il sogno del marinaio "canto secondo tour 2014" tour diary

il sogno del marinaio

"canto secondo tour 2014"

tour diary

wednesday, september 10, 2014 - san diego, ca

from andrea:

   I woke up at 8 am at the pacific inn hotel by Point Fermin area, where Stefano Hiyori and stayed during the first three days in San Pedro, as we arrived on last Sunday for practicing. A few minutes later a guy who's leaving the room next to us and he give us a couple of fresh beers, he said he won't drink them...but instead of starting a tour with pale ale in the morning (!) we choose to have a proper breakfast at the Lighthouse diner, which is halfway from the hotel to the Point Fermin, where I had my first pair of delicious pancakes. Then we went to Mike's practice room, which is on the top of a hill, in an old military building. There is an amazing view up there over the harbor of San Pedro. The nature is the first thing that impressed me about this area, as in Europe wild nature is much more domesticated. I've seen sea lions swimming, weird sounding and colorful birds, racoons, pelicans... After breakfast we go to Mike's practice room, and bring all the gear for the tour. Hiyori rolled and packed all the t-shirts in big black plastic bags, and they take almost the equivalent of the space of the music gear. We went to Mike's house, to bring the records and to load up the van. After finding out how to organize the cargo space we went to the Enchillada House, a fantastic mexican place where I got my first Enchillada and Tacos. I remember Carla Bozulich, with whom I toured Europe last spring, suggested me to go to this place as well.Now I understand what real mexican food is, really good. We had to be on the road at 15:00 in order to reach to the venue on time for the soundcheck. I experienced then for the first time the Californian traffic jam on the freeway driving down south through Long Beach and Orange County, an insane amount of cars and trucks fulfilling five/six lanes for miles! The view of the ocean along the freeway is amazing though, but there are weird things along the way that ruin a bit the landscape, especially for the fact that halfway to San Diego there is a big military area, with a Navy base,a Marine base.We also aw an ugly nuclear reactor next to the ocean.

   We arrive at the club only 6 minutes after 18:00. The Casbah is a nice venue, with an impressive list of previous and upcoming shows. The San Diego airport is right next to the venue, I've never seen airplanes landing so close to me, and the noise is incredibly loud. We meet Lite, the japanese band with whom we will share the first ten west coast shows of the tour with: Kozo, Jun, Akinori, Noboyuki. I met Ray Farrell, who works for the Mike's Clenchedwrench label's digital distribution. Ray brought Stefano and I to a great mexican restaurant, where I had a spicy soup. He told us how he started working at SST back in 1980's, when he first received a call from Watt and how he likes playing bass with a new band again with Raymond Pettibon. When the first band Noel Jordan started playing I meet Bob, Mike's long time friend and Minutemen's fan, talking enthusiastically about Il Sogno del Marinaio's first record "la busta gialla". Shady Francos, garage band from San Diego, started playing in the patio right after, they're really fun, the singer uses a nice delay on vocal. Lite first show was really impressed me for their tightness and energy.

   Our first show was a bit scary and surprising at the same time. Nonetheless we played a few wrong notes and some transition weren't very thigh we had fun, especially with these songs we never played. I was a bit stiff because of the tension, and I didn't have the whole set list in my mind, but I felt there was a good communication between the three of us.

   The guy who offered to host us never showed up at the show, but at the end a nice guy, who's name is John and he's wearing a yellow t-shirt of Mike's third opera US tour, came to us and offered us a place to stay in the living room of his house in Oceanside. He's tells about his experience as fisherman in Alaska, and his passion for surfing. We had some whiskey and slept on our brand new sleeping bags.

from stefano:

   Today starts our first 53 Gigs tour. I Never done such a long tour - maximum has been 31 gigs in 31 days - first time for Il Sogno Del Marinaio and first time for me to visit the west coast. a lot of first time. Hiyori, Fratello Andrea and i arrived in Pedro the evening of the 7. We just had two days practising the new set list and replaying for the first time some of the new tracks we recorded on canto secondo. we been sleeping close to the ocean. very nice motel that fratello Mike booked for us.

   i am still stoned/boned. it is since april i am mostly touring so i guess i am not at my best condition unfortunatly but i am happy to be in tour with fratelli and hiyori and i have been looking forward to start this tour.

   we leave for S Diego early in the afternoon. traffic and heat. the air conditioning of the boat just got broken so air, noise and sweat just took advantage. At the Casbah we meet Ray Farrel. Very nice gentlemen. he tooks us to have dinner after soundcheck at hola just two blocks from the casbah. i had a beans soup and guacamole. here we also meet the LITE from Japan for the first time. Nobuyuki, Kozo, Jun, Akinori are playing tonight as well and they play great. there are other two bands. i miss the first but i really enjoyed the second one, a trio punk garage really good.i cannot remember their names.

   First gig was really tricky. the first two songs i am so nervous and jet lagged i could no feel my body very well but i enjoyed more going further in the setlist. we meet Bob Stires also ..he is coming on tour with us for 5 gigs. he is bizarre and nice. he makes lough a lot. John is guesting us for the night close to the ocean. we met him after the gig. he is very nice and he offers us whisky before konk down on the floor.

from watt:

   popped at the crack of dawn. been in a stress whirl for the last two weeks like it always is for me w/a tour coming, never seem to get used to it - even w/such a different kind of a tour in a way I got here ready to go: the first il sogno del marinaio u.s. tour even to support our "canto secondo" album. sunday (three days ago) I picked up fratello andrea and fratello ste from lax, our drummerman flew from where he's lived for three years now (berlin) and guitarman from bologna - it's both their first time ever in california and I get to show them a little of my pedro town. after checking out my prac pad and the drum set perk helped me put together and guitar amp dirk got me happening w/I then take them to "puesta del sol" on pacific for their first real burrito chow - they dug it.

   the next two days w/did ten hour pracs on each, sweating our brains out but focused hard on getting it together. fratello ste had a gig back in italy saturday night (he was coming of a massimo volume tour) so that's why we had only so much time but I tell you: these brothers are committed and that helped a big time afraid watt bear down and work hard on getting it together. we had more mexican chows, like the best carnitas burrito in pedro I think which is at "guanajuatos meat market" which is also on pacific but more north. I had them stay at a 'tel near brother matt's in the point fermin part of town which is both close to my prac pad and our cabrillo beach. I drove them all over to lost of parts of pedro so I could share as much as I could in the little time we could spend not doing prac. I took them to check out "a1-imported groceries" cuz for sixtyeight years those cats have brought chow and their ways of doing meats from their land.

   gig day - first gig of tour day will have us go 120 miles south to san diego. it being that close, we still got time for another prac before loading the boat which is some feat in a way cuz we're shlepping much merch for miss hiyori to sling. one last chow before leaving pedro, "enchilada house" on bandini where we run into dannylou, a pillar of pedro's scene in its third incarnation, much respect to him. it's a little humid cuz of two recent storms down baja way but what really makes us feel it is the air conditioning in the boat going out just as we hit the harbor freeway out of town, crimony! I just had the boat serviced too and she checked out fine, oh well - machines are only machines and are prone to such stuff - so we deal w/it.

   south on I-5, the fratelli get to see orange county, camp pendleton, san onofre reactors (they're getting shut down!), the border inspection pad fifty miles north of the border 'til finally we get to the casbah which is near the airport - they trip on the planes flying overhead, they trip on the family living right above the pad! I've played here over twenty years and everyone's most kind. justin's running stuff w/chad doing the sound. we get to play w/local cats shady francos and noel jordan as well as see my old friend ray farrell who's from the sst days and he takes the fratelli to chow some soup mexican-style while I go to the boat and konk cuz I am beat and am out 'pert-near quick even w/it sweatier than a motherfucker, fuck it. I get some scary dreams I usually get the first week of tour but still get some good konk I really fucking need, my nerves...

another old friend jovi rousts me (the boat's right outside the pad) and I get the bass and head in, here comes the first go... so many times these cherry gigs got me in big time pants-shitter mode but for some reason it ain't intimidating me and damn if I ain't ready to go. whoa, this is a good thing. I feel like I got something to really say w/the fratelli and don't wanna fucking half-ass it which of course I big time want in my heart but I can find some capable sense in a way through the flurry of fucking big scared trying to crumple me. "il sogno del fienile" means "the barn's dream" in italian and I wrote it to speak of our adventure bringing "canto secondo" forth, it's the story of the album. I just jeel I owe both the fratelli and the gig-goers the best I can bring and damn if I ain't able to actually act on it! happening. now there's some clams from me but they ain't boat-sinkers and I think we did real good. the gig-goers were beautiful and I hug my fratelli big time when we get done which feels like only moments - it was a good time. damn am I surprised but then again I feel like a baka for writing something like that. I get to shake hands w/old pal tj who's gotta bail to get to work in the morning. man, late shows during the week are really punishing on people who have that sitch and I feel bad for them. it's one reason d. boon started to doing gigs at the star theatre in our pedro town (now gone, torn down) that had 7:30 pm start times for in fact that exact reason. he'd rename the pad "union" when he put on those gigs. he also had a fanzine called "the prole" during that time and had me write some record reviews for it. damn was he beautiful.

   a very kind man john offers us his pad in nearby oceanside to konk at but he ain't got room for all of us which means il sogno del marinaio and lite - hey, I didn't mention our tomodachi, what a baka I am! yes, this is the fifth time I've brought them to the u.s. and they're doing the first ten gigs of this tour w/us, the west coast ones.

jun izawa + mike watt (l to r) near the casbah in san diego, ca on september 10, 2014

they were on fire at soundcheck but damn I was konked during their set cuz I just had to. anyway, john ain't got space but this other man offered up a pad and so I thought I had communicated to him that maybe he could help our lite brothers but he disappeared - this after I said "no thank you, we're already taken care of" from four other offeres, crimony! this has never happened before, me letting down the lite brothers this way and it breaks my heart. luckily they got a lady named yuriko from their land w/them who's got a 'tel pad and can help them... fuck, I feel like breaking my leg off in my own yang cuz of this.

   we follow john to his pad, stopping to get some gas - only some cuz this fucking burnward wants sixtytwo cents more a gallon than what I just got in pedro - shameless! john is just the kindest, he shares some whiskey and stories of fishing up in alaska for work, amazing - he also got to record some wild music up there, respect - he's a drummerman. first konk of the tour's a good one, thank you john!

thursday, september 11, 2014 - echo park, ca

from andrea:

   I woke up pretty early, at 7 by the noises John's baby playing. Mike and Hiyori where already drinking coffee on the balcony, where the view on the ocean was amazing and the air was fresh and clear.

   We stopped in Carlsbad at around 9:00 where I had my first spicy Burrito for breakfast ever. We went to pick Bob up, who's waited on Pacific Coast Avenue, in Laguna Beach on the Pacific Coast Avenue, where his mother lives. He joined us for a few shows. We drive back San Pedro through expensive retirement real estates. Bob tells us how Laguna beach was a art gathering point for artist, and slowly gentrified within the last 20 (30?) years. It is a vert hot day, the freeway is burning hot and the air conditioning system of the van is broken.  We arrived to Mike's apartment I was tired, so I took a little nap. I like the kachina dolls collection Mike has in his apartment. We left mike's house at about 15. We had a hard time driving through Los Angeles traffic, it was incredible, I had never seen anything like this in my life, and with the air conditioning system broken the van was boiling. We arrived at The Echo Club on Sunset Boulevard. The facade has these nice old fashioned signs with interchangeable letters that I like very much. Jackson sound technician tells me he lived in Berlin for a while, and in Chicago, before moving to L.A. to play with his band and work at the Echo club. The sound check is split into parts, as Mike has to do an interview for the promotion of the spokane show. Tom Watson came to say hello before the soundcheck, finally I got to meet him, I've heard many things and stories about him from Mike as half of the Missingmen, and from David Grubbs, with whom he played with The Red Krayola. I had dinner with Bob Stires at another mexican restaurant. The place was really weird, it looked a bit like a theatre scenography with fake and beat up red walls and pretty lights. This time I eat only a tomato and avocado salad, I had to stop with all these greasy food, plus the avocado here is absolutely fantastic. I had a nice conversation with Bob about music, especially about Eno's music, my upcoming solo record and his friendship with Watt.  When we got back to the venue the first band started. I was pretty impressed by the drummer, Bob Lee, who has a really nice style and sounds. Right before the show I met Raul Morales and Jerry from the Secondmen, two of Mike's drummers!

   Our show went pretty well, we played much tighter that the San Diego's show. I really enjoyed Stefano's solo on "Us in Their Land". Volumes on stage were really loud, during the show I was considering using earplugs or a piece of napkin, but I decided to finish the show and think about it the next day. Luckily at the end I didn't really hurt my ears. After the show we didn't have much time, as the next morning we had to go to repair the van's air conditioning system early in the morning and then drive from L.A. to San Francisco, a big hell ride, so we packed up quickly and left the venue. We arrived in San Pedro at about 2:30, laid down my sleeping bag on the soft deck and slept tight.

from stefano:

   we leave early for LA after coffee John prepared for usŠ we stayed on the balcony watching the sea. we hit the road, taking Bob in Laguna Beach and we drive northŠ Pedro direction. We are five now on the down and the van is starting to make strange noise on the front right side. it definitely needs to be fixed. we stop at Mike pad in pedro for two or three hours before being stuck in LA traffic to reach the Echo so i have time to read my book -Dostojesvky delitto e castigo- and sleep a little bit more..i feel better today but still tired

   Jackson is the sound guy for tonight and he help us to load in. Lite brothers are playing as well and another trio guitar, bass and drum..bill is playing drum. nice trio.

   i am incredible happy i see Raul in his hometown and his girlfriend. such a great guy and musician. Also Tom Watson come to say hello and i am very happy to see him again. i met him for the first time in Bologna my hometown this march when Mike was touring with the missingmen.. at that time i had a terrible pain in my back and neck..tonight i am jsur tired.. when i think of this 2014 i have been most of the time tired or fucked up.. i need holiday time at the end of this year for sure..i undertand that big time. il sogno del marinaio concert is definitly better than yesterday..we clams but we feel more togheter playing, less scared and i actually have a lot of fun for all the concert we go back to Pedro to sleep at Mike 's pad..Lite brothers also..Mike's pad is small and we are ten!! everyone looks and try to arrange a space for sleep.

   so i found a very little spot on the floor between wardrobe and a bed where Mike keeps all is dress on. fratello Andrea just on the other side. No energy left as soon as i hit the floor i sleep immediately. Tomorrow we have to fix the van so we should leave at 7

from watt:

   I pop at seven and call mr tom at the ford pad in torrance regarding the boat. he can get me in tomorrow at eight. he's always helped me out big time. actually this is the first 'pert-near ten years I've owned the boat. john makes me coff and shows me his brand new boy jack, a hell of a little man - respect! his little jumper says "cutie ahoy" and has got an anchor, more respect! john shows me a surfboard he made by hand w/strips of ironwood w/red cedar, beautiful job. great view of the ocean from here, john's truck out front - he's a glass man. not a cloud in the sky, we head north whence we came at eight bells after thanking john much for his hospitality. I stop us in carlsbad to chow a breakfast burrito at a pad called "senor grubby's" that's pretty good and only five bucks despite the pad looking kind of mersh. now the ugly sounds start coming from the busted compressor on the boat, terrible. I've got big time stress about this but keep it from bursting out. unusual humidity for these parts add to make our ride more a hell but fuck, what can we do but soldier on through. I'm so glad the fratelli ain't whiners and bellyachers.

   we pause in laguna beach to get bob-san cuz though he went to last night's gig, he's gonna be w/us 'til santa barbara... he loves il sogno del marinaio much (wrote a essay for "la busta gialla" here) and wants to see as much of us as he can this tour. the sound of that broken compress is driving me insane but I keep it together, using humor. we get to my pedro town about noon and I get the tank filled w/econo price. we go to my apartment and just be still for a couple of hours... fratello andrea realizes w/left the drum rug at the prac so we retrieve that. then he asks about heads for the drums cuz he likes white coated ones instead of the clear one perk provided me w/so I take him up to alva's on our way out of town to gig number two which is in echo park, about twentysix miles north. we drop anchor right out front just after four, soundman jackson letting us into the echo - I've played here a few times, used to be a guatemalan night club and the old name "nayarit" is still out front. I dig that they put the band name and not mine on the marquee.

stefano pilia in front of the echo in echo park, ca on september 11, 2014

the folks here are really nice, the helperman cg really helps us out w/everything, same w/soundman jackson and gigboss tim. cg fixes up some really happening salsa, excellent flavor w/some habanero kick. in fact I chow just that for the night! I talk w/bill tutton, bassman for the amadans after soundcheck and a couple of phoner spiels w/good cats in spokane and denver. bill's a great bassman, played w/nels and carla in the geraldine fibbers - he tells me carla's playing the roxy in west hollywood, whoa... you know il sogno del marinaio drummerman toured in hear band earlier this year? yeah, small world! in that regard, amadan drummerman bob lee is also black gang drummerman along nels cline for my black gang who's "my shunbun no hi" album I STILL AIN'T FINISHED and that frustrates me much. the plan next fall to get that baby done. bob lee deserves respect, so does nels - baka watt! my old buddy steve reed comes to say hi, love this man much. tom and raul from my missingmen also... even jerzo from my secondmen and thalia from li'l pit even, beautiful. I watch the amadans but gotta konk some so I go out to the boat.

   bob-san rousts me at eleven, so glad it cooled off cuz that allowed me to go right out and charge some body battery. we bring the gig and damn if I don't blow more clams than last night, shit. no real bad but fuck, what's up? I gotta say fratello andrea's more confident and I'm digging his play as w/fratello ste, much respect! I don't let the clams get me too down, that'd be a real disaster and instead I just to get my rear in gear and focus. man, I wanna do good for my fratelli, wanna do good for all my buddies - baka watt! I guess maybe it was ok but I wanna do better, of course. actually I feel a little like last night where I'm surprised I ain't doing worse, even w/that kvetching I just laid out. very kind gig-goers and friends after, truly.

   I ain't gonna let what happened last night to the lite brothers happen tonight so I bring all of us to my pedro apartment, yeah ten of us in my tiny pad but we all fit and we all have a good time. the lite brothers get to see where and how mike-san lives! all of us on the deck but I got a thick carpet and fuck, this is where I konk anyway - I got no bad, ain't had one since I was a boy. they're diggin' on my kachina dolls and all the rilakkuma stuff, I konk happy.

friday, september 12, 2014 - san francisco, ca

from andrea:

   We had to wake up at 7:30. The temperature was already very high, just a bit of wind cooled down it a bit. We arrived at the Ford auto repair in Torrance at around 8:00 o'clock. The mechanic told us the car would have been ready by 14:00. Stefano, Bob and I went to have breakfast at a diner about half a mile far from there, and I bought a sandwich for Mike at the other side of the road, a sandwich place with a scary passive aggressive boss scaring his employee. We left Torrance at 15:00, very late, and the traffic was again terrible. We spent more than two hours in order to get out of L.A. We drove through amazing landscapes, first from Santa Monica mountains and then through the San Joaquin valley. The estimated arrival time on the GPS was at 23:30. Mike called Ramona, the promoter at the venue in San Francisco, Bottom of the Hill, who told us we could use the opening band's instrument in order not to loose the gig. Mike drove more than five hours, then Stefano drove for the last three and a half hours. The Joaquin Valley impressed me a lot, what an incredible landscape! Grape and almonds fields in contrast with the dry desert, oil extractor and the huge mountains on the horizon.

   We arrived at the venue at about 23:00, exactly when Lite started to play. Before the show, I had about half an hour to talk to Jeffrey Alexander, a friend of both Stefano and I, who was playing in Iditarod and Black Forest/Black Sea, and with whom we toured a bit the US in 2009. Jeffrey has been touring in Europe with Jackie-O Motherfucker during the last spring, and I somehow missed their show in Berlin. He told us how weird and interesting was that experience, quitting the band in the middle of the tour and rejoining them after a few days. I also met Samuele, a guy I met in Ferrara several years ago, and now moved to San Francisco for good as well. Both Samuele and Jeffrey look happy and relaxed, I guess the city is treating them very well. The venue was already pretty crowded, and Lite played a very good show, even if they couldn't use part of their equipment as it was stored in our van from the day before. Our show was quite wild, I had to use the drums that was already on stage, which sounded a bit funny, the floor tom dead but a good bass drum sound. The energy was quite good. I had some problems in some of the newer songs, but people were very engaged. Even in this case we left the stage right after the show was finished, and we had only a few minutes to say hello to our friends and to go to Kenny's place, a friend of Mike who offered him to host Lite and us. Lite are traveling also with a tour manager and a promoter, so they are six people, and in this house we were ten people altogether. Kenny's house is an apartment built in a former warehouse, a very strange one, with low ceiling and an without a normal lightning system, but comfortable at the same time. Kenny wasn't there, because he was doing the nightshift in a local brewery. Because of that we drank an amazing pale ale from that brewery Kenny had in the fridge. After a chat with Lite and Mike I decided to go to bed.

from stefano:

   i am the first waking up- i cannot sleep much when the sun rises unless i deep ground myself in a blindblackbox. so i take shower immediately to wake up better and i have nice time watching the sun rising between pedro roof's hill. i wait outside reading a bit more. we got on the van at 7:30 and we reach the ford assistance. the repair is going to take very long time. much more than we expected. we just wait long 4 hours at the assistance reading and putering. we cannot leave LA before 3 pm. a lot of traffic yet and San Francisco is such a long distance. GPS says we are going to be there at 11:30.. technically just in time to get out of the van and get on the stage. damn. we also have some of LITE back line on our van. So they probably would need to use back line of the other band is playing tonight.

we take the freeway that pass trough the mountain till courtney pine then we cross a large farm's valley . the sense of the space is huge and the yellow light brown colour of the sand and earth, the sunset light and the light huge figure of the mountains behind the moisture of the air creates a real suggestive visionary effectŠvery intense. we had to push to get their in time but at the same time we want and have to drive safe. i drive the last three four hours more or less. last hour broke me. When we arrive in SF i cannot see very well anymore. but we get their on time actually like half an hour before what we expected. LITE just got on the stage. so we have time to load the van very quickly. some guys helps us to get the load in and pass trough the audience. Jeffrey my friend from Providence is waiting us there. He moved from San Francisco three years ago with Miriam.

   they had a band togheter called Black Forest Black Sea and now Jeffrey is playing with Jackie o' Motherfucker and working in a museum of contemporary art in San Francisco. I am very Happy for them. i also meet Samuele an italian guy friend of mine that lives in San Francisco since some years now. he got married with an american girl Liz and they had just a beautifull baby called Stella. So we play and then basically we packed everything again and load the van so i do not have time at all to spend with Jeffrey and Samuele. just a quick hello, which makes me a bit sad. we were supposed to have dinner togheter but the repair of the van, big necessity change our plan.and we do not have time after the concert Mike is impatience and want to go. he is tired and i understand him. we sleeps with lite brothers at Kenny's close to downtown. i am very tired but i need to relax a bit before sleeping because everything has just been so rushing and rushing and rushing. difficult long day but in the misfortune we have been lucky and been able to play the gig. many clams even tonight but we had a good spirit. that was probably the rushing.

from watt:

   am rousted by bob-san at twenty after seven, ten minutes to go before pull anchor... we gotta get the boat into the boat doctor by eight and that's in torrance. I ask the lite brothers to go on ahead of us cuz who knows how long it'll take for us. understand the boat is the center of the touring universe so w/no boat we're over the ropes and out of the ring. it's beautiful weather, last time for two months before I greet another pedro morning.

   ten minutes is all I need and we're off, making it to the ford pad where I get all my stuff done on the boat here in so cal and tom who's the man has always helps me much try to keep these things together, he knows about the hellrides I do and understands the safety stuff I value as number one on the list of important shit pertaining to tour. my hunch was right about the air conditioning compressor being out of the race and in fact, it was very much coming apart and we dodge big time the bullet regarding shards of metal going into the radiator or wherever whatever major hells that could've happened. also we're much lucky it happened here and not somewhere else tom wasn't so a most grateful watt acknowledges it's gonna be at least six hours. they got wifi here in the customer lounge so I write lite's nobuyuki an email telling him of the sitch and he answers shoganai ("it can't be helped" in jap), he's truly a good man and I love him much.

   I start this tour's diary chimping while the others of our group go forage for chow. there's a lot of other correspondence I gotta get to also so this time ain't just wasted waiting for the boat fix but utilized pretty big time. around noon fratello andrea brings me a salami and cheese sandwich from across the street at a pad called "capicola" (it's new, never been there before) which happens to be right next to the pad my sister melinda's cut hair at for years and years and damn if it ain't good, alright. we're to play bottom of the hill tonight so I call ramona who's the boss there to tell our sitch and she's most understanding. man, I dig working gigs for her, she's just the best, truly.

   ford man tom says he had to have everything vacuumed out cuz metal bits and shit like that were all over cuz of the self-liqudating compressor. serpentine belt on this baby too so if they got cut: stranded-ville, whoa. it's an hour more than the estimate but fuck if that ain't nothing in the big scheme. look, this is the first repair I've done on the boat after using her big time now for 'pert-near ten years! that's right, that's what diligent maintenance can do for your boat so I ain't gonna bellyache. I hug and thank tom much and then the r's a rolling stone so we're rolling. friday at rush time means way slow-go, like three hours to clear the grapevine, crimony! I call ramona again and tell her the navigatori puts us at her pad around eleven pm, we can make it happen, alright! we only have to stop once for gas (same price as my pedro town's most econo - in the middle of the san joaquin valley, unbelievable) and I get one of those lame packaged egg salad sandwiches along w/some chips to help choke it down. I had the wheel over to fratello ste, his first time handling an econoline but he's done even bigger-sized sprinters in europe. he does a great job keeping us safe and getting us down the road. first time ever on the new part of the bay bridge, we get into the potrero hill part of the city right at eleven, a little tough for fratello ste's eyes (missingmen tom watson and d. boon too had the same problem) but we drop anchor safe in front of the club, finding a parking place right there and hearing the lite brothers firing off their first tune.

lite in san francisco at bottom of the hill on september 12, 2014

the very kind people in the opening band apogee sound club have let them use their amps and drum set. I watch the lite brothers go to town - a different set they're doing cuz a lack of of having their electronic stuff (it was in our boat) made that have to happen but damn if they don't tear it up big time.

   our turn next, so glad we didn't leave all these folks hanging. fratello ste uses the apogee sound club drum set. me and fratello ste can use our amps, brother butch helping us load them in, big time thanks to him. our set's got clams from the bassman - real big ones in the first tune but I get it more together and the set we deliver I think has both good flow and good spirit. I just gotta get more together but that will come w/every gig, I just know it so gaman ("patience" in jap) and keep shoving my shoulder into it, no letting up. the gig-goers are very supportive, great cats all of them. I gotta say they really gave MUCH respect to our lite brothers also, HUGE THANKS from me for that also. I also bow deep to soundman paul who was just beautiful making everything come together out of all the craziness, beautiful man. I dig all the cats at this pad so much, it's much of what I'm about.

   my old pedro buddy richard fuckin' bonney is here and brings the key for kenny's pad - I've konked at kenny's pad a buttload of times (he's most kind) but he's a work so that really was happening of him. cuz of the baseball game earlier (kenny's pad is right near), the parking sitch is very ok, lucky us again! we have a good time for a bit before konking. whew, today was a little intense but damn if we weren't fortunate enough to say there was a happy ending.

saturday, september 13, 2014 - santa cruz, ca

from andrea:

   I was woken up by Kozo's alarm clock set at 8:30, the time Kenny, who did the night shift, came back home. Kenny told us about his work at the brewery and the work he did for Kenny Graham, while smoking a bong. His house has a fixed rent, and he's paying six times less than what his neighborhoods are paying, as he's been living there for seventeen years, before the gentrification exploded in San Francisco. He has an hilarious collection of puppets, the best ones are the ones from Little Britain's characters. We had another mexican breakfast, a family business shop, where I had huevos rancheros. We then drove through the San Francisco's embarcadero till the Golden Gate bridge, then we headed towards south through the Pacific Coast Avenue, which goes through amazing places. Unfortunately it was packed by cars this time too, so we took again the freeway and cut the nice tour along the coast. We arrived in Santa Cruz at around 17:00. I had a little time to walk towards the seashore, which I didn't find but at least I went into an interesting anarchist cafe and library, Sub Rosa, where I looked at some books I'd love to read in the next future. The venue, called The Catalyst, is a big and boomy sounding room with a weird high ceiling. After the soundcheck we went to a himalayan restaurant, extremely slow in serving the food but really good. I came back right on time to see Lite playing, they did a good show again. I had so much fun playing, the sound on stage was very good, even if people told me the sounds from the audience was weak. I think we did a good job, even if Stefano was quite sick and tired. In fact his solos were really freaky, but in a nice way too. The audience was little but warm. After the show nobody there was able to host us, so we decided to take a motel room. When we stopped to ask information in one of the motels, I saw a couple of surfs flying away and smashing on the street from the trunk a pickup truck right before us, crazyŠand at the motel I saw a guy walking out of the motel with a bicycle in his hands, and suddenly some guys started screaming at him. In fact this guy wanted to steal the bike, and the owner saw him and started running to catch the him, The thief left the bike where it was before, and then run away. Luckily no one was hurt. The motel room is quite comfortable, and we chatted a bit had a little bit of whiskey before going to bed.

from stefano:

   i wake up in the bizarre Kenny's houseŠ many puppets around and funny painting on the walls of the house which i have not noticed the night before. Kenny is such a funny character. he has a strong good mood and funny jokes in his way of talking. A great entertainer i guess. he smokes a lot of mota and likes to talk. I take shower and we go all togheter to have a breakfast in mexican place close to Kenny house. No coffee. The food is great but after eating i start to feel sick. not enough sleeping these days i guess and my body and mind are not right settled yet in the touring modality i guess. I am still adapting myself to the food the sleeping and the fucking air conditioning everywhere hunting like a trooper. it get me such an headache. We drive through the San Francisco embarcadero till the golden bridge, we see alcatraz on the other side of the bay and then we drive along the beautifull coast road. San Francisco seems to be a very interesting place. i feel not lucid, tired, full but empty at the same time -is that possible?- i sweat but then i feel cold. i can't talk. i am getting sick but i enjoy listening to J Coltrane Offering live at the temple university just realeased fratello Mike plays.  When we arrive in Santa Cruz i try to sleep a bit on a coach. Bob is very kind he gave me some stuff he has to kill sickness. He says: "i do not want to sound like your mum but you should take this and this and that every 30 min". he is an expert and such a character he makes me smiling. I know i just have to sleep but i can't i go out to take some air. May it help? maybe not. but i do not want to get overwhelmed by so i try to canalize my energies

   Lite play good and tight like every night. They are beautifull people and great musicians. So is Kazuto the guy who is doing merc for them. he is very silent and incredible gentle person. I really love one of their song titled alter ego a sort of deconstructed prog blues. i like Nobuyuki and Kozo guitar style a lot. very sharp and hectic. Jun and Akinori have great energy and great articulation. All of them have great articulation and strong musical talent. It is a challenge to play after them. 

   Our gig is not very good tonight. is not only because of the sickness and the focus. Mostly the sound is not good at all . the acoustic of the room is difficult and i think Logan the sound guy does his best anyway. fratello Andrea plays very well and he helps us to keep the stuff togheter for the tonight gig We play a very nice version of zoom tonight  for an encore.

   we pack, we load the van again like evernight and we go sleep in a motel on a bed. we do not use sleeping bags tonight fratello Mike kindly bought for us. i die fast.

from watt:

   pop at eight, hose off after pissing. I hobble out the hatch to find coff, beautiful weather greets me. get back and chimp diary, kenny gets back from work at nine and we catch up - he's working now as a night shift manager at brewery in petaluma. there's a chow pad called "victoria" and once more some good mexican chow. I have a real good carnitas burrito. both the fratelli and nakama are digging it too. the cooklady always says hola guapo ("hello handsome" in espanol), very kind. we all have a nice chow in the patio out back.

andrea belfi + bob stires (l to r) in the boat on september 13, 2014

   eleven bells we say bye to kenny and pull anchor. we caravan w/the lite brothers, I take us around the embarcadero so both fratelli and nakama can for their first time see some of the city's waterfront, to fisherman's warf and let them see "boudin's," the old sourdough bakery, alcatraz island and the golden gate bridge. we then go down highway one (pacific coast highway) and I show them pacifica where brother steve mackay (stooges sax man) lives. we go as far as halfmoon bay before I gotta leave pch and get on I-280 cuz the tourist traff is pure plug and it'll take forever to get to santa cruz which is we're playing tonight. my missingmen drummerman raul gave me the new john coltrane release called "offering: live at temple university" which was from like eight months before he passed away and we listen to it many times in a row during our journey

   the catalyst is the pad where we're playing and it's right downtown, I ain't been here in ages. we find parking right out front and got a little time so I check out how things have changed - it's been a good while. they took out the tile floor in this part our gig is (it's called the atrium) and also the fountain and put up a new bulkhead but the ceiling is still high and weird w/windows/skylights so when we do soundcheck, I ask the fratelli for lower stage volume to give soundman logan something easier to work w/and help us sound as good as the stich will allow us. oh, I get to do an interview w/mike from kzsu who came down here just for that, what a righteous cat. the padboss tom is sure cool people also, I am a most grateful man cuz of things like that, thank you! after check I eat a slice of pizza they got here and then konk solid, like a fucking brick.

   I get rousted w/at ten after ten w/ten minutes to go, brother jun is so bitchin' to tune up my bass and put up my mic. aaarrgggghhh, he had tiny amp to use last night cuz of our sitch so it's so good he got to use my rig tonight. his spirit is always good though, much respect - all the nakama, much respect to them from mike-san! I blow some clams tonight but the fratelli are pretty good about compensating and keeping me in the ring, respect to them. the gig-goers are very engaged and that's most happening also, especially w/the sitch. I have a good time w/the gig - even though there's clams, yes - I enjoyed playing il sogno del marinaio music w/the fratelli. I know I can blow less clams, I can do it and will but I don't wanna make it sound like too much drama! I've been in sitches blowing clams like there was tomorrow and feel so bad after. this stich ain't like this.

   whoa, no offers for a konk pad, oh well. I gotta find something cuz I can tell fratello ste has got his health a little under threat so I search for a 'tel. we stop at a pad w/a vacancy light on but damn if that's broke... however, they tell me they have another property not too far away. I come back to the boat and fuck if a couple of surfboards just flew out of the back of a track and just missed us, crimony! we've been talking about shit something like this happening after seeing all these pickups on the freeway using gravity method to hold shit in their beds. well god damn. we find the 'tel not too far called "econolodge" which is a great name but the pad ain't - $194 for one room but like I said, gotta help fratello ste stay healthy so... as I'm doing the check-in, fratello andrea witnesses some crazy shit: someone trying to kipe a bicycle off the back of a car rack and borracho dudes chasing after him. I tell him u.s. can be scary and you gotta always be careful. I dock the boat right near where it happened and one of those guys comes and shakes my hand and offers whatever but I say it's ok and we get to the room and I konk by the hatch so if anyone tries to get in they're gonna hit me in the trying to open it.

sunday, september 14, 2014 - santa barbara, ca

from andrea:

   I woke up at the motel, this time on a soft bed. The air is fresh and the sky cleared out of the morning haze. I took a refreshing shower, and washed my show shirt. I'm very attached to this white shirt with grey and brown stripes I'm wearing on this tour. It was a gift from my Japanese friend Hiroky who gave it me as a present in 1999, when we shared an apartment in Milan while I was studying at the academy of fine arts and he was working at pringle clothing as PR. Hiroky bought this shirt in a second hand shop in New York in 1997. I thought it would have been fun to wear something with a similar but slightly different to the color of the white drum set. 

   Mike checked the van after he woke up, as we parked it on the street in front of the motel because and because we've been a bit scared after I saw that weird scene of the almost stolen bike the night before. We left Santa Cruz at about 11:15, and stopped on the way to Santa Barbara for a sandwich at Subway. This is Bob's last day in the van with us, before going back to his mother in Laguna Beach by train.

   While Mike's was driving I took a little nap, then I drove for the second half of the trip. We did a quick break at a gas station in Bulletton, where I took pictures of old american cars, Ford and Chevrolet, huge and solid ones. I was a little sleepy, probably because of the food I've been eating in these last week. We arrived in Santa Barbara on time for the load in. We meet Carly, the promoter, and she told me a few words about Santa Barbara and how much she loves living there. Paul is the sound technician. After the soundcheck Bob Stefano and I walked a bit towards the pier. There was an holiday's vibe around, and a lot of european people probably enjoying the summer, or perhaps studying at the UCSB university. Stefano went to eat at a vegan pricy restaurant, and Bob and I choose a thay restaurant, where I got a spicy veggy soup full of onions and red pepper.

   The backyard, where the backstage was, was a bit smelly, old beer and trash cans, and all painted in black. Right before going on stage I was already a bit tired, and the soup didn't actually help, in fact I had a bit of stomachache. Anyway, I tried to do my best on stage, even I was quite tired. In fact this show was quite difficult for me.

   Jeff Mohelis hosted us in his house in Goleta, where he lives with his family and a dog. It's a house for professors working at the UCSB university and it's right next to the seashore. We chatted a bit all together till about 2 am, I got a herbal tea that calmed my stomachache and I went straight to my sleeping bag next to Stefano, who was already asleep.

from stefano:

   We wake up in a motel room. i start to feel a little better. still fever sense a little bit. i take shower as usual. try to write some diary and at 10:00 i go out looking for a coffee. the guy at the reception is very kind and prepare some coffee more even if they already stopped serving it. we leave at 11:00 - direction santa barbara. we stop for a quick sandwich. we get wrong direction couple of time but no problem. we are not in a hurry. i start to feel better i guess. We arrive in santa Barbara around 5:00  i take a nice picture of a seagal stoling some garbage in the back of the venue where is the green room.

   Tonight Joey is filming the concert. we go out with Bob and Andrea for a little walk on the ocean and then i go eat in a vegan restaurant where i meet John an actor from santa monica. the vegan was very good but way too expensive. this is the problem of this place sometimes.Santa Barbara looks to me like a very turistic place. 

   Concert is ok but i think we were playing with separate spirit. Personally i was not totally into the music. Not many clams actually but not very expressive togheter. strange vibe gig for tonight. sometimes i put focus in the wrong things. we say hello to Bob. he is leaving us. Tomorrow is going back to long beach to visit his mum taking the train. I'm gonna miss him. I like him a lot. he is very nice guy and very funny and good heart. fratello Mike wants to run away quickly. he is impatience to go at the konk pad asap mostly every night and we always try to do the soon as possible but it seems we are always too slow. we are still loading and he is  on the van already ready to go. i always sweat packing and loading more than the concert itself. We go sleep at Jeff house. i already fall sleeping in the van. then i found a place on the floor and i die immediatly.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and go get coff at lobby. it's crazy loud, many kids being themselves and I think it's natural. no one's mean or angry and that's good. trippy, the 'tel man won't print me a receipt... he says he has to email it to me. ok. in the 'tel room we hear through the bulkhead the guess who's "american woman" and then ccr's "long as I can see the light" - whoa, what a trip, olde-timey! I did an interview w/blackie after the first gig of this tour's soundcheck in san diego for a documentary he's doing on the first record people bought and I told him "american woman" was the first record (it was a 45) I bought. when I later met d. boon and we learned that tune (it had one part!), we'd jam it for like three hours straight every day after school for like six months, it's a wonder d. boon's ma didn't go crazy but actually she dug knowing we were inside and not getting in trouble on the streets or something.

   we get on the freeway and soon have to loop cuz I got on going north like a fucking baka. in glen meadow we have our first subway sandwiches of the tour. I get my usual tuna-pickles-olives-chilies-mustard and stuff it w/baked potato chips (I'm just looking for texture w/those, some crutch). I get on the road again going the wrong fucking way, what an idiota. I get us back correct and we head for santa barbara. fratello's turn to take the wheel, I hand it off to him in paso robles. like fratello ste, he does great - it's also his first time w/an econoline. bravo for both my fratelli! cuz it's sunday, I call my ma on the leash to let know I'm ok. she says they got a heat wave in so cal and it's hard on her. I ask her to stay near that air conditioner she's got. my ma's gonna be eighty in december... gotta be careful.

   we get to town at 5:30, I take the wheel from fratello andrea for the park job - my buddy joe who's filmed many of my projs play live is here to help us w/the load in after I make the fucked up back-in up the alley you gotta do for the load-in cuz there's no parking out front. it wouldn't be so bad if pricks wouldn't park their cars in the alley but fuck, they do. anyway, joe and bob-san guide me good and we drop anchor for the night. I meet the soundman luke and then the padboss chase, both real good cats. this is my third time playing here at velvet jones I think. I like it.

stefano pilia + andrea belfi (l to r) at velvet jones in santa barbara, ca on september 14, 2014

   we do the soundcheck (three tunes now) and the lite brothers arrive, yatta. I get a slice of peetz at "uncle rocco's famous n.y. pizza" the gigboss carli who is also righteous people brings some bubble water in a big tub of ice which I love but there's a spearmint flavor in the aqua frizzante, whoa - mizui ("terrible taste" in jap). fratello andrea swigged on the bottle of no flavor - I'm scared of sickness on tour so I avoid bugs that way (I got sick last time I drank on someone's bottle last tour w/my missingmen) but there's straight water I can use so I do that. I go conk in the boat. I have a bad nightmare about being in an airplane crash, fucking terrible. fratello ste rousts me for the gig just after ten... whew, what a relief.

   I get on stage and look who's here: sailor alexander from sassafras, holy cow! he's got his drummerman w/him, drove up l.a. so good to see him. we do the set - I do it w/out a list (fuck, I can't see them w/out my glasses anyway and I don't like playing gigs w/glasses on). I blow some fucking clams, kind of in the same places I have been which is a good sign in a way cuz I can maybe focus easier on fixing them but there's also some that I blow that I have no excuse for. I think we do pretty ok though and I know I can do better. the gig-goers are much kind, big respect to them. jeff from goleta is here and invites us to konk at his pad. we load up and have to say bye to bob-san, he's gotta get back to his world but it's sure been great having him aboard.

   we get to jeff's and his wife allison has a roasted jalapeno for me, very nice, thank you! us and the nakama have a good time, everyone in a great mood. I konk happy.

monday, september 15, 2014 - fresno, ca

from andrea:

   I woke up at 8:00 when Lite people started waking up. They had to bring Yoriko to the train station, because she went back to Tokio that day. I walked to the seashore. The quite atmosphere of the morning time on the ocean is absolutely amazing. There were people around walking with their dogs in their pigiama tooŠ I took a quick shower, and a little nap on the bed in the living room, then I downloaded Lennon/Ono's "Sometime in New York" I found on Jeff's CD shelf. We get in the van by eleven, direction Fresno. We listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival's first album. I love CCR music, and it is so great to hear stories about these albums from Mike. When I was teaching drums in Verona, I've used a lot of their songs.  We stopped at a place called Burrito Loco, a family business mexican restaurant in Arroyo Grande, where, thanks god, I finally had my first green salad, and were the tacos were amazing. The air is boiling hot. We left interstate 101 and got to the freeway 41 towards Fresno. Again the landscape was amazing, big rounded yellow desert mountains, valleys and dry planes, no animals except for some eagles and a heron. We drove trough the James Dean memorial crossing, on the intersection between road 41 and 46, where he had the fatal car accident. We also saw the aqueduct that brings water from the mountain of the east the the west and the south of California. It stands out on the landscape as an artificial construction in the middle of a wild dry plain. Fresno is in the Sant Joaquin valley. For the first time on this tour I felt I was in a small town. The club is called Strummer's. Inside the club the air conditioning system is at a full speed, so where outside the street curbs are on fire and they almost melt my rubber soles, inside the club is almost winter. After the soundcheck, with sound technician Greg and helper Shean, Stefano and I got a local IPA, quite sweet, not bad. I also met Mike's uncle, who's name is Mike Watt as well. He told me California and the Saint Joaquin valley in particular, produces 75% of the entire vegetable products of the entire country.

   Lite did a great show. It is always challenging to play after their gig, because they have a strong impact on the audience, and when we start playing people are a bit confused about the less direct music of Il Sogno del Marinaio. But it is also challenging. Apparently in the room there was a very good sound, but onstage I'm a bit confused. Maybe everything was only too loud but I enjoyed playing anyway. The audience was not big but really good. Right after the show we packed up, with the help of Lite, and we pulled anchor almost immediately, because we were hosted by Mike's brother Justin, who's about thirty years old and married, and lives just a couple of blocks away from the venue. Justin is married with Patty and they also have a little dog, a chiwawa. Jun had a big headache, he guessed because for the temperature difference going in and out of the club, so he layed down on the floor right next to the bathroom door in the room where we I was sleeping too. Before getting into my sleeping back "on the deck", I smoke a cigarette on the front porch listening to the sound of the horn of the South Pacific Coast train in the distance.

from stefano:

   I wake up opening my eyes once at time. I see both Jeff young daughters and his wife getting ready for school and i realize we are incredible close to the ocean. it is sunny clear day. i can see the sea being just 200 meters far so i take a shower and i go for a little walk close to the beach. i take some pictures and i sit there just meditating and looking at the ocean. human being seems to be just a time matter. california is an incredible land. When i go back i see Jeff and fratello Mike just outside the house talking and looking at the ocean. Jeff is a mechanics engineering professor at Coletta college near Santa Barbara. he is a kind and gentle man. he loves music.

   i have time to Skype with Ross and miss Hiyori does laundry for everyone of us then we hit the road. We cross a beautiful landscape going to Frezno. I drive on the mountains road. very few threes around and farm and nothing else..just rocks.the light is incredible. we pass the cross where James Dean died in a car accident listening to Creedence fratello Mike plays on the van stereo. we arrive in Frezno around 5 i guess. we meet another Michael Watt. fratello Mike's uncle and Justin Watt fratello Mike's young brother - same dad but different mum - i drink two very good belgian blue moon. outside is really hot and inside the air conditioning is kicking. i think we play good tonight. i enjoy the concert and i feel we are starting to play really togheter. Lite have been exciting as every night. we go sleep at Justin and his girlfriend house. he studies computer science. they have two dogs. i get asleep on the coach after eating two good apples.

from watt:

   pop at nine, whoa. get to hose off, righteous. I chimp diary and get caught up on diary stuff. the nakama have to leave to drop yuriko at the airport so we gotta separate for now. at two bells we pull anchor and head north - I stop us at a family-run pad called "burrito loco" in where I have a real tasty chile relleno w/eggs and frijoles - happening! oh, I augment the boat's dash shrine w/the little ziaface kachina doll joe gave me yesterday, respect to him.

   back on the road for an hour before I pull us off to get gas and hand the wheel over to fratello ste. soon we're at where ca-41 and ca-46 collide and damn if that ain't the spot jimmy dean got killed at. man, I dug him much, had a photo of him inside my very first pad, right above the front hatch. so sad. I get my ipod working in this new radio I got for the boat that takes the usb cord instead of those fucking lame-ass fm transmitters I've had to use for years. we hear three of the six ccr albums I have before getting into fresno at 'pert-near 6:30, a place called strummer's and the soundman greg's waiting for us out back. also waiting for me is my uncle mike - he's my pop's youngest brother and my ma named me after him. whoa, it's been years - I hug him big time. we have a good long spiel before and after soundcheck, he's interested in what I do and tonight will be the first time he'll see my play. I love my uncle mike.

michael thomas watt + michael david watt (l to r) in fresno, ca on september 15, 2014

   my brother justin w/his wife patty also come - he's thirty years younger than me but has seen me play many times w/different groups. I love my brother justin. whoa, two relatives to see me tonight... hope I get it together some for them w/the fratelli! I sign a bassman named ryan's bass and we have a talk about why I use a little bass for gigs (easier on my hands) and a bigger bass for recording (better 'e' string sound). no time really to konk tonight, this is an early gig which actually I dig.

   soundman greg does some really great sound for the lite brothers, they kick it up most beautiful - man, I love it. the play w/much spirt and soul. brother jun sounds good through my rig... hey, have I talked about what we're using on this tour? perk helped me get a dw kit together along w/hardware stuff of his to get me happening - so much respect to him. fratello andrea likes it much. my buddy dirk (took the cover shot of "double nickels on the dime") got me set up for fratello ste w/a peavy classic 50 all-tube 4x10 tweed combo trip, I put fender legs on it so we can tip it an angle - beats the hell out of putting it on a chair, I think. I've got the two 2x10 dna speaker boxes but for a head now I have a t.c. electronic blacksmith which w/the case is less than thirty pounds - don't need a tuner or a compressor either cuz they're both built in. it ain't from david eden but it's ok for tour/gigs and my less younger cojo self.

   our turn to play and damn if I don't do pretty good for the first half of the set! it ain't 'til "funanori jig" that I start blowing clams and damn if 'pert-near there's one in every tune 'til the last one. aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh. I've been thinking about being for a while cuz not far is where my pop's buried... he's been gone now like twentythree years and man, miss him. I think I got self-conscious after blowing that first clam, started thinking about things that weren't about the gig which ain't happening. hard for watt to separate things, you know? fuck, gotta get it more together - I even apologized the mic for the clams but at the same time thanked the fratelli much for having it together. man, they are playing their ass off and are beautiful. I am most grateful to them and am committed to get my sorry ass up to their level.

   my brother justin and his wife are righteous people and have of us over to konk. during load-in we hear a huge BAM! and all the power's out for a few seconds - maybe a transformer blew and then backup kicked in? don't know but it was kind of heart attack freak out, whew. time to pull anchor! they got two neat little dogs that are full of love. like ten minutes from the gigpad, it's so great to be done not so late. we have a good time, brother justin and patty are great hosts and fuck if I don't konk before midnight, yatta!

tuesday, september 16, 2014 - sacramento, ca

from andrea:

   When we woke up Justin cooked pancakes for the all of us, and I got a tasty apple too. He has a nice house, a classic american house with the front porch and a little garden in front of the house. We left his house at 10, as he had to go to school. We travelled through the Sacramento valley. Fields of Almonds and Pistachios. We listened to Robert Wyatt's "Old Rottenhat", le seigneur Rochereau's "Dans la musique Congolaise de varietes" and Harry Flynth's "Nova Billy". When we arrived in Sac Town quite early because Lite had to do their laundry, and in the meantime I had a fresh lemonade with Jun and Kozo in a bar a couple of blocks from the laundromat. I found a bookstore where I wanted to buy a book about american architecture that was in the shop window, but the shop was unfortunately closed. I also saw a copy of Kennet Anger's Hollywood Babylon, that reminded me that I've sadly lost several good books when I moved from Verona to Berlin. Next to the laundry I follow a beautiful a big squirrel walking and climbing from three to three for a couple of minutes. We arrived at the club at 16, tried to find a parking spot. It is so sunny and hot I couldn't really stand under the sun. We load in at the Blue Lamp. The bar tender is really friendly, as well as a couple sitting at the bar who offered us chicken wings from kfc. I tried a bite of it as they were really friendly to us,but it tasted weird, I've never tried kfc before, it is just about grease and cheap chicken...during the soundcheck with sound tech I wrote Peter Broderick and invited him to the Portland show, but he wrote me back right after saying that he was out of town in those days. Bummer, I love Peter's music and he's a really cool guy. I net to a that restaurant with Lite, Stefano and Hiyory, for the first healthy meal of the tour with white rice and veggy curry. I love mexican food but perhaps was one of the causes of my tiredness I had in those first days of the tour.

   The show turned to be the best so far, the interplay was great, and Mike was happy about the fact he didn't blew any calms this time. Conception e Mario host us in their nice house. What a great host they were. I had a fantastic Tequila, far from the ones I tried before. Conception cooked onions soup for us, it was delicious. She says was one of the first people in San Pedro getting into punk rock. Everybody slept in a little wooden house in the backyard, which looked like a recreational area, with a stereo and records (good records!) and some beds around. Stefano decided to sleep outside, I got the little "nest" at the very top of the house.

from stefano:

   We go to sacramento today. Justin makes very nice pancakes for breakfast and then we leave around 10:00. we go for laundry. i am deep in reading my book today. we soundcheck and then we go all togheter to eat vietnamese restaurant. very good gig tonight. i really enjoyed. people was amazingly warm and we played well. Last california gig. we go sleep at Conception and Mario house. They are great amazing people. I saw Conception at the gig dancing during LITE concert but i did not know who she was. She had made onion soup for everyone and she feeds us with lot of good stuff. they are so kind and warm and funny. Conception grown up in Pedro with D. Boon and fratello Mike. She says " there were ten punk rockers in Pedro.. i was the eight one". she also tells a story when she was finishing work and then her and D. Boon were supposed to go to a concert in Long Beach and she was worried cause she had not made her make-up yet and D. Boon replying "you are beautifull like this... you are working class". Their house has a strong warm latin touch that others american house really does not have. The house also has a beautifull yard in the back. I find a coach-bed under a three outside. i think i 'm going to sleep here outside. weather is nice. Conception tells me that is her favourite place in the garden!. so i land my sleeping bag there. Last night in California and it is great it is the best sleeping of the tour till now.

from watt:

   I pop at six and just lie there for a big while, the smoke alarm's got a worn-out battery and is chirping every bunch of seconds but I think it's more about my mind wondering and thinking like a motherfucker, making plans and shit.

   we pull anchor at ten bells, my brother justin's gotta go work then. great weather, the heatwave broke and the skies are big time blue. big hugs for my brother. this drive fratello andre uses his ipod to bring us music from henry flynn, rhumba congolese and robert wyatt. north on state road 99, we get gas two-thirds the way there and I chow my first dog of the tour, gotta be careful w/these and not too many though - you can't know long they've been twirling on these fucking heated-up rollers. just fifteen minutes from our destination we gotta pull over cuz stefano has to piss and he ain't hip to the piss bottle yet. even more important is kouzou w/the nakama... u.s. chow has attacked his gut very hard again and he has "much hard work" to do in the benjo so we wait a while. man, I feel for him. we pass lodi which is not only a name of a town but also a ccr tune that I dig. you think this is the place john fogerty was singing about?

city of lodi sign on ca-99 freeway on september 16, 2014

   we get into sack town just after two. about nine blocks from the blue lamp (where we're playing tonight, done MANY gigs here) is a laundromat that the nakama need to use so we go there, passing sutter's fort on the way - big important part of cali history. sack-town is cali's capitol. I help the nakama get the wash going and they get all their duds kurei ("clean" in jap) just in time for load-in but damn if this truck doesn't take up three spaces just so he can go to the fucking arefucks across the street, aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh. finally a bozo relents and fratello andrea moves the boat - first though he needs the kill switch chiave - so he comes back... then he needs to the club chiave - so he comes back, back and forth back and forth, aaaarrggghhhhh!!! we do soundcheck soundman vasillimo (fuck if we don't find out I donated my fucking mogami cable I use to go between my bass and the amp - I am total baka!) and then I hobble a block to a chow pad called "star ginger" and bring back a bowl of pho soup to the boat and it's good in my stomach. I konk w/the shirt off cuz it's really hot but I need the rest in order to be worth anything for showtime. nobuyuki said at jeff and allison's in goleta I was doing wild sounds in my konk, scary ones... I wonder if I do that in the boat. I think the swelter can add to 'mares prolly too - also beginning of tour insecurity/anxiety.

   it's a quarter after ten when I thank folks for coming on a work night and we start our set after the gigboss brian - yeah, the same brian who's been doing my sack-town gigs for more than twenty years brings me up some soda water, great cat. you know what? I get through the whole set w/no major clams, can you believe? I think either I've turned a corner or maybe just fucking lucky... I will say the fratelli changed the set list order and maybe that helped. they each blow some clams but not really that bad - I think they were both working from different set lists though cuz damn if fratello andrea didn't try to play "alain" twice and skipped "nanos' waltz" though I think the latter was a good move, bravo! the sack-town gig-goers give great energy and helped out too, let me say that, please. also going on after the lite brothers, of course. damn if it ain't good feeling when something like this happens, fuck yeah!

   a tiny bummer is some kind people dick leached all the cold waters and the pacifico beers (love this kind and brian asked specifically what I wanted and he got but hey, we're konking at my buddy concepcion's pad and her husband mario might have a beer. I don't drink 'til I get to the konk pad but it sure would've been neat to bring one w/me to get down the dried-out gullet once we drop anchor. even the water in the ice chest got kiped, there's nothing at all cold. I ain't gonna let any of this put a damper in the pamper though, it was very happening gig for the il sogno del marinaio bassman tonight! of course I gotta thank the other two il sogno del marinaio bandmen for bearing w/me and my fucking slow-learner self, grazie.

   one big last hug w/gigboss brian and we're off for concepcion and mario's - the lite brothers get lost but nobuyuki yanks on my kubiwa ("leash" in jap) and soon we're all together and have a great time - even chow some french onion soup concepcion cooked up. she's from the old pedro punk days, a good friend of d. boon's too. she moved up years ago but has always been so kind, truly. of course we gotta rap and catch up on all kinds of stuff before I finally run out of gas and get my ass konked.

   oh, I love the two little chihuahuas they got here, just had to say that. my brother justin had just got one too, I just remembered... he named him "the new guy" - I like that.

wednesday, september 17, 2014 - eugene, or

from andrea:

   We had breakfast at 8:15, with eggs pancakes and potatoes, Mario coocked for us. They're so nice people. We had to leave at 8:30, in order to be in Eugene, Oregon at 16:00, as we had probably the longest drive of the whole tour,not just because of the 470 miles on the interstate 5, but because we had to go through the mountains between California and Oregon, through the Siskiyou Summit. We stopped at a run down gas station to check if it was possible to get gas there. Mike didn't want to fill up the tank there because it looked too old and in these cases there might be a chance to get rust in the gas. The gas station looks old timey, there is a carriage in the parking lot, probably a reminder of what people were using a couple of hundreds years ago. I'm always wondering what people would do in such an isolate place, but I know many places in Italy where people from somewhere else would ask themselves the same question. We saw the mount Shasta, a huge dormant volcano 3000m high. The weather changed after we crossed the mountains to a rainy and cloudy day, more familiar to the berlin wheater. The venue in Eugene is called Wow's hall, and it looks old timey. Ive been told is was built for the miners' labor union in 1920. The room is very big. We did the soudcheck playing "Funanori Jig" e "Partisan Song". I charge my computer, download some pics, had dinner at a veggy chinese restaurant with everybody except Mike, who was already sleeping in the van, and then talked briefly with Jun about his life in Japan. He told me he lives in a 15 tatami apartment with his wife and little daughterŠ once I tried to live with my wife in 35 square meters, and we went crazy! Still I'd like to visit Japan in the next future.

   The show was pretty good, and the audience warm. We changed a couple of song in the set list, because we had some problems with the flow of the music with the previous one. Stefano looked a bit tired again, and Mike is sweating hard his shirt, had I surprise myself sweating as well, even if the room was pretty cold. Am I beating the drums louder than ever?

   On the way to the house were we would have been hosted, a police man stops our van for a control, as we were wandering around "like a drunk men" as the hombre said. We reached the house, right on time to open a beer and to leave two minutes later for another house, a more comfortable one the organizers said. We hang out a bit the Justin and Selena, the two sound techs, and Calyn, the booker at wow's hall. Calyn's girlfriend had a very small white Maltese dog. We are meeting only very small dogs during this tour! We had a nice time, and I had delicious fresh plumes from the tree that stands right in front of the house.

from stefano:

   We have a long ride in front of us. Kind of nine hours one. so we go on the road very soon after nice breakfast Mario and Conception makes for us. we meet Carmela their young daughter and we take picture all togheter. We shift the driving kind of every two hours. The road is amazing. we go through great landscapes. i see three hawks. i drive on the mountain pass, the highest point on the freeway number 5. very wind. the boat get pushed. After a while we are surrounded by haze and hash smell. probably some big fires happened somewhere else around. we see some turkey vultures. Nature is intense on the west coast. In Eugene is the first rainy day of the tour and we play at WOW. This is an old dance room all done inside with wood.

   Sound technician is a lady and Justin does monitor on stage. Sounds is very good. we go eat in a vegan vietnamese restaurant really good just before concert. i talk with an architect who is a volunteer at the WOW. Damn i cannot remember his name. Concert is ok but far to be our best we can do i think. We get stopped by the police looking for ? apartment. They say because we were driving too slow and that is dangerous so they presumed we were drunked. what reason is that? .. never heard of a more stupid reason. i mean if we were driving on an highway ok but we are in a residential area in the night!! with no traffic around. Actually this policeman was ok and not intimidatory. Police is usually not very nice all around the world but i think american police is one of the worst. There is a strong sense of paranoia and fear in the way America makes his police works more than any other countries. i need to go sleep soon. i eat some prunes

from watt:

   pop at seven and half, that gives us an hour before we pull anchor. I do a good soak even if my knees gotta fold up some, nice olde-timey tub. mario's cooking up up scrambled eggs and potatoes along w/little pancakes I pass onto others cuz I'm doughball enough. concepcion got some aman from japanese bakery here in sack-town and I chow one w/pudding in the center, good.

   we gotta shove off at eight and a half cuz it's a hellride to eugene. weather's happening though, I'm most grateful for that. big hugs to mario and concepcion, such kindness always from them, always and I am truly grateful. we pull anchor after mario takes our picture.

lite + il sogno del marinaio in sacramento, ca on september 17, 2014

not long I get us gassed up and damn if one station has gas thirtynine cents a gallon cheaper than the one across the street from it, what the fuck? guess where I go? inside there's a new lays "product" in a rack: cappuccino-flavored potato chips - talk about what the fuck? crimony! I am not inclined to even try, NO! mazui. back in the boat, fratello ste's turn to fill our ears w/his stronzo: alice cooper, bombino, a mississippi records comp and some billie holiday (k's favorite singer). I point out the town of red bluff to the fratelli, the town where my pop grew up and talk about some of my family stuff w/them, trippy things it must be for them to hear it but it is what it is. I keep it short and not windbag, just brief sketches. up and out of the sacramento valley, it's amazing how low shasta lake is, oh my god this drought is wailing on us big time. I hand the wheel over to fratello ste in weed just after one. he's gotta make the siskiyou summit for us, highest point on the I-5. it can be snowing here in summer but we're in luck w/good weather. not so good is weed full of firefighting stuff - I mean the reason it has to have it cuz of big fires. we smell it over the summit to, into oregon (bye bye cali), there's smoke haze also... very sad. we see huge burn patches on the side of the road too, damn. fratello ste handles the boat quite well, bravo. switch ponies after a brief piss stop at an old gas station near azalea just after three but fuck getting gas here cuz it looks real beat up and maybe a fuel-up might also have a buttload of rust so we push on. get forty bucks worth of gas in roseville - I hip the fratelli to the fact in oregon you can't pump your own gas. fratello andrea asks about how I use sir and m'am w/asking for stuff and so I explain to him how I do it. it's a kind of "golden rule" thing. we've been playing leapfrog w/a couple trucks carrying 25,000 gallon plastic water tanks since leaving sack-town, trippy. I keep imaging these tanks holding nothing but stronzo, don't know why...

   this hellride's 473 miles and much mountains so after nine hours we/drop anchor, so glad the fratelli helped w/the wheel. fratello andrea also handles the boat well. we're playing wow hall here in eugene, a pad I've played MANY times and I apologize for us being fortyfive minutes late. the lite brothers however help us much and damn if we ain't got everything together in an hour, soundlady selena and monitorman justin w/righteous aid also. when done w/our check I hobble a block away and get ravioli to go from a pad called "cozmic pizza" which I guess was ok cuz I didn't get sick. I save the salad for later... I konk harder than that sock laminated w/swim team that was up on the shelf of an old boat I toured w/georgie in that no one would touch. somehow I pop right when fratello andrea comes to roust me. there's a note under the windshield wiper from ken babbs saying he wanted to meet me (this has been a mission for uncle ray forever) but damn if I didn't really need this konk for my health and the gig - I'm so sorry, mr babbs. at least he didn't pull a cheetah chrome (pulled a knife on my organman petezo in nashville one tour when the same thing happened to him) and let me konk. truly I'm sorry I missed you.

   up on the stage, we bring il sogno del marinaio for the first time to eugene. very kind gig-goers, even dancing and some flailing from them. cats my age also are here. I fucking cut short the first solo in "partisan song" like a baka but play kind of ok - not as good as last night but nowhere as bad as the gigs before that. the sound is blurry kind of for me on stage but then I get in for free - I'm just hoping the sound was good for the people. fratello ste seems tired, I worry for his health. the people bring us back for more, very kind of them. I wish we could do an encore w/the lite brothers but we don't have enough equipment (we share the same stuff)... damn it.

   monitorman justin invites us to konk at his pad and on the way el hombre (eugene police) pull me over cuz they thought I was driving unsteady when I was looking for a fucking street sign that apparently didn't exists. this is one reason I will not touch liquor 'til I get to the konk pad. the officer does the shakedown but does not have me leave the boat, he gives me directions where that street is I wanted. w/our posse being maybe too big for this pad, monitorman justin has go a few blocks over to wow hall bookerman calyn's ma's pad. calyn's very cool people too, he's got a robert anton wilson shirt on and that gets me explaining the principia discordia to fratello andrea, that and the discordian movement in general, monitorman justin joining in also. we have a good time. whew... long day, konk comes quick.

thursday, september 18, 2014 - portland, or

from andrea:

   I wake up at around 9:30. During the morning I shaved and looked at my email account. I wrote to Rafael Anton Irisarri, who plays in Orcas, The Sight Below and other experimental music projects, I thought he was still living in Seattle, inviting him to Ballard show on Sunday the 20th, but he wrote me back almost immediately telling me he recently moved to New York. He also told me he got all his equipment stolen while moving from the West coast to the East coastŠit's shocking, thinking about he lost everything, not only his instruments but all his personal items he wanted to move to NY, crazy! I'm very very sorry for him. I invited him to one of the New York area shows. Mike explained why he calls the laptop macpurse, as he refers to the old Ibooks, with fancy colors and a handle on the side. The house where we stayed is quite nice. The is a little rocking chair on the front porch, and it faces a big plumtree. It is a grey and quite morning. We all left the house around 1 o'clock, and stopped for a take away Burrito. We took the Interstate 5 direction Portland. We saw a Mormon church along the way, I remember we saw another one in San Diego last week.

   We arrived at Doug Fir in Portland at around 16:00, so we had some time to hang around. Stefano runs out the venue in order to find a musical instrument store. I tried to find him walking towards the river, but I couldn't find the store, so I went back to the venue, checked with my smartphone the closest musical instruments' store and found one two blocks away. I enter in Old Town Music, but I didn't find Stefano, but at the end I found a great old zildjan cymbal, that sound so good. I buy it and I buy a 10 ft cable for Mike. I came back to the venue and did a slow but accurate soundcheck with the sound technician mick and stage manager andrew. The venue is on a basement. After Lite soundcheck we all went upstairs eating at the restaurant in the same building, where I had a really good smoked salmon. When we had to pay we messed a bit a round with money, there where several bucks missing from the bill, but at the end we realized the tip was already included. Here they called it gratuity, which apparently is the official word for tip. Right before Lite's show I meet Jeanne, bass player for Miss Massive Snowflakes. She is a chiropractic and huge Mike Watt's fan. I met her in Italy, while she was touring with her band, with san de Leon and my close friend Jacopo Andreini at drums. Nice meeting. I also met Eric Crespo, who has a band called Ghost to Falco, and who's opened for us in Bologna during Il Sogno del Marinaio's first 2009 tour at Locomotiv Club.

   I loved this show. Lite played really good and we also played really good and tight, but the best part of it was the audience, really cool and focused on the music. Nice. We "pulled anchor" about an hour after the show. Bill hosted us in his house a few miles from the venue, but still in the city. He has a nice two stories house with a big comfortable basement. We chilled in his backyard with wine and a couple of beers before sleeping in the basement with Lite brothers.

from stefano:

   II sleep long. I open my eyes only at eleven. I really needed. I take a shower and i feel better. We leave around 1 pm and we get a burrito for breakfast driving for Portland. The road is a great threes and mountain trip. fresh air. we have been lucky we got actually all sunny days and no rain at all. Portland seems to be a very nice town. we play at doug first tonight. really good club but damn the air conditioning... it is like going inside a freezer..i cannot believe it... it is so hard i start to feel pain in my wrists while outside is not an hot day at all... actually is the perfect temperature. Inside it is like 10 grades less. i will never get use to this almost craziness about the air conditioning here. It does not make any sense. in this way you just constantly stress your body with this rapid changes of temperature and mostly you burn a lot of energy creating a bad pollution. i have found this in many places. Before soundcheck i go into a music shop looking for an instrument cable for fratello Mike. but it is too long for him, it is good anyway to have an extra cable and i could also divide it and resold it as soon as we find a pen saldery. We got dinner in the restaurant upstairs all togheter with Lite Brothers. i have Ashii that Miss Hiyori gave us as a present just arrived in L.A. thanks Miss Hiyori. The venue is almost pack tonight. Nice vibe. we play good so Lite brothers do. we do zoom as an anchor with Kozo playing with us in the two impro parts and Akynori with the snare. i meet my friend Scott Arborgast. i met him before in Kolone Germany and in Bologna times ago. Nice to talk with him again. After concert we go sleep at Bill and Dedra house in a very nice hilly area. they have two dogs.they were a bit suspicious in the beginning but then nice. we have some nice time all togheter with Lite Brother in the back yard and then we go sleep all in the basement downstairs. This is usually the more relaxed part of the day. Some relaxing is needed just before going to sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight, hose off. roll w/the boat to find coff, find it a few blocks away, get some soda water w/ice also - love both those liquids to start a day, one for eye-pop and one for relief belch. it is gray morning, verging on sprinkles - we got a tiny bit parked behind venue last night. I chimp diary, brief the fratelli on the importance of staying current w/theirs or else forgetting 'pert-near everything will result is what I've learned in my experience. I am not handing down any commandments, only making suggestion. easy go today after yesterday... voyage to portland will be seven hours shorter, I figure.

   we pull anchor at one and I steer us towards where I got coff, a drivethrough pad (lots of these little house-trips in the northwest) called "burrito amigos" that ain't just slinging coff but mexican chow also. I am wary of such things north of california but we go for anyway and damn if it ain't mostly "marlon blando" but I guess it's ok cuz I don't get sick. trippy thing is the two ladies working there were mexicanas, hmm... some things are beyond me but even w/the fratelli being new to this cuisine, they can tell the difference w/this and what they have been chowing more south. oh well, that's showbiz. we head north on the I-5, fratello ste hooking up my ipod to play the other two ccr albums we didn't hear the other day, "pendulum" and "willy and the poor boys" which makes me big time happy and makes the drive go by like that, even w/many assholes driving dangerous, just like back home. everywhere you gotta be careful on the road for fuck's sake... it's a reality we have to face.

the view from the boat heading into downton portland, or on september 18, 2014

   we're working the doug fir lounge tonight and I dig it much, good sound/good folks. four pm is load-in and damn if it's only a little before that when we drop anchor cuz there was traff coming into town. the rain held off and in fact it's a little mushiatsui ("hot/humid" in jap). soundman mick and his intern andrew mic us up - oh, fratello andrea was most kind to get me a cable to replace the one I donated in fresno. it ain't no mogami but it will do and not too long either which is good for my clumsy gimped-up self not to get tangled and tripped up on. for soundcheck we add the first part of "il sogno del fienile" cuz damn if every time so far it's been fucking miming it w/the spiel. kind of lame w/it being like that and also being the first tune of the set! maybe... I go upstairs and get a "fir burger" which is ok but someone from the hotel part of this building sure is rude (they're not connected w/the venue) about enlightening me to the fact you can't park where you load in now - they even have the cojones to ask if I wanna get a room at their dump after giving me sass. I don't react back but rather get the boat out and gone from there a park a block away... getting out, I see broken auto window glass on the sidewalk - not a good sign, fuck... after letting kazuto-san know he too has to park not where he is, I go back and konk very hard for like three hours, shirt off and sweating much but I needed that konk bad.

   fratello andrea rousts me for the gig just before ten, I hobble to the pad. I forgot my paper wrist bracelet so the doorman escorts me down - hell, I'm the oldest person in the building. I forgot to say after our soundcheck I invited kouzou and akinori of lite to join us for the encore. I like it when bands get to really share the stage together and not just the bill. so glad they're into it. before we start playing I dedicate the show to my hero richard meltzer cuz he's been living here in portland for years and always visits w/me when I'm playing but can't this time - he'll be here w/me in spirit tonight. crimony if the gig-goers tonight don't bring the fire in their spirit, it's a righteous feel they got for the fratelli's first time ever gig here. we have great gig, a big part of that is from them but also we got some good wind pushing hard on our sails, our momentum happening. damn if I don't clam first "nanos' waltz" (I fucking even can't help laughing - total break in character) and the "animal farm tango" - there's red stage lights making it hard to see so the solution is just don't look and use feel, what a baka slow-learner I am. I get a little self-conscious knowing this is being videoed but get that put back in my head so the gig ain't total chowder but yeah, it's not a precision recital we got going but man, it is a good time, a sweaty good time. I hit my tuning keys on fratello andrea's cymbals and am all out of tune for "auslander" - damn me again! in the name of richard meltzer too - shit! he'd understand though and I think he'd prolly good words for me to think about regarding this too. "zoom" is the encore and kouzou plays right next to me, akinori on the deck w/his snare cuz there's no stand but damn if that don't stop him. such a happening gig tonight, a gut buster in some spots but us working the room pretty good, much respect for my fratelli.

   bill from sightworks (the cats who host my radio show) has offered to put us up in his pad in north portland so we head for there after load out, bill's just the best and has toured by boat also so has big time understanding jamming econo. he treat us and the lite brothers most righteous. we have much good spiel in his backyard under the stars in big time rilakkuma mode. we find out the vote for scotland independence is a no, I'm thinking of brother dep in glasgow... I put on the shirt fratello ste gave me, first shirt change of the tour cuz of the gig shirt getting washed... damn if I should've hosed off first... oh well, in the morning. I konk like a lead huge ball being flung into the sea.

friday, september 19, 2014 - olympia, wa

from andrea:

   I woke up with Bill's noises cooking breakfast (eggs, sausages, tacos, french toast) and with Mike talking like a pirate, because it was "talk like a pirate" day. I met Bill's wife Dierdre, had an hot tea. I checked on youtube where this style of talking comes from, so we watched a couple of Robert Newton videos, and tried to learn some words. But I decided not to follow the "rule", it was too difficult and sounded too baka to meŠ arrrrgh. I read about the elections in Scotland, interesting results, I've never guessed they would've stayed in the UKŠ We leave at one o'clock. We stop along the way at a parking spot close to Mountain Saint Elen, a volcano which blew up in 1980. Impressive the shape of it, all destroyed on one side. We enter in Olympia quite early, at around 15. We found a parking spot a few feet from the venue, the Capitol Theatre, and right in front there is a record store, where I bought a couple of good LP's, a Smithsonian Collection LP of music for children from all over the world, and an interesting 1960's exotica album produced by Martin Denny. I went also to a musical instruments shop with Stefano, but they only had guitars and amps. I went back to the theatre, checked on what it looked the backstage door of it, and met sound men Dave and helper Tanar building up the stage. They built the stage on the actual stage of the venue, so the band would give its back to the seats. Capitol theatre is an old one used for both shows and cinema. Harry is the promoter. In the meantime I chilled out in the backstage, took a picture of Mike wearing a pirate hat Hiyory just bought for him, and then load in the gear with Lite and Stefano, then checked emails and had some nuts in the backstage. Hiyori and I had dinner at a Thay restaurant, where I had a really good spicy veggy Pho.

   Back to the theatre the first band Survival Knife started playing at around 20:00. They are four people on stage. They're music was a combination of tight and driving bass and drums rhythms, noisy guitars textures and weird vocal lines. I've been watching Lite's show from the mezzanine of the theatre, so from the back of the stage 20 feet up, unique position to watch a show. The audience was great, very focused on the music, so when we started playing I felt this energy, and I'm sure it affected the performance, because at the end it turned to be a very good and fun show.

   After the show I chatted a bit with Survival Kinfe's people, nice guys. Justin and I have common friends in Italy, as he toured Italy with Unwound about 15 years ago. We left the venue after midnight, and went to Suzy and Chris house, just about 10 minutes driving from Capitol Theatre. Their house is quite big, they have a place for everybody. We chilled out with beers and some chatting, they were very kind, and their son Dawson too nice hosts.

from stefano:

   In the morning Bill prepares for us a wonderful breakfast with veggie chorizo, scrambled eggs and potatoes, fresh orange juice and big coffee. righteous. thanks Bill!. Than i go outside to take some sun and fresh air. it is very restoring to stay out in the sun. today is pyrate day celebration so since the morning fratello Mike speaks with  funny-mates piratish inflection Šarrrrgggghh. When we arrive in Olympia we have some time to spend before load in. i go into a record shop just on the other side of the road and i buy a hundred dollar in vinyls: the new swans, washington phillips "what are they doing in heavens today" ,  basinski's melancholia, a gospel compilation on mississipi record and the first microphones record and a funny monkeys postcard for Ross we load in. Capitol-The venue is very singular interesting place. it is a cinema- teather but for concert event they build a stage that faces the parterre and not the audience actually the back of the stage is the empty cinema..not so good for sound but interesting in terms of visual spaces . it immediately creates a sense of a ghosty audience or better what should be "the audience area" seems now to be in a parallel universe. i go eat a veggie burger in the bar just in front. the waitress is very kind. Hiyori got a pirate hat for fratello Mike. i drink couple of beers and i finally shit three times. with Lite brothers we speaks about some old japanese cartoons i really like and about some italian prog band they really like. Difficult gig in my opinion tonight. bit blurred. but audience is nice and attentive.  we go sleep at Chris and Suzie house, Suzie son Dawson and the dog Harve. Harvey is incredible excited and jumps all over around us. Dawson is a very sweet boy. he is twelve. he immediately offers us a couple of beers. i take a shower before konk today. i go sleep upstairs with fratello Andrea.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells, sunny as hell coming through the window, praise be. taking a while to wash levis so I'm in the chonies catching up w/net stuff. bill righteously cooks up a butt-load of chow for us, most kind! I have scrambled eggs I stuff into folded english muffins along w/sausage, shredded cheese and tapatio sauce. great morning chow, thank you HUGE, brother bill!

   kind of tripping everyone out w/my speaking cuz damn if it ain't "talk like a pirate day" which for me celebrates the spirit of robert newton in a most happening way, love it. obviously I celebrate w/my own version of his speak, aaaarrrrrrrrgh. what's life except for living out loud as long as I ain't putting hell on anybody? I am what I am, don't mean to be a burden. last year I did an edition of my whole radio show on this day in pirate and tonight I plan to do my part in our gig that way. bill's wife dierdre thinks (knows?) I'm just a little out of my mind but I mean no offense. her and bill are so kind to my fratelli and the nakama, it's just the best. I am a lucky man, truly.

   being in north portland really makes it easy on making for we need to be next: olympia. we pull anchor at one and I gotta get fuel cuz I'm way into not going under a quarter tank due to experience w/the first econoline I had, bought it from georgie for fIREHOSE touring and damn if it didn't have rust in its tanks (the had front and back ones) that would clog either the fucking fuel line of the jets in the carb, stucazz?!! fucking total nightmare, let me tell you. before we get back on the I-5 (been on this road a while), we fuel up and damn if the nakama don't take like twenty minutes - it's fucking like herding cats sometimes when you drop anchor for a boat stop w/these guys! most times they're the most incredibly efficient team I've ever been around in my life but I guess someone wanted pizza (I found this out later from brother jun) and the "7-11 staff" had to cook one up, crimony! no big deal though cuz it's only a 110 mile drive. right away we're over the columbia river and bye bye oregon... about halfway though I gotta dump kind of urgent out of nowhere and I talk some about fucking middle-age shit w/the fratelli they really ain't gotta deal w/yet (my hopes are never but...) and well, there's a rest stop so there's danger of dawdle tempting the nakama though I do take up a few minutes explaining what's just due east of where we are: mount saint helens which blew big time in 1980. the call them "kazan" which also is sometimes nickname for pimple. the fratelli are amazed about all the fir trees. fratello andrea plays some ennio morricone from his ipod for us, soundtrack for some obscure film.

we get into oly at four and a half, righteous weather. it's both capitol and college town - evergreen state had folks who went there make big impact on the scene and before that, zines like op and k records plus of course later kill rock stars - damn if I shouldn't be playing this town more. we're playing what they call the back stage at this old theatre (built in 1924) called the capitol theater which is where they use the stage to set up another stage facing towards the back of this old theatre's stage - yeah, the gig pad is the actual theatre's stage! an old building, I actually played the theatre in its original mode w/dos for a ladyfest (I think it was number two) in 2000 but also this backstage way w/I think the black gang (w/nels cline and bob lee). it ain't opened for a couple of hours so we park in a lot and I go chow not far at a vietnam pad called "bamboo" and have a righteous bowl of noodles, bean sprouts, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, mint and grilled pork along w/china hot sauce oil I supplement.

what watt chowed from 'bamboo' chow pad in olympia, wa on september 19, 2014

   I run into the gigboss for tonight harry and I'm glad we're working w/him, cool people. well, I was sitting on a bench in front of the theatre, I wasn't actually running cuz I can't w/this fucked-up portside knee. I get a parking spot right bye the hatch and we do a check w/soundman dave and his helperman tanar soon as they "build" the stage. these are real good cats, respect. there's a third band tonight, locals called survival knife and fratello andrea offers our drumset cuz that's the norm in europe but actually not so much here. their drummerman says no but he's a nice man, I like him - his name is kris, he's got five on one finger of each his hands and putting them together they make "55" - hey, it's the fucking thirty year anniversary of "double nickels on the dime" - hot damn, does the time fly. respect to brother kris. I go to the boat to konk and do that, hard.

   I had to yank the shirt cuz of swelter in the boat but damn if I don't pop getting a little chilly and put the shirt back on and even have to use the blankie, konking for another however longer. first time to use a blankie to konk on the boat this tour. fratello ste rousts me for gig time just after ten and stumble out the boat and into the pad, not all the way together but happy to make the interesting way the stage steps are put together: a wood box to a chair to a speaker cab - obviously I get big time help from helperman tanar, most grateful watt. I introduce the band and we bring the set. still I think I'm miming the first number but it ain't cuz soundman dave ain't trying - I hear feedback and have to move the mic back. so glad there's a fan cuz whoa, it's humid in here. the oly gig-goers are bitchin', very kind and give good spirit. fratello ste is having some challenges, I wonder if he can hear the rhythm section ok? he still does good though and fratello andrea is whupping it real good. I blow some clams but way less than last night. I do pirate as strong as I can, kind of tricky but what do I got to lose? respect to mr robert newton, inventer of a talk, 'pert-near like a style of working bass! we get near the end and damn if I don't discover I got my fucking gig shirt inside out - what! oh man, it is dark inside the boat! what a dumbfuck. I apologize to everyone. that's what I get for using only a couple of buttons, lazy motherfucker.

   chirs from spokane band bullets or balloons has recently moved here and invites to his pad to konk. his wife susie's so kind, having her boy dawson get me something to drink. beautiful people, so very nice to us all. second friday of the tour, "talk like a pirate day" now over, my final words before konking are in pedro-speak.

saturday, september 20, 2014 - ballard, wa

from andrea:

   I woke up with a good breakfast cooked by Suzy, with mushroom and cheese omelette and coffee pie. I called Rocco and Francesca from Hobocombo via Skype. I played with Suzy's son Dawson on a trampoline. We leave their house at around 13:00, and went to a pizza restaurant called Old School Pizza next to the Capitol Theatre, because Tanar invited everyone to have lunch there. While we were waiting for the pizza, I found another record shop around the corner where I bought a copy of "a clockwork orange" soundtrack, I like Wendy Carlos' music. The pizza with sausage and pepperoni was good as well as the one with fried eggplants and cashew, maybe a bit heavier than the italian one but ok. Tanar told us he've been touring touring since he was 15 years old for more than 10 yearsŠ We drove from Olympia to Ballard, in the Seattle area, and it took about 2 hours. The venue is called Tractor. The sound men Oly, was already there, so we had time to load in, do the sound check and walk a bit around the neighborhood, which has been gentrified within the last 5 years, and before was a fishermen's area. I went into a second hand bookstore where I found Homage to Catalonia", which costed 2 dollars but I only had 1,5 dollars. One man standing behind me offered to pay one dollar more, because he said he love that book too much. Nice surprise, very neat, I felt good karma from them. I joined Lite Stefano and Hiyori at a Thay restaurant where I had a beef Pho.They served the beef meat raw, and it had to be cooked in the hot soup. I remember Carla Bozulich told me about this, that the meat should have been served raw. I add a really spice pepper, very strong. I looked in the Hiyori's bowl and she put four of them, That's why she was crying! Then I went into a record store close to the venue, which had an incredible amount of vinyls, and a lot of rarities, but awfully expensive, every record costed minimum 18 $, really unfair and upsetting. I came back to the venue and met a guy who was at the Olympia show the day before.

   I saw Lite playing a great show, the last of their 11 together with us. Then we came up on stage and did our best for the crowded club. It was a cool evening this time as well, the people were standing in front of the stage listening carefully and sometimes trying to dance. We played the last song, Zoom, with Lite, seven people on stage. Jun, Akinori, Kozo and Noboyuki all together on stage, we had a lot of fun. Akinori standed up with his snare drum and let it be played by the audience, Kozo played percussive bass lines with Mike where Kozo and Noboyuki did both guitar solos. It was good fun.

   After the show I met Sandy Glaze and Eddy Vedder, Mike's long time friends, and Bill, Eddy's helper man, with which we chatted and drink a couple of beers. Eddie invited Mike to paddle at this place the following day. We stayed at Sandy and Steve's place, a beautiful old victorians style two stories house. We all had fun in the big kitchen and eaten some ravioli with pesto alls genovese. I was really tired so I went to bed after half an hour.

from stefano:

   We have another nice breakfast thanks to Susie. we stay at their place until midday. just after we go in a pizzeria downtown where Taner one of the two sound engineer of the capitol offers us two big pizzas! marvel superheroes graffiti out on the wall. i like the xmen a lot.

   We leave for Seattle. Beautifull town. the harbour is huge. beautifull. great sunny weather. it is great to smell the sea. It is the last gig for LITE than they will go back to Tokyo. so we go have dinner for the last night all togheter in a very simple but actually very good vietnamese pho-soup restaurant . they only makes pho. i take the tofu one of corse. i'm going to miss this guy. they are nice people. i actually talk for the first time with Yuriko that is traveling with LITE. she works for live-nation. after dinner i have coffee. Than we meet Eddie Vedder, Bill and Sandy.

   Good Audience, warm and excited. Holly at the desk mixes us well. We play good and we do a long zoom anchor with all the Lite brothers today: two basses (Jun and Mike) three guitars (Nobuyuki, Kozo and me) drums and percussions (Andrea and Akynori). it has been great to end this way. Everyone feels happy about the night. Eddie is very kind and nice. he invite us for the day after at his place to do kayaking in the bay. Then we go sleep at Sandy house. She lives there with her husband Steven and their dog -very excited and barking-such a beautiful house. they made ravioli with pesto . they actually have found a very good pesto. it tastes fresh and really much from liguria, the original area for basil pesto, which is also my born region in italy. We stayed up a bit longer than usual cause it is the last night all togheter night . I have been always smoking some cigarettes with Jun and Andrea in the night before going to sleep. i set the alarm and go sleep upstairs with Andrea in comfortable bed.

from watt:

   pop at nine and am so glad I hosed-off last night, so much better not being filthy when you konk. susie makes coff to go w/toast, eggs and bacon she also cooks up for me. very kind. the weather is really happening, very much like back home for me. I speak of the scarab w/fratello andrea, a creature that's always amazed me and no wonder old egypt used it for a sign of infinity cuz it grows its chow in a ball of its own turd it pushes around w/a stick. we get to talking next about koi and I always remember this real old one wrong like a baka think kaka-something ('haka' is jap for boneyard) but then after searching further confuse it was ghost in japan that lives in public toilets called hanaka-san when what I want is hanaka-koi who lived 226 years. I've done this like a fucking dozen times - why can't a fucking burn this into my head like I was using red-hot branding iron on myself? fucking baka mike-san. I see andrea susie's son dawson on the trampoline - whoa, dawson can do total flips! thank god andrea doesn't try that, just up and down a couple times and then a bounce on his ass. susie's a nurse dealing w/old people - no filter when they talk, she's got some storie. chris has to fly to spokane (we'll play w/him there tomorrow night) so susie's talking w/me about things like this and other stuff, dawson joining us a little later and asking me about europe and things - he's quite an intelligent young man, respect!

andrea belfi + dawson (l to r) in olympia, wa on september 20, 2014

andrea belfi + dawson (l to r) in olympia, wa on september 20, 2014

andrea belfi + dawson (l to r) in olympia, wa on september 20, 2014

   pull-anchor time at one and a half and head to near where we played last night, a pizza pad called "old school pizza" where last night's helperman tanar works cuz he invited us to chow lunch here. he syas olympia pizza has cashews on it so we try that, it's trippy and he's so kind. we shove off for ballard part of seattle right after chowing it, the nakama having to catch up and which they do. sixtyeight miles but it takes two hours cuz lots of traff and a huge accident on the I-5 but going the other way! fucking lookie-loos. I hope everyone's ok but what does causing a plug (and the potential for causing another wreck) by gawking like buttsucks?

   the pad we're playing tonight is called the tractor tavern and soundman oly has us load in the back and the boat gets to drop anchor where it is, totally fucking righteous. oly's a great cat and after check I chow w/another soundman, a man I did some tours w/in the past named terry. I chow a "hat burger" at "hattie's" a few doors down and catch up w/stuff w/him and his lady. so good to see him again - hell, last time I played this pad he was the soundman for us! I go to the boat and konk.

   I pop when lite's set starts somehow but w/in a few tunes I am back out again (not their fault, just my tired baka ass) 'til fratello andrea comes and rousts me. whoa, run into ed vedder on the way to the stage, big hugs and I'm so glad he gets to see il sogno del marinaio cuz he's seen lots I've been involved in. man if I don't make sure he gets to see me blow some clams cuz for sure there's some of them I got going tonight, fuck. they ain't real terrible but aaarrrggghh, baka mike-san. they ain't any boat-sinkers but a little embarrassing. well one threatened, not getting on the one right w/fratello andrea on the last part of "sailor blues" and I'm so glad he counted me back in to get on board right. I'm kind of distracted by my bass sound too - first time on tour. I think I even turned up too loud and try to deal w/that at some point, tighten up the bottom also. damn if I didn't blow the same clam in "skinny cat" as I did in an earlier gig this tour, baka. the bass solo at the end was that to together also - aaaaarrrrgggghhh, baka. there's some good stuff I do though and damn if the fratelli ain't working it real good. I'm proud of them. the folks have us back and soundman oly's was kind enough to loan us an amp for both nobuyuki and jun so all the lite brothers can join on a big "zoom" jam out, they're beautiful. it's been weighing on me some, last gig w/them... I'm kind of sad inside. I love these guys.

   they're excited to see ed, so glad ed got to see them. the gig-goers were very kind during the gig and likewise after... there's many cats I've seen come to see me so many times, there's carlos who had me on his record to help homeless kids - and there's one cat has "econo" tattooed on his chest that puts a strong feeling on me for some reason. I grew up in navy housing so I've seen tattoos big time all my life but this was... uh... I hug the man. that reminds me, someone last night was asking me about clockhammer - a tennessee band and it brought back a flood of memories. music is an intense thing w/me. I'm gonna miss the lite brothers. lots of cats tonight thank me for bringing them - all these gigs I've had folks tell me that. respect to open-minded gig-goers everywhere!

   me and ed talk about some old times on the loading dock, make plans for paddling tomorrow. we head over to sandy and steve's on capitol hill, going through some crazy saturday behavior but make it safe and drop anchor to very familiar kindness - I go back w/sandy more than thirty years. the lite brothers arrive for our last konk together. sandy and steve are the best hosts ever and I even get into my nightwear for the first time of the tour, konking where I always konk here. beautiful.

sunday, september 21, 2014 - spokane, wa

from andrea:

   I woke up with Stefano's alarm clock at 8:30. It took a bit to realize what time it was, but at the end I put my feet on the floor at 9:20. The night before Mike told us we had to leave at about 10 am, but we had breakfast quite late, Kozo told me they've been drinking all nigh till 6am, so that's why Mike was still sleeping, which is unusual. Sandy cooked for all of us a fantastic breakfast, while Steve was watching The Giants' american football match, screaming it out loud. The sun was shining, and after breakfast, at around 11:00, we drove to the Seattle sound with Lite and Sandy. We arrived at Ed's half an hour later. I got a kayak from him and paddled with Mike, Sandy and Kozo, while Ed was on his stand up paddle board. What a great experience. I love paddling. I've been doing it in Croatia, on the Istria's peninsula and in Berlin, on the Spandauer lake, so I knew how to work with it, but the real emotion was sharing the experience with fratello Mike, who's been writing and talking about paddling all the time. Plus it has been simply fantastic and exciting being invited by Ed at his place and to share this great with good people. We said goodbye to Ed, Sandy and Lite, who had their flight to Tokyo at 19:00. We drove a few hours through the mountains on the east side of Seattle, than the trees started disappearing from the landscape, unttil it became a desert land. We've eaten a sandwich at Subway and arrived in Spokane on time for loading in. Arriving in Spokane was an interesting experience, it is not unusual for me to drive for long time and then enter in a city, like in Berlin for example, but here there is really nothing between Seattle and Spokane, only huge empty pieces of land.

   We didn't have the time to do the soundcheck, so we set up the instruments below the stage. Then we went two stories up to the backstage and eat some tacos with beef and raw onions. The first act of the evening was computer and vocal rap duo, Orensha, the guy at computer had a funny cowboy hat. I'm not a big fun of rap, but I liked how these guys were trying to play it really hard. While Orensha were playing I spent some time talking with a guy, I can't remember his name (sorry!!), really nice guy, a big Watt fan. He already knew our music. He told me how he moved to Spokane for work, and how the quality of life is quite good there. While we were talking a guy came to us asking for a cigarette, so he also told us he was just released from prison because he stole some items from a shop and he had a razor blade in his pocket considered by policemen a weapon. Weird. In fact the guy I was talking with is a lawyer...Bullets and Balloons started playing after. Chris from Olympia plays guitar in this trio. Our show went pretty well, and people really dug it.

   After the show, we pack up immediately, and go to Dalton's house in the outskirts of Spokane. There were a few other people besides Chris and Cory from Bullets or Ballons. Dalton works on a maruiana company, since mariuana was legalized in the state of Washington, three months ago. After a beer and a lot of chat with these nice guys I went to bed, again on a double sized bed with Ste, in the brand new sleeping bag Mike bought for this tour.

from stefano:

i wake up at 8 o'clock to help Sandy to prepare breakfast for all of us. I peels a lot of potatoes, zucchini , onion and peppers. Brother Jun helps as well with the cutting. we have a great breakfast. weather is wonderfull. sunday morning, Steven is watching the football match on tv and fratello Mike is excited about the kayaking coming .i found an acoustic guitar with steel strings and i play a little bit out in the sun. we leave and we go on the bay at Eddie place. A very nice house which faces directly on the coast. He welcome us with some coffee and show us a bit around. a game you play with an axe..crazy stuff and a beautifull old car he got from Neil Young. He is very friendly, straight and humble, often not so easy for people that has reached that kind of success to keep these qualities so fresh i guess. It is very easy to get compromised by success. Much respect for him. Fratelli Mike and Andrea, Sandy, Eddie and Jun go for kayaking. i stay on the beach drinking the coffee, watching the bay and the company getting further in the ocean with their Kayak. I put my feet in the cold water. they come back, i help fratello Mike to get out of the Kayak. There are stones and the ground is slippery and his knee is compromised so is his equilibrium. It can be very dangerous for him. We take some pictures and we say hello and we split. LITE brothers are going back to Japan. We go to Spokane. It seems to me that first chapter of the tour ends here and we are going into a new one. The time in Pedro seems already far and at the same time everything has passed quickly. Far from the coast there is another vibe. More remote i would say and slow. and we are now four and not ten anymore. Here Chris on guitar and singing opens with his band, a good trio, tapping bass player and powerful drumming by Cory. Also oranshea a duo, local rapper and dj plays before. Jason is doing the sound and we go sleep at one of his friends house. we spend sometimes with nice people speaking all togheter: Cory, Chris and some friends of them. I speak with Doug?-i think is his name but damn i am not sure- that has been in italy close to verona and in germany when he was a child cause his father was in the armyand then they got back to Spokane. i go sleep.

from watt:

   pop at ten - damn, gotta bail quick to ed's... out of the nightwear for me. sandy's already got breakfast cooked - I shovel eggs and taters, she did real good like always she does. I wheel us over to west seattle, we got beautiful weather and damn if it ain't gonna be my first time paddlin' a kayak in puget sound! ed's got sit-on-top kayaks for fratello andrea, sandy and myself - brother jun joining us when the lite brother's arrive. ed's up on one of those stand-up paddle boards. it's the first time for sandy and brother jun paddling... damn, they all three do real good. the water is really calm and no big real current like maybe I was thinking, like of a san francisco bay sitch. it's actually calmer than a lot of mornings I paddle in my pedro town (I do tuesday/thursday/saturdays). man, it feel righteous to move my arms like this, love it. I will say for this late in the day (noon), nothing like our harbor who's got the nickname hurricane gulch w/up to twenty knot gusts - it's one reason I shove off at the crack, get done before ten am.

brother jun paddling in pugent sound on september 21, 2014

andrea belfi + ed vedder paddling in pugent sound on september 21, 2014

sandy glaze paddling in pugent sound on september 21, 2014

mike watt paddling in pugent sound on september 21, 2014

while we're paddlin', ed tells me about this skin disease called eb he's working w/folks to fight, I think this is happening. we get in and gotta pull anchor but first sandy gets a shot w/tossing an axe, crimony! the oar house ed's been working on is a proj he told me, the cat here before was a huge shit horder so like many dumpsters worth of dumping have been involved. I like it, maybe adding a hammock on the porch here - brother matt back in pedro konks on a hammock on his balc at the love grotto lots of times. big hug for ed and then, well... it's last hugs w/the lite brothers, I give them all big ones each... big BIG feelings in my heart for them. I tell them to write me email as soon as they get home to tokyo so I don't worry.

   it's one when we pull anchor and rolling back eastward, sandy passes us going back home - bye sandy! we continue east out of town on I-90 cuz our third washington state gig for this tour's in the border w/idaho, in spokane. over the cascades and into ellensburg which is the home of the screaming trees who I took as openers for their first two ever tours. so glad mark lanegan's still going cuz I really dig his voice, great singerman. we stop for fuel and fratello takes the wheel from me, I chow a tuna sandwhich from the subway chow pad hooked onto the gas station. from my ipod fratello ste chooses ramones, boris and t-rex plus one marcia ball tune that plays over and over 'til we get wise. you can imagine when the espanol lessons come on, que chingau! at ellensberg I pull us over to get gas for the boat and a subway sandwich for my gut, we switch ponies and fratello ste takes the wheel - he know how to work this radio and get's some albert ayler up.

   it's six pm when we hit spokane and just north of downtown is the hop which is where we're gonna play. I don't think I've ever played here but then again for some reason I think I did but in the back of my mind I think I'm fucking wrong. maybe it's my fourth or fifth time in this town but it wasn't 'til the early 2000s I think I was able to get gigs here. everyone at this pad is very nice. no soundcheck but it makes sense - doors are in an hour! soundman jason's very cool people, we understand the sitch and he'll be our fourth man on the fly. nice green upstairs, I dig it. cookerman dustin comes up to the green room we're in to take chow orders from us. I ask for the greek taco cuz I never had one. fratello andrea is great, he orders a cheeseburger w/no bacon, then after fratello ste asks for veg and is offered black bean tacos he asks for a salad that has tomatoes and salad (sic) but then after miss hiyori asks for a salad and fries he says he changes his mind and wants greek tacos instead. now that's some great improvising, bravo! here's something trippy, people say our name il sogno del marinaio is a mouthful to say but imagine when it's spelled wrong like on the poster here: IL SOGNO DEL MARINAOI! phonetically it's like this: ILL SO-NYO DEL MAR-EE-NAYE-OH - really, it ain't that tough. I just asked if we could have italian name for band so people might understand it's not a mike watt side project but its own band. anyway, I don't blame people if they think what they think... I do think it's easier to understand when they see us play though, that's what's great about this tour.

   I hear openers orensha and bullets or balloons - no konk in the boat for me tonight. chris' band has really wrenched it up since me and my missingmen last (first) played w/them, whoa, good job! they help me w/some inspiration though I'm pretty fired up to rally after that choke las night w/all the clams in portland... we do a little check in front of everybody (love that shit) and then we bring. gig-goers show good spirit, I'm digging gig and got good connect w/my fratelli. one of the tags of "stucazz?!!" has me clamming it but mostly I'm pretty together and that I can tell you is a great feeling after kvetching much about something now in the past and out of your hands. man, wish I could go back and fix the portland one but tour is forward go, like perry would say: "be a hardcharger, mike" so I go. the padboss tommy sure is kind - as I said before, everyone here at the hop, respect from watt.

   chris now of olympia (and of b or b) has a buddy named nick who's got a buddy named dalton that has us konk not too far away in spokane valley. dalton's nice people and got some cool folks there where we have some good spiel. bullets or balloon's drummerman relates interesting story about doing gig w/a band sharing bill w/band that was not so kind, their drummerman having much 'tude and starts trying to egg on a fight, using words for gasoline so what does this man do in response? he starts socking himself in the face w/his own fists 'til that wannabe aggressor ran away in fear. trippy strategy but it worked, congrats on the quick thinking, respect. he took blows for it but at least it was his own blows - I can tell he's a good man. the konk pad connectman nick's got a lot questions about the old days, interesting stuff he asks and is most genuine. he wants lots to know about me and d. boon, like from the days before minutmen even but also how we put it together. on a side thing I share a story about me and perk in las vegas one time before a banyan gig. good cats in my life have had incredible effect on me, most profound. old punk was about people, so is new punk, I think. konk time not so late, ok.

monday, september 22, 2014 - boise, id

from andrea:

   We woke up at 7:15, an hour before we were expecting to wake up, as Mike woke up early and remembered we had to drive to another Time Zone, so we had to leave one hour before...we had to drive for 425 I was really tired this morning. Mike drive the first hours, then I drove for three hours. Before driving I got a Red Bull, that usually never affected me too much, but this time worked pretty well. But when I wanted to take a nap, my body was too active, but my mind really tired. I was in a very bad mood for a couple of hours. Touring has its own high and low... anyway we drove through the Cascades Range incredible then on the Columbia plateau with its amazing prairies, along the Oregon trail. We arrived in Boise at 17, right on time to the soundcheck at the venue Neurolux, with sound tech Lawrence. Before the soundcheck I was looking for a little snack, so I entered in the shop at the corner of the venue's block to get a Bagle with creeme cheese, but the waitress asked to wait 30 seconds and while I was waiting (5 minutes? jesus I was hungry!!) I realized this shop was also a record store, so I left the bar and bought two records, a Pearl before Swine LP and a Hawaian guitar record I bought because of the interesting cover design. I'm always checking for "Poly y su guitarra hawaiana" records, but they are difficult to find. After the soundcheck Stefano Hiyroi and I went to a Thay restaurant to eat a very spicy Pho while Mike was sleeping in the van. The downtown looks a bit of what I've seen in Columbus Ohio the first time I went in the US 15 years ago, new buildings, offices, malls and fancy restaurants. Many people dressed as they've just been out of the office, high heels and suits. We went back to the venue, where I spoke with Brian, with whom I found myself talking about politics and other interesting topics, really good guy. He finds books and clothes around and sell them on Amazon. He told me he sometimes goes fishing trouts around the mountains on rivers and creeks, that's something I would do if I would live in a place like Boise. He says there is Built to Spill guitarist waiting to see the show, Chiara my girlfriend in 1997 introduced me to that band, I liked them a lot. While the the first ban sneezzbole was playing I needed to warm up a bit my wrists by doing some stickings on a couch. I always have a couple of sticks in my backpack I use for that.

   The show we played was recorded and diffused live by radio boise. I had the feeling dome cues were a bit loose, but we worked the room and Boise people dug it out. We packed up right after the gig. We had 12 free drinks and we only used 4, so I got some beers to go. We went to Steff and Bart house, just about 4 miles from the venue. They have a nice little house. Stefano and I had two beds in the cosy basement. I had a bite of Brian's spaghetti al ragu and a beer. We had good time chatting a bit together before getting into my green sleeping bag.

from stefano:

   We leave early. We have a long drive coming plus we are getting into another time zone. We reach Bozie around 5pm. We do the sound check with Lawrence. i drink beer and i shit. Then we go eat in Thai restaurant downtown few blocks away from the venue. The Sin plays before us. they are a funny and good trio with green mask -hat we play a good concert with element of primus and clash. tonight gig is also broadcasted on the radio. i packed everything very fast and then we load the van pretty quick talking with people at the concert. They enjoyed we go sleep at Bart and Stephanie. i saw Stephanie and Bart in first line for all the gig. Along the road we saw huge boneyards of american soldiers form the 20's and the 40's. We spend some time talking. Stephanie has a strong character, she growed up in a mormon family and she was supposed to get married and all that kind of things some families expect form their children and society. Luckily life is more surprising and reach of possibilities, has more interesting and personal ways to prepare us to death. So she escaped from this family situation and punk rock helped her a lot. Her and Bart has a duo togheter bass and drums. Bart plays drums and toured with Mike years ago as helper man. I guess Bart is very much into comics cause there are many around. They have prepared pasta with meat sauce for us but i do not feel to eat just before konk -also i do not eat meat- .. But i drink some beers take couple of small carrots and smoke some cigarettes. it is late. i go sleep downstairs with fratello Andrea.

from watt:

   pop at seven, hose off and do the drip dry cuz can't find a towel but it's no big thing, just real grateful for dalton's hospitality and kindess. we gotta pull anchor at eight cuz I realized (slow-learner baka mode) that we're gonna lose an hour cuz of time zone change and there's also a trip through the mountains besides a number of miles to make. not too far east of spokanistan we fuel/subway, we're set from some hellride. east on I-90 for backtracking some which is kind of the way to go if you want highway and not curvy road which is the most direct route, us-395 for some southwest of the same to get to kennewick and the I-82 then across the columbia to get back into oregon, bye bye washington state. I get us into pendleton (yeah, home of the flannels w/the same name I dig much) at noon, fuel and switch ponies - andrea now at the wheel. I point out a flipped tractor/trailer on the other side of the freeway 'pert-near burned to the ground - driving is so fucking dangerous and it blows my mind how careless people are w/the risks they involve themselves and everyone they're sharing the road w/and collectively roping into their nightmare potential drama. I remember making this way through la grande in the winter as thudstick weilder in j mascis + the fog around fourteen years - we were going the other way and pulling a trailer but goddamn if that wasn't a pants shitter. fantasticly safe weather for us w/me here this time, fratello andrea handles it all real good as well as tripping on the idea of settlers from the old world trying to make this when it was part of the oregon trail. we cross into the mountain time zone and in ontario (not the canadian province!), last town before idaho, fratello ste takes the wheel from fratello andrea in the parking lot of a taco bell - fuck if we're chowing here.

heading into downtown boise on september 22, 2014

   it's a day later and I can't remember what fucking music we heard, sorry. I do know I did a phoner w/a writerman from portland - not the west one but the one back east in maine... we drop anchor in front of the nuerolux where we're playing tonight - I finish the excellent job fratello ste did getting here w/a parallel park only to find the "golden phoenix" china chow pad across the street has closed - no more wor won ton soup for me, damn. I do find a block or so away a pad called "zen bento" I thought was gonna be good but... I do another phoner w/a cat in madison that saw the minutemen - besides il sogno del marinaio he want's to talk about "double nickels on the dime" which I'm happy to do.

   time for soundcheck w/soundman lawrence. there's gonna be a live broadcast of the gig on radioboise so maybe that's a good thing to do. we wanna try out a new take on "il sogn del fienile" anyway. what do I find in my back wack 'puter sack but the fucking yellow mogami cord that goes from my bass to the amp... I never had lost it, it was under the julio cortazar "hopscotch" book I've been reading, I'm baka! sneezzbole are local guys who are gonna open, I get to meet thm and they're really nice cats, respect. I chimp the last of my diary and the go to the boat and konk real hard.

   fratello andrea rousts me for our set just before ten. we try this new way of doing "il sogno del fienile" and I think it works better than other time yet this tour but still we can get the dynamic more intense, we'll try again tomorrow... I think we're on the right path though. so glad the fratelli are w/me on this. I clam a figure in "animal farm tango" like a fucking choke, baka. have to say though (very softly) I did pretty ok especially for being conscious of the gig going over the air live, only a couple of a little ones, like in "stucazz?!!" for example but I've got a good grip now I think on the set which is a good thing cuz how many gigs for this tour now? clams can happen no matter what though w/me, that's why being conscious is important, being in the moment. the boise gig-goers are most kind, absolutely - warm hearts they share.

   real good pack and load up w/our team, really impresses me, respect. the gigboss eric and everyone here at the pad are beautiful. the weekly gave me a good piece too. bart and steph who had me over many times flows the righteous invite and I steer their way when we pull anchor, right past the boneyard. bart cooks up some peetz and spaghetti - not the famous bart handmade but still it's bart-made and is special anyway. I konk on the couch I always konk on.

tuesday, september 23, 2014 - salt lake city, ut

from andrea:

   When I put my clothes on, everybody was having already breakfast, and almost ready to leave. I had some eggs and potatoes Bart cooked, Hiyori and/or Stefano tell me my clothes were already clean showing me the cotton bag were they were. We "pulled anchor" at 9. At 9:20 I realized I forgot my clean clothes at Bart and Steff's! And my show shirt too!! I also left the vocal microphone in Eugene a few days beforeŠdamn. We drove through the californian trail were we saw breathtaking huge plains with mountains in the distance. Driving here during the winter should be a nightmare, as we saw a lot of snow barriers next to the road. At the end of the tour I want to make a map of the whole tour routing. We stopped at a gas station where I had a turkey and cheese cold sandwich, hot tea and a cake. I drove for a few hours, I usually don't like driving, that's why I got rid of my car two years ago, but here is quite different, there's so much space you can really relax and enjoy the landscape. When we came close to Salt Lake City, we started seeing the high peaks around the city area, and the salt lake on our right. I have been told this city was founded by the mormons, and this is confirmed by some mormons churches we saw in the distance, similar to the one I've in San Diego. We arrived at 15:30, set up the gear and waited for Brian, the sound tech. After the soundcheck we ate at the fancy restaurant next door, were I got my first hamburger in US. It was good. Kiiilling Tiger is the name of the first band. Good show and good crowd tonight as well. After the show we went to Don's, Mike's friend from San Pedro, who has a really nice house on the east side of the city. I took a quick shower in a bathroom where Don keeps two furets in a cage. Interesting animals, but maybe too similar to a rat to me. We talked a bit about international politics. I had a really comfortable bed, so I didn't need my sleeping bag for this night.

from stefano:

   i wake up at 7, take shower and the laundry that miss Hiyori has made for us and left on the laundry machine. i have both hands busy so i remind fratello Andrea to take his clean laundry. Bart has made some nice potatoes and eggs and coffee. We run out quickly and already on the freeway he realizes that fratello's Andrea laundry is not not on the van. In Salt lake city we play in a nice club the lounge something. airconditioning is loud and outside is great temperature .every places like that..The venue has an hipster restaurant just next door. i eat a veggie burger there. Kiiing tiger plays before us . They have a good sound and good singing part. Audience is warm and friendly and enjoys the gig. i think we played very good set for the first 5 songs but then we kind of go down a little bit. My amp definitely goes literally down in power a 20% per cent at least and i do not understand why.. maybe some tubes got too much heat. Brian We packed up and load pretty quickly. Gavin take couple of nice of photos with his camera and we go to Don house. Beautifull house. He is from Pedro too but he lives in Salt Lake City. He is an attorney a motorbike and musician as well. He played me some recordings he made with his band, with Mike and Nels Cline as guest in couple of tunes. Nice stuff. We drink some beers and here starts and interesting conversations about some important american histories moments and how american foreign politics has build up on the fact of faciliting cirisis situations in order to get more power and control on these places and people and, in this sense, using people like puppets. a politics that actually pays bad stuff back. Fratello Mike reminds about "Il Principe" by Macchiavelli very important and interesting work in this sense. we have to leave early so we go sleep soon. i take a shower and i lie on a bed in a room alone for the first time on this tour.. the other one was in sacramento but that was open air.

from watt:

   pop at seven to cut beard off of face but actually I was up on and off all night cuz terrible terrible akumu ('nightmare' in jap), some of the worst I've had ever. fuck were they torture, lots of them having me up on precarious shit like tall buildings or cliffs - I got acrophobia pretty much so these were terrifying and would not let go, they just wouldn't. on the couch, on the deck - w/and w/out blankie, awful twisting and turning, crimony. bart pops and gets stovetop coff percolating and that helps some, even more though is the great taters/saus/and scrambled eggs he cooks up for all of us. good man, bart and so is steph - she pops right before we gotta shove off, big hugs for both.

mike watt + bart bell (l to r) in boise, id on september 23, 2014

pull anchor at ten. east on I-84 (first a little I-82), when the gauge gets to three quarters empty, I gas up in wendel - what, 85 octane? well, the boat can handle. I remember my older boats would ping like a motherfucker if you tried something like that. we continue east - we gotta load in at four bells cuz of a six - nine pm curfew at the gig pad. we pass mountain home which is the town "the sand pebbles" author richard mckenna was from, love that book much and likewise steve mcqueen in the movie version. the fratelli are again amazed by the wide open spaces they're seeing go by the boat as we plow on. the snake river crossing our way a bunch and sometimes in huge gorges that are mindblows. get across the border into utah about a quarter of two and switch ponies in snowville, fratello andrea now at the helm. he plays t-rex's "electric warrior" from his ipod. south on I-15, first time the fratelli see the great salt lake though not the best view, especially w/the flying j refiner in the way. the traff is surprisingly light, most happening. we've been listening to the john coltrane "offering: live at temple university" cd - it's his bday today... he would've been eightyseven. respect to him.

   w/twenty minutes to go we get to just outside of downtown and to the urban lounge to make the load-in time gigboss will asked us to try and make. we do soundcheck w/soundman ryan pretty quick and use the extra time to work on "il sogno del fienile" and "alain" parts. then w/the voucher for next door to get a steak that's got french fries on the side, kind of like sliced cazzo - before it came I checked email and am very glad to see I got one from my ma cuz when I called yesterday (it was sunday, when I mostly do) I got her machine... she wrote she was konked cuz flu has been her but glad to hear my message. she also said there was a big fire on the docks in wilmington, the town us in pedro share the port of los angeles w/big black smoke from old creosote warehouses burning (it got started from a welding accident) choking folks out for a while and closing all eight container terminals half of long beach's six, crimony. my ma's gonna be eighty in december so I worry. after doing chew toy w/the cazzo steak, I go to the boat and get in some much need konk, do it hard.

   fratello ste rousts me a little after ten. I get a call on my leash from nanny in pedro, she had to put down her dog wilson-man that I loved much. I do gig for him tonight. they're playing "a love supreme" before we going on, so nice of soundman ryan to be so beautiful about that. I will do gig for him also. I learn on stage the band that opened the gig was kiiing tiger and not the one listed on the poster. I'm sorry for sounding like a baka. we bring our set and first tune is getting better, yeah, it's got promise this way I think. same w/what we did in "alain" - I like the record versions but like w/our "animal farm tango" we gotta adapt it tour our live experience. we get much kindness from all but three of the gig-goers which I say cuz for the first time il sogno del marinaio gets to experience yammerers, these guys are oblivious to bogarting the space we give while working our "nanos' waltz really small. we finish the tune and I apologize to them if we interrupted them cuz there is a tiny loud part in it. I like the way the gig goes down, feel good about playing w/the fratelli and they're pretty much tearing it up.

   I go sit by the table where the merch gets slung like what we did in europe and meet w/lots of kind folks there to give the good word, I'm most grateful. I get thanked lots for bringing the fratelli to the u.s., I like that a lot. I meet a bunch of bass cats, one w/a band called thunder sak which I think is a great name. there's jon from the massacre guys (played w/the minutemen once in this town!) and the boxcar kids - good to see him again! my buddy donzo from pedro's lived here for years and he invites us on over to konk, something he's done many many times. he's just the best. I settle w/will's brother mike - will gave us some pacifico beers which is so very kind. at donzo's I'm digging the two ferrets who live in a cage in his head, they are trippy. fratello andrea knows about turkey political stuff regarding kurds and donzo is very interested - he's got books on history stuff on a bookcase he's got right in his dining room. I konk where I always konk here: in front of the fireplace but tonight it ain't lit.

wednesday, september 24, 2014 - denver, co

from andrea:

   Don cooked breakfast for us in the morning, eggs with onions and red pepper, and fried minced meat. I picked a couple of his tomatoes directly from the plants next to the kitchen, and they were really tasty. I asked Don a razor blade, and I realized I lost my shaving creme too. We left Don's house at 8:00, and by 8:30 I was already sleeping in the back seat. I slept for about an hour, and when I woke up we were still driving trough the Wasatch Mountains. I really love this kind of salty breakfasts, but I'm not really used to this kind of food so early in the morning, that's probably why, besides of touring tiredness, makes me feel a bit sleepy sometimes in these days, especially in the morning. I tend follow the "act like a local" rule of traveling anyway, so it makes things much easier for me and everyone else. We drove through the Rocky Mountains, on the Interstate 80, left Utah and crossed Wyoming direction Denver, Colorado. Wyoming is the less populated state in the whole U.S., so the amount of cars is so little that they have very small numbers on their car's plates. I was really shocked by the amount of mobile homes along the interstate. I got to know they are homes for mine workers. It must be really hard living in those conditions, with no real cities around and a dry landscape that become a "hell" in the wintertime, with wind and snow for many months. I asked Mike about his italian relatives, and finally after 2 hours (!) I understood the whole family tree and his italian connection. I drove for about 200 miles and saw wild caribous, eagles, and herds of cows quietly pasturing. Stefano drives drives after me for the last 80 miles, from Cheyenne to Denver along the Interstate 25 , where we hit a bit of traffic caused by a trailer which fell off the road and turned upside down. We arrived where the venue Larimer Lounge in Denver from the new downtown and its skyscrapers, to the old downtown, made out of two stories red brick buildings. Mike taught me how to make a U turn in the US on a simple intersection. When we were loading in I saw some water coming form the air conditioner on stage, so I asked to Jason, the sound tech, to fix, because it would otherwise drop water on Mike's head during the shoe. He taped a white towel on the ceiling. Before the soundcheck I was starving, so we ordered some Chinese food for everybody. It wasn't simple but at the end the food arrived an hour later (Szechuan spicy pork and vegetables with rice). While eating in the green room we met Jay Fox, the bass guitarist and singer of the first band Pollution and the host for tonight.

   The venue was quite full, and right before the end of the set the towel that was hanging on the ceiling fell down, hitting Mike's back, but the people were so much warm that we had to play the anchor for them, which is the song I composed "Zoom". After the show, I talked with a few nice people, and some of them helped us loading in the van. We left Larimer Lounge something like 30 minutes after the end of the show to Jay Fox's house, where I did a shower and a had a beer before crashing in the little cozy bedroom they built in their basement.

from stefano:

Don prepares nice breakfast for us with eggs, cheese and vegetable and we taste tomatoes from his garden and coffee of course. we say hello and we go. we cross the rocky mountains, the land is intense. wyhoming is the less dense state in the country if i got it correctly . the human presence is very spread. Mostrly mine workers. the Mountains formations and the mesa profiles are shaped by the force of wind and time. Some rocks just stand alone here and there in a bizarre way. why these are there? there will be some sort of explanation that i ignore. Some long trains goes parallel to the I 80. Fratello Mike's Mum was born in this land. her grandpa Carlo Piaia moved from DolomitI mountains in italy to this land. we take us some time to understand Mike's family three. we all get confused but i the end we got it, Sometimes i think fratello Mike sometimes overvalued our english. He thinks we understand everything but actually this is not the reality. we do not know a lot of words and often for me is really a sound problem. we are not really used to some of his way to pronounce words. a lot of word in enghlish are just a syllab sound. It required focus, intuition some time and a lot of questions like :" what you said?" "what that mean?". we have a long drivings. i continue to read my book.. i am almost at the end.we arrive in Denver around 6:00 pm. i tell a little driving drama episode here: i am driving. Mike is giving directions. I am driving safe and keeping focus on his instructions -starbust-port middle lane left lane ecc. Everything goes ok until we arrive close to the venue. We pass the entrance door so we have to do a u turn on a cross. fratello Mike wants me to go a bit right and then left to make the turn and i am not sure if a car is coming behind me- in europe we really do not do that because it is kind of confusing for who is behind you and also you cannot do a U turn on a cross generally.- and i am in the middle of the road so i just make a left and do the U turn. But Fratello Mike says NO here cause i get too close to the border. Then we go around the buildings. Traffic lights are red but here in the States you can turn right if the lights are red -unless there is a sign about -not turn on red- and we are really not used to this. So fratello Mike tell me "you can go" and i go but actually i should have stop first and i did not. Fratello Ste you have to stop AAAARggg.. sorry i am confused. i was looking, no car coming but i did not stop so kind of baka. Second cross same story i am going very slow and there is nobody coming but i do not really stop. I do baka but more i do baka more fratello Mike gets his voice louder and more i get stress and i do Baka. i fell more focus if i just look at the gps and watch the street. Following his instructions and driving on the road kind of confuses me So in parking the van in front of the venue i go a little bit on the pedestrian board and fratello Mike "whatch out" kind of loud and here i loose a bit my patience and i say "please do not yell cause i do worst then". I feel sorry about cause i am not upset with him. it is kind of frustration about by confusion i put out and i think in general he does good to "achtung" us about stuff but also i know that if i get too stressed i do mistake more easily. Hiyori reminds me there is no reason to get upset. She is right. Anyway the venue is a bit falling apart.. Air conditioning -always very high- is slippering water on the fall. Fratello Andrea orders some chinese and we eat in the backstage. Fratello Mike tell me to open my lucky biscuit and i find "look inside within and find yourself" :) and fraetllo Mike finds "don't try to understand yourself and use your social skilness to help others". ahahah perfect for both in this situation. The gig is a good one.. a lot of people show up, we play a good set and there is a lot of enthusiasm around. We spoke a bit with Joey and Chris and other kind people. We go sleep at Jay house. he opened with his band before us. kind like a noise new wave punk quartet. a good one. i help him to load in his stuff in his garage. i go sleep immediately cause i am tired.

from watt:

   pop at seven knowing we gotta shove in an hour. the next two days have 540 mile drives, this first one pointed at denver, the next will be from there to omaha. I know: too much information so let's stick w/today. donzo's cooking up eggs w/onions and other stuff, he cuts up casaba melon slices also. there's some ground pork he's fried up also so I combine w/jalapenos and fold an english muffin half around as much as it'll hold and chow it. thank you, donzo. I'll see him later this year in pedro cuz he's been having me and my secondmen be his band for an album of songs he's written. big hugs for him, we pull anchor.

   yet another happening morning of sun and good weather for us, praise be. northeast on I-80, I wheel us through the canyons the people who founded this town arrived from, much construction but road conditions the best. it was near wyoming on this road maybe twentyfive or so years ago I hit black ice and the boat (it was a 1974 ford econoline then) did about a 270 but I did keep up on all fours wheels as we spunaround into the infield, georgie screaming his lungs out in terror, I don't blame him cuz it was one of the biggest full-on pants-shitter of my life ever. thank god I turned into the spin and kept my foot of the brake... we spared a major hell, truly. I was shaking so bad after that georgie had to take the wheel. I mind won't even let me remember exactly where it happened but I do get kind of sense where it was - actually I don't care if I ever know. I'm just grateful we got to live and tell the tale. we get into wyoming around 10:30 and I gas us up, the fratelli tripping on the border giant fireworks stores - it is a trip how these are, calling their stuff "artillery" and things like that. I drive us through green river and where my ma was born and grew up 'til high school, near rock springs, a small coal town that's a ghost one now called dines cuz it was a company town so when the coal went, so did...

heading east through wyoming on the I-80 on september 24, 2014

crossing the continental divide in wyoming on the I-80 on september 24, 2014

   at noon we switch ponies at a small town called point of rocks at noon w/fratello andre but soon we gotta pull over again cuz he's gotta blow it our, his guts making much hard work for him. my ipod has stopped working w/the new radio I got for the boat, damn it. fratello andrea puts in his machine (no prob w/it working) to stuff his stronzos into our ears, I know not the fartists. the fratelli are amazed of the landscape outside the boat and coming through the window. just of outside of cheyenne we pass the yellowstone supercomputer complex, crimony! yeah, a little far from yellowstone (other side of the state) but whoa... a little bit after, around three and a half fratello andrea gets us on I-25 south and then gives fratello ste the wheel for the last hundred miles w/a quick stop at a flying j (love that name). we go through fort collins, that's where billy from the descendents has been for the longest time. there's on and off plug as we get closer to denver but damn if we don't make it to the old downtown and the larimer lounge just a little after when we're supposed to, whew... we made it safe and in good spritis. this'll be my third time I think here and the soundman jason has got a good spirit, he helps us build a soundcheck.

   done w/check, fratello andrea orders for us some chinese chow delivery. I get wor wonton soup that's kind of plain but still good and I dig it. soup is good for me on the road, truly a happening kind of tour chow in my case. jay arrives - his band the pollution is the other band for tonight and he's also asked us to konk at his pad, much respect for his kindness again (me and my missingmen have also konked w/him). he really helped get the word out about the gig too, most bitchin' of him. so glad we got this spot right out front for the boat... I konk there hard.

   fratello ste comes to roust me and I pop but then right after konk again - I thought the roust was part of a dream! luckily I second-guessed my self and pushed out through the hatch and into the pad. the denver folks are way ready for us to bring, such a warm welcome - crimony! it has a great effect on us, I can feel the fratelli playing to them, working the room but w/out corn or cheese, they do it most genuine. we have a good gig, not so many clams from me either. near the end I get hit in the head w/a wet towel - what? I keep going though and don't weird out - I am sweaty so maybe somebody wanted to help out or something. I only realized after the gig it have fallen from the overhead, they got a leak upstairs. anyway, such good joint effort w/us and the denver gig-goers, truly! we get done and get the chance to sign a bass and rap w/many kind cats filled w/the good word. thank you grazie thank you grazie... I even get to meet jon (read our spiel here) who saw the minutemen w/black flag, my first time ever in denver - big hug for him!

   we follow jay to his pad which even w/out a handrail up the stairs is for most righteous. right away I hose off and get into my nightwear, fuck yeah. we get to rap much about vietnam chow and all kinds of stuff, jay's a most interesting man, respect for him from me, truly. I konk.

thursday, september 25, 2014 - omaha, ne

from andrea:

   I woke up at 7:15, and 30 seconds later Mike came in our room to make sure Stefano and I were awake, as we had to drive east for more than 500 miles again, direction Omaha. Jay Fox made a breakfast with a sandwich with tomatoes and pickles that he produces from his garden , plus a couple of eggs. The marinated pickles he made were amazing. He told me their house was built in 1920, then he shown me the backyard were they have a big apple tree and all the other plants (tomatoes, pickles, pumpkin, etc.).He told me he sometimes collect rotten apples using a club. Then his son came out and kicked a few apples dropped down from the tree. We left Jay's house at 8:00 am.

   It was another sunny and beautiful day. We took the East 6 north 85, then the E70 and finally the Interstate 80. We crossed the flatlands between Colorado and Wyoming, through North Platte, an infinite prairie that went all over east to Omaha. The interstate is just straight, no curves, for 800 km. We crossed the time zone in Wyoming. I learned that people in Colorado are called Prairie Schooner, where people in Kansas are called Cornhuskers. The prairie is all ocher and the clouds in the distance created a special perspective that made the big blue sky bigger than usual. We went throughout the so called pioneers trail. I checked about Michael Cimino's movie Heaven's Gate, that my wife and I watched and loved, and those were exactly the lands depicted in that movie. Just a few miles from Omaha the landscape changed, as many trees started to appear on the horizon. When we arrived into the city urban area, we crossed the nome river. We arrived at the venue Slowdown at around 17. It is in an old industrial area converted into a public space, with a bike shop, a few bars and some fancy apartments on the top floors. Next to these buildings there is a big baseball stadium, used only a couple of weeks per year for the national college championship. Slowdown's room smaller stage is next to a long bar counter. The room has high ceiling. Promoter Catherine from Alabama is nice and friendly. The sound tech is called Dan. During the soundcheck we met Fred, who later invited us to a pizzeria next to the venue, with some other friends. The pizza was ok, I ordered the vegetarian one, the only one in the menu without cheese, but at the end I got vegetables covered by a layer of creme cheese...Opening band tonight was Stephen Nichols, who was playing only with computer, slapping bass and crazy faces. He had a very small version of a head + cabinet Ampeg amp. After Stephen's set I woke up Mike, who was sleeping hard in the van. I brought him a tea Hiyori made for him. This time I shacked him stronger, as he suggested me the day before in Denver.

   The concert was quite difficult for me, the stage was quite difficult. Volumes on stage were crazy and I couldn't hear my voice at all. The guitar amp is right in my back screaming loud. Towards the end of the show there has been a long feedback trough the snare drum. So technical wise it was a bit weird, but it is a pleasure to play with Mike and Stefano every night. Again, the audience loved the show, and that means the world on stage was different from the sound world for the audience.

   Right after the show we went at Fred's, long time Watt's fan. His house is in the suburbs of Omaha, and it's a very nice one. He offered us tacos and beers.He take pictures of racing cars in the US and he showed us racing car photo books he loves. Fred offered us to sleep on an inflatable mattress, but I choose to sleep on the soft moquette.

from stefano:

   Another long driving. Jay and his wife make us a very nice breakfast. I had wonderful pickles zucchini coffee, eggs and fruit. we meet their son Matthew. he dose nice drawings and little art figure. we hit the road: this part of the Eisenhower interstate is just a straight line from Denver to Omaha. 10 hours driving on really fucking straight line. it sound more like an abstract trip but it is actually the reality! The club-slowdown?- is close to the new college baseball. Fred welcome us . he is a very big man. He has a nice photo camera and he helps us to load in. we are going to stay at his place in the night. He was shooting F1 race driving during the time of Michele Alboreto!. We do the soundcheck with Dan. Air-conditioning is always around, always hunting... and outside is actually great temperature. I have heard that Nebraska can get very humid. it is a big room so it is tricky to get a good sound i guess. The sound on stage is really tricky. i have to stay almost behind fratello Andrea to understand what is going on the stage. i can hear everything good from here. Fred wants to offer us dinner in a menu. He asks me what vegetarians actually eat. Also Roger with his daughter and a friend of him comes to eat with us. Steven opens the night with a slapping bass and base on laptop. People very warmy and enthusiast I guess we are playing well. I think we are getting better day by day but tonight was difficult because of the tricky sound. we go sleep at Fred. we watch to some funny car race history and photographic book and some shot Fred did in the past and then we go sleep.

from watt:

   pop at seven, we gotta pull anchor again at eight so I go and shave while jay cooks up fried egg and cheese sandwiches and I chow a couple along w/some pickles he made up a couple days ago. he's so kind. his son matthew's konked a buddy's pad last night and is here now along w/his lego creations - much more involved pieces now w/this stuff than the simple brick, flat and angle parts from what I remembered... actually what I really remember using them for war was just one scratch the hell out of the itch caused from athlete's feet I got from crawling through sewer and drain tunnels I used to do when I first moved to pedro from virginia. great weather for us which is great for the ride we gotta do - about as many miles as yesterday's but the land a lot more flat though we'll lose an hour cuz of leaving mountain time.

   northeast out of denver on I-76 in sterling I pull us over to get fuel and can't resist the fried chicken smell so roll the dice and get my first thigh and wing of the tour. I hip fratello ste to using paper towels along w/a squeegee to clean windows w/out also streaking them, he does a righteous job. merge into I-80 as we pass into nebraska (bye bye colorado) and I do a phoner w/michael azerrad for a "billboard" story on "double nickels on the dime" and he's most understanding about why it's hard for to tell him what bands minutemen influenced cuz damn if I don't feel like buffing much badge doing shit like that. I do tell him I think the idea of the minutemen being a band could inspire 'pert-near anyone to try the same if corndogs like us did it and that's something I can get behind. around noon we pause at a rest stop and I give him the wheel. a little past noon when we pass into the central time zone and lose an hour, we listen to some recording-only projs I've been involved in: mouthful, the hand to man band and toothless grin...

andrea belfi konked in the boat rolling through nebraska on september 25, 2014

   I tell the story of "short stay" which was me chowing some chicken soup from a swill joint I won't even name (there's a chain of them too) and damn if I ain't gotta blow it out ten minutes later - I know it was the "soup" cuz part of the blowout was the fucking noodles and they were the same kind I saw putting in my mouth. those motherfuckers must've been flying through my guts to blast out that quick and that soon, think about it: how long are your intestines? talk about fucking burning rubber, crimony - more like shinkansen ('bullet train' in jap).

   fratello andrea runs out of gas w/an hour or so to go which is no prob cuz admitting you're tired is for me more manly than putting everyone 's life at risk. I take the wheel and bring us into downtown omaha, parts I ain't been to in a good long time, it's a pad called slowdown which is also new for me. waiting for us is fred who's offered to both put us up and take us to dinner after soundcheck. we check w/sondman dan who's playing t-rex music while he sets up, yeah! fred's got a couple of buddies who are very cool people and they join us at a nearby chow pad called "g" I think where I eat a ranch sauce salad (steph in boise would've loved this!) that's got some bacon in it. fred graduated high school the same year as me: 1976 though he grew up in watsonville (east of up near where we were in santa cruz, ca). he's taken lots of pictures of race cars, knows a buttload about the sport.

   back to the venue and the boat (very happening load in/out and park here, by the way - respect!) where I konk like an anchor heaved over the side. I am beat, damn. thank god for konk, thank god for the boat and it being there safe for me to do it in.

   fratello ste rousts me after stephen nichols opens the gig - I know of another bassman from this town, brother pnut. might be a little tough to work my bass here where the mic is cuz of no lights there but good light near fratello andrea's floor tom. another thing that's kind of scary is his drum rug's corner (he's using house rug) is all curled-up and not laying flat, trying to trip me! I like be back w/him anyway if I don't have to use the mic which is lots in il sogno del marinaio. I wish the word ahead of the gigs would kind of let folks know this - il sogno del marinaio is not a side proj or a mike watt backup band, it's its own thing. I think people seeing us do a gig understand. I get the omaha gig-goers to pronounce our band name and they do it perfect, respect. we bring the set and it's kind of a tough room cuz of challenging acoustic, trippy resonances and stuff like that. no matter, we play I think pretty good together and the spirit of the gig-goers really make for a happening show. at one point between tunes one cat hollers my name and w/out thinking I get up on the mic and in response holler fratello andrea and fratello ste's names, holler IL SOGNO DEL MARINAIO to make clear this ain't just about me. it ain't out of anger, it's out of sake of clarity I think why that just flew out of my mouth. I'm grateful for the most kind reception from the folks of the state where d. boon's pop was from.

   we pack up the boat and follow fred to the millard part of omaha where his pad is. we arrive and he says I drive slow but I drive careful I tell him... too slow is dangerous, I don't do that - he likes race cars though, gives me a book he's got on can-am racing to look at and I remember back big time being into this as a boy. my memory is fuzzy and I mis-remember much stuff but fred's sharp as a tack on this... you gotta know the last real year of this was 1974 - when I was in the tenth grade! also though interested in this kind of car stuff my big love was for drag racing, man, was that bitchin' for me and I'd read tons of magazines on that since grade school 'til college when I got into volkswagons cuz that's what I was driving and working on (they were very econo). I drink some canadian whisky, been a little since I last had, always pretty mild. very comfortable pad for konk, thanks so much, good man fred, thank you.

friday, september 26, 2014 - lawrence, ks

from andrea:

   In the morning Fred made steak and potatoes for us, the meat was delicious. I wanted to buy some items and Fred offered him to drive to the closest shopping mall. In the meantime I was writing on my computer, then Fred comes in the living room and sayis he was waiting for me outside with the car on for 10 minutes! I fought he was working with the pictures he took the night before at the show.We drove to Wallmart, where I bought the Psyllium capsules, razor blades, shaving gel and yogurt, sparkling water for Mike. It seems that generally sparkling water is not so common in the US. When Fred and I went back to his home, it was already time to leave, and I had three minutes to pack up my stuff and control quickly the clothes Hiyroi washed for me the night before, then I put my computer in the backpack got in the van. We drove along the US 34 California trail - Lewis and Clark trail, along Missouri river, that goes to the pioneer route.

   We crossed a lot of corn fields and farms. This corn is produced for feeding animals. I remember my uncle told me about these places. My aunt has a sister who married and american men, and they lived in Kansas City. I remember him telling me about the first time he arrived in the US, and he couldn't understand the meaning of the word "sale", and he thought all shops had "salt" (in italian "sale" means "salt"). I saw some dead raccoons along the way, but also some beautiful bald eagles flying around. We drove through the US 75 and arrived at the Bottleneck around 17. The sound tech Aaron was a bit late, because that was the "come back day", the students party of the Kansas City University. Lawrence revolves around the college, so there were many people on the street partying hard, parades and shows around the town. Before the soundcheck we met a 7 years old girl called Marina, half italian from Prato, and his mum, who wanted to see Il Sogno del Marinaio's soundcheck, as she discovered our band for the italian/american connection, plus she is a drummer as well. We did the sound check with Aaron around 19, then Stefano Hiyori and I went to find something to eat. Along the way to the restaurant we found a record store, a great one, called Love Garden, where there was a solo guitar and voice act. I didn't buy anything this time, Stefano did, but I was tempted by a couple of records. We went to a Ramen restaurant, where I had a soup with baked pork and eggs, a bit full of garlic to my taste but really good.

   We walked back to the venue, throughout the main street, where there were a few street musician, one a one man band playing guitar and several drums all at once (like the one in Mary Poppins) and a very skinny woman with two dogs wearing a hood, playing theremin rhythmically along drums and bass hip hop lines diffused through small speakers and a mini sub woofer.

   When we arrived to the venue the first band, Gnarly Davidson started to play. I really liked this show, they had a really good sound. The music reminded me of Unsane and Eyehategod, made by strong riffs and hard slow drumming. They played under the stage in front of the P.A., and right after the show they had to pack up and leave for a second show in another venue.

   I woke up Mike shaking his foot and 15 minutes later we were on stage. I loved this show, I thought we all played very well, except the ending of Alain, where we missed a bit the right flow. Right off stage I talked with some people, and 10 minutes after the show ended, Stefano and I were already packing up and loading in the van. I chatted outside with Rob, a drummer who has the same kit of mine, a Ludwig Superclassic 1967. He suggested me some drum shops in Chicago and St Louis where I could find some cymbals and vintage drums. Here in the US is much easier to find vintage drums in a good shape for a reasonable price, in Europe all of these things cost much more. I also talked with Flaming Lips's drummer Kliph. Nice guy.

   We left the venue and went to Kevin's. Kevin has one son and one daughter, but they were not in town so Stefano and I shared the bunk bed of the two kids. Then I took a quick shower. Stefano was already sleeping in the bed below. I laid down my sleeping bag on the little bed, full of stuffed dolls of all sorts and some little blankets.

from stefano:

   We can wake up slowly. Finally we do not have such a long driving. Fred prepared for us a great breakfast. We hit the road at 1 pm and we get at Lawrence around 5 pm. the venue looks like an old saloon. i do not need to drink a beer anymore to evacuate and it seems that just a cold full glass of water finally works. My body it is finally getting used to this tour modality: long driving, different food and sleep. we soundcheck with Aaron and we go out for a walk and food. We see the love garden a beautifull record shop. I found the last Gill Scott Heron record I am here now which i had and i lost somewhere a raga record on nonesuch -same Rokia Traore published her record with..i play guitar for her- and a very goo one bye Marisa Anderson on Mississipi records that my friend Marcella Riccardi -bemydelay suggested me.Today is also Mark Rothko Birth anniversary so i check about the Rothko chapel in houston. we will most probably time to visit it while we are in Texas. Then we go eat some very nice ramen soup. gorgeous.. it is great to eat this kind of soup before a gig.. it is nutrient and easy to digest. You do not feel sleepy after.

   Before playing i wash my face with cold water. It wakes me up and give me focus. The time after eating and the gig is always the worst of the day in my opinion. Is this hole of time when i do not really know what to do. Most of the time i feel tired. Fratello Mike always take a naps. i cannot really. I want to relax but not too much cause i also want to keep focus on the gig but without getting to anxious about. The conditions to play a good gig are on the hedge of many things. You do not want to get too anxious watching the clock like you are getting ready for a race but also you do not want to get too much relaxed and confident about. Both these opposites creates defocus if not well balanced. You want to be communicative and be able to donate emotions and not simply your fear or your ego or just simply your shit speaking for you. I guess this balance is different for everyone and it also changes with time, ages and also situations. Situations change and you also change. Every tours do have their own modalities and secrets you need to adapt to. Sometimes i see this as metaphor where you always challenge to understand whats happening around and trying to live good. Often you feel like shit but you also find yourself adapting to reality and better capable to flow with the river and your mission at the same time. A balance of acceptance and will .And you need to struggle with perseverance and determination to get that. We play a good gig. Every night we are playing better and tighter and enjoying more. From the begging of the tour we have improved so much. i am doing much better. We meet nice people. Cleph first Flamming Lips drummer very kind man.i saw him playing in Milano i think was 1996-97 or around. i was 16-17! The opening band is Gnarly Davidson, a trio they play down the stage with a loud stoner sound. i met the drummer at record shop actually an hour before. I payed him for the records. they are good. we go sleep at Kevin just after the show.

from watt:

   pop at seven cuz I gotta get the boat in for maintenance, it's been five thousand miles since done last I am way into this kind of care, love the boat. fred had found me a ford dealership near his pad but as I shove off and try to find it, the navigatori says it doesn't exist. I call 411 and get the name of a ford place called atchley and a man there is very kind to the boat in right away and w/in an hour I got the boat serviced and a load lifted off my mind. so nice the weather too, another day to be thankful for that on this tour.

   I get back to fred's pad to find him grilling steaks for our breakfast. I chow one w/eggs and potatoes, very good. I chimp diary 'til fred's neighbor steve comes over - he's a retired dentist that fred said likes to watch the bass player when he goes to a gig but he also played drums - he tells me all about the band he did drums in, how it was at first fun and then kind of a nightmare cuz of personality clashs. of course he also gives me interrogation but he's a real nice cat. fred arrives to get his picture w/us from steve (he'd brought fratello andrea to get some psyllium, yatta) and we do that before I big hug up fred and we pull anchor at one. fred was very kind man to us.

   the navigatori doesn't have us cross the river but stay on the nebraska side on us-75, first time for me down this road. of course at the small towns the road slows down to twenty mph but most is pretty good. undivided is dangerous though so that's not so happening but I don't know, I trust the navigatori on this one. some of these little towns like auburn have character about them even though we're through them pretty quick. it's interesting stuff the fratelli don't really experience on the interstate.

hetzel's block in downtown auburn, ne on september 26, 2014

cross the border into kansas twenty after three. get fuel and the counterman can't get the receipt happening but two of the wrong one add up to 'pert-near what I paid so I go for that. we pass through some reservation land: sac & fox, kickapoo and potawatomi.

stefano pilia looking out at rural kansas on september 26, 2014

we finally get to the interstate at topeka (home of brown vs board of education) and head east to lawrence which is a small college town but the school k u is the biggest university in the state. we're playing where I've played for the last twenty years here, the bottleneck and find parking very easy cuz the street had been closed for homecoming parade - not high school kind but college frat and sorority stuff. to each his own.

   we're right on time for load-in: five. the posters say IL SOGNO MARINAIO so we got some good spelling but just missing the DEL word, oh well. actually the blackboard sign at the entrance says MIKE WATT and I ask them to please change it... soon it says MIKE WATT'S il sogno del marinaio. soundman aaron does a check w/us after we set up. as I'm waiting at the boat I get visited by a man who gave me this bracelet on my left wrist that was made from a bicycle spoke - his name is pete, him and his wife are very nice and we talk 'til I have to bail. respect to him, truly - I've always thought his gift would bring me luck, like the anchor around my neck. after check I get a burrito from "la familia" a couple doors down and can't believe it's 'pert-near eleven bucks and not all that good either but I don't get sick so I guess it's ok. I saw the espanol on the sign and just got a jones for mexicano and went for even though I've been disappointed here before. that was baka. I go to the boat and konk hard for three straight hours, shirt off.

   I'm awoken by heavy sounds shaking the boat from the pad, it mus be the other band w/us tonight, locals gnarly davidson... it must be cuz I was so beat that soon I konked again, crimony! I am rousted twenty after ten though by fratello ste who shakes me awake by the leg... so glad the fratelli ain't afraid to use physical means to roust my konked ass. I say hi to folks who are outside the boat, one cat's from last night in omaha, whoa - he made the same hellride we did to get here, respect!

   before we start I get the lawrence gig-goers to say the band's name and they do it good, grazie. we bring the set, I space on the fifth verse of the first tune like a stunad, baka mike-san. in other ways I got it together though, for instance last night I fucking ran over w/the second solo in "partisan song" and tonight I get it right - now that I think of it, there was a gig earlier in the tour where I cut it short, I am baka! anyway, good playing I think by us, to be fair - oh, there's this moment in "funanori jig" where I don't know where I am cuz right up front who do I see? it's brother kliph, crimony! love this man. I get my bearings back though and it's better sailing. the lawrence gig-goers are so kind, very enthusiastic and we are most grateful, truly.

   over at the merch table I sit to sign stuff and talk w/peeps - many kind ones, many! there's john - him and his brother have seen me since minutemen days, so good to see him again. I sign a hornman who's gone to bass, it's a longhorn w/lipstick pickups. john entwistle was also a hornman, french horn. many good people... brother kliph!

kliph scurlock + mike watt in lawrence, ks on september 26, 2014

so glad to see him again, been a long time. respect. the gnarley davidson guys get back from the other gig they had to do, really nice cats. I invite them to do an interview w/me for my radio show when I get back to my pedro town in november. I told them about hearing/feeling them from the boat. righteous guys.

   we load out and up. my old buddy here, kevin gets in the boat to guide us to his place (very kind of pete the spokeman to offer a konk pad also, thank you much) near the university, very familiar to me after all the times here. he even has the beam I didn't open a couple years ago. he's got a bunch of my tour posters on the bulkhead - even two of the same w/petezo and jerzo (my secondmen). when the fratelli retire I take that as my cue to do the same. ok, third friday of the tour done. e fatta.

saturday, september 27, 2014 - iowa city, ia

from andrea:

   I woke up hearing several people talking, but I couldn't hear Mike's voice this time. As soon as I try to stand up I realized I was sleeping on the bunk bed, and that I had a big black dog stuffed puppet staring at me, and a Winny the Puh at the other end. I saw the sun shining through the little window next to the bed. I went to the kitchen, and met Kevin's wife, her sister and brother-in-law with a little beautiful baby. I was tempted to eat a sandwich with a special gravy with minced meat Kevine cooked, but I thought I already had enough meat within these last days. So had a breakfast with milk, cereals, bread and jam. Then I shaved a 4 days beard with my new razor blades, and washed my hair. I talked a bit with Kevin, who showed us his hens in the backyard, with a funny write on the top of the little wooden house he built for them. He told me they are officially considered as house pets. His dog is a quite big and nice dog but a bit strange, he didn't want to be touched, but Kevins said he's really kind, it just takes time. Probably like everything that lasts long, it takes time and will, but it last longer. Kevin was a great host. Kevin gave us South Park masks for Halloween. When we left Mike drove first as usual, then I drove 180 miles between Kansas city Missouri and Des Moines, then Stefano drove for the rest of the trip. While Stefano was driving a Police man stopped us. When he asked if we had alcohol in the car I almost lied, I said no, but luckily nobody listened to me, Mike was in the front and he admitted to have alcohol but in the back, so at the end everything went fine. The Policeman said he wanted just to check about the "obstructed windshield" by Mike's puppets attached on the Ford's dashboard, but it clearly was an excuse to stop the van and to check out the white van with a californian plate. I almost lied to the policeman, as when he asked if we had alcohol in the van, I said no, but no one heard me and Mike answered that yes, we had alcohol but not visible in the back.

   We arrived in Iowa city at the venue Gabe's, and we loaded in from a little alley in the back. On stage the rug was kind of oily, as my attempts to tape it with my green tape failed, and I also stained my pants when I put my knee on the floor. After we loaded in I went to the bar downstairs to get a couple of bags of chips, as I was starving again. This thing took a bit of time, as the bar tender was outside enjoying the sun, and nobody could see him. By the time he was back there was a long cue at the counter, and some of them were watching the football match.

   I had a good diner with falafel, roasted chicken and eggplant salad for dinner. Still too much garlic and onions! The restaurant was, as the ramen soup restaurant in Lawrence, managed by young people, all students from the college. Iowa city hosts the biggest college in US. When we finished eating a tall guy ordered some food and stole a couple of fried cinnamon bread sticks from Hyiori's plate (with her agreementŠ). We came back at the venue in time to see some songs from the Moroccan band Hoba Hoba Spirit, which I really liked, until they started playing "twist and shout" which I didn't really likeŠthen I went upstairs to check the band Samuel Lockeward and the garbage boys. 

   For our show I used earplugs for the first time on the tour. I bought these earplugs in Portland at Old Town Music Store, and they are crafted in order to cut the volume but not the frequency range. It worked out pretty good. After the show Michael offered to hosts us. He's a very entertaining man. He told about how he worked in the music business back in the early 80's, and how he quit because of the lack of money. He's now working as a politician for the democratic party. On his library he had a very nice book from the Rough guide, where I found a picture of Trallallero's singers, traditional storytelling chants from Genoa about sailors.

from stefano:

   i wake up but i feel tired, slow and sad and i do not understand why.. the gig last night has been good and everything is good with the fratelli. Kevin makes us breakfast with fresh eggs -they have their own chickens in the garden- and we meet his wife Sarah and they have tow kids i take a shower. i finish to read Crime and Punishement. Very intense deep psychological on Human Nature. i loved it and kind of broked me too. It is time to start now Freeny and Zooey by Salinger. This is in English and Fratello Massimo just gave it to me just before coming to USA. it is a saturday night in a college town. The audience is good. gig is good. we play tight. Jeremy at the door is very kind. he comes to say good bye just after the gig. we go sleep at Mike house. Mike is candidate for Johnson County supervisor. we stay up little bit talking and drinking and then i fall asleep on the couch.

from watt:

kevin kelly's hens at his backyard 'egg tango' coop on september 27, 2014

   pop at seven, hosed off last night so that's done. kevin's got chickens in a coop so damn if these eggs he cooks for me ain't fresh as hell, crimony! I chow them w/english muffins - if I can't have sourdough then english muffin is good second choice for me. hey, kevin's got three "southpark" papier-mache heads he made - I used one years ago he gave me for halloween (wore it at the chapel hill, nc gig on that tour), now we're set for the 'burque gig near the end of this tour, fucking alright. man, he's a good cat, much respect and for his wife and her people also. we pull anchor at eleven bells.

roadside view after just passing into missouri from kansas on september 27, 2014

   again, most happening weather for us, grazie. I get us east across the missouri river and into kansas city, mo around noon and then then north on I-35 some before dropping anchor for fuel stop and hell, I'll change w/fratello andre here, hell, I'm feeling a little tired. I chimp diary after chowing this buffalo chicken wrap thing that's weak but at least econo and I don't get sick. I think the green tea I got helped too. this "gold peak" stuff is 'pert-near the least poisonous shit at these mersh gas station troughs. we cross into iowa just before two, some motherfucker cuts fratello andrea off and pulls to the side of the road right at the state line, what a total dangerous nightmare thing to, asshole. there are some real dicks endangering people's lives on these roads, let me tell you. an asshole yesterday sped up as I was trying to passing him on an undivided road w/a fucking hill coming after doing like twenty in a sixty zone, what a son of a bitch. what the hell are people like this thinking? I think maybe they aren't thinking, it's all about them in their mind and they care for no one's safety, not even the other people in their own car. assholes. fratello andrea does great getting us up to des moines - we see a car spun out in a ditch on the side of a road, how could that happen w/everyone driving so safe? I am baffled. east on I-80 (same road we took out of salt lake city), at colfax w/pull over to switch ponies and fuel up. $3.10 a gallon like last stop - it's the ethanol from the corn here that makes it more econo and in fact here at this station you can w/out ethanol for twenty cents a gallon more. fratello ste takes the rudder.

   near the exit for a town called what cheer - about forty miles west of our destination (iowa city) - we get pulled over by young iowa state trooper. he says he though we might've had obstructed view - I ask him "the shrine?" and he shakes his head but never says another thing about it. he wants to know what kind of bottle is the san pellegrino one is and so I hand it to him, says he never seen that kind before, he does say he's seen the perrier one. he's very young but he's also pretty kind and for sure curious. he runs through my registration and insurance and then comes around to my side to ask I got w/all these people from out of the country. I tell him a quick history of il sogno del marinaio ending up w/saying I wanted to show them the country. he asks what kind of music is it and I tell him "jazz fusion" - right away he says ok, take the off ramp down to get back on the interstate and we're on our way. fratello ste did real good, so did everyone in the boat, I was very impressed.

   we get to where we're playing which is gabe's at twenty after five. whoa, they got the stairs way more together now - they used to be just the worst and so scary. we play upstairs so a load-in from the rear is what you do. I remember paul roessler getting petezo's hammond b3 up the rickety shit they had here before in the fucking rain, crimony! there's lots different here in a way then since I last been here... in fact I had the name wrong - it was "gabe's oasis" in the time I was here and since then I get learned that it's like four different owners. the barman aaron's bday, he's very cool people - so is soundman tom upstairs, everyone's happening. during the setup I go chow a "bacado burger" at "teddy's bigger burgers" next door - this place didn't exist when I was last here. it's pretty good (bacado = bacon/avocado) I gotta admit, really - I say that cuz the pad looked pretty mersh but damn I wasn't really fucking starving. we do our soundcheck, I meet one of the keyboard players of the opening band, samuel lockeward + the garbage boys who's real nice and fills me on changes here at this pad.

   I go downstairs and this man who told me about a morocco band called hoba hoba spirit says they're gonna play in a few minutes HERE - what? crimony! I get to meet one of the band called reda who is real cool and then hear them play - incredible, I really like them. I even postpone my konk cuz of them - what a great spirit and sound, wow... holy cow!

   I go to the boat cuz I just konk, even for just an hour and a half which is what I get - fratelli ste rousts me a ten, we're supposed to be in fifteen minutes. I go up and help the iowa city gig-goers pronounce our band name and then we bring it. they are most kind, some dancers up front too even. the band is playing really good I feel, even the baka bass player. I am more confident now w/the material and can use my body more and not just make the gig a headtrip for me, hallelujah. I do fucking realize I was a real baka and forgot to put my mic up and am using the house one, crimony! it's like after "animal farm tango" damn myself! I replaced it w/mine and damn if "verse IX" don't sound a hundred times better and fuck, what if there's sickness on this one I used? what a bozo I am, really - a poor example to my fratelli. I think they get there's back tomorrow... anyway, the most kind people here in iowa city tonight bring us back for another and damn if those morocco cats ain't up front - HUGE respect to them.

   I go back to where the merch is getting slung and these man brings me a shot of me years ago when I brought the secondmen konked on his sisters couch w/konk masked fitted, arms on my chest and mouth in wide-open fly-catcher mode. he has me sign it, no prob cuz I deserve to. so many kind people share w/us, I am grateful and should be, truly. many share good words and hearts w/me tonight, thank you. I meet samuel lockeward and he says he does a cover of "this ain't no picnic" and I tell him how d. boon wrote that song, he did it after the boss at auto parts department counter he was working told him to stop listening to soul music on the radio. true. two ladies ask me kind of trippy question, like am I missing a credit card cuz one was a sex shop in cedar rapids three days ago and found a credit care on the deck w/michael watt on it but damn if don't show them mine and say I was in denver then... there's gotta be another one of those w/that name. you know, one time I played a pad called "trashateria" in guelph, canada and this cat had me meet the padboss, he said "mike watt, meet mike watt" - whoa, that was a trip. I think there's younger man making drawings in australia w/that name too...

   lawyerman pete roberts got his buddy michael to invite to his pad to konk, much respect to pete. michael is beautiful, he's got mr murakami's "kafka on the shore" on his table along w/mr bukowski's "betting on the muse" and great spiel of working towns as vintage postcard dealer and is just a join to learn from, very very cool people. we have a real good time.

sunday, september 28, 2014 - saint paul, mn

from andrea:

   We had to wake up early, in order to go to Rock Island Illinois to record for Day Trotter. Michael cooked breakfast for us with eggs and bacon and hot tea. The studio is in Rock Island, in Illinois, about an hour east of Iowa City. We crossed the Mississippi River and went into Illinois. When we got into Rock Island we some hit some traffic problems because of a marathon race, so many streets were closed and we had to drive around the city a bit. It was 9 am and there were many people around, I wondered when it started. 7am? We arrived at the studio around 9:20 am. The studio is called Apple Tree Studio. Ian, the sound technician and some other friends of his were waiting in front of the building. I checked the drum kit they had, a nice Ludwig set with some good vintage cymbals. I really liked it. I just set my percussion and started the sound check. We recorded il Sogno del Fienile, Funanori Jig, Alain & Sailor Blues. While recording we did some mistakes, but when we listened to the tracks back, they sounded ok, not like an error but more like an interpretation of the song.  After the recording we drove through Rock Island, in an old times neighborhood made by old wooden houses along the Mississippi River. We drove back to Iowa City, on I80, then on I 280 and then crossed the whole Iowa state heading north on highway 63 to Missouri and then highway 50 to St.Paul. There are a lot of towns with german names around here, and different type of communities like Amish and Amana. Until this day we crossed California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois & Minnesota. There are cornfields all around. St.Paul is one of the two twin cities, together with Minneapolis. We arrived at Turf Club at the usual time, around 4-5 pm.   The green room is in the basement. I met the Turf promoter ryan. The soundcheck was really quick, as the sound tech Herb he is really fast and skilled. He was the sound tech for european tours of bands like Helmet and Bush. Stefano Hiyori and I went to a Ethiopian restaurant called Fasika, where I got Injera and hot lentils. They were playing really nice Ethiopian music and the food was fantastic. I've been to Ethiopian restaurant a few times in Berlin and in Bologna. When we went back to the venue we met a few Paul Metzger guitarist and banjo player who shared the stage with Stefano in Paris a few months ago. His solo banjo set was really intense, even if I've seen just the last part of it, as I was warming up in the green room, because I've been feeling tension in my arms after a few shows in the previous days.

   Our show was quite good, during the set I've seen Hiyori filming for Alain's video I want to make after the tour. I had a good feeling about this show, the sound on stage was good and the interplay as well. Right after the show I started talking with a men who turned to be Grant Hart. He was very kind, he also helped me to pack up my drum kit. When I went outside I met Jeffrey, who I met in Rome when I played with Carla Bozulich last year for Roma Europa Festival; he came over there to see the show and to hang around in Rome. He asked me to suggest him a Robert Wyatt's album to start with, and I suggested him Rock Bottom, because I think is the starting point of his statement as composer. His very first solo album, The end of an Ear, is a great one too but less interesting in terms of compositions. Outside the venue we met Amy, artist photographer and songwriter, and Hiyori's friend.. She introduced us to Becky, who hosted us that night. She lives in nice and modern apartment, built in an old brewery. It is a big open space with high ceiling, and the rooms built out of wooden walls. We chatted a bit all together with Pacifico beer and then I slept on their very comfortable couch.

from stefano:

   we wake up early at 7:00. in the morning we have a recordings session for an internet radio. So we leave at 8:00 after breakfast Mike prepared for us. i feel good even if i have not slept enough. there is some haze outside and a beautiful sun coming trought the maple threes. i see a squirrel playing up and down an amaca on the other side of the road. Fall is coming. the first brown yellow leaves are coming down. By the time we arrive in Rock Island we cross a marathon which is happening in town. At the studio we met Ian. i really like this place.. i can feel a good vibe in the air . i really like recordings studio and the act of recordings in itself. Actually all my relation with music has come through and because of recorded music. That is totally how i got into contact with home my parents has never played, my grandpa was singing in a choir and his dad my great grandpa was playing organ and doublebass in the church and teaching music to kids -even if he was actually a wood carpenter- but i never met him. Also i remember that when i was a kid my parents got me this casio keyboard... i was not very much into it but i remember getting a lot of fun in recordings with this little tape machine i still have and doubling or half speeding the tape velocity. i was doing the same when i start playing the bass. i was used to record the bass lines i was learning and changing the speed. the lines were taking another musical meaning. That is why probably i like the tape echo effect so much. and i like a to use it with this expression pedal to control the tape echo delay time-it is almost like pulling and scratching a piece of tape with your hands. it is a very gestural sound. but also gives you this idea of stratching a piece of time. The idea of recording is an incredible one. The fact of fixing on a support a sound, letting it being in an of out of time dimension and at same infinitive repeatable ones -or at least theoretically infinitive repetable- gives life to some very interesting implications and i really like to play around these sort of things. So the act of recordings and everything around recordings and manipulation always gives me a buzz. Music can be seen also as a form of "visual art for ears" like a sound sculpture or a sound painting almost thanks to the recording process. About this idea of fixing and playing with the support just come to my mind "Funny Games" a film by Michael Haneke. not a great movie in itself in my opinion but at certain point you literally see fast back forwarding the film itself you are watching and that creates a totally different question about what are you watching at: the violence rappresented in the film somehow takes a kind of different meaning because of this and this simple operation puts some questions out in your mind.

   Anyway we record 4 pieces..all first takes.. Il sogno del fienile, Funanori jig, Alain , Aailor blues.. we made some clams but we like the idea of keeping the freshness of the session..we wanted that to be like a live one. I use a beautifull falcon amp that Ian suggests me. He is right. It sounds warm but not muddy at all and very precise and responsive to dynamic!

   Then we go back on the road again. We drive till 5 pm. We get stop by police while i was driving. I saw the hombre watching at us passing us and then they take the exit and fratello Mike tells sometimes they come back again to make surprise. So i wait and 10 minutes later i saw from the review mirror the hombre again reaching us. The policeman flashes the lights and we stop on the side of the road. He said that he stopped us because he saw all the figures on the desh. he did not know about san pellegrino water and he asked why a an american was traveling with two italians. he asks "what kind of music do you play?" Fratello Mike says :"JazzFusion sir" Policeman in a less than a second :"ok you can go". ciao hombre! we meet Ryan and Joshua and Herb. Herb is sound technician. he toured with Helmet. a good sound tonight. Paul Metzger opens with his experimental folkish modified Banjo. I played on the same bill with him almost 5 years ago in Paris at Les Voutes. my friend Byron Westbrook from NY also. Maxime Guitton at that time booked the gig. it is very nice to see him again. i have eaten at ethiopian restaurant very close to the venue. and the food goes up and down for all the gig. kind of took part of my energy away. not good. But we played a good gig anyway i think. we meet Grant Husker Du drummer. he a has great mustache style and he helsp us to load the van. We go sleep at Becky's house. She is Hiyori friend. She lives in an appartment of a building that a was an old blewery and just got restored very interesting. She is a Librarian.

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, it's another one of those "pull anchor at eight" morning but not cuz of hellride but cuz we have opportunity to do daytrotter session about an hour away in rock island, il. here at michael's pad though is an excellent opportunity to have good morning shovel: he cooks up eggs, bacon and sourdough toast - yeah, fuckin' sourdough toast out here - I think this is the most east I've ever had it. michael lived in s.f. for a while and knows of it from there. it's the best bread I dig here in our land cuz the bread that really kicks my ass is those fresh baguettes in france, crimony do those cats have a great culture baking that. anyway, not to get carried away just thinking of bread (actually I eat very little of it in my pedro town except sundays when I chow breakfast w/my ma and sister melinda) but awaiting outside is a sky full of blue and AGAIN righteous weather, grazie. thankful hugs on michael and we pull anchor... not even a mile away from his pad it's him on the leash saying some glasses have been donated - miss hiyori's! we gotta loop back, she's blind w/out them. everybody donates on tour and that's why we gotta watch out for each other, be thorough w/our baka checks.

   rock island is west of iowa city and part of this quad cities gang of four towns. nothing to do w/madame mao and her mice, I just chimped that cuz I'm a 'tard. actually in all my travels, it's my first time there. I do know the asheton brother lived a couple of years in davenport so there's some stooges somewhere connected, amen. a tough part of us getting to where we need to be is the marathon the city is running... once we get across the mississippi (first time for the fratelli, total mindblow for them), many streets are blocked off so it takes a little while to keep forcing the navigatori to keep recalculating stuff. we drop anchor twenty after nine though and the recordingman ian is cool w/understanding the sitch. I hate to keep anyone waiting. what's very happening besides him being good people is the studio futureappletree too has got lots of righteous stuff so we only have to bring ourselves, fratello ste's guitar/pedals and my bass. daytrotterman sean is there to greet w/his kids, beautiful. ian recommends a silverface fliptop ampeg b15 for me to play through, there's an old ludwig drumset for fratello andrea and a gibson "falcon" amp for fratello ste. no headphones, even the voice comes out over a monitor. it's a pretty organic approach to recording, interesting. we do "il sogno del fienile" where I clam one verse but hey, fratello bruno (he recorded "canto secondo" for us at his vacuum studio in bologna) gets his name mentioned twice cuz of that. I think fratello ste clammed too but I think it's more important to get "on the road" version and don't worry about copying the version already on the album. next we do "funanori gig" - one take (all three of these next ones are one take) and w/different ending than album which is what we're doing live - it have the guitar stay up while the drums and bass fade out and leave guitar alone, "alain" where I clam the bridge but fratello andrea reads it and compensates so yes, we have original version special for here too and finally "sailor blues" which I think is special now due to improvised parts? I don't know, I just am glad we didn't try to make clones of the album versions.

   quarter of eleven we're ready to pull anchor and thank ian and everyone else involved much. I gotta flow us in ways through rock island that cause the navigatori to continually recalculate a new route cuz damn if it knows about this marathon and the streets its causing to close. we get to see some trippy parts of this town - trippy if you're used modern-day track home crap - hey, it's got character! I'm digging it. back over the mississippi and out of illinois, we head west whence we came: the I-280 to I-380 after passing back past iowa city, deja vu feelings, sort of... hey, this is trippy, we fuel just past iowa city and back on the road see a sign in a field that says "have pen and phone but no strategy" - what? I call my ma cuz it's sunday and my sister melinda is still there cuz of sunday bereakfast chow we both do w/my ma when I'm home and they're both in good health now after fighting off flu - I am most happy at that news. melinda's last words are for the fratelli to get up on their grammar regarding the tour diary but I answer w/a "what the fuck? english ain't their first language!" and I hear her laugh over the leash, she's kidding. ok hang up - please know I use bluetooh hands-free for leash spiel and ain't one of them assholes doing otherwise. this for sure is new ground for us, at cedar falls we get on us-63, see a fucking bald eagle over the river, not too close but the white mantle is unmistakable. the rest of the route will have no interstate but there's still lots of good road so this doesn't deter idiots to pull scary stuff on us. I slow down to let pass these folks, no way will I risk the boat and all who sail w/her. switch ponies twenty after two, right on howard county line, fratello ste at the helm - a roadside pony switch means less dawdle... I chimp diary 'til I realize fuck, we're like twenty miles inside of minnesota before I notice we in fact are, stucazz?!! at rochester we get on us-52 which takes us to saint paul.

   after some blow-by, I get fratello ste right w/the navigatori in my lap (need to cuz of the glare) and we take a few maneuvers to get the boat right w/the pad load-in hatch, just after five pm when we drop anchor here at the turf club - whoa, they've re-done the stage and there's hand rails even now to get up on it... kind of miss the booths though. soundman herb does check w/us and I get to rap some w/gigboss ryan, he makes a call to my old buddy grant hart to let him know I'm working his town tonight. my crew goes to chow while I hold the fort and get catfish tacos from here. now they don't taste all that mexican but they are good and there's some cholula to supplement the mix. I chimp diary and get to hear the man we get to share the stage w/tonight, paul metzger tune up his very own kind banjo. what a nice and great musicman he is, much respect. he tells me about playing w/fratello ste in a wine cellar carved into the rock in paris once. I go to the boat and konk. it is very comfortable, shirt can stay on and no need for blankie.

   at ten I'm rousted by fratello ste who brings throatcoat tea w/him for me, we go on in fifteen minutes. the boat's right by the hatch. man, I'm digging the rail instead of using the crate and the pole to get up on stage, we bring our set to the most kind gig-goers here in saint paul tonight. fratello ste seems a little beat but I know he can pull through and then we'll have calmer rides and stuff up ahead for the next while. I think maybe I'm not the sharpest but I am getting my body into it like last night, even w/a very stupid clam in "skinny cat" I keep on board pretty good and can live the pieces more than just thinking them - aarggh, does that make any kind of sense? my lack of grasp finds words failing me here. I'm proud of my fratelli though, especially w/the challenges up on them - does fratello andrea have any? doesn't seem so but I ain't still good enough to trust my mind reading yet. I holler a shoutout to steve mcclellan - man, I miss him... man, do I.

   grant's here to help me down the stage though, big hugs. I go to the merch table while he helps the fratelli, we'll talk later. steve petermeier is here to show off his il sogno del marinaio shirt his brother got him in italy, all right. he's a good man. so are all these kind folks to give me a kind word, just a good bunch to play for tonight - here's phil harter who I ain't seen so long, damn! he made the "walkin' the cow" video that I dig so much - maybe the best video that band ever made, thank you, phil! he said he was surprised at every turn during the il sogno del marinaio set, said he couldn't predict one move we made ahead of time (he didn't hear anything in advance of the gig) so in my book that's really a very happening thing. dale from otto's chemical lounge is here, love him. he tells me brother kyle from the westies passed, damn... he was a real kind man to me.

   we load out and I get some "pacifico" beers gigboss ryan got for us, love this kind and at least I can make myself useful somehow in the cojo state I am. I get to rap a bunch w/grant now, so proud of him and his "the argument" opera. I wish I had more time but I gotta get fratello ste to the konk pad so it's a hug through the boat hatch porthole and then a picture

mike watt + grant hart in saint paul, mn on september 28, 2014

before pulling anchor - miss hiyori's friend amy has got a friend named becky who's gonna let us konk at what we find is a very unique kind of trip, used to be a brewery or something, I dig it w/its huge overhead and interesting use of space and openness. so very kind of becky, fratello ste will get good konk here and I am most grateful to her.

monday, september 29, 2014 - madison, wi

from andrea:

   In the morning Becky made breakfast for us. It was nice and we had more time this morning, as we didn't have an hell ride, so I had the time to taste a lot of things that Becky and her older daughter Atreya cooked for us. I had quiche with broccoli and salmon, potatoes, waffles with maple sirup and strawberries. Violet is her smaller daughter, all of them very nice and sweet. We left Saint Paul on a rainy day. The temperature went down to 15 centigrades, it was the first time I got to use my blue jacket. We drove to the I-90 and I-94 and crossed the border to Wisconsin right after St.Paul. The clouds where thick, and he Interstate looked a bit like Germany, a more familiar landscape, with trees all along the way. We arrived in Madison with a nice sun shin gin on the city between the two lakes. We arrived at the venue High Noon Saloon quite early, around 16:00, at started setting up quickly. The sound tech John started putting microphones while we were setting up and in the meantime I met Ben, the opening band Vanishing Kids's drummer and his wife. The weather changed again, and when we went to buy food it was raining again. I went with Stefano and Hiyori to a thai restaurant and bought food to take away. I ate a bit of it at the venue. The first band reminded me a bit of Beach House, I really liked the singer's voice and how it was worked with keyboard/organ sounds.

   At our show I've watched the audience a bit, and I saw people smiling. For the anchor Zoom, Stefano used a guitar that Spot, producer of many SST records, built. The guitar had a sharper sound than the Stefano's Fender Jazzmaster. Right after the show Pete Leonard came on stage and asked if we had a place to stay, as he proposed to host us the day before. It turned out that, after packing up and loading the van, the person who was supposed to come didn't show up, so we went to his house. He was a great host. I finished my thai green curry with white rice and eat a bit of Pizza handmade by Pete himself. He also brought a toad he found right outside of the basement's window. Adam, Pete's friend, was also together with us. We chilled out all together before going to sleep.

from stefano:

   i wake up at 10:00 and i take a shower. Atreya -Becky's daughter- and Becky have prepared a wonderfull and very fresh breakfast quiche with broccoli and cheddar, orange juice, waffle and strawberries. We meet also her sweet younger daughter and the two nice cats. At 11 we pull the anchor. When we arrive in Madison is a bit Rainy. it is actually the first not so good weather of the tour. Vanishing kills are openings. a quartet. The lady singer has a great voice and plays synth keyboards. Fratello Mike introduces me to his very kind and cool friend Spotzky. He brings at the gig a guitar he assembled and restored. it has a stratocaster body and neck. he took away the paint of the body and replaced the electronics with jazz master kind of pick ups and control. i play the guitar for the anchor Zoom So I speak with Spot about the guitar. He wants to know what i think of the guitar... i like it. it is has a very good playability. i like the natural wood- no color on the body. gives a nice feeling, the action is good. i suggests to put an heavier strings cauge to get more dynamics. We go sleep at Pete's house and only here i get from fratello Mike that Spotsky is the guy who recorded everyone back in the day. Saccarine Trust, Husker Du, the MInutmen..damn! how many questions and stories i would have liked to ask him! he have not said anything about. I have found out also that is Steve Reed's cousin. we met him at the echo in L.A. he went on many many Mike's tour. Big Respect to both. We go sleep at Pete house. There is a toad jumping inside the house. i go sleep after some beers.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells - had to get on deck in middle of konk cuz I just ain't used to being up high (I'm a deck man) and the softness gives me no support - not that I do cement or iron or dirt decks but I need firmness or my body feels like it's all broken up and segmented, prevent the qi from getting good flow and I hurt like a motherfucker and at same time feel beat and weak... it ain't a good thing. I even get bad dreams from it, 'pert-near 'mares which, well... I gotta be careful. I hose off, spaced on doing that last night.

   downstairs becky is w/her daughters violet and atreya, atreya discusses many interesting issues w/me and I'm just getting coff poured down my throat, I confuse senator mccarthy's first name w/someone else named john but ain't gonna blame the lack of coff on that, just me being a baka. atreya has great awareness, violet is still little and sits on the table but I can imagine wheels spinning in her mind. I think their ma is great teacher and inspiration for them.

   pull anchor at eleven am, find the sky gray and the ground wet, we have our first real rain of the tour. east on I-94 and into wisconsin, bye bye minnesota. real quick the fratelli there very first amish horse-pulled-cart on an overpass we go over and they trip on that. I was explaining to them about the amana colonies we passed by in iowa that there were folks who came to the u.s. cuz of religious ideas and cuz of that it makes even more sense to me to keep religion and the government separate, I think I'm w/mr jefferson on this - keep it a private issue and no business of government. fuck, ain't the other way been tried buttloads of times and has never worked ever? sorry but I am inspired by this sign I see in a field saying "(so and so) is still the right choice" and I guess by doing that whoever is looking for a response so they just got it chimped here in my tour diary.

   I pull us off in mononomie to get fuel plus three fake flavor things to put in mouth: cheese and chili flavored hot dog, dill pickle flavored potato chips and pumpkin flavored coff - they all taste pretty fake so no more of that for this tour. hand the wheel off to fratello andrea just before the ho-chunk nation, at tomah the I-90 joins us and so does a buttload of rain

driving through western wisconsin on september 29, 2014

(frist real big one on the road for this tour but fratello andrea handles it good and the boat is kept safe w/all her sail w/her) but it mercifully recedes and we got some sun to greet us when we hi madison around four, I guide him in after a few blocks of loop (scusi) and we drop anchor at the high noon saloon just as gigboss jesse is getting there, good timing! first time I gotta put on the giacca gialla ('yellow jacket' in italian)... soundman john does the check w/us and I meet the opening act vanishing kids bassman and drummer who are real good people - actually they tell me they're from in rockford in illinois. I meet the other two nikki and jason later in the dressing room, they said they've never seen this room. gigboss jesse is cool people, he gets us some stella artois - crimony, I hope I don't sound like some beer czar but I ain't into hoppy piperust tasting ale crap but that leaves more for those that are, right? gigboss jesse says we're on a quarter after nine which is righteous.

   I stay in this room and wait for a bowl of soup from a thai pad the rest of us went to, I take it to the boat and damn if it ain't real tasty spicy won ton kind, fucking really good. I put that down and then put myself down, doubled blankied 'til fratello ste arrives w/throatcoat o-cha ('tea' in jap) and I trade giacca gialla for blankies, sling back wack sack and return coff cup cuz I ain't to kiping shit. up on stage, there's still stuff to hook up, hmm... I'm into going on when the boss says we're supposed to be on, seems right thing to do in a sitch like this. I'm konked and can't be there to keep things ship shape so I tell the fratelli I'm counting on them to help out w/this stuff. I thank the madison gig-goers for being here on a gig night and then tell them I dedicate our gig tonight to promoterman tom layton who did all my madison gigs 'til he died in his sleep ten years ago, very sad. I love tom big time and am thinking of him tonight for our gig. we bring it. sound on stage is tiny but spirit from madison gig-goers is big and generous, respect to them. we do real good I think and run the set pretty tight, 'pert-near like one big song. man, I wish we could've brought a set like this in the first week of tour but maybe w/out the first week of tour we couldn't get to where we are now or fucking something like that (or not) - whatever, I'm most proud of the fratelli and though there's some clams from me, they're tiny enough for the band to overcome them and the gig-goers to forgive me (I'm thinking). fuck, I forgot to say spotski met me hobbling up to get on the stage after my konk, drove all the way from sheboygan and has got a fender strat he fixed up w/different pickups, jazzmaster ones - says him and missingman tom watson were talking about it last time we were together, a couple years ago in chi-town. anyway, I ask fratello ste to play this guitar and the brother's got such a big heart plus he has now fear and straps it on like a strap-on, we work it for fratello andrea's "zoom" for our encore. he does real good w/it, real good. I am so happy.

   I go over to the merch table, on the way a kind man named pete asks if we need a konk pad and I've been asked a few weeks before someone so I say I gotta check - damn if miss hiyori says whoever said they would is nowhere to be found so man, are we lucky to have pete come to the rescue - so many kind thanks for him from us! in the meantime, I sit and sign and thank and listen and show gratitude to so many nice folks - really and most true. there's sal who saw the minutemen and I got to do a great wort spiel w/before shoving off on this tour. there's joe brewer, jack brewer's cousin - yeah! many bass players, many just very warm people - thank you most happening folks of madison!

   of course bucky and thuy get the big hugs, so great to see them again and even w/the fucking 'tard move of spacing on thuy some w/all the kindness she's always shown me, bucky still flows me a cd of his new music cuz I am his most huge supporter cuz I love - it's like spotski who I did get a shot w/along w/his guitar proj

spot + mike watt in madison, wi on september 29, 2014

but I spaced (am I fucking spaceman or what?) on bucky and thuy, aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh. everyone so kind but we gotta pull anchor and I put us behind peter on the way to his pad out in the 'burbs - used to be fields but he says they can put up a pad in forty days. pete's a bassman and is most righteously kind and his buddy chips is real good people - he wants to know the story behind "eyegifts from minnesota" doc so I lay it on him, the whole enchilada after I hose down and get into my nightwear. we all have a real good time, pete's an incredible hostman and his heart as big as this wisconsin state. much respect.

tuesday, september 30, 2014 - chicago, il

from andrea:

   In the morning the kitchen table was full of good sweets. I had one sicilan cannolo, a bit of bagel with creme cheese and hot tea. We left Fred's house at 11, heading south to Chicago on I-94. I've been two more times in Chicago before, once on the new year's eve between 1999-2000 (at midnight on New Year's Eve waiting for the famous millennium bug on the downtowns' pier), and once in 2008 for a solo show for Lampo. We didn't have to drive too much, only about 146 miles, but at the end we spent more than 5 hours in the van because of the heavy traffic on the I-90 in the Chicago urban area. We arrived quite early at the Schuba's, at around 15. The venue is in a neighborhood called Lakeview. The room is really nice, and a good sounding one. Stefano and I went to check out a music store a few blocks far from the venue called Chicago Music Exchange. Stefano left the shop after a few minutes, but I stayed a bit longer and found a nice used 20" ride Istanbul Cymbal. I bought it. I looked a bit at the vintage drum kit section, and I found a great round badge Gretsch kit, but how could I bring it with me to Europe? I talked a bit with the salesperson at the drums department, and he showed me some MEINL cymbals produced in Turkey but finished and tested in Neustadt, Germany where the company is. I came back to the venue and found out that a video artist Claudio Sinatti, who I met in Milan a couple of years ago, died on last April of leucemia at 42. What a bad news. He was a very important video maker, I met him only once, I though he was a really nice guy, with a strong personality and ideas. Really sad.

   The first band, Nones, started playing quite early, at around 20. They played a wild set, really noisy r'n'r with a garage touch. The singer was wearing women clothes, with stockings and a woman undershirt. The bass player was called Tara and the drummer Sara. We played a good show, I liked how the people reacted to the music, they also asked for the anchor. This was the first evening I didn't pack up right after the end of show, because I met Scott, Dan and Kathryn from Drag City. I invited them a few days before, and they brought me some copies of Dust&Mirrors, the second album Stefano and I did with David Grubbs, recorded in 2012 and released on last May 2014 on David's label Blue Chopsticks. It was the first time I got to meet them, they are very nice people, and I love their record label. We left right after I said goodbye to them, and went to Steve's house, which was just a few block far from the venue. Steve and his girlfriend have a very small but cozy house, and they moved there just 4 days before. We had some fresh grapes, popcorn, and pacifico (the one we brought from St.Paul once) beer. Steve played The Necks' last album "Open" album, and some tracks from Captain Beefheart "Doc at The radar station". I went back to the van to bring some blankets in order to make a sort of a smooth surface for Mike's bed.

from stefano:

   i wake up at 10:00 even today, i take shower as usual Pete has took some donuts and italian cannolis ..real ones! very good. i also got some orange juice.Chicago is not very far. Finally we are getting into smaller driving but we find a lot of traffic plug getting closer to Chicago. We arrive some time in advance so i take a little walk with fratello Andrea to a music shop. Fratello Andrea finds a nice zyldjan cymbal. While i eat my sandwich i watch "il buono , Il brutto e il cattivo" by Sergio Leone. it is screened in the pub but with no audio. it looks funny with this new remaster digital polishing effects. the backgrounds seems so separate from the front figures. The band Nones are playing tonight as well. two girls respectively bass and drums and the guitar player and singer plays on stage with fishnet socks. it is a good band. Juan is doing sound and Marie is helping him.

   The gig is good. Not the best but we are still expressive and togheter. After the concert we meet Scott, Dan and Kathleen. They work at drag city and they bring us some more copies of the trio Andrea and I have with David Grubbs. We go sleep at Steven's House. He is from Philly but he is moving here with his girlfriend Alex. She is doing an art school in Chicago. The apartment is very small. We drinks some beers chating before going to sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells, start chimping diary - fuck, I konked lame cuz of eating pizza pete made. it was great pizza but I can't eat heavy before konking, just can't - remember at bart and steph's? I didn't have the 'mares I did there but I had on and off konk which is fucked up kind, not restful - I'll catch up after soundcheck. pete arrives w/just-squeezed orange juice and bagels, I get a glass of former and one of the later along w/coff from one of these machines that's sort of like I've seen in europe that use a cartridge. pete's doing conference for his work, they're try to find ways to help w/memory and fight this alzheimer and related shit w/different medicines. good proj, fuck if I ain't always fighting to remember right, remember more.

   we pull anchor at eleven, big hug for pete and his buddy chips. sky is gray but not raining, we pass a corral full of ponies - not horses but smaller-proportion-legged ponies who can handle mountains like motherfuckers, much respect to them. damn if I didn't wanna pull over and get my hands petting all over them but I think of the tour's mission and hold back. it's south on I-90 'til we're 'pert-near on the border w/illinois where I get a sack of curds and fuel for the boat - I get a kind called "pizza curds" just to see what they're like, they got little pieces of pepperoni w/them.

a sack of curds watt got in southern wisconsin on september 30, 2014

curds are a trippy chow for sure, maybe don't wanna eating them all the time but I seem to find them mostly in these parts cuz of the dairy stuff. it's a two hour drive w/no traff but it takes four for us cuz plug and also the whole illinois part of I-90 under construction w/fortyfive mph zones. getting to the lake view part of chi-town and dropping anchor at four is still an hour ahead. so righteous the good folks at schuba's (where we're playing) always have barriers reserving us a spot. the fratelli go wander while I chimp diary, the padboss annie very kind - I get a bowl of veg chili for dinner after doing soundcheck w/juan (great to have him be fourth man tonight!) when the fratelli return, fratello andrea w/a new cymbal in his hand. we're to go on at nine so I got a good amount to make up for that shitty konk last night in the boat.

   one of the bartenders who work has a band that shares the stage w/us called the nones - this pad has so many good folks. fratello ste rousts me when it's our turn. I had to cover w/two blankies and keep the gaicca giallo on but still I had great konk. tonight's gig I find a little disconnected w/my fratelli but still it was not disaster so I don't mean to imply that. the chicago gig-goers I felt I didn't connect w/them as good as I could but I think there was something w/me which is fucking crazy cuz damn if joe boon didn't tell me it was marc bolan's bday and so I said I was playing tonight in his honor - you know that me, d. boon and his younger brother joe's first gig we attended was t-rex concert at the long beach auditorium - their pop danny took us! anyway, I thought I could've done better connecting w/the fratelli and I bring up nuance stuff for "nanos' waltz" immediately after (I do that kind of shit, sucsi) but the chicago gig-goers are most kind to have us back so that cuts (maybe mercifully?) that speech and we bring "zoom" to the folks.

   a bassman who's in a john langford band is among many bassmen and a basslady to talk w/me after at the merch table. I am huge mekons fan and of course kind of (kind of?!) into bass and those who work it so yeah, let me boost us all from the bottom up, on thick low team w/fist in the air! I meet a cat from beijing and tell him so much I wanna visit his town - I love am huge p.k. 14 supporter! he asks me about kpop... I tell him I am minzy supporter also.

   stevie from split red has just moved here from phily and has offered up his pad for us to konk in - the fratelli are visiting w/the good people at drag city records and man, do I feel like a bozo asking them to load up but... aaarrrgggghhh, I wish I could load up myself and give these guys a break - I feel so inadequate all cojo like I am, damn me. hard to find parking where stevie and alex live but we find a block and a half away under bright corner on big street lights. the hobble's ok cuz now the rain's gone, deck even dry. their pad is tiny but happening. a couch came w/it and the fratelli can konk on that when it pulls out, I got the the two cushions to make the hardwood deck less hard. before that though I get to hear stevie interview everyone, he's curious man. I catch up on some i-net and find this sad news about a band I love big time: adebisi shank, damn. this is intense also, those bosses w/the hairdye (looks like shoe polish), please open your hearts - that's why the umbrellas are. some of kevin's seven year beam gets gulped (fratello andrea made shlep back to boat to retrieve, I bow head) and then after some spiel w/stevie, I konk.

wednesday, october 1, 2014 - saint louis, mo

from andrea:

   Woke up at Steve's at around 9:30. During the night I heard Mike snoring really strong, as I was hearing it nonetheless my earplugs I was sleeping in another room. I ate a lemon buttermilk donut Steve bought and drunk a glass of almond milk. Steve has a few interesting books about the Mexican left wing movements and revolution. He gave us a CD of his band Split Red. We drove out of Chicago along the I-55, which is also the first section of the famous Route 66, that connected Chicago with L.A. before the Eisenhower interstate system. When we left the city we saw many farms, some of them old and abandoned, some other new and in a perfect shape. Many of these barns are part of big companies investments. We stopped to buy a Subway sandwich on the road. I drove for the last two hours to Saint Louis. When we entered into the city, I saw the Gateway Aarch, designed by Eero Saarinen right after the second world war and erected in the early 60's. The weather changed drastically from Chicago along the way to Saint Louis, it became hot and humid. We crossed the city downtown driving south, and then arrived at the Blueberry Club at around 16:30. While we were waiting Mike trying to explain us the whole AC/DC system.

   The Blueberry Club has a crazy aesthetic. The owner took selfies with many famous musicians, put them on frames and hanged them covering entire walls in several rooms of the restaurant on the ground floor. Next to the club there is a statue of Chuck Berry, who, when is in a good shape, plays in this club once in while. In fact the room where we played is called the duck room. The soundcheck with sound men Rusty, was very fast. At the beginning there was a ring coming from a speaker, and I thought it was coming from my rack tom, but then he realized it was coming from the speaker itself. My old Ludwig drum kit sometimes does weird rings coming from its old hardware, so I'm often concerned about these issues. We went upstairs at the bar, where everyone except me had dinner. I didn't want to eat before the show, I wanted to wait until the end of the show, I still had the taste of raw onions of the Subway sandwich in my mouth. Before the show I took a little walk, and bumped into Vintage Vinyl record store, and checked out some used LP's, I found Tom Verlaine's "Dreamtime", but I didn't buy it because I left my money in the club. When I came back to the venue I worked a bit on my website, while Stefano was updating his own.

   The first band who played was called Baldeaglemountain, and the second one Breakmouth Annie, who reminded me a bit about Jawbreaker. They were both good bands. When we started playing I was wearing earplugs, and by the end of the first part of the set the right one fell off, so I took the other one out, and the volume shock was big. I thought wearing earplugs was good idea idea, as during the soundcheck I felt that the volume would be quite loud during the show, but at the end they were cutting too many frequencies off, so I to put them in my show shirt pocket. During the second half of the sound show the resonance of the floor tom was ringing so loud it really affected my playing, so I played the rack tom in some parts where we had to play little. Eye contact between the three of us was much better tonight, and in Mountain Top Stefano and I cued each other perfectly. During Us in Their Land, my arms were a bit stiff, because when I don't have a good listening situation on stage I tend to play louder and to loose relaxation. During the set Mike moved my monitor, which was obstructing his path. Right after the show we packed up while Mike went to the merchandise table. Aaron and Patricia hosted us. We drove to Patricia's house with her in the van giving directions, to the south of the city in a residential area. She has a one floor house with a big basement room with a bar counter. She also has two beautiful and sweet dogs I played with a bit. Stefano was too tired and he slept upstairs by himself. Tricia made a good salami & cheese sandwich, and I ate it while chatting with her, Mike, Hiyori and Aaron.

from stefano:

   we wake up early. it is kind of a long driving. i eat a donuts and my stomach does not feel not very good. damn why i have eaten that ..there were nice bagels with hummus on the other side of th tables. it is kind of a long driving till St Louis. we see the arch on the waterfront . we play at the blueberry duck where Chuck Berry plays once in month. he is 86 and he is going to play here in 5 days. All the venue is filled up with memorabilia of him and photos of the owner with all the artists that passed by and came to play here..there is like everyone on this walls. the restaurant bar has also funnies decorations all around with action figure from bands, cartoon characters, baseball players, wrestling heroes funny all about american heroes and immaginarios. I eat a bean burghers with a salad. Rusty makes sounds for us. others two bands are openings baldeaglemountains and breakmouth annie. good. We play a good gig and people are very happy about but as soon as we finish i start to feel sick ..damn .. fuck .. again.. the air conditioning is making my body very sick again. I guess also is since march i am not stopping that is probably why my body is so weak. i never had so many physical problems on a tour like on this one. So we go staying at Aaron and Tricia for the night and i try to go sleep immediatly and trying to get the more rest as possible. so i sleep upstair on the coach but i cannot really .so i go on the carpet where finally i can take sleep.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells, didn't hose off last night and fuck it, ain't gonna now - sometimes (actually hardly ever if I got a choice) I do that. I do get going on emails since I got a chance. when stevie pops, he goes and gets coff and buttermilk donuts but I take only the coff - the fratelli buttermilk it up, maybe their first ones ever, I think. the weather's all sun I notice through the window as stevie conducts more q and a. he is sure kind to us though. he's got a bagel I chow. comes eleven he accompanies me on the hobble to the boat, big hug to hold 'til we see him again in phily. good luck his way I'm sending for him and alex in their new pad, just after eleven when we pull anchor.

   lucky the route we're on ain't due east (buttload of plug and heavy traff) but south, I-55, the fucking "double nickels" freeway, right on. we do get a look at the downtown, what used to be called the sears tower and stuff before bringing her about and then some corroded infrastructure before it's cornfields and lots of midwest stuff but whatever flies by has never bored me, never. we listen to bucky pope's new band's cd he gave me last night and we listen to stevie's latest split red release. we fuel up where there's no chow I'm taking a chance (or any of us for that matter) not too far from the interstate for peoria - peoria is the town my ma went to after dines in wyoming ran out of coal and got closed by the company that built it, she went to high school in peoria and the uncle (her brother) my middle name is after still lives there. a few exits later is a subway sandwich pad and I wait in the boat while everyone gets something to go, half a tuna/pickles/olives/mustard for me - fratello andrea tries my stuff-the-sandwich-w/potato-chips technique on his own volition, I didn't foist a suggest on him, he just observed what I did earlier on tour. while I was waiting, I called bookerman steve kaul (the man outside the van) for the second time - no third time today. yeah, I kept forgetting shit and had to call back twice. I love steve, can't wait to see him in manhattan. I had the helm over to fratello andrea just after springfield, mr lincoln's town. I try to explain balkan wwII and right after history to fratello andrea but the watt-speak is too crazy and I can tell he is swimming in crazy sounds about tito, benito and 'dolph too much.

on the way to st louis in illinois on october 1, 2014

st louis waterfront from over the mississippi on october 1, 2014

   fratello andrea takes us the rest of the way to saint louis which is across the mississippi (we cross again!) and into missouri (bye bye illinois), watt seeing the arch and all that by the waterfront (used to do gigs right on it at a pad called "mississippi nights" going back to minutemen days!) but first time for everyone else on board and they're digging it. we go actually much east of downtown in a part called university city at a pad called the duck room at blueberry hill where I've played much. behind the venue has a righteous park sitch for load in/out... I do the same crazy 'splaining thing w/fratelli about mr tesla and ac power cuz I see a transformer on a pole - prolly like the one that boomed in fresno near this tour's beginning - again I get the baka face from both of them, my fault, scusi. gigboss john's very cool people and after doing check w/soundman rusty (he had a speaker grill rattling), he does buyout for us but why not chow here? after meeting one of the openers baldeaglemountain (from nearby edwardsville), I chow a rueben just cuz my eyes stabbed soon as I opened the menu. it ain't new york but it's real good in my mouth. oh, gigboss john says breakmouth annie is also gonna play - maybe only one other three band bill so far on this tour? I don't know but he still wants us going off (not on!) at 10:15 which is fucking right on - it's a work night, right?

   I go to the boat and konk, fuck if it ain't a most miserable one cuz of the fucking humidity... christ it's unbearable, a big time asskicking on me and the konk is way lame, I can't believe I even went under, a series interrupted swelter sessions actually 'til fratello ste brings some tea and I get the shirt back on and up out the boat which breaks my heart that it served as incubator on me (not its choice, I know) but what a fucking relief to have a little wind blow on me as I get in and downstairs to work the gig. I'm big time ready to rally after kind of not having it so together last night - I throw everything I got into being connected w/the fratelli and after moving the fucking huge drum monitor that's in the way, I physically as well as psychologically make it happen. it's a great gig for me and what also helped was the fucking righteous spirit of the saint louis gig-goers, crimony! it was a total connect on all levels, big success and big rally. I dearly thank everyone for helping me, everyone. much respect from watt.

   at the table by the hatch I rap many folks, so much good will shared w/me. longtime gig-goers and friends like .e (dottie) and marty who had us konk w/him last time - he invites again, what a beautiful cat but we've accepted an offer from aaron and tricia... but damn am I grateful cuz him and his wife showed us a righteous time last go 'round... he gives me a shirt raul donated when we there which is a trip cuz I got a shirt last I saw him that was mine - not just any but the fucking second opera flannel, crimony! many many kind words folks share, thank you thank you good people, thank you.

   we load out and get the boat packed before the drizzle that's started gets on more. say bye to gigboss john and pull anchor - I mistakenly think some cat is aaron and tricia in their ride and 'pert-near give him a heart attack w/flashing lights and horn honks - what a fucking baka I am, sorry. we do connect w/aaron and tricia eventually, tricia rides w/us and directs us north of princeton hills parts of town to her pad which is empty of her quadruplets - yeah, four babies now five years old but away to accomodate us, ain't that beautiful? her and aaron truly are beautiful and down stairs they got the most righteous kind of totally carpeted den where we drink jameson and she asks me "strummer or townshend?" and I'm like "what?" but do get to turn her on to "complete control" from the connect and she had never heard of that before and actually it's the only clash I really know of, those early singles and the green record. I like who up to "live at leeds" and then "quadrophenia" but mostly the 60s stuff like "sell out" - oh, "a quick one" was a big inspiration for all three of my operas (not "tommy" cuz I don't why). forgot to say I got in the nightwear right upon entry after hosing off, loved that. it's a real good time here, thank you aaron and tricia much, truly.

thursday, october 2, 2014 - memphis, tn

from andrea:

   In the morning Patricia made some gravy, biscuits, potatoes and eggs, a real midwest breakfast. The temperature cooled down a bit during the night, the air was fresher than the day before. We said goodbye to Aaron and Patricia. Next stop was Memphis Tennessee. In the van we listened to The Wipers, a 70-80's Portland punk band. I've never heard this band before, which is strange as it seems very a influential one for several US bands. When we crossed the border and went into Tennessee, I saw cotton fields for the first time in my life. We stopped at a gas station, but it looked too rusty to fill the gas tank, so I only stretched up a bit, moved my legs and bought a chocolate snack. This was probably the first chocolate sweet in a month, I'm barely eating chocolate on this tour. We hit a big storm on the I-55. It was raining really hard and the wind was blowing so strong that, entering in Memphis, on the bridge over the Mississippi river, many street barriers were flying around. Mike drove around them safely. We arrived early, at about 16:00 in front of the Hi-Tone club. While we were waiting for the sound men, I walked around the block. Next to the venue there is a giant beat down empty factory. In the same block there was a flea market, who looked great from outside, with several strange set designs made out of used items, but unfortunately it was closed. I entered in what I was thinking was a bookstore, because there where many books with prices around, but when I got in I saw many people chatting together in the room behind, and young girl came to me and explained me this was a cultural center for young people. They were selling a book written by these kids. Another guy came as well, and while I was looking at this books they were just staring at me, very suspicious, so I left. The block looks a bit shabby, but it has its own character. The room next to the venue was an art gallery, and they were setting up a show. When we got into the venue, there was just the bar tender Stacy. I met Steve, the guitarist of the opening band the Joint Chiefs and tonight's host. Steve suggested me to talk to an italian speaking Croatian. I talked a bit with this men, interesting person.We talked about his origin, and he told me he worked in Italy and Germany, and also he doesn't consider separation between slavic people, as he moved to US during the Yugoslav Wars. Most of the time talking about origins and roots is just an excuse to start a conversation, and at the end of the day the importance in meeting different people around the world is not about that, is much about the meeting itself, here and now. In the backstage there was only Past Blue Ribbon, so he bought me a Mexican beer, Modello, which I liked. I waited in the room next to the bar for about one hour, then I went back to the stage and I met Joel, the sound men, who was setting up the stage. The soundcheck was really quick, Joel knows the room, but it was already around 19:00. I had some chicken wings with BBQ sauce, a small hot dog and a spoon of corn and green beans. I looked at the hot dog bread ingredients and it looked like there was almost no flour.

   We were supposed to play at 22, so at 21:00 I went to the concert room and checked if the first band The Joint Chiefs was starting, but there were no instruments on stage yet. They started to play half an hour later. Before the end of their show I saw Mike coming in the venue, ready for playing with them, but somehow this didn't happen. The show was very difficult for me, I couldn't really hear what was going on, the guitar was too loud from my position, the bass blurry and the drums small. Luckily there were hardcore fans supporting the show. Blake came from Nashville to see us, and knew my work with Carla and our collaboration with David Grubbs. Stefano and I packed up very fast, and a few kind people helped us to load the van, especially because it was raining. We had a little chat wit them and then Steve and Karen jumped into the van with us and we all went to their house in West Memphis. There was a constant rain, and a strong humidity. In front of their house it was all wet and muddy. I took a shower and a few minutes more to relax with Stefano, Mike and Steve sitting on the couch in the living room. The air conditioning was at maximum level. Steve played some songs from a Japanese hard rock band from the 70's. I was too tired to hanging out too long so I went upstairs, put my earplugs and slept on this a 2 and a half feet high bed with the background sound of the air conditioner.

from stefano:

   i wake up at 10:00. Tricia prepares for us nice breakfast. i eat a very nice green. So good so fresh i think is our cavolo nero but i am not sure is really that.. but very close. they have two very nice cats. Tricia is mother of four twins! so i ask her what kind of feeling she had when she found out and how she how everything has been. She is a strong woman. At eleven we go on the road for Memphis. Fratello Mike plays the Wipers on the stereo and i never heard f this band before. fratello Mike cannot believe that we never heard them before and he said Cobain got big influence from them. i can see that you can really ear it in the music. it is a very interesting band. i like the sound a lot. we see cotton fields, pizza road as usual. We find black clouds and rain and especially a lot of wind just crossing the bridge with plastic barrel moving around in the middle of the road. But even if very strong i have the impression that the real storm actually is somewhere else and we are just getting a tiny tip of that.. i see some lightnings..still the weather is humid and hot. we arrive a little bit earlier. the venue is still close. i take a walk around. i see some kind of flea's shops market and some 2nd hand shops. a very old abandoned fabric and few people around. A hula hop center and an art gallery. i also see a post office so i go to send a postcard for Ross. then i wait writing some diaries.

   The club seems more of a squat. i am starving and a nice man who works here prepares food for everyone and put it on a self service table Unfortunatly there is only corn and green beans for vegetarian. so i stay light. We meet Stevo who is playing tonight with his band Joint Chiefs as well and we ares going to stay at his house. he plays an sg and many solos. it is kind of a difficult acoustic for the gig but i think we play good anyway. i get out of focus in the first part because fratello Mike tells me the guitar is too loud on stage from his prospective. -it sounded well balanced where i was but the room was really tricky- anyway i go to turn down and adjust the amp but when i am doing this Fratelli start with the new song. kind of defocused me from the one being togheter sense and required me a while to feel the right emotions flow. We speak briefly later and more the day after about. i knew fratello Mike was bit under pressure cause actually we start 40 minutes later and also because the emotions connected to his dear friend Doug who recently died and fratello Andrea in that moment is focused on fratello Mike eyes. After the gig i meet Blake and Columbus from Nashville. i played there 11 years ago with fratello Bruno. Blake tells me he really likes my solo record on die -schachtel and they both knew about our others projects as well. i speak with Rebel at the door and an kind of elegant lady arrives and take my hand and looks me in the eyes for a while touching my hand for some seconds and says to me "i am giving you some energies.. i think you need them. take care" trippy..maybe she is reading the diary but she does not look like the type. Anyway we load, we go in the van also with Karen and Stevo at their place. Karen is Doug sister and Stevo wife. they are moving to Arkansas soon so the house is a bit upside down. it is raining outside and Stevo plays some heavy metal band from japan on you tube. i go sleep on the deck upstairs.

   One of the most beautifull things of this tour is that we sleep every night at someone house. it is a great way to know more about people lives, their countries and their humanity. we really much more get close to what america is and how diverse is at the same time

from watt:

   pop at ten bells and upstairs find aaron and tricia cooking up breakfast chow for us, so kind. I have some cale, fried eggs and... sourdough bread! whoa, again this far east but what's really a trippy is the aaron and tricia don't realize it is sourdough bread! what a trip... I'm always getting my mind blown!

   pull anchor at eleven, I take us through some burbs on the way to I-55 which pretty much follows the mississippi rive south to where we play next, memphis. the weather's windy but no rain for now. in scott city we stop for piss (fratelli won't us piss bottles), I consider gassing up but the pumps look beat so instead I get a sack of popcorn w/chili powder on them. they call this freeway "the great river road" but though we're close to big muddy, we can't see it. we pass a sign for a fireworks pad called "boomland" and soon after pass a guard airfield w/an military jet on display. later we pass a town called braggadocio - is it italiano? on and off sprinkles but as we get closer to arkansas, huge black clouds appear ahead of us. I fuel right after crossing the border and damn if they ain't got a cable w/mini phono plugs on both sides, yes! I can now use my ipod's earphone port to feed the radio's aux input and stuff stronzos into the ears of all those in the boat. I put on the wipers first album and am mindblown to the fact that the fratelli have never heard of this band - what?! the rain starts coming down in buckets, some tiny hail even. the sky goes black w/storm. fuck, is it coming down but luckily everyone's driving safe and we have no assholes to make things worse. the road is really filling up w/water but then it relents. what a soundtrack to this crazy storm shit: the wipers... appropriate! everything calms as we get to I-40 for a big port east. it's around here, a town called earle where my pop's pop came from. as we get closer to the mississippi, the wind picks up and I mean really picks up - fuck, it's blowing hard. on the bridge itself (hi there tennessee - bye bye arkansas, sorry for the short stay), these orange barrier marker plastic barrels are getting blow all over and I gotta maneuver the boat much to keep from hitting them or getting hit while still staying in the lane - pretty scary time but we make it across safe and though I miss a turn we end up getting to the midtown part of memphis just after four. I back here right to the wrong hatch to load in - no one's here at the hitone (where we're playing tonight - actually it's my first time here at this new location) so everyone goes exploring on their own. there's a huge fucking busted up beat down closed factory nearby and I'm wondering what the fuck was this here for, maybe textiles? as we were going down the road starting in southern missouri, the fratelli for the first time saw cotton fields... I wonder.

watt by some graffiti on the street in the midtown part of memphis, tn on october 2, 2014

   the barlady stacy opens up the place at five and I move the boat to the right hatch. damn if it ain't humid yet intermittent w/the sprinkles. steveo shows up w/his guitar - not in a case but in his hand. he's playing w/the joint chiefs, the openers for our gig. his wife's karen who's brother doug was a dear buddy of mine, passing away a few years ago from diabetes, broke my heart. his memphis buddy chris comes by just before our check w/soundman joel. man, we both miss doug much. damn it's hard for me learning the lesson of losing people. the cookman here at the pad makes me up some good bbq chicken and a hotlink in a bun like a dog - I chow it w/bbq sauce, trippy. it's good eats, dirty rice too. he even brought it over to me, very kind. rebel's a cat who was the doorman at antenna club here in the old days, the first pad the minutemen ever played in memphis. he comes to say hi just before I go to the boat and konk. good to see rebel again. we lost power for a sec which is good only a sec cuz lots of the neighborhood got theirs blown out due to that wind storm earlier.

stefano pilia on the drums at the hitone in memphis, tn on october 2, 2014

   not as bad as the hellkonk in saint louis but damn enough down that road, I don't have a good time. the joint chiefs have me pop somehow at ten and I meet fratello ste at the hatch, what a coincidence. whoa, out front's parked a 50s california highway patrol car, crimony!

old chp patrol car parked in front of the hitone in memphis, tn on october 2, 2014

   now steveo wanted me to do "tv eye" w/them but the drummer scissored that plan so oh well. I eat a dog they got a tray of them by the bar... I have it w/mustard. I don't think I've ever eaten a dog so close to playing a gig. fuck, forty minutes after joel asked us to go... I hate doing shit like to gig-goers on a work night, hate it.

   the set is tough for me, very emotional thinking about my buddy doug. I blow some ridiculous clams but they're more like just notes and not whole parts so I'm glad for that. someone put a sticker on my shirt w/his face on it but it's the side where my strap goes so it got taken off, damn. I wanted to play good for doug in his town but difficult for me this time. I'll try again, I swear. hard gig, I wanted to do good for the memphis gig-goers also. I holler "doug rockett!" when we finish.

   over at the merch table I talk to one young man who drove from nashville, he gives me a cassette for tom watson. another young man - I actually remember his name: dylan... well, earlier he gave me a pbass body and pickguard and had me sign his bass he does gigs w/which I do lots of but the last time somebody gave me a bass body was I think in canada, a bassman w/out sight that always gave me great gig reports cuz his impressions were purely from sound. I hope he's doing good these days. dylan here helps us load out, thank you. he wants me to play his hometown, where mr faulkner was from in mississippi. I really wanna do that and hope some time I can.

   takes a little while w/the padboss jonathan, he's always been good w/me and I dig seeing him again. we get steveo and karen in the boat w/us and pull anchor, dropping it again at their pad cuz they've invited us to konk there. I hose off and get into my nightwear. steveo tells me about the time he shared a bill w/jim dandy magnum and they almost came to blows over captain beefheart, jim dandy saying the captain was lame. crimony, I dug seeing black oak arkansas in the old days, hard to believe he had those views but I trust steveo - just surprised. I always thought mr roth kiped some from jim dandy, maybe folks might be surprised to hear that. I konk on the couch right where I was spieling from.

friday, october 3, 2014 - louisville, ky

from andrea:

   At 6 am I heard Steve playing and singing/screaming, so I woke up and not really been able to get back to sleep till the sunrise, I think for about half an hour later. Then I woke up again at 10. Steve and Mike were chatting again together. I made a hot tea and drank it in the front porch. I saw Steve's guitar layer on a chair outside, he left it there during the night... The weather was much better than the last night, even if the sky was covered by clouds. We thanked Karen and Steve and drove outside Memphis on the I-40 direction Nashville. We left at 11, and realized the GPS calculated an approximate arrival at around 19-20 pm, so we realized we had to cross another Time Zone, and we forgot to take this into the account the night before. The Interstate was covered by green hills, full of trees and made out black stones. These stones became white on the I-65 direction Louisville. Along the way Mike called the club in Lousiville, Zanzabar, to let them know we were late. We hit a strong traffic around Nashville and the Interstate I 65 was packed.We arrived at 20 local time. We didn't have time to soundcheck, so loaded out the instruments and went to the green room and chilled out a bit. The Zanzabar is also a restaurant. I had two tacos, one with avocado and one with falafel, plus some totz (fried grated potato balls). Tim Barnes came to visit Mike. He is a great drummer and sound artist, and I've been listening to his music for long time since the late 90's. It was great to see him there. He played with Mike in the band The hand of the man band, with Thollem McDonas and John Dietrich.

   I went inside the club, and I saw the last song from The Debauchees and I really liked it. Everyone in the band had his/her own distinctive technique. We set up the stage very quickly, so did the sound men Joe. The show was great, I loved it, even if the on stage was really loud and wild. The audience was fantastic. I saw a couple of people dancing! Right after the show, we went to Scott Burn's house with Tim as well. We had a few beers and talked about many things and friends in common. Tim has a great record label called Quakebasket and at the moment he's organizing shows in a venue called Dreamland. It was a nice meeting. Scott is also a music person, and knows a lot of good music. While we were chatting he put some good music from Louisville like Papa M, Gastr del Sol, and more good stuff. Then rolled down the sleeping bag on Scott's comfortable couch next to the window.

from stefano:

   we go on the road kind of late...around 11. we find a lot of plugs because of road constructions plus we are going in the next time zone so we loose an hour. we arrive in Louisville kind of late. i drive the last three hours more or less listening to Blind Willy Johnson. We arrive around 8 so not in time for sound check. The green room is on the other side of the road. it is filled up with old flippers and video games. i eat a small taco and drink a beer and i miss the debauchees. They are very young trio. Two girls and drummer man. they seems to be cool people. i like this venue and this stage almost non existant. it is like playing on the floor. i feel good, the gig is good and good sounds, nice vibe people are really into it. After the gig we meet Tim Barnes. i know a lot about him, his music and his label quake basket. He is a great musician and we have many friends-musician in common. David Grubbs first of all, but also Dean Roberts new zealand musician that lived in NY for 10 years and then he moved to Bologna for couple of years. Now he got back to New Zeland, Marina Rosenfeld electroacustic composer who teaches at barn college, Berry Weissblat musician and sound engineer, Margarida Garcia portuguese double bass player that has lived in NY for some years and many others. Tim has lived in NY for many years, making a lot of great music and collaborating with many musicians- with fratello Mike also in the hand to man band- most recently he has moved to Louisville since some years where he runs a venue for music and lives with his family. It is great to meet him and speak with him. his music vision is 360 grade freshly opened So we are going to staying at Scott and his family for the night. Tim also come for a couple of hours. Scott is a very interesting man. He has been helicopters lieutenant for many years. he lived in Germany for a while and he is also very much into music. He plays some Papa M , Gastr del Sol..he knows a lot and he follows Mike's music since many years. The house is full of stuff in every angles but you can see there is a strong sense of order around . i take a shower in the basement downstairs and then i sleep on mattress. i really like this house, there is something special about. Scott tells me is very old... beginning of the century.

from watt:

   pop at ten bells, whoa - very late and as I find out later, very baka. one last long rap w/steveo and karen, this pad here is 'pert-near history for them cuz they're bailing in a couple of days for eureka springs over on the west side of arkansas. we got nice sun and the storm blew out the humidity so very nice weather to say bye w/and I give them both big hugs. last night someone put a doug rockett sticker on the boats portside porthole - I'm leaving it.

karen + steveo in memphis, tn on october 3, 2014

sticker of doug rockett on portside porthole of the boat in memphis, tn on october 3, 2014

   we pull anchor at eleven. I get us through a buttload of construction here in memphis and take it calm, eventually getting us east on I-40. learning from the navigatori cuz of its calculated arrival time showing close to seven pm I realize I am a total baka and forgot about both construction delays and the time zone hour loss - I was stunad to think it was gonna be hit on next day's ride instead of the reality of it being just west of louisville, where we're playing tonight. I pull us off at a subway sandwich pad which is next to a filling station so we can do the parallel processing thing, dropping everyone off before man-alone w/the gas pump. I beat them! I also see a cat walking back and forth on the sidewalk w/a subway sandwich sign on his back and give thanks for the work I'm lucky to have. fratello andrea pushes stronzos containing sandy bull into our ears. I chow the tuna/pickles/olives/mustard sandwich but not in a single shovel, I piece it out over time. there's a buttload of traff and plug on this freeway, much construction. I learn the fratelli about kudzu tons of it carpeting some of the roadsides, really intense. at a reststop just east of nashville I hand the wheel over to fratello andrea who has to deal w/much commuter going home rush traff (why do they call it "rush" when traff plug prevents any kind of "rush" at all?!), I call the venue for tonight in louisville and explain we're gonna be late cuz of a "brain problem" which really ain't bullshitting cuz I was baka not to have us shove off earlier from memphis. a couple of hours later, after getting us north on I-65, into kentucky and just past bowling green (where the make corvettes and they got a bitchen museum where I've been twice), I have pony switch - fratello ste to drive now so as to spread out the wheelman load. he has to deal w/a huge plug crawl cuz of a truck wreck, really lame but hell - we get there when we get there, right? we pass where mr lincoln was born, it's here the traff clears some. of course kentucky's about bourbon and we pass the beam still but don't stop.

   we get there at eight and damn if the rain just starts to come down. my old buddy kemp is here from indiana, even brought his boy joe who helps w/the load-in, much respect! mark's the gigboss and very understanding - very kind to us and sets up chow right here from the kitchen at zanzabar and I get fish and chips but instead of fries, mark has me substitute them for tater tots, alright! the hand to man band drummerman tim barnes shows up - the fratelli know all about him, more than me! I just loved playing w/tim for that album - it's one I'm really proud to be a part of. tim is righteous people and has been living here now seven years. so good to see him again! I spend all the time before we go on spieling w/him so I miss the debauchees - I really wanted to see them... watt again getting caught up in spiel, aaaarrrgggghhhh.

   of course no soundcheck but soundman joe has us up good and quick, respect to him. the louisville gig-goers got some fire they share w/us, it's a good gig even w/me clamming some but not a lot. "verse IX" had me blowing out the next part to last real bad and would be lame for me to lay that a lady who hollered right when I had to make the move so I won't do that. I feel a little bit but it's a good energy from the fratelli to boost me up to their level and I'm most grateful. it's a good rally from last night for me but still I'm thinking of doug though it's happening I get to play better for him instead of floundering amongst an emotional choke.

   damn, the merch table's way far from the hatch, aarrgghh but I deal w/it - so much kindness shared w/me and damn if this cat who saw the minutemen in 1985 in indiana ain't got a tshirt that had a drawing in d. boon's own hand, from the "mersh alive in '85" tour!

watt + gig-goer w/minutemen tour shirt w/d. boon-drawn design in louisville, ky on october 3, 2014

much respect for sharing past blast but damn if I didn't get his name. a cat from almost that far back, a man I met while he was flying a observation helicopter in germany for the army, scott burns is here and w/a beautiful invite to konk at his pad like last time I was here but w/my missingmen.

   gigboss mark settles w/me and I learn he's started paddling kayak, doing it in the river which is something I've never done. I thank him much for bearing w/us and having us aboard (same w/the good folks at zanzabar) and we pull anchor for scott's pad. tim barnes follows us and has a great rap w/the fratelli soon as we drop anchor, me hosing off and getting in my nightwear before remembering some of the recording experiences we had making that hand to man band album in austin. lots was done after also - tim really saved the day w/that, pulling it out in the bottom of the ninth. now here's a fucking trip: he hips me to the fact that nicholas, the recordingman for that proj's pop was manager for who? sandy bull - what the fuck?! we were playing tons of his stuff in the boat coming up here, damn. ain't life full of trippy syncnro-whatever-the-fuck shit like that.

   scott's put a futon on the deck w/is righteous for me to konk on. have some that "prairie breeze" cheese from those mennonite cats that righteous man pete gave me back in madison, crimony is it fucking good, love it! only a little though cuz I don't want any fucking 'mares.

saturday, october 4, 2014 - columbus, oh

from andrea:

   I woke up with quite noises from the kitchen. The couch where I slept was really comfortable, I slept really good. I had breakfast with granola with almond milk and a toast with two eggs. Scott Burns showed us two snakes he has, a corn snake and a Ball Python. His son Jack showed me a big spider he has in a glass case in his bedroom, damn, I hate spiders! Tim Barnes came at about 10:30 just to give us a generous pile of CD's for each one of us, plus some The Hand of the Man records for the merchandise table. We left Scott's house at 11:00 and drove through Bardstown Road, Louisville's main street. The I-74 North to Cincinnati is hilly and the stones around the road white. We crossed two towns one called Verona, named after my Italian hometown, and another one called Florence. After Cincinnati the land became flat on I-71 north. We arrived in Columbus, Ohio at around 15:00. This city is the first place I've ever visited in the U.S.. In 1999 I was invited by a friend from Columbus who lived in Italy for a while. I remember that at that time I was pretty shocked by the fact that the in certain suburbs areas the daily life revolves around track homes and strip malls. Now that I have a wider idea of what US is, I'm still impressed by the weirdness of this place. The venue called The Basement is located in the Arena district, which is part of the downtown, and it is part of a bigger complex of venues called promowestlive. It was Saturday, so that part of the city was really empty, there were no people around. When we arrived we first parked inside a gate next to two big nightliners and a big trailer for concert equipment, and after a few minutes we realized we were in the wrong club, all these stuff belonged to a big country band who was playing in the big stage. The weather was quite pretty bad, cold and windy, I realized it when we were loading in. The venue has very low ceiling and a weird shape. We met Brett the promoter, who was carrying tacos and hot sauce as snacks for the green room. Right after the soundcheck with sound men Joe, Britton drove Stefano and I to an Mongolian BBQ restaurant in the downtown, where we bought food to take away. In that place you could choose the food you wanted, put it in a cup and give it to the cooks, who coked it in front of you on a big 60 inches metal plate. There were many football fans in the restaurant waiting to be seated, I guessed there was an important match going on in that area. We went back and ate in the green room, which was quite dark, so I before the first band started I went outside to breath some fresh air because I was falling asleep.

   When I came back the first band Station started playing. Unfortunately the sound was quite blurry, I assume it was the combination of their sound, sharp and busy, with the sound of the room. When we finished setting up I went to the van and woke up Mike, he was covered by tons of blankets, it was really cold. The crowd gathered under the stage, very close to us, this helped me to get more energy, and from my point of hearing I could listen everything loud but good. We played the anchor tonight as well, the response was good. We loaded the van on a street curb with a lot of drunk people going back to their cars from the country show, then I went down to the venue to bring some beers and to say hello to Britton. We were hosted by John, who lives in a quite residential area just outside the downtown. His front porch was already set for Halloween, with fake nets, spiders, pumpkins and skeletons. He played some music for us through his P.A., starting from Fear, an L.A. punk band I didn't know, but with which Mike and John were singing along with. Then John played some slap bass, i had a beer and went to bed on the bunk bed. from stefano:

   we wake up around 8-9. Scott prepares breakfast for everyone. i take some fruits and two eggs with toasts. The coffee is the best i got so far. We met Jack, Scott 's son and his wife who does very good piece of arts. There are some good paintings of her around and some natura morta bell glass theca with interesting details inside. i also meet Scott's two snakes, One is young kentucky young snake called Goldie, is all red and brown and yellow, beautifull colors and the other one is 4 years old python. much bigger. i touch him a little bit and keep his tale in my hand. cold and has this strong muscular grip, he feels the air with his tongueŠ trippy animal.

   Tim pass just pass by before we hit the road. he come with many presents for us from his label quake basket. Thank you so much.. maybe i see him in june in italy . he is doing a project with a guy from catanzaro called Attillio which i do not known. we go on the road to Columbus a lot of clouds and it is cold.. it is the first real cold we have along the road. i played here around twice before. One with Jeffrey Alexander and Andrea and even more recently with Byron Westbrook. The sky in Columbus is grey. We play in the basement of a big venue in the Arena district very close to the baseball stadium. There is another big concert just outside. The gig boss Britton is young and kind man and take us to a mongolian barbecue to order food. it looks like a very American place rather than anything else. there is a lot of people around cause there is an important football match. The room is very difficult for sound but we play a good gig. we are playing good. we are getting expressive and confident with our materials. i see we have a strong potential. Station opens before us. Then we go sleep at John house. he is a good bass player. i end up being closed inside the toilet because of a broken. so i kind of scream and knock and john comes to rescue me. I am exhausted tonight and starting to feel sick but i enjoys a lot to listen to Devo and Fear. John plays this records at a very consistent volume and fratello Mike sings all the fear songs. nice time. i go sleep upstairs i can hear John starts to slap his bass for some time before.

from watt:

   pop ten of eight. that can of sparkling water scott offered me last night is good and cold in the fridge and righteous going down my throat after popping its top, yes. scott's got three hens: shirley, ester and mickey - and cooks up fresh eggs from two of them for me w/two little sausage pucks and some toast. nothing like fresh eggs like this, nothing like it! thank you scott. he whups up some coff also. using the internet, I find out billy rath passed a month and a half ago, damn. always wondered what happened to him - this spiel on him says he became a baptist preacher, whoa! was gonna get back on bass though... so sad. even though he took dick hell's place, I liked his playing w/the heartbreakers much.

   tim barnes comes by w/a bunch of music and damn, a box full of the hand to man band albums to be slung on this tour! by the way, I found out the only brown marbled colored "canto secondo" vinyl is what we got here w/us - org music only has black ones now. it's cold and windy but the sun is out as we say our byes and thanks, pulling anchor at eleven. I put us northeast on I-71. cuz of the talk w/tim barnes and the fratelli concerning experimental music, I relate to them my experience of being a younger man and hearing "imaginary landscapes" on kpfk (same station I used to hear richard meltzer's "hepcats from hell") w/host carl stone - I'd listen this every chance I could, incredible sounds for me and mindblowing. I never thought about trying this w/d. boon and the only records I got that were kind of like this were a couple of klaus schulze ones but I think this show had a profound effect on me even I didn't know the particulars. it was a mindblow to learn that sawako who's work I love knows mr stone and damn if fratello andrea just now tells me he shared a bill w/him earlier this year in germany - crimony, what a smal world! I tell the fratelli when I met nels cline I learned some of the so cal experimental scene through his hard work to push that (he talks about his "new music monday" scene here) plus the was the lafms which had some cats from the punk scene and then a few years ago I stumbled onto the amazing motoko honda who's mentor wadada leo smith I seen/heard at a nels cline trio gig and righteous joe berardi - by the way, I just recorded w/mo and joe at casa hanzo in pedro last summer... shit, I forgot stickman richie west (great cat) which nels turned me on - of course there's his beautiful twin brother alex so what I'm trying to say is I ain't totally ignorant of experimental music and have to say it's part of shaping my trip on music and still does. I have us fuel up in verona (kentucky, not italy - where fratello andrea's from!) and get some coff that's so mazui I get sick in my gut and gotta blow it out soon as we get across the ohio river (bye bye kentucky) and just past cinci, I gotta even have fratello andrea take the wheel cuz damn if it ain't hurting me kind of bad.

driving through southwest ohio towards columbus on october 4, 2014

   around four we get to a gray and real cold downtown columbus and to the basement where I've played before. that time we loaded in different so there's a little confusion - not just w/me but that man running the lot too... gigboss britton is there to meet me, "hey there!" we check w/soundman joe and then gigboss britton brings the fratelli to some mongolian bbq chow pad for our dinner feed. they bring me back a coup of soup that's kind of like gravy, trippy but it's enough for me. my gut sill hurts from that bunk coff but miss hiyori got me some tums to help but I think going and konk will help even more. I hear the openers for tonight, stations do soundcheck - hey, look at that bassman! respect. it is cold in the boat but I get four blankies piled up on me, zip up the yellow coat and get the orange hat on. I konk hard.

   fratello andrea rousts me - I've asked the fratelli to get me right when it's downbeat time so I ain't gotta stand around w/my cazzo in my hand so when I get in the hatch it's go time. it ain't the best sound on stage but damn if the spirit of the columbus gig-goers combined w/the fact it's prolly the least clam-filled gigs I've done on the tour but even more important is that I got a fire in me that's got this gig really hitting on all cylinders. the fratelli I feel our playing their asses off too. I think about last night in the middle of our set, thinking it was a good rally after the clunker I fumbled in memphis but damn did if it didn't have a buttload of clams all through it where now tonight, I got it going. now this is dangerous thinking halfway through a set cuz fuck if that ain't a recipe for me snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory but somehow I get through the whole baby doing pretty ok, like I said: maybe my best gig of the tour. thank you fratelli, thank you columbus gig-goers! even my fucking gut ache was cured, didn't feel it once while we played and definitely not after.

   I go to the merch table (by the hatch where I like it) and a young man tells me his pop went to high school w/me (san pedro high) and graduated same year (1976) but fuck, I'm so sorry my memory's so terrible I can't put the name to a face, shit. I give him a big hug and tell him to please pass it on to his pop. ryan from the old mike watt bbs days is here, he says hi as I'm talking w/mike from indiana (konked at his pad last missingmen tour) who's got bassman craig bell from rocket from the tombs w/him, whoa. sorry to ryan - it's hard to keep several spiels going for me. ryan apologizes for not being able to see more than this gig for il sogno del marinaio - he says he's got several j mascis gigs to attend and I don't blame him cuz I'm a big j mascis fan also. lots of bassmen talk w/me, they all dig the fratelli and that makes me happy. last work w/gigboss britton, beautiful cat - I got much respect for him, he's the man. I go get the boat for the load out, there's another gig at this pad (there's a huge part connected) that's just getting out and I gotta avoid some crazy-ass driving but the fratelli and miss hiyori are on it and we get up and going like running a good gig, respect to this crew much!

   not even ten minutes from the venue I get us to grandview which is part of columbus area but in its own world, neat little neighborhood and I feel safe about the boat. john plays the first fear album - I can't believe the fratelli have never heard of fear but they dig it and I think they're a great band. he then plays a devo bootleg of old stuff, I'm into that and damn if they didn't come not too far from here, in ohio (akron was there town). I explain "dick leeching" which is what I call using your neighbors wifi - john here does that w/his phone but doesn't know how to access the password so were internetless but that ain't such a big deal when we hear from upstairs this desperate holler "john, I am locked inside" from fratello ste, he's trapped in the head. john rescues him, the door handle just spins from the inside but all is figured out and panic passes, whew. I drink a peroni beer w/some beam john provides which is good cuz the rolling rock he's got I can't handle - fratello andrea must've got some from the venue. the couch here is comfortable enough for me to konk right out on.

sunday, october 5, 2014 - detroit, mi

from andrea:

   I woke up with John playing slap bass. He played a 7" of his band Zuck's Turkey they recorded in 1998. I had breakfast with yogurt and bagel with peanut butter and green tea. Driving along the highway 23 north we saw a lot of Turkey Vultures. We saw them everywhere in the whole country, and that's because many tiers are killed on the streets by cars and trucks and become their food. I recalled about a lecture on field recordings by sound recordist Chris Watson he made for a BBC documentary in about some african vultures. We talked about Cabaret Voltaire, and on the album Mix Up, that Mike likes a lot, with Chris Watson at synthesizers & tapes. We crossed Toledo, the first city on Eerie Lake, and part of the so called "rust belt." We stopped for a quick break at a gas station where I bought a turkey cheddar cheese sandwich and a hot tea. It was very cold, and at another gas station and bought a orange hat for 6 dollars out of some hunters' clothes. We drove through I-75 North to Detroit. The city looks quite shabby, especially because of the grey and cold weather. The venue Magic Stick is in the downtown, next to the Wayne State University School of Medicine. There were a few sewer cowers steaming, and when we parked next to the venue on of those were right under us, spreading hot steam. I jumped off the boat and by in 0 seconds everyone disappeared, so I had to figure out where the venue was. I got into the bar next to the Majestic Theatre, and wondered around between the bar and the bowling. Then the bar tender saw me wandering around and then told me the venue was upstair. The room is quite big, with two big pool tables covered and two stages. We loaded in from the backdoor, through tiny stairs up to the first floor. It was one of the few clubs not accessible from the ground floor. Inside there were no lights on but after a few minutes we met the promoter Brian and did soundcheck with sound men Jay. I taped the floor stage with the green fluorescent gaffer tape, and put my drum kit in the back. Then I met Bob Teagan, who has been collecting audio and video material from a lot of interesting shows since late 1970's. He filmed Mike's music since the 80's and he wanted to tape and record this Detroit gig too. I spent some time talking with him, about his archive and things he saw and what's doing at the moment. Together with him there were some of friends, Patty, Chris & Mel. I went down at the Majestic restaurant, where I ate a Michigan Blackberry Salad. It was so good I took a picture of it and memorized the receipt. I loved the candied pecans together with the goat cheese. While we were waiting for the opening band I was working on my computer and John Coltrante's A Love Supreme spun over and over, 4 or 5 times I guess, before Stefano went to me and told me the opening band didn't show up. We set the stage at about 9:30 and played at 10:00. The speakers were hanging on a shelf built on the front top of the stage, and the monitors were in the same shelf too next to it, but directed the other way. I think it was a good show, Bob and Chris filmed everything. After the show I met a drummer called ewolf, drummer for the first Dirtbombs album. I saw Dirtbombs in Italy around 2006, but he told me he never toured Europe with them, only one single Amsterdam gig. Bob, Chris, they helped us loading the van. We drove to Bob Teagan's house. I had a beer, a rolled up half sandwich with turkey and cheese, some tortillas with guacamole. Mike stays always at Bob's , and they have this tradition to play Bob's video of Tenko playing at CBGB's, and a video from the Gories, Detroit's band from the 90's cranking up the hi-fi system volume. I took a quick shower and went back downstairs and watched more Bob's videos, a Sonic Youth one from 2000 in New York, an incredible piece for cello solo by Tom Cora in La Spezia and one with him at bass with the band Skeleton Crew with Zeena Parkins and Fred Frith, a Free Kitten song (with the video focused on Kim Gordon's face). After a while I went upstairs to bed, and get in my sleeping bag next to Stefano's, who was already sleeping.

from stefano:

   i wake up at 9. John is slapping the bass still! i hope he had some rest. I take shower we do breakfast and we say hello and go on the road. Detroit seems to be in a difficult time. we see a lot of abandoned buildings. I played 11 years ago around here but was more in the downtown area. i know it is the first town in the usa that declared bankrupt. i like the area we are. the venue has a bowling and a restaurant downstairs. I had ziti with zucchini and asparagus and a salad with Hiyori and Fratello Andrea. i feel cold all the day and i feel sick and i try to rest drinking a lot of water. the opening band does not show up. hope they are ok. so we go at 10. Bob Teagan comes to make video shoot for the concert with Chris and Mel some friends and crews. Thank a lot Bob. the sound is good and even if i feel sick i play a good gig with fratelli. the sound is very precise. Jay sounds guy is good .Thanks Jay. I meet Ewolf very kind man friend of Mike since years and also Robert very nice. he runned New Alliance for many years. We go sleep at Bob. He shoot many many musicians since years: Sonic Youth , Fred Frith , Tom Cora, Firehose, Mudhoney, Zeena Parkins and many others. As a ritual every time fratello Mike comes to his house he plays a live piece of Tenko at very loud volume. we guacamole with Tenko a crazy volume. i feel sick so i go sleep soon upstairs. there are at least 30 pillows in the room. Bob likes pillows and he is always looking for the best one, that 's why he has so many.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose-off, neglected that last night and just did nightwear switch like a baka. I find the makings for coff and produce a belljar full that I swallow up. when john pops he goes straight to his bass - he's a bassman and morning prac is part of his routine, I think that's a good thing. he uses pedals to loop and play over himself. zuck's turkey farm is the name of both his grandpa's actual turkey farm and his band. he does bass w/fratello ste, a duet - fratello ste got degree in double bass from university in bologna. even fratello andrea puts on one of john's basses. I look at the window and realize I got the boat parked in a no-parking zone, baka! they're yellow here and not the usual red. I run out and make the move w/the boat to nearby and legal, whew. I always worry about getting parking tickets or worse, getting fucking towed. john plays his ishkabible seven inch real loud. he's from lake erie originally and know about tripod jimmie, a band I really dig cuz of tom herman being in it. tom herman had big influence on d. boon along w/the voidoid guitarists and the cats in the pop group. john knows about the first time minutemen played this town - where the guy dukowski set our gig up w/denied ever such thing happened (I won't name the cazzo), so dan dugan gave us a gig that night at stache's and little brothers, put flyers up on high street and everything. righteous man dan dugan, truly kind always to watt, resepct. I ask john to please pass on my best when he sees him next.

   eleven bells arrives, big hug for bass brother john and we pull anchor, northwest on us-23 which I do believe goes all the way to ann arbor where the asheton brothers grew up, prolly goes beyond too but we hit I-75 to get us into toledo.

driving through northwest ohio towards toledo on october 5, 2014

the weather's gray but not as cold as yesterday. oh, got half a tuna/mustard/pickle/olive subway sandwich when we stopped near upper sandusky - fratello andrea's tripping much on this "sandusky" name - county, river towns, the whole enchilada. I play the third wipers album ("over the edge") as we're trapped in construction southern mich I-75 freeway that really needs it... the most beat road we've been on so far, I shit thee not. there's a game on downtown and I just get us in to detroit before that hell comes down, whew. the fratelli are amazed by the blownout buildings, the beatdown. we're at the magic stick (a 101 year old theatre called "the majestic" - henry houdini played here) and I ain't been here in a good while - stuff has really changed. not the up-the-stairs load-in though and I do guardiano ('guard' in italian) and feel like a dick for being cojo ('cripple' in espanol). we're an hour early so I chow now, just a hamburger from their cafe but it's got lots of salad stuff on it, good chow. I don't need any more which I figured on and that's why I didn't get fries or any other crap.

stefano pilia at the magic stick in detroit, mi on october 5, 2014

   we check w/soundman jay who's very cool people - we've been blessed w/many cools knobcats this tour, respect to have them on board as fourth member, much respect. gigboss brian (also very cool people, respect) informs me no word from the openers, virginia cats called the vacant stairs - man, I hope they're ok. chris rees and mel are here, righteous people. chris rees has recorded many of my gigs, buttloads. bob teagan's here also, he's filmed me much and when he's not out of town he always invites me and my guys to konk at his pad. very big-hearted man. so glad to see everyone. I go to the boat and use only one blankie and don't even need hat on to konk good and hard.

   fratello ste rousts me just before ten for gig. seems there was no opening band, damn... what happened to those vacant stairs cats? I send them a care prayer. up on the stage, I thank the detroit gig-goers for coming on a work night to see this new band il sogno del marinaio. you can see the red recording light on bob teagan's camera which is usually a recipe for disaster for watt - for example: the zanzabar gig in louisville which distracted me like a motherfucker - it wasn't bob teagan but another cat doing video which I ain't against at all (same w/tapers) but it's a weakness of mine to let "red light fever" get a hold on me but you know what? tonight in detroit I did good in front of camera somehow, crimony! maybe the end of "mountain top" I got off from the fratelli or they got off from me - a review of bob teagan's or chris rees' work would solve that riddle but I think it went real good, I mean not to get self-important about it but trying a little objective thinking here, whoa, a good surprise. for the last statement I give from the stage I holler congrats for my missingmen drummerman raul getting engaged to his lady paloma, yatta!

   at the table I talk w/many kind people, some pops w/their sons even! respect. my old buddy ewolf (he did drums on first two dirtbombs albums, by the way) raps w/me, it's been a little since I last got to hug him, love this man. I sign a poster for his daughter audrey who's slinging bass, much respect. I go back to minutemen days w/ewolf, great great cat. takes happening shots also!

   chris rees, mel and bob teagan all pitch in for the hellstairs load-out and we pull anchor for fraser, a burb like twenty minutes away. we drop anchor and immediately I hose off and get into the nightwear then it's the time for the ritual I always do here of watching/hearing tenko at 120db from 1985 video bob teagan took and then the gories "but for the grace of god go I" video plus random other stuff from the wendy hour page (bob teagan's site). I even konk on the same couch I always do.

monday, october 6, 2014 - cleveland heights, oh

from andrea:

   In the morning I went downstairs and everybody were still asleep, except Hiyori. Mike woke up early and went to do a lecture at the Waine State University. Bob cooked Oat meal for me, with raisins, bananas and honey. I sometimes cook porridge at home in Berlin, I really love it. I shaved a 3-4 days beard and packed up my stuff. Mike arrived at around noon and we left 3 minutes later. We drove again through Detroit centre, on I-75, listening to a Fela Kuti triple album, a bootleg Bob recorded in Detroit in 1986 and released by Knitting Factory. We then passed through Toledo again and then took the Ohio Turnpike east. While Mike was driving we listened to Cabaret Voltaire's Mix-Up, the one we were talking about the day before and, once we arrived in the Cleveland area, we listened to the Soft Boys' first album "a can of bees." We arrived at Demos Iannou house in Shaker Heights at around 15. He cooked for us a delicious Jamaican style spicy Chicken, rice and fried plantains. He showed me a pack of tortellini Rana, from Verona- Italy, and told me he works for that company as marketing consultant. After the meal we drove only a couple of miles to the venue, the Grog Shop, in Cleveland Heights. When we started loading in the venue, Bob Teagan arrived with his equipment, as he wanted to film tonight's show as well. He helped us bringing the instruments inside. We did a very quick soundcheck with the sound men Sam. The stage sounded quite and dry. After the sound check Stefano and I went with Demos to two music stores. On the first one Demos bought something for his saxophone, and at the other one I bought a pair of new sticks, a pair of new brushes and a pair of mallets. I had almost worn out my sticks within these weeks of touring, which is unusual, sometimes I keep sticks in good shape for months, but with il Sogno del Marinaio we sometimes play very loud.

   We came back to the venue and after a few minutes the first band Banging Fragile started to play. Their instrumental music was interesting, I liked the drummer's style, how was keeping the tempo. We played a good show, but the sound on stage was very strange, I felt a bit disconnected with guitar and bass sometimes, I felt I played not so well this time. But Mike and Ste told me they didn't feel think that at all, so that was a good sign. I'm always worried about my vocal lines, it is so hard to keep these melodies in tune that when I play them I switch on the autopilot drumming and I only focus on my voice. We left the venue very quickly, I didn't even had the time to say hello to Bob, but I talked a bit with his collaborator Michael Paterson, and discussed a bit how to transfer all audio and video data. I told him I'd like to include some of his footages on the videos I want to make for Alain and Mud Puddle. At Demos' I had some chips, and a sip of beer. I took a quick shower and joined Mike in the big whirlpool hot bath. I got a bit of Laphroaig and went to sleep in the basement.

from stefano:

   i wake up around 10. I am steel not feeling good. i have a bit of breakfast and then we go on the road for cleveland as soon as fratello Mike comes back from a lecture he gives in Detroit school. Before going to the venue we stop at Demos house. he is guesting house today and tonight and he prepares very good jamaican food with a very spicy sauce. he makes a special tofu version for me. he also has real italian bread and many finches- not to eat these little coloured birds-. We go at the venue and after soundcheck demos takes us to visit couple of music instrument shop. he is much into music and knows fratello Mike since 30 years. They were parting by the time minutemen were touring. We go back at the venue. I do not feel good at all. I have shakes and flu.. the third for me in being sick..damn i am getting old maybe? or i am just fucked up. The sound on stage is very tricky even if outside is really good. Sam does actually a great job outside. But everything on stage sounds very tiny and with no low end at all. i guess it is kind of stage it sounds good if you use monitors but we do not. it is not in our philosophy. But we have been able to manage it and we play good. i see again Matthew Wascovich- Scarcity Of Thanks- we met him for the first time in Cleveland in 2009 when we play here with Jeffrey Alexander. it is very nice to see him again. he shaved his long bear and he has some nice presents for us! thanks Matt. After gig we go at Demos.we talk a little while. He is half greek and half german and he lived for an year in Brazil. he is very kind and welcome us with warm. Fratello andrea and Mike takes hot bath outside but i go sleep. i cannot fall sleep downstairs so i end up konk in the coach upstairs. it takes me a while but finally i fall.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells cuz I got some spiel to do. professor michael liebler wants me in his poetry classroom at wayne state, they all got my "on and off bass" book and well, it's very kind of michael to have me aboard. I tell the students (early twenties most of them) about times before them, stuff instrumental in my journey and what's made me what I am today. I tell them of d. boon, of raymond of the punk movement and since it's poetry, walt whitman

"do I contradict myself? very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."

               - walt whitman

- I find out though this class is about LIVING poets so fucked up there but crimony, talk about do-it-yourself... brother walt was ALL ABOUT stuff like that. him and vaudeville are two of the main traditions I hail from, crimony! it is awkward for me to windbag like this but I feel a debt to the movement to give first person testimony and also share some ethics I believe in. it's more about that than badge-buff which I feel real self-conscious about, makes me uncomfortable but for michael and like what I was just chimping, aaarrrgggghhh. I'm so glad these cats are so kind to me. it's a relief when it's done though. michael talks to me about a career regarding this, the spiel shtick and I explain I wanna stay on bass.

   he drops me off at bob teagan's and we say bye to him and patty (met her for the first time last night, nice lady) before pulling anchor, twenty of noon. through burb streets and beltway before more rough ride courtesy of beatup I-75 (this time south), getting gas before the ohio turnpike at toledo but no chow cuz demos in the shaker heights part of cleveland is gonna have chow for us there. the weather is gray sky and some sprinkle but no storms. I play the fratelli cabaret voltaire "mix-up" when fratello andrea talks about a bbc guys named chris watson - fratello ste knows of this first album of the cabs but not fratello andrea. man, this was a mindblow for me when I first listened, got it just as it came out. both are into robyn hitchcock but never heard of the soft boys "can of bees" which is the only stuff I'm into by him, scusi. trippy how these guys know lots about stuff I don't but then are ignorant about other things - so glad they got me on tour to help them learn shit like this. of course I love learning from them.

driving through northern ohio on way to cleveland on october 6, 2014

   there's construction so we gotta take detours to get to my buddy demos' pad which gives the fratelli some upclose of some real rust belt beatdown and then, just like that, very together neighborhood - incredible contrast. demos is truly righteous people and has cooked many chows for me and my guys - this time he's got jerked chick w/rice and peas that is so fucking good, fuck yeah! actually his son brian answered the knock on the hatch cuz he was out getting his daughter molina. I see his other boy christo's working the bass clef w/some tuba (demo does bari sax). such a great vibe in this pad and I'm most sincere about that, I shit thee not. his buddy john joins us, dig seeing and spieling w/him again also but load-in time's coming up - we get over to the grog shop (where we're playing) a couple miles away 5:30, I get to meet the bosslady kath just as she's going home to chow her kids. kath is just the best, I dig her big time. we check w/soundman sam (good man) and then I say hi to the folks we're sharing the stage w/who are called the banging fragiles - real nice cats. I go to the boat and konk quick but first say hi to uncle ray and talk a bunch to catch up w/him, love uncle ray, love him.

   fratello andrea rousts me at twenty of ten, we got five minutes to go. I like it this way when I go straight from boat to stage and begin the gig - this is what I get to do now. I see bob teagan w/the red light of his camera on, he made the hellride from fraser, much respect. I don't see him all that well though cuz I left my fucking glasses in the boat like a 'tard - hard to see the tuner! I told the fratelli the stage sound here can be kind of a challenge but I'm used to it, I do pretty good and so do they actually, maybe better than last night - no clam in "mountain top" for sure though "stucazz?!!" fell apart some... hell, the protection kicked in at one point and I was miming it for a little bit. the cleveland gig-goers were beautiful, john petkovic leading the charge! I'm so glad I could do good for my fratelli, him, uncle ray, demos and everyone else here tonight. wasco was right up front, real cool people who was the toothless grin chords and words man - he got me connected w/a proj this past summer, much respect to him to have me aboard, hidden rifles is the name and I did all the bass from my studio thunderpants in pedro. wasco has me meet his buddy andrew - crimony, he was in red dark sweet - one of the bands the minutemen shared the stage w/at folk city west back in 1983, the first ever nyc minutemen gig. so glad to see him again after all those years.

   three big bows when we're done and I go to the merch place and who sneaks up on me? stanislav good to see him again, great! mark from cobra verde here too, righteous! he's a great stickman w/a beat in his hand, big hug on him from me. his bandman john tells me about cleveland being weird w/rock in a good way cuz it had working class support. I can dig it, respect to him much. he said roxy music was huge here - I bring up alex harvey cuz damn if I wasn't way into him (and those first roxy albums also) and crimony, juan tells me they were huge too here in this town!

   we load-out and say our byes to everyone - I hope the pad managerman john's arm heals up, he had some tendons torn, crimony... I can relate. back at demos' I right away hose off and in some chonies, get into his outside hot tub he's go on his deck. there's happening jets bubbling me all up big time - the soreness gets whupped good w/this therapy. fratello andrea joins in, his first time ever. I really am into the strong water jet action on the bottom of the feet, fucking yatta - that's some fucking technique. demos has us all enjoying his happy spirit, it's a blast. he's got a good futon for the deck for konk too, respect.

tuesday, october 7, 2014 - pittsburgh, pa

from andrea:

   I woke up in Demos basement at around 10:30. Stefano wasn't in the bed anymore, in fact I was occupying the whole double bed. He later told me he had to leave the room as he could not fall asleep because of the noises upstairs and also because I was snoring! I never really snore, but perhaps it happened because of the combination of tiredness, the hot bath and the whiskey. Demos cooked pancakes and sausages, and I drank a bit of almond milk and a cup of green tea. I prepared and sent my newsletter, announcing we were in the middle of the tour. I received some nice messages back on my email account and on Facebook.

   We arrived at the venue The Brillbox in Bloomfield driving through the shabby but fascinating neighborhood on a really grey and rainy day. The venue nome is on the first floor of a three stories building. We loaded in the venue and set up the instruments. While we were waiting for the sound men to come, we had the time to relax a bit. Ed Fromohio came to visit Mike. We ordered some food from the bar downstairs before. The sound men Dave arrived around 19. During the soundcheck we've been trying to fix a bad resonance problem on my bass drum sound, which sounded really annoying. The opening band Sick arrived while we were finishing. The drummer is called Sam Pace, who's also the drummer of Centipede Eest, a band with whom Stefano and I shared the stage with, when we did a mini tour with Jeffrey Alexander in the spring of 2009. The venue at that time was under the Bloomfield bridge, in the same neighborhood. While I was eating my baked sandwich with chicken and fresh salad in the green room on the third floor, Ed was still talking with Mike there. Sam came to me asking if I could lend him my drum key. I asked him to bring it back right after the check, because I use it also as key ring to hold the van's keys. He came back after the soundcheck to give me the key and he was already sweat out of playing! They started playing quite early, at 20. Their music was a combination of intense r'n'r with a sort of hardcore punk voice. I enjoyed their show.

   Our show was quite wild. The guitar sound on the first three songs was so loud I had to ask Stefano to bring it down before the fourth song, Alain. From there on I finally could hear my drums, and the strange resonance of my bass drum in the room was absorbed by the crowd, which was also really nice. After the show Ed came on stage saying hello. As usual we packed up quickly, but by the time we were able to leave, the room was already almost empty. A couple of people helped us to bring the gear downstairs. We went to Gary Smith and Jess' house, with Jason, drummer from Cleveland, Ohio, who drove 4-5 hours to get to the show, and he's good Gary's friend. I took a shoer and then we had good time listening to Can's album "Monster Movie" and "Tago Mago" as a soundtrack for Jack Hill movie The Big Doll House, and I had a slice of pizza. Gary is a huge Guided by Voices fan, he has a lot of their shows' posters in frames all around his house. I wasn't really tired when we arrived there, so I went to bed quite late, around 3 am.

from stefano:

   i wake up with children voices and finches singing around and fratello Mike voice but i feel like i cannot move so is stay completely immobile for at least on hour and half. i feel have not slept enough but finally i do not feel the flu and shakes.. so much better than yesterday. I have a piece of strudel and some granolas with almond milk. We wait till one o' clock before leaving for pittsburgh. Demos and Mike speak togheter on the coaches. i try to write some diary. Demos asks us about the Pasolini film "Salo e le 120 giornate di Sodoma". intense movie. he says no one wants to see this with him..ahah i guess why. it is a disturbing movie in a way but at the some time very clever. i would be more afraid to watch the exorcist. Still now it disturbes me a lot. i watched it for the first time in summer when i was 6! and i remember i have not slept for a week at least! i remember my 14 year cousin at the time sleeping in the same room with me and she was snoring a little bit and i was totally paranoid about her got the devil inside. Pittsburgh is not far. i have been in town other three times. Jeffrey has lived years for some years. i like the town with all these green hills, the rivers and the bridges. We play on blooms field hill. the room sound tricky and Dave helps. i really enjoyed playing. it has been good gig. People are very nice. they helps us to bring stuff down the stairs to load the van. we go sleep at Gary's home. Jess has some pizzas for us and Jason came from Cincinnati to see the gig cause he was playing the days we were more in that area. He is drummer. Tagomago is spinning on the record player. mush respect to Damo. Hope is getting better soon. I have heard from a common friend he is not good at the moment. i had the pleasure to play with him once last year. Great Man. i really need to sleep so i go upstairs in a kingsize bed. It is the first day i do not use my sleepsack. i read few lines and i fall asleep very intensely.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells and come upstairs from the basement (both great konk chamber and great konk futon) to find a rainy outside full of gray... where I find color is all full on the thirty or however many fucking little beautiful finches demos has got in like a half a dozen cages in like a pantry that leads to out back. damn if these ain't righteous little tori (birds in jap), I dig them much. demos' got a hound he hunts w/that's a big lover also. I chimp diary for a while 'til demos provides me w/a morning chow of skinny sausage/egg/toast, I'd thank him in greek if I could fucking remember how to say so I say grazie, using the italian. he shows me a picture of the cat who played the coroner in the "wizard of oz" movie and trip on this. we had a tall ship festival in the l.a. harbor this summer, even had a sixtyone foot rubber duck from mr hoffman on hand but also a visit from the oscar mayer wienermobile - I saw an earlier version of this when I first came to pedro from norfolk and damn if "little oscar" was this same cat demos is telling me about, a man he fucking knew and got told a buttload of stories, invaluable in my book, precious. demos shows us an unopened dvd of pier paolo pasolini's "salo" and wonders out loud towards us why no one wants to watch this movie w/him... whoa. I think I'd be afraid too.

   after spieling about a shitload of other stuff, including good and bad stuff about different u.s. presidents and the thrityfour star flag he's got out front (he's got a great take on that, respect) we pull anchor at one and following demos' final advice, go down south park road to check out fancy pads - cleveland remember was the home of rockefeller and carnegie, fucking HUGE money was here. I get us on the belt and then out of dodge and at twinsburgh, get the boat gassed and a short version of the kielbasa rueben sandwich they cook (heat up?) here - they do put it together like at a subway sandwich pad - yeah KIELBASA RUEBEN, can you dig it? kind of plain cuz of the ingredient quality (lack of), happening kielbasa, kraut, etc would've been bitchin' - another good idea lamed out by being force-fed through the mersh filter yet again... at least I didn't get sick. I get us in pennsylvania via the ohio turnpike - our ohio driving days for this tour are now over - and onto I-76 into pittsburgh. I find a parking spot smack in front of the brillobox which is the pad we're playing in the bloomfield part of town, five bells when I drop anchor. fuck, I should admit it took 'pert-near twenty cuts to stick it in cuz of a bad first move on my part, motherfuckers honking their horns and shit to make things even more smoov for me. I do get it in good and tight though so at least the steep stairs to get everything up on the second floor has a minimum jog from boat to hatch.

   edward comes by to say hi to me, man, he's looking great and his spirit big - I am just so glad he's here and we share a big spiel and visit, two veteranos up on the third floor of this brillo pad. we talk about the thirtyfour and thirtyfive star flags, obviously the urge to lay this on edward came from demos back in shaker heights but edward's a lot like d. boon about history stuff, civil war things though I tell you, he's way aware of current hells also. he's got a good way w/plain speaking also. so good to see edward again, damn I wish the fratelli knew something we all four could play cuz damn if I don't get edward up w/either my missingmen or secondmen to do blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" every chance I can... that was short-sighted non-thinking of me when we were doing those two days of ten hour prac before this tour's first gig... damn it, I should've learned the fratelli that tune.

   we do a check w/soundman dave, a nice young man and damn if later I don't find out he know sacktown guitarman nick reinhart - crimony, fucking small world, it'd be then, wouldn't it? arrrrgggghhh, that it most certainly be! I get to meet the sicks who are sharing the stage w/us tonight, they got two sams in the band and are cool people, respect. big man corey on the bass, yes! I chow a "brilloburger" that's got only mustard for condiment plus raw onion and tomato - love it! I go down to the boat to konk and you wouldn't believe the fucking pound I hear the overhead take from rain pour, crimony! it helps me konk swift and thick though, I shit thee not. boat truly got car wash job econo.

   fratello andrea rousts me just after ten. as I leave the boat, there right at the hatch is edward, he's just return from his work for the gig, righteous. he helps me up the big-angled stairs to the second deck. we bring the set to great spirited pittsburgh gig-goers but not before I fucking 'pert-near go over cuz a beer bottle sideways is on the stage - low stage here but enough for maybe a whatever hurt, fuck I freak out some, sorry. there's much red light coming from behind but I keep it together and don't freak on that, moving my cojo self to angles that keeps the frets from disappearing, thank god for them white dots on the dan bass' neck's side and my eyes not being totally terrible. fucking amp goes into protection mode three times during gig, I gotta find solution around this... I part of it is thug-attack w/fucking right hand over pickup and gotta temper that shit - too easy to just blame machine. maybe use more compression - besides a built-in tuner, it got a built-in three band compressor but fucking simplistic one knober... anyway "a poor carpenter blames his tools" my pop used to quote me, amen. I blow some clams but not real bad ones, the fratelli are playing their asses off and I am most grateful. the bring a side of me to the pittsburgh gig-goers I'm really into, thank you big time fratelli stefano and andrea.

   I go to the merch table when we finish, cool people help me down. I speak w/many kind folks from bass cats to first-timers to old-timers to friends of friends here on a recommend - thank you all truly! edward comes to debrief me, he tells he's way into what I was just part of and thinks it's a good move I'm doing it. that means much to me coming from a man like edward, it means much. I 'pert-near cry, he's very sincere w/me. big hugs for edward. he tells me he's gonna make a solo album, fuck yeah! righteous. can't wait!

   the gigboss michele is very kind and when were done (she's very patient while I was at the table) I get the address of brother gary's pad in sewickley, about thirteen miles northwest. we get there via dowtown pittsburg - our only chance to see some of it.

driving in downtown pittsburgh on october 8, 2014

   gary and his buddy drummerman from dayton jason help w/the hellstairs load-out... so glad the rain quit, so glad! circa 1870 is when gary's place went up and he's made it his own in a righteous way. he plays some can (fratello andrea says damo is sick, fuck) and a film called "the doll house" w/the sound down, quite trippy. jess brings on the peetz, drummerman jason's here too - can you believe he made the hellride from across ohio? big respect. good bourbon and spiel from gary, we have a good time. the only thing is I spaced and didn't give mr tom enough lead time like a fucking idiot and miss him much. damn me.

wednesday, october 8, 2014 - buffalo, ny

from andrea:

   I woke up late, around 11. Jesse cooked pancakes and bacon for us. I had a bit of time to spend talking with Gary and Jason and to talk a bit about music, he told me about Ty Segall and White Fences. I tried to fix his stereo sound, the night before it sounded a bit weird, like there was a sort of reverb only on one speaker. I cut out the strange sounding speaker and reset a stereo image, instead of the surrounding one. At the end the sound was a bit better. It was a nice sunny morning. We drove north on I-79 direction Eeire, and then to Buffalo. On the way to Buffalo I've been listening to a B/B/S/ recording, that Erik Skodvin, one of the two guitarist of the trio, has been editing for the last few days. It will be released in 2015 on a cassette for Umor Rex. I had a sandwich at a gas station and a coca cola, some times carbonated drinks help me digesting some heavy food. We arrived at the venue Sportsmen Tavern in Buffalo at 17:00. After loading in and setting up the gear a man came to Stefano and I, asking if we wanted to check his amps and guitars on the second floor of the building. I assume he asks that to every band that come to the venue, as it is somehow part of it. I checked some old vinyls but I didn't find anything interesting, and everything was about vintage amps and a couple of guitars. I went back to the venue and talked a bit with Stefano.

   We were the only band on the bill, and it was an early show. We started playing at 20:15. The venue has a strange shape, it is little but it has a balcony where you can watch the band playing from the top. It was a very difficult show, as the stage was very quite and the audience as well. We also had a bit of pressure because the show was taped with a professional camera right in front of us. When we had to play little we had to play very very quite. Sometimes I like these challenges anyway. After the show I chatted with a few people, ordered some food from the kitchen next to the bar and loaded the van. Unfortunately Mike was already in the van and the food not yet ready when we finished to load the van, so there has been a bit of tension, especially because Mike was tired and I was starving. When the food came Stefano and I had to pay the bill, 45 $! we didn't know we had to pay for the food, it was the first time we had no food or buyout. Anyway, the buffalo chicken wings I ate in the van on our way to the friends place that hosted us that night were very good. We stayed at Martin and Susan's in a town near Buffalo called Hamburgh. I ate more, even if I knew it was too late. We had nice time talking a bit all together. I smoked a cigarette outside with Stefano, the air was cold and crispy and a flock of canadian geese were honking loud over a lake next to the house. I checked my bed downstairs in the basement, and also Martin and Susan's huge record collection, which fills a 23X8 feet shelf. I briefly checked on Twitter what was going on in Kobane, Kurd town in Syria's territory before switching off the air conditioner next to my bed and sleeping.

from stefano:

   i wake up and it is 11:30. wow! what a long and deep sleep. I feel much better. Gary and Jess house has been very restoring. Time for a shower. there pancakes and coffee.we say hello to Jason who is going back to Cincinnati. it is a very sunny and warm day. Getting close to Buffalo the temperature got definitly colder. i drive for the last hours and my hands are sticked. We see the lakes and Canada very close around the Niagara falls. it is an early gig in a pub with people downstairs and on a balcony. The sound on the stage is difficult. there are so much carpet around that is like paying inside mattress of cottons. and for the way the stage is shaped we have tiny spaces for set our stuff. i can barely fit the board with my pedals fratello Mike got cutten for me for the tour. Anyway i feel we play good. we work out the gig in the right way. And Cory outside does a good sound. People are very into it. We go sleep at Marty and Suzanne house 20 minutes out of town really in the green. we hears the geese outisde. they migrates for thousands miles from the north go down to the south. It is an incredible journey... they even sleeps flying. A French guy made this very nice documentary on birds migration. it is famous one called in italian "il Popolo Migratore". He filmed the geese flying and following them along their route with his motor hand glider. he spent a a lot of time with this groups of geese he Kind of trained them he flyed with them in order since they were little in order to get them used to the sound of the motor of his little vehicle and not afraid of. Marty and Suzanne house i really beautifull. we eat here the food we have ordered at the gig venue just after playing. Andrea and i go sleep downstairs in the big basements. Marty has so many records. i do not why but i cannot fall asleep. i feel headache and kind of uncomfortable. i guess in general for some remote reason i do no like to sleep in the basement. i do not why really why.. i mean this great and comfortable.. maybe i ear to many noises. Actually the basement it is the more resonant part of the house. it is like to be in the body of a big double bass all the wood stretching the water going into the tubes other machine stuff sounds.. too much information. I guess i fall sleep at some point in the night.

from watt:

   it's another horrible konk cuz of me chowing late. those slices of peetz fucking did me in - nobody's fault but mine. I didn't have any 'mares but my gut hurt like a motherfucker. crimony, why was I so stupid again. I am slow learner. well at least the sun is out - lots of clouds and chilly but there's sun breaking putting an end to the gray we've for the most have been having since memphis. gary serves me up a little bit of fritata she made up for us before she left for work, thank you much. along w/a piece of toast and a strip of bacon is all I can fit but the good taste replaces that sour-ass shit fucking me over. gary's got this trippy striped chair that supports my legs real good - like a couch turned sideways and using some bends to make like an armchair, kind of. perfect for me chimping diary 'til it's time to pull anchor at one. big love and thanks to gary (our last spiel is on bob pollard, we're both big supporters), drummerman jason had to bail earlier for dayton.

   believe it or not, my hurting gut gets us going the wrong way for a bit but then I figure a way out of sewickley on I-79 north. about three and around greenville I pull over for fuel and switch ponies w/fratello ste - yeah, twenty minutes ago I dropped anchor at rest stop so he could piss but that's cuz I could see he his hands knotting it up in his lap w/his legs doing a kind of quick sit down version of a man dance so I didn't want him suffering. at erie we continue north on I-90 for buffalo, right alongside lake erie. I almost break my fucking teeth when fratello ste confuses corn chip sack for gomi ('trash' in jap) one and is dumping his fucking pistachio shells in it, stucazz?!! he wheels us into buffalo at five, good job. very gray and cold but the rain ceased. this pad looks like mostly country's played here - hey, a staircase has actual guitar necks used to support the hand rail! the stage is a high-up one, like you're coming out of a cake and there's a drumset/guitar amp/bass amp backline we set up in front of so it's pretty tight but doable. across the street is a pad called "joe's" and I get a short capicola sandwich and chow it in the boat. when seven comes around, so does soundman corey and we check w/him, very nice man. while he mics us up, I'm reviewing some notes I realize I've played the last part of the fucking c part of "il sogno del fienile" a half step flat, baka! fratello andrea does check on his vocal mic and some lady patron hollers "hey, are you an indian?" crimony, please give us a break, it's scary enough! no, just kidding - I can imagine what squarejohn people might think of il sogno del marinaio and in fact we don't check "il sogno del fienile" spiel part cuz I'm too afraid. I go to the boat and konk... we got seventyfive minutes before we go on cuz there's no opening act scheduled tonight. hey, a little konk is better than none so I'll take it.

   fratello ste rousts me, saying "three minutes to go" and I'm into that. right out the boat hatch and into the gigpad hatch, up the stairs to the top of the cake. not only are we looking down on people but folks are also looking down on us from a balc, crimony. well, I told the fratelli earlier that if we can work this stage then we can work 'pert-near any stage. we bring the gig. the sound is tiny and squished. there ain't much room either so I gotta be real careful, especially of cables on the deck. the buffalo gig-goers are just the best to play for though, they give us great support, big bow for them from me - three times at the end. not a lot of clam but also a lot of taking care and in fact one time the bunk 'pert-near went out and I thought for sure I was going down but didn't. I ask the fratelli to go easier on the arabic part of "nanos' waltz" and damn if "stucazz?!!" didn't 'pert-near go turtle but sure enough we pulled it out... gotta talk about that one. not once did the fucking tc elcectronic amp go into protection mode so maybe more compression helped.

   I go to the merch table and meet many kind people w/lots of good word. one man has me sign his steelworker helmet - he's got his shift goming right up.I get to meet bassman juini booth - whoa, very kind man, he tells me I worked the bass deep... that touches me deep in the heart. there's another bassman (actually a few bassmen!) who's got a band w/a tune called "noam chomsky blues" - ain't that a trip? another man asks if I do private parties, wants me to do someting called "cabinfest" I tell him that sounds neat. there's another cat who whispers "chowderpump" in my ear and I'm like, what? damn that's a line from "fireman hurley" from my first opera, a nickname georgie gave me one time when I was puking up kind of intensely. seems this cat didn't know that story and instead thought it was about (in his words): "jerking off" - no! he's good people though and has me sign some name tags, what? I like geniue people, no prob getting called chowderpump from someone like this man. we sell our last throbblehead. a lot of folks tell me they're glad I play buffalo, very nice of them. the gigboss donny tells me that every time I come he'll make sure I got a gig. crimony. this lady colleen she worked getting folks the word about us coming to play - I am truly grateful... people ask me why I push hard - it's cuz of folks like this that's a big reason.

   I go out to the boat and empty the piss bottle. I got time cuz damn if the chow the fratelli ain't just been ordered so I just sit in the driver seat w/my cazzo in my hand, wet from sweat and beat from playing my brains out... it's a little frustrating for me. about a halfhour later we can pull anchor - I don't wanna chow after playing anyway - remember what happened last night to me? please understand I love these fratelli much and can bear w/this minor hell, no prob. hope things sound in perspective and not blown out of proportion.

   last time I played buffalo, marty had me and my missingmen stay at his and susan's pad in hamburg (about twenty miles south) and again he's invited me to come and konk again there. I make a mistake and stop at one pad too early and fratello ste's about to jump out and go up there but I say we gotta watch it, you know? I call marty and have him come out - me the baka gets us in safe, so glad fratello ste didn't roll the dice by knocking on the wrong door. I just wanna be careful. the moon is out super bright w/clouds just wailing by, whoa...

the moon over hamburg, ny on october 8, 2014

I love this pad, great spirit and love being a part of it w/marty, susan and our peeps. there's some rye. good spiel... damn, marty's been having to do sixty-plus hours a week lately. I get in the nightwear. I don't think I hosed off, too beat and konk real quick.

thursday, october 9, 2014 - albany, ny

from andrea:

   At 9:30 I heard Mike waking me up saying we had to leave in 30 minutes. I took a quick shower and went to the kitchen and had almond milk and Granola with raisins. Martin and Susan left early for work. The weather was shiny and the sky clear. I took a quick shower. We drove through the cozy village of Hamburg, which looked even better under the strong sun. We had to cross almost the whole state from west to east on I-90. On the way to Albany we went to Charles Plymell and Pamela Beach's house in Cherry Valley. It was a beautiful drive through old villages and amazing forests on an hilly landscape on the US-20. We arrived in Cherry Valley at about 15:30. I met Charles and Pamela, and a couple of their friends, Mark and Philip. The food was excellent, french onion soup with baked bread, withe beans and chickpeas with peanut-miso sauce, olives and an apple mousse. Their house is really old and beautifully furnished, with a strong character. We left Cherry Valley and drove throughout the US-20 again. We arrived at Low Beat in Albany a little late for the soundcheck with the sound men Chris, but it was very quick. On the toilette doors they wrote John on the men's door and Yoko on the women's one. We met the members of the opening band The Schoemer Formation, Karen, Amy and Eric. Hiyori Stefano and I went to a Vietnam place where I had a great Pho soup. I felt the cold coming, so I wanted something spicy to help the healing. We went back to the venue and met Charles and his friends, and talked a bit with him.

   While I was listening the Schoemer Formation I saw Mike sit down on the floor next to the men's toilette, on the bass drum bag in front of the mixing desk. It was really strenge to see him awake before the show. The venue was pretty crowded, and when we started playing I realized the guitar was blasting loud on the high frequency and the monitors were off. When Chris realized that he came on stage and tried to solve the problem while we were playing. I had hard time to play with that harsh sound, but I liked the people at the Low Beat very warm. At the end of the show we went throughout the stage back door, that goes directly into the kitchen, and a smell of fried food attacked my nose, so I felt my cold was not that bad. We packed up quickly, loaded the van and said hello to Charles and Karen. We went to Pat and Nick house. I couldn't stay up too much, my cold got worst and I had a big headache, so I took a shower and had a couple of ibuprofen pills and got in my sleeping bag.

from stefano:

   i take the shower at 10 . i have some granola with almond milk orange juice, coffee and toasted bread with cream cheese. Marty and Suzanne already got out for work and we are welcome to help ourselves with food. i feel like i have not slept enough. Outside is a beautifull sunny day and i take some pictures around. we go on the road for Albany and we stop at Roky Island At Charles and Pam house in the small countryside village. we also meet their friends Mark and and Phill. Pam has prepared for us a wonderful onions soup and Apples Sauce and Charles made a great bean and chickpeas salad with parmesan and tofu and satè and herbs. he calls it "a spontaneous receipe". Their house is old stone, simple, very beautifull and warm. They very humble and welcoming. Charles is a poet and novelist and Pam is a publisher. Charles has lived with Ginsberg and Cassidy in San Francisco. The food they prepared for us is amazing, very fresh and really restores me. i start feel much better. After Lunch Pam donates Mike a little swans for the front of the boat and one some apples The stop is very quick cause we are already late for the venue but we meet them later at the gig. the atmosphere is nice, he is very hot and we makes clamps but we played a good spirit gig. Karen with his trio is the opening act. it is storytelling and poetry speaks on music. Eric on Bass and another Amy on organ and guitar. they use a drum machine also. Karen brings some apple more for us. a lot of good red apples. we stays at Pat and Nick house. Pat works in hotel like my father did. But he is also musician-bass- and artist. He wrote a sort of opera form baed on the 24 hours hotel works and life. Nick is a musician too he plays bass and guitar. Their house is in an old blue collar area of Albany and there is an 14 years old lady cat living with them. I go sleep in "the guitars room" on the deck i feel very tired and i fall asleep immedialty.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and find righteous fall sunlight pouring into the windows, hallelujah! I make my way to coff machine to find note asking to hit "grinder off" button before hitting "on/off" button - thank you big time marty and susan! after getting coffed up (briefly getting to see marty off to work and thank him and susan) I go and hose off cuz fuck I had thought I had last before konking but no, I had konked w/out hosing off so I do. then I start chimping away 'til the rest of my time 'til ten and a half and then I give the half hour warning. fratello ste makes me a piece of toast w/cream cheese on it. we pull anchor at ten after signing thanks to marty and susan in their guest book, beautiful people. through the village of hamburg and onto I-90 (new york thruway tollroad) east. fratello ste plays us somebody playing j.s. bac ninety minutes later I stop at the scottsville service center for boat fuel, switch ponies w/fratello andrea. an hour later we do an unko stop for fratello ste at the port byron service center and I get a shot of a plaque talking about the erie canal, interesting stuff and I like learning always. I think it was incredible chapter for early u.s. - started 'pert-near two hundred years old now. most this route we're taking is alongside it. hell, if I was around then maybe this would've been my way of doing tour and working towns! fratello andrea wheels us the rest of the way to cherry valley, we leave the thruway at the town of mohawk and go a little south to get there. fratello ste provided the stronzos our ears got stuffed w/and that included love's "forever changes" and some john fahey.

   charley's got his buddies mark and phil aboard to help to shovel the chow pam's cooked up for us: beans done up in an interesting recipe w/miso and sate and w/that she's also homemade up righteous applesauce and french onion soup. we can't stay long, we have four pm load-in to make and we're already gonna be fortyfive minutes late so we cram in as much spiel as we can, charley playing his favorite beans song - damn I gotta ask who was singing that...

mark hanlon + charley plymell in cherry valley, ny on october 9, 2014

   I take us in the boat east on us-20 (the scenic byway) for about an hour to get us into downtown albany and find no parking (hosed again by mere seconds!) so we load into the low beat w/the blinkers on - I do find parking right close on the street next - parking is like weather on tour: very acutely intense! I've worked for the padboss howard in three different pads, this is the first time for me here. I really dig it. the barlady hanna is very kind and gives me this totally bitchin' pico de gallo howard made himself at home, I shit thee not. it's incredible and better than most I've had in so cal, crimony, much respect! we do check w/soundman chris - I live the sound here much better than the last pad "valentine's" but I had some great gigs there so please don't get wrong impression. downstairs there's a little greenroom I spend the rest of the time 'til the gig starts. miss hiyori brings pho from a vietnam pad called "van's" from down the block. man, this is great chow and actually the tour chow I much rather prefer, easier to digest for playing gigs. barlady christina helps w/bring soda water so I don't have to do stairs over and over, I am cojo and must be careful. karen comes to visit. her band the schoemer formation is sharing the stage w/us. I go back w/her 'pert-near twenty years and this is her first music stuff, maybe eight years. the bassman is wreckless eric, a righteous cat and I have a good long spiel w/him about all kinds of stuff, most interesting and funny man, he's a blast and deep. respect. they go on at eight and a half so we gotta rap the spiel up.

   I do the stairs and park my ass in front of the soundboard, using fratello andrea's drumcases (they're soft ones) for back support. the thing is that hatch for the head is right here and so yeah, there's piss getting tracked in and out on the deck and I'm laying around in it. baka. I wanna see karen's band though and there's no chairs close enough. I like their gig, eric's got great tone and licks on the bass, his wife amy does trippy guitar and keyboard while karen does spiel, exploring her emotions and sharing them. she got her start at this w/oli's detective instinct proj I've gotten the opportunity to work w/also.

the schoemer formation at the low beat in albany, ny on october 9, 2014

   now cuz I wanted to see the schoemer formation, I didn't get my pre-gig konk and it shows w/our il sogno del marinaio set. I ain't blaming them, I blame myself for the fucking clams and plain forgetting some parts - damn, it's frustrating. some things were out of my realm of fucked-upness though - the monitors weren't working so soundman chris spent maybe the first fifteen minutes trying to solve that prob... you know what? it was my fault in a way cuz I should've asked chris to man the board for front-of-house mix cuz that's way more important. he was man-alone so that responsibility was abandoned. we get in for free so yeah, it's happening if monitors are working but more important is good sound for the gig-goers. aaaarrrrgggghhhh, like my fucked-up knee, it's frustrating dealing w/my lameness of getting to work bass w/out pre-gig konk, especially on tour. I just ain't strong enough, I hate to admit, I hate it - I ain't using it for a crutch but... what am I trying to say? I'm embarrassed and ashamed for these lame parts of our albany gig, I feel I let my fratelli down, aaarrrrrgggggh for that too, stunad fratello mike. the albany gig-goers share big love and that upsets me I can't do good enough for them too.

   I go the merch table (by the hatch, good place!) and rap w/many many kind people. lots of bass workers, respect. one man from long beach (in cali) was telling me his grandpa killed himself jumping off the tallest building in red bluff (also in cali) which was three stories... red bluff is the town my pop grew up in! there's happier stories from others and actually this man is very positive in supporting me working towns w/the bass. some of these cats who talk w/me have been to many of my gigs while for others it's the first time - some of them never hearing of me while others have only heard of me. what I really dig is hearing they like me playing w/the fratelli, I love that. all the kindness they share w/me makes me wanna push harder. I will rally tomorrow and make him for this clamblow flurry I let happen tonight. big hugs for charley, so glad he could see me play w/this band - he tells me he's got some more ideas for his "planet chernobyl" libretto me and petra are doing the music for as pelicanman. thanks to mark and phil coming w/him also, good buddies, invaluable. tina and ben came too - ben wants to tell me about some italian prog band (not pfm, the one I know) and for some reason I get into pasolini's "salo" and they both go off, tina said she saw it in a theatre where these guys in the row in front of her were having their first date movie! one more huge for padboss howard, I gotta pull anchor.

   bass brother pat irish has invited us to konk at his pad across town, his opera "the front desk" (you can hear it during the third hour of the december 11, 2012 edition of the watt from pedro show) I dug much when he turned me onto it. much respect to him for that work, much. his roommate nick was in a band that opened up for me last time I was in town (the last conspirators), alright! their pad is neat, maybe a hundred year old bluecollar duplex row house that's got a good spirit. I have some local corn whiskey. mattress on the deck makes konk easy and good. thank you bass brother pat.

friday, october 10, 2014 - south burlington, vt

from andrea:

   I woke up around 10 and Pat gave me some milk and cereals and I made some tea. Their house is very nice, early 1900 two stories blue collar house. The road to Vermont was really amusing. We drove north of Albany on the I-87 and turned east in Queensbury on US 149 and then north on the 22A. We arrived at the venue Higher Ground in Burlington quite early, and because we were the only band, we had some time to hang around. Luckily the sun was shining again. I checked some winter clothes in the shop next to the venue, and then came back and did the soundcheck with the sound men Waugie. Then I had dinner with Heimo and Paul in the green room (a good steak with potatoes and vegetables). Heimo Wallner is an artist and he organizes an artist-in-residence program every year in Austria called Hotel Pupik . I've been there in 2009, for almost three weeks and I met Heimo again in 2011 when I toured US with Attila Faravelli as Tumble and he organized a show for us in Middlebury, a town just a few miles south of Burlington. Paul told me how Firehose were so important in his life, I found very interesting the fact that he knew about the show through Heimo and came to the show together with him. I went to the van and woke Mike up with his tea.

   We went on stage quite early. The big room sounded ok. This night I didn't sweat at all, the room was quite cold. After the show I met a couple of italian girls and Keith Wood, solo artist and guitarist for Chelsea Light Moving. I packed up the van with Stefano and other friends who helped us and drove down to Middlebury, where we chatted a bit at Heimo's house with a few other friends. He gave me herbal pills to fight the cold before going to bed.

from stefano:

   i wake up around 10. i have slept so much. i feel very fresh. i even do some stratching and gymnastic before taking a shower. i eat some cereals and coffee. Pat and Nick has been very hospital to us. They also take care of a 14 years old sweet lady cat. very reserved but she seems to love my sleeping bag. We go on the road to Vermont. The Maple threes are starting to turn red and yellows and the journey is pretty amazing. We arrive bit earlier at the venue and i go buy an hat and a pair of gloves and a little present for Ross. no opening band tonight. tonight we are staying at Heimo. he is Austrian but he now lives in Vermont with his family, Heydi and Louis. Heimo organizes artistic residency in Austria and i was supposed to do one in 2009 but then i had to renounce cause the tour with Massimo Volume -one of the italian bands i play with- got longer. so i speaker with him on the email before but never met him personally. we also meet his friend Brian from indiana that moved with his family to Vermont when his first daughter born. so we have some nice food togheter that venues prepared. i like the gig and the vibe of the night. What a nice surprise to see Keith!..we met him for the first time in Dublin for bloomsday last year. he is playing guitar for Chelsea Light Moving and since few months he moved to Vermont. He is great. After the gig people helps us to load the boat and than we follow Heimo and Brian at Heimo House in Middlebour. Seems to be a very remote and rural little village in the middle of Vermont. We chat a bit drinking and we go sleep. i have many thouth in my mind about Europe and America about the different way of living, histories , prospectives but i can see also how we are connected and related.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells and hose off cuz again I did make it that far last night. pat pops and makes me coff and then some udon w/red bell pepper pieces. nick comes back from where he konked (he donated his room here for the fratelli) and I ask about the music stuff catalog they got here on the can. he never heard word "wishbook" - what? that's what lots of called a sears or montgomery catalogue in my old days. trippy. he's been helping pat w/live "the front desk" performances. I sure would like to hear one of those, love that piece, love it. nick wants to know the fucking evolution of the watt throbblehead so I show him the actual photo of me playing a gig in oceanside I gave the throbblehead people, the sketches from the throbblehead sketcher man mr holloway and the resulting sculptured throbblehead. he agrees w/me something was lost, oh well. truth be told, I sent the baby back four times so it wasn't like I didn't try my best. maybe it's harder to translate a photo to sculpted figure than it is to a sketch. I can understand that.

the evolution of the mike watt throbblehead doll - from photo to sketch to sculpture

   we pull anchor at eleven. I take us north and we pass balston spa. I lived here a short time when my pop was getting nuclear engine room training in the navy at a nearby g.e. plant I heard called "the site" back in the early 60s - my little sister marilyn was born. now she's fifty, a high school teacher that lives in silver lake. whoa, I see a sign for a "text stop" rest area... first time I've seen that! good idea - pricks who drive and text should be stopped from driving if they're gonna do that, I think. stronzos being pushed in our ears is from my ipod machine today w/it set on shuffle for supposedly random stronzos but fuck if a buttload of billy childish is making the cut much. it doesn't make for interesting way of stuffing stronzos into each other ears though, I think. I take us east at glen falls and it's mostly us-7 and see much little town rural sitches, lots of both well-kept and beatdown pads plus butloads of pumpkins for sale. the trees are beautiful w/the fall colors... whoa, a trippy piece of public art in shelburne:

some public art in shelburne, vt on october 10, 2014

   soon we're in south burlington, just after four bells when I get us to the side door of the showcase lounge part of higher ground w/padman nick letting us know what's up so we set up, check w/soundman waugie (very cool man, respect) and then upstairs I chimp diary 'til cateringlady melissa has chow for us: veggies, steak and salad, crimony! thin steak but good one and horseradish to put on it. respect. I meet fratello andrea's buddies heimo and paul, tell them a strange tour spiel and then go to the boat and konk.

   again no opening band was scheduled so it's just us and fratello ste routs me at three minutes of nine. I see keith wood a man I love much, met him playing w/thurst when he was the other guitar in the band. big hug and then I go in the sidedoor and up on the stage, rather I roll up on stage cuz no stage on this. good and rested, I can bring it and am determined after the self-soil of last night. the fratelli are real good like usual I think I heard a clam in "alain" that wasn't mine but if it was then I'll owe up to it but I'm telling you... well, I ain't telling but I'm suggesting I think I had it pretty together. the south burlington gig-goers have it by the fistful and share the good time most generous w/us, huge respect. there's a young man w/a shirt for the dicks w/his lady up front that are much inspiring for me, thank you! oh, there was a trippy part in "auslander" which is where fratello andrea does german for the spiel - someone hollered out something and made him fall apart w/laughter... he got it back together though. hmm... heimo's from austria and they speak german there, hmm... I used much "flipper" technique tonight in honor of bassman and "rising low" movie maker mike who was into finding out from about getting more meat on the strings by using as many as four fingers at once to stroke plucks out of the stings. it helps keep bass fat.

   I go to the merch table and many kind folks give me the good word - I chimp this a lot in the diary but it's true and I wanna show appreciation. a band called rough francis gives me their album and we rap about a bunch of stuff, immediately I feel happening spirit from them, respect! a few folks are from montreal, respect for them crossing the border to see il sogno del marinaio - I apologize for the band not making it to their land this tour. that cat w/the dicks shirt and his lady speak w/me a bunch, what very righteous folks they are. I'm glad I get to meet every gig-goer who wants to see me and tell I'm glad to be here and thanks much for letting us play for them.

   very fast pack and everyone's waiting on me, we follow heimo 'pert-near an hour south to where he lives in this righteous pad he's building in middlebury. I get in the nightwear again w/out hosing off - damn do I hope this ain't beginning to be a trend, baka watt. heimo and his buddy paul plus a man I meet here named rafe are fucking very happening cats, respect to them. there's a hard deck w/a futon w/my name written all over it. danke, truly.

saturday, october 11, 2014 - portland, me

from andrea:

   I woke up with quite noises from downstairs. I met Hedya after 3 years. I saw her for the first time at Hotel Pupik, when I did the residency in 2009. Heimo cooked pancakes with a delicious home made Maple syrup from their friend Ron. I gave Hedya a receipt for preserve onions I learned form my father. My father is a master with these legendary vegetable preserves, and I used to bring some of them as a present to friend I visited during the years, with the result that those people were constantly asking me for them! Mike,Heimo and Hiyroi went paddling on the river, I did not join them as there were only two kayak. Hedya, Louis, Stefano and I walked along the little river next to the house, crossing the Pulp Mill bridge (rebuilt in 2012) where there are the Middlebury Lower Falls, used in the past to generate hydromechanical power for several sawmills. The they built a dam and used the rivers current for a power plant. I collected a couple of maple leaves. The colors of the threes were amazing, deep green, orange yellow and many other different shades. I went back home by myself. I had a quick shower, made a hot ginger tea with honey, shaved my three days beard and waited everybody to come back. At 11:30 we left Heimo, Hedya and Louis's house. We crossed the National Forest of the Green Mountains. I couldn't find this route on the Road Atlas, because is a very little one, but very picturesque, that went through small and cozy villages. We saw a couple of hunters. We drove towards the border from Vermont to New Hampshire and drove through towns biblical names such as Bethel, Sharon, Lebanon. We passed through the Boston area and then on I-95, and arrived in Portland at the venue Port City Music Hall at 16:15. Able & Ryan, the two sound men, helped us loading the gear. After the soundcheck we met the Whale Oil guys, McCrae, Bill e Brian. I went with Stefano to a Thai restaurant, and he ordered a soup and two spring rolls for me, because I quickly went to a shop where I bought a red hunter hat, a pair or gloves and a present for my wife. I came back and the food was already on the table.

   When we came back to the venue we chatted a bit with Whale Oil and they started playing just a but later. Their music reminded me a bit of Neil Young, but with a more hard rock feel. The audience was nice, asked for the encore. Then we went to McCrae house, who left the hole apartment for us. I warmed up some milk and added a sip of whiskey. We chatted a bit in company of Whale Oil before getting into my "konk sack."

from stefano:

   We wake up at 9:00. Heimo has prepared some Austrian crepes to eat with maple syrup or jam. Him and Mike go for paddling in the river. I read a child book story to little Louise and he like to show me some of his toys. Then i take a walk in the countryside with Louis, Heydi and Andrea. it is grey and bit cold day. We walk along the river. i take some pictures and some autumn red leaves. We go to Portland. the sea finally. I have been year in 2005 with Jeffrey and some Finnish guys. After the 2005 portland gig we went camping more north in Maine and i remember waking up in the middle of the night all fludden into water because of a huge rain storm. Then i spent couple of hours under a three till the dawn and then a very nice family, which woke up early, kindly offered me some coffee. Fratello Mike shows me his cookie biscuit: "to love and win is the best thing, to love and lose is the next best". i wish i could accept that with the same mood and love.

   Macray band Whale Oil opens the night. they are a very good rock and roll band. we go on stage at 9:45. we start good than In the middle of the set i start to feel moody and not really into the music. i fight to stay inside. Why this is happening?! and i really do not understand why.. maybe tireness? i start to feel a sense of guilty about it which of course does not help. and why i have to feel guilty about. So i suspend the judgment and try to do the best i can and looking for the rest. Actually everything has been very nice. The people at the venue Abbey and Brian the sound guys has been extremely kind, nice and professional. they help us a lot loading the van as well. Jason gig boss has taken for us very good tortillas and sauce and beers. Play a good gig is on the hedge of many things, it is an equilibrium of many elements. Tonight i feel i miss that. We go sleep at Macray. he look around a little bit for a good parking. We chat a bit all togheter and drink the last and then sleep on a tiny bed.

from watt:

   mandatory at least once a night pisses found me going down when I stumble on some deck unevenness in the dark but at least the crumple wasn't a damaging one, just some itai. pop at eight. didn't hose off last night and looks like I ain't this morning cuz I'll prolly get sweated right up - heimo has plans for me and him, some paddling! righteous. he starts cooking up some eggs and bacon for me while the rest his lady hedya and son louis joins us, louis prolly wondering who the fuck are these fremdens ('strangers' in german) and I wouldn't blame him a bit. this is a very friendly and interesting family, real good peeps. many exchanges of informations, they're very cosmopolitan and I think spend half the year here and half in austria, fucking right on. heimo borrows a kayak for me and we drive a couple of minutes to the otter river and shove off. the water's like glass and this necky (same company that makes my 'yak) is a little whole one and like four feet longer than mine which makes for fast going for each stroke, he's got a real nice paddle he let's me use. we paddle as far as we can before we reach some falls we can't go past (same sitch right up where we put in) but 'pert-near the whole journey we have some great raps about all kinds of stuff, heimo is most genuine and interesting cat, respect from me for him big time. we see some blue jays, beaver work (gnawed trees) and big fucking dangling wasp nest but no otters. it don't matter, I really love this paddle, what a great tour gift on me from heimo.

shot from the kayak mike watt paddled in on the otter river in middlebury, vt on october 11, 2014

heimo paddling on the otter river in middlebury, vt on october 11, 2014

giant wasp nest on the shore of the otter river in middlebury, vt on october 11, 2014

   we gotta bail right when we're back - even w/clothes still wet, we'll take them wet. big byes and thank yous to this beautiful family, true ones. I take us over the mountains w/much gray coming on. first I was trapped in a middlebury farmers market but god was w/us and we found a way out. it's tiny road time - the mountains ain't too big but it's a lot of up and down, I show the fratelli three dudes hunting, carrying their shotguns the way their supposed to. we pass one pad where a younger man is dressing a deer on his frontyard picnic table and he waves as we pass, I wave back. the pictures would be righteous of the leaf peep if only there was bright sun to light the shit up but hey, at least no rain or hail or a head-on w/all this undivided road and blind hills/corners. a quarter after one I get us over the state line into new hampshire and fratello andrea has many reasons for maybe wanting to pull over, no prob. we stop in lebanon and I fuel the boat up and get half a tuna from the subway attached to the gas station where I also fuel the boat and give the wheel over to fratello andrea, he prolly had to piss as do all of us, it's ok! the sun has come out, we cross into massachusetts just before three. fratello andrea says his little footsies are freezing so here comes the heat and off comes my shirt, it's a fucking shvitz in here. so glad the ipod stronzo in shuffle mode chose "om namo narayani" for 'pert-near twenty minutes at this point, a three word mantra over and over. at three-twentythree we cross in maine - there was some new hampshire before that wasn't backtracking but just the way the routing works to get north on I-95, (trippy shit new hampshire having a state liquor store on the freeway! oh, you can play their lotto too, scusi...) I guide fratello andrea into downtown portland and right to the port city music hall at a quarter after four, only fifteen minutes late - gigboss jason says it's no problem. he's very cool people as is soundman ryan and everyone here including mccrae and his whale oil bandmen bill and brian who sharing the stage w/us plus damn if mccrae is also so kind to offer up his pad for us to konk in, respect!

   three different kinds of store-bought salsa gigboss brings us and the "margarita" one I like the best but it ain't nothing like howard's in albany - that shit was righteous and I can still taste it in my mouf. he gives a bottle of bulleit bourbon too, we like, much kindness - that's for after the gig when we drop anchor at konk pad. after check w/soundman ryan, good quick one - fratello andrea w/a floor tom ring prob again but sticky gel there gets it right. miss hiyori got soup from china chow pad and w/some duck meat added, I chow it and feel good then go to boat to konk, I'm beat.

   nine-forty fratello andrea rousts me and I am startled but grateful, he has throatcoat tea and when I get in I find them backstage and not on stage, what? I go directly to stage and put bass on, they get picture. I have small opening spiel anyway: "thank you good people here tonight in portland" but fuck, it's been sixteen fucking years since I've been here... what the fuck? I am so sorry, damn me. we bring the set and the portland gig-goers are quite the open-hearted folks, oh man, thank you. I'm glad I could in return both do good for them and also make up for all those clamblows I did in the other portland three weeks ago (the oregon one) - fuck, did I let them cats down... 'pert-near every early gig on this tour 'til sack-town, huh? stunado fucking slow-learner watt, damn me. the fratelli play good, only "alain" clammed up by fratello ste some but you know what? the last few gigs he's playing w/out that fucking coat on and that's a good sign regarding his health. trips me out though when we come off stage and I hug him - fucking dry as a bone, how does he do that? I totally sweated my gigshirt, is that baka?

   at the merch table, much kind spirit from the portland gig-goers. there's a teacher from the first gig I played here, a pad called "zootz" in the old days. a young man who's a little shy - a montreal man at last night's show said he tried to buy him a beer but he said no cuz he thought he was a narc - he tells me twice! this young man is very cool people and he says he likes what d. boon said about "punk is whatever we made it to be" (a skaterman named robert locker made a sticker of that, respect) and also some other sincere stuff... it's ok about shy but I could tell he had fire inside. lots of kindness from everyone - I can wait another sixteen fucking years to play here again, what the fuck is wrong w/me?

   we get all loaded up, the doorman helps me w/my bass as I make it down the stairs (down harder than up w/fuckedup knees, either stairs or hills), mccrae gives us his pad keys and though parking's a little tough and takes some time. we drop anchor and get up in his place just before midnight, happening. him and his bandmates soon join us, nice place and nice spirit. his guitarman says he feel awkward but I tell him it's ok, we all have a good spiel about stuff but again I get in the nightwear w/out hosing off, what the fuck? I can't be so stupid. konk is on a futon on the deck righteous.

sunday, october 12, 2014 - allston, ma

from andrea:

   When I woke up I felt my cold was still there, but it was not a big problem, I just felt a bit it on my nose. The house was quite cold. Outside the sun was shining. We walked to the boat under a beautiful and hot sun. When we were leaving, a guy who was at the show the night before recognized the boat and went to say hello with his wife and kid. We had an appointment at a Mexican restaurant a few miles away, towards the dock. At the restaurant, family business one owned by nome who was at the show the night before, they offered us a really good breakfast. I had a huge Omelette with cheese and vegetables. We ate all together outside, and I enjoyed it so much even if I had to be careful with my cold. After the breakfast we went to the dock, where Mccrae, bass player from Whale Oil, his girlfriend and skipper Neil were waiting for us on a sailing boat. We sailed for almost three hours on the Portland bay, around the Great Diamond Island and next to Peaks Island, in the Casco Bay. McCrae's girlfriend brought some delicious food, crab meat sandwiches, cheese, salami and crackers. Skipper Neil told us about his two years and a half he spent with his family living on that boat sailing south "where the butter melts" as he said. Almost at the end of the trip, I fell asleep helped by the food and the sweet movement of the waves. I woke up and jumpers out of the boat. It was a great experience. We had to leave the pier at around 15, as we were supposed to be in Allston at around 16-17. While we were driving on I-95 Mike called the venue Great Scott and they told him that the soundcheck was at 19. I drank a Sprite because I needed a carbonated drink, as I felt indigestion, I probably had too much foodŠ We arrived in Allston at 17, so we had a couple of hours to relax a bit. In the venue there was an art course, a model was sit on stage and some people were sit front of her and drawing with crayons on papers sheets. Some people were eating a sunday barbecue with chicken wings and hot dogs. I went into a used bookstore around the block, but I didn't find anything, plus I thought I didn't have much more space left on my luggage I'd have to bring back home. The sound men Ben arrived at 19. We finished the sound check at around 20. Then I met Chris Burns, a Watt's fan and brother of Scott Burns from Lousiville. He offered me a good beer and chatted a bit. The opening band Kal Marx started playing at 20:45. I really like their music, it reminded a bit to Melvins, the guitarist was singing with a very weird high pitched and nasal voice. I liked especially the drummer, he had a really nice style and good ideas. Almost at the end of their show I met Susanna Bolle his partner Shaun. Susanna is the organizer of Non-Event, as series of experimental music shows in Boston. I played for her in 2011 with Attila Faravelli. Susanna runs a great radio program too, called Rare Frequency.

   I had to tune and to cut some ringing on the floor tom, so right before the show I taped a couple of napkins on the front skin, and this helped a lot my playing as a I use that drum a lot. I couldn't hear the bass too much, but I had fun playing this show. I tried hard to sing as better as I could, especially because Susanna was in the audience, and sometimes I'm very worried when people that knows my experimental music side see my "other" side. I don't care about genres, but it is often difficult for some people to find coherence in what I'm doingŠ At the end of the show Susanna told me she liked the show and she is a long time fan of Mike's music. I said them hello, packed up quickly and congratulated with Kal Marx drummer. He shown me his 70's Red Vistalight drumset. It sounded really nice. Chris hosted us in his house in Boston at about 25 minutes driving from the venue. Before going to bed I had a quick and very hot shower, had a paracetamol pills and asked Chris to turn off the little fridge in the room where Stefano and I slept, because it was really noisy, when you put your ear at a floor level the 100 hz hum was quite loud.

from stefano:

   We wake up at 9:30 in Macray flat and i wish i could have other two hours to sleep but at ten we have been invited by Jason -who came at the gig the night before- to have some breakfast at his mexican place. His wife is mexican. i have huevo rancheros with rice and tacos and a very good veggie chorizo. Jason daughter serves us. We eat outside in the sun. it is an incredible beautifull sunny day and we are going to sail in the bay on Neel's boat. we spend three ours at least on the boat sailing around the Portland bay. We also have lunch on the boat with Macray, Ben and Shally. Shally has prepared nice food for us. Fratello andrea and Hiyori take little naps while we are sailing. i take a piss. We go to Boston but we have to wait Ben till 7 to load in. i feel very tired and i do not feel to eat. Ben is doing the sound. Kal Marks opens the night they have a good fat sound and a good vibe on their song. I speak a bit wityh Mike their bass player. Also tonight kind of strange vibe for me on stage. we start very good but then in the middle something happens and i feel some disconections between us. we are still playing good but the flow has been tricky and not natural. we speak after about. Fratello Mike just had terrible dreams sleeping in the van just before the gig and this kind of affected him a lot. We go sleep at Chris. i konk immediately on the deck i feel so tired that my eyes cannot stay open.

from watt:

   popped at eight, was gonna put mask on cuz so much sun coming through the window but fuck it, get on the 'puter and do work... I remember I didn't hose down last night like a baka - I go fucking hose off, no towel so fuck it, I drip dry in the shower while shaving, it works! better than being all foul and kitanai ('filthy' in jap) and healthier too. I feel good. I hobble down the three flights of stairs way slow, same w/navigating the red brick sidewalk, trippy.

   a man who's "buzz or howl..." record I signed last night is w/his family at a little park near the boat, whoa... small world! pull anchor at ten, I have us do that cuz we've been invited by a kind man josh last night after the gig to chow breakfast at his "hella good tacos" pad he has w/his wife renee. his kids work here too, they started w/a shopping cart. had to call mccrae to get help cuz the navigatori couldn't put us right where they were but it all worked out. I have their huevos rancheros which I like big time and do it outside - fucking sweaty indoors and damn if there ain't beautiful sunny skies above... the fratelli eventually join me.

stefano pilia + andrea belfi chowing at 'hella good tacos' in portland, me on october 12, 2014

   josh is from livermore back in cali, I drive passed all the time when going from pedro to s.f. but have never stopped there, scared of laboratory stories I've heard about and also about that altamont gig but fuck, if josh's from the that town then I gotta check it out. a lot of wind turbines were tested and developed around there too. josh is sure kind to turn us on to this good chow he whupped up, much MUCH respect to him.

   we next go not too far to the maine yacht center where skipper neil is waiting w/a golfcart to get me to his boat where mccrae and his lady shelly are already onboard his thritynine foot mariner sailboat. I first thank him so much for making this happen and tell him about this last summer doing four of my radio show editions on "pride of cucamonga" which is owned and piloted by skipper jeff of blue oyster cult number one fanman fame. skipper neil takes us all around casco bay for like three or something hours. it's a blast rapping w/him cuz he's all up into music and is a bassman himself, respect. fuck if I don't remember what kind of boat skipper jeff has and then it comes to me - erickson! I'm fight alzheimers one space-out at a time, I'm telling you... yeah, it righteous rapping about all kinds of stuff regarding the sea, boats, bass, gigpads, ospreys - you fucking name it, most interesting cat. he's a great skipper too, has fratello andrea take the wheel for a good bit while he works the sails, even has me work a winch! him and his wife and daughter lived on this boat for two and a half years... sailed to south america and back, crimony. we pick up a buddy of his, bob who's also a great cat, much respect to him. shelly brought chow - a tray full of cheeses, salami, crackers, dolma and crabsalad sandwiches - fucking great chow, oh my god. the weather is just beautiful as is the sea - nobody's puking although fratello andrea and miss hiyori both konk but still they're valuable as balast. fratello ste has his face in the wind, he's natural born sailor, I think. I really love this voyage and am so grateful both mccrae to make the connect and for skipper neil to have us aboard. I'll never forget it.

   we gotta get to allston though (like five miles west of boston) so out of portland and south on I-95, passing through new hampshire one more time. the boston road system is intense! how did we do navigate this spaghetti trip before gps, I don't know... well damn if I ain't a stunad for thinking the load-in is at four - I call to warn the venue of our lateness but am enlightened to the fact that seven pm is when we're due - I'm a baka, we're two hours early! well early is better than late every time and damn if we don't get happening parking out front. there's some trippy kind of sketching of a naked lady going on in great scott - that's why we can't load in yet. there's some bbq chicken being grilled too to go w/the righteous weather, I also chow the china soup and filled w/mein miss hiyori brings, much asia stuff here in this neighborhood, lots of korea also, interesting. I finish chimping yesterday's nikki.

   we do check w/soundman ben, nice cat and so is the bar and doormen who both wrecked knees. respect for sharing the hobble. I meet the young guys sharing the stage w/us, kal marx - drummerman nick's from lowell - he knows it's jack keroac town! I let bassman mike check out the dan bass, he's digging it - so do I. I go to the boat and konk.

   fratello ste rousts me at nine-forty, I fuckin' hollered... people, I was in a fucking nightmare of a 'mare, I shit thee not. I don't know how it happened this late in the tour but happened it fucking did and just scared the shit out of me, I for fucking sure absolutely thought all this violence that was happening was actual and it kicked much shit out of me, I'll tell you what. I get out to the pad and onto to the stage and start blowing clams right away - my nerve is shot, so sorry, good people here in austin... these gig-goers are so genuine w/their good will - there's a man in mike watt flannel who belches big time in the "nanos' waltz" coda, I tell him "salute" and why shouldn't I? I soiled myself big time in the arabic part, pulling out too quick. fuck. there was all kinds of mess-ups and errori but thank god the fratelli were really playing well, thank god.

   at the merch table, I can speak much I'm so embarrassed but I wanna show my appreciation cuz the gig-goers here tonight deserve it much from me. a man talks to me about talking w/me years ago at the "spirit" club in san diego. damn my memory so much of the time for failing me, I don't want that spiel discounted, he said I did quite a windbag. fuck, I wring my hands about this, it ain't what I wanna be about - I never take kindness for granted, especially somebody being kind enough to hear me out. much good sincere word, truly.

   we do the end of gig do and then I use the navigatori to get to chris' pad in roslingdale - remember scott in louisville? this is his brother, much respect. man, what a spaghetti route we took to get there but get there we got and though it was a little shlep cuz of parking sitch, I did donkey to do my part instead of the cojo lame-ass job I'm usually foisting on this team. chris has got a nice carpeted deck to plant my nightwearing self. some knob creek too, I have a little. I think I feel an attack of a cold rearing up - fuck that. I will not submit to such. I konk.

monday, october 13, 2014 - hamden, ct

from andrea:

   Mike woke me up in the morning, at about 9:30. Chris Burns cooked eggs and bacon for breakfast. We left his house at 10 and arrived at 10:30 at WGBH radio in Boston, were we got an interview for BBC with Marco Werman. The studio was really nice, with many pictures of amazing musicians hanging on the wall (Fela Kuti, Rokia Traore among others). The interview lasted about 15 minutes. Werman asked me a difficult question, something like: "what do you want to communicate with your music"...I really didn't know what to answer, so when we finished the interview I was kind of sad, but at the end it was more a personal dissatisfaction. We left the studio at 11:30 and we went to a CVS Pharmacy where I bought cough drops for my throat. We drove only for about three hours through I-90 Mass Turn Pike and then south on I-84 when we arrived in Connecticut. We arrived in Hamden very early, around 14:45. The venue The Outer Space is located in a sort of an industrial area, with little warehouses and workshops. I was a bit hungry, so Mike drove me to the main street jumped out of the van in search of something to eat. It was a quite empty area, plus it was a monday and also Columbus Day, so many shops were closed. I walked for about 10 minutes and I found a pizzeria owned by a man from Napoli. I talked a bit with him and had a sausage and broccoli roll, served with a bowl of tomato sauce as a side. I've never had this in Italy before, it looked something they developed here in the US. I talked a bit with a an italian customer from Abruzzo region, who came to the pizzeria to visit the owner and to have an espresso. He told me moved to Hamden 47 years ago when he was 18, and that it was a big trauma for him as a boy, so he came back to Pescara several times during those days He told me that besides working, in Hamden there was not much to do, so he had to deal with a difficult situation. Really interesting story. There was a curious paint on the wall, where the owner of the pizzeria talking with another man who looked like a thug. Irony? I walked back to the venue and found the van parked in front of it. I jumped in and got on internet on the local WI-FI connection for about an hour. Then we met Marc, the young promoter of this show. Tonight we were supposed to share the stage with Sunburned Hand of the Man. In fact their drummer, John Moloney who also plays with Chelsea Light Moving, set up the show but he got a last minute call to work as road manager for J.Mascis. We did the sound check with sound men Chris, I had some hummus and half of a chicken burrito for dinner, and then chatted with Karen, Schoemer Formation's singer who came from a city in the new york state a couple of hours far from Hamden.

   I shaved in the green room and went downstairs to check the bands. I missed the first Polluter but I went down to the venue and saw Birth of Flower playing. The stage sounded so good I loved this show. Karen left during the encore, and we went to Mitch and Amy's big house house in the outskirts of Hamden, where we hanged out a bit, took a relaxing shower and went to bed.

from stefano:

   Today is Columbus days. Italian Genoa guy. I wake up i have this kind of cookie luck phrase in my head "people who are trying to fight each other are looking at the wrong problem" mah?!!. Anyway i feel much better that the day before. i had a very good rest and i can feel it.. my body and my mind are more clear.

   we go for an interview at WGBH . Marco Wader is interviewing us about il sogno del marinaio experience. After the interview i thought i would have like to point out more the fact that a strong common things between fratello Mike and fratello Andrea and i is the experimental and open mind attitude we are trying to keep vital in our music. Even if we are coming from different background the attitude we have is very close. Minutmen music is deeply experimental...and even more than is actually unique.

   We arrive pretty early in Hamdon. We have to wait some hours before load in. It is a grey day and i go for a walking. Everything seems to be pretty close but i found a sushi place where i have a sort of late lunch early dinner. There are other two bands playing . but i actually miss both. We spend some time with Kareen the sound-acoustic of the room is not very good. We play ok but not at pour best i think We go sleep at Amy and Mitchell house. They leave half an hour from the venue. It is an incredible big house.

from watt:

   pop at eight and go hose off cuz AGAIN I didn't do it before I got the nightwear on, I'm a fucking cazzo. chris is cooking up some scrambled eggs w/peppers and onions mixed in plus bacon strips frying in another pan. he's got a big bowl of fresh blueberries, strawberries and melon - it's a fucking righteous chow to start the day especially w/this fucking sickness trying to kick its way into me but I'm gonna break a fucking leg off in its ass and not let it. chris is beautiful, big hug for him and I get the boat so the shlep for the rest of us ain't so far. I find a sky full of gray. we pull anchor at ten bells cuz marco wormen has invited us to on his "the world" show he does at the wgbh building in downtown boston at eleven. we take 'pert-near the same route we got here on, all those spaghetti roads and shit to get to the station and are ten minute early, alright. on the way I was try to explain about kerry thornley cuz we passed a sign saying "jfk's birthplace" (mr thornley served w/mr oswald in the marines for a short time) but my words again confused the fratelli, I gotta get better at explaining shit w/them.

   marco's a great cat and so is his engineerman michael. it's not the same ol' same ol' but questions w/meat on them to help let folks know what il sogno del marinaio's about. my only regret was he saw us the night before and I blew all them fucking clams after popping from that fucking 'mare in the boat, damn me. what an honor to be able to be w/my fratelli on marco's show, means a lot to me. he's so kind to have us aboard, truly. it wasn't all me doing the windbagging either, marco tossed the ball all around, respect.

   we bail for connecticut but first stop at a pharmacy for cough drops. I then take us west on the mass pike (the richie blackmore road - I saw w/a pilgrim hat on in deep purple when I was a teenager) and have to deal w/some very rude and dangerous fellow drivers...

driving west on the mass pike in massachuestts on october 13, 2014

I mean they're everywhere, all over the country - I don't mean to infer they're just here. fucking scary and stupid the shit people do w/vehicles as we share the roads, fucking stupid and irresponsible, I tell you. we say bye bye to massachusetts around one. hamden's like nine miles north of new haven and the road there has lots of the trees doing the righteous autumn color thing on both sides of the road but damn if the gray skies keeps the camera from getting even close to capturing it. the navigatori has probs finding exactly the location of the outer space but a kind man in an industrial park two driveways away helps us out. we drive by but fratello andrea's hungry and wants to get shlepped to this thai pad but we find it closed and I ask if I can go to the venue cuz I gotta guard my health so he gets out there for some man-alone mode. I drive the boat back to the gigpad (trippy, it's kind of a collective - a few buildings, one of them an all ages pad w/a recording studio and a chow pad) and drop anchor 2:30 pm.

   I chimp diary 'til gigboss mark arrive around four - I've worked for him before in this state, a town called milford w/my missingmen maybe four years ago, a great cat. he brings me up to the green room and I get a chicken burrito that though it don't taste mexican it's still good tasting. that is rare for me, usually those kinds of "burritos" mean lame taste, cold in the middle, crap. the salsa though on the side is mizui, fucking catchup w/sugar, uuggghhh. we check w/nice young soundman chris and I meet the cats from both openers, polluter and birth of flower all very kind and a honor to share the stage w/them. I go to the boat and konk, on the way I hug karen from the schoemer formation, she drove down here from new york to see the gig, respect!

   fratello andrea rousts me at a quarter after nine w/a cup of o-cha, we head for the gigpad's hatch. we bring the gig. I feel some fever as we get going and clam some words in the first piece but get it together and bring it w/the fratelli. they're playing pretty good, fratello ste offbeat a little in "sailor's blues" but then I hit some clams in the b part also, some quick notes either sharp or flat a fret, what a baka. I get it pretty together though, much better than allton and the gig-goers here in hamden are a huge source of inspiration and help for me, grazie. by the end I'm soaked but this sickness I know is on its way out - you ain't got me, fuck you bugs.

   ben from the polluters is sure righteous to offer us a konk pad but he's got teaching seventh grade very early and his wife also... mitch and amy offer up their place fortyfive minutes east in kinkillingworth, so kind. trippy cuz mitch and his buddy tim were yammering during some of our quiet parts and I kind of gave them the shut-the-fuck up look... saying later though I was just yanking their chain. at the table there's good wishes exchange, I share being grateful w/all the kind people who talk w/me. we get help loading out, big hug for gigboss mark and the we pull anchor.

   many hombre at the side of the road in the little towns we pass but I keep the speed legal, it's my way always. very dark this not so big state road but also not much traffic so that's good. I really am not into night driving, so much can happen. we make it safe though and drop anchor twenty of one. mitch and amy's pad is in the countryside-kind of suburbia and very nice - they're very nice. they have an apartment for mitch's parents but they're away so that's where they put us. I actually hose off before putting on the nightwear tonight, yatta! some foam pads on the big round rug on the deck makes for good konk.

tuesday, october 14, 2014 - providence, ri

from andrea:

   I woke up at around 10. I worked a bit on the computer, made a hot tea and then went downstairs where Mike and Stefano were already having breakfast with Amy and Tim. I had pancakes and bacon. I went outside on the balcony to enjoy a bit of a sun. I shaved and then we left Amy's at 13, and drove towards Providence, on a beautiful sunny day. All leaves were falling from the forest. We stopped for filling up the tank, and I went into the CVS pharmacy where I bought a bottle of mouthwash. Mike told me he had a weird conversation with people in the gas station, who treated him very rudely. I stretched my bones and then back in the van. We arrived at the venue Fete at 15:00. Mike warned us to be careful in that neighborhood because a few days before there had been a shooting. The bar tender told us that the situation was not that bad as some depicts it, but still, we had to pay attention walking around. He also told me he used to play in the band Daughter a few years before. After the soundcheck Mike and Hiyori went to buy a hot wiener and french fries with chorizo. Stefano went to visit Armageddon record store. I stayed a bit at the venue and then tried to find the record shop later. I walked for about 15 minutes in the wrong direction and I found it when I was walking back, just to find out it changed the name and it was closed. Before the gig we met Lightning Bolt's drummer Brian Chippendale. I saw him playing 10 years ago in Williamsbourg and on last August with Massimo Pupillo and Mats Gustaffson in Berlin.

   The first band the Hornets was a really nice one. Drums, double bass and accordion. They played different songs with many different moods, but with a unique style. I went waking Mike up at the boat with the hot tea and started the show at 22:15. It was a good show, and the people in the audience very focused. After the gig I met some friends of Stefano, as he spent some time here a few years ago. We loaded the van and we drove for a few miles to Kyle's house. I liked his house, with its 60's style furniture, a lot interesting books and records. While we were chatting together with Joe D, Mike and Mark, Kyle played "a love supreme" - the classic John Coltrane record we always play before each gig. After about an hour I went upstairs and got in my green sleeping bag, but I couldn't fall asleep quickly, because I couldn't digest the hot wiener, I had a bad stomachache. I went downstairs, smoked a cigarette, and upstairs again were I slept a few hours.

from stefano:

   We have time to sleep. I wake up around 10. We have breakfast Amy prepares for us and at 13:00 we hit the road. The venue tonight is in area called Honneyville. Providence is a very important place for me. my first solo record "healing memories and other scattering times" has been released here on Last Visible Dog records. That's how i met Jeffrey Alexander cause he was on the same label with Black Forest Black Sea and In 2005 i had a artist month residency in Providence at AS220. Here i met Dave Lefrieri, Geoff Mullen, Scott Reber, Sakiko, Aerin, Raphael, Margot and Chris. I had a very nice time with all of them. Mostly Everyday i was biking from downtown where AS220 is till Honneyville where both Jeffrey with Miriam and Dave where living. Dave borrowed me one of his bike at that time. i recognizes the area so in the afternoon i go for a walk just crossing the bridge where i know Dave has his record shop analog undergrounds. It is a beautifull record shop with great selections. Many memories comes to my mind doing this less than a mile walk. it has not changed much even if the old factory where Jeffrey was living does not exist anymore. it is great to see Dave again. Last time i saw him was 2011 and i came to Providence with Byron Westbrook to play a gig in a gallery. We have usually never spoke through email but every time i have seen him again i never felt any distance. i love him and it is always such a nice time to speak with him. The venue la fete is a new club. Brian Chippendale lives just two blocks far and he comes to the show. In august he stayed at my place in Bologna. It is nice to see him again. i met Viky Dave's girlfriend and Geoff and Sakiko come to the show as well. Unfortunately Scott could not come because he is playing as well. It is great to see them and i feel very happy we play good for them. We had a good and warm audience tonight. I really like the opening band the Mainsfield Hornets: Alek on bandoneon, Matt on drums and a man on doublebass. Jerome does great sound. He is african american and it is a first venue i have been where black american people and white american are working togheter. i like it big time to see finally some real integration. That is also one of the reason why i like Sly and the family Stone so much. great example. Jerome does a very good sound and he really works with us. We go stay at Kyle and we meet the incredible and funny Joe di Pasquale. He is consouler for the town there. Kyle is great too and very welcoming. He offers us some Rhode Island beers and he is very much into music. Matt is also there. all the three of them are incredibly funny.. i really have funny smiles before going to sleep...It takes me time to fall asleep.

from watt:

   pop at 'pert-near ten, whoa... maybe too much waterford. mitch told me he went to the university of virginia and couldn't drink bourbon there but does here now. I think sometime after konk I popped not just for a piss but like an hour in the shower (fratello ste enlightened me to this later in the day), some kind of borracho dance. I feel ok though and in fact that fucking trying-to-get-me sickness ain't even taking hold, no runny nose at all and only at times some tiny cough. I'll prolly still have some fever during the gig but think I beat off this shit. mitch had to take a train to new york for work but amy's here and cooks us some real good fried eggs, toast, bacon and sausages for me. tim comes by, he's a both a drummerman and a teacher, respect. he's also only twentysix, damn! I would've never known. I ain't good at judging ages anyway. the weather sure is nice, whoa. amy and mitch got two righteous little dogs I love, the smaller one konks on me while I chimp diary in the other room, very kind!

   we gotta pull anchor at one, I get us over the state line and into providence at two. fratello ste's gotta piss (we're all very surprised) so a pull-over but damn if we ain't gotta go through many tiny towns to find a filling station. the counterlady gives me a receipt for the wrong amount and I ain't pissed or anything but ask if I could a correct one. the boss of the higher up the ladder guy of the pad comes over and starts getting really weird and all scowly, starts getting pissed at this counterlady, I feel terrible for her - more than for me - there ain't any reason for this go-off, just a little confusion and it can fixed w/out a hemorrhage, crimony. I didn't give any anger back, ain't worth it. maybe this man had a hard time w/something in the morning or last night. I hope he feels better now. that counterlady was older woman and I think needs the job, not the grief, crimony.

   I get us in at three to the olneyville part of providence, west of downtown where the gig is tonight, a pad called fete (the lounge part) the padman dan has us load right away, the barman perry is real nice cat and tells me his first tattoo was a porno for pyros one - I mentioned his name w/same as per's in that band, trippy. he says the scene that's happening here in providence now is folk - folk?? whoa. I meet the production bossman graham and talking about minutemen days and first prov gigs for us, I remember randy hein of the living room - us minutemen played the second one (bubble complex) a few times... his ma cooked us righteous fried chicken every time. this man was beautiful, truly.

   we do check w/soundman jerome - he says I got too much bass coming off the stage and I believe him. miss hiyori said last night the gig had no guitar... this ain't a reggae band, bass can't be bogarting. I trust jerome w/giving us good balanced sound. w/il sogno del marinaio we're trying to make equal three-way and not bass bogart. after check I get talking w/perry again about stuff - he's from west virginia and know a lot about a lot of stuff, respect. soundman jerome comes back w/a sack of chow from a place called new york system that's just up around the corner... I hobble up there and get me three hot weenies (not called dogs) and dig them much - I got one for fratello andrea too, I think he went back to get another! the are a different trip for sure, a happening trip for the mouf!

two of the hot wieners watt chowed from new york system in olneyville, ri on october 14, 2014

   I meet drummerman matt of the hornets who are sharing the stage w/us tonight, very cool people, so glad to meet him. the lot man says I gotta move the boat and I say I'm playing here tonight and he says no one parks for free. I say "ok, how much do I owe you?" it's seven dollars but worth it in my mind cuz the boat is the center of the touring universe. I go there and konk.

   fratello andrea rousts me at nine forty, he's got throatcoat o-cha in a cup for me. I hobble up and in the pad, the stage is so great cuz it's got handles to make my hike-up safe. we bring the set. who's right up front, the bow of the gig-goer boat is fucking joe d, righteous! so great to see him again - I shove a fist his way. the fratelli are playing real good and I'm doing pretty ok too, even do all the words right to the first one, stucazz?!! good fire from the prov gig-goers feeding the cooker we got going w/the set... I'm really into the way we've 'pert-near made it all one tune - maybe that's a result of my experience w/my own operas but I'm glad the fratelli are into it. I think it keeps our thing more unpredictable and engages the gig-goers better. this is a real good gig, thanks prov peoples, thank you fratelli andrea and ste.

   for the encore, I do a trip on the gig-goers, I put my hand up to my ear like I was on the phone and say some words from this:

"watt here, I'm downstairs from under your window... at the punk phone booth."

"thurston, watt... thurston, I think it's 10:30... we're callin' from providence, rhode island. did you find your shit? you gotta watch the mota, thurston... your fuckin' memory's going out the window... we couldn't find it in the van at all, we were wondering if you looked in that trash can... when we threw out that trash, man, with the bag in your hand, did you dump it? call later, bye."

(here is some useful info maybe but the 'lyrics' are wrong)

lots of cats get it and laugh.

   I go to the merch table to sit and meet accordionman alec from the hornets, good cat. I meet MANY bassmen, one older than me, crimony! I get to sign a yellow bass even, basso giallo! respect. peter prescott, a man among men now lives in providence at was at the gig, he gives me sounds from his new proj minibeast - I got so much respect for this man, so much. everyone is just so warm w/the good spirit, I'm most grateful.

   I go get a soda water from barman perry and wait for padman tyler to finish the do and these two cats sitting there are very interesting, they learn me about the providence river actually being paved over in the 70s, what the fuck? good people, honor to meet them. one of them tells me about that wiener pad around the corner - he says it was greek dudes from new york that found their own trip and brought it here to providence. damn, thank you much, brother. fourteen miles southwest is the town of warren where joe d, mark and kyle lives - it's where we're konking, brother kyle's pad. joe d joins us, then mark. I hose off before getting in the nightwear - twice in a row now, gotta keep the streak going. we have a good time outside on the deck in the back, so many fucking stars and the moon all huge even though it's half. great rug to konk on too. I'm out not much later, we got early anchor-pull tomorrow.

wednesday, october 15, 2014 - brooklyn, ny

from andrea: Stefano woke me up at 7:40. We had to leave quite early because we had to play for WFMU radio in Jersey City. We were worried about the traffic so we left Kyle's house at 8:00. I slept in the van for most of the trip from Providence to the outskirts of New York. It took about 4 hours, as we hit some traffic right outside of Providence. The sky was pretty grey, and the streets around NYC area in a very bad condition, full of holes and bumps. We arrived at WMFU headquarters on time, around 1 o'clock. The radio is in Jersey City downtown and it consists in a 5 stories building. It is a great radio station, sometimes I listen to it in Berlin. We met the Pat Byrne, who invited us at the program Redundant Radio. Mario is the sound men. At fourth floor there is the studio were we recorded. They had the whole drum kit set up already, so I only had to put my cymbals on and my percussion. We did a quick soundcheck and played 8 songs in a row. It was fun, and I think we did a good job. I loved how the studio was decorated, especially the huge donuts hanging on the top of the mixing room. In the headphones I could hear the drum sound a little compressed, I liked it. We got back to the van and took the took the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan. We drove next to ground zero, and then took the Hugh L.Carey Tunnel to South Brooklyn. We arrived at the Bell House at around 15. The area around the is called gowanus, an old industrial area, slowing getting through a gentrification process. In fact, next to The Bell House there was a new restaurant which looked like a Mexican courtyard in the middle of a rusty and dusty street. We loaded in, did the soundcheck with sound men Jeff. We met the opening band Overlake from New Jersey. At 18:30 David Grubbs came to meet us in front of the venue, it was a great meeting. Last time Stefano him and I played together was in the UK in June, is always nice to spend time with him. It was a bit rainy and humid, not very hot but enough to be quite fastidious. We went to an italian restaurant, called Bar Tano, and his wife Kathy joined a few minutes later. I had a nice spinach salad and some melanzane alls parmigiana. I've been with Stefano and David in this place before, back in 2009, when we played our first show at Issue Project Room. We went back to the venue where I met Nicola, a friend from Italy who was living in Berlin as well and now moved to New York because he got a post-doc in philosophy at NYU. We spent a few minutes talking together and then I met Monique, a great musician from L.A. who lived many years in Rome. She has a project named Honeybird, I'm really glad to see her at the show. When Overlake started playing I was still chatting with my friends, but I had the chance to listen to some of their songs. I really liked the sound of the band, very compact and interesting songs. I woke up Mike in the van at 22:10, the Econoline was parked right in front of the building. The show was nice. In the middle of the show my vocal mic stand fell off, right where Mike was standing and Jeff run on stage to straight it on, but apart from that we played really tight. After the show I met Alexandra, who plays with Guardian Alien. She told me she saw me somewhere, and at first I couldn't remember her, but then I recalled I saw her band playing a mile far from my house in Berlin. Then I said hello to David and Monique, loaded the van, put Nicola's bike in the van as well and went all to Shell and Jen's house in green point. Shell and Jen have a duo called Shellshag. They have an incredible house made out of an old garage, renovated and turned into a sound stage. We had good time chatting together until late. Nicola was really tired so he slept there as well.

from stefano:br>
   We have to leave early cause at 13:00 we have radio show at WFMW in Jersey City. Kyle prepares some breakfast and coffee for us and Joe and Matt comes to say hello. He wit the road at 8:00. we arrive just right on time at the radio in Jersey city. we meet Pat. he is almost kind and bring us little stuff to eat and coffee. we can use their gears which is actually pretty nice.. this old 50 watt yamaha amp is great very warm and precise tone. We play 6 songs live and there is time for a little interview with Mario at the board console. Fratello Mike wants us to speak more cause he wants Il Sogno Del Marinaio to be known as a band he is part of and not only like his band. I am kind of stunado this morning but we keep it togheter. of course some clams but we play good and answer good enough. It is time to go to Brooklyn. We play at Bell House. Tricky to find a parking but in the end we are lucky and there, an old black man keeps a parking spot i find while i go back to call fratello Mike, fratello Andrea and Hiyori which are waiting in the van on the parallel road. Thank you very much. So incredible kind!. i try to sleep a little bit after soundcheck because i feel very tired but not much time cause fratello Andrea and i go out for dinner with David Grubbs and his wife Kathy Bowman. it is nice to see him and spend a little time with him and Kathy. We go in a good italian restaurant just few blocks away. After that i meet Alexandra Drewchin. She recorded some amazing vocals for a project Fratello Massimo Pupillo and i are working together. and it is nice to see Tom Carter. we played some gigs in Bologna togheter. i really like his guitar playing. Would be great to record something with him. I like Overlakes the trio opening band. they have a very good sound and Jeff dose a very good sound for us too. He really works with us like Jerome did the night before. i like the vibe and the concert. So glad we play good for the audience and all of ours friend there. during concert Andrea's microphone falled on my guitar and on the zoom solo one of my pedal stop to work..maybe the switch!:( but we kept a very good energy and good playing in my opinion. Pe after gig we go staying for the night at Shell and Jenn. They have and incredible spot in Brooklyn. it is an old restored garage where there is a set with green screen. it is a soundstage. it is kind of a big laboratory and they keep it in very good condition. that have care for. They do their funny episode television program me but they also rent the space for publicity or television stuff. they are so nice and incredibly funny. Very passionate about creativity and warm and friendship feelings. I also meet Nicola, fratello Andrea friend, who is in NY for a philosophy funding. I go sleep after some beers.

from watt:

   pop at twenty after seven, sun in the sky but clouds are jamming quick across the sky so maybe it won't last... kyle cooks up scrambled eggs and chorizo (not mexican style but still good) w/tortillas. fratello andrea chows cereal after he goes through that trouble, what? I understand fratello ste being vegetarian but what? I think heavier morning chows are heavy on fratello andrea, he ain't used to it. at home my big chow is morning, the other chow (around four pm) is smaller... I chow only twice a day at home but then I usually pop a five am. anyway, we gotta pull anchor, joe d gives us a campaign sign cuz he's running for office here in warren as an independent again. sure is good to see him, same w/mark and kyle, real good cats and I'm very lucky to know them.

mark, kyle + joe d in warren, ri on october 15, 2014

   right out of warren we hit major plug. most my shift is sitting in parking lot mode on the fucking freeway. we cross into connecticut just before ten and I pull off at the state "welcome center" and switch ponies, fratello ste at the wheel now while fratello andrea continues his konk, all blankied. there are real rude and dangerous motherfuckers on the road, unbelievable but actually most regrettably the fucking reality on the dealio. luckily I brought my bluetooth mouse cuz this has happened before: my fucked up portside knee 'pert-near went out at brother kyle's and in the resulting freakout, I through the fucking macpurse and now the trackpad is flaked out, shit. could've been worse though. it was the fucking cord, I tripped on it, fucking clumsy baka which is amplified by the fucked up knee. just before noon we reach new york state line, soon same hells angels who passed us in rhode island, pass us again - one all in red, trippy.

some bike people in connecticut on october 15, 2014

I-95 is one beatup road and the boat takes many blows, the navigatori bringing us through parkways into the bronx and then over the george washington bridge to get us over the hudson and into new jersey... now the road gets really beat, fucking thumping us and the boat real bad but we endure and move down state road three - miss hiyori talks about "south park" references to this part of new jersey and I add that most of this state is really beautiful and it's only a bigot who would focus just on some hard parts which every state's got.

   I guide fratello ste to jersey city (at one point the navigatori asks us to make an illegal move but fratello ste is smart to override that bullshit and avoid a nightmare) and to wfmu - we're ten minutes early for our one pm session for pat byrne's "redundant radio" show - can you believe we did it w/all that fucking traffic shit? that's why it's good to build in a time cushion just in case. dj pat's actually out there but I yell to fratello andrea (he's gone out to check out the sitch) that pressman howard has set it up to use their stuff and spare us the load-in/load-out of our crap (except for percussion shit from fratello andrea and pedal shit from fratello ste plus both our axes). I meet scott downstairs - good to see him again and whoa, they've built a stage down here - something in this part of nj to replace the now-closed maxwell's (trippy that tonight's bell house padboss we're playing is that pad's last boss!) - this is very happening development, respect. upstairs is where the studio is and we go up to the fourth floor and there's brian turner - much respect! the knobman is mario and he gives us a choice of stuff... I take a fliptop 70s ampeg b-15n, fratello ste picks some small yamaha combo and fratello andrea has no choice - can't remember the drum brand but they're pretty ok, great for this job. as knobman mario mics stuff up I use the internet to realize brother's sister's daughter debut album "bsd" came out today which is also the bday of mr shimmy, big sonkei ('respect' in jap) to him! love that man. we actually have two more brother's sister's daughter albums recorded ("bsd" was the first recorded, it was back in 2008) that just need to be mixed. ALSO I'm enlightened to the fact that fratello ste's video for our "nanos' waltz" tunemr shimmy is now live - both great pieces of news. everything ready, we do theses tunes 'pert-near as one:

"skinny cat"
"partisan song"
"nanos' waltz"
"animal farm tango"
"punkinhed ahoy!"
"verse IX"
"il sogno del fienile"

this trips dj pat and knobman mario out cuz they don't know when to clap but that's ok. dj pat asks some questions for us all, the fratelli give very good answers, I sound like my usual 'tard self, crimony. ok, time to pull anchor and get over to brooklyn...

   I wheel the boat towards the holland tunnel, fratello ste giving direction. the sky's getting real gray, I smell storm. from manhattan we take the carey tunnel to gowanus canal part of south brooklyn - no fucking parking (we see a car getting towed - a big fear for me of our boat) so I put us a block away where I find some... only brief though cuz damn if fratello ste doesn't get a lady to hold a spot 'til I get the boat over and we can drop anchor safe. it's twenty of four so we got 'pert-near an hour and a half. we get let in early and I don't know, I feel like moving my body and so hobble around a little. I find this little deli run by egypt cats and get a pastrami sandwich that's really good, fuck yeah.

   back at the pad, I hobble up just in time to do guardiano while they use the cart to do the load-in. soundman jeff is very cool - did monitors for j mascis + the fog w/me on bass at the middle east fourteen years ago and I had a pumpkin on my head - he thought it was to block out j's loudness but I enlightened him to the notion that in fact it was fucking halloween. we do check w/him and then I meet the cats sharing the stage w/us, a new jersey trio called overlake that are really nice cats. gigboss carly says we can order chow so miss hiyori gets me some won ton soup from a china pad. the fratelli go chow w/mr david grubbs who has them aboard as a trio. I chimp diary while my zuppe cools and then after chowing it (good shit!), hit the boat to konk.

   damn if I ain't gotta pull the gig shirt off cuz it's as humid as a motherfucker. I konk hard - but then I pop somehow hearing this fucking deluge coming down on the boat, what an intense sound, whoa... I put the gig shirt back on and konk some more. trippy dreams but no 'mares - I can deal w/trippy dreams, just not 'mares.

   ten after ten fratello andrea rousts me, he says he's ten minutes late cuz that's how the gig's running. well, I figure we gotta get it going right off so I head right for the stage and get up on it by rolling up on 'pert-near summersault rock but like a cojo would do it. I give pronunciation lesson for band's name, gives thanks for coming on a work night and then bring our set. I fuck up the fifth verse totally for the first tune but after that rally good and I really think it's one of the best gigs of the tour for us. certainly the brooklyn gig-goers helped to keep things lit but I gotta say my fratelli kicked up MUCH dust, BIG respect from me to them. gotta give big respect too for soundman jeff for jumping up on stage when fratello andrea's mic boom stand topples (he had it adusted too far out) and my pathetic tries were not working as far as keeping it up - this is a man who really cares, bravo! fuck, I'm so happy w/our performance that I dedicate "verse IX" to mr jim o'rourke.

   at the table I meet many really nice cats, one man knows glenn and dave from the feelies - whoa, I ask him to pass on my best to them, love those cats. I meet don godwin - he's the engineer who recorded the hidden rifles proj of wasco's that I think I've already mentioned in this diary. much good will and gratitude exchange w/pedro bass dude and brooklyn gig-goers, very kind. so grateful for the fratelli doing the load-out while I do this and then w/gigboss carly, they finish in time even to visit w/their buddies and though I don't get to meet w/mr david grubbs I do get to meet their buddy nicolo who's from a town near pisa but is gonna be here for two years to study philosophy... hell, we bring him in the boat - he's gonna konk w/us tonight!

   I steer the boat for the greenpoint part of brooklyn where the pad of shell and jen of shellshag is at and damn if they ain't the kindest cat ever to let us spend the next two nights konking there, beautiful big hearts. we have much good spiel w/them - I've been here before but it's the first time I learn shell's pop was a caller in texas, respect! I remember us getting taught square dancing in grade school, mrs urabe was my third grade teacher when I just came to california from virginia... she helped me in so many ways, I sure do owe that lady. I remember breaking my right wrist and she made write w/my left and even though it was all 'tard writing and fucked up, she said it was the effort that counted and that sticks w/me today, why I keep pushing. she's one teacher I remember... I remember my electric shop teacher in high school too, mr donahue, he was righteous. mr karg too - me and d. boon shared hardly any classes but the history one mr karg taught we did in I think eleventh grade... he told us about him as a younger man getting an old vw and learning the country by riding around in it and getting first-hand experiences, I think that had HUGE influence on me and d. boon. I remember mr zorotovich too, had me do a paper on the black panthers. mr mardesich (joe, we had two) was intense w/history also... so many teachers I can't remember anything about them, especially junior high - I do remember mr tanaka w/math though, he was cool people and not a judge w/a hard-on. I konk at like three, a late one for watt.

thursday, october 16, 2014 - new york, ny

from andrea:

   WI woke up quite late, at 11:30. Stefano Nicola and I went to a deli a couple of block far from Shellshag headquarter. I had a good sandwich and a pineapple-banana-orange fresh juice. I love NY deli's, the quality of food around here is very high. We went back and Nicola went back home. Shell and Jen have a YouTube channel called Shellshonig Shag-O-Vision. The project is based on live recording of friends playing songs on cool a set with a green screen as a background, so they can change it with whatever they want.They proposed us to cover a Wire cover together, so Stefano and I recorded the song Outdoor Miner, from their second 1978 album Chairs Missing together with the two of them, and Mike decided to do another song, Reuters, with them the next day, as we had to leave at 14:30. We drove down to Williamsbourgh and then over the Williamsbourgh bridge to Manhattan. The traffic was impossible, the traffic jam started in the middle of the bridge and packed up the whole Delancey street. The venue where we played is called Mercury Lounge, on Houston street, one of the busiest streets in NYC. We parked the van just around the block, next to a new fancy gelateria and opposite side to Katz's Delicatessen. The venue has no parking spot for bands, which is an insane thing for New York City, plus in front of the venue there were constructions. We brought the instruments inside the venue, and we packed them next to other gear from the other 3 bands that they were playing on the same evening. While loading, a 7 piece band called The New Bison was doing the sound check, they had an with an insane amount of instruments, guitars, drums, violin, keyboards. The drummer had a beautiful sounding drum kit, called C&C, he later told me it is a Missouri company. The concert room is quite famous in NYC, and it's quite small at the same time. A singer called Monica Heldal did the sound check after accompanied at guitar by a guy with whom I talked a bit and realized we shared the stage together last year in Oslo! Small world. We did the sound check with the sound men Mark, while Zack, director of the project cassette and his helper Georg from Berlin, were setting their cameras to film the show. His project is about the story of music on tapes related to punk rock artists. He was at The Bell House the day before as well. I went with Hiyori to Katz's delicatessen and had a delicious pastrami sandwich. A little expensive, 20$, but very good. I ate half of it and went back to the venue, as we had an early show, at 20:00.

   WI spent some time with Zack and Georg talking outside the venue, then I heard one song of the opening band Gowanus. I got on stage and prepared my drum set for the show, while Hiyori went to wake up Mike in the van, which was luckily parked only one block away. Zack mounted one go pro camera on the crash cymbal stand and one over the bass amp, and that made some additional pressure on me. It was an intense show and probably one of the best so far from my point of view. The sound on stage was really good. Stefano dedicated Mountain Top to one an Italian friend who came to see us playing, and Mike screamed "Nels" at the beginning of Us in Their Land to check if Nels Cline was in the crowd, and he answered back screaming "yes!". The audience asked the encore, but we couldn't because of the venue's tight schedule. I packed up right after and said hello to Nels and Yuka Honda. Zack, Georg and Byron Westbrook helped us to carry the instruments out from the venue to the boat. The car parked on the back of the van was so close that when the edge of the opened back door was about 3 millimeter far from the bumper. I didn't have the time to go back to Mercury Lounge, because Mike came to the boat with a friend of his, said him goodbye and we left Manhattan for Greenpoint, together with Byron Westbrook. I know Byron since 2009, I played together with him in 2011 with Attila on a couple of shows. When we arrived to Shell and Jen's house, quite early, at around 23:00. They were not there yet, as they had a show too at the Silent Barn. I ate the other half of the sandwich and had a couple of beers chatting with Byron Stefano and Hiyori just after midnight.

from stefano:

   We have some time to sleep. In the morning Fratello Andrea, Nicola and i go on Norman Avenue to have some breakfast. I have veggie omelette and coffee. I have kind of headache this morning that will follow me for all the fucking day long. As soon as we go back Shell and Jenn invite fratello Andrea and i to be part of one of their episode television show!. The Shellovisiono Shagshow. We play a Wire song from Chair Missing Outdoor Miner: Shell and i on acoustic guitar, Andrea on drums Shag percussion. Shell and Jenn sing, Andrea and i do choirs. Shell and Shag is also the name of Shell and Jenn music duo.. infact they have a gig tonight as well. It is time to go at the mercury lounge in Manhattan. Crazy to find even a stop spot for the van to load in. But even here we are lucky. we just park on a parallel and we start to take the gear from the van till the venue .. some 100 meter distance.. duable.. we are playing an early gig tonight. so when we finish we have to take immediately our stuff out. Luckily fratello Mike finds a parking spot just a block away..kind of 200 meter distance from the venue. we have to wait the two bands of the late evening show to end their soundcheck. Mark works the sound tonight. i go sleep in the hot and small basement downstairs.. i feel very tired and the headache is almost killing me. i guess i sleep for an half an hour. i feel better after..still tired but better. we play at eight. There are some italians i know in NY tonight. My friend Nina is coming to the show with Enrico and Andrea and other. they just arrives some minutes before. It is nice to see them here. We hug each others. NIna is a photographer and first time for her in NY so she is very happy. She is always very happy. i have the pleasure to meet Nels Cline and Yucca Honda..they come for the show! we play good. People are into. After both Nels and Yucca comes to express all their appreciation for the gig, for us and to say big thanks. i feel very honored and happy about. they are incredible musicians. i see Byron. so happy to see him again. He is very happy too about the gig. Nina as well.. a lot of other people come to say thanks and to say how much they like it..and what about the other italians?..They are just outside smoking cigarettes and when we go out to load out they do not say anything..not even a ciao? one of the guy there- the one i know the least- when he see me he turns to look somewhere else..incredible! Kind of had a a bit of bad feelings about. ..NIna has invited me to go with them for dinner but when i go back to the venue after loading the van they are no more there. maybe the did not like it but that is not a good reason to not say a goodbye..whatever. Nina calls me later to tell me where they are but we are in brooklyn already and i am happy i have some time to spend with Byron. he would have probably had some problems with all italian guys speaking italian Byron helps us a lot loading out the stuff. I am so glad he is here. He is such a clever guy. he is working hard on his sound installations project right now and it is great to see him again. Last time i saw him was 2011. we spend couple of hours at Shell and Jenn house before going to sleep

from watt:

   pop at eight, it's pitch black in this pad but even w/many stumbles somehow I don't go down and in fact, find my yellow man sack and switch outfits. outside finds gray and drizzle rain, I begin chow search, spin around clockwise and follow jewel street where it goes no more and damn if there ain't the "pointview deli" and toast, fried eggs and sausage waiting for me for only six bucks w/a coff that's so boiling I don't drink it 'til somehow I hobble back to shell and jen's pretty much dry - not just from rain but from giant trucks kicking up tsunamis from flooded street-made road swimming pools.

   for the next couple of hours I chimp diary and do email stuff 'til all the dead rise here in the pad around eleven. shell and jen have a mission: they wanna shoot video of people joining them covering wire song "outdoor miner" inside this giant fake television set they've made on their soundstage (this whole pad is like a garage modified into one, very happening) part that's been painted for "green screen" sitches. the last time here it was all white but anyway, I suggest the fratelli alone w/them and I'll do a separator one tomorrow morning. I really believe fratello andrea and fratello ste deserve identity of their own and not always have a watt threatening to bogart it even though I try my hardest not to... I'm a member of this band - IT'S NOT A MIKE WATT BAND - fuck, it's so frustrating to get that through to folks. anyway, they both learn the tune w/shell and then do the film, doing several takes 'til they got what they want, good job. I'm most proud of the fratelli, they really came through. we pull anchor at three for manhattan. so trippy we have no real driving to do in the middle of a tour, 'pert-near surreal in a way.

   over the williamsburg bridge to houston and essex, very rude driving makes for surreal almost pinball machine game like sitch for us in the boat but I get us there safe w/what seems like many rolls of the dice from irresponsible fuckers w/steering wheels in their hands. the mercury lounge now has major construction going on all around it and the closest I can get the boat in is like two blocks away, cio caro! a buddy of tim irwin (man who shot "we jam econo") named zack (he made "cassette" doc) wants to be in "fly on the wall" mode for this gig and meets me at the boat while I play guardiano role and our team does hellshlep w/the equipment. he then rides around w/me as I search for parking, trying to use his leash but it keeps trying to put us on one-way streets that I will not fucking do (of course), many temp one-ways cuz of the highway tear-up, it's a big nightmare... on one of the loops around I find by the grace of god a spot only a block away - I think for sure something must be up cuz damn if it didn't just land in our lap, crimony! also the weather's turned really nice since pulling anchor for here - why didn't I fucking mention that? what a stunad I am... it is righteous pedro-like temp and humidity and I can hoof even w/out the giacca gialla - I go to katz's a block away from the gigpad to get a chopped liver sandwich - you can't get one of these in pedro! I get it to go and bring it to the boat... fucking piled high and with raw onions and their homemade pickles - I love it and it's worth the fucking sixteen bucks I plunked to chow it, zack rapping w/me for his not so "fly-on-the-wall-in-reality" mode.

chopped liver sandwich from katz's watt chowed in new york city on october 16, 2014

   pressman howard tugs on my leash and damn if brian of boingboing waiting at the gigpad for me to do a spiel w/him, the club won't let him in. damn, I forgot to mention that I did soundcheck w/fratelli and soundman mark - great cat, I trust him to be transmission for our motor which is important cuz I've had terrible sound in this pad before and I know it ain't the pad. anyway, do the spiel w/brian and am kind of irritated at first cuz one, I left my fucking glasses in the boat - oh yeah, I was konking and left instructions to have brian come do the spiel in the boat but it didn't get through to him - aaarrrrrrggggghhhh... the BIG THING that bugs me though is this is supposed to be an il sogno del marinaio spiel and it's hardly that, it's a fucking mike watt thing and it goes into my history and my plans and what I think about this and that - I point this out to him but you know he's a nice man and so I acquiesce, much better when I get brought my glasses by miss hiyori and I can fucking see him w/out blur... he's recording this and says he'll talk w/the fratelli but a couple of times fratello andrea comes back, he says nothing to him - maybe he doesn't recognize him? could be. I ask if he'll talk to them after the gig, after he sees me play w/them and realize it ain't a mike watt backup band but il sogno del marinaio. he says he'll do that. actually, brian asks me some real good stuff in terms of a mike watt spiel: among them, stuff about politics and expression w/art forms. he's a bright man. I thank him for having me aboard and then head for the boat cuz I am fucking beat and want so bad to play good.

   fratello andrea rousts me at eight bells, that's when we're supposed to go on cuz they do two shows a night now at the merc. I have no idea what the openers gowanus are like but thank them for letting us share the stage w/them after going straight from the hatch to the stage, using folks shoulders to keep from stumbling and going down. I hope I don't scare anyone. we bring our set and we do good as a band but damn if I don't clam some cuz of light prob, even whining out loud about the "fucking green light" w/a bellow... actually the prob is the lights are coming from behind and putting shadows on the neck of my bass - I should've just closed my eyes and used and played. aaarrggghhhhh. the fratelli are playing real good though, grazie. the manhattan gig-goers real fired up, respect how they share w/us, big time respect for them, truly.

   I go to the merch table - here's john from staten island, so good to see him again, he's a bass brothers as are a bunch of cats who come to share kindness. bookerman steve kaul and lieutenant eric come by - brother steve is the man outside the van, he's just the best and w/him is how I make tours happen - love this man, love him. amanda from lawrence is here, big hugs! there's gig-goers from brooklyn, very kind. there's nels and mrs yuka, crimony! nels gives me present: "tuff dude" buddy rich album. love nels. I asked mrs yuka if our gig was fusion, she smiles. much respect for mrs yuka, she is strong woman big time.

   I settle w/gigboss maggie, many times I've worked for her here and it's good to see here again... she's got a new book, "the architecture of change" so I give her mine. big hugs. incredible the fratelli did the load-out to where the boat is fucking parked, much respect! my old buddy juan rosenfelder and his new lady rosy come to say hi - six days w/out mota for him, yatta! he asks if I want a whisky but no alcohol for me - not even a beer - 'til the konk pad cuz I'm the wheelman. I'm real proud of juan and his schooling, he's almost through some major hell dealing w/big data and I support him big time. he's learning r which is a trip cuz we both love rakim much (the eighteenth letter). I heard rosy's last name wrong and ask if she knows hangul and actually she's vietnam so it's embarrassing - "all look sam" stupid stuff, aarrgggghhh baka watt. they accompany me to the boat. I meet one of the gowanus guys and we shake hands, I'm so glad I got to meet at least one of them. juan and rosy wanna come to shell and jen's but public transpo would make it too long of a journey back to his pad and he has work early in the morning. big hugs and bye then.

   back over the east river to shell and jen's, we find them gone cuz they got a gig. we brought back w/us a friend of fratello ste's, a cat from baton rouge named byron. nice man and also a musician the age of the fratelli. good thing about playing at eight is getting to konk early, I love it. once hosed off, in the nightwear and after some spiel w/byron, I do that.

friday, october 17, 2014 - philadelphia, pa

from andrea:

   I woke up hearing chat from Mike, Shell and Jen. They were recording another Wire song called Reuters for Shellshonig Shag-O-Vision. Stefano and I went to bring some food on a Deli a few blocks away, were I got a chicken wrap with sun-dried tomatoes and a yogurt. We went back and ate the yogurt, packed up my stuff and got ready for the travel. We said hello to Shell and Jen, who stood outside of the apartment for several minutes shaking their hands with a smile on their faces. We crossed Brooklyn and Manhattan, got into the Holland tunnel again. We stopped at a gas station in New Jersey, where they were selling a small wooden bat specifically crafted for trucker's self defense. When we arrived in Philadelphia we went to the NPR, national public radio, to record 4 songs for the radio program World Cafe. The sound men was called Chris, the video coordinator Andy. David Dye is the program director, but he didn't show up because of a sudden sickness, so we did do any interview. We made the set list before the Rock Island recordings the month before, and split the various songs we had on the three radio program we did on this tour: Day Trotter, WFMU and NPR. The songs we played were funanori jig, us in their land, auslander, mountain top. The whole set list was about 15 minutes long. There were two cameras, one pointed to Stefano and Mike and one go pro camera attached to my crash cymbal stand pointing to me, exactly as it was the day before at Mercury Lounge. Before the recording Mike and I discussed a bit about the difference between SIAE and BMI. While recording I used a pair of headphones-monitor, so I could hear everything quite clearly and play very tight with Mike and Stefano. After the recording session we drove through Philadelphia downtown, where we saw the building with of the Liberty Bell. Then we went to the venue Johnny Brenda's, which is on a old neighborhood, with narrow streets and cozy wooden houses, but also some rusty old warehouses. The venue was one of the nicest venues of this tour so far, with a unique and old fashioned style. The website says "It maintains the feel of an elegant, iconic historical social hall with design elements reminiscent of a turn of the century burlesque club or theater." It was owned by a boxer, and at the bottom of the stairs in front of the stage they kept the boxer's glove in a crystal ball. We met the promoter Garret, who treated us very nicely, as well as the boss Greg and the sound men Paul. Before the sound check I had a little snack with fresh hummus from the restaurant below, and after the sound check I went to a brand new restaurant where I had a Pho with tofu. The area is getting through a gentrification process.

   Before the show I met Chris Forsyth, a guitarist I met 5 years ago in New York and in Italy, when he was touring with his band Peeesseye. We started playing at 22:00. I liked the sound of the stage a lot. In the crowd there was a guy wearing a T-Shirt with a write that said "mike watt is playing bass tonight". Before the encore I shook Howard Wuelfing hand at the foot of the stage's stairs. He did the promotion for the album and the tour. We quickly packed up and loaded the van downstairs. We went to but some beers at a Ethiopian bar on the road and then to the old Stephen Buono's house, the same Steve who hosted us in Chicago almost three weeks before. The house is a very nice one, built in 1909. There I met Devin Hoff. We talked a bit about AK press books and Murray Bookchin and then he told me he played with Jhno and Carla Bozulich more than 10 years ago! Now he plays with Cibo Matto and Julia Holter. At about 2:30 I went upstairs and got into my green sleeping bag.

   "we are dynamics things we can make change" We leave at 10. We go in a typical NY Deli to have some breakfast before hit the road. We say hello to the beautifull Shell and Shag. i realize i broke my glasses damn.. my shoes a chinese version of all stars are falling apart as well. We are going to play 4 songs on N.P.R. at live cafe radio in Philadelfia. we arrive just on time. This time we have to load in our gears. Sarah helps us to get our stuff inside. We play Funanori Jig, Us in their land, Auslander and Mountain Top all in a row. i made a bad chord clam on Funanori, kind of very bad sound with the pedals in Us in their Land, two bad clams in Auslander..Mountain Top was the only one ok..maybe.. i have not listen yet.. The idea of playing with headphones was ok but the actual response to the overdrive pedals was very tricky.. so that freaks me out a little bit. Anyway we have done it. Spontaneous. Not the best of my performance for sure. Chris the sound engineer has been very funny and professional. On the road we have interesting conversation about american and italian constitutions..differences and similarities and the idea of governments not related to a single and unique religion. The venue we are playing tonight is interesting shape. we go eat in a vietnamese restaurant very close. No opening band tonight. We play good. Paul the sound guy does great work. He has a brother who studied in Rome to be a priest! we meet Howard Howlf for the first time. He has been taking care of promotion for this canto secondo tour. we see again Steve Buono. He is in Philly for few days more before definitvly moving to Chicago. we are stating in his old room for the night. we meet Devin bass player friend of Steve. Nice to spend time with them. We are staying at some Steve.

from watt:

   pop at sometime after seven, got the feeling that rain's all gone from yesterday... out of nightwear and into daytime outfit - trippy how for five weeks now I am clothed always the same: simple tourman. out the shell and jen pad hatch and I find cali weather, righteous. I make the starboard on jewel, head north to where jewel tbones into greenpoint av to find that "pointview deli" chow pad I dug shoveling at yesterday morning and this time have bacon instead of sausage w/my eggs and toast... the color of the hot sauce in this town always trips me out but I did its vingar style even though the heat's tame - it it "frank's" or what? always in generic squeeze bottles.

   get back to shell and jen's, take shower even though I did last night - dig big time the shower here - chimp diary 'til nine cuz that's when the plan was made yesterday to do an installment for shag-o-vision time, another wire song but this time me w/shell and jen doing "reuters" off of their first album, backed only by shell on acoustic guitar. we get it in one take, yatta!

   we gotta pull anchor at ten, there's one more session for us this tour and we gotta be in phily at one to do it so big hugs for total righteous folks shell and jen

shell + jen at their pad in greenpoint (brooklyn, ny) on october 17, 2014

...then we shove off, one more time over the east river and then on down to canal street which is where I spent so much time at my buddy jimbo's pad - we pass the hatch I'd go up the six flights and down beaucoup times on my many many visits and big stays here, prolly more than any other part of this town... canal street, just east of west broadway - righteous old art deco post office across the road, art of native man shooting arrow into the stars inside on the bulkhead. I take us through the holland tunnel, it's free this direction and once more into new jersey... just south of newark airport I get us gas (they gotta pump here, just like oregon) and a nathan dog - no mustard, what? at least we got the lowensenf, thank you, miss hiyori for bringing that. out of new jersey via camden - mr whitman's pad was here and once I visited it, righteous experience for me - and over the delaware bridge into pennsylvania and its big town philadelphia, we discuss some government stuff since a lot of this land started in this town as far as constitution things and so forth. interesting that the fratelli enlighten me to the fact that there's stuff about work in theirs and I can't recall anything about that at all in ours - maybe omitted cuz some bosses used slavery and some exploited immigrants? I wish I had time to show them the masonic hall mr franklin was involved at cuz its beautiful and also mr coltrane's pad he had up on thirtythird street... we got this n.p.r. session to do at wxpn, something called "live world cafe" that's supposed to be w/david dye but he can't make it (then he even set up a chair and mic for him), however we get do the music part. soundman chris is great fourth man for us here, we're a little nervous but him, andy, karen and rich help make everything real smooth. we do:

"funanori jig"
"us in their land"
"mountain top"

I think we do pretty good but fratello ste says he blew some clams - hey, it's a diary entry, right? I thought he did real good and so did fratello andrea. trippy, we prepared by discussing music publishing while the crew here set up the mics. different countries have different ways w/that, I explain to the fratelli.

   repack the boat (we had to use all our own stuff unlike the two previous sessions this tour), I take us north into fishtown part of town cuz that's where johnny brenda's is - first time for me there. we drop anchor at four (the navigatori gps kept getting screwed up) and damn if the barman who opens their side hatch ain't got a liberty bell tattooed on his arm! I ask about parking after load-in and he tells me to back it up through the intersection and there's some street spots there - what?! back it up through an intersection? he then says, "you can make it happen" but I ain't got the balls for that, sorry... padboss chris says just back it into this no-man's land right where I am and it's better than a break-in if a ticket does happen (he says around it usually doesn't). he's cool people, as is bookerman barrett who I meet too - in fact the pad I dig much, old timey up stairs w/a balc and lots of individualism, not marlon blando a bit. johnny brenda was a boxer and damn if on a staircase there ain't a globe w/a boxing glove in it, crimony! the soundman paul is righteous people, mixed twenty-something years ago at a pad downtown called "revival" w/fIREHOSE.

   I go get a haddock (it's friday) sandwich downstairs and meet the gigboss greg, bitchin' dude 'pert-near as old as I am. glad to be here, truly. the weather so fucking happening, yes! no jacket and so comfortable... this neiborhood is gentrifying but not yupped up yet - it was total beatdown before... I first stayed here when I did a gig w/charley plymell... maybe 2008? I think so. after checking w/soundman paul I go to the boat and directly konk cuz I am fucking beat.

   damn if I don't pop w/two minutes to go to call in to the "live from the barrage" show and do a spiel w/the man john there in queens part of new york city, he's a riot and asks me good things besides also being a bassman. I'm wondering how did I know how to pop just in time for that? crimony! I then konk again when the spiel is done.

   fratello ste rousts me at ten and gives me o-cha, holding the hatch open for m - up the stairs I hobble. there was no opening band - whoa, that happend again... it was supposed to be a band guy from fugazi produced, I think... ok, we bring the set and we do good, both the gig-goers and my fratelli I have much respect for, all w/big hearts to make it very happening gig. I blow very few clams even w/people looking down from balc and up from deck, I think I looked everyone of them in the face at least a few times during the gig. I searched real hard for johnny from clubber lang gang but couldn't find him, damn... hope he's ok. it's so intense to be playing where john coltrane lived, thinking of him much but still I'm here w/the fratelli and we're making this band breathe and burst w/feeling. mr coltrane's the inspirer.

   I hobble down the stage stairs, fratello ste helping me big time and who's right there to meet me? pressman howard, crimony! I give him the biggest hug ever - introduce him to the fratelli... love howard much. then I go to the table w/the stuff we sling and share good feelings w/the phily folks. there was a long time gig-goer of mind named dylan who passed away and his brother's here, big love to him. there's many long time gig-goers here to express kindness, thank you so much every one of you from me. fuck yeah, comrade devin is here w/bettina, he's incredible bassman I love much - he's playing w/cibo matto now, mrs yuka's band w/miyori. stevie who's from here but moved to chi-town (we stayed at his new pad earlier in the tour) and is here to see his ma invites us to his now former pad. I thank him much. first though I go do the stuff w/the gigboss greg and he's such a kind man, really is. he says nels cline's played here three times - yes, I wanna play here again, I tell him. people like him is one of the reasons I keep pushing, just like it is w/the most kind gig-goers. old punk was about people, so is new punk.

   load-out and pull anchor, I steer us to stevie's neighborhood which ain't that far from the place we did the session at. I let fratello ste out in front of a bar and he gets some beers - you can't do that in cali but you can here. parking's not close but I find a place by the park. we drop anchor and stevie's there w/comrade devin, waiting for us. it's a good time. stevie tells me something interesting, he says seeing us at the chi-town and then seventeen days later here in phily he felt incredible difference... he says before it was "three different musicians" and it's like "one band" now. damn. something to think about. I konk right there on the couch in the outfit I did the gig in.

saturday, october 18, 2014 - richmond, va

from andrea:

   I woke up at 10:00 and went with Steve and Stefano to buy something for breakfast at a new stylish bar around the corner, where I got yogurt with fruit and granola and a cinnamon donut. I made a tea with a tea-bag I had in my backpack. In front of the house the was a small market on a nice park with local products. We left Philly a little bit after 11:00 and drove through a run down neighborhood, towards the I-95 south. The GPS wanted us to drive out from Baltimore traffic, so we took the US 301 and kept driving on it till we reached Richmond. Mike drove for a couple of hours, than I drove for a bit more than two hours and took an hour long nap. We arrived at the venue The Camel at around 18:00. The opening band Vacant Stairs was already outside the venue waiting, and they gave us a pack of six fresh cupcakes. We did a quick sound check with the sound men George and put the drum set of f stage, next to the emergency door. Right after we went next door at WRIR radio station, where we did an interview about our band with DJ Paul. The radio people share dinner twice a week, there was some food on the kitchen table, where I had a handful of rice, beans and chicken to stop the hunger. They gave us the radio t-shirts, which have the the Ramones logo on it. Back to the venue I had a great salad and Chicken Pot Pie that Kyle, the man who would host us that night, brought from his home.

   I had to do many things on my computer, so I kept working while the first band Imaginary Sons was playing. They all had weird outfits, one dressed like a droog, one like with female clothes & the drummer had a daft punk like helmet and suit. A couple of their songs reminded me a bit of Queens of the Stone Age music. When Vacant Stairs were about to finish I did a new set list for us and Mike, as the day before people took them. I woke up Mike and jumped up on stage. After three song I hit the mic stand for the gongs which was right next to my left elbow, and it fell on Stefano's guitar, and luckily it didn't affect the song or damaged the guitar. Almost at the end of the set I realized I've been playing for the whole set without the microphone on the floor tom, as it was laying on the floor. I was distracted by this, I use the floor tom more than any other drum element in the set. Mike saw me a little distracted and pitied off, so he pushed a bit the tempo to keep things up, plus the crowd was way into our music. After the show I met a couple, American guy Andrew and Italian girl Valentina from Alba. We chatted a bit about US/Italy differences, in terms of culture and food. We left The Camel around midnight, and went to Kyle's house, which is in a residential and quite neighborhood. Kyle's family was not at home, but he had there his 7 dogs and 7 cats. I've only seen two cats, but all the 7 dogs were around. We had some nice time with Kyle in his kitchen and with his animals then I went to bed in company of a little dog called Rocky Erickson, named after the 13th floor elevator singer.

from stefano:

   I have a good sleep. I wake up fresh. We go out to take a coffee with Steve and then we are ready for the road again. He tooks a long time to arrive to Richmond because of bad traffic plugs..almost 6 hours.. i feel a bit of pain in my right wrist. fratello Mike speaks with his mum on the phone usually on sunday but today is saturday so he said to her "you raced an idiot Mum.. i call you tomorrow". we do a small interview at wrlr radio which is just next door and then we eat a vegan salad Kile's wife prepared for us. Other two bands tonight both good. Vacant Stairs and Imaginary Sons- they dress funny costumes- George is doing the sound. We play a good gig even with some monitor where feedbaking and some monitor were not probably working. After gig fratello Mike asks us if we had some hard time. He says to me that i had a long face and i fell surprised because i actually enjoyed and i Tought i was often smiling..more than usual..mah?! we meet many nice guys at the gig. we meet Sabrina italian girl that just 6 month ago moved here with her husband Andrew and their baby. We go sleep at Kyle . he has 7 dogs and at least other 7 cats. the first 15 minutes in the house are all about barking and jumping and running. they are all excited.On the contrary the cats are all upstairs and very silent...except one: the black cat that welcomes me into his room moving into circles... i will be sleeping here. He has a bit of white around his face. We spend some hours talking with Kyle which has many interesting stories about wrestling and stroking the dogs. fratello Mike ends liying down on the deck with 5 of them on his belly. NIce Time.

from watt:

   pop at nine and a half - I find myself having konked sitting up on this couch, not lying down... interesting. beautiful weather, pedro weather outside - I hobble to a nearby gas station to coff up, put part of the pumpkin spice fake coff in it. microwave some kind of roll thing but using the time on its sack leaves still cold so choke down only a few chomps, mazui. back at the stevie's former pad, he pops and we talk about charlie haden (petra's pop) who is a big time sensei for us on bass. stevie turns me on to this doc on him getting arrested in portugal in 1971. I met nels when he was playing nylon string spanish acoustic guitar in charlie's liberation music orchestra. d. boon liked playing that kind of guitar at home and instantly made a connection. bye bye to stevie for now - he says he's gonna visit so cal in december.

   we pull anchor at eleven. weather is really happening, beautiful. I drive us through some pretty tore up neighborhood, again the fratelli are pretty shocked. it is heartbreaking. I call my ma thinking it's sunday and then realize I am a fucking baka - I tell her that she raised a stunado, crimony. so embarrassing. I lose my bearings sometimes on tour... one reason I chimp these diaries is to try and maintain some kind of focus cuz I am not the most together of people. aaarrrrrggggghhhh, what a baka. south on I-95, we leave pennsylvania and have only a little time spent going through delaware before hitting maryland, the u.s. state w/the funny flag (european middle ages?!) and the mason-dixon line.

   at one I pull us over to fuel the boat about twenty miles north of baltimore, we switch ponies too w/fratello andrea taking the helm just in time to go into parking lot mode in gigantic plug cuz of a wreck that must've just happened. of course motherfuckers drive on the shoulder to somehow get ahead. I see a lady get out of a pickup that's straddling the lane and shoulder in an apparent blocking move, she goes up to the car that's blocked and starts hollering at the driver. later I see the same thing happen - understand we're stopped for like an hour, not moving. I ain't seen this back on our freeways at home. the driving thing is sure getting crazy, so much rage. it's wearing fratello andrea out.

   at three and a half we stop at a fuckin' gonuts to switch ponies and foul facilities, I do guardiano and tell the pad people we're gonna arrive late, the same w/brother kyle who's cooked chow up for us, he's gonna bring it to the gigpad, righteous brother he is. fratello ste now at the wheel, the navigatori gps gets us off the interstate and on us-301... damn if I don't see a historical marker near waldorf that says john wilkes booth and a buddy hid in some woods nearby after assasinating mr lincoln... we cross the potomac and into virginia at four and a half.

stefano pilia crossing the potomac river into virginia on october 18, 2014

speaking of woods, we pass a jail in the woods - that's why so many signs real close together in batches say "no stopping" and shit like that - I see a big sign at the entrance advertizing for guard jobs. soon we pass an army bass, "fort a.p. hill" - what? he was a confederate general! ok, whatever.

   I take the wheel from fratello ste about a half hour from where we need to be, he's got pain in his right forearm - I think it's wear and tear from playing, he uses his picking hand to do lots of arpeggios w/out a pick. I get us to the venue just before six. jeff, bryan and chuck from the vacant stairs are standing outside this pad called the camel we're both sharing the stage w/tonight and it's a trip that they had no idea about the detroit gig... this is the band the gigboss at the magic stick thought was supposed to open for us a couple weeks ago. incredibly strange. I'm just glad they're ok.

   we soundcheck w/soundman george who's very cool people. I think this is a good room for us, my first time here but I like it. we're next to a public radio station called wrir and all three of us spiel w/dj paul who's very nice to us, let's me talk about walt whitman even! I'm actually from virginia - born in portsmouth and was in norfolk as a boy, there will always be virginia in me. brother kyle brings homemade chicken pot pie plus a salad made w/quinoa and fruit his sister made and we chow soon as we're done w/the radio.

   back at the gigpad I meet the other band we share tonight w/who are called imaginary sons and they are young cats that can really play, bassman working a hollow body. I tell them about playing here in the old days and tour stuff from back then. good guys, respect. I then go to the boat and konk, I'm beat.

   fratello ste rousts me at twenty of eleven, whoa - we're on late... I've been so glad for all the earlier gigs this tour, late is really tough for me but not like I won't do them - hope that don't sound like I'm bellyaching. what I'm trying to say if I got a choice then I go for early. anyway, we bring this tour's virginia gig. right away I'm laughing much, don't know why but I got some giggles playing tonight. the gig-goers share big-time warmness, great spirit - respect to them. I just can't help but bust out laugh every few minutes, it's a trip. fratello andrea looks very distracted and fratello ste even looks long in the face so maybe I'm trying to whup them w/some counterbalancing energy stuff unconsciously, I don't know. they are playing really good and the gig-goers respond, I even push the tempo up some. brother kyle is right up front and next to him is a long-time gig-goer of mine, strider... I think he came down from baltimore. there is one moment that truly is funny to me: in the first verse of "us in their land" I hear a voice in the back holler "that don't sound right" and then in verse two "play something else" but it sounds like the same voice so maybe it's an army of one. it just makes me giggle even more, I hope folks weren't tripped out by this. none of it is intentional... I'm having a good time. before the encore fratello andrea explains he was missing a floor tom mic, must've fell off and fratello ste said he had feedback in his monitor - oh, that's what's up w/them. understand we play all the pieces 'pert-near like one big tune so I didn't make inquiries while we're underway. my last word on the mic is "wrir!" for the station next door.

   at the merch table there's much good spirit and lots of cats saying the first gig they seen me at was w/the minutemen opening for rem either here or in norfolk, a good while ago. one lady asks me kayak advice: sit on top or sit inside, I recommend sit inside cuz I think staying dry is a good thing if you don't freeze cuz I paddle early. there's heaviness from a brother who lost his buddy... I tell him I talk to d. boon all the time, I tell him too d. boon never answers and it's cuz I think he wants me to think about what I'm saying. losing people has been the hardest thing I've ever learned, I never get used to it.

   after everything's taken care we pull anchor for mechanicsville where brother kyle lives, get there at one. he's got a good light pouring out of him, we talk much a cat we both love, roky erickson and of course pro wrestling cuz he's been part of that a big while. hell, we spiel about tons of stuff... I end up on the deck w/his seven dogs all over me - I know cuz fratello andrea sent me a shot, he's got the evidence.

sunday, october 19, 2014 - washington dc

from andrea;

   During the night I heard someone snoring, and then I realized was Rocky Erickson! I woke up quite late at around 12:00. Kyle left the house early because his son had a baseball match. He left breakfast in the fridge. I cooked some eggs and I had a bit more of the Chicken Pot Pie. Then and made some tea, checked some news, called Veronica in Berlin, shaved and then got in the van at 14:00. We drove on I-95 and arrived at the venue The Black Cat at around 17:00. Jason, the coordinator of the two stages of the venue welcomed us. We met the owner of Black Cat, Dante, an old friend of Mike. Justin asked to wait till 18 to load in, as he wanted us to be helped by the stage manager. It seems a unique venue, were people take care of the band because they know what it means being on tour. I heard Dave Grohl is one of the first investors. I met Dave and Bones, Australian guys who play for Courtney Barrett, and then the drummer of the band Saint Fermin.We chatted a bit about Australia and touring, they told me it is their fourth 2014 US tour with Barrett. In the green room I had a couple of tortilla chips with hot sauce and a coke, and I had a good and very spicy veggie chilly and rice from the kitchen upstairs. We did the sound check at around 19:30 with the sound men Henry, then I went upstairs to check out a few songs from the band Saint Fermin. At 20:44 I realized we had to be on stage in 1 minute, so Stefano went to wake up Mike while I put my show shirt on.

   There was not opening band tonight. Right before the show I saw Ian MacKaye saying hello to Mike ("hey fucker!"). I was pretty shocked, Fugazi are one of my all time favorite band. The bass drum on stage was quite loud, and the guitar strangely low tonight, but there was a good communication between the three of us. I was still using these 7A Manhattan Vatersticks the sound men Jerome gave me in Providence. I forgot to put this in the diary before. The change of sticks changed a lot of my confidence in playing this show, as they are much lighter then the 5A. I felt I found the right pair of sticks while playing that show five days before. Before the encore Mike asked for a place where we could stay overnight. He later found Peter, who offered to stay at his place. On the back stage I met the Bones who stayed for the whole show and he dug our show. We took a picture together with Ian, and when we went outside he told me about how he liked the show and how touring extensively transforms music and everyday life in just on whole thing. He and Dante moved their cars so I could drive the van next to the back door. The loading was quite fast, thanks to the help of the people of Black Cat.We arrived at Peter's half an hour later. He lives with his wife Rachel and their daughter in a very old house, built in 1887, in Maryland, just half a mile outside Washington D.C. He showed me a book that a friend gave him as a present, written by X-Mas commander Valerio Borghese, one of the scariest italian fascists, who attempted a military coup in 1970. The bed was at the top floor, a very cool and quite room.

from stefano:

   When i wake up Kyle has already gone out for his son baseball match and i take a shower. There are eggs and mushroom ready to be cooked and eat and coffee to drink. Thanks Kyle. We leave at 14:00 We approach Washington seeing the Obelisque and the Pentagon. Fratello Mike tells us how the plant of W DC has been conceived all geometrical and has a strong free masons thinking in his project. The house of Parliament, the Obelisque and the White House are placed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle. first time to see W dc for me. The venue is runed by Dante! kind man. He was part of Iron Cross The venue is on two floor. We play on the stage downstairs. There are tow band upstairs. I like the room. Aeron makes very good sound. I think we play a very good gig. Like every night we meet many kind guys.. I'm still trying to remember all of their names but it always seems impossible the morning after. We meet Ian.. Well i remember him 'cause i have been listening to Fugazi a lot! He is Kind..we also meet Eric which named his daughter Kira. We took a photo all togheter. We are staying at Peter and Rachel for the night. Rachel has prepared a wonderful cake with apples and nuts. She says noone wants to eat it but i think it is exquisite. So i have two slices before going sleep upstairs.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells. I have hurt on port knee, must've tumbled or had collision involving that part at some point last night. damn. the weather is righteous however so that makes everything better and I will not feel sorry for myself. brother kyle cooks me up a pork chop and scrambled eggs that's got mushrooms in them. I get to rap w/his boy maddux who's got a baseball game today, this young man is sharp - he's aware and got quite a mind, respect! the seven dogs are having a time w/me, the pack's all here! after maddux hits the road to do his duty, brother kyle raps w/me about pro wrestling 'til he has to bail just before noon. I chimp diary 'til it'll be our turn to do the same. I want the fratelli to have as much time to themselves as poss.

   pull anchor at two, saying bye to the seven dogs as they bid us farewell from the backyard. we head for dc via I-95, getting off on us-1 (they call it jefferson davis highway here!) for a few miles to get around a huge interstate plug and then back on - at that jive "kings dominion" abusement park we fuel up and piss, maybe a half hour we (fratello ste) have to piss again so we pull over only for that. can't find any hydrogen peroxide here either, damn. I-395 takes us right by the pentagon and past the jefferson memorial and federal department of agriculture in dc itself, right on the street we need to be to get to the black cat which is a pad I've been playing like twenty years. the padboss dante opens up the gat for me to get the boat in the yard, love this man.

mike watt + dante ferrando at the black cat in washington dc on october 19, 2014

   it's a quarter of five so we're an hour early bu managerman justin (who I like a moron keep calling will 'til corrected) let's us get our shit in - hell he helps load it w/us, good man. we're in the "backstage" of the pad and there's three other bands playing the other stage (we got no opener on ours tonight): courtney barnett, san fermin and mikhael paskalev - I think I meet the sidemen, lots of them australian and nice guys. soundman eric arrives and I give him the spiel, he's into being the fourth man for us tonight, alright, respect. while he mics up I visit w/padboss dante and catch up. backstageman james has us order from the kitchen and I get a cheeseburger - I like them from this pad, they're good ones. there's good salsa w/the chips and good tasting greek olives also. around 7:30 we soundcheck, latest one of the tour but very efficient, especially from my end: I give him two notes, he likes e so that's what I give him: two e notes. we're going on at a quarter of nine so I get on over to the boat for an hour konk (better than nothing).

   fratello ste rousts me in what seems like moments but I guess it was an hour I was out. my old dc buddy ian who likes to see all my trips when I come to his area meets me at the hatch, great to see him again. damn though I wish I could've gotten more konk to play better but fuck it - I can man up and grow some balls, right? fuck, I'm a little blurry, I do my intro spiel and we bring. I do pretty good for the first tune but blow some clams in "partisan song" - fuck. there's some clams in the next one also but I push to be wild w/some of this so it comes w/the territory. I find my necklace anchor around my neck which for me means bad luck so I get that straight and try to move "alain" some, seems to be dragging. the stage seems to be real live w/the kick drum especially but toms too, it's tough reading the dynamics for me... maybe in the house it's ok though, hope so cuz the dc gig-goers are giving much support and deserve. no yammering in my waltzes. I might've weirded out some of the australian sidemen w/my take tonight of "animal farm tango" cuz I did kind of a wildman take on tonight to get my shit in gear. I wanna do good for ian and everybody else. it's the fortieth gig in a row for this tour, I can do it!

   I apologize directly to ian when I come off the stage. he tells me to get back up and do an encore so I get back up there and ask the fratelli to do the same. I give a weird speech I ain't done all tour - usually I say nothing at this point and fratello andrea gives the last words but tonight I tell the gig-goers about il sogno del marinaio not being a mike watt proj or side trip but a band in its own right. I don't know what compelled me to do that but I did.

   I go over to the merch place and visit w/peoples, there's aaron who's seen me since he was fourteen. he named his daughter kira and she's playing bass now, fucking right on! strider is here again - he was at the richmond gig and said both were way different, dug him both. he's always been most kind, always there for me and stuff I'm involved w/and I'm most grateful. I get the word from a couple from 'burque who tell me "the low spirits" is a good pad to work, it'll be my first time there, I'll find out but appreciate it much to hear that.

   ian debriefs me some before I go to the end stuff in the office, so kind to take me before the other tour managers. ian says we gotta have a meeting to discuss "what has happened and what is gonna happen" - whoa, I'm into hearing whatever ian wants to tell me any time, anywhere. much respect to him. one last hug.

   the fratelli load up real good and quick, managerman justin helping out like a mensch, respect. I meet warren who put out the "double nickels forever" tribute book, much respect to him. yeah, last month marked thirty years since that baby was birthed. my old peglegasus drummerman buddy pete came by during load-in and said it was too tough maybe to see the gig but damn if not only does he come see the gig and get the croatian poster from last missingmen tour but he invites us to his pad in takoma park to konk, crimony!

   on last hug for dante, we're out and I take us into maryland which mean avoiding much aggressive driving, way crazy. I explain to the fratelli that dc was laid out by an italian civil planner working on masonic instructions. note how the state streets got that certain angle going, right? we make it safe to pete and his wife rachel's pad, 1887 - old timey and righteous. here's a trip, he shows us this book he got called "sea devils" and damn if fratello andrea doesn't recognize the author as some real scary clown named vittorio borghese, holy fuck. rachel gets some blow up mattreses, most very kind. I konk before one tonight!

monday, october 20, 2014 - charlotte, nc

from andrea:

   I woke up at 8:15. Downstairs I had a slice of a delicious apple tart Rachel made, and a cup of tea. Peter had a 1959 drum set in his living room, 20" 12" 14" and 14" snare. When I saw it I couldn't believe it was that old, it looked new. He told me he paid it only 400 dollars! We left Peter and Rachel's 10 minutes before 21:00, and went to a grocery store where I bought a samosa, a veggie roll with spinach and a fruit juice, and saved them for lunch. We drove back on I-95 through Richmond. I drove for a couple of hours. We've seen a wreck along the way, a motorhome with a car hitched up was burning, the car's motor caught up on fire, spreading a smelly smoke all around. We stopped in Durham, North Carolina, where we got more T-Shirts and posters from Bill for the merch table, and I got a bad sandwich at the Waffle House. I slept in the back seat for a while, and suddenly woke up, jumped out of the van and found myself in front of John Coltrane memorial statue in High Point, where Coltrane lived for many years. We took a few pictures with the statue and then back in the van again. Stefano drove until we reached the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte at around 17:00. The venue looks like an big old warehouse converted in two big concert rooms. Dave is the sound men. We set up the stage and went to the green room, where I ordered a veggie burrito, and ate it after the soundcheck.

   I've listened to the first two bands Bo White y su orquesta and Secret Hospital from the green room, as I was a bit tired and I needed to work on the computer as well. When Stefano went to the boat to wake up Mike, and when he came back Dave was still connecting cables on the mixer. We went on stage, and luckily Dave put everything together and we started the show in a minute. The audience was great, very warm and enthusiastic. We did the encore Zoom and many people came to us to congratulate, more than anywhere else on this tour. We loaded the van and left for Sara's house, Mike long time friend. Mike and Sara talked a bit about political differences between the north and the south parts of US. I took a shower. Sara gave a inflatable mattress to Mike as a present. I found a camping pad next to the couch and slept on the kitchen floor.

from stefano:

   Today starts as a difficult one. When the alarm rings i feel i would like to sleep for hours and hours more. Fratello Andrea which is sleeping just next to me woke me up a couple of times during the night with strange noises. I actually had hours to sleep but really seems to be not enough this time. We pull the anchor 20 minutes before 8 o' clock to get some food in an organic place just up the hills. i take another coffee but it does not seem to help much. My head continues to fell down. There is a long driving in front of us. Around 13:00 we stop to meet Brian which has t-shirt to give us. There is waffle house just in front and we have some minutes to wait. So we go inside to order something to eat. I ask for a vegetable salad. i ask for no chicken please... in the end it comes with bacon and kind of vegetables. i do not feel right about complaining with the old lady. She is kind and she seems tired to me. So i pay my 9 dollars.good thing Hiyori is into eat it. We hit the road again. I drive but we want to make another stop in High Point. John Coltrane lived year for 17 years of his lives. there is a memorial we stop by. We take some pictures to the Coltrane statue and then we drive again till Charlotte.

   When we arrive at the venue - the Tremont - i immedialty realize i have been here in 2003 on the Settlefish tour with fratello Bruno. I have a picture of us and Jonathan and Filippo just sitting in the back of the venue outside. Other two good bands are playing tonight bo white and y su orquesta and Secret Hospital. Dave is doing the sound. I plays with no monitor because we start before Dave finishes to reset everything. It is already actually ten minutes late and it is a monday night so it is good to start as soon as possible. We play a good gig. i am very happy the way we are playing.

   We go sleep at Sara. When we arrive at her place i feel bombed. i wrap out my bag sag on the deck in the gravemacputer room and i felt asleep immedialty.

from watt:

   pop at seven, no hose off - the mattress must've had a hole in it cuz damn if it wasn't totally deflated and flat on the deck. I gotta get back to paddling and the elliptical trainer to put a significant dent is this fucking bell I'm hoisting... maybe this is subtle hint? anyway, the deck was hard cuz fuck, it's a deck. pete pop's and makes me coff and a tortilla w/scrambled eggs in it, I thank him much and give him bye hug cuz he's gotta walk his girl to school and then hit it for work - he's a journalist for dpa, a german wire service. nice 1959 slingerland drum set he bought himself, I hope he gets the chance to make more music w/it cuz I think he can wail on it given the chance. the rest of the team finally pops and I instill us bailing quick cuz of the miles involved w/today's drive plus we gotta do the shirt/zeni thing w/bill/barbara. rachel recommends co-op chow for them so that's a good idea - good bye thank you hugs for her. great weather for us again as I wait for the forage and fodder and then we're off whence we came actually both last night and then yesterday except holding to I-95 w/the road pretty kind to me for navigating (not meaning no dick drivers but meaning no plug traff).

   fratello andrea learns me about that clown that wrote that book my buddy pete got last night, he's a piece of work - what a trip about this connect. we talk about noam chomsky too. comes and we noon switch ponies near petersberg and hop onto I-85, fratello andrea takes the wheel. I chimp diary. we pass into north carolina just after one, bye bye virginia. a little bit down the road there's a wreck on the other side and I'm very surprised our side doesn't slow down, no lookie-loo shit... I'm very impressed. alright north carolina! an hour after last stop, fratello ste has to take a dump so another pull-over. I built in some time cushion so we're still on time to meet bill from tannis root to do the shirt and sack zenis. we get to an awful house near durham ten after two and bill's like fifteen minutes away so in the meantime I chow a grilled chicken sandwich I put mustard on. fratello ste asks if he can get a salad w/no chicken (he eats no meat) so they give him one but w/ham and bacon, stucazz?!! so good to see bill again, it's been 'pert-near thirty years since we first met. we pull anchor from the awful house, fratello ste now on the wheel.

   we plow west towards high point... why high point? cuz that's where john coltrane spent seventeen of his years and started playing sax in high school, damn if I'm gonna miss another chance to pay my respects to him here. just before four we pull right up to the statue, the old plaque and a multimedia trip that's got some lady talking about coltrane stuff while you hear "a love supreme" and "giant steps" playing. oh man. he wasn't born here in high point but spent seventeen of his years here growing up, taking up the sax in high school... these were his very important period for him and how many times have I been close but never seizing the opportunity to be here? too many. I'm glad I grew some balls and manned up on this. glad the fratelli let me also, I think they know it's important to me. we play trane's "live at temple" album missingmen raul gave me in echo park and I read that the singing on this album is mr coltrane himself doing that while beating on his chest, crimony. it makes me cry several times, I work hard to keep tears hid.

andrea belfi + mike watt + stefano pilia + statue of john coltrane in high point, nc on october 20, 2014

   ok, back on board fratello ste wheels us towards charlotte. I don't play this part of north carolina enough so I'm glad we're doing it now. the pad we're playing I've done a few times, the casbah part of tremont music hall - they got a bigger room next door which I guess might be a bigger pad? I ask soundman dave about this when we drop anchor about twenty after five and he enlightens me to the fact that when penny was a boss here, there was actually another bulkhead stage portside and I think it was painted blue. dave's cool people and accepts being fourth man to make our trio a quartet tonight. very cool too is gigboss lamont (I find out later he's a bassman, yes!) and he helps us get chow early, I get a burrito from some pad close (he drives to get the chow!) that don't taste mexican like that one in hamden but I have to say the hamden one still tasted real good. this one is kind marlon blando and I gotta stuff some of this "mrs renfro's" in it for some kind of something. I gag it all down and don't puke so I guess it's ok. the sound check w/dave goes good (the men knows his room) and I right away get to meet the cats playing w/us tonight, bo white y su orquesta - bo's a good cat plus the bass/leader and secret hospital has some real nice guys, they tell me they just got added to the bill, well alright. I gotta konk cuz I am beat, that was like eight hours on the road today. I see teej on the way to the boat w/his buddy rich. teej is beautiful cat I got to work w/in porno for pornos 'pert-near twenty years ago, him doing boing album producing/engineering, gig sample firing and being such a good friend to me.

   it's ten after ten when fratello ste gets me from a deep konk, I gotta rally for mr john coltrane. I hobble into the pad and head straight for the stage, somehow man-handling myself. I tell the people about stopping at high point, introduce the fratelli, thank the gig-goers for coming on work night, prac w/them the band name's pronouncing and then we bring it. even w/fatigue I am determined to work this for mr coltrane, just gotta. we hustle it up pretty good - tonight's got both the dynamics and me blowing fewer clams, a good rally from tonight. helping too is the gig-goers and their focus as well as their spirit, big thanks I got for them. I think we did real good despite a low floor tom feedback that was too bad but it was there.

   at the merch table I meet w/many cats from the old days but also lots who are seeing me for the first time, most of them apologizing for wanting to you for years but I let them know it ain't any problem cuz "no wine before its time" a great man once said and I take those words to heart, it ain't just a slogan. brian from my columbia days (that where I also connected w/pressman howard) is here which is bitchin' cuz I dig him much. more than a few bass cats - I sign a strap from a kind man who made hellride to get here. so glad I give all I got cuz man, the folks who support me deserve no less, truly. settle w/gigboss lamont and we talk bass for a good while, he wants to know about short scale ones and the dan bass in particular. I wish him luck w/music and safe seas, good man.

   sara's seen me at gigs here and atlanta, she's invited us over to konk at her midtown plaza pad, I drive us through a midnight shutdown charlotte to get there - I hear a lot of banks have relocated to here, big financial town now. sure enough big stuff going up, that's for sure. I tell us in the boat about buying a fender pbass here after having a hagstrom I had headstock's snapped in the first tune at a charleston gig the night before, on top of my amp a copy of salaman rusdie's book that got him a fatwa at the same time disappeared and you know I didn't get another copy. whoa. at sara's she gives me a great present: an air mattress that has a built-in electric pump, damn - good time to try it out! I konk. thank you sara.

tuesday, october 21, 2014 - charlestown, sc

from andrea:

   Mike woke me up at 10:00 when he got back from the Ford service where he did an inspection at the local Ford dealership. We left Sara's house and went to a nice cafe in the soon to be gentrified area of Charlotte, where I got a huge plate with eggs, country ham, biscuit, sweet potatoes, one pancake and a sweet Chai Latte. Nice. The weather was great, sunny with a pleasant fresh air. We drove out of the city, where it is all about strip malls. We took the I-74 southeast, and stopped by Hamlet at 13:50, to visit John Coltrane's birthplace. We first saw the plaque on the town's main street, and then found the one storey building were he was actually born. We spoke a bit with a mechanic who was working in the car repair in front of it and he lead us to a room, called Coltrane's Blue Room, on the same block, where there has been recently a John Coltrane memorial party for his birthday. In front of the building there was a mexican paneteria and a barber shop. It looked a really quite place, in the deep countryside. Before getting into the van again I filmed a big train passing through the town. We stopped at a gas station in Latta at around 15:00, I drove on I-95 through North Carolina, and went entered through Marlboro county in South Carolina, where the tobacco company is. Here in the past, there were almost only tobacco fields. We drove by some cotton fields. I haven't see any cotton field after the ones in Arkansas on our way from Saint Louis to Memphis. We crossed the lake Marion, switched to I-26 and arrived at the royal american, which is a few miles from Charleston center. We parked the van and waited for the load in. In the meantime I did an interview with Rinus van Alebeek for radio on berlin about Il Sogno del Marinaio tour and other things around my projects.. Rinus organized my second show in Berlin, and put me in touch with friends I'm still hanging around with after more than seven years. He was calling me from Capo Vaticano in the Calabria region in Italy. We spent an hour chatting, then I ordered a big salad at the counter and in the meantime loaded in a did the soundcheck with sound men Thomas. I had my big salad while reading some news, and then met the two other bands, Dear Blanca and Elim Bolt, with whom we were sharing the stage with and decided together to share drums and bass amp, as the stage was extremely small, we barely could fit in, and it was right next to the bar counter. I really iced this venue, it had its own character.

   In the patio I filmed another big train passing ten meters far from the venue. The second band Elim Bolt, a bass, drums and two guitars quartet, reminded me of a lot of 60's bands like Velvet Underground, with a slap delay on the main vocal, and the first drummer girl of the whole tour. Interesting band, they told me they've just been touring for three weeks around the US. We got on stage at around 23:00. I liked that tiny stage. When I finished singing Auslander a girl in front of the stage told me something in German. We did no encore, as we finished around midnight and it was a Tuesday evening. Dough and a couple of other people helped us to load the van, and three young guys came to us and told us they came from a town four hours driving far from there! We went to the owner of the venue's house John, just about a mile far from the royal american. He has a really nice 1800's house, very well restored and comfortable. I put my show shirt in the washing machine together with other clothes, and took a quick shower. Stefano and I gave John some tips for his imminent italian travel, and then I went on the first floor and got into my green sleeping bag.

from stefano:

   brush my teeth. Sarah takes us to a nice place for breakfast. i had a deep konk. When i feel so tired to sleep on the deck is the best thing. i had a curry tofu with spinach and onions and coffee of course. we hit the road and we stop where J Coltrane has born. We see the plaque and the house he was born. On the other side of the road there is a mechanics and i see this african american man in his work dress speaking on his mobile and at the same time giving me a sign to wait for him a second. He just cross the street and he says " this is the house where John Coltrane was born..People all over the country pass by to take some pictures" he is very cool man. Then Fratelli are there too. i have the impression i have a deja vu... This man name is Clarke. he is very kind and he took us on the other side of the building where he knock on the door. He says that they made a blue room and they recently made a celebration and that we are the first visiting the room. We wait a minute than the door opens and a friend of him appears behind with a cigar in his mouth and looking at us. Fratello Mike says we are on tour and we stop here to visit where Coltrane was born. The Kind man invite us to come in . The room is blue..there are some posters and pictures on the wall and a teca with some Coltrane records and photographs.. a little bar desk. Special moment of the tour. Fratello Mike donates to Clarke il sogno del marinaio records, two bags and a sticker. Clarke says" this is my lucky day". he is been very welcoming to us. we hit the road again. we have two hours and an half more. the venue looks like and old railway station.. in fact just behind there are trains passing.

   we just see one passing eating our sandwich. The stage is very tiny and just next to the bar. i have to be carefull playing cause i could easily fall in the sink!. we kind of make a very tiny way for fratello Mike to join his bass. Dear Blanca and Elim Bolt are playing as well tonight. Both very good band. song form oriented with 60's sound. they both have personality. We play a good gig. People Like it. we meet Doug and Mustafa. we go sleep at John, the owner of the club just a mile away. His house is very old and made very interesting restoration. a very nice cat and dog there. i go sleep upstair . there is coach and a bed but i pick the deck because i have been noticing that i can have better sleep.

from watt:

   pop just before seven to pull anchor at seven - I ain't headed for our next but instead to find a ford dealer so I can get the boat maintenanced. cuz sara has no idea what the password is for the neighbor's wifi she dick leeches I first head for a fuckin' gonuts using the navigatori gps cuz I found free internet there before but out of luck at the closest one which is downtown... not far away is an arefucks (by coincidence?) and they're dickleechable so I find this performance ford lincoln dealership in the starmount part of southern charlotte and head for there. the man there is very friendly and there to help me, maybe not too many vehicles in front of me? whatever, it'll take what it'll take and I'll chimp diary in the meantime. I'm man-alone, we don't need the team for stuff like this and they do enough w/the "heavy lifting" already - that reminds me, ian up in dc wrote me an email using that term, "heavy lifting" - he wrote:

yo watt.

thanks for the barn-raising this evening.

music does the heavy lifting.

here's wishing you clear skies and smooth seas
and looking forward to the next time our paths cross.

love. ian

I remember him telling me after the gig at the black cat when I confessed to him my clams that the fratelli were there playing their asses off and he told me that's the good thing about not playing w/cats that you pick to play lame so you look good, it's a great benefit of playing w/cats THAT CAN kick up much dust. I agree w/him and never did stoop to that shit. the ford counterman gets me after only eighty minutes, says everything's happening. he tells me about hurting his knee doing football and can relate to my fucked up knee. very cool people, I feel good about the boat have been w/him.

   I get back to sara's pad and roust everyone, asking sara for good healthy chow and she recommends nearby "zada jane's" and there I get "the belvedere" which is some kind of omelet w/goat cheese that's ok w/some taters w/herbs. I got that book she gave me and told me to read, david mccullough's "1776" and though I don't think I got a chance during this tour to read it, I damn well will back in my pedro town. she's very kind to me, I wonder why she picked this book? anyway, I'm happy to have it and I will read it. we pull anchor around noon and I motor us-74 east w/the skies giving us righteous climate. we're heading towards another coltrane place - where he was born in hamlet, not far from the border w/south carolina. trippy his impact on me musically cuz it is spiritually which is tough to put that way cuz I think it doesn't put enough of my personal feeling into and sounds just like generic or even gratuitous shit but damn if it a force of love in me to learn about love via musical passion and expression. trippy too cuz music can be so much practical spiel, us talking the other day about our third album to be made and how we might go about it - I suggested going to italy for just fucking composing and prac w/no weight of recording. we had this big talk about practical and even theoretical things but this I hear w/john coltrane, it's important perspective I wanna always maintain - fucking big picture stuff but also my fucking fingers plucking the fucking strings or using them to mute. the search for some truth, I wanna be w/that.

   around three I wheel us into hamlet and head for the intersection I found using the google crap, bridges and spring streets which actually is a plaque that says he was born a block southwest of here. after some pictures, I ask everyone back in the boat and put us on the other side of this auto repair pad - there's a building w/a n.a.a.c.p. sign on it and I drop anchor. I see this engraved stone that's been fitted in the old brick and take a shot of me next to it, rolling the dice how it comes out, I twist it off and let it fly (to quote dave wackerman).

mike watt in front of john coltrane's birthplace in hamlet, nc on october 22, 2014

around the corner I see this hatch w/a sign saying "coltrane's blue room" when this guy comes from the auto garage to tell us this is the building john coltrane was born in. he tells me behind that door under that sign I saw is a room where they had a party for john coltrane last month - maybe cuz of the release fo the "live at temple" album? a buddy of this man is inside cleaning up - he knocks on the hatch and says he's got people from out of state (us) w/him and can was a look. whoa! he says we're the first ones from out of state in here... his buddy opens the hatch and there's a feeling I feel going in, crimony - if I ain't got sensations all over... there's a case w/john coltrane recordings in it and pictures, some on the wall too. I breathe in the air in here real deep.

   back outside I see a panaderia and ask the man about it, he says it just opened... I figure some latin people have moved in, very happening! I love the smell of these pads back in so cal when I'm driving back to from a gig to my pedro town. I see his work shirt says clark and I ask him "mr clark, what's for work here" and he tells me it's a train town. I shake his hand and thank him most sincerely for everything, what a righteous cat. I'll never forget the joy in his eyes, getting to share these things w/us... beautiful. he said it was our lucky day and I felt it wasn't showy but him happy sharing we were all w/right here, in this moment where the man arrived eightyseven years ago. thank you big time, brother clark, thank you, truly.

   man, it's trippy but I gotta focus cuz I'm at the wheel... pull anchor we take state road 38 once it's south carolina (bye bye north carolina) - a half hour later at I-95 I hand the wheel over to fratello andrea, chimping diary in the shotgun seat. fratello andrea does great job at the helm even w/terrible drivers making things way more dangerous and stressful than they have to. we get in the outskirts of charleston just after five, a pad called the royal american where someone there says it's ok to park in the handicapped zone but I have other opinion and I have us take another spot in another spot. I've never played here but it looks happening, even w/little stage (better than too big stage) it has a lot of character and the people working here most kind. I chow a pattymelt for dinner.

   soundman thomas is enthusiastic and has great spirit, righteous. w/the little stage and us just fitting our stuff up there, I ask the openers which are local bands elim bolt and dear blanca if they would use our stuff if it was cool and they most kind to be into it. I've found sharing stuff in europe and japan happens all the time but here in the u.s. not so common but like I was saying everyone is w/it, good team spirit - same w/the gigboss john who says yes to miss hiyori asking for a konk pad, thank you!

   after check I hit the boat and konk good and hard. this point of the tour can find me a little beat up and so I gotta be careful. still feeling the blow I took at brother kyle's in mechanicsville on the fucked up knee and some soreness in the hands for bassworking. hope I don't sound like bellyachin' cuz all these gigs I see as opportunities not just blow clams but connect the hear via music too.

   fratello fratello rousts me, the watch on my port wrist - switched over from starboard a couple months before this tour - says ten after eleven, what? maybe the latest gig this tour, huh? anyway, no prob, "let's bring it" I tell fratello andrea. have to go behind the bar and hobble up tiny steps but the fratelli help me. packed in pretty tight here but it's ok, we bring it. the charleytown gig-goers give much heart and focus, late for a work night too - respect to them. I can't move but enough to get all sweaty and so much I can't really open my eyes cuz them all sealed up from the sweat come down my face but you know what? cuz of this I'm just using feel so I ain't concerned w/seeing the fret. it makes it lame for eye contact w/the fratelli and I apologize later but this was tonight's sitch. everyone one came together to make most happening work night gig, yatta! I tell the gig-goers on the way here we visited john coltrane's birthpad in north carolina but not to worry cuz south carolina is where james jamerson was born and I owe him much too, all of us on bass owe him I think.

   the gig-goers are most kind at the merch table - I know they got work early next morning but lots pay respects - the good people at caravan give me their issue w/a spiel they did w/me in it, respect! doug walters is here, fuck yeah - brother doug! so glad him and brother ballard are here - brother ballard's doing bass for some kind of sabbath trib - fuck, I recommend "supernaut" and "tomorrow's dream" w/out even thinking about it. many bassmen and a basslady too deliver me the good word and I give back team spirit, yes - SPIRIT.

   since tonight's gigboss is john and we're konking w/him, we do the do where he's at about a mile away in a pad built in 1810, crimony! it's really neat and so is the old mongolian hatch used for a table and a pug named louie who's a total lover. I hose off for the first time in two days and get in the nightwear, that feels fucking happening. gigboss john is going to italy thursday so the fratelli brief him on their land. I teach him how to get passwords from his mac's keychain and then konk on the air mattress sarah was so kind to donate.

wednesday, october 22, 2014 - atlanta, ga

from andrea:

   I woke up at around 9:30 and had a breakfast with a veggie burrito John had in the fridge. In the Burrito there was some Bell Peppers, which I usually don't eat because I can't really digest 'em, but it was so good I did it anyway. I ate it on a table made out of a antique door, with its lock and metal frames. I put my clean clothes in my soft bag, which is growing more and more with unfolded clothes and new CD's. The weather was luckily nice again. We left John's house just after 10:00 and drove through the neighborhood called Radcliffe borough. These houses were mainly homes for plantation owners in the 1900 century... They have more or less the same structure, two stories with two front porches, one for each floor. We drove on I-26 and then on I-20. In the van we talked about food names. I was trying to explain to Mike what Peperoni is in Italy, so I made a sketch on a notebook and he told me the right name was indeed Bell Pepper. I promised him that the next time he will come to Europe I will cook a great Peperonata with potatoes for him. We also tried to understand the Kebab name world without success. We arrived at the venue Earl in the East part of Atlanta at 16:00. We parked the van in the backyard and I went to walk a bit around that neighborhood full of bars and clubs and young people, and in front of a club called Graveyard I saw a interesting rusty Chevrolet funeral coach. I went back to the venue and I met the sound men Jonathan. We set up the stage and while we were doing the soundcheck I was going back and forth from the green room to eat some great boiled peanuts I met the people from the opening band Ricer, Ginger, Satchel and Tony. I also had a salmon salad. Ricer set was heavy r'n'r loud one, they left a very hot stage behind them. Hiyori went to wake up Mike while Stefano and I were finishing setting up and at 22:30 we were ready to go. It was a weird show, I fought a lot with my drum kit tonight,I felt my sticks were to light tonight, strange. We packed up the stuff, jumped in the van and drove about 20-30 miles north west of the city to Will's house. He has recently bought a several thousands records from a stock sell on Ebay. He prepared a delicious roasted chicken breast, and I gave me a good amber beer before taking a shower and then going to bed.

from stefano:

   Iwe wake up at 09:00 we have some breakfast. some Burritos that John got yesterday night watching at the diary I see the picture we had in front of the Coltrane pad and some of the first days ..i guess LA and Sac town... damn i really need to cut my hair and beard. we go on the road 10 :30 Fratello Mike dresses his hat to protect the scar tissue on his ear ..thi is kind of williamsburgh Shitsters style:). i drive the last two hours and we arrive in Atlanta around 16:00. i take a walk around i see graffiti around and an instrument shop but it has actually been moved recently.. what a pitty..i guess it was interesting shop. There is a very nice stuff to eat for us at Earle.. they made also boiled peanut..Georgia speciality... first time i have this. they also made very guacamole, incredible spicy habanero sauce hummus and vegetables..Eveyone here seems very friendly. i am happy to see black and white people more togheter like in this venue. RIcer are the opening band for tonight..very rocking.. lady singer and guitarist. i think we play a good gig but kind of a very strange vibe during the concert. it seems that there is a glass between us and the audience. People actually liked it but we kind of feel disconnected from them. We go staying at Will and Autumn for the night in north part of Atlanta. we drinks a beer speaking a bit with Autumn about their life in Georgia and some Dante and Garibaldi with fratello Mike and Will. I would like to take fratello Mike and il sogno del marinaio to sardinia.. i know fratello Mike has never been there and he really would like to go and visit.. to see also caprara where Garibaldi spent the last part of his life. i take a shower and igo sleep upstairs on the deck.

from watt:

   pop at one minute after nine, I shit thee not. everybody konked but a quick glance at the coff sitch shows cartridges are used he so I implement that and am soon coff'd up and ready to do email work. four secondmen gigs when I get home and a collaboration w/tom surgal. no december gigs planned except for secondmissing (yeah, both my secondmen and missingmen on the same stage and at the same time w/me) one to celebrate my starting fiftyseventh time around the sun on my bday. gigboss john got us breakfast burritos last night so two minutes in the microwave is enough to bring back some of the taste when it was made, it's ok. everybody's up soon enough and from gigboss john I learn he started the royal american w/a partner three years ago, him coming here from dc three years before that and wanting to help w/the local scene by providing a venue - he did guitar and toured twelve years himself. he says the pads name comes from a sign they found, it was a name of a circus that travelled by train. that's trippy cuz there was very much used trane tracks behind the pad. people like this are important to the culture I'm part of, much respect from me.

   pull anchor at quarter after ten, hug and bon voyage to gigpadboss john for his trip to italy. we drive through only a little of real charleston cuz we're on the outskirts, damn... the only lame thing about this gig was the fratelli not getting to see all the way south and the oldage charleytown has, it is pretty special in the south and I've always dug it. I get some pictures and an older lady comes up to the window to say hi, very friendly. we hit I-26 and I go to get fuel after not too in what's called north charleston which is actually like something like out of orange county or inland empire back home. they got dr pepper soda in an olde-timey bottle that says 10-2-4 like the old ones and it says in uses sugar instead of that fructose. on to columbia, righteous weather on us, grazie. we talk about europe cuisine and I discuss myself being too much of a 'tard to understand the diff between donner, kebab and schawarma although I love it big time. no one can help. many fir trees line the freeway but there's breaks at times where you can see some cotton fields. there's a truck carrying two brand new big sprinter bodies w/out drivetrains - it reminds me how the econolines are getting replaced w/transits that look like these... arrrrrrgghh. fratello andrea is trying to explain this pepper he hates the way it is always used in dishes and always giving it the same taste. the problem is they call it pepperoni but us in the u.s. call pepperoni the stuff on pizza (they call that actually choriso) - what he learned to call pepperoni in italy is what we in u.s. call bell peppers, ain't that a trip! man, it's a struggle but we figured it out and what helped most? fratello andrea drawing a picture of it. a picture's worth a thousands for goddamn sure. at the state capitol columbia there's a highway to put us on I-20 and as we finish listening to the cds both opening bands gave us last night w/cross the border into georgia and not too much after that switch ponies around two, fratello ste now on the wheel.

   we talk about doing maintenance on the boat while listening to a couple of cds from tim barnes - I really dig this stuff! fratello ste gets us to the earl (used to be an acronym for "east atlanta restaurant lounge) ten of four, good job. I remember seeing boris here in 2007... I've done much here also and really like the folks working here. weather is still fucking happening. I take it easy in a booth drinking soda water (I love). load-in at five and a half, soundman jonathan helps us, much respect. we check w/him... brother wade here has made us three fucking happening salsas (one a mean burning green), guacamole, chicharrons and - for the first time for the fratelli - boiled peanuts! I love them but I ain't whole thing man, I get shell off... man, I love the mashiness - consistency like lima beans cooked right or refried beans, I love that paste feel in my mouf. much respect to brother wade for the good fucking snack job!

snacks wade made for us at the earl in atlanta, ga on october 22, 2014

I finish chimping my diary entry for yesterday as a phily cheesesteak sandwich comes from the kitchen - yeah, I wanted to see what a georgia one would be like and it's way different but still good. me and fratello andrea have a moment w/each of recounting of that motorhome on fire we saw driving from dc to charlotte on the I-95 a couple days ago, it's pretty funny. we meet the ricer drummer satchel (named for incredible ballcat satchel paige or what?) and hear that band run through the stooges "1970" a couple times, good job. I'm all chowed up, time to konk... I go to the boat do just that.

   fratello ste rousts me from a strange dream konk - not a 'mare but very strange "what the fuck?" stuff. it's only ten ten, I thought 10:30 was downbeat time but hell, I'm always into earlier so let's go. there's a weird energy about this gig but that's cuz I brought a weirdness to it. I could never pass the buck to these gig-goers, they're most kind w/their focus. it's one of the strangest gigs of tour for me and it cuz of clams - I mean I blow some but none critical. it's something else - started w/us doing "skinny cat" maybe or that's where I was aware. the atlanta gig-goers bring us back for an encore, like I said they were most kind. it takes me a while to get my mic free of the cord cuz I will not give up on using only one hand.

   I go to the merch place and speak w/many nice people who form a line, me in a chair and drinking soda water and ice, all sweaty but grateful for them, truly. jon kincaid from the old wrek days is here, whoa. big respect for him from me. there's a man here who hurt his ankle and I can't remember his name and it makes me feel terrible cuz as I chimp this now I realize I konked at his pad when I brought the lite brothers, all of us konked at his pad in the woods and it was beautiful. I remember he took a picture of us together in the morning cuz it was the last gig and the lite brothers had to leave for the airport and fly back home to japan. fuck am I a baka. I think now his name was tim... it's so embarrassing to be a 'tard like that and not remember so I wring my hands now w/regret. tim's a great cat and was VERY kind to us - he still is.

   I settle w/padboss damen, good men here at the earl, everyone, sisters too. I talk to the zack on the phone who says he's from virginia and wants to meet me but we gotta pull anchor, sorry zack. hug and bye for padboss damen 'til next time. bassbrother will's invited us to konk at his place in acworth even though since last time we were there, he's got a new shipmate name miles w/him and autumn. the navigatori gps got lost but we drop anchor just before one at will's pad - I can smell the chicken he's grilling so right after hosing down and into the nightwear, I put one in a bun plus mustard and it tastes real good and simple, I have faith it won't give me 'mares. thank you brother will.

thursday, october 23, 2014 - jacksonville, fl

from andrea:

   I woke up at 9:15, really late, as we had to leave at 9:30. I jumped out of the bed, packed up my bags, went downstairs and put eggs and biscuit that Will's wife cooked for us in paper a plate, said hello to Will, his wife and his kid Miles and jumped in the van. While driving through Atlanta we played an Angus Mclise's album Astral Collapse released by Tim Barnes' label Quakebasket. We talked about La Monte Young's music, and then about its connection with John Cale, Lou Reed and other artists from the incredible avant/rock/weird scene in NYC in the 60's around Fluxus and Andy Warhol. I discovered all this incredible music in the early 2000's and I'm still fascinated by the energy of most of that music, Velvet Underground, Tony Conrad, the so called "theatre of ethereal music" or "the dream syndicate". We drove on the I-75 south east and after Macon on I-16 to Savannah. We wanted to go to eat in Savannah and see the historical buildings, as I got to know that it was one of the few cities that were not being destroyed during the civil war, but we went instead to visit the Fort Jackson. It was interesting to see one historical building out there, even if that civil war, like every other stupid wars, was a big nightmare. It was a chilly but sunny day. When I was driving on the I-16 and on I-95 we crossed a lot of swamps, another new fascinating landscape. We arrived in Jacksonville at 17:45, a bit later than we expected. We've been waiting for about 10 minutes in front of the wrong door in the dusty alley behind the venue Jack Rabbits, and when we found the right door we started a loading in right after and setting up the stage ready for the soundcheck with sound men Rob. Stefano and I went to the restaurant next door called Green Erth Bistro. We seated down on a big oval counter. I had Pomegranate paste and sauteed ground walnut with chicken, basmati rice and ginger beer. The dinner was offered by a very kind Mike Watt hardcore fan who was at the same table with us with some friends and his daughter. Back to the venue I went smoking a cigarette in the backyard next to the van, and I met a guy named James who told he did a crazy 100 gigs in 130 days tour a few years ago with his band Memphibians, he owns the label infinitesimal records. We met Will again with his father, who lives in Jacksonville.

   We started playing at about 22:30. I went to the van and woke up Mike. The audience was great, the volume on stage quite loud but good. We played the encore this night. The loading was fast, the stage was practically next to the van. We left the venue and drove to the house of a guy who offered us to host us, but when we arrived in front of his house door, nobody was inside, so we decided to take a motel 6 room not so far from we had just played. Mike parked the van right below the room and in front of the reception. I had a quick shower, a couple of tortilla chips and a sip of fratello Mike's bourbon before crashing on the bed.

from stefano:

   we want to leave at 9:00 cause we want to stop in Savannah for a visit. so i wake up at 8:30. we leave actually at 9:15 cause everyone is late..except for fratello Mike of course. we have a long road in front of us. we stop in savannah around 14:00 to visit fort Jackson a brick fort from 1808. we walk around a little bit. it came to my mind when we have been visiting the Adrian Wall in north of england during la bust gialla european tour. we go on the road again. i finish to read Franny and Zooey Salinger short novel. fratello Massimo's present for the tour. thank you fratello. some time ago Fratello Mike gave us is copy of The Catcher In The Rye "you are lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddam phenomenal world!" Zooey says to Franny almost at the end of the book.. and it is kind of a big point to remember for life and life on tour as well. all the psychological struggling, the character builder experiences.. we are very very lucky.. i feel grateful to sneeze..bless you. Andrea and i go eat just ned door and a nice gentlemen there- damn i cannot remember his name is eating there with his daughter and two friends of them. they came for the show and they offers us the dinner. so kind thank you very much.back at the venue we meet Jimmy at the show he has done an american tour of 130 gigs!!!. 4 month and half on the road Rob does sound tonight and Will come from Atlanta to come to the gig and visit his father. he comes to the gig as well. i dedicate Mountain Top to Will. i like hime a lot and i like the tonight gig. good energy. it is the second night we play without the setlist written on a paper. When the gig end i see fratello Mike is very tired. i guess this end of the tour it is starting to be hard tiring for him for his knees... but like every night he plays like a motherfucker. so generous and so expressive. he gives everything. he is man of inspirations and also cazzo on cazzo. Andrea does great drumming every night and i have great time playing with him. i love both thier musical sensibility. we are toghether. i feel grateful to play with them. After the show we go sleep in a motel just one mile from the venue. i do not know sleeping on the deck here.. two many peoples pass from hotel rooms.

from watt:

   pop at eight bells which is good cuz we have to shove off by nine. a nice man named michael had invited us to savannah to both chow and see some of the town since the fratelli got to see so little of charleston but then a couple of things undermined that plan: one is that will's town acworth is so far northeast of hotlanta it's adds a buttload of travel time and two is michael job at gulfstream requires him to bail on meeting us but I decide to get something out of it and take him on his suggestion to see old fort jackson there on our way to jacksonville. I ain't that much into war shrines but I know d. boon would wanna check out anything w/history and maybe we could see some older houses on the way there - like charleston, general shermin didn't burn down savannah like he did to atlanta. the weather's great again and to celebrate I empty the piss jug at the base of a bush I know in the future will wonder how it got so big and strong so I'm just putting that out there now here in case he's curious. we pull anchor soon as he gets a bacon and egg sandwich cooked up for me in my hands but when I put it where I can leave it so I can use both hands to steer us back and out - the "suddenly they left" move is too brutal for gravity to keep that sandwich where it is and its content go flying into the box I got between the two upfront seat, what a fucking baka I am, crimony. whatever, big love to will and his family.

   the navigatori has me driving us on I-75 right through the center of town - I see where the 688 club used to be (first atlanta pad the minutemen ever played... mike stipe interviewed us incognito after soundcheck, he told us when we toured w/him it was in fact him - we didin't that band before we played w/them), I remember liking the padboss steve may very much. fratello ste has the boats sound system play an angus maclise cd ("astral collapse") from tim barnes' quakebasket label and both him and fratello andrea learn me about this guy - I'd read about him in victor bockris' "transformer" book on lou but that's all... la mont young comes up - I've been to the dream house years ago cuz thurst told me to and have read some stuff on well tempered tuning but the fratelli have much deep knowledge and understanding of this stuff so I listen and try to learn as much as I can from them. I have so many holes in my music knowledge, you know - a big reason I like being part of this proj.

   at macon we head east for the last time (actually southeast) towards savannah, leaving I-75 for I-16... trippy to know we were on I-75 up in detroit, it was the route scotty-san would take to his pad in sarasota in florida to michigan - either ann arbor or drummond island, where he had a cabin. man, I miss him so much. a little while down the road as noon approaches, when the hoba hoba cd finishes, I pull over at filling station for a pony switch but no fuel up, fratello ste takes the rudder. here on this georgia freeway it's trippy how the off/on ramps here have gates like the freeways back where there's heavy winters... but we're so south here - maybe cuz it's about hurricane threat? we next hear gun club - fratello ste's choice of stronzo after me choosing another tim barnes' label quakebasket release. I really dig the stuff he puts out, even the ones he ain't on like this "loran" one and the one earlier this morning. I can believe though he wants another go around of dylan's "blood on the tracks" even though I think it's one his last good albums as we reach old fort jackson in savannah forty after two. as I hobble down the cobblestones we hear a cannon go off, missed seeing that (no big regret!) but do see some trippy stuff like a doctor kit from civil war days (brutal), models of the confederate ironclads that sailed here, liquor kegs, the powder room w/a funnel sticking into a shell, konk pads and of course a view of the narrow part of the savannah river boats would have to pass through and hence the location. there is a mention of the mosquitos which must've been murder for the cats stationed here.

broken canon at old for jackson in savannah, ga on october 23, 2014

   three bells and we pull out from this place w/fresh ponies, fratello andrea at the wheel. I-16 west to I-95 and south... forty minutes later we get gas that's sixty cents more a gallon than what I pumped up in atlanta this morning what? $2.80 - can you believe that? bye bye georgia and hello florida just after five. fortyfive minutes later we're in the san marco part of jacksonville. I've played jack rabbits a buttload of times but damn if I don't have fratello andrea put us in the back of the wrong pad and of course no one answers my fucking pounding. fratello ste saves the day by going out front and learning the reality on the dealio... I am a fucking baka.

   soundman rob is an old friend as is padboss tim but he had to run a show at another pad and so rob will double up as gigboss. I like this pad much, have played here when stage was perpendicular to where it is now and soundman/gigboss rob was the bassman in band we shared that stage w/and I think I was w/the pair of pliers then, a buttload of yeas ago. we do check w/soundman rob and I get to meet the local guys sharing the stage w/us, hey mandible who's "the arse" album cover art is a mindblow and I tell them that. miss hiyori orders china chow and I get wonton soup which I pour in some of the habanero salsa soundman/gigboss rob got us. she gives me econo hashi which is ok cuz I fucking donated my good takei ones a few days ago like a fucking baka.

   to the boat in the back and a big fucking konk, fratello ste rousts me near 10:30, time to rally for my maybe lameness last night. anthony from snore is right a the hatch as I go in, good to see him again. I use a nearby pole to get up on the stage, sling on the bass and double up on the gung ho. the fratelli understand and are w/me also. the jacksonville gig-goers, even those w/the yammer going (reminds a little of mitch and his buddy tim at hamden gig) really helps us out w/the spirit boost, grazie, good people. I get the fratelli all wet w/sweaty hugs.

   sitting next to the merch table is will's pop and he's beautiful, big hug for him from me. he was a machinist mate in the navy like my pop and says he prolly was in the same waters w/him cuz his tours were vietnam ones also. sure is good to meet him, says he lives here - trippy, jacksonville is a navy town. there's a man here who saw the minutemen play their first new orleans gig at a pad called "jimmy's" - hell, there's a man who saw "blighted area" gig here, minutemen first jax gig! HUGE respect, crimony. people who stick w/me through all the trips, I bow MOST DEEP for them. many good thoughts shared w/me, I give back.

   I settle w/soundman/gigboss rob and big hugs when done - he gives me great news he's making music again, righteous. we pull anchor and go to the address given to miss hiyori but no one's home so it's time for a bravo, a plan b. super-8 it is and not even a mile or two away (the deskman is most kind and asks about california and how far away it is - he's right but I point out that jacksonville and santa monica both share the I-10, ain't that trip?) and though I'm always scared shitless about major donate w/the boat, I'm a little relieved a spot opens in front of the office and I can put her there. I'm also grateful the fratelli went w/me on guard duty to do that. sara's air mattress once more is truly a righteous thing.

friday, october 24, 2014 - gainesville, fl

from andrea:

   I woke up with little noises, took off my earplugs and realized there was another sunny day. Mike was already waiting downstairs in the van, so I quickly washed my face and packed up my stuff. Jacksonville and Gainesville are quite close, so we had time to visit Saint Augustine, one of the oldest towns in the country. We went to one of the oldest colony houses, and around the little neighborhood around. Saint Augustine looked very touristic, so we only stayed there for half an hour around those old houses and small streets. When we left the town we tried to find a place where Stefano and I could eat something, hopefully not any corporate food like Taco Bell or Wendy's. We only found a family business burger and salad place along the US 207. I order an hamburger with fries. Mike and Hiyori went to a gas station a couple of miles far from us, and when they came back Mike had this delicious ribs he found along the way on a little truck, and he kindly offered me one. I drove for about an hour and a half. We arrived at the venue High Dive in Gainesville at 15:00. We had a few hours to relax and hang around, so I went with Stefano to a record store called Arrow's Aim just a few block far from where we parked. I bought three Tom Verlaine 80's solo records, Talking Heads' Naked , a cuban music LP compilation of Danzon music from the Smithsonian collection, Tuxedomoon's Holy Wars and a soukous record by Nyboma and L'Orchestre les Kamalèé-Doublé/master/260227. I came back to the venue and we loaded in at 18:00. We did the soundcheck with the sound men Ryan, who was about to start a two weeks tour with Hot Water Music. I spiked the stage and went in the backstage were I got a couple of Tortilla Chips with Hummus and tomato sauce, I just wanted to eat a little snack, as the Hamburger I ate in the afternoon was pretty fulfilling. I got a beer and went outside and met Will with two guys he met there, with whom I spoke for about 20 minutes. Will came to Gainesville and went to see the band for the third time! I went back to the green room where I got a Raspberry and Orange hot tea.

   The first band was called driver, and the second band loose bearings finished playing by 10:45. I was too tired to see the shows unfortunately, I needed some rest, as I started feeling a little weak after 7 weeks on tour. The gig boss Patrick told me we had to start at 23:20 anyway, so Stefano and I setted up the stage and waited a bit around the stage. I woke up Mike with the hot tea at 23:15,. Right outside the van there were a couple of people who perhaps wanted to say hello to Mike, 'cause when I went back next to the stage Stefano and I waited for him a few minutes before he appeared and jumped on stage. The audience was great, people were right in front of the stage, the sound was a bit tiny but I liked the interaction between the three of us. After the show I asked Mike the car keys and loaded the van with Ste and the gig boss. It took a bit 'cause I had to bring the van back and forth a couple of times because of the parking situation. We said hello to Will and followed Bill Bryson to his house in Waldo, a few miles north east of Gainesville in the middle of the countryside. Bill has a great farm, where he has cows and a big land around his nice one stories house. We arrived quite late, at around 2am. The sky was so clear, and the sky was full of stars. Bill has a great collection of records and he told us about he time he was promoter at Superball, the name of the vane where we had just played. We listened to some great Fela Kuti music, while drinking a sip of good whiskey. We talked about our experiences at ATP. Then I was so tired I took a quick shower and went to bed quite late, at around 3 am.

from stefano:

   the states. the area is kind of touristic so we leave just after to go to Gainsville. i take a little nap on the road and we stop to eat something before reaching the town. the do not have coffee there i kind of have my first coffee late in the day ..i am coffee addicted so it takes me a while to wake up without a a caffeine boost. i am lazy. in Gainsville we have three hours to spend before load in and soundcheck so Andrea and i go to buy some records and i eat a falafel burgher just next to the venue. Got two R.L. Burnside records -one of my favorite bluesman and two gamelan music records. Two other bands are playing tonight. the River and Charles Willard and his band. After concert we meet many people and this guy Keat who tells me that the only musicians he has met that always have answered to his e-mail are Nico Mcbrian, Billy Sheean and Mike Watt. Deborah is from England and she plays in the first band. she give me a tshirt of the river as a present. Thanks D. We says hello to Will that also tonight drove from Jacksonville to see us again. he is going back to Atlanta. We go stay at Bill house. He lives in a farm out of the town in an incredible countryside area. The sky is deep. no lights of the town are interffering with our view. no clouds, no haze. The quantity of stars we can see is unbelievable .. is most probably one of the most detailed night star sky i have ever saw in my life. I can appreciate so clearly the different levels of luminosity of the star, the clear constellations...what seems to be more or less close.. it has an incredible profundity. really incredible. Bill has his farm there. His house is beautifull: a lot of very interesting paintings on the walls, great records, a beautifull table and chairs from Peru he herediteated from his family which has lived there for some years. there are a lot of interesting things and objects all around. we go sleep at 3:00 after talking. i have a bit of stomachache tonight. i go sleep on the deck as i use to do now when i can.

from watt:

   pop at eight and hose off cuz I spaced and forgot last night to... nope, I did hose off I'm reminded by everyone in the boat so yeah, I hosed off twice. I make for outside and take the boat for a look-see in the immediate area while everyone else is konked in the 'tel room. I find clouds in the sky but they ain't big ones and are pretty high up. I find a subway sandwiches pad and have a tuna-olive-onion-pickle-mustard one, the sandwichmakerman says he like mustard in his tuna at home but they won't let him do it here. he's man-alone here, glad it's the crack and no line. back at the 'tel I chimp diary 'til those people w/me come down so we can shove off at eleven.

   I steer us south on I-95... the plan is to go to our next town to work which is gainesville via san augustine cuz they got what I grew up thinking was the oldest pad in the country, the gonzalez-alvarez house but I guess there's a pad in new mexico that's older. anyway, there's a fort made of crushed seashells we can pass by on the way. I ain't gonna stop there though, just see it pass. I do tell them they can tell me where to stop for chow. of course the touristy part of saint augustine has nothing. it is neat pulling the boat over and seeing this old pad up close but we don't take the tour. across the road is the checchi house - maybe there's an interesting story there (named after guido family name)? don't know... west on some state roads towards gainesville via palatka, the fratelli decide on a chow pad named "jim's" near elkton so I drop them off to go get gas and on the way I say a smoker trailer on the side of road w/a sheriff car and a paramedics truck so I figure there might be some good bbq and yep, it's good. the little booth trailer says they're called "sweet & smokey bbq" and that it is, really good and different for me, a yellow kind of sauce on pork ribs that fall off the bone. luck find for me! go back and get the fratelli who are just finishing up and then ressume our westward ho.

plan b for drummer at the high dive in gainesville, fl on october 24, 2014

   I get us to the high dive three hours before six pm load-in so the fratelli decide to walk into town. I find some pepsi crates in that back where there's shade and chimp diary from there since no one's here yet. cuz of the direct sun being so hot, find shade in the back and use pepsi crates to make custom-high bench to reset ass on and use lap as table. there's open wifi here, I check email and see that uncle ray has flowed me this from a ken babbs interview where he said neal cassady say:

"we are fourth dimensional beings, living in three dimensional bodies inhabiting a two dimensional world, black and white, good and bad, hip and straight but what are you going to do [?] you have to keep a step ahead keep your mind ahead go through that door and blast, leave them with their fixed ideas their dreary highs but remember, never knock the way the other cat swings."

   I can dig it.

   soundman ryan arrives and soon helperman travis does the same. actually this pad I've played since bill bryson had it and it was called the covered dish - in between then and now it was called common ground and I played here when it was called that too. we soundcheck w/soundman ryan and then gigboss patrick arrives and we talk some - I see a flyer on the bulkhead showing when I was nineteen years ago w/the crew of the flying saucer and opening up was carla's band the geraldine fibbers, nels would later join this band! both small fucking world and time does fucking fly, huh?

   there's two openers that are local and I meet one called driver who arrive w/a cat named tate from loose bearings who ain't playing but does give me some music and invites us to his taco pad tomorrow but I'm we ain't gonna be able to do that but it's ok. who I don't meet is the other opener chris woolard and the ship thieves which is a pity cuz I've been on some gigs w/hot water music (the band he's in and soundman ryan works w/on the road). I am beat and konk hard in the boat for like three hours.

   fratello andrea rousts me at ten after eleven. some people are making it hard for my cojo self to get around them, not on purpose cuz I don't think they realize but one cazzo does say "gravity wins" which shows a lot of heart. a lady from driver helps me, grazie. introduction for the band from me and then we bring. sound ain't the best on stage but it is dry and that helps w/being accurate while at the same time I try to bring a kind of wild life to the tunes w/out being dangerous w/my cojo condition. a mallet falls from fratello andrea's "table" (floor tom case he uses to hold percussion chingaderas - it gets und my foot and fuck if I almost don't go down BUT I do stay up somehow, scary. there's some funky lights and the gainesville gig-goers help it right along, great cats. there's some funky led stage lights that distract me some up on the neck for "nanos' waltz" but instead of risking clams, I just lay out, I think that's a better strategy. maybe one of our best version of "stucazz?!!" this tour, I think. I clam a little bit of "zoom" by being too far back for fratello andre to make eye contact, what a baka I am.

   at the table where merch is slung will gives me something from his pop, a key chain that has a little version of a ship's screw - whoa! will says playing for him last night must've made an impression. I'm pretty blown away, respect. also for brother will, third il sogno del marinaio gig in a row for him, incredible support from him, big hug from watt. gabe from tampa's here, it's been fifteen years since I met him... good to see him again. I discuss bass w/a bassman, he tells me he had trouble w/a five string bass and broke it over his knee, damn... you think that hurt? fuck. a man w/his son wearing a "paranoid time" shirt (raymond drawing) talks to me about him seeing "we jam econo" and wanting to do music. I keep pushing, folks like this help me keep pushing. people doing gigs at same time I'm doing gigs keep me pushing! a lady says her husband has been checking me out since he was fifteen, I keep pushing!

   I can't find gigboss patrick - oh there he is. we get everything straight, we got the boat straight... we follow brother bill to his farm in waldo, about forty or something minutes away. there's some canopied dirt road near the end, spanish moss running up on the boat's roof cuz it's hanging so long. bill's farm is so far out in the country that the sky is so fucking full of stars that it's a total mindblow, I shit thee not. I love bill's pad, all the art and things in it. I hose off (love the stereo shower set up) and get into the nightwear, we have a good time, bill is righteous people.

saturday, october 25, 2014 - mobile, al

from andrea:

   I woke up at 10:00. I took a nice walk to the lake next to Bill's house, a beautiful one surrounded by incredible beautiful trees and swaps. I enjoyed the sun for a few minutes on little wooden cabin on the little pier until I saw three giant spider legs next to a spider web. I was a bit scared so I left and went beck to the house, where I got a cup of green tea and chatted a bit with Bill. We left Bill's at 11:00 and drove through countryside roads surrounded by trees full of spanish moss. The drive to US 24 and the to US 441, then on I-10 towards Mobile, Alabama. The Florida Pan Handle is really big, so we drove for many hours, through swamps and with an amazing blue sky over our heads. Mike drove for the first two hours, then we took a little break at a gas station with a local sandwich place similar to a Subway, where I got a turkey pickles and mayo sandwich , then I drove for two more hours. We listened to a cassette release I did with David Maranha called Rombo, then to a The Necks album called Mindset, and to a Quakebasket records of the duo Coppice. We arrived in Mobile at around 17:30. The load in was quite late so I had the time to walk around the main street in Mobile, Dauphin street, and to buy a shawarma. We loaded in at around 19:00. The venue Alchemy Tavern is an old two stories building next to the Mobile main street. We set up the instruments but we didn't make any soundcheck as we had to share the same channels with on of the two opening acts. I met Joe in the backyard, he wanted to say hello to Mike, who was quite sad as he got to know Jack Bruce just passed away. I talked a bit with sound men Turbo about his job as stage technician all around US. The venue has a pool next to the bar counter, I tried to play a bit, but never play pool and I realized I was playing with a stick without the tip! I got a beer, and sit on the venue's big balcony. In front of the venue's entrance there is a beautiful theatre called Saenger theatre, built in 1927. Later I met Todd who plays as Roman Gabriel Todd. I also met the guys from the opening band Steelism, who played with our drumkit and bass amp. On the balcony I also met Eric and Wendy from Biloxi, Mike Watt fans and Hiyori's friends.

   Steelism started at about 22:00, they had a lot of vintage instruments on stage, backing up the main instrument, a beautiful pedal steel. Todd played second. Hiyroi woke up Mike who wanted to see the show. His music is a sort of heavy metal in-your-face act, with angry and ironic lyrics about religion. Joe joined Todd for the second half of the show as The Old Men. I really liked the show, really intense. When we started playing, at around 23:30, the sound on stage was quite bad, there were many resonances all around the room, but we worked hard and at the end I think we played a good show. We finished quite late, but Eric helped us to bring down the instruments and to load the van, and Todd's house, were we stayed overnight, was only about 1.5 miles away. At Todd's we chatted and chilled a bit, but not for long. Then I went to his rehearsal room, where he has all his instruments, and where I laid down a mattress for me and my sleeping bag.

from stefano:

   i wake up around ten. it is an intense sunny day. i take a long shower which helps me to wake up Bill has made coffee and has a red shirt from me. i go to talk walk outside. there are two lakes. section of forest in the swamp. it is incredible. it is kind of magic and wild place. All this threes with the spanish parasites seems to be under some sort of magic. i stay on the lake for some minutes taking pictures and looking around. We go on the road at 11:00.. to Mobile. we stop and i have a 7 inch pizza in a gas station. i start a new book L'infinito by John D. Barrow an astrophysic that has written science divulgative books .. It is all about the idea of infinitum and all the philosophical. mathematical and teoritacal ideas around it. i drive the last two hours. we arrive in Mobile at 17:30. we have to wait to load in. so i get a veggie burger on the other side of the road. not very good...i have kind of loose food today. And then we wait till 19:00 when Turbo the sound guy arrives. we load in but we do not do the sound check trying to make the internet connection working.. There is a kind of a cover band opening with two guys from england and two from usa. there is pedal steel guitar. they are called the steels. Then Tod!.. a solo with bass and drum machine joined at a certain point by the incredible Joe who is dressed all in black and his in his 70's i guess. he has the face of a very peculiar actor and he screams like a devil preacher. i like their performance. it is funny and dark at the same time. we meet Erik and Wendy and they invite us for a sail tomorrow an hour out of mobile. We go stay at Tod house. great guy. His cat and Cathelen join us. i am very tired so i go sleep as soon as possible..i feel shakes in my body. on the deck.

from watt:

   pop at nine and can smell coff bill has made up for us, respect. skies are clear as a bell outside, again blessed this way. bill gives me a tshirt for his radio station grow radio which I accept cuz I love his station - I ain't really into tshirts, I like shirts w/buttons for some reason, actually what I really like are snaps. somehow the talk gets to hurricanes and I tell about getting hit twice in 1998 by hurricane georges w/the black gang on board doing the last tour of my first opera - nels cline, bob lee and steve reed w/me, first time was at mobile to pensacola and then again the next day between pensy and gainesville. total white knuckler pants shitters, I shit thee not. unfortunately we gotta bail though I could spiel all day w/bill about stuff. we pull anchor at noon.

watt in the boat w/his piss jug in waldo, fl on october 25, 2014 - photo by bill bryson

   right away I take a wrong turn and almost get us lost but the fratelli help me get right. fratello andrea pushes stonzos of him davide maranga duet recorded like and the an australian band called the necks that sounds pretty similar. earlier we were talking about han bennik who I have huge respect for - got to play w/him roppongi part of tokyo 'pert-near seven years ago... I got also to have righteous rap w/him, very wise and beautiful man.

forty miles east of tallahassee, switch ponies - I hand the rudder off to fratello andrea just before two... westward ho, we'll stay on this road for another 280 miles. we listen to the kevin loop he gave us in charlotte. then we the last of the tim barnes quakebasket stuff he gave us in louisville that's called coppice. as the disk ends, I find their band means cutting back some forest to stimulate growth... all of the sudden on the other side of the freeway travelling east is one of the fucking oscar meyer wienermobiles - last I saw one was at the tall ships festival in my pedro town back in august, crimony.

   as I chimp diary I notice on the side of the road in intervals there are poles w/cameras on them, hmm... ain't noticed that on other freeways in the country, not this consistant but rather mostly at toll booths and weigh stations. a quarter after three we do fresh ponies, fratello ste now at the helm. we put my ipod in shuffle and damn if we don't get a buttload of billy chilidish again! just past pensacola we move from eastern time to central and gain an hour.

   fratello ste gets us through the tunnel under the band and right off dauphin (the main street in mobile) to stumble upon perfect parking near the load place of the alchemy tavern which is where we're playing tonight. we drop anchor at five and a half w/him and fratello andrea immediately making a beeline to start foraging for chow - more power to them. me, I wanna sit still for a while and use the wifi here to up date the fucking diary. I get hungry and I hobble a block up to dauphin to forge, what a scene go on here, crimony. I get a falafel around from a pad called "pita pit" which is trippy, I've never had a chain falaf before. speaking of this kind of chow, fratello andrea hipped me to shawarma being the arabic for the urdu/persian word kebab which means grilled meat.

   back at a chair right outside the gigpad (across the street from the saeger theatre) some guy asks me if I know how to get his brand new phone to take pictures. this is some ojisan ('middle age guy' in jap) that has cruised by like three times, asking if I owned this gto that was parked nearby (wish I did), then he made another loop saying he couldn't remember where he parked his car and one time he was trying singing to these ladies about cadillacs and having money. I think he's cruising. at least he ain't pushy.

   I get on the internet and am devastated by bbc story that says jack bruce just died, oh my god. this scotsman on bass was incredible influence on me. when d. boon's ma put me on bass so me and d. boon could make a band - do that after school instead of be on the street and maybe get into trouble, I didn't know hide nor hair about bass. I had an eight track of "heavy cream" though (it was anthology from all the cream albums) and I would just let it play on and on, listening to jack bruce bass. I canceled out the guitar playing, it was not so interesting and I was more into john fogerty, buck dharma, marc bolan and pete townshend as guitar players anyway. the drumming struck me as very strange but interesting. what I really like though was the bass. so many possibilities, so much variation on blues stuff. really had an influence on me. for me on bass jack bruce meant opportunity to use bass as expression, an esthetic than became part of my fundamental understanding and implementation of this machine to make music. I can't imagine what I would sound like w/out the influence of jack bruce. I really love his "berlin" bass work w/brother lou - the main reason I got that album right when it came out. get this: a drummerman named bruce gary had the cream bass. harvey kubernick took me up to his pad in the val (not too far from perk's, now that I think about it) and I fucking played it, I had it my hands - I shit thee not. there was a letter supposedly saying it was and bruce gary showed a vhs of the albert hall gig (last time cream played together then) and I could see the same marks on the bass in my hands and the one jack bruce was playing on the screen. it had incredible action. anyway, that was a trip but more than hardware, it was jack bruce's imagination w/working the bass that was most profound on me. like the punk movement w/the minutemen, I have no idea what I would've sounded like on bass w/out jack bruce. after him was james jamerson, john entwistle, geezer butler and larry graham but first was jack bruce. always jack bruce. jack bruce forever.

   comes seven and brother todd parks right behind me in his econoline, good to see him again, real good. same w/joe, love both these guys. big hugs for both and then I go konk in the boat hard.

   there's a band going on first called steelism (I hope I got the right link), but I meet no one from them... I do know second act, roman gabriel todd's the beast rising up out of the sea but w/out benny divine it ain't really that and it's just roman gabriel todd. joe is sometimes known as the old man. he's seventyone, same age as brother sensei jack bruce. todd's been seeing me since 1995. I'm rousted by fratello andrea so I can see their gig. I dig it much, first it's todd man-alone on bass w/drum machine and singing stuff like "monster christmas tree" and then joe comes on w/some hellfire, hollering things like "deacon w/out a dick" and such, ending w/a "prayer for the military/industrial complex" face looking up and telling us "war w/out end. amen" only. it's beautiful.

roman gabriel todd + joe butler at alchemy tavern in mobile, al on october 25, 2014

"christmas tree/monster cock"

false god of fertility
chopping down a christmas tree
a symbol of the mighty monster cock
christmas tree monster cock
christmas tree monster cock

               (lyrics from a todd tune)

"born again without a brain again"

you have been notified of your condition
we recommend termination
push the boundaries of life, push! push!
push the boundaries of life after death, push! push!
born again without a brain again
billions and billions and billions

               (lyrics from a joe tune)

   our turn next and it's very difficult for me, my mind totally tied up in thinking about jack bruce even though I vowed to myself I would do the gig for him, I couldn't be strong enough to deal w/this sadness I had for him. it was like recovering from a kidney punch or something like that. soundman turbo made me laugh though, thank you turbo! he left the board a couple of times and finally between tunes I said something about that on the mic and a man named ricky (I found out later he also works at this pad) jumped up on the board and started running it! after the gig I told turbo it was ok and he apologized much but in a way he helped me w/the sadness about jack bruce.

   I most grateful talking w/folks about playing here but sure wish I could've done better for them. john who saw me years ago in hattiesburg is mississippi again raps w/me - before the gig I let him check out the dan bass, he's a bass brother also. at the boat I see joe once more and hug him big time. we finally got to share a stage together, beautiful. people like joe is why I keep pushing.

   todd does the biz for me - hell, he should've did the gig and the next time I do mobile he will (he did last time). we follow todd back to his pad, a nice old timey house that I like much. it's all todd and I dig it. he's got a neat cat he got from his brother. I hose off and then into the nightwear w/me. I keep playing jack bruce after jack bruce video from 'til after four in the morning, latest for me of the tour I think... cazzo. up the rope ladder, sensei jack. big love from watt.

sunday, october 26, 2014 - new orleans, la

from andrea:

   I woke up at 10:30. I had some greek yogurt Joe "the old men" bought for us, strawberries and blueberries. I've been told that Joe played his first gig at age 66. What an incredible duo Todd and Joe. I had an hot green tea on the front porch of Todd's house, enjoying the nice weather, an unusual fresh and sunny day for Mobile, which is usually hot and humid. We left Todd's at noon, and arrived at the Biloxi's marina at 13:30 where Eric and Wendy offered us to sail on the Mississippi sound on the Gulf of Mexico on his friend's Scott's boat. We spent some good time sailing around the coast and eating a good hamburger. We went back to the marina two hours later and drove again on I-10 towards New Orleans. The traffic on the interstate was so intense we had to take another road US-190, so I had the chance to see some of the swamps and the bayou around the Mississippi Delta near to New Orleans. We arrived at One Eye Jacks' in the French Quarter only at 19:00. The load in and the soundcheck with sound men Yohei and Roy, were both quick. I wanted to eat shrimps and grits and I checked a bit online but I only found quite expensive restaurants, but the responsible at the venue told me that 28 dollars was a good price for a good shrimp and grits, so I went with Stefano and Hiyori to Nola and had that and a good glass of white wine. I was a bit sad by not having the chance to spend more time in New Orleans, it was one of the few places I really wanted to see. When I went back to the venue I relaxed a bit in the backstage.

   We were the only band on the bill, so the show started quite late, at 23:00. The room had a couple of strange resonances, especially on the rack tom, but by the middle of the who Yohei got rid of the bad ones. We played the encore and packed up so quickly I had only a few seconds to talk with a guy who came to our show at Mercury Lounge in New York and was in New Orleans on vacation. Next to the van I met Rob, a guitarist and promoter, with whom I share many common friends in the improvised music field. I went with him on his car and bought some Mexican beers at a gas station, and then went to Craig, where we had good time drinking Pacifico beers, listening to ZZTop's "Tres Hombres" and talking about musicians and experimental music shows with Rob. I was extremely tired that night again, I almost fell asleep on the couch between the others...finally went to bed at around 3:00.

from stefano:

   I wake up around 10:30.. I feel very slow but better i would say.. i think yesterday food kind of fucked me a bit. i take a shower and drink some coffee.. Then we go on the road to cadet point where Eric, Wendy and Scott are waiting us on the Sidebar boat to sale for couple of hours in the gulf of mexico. the water is brown and the sun burn.. there are beautifull pelicans and other sort e of marvelous sea bird enjoying the sun. we go on the road again so it takes us almost 4 hours to get to New Orleans. All the nature around, the big swamp has thrilling and dark energy. The venue is very interesting called the one eyed jacked.. looks like an old teather. Very interesting architecture. i like the gig and the vibe of the place. we start at 11:00 cause the saints are playing the match. We end the night with Rob Cambre, Mark and Greig and diane a wonderful lady young boxer at the Greig house. it is nice to meet them and spend some time togheter. Rob is a very interesting experimental musician and i find out we have some friends in common. we end listening to zz top. fratello Mike adore the inside cover of tre hombres with all the mexican chow. we kind of do late i go sleep on the deck close to the kitchen.

from watt:

   pop at ten bells after premature pop at eight - went and got konk mask to cure that. weather fucking righteous. so is todd for saying coff was in freezer held silver can and machine right there and ready to go, grazie. more righteous weather too, very most fortunate for us still. the plan is to go on a sailboat w/eric and wendy in biloxi so we pull anchor at noon. suddenly we left todd, he gives boat good bye sock. fuck, we forgot the little pope homey he wanted us to join tom watson's work on the boat's dashboard shrine.

   a little bit and we're into mississippi, bye bye alabama. a quarter after one we're in biloxi and looking for the marina eric and wendy are in. after a couple of tries I get it right, wendy guides us in. now eric and wendy's boat is too small for us so they got a buddy named skipper scott who's got a thirtysix foot catalina called "the sandbar" and w/his buddy dr ashley (he's a veterinarian) there's eight of us. skipper jeff's good w/the maneuvering out of the marina - I've never been in the gulf of mexico... it's not glass but pretty calm waters. the problem is there's no wind. he puts the sail up once out of the channel but no luck so it's motor the whole time and he gives the wheel to eric. the neat thing about a sailboat is sailing, powerboats are another thing. skipper jeff back home calls them suppositories. it' not the craft though, it's the sitch. luckily skipper scott, dr ashley, eric and wendy make for good spiel. they cook us all up burgers

andrea belfi chowing burger on 'the sandbar' off biloxi, ms on october 26, 2014

and portobello mushrooms, ahead of that was cheese and summer sausage. we have a fun time despite the doldrums. it's these parts that got blasted by bp oil dump and before that katrina. there's lots of shrimp boats, we ain't got them in pedro. earlier in the tour the fratelli got word from a friend of theirs about a second line parade in new orleans but my buddy rob there said it got cancelled so this boat trip kind of made up for it. thank you so much skipper scott, dr ashley, eric and wendy.

   back on land at 3:30 we thank you most kind hosts, beautiful of them. not much of mississippi left to go but damn if we don't hit the biggest plug ever, like two hours to do five miles 'til we finally get an offramp and the navigatori gps gets us into louisiana via a small state road, and then up us-190

using the navigatori gps around a major traff plug in eastern louisiana on october 26, 2014

via us-90 in lousiana (bye bye mississippi), we pick up I-10 again west of something at I-59 fuck if we're going back to see what it was. I laughed the whole time though and didn't let it get me down - even seeing the peckerheads wail down the shoulder cuz they're exceptional, fuck 'em. one point in town it's scary and an intersection near the police station by the french quarter (where we're playing) where I almost put us the wrong way but help from fratello andrea helps much save the day. grazie. we're an hour late for the six pm load in but soundman yohei is out one eyed jacks there w/cones for parking, righteous man! roy on the monitors - I know him from that "spanish moon" pad in baton rouge, small world! both cats are great as is the padboss candice, respect. love this room too, trippy little trippy theatre, olde-timey. we're the only band playing tonight so no one was held up and cuz of the nearby saints football game, it's gonna be a fell call for when we go on. I go and get one "the word" po boy at "the grill " (used to be called "the camellia grill") pad half a block away, dig it - some slices of of grill-fried sausage in a big bread w/lettuce and tomato. I love the cats who work there having a good time hollering and stuff, the joy goes into the chow!

   after check soundman yohei and monitorman roy, I drink some cold perrier water in glass bottles - yes, finally some after such a drdroughte've had of this lately. I go to the boat and take my shirt off, hot and muggy makes for a nightmare konk but I force my sweaty slselfo cuz I gotta rally after last night's lameness and rest is what's part of making that happen. it's about my health too.

   fratello ste gets me just before eleven and I was startled cuz of this fucking no air in my lung horrible konk but it was some kind of konk at least. I go into the pad and right to the stage. we bring the last sunday gig of the tour to the new orleans gig-goers after me frist thanking them for coming on a work night. I rally and do much better than last night though I holler a few times in the set (not on mic) to kekeepocus going while still feeling for jack bruce, I think instead of distracting me, these jack bruce thoughts tonight here are helping me and not the other way around, trippy about that. the gig-goers helped me much too. thank you.

   going to the table I met old friend barrett martin - this man is someone I really wanna collaborate w/one day and in fact he was my first thought as drummerman for my first opera but things changed all strange as that time came nearer. I will play w/him though some way some day. he's in town w/dave catching (old buddy of my drummerman friend larry) cuz of a proj they got going, a release party here tuesday. many kind people give the good word, thank you. a man w/a costume chainsaw for a starboard hand (halloween a week early?) tells me he's marty katz's guitarman! marty's from pedro - small world!

   will's buddy (will is from new orleans though he lives in acworth near atlanta now) mark has a buddy name craig and both of them takes fratello andrea's place in the boat cuz he's w/my old buddy rob cambre - breaking a policy I have about putting band members w/others but I trust rob big time. small world, I find out about this will-mark-craig connect but more than that, mark knows wendy (we were earlier on the boat w/eric), small fucking world for sure, crimony! craig's pad's not too far away but far away enough, the boat's safe, I feel. I have a nightmare memory from this town about not me or any of my boats but the divine horsemen, what a hell for them here w/what was their last gig of the tour. the next morning at a chow pad while they were chowing their boat w/everything was donated and they lost everything. terrible. I get scared not cuz of here but cuz of tour nearing end, in a way a scary time. spieling w/rob helps me feel a little easier about things, he's gonna play next month here w/nels in a duet. righteous.

monday, october 27, 2014 - houston, tx

from andrea:

   pop at nine bells and find nightwear shirt over head but not w/arms in - what? craig is a righteous mI woke up at 9 and I took a shower. We left Greg's at 10:00. Great sunny day again. He lives in a nice historical neighborhood, where each house has its own style and character. Out of the city I saw a bayou for the first time in my life, and the we stopped at a gas station next to a it, in a town called La Place, where I got a Crawfish Boudin and grits with eggs and sausages, a real fulfilling southern breakfast. We drove for most of the whole trip on I-10 crossing Baton Rouge. I saw many other bayous along the road. We hit a bit of traffic around Huston downtown, but not the rush hour one because we arrived at the venue at 16:20. Fitzgerald's is an old venue, from the 70's. The building looks much older though, and old wooden two stories house. We loaded in and did the soundcheck with sound men ryan, who told us where to find a good music store. A few minuets before 18:00, Stefano and I left the venue with the econoline and arrived at Rockin Robin at 18:10. It was a great music store, with an amazing collection of old Leedy-Ludwig snare drums from the 20's and 30's and several vintage drum kits to sell. I didn't buy anything, even if I was really tempted. Stefano found an interesting lap steel called national, it looked like a good bargain. When we came back around 19:00 the opening band Sunrise and Ammunition was setting up the stage. Hiyori ordered a good tofu ramen soup for me. I went upstairs a bit on the cozy green room to relax a bit.

   pop at nine bells and find nightwear shirt over head but not w/arms in - what? craig is a righteous mSunrise and Ammunition did a nice set. The sound in the room was really loud. The drummer had an amazing drum set, called Whitney Drums, which sounded really good. The great idea of this drum set is that you can put all the shells inside the bass drum. We started playing at 21:00. I really like our show, I think we played really tight. I changed sticks again tonight, right before the gig I felt that the 7A's were too light so I used 5A's again after having switched to 7A's in Providence, and I felt it was the right pair of sticks. On this tour I'm learning a lot how to keep the good playing and the music solid through a big numbers if gigs, listening to your body and follow it. After the show I met Damon Smith, a double bass player who told me he plays with several musicians that I met in Berlin and Italy. I talked a bit with him about his music and he told me he started playing bass because of fIREHOSE. Patrice and Dano, who were in front of the stage while we were playing, helped us loading the van. They hosted us in their nice house a few miles far from Fitzgerald's. They are incredible collectors of records many other objects related to different artists, all preserved in perfect conditions in boxes. They shown us incredible stuff, like the Sid Vicious' original pin "I'm a mess", that Dano bought on an auction back in the 80's. They made pop corn for us and played a some music, like a very good Jah Wobble's song called "voodoo". I went to bed at around 1:30, in a room all covered by show posters.

from fratello ste:

   We leave early cause we have kind of a long driving in front of us. we see all the beautifull new orleans house style leaving the town. i take three bars at a gas station and a coffee. the guy at the desk is from libano. we cross all this big swamp land .. really interesting and crazy.. i still cannot believe is possible to live there. We arrive in houston around 16:00 we do soundcheck pretty quick and then fratello Andrea and i pick the van to go visit a music instrument shop 20 minutes driving from the venue . i found a national lapsteel guitar from 48 in sale at a very good price so i buy it. it is my first lap steel guitar. Ryan the guy who works the sound tonight suggested me to visit this shop. We come back at the venue around 7:15 and we eat some noodle soup Hiyori has ordered. Sunrise and Annilihation is the band playing. they are very young and very good playing this sort od prog math psychedelic rock form . we play at 9. very good gig. very together. we go staying at Patrice and Dano for the night. they are wonderfull, supportive ,and very welcoming. Patrice comes with il sogno del marinaio t-shirt drowns by her and Dano is huge punk records collector. he has boxes at home with many many stuff. we spend some hours talking all togheter. Patrice give fratello andrea and i a good massage. she makes crock my spine in a second . very good for my back. we drinks some beers outside talking. they tell me a bit about Kathrina Hurricane how huge has been where they live and how scary has been. We go sleep.

from watt:

   pop at nine bells and find nightwear shirt over head but not w/arms in - what? craig is a righteous man and cooks up coff but damn if there ain't weird taste about it... was chicory dumped in? gave me mug to keep too, has bank name on side though. he's beautiful to be so kind, has me sign a bass and albums from his buddy mark also. we gotta pull anchor at ten cuz of miles involved regarding houston, next town and first of three texas gigs in this end run. I can tell fratello andrea is bumming cuz of no chow but we'll find something...

   blue skies, but clouds ahead. ran red light getting out of new orleans cuz of bizarre intersection "design" (or lack of, like last night) but luckily no hell consequences. a lady in the car next to me at the next red (came up immediately) explained sitch and I thank her, thank god no bad things happened. east on I-10 for an hour, we pass lake pontchartrain and then first time in the bayou for the fratelli. I get the boat fuel at laplace, get boudin, chicken gizzards and thigh for breakfast chow, "birdies" is the name of this pad. at baton rouge we pass over the mississippi river for the last time for this tour, bye bye big muddy. switch ponies at grosse tete (guess what that is in french), fratello ste now on the rudder and more bayou out the window, atchafalya state park. so glad I get to show the fratelli so much of our land but damn I still wish I could show more! also I want more of our people to see them as well.

some kind of bug stuck on the boat's radio antenna on the way to houston, tx on october 27, 2014

   a quarter after two we pass into texas, bye bye louisiana. we pull over to switch ponies, fratello andrea's turn at filling station called "crawdad's" that is all about the cat who owns it, his picture in the head holding onto fish he caught and shit like, shots of him and his buddies. we took a french road to get here, we take one to get back on I-10. I say "french road" cuz when us minutemen first toured in texas we kept seeing this road called "frontage" running alongside the freeway - we'd go "there's that fucking road again" and not be able to believe one could be both so long and fucking everywhere in the state. we started calling it "the french road" cuz of pronouncing it like FROHN-TAJ. you see we didn't know "frontage road" was generic term for yeah, a road that ran alongside the freeway. we we're fucking corndogs. I see another "crawdad's" - damn, it's a fucking chain and here I thought it was a one-off cuz of the corny pictures in the head.

   get into houston at four but find total plug but only for a little bit, whew. we're only twenty minutes late for load-in, 'pert-near a six and a half hour drive but the next three will be about half that. a lot of clouds up above but still it's sunny... and humid, aaarrrgggghh. fitzgerald's downstairs is where we're playing and both gigboss brian and soundman ryan are there to greet us, great cats. the fratelli take the boat to a guitar store and fratello ste comes back w/an old national lap steel, bravo! after soundcheck I meet tyler from sunrise and ammunition gives me his band's cd "tesseract" and damn if that don't bring back memories of when I was a teenager and listening to the pacifica (kpft is the one here in houston) station for so cal, kpfk I'd hear a show called "tesseract" w/phil mendelson that played trippy music. he knows nothing about it but a quick search finds a "folio" (the name of the show listings kpfk would send to listener supporters) online for 1975 that lists it. trippy. tyler's a good cat and I like his band too.

   miss hiyori orders pho from "jenni's noodle house" and mine is good (wish it had more spice though) but her's has something she's allergic to (maybe a kind of beef or dairy?) and immediately she has a reaction and it's scary - fratello andrea tells about eating raw shrimp eggs in croatia and having the same thing happen, his throat swelling up and threatening to suffocate him, stucazz?!! miss hiyori does some gero ('puke' in jap) and recovers, very scary. I get an email from charley plymell - I love charley and here's a poem from him out of the blue:


   I go to the boat to konk but fuck, it's so sweaty I'm dying in there, so fucking humid... I open both back side hatches and after a while fratello andrea sees the boat the way it is and gets worried - he finds me sweating my fucking brains out and I come out and lock up the boat, we talk about things cuz actually it ain't too long before we get to fucking play.

   nine bells and we bring the last monday gig of the tour to the houston gig-goers who are beautiful and give back as much as we throw which in my case is a bunch. damn if I don't feel like I played my best of the tour tonight in the town of billy gibbons - I even dedicate the gig to him over the mic at the end. I danced a bunch (I shit thee not, I did kind of cojo dance a cojo can do ) engage the gig-goers w/my peeper lots and play as tight and close as I can w/the fratelli, I get completely caught up in the il sogno del marinaio whirler trip. I really dig it. thank you fratelli. thank you houston gig-goers. thank you good people here at fitzgerald's. thank you fourth man ryan.

   at the table I get showered w/generous spirit from gig-goers, sometimes just a word, sometimes a spiel. there's a nervous man and his lady takes our picture, I tell him it's ok. there's lots of pictures that take a bit, people don't know their leash cameras that well but I can understand that. one man just wants a big hug and I bring it. there's much thanks and I am most grateful, trying to give just as big as welcome back. damon smith is here and talks bass w/me - "we lost brother jack" he eventually says, I hug him.

   dano and patrice are here, we've been invited to konk w/them so follow we do after get things together here and pulling anchor. right when we get to their pad, fratello ste discusses ideas about making our third album, he does this after hearing dano say that the gig was so much more alive than "canto secondo" which he's been listening to since it came out in august. him and patrice are so very kind, truly. I hose off and get in the nightwear and we have a good time. it was only eleven when we arrived which is way early for tour. I don't last long though cuz I am thoroughly beat. I am really grateful the fratelli got to experience dano and patrice's hospitality cuz it's incredible. amen.

tuesday, october 28, 2014 - austin, tx

from andrea:

   In the morning Patrice and Dano's cooked breakfast for us with eggs, potatoes, fresh fruit and pecans from the trees they have next to their house. We left their house at 11:00 and went to visit the Rothko Chapel in the Montrose neighborhood. The atmosphere in the Chapel was beautiful, the energy I felt was something in between a sacred place but a totally aseptic room at the same time, not pretentious at all. The blue, purple, and other shades of dark colors of the paintings changed while the eyes adapted to the quite light of the room. At 12:30 we were already on the US 290 to Austin, driving through the Texas hill country. We stopped at a gas station in Burton, and I realized how beauty were the knotty trees around there. We arrived at the venue R7 in Austin at around 16:00. Mike parked the van in the front of the venue, and met the sound men Chad and stage manager Doug. Stefano and I walked around a bit exploring the 6th street, checked out a record store, and some fake looking bars, it seemed to be in a sort of disneyland. In a couple of them there were two guitarists playing in front of an empty room, quite sad view. We checked out where we could find something to eat, and I ended up eating a new style version of the Korean Bibimbap next to the venue. It was a hot and humid summer day, in fact we had to play on a stage outdoor. Some mosquitos bite me while I was listening to Secret Chief's soundcheck. I met Timba Harris, the violinist of the band, nice guy. After their soundcheck we did our soundcheck and left the stage to Atomic Ape.

   I chilled out in the room next to the stage listening to Timba's music on Soundcloud, read a bit a bout the situation in Kobane and I talked a bit with Atomic Ape's bass player Rusty Kennedy about touring and Berlin. I listened to them a bit from the same room and then from the audience side. The change of the stage was really quick, and the line check as well. While playing I saw Patricia and Dano from Huston again smiling. On stage it was really hot and sweaty. It was a good challenge playing outdoor. After the set we packed up and loaded the van before the next show walking through the audience with the help of an helper man with a flashlight. I probably hit a couple of people's beers, but when they saw the gear they understood the situation. Once the van was loaded I checked out about half an hour of Secret Chief's show. We left the venue at 22:30, and went to John and Sarah, were I chatted with them until 2 o'clock. I laid down my sleeping bag next to a Juno-60 keyboard and fell asleep quickly.

from stefano:

   we wake around 10:00. i feel a bit slow. maybe too many beers the night before. Dano and Patrice has made very good breakfast. there are also some nuts from the three outside and fruits. at 11:00 we leave and we go visit the Rothko Chapel in Houston. "The Rothko Chapel is a sacred space, open to all, established to advance human rights, interfaith understanding, and justice." it is since long long time ago i wanted to visit this space and thanks to this tour it has finally became possible. thank you very much fratello Mike. the space is very simple. the intense black and purple dark canvas fill the space with a very introspective and meditative quiet energy. There are the most important religious book in the entrance available to read. i pick the Bhagava gita and i read some verses sitting in the chapel. at the entrance i buy form the Bosnian lady a film documentary about Rothko life, some postcards , a book essay by Rothko himself about the artist figure and a cd recording of the morton feldman composition " the Rothko chapel" for fratello Mike boat. Then we go to Austin. i read a bit. In Austin we take a walk on the "fake" 6th street and on the 7th the road where we play i see a big center for homeless people with huge line outside. Kind of strange contrast between the two side. there are Atomic Ape and Secrete Chief playing tonight as well. They are actually touring togheter. i meet Binta who play violin in secret chief and Jason from A. ape and their bass player -i do not remember his name- all excellent musicians and nice people. Dano and Patrice comes from Austin and i meet Monica, Melissa's sister. Melissa is a friend of mine who now lives in liverpool. i meet many nice people.. Some guys we met in Gainsville are here in Austin for work so they come to see the show again. we play second. good show. We are going to stay for the night at John and Sara house .they have two hairy nice old cats. I fell asleep on the deck in the "music" room.

from watt:

   nine bell pop for me, so glad a bottle of topo chico is right out the hatch in the boat and cooled from the night, I down it and belch real big time and healthy. dano puts john coltrane music on, righteous. he also cooks up some scrambled eggs and potato/onions mix w/toast. he's got a bottle of "frank's" I can use to flavor it up. so kind, dano and patrice, truly. they're gonna even see us play in austin tonight, they were there last week putting up gig flyers, crimony! such kindness, I tell you, beautiful.

   fratello ste wanted big time to see the rothko chapel so when we pull anchor at eleven I head for pretty much where we played last night, the chapel is in the montrose part of town. the weather is comfortable even w/a sky full of clouds, the humidity has relented some. at the chapel I first spend time on a bench outside. several friendly grackles check me out checking out this barnett newman "broken obelisk" sulpture. inside the chapel, I go sit in the most starboard of the bow seats and have a good think about stuff. mr rothko's purples are most peaceful on me, to be quiet and be bathed in a sense by his purples, much reflective I become here in this good while I spend - there is no hurry cuz ain't that far. thank you fratello ste for suggesting this visit. I put us on us-290 rather than the interstate, the road the passes near la grange (you know the zz top tune, right?) but man, what used to be so much open country is now lots of strip mall and tract homes but eventually that does peter but damn if every time I come here it goes more and more west. at burton fratello ste has to piss and I get fuel for the boat at a little station that also has a little kitchen and the lady there fixes me up a homemade cheese burger. she tells me drummerman carmine appice was part of a rod stewart tribute band gig and was here for a week. she said her husband gave him a ride in his hotrod doing donuts and brodies, scaring the shit out of him. alright. the cheese burger tastes good. she says she never made one w/mustard and onions only before... I guess I'm the first I tell her. her son shows me a picture on his phone of carmine doing the bam-bam. we pass a sign pointing to somewhere called dime box. it's getting more humid but fratello andrea uses a blankie when I put on the air conditioner, crimony.

   there's a new toll road as we get closer to austin, tract homes and strip malls coming here too - maybe they can fill in the whole gap? it's that way 'pert-near from santa cruz to sack-town in cali! fratello andrea is right and I make a wrong turn to get to red 7 which is the pad we're playing but maybe the delay ain't big enough to keep us from being an hour early for the five pm load-in. I get choice parking sport right out front too, running into stagemanagerman doug going to get parking slip for the boat. I meet soundman chad also who's from beaumont where there's really bugs (I got some little bumps from some maybe noseeums in houston) - both these cats are very cool people, an honor to work them. we're on actually second on a three band bill, we're in the bologna seat w/atomic ape before and secret chiefs 3 after. everyone of these folks we meet are most kind to us and it's a privilege to get to share the stage w/them. there's a chow pad named "koriente" next door and I chow what they call a "bange bowl" w/my old friend mrs elizabeth who's been living here a while now, I go back w/her since the enit festival when I was helping the porno for pyros guys, mrs elizabeth very special people for watt. we catch up on her family, both her girls and husband Eduardo, righteous people and most kind to me. I see mrs elizabeth only when I tour now and yes, it'd be happening if she could see me w/the fratelli cuz she's seen me in lots of musical sitches and would dig her thoughts (mrs elizabeth is intense w/thoughts!) but no one can watch her girls w/Eduardo in so cal so next time...

   we do soundcheck w/soundman chad, he likes the 'a' note... I give it to him twice. too fucking sweaty to konk in the boat but since we're outside (oh yeah, forgot to mention that last time I was here in was inside w/tom and raul), I can chimp diary where there's some a.c. and though I ain't really into it, some relief of a sort. they got topo chico here like last night in houston, fuck yeah, righteous!

   it's tough for me doing a gig on tour w/out konk and this number two in a row that way but I gotta man up, grow some balls and fucking do it. the austin gig-goers are big time behind us even though it's first il sogno del marinaio gig here ever. we bring it. I charge hard, so do the fratelli. I soak my whole outfit, it's so fucking humid but well worth it - I don't do as good as last night and damn if at one point early I pull a neck muscle that scares me (gone now as I chimp this the next day) and I got some issues w/slipping up a tiny bit w/some dynamic things, I'm really proud of the fratelli and most grateful to the austin gig-goers.

   over to the merch table... there's dano and patrice from houston, two gigs in a row for them, respect! my old buddy cary jackson's here too - he tells me he's been to the new pedro skatepark at peck park - cary builds skateparks. I love his flannel, it's got orange, white and brown in a righteous way plus it's got snaps. big hug for cary. he brings over john - pete (remember who we konked w/in maryland after dc gig?) is his brother and they were both in peglegasus - so long since I've seen john, so long, so good to see him, big hugs. same w/chris scroger, incredible poet, artist and bassman... so sad to hear his beautiful artwork didn't make it to the "double nickels on the dime" tribute book, fuck. damn it. I can't understand why that happened, why he never even got word about what happened... me and him look through the book, looking and coming up w/big nothing, crimony. not to get too sad (but it hurts me, big hug for brother chris), many good people share joy w/me and I thank them big time back. the merch man for secret chiefs 3 is a friend of trey going way back - trey was remembering back about me being sick when we played early mr bungle gig together (same bill) in petaluma. he gives me an awesome card, whoa, very very kind. man, great spirit for sharing here tonight.

card given by secret chiefs 3 merch man to watt in austin, tx on october 28, 2014

   john and sarah from many birthdays are here and have invited us to konk at their pad, many beautiful nekos there which makes what they're calling this a "temporary abode" filled w/a great feel. salami w/pepper on it's outside is sliced up, bulliet bourbon drank - a great time. laundry too and fucking doctor bronner's soap make for a righteous hose off. deep DEEP bow from me to john and sarah.

wednesday, october 29, 2014 - dallas, tx

from andrea:

   I woke up at 10:00 and had a good chai the. I was really confused, usually it takes about 15 minutes to wake up but this time it took me much more. John, Stefano and I went to a Mexican food trailer called Taqueria Mi Trailita, 5 minutes driving far from the house. I had a carnita and salad taco, and a bite of one with eggs and frioles. Sarah showed me a fascinating Yuko Mishima's photo book, and they told us about their experience in Japan. We left their house at 12:20, after John left for his work at the Dallas library, and we took the I-35 north to Dallas. It was a quite short drive, about 3 hours, and we arrived in the city at 16:00. We parked the van right in front of the venue Club Dada. The neighborhood Deep Ellum consists in an old warehouse area converted in shops, restaurants, bars and music clubs. I went to a second hand store that I saw while we were driving to the venue, just a few steps from the club, which had some vinyl records in front exhibited in front of the main door. There I found the great Harry Smith's American Folk Music box set for a very good price, four records by a weird organ player from Panama I've never heard before and a Les Paul and Mary Ford record from the 50's. When I came back to the venue I left the records in the van and went to a Japanese noodle restaurant where I got spicy ramen soup with pork. When I went back to the venue we met the sound men Chris and loaded in. We did the soundcheck and then relaxed a bit with a beer and checked some news on my computer. I checked another record store there was in the bar contiguous to Club Dada, and I found and bought a reissue copy of Double Nickels on the Dime LP. I thought it was time to get the physical copy of it, especially because on September 19th was the 30th anniversary of the release.

   I went back to the venue and checked checked out the two opening bands. Yells at Eels consisted in a trio with double bass, drums and trumpet, this last one the father of the other two musicians, intresting. Their music covered a lot of musical territories, I would describe the result as "intense and loud jazz". Nice. Errors of metabolism mixed a lot of musical genres too, but with a more r'n'r punch. Our show was quite wild, and nonetheless the crowd was not big, each one of them was really warm and gave us a lot of positive energy back. After loading the van we drove a few miles outside the city direction east. In the van there was Jeremy, who hosted us that night. We drove through the infamous Dealy Plaza and arrived at Jeremy's about 20 minutes later, and we chatted with him and with Errors of metabolism's bass player Sam, who lives at about an hour driving north of Dallas and he stayed there overnight. I had some rice and beans, and a couple of pieces of cake, probably a little too much before going to bed, but I couldn't resist. I took a quick shower and I slept in Jeremy's son bedroom in a very comfortable bed at around 2:00.

from stefano:

   I wake up around 10:00 i take a shower and John and Sara have prepared coffee and fruit for us. Then we go also take some fresh and good tacos in truck pad 5 minutes far from their house. He showed us a couple of beautifull instrument he has. a fender p bass and a very old martin acoustic guitar. we leave at 12 to go to dallas. On the road we saw many many policeman of all different departments. we go stopped by a state trooper. just a warning because i cut in a truck too fast.. so i get my little personal souvenirs of driving in texas. Actually the policeman has been very nice and gentle. no acting at all. First time i came to the states was eleven years ago and i landed in Dallas. i remember for the jet lag i at three o' clock i waked up at three o'clock and i start to walk following the downtown direction. it took me almost 3hours. When i arrived there i remember i took a coffee, made a telephone call home and i took a bus to got back to the house again. At a certain point i got on a bus cause i felt deniflty too tired to walk all the way back. Before soundcheck we have some ramen tow blocks away. we play around ten. Other two very good bands are playing tonight: Errors of Metabolism a trio with Jeremy on guitar and John on bass. they are also guesting us tonight. Second band is Yells at Eels.. a trio as well : Erin on double bass , Stephen on drums and their father!! on trumpet. Stephen and Erin are brothers. Stephen played with Mike and Jandek couple of years ago. We go sleeps at Jeremy house and John comes to. we have nice food and talking. Jeremy show me his guitars. he teaches guitar and music. i go sleep in the "music" room even tonight on the deck. Jeremy as a copy of the gita so i read some lines before konking.

from watt:

   pop at eight and a half, hose off again - I'm digging the soap john and sarah got here, the doctor bronner's. you know what? I'm gonna get some when back in my pedro town! john takes the fratelli to get breakfast tacos from a nearby chow truck, they get me huevos y chorizo ones, real good. sarah says she saw fratello andrea making pasta (parts one and two) the day before we left england for italy to record our "canot secondo" album. I chimp diary.

   love the cats here but some are scared of me, prolly my stupid sounding voice. john shows me his fender pbass, 70s neck w/late 60s body, badass bridge and emg pickups, I tell him about my mexican fender pbass that's got david allen pickups I really dig. I also tell him to never get rid of this bass, it's a fucking keeper. he asks me about pedals, I say I really only tried to use them w/my second opera w/my secondmen and I was no good at it. I've used some distortion for sustain when recording some bass solos but mostly I'm just straight strings and fingers. he shows me his pop's 1958 martin acoustic guitar and I start telling about my pop and old punk w/him and sarah. I tell him the one time we had a talk about punk. I was nineteen and he'd come down to pedro from clovis (near fresno) where he retired to from twenty years in the navy. he brought some beers which we had never drank together before, sitting on my apartment rug... I just moved into my own pad of gaffey street. he asks me what this punk shit's about. I tell him that me and d. boon are gonna write on own songs, find our own voice, do gigs, make records - all kinds of stuff and he's like yeah, yeah but what's it really about? and I ask what does he mean? and he asks is it socialist? and I didn't mean to but I laughed w/out and he grabbed a chair leg and looked at me hard, his hazel eyes going gray slate like that and then he let the chair leg go... we never talked about it again 'til much later - he even actually saw me play a gig in fresno and let us konk at his pad. we wouldn't talk politics either, just didn't but then one time he wanted to discuss w/me this guy oliver north. now my pop voted for mr nixon twice and mr reagan once but now he heard this guy was coming to fresno to speak - this was during the iran/contra thing and my pop wanted to go protest him! the spiel got cancelled so my pop never got the chance to do what he wanted but he didn't vote for mr reagan a second time. he told me you gotta really believe in the constitution or it's all a game. I tell john how cancer took my pop in 1991 after nine nightmare beatdown months, I never saw a man suffer so much in my life.

   john's gotta go to work and we gotta bail - we pull anchor a quarter after twelve. first I dump the piss jug onto where I see cat turds by the side of the pad, this make a kind of sense to me. I get us north on I-35, so many hombre out on the road - like forty or fifty at least, I shit thee not - state troopers, sheriffs, police - you name it. about three, just south of hillsboro at a rest stop we switch ponies, fratello ste at the wheel after a big piss, fratello andrea dropping off a few kids at the pool. w/in minutes right where I-35W splits from I-35E, a state trooper pulls us over and gives fratello ste a warning for passing in front of an eighteen wheeler w/out giving him enough room. the officer's pretty nice to us. fratello ste's now got a souvenir to hang on his bulkhead back at this pad in bologna.

sign for a town called 'italy' on the way from austin to dallas on october 29, 2014

I see gas for $2.66 a gallon as we get into dallas at around four, cheapest yet on the tour. we don't stop though, fratello ste gets us to a pad called dada in the deep ellum part of town... we drop anchor a quarter after four. I chimp diary inside the empty pad (barlady from next door let me in) while the fratelli wander. miss hiyori finds some pad that has yakisoba and I chow that.

   soundman chris comes at 5:30 and tells me a week and a half ago he played greg ginn's wedding in fort worth (next door big town). he learns me on the ups and downs of deep ellum - why my last two gigs ain't been in this part of town (some history here). he's good people, helps me understand. we check w/him and I meet stefan
yells at eels who are sharing the stage w/us along w/errors of metabolism - I know stefan from last year playing houston w/him as a rhythm section for the representative from corwood industries - that was a wild gig, it was at a festival the stooges were also playing. anyway, this band he's w/tonight has his pop dennis on trumpet and his brother aaron on standup bass - a total family affair. it's a great honor to meet his pop.

   I go to the boat and konk, the weather being very comfortable here tonight. I pop though to the boat being right in front of the pad and jeremy's errors of metabolism kicking up much dust, I hear them... then konk again, then pop again hearing the gonzalez men whupping it up - I see them through the window, a righteous scene: this man w/his sons, sharing through music... beautiful. whoa, I am very touched... I miss my pop so much. such a happening thing here for me to witness.

   our turn to go on, I hug mr dennis gonzalez big time. the fratelli help me bring the set which is tough at first cuz of emotions spinning in my head... I blow a couple clams. I 'pert-near trip on the floor tom mic - soundman scott had earlier ran up to put this mic up - did I knock it down before that? it's one of those mics that clip onto the rim. anyway, I'm very grateful I didn't go down. the dallas gig-goers help me much, one's got a t-rex shirt on and I think of d. boon. emotional gig for me.

   at the merch table I sign the gigboss john's throbblehead of me and thank him much for having us aboard. the t-rex shirt man is from scotland, he gave me a drawing back in southampton (england). a drummerman shakes my hand - I feel the beat in his hand. jeremy's bassman sam has picture poster of us twentytwo years ago, crimony! there's a man who remembers "the twilite room" which is the first pad I played in dallas, it was w/minutemen - I've learned the building has been gone for years - people from the old days who wanna see me in the now days sure are open and generous. much respect to them... a big reason I keep pushing.

   jeremy gets in the boat w/us and we head for his pad in irving. on the way to the freeway we're coming up on dealy plaza - the same route mr kennedy was on when the bullets came and killed him... there's an x painted on the road, I look up at the sixth floor of the book depository building just before we pass it - I point out where the zapruder film got shot, the grassy knoll - it's a trippy feel in the boat for me. there's no lingering, it's only seconds for all this to happen - jeremy tells us about mr oswald's wife lived in a pad in his irving town that people who live there now let folks tour it.

   jeremy's bassman sam beat us home. there's a beautiful love dog named pippa who is so glad the whole pack's here, same w/a neko I don't get the name of. I do hose off and get in the nightwear... damn, a button's tore off. I'm given a sam adams "lager" but it tastes like the same pipe rust the ales do. I hope I don't sound like a bellyacher about that. the fratelli like that crap. it just ain't for me. even the beam makes me sneeze some. trippy feelings tonight. jeremy's just the best cat to have us aboard though, so genuinely kind, truly. what a big heart, much respect.

thursday, october 30, 2014 - oklahoma city, ok

from andrea:

   I woke up at 8, and I felt the end of the tour coming for the first time. I started thinking about a lot of things I had to do after the tour so I had hard time getting back to sleep so I checked some news and tried to upload some more pictures on my website, but I realized it wasn't online, the editor was not accessible and the google search couldn't find it! What a scary moment. I called the provider in Italy and asked explanations. They told me that the american authority of the .com service tried to reach me, asking to confirm my address and email, but I I realized the email the got was an old account I've never checked since few yearsŠI finally changed the email address, and an hour later the website was again online, but with no trace on the google search, damn. I had some breakfast with yogurt and granola. Jeremy had to go to work at 10:00, so we said hello to him and stayed there for a little while. I talked via Skype to Veronica while Mikesan did an interview with Sam, and then left the house at 12:00. The drive was quite short that day as well, only 3 hours on I-35 north. The landscape changed along the way, it became more and more prairie, with less trees. We arrived at VDZS in Oklahoma city at around 16:30. The venue is an old wooden bar and restaurant with a small stage on one end and a balcony with some tables on the other end. I've been told this was an old pharmacy, and the glass with old medicines bottles on the other side of the bar reminded us about that past. After loading in I collected all the vinyls and CD's I bought during the tour and put them into two heavy boxes. I talked with the soundmen Jacob and he told us that since there were two other bands an an analog mixing desk it wouldn't make any sense to do soundcheck. Then I ordered a Buffalo sandwich, but I changed my mind as I would have feel guilty eating Buffalo thinking about how they've been wiped out in the past decades, so I switched to a chicken one, with sweet potatoes as well. I walked a bit around the venue, as I needed to stretch out my bones, and I found a good record store, but I was so overwhelmed thinking about buying more records and carry them around I left the room very quickly. When I got back to the venue I felt a big headache coming. I worked a bit on my computer while the two opening bands were doing the soundcheck.

   Before the first band started playing I talked a bit with John, ho told me he worked in Germany at a young age as a car engineer for Porsche, and he is still working as an engineer and he tests european cars for the american market. The first band Gum played and I checked them out from the window outside because of my headache, and then I went inside and listened to Feel Spectres while lying my head on my arms. When we went on stage my headache was quite painful, but during the show I managed somehow to forget about it and enjoy the show. While packing up it came back and very strong. Feel Spectres guitarist and singer Matt Goad who wanted to host us gave us a wrong address, so we drove around a neighborhood for a few minutes, and things got a bit confused so we went back to the venue and Mike found someone who told him the right address. Once we found Matt's house I could take a hot shower, take a couple of anti inflammatory pills and went straight into my sleeping bag.

from stefano:

   i wake up around 10:00. shower.then John shows me how to make coffee. Jeremy already gone work i eat a very nice chili beans and rice. Jeremy is vegetarian too.. he also likes ales, he is read hair and play jazz master as well. we are kind of brothers!.. we go on the road around 12:00 and we arrive in Oklahoma city around 16:00 but the check is not happening until 20:30. we have time to hang around and my fake all stars are falling apart.. just a day more and i guess i will be without shoes. So i ask info about a shoes store. is kind of half and hour walking ..kind of a couple of kms i guess. the walking is not so nice cause actually cause there are almost no pedestrians side but i really need a new pair of shoes. i pass under the highway bridge almost no space between the car rails and the mesh but finally i find a new pair all stars. good. i come back and i still have plenty of time to hang around. Gum and Feels Spectors are playing tonight. we play a good gig. i met Andrew and Melina. Andrew has italian origin and he came every here to savignano very close to Bologna. very sweet guy. we met others nice people but damn i cannot remember their names now. We go staying at Matt for the night who plays in feels specters and he is a visual artist as well. he took us a little bit to find the house cause actually Matt gave us the wrong number..he has three dogs..i take shower we go sleep soon cause we have an hell ride coming.

from watt:

   pop at nine. great weather out the window, I can imagine when I get out there. jeremy has to bail for work at ten. I get to hear sam talk first w/fratello andrea and the fratello ste, he kind of interviews them. we get to talking about ironic things about humans - he's read "the master and margarita" by mikhail bulgakov, righteous! we do a short spiel for his porpocast show he does w/his son. I'm glad he asks mostly stuff about il sogno del marinaio. we pull anchor at noon.

   the navigatora gps puts on a course that takes right through the fucking fort worth-dallas airport, they got a toll road that doubles as a feeder for the parking lots/terminals and a conduit to the freeway. I get us going north on I-35, pull over just past denton to fuel the boat and get a dog plus some gizzards (I had no chow at jeremy's this morning). we cross into oklahoma just before two and a halfhour later I pull us over in ardmore for switching ponies, I give the rudder to fratello andrea. after three cds of harry smith archive stronzos from him when he was riding shotgun, I play a mestre esquilo "toque o tambor" cd someone gave us. good stuff. we drive through the chickasaw nation. can't believe he doesn't know about will rogers but he does know woody guthrie - both men are ok cats. I learn him about the dust bowl - he wants to know about mr steinbeck cuz I mention "the grapes of wrath" - he wants to know if the english mr steinbeck uses would be like "the catcher in rye" cuz I gave that book to him and fratello ste to read and the both dug it. I tell him I think they could handle it. actually their english is pretty fucking good. I have much respect for them persevering w/that reality on the dealio.

the top of the capitol building in oklahoma city, ok on october 30, 2014

   get into the crown heights part of ok city at twenty after four, a pad called vzd's I ain't played the last two times I was in town and am anxious to play once again. the bossman is chad and I just missed him, damn. I chow a cheeseburger w/mustard and onions, the helperlady pricilla very kind to us all. I chimp diary 'til the bossman chad gets back and we have a big catch-up spiel but not big enough cuz it's been a while since we last spieled w/him, I am so sorry. I feel beat, my hands real swollen. that kink comes back a little that I got at the austin gig but I get it strangled out by miss hiyori. I go to the boat and konk w/the coat on, this ain't like it just was in texas.

   now I met soundman jacob (nice cat) and read him the drill, he's into being our fourth man but I know it was gonna take time to mic up and stuff so I just figured I'd lay in the boat 'til things were ready and one of the fratelli would get me for the check. well, I'm pretty sure I konked and then dreamed I did the soundcheck - I say that cuz it was the most intense and weird check I've ever done in my life... people's faces were coming in very close and giving me the lookover and then receding immediately in the background, over and over this happening and then us as a band were doing tunes for the check that for the life of me I couldn't recognize and was so fucking freaked about not knowing what to play. everything kept getting push along w/out me being able to make any sense of it. I have to say I was fucking big time relieved when fratello andrea rousted me and said we did not do a soundcheck, whew. still shaking though, I go straight for the stage - it's a quarter eleven, we're half hour late, why?

   I give the little intro I do - fuck I realize I never met or seen any of the two opening acts, gum or feel spectres - actually I've seen feel spectres cuz the last time in town here they opened up for me and my missingmen. damn, I'm kind of spaced out but I wanna rally after last night's kind of difficult for me dallas gig. there's the most yammering of the whole tour at this gig but still I can tell many of the oklahoma city gig-goers really wanted us here, I can see welcome faces as well as ones turned to others in full no holds barred yammer. I can't let folks like this hijack the gig and anyway, they deserve to have a good time and not have some clown w/a bass on a stage acting like he's a cop or something. it is a kind of difficult gig though but I think the fratelli do good and w/that going for us it helps big time w/me keeping my keel in the water.

   at a chair at the merch table I talk to many cool people, one from so cal who wants to talk about there but knows 'dondo/hermosa more than pedro but he's kind. there's more than a few bassmen who deliver the bassbrother "fuck yeah" w/me, thank you so much. love being part of the big bass family trip, truly. a young man really liked the gig on a lot of levels he shares w/me. I'm so glad I kept it together for him, the other gig-goers and of course the fratelli - oh yeah, the bossman chad too.

   matt from the feel spectres has offered up his pad for us to konk at like he's done a bunch of times before. we take him on it but get the wrong address and damn was I stupid not to get a phone number but a trip back to the venue has the good people (and I mean they're great cats, all of them) who work there and are closing up help me out and we get on over to where we're supposed to be. matt's very generous and tells the story of him in music, from being a preacher's son from arizona to finding out about the minutemen and then starting a band called big back yard. respect to him. he sets me up w/a towel and I have a nice hot hose off, happening. I got sore hands now a little bit. into the nightwear after, I love this pad matt's got... olde-timey but like from early 60s maybe? I really dig it. he tells me steve drozd was gonna be at the gig but something last minute put that out of the race. I dig steve drozd.

friday, october 31, 2014 - albuquerque, nm

from andrea:

   I woke up with Stefano's alarm at 8:30, went to the kitchen where I had a hot green tea. When we were leaving Matt woke up and came outside to the van and told us he would fix breakfast for us, but we had to leave at 9:00 am because we had to be in Albuquerque for the soundcheck at 17:00. When we got into I-40 west, on the GPS the next move was 535 miles later, so we had to drive one day on the straight west to New Mexico. The old route 66 was were the I-40 is. The old towns on that old route were wiped out on this road because of the new interstate. A around 11 I slept probably for about half an hour, and  suddenly woke up in front of a building on the old route 66, at the barb wire museum. It was a great surprise to see this museum, about the barber wire and the dust bowls that afflicted this part of the country in the 30's. I remembered I read about those phenomena in Woody Guthrie book "Bound for Glory". The landscape on this streets of the route 66 are really beautiful, decadent and iconic at the same time. By the time we hit New Mexico we were in the desert. What a great experience, I've never seen it before, and driving through it with all these amazing vast and huge landscapes punctuated by some mesas was a big emotion. We stopped in Cuervo, a ghost city of houses made out of adobe, fascinating. We reached the venue Low Spirits a few minutes after 17:00, right on time for the soundcheck with Jason and helper Pepe. After the soundcheck I went with Stefano to Garcia's a mexican restaurant where I got a burrito with ground beef and avocado. Unfortunately the burrito I bought for Hiyori, who has lactose allergy, was with cheese even if I asked them a few times not to put any cheese or milk or butter in the burrito! I tried to modify a bit the Kenny from South Park halloween mask I had to wear during the show, the masks we got from Kevin in Lawrence. Then I had a beer and later Bobsan came to say hello. It was nice to see him after 6 weeks and a half. We went outside and talked outside about our tour under the restaurant tent in front of the venue, because it started to rain. Apparently that amount of rain is very unusual for Albuquerque's desert climate.

   We jumped on stage at 10:45 with our Halloween masks. I kept my mask for almost 30 seconds, before realizing it was impossible to play with it, as I couldn't see anything and I felt I was already playing really bad! I thought it was more important to play a good show instead of stick to that idea and fuck up the show, especially because I had some many things to do, change sticks, hit the gongs on the side, and see Mike's cues on many songs. It wouldn't have been really possible to make it happen that way. Stefano did the same thing after Partisan song, but Mike kept it for the whole show. I did not really enjoy this gig, plus I was really tired, but I put all energies I had, especially because I wanted to play very good for Bobsan whose expectation were high. It seems he enjoyed the show a lot, so it made me happy, as sometimes it is difficult to judge something from the stage perspective. After the show we went to Bob's house to Placitas, a residential area in the mountain around Albuquerque. The night was really dark and it was impossible to see anything around, but the stars were blinking on the clear sky. I took a quick shower, played a bit with Bob's beautiful Golden Retriever and went to bed on the inflatable mattress he prepared for Stefano and I.

from stefano:

   when the alarm rings i cannot believe it is already time to go. it fell like i would have slept forever but... we are on the road at 9:00. this is going to be the longest drive of the tour and the last friday of the tour and it is halloween. fratello Mike is the first driving as usual. i drive second. fratello Andrea third. Last part of Texas and New mexico are beautiful land. we stop visiting a devil rope museum on the old route 66. a very kind old lady asks us to sign the guest book...inside there are route 66 little pieces of story and memorabilia and about the ranching and the farmers stuffs and of course the beard wire story. It is kind of sad to notice along the route 66 how the more peculiar families activities has been put out of games by this big groups chains that runs all this new fake motel areas and fast food chains which are all about the same sadness shit everywhere. So a lot of stuff about the old and real route 66 is now abandoned and dismissed and emanates a sense of malinconinc past. I buy a magnet and a post card. After the boarder we stop visiting Cuervo a ghost town not far from the border.. we are all about pictures. We arrive in albuquerque at 18:00 on time. Fratello Andrea and i go buy some mexican to go and then we do soundcheck. after we arrange the south park masks we are going to dress for the gig. it is kind of impossible to see and mostly hear with this big cartoon masks to be dressed all over the cabocha. it seems to be impossible to play for real with these on but i think maybe making the eyes larger and making a hole for the mouth maybe is dupable. There is an impro trio before us tuba, harmonica and drums and vibrafon. we go on stage after 22:30 with the masks on..but damn it is so difficult to play with this fucking thing up. i see fratello Andrea get rid of the mask after the first song and i resists till the second song .. i cannot see even if i made the eyes of the mask bigger and a hole for the mouth but mostly i cannot hear! and the mask keeping moving on my head. i even do not know how i play two songs with that stuff on..well fratello Mike actually does the all fucking concert... we are not really togheter togheter i have to say but he definitely can make it. When i take the masks of after two songs i start to feel so tired ..kind of exhausted but i am able to make it till the end.. i think we should have dressed some more "appropriate" mask..anyway was fun to try. this is a special night not really because is halloween but cause we are seeing Bob son again!!. we left him in santa barbara ages ago. it is so nice to see him again. he comes with a crazy tshirt: he says "is redneck metanphetamine truck tshirt style" :). After the concert we are going to stay at his place more on the mountain half an hour out of albuquerque. i am so tired i cannot keep my eyes open..damn what can i do i just can only sleep.

from watt:

   pop at twenty after eight - someone put on coff so I go to get some, the dogs start their barking, I think from matt's chamber. hey, it's their pad and I can't blame them for wanting to protect it. we got the biggest hellride of the tour ahead of us today. the good thing is though the skies are gray, it ain't raining. there sure is wind though, east on I-40 I take us w/both hands on the wheel (I usually drive that anyway). we see an eighteen wheeler laying on it's side on the other side of the freeway, there's a truck loading up what's spilled from the torn up trailer. scary. we travel through the cheyane-arapaho nation. a few miles east of clinton I pull over for fuel and also get a subway sandwich - guess what's on it? yep. I get us over the border into the texas panhandle at elven. at mclean I pull over for pony switch - I notice the devil's rope (barbed wire) museum which also has a route 66 part to it.

'burma shave' display at route 66 section of devil's rope museum in mclean, tx on october 31, 2014

the fratelli have been asking all morning, "what about this route 66, fratello mike?" and I've been telling them it was a collection of roads that made for the main way to get from chicago to los angeles before the days of the interstate (it's mainly I-40 and I-44 now). towns bypassed by the interstate just died on the vine. another part of this museum deals w/the dust bowl which is happening cuz I was explaining that yesterday and damn if pictures ain't worth millions and millions of words. of course the biggest part of the pad is devoted to barbed wire which was a HUGE game changer in this country. I get a route 66 root beer cuz I wanna bring the bottle back to my pad to go w/the topo chico one I have. some corny stuff appear through the windows: a leaning tower of pisa like water tower, a giant industrial-looking crucifix planted among statues of jesus doing stations and "the big texan" chow pad offering a free seventytwo ounce chew-toy of cow if you can gum it down w/everything else on the plate in an hour. we pass through amarillo and then the cadillac ranch - no time to stop cuz we got some miles to cover. I do got a piece of paint from one of the cars on the shrine of the boat from a previous visit though - I shit thee you not.

   twenty of two we pass into new mexico and gain an hour cuz we're in the mountain time zone now. at twenty after two w/pull over in tucumcari - incredible olde-timey route 66 strip here w/beat down 'tels and filling stations but when we stop to get fuel and push mr brown into the pool the counterlady says they ain't got benjos so I'm sorry but no gas money from us unless you got a benjo. fratello ste is beat so I take the rudder and get back on I-40, planning on gassing up in santa rosa but first I wanna show these guys cuervo which is about eighteen miles east of there. I've always been interested in this place since first passing it on my first tours, the way the red adobe pads that have been abandoned long ago literally are melting into the ground they're from. there's only a few left now, less and less each time but the ones that are still here are a fucking trip, incredible. there's some wood and stone ones too all blasted but also some newer stuff - I don't know the story of this place and sure wish I did. at 3:30 I pull over for pony switch w/fratello andrea and fuel for the boat plus a piss at santa rosa - where a lot of richard fuckin' bonney's people come from, good town. when richard did a tour being helperman for fIREHOSE once we came here and visited, even went more south to fort sumner to see where billy the kid was buried. richard's a good man. anyway, back on the road... all these fucking "cline's corner" signs - total landscape pollution, aarrrrrgggghhh. one time touring the first opera the last time w/nels we stopped here just cuz of the name and were big time into it being total jive and lame. I point out kokopelli to the fratelli, he's a trippy cat and someone I think they should know about.

   fratello gets us into 'burque safe twenty after five and pretty quick into the northwest part of town where low spirits is - my first time playing here but they're connected w/the launch pad which I've done buttloads of times. I met shiftboss ray who's very cool people but so is rob who takes his place as managerman. fratello is real hungry so managerman rob gives him directions to a pad called "garcia's" which him and fratello ste the boat over to get what I find ain't the most happening mexican chow and also they screwed up and didn't make miss hiyori a burrito w/out dairy stuff. damn. the tacos I chow at least don't make me sick. I meet soundman jason (he's done my sound before at the launch pad) who's got an intern named pepe and he teaches him some mic setup and ringing out monitors, stuff like that. we prepare our fucking paper mache heads brother kevin gave us back in kansas. they're based on "south park" characters, I have the one w/a green hat. I cut out his mouth. I make the eye holes bigger but they're still tiny as shit and not level so it's like marty feldman trying to look through them. oh well. I'm still going through w/it like I always do cuz damn it, halloween is the one day all year we admit we wear fucking costumes. bob-san lives in nearby placitas and says he's gonna be here soon but I'm fucking beat, after soundcheck I go to the boat and konk.

   I konk hard but pop to the sound of LOUD rain pounding on the boat w/bonus drops of rain. I get paranoid and fire up the 'puter which is connected to the low spirit's wifi... it says only storm here... bob-san has invited us to konk but I think he's living like he used to in his last placitas pad, up some tiny unpaved roads - maybe we get a 'tel room not far from here? hell, I miss bob-san and don't wanna do that. we gotta work this gig, gotta focus on that.

   it's the last friday gig of the tour - I got the fucking paper mache head on and right away fuck up the name of the band that shared the stage w/us, chingon chingnon - shit, I can't find internet info on them but man, what a good group of cats. anyway, here goes... I can't see anything so have to go fully by feel. the sound inside this head is really fucked up, many sour-ass overtones and just fuckedupness, however I play on. hard breathing but you know what? I'm gonna make it through this hellride (quoting from the second opera). my spiel makes standing waves inside this stupid head, arrrggghhhh. I keep pushing. I can't see the reaction of the 'burque gig-goers but can't feel much spirit either. I think I'm occupied in this struggle but I think I came out ok. for the 'burque gig-goers: I wanna thank them for letting me be myself, again (thank you, brother sly!).

   strange energy may I brought, I even go back and get the head back on after bringing a chair out by the merch table but damn, I can't see anyone w/it on. I signed some stuff and took pictures but hell, halloween is important to me cuz of this costume thing. I'll tell you this that was totally righteous and happened nowhere else on this tour, the dj man played "naega jeil jal naga" by 2ne1 right when we got done, fuck yeah! I hope the 'burque folks understand. I do spiel a bunch w/leonard later, an old friend who got hit on his motorcycle but got off w/not a whole lots beatup, thank god.

   managerman rob so kind to me, bye to him and asking him to tell launch pad boss joe thanks also big time. so many gigpad folks this tour believing in and backing me up so much. I decide to go w/bob-san and follow him to placitas w/the boat packed - luckily all that rain quit while we were playing. turns out bob-san is up some tiny road so it's one bell when we get to drop anchor for the night. both his dogs are happy to see the pack, yes. I'm happy to hose off... bob-san's hose-n-offer is fitted w/a bar of soap that's rough on one side and soft on the other, trippy. in the nightwear, me and bob-san discuss many many things. so good to see him again. I suggest me and him visit raymond sometime next year... that would be bitchin' - maybe check out belmont!

saturday, november 1, 2014 - phoenix, az

from andrea:

   I woke up ant 8:30 again, and got ready for another hell ride to Phoenix. The landscape on Placitas was incredible, as the day before we couldn't see anything. Bob's house, as well as the other ones around, is made in a way it looks like an old one, as it is not only one rectangular box but it has a shape which is somehow adapted to the landscape. The color of it is also the same one as the desert landscape. We said hello and thanks to Bob san, drove down back to Albuquerque and took the I-40 again. At 10:00 we stopped at a gas station were I got a huge cinnamon roll with topping! When we started driving west of the city, the landscape became amazing, with mesas, mountains, huge desert plainsŠincredible. I took a lot videos and pictures even if I were sitting in the back seat. We saw a lot of huge and never-ending trains with miles of cans and coal. At around noon, we quickly stopped to check the entrance of the petrified forest museum, and I checked out a piece of petrified log in the souvenir room. I bought a couple of postcards. We crossed the border to Arizona, and half way to Flagstaff we went to visit the Meteor Crater, just a few miles south of the I-40. It was one of the most breathtaking landscapes I've ever seen in my life, a huge crater formed my a meteor which hit the earth 49.000 years ago. The wind was so strong we could barely stand up, and in fact when we hit the road again it was really difficult to keep the boat straight, so I had to drive at an average speed of 65 mph. When I was driving I crossed Flagstaff, at 2000 meters above sea level, and then I took the I-17 to Phoenix. The desert we saw a few hours before left place to green forests, mountains and hills. Once we left the high peaks we started seeing saguaros, weird and big ones all along the road. We arrived at the venue Crescent Ballroom a little bit after 17:00. I met the soundmen Andy, and after the soundcheck I said hello to the opening band Larkspurs. The venue has also a mexican restaurant inside, where I ordered a grounded beef and avocado sandwich and guacamole. I worked a bit on my computer.

   Larkspurs played between 8:30 and 9:15, so we went on stage at 9:30. Stefano and I went to wake up Mike together, as it was the last show of the tour. Stefano shacked Mike's leg and woke him up, and I carried tea for him. We jumped up on stage and played an excellent show I think. After the show we hugged each other, I couldn't believe it was the last show, and that I was packing up the drums for the last time! We loaded the van with the help of Matthew, who hosted us this night at his apartment just about a mile far from the venue. We chatted about our US experiences, Matthew's fanzine he started in 92', his passion for Tav Falco and much more. I had some bourbon and a beer. I took a quick shower and went to the green sleeping bag at around 1:30.

from stefano:

   "discipline and repetition can make body and mind "transparent" so at a certain point you can probably see things from another point of view or even better something that is behind the curtain" Again when the alarm rings i still feel so incredibly tired. but we only have half an hour before leaving. i take a shower and Bob son offers some coffee and it is already time to get on the van again. Bob give us a cd with Gun Club live concerts. great thanks Bob. and then we are on the road.. all this journey is more than amazing. New Mexico and Arizona are incredible land. extraordinary. the big mesa, the crazy rock formations modeled by the wind... on the road we go parallalle to the big inidian navaho reservation and later we make a quick stop on the beginning of the petrified national forest. The wind is strong. i am driving and i cannot believe how strong it is. it is like almost sailing more than driving. we make a last incredible stop to visit the huge meteor crater just out 10 miles down the I 40. this incredible giant 2,6 miles diameter hole in the earth is bombing with the wind. beautifull. we have to do quick anyway cause we do not have much time. we go on the road again and we arrive in Phoenix just on time for the soundcheck. Andy is our man for tonight. he is very into it and works with us big time. he is from Nashville and just recently moved to Phoenix..we eat mexican again..very good guacamole tonight. it is last gig and i have the impression i feel kind of a similar tension as it would be the first one! we play good we meet many kind people gig goers... we have met so many nice people and gig goers on these 53 gigs. Suddendly gigs are done. strange sense of the time these two months.. We pack and we go stay at Matthew house. he ride his bike..the house is very close. we stay talking and drinking. Fratello Mike received a very terrible news just before we go sleep. A close friend of him just died. Actually is Kenny's wife .. we stayed with Kenny in San Francisco. i feel very sorry. Tomorrow we have the last long driving back to Pedro and then on the 3rd we fly home. bing bada binga. i feel very grateful to Fratello Mike for making this happening, to both Fratello Mike and Andrea for the great music adventures i can have with them, to Miss Hiyori for her help and support during the tour and to all the folks we have been staying with and to all that came to our gigs. thank you

from watt:

   pop at eight bells, taiyo coming through windows w/out curtains and there's a beautiful view through them. that rain is gone and there's lots of adobe-looking pads on little dirt bluffs all around. bob-san makes coff which is fucking hazelnut flavored but I love bob-san and choke the shit down. get in last minute spiels w/bob-san before we gotta pull anchor, bob-san dug the gig even w/the bassman in the bozo getup, blowing clams cuz of that - he said the fratelli did real good and I can for sure believe it cuz though I couldn't hear that well, I could feel it. we shove off at nine bells... bye bye bob-san!

mike watt + bob stires in placitas, nm on november 1, 2014

   just before taking I-25 south, we come upon an accident the el hombre is taking care of, waiting for the light to go when some cazzo comes wailing right the red light, crimony! luckily no one t-boned or whatever... fuck. I get us back to 'burque (bye bye placitas) and just west of the rio grande I get fuel for the boat cuz a hunger stop has be requested by fratello andrea. after gassing the boat, I gas myself w/two eggrolls plus some macaroni and cheese. the fratelli are amazed by the new mexico landscapes - the pinks, green and black formations, crumbled bolder piles, mesas and buttes - I am too, never take them for granted. I get us across the border around twenty after twelve (bye bye new mexico) but we get an hour back cuz arizona doesn't use daylight savings time. fort kitch, I mean courage looks closed/abandoned. we're in navajo nation now, biggest reservation in the country. the wind is really starting to blow now. at the petrified forest national park visitors center I gas the boat up again and had fratello ste the rudder. onward on I-40. we pass meteor city, the gas station w/the geodesic dome that's got a mohawk, deserted. we stop at meteor crater and spend twenty minutes there - my second time but everyone else's first though but I'm still just as blown away cuz the shit's intense... four thousand feet wide and seven hudred feet deep, fucking crimony! the wind is blow so fucking hard I really gotta be careful, hold on to my glasses (a man from alabama suggested that to me). three bells and fratello ste has handed the rudder to fratello andrea. onward on I-40, we pass twin guns, that gas station is abandoned/closed. twin arrows gas station closed/abandoned but the two arrows in the ground have been done up and on the north side up a ways is a brand new casino... the wind is heavy on fratello andrea like w/fratello ste but he does good, he gets us to flagstaff and then takes us south on I-17... the wind calms cuz of the recently appeared fur trees serving as brakes against it.

   four bells and not too north of ghost town bumble bee, we switch ponies fratello ste once again taking the wheel, I continue chimping diary. we had some rain just south of flagstaff but that's gone now. I learn the fratelli about the saguaro, I love this cactus much. I heard this story about some cazzo who was using a shotgun to blast saguaros at the base to have them fall down. well, the tenth one they found toppled that way in fact toppled forward onto him and hammered his ass... karma wails. we get to downtown phoenix and to the back hatch of the crescent ballroom at four after five, only four minutes late. I send an message to soundman/gigboss andy:


   we're here now doing load-in, I'm taking
dump in head and writing you this email.

                           on bass, watt"

   andy's a great cat, is way into being our fourth man. we check w/him and then up rolls brother matthew on his bike - he's invited us to konk at his pad maybe a mile away, very kind of him. I love the anti-cave device installed here... I've dreamed of these things for years, even thought of somehow carrying one in the boat. what it is is a giant collapsable curtain rod and w/it a curtain. you bring this to the pad and from the front of the stage you move it back to suit the sitch, making shit crowded no matter what the number of gig-goers are involved. after check I order a lola burger that's from the kitchen and while I wait I meet the folks we're sharing the stage w/who are called larkspurs and their guitarman laughs at us for using 'puters but when I ask if he sports a smartleash, he whips it our like it was second nature. guess I'm olde-timey w/the macpurse but I only am a netbot when I open it up, not beholden to leash. if I got time to do work then I do, when I don't then I don't. we laugh about me using cards when I was younger and for hour turnarounds to see what syntax error fucked your whole deck of cards program up. he says he remembers olde-timey. I think he's a nice man anyways. I go to the boat and konk.

   'pert-near ten and a half when fratello ste rousts me for the last time this tour. thank god for the roust cuz I was having a freaky dream - I was walking down a street I thought and saw this porche speedster and damn if I didn't get in it and there were keys in the ignition so I started driving it but after two blocks I thought what the fuck, am I kiping this fucking car or what and the dilemma for me was where do I pull over - that's when fratello ste rousted me and I was so fucking relieved.

   we go to the stage and I did our opening spiel and we bring the set for the last time this tour... I don't think I've chimped in this diary the sequence we settled on and did most of the tour w/so let me put it here:

"il sogno del fienile"
"partisan song"
"sailor blues"
"nanos' waltz"
"funanori jig"
"animal farm tango"
"skinny cat"
"us in their land"
"mountain top"
"verse IX"
"punkinhed ahoy!"

and if we got an encore:


I think two thirds through the tour we stopped using set lists, having this final schema finally seared into our brains. the phoenix gig-goers are very happening way to end a tour, they give much heart and focus, even this yammering guy cuz after he talks much to me how he was digging while yammering, I guess he's a parallel-processing kind of guy. the fratelli once more play their asses off, play really good - I'm so proud of them, truly. they did so good all tour in all kinds of ways, not all of it on stage but in ways that make getting to do that possible. we get done and they help me off stage, I hug them both, "e fatta" ('we did it' in italiano), fucking e fatta!

   over at the table for the last time, final gig good wishes and pictures plus singing, very much kindness to be shared. a man surviving a pit bull attack and still w/the spirit to find expression in music w/his guitar no matter the hell wailed on him, a strong motivator for me to keep pushing.

   one last load-out, I ask everyone to thank charley for me, thank yous to all of them, everyone here righteous including fourth man andy. we follow brother matthew on his bike to his pad not that far away at all. his pad has serenity feel I dig on. I see his latest edition of "fluke" which is a great zine he's done for a good while now. much respect to him. hose off and into the nightwear for this tour's last konk in a foreign town (not pedro) for me.

   I don't put on the gig shirt when I pop at eight in the morning... for the second time this tour (I think the other time was in olympia) I don't wear the gig shirt but wear the shirt fratello ste gave me as a present a few years ago. I get horrible news that my dear dear friend lis (nanny's sister) had to leave us for now - I actually block out the reality of this dealio cuz I can't let it sink yet, not 'til I get everybody back safe. the tour is over, not right wearing the gig shirt in my mind. gotta keep my mind focused and not beaten down... brother matthew makes me a cheese breakfast burrito, it's good chow after pop taste and so is the coff - black and strong, the way I like it. thank you, brother matthew. I call my ma, it's the last sunday of the tour and maybe I see her later this afternoon. brother matthew plays me a great spiel he did w/one of my heroes, tav falco a sensei in my journey through music. I love tav falco's story he tells of himself, beautiful. what a gift from brother matthew, big hug for him from me and then pull anchor at nine and a a half - big clouds behind us but we leave them behind and righteous weather is what we have for our trip back to my pedro town. it's west on ten, I get us across the border into cali (bye bye 'til next week, 'zona) about noon but the clocks went back last night cuz of daylight's savings time ending. first time for the fratelli in desert like this. in coachella I give the rudder to fratello ste at three and westward he continues taking us via the pomona freeway, riverside freeway and finally the harbor freeway south to my pedro town. everyone is most kind helping me put the gear and all the stuff away, especially w/me cojo. there was a hell w/a garage blocked but getting into town (new "san pedro" letters on the pedestrian walkway coming off onto gaffey now!) at about four means we finish up around six.

   fratello ste has called missingmen drummerman raul to visit and chow dinner w/us at my pad but while me and fratello ste get chow from "the enchilada house" fratello andrea goes at my ma's stew (I told him to) and pretty much slaughters it when we get back. glad he dug it cuz I do, grew up on it! we have a good time w/raul... I konk way beat but it's on my own deck, yes.

   tuesday is when I take everyone to the airport, time to get back to europe for them. so happening having to get them there in early afternoon, no crazy hurry-up time-to-freak-out-now shit and we even get to chow at "pacific diner" near brother matt's pad, again w raul, righteous.

raul morales + stefano pilia in san pedro, ca on november 3, 2014

andrea belfi + raul morales in san pedro, ca on november 3, 2014

   around one we get to lax, I gotta stay at the wheel so no big time send-off when I get to the bradley terminal, just hug for each coming from my belted-in self. first u.s. il sogno del marinaio tour done, e fatta!

   it is a heavy drive back to my pedro town though, thinking about lis...

loop back to the tour info page

loop back to mike watt's hoot page

this page created 10 sept 2014