...house looks like a bull ran through it and my studio
got word from the lite brothers too - they're all ok, thank god. I go hose off.
start working right away on finishing bass for the seven songs christian from triclops gave me for his dyslexicon proj. thalia comes over to sing. she helps me develop the last bass line too. two and half and I gotta bail to get raul - bye to thalia, I'll miss her. me and raul go and get tom at his folks' pad in manhattan beach - his pop oj tells me "just get out there and do it!" - yes sir! miss peak's gotta return her rental car so we go near the airport to get her. then I remember I spaced and forgot my fucking ipod so on our way south to san diego, I stop at my pad in pedro to get that. only 120 miles to drive and the traff calm (also car pool lane!) so we get to "the casbah" in time to do a soundcheck w/soundman marshall w/no prob. we meet lisa and of the bell-rays too, really great band and they're going on before us. local guys firethorn will be on first. the cats at the casbah are great and looky here: real fucking chili to go on the chips! no chemical heat either but real habanero. it's called "ring of fire" and there's a bottle of el yucateco we'll save in the boat to add to "bullshit catchup and sugar" lameass crap I know we're bound to be getting again down the road. two days of that crap was enough - thank you great casbah folks! above the hatch I see probably the most coveted pad in san diego! can you believe living above a seven-days-a-week club? big respect to whoever shift it is now!
after soundcheck I go to the boat (right out front - more righteousness from team casbah, they aways put out cones to save a space for us) and fucking konk quick as shit cuz damn if I ain't dead tired. I pop when tom gets me and though I'm very sad I missed the two opening bands but damn if I didn't need that konk bad - I'd been going non-stop since I popped. we do the third opera for the third time this tour and it's probably best so far though the stage sound is real murky - now that's a trip cuz I usually love the casbah's stage sound. I feel weird bumps on my lips from the mic screen... I say that cuz I just bought this baby so why would it already be all dented up? I ain't saying I blew no clams tonight cuz fuck yes I did but they were fewer and maybe a little smaller in scope than the last two. the san diego gig-goers are most kind, most kind and w/a great energy - thank you all so much, truly. tom had one little trip in boot-wearing-fish-man, his sound went all the way off but me and raul kept plowing forward. it was only a tiny one. I think his dynamics was the best yet too - getting back to that place he had it during the japan tour. raul was real good... I think we were all a little nervous last night cuz of the sitch and we're kind of still in shakedown mode, getting it together. I'm very proud of my guys, love them. I tell the gig-goers tonight's gig was for all the hurt in japan. miss peak helps me off the stage - again, no hand rail for pathetic watt. even more pathetic is me calling soundman marshall "mr madison" when I thanked him from the stage. what a fucking baka I am - later I was so embarrassed and then didn't even get a chance to apologize to him so I'm doing that now. the knobman is so critical to a gig! respect to them!
I see old buddy jovi - BIG hugs for the big man, love him. on my way to go settle w/gigman andrew, I have a long talk w/bob, long time man in the san diego scene and just beautiful. we talk about the old days - actually he got started in business (silent partner here) via selling antiques - like he says, "I had lots of ting a ling a ling" and making w/his fingers like sparkly things where raining down. he was buddy's w/mark rude - I tell him about my first san diego gig being for mark, minutemen opening for black flag at the lion's club. we have a good time. it's fucked I can't help load - fuck, I already wrung my hands out about this didn't I?
we follow brother chuck over to his pad and he's got a bottle of jim beam, yeah! a couple of big pours once I get my nightwear on. his two dogs are just the best, huge lovers and so glad to be w/everyone. I'm set to konk where I always do here: the living room couch while tom and raul get the camper in the driveway. always a good time w/brother chuck, always. big respect to him.
sunday, march 13, 2011 - tucson, az
crashed at chucks place last night, always great to see him, and a pleasure to stay at his pad. Get to see all his wonderful animals and get the hospitality of good genuine people.
Tom and i slept in trailer out front house parked in drive-way. Watt woke us like a gentle giant, and let us know that chuck was preparing breakfast, a veggie kinda scramble with black beans and tortillas. Thanks so much chuck, great way to start a day!
going to zona from diego is a bit different than our usual start from l.a. Lots and lots of desert ofcourse, but sometimes very beautiful scenery of these seemingly deliberately balanced rocks. One on top of another that seem like they may come crashing down at any moment... also bizarre just add water border checks that seem to pop out of nowhere from nothing. Just add trailor, authority and dogs...fuck borders, what a lame idea that solves nothing that's really important.
Excited to play plush as usual. Always great to come here. I have many good friends here, and tonight we get to share the place with the best musicians i know here, a band called languas largas. Such a great band, and very hard for me to describe. Todd c. says shark pants mixed with t-rex, and i can dig that, but also so much more. Lots of talent in this band. Lots of love for these guys too, i've known them for many years... big influence and inspiration in life, beautiful people.
Again, we do what i think is a good gig. Ofcourse we have problems, clams, mistakes... whatever you want to call them, and the typical monitors not puttin enough out. I just keep having these feeling that we are chippin away at the mostly miniscule problems that we have with this piece, and someday soon it'll be a bitchin sculpture. I'm really tryin not to be too critical of certain things... like mistakes. There is a bigger pic to be seen in things, right? When it comes down to it, we are just a punk band doing what we do. We try our hardest, but also know that we have many more gigs to try harder and do better. That's another point of our tour, besides sharing there is also learning.
popped at nine am to be enlightened by raul that we are now into daylight savings time... how does he know? his leash told him. at first I doubt but am later proved wrong. I stand corrected. I also forgot to fucking mention my sister melinda cut my hair yesterday morning before working on that bass stuff. she's a middle school teach but the way that sitch is, she still has hung onto her haircutting job for the weekends. anyway, if you see pictures of me w/my hair longer in the first two gigs of the tour, now you know why. brother chuck makes us some eggs scrambled w/cheese on top and black beans on the side along w/tortillas. his wife katey arrives to see us off, she's carrying a new shipmate for them both, their first. good people, real good people. we shove off after big hugs but later we'll get a call cuz miss peak donated an groundlift adapter, no big deal.
east on I-8, I don't take this route much. the weather is happening and calm, especially for a desert run. we come up close on the border w/mexico, see the fence they've put up. big huge dunes nearby. there's two inspections points we go through on this ride but I think a quick look at the dash by the officers gives them confidence we're fucking nuts. tom's bought some super glue and the whole "homes" figuring situation on the boat's dash is being remade. it's seven hours for me driving and when we get into arizona and meet up w/the I-10, I hand the wheel over to tom for the last hour and a half. we're playing "plush" here in tucson and the gig boss alysson who's here for charley, a great cat who's done my gigs for many many years though in the older days, mostly in tempe.
we load in and do w/soundman tom, do a soundcheck. they've changed this pad a little I was last here, removed the bar from the music room and some other stuff. knobman tom says it's better. we finish and my tom and raul go to chow while I get the diary up on the hoot page (finished chimping the first three days while tom drove us into town) - I get three tacos from them when they return which in 'pert-near no time has me fartin' like a lawn mower for like ten straight minutes - I finish most of that in the boat which I quickly retired to. I then konk.
I pop to the sounds of lenguas largas, isaac from shark pants newer live band and they sound great, even from here in the boat. man, can he sing, yes sir. and can you believe it, it sounds some like marc bolan! on my radio show last week I had todd from recess records on and damn if he didn't mention something about that. yeah, that was another trip: hipping brother todd to the fact t-rex came AFTER tyrannosaurs rex and not before - he didn't know! too young. he's still righteous people though.
our turn next. very challenging gig in some ways: monitors delivering mime-like performance and stage anti-lit w/one-year-old-birthday-cake-candle-power happening. I don't look at the neck of my bass all that much except when I'm hearing fucking sourass notes and then I freak a bit cuz I can't see shit. oh well. the monitor thing is actually a little worse but you know what? the gig-goers here have a great energy and show big time respect - when we get to quiet parts it's the most silent yet for a u.s. audience we've done this piece for in my opinion. BIG respect to them. I blow some clams - the tour's refrain, I know - but maybe not as bad as last fall's tour? I am definitely getting a handle finally on my own fucking piece, for sure I know longer have to worry about what's coming next. even w/challenges like what we got going tonight, it's for sure all good training for me, against the forces of my own oppression. I did motion a few times for "monitors up" but realized the toy mackie was probably all where she could be. I only asked for the lights up once and that was while we were playing (probably sounded like lyrics!). I can only thank house knobman tom and that's what I do when we finish, that and thank isaac and his guys for sharing the stage w/us. his shark pants bassist vannessa is here, so great. I was konked in the boat when she wanted to take me to get bourbon ice cream (what's that about?) so I am contrite and apologize but maybe someone as tired as I was had to right to konk like that - still I'm sorry, vannessa. I explain about the third opera, she wants to know? a lot of nice folks in between give best wishes - hell, there were two young men who met me when I arrived just cuz they couldn't be here tonight (maybe things happening in tucson tonight w/music, I was told!) - one man asks me about "june 16th" from "double nickels on the dime" cuz it's in fact his birthday. whoa, it's my best friend raymond's bday too - I show him the cover of my new album another cat wants me to sign for reference and also tell him about "ulysses" by james joyce - that story takes place on that day. he trips on that. he's a very nice man though. said he could get through "finnegans wake" but... whoa, usually it's the other way around, right? much respect for mr joyce!
a buddy of raul's named michelle has invited us to konk at her pad not too far away and safe for the boat. she's got the most beautiful mastiff named stella who has torn her toy stuffed rabbit all apart and displays it dangling from her mouth but it is happy mouth and she is full of love. only two years old but huge, she's digging the infinite rubs I lavish on her. michelle busts out her "homies" collection and donates it to us for our cause! she's been afraid to have them cuz stella might chew and choke on them. michelle is VERY cool people. so is lenguas largas/shark pants drummerman dicky who stops by to hang and tell us how different the weather is between the michigan he came from and the arizona he now lives in... hello! michelle is hundred percent 'zone, she tells us, that's all she knows. I'm in the rilakkuma nightwear and konk on the couch I first landed on. such kind folks for us here in their town - it makes the gig challenges more than worth it.
monday, march 14, 2011 - albuquerque, nm
Stayed with michelle and her dog stella last night. Michelle is woman i know from some of my first connections to the tucson underground music scene. Bands like weird love makers, the blacks, los federales, all cool bands that opened me up to lots of interesting new people. She was nice enough to let us stay at her new place, and even give us a full small shopping bag full of homies for our dash in the boat... she had to get rid of them because the dog kept eatin em. Thanks so much to her for her kindness, such a great person.
ride to launchpad is always a haul. Beautiful scenery, but a long and windy kinda journey. On way, early in morning i had such bad breakfast, subway egg dealio. I'm not sure what is hurting me, that, or the tacos i had the night before, but i am almost in tears during these seventy mile stretches with no toilets. Finally i get watt to stop at a little chile stand of the side of the highway for some relief.
Maybe about ten miles or so past burque, we give bob a call to let him know where close to placitas, and to be ready to hop in the boat. Bob is gonna come aboard to do deal with selling the shirts and the albums. Anyhow, bob doesn't need to be picked up, he's gonna meet us at the launchpad.... doh, time to loop it back to Albuquerque.
Found out that my cat simon died today, very lame. Harder part is knowing that paloma has to deal with it while i am not home. Weird thing is, he did it right when it was decided that he be put to sleep, i think he knew, so he decided to go wherever it is awesome kitties go when they leave earth body on his own. His buddies from the house took him home, and buried him in the field next to our place on 15th. That made me happy knowing he got to go back to where he lived. I will miss him so much, and i know it will really sink in when i get home and he is not there.
pop at seven and have hard time locating the head - like a fucking idiot, I forgot to ask where it was last night. fucking baka. I do find it and somehow not tumble down the stairs to get to it. the little dramas that add up to make a life, huh? I roust the guys... miss peak used my konk sack and is trying to fix the zipper that broke - aaarrggggghhh but it's not her fault. I use skype to prac some english-go w/eiko-san and learn from her what she knows about the nightmare damage in the north of her land cuz of the earthquake/tsunami. I get cut off from the news when I tour, some of that is not accident cuz I have to focus. by eight we're out the hatch and I've left a small thank you note to michelle, such a nice lady.
it's about 450 miles so we gotta roll, east on I-10. great weather, not hot yet no clouds either. beautiful southwest out the window, lots of open land. we get near mexico again. first gas stop is also first subway sandwich stop of the tour too. I get my regular: tuna/pickles/olives/mustard/salt/pepper/chilies and a small sack of potato chips to stuff it w/for texture. this is our last drive as a four person crew cuz bob-san is coming on board starting w/tonight's gig. we have a talk about movies that started out as a disagreement but ended up w/us having much common ground in the aesthetics department. we cut the curve w/a u.s. highway before going north once in new mexico, I stop at a roadside stand and get a five dollar jar of chili sauce - this is "land of the red pepper" around here. tom and raul are busy supergluing the "homies" onto the center of the boat's dash, choosing very carefully which one goes where and why. it's a great thing to behold. further up on I-25, past truth or consequences (great name for a town) I stop in belen for gas and have me and tom switch ponies. he does the last sixty miles as we blow by albuquerque to get bob-san in placitas but a call to him enlightens us to the fact he'll drive himself to the gig so we loop around soon as we can and get to the venue. good think I called but I should've done it sooner! baka watt.
I think the first time I played the "launchpad" was fourteen years ago and every time I work this town, I work this place. good folks here. we pull up front around six pm and damn it's too late to get a kachina doll at the pad that sells native american stuff close by. I must have fifty of these at home cuz I get one every time I'm close. I really dig them, the ones that are about a foot high. they're beautiful and sometimes I talk to them, they're on my bookshelves. oh well. at least we're safe. I notice something new next to the club, it's called a "museum of intolerance" and has examples of racist crap in the windows. it ain't open but I look at what I can see. intolerance and racist shit is a fucked up thing. I'm glad this is here.
we do a soundcheck w/knobman travis and then put up the diary/do email while miss peak says she'll get us both some chow. I meet the opening band guys, "jenny invert" and watch them check. very nice people and their band is trippy. alright. my old friend leonard comes to visit, still wearing his "engaging the milker" tour t-shirt from years ago. he is cool people. I gotta get some rest though and head for the boat. almost inside, miss peak arrives and gives me a burrito that is good eats. then I konk. hard.
tom rousts me at a quarter of eleven and asks if I wanna go on early - yes! only fifteen minutes early but it is a work night for the gig-goers. tom's got some problems w/the new strings he put on - later he tells me he's going back to d'addario and not use ernie ball ones again, he never knew there was such a difference. we have some performance difficulties in some of the piece's parts... not bad ones but some clams - clams as a group, trippy. of course I blow some too - hey, I see bob by the table w/the shirts and stuff - he made it! anyway, yeah, we got some stumbles but not a whole lot and the keel never comes completely out of the water. flashing lights kind of distract me some but not much. the gig-goers are very quiet and respectful... except one - well, maybe respectful but not that quiet - hell if I'm gonna go into scolding mode though! I'm grateful folks are experiencing us work this, truly. I'm trying to giving it all I have and I know tom and raul are.
a big man helps me off the stage after we do encores (tom dances so great), so kind of him. hey, did I mention raul broke a kick drum last night? shit, so much I forget to chimp - not a lot time to do this recalling this tour, very busy watt so please forgive me... raul changed out to his backup pedal, just like that - incredible. and tom tonight had a string slip and got it back like that - we really wanna try hard to keep the piece ONE piece. bob-san said we did it in just under fortyfour minutes! first night for bob-san and he's got his own vehicle and has to learn our drill so there's some delay in the "let's act like shepherds and get the flock out of here" mode. I do get to talk some very kind people - we get a "care package" box, raul brings me the bottle of bourbon inside it, whoa! thank you much, anton (cruzman). there's also a cat (a skaterman) who saw the minutemen at their first paid gig - the starwood in 1980, whoa. his buddy (another skaterman) is also bob-san's ups man, can you believe that coincidence? life's a trip. I get to say bye to jared, love his pea coat - I tell him about my pop giving me his when I was more younger.
we follow bob-san to his pad in placitas but before getting out of downtown, one police officer throws a bottle of water to another officer across the narrow lane we're in and it goes to the ground, the officer dropping it bending down to pick it up and whoa - I'm going slow/being careful - I stop just before hitting him cuz he reached down right in front of me... so glad everything's ok - that was way close. I haven't drank anything so far this tour where I'm playing and don't intend to - any of that can wait 'til I'm at konk pad and done w/driving. haven't been smoking cigarettes either. watt is using discipline!
bob-san's pad is up a dirt road - whoa, very rough for the boat and kind of scary cuz I've never been here but I bring her in safe and drop anchor. he's been here less than year after being california for so long, must be trippy. he's got two beautiful dogs. the bourbon's great - some ten year old stuff called russell's. damn, do we do some hollering, excited to see bob. ok, maybe only watt was hollering... tom will let me know in the morning, I'm sure. anyway, the team is now whole. somehow I konked cuz how would I have the energy to chimp this now?
tuesday, march 15, 2011 - oklahoma city, ok
Early rise today, big wailer drive to oklahoma. Got some pretty good sleep at bobs pad considering watt was hollarin' about the reality of a dealio or something or other. Cruz-man was nice enough to flow a good bottle of bourbon, and it was all down the gullet in a matter of minutes... yarrr!
Pretty much popped and hopped in the van. First chowed a little egg and ham thing bob had cooking in the crock-pot, chased with as much juice as i could stomach.
There was a slight delay gettin outta dodge though. First off bob had not packed, and second, miss peak had put some of her things in bobs trunk... and he couldn't find the keys! After a bunch of minutes that passed like days it was so tense, and after smashing the lock with a screwdriver, we figured the best way was to take out the back seat entirely and go that route. Success! and a few minutes later we're going down the bumpy ass dirt road that leaves bobs, and we are on our way.
Showed right on time for our check... whew! I thought we were way late. We run thru a check quick like, and i walk over to record store too see if maybe i can use internet there. We got 500 singles for lite that should be arriving in dallas tomorrow morning, and i need to let jeremy know what's up, and when they will arrive.
This club called conservatory is my kinda place, and i feel very at home here. Something about just seems very welcoming. Today we have bob with us, so im now relieved of merch duty. So i take the time before gig starts to call home and see how paloma is holding up.
She's good, but still hurtin' because of simon.
Two great openers tonight. First is lizard police from tulsa, sorta remind me of early flaming lips. Second is the feel spectors, rulin band from ok city. Sound is tough for me to describe. Four piece, two guitar, and they all did singing. Kind of a power pop thing going on, but with louder lead style, that gave it a garage rock thing too. I don't know, these are crappy labels, and maybe take the time to check them out for your selves.
thought we played a good one tonight, much fun for me, and very good people there to see it go down. They helped lots with the positive energy.
pop at eight bells and continue w/some of the hollering I had going last night. we gotta move and pull anchor soon. then I see bob-san's ex-wife. damn, she's been hearing all this hollering? so embarrassing! I get to the boat quick. when can't bail yet though cuz miss peak put her camera sacks in bob's car last night after the gig (why the fuck?) and now bob can't find the keys so it's kind of freak-out time 'til someone gets all einstein and removes the back seat and gets the sacks out from the inside. whew. of course I've done much more baka things so I'm not hurling blame. it's nice and sunny out, we got 'pert-near 550 miles to cover and we'll lose an hour just before getting into texas cuz of the time zone change (mountain to central).
the first ride w/bob-san, five of us in the boat and full-on east once we hit I-40. I have to save my voice so keep pretty much silent and point when I want people to take notice of things. there's a bullshit pad called "cline's corner" that's got its own offramp name, I stop there cuz of nels having the same spelling for a last name and I think the only other time I was there was on tour w/him, we had some terrible tasting breakfast from the buffet shit. this time I get my regular kind of subway sandwich (tuna etc.) but hold of on gassing the boat cuz fuck, it's 'pert-near as much as in cali (four bucks a galloon) where here and arizona it's been like seventy cents cheaper - but not this pad! anyway, we continue. we pass the town of cuervo - I've mention this place in the diary before cuz it trips me out how much beat down the pads are, I mean totally crumbled - it's way eerie. so is the "dwi memorial of perpetual tears" - whoa.
once in the texas panhandle (bye bye new mexico - oh, the new plates there don't say "usa" any more like they have for the last ten or so years), we pass the cadillac ranch (got a small hunk of paint from one of them in the boat), amarillo and the leaning water tower before I had the wheel over to tom in the tiny town of allanreed (sic) so he can handle the last two hundred miles to get us to oklahoma city. he does good.
this pad is called "the conservatory" and it's the first time I've been here. old school, our kind of place. dustin's the boss here and of a really neat record store (that's right, all vinyl) next door called sizerecords - I see a copy of the blue cheer album w/fourth member ralph kellogg - we knew him as ethan james - he recorded "double nickels on the dime" at his "radio tokyo" studio. whoa. what a trip. man, I miss him... he was a beautiful cat.
I meet corey, a nice man who interviewed me a couple of weeks ago on the phone for for this gig. then we do soundcheck w/soundman daniel and then I go konk in the boat cuz fuck I am beat. tom gets me when things are ready - we've discussed new plan after panic of last gig, tom won't get me 'til everything's set to go and he can walk me right up and we can get underway, like that. I thank openers lizard police and feel specters, then we're off. it's a great gig, the best we've ever done the piece - this the twenty third time. the sound is so good here on stage - the stage is low and nice, also nicely lit and the folks are just the best - everything to make for a really good time. wow. I love it. much respect to raul and tom.
I talk to many good folks after including chad from "vzd" - I've played his pad three times I think... he tells me the scariest story about an infection almost killing him, a little like the illness I had eleven years ago. thank god he made it.
we follow mike and april from the feel specters to their pad - damn, what a righteous pad - you would not believe it, incredible. mike bought this pad from a greek architect and he's one himself so whoa, what a pad - I can't say enough good things about it. he puts on some captain beefheart and we drink so bourbon once I get the nightwear on. man, what a good time we have - I had no chow since new mexico, april makes up some pizza. what kind folks, truly. a happy konk for watt.
wednesday, march 16, 2011 - dallas, tx
I pop at nine and a half, hose off - it's been a couple of days. crimony - my ma's people are from italy. skaterman/musician tommy guerrero is putting together a benefit comp to help the hurt in japan from them getting wailed by that earthquake five days ago so I give him "hollowed-out-man" from the third opera. big respect to tommy g. it's one way someone like me can help. I also learn from ms mo that her parents' pad in sendai had the tsunami stop just half a klick away. man, I wish I could do more to help.
much good spiel w/mike and april before we pull anchor at noon. so cal-like weather but gray once we get into texas. four hours south on I-35 and boy, is the fucking wind blowing - the boat getting much buffeting big time. no chow for me when we gas up but miss peak finds some soda water for me, some from mexico. it's getting harder and harder to find something carbonated that ain't got fucking sugar in it.
we pass near the book depository on our way to the dallas south side part of town where tonight's gig is, a pad called "the loft" that's actually in a big old re-done building that has two other bigger pads. kind of mersh. the real good news is the lite brothers are here and are safe! big BIG hugs for each of them from mike-san, big ones! nobuyuki, kouzou, brother jun, akinori and managerman kazuto-san, I love these cats so much. their first time in texas. we got them w/us for ten gigs - righteous, fucking righteous! omedeto (congrats) to akinori too cuz of new shipmate for him and nami - now two little ones!
the bookerman is very cool people named kris and he takes me to a record store called good to sign stuff and meet people. the bossman there is very nice and says I should write a book after hearing some of my spiels. I sign a copy of "sir drone" - a 1989 movie raymond pettibon made that me and mike kelley are in.
no soundcheck for us tonight and it's kind of trippy cuz of an accidental double booking so we're playing not last but before eli "paperboy" reed. eli sure is a nice cat, really nice. he lets us borrow a guitar amp for kouzou - much respect to him. after eating a hamburger made in this pad's kitchen w/a little bit of fries, I go to the boat to rest a little but end up konking. tom rousts me after lite's set - fuck, I missed them! damn it. even worse though is getting shocked many times from the mic, sometimes almost getting blown down! very dangerous, fuck. somehow I hold on though there's some clams and difficulties, I think it was kind of good test for the piece. raul actually broke the bottom head of his snare so there was no wire sound, more like a timbali. gates on the drums too lame out his dynamic. tom had some probs too but like I said, we overcame and did ok, not defeated! many kind folks w/the good word after - I didn't wanna do an encore cuz of fear of eating into eli's time but people were very nice to us, very nice. soundman darren apologized for the shock problems - not his fault, he's a nice man and so was roomboss bob, very kind to me.
I go downstairs to the boat. no water, my mouth is parched big time - fucking big time. I sit behind the wheel to give the hint to my guys but the lite brothers are a little oblivious. they get it together though and soon we're following jeremy to his pad in nearby irving. last time in dallas we stayed w/him and his wife malissa, great folks, just great. he brings out a bottle of beam - I was actually planning on nothing cuz I felt really emotionally drained by the gig but first night w/my tokyo brothers AND the nightwear getting washed - yatta! jeremy is such a righteous host too, big respect. I know I got into the nightwear and finally unnaked ('pert-near, chonies were on)...
thursday, march 17, 2011 - houston, tx
tom's audio words-eye-view for week two: part one here and part two here!
pop at nine and a half bells... now I find myself on the couch but raul informs me he placed my body there cuz he'd found me on top of some of the tomodachi, on my back and like using them for konk cushions or whatever. crimony. didn't mean to do that, fuck. well, the beam bottle's finished... I tell you, that rialkkuma nightwear really does kind of make it easy for me to konk 'pert-near anywhere, not dependent on blankie like a naked konk would be.
I chimp diary, catch up on email stuff I can't really catch up on fully cuz of tour mode but I try and put a dent in it. jeremy and his wife our so kind - I meet her pop bill, much respect! it's pretty relaxed, we bail at noon. it's fucking hard wind again south on I-45 towards houston so after a couple of hours tom is kind enough to man the helm for me cuz shit if it didn't feel like a ton of stress was piling up on me. I pull over at this station in the middle of nowhere and what's inside? a huge section for "tobacco only" giant bongs and hookas! too much. what a trippy pad. spray painted really big out front is one message: "air one dollar, see casher" and right there by the hose is a lawnmower tractor w/... you got it - w/a flat! trippy thing also is that there's a huge add inside w/pictures, full description and everything of... this same lawnmower! raul spotted it.
man, tom has a buttload of traff to deal w/it as we get into the houston area and man, there's drivers lame here as anywhere else can have at given moment, let me tell you. oh I forgot to tell about eating a sandwich, one premade at a "qt" gas pad, something called a club I need "limon" potato chips to help choke down. anyway, tonight we're at a pad in midtown called "the backroom" I've never played before but my buddy dano set it up and I trust him. it's kind of hard to find for us but sure enough, it's a back room but up on the second story which is kind of funny cuz one thing tom said was not that happening about "rudyard's" which where I've played the last few times here in houston was the second story load in! actually this is more dangerous cuz one step is broken - oh no. well, on my mission to see what everything was about, I had to piss like a race horse and there's a taqueria here so I get two tacos to go so I ain't just freeloading on their head. I figure that's all I need for chow anyway.
dano and patrice come and get me for a trip to cactus records to sign stuff, very kind people and storeboss quinn is very cool people, much respect. back to the venue and soundman jeof does a check w/us - also letting use this fender "six" amp, a steroid 6x12 combo that's like 120 or something watts that kouzou can use. very happening. I like this pad, my kind of trip - so much different than last night... and no shocks! the lite brothers are very flexible - I ask them if they can adjust to our setup so shit don't have to move so much and changeovers quicker - they oblige w/no prob, what great cats - man, I love them. they never whine, never never. righteous cats.
man, I'm tuckered big time - gotta get in the boat for some konk. middle of march but hot/humid is already here to houston so I go for shirt off sweat shack mode - fuck, I discover I spaced on my john coltrane pin - maybe it's at brother jeremy's? I got two sweated out back up ones but man, you can barely tell who on them. I'm just so fucking superstitious, I really wanna wear one when I play so I get the least blurred and put that on the purple shirt I'm wearing for gigs this tour.
tom gets me out of a dead konk - yeah, a dead konk even w/some band doing cover after cover of beetles songs nearby (it's saint patrick's day - don't worry, there's a little bit of green in the coat cuz that's how wore out I am. I missed my lite brothers - their baka jijii (stupid old man) comrade not strong enough to be witness and do his fucking third opera - I am so sorry. gomennasai. I come up the stairs from the inside cuz tom tells me raul fell through that fucking stair that's broke and hurt himself but not enough to keep him from playing - respect to raul. tom tells me brother jun had kind of tiny bass sound so maybe go up w/amp volume? ok, I listen to tom. we begin the piece - sounds great on stage but bob-san comes up to the front of the stage w/his hand in front of his mouth so not only can I not hear him but I don't even have a chance to read his lips. fuck. I wonder what he wanted to convey? we proceed. no shocks! I blow some clams but not too bad - not as good as ok city but as good as some of the other ones, it's a good gig for us and the gig-goers here just beautiful - one cat came all the way from alaska! damon smith has moved here, the man who organized the "bullfiddle" gig I did w/him and three other standup bassists years ago. whoa. he's gotta a buddy who works w/children and wants dos to come and w/them, lay our two-bass-only ideas on them! I'm into it. the bossman brandon is very cool - so is his partner mark who I met earlier. mike mcguire is here, a very dear buddy - huge respect, so glad to see him, so glad. he's almost always here but I still have surprise joy, you know? usually I konk at his pad in la porte but tonight we follow dano and patrice... big hugs for mike.
in the bottom while we're following I find out bob-san was trying to tell me the fucking bass low end was bogarting the gig. whoops. didn't mean to do that. I ask bob-san to find a better way to communicated like writing it on a paper or something. ha, shit is funny about some stuff in life, huh?
dano and patrice are so nice to all of us, truly. they rustle up mediterranean chow and some peetz - there's a trippy bottle beam that says it's part of a fireman's fund - never seen that before. we all have a good time, talking about all kinds of stuff, I try to learn a little to dano and patrice what I've learned from my lite brothers about their land and people, the spirit stuff. maybe it's four bells when I konk, damn! fuckin' time flies, hard for my baka head to notice sometimes.
friday, march 18, 2011 - austin, tx
pop at eight bells - fuck, maybe too early given last night's konk time... oh well. I go to hose off and damn if the nozzle comes off the hose (it's one of those kind, w/a tub) so I'm just soak myself w/the big stream, having pulled up the valve so the tub would fill and I could get a soak in - have I done that this tour yet? feels good though the tub ain't that deep - ahh, I hope it don't sound like bellyachin'. back out in the front room, I prac some english-go w/eiko-san while dano and patrice gets their version of breakfast tacos going - they're grilled tortillas stuffed w/sausages dano called "weasel dicks" along w/scrambled eggs, cilantro and cheese. very good! so much gratitude to dano and patrice, so much!
we gotta pull anchor at ten bells cuz we got a radio thing to do at two and a half in downtown austin. just getting out of houston I space and do a blowby on the us-290 and then even worse, lose the tomodachi. fuck. luckily I've given them my leash number and we find them again in a mall parking lot but after a few miles on wander and then successfully getting on the I-10, I get the leash yanked quick by nobuyuki telling me to pull over quick cuz kouzou's got much hard work to do (meaning shitting his brain out). I don't wanna wait for a gas station - I see an "arefucks" (you guess the actual name) and want him to foul that pad. actually there's two quick foulings he asks of us to make happen - he got hurt hard in the gut by some chow, I feel bad from him. we end up on tx-71 after la grange (you know the zz top tuner, right? great one!) anyway which is the way better road I've come to find. yatta. it's all sunny and kind of hot, especially in the middle of march.
I take us straight into austin's downtown so we can do this session for daytrotter.com - my man howard getting this happening for us. man, is the traff plugged cuz of this sxsw fest - plugged w/not just cars but all-dressed-same-hipster herds and flocks. there's a studio here w/good stuff so for engineer matt we use what he has and save ourselves the hell of unloading ours. we do the third opera's first three parts and then "the glory of man" I wrote for the minutemen cuz they wanted four bits. I then do an interview w/a nice cat named kevin but make sure nobuyuki is w/me cuz it's cuts of the lite brothers I'm here at this dealio. I really want u.s. people to find out about my brothers from tokyo's music - I'll do anything 'pert-near. we get done quick - a cat from seagate (that's right, the hard drive company) gives me a hard dive, very kind and he's a nice man (well, at first there was a mistake and an adapter instead of a hard drive inside but they get that quickly together, I felt bad for their embarrassment) but it shows you how this thing has changed I guess - actually I've only been to two before and they were for other people (j mascis in 2001 and the stooges in 2007) so I don't really know what is what except that yeah, my buddy spot and folks who live here sure have their gut full of it. my lite brothers wanted to do it though so I got it to happen for them.
we head from the middle of clusterfuckville to a little more where it's calm and brother chris lausch (old buddy from delaware) is waiting w/righteous parking planned for us. he has it very together for us - I wrote back when I was touring in japan and the lite men first asked me about this dealio. BIG respect to brother chris. it is getting really sweaty now but fuck it, I wanna do diary and so chimp that as the fleshtones (from the old days) fire up their set here at "the ginger man" which is a pub-type pad w/an outside in the back where the music is. there's no festival badge required, anyone can get in and I dig that. the next cats are steve wynn and his band - I know steve from way back... I recall to him the time he was driving us through the val in so cal in his honda car, playing a bunch of creedence - he remembers that! after him is a band he's got w/pete buck called "the baseball project" and I spiel some w/peter for a bit, it's been a long time too I ain't seen him though not as long cuz a few years ago stooges and rem shared a stage at a festival in spain. peter's playing bass here, wow, that's a trip - he does good! the bossman gets me a couple of slices of pizza and look who comes up for the wailing giant hug I'm gonna give him: the man oustide the van, steve kaul - my u.s. gig booker man for twentythree some years - I love this man BIG TIME!
we're on at six and a half but using the stuff here makes for a fifteen minute ahead time, I say go for it. tom says the soundman asked for me to use the little toy (swr w/one fifteen) bass amp and shit, what the fuck? I always want the soundman on our side cuz we're only the motor - they're the tranny. we do the piece... I gotta say there's times I'm laughing big time cuz of the bass "sound" or whatever - tom's using some kind of fender amp and raul w/a yamaha kit so those guys are a little in their "ballpark" but you know what? "a poor carpenter blames his tools" couldn't more true in this sitch so I try to channel the vibe of the opera from inside me and not from out. the gig-goers are actually pretty respectful considering the party kind of atmosphere - I should say very respectful - I wanna say much respect to them, truly. no encore, I just wanna say thank you and I do - I wanna say please watch and hear my lite brothers and they do. brother chris scroger reads some great poems of his before they hit but man, what a great impression I think they make, they blow many minds - yatta! and they're using the same crummy stuff... I love their spirit, just love it. my buddies from org music, jeff, manish and eric are here and great to see as is old buddy ray farrell who's from the sst days. you know, for what this thing is, pretty happening experience in some good ways - again, big thank you to brother chris from delaware. shit, I get to see the adebisi shank guys - mick, lar and vinnie - love these cats, love them. jovi from chula vista's here! GIANT RESPECT! all these cats I dig so much, kind of overwhelming but I love it - love them! I do an interview w/bobby from roxwel.com who is very cool people, very enthusiastic which makes it very easy to do spiel for. respect. oh, there was another cat who knew george laughead (a buddy of charley plymell who's a hero for me) but damn, I can't remember his name though, fuck. cary jackson, who I've known for years and years rode his skateboard over and man, it's great to see him again. steve wynn's baseman has me sign his telecaster bass. eric wilson (sublime bassman) has got a brother living here. shit, just so many nice folks - scott from the baseball proj was very kind to me about the third opera. a young doctor who said I helped him through med school w/music - shit, I wish I could remember everyone w/stuff like this cuz it makes me truly feel most grateful. damn, I know my stupid forgetfulness leaves someone (maybe lots) out, fuck.
anyway, bail we must - now we go over east of the freeway to a pad called "baby blue studios" cuz mr shimmy and ms yuko of migu have asked me to do two songs w/them. it is very much an honor for me to do music every and any time I can w/them. things are running way behind and I'm so tired - fuck, I'm gonna hold on though. mr shimmy gets me a bbq sandwich from a trailer nearby slinging it. I talk w/the young man bill who owns this pad, he's got great ideas about how time is perceived. mrs yuka shows up, whoa! what a surprise. chimera music labelman david has me sign a bunch of comps that'll be auctioned off to help japan cuz of the earthquake - floored by four is on chimera. sean and charlotte show up (they'll be playing w/their ghostt proj), everyone for migu! when it finally comes time to do though, can you fucking believe it - the amp here for me to use blows up and I get hardly any notes out - what a fucked up thing that is. almost comedy and nightmare at same time. sean tried hard, forcing cable in but I think it was the amp just going under and not the cable at fault. mr shimmy and ms yuko are such great musicians, at least I got to hear them play even though I couldn't help out. I am beat though, beat down tired bad, crimony. I wish I could've spent more time we my dear friends. I was so tired too, my mind slow - especially w/mrs yuka who has mind like katana. fuck.
we get across town, through clusterfuck parts - so sad to see a pedaler down, this time of night too. spotski's been working sound all day and we can give him a ride to his pad, where's invited us to konk. I've konked at this pad many times but there's a for sale sign out front... I guess soon it's gone, damn. spotski's the best though, he recorded the first minutemen record "paranoid time" and all kinds of other stuff from us, black flag, husker du, meat puppets, dicks, saccharine trust - just all kinds. he's live in austin now for many many years. I'm so tired though, so fucking tuckered... I can only spiel a few minutes before curling up in my nightwear on the deck, head on the yellow clothes sack and konk coming quick.
saturday, march 19, 2011 - baton rouge, la
pop at seven and start hoofing - no fucking tsue, just a slow-go hobble so as to get some fucking exercise on this fucked-up hurt. of course I'm careful and trying not to underestimate the danger but fuck, there's fear now embedded in me I gotta temper w/not becoming oblivious but not submitting to forever beatdown of the afraid-man. I do like five blocks each way to a "whataburger" to get some coff and back. it's a slow-go but I don't fucking tumble. kind of gray out but I'm guessing the sun's gonna burn that off. I'm back in time to get final roust going on both my team, lite brothers and even spotski cuz he's got another day of sxsw hell to bear burden from. big hugs for him, a true brother. can't wait for the next hug down the road.
we get on the road we took yesterday, going back whence we came on tx-71 which is very happening road as far as it being a clean shot. there's a stop for gas soon enough and what's this here? a taco truck - great! good and econo, many kinds and w/a an older lady all by herself cooking it up handmade, traditional style. I'm so glad the lite brothers can chow this. yesterday was the only backtrack for now, we're back on the "due east" heading. kind of long ride too - past houston and after about 'pert-near four hours (getting back on the I-10 can sure enough bring the plug!), I hand the wheel over to tom cuz I'm still feeling the tiredness of what yesterday incurred on me. you know I'm thinking I should've fucking planned on using at least half of my own amp for that migu gig last night - man, was that baka lazy brain thinking ("no-thinking") from me, a buttload of it. fuck. this filling station we switch ponies at is huge, holy shit... even texas "pop-guns" - remember those? they shoot corks w/a string connected so they don't get lost. fuck, am I getting on a tangent off-track trip? sorry.
again we listen to this pre-mastered version of the spielgusher album (sequence has got lots of changes since too) cuz bob-san is in love w/it. spielgusher is me/mr shimmy/ms yuko putting music behind fortyfive spoken words pieces richard meltzer had recorded for me up in portland. I'm planning for clenchedwrench release at the end of this september. bob-san is convinced this pre-mastered version (I sent him mastered version last month) reveals things to him he has yet discovered. a fascinated bob-san can be very much an interesting bob-san! we listen to the captain beefheart gig I saw in 1980 at the whiskey. trippy, I had knee surgery then and was in a cast...
we get to "the spanish moon" which is an old building from 1926. heard at one point it was a firehouse. anyway, it's right by the freeway and it's good this hellride finally came to an end but no one's here yet (six pm too) so we head down the road towards lsu (the big university here) when the lite brothers tell us they're really hungry. we come up on some drive-through pad called "raising cane's" and get twentyfive of the one thing it looks like they sell: fried chicken "fingers" or boneless strips all breaded up (the claim is they're marinated for 86,400 seconds). we all pitch in five each. now the lite brothers are behind us and I ask tom to go over and enlighten them but when we get back to the venue to chow what we got, we find out they got nothing - miscommunication! so I ask them go back cuz yeah, I can see why fried chow wasn't that appealing to them maybe (remember yesterday w/kouzou and his three sessions of VERY HARD work?) but they should get something cuz they were the ones w/the big hunger. most the time we don't have hard time communicating, believe me! actually there's some grease to this cane's stuff but it's pretty soft and there's many cups of a trippy sauce - five pieces each is more than enough. the lite brothers come back w/subway sandwiches and shortly soundman jeff arrives so we can do our check. played here two years ago, jeff was manning the knobs then too. alright. alright again for local openers the widowers who agree to let kouzou use. respect to them! I go to the boat and konk. just before though I see todd from mobile, a really good cat who wants to record us.
I don't know why but for the life of me, I have a rotten konk - I don't know exactly why cuz it was a little hot in the boat but not terrible... fuck, it's an in and out door of sideways unfathomable finding-myself-in-impossible-scenes vignette after vignette in the dream mode - fuck, actually kind of nightmare mode. very frustrating. 12:15 am and I get myself out the boat (we're parked right in front of the hatch!), sling the bass sack and make my entry, stage immediately to the right - I guess we're fifteen minutes early but I'm in a rage and want us on now. fuck, am I angry - actually I think I'm too full of myself but here goes... I throw myself at the piece and now looking back, am so very glad tom and raul did so good hanging on. this pad is really tall, the overhead like three stories over the stage but I think knobman jeff had it good. I did tell tom to hike it up though. it's weird how this happened: as the the third operator progressed, I got less and less mad and more and more happy! I have to say in some ways it was tough crowd, folks kind of maybe not digging the crazy-man-expresses-himself thing and maybe I would react by saying "squarejohn" but there were others so way into it at the same time. like I said, I was so grateful for my men being there w/me but also glad I did tumble over in a rage spaz. we had some clams but the feeling was really there in a place where I think clams are just like callouses or something you get when you're working something hard. encore time, time sings great even w/tiny monitors (I had two wedges and it did good for me, mr jeff ringing them out and getting them up at souncheck).
lots of kindness from the gig-goers as I pack up - shit, as I pack up I find a broken glass in my amp front lid and get some tiny palm cuts but the club people here get their kit for that and I clean and bandage the tiny huts. fuck, could've been worse. walter mophett comes up to me - I saw him on the way going in when I was ragin' (hopefully more inside than out) but now I can talk to him some. I've known him since like high school or something - he's more a peer of joe boon (d. boon's younger bro) but I knew him and am very VERY glad to see him and see him healthy. righteous. I meet some very cool skater cats who saw me when they were young and are still interested in my kook way of trying to get it together and bathe in expression. much respect to them - fuck, I wish I could remember they're names now - I fucking knew them last night?! so embarrassing, aaarrrggghhh. I'll tell you a righteous thing I'm seeing up in the sky now: this supermoon - yeah, tsuki at its closest and all full - damn, is she way bright. respect. maybe that's what helped saved me from letting rage win over more but I do hope to think some of it was from wroking the piece - kind of like a therepy!
miss miss peak's arranged through the cat we stayed at last time (steve, good man) we were here (and same pad too!), two years ago, a connect w/john who has all follow him through the lsu campus to his pad in suburb kind of part of town. he told his pad got flood when he came back from a trip and so all the deck is brand new birch flooring but that's just gotten done so the pad is pretty much bare. very happening though and he's got a couple of happening buddies who do music - we talk some and have a good time. I konk for one of the first times on this kind of air mattress john has been nice to get inflated. me and the tomodachi on this smooth fresh natural birch deck, their first lousiana konk ever.
sunday, march 20, 2011 - new orleans, la
pop at eight and hose off. that's a happening thing... I will very much try to persuade bob-san to try this cuz I don't think he's taken one yet this tour - he did float for two hours in ok city konk pad tub (big respect to mike and april). hostman john arises soon enough and makes up some coff. beautiful weather outside - like my pedro town lots of times! I feel bad bob-san cuz wine from a glass that toppled from the table next to where he konked in houston poured onto his 'puter, taking it out of the race, damn. we thank hostman john and pull anchor.
new orleans is only eighty miles away. the boat needs gas and there's subway sandwich shop w/in yards so we fill up both tank and guts at 'pert-near same time. I get my regular: tuna/pickles/olives/mustard/salt/pepper/chilies and a small sack of potato chips to stuff it w/for texture - hey, I just cut and pasted from a previous diary entry! is that lazyass or what? sorry. miss peak's been provided w/the address of the man who's both doing the sound and in the opening band for tonight's gig so I point the boat in that direction, put the tranny in 'd' and push on the gas pedal. well, it takes a while for the tomodachi (how you say "friends" in their language) to get their chow so while I wait I call my ma cuz sunday is the day I usually do breakfast chow w/her and my sister melinda. I wanna not make her worry. she's seventyfive and still works - not retired - I'm her first born and only son.
it's been seven years since I've played new orleans, can you believe it? I fucking can't. this is my first time here since katrina hurt her bad.
the pad miss peak has us pointed to is jay and sally's and in the uptown part. they are righteous people, actually from pensacola (where we play tomorrow). soon enough sally makes us some spaghetti w/squash in it. really good. like I said, jay's band is sharing the stage w/us tonight, narcissy is their name. man, is he and his wife just the best. I chimp diary and listen in on the ongoing spiel - jay and sally are very interested in our lite brothers, of course they are interesting cats! it is relax time for us, maybe first big one this tour for us. righteous.
five and a half in the afternoon, I take us in the boat over the french quarter. we're at "one eyed jack's" but I've played this venue before, when it was called "the shim sham club" - that was ten fucking years ago! it was w/the jom & terry show and had to do many gigs cuz it was $36,000 to save my life from that illness. this pad was an old movie house and I dig the aesthetics. very nice folks works here - adriann gives me three big perrier bottles and cut up jalapenos for the salsa. there's also a pile of the best fucking blueberries I've ever had my life, handfuls of them plain down my hatch. jay's bassman bill talks to me and some of our lite brothers about new orleans - how they matched up an 1870 map w/post-katrina one and how nothing built where old stuff was got real bad hurt meaning it was smart to build here only on the high ground. he also gives me a bottle of knob creek bourbon. we do quick soundcheck w/jay, typical "first three parts of the third opera" next is one for lite - jay is very kind to lend kouzou a sunn amp for his guitar, arigato.
I go to the boat (so kind of the club to have parking space coned off for us across the road) to konk but decide maybe I should chow something new orleans so I go get a muffuletta at the camellia grill half a block away. really good, I chow it in the boat and then konk. I konk hard and unremembered but kind-of-troubled dreams. I pop somehow right on time cuz tom's at the boat in minutes to get me though marty katz from my pedro town (moved here five or something years ago) sees me just before getting out the hatch and we do big hugs and hellos.
time for gig, I apologize first to the gig-goers for being not in their town for seven fucking years. I also thank them much for all the kindness to our lite brothers - and their land cuz the "japan donate jar" on the table where kazuot-san slings is stuffed full of monies. the beautiful new orleans cats can probably relate big time - HUGE FUCKING RESPECT to them, HUGE! we do the piece, me and my men fired up. in a weird way we're a tiny bit disconnected but don't let me let anyone reading this chimping think I'm making excuses for any of the clams I blew... whatever, not to wring hands but really express gratitude to righteous spirit of the gig-goers... beautiful, beautiful people. I am a little more hoarse this gig than any others, bound to happen - the most fragile thing regarding as many gigs in as many days on a mission like this. no bellyaching though, please know I ain't looking for pity but rather just trying chimp up some tour diary. I know it's a weird piece for people - all three of my operas are but I gotta do what I gotta do and am so grateful folks bear w/me and hear these things out. some of my clams are same kinds of ones from night before so I have to look into that... tom does real good w/the encores - I get out of tune and let brother jun get that 'g' string right for me, he's standing right next to me w/brother kouzou... later I get told they were dancing - mindblow!!
so great gig, even w/the clams and shit. great spirit. actually there's two pedro cats cuz walter mophett came again, drove over three hundred miles from jonesville or jonestown - some kind of jones... he gives me a box of pralines and some tiger sauce. big respect to walter. big respect to all the nice folks giving me the good word, real kindness - genuine. hugs! hugs! rob cambre is here and gives me a good talk, old buddy - so sorry to be so long away from his town. he brings much good avant garde music here - righteous cat. the pad's staff all get big gratitude from me, they're wonderful. the boss gives me the special handshake, happening.
we follow sally back to her and jay's pad and that's when the knob creek gets put away and the nightwear gets put on. I have a good time w/the lite brothers - love it - all the way to konk time, whenever that was!
monday, march 21, 2011 - pensacola, fl
pop at nine bells, big soak in old-style tub (the kind w/the feet) but first use the hose 'til it blows off the nozzle - hell, the fucking nightwear soiled... and nobuyuki on the deck saying unko very close abunai - right by his head! fuck! the just washed needs new wash. sally makes us all pecan-stuffed waffles, very good! thank you so much. her and jay are just such righteous folks, truly. the best.
more of the kind weather, yes yes yes!!! last waves, we pull anchor and are east on the I-10 soon enough, bound for pensacola - three states over in florida. some more bayou for the lite brothers to see as we go through the gulf parts of mississippi and alabama. lots of billboards for casinos w/most folks playing there we're unaware of... I am kind of a squarejohn? we listen again to the spielgusher, bob-san promising me he's gonna write an essay on the whole piece. man, that would be righteous. into the panhandle of florida - only two hundred miles total I have to drive and get us there about four pm. this pad is called "the handlebar" and I played here last I think in 2003 for a tour of the second opera w/the secondmen - it was just after a fire they had... damn, my memory is not the best - sorry! pensacola is known for the home of the naval flight school and "the blue angels" flying team amongst some other things I can't recall now. I remember "sluggo's" and before that gab nast who put on lots of my gigs. shit, my fucking memory... or lack thereof!
something trippy written on the wall in the head, some kind of graffiti saying "diversity is an old wooden ship" - hmm, what's that about? back in the pad, the tv is pretty loud w/the news - I keep away kind of (kind of lots!) from this stuff on tour so I can bring as much focus I can to bear on the main stuff of my mission: to get my men back home safe and to do the third opera as good as I can for the gig-goers.
I go in the back to chimp diary. brother jun lies out on a bench near me, saying it's too cold in the bar. too cold, what? I think brother jun is coming down w/some sickness, fuck. I really care about him - it breaks my heart to see him hurt. damn. the promoter man jonathan introduces himself, very nice man and the lady w/him was a bartender at last night's gig - that's a trip... maybe jonathan is from new orleans?! he had called me a couple days ago and said his uncle chris wanted to cook chow for us, asked me what we wanted so I just told him "anything that tastes good" and you know what? uncle chris brings aboard big bowels of rice, green curry and cilantro - it's tastes fucking bitchin'! the curry's got beef and peppers though it's not got much heat, it's bucked up big time w/flavor - much respect to uncle chris!
we go do soundcheck w/soundman andy who's been having a time trying to get the sound together here. I think the system's had some neglect, I heard jonathan just started doing gigs here about a month ago. well, I'm here to work w/him and not against - trippy kind of stage that puts you out there, w/no sides - kind of a cake-like deal and I'm digging it, so is tom. the opening band are locals and very kind to lend brother kouzou and amp, I think they're called "the deadly fists of kung fu" or something like that. fuck, I hope I didn't get that wrong cuz like I said, they're very kind to lend my buddies their fender twin. I go to the boat to konk, kind of sweaty at first but not too bad. it's right out front though so some cats lean up on and rock it some so I get startled a little time to time. I guess they don't there's an old punk rocker inside.
tom comes to get me when it's our gig time, saying our lite brothers had trouble w/the p.a. and it was going in and out w/the first band too. ok, I tell him we'll go lower w/our stage volume. I am surprised big time next when who do I see? it's joe from mobile - oh my god! he's sixtyseven now and a HUGE hero to me. god, I hug him big time - he carries both my bass and my 'puter back wack sack. I'm so happy to see him, so happy. fuck, I wish I could've had a chance to talk w/him earlier... todd brought him, I learn - I see todd - he was at the baton rouge gig and said he couldn't make pensacola so that's one reason I was so surprised. damn, I gotta work the piece good for joe!
yeah, the p.a. is flakey but hangs in there - thank you andy for being our fourth man. it's the first day of spring (haru in jap) you know - shunbun no hi - I sent out a message to my flow list, thinking maybe like a phoenix that japan can rise up from the big hurt she has now and heal up, everyone giving what help that can give. so I gotta keep what I see as problems in perspective - like the yammering at the bar, pretty funny stuff in a way and probably the most yammering this third opera of mine has ever been through. fuck, half the notes in the pieces first part (arrow-pierced-egg-man) are clammed, fucking half! but I don't let it get me down and rally myself. tom and raul are right w/me w/good eye contact and righteous playing - much respect to them. it is sweaty and I'm soaked and pushing hard as I can. the fucked-up knee makes for... well, I don't wanna whine - I keep my sights high and push hard. of course soft parts compete w/yammering - one cat hollering "liberty calls" (from my first opera) a few times during the "cherry-head-lover-man" part! what?! at soundcheck I had listened to "pinned-to-the-table-man" and got the fucking notes I'd been clamming for I don't know how long and am so glad when it came for that to come in the piece that I got it happening. the only thing lacking from my guys was a little soft in "jug-footed-man" except for the one verse (yeah, it's got just one verse - econo!) which had tom a little too up - I had confused him in some direction earlier in the day, baka watt! one cat comes up close which closes the whole gap of about four feet that was there (later I find out he played w/earthdog when they both were in a band that opened for us in tuscaloosa like twenty years ago!) and the rest of the piece is good and emotional - we finish strong. a man working for the bar said it wasn't 12:30 yet (I look at my watch and see it's 12:28!) so when we do an encore, I add an extra tune! I apologize to the people we might've interrupted their conversations w/our set. most of the folks though are very kind, very kind. lots of big hugs for them after very generous words of all kinds of stuff - I wanna work harder for them!
one last big hug for brother joe!
bob-san says he slung hardly any stuff but I tell him not to worry about that cuz sometimes that's the way it goes if you're in this for the long run: hills and valleys and fuck, the main point is to work the third opera as far as that kind of stuff goes and slinging being secondary. he's new to this though. bob-san's a good man.
we pack up and pull anchor then head for a cat jay back in new orleans gave us a number for named chad. turns out raul konked at this pad last time he was on tour w/killer dreamer, it used to be terri's pad but now she's in chatenooga. I know her from back in the "sluggo's" days but haven't seen her for years... her band was "my bike is pipe bomb" - can you imagine touring w/that name, especially crossing borders! I konk not in the nightwear but in the coat ronnie gave me and my levis - shoes not even off, on the couch near the front hatch, w/out even a blankie.
tuesday, march 22, 2011 - gainesville, fl
pop at eight... don't believe there's place to hose off or soak in so I remember seeing a circle-k convenience store and wanna get a coff but then realize it would be too many blocks to hoof in this condition and get back for the nine bell pull anchor so I figure on taking the boat. bob-san's been konking in the boat so he agrees to accompanying me after my hatch-pop wakes his ass up. hell, I get a sixtynine cent hotdog w/sauerkraut and chili - it's a little one but shit, I see on the next corner a subway sandwich pad so I plan on tripping the tomodachi out w/immediately chow stop! back to the pad, me and bob see a white squirrel, whoa! it's out there w/the regular color ones. my old time buddy back in pedro nanny runs a children's zoo there and someone gave her two baby ones to raise - this is the only other time I've seen them. I teach bob the nihon-go for them cuz eiko-san taught me. we get back, I write chad thank you note and we shove off. yes, the tomodachi are tripped out w/immediate subway sandwich stop! we all have good big laugh, even brother jun who is very sick now. I feel so bad for him, hate to see him suffer, damn. one man builds all our orders, crimony!
east on I-10, we pass our last time zone 'til we get to chicago so no we're three hours ahead of my pedro town's time. it's very nice weather, again we're blessed. using the blue tooth, I do two phoner interviews w/cats from the old days who know what I'm all about, very kind guys that make for interesting spiel. maybe bob-san will be inspired to get his essays going - cuz I also discuss the spielgusher proj (for the last time we listen to the unmastered preliminary version) - I can't wait to read bob's writing on both that and the third opera... same goes for his diary I see him writing by hand cuz his 'puter is still bricked. we switch ponies after turning south on I-75 and three hundred miles, tom doing the final fortytwo. if I feel tired, I hand over the helm and do not use getting butch as a form of denial of not being strong enough, no prob.
gainesville is home of the university of florida so it's like this state's biggest college town. we're downtown at a pad now called "common grounds" but when I last played here it was called "the covered dish" and the bossman was my old buddy bill bryson. he asked me to go to a radio station he's got in a building he owns right near called grow radio and I bring three of the lite brothers (brother jun has to rest in their rented boat) to talk first w/grow radio's william and then w/old pal bill before having to go do soundcheck w/soundman ryan back at the pad. bill then comes on over to take me to the pad he's lived in here in town but is now abandoning for his "bryson county" pad out in nearby waldo but we'll see that tonight cuz that's where we're konking. what's at this pad his bailing from his stuff he ain't moved yet plus a washer/dryer stack - that's what I need to get this nightwear washed. much respect to bill for helping me out w/that! I chimp diary while that's getting done and rap w/bill - oh, also chowing three chicken tacos he got me at "flaco's" - co-processing! besides running the covered dish, bill was also in the causey way which I did some touring alongside. bill is righteous people.
there's locals opening up, a band called kadets and they are most kind to lend brother kouzou an amp for the lite set. also most kind is gigboss pat - he even chops up fresh habanero chilies to put in the weak mersh salsa, giving me some most-wanted vapors on the brain but giving the lite brothers kind of a lift they were expecting! akinori says it was his biggest blaze blast ever! it was no scheme, I swear - I love these guys! they all have a good laugh. I go konk in the boat.
tom gets me from kind of sweaty konk though I think it ended up getting more comfortable but hard to tell cuz I did konk... cuz I fucking needed it but anyway, I was in a little weird state (weird for watt, not weird for what my friend in england jose would call "normal") as I get up and deliver the piece for the thirtieth time in its existence. thirty parts for the thirtieth time, hmm... there's weird angles the lights are on - maybe we're too far up front on this stage - sounded great at soundcheck and is sounding good here but trying to look at my bass' neck has me blow a half-step flat - it's better if I don't look or close my eyes, huh?! that's a trip. tom and raul do the piece real good - some little thing but they're really not huge clams but a click from a pedal of tom's (I heard this last night too) whirls me into sitch w/the panties all bunched up and 'pert-near on to hissy-fit land for "jug-footed-man" - I start playing all exaggerated loud and feeling raul's going too fast (I asked him to play harder earlier so harder is faster, right?) - aaaahhhhh, it's something I never would've thought I'd fuck up and do but my men are stoic and help me through this difficult part and we finish strong. whew, that was close! man, what a bozo I am! the encores are very fun and a great relief in a trippy way.
the gig-goers are VERY KIND and give much good word and hugs - giant respect to them all. one young man named chuy even wants to see pedro one day - yeah, I'd like to show him stuff there. man, many good folks are generous w/their kindness - gigboss pat and his helperman too, respect. I am most grateful, most grateful. I am most grateful tom and raul too - also miss peak and bob-san - most blessed mike-san, truly.
we follow brother bill through back roads and tiny dirt ones to his "bryson county" ranch out in a little nearby town called waldo - it's a cattle ranch (trippy to say that about florida land cuz maybe you're thinking the southwest or something w/desert and open land) and he's got seventy head of beef cattle (brahma/cracker mix) and a pad w/the most huge living room, it's a righteous pad, right by a lake (raul and bob even go swimming in it, under the moon!) - I wish I was strong enough, damn. bill breaks out some cheese he got from holland - tom knows all about this stuff and I learned some from ig, like about drinking wine w/it - we all have a good time, really great to be in nightwear just washed too, yeah. raul gives me his first diary entries of the tour which is great cuz I feel so alone on the hoot page w/out anyone else on this journey's perspective. to inspire bob-san w/helping w/that kind of thing, bill lets me print out what me and raul have chimped - after tom gives bob-san a haircut, tom changes from barber to director and I guess I become "journalist" and we try to pull bob-san's "colonel bob" bogus accent to more of a ricky ricardo one ("please ee-splain"). man, we're kind of fucked up but we ain't laughing at raul - my stupid chimping's get read too though tom makes bob-san start over and over and of course, raul's stuff heads each day. it's about this time I konk, too out of gas to keep up w/these guys. crimony. easy konk in this nightwear, let me tell you.
wednesday, march 23, 2011 - orlando, fl
pop at nine and half, just in time to prac some english w/eiko-san. it is beautiful cali weather so you can see the cattle ranch much better - looks like florida forest land though, probably cuz it is. can't see the cattle from here but I can see the lake. I to the skype shit laying in a big hammock, VERY comfortable. there's wasps flying near but they keep away - thank you - I'm in the rilakkuma nightwear still... no problem w/the butterflies, bring it! bill says it's near the end of the calm weather time for here, he can feel the swelter starting to come on and the crispness starting to fade. glad we're soon out of dodge!
it's just over a hundred miles to our next gig in orlando so it's very relax time for us this morning. bill takes raul and nobuyuki to the lake for some canoeing - damn, I wanna go so bad but this fucking knee... nobuyuki also tries some fishing but catches nothing. brother jun is still sick but says he feels a little better. whoa, look at this - the gig shirt is folded up on my yellow sack, all clean... miss peak again? that sure is kind of her - or maybe the odor is that bad in the boat and it's gagging her? you know you get oblivious about that stuff in tour mode, at least I do. it's kind of fucked up, I don't mean to foist no hells on anyone.
bob-san decides his netbook 'puter is fucking done for so maybe bite the bullet and get a replacement. I find him one like his on the internet and a place to get it... a toshiba for $279 so when it's time for big hugs and thank yous to brother bill and have to pull anchor from "bryson county" we head for the big box mersh pad so bob-san can be enabled in that way once again - tom calls it "the hamster wheel" and I think of when I was a boy and just came to my pedro town's navy housing and had a white hamster named "charley" and how I loved hearing that wheel squeak while he was running like crazy in and I would think about what maybe he was thinking, like "maybe tonight I'll get to where I'm going if I just try harder, try faster" or something like that - what was in charley's mind? I would wonder about that a bunch but somehow him working that wheel made me think him somehow content in a way - you know I was also conscious of him in that fucking wire cage... aaarrrgggghhh. back down the branch-canopied backroads but w/the daylight it's very easy to see all the fucking spanish moss just wailing on the trees here, beard after beard we see - fucking trippy. the leash tugs - it's nobuyuki saying they gotta go back cuz of spaceout and something of their's left at bill's. trippy cuz just before we bailed I was telling everyone in their crew about the "baka check" which is one more time around either at gig or konk pad before shoving off to make final check, just in case. I probably used confusing watt-speak though so maybe this is better lesson than any spiel from my baka mouth. we wait for them by the highway, kazuto-san coming up to apologize but it's no problem - better than realizing donate in orlando, I'm thinking! the mission is successful, bob-san gets the 'puter netbook and we head back to the gainesville downtown for a free shovel - righteous brother tate has invited us to his "lunchbox" chow pad and I take down three asia-style brisket tacos. they're real good - I've only had latin style tacos before. well, those tacos last night didn't taste all that mexican but these definitely have some kind of asia tastes. so kind of brother tate, big respect to him and his men working alongside him.
south on I-75, past big daddy don garlits' drag race museum. I've been there a few times but no time today - the "errands" and the gainesville driving it took to do them ate up much clock. I was a huge drag race fan as a boy, got all the zines all the time, even built some models. actually my ma liked me building models cuz she told me noticed I had coordination problems as a boy and that might help me. ha! I cut my palm open w/an xacto knife when around eleven and had to get it sewn up at the dispensary by army corpsmen w/out anesthesia - I woke her up out of a dead konk at like five in the morning... "ma, I think you should look at this" - after the backhand she gave me after almost gagging when she saw my port palm by the thumb all splayed and getting me over to get fixed. my poor ma - I sprung many hells like that on her, not on purpose but just by being a dumbfuck and not safe/careful. oh, I forgot - manish over at org sent new stickers - best ones yet! white boat (the boat is white) on yellow background w/black writing. wow. got some from rob at screen arts and they're like they have been which is good but this is neat twist manish had his cats do. speaking of org, they're way into getting lite albums over here to the u.s. - yatta! fuck yeah! and as for rob, he has new watt sticker idea - something about the anchor around my neck... I'll see him in jacksonville I think and see what's that about.
we switch ponies again about forty miles out, as we come down the florida turnpike. I just don't wanna take any chances, most grateful for brother tom doing this last bit. yeah, this is the most south in the u.s. that this tour takes us. downtown o-town (what some orlando cats call it) at about six and a half - forgot about early doors, fucking baka watt! "the social" is this pads name but I've played here a bunch, both under this name and when it was called "the sapphire supper club" when old bud jim ran it. man, he was cool people. anyway, gigboss chris says only openers superhumanoids get a check which is ok w/all of us - they're real nice cats who gladly loan us an amp for brother kouzou. turns out they're from so cal, whoa - I am so fucking ignorant! I go get two pieces of pizza from around the corner - yeah, we get to park in the back of the pad, in the alley! I talk w/soundman fedge, tell him the piece is kind of like minutemen - he don't know minutemen... I say it's kind of like wire ("pink flag" era) - he don't know wire... I tell him just try ride w/us as the piece does it's thing cuz I've notice some knobmen have been just like setting one trip and then walking away from the board... we got too many dynamics going for that kind of action (or inaction!). I go konk in the boat, fucking humid though and not comfortable but I need rest.
I konk hard a tom has put a big hold on my leg to roust me. ok, ready to go. I my way to the stage many cats thank me for bringing the lite brothers - fuck yeah! this is great for me to hear cuz not only do I want my tokyo buddies to learn different parts of my land, I also want my fellow countrypeople to learn about them but witnessing their music expression. believe it or not, I get inspired by it big time. always a trippy stage here, folks are kind of in a pit up front (a moat?) and the stage ain't that deep but real wide so you hear yourself more than the rest of your cats. I gotta get tom to get up as loud as he can - twice I have to ask soundman for things which I hate cuz it breaks the spell of the piece some (I feel) but he had guitar in the monitors (all I like in monitors is spiel, I'd rather have tom from tom's amp) and then gate on my spiel mic killing all dynamic. he's right in the moment though and gets it together - he's a great cat w/no 'tude and the spiel I did was as the songs were going so not like a speech between parts. I like this gig a bunch, maybe second only to the oklahoma city gig for this tour's opera performances, even w/the not-so-good-stage sound though it wasn't terrible at all, just ok city had better stage sound but I had it together pretty good tonight in some ways and my men tom and raul were very good in my opinion. the gig-goers were really good to work piece for. I mean I saw a couple bail for the hatch two thirds of the way through cuz maybe they idea of it being ONE BIG SONG w/thirty parts is hard to figure and maybe it sounds more like crazy man w/short attention span - read this man's word's-eye-view that was just brought to my attention. I feel like I owe him an apology but in another way, just can't but don't wanna feel self-important cuz of that. I have to say though after we get done there's MANY gig-goers giving me and my men the good word, like they were having fun. I do apologize for my opera being weird but have to deal w/using honest expression of what I feel is inside and has to get out - the parts ain't separate but in my head ONE WHOLE and they might being a schizo-broken-up WHOLE expression expressing itself that way. I apologize it being hard to share what me and my men are sharing w/each other but I swear deep down doing the gigs is for the gig-goers and not just for us. I am clumsy w/fucking words - I hope this don't confuse things more. fuck. bob-san was very intent about kick drum bogarting everything 'til he brought to knobman fege's attention. I thank bob-san big time cuz you can't tell what the gig-goers are actually hearing from where me, tom and raul are.
oh, from the stage I asked all the folks to wish brother jun a happy bday cuz today he's twentyseven, YATTA! they have a little trouble repeating TAN-JO-BI O-ME-DET-O after me but all their herats are sincerely in it, HUGE respect to them.
christine is a lady who asked me for a song for a helios creed tribute album so I had my secondmen do "mystery train" for it last year. she invites us to her pad in winter park, town next door, close. she is very kind to us and our lite brothers, very kind - much respect to her. into the nightwear, I konk pretty soon though cuz I am tuckered. shit, I was in the nightwear at 12:02 am which is totally bitchin' and last 'pert-near an hour 'til konking hard on the couch.
thursday, march 24, 2011 - jacksonville, fl
tom's audio words-eye-view for week three here!
pop at eight bells to find good dog tyler konked on my legs here up w/me on the couch. no wonder no blankie needed. hose off - no, I hosed off last night... way better to hose off after gig than to wait for morning, right? I think I've ruminated about that in my diaries here before. anyway, I go fire up the skype on the 'puter out on the porch, still sportin' the nightwear when I see brother sam's whatever all lit up green. he's on tour w/the band he works for in france now, the go! team. we got this proj together called cuz that's just about done w/its first album. he's done so much on this proj, so much. it came from me having some days off between stooges gigs in england in 2008, taking a train from london to brighton (where he's from and lives) and for three days me doing bass and him on drums. he then took samples from these jams and made tunes out of them, having me doing shit from my pedro pad and flowing it his way via internet. this is how we (more like he) built the album. we got guests too but mainly it's him and me. his go! bossman ian is there w/him and wants to talk w/e too. they use headphones, I can see on the video feed. ian is cool people like sam and interested in my crazy music stupid shit so I tell him about the tour so far and my hurts, the challenges of working the third opera and explaining the nightwear I've got on from japan. he says his band's got a toronto, canada gig the day after me and my missingmen work that town but they arrive in fact the night before so maybe him and brother sam wanna come and witness my stupid shit in person - much respect to them. I hope I got the shit more together by that point in the tour and have have my health good. neither of them has ever seen me w/my own guys, it's only always been w/the stooges. it's trippy how you can rap w/your buddies this way totally econo, huh?
I call up a ford dealership nearby so I can bring the boat in for maintenance. it's really good insurance to do the oil, lube and that shit every three thousand miles, you know? I know from experience. to wait for shit to just break is fucking way baka. tom comes w/me and we take the boat only a couple of miles away (used the internet to find the closest pad). I used ford dealerships cuz of bad experience w/some oil/lube pads. fuck, tom tells me about a van he had that the clowns at this baka pad forgot to put an oil filler lid back on and a fire resulted under the hood that melted up the entire electrical harness! never was the same. across the road is gas station where I have another one of those little econo chili dogs like I had yesterday but there's no kraut. back at the dealership, I gotta move to the show room cuz the lounge has got the tv on big loud w/some kind of jerry springer-type crap - fuck that shit, it'll make me crazy. soon enough the boat's all genki so me and tome drive back, stopping on the way to get some psyllium husks (orange flavored) cuz that's one easy way to keep healthy on the road for cats like us (our age), sort of like maintenance for the boat, huh?
it's only 140 miles to jacksonville from here so it's relax time. I chimp diary in a room where nobuyuki and kouzou are working on composing a new lite song. I keep quiet and chimp but am intrigued on their process, their way of getting a tune together. nobuyuki let's a robot drum track play on his 'puter soft while him and kouzou work their guitars, searching for shit that'll work together. at one point I feel the direction a little latin, then a little like "pirate music" or whatever - it's trippy to see how they do what they do, what's behind what I see them work on stage. brother jun is feeling a little better and sits by me, so does akinori. there's hardly any talk, kazuto-san sits across, writing up on single sleeves (limited edition) - they all work as a team, even at relaxed points like this. I can dig it.
christine makes us up some spaghetti so I wait 'til everyone gets theirs and whoops, all gone! that's ok - she says she'll make more but both her dogs chow it off the plate when I go to get my hashi to chow it w/but I ain't starving though she feels bad so she makes me up a ham sandwich before we gotta bail at three bells. very nice weather out though you can tell the swelter will be here in a matter of days. christine, so kind to all of us - GIANT respect to her. we pull anchor and waive bye, very grateful.
up I-4 to I-95, jacksonville is the far east part of I-10, the same road that bookends in the west at santa monica back in cali - ain't that a trip? I did a phoner on the way up, first a call w/my press man howard, enlightening up to him the sitch in the van and maybe it relates a little differently w/what's outside the van. I get him to produce some belly laughs. I love howard much. we're playing "jack rabbits," a pad I've worked bunches of times before. the neighborhood sure has changed though, especially in the back where I can park the boat no prob. and brother rob is here as soundman still, righteous! he's very good people, first meeting him w/my pair of pliers (tom and vince meghrouni) playing w/his band sam hill like ten years ago maybe. damn. he sure is a good cat and perfect to be fourth member of the opera tonight. we do soundcheck w/him, rob from screen arts in saint augustine shows up w/his buddy damian and gets us all tacos from close by, good carnitas ones that taste healthy if not all the mexican, kind of like yesterday. I really like them though, especially when tom goes to the boat to get habanero sauce to spike up the salsa that came w/these eats. rob takes a picture of the anchor that hangs around my neck, he wants to make a new mike watt sticker out of it. he's been the cat all these years printing my "man in the van" ones. respect to him. you know what's a trip? he says this ford plant on the jacket I'm wearing that ronnie gave me is where his pop worked - damn!
the opening band is sn0re, great cats from here though one now lives in indiana. I've played their music many times on my radio show and am so happy to get yet some more new music from them from their mainman anthony... hey, one tune "elevator" I've already played - I'll play it again! I go konk in the boat.
hell, I pop out of some sweaty crazy konk thinking of tom's first week of diary, a first-timer for us: an audio version. that pad where rob got the tacos has open internet and damn if they ain't got bandwidth there - I get tom's spiel up in few minutes and also download the debut album mixes from "the hand to man band" which john dieterich just finished. this proj was done last summer in austin and has john on guitar, me on bass, thollem mcdonas on piano and tim barnes on drums. we did it in three days at nicholas taplin's pad w/him engineering. got no time to listen though - tom's here to say it's gig time.
I thank sn0re, thank the gig-goers for being so kind to the lite brothers and then bring on the third opera. damn if I don't space and get distracted when I see big man casey out there - him, phil and owen is here for their third and final time to see us work the piece, much respect to them. I really like casey so it's not like he freaked me out, I don't know what it was but I blow some spiel and bass clams but not enough to really wreck any shit real bad but... yeah, this piece at its core is about like is for learning and damn if I ain't making that apparent enough w/this kind of stuff. tom and especially raul work the gig real good, real good. fuck though if I don't get out of key in the final solo of the final part ("wheel-bound-man"), jesus h christ! aaarrrgggghhh, that was embarrassing. I brought it back around but damn, what a fucking baka. the encores go better though I even blow some clams there too - whoa, what a clam night for baka watt.
it's a happening vibe though and I don't let that stuff beat me down though I do wanna think about it a little later, as much as tour life can make that possible. for sure I don't want get mired or wail too many self-beats on my own self. one man has brought his son to the gig and he also got him earlier in the day a bass guitar, whoa. the young man calls me mr watt, much respect to him. there are so many nice folks to give me the good word, hugs, picture/signature requests - all very kind things making me want them to feel genuine gratitude from me. this is our fourth and final florida gig this tour and I've heard so much from folks in this state that lots of music peoples have been bypassing them. man, that's lame. every pad deserves to get music coming through, that's what I think. there's very cool peoples here. we get the trippiest sulpture of j mascis - can't wait to glue his ass to the dash of the boat... very happening.
I go settle w/gigboss paul. he tells me the story of jonathan richman leaving w/out getting paid and when they caught up w/him, jonathan just opened up the van sidehatch and through the fist of bills in like it was just flung like lose papers or something, just flung them. ain't that a trip? I like him. paul's cool people too. one more big hug for brother rob and then the sn0re guys. we follow my old friend el to her pad in the avondale part of town. she's an engineer and just got this pad. she's made up jambalaya which is great for our lite brothers, the first time they've ever chowed this and she did a righteous job. whoa, I get the purple gig shirt washed again, along w/the socks and a shitagi - I shower before getting in the nightwear too. what a great way to end a gig, righteous. her buddy jeff brought a little canadian whiskey, he's cool people. I konk on the couch not long after he bails, I am tuckered but very happy. thank you big time for you being so kind to my men and the lite brothers, el, thank you.
friday, march 25, 2011 - atlanta, ga
pop at eight bells to find the dog that runs show around here (corgi/jack russell mix named "radar" had konked w/me and in fact kept head under my hand like for rubs - actually I think I was somehow giving rubs to him while konked - is it possible? I know as soon as I knew I was popped immediately I did give him headrubs and whenever I stopped, he put the top of his hand under my palm for more - seems radar wanted infinite rubs.
we gotta pull anchor at nine and a half, I chimp up diary until the lite brothers and my guys pop and get their shit together, they do their hosing off now. el goes across the street to borrow coff for us, so kind. her backyard is a proj she says but she's done a righteous job on the pad so I know she'll do the same w/this. we talk about ed fROMOHIO some, I tell her I hope I get to play w/him in pittsburgh - unfortunately when he last called I was w/the stooges for that "big day out" tour.
it's kind of sad day in a way cuz tonight's our last gig w/the lite brothers and tomorrow they have to fly back home to tokyo. I love these cats so much, SO MUCH. we got kind of hellride ahead, over three hundred miles to atlanta and we gotta be there for instore in the little five points area of atlanta (not far from tonight's venue) cuz I've worked it out that they will play for the folks there. I think that's much more important than baka watt signing stuff though I wanna be kind to folks, I think another way of being kind is letting them hear these cats play, letting me turn them on to them. I blow their minds by luckily stumbling onto a subway sandwiches pad less than a half mile away - out of all ten of us, only half maybe chow here this time. you know what I ordered...
the weather get cooler slightly after driving west some to leave the I-10 for north on the I-75 (once again over the suwannee river - the only freeway river sign w/a music staff w/notes on it!), it's still sunny and clear though. I have to make two stops w/out getting gas, one at a rest area cuz there of "short stay" - I ain't saying it was what I just chowed but it got blown out real quick, in these two stops - that's what the stops were for! I discuss it only a little w/my men, they understand. better than a blowout in the boat.
about two hours out from where we need to be, I hand the wheel over to raul - I think maybe this is the first time ever but I think it's important he knows I believe in him working the conn. tom too says his eyes don't work so well. I chimp diary as raul does excellent job - I feel bad for him when traff really starts to plug up and we slow to fucking crawl. damn it. looks like we're gonna be half an hour late. shit but late is better than in an accident so I keep perspective. atlanta is THE big city of the south and they got the people and cars to prove it... is this a good thing? lots of good folks here though so that's what I like. we get to criminal records (great cats eric and shannon there) w/enough time for our lite brothers to play 'pert-near their whole set. there's some burritos here to for us to chow but trip on this: we've had "tacos" and "burritos" for the last three days but none of them taste mexican! I ain't saying they're unhealthy but there's no mexican taste and maybe I'm spoiled living in my pedro town (about so many things) but I miss mexican taste! I ain't bellyaching though, sorry if it sounds like that - just tripping on this stuff a little. the lite brothers play righteous for the store goers, I'm so proud of them. we hustle on over (via some fucking maze-like machi-gai driving from me) to "the earl" and yep, too late for soundcheck but I think it was ok to miss that in order to give our buddies the chance to do instore performance. I brought them out for these ten gigs to show them this part of u.s. but also I did it to show this part of u.s. to see and hear them. there's a band called ricer opening tonight (I asked for them to be put on via advice from my old buddy jon kincaid) and they're most kind to let kouzou use an amp, big respect. I go to the boat to konk.
it was not tough konk cuz of cooler georgia verses warmer florida. I pop somehow - I wanted to pop in time to see my lite brothers one more time and fuck-if-I-know-how but I did. a nice man named justin sees me as I hobble up to the back hatch and fuck, there's a wood "handrail" (hardly) that gives me a splinter on my left ring finger, FUCK! I hobble back to the boat and get out the swiss army knife I got in there w/the like thirty-something blades/stuff and get the tweezers for justin to get this fucking splinter out. he does good, gets most of it. I use a blade to slice open just a tiny bit - shit, I got a blood blister (very tiny one) on the side of my palm last night and raul got that bastard w/my john coltrane pin. I thank justin much. old buddy chuck reese sees me at the back hatch - he can't get in cuz of the sold out sitch so I ask for him on the list to the security man. chuck had us minutemen konk w/him back when we were in this town to open for rem for two nights at the fox, circa 1985, our last tour. chuck's a great cat, I'm glad I could help him. ok, to see my buddies once more: lite is incredible and the packed pad is digging them - they've been dug for every crowd I've had in front of them, truly. there's no hype about it: they just play their hearts out and folks react the way they do which is very enthusiastic. respect. their language: sonkei.
our turn, we're up right quick - so happening they adjusted to make switchover quick. thirty coming on midnight when I start the piece after thank the folks for being so nice to our buddies. I need more guitar from tom pretty quick - soundman peregrine has to be on the fly cuz he didn't even get to hear us soundcheck but he seems like cool people and said he would be attentive and never leave the soundboard. I got a good feeling about him, felt trust so I thought he do the best that could be done. sometimes you believe like that, after many years, I've learned that and it's ok. what I don't need is tom REAL FUCKING LOUD in my monitors but that's no one's fault. how could peregrine know (I don't wanna stop the piece) and tom is not understanding me pointing at my mouth and then pointing down as meaning anything that makes any sense - sorry! some of his voice blasts 'pert-near knock me over - like those shocks in dallas last week! I get so startled in "antlered-man" I totally fuck up both the bass and spiel at different times. tom has some challenges too, like the strap coming off in "hill-man" and raul misreading me wanting him NOT to stop and stumbling some (I seriously want the piece whole w/out any breakups) but overall I like what we did and the atlanta folks were incredibly generous w/their energy for the piece, very much. I can imagine them weirded-out but still they in a way "nurtured" the piece for us, trippy, yes but I felt that way. fuck, I got out of key a little in the last solo - this has been happening, my fingers being a halftone the wrong way cuz of the bass hanging on me weird cuz of fucked-up knee and standing all stiff and unnatural. fuck, frustrating. this was good gig though and spirit of the folks, like I said - they carried the gig in lots of ways. respect to everyone here, gig-goers and workers, respect.
many people talk w/me, many give me stuff - I get a sack of john coltrane pins, whoa! six of them, beautiful, just beautiful. so many folks w/bands - I sign one man's first bass! wendy and her man eric drove all the way from new orleans to see us again, respect! I sign a few of the "spiels of a minueman" book, whoa, surprise for me. tommy from the rent boys (by the way, I met one of the main c-11 cats at the instore earlier, a nice cat named paul - so good to see him after so long!) is here to give me the good word and hugs, he's got new music going now w/west end motel - so good to see him again. same w/dave simpson, a big fan from the minutemen days - him and his buddy mike stiley along w/big dave and another mike (who was his bandmate in their band "the econo dudes" a band according to them inspired by the minutemen) - very sad news cuz I know stiley passed away recently and my friend dave here actually was at the hospital when it happened. so sad, big time sad for dave, fuck. big hug, compassion, it is very heavy thing for me. it is strong emotion in me, hurt w/the sadness. I feel so bad for dave. this is out in the lot - right after the gig, in the pad there was much kindness from gig-goers and actually dave had work too late to see me play so I ask him to come tomorrow and see the third opera in athens. I sure hope he can. miss hiyori is here too from germany, her first time in georgia.
very cool people tim and beth invite us all to konk at their pad in the indian lakes part of town. it's a very nice pad and the earl gigboss gave me a bottle of jim beam so some big pours after the nightwear goes on but I don't last all that long cuz of being tuckered and also sad the lite brothers are leaving us.
saturday, march 26, 2011 - athens, ga
pop on the couch about eight and a half, that was a good couch to konk on. make my way to the backyard via beth's ceramics studio, many slip-casting molds neatly stacked - very shipshape for this kind of work which can be notoriously messy. there's results from the casts too, beautiful stuff. very gray out, it looks like rain's coming which is trippy cuz the lite brothers must leave us now and I wanna cry but wanna be strong so maybe the sky will cry for me? our first bad weather of the tour.
I hose off but return to the nightwear cuz our next gig is in athens and that's only around seventy miles east of here. we'll stay 'til about two but it's time for the lite brothers now to bail for the airport... hugs all around - man, we're gonna miss these dear men. miss peak takes a last picture of us together...
damn, wish she could've been it too... should've worked the auto-timer, huh? nobuyuki, kouzou, jun, akinori and kazoo - all righteous cats who came to play these ten gig w/us from texas to georgia w/all their soul and never one moan or bellyache - nothing but fucking happening total spirit to the max go for it w/us, shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart. my lameass ability at language pales pitifully to measure up to even the most tiny iota of love I got for these men. man, I wanna bawl my eyes out so I go back in tim's pad quick as they roll away in their rental vehicle for the airport and bury my head into getting tom's words-eye-view tour diary together. tom did twice as much time to do week two cuz last night before the gig he was not alone but w/the lite cats - I asked him to do that so you people could hear their own actual voices in the small spots tom's yammer stutters enough to let you. while I'm doing this I'm also talking w/tim cuz he is a most interesting cat. I blow some imovie clams but eventually get the content uploaded so we can pull anchor. huge thank yous for tim and he's so very kind to say we always got a konk pad in the atlanta area that's safe and happening - hugs from a most grateful watt.
we pull anchor and head east. soon though is a stop for both the boat's and all our own tanks. there's a chow pad called "pisano's" hooked right onto the filling station and as I pump, tom gets me two dogs, new york and chicago. they're good, not typical dogs, nope. for some reason though, bob-san says someone's gonna puke cuz of these - what? I get us first to a ups store on the outskirts of athens so we can mail back the cymbals akinori gave us cuz paiste only loaned it them for these u.s. gigs. tom goes and checks a nearby att store to see if he can replace his broken leash but only raul's mission (he jumped out of the boat to ship the cymbals) is successful. athens is a town for the university of georgia and we're playing downtown not too far from the campus at a pad called the "40 watt club" which I've played many many times. however, monitor man wilson enlightens me for the first time that it was a thrift store before and not a supermarket like I thought. he also says it was a funeral home before that and shows me the oven to burn stuff. whoa. you learn something new every day, huh? four pm and the rain's starting to come now - in a couple hours will be lightning and thunder. we soundcheck w/both wilson and front-of-house knobman asa. wilson says he digs the short checks we do. bosslady barrie's here, yatta!
off to the boat after chowing a burger tom and raul brought me from a pad called "clocked" that actually I did not have to chew cuz this motherfucker was one of the greasiest ever gutbombs (bun too) that basically slid right down the in-hole. in the boat, lots of flashes of lightning/peels of thunder - I wanna let go and holler but am afraid I'll hurt further hurt my knee. I hear the opening band and wanna see them, j roddy walston and the business - damn, these cats can play, whoa! fuck yeah, piano! they get done and wanna talk to me about the old days while the stage gets switched up for us. we talked earlier, such nice cats and lit up now that they worked so hard. young men but know some of the old days, yeah - they are very kind and even all sweaty, there's stuff from michael azerrad's "our band could be your life" they wanna know about, I answer them and am touched by their enthusiasm - this right after they wailed their asses off. respect.
we go up to do the piece, good crowd. happening monitors, whoa - really happening. I blow some clams pretty quick though cuz I'm nervous a little, don't know why but inside I rally myself in order to join w/my guys and do the third opera justice. I think part of the prob was actually already missing the lite brothers - kind a weird kind of distraction. most of the clams are crazy stupid ones like reversing the intervals and shit like that. ay caramba, baka watt! you're out there on this stage, folks on the port side of me too. I try to make eye contact, the lights working well and not distracting. the monitors were left from last week's snoop-dog gig that was here and gotta go back monday so we lucked out. even more though, I think it's wilson's really caring about his work that's making it happen. tom/raul/myself have it pretty together tonight on the dynamics. I told the folks before we started it was a weird piece and for sure there's some yammering at the bar which is on my side but I hold focus. we did pretty good. I was the weak link but it all was pretty happening. the encores wailed but I had the tone knob on the bass all down - I think I thought it was the volume and was wondering where all that high end went... again: baka watt! it was hard gig for tom, he's got hayfever and lost body energy through last half of opeara but brought it back some for the encores. I admire so much is can-do spirit. raul did beautiful drums too... I love my men so, truly.
damn but are the gig-goers so kind, not slapping bald spots upside my head for all the clams, for my weakness, for my craziness. I am very grateful. out in the crowd, here's tim from atlanta w/his buddy max, righteous! yeah! jon kincaid again, yeah! ricer singer/slinger brandi also! so many folks w/the hug, w/the good hand, the good word - very grateful watt. hiro noodles is here (saw him earlier at incredible low yo yo stuff record store) - it was his girlfriend who made the john coltrane buttons, those most happening ones I got yesterday, wow! thanks and respect! wilson the bassman again! back to get my bass (don't donate now, watt!), more good speil pictures w/the j roddy cats - they come and give me such kindness, whoa. david barbe from the old days comes to say hi w/his boy who's a bass player w/his buddy on drums, great! david wants me to come be a speaker for something at the university he wants to get going cuz he's now boss some kind of department there. sure, I'll spiel about jamming econo, no prob. patterson from the drive-by truckers comes to say hi, what a very kind man he is to me, very genuine w/his words. I feel like such a weird person when I reveal myself w/the opera - fuck, when I get up a work the bass period so I really take to heart what folks share like this w/me. thank you, patterson and thank you, dave. the waterman has brought his son and they come say hi - the waterman who brings water to barrie's pad, where she's invited us to konk - how many times have I konked at the jester house? what a bitchin' pad, truly... and she is such great people, righteous. I go back to visit w/jason, very righteous people. man, the cats here - velena's twentieth year booking the 40 watt, respect! oh man, oh man - jeff behind the bar, respect to him too - everyone here! I go back for one more baka check and singerman j roddy says to me "thank you for doing something sincere" which is beautiful.
barrie rides w/us to her pad. she's got a bottle of jim beam... a couple of big pours w/water for me - then some pizza gets ordered... raul's idea? barrie fixes me up a couch in one of the very bitchin' rooms in this old pad of many rooms and many things. usually I'm topside w/the low overhead but my fucking knee, you know? before I konk we get to hear great spiel from her - VERY interesting stuff, love it. I'm in the nightwear, the gig shirt gets washed - whoa! there's a righteous cat I can't remember but has more toes I think than most - trippy the black and white on the coat, too. I study the whiskers a little bit and think maybe I'd look more young if I lost this beard that's coming on but fuck it - I shave when I get back to my pedro town. maybe superstitious like a sailor?
sunday, march 27, 2011 - charleston, sc
pop at eight bells and think of something - I do have a konk mask in my backwacksack... one strap is broke but it should still function. I go fish it out and voila, I get two more hours of konk - righteous cuz I need it for health. when I do pop, I take my camera and start snapping up shots of this jester house pad cuz it is so righteous. it's not just all the things but what things are by other things, the dynamic between them. it's a trip and I love it. I break only to hose off and for coff makin' - I get a call from my ma cuz she's worried cuz she heard on the news there's baseball-sized hail in lousiana so first I gotta explain to her a little geography and then let her know I'm ok, me and my men are ok and doing good. my ma gives me huge news: she's gonna retire on wednesday. whoa. she's seventyfive now. she's decided she wants to be involved in community, into political action. big respect for my ma.
I guess my fucking voice rousted everyone but it was getting on that time anyhow so we get some good last spiels in w/barrie - she's just the best, truly. man, interested/interesting open/exploring and word-skilled non-shilled, just love it. we gotta shove off northeast so deep bow and kiss her hand... pull anchor! the skies getting grayer and wetter as we head for charleston. thank you so much ms barrie.
this first leg we sail is no interstate - it's backroad (ga-22 'til we get on I-20 right near at crawfordville) which makes it kind of interesting to see the little towns and countryside closer up rather than the freeway blow-by. one trip is that it's part of the "civil war heartland leaders trail" and what's to say about that (I showed my guys the double-barrled cannon by the athens city hall when we were getting out of dodge)? all the young men killed in that war... so many years I've toured through these parts and yeah, you see that flag and stuff like this but I'm always thinking of all the young men killed - all the everyone killed actually and fuck, why? really, why? I've been told so many reasons, all of us have. it's fucking weird. I think for sure is was u.s. people on u.s. people. I hope there's another one. I've been told "hope" is a weak word but I am clumsy w/language. I like playing all over the u.s., all over. I feel I have to learn more and also it's kind of my mission. I love this work. I am not trying to be evasive w/my spiel.
time for our daily dose of mr richard and the spielgusher album. we anchor for gas just before getting on the interstate and the counterman (a young man) recognizes me - he's from a little town, he says. it's a little town here where he works. I think about barrie just a little while ago telling me about reading press on me and writers calling san pedro "a little harbor town" and then how when went w/her niece and nephew to nearby long beach, she was mindblown by the massiveness of the port we're part of, like 'pert-near three hundred hammerheads and thousands of cans working on huge boats from asia. what a trip.
south carolina is the home of james jamerson. he did his biggest bass work in detroit but he was from here. I think he was around eighteen when he moved north. man, I owe so much to that man and what he did for bass guitar - I think all of us working that machine owe him whether we know or not - I hate to sound like I'm speaking as some sort of fucking know-it-all, being all presumptuous and shit but man, did he pave the fucking way! I gotta give respect and hopefully folks working this big stringed thing can check him out. when people want me to talk bass I feel it is my obligation to make things more james jamerson aware, I feel it strong from inside and it's a true feeling - it's what I feel when I hear him on the recordings he's part of.
just after passing columbia, the big town in middle for this state, time to switch ponies w/tom so I can chimp diary. he gets us in to charleston safe but we're not downtown like usual but on nearby james island at a pad called "the pour house" which is run by a nice cat named alex. he's busy painting. soundman brooks is very cool and does a quick soundcheck w/us before we chow on cuba comidas from next door, I have some bistek and a salad - good eats. oh, directing to the side load hatch is doug from openers the fairy god muthas who is righteous cool people, offering us a konk pad right off the bat, damn! his drummerman ballard wants to use raul's drums and we say sure. man, I hear him do a version of "search and destroy" he's reworked and love it much (video of it here) - I gotta let ig know!
I go konk in the boat, some lady in the back patio area's playing acoustic solo. man, I konk hard but it's good I brought the yellow jacket and there's a couple blankies back here. tom rousts me out of a total hibernated-man fathoms deep out-of-it. whoa.
up on the stage, here we go. the charleston folks are very attentive but I can imagine in their minds what a crazyman piece they must be experiencing. my men are good, tom and raul real working it good though I think tom got a little winded maybe two-thirds of the way in, good playing (I think his pick went flying at one point which is a trip cuz tom uses a thumbpick) but a little connection lost w/raul and some foot stares 'til he rallied himself... well, like an idiot I implored "look at each other" at the beginning of "lute-and-dagger-man" but didn't mean it to be really all that hear but rather felt - does that makes sense? no! baka watt! oh, earlier was the first time I heard laughter in "pinned-to-the-table-man" though all along I've thought this would bring much rolling on the deck... it was only a couple ones - oh, here's something funny: "mouse-headed-man" got tiny and so did the gig-goers - all except one, I looked over to port and it was bob-san yammerin' - I had to laugh a little, couldn't help it. bob-san has great heart though, great heart. I hope this doesn't sound like a beatdown on him.
very grateful watt for the chucktown (I learned this what they call themselves) gig-goers, great GREAT cats. from the old days, rockin' rodney, very cool people - big hug, brother. lots of folks her remind of past charleston gigs - one man tells me about seeing me and my missingmen last time I was here w/his wife heavy w/child and their baby being "rocked out" (his words) the next day! too much bass? sorry! a new shipmate is a beautiful thing though, beautiful. I hear about "cumberland's" being gone, damn... I really liked the boss there. the folks here are great, no wonder happening gig-goers are here on a sunday night. I thank one man for standing right in front of me, giving all the focus he could cuz it help me w/confidence. there was lots of that actually, no in-the-back-attack but lots of support - most all this tour's been like that, even for this wack piece. much respect. rockin' rodney tells me the woodman is out somewhere in wyoming. woodman was a big supporter from the old days and the real deal, I have much respect for him - it'd be so great to see him again. tour is like this, you know? a kind of fabric I treasure. the barman wants to know about my orange converses, he wants some. I say they came in the mail cuz they did, from scotland - a very kind gift to me.
we follow doug to nearby west ashley and his pad's an old train station house that got moved here from somewhere else years ago. he's got it real zen but there's a jimi poster on every bulkhead. it's a real personal pad - I dig it when individuality is expressed in all kinds of ways by folks. he's got a bitchin' futon/couch I put myself on once nightwear is fitted. he got a bottle of seven year old jim beam and we talk about ideas people have what we should be and the reality of what people are - learning that by the tour life and how it's happening miss peak's here to make an art of finding that out by her snaps. we talk about music too, about him being in a soul band a number of years - about him playing once w/james jamerson's son! said it a mindblow, the cat could really smoke, whoa, respect. he said too he was kind expecting of me being more thug w/the thud but after experience tonight's gig, thought I had a little sophisto going which I found very kind of him. thanks so much, brother doug. oh yeah, he says mister whiskas here (an orange/white shorthair) came w/the pad but he reasons mister whiskas tells the cats around the neighborhood he (doug) is the one that came w/the pad! good way to konk, knowing that.
monday, march 28, 2011 - chapel hill, nc
pop at ten and a quarter bells - alright! the konk mask, it is working - even w/one strap broke! I hose off in the shower doug rigged up real good to work w/the old tub... I did something like this for k in my fourteenth street pad in pedro - trippy, that pad was moved to where I lived in it from downtown l.a. - you know what? it had just one outlet! yeah, the whole fucking pad ran on one outlet. two wire too so I ran a ground wire out the window and down to a pipe that went into the earth, mister shimmy style. I lived in that one room pad nine years - cuz it was econo... drove k fucking crazy. man, I was such an asshole not to see that. I am such a slow learner.
doug ran and got coff, what a brother. skies are gray, real gray - good bye hugs and I tell him I'll lay some bass on his stooges cover when I get off tour. we pull anchor and head west on the I-20 w/in minutes the sky opens up - I mean really opens up and pisses a whole fucking ocean on us, 'pert-near like a hurricane but not big wind, just huge HUGE fucking water. oh man, is this gonna be the whole drive? luckily before columbia we clear the storm, must be heading the other way we are. northeast on I- and we stop in santee to fuel the boat and stop at some chow pad named "craig's deli" to shovel, skies still gray but at least we're dry now. they got a rueben here called "the jean" so I chow one of them w/a little salsa-like holder full of rotelli antipasta and it's pretty good - the rueben heat-squished panini-like. there was this trailer we parked next to w/what looked like pieces of rebarb all gathered together a huge stick bundle helter-skelter and I guess miss peak was getting some pictures of it (I already did) cuz this cuz this cat comes up to the window of the boat and asks "what's up?" saying his wife saw someone taking pictures and all so I tell him we ain't cops and just traveling around saw that trailer looking kind of artistic and he says ok about that but I could see on his face that maybe "what the fuck?" or something but bails and doesn't pursue anything. I hope miss peak is careful w/the camera. maybe there's stereotype w/asian w/camera? what I know is she's an artist and I respect her much. besides the daily spielgusher dose, I fire up the ipod for some other tunes, like television in 2004 doing "little johnny jewel" (in the middle of this tune is where I kind of got the title of the next secondmen album), tenko "at the top of mt broken" (love her) and an album worth rare okinawa folk music (I can't read who the musicians are, sorry) complete w/sanshin courtesy of miss kaori - the most tuneage we've listened to in a day yet this tour.
we cross into north carolina and the sun's out now. great. the navigator (it's a garmin nuvi) plots us right through the middle of the tarheel campus! I guess it's some kind of short cut maybe? I guess if if you're in a college town maybe the best way around is plowing through the school, ha! cloud rug rolls up over us so it's a little cooler but no rain. I park us right in front of "local 506" which is where we're playing tonight. last time I was here it was a halloween w/the secondmen, I remember. I get a slice of pizza a couple doors down - only two bucks and what low and rough italian accent on the counterman there, distinctive! I can dig it. I meet gigboss glenn who is very cool people, we got time before soundcheck so I chimp diary in the boat after doing a phoner w/a cat in cleveland - I tell the man (john) about my plan to one day do a "ball-hog or tugboat" cleveland version album - just come w/my bass/tunes and do it w/that town's music cats.
we do soundcheck w/soundman patrick - hey, I find out he's a bassman, respect! I tell him he's the fourth man in the band tonight, he seems very into it, I am most grateful. the opening band is free electric state and damn if their man david ain't the same cat who was in "liquor bike" which I played w/like maybe eighteen years ago at johns-hopkins in baltimore! whoa. and here's teej http://www.facebook.com/ITJ57, my dear old friend who I played alongside in "porno for pyros" in those tours we did back 1996! big hugs for teej, big hugs - he brought his buddy richard too, cool people. bill and barbara come from tannis root so I can pay them in person for the tour shirts - what beautiful people, beautiful - I love them much. I go to chimp diary and a little later tom brings me a burrito from some place near I don't know. you can guess it's w/out mexican taste but at least there's habaneros in it. I konk but pop after a little while to get another of the indian blankies we got in the boat on me cuz god damn is it cold in here.
tom comes to get me for the gig, I hear him say he don't know where to grab to roust me! I bring in the bass and get on stage (one stair then milk carton, then stage) - man, is the dan bass out of tune, oh my god. it's fucking freezing too. so like an idiot, I forget to mute and do the tune-tune... actually, I'm trying to wake some and you know what, I'm feeling some gut pain from that "burrito" or whatever it was. we do the piece. well, I put in a different kind of pause before "fryingpan-man" and throw raul off (tom too, a little) and damn if I don't have to stop the piece for a moment - fuck, I hate doing that! I'm thinking maybe I should've just rode it out but we were on opposite sides and well, anyway - I stopped in after a couple of bars but got us right back in. there was also a giant clam in "antlered-man" where I spaced on the second verse, thinking it was the longer third one - fucking baka. but you know what, it's a good go on it, tom and raul did really fine - great eye contact and stuff. I had an idea about moving my monitors back so I could be there more w/raul w/out him so much behind me and our "angle" keeping its integrity cuz we've lost some of by me being on the stage port side (I'll switch back when I get healthier) but the monitors I was using got pushed up too much... we'll try out this idea again tomorrow in richmond. it's important for me and my guys to have good eye contact, very important. at the end I thank the folks. let me tell you this though: the last part was very hard cuz of that gutbomb trying kick it's way out - I was feeling the mule at the barn door big time! fuck. the habaneros were sweating out from me (hot in this pad but ok) and that was a vapor on the brain thing but this fucking stomach/intestine wrench was not doing me good at all and I had to fight it big time. I thought for sure it was gonna blow right out and down my fucking leg and onto the deck, whew. when we come back out I say I did tonight for tom's girlfriend caroline cuz she's going through a real tough time - tom told us earlier when we riding in the boat. we do the encores and tom does real good as does raul, damn, are they great GREAT cats to share a stage, share and opera w/and I can't give enough respect to them, just can't. I sing stuff and give out stickers but man, I'm wishing big time it could hurry up - not out of disrespect of the gig-goers but cuz of this fucking impending assblast about to be actualized! somehow I take care of as much as I can and then race up to the dressing room head - oh no, tons of stairs but I make it up there and in to the head just in time to blow it fucking seriously out, whew. you never knew a more relieved man ever on this planet. ever.
the gig-goers tonight too are just righteous. jumbo and laura - her handmade soaps, thank you thank you to both of them! hugs! people from ed fROMOHIO's "grand national" band, jenny and laura - laura invites us to her pad in the woods, where her and melissa have their band the moaners but before we head there I got others I gotta say bye to - like teej! one young man (yeah, he looked YOUNG) told me he was at the last minutemen gig - us opening for rem in charlotte in 1985. he said d. boon kicked off his shoes when we did "see no evil" (television cover) w/them for their encore. this cat said he took d. boon's shoes and was walking away w/them in his coat pockets but then before leaving, turned around and brought them back, saying he couldn't take the man's shoes cuz they might be his only ones. whoa. I settle w/gigboss glenn - he tells me about seeing us minutemen w/rem and taking d. boon and georgie to the radio station after I think the charlotte one and I was sick in the boat and had to stand behind. he said d. boon put him on the mailing list, the radio station he was at and cuz of that, he got notified right when you know what happened. damn. miss hiyori came, her first time to north carolina. I'm so glad skipper jeff's buddy can give her a ride so she's safe.
we follow laura into the woods not too far away but down some dirt backroads. last time I was here was w/the secondmen maybe six years ago and organman pete woke up to find a taratula the size of your hand all hairy right by his head, climbing up the couch! in fact it's right where bob-san konks (too cold out in the boat) but I don't tell him. laura does wash for us - righteous! melissa comes home from work and she gets a little pizza going. we talk a little about mississippi and hattiesburg - tal's dart bar! I'm already in the nightwear and onto the couch - laura's got robert osborne on the tv (everyone in the boat respects this man much!) and introduces "jason and the argonauts" which gets me spieling to her about greek myth stuff: homer and his two big works but I think it is tired confused speak and I think I konk before making any sense, miss peak very much bearing witness.
tuesday, march 29, 2011 - richmond, va
Had very restful sleep, but also weird dream that loo had an identical twin brother doing merch at one of his gigs, but had this odd feeling that he was just playing a joke on me too, kinda trippy, who's the real loo? Watt and bob were already awake having discussion at kitchen table, maybe over some coff, i didn't smell it though. I just needed to get my clothes outta the dryer so i wouldn't space and forget them. Hopped in shower since it's been a couple of days, and put on some fresh clothes. Watt asked me if how long till i'd be ready to bail, maybe ten minutes and i am ready. My plan, so i'm not tailin everyone is to try to get my things in the van as soon as i'm up, that way when it's time to go i don't have to waste the time gettin all my shit together. Watt lets us know that we have a crash pad for after the gig, and that if we get outta here quick enough, we can go there and have a little down time before soun check.
Great weather all the way to richmond, a little chill in the air, but no intense rain like the past couple of days, very thankful for that. We hit a rain storm yesterday morning that was pretty scary. I don't like drivin' in the rain, people are just way too dangerous, and in a van with weight like this you already have to be so aware of what's going on way down the road. Easy going ride, with watt doing some phoners along the way. I know this may sound lame, but i thought it was kinda funny when bobs machine started to feed back when he was trying to record the interview watt was doing. I understand that it's hard for mike to hear in the van, with motor and all, i really do. Just the look of shock on bob's face when that thing started squelling was hilarious to me. Mike was a good sport about it too. Shit happens.
Once we are off the road and near the house, we get a message from kyle that a restuarant friend of his eric is gonna bring over some bar b que for for us to chow before we have to bail for sound check. Laura had suggested that we get some carolina que before we left the state, but i spaced and didn't mention it to the rest of the crew. Well, not carolina que, but i guess it was ment to be any way. This man eric brought over some very good food. Big slab of ribs, pulled pork with buns to make sanwhiches, barbaqued chicken, with some killer slaw and beans on the side. Thanks so much to him and his wife for that.
We chowed fast, i think in about five minutes, seriously wolfed. We have a 6 load in, in the food came around five thirty. Close drive to the club though, and we are there in about 10 minutes. Never played here before, my last time here was opening the dino gigs, and that was at a big theatre that a can't recall the name of, the national maybe?. This place today is in an old cobble stoney part of town. Really neat scenery, old but looks clean, like the set of a movie set in 30's, or kinda like a mini chicago. Hmmm. load in was a bit weird, i wasn't there to do it, and while they were schlepin the gear, a was waithin for someone to answer the door, doh! No one bothered to tell me that the entrance was in the back, and i was waitin like a dope for the guys to loop it.
On the up tonight. In chapel hill, we kinda figured out a way to set up that's just a touch diffrent, but makes it possible to have way better eye contact and some over all communication. It helped in hill, and tonite helped even more. People in the audience don't seem to mind that we are not playing to them either. Tonite i noticed that people up front were getting fired up that we were playing to each other. I liked too, during the middle part when we get quite, the contact helps me with confidence. Nothing lamer than feeling alone on stage when you got other players with you. Thanks so much to all the kind people who came out on a tuesday to see us play.
After a quick load out, and some blow by's thanks to garmin, we finally make it back to kyle's place. When we rolled up, he already had the bar b que fired up, cookin up some hat italian sausage with peppers and onions. So good, especially topped with siracha, horseradish, and spicy mustard. Thanks again kyle.
pop at eight and half - did have to make piss run a couple of hours before and damn if miss peak was still up! man, I hope she don't get run down - one of them biggest dangers of tour life. I hose off and then look for coff filters but have no luck. miss peak finds them though. however, her brew is from some flavored coff and for me that tastes like shit. outside w/the woods right there, I do skype w/eiko-san, doing prac on the english-go. she tells me some plutonium has been found near that fukushima nightmare in her land, fuck. prayers for japan, prayers and real help.
it's tough pulling anchor when time to go at noon... afraid to say there was some dawdling but this is a great crew and I love them. the hobbled one gets out of the boat which is in the dirt road w/motor running and rounds up the loose-enders or rather folks engaged in loose-ender mode...
finally the boat w/us in it is away... but it's fucking plug-city in chapel hill once we get out of the woods, takes like a fucking hour to get to I-85 towards virginia. a gas stop for the boat, a gas stop for watt cuz I get a twofer back of refrigerator chilidogs for the microwave, miss peak preps them w/yellow mustard - everyone's betting on either a puke or an asswise blowout courtesy of these dung products... time will tell but I can't tell you what motivated to roll the dice in this way. just before the border where north carolina ends we see like eight/nine/ten law enforcement vehicles of different departments (state trooper, unmarked, police, sheriff) all w/lights going xmas, each w/a car pulled over - I've never seen such a massive speeding ticket operation! we got four miles to go when one comes up on me quick but I try to always be on the dime (I got cali plates!) and he's gotta turn back. up through the virginia woods to I-95 at petersburg, I do one phoner interview behind the wheel but got three more to do today, gotta play some catch up. trippy thing was bob-san trying to record my spiel w/his new 'puter and getting a huge feedback loop going accidently, causing incredible WOOOOOOOO!!!!!! in the boat and him freaking out and figuring out only thing to do was bury the machine under a coat! nobody could reason what it was cuz he wouldn't say what he was doing but finally I deduce what went down once I finished the phoner (the writeman talking w/me said he thought maybe it was an "appalachian whippoorwill" or something!). bob-san gives up and embraces defeat which ain't no big thing cuz he's a good man. we get to brother kyle's pad on oregon hill about three and a half - man, it's great to see him again, great! also good to see his eight dogs and six cats - I shit thee not! I do a phoner and soon brother kyle's buddy eric and his wife bring us righteous happening bbq from their "saucy's walk up" chow pad south a bit in petersburg. man, good eating: ribs, pulled pork, chicken, coleslaw w/cilantro! we are most MOST grateful and shovel like motherfuckers.
soundcheck is next and the venue ("the canal club") ain't too faraway, maybe two miles. we pass vcu, the college here - HUGE NEWS is they're in the final four for college basketball championship trophy which is pretty much unheard of for this kind of school (this is not tarheel land) - fuck, they beat kansas! tom and miss peak are against sports talk and have shush'd me and bob-san many time but mainly cuz it wears on my voice cuz I get all loud and shit. we do soundcheck w/soundman adam. this is in the flood zone part of richmond, near the james river and many elevated train tracks have engines/cars rolling by... no noise complaint cuz of music here! I meet the cats in the two opening bands, horsehead and vacant stairs (both from richmond) and there all very cool people - everyone knows I was born in portsmouth, virginia - right? I go do two more phoners and chimp diary in the boat.
there's wireless internet close by (some pad called "bottoms up") and get some emails. my buddy uncle ray had sent me this new york times article:
(you might need to register to read this but it's free)
so I'm curious and ask some of my friends who are gaijin (they live in japan but ain't from there) some opinion cuz if uncle ray would send this to me, then maybe he thinks it's important - I have to admit I've been out of the loop much cuz of tour focus, same goes for the middle east upheaval stuff but I can only handle so much in this mode - sorry for being weak that way but anyhow, I got some responses from my buds,
first from mr jim o'rourke:
that article is horrible.. typical ivory tower, academic manga-obsessed intellectualizing nonsense.
then from nez:
I think this article is total horseshit.
and finally from seamus:
A badly-written opinion piece. The writer was obviously looking for an angle, and Japanese pop culture always plays well in the media. His attempt to bolster his argument by quoting some 'experts', while he flails about clutching at straws, is simply risible. And the timing of this piece, considering the fact that the situation in Japan is ongoing, is objectionable.
hiza means knee. so no disrespect for uncle ray but both him and me are here in u.s. and these three buds are over there. fuck. I decide to muster strength and do gig tonight for japan folks but not tell anyone. I just feel that's the right thing to do tonight.
I konk 'til tom rousts me and a short hobble to the back stage hatch and up on the stage. enthusiastic spirit from the gig-goers, I am most grateful. the opera goes good, great communication from tom and raul w/me, I really dig it. there's some clams but on the more minimal side of the watt scale (it's watt mostly blowing the ones that are getting blow), I really enjoy the gig. one thing very difficult is the monitors ain't enough and adam can't work them where he's at plus the four phoners really wore me out - you might not think so but I get carried away like a baka. miss hiyori is here for her last experience before going back home. she's been helping bob-san out and that's so very kind - I see her right up front for this gig. there are some alcohol-soaked little things during and after w/a couple of gig-goers but I know they were for what I was doing but yeah, alcohol-soaked. I wanna minds to be blown at a watt gig but I want people treating each other decent too. I like bourbon. I ain't been drinking it at the gigs, only at the konk pads but I'd stop it all together if it was changing me to be abusive on anyone, truly. caring about each other is a good thing to put into practice I believe.
so many kind gig-goers here tonight, don't let me give lame impression of richmond - please! the stuff I was talking can and does happen everywhere, believe you me! many cats give me the good word, give me hugs - GIANT RESPECT from most grateful watt regarding that. I sign a handmade bass pickguard - yeah, lots of bass wraslers which in my opinion is a good thing but also cats who work other machines or pencils or brushes - expression is a righteous fabric to connect humans in my opinion.
the navigator gets lost some (got message map needs update) but we make it back to brother kyle's to find him w/his q on the sidewalk and he's cooking up sausages. we have some good chow AGAIN, homespun. what a kind kind man, our host brother kyle. only lame thing was at table in kitchen where shovel was, I took tumble after knee crumple (maybe one of the dogs startled me? not their fault!) but tucked in shoulder and took it ok. kind of freaked everyone out though how I dropped, just like that. first tumble of tour.
wednesday, march 30, 2011 - morgantown, wv
Practically fall off air matress kyle was cool enough to blow up for me and tom, and stumble to shower. So great too, kyle offered to do up some laundry the night before. Said he gets up early to walk his eight dogs, yep many doggies, and he wouldn't mind throwing it in for me. So i got some clean clothes again! He also took the time to make us breakfast too, scrabled eggs, with some bacon, toast and coffee to wash it down. Get to see kyle's boy madix before we leave, cute kid, especially in his way over-sized missingmen shirt. Me and tom gave him a couple of homies too, which we was way into. Tom does baka check, and realizes bob had left his puter in the house, oops. Also as we drive away kyle hands me my jacket that i left on the porch, doulble oops. It wasn't till we got a phone call a half mile away that lets us know that bob forgot his phone, doh! We loop it back and kyle passes it thru the window, turns out it was mine... what a idiot!
While waitin' for bob and hyori to pack up merch last night, watt used the time to check weather for the next couple of days. Lots of cold and rain, with a chance of snow. With that known, we decide maybe better to split a little earlier to compensate for lousy weather. Good thing too, because when i took the wheel, the snow started to fall. Not lots, and not cold enough to stick. What i was more afraid of was ice on the road. I've been in one ice slide out, and it's enough to scare you for life. We made it safely to morgantown via a bunch of two lane highways, highway 68 and windy roads that led us to 123 pleasant st.
We make it a little early, but fuck it, i'm glad we left early. The roads didn't have time to freeze yet. Also, the club is open, so were able to load in a get set up for check. Very nice man here to greet us, i think maybe he does the floors of the club before it opens. He has very positive attitude about him, took the time to talk with us all, which sounds trivial, but it just seemed really sweet. He also stayed the whole sound check so he could see us play, even did some bitchin improv piano they have sittin in the bar while i was checkin drums. I don't know, a very unique individual. I have a vague memory of meeting him here years ago when i was here with mazich and watt. It was neat, his mellow presence put me at ease for some reason.
After check and a little chimpin', we all, minus bob get back in the van to take a ride across the river to go lj's place. Bob stayed back to guard/count the merch. Him and his wife lisa, and there daughter leila j live in the old lock house next to the river. My second time here, and such a beautiful pad. They had some great indian food waitin for us. Lisa also gave us some home grown peppers she pickled. After chow i took a walk around back to take a closer look at he river and view of morgantown, and also to get some shot of this fantastic place to send home. Lots of space in the house too, they showed me and tom to an attic room that we can sleep in. Real comfortable, and neat ceilings that go to point, the very top of the house. Great view overlooking river, and perfect place to catch a small snooze before heading back to pleasant st.
Had very relaxing time at this place, and very sorry to mike for the early wake up. I had no idea what the plan was, and turns out we weren't gonna go back until very near gig time, which was 1130pm. It was hard for me to sleep too much though, because just knowing that we had a gig to do puts me on edge... need to relax. Plus, if i sleep to close to gig time, it's hard for me to fully wake up. I did have a small sleep here, maybe hour tops. Much needed though, felt great to kinda juice up the battery with some quite down time. Felt bad waking miss peak up when it was time to bail, she looked way cozy on the couch with a three legged, one eyed wonder dog derby keepin her feet warm.
Made it back to club in time to catch last three songs of of opener, demon beat. Balls out rock! Bob told me they did a sound check with the who's tattoo, and also covered kids are alright in the middle of their set. Damn, wish i could've been there to hear that. Aside from my hi hat clutch getting totally stripped out and useless during the middle of our set, which led me fuck up a bit, i thought we did a strong high energy version of this piece. Seems that everything is breakin and bustin on me. First, two cymbals get giant cracks in em, and now the clutch. Shit breaks sometimes. O.k. back to set, boot wearin fish had some obvious mistakes to the band, but i don't think the crowd could tell. Really great band connect these past few gigs too.... i'm really into this new way we have been settin up. Seems like the focus is much more complete when i can get tom into the deal. for me, big help too... i just like to watch him play so much, it gives me a whole new energy to work off. Really diffrent thing tonite too, kids slamming to the tunes, maybe a first. During second small set i heard tom shoutin at them to pogo, i fully agreed. But it takes all kinds, and if this is the moragntown choice of dance, so be it. A relief to see people movin to the music.
wednesday, march 30, 2011 - morgantown, wv
pop at... not sure - whoa, wanted to holler so bad but had to maintain and not let go... it was very VERY intense. my hands sore some... some?! crimony! out of the nightwear... the cake of soap up in brother kyle's hosedown place is huge and soft - my fingers sunk in a bit! trippy. he rustles up bacon/toast/scrambled egg eats for us to shovel. we have blue and gray (ha! didn't mean that for these parts!) in the sky but an internet look-see says rain and tiny snow for where we're headed. damn. we'll, it's about working the third opera anyway so everything else secondary.
brother kyle's son maddux has our extra "homies" laid on him, much respect. same w/too-big t-shirt, fuck it - the little big man immediately is sporting it. he's a righteous little big man, I'm proud to have his pop shoot a shot of me next to him. we pull anchor at nine and a half but not before brother kyle hands through bob-san's window raul's coat. a little down the road my leash is tugged and it's brother kyle saying one more thing was donated at his pad - the consensus in the boat is it must be bob-san's leash but fuck if it ain't raul's when brother makes the hand-off... bob-san's got his in his front pocket! we all laugh our selves silly and get on I-95 north 'til us-17 puts us northwest towards opal - it's there I hand the wheel over to raul. already done w/our daily dose of spielgusher (richard big time enlightening us), we hear something tom likes a lot: white denim. I've never heard of them before. thank you to tom. tiny flurries of snow on us as raul takes us over the appalachians via I-66 to I-81 to I-68 and does real good and safe, HUGE respect to him. I have a cookie tom gives me of the ones barbara from tannis root gave us in chapel hill - damn, are they fucking good but I'm using the same discipline to keep to "just one" that's kept from not smoking one cigarette since leaving san diego and no drinking 'til I hit our konk pad for the night and the boat is docked - it works. I chimp diary for yesterday in the seat across from rail's, getting in some snaps too of the still-no-spring-yet-it-seems country side we're driving through. spring does seem tardy but what would california people know?
we pull up to a rainy 123 pleasant street (also pad's name: "123 pleasant street") around five pm and find soundman roger getting everything ready for soundcheck. we meet a very interesting man named peter who can work a piano like you wouldn't believe - maybe a little like cecil taylor, kind of but his own thing. he asking for the owner of the band but I'm thinking he's asking for the owner of the pad - baka watt! it's good to shake his hand. gigboss donny's here (very happening man!) - I already got a call from ownerman lj who says he's got chow from india style waiting at his pad after check. I am afraid of the turn I gotta do - I think I'm worn and need konk. I am so glad he talked me into getting us over to where he is, right by the monongahela river in one of the old lock and dam master pads. he's really got his pad happening (I've been here a few times) and now him and his wife lisa have a shipmate name leila jade who's 'pert-near two and another one due in maybe two weeks - respect! lj's just the best, the best! we ain't got india chow in pedro so I don't shovel it much but love it - especially that nan bread w/the garlic in it and then rolled up w/that spinach cooked up the way they do. the tandoori chicken stuff is way happening too. then I konk cuz we ain't on 'til thirty minutes before midnight.
it's a hard konk for watt and by that I mean deep and maybe it's four hours? I shit thee not! I think I did pop and in a half-konk complain about some yammerin' either I was actually or thought I was hearing, embarrassing, SOR - RY! I drive us back over to the pad (maybe a mile away at the most) and we get to catch the rest of the opening act, cats from shepherdstown called the demon beat who jam it up big time. respect. our turn now - this has got to be the youngest average for gig-goers this tour. many pits start up but folks get confused when next part of opera switches gears. trippy. we do real good for communicating and as a result, working the piece. there is a lot of yammerin' from the gig-goers but at the same time, a lot of focus - they used to having yammer w/their focus maybe? I don't know but I do know it's one of the better times we've delivered "hyphenated-man" to people and they helped, I feel that sincerely. sometimes you wanna be all built-in and self-contained and might even have had to do that to survive this long but you can't get too self-important or you're shooting yourself in the foot, I believe. tom looses a little steam in the body language about two-thirds through (did I write last night about him staring at his feet last night? it was just once the whole night but when I was him do that I hollered like a baka "are you here?") but he's really on it and raul slammin' - slams his clutch which gets out of the race during "boot-wearing-fish-man" (I had to plow through but he got back on quick) but he soldiers on w/it stripped out and makes the most out of it. I'm very proud of him cuz stopping the piece is the last thing to do if we can help it. and fuck, machines are bound to bust - hell, last night I had to put a piece of tape on the corner of the migu sticker on my bass cuz it was curling up and rubbing on the strings... masking tape even! somehow it's stayed on for this gig too! here's a trippy thing: I saw a cat up front drinking from a gallon tea jug and right away in my head I thought "did he get into the boat?!" cuz I'm still using that one I got in oklahoma city for a piss bottle. I got a little spooked. anyway, we bring on the encores and many pits open up, whoa. we all have a good time. I say to the folks respect to marsha, the lady who ran this pad when it was called the "underground railroad" back in the eighties... solemn thoughts for her.
the gig-goers are very kind - man, this whole tour - thank you all, truly! these cats give me the good word - one young man 'pert-near pulls me over (not on purpose) when I'm handing out flyers - whoa, glad I didn't take that tumble! everyone very kind. artistman eli gives me an album where he did the drawing, how kind. I go get the boat but bring it down the wrong side of the one way street - baka!!! and there's a policeman coming up the other way in his car but he looks 'pert-near right through me - maybe he saw the plates and thought "stupid fucking california" or maybe... I don't know but I'm grateful it was turned into a hell - I turn the boat around the right way quick and we load the stuff up, bob-san bringing up the rear. sure wish peter could've seen us but he told me he had to do the floors early in the morning. this man has degrees at the university too... boy, did he wail on that piano! before we bail, I get to talk some to the demon beat bandmen, what happening cats - love 'em.
we head on over back to lj's and the family's all konked so real quiet like I get into my nightwear while my guys are out on the porch so we don't disturb anyone. I forgot to say there's a tiny terrier dog here named derby who's lost both a leg and an eye but has a heart and spirit the size of one of our biggest oceans. she's just beautiful and full of love. getting loves and kisses from her is the best way in the world to konk.
thursday, march 31, 2011 - washington dc
tom's audio words-eye-view for week four here!
I was asleep maybe twenty minutes after we got back from the show. I don't know why, but i've always liked little small hidden rooms, or attic and basement spaces. This one is perfect too, train tracks on one side, and a river on the other. Nice view to wake up too. Looks a little grey outside though, no rain, but maybe we wil hit it in d.c. Wonder if there is coffee downstairs? Wow, very good coff downstairs, they got a espresso machine, four shots for me. Get all charged up to sit in the van for three hours! Also cookin up some breakfast for us, smells fantastic. Eggs and veggies with some taters made into frutatta, Also fresh mango and these loaves of breads that look like footballs. So relaxing here, feels like am part of someone else's holiday. Bad luck with bob though, todays lameness is him slicing off a big chunk of his chin while shaving, blood everywhere! Watt suggest maybe using a neck tourniquet the bleeding is so bad.
Today we're driving back the same way we came into morgantown, so a little back track. Not as much rain, but very cold, and lots more snow on the ground. At one point we had a total white out going down this mountain, very scary! I spent most the drive in my own world with the headphones on, some velvets and elevators. The other guys had yet another dose of the suburban lawns record, after speilgusher ofcourse. Peak seemed indiffrent, and silently suffered thru the lawns while the guys laughed at the awefulness at every chance. Made me laugh too, watt has tons of great tunes on his pod, but these guys love cackin' on this album. Which i have to agree with, it's pretty hilarious in it's own way. Big traffic once we are in d.c., but totally expected.
Playing at the black cat tonight, second time for me at this venue. We're a little early which is great, gives me time to fashion a working hi hat clutch out of parts i have, and also to find some good gorilla tape. I've been using it to tape up cracks in cymbals. I know, it sounds crazy, but it takes away the brittle metal on metal sizzle cracked sound that sucks, but unfortunately it also takes away any sustain. Maybe i should just get some trash can lids, it'd be alot more econo and probably have about the same sound!
Played with great band tonight called suns of guns, swamp rock. They gave me an album, looking forward to hear how it translates recorded. Friendly band, and a big help. They each grabbed a piece of the drumset and flowed it to piece by piece. I had it set up in about two miniutes. Packed house too, sold out gig! Wow, I thought we played a pretty decent set. I will admit though, i was a little nervous. Ian was sittin right behind watt, and was paying big attention. I could feel a little nervousness comin' off watt too. I feel we held it together though, and brought it with not too many obvious clams. Ian was very kind after too, came up and shook my hand and told me that regardless of what mike had said, he couldn't hear any of the clams. Then he said "pedro, must be something in the water" For him to take the time to say that to me, that meant lots. I've always looked up to this man, especially when i was a younger dude. So for me, a big compliment that he was into what we did.
Of course, still almost freezing outside. I gotta grab my coat before i start loadin' the gear in, i am soaked with sweat and don't need to catch sick. Van has been moved since we loaded in, but not too far so i'll just carry my stuff over. Tight fit though, there's a fence just behind the boat, and i find out late that there is also razor wire intertwined with the links in the fence. My coat is totally caught up while i'm tryin to squeeze by with the kick drum. No skin punture though, and i just slowly take off my coat and tug it free. Hmmmm, seems like i'm the only loading gear. I got the drums and some shirts in, now i need help to get the heavier stuff in. I hang by boat in alley behind club and count the rats waitin for tom. He says he didn't know that i was doing gear, but that seems kinda weird since i was walking back and forth to the van right past him... oh well. I think maybe he's a little down. Pep talk in between sets didn't settle to well with him. Once he's ready though it's quick comin out, stephan is there to help also, so we get the rest in this tight stop with lots of struggle. Now we wait for bob and peak. Maybe bob should start doin merch the break down when we do ours, it'd be so great if he could help me and tom put the gear in the boat. Good thing we were delayed though, while sittin shock gun waitin to go, i do a mental check, and ask mike were his bass is. Ooops, forgotten in the office.
Gonna follow record man manish to his pad about twenty minutes outta the city. Before we bail, i get hime to write his address down just in case we get lost. Garmin has much trouble finding his address, so i give him a call to see if i got it right. Nope, one small detail like rd versus dr can make all the difference. We won't hold it against him though. Nice pad with lots of space, a whole other house downstairs, like pad upon pad. I had some energy when we left d.c., but by the time we got there, i was all tuckered out. Before sleep took over, i did find the time to throw my soaked cloths in the wash. Hoodie and coat too, they needed it.
pop at nine bells. such a nice feeling in this pad, looking right out at the river close by and feeling warm but not sweaty - like a good pedro day... you know in my apartment I never use the heater and never use an air conditioner - never! I hope it don't sound like I'm bragging about weather in my town cuz I'm always comparing the good days in the towns I'm in w/how it is kind of lots of time there... actually today, outside this pad is wet and cold - not total rainy and not bone-freezing but not bathing in the sun's warmth either. lisa let's this new shipmate coming stop her not in the least, she's doing all kinds for us. she's a ceramics artist and the cup I drink my coff from are from her. great. lj's up too w/their little leila jade and he tell me she was sick kind of bad a little while ago so to get her through he put on the tv and it helped. he says he'll do it a little this morning and it's a trip when he puts it on and she's completely pulled into it - like hands had grabbed her little skull. that's a trip. it's "sesame street" - that goes way back but I guess it's still on. I know so little about little ones, huh?!
lj whips up some righteous tasting frittata while me and my crew have just the greatest time jawing w/him and lisa - beautiful people. I relate a little story about jerry west - something from out of the twilight zone - I relate it to him cuz what happened to me was a fucking trip. you'll have to ask him about though cuz I ain't no gossip! lj's truly a good cat and I could listen to him forever... however, I can't and we gotta get to the coast again and reconcile this backtrack we just did (what a fucked up way to put it, huh?) and put ourselves back on that counter-clockwise loop! bob-san cuts himself shaving and there's blood everywhere, everywhere but thank god after a while it stops. looks like he has a hipster beard kind of now! seriously though, I know the daily drama can make for interesting diary entry but this 'pert-near scared the shit out of me. thank god he's ok.
I hose off and there's some kind of beeswax soap I find so fuck it, I use it on my face and hair - this gray fucking beard is still hurting me. I get told by lj it's for kids or something - I think it worked ok for fiftythree year old punk rocker though! lj talks good w/leila jade and so does her ma, they don't use baby goo-goo shit but talks to her like a person - for example: last night lj told her "you can't go to bed 'til you drop that deuce" (get all einstein and figure that one out), much respect. they give us huge care package of teas/ointments/fruits and all kinds of stuff, beautiful... big hugs, we pull anchor around noon.
it's drizzling, going whence we came on I-68. making our way up to frostburg has some scary times cuz of snow and a white-white fog bringing visibility WAY down but I white-knuckle it and it don't get too bad for too long, up and down so there's patches. you can smell asbestos from big truck brake lining though. one real fucked up thing though is we stop for gas in bruceton (soon we were out of west virginia and now in maryland) and this store lady starts giving miss peak a hard time for taking pictures - what the fuck? there was no sign saying "no pictures" - I wish I would've found out before I pumped the gas cuz I would've made definitely sure the didn't get my fucking business. what a bunch of shit, pisses me off. thank god we got the spielgusher to calm me out over that. tom wants to hear that first suburban lawns album after that... we almost shit ourselves laughing.
we keep heading east instead of veering off back to richmond, the road becoming I-70 and dropping us below a thousand feet (I think the highest we got was twentyseven hundred something) so though there's still rain, no more snow or ice on the cliff sides and better yet, no more of that fog/haze/shit. that was scary. the traff really packs up coming into dc but we make it to "the black cat" around five - stageboss stefan right there to help us big time. big hugs for bossman dante, what a great cat - how many years for me at his pad? he's the best! we're playing the part they just started last time called "the backroom" - it's a good room for me vs "the ballroom" or whatever that other part is called but I'll play anywhere for dante. no barney now - I hear he's teaching yoga now full time. respect.
I chow a burger they make for me here - onions/lettuce/tomato/mustard pickles on it, me and tom share fries. I can tell he's feeling better now and am way happy for that. raul's at full strength pretty much too... damn, do I love my men. we do soundcheck w/soundman michael who is very cool people and I'm honored he'll be our fourth man tonight. too cold to konk in the boat and actually no time cuz first I gotta go a few doors down to a record store (what a trip, I got a haircut above this place when we had a gig coincidently on the same day as "the million man march" and the lady did a really good job - only time I think I went to a pad to get a haircut on tour - oh, this store wasn't here yet... different neighborhood then but that hair cutting place is still there!) to talk in front of a camera for a documentary on h. r. who's always treated me w/much respect and is in my opinion an amazing musician. then tyler goes back w/me to the venue and I do a spiel w/him for his "the big takeover" (yeah, same name as the bad brains song AND jack rabid's sine!) and he's a real sweet guy. my press man howard wanted him to wait after tour but fuck, that would've been lame so I do it w/him but I gotta tell you, my fucking throat is beat.
openers the sons of guns go on, nice cats from around here. there sound is kind of swampy - ian says kind of like lungfish - oh yeah, ian mackaye's come by like he always does, a true brother. have to admit though that all the sudden I got big time nervous cuz damn, I'm gonna do the third opera in front of him for the first time. crimony...
ten bells - love the early gigs, love it! whoa, the gig's clean and I hobble up to work the piece w/my men. fuck, I'm nervous - I just told you why but I know he wants me to do good (it's like playing in front of raymond) so I'm grateful that about halfway through the third part I start getting my nerve and do better. man, so great michael's got the monitors good, so happening cuz of the state my voice has got going (the throat-coat tea really helps, let me tell you). tom and raul are really right in there w/me - the only real choke comes on the first note after my speech in "pinned-to-the-table-man" - whoa. I keep thinking about it 'til near the end when I blew a clam too, so weirded out by it - why? next part of the piece we recover good but it sticks in my head - a little, not enough to compensate for a fe other clams I blew but I think we did the opera right up there w/the good ones of this tour and the folks helped us much w/their enthusiasm. much respect. we go back out for encores but first some words - the other night I used some of richard meltzer's rap from the spielgusher album and tonight I have us play the part we clammed in "pinned-to-the-table-man" though tom was very confused and couldn't believe we would do that - yeah, it was weird I had us do that... it was only just some and then we jumped right into what we done when it's this time of the gig. the dc folks are so kind w/their spirit, so kind.
I sign much stuff. aaron's here, the good man who named his daughter kira (after k!). there's a good cat who just started a record store called "chester records" that gives me apples from viriginia - righteous! brother kyle came from richmond - respect - round two for the brother! many many good folks, I am honored. truly. I go finish the interview w/tyler and then see bossman dante for the "bobby dinero" (sic) phase and here comes ian and it's a good time. he talks about that big clam and says he said to tom "james gurley" and believe me, bob-san has already said that many many times. it's not tom's fault though - I wrote it! love to tom, big time. love to ian. we talk about much 'til it's time to pull anchor. big hugs... same for dante. some funny talk about fakelook too.
we follow orgmusic man manish in the rain back to his pad in tyler's corner in virginia. righteous pad. he gives me some india chow I don't know the name of that is really good. he gives me some canadian whiskey too. he puts my gig shirt in the washer. his dentist buddy samir is very cool people - he says it's possible to do gigs in three of india's big town, maybe three gigs each... man, I would love to be able to jump on that cuz I've never been there but have always wanted to - there and china... and... and... damn, there's so much of the world I wanna get to. there rug is so happening here but in the nightwear, I konk on a low couch. I am fucking tuckered. thank you, brother manish.
friday, april 1, 2011 - baltimore, md
Great sleep last night, quite space. So mellow that i didn't even hear everyone getting up and doing breakfast. No problem though, i needed some rest big time. No line for showa either, so i do a quick one,before bob wakes up an needs in there. Chow has been chowed, but a friend of of manish named kim has offered me some coffee, and i ofcourse accept. She must of made me about five shoots of espresso. Also, she offered to make me some eggs, which is very kind and all, but i do it myself. I would of felt a little strange, since i know how to scramble eggs. Made enough for bob and me, eggs with mushrooms, and also a toasted a bagle for us.
Manish also has a couple more boxes of cd's, and also a limited run of yellow vinyl. This means bob has a little pack to do, I really want to help him too, but he's gotta have things the way he needs. very understood, he's doin the merch, so that's his domain. I kinda got the impression that he felt i was trying to tell him what to do, which was not my intention at all, i really just wanna help and make it easier for us both, everyone in the boat for that matter. Well, i guess i can stand around and take one handed shots of manish and watt. Ofcourse, one handed means that i'm too good to use two hands! Tough crowd this morning.
Great sleep last night, quite space. So mellow that i didn't even hear everyone getting up and doing breakfast. No problem though, i needed some rest big time. No line for showa either, so i do a quick one,before bob wakes up an needs in there. Chow has been chowed, but a friend of of manish named kim has offered me some coffee, and i ofcourse accept. She must of made me about five shoots of espresso. Also, she offered to make me some eggs, which is very kind and all, but i do it myself. I would of felt a little strange, since i know how to scramble eggs. Made enough for bob and me, eggs with mushrooms, and also a toasted a bagle for us.
Manish also has a couple more boxes of cd's, and also a limited run of yellow vinyl. This means bob has a little pack to do, I really want to help him too, but he's gotta have things the way he needs. very understood, he's doin the merch, so that's his domain. I kinda got the impression that he felt i was trying to tell him what to do, which was not my intention at all, i really just wanna help and make it easier for us both, everyone in the boat for that matter. Well, i guess i can stand around and take one handed shots of manish and watt. Ofcourse, one handed means that i'm too good to use two hands! Tough crowd this morning.
Only an hour plus drive today, so along the way watt leads the boat to the jefferson memorial. The big added bonus is that it's prime time for the cherry blossoms, and there are two thousand trees in full bloom, very beautiful thing to see. We didn't get much time, having been chased out of a double park situation just a minute before, and then parking in the handi-cappped for just a couple of minutes. There was many spots like that, so it's not like we were being total dicks, plus, watt does call him self a cripple. Thanks to him much for bringing us here, glad i got a chance to check this out.
Great sleep last night, quite space. So mellow that i didn't even hear everyone getting up and doing breakfast. No problem though, i needed some rest big time. No line for showa either, so i do a quick one,before bob wakes up an needs in there. Chow has been chowed, but a friend of of manish named kim has offered me some coffee, and i ofcourse accept. She must of made me about five shoots of espresso. Also, she offered to make me some eggs, which is very kind and all, but i do it myself. I would of felt a little strange, since i know how to scramble eggs. Made enough for bob and me, eggs with mushrooms, and also a toasted a bagle for us.
Manish also has a couple more boxes of cd's, and also a limited run of yellow vinyl. This means bob has a little pack to do, I really want to help him too, but he's gotta have things the way he needs. very understood, he's doin the merch, so that's his domain. I kinda got the impression that he felt i was trying to tell him what to do, which was not my intention at all, i really just wanna help and make it easier for us both, everyone in the boat for that matter. Well, i guess i can stand around and take one handed shots of manish and watt. Ofcourse, one handed means that i'm too good to use two hands! Tough crowd this morning.
Only an hour plus drive today, so along the way watt leads the boat to the jefferson memorial. The big added bonus is that it's prime time for the cherry blossoms, and there are two thousand trees in full bloom, very beautiful thing to see. We didn't get much time, having been chased out of a double park situation just a minute before, and then parking in the handi-cappped for just a couple of minutes. There was many spots like that, so it's not like we were being total dicks, plus, watt does call him self a cripple. Thanks to him much for bringing us here, glad i got a chance to check this out.
Only an hour plus drive today, so along the way watt leads the boat to the jefferson memorial. The big added bonus is that it's prime time for the cherry blossoms, and there are two thousand trees in full bloom, very beautiful thing to see. We didn't get much time, having been chased out of a double park situation just a minute before, and then parking in the handi-cappped for just a couple of minutes. There was many spots like that, so it's not like we were being total dicks, plus, watt does call him self a cripple. Thanks to him much for bringing us here, glad i got a chance to check this out.
Wow, many people at this show tonight, some familar faces too. I thought we had our playing and communication on at this gig. Someone made a big b-day card for boon's birthday, and he was staring right at me. Trippy, i had the thought that i wish i would've met that dude, i bet he was cool. Threw off tom some though, he got the stare and forgot the second verse to glory of man. No biggie though, and watt brought us back with the rise and the fall lyric. Watt dedicated the set to d., and i felt we did it like he was watching, which he was! Thought we had some good enery aswell, things felt good. Northermost drummer man brandon, was gratious enough to let me use his cymbals. Brand new, and the exact one's that i have too. Made me feel lots better playin, just more snap, and a little more confidence knowing that things didn't sound like shit. We decided right after our gig that tomorrow we would find a music shop and i'll have to, bend it on over and take it, and get some new cymbals. Brandon also flowed us a name of maybe a guy that worked at a music shop who could help me out.
pop at just before nine bells, actually was helped by manish's daughters sonia and meera who are incredible thinkers - six and eight years old and they wanna give me a keyring to hang on my bass like those two things I got last fall in japan. hmm... won't fit cuz those things are for leashes (mobile phones) and don't have metal key ring parts but like lanyard cords... SOR-RY. I don't why but the subject gets on to pocahontas - maybe cuz we're here in virginia? I think I was trying to explain about the word "indians" cuz their from people from india and actually the folks they call "indians" in north america is cuz of fuck-up of columbus, him thinking he had made it to india and this here whole continent didn't exist... baka! tom gets up and takes away their attention by playing clown: talking goofy baby stuff and pretending he doesn't understand what they're saying and repeating it back wrong. bye bye to mike-san's baka history lesson.
I practice english-go via skype w/eiko-san for a bit (her time is thirteen hours ahead and she must konk for work, she sells shoes), then husband/wife eric/kim who are also working w/manish w/orgmusic and furnace come by to visit. they are very happening people and I dig them much. they have a big dog, kind of like saint bernard but maybe a cousin - just way HUGE but gentle and a lover. they are so kind to rustle up chow for us, they over-medium fry two eggs that I put between two bagel halves w/cream cheese shmear and it's good. we rap about all kinds of stuff, kim has grown up here and went to school w/kids of political u.s. "dynasty" family kinds of shit - ha! we gotta laugh. my buddy kristian is a cameraman for the mclaughlin report and I've been into him (john mclaughlin) since me and k used to watch it all the time when were married and well, kristian invited me to come to the show's taping last but it's at a time today when I can't make it cuz of spiel I have to do w/writers in boise and milwaukee. fuck, it breaks my heart - just breaks my heart. this cat mr mclaughlin is a tripper. I don't care where you're from - it's where you're at! you might know what pricks I don't listen to: all the fucked up bile sicing us on each other for their scams and that kind of shit, windbags and dick leeches. sure they got great ratings - fuck you still! I don't give a god damn. let them reek obvious for what they are and I will avoid. mr mclaughlin for me is nothing like that. eric says he family's from wisconsin and now they're voting different cuz of what's going down there - the loyalty test is no longer abstract symbols. all the money behind those baggers becoming manifest in government moves along w/entertainment politic (!) jive "sports" joe mccarthy ghosts, the correct ones who's word holes reverse engineer their farts for facts. he's gotta bail for work... the talk turns to how mean chimps can be - I mean really fucking mean. scary. very scary. they can be kind too. kim said she was at some school thing where they had a chimp dissected and the brain and balls compared in weight... whoa.
yeah, so I'm sad about missing that taping kristian invited me to but I swear I'm gonna arrange it so next time in these parts IT WILL HAPPEN, HOOK OR BY CROOK! fuck. we can do one other thing I really wanted to do: see the sakura by the jefferson memorial. I was there four years ago on peak bloom day and whatever bloom day it is today, I wanna be there again. of course the traff is fucked and full of plug. of course there is no fucking parking... tom gets all einstein and says to just stop and let everyone out but almost immediately a department of parks hombre comes up on me HONK I gotta move, bob and miss peak like mice scattered (scatter-brained?) but I get them in the boat in time not to get a ticket. on the other side of the tide basin w/the newer trees I find parking in the handicap zone and rationalize it by thinking of my fucked-up knee. we get to spend like twenty minutes under the cherry blossoms and they are just beautiful, truly. you can see why they're so romantic in japan. there's some red/pink buds but mainly they're bells to coming-on fully puffed blooms and being swayed in the wind righteously. it is amazing and I wish I could be like rilakkuma and buoyed way up into the air w/them, carried on them - konk and dream on them! it is fantasy, of course. taiyo comes out for a little bit, beautiful. I feel blessed to have gotten to experience sakura here again - no wonder richard meltzer calls me his favorite sentimentalist.
we continue to our next town to work, baltimore, so north on I-95 and right up there w/the shortest drives of the tour, like fifty miles. I can dig it! I think all of us in the boat can. we're playing the "ottobar" here tonight and the gigboss todd here's me rattling at the hatch and lets us in around four. I did one phoner on the ride and now here's time for another after a quick soundcheck w/soundman brian - I've been thinking about changing my strings (same set so far this whole tour) but think "fuck it" and bail on that. maybe I'll do it in milford, do it for thurst. trippy piece in the citypaper local weekly here, not your regular take, respect for mr gardner but what's a "townie" I'm wondering... we don't say that in pedro. the backstage is actually a "next door" connected through a real thick door and then a thiner one. the head has the can on an elevated deck - like a throne! can you dig it? tom does. he's been hacking, the same hack miss peak has, I feel so bad for them. actually, tom says he thinks he's coming out of it. fuck, I want my men healthy, miss peak too. raul brings me a hamburger from some pad w/fries that costs twenty bucks - can you believe that? he said he left big tip. ok. maybe it was part of big pool order?
roxie powell is a friend of charley plymell who I dig much, very much. roxie is a beautiful man and he tells me he's way into my third opera. he says he relates to it! he's seventysix but looks great, really. his mind is sharp too says his hearing's getting weak. yes, this is age. I know it'll be too late for him tonight but wanna spend as much time as I can now w/him. he explains to me why and what he likes about "hyphenated-man" which is very kind of him but if I were to relate it here, I would feel too self-important. I listen to him carefully though and try to learn what I can - yeah, about myself - roxie shows me insights - he's lived much experience, like charley, they both are men of life, ones who dream but also men of life. I feel a trippy kind of strength in him, sincere and genuine. I'm so glad he took the time to share w/me his thoughts. you know it's d. boon's birthday - him and me would've both fiftythree now - I chimp that finally now in the diary... thank you, roxie, thank you.
I put on the mask and konk now for the next two hours I got 'til gig time. at first I wonder how am I on this couch w/no blankie and not in the boat but konk I do, real soon.
tom gets me for the gig. before us were locals northernmost and red sammy - I think it's red sammy (maybe the man himself?) who made this huge bday card for d. boon, maybe it's like three by five feet or something? there's writing and pictures - it gets put on the stage on my side and it's just such a kind thing for someone to do, I am big time touched by this, big time. I have to focus though cuz I wanna work the third opera good w/my men for d. boon on this day, truly.
we do the piece, I'm a little dazed from phoner spiel/roxie's spiel/the konk/d.-boon-bday-stuff-welling-up-inside me on me but tom and rule grab me good w/their playing and whup me up into the moment. monitors sound trippy but not terrible - just not like how they helped me last night. there's a pole 'pert-near in front of me... I should've had us set up a little more stage starboard but fuck thinking about that now - actually the gig-goers and the tom/raul tag team are driving the sitch good for me to work this opera, the clams being tiny when they do come. we have good flow, good communication - me and the missingmen - I know they're thinking of d. boon too. we come back from the encores and on "the glory of man" tom spaces on verse two so I help him out. d. boon is a powerful thing to think about! (check what brother david reese said) I hold the bday card high above my head and holler his name. I holler babyleg's name, I holler john coltrane's name.
much kind feelings for me as I hang on to that pillar at the front of the stage and thank the folks. I don't wanna get yanked off - now I'm grateful for the pole. I know probably no one would do that on purpose but I'm afraid a little nonetheless - that's what it's like when you're hurt and weak like this. timmy, the ferret man from delaware I've known for year is a here w/a minutmen "co-conspirators" tshirt - he didn't know d. boon drew that! the "chester records" man came again - his name is nate and I tell him I chowed one of the apples he gave me will it each day 'till their gone cuz they're good! here's something trippy: I take off the gig shirt (the purple one my ma gave me) and find instead of the pin of john coltrane I always wear over the starboard pocket, there's one of "chester records" - I must've mixed them up in my pockets when he gave me one yesterday! many good people give me the good word and the warm hand. much respect to them. folks tell me fourth-man-for-tonight-man brian did happening job w/being the tranny for our motor - respect to him too!
there is righteous baltimore spirit here openly being shared w/me and my men. much respect! gigboss todd the end-of-gig dance that's always gotta get done, has a pitcher of soda water and ice brought to me - see what I mean about baltimore spirit? it is genuine. there's no room for the bday card in the boat but I think the spirit of it is large enough to buoy us the rest of the way through the tour.
aaron from dc area came up (a lot of dc cats came! thank you!) and he's got a baltimore buddy named andy who's got a pad in the hamilton part of town we can konk at. most grateful we are. the "ten minute ride" turns into 'pert-near half hour but who cares, brother andy's both an artist and a brew meister. he's got two cats he says are mean so we ignore them and avoid trouble. bob-san konks in the boat cuz of allergies (cat ones). there's some "scot whiskey" (that's what the label said) that was found under a sink when the move-in came, like a "finder's keepers" or something but god damn does the glass I take down taste like the worst whatever fucking shit I ever put down the in-hole, actually I don't know how it didn't come back up but a glass of his brown beer helped wash that shit taste out of my life. aaron named his first daughter after k, ain't that beautiful? our host has his walls hung w/his paintings, mind blow ones. yeah, I can dig it. I tell him and aaron a gene simmons story. they're on the deck already but start rolling on it. I'm in the nightwear, on the couch. miss peak is konk in the chair w/the yellow konk sack for a blankie. I dearly hope she breaks her leg off in that fucking sickness' ass. her coughs scare me. I konk hoping.
saturday, april 2, 2011 - philadelphia, pa
Big troubles sleeping last night, not to sure why either, i was beat after the otto bar gig. Just seemed when i closed my eyes, more thoughts kept comin. Slept for maybe four hours once i finally got to it. Woke up to Aaron and andy making some breakfast burritos with eggs and sausage, also toasted up some bagels and cream cheese, thanks so much guys.
Last night since i was not able to sleep, i went on line to get address for music store, plus to check prices to make sure i wasn't gettin ripped. After we said our good byes, we headed to the center to get some metal for the cymbals stands. I'm usually not too confident going into a place and asking for a stranger, and then asking this stranger for a favor. Well, fuck it, it's gotta be done. I went right in, asked for the manger, and gave him the sob story. He gave me a look kinda like who the fuck is this dude, then said that he couldn't help, but maybe the guys in the drum room could. It had also occured to us as we drove into the parking lot, that we had been here before. I even recognized the dudes behind the counter who were of no help last time, and charged me so much for hi hats a couple of years ago. That's when the dread set in, this was gonna drain the wallet big time, and these guys were gonna get a kick out of doing it. Just then, manager man eric stepped up, and told the guys to give me big discount, and help me out with whatever i might need there. So bitchin! Stiil pricey, but i got 3 new cymbals with a 30 or so percent discount, and they threw in a couple of drum heads and a new clutch with no charge. Thanks some much to brandon from the northernmost for his very wise suggestion.
Man, on the way to philly, i started to get the skin crawls. Kinda like the feeling when the flu is comin on, and your skin starts to hurt, and the joints ache so bad. I felt really cold, and the skin felt very hot, this sucks, i do not want to be sick on tour! I just keep pounding water thru out drive, hoping that i'm just wore down, and this will pass with some good rest.
On way to north star, we make a little detour, and watt takes us to the first house coltrane bought. He's been there a couple times a believe, and also lets us know that his cousin mary still lives there, or at least she did the last time he was there. Also says it's a little beat up from age, and the only thing that lets you know it was his place is a little plaque out front. We pulled, and mike instantly noticed that there was no plaque. He was bummed big time, understood though, it was very sad. Looked like maybe someone had pulled the post that it was on right out of the ground, or wrecked it with a car, it was only a foot or two from the street. There was a a big mosaic mural made from glass on the side that was pretty bitcin though, it had some of the notes to one of his tunes real big. We also got a peek into the backyard, and there was a hugh coltrane paintin on the side. Lucky bob stumbled upon those. That kinda turned the visit the visit around for me, we would've left really bummed... but still no sigh blows. This place should maybe be made into a muesuem, but instead it looks like there gonna put on a fake front, try a new it up for more tenents. I still can't shake this flu feeling, not into it.
While waitin for soundman to show, Tom and i talk a walk around this hood, stoppin for some good coff, and as sillly as it sounds we go to the park across the street from the muesuem where the rocky steps are. Tom can't stop hummin' that ridiculous tune! Also waithin for this bars happy hour to end, i guess they don't want soundchecks until it's over. Anyhow, they have twenty five cent wings, can't beat that right. Good too, jerk style and buffalo, i must of ate atleast ten before we had the chance to load in. neat place this north star. Long hall type place, but with high ceilings and a balcony lookin down on the stage. Seems like the two other bands and all their friends are there when we check, so we do a kinda three song mini show to about fifteen people. Playing with two locals tonight, split red, named after the minutemen tune, and also a band called catapillar.
Man, really hard for me to desribe split red. A really eclectic mix of people and sounds, i liked lots though. Catapillar, did an opera of there own, 5 tunes about a local flooding in the 1800's. Kinda jammy, mid floyd sorta vibe. I liked too, and the played great for their first time ever doing it live. Now our turn. Packed house tonight, whiched suprised me for a sunday. Anyhow, usually while tom goes to get mike from sleep, i'll wait for them on stage. Tonight felt like a particilarly long wait, thanks to the dude hittin the mic stand with a busted drum stick screaming for us too give him a rock show. Man, was this dude tough to listen too, fuck. He also threatened to stab every person in the eye who told him to shut it. I was up there pacing by myself for what felt like a lot longer than it was.
Good set tonight, it's gettin more comfortable for us on the stage it seems. I'm not talking about playing better, but ever since we took the few minutes time to figure out where our gear and bodies need to be on stage, it's been a little bit more together, atleast for me. I can see watt's right hand, which helps me play together with him, and i can also see tom without the full on neck crane. Fun playin tonight, and also, i think watt is gettin some confidence back with his hurt knee. Tonight, he came up to play behind me and tom tonight, awesome, brings a little something more to our gig.
Staying with the split red guys tonight. We followed one of the guitar players stephen back to the pad. On the way, he gets out and starts pointing to the rocky statue, and almosts runs into a ladies car at the red. Rocky is wearing a pink shirt that says "go see the art". He tells us later that a buddy of his dressed him up like that. These guys share a great three story place with a hugh basement that they use a rehersal/recording place. I threw some laundry in, and played a set of vibes they had in the space, I don't know the tecnique, but i just lightly wailed on these. lots of fun, and such a neat sound. As soon as wash was done, i threw it in the dryer and tried to get some sleep. These guys were up late though, and it was hard to sleep, very cold too! i didn't have my sleeping bag either. They had blankie that i could use though, so i'm grateful for that. I know, maybe i should've went back to
pop at eight and a half, aaron sound does also and bails to get food stuffs to chow us later when everyone's awake. prac english-go w/eiko-san some, all the while ignoring the two nekos, especially the one's host andy says is insane and cruel. trippy about dynamics between forms of life on the planet earth, huh? everyone up, we chow plates of tortilla/scrambled egg/sausage/bagels aaron cooks up, he is so kind. it's a gray day outside but at least no rain. big hugs for our very kind friends here, we bail for the shithard center so raul can get serviced. oh yeah, I get this email from ian about the gig he witnessed the night before:
...so happy to have the hang last night and
trippy, huh? great brother, only he would word something like that... he is an artist!
it ain't too far, in towson and a good man there, eric, via the good word of drummerman brendan who lent raul his cymbals last night and got him sure-shot about going and dropping mr jacksons for this - I'm behind whatever raul thinks he needs cuz he is very practical and not a gearhead object junkie - he is truly practical man.
only a hundred miles to philadelphia and the sun's come out but still some wind. I take us to 1511 n. 33rd street which is where john coltrane bought his first house and lived there from for six years starting in 1952. to my horror, the plaque honoring this pad is gone - in fact, the sign is too - fuck! we search all over... everything locked up, the pad in a terrible state. there's house connected, it's a row-house thing and one three doors over has a mural bob-san finds, pretty tiles and pieces of mirror illustrating some of trane's works. we can see over a fence a little bit what's probably the backyard of trane's pad a mural w/trane blowing... I heard there used to be gigs in this part when cousin mary lived there. man, it pains me so much to see things not strong for him, like thrown away. it puts a sadness on me and I decide tonight I do the third opera expressly for john coltrane tonight like I did for d. boon last night.
we drive over to the fairmont area of town which ain't far at all. this is where we're the "north star bar' is, where we're playing tonight - my second time at this pad (first time was two years ago w/the lite brothers) and one of the cats here named sloan comes out to greet us. he is very cool people and we have some fun getting to know him. we'll load in at seven (four now) so I hoof a few blocks to get some fried chicken and bring it back, a piece for everyone. I chimp diary while everyone goes exploring except miss peak who does picture stuff from the starboard seat. this little 'puter makes ok to chimp under the steering wheel where I'm at. a nice man named john wheels up his little son in a stroller and has me sign some records - he's so worried abut bothering me but I tell him my name is small and not hard to write.
soundcheck w/soundman reed when it's possible to do so - he's a very happening cat and happy to be fourth man tonight. we're so lucky that way w/the gigs, you know? righteous. this pad has a piss trough under the bar in the front (non-functioning though, damn) and you play in the back w/this huge balcony thing hanging in front of you, pretty low - it's trippy. that's where the monitors are so the stage is free of boxes on the deck and there's a neat tapestry/rug behind on the bulkhead and on the deck, trippy - I like that part much - distinctive. the side bulkhead is old brick, yeah, looks like a chimney somehow was here maybe. the waiterman is chowing a kind of burger I don't recognize so I ask him if it's good and he says yeah so instead of using the menu he wants to hand me, I just say I want what he has and even have it cooked the same way - why not? easier and easy is good lots of times. it turns out it has bacon and blue cheese dressing on it, trippy! I like it. I meet the opening band caterpillar and split red - both groups full of very nice folks, respect! lucky for that a lot this tour too, I'm way into that. split red guitar man stephen invites us to konk at his pad when I start talking to him - actually he's a nels cline buddy and connected other in other ways (bass brother devin hoff) - he's got a guitar like curtis mayfield so we talk about that some. I then go to the boat and konk.
I get the purple shirt on, then the ronnie coat, then the yellow one and finally double-blankie up cuz it's a little cold. I konk deep and hard, popping only when tom rousts me for gig time. damn, is it kind of tough to get through the crowd cuz it's packed. thank you much, phily folks - don't mean to sound like I'm bellyaching! we're supposed to start at midnight but I bring us on soon as I get up there and those coat layers off, sleeves rolled up and bass on - ten minutes early. I tell the gig-goers my grief at finding john coltrane's pad in and then launch us into the piece. the energy of the pad is incredible - some dudes a little vocal but I'm hoping then get sensitive to the story we're trying to tell and not just working on being a jukebox or something - not that I'm trying to put anyone down. I'm thinking of trane the whole time, even when some clams get blown - why? trane probably had a gentle philosophy on clams even though he did prac like ten hours a day... for this last xmas I got myself a present, "the john coltrane reference" which is like 848 pages and weighs four and a half pounds. it is fascinating... but shit, hell - there's a gig going on here! I holler to tom in "hollowed-out-man" to get closer to his amp for the intro so it'll feedback - I'm into that but what a stupid thing to do in a performance - baka watt. I've been thinking this the last few times we've worked this but have been forgetting to tell him after each - I guess that's why I hollered it out though now I fell like that was a total 'tard move... it could've "broken the spell" of the piece, fuck up its context and shit. baka watt. both tom and raul play really good. it's a good salute to mr coltrane, I'm so grateful to my men, I love them big time. the encores are very lit up - for the first time I get to go behind raul and rally from there, love it when I can put my arm on my shoulder - back both him and tom up.
many kind people again to give me the good word and stuff like that. I meet a cat who tells me that sign in front of trane's pad was run over by a car and there's money to replace it so him and some people are trying to get that together - I give him my email address so I can help w/some bones too. ceej is here - I met him earlier in the parking lot along w/johnny from the clubber lang gang, both cats very kind to me, very kind in their own way. I even got to put bass on a clubber lang gang song once! one young man tells me d. boon's guitar helped save his sanity when he had to mow lawns cuz d. boon's guitar was the only thing that could cut through the motor sound over his headphones. him and his buddies are good cats, very kind. everyone here so nice - some bass players having me sign their basses including timmy - he's here w/strider again. whoa. people like that sure are something, seeing more than one night of the third opera - very kind of them, very kind. it takes a while for the promoterman andrew (he thought I was in a room I wasn't - I was sitting at the piss trough bar, drinking soda water!) though actually I realize the bossman here was sloan, he just didn't come on like that cuz he's very cool people, just regular and no need to get all into that rank stuff. what a brother, so glad to shake his hand again when finally we're done. I think trane would be proud of the spirit through music in this town tonight. brother chuck treece gives me big hug, big hug back! same w/drummerman jason (w/bardo pond now), big hugs for big loves!
time to pull anchor, bob-san's got a bandage on his arm... seems he got a tattoo of john coltrane he told me he was thinking of - whoa! much respect to bob-san, can't wait to see it in the morning - so glad he got in phily, I think the experience at trane's pad was profound on him like it was on me. kind of scary in the boat hearing tom and miss peak hack and cough so - I feel for them big time and wish I could banish those hurts from them, banish them w/a special word or something. we follow stephen over to west phily and he's got an older pad (built in 1901), very happening, this oldage. into the nightwear and onto the couch, I rap w/stephen about all kinds of stuff, mostly musical while drinking some of the jim beam black (yeah, black!) that johnny from the clubber lang gang gave me. his drummerman knows about zbs media and the jack flanders mind movies meatball futon created, whoa - he's only twentynine too! big respect to him. man, young people can surprise you lots - don't ever cut them any shorts! most impressed watt konks.
sunday, april 3, 2011 - hoboken, nj
When i woke up stephen was up and dressed already, damn, he must of got about a whole three hours of sleep. I've been here once before, and had got some good coff just down the block. He thinks, in his words that the place in thinkin about going is kinda crispy, and suggest we go some where a little closer that he frequents. No problem, good coffee is good coffee. He also offers to pick up some breakfast for us, i go for the everything bagel. Today we have beautiful weather too, finally! The weather has been lame for the past week, and the sunshine is a nice to have back. The coff place is just down the block, so we take our stuff to go, maybe more enjoyable outside on the porch with the company of stephen and house mates than in the crowded cafe.
Today, besides maxwell's gig, we do a live set for a jersey station called WFMU. Not live on the air, but to be broadcast two weeks from now. Cool place, i always visiting here. A little less stressful not going out live too. We get the chance to clear the room out, and bring up our own gear. Ofcourse, we still do our thing like it live, maybe a little more subdued. We opted to not use headphones, and just turn down enough so we could hear the vocals. Well, i can't turn down, but i can play softer. Once we start though, i ofcourse start playing harder, which means louder. So i can hardley hear bass and vocals. I know i gotta be blasting watt out too, he's sittin' a foot in front of the kick drum. I just keep my eyes on the hands and watch the lip synch. Thinkin' back, i should've got some head phones, but fuck it, as long as it sounds decent. Also weird thing about this radio sesh. Steve shelly, favorite drummer of tom watson, took time off from his bike ride to come say hi to the band. He also stayed and watched us the whole time. It was a trip, i just tried to think of it like doing a prac.
Maxwell's not too far, and we're there in minutes. Oh, forgot to mention the bail part. As we're driving away, watt gets this worried look on his face, and says that somethng is wrong with the boat. I hopped out to see what was up, and turns out that he had run over, and was dragging a bag of trash. What a way to say thanks, with a tore bag of garbage all over the road. I tried to keep it together, but it was beyond damage. Best i could do was drag it out from under, but there was no puttin it back. Sorry wfmu.
I like playin maxwell's, maybe my fifth time here, i know not many, but i've been here enough time to see that the surrounding nieghborhood has had a pretty big change in the past few years, especially along the river. I don't have much hoof time today, but i do get a little time to walk around. When i get back, tom is with steve and a couple of his friends. I like the routine that seems to be going on with me here. I show up an hour or so after tom and steve have ordered dinner, i butt in, and they have no problem with that, and then i order the same thing everytime, peppered and seared ahi on greens with fresh mixed veggies.
After gig, which was a good one by the way. Much thanks to everyone who came, especially tim cook, and stryder who made three gigs this tour, you guys rule , and ofcourse jeff rosenburg and stanton island john. Anyhow, once we were good to get, we packed the boat with a couple extra folks, and headed to west new york. I've never been to this side of the river before, such a fantastic view of the city... very bitchin'. I've never seen it from this angle before, and the newness really excites me. I know new york is a wild one, but i love to come here regardless. Peak, thru a friend of a friend has got us set up at a sweet pad a block away from the view, bob and i decide maybe good idea to get a closer look. It's raining, so we don't spends too long, but just enough to get fired up about tomorrow.
pop at nine bells and say hi to the girl neko named john - I ain't gonna call her what our host stephen does out of a peculiar sense of respect. I do drink the coff he kindly brews me. I apologize to him if I konked in mid-sentence last night cuz damn if I wasn't tuckered. konked on the couch opposite me was his most excellent guitarman travis (did a version of d. boon's "cohesion" last night - respect!) and we have a nice talk about all kinds of stuff. he hips me to what folks now call the worst movie ever "the room" when all along I thought it was "plan 9 from outer space" - that show you how out of touch I am. on the ride here yesterday I played (of course along w/the obligatory spielgusher) some last poets - first time miss peak said she ever heard them, damn. travis knows about them and I tell him some stuff about me when I was a boy and then a teenager. he is very cool people. stephen brings me a "breakfast burrito" - it's green and SURPRISE! it don't taste mexican. it sure is kind of him to feed me though so I don't wanna sound like an ingrate.
stephen lets me use his shoulder to prop my weak ass up as I do the block and a half to the boat. bob-san konked there last night cuz two drunks on the corner dropped and broke a bottle of beer and were looking for some kind belig... bob-san has a mode called "border collie" where he roams his perimeter. the sun is out good and he shows me his tattoo - whoa! it's beautiful. that man who inked him was truly an artist... john coltrane done w/respect. bob-san says it took three and half hours and especially the last ninety minutes hurt like hell but it's worth it. much respect to bob-san for such a tribute.
only about ninety miles to jersey city but we gotta be there at 2:30 pm so it's noon when we pull anchor. little state roads once over the ben franklin bridge to camden and new jersey 'til we eventually get to the turnpike - oh, why jersey city? brian turner over at wfmu has invited us to do the third opera for a broadcast that'll happen in a couple of weeks. brian is a great cat, truly. you really got check out his sounds - that station is one of the best on the internet in my opinion. I do the piece sitting down. we use our equipment. steve shelley pedals his bike over, love this man! before we start though (and after me having to move the boat again, aarrrggghh!), I have one of the bagels brian brought for us - man, you would believe this beautiful type of chow. it should be illegal maybe to call anything but this lite-as-air-giant-wonder-righteous-taste work of art a bagel. I stuff it w/slices of smoked cheddar brain also brought. then we do the piece. it's trippy doing it sitting down and fuck if I don't clam some of the spiel - actually I clammed the first part so bad that we started over, ending that trainwreck in the middle of it and me taking a deep breath and saying to myself "fucking focus fucking baka watt" and very much meaning it. we do pretty good but for a couple parts tom won't make eye contact so I say "can't see your EYES" instead of "can't see your FACE" in part twentysix. I think the clams (please know I did more than tom and raul put together) are ok cuz this ain't the album - in fact it's kind of a document of the tour! here we are, 'pert-near right in the middle of it so what better way to get an impression that can be there archived at this station? I thank roady big time for being our "fourth man" (he was the engineer) and then do a spiel w/brian. like I said, he's a great cat and asks me good stuff. before we bail he gives me some cds of music including a five hour documentary that was broadcasted a few years ago here on john coltrane - crimony! very VERY bitchin'.
it's like twenty minutes north to where we play tonight in nearby hoboken, at a pad I've worked UMPTEENTH times called "maxwell's" - lo and behold, there's parking right fucking there on the corner, I can't believe it, CAN'T BELIEVE IT! parking is always a nightmare here and I guess us here in the boat this day are parking blessed. not just for music, this is a chow pad too and they feed me an arugula salad (tons of leaves) and a hamburger. we do soundcheck w/very happening soundman carson who I remember from before - soundpeople at this pad always are w/you and never dump on the 'tude - much respect. I meet appomatax who are opening - nice cats, we joke about the gig did alongside antietam ("civil war rock") cuz I had confused the two cuz of the names - baka watt!
I go to the boat to chimp diary and julie soon comes. she's a buddy of thalia's back in so cal that knows how to give rubs and gives me them on the knee and stuff. it makes me putty but still I can chimp for most of it - but not all. she is very kind. when she bails, I get another visitor: mrs elizabeth! she is very dear and old buddy of mine, going back to the porno for pyros days. she is just the best and has help me w/so much of her wisdom over the years. it's time for watt to ask more of her, aaarrggghhh - but she has no problem w/it, never falters. I'm glad she wanted to see the third opera - even w/no babysitter (her Eduardo filled in, he is righteous man) and getting over a year-long bout of lime disease, she still made it happen. HUGE respect to her.
it's a little tough getting through the crowd, like last night but folks help me out and hoist my ass on stage. I thank them for coming out on a work night and then we launch into the piece, second time for today but here I'm not in chair. shit, I look down where my john coltrane pin is supposed to be and it ain't there - where the fuck is it? I do have the "I hear japan" pin that julie gave me when she arrived so I don't feel totally naked but fuck, what the fuck did I... I better focus now on other things - like the third opera! the gig-goers have giant spirit and they bring it. I am a little (?) hoarse but am enthused on. tom and raul... you can't even tell they might be taxed by the earlier performance, damn, they are smoking - so proud of them, so proud. carson's got the monitors real good for me, thank god. I keep blowing clams in the spiel for "stuffed-in-the-drum-man" - why the fuck is that? I mean besides the obvious reason I'm a fucking baka. the masking tape is still holding the migu sticker from coming up and rubbing on the strings - how?! there's some challenge in the tiny parts keeping beat cuz of some unsolicited "percussion help" that is interesting take on a billy cobham-like syncopated polyrhythm I'm unfamiliar w/and may the piece itself is unfamiliar w/but I try to hold w/my guys and somehow we keep the keel in the water. the "help" is drowned out in the louder parts which some might find unfortunate but maybe not the cats manning the stage (us). very good gig, I think, even w/wore out parts (by that I mean body components and not sections of the opera). again I can get behind raul and his kit for the encores - yeah! I gotta be careful but I can do it. we end w/the tune we left off last night.
I had gotten an email from brother lee w/the subject saying "lee begs for guest list" so I say that was too coarse and maybe more gentle way of putting it would be just a simple "dick leech" - just sayin'. I love this man much and was just trying to yank his leg out of the socket (figurative talking). I thank the gig-goers and hand out stickers, much kindness from them, much. timmy and strider have done their trifecta, much respect! most generous cats, most. I see fred, good ol' fred and his taper bud that fucking lameness has robbed of memory of his name. staten island john is here, the plumber bassman. lots of old faces but also new ones - they tell me it's the first time they've heard of me or come to see me - most grateful I am for the open minds, thank you. evan, the cat who put together "gimme gimme gimme" is here - he's now w/bernie worrell and asked if I might wanna record something w/them - crimony! would I?! he played on "maggot brain" on "ball-hog or tugboat" w/just me and j and it was a mindblow.
I go to settle w/gigboss todd who's a dear old friend but never get a chance much cuz brother lee and his body thom talk me up good which actually is not a problem cuz I'm very much digging it. they're both into the third opera and wanna know inside scoop from me - actually I have to give brother lee credit by reminding him of talk about middle-age five or something years ago in sao paulo where we were both playing a festival and his idea of middle years being "the third act" and riffing on it like that. man, he looks good, in good shape and his mind sharp. he says he's recording solo album later this month.
I apologize to gigboss todd and we prepare to pull anchor but first brother lee wants pictures of inside the boat. alright! julie gets in w/us and so does our host for tonight, mani. he's a great cat who's been here only nine months, he's from iran but whoa, his english is better than mine. he lives in the attic of a pad in nearby west new york - yeah, that's the name but it's here in new jersey. so trippy to see manhattan lit up from this side of the hudson as we drive north. safe place for the boat in a driveway, fucking right on! mani's way into coltrane so after I hose off and he takes my filthy outfit parts to wash, I flow him two mp4 docs I got on trane and one I got on elven. I drink the jim beam half pint staten island john gave me and after a little more spiel, konk most comfortable on this couch here in yet another older bitchin' pad. thank you big time, mani!
monday, april 4, 2011 - new york, ny
pop at eight bells - so great I hosed off last night and yeah, the konk mask was donned but I have no idea why my konk time got cut short... I try and get more after pissing but actually am just still 'til I give up and quit the charade after a couple of hours. I chimp diary. mani makes me coff - I was gonna hold off but fuck it cuz I can chimp maybe better w/that stuff in me.
it is very casual morning for us. next gig is right across the hudson river so hellride is tiny one. miss peak and julie eventually hoof to the store to bring stuff back to cook for all of us. they make scrambled eggs, jalapenos, cheese, sausage to be wrapped in fake-tortilla-like spinach-pita-whatever-the-fuck - hey, I don't wanna give the impression it didn't taste oishii (tasty!) cuz it very much did. thank you much, miss peak and julie.
I get an email from mrs elizabeth:
the opera was perfect watt. i enjoyed it so much and felt so energized and happy being there - it was such a gift for me. watching you play made me feel so proud to be your friend. what a masterpiece this one is - so unique and beautiful. catherine would have LOVED 'mouse-headed man' and 'bird in the helmet.' i loved 'frying pan man,' the 'beak holding' one..and all the rest. it was all so cool. i wish i could seethe opera again tonight. thank you thank you for playing so great. your guys were incredible... raul is an amazing drummer! wow! so impressed. tom so talented too - you guys fit each other like a glove.
this is from someone who's thoughts I've had great respect for for many many years - like k so when I read this, I tried to put the clams into some kind of perspective... maybe they're kind of teachers? mrs yuka could find the words for it better than me. she's says everything's for a reason or at least stuff like that - once she told me my knee hurt might mean something, be for something.
at three we pull anchor, I gently suggest this. south whence we came last night, the daytime view of manhattan is just as righteous, whoa. the sun's out when weather.com said rain would have a chance of being here - that's nice surprise. we get across the hudson via the lincoln tunnel and the navigator brings us south through greenwich village before we go across town and reach the "mercury lounge" at four, right when they wanted us. a quick unload and then I search for parking - totally fucked in this neighborhood made tougher this time for me by both construction on houston and taped up "monday no parking" signs on all of essex street. two blocks west though I luck and get a corner shot on orchard - no one can get in front and block my shit in. it's two short blocks so not bad. such a big deal I make about parking, huh?! well, it took three round-the-worlds and yeah, I lucked out some still I have to admit... sorry to wring the hands, SOR-RY.
I get inside w/everything set up - dear team, dear team! we do check w/soundman kyle - appomatax again are w/us, alright! there's another band tonight too, called the wicked tomorrow. I find out the gig is clean (sold out) by the doorman, whoa. arigato. then I go chow a chopped liver sandwich at katz's,my friend tina has pastrami one. she's writing essay for "hyphenated-man" (a lady perspective would be great, I'm most grateful to her) and comments on how little she's seen written about the "dorothy in 'the wizard of oz' perspective" I've told folks I used in part of the piece's formation - she's right but maybe it's too weird? I think it could be folks don't see it still as a whole and are still hearing just a collection of songs and that maybe are too abstract in the imagery to plot a kind of narrative cuz it ain't hardly linear - I never wanted it linear, that was more of what the first two operas were. aaaarrrggghhhh - not a big deal, just sayin'. to the boat for more spiel and then konk. julie w/rubs is after and then more konk.
tom gets me w/some hatch-pop then leg shake. ok, time to go. enter pad, see old buddy mark ghuneim - man, one day I get some REAL TIME to spiel w/him. I make my way through way packed room to stage - there's nels and mrs yuka, whoa... I am fucking nervous now, crimony! so glad there's a hand rail, so glad. I get up on stage and thank folks for coming on a work night and the other bands for letting us share the stage w/them. we bring forth the piece... fuck, no monitors - I know soundman kyle is trying as I give motions - at one point even a plea alongside a cussword even but to no avail. I fucking mime this entire gig. it is very difficult, very frustrating. I can't put nuance where I want, especial when the band gets tiny - even at those points, they're ain't shit. christ, you know I want "a poor carpenter blames his tools" to be more than a platitude but fuck, is this difficult. I do get the spiel to "stuffed-inside-the-drum" right but fuck if I can hear it. I do try hard not to let the sitch bum me out and connect much w/levity spirt w/tom and raul. "funnel-capped-man" has huge tom clams in one part but as bob-san later puts it "the clams were celebrated more than scorned" meaning he thought it was a good thing. astute analysis from bob-san. the nyc gig-goers are very respectful, very quiet in the quiet parts and such for the most part - big respect. I can see through the doors to the bar (even w/the busted glass taped up) and there's no one there, everybody's tuned into the gig. it's one of the most focused-in crowds for the piece, I think - one up there anyway and I'm thinking this is adding to the frustration of fucking miming it but I have to say I'm glad I didn't give in too much into getting panties bunched up over this bullshit non-existent monitor giving any vocal to me thing. I think I blow some clams in the last solo of the last part - fuck, in the last part of the last solo even... I let tom ring out the chord before I bring in the final - at least that one is ok. whew. the gig-goers are most kind and have us back - there's a way for me to get behind raul, righteous. this is where I like to be for the encores. we have fun, we thank the gig-goers.
much kindness expressed, I am touched - it is genuine feeling. I get sack of habaneros, respect. I get much good word. then I hear "mike... mike..." - coming up right through the middle of the folks is mr shimmy and ms yuko!!! I can't fucking believe it - almost have a heart attack, so surprised - so astonished BUT so glad! I hug them - they give me sack of migu stickers/chocolates/buttons, so good! I go to the deck and be w/them - mr shimmy pins a button of the middle part of the hinomaru on my ronnie jacket over my heart. special mr shimmy, truly. I'm very glad I can introduce him again to my men (I'm stupid excited, sorry!). whoa, brother tony maimone is here - this is someone I really want to meet mr shimmy it was at his studio g that I recorded "hyphenated-man" and he was VERY ESSENTIAL piece of the puzzle - he let me use his bass (1966 fender jazz w/emg pickups - crazy!) which was a total mindblow for me, him sitting right there and helping me through this third opera journey... I can't imagine what it would've sounded like w/out him. you know I had tom and raul record the guitar and drums w/no bass and spiel, right? I brought the bass and spiel a year later - it wasn't an accident, it was all part of a plan of mine. anyway, I'm so glad him and mr shimmy get to meet, he tells him he's heard much about him from me - that is big time fucking true! big hugs to both of them from me. twice being talked to it takes to make me realize my friend chris grier is here - his sporting kind of disguised hipster look now and I was confused - sorry, chris. get to say hi and give big hugs to the diamond brothers, josh and jason who are great cats. so good they got in, they are champs to me, real good cats. they want me to play captain beefheart in a movie! big hugs.
jimbo has invited us to his pad. him and cameron are going in the boat w/us to their parts up by the washington bridge. after I settle w/gigboss lady maggie (amanda from lawrence in kansas now works for her, she came tonight - big hugs!), so many times I've worked w/her... I say something about the monitors but then I'm think I'm bellyaching and feel embarrassed - baka watt. I go w/my brother's sister's daughter bandmates to go get the boat (wait 'til you hear the two albums we've recorded w/nels cline!), big BIG hugs... I take shot of us!
I say bye to the appomatax cats and tell them we should do more gigs. we pull anchor and go up fdr expressway, crazy pinball machine ride. we have to park far, me and jimbo while the others go upstairs. we try and find a lot that'll fit us - one underground one won't and we don't find out 'til were way down and I gotta back us back up - aaarrrggghhhh!!!! too funny! we find out one far away and I got like eight flights of stairs up a huge hill... I can use rail so it's not pulling one leg up after the other and then there's all the steps in jimbo's pad but I ain't doing anything but giggling some cuz of the trippy hands life will deal you. in jimbo's pad I get some big pours from the bottle of beam I got given at the gig's end. there's much good spiel but I konk w/out ever getting into the nightwear - baka watt!
tuesday, april 5, 2011 - milford, ct
pop at eight and a half bells and find my levis unbuttoned and halfway down my thighs, the knee brace is still on - fuck, so are my shoes. at least my chonies are up. I never got into the nightwear, oh man. at least I somehow stayed on the couch. it's raining outside and getting darker and darker as time goes on, opposite of what usually makes up a morning. I get an email from long time music sharer nels cline, replying to my handwringing over last night's lameass monitor sitch:
which I answer:
and he immediately replies again (must have email coming to him via a leash):
Well, this makes me wonder, because I felt that in spite of the propulsion of the piece (PUNK ROCK, etc.), that there was a kind of restraint from you that added tension/release and expressiveness.
to which I reply:
and in a final reply from him:
Now I wish I was in Connecticut to hear you tonight!...
nels is a true brother and like mrs elizabeth and k, he will never blow smoke up my ass but will always give me the straight shit. however, I get this review of last night - ain't that a trip how measuring stuff up can be so subjective? fuck, just gotta let it go I guess.
cameron's goddaughter is living here while she's going to school - didn't know that, I'm thinking she must heard insane shit last night. even weirder though is I feel something in my back pocket - I reach back and pull out half a package of cheese, teeth marks in the plastic and cheese like it was bitten in half and it's all soft... cameron's goddaughter says "that's my cheddar!" and I'm so embarrassed, fuck. I still feel something in the pocket - I pull out a package of cookies - all crumbs now - she says "those are my cookies" double fuck, what a total baka idiot I am, total fucking 'tard. amazingly though she is in an ok humor about it. I apologize big time for that, the bottle of beam w/the band sticker on the table (I can't remember what band, sorry), hard to tell how full (or empty) it is. I must've popped in the middle of the night and did this, what a fucked up thing it is. I go hose off.
miss peak and julie bail - miss peak to get a battery for one of her cameras and julie to bail back to her long beach town in cali. jimbo and cameron have a little dachshund I call "baby" that is just adorable and brings me her toys to toss so she can retrieve them for me. bob-san's on the deck nearby so I work it so he has her run over him on the way and back... bob-san loves dogs.
cuz it's raining, I take car service to parking lot to get boat - this is what a cripple has to do, cost ten dollars. the parking man is so kind, he put the boat right out front so I can easily pull right out - he's so very kind. "there you go, boss!" he tells me. what isn't easy is getting back to jimbo's cuz a flatbed truck keeps trying to park and the street is too narrow to pull over and let people pass. each time he stops the huge line of cars behind me very much lean on their horns make for a huge blast - I don't join in, how the fuck will that help? finally someone w/a little work truck is all einstein and blocking the road for flatbed - he's in some apartment building and thankfully someone runs in to get him - I mean all this takes like an hour to work out (maybe eight blocks all together?) but I stay calm... when I get my people, they think it was me on the horn but I tell them "nope" and we pull anchor - bye bye, jimbo.
there's a camerawoman w/us for the ride to the gig. I guess maybe at the tour's end another guy will interview me for abc news and this is the footage they wanna use? I don't know but I tell about the third opera and stuff about d. boon until told to stop - tom, raul and bob-san join in too cuz I ask them to. I'm glad it's only around 150 miles due east on I-95 and the sun actually comes out though it's still cold. I guess there's a train station near the club for the camerawoman's return trip so that's good too. the pad is called "daniel street" and the boss is a nice cat named phil. he is very good people, goes and gets a copy of the boat key for miss peak cuz she lost hers yesterday. I chow fish and chips cuz the banner in front of this bar/chow pad a couple doors down said "voted best fish and chips in town (again)" but... I don't have to go much further into this - the good news is later phil brings some chowder that is fucking righteous, I do two bowls, oishii! I meet one of the openers for tonight, ben from electric bucket gives me some of his music and I watch them soundcheck after we do ours w/soundman aj (very nice man) and he jokes his drummer keeps wearing the shirts that are meant to be slung, ha! bob-san's been doing some of the very same thing. I go to the boat and konk and so I don't get to meet the estrogen highs tom and raul said they were real good though. oh yeah, they also told me about brother lou barlow and this town - there's a stone bridge across the road from here at the venue where the oldest named carved on it (early 1600s) is ancestor of his ma's - her people helped build this town. ain't that a trip?
it's cold as fuck in the boat but I use both blankies and got the orange hat on. somehow I am rousted by the leash (it blows a "a love supreme" part) and it's thurst! he tells me to get inside cuz he's going on w/buddy bill nace for their northampton wools and I'm so glad I was rousted cuz their set was righteous, I really REALLY dig it. thurst's sitting in a chair w/guitar in lap most the time - bill likewise and both rocking peavy bandit amps on chairs also. sometimes thurst does koto action w/fingers from both hands, yeah! it's one long song they do, beautiful.
we go on right after - promotoman mark is very cool people but I wanna go right away and not wait the fifteen minutes I've been asked to wait cuz I really feel lit by thurst. it's trippy cuz the whole day I've been worried and nervous - the way I always get playing in front of my friends - like last night (thank god I didn't know mr shmmy and ms yuko were there 'til after!) but tonight it's the opposite, I don't know why but I have a spirit that's really got me lit after watch northampton wools - damn if this ain't probably the best we've ever done the third opera, even w/the hoarse voice. oh, aj did fantastic w/the monitors, really working well for me and it helps me so SO much. tom and raul are so w/me and playing their asses off. the gig-goers are happening too - there's some yammering but also peer shhhhhsing and fuck, I'm learning just to ignore the yammers, even in the tiny parts. I'm not saying the gig was classless but I had pretty together especially in respect to all the other times I've done this piece. so many gigs in a row just wears on the voice - nothing I can do about that and I had to spiel for that camera on the ride over from nyc. everyone in a way helping me too, it really means so much. I am not man alone.
thurst's ma comes to give me well-wishes, she asks about my ma too. it is great honor for me to play for thurst's ma, great honor. his bro gene and nephew too. good buddy byron coley also - he gives me knob creek nine year bourbon cuz he read about "scot whiskey" incident. thurst gives big hug, he is true brother. he says he could do whole tour w/me. the gig-goers are very kind w/their well-wishes too, very kind. one cat gives me some yusef lateef album. brendan who made "I need that record" is here, great to see him again - I did some spiel for that movie w/thurst and byron. there's much much good will from the gig-goers for my first-ever milford gig. trippy, it's just west of new haven, where k was born. I have to interrupt the greetings for a brief dash to the head (brief hobble) to blow out some "short stay" (chow that ain't healthy enough to be retained in any way) but after washing hands, I rejoin the folks wanting to express kindness and have me sign things.
we drive over to nearby shelton cuz bossman phil has invited us to konk there. I get into the nightwear quick this time, remembering last night... I drink some of what byron gave me and chow some great chicken phil's wife jacquie crockpotted up. phil's buddy john is here too, good cat. speaking of cats, there's a neko w/too many toes named sushi who's got a buddy brad - they quite tolerant of the invasion put on them here! I am pretty tuckered, I konk quick.
wednesday, april 6, 2011 - cambridge, ma
pop at nine bells, hose off. phil's got a trippy coff machine that uses cartridges - prob is the only cartridges are for chai so jacquie says she'll go and bring back a "box of coffee" which gets a laugh from me... baka watt, she in fact returns w/a box of coffee! she has some rolls w/egg in them too. the sun is out and we're digging it, out on the porch. trippiest backyard scene - no fences and easy to tell it was all once farm land. phil, jacquie and john sure are nice folks. they're cracking up at my "history lesson" on cortez in 1519, they know a little about marina though - right on. we have a good time rapping about all kinds of shit while I get the nightwear and a pair of levis washed (yatta!) and then pull anchor around twelve and a half - good bye new friends!
through the woods of connecticut - you'd be surprised how much nature there is in these small new england states - it's not all rust belt. pass uconn on the way to the "richie blackmoore" road (what we've always called the mass pike cuz of seeing him in a pilgrim hat when he was w/deep purple in the 70s) and they already got the college basketball 2011 national champion sign up on the side of the road. you go, huskies.
it's around three pm and before we get to where we want in cambridge, we hit somerville (both are in boston area) and drop bob-san off at the car rental cuz after tonight he makes his way to the next u.s. gig in pittsburgh while us four going into canada to do three gigs there. "tt the bear's place" is tonight's venue and it's got the same nightmare parking sitch that "maxwell's" in hoboken does - big time fucked but we hit the jackpot again cuz when I drop tom off to check the haps, real soon comes a yank on my leash w/him saying one's opening up (one of the only three there are!) so, bingo! even more lucky is bob-san comes not too long after w/the rental and the space in front of me opens up, yatta!
we do soundcheck w/ellio, he's very happening people and I've worked w/him before. I meet the young people from alston who make up the dirty dishes and they got a trippy sound, drummie's pretty wild. I know chris brokaw from the 90s but he's also played w/thurst's solo band. I talk w/him, catch up on things. miss peak brings me a burrito that's full of chemical sauce, mazui ("tastes terrible" in japanese) - fuck this. I go get something like a cheese steak sandwich but green peppers and onions instead of cheese. I have a weird feeling a little bit - not just from that one bite of that mazui burrito but there was a bottle of blue gatorade in the boat w/my name on the cap and though "piss" was not written on it, I think I remember a a week or so ago at a gas stop pissing in it, not too much but some... fuck, I can't remember and can't understand why I didn't dump it then or at least write "piss" on it like I always do. fuck, am I an idiot. there's internet from the club "middle east" and I get this email from my old buddy mark:
joe de is comin tonight. be prepared, he is going to wake your ass up in the boat before the show.
joe de is good people - bring it, joe. I got to the boat and wear all zipped up yellow coat, ronnie coat and purple shirt - from the outside in. orange hat and both trucker blankies complete the konk "outfit" and I'm out hard.
a yank on the leg from tom yanks me from a fucking nightmare - actually there were two of them... the first was I thought for sure I was driving and couldn't open my eyes after somehow they got closed. I wanted to holler to raul to take the wheel but my mouth wouldn't open, I couldn't get the fucking words out. fuck. the other dream was more gentle - we were playing some pad for old people and couldn't stop debating whether we should bring in the bass amp, time was running out to play but we kept debating! so fucking bizarre.
I get on stage, the pad is packed - a man in his wheelchair makes room for me to hobble up... fuck, no hot throatcoat tea and my vocal chords from three hours in the cold boat are like one huge fist all tangled up. I ask raul to go get some hot water from the bar - they'd given me some earlier when we first arrived... hmm, I'm bewildered when raul comes up and says someone at the bar says they're too busy to get the water for the throatcoat tea. I tell the gig-goers I like this pad a bunch, have played here so many times but what is this about? I tell them about the dream w/the "should we get the bass amp" debate and then we go for the piece, fuck it.
I am in a weird place. I blow a bunch of clams but get it together more and more. I can tell something's up w/tom also - don't know what it its but I feel for him. I rally and stop feeling so sorry for myself. the gig-goers are very up for the piece so we rise to their level, I think they deserve it, I know they do. that stuff w/the tea had to be the worst way ever to start a fucking gig! the piece in itself rallies us. trippy about that - I think the structure and journey that it presents to us requires us to let go of other shit to get a good grip on it. I've never really thought of it like that but it does have a life of its own, damn. we finish strong - the monitors were weak but I could hear some off the mains - since I've last been here, the mains are flying now instead of being just old way stacks. actually, at one point ellio's intern brought up a hot tea and stood there w/it but I couldn't stop the piece for that, couldn't do it. I felt bad for her. just before the encores, I tried it and damn if it wasn't lipton caffeinated kind, aaarrrggghhh! it'd be very non-healthy for me to drink that cuz very difficult to konk - that's why I do coff only in the morning. tom does good w/the encores - he just told me about his stomach sitch but I told him don't worry, he did great. raul was happening too.
the gig-goers are very kind - one young man jumps up on stage and gives me his "day of reckoning" sine. another one has me sign his bass pickguard. debcha from hc says hi after I greet more and say thank you for all the kindness cats are being so generous w/and I am really grateful, truly - I take none of this for granted. it's out of their kindness, I don't deserve it - it is gift from them. before I got off stage I did tell about where the anchor came from, the first one around my neck - it was from last round of the first opera, right here at this same pad when I was loading out. I'm bummed to hear joe de didn't make it, too sick (fuck) and I never saw mark though two of his buddies said he was here. same w/greg - he's a cat who's seen me for more than twentyfive years and he's given miss peak his address so we have a konk pad.
I settle w/gigboss randi and thank her. this man wants to talk to me about "the sand pebbles" - oh oh, I could go on for a couple of days about the book and/or the movie! I tell him his much as I can to hopefully get him fired up on it cuz he forgot much about what he read (said he read it at the dmv!) and get this - he works bass too! shit, sorry I can't remember his name.
we say bye and safe seas to bob-san and then pull anchor for malden, only a couple of towns north of here. greg's just the best, he's got his teaching job in the morning but still is glad we came to konk at his pad. we talk for some 'til we both gotta call it cuz of stuff we gotta do in the morning. last konk before canada, true north.
thursday, april 7, 2011 - montreal, qc, canada
tom's audio words-eye-view for week five (w/raul morales) here!
pop at eight bells, kind of... it's a half there/half ain't pop where I hear a ma getting her little one ready to go and it's a slow one - when the pop becomes fully realized, I find myself alone on the couch and only toys nearby. I hose off and get dressed, getting a toy pterodactyl inside one pant leg that makes for lame fit - I fish out the toy and all is better. I go roust the team which is the first bob-san-less roust since he joined us in new mexico... I sure hope he's ok.
we gotta bail at nine and a half cuz you never know how long a border sitch might take - we're going into canada for the next three gigs, was that a 'tard thing for me to chimp? why else would bob-san be gone, right? sor-ry. the sun is out real nice and though it's still not-pedro chilly, I am grateful for clear skies. we go northeast, is it mostly I-84? I think so - first through the rest of massachusetts, then onto new hampshire - it's here we chow at a subway sandwiches - been a while since the last one, huh? guess what I get? it's a little different cuz there's two red things I add that I don't usually see in these pads: roasted peppers and some kind of pepper relish. one young man has to make all our chow cuz five minutes 'til co-worker is to show up so apologize and he says "don't feel sorry for me, sir." whoa. I'm thinking chick hearn when he'd say "no harm no foul, no blood no ambulance" and drop back from land of small talk - my little wagon got fixed, huh? I guess miss peak's never chowed here - I ain't noticed she wasn't part of us when we'd hit these pads up - maybe she was only on camera. tom walks her though out to order some chow. an hour later we're in vermont and I had the wheel to raul for a couple of hours. a call (ok, a rant) to my 'man oustide the van' steve kaul to ask him and his lieutenant brooks why does the immigration papers call for a saint albans crossing when a lacolle one would have us right on the quebec auto route, he says they plotted a google map way and that's what came up - baka! I ask him to please make change. should've looked at this earlier. raul asks to hear some who (we've already put in our spielgusher quota) and so I feed him the "a quick one" cd I got from jeff bowers years ago - ain't that a trip that I'm working w/jeff now w/org music? life is a fucking trip. we switch ponies about an hour from the border as I take us across the finger lakes to champlain. much snow everywhere, lakes half frozen - damn! supposed to be spring! we go through this small town where THE laundromat says "free wifi" and from there get the new paperwork from kaul's man brooks. alright.
problem is, I first use the wrong lacolle crossing - it's a podunk one w/no immigration/customs, aaaarrrrgggghhh - the french canadians are understanding but the u.s. guy has a bunch of questions like "where did you come from last night - and don't tell me it was california" - he relents though after a look in the back and I can get us on I-87 and the big time crossing where I go to register our equipment on the u.s. side, the officer there very kind to me. however, I didn't ask him how to get to the actual crossing and am a little confused... tom says bear right and sure enough, it's the wrong one - the one for trucks so we gotta wait like forty minutes while a greyhound bus gets searched and cleared ahead of us. kind of comical but like they say, "can't hurry love" so we wait it out and have some laughs. finally we're brought up and the canadian officer appears to be training a new one. she asks a bunch of questions and is very to the point but lets go onto immigration. there we gotta wait, papers are missing from the 'puter files but I'm brought in and told these papers weren't really needed anyway but... I tell you, border situations are very subjective. this officer was very kind to me, no problems but I think I need maybe these papers for the next time, the next roll of the dice. the point is I never take these things for granted and always try to do right, borders are very heavy things and it's not worth trying to fuck w/anything but just do what has to get done. I would never make a good mule, NEVER. and fuck, I don't wanna - what I want is to work bass and very much dig getting the opportunity to do it in other lands. things have changed much w/borders as you might imagine. I wanna cause no trouble, truly - I try not to "get away" w/anything, ever. I'm baka but not that fucking baka.
so that was about two hours. canada for people who don't has provinces instead of states. quebec is one most w/french culture still in it. montreal is the big town of quebec. it's main part is on a big island. really neat place, I believe it is the most european of all the north american towns I've been to. tom does pretty good job using the oldy time way of navigating us to the venue in montreal, the road atlas. turns out my garmin gps doesn't' have the maps for here. drop anchor at six and a half - whew, nine hours. it's my third time here, "la salla rosa" which is actually a spanish cultural center but there's gig here also. lucky us find parking spot right out front - yatta! many stairs to shlep gear though but we have folks to help. we also beat the headliners - tonight we don't play last but first on a two band w/our buddies sebadoh but they're late cuz of some shipping fuckup w/their shirts. they ain't much late though and its great to see brother lou again. he's got jason like the old days, big hugs for jason and now on drums is bob from the days when I first played brooklyn again and the north six he helped run. I think it's called "the williamsburg hall of music" now or something. anyway it's good to see these cats and there's time for both of us to do soudcheck - the soundman david is very happening cat and so is the padboss jonathan. fuck so is the promoterboss evan! everyone very cool, absolute. my old buddy frere chapu is here - his l'oie de craven published my "spiels of a minuteman" book and he is a dear man. he just had me write forward for new byron coley book he's putting out. so good to see him again, so good.
miss peak konks in room across street that's provided to us - she doesn't wanna miss taking pictures and clinic wait can be five or so hours which worries me cuz her sickness is BAD but she agrees in the morning no matter what she will see a doctor - I want the same w/tom. I tell them "no body dies on my watch" and mean it. while she konks, us three chow w/sebadoh drummerman bob and it's tapas chow from this pad (the floor below the room where the gig takes place is restaurant and we have some very great chow: fried calamari, shrimps in butter, mussels in white wine, chorizo in it's own sauce, peppers (mild ones) diced w/slices of hard cheese - actually it's stuff for the bread that was brought early, big round rolls but that got chowed by us before any of these came - hey, it all ends up in the same chow sack under your shirt anyway, right? there's also the spanish version of the tortilla which is like an omelette - nothing like the mexican kind were used to but still good. man, what a chow - we finishing shoveling just after nine - maybe a half hour before we play!
my guys brought the econo electric kettle so I can make throatcoat tea before we go on, thank god. we go out and deliver the piece. first thing I do is holler "tabernak! which is heavy cus word in these parts - it means "cabinet" - that's cus words up here! monitors are good, I can the hoarse watt voice and don't have to mime it - thanks so much, david. one HUGE challenge though is some borracho (spanish for yoparai which is jap for fucking drunk) right in front of tom is really going off - there's some all over and one even in front of me but I can tune them out - I can tune this cat out mostly too but he does get to me by "lute-and-dagger-man" though I never scissor the flow and just fuck up on a little spiel. honest to god, I don't how tom did it but he play really well - both him and raul were way WAY good tonight... maybe it was cuz they were doing it in front of lou? (they tour w/him as 'lou barlow + the missingmen' last year) I think they're just on their game and trying their hardest which inspires me much. the packed room is mostly very respectful and beautiful to work my third opera for - usually doing something like this to open for someone else can mean focus getting diluted but damn if I see that hatch in the back ever open. big merci to the montreal gig-goers, big merci, great big ones. I've decided no encores, this is not our gig and start putting my stuff away as soon as we're done. no sticker handouts either, just hurry and get the stage clear for our sebadoh brothers.
I thank tom and raul backstage for the very happening job they did, just incredible all tour actually. I go out to where chap is and experience the sebadoh gig. I am tuckered pretty much and no pre-gig konk so whoa, is it a little tough but there's a chair for sore me. my friend patrick who works for the cirque du soleil comes and says hi, very nice man. steve, the man who had me do bass for his songs on the island proj album called "channels" comes and shakes my hand - whoa, first time I've met him in person though I kind of know him through working out bass for his tunes - so great put my hand in his hand and see him smile - big respect! wish it wasn't so loud and me so hoarse though...
gig done, "good work" I say many time to sebadohers jason and bob after a hug on brother lou as he came out to man the table where his shirts are being slung - him first not realizing I think it was baka watt but then giving me the good word when I don't know, maybe he sensed an odor? I give him good hug. I settle w/promoterman evan who wants to know about promotermen like paul and kevin I know, he wants to know how I "keep the fire" and stuff like that and I tell he can too but everyone's different. think about rimbaud, righteous poems from him but only a little of his life and then others go down swinging like elvin jones, gigging his whole life. there's no one way for the journey, I think.
my men and miss peak across the road, I follow chapu back to his place where it's safer to dock the boat (remember all the stooges shit stolen in this town back in 2008?) - oh man, that little bass but I figure she had to go - I think she was telling me that earlier that night in "l.a. blues" when that extra long strap screw came out (how the fuck could that happen?!), she was saying, "you gotta let me go, watt, you gotta let go." up his steep stairs, I get into the nightwear then me and chapu talk a little at his kitchen table. he gives me some of this whiskey he's got from japan, something called "ichiro's malt chichi newborn" that 130 proof, tastes like some kind of scotch. I ain't big on scotch, no disrespect but I just ain't. it sure is good to see chapu again though, truly.
friday, april 8, 2011 - ottawa, on, canada
pop at nine bells, find italiano-style stovetop percolator where? on his stovetop! what's good is these have no filters made of paper - the search for paper filters in other people's pad can be many times fruitless. the final item of course is the coff - sometimes it beans and so a search for a grinder is needed but here's a sack full of expresso - I'm set. I hose off after administering the coff to my gullet. chapu awakes and we can talk about things for a little bit but not much, damn. we decide tom and miss peak will go to walk-in clinic in ottowa so we don't have to sweat traff if shit takes too long. ten and half and I pull anchor, following him not too far away - back to where we were last night cuz that's where my crew is. before he gets in his car though, he gets a sack of just done (and I mean just done!) sesame bagels, all warm and shit - this is for the team, his goodbye gift. beautiful frere, chapu. he said we got the first sunny morning they've had in a long time... one last au revoir to him.
garmin gps not working, tom navigates w/directs I got from the internet - 40 west to 417 is our route and we get into downtown ottawa around one and half. ottawa is in ontario, the next provence over from quebec and it is canada's federal capitol. chapu found me a walk-in clinic about five blocks from where we're playing tonight which is a pad called "mavericks" right on what looks like one of the main strips. I drop tom and miss peak off and then find parking as close as I can near the venue. I chimp diary in the boat while raul roams. a few hours later and tom returns - the clinic doc gave him antibiotics for seven days to do cuz he spit up yellow. miss peak went missing he said so I am very worried, fuck. I send him to search and after a while he returns w/very relieving news: he found her and she's getting tended to. whew. I go to the supermarket nearby to look for throatcoat tea and there's 'pert-near fifty kinds but no fucking throatcoats, god damn it. I get an italian sausage w/vinegar chilies and mustard on a bun from a chowcart lady, her accent east europe and she's very kind to me, saying "men like spicy, no?" yes. miss peak returns (I had made a map of where the boat was for raul to take to our clinic visitors) and she says she spit up clear so doc said "virus" and that means she has to ride it out w/only prescription cough syrup and stuff for sinuses for her. I am relieved some but not total - I guess we've done what we can do. I'm still saying prayers for her and tom.
load in ain't 'til six and raul tells me we've been given some fucked options - the best I guess is when the busses slow down and just haul ass at the curb right in front of the pad (only front hatch here). then I go look for parking cuz that old space is gone and fuck, there's some sketch on that sidestreet action anyway - I find a lot that takes five dollars but only coins. luckily it takes u.s. quarters so twenty of them go down the machine's in-hole. I hobble the block and a half to the club, we do soundcheck w/soundman justin who's a nice cat. I meet the openers (both local), the first are the mnemonics and I tell them about the first time I played ottawa - actually it was across the river, in hull. tonight's poster says porcelain forehead but they had to pull out - those cats were on the bill twentyseven years ago, them and the minutemen in hull. man, that would've been a trip to see them again. anyway, these guys are nice - three guitarists. the other group is the steve adamyk band and their drummerman david played black sabbath mixtape while I put up tom's fourth week of audio diary - whoa, over twenty seven minutes this time. once we get scans of bob-san's handwritten diary and miss peak's photos, it'll be a trip what different kind of perspectives we'll have of this journey. I may go back at the end and pick a shot for each day from all the snaps I've been taking but right it's enough for me just to try and keep up w/the chimping, sor-ry. raul brings me a meatball sandwich from a nearby subway shop - yeah, not tuna. this will have consequences...
there's a parking place as close as it can get to this pad that opens up and so all those quarter are for naught but fuck it - raul holds the place while I hobble and dock her in the new place. not that cold but still I use two blankies and pull the orange knit boshi I have over my eyes and konk deep and hard - we're on a quarter after midnight so it's a good three hour one stopped only by tom's vigorous leg-shake. I had a fucking trippy dream... it was like I was in a parade or a march or something but not on foot but like a stream in the air, like a column extending out w/no support but in a flow. I was suggesting stuff to the thousands of others in the stream, like "let's now become honeybees" and the we'd turn into them and the space between us would be all flow of yellow, then I'd say (somehow I thought these suggestions would help us better communicate!), "let's become dragonflies" and likewise we'd change into them and the space between now amber and thick but not encumbering - I said "sea turtles" and it was green like cooked-up lima beans... damn, do I love lima beans cooked up w/garlic, love it. I grab bass and backwacksack, head for gig. so righteous tom brings me hot thoratcoat tea, merci beaucoup.
make my way through the folks for the stage - no hand rail but at least some bulkhead and thank god, stairs - raul helps me and whoa... short-stay? readers of my chimped shit might be familiar w/that slang. it's means something down the in-hole getting blown out 'pert-near quick. I tell tom blowout but maybe not much... whatever, the show must go on - so it does. we bring forth the piece - w/that added bonus. I shook my pant leg once so ain't talking oatmeal here. later my men would tell me it had an odor to it and in fact raul says he spied a reason that got shook out. I think the ottawa gig-goers were oblivious to it and more tripping on the third opera at least this is what I was hoping. I mean I didn't write this piece to trip people out but can imagine the confusion and empathize w/them some. however, I just had to write and do this at the place in life I find myself now in and so in a way, have to charge hard and well... it's "not care" but it's more of like "this is what I got to do" kind of thing. I hope that makes some kind of sense. I ain't trying to make excuses or explain anything away. I will say I know for sure tom and raul did real good, I'm so proud of what they bring to "hyphenated-man" and can't imagine anyone else for this. there are drunken hollers but I keep focus. actually there are "shut-ups" from some gig-goers louder than the hollers! I get lost in the piece - I'm starting to be conscious less of its mechanics which allows me to dive deeper emotionally. I really feel the gig-goers deserve to have me feel the different parts more than just execute them. me/tom/raul have very good communication w/the eyes almost the whole time. the monitors started out real good but got lamer (less and less highs) as the set went on but never sunk to either lame or suckass. for this I am much grateful. the corridor behind raul and my bass amp now has been institutionalized and is a part of every set. tom leads us into the encores, me and raul behind him - literally. it's a really good gig.
we have a couple of choices for accommodations - I had preface our gig w/a plea for somewhere safe the boat could dock and it was a little dilemma for tom cuz he got presented w/two options from very kind folks. I defer to tom on these matters always and the suggest via miss peak and her contact got the short straw - you understand we very much appreciate everything kind folks offer and do for us so it's kind of a heartbreak to ever say no. in the meantime, I take kind words gig-goers give for me as I get my amp stuff packed and take pictures/sign stuff like I do right after the gig - I never go to "cool off" but get right to this cuz instantly I feel obligated to folks being generous w/the time, open-mindedness, et cetera. lots of big hugs.
I settle w/gigboss shawn - sometimes you mean these cats only at the end and only for moments but they're the ones getting it together for you all the days from the first booking to the actual downbeat. trippy reality on the realio. I bring the boat around front after hobbling to it - the door man brings the coltrane cd we use as music for (hopefully) before and after we play, glad this wasn't a donate. we follow jim and gord over to a pad next door to where they live (by the hospital) where they're housesitting. it's a very nice pad. immediately I ask gord where's both the shower and washing machine. on my knees at the commode I liberate the chonies of caked-on stuffs, noticing green olives when I had told raul black olives. I don't want other members of the team's outfits soiled. then I bring them into the shower w/me and we're both cleansed. then a clean watt, into the nightwear - is there a more pleasing vision ever? a little drama when tom's accidentally starts the load before I get to him, he didn't know where I was - him thinking I was doing a nice gesture by leaving open the machine's hatch.
now on the couch where I will konk, I rap w/our good hosts jim and gord. gord it turns out was the drummerman in honest injun, a band that played w/the minutmen and my dog popper in montreal back in 1984, the day after hull gig - porcelain forehead I think was on the bill too. anyway, I'm amazed that I've met someone who was there in those old days w/me - gord knows all about all kinds of stuff from then. him and jim are really cool people, truly. we rap all kinds of stuff - I don't know how it gets to the stupidity of us humans and me spieling about boomers (bottom boats w/big nukes), I wanna start crying. we get going on music again though and I feel better. we go on 'til like four when I konk.
saturday, april 9, 2011 - toronto, on, canada
pop at eight and half bells which is insane cuz of konking only four and half hours ago but hell, that's what my body says is gonna happen. already all cleaned - such a good feeling to wake up that way but when I go to see if my levis are likewise, no luck. they'll need another round at the next chance. I update stuff that needs updating. do prac w/eiko-san w/english-go via skype is terrible but we get to do a little. we gotta pull anchor at ten which is tough on miss peak cuz I didn't give fare warning. baka watt, sorry.
at the hatch w/last goodbye to gord. I'm so honored to have met twentyseven years later the drummer of honest injun, respect! we get 'pert-near quick on the canadian highways that have some kind of "royal" motif around their number which really gets tom lit, like our buddy drummerman jason in phily would say: "that's stupid" and he riffs on what this shape looks like, such as a loaf or a marshmallow or even that old "jiffypop" shit. out the window is not the prettiest, kind of beat up trees still not in spring mode, still stripped naked by winter. they got funny signs on the highway, government ones - they can't be ACTUAL points of interest, can they? we figure they get money to put up names of places or attractions like "carnage paint ball," "mac-(something)'s fine mustard," "museum of bath attractions," "pingle's fun farm" or "nuclear power information center" (very relevant now maybe?). first we're south on 416 where trying to find gas turned into a fucked up impossible-to-get-back-on-almost maneuver that was fruitless cuz there was no god damn gas and then southwest on 401, skirting lake ontario. I get gas and hand the wheel to raul and chimp diary from the bench behind the front seats - my first time riding like that this tour but my knee can take it and I tell the team I don't wanna always be coddled, even being hobbled up like I am. a couple hours later I take the wheel back. tom guides me in using the googled directions (garmin gps still out) and we get to downtown toronto about four. the weather is righteous, couldn't be better. toronto is the big town for canada, their new york city. we're at "the legendary horseshoe tavern" which has been going since 1947. righteous too is they got parking right behind and I back the boat in w/our rear hatch up close theirs. we drop anchor. I help load in some. I meet kippy - he's done my sound before but not tonight, our sound tonight's being mixed by adam, a man who share a knee hurt like me but in ways nothing like me cuz his hurt came from a tumor above the knee the size of a tangerine that ate the bone out from the inside. crimony! someone did a bone donate and they rebuilt everything. my shit's way piddly in comparison - way piddly... that's why it's important for me to keep things in perspective and not get to feeling too sorry for myself. we do soundcheck and I meet the singer of dearly beloved who's playing before us, her names neva, cool people. I never did get the other openers, greys but I think both bands are local. fuck, I feel so baka cuz I always wanna meet the bands who let us share the stage w/them - I wanna let them know I appreciate it much.
across the road is a chow pad called "sushi xtra" but first I meet a friend from the old days, chandan - wow! so great to see him again, so great! we go back to the minutemen days, he lived up in the bay area of cali. what a coincidence, he lives here now. the soosh is good, especially this maki called "fire dragon tuna" but I can't finish all of it so get the rest to go. so great to have jap chow again, it's been a while and I think I'll maybe have extra power for tonight's gig. I'm hoping so. I go to the boat and konk, really buried in it - past dream part. fucking tuckered, truly. not that cold even though I'm bundled just in case - I pop in a little bit of sweat when tom does the leg-grab to roust me. he's got a new cup for the throatcoat tea that the barman got him - both insulated and w/a no-spill kind of sippy-spout - fucking happening, thanks so much!
I get up on stage (actually raul and tom helping me) and get ready to go but the amp not plugged in! I gotta tune too - not too long to do but not the most dramatic entrance, huh? the pad is packed, damn. thank you, toronto folks! we do the piece and at first I'm very nervous... see, uh - well, I'll explain later, k? I do get it together though and get in tight w/tom and raul. there's some yammering that challenges the focus - people calling for stuff from the first opera (what?!), one guy over and over wanting "brave captain" - even more weird, climbing on stage - crimony! I know the piece is weird but I'm kind of thinking - or rather suggesting - maybe folks should give it a chance. most folks though are very respectful and you can hear a pin drop by the last lines of the central part ("pinned-against-the-table-man") - I think we gave the piece a real good working tonight. I am soaked in sweat, probably the most of this tour. it's raul's thirtythird bday, I tell the gig-goers - big wishes for him from them, from me and tom. the encores are wailing, we do all we do at this point.
about what happened next, I'm using an email I typed to my buddy jose in london, ok?
...brother sam [from the go! team] told me there was a possibility he could make the gig but I thought maybe no way they could do it - he said they had sunday toronto gig and they were coming in night before so I put him plus town on the list like he asked, just in case and then did soundcheck and went to the boat and konked. tom got me for the gig a couple minutes before we went on at 11:30 and then we did the third opera. it was raul's bday so that was special. I was nervous like I always am but I have to tell you, jose, that we got it a little better together than when you saw it [december 4, 2010 gig at the all tomorrow's parties festival in minehead, england] - anyway, I was a little shaky, a little bit but then rallied myself and we did the piece good. I gotta tell you that w/these packed gigs and people drunk and yammering and shit, it can be quite a test to hold focus, quite a test. dudes hollering shit and even pits starting in the gentle parts, what? the magic of alcohol. the suggestions of how to supplement what you're doing w/other works, et cetera.
yeah, it was a mindblow. I really dig these guys - I think I've talked about me and sam's proj cuz - I used jamie's bass for that - I really dig it ("you're not getting it!" he tells me - ha! I wrote about him some in last tour's diary), a jap copy of a fender jazz but way bette than any one I've worked before. sam's almost got our first cuz album mixed and done... last year we did stuff for a second one! man, has he put work into this proj, so much but I really think it's worth it and folks are gonna trip on our stuff - plus we got some righteous guests. you know what? lots of what sam's doing w/this he learned from the man ian right here, yep, damn right. in a trippy way ian is a part of our proj w/out even having his hands on it.
trippy: when I was being contrite for bass clams to jamie he said something interesting, he said something like "ok then but maybe your other men were blowing clams at the same time to compensate and cancel out any lameness resulting" - he meant we kept shit together in a musical way, I think. tom knows this. raul blew the biggest clam he's done this tour in the last tune of the night, the night of his thirtythird bday but I swear I blew one there too BUT we were both fucking on it, celebrating the fuck out of it... remember when bob-san brought up that "celebrating clams" perspective? interesting, much.
tina (who came to nyc gig) has a best buddy name kathy who wants us to konk at her pad. another bud of tina's, siobhan arrives and wants us also but I am embarrassed by history - I thank her so much cuz is just wonderful and her husband mark - he made "the corporation" so it's very happening to introduce him to ian cuz he's a documentary film maker besides a band boss.
I have to hug my go! brothers bye and wish them safe seas so I can go settle - gigboss jeff is gone now (damn) but his lieutenant craig's here and it's so great to see him again, aaarrrggghhh no jeff but I understand - I was yammering too much the go! buds in the back. it's our best gig yet at this pad and I'm very happy for them cuz they've supported me so many times. big hugs for craig.
we get kathy in the boat w/us and head for a parking lot near her bad which is in the little italy part of town. it's kind of a hoof but not too bad - only seems that way a little cuz of my hobbled self but she's got a neat pad and we chow popcorn she pops and have a good time w/some beam (even tom-san drinking it as well as kathy - not just watt!) and her little dog sushi plus her buddy ehrling. he's very interesting man, a painter. kathy tells tom about people she knows and gets him to do guitar so she can show him she can sing. she is a very kind lady, very kind. maybe three bells when I konk. so grateful kathy put both my levis and a pair of chonies her washer.
sunday, april 10, 2011 - pittsburgh, pa
pop at eight bells - the little wonko (dog) sushi konked w/me, my leg for pillow? all dark out through the window. I hose off while tom looks for coff... he finds nada so instead tries some kind of tea but a mouthful of that 'pert-near gags me - I don't know why, I quit the rest. I think of the levis - did they ever get to the dryer stage? no, so that's where they go now. kathy is aroused and makes us real coff - of course she knows where her filters and the beans are! she also breaks out a bread loaf that looks like a foot in diameter bagel (but it ain't a bagel) and we have slices of that w/butter.
speaking of butter, that's what we're hoping for regarding border sitch but in case it ain't we gotta make for enough time... ten bells we pull anchor and we thank kathy and head for the boat. I hobble in a little bit of rain, carrying my yellow clothes sack against my chest w/both arms and backwacksack where it should go. miss peak says her cameras went to the deck when she got one of the invader clowns off the stage and now there's probes w/focusing w/one of her lenses, fuck. don't people realize there's consequences from stupid behavior that just doesn't happen to them (one of those guys hit head on monitor on his way down to deck)? I feel bad for her. I am glad though her health is returning - not all the way but she's getting better, thank god... tom too.
west from toronto on qew towards industrial hamilton, tom says his leash told him it's warm in pittsburgh. that's a trip cuz since leaving massachusetts we've seen snow on the side of the road in spots, ice even in the lakes and rivers... from hamilton were south 'til we cross the border at lewiston which is new for me - there's three bridges back home around the buffalo area here and though we don't get to see niagra falls (damn but I've seen it tons from both sides), it is much lighter traff and the boarder officer is very kind to us, we're through very quick, thank you so much, thank you. we're back home and slowly the weather changes from rainy gray to sunny and warm, it's a trip. after our daily spielgusher dos I play "cheap thrills" live album by big brother and the holding company so tom can hear james gurley for himself. he trips on that, big time. ian mackaye was right on the money!
the garmin gps works now and after south on ny throughway we get taken to a little town to get on I-79 south for where we wanna end up and it's here where I get gas and hand the wheel over to raul. I also get a double stick three dollar pepperoni and pass out chunks to the team before eating the rest - weirdest chow in a way of the tour - not healthy! I chimp diary as raul wheels us (favorite road sign I see: "buckle up next million miles") into the east pittsburgh neighborhood of bloomfield where the "brillobox" is, tonight's venue.
jason and rococo helped w/the load in, bitchin' cuz there's some stairs involved, downstairs is bar/chow pad and upstairs is gig room/bar. first time for me here. while soundman justin gets things hooked up, I go across the street and chow half the corned beef sandwich I get there, putting the other half in backwacksack. justin's a nice cat and explain to him the "fourth man request" sitch - he agrees. jason comes by and has me sign his guitar that ed fROMOHIO signed - yeah, edward! he left a huge carved wood anchor piece (so sorry it can't fit on the dash!) and a note saying he has to work and he can't make it tonight, damn. I always invite edward on stage to play a few songs w/me when we're both in the same town (old days was chapel hill, now it's here). good man, edward. I meet the opening band for tonight, the neighbors who are local cats and very kind.
I go upstairs to get diary up on hoot page cuz I'm told it's where band people go (third floor) and kind of bumrush someone one heavy phone call but I don't listen cuz that's fucked up and just do my work. there was tv on and I shut that off so maybe it seemed like I was listening but I swear I wasn't. when the call is finished the man says he wants a painting of me cuz I'm sitting there working w/the ronnie jacket off. he asks about me hearing the call and he's feeling a little down... I didn't hear it but wanna help so we get talking and trippy things come up like kierkegaard and joyce and stuff - turns out he's the owner's brother. he says he's glad he met me so I guess I helped somehow. actually I'm not very good w/drama but do like books - I tell him I read "ulysses" first in my twenties and again in my forties - first time it seemed a huge celebration and second time it felt much more sad... the thing about it though was that the written words I read both times never changed. "the words never changed" he said back, he liked that.
tom comes up and says the chow pad part has a brillo burger for me. I go down to the street level and there at the hatch is mr tom - whoa! maux too! yeah. they got a buddy too and I rap crazy kind of cuz I'm excited - I chow half the burger and use hands to feed from the arugula on the plate. I'm so glad to see them, so glad! I have HUGE respect, can't tell you - words would fail hey, up on the third floor talk got to witgenstein - ain't that a trip? anyway, I am not lack for words here but as time passes - oh, a man I did a spiel w/twentyseven years ago, his name tom miller (no, not that tom miller) and he gives me the fanzine from then - w/an hour and a little more to go before stage time I have to relent and get to the boat and konk. damn, I better play good, try my best. just before I konk I see tif - she's here to see an old buddy from her navy days. I konk quick, deep.
tom rousts me - first konk since florida bare chested. I guess that report tom read on his leash wasn't crazy after all... crazy. I get up the stairs and through the packed room - the gig's clean. before we start the piece I thank the folks for coming on a work night (actually I have us go on a half-hour early cuz of that) and also dedicate tonight's performance to mr tom and maux. we deliver the piece. maybe I'm a little loud cuz it's hard to hear the drums - this ain't the biggest pad. the difficult thing though is the guitar coming through the monitors and it's killing me. after the first part I have to do the unthinkable and holler kindly for only my voice in the them cuz there's no way'll be able to do the whole opera like this, no way - it's fucked I have to "break the spell" or however you wanna put it - I want the piece as much as possible to be always whole and hate to do anything to break it up. fuck. anyway, besides that it's a pretty good run for us and I gotta say the pittsburgh gig-goers are truly righteous for their respect and focus. pin drop sitch when the piece gets tiny, every time. how very kind of these folks, how very kind. tom did have some crunching at one point, pretty late in - he thinks maybe from that beer that got poured in his shit in montreal? anyway, for the encores is the only yammering, I'm giving a speech before we launch into what we do at this point and someone in front of tom gets all einstein (obviously sober mode einstein) and very loudly wonders what type of machine he's operating so I ask tom to give him his mic, I apologize to this man for interrupting him - he tells the crowd which machine he believes tom is operating, "a fender jazzmaster and not a gibson sg" he says. we finish the gig w/out further enlightenment. again, much respect to the pittsburgh gig-goers, truly.
I give the good word and most gratefully accept the kind ones from the folks. not many stickers left but I give what I can and sign everything I'm asked to. there's a coast guard man I remember who gives me a sticker, big respect. I meet in person the other mike watt - this, not the pedro one who works the bass but the pittsburgh writer one - we've been emailing each other for years but now we meet in person finally, yeah! big hugs. lots of good people here, lots of good people. only one missing is edward! damn, I wish him well.
we follow mr tom and maux over to the endsworth part of town and damn if they don't want me to take the boat up this steepass gravel driveway... I try it but a few yards in I think "no way" and get her out - thank god I get her out, whew. I park at the curb real close by, no prob. they got some old grand dad "114" bourbon that I've never had so soon I'm peppering them from their couch in my nightware w/much MUCH spiel 'til I run out of gas and konk unbeknownst to me - is that correct way to put it? they're righteous beautiful people, truly.
monday, april 11, 2011 - cleveland heights, oh
pop at eight and half bells and I am amazed why I never pop on the quarter hour! I hose off and find tom organizing some coff making - he is great at that. maux soon helps, mr tom is briefed by miss peak on post-spiel "performance" by me... I thought I had just konked but I guess there was more... tom (our tom) ad libs in a most royal-sounding voice: "so when the gas has run out of me, both you and you may tuck me in!"
I prac some english-go w/eiko-san but the skype version she's now saddled w/is bloated and bunk - the gist of the spiel w/mr tom is that doing music is a job too, just maybe a little different. actually him and maux explain to me some drama I do not dig in the slightest them having to be mired in. much empathy from me. I try to relate the story of the tar baby but I am clumsy w/words and my 'tard memory a little faulty. they way I've always thought of it is not how racist thought twisted it but the analogy giving the "the only way to solve such a situation is by separation" message in regards to a situation and not a people. it is difficult to use these words cuz history has loaded them up, I know. I wanna respect people... I think I'm off on a tangent here...
we wanna chow w/mr tom and maux but they're leaving for tour in three days and have no fixings so we have to go to chow pad but at the same time I gotta both get boat's oil changed and retrieve bob-san after he jettisons rental car. I call up ford dealership on way to cleveland and this weird voice on the phone tells me "look, my guys go to lunch from one to two!" - whoa... for some reason I go along w/it, following mr tom and maux in their "fit" (what a name for a car!) and do a phoner w/san francisco writerman as we go through the canyons and woods - pittsburgh area is trippy geography but then when done w/that spiel I decide I don't trust that man on the phone telling me that "look..." shit so I pull the plug on that and head for downtown pittsburgh to get bob-san. I just didn't have a good feeling, just didn't and go w/my gut. we gather bob-san and the shit-to-be-slung and it being now noon, both mr and maux tell us it fucking forever time waiting where we're at and we should just git which makes sense. I get mr tom to sit in the shotgun seat though and check out the shrine a little. I tell him I wanna be fit like him and lose this fucking bell I got going - this knee has put hell on me in different ways but I can bell-reduce in pedro, I know it. I can do shit on the deck... anyway, I tell him I wanna wail on music like he does even though last night he told me he's been going through a writer's block (I tell him that happens to everyone - we're not fucking machines), this cat is quite an inspiration for me. bye mr tom.
so now we are five again and up I-79 and out of pennsylvania and onto the ohio turnpike for cleveland. rain is off and on and there's a wind blowing but we make it to brother demos' pad in shakers heights, kind of testing raul's bladder resolve cuz you know about these like thirty mile gaps between "service area" shit on this road, right? you sail down one and you will. on the leash demos tells me of sudden 35 to 25 mph zones near his pad and $175 tickets - I tell him about the ONE big sign we saw both on the east and west side of toronto yesterday and the day before: fiftyl clicks and over speed will result in $10,000 fine... immediate roadside seizure of vehicle - crimony! I do another two phoners. it's tough doing these but I gotta catch up cuz leash rates we're like two bucks/minute in canada and fuck if I was gonna get soaked on that.
three pm when we drop anchor at demo's and he's got a version of the u.s. flag when ohio joined the union (twenty-three stars in the blue field?) out front instead of the culpepper flag. I guess people we're associating him w/the tea-baggers cuz of that flag, fuck - more clowns appropriating the old symbols - that's one reason why d. boon wanted to confuse things more back in 1980 when he like "minutemen" on my list of names he had me make up. actually, I had "minute men" (as in MY-NOOT MEN) meaning us being tiny in regards to 'tard arena rock mentality but he had this other angle and I was digging what he was inferring - dilute these clowns appropriating patriotic stuff by using it also. later though we got trumped kind of by new group of clowns using that name. I've had to clear up the confusion of what we're not about a few times cuz of that. ANYWAY, demos chows us w/righteous jerk tuna and steak he grills w/tabbouleh that's fucking happening. oishii big time.
close by is the gig in cleveland heights, the second version of "the grog shop" and I get to rap w/the boss lady kathy some before she has to bail. I have HUGE respect for her, she is great gigboss. we catch up some, it's a great thing. she has little ones now. set up for soundcheck w/soundman james - hey chris, mel and me's ma's here to record gig, righteous! while mic lines go up, I do photo session for "high times" mag w/chris (different chris than aforementioned one) - I can't smoke mota before this opera cuz it's so much for me to remember and get together but they have me hold a bong that's made into the shape of a hand giving the middle finger that's been puffed up by high times chris and even holding a lenjo the pedro way. I try to have serious face for most shots, I'm wearing the coat ronnie gave me (typical non-konk, non-stage out fit anyway, no shirt under it). after this shoot in the dressing room is done, quick soundcheck w/soundman james... whoa, monitors are piddly - ok, work the room cuz it ain't soundman james' fault - he's done what a can. one check on the 'puter here - hey there's a drum lesson from ms yuko but why the 'tard overdubs? her english sounds beautiful. damn. on the way out of the club I meet both drummers of the openers, nice cats. one thumps for restless habs and the other for the lawton brothers - it's the second cat who does just ike early george hurley and puts his hardware in a golf bag which I'm very happy to inform him. I then go konk in the boat, konk good.
tom routs me for gig time, unwashed purple polyester gig shirt goes on - cusai (very bad smell) but fuck it. I hobble into the club w/the bass and backwacksack - "hey good people of cleveland here in cleveland heights" - we bring to them the piece but whoa, what a sound on the stage. actually, what a stage cuz so very VERY wide and how do you focus? actually, how do I hear more than myself and I ain't talking spiel but rather BASS - it seems me and my amp are so far from raul - it's hard to make connection... I guess this makes for a gig that's a challenge to a third opera performance that's a little tough but of course not impossible. I am full of intent and I know my guys are too, they play w/so much heart. the import part of course is to keep the whole thing whole, build the momentum to make it finally pop, do it in a way where us three join together as much as we can as one and still be three distinct voices. this is what I try to bring to a gig w/the missingmen and especially for this "hyphenated-man" tour. I am grateful for the intense respect and focus the gig-goers here give us, like pittsburgh in many ways - in fact when I give pre-encore speech, a man tries to begin conversation w/tom, just like last night! what a trip. I apologize for interrupting him and when tom hands him the mic, he tells everyone "thank you for this special moment" and hands it back. the encores are a lot of fun like they always are - I envisioned this part of the gig like "the jig" that would happen at the end of shakespeare plays, "the palate cleanser" I'm thinking. it also shows some connects w/before and w/now w/me too.
good words, hugs, pics, signings and all that kind of stuff w/the gig-goers but damn, these are the last of the stickers, aaarrrrggggghhhhh. a lot of old time gig-goers here, HUGE respect to them. no kath to settle up w/but I do w/her lieutenant who's very kind but like a baka I forgot her name. out to the boat and I get to rap w/good buddy john petkovic and some drama regarding _toothless grin_ which is a proj we're involved in along w/all my secondmen, all my missingmen, jack brewer, byron cooly, thurston moore, chris grer and matt wascovich - by the way, where the fuck is wasco? he's the one who comes up w/the spiel and the chords - I take the chords and use the bass to make a backbone for a tune that everyone emails their parts to me. it is a trippy thing but we've got almost four of the planned ten we want for an album. anyway, john likes enlightening me to the current dramas surrounding this and I love him much so let him flit around and prance away w/the emotion that fills him, getting to emote on this. one day I'm coming to this town to do a cleveland version of "ball-hog or tugboat" that he's helping me get together. I wanna just bring songs and my bass and do the whole thing w/musicians living in this town. speaking of which, here's cobra verde bassman ed, love him and whoa - pere ubu drummerman scott kraus and his son! they both play in home and garden these days, something scott started w/tony years ago. mr scott, well, words fail me w/trying describing how fucking intense is the respect I have for him. a lady from the old days of so cal punk, carmel is here and that's great to see her... what, maybe twentynine years later? us three get talking about old punk and being a state of mind and not style of music and scott's son joins in and is quite succinct on it, fucking righteous! the ethics of the old days ain't just for those of the old days, respect!
big byes to everyone, we pull anchor and head back to demos' pad. oh yeah, of course uncle ray is w/us - he came to the gig bearing toys - they ain't the butt kind ones we were thinking of but instead some kind of silver badges each of us wore, like some kind of i.d. for a fake cop or wanna be one - maybe for children? it's so great to see uncle ray again and righteous bob-san gets to meet him. demos wants me to drink old whiskey he got in japan (suntory brand) but it's scotch so I don't do that much. I drink a glass of his homebrew beer which reminds of andy in baltimore. not to say the jap whiskey was like the "scot whiskey" found under the sink but their homebrews were similar, both dark. I ain't the greatest expert on beer though. demos is most righteous host. he lets me shove gig shirt and nightwear down shoot that goes down to washroom and then fires up hot tub in back yard. raul's already in and soon after me is bob-san so it's the three of us bobbing in the hot bubble in the dark but fucking wouldn't you know it? both these men are rocking chonies in the fucking tub! not me and soon I'm wondering if this is how they're getting their chonies washed and whether I'm marinating in the two miles of country road they both probably roll w/in the bottoms of those. in the mind I am slightly sickened and get my butt-naked self out, miss peak of course w/the camera. can't believe the nightwear is already washed and cleaned - guess I was in there a bit and oh, there was some spiel w/demos and uncle ray, each subject provoking a new one. I konk on the couch demos' son christos made up for me before we arrived. BIG respect to the little man.
tuesday, april 12, 2011 - ferndale, mi
pop at eight and a half - demos has about seventeen finches in five different cages in the compartment next to the one w/the couch I'm on/in. they gave me the "time to pop" chirps, probably via taiyo. it's ok. demos makes me a fried egg w/a pice of thick bread and a pork chop for first rice. ten bells and tom accompanies me to the nearest ford dealership (turns out it's ford's biggest dealership under one roof - all the cars they sell are inside not on outside lot!) in maple heights so I can get boat's oil changed. the serviceman has got his son working w/him. finding out I'm on tour he tells the story of his stepson have nightmare major label sitch and never played guitar again. I say I work w/ig and he goes "oh, that crazy motherfucker" and then asks his son has he ever heard of ig but the son says no so he tells him "he's a crazy motherfucker" - you gotta understand he had no malice or 'tude but was very friendly and matter-or-fact about it, smiling the whole time. you can imagine him tripping on the boat's dash shrine of "homies' and such... I chimp diary while tom wandered 'til the wind blasted him back inside and konked. when the boat work's all done, we thank the serviceman and his son and drive back to demos' pad, getting there at twelve and a half.
demos took uncle ray to work - uncle ray asked to accompany us but I said I couldn't rap cuz I gotta chimp diary but bob-san got some good spiel in w/him and later tells me in the boat uncle ray enlightened him much in regards to richard meltzer and many backstories. that's a great thing - thank you, uncle ray. so demos is still gone but we gotta bail - I write a thank you note and am out the hatch when suddenly I remember I don't have the purple gig shirt. a search by miss peak is fruitless, as is tom's. raul rescues the day by finding it stuck in the chute that demos last night said was ingenious. one last bye to the culpepper flag, its writing backwards - today is the anniversary of the start of the u.s. civil war but is also the anniversary of the first man launched into space, yuri gagarian - which event would you like to re-enact? I say that cuz tom was telling me about reading about re-enactments of the not-so-civil... tom suggests maybe the re-enactments should maybe be of hospital scenes of those days, especially seeing that the typical doctor's bag contained such sophisticated equipment as chisels, saws, hatches, cauterizing tools, shears, et cetera. close attention to detail encouraged to bring back to life the actual screams and hollering. tom's idea for me is enlightening.
we take the ohio turnpike west, more and more sun as we get further from cleveland. we hit toledo (the home of dan mcguire, the brains behind the unknown instructors) and onto I-75, laughs for the "mexicantown" sign... I get us into downtown detroit (about a three hour drive today) and we stop at people's records on woodward near wayne state. this is a great place for music, all vinyl - boxes and boxes. miss ko is here, she works baritone guitar for the dirtbombs who are a righteous band. I get two john coltrane albums, one where cecil taylor's in the lineup and the other has barney kesel. the store boss brad is talking w/me, I tell him I wanna give him a copy of the spielgusher I got and find out the fucking cd is stuck in the boat's player - fuck. I make him one of my 'puter's hard disk and see a picture of curtis mayfield when he was in the impressions. the man who owns it overhears me spieling about an early minutemen gig at a pad here called the composite hall and damn if he wasn't the same man who was playing films at that gig (one a scorcese student film where some shaving gets all bloody), what a fucking trip! his name is tim and he's cool people, very cool. we talk about old days. he remembers the city club gig minutemen did w/black flag - our first time in this town. can you believe it? what are the odds? ha! I slap myself upside the head. what a great pad. tim gives me the impressions photo, big respect to him.
up the road about seven miles (first a slight panic - is where we're playing, somewhere I've never done called "the magic bag" in ferndale, a detroit suburb. soundman terry is cool people - he's done me at a detroit club called "the magic stick" - ain't that trippy? this pad is like a small theatre - actually it is a small theatre and kind of a sit-down place. the gigboss jeremy is a very nice man, saying we'll be on at ten after the local openers who are called destroy this place which despite the name are very nice young cats.
the internet doesn't work here but it did at demos' pad and that makes me think of something I saw before I went and took the boat in for maintenance. I saw something where someone wanted to take issue w/me calling "hyphenated-man" an opera, saying it's a collection of songs. ok, he can have his opinion but I'm telling whoever wants to to know that I wrote it as one piece and it is definitely not a collection of songs but they all go together, especially when working it live but in it's construction too. something like "mouse-headed-man" makes no sense outside the context of the other tunes. ok, the metaphors are abstract at time - d. boon used to say my lyrics were spacey so I'm not trying to defend that but what I wanna impress is that this is one journey through the head of yours truly right now. this same person says it's he's heard it's based on "the wizard of oz" but again this his whatever and not what I've ever tried to convey. what I've told people is that there's an interpretation of mine of that movie that I use as a crux issue for the third opera - what I perceived as "dorothy tripping on what men do to be men" and that's some context to w/go w/the minutemen and bosch connects but to let this guy use his brand of reductionism to word wrestle me is well, just that. this tour has proved to me just how unified the piece is, how my emotions run their wild shit through me as I live it along w/my guys as the piece unfolds. funny, people younger than me tell me they get - people older (like roxie powell back in baltimore) says it speaks very clear to them.
I go to the boat and konk, I'm feeling weak. I konk hard. tom rousts me, the tea w/him very tepid cuz he said they thought our kettle was donated but was in fact misplaced here in the boat. tom had the lady use a coff machine that just couldn't get the water up. damn. it's ok, time to deliver it to the detroit folks. we do that. there's some challenges like tom clamming really bad in the middle of "fryingpan-man" but he recovers really well and the sound is very happening. the monitors aren't enough but then again they're ain't having me mime either. there's some yammering in the quiet parts - for the first time I give some looks that politely try to convey "please shut the fuck up" but that's only twice. people are gonna do what they're gonna do. I don't wanna play cop, don't wanna - whatever those badges uncle ray gave us (I've already lost mine) said. I really get worked up by the end, very much caught up in it. whew. we got one more chance to give chris a shot at getting some good encores recorded but of course I fuck up the first one by thinking about it too much - baka watt! I think we got two good though - I'll ask him tomorrow to do mixes on those (he got to record multitrack tonight).
much good word from the gig-goers, so sorry I don't have stickers for them but I got a hand to shake and sign stuff. hey, here's dean - whoa, he's right out of the old days - back when we used to play "alvin's" and stuff like that... yeah, that music school that they made out of that funeral home harry houdini was laid out in. so great to see him again. there's lot of cats from the older days but at the same time - like lots on this tour - there's cats who tell me it's the very first time they've seen me play or even heard of me. robert vodicka from the old sst days (he ran new alliance records when greg ginn acquired it) is now living here instead of new orleans - change in weather, kind of? so good to see him. my old buddy ewolf is here, wow! it's been a long time. big respect to him. respect to all the kind people who give me stuff like the etchings of my pictures or bottles of whiskey (but of jack daniels though? - just kidding!), people who just ask me to keep on going - I really wanna and will. people's records boss brad tells me I ripped his tiny world apart! he's a good cat.
I settle w/gigboss jeremy and he asks me to come back again. thank you, jeremy. mike naylor is a pedro friend of mine and his cousin is part of reverend guitars who made the ones ron asheton played. they show me two models of new basses they've come up and ask me about what I like so I just bring them back to the boat and let them see the dan bass. I say what's going on w/this dan bass is what I like about a bass I use for gigs.
we follow chris and mel to our buddy bob teagan's pad in another detroit suburb called fraser. chris says bob's doing "ski bunny mode" in colorado but has been given keys to the pad - very VERY kind of brother bob. there's some chow chris and mel brought so I have a little but soon I wanna konk on the couch I've always used - I've konked here for like twenty years now. no drinking tonight. I'm out by twelve and a half. I feel I need to do that. I've lost my konk-mask so use my orange knit cap pulled down real low.
wednesday, april 13, 2011 - indianapolis, in
pop at eight bells after a halfass konk, I think I might've even had some fever maybe. I remember getting up to find another blankie, bob-san coming up from the basement w/chris and mel in a full-metal yammer... or was that a dream? fuck it, at least I am still (save for squirms) and not using voice even it is shallow shitty konk. I hose off and use towel how many months (years?) ago bob teagan wiped his balls off w/and wince only tiny bit. I eat slices from salami stick w/pepperjack cheese on crackers chris and mel got. I roll in boat a few blocks to get coff and am back to start chimping diary cuz no internet here since bob teagan went into snow bunny mode. I am amazed by the aesthetic implemented in routing his cabling though, both fascinated and amazed.
we pull anchor at ten, saying bye to chris and mel (and out toward bob teagan's way also), thanking them for everything - I ask chris to do a mix of two of the encore, two specific ones. we head towards ann arbor - I'll be there next tuesday for the ron asheton salute gig w/the stooges - from ann arbor we're south on u.s. 23 into ohio. it is nice cali-like sunny weather, right fucking on. we hear spielgusher album - surprise! over the border (bye ohio!) and into indiana, handing the wheel over to raul at a gas stop and getting a "tubby" small steak and cheese - actually I said "can I have a small" w/out saying anything else, cracking up all the workers in the place. I get some venison "deer jerky w/jalapenos" too but I'm gonna save that for a later date. can't chow too much of that nitrite "meatstick" shit, right? I chimp the rest of the diary for yesterday while raul wheels us through fort wayne and onto I-69 (tom playing "live at leeds" and "a quick one" by the who) 'til about an hour from indianapolis where I once again get on the helm.
the address we have for tonight's venue doesn't contain the "east" component so we're on the wrong side of town - we end up in someone's driveway and go to an address w/the street name having an east before it and get the boat to the fountain square part of indianapolis where "radio radio" (the name of tonight's venue) is around five pm, some neat oldie time building stuff around. here is waiting a guy named moose is in a dodge ram van, miss peak w/her camera joins me and we're taken to a part of town near where I last played indianapolis (a pad called "the patio") to do an instore at "luna music" - it was this place's boss todd who yanked my leash and said moose was coming to get me - I relate to him about the band the mentors and that's why I said "moosedick" back to him cuz that was those cats' last drummer. he's some great tamales a lady named latiesha made that I chow after signing a bunch of stuff from a bunch of kind people. I get to rap some w/the artman who did these watt posters w/the bigass bass amp on top of an econoline van, his name is nate and his very cool people. he knows of the screamers, knows of all kinds of stuff from the old days. I tell him about the mentors singer el duce connect w/them.
moose brings me and miss peak w/her camera back to the club and we do soundcheck w/soundman tufty. he tells us an old friend of his, jj pearson is opening up. look who's here all the way from vincennes (near missouri)? it's my old buddy kemp, wow, kemp, old buddy! so very happening to see him again, he's in great shape. but I ain't so much, fuck I am beat... we're on at ten pm so I got around three hours to konk which I do. however they are not three good hours of konk cuz of where the boat is where the smoking part of the club is so much MUCH yammering plus something that comes to me like a screwdriver type of karaoke weirds out the konk in a real rough way, crimony.
tom comes to roust me w/a hot cup of throatcoat tea and soon it's gig time. the pad is big time full of yammerin' when I ask them if they remember when punk was fucking weird... we bring them the piece, full-on. right away I clam in the first chorus cuz my hands are on the wrong place of the neck but this kicks my ass into big time "get it together" mode and I charge hard as a crippled-up fuck like me can at this moment and man, you'd trip on how all the gig-goers gather their focus and give us big respects and attention for the third opera. it is a big fucking credit to them in my opinion cuz I have to admit it is a weird piece but they're doing like I hope and taking it as a whole and not just pieces like it was arbitrary collection of songs in arbitrary order... HUGE respect to them. no jukebox call-outs to act like we got slots to drop quarters, they let us work the piece. I am hoarse but can still shove feeling out word-hole. stage is kind of in box and the sound keeps fluctuating though I try hard to keep that from fucking w/me - however later tom will tell me it was difficult for him to put his heart into it after about halfway... I still dig how we did the work, I could more realize the whole thing in my mind as just that: a whole and not memory-retrieval-game of parts. I'm making progress, I believe. thank god for the tons of gigs! raul does real good and tom rebounds big time w/the encores. I take some of one of richard meltzer's spielgusher bits about margarine ("ants will not eat it") to tell gig-goers thank you so much. I truly mean it, truly.
I immediately pack up my stuff and then at the front of the stage meet those who wanna greet me. a man and his son - he helps me remember the primates - I was trying to think of that band that opened for us minutmen last time we played this town. there's lots of many people sharing their kindness, very grateful watt for that, very grateful. saw eric from sn0re this is the town he lives in - so far from florida! bye bye to gigboss ronnie, good people. we pull anchor at midnight - could've been earlier but at least it's that. watt's health feels weak.
good man mike kole has invited us to his pad in fishers, we passed it coming earlier in the day. he's got two beautiful dogs, just beautiful - so much righteous fur, like husky/saint bernard style, righteous for hugging. he's got a washer to so levis, chonies, gig shirt and socks joins other missingmen stuff - so kind is mike. I hose off and then get into nightwear, the best ever sitch, best ever! he's got a trippy four corner-style couch (four pieces), I put myself in and finding my konk mask (it was in blue ronnie jacket inside pocket), I don and konk just after one - again, repeating last night w/no drinking. a weak watt has to fight a good defense. we're coming into the endgame of this tour now my health is most critical.
thursday, april 14, 2011 - saint louis, mo
tom's audio words-eye-view for week six here!
Wake up and straight to shower at mike's pad. Tom and i had shared a bedroom upstairs, so i had no idea that the crew was already up and doing coffee. Mike was also cookin up some breakfast for us, bacon and sausage, some blue berry muffins, and a bowl of chopped up fresh fruit. Great chow, also great place for us, way comfortable stay. Clean clothes too, mike offered up his time to do some laundry for us. He has a couple of kids, and does many washes in a day, so our little deal was no problem, thanks again mr. kole.
Watt takes first half of drive, and i do the last two or three hours. Pretty quite ride, until we get to were it is important to concentrate, then bob's starts in with the busch family money and st louis history. He's gettin heated, and i start losing focus, almost has me missing a few key turns i'm gettin so distracted. I did actually blow by our exit, but luckily the garmin had us re-routed, and i was able to easily get back on track. After a couple of bad turns leading us to gated communities with no trespassing signs, i'm able to park the boat in alley behind blue berry.
We have an hour to kill before load in, so i take the time to walk around this neighborhood called the loop, and call home. The loop is maybe a little bit mall like, but there is a killer record store called vintage vinyl that i always check out. Pickin'' up records this tour has been tough though, we have absolutely no extra room, and i have fear that they will get destroyed before i make it back to pedro.
Sound check goes smooth and after tom and i decide to go upstairs and grab some chow. For bar style food, pretty tasty, we share a fish and chips deal, and a steak sandwhich with peppers and onions. Mike and peak join us on their way back from the in-store at vintage. Get to meet some of the gig goers who came very early for meet and greet deal. Some very nice folks from carbondale and also peoria, big drives just top see us play, very cool.
Opener tonite is a group called tone rodent. Trippy band, kinda mary chain or maybe my bloody valentine. Very loud, especially keys... ms. peak hated the screeching feed back, and had her hands covering her ears, i liked em.
Right before we get up to do our thing, a man comes up and hands me a flannel. He introduces himself as marty, and says it's watt's shirt from six years ago. Memories of that night came back, we stayed at this dudes prac pad years ago on the second opera tour with me and pete. I also remember calling him twenty miles outta town to give him watts address so he could send it back. Well, looks like he never did, but he's got it now, so better late than never. He also offers up his pad for us to crash at, so that's some stress off before the gig. Always feels nice to know our plans for the night prior to getting on stage, one thing not to worry about.
Generous crowd tonight, which always help me play, and try for the best i can do. Very excited peorians up front that give me big boost too! Thanks so much. Weird things start to go down with sound when we get to the second part of the set, big big bassy feed back. I do a look more than once to see if sound man ian is hearing this. First time he's chattin it up with squirts, and the second he's freakin' dancing to glory of man. Oh well, at least he was diggin it. Maybe it was just a stage thing, we hope. To be honest though, it sounded like crap.
After a lag load to the boat, we got two bands and one small elevator. Also, the gear that would come out up top was just pulled out, and left in the way, so everything had to be moved like five times. I've been trying to be adamant about getting the gear out of the club in the order it goes in the boat, but seems like no one cares, or cares to listen. So i think now i stop, let it go, and go with the flow, and shuffle fuckin band equipment more than necessary. No complaining, just sayin'. After we convince openers that maybe they should move there cars so we can leave, we get marty up front for directions, and head to his pad. Thanks so much to crew at blue berry hill for treatin us so good.
Driving back marty's place proves to be a hoot, he has no idea what the street names are, but tells us that every street has a face or something like that. Which i think means that he can recognize it by land marks, but not names. He gets into a little battle with our navigator, but later makes nice when they start to have the same ideas on which direction we should be going. He does the little two finger point to his head and then band at garmin, like a great minds think alike kinda deal, he's one funny dude. His wife holly drove back to the pad a little earlier, and had some chow started when we got there. She had cooked up about a pound of bacon, and was gonna do up some panini's with smoked gouda and sliced apples.
pop at eight bells after a yet another halfass konk - this was like rolling around and squirming for seven fucking hours. fuck. don't what it is that's making this happen, just don't know. I gotta get a handle on it though. don't have to hose off cuz did that last night so I get into the day outfit: the coat ronnie gave me, chonies and levis. I do the morning catch up of what I can do via internet.
mike is very kind to cook us up sausage pucks, bacon, toast, raisin toast, cubes of fried potatoes, fruit bowl to spoon grapes and melon pieces out of, muffins and blueberry crisp. I didn't list eggs cuz there was none. he makes sure we have butter and not margarine cuz of last night's spiel but of course he couldn't of known of the richard meltzer connection. bob-san chows butter on his sausage pucks - goes for last one but when called on it, splits it w/me after buttering it up. I never use either butter or margarine at home but do here for our host w/the most post, mike. he is very cool people. he tells us of his people's people: from east europe. he tells me of the spiels he done w/me in the past: three. or is it four? baka watt. I know he wants to do one this time but I am worn and so promise him after when back in my pedro town that we can do a skype one. promise.
we pull anchor and say bye. I go the wrong way for a few miles and then get the boat right, going back to indy and then west towards missouri on I-70. it is a very nice day w/much sun but temp calm, cali weather. love it. we get out ears stuffed w/the daily spielgusher ration. a few miles before the border, drop anchor for gas and get a tuna/pickles/olives/mustard/salt/pepper/chilies and a small sack of potato chips to stuff it w/for texture from the connected subway sandwich pad - of course bob-san waits 'til we're all gassed up and our purchases all done before he makes any of his. no problem cuz it's part of a system no others can understand but I tell him tomorrow maybe he adapts cuz we gotta be early tomorrow in to chi-town for some spiel I have to do. thank you, bob-san. oh yeah, we gained an hour back when got over the border from indiana.
the pad we're playing is called "blueberry hill" (maybe my third or fourth time here - first time was when it was called "cicero's") and it's way west of saint louis' downtown and stuff down by the mississippi like the gateway arch or where the cards play in university city. we're there early, at three and do the soundcheck quick w/soundman ian who's cool people - so is gigboss angle. after check, a block up the street I do an instore at vintage vinyl, checking out the section for local saint louis music (one band's called "strangulated beatoffs"). going back to the venue, I see tom and raul sitting outside and they're waiting so I figure what the fuck and chow w/them. see, I hardly chow w/my guys - it's to give us space though I think tom and raul chow together a lot. hey, they're the missingmen! much respect. I get a saint louis version of cheesesteak and it's good but not from phily... like "no shit, watt" - here I am, getting all einstein...
back to the boat for konk - I meet two of the cats in tonight's opening band, tone rodent - nice cats. oh, this pad has intense decor, kitch like "howdy doody" dolls and old toys in display cases, duck stuff like comics and toys (where we play is actually called "the duck room" and is downstairs from the chow pad - named after chuck berry's "duck walk" and in fact in played here last night) and then there's the ton of pictures of the padboss joe and all kinds of people, lots of them very famous. as I get to the boat, I see joe out from another hatch and tell him hi, he says it's great to have us here again. angle says there's even way more pictures than what's on all these wall - crimony! she says he's a good boss to work for. it's very comfortable and so I konk w/no blankie. I konk very hard and quick. it is good deep one, one I really needed. quiet back here, everything came together when I really needed it... a very grateful watt is shook up from tom w/a cup of throatcoat tea. damn, I've found I've lost both my coltrane and the "I heart japan" pin - fucking idiot watt. I use my rusted out coltrane backup pin from my backwacksack and use a blue migu one too cuz I feel I need the luck - I always do!
before getting up on stage, someone hands me a shirt - damn, it's the flannel on the back cover of the second opera - this man marty's had it for seven years now! this man marty is very sorry but I tell him in fact it's great he had it cuz who knows when I would've either donated (lost) it or just would've worn into shreds - he kept it safe all this time and I thank him. it's a good crowd but I forget to tell them where gonna try and deliver a weird piece so they had no forewarning except for those who have heard the album. no monitors on when I go up to the mic - what? soundman ian runs up and realizes I'm not bullshitting him. he gets it together. now the monitors for my spiel are really good on stage here, digging that - right before we started I had to cough up a huge tom-fisted loogie on the deck - one drawback of the cough lozenge scene is big thick loogies and fuck if I'm gonna be able to do the spiel w/a throat full of that.we're good on performing "hyphenated-man" tonight, I like it. the saint louis gig-goers give good focus, even w/a wide stage like cleveland there's more of a focal point and the stage sound much better. there is some bottom boom glad it didn't much in the piece. later in the encores the low end 'pert-near ate up the band - I think it's cuz that's when I move behind raul and am no longer between my mic and the bass amp. soundman ian did good out front is what bob-san said and that's what counts cuz we get in free. I do think we worked it as a whole good, am very proud of tom and raul. like I every night I thank our "fourth man" (haven't had a soundlady yet) who of course is working the knobs - the "tranny" for us, the "motor" - getting the sound to the folks. "don't let the feedback win!" I tell the folks.
I pack up the second opera flannel in the back of my amp. then it's a good long time saying hi to folks and thank them for coming and giving us the good spirit. very kind folks, very kind! most grateful watt. from peoria, there's a few who came from peoria - that's a southern illinois town my ma moved to when the coal in her home town in wyoming called dines ran out, she was there for high school and then moved to chicago where she met my pop... angie wants to settle in the boat. bob-san does good and pulls anchor pretty quick w/his merch trip, arigato. we load out - man, is that piece of plywood near the doorway kind of rickety w/everything else here being so together? kind of strange. hey, we're out by midnight - real good for a ten pm on stage. a very happy watt.
we got "second opera flannel savior" marty in the boat w/us and he's insistent we not use the garmin gps but then he can't remember that name of the street we gotta make a critical turn at, instead he tells us "every street has a face" and he'll recognize this one... that he does - yatta! thank you so much, marty (we had the garmin gps engaged anyway, just in case). we get to his pad and his wife holly has 'pert-near a pound and a half of bacon cooked up - they're gonna make paninis. there's two dogs and three cats - all real nice save for one cat who gets the ignores from me. we're joined by tone rodent drummerman adam who made pulling anchor from the venue just by moving his van - he's got ideas about showering on tour and weapons stuff he wants to share. there's a little bit of old crow in a bottle marty has, I do that in some water - I ain't had old crow since last when I was in my pedro town. it ain't that much, like I said. I'm hosed and in the nightwear, the best place to be. raul's doing a wash, the purple gig shirt taken from me by him (HUGE thanks) and good rap w/good people marty, holly and adam, truly. it's a good fucking time. I konk most comfortable near the front hatch on the couch - miss peak repaired the konk mask so now I got both straps on it working. kohb khoon kup ("thank you" in thai).
friday, april 15, 2011 - chicago, il
Woke up in nicely done up basement/living room space with a cat curled up next to my legs. Lots of furry creatures here at marty and holly's. Thanks so much to them for helpin us out, feedin us great food, and even settin' up a bed for me. After quick rinse, i'm out the door and into the boat. Last night, marty had givin me some new red shoe strings, so i get those in while waitin for the rest of the crew. Looks like rain is on it's way too, so we better get going soon.
Rain comes in a big way, like waves crashing on the boat. Also big winds, and even bigger construction. The freeway roads are jacked, there's truckers sprayin up water at us every couple of minutes, to be honest, a little scary. I hate drivin in the rain, and i had become the wheel man a couple of hours into it! The rain finally does die down a bit, and we make it the watt interview safely. Interview is at radio staion located in a trippy place. A pier side mall on the water. Also home of the cheese burger cheese burger snl skit from way back. I hung in the lobby and crashed while he did his thing.
Man, i have not done this many time this tour, but it happened tonight, i missed the openers. I was passed out downstairs hard for a couple of hours. Tom didnn't wake me until they were done either. I know mike does it, but for me it's hard to wake up and play like that. The first four parts i felt like i was dreaming, and thought to myself, is this what he feels like everyday when we start playing. By number five though, i was fully awake. Considering being half conscious we did a good set tonight. I thought maybe bob would jinx it with all his talk of what happened last time we played chicago, but no way. Lots of nice chicago folks there to help with positives vibes. Even saw girls dancing, and a dude who goes by the funky leprechaun was going off with his own unique style of movin to the music. That made the gig for me.
pop at eight bells gordon (part greyhound?) had curled and konked w/me, very kind of him. cappy the orange tabby jumps up on the couch w/m still laying there in almost demando fashion wanting rubs which I am to do - big purrs. about a half hour of this - don't wanna o.d. on the bliss and need to piss... the other cat gloria on it's scratch pad top takes a swing at me, paw open and claws extended but doesn't hurt that bad, kind of funny actually. I go hose off.
we gotta shove off at nine cuz I got an npr radio show to be a guest on in chicago. I'm sure I heard thunder last night (it was a good konk) and sure enough, opening the hatch shows everything wet but I don't think it's over by the looks of the sky. again marty wants to save us from the garmin gps making us meander through his hood but guess what? it plots the same course he tells and his godsmacked - two of his fingers first pointing to his forehead and then at the machine. it is a righteous send-off. thank you for everything, marty and holly. all these most happening hosts and hostesses, we are truly grateful for all the kindnesses.
east through downtown (one overpass said "the king's highway" - what the fuck? I thought it was the freeway!), over the mississippi into illinois and north on I-55. our spielgusher mantra plays out by the time we hit springfield - what a fucking hellride w/all the intense wind and the storming rain - the boat much buffeted, time for me to take a break and get the boat gas. this filling station's called "thornton" which makes me think of miss kelley - a great lady from my more younger days, a great lady... raul gets me one of the shittiest tuna sandwiches I have ever tried to force down the in-hole. "subwork" was the name of the shit trough this came from, connected to this gas pad - very SUBstandard and WORKnot. raul then wheels through rough seas - you wouldn't believe the wheat getting blown at like a seventy degree angle. he does great, much respect.
the spiel is at wbez which is on the "navy pier" part of chicago, right on lake michigan and mersh as hell. it's like a big mall or something. I never have been there cuz I never wanted to there. by some grand stroke of luck, the entrance we pick from the parking is right next to the radio station entrance - damn! greg kot and jim derogatis have a show called sound opinions and "double nickels on the dime" is what they wanna talk about w/me. we have a good time discussing both that and the minutemen, much talk of course about d. boon and georgie. I think it would be very weird for me to make it a mike watt thing. I make sure they know how much we owed the band wire from england and the punk movement in general, it was all very inspiring to us, truly.
next is soundcheck for the gig tonight so we drive in the drizzle (not storming like the drive up but still raining) to "schuba's" which I played for the first time last tour I did w/the missingmen and found it a pad I dug much. cool how the bar's in another room for yammering too. soundman joey is very cool people and man, is he glad to see miss peak. his helperman eric is very cool people too. I meet opening cats, small awesome who are very kind. chow is provided here and the nice barlady says to chow turkey chipotle club sandwich w/tater tots so I do. miss peak sidemouses some tater tots and copies that part of her order. tom has many friends in this town... I should too - I was conceived here but that was fiftythree years ago (almost to the month). actually I was here only a tiny time, inside my ma since my first pop was in virginia. I go konk in the boat, very much blanked up and all three upper garments on under - lower: levis, chonies, socks and chucks.
short konk though - I have q & a to do cuz it's the chicago film festival and "we jam econo" is showing here as part of it. it's awkward for me to do this cuz we're talking about the minutemen and not just mike watt. I hardly look up but try to answer the questions as respectively as I can. people are very kind but I worry this kind of thing being a mike watt bumrush on the minutemen. georgie and d. boon deserve respect so I try to make that clear. some questions are mike watt ones though (like about me doing cover of "big train" and making video for first opera "liberty calls!") and that's really kind of weird - it's supposed to be about the minutemen - mike watt was only the bassman in that band. I'm kind of big time relieved when this is over and go straight to the boat for more konk.
tom comes and gets me at a quarter before ten, says it's packed so the schuba's people say we can go on early - yeah! he's got throatcoat tea, many thanks! he says I can go through the sidehatch here real close to the boat and there's a big man there to open it for me - he tells me "I'm mike schuba" - wow, the boss! I shake his hand and thank him for having us aboard. he thanks me for being here. whoa.
I forget again to say a weird piece is coming - baka watt. weird piece comes anyway - it's the third opera! there's a five hundred hertz ring on the monitors that's hell but it's better than mime and hell if I'm gonna stop this "hyphenated-man" train or even pause it. actually tonight we got real good flow and along w/that is righteous focus and respect from the chi-town gig-goers - respect right back to them. tom does his best "pinned-to-the-table-man" in a while, I think - me too. I feel a little more flexible w/my fucked-up knee... not tons but a little. it's a difficult some w/the man-handling I wanna do w/the spiel cuz of the fucking ring on the monitor giving weirdass overtones but I fucking play the hand I get dealt that way best I can and try hard to not let panties get all bunched up over it. fuck, I don't even wear panties - I wear chonies, shitagi. I feel it's a real good throw for us. we do all the encores we do this tour, cutting out none though I blow some pretty big clams in the one we play less, sorry.
big gratitude to the chicago gig-goers, great cats. only thing better would've been to play w/tobacco cuz we found out he played this same night in yep, the same town. I hate when that fucking happens, you're competing against you buddies, that's fucked up. anyway, much gratitude I give to the folks coming up to talk/shake hand/get sig cuz they deserve it, truly. lots of long timers, "many watt gigs" they tell me. a present from a man who put together a benefit to put six girls through "rock camp" for a few summers, the benefit had them doing minutemen songs, respect. some cats who tell me it's their first time and they're glad they did, respect! lots of bass players - yeah! I go to settle in the bar room, such nice folks working here - when I finish and go around the bar to leave for the boat, the whole room calls my name! HUGE love for them. pat and john from wilco are here, so good to see them. nels works w/them for jeff. great drummerman in that band glenn, by the way - GREAT drummerman. beautiful john and pat, big hugs. I show them one gallon piss jug, tell them morgantown story. many folks still to say thank you, the man who gave me the decorators union button last time we were here among them.
tom's says there's tom and jen who are a couple that lou barlow + the missingmen stayed w/last time they were here. yeah, same name as my tom, sounds good. this tom says I can konk on the couch lou barlow did. we follow them to the wicker park part of town and there's a gate we can pull the boat into, very secure place to dock her - amen! there's three flights of stairs but that's no big thing, I just do it slow, there's no hurry. the rain stopped. there's two dogs and a cat - all lovers and beautiful. tom and jen are righteous hosts, very kind and very interesting. even bob-san konks inside which is good cuz cold chicago tonight. man, does tom know about brother lou! he is sincere man. and jeans' got a masters in mind stuff - she wants to work being a consular for band drama. she is brave lady.
I am tuckered and konk hard.
saturday, april 17, 2011 - milwaukee, wi
Ended up staying with tom and jen last night, thanks so much to them. Neat old forth floor apartment with some great dogs , and a friendly kitty who spent most it's time staring out the kitchen window. Tom and i shared a bed, and i got a great sleep. Also a shower and a shave, lovin it. I made some french press coffee that got me going, so i was at the van cleanin up the garbage, and ready to go twenty minutes before we were even gonna bail.
Not a long drive up, and not too bad a weather either, but as soon as we parked, the shit started to come down. It was freakin snowin', or sleet, whatever you want to call it. All i know is that ice was falling from the sky, and it's fuckin april! We are an hour early, so we hold tight in the van until someone comes to open up shank hall. A bit of weirdness behind us as we wait, these anti abortion bone-heads are doing the picket line right in front of clinic, pretty weak in my opinion. These people also parked in our spot in front of the club, they're going to hell for sure. When club man shows up, he's so bummed at them that he calls to the parking authority immediately, he want's em' towed bad.
Usually our tour schedule stays on track for the most part. Today i get a little treat, i have some friends who live close by, and also it's rachels b-day. Great to see some folks that i have not seen for awhile, especially matty, who is missed much in san pedro. They are ofcourse already hoisted, they got kegs goin, party deal. I do have a beer with them for celebration sake, but i'm not a fan of drinkin before we do this piece, out of fear that it'll dull any sharpness i have. I make the visit pretty short, i have to bail back to club to get the audio diary going with tom. He's gonna help my lame ass out and let me be a guest on his tube thing. I've been way behind on doing these entries, and by doing this i can get caught up in about a half hour.
Trippy opener tonight, locals heros called couch flambou. Really hard for me to explain the sound they had. Kinda crossover punk metal, some comedy thrown in, drummer man even had a giant gong. They would do these insanely long bleeds to end just about every song too, big drum fills and guitar wackiness, i liked em', i have not seen a band quite like this all tour.
For us, i thought a good one. I was i little nervous with matty there, don't ask why, it just sometimes goes that way when i play in front of familiar faces, i get all self conscious i guess. The one thing that stunk, was the big 'ol security dude coming up to get in the way of the couple people who were dancing, that was lame to me. Also, while i was loading gear, a couple of guys offered up hands, of course, the only time i'll turn down help is if the peole offering are baracho, i don't wanna get the gear hurt. Anyhow, these guys get the boot, and one of the security guys asks if it was me who told the guy with the dog face to go in to help me, yes i said. That was pretty lame too, gave me the creeps and a weird feeling about the club.
pop at eight bells and... hey, before I chimp more about yesterday - I gotta go back to the saint louis gig and say something about that. so much shit gets left out when I chimp this diary up - fuck, it frustrates me but anyway... tom rousted me for the saint louis gig and I was getting the purple gig shirt on when I realize the buttons (trane and I heart japan) were missing so I fished in my pockets and they were missing from there too, damn! I went into my backwacksack for my 'puter and found my old standby trane one that's sweated out and rusted past the point of 'pert-near not knowing what it is and went and did the gig w/it. wouldn't you know but someone gave me a little sack of six buttons - like the one I got in athens, ga weeks back? how could they know I had lost all my buttons except the old last resort baby? they probably didn't know but what a righteous coincidence, huh? damn. I was VERY GRATEFUL, you big time imagine it, BIG TIME! oh yeah, also forgot to mention .e (sic) was there, so happening. how do I forget important shit like that? this should illustrate how skeletal and piecemeal these chimpings are - full of fucking holes I have wailing regrets about but what to do about this fucking memory? fucking baka watt.
tom here makes me coff after I hose off. like a fuckhead I knock it over when trying to fold up blankie I used, baka. I feel so bad. it ain't a big spill but it's a spill and you can tell tom digs this rug. immediately him and jen go to work cleaning it up. tom enlightens me to his lou and kath connect, intense. he even goes out and visits them so I give him the invite for a tour of my town if he ever gets the time and/or hankering while out in cali (brother lou's in silverlake). I would sure dig a man like tom in my corner. I'm very lucky to have tom watson but this man tom here too is very happening. I do some english-go prac w/eiko-san via the skype. I get this email from comrade devin:
"egbob" refers to the _emma goldman bust-out brigade_ proj that me and him are gonna get on once he moves to so cal (looks like this summer) and I get time. all respect to k (he is HUGE fan of k, wrote an etude for her) but here I am to do another two-bass proj (the one w/k of course is dos), here w/comrade devil. I think it's gonna make for some trippy stuff, believe you me. for many years he was bassman for the nels cline singers - nels loves him. so do I.
we pull anchor at noon, thanking our hosts tom and jen much for their kindness. I tell tom I mean that about the pedro tour. a few miles away is a camera store where miss peak buys a used lens to replace the one that got fucked up last week in toronto. it's gray out but not really raining. we head north for milwaukee, the garmin gps putting us on u.s. highway course to avoid interstate congestion. we stop for chow when I get gas - miss peak buys deep fried chicken livers for both of us. across the border into wisconsin, the weather starts to really turn very cold. we pull up to "shank hall" - I've played here many times for promoterboss pete... padboss dave is there to help us out in every way. he's very cool people, maybe only a year younger than me. he says "if I knew I would've lived this long, I would've taken better care of myself" - no shit, brother, no shit. parking's a little tough cuz next door to the venue is a medical clinic and there are anti-abortion protesters all out front. it gets colder and colder... sleets starts coming, then snow - yeah, snow past the middle of april! remember that lake michigan is only a couple blocks from us. the protesters start dwindling in numbers...
today is record store day and I'm gonna do an instore up the street at a pad called the exclusive company where a nice man phil gets me some enchiladas that really taste mexican - you know chicago has a vibrant latin culture so it makes sense only a hundred miles away there would be and phil tells me the milwaukee south side has this... anyway, it's great chow and the folks who meet me are very nice, one cat even brings his dog. me and miss peak hoof back to "shank hall" and of course it's a slow go but the hobble is good for me. I had to piss on the way, of course she got pictures... I wonder which ones - ah, whatever... we do souncheck w/soundman paul, nice cat around my age. did I chimp here the padboss dave in a couple of ways reminds me of humphrey bogart - my favorite actor... dave is very cool people, I like him much. he gets me soda water in cans, gets me throatcoat tea - me and tom are mystified that all that throatcoat tea we got in toronto and pittsburgh is almost all gone, lots of it lost somehow, fuck. I meet the band opening tonight, they're called couch flambeau and have been around twentynine years - whoa, that's gotta make them some kind of milwaukee institution, no? super nice cats, super long soundcheck. I finish chimping diary and get out to the boat for some konk.
it's fucking cold but the snow did stop (actually it melted as it hit the ground) and the wind calmed some. I still gotta use all the blankies available - trippy there's only one trucker one now but there's two soft smaller ones in place of the other trucker one... maybe a bob-san maneuver? I get purple gig shirt on, then the ronnie jacket and finally the yellow coat and cap my shit off w/the orange knit hat. I konk fucking deep and hard. no dream to tell you, that's how fucking up in it I was.
tom rousts me out of a dead konk w/a cup of throatcoat tea in his hand. as I'm coming in, a cat named mike who says he has a tea shop gives me some tea he says will help for drives. I can't use that kind of stuff this late, no way - only throatcoat. work my way through the pad, up on stage w/help from tom and raul and then get the layers of coat off. I make sure I tell the milwaukee gig-goers it's a weird thing we're bringing them. I then proceed to clam in 'pert-near every part of the piece, I shit thee not! it's still a good gig though. I am grateful for good monitors, especially w/my throat the scratchiest yet this tour - yeah, scratchy and 'pert-near to cough up but I hold on. there's no time for water - I don't wanna bust the wholeness of the one song in thirty parts that is my third opera "hyphenated-man" though it's not only bass clams, there's word ones too but not enough to run us aground - tom and raul make sure our keel's always in the water. the milwaukee gig-goers give very proper proper kindness and focus - even though there's dancing. yeah, the leprechaun cat from last night is here too but also local pitmeisters. it has to be the most clams I've blown all tour, truth be told. I express big thanks to gig-goers, acknowledge my men tom and raul - bring on the encores after some spiel - yeah, they got a place here where I can actually go to instead of just waiting for a little, standing on the side of the stage (the fucking hurt knee keeping me kind of that way). probably my best milwaukee gig in so many ways, I'm thinking - yeah, even w/the clams - this is what I'm thinking.
the gig-goers bring many well-wishes to me. all real good cats, truly. one man tells me I'm always playing by his bday - I'm glad I can be there for him. so many thank me for coming to milwaukee - of course, I wanna work all the towns I can, truly. milwaukee cats are good to play for, love it. cats of all ages too. whoa, here's three/fourths die kruezen - HUGE respect! wow, all the years back - I remember when us minutemen played w/them here in their town. I am very much touched how sincere they are but of course they were like that w/us way back then. genuine cats. so glad they heard my cover of their "stomp" on a tribute comp for them. that makes me very happy. I get a book from adam krause - his "art and politics" that's got quotes by me in it. I thank him. I remember him giving me music to play on my radio show when me and the jom & terry show konked w/him and claire way back in 2002 - it was called "the tallest jockey in town" and it was a trip. so good to see these good people from the old days, so good.
we've been invited by a nice lady name deana to konk at her pad in the saint francis part of here. first though I settle w/promoterboss peter - later deana will tell us he was the first violent femmes roadie, wow - he never told me that and he's been doing my gigs for years! I get to thank him and padboss dave, much respect. we had a good night, a real good one - everyone happy. we follow deana to her condo pad and though the boat won't fit in the underground place, we find a safe place to dock her - so very important! I get to shower before donning nightwear and she makes me a turkeyburger where the mustard is tiny little seeds, yeah, that's a trip. we talk about stuff, she's originally from arkansas and is not native milwaukee but digs it here. she says she wants to know more about tommy jefferson after one rant I do containing thoughts concerning him - very kind of her! time to konk comes two bells though, gotta guard the health of the frail pedro man. actually I did much of my pontificating prone on this couch I konk now on.
sunday, april 17, 2011 - madison, wi
After gig last night we drove a little bit out of town to a place called st. francis. Matty tried hard to convince us to stay at his pad, he even made a bed up for watt, but we just had to go with the quite pad. He was givin me the big guilt talk, but i had a feelin that if we went there, the birthday party would be in full effect. So sorry matty, i know you wanted to hang, but i gotta have consideration for the people that i'm traveling with. Dina's place eneded up being real good for us, and very safe our gear. Had wonderful restful sleep here, thanks so much to her for the hospitality, beautiful person.
Drive to madison not far at all, maybe an hour and a half or so, so we didn't bail her place till noon. This woman was a saint, she gave up her bed to tom and i, while she slept on the deck, and after makin' us a dinner late last night, she whooped us up a gigantic feast for breakfast. Eggs, biscuits, sausage, waffles,fruits, even a quich, she was not kiddin around at all.
We show to gig spot early, and there is a band doing a metal set at three pm, way early gig, trippy. We have to wait to do our load in for check, so me and tom walk towards, then around the capital building there in madison, and have some good coff at a familiar spot near campus. We get back with a little time to spare, and i re-meet a gig goer from way back named adam, a.k.a "chips". He rules, and has been up on the diary, so he knows how much we've listened to the who when we're not doing speilgusher. We start talking about the who sell out faze, and i was saying that i havn't heard hardly any live stuff from that era off of that album. He's got many bootlegs, and a bunch from that tour. I flow him my po box, and he tells me that i'll get some presents when i get back to pedro. Way kind of him.
Playing with locals from way back called hum machine. They show right after sound check, and i help them a bit with the gear just to be nice, and they all introduce themselves as we're carry the drums. Drummer man eric does a record label, the name i cannot remember right now, very sorry, as soon as it comes to me i'll let ya know. Beautiful silk screened gatefold records though, runs of 500, he also records out of his pad. Reminds me of what kevin and i do back in pedro, except he releases avant garde freak out jazz. Plus his covers look first class, inspiring. He offered to give some tips once i get home, and i except. Short wave records, that's the label!
Early gig tonight, and hum machine do the big rock thing well, even ending with a t-rex song, children of the revolution. I don't know exactly why, but this gig went smooth for us. Energy was great, flow was there. I really think that it had something to do with the sleep we got at dina's pad. Sound on stage was there for us too. Also the nice folks of madison gave me the energy to give all i had. Things fell into place and i really enjoyed this one, it's up there with my favorites of tour. Thanks so much madison!
Staying with friends of chips tonight, jop and his wife kelly and their baby phoebe. I had met the little one earlier, her dad brought her early while we set up the gear, and she hopped around to the descendents for an hour, rad little girl. Jop is maybe 20 minutes from the club, in the swamps right on the madison border. Neat pad with lots of space and tons and tons of records. First things first though, and we get the sweaty cloths for wash together and throw em in the wash in the basement. Interesting thing is that this basement has a working toilet two feet away from the wash, and no walls around it! I do make use of this can a couple of times. Also, this man has owned a few shops in the past as well, and has lots of the records left. He says that he will give me the best deal on albums, and tells me to feel free to go thru em. wipers, sun ra , the fall, lots more jazz, hendrix boots, butt-loads of stuff. Some he does not want to get rid of, so he says he'll make me a list and we can work it from there, i hope he gets in touch, don't let him forget chips!
pop at eight bells... this blankie I think was too thin and though the flannel nightwear did what it could, the couch was close to sliding-glass doors facing lake michigan and radiating some amount of cold. deana was very kind to let tom and raul have her bed while she konked on the deck next to miss peak - she awakes to start making us all chow so we can have it buffet style. I try to use skype to prac einglish-go w/eiko-san but what little bandwidth here is mostly bogarting by miss peak so I give up then. I use hashi to chow sausage and scrambled egg w/english muffin half and toast tore in half.
ten bells and we shove off, sun out bright but like in the low fifties. I call my ma cuz it's sunday but get machine - maybe my sister took her for chow instead of her cooking cuz that's what she does when I'm there, she likes cooking for me and my sister. I leave message saying we're all ok so she don't worry. what a trip, the spielgusher cd ejects magically from the boat's player! we can play the cd brad from people's records gave us, a sampler he made of motion singles from the 60s. very bitchin' stuff. thank you much, brad! it's only eighty miles west on I-94 but half way there I stop for gas and get a chilidog w/mustard/sauerkraut/onions - there were jars of fresh-picked cherries floating in their juice and I was tempted but held off.
I wheel us into madison only a few blocks from the capitol building where the "high noon saloon" is and where we're playing tonight. being to the gig early is a good thing, very relaxed. I do a phoner w/a writerman in san francisco who wants me to clear things up about the third opera, the "dorothy in 'the wizard of oz' movie thing" and also about me and the set of world book encyclopedias my ma got from a door to door salesman, this is where I found out about painterman hieronymous bosch. interesting. he was interested in the wholeness of the piece! we do soundcheck w/soundman john, this man is very concerned w/bringing a good sound to the piece, much respect to him. the fourth man at our gigs is very critical man! respect to john for caring. I meet art from the opening band hum machine. I played w/them years ago and they've recently reformed. a nice man named jopp comes into the dressing room w/his little girl phoebe and invites us to konk at his pad tonight, wow, very VERY kind of him. no chow for me, I go to the boat to konk.
I use three of the tiny blue blankies (yeah, three of them I've found now - how did they get here?!) and the two mexican ones (found the other one) plus the full outfit to keep warm and it works good - it's three and a half hours before tom comes and rousts me, very solid concrete-like konk where I think not just my body but my mind too was in total rest mode cuz I remembered no dream.
I come through the crowd - I see claire of adam krause fame - surprise! tom and raul help me on stage (stairs but no hand rail). there's something about this pad w/it's high roof and wide openness that kind of turns me off - the folks here (boss kathy) originally had "okayz corral" in this town in the old days but it burned down in a fire in back of a comedy club a few doors down. anyway, memories of how good that pad was kind of get in the way of me having a good time. anyway, after I warn the good folks about the weirdness about to come on them and we launch into the piece, the sound up here on the stage is amazing. combine that w/the go-for-it spirit of the gig-goers along w/tom and raul in total slam mode, "hyphenated-man" really REALLY becomes realized tonight. palm sunday and a full moon too - ain't that a trip? we really do good, my clam count way WAY down and I don't know, it's just good flow and oneness between the parts to maybe make it the best yet performance of the tour - yeah, even better than oklahoma city. I'm really proud of tom and raul, really grateful to the madison gig-goers, truly. I leave the stage w/my men and go into the sideroom, I can't remember last time I left the stage on this tour - soon we're back for encore though and I just mutter the name of mr walker, the governor here now I'm pretty sure the capitol building is behind me and had made a few gestures that way when the opera coincidently brought some moments that resonated w/feelings I have for this guy's not happening shenanigans. oh yeah, tom wore his horn-rimmed glasses tonight instead of contacts.
us finished, the gig-goers bring on the will-wishes. twe's here, bucky pope's wife. she's tripping on how I look weird but she says I'm also looking healthy - yeah, w/this fucked up knee! no, she's very kind and I love bucky - he said he really dug the piece and the way we all worked it. bucky knows about trios, he had a great one called the tar babies in the old days - they were very happening, especially that first album but I dug everything they did. big hugs for bucky, big ones. a man and his son say hi - the boy's starting to be a bassman so I let him work the dan bass. deana from last night is here again, very kind - she's got work here tomorrow. john from bad posture comes to say hi, he has hip surgery on ig's bday (wednesday) - love that tune "goddamnmotherfuckingsonofabitch" john's band did. lots of kind people thank for playing their town but I wanna express the same thing, vis a vis. a plumberman gives me his union sticker. see?
I settle w/same promoterboss as last night, peter. the one sad thing about tonight is no tom layton. me and peter talk about tom. tom layton did my gigs in this town for twenty years and he was a beautiful man to me always - right there w/me always, always there FOR me. bitchin' man. he died in his sleep of a heart attack after riding his bike. I always remember hugs from him, always.
we pull anchor w/jopp and his buddy adam who lives north of green bay and made three hour hellride here to see the gig - much respect to adam, people all the time tell my of the hellrides they make to see me and I am so grateful. oh, before we shove off I get to show bucky and twe the one gallon piss jug. it's a good thing. jopp's pad is a neat house right before madison ends and the swamp begins. he's got the flags of the states of michigan and wisconsin hanging in his garage and tells us what's important to him when both are compared. interesting. he's a transplant from michigan. upstairs, he lets us chow some righteous wisconsin chess w/some bourbon and water. we all have a good time, his wife kelly joining us soon (she's a bartender where we just played). right into the nightwear I go, someone bogarting the head so I just think fuck it, I'll hose off in the morning. jopp lets us do laundry, righteous. adam wants to clear up somethings about my music history. they're both beautiful. I konk soon after.
monday, april 18, 2011 - saint paul, mn
I woke with the feeling like i stuck my head in a bucket of elmers, so straight to shower for this wake up. We had a bail time of ten, but once the bacon starts poppin, we push by an hour and stay for breakfast. They cook up so much bacon, eggs and toast. I do little breakfast sammi with saracha. Thanks so much to these wonderful folks for everything
I take the second half of the drive, and get us to the turf way early, and thru much construction. There is a drum shop across the street, so tom and i walk over so i can pick some little beater pads for the kick drum. We also grab some excellent ethiopian coffee next door from shop suggested to us from the drum guys. Still much time to kill, so i spend it in bookstore also accross the street next to drum pad. I've been looking for a used copy of the keith moon bio, and also a copy of sand pebbles for bob, but again no luck. Finally joshua shows, and we can get the shit in the club.
Usually we do 7th st entry in mpls, but this time we are doing the turf in st. paul. My first time here with these two, but maybe my forth gig here. Trippy stage here, very high, and the crowd can wrap around it, so there's people behind you while you play. As we are gettin ready to do our first three parts, grant hart walks in. I've got to meet and play with him a few times now, here and in l.a., he's bitchin, and it's always a pleasure to cross paths. Right after check, tom and i go to a thai place just a couple doors down from the club. I do the generic order of pad thai with tofu and shrimp. I know there are way more adventrous things on the menu, but i really do like this dish. They did a good job too, my only beef would be that there were only three shrimp in there, sixty three cents a shrimp, kinda skimpin... just sayin'.
I'm feeling pretty tuckered after dinner, so i make a quick exit and head to the basement of the club for a little nap. Turns out longer than i expected, i wake to meet the singer for the opener chris right before they go on. He also let's watson know that we can stay at his place for the night. So bitchin' i love not havin to hunt. The band is balls out too, they're called stnnng, check em out. While they play i run into old friend from pedro who moved here with his wife and started a family. Man, so good to see danny even if just for ten minutes. He's is still doing music too, a new band called baby boy. Stnnng set was quick, so i gotta cut the reunion short and get the drum kit built.
Sold out monday night gig, not what i expected at all. I thought maybe lots of bar chat too, but no. Very considerate crowd here at the turf tonight. I will admit i was a little nervous being up on the cake and all. Also good buddy from duluth mike wilson posted up right in front of me, and that makes me wanna play my best. So i try to hard and blow clams all over the place. I just had the feeling that the eyes were on us, maybe it was the camera man in the crowd, maybe it was grant, who knows. Regardless, i had a fun time on stage playing for these folks. Great sound again too, thanks to sound man brian. He also plays drums, and told me thanks for the free drum lesson, thanks for the nice words.
After a freezing sweaty load out with much help, chris pulls up and we follow him twenty or so minutes back to his place. He's got a suburban pad with a sweet lady named holly, and a little doggie named ulysses. There was two other little animals too, but my tiny little mind can't recall them right now. Cool pad, and tom and i get a little extra bedroom upsatirs passed the escher hall. Watt's gotta be at the airport by eight, but chris offers top take him, so we can get a little extra sleep. Big thanks to him for helpin' us out like that.
pop at seven and a half bells, get purple gig shirt from downstairs - guess adam didn't really need the "isolation" he was talking about last night cuz him and jopp both are snoring it up on some big four-way couch, kind of like a pleather version of the one at mike's pad in fishers, in. I wonder how loud I fucking snore? probably pretty intense, especially if I've been bourbonin' it up. I hose off, good hot one. I find fixings for coff and get that on, pour it down the gullet. prac english-go w/eiko-san via skype. she's putting on a benefit to help her land, her and two others are organizing it, the name will be "unity" and be held in june but there's some recent drama. one of the participants is trying to bumrush and foist their own trippy and using event to their own advantage/ego trip. I tell her I've done many many benefits and see this from time to time, it's fucking lame. I teach her english-go figure of speech "put your foot down" and rescue her event from this kind of shit.
kelly pops and cooks up all kinds of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast - I chow mine w/siracha sauce they got and my hashi. little phoebe w/her ma, then w/her pop which is all very beautiful. I thank them so for their kindness. I give adam big hug. we pull anchor at ten bells. it is gray skies for us and a little cool but sunnier as we move northwest on I-94. we just loop the cd w/the motown brad gave us in detroit for sounds. there's a bill board for a chowpad that says they "serve you from a train" and shows a kid getting his chow from a model train but when we take the exit it says it's at (ninetytwo), it's for "wis dells" and we can't tell where it is. what we do see is these indoor "adventure worlds" - some of them w/giant tubes I guess like slides where people maybe jam through them, maybe via water? we drive around and marvel at them but not really get close enough to see what it's all about. they look like konk pads too, like lodges maybe or a kind of resort type trip. trippy. back on the freeway, I get gas about noon and they filling station says they got curds. I get a sack of curds w/dill and garlic - makes me think of the dils! must be something about dill around, the potato chips I got w/that chilidog yesterday were dill flavored. hey - near eau claire I see a sign for chippewa falls - raul's ma is part chippewa, respect to her. everybody in the boat likes the curds, raul now at the wheel while I chimp diary. bob-san can't chimp cuz he says he's got some tendon prob in his arms. I sure wish everyone could have a chance and here his thoughts on this journey, of this journey. I did take shots of his hand-written spiels yesterday...
we cross the border into minnesota, real sunny now and soon we're in saint paul and pull into the alley in the back of the "turf club" but they don't open 'til five pm. I hoof around and get some cough drops and then chow some red curry soup from "on's kitchen," a thai chowpad right by the club. I read this asian community paper while the chow's cooking and it says the fukushima nightmare caused by the tohoku tsunami that hit it the day of our first gig of this tour (ain't that a trip?) is now 'pert-near a rival of chernobyl... iodine-131 has been detected in boise, id and maybe the reactors can't be shut down for another nine months. crimony. the curry soup is great - what mixed feelings here: good taste in the mouth/nightmare thoughts in the head. I then go to the boat and move it out front cuz it's a little hairy back there in the alley. I chimp diary, tom joins me in the boat... he finds the throatcoat tea under passenger seat (where miss peak usually seats now days... she said she checked...), two boxes - yatta! even though there's room in my piss jug, tom likes to use his own bottles and he has amazing control, filling a sixteen ouncer so full, leaving only a small bubble of air when he screws on the cap and turns it upside down... amazing, amazing tom..
five bells and padboss joshua lets us load in from the front - thank you (more secure, no stairs). this pad's stage is "wedding cake" style - our slang for no sides and being pretty high up, like you're coming out of cake. not my favorite kind of sitch, makes me even more insecure but I ain't gonna bellyache cuz there's some things real neat about this place, like it's from the 40s and shit. soundman herb comes aboard a quarter after six to find us all set up, I run the "fourth man" drill past him and he's very into it. actually, he's page's knobman for helmet touring, much respect. we do our check for mr grant hart - my old buddy grant! I get to catch up and rap to him, some heavy things like his ma passing away and the pad catching fire. his spirit is still good though, just done w/a europe tour and starting to record a new trip here in town. after a while though I have to tell him I gotta konk cuz well, I just ain't strong enough and need to. I go to the boat and am out hard.
tom rousts me w/minutes to go - it's twenty after ten now - damn was that a hard fucking konk, had to be I needed it. fortieth gig tonight (fortyone if you count the two in one day in new jersey), it ain't the quickest bound through the crowd but that's also cuz the pad is sold out - whoa, on a monday too. luckily there's a pole next to the steps cuz there's no handrail, I 'pert-near do reverse-fireman move, wrapping my arm around the pole that hard to make sure I'm careful. I tell the folks about weird piece coming and then we bring it. the "coming out of the cake" thing is made even more intense cuz of all the folks here but they are very kind w/their respect. however, so many eyeballs and you're looking down on folks, trippy feeling. I lose focus at some points - what a clam I blow in the "hub" tune, "pinned-to-the-table-man" (I call it that cuz it's in the middle, the "hub" of the wheel) but I recover quick. there's some other ones, both w/words and bass but they're infrequent and not like milwaukee - though in the end I liked milwaukee, I like this gig too. tom and raul play real REAL good. man, am I lucky to have them, so lucky. it's not just good playing but they're such good people, good spirits. I'm a lucky man, truly but also I'm a yowai man (yowai = weak in jap). I muster all I can to bring wholeness to the piece, to try and weld the feelings into more than just parts. it's a journey, it's got a landscape and it's where I'm at. I wish I had a better way to relate that but I am slow learner.
many good people of saint paul and neighboring minneapolis share well-wishes w/me, some of them having seen me many many years. everyone very genuine. my dear old friend steve mcclellan, oh man - he wanted to chow w/me, wanted me to speak w/his music business class he teaches but yowai watt had to konk. him and meat puppets managerman dennis say I can do it after tour via skype. steven petermeier says hi, a man always very kind to me. kraig johnson from run west run, a tourmate band from the old days gives me big hugs. same w/tash, so kind of her. nate from first avenue gets hug from me - it was actually them who promoted this gig and eli settles w/me right there in the open, brother steve mcclellan providing "security" - ha!
it takes a while cuz of the well-wishing but we wind things up and follow chris. he's the singer of the band that opened for us, stnnng and my guys really dug them, seems like they're probably the best band we got to play w/this tour. chris has invited us to konk at his pad and even drive me to the airport tomorrow morning. that's right, I have that salute to ronnie gig w/the stooges. chris and his wife holly are great folks and makes all of us feel right at home. much respect. I konk happy/grateful/mindblown.
tuesday, april 19, 2011 - ann arbor, mi
pop at six and a half bells - I got a flight to catch. host chris says it's cool to get nightwear washed - I can't be here from dry but will remind tom. chris also agrees to take me to minneapolis-saint paul airport so my buys and miss peak can continue w/their konk, how very kind. miss peak pop's though and wants to go to ann arbor! "too late now, miss peak!" I tell her, sor-ry.
while driving me to the 'port, chris tells me about nightmare him and his stunning band just had. on the way back from a gig about an hour away, their van hit ice and rolled over one and half times. no one was hurt but the van was totaled. so glad no one hurt. so scary about fucking driving, huh? big time.
I really hate leaving my guys on tour, fucking hate it. last time this happened it was in december 2006 in europe, I had to leave them twice - for stooges too. I think I could do something like this only for the stooges cuz I very much don't dig leaving my guys on tour, hate it, hate it. ig asked me to this though and it is for ronnie so ok, I will do it. I call tom once I'm on the plane, before we take off. I tell him to PLEASE take care and maybe not space on the nightwear.
it's only an hour and a half on a dc-9 and I arrive at detroit airport around two and it's fortyfive minutes drive w/a nice lady named bev to get west to ann arbor. bev loves music and tells me why it makes her feel alive. righteous. I go straight to the venue which is the "michigan theatre" in downtown. I have to prac w/the stooges, last gig w/them was february sixth in perth, austraila nine weeks ago! also there's songs w/deniz tek we haven't played since the ronnie days... this "event" is for ronnie, expressly for his memory and the monies going to a charity for animals, what he loved dearly. it's good to see the stooges peeps again, they've been here a few days. I guess there was drama yesterday w/the orchestra music - it didn't get all transposes but someone got on crazy on the ball w/it and got charts for all the orchestra musicians, incredible - victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.
playing the bass james williamson had made for me is a little trippy but quick I get used to it again, blowing some clams but taken big time mental notes so I don't do them later. hank rollins is here, BIG respect him. he's gonna play the sucka mc and host things. me and hank go back a long way, he's a great cat and I have huge respect for him. he's incredibly huge stooges fan like me too. jim jarmusch is here cuz he's getting material for a stooges doc he's doing, whoa. he's huge stooges fan - so many of us here, huh?! the songs from the first album for tonight's encore is w/deniz tek on guitar who's great friend of ronnie's (that's the green camo jacket ronnie wore at many stooges gigs came from) and scotty-san says the greatest interpreter of ronnie's guitar playing while at the same time bringing in his own thing. I dig him much and it's great me and him scotty playing together for the first time. I chow a chicken swarma when we finish all the prac, going upstairs to prac some bass on my, getting used to this "anchor" bass (builder brian michael put an anchor on the headstock) and getting my mind setup w/the parts. james says I gotta "remove third opera files and load up stooges ones" but actually it's all pretty ingrained in me, just gotta pound it home. brother steve mackay said there was three inches of snow on the ground yesterday - it's cold and rainy now but I'm glad both me and my flight missed that. can you believe how late spring is for these parts? damn.
the gig kicks off at seven and a half w/a band of high school aged called "space age toasters" getting that name from someone on the stooge crew (former stooges helperman chris wujek's here to help tonight!) who remembered band names ronnie would always think of and this was one of them. I had talked w/them earlier along w/orchestra double-bassman dave sharp who I have an interesting "composing w/bass" conversation. the young men do an incredible job w/the stooges' "loose," "little doll" and "down on the street" - frontman will supplementing "...doll" w/some tenor sax and all three tunes w/great singing and wild moves. they do real good. then there's kathy asheton's slideshow creation while the orchestra does a bitchin' job of an overture containing many stooges song themes, really happening. hank is next w/a great spiel on the stooges, ronnie, the stooges and then ronnie again - both on guitar and bass. I go watch from stage-starboard, where I'll enter. I go by ig, first time I've seen him since arriving (he never does soundchecks), I bow and he says "good to see you" as I pass to go watch hank deliver the good word. he's very kind to me when it comes to him telling about the stooges reformation in 2003 starting w/the coacella gig and the bozo that got picked for bass. actually it's me who's says bozo cuz hank used very kind language to describe me, much respect to him. scotty, james and me come on to back hank on a different version of "I've got a right" than we usually do but it ain't that much different and he's on fire, flat out on fire, amazing. I came to the gig w/only the backwacksack so wearing the jacket that ronnie gave me w/nothing under it is realized - when I told tourboss henry and roadboss eric about my plan both had said maybe other outfits were in mind for me but I'm so glad they let me do what I planned. maybe I look a little stupid but c'mon, you can't blame that on the outfit, right? hank did real good but maybe that's what whupped up ig to come whirling on board right quick after as we fire "raw power" up - whoa! here we go... the packed pad erupts into total crazy shit, "search and destroy" right up next. it's a pummeler. not much slack given on "gimme danger" either, even w/a slightly slower tempo. ig says he promised he wouldn't do it but he says he's gonna do it anyway - he asks for everyone possible who can to get up on stage w/us (thank god folks from the balcony didn't sky dive down to "fuck things up!") and it is an incredible 'pert-near pit on stage for "shake appeal that's got me total surrounded and mobbed but somehow I can still work the bass, crimony! everyone having a good time, me w/them. it takes a bit to clear the stage for "1970" next - the "l.a. blues" (punishfuck both the two svts stacked w/the anchor bass in between) into "night theme" into "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - we work it good, pretty much classless. not much less than also butted-up right after is "fun house" and ig scolds me a little w/a finger wag when I pull a little "ramen" move and double james a bit... sor-ry. he was smiling though. he's in the crowd for the "been separated" part near the end - no stage dive yet but he's working his way up to it, I can feel it. some slow-up, "open up and bleed" is what ig tells the folks is the ballad for the night but it sure gets pumped up at the end. he calls for a spotlight to shine up front at what looks like a ma and her daughter but there's no spotlight - no matter, he tells the younger lady she's got a beautiful face but it's gonna go - well, you know where... what a way to preface "your pretty face is going to hell" and so we slam it down the tracks, full tilt. the orchestra joins us for "I wanna be your dog" and this is where I first hear some intense lowend rumble - I think it's something to do w/the orchestra micas - ig does a stage dive and then a tumble, wild shit consider tomorrow he turns sixtyfour. I'm a little slow to come of stage cuz like an idiot I forget it's time for the encore, baka watt. deniz teak comes on now and after an orchestra intro, a real good crazy one for "tv eye" he lays out the intro and we kick way into it. ig gives a good spiel before the "ram it" stuff, taking us way down but he confuses a little by not doing the tiny one that cues us first - it's been a long time since we've done this one. we do good though, hang together well on it. orchestra first again w/an intro for "dirt" - beautiful. we come in and it's going good for me but I can see ig's like ready to lose it cuz lowend feedback is eating up his world and confusing/polluting all that's good about what fucking key the song is in and damn if I don't get tinier and tinier, playing softer and softer cuz I and feel his frustration and see the fire roaring in his eyes - damn if I don't wish he could get just some relief by pounding the shit out of my chest w/his fists or something... not to sound like some masochist but I just feel for the man bad and wish somehow I could help in some way. scotty-san really wails on some wild rolls in the intro for "loose" next - hell, so wild I gotta wait for deniz to come in w/the chord groove, very much a careener but we hang on, whoa! ig trips on the mic cable and falls right in front of me - for sure I thought he popped his knee or something and I feel much empathy for him as he's lying there - fuck, I wanna throw off the bass and give him rubs but I know I'm up there to work bass so I keep going and somehow focus comes to ig's eyes and he picks himself up and keeps charging hard, god damn! so fucking intense, mercy. he says "bass" - just that one word and I know I gotta do something... I turn the bass eq on each amp (there already like at forty percent) down to nothing, hoping this'll help. we close out w/a flat out "real cool time" and then I hobble off while the stage gets cleared and stools set up. james plays a beautiful custom-made acoustic lap guitar w/a slide while ig sits next to him and sings about ronnie. ig is much heartfelt and james' playing is very pretty. it's a poignant moment, like all tonight but this here's in a different way. I'm on the side of the stage and cry for ronnie. a city man comes out next to give the keys of ann arbor to ig, scotty and james. it's kind of a trippy scene. we give one more, a wild "no fun" w/first the young cats who opened the gig up and then folks coming on stage again from the crowd. it's wild and good fun - ig hollering "it sounds good!" and I feel a little ok.
the gig is done. I get up the stairs to get my stuff cuz james says he wants to bail early and he's got a rental car to drive me and scotty w/him to the 'tel, a pad called weber's I've stayed at once before - when I read some walt whitman at ronnie's memorial. I don't get to say bye to many folks but I thank parts of the orchestra I do meet, thank crew people. I have completely sweated out the coat ronnie gave me and the cold outside is intense, even w/the yellow jacket on. james gets us to the 'tel at ten and a half. first thing I do is call to see if my guys are ok... tom says they made it safe to kansas, great. he said it was a tough go though cuz iowa was total snow, damn. so glad they're safe, so glad. I put very hot water in the tub and do some soak before konking hard, konking deep. after the gig, I didn't see ig... tourboss henry came up to me and said I did real good but I didn't see ig... he did a runner...
wednesday, april 20, 2011 - lawrence, ks
Woke late here at kevs, maybe 10:30. Tom put his pants in the wash with my shit, so he's trying to get me up so he can get his stuff and get dressed. I'm still stuffed from last nights dinner, but kev is doing up a hugh breakfast even though he himself does not even eat breakfast. Also there with us this morning, is his wife sarah. Since i've last seen kevin, he's gotten married, has a seven year old son, and has just recently had a daughter. She's just a few days over a month, and so cute, beautiful family.
Very mellow day today, kev is kind enough to let us know that he's game to take us anywhere we want to go or do anything we want to do. Seems like we just want to relax hard here. We've done many drives during this time of day, so i'm in no hurry to get in a car for more driving. It's way calming to be here with kevin and his family, tom and i even veg out and play an archery game with sarah, and i get a little to into a digital table tennis game. Kev lights up the que, and makes some dogs and burgers before we gotta get to the bottleneck. More chow! I remember doing some of my first tours with no food for days, and going home ten pounds lighter, not this one, people we meet are very kind to us.
The plan is to get the gear set up and sound check underway, and hopefully watt will be on schedule and show up for the end of check. Timing is pretty good, and we're able to give the first three parts without going into anybody elses time. After that we walk over to the eldridge hotel to get some food with a friend of watt's who has offered to take us to dinner. Thanks much george, sorrry i didn't eat much, but like i said, kev had the chow goin all day for us.
For a day off, we had a good gig as far as our band communication went. At one point though, my right arm cramped up so bad. A golf ball sized knot that would not give, it hurt big time, and it lasted till the end of our set. I was clammin up, but i didn't hear anything about it, most likely forgiving audience, because i know i stunk it up a little . Much help with the gear after too, very giving people here. Once we were loaded up and ready we bailed, leaving bob inside still slangin' the merch. A friend of kevin's, had offered to take him back to the pad later, thanks charlie.
pop at eight bells but actually was popping all through the night, very restless. I was konked deep 'til 3:03 am - I know cuz I looked at the clock - don't know how I popped 'cept for maybe the "a love supreme" coming from my leash had some kind of power and then when it spoke, it was ig saying something but I asked for it over cuz I was still coming out of the konk and it was something about he thought the lowend shit plaguing the stage sound was probably shit coming over the mics and he was glad to see me, then closed w/this, "ok then, interrupted-sleep-man" and was gone - I laughed cuz I knew now he had gotten a copy of the third opera he had asked for when we're doing the "big day out" stuff cuz I sent it just before this tour - I was afraid to ask if he got it cuz like then it would be maybe sort of seeming like expecting an opinion or something (verdict?) and I don't want a weight like that on him or anything. it's just good to know he got it. now when I went back and konked, hot and cold would come up on me, 'pert-near like a ghosty trip or something. I'd find my hair all wet from sweating but then that sweat on the pillow all freezing. it was weird, it was strange - I had the feeling of foot-wide stripes of hot and cold alternating around the back of me and shit like that. I was so relieve to get the fuck up and back in the tub for another soak. I put on the italian shirt I got from il sogno del marinaio guitarman for the ride home, stuffing the sweated-out ronnie jacket into the backpacksack.
there was a card w/my room key that says I get chow so I go and shovel crap browns (can't call them the other name), fried egg and meat (have to call it that) w/coff. I see stooges tourboss henry chowing w/the man who did last night's sound, night bob and it's him who said it was hard gig to mix, there was low end big time causing problems from orchestra mics, especially cellos. so this and ig's call last night big time relieves me cuz man, do I wanna only good for the stooges and never lame them out. jim jarmusch has me come up to a room where his lieutenant carter has got cameras and lights setup for me to spiel some about my journey bassin' for the stooges. he is great cat and you can tell very sincere about making not just talking head doc about the stooges. I can tell he loves this band much. he is very kind to me as well.
at one I leave w/brother steve for the airport, the lady bev bringing us back whence I came yesterday. it was a successful mission I'm thinking now - not so many clams and good focus for me. it was important gig, it was for ronnie. this time is delta again but for kansas city, mo on an embraer-175. I see hank rollins in the security line and he tells me something he recently wrote, recollecting us touring together in europe in 1983 (black flag/minutemen) and me being the stupid fucking tape nazi (my words, not his) and finally relinquishing it so he could play velvet underground. well, I tell him I have to thank him for that cuz that's where I heard their "if she ever comes now" over and over, it becoming a strong influence on my "history lesson (part two)" I wrote not long after that. he tells me "you're welcome" and we both crack up. love hank.
two hour flight and I chimp the diary about yesterday during it. george laughead w/his buddies chris and troy picks me up at the airport, a nice nice cat who knows charley plymell and roxie powell - he's a printer and maintains an intense web library. he knows about "the rat" in boston too cuz he asks me about it, said he live some years there in that town. he drives me fifty miles west across the missouri river to lawrence in kansas (for those who don't know: kansas city, ks is much smaller than kansas city, mo) and straight to "the bottleneck" which is where we're playing tonight. SO FUCKING GOOD to see tom and raul again, SO FUCKING GOOD! hallelujah! they got everything set up and so right away we can do soundcheck w/soundman eric after quickly reading him the "fourth man" drill. sounds good here, I've played this pad many times though I think the last time was 2003 - what?!!! fuck. for the third time though locals the brannock device are opening. also on the bill is a cat I've known since his short tenure as a fourth meat puppet, troy meiss, good to see him again - long time!
george takes us three to chow (miss peak is at kevin's pad and bob's getting acupuncture) close by at the elridge hotel w/another buddy of his jamie joining us and I get pork chops, one of what they call their chef's specialty. I get a salad w/italian dressing too, wish they would've served them together cuz since I was a boy my ma made pork chops a bunch and always put salad alongside it w/italian dressing (her people were from italy) and I loved how them two tastes melded. anyway, george tells us stuff about charley and roxie, kansas stuff cuz they were out from here. george is a very kind man and interesting.
we go back to the venue and I hit the boat for konk. damn, it's a rock hard one, like I was put in bear hibernation (about three hours long) cuz when tom rousts me, it was like I had just stepped from another planet - there were some kind of dreams but I couldn't tell you ever under the threat of death what the fuck they were even about, nope.
I get up on stage and someone hollers "wake up" and I think I will not acknowledge that - in fact, I'm getting better at not getting distracted but such stuff by not responding to it, eventually I hope to get the point where I don't even hear it in the first place. it's not like I think I'm more important than anyone else cuz that's definitely not the case but what I got to do (bring the piece w/my men) will get diluted. we bring the piece. eric's got the monitors good. however, I blow some clams but not keel-out-of-the-water ones - and not much bass ones either though in pinned-to-the-table-man has me blowing the same clam I did near the beginning of this tour when I had to re-listen to it from the recording. I do space some words bad in bell-rung-man, leaving out one line totally and then right after having my fingers on the wrong frets sometimes during a tiny part that soon followed - baka watt. we did the piece good though, and what a comeback cuz remember my gig last night was w/different dudes w/different tunes. we had a great communication w/the band and the gig-goers, the yammering that was kind of there earlier big time changed to focus. the encores raged for good fun after.
very grateful to the gig-goers, I go upstage as soon as I pack my amp stuff and be part of pictures/hand shakes/signatures/kind spiel. many asked me not to be away so long - I am so sorry. sunshine's here - she slung much while bob-san was having the acupuncture being done, big thank you! a bunch of bass players are here, yeah! andy's brother john too - andy's moving back from portland but hopefully I'll see him next week before he does. andy and dave are old old gig goers going all the way back. there's a bearded birthday boy very happy to now be forty, aaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!
the people working here a most happening too, I cannot let so much time pass before I come back, cannot. we got kevin in the boat w/us and he guides us to a pad I've stayed at many many times. george gave me a pint of black label jim beam when he said bye (again, what a kind cat!) and I drink that w/some water after a quick shower and into the nightwear - yeah, no nightwear last night in ann arbor... maybe that had something to do the bad konk there? it's a good time w/kevin and his buddy charlie who just had double knee replace but you couldn't tell by the great spirit he brought. respect. little by little I earn the trust of kevin's dog abby - no prob w/the old cat mildred who obviously runs the show. three bells though and it's time I'm down so... konk I do.
thursday, april 21, 2011 - colby, ks
tom's audio words-eye-view for week seven here!
Watt wakes me for yet another kevin chow down. This time, salmon and rice, also fried eggs and black beans, very tasty. I probably shouldn't eat for a couple of days after this. We bail soon after breakfast, we have the day off, but have lots of ground to cover to get to denver. We take it slow though, and decide we will drive till six or so and find a room before the sun goes down. On way we see a sign for a town miles ahead called wamego that has a wizard of oz museum. Watt wants to know if we would mind stoppin here, and ofcourse no problem. I'm all for stoppin to do what our crew wants to do, but i must admit i'm a little reluctant to pay for the museum. For some reason i don't have the highest expectations. I decide to do it though, and i am glad i did. What was i thinkin anyway, come all the way out here to a town i will likely never get the chance to visit again, and then not go in the oz museum. Turned out to be real neat, and big bonus was that they asked us to come play oxtoberfest, hilarious. I did not give in to toto's tacos that was next door though.
Beautiful drive thru kansas today. We decide to stop in a town called colby, oasis on the plains. Many tels and fast food joints, maybe oasis for some. I pull us into the first motel we see, and watt gets the rooms. On way i asked tom if he'd like to share a room. Don't get me wrong, i love our crew, but five in one room is a bit much. Bob ends up gettin his own, and the rest of us get two next to each other. Watt comes to hang with me and tom, and we listen to some of our wfmu radio show, which i am surprised came out sounding half way decent from our end. I wasn't sure what to expect from it. We did the set without headphones, and also played very low so we could hear the vocals. They did a great job mixin it together though. Tom has also sprung a new interest in dead moon, so there's been some of them in our lives the past few days.
pop at nine bells, good solid konk, yeah. great host kevin is cooking up fried eggs, avocado, salmon roasted in foil over q, asparagus and toast for us to chow breakfast on, damn! my guys told me he's been chowing them like massive champs, big respect to him. I didn't get to say bye to his boy kaden but he did get to see soundcheck yesterday and that was great. I get to see new shipmate katelyn though w/her ma sarah, she just five weeks old, tiny aka-chan! beautiful.
today is my only day off for this tour. we pull anchor at eleven, pretty nice weather. "bye bye kevin and fam!" soon we're west on I-70, the way towards sunsets. it is pure relax day for us. we don't have to make it to denver, in fact my plan is to have us stop in colby, just east of the mountain time zone line so we'll gain an hour in the morning for the last four hours. we'll drive today 'til six or seven pm at the latest - I wanna be like rilakkuma!
we see a sign for some kind of trip having to do w/that film "the wizard of oz" (you know the story is supposed to start off in some kansas town?) and so I leave the interstate for wamego, nine miles north on ks-99 ("the highway to oz") and this is the town where the oz museum is. they got all kinds of l. frank baum's books - actually the film is a kind of composite of a few of the thirteen he wrote on this oz theme. now why am I drawn to this? I didn't bumrush this diversion but asked everyone in the boat and they wanted to come here, by the way... anyway, this probably has nothing to do w/mr baum, whoever made the 1939 movie, whoever acted in that movie, diana ross/mike jackson or anyone else in "the wiz" broadway musical version or even the laurel and hardy take on it but it is my own personal reaction to seeing the film one thanksgiving or xmas at my ma's w/my sisters melinda and marilyn and this epiphany came to me - it was at the end when judy garland (dorothy) looks at the farmhands and says "you were there... and you were there... and you were there..." - the farmhands were the scarecrow, the cowardly lion and the tin man - it hit me that maybe one take on this story (from fucking baka perspective) is her seeing what men do to be men, what society thinks - what they themselves think it is that makes a man man - it's her tripping on the trips they do to manifest that. it seemed to me a big part of the weird shit about middle-age, about this part of life where things are trippy that way - fuck, maybe it's always that way but I was thinking about in terms maybe of my own journey. anyway, this became a central core them of my third opera... me in a weird way in the shoes of dorothy - and fuck those ruby ones, I wasn't thinking about them at all. so I'm glad to share w/tom and raul all these things they got collected (miss peak went off into town by herself, bob-san on his own), we're the only ones that went further than just the store (I got a shirt that says "don't make me have to break out the flying monkeys" which is pretty intense cuz I don't usually like shirts w/out buttons nor snaps) and into the museum. hmm... it's the flying monkeys (or "winged monkeys" - so much in the film is different than the book) that trip us out the most. I got "the wonderful wizard of oz" so I can read it again. next door is a pad called "toto's tacos" and I get two of them - surprise! no mexican taste! I only chow one as we leave town, dump the other in the trash at the next gas station - I mean dump one uneaten one in the trash, dump the eaten one in the filling station's coiling booth via the out-door. classic case of short stay.
yeah, this gas stop - it's in junction city, not too far down the interstate... it's this little town sixteen years ago where me and the oklahoma city bomber both konked (different 'tels - it was total coincidence, I was gonna konk in the town before, abilene but blew-by the exit like a baka) on the night before he did that nightmare thing. about two years later two fbi men came to my apartment to talk to me about it - that was an adventure in itself but I guess they figured out it was just insane coincidence cuz believe me, it was. from the boat we see the "dreamland" 'tel getting knocked down - I had stayed at the super-8 one. fuck, I wish that guy would've changed his mind somewhere down the nightmare path he was on and just said "no, I'm not gonna do this nightmare thing - this is fucking wrong."
again back on the interstate, we pass the exit for salina. just south of here is a town called lindsborg that a friend of mine, amazing now-so cal musician ms mo left her sendai town in japan to go to school at bethany college there cuz she thought the best place to learn u.s. english was in the middle of the u.s. - in the middle geographically! she picked good cuz she speaks our language way better than me. she does wild music too, very righteous.
raul takes the wheel a few miles east of lake wilson (advertised as the "clearest lake in kansas"), we just passed some "kansas wind farms" which are made of 391 foot tall wind turbine towers - real popular in europe but catching on over here. well at the "shoppe" (funny how some pads spell it that way, huh?) I get some potato chips to wash out the taste the was last thrown down the word hole and maybe two locals (appears that way) spy tom coming for that hatch and one says to the other, "he's on a mission" not know this man is my friend - the counter lady says "eating a snickers bar, you can't be grouchy" and he says "yes, I can" and I trip on this for a moment, tell tom later. so great his sickness got whupped up on and beat, thank god. bob-san is really hurting though - he got acupuncture yesterday in lawrence but spaced and donated all the china medicines at our kind host kevin's pad - he's mailing it ahead to our buddy sandy in seattle. miss peak's sickness is much gone too, only a few coughs sometimes. raul's in good health. love it when the team is blessed w/good health, love it. only bob-san w/this hand wrist tendon thing... he says it's killing him. damn.
I have raul pull us into a mo-six in colby. there's china chow at a pad called "china buffet" (surprise) where I can fill up a styrofoam thing for $8.70 and so I wait to see what stuff comes right out the kitchen and get that: shrimps, grilled shrimps w/peppers, veggie mien, chicken on stick, chicken drumsticks, chop suey and egg roll. I get a bunch of their mustard too. it's a good shovel.
tom had earlier suggested doing an edition of the watt from pedro show and I was into it but damn if I wasn't so fucking tuckered that I konk at eight bells, konk big time hard.
friday, april 22, 2011 - denver, co
I do the last leg of the drive that gets us and the rest of the crew into denver, and right out front of the larimer lounge. The street parkin on our side is blocked off, and people are settin up little tents gettin ready for street a fair or something like that. We find out later from club boss that there's is going to be a circus here tonight. Hmmm, should be a weird scene with fire breathing circus folks mixed with the usual drunk rukus crowd that one can find here. We are here early, i mean really early like 2pm... so i split from the team for a leg stretch around the nieghbohood. Trippy area around here that still seems in the transitional stage of total hipster/yuppie money man take over, such a bizarre thing. here by the larimer it dosn't seem too bad yet. I don't see the local homeless population that was very apparent on my first visit. Which just makes me wonder, where have they went... most likely pushed to another part of town, very sad really. Now it seems replaced with young "urban" artist and galleries. Maybe still poor, living/working and creating in the same spaces, but i have a feeling that by our next visit that there will probabbly be a bucks near by, and not as many freaks hangin' around.... hopefully i'm wrong.
It was a long one gettin here today, and even though we didn't do a gig last night, i did not get a solid sleep. A little rest before tonights late gig would rule. No dice though, back stage is packed full of many people. The meeting of the two bobs was a treat to witness though, and in a better mood, i think i would of had a bit more appreciation for it. Tonight, i had no pleasure in listening to sports stats from the 1980's mixed with ski conditions in vail. In protest, i put a sweatshirt over my head and then did a burrow under a couch cushion as a way of saying maybe i'd would like to get some rest. Unfortunately the less than subtle hint was un-noticed.
Hmmm, trippy gig i thought. Much talking from peole in the crowd, and in a very negative way, there was some straight bull shit being said. I also threw a little fit right after we did our first set, so that was for sure a bummer. Basically, a situation happened at the beginning of the show that was beyond my control, and when they surfaced, i took it personally, and had a hard time letting it go. I fucked this one for myself. The guy up front who wanted to tell stories while we played did not help the sitch either. And stupid me let it get the best of me, and pissed me.... aaarrgghhhh. The whole deal left me feeling a bit sad and let down. It hurt to feel our tension on stage. Also, i should not let drunk people get the best of me... very petty.
So glad the mood did not last for long. After my initial pout, the three of us talked it out like civalized people should while we waited for bob to get his shit together... the usual post gig ritual. We have a early early call and wailer drive tomorrow too, but this does not stop the stires full boogie hang out after the show.
pop at five bells but just lay there still or try to. I had popped for a little bit after midnight and then konked soon after - tour does hell on my konk/wake cycles a little bit but days off REALLY fuck w/my tour cycle in general. I'm gonna let folks konk as long as possible - I stay still as possible 'til nine bells and then prac english-go w/eiko-san cuz the six has free internet. you don't know how many of the fancy pads overseas I'm at cuz of stooges tour don't have this, fucking burnwards. today's good friday. today's earth day too.
we pull anchor and go across the road to get subway sandwiched - been a while, huh? the maker of the tuna/pickles/olive/salt+pepper/mustard-yellow-not-too-much is very kind and probably the softest (meaning freshest? it ain't hot, hmm...) bread, vinegar chips stuffed all work for a good face stuff for me.
back west on I-70, soon we cross the time zone line and we've gained that hour we lost how many weeks ago? soon we pass the tiny town of kanarado and we're across the state line - bye bye kansas, howdy colorado. at flagler I have us drop anchor for gas and get some tacos - real mexican tasting ones, viva! man what a collection of "homies" this chowpad called "reynaldo's" had, much respect! I put raul at the helm and he does good (has been excellent all tour) getting us into denver around two and a half. I had konked some but realize spielgusher went around twice today!
this pad is called "the lorimar lounge" and the padboss mark is cool people. man, am I hankering for soda water (carbonated water w/no fucking sugar or anything else) but you just can't find at filling stations hardly anymore - there used to be a least perrier but now that's fewer and fewer. anyway, there's a liquor store a block away and I roll the dice - bingo! there's club soda, probably cuz there's also liquor. anyway, I go back to the boat w/my treasure and chimp diary while miss peak puts together scrapbook, hmm... the pads next to one side of the club for a block are getting ready for some kind of burning man thing - some type of celebration connected somehow w/it... the most I know about that stuff is from brother matt cuz he's ben to a bunch so there must be something good about cuz brother matt is truly righteous people.
I give rap to soundman rick and we do souncheck w/him after. my voice feels trippy, like it got rest but... let me tell you cough lozenges have plus and minus - the minus being a thick syrup that start shellacking inside your word-hole, in the throat part especially. at that lawrence gig I coughed up 'pert-near a fist sized glob of this resin-like stuff. I go to the boat when we're done a do an phoner w/a cat named nardwuar in vancouver who has a radio show and we're on the air for like fortyfive minutes while he asks me lots of trippy questions, he himself being pretty trippy and interesting. I fuck up and say canada was the first foreign country the minutemen played (wrong, it was mexico) but later correct myself - what I had meant to say was that vancouver was the first canadian town we played but I was baka and spoke horseshit.
there's no chow pads near so I just konk in the boat, starting at like six and a half. it's real funky konk though cuz the burning man thing has some kind of music going REAL LOUD w/bass vibrating the boat that kept me semi-conscious, not all the way up or konked and that is fucked. the sun was out all day but it was a little windy and night got cold so I blanked up. sometimes I would really konk but it would be for short times and that other semi lameass state 'til tom rousts me minutes before midnight, the time we're scheduled to be on, right after locals lionsized and il cattivo so I work my way through the folks (another sellout, much respect) and I even got helped up stage (no stairs but it ain't too high), let's do this.
here's where I first fuck up. I fix where the mic for the bass is cuz it's wrong side and I'll trip over it. however, I don't check the monitor placement and when we begin the begin, I can't put my left foot (the one w/the fucked up knee) where I can work the mic and start clamming on the bass like crazy, very frustrated. I'm looking over at tom but no eye contact from him and I get more panicked. I holler fuck when I make eye contact w/raul and point at the fucked up monitor. I finally move the monitor by stopping the bass but not stopping the piece. this was the right thing to do. I get tom's attention but in a stupid way (I hear him say "I hear you" as he fiddles w/his amp), we are not as together as we almost always are which is a trip cuz after the last one (in lawrence, driving to host kevin's pad) we were talking about our biggest strength as a band is playing like a band and being very connected. I cannot blame my men though, I blame me. we do rally though and get it together. now I've been pretty good tuning out stuff being said but for some reason tonight I hear something in "mouse-headed-man" that pisses me off and even a little after mouth "fuck you!" in the direction I heard it. what was that about? so embarrassing for me, I feel like a total 'tard. the denver gig-goers though are very happening, this is not a problem of the people - only an asshole would blame the people - it is me. we do the piece pretty ok though when I think about it, for the most part it was pretty good. we go to the room backstage and I start talking to tom and raul about the monitor situation and for sure I was so stupid to yell at the beginning that raul did think I was yelling at him and I feel really bad. I've never had this happen before. we go out to do encores and again I respond to something in the crowd, someone up front wants to tell me a story he says when I ask him and I apologize in fact to everyone for letting the kind of situation happen that did happen... I then go behind the drumkit and do the most subdued encore tunes I've done maybe ever. I felt weird.
I put my stuff away like I do and go up to the stage and some man comes up on stage and tells me his three year old daughter asked him if mike watt was a nice man. I don't blame him for asking me that. gig-goers are very kind and give me much kindness and I am happy to return it w/gratitude I truly feel. it gives me good perspective on what I gotta learn from the stuff that happened tonight. much kindness from these folks... hey, many bassworkers too! one man asks me to write "gerard" on his nyc metro card, said he was bassman that passed away a few days ago. this is heavy, deserves respect - we lost another bassbrother. I put my fist in the air for him, big love. the drummer of lionsized told me his drums got stolen today but getting to do this gig brought him good feelings to stomp those sorrow ones down. righteous and inspiring to me. there's a man who said he hung w/ig when in school, in the mid 60s. him and his son are here. mio and kazu are here and like last time I was here (which was my first time playing this pad, two years ago), she's got a pom-pom - a pro one w/a handle. these are very cool people and kazu says he's mister shimmy's number one fan - HUGE respect to him from me just for that but he's also a righteous cat and so is mio. they give us presents, arigato! all this goodness from these good people really helps me feel better but also convinces me to address what made me make things kind of lame.
we've been invited by jay - great cat I've known for a while now, he's even been to "harold's" in pedro to see us, has shown "we jam econo" at his work in antarctica (yeah, the one w/the south pole) - jay's asked us to stay at his pad, he's so very kind. on the way I chow the hotdog tom had gotten me way earlier but didn't wanna wake me - it's cold but it's good, a chicago style one he said is "gourmet" kind. I kvetch, wring hands and apologize much to my guys about the gig and my role in making it weird. I mean the piece is weird but I made delivering it weird, I promise to do better next time. both tom and raul give me reassuring words. I love my men. when we get to jay's, it's late, like two bells and we gotta pull anchor early tomorrow morning but there's time to taste some of the weirdest whiskey I've had the singer in his band made. it's thick w/apple taste - tom says we could pour this stuff on pancakes. I don't get into nightwear, I konk on couch clothed in daytime outfit including converses. weird day weird night weird watt.
saturday, april 23, 2011 - salt lake city, ut
Early rise today, and we are out with a quick breakfast within a half hour. Watt even made himself a sandwhich for later and shoved it in his yellow coat pocket. I shoveled my food at the table, but only bring up his pocket style because i wondered if the yolk busted in there? Today we have many miles to travel, and the whole state of whyoming. My two memories of this drive are stopoing in a small town of a population of one just to call bullshit, while eating very stale licorce candies. And the the lady who worked at the gas statsion outside sinclair that had the most punk rock hair cut i've maybe ever seen, and most likely had no idea what punk rock hair cut even was.
From the start we could tell that this maybe was not our kind of pad. First indication being major attitude from the parking lot guard, and the fact that we could not park in one of the hundred spots availible. The complex, the venue's name, is set up of four diffrent clubs that run simultaneously. One mall punk, or whatever name you want to give it. Black spikey hair with orange county attitude, and motley crue riffs. also a full on ranchero disco, a rave hall, and then us in the "other" room, maybe designated for the un-defineable weirdos. There were a few things here that rubbed me the wrong way, security goons, the sterileness, and the un-personality of the whole idea. Anyhow, regardless of those things, i felt that the guys with us were on our side, and did everything thay could to make our time here go smooth, great sound too. Really, i shoud not dwell in the negative, the bands we played with were very unique. Also, we did a good rally from from our poor gig in denver. So maybe for that alone i'm happy.
pop at eight bells to find jay's son matthew walking around the pad on the balls of his feet, maybe to be as tall as the rest of us? he's still quite young. jay and soph whup up fruit mix and toast, bacon and eggs in that order. we pull anchor as miss peak and bob-san are served. sor-ry. we have 'pert-near 550 mile hellride.
north on I-25 and a storm comes on us so I decide not to take the shortcut to laramie (us-287) but stay on the interstate to cheyanne and then west on I-80, just safer. once inside wyoming we're out of the storm it's clear driving though you can see much snow on the side of the road, much snow, crimony. we stop for gas in a little town called buford. I say little cuz the population here is one, that's what the sign said. miss peak shows me some postcards she just bought while I'm pumping and they show the town is population is two. inside I ask the counterman and he says he works here two days a week, says he lives in fort collins. I inquire about the two different population figures and he said the son moved. ok, makes sense. I find roasted garlic potato chips w/the brand name "uncle ray's" and of course you know who I'm thinking about but even weirder is this story on the back, entitled "chapter 14" - here, look at it:
ain't that a trip? "persuasive" indeed! I read this to the team. tom is weirded out. no shit. I think we all are. this ain't the uncle ray we know.
grateful for clear skies and even calm winds (the wind can really wail in wyoming - my ma grew up as a little girl in a little coal town called dines in this state) I wheel us up to rawlins and then hand the helm to tom while I chimp diary. we pass a town called wamsutter - I remember one tour at the wheel traveling opposite of today and blowing it out (I mean it was like a mae west vest inflating, my levis) right before getting there and finding an oldy time truckstop w/a shower to save the sitch. we see a french road (our slang for a frontage road) actually called the french road! we pass the flaming gorge park - a tour fIREHOSE tour w/slovenly in 1987 ("the james worthy tour") had us "camping out" there... me and tom remember a huge wind coming and blowing the a tent they had completely away - I mean it totally bounced, bounded and blew away like a kind of a huge box kite that's cord had snapped, I shit thee not. at rock springs, another driver (raul) at this filling station w/two cadillac front ends joined together (how many times have I fueled up here over the years?!), I get a hot dog and put chili w/mustard on it. the weather holds as we go through parley's and lamb's canyons - I say that cuz one time I hit black ice on a bridge joint and the van's rear end came around, us doing a 270 degree and ending up in the median luckily on all four wheels. that was a REAL pantshitter, let me tell you!
we get to the venue at six and half and "the complex" is the name of venue. my first time here. actually there's four different rooms w/us in one of them. a tejano "hat dance" gig is happening in the biggest one - I'm into that. brandon is the gigboss and he is very cool people. zack is the soundman and is way into being "the fourth man" tonight for us. one of the openers, bloodworm gives me a painting a friend of there's did of samurai's head all in red. very kind. the other opener is called the numbskull trio. there's two other shows going on, trippy - they're two other rooms. it is complex!
I go to the boat to konk and am out like three hours when tom comes and rousts me. I am determined to turn things around from the stumble of last night and rally myself from the inside. tom helps w/big eye contact for the first couple of parts, so great. thank you, tom. both him and raul play real good and I force myself to focus all I got on the piece. it is a turn-around, a rebound totally for me. sack has the monitors up good and even gets up better by the middle. he runs up and fixes the floor tom mic w/a cable switch-out, he's really into, respect! the gig-goers give up good heart too for us, it's a real good gig and bob-san says one his favorite performances he's witnessed. the encores are great, tom re-energized after losing a little gas midway (raul said he did too - maybe from the hellride earlier?) but I still think they both played real good. this was important gig for me, kind of showed myself I don't have to keep sliding further when I stumble, that I can rally. you can't know how insecure I get, feeling like a total baka. I gotta be like that kid on the skateboard who tumbles but gets back up - I wanna be him.
the gig-goers are very kind w/thank yous, one man gets me soda water even. another man has me sign a pillow he made w/a piece of a flannel of his pop's on one side and a picture of me on the other! I have a problem a little bit w/one lady who keeps holding onto my hand and pulling me - I'm not that strong and she might accidentally pull me off the stage - I keep trying to tell her. I have to be careful. everybody so kind though, truly.
my old buddy don (his ma was librarian at san pedro high when I went there - can you imagine how much time I spent in the library? tons! college too, my big time refuge!) rides w/us to his pad. I guess is the last time I konk here after sixteen years of konks! he's moved to a smaller pad and is gonna rent this one out, makes sense. shower and nightwear, damn that feels righteous, yes! don puts up a log in the fireplace right where I konk on the thick rug always and we talk a bunch like we always do 'til I have to stop cuz it's time for konk. like a switch getting thrown, I do just that: konk.
sunday, april 24, 2011 - boise, id
pop at seven bells and don pops likewise to right away cook up some eggs scrambled up w/onion/squash and ham on the side. it's easter morning. I call my ma. my sister melinda has taken her to chow out so I get to talk to both of them, see they're ok and they hear me say me and my team are ok. by next sunday night I should be in my pedro town.
we're at that point of the tour now all that all gigs have their own day. the sunday one is tonight in idaho, in their big town and capitol, boise. we got sun and mild weather, we are blessed. we don't pull anchor 'til noon cuz we don't have to then and also... you'd have to ask bob-san. big hug and bye to brother don, always good to see him. he's gonna come to "casa hanzo" (my secondmen organman pete mazich's studio) in pedro to record two of his songs w/pete, me and my secondmen drummerman jer trebotic next month so I'll see him again then.
nice weather up north on I-15, a gas stop and I get a small dog w/chili and mustard. we hear our dose of spielgusher. I go west at I-84 and first filling station we hit in idaho has the most expensive gas on tour: $4.36/gallon and this is where me and raul switch ponies for the last couple of hours while I chimp diary. he takes across idaho prairie, past mountain home (where "the sand pebble's author richard mckenna was from) and we get into boise about six pm, good job, raul.
the pad we're playing tonight is called "neurolux" and I've played here a bunch of times. I'm a little late for the instore at the record exchange record store next door but chad the bossman there is very cool about it and even has got us some tacos. I meet some of the guys who are opening up he gig, they got a band called jumping sharks and I even meet the drummer's pop. I sign records and talk w/people. record instores are very awkward for me but the people who come see are very kind.
we do soundcheck w/soundman larry and soon after I am in the boat (choice spot out front, we lucked out) and out solid in a deep konk. it is a wailing konk on me but ends w/tom rousting me for early gig time, 9:30 but I gotta get gig shirt on, I was way out of it. sor-ry.
I'm soon up and into the for our gig. tom was ready, brought my tea. there's hand rails on each side of the stage to get up, yatta! I warn the folks the piece is weird but thank them too for coming on work night (good crowd including our friends bart and steph). we bring "hyphenated-man" to them, only minutes before I was out cold. we bring it good and even what seems like are "bar regulars" in the back get won over by the time of "mouse-headed-man" the whole pad is pretty focused on the piece, thank you kind folks of boise. the monitors are a little bassy but at least not mime and though I get behind my two guys in the first verse of "boot-wearing-fish-man" it's almost as if there's some invisible bungie chord to snap me back w/them soon enough. bob-san will later say this is the best "wheel-bound-man" he's heard all tour. we come back for encore and tear through them, good easter gig.
I pack up my stuff and then go upstage to thank the thankers - hey, there's doug martsch! at first I spaced and then realized whoa, there he is! I thank him much for being here. says he dug the piece, big respect to him. he introduces me to carl hamilton who builds stringed machines and we talk bass for a while. actually there's a few bass people who wanna talk bass, talk music, give good wishes - I meet eric, the man who wrote this piece on me in the local weekly here, it's always neat to put a face to a voice - like w/tom (not to be confused w/my guitarman) back in denver who wrote this.
we load up and pull anchor w/bart and steph aboard cuz they've invited us to konk at their pad by the town's old boneyard. I shower and get on the nightwear. there's a little bit of internet and I get this email from longtime gig-goer mr steve:
The review bugged me. You blew my mind last Monday, and I've been listening and learning and thinking about "Hyphenated-Man" all week, so I wrote out a response a few days ago, and I finally decided to post it tonight. I thought you might want a copy of the post, since I'm sure it isn't worth your trouble to read some dude's misbegotten take on your work (maybe that goes for me, too, but here it is).
I thought about putting this here cuz mr steve I think in this case deserves to be heard if this other person is going to make themselves heard. it came right out of the blue but several resonances made me feel so glad he sent these thoughts of his to me.
here's another email, charley sent me an easter poem:
pope in his fruitbowl
the magic of sharing through email. bart handmakes us all two great pizzas. him and steph are righteous hosts. it sure is neat getting to the konk pad before midnight too. I use the green konk mask george gave me in kansas... I'm... out...
monday, april 25, 2011 - portland, or
pop at seven bells for eight bells shove-off cuz we got kind of hellride ahead of us, if not in terms of weather than a little cuz of miles. I'd rather have it cuz of miles, see cuz weather is more scary - the bad kind. first bart for a bit pops, steph later to see us off but they got work and I want them to get as much konk as they can. big hug, adios!
west on I-84 through some drizzle... over the state line and into oregon an hour away. we begin to climb, a little more rain but no snow and more important: no black ice on the road. we pass the final time zone and our clock is now matched the ones in my pedro town, yatta! northwest now and at baker city I dock the boat - we chow at a non-chain chow pad called "the oregon trail" and I chow hash browns/over medium eggs/two boneless pork chops. there's a book about "how to keep humble when you're smarter than everyone else" or something like that... they got all these "funny books" one per table, all written by some cat w/the last name "goode" or something like that. I get gas and the filling station man (like new jersey, you can't pump your own gas) tells me the baker city tower here next door used to be a hotel and both clint eastward and lee marvin stayed there when "paint your wagon" was being filmed. no snow as we go over the blue mountains. at la grande I hand the wheel over to raul and that's where the wind picks up, getting real big time at pendleton. we meet up and follow the columbia west onward to portland. crimony, this is an incredibly huge river, washington state way over on the other bank. it is a pretty drive, even w/the big wind. tom (third driver) takes over at the dalles which is the second dam we've hit upon. tom gets us to the venue at four, whew.
this pad is called "doug fir lounge" and it's my second time here. great pad. very happening load in w/parking underground and safe but high enough for the boat. you roll the shit right through a hatch w/no stairs, ramps, lifting or anything! soundman mick hears my spiel and accepts "fourth man" role, thank you.
one of my heroes, richard meltzer comes to meet me - the venue here is also a chow pad and so he has pork chops while I have trout (I had pork chops this morning). it SO GOOD to see richard again! for the first time this tour I have a beer before I get to the konk pad (or any alcohol). more than that, I don't go konk before the gig like I usually do - I spend the time up to the first note of the piece (supposed to be eleven pm) w/richard, talking about as much stuff as I can cuz fuck, when do I get a chance ever like this? I don't even feel the tiredness, I feel inspired - richard always inspires me. I wish I could think faster though, tour's got me a little bit worn but even more I'm awkward and clumsy w/language, wordstuff. bob teagan is here from detroit - actually from 122 days of skiing in colorado. me and my guys discuss in detail the spielgusher album w/it, especially w/all the repeated listening have engrained it our minds. richard takes time to explain all our questions and in turn has some himself, like if we could hear pathos in his spiel. fuck yeah, I tell him. he talks w/us about books and writers, some beat ones in particular. some of the stories are a little sad but all of them are very interesting. he's been working on a novel for seven years and no one will pony up so he's gonna put it out himself, MUCH RESPECT. he just means the world to me, truly. I'm so glad we got the spielgusher thing going, so glad. we talk about walt whitman, how he had to self-publish... that was 156 years ago!in the back room here, we hear the openers the sons of huns and charming birds - all of them very nice cats.
time for us to go on, I feel strange. not all the way bad but a little scared cuz I wanna do good for richard. of course I wanna do good for the gig-goers, they're all here but I don't walk through them cuz I come from the dressing room and wearing the bass already around me. I go out w/my men and tell the house about richard a little, weird piece warning a little bit too. man, I wanna do good for richard, at least not totally choke. we bring forth the piece. trippy sound on stage, we sound so tiny but at least I can hear my voice - it's a little weak w/all the spiel I did w/richard (but please don't blame richard, blame me!) and no pre-gig konk but it's ok, it's workable. raul's a little cramped up but playing great. tom is full-on happening. I space on some words. I probably blow more word clams than bass one... I'm so nervous in front of richard. the portland gig-goers are intense, very vocal but not so much yammerin' (yammerin' in the back by the bar some though) but getting carried away by the rockin' which kind of interrupts them getting the piece (though I wouldn't wanna speak for them) but you can tell when they let a part breathe (especially a tinier one) and see where it's taking the piece they can figure it ain't a "conventional" set that we're playing but one whole piece. the biggest word clam of the tour I do in the last part and have to even put the band in holding pattern while I get it together but tom and raul ride right tight w/me. tom does one clam that's kind of big: the very last chord of the piece but still, he was fantastic. we do the encore full-bore, it's a good gig - big respect to the portland gig-goers on a work night.
well-wishes from the folks after I pack my amp stuff up. huge love from andy - and for him from me back - his bro john was at the lawrence gig and andy earlier came by to tell us he's moving back to kansas city. there's eli from the brothers johnson and his buddy the bearded cigar man, hey man! jeanne's here too, another bassworker. lots of well-wishes and thanks from sincere folks, I am most grateful, most grateful. I get music from some too - one cd has gotten liner notes from richard!
my last time w/richard 'til next time - he tells me to keep on fuckin' keepin' on and I take it to heart and hug him. he means the world to me. can't wait to see him again. bye, richard...
I settle w/gigboss anna and we load out - very easy load-out cuz of the sitch here, great! brother eric of sightworks, the folks who help me stream my radio show rides ahead of his, it's raining now but not heavy - we get to his pad and plenty of safe parking, righteous. I get in the nightwear and there's some beam left in a bottle I left last year when we were here w/the lite brothers, alright! he's got a happening dog named the captain too, beautiful man w/two different color eyes and a trippy coat, love it cuz you'd think it be all rough but it ain't. mask on, I konk on the couch by the hatch.
tuesday, april 26, 2011 - vancouver, bc, canada
pop at seven bells for eight bells shove-off (like yesterday!) cuz we got like five hours of driving and then there's a border to do. eric is a righteous brother and gets some documents (for that border thing) printed up for me while I hose off - miss peak making coff like she does lots of times, thank you so much.
you can tell it rained all night but the sun's out as one more big hug for brother eric and up north on I-5 for our journey, first across that big river we drove all up alongside yesterday, the columbia. trippy there's a vancouver town right across but this border town is for the state of washington and not british columbia province of canada - there's gotta be some kind of jokes about this, right? we stop at a subway sandwich pad we were w/when the lite brothers were w/us last year - ain't that a trip?! I get the usual but the tuna ran out half way and the young man had to get another batch - I say this cuz we were all guessing later why I had short stay and blew that all through the outdoor not that many miles further up the road... I had green bell peppers w/it this time which was different but was in evidence clearly when I made an examination of the blowout. we'll, you roll the dice...
further north into washington and then we drop anchor for short time in bellingham to get 'tel for bob and the merchandise he's got left to sling. we wish him well and from there go more north to blaine and the border w/our northern neighbors. the peace arch says "children of a common mother" and the canadian side says "brethren dwelling together in unity" - you figure it out cuz me and tom did after a short discussion. the canadain borderman is very kind to us and the long wait is for our vehicle in line than w/him. very very grateful to him, very much. there's lots of traffic up surrey way where all the lines "hourglass" into one (!) but by five and a half we make it to "the media club" which is were we're playing tonight and is also a couple blocks from where the canucks and blackhawks are doing the hockey stanley cup first round playoffs rubber game, at rogers arena.
I remember playing this pad for the second opera w/pete and raul (remember that raul substituted for orig secondmen jer terbotic for some tours?)... we do soundcheck w/soundman pat who's into the mission but I have to explain it's hard to check the bass the way he wants so I just ask if we can play the third opera's first three parts like how regularly do a check. he understands after that - I'm all over the place! the band opening up is called ford pier vengeance trio and has very kind frontman ford, great cat. he tells me band name is from wagner opera! respect. he sends me on sushi goose chase or maybe I was baka and got lost... so many canuck fans on the streets, crimony! I go hoofing for some kind of chow and find some panang pork at a pad called "go go thai" and make a wrong turn that puts me on another forty-five minute hoof to get back to the boat but it's ok cuz I needed the exercise, I got to see some neat 'couver and the panang pork has cooled down (this stuff is always cooked at high HIGH temp) so for easy chowing w/my hashi from my backwacksack - there' good broccoli in it too, great! I saw the most massive fucking rainbow ever too, right near the stadium and it was incredibly bright, bold and fucking tall - not so wide but fucking tall! incredible. I go konk hard in the boat, hard.
hollering wakes me before tom - dudes are leaning against the boat and whupping it up w/yelling and shit - for sure the canucks must've won... what a weird thing to experience, all this hollering and and crazy sounding stuff. somehow I get back konked but tom no long after rousts me w/some tea and I go to do the gig. the pad is packed and everyone happy - the canucks must've won, must've. we bring the piece. the monitors are the best yet this tour and the gig-goers here in vancouver are righteously fired up big time. whoa. I do put my fist in the air for poly styrene http://poly-styrene.com cuz she just died, same age as me or maybe a few months older. man, what a loss for us - we lost a dear sister. I think of her doing the piece, not to blame her for any clams cuz that's my fault but to help fuel the team fire I dig so much about being part of the movement. it's hard to explain but it is true feeling in me, true one. her band was great (lora logic too, after w/her own stuff - whoa, that first album!) and voice fucking big time inspiring w/the words w/it, getting me all lit and all. loved love it. forever. the opera goes real REAL good, it's a living dynamic thing that's whole and connected - tom and raul helping me to make it that way but in a way, it having it's own way, 'pert-near. I am so grateful for all the fire the vancouver gig-goers brought to us and we do every encore tune we've done this tour. damn, is it a good feeling, big hugs and/or handsgrips for everyone here who puts it out for me. I really feel we all went in on this trip even though most never heard the piece before, it really seemed they helped me, tom and raul work this for us all.
we pack up quick, bob-san's waiting for us on the other side of the border. we drive through rain but the roads are 'pert-near empty and the border back into our land is calm, the u.s. officer there approving of us coming home, thank you. for the second time today, raul is the only who is not asked to identify himself.
it's about thirty miles from vancouver to the border, and from the border it's twenty miles to bellingham so we meet back up w/bob-san at two and half bells, everyone glad to see everyone. I get into the nightwear. I drink a pabst. I do something really weird and get into a bed. (watt don't really rock beds). I konk tuckered but happy, whew. so much worry gone.
wednesday, april 27, 2011 - seattle, wa
pop at seven bells - what is this "I love lucy" rerun time? no but it is the same time three days in a row. I prac english-go w/eiko-san, sixteen hour time difference now being on the u.s. west coast and it being this time of year. I hose off again - did so last night but am only realizing that now cuz wasn't sure for round II but fuck, you can't ever be too clean in tour mode? I go hobble up the road and find one of these little coff pads you find up here in washington and oregon all over, they're small little ones w/drive up windows, kind of eingangian (as tom would say). I get two coffs, one for miss peak.
a kind of strange email comes from mr shimmy - him and ms yuko got back to tokyo safe but he writes:
I ponder this.
it gets to eleven bells and we gotta pull anchor. one of the ladies who works here - maybe it's the owner - comes out of the room bob-san was in w/tom and raul and says a towel's missing... I holler down to bob-san (our rooms upstairs) and he tells me to look under the bed and sure enough, I fish it out all stained w/purple - I guess it was used to mop up some spill. then she asks for two wash cloths as I'm going downstairs, I tell bob-san and he runs up there and I guess gave her some money. case closed.
south on I-5 w/gray skies but rain holding back. we find a subway sandwich pad but I'm leery of tuna cuz of the last time and instead get a small club. all I want is pickles but the subway person insists on asking my verdict on each item - I ask for a halt after two of them saying what I said: "all I want is pickles" - it's seems like a heavy weird thing descends. I quickly pay and bail. that was weird. I wonder how I made it weird? except for just being weird - just saying. strange human-to-human stuff!
only ninety mile drive. miss peak has a buddy named jeff through her couchsurfing.com world connects. he's a very ind man. we get to his pad about one and half - hey, this is where I took second shower - no - I take third shower here! that's right, we can do wash here so I gave raul my entire outfit (both ronnie + yellow jacket) and wanna use fresh chonies so I guess that's why I went for round three. anyway, our jeff is kind of freaked out regarding me in just chonies but says he's relieved when washed gets done and raul returns clean version of daytime outfit. he makes gnomes, very interesting. my guys and miss peak come up w/idea for a missingmen array including small version of the boat to go w/it. I'm into it! I hope it happens. maybe the watt can have just chonies, socks and orange converses on and you can fit miniature version of either levis w/ronnie jacket or purple plaid stage shirt w/levis or nightwear on it. something to consider.
ed calls me up and asks when is stage time cuz he wants to see the third opera which is righteous and is also a good thing cuz I didn't realize we're on stage early tonight, soundcheck is 3:30 pm, fuck! we gotta get it together and get it over to the venue which we do and arrive at the venue which is called "the triple door" which is near the belltown part of seattle. it's my first time here and it's a trippy place, built-in tables make up the whole place, a "supper club" I guess you'd call it - no dance floor at all, in fact one long table is right at the foot of the stage, covering the entire width. we do souncheck w/soundman craig, reading first to him the drill. there's another band besides us here tonight called stag that craig tells us not-so-new guys in a new band from around here.
words in text come over the leash: it's hol and she's in the basement of her pad in alabama, a tornado came right near and she's scared to death. I call her and she says help is coming but her and her kids are ok. damn. such wild weather, so fucking wack.
the gigboss ross gives us a menu for chow and tells me three lambchops in a black china sauce w/lots of scallions called mongolian something is good so I go for that w/some white rice and fuck yeah, it's great. I can use the skinny meatless part of the bones as handles and not have to use silverware - using my hashi for the rice. it is a very happening shovel. I chimp the rest of the diary for yesterday. then ed calls, says dave and pat are here too - well, close but they can take a ferry and be here so let's do a couple of encore tunes. I say yes big time, it'll be a trip. I go to the boat via this side alley we loaded into - oh yeah, $36.60 for parking which is more than nyc prices! just sayin'... inside the boat I get both mexican trucker and two of the blue blankies layered up and going over me after getting the purple plaid gig shirt, ronnie's and the yellow jackets on. it's fucking wet cold out here (worst for my joints) but this is warm womb world working to make it a very much happening place to konk here on the bench midships in the boat. I konk good and hard.
I am not rousted by tom tonight - I am rousted by miss peak and it's a trip cuz coming out of the konk I don't have it all together and am confused... like why is she here, why does she have the throatcoat tea? my wits come back to me slow as I make it down the alley and to the green room secret way - ed's there, big hugs, yeah. so good to see him again. I drink the throatcoat tea and talk a little w/ed but it's 8:20 pm for downbeat so I tell him I'm gonna try and work this piece good for him cuz I'm so glad he came to see it.
down the stairs and I get both my coats off, get the bass and get the amp on. we bring it. the monitors are real good. the amps sound tiny on stage and the drums huge but nothing to yank the keel out of the water. it is trippy seeing everyone at tables and spread out but I focus hard on both my guys and the piece and keep it pretty together. tom did start carrying out a beer and having his amp on standby but except for that he does for the most part really good, really good considering hearing later he couldn't really focus his eyes on me cuz of weird lighting (or lack of) - same w/raul though he said it was worse last night in vancouver w/a light right in his eyes (remember that drummies are on a seat that can't move much). anyway, the seattle gig-goers are big BIG time respectful and let the piece come together on its own, supporting w/spirit rather than yammerin', thank you. later I'll tell dave about decrescendo, something we came up w/in the minutemen, like w/that tune "toadies" and that part in the middle which actually is the loudest part of the tune but us playing the softest. a lot of the later part of the third opera is built on that. he said him and pat got here during something like that, during "mouse-headed-man" cuz the ferry was late and it was a little awkward getting to their tables cuz the sound was so tiny and they didn't wanna bogart on it. I blow a huge clam at the beginning of "wheel-bound-man" (being a whole step away!) but at least I hope I played it kind of soft. I think overall though, it was a good job - there was other little clams I did and the voice a little raw but I think we did good. we do our encore (first though I respond to someone's hollerin' but then check myself and say over the mic "I'm not supposed to be responding," keeping my focus) and then the special encore that ed just made up this afternoon: him, dave, pat and me do "big train" but I kind of started it too soon (I think one of the guitar amps belonging to the venue went dead also) so it's me and dave for a while - holy cow can this man work drums! I've always thought so but it's been sixteen years since I last played w/him. trippy seeing him on raul's kit, going town. man, I haven't done this tune in a while - there's some clams on my part - especially the lead in to the trainwreck part dave's got it cold, same w/pat and ed - ed's finally got an amp situation working, I think they both got plugged into tom's amp. I'm digging the hell out what the each wail, it's a great train ride! just like that too, no prac, no big prep - just come on and do it, john coltrane style! we next do the stooges "fun house" w/tom now on guitar and raul on a floor tom and snare from a house kit but soon tom gives his guitar to pat, wild! tom turns into a interpretive dancer, really wild! "we've been separated... far too long" - damn right!
upstairs it's a good time talking w/my friends, everyone in big time joyful feeling. dave makes tippy observation about my bass, saying it sounds like a trippy kind of a standup. well, I've been using the same set of strings all tour and a short scale machine has flabbier tension, hmm... I like that though, it's interesting. maybe part of it is using just more than one finger or alternating two of them, instead using two or three (even four like in "man-shitting-man") at same time - "the flipper" kind of style. pat asks about miss kelley - she was both our good good friend, very happening lady. it been six years since rick (dear buddy of us three) passed away, me and pat this loss thought for brother rick... fucked up things about the hands life deals you, yes. somber time a tiny bit, then pat's spirit bounces me up cuz he is a beautiful man. dave's bassman nate's here - righteous, love him. ed dug the piece, wish I had more time to tell him more but I spiel the basic stuff to him and dave - pat laughing a little bit while they are intent w/listening but he's into to it too - maybe relating cuz he's my age! I gotta see the boss and get that stuff going but big hugs again, what a fun time we had there. a tirp.
different than usual where I go to the front of the stage after getting my amp and bass stuff put away cuz I went and spent a little time w/ed, dave and pat but there's some good folks here still - I hope it wasn't weird to be gone for this bit of time cuz to think folks having to wait... I have them come up stairs on the stage w/me and talk w/the gig-goers and am grateful for the well-wishes. one man name felix has a great story about d. boon and how he was touched by him - his family from el salvador.
me and my men do what we gotta do to make a gig done, going to get the boat, a giant rat runs across the alley in front of me - whoa, please don't run back and hit my ankle! we load up and w/sandy's husband steve w/us (miss peak's riding w/sandy - her camera fell to the ground again, oh no!), we drive up to capital hill where there pad is. sandy is dear old friend from sst days. once in my nightwear, she's chows me a little pesto tortellini and some bourbon/water. it's early night so we have a big happy time and then I konk.
thursday, april 28, 2011 - eugene, or
tom's audio words-eye-view for week eight here!
pop at seven bells and get nightwear washed/dried. being naked is ok cuz I'm the only one up, only one on ground level (I think). I try to catch up on the mountain of email. on his way to work, steve gives me the "rick cassette" cd-r he made for us, a tribute to a man (rick) who turned on his little town to happening unknownst-to-them-as-yet sounds. sandy's next up, said she just puked and konks on the couch near me while I prac english a little w/eiko-san. of course by this time the nightwear is done but I'm daytime tour outfit: levis, ronnie's coat and chucks. miss peak then pops and makes coff. when rest of team pops, sandy makes us all scrambled eggs w/sun-dried tomatoes in them, little potatoes and toast - well, raul made the toast.
we pull anchor at ten, sun out to see us off but HUGE kumo (couds) means - you know what a means. last hugs and pictures w/sandy - bye bye 'til next time! the tons of times me and my men have konked w/sandy. oh, her ma came last night - she's been to lots of my gigs and so she said dug the third opera which means much to me cuz she knows my stuff.
sure enough, soon as we pass all that boeing stuff, south on the I-5 (we see one of the new 787s come in to land there), the rain starts coming down. at a gas stop, I get some chicken drumsticks (little ones) that everyone aboard the boat says brought in a horrible grease smell and well, another stop no too long after to blow that crap out. getting nearer to the end of the tour here, I have been less and less careful w/crap chow - baka watt. I ain't sick though, just a blow out and a fouling of facilities (ladies one too cuz bob-san was bogarting the men's). the sun comes out and the rain quits by the time we clear portland (yes, back whence when we came) and get into eugene. at that blow-out stop, I handed the helm over to raul. I chimp diary but also get miss peak to read this article on kickstarter (miss peak found her funding to photodocument this tour via kickstarter) that I found in a seattle weekly. her opinion is balanced and brilliant as always - usually she is never a hater and that comes through yet again.
raul brings into eugene around five to a pad I've never played before call "sam board's garage" which used to be just that, a garage for fixing cars but that was a long time ago. now it's a bar but they serve chow too - a nice cat named doug right away gets us squared while jeff brings a menu so I get the meatloaf plate - can't remember when I last ate meatloaf (not a regular grown-up watt chow but did have when my ma used to cook for me) but this is good, the mashed potatoes, broccoli and gravy too. there's no soundcheck cuz of the sitch which is ok. after spiel w/bob teagan (yeah, his sixth gig this tour of seeing us) and his buddy bremerton bill, I go to the boat and get blanked up cuz it's fucking cold. real quick though I konk like a fucking rock.
tom gets me at ten and a quarter - over three hours of out time I pulled but damn I missed dan jones and his new band the golden motors. tom's brought the throatcoat tea that quick cools off cuz it's so fucking cold. the blankies kept me warm though. we bring the piece to the eugene gig-goers, the pad's packed. stage is tiny but stages sound is great! monitors ain't mime but 'pert-near that way however it's better than full mime. I think we do the piece real good. the room was full of drunken yammer but at the same time there was much focus and quite a bunch of dancing - I haven't really talked about the dancing at our gigs cuz well, I wish I could be dancing maybe but from time to time there is just that, dancing. I never did meet the soundman but my guys said his name was kevin so I thank kevin for being the fourth man (raul told me tom had to plug in the monitors!). I thank the gig-goers cuz the did help make it good gig but tonight I really gotta thank tom and raul - shit, that's stupid cuz every time I work this piece I owe them so much for their dedication and them just being them. we do the encore, it's wild - lots more dancing, whoa! weird kind of dancing cuz of weird kind of band playing.
we finish and I talk w/the folks, the gig-goers. many kind cats, many, many w/very kind well-wishes, some w/stories. many people older than usual but still a lot of young people. I go to put on my glasses when my finger goes right through where glass should be - that lens w/the chipped corner has fallen out, damn. can't find it anywhere - all kinds of folks help me look but fuck. I put away my stuff. I go do the settlement stuff and then voila, there's miss peak w/the lens - turns out in was in the boat! I never came in w/it on me to do the gig. boy, do I feel stupid. miss peak to the rescue though. I meet the security man at the w.o.w. hall which is where usually I play here. he's a nice man. he's seen lots of my gigs. there's a man who knows him and says his daughter kicked this man in the balls, he said he taught her to do that. whoa. the w.o.w. hall security man laughs. I say hi to dan jones, great cat, so good to see him though I'm a little embarrassed I was konked n the boat during their set, damn. I meet a man who said he wanted to jam w/me earlier in the day and another man who said he wanted to try out to be my drummer. sor-ry to both, truly. another man said he was just at bob marley's pad in jamaica, "nine mile road" and that rubbing the anchor would connect w/him. bremerton bill gives me a copy of a letter from pete townshend to a writer at creem magazine that he found when he moved into where that zine had been! but there's no ken babbs - uncle ray's taunt succeded in fooling us w/that kind of hope. maybe if we ever get the chance to sidemouse for steely dan, then...
tom has an art acquaintance named donald who's got parents that have an old timey (there's an ice box - I had a pad like that in pedro on fourteenth street!) apartment building and some artist was gonna stay in one but bailed so as luck would have it, here's the eugene konk pad - thank you, donald! there's a old timey couch w/rounded features I'm gonna layout on after hosedown and getting into the nightwear... before donald bails there's a stoli bottle he lays on that's still got some in it - my fist wodka of the tour. whoa, by the kitchen sink he's got the zz top "tres hombres" album cover opened up and on the bulkhead to show that righteous mexican chow they got there in the middle, much respect! this red couch place is where he says we can dick leech internet from his neighbor so I update the fakelook and shitter, then konk.
friday, april 29, 2011 - san francisco, ca
pop at eight bells - we gotta shove off in an hour cuz we gotta do like 530 miles in the boat. par for course, bob-san and miss peak are last to get in the boat - most times I find tom and raul waiting for me cuz I like to be close to when I say so the can be some kind of predictability in such a chaotic situation. I think w/bob-san it's more about just waiting until you're yelled at. w/miss peak it is mere power struggle. the whole thing is a trip. actually we're a good crew.
ok, south on the I-5 for a buttload of time. the one thing I'm scared of is siskyou pass, the highest point on the I-5 which is 'pert-near on the border between oregon and cali. I'm timing our drive so we hopefully hit the pass around one pm which I figure might be the warmest part of the day we can hit and still not be late for our soundcheck tonight. it's on and off raining as we roll - the trucks are the worst when it gets heavy cuz they kick back a flood and when passing, you get a tsunami's worth of water washing you over. crimony. then there's a little bit of mindless small talk so tom watson, the quencher, hands bob-san the atlas in an attempt to somehow cut short his incessant geographical queries.
there's an "a & w" and I remember these as a kid and wonder how have they changed. yeah, I've never been to one since I was a teenager - I can't remember when the one in pedro got torn down. miss peak wants a mug - so do I cuz they're nice big thick ones so I get one for both of us. I get the "papa burger" to chow, why's it called that? there's fries too and of course, a root beer. the "papa burger" and as terrible as crapdonald's or boogerfling but it as good as that "mrs beasley's" pad up north I had the other day. that wasn't chain chow.
I get us up past ashland (bob-san says there's great shakespeare festival - he knows much about oregon cuz he went to school in eugene at the university of oregon) and then we ascend to many passes, the big one being siskyou. it's not raining hard, kind of off and on which is good but as we closer and closer to the 4190 foot summit, snow starts coming and blowing sideways. we wonder how it'd be and hour before or an hour after now... the good news is we made it. there were trucks stopping to chain up cuz they knew what was coming so actually the way down is clear w/none of them big guys in the slow lane cuz I'm doing the fiftyfive the signs tell me to and no slalom sprint for this boat, no luge/bobsled qualifying run! over the border, bye bye rest of u.s., hello cali! we're in our home state and you can instantly see some kind of change in the land - it's like that w/a lot of state borders but this time there's something about more and more sun and skies w/less and less clouds - less and less rain that is very happening. we go through yreka just to drive through their little downtown old timey main street! back on the interstate, raul takes the helm from me when we get gas in weed, a town my pop worked in as a teenager (he grew up in red bluff, we pass that town south of redding, in the sacramento valley). $4.27/gallon - hello cali prices for gas! raul gets us through the beautiful shasta area for the next couple of hours - takes us past red bluff. tom takes the helm from him at a rest area near a road to black butte lake. having three drivers is definite benefit. we have a prob when miss peak tries to use her 'puter w/the invert cuz the socket getting the boat's power to the inverter ain't husky enough to hold the current and it starts to melt, blowing out the fuse. I can still use the garmin gps battery to guide us, it's no big deal but the smell was a little scary. watch out people when using inverters (they convert dc to ac power) and high-powered 'putters (like peak's)! there's heavy traff as we get closer to the bay bridge, the carpool lane helps (lots of the ones up here require three and not two people like how it is in so cal) and it's seven when we roll up to "the bottom of the hill" which is where we're playing tonight. I've done many gigs here.
skylar is the soundman here and we move to quick get a check, he's into the mission I laid out for him, the "fourth man" one. I chow a "rueben burger" they make here, they got a little kitchen. richard "fuckin'" bonney comes by, my buddy from my teenage days back in pedro (we scrubbed pots and pans together at the hospital)... he's been up here going on five years now. so good to see him, so good. also good to see is christian beaulieu who's performing tonight solo as liquid indain. he sent me songs w/him on guitar and a buddy on drums for a proj called dyslexicon that I put bass on via pro tools from my pedro pad. can't wait to see what him and is knob buddy toshi do w/it. there's another opener called electric chair repair company that wants me to sing the stooges "fun house" for them. ok, I will. actually I think miss peak was the connect in this cuz I was in the cc: part of this email from her to them:
I'm glad I came up with this idea since my relentless effort to make this true is incredibly rewarding. One more something and I'll claim myself a fucking star.
whoa, miss peak?!
butch gets here just as I'm about to konk and barlady lynn is very nice to let him on the list cuz I've been told the gig's sold out by her. I say "clean" which puzzles her so I explain old vaudeville slang about calling a sold out gig a "clean" one. out the hatch to the boat right out front (tom lucked us out big time w/getting this spot) and I see brother steve mackay - he'll do sax w/us tonight.
I konk real hard but not that blankied cuz well, I don't have to! yeah, just the purple plaid gig shirt, both jackets and just one blankie kind of on is enough. I get woke by miss peak which is a little disorienting - I don't have it much together - the doorman at first doesn't think it's me, what? it's me - I show stamp and tell him I'm sorry. butch helps me get through the crowd and I hobble up the stage and sit in a chair I'd put up there earlier. they're an instrumental trio so I start doing "fun house" in something that sounds like the stooges, sounds to me that way but in the middle of the second verse they bring into stuff that's way more familiar sounding - aaahhh, I started up w/them too early. I'm on the chair cuz I was think of "that old blues guy on the porch" image ronnie used to speak of when people (like me and thurst) would ask him stooges stuff. I do a little more over this more-familiar part 'til I think I did good enough and bail back for the boat... aaaaahhhh, I discover I had my konk mask up on my head - baka watt! I konk out again, this time w/bright orange hat on.
tom is the next one to get me and has thoatcoat tea, like I'm more familiar w/and so I ask him the time - five after midnight, whoa. I get the backwacksack and the bass and move through the crowd, both tom and butch running some interference this time. people are kind and wish me well as I pass - the second time around tonight! kind of disorienting in a way. I get right up ready to go as quick as I can. james williamson said he was coming w/his son jamie and I'm kind of way nervous. I really want him to see this but still I'm way nervous. what really makes things tough though is this yammerer port side of me (the port side can have gig-goers cuz it's the channel that leads to the heads and the outdoor patio plus the pool table. I heard steve anderson (singer of slovenly, the band both he and tom watson were in) is here to. shit, even folks I don't know I wanna work the piece good for them but for the first time ever at tiny parts I can't hear the guitar cuz of this yammerer who's having his non-stop conversation constantly interrupted by us bringing the third opera. usually I can block these people out but man, I can't even hear the beginning of "baby-cradling-tree-man" that tom brings us in w/and even worse is one of my "wheel-bound-man" solos that falls off the rails when I can't hear where either the guitar or drums are - crimony! I hate the idea of blaming clams on anyone but myself too. I've reconciled this yammering shit w/tests for the piece and in my case personally, character building. more than a cave maybe, being able to withstand fucking yammering and maintain focus is a big time character builder. I stumbled some on tonight's test regarding that but reflecting now makes the whole sitch make a little more sense to me. everyone has something to teach me, even a fucking yammerer.
I blow clams in the encore not cuz of yammerers cuz they're hard-charger tunes and yammerers are inaudible. I think I spaced or was feeling a little guilty/embarrassed or fuck, I made expectations too high for doing good for james and his boy, brother steve - the s.f. gig-goers... yeah, speaking of them, so many great lights shining at us, urging us on and using the open minds to scoop basket after basket of our team-based expression, us binding our wills to the ensemble as springboard to lift each of souls up and away - that kind of thing! come up and join us, brother steve - second "fun house" for me to do spiel on in a night (trippy) but here's the man from the stooges album I first heard, first time hearing it backwards - remember records had two sides? for me lots of times it was fifty-fifty chance which wide went where, baka watt. we do trippy arrangement, not same-ol'/same-ol' which is interesting, us swimming the waters in real time. "john coltrane!"
I'm very glad to introduce tom and raul to james, I want them to hear what he told me, how he thought they did real good w/music and us making tight as a band. it is very kind of james, truly. many many kind gig-goers bring the well-wishes, forming a line for the lame-kneed one sitting in the stage stairwell... damn, what righteous posters were made up for this, whoa! many bassmen/basswomen besides those on the other machines or just listeners that express themselves in other ways... I am grateful for all the kindness. lots of cats from many years too, whoa. of course cuz of sellout, I'm missing some old buds too like grux or cameron - masa's here though, I'm glad him and everyone else who wanted to come did.
such nice people working here, they are patient w/my beat 'n' meat and finally it comes time for last biz, the sharing of the heavy weight of the coin biz - big thanks cuz how better can you do than get everyone you can in - "better" for me would've been less clams but don't let me go over that again! we get on over to kenny and lis' pad which is very close and parking right out front, very easy, damn! lis is very old and dear friend since 1977 and she always makes me and my cats always feel good, kenny gets into HUGE spiel w/tom over synths and everything else. I'm given their buddy's homemade croatian-style grappa - two pours cut each time w/water but it's so foul on me that I microwave cheese they've had since xmas to weird glob/crust reformulations and push that in the word-hole to chase out the barf-taste I'm housing there. horrible... fuck, another piece of tooth broke off: starboard side, overhead, third from the back. lis is grossed out. oh yeah, I hosed off and got into the nightwear as soon as I arrived. lis was surprised so much (by nightwear) and couldn't stop laughing for the longest time. like I said, I go way back w/her. I konk on couch w/head lower than feet? opposite to my actual inclination but still konk I do.
saturday, april 30, 2011 - sacramento, ca
pop at seven and a half bells - raul is up soon after and volunteers for coff run, dear man. my old pedro friend concepcion has agreed to let us get to her pad early (only about ninety miles from s.f. to sack town) so I can get the last oil change/maintenance/lighter-power outlet fuse replacement for the boat at a ford dealership I found three miles from her pad.
I'm so glad I got to see lis again, big hugs and we pull anchor. what incredible weather, righteous... yes, back in cali absolutely! east on I-80 and another listen to the spielgusher. we get to concepcion's and I drop everyone off before going by myself to take the boat in for what needs to be done w/her. regular good care is most happening for the boat - blessed be to the boat... on tour how much do we rely on her, count on her? big time, so very much big time - right? I do not take this for granted for I totally believe she's the center of the touring universe, us out here on the road. I get her in at noon and the fordman says it'll take a bit but that's ok cuz I chimp diary in the meantime. I get the tires rotated and put new filters (air/fuel) on as well. of course the cat bringing me the boat is laughing at the "homies" shrine we got going - actually it's been added to cuz tom put this gnome/thundergod behind them all in a "surveying the domain" mode and it's pretty trippy. I'm back at concepcion's by three and chow some righteous albondigas soup her ma made, really good, crimony - love it! concepcion is so kind to let my team relax like this for the last gig, so kind. she was good friend of d. boon's in the old days too.
about six we head over not too far away to where we're playing tonight, a pad called "the blue lamp" I've played many times before. the bossman ed is all the soundman and he's into being "fourth man" after getting the drill. actually I remember him from last time I played here, him telling me about his visit to pedro. folks love to tell me about their pedro visits which I'm into - pedro is here to share visits, that's right. we're kind of unique so cal part and worth checking out. can't wait 'til charley plymell comes w/roxie powell in about three weeks for the tour I'm gonna give them. we do soundcheck and then I go a block to a chowpad called "star ginger" and shovel some pho soup. happening. I go back to see nick and nathan from tera melos who are a great band we got to do some gigs w/last autumn in japan. nick is opening for us tonight w/his friend john on drums. I don't know much about this unit but nick is an incredible musician and righteous cat, as is nathan who learns me about dickens some and tells me of acquiring a gibson grabber for the price of him getting all yoparai which he told me was like a five shift heave cuz he ain't used to drinking. he says he's digging it though. he's a good bassman.
I go to the boat and konk really REALLY hard. no need for a blankie, just a konk mast. tom gets me at eleven bells. last gig of the tour, here goes... right away there's yammerers all yoparai (borracho) and hollering my name but this is ain't just a greeting, it lasts the entire gig. they're telling me what songs to play, they're just hollering my name - at one point I hear them enquiring about some kind of erotic issues but I do pretty good to block them out, especially after last night. damn, I wanted to do good for james williamson - maybe too much cuz that made me too self-conscious maybe and letting that yammering then get to me. well, I'm pretty determined tonight - I will not even make eye contact w/these guys - not cuz I dislike them or anything like that but cuz folks deserve the best third opera I can deliver to them and not get any shorts from me, this is what I truly believe. like in s.f., most the gig-goers give great respect and focus to the piece so it ain't fair to lay any trip on the town. yammerin' is an equal-opportunity employer! tom and raul for the last time this prove I couldn't of worked this piece for folks w/out them, they were totally the right cats for the job. it was the reason I put the missingmen together and now they helped that early vision I had be realized. I love them so much. we come back for the encore and don't do "forever/one reporter's opinion" near the end like sometimes we would this tour but the usual encore of the red krayola's "conspirator's oath," "amnesty report II" by the pop group and the minutemen tunes "toadies," "black sheep," "the glory of man" and then "anxious mo-fo" but tonight we supplement it last night w/a take on the stooges' "fun house," this time aided w/guitars by brother nick and mike from monster cock rally. nathan joins us playing box and then wearing it on his hand while doing interpretive dance. it's a very happening time and the last wail of the tour. whew.
many kind sack town gig-goers w/the good word, many. I get some 'dines and "melinda's" hot sauce (or was it last night? it was in my bass sack), I get some neat art from charley plymell's buddy david - not from him but via another man, maybe our very own raul? I am grateful. much kindness from many, truly. some cats have see me so many times too, damn - I owe them big time.
the gigs are done though, we made it. fiftyone in fiftytwo days (in new jersey we did the piece twice, first on wfmu).
...and I used one set of strings for the entire tour - never broke one, never changed any out - let's hear for the dan bass!
the real heroes though are those who sailed w/me: tom, raul, miss peak and bob-san. I am truly grateful to them, truly. same goes for the gig-goers, the kindness and open heart/mind they brought to these performances of "hyphenated-man" I big time appreciate so much.
I settle w/gigboss brian, he's done my sack town gigs for oh so many years, a good man. we pull anchor and head back over to concepcion's and have a little celebration once I hose off and get into the nightwear. it is a beautiful time. a happy watt does one last tour konk...
sunday, may 1, 2011 - san pedro, ca
pop at eight bells to find I pushed the 'puter to the deck in my konk and cracked the screen - no pixels ruined but the glass is cracked... baka watt! I gotta laugh. mario cooks up some righteous tritip w/scrambled eggs, potatoes and toast. very good eats! mario's a labor negotiator and it's may day so we talk some about the hell in wisconsin via mr walker and those kind. "it don't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows?" I wonder, I wonder, mr dylan. maybe it's different if you don't make it a question like I did, maybe different as a declarative, huh? when mario's in negotiating mode he's known as felix. been doing it for twenty years, he says maybe five more cuz you gotta bring on the next shift - it ain't happening if dudes hold on just to hold on, you know?
righteous weather again, cali style. last good byes - concepcion's ma says while I was konked she wanted to touch the white hair. no prob, I let her as we take last pictures. last pull anchor, we're off.
south on I-5, I wheel us the whole way down. we do two stops, one for gas, one for pissing and shitting but mario's righteous chow filled us good so no shoveling. after hearing the spielgusher album one more time, we hear all six ccr albums in a row. how many of these tunes make me think of d. boon? all of them! it's four hundred miles and we see funny town names like shafter, coalinga and pumpkin center - at one time me and k were thinking of getting married there! too far, I rented the italian-american club in pedro instead - made my pop the best man... only time I ever saw him trip out! there's lots of trippy town names we saw on this tour, fuckin' should've written them down but we do remember some, like yelm, kemmerer, bethune, fife, benld and some funny road names too like fangboner which crosses over the ohio turnpike or podunk which crosses over the mass pike. man, is tour a trip.
it's four bells when we drop miss peak off. one big hug from each of us - she was incredible. can't wait to see her works that resulted, can't wait. she was great for the tour spirit too, fucking righteous. next I drop tom off in manhattan beach. big hug. then down to pedro near brother matt's where the pacific inn is cuz bob-san wants to hole up there for a tiny bit, down by our point fermin. finally raul at the old peck manor, one last hug and then watt's off to his pad. six bells.
truly righteous: I got my people back safe, my number one goal for a tour. number tour went pretty good too: we brought the third opera to the gig-goers best we could. these are two things I think of when I both start and finish a tour.
first thing I do when I get in my pad is shave this fucking beard off. then I tell everyone I got back safe. then I hose off and get in the nightwear. I lie on my deck. it has rug I'm used to. I feel my hands all swollen - callouses on the palm edges from the steering wheel, callouses on the fingers tips from the bass but you know those ones are more like moccasins than the other ones, they just are - it's a tale of time maybe. I lie still but it feels like I'm still moving, that's trippy but it's always like this and it'll last a couple of days. a most grateful watt konks in his pedro town, tour now REALLY done.
this page created 11 mar 11