timey, he's very bitchin to rap w/and we get into remembering brother jaki big time. man was that cat something... you know, pete's a drummerman too - a block island drummerman that I dearly dig still having big connect w/and I'm out pretty grateful, even w/out my numaki, for now...

monday, october 14, 2019 - richmond, va

from nick:

   I wake up at about 10AM. I slept really fucking good last night; very much needed that. As soon as I'm up I run a hot bath with Epsom salts, and sit and soak for about a half hour. It's super refreshing. I can feel the blisters growing on my right foot more and more every day - my kick drum foot - these salts definitely help. These blisters are probably going to turn into calluses.

   I walk upstairs to hunt for some coffee and chow - thankfully Pete has both - hot and ready. Since my stomach was hurting a little bit more than usual yesterday, I eat just a little plate eggs and avocado, wrapped up in a tortilla. We don't have to leave until about 12PM to Virginia, so this gives me some time to hang out with Pete one on one, catch up on diary, do some work-related things, etc.

   It takes us about 3 hours to get to Richmond - we're there right on time for load-in. The soundman Alex is there to help us out. Soon after soundcheck, we get down on some of the most happening fucking barbecue I ever eat from a place called Saucy's - the owners Eric & Christina were kind enough to bring us a bunch of chow to the venue for us. I eat a huge portion of barbeque ribs, braised pork, an assortment of beans, sweet potato, coleslaw, and probably the best brisket I've ever tasted in my life. I need a nap after this. I chimp on diary for a few hours downstairs, and take about a 20 minute walk to a Rite Aid to buy a new pill box, since I donated mine a few days ago like a fucking idiot. When I get back, it's an hour before our set time. I'm beyond surprised to see my old friend Jack here - he's originally from Huntington Beach and I would see him and his brother Ben ALL of the time at all different kinds of shows - Watt shows too, of course. His father runs a successful bamboo company too that you might have heard of. Anyways, Jack lives out here now, but only for a few months, for trade school. I'm really stoked to see him here, and once again I laugh at how things come to be sometimes. I would never expect to see him here all the way in fucking Richmond!

   We're on at 9:45 and I go on stage in a good mood ready to play. I feel the energy from the crowd tonight, I really like the sound of this room, and the overall vibe of the place. The venue is a chow pad too, but it's separated, that way everyone who is watching us obviously wants to be here. Mike fell on stage because of the carpet that was propped up on the edge - that was a little scary to watch but luckily he caught himself and played it off cool for the people. We really bring it tonight though, a great performance from us I think. I get lots of kind words from these gig goers. We pack up efficiently as Mike settles with the gig-boss, then we head to Kyle's house to konk.

   Kyle's here to settle us in and we're greeted by his eight dogs - damn! They're all playful but not too overbearing; obviously well-trained. Maddux, Kyle's boy, shows me to his room, where I'll be sleeping for the night. As Mike gets out of the shower, and as I'm getting ready for bed, he's feeling so confident that he's already thinking about the next tour, and he wants me to do it. I hope I can continue to prove to him that I'm capable of doing so because there's nothing I love more than playing with him and Tom. I want to make them proud.

from tom:

   waking at peter's place is really nice, i had my own room downstairs and a bathroom with bathtub next to it. upstairs mike and hiyori are hanging with peter as he makes some coffee and breakfast for us all. i eat some zucchini muffins with my coffee and spend some time writing. the weather is great and it's a nice day to drive to richmond.

   our trip resolves at the richmond music hall, a live room next to a bar/restaurant in downtown richmond. we load and set up in the medium sized room on a wide stage. after soundcheck our buddy kyle and his good friends show up and brings great bbq from saucey's, it's kind of becoming a tradition. i have to be careful not to stuff myself too much. after the food i go for a walk around the quiet streets near the club. back at the club i go downstairs to our backstage room and have a cup of coffee. uncle ray shows up with his cousin and we talk about cleveland and richmond. there are two bands before us and i catch a little of both. then we play a good show. i feel stronger and my voice is getting better. after loading out we roll to kyle's place, another regular stop for us. we stay up a little then find a place to sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells. pete gets the coff on and makes me a burrito or whatever he calls it - a tortilla w/scrambled eggs and avocado w/salsa? I end up chowing three of them, they taste for me really good. I chimp diary while discussing all kinds of stuff w/first rachel - it's indigenous peoples day so some history windbag from watt, mostly about vikings in the new world (vinland) and some watt theories about this. then it's pete's turn but I'm more in the listener mode... it wasn't on purpose. tom shows pete his toe that's hurting him and pete recognizes it right away, it's gout . crimony. tom's had such hell on him this tour! at least no sickness like flu or a cold though... damn in the old days if he didn't start every fucking tour w/one so I'm most grateful for that. email time, uncle ray is way into mr vonnegut's "cat's cradle"gout (hey, we're playing there tomorrow!) and shared this w/me:

   "peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god."

               - bokonon

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:43:26 -0400
Subject: Re: kuriki

hello watt.

sorry i didn't get back to your earlier note.

where on earth did you find this explanation of the game?! albini must have be behind it because the detail and inside knowledge (the nicknames for the doubles rolls, especially the incredibly obscure 'walnuts' for double fours that was the product of joe lally's insane sitcom damage).

fugazi picked up the game from a british band called 'thatcher on acid' in 1990 (at this show) and the game consumed us for years. we played it backstage, on ferries, at hotels, airports... anywhere that boredom might creep. we taught albini the game when we recorded with him in late 92. the recording was ill-fated and never released, but the experience really solidified our friendship with steve and made him a serious zealot for the dice. he became a missionary of sorts by teaching the game to virtually every band that came through electrical for the next five or more years. i loved the fact that one was able to trace the source via the specificity of the nicknames as when queried about 'walnuts'. people had no idea why that word was used. not only did i know, i also knew that they either learned it from steve directly or from someone who had learned it from someone who had learned it from steve!

anyway, when we started playing with joe in the basement almost five years ago, we were going to call the band 'the odds', an obvious choice since amy and i were the evens, but researching the name turned up a number of other bands using that same moniker, including one canadian band called 'odds' that seemed to be rather litigious (they had already 're-secured' the name from one of their ex-members according to their wikipedia entry). we weren't in any hurry to come up with a name as we weren't planning on playing live right away. we were happily making music and throwing out name ideas in practice, most of which were based on our trio status. at some point, brendan suggested using the dice game name owing to the fact that the winning roll is a three. it was pretty perfect owing to the fact that joe, amy, and i had spent so much time with the dice, so we put it in our back-pocket while we continued to think of other names.

the reason that i have thus far avoided writing the name out is that no one knows how to spell it (albini, or whoever posted that description, alludes to the many variations of the spelling) including the people who taught us! i love the fact that it there has been no formal spelling (such an arrangement could never work in the marketplace!), but i guess if were going to make a record we had to come up with something.

amy made the call and this is how we spell it: coriky

a lot of people think that the word should start with a 'k', but amy says that she prefers to avoid using two 'k's in a word, lest a third one start hanging around.

mostly, what we were looking for was a title that tripped up the fucking internet and coriky, at least our spelling, comes back with precious few results. plus... we reserve the write to use a different spelling in the future. that should confuse things!

it was such a blast hanging with you at the black cat and the set was just great. music, music, music. it's no fucking joke.

much love and respect to you and the rest of the crew.

safe roads, good shows, and until the next time.

love. ian

from https://www.gaiaonline.com/guilds/viewtopic.php?t=7192309&page=1


This is an evolving game with local variations and jargon, even variations of spelling of the word "Kuriki." Ku-Riki, Quirikii, Ka Rickey, Carickey, Kuricki, Kariki or any variant has been known.


Two regular Dice and an opaque cup. Coffee cups are most often used, but any straight-sided vessel big enough to hold two dice with some jiggle room will work.


To roll high, Lie well and catch others Lying and be the last man standing.

To Start

Kuriki is played with any number of players seated at a table. Before the game, a number of Lives are decided on. Players lose Lives as the game progresses, and the last player with a Life left wins the game. Variation: Before playing, everyone posts equal cash stakes, usually something small, and the winner takes all this money.

Each player rolls one die to choose the player to start the game. In the case of a tie, the players with a tie re-roll, until there is one winner. He chooses whether the play will go clockwise or counter-clockwise at the beginning of the game.

The Play

The first player becomes the Roller. He shakes the dice in the cup, then up-ends the cup on the table and peeks under it.

Once the player has looked under the cup, he declares his roll. In the case of a Fresh Roll (first roll of a game or first roll after a point), there is no minimum declared value. If the player is rolling on a point (if he has taken control of the cup from the previous Roller without pulling it), he must declare at least the value of the previous declaration. He may lie if he chooses to, but he must always declare the roll to be at least equal to the roll he received from the previous Roller. The roll is declared by value or nickname. The ranking of rolls and their nicknames is as follows:

1-2 "Kuriki" Highest possible roll. This roll is immediately displayed by the Roller. The player who would have acted next (the Next Guy) loses a life, and the Roller keeps the cup for the next roll. The Roller also collects all the accumulated foul money. Kurikis are recorded by the scorekeeper with a little drawing of a crown next to the player's name. If a player rolls his third Kuriki in a game, in addition to the life lost by the next player, every player at the table (save the Roller) loses a life. Important: On a third Kuriki, the player next to act (the Next Guy) loses two lives, everybody else loses one. This is true for every third Kuriki any player rolls -- after six Kurikis, after nine etc.

6-6 "Double-Six" also "Boxcars," "Blackout"

5-5 "Double-Five" also "the Mime," after the pretending-to-feel-the-wall-in-front-of-me pantomime game.

4-4 "Double-Four" also "Walnuts," after an episode of the d**k Van Dyke show, where d**k, "Jerry" has a nightmare where all of his friends have been replaced by space aliens who eat only walnuts, but have no thumbs, and so cannot crack them.

3-3 "Double-Three" also "Scouts," after the Boy Scout salute.

2-2 "Double-Two" also "Nixons," after Richard Nixon's double-handed "victory" salute, co-opted by the counterculture as the "peace" sign.

1-1 "Double-One" also "Snake-Eyes," "Evil Eyes," "Danzig," (in ref. evil) and "Mother," (in ref. Danzig's most "evil" song -- Important: must be declared in mock-Danzig singing voice).

Other rolls are simply the tally of their pips, and are ranked in descending numerical value (11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4). This creates some counter-intuitive rankings:

The lowest possible roll is a four (1-3).

Once the Roller has declared, he may not touch the cup, nor may anyone else, unless taking control of it (Taking the Cup), which requires him to roll, or Pulling the Cup, which exposes the roll and ends the point.

The player to act next, the Next Guy, has three options: He may Take the cup and roll, he may Pull the cup or he may Pass.


If the Next Guy takes the cup, he becomes the new Roller, and the point continues with his roll. On this roll, he also must declare a roll at least equal to the previous roll. It is generally advantageous to Roll if the original Roller has declared a low Roll, because being in control of the cup is a more powerful position than having to respond to a roll. As the declared Rolls get higher, the difficulty of matching or beating the Roll increases, so other choices become more viable.


If the Next Guy instead Pulls the Cup, he reveals the Roll. If it can be seen that the Roller was lying, then the Roller loses a life, and the Next Guy becomes the new Roller. If he Pulls the Cup and the Roller was not lying, then the Next Guy loses a life, and the Roller rolls again. In either case, the next point begins with a Fresh Roll.


If the Next Guy Passes, then he assumes responsibility for the Roll (the cup itself doesn't move, and he may not peek under it), and the person next to act becomes the new Next Guy. The new Next Guy may also take any of the three options; Roll, Pull or Pass.

Each player may pass to the next, but in any roll, each player may only pass once. In general, once a player has passed, the rest of the table then passes (choosing not to get involved), until responsibility for the cup (which does not physically move during a pass) comes around to the Roller. The Roller has peeked, so he knows what is under the cup, and knows if he has been handed a lie.

If he has (that is, if he had lied originally) then he may pull the cup on the player who passed to him (the last player to assume responsibility for the Roll). In this manner, lies are often sent around the table as Hate Mail. If a player suspects Hate Mail is on its way, it is in his best interest to Pull the Cup, or, if he is brave, he can Take the Cup and Roll, giving him a chance to take a life from the original Roller.

If the original Roller did not lie, and the cup makes its way around to him, he will certainly pass, so that he doesn't pull the cup on a Not-a-Lie, and cost himself a life. He may exploit this by intentionally passing what is in fact a lie to put pressure on the Next Guy, who will assume the Roll is Not-a-Lie, even if it is. This is a Pressure Move.


Other players may try to peek under the cup during a roll, so long as one a**-cheek stays in their chairs. Lifting both a** cheeks is a foul, and earns the player a**-Lifting to Peek a foul, denoted on the score sheet with a little foul by the scorekeeper next to his name.

Foul penalties vary from game to game, but are usually (in the US) 25 cents. These fines go in the foul pot. A player who accumulates three fouls loses a life, and loses another life for every third foul -- after six fouls, after nine, etc.


The game progresses until a player is knocked-out. A player who is has one life left is "in the s**t," "in the shithole," "shitholed," "in the stink" or "smelling." The first player knocked-out of the game is required to go (to the store if necessary) and get Poptarts, toast and serve them to everyone at the table who wants them. This player is said to be "Tarted," and a player who has one life left, and at risk of being Tarted is said to be "in the Tarts," or "in the Tart-hole." The preferred flavor of Pop Tarts is Raspberry or Cherry.


The game progresses until one guy is left. He takes all the money (including any unclaimed foul money) and everyone cheers him.


Short games, or those with a lot of players usually have five Lives though this number is varied. Traditionally, a score pad with each player's nickname (names are not used, for some reason) and a star-shape are used to mark the lives lost. A spot is placed at the end of each arm as lives are lost, and one final life is marked at the intersection of all the crossed arms. A + symbol, for example, denotes a five-life game.

The non-double rolls are sometimes referred to by two-digit numbers, for example 3-4 could be declared either 34 or 43 according to necessity. This increases the number of possible rolls from 15 to 36, and has the potential to extend a point for many rolls. In this variant, the highest non-double roll is 65, and Double-One beats it.

After a scoring a Kuriki, a player may reverse the direction of play on the next roll.

Other foul-worthy offenses

Showing Disrespect to the Dice. Usually charged by a player and agreed-to by acclamation from the other players. Lobbying allowed/inevitable. Slam-dunk disrespect cases include: Referring to a single die as "a dice," allowing a die to fall out of the cup and onto the floor (immediate foul, and the table begins a countdown from ten, with another foul being charged if the die is not replaced in the cup before the count reaches zero, and another count-down begins, etc.), trapping a die under the rim of the cup.

Moving the cup once the dice have been looked at (as in sliding) and before another player has taken control of the cup, speaking in a foreign language at the table (the local language is not foreign, all others are).

Some players manhandle the cup, and cups have been broken in the process of juggling or slamming them down on the table. This is a serious disrespect foul known as a Rusk, after the first player to do it. The penalty is a triple-foul (e.g. a life). The player guilty of the Rusk must go get a new cup and clean up the remnants of the old one.

From: ian mackaye
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:08:23 -0400
Subject: Re: kuriki

hello watt.

i had an exchange with albini and it turns out that it was his kuriki explanation. he posted it on his 'electrical studio' message board 15 or 20 years ago and it appears that someone reposted it on the site that you teased up. by the way, he was pleased with our name and said that it had already renewed interest in the game, of which he remains a stolid proponent!

fugazi was once making our way way through the wilds of northern utah when joe, out of the blue, commented that the vast plain we were traversing was like his brain. flat and empty with all of the television that he stuffed his brain with tucked behind the mountain range in the distance. i think most of us growing up in the 60s/70s could make the same claim. the other night i was watching tv with our son, carmine. he isn't interested in shows or movies, he mostly wants to watch video clips of magic or domino falls or rubik cube solutions. weirder still, and completely unwatchable as far as i'm concerned, is endless 10-15 minute videos of other people playing video games and obnoxiously narrating the 'action'. i tried to show some alliance, but the visuals literally made me feel nauseated and i had to leave the room. strange, as i'm pretty unflappable in most cases (i'm usually only disgusted by civil rights abuses and police brutality), but certain video motions really throw me for a loop. this kicked in around the time i turned 39 and i still remember retching on the bathroom floor of a movie theater, having been propelled by '1990, the year punk broke'. of course, i suspect that the subject matter probably also played a role in bringing me to my nadir. anyway, carmine was flipping through the channels when there was a brief flash of 'emergency', the ridiculous show about l.a. e.m.t.s, firefighters and hospital staff, and my heart soared!

damaged and damaged 2!

so, yes, i am referring to joe's self-diagnosed television damage.

thanks for the book referral. i've certainly heard of the 'master and the margarita', but don't know anything about it. i'll check the old library when i get back to town.

i'm currently reading 'river of doubt' by candice millard. it's an epic non-fiction about teddy roosevelt's journey through the amazonian jungle in 1914. who knew that any ex-presidents, excepting jimmy carter, ever broke a sweat after their time in the chair.

more later. always.

love. ian

ps- if you haven't already read it, i highly recommend candice millard's 'destiny of the republic'. it's a fascinating account of garfield's election, assassination, and eventual death. it's filled with incredible and surprising details!

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from nick:

   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.

from tom:

   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!

from watt:

   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"

   I was never bothered much by superstition providing we didn't sail on a Friday, no one swept the galley after dark and a few other items of nautical procedure were specifically followed, but the collection of dagos and slavs which comprised the crew were pretty cautious about such matters. Bear in mind there were thirteen of us aboard the Jeanna Lynn on that long trip so naturally some of the guys attributed our hard luck to that unholy number; the rest of us just admitted that fishing was lousy.

   For the most part everyone got along and worked well with each other but we had been at sea far too long and were badly in need of a paycheck, an accommodating female from the lower ranks of waterfront hierarchy and a place to wash a sea bag stuffed full of stinking clothes. Fathoms beyond edgy, we were like a pack of hungry hammerheads snapping at anything that moved. Arguments over the slightest infringements had become commonplace and the evening card games were nothing less than shouting matches, even a couple of fistfights had broken out over inconsequential matters.

   It was as though we had been gone about a thousand days but in reality it had only been a couple of months since we had thrown the lines and sailed out of San Pedro aboard that old tuna boat. With high hopes and spirits soaring, we had waved a final farewell to our alter lives of comfort and normality and set out to gamble our limbs and sanity against the chance of a jackpot. But now, most of the fuel and groceries had been spent looking for fish from the Sixty Mile Bank off San Diego to as far south as the tropical waters of Costa Rica. We traveled inside the line, outside the line, permissible places and areas where we would have been considered poachers if we had managed to catch anything. It wasn't as if we weren't working, we were setting on the small schools we'd usually ignore and when we did locate and set on a decent size school, the fish would refuse to co-operate and we'd skunk again and again.

   Joe Dragich was running the boat and predictably, he wouldn't even think of heading home with less than a full load. He never meddled in the crews affairs and as long as we did our jobs he would concentrate only on finding and catching fish. Although, come to think of it, he would take the time to stitch wounds, remove fish bones from knees and elbows, lance boils and perform other minor surgeries Joe would bolt out of his bunk every morning, grab a cup of coffee, charge up to the pilothouse and ease the ancient engine into gear with the wheel hard over putting the boat in a leisurely circle. He'd lean into the big bridge binoculars and scan the sea for fish sign as the boat slowly turned. Always confident that this was the day to find fish, he'd tell Ponzon the wheelman which direction to head and then he would jump into the rigging and climb up to the crow's nest where he would stare through the glasses till it was too dark to see anymore. Joe truly believed the fish were right over the next swell and it was only a matter of time and patience before they were down the hatch.

   The rest of us spent the long days taking turns on the bridge glasses and doing the ever present small chores of shipboard life and gear repair and when we weren't performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation on the main engine while we drifted at night, we drank a little whiskey, played cards and solved world problems in non sequitur discussions exclusive to our camaraderie. Of course when we were fishing the islands offshore Mexico we looked for fish at night, which was usually but not always the best time to avoid the government gunboats which would often attempt to enforce mundane rules about licenses and permits. I'll fill you in on that sometime.

   Anyway, where I'm trying to arrive with all this nonsensical meandering is one particular night during that trip that will remain fresh in my mind even when I anchor my broken butt on the bench in front of the fish markets to spend my day's bullshitting with the rest of the old Dagos.

   In the telling of that night I'd like to believe that any man in possession of confidence should be capable of discussing such subjects as curtains or a cookie recipe with the same self assurance he would have if he were to be talking about pistons or propellers, with no apprehension of compromise to his cojones in his own mind or in the thoughts of whomever may be listening.

   Back aboard the Jeanna Lynn; another fishless, wasted day had passed. Dinner was over and we were going to travel all night to a latitude of intuition the skipper had been feeling the last couple days. Most young, aspiring engineer's usually stood an engine room watch rather than a wheel watch but I felt the need to get up on deck that night and get some fresh air and I also thought it might be prudent to take the watch for one of the guys who was seriously pissed off at me for some provoking remarks I had made about his fondness for farm animals, specifically his goats, when he had lived in the old country. So while the crew grumbled their way off to yet another night to be spent in the solitude of their bunks, I went up on top to pull the wheel watch of my life.

   Banatsa is what the Slavs call a flat calm sea of glass and that's exactly how it was that night. It was also the dark of the moon and warm enough to be outside on the bridge wing in a tee shirt and shorts. We were in the middle of the Gulf of Tehuantepec where the weather is a killer of ships and seamen during the chubasco season but those storms were still months away.

   Away from the lights and smog of the cities, the passage of day into night is a presentation of grandeur that is played out for fishermen who pay the heavy admission price of isolation, and on this particular evening the performance was absolutely glorious. The glow left behind from sundown did its usual transition into twilight and during the evolution to darkness is when the stars began showing with the same swift ferocity there would be if their appearance were controlled by an endless row of light switches being flicked on in rapid and immediate succession. Countless millions of them shone brightly from their designated spots while dozens of renegade shooters were continually streaking across the sky in random directions.

   In the darkness of the new moon, as my eyes adjusted to this brilliant but beautifully soft blue starlight that illuminated the gulf I chanced to look down and saw that the polished surface of the ocean was manifesting a mirror image of the heavens. The stars above converged with their reflections below causing the definitive line of the horizon to vanish. The realization set in that I saw no sea or sky, only an immense black nothingness filled with stars and the Jeanna Lynn was right in the middle of it.

   It was one boat and the universe, that's all that existed and all that was. Our fragile shelter was traveling in the immeasurable void of space, we were the center of a huge sphere completely surrounded by twinkling and streaking lights and it was as disorienting as a three dimensional movie. Some seemed close enough to touch and some were impossibly distant. The brilliant phosphorescent streaks of light in the water created by the night creatures as they darted from the bow blended in with the scores of reflected shooting stars to add a dizzying motion to the spectacle and the slow, steady chugging of the old main engine completed the scene with a peaceful serenity of sound.

   When the initial thrill wore off I sat back and savored this incredibly surreal phenomenon that I knew I'd probably never see again and I laughed for the first time in weeks. I was giddy with delight and I laughed because of what fate and fortune had dished up for me, and I laughed because it felt good to laugh.

   By the end of my watch the breeze had come up and erased the reflection on the water but I was still smiling and at peace with myself and the crew, hell, I was at peace with the whole damn world after that show.

   The secrets of life were not revealed to me that night and I had no epiphanies that could shatter the established sciences or viewpoints of the world but I did inherit a haven in the caves of my thoughts, a place to go for respite when life is empty or brutal. It was a photograph that could never be captured, a portrait impossible to paint, a sanctuary bestowed upon a fisherman who was in need of one then and who still visits it thirty years later. That night in Tehuantepec could only be stamped in the mind's eye and I never shared it with many people, not out of greed or because it was sacred, I didn't share it because of the difficulty in giving it justice.

                  - Tom Giacalone

   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

from tom:

   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.

from: watt:

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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:

   "...we follow heath to his pad. funny how these cats drive like a nascar dash, thinking those in the boat (us) know where we're going. we don't. luckily, his tail lights grow tiny but don't disappear altogether. I just don't want to take chances, racing like a crazy man. w/the boat, I try to keep safe and sane. we do indeed make it. getting settled at his pad, him and nick, his mandolin player, say the nicest things. I think of d. boon. I always do when people say kind things to me about music. I'm quick into my bag and got the mask on. I do talk a bit w/the eyes covered but soon the adrenaline runs out and konk smotes the consciousness."

   and here's what I wrote about tuesday, november 16, 2004 - lubbock, tx concerning the konk part:

   "...we gotta load out kind of quick cuz of rain coming down. marcus has invited us to his pad so we follow him over to what he calls a "pepperbox" house where he lives on the bottom floor. whoa, a little bit of a moat in the driveway for us to ford but at least the boat's safe cuz that's very important. it's a very personalized pad and he's very generous. I'm pretty beat and don't talk much, getting into the konk sack pretty quick. I'm just out of gas. thanks much though to marcus here, what a brother."

   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

from tom:

   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.

from: watt

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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

from tom:

   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.

from watt:

   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)

"Alternative music? What's the alternative to music? Silence?"

"It's hard to describe the mission, what makes me put almost everything else secondary. When I tour, I conk at people's pads. I play every day. I'm not using it as a means to a lifestyle. I don't really know what the mission is exactly except to do this as intense as I can. It's like being a sailor or something. Sometimes, it does feel as if I've been given orders, a bizarre spin on the minstrel or troubadour scenario, the town crier, the guy that goes between the towns to let other towns know about each other."

   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"

* the red + the black (b.o.c.)
* fun house (stooges)
* conspirator's oath (red crayola)
* amnesty report II (the pop group)
beacon sighted through fog
the glory of man
the tin roof
* e.t.i. (b.o.c.)
forever/one reporter's opinion
if reagan played disco
working men are pissed
cased closed
mutiny in jonestown
on the counter
do you want new wave (or do you want the truth)?
the big lounge scene
bob dylan wrote propaganda songs
one chapter in the book
fake contest
this road
art analysis
anxious mo-fo
political song for michael jackson to sing
the politics of time
* we are time (the pop group)

- and if there's an encore:

* tv eye (stooges)
* I have always been here before (roky erickson)

   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.

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this page created 5 jun 2019