watt's "more light" tour 2000 diary - week 2

j mascis and the fog

wattgeorge & j

watt - thud staff
george berz - drums
j mascis - guitar, singing
(left to right)


tim - helper man
jamie - soundman
eric fischer - tour boss
(left to right)

steve kaul - the man outside the van

monday, ocotober 30, 2000 - new york city, ny

   pop, shower then down the stairs to some cubano chow at the westside cafe. mmmmmm, some of the only times I do breakfast on tour. then over to the hudson river for a good long think. the water always helps me w/this. just does. matters personal and spiritual.

   when I get back, jimbo has a talk w/me about my 'puter. j has already mentioned this new version of the ibook that's just out. it's on sale and it's pretty bonused out. I do not buy new machines mostly. I get older ones from the recycler and then hop them up econo to where I can use them to help me. this duo has lasted me almost six years. it's tiny and I dig that. what I don't dig is that it can't keep up w/the software people are writing. this tour I'm using the same email ware I use on my desk machine (a mac 8500 bonused up w/a 400mhz g3) so I can keep shit in sync. the duo just can't keep up, I must have like fourteen hundred emails that need to get happening. I can't do my flows cuz it takes like fortyfive minutes to do one. I am not impulsive about these things but I listen to jimbo and he takes me to some mac pad called tekserve on twentythird street. j was telling me about a lime green one that glows in the dark or something but all they got here is one that's what they call 'graphite' and there's only one left. of course the guy wants to sell me all sorts of shit w/it but I'm not taking it. 466mhz and w/dvd plus firewire and a/v out, this cooks my desk machine. that's enough. I'll get more memory later on my own, they make their margins on shit like that. it looks funny, like a cross between a toilet seat and a giant clam but it does fly. they'll put all the stuff from my duo on a cd and I can get that wednesday to transfer all my data from old machine to new. I use these things a fuck of a lot now days, for relaying my thoughts, running my biz, working the hoot page and just all around connecting. I justify the bone binge in my mind. jimbo's all happy for me. we are living in a material world and I am a material... wait a minute now...

   I spend the rest of the afternoon learning about the machine and setting it up to my ways. damn, does it mesh smooth - no kinks or anything. I'm really happy w/it. thanks to you, jimbo and j too. when it's asleep, a green light glows like a heart beat - too much. let's see how it handles on tour w/watt, that'll be a real test. I get my first email w/it - great, a note from vince saying the pliers have made it safe back to so cal w/the boat. I feel much more relieved now. eternal thanks from watt for my guys getting home, I can rest so much easier now.

      me and j meet george at the pad where he pracs here in manhattan. it's called fourway and it's run by this tall cat who used to sing for _bad posture_ named fourway. believe it or not, the marshall amp mick ronson used to play w/bowie as the spiders from mars is here. it's a two hundred watt marshall major and it's the loudest amp in the world! j uses it for practice and we do a couple of hours of song run-throughs. this feels good. I'm using an svt that was here and I have to say, this is one of the best svt bass amps I have ever played. great tone and everything. thank you fourway!

   there's no gig tonight, ain't that a trip? dinner time comes and I get to chow w/elizabeth up by the train stop near her work. it's supposed to be mexican chow and when I order chili, it's just chunks of carne (meat), no picante (spice) at all. aaarrrrgggghhh. no sauce either, strange for watt. no matter, that's so secondary anyway to getting some time to spend w/her. we have a lot of laughs remembering evan's wedding and everything. I could spend an eternity w/this lady. the time allotted to me however is up and it's time to go back to jimbo's, I am genuinely wrung. when I get there, me and jimbo have a big talk about music and 'puters. when the fog plays holland in december, he wants to come over and spend some time w/us. I think that's great, love time w/jimbo. I'm lucky to have such great friends in this town. only eleven but I'm konking early, maybe the earliest konk in eight weeks for me. it's sack of potatoes time and this sack spills it's spuds and collapses quick.

tuesday, ocotober 31, 2000 - cambridge, ma

   pop and say bye to jimbo - I gotta get to j's fast, we're gonna stop in west mass at orangeman's to fix up some of his amps. whoa, things are different in the boat (van) - mike is now gone and has be replaced by tim, the dancer cat from chapel hill! wow. what's really on mind though is finding a pumpkin. tonight is halloween and I always play a gig and wear a costume on halloween - always. what I plan on tonight is finding a pumpkin big enough for my head and cutting a face like a jack-o-latern on it, cutting the bottom out instead of the top and then wearing it on my head. this is what I plan to do. just gotta find a pumpkin. orangeman is a nice cat, he's got some neat pictures on the wall of his shop, which is full of neat amp stuff. funny thing though is after many hours of being there, nothing ever got fixed (j had to bail up to his pad to get some stuff and he brought some good things for me: cuban 'gars - the backwoods are killing him - and another effects box by z. vex, the "wooly mammoth" - thank you j)! in fact, the kick drum pedals (george has two, one's a back up) get left in orangeman's driveway! arrrggghhh. we realized this later at the pad we're playing tonight, the _middle east_ in cambridge. it's right next door to a pad I've played on my last three tours, _tt the bears_. the ride there is via the "richie blackmoore road." I call it that cuz the road's sign symbol is a pilgrim's hat and that's what I used to see blackmoore wear when I'd see deep purple in the 70s. most everyone else calls it the mass pike.

   we get to the gig and things are cold. not raining but a damp new england chill. gloves for watt and his sore joints. seems cold likes using wet to conduct your heat right out of the joints. brrrr. you play this middle east pad in its basement which maybe was a bowling alley? it's long like one w/a low ceiling. they got a little room on the side of the stage and that's where I stay, practicing on the little headphone amp. still gotta get this shit soaked into my bones. lucky watt, we find a pumpkin at the pad here and jamie (the soundman) cuts it up good. w/the flannel shirt, I am the spitting image of a scarecrow. good. it's just big enough after we scoop bunches from the insides so not so much stringy shit and seeds to deal w/while I wear it. kind of low profile though so we gotta make a round pipefitter mouth rahter than a toothy grin. oh well. jamie did a great job. I'm ready for halloween now. we keep it hid from j so it'll be a mindblow for him when it's gig time.

   gig time comes. I come out from behind the marshall at the last minute. j looks over and I wish I could've captured that look in my mind's eye. priceless. the sound is a trip inside this pumpkin head. it feels like, well like I got a pumpkin on my head. everything's muffled. smells trippy too - well, like pumpkin. as I start heating up, it's like I'm cooking it from the inside and the inside pumpkin shit starts running down my face into my eyes and mouth. oh well, it ain't that bad. I can't see the neck of the little bass anyway so it's touch and feel method the whole gig. it is kind of hard to breathe but it's always like this when you're playing w/a mask on. at the least the pumpkin's organic and not rubber. I can't see shit hardly, the eye holes have shifted a little bit to the side and that where the whole thing kind of wants to sit. not much but enough to make this gig flying blind. what's a real trip is when I gotta do vocals - for once on this tour I can hear what I'm singing - real loud! I think most of the spiel is filling the pumpkin head and not making it to the mic. it's a trip to hear things like this. I love halloween. I don't think it should be celebrated on the friday or saturday it's near - it should be on whatever day of the week october thirtyfirst falls on. that's why it's called a holiday, to get out of that "weekend is what we live for" rut. that's what I think anyway.

   orangeman saves the day and shleps the kick drum pedals to us for gig time. thanks orangeman. you know, I saw those pedals between the van and the trailer just before we left but didn't say anything cuz I assumed everyone else had seen them. stupid watt. like what my pop used to say, when you assume, you make an _ass_ out of _u_ and _me_. true.

   a sold-out house, the set is happening, I can hear the guitar real good inside the pumpkin head. drums too. j is wailing it out big time, he's great. george too. every time j looks over, he's gotta laugh I don't think he believes I can keep this thing on. george is busting a gut too. great, I dig bringing joy into people's lives. last tune comes and it's "tv eye." this will be impossible to sing so I take the pumpkin off and put it by my feet. all kinds of the goo is in my mouth, like eating a pumpkin pie - I dig it. we do the tune and at the end I like to put the bass down and do my little spiel only part bassless. when I finish "you know, I love her so - she's gotta tv eye on me, whoa" I lift the pumpkin up and w/both hands, chuck the baby way into the crowd. then we're off. we come back and do the encores w/me pumpkin headless cuz it's getting tossed all around the crowd. when we finish we all have a real good laugh in the little room. I get to meet j's bro. nice man. j says he's got a band of his own called _the warblers_, I'd like to hear them. someone gives j a picture of him w/some friends when he was like eleven. funny to see j this young - no long hair yet, kind of keith moon hairdo. funny! when we load out, someone's got pieces of the pumpkin I wore and they have me sign it. great! meet a cat too who I first met in tempe, playing there on the school's homecoming day (college town - arizona state university) w/the pliers and we were tripping on all the squarejohns whupping it up - he's originally from here in boston and the first thing he says to me is "white baseball hats!" funny, how he picked me out in that club and started talking w/me - I was trying to be incognito and just observe the "humans in their element" diorama. we both have a good laugh about all that. he tripped on the pumpkin head too. some connects do span the tours, for sure.

   we wail all the way back to new york city. well, wail is a relative term - it still takes like four hours and it's the crack of dawn when I get dropped off at jimbo's. my head bobbing the whole way, even w/the air cushioned neck pillow. glad to rest it now on jimbo's deck. glad to just be still. easy for watt to konk in a moving vehicle but I do dig being prone instead of like one of those little dogs in the rear window do the head toss. mask down, mind out. halloween - over.

wednesday, november 1, 2000 - new york city, ny

   pop at like ten and go get cubano chow at the westside cafe, then to the hudson to hoof and think. I have feelings bursting from me so I write a poem. first I drink a can of pear juice from the westside pad, I dig pears a bunch. comfort chow for watt. I have to cry when I finish my writing, it's ok - their not all sad tears. then over to the 'puter place where I got my ibook - they put all the duo (my old 'puter) files on a cdrom so I can get them onto the new machine. I get a floppy drive too so I can bring the shots over from the digital camera (it uses floppy disks). the usb thing is neat - hot swapable, just plug and play. everything now caught up for the new clam shaped toilet seat 'puter. ok.

   get on over to tonight's pad, the _bowery ballroom_, a new pad for me to play. seems like a good room. after soundcheck, I go w/j over to cbgb's to do a little ralph nader benefit performance. I do the backup spiel for "sameday." it's just j and an acoustic guitar, he does great. we say bye and then back over to the gig. I get the headphones on a practice to the tape. I feel pretty scared for tonight, watt is quite lacking in the confidence department tonight. in fact, I'm kind of shook up. there's some crazy mental cycles I get caught up and I just gotta pucnh through it. j helps me by giving me a purple flannle of his. made by levi, what a trip. I dig wearing it. the dressing room is a little one way up these bunch of stairs and it's just me and j up ther for a long time. me, w/the headphones on and w/the little bass, practicing. I hope I don't choke tonight. j says he considers tonight the first real gig of the tour. whoa. better do good. I watch the openers, _burning brides_ (our last gig w/them) and _nebula_ - both great trios, rocking it up heavy. they both push the ante up high but that's good, that's the way it should be.

   our turn and boy is j kicking it out good. wow, like playing w/d. boon in a way, how can you not be inspired and not be afraid? I find a way somehow though and shit ten thousand bricks AND a five foot long pecan log. damn. sometimes my mind just freezes white and I space on the part for a moment, I feel rigid and stiff, then I just force myself to let go of myself and let j's guitar just run through me (not too hard to do that - I'm fucking swimming in the tons of sound buoying me on stage. if I keep my eyes open, I feel them press against the back of my head. if I close them, I feel the lids press on them) and it's like j's playing me by remote control or like an extension of what he's doing. that's kind of a trip for me but it works. I just wish I could take away every clam I blow but there's no time to really think about that, I gotta stay in the fucking moment and get it together. we do most the new record plus a bunch of old ones but it looks like "tv eye" is gonna be our show closer for the tour cuz we're doing it last again. at the tail end I break an 'e' string, the big one but no matter, it's that part where I don't play any more anyway so I put it down - I think I'm gonna do this every show fromo now on. it trips folks out, like I'm roger daltery or rod stewart for a few moments playing lead mic stand or something. george does the last flams standing up. I hold the mic like it was the rudder of a boat and rattle my body w/every word, then run off quick when I'm done while j finishes it w/some coda. after the encores, it's tons of people in that little room where there was just me and j. don fleming is there and he tells me nice things about the gig. lee ranaldo too. this means a bunch to me cuz I dig both these cats much but I feel like a dick in a way cuz I can't let go of the realization of the clams I blew and the way it made me so stiff on stage. I feel as though I was petrified wood, standing up there, scared shitless. murph too is here. in fact, I gave him the digital camera and he took some shots, good ones too. he talks to me about george. he played w/j many years w/dinosaur and he tells me "george is a thinker. I can see it when he's playing. he's always thinking, he's thinking about what j wants and does it. me, I just let loose in my own world sometimes and I would see j give me that look." interesting perspective. plainspeaking murph, I dig that. it was fun this last summer when him and j did these three gigs here w/me in nyc of just stooges tunes to help me get better w/the atrophy that set in w/my sickness ordeal. I called it _hellride east_ cuz I do the same thing back home w/perk and peter (my old porno for pyro bandmates) and it's called just _hellride_. them stooges songs are forever and the best thing in the world for getting watt strong again on the bass. I even did it every day w/some pedro friends as I just got out of bed and started to walk and play again. you don't have to worry about chord changes that much, it's all about feel and that helped so much. thank you ron, scott, dave and ig so much for your timeless tunes. if you want to learn bass and need something to both teach and inspire you, learn all the stooges you can first. everything else will follow.

   jimbo's here too! wow, w/a puffed-out down vest on, no less. interesting. I'm so glad he got to see this. he's seen almost all my incarnations from the minutemen days on. he dug it. those same insecurities I've just mentioned still consume me still. damn, I'm wishing I could do the whole gig again and live up to these nice things folks are telling me. aarrrrgggghhhh. people are sitting all around (and on) me and physically pressing their niceness on me. it's starting to suffocate me. there's a party we're supposed to go to a block away at a bar and this gives me some space. I go over to this thing and you know, I'm not to good at these things but look who's here - elizabeth! I'm very glad I'm here now, all the gig fear is gone. it gets weird though, you know how liquored-up people can get and the strangest scene develops. elizabeth sticks up for me, she always does. she's strong and let's them know it. I wish I could've been more assertive myself but these situations cause me paralysis of the brain and it's like I'm all frozen, like I'm on stage blowing the biggest fucking clam ever and not knowing what to do about it. I really wanted to protect her from all this stupid shit. I was so passive, I'm not like that in the rest of my life - what a fucking social retard. time to get out of here. just cuz I didn't mouth off and start talking stupid didn't mean I shouldn't take any responsibility. I could've stopped this whole thing quick. arrrggghh, a social clam. regrets all the way back to jimbo's pad. the last hour of my life like a film playing over and over. I have to say, elizabeth was quite heroic though. something else, makes me proud and glad to know her. thank you, elizabeth.

thursday, november 2, 2000 - new york city, ny

   I konked somehow last night just laying there on jimbo's deck cuz I open my eyes and what do I see? mask. so I pull that down and it's sun showering in from the curtainless windows and the sounds of canal street plus holland tunnel divided by trucks times infinite car horns. gotta love this little corner of the world. shower and back for even more cubano chow at the westside. shoveling done, I head to the river again and walk along side it south to the tip of manhattan and take the stanton island ferry back and forth a few times. it's the most econo ride in the city - free. I dig it and get right up on the bow and let the air fly in my face and fill my lungs. when we pull in, I run to the other side and do the whole thing back. such giant pleasures in small things. this is how it is for me as time rolls on. simple joys. I let go of all my thoughts and do great big ankle swivels, rolling w/the bob of the boat. garbage scow goes by. helicopters kicking up big water clouds, like circular curtains around them. folks in line at ellis island, folks in line at the statue of liberty. lots of tugboats, all on their own little journeys. today watt is going to take it easy, both on the body and the brain.

   I'm gonna spend the afternoon w/jimbo. just hang around his pad and talk w/him while I get this new ibook shipshape w/the old data and all, programs and whatever. always like this when changing machines, like putting a new band together and showing them the tunes. weird for me like this on tour - I usually never any open time like this. it's a trip. so strange not to have the boat too, no center to the universe. it's all relative, day to day. well, today jimbo's pad is the center and I'm giving attention to him. he has this new machine to make coffee and does it up real good. has two glass spheres and when the water boils in the bottom sphere, it gets sucked up into the top one where the beans are and makes the most righteous brew. we have some cups and let the words flow. jimbo knows so much, it's a real treat to hear him spiel about things. he knows how to put it in perspective for me too, I love him. it feels like one of those times when I come to this town w/out any gigs and I'm just in jimbo's orbit. I'm a happy astronaut.

   night comes rolling around and I get to chow w/elizabeth again. this time it's thai chow and I ask the people there for all their hottest chilis. I have some squid too. and some pork. all good things. my hair gets wet w/some chili-induced perspiration. my blood is getting hot too. I dig it. I talk to elizabeth about my tunes and my works, how they're like my babies and legacy. sometimes I think about what will happen w/them when I'm gone, when I'm not here to defend them. it's weird in your middle years. you know you're probably not at the end and you know for sure you haven't just started. when I go, I want the body part to be burned and the ashes spread over pedro, where the waves break on the rocks. I don't a gravestone, all my records and stuff like that do that job fine. save that little bit of earth for something else. I want the folks in pedro to have to breathe me in and blow me out. that's how I want to remain physical. if there's any life for me after, let me live in the heart. I want to inspire, make some smiles and laughs. it's hard for me to talk about this but I really want to get it out at this moment and she's the easiest person in the world to talk to. and also to listen to. such a big hug for you.

   then it's off to meet jimbo at madison square gardens. all these times to this town and I've never been here. jimbo's taking me to a knicks game. they're playing the hawks and we miss the first quarter. sorry, jimbo. sure is a trip to see glen rice in a knicks uniform! hope he's happy. the seats are pretty good and I can see lots of what's going on but there ain't much action. this game is kind of a dud. I'm glad to be here though, what an intense pad. jimbo says it gets wild when the place is lit but tonight everyone seems konked. aarrrrggghhh. now that I think about it, I have been real near here - downstairs underneath is penn station! this is where I took the train to visit john coltrane's grave in pinelawn on long island w/john rosenfelder during my fortieth year. that reminds me, where is he? oh, that's right - he's visiting his pop in munich. his pop had to bail because of nazi days and being jewish but he always dug the town and moved back a few years ago. he came and saw me do my opera there w/joe baiza and bob lee. I've been telling john to go see him for a while now, I'm really glad he did. his pop is a character.

   we get back to the canal street pad and after some mota, konksville. so trippy for me to be on a tour and there's nowhere to drive and nowhere to play for the day, just all the way open. something feels dislodged somehow. that's how things get when you're used to something to be a certain way for a while. maybe it's good to shake things up. hard letting go, hard being a sidemouse in a way! back in my mind though, I'm thinking this is ok, this is teaching me something. the day was not wasted, it's an investment - an investment in my future. somehow. I konk wondering about that.

friday, november 3, 2000 - chicago, il

   ok, you're probably sick of hearing this but I popped, showered and chowed cubano at the wayside again! then it's quick over to j's and we take a cab to la guardia. plane flight to chicago, tonight we're playing the _cabaret metro_ near wrigley field. all right, I've done tons of gigs here but not in the last couple of years. opening up is king roesser, who used to sing for urge overkill. it's great to see him again. last time I saw him, it was at a gig here and he came up on stage during my encore w/j and they both tried to play "maggot brain" w/me. j all out of tune and king trying to do four-four drums to a six-eights song, oh boy. they were both pretty liquored. j now does none of that and it looked kind of that way w/king. his new band is great and has jim kimball on drums, he was w/laughing hyenas and mule, two great bands. that man is something w/the flams, he's great.

   j has turned me on to some great stuff I'm taking a liking to. like this ginger brew drink called "reed's" - it's great. the same w/green tea and all the veggies in the dressing room. in fact, that's what I have for chow, I don't really eat dinner. even w/my own bands, I don't chow a lot w/the cats. I need some space. I can get in people's face sometimes, I know that. when you're on tour, you spend a lot of time w/your guys and that's good but it also helps to have a little distance sometimes too. for me, it's good to not have to always chow together. hell, it all comes spitting out of my mouth and landing on my shirt and pants anyway, I probably would make anyone nauseous just to watch me. I also like to spiel while I'm chowing too and there's a choking hazard. better I'm alone and have to conduct the spiels in my head w/myself.

   believe me, even w/out chowing w/your bros, you still get to know them. j is an internal type of cat but his mind is going all the time. you might not know it but j can bust some pretty good jokes. it's great, you hear this one-liner coming from the back of the van and you realize it's j! he sees the funniest connections in things. he can size shit up pretty quick, a real analytical mind. george is thinking a lot too (like murph said) but is more verbal, he talks his ideas out as he's formulating them. he likes to talk about politics too. his pop was a union man. you can tell j and george have spent time around each other. they can relay things w/just a look. there not from the same town - j's amherst and george's westfield but those two towns are pretty close geographically, if not so different demographically (amherst = academic town, westfield = closed down mill town). both j and george are thirtyfive. jamie, the soundman, is twentyfive or six and has been around a bunch for his age. he gets shit done and is not just a talker which I dig. spent time in florida, san diego and most recently, manhattan. tim, the dancer, is living in chapel hill, nc but is from new york. he's just turning twentythree. he works hard and doesn't dig materialist phoneyness, he's young and idealistic and wants to find shit out. is very passionate about music and know a lot about young bands and sounds. always wears black. eric, the tour boss, gets stuff done too. in fact, all these cats do their gig, no bullshit about that. no one has to ride anyone or get on their dick which is good. I think this is a good understanding between everyone. eric is thirtyfive, owns a lighthouse ship he's converting and is always thinking ahead and is there w/the options, it's never a my way or the high way kind of thing. very diplomatic man. everyone has fun w/watt, he's the old cruster. sometimes I say some mean things, not on purpose but because I'm an idiot and shit just blurts out. all the cats are good natured about it though and never take it the wrong way. I must grate on them somewhat. for one thing, I know none of them can stand the smell of a backwoods 'gar! of course, there's musical taste differences too. these are good men though and I'm proud to serve w/them.

   us fog get out there and do our set. this chicago crowd is really good, lots of spirit from them. makes even more fun to play. the sound on stage is really loud, blasting me to bits. j is cooking though and I dig it. I'm drawing on other energies here I don't get in other towns. I was conceived here, people I care about born here. this is going through my mind and settles me, grounds me. speaking of which, j drops the song "ground me to you," one off the record, from the set. there's piano on it and he can't translate it to the troika setting we got going live. I dig that tune and miss it. there's so many good songs on this fog record, I'm really into it. good sounds too besides good tunes. funny how some people are saying it sounds like his old material. me and j have talked about this. he's asked me, "what am I supposed to sound like, someone else?" I agree w/him. these are not copies of old dinosaur songs though, rather more like further entries from the same diary. anyway, I dig this gig much and it was real fun to do. sure, there were clams but that energy flow up from this town's ground and through the stage and into my feet bounces me past all that. I even speak names to help me hold on. the crowd seeing the goofy man making shapes w/his mouth - why won't he say it on the mic? it's cuz it's for me, some things are for inside to help better w/the outside.

   I forgot to mention that just before we went on, this nice man from the opening band offers to trade j a purple marshall cabinet he's got at his practice pad for one of j's red ones. j's way into this, the company colors and all. I guess they didn't make these for too many years either so it's kind of rare. the thing is, his van was blocked in and he couldn't bail 'til the gig was over so we're waiting and waiting for him. I think it's worth though and tell everyone to hang on. we got a hellride to minneapolis so we're going to stay in rockport tonight, our team wants to go. well, not all of us. tim (the dancer) wants to stay and be w/someone and then fly to our next gig. I'm not involved w/the decision but it's nixed big time. he drinks a bunch to console himself. one drunk dancer passed out. he'll feel that in the morning. just when there's everyone's ready to shrug their shoulders (not me cuz I just had the feeling this cat wanted to do this), the purple cabinet shows up and j is one happy j-ster. the swap is made and we're down the road. we get to the ho late and konk is on me quick. it was another neck torquer cuz I konked on the drive. when you're not awake to compensate for road rattle, the head gets battled - neck becomes coil spring. good to rest it on a steady deck and konk hard for real.

saturday, november 4, 2000 - minneapolis, mn

   we abort plans for an early pop and get some good rest. we're gonna miss soundcheck but hey, that's the way it goes. we can deal w/it. pretty drive up through wisconsin. tonight we're at the _first avenue_, the pad where they filmed the gig shots in "purple rain." purple, j should dig that. I just played the little pad they got on the side, the seventh street entry. I really dig the boss, steve mcclellan and am always glad to see him. since it's a saturday and they do a disco weekend, we're going on really early, like nine. conrad's here, an old friend - he's worked here for years. a great golfer, he's done some links w/j. betsy comes by too. great, lots of old friends here for watt. I dig playing this pad.

   there's a band opening up for us from sweden called the _international noise conspiracy_ and they are something else. they all wear these little suits and look somewhat like an early version of that english band, the jam. the sound is sort of like early stones or something and their stage show is really wild. on the first note of the first song, the guitarist bashes his nose on the mic causing it to bleed like a motherfucker and he has to run off and do something to stop it. the band never quits, they keep going w/out him, the singer is really into james brown moves w/the mic stand and stuff, down on his knees, then doing flips and shit. they're running all over the place. it's really, really wild. lots of banter between songs on social issues too like this fucking election the united states is about to have. notice how I haven't said much about it cuz it makes me puke. why wouldn't they let ralph nader into the debates, even as a spectator? bunch of fucking dicks. I know d. boon would really dig this band - it's a real mix of raw emotion and thinking about the big picture. they make me happy and wide-eyed. my mouth is hanging open when they finish.

   our turn next. we start w/"severed lips" so jamie can get a rundown on the sound as fast as he can. it's got lots of dynamics and soft parts. then it's full bore time and I can imagine how it's putting the hammer on the crowd. this is not a packed house, I wonder what's up? sort of like what happened last week in phily, damn. hills and valleys, sometimes, hills and valleys. no matter, I play my brains out, I like being one of the fog. what a dream for watt, to play in a power trio w/j mascis. even w/a pick. I am getting better at it. I can imagine tonight we sound like a complete din though. you need some bodies to soak up that j guitar or it just bounces round and round like a bunch of marblees in a fish bowl. the cats there though have us back for more and so we comply, for me it's an honor.

   pack up time while disco gets underway and I spend time w/the folks upstairs. good rapping w/nathan and steve about things going on. nathan doesn't want this george w stooge in no matter what and steve says let's do anything to shake shit up. even pat buchannan! all wrapped up sweaty in my pea coat w/my 'puter bag and my backpack - all of my universe, no boat - I'm ready to retire. walking distance to the konk pad and betsy takes me there. jamie opens the door to his room, where am I supposed to be? he then bails. fuck it, just wash up on this shore. weird tour night for watt, it's never like this for me, fun to be w/friends though.

sunday, november 5, 2000 - kearney, ne

   pop and find the weather nice, lots of blue sky but there's talk of impending storm heading the way of our journey. great. aaarrrggghhh. we stop at a juice bar and john coltrane's "a love supreme" is playing - yes! they got some habanero sauce too so I chow that w/some split pea soup they got. then we're on the road for denver. good thing we got two days to do it in cuz it's one big hellride. south through albert lea into iowa then west at des moines to omaha in nebraska. all the time we got wind getting wilder and wilder on us, torquing up the trailer. past nebraska, the rain starts coming down. hard. things are getting rough. we have to slow down to fortyfive. jamie's driving and he's doing a good job but I can tell it's tough. I've never driven a van w/a trailer and this is no time for watt to learn so I put all my faith in him. it's hard for me to let go like this but it's gotta happen. a man's gotta know his limitations.

   we break clear of the storm finally just outside of lincoln. we pull of and try to look for chow. w/all the tours under my belt, I know there's nothing but shit chow in these parts off the road and you got make the best of it (like for watt - nothing) but these guys are convinced there's something in this town so we drive around like an hour and there ain't shit. time for denny's. I stay in van and do 'puter work. we get back out on the road and head into kearney - hey, I was just here to play a gig w/the pliers! no gig tonight though, we're just bedding down for the night. never really knew about kearney before this and now look - twice in the last two tours. funny what life brings you. d. boon's pop was from nebraska and I'll always have respect for it. to tell you the truth, I've got respect for anyplace that'll have me. I've found it's stupid to have 'tude towards a pad or a town or a state just cuz you think it's backwater or something. everyplace can teach you something it you let it. this is what I've found in my travels. I will play this town again, I just know it. there will be lots more new ones too, a couple each tour, maybe just one but always somewhere new to find out about. even more to find out about pads I've alread been to also. a mind forever wandering, wondering. this is watt's way.

read week 1 of the tour diary

read week 3 of the tour diary

loop back to mike watt's hoot page

this page created 22 nov 00