watt's "more light" tour 2000 diary - week 3

j mascis and the fog

george & jwatt

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

eric fischer - tour boss
jamie - soundman
tim - helper man

steve kaul - the man outside the van

monday, november 6, 2000 - boulder, co

   big hellride continues west along the I-80. at ogallala we turn southwest on the I-76 for denver. from there, we'll go to boulder up us-36. the ride turns real empt after we leave the north platte and enter into colorado. just tons of nothing. you notice how the territory changes w/the state borders, trippy like that. we push on. eric lets me use this us atlas software to help us navigate boulder since there's no blow-up on the rand-mcnally, our road bible. this ware works pretty good but you gotta have the cd in your machine, it won't let you load the whole thing on your hard drive. aaarrrggghhhhh. always kinks in the future hose of efficiency.

   we get there early enough so I can go check out a store across the street from the venue that has dvds. the ibook has a dvd player. I read in the paper there's been a release of the first six shows of "the prisoner." I really dug that show. it ran for only one season in 1968 and starred the cat from "secret agent man," patrick mcgoogan (sp?). matter of fact, I think he directed and had a hand in the writing too. great show about getting it in the yang forever and never figuring out why. the plot is loosely about a former secret agent exiled (internally) to a town full of stepford-like zombies. no names, only numbers. he's number six. every show there's a new number two, who he has to outwit. he's always trying to find out number one. never does. it's one strange show. anyway, this store doesn't have it but they do have a dvd w/four black sabbath songs from a german telecast in 1970. it's pretty funny. bill ward has just a four piece set and a splash cymbal. tony iommi has bangs, it's hilarious. we put it on backstage and watch it over and over again.

   we're playing the _boulder theater_ and the boss here is dough kaufman, an old friend who's done my gigs for years here and in denver. he plays bass too - knows all the james jamerson lines. I dig him much. he takes me to chow some sush and tells me the greatest stories about him talking w/john doe at a gig john just did in denver. doug asked him about all those x songs and what they were about and was him (john) who wrote the words or was it exene. you can tell doug really dug it, the way he'd get into relating this to me. "'blue spark' is about the bumper cars at the santa monica pier and the contact brushing w/the metal roof, making sparks" - stuff like that. doug is a cat fired up about music and I dig that. not just telling me about numbers and trends but shit that really matters, that gets the blood pumping. it's never a lameass spiel w/mr. kaufman. I dig that. he tells me about the james jamerson web site, I GTO to check that out. he said carol kaye tried to say she played a lot of the lines jamerson's been credited with. all due respect to carol cuz she can blow it down but damn, don't be stepping on mr. jamerson's dick. shit. he ain't even here to defend himself. doug says there's a cat at the site who has reasons why carol is not in the paint w/this. well, I'm full of sush and I'm fired up w/doug spiel - I'm ready to go play for mr. mascis tonight!

   I missed the two opening bands, sorry. we get up on stage and it's one big pad, maybe sixty foot ceilings or something. damn, gonna sound like a roller rink tonight. good crowd and they got some good emotion, great. we start the gig up and j's blowing tough, the man has been kicking it up every gig, great. he's real natural about it too, what a trip. he's feeling sort of sick and has me do three stooges songs so he can have it a little easier on his voice. shit, I'm ready to do anything for him so it's no problem. after a few songs I'm thinking george is blowing some major farts cuz it sure is stinking. he has been sick so mabe that's what he's pumping out. whoa, it's getting really bad. I look over at him - he thinks it's me! we get done and run off stage. george tells me he almost fell of his seat a few times. doug comes back and says a badger had died in one of the ducts and that was the stench blowing across the stage. whew, I'm glad to hear it wasn't something that crawled out of one of our asses. I mean that shit was foul and rude. way.

   I'm feeling really achey as we pack and load up. a cat named soren gives me some great shots of the last pliers show at the bluebird in denver. thank you soren. we talk w/some other cats and finally pile in the van. we got a hellride to salt lake city and we're going to get a head start by getting up to laramie in wyoming tonight. it's a state road (us-279) that's cuts a bunch of miles off rather than going through cheyenne. the weather's holding up pretty good 'til the last thirty miles when we pass into wyoming and this big cloud of white just comes down on us and like that, we're in snow. we have to slow way down, I'm konking w/my head doing the full wackin' swivel, despite the inflated neck pillow. we make it to laramie and I'm feeling grateful. dodged another bullet. very easy to konk, head on deck, body draped w/blankey, grateful to make it safe and sound.

tuesday, november 7, 2000 - salt lake city, ut

   we head out early. damn, it's been a while since I've been on the little fold up bike. the weather has either been to heavy, the hellride's too long or like in nyc, I didn't even know where the van was to go get it. man, do I miss it. the turning of the wheels, the rushing of the blood through me, the sights entering into my eyes and feeding my mind. damn.

   there's snow on the road, blowing across it like white, twisting snakes but the gates aren't closed - they got gates here on the I-80 in wyoming and they get closed when the weather calls for it. we're in luck and it looks like the storm is passing us and going east. we get past rollins and things get better. still cold as fuck but at least no ice on the road and blizzards blowing sideways. damn, I hate being in these parts at this time of year. my ma was born in wyoming and it is a beautiful state but the middle of the rockies is not the place to be pulling a trailer w/a van in november. at least we're doing it now, it can only get worse as winter approaches. enough of this kvetching, we've made it and as we cross into utah the weather gets almost september like. we are most fortunate. I get a weird pang in the gut when we pass by the point where w/fIREHOSE on a tour maybe ten years ago we hit a patch of black ice and the boat went into a 340 degree spin. I held steady and we didn't flip but what a fucking nightmare. I say more thanks for the blessings to myself and breathe in deep. tour is intense w/the dice rolls.

   we're coming in from the east so the traffic is easy - not so a couple of months ago when us pliers had to come in the I-15 w/all their winter olympics construction. this is a cakewalk, seeing as we're in the sugarhouse part of slc which is real close to the I-80 feeder. on the way to the pad on the surface streets we stop at "guitar czar" and j almost buys a jackson (not!). we see a trippy marshall that's like an old fender 410 bassman but that's the only thing interesting. like most music gear pads these days, everything is like a sears or a monkeywards. damn.

   tonight, we're at the pad I was just at, _liquid joe's_, the pad that looks like a circuit city. forever memorable for the fantastic mermaid painting. the promoter is an outside one and j is mighty pissed at the flyers as well is george. they say "j mascis, mike watt and murph as dinosaur jr." - what kind of shit is that? bullshit. a few calls to bookerman steve kaul and all of the sudden it's a liquid joe's show - the outside promoter is out! charlie is the man here, he's an old friend from the zephyr and now is here. good to see him. my pal from pedro, don comes by and brings some tapatio. good flavor but watt wants heat! almost three weeks now w/the most tame and fria salsa ever! I want fire in my blood. don bails and comes back w/a bag of fresh jalapenos AND a bag habaneros. the jalapenos are ok but the HABANEROS - yes, si si!!! on the scoeville scale, jalapenos = 5,000 where habaneros are 100,000 to 300,000 (red savina ones are 600,000). viva el picante! right away, I eat three of the little orange jewels raw. yes, the hair on my head starts to get wet w/sweat. yes, the mocos (phlegm) starts to fly from the nose and the eyes flood w/tears. I am truly getting off. don cuts up a bunch and stuffs it in this other bottle of salsa he brought, some pico pica. now it's grande pica! these chilis spoil quick so I only got a couple days w/them - they'll hold for longer in the bottle w/the sauce. thank you so much, don. he's a great cat, I usually stay at his pad w/my bands, he's always got something great to spiel about. a part of pedro in utah. thanks don. thanks for the chilis too.

   this gig has a dc band opening called _bluetip_, very fugazi-esque. incredible influence ian has on cats these days. also on the bill is that band from sweden again, the _international noise conspiracy_. they're even better than they were at minneapolis, pretty incredible. the guitar and bass guys are jumping up and down from the bar at the front of the stage, it must be only like four inches wide! wow. I get to talk w/them after they play and they're really happening people. really young, like early twenties, very idealistic. they have a table full of literature and stuff. they got the same suits, they tell me they wear the same ones every night, damn! pretty ripe, huh? I'm pumped up now to play.

   our time to do it comes up and we do the do. the p.a. is too tiny and I can hear the horns blow as jamie tries his best to wrestle what he can out of it. I think he ends up blowing up most the whole thing. whoops. it was a weird gig for us though cuz there was like four televisions going above the bar, facing right at us and just talking about the election. it was fucked in a way. I tried to ignore it but right when we were about to play the stooges "not right," they showed the bush son's face w/winner across and it was sick. in fact, j told me he felt a pain in his chest and he thinks it was brought on by the election. he said louise doesn't want to live in the u.s. if gw bush is the president and he might have to move to germany. it was sad to hear this. george was real mad too and was cussing like crazy from the stage and giving middle fingers - he was mad! we have an ok show but I know j is bummed cuz of this election hell and that shit w/the flyers. george too. I know they're both glad to finish up anad get the fuck out of dodge. nothing against the pad and the folks here - it was the outside promoter idiots who just were so lame.

after the gig, I tell both j and george that reagan got into office soon after we started the minutemen (1980) and we had to live under eight years of that stiff and four more of the old bush - there are wheels within wheels and parallel universes and hopefully the centrifugal force you make can spin off into other sphere but it necessarily doesn't mean its gonna and you just make best. another way to look at is like a farmer would growing his crops: a good crop takes some manure and we certainly got a pile of that, especially w/the congress still under republican control too. I guess this is what the country wants. I've never been w/the majority much anyway and have learned to accept shit like this. it doesn't make me happy though. I've been voting for twentyfour years and half have been under democrats (carter, clinton) and the other half republicans (reagan, bush). I'm hopeful a green party can get happening, I know that might sound naive but I like some of the things they talk about.

   we pack up and it's cold, adding to the aches. george is fighting sickness too, pretty intense. eric, the tour boss has been sick the entire tour! everyone battling the bugs. I got soreness in my throat even and am feeling those aches still. glad for the ibuprofen but it was just in the paper the alonzo morning has a blown-out liver and that shit might have been the culprit. those cats use tons of it every day but it's still something to watch out for. I mean this ache shit is really rough on me - I feel a hundred years old and have to do something, it's killing me. it's the bugs hammering on my door to get in and I'm just not gonna let them. no way.. those ibus don't kick in 'til we finally get to the ho but thank god cuz I need to konk bad. rest is the best way to beat these fucking bugs back, everything else is just treating symptoms. konk gives the body a chance to marshal it's defenses against the invader. I submit, konk and let the internal battle rage.

wednesday, november 8, 2000 - la grande, or

   pop and move these creaky joints. damn, I force my feet, one in front of the other to open the paths in my frame. get the circulation going, watt! dump the scalding cof down the in door and force more movement. get on the 'puter and force fingers to peck. force. force. force. I will not give in and fight, fight this shit. throat so dry and painful to swallow. hydrogen peroxide by the mouthful, gargle after gargle. sun is out though so I give thanks. the ride up from salt lake to snowville can be a hellride w/hard weather. j has to fly ahead to do an instore so he has to miss out, such misfortune. george is at the wheel. he does good. we have it ok through utah up the I-15 and then the I-84 through idaho but just into oregon it starts really coming down, hard. night's coming too so that adds to the misery. ice all over the road. jamie's at the wheel now. I will not look forward out the windshield. I have given up my regular seat at shotgun and am in the first bench seat behind the driver, laid out sideways real low w/my head deep inside the neck pillow. what I do see is george's face from the bench seat behind me change regularly from shock to disbelief to horror, from pale to paler. I don't have to look forward. many times we almost plow into the truck in front of us and even see that truck sliding out from time to time (so I hear, I'm too scared to see myself). it gets to a point where jamie has the tranny in neutral, foot off the gas, other foot full on the brake and we're still moving. trucks are blowing by like assholes. finally we ease to the side of the road, there's a six percent grade we gotta go down and it's just too scary. a guy from the highway depart rides up to us in a fourwheel drive and asks us if we're ok. we ask what's up ahead. he says "oh, you just gotta get down this hill and then at la grande you gotta stop cuz we're closing the freeway. you can sleep in a church or your van." a hill? it's a fucking mountain! the trailer starts to slide and shit but somehow we get down it, up and over. the town is flooded w/folks and all the hotels are stuffed but eric uses his cell phone to ask his girlfriend to try and find us a pad and she does! these walkie-talkie things are good for something. we're lost in a maze of roads and blizzard but by some freak of luck, we end up right in front of the place w/out even knowing how! I am so glad to get out of the boat and have my feet on solid ground, I don't even notice the cold. I thank my lucky stars so big time, thanks for getting us here safe. the road is supposed to open tomorrow morning at ten. ok. time for konk now. what a fucking hellride. this is why watt does not tour in these parts at this time of the year. we made it though and I will make no bones about that. please guys, just more cushion in between our van and whoever's ahead of us. "the bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin' - so I have heard." this spinal tap verse has never had such a direct feed into my consciousness as it has on this ride. over and over it reapeats in my head as sueno takes me on that safe train to sleepytown.

thursday, november 9, 2000 - portland, or

      I pop cuz the sun is beaming through the window - watt forgot his mask. no matter, glad to be alive, I get up and out into the snow (I slept in my clothes). all soft powder, I am transfixed by it - sunlight all bouncing off bright and blinding into my eyes. I stop to write a poem, I am inspired.

   the pass is open and george is driving but it's still kind of hairy. there's ice on the road but it's been all dented up w/the truck chains so the ride is real rough, a molar shaker. once into pendleton, things get much smoother and when we get along the columbia river everything's ok and it's smooth sailing. beautiful geography, this gorge where the river flows. hughe barge trains are on float peacefully by, across you can see the state of washington. we're travelling right along a cliff so it's hard to see mount hood that's towering up above us. we pull into portland and to tonight's gig, at the _crystal ballroom_, where I've played before. jimi hendrix played here way back when too, I'm told. an old dance hall, there's springs under the floorboards, quite a trip. jimmy's the boss here and he's cool people.

   richard meltzer comes and spends time w/me. maybe an hour before he came, I accidentally rubbed my eyes w/my hands and guess what was all over them? habaneros! this has happened to me before. I had to just sit still w/my eyes sealed shut. I have a big tolerance and so it doesn't really hurt but my body just will not allow me to open my eyes. the first half hour richard was in the room, I couldn't even give a peep to see him, just hear his voice. he was very patient and finally the capsicum (the stuff that makes chilis hot) subsides enough to let my peepers see. it was great to see richard, literally. we go and have some soup.

   I ask him what he thinks of insanity, being crazy. he tells me he saw a psychologist once. she helped him by finding out about how he was raised, what he called "mommy and daddy shit." he said the psych lady figured from what he told her that his ma was a cold fish and never gave him close love and that's why he was looking for an unrealistic amount of affection from a woman. he said finding this about himself helped him. he tells me he has a friend who's an older man who was an academic and chucked it in the sixties to drive a truck and is now retired to write a book on astrology. this guy's main thrust is the irregular orbit of our earth and the results of that. he said that scorpio was not the only sex sign but others too like taurus, which is what freud was, an over-sexed guy who came up w/a lot of the "mommy and daddy shit." this astrology guy is now researching all the world's "guys wanting to fuck their moms myths." very strange stuff to think about, christ. I told richard about d. boon's personal determinist theory where he thought you were shaped by the way you were toilet trained. you turned out an artist if you painted the walls w/your shit and a fascist if you packed it all in. all these theories. I am not sure of any idea to base an understanding of how you're mind is formed and then how it's continues changing. I'm afraid to adopt some belief system in fear of becoming unaware or small-minded and not be open to truths that might rock that algebra apart. such an inexact science for me, psychology. I can listen to opinions and ideas but can't really get behind any one of them, I've been so surprised by what reality and experience brings me. richard seemed worried I wanted to talk about being crazy. he said there's a calmer word you can use, neurosis, and that talking those things out w/a doctor can help you w/them. I told him I've talked w/these people before and it ended up being like school where you learn to take tests and give the right answers - put a certain tag or a label on a perceived behavior that helped me build a paradigm where solutions rang like a bell w/its insular logic but afforded me only bandaid results. I have to say that I did not ask for help from richard w/my mind but wanted to discuss just _what is being crazy?_ being responsible is a trait of being sane. in a court of law that's how they determine your state of mind. we both agreed insanity is not a happy condition. I talked to him about those letters kafka and kirkegard wrote their ladies. he likes kafka and thinks he was a funny writer. I do too, always have. except for maybe the end of "the trial" but maybe that's funny in some way too. definitely ironic. I think I was wearing richard out on this and he was concerned I was thinking about these things too much. he would talk to me about the greatful dead, about which I know very little, jerry garcia and the bass player phil lesh, about them never playing portland much and all kinds of this... he's listening to them a lot now. there's a song he told about called "stella blue" where the words talk about waking up to this world and realizing it's all a dream adding up to nothing. I told him the title reminded me of "maria stella mare" (or something close to that), the slogan on the big catholic church in my town. it means "mary star of the sea" and the have a big statue of mary holding a boat in her arms. he said his ma is catholic and his pop jewish. he just got a tattoo on his arm of a gravestone that says "mom" and a hand is coming up out of the ground. she's eightyfour and still going strong but relates to him only in a "fill-in-the-blank, place name here" mode. trippy, all this ma stuff. I would've never thought we get to talking about that. I told him my pop had a tattoo on his arm that said "mother" on a scroll. that was on one arm. on the other he had a scroll that said "dick" (his name) and "jean" (my ma's). he had them both removed in his middle forties. whoa, is this a tangent... we finish up the soup. richard says in this town w/thai food, three stars on the spicey scale is like five stars. I have the five and even after several spoons of their chilis, I experience very little kick. not his fault, or theirs. we walk back to the pad. I love this man and his words have given me plenty to think about. I will play hard for him tonight.

   we get back and it's our time. I introduce richard to j and george and then we have to go on. tough gig in a way. they got all the drinkers in the back behind a partition and the kids up front. I hate those kind of divisions, state laws of course. things are kind of sloshy w/george. the high walls and roof give quite a roller rink effect. the crowd is very nice and it's fun playing for them. we do "not right" again, maybe j wants to do this every night. I dig playing this song. we also do "maggot brain" too which I also think is happening. I play it w/my fingers. I also do "tv eye" w/my fingers. I like using the pick and am getting more used to it but there's just something about the fingers. I want to play the pick w/some of my songs when I do my stuff too away from j. I want to keep in my box of skills for the boomstick. I think it's great he's brought this back out of me. he's brought a lot in me. he does a righteous version of "ammaring," especially at the end when me and george stop playing and he just riffs on his own. it's quite beautiful. I watch him and am in awe just as much as the kids on the other side of the stage. it's a trip for me, sort of like when I was playing w/perry. it was like I was getting to see the gig and play along too, something else. I hardly take my eyes off of him and when I do, it's to look at george. these cats have my whole attention. I blow some clams and fucking kick myself for this, I want to do good for richard too but what can I do? I'm a slow learner or maybe a cowardly lion. maybe both.

   we get done and one of the madonnabe dancers, miranda, comes back stage to say hi. she's almost done here w/college at reed. I'm so proud of her. she's doing great. one more semester. to think I met her just cuz her and her friend daniella just wanted to dance to madonna songs (they both adore her). it's incredible how music can bring different kinds of folks together. the wind-up and then to the ho which is only a couple blocks away. boy, am I beat and the konk comes swift and total. those aches come up again and I'm a sore huddled wattster there on the deck, sucking the paint off the walls w/my snores. buenes noches.

friday, november 10, 2000 - seattle, wa

   pop and creak the bones into action. I walk all morning here in downtown portland. I can't find the van and can't get my bike, aaarrrggghhh. there's not a cloud in the sky, it's so bright and blue. the sun is in the east and is burning so bright and beautiful. so much different than the last couple of days. I want to pedal so bad. I walked as much as I could before my knees got as sore as I could take it. I'm getting really achy now, since boulder. I feel a hundred years old. the ibuprofen helps, in fact its been a real lifesaver but I hate relying on something that's so bad for you in the long run. I don't why I'm like this, probably still under attack. george is sick and using flu medicine, the other cats are hurting too. I will fight this shit off and prevail, I will. I walked by the river here (willamette) and did some deep thinking. there's some great book stores here, _powell's_ for one. I go in there and get "the keys of egypt" by lesley and roy adkins. it's about the search to decipher hieroglyphs. in fact, the obsession to decipher them. looks interesting. they got a reading room there w/chow and I get some soup. good and so is the bread that comes w/it.

   I continue hoofing around, looking for some purple all stars, j says converse makes them. I see george on the street and walk w/him. we pass a bath house called "zippers down" - whoa, what's that about? no luck at any of the stores for chuck's, damn. we pile into the van and head north on the I-5 to seattle. on the way, we stop in tacoma to check out rick king's _guitar maniacs_ store downtown. some neat stuff there but we pick up nothing. onward to seattle.

   tonight's gig is at the _crocodile cafe_, where I was just recently w/the pliers. this is a neat room to play. christina, the boss here, says the gig sold out, great. in the vaudeville days they used to say a gig was "clean" if it was sold out in advance. you'd get to the pad and they'd tell you, "the gig is clean" and there were no worries from anyone the rest of the night. eric bloom, the blue oyster cult singer, hipped me to that. fire department people come by. they can shut down shows I have soup again, one they call tortilla and it's real good. there's some habaneros sauce on the tables and I fortify my bowel. I'm out of my chilis don gave me, chowed the last of them last night. then it's off to do 'puter work.

   _caustic resin_, a boise band (the live in l.a. now) I took on tour once is opening along w/a band that j digs called _beechwood sparks_ (they played last night too). trippy thing about caustic is that mike johnson is on second guitar w/them. he was the bass for dinosaur after van connor, since 1991 (shortly after "green mind"). good to see him again. he's stopped drinking. good to see brett, the main caustic man too. the drummer and bass are new, what we hear is the drummer sang for the hangmen in l.a. and they flew him up to tour w/out really knowing if he knew drums! they rolled the dice and it came up good, great! the sparks band is good, tiny sounds for like a big ensemble sound based kind of a period thing, like _flying burrito bros._ w/some trippy jams in it too. glockenspiel, lap steel - bassy uses a fifty watt amp! good band. a friend from the old sst days, sandy comes by to talk w/me. I am tired and feeling kind of sapped. hard to spiel even. I miss being able to konk in my own boat.

   finally, gig time. good. we start blasting. I mean, it's blasting. there's a thing about a lot of gigs w/wide stages, the speakers are spread really apart. this means those up close and in the middle hear nothing but what's coming off the stage. they can't hear the spiel, only the instruments. threre's a cat w/a bright red shirt keeps yelling he can't hear the singing. yeah, j is loud but you gotta understand the geometry (geography?) of the situation and understand what's really up. to blame j for this? that's hard for me to get. the crowd response is really quiet. even sometimes it's like a tomb. never been like this all tour. weird. this in th red keeps yelling at j. I get my energy up but blow some clams, only spaced bad once, the others were no confidence calls. I wish I could write I did great and was surprised w/what happened but to be honest, I have to write about this clam shit. the pang of that knowledge as it's going down is so much a tug at wanting to just reach back want to re-do everything, re-create somehow that moment and then make it better by not blowing the clam. this is a really stupid thing to do when you're in real time doing a gig! you just got to get over it and get back in the box and give the next pitch another look and be cocked for a swing. so many mental revisions, it's endless what degree the mind can get like peeling an onion.

   when we get done, tumbleweeds could've blow through the pad and you would've heard them cuz it was quiet. some noise to build after we're off a bit and then it's like, well, let's go do some more but I have to say it is a subdued response. that's the way it is. we do the tune "more light" and the red shirt guy starts doing the big thumbs down w/both hands. we need a monitor in the center of the stage facing the crowd. it's a quick and quiet file out when we're finished w/the encore. I wonder what people really thought. I can't say I can tell w/that kind of response. it just makes me think of the clams even harder. then again, I wonder if they can even hear me! lots of times, I hear no drums, bass or spiel. I don't get the p.a. like the crowd, so I don't know what they're getting. it does make me wonder, though. I'll just keeptrying harder, none the less.

   the ho is the one w/the sleepy bear on it and we'll be there for two nights cuz tomorrow there's a surprise gig at this new musem like thing by the space needle. I am w/the sore aches again, the adrenaline has worn off. there's also soreness in my throat, hard to swallow. advice from a friend to gargle w/warm water w/salt (I've been doing it w/hydrogen peroxide) will be followed by myself tomorrow. steady deck catches frail watt as he cumples by the hatch under a blankey.

saturday, november 11, 2000 - seattle, wa

   laundry for watt. first time for this tour! right after I pop, I get to the van and change out of these fecund filth planters. I saw a laundromat near this ho on the way here and I'm using all my resource to bring that memory up. after the change, I saddle up my bags on me, 'puter too - just can't sit there watching the shit spin - and head to get some coffee to prime the rocket engine part of the head. the only thing near is a starbucks, aaarrrggghhh. it would be like pushing a hurt cat down the stairs to start riffing on the stupid shit there so... I get the coff and then thrown it down and do the hike to wash these outfits. it's there where I remembered, I hold off alzheimer's w/another hard-won skirmish. do the wash and do some 'puter. believe it or not, clean clothes do feel good to watt. I dig getting a chance to do this.

   no problem w/a drive today - we're only blocks from the gig, it's at the _experience music project_. I took pictures of the outside of this place a little while ago w/the pliers. a frank gehry design, it's all different kind of curves and reliefs - no straight angles. go there for soundcheck and find out there is no souncheck. get some chow that's the worst on tour, whoa. feel like I'm getting sick. sandy came again w/her friend jonah. see some exhibits but not much. do see the thing on early l.a. punk and it's got some neat stuff. pictures of screamers, germs - even a minutemen flyer made by me! I'm looking at this stuff w/j and there's this video monitor playing back spiels from folks from the old scene. then my face comes up! I have to run. they got noel redding's bass in the hendrix display. wrong kind of marshalls, though. j was bummed at that. george said he went through the tour w/a carry around thing like a purse w/a machine that plays certain spiels when you point at some objects w/a thing. he told me when he pointed a "paranoid time" record they had there, a spiel from me whould come over the headphones. what a trip.

   this was neat but was not neat was our gig. after seeing caustic resin do a great gig (I was near the front in some major head bob) but noting the tinyness of the sound, I started thinking about what's gonna happen w/j and us fog. at the end of their set, brett of the resin says "pretty uptight here, huh?" damn, he's right. there's security overkill everywhere, w/their black ensembles and madonna headphone walkie-talkies, very un-freak flag flying friendly. it's so heavy and overboard it's almost comical. rockin' in the freeworld? ho ho - not at this gulag. it's our turn and all j's amps are done except for the little fender concert (410). that little amp saves the day, that's all he has. my stuff works but hey, this j and you gotta get a faceful of the six string sling. the sound people are bother jamie bad and won't let him get a proper thing going. we get to play maybe thirtyfive minutes. our last tune is "maggot brain" and i really try to annunciate hard these last lines:

   ...I have tasted the maggots
   in the mind of the universe
   and was not offended.
   for I new I had to rise above it all
   or drown
   in my own

   heavy emphasis on the ten words, big time. I slowed it way, way down for that. j did great inspite of all. he's a thumper. first time I ever heard people from the crowd for call out for louder or more guitar, that was a trip to hear! when the music from the dat they got comes on after we're done, it's hilarious - it must be two or three times louder than we were. what a bucket of swim team. this was some major lameness here.

   we watch _built to spill_ (it's their gig and we we're the surprise guest openers) for a while but I am pretty much puked out to be in this pad anymore. I've had enough of the constant manhandleing by security, it's time for watt to bail. over to the konk house and I'm doing my imitation of that sleepy bear. only that I'm like sleepy-walking for a few minutes and then it's earthward bound I plummet. going out like this before my roomsters, eric and george get here can be awkward, especially seeing as I konk right next to the hatch on the deck. a few blows on the head will make me move unconsciously as sueno keeps my mind oblivious to anything actual. they could leave bootprints on my face an I don't think I'd even know it 'til checking the for foam after a peroxide gargle. by the way, that warm water and salt rinse on the throat is working good, already it's healing. I konk to the east in thanks and reverence.

sunday, november 12, 2000 - san francisco, ca

   popped and went down the hill to the water, I took a big walk by puget sound and had some thinks. it was beautiful to see the boats in the sound, it was so calm and the trail went for miles and miles. I reached my thoughts out over the skies, mountains, plains, lakes and rivers over to the other side of the waters all around, like fingers made of orange whispy smoke, tiny peregrines of thought. I wish I had my folder bike but it's piled under tons of shit. I get it out tomorrow for sure. I just got to pedal soon or I'll go crazy. the walks are ok, the let my mind air out but I need the pedaling to get the heart rate up. just have to! walks like this though, where I'm pretty much alone and there's no scary intersections or situations are pretty righteous too. I can just let go and let things out and not have to worry about being safe or something like that. being early in the morning too, it's easy to let things just fall and dump out of me before watt's crutch of acquired stability assumes its illusive properties. it's time to ring out the wash cloth (the tissues of my brain).

   no gig tonight - drive day, we're taking the I-5 south through washington, oregon and into california down to san francisco in one hellride. I wake up after a fourteen hour hellride, that big walk wore me out. I also was scared and it was sort of a defense maneuver for my psyche. these guys were jamming down the mountains and even though there was no snow, it was still frightening. we have a fucking trailer and we're in a big van for christ's sake. what's up? I didn't want to say anything to bruise any egos but I couldn't even look out the front windshield, AGAIN. fuck, I hate this. george even makes some jokes like "I wonder what a ferrari is like going down a mountain w/a trailer?" it's so hard for me to hold back and not assert myself but I keep telling myself I'm only a sidemouse here. makes me shit pecan logs though. I try to think of stuff I love and chase away the negativity.

   I go in and out of consciousness. I wake up for salem and weed but am konked for portland, shasta and red bluff. when I do regain a clear mind, we're going over the east bay and into the city. eight hundred and some change miles later we're here. we go just south of the marina district to a brightly painted place called hotel del sol. I'm only gonna be here tonight cuz even though we got two gigs here, I'm konking at lisa and kenny's pad by the new baseball stadium. you wouldn't think you'd get beat riding in a band but damn if I'm not yawning like a wind tunnel tester simulation. tomorrow, I will pedal no matter what. we were lucky w/good weather this hellride, maybe it'll hold for the next couple of days too. I'm hoping as I'm konking, two things at once - now, if I could only continue observing this it'd be three...

read week 2 of the tour diary

read week 4 of the tour diary

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