mike watt + the missingmen

"2nd heapin' helpin' of 3rd opera tour 2012"

tour diary

friday, september 28, 2012 - ballard, wa

from tom:

   in the beginning, as usual, the pressure to get out the door is high. all of my thoughts bottleneck, but i know that once i'm on the i-5 i will feel less stressed. raul and i have a 3 day drive before we picking mike at sea-tac and play our first show in ballad, north seattle,. we've done this drive together before, but this is the first time that we'll do it at the beginning of a tour, instead of at the end. in a way, it feels like it might be a good way to get into tour mode this way. raul picks me up at my folks place in manhattan beach and we wave goodbye and start our odyssey. the drive is relatively simple, straight north, and we pretty much just talk the whole way to sacramento. listening to dead moon a couple times along the way. we make it to concepcion's place by 6 and spend some time hanging out with her and her sweet daughter, carmella. it's a warm evening and when mario gets home a little while later and we chat while concepcion makes some tatsty pasta and salad. we drink a couple bottles of wine and hit the sack in their back house like we usually do. i have a good sleep and then i'm awakened by carmella jumping on the bed and get up to say goodbye to carmella and mario. conception, raul and i walk to get some breakfast and get back on the road by 11. thanks conception (and fam). we decide to just get as far as we can, not push too hard, and find a motel for the night. it's hot and we stop at lake shasta to stretch our legs and look at the clear water. we continue on past medford and stop in a town called roseburg. we grab a bite at a mexican place called dos amigos, so we figured that makes sense. food: 5.3, vibe: 8.7, accessibility: 9.2. back at our little room we watch a nature program about houses that little creatures build.. beavers, termites, ants, etc. then we sleep. the next step is to get to portland, i hear from my friend kyle and try to figure our eta so we can cross paths. it turns out that we get to stay at our friend eric's place where we'll stay when we come back through to play portland on saturday, and amazingly kyle lives two blocks from there. raul and i get to eric's and roll up t-shirts for a few hours, then walk to a street fair and meet kyle and check out the sights and sounds, and odors. kyle makes us some food at his place, we listen to music, talk and then we head back to eric's to get some sleep. tomorrow morning we pick up mike at at the airport.

   our timing is perfect today, we exit portland at 8am and stop at our first subway of the tour near the sea-tac airport to wait for mike to land. he calls from the plane right when we're ordering and we eat and wait for him to get through customs, and we pick him up a few minutes later. all is well, everything works out right, but mike is sick and that's a little bit of a bummer. however, the most important thing is that we're all safe and together now, and the tour can begin. we arrive early to the venue and raul and i walk around as mike writes and rests in the van. we find a pho place and have a couple bowls and bring some back for mike. terry p. is doing sound for us tonight, that's great. it's nice to see him and we have a chat. we play with a cool band named the hounds of the wild hunt, it's a good turn out. we aren't in our tour rhythm yet so we have a slowish load out and head to sandy and steve's to get some rest. tired.

   mood: 7.3, health: 8.3, energy: 8.6

from watt:

   here we go w/a final go 'round of my third opera and what a trippy way to start it. last i played w/tom and raul was six days ago in ktown in l.a. and it wasn't even "hyphenated-man" but the tunes i had the band train ourselves for this piece. the next day i had to fly to paris for two europe gigs w/the stooges which wild mindblows like they always are - love the stooges. love my men too. actually I had a buttload of stress cuz of the sitch - I had tom and raul take the boat (my slang for my ford econoline van) 1150 miles north to sea-tac airport to collect my ass for the gig tonight. I had them leave wednesday so they could do it in three easy chunks and not get beat up. the funny thing (well, maybe not funny but let's say ironic) is I'm the one starting the tour all beat up! I think at the ktown gig someone infected me (not on purpose) cuz sure enough three days later when I was in paris, I woke up from konk feeling cold but the pillow soaked my sweat, damn. wednesday in firenze I spieled for so many hours during after the most righteous italiano chow I lost my fucking voice! it was then I realized I had a sickness, what a low-learning baka I am, crimony. heavy on me too was worrying whether a flight would fuck up and I'd miss my men or maybe there'd be something w/them (they sent reports of their travel status that helped me much fight that worry)... so much weight lifted when I saw my boat coming to the 'port w/them in it, raul at the wheel. tom had a subway tuna sandwich for me, righteous - first one of this tour which might be the last go 'round for my third opera.

   the weather very nice and pedro like, it's about an hour from where we are to ballard in the north part of seattle. of course it's I-5 most the way but there's some surface street - man, does gps make things so much more happening w/this stuff than in the old days! I feel weak. so am on the backbench. no parking but after some circles we find a place a few blocks away and as tom and raul wander, I stay in the boat and chimp stooges diary. I can feel fever, damn.

   when loadin time comes, we can pull in the back of the pad we're playing tonight, the "tractor tavern" and damn if the soundman ain't my old buddy terry pearson who's a former texas cat who I first met at the "continental club" in austin and then he was a soundman in middle fIREHOSE days - brother steve reed will tell you terry taught him much. I love this man. I meet the openers, local cats called hounds of the wild hunt and have a good spiel w/their bassman ryan about, well, bass... james jamerson, carol kaye, etc. he's good people. I go to the boat to konk and chow the chicken pho soup tom and raul got me at a vietnam restaurant so it's that style w/jalapeno peppers in it. damn is it good. I konk hard.

   the hounds are a good band. there's a good crowd, folks came to see the gig - could've been a character builder (I was told) but the folks came and they brought much heart, respect. the tractor has great sound and happening room to work. the gig on my part is a little difficult - a little?! hell, I started burning up w/fever and some parts of the piece were totally beyond my mind as it would zone out for a second or two, damn. I'd rebound and get it back together but I gotta tell you I'd be bullshitting if I said there were no clams. I mean we know this opera better than we ever have but damn if it a challenge to mean w/this sickness. now my lungs ain't full of shit but my throat sore from that massive yammer in firenze I did like a baka. the "antlered-man" part had me spacing on the whole chorus bass part 'til the last go-around, oh man! we kept the piece coherent though and the momentum carried me through the clammage. thank god for tom and raul... and the gig-goers cuz they all helped me much, so much. the encores were weak cuz we're trying new stuff but I blow a solo bass part in an old minutemen tune we put in - what?! I wrote it like thirty years ago! the fever, fuck. we get done and I sling from the stage, again folks so kind - the first time I've slung music ever. I do a little spiel w/a nice cat named andy who was actually at sst in the old days for a little while - ain't that a trip?

   we head on over to old buddy sandy and her man steve's pad to konk - so many times we've konked w/her, MUCH respect. we have a good good time, konking at like three! couldn't help it, guess the adrenaline kicked in but I got hosed off and into the rilakkuma nightwear quick as possible. sandy washed them levis I had worn from sunday except for the stage outfits for the stooges gig and the flannel I'm wearing every gig this tour - it's the "mike watt flannel" altamont apparel is gonna bring out next month. they asked me to come up w/ideas for what I like in a flannel and I picked the colors from the one I'm wearing on the "double nickels on the dime" cover cuz that was my favorite. I added stuff like snaps and a yoke plus other stuff I'm particular about when it comes to flannels. like I said, we had a good time and I konk happy. damn, can't believe I made that half away around the world connect w/my men. I sure am grateful for that, whew. the tour's underway...

saturday, september 29, 2012 - portland, or

from tom:

   i wake early to a siren going by, i feel more tired now than when i went to bed, i strongly dislike that. i know that i need to just get up and get my body moving so i shower and go for a short walk around around the neighborhood and clear my head a little. sandy makes us a great breakfast and we hang and talk with her and steve for a while before we have to go to portland. i like the doug fir, it's a nice room and an easy load in. there's also a good restaurant upstairs and raul and i eat and wait to play. i see my friends kyle, bill and greg. i like portland.

   mood: 7.2, health: 6.8, energy: 6.4

from watt:

   pop at seven bells cuz of some not-in-sync-yet w/west u.s. coast vs west europe time. sandy cooks up some great eggs w/chilis and stuff along w/taters and bagels, mmmm totemo oishii. we're having a good time rapping when i realize we got a kzme radio show to do in portland before soundcheck - baka watt! oh yeah, last night when i got rousted from the boat by tom and hit the stage i noticed lameass tunes getting played - fuck, i forgot to make a john coltrane cd for intro/outro music like i usually got going - sandy gives us a blank cd-r and i make one up of "a love supreme" w/the macpurse. also speaking of john coltrane, like a baka i spaced and donated my john coltane pin (one when he was in the navy) backstage at the gig in firenze. well, if i'm gonna donate a john coltrane pin, italy's a very ok place to do it. i do have some pins from i got from a gig-goer in georgia last year so i'm wearing that. got an email from my buddy richard meltzer... he's sick and can't come to the gig tonight, damn - him too... hope to god he gets better, that man is a treasure.

   we pull anchor, big hugs for sandy and steve first, righteous weather again for us as we head south on I-5. it's three hours to get where we're going but after an hour I had the wheel over to raul cuz I'm yowai (weak) and don't wanna get wore out and lame out my condition even more. the radio man is james and where we're recording is actually his pad, a great set up. we do the first five parts of the piece and damn if I don't space on some parts, both on bass and w/spiel. it seems when I exert myself I get back into fever, fuck and I was sitting down too! well at least what he's got is different than the album version. he does an interview w/me also and then we're out, pretty quick - he's a great cat w/a happening disposition.

   you might be wondering why we leap-frogged all of cali and started tour up here in the northwest... it's cuz of this tour starting when it is in the fall and w/heavy weather down the road I figured it was best to do cali last, in the november part where it can be scary back east that way. we're doing the "doug fir lounge" tonight, same pad I've played last bunch of times in this town cuz I dig it much and they like having what I got going, much respect to them. maybe it's the log cabin motif that makes it sound so good! helperman matt made us some salsa w/siracha, that's a first for me. he's very cool people, says he's originally from detroit. the one bummer tonight is having to go up against my buddies in deerhoof - love that band. damn if we couldn't just play together, huh? john, one of their guitarmen, had me be part of an album w/thollem mcdonas and tim barnes called "you're always on our minds" and the hand to man band is the name of the proj. we're gonna go for a second album this december in oakland, I'm excited about that. who we are playing w/tonight is local cats called the divers and I get to rap w/them as soundman mick sets us up for soundcheck. we have a good time. after our check, I do an interview w/some folks doing a doc on an old portland club called "the satyracon" - the first place minutemen ever played in portland and where d. boon went through the stage floor - he kept on playing, of course! one real exciting thing about that gig was that greg sage had come to see us play cuz we loved those first three wipers albums. after filming that spiel, a bass player/chiropractor named jeanne who's been going to my gigs for years takes me to her office a couple blocks away and does holistic tests on me to find stuff that can help w/this sickness I got. she's so very kind. she finds bacteria hurting me and gives me things to help get well. I'm big time grateful. I go back to the venue and upstairs get a porkchop to chow and after that I'm to the boat and konk hard. oh, first I heard the divers soundcheck and they're great, yeah!

   tom rousts me out a sweaty konk that was pretty deep but man, I needed it, lots going on today wore my yowai self down. good crowd in the pad and a happening spirit for the folks... ok, I owe everyone the best I got so I go and give it, tom and raul essentially aiding and abetting. I do better than last night but still blow some clams. fuck, the fever would whup up and blind my mind to where I was but yeah, it was worse last night. the encores are better from all of us. oh, back to the piece: you know there's plenty of places where we're tiny and opportunities for yammering to bogart on us - there's yammering tonight maybe more than last night but still I don't wanna play cop and just try to hold focus, I gotta say I've gotten better at that. people pay good money to see the gig so I guess they can yammer during the quiet parts but maybe it's lame for other people? I guess this piece can kind of provoke a sitch but I just had to make a living/breathing thing and that means hills and valleys. can't wait 'til I can work it again w/tom and raul w/out a fever. I gotta tell so many were so generous w/their hearts, truly.

   sightworks boss bill (the folks that host my radio show) is here, yeah! glad we got to do the piece for him. the other boss eric is in barcelona now on vacation but has let us konk at his pad here even w/him gone, so very kind. actually tom and raul were already here thursday on their drive up. so lucky to have good people in my life - I can't say that enough. whoa, I'm feeling weak. into the nightwear and then onto the couch near the hatch, trippy knitted blankie over me and konk mask on - I'm out.

sunday, september 30, 2012 - spokane, wa

from tom:

   we pack up and head towards spokane, it is a nice drive along the columbia river for the first half. the second half has another look to it when i take my shift at the wheel, kind of like central california, very dry. it's a sunday and the town is quiet, this is my second time playing here. after soundcheck, raul and i walk to see the falls in the center of town, which are not very raging at the moment but nice to look at anyway. we search for food and eat at a diner across from the "a" club where we play tonight. we play with a band called bullets or balls, and they set up exactly like we do, it makes me think they did it that way to make it look like we were copying their set up. great guys and we go to chris' house to stay for the night. nice people.

   mood: 6.7, health: 7.1, energy: 7.1

from watt:

   pop just before seven bells and use the microwave to make hot mizu for some throatcoat - man, do I dig that stuff on tour. I do what I do this early if I got a chance and have internet. tom's up at eight when I finish. he goes to get coff and then feeds the cat like eric asked us to do. then I hose off when raul's finished doing the same. we pull anchor at nine but like a baka, I space on the thank you note for eric - I'll write him an email. man, is him and bill so much very cool people, truly.

   the weather is righteous has we head east on I-82 and through the columbia gorge. what a mighty river this is, we pass two huge dams, the dells and the john day, damn. you can see washington state all the way across it - both sides got trains full of cans carrying shit by rail. I play the 2ne1 disc I got which gets smirks and snickers from raul and tom. it starts skipping after a few tunes... fuck, some shit got poured all over the surface where the player reads from - I'll try and clean it later. we switch ponies in arlington ("home of the honkers") when new wheelman raul gets turned around and we have to go the wrong way (west) for seven miles before being able to turn around cuz on/offramps are few in between out here - hey clams ain't just for the stage, you can do them on the road in the boat. look, at least we're safe so no blame on raul, please - this brother is key as all hell. we cross the columbia and head northeast towards spokane, you can smell the onions from walla walla big time. the screaming trees were from not too far from there in a town called ellensberg - I took this cats on their first two tours in the late 80s, great band. I chimp diary on the back bench of the boat (actually midships - the gear's aft). tom takes over at ritzville. you realize both eastern oregon and washington are desert like parts just like in eastern cali - rain shadow effect. no fir tree forests like on the west coast, the other side of the cascades. raul says this is tom's first time on the conn so I guess raul was the only wheelman before I joined - respect!

   we get to spokane around four and the gig's in the old part of town. we were given the wrong address - it's on the other side of the street and in fact, a few doors down and upstairs from a pad called "mootsy's" I played years ago w/petezo and raul (secondmen). this pad's called "a club" and the club rep is very cool people name john, he gets me a blt sandwich that's got turkey in it delivered for my chow. first though we do soundcheck w/soundman adam - whoa, this room is made much more for dancing than bands cuz the echo could prolly swallow moby-dick. well, like they say in vaudeville, "work the room" - I ain't gonna wring the hands and bellyache, I'm glad to play spokane again cuz it's been a long time. actually in all my touring I think it's only my fourth time, damn... gotta play here more, huh? wish I could play everywhere every tour, let me tell you. I get to meet the openers, bullets or balloons which is a trio w/cats from here - very happening cats and whoa, they set up just like us w/the drums up front and at an angle, crimony! I hear them check (it's short but they're great!) and the go to the boat and konk, feeling weak some. I also heard a nickname by some for this town is "methleham" - I thought that was sac-town? I think this is no honor for any town to have, hopefully it's just a phase. I hobble tothe boat and konk hard.

   tom rousts me when it's gig time, about a quarter of ten. it's a character builder but actually folks are there for us, nothing diluted and nothing phony. I recognize right up front is most happening luthier darrin huff, a very generous man - I gotta play good for him. the fever flashes are fewer tonight and though there's some feedback and other tech probs, my guys and me really rally round the piece and deliver it good. however for the third time in a row I totally clam the solo in "cherry-headed-lover-man" part, what a fucking baka I am. I will pound it into my fucking self tomorrow at soundcheck. anyway, we do real good w/the piece, so proud of tom and raul plus the gig-goers give us much heart, respect. the encores are even more together tonight - hey, we're making progress! I sling shit when we get done and the nicest cat named joe gave a benjamin for an andrew buy - he wouldn't take change from me... the emotion he shared, it really touched me, truly. what a kind kind man. tom said he had sort of similar experience also. respect to the spokane gig-goers. I get to have a great spiel w/darrin too.

   chris, the guitarman for the openers invites us to his pad not too far away and it's safe for the boat. he's ten years older than his bandsmen cory and aaron so he says "papa bear" is his nickname. I spend a good while rapping w/cory, interesting stuff. actually there's a bunch folks here and they're all great cats, much respect to everyone. I kind of planted myself on a couch coming in and spiel from there 'til it's time for the konk mask to come down and that it does around one... I'm out.

monday, october 1, 2012 - missoula, mt

from tom:

   i have the best sleep of the tour so far. we stop and get huckleberry smoothies and bagels at a tiny shack in a tiny town on our way to missoula. it's a very pretty drive through mountains in the idaho panhandle. there is a haze of smoke from fires in the gorge as we get closer to missoula, and when we arrive the air is still and very dry. i feel my lips start to get chapped. when we find the venue i run in and my first reaction is that this is the wrong place. it is a full on country bar, with gambling machines and a small stage with wagon wheels along the front. it reminds me of that scene from the blues brothers movie. however, i remind myself that i have these feelings from time to time about other gig places at first and at the end of the night it all turns out to be great. so i have a change of perception as i ask the nice lady at the bar if she knows anything about us playing there, and no, it's not the right place... wrong address. i was a little disappointed i think. we get to the correct place and it's an old tire garage converted into a DIY clothing store called zoo city apparel where they put on gigs at night. it's very cool, especially for a monday night, and it's an all ages show too. we meet marty and get settled in. he brings us to a cool food place with nice people for a great bbq meal before the gig. raul and walk around the town, it's a good time, fun show too. after we head to andy's to spend the night in his basement.

   mood: 6.9, heath: 7.0, energy: 6.8

from watt:

   pop at seven bells and find one of those hot dogs (big one!) I was offered last night but declined and nuke it in the 'wave, toaster up a hamburger bun from a sack nearby and w/some mustard, I got breakfast. actually the dog was so big I had to fold it. bullet or balloner chris has gotta drive to seattle where he teaches and everyone else has got work - we pull anchor before nine and I find myself driving the whole three hours to missoula in montana on I-90. now I didn't plan it that way but that's what happened. inside montana we smell fire and there's smoke which I thought at first was haze but was wrong. we stop in saint regis for gas and there's a little pad (the northwest loves these tiny pads one person that serves coff through a window drive-through) slinging huckleberry smoothies and three each get one along w/bagels and salmon except for tom who scissors the salmon. the desert prairie of eastern washington is gone and the big sky forest an mountains of montana are on us, real pretty. trippy bumper sticker we seen on a pickup truck: "do I look like I give a shit?" - tom fucks up and squanders the shot w/one that's all blurry. oh well.

   it changes back to some pairie for missoula we get into town around three (we lost an hour cuz of moving into the mountain time zone) and whoa, is this the venue? it says "sunrise..." something or other - not "zoo city apparel" which is what I was lead to believe. damn if we don't have twice in a row the wrong address but this ain't just across the road, this across town. free internet here (free coff too, very kind of the lady working here) and I find the right address and amend the hoot page. fuck, the flyer info was wrong for a couple of months now?! crimony! we get to the actual pad we're playing and it's a clothes store made out of a former old-timey tire shop. the gigboss is marty and he's very cool people. he let's us park inside the big garage on the side. he's made the stage out of pallets for us to play on. for chow we go on over to a pad a bassman named jason arrange to have happen called the burns street bistro (named after scot poet robert burns) and the cook there named walker makes us some flavorful salsa w/habanero plus bbq turkey legs, macaroni and cheese (top breaded) and some salad w/guess what? huckleberry dressing. real good, respect. jason tells us that smoke we went through is from fires in idaho and oregon - there's been a fortytwo days w/out any rain, a record. damn, I hope the drought breaks soon. even though rain can be scary for driving on tour, nature w/out rain is not a healthy thing. we get to meet the band that's opening for us, bird's mile home and their bassman timmy and keith on guitar, drummie joey's missing but we'll see him later. marty plays me a little of their band when we get back, he's putting them out on his minor bird reocrds label. stuff like the old days is still going on, people - "do it yourself" is not just some past trip. we do soundcheck w/michael mixing and tonnis helping. I do an interview after w/a cat we were supposed to play w/in hokkaido for the first third opera tour but he got deported - his name is john and does a real good spiel w/me. I'm tuckered after though and konk real hard in the boat.

   tom rousts me ten minutes before our quarter of eleven start time. the pad's sold out, thank you good people. we bring forth the piece. the monitors are a little soft so I gotta push but that helps I think w/pushing out some infection - I hock up a big one behind us and am very glad to see very little green, mainly white. I mean this is while we're still going - you know there's no stops in the piece. I think there was some kind of kefuffle somewhere in the crowd but I turn towards my guys so it doesn't throw us but I think it did do some of that to tom but he rallies... I mean, what can we do about something like that w/out ruining the gig for everyone else, we gotta hold focus and I believe the gig-goers are capable enough of policing themselves. same w/yammering. anyway, after three gigs this tour, I finally kind of get together the "cherry-headed-lover-man" part's bass solo. the one fever flash I do get is in "hell-buliding-man" and I did ruin a chunk of the spiel there and also 'pert-near hardly know where the fuck I was - thank god for tom and raul for keeping it together. there's some yammering in the quiet parts but that's most some conversation and not cutesy "babbabooie" or whatever einstein witticisms talk-radio enshrined pearloids pipped up to fullfil an ego jones. I'm grateful for the respect, truly. we do the encores the best yet, things are progressing for us.

   I sling and one cat gives me bones for a shirt he got years and years ago where I gave him back the same bill he gave me and it bugged his conscious. very kind. lots of kind sentiments and even some wisdom like informing not everyone was from here even though I addressed them as though that's what I believed. I am clumsy w/words, sorry. I don't pretend to know where everyone's from. what I'm trying to do isexpress is my gratitude and I swear I don't mean to offend or be a know-it-all. really good is getting a big hug from timmy, that's righteous - so glad to share the stage w/him and his band.

   I'm really tuckered though, damn, it took a lot out of me and I ain't out of the sickness woods yet. we follow marty to jason's pad and downstairs w/got a couch and futon to konk on. I get to show tom and raul a couple of 2ne1 videos and then it's light's out but I don't konk immediately cuz I have some coughing fits w/the mask on and blankied, damn. mercifully they relent - nothing was coming up and my lungs are clear, it was just spasam-like, you know? fuck, thank god for konk.

tuesday, october 2, 2012 - boise, id

from tom:

   we leave early to boise, it's a 7+ hour drive and most of it is on winding roads. pretty though it is, it can be wearing. our tour-mode mindset keeps us entertained. tonight we play the neurolux, the only place i have ever played in boise. i like it very much. however, before we get to the club, we stop at bart and steph's comic book/record store called the hotdog sandwich headquarters and hang with them. sweet people and a sweet little shop. after load in i find a halloween mask for mike at a store next door to the club and impulse buy it. i don't want to say what it is yet, i want that to be a surprise. after the show we get to bart and steph's and bart makes us a couple of his world famous pizzas and some spicy chicken wings.. nice. i hit the sack after that.

   mood: 7.4, health: 7.2, level: 7.3

from watt:

   seven and a half bells and I pop pretty much relieved I somehow konked w/that coughing shit last night that came on me. jason I think helped by giving tom a glass of bourbon (just one) to give to me. I feel ok as far as grateful for no fever but a little sore/dry in the throat. by eight we pull anchor cuz we got a hellride for boise - not in terms of miles (especially as the crow flies) but lots of winding non-interstate road for us ahead. a big hug for jason from me and we're out.

   the town suddenly ends and there's nothing for a bit 'til we hit lolo and we stop for subway sandwich shop where instead of tuna I'm persuaded by tom and raul to try their breakfast one. it's ok but the eggs ain't fresh so no more of these for me I think in days to come.

   I get us through the bitteroots (soon we cross into idaho - ahead of the border I see a flock of wild turkeys to the side of the road, what?!) and clearwater mountains going west on us-12 to kooskia along the lochsa river, raul taking the wheel after we get gas. curvy road at the canyons bottom makes for fifty mph average and at least eighty something of those miles had no towns at all. real pretty country though except for all the smoke from fires, in fact we saw a small one burning across the river! much heavier than yesterday. raul takes south on idaho-13 where the smoke cleared up and the weather's real nice and those heavier clouds from the morning back in montana are gone. south on us-95 at grangeville. raul's got a seve mile stretch of downhill to do that's a seven percent grade, fuck! he does real good though, real good - slow, easy and careful. the smoke returns, we're back in fire country, holly smoke - we see fire fighters in the area as we follow the salmon river through hell's canyon. at new meadows tom gets handed the wheel and our last road is idaho-55 for boise. trippy road sign: "watch for rock" - only one? or does it refer to the hobby and/or research cuz maybe filling the pipe could get expensive? tom wheels us through the payette scenic byway and like raul, he's got some grade to negotiate us down (they got seven percenters here) but does real good - big respect to both, I love these men.

   we go to hot dog sandwich headquarters in the north part of town soon as we hit boise. bart and steph have just open this pad and they got lots of good music, comics and collectables. so good to see them again, old friends since I first met bart as a helperman for caustic resin when they toured w/me way back. they got a buddy who's got a food truck called "p. ditty's" and he makes me a wrap w/pulled pork. I ate so many of those happening tortilla chips marty gave us yesterday ("casa pablo's") that I'm gonna save most of it. I get to meet jeremy in person after a year of email who's the manager of a great label called post-consumer and I get ninetyseven cds of the hand to man band debut album "you are always on our minds" to sling at gigs. it's great honor for me to be on the album cuz I love it - it puts me in a much different context than other recordings I'm on, it is singular that way.

   we're playing a pad I've played umpteen times in this town called "neurolux" and I wheel us there for soundcheck. yatta! there's a parking spot right out front. while soundman lawrence sets us up, I go across the street like I 'pert-near always do and get wor wonton soup from the china restaurant - maybe "golden phoenix" is the name? damn, I'm always forgetting that. peter, the cat from three rooms press who put out my "on and off bass" book last may gave me a bottle of I'd guess you'd call "vanity hot sauce" - the label says "no shit! watt is hot!" which is probably the only bottle w/that label, think the sauce wasn't anything except for joke stuff but raul said it was good and I try some for the first time in the soup - yeah, it ain't just chemical tasting yuk-yuk stuff. it's made by peppers.com in rehoboth beach, de which in fact is a town we play later in the tour - ain't that a trip? damn. I meet the guys in the openers, the hand and jumping sharks who are all most kind as are the neurolux folks. I go konk in the boat hard after chowing have the soup (got it to go), shirt off.

   ten pm is go time and tom rousts me ten minutes before, he's got some hot throatcoat tea for me, many thanks. the crown from a 'tel is stil hear at the rear of the stage (maybe a "best western" one?) but they don't run the light bulbs on it any more. we bring the piece and damn if in the second part I don't 'pert-near go down cuz of my fucked up knee, knocking down two of raul's cymbals and pushing my amp by falling into it but gratefully not going down in a full crumble. the headstock of the bass hit the cymbals and are way wacked out of tune but I tune in back up on the fly and we continue w/no stopping. whew, that was very close. I have hardly any fever flashes and the ones I get are tiny and don't waylay me - this is very happening. we're a little disconnected but just a cunt-hair and spiel from me to tom and raul is really just fallout from being so scared cuz of what happened early on when I 'pert-near tumbled. tom and raul did real good and the encores were a hoot.

   bill from built to spill comes to say, he always so kind to me, a great cat. I have BIG respect for him. this time I get to meet his wife karena too, very nice people - she said she saw me 'pert-near tumble! jumping sharks bassman reggie shows me his gibson eb-3, almost just like my first eb - I recorded "paranoid time" w/it. it had "pedro" spray painted on it. I later gave it to flea but it got stolen w/a lot of other stuff from a storage space of his. reggie wants to get his action lower and I tell him about adjusting the truss rod. I gotta say his bass sure does go w/his hat.

   we follow bart and steph to their pad by the old boneyard. immediately I hose off and steph takes my fouled outfit and gig shirt and puts in the washer w/tom and raul's also fouled stuff, so kind. they got a twentyone year old friend darren who is cool people, full of life. I plant myself on the couch where I'm to konk and darren wants to hear some stories from the old days so I give a few little ones - no windbags. steph talks about enjoying tom and raul even though it's my band but I have to tell her I can't imagine the third opera even happening w/out them, truly. bart cooks up hot chicken wings and homemade pizza, real good. righteous way final chapter for our boise gig. mask comes down and soon comes konk.

wednesday, october 3, 2012 - salt lake city, ut

from tom:

   woke at bart and steph's - thanks guys!, made tea, loaded into van to get rolling to salt lake. along the way raul gets a note from steph that i left my clip on sunglasses at their place, damn it. oh well, maybe i can get them when i come back through. tonight we meet up with lite from japan to start a 10 day leg of our tour together, yay!! raul and i played this club with lou b. a couple years ago, i like it. we see our japanese friends and that lifts our spirits... i love these guys. we do our sound checks and walk them to a mexi place for food, then raul and i find some veggie food and walk for a bit. we see our friend don d. and spend some time talking him before we play. lite plays great, it's a fun show. we go to don's to sleep.

   mood: 7.1, health: 7.2, energy: 7.3

from watt:

   pop at seven and a half... whoa, a few nightmares during last nigh's konk. in one some band wanted me to record w/them - young cats - and when they played me the song and when they got done I muttered something like "sounds like springsteen" and all at once they'er smiling big and go "yeah!" oh man. the other dream had me shackled to some kind of "event" after "event" even though I couldn't get a handle on any of them or know what I was supposed to do and felt all pulled apart - I could feel my joints stretched 'pert-near the point of dislocation which scared me much cuz I've had that prob w/my knees all my life, something more painful than you can ever imagine: a dislocated kneecap, crimony.

   bart said he wanted to cook us chow but he's konked which is ok cuz he cooked it up big last night. steph sees us off, we pull anchor at nine after I do my morning stuff I can do when there's internet - yeah, bart and steph have internet now! she gives us all big bye-bye hugs and we're off.

   I wheel us on I-84 east w/a tailwind you wouldn't believe... have to use 'pert-near any pedal to do the seventyfive mph limit, crimony! thirty or forty miles to the utah border we switch ponies at a "town" called sublett - only a gas station here selling regular for $4.70 a gallon for regular where at the last one maybe fifteen miles back is $3.80 - we don't get gas here but you can't foul the facilities w/out buying something so I get a ninetynine cent water... I remember a year and half ago miss (now mrs) peak getting a buttload of grief for trying to take this same guy's picture. I have to ask for toilet paper cuz is none. the hatch has a sign as you leave in cyrillic so I ask him as I leave his pad if he speaks russian and he says not really, I say two words I know as I leave, tovarisch and spasiba (comrade and thank you). I take a picture of the two alpacas fenced in front of the pad. tom at the wheel... huge amounts of dirt in the air, just verging on dust storm then a big fire it seem just before brigham city, damn.we can smell it.we got fifty bucks worth a gas (a dollar a gallon cheaper than that pad w/the alpacas) right pass those fires which were dustdevils as we passed where it had seemed to be... hell, we could smell it. for seventyone cents I get the worse chilidog ever - my first of the tour and can only take one bite cuz the "chli" that looks like catshit tastes rancid. fuck that. good thing I finished that pulled pork wrap that got froze being in the boat overnight earlier. I-84 splits off and we head south on I-15, getting to the venue just after three.

   this pad is right downtown and I've never played here before, "urban lounge" is it's name. tom and raul's played here once before when they part of lou barlow + the missingmen that did some touring a few years. a nice cat name will lets us in a likewise nice cat named ryan is the soundman and we soundcheck w/him. as we're setting up, who arrives? it's lite - they made it! our lite brothers from tokyo, so glad, so glad! big hugs from watt for each, big ones! kazuto-san couldn't be tourboss for them cuz of work so he sent his colleague ikuo who work sound and stuff for them. nobuyuki now has long enough hair for a pony tail, kouzou long enough for a headband that looks more like a shoelace. akinori's hair is cut up pretty and brother jun's is same as usual. they're all in good health and ready to go, even w/the jet lag. after both our checks, tom and raul go get some kind-of-hardly-not-really mexican chow for them and me though I don't think they chowed it themselves. our first chow together is marlon blando! oh well, at least no one got sick. I talk w/them about recently reading that sarashina nikki which I'm very interested in, all this kind of onnade (lady's writing) from a thousand years ago in their land, trippy literature. I also tell them it's the first debate tonight for the beauty contest we hold every four years in this land. we talk a little too about the crazy shit w/these tiny islands involving their land, china, taiwan, korea, vietnam and philippines. so much frustrating stuff going on now. nobuyuki says music scene by home is still pretty tough. everyone's spirit is up though, even kouzou who has to konk cuz of jetlag. actually I gotta konk too cuz of me just being not so young and still getting over that sickness. in the boat I konk real hard.

   I'm popped up by the sound of lite and head for back in the pad... they're tearing it up! they've rearranged some of the old tunes and have one new one. they all got new guitars (bass for brother jun) and akinori had cymbals sent to him from paiste. the gig-goers are digging them, righteous. my old buddy don comes by and says "wow!" - we're konking at his pad tonight, an old buddy from pedro (went to high school w/his brother) who moved here years ago. he's real good people, real good. man, after witnessing the blasting by the lite brothers, am I fired up to do the piece now!

   real quick change over cuz they're using all our amps plus another bandmaster (blackface, tom uses a early 70s sliverface - both of them are his but modified by my secondmen organman petezo) w/a two ten cab for kouzou. we get right to it. so good ryan asked me to check my mic earlier ("for shits and giggles" he said) cuz a damn foam disc was bouncing around inside the basket! we bring the piece and I gotta make a few adjustments to my amp's eq cuz I guess brother jun did but yeah, we do the third opera really well I think, I feel most together tonight this tour so far. tom and raul are playing their asses off, really good and tom's even moving behind raul like I do, it's not just for me anymore, yeah! it's easier for him to make eye contact w/raul for "lute-and-dagger-man" too. stephen from all has got a cousin named andy who was talking to me earlier and asked for "the red and the black" so I put that into the encore. man, does he have a happening '65 impala ss. I blew clams in this take on a b.o.c. tune I've done starting w/d. boon way back but it was still a good ride. the one regret I have is I fucking spaced and forgot my john coltrane pin on my purple off-stage shirt... what a fucking baka I am. I have to get it more together.

   as I sling stuff, folks are most kind - two cats who write for the big paper said the first debate was a wakeup call for one of them. I ask them if they heard of jill stine - noam chomsky's for her. I like these two guys spirit, they have a fire like d. boon in a way. I think they've seen some dirty stuff. we need good writers. a man on a journey talks w/me backstage about an intense sitch on him. it is frightening but he sounds brave, sounds philosophical about it. I hope he's safe.

   tonight we're safe at don's. after settling w/the gigboss nicole, we pull anchor and drive near the zoo where I've stayed many times. I always konk in front of the fire here and don's got a "log" (whatever you call these things) going now. before I hit the deck there's I do a little spiel w/the lite guys but not much cuz I'm tuckered. don tries to get his internet up but it's down but like w/no bourbon either, it's no prob cuz he's way more than righteous and beautiful w/his kindness for my dear friends and men. he's just the best. me jer and petezo helped him w/two tunes for a seven inch - hell, I could talk about don forever... he's into history like d. boon too - a deep cat that has a huge heart, respect from watt. I konk between him and the fire.

thursday, october 4, 2012 - denver, co

from tom:

   we wake at don''s place and he makes us all a nice breakfast. it's always great to stay here. we have a long drive so we get to it. almost all the way across southern wyoming, then south to denver. we have played the larimer lounge a bunch, and each time the area gets more and more cleaned up. my dad told me it was a very sketchy place in the old days. i see some old friends named christian and pat, and catch up a bit. it's getting cold, too cold to walk around, so we order sandwiches and eat in the back room with lite. raul has been feeling a little bit of mike's sickness, and i think i'm starting to feel it now. damn it. i have hand sanitizer and use it constantly, but in the van it's easy to share sickness. lite sounds amazing tonight.

   mood: 6.8, health: 7.0, energy: 6.7

from watt:

   we got 530 miles to make today so we gotta pull anchor at eight and a half... I pop a little after seven to hose down - been two days, baka watt. don's soon rustling up eggs w/onions and cheese, kind of scrambled like toaster waffles and rasberries - our lite brothers are digging on this kind of asagohan (breakfast), they like the way I can get the rasberries up w/my hashi (chopsticks) w/out missing - I've been doing it like five years at my pad exclusively now - I never use forks unless I ain't got my hashi and am at some chow pad. big hugs for don from everyone, we got blue skies to see us off, northeast on I-80 for wyoming. before the border we pass where the van almost rolled after hitting black ice on a fIREHOSE tour... it was the sliver/black econoline I got from georgie that had a broken rear leaf spring repaired but only that one (dave-o's idea) - people, never get just one side fixed even if that's the only broken one cuz your ride will never be even - learn from our nightmare! luckily I kept my foot off the brake and turned into where we were spinning and very fortunately there was no divider but an open median and I kept her up on all four wheels doing a 340, almost bringing her all the way around. I was so shook, georgie had to take over and that was after he screamed his fucking brains out as the rear end came around. this is why I like to end fall tours by halloween.

   I get us off at evanston, just inside wyoming and realized there ain't a station for a good while and turn into what I discover is an entrance to a hospital - baka! I have to make a sevetyfive point turn and for sure our tokyo brothers must know we're - I mean me - is big time baka.

we pass flaming gorge - it was here in 1988 that slovenly (tom's old band) and fIREHOSE camped out here. they had tried to set up a ten and it blew away, the wind was so intense. I remember us seeing lightning hitting across the river and starting little fires which luckily soon went it out, that was surreal. tom fills in raul w/details of that tour, the only national one slovenly ever did. at noon we get gas in rock springs. my ma was born and raised in a coal town near here called dines. when it ran out of coal, the company that owned it closed down and my ma's family moved to peoria,il when she was a teenager. dines is now a ghost town... her and her brother went and visited there a few years ago and found only ruins. raul takes the wheel and it's clear skies... we pass a rest area where the picnic tables have walls around them - that's what the wind is like around these parts. luckily today's wind is calm, lucky us cuz it makes for some white-knuckle driving. we see one of those pop-up camper trailers, you hardly ever see these any more and damn if it ain't got oregon plates - we saw one back on the way to portland, is it the same one? no... could it?! tom says it's had the same sky lights... fuck. we pass an old gas station I remember cleaning up in after blowing it out years ago, maybe w/my secondmen... everyone was konked and never knew what happened. anyway, that pad is now boarded up, damn. we've been hearing the "sock-tight" proj I did w/raymond every morning but today we actually hear some other music. well, actually I played the hand to man band album yesterday for tom and raul but today we "texas funeral" by jon wayne (they'd never heard of it before, what?!) and "the best of" by lalo schifrin. we see wild antelope by the side of the road. earlier I saw a big lady elk in utah. we cross over the continental divide - 7000 feet up. we hear syd barrett bootleg "psychedelic freak out" which sure is trippy w/wyoming's landscape passing by. they're building many more snowbreaks out here now, much MUCH higher than the old ones (looks like pieces of the great wall of wyoming!) - the wind can really blast so you can imagine the snow that can get blown. we've passed a few gates that actually close this freeway when it gets too bad. we have good fortune for calmness for our ride today, most grateful I'll you how I feel. we see a couple of motorcycles we thought we saw about in washington state - one of them anyway cuz we remember the 'tard bumper sticker on one and neither has one. are we losing our brains? tom gets the wheel in laramie - herr garmin (the gps navigator) asks us to avoid the cutoff that goes from here to fort collins and instead he wheels us south on I-25 once we hit cheyenne. the skies turn gray and heavy, blue is gone. I heard someone say at the last gast station a storm was moving in quick from the north. I see a monument for the sand creek massacre... tom says his grandpa's last words alive were "sandy ran red, ran red for six days" - very heavy. we arrive at the venue thirteen minutes before the scheduled six pm loload-inime - good job, tom. good job from raul too, both beautiful men.

   this pad is called the "lalarimerounge" maybe cuz that's the street it's on? it's my third time here I think, dig it much. soundman matt soundcheck us and our lite brothers, we're the only bands on. he helps too w/the john coltrane music for pre/post gig sounds. less and less pads have cds now so I gotta flow mp3s over to his leash using bluetooth. we gotta get raul's ipod happening to accomodate "progress," right? sure loving have mr coltrane fore and aft of our set, love it. raul's sick, started feeling it a few days ago he says but he says for sure the motherfucker's laying into him. damn, I fucking probably brought it, what an asshole. I was trying to be careful but it is close in the boat.

   only a little time for chow cuz lite is to go on at nine. we chow sandwiches from some delivery pad ("fat..." somebody says tom and raul) and I get "the joker" cuz we passed aurora and I thought of that nightmare - when will we get it together, why do we go off that way? this sandwich seems like any other sub but I have to wonder about "man-shitting-man" in that way, I can't reconcile it, can't. it's a helpless feeling...

   whoa, gotta get inspired - I nix konking in the boat as usual and go out front to watch lite rip it up. stronger than last night cuz of some recovery probably from the jetlag beatdown, they kick up serious dust. the denver gig-goers acknowledge it too, thank you much. I love their set.

   our turn. I thank the gig-goers for being so kind to our buddies and then for some reason tell them we know the opera better than we ever have. now that might be true but why did I say that then? thinking back, maybe it was kind of a badge-buff, huh? we start pretty strong, soundman matt's got great monitors going for me and the denver folks bring much spirit, having it probably lit up by lite but then we start getting some clams going - is it the stage lights, is it shadows on our fretboards? I say this cuz it ain't raul but more me and tom. I really blow it in "mockery-robed-man" when it's a spiel thing - I holler "cure the irony, cure the irony, cure the irony" when it's irony that cures "the mockery" and not the other fucking way around, what a baka I am! whoa, it is a trippy gig for sure. we do bring up nobuyuki to help us on "the red and the black" but I think I blew some bass clams in that one as well. I still liked the gig cuz of the spirit - thank you denver people but I am confused about what was up w/me. tom says the same. I tell him we'll get past it, this stuffs seems to happen sosometimeso matter what. we end up laughing about all the craziness.

   many kind words from the gig-goers, very kind. I sign a five string bass that has green strings, trippy. a really nice bassman owns it, really nice. mio and her buddy come to watch us again, I love these cats. he takes shots of us, she's got besides her pom-poms, a rilakkuma hood/cloak on too! I need pictures w/him also so we do that - they brought us chow, so kind. one man tells me he gets out of the army soon, wants to do music. many people thank me for bringing lite.

   jay's a local musician who's also worked in ananarticahe had us konk at his pad last time we were here in 2011 and does invites us over again, so very generous. the sack of chow from mio I find has takoyaki (octopus in fried kind of dough balls) and some maki (rolls of rice w/a filling, roasted seaweed on the outside), great chow - all of us dig in and jay brings a bowl of boiled shelled shrimp (ebi). there's a little beam too and I mean little, a couple of one hundred milliliter bottles - never that before. he tells me what he dug about the gig was lite went on at nine and we went on at ten, everything right on time. I like that too. we gotta pull anchor early so by one I got the mask down, very grateful to jay for his kindness.

friday, october 5, 2012 - omaha, ne

from tom:

   my alarm goes off at 6 am at jay's place, still dark out and very cold outside, i see that it snowed. i feel like i'm definitely whatever mike brought with him, damn, i thought this might be the one tour where i don't get sick. i get cleaned up and ready for the hell ride to omaha. we arrive several hours later. i'm feeling the cold setting in. we get some amazing bbq from a great guy named andy, and we all go to his furniture shop and enjoy the food and check out his cool stuff. thank you, andy! after we get back to the venue, raul and i walk to a place called the beercade and i watch raul play some pinball, he's pretty good at it and gets a few extra games. i bail to chill out before the show. sound guy j.j. and helper guy ben at the waiting room club are totally helpful, and make our time here very easy and smooth. we meet a nice couple, scott and kara and they invite us to stay at their place tonight. we hang for a bit and scott breaks out some fine whiskey and one shot and i'm down for the night.

   mood: 7.3, health: 5.1, energy: 5.4

from watt:

   pop at six, paranoid of being late. today's hellride is ten more miles than yesterday's (540) but it's calmer w/the mountains - like none, we're prairie bound. turns out that's a good thing cuz a look out the window shows my baka eyes that the boat is covered w/snow - I shit thee not - october fucking five and it's already snowing in these parts, crimony! oh well, you gotta play the hand you get dealt. the main thing is to be careful.

   tom's bogarting the head. finally he relents and I can hose off. we're pulling anchor at seven. jay and his wife bring on bagels and cream cheese plus fruit - most generous on top of everything else, HUGE grazies for them from not just me but all eight of us, of course. for some reason when jay asks if we're taking I-70 I said yes when that was baka - I wheel us onto I-76 'til it t-bones into I-80 and then roll us east in a rainy sleet but like I already chimped - it being the plains makes it way safer than the mountains, we escaped that hell by ONE day - whew! I get gas at fort morgan... nearby is a town called brush - I think I had to get an alternator for the last econoline I had - oh, raul just told me he sold it for what he bought it from me for seven years ago: five hundred dollars. believe or not, that was his first motor vehicle. he used to pedal to our secondmen pracs. anyway, this gas station has a chow part and the lady there is selling eight pieces of fried chicken for $5.30 - econo! I can't resist, made only a few hours ago. I chow a few pieces as I wheel us east but save the big ones for later. the lame weather doesn't slow us down too much but I'm more interested in keeping careful. after crossing into the central time zone and losing an hour, I take the next offramp so we can switch ponies. raul takes the helm. the tomadochi dawdle some so I gotta do a heard-some-cats move and get the flock out of here, we still got three hundred miles plus to go. we pass the original pony express station. and now begins a lot of construction on this road, making for some slow-go but it'll be worth it in the future, right? pretty stupid to neglect infrastructure, that's what I think. we hear sock-tight, jon wayne ("texas funeral"), the dan ("can't buy a thrill") and t-rex (alternative "tanx"). we pass under the pioneer arch at kearny - I played that town only once - I think tom was w/me... it was trippy, the foozball game going on 'pert-near drowned out some of our quieter numbers. there was very nice folks there though too, I remember the pad we konked at was done up like always like xmas, it was the cat's parents that was into that. I also remember some hilarious conversation between him and his buddy - rex was the buddy's name but fuck am I baka and can't remember his. they were sure kind to us. maybe one day I'll play kearny again if I get the chance. I remember it's like my pedro town where it pronounced not like you might think - when I had no idea KAR-NEE is how they say it, lots of folks at the club were laughing when I thanked them for coming. I know now how to say it! shit, it's karm cuz you don't know how many people have had to hear me correct them w/a PEED-RO when I hear them say it "wrong" (wrong for those who live in pedro). we get gas near grand island... hey, the weather's cleared, yatta! brother jun and kouzou get subway sandwiches - what? we got bbq that's supposed to be waiting for us in omaha, baka! I love these guys though - they are not baka. I'm baka for calling them baka!

   the gig is actually in the benson part of omaha and it's a pad I played the last time I was here called "the waiting room" - it was w/greg norton, about three and a half years ago. the bossman jim is waiting right there for us, we made it w/thirteen minutes to go - good job from raul and tom both helping me bear the hellride. jj is the soundman and he's great people. lite mixman ikuo donated some adapters in denver so jj sells what ikuo needs for ten bucks total. he checks us - great sound at this pad.

   woodworker andy has his wife and friend doug ferry us to his workshop where he's been smoking pork all day for us. this is the bbq I was talking about. it's all smoke and no sauce in this cooking and man, is it real good. the lite brothers love it too. so very VERY kind of andy, truly. on the bulkheads are his grandpa's woodworking tools, beautiful. the heads got a bunch of plumbing wrenches too. man, I wanna chow this q 'til I pop! big time gratitude to andy, yes sir.

   we get ferried back to venue w/a half hour before lite is to hit. I see old-time gig-goer fred and say hi - he says his nephew couldn't make it. now since they've joined us, it's impossible for me to do my usual pre-gig konk cuz I just gotta witness what they're doing, just have to. a little bit on the side when they start and then I'm compelled to get right up against the stage in the middle, smack in front of akinori and his kick drum through the p.a. bins shake up what ever man part I got in the sack. talk about "feeling it" - crimony! they whup it up big time and that tiredness I felt wrecking me is all blasted out. that q is sitting good on my stomach too, I'm ready to deliver the piece here in the state d. boon's pop was from.

   changeover is ten minutes and right at ten we go on (jay from last night would be proud) and bring the third opera. I keep focus but think of d. boon much - it helps me. tom and raul work it real good. I can tell we got it happening when some squarejohns in one corner who are yammering get all quiet for "pinned-to-the-table-man" and then keep it that way all the way out. if we could win them over then I get the feeling where working it good. the omaha gig-goers give great support as well, one cat asking me to "light it up" a couple times and I don't think he means cigarettes (by the way, I ain't smoking those to help w/my strength/health). I do clam near the very end when I did a baka move and looked at my hands at the wrong time, getting confused some - right near the end. I think some spiel in the bridge of "blowing-it-out-both-ends" got the choke-a-loke too - maybe some chords also? it's a fun time doing the b.o.c. one again this time w/kouzou, even w/my 'g' a little (little?) flat. it was a hoot.

   I get told not to acknowledge any clams regarding this show in my diary by a gig-goer who's very kind, very generous - I hope he ain't pissed. I ain't trying to wring my hands too hard but wanna think some out loud so maybe somehow it'll help me. everyone so nice - I called for a konk pad from the stage, I always ask them for someplace safe for the boat and to see raul... friends of doug (remember the q earlier? he ferried the lite brothers there to andy's), scott and kara, invite us all to konk at their pad, so kind. I settle w/bossman jim - he told me it was either the fugazi song or some other ones w/a minutmen tune title in the running for their pad's name, much respect to him and his partner. I thank him for all his support.

   we go over to scott and kara's and it's a real neat old pad (over a hundred years old) and have a great time. doug's there too. scott's in horace pinker and knows a lot about the old days. he has a special whiskey he likes, we all try some. I'm in the nightwear for the first time in a few days, feels real good. scott provides me w/the washer for my soilage. much respect, very kind. on a couch I don't even need a blankie to be wrapped in order to konk.

saturday, october 6, 2012 - des moines, ia

from tom:

   i hear mike skype-ing, and i wake at 9:15, and my voice is gone. i am feeling run down, but the house is so nice and scott and kara and their sweet daughter, sabina make us feel very comfortable as they fix us some breakfast. pancakes with lemon and banana in the batter, bacon and coffee. i have some throat coat tea to start. it's not nearly as cold today, and our drive is only 2 1/2 hours, so it's nice to have time for a better rest after being so pressed to get out the door like the last couple of days. this is my first time to des moines and it's freezing here. we arrive early and see a bunch of people in running shorts covered in paint from some sort of running event. i'm feeling a little run down from sickness, and when i get outside of the van there is a slicing chill in the air. we locate the gig place and raul and i get a cup of coffee next door waiting for someone to open it up. we finally load in and check and lite does too. raul and i scout for food, and we decide on an irish pub near by that has guinness stew and i get one and a caesar salad with chicken. i over ordered, but it was good food and i take the left overs with me for later. it's a small old place we're playing tonight, but it has character and the little room starts to fill in and it's a fun night even though i'm not feeling 100%. as we load out i meet tim and monica, the couple we'll be staying with tonight. very cool and funny people, i like them immediately. tim makes guitars and i think he's done some work with nels, so it feels comfortable with them. we head to their home and monica pulls out various foods that we feed upon and talk for a bit till i crawl into their spare bed upstairs. raul's already there, he beat me! that's almost a first. i crawl in next to him and drift away.

   mood: 7.5, health: 5.0, energy: 5.1

from watt:

   pop at nine and a half - I fucking needed it. the windows are full of bright sun, beautiful. tom's like raul: sick. fuck, it had to be me who infected them. I feel terrible about that. kara cooks up hotcakes and strips of bacon, most kind and they're good - when's the last time I've chowed hotcakes? can't remember. her and scott's daughter sabina is in the kitchen w/them and for an eleven year old, I am big time stunned but how grown up she talks cuz when I think of myself at that age, I remember much more drool rather than words w/a reason would stumble from my mouth. maybe it surprises me cuz I'm not around kids hardly. scott says he thinks I know something about history after hearing me go of into tangent land and yammering minutia. I tell him d. boon got me into history cuz it's the truth.

   we pull anchor at twelve and a half. I sail us east across the missouri river and into council bluffs which is in iowa. border towns are trippy - usually one squarejohn city across from a beatdown one. herr garmin puts us through 'pert-near the whole town 'til we get on board I-80 for des moines. at a gas stop at a "kum & go" (I did not make that name up) I get a hot dog sauerkraut, mustard, parmesan cheese and dried chili flakes which tast kind of ok but soon I must blow it out, "short stay" is what we call these kind of events. tom takes the wheel after thank god a "rest area" soon appears on the horizon - not a lot of "rest" went on there for me but it was RELIEF big time.

   lots of corn fields like nebraska but more hills. the bright blue skies of omaha are replaced w/heavy dark clouded ones as we get into des moines about 3:30. looks like there was some kind of city race, lots of folks w/numbers on their outfits, some a tiny bit outrageous (men w/tutus, etc.). "vaudeville mews" is the name of the pad we're playing and it's oldy-time, tin plates on the on the ceiling... nat the soundman says maybe it's a hundred years old or something. hell, maybe vaudeville actually went down here at some point, that sure would be neat. nat is very cool people, some how we get to talking about nikolai tesla and he says has tattoo of him on his arm - whoa. I'm a big fan of that man myself. we do soundcheck and then I chimp diary, raul getting me a salad w/chicken in it from a chow pad next door where I'm dick leaching wifi internet connect from. tom teaches "the glory of man" to nobuyuki in the little dressing we got here, me planted on the couch next to them. "a fart is the lonesome cry of an imprisoned turd" reads one graffiti on the bulkhead. cory from duluth comes by to say hi. that's the gig where a speaker box from the grandpa's ghost guys fell on my foot and broke one of my toes. that was the only time I ever played there, it was w/the jom and terry show. tonight's only the second time I've played this town. that gig had me w/an insanely painful toothache, the next morning I had it yanked by a dentist.

   there's a power trio from here called fetal pig that's opening up for lite and us tonight. I dig them much. I watch lite from the side cuz the walkway to the head has a rail I can hold on to and the sound is great even being behind the p.a. stacks. usually side of the stage is the worse sound in the world but not at this pad. lite tears it up and the des moines gig-goers give them much love, respect. a great set from our brothers - what motivators for us!

   ten pm (love this onstage time, love it!) and I tell the folks about the tooth thing - how one of the people working the gig ("hairy mary's" was the pad's name) said they had a remedy for me, taking a motrin (I think I said midol though) pill and pushing it into the cavity w/the eraser end of a pencil but it was that successful and my bass came up through the deck and up my leg to resonate much pain in that tooth's exposed nerve. I had to holler (off mic) much that gig, it was crazy. anyway, this time I don't have that kind of challenge except for the piece itself but me and my men work it pretty good. the clams I blow are pretty much tiny ones. the gig-goers are very respectful and give us big focus, respect to them. I promise not to wait another twenty years before I play here again. nobuyuki joins us for the minutmen tune tom taught him earlier and also dances pretty big time in the part where tom cuts the rug in the bass/drum only break - respect! kouzou joins us for "the red and the black" and I fuck up the ending, stopping one whole round early - what a dumbshit... baka watt.

   I sling and this cat recognizes "106 beats that" and he's young too, much respect. he's very cool and we talk about flannels w/his buddy, discussing what's up w/the one pocket bullshit that pretends to be the real deal. one lady writes a message on one of my hands as I sling w/the other. I can't read it but know it has meaning cuz she told me her brother explained everything about me to her. more than a few bass players talk w/me. much kindness here, much. I most grateful. I get to talk some w/dan and jeff from fetal pig.

   a luthier friend named tim from the old days lives here and invites us to konk at his new pad, has had it like three months. he rides w/us in the boat to see - we pass a trippy sculpture garden on the way. his wife monica makes spheghetti and re-heats some rotisserie chicken for my guys and our lite buddies, so very kind. it's a nice time we have, really nice. beautiful people, tim and monica. again I get to konk in the rilakkuma nightwear.

sunday, october 7, 2012 - saint paul, mn

from tom:

   tim and monica are super cool people, and they have a sweet little girl named lydia. i have a dream about waking up and walking downstairs and seeing mike and raul at a table. i join them and eat a brownie (?) and make a big mess which i scoop up with my hands. then we say good bye to tim and i say to him that i'm sorry we didn't get a chance to check out his guitar making shop (which he does have). he puts his arm around my shoulder and walks me into the next room, which suddenly becomes an enormous space where a strangely shaped acoustic guitar sits on a stand near a fireplace. i pick it up and strum it, it has an incredible sound, like it's amplified and kind of overdriven but super clear like an auto harp. then i wake up and walk downstairs and see mike and tim and the lite men, and i tell tim about the dream. we eat, and head to his guitar shop. what a cool place. he lets me play a tele-like guitar and it kind of sounds like the guitar in my dream. very sweet dude. thanks tim. we shove off toward the turf club in st. paul, and before we load raul and i get some food at a thai place next door. i get tom ka soup, nice and spicy, just what i need. i like the turf club a lot, it's probably from the late twenty's / early thirties, and has a good vibe. downstairs in the green room area they have a fus ball table and raul and i play against different versions of the lite brothers, we all get into it and a couple hours go by very quickly. lite does another great show and we play well too. it just feels good. after the gig, john and tony invite us to stay at their place and i find a futon and carve out my sleeping space and hit the sack.

   mood: 8.1, health: 6.3, energy: 6.0

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and real quick hose off. tim said he had to carry me to couch last night - man, I was tuckered. his wife monica makes us pancakes and bacon - whoa, second morning in a row - ain't that a coincidence? trippy. they sure are beautiful people and so is their little two and half year old, pure joy. we pull anchor about ten and follow tim to his shop and it's righteous and real - fumes in the paint booth and saw dust from much work, many clamps and hand tools plus machinery and amazingly built guitars, respect! nels cline has had guitars built from tim, crimony! HUGE respect. nobuyuki and kouzou both have a turn playing a "thelevator" guitar that's just be done. sugoi (awesome in their speak).

   sunny and blue skies for us as we head north but it's fucking cold. I break out the bright orange knit hat. north on I-35 and after a while we gas in story city, and at the filing station, brother jun trips on an energy drink called "nuclear" - you can imagine how that must appear to someone from his land, right? fuck I trip on it here in my own but then I understand sometimes we like to market from a butch angle, right? some fucked up shit. soon after the border w/minnesota we pass a lake w/a buttload of white pelicans - in my pedro town we have brown ones. it's a trip to see them cuz even though they are white ones, it makes me think of my pedro town and of course I miss it. I'm digging though being out here w/my men and the lite brothers... life is about taking turns.

   we get to saint paul about three pm and drop anchor in the back of the "turf club" which is the pad we're playing tonight. it's an old-timey bar and it's got great cats like the padboss joshua, soundman herb and from the first avenue folks, gigboss eli. it's a fucking great thing to work w/happening cats, know what I mean? just the best. after soundcheck (herb's got it sounding great up here), I go a few doors down to a thai chow pad called "on's kitchen" and I have pad prik on w/mock duck "you want it hot?" and I nod w/a "bring it" response - it's just that too, alright. I've never had "mock duck" before, maybe it's tofu? I'll ask tom and raul later. right now though I gotta get to the boat and konk so I can try and to good as I can. I konk hard, like a monolith.

   I'm popped by lite coming through the bulkhead, must be nine. love these early gigs. damn if it ain't a icebox in here, so glad for all these blankies - even if they're rough ones. I see my breath fog. I hurry as fast as my lame self will take me and go right to the front of the stage still w/my orange hat, yellow coat and backwack 'puter sack on, gripping onto the monitor to keep steady. the lite brothers are bringing it like a shinkansen (bullet train), oh my god. righteous. man, this is the best way to get ready for a gig, the best.

   they get done and I put on my flannel I'm wearing for the tour. it's a little wet from last night but fuck it. thank god there's a big pole for the "steps" - this stage is high up but I can wrap my arms around the big pole and feel safe getting up it, safer than a handrail if you can believe it, at least for someone as yowai (weak) as me. I thank the folks much for their kindness to our brothers and then proceed to clam the first part of "hyphenated-man" big time, spacing on one of the verses but it don't shake my men and I'm able to get back on board and our keel stays in the water. I'm thinking "oh man, what kind of lame-ass gig are you gonna turn out here, watt?" but you know what, we rally and do real good, lots of supports from the folks, even w/some sitdown tabled yammerers but they're way outnumbered but focused kindness and maybe a little embarrassed, especially when it comes to the "mouse-headed-man" part. I'm just so grateful for men and these kind of gig-goers who focus an honest good will, you know? I feel a big debt in fact to do them the best I can no matter what, truly. the encores are a hoot, a great time - we've worked in akinori now, three of the lites are w/us and each on a different number... gotta think of something for brother jun.

   so many kind folks when the music's over and the slingin' begins. a lady named maria gives me a scarf that says "watt from pedro" on it, how very kind. much words of encouragement like always here in the twin cities, fucking up front honest stuff for me, I gotta try harder is what I'm inspired to do - thank you, good people. grant is here - yatta! he helps raul out w/packing up the drums, helps me find a booth to sit and gets betsy who comes over w/her husband miles. miles tells me his first mix was doing me at the seventh street entry and he I stormed off the stage and came at him in the booth - I asked him if he could fix my glasses cuz I busted them, it was not the hissy fit he feared. I laugh big time hearing this recollection. nat from the first ave is here, hugs, love him. no steve mcclellan or greg norton though... miss them both but giving them great wishes from heart. damn if the happening turf club cats don't donate a keyboard stand to us, very VERY kind, thank you much!

   a soundman coworker of miles named john offers us his pad not too far away, much appreciated. he's got two room mates, one from south dakota like him (tony) and the other from wisconsin (will). all three of these cats are great - oh yeah, so is the friendliest ever wonko (dog) leroy who's just a lover. tony's got some happening rye and we spiel like two and a half hours about all kinds of shit, like tolerance for one thing... and travelling around learning stuff - these cats are early twenties but alert in the head big time and a joy to be w/and discussing things. I don't know, I was just in the mood to hear from them and do a little spiel myself - more than thirty years dividing us that meant absolutely nothing... BIG TIME respect to them. on their couch I konk happy.

monday, october 8, 2012 - chicago, il

from tom:

   in the morning tony and john have some coffee and a stack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, i cant remember that last time i had one, and somehow it's perfect. we have a pretty long drive again today so we get on the road asap. we have to drive across the whole state of wisconsin, no shows here this time. after doing the first shift, mike gets some asleep in back as i drive past signs for the cheese shops off the highway, i think of maybe waking him to see if wants to stop to get some curds like we usually do, but we figure he's still not feeling that great and decide to let him rest and just push on through. that was a mistake. when i stop for gas outside madison he asks if we can stop for curds and we already passed that section of the state. damn it, i love them too. we get to chicago, and load in at schubas'. after we check i get a tap on my shoulder and it's spot from the old sst days, a great surprise. he has been living in austin for years but recently relocated to sheboygan wisconsin and decided to make the drive south to check out our show. it's always great to see him, and we have lots to talk about, like always. after the lite brothers check we all go next door to get some food at the restaurant that's connected to the venue. i have a caesar salad with steak on top, so tasty. the music room fills up and i watch lite blow peoples minds and then we try to do the same. after the show we have to find a place to stay, and a very kind guy named mike offers us his basement. to me, the sound of a basement to sleep in brings to mind cement, dust and mold, but when we get to his house it's quite the opposite. full carpeting, two pin ball machines, a bedroom with a full bath, and a full bar set up. his sweet wife, tara is a physical therapist who does massage and acupuncture and she give me a hand massage that is incredible. kind of perfect. we stay up for a couple of hours, beer and pin ball and spot shows us photographs that he took in south bay l.a. where i grew up. black and white images of skaters and punk rock from the late seventies. awesome pics. it was a good night. i go to sleep on the bed with raul.

   mood: 7.2, health: 5.0, energy: 5.0

from watt:

   pop at seven bells - we gotta bail early cuz of kind of a hellride. we gotta transverse the entire state of wisconsin to get to chicago. big hugs for john and tony, good luck to them. it's a gray morning and maybe some sprinkles, good time to get cuz the weather's changing. east on I-90 and soon we're over the border - bye bye minnesota and not far into wisconsin I pull over for gas and it's got a subway in it... raul gets my tuna/pickles/olive/mustard one while I fuel the boat. we listen to sock-tight and jon wayne as if it were a prescription for better health. fuck, it is... mental health!

   I remember this highway, only time I got a ticket - cuz the world salivation ministry was following too close actually, never made that mistake again. it was the last time the minutemen headlined a tour, twentyseven years ago this fall. usually these hills and dairies are real green but I'm seeing much brown and yellowed. of course some of the maples trees got autumn colors but I think the drought got up here too. we pass the chippewa river which I take notice cuz raul's ma is part chippewa and fucking if a bald eagle doesn't do a little bit flying over us - I shit you not. I holler for the guys to look and they see it, the white mantle and everything. I can't get it w/my camera, damn it cuz it's kind of twisting and moving fast. it's only the third time I've seen them in the wild - first was in utah, the second in colorado and now the third here in wisconsin. everyone in the boat is fucking amazed, what a trip. further up I pull into a rest area w/a plaque w/info on the winnegao (I've discovered less chance of dawdle getting fresh ponies at one of these things w/the tomodachi) and ask the tomodachi if they saw the washi (eagle) - none of them did, none! well, probably most of them were konked.

   time for me to konk now - tom and raul both take turns at the reins while I'm out like a log, missing my chance to get curds w/dill and garlic, oh well. I fucking needed it cuz of my windbagging last night, I truly did. I pop right before we get to the border w/illinois. the traff is total plug getting into big shoulders town, I konked again but both raul and tom did good and we miss the load-in by only eight minutes. turns out soundman frabrice and his helperman daniel ain't here yet but we can set up our stuff and that's what we do. this pad is called "schuba's" and my third time here. what's really happening is they got parking for us - parking for the tomodachi too, yatta! look who's here to say hi - it's my dear old buddy spot and he's here on the way to madison to meet w/hank tomorrow. yeah, that sounds kind of trippy cuz spot now lives in sheboygan but spot's got his own individualism and I love it, love him. we have a good rap, a good one. I gotta chow and damn, we got a extra ticket so I flow it over to spot. besides the happening parking and nice cats behind the bar, they got good chow at this pad too, oh man. after soundcheck w/fabrice, I order what's on the blackboard: chicken friend steak. now this is pretty north for something like this but damn if it ain't fucking good! mashed potatoes and green beans too. I recommend to the tomodachi too and they all get it. the prob is this is a real early show so maybe they got twenty minutes after they all clean their plates - I mean they all cleaned theirs up big time... where do they put it? none of them got bells, damn! anyway I go to the boat just to rest my eyes a little...

   fuck if they only got three tunes when baka-ass pops and I burst from the boat to get in the pad to see what I can - the gigboss john had already met me and fill out the paper you stuff you have to at these kind of things but asks for a ticket at the hatch, what? "oh, it's you" and I say "I gotta see lite" and he waves me through... I go straight to front and get my finger pointed at brother jun right as his heavy part in their "ef" tune comes up - maybe I'm an inch away from his nose, didn't mean it! the sound is so good - where the bands play at this pad is an old-timey wood trip that just resonates so well and is fucking happening. lite gets done and all four guys said it was a little difficult w/the heavy guts but damn if they didn't bring it and damn if the chi-town gig-goers were just the kindest to them. later our host mike will say he was in the crowd and could just feel the tomodachi win the crowd over w/their hard work, "earning it" he said. do tell, brother, do tell!

   ok, our turn and damn, third night in a row for this flannel w/out a wash and it's got a weight to it (it's wet). probably got an order to it as well but I'm in tour mode and there priorities - we ain't talking angle of the tiara either, in fact no tiaras on any of these men w/our two boats. it's all ganbaro. lite brothers have us fired up and also got the gig-goers going as well - could you want anything more? well, I could've not hit my 'g' tuner on raul's cymbal and had been in tune when we bring the piece but some quick turns and some luck get me pretty much in by the third part... there's some clams out of me and even tom blows some but in the scheme of things I think we brought lots of it out good and am happy w/both us making the piece live and the chicago folks being so kind w/focus and not a single yammer, it was big time respectful like you wouldn't believe - what beautiful people. I call for a konk pad from the stage and a kind fellow bassman named mike approaches tom while I sling - lots of cats from gigs past and some new ones like chef simon and his buddy jun (same name as brother but different cat). no larges to sling but folks don't mind, so kind this way too. the town I was conceived in is so many times so nice. I get told good vibes from the electrical audio team, yeah! much respect to them. our decorator's union guy gives props, damn, many cats w/goodwill - deep bow from watt for everyone!

   wow, we're ready to pull anchor by eleven, very happening! gigboss john had gone home but the lady behind the bar had the envelope and her co-worker, well he had the soda water w/the lime in it too! good cats, bye bye! thank god we got the address for his pad so herr garmin (the gps) can help us cuz he's out in oak park, towards the 'burbs of chicago and there's some navigation for us gaijin (foreigners - we live in so cal). the "basement" he referred to is not just your typical cement floored trip where the washing machine is. no man, you go down these spirally submarine-style stairs to find it's got fully carpeted deck, a bar w/some happening small batch rye from iowa and get this: a pinball machine, actually two but one's on the fritz. the tomodachi (friends) go right for the flipper kicker, much hollering as they wag the paddles in turn. spotski shows me some of his old pictures - he's gonna have a book and a show in new york city sometime next year, omedeto (congrats) to him big time! our host mike's wife cuts us up some fruit, helps w/stuff for nobuyuki's cat allergy and gets into doing major rubs on tom to help him w/hurts which in itself is a wrestle but it releases clogged up kinked lameness and some for raul too and his hand. mike and tara are just great folks, truly happening and generous. later I find out from raul I just kicked out one of my legs w/the other to do a big time timber and was out. ok, I was most gratefully out then.

tuesday, october 9, 2012 - toledo, oh

from tom:

   we wake and tara makes us coffee before she has to go to work. soon we gather our stuff and lite follows us out of town. i've never played in toledo, i don't think i've ever actually been here before. when we drive into town it has a stillness that sort of creeps me. raul feels the same way. i don't exactly know why, but maybe the boarded up houses near the bar/venue we pull up to adds to that vibe. we get into mickey finn's and do a check and then raul and the lite guys and i go to a local legendary eatery called packo's to get some hot dogs. i guess that it got popular from passionate support that the actor who played klinger on the tv show mash, jamie farr gave to it. or so i gather. there are hundreds of autographed hot dog buns on the walls. i sit near ones signed by cyndi lauper and george bush, etc... the list goes on and on. i get a hot dog sandwich in honor of our friends from boise, bart and steph. it's great! the dog is splayed on fresh rye sandwich bread, with spicy mustard and pickles. i think it was only $2.95. i bring one back for mike. the night goes on, not my best performance by a long shot. i try to let it go, so i talk with akinori about it to get it out of my head. i am usually good at letting things roll off my back, just move forward, but i think i was tired and i feel emotional for some reason. in any case, i help load out, we wait till mike is through with his merch and greet with the local peoples, and then we head to dan and chris' place to stay for the night. chris has tons of food prepared for everyone, bbq, deep fried perch which he caught himself (i'm sure mike will cover the details on this). however, i am too tired to join the fun in the back party room. i fall asleep with my clothes on and at some point mike wakes me to invite me to the feast but i just can't tonight.

   mood: 6.3, health: 4.9, energy: 5.0

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and do big soak in the head they got here that's all blue, trippy - our host mike said it was a stanley kubrick thing. whoa, ain't soaked in a tub in a while... it's long and yeah, it's blue. other host tara helps w/some tea for throat soothing before she has work (mike already had to bail) and maybe by nine and a half we pull anchor. big hugs for spotski, it was great to spend some time w/him and he's in great shape. forgot to say I met his sheboygan bud teak so maybe one day I do a gig up there way.

   skies are blue but there's kaze (wind) blowing. through chicago's southside on I-90, much rude driving like what can happen anywhere - I would never blame this town though there was some last night too... raul tried to make it regional but then we reasoned it out thinking about every road we've been on everywhere - us humas are funny w/machines in our power - maybe extensions of some mood trip? maybe just careless? maybe just a clam like on stage?! can be intense consequence though. I'll tell you this though: these parts and indiana too (we cross into soon as we clear chi-town) there's a fiftyfive mph limit that is big time scoffed - but not by us and hell if I want the tomodachi having to deal w/that so we keep it in the posted zone. we pass a town called danville - does "pretzel logic" play constantly there? indiana signs say a thousand dollar fine and we several pullovers - one right at the toll road ticket-getting place at the indiana toll road. there's a time zone switch and we lose an hour passing into eastern daylight time. many "gentlemen clubs" go past the window, maybe cuz of all the truck traffic? that's tom's guess. me, I sincerely believe there are only gentlemen there, both the clients and the help. no?

   at lake station we get fuel, raul getting my usual when at a subway chow pad (tuna and...) - I find some earplugs that are supposed to be pressure relief for airplane flights. raul at the wheel, he gets to battle some wind but like I said, the skies are blue. I haven't played toledo since 1998 and that was my first time ever - the last tour for the first opera at a pad called "frankie's" - it's the version of the black gang that's gonna have an album called "my shubun no hi" coming out soon as I mix it. I asked nels to play his most psychedelic ever (bob lee on the drums). this time we're at a pad called "mickey finn's pub" and we make a few minutes before load-in was scheduled, good guessing at what we need to do be where we need to be - herr garmin got confused but some common sense to temper that shit has worked out, huh? I think it's baka to completely to give into those machines though if you ask me. stay human, people! after soundcheck I meet dan mcguire an old friend who's a poet and a teacher - the main reason I wanted to play toledo back in '98 and now cuz he's from here. I first met him as a gig-goer twentytwo years ago and have collaborated w/him on what will soon be tour unknown instructors albums - I respect him big time. I have to do some q and a for spiels about upcoming gigs on this tour and do that 'til ken and joe from reverend (they built ronnie's guitars) comes to show me three prototypes of a bass they're working on... I try all three and pick one to do for the gig tonight. I then meet the guys in the band opening tonight, locals called bikini babes though they're still missing their guitarman still - sorry. I like to meet those who share the stage w/us but I'm tuckered and head for the boat. tom brings me a hotdog sandwich (I shit thee not) from a pad called packo's and it's good but later tom said he got sent to the wrong one. I trust tom and raul to get me good chow cuz these guys really know me. I konk fucking hard soon as that chow (there's pickles and pepperchinis too) is consumed.

   I pop w/only a few tunes from our lite brothers left in their set (damn it) but hell if they don't get folks dancing and many of them thanking me for bringing them once they finish. man, you don't know how glad I am to do that, you don't know how glad. I love my lite brothers and want folks to experience them. they play so good but alas I have not such a good go - I will take responsibility and it cuz of the bass I worked, only a clam or two and I got used to some of enough to hit right notes but hmm... let me see - it was a character builder in ways that I usually don't use that and in ways I could've been more - uh, I don't know what but... it made me think a lot AFTER cuz the DURING THINKING only lamed out more and was more like flail than good reasoning. oh baka watt - to let the outside dominate the inside - I should've reacted to the sitch like I did the bass from ken and joe, "work the room" - laying trips on others is not good for anything except letting everyone know you got some probs yourself. crimony, old buddies bob teagan, chris rees and mel are filming and recording this - ha! actually pretty excellent karma when I think about it. I like the reverend bass but give it back to joe and ken cuz I like the dan one better. fuck, I forgot the encore - brother jun had the best moment of our set - all the lite brothers coming on and playing w/us turned around the foul mood I 'pert-near fell into and am so grateful. I can't stress how important it was for us for that to happen. nobuyuki danced up a storm w/leaps tonight too.

   so the drama behind us as we pull anchor, we got dan mcguire's buddy chris in the boat and he guides us to his pad in south toledo. we get to do wash right off the bat (it's like one cuz of the way late for a work night gig times) and then chris and dan unleash some bbq ribs and fresh fried perch - chris caught these a couple days ago from lake erie. man, is this chow good, the tomodachi love it! and there's some of that kind of rye tony had in saint paul too. dan loves roky erickson and jams that along w/the captain (man I miss him) - maybe three and a half in the morning when I gotta relent and timber on a couch in the front room. saying bye to bob, chris and mel who followed us here and are about to pull their own anchor for the michigan land they're from.

wednesday, october 10, 2012 - columbus, oh

from tom:

   i get up early and make tea. it's cool outside and i talk with jun on the deck for a bit. i'm sad that i missed the after show feast that chris and dan prepared last night, it must have been fun cause no one else is awake. i still feel the sickness inside, but we did laundry last night and my clean clothes make me feel good. slowly the clan arises, the lite brothers, raul, mike, and chris... dan comes in too. chris makes us more food, good stuff. he could run a restaurant for the amount of cooking he's done in last few hours. soon we go, the weather stays cool all the way to columbus. we are playing at a live music complex place, not the usual type thing for me here. we usually play near the university on high st. where there are little shops and restaurants. this place is very new and near the baseball stadium and downtown. i don't usually feel comfortable with these sorts of venues, but the people working the place all turn out to be very cool, and the room we're playing in is a cozy little space next to the big live room, so that eases all my concern. after checking raul and i walk for food in the high winds. we realize that downtown closes up after work hours, so we just walk and talk and go back to the club after an hour or so. chris at the club gets a menu for mike to order something and he gives raul and i a ride to the place to pick it up, and we decide to just stay and eat at the little restaurant and walk back later. raul and i do a lot of this sort of thing, he's great to tour with, we always have fun together. we walk through a nice part of town with amazing houses and stop for a cup of coffee half way. we get back to the gig a little later than i wanted, and we miss the opening band. lite kicks ass, again. afterwards, we make our way to joel's place for the night. a great guy with a killer pad. he shows us his guitar room upstairs, nice. a few travis beans, many gibson acoustics, beautiful stuff. i do a little jam with nobuyuki and i suggest we do a record together, maybe meet in hawaii?... i would love to do that. raul and i share the futon in the basement.

   mood: 6.9, health: 5.7, energy: 6.0

from watt:

   pop at fuckin' ten cuz I needed it. there was a point at six when I popped and ran outside to the boat for a bottle of water after pissing (no way is watt konk hours and hours straight w/out pissing in this stage of his life) to find someone in a pickup truck that's blocked in by a sedan w/the lights on and the engine running... I'm wondering he can't get out - is that chirs' roommate scott? I'm too tired to find out more and hobble quick back. I do know it rained last night cuz everything's wet out here. at ten when I pop for good it's a long wait for the head cuz the nakama are bogarting it, one at a time but you know what? they've been giving it each night in these towns after big hellrides so I'm thinking they very well deserve it. I talk to nobuyuki about change, how about your last gig can change you for the next one, let alone the next composition - I use the metaphor for even the strongest rock (for example: ones we saw in wyoming) get wind-changed or more obvious, sand dunes... I think about kobo abe and his "woman of the dunes" story and the movie made of it in the 60s - I first heard about from kristin kumamoto and it seem nobuyuki has first heard it from me! trippy cuz kristin is sansei (third generation) but I guess that's the way things some ways, I've learned lots of u.s. stuff from outsiders. another trippy thing: there's kafka influence maybe one could say in this kobo abe work, like w/newer stuff from haruki murakami - so much is connected, like me and mr bosch w/this third opera and yet so unconnected. I read somewhere my libretto has "no cohesive story" which very much means to mean there is also a huge gap in "connectedness" cuz though I ain't putting him at fault, he ain't seeing what I put in the spieling. that's the danger in putting shit out there and probably why we invented zippers or in my case, buttons cuz I hate getting caught up in zippers but that's the risk in hanging something out there, folks might misunderstand.

   like these nightmares I've been having, too embarrassing to chimp in this diary at this point but damn if I ain't having them every night and they can be a hell - even coming in a one fucking hour nap. I guess I gotta let them come though cuz maybe they're like a release valve.

   chris makes us up some scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon while dan makes and butters toast. I have a little folder sandwich of some but I'm still stuffed from all that great chow last night. raul's foaming about the virtue's of tobasco's chipotle sauce - what? he's gotta be just jonesing from the really good stuff we sometimes are lucky to find.

   there's clouds from last night's rain but the weather's still ok despite a wind blowing pretty strong. herr garmin puts on some little roads to get us to columbus, one of them is actually us-23 that goes to ann arbor in michigan, home of the asheton brothers. the maple trees w/their fall colors are bitchin' and some of the road is totally canopied - so glad the nakama get to check that out. they got that in their land too but here I get to show them ours. I make the whole drive, it's only three hours to columbus but we do stop where I get a hot dog w/nobuyuki cuz he spots out a deal where you can get two for $2.22 - he's getting the hang of econo!

   man, I haven't played columbus since dan dugan had to close his "little brothers" pad. where we're playing tonight is near the tripple-a baseball field and is called "the basement" which is part of another way bigger pad, a sort of gig complex and the cats working there are all very kind w/no 'tude at all. nate's the soundman and chris is the gigboss, they're happy to have us aboard and help big time. there's shirts waiting for us from bill and barbara. we take them on board. after soundcheck, gigboss chris suggests a chow pad called betty's on high street after tom and raul searched forever on foot and found only closed or lameness. I pick parmesan pork loin. there's two in box when it comes (he went and drove there) so I give one to the nakama and they say it tastes like tonkatsu - yeah, I love tonkatsu!

   locals harboring ghosts are opening and damn if I remember kazuto-san asking me about them, if it was ok for them to be on the bill and of course I trust him big time. they're good and I ask them if they've heard of godspeed ye black emperor and they tell me yeah. trippy thing is lite nakama didn't know of them. they dig them though and we all watch their set.

   ok lite next and I can see they're a little tired but they don't let it get them down. I watch from the side and can see some hihat clutch probs w/akinori and some cable/pedal stuff w/brother jun but they keep their spirit way up. the gig-goers give them much respect and yet again, like every gig we've done w/them in the u.s. I get thanked so many times for bringing them aboard. hell, it's big time honor for me, big time!

   ok, time for me to make up for last night. I feel a little bit tired too maybe... however I am going to try hard to rally and tom told me he is too so that motivates me even more. I think raul had a better time last night but he tells both he's there for us - when has he not? never! before we start the piece I tell them about the first minutemen columbus gig where the person who dukowski said he had set up a gig through (chuck booked the first minutemen tours) denied it ever was (bullshit, I trust chuck) and the good cats at "stache's little brothers" across from that "why not?" bar put on a gig for that very night w/only a afternoon to put up fliers and tell folks - they were so righteous to us. respect. we being "hyphenated-man" and tom's guitar is accidentally blasting the fuck out of my monitors into my face and I have to break the spell of the piece by the end of the second part ("beak-holder-letter-man") and let nate know he's gotta pull it out but we never stop playing, just kindly relate that to him in the soft coda part. I think we rally really good from last night, really good. it takes a real team to do that and I'm most grateful to tom and raul, truly. the columbus gig-goers are beautiful too, some sing me "for he's a jolly good fellow" when we end. that's never happened before, that's so nice of them.

   I ask for a pad to konk at for us while I sling, later tom says a very kind man named joel who had recently hosted ed fROMOHIO and his band food after a gig here has offered up his pad, most appreciated. two young men who were at the toledo gig that are actually from cleveland came for round two tonight, much respect to them! there's much kind word from people, much. I go to settle w/chris and get to meet some of the crew here that are happy to see me. man, a very good vibe here - give every day (and night) another chance I think is the lesson.

   at joel's I got the couch in the front room. he says it folds out into a futon but I keep it as is - he brings two blankies and then a third one. he shows me a righteous 70s fender telecaster bass that got a p-pickup put near the bridge to go w/the fat neck humbucker. three bolt neck but I like the way it plays - wonder how it sounds? him and his buddy are cool people and we talk for a little before down w/the konk mask. sure was great to work the room in columbus again.

thursday, october 11, 2012 - philadelphia, pa

from tom:

   we have maybe our longest drive of tour today, 9.5 hours. all the way from the middle of ohio across the entire state of pennsylvania to phily. we all take a time behind the wheel and push hard to get to philadelphia early enough to stop at john coltrane's house to get pictures with lite before soundcheck. i have the last shift and the traffic is heavy while we pull into town, crazy drivers too. so, we have to pass on stopping and go straight to the north star bar. we play with locals, split red tonight. we've played with them before and they are very sweet dudes, so tonight will be fun. i like playing here, the stage can be viewed from the floor or from a balcony just above it, it's a cool set up. raul and i go out for a walk and then i realize that i spaced out and left the brand new electric hot water kettle at chris' place, damn it. so, our peaceful walk turns into a frustrated quest for a cvs to buy a new one. at least for me. actually, i still really enjoy the walk, but i feel dumb leaving that kettle behind. it was only 2 days old! we do, however, find a cvs and the same kettle, and i buy it with the plan to not even mention it to mike, in order to avoid any further shame. we hoof it back and catch split red do their thing. they are intense, hard to describe, which i like. frenetic jazzy punk, great playing, very tight, and tonight is their new drummers first gig! after the show we head over with stephen from split red to crash on the floor. which i do almost immediately.

   mood: 8.4, health: 7.7, energy: 8.2

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and joel shows me his room w/his "babies" which are old guitars and some basses. wow. now I know why I was alone w/him and his buddy last night cuz the rest of the crew must've been going crazy jamming on these "babies" of his. the pad's righteous too, lots of old-timey and damn if it ain't the antithesis of a hamster cage - much respect! such kindness from him, wish we could chow at this pad he likes close by but we gotta pull anchor. yeah, there were folks at the gig last night who claimed "six hours tops" but after consulting w/herr garmin and other resources and know about potential dawdles when the anchor gets dropped - oh yeah, maybe some construction? whatever, I'm guess eight or nine.

   it's bright blue skies, cold but good driving weather. we don't need the heater though, have used it very little since that snow in denver. pretty farmland as we roll east on I-70 but then a fucking weird thing... not too much west of zanesville (yeah, named after the western writer - you know he ended up on catalina island, right off my pedro town?), this hombre in a car marked k9 (maybe for dog) is in the median w/the radar gun and ok, I'm right on the limit cuz damn if I ain't got california plates on the boat in parts other than california when this guy charges out and rides my bumper w/in inches for miles and miles. of course I still do the speed limit cuz that's what I do - I don't fucking speed in the boat, I don't speed w/my men in the boat - I try to obey every traffic rule there is - the only place I try to bend rules is w/music. so this guy won't relent - car after car speeds by but does he let go of this blatant use of selective enforcement? no. he gets on my wing and tries to ride a blind spot but I won't look in the mirror except safety glances of course - I ain't dong anything wrong. he is sheriff though and the county line must be coming ahead cuz he finally bolts ahead. I don't change anything, not just about the last twenty minutes but since the tour started. I am not perfect but I believe in driving safe. sure enough he raced just ahead of where the next county is and is on the side of the w/his radar gun - sure you can point at me but it will tell you I'm obeying the law. it was weird scene. tom wanted me to try some of that jolokia "ghost chili" sauce ryan gave me last night (good to see ryan again, such a long time!) but I told him to hold off - in zanesville I fule the boat and use it then on a sandwich called "the best" from a blimpie chow pad that's a combo w/the gas station cuz I wanted the lite brothers to experience something to compare w/the subway chow pads. this one I got tastes like an italian sub w/the oil/vinegar/cold cut thing and w/the soft bread and four drops on each half of the jolokia sauce, I like it. damn if them chilies ain't got heat, crimony!

   we continue on 'til where in west virginia a bit, through wheeler (much oldage) and then across the border to start our journey cross state on the pennsylvania turnpike. not too far for watt here though, at the pennsylvania welcome center, I hand the wheel over to raul. we're splitting this ride three ways and I go back to the bench seat to konk hard. oh yeah, as far as sounds in th boat goes (you know about the sock-tight and jon wayne), I put together a playlist of the very first clash releases cuz we've been asked to do a strummerville benefit up in hollywood a couple days after my bday in december. it's stuff like "1977," "hate and war" and "complete control" - stuff like that and nothing from the second album or later. that's the only stuff me and d. boon knew but we dug it much. I'm so surprised how tom doesn't know it - raul does - tom's into it though. I have to konk - I miss the beautiful fall colors and there's probably the most tunnels we go through this tour though I miss them cuz of deep konk which I needed but actually need more... 1at a service area (that's the way turnpikes work) a bit west of where the gettysburg pike is, tom provides fresh ponies to relieve raul... $3.92/gallon at these pads for gass - fuck, a bunch of miles down the road I realize I had the konk mask on where I thought it was the orange knit hat - I had been konking for almost all of raul's shit on the backbench... tom and raul think though I would've looked insane w/either on - aaahhh, for a moment I'm embarrassed. back on the road, east and more east through "deer hunter" country...we pass under "pepperidge farm road" - fuck, ain't that supposed to be in new hampshire? there's a truck playing leapfrog w/tom. we finally are blessed enough to have this prick pull take an offramp out of lives about thirty miles from valley forge. that's where we hit plug and slow to a crawl. $21.90 for the toll to get across pennsylvania. this traff is like back in so cal but tom does real good. we get to the venue a quarter after six, not much late at all.

   the pad we're playing tonight is the "north star bar" and it's the only gig and actually town that our lite brothers have played before. I chow part of a steak sandwich while do a real good spiel w/theo from paradigm magazine who's just twentyfive but damn is this cat deep! really sincere too and asks me stuff that I find really important - perspectives on existential things that to me are mindblows to ponder but cuz of that, important to get into. we do souncheck w/soundman adam and then I go to the boat out back and konk hard.

   fuck, I konk so hard I miss both split red and lite - the only gig of lite's I've missed all tour and damn I wanted to see steve, travis and his crew (new drummerman ricardo) so bad... man, am I pissed at myself but what could I do? I tried just to close my eyes for a bit and usually the sounds of lite booms through the bulkhead and wakes me but not this time...

   I use that frustrated feeling to fuel my wrestling w/the piece tonight w/tom and raul. the phily gig-goers are bitchin' cool w/giving us big focus and lots of respect - very kind of them. I know johnny g is out there cuz I saw him earlier, same w/timmy and strider - lots of good folks are kind to me and my men here. I think we do real good, we continue the rally we started last night - thank you tom and raul, thank you. we have a wild fun time w/the nakama for encore, a blast!

   we load up and I get to meet the boss sloan and settle w/andrew, glad they've had me aboard once again (three times now?) and also much appreciative of stephen and his pad in west phily, the one that's 111 years old. so kind of stephen too to pedal on his bike to roust some yuengling beers - unique to these parts. travis comes to talk and a drummerman friend - we hit many topics and have a good time w/them. I konk on the sofa where I fist sat my ass and conducted my end of the spiels from, horizontal but mind engaged cuz these cats are most interesting. lucky watt.

friday, october 12, 2012 - brooklyn, ny

from tom:

   we have a leisurely morning waking with stephen. he got us coffee and bagels and i have some yoghurt with muesli too. we sit on the porch and talk and meet his friend sydney. a very nice beginning to another day. we have a short trip to brooklyn, and we get to the bell house by 4. this is a great venue, an old stage theater type place that's been renovated for rock gigs. tonight is a little sad cause it's our last show with lite, they fly home tomorrow morning. we are also playing with the band mi-gu from japan. they're good friends with mike and lite too. a very sweet and talented couple, ms. yuko on drums and mr. shimmy on guitar. shimmy shows me his amazing hand made guitar cables and pedals. he has a gold strat too. awesome. we decide to order japanese food to be delivered, and we all get the same thing, ton katsu with miso soup, and some california sushi rolls. it hits the spot. raul and i do our walk, just a short one this time, i'm not familiar with this area so we stay close. the show is really fun, mi-gu is great and lite blows peoples minds, and it feels like everyone has a good time. i have to run out to the van twice to get more shirts, much merch sold. cool. we load and head to raul's friends, jen and shell's place, an amazing warehouse space complete with parking for the vans!!! they have a band called shellshag and they had to play a show tonight too, so we all celebrate together, giving lite a farewell toast, and also to mike because he has to go to austin in the morning for a stooges gig. a bittersweet occasion, we will miss lite so much. it gets late, there is drinking and fun until i pass out on the fold out couch.

   mood: 8.4, health: 8.0, energy: 8.1

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, stephen's up and makes me coff and toasts up a bagel. on the porch we find righteous fall weather. whoa, there's a little songbird on the deck here, light green feathers and kind of puffed, breathing hard - one of the feet crumpled. I think its sick cuz it won't move and the eyes are barely open... what stephen calls "the porch cat" comes around twice and gets shooed by him - he says he's gonna wait a half hour and call someone if the bird's still here. it's 'pert-near right after he says that when the third pounce by the cat finds the little bird completely in his jaws, a litte "chee-p chee-p" farewell song as he's crunched - right in front of my eyes... I'm a little freaked out, oh my god. nature is a wailer of reality... I try to remember then author of that "pilgrim at tinker creek" book but can only remember here first name annie - now I remember it's annie dillard and the trip about this theodicy idea. damn, this experience was heavy. maybe the bird was sick and this was a mercy thing... fuck, I try to get my mind off it - I go upstairs and hose off and shave.

   so righteous of stephen taking care of us, even getting to wash what I got filthy. I tell him though we're twenty years apart, he sure has some parallel universe stuff going in the knowledge depart w/me, damn if that ain't a trip. respect to him and his disease I share w/him of the curious mind. we pull anchor and return to 'pert-near the same neighborhood we were in last night, in the fairmont park part of phily. this is where the first house john coltrane bought is and it's great to see not only has the sign been replaced telling about it (last time we were here it was gone cuz I guess a car had wiped it out in a wreck) but two men were working on restoring it. whoa. I really wanted to take our lite brothers here, it was important to me cuz john coltrane has said he believed all musicians were after some kind of truth and I get that kind of vibe from our nakama. this is the pad where john coltrane kicked junk too. I say a prayer for him, a silent one.

akinori yamamoto, raul morales, jun izawa, mike watt, kouzou kusamoto, tom watson + nobuyuki takeda on oct 12, 2012

   I wheel us back through phily and over the ben franklin bridge into camden in new jersey. this where the last house walt whitman lived in is but we got no time to stop. I did get to visit it a few years ago though. john coltrane and walt whitman have had profound influence on me and both were turned on to me by dear friends, raymond w/the former and kristin w/the later. I can't ever thank them enough. it's all about people sometime, ain't it? at times you can get so frustrated w/fellow humans - like the fucking "driving" by these motherfuckers who think their either mario andretti http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Andretti or evel knievel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_Kneivel and taking total 'tard risks and then there's folks who will help you find out about total mindblow stuff, damn. herr garmin navigates us through pretty tiny roads through lots of jersey cuz of turnpike construction and we make it under the hudson river via the holland tunnel into nyc w/out too much plug. we listen to mi-gu as we roll. we find out the battery tunnel though is closed to vans so have to take the brooklyn bridge to get where we need to go where there's plug w/the traff but damn if we don't get to get the venue in the gowanus part (kind of industrial/warehouse area) w/five minutes to spare for load-in. it's a pad I never played before called the "bell house" and todd from "maxwell's" in hoboken is connected to it though he's gotta be there tonight and not here. rick from the "forty watt" in athens, ga is the gigboss here though and he's righteous people - worked w/him before. a quick soundcheck w/dave (another great cat) and look who's here? it's mr shimmy and ms yuko cuz they're duo mi-gu is w/us tonight - YATTA! big hugs, love them. it is a sad night in a way for us cuz it's the last gig for now w/our lite nakama but this helps big time... what a great way to blow it out! us and lite have ordered tonkatsu from a chow pad called "mura" and it comes while mi-gu soundchecks - yeah, all of us chowing tonkatsu cuz everyone ordered it - the nakama trip on how big u.s. portions are, actually even w/coff they trip on that w/us over here - everything OKI (big) in this land! yeah, there's miso and some california roll maki too. good last chow w/our brothers - itadakimas! oh, both us and lite's buddy evan who's just move here has come to see us, good times!

   mi-gu is the first to go at 8:30 and they tear it up, so strong and yet trippy sensitive. they have such a connection, oh my god! I'm way up front to take it in the face. the gig-goers get into it, give much respect. same w/our lite brothers next. crimony! are we gonna choke on the smoke? no way, it's just helper fuel for the ojiisan and his men to bring the third opera here to brooklyn. near the end tom has some tuning challenges but I gotta say we did probably best "pinned-to-the-table-man" part ever of the piece. it even shut a fucking yammerer who was going on about how I was born in 1957... ok, I was born in 1957. one more encore time w/the nakama. brother jun singing buddy's spiel most genuine and then working raul's floor tom while akinori helps us celebrate a wire tune. then nobyuki right up next w/us to celebrate minutemen w/him dancing scissor kicks way up in the air while tom tries to keep up w/him... finally kouzou to help us close w/our b.o.c. tune that I started doing w/d. boon when we were boys - a great tradition to continue w/our lite brothers! I really do appreciate the sincere kindness the gig-goers here and the nine other towns w/worked w/the nakamas showed to our these cats who played their hearts out and we're so glad to see these parts of the u.s. they never experienced before. thank you thank you - each and everyone of you who came and let lite play their music for you, thank you!

   many kind words and feelings shared for the post-gig slinging I get going, plumber john from staten island here as is many cats from many gigs past but also new folks too plus a bday girl. there's a young man who wants to take me to the broolyn's west hills where walt whitman was raised. and there's also more than a couple bassworkers also, respect. one cat w/the same last name I call cousin! camp's here, from the old days in east tennessee and a good buddy of drummerman larry - so good to see him again, respect! our last load-out w/the nakama, they always pull together as a team to get things dodone BIG respect to their righteous ethic. big hug to mr shimmy, mata ne.

   raul's got buddies named shell and jennifer (they got a great band called shellshag) in the greenpoint part of brooklyn and damn if this pad ain't got a big-ass fenced-in court for us to dock our boats, crimony! the pad too is amazing - all done up like for photography w/everything white and stuff. mrs yuka couldn't come to the gig but she flowed a sack via a messenger (her bandmate miho came did, good friends of ms yuko's) for me w/a bottle of yuzukosho, shogakosha (for back home, shoga means ginger) and one of jim beam so we have some bourbon for last time together. shell and jennifer are sure nice folks, they're gonna have tom and raul stay here two night while I fly to austin to do a stooges gig and then rejoin them monday for the dc gig. much gratitude to them from me. the boat safe too.

   on behalf of myself, tom and raul: big love to lite, OKI OKI love to them! safe seas, brothers...

monday, october 15, 2012 - washington dc

from tom:

   (saturday) i wake at jen and shell's and realize that lite and mike have left. raul and i are on our own till we pick up mike at the airport in arlington, va. on monday. two days off in brooklyn is actually good timing for us, and it's great to have such a nice place to stay. raul gets up and then shell and we sit and talk outside in the morning sunshine and have coffee. raul needs to do a couple errands so we head out to find a bank and pst office and then meet up with his buddy preston. he takes us to a place called jimmy's diner "the best fried chicken in brooklyn", we talk as we wait to get a table and a couple he knows meets us and we wait longer until finally sitting at the bar and order food and bloody mary's. we have a long, leisurely lunch and then we journey to find pinball machines. we play a few games and then head back to jen and shells and hang with them and order thai food, mellow evening. raul and i watch some of evil dead 2 projected on the wall and enjoy a relaxing night.

   on sunday morning i touch base with my friend steve, and try to make a plan to meet. i have to take care of some mercy related stuff as shell gets his beamer set up to watch some football. jen's brother stops by, and a friend named gaby, both great guys, and we watch football and eat pizza for most of the day. later, raul helps jen silk screen some of their t-shirts for some shows they have coming up. it's such a great situation, lots of space, sweet people, we order mexican food, eat and then sleep. it's an early saturday night. great.

   i hear shell leaving to go to work at about 7 and get up. it's not a huge drive to washington d.c., but we have to get organized and back into tour mode. we also have to drive through manhattan to get to the jersey turn pike and that takes time. raul drives first shift and we navigate west and then south through some light rain. we have some gps problems once we get to the d.c. / arlington area and it's a little tedious getting to the airport, but we're 2 hours early so no problem. we stop at a small park near a marina by the airport and play frisbee till we receive a call from mike. we reunite with him and we safely make it to the black cat and load in. there's a band called edie sedgwick playing with us tonight. they are great. really fun tunes. sweet people too. ian hangs with us in back and it's a good night all around. justin form the sedgwicks kindly invites us to stay at his folks place for the night. it was a long day, i'm beat, i go to sleep. done.

   mood: 8.2, health: 8.2, energy: 8.5

from watt:

   pop at six bells in this austin fancy pad 'tel (last night was a stooges gig here for the austin city limts festival) after a fucking punish-fuck nightmare - I say that cuz they were bad ones, not sexual but assaults on me in what seemed to parts of my own pedro town by very angry people who I had no idea what I had done to offend them but they were in a hell of rage and after me. I had to pick up shit up and throw it at them to slow them down, take alleys and parts I knew to try and get space between us. it was very much a fucked up thing... and damn if I could pop and free myself of the sitch - over and over I had this drama twisting me all up fear-soaking me, christ. I did pop though and so damn was I glad about that - hosed off again and then I got to witness the sunrise, an austin one - not enough wind to put the big texas flag up that's between me and taio but those orange/yellow rays are sure a peaceful thing on me after the nightmare wrestling that troubled my konk so brutally.

   I hoof down to that "wholly cow" place I chowed at last night and get what they call "breakfast tacos" (we ain't got those in pedro), one "the grassy knoll" and one "letgo my chorizo" w/some coff. they're good, I like them soft harina tortilla and you get the like in a tube-shape w/some happening green salsa - I enjoyed. I chimp up some q and a pressman howard has flowed me 'til it's time to leave this town and rejoin my men - driverlady tammy brings me to the 'port I flew into saturday - we pass driverlady shannon on the way and Tammy chucks some keys right into her open passenger window as we pass by, great throw! I spaced and forgot to call my ma yesterday (always try to on sundays cuz that's the morning me and my sister chow w/her when I'm in home in pedro. her feet are still healing up from the surgery she got for corns a few weeks ago, she's hurting some. I ask her to hold on and be strong cuz she can make it. soon she's seventyseven and retired last year, it's trippy for her but she's a strong lady. I'm her only son.

   I get on southwestern 737 bound for reagan airport in arlington - so glad it dulles but this airline has no assigned seats so by the time my group is allowed on, I have a bologna (middle) seat in the last row. trippy person beside me hunched up w/a couple of leashes - he shows a stewardess lady some kind of i.d. fast and secret-like so ok... I just wanna finish chimping diary and I 'pert-near do for the three hour flight w/my arms really crammed in. there's some of the worst turbulence I've felt like if I didn't have this seatbelt on then for sure I would've flew and hit the overhead - I was fucking weightless. some people laugh and do what they gotta do while I put my head by my knees and pray and hope - it was scary on me... very relieved watt when we land and even more relieved when in minutes tom and raul arrive in the boat to get me - yatta! fuck, a ton of stress just lifted off my shoulders. so glad to these guys, so glad! yes yes they're in good shape and made the drive south from brooklyn to get me safe. these are beautiful men I treasure most big time

   above I see the heavy clouds we flew through but they look like either their moving on or are breaking up some cuz though cool, there's lots of sun. I can tell it rained not too much earlier today. not too long before we're at where we're playing, the backroom at the "black cat" in dc. great pad and I've been here many times before, love it. we're twenty minutes early so at first hatchguard meagan is reluctant to let us in thinking we need a lot of hands but damn if our whole thing ain't that big and she relents. soon soundman kenny's here and we do soundcheck. gigboss stefan makes everything for a smooth go (respect) and cookman jeremy I do third opera for tonight cuz of the great burger he whipped up for me. all these folks here at black cat are righteous, truly and as are the openers, locals called edie sedgewick and damn if their man justin doesn't invite us to konk at a pad he's got available - crimony! big time dc hospitality all the way around, respect.

   I finish my chimping and a great thing is tom's giving me a week of some too. unfortunately raul's out this tour in this regard and though I don't know exactly why, I ain't gonna put him on the spot cuz chimp diary is not a tour requirement like drumming or bass. I do it cuz it helps me get focus but that doesn't mean cats like raul need that to have musical focus cuz he very much does. he helps me w/so many things in so many ways so please cut him slack and not lay a heavy trip on him cuz of diary shirkage. I am so lucky to have raul aboard and tom too.

   it's early gig tonight w/edie sedgewick on at quarter of nine - fuck konk, I go out and watch and hear them. I dig it. white outfits w/justin trading vocals w/main singerlady josafeen who wails and very happening sisters in the rhythm section too. it's a good time. ian from dischord is here, respect. me and him as good a rap as we can right before it's time bring the piece at a quarter of the next hour - two days since we've done it last together and I space some but not bad. tom and raul are like we never missed a beat. there's some yammering, some right up front like w/a kind of chutzpah about it or whatever but I hold focus and ain't deterred. trippy doing the encore w/out our nakamas but tom's voice has come back and he's strong, great guitar playing as is raul's drums. the missingmen are smokin' and I ain't just saying that. trippy balance of many focused gig-goers w/quietness to ying/yang the yammers but not w/admonishment. actually the middle part again plays a big role in getting these folks to let go at points while at other times you know they just can't help it.

   time to sling and I try to do my best w/people asking me to do older things for them, like pete townshend's first opera or fIREHOSE gigs - I hope it doesn't make them feel bad I got other stuff to do, I don't wanna make anyone wanna feel bad that way. kristian's here w/his buddy culver and some monster bearhugs - he says he's grateful for the punk rock and his lady said she finally gets to meet who he's been talking about - trippy about the connects w/people and their lives. brother kyle made the hellride up from richmond in virginia - hell, he wanted to bring his just-turned-seven son maddux even! respect. many bass folks tonight too rap w/me, very kind (kristina in edie sedgewick was great, by the way!) eric for org http://orgmusic.com/ was here but has some busted ribs and had to bail, damn. I hope he gets better soon. aaron brings me what he said he's always wanted to bring me: music from him. alright, aaron!

   we pack up and I get to vist and settle up w/padboss dante, love this man. ian joins us and we talk about saint vitus playing together again - joe carducci loves that band. we talk about when ian was bassman w/the teen idols and they toured out west... the brought just a guitar, a bass and two drumsticks - plus two roadies and one of them was hank - well of course they needed two roadies cuz they had two drumsticks! great to see this cats again, every time EVERY time. ian says he's got a new evens album out, whoa, wonder what it's like - I wanna hear it! I'm so glad we could bring "hyphenated-man" to him again cuz we know it so much better now - we had to do what we did to get to here but man, do we not it better now - not in a mersh way but organic, you know? just SO glad to get to bring to ian and everyone else who wants a second heapin' helpin' of the third opera.

   sincere byes to everyone, we pull anchor and go to justin's pad not far who in turn takes us to his parents pad in the chevy chase part of town they rent out sometimes and now available for us three to konk in. how very kind of him, most kind! I get the couch and there's a kind of smaller blankie that looks crotcheted by hand - my sister does that. so good to be back w/my me safe. I konk real glad.   

tuesday, october 16, 2012 - rehoboth beach, de

from tom:

   we stop in annapolis to have the oil changed, and get to the dog fish head early enough to eat some food. i'm a little run down so i take a short rest in the van before we soundcheck. i played here with mike and vince many years ago, this time we play downstairs and they move out all the tables for the gig. raul and i walk to the ocean a few blocks away and we put our fingers in so we can say we touched the atlantic. it's a quiet night in this town, most things are already closed. kate opened the show playing her acoustic and sings some sweet songs. after her set i mention that i think she could do a great cover of a jimmy scott song, the mood of her songs give me a similar vibe. she says she loves jimmy scott, cool. i pogo on and off the low stage area as we play. i have a good time tonight. we meet up with booker man, chris at his place and i fall asleep with my mask on as the others talk.

   mood: 8.3, health: 8.9, energy: 8.1

from watt:

   pop at seven am - windows full of sun but that didn't pop me cuz I had the konk mask on. it was my body clock popping me up. I hose off and do what I can do in a pad w/internet cuz that's what they got here. we're bailing a little early cuz I wanna get the boat serviced. I found a pad using the internet and gave them a call. I take us straight east and in about fortyfive minutes we're out of in dc and into maryland, I get us to koons ford lincoln in annapolis (home of the naval academy) where I nice cat named jody helps get things happening for us. raul gets me an italian combo sandwich at a chow pad called "panera" - will say the bread is better than subway sandwich chain. in a hour everything's been checked w/the oil/filter changed and the tires rotated. I feel good for the boat.

   we continue east and cross chesapeake bay which is still maryland but what they call eastern shore. I get gas soon - there's no interstate, we're on small roads where the posted speed limits are big time scoffed by the locals but I stay the limit, fuck it. I got cali plates and they don't. nice weather and lots of farms, some w/an odor to it but hey, that's what farms can be about cuz why? fucking manure, right? a good crop seems to dig that - kind of an analogy for making significant expression sometimes... trippy cuz I just saw an article on the net (maybe bbc site?) that said creativity might be a mental illness - whoa?! we pass into delaware and I get gas - whoa, that first part of the stooges "tv eye" hollers out of me leash just as I drop anchor - it's ig I know cuz the leash only makes that ring for him, the rest get "a love supreme" from john coltrane. he wants to talk about the gig saturday and he also asks about my own tour here w/my missingmen. love hearing from him always. kind of heart attack though when I hear that ring, 'pert-near always - like a rush.

   tonight's gig is in rehoboth beach and that's right on the atlantic ocean, very much straight three hours due of washington dc. the venue is the "dogfish head" whatever - it's a chow pad that makes its own beer. brother chris brought me and tom here thirteen years ago as mike watt + the pair of pliers which also had vince meghrouni on drums. he also provided for our tokyo brothers lite to do sxsw in austin about a year and a half ago. I didn't know he was actually was from lancaster, pa - that's a trip. anyway, he meets up w/us and introduces us to the padboss jason who has just done a cruise trip of italy and we talk about towns there he visited. they give us chow - I get rockfish w/sundried tomatoes along w/asparagus and I little caesar salad ('chovies w/it) - I like it much. I chimp diary after in the boat.

   when soundman dave gets here, we soundcheck at seven though we gotta wait some cuz there's a writers guild thing going on upstairs - that's where we played last time but now were in the main part of the building where part of the stage pulls out from another part that I guess is the drum riser but I don't like raul behind us - I dig him right up front. dave says my mic sounds lame and he says to check a shure sm58a beta he's got (same model as mine) and I ask if I can buy it. he says $125 and I pay him right there, saves me a trip to the shithard center - thank you, dave. we do the eighth part for check rather than the first three cuz there's still lots of people chowing here and we don't wanna blow them out. konk time, so out to the boat w/me, I use the trucker blankie while also in my yellow coat.

   I konk good and hard for like three hours before tom rousts me and gives me some hot throatcoat tea - he says I missed opener kate schutt - I really wanted to see her, damn it. I guess she played solo, I met her earlier and she knows nels - she's from the big delaware town wilmington but lives in nyc. I don't know how gigboss chris knows her but she seems like a very nice lady, I got to meet her after our check. damn me and my hard konk sometimes.

   it's five after eleven - I'd said something earlier to chris about it being a work night and it being late but then thought I was sounding like a 'tard and relented. we bring the piece. it feels like a character builder in a bunch of ways but a good one - tom and raul really rise to the occasion, tom really not having that much on the stage and playing on the deck (stage is only a foot high), going back and forth. I guess there was the second u.s. president debate earlier - I got told right before we went on but that's done now and though both televisions above the bar are on, they do have their sound part turned off, some sports going on but I'm used to that. I think this is sitch here tonight is good for the piece, good for us in the band and good for the gig-goers. by "good" I ain't trying to make a qualitative judgement but rather one from a objective one in respect to a question that asks "what's it all about?" in terms of stuff actually pretty subjective. it reminds me of the old days in ways and being a minuteman w/out being all that nostalgic cuz damn if we gotta be in the moment to work this baby. I'm really proud of my men. gig-goers after share much kindness and hey, we played for another bday and are thanked for it. it's fred's buddy we saw back at the brooklyn gig. so much out on the limb you take yourself w/a crazy piece and then there's kindness for trying to do that while meanwhile there's still a parallel universe in regards to others. being humble about yourself sincerely makes sense as much as bucking up in the first place to get the sisyphus rock rolling maybe, huh? I think so.

   we follow chris to his pad, he says it's seven minutes away and damn if he ain't right. very safe for the boat and right into his driveway. I strip and get the outfit plus the gig flannel in his washing machine along w/raul and tom's stuff - I don my nightwear and check out chris' room in the back w/his drums and poster/set list stuff he has framed and mounted on the bulkheads. he's got yellow label jim beam: rye and soda water, very kind. we don't stay much though cuz of early shove-off we gotta make for tomorrow's hellride to allston. you can't say much more for a gigboss being more generous except a deep bow in total gratefulness, crimony. beautiful brother chris, a man w/much open heart. soon we konk in separate konk chambers which he's made up for each of us. namaste.

wednesday, october 17, 2012 - allston, ma

from tom:

   we leave chris' and we head north through new jersey again, passing manhattan along the western edge of the hudson river. we pull into the boston area and find the club and load in. after checking raul and i walk to find food and find a korean place that has ramen. it's decent enough, we both prefer this kind of thing in our stomachs for playing on. my body is sore, but i am feeling much better and we rest in the green room watching friday the 13th pt. 2 on the backstage tv set till doors open. it's pretty relaxing. i make tea. the support band plays some replacements style rock, and raul and i get a game of pool in before we set up to play. it's a fun show, and then we head over to bass player taylor's place to sleep. i go to sleep.

   mood: 7.9, health: 7.9, energy: 7.8

from watt:

   pop at six and a half bells, popped out of a dream where I found my self on top of box cars being pulled by a train and it was scary, this right after being asked about political ideas I might be wondering about - I think it was james williamson asking me - can you believe it? it was just asking he was doing and no interrogation. you know james has always been very kind to me, always. this was a crazy part of my konked mind writing the script anyway, not his fault. about to pull anchor tom almost spaces w/a donate of his charger and leash but a baka check prevents that, something I totally neglect and if it wasn't for our good host chris, it'd be my pin of john coltrane that'd be left here though I'd have to say, not a bad place if it's gotta be donated. I gotta get it together w/my own baka checks! we shove off just after seven, big hugs for chirs. man, did he write a very kind poem for me, he rolled it up like a scroll.

   the weather is righteous, just so happening - thank you mother nature. on the other hand, we notice once more the way things are way close to the stripmall wide streets of hawthorne in torrance or those same kind of "terrain" of parts of orange county like we did yesterday rolling into here. you know this is a very old part of the u.s. (first stage in the union) but it'd be hard to tell someone from mars that maybe? and again like yesterday but even worse the locals scoff at the speed limits but I hold firm... around dove we finally see some pull-overs... sorrrrrrrr-y. I won't be vindictive and relish on that stuff - just hate the high risk danger moves unthinking clowns pull - I wanna get my men home safe. I don't drive under the speed limit cuz that's dangerous too. I just want us all to get around. like yesterday we hear our clash tunes for december after some sock-tight plus I put on some 2ne1. oh yeah at dover we stop at a "wawa" - we just gotta try one cuz of the weird billboards we were seeing for these chow/gas pads - this one's a taunt and miles off the road (fuck, we didn't know) and in fact we gotta pay a toll again to get back on the highway, ha! egg and pepperoni sandwich for me via a touchscreen ordering system - never seen this before... it tastes kind of ok but later we all got some gut pains... not bad ones but something. one neat thing about this particular wawa was that next was a car repair pad w/a rail up on it's forward bulkhead - no motor/tranny but a real frame w/tires and shit. a man working there came to get coff and I get to talking to him about dragsters - he said it had a big block that burned alcohol. I ask him if he'd ever been to the big daddy don garlits museum in ocala, florida and he said he always wanted to but now - however, he had bid daddy sign this rail I'm looking at. whoa, respect to him and respect to big daddy. man, did I love drag racing as a kid, loved it. my favorite kind were coups but I dug the whole deal, read tons of mags all the time. anyway, frau garmin (we've decided to change the gps navigator's gender though we always keep it silent cuz the voice shit is way irritating) guides us from the smaller delaware roads to the new jersey turnpike in new jersey (no shit) and then I-95 in new york. remember the other day we drove through camden in nj w/the lite brothers last week? I just read camden's now got the most poor people and homeless per capita in our country, it's the most beat city. that yanks hard on my soul - I think of mr whitman...

   frau garman decides the best way through nyc for us is over the george washington bridge and damn if it pretty easy sailing through the bronx, damn. fresh ponies not too far once I get us inside connecticut but damn the filling station's a burnward ($4.37/gallon!) so I get only sixty bucks worth wich should last 'til it's raul's turn. frau garmin (new for the garmin gps) navigate off I'95 to connecticut 15 north - one sign syas the christopher columbus highway - what? in spain they spell his w/a pronunciation helper thing but if you lose it then it's "colon" - get it?! pretty connecticut woods in the fall, yeah. I notice a portion of a brick from john coltrane's phily pad on the dash in the shrine area, under the sri lanka deity and being held down by it being squeezed cuz of the velcro attachment rig-up by tom. very righteous, a relic for the boat and our journey via music - us after some kind of truth. at hartford we take I-84 towards boston. we hear jon wayne's "texas funeral" after tom plays a flying lizards album he has.

   raul takes the helm a quarter after two (not much before massachusetts) - we see a sign for a fine for littering being $219 - how'd they get that number? some states it's a $1000... a round number. I think folks shouldn't litter, they should have a gomi (trash) sack in their fucking vehicle, that's what I think. they can dump them regularly at filling stations. anyway, trippy number: 219. we drop anchor in allston at three and a half, that was an eight an half hour ride, whew. all three of us at the wheel spread the hellride out though. very fortunate w/the righteous weather too - lots of beautiful fall colors up here in new england.

   I've never really been in this part of boston but it's lots of university students and right near cambridge - pretty much the near the charles river and the center part of the boston old town. no grid to the roads here! the pad is called the "brighton music hall" and I guess used to be a blues/jamband pad for a long time but a year and a half ago that all changed and renovations w/new sound stuff came in. my old buddy kato and his fenway recordings are actually sponsoring tonight. man, kato's a great cat, truly. he's gotta be out of town so I'll miss him but I dig him big time. the soundman here is will and he's righteous people - way into being our fourth man tonight and helping to deliver the third opera, he takes the time to ring out raul's drums good. he's good people and you can't imagine what a difference it makes when the cat at the knobs is on board w/the mission - it's just a righteous thing. I watch the soundcheck of the openers tonight, a local band called the thunderbloods who are very cool young cats - three guitars, alright! they sound good and have lit-up spirits. I'm excited about the gig.

   a few doors down is "habanero" which is the name of el salvadorian chow pad. I have a carne asada plate that's really good. sabor! I go back to the club and do three q and a things for upcoming gigs. this really saves my voice cuz you understand w/play every night. getting to chimp answers to questions instead of using spiel sure gives my throat a break. I go to the boat and konk hard for three hours straight.

   tom rousts me for our turn after the thunderbloods. the gig-goers are way w/us, way w/the piece - crimony, was there a focus happening you plow a fucking univers w/and I shit thee not. I can't say enough good about how these folks were. I mean we've been real fortunate to have righteous gig-goers all tour but as a house-full, this was something else. I know tom and raul felt and got lit by it cuz they were hard charging into making this piece as living as it could. stage sound was a little trippy, a little spacy but not brutal or a millstone around the neck or balls. us three had connect and I think via the opera the gig-goers brought a connect that was really beautiful on us. I was so very grateful for them, my men too.

   many good exchanges while I sling after. some accidental blows to the bad knee - folks can't see through the levi and see I'm weak there so I can't really blame them. I didn't get hurt though. sister debcha was there and I get to have good talk cuz of getting the konk stich was a little parted out and she was so dear to have a bravo (plan b) just in case. turned out thunderblood bassman taylor had us aboard - what a safer pad to dock the boat then the lot across the street from him which is for the brighton police station? you fucking bet! pretty amazing actually. a band that just was there donated a konk sack and I use that for a blankie on a couch that's been squished out in one part by someone maybe belling hard but you know what? this mother was more comfortable than you'd ever believe and I konked real good! before that though, I recount something I spaced on chimping about like I should've regarding the morning of leaving justin's folks' pad in chevy chase: as I was coming out the hatch, I saw tom put his arm like what I thought was a signal to fucking toss my yellow clothes sack but the reality was he couldn't see cuz of the sun over the roof in his eyes (what I couldn't see) so like a fucking 'tard, I heaved it right into his in-no-way-ready face, fuck! it knocked his glasses off and broke them all up and even worse, compressed his neck up w/whiplash force - what a fucking baka, I felt like and hobbled quick to him to give neck rubs, many of them. he even had blood from glasses frames on one cheek. oh my god, it was terrible - my heart almost jumped out of my chest. I think that's why maybe I didn't chimp it - I had somehow blocked it out of my mind like a baka - can you believe it. I was so so sorry for not being more careful. I swore to him I would no longer accept visual cues and act only on verbal ones w/stuff like that. we share some of the rye from chris delaware. damn, I love tom.

thursday, october 18, 2012 - albany, ny

from tom:

   in the morning raul gets some coffee for us and then he and i walk to coffee shop to get bagels and more coffee. the sun is shining today, and we wait for mike by the van for a little bit just soaking it up. it's not a very long drive and we find a cvs when we pull into albany to pick up some supplies. we have some time to kill before loading in and raul and i walk to lark street and find burritos, sort of a mistake. we get veggie burritos and they're cold and tasteless, and not cheap, but they are light on our tummies and i don't feel ill, so that's good. we walk though the side roads of albany on our way back and get back to the club and load. tonight we play with a local act called the last conspirators that have some long running history in the albany scene, which sounds interesting to me. the singer, tim works with a label called sundazed that reissues obscure music from the 60's. that's cool. a friend of mike's named karen comes and helps us with rolling up t-shirts backstage, that's cool too. we stay at her place tonight. i see my friend piper at the show. it's great to see her, and nice to talk for a bit. the show is good, but i break two strings, each time we stop, i change the string and we start at the beginning again. very strange to break two strings like that, must be a bad batch, or someone was doing some voodoo on me. we get through the set and all is well. two nice young dudes help load out, really funny guys. they bring a can of sardines for mike to sign for their friend who couldn't make the show and raul and i try to talk them into trading it to us for something else to sign because we want to eat them. it doesn't work. we follow karen to her place in kinderhook about 20 minutes away and listen to a bunch of john cale music before raul and i fall asleep on the air mattress on the living room floor.

   mood: 8.5, health: 8.7, energy: 8.4

from watt:

   pop at nine and hose off soon as raul ceases his bogart of the head. actually I think I was told there was two heads but I think I forgot which hatch was to what cuz I think it was definitely a roommate hatch I was popping - after a crack I realized I was baka and battened it quick. great konk, my body feeling rested and then clean after hose off and it looks like righteous weather out the window - it's a most happening feeling to have on tour running through me. I do the things I can do when there's internet connect. I get to talk to our host taylor one more time, I get a shot of him w/the bass his ma used when she used to play. when I asked him how he got on bass he said it was cuz his ma played and that's when he showed me this righteous danelectro short scale, kind of like the one richard hell showed me - I think it was his first bass. richard hell was my first punk rock hero. when I put a picture of him on my first gibson bass, my entire music world changed - almost as much as it done when I first met d. boon. I thank taylor for his kindness an head for the boat, outside I find it truly is most happening weather.

   I wheel us back to the richie blackmoore road (mass pike) and head west. tom and raul have gotten me a bagel w/cream cheese and lox. the bagel is kind of california though, like a chew toy. I've found the northeast really knows bagels, especially nyc, right? no chew toys there. this road sure is pretty w/all the leaves of fall coloring it up bright - this is not like most of the california I know. sock-tight/clash/2ne1 but not too loud... raul calls it driver's choice. about three hours to albany, we head straight for a drug store cuz tom needs a prescription refilled but we also can cleaner for the hands, q-tips for the ears, ricola for the throat and b-sol and nose hair scissors for watt. downtown albany, not too far from where the gig is tonight, a pad called "valentine's" and we got prime parking right in front, I drop anchor at three and a half. tom and raul roam while I check out a chow pad called "china house" - guess what kind of chow's there? I get a quart of won ton soup and a pint of pork chow mein to go - some young guy at the counter asked if I knew what pork chow mein was... I nod my head. miss pin taught me xie xie is thank you. I take the chow back to the boat along w/some soda water I got. it'll be hour before it cools enough for me to chow it and I got some diary to chimp anyway.

   five is our load-in time, there's some stairs involved. I've played this pad a few times - maybe five? I really dig the bossman howard. he brings a sauce of chilies he made himself - good flavor and plenty of heat, respect to him. it's been a while since I've been here, great to see him again. karen knows him - I heard her talking w/tom while putting the latest diary chimpings of mine up (free interent from the laundromat next door) and she knows him too. we do soundcheck w/the soundman nate, a young man probably new at this - our fourth man for the night. he's got good spirit. I meet the opening band, the last conspirators who are friendly. we got another delivery of shirts yesterday so I help roll them into more convenient forms, karen most kindly helps too.

   I go to the boat and chow that soup and chow mein, now warm from their former boiling state and damn if it ain't real good, love it. I apply the frankincense and eucalyptus lineament and konk like boulder plunged over the side into the deep in - fuck am I out.

   tom rousts me for the gig at quarter of ten - charley plymell is w/him! charley lets me use his can to disembark. his wife pam and son billy are here too, they came from cherry valley, 'pert-near two hours west of here. much respect. damn, I gotta do the piece good for him, karen too. man, the flannel for the gig not only has an odor to it, it's cold when I put it on - I'm ready now!

   the piece though has some interesting challenges though. the gig-goers are most together and for us - it ain't from them. I guess you could say the first hurdle is tom having a string break on him - whoa, it was in the second part and I thought for the life of me it was the bass way out of tune 'til tom points at the busted string and I stop us, trying to tread water w/the second part's coda but that feels kind of really stupid so I just stop. tom scrambles and gets a new string and I figure we should start again - I so much want the piece whole. we get up to the eighth part (remember there's thirty of them) and tom breaks another string, this time a 'd' - the first time was an 'a' and I stop us right away and question my prefacing our set w/me telling the gig-goers about my pop getting nuclear engine room training for the navy near here at a g.e. plant - I decide we should start from the beginning a third time. it's ok but I feel tom might feel pressure but then again he's happening and each time we reboot maybe it's a pallet-cleanse? I don't know really cuz this has never happened before but I think both the gig-goers and the piece itself deserve it. I fucking space the entire second part's bass solo - what the fuck? clams! I do get it together after that though and tom has no more strings broken. actually I'm glad in a way we did get to start this third time cuz nate had accidentally killed my monitors and a voice from the crowd hollered there was too much kick drum and bogarting shit. I think folks in the crowd voicing opinions about the sound are good things cuz you gotta realize on the stage it's 'pert-near impossible to know who it is for the folks attending - I'm most grateful to that cat - later he apologizes after the gig to me but I reassure him that I think what he did was help the gig much. I know soundman nate was trying his hardest but it's kind of a tough room and he's still coming along, it would be lame to lay any kind of trip on him. what was really testing us was also not their fault: a band downstairs playing and their sound coming up through the deck and bogarting our soft parts, fuck, it was insane - at some points I couldn't hear the rhythm of our band! the other thing was this giant airconditioner kicking on right at the moment of most tiny sounds for us in the piece, crimony! whoa, what a test for us bringing the piece to albany! you know what though? I think it would be a head-up-the-ass move to think anything but the reality of the moment should be appropriate for this piece. some of the millstone around my neck too was me maybe overtrying - I mean trying your best is also about being natural and forced, you know? I think overtrying is kind about being too self-conscious and actually shooting yourself in the foot. good focus is not overtrying. thank god I got tom and raul w/me. and I'm most grateful to the gig-goers w/their good hearts.

   I sling stuff and this man I did a spiel w/for the gig shows me a framed set list - it's a minutemen set list and I immediately recognize d. boon's handwriting - oh my god. I wasn't ready for that and it affects me deeply, I'm a little bit stunned, unbalanced... I regain my bearings - he offers to give me the list but I think it's important he has it. I'm glad now though I got a chance to see it. many kind folks, some I ain't seen in a while and some young cats seeing me for the first time. andre from "rebel sound" is here and he has me do an interview w/his friend john who does a real good one, very heartfelt. a big hug for bossman howard.

   karen has us go to her pad in kinderhook and we listen to much john cale w/tom running the playfest from what she's got. we have a great time and also get to wash our clothes, so kind of her. it's like three bells when we knock off. a tto iu ma.

friday, october 19, 2012 - buffalo, ny

from tom:

   we wake early on a flattened air mattress with my shoulder compressed on the hard wood floor. raul switches to the couch and i fold the mattress in half to maximize the pressure and we both get another hour or so of sleep in. when we rise karen is making coffee and i take a shower while she makes us some breakfast pitas with eggs and sausages in them. we dress them up with some hot sauce that i grab from the van. it's poring rain outside in the dark morning light. soon we leave. we have a medium sized drive to buffalo, but we want to stop by charlie pymel's place in cherry valley which is on the way. charlie is a writer who mike knows and who has a very interesting past which i'm sure you can read about in mike's diary, so i won't even try to explain it here. check it out. we arrive at charlie and pam's stone house and are treated to a home cooked meal which is a vegetable pie type thing with squash and mushrooms and a nice green salad with avocados and peppers that tastes like it was all grown in their yard. delicious! we a nice time and get the story on some of the local history of the town, etc, as well as a little tour of the downtown area. we say farewell, and shuffle on to buffalo. we arrive at the mohawk place, a nice old bar with a stage at the end. i like this kind of room, there was obviously a lot music played in here over the years. i take a fall while rolling in one of the bass cabinets and bruise my hand and shin, but not too bad. lots of cracks on the sidewalk. i put ice on my hand to bring the swelling down. raul and i set up and we check, then walk to find food. we are lured into another burrito place and we both go ito it knowing that we will likely be let down. there's just not much option and it looks like it might be a little better than the albany place. we greet carne aside burritos with refried beans, and the hottest salsa the have and it's pretty weak. i get a burrito for mike and we bring back. we set up some mercy and soon, and i order a half a beer and then the returners start to play. i really like them. two guitars, bass and drums. they use capos on their guitars and they have a really nice harmonic thing going. the singer has a really pure voice, bass player doing harmonies and the drummer lady, renee plays with a lot of spirit. one of my favorite bands of the tour. renee hooks us up with a place to stay at marty and susan's place about a half hour south, out in the country, and we arrive and he offers whiskey and shows us the extra beds downstairs. an amazing place and i have my own bed tonight. it's not hard to fall asleep.

   mood: 8.5, health: 8.8, energy: 8.2

from watt:

   pop at eight and a half. karen's beautiful, she cooks up scrambled eggs and chicken sausage to fill pitas for us to chow. so so very kind. we pull anchor at nine cuz we're gonna visit charley plymell in cherry valley. the rain that must've hit last night has everything soaked and the sky's full of heavy clouds most likely to deliver more. once we get to us-20 via the interstate, I wheel us west towards charley's. soon though there's rain and heavier than that is raul having to blow it out so I get gas and he does a mandance and the hatch of the head while someone bogarts. I think tom's right after him. about an hour through some very beautiful country kind of hidden cuz of the storm on us (good road though and not crowded), I need to take my turn - I get raul some macaroni and cheese to glue his inside parts together. I get something in a bottle called "vichy" cuz I just wanna know what it is... turns out to be real strong soda water. some of our ride is through parts called "the leatherstocking region" - what?

   we get to cherry valley just after eleven w/the rain stopping just ahead of that - the sun lighting up the righteous orange/yellow/red leaves fall has brought here, gorgeous. so good to see charley and also to see his pad which is like two hundred years old. inside there's righteous glow coming from a wood burning that's got its hatch open and I sit in front of that and absorb both that and the energy resonating through me - charley's spirit. pam serves us up a kind of pie that's got squash in it and a salad avocados - both going good together - I use my hashi on them... soon I'm taking snaps of all over the pad w/my camera. charley's buddy phil's joined us too - he was a the gig last night too. pam gives me boxcar bertha's autobiography when somehow I'd mention emma goldman cuz of this sitch I remembered where seamstresses (ms goldman did sewing work when young) had to jump cuz of firetrap nightmare workplace fire - oh, we also talked about beachyhead and how I couldn't figure out why it is that of observed suicides there, the women are more likely to roll off the cliff while the men mostly jumped and what she says makes sense - if you roll off, you don't have to look down. I am a slow learner. I have fear of heights too. charley says this town provided timber for ship building way down at fell's point in baltimore, whoa. he says the first working telegraph machine got invented here too. in the older days it very important for the mohawk people. damn, I wish I could be here longer and talk forever w/charley and pam. I wanna soak up everything I can - I have to come back soon as I'm able. charley rides w/us downtown in the boat, phil follows. he points out to us some old pads w/incredible histories and we get to meet matt who's cool people but tonight's work is calling us and we gotta pull anchor. damn. I miss bad already. bye charley...

   more pretty backroad and all real clear w/the rain stopped. we get to buffalo right at load-in time, whoa. it's a downtown pad called "the mohawk place" and it's been here like twenty years but maybe only six months left. damn. well hell, I ain't played buffalo in thirteen years - what's wrong w/me? all this neglect w/some towns, huh? perfect park spot right in front. the barman nick is very cool people as is soundman jared whom we do a soundcheck w/and find there's a radio station coming through my bass and out over my amp... "work the room" - like they said in vaudeville days... I ain't gonna get chonies all bunched up in a mess about it. I go out to the boat and konk real hard, my te (hands) kind sore like I've been using them all night. oh, I got dropped a burrito from tom that has no mexican taste and the tortilla all wet - I choke it down, at least it's tiny so maybe sickness chance is less.

   the konk is solid one and good for my health. tom rousts me w/throatcoat tea in hand. shit, I missed openers the returners who both tom and raul say we're real good. damn it but I was just tuckered. we're hitting the stage at 9:15 pm - very happening but more happening are the buffalo gig-goers who are most kind and right there for us. there are many great things about tom and raul, one of them is their ability to rally back after a challenging sitch like for instance last night and rally they do tonight, we do a really together gig of the piece, I blow way less clams then last night too cuz of it I think or maybe I was just lucky... there was a challenge in the soft parts cuz of the radio coming over, "bell-rung-man" had a viagra commercial go on over it but it didn't phase me. I gotta hand it to my missingmen, they really inspired me, they really did. I thought of charley a bunch too. man, I wish I could've done this good for the one he went to! well, that's the way it goes.

   these buffalo folks are most kind after and many of them new but some old too (people move around, see you in other towns), some are bass-wielders and some telling me to keep going which I take big time to heart. I'm so grateful for the kindness. we got hand to man band cds again so I can sling them again. I see the promoterman donny - I apologize big time for neglecting here w/gigs and promise to be more regular. he's a great cat, much respect to him. his buddy marty is gonna put us up too... damn, twentyfive years ago I stayed w/marty!

   hamburg is where marty lives and it's about twenty minutes in the direction of pittsburgh which is where we are tomorrow. his pad is righteous and he's a most fantastic host - we share his bourbon! he's got internet I got some emails from from charley where he tells his buddies about us (he cc'd me):

Mike, Tom, & Raul just left. They made it to Cherry Valley after rainstorm from Albany on their way to Buffalo & everywhere else in big boat Econoline. Wonderful gig in Albany last night. Just realized what his operas mean. They are grand compressed. Felt the cosmic variation vibration last night leaning on the walls of the joint. The Hyphenated-Man Bosch egg cd. A sleazy venue but punk tradition never compromised in slick venue. Everyone devotee tradition of Dante-Shakespeare -Bosh for the common hand. Don't see how they do it. Took photos downtown now Rose & Kettle of house we lived in when Burroughs came, Ginsberg, Carl Solomon, Malanga, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Victor Bockris everyone. Some photos I hope will appear. My head is still getting over the Mike Watt band last night & visit today onto the future borrowing strength from the man inside himself. Kind of a sad gray day with no compass in my head. It was a venture for me to get out. As they left, the road was calling, but it's too much for my body. As Eiseley observed in his Platte River country, "Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger reached to touch it, sadness has lain over heart on man."


Mike train running on time / Buffalo, Cincinnati, Nashville hoot loop too/ Econoline running fine/ Piece of crumbled brick from Coltrane's house joins the dashboard shrine. Cherry Valley visit at bottom of hoot, Oct 18. Hyphenated-happening music great vibrant sound across America/ Whitman resurrected-respected.


Pam [said] you were sound checking in Buffalo. Looks like you hit some good weather. Mutual friend of S.Clay's...underground cartoonists. Spain told he got started drawing motorcycle gangs in Buffalo. Danmit. I forgot to give copies of EAT NOT THY MIND to Raul & Tom. Can I send them to Pedro? Use that Dee Doc Dow for muscles & swelling!!! Charley

   what a beautiful man, truly. I sure do think the world of him. I konk w/my mind on cherry valley and those embers glowing bright...

charley plymell in the boat w/watt's piss jug on october 19, 2012

saturday, october 20, 2012 - pittsburgh, pa

from tom:

   i hear feet walking around on the ceiling above my head and go up to see what's going on. marty and susan and working on a breakfast and i have coffee and talk a bit and soon find out that they have a sauna bath thing in the next room and so i go for it. it takes a while to fill up but it's very much worth it. i soak for a half an hour and get out before my finger tips start to shrivel up. i dislike that. we sit and have a very delicious meal with our hosts and talk about music and cooking. i think about how fortunate we are to meet people like this who offer their homes and foods and share their time with us, that might actually be the best part about touring. of course that situation can vary dramatically. buffalo to pittsburgh isn't that long of a drive and the roads are scenic, many amish towns and rolling hills. as we pull into town, the gps gets confused from all the tall buildings in the downtown area. the streets are confusing too, angles, one ways and then the rivers with all the bridges in all directions. i think pittsburgh is incredibly beautiful, and the weather is great today to make it even better. we park in front of the club cafe, the gig place tonight. we are early so we put money in the meter and raul and i walk around. after an hour or so of that i leave raul at the record store and walk to a small corner park where there's a little gathering with spoken word, rapping and some guitar and singing going on, and a tattoo exhibit. it's a church group that just moved into the neighborhood and they have free food there too. i get a hot dog and a cup of soup. i burn my tongue, but it hits the spot. a little later we load in and meet sound guy denny. after check raul and get a pastrami sandwich for mike, then walk to a thai place a few blocks away and we get some pho and spring rolls. on our way back, raul and i bump into uncle ray and demos from cleveland and we chat for moment. we get back to the club cafe and ed c. is there and talk for a while. i see tom and maux from BMSR downstairs, sadly we wont be staying with them tonight, they have a tour starting in a day or so and their place is covered with boxes and stuff. anyhow, it's nice to see them and talk while the first band plays. the next band is ed's called, food. they have some great songs and ed's voice is as clear and sweet as i remember. i watch it all. we do our set and it feels good. we need to find a place to stay tonight and a guy named gary offers his place to us. i accept and when we get to gary and jess' place they have 2 pizzas waiting, plus beer, whiskey, etc. raul goes down to the bed in the basement and the rest of us talk in the kitchen till it gets late and i see mike hit the couch and go up to another bed. long day.

   mood: 8.8, health: 8.9, energy: 8.3

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hit the tub, a huge long and wide one. I soak for a good half hour, floating languid much. marty and his wife susan start cooking up chow (his kitchen has like a dozen skillets hanging over the range!), he puts on this happening cuban-peruvian (his words) music. he has many amazing little kitch things in this chamber I konked in, very interesting. he's got a couple of books on trane by and mingus' "beneath the underdog" autobiography (most wild!) in his library too - all kinds of neat stuff. we're chowed migas and potatoes, righteous. much respect to our incredibly kind hosts, we bid farewell and shove off for pittsburgh.

   it's more beautiful backroad through western new york, some signs say it's "the amish trail" and damn if we don't see a young girl at a vegetable stand in an old-timey bonnet and a little further down there's two boys w/straw hats and clothes all huck finn style. lots of horse turds on the shoulder of the road indicating much horse and buggy use. there's on and off rain but most not heavy, I wheel us onward to the southern tier expressway which is interstate and more bland sights - that's the way lots of interstate is but pittsburgh is in hills carved w/three big rivers and that's neat even from the freeway. frau garmin in fact gets lost a few times downtown cuz of the geography and tunnels but finds her way after looping us some - we come out of a tunnel and right onto a bridge and to a kind of get-drunk strip for college people and the "club cafe" which is a venue I played once before. tom and raul wander while I chimp diary - we're here two hours ahead of the six pm load-in. we have righteous parking sport right in front of the pad. caddy corner to us is some outside religious gathering, singing and spiels I guess like an open mic thing.

   soundman denny lets us in when it's time and we soundcheck w/him, he's a good cat, maybe even older than me? maybe. the gigboss dave arrives and he's from a time when his first gigs ever were sunday afternoon hardcore ones at "the electric banana" - a pad run by johnny and judy that I worked (never an afternoon one) many times. they're a couple very dear to me. no more gigs, it's a restaurant now. I meet jed, the drummer of the opening band kid durango (from here) and... yep, ed fROMOHIO who's band food (also from here like is now for the last couple of years) - big hugs for edward. he's looking and sounding great, very healthy. tom brings me a so-called pastrami sandwich which is pretty lame but it doesn't get me so I have to say it ain't that lame. there's five dishes of chips and different dips laid out for us but they all taste terrible. edward don't mind and chows on them. my cleveland buddies demos and uncle ray arrive - demos saying uncle ray has the best stories ever and is the perfect road trip mate - I'm so glad to see them both, so glad. uncle ray even brings me a self-help book from the 70s called "creative dreaming" by patricia garfield and some toy medical shit (he must've read the diary I've been chimping) but I'm happy to tell him the sickness that was on us has subsided, same w/most of my nightmares. tonight I think is one gig over the halfway mark of the tour. I go to the boat and konk... hard.

   tom rousts me at 'pert-near twenty of eleven - we're supposed to be on ten minutes ago but way worse is I missed edward and his band, fuck! I feel like such dumbshit, me and my fucking konks. I'm yowai (weak) though and need it I guess. the gig's sold out and already I'm hearing yammering, I mention to the folks that maybe this gig will be a challenger? I also say it's for the seven fields of aphelion (like a total baka I fucked up and said nephlieum instead of aphelion, aaarrrgggghhh) cuz mr tom had said she was sick. we bring my third opera, the monitors are really good. tom and raul work w/me real together, a couple of clams early on - smaller than the those first few parts of the albany gig - thinking about the gig, I blew way fewer clams in the first two tries of the piece when tom broke those strings but that third one is the one the went all the way, I believe maybe working w/stuff like pro tools gets me going w/ideas like "hey, I could take this part and paste it here, cut out that part..." - shit like that which is so much not about a gig, what's wrong w/me? I'll tell you one thing I really didn't dig about myself tonight. after probably the best last a few notes I've ever done for the "wheel-bound-man" part and then coming back for encore, I give a little speech. actually I just wanted to thank all those I felt I owed: tom, raul, the gig-goers, soundman denny, the people working here at the pad. then I also spoke a little about what I think about when challenges like yammering come on and trying not to react, to be a "quiet-time cop" or whatever when someone tells me to play a tune, you know, to shut up. I swear I wasn't windbagging and didn't spiel between any of the parts during the whole spiel so everyone got fortyfive minutes straight of music so somehow I let that get to mean and I kind popped, I cussed not directly but enough at this person in the back, in the dark to make me feel like an idiot now, embarrassed. it was not a good way to handle the sitch, damn me. I will learn from this. edward comes and does the blue oyster cult song w/us, he plays it really good like he always has. much respect to edward.

   much kindness, a bass to sign (his pop is w/him too!), so many good words and vibes from the gig-goers after. I am most grateful and feel like such a baka about my tiny fit that my voice is very soft. aaarrggghhh. thank you good people here tonight. soundman denny tells me we reminded him of gentle giant (!) - I tell him captain was a huge influence on me. done slinging and who's there? mr tom and maux - she got better!!!! oh man. I wanted to do the best I could for them - I meet mr tom's first bassman justin, I give him the dan bass to check out. man, I'm the biggest listener and wish I was the biggest gig-goers for these cats, I just love them. they got a tour coming in six days - I wish them safe seas and give thanks for the righteous inspiration!

   fare-thee-well to demos, he parked right up against the boat's bow, safe seas for him and uncle ray - I didn't get say bye to uncle ray, damn it. I love these guys. gary and jess are beautiful folks who invite us to konk at their pad in the sewickley part of town. it's a happening pad and we have a good time w/pizza and bourbon - gary's way into guided by voices and I love bob pollard. they're really really good people, what a great time and I get to wear a flannel of gary's while my outfits get washed. they got the hugest most happening couch too... I sprawl, I konk. the hugest ever thanks from me to edward's town.

sunday, october 21, 2012 - cincinnati, oh

from tom:

   i wake alone at 7:30 and can't get back to sleep. i'm still tired, so i just lay there for an hour or so. it doesn't sound like anyone else is up yet. when i can't lay still anymore, i venture downstairs and sew mike sitting up on the living room couch, he obviously slept there with the pittsburgh steelers blankee still covering some of him. we talk about the previous evening which ended up going kind of late and we try to remember the conversations we had. we talk about the sound man from last night and that he eventually compared us to gentle giant, a british pro band from the 70"s that i have memory of, due to a fairly good dose i had of an early 70"s pro rock diet in my pre high school days. i ask mike if he'd ever heard of a band called happy the man, no he hasn't, so he searches it out online and we discuss. apparently peter gabriel considered using them to back his first solo record after leaving genesis, but that ended up not working out. it's not easy to stump mike regarding bands and it takes an obscure american prog band from the middle 70's to do it. not that i was trying to do that or anything. when jess comes downstairs she makes coffee and starts on some potatoes and eggs, and we talk. this is another comfortable situation with them and their house, soon raul and gary join us and we eat and talk more. there's a train track right down the street and every 30 minutes or so another train goes by and blows it's horn and rumbles the house. it's just the right distance away, and comforting to me. when we have take off, jess brings out mike's power supply for his laptop which he almost donates. that was close. thanks jess. thanks gary. we drive south to cincinnati and get to the motr bar early and i pull the van up near the front door. it's open but there's time to kill so we wait to load in. our friend hiyori is inside, and she greets us when we go in. hiyori will come with us for a few shows and help with merch. we had her on our tour in europe last year and that was cool. i make a couple calls out front. tonight is a free show and we play alone, no other bands on the bill. time goes by, people start to come, sound man too. i feel a little burnt out, but we get on with it and the show is fun, except for this guy on my side of the stage screaming and whistling: "yeah!!!!Š.YEAH!!!Š", beer breath on the side of my face. he goes through the entire show, but i try to just focus in on the music. funny how he doesn't read the dynamics of the tunes, he keeps it up through the most quite parts just like the loud ones. finally, during the last couple songs i do my pogo dance and that sucks him in and the dude falls into me and raul, and then we knock into mike, and mike hits the floor. a chain reaction. luckily he lands on our backpacks and cases so we kick back into playing as if nothing happened. after we pack up and mike does the merch from the stage as we load. adam jumps in the van to direct us to his place for the night. there's whiskey flowing, i have a beer and crawl into my bag and sleep.

   mood: 8.7, health, 8.6, energy: 7.9

from watt:

   pop at eight bells very rested. I do the stuff I can do when I have internet... I get this from charley about that fireplace in his pad - I guess I was baka and actually it was a fireplace and not a stove like I chimped in yesterday's diary entry.... here's what he wrote me:

Yeah, I should have explained fireplace originally a Count Rumford, a German who figured out specific dimensions for a wide high and narrow fireplace that threw/spread more heat than the deep square fireplaces. They were deigned perfectly with oblong flue which acted as damper. You can find out about them by goolge Count Rumford Fireplace. We used it for a while. It is complicated because the chimney is great & wide and divided so that the other half of it serves the old cooking fireplace in basement with bread oven built to its side for correct warmth and the metal hook swings out main fireplace for pots, etc. like you see in 1700- 1800 in New England. Chief Joseph Brant has the same thing in his house.The Rumford was a popular invention before Benjamin Franklin and his cast stove. The chimney goes on up to the attic where there is a "dog leg" in it so it would be at peak of house. The Post & Beam attic is a huge space and dated after Civil War when they probably added it and the Victorian features around the roof which was probably Federal style trim originally. The problem became with such a massive chimney (without divider Santa would have no problem) the brick & mortar is compromised over the ages, so I had to install the modern "Fireplace Insert" which ruins the esthetic but can be controlled with bottom damper airflow and door to close that it will keep glowing hot coals until morning with door closed, Plus the main safety advantage was that it has a six inch stainless steel chimney pipe all the way to top inside the brick chimney. The Rumford was more period and could be converted back with just a screen in front of it if I was sure of open chimney. It did throw good heat but the advantage of the insert is complete control of air flow and long lasting fire into fireproof steel stove pipe inside chimney.

very interesting. I could be charley's student forever. I learn a good friend of mr jim o'rourke's was just killed, he got hit by a taxi, damn. his name was koji wakamatsu and he was moviemakerman - mr jim respected him much and even got to work w/him. I write him an email to flow him empathy from me. we have a proj I still gotta finish on my end where he wants me to add mandolin on, yeah it's an album we're doing as a duo - two summers ago I recorded it w/him in tokyo.

   jess cooks me two fried eggs and some potato slices from the same pan, so good. very nice weather outside. gary pops and we have a good talk after I hose off and gather my clean clothes, so grateful to get to wash. eleven bells, we wish our kind hosts bye - I 'pert-near donated my 'puter power supply though - thank god for baka check by tom.

   south on I-79 and back onto I-70 but west, we pass through a little of west virginia (the middle finger part) and stop for gas, another jive touchscreen "modern" stop called "sheetz" where it takes me ten minutes to get the worse pumpkin coff I've ever had. hope I don't sound like bellyachin' cuz actually it was kind of funny, seeing these "new systems" showing how, well, jive they are. I take us into ohio and as we get closer to zanesville (whoa - saw gas at some pad for only $3.10/gallon!), memories of being profiled by that sheriff in the k9 car - him getting between us and the lite nakama for umpteen miles and letting speeders go by while inches on my bumper, not "happy days" not for sure. we don't see him this time, thank god. we listen to mr tom's new black moth super rainbow "cobra juicy" album - righteous and trippy for me, big respect... I forgot all about that man w/the dog! at columbus I get us on I-71 to the southwest and soon after had the wheel over to tom for the last hour and a half it takes to get us to cincinnati. we're two hours early for the six pm load-in but the pad's already open, it's a bar called "the motor pub" and it's in the "over the rhine" part, named after german immigrants I'm told by the co-owner. I find out the gig is free admission, alright! it's twenty and over, that's lame but there's no cover. me and tom chow a hamburger and fries from the kitchen here. raul wanders w/miss hiyori who has come to see six gigs of this tour. she was gonna take a fucking between the towns but we bring her aboard... I've found some folks from western europe and japan (who have much safer lands) and they're kind of naive about being careful here in our land.

   I konk hard in the boat - we're the only act and I'm told we're on at nine and a half so I told tom to just get a line thing going w/soundman steve and we'll skip soundcheck. the way this stich is I think we can manage it. man, I needed this konk, don't know why but I did, need it bad. I felt soiled when I laid down on the back bench, not soiled by anyone but self-soiled. I feel better when tom gets me but damn it's 9:31 - we're late!

   nice sound and good feel here as we bring the piece. us three play really well tonight. there's some yammering challenges, like the end of "lute-and-dagger-man" has my eyes right on one source w/head turned w/mouth like megaphone. I don't know how, maybe he's like iron w/my peepers like magnets! the best strategy is to be w/my men and deliver this opera - I gotta resist the distraction stuff and be strong. I'm pretty good w/one man who uses our quiet parts for spring boarding his whistling and hollering. actually this man gets part of a sitch that was real dangerous come encore time. we're doing "amnesty report" and tom's whupping up some heavy dancing and like a venturi this man gets is yanked right into and onto the low stage knocking tom back and into me (this is the part where I get in close w/him and raul) and I tumble back into his amp and then down to the deck... oh my god, am I hurt? raul stops playing - I holler to him to keep going and get up and pick up right where we were stopped and I feel like I have no hurts, I'm ok. fuck, that was close. I know people can't see through my levis but my port side hiza (knee) is weak and fragile. I am not a strong man in this way - I wish there was some way to let folks know this w/out trying to make them feel sorry for me. aaahh, it's dilemma. the gig was really good though, one of my favorites of the tour in lots of ways. I'm really proud of tom and raul.

   post gig much niceness from the gig-goers, gary from last night's friend jason says hi, he's got a shirt w/raymond's drawing for "what makes a man start fires?" on - yeah, I saw that and immediately wanted that for that minutemen album and asked raymond, he's always been so kind. anyway, when I was a young boy about two or three years apart twice I was playing w/matches and accidentally started fires like a total baka. the second one burned up my bedroom in virginia and after that I never touched them again except to light mota or cigars/cigarettes. fuck am I a slow learner. on man told me he was in my pedro town when he was in the airforce - the only part of fort maccarthur left is airforce now (used to be army) and anyway I see him and ask if he wants to hold something - I hand him the piss jug and damn if he don't start to unscrew the top for what looks like a chug and I grab his forearm just in time to keep the jug sealed and show him where PISS is written and he got that kind of look on his face you might expect.

   an oldy-time gig-goer friend adam (I've called him aaron so many times like a baka) invites us to his pad to konk and we can even do wash. so kind so many times adam's been to me since I've been doing mike watt and the something gigs. he's a bassman too... I konk in the room where a rickenbacker one is.

monday, october 22, 2012 - athens, oh

from tom:

   adam makes us coffee and bagels and eggs. i pull out t-shirts to make a count of everything, then figure out what we need to order and then pack it up again. our trip to athens takes us by columbus again. we get to the club early and raul and i walk around for a while. it's a nice town, great weather. after a while we do our check and then we have more time to kill. i see my friend eddie, a super nice guy and a familiar face from years ago whilst living in the south bay. he's a great studio man, he knows his shit and did a great job recording my overpass record. time ticks by, the show goes well, i have some tuning issues at the end of the set but don't break a string. we plow through the last few songs and quickly pack up and follow directions to brian's place. i have a slice of pizza and a beer and crash out in his guest room.

   mood: 8.8, health: 8.7, energy: 8.3

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, hose off. adam toasts up some bagels that ain't that good but better than that chew toy I had in brighton and I let him know it. I get this email from my cleveland bud demos about the pittsburgh gig:

I recently attended my second performance of Mike Watt's Opera,"hyphenated-man" on the "2nd heapin' helpin' of 3rd opera tour 2012" in Pittsburgh, at the Club Cafe.

As a matter of disclosure, I have witnessed Mike Watt performing for 30 years.

What I witnessed last night was another heapin' helpin' of 45 minutes. Minuteman? Indeed. Poetry, art, music -- introspection, societal reflection -- why stick an artist in a box?

Rarely do you get an artist that lays out his thought process so effusively as Michael David Watt. What artist has chronicled his career so extensively? If you know one, tell me. Those tour diaries give the reader complete and total insight into what makes him tick. Like any musician - he's way too hard on himself. Punk, jazz; more boxes. Bob Dylan wants a certain sound. If words were all that mattered, you could just write. Putting words to music - that's something else.

When I got the CD for "hyphenated-man" - I was in a familiar place. "belly-stabbed-man." I know that sound. I like it. More than that - the content delivers what Mike does best - thought-provoking images rage out from his words, referencing art. But wait, "bird-in-the-helmet-man" rocks out. Thanks Tom - thanks Raul.

Why are people talking? Why is some douche-bag-man chortling ten feet behind me? Why is he here? Why do I get uptight? Ooops. Mike Watt is getting uptight, too. Was there a sincere fan wanting to hear the opry who got left out because the Club Cafe is small and was sold out? It's the Pittsburgh version of "Garden of Earthly Delights" - everyone has a story, everyone is fucked up. So what? Keep your sea-legs, Mike. Sail on, sailor.

Ah - finally... douche-bag-man is either drawn in (glass-half-full-man) or maybe he was in the bathroom. Who cares? Maybe Mike internalizes "Knowin' only groanin' the sound of the toll, of the soul." The show is rollin' along now. You can enjoy the opera now. It's tight. Then it's over.

You never know (but you can guess) who has seen a Mike Watt show before. There's always gonna be casual fans who got dragged to show with their buddy or girlfriend. Add beer. It's all part of the allure. Mike-"give light to the earth"-man. Shake it up. Pour it out. I want to know how the fuck Mike left out "carrying-man-in-the-clam-man"... is that a hidden track? OK. It looks more like a mussel, so what? Oh - here comes the encore.

Mike picks up his axe, and plucks like a farmer! "Machine Gun" cover with Tom finishing out the tune with Buddy Miles' rap from the Band of Gypsies' Filmore East recording. Nice. They wrap a couple more tunes - one with Ed from Ohio helping out on covering the cover of Mike and George and Dennes' "Red and the Black". Ha! Lot's of fun.

   most kind of him and I'm so grateful he don't get it wrong like so many folks who say it's thirty different songs cuz it ain't - it's one song w/thirty parts. charley could see that - oh yeah, he wrote me about those rocks from kansas he made a sculpture w/that was on top of his fireplace (what I called his "stove" like a baka):

Mike, google KANSAS CHALK PYRAMIDS. Meant to show you a photograph book Daniel Dancer sent me with text by William Least Heat Moon. (He also enclosed pressed oak leaf from tree at Geronimo's grave). In it is photo of Monument Rock where Billy & I heard the voice I later found out from Loren Eiseley was the Game Lords voice of Tent Shaker in his book STAR THROWER chapter on Dancing with Frogs. He was my first mentor. The rocks are in same county, Gove County, Kansas if you are on the Interstate in northern part of state. They can be googled as Kansas Pop Rocks or Boji Stones. It is my belief the came from outer space on asteroid that landed near our homestead, The Big Sink. They say it is a geographical sink. Its probably under Big Sink/Kansas. It is out by Dalton Gang Hideout near where I was born. I used to have space dream/nightmare geometric ones. I went to that big hole in Arizona but they say now the body from outer space didn't hit the earth there but disintegrated above it making the hole. That is what I think is the cause of Big Sink. It's a Kansas State Park near Meade, Ks, with just a wooden sign. Not many people know about it. The is a big herd of Bison there I taught Billy to drive our Toyota pickup around because if they wanted the could tip it over with their heads. There is also as stone marker at St. Jacobs well for the early cattle drive. It's on a hill near Big Sink and its depth is not know because it goes into the underground sea, the Ogallala Aquifer that help formed the Chalk Pyramids. That is all south of the Monument Rock where I think the body exploded. One can see to Oklahoma & Colorado from there. I think they are space rocks. cp

Hi Charley,

Sorry so long in getting with you on this but I live in Lawrence and don't get to western KS (Gove County)very often and didn't know the availability of pop rocks at this time. Anyhoo...I was just out there and picked up 100 + rocks. They are mixed "female" and "male" varieties but not enough "males" to pair with all the females. The so-called males are much rarer. They are also of various sizes from dime to quarter.

As I mentioned quite some time ago...the whole "Boji Stone" thing and the male and female nomenclature came from Karen Gillespie who markets the rocks at great profit (to her). We used to let her hunt in our pasture until we realized she was basically ripping us off. I'll hand it to her, she's an entrepreneur but she's kinda opportunistic (I guess that goes with the turf). She treats her rocks with some chemical that makes them shinier. Of course she won't tell anyone what it is, and that's her right since it makes them more unique. Hence the rocks I can send you are just plain ole poprocks that I washed by squirting the hose on them... Dan'l Bentley

man, that's a trip but it's eleven bells and time to pull anchor... I'll ponder this later.

   as per adam's directions, I take us east on oh-32 (called "the appalachian highway" on the signs) 'til a rest stop in pike county somewhere (very rural out here in southern ohio) where raul takes over. we get our daily dose of sock-tight and clash we've bee getting. out the window are woods still color but lots of leaves are falling off. the weather is warm, in the low 70s. very lucky us. athens is a small college town and we're playing a pad called "the union" about a block from the campus. this is the university of ohio and was started in 1804, crimony! a young man named a.j. in a minutemen shirt not too much after three, he sure is kind and says he'll help w/getting the stuff up the stairs cuz where we play is on the second floor. we get to park right out front, hallelujah.

   I find some more buttons w/john coltrane when he was in the navy in my 'puter back wack sack and replace the brown one that was a gift - actually raul made these sailor ones from pictures I printed up for him. I hobble for chow and raul tells me about a china chow pad that turns out to be buffet but there's still some won ton soup and I also get a bowl of seaweed that's got much garlic and chilies in it, very good. at the club I meet jeff from opening band makebelieves and bookerman scott. both are real nice men. oh yeah, I forgot to mention a chili dog I had from when we go gas not long after leaving adams... I don't get sick so it wasn't lame - didn't taste that good however. that seaweed makes up for it though.

   back at the pad, we soundcheck w/soundman victor - he wants me to check out one of his mics but I say no cuz I want my own bugs to deal w/and not others, same w/my fouled fucking others. he's a good cat and says he understands, says he won't leave the board during the gig either. I go to the boat to konk cuz am extremely tuckered, fucking big time. somehow I pop moments before the hatch pops to reveal tom - a three hour konk and I pop like that? trippy. it's ten of eleven but I figure let's go now, this tea is tepid anyway.

   scary cinderblock for stair up to stage but I make it - actually easier than the steps coming up to second floor. I thank folks for being here on school night and for sharing stage w/band from their town - my first time in their town. we bring the piece and the first two thirds are pretty tight though there's a pole in the center of the front of the stage that kind hampers communicating w/tom but making it tougher is the lights that start flashing from this point on. for a college town, there is much quiet for our soft parts, much respect from the gig-goers and I feel debt to them for their kindness. many young folks up stage, whoa. the konk really helped me pour what I could on - I can't imagine how terrible I'd be w/out that. a little trouble w/our "jug-footed-man" tonight, every room has its own dynamic w/this part and we gotta be right w/each other - none of them are "cruise control friendly" but especially this one. I'm finally getting better winding the whole baby up too, finally!

   you can imagine how hard it is going to school and needing to be econo so I understand not so much slinging however an old friend comes up to say hi - dan dugan from columbus! he did all my gigs in that town 'til he had to close a few years ago and it was a big reason I never played there again 'til this tour. so good to see dan, so good. I don't know why but I thought of a man at last night's cinci gig who said his wife died of cancer and my music helped w/him through the year. I meet some bass players, one wants to know about the rilakkuma/shinbo charm I got on the 'g' string tuner so I get back out of the sack to show.

   I meet the padowner gary w/bookerman scott and we have a good talk, I learn some stuff about this town and even the county is much different than elsewhere in ohio. there's trippy stuff too like the boneyards are in pentagrams and lots of haunted stories, at the school too. I'm coming back here for sure - so lame of me not playing here 'til now, I'm so sorry. sorry too I said once "athens, georgia" from the stage too - immediately I felt my own converse flying into my mouth. baka.

   we get very kind help loading back down the stairs and shove off following our cinci host adam who's ahead of us w/his buddy bryan at the wheel, we wind up not to far away in a town called the plains (yeah, the "the" is supposed to be there) where his pad is made available to us to stay for the night. it's very nice, very comfortable and we chow some peetz he has reheated and I drink a couple of "blue moon" beers my old buddy soundman steve reed likes - never had them before but I kind of like them. I like jap and mex lager, stella's ok too but ales, porter, stouts - all that heavy ain't my thing but then neither is u.s. "light beer" but I can roll w/pabst. sorry for the beer critique cuz usually I ain't drinking much of that much these days. there was the final debate I guess tonight somewhere in the u.s. - trippy I read about the green candidates getting arrested trying to get into the last one today in the school newspaper. bryan and adam talk about some tolerance issues, about two and half lights are out.

tuesday, october 23, 2012 - louisville, ky

from tom:

   brian has coffee and bagels for us when i rise. i shower and talk with him for little while. we drive to louisville today, it has been years since i've been there. we get to zanzabar and meet owner, antz. we load in through the side door. many pin ball machines. i change strings, and stretch them as much as i can before sound checking. we order for from the kitchen, i get fried chicken salad and raul and i share spicy wings. raul and i go for a walk but head back after only a few blocks. when get back to the club we have some coffee and meet a guy named scott who came for the gig. i ask if he can put us up for the night, no pressure of course, and he checks with his wife and kids at home. we have time to kill and the green room across the street has more pin ball machines in it so we hang in there for a while with scott and hiyori while mike sleeps in the van. the band playing with us tonight is called old baby, and we head in to check them out. i really like them. they have a droney guitar and keyboard thing with heavy beats, kind of tribal but that doesn't really describe it right. killing joke? actually, the singing is really melodic and that's where it defies comparison for me. they have some cool projections too, i always like that. when i go out to get mike before we play, i see a friend named bundy, a great music maker i haven't see in years. our show goes well, but my guitar goes out of tune for the last couple pieces of the opera, damn it. i try to bend into it, but i have to just pay quietly to mask it as best i can. we wrap it all up, and go to scoots place and meet monique his wife and we all talk in the kitchen, eating cheese and crackers and washing down with ancient age whiskey into the early morning. it turns out that scott had met mike in frankfurt germany years ago during a firehouse tour in the late 80's. that trips mike out, and he starts to see the face he'd seen so long ago. it's a nice time, there's a word in dutch that describes this feeling, but in english it takes a couple sentences. a comfortable feeling with friends sort of thing. at some point their daughter wakes from the noise and we tame it down a bit and shortly after i head up to the futon on the second floor to sleep.

   mood: 8.7, health: 8.7, energy: 8.2

from watt:

   pop at eight bells for real but actually had a couple prior-pops cuz I konked in just chonies and I think this was baka cuz of get popped up by some little freezes. I had a trippy dream too - is it a nightmare if the outcome is ok? what I make of it was that I had been in fatal passenger jet crash that was somehow being redone - not reacted but like flung out of the karma wheel for another go 'round and this time I was instead of trying to ride it out w/my head between my knees I had made my way to the head in hopes of surviving that way, using the handles to hold w/enthroned. some dude kept barging in, couldn't figure that out and I couldn't figure how we survived except maybe cuz it was into the ocean w/landed and was there floating, everyone safe and getting out. I recognize someone I ain't seen now since that "raw power" gig I did w/the stooges at the hammersmith apollo in london. what? I'm glad we made it safe though, leaving through different hatches. I bet uncle ray wants me getting that fucking self-help dream book read. our host bryan toasts us bagels and I chow an onion one w/cream cheese. he wakes adam in time to say bye as we shove off at eleven.

   we find the weather happening, you couldn't want it better, crimony. I wheel us through fortyfive minutes of the tiniest one-lane backroad ever (one was called "gun club road") that had plenty of empty pads - some of them not that old either - to get to the road that got us to athens yesterday, oh-32. we retrace yesterday ride on this road in the opposite direct, I get us gas not too far from the road to peebles (tom loves the sound of the name of that town and can't help repeating it about fifty million times) and see an econo deal for what I thought was chicken at a "dairy queen" but find it's lame-ass dried up chicken strips w/a couple pieces of toast (?) and fries. I guess it ain't lame cuz I don't get sick but that's about it. never chowing at one of those pads again. I hand the reins over to raul while tom spotted a subway sandwich pad next to a store called "cheap tobacco" - damn, was I baka. not much later we have to stop on the highway cuz a wonko (dog) comes right for us, tongue hanging out of the mouth. very scary. damn, I hope he made wherever he was going safe. across the ohio river once we hit cinci, raul hands over the reins to tom at the first rest stop we hit in kentucky. good bye ohio, good to have four gigs there - the only state w/more stops for us on this tour is california. tom wheels us to louisville and a record store called "underground sounds" and damn if we ain't twenty minutes late for the four pm in-store but the bossman mr craig is most ok w/it and I tell stories while signing people's stuff.

   not too far away, in germantown part of town we find the club called "zanzabar" and the two owners john and antz I like much. we're early for soundcheck, I do an interview w/sean from wfpk which is very interesting cuz those he's only twentyeight, there are many parallels in his life w/me and d. boon's cuz he says of his sitch growing up in rural southern ohio. trippy. my old buddy kemp from indiana is here - wow! he helps w/the load in, love this man. we do soundcheck w/soundman joe and I chow a pulled-pork sandwich from the grill here for dinner. the opening act are local guys called old baby and I hear the bassman's amp crap out and so I offer mind but he says he'll get one at their prac pad cuz they gotta go there anyway - just wanted to help. there's a picture of elvis presley and muhammad ali kind of sparring - the boxerman was from near here and he's wearing the singerman's robe - what an incredible picture. I go to the boat and konk hard.

   fuck if I don't wake up in a swelter after a few hours, I get the purple shirt off and pop the side hatch. the korea lady comes by and asks if I need help - I guess I looked like it but I just wanted air. she says her name is dori and gets me some soda water. I guess she works w/antz - he comes by too and looks worried, asking if he can help. these guys don't know my routine so I can't blame them for kind of freaking out and I try to reassure them everything's ok and I can do the gig fine - in fact, w/out this konk it would be really tough for me. I get my flannel on - yeah, you know I have the prototype for the altamont apparel one, right? pre-orders are now be taken so I put the word out and man, the shitstorm over the $58 pricetag sure is fierce over at fakelook and shitter... man, I wouldn't get angry if folks decided they didn't want this cuz it cost too much, I just put word out that it was available. the company used a hundred percent of my ideas in the design and that's what it's about. I know thrift stores sell flannels for less - where do you think I get mine? this company makes clothes for skaters and invited me to come up w/ideas for a flannel I really like - I even picked the scheme from the one on the cover of "double nickels on the dime" cuz that was my favorite. nobody has to get this flannel, I'm not hawking them. I don't think you have to wear or buy one of these to like what I do on the bass. I kind of had an issue like this when I signed w/columbia records in 1991 but the reality was I did things just like I did w/sst, I had complete control, never had to submit demos and never took tour support. for fourteen years they gave me total autonomy, gave me respect. I have no personal "big label horror stories" of my own cuz I didn't become hand puppet.

   anyway, time to work the piece and forget about that stuff. it's a good crowd on a work night. hell, it's been ten years since I played this town - another case of neglect on my part. I apologize. I get told to start and shout them down but actually start pretty soon after. we do real good w/the piece and I think part of it is cuz of the good energy of the gig-goers and part is the great sound we got on stage, it's really good. besides a couple of "piss bottle man" hollers, the focus from the folks is pretty good too, much respect to them. kemp is right in front of me though and I try real hard for him. there's a tuning challenge for tom, whoa does it go bad at "hill-man" maybe? was pretty good before that but I do know he put new strings on. I know I screwed up a line in "hell-building-man" which in a way is lightyears away from this piece when we began touring it two years ago in japan cuz back then it would be hard to tell you a line THAT WASN'T CLAMMED cuz of me not having that much not together.

   after big fun w/encores (did I work in the word "drone" in one of them?) I sling and talk w/folks but first big hugs w/kemp who I so dearly wanted to do good for. a writer name mark gives me "who are you? the life of pete townshend" which is a book he wrote, he said ed vedder wrote the forward. I know ed's big time into pete - I tell mark me and d. boon were big time into pete also. there's a man here w/a set list in my own handwriting - a gig minutemen did in indianapolis in 1985 w/the primates - a primate who was in a toga that night is actually here w/the setlist - I sign the back of it, original deal. ain't that a trip? very kind words from many gig-goers, I can't make it another ten years before I'm back here, can't be that baka. I do the coin dance w/gigboss joe in the boat, why not? he's a good cat, respect to him.

   raul says a man named scott offered up his pad, very kind. it's not too far in the highlands part of town. I start drinking some of this bourbon a gig-goer gave me and damn if I don't recognize him - it's lieutenant scott from twentyfive years ago - I met him in what used to be west germany, he was a observation helicopter pilot, damn! I'm so baka! him and his wife monique are just the best to us, I get to hose off and get that flannel washed - we have a good time. it was those trippy sideburns, the big kind maybe that fooled me. they sure got an interesting pad and they've even had gigs here, I think he said like four. man, what a great surprise, what REALLY GREAT fucking surprise. I make sure to be in the nightwear and konk on the big couch in the front room.

thursday, october 24, 2012 - nashville, tn

from tom:

   when i get up, scott is on his way out to work, and monique is making food for us all. mike and hiyori are already awake too. after hanging with monique and her chickens, and eating some of the eggs they laid, raul and i walk through the leaves on the local streets to stretch our legs. we find a record store and i get a red krayola record. the "father abraham remix 12". it's fun buying a record that you're on, and it's a good price! i also see the "amor and language" ep. for $50!! i don't buy that one. when we get back scott comes back from work and we chat a moment and then we leave. it's not a long drive to nashville, and we go through some pretty back roads before hitting the interstate. we arrive at the end in nashville too early to load in, so we walk around in the heavy warm afternoon air. my knee is sore so i sit on a small patch of grass near the van for a while. i see a friend of mike's holly, and i say hi and then get mike up to say hi too. we go into a sushi place right where we're parked and order food and hiyori and raul join us soon. we all get sushi, i get the volcano rolls with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna. it's great. we clean our plates and soon we load into the end. there's more time to kill so holly and hiyori help with rolling up t-shirts. we check and mike sleeps in the van and sit and talk with raul and a friend of his who plays in a band and lives here..i forgot his name. then a friendly local guy named blake sits with me and we talk with holly for at least an hour and a half until the first band goes on. cy barkley and the way outsiders. they have a heavy trahy rock sound, kind of punk. really good. we do our set pretty well, but a little groggy feeling to me. when i wake up mike to get him at showtime sometimes he's more asleep than others, this time more so. i know his vibe affects my playing and in this case i decide to just focus on the parts and play them right. even so, i think the overall stage vibe is low, but articulate. sometimes it's the other way 'round. each gig has it's own character, and i like that. it could be perceived that each gig has it's faults, which they do, but they also have moments of coalescence, and there's nothing better than that to me. at the end of the gig, mike asks for a place for us to stay, and even though blake kindly offers his place (which is a ways off in the opposite direction from our travel path), a nice fellow named travis says we can stay with him and we find him in an industrial complex nearby. it's a great place, a recording studio with a bed and couches. i fall asleep immediately.

   mood: 8.8, health: 8.9, energy: 8.3

from watt:

   pop at six bells w/my lungs feeling like dried-out leather sacks, too hot in here for me, too hot. I gotta get to the front door, get the nightwear shirt off and get cooler air in me. should've konked w/window opened. can't believe just how many hours south and so much different a night it can be - from weird chill to weird hot... both sitchs are lame for good konk. well, I think I got good konk tonight but it got cut short. I say this cuz of none of the same kind of dreams I had last night.

   both scott and monique take both their kids to school at different times. oh yeah, did I mention monique's pet madagascar roach she let us meet last night? trippiest little man, I'll tell you! his name is max. damn, do I forget some fucking details in these chimpings, don't I? what a fucking 'tard. damn, it can be frustrating. monique cooks us up scrambled eggs, sausage patties, bacon and toast - very happening breakfast and we're most grateful. scott going to work and coming back a couple of times as I gotta do q and a things pressman howard has flowed me. the weather outside is righteous, like my pedro town on one of its good days. glory be.

   noon we shove after hugs from our most kind hosts. ain't it trippy how history can double up on itself? so great to see brother scott again... I guess it was bass keeping us connected. lots of planes overhead, this is the big ups hub - live memphis is w/fedex, right? at the wheel for us rolling to nashville on basically a one-road route - I always notice a lot of caves on I-65 south through kentucky. sure wish I had better knees to try and spelunk, even w/the claustrophobic shit I know I'd have to fight - or are they big ones? never have time to stop. we pass the corvette museum - bowling green is where the chevy factory is that builds them and I think I've stopped twice to check that out - why not the caves? why not the two bourbon stills, jim beam and maker's mark? man, there always seems to be some opportunities squandered ever w/all the opportunities tour can bring you. oh, we crossed into central time, gaining an hour but we'll lose it tomorrow when we go to atlanta and then gain it again for birmingham after that, trippy. miss hiyori brought us a sack of "prickle brix" which are trippy gummi things. raul takes the helm at elizabethtown when I ask him to, I feel sore and we've heard our daily dose of sock-tight and first clash.

   we get into nashville and the midtown part right around two and get a meter we gotta feed quarters to 'til six which is the same time we can load in so hell, we got time. I gotta make up on some konk and so go at that for a couple of hours in one hotbox of a boat before having to get some air - shit, that weird book store - oh, the venue we're at is "the end" and I've played here tons of times so know this neighborhood kind of - the old timey diner and this weird "elder's book store" w/a tripper running it - guess he's now into showing people what he thinks of stuff on a talk show level w/leaflet type stuff taped up in the window. fuck, I'm weird but... I wanna look at some books but it closes at three pm and I'm too late. I've bought books here before, kind of strange ones for me but I get no chance to now. I wonder if I ever freaked the owner out? I go back and konk again.

   tom rousts me a couple of hours later, damn, I got my shirt off and the mask on - it's quit a shvitz in the boat but I needed the konk. behind tom I see my buddy hol, she's come up for the gig. I've known hol since the early 90s through my foot doctor friend doug rockette who died suddenly last year from the diabetes he had to fight his whole life. doug was a righteous man I loved much. w/hol w/chow soosh at a pad w/korean folks called "samurai" right by the boat. it's real good, I get caterpillar maki. hol is intense, she reminds me of k where she is her own woman big time. she has me talk to her three kids via her leash, her youngest girl ruby wants to know if I live in a mansion! hol said she asks trippy things...

   now hol's known tonight's padboss bruce a couple years longer than me, thirty years. yeah, bruce did the first minutemen nashville gig in 1984 at a pad called "cantrell's" and that's when d. boon got that purple/maroon body telecaster custom (seen here) but he ain't here yet, soundman jeremiah and gigboss jesse are though so we do soundcheck and then I go talk w/hol some to catch up more before heading to the boat for even more konk.

   quarter of eleven when tom rousts me my shirtless fuck of a self and put on the gig flannel for this tour in here instead of in the pad. I missed cy barkley & the way outsiders - damn. both tom and raul said they were great. I'm ready to bring the piece to bruce. it's a little tough w/the acoustics on stage, there's a bogart w/the loud mids from raul's floor tom and even lows in tom's guitar - not much monitor but you know these folks we're playing for are very receptive and really pull out of me what I got and I don't get so caught up in stuff I can't help - tom and raul adjust and jeremiah's the knobmeister. I gotta do what watt does the best. I can see bruce back there at the bar working what he does. tom for the first time ever I believe runs over his end part for "blowing-it-out-both-ends-man" but his tuning sitch is way beyond last night... I blow some clams too and I feel some harsh get foisted on listeners but thank god I let the piece breath so there's dynamic relief... I really am grateful to the gig-goers here tonight. hol saw the first time we ever did it in the u.s., back in echo park (so cal) and now she gets it this way. that's happening too.

   I get to rap some w/bruce... man, all the years. I value cats like this so much, he's so genuine w/me. I do the coin dance w/jesse, he's happening people too, just from a younger shift. you see things in the big picture... like w/talking w/the gig-goers right after we got done, much genuine there too - I'm grateful big time and gladly there to try my hardest.

   about to bail and a man named patrick reminds me about that very telecaster of d. boon's I was telling you of - we konked at his pad when he got it! he wants to give me a bass so we take him to his pad. very kind of him. not far is a pad tom had fixed up w/a very kind man named travis, it's a studio called "club roar" in an industrial area, a very nuts and bolts pad w/lots of cool oldage and plenty of room for us and also safe for the boat. we talk for some but it's a late one and for the fist time this tour I use my konk sack - not up in it but as a blankie for me on the couch.

thursday, october 25, 2012 - atlanta, ga

from tom:

   i wake and shave and drink coffee, and check out the cool gear in the main studio room. sweet stuff too. a trident board, jazzmasters, tele-s, odd instruments, etc.. i'd love to spend some time here to record. it's a nice drive to atlanta and i take the last shift at the wheel and we arrive at the earl in east atlanta at 3 sharp. we load and wait to check. we all order food from the kitchen here, i get a steak salad with roast red pepper vinaigrette and share an order of tater tots with raul. we are playing with two other bands tonight, the intelligents and king tuff. both are great bands and sweet folks. sound check sounds great, then we wait. at a certain point there is a situation to decide where we are going to stay after the show, hiyori has a friend who is making food for us after the gig, and mike heard from our friend tim (where we stayed last time, and who offered again). anyhow, we try to sort out a solution to the dilemma but it gets complicated to figure out the best way. mike and hiyori try to communicate about it, but the vibe that mike can sometimes attach to the words he's spouting can create a communication barrier for hiyori. sometimes he can be misunderstood because of that, and even though hiyori's english is very good, she can get confused by it. it's not her fault. i give my input to help bridge their gap. i'm glad they we're open to my thoughts. things work out. the show goes on and the intelligents play some catchy minimal rock, and king tuff kill it with their hooky guitar pop. we play well. we then drive about 40 minutes to will's place and everyone eats some grilled food in his backyard until i have to say goodnight.

   mood: 9, health: 8.5, energy: 8.5

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose off. I start chimping diary and soon our host travis appears and makes me coff even though he doesn't drink it. as a young man he was a skater in iowa and we talk about that stuff. now I was born w/terrible knees and never stood up on skateboards but I did do it w/roller skates in the san pedro navy housing across from the graveyard where d. boon and charles bukowski was. the skateboards had these red chalk wheels and even the tiniest pebble (we're talking the late 60s) would flip you or even a crack in the sidewalk so cats used to fucking go down hills on the them sitting down like they were a kind of a go-cart. I used the roller skates in the garages to mimic the roller derby we saw on tv (I think they were even called roller derby) and they had steel wheels that would pretty quick get like eight-sided and shit cuz you'd virtually run on these things. I broke my arm doing this shit. actually I broke it again doing "chicken fights" (fighting w/your legs as you hung in the air by your arms on swingsets w/the swings all wrapped up around the top pole) that got set by a corpsman on a hospital ship from the war in vietnam ship crooked and my teacher mrs urabe made me do scrawl w/the left hand, I never got it together but I think she wanted me taking a time out and not trying. I always think of her, trippy... so many teachers I've forgotten completely but not her - there's some others too like my electric one in high school, mr donahue - fuck, I'm going off on a windbag tangent! sorrrrrrrrrr-y. uncle ray sent me a gig review to rival the one of fellow clevelander and road-trip-to-pittsburgh-companion demos who's review I pasted in diary here a couple of days ago, let get all obscurant (or lay an act of obfuscation) on your ass here... remember, it's supposed to be review of our pittsburgh gig at club cafe on october 20, 2012:

Was gonna warn you about el hombre on your bumper in our blighted region-- the only thing the guys with the Phillips screwdriver hats hate more than "outsiders" from distant states they think of as foreign and hostile is their own citizens. Driving. With licenses that haven't been suspended. Yet. I shit you not. I think the sons of bitches call it "trawling for buckeyes" or should.

Now then: speaking of doing a Grace Jones, that one Demos put on the FRONT of the boat was a humdinger-- pure love & duly & neutrally observed by the cats working the door, who obviously enjoy whackjobs cutting up-- I've always had a blast in their city-- we thought about a more scenic trek on the return with some mailbox baseball thrown in, but couldn't come to terms on a price for an aluminum bat with the one bar owner ready to part with one at that hour-- and let's face it, this is the only thing they should be used for-- OK, wait-- No. Might as well address GCDG. And RSV. General Club Din Generators. I believe you refer to them as yammerers. Aluminum. You could go aluminum on them, too-- but wait for RSV. That's my fantasy; there's a global Righteous Selective Virus coming to weed out the dickweed & the GCDG. Gone. Nobody we'll miss-- just them.

Let's pause here for a PSA:

"Do you suspect that you could be a GCDG? Is there any doubt? There isn't, is there? Well, here's a true and astonishing fun fact: THERE'S A REAL GOOD CHANCE THE PEOPLE NEXT TO YOU DIDN'T COME HERE TO HEAR ANYTHING COMING OUTTA YOUR JIZZHOLE SO CLOSE IT, FUCKWEED."

But that RSV's a sweet fantasy, no? Ample parking, too.

Hey, anyway I was really happy with the gig, truly. Raul & Tom were, too-- Raul said overall there were maybe one or two as good or better. Hot dang-- and I spazzed & had no idea Edward was gonna be there & OPEN. Holy fuck that was nice-- later we got to resume a conversation we started about a decade ago about the pros/cons of the RRHOF, aka "the Jann Wenner Petting Zoo." We all agreed that it could piss up a rope because Captain Beefheart isn't in it.

Let's see: for lagniappe we got Edward on The Red & The Black-- hot dang squared! New axe with those fIREHOSE bones? May it avoid the "gittar jail" of The Jann Wenner Petting Zoo and always get used. And here's a theory I'm gonna throw out there-- one time I heard J. Fogerty talking to Terry Gross on Fresh Air & he told her sometimes he sings "there's a bathroom on the right" just to fuck with people-- do you think Jimi said "bomber" instead of "farmer" sometimes, maybe not to fuck with people but just 'cause that's the signal his considerable dish was pulling in at that particular moment? Just wondering-- and...and... TOM & RAUL LOOK AT YOU. THEY DO! Honest to fuck! LET 'EM LOOK AWAY FOR FOUR SECONDS. Somebody could be keeling over on them from RSV.

Hey, you know how poor old Linus felt out there in the 'patch every Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin? I do. He felt like Uncle Ray waiting for watt to dress up like Felix Pappalardi JUST ONE Halloween. The humor of this, perhaps, is lost on watt. (Maybe not). But shit, I understand the reticence-- it would be a pain in the ass, it wouldn't be econo, too much etc. etc. I don't care. The tinted granny glasses, silk jockey pants, kimono, oxblood hi-heeled boots, blowout-kit frizzed 'fro-- I mean, the mix/match could go on & on-- (I've sent pictures you know, including his infamous mota-leaf getup). So I challenge somebody reading this-- start a fucking blog or a facebook page or something: The Get watt To Dress Up Like Felix Pappalardi For Halloween Page. Oh fuck yes. It doesn't have to be this year...

Well, you asked me to write something, you know-- about the GIG, you respond? Well, it IS-- you has learned us gig-goers that our constructive input/feedback is expected/appreciated-- so go see if the truckstops are sellin' blowout kits-- fer yr HAID.

But anyway me bro, y'all are past the halfway point & from what I've seen & heard are a damn steamroller out there in the hinterlands-- all you ask of Raul & Tom is that they do the impossible in sometimes impossible circumstances over & over again & all they do is deliver every time-- & hey, it's all we've ever asked of you & you've NEVER let us down-- except maybe on the Pappalardi thing-- Now put out that psychedelic Japanese autumn thing (as us hillbillys call it) you did with Bob Lee & Nels Cline so we can all lose our shit...

   I wheel us head us southeast on I-24 to somewhere near franklin to get fuel for the boat and for me for the first time in a while, a tuna/mustard/olive/pickle sandwich from the subway pad connected to it. on each half of it I put four drops of the jolokia puree that ryan gave me back in columbus... freshest bread I've had from this pad in my memory. we head towards chattanooga an I get on the I-75 and around here you go back in and out of georgia and tennessee 'til finally ending up in georgia and losing an hour cuz of also crossing into eastern time zone - about ninety minutes from where need to be, tom gets the helm, I'm tuckered and konk 'til we beat most of the plug - atlanta is THE huge southern town, I remember them putting in all the freeway lanes for the olympics that were held here - three pm when we drop anchor at "the earl" which is a pad I've worked many times and dig it much.

   wade gives us "earl" shirts so much just-done you can feel them warm. wade grew the habaneros in the sauce that really sends some steam up and through the top of my head, whoa. they is the tastiest chili sauces that's potent enough to send steam perspiring from the top of my head, love it. no chemical taste whatsoever and the guoc he's got to go w/it is also righteous, much respect for brother wade! the got a kitchen here and I have a rib eye steak w/broccoli. we do soundcheck w/jonathan who's a cat who really cares, respect to him. I meet some of the intelligence who going on first and then two of the king tuff guitarmen, great cats - one's played w/j and the other's a detroiter. we have a good time rapping in the trippy backroom they got here, I dig it. man, the vibe (if I can use that word w/out sounding like a fucking idiot) is very much happening. there's more clouds than back in nashville but damn if it ain't hotter. I gotta roll down both windows some when I go to konk in the boat, shirt off too - somehow I do go under but truly don't know how cuz I can't find my fucking konk mask.

   tom rousts me a little after eleven - susan's behind him when I come out the hatch, HUGE surprise. she moved from the hill (what we in pedro call palos verdes) to south carolina a few years ago. she came here w/her daughter katherine. I pass the king tuff guys bassman's amp - it's a kustom - whoa, ccr used them at gigs! ok, I got several reasons to wail on it including brother wade's habanero fuel. we bring the piece and the sound is real good as is my two men w/me - tom's body language is a little subdued compared to that louisville gig. there is MUCH yammering but not up front... fuck, there's even a fight during "cherry-headed-lover-man" but I hold focus. I think we're happening w/delivering what we got and the gig-goers even though in mixed-bag mode as far as some of them in the back - hell, I think we might've won some over cuz you remember I think some cats were here for the bands we shared the stage w/and that's a happening thing, actually I got a lot of tradition of that sitch.

   I sling stuff and talk w/the folks, very kind feelings shared w/me - I wanna so bad share them back. brother tim who put us and the lite brothers up last time 'round is here, big hug! jon kincaid and some of the ricer folks are too. whoa, here's bradford - I got to celebrate a lance bangs bday (maybe fortieth?) back in september w/him and just dug him so much, reminded me so much of a cat from the old days but maybe just thirty? whatever, he's just the best and I love him. he says he wants to help shlep and does, thank you so much! bear hug for him from me!

   I do the coin dance w/bossman damien and he gives me a bottle of beam, I get one more rap w/brother wade and get to also thank jonathan for being such a righteous fourth man for us tonight on the knobs. good cats here, good pad, dig it much.

   we pull anchor and follow will to his pad in acworth which is forty minutes northwest, on the other side of marietta. will's wife autumn has a new shipmate coming, congrats! another damien, this one's a buddy of will's who's very cool people. will grills up chow for us and we get to wash laundry, I'm quick into my nightwear - there's where my konk mask is, in the top front pocket. baka watt. I konk on a righteous long leather couch.

friday, october 26, 2012 - birmingham, al

from tom:

   i wake a few times with much congestion in my sinuses and chest from allergies, it's really uncomfortable. i remember feeling like this the last time i was in athens and atlanta. this kind of allergy is one of the worst i've ever felt. i cant breath through my nose, and then theres a tickle in my chest, headache, temperature too. finally the sun comes up and i go down and see will making some eggs and grits, and i grab a cup of coffee. he offers me some allergy medicine which i very much appreciate and accept. we have enough time to hang with him until 1:30 before we have to roll to birmingham. it's not a very long drive but we hit traffic about halfway and creep along at a hold mile an hour for about an hour? maybe longer. finally we arrive at the bottle tree and pull into the back. we see another band loading out, probably from playing last night, and wait to get their spot. after switching places with them, we load in and hang out for a bit. i'm tired. i didn't sleep well last night, and i know it will be a long night tonight. the bottle neck is a cool bar/cafe/performance space with a really comfortable back stage area that has a covered seating are that is indoor/outdoor that leads up to two airstream trailers in a patio area that are used as band rooms. very cool. time goes by slowly. we order food from their kitchen, i get the black and white bowl, black beans over rice with salsa and cheese. raul and i share an order of nachos that is very satisfying. after that i take a nap while louis c.k. is playing on the screen in the airstream. hiyori and i roll t-shirts for a while and then the other band, GT starts to play and they are a trippy combination of southern boogie rock and droney factory records type post punk. kind of zz top/section 25. i love it. scotty singing and playing guitar. nice dudes too. we do a quick change over to coltrane's love supreme. soon i get mike and we go on and go through a good set. i feel good on this stage and sound man kyle does a great job. after, we pack up and i hunt for a place to stay. the club offers us the airstreams for the night, and even though it's a nice offer, i figure it's safer to go someplace else. marilee offers her house too, but she and her man are in boxes getting ready for a move, so when jay offers his place nearby i say yes. we eventually get there and i have a small glass of jim beam and sleep on a couch in a room where i find raul curled up on the bed.

   mood: 7.8, health: 7.5, energy: 7.4

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, get some wetness down the throat - you know how that works. part of that last dog is on the table there next to that most comfortable leather konk couch, I chow it. into the backyard, I find sky full of sun but big white puff clouds also. I start chimping diary. our host will wakes and starts cooking up scrambled eggs that's got sausage in them plus grits and bacon in two other pans. fuck it, we ain't gonna pull anchor 'til noon cuz it ain't that far and we gain an hour to boot cuz of finally leaving eastern time zone.

   we're playing birmingham tonight and that's where sun ra was born in 1914. it turns out will had five records in his grandpa's collection but didn't know what they were about. I try to enlighten him which ain't tough cuz will is a curious and hungry/thirsty for knowledge man. turns out both mine and his pops were chiefs in the navy and not only that, they both were machinist mates. since lots of will's earlier time was in slidel, I turn him on to a bud of mine named rob in new orleans who's anxsnd puts on avant garde gigs in new orleans. it's all about people turning each other on to trippy shit - I wanna stay a student for life too. will was born in japan. he lets me look at this righteous book on the work of hiroshige - this cat influenced vincent!

   big hugs and we push off to the west - well, southwest through some backroads to get to the interstate. we've had more of that this tour than a lot of them and all of us dig cuz though there's the slow-go, there's other shit to show than the same ol' same ol' sometime that the interstate's got for the eyeballs. once we get to the I-20 I take us over the alabama border and do the fresh ponies dance w/raul at the first gas stop which has got some korean folks w/some fried chicken - I get a piece of that along w/a piece of fried catfish and six fried gizzards. like those boiled peanuts brother wade had for us in the back room in georgia last night, this tastes like it's from these parts and out of a gas station but actually maybe a little less greasy and pretty fresh. you roll the dice w/this kind of stuff so usually I don't go for it but the korea angle tipped the scales for my gut dare move. lucky raul got the helm just in time for HUGE major fucking traff plug that easily added an hour five mile an hour lame-shit but he's a man and can handle it (like tom) and it's four and half when we pull into the back of the "bottletree cafe" here in birmingham - we find young men packing up their van to bail for what's probably their next gig and damn if we ain't right. they're called maus haus which tripped me out cuz I saw that on an upcoming something somewhere and it right away made me think of old hollywood band mau maus (who are still going, by the way - much respect to rick wilder). they had their boat break down - a nightmare for tour and I feel much for them. we wish them safe seas and hope they keep their keel in the water.

   we set up for soundcheck w/soundman kyle is very cool people - everyone here is. j from "we have signal" on alabama public television does an interview w/me that's a real good one, not one shred of jive and most sincere. after soundcheck I chow a salad from the kitchen here, got enough meat earlier. I meet the openers, local cats called gt that are happening, great vibe and good men. they got their own sound. I go to the boat to konk.

   tom gets at eleven bells - my konk was shallow and inefficient one, don't know why. fuck. this happens time to time - it ain't fucking nightmares either, it's just the konk machine inside me konking out itself. damn this kind of sitch but I just try to ride out best I can, at least keeping still provides some kind of rest but it ain't the real kind watt needs but I can try my best and that's what I do. there's some lowend stuff hindering me hearing the monitors, making it tough on the voice and so all I can do is try and cut what my bass amp does - I know kyle's on the knobs himself working on it and he gets things better. maybe it's a tom and kick thing too from raul - sometimes he's gotta mute a ringing floor tom w/his hand. sometimes this come from bass bins under the stage or room acoustics. actually this is a really righteous pad - I have described and in fact I've been pretty lame about that in this whole tour diary about telling about these rooms we work. this one here has incredible back part and the whole pad is full of album covers and artistic stuff to make it one of a kind. anyway, I'm way into the way tom and raul keep it together for me and still wail w/what they got, righteous. I wish there was a way to celebrate these guys more than w/my stumblebum terrible chimping - what I try to do is show it w/working the bass and spiel the best I can for them, like I try for the gig-goers cuz I owe both "parties" (sounds like a lawyer word, huH?) big time. it's a good thing to have a debt this way I think. there was big respect showed to us tonight, yammering only from two transplants from san pedro if you can believe that. they didn't mean to I think but they did. they told me they missed pedro much - so do I but this work is important enough for me to leave it for a while.

   I sling after the gig and damn if tim from the indian lakes part of atlanta ain't here - he made the hellride! oh man, righteous! I saw him while we delivering the piece and it lit me up good. bradley's here too - he's a transplant to our pedro town and is back to visit family. he's got a band called almighty do me a favor that is somkin' and he is true people, a fucking bitchin' cat I respect much. bradley always makes me feel good.

   merrilee the boss offers us a konk pad when it's time for the coin dance, very kind, truly. however tom made a connect when I called for a pad from the stage and damn if it ain't the man who spieled w/me earlier! whoa, that's happening. I know he filmed the gig for his tv show (all the clams I blew immortalized! no I'm most grateful) but damn, he's there for us again. BIG respect. his pad ain't too far away and we talk some upon arrival. he's got a cat who survived getting run over by a car, damn! cuz of this being birmingham, I wanna some about it and he tells me post-civil war birmingham was pittsburgh of south, steel town. j's pop goes way back in this town and he's seen how stuff's changed - how he's changed - interesting man. now what I know about here is music man sun ra an incredible story, his life. he put out his own records too. thurst and byron knows all about him. anyway I tell j one time me and raymond saw him in nyc in the 80s and we were all bourboned up big time and ended up in a conga line w/him as he was doing this way wild version of "somewhere over the rainbow" at a club called "sweet basil's" - I think that's where it was. we were yopparai (jap for drunk) so it's blurry but it was a righteous time and highly singular in my life. that man was beautiful. he had a tenor man john gilmore that john coltrane dug, talked about him in an interview I got. and marshall allen still tours at eightyeight, respect! these are roots I find essential to what's helped me on the music mission. if you get time and it's still there, please watch this and absorb what you can of it.

   I've absorbed some of that beam and man am I tuckered so that's it for me tonight.

saturday, october 27, 2012 - memphis, tn

from tom:

   jay makes us coffee and when we go out to the van we realize that the drivers side window had been down all night. it's a sick feeling, but i'm glad the glass wasn't busted and that nothing was stolen. i don't want to point fingers, but i'm glad i didn't do it. we say goodbye to jay then we shove off to drive hiyori to the airport. sadly, she heads back to germany today, but it was nice to have her aboard for a whileŠwe wave goodbye and take some crazy looping directions from our gps to get to the state 78 hwy towards memphis. it turns out to be good advice cause it's avoiding some road construction for us. when we get to the hi-tone cafe it's closed and i lay down in the back of the van to rest a bit. the weather has changed to chilly again, i have both of my jackets on. when we finally get into the club we load and wait for sound man. time goes slowly. i sit and watch some zombie movie at the bar with a couple guys who work here. it's mellow. after sound check i get a bbq sandwich that has coleslaw in it, and it's great. i guess it's a memphis thing cause i've never had it that way before. later we hang at the club waiting for the show to start, it's taking forever. finally the other group kicks into a rockin' set at high volume to their local fans. i see blake from the nashville gig and meet his brother, lum. very nice guys. they save me a slice of their pizza which i write my name on and try to hide for later. there are a bunch of people in the back room smoking and drinking and making noise. raul is trying to rest on the little couch, he seems miserable. we do our gig. i jump around a lot almost falling on some mike stands. after we pack up and mike finishes his interactions from stage, we head over to karen and steve-o's place. when we get there raul realizes he'd left his sweaty shirts on the stage so karen calls and asks a friend to bring them over. they do some laundry and i fall asleep on a couch in living room. someone wakes me and i go up to a room where raul is already sprawled on the bed so i sleep on a couch that's an inch too short for my body.

   mood: 7.9, health: 7.6, energy: 7.5

   pop at eight, we're to take miss hiyori to the airport where she'll take a shuttle bus back to atlanta (what?) to fly back to hamburg. hostman j makes us coff - it's his stepson peyton eighteenth bday, congrats! I talk to him about being eighteen - I was that age when I helped mr carter over mr ford (bagman for the one who "voted" him in) and also about how I was in a window that had no draft or registration - mr carter brought that cuz of soviet version of us in vietnam in afghanistan but still he got called not butch enough and replace right after by shoe polish in the hair man (hyphens left out on purpose). both j and peyton school me some on norway black metal. incredible team they make, beautiful.

   we pull anchor and I find whoever drove the boat last (me) was a total fucking baka and left the window all the way down, crimony! the hatch is locked but the window was never rolled up. what an incredible stupid fucking baka to space like that. it's gray skies but no rain. bye to miss hiyori. I take backroads via frau garmin to reach us-78 which the signs tell us one day will be I-22, an "appalachian improvement" proj. it's pretty much like an interstate. we get subway sandwiches, I get my usual but use brother wade's habanero salsa from "the earl" to reinforce it - the top of my head gets the vapors, righteous. I get us into mississippi and at the welcoming center get fresh ponies going in the guise of tom who takes us through tupelo and into tennessee, dropping anchor in memphis right at three, good job. I konked the whole way, needed it. this pad is called the "hi tone cafe" and I played once before w/my secondmen, like seven years ago. the janitor man (that's what he called himself) lets me in but says wait please so I go chimp diary 'til a barman comes an hour later and let's us load our stuff in and set up. soundman joel doesn't come 'til seven but we're ready for him and in the meantime I chow a pizza from their kitchen, real good one done handmade, respect.

   after soundcheck I hit the boat for konk. it's the first cold night in a while and it's definitely a two blankie sitch so I use just that, orange hat and yellow coat on as well. I pop to the sound of what I guess was the end of the openers electric gringo orchestra who I guess has members of adios gringos and joint chiefs from around here. I know guitarman steve-o cuz he's married to karen rockette, sister of my dear friend doug rockette who passed away last year from the diabetes he was born w/and it was a terrible blow to me. this man was beautiful, truly. I know I've already mentioned some of this in the nashville entry but let say more. he was a foot doctor who did his schooling in different towns and would come to see me play much and we became good friends. when he graduated, his pop had just died so I took his place to be w/doug when he got his diploma in san francisco at the masonic lodge. I was very proud of him. this is where I met hol (who was at the nashville gig) and her sister brenda. doug was always there for me, always caring and always willing to hear me out and weigh w/good sense. he never judged me but was interested in my well-being as well as my work. he really motivated me in so many ways. I tell you, losing people has always been the hardest lesson for me, that hardest.

   the last of the electric gringo orchestra has me pop, seeing my breath fog in the cold air in the boat. so glad to have parking right in the front so I can hit the head cuz I gotta purge some ballast. it's two minutes after midnight when soundman joel's got it all ready for us and I think of doug and also another memphis man, craig schindler who was a bass brother from this town connected w/karen, connected w/doug that had to leave way before his time - I got to use his bass when back in january of this year I did an album here in memphis for a proj called "mouthful" that was very trippy: all horns, bass and drums w/no guitar or keyboards. I think of saying something about these two beautiful men but feel I should express love for them through the piece and keep the focus that way and not dilute it. we have a real good throw at it, I think me and my men really worked it well together and there was beauty from the gig-goers too, it was a very happening spirit and made me feel good. I kept words inside for my missing brothers and didn't put outside which was burning in my heart for them.

   I talked and slung w/the folks after and was most grateful for the kindness, truly. I see bossman jonathan and promise I won't be so long coming back. hugs for him. hugs for michelle, nice words from her buds. two brothers at the nashville gig came here, great to hear about their world - they know much for their youth, respect.

   karen rides w/us to her pad, steve-o sick w/cramped up clawhands like I get sometimes at the end of stooges gigs, his fever broke though at the gig so that's a good thing. karen and her old roommate dionne talk w/me about stuff, doug stuff... 'til four am, it's important that that got done though, I believe that. feelings are intense, real ones... I konk believing that, knowing that.

sunday, october 28, 2012 - fayetteville, ar

from tom:

   we get rousted out of bed by mike and pack and jump right into the van for our trip to arkansas. mike has his sleeping pants on cause his levis are still wet from the wash. halfway to fayetteville we hit some heavy traffic. mike turns off the engine as we sit bumper to bumper on the highway. it's a chilly afternoon whilst driving through the ozark mountains, winding around the colorful maples growing out of the stoney hills. we pull up to george's majestic a little late but it doesn't seem to be any trouble, we leisurely load in and set up and check. it's a sports bar with a nice stage and sound system. sounds good to me. raul and i walk a few blocks and find a thai place but it's closed. bravely, we decide to try the mexican joint next door. we both order carne aside tacos and they come on home made tortillas and the refried pintos are hand mashed and very good. there is also some tasty jalapeno salsa and i wash it all down with a negra modelo. we are both very satisfied as we walk back along the quiet streets towards the club. we have a couple more hours to kill, and we try to find a place to relax in the back room that is actually a larger live room with a big stage thats not being used tonight. it's cold and hard and we do our best to be comfortable on it but it's a losing battle. the first band is a 3 piece and the guitarist plays a silvertone in an open tuning with a slide. driving groves with double kick beats. there is amp head case on the floor in front of the guitar player where he sties onto when he does his slide solos like he's hoping on top of a soap box. it's kind of funny cause he's the shortest guy in the band. i like their songs. when i go back and sit in the chilly back stage area one of the club organizers comes back and asks if we've been in the real backstage room, and i go: "huh?, there's a room for us?". at this point we have 10 minutes till we play and raul and i are sort of pissed that no one showed us where we could relax until now. couches, bathroom, coffee. damn it, that really sucks cause we feel burnt out from the lame uncomfortable situation here. oh well, we spend 5 minutes in there, then play our show. it goes well, we pack and go to kevin's friend, dud's place about a half hour away and we eat a little, drink a little and i put my mask on and ear plugs and go to sleep.

   mood: 8.0, health: 7.8, energy: 7.7

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and get some throatcoat tea going cuz I got a sore spot in the back of my throat, feels like it's real dry. also there's some chipped up tooth in the back digging into some tongue nearby but what can I do about that, use a bastard file? I do some internet stuff (whoa, from bottletree knobman kyle there's shots of the gear we're using to bring people the third opera this tour) after putting in levis and chonies I neglected to last night, thinking I have time and discovering we got a four pm load-in so fuck it, I put the machine on spin and hobble upstairs to roust my men. now I never was upstairs in this pad (I remember karen saying she got this pad from her brother doug last night, I think) so I don't which hatch has them behind it - well, fifty-fifty shot and I... picked the wrong hatch! sorry karen and steve-o, sorry. after then rousting tom and raul, I get back downstairs and gather my wet levis - the other pair I brought on tour are soiled too so I gotta wear the nightwear bottoms... fuck, I feel like brother jun. like tom herman says in his "autumn leaves" tune (same title but NOT the same tune maybe more popular), "you gotta do what you gotta do" - that was from his tripod jimmy days.

   the skies are clear and cool w/the temp - there's a storm called sandy about to hit the northern east coast and my ma calls while I'm driving us west on I-40 worried if we're gonna get hit. I tell her we're a thousand miles away! my ma has a trippy sense of geography. memphis is on the mississippi river and once across we're in arkansas. I pull off for fuel not long after, actually right after the offramp for earle which is the town where my pop's pop was from. we don't go there but to a the closest filling station to the offramp that's got subway sandwiches (raul gets my usual while I fill the boat's tank) and $3.10/gallon gas. maybe this is the most econo we'e paid for fuel this tour? I run into plug about fifty miles from little rock and it's an hour sitting there, I shit you not - maybe cuz of a combo of construction and an accident, we never figured it out but a tiny bit west of little rock, I pull off at a visitors center for fort pike or some shit where I can dump and pass the reins to tom who does ninety minutes of helm duty and then hands off the tiller for the last ninety minutes to raul. I'm just not strong enough to do entire drives any more even though it feel real good on my sore hands, the vibrations on the steering wheel. finally off I-40 we go north through the boston mountains (hills actually) on the hammerschmidt highway to college town fayetteville, home of the razorbacks (university of arkansas), getting there just after four and a half - four pm was supposed to be load-in, whoops... it was that shutdown before little rock that did it. we get righteous parking right out front, yes! gigboss rueben even pays for it - why is tom calling him ramon? well, soundman arley's got a good nature as does the gigboss rueben - he tells me there's a laundromat a block away... yeah, I can wash my all wet in a plastic sack levis and chonies! the cat there is hilarious - when I ask him how much for a dose of soap he says, seven hundred dollars and I react w/a "jesus christ!" and then he says seventy cents. he's a joker, a good ol' guy and I think maybe from mexico.

   back at the venue - oh it's called "george's majestic lounge" and we're playing the smaller room which sounds pretty good. the cats there are joking about some cat who tried to get tickets last night and caused some fracas, mentioning me... I got word from my jayhawk friend kevin that he had a buddy he wanted us to konk at w/him tonight here in fayetteville - could this be the same man? it's a mystery so I guess we'll find out tonight. I meet the openers, local guys called the thunderlizards that I'm diggin when I hear them soundcheck, hard to believe the guitarman says he's been playing only a year or sore, whoa. the bassman's got a great tone. I get the levis on and travis from thick syrup records w/his buddy daniel chow w/me across the street at a pad called "tokyo" that shovels soosh and is pretty much packed. I get a maki that's got crab and the miso soup is free. daniel's been to china a few times and enlightens me about stuff there. one day I hope to get to that land... india too, I wish. of course my biggest dream is a real american van tour, real meaning north/central/south america. damn I hope some day I got enough time in this life to do that... I really want it to happen. travis has got much going w/his label, crimony - respect to him. him and daniel got here from little rock and I'm most grateful for the music they turn me on to, much stuff for my radio show http://twfps.com/ - damn, no time for an edition this tour but soon as I get back home. I go and konk, using two blankies, yellow jacket and orange knit hat. it's fucking cold.

   I'm out for hours though when tom come rousts me for an eleven pm go-on, I meet kevin's buddy in the head when I'm putting on the gig flannel - his name is duds and it was him in that drama last night here, that's what he informs me. whoa. he seems like a nice cat. he said hadn't had any konk in thirtysix hours. I thank him advance for the konk pad and join tom and raul on stage. pretty good sound up here for the piece and I bring w/much conviction, for arkansas... for the first time ever, I think about my connect w/here - well, actually it's way west in the flat part of the state... actually it's been nine years since I've played this town. anyway, we do real good and the gig-goers here tonight are most respectful. one man's pretty animated and I think didn't deserve the choke-up and toss-out he got a little more than halfway through but for me it's important not to get distracted and I could keep my focus even w/his thing he had going on. one big challenge for the piece was the mic going out in "hell-building-man" that I kind of detected in soundcheck, a bad cable probably but anyway I grabbed on over to get tom's mic cuz to me it's so important to play all thirty parts together as one song and not break the flow. of course I had to let go of the bass and some lines got scissored and just not heard but thank god raul kept going and we managed not to interrupt the piece by it being halted, a really good job improvising a plan b in moment. arlie gets thing happening w/a new cord for the encores but before we start I tell the folks some of the libretto that got scissored cuz of that shitty mic cord - what was important was to keep the piece whole and not dilluted w/unconnectedness. we have a good time w/those except for some tuning stuff cuz the mic cable got caught around tom's tuning pegs and I had a hard time getting around raul's cymbals cuz of the built in riser we didn't use cuz I want raul way up front w/me and tom.

   the gig-goers give much kindness after, the first man I talked to was coast guard and now does environmental research - he dug the first opera of mine much. there's some bassmen and just folks who are glad I came and hope it ain't too much longer before I'm back. I gotta get better w/that stuff for some towns and I swear I will. we just got such a big land, you know? earlier there was a man who know brother steve mackay, the stooges saxman, forgot to mention him. he was very kind to me. when I do the bobby dinero dance w/gigboss rueben, he tells me I made a lot of people here tonight happy - that means a lot to me, truly. you know I've never been shy about letting folks know that d. boon's pop was from nebraska... I kind of haven't been the same about here w/my pop and I think maybe that should be different. of course stuff was kind of different... but that has nothing to do w/these folks here for me, to hear me and my men do our work. hmm...

   we take a bit to get to duds in nearby springdale including pulling into the wrong driveway and waiting for thank god no one coming on us very angry. luckily they were konked. duds and kevin have stuff for us, some pot roast, pulled pork, braised pork loin - lots of good chow plus laundry for the gig flannel and tom and raul's stuff. duds and kevin sure are good people - hell, kevin's had us over at his lawrence pad MANY times. I hose off, first in a couple days, whew. that feels real good. there's a great couch I konk on, real comfortable. duds is a jayhawk like keven (went to university of kansas) but he's been here twenty years or something. I'm glad I got all that konk earlier cuz damn if it ain't late now - not memphis late but still enough for tom to beat me being out w/the ibiki (snores) ripping it up, him on the couch next to me.

monday, october 29, 2012 - houston, tx

from tom:

   we wake at 7, drink some coffee and roll by 7:30. there's frost on the grass outside and i sit in the passenger seat for the first 3 hour shift as mike drives out of the chilly ozark mountains. raul's in the back resting for the second shift. it's a 9+ hour drive to houston, and we pace ourselves so we don't burn out. no time to stop for food except while gassing up. when we stop to change drivers and gas up, i get 2 tamales that are pretty tasty. we make progress, and when it's my turn for my 3 hour shift mike jumps in back to rest and raul is passenger side for the final leg of the trip. i pull into the parking lot at 6:30, so it turns out to be more like 10 hours on the road. we load in, set up, do the check. we have food brought to us this time. mediterranean cuisine, i order falafels but we all share the foods. it's 8 o'clock when the doors open, then the local band, the rivers give us some sweet garage-y psychedelic rock with echo vocals that raul and i are digging. it's a light crowd but nice people and by the time we play it's a good turn out for a monday night. ryan the sound man does a good job with everything and i think we play a strong set. feels good. our friends, dan-o and patrice are there and when we are all done with everything we follow them to their place. we stayed here last tour when we had the lite boys, bob and peak with us. dan-o has tons of records and memorabilia which we go through and play. he has some old new alliance 7"s, mighty feeble, etc, plus some slovenly records that i haven't heard in years. we listen and drink some jim beam, then patrice, who's a physical therapist/yoga teacherŠ gives each of us a back cracking. mike ends up face down on the floor after his and conks right there. after the rest of us grow tired i have to pick mike up to get him onto the couch and we all hit the sack by 3.

   mood: 8.2, health: 8.2, energy: 8.2

from watt:

   pop at six and a half cuz we gotta shove off early. it's a little more than five hundred miles to houston, a reality we have to face... remember, we're moving west where the distances in the boat grow. duds has got work and kevin's gotta get back to kansas so we all bail at same time after some coff. it's a righteous sunrise we witness and chilly but clear weather - damn, ain't we blessed? back east is coming a hurricane called sandy that they say is gonna pound the northeast - my heart goes out to them. raymond's there too... crimony. back whence we came yesterday, south on the hammerschmidt highway the west on I-40 'til in oklahoma where after some miles we dogleg south, having gone through the cherokee and creek parts and taking the indian nation turnpike south via choctaw land, the last gas stop on this road has me both getting a charger for the kaput one to my bluetooth ear/mic to use the leash legal if I have to, filling up the boat w/fuel and giving the reins to raul - oh, I had to blow it out and there's a line for the head but I find a use for the crapdonald's next door and foul those facilities. it's only a few miles to the border w/texas, in a little bit we pass through paris where I konk for an hour and a half. tom takes the helm in henderson, the filling station also has a kitchen where homecooked meat loaf, collared green and macaroni gets order to go where I chow it in the boat - really good, that lady there cooked it up good. us-259 south to us-59... lots of road we took today have up to seventy mph parts (that turnpike was seventyfive!) but still we gotta slow down for little towns - it is neat seeing this stuff you miss on the interstate but the price for that today is ten and a half hours to get where we're going.

   we get to where we're going safe though and that's what counts. this pad we're at is called "fitzgerald's" I believe I've played here before only once and that was maybe twenty years ago w/my friends in superchunk and where I got the idea to cover their tune "slack motherfucker" which I loved as soon as I heard it. we're ninety minutes late for load-in but the cats working here are most kind and we get parking right by the hatch where you bring in gear (we're playing the downstairs part of this pad) and very happening soundman ryan gets us checked like that, respect! he's way into being tonight fourth man for us too, BIG respect. you gotta love a brother like that. gigboss paul brings chow from greek pad - I can do a little falafel and salad but am still full from that good chow at that filling - still tripping on a pad like that having a real kitchen, damn, wish that could catch on. I meet the cats in the opening band who are called rivers and they sure are nice, good band too. I do an interview w/mark for a nip drivers documentary... so sad about mike webber. we put out their first album, d. boon's idea, good one.

   I go to the boat just as the gig starts and though I can't konk, I can rest. it's that point in the tour where I gotta guard my throat from too much spiel. there's pieces of a broke molar cutting up into my tongue and cheek inside too. ok, enough bellyachin' - rivers sound real good from here, the drummer sounds like he knows big band, gene krupa stuff! ten bells we're on, tom brings me throatcoat ten a few minutes before and I already got the gig flannel on and go right to the stage to bring the piece. the folks here in houston are much MUCH respectful - the mouse parts you can only hear a bottle thrown in the gomi can... trippy how every time we got to a mouse part you hear that, 'pert-near like someone's standing there w/an armful and just waiting for those tiny sound places. it's a little tough for me, feeling a little weak cuz of no pre-gig konk... that part of the day/night is so important for an ojisan (middle aged) like me, I apologize. tom and raul's playing plus the focus of the gig-goers here really ups my spirit and gives me a heave-ho to throw all I got. it's a good one, I'm most grateful for everything to help me be part of it.

   post gig sling finds me much kindness, very much, thank you big time. eric and wendy came from biloxi in mississippi, damn - respect. eric even helps shlep shit to the boat, more respect! such kindness, truly. from cats here I get the good word, some from way back, some first time - alright. dave dove from nameless sound brings greetings - he's gonna have me come to town here to work w/some young folks soon as I can do it, respect to him.

   we follow dano and patrice to their pad in the aldine part of houston. man, they are great people, most kind. we were here last time in houston... this is where bob-san had that wine spill from the table onto and into his 'puter that was on the deck next to him when he konked - that wine destroyed his windblows machine. dano's a happening collector he's got sid vicious' "I'm a mess" badge from a sotheby's auction, damn! he plays the new alliance records "feeble efforts" ep and some slovenly seven inchers - both me and tom ain't heard this stuff in many MANY years! there's some beam... I'm tuckered - before long I'm konked.

tuesday, october 30, 2012 - austin, tx

from tom:

   i shower off and have coffee and then patrice drives me to the bank before breakfast. i chow down some breakfast that dan-o has prepared when we get back, and then raul and i throw the frisbee around with dan-o for a while. i do a van cleaning and go through the merch to see where we are with everything. we check out dano-'s prized possession, sid vicious' "i'm a mess" pin. the actual one he wore. it still has his blood still on it. what a trip. we have a lazy departure from their place cause it's only a 3 hour drive to austin and no need to be too early. we arrive at the red 7 at 4:30 and load in, a nice place in the heart of austin. lots of bars and clubs in this town. something is biting me as i sit and write in the side stage room. maybe fleas. my alleges are pretty much gone, i feel much better. rested. we only have 11 more shows, so it's nice to feel strong again. at this point it seems like the tour has gone by very quickly. raul and i walk to the whole food main store here in austin and then to a thai place where i get pan nang. good food. we walk back to the club and chill. the first band, max levine from d.c. plays a hyper punk set of hooky tunes that only youngsters can pull off. i mean that with much appreciation. the ALL sticker on the floor tom kind of clarifies that. cool songs. very nice guys too. theres a nice crowd in the room and then locals, grand champeen goes on at about 11:15. it's going to be a late night, but that's cool, this is austin. we play well, but we have a female heckler in the very front of the stage who makes stupid noises in her drunken pride. it's distracting, but we try to keep focused on the piece. i play well for the most part, a couple stumbles but not too bad. the crowd is very into it and raul and i pack up while mike does merch from the stage. after load out we follow elizabeth to her home outside of town where there's a nice bed for each of us. we throw some laundry in the washer, talk for a half an hour and then i go to sleep.

   mood: 8.7, health: 9.1, energy: 9.0

from watt:

   pop at nine bells. when tom pops, I am informed it was as if I were a sack of potatoes, getting my lard-ass from the deck on to the couch. I'm told patrice had me down there to crack my back... I have no memory of any of this. I did konk good and hard though. I chimp yesterday's doings in my diary early, answering dano's questions at the same time. I need to make time to finish my forward I've been asked to do for a book on wire by wilson neate. dano makes us a chow of scrambled eggs, bacon and tortillas. I find information on his "I'm a mess" button via the internet. he says he's had a 'puter now for three years and is learning by doing. right on. patrice has hand-washed my flannel and now it's drying in the sun. beautiful weather here. subtitles on the tv w/the sound down inform us the northeast got hit real hard by hurricane sandy, especially the south part of manhattan... terrible news, I feel so bad for everyone hurt. nature is big time, crimony.

   dano and patrice have been so nice to us, beautiful people, truly. big hugs and byes, I wheel us west on us-290 for austin, geting gas at the aj foyt parkway exit - man, he was a great driver. raul takes the reins and I konk on the boat's back bench. this route goes through la grange - yeah, the one zz top sings about but I miss it, being deep in konk. I pop just as raul drops anchor near the front hatch of where we're playing tonight, "red seven" is its name. I've never played this pad before. the folks there sure are nice. right now they're switching out an amp for the bass bins. I check email, I just got this poem from charley plymell:


Black Cadillac four door two suicide
Convertible red brick streets of Harlem
Some sunny Sunday afternoon Bebop
Loitering against the curb space station
Cool live relaxed behind curtain elation
Of space stars or tinfoil on the sidewalk
Lucky Strike red wrapper red Apple core
Black gold glaze around the eye an beak
Music gods and morphus neon do beguile
French gypsies gowns from black La Salle
Jam jam jam bestow calico upon the meek.

I had told him about me, raymond w/sun ra and that conga line incident and he saw the "space is the place" doc as well and so I think he got inspired.

   we soundcheck w/soundman joey and then real close by I get some bibimbap and miso soup from a chow pad called "koriente" that ain't so much traditional but tasting good and fresh. I finish my forward for the wire book and send it on, crossing my fingers. I meet one of the openers toning call grand champeen and they're really nice cats, get to check out bassie's bass and which is a reissue of an '51 p-bass but w/a '57 style pickup replacing its original one. bassie's got lots of questions about '68 telecaster bass and I tell him lots that I know. his bandmate knows some about tesla - fucking alright, respect! I go to the boat and konk. we're not due on stage 'til midnight... damn, on a work night too. oh well.

   tom rousts me, gives me throatcoat tea and behind is my old friend mrs elizabeth is behind him. she now lives in austin, moved from nyc last year. actually though she's from new jersey, she got a degree at the university here. no time to really talk w/her though, I head right for the stage so we can get a move on - it's five after midnight when I begin my address to the folks before we bring the piece. the sound is really good on stage, great monitors for my thirty gigs up to now voice. tom and raul play really tight w/me, real good. tonight's challenge is someone right up front and center who really is bogarting of the dynamics of the piece - no prob when we're wailing on it but obliterating our tiny stuff - maybe not trying to but for us it's a real challenge. I don't wanna dilute the piece, I wanna keep it whole so I try my hardest to keep focus. it is difficult but I think the good people here in austin are worth it. such a trippy thing, everyone has their own idea of what a good time is and w/so much beatdown ready to come down on you, do you really need some bass player on stage to come on like a behavior monitor who thinks what he's got going has be absorbed in such a way? it is a dilemma for me so I'm thinking the best way of handling it is just trying to keep the piece whole plus working it good w/raul and tom. in a surreal way it seems like a test for "hyphenated-man" and 'pert-near like a worst-case scenario to see how both the work and those working it will react in such a sitch. the "lute-and-dagger-man" part finds tom a little off balance and I try to rally him, comes back, he comes back strong. I know that point of the piece is tough - no bass to be w/him 'til the coda. the yammering at the stern is what it is and actually we kind of had them but that got diluted by this blowhard at the bow... is there a wrong way to show enthusiasm? aaahh, I just got let go of this - every performance is another chance to see what happens.

   we do the encores and this is where the toss comes from stageman doug is a kind man, not typical brute w/chip of authority on shoulder. yeah, drink gets thrown, innocent man gets hit w/the glass - go off time but still we don't pause, even though were past the piece and into the collection of songs for our thank you. I guess the mentality has us - I think the folks should be acknowledged but I guess how that is what makes what's your way to work a room.

   folks most kind for the slinging, much heart for us felt and right back. my old buddy cary's here, he's building a skate ramp for the upcoming fun fun fun fest, that's something happening in this town on a fest level I think I can get into, rather that thing I did a few weeks ago or what happens in the spring... I gotta find out more about that. hey, it's tim napalm - hey there, good to see him again too! the folks here in austin very kind to us on a work night though a few tell me they drove from san antonio - man, it's been a while since I played there, a real good while... there's so many towns I wish I could always play every tour, damn... I wish I was stronger. on the way out I meet these young men from d.c. that opened the gig tonight, tom and raul said they were great - they're called the max levine ensemble and I get some music from them for my radio show... "good luck and safe seas, brothers" is what I tell them.

   we follow mrs elizabeth back to her pad - first time I seen her living in something bigger than the most tiniest you could imagine. her eduardo had to fly in from charlotte a little while ago but he joins us to make for a real good time even w/it going past three, damn. we get all our stuff put in the washer, we get ham sandwiches w/mustard and potato chips in them - she knows about the texture technique! twice now I got to see them in one month - I got them in at the stooges gig here back on the fourteenth, I love and respect them so much - good, smart and deep souled folks w/no front or jive, just beautiful. cuz of their two little girls, I know it's late for them, you can see weary on their eyes big time, big time - me and my men are like big kids now demanding attention from them, I feel like a bogart! they got a most happening couch and a little blankie there w/it is all I need, my men upstairs have rooms w/beds. there was jap whiskey that tasted like scotch (yamazaki, I think) - I put that w/some pacifico beer in the same glass. for me scotch is like treble and bourbon is like bass. in the nightwear and w/mask pulled down, konk is like lightswitch flick fast.

wednesday, october 31, 2012 - oklahoma city, ok

from tom:

   i sleep very hard and get woken by mike at about 9:00. we have time to drink a cup of coffee and have some egg soufflé that elizabeth kindly has for us then get into the van for another long drive. today is halloween, so when we stop for gas near a walmart, raul and i go in and i look for some face make up to do a scarecrow type thing. i want to find a hat too, but they're too expensive for my taste. i jump behind the wheel for a couple hours, then it's raul's turn. we pull up to the conservatory club and the doors are still closed, so we look in the record store next door for a while. eventually we get into the club and set up to check. cory is doing sound. matt from the feel specter's shows up and talk a bit. we played together last time we were through. matt's girlfriend brings us some burgers and fries, which is very nice of her. i put together my costume that's more or less a scarecrow. my clothes are ripped up anyway, so that part is easy. i tape hay coming out of my sleeves and pant legs and around my head. raul spray paints my hair blue with some stuff i got from dan-o and patrice, and then a nice lady named sarah does some face make up for me. after that i watch skating polly play, a two piece that play some minimal femme punk, and then the feel specter's, whom i have trouble describing their music. i really like them a lot. it's an all ages show and there a few younger folks, and one little kid dressed like chucky. he has a knife and at one point i find him going nuts stabbing all the furniture, puncturing everything. i video tape a little cause it was so disturbing. we play and it's okay. not great. mike has a mouse head on so it's impossible to have eye contact with him, and raul has an orange head thing on so he's also in a bubble. we get through it. later we load out, head to matt's and i wash all the crap off my face and hair and join some the feel specter's and friends for a drink or two, then climb onto the air mattress with raul.

   mood: 8.3, health: 9.1, energy: 8.8

from watt:

   pop at twenty on nine feeling great, this couch was righteous and such a high ceiling here. eduardo's already gone to take older daughter katherine to school and himself to work - mrs elizabeth was so scared I was gonna be woken up by the kinds but I was konked hard. here sister comes to bring her son cuz mrs elizabeth will take both him and little julia herself. again I fail to realize I got the fucking konk mask on my head and this scares the little one. I'm so sorry. later w/it off though she shows me how she can pedal her trike. I don't have much experience w/little ones, hardly around them but it's a lame sitch when you scare them. I ain't into power trips on kids that way. I always tell my self they're the next shift. mrs elizabeth puts in a egg/cheese/sausage breakfast chow concoction she made up in the oven so it'll be done when she comes back. I hose down, do internet work. on her return, chow too hot to really shovel cuz we gotta pull anchor for drive north, mrs elizabeth makes me up righteous pile on paper plate w/aluminum foil for the boat. bye bye, we shove off most grateful for big time hospitality.

   yeah, so I steer us north, up I-35 towards oklahoma city. lots of construction, texas is growing, sprawling. we play the sock-tight, we play the clash stuff we're doing in december... we even play wire's second album. we're celebrating halloween tonight in oklahoma - my third time. tom got me mask in boise - it's a mouse and full-head one. tom made a great choice. raul's gonna wear one of the "juicy cobra" black moth super rainbow mask mr tom tobacco gave us in pittsburgh. our tom still has to get his costume. again we got very happening weather, even a little warm. in waco I pull over for fresh ponies - tom's turn but first he finds stuff for his getup for tonight at a big box store while raul gets more lozenges for my throat. tom wheels us north into the texas panhandle, raul taking the last shift as we cross into oklahoma, at the gas stop I find some nail file boards - tom tried sanding down the sharp parts of that broken up molar way in the back cutting on my tongue and cheek inside but the nail file was both too wide and to dull to do much.

   we get to the venue about five, "the conservatory" is its name and next to it is a record stored called "size records" that's connected w/it, only vinyl stocked w/no cds, tons of old stuff and some freaky dolls, yeah, dolls - like w/cigarrettes in their mouths and just strange, not girlie ones. sondman corey doesn't arrive 'til later though we've been let in since six, we get done w/the check a quarter of eight. opening for us is skating polly who are two young teenage ladies, I meet them at a table where they're giving away cupcakes. I hope they go and go w/music, never stop. the band after them is feel spectres and their guitarman matt provides us w/a burger and sack of fries each, so very kind of him cuz this neighborhood is pretty bleak regarding chow pads. what very kind cats they are what a trippy sound from their band - respect! oh man though, I'm really beat and go konk hard in the boat.

   somehow I pop right before our eleven go time and get the gig flannel and mouse head on. tom freaks out when he pops the hatch and he sees me... I guess it looks good. I guess he's a scarecrow w/face makeup but it's hard to tell, maybe even his hair is blue? I do see straw coming out of his pants and shirt. I go right to the stage from the hatch and explain why I dig halloween, the reason being it's the one day we admit all year we wear costumes. and it is a holiday and that's why I celebrate on ITS DAY and not the weekend before or after - if it's in the middle of the week it was meant to break up the week, god damn it! like that dump I took back when raul got the reins earlier today: had to break it up w/a stick to get it down - the arbitrary fucked-upness of sleepwalk life has to be struggled w/and I think holidays can be used to help w/that. we bring the piece. at first there's a lot of clams from me and then I let go and just feel where the right notes should be and damn by the second or third part I'm fucking getting it. the spiel too is trippy but actually for pitch it's better than monitors, I can hear real good, real good. there's a mouth in this mouse head and I gotta watch not getting too close cuz of feedback hell - I'm wondering if its working ok. it is challenge to do gig in costume but it's one I bring on myself. raul's doing great w/his mask - I think tom's having trouble connecting w/both of us cuz of difficulty w/eye contact - not w/him cuz he has only makeup on and now mask. he blows he first note of "pinned-to-the-table-man" real bad. there are lots of distractions - big time yammerin' and in fact when I talk to brother kliph after the gig (great surprised - big hug!), he said he wanted to get a cd of the piece just so could hear it all cuz he said like half was bogarted by yammerin'... well, that's the way it goes - all we can do is try to play it together good as we can and not let our focus get robbed. it's not about the town or the venue or anything predictable... it's more like a roll of the dice every time to see what'll happen. there is one guy who keeps telling me to take my mask off and when finish the piece and are brought back for an encore, I kind of lose control and holler that this guy can get his money back from me if he didn't like the gig but I ain't taking the fucking mouse head off 'til I'm ready to - I ain't telling anybody to take their stuff off - why do people gotta trip on shit like that? I do feel bad about getting so steamed but man, it's fucking halloween, right? christ, I'm a sensitive man!

watt on halloween 2012 in oklahoma city, ok

raul morales (l) + tom watson (r) on halloween 2012 in oklahoma city, ok

raul morales on halloween 2012 in oklahoma city, ok

   I think I weirded a lot of people out w/that anger stuff, I'm so sorry. I sling some and express thanks truly - hell, there's some great outfits... the man who took shots of us w/my camera had a bolt coming out of his forehead, righteous! talk about econo! much respect. one day had me sign his foot - he was the "bird-in-the-helmet-man" - see, some cats know what I was talking about even w/out me there to tell them. there's some cats who've seen all three of my ok city area halloween gigs (one was in norman, the school town to the south). man, what an issue, huh?

   feel spectre matt has invited us over to his pad, I've konked there before - it's a righteous pad he said was built by greeks in the 60s and man does it have an aesthetic I dig most big time. his buddy's got some knob creek. his band comes over and we talk about all kinds. a broasted chicken cold from the fridge is devoured. man, is it late for us but damn if matt don't do our wash and I get to hose off which is way happening cuz there was some sweat going on there inside that nezumi (mouse) head. well worth any discomfort though, well worth it. matt and his bass player alaina talk about music stuff w/me. damn if matt's acoustic guitar w/all the eye balls on it doesn't fall and the headstock snaps, fuck. time to konk... only a few hours before having to pull anchor for next hellride - real good time here though, real good time. I forgot all about that yammerin' and shit earlier... it was best halloween version of my third opera ever - respect to tom and raul, respect to ok city. feel bad about brother chad though... next time for sure at his pad, I swear.

thursday, november 1, 2012 - santa fe, nm

from tom:

   we wake early and get into the van before matt is awake. we have a big drive again. we travel west across oklahoma and then across the texas pan handle before we get into new mexico. i have the last shift at the wheel and pull into the santa fe brewing co. at about 4:30. we're a half an hour late, but it doesn't seem like that's a problem, things are very quiet here. the promoter, tim shows up, and we load in. the elevation is over 7000 ft. and i feel light headed. i drink a lot of water, and have a cup of coffee with raul as we play a few games of pool. tim brings us some tacos that we devour in back, then we wait to play. we are playing alone tonight, and it's an early show, but as the night goes on it is apparent that the turn out will be light. so, we wait an extra half hour before going on. we play well, even though i'm a little winded from the high altitude, and by the end of the set i feel like i'm going to puke. i don't. mike's friends, gregg and mindy help us load out, then we follow them to their place for the night. before we konk we enjoy some crown royal that someone brought for mike, and talk in the kitchen with their friend amy. it's a beautiful house. i sleep on a bed in one of their daughter's rooms, who kindly gave it up for us tonight. i love new mexico.

   mood: 8.5, health: 8.8, energy: 8.7

from watt:

   pop at quarter of eight - damn, we were supposed to pull anchor at seven and a half... I know feel spectres matt said he was a working man and would be up early to make chow for us at seven but when I check his chamber, I find he caught up in huge ibiki (snores) that are sucking the paint from the walls... best to leave him undisturbed in thanks for all his kindness, he sure was the host w/the most post last night, most beautiful and generous as was all his buds. fare thee well, good man matt spectres...

   we shove off w/in minutes after eight, we gotta get to santa fe by four. weather is really the kind and even lacking in the wind that can really blow in these parts, hard to believe how lucky we've been that way this tour. west on I-40, lots of this interstate was the old "route 66" (us-66) and the main way to get west in old days, before the eisenhower system. we leave oklahoma and cross into the panhandle part of texas, listening to sock-tight and our clash stuff to study - I know most of these but it's gonna be a little cram time for tom and raul so that's why I'm pounding this into their heads every day. we pass through amarillo - me and tom (w/vince as the pair of pliers) played a benefit for brian deneke at the peace farm near here twelve years ago... and then past the cadillac ranch - we have a piece of some of the paint from one of those half buried cars there - it's really thick cuz they've been spray painted tons and tons of times. all the way from ok city it's been really flat especially in texas, short on trees. I hand the tiller over to raul at vega, not all that far from the border w/new mexico. the terrain changes, mesas and and all, you know? I wish I would more descriptive of what passes through the boat's windows cuz the u.s. had lots of different parts, buches and for me it's all very interesting. fucking baka watt can't ever chimp enough in these diaries, huh? we get an hour back we lost weeks ago when we crossed north of here in nebraska. it's still gonna be nine and a half hours in the boat though but we get a break at arriving earlier. new mexico's got some beautiful land - hell, for me every state does, you just gotta look for it. there's lots of beat pads you pass - we pass cuervo... oh man, the adobe and earth stuff that went into these pads is big time crumbling and look 'pert-near like melting. tom gets the wheel at santa rosa, this where lots of richard fuckin' bonney's people are from. a lot towns that lived off of route 66 stuff died on the vine when the interstate bypassed them... sad. at the filling station, I go into the head and damn if these old guys are pissing in the toilets instead of urinals but what's really wack is that they're pissing right on the seats and the deck, whoa. I never seen such a scene, strange. going back to the boat I crumple just before getting to the boat but raul gets my by one arm before tuck and roll - quick thinking from him. I know he kind of freaked him out a little to see me crumple like that but that's the reality of my weak knee. I go to the back bench of the boat and konk.

   we arrive at forty after four - good job from tom cuz remember his eyes ain't good at seeing far. this pad we're playing is called "the sol santa fe bar and grill" and is part of some sort of complex pretty much out of town. damn has it been a while since I've played this town - you've that tune before this tour, huh? gigboss tim soon arrives and let's us load in. soundman dave arrives and we do our check w/him, stage is like a little cupboard space but he's very curious and into the fourth man role we got for him tonight. there's no opening act (like playing europe in the old days!) so we can just set up and leave everything where it is. gigboss tim brings us tacos from a chow pad I think he called the parasol or something like that. they sure are good even w/crispy shells - the green chili especially if fucking buttkickin'. I chimp diary. no time to really konk cuz we're on at first eight and a half, then nine and then a quarter after nine like the paper work said. right before getting up on the stage I sit talk a little bit w/my friend gregg turner (he was guitar man w/richard meltzer in vom) and his wife mindy, beautiful folks who've invited us to konk at their pad in the hills, most kind of them.

   it's our smallest gig of the tour but man, the gig-goers here tonight are big time respectful of us bringing the piece to them. it's like that houston gig but even more 'cept maybe for some giggles. you know after the last two gigs bringing forth big time yammer challenges, it sure is great to bounce back w/a gig like this, cats who actually are interested in what we're trying to bring them. this ain't to put anyone down, I'm just glad anyone comes and the way they react is really in their own right and I can respect that... it's kind of a dilemma for me ethically cuz I know you heard some bellyachin' by yours truly in the last two diary entry chimpings but I gotta temper that w/the realization folks already have a lot of control over their lives already and don't come to a gig for yet another beatdown and bout of force-feed, crimony. I guess when you have a gig like this and see how free will by others goes your way, you're much grateful for it. I guess it's all like a roll of the dice - did I already put it like that? what tom, me and raul can do is do our damnedest to get the piece most together as far as delivering it and not leaning on excuses like yammerers distracting us. I know all three of us are tired tonight but tom and raul really bring it. tom's body language is way fired up raul is connecting good w/the string wielders, both little and big ones. it's very much a happening gig.

   time to sling and time to talk w/gig-goers most kind, truly. lots of appreciation shared and I mean it right back at the them too, righteous. mostly I always do albuquerque for my new mexico gigs but I gotta do more this way too, I gotta. john from deerhoof now lives in 'burque - I just remembered that.

   gigboss tim took a powder but I give him a break, of course - I want people who believe in making good gigs happen still around and not put out. we follow gregg and his wife mindy to their pad in the hills, a righteous one that's a little scary for the boat to get up its tiny road but they know when we should quit and hoof the rest. man, is fucking orion out bright in the sky here, on his side and huge! the gigboss gave us some canadian crown royal and it gets shared between us all and roommate amy. I 'pert-near plant myself on this big floppy couch they got - perfect for me to konk on and we have a good time - hey it's early in terms of gig world and we can dig that.

friday, november 2, 2012 - phoenix, az

from tom:

   mike wakes me at 7:20, we have coffee and talk with mindy, gregg, and amy, and meet their little girls, scarlet and nico before they have to go to school. we get on the road at 8, and slowly maneuver down the unpaved road towards the interstate. we gas up and get some subway. i get a foot long, toasted egg and cheese with bacon, tomatoes, olives, red onion, pepperoccinis, oregano, a little salt and pepper and their chipotle sauce. to complete it, i add our personal hot sauce that we have in the van. we travel through new mexico admiring the landscape and talking about obscure variousness. i rest in back waiting for my shift at the wheel. i take over at the arizona border and go to flagstaff, then raul takes over for the last stretch. a little bird lands on the highway right in front of us, and it doesn't get out in time. we feel the contact and hear the clunk. that's a sad feeling, but there's nothing raul could've done. it was too quick, and he couldn't swerve safely at that speed. we continue on, descending into the phoenix area. we load into the crescent ballroom, check and get situated. raul and i get some food in the front eating area. i have a bean and cheese burrito with a tiny salad that has high quality greens in it. kale, arugula, corn, beans. i also have a negra modelo. it's still warm outside, from probably a quite hot day, and raul and i walk to a record store that's a half mile away. there's a little street fair going on and we spend a little time in the record store, just looking for anything we like. i see a couple of old west coast pop art experiment records, 20 bucks each. i check their condition and decide to pass on them. we stop for iced coffee and get back to the club. we are both feeling burnt out so we watch a little bit of chinatown on my computer, as raul has never seen it before. then a little bit of bruno. a delightfully twisted movie. i talk with cris from meat puppets and he stops by our room just before we have to play. soon we get mike and go on. there's a good turn out, better than i expected in a fairly large room like this. once we get into it there are a few boozy dudes who feel the need to have their voices heard, we try to stay focused, but the noise is pretty bad tonight. i hope mike doesn't get angry or distracted and just stay connect to raul and i. a cup of beer hits mike and that quiets things down. i break a string at the end of glory of man, but we end the gig with a good vibe. we overcome. we have a good show. after the merch sales and the break down of gear, we head to cris' place and hang with some local friends, ruth, deb, danny, and some people from the other band that we played with. as i recall, it was really fun until i slip away and go to sleep on my little mat.

   mood: 8.4, health: 8.8, energy: 8.8

from watt:

   pop on this righteously comfortable couch at seven bells, search memory for head location - there it is. soon household is up including my men. amy makes us coff, feels good on beat up throat. gregg's gotta take the kids to school, he's gives me a copy of his "...plays the hits" album (on white noise), the vom single that's been reissued and has liner notes and a big hug cuz he's gotta bail and so do we... down their trail to the boat I get a piece of pink quartz to put on our dash shrine so I'll remember here. what a happening morning but damn, didn't hose off or shave. it's eight when we shove off, there's clouds but they're not big heavy ones, high flying white ones, many jet plane trails up there too. I wheel us south on I-25, we pass through/by many pueblos which I guess also means here reservations, many native nations. right at I-40 we gas up and I get the wrong sandwich from the subway here connected to it, something called subway club that tastes tasteless - raul applies the jolokia puree but it's different than w/tuna, it ain't absorbed and I take each of the four drops in each sandwich half at full force and damn if my hair ain't soaked from the sweat cuz of the vapors coming off my head, crimony. it's my most intense session this tour yet and both tom and raul konk while I smelt it up. new mexico has pretty land and those clouds get less and less the more west and west we go. the road's been done up for lots of it, real smooth. trippy how the land changes at a political line... cross the border into arizona, first stop is the chief yellowhorse trading post and I get a blankie for the boat. this has got good colors and a native head on it. I like have a bunch of blankies in the boat. the man at the trading post is very kind to me. he asks about my work and if I'm busy - I tell him I'm on tour and he wishes me safeness and good luck. respect to him. I hand the reins to tom, who takes us further west towards flagstaff, I chimp diary in the seat next to him. we pas trippy little blow out "towns" like two guns and twin arrows... ahead of that though is the petrified forest national park and the road to meteor crater - that place is a trip, I've been there once before. at flagstaff raul mans the controls and we fill up for $3.80/gallon - what?! it was $3.26 this morning in new mexico!

   raul takes south on I-17, I konk on the back seat and pop when we pull up to the venue we're working tonight here in phoenix, "the crescent ballroom" to give directions where to load in cuz I was here for a fIREHOSE gig opening for m. ward just here last april. the weather is warm but not broisting, very mild. we soundcheck w/knobman daniel who is very cool people and then I chow a barbacoa burro (sic) from the kitchen here, I dig it. the necronaunts are opening - I think I played w/them in tucson before, maybe w/my secondmen like eight years ago... my memory, aaarrrgggghhh - but maybe I'm write. I'm really tuckered and go to the boat to konk.

   I freak out when I realize arizona doesn't use daylight savings time and we actually got here an hour before I thought we did. it was still eight hours and half hours in the van but when I think it's a quarter after eleven when tom rousts me and I panic cuz I think we're an hour later, tom enlightens me to my baka thinking and I get my watch right. the security man at the back hatch asks if I'm "the secret weapon" and I crack up, respect to him.

   right up to the stage, down w/the back wack 'puter sack and I tell the folks what's gonna come and I think for the first time ever I suggest if they don't like then maybe bail. the sound is a little like being drown in cotton so a little muffled but that's better than roller rink shit. there's some hollering from the gig-goers but it ain't 'til the soft parts - I clam and say the wrong line at the wrong time in "cherry-headed-lover-man" and it makes me pissed. the next part is even trippier w/someone hollering a count off which is a total "look at me" move but then another cat gets caught up in my "soliloquy" or whatever and says heartfelt maybe memories he's got of being younger - look, it's a challenger like austin/ok city but in a way, it might've been happening for the piece cuz tom and raul really rallied and played tight w/me, it almost brought me to crying to feel them do that - yeah, I could feel it big time, they were beautiful. in the encore I got a beer in my face (and by the way, tom broke a hih 'e' string) but later when I sling, she apologizes and said she meant no disrespect and I believe her. I tell the folks there's no right way to get what this opera is supposed to be delivering - everyone has their own take and anyway, this movement I'm proud of being part of has gotta be lose that way or it'll cave in itself. I see robert locker, the creator this sticker - HUGE respect to him! and deb pastor's here, my old friend from chicago!

   after the slinging and the dance w/the padboss, we load up pretty quick and deb follows us to meat puppet bassman cris' pad, he's my oldest buddy in this town and I love him much. him and his wife ruth have invited us over and right away I hose off and he get my soiled stuff washed. I get in the nightwear, love it. we talk and catch up... he's got an agent now for his art which is fucking beautiful. I catch up some w/deb too who has moved to prescott in arizona which is north of here. her and ruth have a good talk. we all have a good time. so glad to be here w/cris, we rap about stuff into the little hours which seem to fly by. love this man.

saturday, november 3, 2012 - las vegas, mn

from tom:

   i smell bacon when i wake, cris is famous for making a nice quantity of food for us. he has coffee for me too. i shower and eat food with mike and raul. i have some time to talk with cris, which is really nice. he's great. a little bit with with ruth, she's great too. then load into the van and roll towards vegas. we stop in a small town and raul and i wash the van at a self car wash place called woody's. then i take the wheel to drive 140 miles north on the arizona 93, then raul goes on to vegas. we play at the hard rock hotel casino tonight in a club called vinyl. a tripy place. raul and i walk around many slot machines and finally find the venue. guns and roses are playing in the large room next door tonight, all the hotel employees are wearing g n' r t-shirts. surreal. we load and check. i roll t-shirts and change strings. time goes by. the local band, dirty hooks start the show, nice people, cool music. there's a good crowd in this large room. brandon and justin are running the show and sound and keep things running smooth. i think we play well, and it feels good. at the end of the show i bring merch out in front of the venue to avoid paying a tax on anything we sell. it takes a while to get stuff organized to load out, and i also have to organize our sleeping situation. i go with a guy named brent and his wife, jensen. we get to their place at about 1 and i find the guest room and get set up to sleep. i have one beer and go to sleep. at some point in early morning i wake from snores, mike is asleep on the floor. that's strange. raul and i have to leave to room to get more sleep. i take my bag and sleep on the floor in the hallway. that's okay.

   mood: 8.2, health: 8.7, energy: 8.6

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, right away cris is up too and whipping up some scrambled eggs w/cheese in it to go w/bacon he's got broisting in the oven and toast he's got coming two at a time. there's some hashbrown maxipads from the oven also, a good chow from the very hands of the crisman - what a brother. outside are righteous clear skies. we pull anchor at ten, last hug on cris, gifts of the last meat puppet album "lollipop" in our hands, we listen to it on the boat's cd player/radio as I wheel us north on a highway west of the interstate - frau garmin has decided for us to go this way on our way to las vegas via kingman, damn if there ain't a bunch of stop lights timed like motherfuckers 'til we finally the phoenix metro area.

   we make wickenberg by noon - an actual old town (1863) compared to 'burb-rock like sun city and surprise - yeah, I shit you not - a town called surprise. now I see on a billboard some advertising for a carwash at filling station and though we don't find that one (!) we do find one next to a "woody's" filling station and it's one of those kind w/a high pressure gun and a brush that soaps up but man, to get the boat washed of a tour's worth of driving around the u.s. in the filth sense is a very happening thing. there's a chow pad next door and while tom and raul go for the manhandling w/the van cleansing, I foul the facilities there and in compensation get a "screamer" burger (the pad's called "screamer's") for later, I get it in a sack. of course w/a better knee I'd be out there doing everything myself but soapy mixed w/oil slippery ground is a very dangerous sitch w/my knee the way it is. much gratitude to tom and raul but they're also into the idea that a clean boat is a happy boat. tom takes the wheel and I konk in the back 'til we get to kingman and that's where it's raul's turn at the tiller. I'm awake for this part (and chow up that burger) but it's not like the old days where you could actually drive over hoover dam - those days are gone and now take a bypass they built to get over the colorado river and into nevada. we drop anchor at three.

   now tonight's gig is at a pad called "vinyl" but actually it's a side room at the "hard rock hotel casino" that I'm told just opened last august. I guess in a way you could call this a casino gig then... we see so many billboards from the interstate while we're rolling w/people like stevie winwood, joan jett and even someone called stony larue doing casino gig and laugh about - of course there's stalwarts like kenny rogers and dooby brothers and... oh, tons of poses are doing "the joint" (which is also connected to the hard rock and where I've played w/both porno for pyros and the stooges) for like a month! I guess you'd call it a residency? anyway, I believe one life can be many gigs and tonight we work the room here. at five we soundcheck w/soundman justin - I gotta hobble far after parking the boat but I'd rather do that and be safe then be in the lot where we were in which is the "hard rock cafe" - both these HARD ROCK entities had an ugly divorce and shit can get towed so the hobble is worth it. turns out I got hobble 'pert-near just as far, to the employees cafeteria w/tom and raul where I get some day-long heatlamp-bathed meatloaf, some salad w/black olives, potato salad (full of nitrites) and steamed vegetables. the taste is kind of not happening but maybe kind of healthy? I hobble back to backroom they got backstage at the venue. what's I dig is like a dozen or so pictures of the germs from the "forming" single days - such a trippy thing to find in a pad like this... a shot of pat smear playing guitar w/his shirt off and a terraced and tufted fro - love that man. and it's bobby pyn darby w/blond ig hair, lorna w/hers corkscrew and on 70s eb-3 - I think belinda on drums. I chimp diary cuz to hobble back to the boat is just too far there and back so I'll man it out and do the gig w/out my usual sack time... I hear the openers the dirty hooks do their set, very good musicians - when they were setting up, I saw that the bassman was rocking a fender VI too - damn, when was the last time I saw something like that? I can hear him using fuzz too.

   we're on at a quarter after ten and I'm so glad to find a handrail to get up the stairs. we bring the piece for the first and only time to las vegas - damn, I ain't played this town in a long while and even longer w/out my own music, I think the last time was opening for the red hot chili peppers here at another casino... hmm... I gotta play around here more often. I've been saying a lot of that this tour, playing towns I've overlooked a bunch in the last bunch of years - I've been saying that lots but I sincerely feel that way. damn, I wish I could play every town every tour!! actually in the older days I could do more in a tour... I think six straight weeks now kind of his what I got enough strength to do these days as I get less younger. ANYWAY, back to tonight: I'm having some trouble cuz the mic is parked right where my eyes easy fall on the hatch and that's big time distracting. I start spacing on words, fucking embarrassing and I feel like a dick. my men are playing good. I decide to turn my mic towards them more and away from that fucking hatch. it works, I get my focus back. there's some hollering but mostly the vegas gig-goers are pretty could w/focus themselves and give us good respect, many thanks to them. tom's got new strings but they're holding tune pretty ok, of course some "jazzy dissonance" for "man-shitting-man" ain't the worst thing. the gig's a pretty good one - shows to go you, right? I think this is proof why you should always never stoop a performance, never. half way is always half ass regarding this kind of stuff, I think. I'm really proud of tom and raul though I have a little talk about raul being a little more proactive on "rings" (bad resonance) on this toms, muting and shit like that. it happened tonight and he can do it, he's always in the moment. I have to do the same w/my bass sometimes - a lot of it has to do w/the pad we're working, the physics of it.

   the rules here I can't sling from the stage so I do it from a table out front. folks are most kind and give me lots of the good word. I put out an offer from the stage for a konk pad and right away a very kind man and his wife offer but tom loses the info! a man name brent who's got his own and called the fat dukes of fuck http://www.thefatdukesoffuck.com/ and his wife jensen come to the rescue so that's where we go when I finnish up. actually, there's some interesting conversation w/cats regarding the piece, a young man named sonny was all over the kind of orchestra parallels of my power trio treatment and another man (damn, space on his name) who's way versed in "double nickels on the dime" gives me very interesting insights he has come up w/regarding this newer work of mine and probably what's the best album I ever played on (yeah, and that's twentyeight years ago!) - makes me think. there's many folks really glad I came back to play their town... I owe them more gigs, I will do them.

   we beat brent and jensen to their own pad (thank you frau garmin!) and yes, we're sitting in the right driveway, not all that far away but a world away as far it not being all neon and lights and a neighborhood, what a contrast. some very cool friends of brent share some good times w/me, interesting cats and funny - one of them's a jokester:

did you hear about those new corduroy pillows?
they're really making headlines...

   in the nightwear, jensen's washing all our filthy outfits in the machine they got here and I got to hose down w/in a couple of minutes upon arrival - beautiful/generous folks, all heart. I actually did a gig in long beach, me and my secondmen w/brent's band the fat dukes of fuck - fancy that... "fancy that" - tom likes coming up w/stuff he hears in england so he can prac their accent on us when we're rolling in the boat. I remember some pizza coming I was too scared to try and another pizza-like box filed w/breaded chicken pieces (thin like pizza slices) that I did try, I think some didn't get down the hole and stayed in the mouth...

monday, november 5, 2012 - san diego, ca

from tom:

   i wake up sunday at 6:30 and hear someone in the bathroom, i guess it's mike. today we fall back, so it's an hour earlier. i change my watch, eat a piece of cold pizza and pack up my stuff. raul's up too. we get in the van and head to los angeles. we should be back to our town by noon. we have a day off today, then start up again tomorrow in san diego for the last week of shows. it has been a good tour, we've played well, got along well, a lot of good experiences. i'm feeling like a zombie all day and fall asleep by 9.

   gig day and i get picked up by mike and raul at 1 and we head south to san diego. the road is very open and we make great time, 2 hours. probably the quickest trip to s.d. that i've ever experienced. we park around the corner from the casbah and raul and i walk around for a couple hours till the club is open and we can load in. i usually feel uncomfortable not playing for a day, but i feel fresh this time. our old friend ray comes by, we talk for awhile. soundcheck sounds good. we play some pool then raul and i go over to subway to grab a sandwich. i have a 6" steak one this time, it was alright. back at the gig we hang with our friend bob and watch the other bands, both are kind of garage surf rock. good songs. i really like the drummer in mrs. magician. we do our thing, it goes well, we regroup after the opera set and rock out the last few songs. after the break down and load out we head to bob's mom's place about an hour north for the night. i fall asleep in the back and wake up when we arrive. i curl up and fall asleep on a bed in a room.

   mood: 8.4, health: 8.8, energy: 8.1

from watt:

   can't remember how I konked saturday in las vegas but I did - I remember seeing tom and raul in a chamber but damn if that's the chamber I pop in - I ain't on the couch like usual... and tom's in the hallway, rolled up parallel against a bulkhead. I roust him and then find raul in a chamber - they both told me I was brought into where they were BOGART LOUD ibiki (jap for snoring) was just that: a fucking loud-ass bogart on them trying to konk. I feel like such a dick. anyway, something like seven w/great weather and fuck, let's pull anchor and get back to so cal cuz tonight's the only day w/out a gig on purpose - there's a couple of brent's buddy's to see us off but not him and jensen, oh well. these brothers are beautiful so hopefully the hugs transfer the gratitude to them. I wheel us south on I-15, across the border into cali and across the mojave towards the inland empire. we listen to gregg turner's new album, damn is it good, respect! of course we hear our sock-tight daily ration and the clash we're to do next month. at victorville I pass the reins to tom and konk on the backbench, raul gave me his konk mask which is way better than the one I was using (and lost - 'til tom finds it later today!) and damn if it was in a plastic packing - he never used it! for me, konking w/out a konk mask is really hard.

   tom uses the riverside freeway (or artesia freeway - I guess the difference is what direction you're going? ca-91 is the number) to get to manhattan beach. I konked on the way but sunday made for easy w/the traff plug, I'm told. I konk again as raul gets me and him back to our pedro town. I get back to my apart around one pm... turns out my upstair neighbor's pipes were leaking and a couple of bulkheads in my kitchen had to be out and out replaced along w/my balcony, whoa. they did a good job, there's some mess but not so bad considering the "surgery" that had to go down. good to see my ma, she made me a salad. most of the entire day and night though is me on my own deck, being real still. I konk very early, pop for a while to see something on neutrinos and then konk again, my body very VERY much obviously needing it. I didn't even chimp diary, just was very still on my living room deck, only in chonies.

   gig day and I pop at four bells - trippy how my body knows I'm in pedro cuz around then is my regular pop time when I ain't on tour. damn. I get caught up on some bills stuff and then get the boat to the ford dealership in torrance for maintenance. I chimp diary about the vegas gig from the lounge while I wait. on top of reg stuff, I have the coolant flushed and damn if they don't totally wash the boat here for me - so twice in a week for the boat, she deserves it big time!

   I go back to my pad for last minute stuff and then go and get raul around twenty of one. we then get tom out in manhattan beach and then south on I-405 (which does its south connect on the I-5 in irvine) for san diego. we pass marines doing war prac at camp pendleton. no plugs though the whole way - we're hitting traff at the right time cuz it's free of plug. we listen to sock-tight, almost got raymond's entire words memorized now. we've run out of "black ice" spray to de-odor the boat - I pull over and a seven-eleven has some spray whose scent is called "linen" on the can. we're back in tour mode and everyone's in good spirits - here we go for the last week and it's all cali.

   I get us to san diego and near lindbergh airport about three and a half, alright cuz we miss the traff plug here too. the pad we're playing is called the "casbah" and I've been here tons of times over twenty years and love it much. I park on a side street a couple blocks away and konk in the back, konk hard... I have a nightmare about us getting kidnapped by gunpoint but the gunmen after a while decide not to shoot us or even asked for money. there's some old dusty uniforms at their pad I'm checking out when tom rousts me and says we can go park near the club now and load in. whew, that was a "rest" that was strange. dennis is the gigboss for us tonight - "anti-monday league presents" night and we're w/two locals, mrs. magician and shake before us who are both happening bands. dennis gets us some good sauces for the chips... one called "green habanero" has a good tart thing to its heat. I first do an interview w/tim from sounddiego (nbc san diego) and his cameraman mark who aslo gonna film our whole performance tonight, really happening cats, no jive, beautiful. I then join my men to do a soundcheck w/soundman matt. after that I go chow mexican eats w/ray farrell - he's an old bud from sst days and now at finetunes is my man for clenchedwrench digital distribution. this chow pad is called "el camino" and damn if they ain't a great soup, I dig it much. we talk about the upcoming il sogno del marinaio album and the tour I'm doing it for, then I hobble back w/him to the boat and then bid him farewell for now cuz it's important that I konk cuz those two hours before we're not enough.

   tom rousts me just before eleven, the nice weather during the day made for nice weather at night and just part of one blankie was enough for warmness - behind tom is old pal o who's seen me tons down this way, I swear tons. he's a great cat even if he likes to call you "bitch" all the time and I respect him much. me and tom share the throatcoat tea he brought for me and then go in the hatch and right up the stage to work this opera for the gig-goers... the are most focused and though we've had a day off which usually makes things a little tough for us, I think we're doing pretty good. in "finger-pointing-man" I clam the bridge some like a dick and our tempos are a little quick at times but I'm really happy w/the connect we made w/the people and hell, look who's here to witness it: bob-san - whoa! I see him right of tom and he knows the whole piece (he was on the 2011 north american tour) and I see him 'pert-like a conductor and directing us, respect! for the encore I replace "anxious mo-fo" w/the blue oyster cult song and have the gigboss dennis come up on stage and sing along w/tom the "it's all right!" parts, he does excellent job, respect!

   we get done and bob-san says we've done it, we've made into one piece like it was always meant to be. he's seen the pracs for it, he's seen it performed 'pert-near seventy times so his word carries MUCH weight w/me, much. I give him biggest hug. also carrying big weight w/me is the words of the gig-goers tonight who are most kind as I sling. jovi's here, beautiful - I give him a spielgusher cd cuz I value much his mind and wanna hear his thoughts on it. big hugs for jov, big hugs! patrick from the truckee brothers is here too, so is tj who offers up his pad like a true brother but bob-san has already asked to come to his ma's pad in laguna beach. thanks anyway, tj, thank you much. and thank you to all the very nice cats who came and brought great vibe to the gig, thanks to brother matt on the knobs, our fourth man for the night.

   now laguna beach is an hour north so I point the boat that way and we get there after stopping at cvs for some bourbon. we listen to john cale's new "shifty adventures in nookie wood" cd we got flowed tonight. love john cale. bob-san is there at his ma's pad to meet us and has everything set up for both a good konk and a safe place for the boat, HUGE gratitude to him. he's had some hells but is fighting the good fight to get healthy. I love him. he washes our duds including some chonies I foul when what up comes up the in hole happens cuz it went into the air (wrong) hole while we were discussing the "lollipop" meat puppets album we heard the other day. a towel is soiled too but bob-san chucks that in where fouled outfit parts find a new life. I konk not too long after but also not too soon to absorb more of bob-san's thoughtful analysis. domo, bob-san, oyasumi.

tuesday, november 6, 2012 - san luis obispo, ca

from tom:

   i wake at 8 and hear the ocean outside. theres an amazing view of the water from the window of the room i slept in. incredible. i shower, talk with bob a bit, meet his mother, who's very sweet and then we get in the van and roll. we journey north through newport and hook up with the i-5 and pass through l.a. and get on the 101 north towards san luis. raul takes over at the wheel in santa barbara and we continue on. when we arrive, raul and i walk around and see a friend abe who works in a record store called cheap thrills. we burn up some time just walking around like we always do. great weather. we then load in, check, eat. we play alone tonight and it's and early gig, that's cool, but i like playing with other bands more. everyone at the sloe brewery is very nice to us, and i fall asleep for an hour or so in the green room till raul wakes me about a half hour before we have to play. i make wash my face, make tea, then get mike at 9. we play well and the sound man, dan does a great job adding to the show. he put a little echo on mikes voice here and there and a little reverb on my guitar at certain points, like he was really listening to the music and anticipating our next moves. even though it's a little lightly attended, it's one of my favorite gigs of tour. after we play, we meet mike's cousin liz, what a trip!! another watt! however, i wouldn't have guessed it for some reason. she did have on one of mike's new flannels that are being made. she is a very sweet lady. we wrap it up and then head to morro bay to stay with sebastian and amanda, more sweet people. we watch the election results which seem to confirm obama's victory! cool. i eat a couple slices of pizza, have a glass of mike's wine and fall asleep on an air mattress. a good day.

   mood: 8.7, health: 8.9, energy: 8.6

from watt:

   pop at eight bells - it wasn't just chonies but bare chest too that got the out-the-in-door contents last night and actually, I ain't bare chested so there's hair involved and that's matted w/said contents (pieces of that shitty pizza? some of that great soup from that san diego mexican chow pad?) so a good hosing down is very happening... I free myself of that clinging history. of course there's some waiting for the head to get freed of first tom and then raul's bogarting but sometimes I am a patient man, especially if not having to piss like a race horse is involved. from bob-san's ma's pad here you can see the ocean from the window - you can hear the surf big time and could last night. there's some marine layer so we can't see san clemente island yet the skies are bright blue - we get this in pedro too where we can't see santa catalina and it's only fucking twenty miles away. bob-san's ma is very cool people and it's great to see her again. the pad is righteous and her hospitality (and bob-san's) is most generous, truly.

   bob-san's gotta get his teeth drilled so sincere thank you/byes and we pull anchor at ten, I wheel us north on pch. we take a toll road to get to I-405 - yeah, cali now has some toll roads, this is $2.50 for like a couple of miles or something. lots of this here is tract housing, spendy but still tract housing and like mall land. we talk about how the politics changed from a dornen to sanchez cuz of the people who work for these other people getting it together and changing some orange county's demographics. actually, maybe going back in a way cuz I believe "santa ana" is espanol? I dump piss jug contents by "watering" some shrubbery (england word!) at ampm in fountain valley, right off the freeway when we fill the van w/fuel - I also get a pumpkin coffee, maybe the last of this year? we cross the orange curtain in l.a. county and you know what? there's malls and track homes on the sides of the freeway here too. we cross over the harbor freeway - if you would've hopped on that and headed south, you'd find it ends in my pedro town. we don't do that though and continue to the west side and then up sepulveda pass - our timing is good and we're hitting no plug. I have us listen to 2ne1 and then this album of traditional okinawan music I was given by funanori bandmate. we all trip on this, it's been a little while since we've heard it and brings back good times. omoida. into the valley and west on us-101, we get off in woodland hills and roll the dice for finding a subway sandwich pad and w/in blocks we do on ventura boulevard, the big strip for the val. I get my tuna/mustard/pickles/olive regular - well, raul's gets it while I guard the boat. chow as we drive like usual, raul puts four drops of jolokia puree on each sandwich half and I heat my head up. I get us through simi valley and then into oxnard and then ventura - it's out here where I master my music w/my old friend john golden cuz this is where he is now but I go back w/him thirty years. I love him and trust all my music w/him, mastering is a very key stage in getting an album made. I hand the wheel to raul on bath street exit in santa barbara, was looking for the corner of house but couldn't find it, damn. he gets us the rest of the way to san luis obispo, we pull in front of where we're playing around three. $1.50/hour meter parking but it's a kind spot and worth it.

   this pad's called "slo brew" and I've played here once before - I think tom was w/me and secondman jer was on drums. it's pretty warm here in slo town - this is a college town which is a little different for cali, that kind of stuff is more common east of here. tom and raul go hoof around while I chimp diary, the folks here (upstairs is their chowpad) are very kind. for chow they bring me the "vote special" - yeah, it's election day here in the u.s., the big beauty contest and the vote special" is a steak sandwich w/blue cheese on it along w/fries in a box got lettuce for like a bed in the bottom of it. we do soundcheck at six w/soundman dan who is real good people and excited to be fourth man w/us tonight, fucking alright - love that. I go to the boat to konk, I'm tuckered.

   in the konk I have nightmares - I keep thinking someone's in the boat and can feel my arm reach out and damn if I ain't grabbing at fucking arms and legs! christ, it's scary. then after a couple of hours (it's a long konk), I start to come out and hear dudes doing the lord's prayer outside the boat, some of them are leaning on the boat, I can hear them do it. I don't dare look out the window but pull the konk mask on even closer and use the gig flannel for a blankie cuz it's cooled off and damn if I wasn't konked shirtless before. tom rousts me and it's a relief - I drink some of the tea he gives me but actually he drinks most of it! there's no opening band and my watch says nine after nine - righteous. we bring the piece and I can tell most folks here we're expecting what we did to them but they were pretty much respectful. I can tell soundman dan got into it and when we get done I get much good word from the gig-goers on how happening he got it. that's what I call a true collaboration and the man had to do it on the fly, never hearing it before! see, that's the difference when a person looks at a sitch as an opportunity and not as a burden. much respect to him.

   also much respect to the cats here who came - one's from my pedro town from the old days, sal espana! yeah, great to see him again. there's a few bassmen (ok, more than a few) and just lots of good will for us and the piece. my cousin lizz is here and she's got the gig flannel on - not mine but her's, she said she just got one!

   I do the dinero dance w/gigboss lief - he's a bassman and was into it - whoa - and then we very kindly accept an invite from sebastian (another bassman!) and amanda to konk at their pad a little more up north in morrow bay. behind the wheel in the boat, I do interview w/skaterman john for his "the unearthered summer" zine - he asks me great stuff, respect! we do baka check and then again in the boat (a lot goes on inside the boat!) take pictures w/my cousin before we pull anchor. bye bye good people of slo town!

   at a seven-eleven I get a seven buck bottle of wine, ain't I drank any wine this tour - tom picks this one I got for me. sebastian, in the boat w/us - his little terrier diego defends his domain but he is just the most beautiful little man ever. our fouled outfits get thrown into the washing machine, we're most grateful. we find out the guy who had the job before tonight still has his job, no new regime. I ask our host sebastian to check the murdoch organ channel... 'pert-near always I plead for the tv to be not on but he just went for it when we came in and I was curious about what kind of dance might be going on there and sure enough, there was much panties to be bunched up. I gotta tell you, I was kind of surprised. the stooges helperman jos picked it but so many others were telling him he was wrong. I've learned to take that man seriously. our hosts are so nice, truly, most truly. in the nightwear (I got in it w/in moments of entering the pad) it is most comfortable here, even the rug's got a great texture on the bottom of my feet... and diego has such a righteous spirit, whoa. happening couch, I konk on it good.

wednesday, november 7, 2012 - san francisco, ca

from tom:

   in the morning, after coffee and a little egg thing that sebastian makes, raul and i walk about 20 minutes to the sand and look at morro rock. i like the dunes here, but there's the water treatment plant right here too... some stench. regardless, it's nice to be near the water. we walk back and gather things up and hit the road. we drive through the hills of central california. very pretty. soon we hook up with the 101, and i take over at the wheel somewhere south of watsonville. i could live here, i think. the skies are clear and blue, and the air is warm. however, the skies look more and more grey as we approach the city. i kind of like like the mood, s.f. has a special place in my heart, though there were some depressing times, a lot of good stuff happened while i lived there for four years in the 80's. we navigate to the bottom of the hill and even though we're very early we find a moment to load in our gear and then mike parks up the street. potrero hill has become a gentrified neighborhood over the years, and raul and i find a good coffee place to get a cup before doing our walky walk. aimless though it is, it's good for our minds and legs to do it. we always find something to laugh about. finally, after making a large spiral, we find a whole foods, an oasis amidst industrial residences. i just grab some cheese samples and then walk on. we walk past a little guitar repair shop and raul recognizes a friend there. we chat and he shows us around. cool place, cool guy. we spend about two hours walking the streets till its dark, watching some folks playing glowing frisbee football, or something. then back to the club to sound check. i rest in the upstairs room till the first band goes on. i see steve m. in the patio and wrap with him. he'll join us tonight for another funhouse free jam. yes! none of my old friends come, except a guy i remember from the old days who had a band called trunk. i always liked them. we play to a full house, mostly a good show. we keep our focus. steve wails like he does at the end solo part. it was fun. pack up takes some time, but we get to kenny's at about 3, and i put my bag on the floor by the coffin and go to sleep. i hear the guys talking over the continuous tv sounds, but i drift away none the less.

   mood: 8.7, health: 8.9, energy: 8.6

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, amanda's getting ready for work but it was inside clock that went off and not her - I'm on west coast and cali clock in me runs the show. she soon bails and little diego finds a new konk partner - me. he's beautiful and cuddles on my chest in a tiny ball, I no longer need the blankie and konk another hour and a half cuz of him. diego has truly righteous spirit.

   you can see morro rock from the window here... tom and raul head for the sea while sebastian cooks me up some eggs, sausage, toast and coff - he says the way amanda likes her coff is like mud! me and sebastian talk a bunch about music and traveling around - he's got some tours under his belt. we both got a mexican fender bass and dig them. tom and raul comes back, I ask raul for some coff and damn is it hot w/out me realizing it - I fucking sear my mouth and tongue and burn my leg. it wasn't raul's fault, it was mine for not checking like a baka.

   sure has been neat hear w/sebastian but we gotta bail for up north. what a great cat, HUGE respect to him. I wheel us northeast to atascadero where we hit us-101 and head north. we get gas ($4.36/gallon, what?!) and also subway sandwiches wich means the jolokia raul fortifies mine w/go right into the scald burns from the hot coff - what a ride for my brain! we listen to sock-tight but space on the clash - we're idiots or I'm an idiot. lots of vineyards in the coastal valley, lots of pretty rolling hills. me and raul spot four turkey vultures resting under some grape vines, huge bodies, good and fat from roadkill surely. crimony... you don't see them on the ground that much. we saw some back in rural southern ohio earlier this tour... the weather all sun on my shift. we some farm workers out in the fields and think about how tough that stuff is and yet we all need it for chow - we talk how about much gratitude we owe these cats... I think of that "don't look now" song john fogerty wrote for creedence, d. boon loved that tune. we did a kind-of curtis mayfield version of it that joe carducci taped at the "lingerie club" up in hollywood that's on the minutemen "double nickels on the dime" album - it was carducci's idea to put it there. we got some guesses about yesterday's election: maybe it was the latin cats who turned it around, tired of teabag blowhard butch talk. maybe. "self-defense is no offense" like mark stewart said or rather hollered. all this us-101 we took yesterday and now today goes along what was el camino real - we stop to look at what's left of the mission san miguel de arcangel - hope one day I get to see all twentyone somehow! we pass soledad - scary, right off the highway. last night when sebastian was in the boat w/us as we were driving to his pad and passed the california men's colony (causing a stir among my men), he told us sirhan sirhan is at soledad and someone he knows who did time there said the unwritten rule is no one makes eye contact w/that guy. at salinas tom takes over and I konk on the backbench.

   I pop when we get to san francisco (around three) and find the skies very gray. we're playing "bottom of the hill" in the protero hill part of town and I've been here many MANY times, love it. the bosslady's partner kathleen's here getting ready for a fire inspection but let's me chimp diary while that's happening, the inspector is a nice man and I hear her telling him about the big money coming in to buy up land put up eighty foot plus tower apartments and just plain bumrush these parts - there's a fight against it and I hope they protect what's worth saving. when the kitchen opens, I get a bowl of curry, noodles, chicken and man, is it good. I get an email from my buddy ray farrell about the san diego gig he saw monday:


this is just to say that the show at the casbah was really amazing. I saw you do h-man in Austin at sxsw last year, but the sd show was well beyond that or the cd. the band is so tight that the music hits another plane. I am still reeling from it. 

during a quieter point in the set, there were people at the back of the club that were talking loudly. I don't know if you could hear them, but you looked in their direction and seemed to be talking to them. it was like you wouldn't go forward until they acknowledged you. they were quickly intimidated, telling each other to be quiet. it was amazing crowd control! 

you might think that hoisting a 45 min non stop opera at an audience is a lot of information, but the music is so dynamic that most of the audience is riveted. it has been many years since I heard a band as great. 

I am really proud to be working with you. 

Give my best to Raul and Tom. 


   ray's known me a real long time so this means much. yes, so good to be working w/him w/my clenchedwrench label, real good. didn't mean to intimidate anyone though, just trying to work the room.

   we do soundcheck w/sounman paul who for some reason I keep calling doug like a fucking baka idiot. man, do I wonder about my baka memory sometimes - so embarrassing, especially w/a man who's gonna deliver our sounds to the folks but even for just being a man he deserves to be called by his right name. I'm so ashamed - I fucking do this the whole night w/out realizing it 'til I'm driving us away in the boat... I slapped myself upside the head silly when it finally fucking came to me. anyway, he's a beautiful man and in fact built the system though in the six years he's been here, it's always been another man mixing me, ain't that a trip? anyway, we're really honored to have him as fourth man tonight. I go to the boat and konk, it's seven pm now and I am tuckered and konk hard.

   I don't why but the last note of victory and associates pops me up (fuck, I missed the band before them too, jokes for feelings) and I look at my watch after getting me glasses on. it's forty after ten, enough time easy for our scheduled downbeat to happen at eleven. it was cold in the boat here - yellow jacket plus two blankies time but I get the gig flannel on in here anyway so I can be ready... no tom... what? it's a fucking work night, what's going on? tom finally appears and I'm in a hell of a rage. I'm just thinking about people waiting and waiting... for what? I chimp this now and realize I over-reacted but I just thought about being in the gig-goers shoes and maybe having the crack of dawn waiting for them to get their work on and where's fucking watt and does he care? I hobble as quick as I can right up on the stage and apologize soon as I can on the mic once the bass is on. I haven't played this angry in a long time - I'm more pissed off than even the toledo gig last month and I really take it out on the dan bass, beating the shit out of it but luckily I'm a weak motherfucker these days and can't hurt it much. I clam some but tom and raul actually get me more and more together by playing really well and I lose the rage bit by bit. this turns out to be a really good gig, I think - much respect to my men big time. our last encore has brother steve mackay w/us for "fun house" w/him blowing the same tenor he recorded it on in 1970. love him even when I find out that it was in fact him who was the cause of the delay that kept us from starting on time tonight! life is funny.

   I thank the gig-goers and again apologize for the lateness - I'm also a fucking idiot and call soundman paul doug again, crimony! I talk w/many kind gig-goers as I sling - we got the last of the shirts earlier (forgot to mention we went to a fedex/kinkos pad on our way to the venue - baka watt!) so no more mediums and very few cds but I try to do what I can. so much good will our way, much respect. sack-town gigboss brian is here and so is the cat putting together the december strummerville hollywood gig, marc. many bassists, a drummerlady, victory and associates singerman conan gives me some chemical hot sauces - he's very cool people, everyone here is including the club cats, just a beautiful scene here, I'm very much touched and my heart melted, that fucked up anger gone which is good. scott again made up some great posters for the gig, most happening!

   I wheel us not far, across the road from where the giants play actually and there's kenny waiting for us - lis went and visited her sisters and kenny actually missed the gig cuz of konking (so did richard fuckin' bonney) but he's here for us now and launders our filthy stuff while making for the great spiel he's famous for, love him much. I forgot the yellow clothes sack so no nightwear but he let's use lis' robe, most kind. one of the cats (not shelley belly) gets brave enough to come out after a bit. kenny shows us a good time and a most comfortable couch finds me konked maybe as he was learning me something. sorry, kenny - just too tuckered.

thursday, november 8, 2012 - oakland, ca

from tom:

   i put quarters in the meter at 9 am, grab coffee and bagels across the street and gather my things. we have to go do a radio show at kalx on the cal berkley campus this morning at 11, so we get on the road by 9:45. too bad we can't hang in s.f. a little today, i wanted to get a burrito from la cumbre on valencia in the mission, damn. our schedule always comes first, not much time to stray even if we're this close. next time. i remember living in the mission when my old band, slovenly moved from l.a. in 1984. i lived on 16th between guerrero and valencia with my drummer rob, and tim (dicks guitarist), debbie (dicks mood coordinator) and another chappy whose name escapes me. angie slept in the hall closet sometimes. i think it was $145 a month, each. i remember once the minutemen came through and hung out with us there and i took them (or at least d) to la cumbre. i think he had two burritos and he bought one of their t-shirts which he proudly wore, as i recall. it's a nice memory, one of the last times i had with him, maybe. anyhow, at the station i picked out a couple of records with raul to play on air, richard hell (mike asked for), chairs missing by wire, of course, firey jack by the fall, etc.. the radio thing was cool, mike did 98 % of the spiel, i had to run out to feed the meter again. i said 10 or 15 words, but it was cool. we then drove though dark skies and the coming rain to oakland and found a parking spot near the venue at about 12:40. load time is 6, so as the rain pounded the van we just sat and waited for a break so we could go somewhere. mike had gotten chicken soup earlier, so he's set to wait it out. raul and i locate a pho place a few blocks away and go for it when the rain slows down. it's a decent place, many customers, thats good. we both order beef pho, with an order of fresh shrimp rolls to share as an appetizer. it all seems well, tasty, though i wish i had ordered chicken instead. the hot pepper oil is especially good, kind of chipotle tasting. we take our time, cause we have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and it's getting chilly outside. we consider walking to a movie house a mile away, but decide not to in case mike needs us, or if we have an early load in or whatever. still, we are fatigued and could use a soft sitting area and a movie would be great. so, we walk and walk and walk and walk. observing and amusing ourselves as best we can. we check out a thrift store that depresses me. we use a bath room in a building that used to be an amazing department store during the height of the downtowns glory days. i can see how it must have been really great. now its a bland office/business space with a coffee place on the entry level, but it has an enormous oval glass ceiling like a french train station but the charm is gone. there are many beautiful deco period buildings in this downtown area that have probably gone through much depression and hard times but still shine with incredible modern design. it's like walking through a city in the future that is already in the past. they still feel more modern and futuristic that most of the crap i normally see. i makes me think that there was a point that the idea of modernity is a thing of the past. i think maybe it changed once we landed on the moon. now it's all retro. the air is cold, our legs are tired, we wished we had been sitting in a movie house. we decide to get a mocha at a place called rudy's, i think i have only had one other mocha in my life, and raul has never had one. somehow this was the right time for it. too bad the seats in the booth are wooden benches without padding. i could fall asleep in the whipped cream on the top of my drink, but i challenge raul to will ourselves out of our exhaustion and imagine that we are the most energetic, excited, wide awake people in the universe. it helps a little. we head back to the club, still closed, cold winds. we go to the van and talk to mike, soon we return to the venue and find someone who kind of helps us. we get in and get mike to bring the van to a spot near the load in door. it's 6:30. what a day, and we haven't even started. we get in and set up. i organize merch. i'm feeling burnt out but make contact with our friend from phily, vern who offers his place to us for the night and i meet with him and walk to his apartment across the street from the club and check it out, make sure the van will fit in the parking. it will work nicely. then raul and i go back to the vietnamese place to eat and get a call from reecho who joins us for dinner. he missed the s.f. gig, so he makes the effort to come over for this show in the east bay. we have a nice time talking and i order another plate of the "fresh" shrimp rolls all to myself and scarf them down. we then head to the gig pad and wait to play. i listen to the opening band, the disappearing people, a two piece from modesto, guitar drums and vocals, and i really like it. some of it is like suicide some of it is like pil, some is kind of like neu. echo drone, right down my alley. the i spend a little time resting during the second group, electric sunrise. couldn't say what that was like. sorry. we go on and i feel good about our vibe, but the sound is lifeless onstage and even though it's not filled with clams it doesn't have the sparks that i like. i hope it sounded god out front. many people say they enjoyed it. klaus flouride from dk complemented my bravery to play a jazzmaster. it was nice to see him after many years. a kind man with definite opinions. i also see my friend ted who played bass in the fabulous band, fuck. check out the stallion if you dare, his magician title. wish i had more time with him. before you know it we are out the door and at vern's pad. they arrange a nice air mattress for raul and i, and i pass on the after party and put plugs in my ears and an eye patch over my eyes and konk. the end... i thought.

   mood: 8.8, health: 8.9, energy: 8.1

from watt:

   pop at eight bells, in an hour I gotta start feeding the meter... outside looks sunny but I gotta get the wash - hmm... kenny and lis got a dryer now but where is it... raul says there's a hatch by the fridge - oh, under these coats hanging on it - whoa! I've been in this pad for years and never knew about this - you can see the whole inside where we used to be able to park the boat in the good ol' days, damn. real trippy - trippy as this working "sculpture" of homer simpson character having donuts forced down his in-hole by a demon - actually it was kenny turning a crank on it while he was showing us this last night. off w/lis' robe and on w/my travelling outfit which is the levis, chonies and bob-san's socks w/the murasaki shirt. tom gets me some coff across the street as I finish stuff and prepare for shove off. kenny's konked pretty good - raul said he greeted the sun w/both hands holding the holy relics... he deserves good rest for the kindness he always shows us.

   only a half hour worth of coins (six quarters!), fuck it, let's pull anchor - we got an interview in berkeley at eleven am anyway. tom and raul take a little but that's cuz they brought me a tasteless bagel filled w/even more tasteless (is that good logical sense?) lame-ass scrambled egg whatever. it makes me think of mexico where I read they're the highest per capita eggeaters in the world and they're VERY particular about their eggs. I wonder if I am? at home I only chow them on sundays, when me and my sister chow breakfast w/my ma and she cooks them for us. anyway, we get over the bay bridge - the bridge that parallels it is coming along but still not ready for cars - and get into berkeley w/enough time to wander some before finding where kalx is on the cal berkeley campus but getting lucky enough to find parking close. the sunny skies have suddenly grayed up... into the basement, it's a comedy skit search for the right door but perseverence pays off. we find it and cody does a spiel w/us on-air, a real good one and the cat who had the show on right before is really happening too, mr pop goes the weasel. it's a real good time though I notice raul's nervous to talk, even tom is some too - I urge them on and even set them up but they're a little shy which is a little bit of a shame cuz I love the way they talk, the way they think. cody plays some songs they picked, like the fall's "totally wired," wire's "another the letter" and I picked richard hell's cover of dylan's "going going gone" - oh, "hollowed-out-man" got picked by cody. we get done and get back to the boat and it so happens where we park is a pad that sells soup called "san francisco soup company" and I get a quart of chicken soup. now this kind of shit is great on my throat, right in the back where sometimes I get a sore spot. it ain't too far of a drive to oakland and in fact we ain't got time to play either of our daily ration of sock-tight or old clash, damn.

   the pad we're playing is called "the new parish" and we get there around one but there's no one there yet which pretty much makes sense. there's meters for parking so I figure if we're gonna wait, let's go where the meter ain't and I find a spot two blocks away which so happens to be some free wireless spot. I drop anchor and the sky comes down, a huge downpour of rain. when it lightens up some, tom and raul make for a hoof to get chow - I got my chicken soup and do that and anyway, wet sidewalk/road is dangerous for me w/my weak knee, dangerous big time so I guard the boat. after I chow (real good, real simple), I chimp diary and then I konk. my guys yank my leash about five and tell me there's parking right by the load-in door, alright! I get the boat right over and in. padboss mark is very kind and helps much. soundman daniel is good people and ready to be fourth man big time. alright. we soundcheck w/him and then I chow a little rice and a couple of small wooden skewer w/pieces of pork on them. I already met one of the opening bands, disappearing people before coming upstairs to chow (a duet, both guys very nice) where I rap for a while w/the other opener, elektrik sunset who's got a guitarman named joe who's actually from pedro and knows my secondmen organman petezo pretty well. a bunch of what we talk is regarding tolerance. I then go down to the boat and konk.

   it's cold in the boat - the rain stopped but damn if I have to use four blankies and the yellow coat on. tom rousts me at quarter of eleven, we got five minutes to go, good timing. he's got a cup of throatcoat tea for me and behind him richard fuckin' bonney - richard meant to come last night but konked cuz he's been working days hard and it tuckers him out. good to see him again, big hugs. we both washed pots and pans at the san pedro and peninsula hospital kitchen when we were teenagers - I remembered starting out at $1.20/hour - the good ol' days. I get the gig flannel on in front of him, brrrr... tom and raul help me up the stage and we bring the piece to the folks here in oaktown. this is the first time I've ever played w/a trio of mine here... I've done maybe four or something dos gigs here but... the sound is trippy up here on stage, kind of deaded-up some but I'm thinking maybe this makes for a good sound for the gig-goers and don't they really deserve the best sound if you had to choose? I mean me and my guys get in for free, you know? the monitors make my voice sound like for me as if it was coming from the other side of chonies w/about two miles of country road in the bottom of them but I try not to let it shake me. what I really notice is the amount of dancing w/the gig-goers, this has gotta be the most dancing I've ever seen for my third opera and it's non-stop, very intense. I can't really look at the dancers cuz I gotta focus on my men and opera but I sure do appreciate it. I think we deliver a really good take on the piece and I know the folks who came to see it were big time a part of that. I can't thank both them and my men enough. daniel did great as fourth man too cuz so many people told me the sound was tits, respect to him.

   I sling all the cds I got left and the shirts are getting way low too, very kind of folks and also w/their warm spirit and good wishes, everyone I talk to doesn't have to get what I'm slinging and I talk to them just the same, I'm grateful for them coming to hear/see the gig cuz acutally that's the main thing and this slinging thing much more down on the list of what's important for me about tour. steve stain is here, wow, I 'pert-near faint... I hug him as big time as I can - I ain't seen in him in many MANY years - oh now I think I know what about the dancing - steve's one of the greatest dancers in the world and he probably got things going off like they did, he is amazing. so SO GOOD to see him. erin too, wow, a great surprise. love. I have to play oakland more, have to. done slinging and thanking the folks, I do the coin dance w/gigboss fred who's a good cat - I did last april's santa cruz w/him and he's friends dawn at slim's where I go way back. off the stage on the deck, none other than klaus flouride surprises me, wow! man, it's been a good while and we spiel much, incredible photographer ms bridget snapping shots. klaus tells me he really liked that "improv" he just saw me doing, I think he thought we were just coming up w/that stuff in the moment! that's wild. he said he liked that "stand-up" I did too while my guys were resting (the first part of "pinned-to-the-table-man" maybe?) and how we'd try out this little idea and then move to another one... he's just the best. everyone's got their own take and much respct for klaus offering me his particular perspective. I never tell him I worked the whole thing out ahead of time and taught my guys. we talk about john coltrane and about gigs we did in the old days - I guess I saw the first so cal dead kennedys gig, they were five of them in the band then. we talk about the screamers and k's brother paul (he played on their first album) and all kinds of stuff. man, I could spend forever w/him. I'm so glad he came to the gig tonight, so glad! I guess he lives maybe in berkeley? I tell him I'll be up next week to record w/james williamson for the new stooges album at fantasy studios and that's in berkeley - that pad in fact is where creedence clearwater revival recorded, damn. I hope I get to see him.

   oh, speaking of meeting folks at gigs this tour, a few nights ago in san luis obispo I forgot to chimp in my diary that I met the new stick man for the hand to man band that I get to record w/next month who's name is michael guarino and it blew my mind when he told me how he knew about the cd in my hand I was slinging from the stage - it was the "you are always on our minds" one and I 'pert-ner fell right on over when he enlightened me! man, can't wait to throw down w/him, john (the man who brought him in after tim bailed) and thollem right before my bday - oh yeah, this year I turn double nickels... december twenty it'll be on the dime!

   three years ago in phily I stayed w/a very nice man vern and his lady jessica and damn if they don't live in oaktown now - in fact just across the street and have invited us to konk at their pad. we can park the boat in the underground parking cuz it accepts up to eight foot two which is a foot more than what we need so she's safe. upstairs I get to hose off right quick and they was our fouled garments. the cat they saved from a garbage can as a kitty is totally into the yellow clothes sack and is all up in it. roommates tony and matthew are most happening, it's a good time. vern's got some powers, don't think I've really had that before. a buddy of theirs comes by and he's great people, smart and funny. damn if I ain't spacing on his name now though, shit, I'm really sorry. tom's out quick though, I don't think he's feeling well or just tuckered. I know him and raul hoofed much today, damn if it wasn't a long day in a big way, huh? they got a righteous couch to konk on here and that I do in the nightwear and unmasked.

friday, november 9, 2012 - santa barbara, ca

from tom:

   i wake in the dark and have to run to the bathroom and puke. i do this two more times. i feel awful. i didn't drink much, really. hmm, food poisoning? those damn "fresh" shrimp rolls. i sleep a bit more, but the nausea persists. i sleep throughout the morning, the rest go out for breakfast without me. i think i have a stomach flu. i feel terrible. i vomit again, and then take a shower and then we must go. i get pepto bismol and that helps during the drive. what a crappy feeling. i think it's just food poisoning. it feels like a long drive to santa barbara. i try to rest in back, but i'm not well, and the weather is even colder. when we arrive, we wait in a .99 cent store parking lot till we can load in, there's another show before ours and it looks like it's be a late night for us. it's cold and uncomfortable with drunken frat dudes and soused girls in mini skirts everywhere. kind of a nightmare. our time slot gets pushed back a couple times from 12:15 to 12:45 to 1:10. curfew is 2 am. painful but we do it. i space out during a feedback that comes over the p.a., but get back on track and we finish our show at 1:50. our friend from the last time we played here offers us his place again, which is an incredible relief. thank you thank you, jeff. raul and i sleep on a futon and mike and jeff talk loudly in the kitchen. i am amazed how i can sleep though that stuff sometimes. i'm feeling much better by the way.

   mood: 7.8, health: 7.8, energy: 7.4

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, today is very casual morning w/nothing pressing on us, no weight or pressure so we take it real slow. this is cuz we can't load in until after nine pm tonight and the town we're working, santa barbara, is around six hours away. the stich is cuz we're part of this new noise festival there and lots of bands and stuff is happening. it's kind of different for a typical tour gig I usually do. it turns out it's kind of blessing we ain't gotta shove right away cuz tom tells us he was puking last night after we all konked and it's still coming out of both ends of him this morning. he thinks maybe it was food poisoning which he says is kind of good on the contagious level but I just hate to see him suffer period. this man works so hard, same w/raul - it pains me big time to ever see either of them hurt. our hosts vern and jessica take me and raul to a chow pad that the green day bass player has something to do w/that just opened near their pad, "rudy's" is it's name. I get something called the tower of power which has two fried eggs on top of mashed potatoes w/two slices of tomato in between, halves of toast on the side of this pile. I like it - we hardly eat at restaurants for breakfast chow though.

   it's a sunny day, we walk back and I chimp diary while we wait for a two pm pull anchor time to give tom maximum not-rolling-around-in-the-boat time to rest. I talk w/the roommate tony about "the prisoner" cuz I see they got the dvd collection. that's great to know young cats are into a show made in the 60s but not it kitsch way but cuz of the ideas involved - respect to tony.

   we shove off for parts south. I take us down I-880 and then do a blowby for us-101 but loop back to get us back right, huge clouds make the sky dark and rain on us north of salina, BIG drops but it's moving north and we're going opposite. back on the royal highway (el camino real), again we see lots of folks picking lettuce, the reality behind the bright lights of the supermarket. this is the same route we took wednesday. we're splitting the ride in two cuz we want tom to take it easy. he got some generic version of pepto-bismo in oaktown and that's helping him some he says. at king city, raul takes the helm and wheels us the rest of the way, taking the chumash road after passing slo town. man, it's got some twists and it's pitch black early now but he drives good and careful, respect. so many dicks on the road taking chances w/not just their own but other folks lives also and for what? some kind of ego stroke? bastards. here's another trippy thing - the fucking mouse button for the macpurse track pad starts getting very intermittent, damn, it's failing! gotta get that fixed. oh well, machines are just that: machines.

   we've played this pad before, it's in the downtown and called "velvet jones" but we got nowhere to park and the pad is packed for some rap stuff going down now. we find a ninetynine cent store and use that parking lot and head to foul (actually I couldn't find it so fouled a pizza pad's but for $4.57 - yeah, that's what a slice of shit peetz cost there, crimony!) 'til we can meet up w/the gigboss eddy who we connect w/around nine twenty. we unload down an alley and then I find an empty curb park-spot right near that lot we were in, lucky watt. I hobble back to check things out - no soundcheck, that's ok but 12:45 am is the start time... my life against a donut wager that won't happen. I meet the guys in the opener for our gig, ralph torrefranca and the outlawed sons and they're nice young cats. I hobble back to the boat and konk hard, three blankies needed.

   it's one am when tom rousts me, fuck, it's running way behind. I hobble as fast as possible. soundman steve is setting up mics when I get on stage through the back, there's a curtain closed between us and where the gig-goers are, like a puppet show. I get us going quick as I can, I wanna give them the piece whole, noting scissored. things are going pretty good, amazing how tom is putting out in his condition. he did say the fever abated, that's good. I'm flowing him all the support I can... when we get small for the "mouse-headed-man" part, a lowend feedback starts consuming the consuming our tininess. tom gets distracted and blows the whole middle part. raul's muting all his skins but the feedback ain't w/us, it's w/steve and his p.a. stuff - tom gets lost in the ending but then he rallies and recovers real good. we do the rest of the piece just in time to beat the fucking curfew - some security guy w/a sign to scissor us started doing his dance in the last part. I'm real glad we kept it whole, real glad. the curtain closes on us and there's no encores... yeah, there's no slinging either, everything done.

   people talk w/us while we pack up, some guys want a shot and I say why not by the boat cuz then I can have an escort in a way, it ain't that close. jeff, a very kind man we stayed w/last time we played here helps me down off the stage - I don't think he realized I was coming down 'til 'pert-near all my weight was on his arm and well, you should've seen the look on his face! good man, jeff. two of the cats w/me as I hobble are bass men, one of them has a lot of bass stuff questions which I like, even philosophy ones regarding thudsticking it, respect. the other bassman is from poland, was at the katowice gig stooges did back in the summer even. all four wanna see in the boat, see the dash shrine and hear about the piss jug plus me and my pop's connect w/such a device - you know that song I wrote, "piss bottle man" didn't just come out of thin air, right?

   I bring the boat back and we load up, susan's son james helping us. the cats in the band ahead of us, larry and his flask are across the road and I trade them a promo "hyphenated-man" for a disk of their tunes. there's a young man from brazil helping by standing in the way of tom and raul saying the most enlightening things. I get him to come by my driver's hatch and he wants to print me up business cards.

   we follow jeff up to his pad in goleta about fifteen minutes away. we've been here before and dig it. his family's asleep of course - it's fucking three in the morning - we have some cognac he's got, first time I drank that this tour or actually at all... wine whiskey. he's got some cold peetz that heats up for me but tom wants it cold - it's good he's got a little appetite. jeff's got a couch for me that's a little short but still makes for a good konk especially as tired as I am now. legs draped over the armrest, I'm out quick - still in my travelling outfit: yellow coat, shoes on, everything.

saturday, november 10, 2012 - long beach, ca

from tom:

   we rise and enjoy coffee and bagels provided by jeff and his lovely wife. i was told a strange story about jeff's wife going in for an interview for work in the fashion biz, apparently she was asked why she is interested to work in the industry and she made a remark about feeling that people are dressing so slovenly these days. the person she was interviewing with reacted to the use of the word slovenly, saying that it was the name of a band that he like liked. when she mentioned it later to jeff he informed her that i had stayed with them, being a member of the band, it was a funny coincidence. she got the job, never the less, and i took a photo with her before leaving their home just to prove it. strange how lines cross like that. raul and i clean out the van for our final trip back to our south l.a. homes and i get dropped at my folks to wait a few hours before making my solo trip to l.b. i meet raul at alex's club. we are early, we play pool with a couple of nice ladies whom raul knows and get ready for the final show of the tour. i spend an hour resting in my car and then join the gig scene. i manage to get Coltrane over the house sound system, after toys that kill do an awesome set of their super pop. i see Paloma and Jericho, and shake hands with friendly faces. i make tea, which mike isn't needing since he was up to see toys that kill. i must mention that there was a band called bat wings, cat wings who opened up, and i really got into what they were doing. i wish i had gotten a record from them. anyhow, our show, was, well, but the things that could've gone wrong did. i broke two cords, mike broke a string, raul was in a funny mood. kind of how it is when you get back home after a long tour of routine gigs in other towns. still our confidence as a band, and as friends who had been through a lot made it all just fine. kind of like being veterans who know we can count on each other in any situation. the gig winds down. we do our final load out, mike leaves and raul and Paloma and Cerra stay for a bit and then i shove off to manhattan beach. i get home at 2 and hit the sack. done.

   mood: 8.0, health: 8.0, energy: 8.0

from watt:

   pop at nine bells cuz face is full of sun - didn't apply konk mask last night but was wearing 'pert-near everything else. yeah, even w/legs draping over end of couch, I still had good konk. jeff and his family are up - the have bagels and coff for us, incredibly kind. our last home away from home. big hugs and promises of coming back soon as possible, we pull anchor at ten.

   I point us towards tom's manhattan beach town and that's via us-101 through ventura, oxnard and the val before hitting l.a.'s westside. again, even in kind of tiny plots I see people working the fields and I think that ccr song john fogerty wrote:

"don't look now (it ain't you or me)"

who will take the coal from the mine?
who will take the salt from the earth?
who'll take a leaf and grow it to a tree?
don't look now, it ain't you or me

who will work the field with his hands?
who will put his back to the plough?
who'll take the mountain and give it to the sea?
don't look now, it ain't you or me

don't look now, someone's done your starvin'
don't look now, someone's done your prayin' too

who will make the shoes for your feet?
who will make the clothes that you wear?
who'll take the promise that you don't have to keep?
don't look now, it ain't you or me

d. boon loved this song and I think it's taken me this long to really see why. it's about empathy in some ways maybe? I think so yet on the other hand it's a sort of getting pissed at yourself for taking things for granted, kind of a hand wringer. it's a trippy thing, a matter of feelings. I might wanna see myself trying harder at my work while still trying to figure the more humble side of things.

   raul's gotta blow it out so I drop anchor in camarillo at a mexican chow pad called "taqueria portillos" where I get three of their tacos carnitas while he's fouling their facilities. back in the boat, tom ain't got an appetite but damn if these ain't just the best - me and raul split the third one. they ain't too tiny too but all the way authentica and just righteous on the mouth. and yeah, camarillo - makes me think of the fear song:


first I fell down and then I got shot up
first I fell down and then I got shot up
first I fell down and then I got shot up
first I fell down and then I got shot up

electro-shock and all
disciplinary correctional surgery

we're not mellow
we're not mellow
we're not mellow here
first I fell down and then I got shot up
first I fell down and then I got shot up
first I fell down and then I got shot up

and we just love it here because it's just so
damn therapeutic

by the way, I got my first fender bass from derf - answered and ad in "the recycler" and turns out it was him in an office in santa monica, selling real estate. so as for lyrics, yeah, a little different than the mr fogerty's tune maybe - we get talking about fear's music here in the boat, how intense and almost like being some kind of punk beethoven, so intense w/their dynamic, rhythm and drive - lots of times w/out rock and roll backbeat and way on top or in front of it. man, they were intense. our first gig at the whiskey in hollywood was opening for them, it was a mindblow. rick van santen made that happen, he was a dear man and I miss him so much... yeah, thinking back is tough - around here is agora hills and I think that's the last pad I visited rick at - he'd call me and ask to come visit and I would make the hellride no prob cuz I just loved the man. I remember me and raymond visiting richard meltzer at one his happenings, I think it was for a mike tyson fight... miss kelley was there...

   anyway, south on I-405 and through the sepulveda pass (one last time hearing sock-tight and our clash tunes for the strummerville benefit next month) we get tom to manhattan beach just before one pm. the plan is to meet each other in our separate vehicles at tonight's venue everyone can get their stuff. I drop raul off at his pedro pad (the last 2ne1 song I got finishes just as he closes the hatch) and then make for mine - whew two pm and I'm on my deck, just being still. there was traff, you know... we got the uss iowa now in our harbor as a floating museum (got here this past summer) and w/tomorrow being veteran's day, much plug from touristas for us coming home. I stay very still on my deck for a few hours, kind of reeling...

   we're playing "alex's bar" tonight in long beach and it's only ten miles from pad, east by northeast. when I get there and we set up, no soundman so no soundcheck - hey, on the last gig of a tour nothing can go wrong cuz think about it, we've made it this far so... I get a pastrami sandwich from "famous burgers" across the street - I like it, not nyc style but still really good and more econo than nyc. I go to the boat and konk hard, missing openers batwings catwings which is lame cuz tom and raul both liked them much. I do pop in time for toys that kill and they're a blast. much respect to todd and his men. I see kid keven from calimucho up front and getting way into it. it's out turn, ten after eleven and I finally get to meet the soundman johnny. I tell him from the mic what's up, how I want him our fourth member tonight. I know we can do it. we bring the piece for the last time this tour and I can tell raul's distracted a little but still playing great as is tom. there's some yammering but that's ok, don't mean to interfere w/anyone's saturday night. the real challenge of the gig comes at the end of "jug-footed-man" where I break a 'd' string... when was the last time I broke a string, hmm... hard to remember. I've used the same of strings all tour and they weren't new when I started - maybe from last year? now in the old days I broke A LOT of strings but since getting less younger, my hands are less stronger - one reason I work a short scale bass for gigs is cuz of less younger hands that hurt easier. anyway, I don't wanna stop the piece so I improvise. better maybe the 'd' than an 'e' or an 'a' though - right away I think it's d. boon testing to see if my work is a whole living being than can adapt to the sitch. I pause not even a sec do the best I can w/what I have - I could've done better maybe but for sure I could've done worse. "life deals you a hand" you might say. we finish up w/me working three strings, now that was interesting and in a trippy way for me, some kind of justice in it. the third opera is a teacher, a creator of learning sitches!

   I sling almost all the shirts that are left, cds were gone back in oaktown. skipper jeff's here and gets some, brought a buddy. the last good greets from most kind folks. I deep bow of gratitude I owe my men tom and raul for such a righteous job that they did all tour. it's done now. eric wilson comes up to catch up, been a while since we talked. man, he's a great bassman, a real good one... man, does he got the touch. after I do the dance w/padboss alex - HUGE respect - me and eric end up talking about the long beach part of the breakwater and the seal beach naval weapons station w/skipper jeff, crimony!

   time to get back to my pedro town, the boat so much lighter now, whoa. one in the morning when I drop anchor near my pad, the tour's done. my men got back home safe, we worked "hyphenated-man" the best we ever had and that for me means a big time success. I owe so much to tom, raul and everyone else who helped make this mission happen the way it did. a most grateful watt gives big time thanks, truly.

this page created 30 sep 12