il sogno del marinaio
they've really changed the bradley terminal here at lax, whoa. first time I've ever been on a airberlin plane, only $477 round trip to berlin from here, whoa! it's six pm when I get on an airbus 330 which I think is the first time I've flown on one and am lucky to have both an aisle and an empty seat next to me. we fly to dusseldorf and I switch to a 320, landing at berlin tegel at four in the after noon tuesday cuz berlin is nine hours ahead of my pedro town.
I wait an hour on the curb outside the terminal cuz berlin traff plug is as bad 'pert-near as back home so cal... finally fratello andrea arrives driving miss hiyori's car, she's letting him use it 'til the tour vehicle arrives. I'm staying w/a very kind cat named dominic in the part neukolln part of berlin, near kornerpark. from the moment I got here it was total weather like my pedro town, such an incredible warm invite - like from dominic here, his spirit is sunny and clear.
I know I just flew a buttload of miles - kept my mind from being more insane by re-reading richard mckenna's "the sand pebbles" - love that book big time... love steve mcqueen in the movie much (me and d boon's favorite movie) but the book fucking wail on the "treatment" hollywood did w/it. I recommend this book 'pert-near more than any other one I've read, period - it's that profound on me.
I know I just got here but wanna stick w/priorities and do prac, not wait for tomorrow to start cuz I still got nightmares of blowing clams like a motherfucker during our last tour cuz of me not preparing well enough. we're using fratello andrea's prac pad which in an old warehouse building that also houses a plumbing supply store (sells toilets) in the rummelsburg part of berlin which used to be ddr, right near the river spree.
I plan to spend a lot of time here! fratello ste arrives - we are now il sogno del marinaio in the real world! I brought my crutch folder (song charts) and also set list and we just go to it. both fratelli have new stuff - fratello andrea has a drum set from saari and fratello ste has a guitar custom built by marco pontillo - it's like the fender jazzmaster he's been playing but w/specific stuff he wanted implemented. both are playing really good, just like last time I got in the ring w/them - they do not let the meat loaf. we go as long as I can last and then knock off. I am beat. nine and a half bells the next morning we start prac again, go 'til seven. we chow later near dominic's pad (actually fratello andrea lives only a few blocks away) at yucel kebab - I love this kind of chow. I have a hard time konking - not like I ain't trying but I lie there in the dark for many hours. next day (thursday), the same routine - even the same chow pad after. I'm using the crutches (song charts) less and less... I'm making progress! the fratelli are playing great and real fun to be w/which makes it really happening, they're also very patient w/me, MUCH respect to them. we're doing every tune off of "canto secondo" cuz we believe europe folks deserve it - remember the band is two-thirds european! a couple from our first album "la busta gialla" we also throw in. friday we get the stuff I'm using for the tour (I've been doing prac w/an older swr workingman 1x15 combo) from very kind shige which is a markbass 152hr box w/two 15" speakers and a markbass sd 800 amp. I think it's gonna be happening for the tour, big sonkei to shige, big sonkei. I have to adjust some cuz 15s don't react as fast as 10s (I use dna watt-tce-blacksmith-amp+dna-dns-210-cabs.jpg boxes back home) but I can play closer to the bridge when I need the definition and some eq adjusts (cut the real low mids, boost the upper ones) makes it I think good for the job I gotta do.
after prac we chow w/my dear buddy larry (did the last two years of stooges w/him as well as a tour last fall w/tav falco) who's got a part as willy schuricke in this "babylon berlin" german tv series by tom tykwer - amazing opportunity, I'm so happy for him! it don't end there though - nick cave just invited him to do eighteen month world tour also, crimony! he's pretty beat up cuz of five straight days of up to sixteen hours of work for my tykwer and you can see it in his face BUT STILL it's righteous to be w/him again, love this man's spirit/person BIG TIME. I love the way his email asked:
"is my bass player in berlin yet?"
oh yeah, we were at an italian chow pad called "sippi osteria" I tell larry I saw poster of our buddy ben becker around town - "ich, judas" is the name of the play he's doing. mainly though we hear of the intense stuff he's been doing for that tv show, you would not believe the hoops he's being asked to jump through. fuck, I admire his determination and work ethic so much, larry is truly the man, respect!
both the fratelli have gigs out of town (liverpool for fratelli ste and chemnitz for fratello andrea) so no prac saturday but that's ok cuz fuck if I ain't got a motherfucker of head cold - damn, I ain't had one of these in years but at least I ain't puking or it's in my lungs or throat. I use a buttload of tissues, gallons of hana-mizu have to be sopped up by them but what can I do except ride it out. fuck.
I think fratello ste donated this sickness to me cuz he arrived in berlin sick. oh well. I get some syrian chow at asir shawarma which is first time w/me, some happening chicken from the rotisserie. I can dig it, also chicken soup later. next day I do prac first w/fratello andrea - just drums and bass which actually is very productive cuz w/can focus on rhythm section stuff. fratello ste joins us the next day - we also get the boat we're using for tour so miss hiyori kuruma has be liberated. a driverman from the czech republic brought it, we're renting a ford transit t300 from a cat named jakub in prague. tuesday is our last day of prac and I'm using zero crutches (song charts - yeah, my port-side knee is still fucked up but I ain't using crutches for that either) since yesterday, damn if we ain't gonna be ready for this tour! we discuss our "lo sguardo focalizzato" piece - it's a nine minute-something trip w/nine sections of about a minute each, composed in three rounds w/us three taking turns at each leading off the parts for the other two to compose from... it's is trippy way of composing we've never tried before, kind of strange device. the plan was to do it at every soundcheck but I don't know if we're gonna be able to cuz tour takes so much focus... we wanted to record in bologna but I'm thinking maybe not and wait for after the tour. one thing we kind of gotta learn from this experience is to plan better about getting stuff together as far as driving around... we're spending too much time fucking driving around - a couple of days had us like three or four hours in stau und plug, fucking stupid. it wears out the wheelman too. we do a pack of the boat, YES - everything fits, e fatta! the fratelli drop me off and the last dinner chow for me here in berlin is called biricek at a pad called "baba-sultan koftec" around the corner from dominic's pad. it's really good. I like this "berlin kindle" beer and have one of those (there's a little store right near), I've tried others but like this. my head cold is subsiding no fever last night. I feel very fortunate for that cuz I've been having some big time hell w/swollen eyes and sinuses, blowing/sneezing my brains.
gig day and I pop before six bells and do internet stuff - I'm letting everyone know about the wattplower (got the name from something carla bozulich one called me) bass that's gonna be "launched" (made available) in february 2017 by the good people at reverend guitars at the namm show in so cal. I think it's the fifth prototype I'm working on this tour, it's an orange one.
I've been using it for like seven months. it's a short scale which is what I like for gigs... I record w/long scale bass but when I do that I'm sitting down, different sitch w/how my body is. of course since we're talking about bass, the longer the strings the better but damn if my less-younger hands don't really hurt. anyway, the story of this bass starts off w/the fact that ron asheton used reverend guitars during the stooges reignition that started in 2003. the other part was my secondmen drummerman jer trebotic has a buddy named mike naylor who's cousin joe is the design man there - a trip, huh? around eight years ago him and the bossman ken haas came to a detroit gig I was doing and took measurements of my 1963 eb-3 and then then next time I came through on tour they did it w/the dan bass (1965 eb-0) cuz that eb-3 got stole w/the stooges stuff in montreal. after that they'd both come to my gigs in detroit or toledo (where their company is based) w/prototypes they'd have me check out - many times I woud use the bass for the whole gig that night, just to see where they're at w/it. well, it seems close now and there's another prototype waiting for me right now so when I get off tour I'll be checking it out for sure.
pull anchor at nine and a half. the fratelli make one more stop at schierker and wittgendorf... gray skies for the first time since I got to germany so maybe the righteous pedro weather is done for here - maybe for the year?! larry told me berlin winters can be very heavy. 'pert-near on time, the fratelli arrive only a couple minutes past when they said, let's not hear any jokes about stereotypes, ok? on the sidewalk are four stolpersteins, markers of where jewish people lived but were deported in the old days... very sad. all four of these have the family name zadek.
fratello ste at the wheel, we go no fewer than a couple blocks down karl marx strasse when I spot a carpet shop - we drop fratello andrea off to go find a piece he can use for his drum set cuz some venues are w/out. he's never had one before (what?) but it's good to have. carpet shops got things called "remnants" - pieces from big jobs that they sell cheap. he was looking all over for some yesterday and had to give up... now we got a very kind going away present from berlin, danke!
on to the autobahn and west towards the netherlands (that's where utrecht is, first town we play on the tour) via mannheim, we got more than two-thirds of germany to drive through. the weather's holding hmm... I notice the politzei got rid of their green and white on their vehicles - I wonder how long ago was that? now they got blue on white and their outfits are black (like u.s. which are like 30s/40s ss, crimony). we stop to get gas at two and I get a bratwurst to chow, my last wurst 'til we're back in germany october twentythree for berlin gig. it's like a foot long and nothing like what you get in the u.s. at a supermarket. it comes w/a roll and some mustard and it's good. fratello andrea takes the wheel after I push the dirt around on the windshield since there's no cleaner in the bucket holding water and squeegee w/a fucked up not flexing blade, crimony. I hate fucking dirty windows, hate them... a clean boat is a happy boat and that goes for the fucking windshield! arrrrggggghhhhh what can we do? grin and bear it. I chimp diary, something I do on tour to keep it together, it helps me. as we get near the border netherlands and near the hour of four we pull over to switch ponies, miss hiyori moves to the helm. damn if we're gonna be late but too much stau ('traff plug' in german) but what can be done? it's like the fucking dirty windshield, we can only deal w/it, bellyachin' don't help. we call the people at db's (where we're playing tonight) to inform them of our sitch and they suggest w/go where we're konking after the gig first to get the key - hey, it's where I konked fourteen months ago, at a b and b called "paul and lettie's" in nearby westbroek. whoa, this pad is a trip - 341 years old, crimony! thatched roof even and bulkheads like a foot thick. love it. lettie is very cool people too, she wants to discuss the debate that happened yesterday in u.s. between the two best people we got running for sanitation engineer, crimony am I embarrassed or what?
fratello ste back at the helm (actually after the phone call w/the gig people) and it's a much calmer trip through the farm roads to get where we need to be. what a trip, sixteen months ago the first gig of a tour (in that case a missingmen one) is here at this pad, crimony! I really like the people here, the gigboss charley and soundman axel - real good cats. another surprise: painterman phil took the train from amsterdam to be here, much respect to him. we talk a bunch to catch up, he gives me a postcard of an old dutch painting where some dude is about to jump on another dude from a tree - kind of like the way I met d boon back at peck park in our pedro town! painterman phil's helps us schlep equipment and so does jan-bart from groningen. he's always been most kind, always most kind. a great thing about tour is getting to see nice people you've been lucky to meet again.
first soundcheck of the tour goes good, I'm gonna work stage port instead of the other way around last time we toured together. I got another mic a month ago, never used an e.v. before but my secondmen organman pete uses an older version of this e-v nd96 I got cuz I liked the way his cut through. I already talked about the bass I'm using. oh, the shirt... for this tour I picked a flannel I'm kind of digging right now - it ain't one of those canvas plaid ones I've been wearing back home lately but a real rough cotton fabric flannel - flannel ain't canvas, I think.
speaking of cool people, lost-his-mind-man roland w/his pop and girlfriend bernadette plus groningener jan-bart all carrying chow righteous man hans (his pop's name) has cooked up from home. it's pork chops, steamed cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, sauteed mushrooms and chunks of bacon in a pan even - really, really happening and fucking tasting so good and whole. whoa, what a way to start a tour! I'm gonna have the fuel to play good tonight. thank you so much danke weil. chowing w/us are bruno and wouter from stoma (tonight's opening act) which I'm really excited about cuz I've played them on my radio show for years but never have seen them live so I had no idea... they're really nice cats and I look forward to seeing them play.
I don't have to wait long. I get the only chair in the pad and put it not to far from the stage on the drummerman wouter's side - bruno is the bassman stage port. they are incredible, I'm way into it... so that's how they get their sound! bruno uses pedals to sample bass riffs and then he layers them up while jamming against them in the moment, most bitchin' and I have a real good time enjoying their set - I am big time inspired for our first gig of the tour - thank you so much for making the hellride from rotterdam, stoma brothers! actually I think it was about two hours but hey, sometimes that can be very much a hellride. I give them both john coltrane in the navy buttons, like the one I'm wearing this tour. I dearly believe they deserve!
it's 'pert-near ten bells when we hit. I am so nervous but it ain't total pants-shitter mode like last tour I did w/fratelli in u.s. of course I blow some clams but at no point am I lost in space or freaking out. the fratelli play good. there is a form fuck-up in "skinny cat" and I even call it out - why? how does that help? what a bozo! ...but we're back on track real quick and together tight. it's trippy that we're playing the set in this sequence for the first time - yeah, I had us doing prac to the wrong sequence! this wrong one was the set we dumped after maybe the first week last tour and had like changes in five different places, arrrrrggghhhhh! we do good w/that though, deal w/it w/freakouts. I'm proud of the fratelli. the utrecht gig-goers are most kind to us, most kind - great way to start tour w/a blast off, yatta!
I go to the mersh table to greet folks and I get to sign a bass from a nice cat who asks advice about the bridge and pickups - it's an epiphone eb-3 reissue so I have some opinions and relate them to him. "hipshot has a great replacement made just for these (bridge) and I like a pbass pickup put where I pbass would have its pickup" is the bottom line of my windbag to him. I have good spiels w/many folks - I meet someone from houston, she says "intimate" is the new thing and I'm thinking she's talking about all dynamics il sogno del marinaio uses for a set, I think it draws folks in and I like that. we're playing every tune off our "canto secondo" album this tour and we're trying to make it like a conversation. I guess you can call that intimate.
time to thank gigboss robbie and then lost-his-mind-man roland and his pop hans, all great cats. I express much gratitude. same w/soundman axel, he gives me some whiskey before I gotta say bye and do first tour konk.
not very long ride back to paul and lettie's but I'm beat and ready for sleepytown cuz that was a hellride from berlin and the gig adrenaline has pretty much worn off. I'm quickly out.
thursday, september 29, 2016 - antwerp, belgium
Wake up at 9:30. Right straight into the shower and then nice breakfast. Finally is a breakfast with coffee. The sky is grey and little rain wet the front window of the van. We stop for check the tyres pressure and use soap to clean the window full of dead mosquitos. I drive till antwerp.
It is a short drive till the hot bos. We park the van and then I got lost into center if the town.i have a nice talk with Dennis Hilly from london now lives in marseille.he is travelling and driving the van with Jos and A Jay band. It is a 4 band gig tonight: baby fire, king championship sound. We play last. Good gig but I was feeling tired and maybe too worried about playing the right parts rather than focusing on the the flow and the musical interaction between during the setlist.we konk at a tulip inn. Fratello andrea is knocked out. I had some talk with two portuguese guy smoking a cigarette before going to sleep.
we woke up at around 9:30 and had breakfast in the kitchen of the old house. the weather started to change that night, as when we left the b&b it was raining a bit. we arrived in Antwerpen quite early, as we had to drive only about 130 km. I went to the post office to send a key to a friend of mine in berlin. It's the key of the storage place I share with some friends, where we put the merch before leaving on tour. I had too much stuff to do in the days of practicing that I forgot to do that, a big mistake I had to solve... when I found the post office I was with stefano and he received a message from mike saying we were ready to soundcheck, so I had to do that quickly. I went back to the venue and did the soundcheck, fast as always. Kng Champion Sound arrived , it was great to meet all these people after three years...I also met johann kauth, who was djing at the bar. I'm a big fan of his music and his casette label called stenze quo. I bought a record and a cassette from him.
the first band had eve libertine from crass as guest, nice voice and presence. second act forest management, king cahampion sound, Ajay in paradiso this last april missed mike's spiel our gig, very interesting one. After the show I had a nice conversation John Daniel / forest management got the the hotel around 1:30
pop at seven bells... actually I popped a couple times before search for the head - found one on the bottom floor doing the gotta piss dance big time in chonies (I konked w/out the nightwear for some unknown reason) and then again upstairs on the end of the pad - crimony, I find out there was a head right in the konk chamber, what a fucking stunad doof! I guess it's paul who's made the breakfast chow: softboiled eggs, thin sliced ham and dutch-style cheese I shave off some slices and roll it up in a wide piece of toast, kind of trippy burrito, tastes righteous! paul's a real nice cat. I go up and hose off.
eleven bells and we pull anchor, bye bye to paul and lottie - "tot ziens" ('bye' in dutch) w/some waves and were down the tiny road in the tiny village, very happening - so very not-mersh. fratello ste's on the helm w/fratello andrea konked in the passenger seat, he's fighting off what's trying to be ear infection on his port side. it's about 125 klicks (78 miles) from utrecht to antwerp so we head southwest w/a sky full of good weather, alright. two-thirds of the way there we cross the border and into belgium - in the old days of my first europe touring this was the only open border I ever did...
it's two bells and we arrive at het bos which is where we're playing tonight, good and early, the way I like it. this is my third time here w/three different trios (missingmen, cuz and il sogno del marinaio) in sixteen months, ain't that a trip? the bossman pietr is just the best, I dig him much. this pad's name means "the woods" - yeah bos is flemish version of bosch, the last name of the painterman I borrowed some imagery from for my third opera - yeah, another trippy thing! I hobble down the main street this pad's on - we're a block from the waterfront but I don't go that way but instead follow w/my nose to some chow pad called "frituur falcon" - looks like part of a chain store thing but damn if these fries and mayonaise are good eats! nothing for someone like watt to do regular but once in a while... all right.
I hobble back and the gigboss pietr's there, he's training a lady named anelies to be part of the gig administration stuff, I think she'll do good. koen arrives - he's gonna dj tonight, he's very cool people and I'm always glad to see him again. buddy of his, hans took pictures of me last time and he's put out a book that documents het bos for the year of 2015 - one of the shots of me is in it w/some spiel I chimped for him. very very nice book, braille on the cover even! it's called "oorstof - food for thought" I'm chowing in the shot w/my pair of hashi. the chow is lasagna koen made! it's all connected, huh?
we do soundcheck w/soundman bram at five bells. they've made here the stage a little higher - I only wish they had a handrail for the stairs for my cojo self! my old friend ajay (met him when he did sound for j mascis + the fog in 1990) and his king champion sounds crew arrive, all good cats. ollie's on the bass (I first met him through his detective instinct proj) and gw sok is on the mic - whoa! also on the bill is brussels band baby fire that's got on some songs tonight eve libertine - crimony! dos played w/her and her son nemo in my pedro town in 1990! man, is she a good singer. much respect to her. intense bill tonight!
for chow some palestinian refugees have made a dinner for us, I like it much. garbanzo beans and hummus, grape leaf-wrapped rice mouthfuls (sorry I don't the name, falafel pieces, tomatoes, cucumbers, very thin sheets of pita and that great kind sour cream-like sauce. love it.
damn, can eve libertine sing, crimony! blows my mind. strong! love it. respect. I bathe in the sounds of the others also. can't believe ajay gave up bass for guitar but he did. ollie does good for him though. I'm chomping at the bit when it's our turn... playing clean-up is very tough for watt but I'm into trying my best. it's a work/school night too so I don't want people up too late.
we get set up fast and bring it. whoa, better than last night for me and I think for us too as a band. of course if I'm the weak link then the band will sound better w/watt having it more together! fratello ste and fratello andrea are playing their asses off and the antwerp gig-goers are supporting us much, respect to them. I was a little worried cuz backstage before we went fratello andrea looked so tired and told me he felt bad about "bringing anxiety" on tour but I told him there was much stress on him having to get so much together just before we bailed, naturally some of that's gonna weigh on him. better planning for him next time - like what I did this cuz of the stunad idiota stuff I did two years ago to make that tour harder for myself then it had to be. it's so happening the second gig of a tour's like this, right out the gate 'pert-near, crimony!
we finish up and I go to the merch table to rap w/folks and sign stuff. bass brother arnaud from billions of comrades brings me a sack of some belgian beers and we talk bass and stuff. lots of music folks talk w/me - the other koen I know he antwerp came straight from his prac, respect! I'm asked to put advice on this cats record for his two daughters to read when they grow up, like in ten more years... I put what john fogerty put on a paper for me:
"keep on keepin' on..."
it's a good time - I know lots of these folks from the last two times I played here. when we finished tonight I said like usual "start your own band!" (d boon's quote actually) but I added to it: "start your own trio - and make them all sound different!" these beautiful gig-goers have hearts and minds open enough to let me do that and I'm lucky to have such collaborative projs like cuz and il sogno del marinaio. of course I love my secondmen and missingmen too, they're all very dear to me, very lucky watt. eve libertine shakes my hand. whoa.
we konk at the same "tulip" 'tel I've been to twice before. I hose off and hit the hay... whoa, am I beat and it's fucking two bells!
friday, september 30, 2016 - charleroi, belgium
Wake up at 10:00. We leave at 12. And I drive till le vecteur in Charleroi.Remy and Camille welcome us. Steve is sound guy and Kurws are opening band. They are form Poland, super interesting and very original. Is Trio guitar,bass and drums. Nice cous cous with vegetable. I sleep a bit before the concert. We play nice gig and there is a very nice atmosphere. I am happy the way we are playing. Togheter and inspired I think. We have a nice time with Remy, Kuba , David , Hubert and Kuba a czeck guy who is travwlling with them. I go sleep soon upstair.
left the hotel late, at around 12:00 we drove to charleroi. the load in was easy. le vecteur is a nice art/concert place with offices and an apartment remy is the promoter, very interested and motivated person we had some time to relax before the soundcheck. after the soundcheck we had a nice dinner with coucous and vegetable stew. we had a bit of time to talk with the band Kurws with whom we were sharing the stage with, really nice guys. I liked Kurws a lot, dry, direct and energetic. our show was an interesting one. we stayed at the aparment upstairs overnight
pop at nine and hose off - they got chow downstairs so I go down there and put a bunch of chopped up salmon and put it on a big wide piece of toast and roll up some bacon - kind of repeat of yesterday's asagohan ('breakfast' in jap) but w/out the personal touch of paul in westbroek. we pull anchor at eleven and head for last night's venue cuz that's where the gear is (safer this way if poss - think about it)... whoa, what's this sticker in the head about, what?
het steen bids us bye-bye, fratello ste again at the rudder... our drive is 111 klicks (69 miles) south, kind of gray skies but no rain or bad wind. our journey takes us from the flanders (flemish part) of belgium to the walloon part (french speaking) so in that way it's a kind of different part of the country. I like them both. we arrive in charleroi at three, meet the gigboss remy near vecteur which is where we're paying tonight. remy looks a lot like fratello ste, red beard/hair and stuff like that. he's helped by other part of staff, camille - both very cool people. this is like a cultural place for the center, I briefly meet the boss roman who has a happening flannel. I congratulate him.
not only do we get to dock the boat in the building (just fits!) but we also get to konk here after playing so that's where I go 'til the soundman steve arrives and gets his set up going, that's when I am summoned. I have a talk w/him about our dealio. I tell him it ain't a reggae band so please don't let the bass bogart. I also tell him about us using much dynamics so no gates please. finally I ask him to be our fourth man for tonight. his english ain't so good but remy helps get the point across. the sitch is like a little theatre w/seats more like steps, amphitheater-style w/us on the deck actually. we've settled into a soundcheck routine of doing "funanori jig" for the instruments, "partisan song" for the fratelli's vocals and then the spiel part of "il sogno del fienile" for mine. I go back upstairs when we get done... the shorter a soundcheck for me, the better.
upstairs I meet the opening band for tonight, young cats from poland called the kurws and are young from poland w/dawid on drums, hubert on guitar and kuba on bass. they also got a czech friend w/them also named kuba. they're very cool people especially hubert is vibrant w/the idea stuff. poor bassman kuba has water in his ear and some big hurt so fratello pours in some hydrogen peroxide to let bubble out some bugs and also maybe evaporate some. remy and camille brings us chow, it's cous-cous w/a stew of vegetables spooned over, very tasty - big thick slices of zucchini are so good in it. hubert is sitting across the table from me and says he knows about eris and discordianism, whoa... he does know some things but is missing lots of other stuff, there's holes there but damn, you hardly know younger people knowing about this before - he tells me he reads robert anton wilson but when I mention greg hill and kerry thornley, he's never heard of them. after chow the spiel on things big and universal gets more intense, semantic discussions. he knows about umberto eco's "prague cemetery" but didn't know about his contribution to semiotics. I'm interested and engage on many levels... I hear bassman kuba tell fratello andrea "it's like sunday school" - whoa, he's a little jaded or maybe his ear's making him a little cranky. hubert ain't all defensive while dawid just leaves the room to do air drums w/his sticks. czech buddy kuba is 'pert-near just as engaged as hubert. I don't notice the time pass, pretty happening for me. what started off relating what I know of slavs cuz of growing up in pedro among croatians and them sharing some of that connect (poles are north slavs, czechs are west ones and croats are south). has ended up discussing stuff steven hawkins' two biggest fears: artificial intelligence and predator aliens bumrushing us (don't to get too happy putting out word we're here).
we gotta call a time-out (actually bassman kuba does) cuz the kurws have to go on. their name means prostitue but it could also be a generic swear word. we watch their set, it's trippy and very driving, very rhythmic. all instrumental but they do have a tall drunk fan in the audience that won't let go of them, dancing his ass of and supply the human voice they don't include in their performance cuz they're an instrumental band. man, they can get the dynamo thing going, big time. dawid's very good drummer. hubert ends up breaking two strings (d boon did the same thing at our very paid gig, it was at the starwood in west hollywood in 1980) and bass kuba is big on the glisses. very distinctive band, I like them much.
our turn and I'm inspired much by the polskas and really wanna bring it. prolly our best gig of the tour up to this point. the fratelli are smoking and the charleroi folks most respectful and supportive - even that borracho dude who's now sitting and getting frequent warnings from gigboss remy. I tell the folks the name of their town reminds me of mr jarry's play, "ubu roi" which was pretty profound on my as a younger man. actually kind of olde-timey now, huh? 120 years since in opened and closed during two nights in december. actually not so olde-timey when I'm thinking of clowns clawing for power these days w/any lies they think they can get away w/and jive folks. the absurd thing is these clowns are totally obvious to every while themselves it seem oblivious... I think we were getting into some pataphysics earlier. anyway, it's a very happening gig and brings good joy. I'm really proud of the fratelli.
I go to the merch table and talk w/folks, there was good feel flow all around tonight. I meet a man from ethiopia that dug the bass - he introduces me to his buddy from the caribbean and they're making music. they both give me big hugs. a bass man who's got a band called castles raps w/me much about bass, he knows trace elliot amps - the ones w/the black lights! respect to him. other folks too, I sign much stuff. remy brings me some whiskey but there's two glassess... oh, one's just got ice - what's that for? "if it's brown, it's going down!" right? I konk pretty quick, it's happening having the konk pad w/in stumbling distance.
saturday, october 1, 2016 - eeklo, belgium
Not a long driving. We are in north part of belgium. I feel a bit sick yet today. Feel sleepy and I cannot really talk with anyone. I go konk in the van after dinner. Tonight we play again with king championship sound. We play first so we give our goodbye before and we immediatly load in the van and go on the road to look for the hotel. We aregoing to leave early in the morning. Still a Bit drama befor konk cause we have a wrong adress for the hotel. we have to go back to the venue. Finally we go sleep around 1. But hard to feel asleep. I do not feel ok and fratello andrea cannot sleep too and he is usually very noise moving around when he cannot sleep.
in the morning we went to buy some food at a local market, and I bought some ravioli I had with mike, coldcout and cheese we spent a few minutes talking with Kurws in the brasserie in front of the venue and left for Eeklo at around 1:30 I think. we arrived almost at the same time as king champion sounds, who were sharing the stage with us that night as well. I had a nice conversation with luc ex about some of his experiences with his old band the ex. we had spinach kisch for dinner. ajay, the guitarist from king champion sounds opened the evening with a duo called ... with a singer called our show was not so tight, but we tried to do our best giving the situation we left the venue right after the gig to the hotel, built in an old cinema.
pop at nine and a half - hey, that's happening for making a dent in the konk debt. no chow hear but the fratelli and miss hiyori go foraging and bring back baguettes, tuna, anchovies - fratello andrea makes up some ravioli w/truffle and crudo stuffing - fuckin' bitchin'. I chimp diary - the fucking first entry even w/out lots of what I wanna put was still a buttload cuz of the days of prac and shit like that. well, no matter how you try to get it together I find I'm always coming up short somehow w/this chimping diary stuff but in ways the final result actually don't mean as much in a way cuz I big time use it as a "therapy" of sorts to keep myself kind of together and focused on what's important for the tour which is 1) get my men back home safe, 2) play as good as I can for the gig-goers and 3) everything else.
I knew it was gonna take forever to get the boat loaded and damn if they couldn't even get the hatch open 'til one so I'm glad I chimped 'til summoned. after pictures w/remy and our new polish friends, we pull anchor at one and a half and head for eeklo, back in flemish part of belgium which is about twenty klicks (about twelve miles) northeast of ghent. it rained last night after we played in charleroi and I thought for sure it'd come on all today but the clouds pulled back and damn if we didn't get a rainbow for a "welcome to eeklo" greeting.
we arrive in eeklo just before four... fratello andrea's backing the boat down the town's main street cuz of a blowby - maybe not the wisest move but then the gigboss patrick comes out in the street to help make things safe.
this pad is called n9 I find out gigboss patrick is also soundman patrick and read him the drill... he's into it! we're w/brother ajay and his king champion sounds crew again but this time they go on last. there's a band before us also which is ajay and a singer - we got the bologna seat at this gig night. it's very ok especially seeing we need to leave early tomorrow for port du calais, cuz that's where we get over to england via the chunnel. we reverse the vehicles and they do their check first, then ours. gigboss/soundman patrick is helped by dies (pronounced 'dees') and brian.
chow's at seven and this righteous spinach quiche that's got cherry tomatoes embedded is so fucking happening! no way am I even anywhere near a quiche whatever but this shit is good, real good - I shit thee not. something w/the acid of the tomatoes harmonizing w/whatever w/the spinach - fuck, it's a symphony in my mouf, seriously.
we then get some rice w/a gravy not to much different than the one last night in charleroi - I'm into it. oh, there's a diff cuz instead of zucchini there's pumpkin - still digging it though and it makes me feel good. it's very happening sitting across the table from gw sok, 'pert-near my age and he's seen a bunch of life. I could listen to him for hours, he's very interesting and really funny team. he's got a razor wit I appreciate much... I feel safe cuz there's no cruelty w/him but he is a truth teller. I wish d boon was here to be w/me w/him, he'd know more what to say.
deutsch ashram is up first and brother ajay w/a lady named merinde - later he gives me a cd w/a trippy cover and I'm trying to relate the gig to it... fuck, I try to relate to it. brother ajay knows watt, it's that simple. I always listen careful to what he tells me, always.
we're next and I got a head full of thoughts. there's a room full of light show awaiting us too, just didn't expect. the eeklo gig-goers are beautiful, all hands on deck and all eyes front. there's the light show and also it's lots of times total black. I think maybe for the tour this far tonight's not the tightest one we've done and maybe a little too fortified w/clams but I still enjoy the gig and the people. I have to give a big rap when fratello ste has to change a string - man, I got some time to fill w/spiel and it gets a little surreal, even getting the gig-goers to learn the flemish word for puke - I learn them gero, the word for puke in japan. luckily soon after fratello ste and we're back on board the gig train, whew... belgian people got to witness a couple sides of us this weekend! we did work hard though, it was just maybe not the most together gig so far but it might be if we CAN get it together more - I think we can. I look back the next day and yeah, there was some scramble, some stumble but in no way were we not communicating - it was just a little shaky cuz maybe cuz of being a little distracted... maybe it was supposed to be the light show's gig and we got the perspective mixed up. for sure the eeklo gig-goers were most kind and I felt very grateful to be w/them for the first saturday gig of the tour.
at the merch table I talk w/folks and have some good laughs. one cat has come to several gigs and has been to them before - tonight he brings his girlfriend and that's always scary cuz you know, all the insecure stuff - I mean not w/her but w/me. these two guys both share il sogno del marinaio by one getting the first album and the other getting the second. interesting. a lady tells me I have a beautiful black voice. I tell her I grew up w/black people in navy housing, grew up w/all kinds of people and they all helped me in the expression journey I'm on, they're on, we're on. we're loading out cuz of tomorrow's early pull anchor and this cat shows me a benefit cd I was part of called "balkans without borders" from the 90s. there's a tune on there w/my secondmen drummerman, secondmen organman (on accordion) w/his wife as "masina" doing an gypsy tune from that part of the world and he says he can't get it out of his head and was waiting to ask me in person about it. whoa, that's a blast from the past. much kindness from the gig-goers, much kindness.
I guess it's a neighbor that's got his truck blocking our boat but gigboss patrick gets that fixed in a few moments. damn, he's the prime mover at this pad, much respect! he provides for our cast off and we head for the 'tel that's not too far away... we find out it's the wrong 'tel.
oh yeah, standing front of a darkened pad where no one answers the bell for a while has me suspicious. there's phone numbers and w/his leash, fratello ste finally gets through to someone who says there's been no reservations for us. whoa. I think we should go back to the gig-pad and on the way fratello ste gets a ring back the ringhotel (that's what its name is) and they definitely want our business BUT we're back at the venue and soon have the address to the 'tel that has the actual reservations - it is a little comical but we gotta konk. we say thanks but no thanks on the leash but they don't wanna let go, they want us - I think they want our zeni (old word for 'money' in jap) and anyway, thank you we got the real address. it's kind of far, in a town called aalter but at lest it's on the way to tomorrows heading and so fratello andrea takes us down some tiny belg roads for a big while 'til we reach the hotel capitole ("hotel cine") where every room has a store tagged to it - paul newman is where I'm put. brother ajay did say something about something being trippy about the 'tel - I should've remembered at th ringhotel, what a baka. anyway, it's one bell now which is like a hour and a half away from when we could've been konked. we learned some stuff though through this, the lesson will not get wasted. I'm very proud of everyone keepin their humor, it's our savior, yes.
sunday, october 2, 2016 - sheffield, england
We wake up at 7. No sun still arise yet and no breakfast is served yet. No coffee, no sun and Not much sleeping as well but yes it is raining. I start to drive. We have a long road in front of us.
We see the dawn through rain and grey clouds. Finally around 8 we can stop for a coffee at a gas station. Four, five ducks cross the gas station and I looked at them while sipping a bit of coffe. And I let pass four persons. Two of them are dawn twins I guess around their 40 pr 50's and one of them give me a beautyfull smile of a kind and peacefull soul while I hold the entrance door for her. I got move from the inside. This combinations of elements just for not any logical reasons brings to my mind in that moment how incredible and mysterious life is. I was feeling almost getting sick again till that moment. But Just after I realized I was immediatly gettin better. And I immediatly got better. There has been something magical in that combination which I cannot really understand.
I drive till Calais. I sleep in the train at the bottom of the ocean and when we arrive in england the sun is shining. I drive till 14:00. Then fratello Andrea take the wheel. This gig has been organize by James at the last minute when he heard that the manchester gig has been cancelled. It is a very nice night. The opening band plays a touching version of history lessons part II. We go konk at James house and miss Hiyori takes care of laundry. Thanks miss Hiyori.
left the hotel very early, at 7:30, as we had to take the euro tunnel to the UK. stefano drove the first part of the trip, and I took the steering wheel half way. I drove up until the venue in sheffield, lescar. this gig was organized by James, who booked this show after our show in manchester was cancelled. I took a little nap, did the soundcheck and called my wife on the phone. I had a burrito at a mexican place next door. our show was really good, we played good and the audience was very focused. we stayed at James house where I had some whiskeys while chatting about politics with everyone.
pop at something after six, hose off and shave (hey, we got immigration for england coming up) - the chow at seven bells fratello ste told us last night is for weekdays and so it's eight cuz it ain't one of this which means we go chowless.
strongest rain of the tour so far as we pull anchor at seven and a half w/fratello ste at the conn, heading: port du calais. half hour later we stop for coff at a filling station but are denied cuz we didn't notice we were in wrong place for us, we're w/the big trucks getting gas - time to escape. next chance we get is success and I get a tuna sandwich, stuff it w/some "pickle flavored" potato chips for some crunch texture otherwise I can't choke this shit down. there's machine coff too - it's lavazzo but still... hope I don't sound like bellyachin', you gotta make do w/the sitch. 8:30 we pass into france - bye belgium. the rain had been letting off and even w/taiyo ('sun' in jap) poking through but not much longer and that's gone, we're back into gray wet. it clears again though as we get closer to the chunnel, yes! back in so cal we have stuff like this not very much so I get "being taunted" feelings when it's like this. arrrggghhh, you just gotta let it go.
we get to the "euro tunnel le shuttle" terminal in nord-pas-de-calais (actually coquelles) just before nine. immigration is butter, very calm and the borderlady most kind. she asks me about don trump, says she watched the debate between him and ms clinton. trippy. cuz of earliness, they let us on the 10:06 train instead of the one after which we had booked, that's happening. we ride in a train under the english channel but not in chairs - we ride in the boat... yeah, we drive up into one of the cars and when it fills, we drop anchor: set the parking brake and put the tranny in first gear. twentyseven minutes later we're in england and the sun's here to welcome us, ohayo taiyo! we deboard the train at folkstone and head north to sheffield, in a part they called the midlands. fratello andrea has switched up, he's on the back bench w/me now. that infection he had in his ear: gone - the hydrogen peroxide worked, yatta! you don't know how many times it's helped me, buttloads. he soon konks w/orange knit hat down over his nose, covering his eyes.
we get to the (yes, you just heard an echo of what started the last paragraph) west side of the ring road around london and get some pretty good stau near heathrow airport. fratello ste's doing a good job though. making it past the london plug, we pull over at noon to switch ponies. the smell of cooking grease if everywhere, whoa... hard to handle - hey, there's a "booger fling" (not actual name but close) and that's prolly contributing to it. fratello andrea wheeling us now, I ask him about his hobocombo proj, they're looking for new focus he tells me. I'm interested in his music. one more stop for diesel for the boat - trippy how the gas is in liters but the road signs are in miles here. anyway, I gotta move the boat from the pump cuz fratello andrea went to use a head that was working (this one ain't)... my first time behind the wheel of this ride and damn if the clutch don't disengage 'til it's right at the top - no wonder all the herky jerk I feel sitting in the back w/everyone else driving. really bad servicing (actually prolly none) like usual - how much stuff you rent is either abused and or/not serviced worth god damn?
we come in through a smaller road into sheffield cuz the lescar (where we play tonight) is a neighborhood pub. actually ricky at swamp booking got us a gig for this date in manchester but the venue at the last minute fired my dear friend brother jay and scissored the show, leaving a huge hole where it had been... to the rescue after a plea from me via my shitter account came brother james here in sheffield to deliver a plan b so the night wouldn't be wasted - you come all the way to england, you don't wanna waste a chance to play to people w/a night off, right? very kind man for him to rescue us like that w/just four days notice. we're gonna play in a room in the back of this pub they let folks rent out and also has a tiny stage when it's in comedy club mode. we're gonna play on deck I decide. I meet very cool people soundman chris, he even helps us schlep our stuff and even man-handles himself fratello ste's fender deville, whoa. we discuss stuff - oh, in between getting here to town and then checking out this pad I went on james' recommendation to try "mexican food" in england... I did once before in england (in liverpool) and it was mazui ('terrible tasting' in jap) big time. this pad is called "the street food chef" and recommended by james. it tastes healthy but doesn't taste mexican, no disrespect though. no refried beans, no cilantro, no tomato anything and the spices - I ain't talking about heat like from chilies but the actual flavor. they even got jarritos (I love mandarina) but still... they can work on the flavors. maybe some of the names too cuz "beef brisket" instead machaca is kind of trippy, "pulled pork" instead of carnitas? I don't mean to sound critical though.
back to our gig stuff: we do soundcheck w/soundman chris and he rings out some lame low-mid bogarts, good job. I get to meet dave woodcock who's opening up, most kind - thank you, brother dave. I go out to the boat to chimp diary 'til dave gets the gig lit. he gives my "history lesson, part II" his own personal treatment, I 'pert-near cry. his band guys tommy and paul are great too, winging it w/out a drummer - much respect!
our turn and I first thank brother james making all this happen, for making lemonade from raining lemons and for turning around a suckass sitch into a happening chance to work sheff-town. everyone here wants to be here, there is no foist of us on anyone and that's pure of heart from them, so kind. we do BIG bounce-back gig from the kind of challenging one last night (although I enjoyed it still, especially the gig-goers), our il sogno del marinaio togetherness was way more engaged and in effect. of course I still blew some small clams but they were tiny execution ones for the most part and not fucking blow-it-out-of-the water-ones. it was a right in the face time too but I overcame any crumple up into pants-shitting territory by engaging the fratelli who were playing real good. the gig-goer respect was huge cedar tree high, you could hear a pin drop. I hollered "cabaret voltaire" when we got done cuz they blew my fucking mind in the late 70s - I heard their first album for the first time tripping balls and got thoroughly educated inspired big time.
I talk w/dave and tommy w/their partners after rapping w/folks at the merch table - oh, a nice cat named giles and his buddy came from yorkshire and he learns me more about trade clubs and stuff like that along w/the history in those parts in the calder valley, hebden bridge specifically. giles tried to help us out to but such sort notice sunk his mission - that's what's so amazing about what james put together so quick, again much respect to him! the first gig he's done ever - so glad me and the fratelli could be part of that. I talk w/a bunch of gig-goers and express my appreciation, bitchin' people, truly. people are getting the howie reeve/mike watt seven inch - actually they're checking out all kinds of stuff... I never slung this kind of stuff on tour before, always focused on getting to pads and working them, I'm most grateful for folks wanting to know stuff I do besides sweeping up w/the thunderbroom in front of their faces... sometimes I record also!
we head over to james and caroline's pad less than a half-mile away, yeah, digging both the closeness and safe place to dock the boat, right in front of their pad... and it's a bitchin' pad though a lot of stairs for watt, it's got room after room so yeah, room for everyone! some trippy bourbon I've never had either: "jefferson's" w/a the man himself on the bottle! (I found some info here). it's pretty good and we have a good time talking about all kinds of stuff and going on at nine pm means it ain't too late when I run out of gas and konk, a most grateful konk thanks to brother james.
monday, october 3, 2016 - worcester, england
I wake up at 11. What an incredible and deep sleep! Shower , coffe, a pasta for lunch- I took away chorizo- and then we hit the road. We played in Worcester for la busta gialla european tour but I do not have any photographic memories of the town till we get at the venue and then I start to remember. What a strange feelings this process brings. Of course Willy is sound man and gig boss. It seems impossible that memories where lost somwhere in my mind. Or maybe I was just no connecting names with images. Interesting. Oak duet plays again this time a duo tight and solid. A nice tuxedo cat upstair is with us while we heat some vegetables chilly. We play a good one even if I feel some tension in the air. The sound in the room is loud. The best version of zoom till now and the more tricky stucazz?!! Version. I am very happy the way we are playing. It Gives me joy and solidity. By the way I am using an ipad to to keep the diary and to travel. Not the best choice I have to say. Light for sure but too unconfortable to write.
We left Sheffield for Worcester with a beautiful sunny day. We arrived in Worcester right on time for soundcheck with soundman and promoter Willis. After a quick soundcheck we had some chilli cooked by Howard from the opening band Broken Oak Duet. I read some news and got ready for the gig. Left the Marrs Bar right after 11o'clock.
pop at nine, I had a real good konk. I did have some paranoid dreams though - it was about the stairs... I kept worrying about the stairs cuz the head was on the same floor as my konk chamber but also across this chasm where stairs went up and down on either side, half a flight worth down and then up. I kept thinking maybe it's better to konk on the first floor - I mean the ground floor cuz first floor in u.s. means different, the first floor over here lots of times means what we call the second floor back home. anyway, my fucking anxieties finally relented and I konk good and hard - I feel good and calm spirit in this pad much, I can relax. in u.s. I use lots of kind cats' konk pads and also get this feeling - different than cold (not meaning temperature) 'tel non-vibe. I go hose off and there's a scale... what's thirteen and a half stones? there's a button on the back, there: 187 pounds - whoa, three pounds less than when I left home for this tour, damn! I was scared thinking I was gonna gain on this tour cuz of no daily elliptical trainer workouts I do in my pad every day in my pedro town since last march... yeah, last saint patrick's day night in austin put a definite "kierkegaard moment" in my fucking baka life. that and choking my shit out w/my own gut when I was trying to tie my fucking zapatos ('shoes' in español) while standing up. fucking slow learner watt.
after spieling w/james about an essay his wife caroline is working on regarding what I gather is truthtelling regarding ethnocentrisic crockery (as in crock of shit) which I think is big time important especially now, they both cook us up some spaghetti when chorizo in it. very good. chorizo is so much different in europe when compared to back home. it's like a sausage here, a spiced one like pepperoni. oh yeah - here's something funny: italians call bell peppers pepperoni to make even more confusing! chorizo in so cal is always loose like ground beef and not links. anyway, I'm very grateful to james and caroline for yet another kind thing they do for us. we pull anchor twenty after one and I leave them pedro weather: a sky full of blue. than you so much grazie big time. - I think james does music too cuz he gave me a cd (5 year plan - not to be confused w/this f.y.p), alright! no wonder he can relate to the hell of getting a gig pulled out from under you. big respect to brother james.
cuz of the strangeness of a left-side drive van in a land of right-side drives, I wanna help w/the wheelman knowing if it's clear so I learn two new words for me in italiano: aspetta ('wait' in italiano) and adesso ('now' in italiano). we wander for a while cuz too much trust in the navigatore, fratello ste at the wheel
we're southwest bound for a couple of hours 'til we stop so the fratelli can piss and switch ponies. I decide to check the pressure in the rear tires... a big truck w/two gas trailers is right behind and revving up its engine so I can't hear the signal that says the right pressure's (4.5 bar) been reached. it's totally crazy - where are the fratelli? oh, it's more than just a piss stop... crimony! I drive the car once more, get it out of the way of the truck - it's gonna put fuel in the station's tanks, what fucking lame luck. oh well, I'll try again tomorrow. speaking of terrible luck (really terrible), we soon pass a horrible accident that happened on the other side: by the look of the vehicle (I never look at these things but this time by chance glance up from my 'puter screen while chimping diary) it was hit and spun around and hit twice more, terrible. why do people have to drive too fast, too close and too baka? fucking nightmare.
we drop anchor in front of the marrs bar at four and a half, near the olde towne part of worcester. soundman willis arrives soon after and let's us in - good to see him again, he helps us schlep the stuff in the pad - love this painted up on the bulkhead:
olde timey words can do that w/watt, you know? this is our second time here. soundman willis tells me he's brewing his own beer so I learn some stuff from him. we do soundcheck and then go upstairs (many steps for cojo watt but I do the slow-go) and howard from the broken oak duet cooked us up some of his version of maybe mexican type chow? there's tortillas I show fratello andrea how to heat up on the range but he shows me it's a new convection kind and we gotta do it in a pan - grazie for learning me! I finish explaining to the fratelli about this painterman bob ross I started to tell them about before soundcheck when soundman willis was setting up mics on our stuff. I've seen buttloads of this guy's "joy of painting" episodes since way back and for some reason he's big time in my mind these days... why? fuck if I know but he always did bring a sense of serenity. I thank drummerman howard but suggest a few more beans next time maybe. there's a picture of wilko johnson on the bulkhead, incredible guitarman. this pad's ownerman tells me he's "a diamond" and I can tell that means he's righteous people. much respect.
I hobble downstairs and watch first opening band navaho ace - their bassman borrowed shige's cab, everyone borrowed stuff in this band that's ok w/me, really makes sense on an ethical level. drummerman howard and his buddy tom on baritone guitar (hey, it's one from reverend guitars!) go on next and part of their set is a cover of "hocus pocus" from 70s dutch band focus, too much! I'm digging it.
ten bells and our turn, I actually start us two minutes early. I really like tonight's gig but it ain't w/out clams - it's the most buck-wild version of "stucazz?!!" we've ever done, funny - wheels were 'pert-near off the cart but still we held on. on another level, it's almost like that w/tonight's take on "verse IX" but the trip keeps in the ring, somehow. too much of the top of fratello andrea's head, I had to holler to get him to show some occhi ('eyes' in italian). much focus and respect from the worcester gig-goers, they are definitely in it for the whole ride. much respect to them.
I go to the merch table and tim the bassman from thee telepaths comes by and gives me their new ep - I let him try the wattplower prototype and he's tripping on how light it is while putting that w/what he says is the tone he just come from via our gig. I give him bow w/my head. we talk about roky erickson and he asks what is it between him and 13th floor elevators and I say I love his voice in both but w/him w/out them it's his words, I love so many words of his. much respect. I get some new skewwiff music from one their skewwiffmen - he talks about reading about himself in my "blog" - can't believe I just chimped that word... what's wrong w/using DIARY? or nikki ('diary' in jap) even? it's like somebody calling my radio show "podcast" - can't believe I just chimped that fucking word either... you don't need a fucking ipod to hear my show - hell, does apple even make one anymore? why relegate your expression to being a fucking shill for a brand name? crimony. I even use stuff from that company but come on... I guess I ask too much from, from, from words and their weight or lack of? no disrespect to skewwiff, they got nothing to do w/any of this, they're good cats and were very kind to me - I wanna hear what this new stuff sounds like.
you know willis ain't just the soundman, he's also the padboss! just found that out. we wait 'til he gets everything together and he takes us to the 'tel... last time in worcester was a major fucking drama hell to find where it was, crimony. we all cram in his boat and he rides us over. I must've konked in like three seconds after hitting the hay. thank you much, brother willis.
tuesday, october 4, 2016 - glasgow, scotland
Wake up at 8, shower , big breakfast at the hotel, load the van at the club. And we hit the long road till glasgow. Another beautifull sunny day. We arrive at the monorail recordshop and venue - little suggestion if you go there, use this adress for gps : king street 95 and not the old ine kings court something- it is so nice to see Dept again. Him amd his wife Kirsten are such gentle and clever humans being. It is a special night. I feel nervous. Also my friend Ferruccio from the cut is in Glasgow and come at the gig. Nice. Two very interesting band: Rapid tan - they look young- and El Hombre trajeado. Both quartet. Very interesting. The Scottish audience is very welcoming and warm. Thanks a lot. We go sleep at Dept and Kirsten. Such a beautifull house. They prepare some good snack for us hummus, scottish cheddar , sedano, olives and other things. Orknay come into some of the talk. The old myth are still much part of everyday life their. I loved biking there almost 20 years ago now. For a while I had some dreams coming back of a bay I have been there. very magic place.
We left the hotel in Worcester then we drove to the Marrs bar were we left our instruments overnight. Willis the promoter is helping us to load out. I drove for about 3 hours, then half way to Glasgow we stopped at a gas station where we got gas and bought a pecans and apple pastry and a tea. Mike and Hiyori checked the tire pressure again in the meantime. We arrived at the venue mono in the mid afternoon.
I went first into the venue to check the situation, and met Dep the co owner of the record shop monorail inside the club mono. We loaded in the all gear and then I checked out the records at monorail. They have a really good selection of records, but I didn't feel to buy anything this time. We met Dougie the sound man, who did sound for us three years ago as well. I had a vegan Banh Mi from the venue's kitchen, and a tomato spicy soup. Then we chilled out for a few hours before the show started.
I went inside and met Ferruccio from the italian band Cut, nice to see him. I also met Filippo Perfido, strange meeting, as I saw him last time maybe in 2004. Interesting coincidence.
Rapid tan the first band played very good, I guess very inspired by no wave and Siouxie. Hombre Trajeado played second and did an amazing set, I don't know exactly how to describe their music, I can just say I really loved the bass lines.
I really liked our show, as the audience was amazing, really warm and welcoming. My hat fell off during "us in their land", I didn't cut my hair before the tour started so I have long ones now and because I was sweating a lot they started to stick into my face and going into to my mouth...
After the show I talked a bit with from White Denim's bass player Steve and the new drummer, who told me he played in my hometown Verona a few years ago with Ben Harper and stayed there for two months. We packed up quickly and went to Dep and Kirsteen's house as we did three years ago. They prepared some snacks and drinks for us. While we were chatting Hiyori made me a shiatsu massage,, really powerfull and relaxing. I had a couple of whiskyes and we chatted for some time before going to bed.
pop at eight and do soak... tub is twice size of one in antwerp but still can't stretch legs out straight but no big deal - I ain't trying to sound like I'm whining, am grateful for some soak of any kind sometimes. I gotta then hose off though cuz of greasy soap remains - some soaps are like this, don't know why. out the window I can see by the look of the road there was rain but there's sun and blue sky now. no time for chow, we gotta get the boat back to the marrs bar where willis will let us in to schlep the equipment for a load-out. we get that done, I'm in guradiano mode cuz I can't schlep worth a shit w/my fucked up knee. damn, if I ain't always getting guilts about that but anyway, maybe I ain't totally fucking useless. I ask willis if I can get a shot w/him:
fratello andrea at the helm, we pull anchor soon as a buttload of forevers pass by as we try to feed tonight's venue address into the navigatore gps - we should be fucking doing this the day before - I make my wishes known to everyone in the boat. what a fucking tyrant I just acted like, damn me. we discuss stuff like different cultures having different ways for asking for things - some use words like "please' and others seem on purpose to avoid them, maybe to appear more macho? it's trippy. I don't think people emmersed in those things even find them strange and maybe feel it's just the way it is. me and the fratelli talk about trippy things lots. I'm so glad they got good english down. it ain't perfect but they're pretty good and I can both relate to and learn from them much.
twelve and a half we switch ponies, fratello ste takes the rudder in a quick move that 'pert-near gives me a heart attack cuz like where's the fucking mosey? I'm proud of the fratelli. at one and a half we cross the border into scotland.
there's clouds but the sun is still out and no rain. hadrian's wall - no time for it this trip but it's fucking happening to check out. so sad I wasn't able to show brother sam last year during the cuz tour.
the navigatore actually wouldn't accept the 12 king's court address so I asked fratell ste earlier to use his smart leash and find some street address that was close to where we gotta go.
every fucking time I play mono it takes a fucking wander and a half to find it - he found 95 king street as somewhere close and damn if we not only avoid all the downtown glasgow plug by being guided around it but we fucking get right to the venue was absolutely NO wander. we pass a mural w/alex harvey painted on it (in it?), whoa - I really dug this cat, very much an individual in some pretty dull 70s times - inspired me and d boon much! he's on the far right here:
three bells I see up on the old clock - this used to be some old railroad trip and that's why the address mix-up happened when they were changing things. anyway, what a great thing to have happen, big thanks to fratello ste. my buddy dep comes out to help us schlep, big BIG hugs for him from me. after my guardiano duties I hobble over and chow a lamb schwarma wrap at a pad around the corner called "king schwarma" and it's one of the best ones I've had ever - I shit thee not - this pad's got pickles, they even got jalapenos, yatta! man, is it fucking good.
dougie's doing sound for us like he did last year when cuz was here. the gigboss from then is doing the same also he did then, great to see both again. after soundcheck I go back to the "king shwarma" pad... I go for round two - fuck, I'm digging it! the owner man shows me video on his smart leash of his ten year old nephew playing violin back where he's from, whoa is this little man good! I tell him I think his nephew has a future music if he keeps going, I was very impressed. back to pad... hey, there's a poster saying jah wobble is gonna be here soon... damn if I didn't interview him about a month ago via skype for this cat who asked me to cuz he didn't know that much about bass. I have big respect for him. also I notice the face of lora logic (loved her "waddle ya play?" album) painted up big in this pad's sort of dome stucture in the middle of the overhead, it says "pessamis" coming out of her month and then across from her is brian eno w/the word "optimis" coming out of his... wonder what's that about?
there's a really righteous record store called "monorail" here and that's where my buddy dep has worked for years. a drummerman chris gives me some music w/a band called spinning coin he's involved w/and we spiel a little bit - I want him tim check out fratello andrea's saari kit. some cats from texas are here, I've heard of them through missingmen guitarman tom watson who's a big fan, they're called white denim and their bassman steve says hi, nice cat - I gotta play good for him tonight. stevie, the bassman for el hombre trajeado asks to use shige's bass amp set up and I say sure. he's a great bassman, I shared a bill w/this band many years ago, am way into them. I hear they don't that many gigs. anyway, it's so happening to see him again, we have some good laughs. cal from the other band playing tonight, rapid tan asks to do the same thing... all three of us through the same machine! bass brothers!
I chimp diary and then listen to rapid tan - whoa, they're a mind blow, respect! hubby and el hombre w/stevie next and I gotta stop the chimping w/the diary cuz I get absorbed into their sound glue trance hypnotize and they take me for quite a ride, crimony. the synth is new for me but I dig it... love the drums and of course hubby. stevie is big time inspiring, MUCH respect. howie reeve comes up to say hi, he lives here. I love howie.
our turn and man, it's fortyfive minutes 'til ten (when we're supposed to go on) so I decide we're going on early. it's fucked up to have such a gap especially w/the momentum the people we're sharing the stage w/got stuff so lit and going... it's a work/school night too so... we compromise w/dougie and decide to wait 'til a quarter of cuz I like him much. the glasgow gig-goers and righteous w/their respect, I'm a little scared cuz I love glasgow and wanna make sure I'm giving them what they deserve: the best out of watt. you know watt's a scot name, right? in fact james watt and my pop share the same name - yep, though people used the nickname of his middle one richard - yep, my pop was a dick. man, I miss him... any way I try to plant my feet and play like a man, get a handle on my shaking - I really like the heart that folks here are open to share, always have given me the gee-oh so I gotta give back. I'm lucky I got the fratelli playing on fire, they whup it up real good. at one point in "funanori jig" a couple of folks gotta bail and I get distracted and clam pretty bad. I laugh myself in embarrassment, crimony, that was stupid. we're talking about a pad giving you buttloads of focus, totally kind w/seeing (hearing) what you can bring and you (I mean I) stumble like that? fucking baka stunad watt. it's a good gig, believe me but let me confess I think I could've done better - it's a weird feeling cuz it's hard to pin down but I didn't do terrible, just could've, uh... uh... had it more together a little bit! ha! I get so self-conscious sometimes. I really REALLY dug the gig-goers, some righteous spirit they were happy to share. I hand my bass to steve from texas after the last note - he was right in front of me but I don't think he expected that! he deserved though, I felt.
I feel it at the merch table right after also, I mean big time. lots of cats play on the wattplower - I let anyone and everyone... of course - they deserve! old buds tim and graham give me the good word and the warm grip, so does murray - good good cats who've been w/me for many many years. young cats too, some just starting on bass, some checking out it this guy. everyone has good things to tell about the fratelli, I'm so glad folks who see the band see it not just like a side-proj thing, I really am into that, totally. a bunch of folks came from edinburgh... thank you most kind scot cats, thank you w/all I got cuz you deserve, truly. I can still hear one cat hollering at the end "keep coming, mike!" you know it, brother!
outside I meet feruccio (he has bologna band cut) and two of his buddies, great to see him again, great! brother dep helps us load up and he rides w/us to his pad, a righteous old beauty built by a wine merchant a long time ago. dep, kirsteen and new shipmate bill like in the top apartment. I first heard the final mixes of "canto secondo" here, fratello bruno flowed them when I was on tour w/my missingmen. there's some cheese and chorizo they set up for us and we have a good time spieling a good while about all kinds of stuff. man, I feel good here - always. I'm in the nightwear and we're having a good time - I already chimped that, huh? yeah, well we do. they're both fascinating and engage my mind much, getting me to think - and to think out loud some (of course, it's watt).
wednesday, october 5, 2016 - newcastle, england
I woke up with the sound of Bill, Dep's and Kristeen's two years old boy. I had a great breakfast with egg, sausages and mushrooms, and a strong black tea. While talking about Moondog's music, Dep introduced me to Tony Schwartz work, very very interesting.
We left their house after 13:00 and we drove towards Newcastle. The landscape is really nice, lots of hills and sheep. I drove for the last part, when we passed close to the Adrian's wall, which we visited three years ago. We arrived at the Cluny after 16:30, right on time for soundcheck with sound man Dave.
I had a chicken burger for dinner while checking some drum solos on youtube (Elvin Jones, Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier, Greg Fox) with Stefano and Hiyori.
The band Bugman played first, then the second band, a duo called ten sticks, played keyboard guitar and drums mixing fast and intricate rhythms with drony layers of keys and guitar.
During our show I was sometimes blown by the loudness of the guitar amp, a bit too much. I really loved playing Skinny Cat. We leave the venue quite early to an hotel with extra small size rooms.
pop at nine and a half, that was a righteous konk - I feel safe here. I meet new shipmate bill, he's two now and can talk - some. he's beautiful, truly. I drink coff and watch dep and kirsteen have the greatest time w/him... he's the center of their universe, beautiful. I have to do an interview via skype w/a lady named briony for a web site called teamrock.com that takes over an hour but it's a good one. she asks me to name my ten favorite bass players and what I like about them and then my ten favorite minutemen songs and what I like about them - crimony, that's a hike up mount fuji, huh?! it ain't a hell though and actually gets me to think about a bunch of stuff. I then gotta do an interview via email q and a for raul in rijeka for our up coming gig there. I get that stuff done (it's important, not a chore like taking out the trash) and can hose off and then chow all the happening breakfast dep's cooked up for me: scrambled eggs, sausage, mushrooms, baked beans and toast - real good and whole, love it. we saddle up in the boat, I get a shot w/big man bill before the hatch gets battened:
fratello ste on the rudder, we pull anchor at one and a half. we gotta head for the other coast though compared w/the land I come from, not really that bad. we discuss again what's polite and what's not polite depending on where you're from and where you're at. some funny shit, us humans, huh? there's clouds, there's a wind and it's cool but the rain is holding off, thank you.
just three we stop for fuel and switch ponies. diesel is £1.29/liter here (about $6/gallon but the pound's really fallen in fallen since the people voted to leave the e.u.) and is prolly more econo in town but you wanna get tangled up in tiny road toy sitch? no. look, you know what's really fucked up about the last few days at gas stations? no fucking squeegees and now fucking windshield cleaning fluid - I'm mean, what's up? do people carry their own fucking squeegees and fluid? I see the shit in bottles for sale but that's gotta be for reservoirs in cars cuz what, you bring your own bucket too? at least they got pissers, I piss. we cross back into england, fratello andrea at the wheel now
I need to cut my fucking finger nails. I did shave this morning - fuck I wanted to do it yesterday for glasgow but space. my clippers are in the man sack but miss hiyori has some she me use... ok, I do it for newcastle tonight, I like this town and like the folks at the cluny where we're playing... maybe it's my fourth time there? gigboss joel!
righteous to see and hug him again, I love working for this man. he plays too, I ask him for some music for my show and it says he'll find me some. he helps us schlep stuff, most kind. back stage still has that whine when the crapper's flushed cuz of old pipes. there's some lame salsa I made edible by spiking w/sauce from "frank's" that also got lime and some from a little bottle of tobasco - "shaken well and not stirred" someone once said, right?
we do soundcheck w/soundman dave, a good cat who I've gotten to work w/before. he's from leeds but bailed twenty years ago - still remembers "the duchess of york" though, that where you played back then. someone I think told me it's a dress shop or something like that now. things change. after soundcheck I chow a "mexican burger" from the kitchen here. no meat, the paddy is beans and though it tastes zero percent mexican, I think it's healthy and not foul. I meet the two cats in ten sticks who are opening - damn if the drummerman - who's a young man - knows about "frankenstein" from the edgar winter band! he said his pop turned him onto lots of stuff way older than him. they don't have a bass player so I give them the routine about me first witnessing that and thinking to myself: "that poor lonely kick drum" - acutally not the first cuz flat duo jets was first cats to do that and it was bitchin' - it was a music of its own and not missing anything. the other opener tonight is bugman and damn if it ain't ryan, a cat who's sent me music in the past and I've played on my show. he's in good shape, proud of him. I like his bassman too. no drummer - yeah, both bands w/us tonight are power trios missing one cat.
I chimp diary before and between watching our co-performers bring their sounds. both are quite distinctive and I'm big time motivated for our shot. we're on at ten. I play much better than last night I think, I blow clams but definitely less than last night (sorry, good people of glasgow) and I got more confidence. there's echo effect on my voice though - ain't into that but I ain't gonna say anything to soundman dave cuz I don't wanna fuck w/the vibe of the gig. I just gotta remember to tell the soundman during check about that stuff - I don't wanna ruin the gig w/something that sounds like I'm killing the fucking feel like "who's the bozo trying to wear the director pants" or something like that... I guess I'll just ride it out. you can tell there's some acoustic challenges but we're still having a good time plus the geordie gig-goers are most kind to us. I try to look for their faces but the lights are too bright in our eyes. damn... oh well, that's show business. ha! c'mon, we're bringing il sogno del marinaio to folks, the band's got a real identity and I'm way into being part of it. BIG grazie to my fratelli.
at the merch table I talk w/some very kind people - a couple from u.s. even ("I detect an accent" I always tell them!). one cat's from denver but has been here a while, very good vibe and deep on a lot of stuff. a musician from the dirty projectors talks to me - I try to think of this band but don't know if I know them and it's kind of frustrating on me - I think her name is angel and she did live in so cal for a while. you feel you wanna give back kindness of course, I get so insecure about myself so I'd never want someone to feel the same. I really should get to know more about more bands - one way I'm lucky regarding that is my radio show, I learn a bunch from what I get from cats and damn if I an't grateful for it. ant and oliver from last time talk to me - fuck, ant had a book of his poetry to give to both me and raymond but he took them to sign them and I never got them back. fuck. trippy too we were talking about smoking mota last time we meant and you know what that does to your memory, right? they're both beautiful - we had some good laughing, yeah. you can tell the geordie cats w/their accents - many are most kind to me and thank them sincere, truly. my last talk is a long one w/sheff-town's brother james' buddy max who gives me some lowdown on this "leave" vote thing - newcastle here voted "stay" and uh, well, of course I got weird stuff back where I live - I think we all do in lots of places. max here's an art man and damn I wish d boon or raymond was here cuz they're art men too. sometimes I'm so clumsy w/words, I mean lots of times! you now I spend so much man alone time now, I wonder how my thoughts sound when I put them out to let others hear them... I think about this morning in glasgow and dep's pad talking about bass and minutemen... I hope I didn't sound too lost in space about that stuff. anyway, max here sure is kind, glad to have met him.
load out of the cluny (love the character of this pad - totally it's own, respect!) and into the boat , a big hug to gigboss joel, love him much but it ain't a clean get away cuz the navigatore won't accept the address we fed it so there's some wander. I suggest some strategy for tomorrow that I think'll work (testing the address first during the day after verifying first w/the gig people) but hey, life is for learning, right? some funny stuff at this pad we're konking at called "hotel grainger" when we finally do get there... a guest ahead of us is just ringing and ringing on the bell but no one comes. I for some reason just push on the hatch and damn if it ain't open! there's some laughs and I tell him not to worry, I've done it too. good laughs make for a good konk.
thursday, october 6, 2016 - southampton, england
I wake up after a very good deep sleep Kirsten has prepared a wonderfull breakfast for us. I take shower. I see their son Bill. He is almost three right now. We hit the road. Long one. We arrive at destination an hour late. Vit is the sound guy. We play with two very good opening act Greg Sharking who play solo with doublebass, voice and a stompbox. He has great voice and his Lyrics are very meaningfull and clever and funny too. Really like him. Then Willy j halley very young guy with his band from Oxford. Really good song and I really like the way the band play all togheter. We go sleep in a hotel in town. We have a code to enter in. I take shower and I lay downin this terrible spongy flat materass. So uncomfortable. I use ear plugs to avoid eventuall fratelli Ibiki, but THEN something happens... In the next episode...
When I woke up I took a quick shower, and made a black tea. Stefano drove for the first three hours, and I drove for the second half of the trip to Southampton. On the road I got a terrible sandwich with cheese and jalapenos pepper. While driving we talked about how to make "Mountain Top" work better, how to work on the "Animal Farm Tango" dynamics and in general how to deal with Stefano's and my vocals.
When we got to the venue we met Willie J Healey's all band from Oxford. I talked a bit with his drummer drummer Mike Monaghan, I lend him my Saari kit, so we talked a bit about drums and drummers (Jay Bellerose!). He's a very good drummer and he knows lots of interesting things. We also met Grant Sharkey, who is also playing tonight as well. We talked a bit about Robert Wyatt and our song "Zoom" and the fact that he remembered the tune from our concert we played there three years ago. After the soundcheck we got pasta with bel pepper and sweet corn, all right. I talked a bit with Willie before his show about touring, then I saw his band playing, they have a very mature sounds and arragments. I enjoyed playing on that stage, even if I was hearing a lot of attack on my bass drum sound, which I really don't like. But I guess it was because of the sub-woofers right under the stage... After the show Grant gave me a bunch of his records and exchanged email addresses.
We arrived at our hotel around half past midnight, where at around 1:30 in the morning the fire alarm turned on for some reasons, so we had to stay one our up waiting for the firemen to try to figure out where the problem was. There was a bunch of people complaining about this, especially the fact that no one from the hotel was there and they were not answering the phone... Then finally they firemen let us going to bed...
pop at nine bells, taiyo ('sun' in jap) gushing in through blinds in window when I open them - we are much blessed yet again! instant coff from plastic wrapper tubes, interesting way of ingesting caff - avoiding taste component and engaging anti-gero maneuver, good training for us. hose off, love this lemon liquid soap from germany, washes off cleaner and I kind of have essence of my wristwatch. pull anchor at ten and a half, fratello ste on the rudder... of course there was comedy involved, different folks waiting on each other in unexpected by the others location, normal tour stuff.
well, 328 miles to southampton means not so much play time so we gotta hit - gotta be safe but we gotta hit it. we gotta be safe too though. luckily I got good fratelli w/me, they help keep me safe. at one somehwere birmingham we pull over to a "motor services" area for diesel and switch ponies when lo and behold... it ain't a squeegee but it is a sponge in a bucket and for the first time since crossing the channel we can was the boat's fucking windows, praise be.
I get a blt and stuff it w/salt and vinegar chips in order to choke it down. back on the road w/fratello andrea on the helm, we talk about old pink floyd and syd barrett stuff and the fratelli wanna hear pink floyd from my ipod. "animals" is the last thing I think pink floyd ever did that I liked... blame me, not them! they didn't really know about the drama w/rick wright - I think it was kind of tragic what happened to him... I just finished reading rob chapman's book on syd and dug it much - bobo in cornwall gave it to me, I usually see her in exeter but not this time cuz a fire 'pert-near burned down the cavern there, a great pad and am so glad it'll be back next year.
in the meantime ricky (not berlin ricky but southampton ricky) got us a gig at the joiners to plug the tour hole that fire left for us. right around birmingham we get sprinkles on the windshield... soon that stops though, whew but then on the other hand, what - am I gonna cry if the sky opens up? no, I'm gonna deal w/it... then bellyache about in the diary later!
I'm having to chimp this entry before going on in london (yeah, you were just transported a day ahead in tour time!) so it's hard to gather my thoughts much w/the boom boom from my buddy willy working it hard on the other side of the bulkhead but I'm trying... I have fratello ste get the joiners gigboss ricky on the horn and tell him we're gonna be a half hour later (so sorry) but damn there was some staus and I wanted the fratelli to get good konk enven though I felt an hour ahead pull anchor would've been better in one way but my fratelli's health means much to me... we got some hellrides coming up too.
it's more like forty minutes late when we get the boat into the joiners and the stuff moved from there onto the stage - soundman vit is happy to help schlep, respect! so good to see gigboss ricky again, so good - he came to the rescue again a couple years ago when he eliminated a tour hole for me and my missingmen by squeezing us in front of maps and atlases from chi-town three plus years ago, respect. I get to talk to willie j healey and his band guys, great cats who are young but also young at heart which is good to find. we have a good time rapping about all kinds of stuff. the drummerman and willie went and had a california trip so I hear them out and that it's good they did some first-hand experiencing, I like that and their impressions are good to hear - they're from oxford and damn if one day I hope to get to work that town.
gigboss ricky has me do an interview for a show he's got an interview - he's also documenting stuff so wants to know about the old days like me and d boon putting out the first descendents and husker du albums cuz the movement wasn't only about doing a band w/your buddies but other things to like labels and zines and putting on shows (d boon did both: "the prole" and gigs at "the star theatre" in pedro he would rename "the union")... I get to get his opinion on stuff too which is interesting for me cuz like w/the wilie and his buddy, these cats are so much younger in years than me but in ways way closer to where I'm at then cats I went to school w/and I chimp that here cuz right before this tour I went to a high school reunion - yeah I went to my fortieth reunion for people who graduated from the class of 1976 from san pedro high! I had a gig later that night so didn't spend that long but for john deluca, mike barnes, george and a guy named paul (actually only john and paul talked to me), I recognized no one. some ladies had me sit at their table and I think I recognized some of their name - I know I might've... so embarrassing, huh? I never went to one of these and that's why I did - just to do it but man, I relate much more to these people in another land and from a time so different. it's trippy to think about but relating this talk I had w/gigboss ricky makes me think about that now. much respect to him cuz he doesn't talk to me to like a relic, even talking history stuff he relates to me in real time. I chow some pasta and salad he brings me.
the opener tonight is grant sharkey and I dig him much. damn if by the end I realized I've rapped w/him before - crimony! he reminds lots of d boon but he's his own man and does bass too, a urb w/a fiberglass body and an aluminum bridge. he stomps a box w/a mic in it to marry a kick drum sound to it. much respect to him for thinking out loud in front of us! after him comes willie and his cats and it's their turn to tear it up. a great show to be part of it, thank you once more gigboss ricky.
we get up and there and start bringing it a quarter of ten. the southampton gig-goers really deliver the respect and focus to us, whoa - it fucking lifts us off. the fratelli are something else. we had some stagey talks in the boat I didn't mention, stuff about "mountain top" a couple of others. it helps to talk about your stuff I think. it's all about communication, ain't it? on AND off stage, gets you a little more whatever when it's time to do. one thing I wish fratello andrea would do is get a mic for his head - I know they look stupid but... well, whatever he wants cuz I love him, fratello ste too. I think I ain't had a clam-less night yet and same for tonight but I had good connect w/both the fratelli and the gig-goers which mean not so much insecurity and spending energy wasted on that instead on working the room. the only time I got really nervous was during my two spiels where I do banter... the was stumblebum there for sure. arrrggghhh.
I go to the merch table and have a good time w/the southampton cats. two different parents came w/their sons, respect! this one band has me sign the lyric sheet to my tune "the glory of man" I wrote for the "double nickels on the dime" album. I get to rap w/a cat who just started doing bass in a band, alright! I get to do a long spiel w/grant and penelope, real good people - turns out she knits, just like the other penelope (me and the fratelli discussed the odyssey the other day in the boat), ain't that a trip? many good hand shakes I feel most genuine. finally I get to do a good spiel w/danny onion who's got a hat that makes me think of holden caufield - what? ain't that a trip?!
fare thee well to brother danny onion and ricky, we head for the 'tel, some pad in a neighborhood "addenro house" which we actually don't have to wander forever to get to - what's up w/that? don't mean to bellyache but the mattress I flop on is like that sponge I used to clean the boat's windshield earlier today... I konk anyway cuz I am really beat - happy beat though.
friday, october 7, 2016 - london, england
I am almost in the dream land where suddendly a big noise wakes up all of us. it is the fire allarm. It is a crazy and very loud siren. We go downstairs where we meet all the other clients of the hotel. We try to call the hotel reference number but no one answer. There is no fire but for some unkwon reasons the allarm got on. Someone finally call the firebrigade and after waiting them to arrive and everything else an hour or so we can go sleep again. The bell is at 7. We go to london for radio session early in the morning. The studio near by trafalgar square. It is hard traffic and crazy to find a parking spot after we load in. But finally we found a good one. When we arrive Chris and Fratello Mike had already set up our gears and we record 4 songs one just after the other. First good takes. Then we go the venue. This o2 academy is in a mall. I have lunch. Soundcheck with Alain and then I go sleep a bit in the van. We play 8:30. We play good but I do not like the vibe of thus club. I met my friend Ruth, Dave, Sorella Valentina, Fratello Massimo and India. We give a quick hugs and have a quick talk. Then we drive to Maidstone and we sleep in an hotel there.
We left Southampton for London early as we had to go to Radio X studios to record for John Kennedy program. Finding a parking spot in London is just ridiculous, but especially around Trafalgar Square is even more close to a joke, so after we loaded in the radio station, Stefano and I had to find one. Funnily enough we found a parking spot in front of the police station.
The drum booth at the recording studio is quite tiny, but it has a good sound, and I really liked how Chris, the sound engineer, muffled my drums in order to get a good recording. I'm loving this kit more and more actually. We recorded three songs, and, apart from one song we had to play twice, we kept the first take. Everything went really quick, and within an hour we were already in the van heading towards the O2 Accademy Islington, where we had the gig.
In Islingotn the venue's very kind doorman lead us to the load-in doors and the van's parking spot. We loaded in and I worked a bit on the computer, and checked some news. The backstage where tiny rooms with no windows and no fresh air, kind of stinky. The venue is in a terrible shopping mall, but luckily I found a flea market with some food option, where I had good ham and cheese sandwich. When I come back we did soundcheck with the soundman Andi and then killed sometime writing my terribily poor diary.
Before the gig I met Kostis, a greek guy I met in Berlin five years ago at one of my solo shows, then I met Sam Dook, also Willie, drummer of the opening band Y-Bot previously called Manflu. Y-Bot started to play very early, at 18:30, as the curfew was 10pm in order to let the venue change skin into a dance club. There was another five piece band playing, called, Arrows Of Love very loud and wild.
Our gig was kinda of difficult for me, because the bass drum had a 10 seconds long tail, and I had to play the bass drum pedal in a very unusual way for me, leaving the beater on the drumhead in order to muffle the tone, which was kind of a bummer as I it distracted me a lot. The sound on stage was pretty loud as well. At the end of the last song, Punkinhead Ahoy! I missed the ending cue, as I was counting but not really looking at Mike as my microphone was pointed in the opposite direction.
Anyway, it was fun to play show.After the show I met Massimo Pupillo and his friend India, who came to the show right at the end of the last clap We finished at around 9:30, at 10:35 we were already on the road towards Maidstone, where we stayed at a premiere inn hotel.
pull anchor at seven and a half - we're only seventynine miles from our goal (x-posure session for john kennedy on radio x) - actually it's not the first pop, it's second pop cuz about three in the morning a fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the 'tel which makes sens but then the firemen can't find any management, owner or ever help - that's what the codes for the hatches were all about when we got here, it's like an unmanned 'tel which actually I've been in but modern ones and not olde-timey like this one. we have to stand downstairs for the longest time while something tries to happen... man, it's tough. I'm barely able to stand. to make it worse, one fucking clown can't help but repeat the same winge (slang for 'bellyache' here) mantra w/infinite "know what I mean?" fucking over and fucking over - even getting one lady to join in w/her infinite "urine smell from the toilet" over and over - what a fucking harmony these two bless us w/and I swear it took much in me not to fucking totally go off on them... thank god finally the fireman boss says it was prolly a false alarm and though he can't find anyone who is connected w/this pad - everyone evacuated are only guests and the phone numbers that are posted just ring and ring... we can go back up to our chambers and konk after what feels like an entirety. I don't wanna sound like bellyachin' though cuz fuck, what if it was a fire?! this pad looks beat up enough to have a wiring prob, believe me... lose everything - maybe life?
well, the morning arrived so I think the alarm never went on again or if it did it was only a tiny time. standing on the corner while the fratelli are in the back lot - comedy routine 'til we find out where each other are and then finally say bye to southampton for now - very lucky to get sunny farewell from here though it's trippy how that fades as london gets closer... on the way northeast and away from the water we stop to get some coff in fratello ste and I see a "subway sandwich" pad in the "service center" whatever and try a tuna one like I get back home when are tour and there's nothing but other crap... yeah, tuna w/olives, pickles and a little bit of mustard. I stuff it w/salt and vinegar chips (for texture) and damn if it ain't not bad, actually the bread's a little better than back but maybe it being early it just got baked?
we get into the lodon plug zone and do the slow-go... too much traff for these kind of streets. fratello ste does good driving and the navigatore doesn't fuck up so damn if we don't get behind leicester square a few minutes before we're supposed to be, good job! parking is total hell so we get the stuff out and the man actually doing the session, engineerman chris
opens the hatch and helps us schlep our stuff into where an elevator is inside some hatches that open up to near our temporary dock. john kennedy does the show w/chirs and his part is interviewing us while chris records the music - cuz of our early soundcheck time (load-in at the venue is two pm), the spiel w/john will happen just before when the music is being brought, prolly in november. about john and me: he had me and fratello andrea on for an interview back in 2013, got word from him out of the blue and then really liked him when we met. he also had cuz do a session two years ago. speaking of cuz and being here, we get all our il sogn del marinaio stuff in like half of the 'vator's capacity - when we were w/cuz it was three full trips - so much stuff that fucking band used for gigs, I hope we evolve from that hell for our next time. anyway, I'm more used to this, jamming econo w/tiny amounts of stuff - fuck millions of items - more shit to lose, more shit to schlep! I gotta take a shot of this and send it to brother sam!
it's just a goof, I don't wanna make him feel bad and in fact I'm gonna see him tonight, he's taking the train from hastings (he moved there from brighton last year) to see the gig! me and chris get the stuff in the studio and then miss hiyori starts setting up fratello andrea's drum cuz him and fratello ste now have to find a place to park the boat, fucking nightmare in these parts. chris gets things together real quick and good... by the time the fratelli get here (total parking hell), we're 'pert-near ready to go. we do three tunes from second album ("il sogno del fienile," "sailor blues" and "animal farm tango") plus "verse IX" which is some music I wrote from a stanza of a james joyce poem ("chamber music"), a little piece I recorded w/jim o'rourke and steve shelley maybe ten years ago. a little way through the second one I blew a big clam so we had to start that one over but all the rest are one take. we blow out, I'm very proud of the fratelli. damn, we get out an hour early - part of it is fourth man chris, man, is he down and w/it - much respect to him!
we get the stuff back in the boat and after some hairy maneuvers and near-misses, we make it over to the islington part of town and into the back of a little mall where the the o2 academy 2 islington (hence the name!) is and a very cool man working there named steven gets us to dock the boat right at a nearby loading where we can even fucking drop anchor, crimony! much respect to him. we soundcheck w/soundman andy who's a character and a lot of fun - he's got a good humor about him. sam is the company rep I guess but very cool people also. these are trippy pads to work but the important thing is the people - I meet the people from the other bands sharing the stage w/us and damn if the drummer from one of them, y-bot my old buddy from brooklyn, willy! yeah, GIANT hugs his way from me! he was in manflu - damn, he's been in england a buttload of years now (lives on what they call a narrow boat on one of london's canals) but still sounds like willy tarzian from brooklyn, much respect! you know how some cats start talking like locals after like moving somewhere for a week? not fucking willy, nope! same w/stooges road boss henry who's lived in poland a big while, he's still sounding glasgow all the way... there something "natural" about that, you know? anyway, this band he's got now has got manflu bassman dudu and a young man on the voice and keys. aza has come but she's quit music for painting, I'd like to see some. the other band arrows of love have nice folks aboard, all of us sharing tiny little cubicles but I gotta say: everyone's got their own thing and that's a trip. oh, before I forget:fratello ste did all the driving, refusing fratelli andrea's offers to share the burden. the two pm load-in we thought was gonna be impossible? he handled it, handled it well. you know, fratello ste gets on a roll and he's going, man. it's pretty awesome. in his way fratello andrea's like that too - watt's one lucky fucking goomba, you know?
cuz I fucked up and last time I went a got kebabs got stuff that had wrong stuff on it (cuz of allergies) so I ask miss hiyori to get it instead so she won't starve and gets some donner from a pad called "sarcan kebabs" - definitely england style. yeah, this is middle east chow but I think where folks end up serving it up gets a little modify thing going when they bring it somewhere else, I can really taste it w/this chow but I bet it's like that w/a lot and it makes sense, right? it's something in the sauce, the way the "salad" in it is, even the chili mixed in - distinctive. I chimp diary.
this gig's an early evening one - we're going on at 8:30 so you can imagine when willy and his crew! I'm digging them anyway - love watching willy work his kit... he yells over to me "georgie!" - george hurley is HUGE influence on him, of course! up next are the arrows of love, the got a cast of characters - the sister on bass is bowing it! everyone on shige's amp tonight, it's ok and it's happening. I wish folks back home were more like that, sharing stuff. anyway, here comes 8:30 - earliest gig of the tour? maybe...
anyway, like they say in vaudeville: "work the room!" and that's what we do. the fratelli bring it and the london gig-goers respond right back - is that 'tard writing or what? don't answer that! my old amigo jose is dead center right up front, crimony! and there's brother sam, a little back from him and starboard. "gotta play good for them, watt" is what I tell myself, gotta do good for willy too - hell for the fratelli, for everybody - even steven I just met! sometimes that secondguessing gets me fouled up but I work myself out of and back into the moment cuz damn if it didn't get some clams starting to blow... "rally, watt" I'm thinking "rally, watt" but not too intense cuz I gotta be in the moment and not behind or outside of it! there's some stupid clams from me but not bad and nerves caused some cuz I'm self-conscious a little cuz of jose and brother sam. the only real big mess I cause is the ending of our last tune "punkinhed ahoy!" where I jumped ahead of fratello andrea who wasn't looking at me and so I couldn't cue him - he was counting parts which I suggest right after to let go of and let's use cues and eye contact. anyway, whatever - the most kind london gig-goers are asking for an encore so we end the off-stage discussion and bring "zoom" to them.
gig done, over to the merch table and spiel w/folks - on the way there's big jamie from wales so BIGGEST hug watt can bring the bass brother. jose helps me in the chair, w/kyoko - been long time since I've seen them both...
they had a pad only blocks away from here in angel that I konked in lots, had some real good times there... oh man. big abrazos big abrazos. many cats give me the good word and I'm happy to give back. dear willy (another willy - not brooklyn willy) from righteous zine "stone age" gives me a copy of his first issue (read it here). brother sam from cuz w/his brother ollie - so happy to see them again, so happy. I meet brother sam's new lady hannah too. he says to hold on about cuz chapter II - you know I will, you know it! ben from mr susan spiels w/me - I know he's got back trouble so I'm sending him all the well-wishes I can. he tells me about his work and his love for music and I tell him there's a great tradition of work songs, they're very connected. fratello marco says hi w/his buddy fabio - fabio tells me he's taking care of fratello marco so I don't have to worry - ok, so glad, love these guys. fratello marco has new album coming out. this young man who happens to be a bass brother introduces me to his pop - yeah, he brought him to see me and he's very cool people, he offers to take pictures of me - on him he says, most kind!
timI'll have him my show when it does. big talks w/willy and his y-bot bandmates, bassman dudu really wants me to come to his pad and drink but we gotta make like shepherds and get the flock out of here - there's a 'tel waiting for us in maidestone, about forty miles southeast and on the way to folkstone where "le shuttle" (the chunnel) will get us back to the continent to continue the tour. so sorry.
lee's the last one to see me off, gives me lots of music that includes a collaboration we've done together - I gotta hear how that worked out. a big bye to helperman steven here, big love. it's an hour to get through the traff, crazy shit but fratello andrea does good. the fucking navigatore is off again but fratello ste's leash using 3g is good backup even though it uses zenis ('money' in jap) so damn I wish we could find out what's going on w/the motherfucker. we find the "premier inn" finally (the fucking navigatore put us at a home residence about ten miles north!) and there's some check-in drama but whew, so glad the gig was an early one cuz it's midnight now and I am way beat.
saturday, october 8, 2016 - paris, france
Pull anchor at 8. We go take the channel in folkstone and then we arrive in Paris in the afternoon. We play at l'espace B. I am writing the diary with some days of delay so I forgot so many things already and expecially the name of the band we played with. We had some long driving and tour stuff to do. Few time for diary for me on this tour. Tonight Ross came from ferrara. Nice. So we go with Sara and fratello Andrea for a nice walk on the canal. We play a good gig we load the boat. I go sleep with Ross at our friends pad Sara and Avi while fratelli and hiyori are staying in an hotel.
pop at eight bells, go right to the tub for a soak... hey, if I sit up straight, I can get all of my legs covered in water w/out having to bend them. I get the soak good and hot, fucking as much as I can stand it. you know what I forgot though? to fucking shave! the continent needs a watt w/a shaved fucking face, damn me.
fratello ste already at the boat, already at the wheel - we pull anchor at nine and drive through our first showers in england... on our last drive here, we were blessed much that way this tour, yatta! we get to the chunnel terminal w/forty minutes to spare, good planning from fratello andrea, respect for his reservation making! we lose an hour (or gave it back) cuz of the time zone when we appear out the chunnel in calais (france), it's just before noon and gray/rainy... only for an hour though - the skies clear and we pull over for both diesel and to switch ponies. dump time for watt and on the cubicle hatch is a fucking bizarre company poster:
I wonder if french folks know that "shite" is england english? I'll tell you what though, w/all the "cheers" and "spot on" I'm hearing these days back home, I'm sure it'll make into hipsterspeak in not too long... 'pert-near as funny as a bunch of cars from where we just were made to look for what looks like some kind of event going on - everyone is laughing so I think it's for a good time and I'm into it.
the navigatore again got fucking confused and wrong but we get it right. we gotta watch this crazy box! after about 180 miles of mostly french autoroute, we get into paris about three... gray sky but no rain. lots of plug w/the traff. we're at espace b tonight, kind of in the flandres part of town... I like that it's a block or two off the main drag here and so little more quiet. meet nico the gigboss, yeah, he's most kind to me, respect. we load-in from across the street, right next to a jewish butcher (it's shabbat so it's closed) and we meet the soundman vincent, also happening and after hearing my "here's how the band is" spiel agrees to make our trio a quartet w/him working the sound, alright. it's a low stage and the room's got shoebox dimensions - I think it's a happening pad for il sogno del marinaio's first paris gig ever. in the front there's a chow pad part too - fratello ste said they got good chow here.
I go up the spiral stairs to a room for the band, beautiful air coming in from the open window. this is the land of bread culture for me. just a simple fresh baguette w/the happening outside crunch and that soft middle - whoa! nico aslo got us some camembert cheese so these both together, crimony! now if there was wine... but I don't wanna drink before I play - after only is what I've disciplined myself.
coming up to join me and my chimping session are the first openers gavagaii and I meet the drummerman, nice cat. I them ask if there's another band and he says there's another w/us tonight called mary bell and the guitarman (also nice cat) says they're "post hardcore surf garage" which is a trip about how labels get refined in terms of what came from the punk movement but even trippier. the singerman cristof arrives and his ma is from guadalajara so we have stuff in common (mexico is our neighbor and many of our people have people from there) and his english is very good, we spiel much. he works during the day helping autistic and challenged people, like brother sam does in brighton. he's a really funny guy too - actually three guys in the band I really like even though I just got to know them.
chow is cous cous and chicken w/vegetables, I like. the cous cous is different than most I've had before, pretty special and I dig it. gavagaii go on - there's no bass! guitarman though sounds like he has an octave pedal going though. cristof is interesting front man and actually is wearing different outfit than he arrived in - stage clothes!
hmm... there's a curfew here and the show's running late, mary bell is next. I've heard from people that paris is tough for gig pads to keep going cuz of noise rules. anyway, curfews can be really lame in terms of giving your set the hook so that's why I always confirm times w/the soundman after soundcheck. soundman vincent said ten...
we go on a half hour late. very low stage here. my friend guillaume brought his son roan and they're standing right in front of me! kind of nervous, I wanna do good. roan was here earlier w/his sister and mother but I didn't know he was gonna see the gig w/his pop - I wonder if it's really loud on him? he's getting bass 'pert-near right in his face! we'll I usually have a little angle going so the drummerman can hear and not count on monitor mix - we use monitors only for voice, makes things simpler and simpler is better for working rooms w/gigs. the paris gig-goers are very enthusiastic but at the same time very respectful and you can hear a pin drop in our quiet parts. respect to them. I feel it's one of the best played gigs by us of the tour and they're a big part of that - also the fratelli playing their asses off, especially fratello andrea who's snare wires came loose and he had to switch to the house snare in a matter of moments, really good making lemonade of raining lemon storm, real good. much respect to him. there's some design changes he'd like to recommend to the drum makerman hannu saari regarding this. real life road test for his product, he's fortunate man, mr saari!
I go to the merch table in back and get the good word from the folks. two are from england, one of them bristol and we talk some about the pop group, a band who had incredible influence on us minutemen. dear friends of brother steve come to say hi - once we did a gig during a stooges day off here in paris and this nice man jerson did congas w/us! very intense feelings in me remember brother steve and also scotty-san cuz an old friend of his named sue is here, she also took some shots cuz she's a photographer. very emotional for us both. it sure is hard losing people, very hard and I don't know if I'll ever "get used" to it. I'm almost crying again chimping this here right now even... god, I miss those guys - ronnie too. the kindness of the paris gig-goers cheers me up some.
ok. time to thank gigboss nico and get in the boat, thank you merci to soundman vincent also. we're konking in a 'tel called "f1" (they're a big french chain) and there's communal head and showers but they do have a sink so of course I piss in that. we got some foie gras as a present and though I try to avoid chowing after gigs, I wolf this down w/what was left of those two baguettes from earlier, what a baka!
sunday, october 9, 2016 - toulon, france
I wake up at 7 and I take a cab till fratelli hotel. It is dawing. It is a beautifull sunny day and no much traffic cause it is sunday. It is actually ok to drive. Crossing the Paris peripheric areas I look at all of these ugly big buildings. These Boxes of concrete where people lieves tells to me a lot about the lost rapport with Anima Mundi.i feel sooner or later the western world would be forced to rediscover this. And it will probably pass through some traumatic experience thati hope would end in a catarsi. We have a long driving. I drive a lot today. We cross some fogs and then sun again in Touloun. We arrive right on time. We play in a cinema. strange gig. Everyone sit in their chair. We are like in a bubble. We go go sleep at Remy house. I am really tired and my right arm is painfull.
We left Paris very early in the morning and drove to Toulon, long drive. Lots of km and toll stations. Stefano and I shared the drive and arrived in a beautifully sunny day in Toulon. The show took place in a cinema with sort of ancient or fake ancient paintings on the room's lateral walls, and comfortable red seats. The evening was part of MIDI festival. We had sushi for dinner. Regis, and Nico from Hi-Fi Club came to the backstage and talked a bit together. The show was difficult as the room was really dry, the audience distant from the stage a bit disconnected from us. We left the cinema right after the show, around 9:30, and went to Regis house and had a nice time chatting and drinking wine.
pop at a quarter after seven, piss in the sink cuz the fucking head is down the goddamn hall. like they say in vaudeville: "work the room," right? at eight we meet fratello ste and board the boat, fratello at the wheel and w/sour mood. I so much the clutch in this motherfucker ford transit was more together so my cojo fucked up rodilla wouldn't have trouble w/it and I wouldn't have to be so dependent on others and instead lead by fucking example... instead I am trapped by the sitch and have to deal w/some 'tude nobody needs. some people are not morning people though. I just hate being dependent on someone cuz I'm cojo though, it really frustrates me. well, I'm just airing out my thoughts... I gotta put it somewhere or else I'm gonna pop. like this joke my pop used to tell me: "the beatings will continue until the morale improves." hear hear. like the reality ain't enough of a challenge: it's 520 miles to toulon ('pert-near straight south heading) but you know what? it could be worse cuz sunday means no trucks on the roads so we get a break that way.
sunday morning in paris is pretty calm for traff - I think there's some gendarme training going on cuz twentyone biker ones passes us in groups of three. man, are they packed up close - our motorcycle hombre ride in twos and they're along side each other and not head to tail... what if the front guy slides out? there goes the other two or what? strange/interesting. I try to bring cheer by rapping to the others in the boat about som d.c. band stuff I know about like w/fugazi and h.r. cuz there was a guy at the gig last night who joe laly taught bass to in rome - oh, fratello ste lets me know joe laly moved back to d.c. - three years ago I had big spiel w/him for my radio show. time goes by quicker instead of death ship silence. half hour to the autoroute and then just as long after 'til stop for chow/coff, thank god we get to switch ponies and spirit to something like this sun were fortunate to have. nobody on this earth was born to a life sentence from the likes of me. fratello ste on the wheel when we get to pull anchor... I feel relief.
in just a little a light comes on the boat's dash... fratello andrea pops and goes to work on the manual to find what that light means - fratello ste calls it an "english key" but we call it a wrench. anyway, fratello andrea discovers this is maintenance warning signal so for the third fucking euro tour in a row I'm in a boat w/this happening which the einsteins who rented us this piece-o ain't keeping on it and are instead running into the ground. we pull over at the next aire ('rest place' in french). hey, there's squeegees! w/big long handles too, hail civilization! this is still lame though: bucket has only plain water, no cleaner - bunk. well, you can't have everything. both me and fratello andrea do up the boat's windows as good as we can - morale has picked up as we work as a team... I ask fratello ste to put the boat by the air, I like this analog style much better than the digital ones we've been using (actually both kinds are much better than the lame-ass at most pads back home - IF they even have them). rear port tire has lost another half a bar, rear starboard two tenths... we gotta keep on this. the oil level worries me, I think it's been over-filled but luckily the seals ain't been blown. first time in this piece-o I saw two quarts of oil in the driver's hatch storage tray chingadero - my mind says "what are those doing in a three year old van?" whoever was in this piece-o before I'm guessing didn't wait for the oil to run down into the pan before checking and/or checked it w/the motor cold and mis-read the dipstick... look, all we can do is get this piece-o serviced where we can so they can change the oil and get the level right again. I'm just glad we ain't blowing seals - think about it: not enough oil is bad and too much oil is bad - use your head if you want your boat to last! down the road... we pass a nuke power station and I hip the fratelli how to tell them apart from the coalburner ones - look for the containment buildings, they got roundy roofs - don't be confused by the cooling towers cuz both kinds use those.
we pass some old ruins not too far after too, trippy parallel? anyway, it's a great vibe in the boat now, sometimes a hell can make that happen, it rallies the team. I relate the story of the second dos album cover: me and my buddy dirk always went to swap meets every sunday in wilmington and this one time I see this guy w/a bunch of tools on a blankie and I see this wrench that looks like it was originally two different wrenches that were sawed in half and then one end of each welded on to the other - hell, maybe that resulted in two of them but there's one here and get this, it's spray painted gold. it tripped me out and I kept looking and checking it out real close... the old guy says to me, "yeah, that's a nice piece" and I had to fight hard to keep the bust-up inside me - I asked him how much and he said "twentyfive cent" and it was a done deal. that's what I like about swap meets, you never go to them looking for stuff in particular but instead that shit you end up w/was like waiting there for you to find, huh? sometimes I miss those times w/dirk much. he's a good cat, essential.
we had some fog but the loosened up into just a hazey grhazyt hey, no rain and I'm glad. I gotta blow out so we pull over. I like these newer french autoroute aire pads - I mean they're burn wards so watch out buying anything but they got lots of light cuz of big windows and tall overheads, wide aisles and clean heads that are close and don't use stairs. anyway, I saw this billboard in paris:
I thought it was a fucking joke but nope, the toilet paper here is red! trippy. I love these hand dryers by dyson - fucking happening idea and I'm wondering why did it take so long? years and years of those jive-ass blowers w/the big hole and being fucking lame and w/a little ingenuity, shit finally gets together. amen. now about this red toilet paper "innovation" though...
import "cazzo molo" is fratello andrea's suggestion to me after we talk some about slang - especially turning nouns into verbs which the language politi really hate. arrrgggghhhh. he takes the rudder at two bells when stop real brief to switch ponies, real sunny now too. fratello ste tells me about this movie called "cave of forgotten dreams" from werner herzog dealing w/the grotte chauvet which damn if we don't drive right close to. he shows me on his leash cave paintings of horses that's a total mindblow... I gotta see this movie.
piss stop for the fratelli at three bells - the weather is totally like my pedro town... I've always thought this about southern france... the geography and some plant life also very similar to what I see in so cal. pull in and drop anchor at cinema le royal 'pert-near to the minute where we're do a gig as part of the midi festival - gigboss anastasia is waiting for us out front:
we unload the boat... fuck, we donated the shine cart, damn it! must be at espace b in paris, oh well. I'm sure someone can use. the movie house boss christopher lets us use his office for a backstage. my buddy regis got us this gig, he's got a band called hifiklub and we've done some collaborations, he is a true frere. he tells me it's one of the first gigs here, especially using electric instruments. we soundcheck w/a nice man named oliver I've worked w/before - w/regis and hifiklub at a nearby toulon fort from the napoleon days... we did it that first time il sogno del marinaio played this town. anastasia brings us sushi to chow which feels healthy even if it's a little different than kinds I've had before.
no opening band tonight - actually we're opening for "gimme danger" which is a doc on the stooges by jim jarmusch. I sure got a lot of respect for mr jarmusch, love him. so that's already making this gig a pants shitter for me. we're on at eight but cristopher asks us to wait five minutes before playing which is a little awkward... I tell a couple of crummy jokes and then when we do start the gig, I blow some pretty clams (like spacing on the fourth verse of the first tune) before getting it together w/my fratelli. understand people are in seats - it's a movie theatre so it feels like coming out of a cake or something but let me say the kindness of the toulon gig-goers was so happening that they helped big time to keep me from totally freaking out. I think one has to do these gigs from time to time, just to keep things in perspective. I know people wanna see the stooges movie and to return some of the incredible respect they showed us, I ask the fratelli to scissor the encore and let the movie happen.
the load-out is quick cuz we need to konk and rest from all the hellride and early pops we've pulled. big thank you mercis to the gig-goers who rap w/me at the merch table, very kind and warm hearted. big thank you merci to anastasia for doing all she did and christopher too. beautiful cats, truly. I wish I could speak french w/the gig-goers, such a bueatifubeautifule. I dig all the foreign (for me) speaks, I feel so fucking stupid I can only collect some words. arrrggghhh. regis' hifiklub guitarman nico is here - so good to see him again. we bid everyone au revoir.
regis and his lady helen ride w/us up the hill to his pad, we konked here before. it's the first time this tour I'm drinking wine and I like this kind anastasia gave us. we listen to the latest collaborations regis has done, like w/alain johannes and mario lalli plus new hifiklub stuff - regis' ma is from corsica and they've collaborated w/a traditional singer there. it's most happening and rapping w/regis is always a trip, you're gonna learn much and have fun doing it. I got big love for him. I konk real glad.
monday, october 10, 2016 - barcelona, spain
Not a good sleep. I wake up a bit stunado. We take a coffe and we hit the road to barcellona. Cloudy and little rainy. We play at side car. Bit tricky to drive in the barrio gotico with a van. But we mannage. So nice to see my friends Francesco and Tiziana. I spend a nice time with them. I take part to an interview with fratello Mike. After gig is bit tricky to come back with the van and load and manouver inthe little street. Milo is very kind and we follow him on his vespa and he takes us at the pad we are sleeping at. Anna and Cristian pad. I am very tired and I go sleep as soon as possible.
Beautiful sunny day. Regis balcony is just amazing, big with a nice view on the Toulon harbor. Long drive to Barcellona. I love Barcellona architecture. Milo the promoter, went to pick us up at the meeting point in ... place with his scooter, driving around the pedestrian zone in the center. The venue is called Sala Sidecar. I played there ten years ago with Rosolina Mar. Nice venue, it's in Plaza Real. Next to it there is a famous restaurant which was a taxidermy workshop. Marco de Togni came to visit me, he's a good friend from Verona who moved the Barcellona 15 years ago. It's been great to see him after so many years. Then I met Giorgio and Carlotta. Giorgio is a great drummer, from Verona as well.I also met Franceschino. Viva Bazooka are intense. During our show I sweat a lot!
pop at seven. when regis returns from bringing helen to the train station, he makes me some coff and we talk about music stuff. I wanna give him a wattplower bass, he deserves.
I also wanna do another spiel w/him for my radio show to talk about his recent collaboration w/mario lally, a cat who can really play guitar. he's surprised to find out from me mario has just moved to my pedro town. I heard he moved into the old peck manor, where my missingmen drummerman raul used to live. it's about about 350 miles to barcelona so we pull anchor a quarter after nine, fratello andrea at the wheel. stop an hour later for diesel.
one and a half, we switch ponies not far from perpignan which is where we're playing tomorrow. I get some cleaner fluid for the fucking windshield cuz it's fucking ridiculous pushing water across the fucking glass. ten of two, fratello ste drives us over the border into the catalan part of spain. the skies start darkening up and in a little while, the rain comes but then it goes... on/off like this 'til barcelona. we get into the downtown about three and a half we start doing laps in the plaza real... on lap two, this guy on a motorcycle is along us starboard and the cat keeps looking in my window. now I ain't got a shirt on so I'm wondering if this cat is... uh, you know - I'm looking at him looking at me looking at him looking at - crimony! I fucking realize it's milo, he's putting on the gig for us tonight!
this is part of the plan to get us to the gig pad, the sidecar factory club - the fratelli work as a team to back the boat down the tiniest of alleys... crimony! the policia come up on us - milo has to negotiate something w/them but they're not into so we get back out on the street and wait a few and then try it again! ok... I hobble over to the pad and meet belen, one of the padstaff.
soundman (and maybe padboos?) suso hears my speech, he agrees to be our fourth man "for today!" he tells me, alright. padstaff pablo makes me a coff. rodrigo arrives, he's in familea miranda along w/milo. alright, we got it going now! these are the two cats making it happen for us, I think they're working w/the club maybe sort like outside promoters? everyone is very happening and I'm really glad we're here. yeah, "sidecar" makes me think of "sidehack racing" and I show him some pictures I found on the internet that I flowed to tav falco when he was talking to me about his old norton.
the opening band is from the basque country and is called viva bazooka and is led by asier who's guitarman and the young drummerman rafa actually came from paraguay six years ago. asier shows me his tattoo - it's the "what makes a man start fires?" man raymond did - respect! hey, you know what I notice? the paper says we're on at ten minutes after ten pm and damn if it ain't october tenth today so that means in a way that we hit at:
rodrigo tells me there used to be a taxidermy pad next door, they would stuff animals there. he came from chile nine years (milo came ten)... we talk about roberto bolano cuz not long ago I read "chile by night" cuz of karen schoemer hipping me to it, what a mindblow for watt! it's subtle in the way it worked on me, a kind of slow burn and then at end: boom! I recommend big time EVERYONE reading this baby. you know, there was a young chile cat working that glasgow gig we did last week who knew about this book but told me he never finished it. hell, it's not that many pages but it is fucking deep - I remember telling him, "do it, finish that baby!"
it's a real good chow prepared by milo that consists of muscles, salad, croquettes and tortilla - the spanish kind which means something like a thick omelette w/potatoes in it. a little later backstage a lady named anna interviews me and fratello ste, she asks good stuff and I think fratello ste helps make it clear the band is a collaboration and not a mike watt side proj. fratello andrea brings introduces us to his old buddy marco who's from verona like him and we actually do "alain" which originally a tune from the group they had together. then uri comes to visit - uri! he was w/me for the spain gigs in 2005 w/my second-string secondmen, the "el mar cura todo in europe too" tour. we talk a bunch to catch up, so happening to see him again.
viva bazooka goes on at nine and a half and tear it up. whoa, rafa is really kicking it up on the drum kit - this young man's smokin', step back and give him some room! even w/out a bass, I dig these cats, asier has a good sparring partner in rafa.
I'm lit now, thank you big time, viva bazooka! we actually go on at ten and a half so the "ten ten on ten ten" will stay only a dream. it's ok - I ain't gonna try and blame the clams I blow tonight on that... I'm feeling a little insecure cuz of fratello andrea's friend marco - I'm worried about playing lame for him and of course: that makes me play kind of lame - I'm a fucking idiot! I keep hitting the headstock of the bass on one of the p.a. speaker boxes... the stage has kind of a low overhead (it's well-padded w/foam rubber though so no hell for the noggin) and that's sometimes gets me a little out of tune - I got a little bit of struggle this gig. also a prob is the kick drum really booming out in the quiet parts, crimony, sometimes it bogarts the fundamental so much and I have to guess on what's gonna come out my mouf when I open it! I gotta say though that the barcelona gig-goers are really fucking happening and fire up stuff good and strong to overcome these tiny hells I'm putting myself through... ok, maybe the kickdrum thing is beyond me but I don't have to get all eaten up by it - I can use it like a farmer uses fertilizer, right? easy to say now but in that moment there was some choke coming out of me. well, at least there ain't any stumblebums as there was in toulon or maybe there was? I don't know - I'm just grateful for the fratelli hanging w/me, same w/the barcelona gig-goers.
I first head up the stairs when we're done but get enlightened by rodrigo that the merch table's down where we were, what a doof! once at the table though there's many kind people to give me the good word - there's ladron and his buddy w/ruta 66 - last time I saw them was w/brother steve in valencia, a sad wind blows on me... big hugs for us... we all miss him, all miss him, all miss, miss. this bass brother eugene has a good time w/me, his wit is quick and english is sharp. I sign a bunch of stuff, folks are very kind. I hobble upstairs and talk w/more abel, this cat who had a minutemen shirt on the last time I did a stooges gig in barcelona, right near the water. this one young man talks to me for a while about some intense things - he had pople in his family that were anarchists in the older days, he has some very heartfelt stuff to share. a big hug for him from me, big one.
abrazos for hugo and milo - w/the boat loaded up, we head for a buddy of milo's named cristian cuz that's where we're gonna konk. I am so tuckered I konk w/in moments of getting there, just too beat... oh, fratello andrea told me his buddy marco had to bail before we even played so like a total baka I got all insecure for fucking nothing, crimony!
tuesday, october 11, 2016 - perpignan, france
I wake up at 11 after a long, good and restorative sleep. Milo arrived and has prepared nice breakfast with Avocado tomato cheese coffee. Nice. We take a photo with him and then we are on the road again. not a long driving. We play in a school tonight.i find a maracuja juice and a brownie.i had a nice talk with Sara and Hector has prepared food. Patrice is sound guy. Nice gig vibe. Just vocals in the p.a. We go sleep at Lionel. I cannot really fall asleep.
We had breakfast with Milo in the apartment where we slept. In Perpignan it was sunny and warm. Lionel came to pick us up, and loaded in in the venue in the city center. I spent some time in the record store next to the venue, great one. I bought a few amazing records. The store belongs to Marc from Staubgold. Great crowd at the gig. Marc was at the gig, we talked a bit after the gig.
pop at seven. I gotta shave and do just that after hosing off. fuck, I don't wanna wear a beard and/or a mustache ever again. there's a paper w/a password but there's no network mentioned so I gotta go through a buttload before I finally hit it. pretty funny but I prolly deserve. I'm so glad the fratelli can get good konk cuz of all the hellride they've had to endure, manning the wheel. much respect to them for keeeping us safe. we only got 120 miles to drive today so it's way relaxed for us. lots of the morning since ten and a half we spend talking w/milo about all kinds of stuff he also makes some coff, cuts up avacado and I chow that w/some salsa romeno that he brought too. I hear milo use "stupido" when he spilled something and it makes me think of "tonto" which is spanish for something although most u.s. people who are into "the lone ranger" might not know that cuz the character tonto was his sidekick. that's another whole weird can of beans to open but knowing the fratelli and their background in experimental music, I ask them if they know the synthesizer called tonto (one of it's inventors, malcolm cecil talks about using it w/stevie wonder here) and damn if they never heard of it. larry mullens http://tobydammit hipped me to it. that's one great thing music cats do for each other: turn them onto happening music infos and let it spread around. milo shows me the new bass he's working these days, it's from the early 70s and japan (ibanez) and is sort of like an eb-0 on steroids. don't know how it sounds but it plays great.
fratello ste has to get the boat out of a lot so he goes to get it as I hobble slow down the marble stairs - yeah, old white marble, it's beautiful. cristian was so kind to let us use his pad, the best - big abrazzos to him. it's one and a half when we pull anchor. an hour later we get diesel and this filling station has both sponge and and squeegee though the handle on the squeegee is like four inches long. for the first time we use the cleaning fluid I got yesterday and dman if it don't work real good. everyone's involved - we got a window washing party going on! man, it's amazing to be able to see stuff outside the boat, I love it. filthy windows are for lazy-ass lamers. we pull over again a half-hour later to switch ponies (these guys sometimes like to stop a bunch but I think it's ok especially if someone's tired) at a three and a half we reach the border... passport check from the policia going out and then a few miles down the road at the peyage we get another check from the french side - a very young officer just pops open the hatch (I've been sitting all tour in the starboard side back seat) and then looks over at the older man running the check and by the look on his face I could tell he fucked up and shuts the hatch back up, trippy. the man behind him was in army clothes w/a machine gun so I'm glad he had it together. the police boss doesn't even ask where we're going (the other ones did) - I think there might be some kind of alert or they're looking for someone cuz yesterday's crossing had nothing like this.
perpignan is like only twenty miles further. we make a couple of loops around a fountain and then the gigboss lionel finds us. we can't get the boat through the ballard so we schlep the stuff from a few blocks away. he says he can go get "a chariot" but in fact it turns out to be a shopping cart. hey, he's trying! he's a good man. this place, el pati de l'ecole lavoisier used to be a school and hence the name. there's lots of trippy artwork and most of the pad is outside - we're playing inside though.
the soundman patrice arrives at five and builds the p.a. meanwhile, I hobble around the old town (that's the part we're in), many tiny streets and alleys, I'm digging it but gotta be careful cuz of my fucked up knee, don't wanna crumple and tumble. I think of "the catcher in the rye" when I see this (when I first met the fratelli I gave them this book to help them w/their english):
hector gets the chow for us - he's lived both in valencia and perpignan but he's here's now cuz I find out he's this pad's his - he just bought it! that's what lionel told me, what a trip. I'm glad to help him break it in! actually it has a happening and unique vibe, very interesting - there's paintings and art hung up all on the bulkheads. hector brings us tanjin that's cous cous w/chicken but it's different, it's got it's own thing and I really dig it. I ask lionel about the red marble I've been seeing all around the old town. he tells me they were put in about fifteen years ago - it ain't old stuff at all although there is some oldage - one pad I saw was from the fourteenth century. it was a baka plan cuz when this marble gets wet from rain or whatever it gets real slippery and some people (especially old ones) fall and get hurt... so it was a stupid idea. he says they have piles of this expensive marbe just sitting around wasted cuz this proj had to get stopped and in some places even has to be pulled out. lionel says perpignan has a lot of probs but he wants to stick it out cuz he says the town deserves some place some adventurous music can be experienced. I admire this in him, great spirit. his bday was yesterday... I will do gig for him.
there's no opening band tonight so at quarter of nine we start our set. just two blue and green lights, it's got a trippy mood. the perpignan gig-goers are pretty vocal about stuff but it ain't negative, it's kind of participatory. someone brought their dog and he's running around (understand we're playing right on the deck, no elevated stage. I gotta say I think I did the best version of "nanno's waltz" I've done all tour. actually I feel pretty comfortable and together this gig for lionel, the fratelli are kicking up much dust and I feel very connected w/them, our dynamics tight and taunt. I have a real good time and very much enjoyed this gig.
at the merch table this artist lady sarah gives me a piece for a present, it's a small painting/construction I'm gonna put in my prac pad - I got stuff like this on the bulkheads for inspiration, people so kind to donate sincere stuff. she said I was like a big wind and had wonderful things to say about the drums and guitar, I heard/watched her explain to the fratelli. I meet a man named marcus who has a very happening record shop a few doors down called cougouyou music and we rap about some bands I really when I was more younger like der plan, daf and abwarts. he's from cologne originally and fratello andrea knows him cuz of sometime between there and here in berlin. small world! there's some cats who came all the way from girona to see the gig - we went through there before getting across the border earlier today! very kind of them.
we pack up the boat and bring lionel w/us to where he lives in a part of town called the real (royal) quarter... you can imagine in older days, huh? up five flights of stairs, cojo watt can do it, just takes some time and care. hey, there's "chinatown" from thin lizzy, so sad to think about about this period for them, trippy w/all the credits on the sleeve there's not one date. buttloads of names though, even the cat in charge of makeup. we talk w/lionel for a good while about music and stuff, very interesting cat and a lot of fun. even though we were a day late, so glad we got to celebrate his fiftysecond bday w/him.
wednesday, october 12, 2016 - geneva, switzerland
We wake up at 8. Go to pick the van and I take a coffe to drive in a portuguese bar. I feel hitching on the arms and feet and I find some bites on my arms. Shit probably bed bugs. We arrive in geneva at 17. I feel very tired and I sleep a bit. Very few people at the gigs but we still play with good spirit and very togheter. Sad that so fee people come. We talk in the night about this with fratelli and to get a better promotion for il sogno del marinaio. We sleep upstairs.
Long drive from Perpignan.
First very cold day of the tour so far.
Good chicken and potatoes for dinner.
Opening band Zero has a unique style.
Tough gig but the band was tight, I'm happy with my fratelli.
pop at seven and a half. I hose off and check out this sonny rollins "best of" and some other music lionel's got here. interesting. I chimp diary in a parallel move also.
pull anchor at 9:20, fratello ste on the tiller. we got gray skies but at least no rain. we got 370 miles to plow today to get to geneva. after a half an hour we stop at a gas station chow pad on the autoroute called "les comptoirs casino" but give me a break - the caesar salad I get "tastes" - what? I can't use that word cuz chowing it gives me the feel of someone who already chewed it up and sucked out all the "taste" that might've been in it and then spit it into my mouf. at least there was lots of green leaves and not baka iceberg bullshit ones cuz I need the roughage big time. at a peage there's more gendarme and they got two guys out of their car and doing body searches so they're busy w/that and let us through. we're heading north, away from the border and not that close but their uniforms say douane ('border' in french) so maybe it's related to what was happening yesterday. I don't know... we had no internet yesterday so I had no way of hearing news.
cuz of the interesting breaking patterns I'm experiencing here on the back bench, I relate some stories of wrecks I've been in, like w/me at the wheel in utah hitting black ice (fIREHOSE days) and going into a spin and into the infield median - not full 360 but 'pert-near... georgie screaming his brains out - I don't blame him, it was fucking scary but I did turn into the spin, kept my foot of the brake and rode it out - we stayed on all fours. another van wreck I was in I was a passenger in the back and it was w/j mascis + the fog and the vehicle did flip on it's side and skidded across the highway on its side, j broke his broke his back - I saw him fly right across and in front of me, crimony! I crawled out the side window w/out a shirt on and was shaking like a leaf (I was shaking real bad after that spin out in utah also and had to hand the wheel over to georgie cuz I lost my nerve)... anyway, I tell the fratelli this cuz I want them to know where my concern comes from, it's ain't total abstract paranoia.
just before we drop anchor for diesel and switch ponies, fratello andrea on the tiller. arrrggghhhh! while moving all this music folks are giving me in the different towns (lots of it great stuff) from my back wack 'puter sack to a box that can stay in the boat and take a load off me, I find the two copies of ant macari's "one blade of grass" book of poetry ant flowed me after the gig in newcastle and I thought got spaced and it bummed me out big time cuz one copy was for raymond. whew, I feel kind of relieved cuz I don't wanna feel they've been taken for granted, know what I mean? there's a phone interview we gotta do as we leave the a9 to head northeast for grenoble and the pass to switzerland... I wonder why in this day and age we can't use skype (very econo: free) and when we're docked and have it recorded for broadcasting whenever? man, it's fucking kind of baka, you know? I'm supposed to do a spiel after soundcheck tonight, in fact. let's get w/it people! damn, I remember the days of having to pull over and holler answers at roadside phone boof! we can make it easier on ourselves these days, people! I will never bail on doing spiels for gigs though, never cuz that's really baka and actually, kind of fucking lazy and even conceited - thinking you're too good to talk to someone who's interested in your work.
I can feel my ears pop as we ascend, we're climbing to meet the alps. the gray's lightened up but it's still kind of hazy. a minute ahead of four w/cross into switzerland and not even a pause or a word, total butter. thank you much for the kindness, truly. immediately we're in geneva and roll the boat to l'usine which is where at tonight and I've been a few times before now. good people here, always have been very nice to me. we drop anchor twenty after but not before we hear some grinding - is it the brakes? oh fuck... I check the cv joints and their boots... I check what I can of all four brake rotors and no grooves, hmm... gotta be safe, big priority.
I open the back of the boat - well, I gotta have fratello ste use the fucking alarm trip on the llave chain cuz they have no fucking mechanical way of doing it - bullshit. anyway, some bullshit cuz of us is the horrible pack I find... did we come up w/a great pack right from the get-go? arrrrggggghhhh soundman gandalf (I shit thee not, he says that's his name) gets the soundman speech and agrees to be our fourth man (no gates/no wet vocals) w/victor helping him. aline makes us coff upstairs and I meet zero who's sharing the stage w/us. they're from lyon in france and know seb who I respect fucking big time (check this out).
both bands check we talk about stuff like metal urbain cuz that's the first french band I got a record of - actually it was the first release rough trade did, they were a great label. I get asked about ciccone youth and wanna clear something up. I didn't fucking record anything for that album, I'm only on the seven inch which is actually the part of proj I was involved w/and if you want it really spelled out, the main reason for it in the first place. I explain that after d boon got killed I didn't think anyone wanted to hear me play again and so stopped w/bass. k got a internship in new haven at yale after she graduated ucla so I helped drive w/her to connecticut and stopped in nyc to visit thurst while they were recording their "evol" album w/martin bisi. thurst had me play kim's bass on a cover they did of "bubblegum" and I thought of us doing some kind of collaboration interpreting some works of madonna - k had turned me on to madonna and I don't why but playing w/these guys inspired me not to give up on music lee also had me jam to drummerman steve and later he read a poem over it, thurst read one of my poems at the tune's end, it went like this:
I never gave a damn
so when I got back to my pedro town I made a four track recording of madonna's "burning up," called the demo "burnin' up" w/me on everything (bass, guitar, spiel, and backup spiel using slowed down speed so it would be pitched up when played back regular) to show thurst what I wanted to do for a collab and THAT'S what he used on the ciccone youth album.
the new alliance single version of "burnin' up" where I recorded everything w/ethan james at radio tokyo (ethan programmed a linn drum) except lead guitar and for that I asked greg ginn. I hope I cleared that up. I am not part of the sonic youth ciccone youth album except for thurst including my demo of "burnin' up" that I made for him alone to and not knowing it was gonna be released to the people. I do like that it came out like that though, I was very grateful but the truth should be know. I think another prob was a ciccone youth publicity picture which was me w/sonic youth - was it me who thought this up? was it thurst? fuck, I can't remember now... shit, I can't remember!
a cat named arno takes some pictures of us, one at a time - no group shot, interesting. what's not interesting is him not letting me put my hands where I want 'til I make an issue out of it. he's a good guy though. I think you gotta remember picture-takers are looking through a kind of a window and that might lend itself to maybe some control issues.
zero goes on and I watch them do it up, very atmospheric and yet driving, trippy guitar upside down (literally) w/pick-less plucking. lots of keys machines though that operator did a really good bass guitar lick for one tune, I liked that line much. drummerman very solid and bitchin' w/dynamics. it's good inspiration for me, thank you zero guys, merci!
our turn (hey, it's 10:10 tonight!), we charge hard but I can tell the fratelli are tired, especially fratello ste but it's admirable how they still push. I blow a real bad clam at the end of "animal farm tango" - maybe not really bad but it butchered the intended composition though me and fratello andrea improvised a connected finito and not just a fucking train wreck. oh yeah, I busted the fucking snark tuner like a total stunad, damn. I have some fun though and look 'pert-near every gig-goer a few times at least tonight it feels like. we confuse them some w/what's a break in a tune and what's an ending so I really take a little while to start "us in their land" cuz sometimes I bring it in right after "skinny cat" - hell, let me give you our set list for this tour:
il sogno del fienile
yep, every tune from "canto secondo" and four from "busta gialla" plus one that ain't on either album. once more I'm proud of my fratelli and most grateful for the gig-goers here.
at the merch table I talk to a real interesting cat named louie who's from ireland but has lived a long time, he's an architect and I'm kind of intrigued by his work and mine - I mean when I'm composing... there is a kind of parallel and I think out loud w/him about it. I like the idea of setting up situations and then see what happens when the stuff other than bass is involved, like a launch pad or a springboard kind of thing. I can see how this could be kind of achieved in his work and louie's much better at articulating what I'm getting at - I think he's on the same level. I relate to him first meeting bob mould... I would long-ass phone calls w/all three huskers, of course one at a time but they lived all the way in minneapolis and here I am in pedro so it had to be phone cuz it was the beginning of the 80s and anyway, bob mould told me two trippy things I'll never forget: one was when I asked him if he had a favorite guitar player he said yes and it was johnny thunders and the other was when I asked him what he studied in college he said urban planning. I think urban planning would be a much better whatever if bob mould was kicking up much dust w/it - this thing of creating possibilities instead of trying plan and micro-manage every little detail which of course would stunt anything organic and developing. louie opened my head up to wondering about this, thank you big time, brother louie. he gives me some music he's involved w/too.
gigboss matthieu and his helperman - sorry I'm spacing on the name cuz he's great cat and has tons of good stories about the polynesian islands and exotic stuff. our konk pad is in stumbling distance which is a couple of floors above us, just gotta take the 'vator up before going down for the count cuz you know watt's pretty tired now too.
thursday, october 13, 2016 - winterthur, switzerland
Second and last swiss gig. Very interesting venue with nice old restored desin furniture. They have a ping pong.. All nice cats. I talk with Paolo guitar player of the opening band We have a very nice rice and curry vegetables. We go sleep in a hotel just close to the train station I feel hard itching.
Kraftfeld is a really nice place, I like the atmosphere.
I found a record store nearby but too pricy.
Dinner was good, curry.
Our show tight as the day before.
pop at nine, that was a konk for me. soreness is starting to get to my hands and knees w/my hands I know a result of tour rock but the cold wet. I'm gonna hold off though on the ibuprofen and try to use it only when I'm going crazy, put buffer days in between. I re-devour more pages of "the sand pebbles" before using my mouf to devour some pretty happening bread schmeared/stuffed w/I find trippy to find here in europe: philadelphia cream cheese from a plastic tub. I just can't eat the sugar cakes cookies cereal jam preserve marmalade sugar sugar sugar and there's actually no real cheese. that bread was fucking happening though - oh, there was a righteous pear that was fucking knockout, I shit thee not, incredible the way my mouf took and got all juiced-full over filled 'pert-near w/nectar drench.
we do the load-out, getting the boat's culo right up on the side hatch is very happening. pull anchor a quarter after eleven. it's our first real rain drive, fratello ste on the conn. it's about 185 miles from geneva to winterthur, our heading northeast... you don't go over many mountains in switzerland on the big roads, you go through them. they have enough zenis here to build many of them. the rain relents after a hour and a half and what do we see? buffalo, I shit thee not!
just after two we switch ponies. I suggest no diesel cuz we don't wanna use swiss francs if we don't have. the pisser takes one of those though. last hundred klicks of today's drive will be fratello andrea and a couple of miles down the road where there's some big down I ask him to test the brakes w/out hitting the accelerator so we can listen... no weird sounds like yesterday, good... (what a baka I was to believe this!)
I ask for us to discuss what we talked about before konking last night. getting off the highway for winterthur a quarter of three, using the brakes coming down the offramp brings that fucking grind sound again - I think it's brake pads (rear port side, it sounds like) and maybe we didn't hear them earlier cuz they hadn't gotten hot yet. fuck. good news though: juli at kraftfeld (where we're playing tonight) has us bring the boat around back to unload the stuff. I meet soundman robin and give him the "will you be our fourth man tonight?" speech and he's into it, great. the gigboss tomas soon then arrives - it's been two years since my other time here w/tom and raul (speaking of raul, he just wrote me to say him and paloma have a shipmate coming in may, crimony! I'm really happy for them, wow!) at "forcefield" w/my third opera, great to see him again, truly! juli puts on some happening bread and cheese - one kind w/pepper in it is so fucking good, love it! trippy, I never chow bread or cheese at my pad in pedro but here it's 'pert-near every day.
while the fratelli set up, I go upstairs to the backstage room and connect w/the internet, update the diary. fuck, I find out the thai king bhumibol has just past away, I'm very sad for mrs peak and the thai people too cuz I think he helped w/calming some crazy stuff there, I know mrs peak is prolly very sad, I feel for her. by the way, my sister melinda wrote me saying she had to put our ma in the hosp sunday cuz her breathing was konking out and there they found a little fluid in her lungs... melinda tells me not to worry but fuck, how can I not... it really affected my playing sunday night but I'm just chimping about it now cuz I'm trying to be calm now myself and not go lose it... we still got a lot more gigs to do, tonight's the halfway mark - number sixteen. anyway, I gotta wait for word from my sister melinda and thank god I got her - both me and my ma are lucky to have her.
I gotta get my mind off this some... the aesthetics here at kraftfeld are really interesting... from bar stools made w/tractor seats to the soap bar being like a bicycle handle in the benjo. all kinds of things made trippy from industrial stuff but at the same time there's a fireplace for heat from chopped wood. for chow there's been some rice and "a fruity curry" which tastes real good and ain't heavy on me for playing. we earlier met the borderline symphony who are very nice but damn if I think cuz we're chowing get off on a tangent on jomon and yayoi people in old japan (maybe cuz there's rice on the plate) - their leaderman luka told me earlier he has italian relatives that moved to the u.s. which is what happened w/my ma's people, her ma's dolomiti and her pop sicilia. it's kind of a parallel universe w/me and luka here, huh? alright. I go chimp diary upstairs.
quarter of ten when we hit it and for me it's a good time. there's a bogart from the kick drum in the tiny parts but still that don't put too big hell on me having fun w/the fratelli bringing our il sogno del marinaio to the most kind winterthur gig-goers, I know it's hansi dancing up a storm, he took the train from zurich which is only fifteen miles away - closer than me in pedro from tom watson in manhattan beach back in so cal! so glad he could be here.
at the merch table after rapping some stuff w/very kind folks, hansi gives me an ep of his new music, big danke to you, hansi, big danke! folks take shots w/me, they call them "selfies" but if I'm in the shot w/them, ain't it an "ussie" then? seems to make more sense to me - am I baka? big hugs for tomas and juli, righteous cats and I thank them much for having us aboard, truly.
the 'tel is a "great western" one (yeah, I think it's u.s. chain, no?) by the train station and damn I don't get to soak cuz the weather is getting wetter/colder and damn if that don't put a real hurt and on my knees/hands. the hot soak is righteous relief. I do pop a couple of hours later w/painers though but mercifully the itai relents or whatever happened cuz konk again draped me.
friday, october 14, 2016 - torino, italy
In the morning I break my thumbnail. So I go outside just after breakfast to find a glue and I can fix it. We cross all swisstzerland till Italy. Buckets of rain till Milano. then Better in Torino. We play at Magazzini. Many friends come tonight. Rodrigo and Simona from Milano, Paolo , Fabrizio, Paul , Antonio , Stefano, Maria... Nice to see them all. and also Mike Cooper Setaon joins us. We are goin to have four days with him travelling with us. nice. I love his solo set and Krano with his band too. We eat all togheter pasta around the table just before the offset festival starts. Cristian has organized the all thing Thx Cris!
I made it through driving on the san gottardo tunnel, I hate this 17 km long tunnel, I feel trapped. But I did it, so when I arrived in Turin, I got a nice glass of wine, met my dear friend Miles Cooper Seaton, and then took a nap in the van. The venue is at Murazzi, a famous area for night clubs in Turin. I met many friends: Paul Beuchamp, Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo, Chiara from Father Murphy. Miles opened with his marvelous set, I love his music so much. Krano music and musicians are very are cool, I really like their style of playing, laid back. Really good crowd tonight, the gig was tight, we needed some italian warm vibe. The hotel is in an old Casa a Ringhiera.
pop just before eight, I shave special cuz we're going to italy, it's the half way point of the tour and what a great way to bring it - I want my face smoov. downstairs there's free trough and I shovel from it: some scrambled eggs, some cheese (a couple kinds!), bread and bacon plus coff. fuck if I didn't donate my john coltrane in the navy button I've been wearing starboard-side flannel but luckily have a bravo of the same todd cong made me the day I sallied forth from pedro for this mission. I chimp diary.
pull anchor at quarter after eleven, have to wait for fratello andrea to get the boat and fratello ste shows me his bites - he got chowed by bedbugs in perpignan prolly. damn if ain't bit all over his waist, wrists and neck... fratello andrea says they looked up infos online and it looks like it wasn't ka ('mosquito' in jap) like I first thought but these cimici motherfuckers. damn. we aim south for milano w/fratello andrea on the wheel.
quarter of one we stop for twenty swiss francs worth of diesel. I ain't into go lower than a quarter of a tank cuz of really fucked past experiences w/both running out of fuel and/or fuel line/carb probs cuz of sucking fucking rust your system. we'll fuel up using euros in como which is right across the border from lugano. in the gotthard tunnel our radio comes on and warns us about stuff - I've never experienced this before, trippy. I think warnings in tunnels like this are very important, especially thinking of that mont blanc tunnel fire which was really really terrible. out of the tunnel - the fratelli really hate tunnels and they're big time relieved to be out... of course, so the fuck am I! I relate the story of the navy offering my pop submarine duty and he was like no fucking way. I'm like that, got fear of heights too. they're called phobias, I tell the fratelli. now south of gotthard pass we're in the italian canto of swiss and the language has switched over on the signs and stuff, just like they did when we passed from the french part (geneva) to the german one. the swiss handle this pretty good, the world can learn from it, I think. I gotta chimp here that the whole drive - even the rainy parts - have beauty flooding in on us from the windows, the swiss eye-gifts in its countryside are gorgeous in their nature and their expression, like some righteous tuneage for the occhios (sorry for the terrible italian, I am baka).
I have some "gazosa" from the gig last night, some kind of swiss lemon flavored "lemonade" thing... trippy, I think it's ok. the rain really starts coming down as italy gets closer and closer... we talk about creedence clearwater revival - they kind of don't know the drama around that band. I enlighten them some about that. they start singing the italian anthem in a funny voice from the fascist radio propaganda days and I think of luka last night saying to me "it's good you're next going to italy where you can get a little dirty cuz in switzerland here it's a little too clean" - I tell the fratelli and they laugh... it makes me think of something else, this scene in "the third man" where orson welle's character harry lyme says:
"you know what the fellow said - in italy, for thirty years under the borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced michelangelo, leonardo da vinci and the renaissance. in switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? the cuckoo clock."
(check him out delivering it here) yeah, ok, that's funny but don't forget the cabaret voltaire wasn't all that far from where we played last night and it gave us dada - our movement has total roots in that scene, so please not too much hell on the swiss, please! since I've first played in this land I've heard from both neighbor people and natives about "boring and too clean" but c'mon - those are stereotypes and you know how full of it that can be. I hope I can always come and play swiss towns. we get to the border at two and we're waved through w/out a word, another butter one - thank you grazie swiss italian border people. bye bye switzerland, ciao italia.
in a few minutes it's the heaviest rain of the tour now and after the pedago for the autostrade we pull over for fuel. cuz of the brake sitch, we gotta be careful. fratello andrea made a call for an appointment w/a mechanic in mestra this upcoming monday morning, good man. I get out to piss in the store part of this pad and damn if there ain't some salami I just gotta get - jones coming down on fratello mike - I get a short stick!
you know what? damn if this it ain't the same filling station I was at w/tom watson and raul two and a half years ago w/the french guys - "it's deja vu all over again," to quote mr berra! fratello ste now at the helm, he'll do the next half of today's 263 miles we gotta do to get to torino where we're part of the offset fest at a pad called magazzino sul po where we'll do our first of two gigs w/a friend of fratello andrea's, miles cooper stanton. by three and a half the rain lightens up but doesn't quit. man, this salami ain't anything like I have back home - and from a fucking filling station too! love the chow here. right ahead of four the sun is out and the rain has stopped, turning west at milano for torino.
I was expect more plug and stau but am glad I was wrong cuz we get into town pretty easy and drop anchor four minutes before five, the gig pad is right next to the po which looks and feels mighty. I guess this pad use to be like a warehouse (hence the name) and the padboss alessandro tells me it's 150 years old (he's been here six), interesting. we're actually under a big road but the overhead is way up, maybe twentyfive feet up. I meet the promoterman for this tour's italian gigs cristian and am happy to see him again - last saw him in milano at leon cavallo - yeah, we shoveled breakfast chow the next morning... he's got red hair and a beard like fratello ste - I love remembering stuff! after soundcheck w/soundman dan w/his helper stefano (I've supplemented the speech w/a plea for having kick drum compression set w/higher threshold) I organize a little space for us stage port behind a curtain and chimp diary. fratello ste lets me use his gloves w/no fingers cuz my hands and knees are aching like motherfuckers (so are my knees). eight bells and we chow dinner, it's brought in here to the pad. it's pasta w/a tomato sauce that's so happening and not blown-out jive tastes-like-out-of-can bullshit but just right there: so fucking together and a symphony in my mouf. I talk about the captain w/miles... I wondered out loud on stage yesterday when fratello ste called me captain - he's done that a bunch and I feel like a non-com, like a chief like pop was than a "captain" but I guess he means more like a skipper, "il capitano" I hollered off mic. I realize this ain't just a il sogno del marinaio gig but the first night of the off-set fest and that brings another dimension we haven't had this tour yet, huh? good stuff...
at ten pm miles goes on. he's a beautiful singer and a wonderful guitarist, all by himself he paints a world w/his expression, much respect to him. it's krano after him, fratello ste tells me the frontman sings in dialect. he's quite charming and his band has no intention of rushing his folky dirges, bravo. I lay on the deck for a bit. damn if these gloves ain't helping me - grazie fratello ste, grazie!
we were supposed to go on at eleven but instead it's forty minutes past that when we hit - hey, it's a weekend so I ain't pissed but if it was a workday... the torino gig-goers are real nice to us, a most kind welcome to italy and the first gig of the second half of the tour. there's a cat near the front w/the same exact hat fratello andrea is wearing... I wonder if it'll fly off when we get into "us in their land" like it does w/our drummerman? the giallo cable I got that goes from my bass to the amp gets tangled up in the mic that's on the amp and I fuck up the coda of "funanori jig" trying to get it together when soundman stefano runs up to help my obviously struggling ass. there's a low-end ring on stage tonight but it's not from the kick drum, instead it's the floor tom and it's bogarting bad on fratello andrea's spiel in his "auslander" tune - he has to play w/the mallets kind of physically gating the motherfucker, oh well. I think he does really good dealing w/the hell. this band uses a lot dynamics so we're vulnerable to these thing but I think it's worth the risk cuz it's good part of our vocabulary. we finish strong w/an extra guy on "zoom" - it's miles w/him and fratello ste in a dually.
I hobble over at the merch table and get the good word from most kind torino gig-goers and warm big hugs. there are some bass brothers, of course and they bring bass love and we can share - they let me know it's happening to work the bass and of course I gotta agree w/them cuz that's what I got in my heart and it's what I wanna share, same w/playing w/the fratelli and it's happening that shows cuz so many tell me they feel it, they say that's a big part of what an il sogno del marinaio gig is... for that I'm so glad.
we make the load-out w/the scene happening outside - hey, it's friday night in torino by the po, you can hear the river roar some along w/the people, lots of good feel. big hug for promoterman for this tour's italian gigs cristian, he dug. padboss alessandro too - he gives me a couple of hits of bourbon, grazie to him. buono note to everyone, we bail for an olde-timey style 'tel called "albergo avalon" and damn if I ain't the most tired ever. prolly the latest gig of tour for me but it was a good one. I'm out...
saturday, october 15, 2016 - bologna, italy
We wake up, go to pick up Miles and have breakfast in a nice bar Then we hit the road to freak out! the club we are playing tonight. Many friends are coming tonight. Always nervous about playing in my hometown. But actually we play a good gig. I had problem with my high E string always flatting down and also the amp is loosing power. But the spirit was good and the sold out freak out people enjoyed it. Dagger-moth opens the night with her guitar electronic and voice. After the gig I feel the hitching growing and very tired It is Nice to sleep at home in the middle of the tour. Spend a bit of time with my tiger cat colonnello Tony and Rossella. Washed couple of stuff. I find out that one of my cactus has almost died. I guess someone forgot to give it a little water.
We had a nice breakfast with Miles. I had my second capuccino of the tour. We drove to Bologna and stayed a bit at Stefano's, chilled out a bit before arriving one hour early at Freakout. After soundcheck I went to Rocco and Francesca's place to eat a great risotto and talk a bit about Hobocombo's next step. I met many friends at the venue. Sara Ardizzioni Dagger's Moth opened with a dark set, minimal grooves and mysterious vocal lines. The venue is packed. The stage was boiling hot! The sound on stage was not ideal, but we made it through. It was fun. We stayed at Stefano's overnight.
pop at eight and hose off right quick. no chow here but the plan is for us to meet miles at a "bar" nearby and then get him in the boat w/us for the two hundred mile drive southeast to bologna cuz that's where we play tonight. "bar" is different here than back home, it's not just about dinking but chow also. this one's called "torre" andI get a sandwich called milanes which is a breaded cutlet (is it chicken or pork?) on a piece of baugette style bread - tasted good! the coff is "american" but you get two cups, one w/some dark syrup and another of hot water which you pour in the other. first time for me like this! can't tell the diff - for me all coff in italy tastes oishii ('tasty' in jap), love it.
we got some sun but a little hazy... I think it's coming on full moon for tonight - either that or 'pert-near there. I don't why I thought about that but I did and even trippier, I decided to chimp it here in this diary... bizarre watt, huh?
we pull anchor at a quarter of eleven, miles behind helmsman fratello ste for our first boat ride w/him. fratello ste requests more ccr and damn if "lodi" don't come on - I think the town's named after... well, I know cuz d boon got me into history there was a battle there where napoleon started his whatever w/and - damn, how many times are there trippy names for towns that are in the bible? maybe not though. another creedence tune: "portervile" - that's where miles is from! ain't that a trip? good tune. "I don't care! I don't care!" miles says his pop did a year in vietnam as a soldier and so the talk gets a little heavy on that kind of thing.
switch ponies at two and a half, put fratello andrea on the wheel. I get a sticker for this orange wattplower prototype I'm working this tour... I feel I got get something cuz damn if the fucking crapper wouldn't flush and I left a fucking landmark - not on purpose cuz I would never do. anyway, I get this sticker of drawing of a duck doing the "officer krupke salute" from "west side story" that I plan on festooning. here's how it ended up:
some rain comes but soon lifts and we got gray skies again. hey, I see a chow pad called "eataly" and remark on it to the others cuz I was talking yesterday about puns and rhymes are big w/phrases in u.s.
ten of four we get to fratello ste's pad, which is a little outside of bologna and was a farm, the field around it has been plowed under and there's fagoli ('pheasant' in italian) running all over the place - they are a trip. there's a barn next to the pad (it's a very old pad, built 'pert-near two hundred ago) is a barn which houses vaccum studio and this is where we recorded our "canto secondo" album - much respect to fratello bruno, much respect!
we get over to freakout club at five, soundman danielo shows up a little later and he's got baugettes, salad leaves, thin-sliced cold cuts, some cheese - hell, even some tomatoes on the vine! miss hiyori has the senf ('mustard' in german) so it's happening - who needs fucking dinner tonight?! I'm set.
I ask the fratelli about what's w/the stalingrado name and have a theory I put out there but then realize paris has an area w/that name too so I let go and accept what they tell me.
stefano and david from the spacepony a band from ravenna I really dig, have played everything I've been able to get my hands on my radio show - it's so good to see them again, so good! david does some libre luce on the side, you know? his ring name is romatigre. I bet the brother tears it up. respect to him. so glad him and stefano made the hellride here: eightfive klicks (about fiftythree miles), true brothers. respect.
gigboss gianluca arrives. my old buddy bob mould is in town at a pad called "estragon" not too far away - damn, I hate when you're competing w/your friend in the same town on the same night, ah fuck, always have. shit, we should've shared the same stage! anyway, gigboss gianluca's strategy is too have us go on at midnight cuz bob's on at ten - maybe if folks wanna, they can see both gigs? we do soundcheck w/soundman danielo and fratello ste gets us to a "camping hotel" - yeah, most of it's for campers! there are some bugalows though and they're pretty happening once I figure the heat controlling shit out.
we get back to the pad at eleven and just in time for the opener dagger moth to go on. sara tears it up. hypnotic. a float ride catching a lift on a motif and take it around the pad - swirl it again spin spun.
midnight it is w/our turn up, we bring it to most encouraging gig-goers here in bologna tonight, respect to them. I get corrected on trying to saying "tie'" right - it's on my new sticker on the wattplower, maybe it's tee-AH or is it tee-EH? it's means "take this" and that along w/the "officer krupke salute" - you get the picture? up to the elbow, ok? man, we got some midrange ring that's up to the elbow - what a bogart on us. one thing not helping is the tom mic holder, some rubber bullshit that connects on the drum's rim but it ain't working and actually leaning up on the head! I have to adjust while we're playing. there's something coming off the floor too - not physical like a mic but a damn low-mid ring that really bogarts when we get pianimissimo - arrrggggghhhh, so frustrating! the bologna gig-goers though cut us much slack and are very kind. there's only one yammering and the pad's sold out - he's right in front of fratello ste and when we're doing "nanos' waltz" I unconsciously change the lyrics "step up" to "shut up" w/out even realizing it, crimony! I didn't mean to be belig, arrrrgggghhhh on me for doing that. freatello ste has so much low end on both his guitar and voice on stage - I even tell him "let me do the bass up here" but that was baka cuz of course it wasn't his fault. fratello ste actually likes bright guitar - that's why he had this one he's playing custom built for him. even w/all these sound hells, I still think it's a good gig cuz we kept the ball rolling and the spirit up which to me is the important thing of a gig.
david from the spacepony comes up and sits next to me at the merch table, we talk about the hook longshoremen use (he's a longshoreman here) - he's seen the u.s. kind in "on the waterfront" (great movie, I love it much) marlon brandon had on his shoulder and in fact that's the kind of symbol for our ilwu local 13 in the los angeles harbor (that's where my pedro town is) but the kind david says they use on his docks has not just one "finger" but four if I understood him right - he made the shape w/his hand. trippy. another ravenna dude named stefano (stefano toma) who also plays w/the ravenna stefano I've known since the spacepony (stefano felcini) came to see the show too, he gives me a split single he just did w/barrence whitfield on easy action from england. both stefanos are in a band called the chronics that have made two split singles w/me and my secondmen. a small world, huh? there are many bass brothers here to talk bass w/me, amazing. so much good word, so many well-wishes... great spirit here from the bologna gig-goers, so much - grazie big time!
big hugs for gigboss gianluca, time for us to pull anchor. as the boat pulls away I pop open the hatch and holler "viva bologna viva!" and we're down the road to the camping 'tel damn if my wnole outfit is sweated out, levis down to the knees. it's good to be prone cuz I am pretty whupped up and beat. happy though, I konk happy and grateful... grazie bologna.
sunday, october 16, 2016 - mestre, italy
Wake up at 10 and I go with Roxie to pick up Mike and Hiyori at the camping bungalow. We go to my place and we prepare some pasta with anchovies and pistacchios.- I have been veggie for 16 years but I got back to eating fish recently. At 14 we say hello to my pad and Roxie and we go to Venice. A Nice and beautifull sunny day. We meet Savak from Brooklyn. Really nice dudes and play a good gig. Miles plays a beautifull opening set and and he also plays anchor zoom with us. My amp is definitly loosing power more and more during the gig and the hitching are getting worst. I go sleep a little worried.
pop twenty of eight and damn if it ain't the most beautiful morning in a little while for this tour w/the bright yellow son and full blue sky just pouring in through the window. I can hose off w/the little window open to show a field just beyond these trees w/little birds jamming all around. very tranquilo and righteous feel. I put on clean levis - yeah, I actually sweated up a pair last night. damn if I don't work my 'puter w/wet hands after hosing off like a stunad and now the trackpad's acting up - I'm big time grateful for the bluetooth mouse travis of thick syrup records gave me on last year's tav falco tour when we played little rock, most kind of him.
fratello and rosella come by and get us from the 'tel and bring us to his pad next to the barn out by the prison (it's called dolzza) while I explain the lyrics of "il sogno del fienile" ('the dream of the barn' in italian) to rosella: it's literally about the making of our "canto secondo" album. here they are:
"il sogno del fienile"
yeah, talk about self-referenced! it's about rememberin'.
I then relate the story of my buddy nanny's (she's drawn most of my tour shirts) grandma, a very tragic story - it's the field that makes me think of it... nanny's grandma worked in the fields on this island called vis off the dalmatian coast while she was pregnant and stopped for only a little bit to deliver her ma by gravity and then after about an hour went back to work. the war came and the family got put in a camp in north africa, her husband died from m.s. in the camp but she made it to the u.s. somehow w/nanny's ma and her two aunts. her grandma worked at a cannery on terminal island (other side of the main channel from pedro) to raise them and they all turned out to have families and do good but then alzheimer's hit her grandma - the first sign was when she couldn't remember the way to walk home from church. the daughters put her in a home... she then soon couldn't recognize them and thought they were holding her prisoner so she starved herself to death. so very very sad. what a fucking cruel disease that alzheimer's shit is, I hate it big time.
anyway, at the pad fratello ste cooks me up some coff, fratello andrea and miles pop - I let fratello andrea know that bob mould drummerman jon wurster (he's also a comedian!) wanted to come see us but things we're not poss cuz he had crack of dawn flight - it was their last gig of a euro tour. somehow this tangents off into watt space and twists up into discussing the reinvention of vw's giant lightbulb-over-head worthy promotional gimmick "fahrfanugen" into that special drummer innovation called "farfromgroovin'" along side that cherished early-in-the-bout w/the bottle called "farfrompukin'" - fratello ste meanwhile makes us up some pasta (spaghetti) and anchovies that I really like, it's real simple but real good eats. we pull anchor at two bells and I windbag ('discuss' is too inaccurate a word) about drag racing w/miles and the heats/xmas tree handicap trip making for an ingenious way to guarantee a good race every time (I don't have to explain here, do I?) - it's only a ninety mile drive worth of windbag he has to endure as fratello ste wheels us northeast.
mestre is an industrialized part of the mainland across from the venice lagoon, we gotta go check into the 'tel first ("hotel mondial") and then get over to spazio aereo cuz that's where we're playing... just four minutes past the four o'clock load-in, the gigboss francesco has very friendly voice - I ask the fratelli about venezia accent and they tell me it's kind of soft and has certain flow, w/round r's also. interesting. miles adds that only a little bit away is verona and the talk is so much harder, fratello andrea agrees (he's from verona). soundman fabio is cool people and I can tell he understands all I feed him w/my speech. helperman andrea shows me some facilities I can foul and after that, the place we go when we're not on stage. I see a bass clarinet on a table there and immediately tink of eric dolphy who was incredible w/it.
there's stories of him doing ten hour pracs w/john coltrane! what an inspiration for giving music a human breath and soul so deep and alive/awake/enriching for me. we lost this brother way too soon, a terrible blow for us. the owner of the bass clarinet prints me up some set lists when I ask him, very kind. we do a soundcheck and trying to head off the probs we've been having w/those bogarting low mids. I think fabio knows his room and am glad he's our fourth man tonight.
I asked about the chow when I first got here and got no answer. I ask the fratelli now and they tell me they were told eight but damn, it's better for me to chow much before downbeat so I don't fucking puke. suddenly I'm told chow is in ten minutes and it's fucking great: these happening dark rough lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, rice pilaf kind of stuff, tunafish - you mix it all up yourself on a plate, some greeen olives and olive oil (of course) too, I fucking love it. second band to go on tonight savak arrives (that's why I asked miles to soundcheck first) and I ask them where the name comes from cuz what I know of that spelling is the shah of iran's secret police. one of the guitar players tells me I'm right. I remember something about them spying on students from iran studying in u.s. and stuff like that - some students told me. I wasn't that popular but foreign students seem to be not so weirded out by me. anyway, these are nice cats and I was just curoius. I this on a newspaper on a table up here:
we do a interview w/some local young people (real good cats) and I finally find out how fratelli ste and andrea met: through electronic experimental scene in 2003, they were part of a quintet at a festival in firenze. before that they knew each other mostly through an internet forum dedicated to that scene. it's very important for me to make sure people understand il sogno del marinaio is not a solo proj but a band w/its own identity. I'm working my fucking hardest to make sure that's a major point of why we're here. I'll go down swinging if I have to but I ain't gonna settle for less. it pissed me off big time when I got here and the poster had my name only - not even the band name, like what the fuck? crimony! they are nice people
I hobble downstairs and whoa, hector is here! whoa - big hugs for him! he gives me a journal he's got part of his translations of my third opera plus some of my poems (he translated all three of my operas into italian) in called "giornale di bordo" and I gave him a big huge hug. I explain where I am now w/my two trios secondmen and missingmen plus this il sogno del marinaio collaboration - I explain I wanna consolidate into three trios cuz I can maybe focus more by diluting myself less.
fratello ste's tebukuro ('gloves' in jap) w/the finger ends cut off are so fucking happening, I can't believe it. miles goes on at nine. man, these stairs are a little tough on vecchio ('old man' in italian) so I watch him from a window while pissing in a cup - well, not the whole time... when the cup got full I just watched and brought it down later to dump in the benjo. I then spiel w/savak's bass man james who's had a bunch of fucking musical experiences, can play everything 'pert-near. I realize now he's fugazi drummerman brendan's brother - man, am I slow sometimes, crimony! he's very kind to me.
it's quarter of eleven when we start the gig, kind of late for a school/workday... I'm not into it but I don't have a bad mood about it either. I do blow some clams though, lots in "sailor blues" for example, have no idea why. the mestre gig-goers are very kind though and bring great enthusiasm, much respect to them. the fratelli too, they're playing great. our fourth man fabio on the knobs did a great job, especially w/the low and low-mid feedbacks that have been plaguing us big time. much respect to him, also. I blow a few other clams too - I have to tell you though about this talk I had w/miles a little before going on, about playing wild and a little bit risky and how he liked it. I think maybe that might've had an effect on me, not saying how much or trying to blame cuz I think I got the gist of what he was saying and well, maybe not just gist but I think maybe on some level I was manifesting such a thing. it's trippy.
at the merch table I get to rap w/ssww again and that's way happening. there's also a lot of great kindness being offered me, real friendly warmness. the helperman andrea who works here got me a grappa, whoa. that's a taste. I talk w/darko - he did a poster for me and my missingmen last time I played in zagreb and he's here, slinging merch for savak. we catch up some, he lived in sarajevo but recently started living on the coast near split and says he digs it much. I sure would like to check it out. my secondmen organman pete mazich's wife ljil is from split so there's a connect also. one day I wanna bring my secondmen to play all the balkans - drummerman jer trebotic has roots there also although his pop first went to chile first. trippy - one of that lady julie's questions earlier in today's interview asked about "the sailor's dream" ('il sogno del marinaio' in english) and I answered w/the voyage is what brings the sailor's dreams - the pads he visits, the pads he works. fratello first said he couldn't answer that question but for me it's way easy cuz I've had this way of life for a little bit. it was my pop who said I was like a sailor when I started sending him postcards from tours - that's where the basic concept of the first opera came from... I gotta say: "thank you, pop!"
we pack up and get to the 'tel which is righteously only a little bit away and damn if we ain't already checked in so yeah, I can hit the hay right away. one thing though before konk took me was reading about this fortyeighth anniversary of peter norman + john carlos + tommie smith getting it together. much respect.
monday, october 17, 2016 - trieste, italy
When I wake up I feel the the hitching is not ok and very red and swelled up. We go to pick the van to replace pastiglie dei freni and then fratelli bring me to the hospital. I wait there for four hours while theya re getting food and doin laundry. But the hospital is full of people so there is no time for a visit. We go to Trieste. Marco there is very kind and bring me to the hospital. The doctor gave me an antibiotic creme. We go eat at Mara with Martina. Very good soup and fritttata and I got the rabbit for fratello mike. I tought he might like it. Nice to take with Loris. Dj of the night. He does very good fanzine. The hotel is very close. Fratello andrea makes big ten big noises during the night and wake me up like 10 times.
pop at eight, hose off and not to quick but not on the mosey make my way for the free shovel downstairs. it's got for me thin thin slice ham I stuff in a roll along w/that real soft white cheese they got in thin foil in wedges and throw down coff from a machine w/a helping of yogurt. it's good enough for me cuz all the rest is just too sweet - please don't think I'm bellyachin' though - please don't! I get the latest diary up and then talk to fratello andrea on his leash cuz he went and got the boat into the mechanic to get those brakes done - I was right, the rear ones were gone. front ones still had half so that'll get us through the tour. damn if the two hundred euros it cost ain't gonna be deducted from the rent for this piece-o, what do you think? I hope everyone learns from this, pretty econo lesson if you think how much a life is worth...
both fratelli at the 'tel at two - now in a boat w/all four brakes working - we then drop fratello ste off at the closest hosp to the 'tel, one called d'angelo cuz like this boat needing fixing, he needs to get this bumps and rash shit looked at by a doc - to me it seems like an allergic reaction to those fucking cimici bites he got in perpignan. you know it's gonna take hours but that's what's got get done. us three others for lunch chow at a little "bar" chow pad (I get some fish called brandino w/some spinach) in a little town near the hosp called zelarino.
after putting lots of his clothes in the dryer to kill any possible cimici, fratello andrea tries to get his hair cut but both pads he finds were too full. meanwhile, the wash at the laundromat gets done, a quarter after four we pick fratello ste up from d'angelo hosp, we head east for trieste which is just over a hundred miles away. it's total gray/darker blue but at least not raining. it's the adriatic sea I'm seeing out the starboard window (I ride always aft on the starboard side) all of the sudden all at once maybe an hour and a half into our ride - the sun ain't even a disc, more like a white blotch on the coming on us twilight. fratello andrea comes to this town w/his wife veronica all the time for vacation and can tell me a lot about it, which is most happening. what I really know about it that it's where james joyce wrote part of "ulysses" which was a book that had an incredible impact on me - it fact, I wrote most of the songs that were from me for "double nickels on the dime" were inspired by it BIG TIME - what do you think "june 16" is about? well, it's also raymond's bday but...
we arrive at tetris (which is where we're at tonight) in trieste's olde-towne part three minutes ahead of our six pm expected arrival time. padboss marco and helperman igor are at the hatch to greet us and help load-in, very nice cats. I have to piss, I get shown where - I can dig it. after load-in, padboss marco volunteers to take fratello ste to the hosp - we gotta get that taken care of, imperative! I hobble around a little on the streets nearby...
olde-timey and hilly, interesting - I wish we weren't losing light but it's that time of day. I keep thinking of mr joyce living here, working on that book! soundman marco gets the "be our fourth man?" speech. I've included asking for helping w/low and low-mid bogart howls, especially when we're pianissimo... he's into it - fucking right on!
the only bummer is they want us to chow at eight and a half and it's hard for me to do gig right after chow. also, they want me to hobble - another tough thing. oh well. both fratelli take a little (little?!) time to check, while I wait maybe I fixed the snark tuner w/a hairband (elastic) from miss hiyori? I do realize I donated a sixteen gb usb stick to the mestre pad... also yesterday I discovered I prolly donated the canon ixus battery charger in perpignan and there's a europe style plug adapter that's also been donated I don't know where - I'm a baka!
fratello ste returns from the hosp and he says the doc who looked at him took vital signs and they were all ok, his assessment was that it look he got the shit bit out of him from bugs so we're all on board w/that. he gave him some cream and antibiotic and says he's gotta kind of ride it out and that me be for a while, crimony cuz I can feel much for fratello ste and don't want any hell on him. anyway, we do the soundcheck w/soundman marco, him and helperman igor work great as a team. we ring out some shrill-high. then I go to the upstairs backstage and unscrew the overhead light - damn if it ain't in interrogation mode or what? everyone goes to chow while I hold the fort, miss hiyori brings me back chicken cacciatore and some polenta - damn if ain't tasting like my ma makes it! I mix the polenta right and chow them both together, it's real good and tasty.
speaking of my ma, my sister melinda wrote me an email this morning saying my ma's going back to her pad and leaving the hosp, she's much better. damn if I ain't real relieved to read that from and so in my reply. thank god me and my ma got my sister melinda, thank god. you know it's a trip cuz today when fratello ste was waiting at the hosp and we were waiting by going to get that lunch chow, I related the story of the illness and all that which ended up making for fixings regarding my second opera - fratello andrea didn't realize the extent of that hellride... again, I'm most grateful for my sister melinda. I made her a saint in that opera. raymond's in it too (he's virgil) and so is doc hopkins.
we're the only band tonight. I was told quarter of eleven when I asked fratello andrea after soundcheck but he comes up - and I screw the lamp back in and he says the gee-oh is now ten and a half. no prob cuz I always wanna go on earlier. I climb down and then into the gig room and up on the stage (they put the step next to the bulkhead so I can use that as a sort of handrail), I can feel the good-vibe here now in the pad from the trieste gig-goers... here goes my first gig in this town ever! I clam one of the twenty four lines in our opener... I think it was number it was number ten. hell, there's more in store from me but not as many as last night - I really like the gig and the peeps we worked it for. the only kind of lame thing is you can kind of really tell there's some power-wilt issues w/fratello ste's amp, it's getting kind of nano-flacid - damn. oh well, still we push plus the gig-goers are w/us. fratello andrea asks fratello ste to turn his amp more towards us even. well, we gotta ride it out and tomorrow try and address it. I clam some of mr joyce's words in "verse IX" - the shame of it but I think I got a little too self-conscious given the sitch - I hear buddy rich hollering in my head now "...how dare you call yourselves professionals?!" c'mon, I'm knit-picking - the gig ends on a real highnote, much respect to the fratelli, to the gig-goers. I tell everyone in the pad much respect for gruppo tetris and all the heapin' helpin' of happening they got going on, truly!
at the merch table I get many hugs, many warm hands, much good word - many bass brothers AND bass sisters sharing much kindness for vecchio's last italia gig/SLASH/first trieste gig. gratitude I genuinely feel resonating in me, good cats bringing me happy si happy yeah joy fuck - all the grazies I can muster for you, good trieste people - all of it.
pretty plowed and w/only so many fumes left in the tank, I do a thank-around loop before using the mansack as a walker (it never goes behind me, aways behind. careful I go up the old via only a couple blocks equivalent worth to the "barbacan hotel" (love these streets, I can imagine mr joyce on them AND do BUT ALSO keep close watch on these stones cuz I don't wanna go down. up a few flights using the slow go and finally I'm in a happening chamber and hosing off before hay hitting it around one or whenever konk took me like a way-big blankie. ciao italia...
tuesday, october 18, 2016 - rijeka, croatia
Rainy morning I go with martina to apotheke to find another creme. But we cannod find it. So we have a coffee and I go to pick the van. We load and Marco bring us to eat in slovenia. Fuzi with truffle. We hit the road to Fiume. We buy new tubes for my amp and we go to venue. 4 bands tonight. We play second luckily. We sleep just upstairs.
pop at eight bells and hose off. I plot a path to the jim joyce statue on the ponte rosso which would also go by the old roman theatre but damn if the rain doesn't start coming down and making the old pavement stones and accident waiting to happen and having me slipping on my ass or worse. instead I chimp diary and look at the gray sky against happy colored olde-timey buildings and stuff, like the arco di riccardo (james joyce might've chowed nearby - check #21!):
the rain's starting to really come down. the fratelli are at tetris for the boat load-out... I do little geisha boy steps most careful cuz it is coming down in buckets. miss hiyori 'pert-near put us on a wrong street but I remember from the hobble I did yesterday and I come up w/a luck-out this time and see the boat. gigboss marco helps w/the schlep and then we follow him to... fuck, we wanna see the james joyce statue so at a stoplight, fratello andrea jumps out (fratello ste's at the helm) and gets in marco's kuruma ('car' in jap) - we follow him to via roma and there it is, very casual - no pedestal or anything, it's very nice:
diesel's a lot cheaper in slovenia so we go up the hill into slovenia. I chow some zufi (local istria past) w/truffles in a white sauce at a town gigboss marco takes us to up the hill called lokev, the chow pad's called "gostilna prunk" and damn is it good, I mean really happening, crimony! we talk about worms, gigboss marco knows about worms: hook worms, tape worms, flat worms. he comes from sicily. he tells me he can't believe how all the slovenia people around trieste speak italian but none of the italians know slovene. he does film and television work, the gruppo tetris people volunteer their time for that pad, righteous cats.
cross the border into croatia just before two and a half: passport check and both front hatches opened and checked by borderman, borderlady asks where we're going after yelling "dobro!" but I could see she was talking to a guy in his truck a couple lanes over, dobro means good in her language - she let's us pass and fratello ste asks why she told him "dobro" and I explain, it's ok. the toll for the highway is 15 kuna (two euros) - tonight's admission is fifty in advance. only fifty miles between trieste and rijeka so it's like only ten after three when we get into town, even w/all the rain (time to drive CAREFUL). rijeka's the home town for my secondman organman pete's ma is from here and in fact is here healing up now cuz on a visit over the summer she fell and broke her hip. man, I hope she's better, she's great people.
before hitting the club we decide to try and get new power tubes (6l6gc) for fratello ste's amp. this is where a smart leash is handy - fratello ste locates a music shop called "music shop" (I shit thee not) not too far from the club and damn they ain't got what we need AND fratello ste decides also to get two preamp tubes (12ax7) and the cost is like around u.s. price which is trippy cuz they're from 'pert-near next door in slovakia. anyway, mission successful - it's been very frustrating for him the last bunch of gigs w/sag in the amp power, definition and tone... can't believe new tubes were put in when the tour started! pretty shitty, huh? I guess fratello ste's been playing the hell out of it - I can attest to that, amen!
that CAREFUL word - hmm... I pop open the hatch when fratello ste drops anchor w/the boat across the road from the beertija (where we're playing tonight) and as I get out, I feel my portside knee buckle - I know I'm going down so I round my back, put my arms like 'pert-near in a boxer pose cuz I'm gonna roll w/it so I get less hurt, kind of like a tumbler doing a routine. that goes fine and I don't get hurt but it does put me in the road w/a car coming and when I roll to get up, it's right in front of the passenger hatch which is opening cuz of fratello andrea wanting to help and that's the problem - the opening hatch is pushing me into the road w/a fucking car coming so I use both hands to slam that hatch on him so I can clear the lane while the car comes racing past - whew, that was close... real fucking close. I get back in the boat and get safe in the back bench seat to calm my shit down, that was fucking crazy. my fucking knee can go out at any fucking time, it's insane. I ain't hurt though, just a little wet where my body touched the road. I am shook up though, everyone is - that was a freaky thing that just went down.
this pad is a bar/dance trip that has a downstairs where gigs get done. everyone's smoking and since quitting cigarettes (four years coming this january), I really ain't into the gas chamber thing so I go upstairs where we're gonna konk later (it's called "das hostel") 'til gigboss zeljko arrives and then we do the load-in. the soundcheck is w/soundman miran - the same cat who sold fratello ste the vacuum tubes for his amp - it's a small world, huh? much respect to him. he's into the speech I give soundmen, fucking right on.
crimony, look who's here: brother jacob from portland - righteous! he's on bass for this band battleme, I also meet chad. they explain they're sidemice for this battleme cat named. now I met jacob last year when tav falco's panther burns played "dante's" and he was on guitar w/the criminal guitars (I'm told they're no more, damn) - I was so blown away by him working it that I asked for his email address so we could mangle a collab - he wrote back and suggested doing soul and I responded w/a fuck yeah! so when I get time, that's what I wanna do. this is a great surprise and righteous thing what happened now. and you know what else is happening about tonight I just found out? we don't have to work the broom, we got the bologna seat! going on second on a three band is where I really dig so yeah, most happening!
I chow a fusuli pasta w/chicken and vegetables - no flavor but the senf and chili helps to choke it down. opening band is raspa who's working on the deck so we can set up now (if though we're scissoring soundcheck) but it's baffling fratello andrea - he's not getting the analogy of the "bologna" metaphor... I finally beat into his head using word-fists but what really works is relating where I got it: from scotty-san - he told me once his ma told him ronnie was one piece of bread, kathy was the other and he was the bologna (him being born second, in the middle). which ignites in fratello ste a notion to bring up that incident I told him about w/george hurley and the feelies' dave wackerman when georgie asked him "you twist it up?" to which dave replied "nope, I twist it off and let it fly."
I meet raspa, the local cats opening up - they tell me they're into "collecting furniture" - they got like eight or nine amplifiers, two full drums sets - they set up on the deck in front of us. good to see raul again, good to see him - he's on guitar. I sequester myself in the back room and talk w/jacob he tells me he's reading "autobiography of a yogi" by paramahansa yogananda and gives strong recommend for me to read so I gotta check that out.
we're on at ten and a half I'm told by gigboss zeljko but then fratello andrea a little later says it's been changed to a quarter of eleven. I say ok but let's hit it then, ok? well it's ten minutes to go and where the fuck is him and fratello ste? crimony, I'm pissed. I guess they konked upstairs and/or lost track of time. I don't know why in a way but I just hate people getting worked over time - especially when it's a work night/school night - fuck that. there's someone after us too, I don't dig it - what if that was me? anyway, I love the fratelli and you know what? they get shit together FAST and we're like only a few minutes late and damn if we don't kind of make up for that w/upping the tempos - "us in their land" is way wild, must be rough for fratello andrea but in a way that tune's gotta have parts w/the wheels 'pert-near falling off, right? his buddy miles said he dug that about us. speaking of which - the orange hat now falls off way before that tune, it's like getting launched by the time we get to the third one! I think the band does real good, REALLY good. I'm really proud of the fratelli. I'm into the rijeka gig-goers too, even if they're a little shy they are genuine w/their hearts. I won't let us do an encore cuz of where we are the scope of the big pic and then I'm especially glad when I hear there's TWO bands after us, not just one.
at the merch table I talk w/a younger man from this area who learns me much and says he can turn me onto tunes I might dig - I give him my email so it'll be then when I'll remember his cuz damn if I can now. this goes for this other cat who doesn't say he's got musics for me to explore but has a buttload of history about all the changing hands and trippy historical things that fascinate me, truly. two bands go on after us and jacob does so good w/battleme and w/drummerman paul - fratello andrea's kit sounds really good w/him working it, jacob the same w/shige's amp (he digs big time shige's "small but hard" sticker). man, I can't wait to work w/jacob and this proj doing soul music, can't wait!
wednesday, october 19, 2016 - zagreb, croatia
Sunny morning today. Nice to up on the Rijeka hills. Going on the road we find some fogs and breeze. Beautyfull threes colours on the road. Yellow, red, brown and green. reminds me of thr time we cross Vermont 2 years ago. The fall is doing is mission. We play with Savak again.Mario is sound guuThe venue is very close to the Sava river
pop at nine, hose off. pop the hatch: lots of blue sky, much sun and no rain, yes! I hobble for an hour, pass a school and then a boneyard. did I do a hour long shower in the middle of the night or was that in my head? when I get back I find jacob popping from his chamber's hatch - last night I turned him on to the infamous buddy rich spiels (one version here)...
the battleme boss matt walks by and he's wearing "ron asheton sunglasses" - that's what I tell him cuz I used to wear these yellow lens ones and feel like I was ronnie - I got the idea by seeing them on him. I'd wear them when I was doing stooges tunes w/j mascis + the fog - hell, I was wearing them all the time 'til I had to wear prescription glasses cuz my eyes got worse and worse... I wonder if I could find prescription yellow ones cuz I think ronnie's were, hmm...
asked a few times by a staff lady to move the boat, the beverage deliveryman is most kind to go around the boat so I can wait for my fratelli to come down cuz those three flights of stairs are murder on my knee. the staff lady was nice so I didn't want any hell from anyone - good news from fratello ste when he comes down, the cream is working on the fucking cimici bites and we both agree the guitar amp was strong and back in the race. we load-out - well, I'm a guardiano. fratello andrea yanks on gigboss zeljko's leash so we can make like shepherds but then boom-bada-binga, he's here w/some sandwiches w/focaccia bread, mine has ham and cheese but of course there's drama for the sitches w/the allergies which is fucking important to be aware of. gigboss zeljko takes us to dallas records cuz that's where he works - I think this is part of a chain but it don't seem total mersh - they're playing meat puppets - I got some gigs w/them next week. ok, bye bye - fratello ste at the helm pull anchor at noon. it's a hundred miles to zagreb, we head east, bye bye adriatic. we do some by the water first though, check out the port: they got four hammerheads (gantry cranes). they got some shipyard dry docks too. the further from rijeka the grayer it gets in the sky but the rain holds off... I see some art:
just ahead of two we get to zagreb (was only about a hundred mile and go to "music shop no1" cuz fratello andrea wants to get some "moon gels" but instead has to settle for "drum gel control" to try and tame his drum heads, help w/smothering some nightmare rings. a half later we're at klub mochvara and kornel is there to greet us,
fratello andrea backs up the boat and we unload the stuff. then we load into our guts the foodstuffs: little salami slices and cheese on rolls and most important: senf to go w/it. fratello ste's pop comes from sardinia and he enlightens me to su casu mar zu ("the rotten cheese" in sardinia dialect) and says it's happening... we get a gig on that island and I tell you I'll try it, maggots and all. I match that topic w/the community service I had to do w/the county coroner...
damn, I spaced and gave no speech for soundman mario. we check w/him anyway - maybe fratello andrea helped enlighten him, I know he spent a long time tuning his drums, especially the floor tom. turns out those fucking gels are jive and only work w/clear heads, not coated ones... kurac! savak plays w/us again, darko again w/them too - he gives me some righteous disciplin a kitschme posters, fucking right on, hvala!
ok, kornel has me do q and a w/a nice cat named alexandr about all kinds of stuff including flannels, 70s hollywood punk scene, what's the connect w/blue oyster cul and magazin when my secondmen organman pete's wife ljil was singing w/them. what can I say? ljil is cool people and ain't been in that band for twentyfive years and I know for a fact pete can play the fuck out of the organ and puts on a great show plus he's a righteous person. he brought her in w/my prac band madonnabes when I was keeping in shape by doing that. much respect. mainly it ain't a q and a though - hardly any questions and I turned into a fucking soliloquy cuz I think I was so nervous. everyone was very kind though. damn, those things are total pant-shitters for me but I'd do anything for kornel.
backstage I talk to savak's middle of the stage man mike and find out he's from nebraska, in omaha - I tell him d boon's pop was from nebraska. him and the other guitarman sohrab saw the q and a - sohrab asked about d.c. zines and I fucking spaced and said "(something) poverty" but fuck if now I remember "truly needy" I found this interview w/the fall from it on the net... I did remember a writer there, barbara rice who was very happening people but damn I wish I could have told the zagreb q and a-goers the name of who she wrote for, damn me again!
quarter of eleven we hit and of course I get all self-conscious and space on a verse in the very first fucking tune, what a baka! this happens all the time when I have to do spiels and talk about myself before going on, I never seem to have it together enough unless I'm just totally fucking lucky - happens 'pert-near every fucking time, arrrrggggghhh - frustrating. luckily the fratelli compensate for my baka shit and bear w/the clam. there's a place I almost go over the rope w/and damn if I didn't do it last night - it's this climbing part in "skinny cat" that I spaced on what note it started on... can you believe that shit? playing all this every night and still blowing fucking clams - damn me. the zagreb gig-goers bring a lot of heart though, they're really great. there's a man w/a blue oyster cult shirt I'm getting way good vibes from - right next to him is ivan, who's in a chair but tries his hardest to come and see me. his ma got a room for in the 'tel were konking in tonight. I wanna play my best for him, he inspires me much. we do a good gig in my opinion - I was rough in places but not enough to sink the boat. the spirit was way up and we joined together w/the people. these gigs after spiels are tough for me but the band keep me in the ring.
much kindness from the zagreb gig-goers at the merch table, I get much good word and many warm hand shakes. I like when it's mostly palm and not squeezing fingers cuz damn if my fingers ain't beat up enough. ivan wheels over and gives me a bottle of slivovitz I immediately take a hit and don't wretch meaning it's pretty ok, you know, for slivovitz. so very nice of ivan, truly. I have a great talk w/the blue oyster cult shirt man - he's a buddy of skipper jeff! he says he can get me a gig in split, whoa! that would be bitchin'. the slivovitz is kickin' in a bit - I start singing him lines from b.o.c. tunes like "e.t.i." (he says "science fiction") or "hot rails to hell" - he asks if I know about the bouchard brothers and dennis dunaway - of course I do - we played together last may for the 40th anniversary of the ramones first album in nyc (clem burke on drums - much respect to him, we both learned the whole album in so cal - cheetah chrome jumped in on guitar when we got there and was glad I brought him charts). so many of the zagreb gig-goers had me promise to come back and of course I will - count on it! I get to meet melomen bassman mislav... he's from komiza where a lot of croatians in my pedro town are from and my buddy stanislav connected us and I came up w/an idea for a four tune seven inch w/thee melomen + disciplin a kitschme + me and my secondmen + bernays propaganda - I'm calling it "balkans-pedro four-way" making for a macedonia/serbia/croatia/san pedro connect. speaking of which, tom nash just wrote a piece about some balkan music stuff.
I join the backstage crew: the fratelli w/the savak guys - darko's wife petra made all these cakes, real fancy ones. everyone's having a good time - hey, we get to play again w/each other tomorrow. we'll pick up the gear tomorrow, we head over to "hotel fala" which is pretty fucking close and that's great cuz I am so beat - I think I was down for like five minutes when I caught the next train to sleepytown.
thursday, october 20, 2016 - linz, austria
Still foggy and rainy. We go to Linz. I feel very tired since two days. Not enough food and sleeping I guess. Lot of carboidrates and few proteins. We arrive in Linz around 17:00. Phill is our sound guy. Last gig with Savak. His the last night with them. So we hang at the bar all togheter after the concert.and we are also sleeping in the same big room upstairs. Aaaa finally we had a very nice dinner. Pumpkeen soup and rice and chickpeas with potatoes and carrots.
pop at seven-forty, I hose off and head downstairs for free shovel this konk pad provides. I get some yogurt and make toast - a sign on the table says the lady there will make fried eggs so I ask her and she says "ok, I'll make you tree and some ham" - the ham is like little medallions of thin slice and there's tree small frieds eggs. damn if right when I chow them I start sneezing like crazy and feel fever - what? upstairs I gotta immediately blow it out, like I was flocking an xmas tree brown instead of white. well, if it was poison and/or bac, at least I'm ok now, all the hell subsided... I wonder what it was? I chimp diary 'til eleven which is pull anchor time this morning. on the way out I get to say bye to ivan, he's w/his ma and he's beautiful, big love to him! his ma takes this shot:
fratello ste w/the rudder in his hand we pull anchor for where we played last night cuz we need to get the gear. kornel soon arrives and makes us turkish coff, it's good. he gives me a book of art by igor hofbauer ("mister morgen" read this stray satellite piece on him here) - his work is all over the bar area of this pad and I dig it, very assertive! I wonder if raymond knows of him, would love to show him - fuck, I will! I promise also to kornel I'll come back to work for him again... I wanna bring my secondmen pete and jer - he says "do it!"
we pull anchor just as the savak guys arrive to get their stuff, we got one more show w/them tonight. the rain starts coming down as we head north for austria, passing some pretty coratia country side.
at ten of one we cross into slovenia, passport check on the way out of croatia (what?). check the boat going into slovenia, open the rear hatch for check. the slovenia borderman takes fratello ste into his office, we learn from he was asked what kind of music and when fratello ste told him "jazz fusion" the borderman replied "what, jazz-refugees?" you could see the new razor wire on top of the fences, all shinny... the road's rough and it's raining, the boat bounces some and I suggest we go a little slower cuz of the conditions. we got like 350 miles to do on this shift to linz and it might be raining the whole way even if the roads in austria are better. we continue towards maribor where we plan to get diesel cuz the slovene price is lower? forty minutes later we find out not really when we drop anchor for diesel - I get a tuna sandwich w/some kernels of corn and bell pepper on it, one of those packaged kind of "hoagies" or whatever and spike that w/this air-puffed chip things shaped, striped and colored like there were little square pieces of bacon. pissing costs fifty euro cents. damn if it ain't gray/cold of intense though.
just ahead of two we cross into austria, get passports checked - nice border lady - danke - then stop to get highway vignette for road use (I spaced on this once in the old days and got 100 deutsch mark fine) - fratello andrea says a young guy sold him and said "aufwiedersehen" - a couple of days ago I said I've never heard anyone say that but I guess I still haven't cuz I was in the boat when this happened. do you just read a pile of useless chimping from me? scusi. fratello ste still at the wheel, we continue on down the rainy cold austria road while we discuss some trippy plans for "lo sguardo focalizzato" - we gotta get it done by june, totally done and we wanna try some things we ain't tried before - I think we can do it. ten of three we pull over to check rear tire pressure... they're both in the rear three-tenths down so we get that together. what's really happening is the air compressors here are both free and mobile so no stretching of big hoses, you just lift it from a fitting and carry it to the tire, most elegant!
fratello andrea w/the rudder now, not a lot longer before he's confronted w/his biggest fear: driving through long tunnels. I don't like the fact it's undivided also. 'pert-near klicks too, crimony! he does good. it's for mount saint michael and it's costs eight and half euros - that's on top of the vignette. we must do buttloads of tunnels to get where we need to, only about four or five we pay for but we're going right through much mountain and you know that saves much time, even if it makes fratelli a little nervous... life is lots times about trade-offs, huh? w/the last of our tunnel travel, the sun comes out more and more as we get north into upper austria, the gray left behind. I tell fratello about bands where the bass and guitar players keep switch machines (like slovenly or brainiacs from our old scene) and he says "tor toys" (phonetic spelling, what I'm hearing him say) - I ask him to spell and it's: tortoise. cazzo. like NEE-A-GAR-AH for niagara (as in falls), ok.
get into linz at five, very nice blue skies w/sun... 180 paradigm shift from this morning in zagreb... here's the real bunk though: 'pert-near a half hour to do the last fucking klick (six tenths of a mile), what the fuck?! too many kurumas for these kind of roads and no fucking grid to parallel any shit-all, fuck! we do make it to kapu and it's even a little bit early but how fucking frustrating. soundman phil is here like he was the other time I played here, two and a half years ago w/my missingmen. he's got an "apprentice" (his word) name sophie helping - she asks me if I'm gonna get wild and I'm thinking "this fucking cojo (me), you mean? it's hard for people to see through the levis but once they see me hobble they understand. the gigboss cris says hi, he's very cool people like soundman phil (again I spaced and gave no speech, damn me for depriving soundman phil)... and cookerlady mo - she cooks us up pumpkin soup, noodles and this roast meat rolled up and stuffed w/pickles and held together toothpicks - after soundcheck I shovel it down good - thank you much, truly! I bow down deep her way.
the savak guys give us their third gig we experience and man, I feel some dynamic I didn't in the other two gigs, happening to play w/them again, hope so. I ask fratello ste about how's that cream for cimici bites working on him and he says they are and shows me, fucking right on - I am BIG TIME glad and he says so are the new power tubes, praise be.
I'm in kind of a trippy mood for our turn cuz I don't know why - I am glad I blew out whatever try to sandbag this morning but it's not just that, maybe it's something I'm breathing in but then again I feel the only antidote is to bring it and get tight w/the fratelli, do good for the linz gig-goers... it's like what's gotta be done is laid out and for some reason that's happening in a way that doesn't totally scissor but eases in shove against insecurity. the knowing's in the doing - I blow relatively few clams, in fact - ain't that a trip?
much kindness at the merch table after, I speak w/david who actually books the chelsea in vienna but came here, real nice of him. of course we talk about all kinds but one thing he always brings up is that he's married to a japanese woman but can't speak japanese - every time we meet he enlightens me on this, trippy. he tells me his brother now is running arena, whoa - that was the first pad I ever played in austria, back in 1983 w/the minutemen opening up for black flag. that gig was a trip. anyway, so good to see david again, I can't wait to do a gig for him again. I have good short visits w/beautiful linz gig-goers, so glad I could choke less for them. of course lots of bass, I like the fact people talk bass w/me - even being cojo it's one way I can still in a way dance.
upstairs I rap much w/the savak cats. mike has had infection hells and we riff on that a good while. hey, it's weird to relate but it is a reality on the dealio and though not trying to swim in it, it ain't hauling out the corny old denial shtick, right? prolly the latest night of the tour for me, at three bells I hoist up some of the three stooges from youtube.com - the fratelli are totally ignorant of these guys which is difficult to believe but then I gotta realize the world doesn't revolve around everything in my land no how much they try to sell that to us back home. they this stuff is good though, especially if you're watching w/somebody else. I've always dug them - sohrab from savak is way into it too. I finally gotta konk though.
friday, october 21, 2016 - vienna, austria
We arrive in wien early so we go to visit karlskircke and the russian memorial close by the venue is very close to the prater and the train station. Nice evening. Lot of people, good vibe, good concert and very good food. For dinner I had a very taste trota with potatoes. thanks Tim.
pop at nine and I feel under attack. gotta get out. no hose off - I dress and hobble down the flights of stairs to find the hatch to outside unlocked, thank god. I move a chair right outside the hatch and get caught up on my pictures. when tour first started, I posted like only one an entry but now I'm up to four or five sometimes. I think I'm gonna go back and try to put in more cuz you know even though a lot come out bund and I delete, I still have some that I think can supplement the spiel. it ain't raining but it at bright sunny either, a little chilly but that me chimp a little quicker. darko tells me about being a boy and going on trips w/his family to the sea, he tells me he tries to hold on to good memories but still not pretend that lame things also happened. I tell him he's gotta have an archive of his work up on the net but he says he first has to finish commitments he's already made cuz he says putting his old stuff might bring requests than he can handle. I'm thinking maybe this is not the worst dilemma one could face... I think I get what he means though... I just want people who ain't heard of him find out through his expression cuz I find it pretty big time honest. the savak guys get ready for their final spiel w/me cuz we play together no more this tour. big hugs.
they leave for the czech republic (the driverman martin's land) while we're going to vienna and it's only a little over a hundred miles east but fuck if I wanna get stuck in stau there. no fratelli yet, I gotta wait for them to pop and then we find out we got no key to get the gear - we're baka! a man who works in an office upstairs arrives though and he tries three keys that he's aware of, yes - the second one does it. we do the load-out and pull anchor at twelve-twenty, bye bye kapu. after not too long (hey, at least we made it out of town!) we pull over first to raststation for coff, then for chow but the chow pad's a burn ward and then back to the gas station for fratelli to get either pastry or wurst w/their coff - I get nothing. back on the road, the sun's come out more as we move into lower austria and on to austria's big town which is a pretty amazing place it its own right. I chimp while someone up front puts on classical music.
since we're here a little a early (it's three), I tell the fratelli about karlskirche and maybe they wanna see? I try to every time I get a chance - have always tripped on it and even w/the gray skies to frame it like what we're stuck w/now, they might dig... they go for it and we drop anchor a couple blocks away from karlsplatz, where it is.
after snapping this shot and checking stuff out I wander off and damn if across what I think is the french embassy I see the red army monument - I first stumbled onto this years ago, coming out from the trees and seeing this statue of a guy w/a machine gun looking kind of like part of a roman monument or something, it was a trip. like w/karlskirche, the fratelli have never seen this either - glad I could turn them on.
there's some german translation of the russian and fratello andrea asks something interesting - why is it dedicated to fighting fascism and not national socialist which was part of the nazi party's name?
we head over to what used to be the old jewish quarter, leopolstadt and get to the pad just ahead of the four and a half, it's called fluc and we're playing the upstairs part. this caretaker kind of cat says we can park right near - it is a trippy venue and kind of an island, nothing really right next door...
the gigboss peter arrives and I like him. he tells me "the third man" was filmed right close - ain't that a trip. he said he did a gig w/great tenor man marshall allen said he was first in vienna when they were shooting that film... this amusement park is called the prater and damn if the olde-timey ferris wheel here (the one where orson welles and joseph cotton meet for the first time in the film in one of the cars) is still fucking running, respect!
we soundcheck w/soundman gabriel and yes, I do deliver to him "the speech" and he's into it. he's also the first knobman all tour to ask me to turn down in soundcheck - usually this tour the soundman asks me to turn up so that's a happening reality check and why I put so much faith in "the fourth man" at gigs, at recording, you know? we get done and all three il sogno del marinaio band members do an interview backstage w/rupert from innsbruck. I love that everyone in the band is involved, that's really important to me. both fratelli give really happening answers and rupert asks interesting (for me) stuff. it is a european band, you know? yeah - one third of the band ain't. I wish I could get more and more people to understand that - rupert does. gigboss peter brings chow when the spiel's done. I get real "wienerschnitzel" which is breaded veal and some very happening potato salad that has both excellent sour content and celery flavoring, righteous blend.
bass brother hans and his buddies in destroyed by not defeated are the opening band and it's great to hear fratello andrea's drum from off the stage and even w/different stuff. you can tell these guys love playing w/each other and damn if they don't do "piss-bottle man" from my "ball-hog or tugboat?" album, whoa! hans did say something to be about joining them but I was too shy and damn if they didn't do it really good by themselves. they get the crowd whupped up real good, take two encores - we're ready to go.
the vienna gig-goers put out the welcome vibe before we even hit, really happening of them. in some ways it felt like this was gonna be a tough one for me cuz of much soreness due to some wet cold getting into my joints but both these folks and the fratelli rally me big time... I'm uplifted in the literal sense! I ain't whirling this around like something trite. understand you gotta be complicit if you're coming where I'm trying to, no dick leech kind of shit but essential aid and abet for the mortarman, the cementer, the stickertogether and not the pullaparter in our three way. making that realized, that's a limb to leap for, believe it! doing "auslander" for german speakers says a lot for some of where OUR thinking is, so glad to be able to share something like that w/gig-goers this tour - first swiss ones, now austrians and soon deutschers. talk about thinking out loud! big love near the prater - I see a flash of harry lyme's eyes, I coax the cable on the bass and bow deep. thank you good people here in vienna tonight.
over at the merch table I soon as I plant myself which ain't far I get the good hugs, warm hands, big smiles - the door lady gives me a round chocolate, 'pert-near the size of that buckeye I found in rijeka. bass brother hands has that altamont mike watt flannel - whoa. pete kaiser made it from his buddy's wedding - I sign a cd for the newlyweds, david from doing the wedding present at his pad made time to be here too, respect! a swiss man who was hollering about his land doing the gig (I thanked him for his land giving us dada and dr hoffman). GIANT tav falco fan steff's here - he's moved from his barcelona town to be here, righteous... he's also starting bass!
crimony, motherfucking crimony - sean delear - seandy's here!!! big BIG HUGS LOVES, wow, what a mindblow! who would've thought? beautiful, BEAUTIFUL. oh my god.
seandy's learning german now cuz vienna is new home! I'm so happy for everything.
no hans though... I hope he's ok. hans was there when raymond's art first came here - remember it was austria who first supported his work. hans took me to see mr bosch's "the last judgement" last time we were together here, when the stooges played during that crazy lightning storm.
time to bail, it's a little bit of a haul for tomorrow's gig and the dancing is started its transformation of the pad. so much thanks though to gigboss peter and soundman gabriel, great cats that helped so much, same w/the destroyed but not defeated cats, beautiful, danke danke grazie. of course it ain't a clean getaway, we have to make some loops - I recognize the same polizei shakedown we first witness again and again... total trust in the navigatore has foiled us again - the direction to the 'tel aren't in its fucking orders, it's for the venue... cazzo. we get that right and then soon we're at the biggest hostel I've ever been in, huge... big chambers also. I hose off and konk quick, it's only a little after midnight - righteous.
saturday, october 22, 2016 - krakow, poland
Beautifull landscape getting out of Wien. I really like this soft hilly green and brown countryside. It is also a very nice day. Quite a long driving for europe but pleasant. Firt time for me in krakow. We play at Alchemia in the old jewish district. Very special. Wojtech also nicknamed Penzel, Pennello in italiano is very nice and welcoming. He brings us such good food. Gig is very good And after we go drink something all togheter. I feel a very nice welcome from this town. Rough and emotional at the same time.
pull anchor just after ten. there's a daddy longlegs spider on the wall near the boat - that means good luck, right?
the sky is cloudless and bright blue, very happening. we can't get out the gate of the hostel - for a little bit... soon we're liberated and get out of dodge w/out any loops, what?
we head northeast for the border w/czech, towards brno - our journey for next gig tonight is 'pert-near three hundred miles and not on the biggest of roads cuz infrastructure/connect w/the west is still taking time to get together... for example, at poysdorf you go down their main street of this wine town (their symbol is two guys carrying huge clump of grapes). I know this area some cuz of me and my missingmen touring w/the czech guys uzj sme doma last year. LOTS of construction so many detours through tiny towns. we cross the border into the czech republic just after eleven and a half, and the crossing at manned so total butter. fratello ste does good w/the sitch, keeping the boat safe. I was reading his nikki and I guess there's some probs w/fratello andrea and ibiki ('snoring' in jap) he shares which keeps him up. I never notice cuz prolly I'm konked and maybe even helping out - speaking of which, I remember minuitmen playing portland w/us and the openers (sorry I can't remember their name, maybe some cats from the nardcore scene?) were invited to all konk at this pad and in the middle of the night I had to piss (of course) and I couldn't believe the din, like a dozen dudes sucking the paint of the wall w/incredible HUGE ibiki... d boon was "conducting" them all (even georgie), 'pert-near - sure seemed like it cuz he would get low and they'd all come down w/them and then he'd bring it up - they'd all follow that and fuck, he might as well had one of those conductor sticks going 'pert-near, that's how it seemed - I shit thee not. the other mindblow thing was how fucking fortissimo the whole "choir" got - I thought for sure the lady who let us konk there would come out her chamber and tell us to "kill the fucking windtunnel test on the goddamn jet engines" but no, it just went on and on... I finished pissing and then back onto the deck to add my harmony... or maybe it was some jazzy dissonance? just south of brno, I see "watt" graffitied on an overpass but I'm too lame to get the shot, fuck! I get one of this cement factory though:
we hit brno quarter after noon, continue on to ostrava. a motherfucker 'pert-near sideswipes us, blaring his fucking horn - and we got czech plates, baka! well, good to know I guess all the asshole drivers ain't we're I'm from, they're here too... "some sad sacks of clown shit" like ronnie said. twelve and a half w/switch ponies and diesel up the boat. getting hazy now, fratello andrea steering but there's still sun, just not clear like this morning.
the fog gets heavier but then lifts 'til 'pert-near gone when we cross the border into poland just after two. this is our most east gig of the tour. funny how right near the border there dirty power stations dumping you know what you know where, huh? well, kind of funny. trippy too, we were talking about "apocalypse now" - I've been saying "the horror, the horror" all tour and nobody but me it seems knew what I was talking about so I explain it. no stop for the border, the only way I knew was an e.u. sign saying polska. we head for katowice and then east for the last leg to krakow, the traff is pretty light.
we got a pobor/oplat (toll) that we can pay w/euros, four to one is the rate currently I learn from fratello andrea (one dollar = about 3.7 zlotys).
the navigatore puts in the kazimierz part of town which had the old jewish quarter and this pad we're playing alchemia ain't too far from where I was w/tom and raul about a year and a half ago doing my third opera and actually was my first watt gig in poland ever though I'd done two stooges ones before. the gigboss wojtek is outside the pad and helps us dock the boat, it's 'pert-near four when we drop anchor.
the load-in is a little tough cuz of stairs going down to a basement where the gig room is but it's a neat space to have a gig in. there's quite a good sound system, gigboss wojtek introduces me to soundman martin and it's a little tough giving him "the speech" cuz he keeps interrupting me but when I tell him that, things get better. you gotta have the soundman on your side, you gotta have him like he's a member of the band but he's gotta hear you out... that is 'til they get this implanting thoughts thing down and then I'll be able to push into his or her's skull w/out uttering a word but 'til then... us as a band are getting soundcheck more together ourselves. we're investigating potential probs w/rings and annoying stuff that could be probs when gig time comes.
I meet the openers, local cats called stonerror and the bassman jack asks if he could work shige's cab, no prob if he takes care. very nice cat, he asks me about the wattplower and I give him the orange prototype to check out. oh about soundman martin - he asks how we prefer the spiel and I say dry but he wants to know where they should be in the mix and I tell him it's his call. I really do think the soundman you got for the gig is a big part of the band - actually I think we're just the motor and they're the tranny (transmission), they get it to the people. that's why I want soundman martin empowered to make a whole out of the parts we give him cuz that's what his gig is. I tell him we're gonna have some fun. il sogno del marinaio gigs are not control confrontations, they're a celebration. I think he picks up on what I'm putting out there for him.
gigboss wojtek gets some chow for us from a chow pad down the street, kind of traditional polish chow, he gets me this kind of thin-sliced but size-of-your-hand piece of pork cooked in a white sauce w/mushrooms in it and some mashed potatoes which is kind of heavy but tastes real good. it ain't too much to make you feel like a anchor was dropped down your hatch though. I then get pictures taken by piotr in the women's head (he won't let me do it in the men's) and of course he wants to pose me - what is it w/some photograph cats? I'm wearing my yellow jacket w/nothing under it cuz the gig flannel is really kusai ('really bad smelling' in jap) so I'm relieved when he doesn't go as far to ask me to take it off. I next do an interview w/gregr who made the hellride from gdansk. we were supposed to have a gdansk gig this tour but it got scissored. anyway, gdansk lived in pedro for a bit so he knows about me. he asks really good stuff about the minutemen days and about how they informed my later days, my days right now. he asks about minutemen and latin americans - us living in pedro and that connect which was big time real - that sitch in el salvador then and contras in nicaragua and stuff. much respect to gregr. I disagree w/him on one thing though - his opinion is that "three way tie (for last)" is the most "political" album and I think our first record "paranoid time" is cuz we're really thinking out loud on that one.
I watch stonerror and think they do good. I talk for a little while to bart from phoenix before I join my fratelli and put on that kusai gig shirt. crimony. the horror, the horror. martin sets up stuff, doesn't have to set up much cuz we shared drums - he keep the sm57 on the kick he used for the young guys before us, hmm... that might be a real good idea. ok, ten of ten and we're ready to go so here we go. I give the intro speech and the gig's off! it's a good one. fratello ste never put in those new tubes cuz they were wrong ones - nine pine but power and not preamp ones! the amp is sound good powerful now so maybe preamp tubes ain't a issue. definitely the ones he replace in rijeka were. can't believe they were brand new at the beginning of tour. fratello ste is thinking about a new amp, I agree w/him. the krakow gig-goers have to be some of the most vocal ones of the tour, they're very enthusiastic and keep yelling "il sogno del marinaio!" between and during our tunes. dziekuje ('thanks' in polish, pronounced like 'jenky') I mouth to them cuz I only spiel at the beginning and before our last tune though I did say "this waltz town, ain't it?" after "nanos' waltz" last night (I thought of tav falco living in vienna, you know?). the fratelli are playing really good. somebody hollers "stucazz?!!" the second we finish that tune, funny... I'm thinking damn if there was a even a drop of polska in that accent, hmm... it's a good time though and I'm digging it - a real good gig, a HUGE dziekuje from me for them and for gigboss wojtek too. of course for soundman martin for being our fourth man.
over at the merch table (trippy it being lit by candles!) it's right in the hall for the stairs so much traffic and at the same time lots of good word and dziekujes from me - lots of two-way much appreciating it. lots of good english folks use w/me all along this trip. a bass playing friend of gigboss wojtek raps to me about the wattplower bass, shows me a shot of his axe from his smartleash, he's very wise about a bunch of bass things - gives me a bottle of bushmill black label, dziekuje. bart from phoenix talks to me, saying his state (arizona) is the worst one back home and I disagree and say there are no worse states, only worse parts and that can change. there's two borracho young men that keep putting their hands in front of cameras where people want a shot - the magic of alcohol? I know they're at heart prolly really kind but what the fuck? one man closer to my age w/his arm full of our stuff asks if I think the tour's going better than last time I played this town and I nod - he says: "I know, I read the diaries" - oh man, I guess I don't pull many punches... well, I gotta get it our some way - or I'll pop! a bunch of bass guys give me the good word, respect.
konk is upstairs from the venue - it's olde-timey like there and maybe three stories up is a nice little room w/a sign on a door says "alchemia" and gigboss wojtek works the keys to open it up and then talks w/me some after he brings me a piwo ('beer' in polska but pronounced the same as other slav countries). he used to work at southern in england, that was a great company... too bad what happened. I'm glad he kept going, came back to his town and trying to support stuff - I'll try to help how I can. I get into the nightwear after hosing off and konk not too much later.
sunday, october 23, 2016 - prague, czech republic
Wonderfull breakfast at alchemia with poached eggs, salmon and spinach. We are waiting for Penzel but he does not show up. I really hope he is ok. Kind of long driving to Prague. First time to play there for us. nice vibe. We sleep at the 11 floor of an old soviet buildings.
pop at eight and a half, hose off and take look-see out the olde-timey double window. all sun but when I open both windows, it's not warmness... you know in pedro if there's sun it's warm but I've learned in other places it's different - I remember once in washington d.c. I was at the tide pool by the jefferson memorial a few years ago in march and the sun was out so bright but when I took off my glove to snap a shot of the sakura trees, my fingers 'pert-near froze off, I shit thee not. I chimp diary 'til ten when I go downstairs to meet the fratelli at the venue (they konked at a different place). ok chow here at the free shovel, some coff going w/a roll stuff w/cold cuts and cheese slices plus some yogurt. interesting to see who uses hostels now - some cats are my age! I like the idea of folks travelling around and meeting other cats, kind of like they're on tours themselves, good stuff.
fratello ste driverman, we pull anchor at eleven (no sign of wojtek, hope he's ok) and head west, making katowice in about an hour. oh, on the way out of krakow I saw some tract homes, what an incredible u.s. export we can be proud of, that and staus! about a half an hour later we're in the czech republic w/out even noticing, that's how butter the border is!
we drive through ostava and ten after one pull over at a "shell select" station for diesel and switch ponies (plus I gotta drop some kids off at the pool) - whoa, VERY civilized: soap in the water and not just a squeegee but one w/one a real long handle, crimony! fratello ste checks the tire pressure all around. fratello andrea now driverman, not soon after getting back on the highway we see paragliders, many of them.
I see "watt" graffiti again - fuck, I never get to the camera fast enough - fuck! I see more - I get one... they're all different but same spelling, just like my last name - this one's on some cans, yes!
we pass an airfield w/a trippy plane landing (I find out later it's the aeroklub vyskov) and damn if the plane's doing the same speed as us, like we're a pace car pacing its landing, crimony!
then past the airfield there's an old hangar w/the words "air museum" painted on (I later find out it's the vyskov museum of aviation and ground equipment) it and there's like a bunch of old warsaw pact era jets and helicopters, trippy...
fratello andrea wonders why are we're driving south of our target before turning west and I explain the navigatore is being smart about this cuz the road in the north parts of czech are way slow go and the road from brno to prague way fucking better. this something macario and folks from the tour a year and a half couldn't fucking understand and why our drives were ten times the hellrides than they had to be. it's 330 miles from krakow to prague but it's 330 fucking highway miles and not a collection of deer paths. anyway, passing brno we 'pert-near have a wreck cuz a lady stops right in front of us cuz she missed an offramp... luckily fratello ste warns fratello andrea at the last minute and even more luckily we replaced those fucked up brakes in the aft. whew...
three bells and the skies are dark and gray but no rain at least. I explain to fratello ste pere ubu history cuz he wants to know - he's got pere ubu coming from ipod stronzo. we listen to nels cline, fratello ste's choice again. it's getting really gray and cold as we get closer to prague ('praha' is what they say here). there was much rough road and the city got some interesting places to bounce us around - we blow by the pad but it's hard to know where to go so we stop and do the two pronged strategy - fratello ste on foot and fratello ste w/a number for the gigboss - we get the gigboss stepan on the horn but it's fratello ste who comes through w/info we can use and soon we loop around to this time put it on the sidewalk outside this big building that houses a cafe downstairs and that's where klub famu is. voila! we drop anchor at five, a hour early - better than an hour late, right?
I meet soundman lucas, good cat. I give him "the speech" and he's into being fourth man for us tonight. I meet I guess you could call him co-gigboss jan and he's got a great smile that I feel is also most sincere, respect. this gig was the last one booked cuz the gdansk one fell through - we're most grateful to have no holes in this tour, big grazie for bookerman ricky for that. we set up our stuff and then order from menu's jan gives for a pad called "pho viet" that's nearby, I order pho bo. it's really good, I dig it. soup is so good for gig chow cuz it digests easily for me. we do the soundcheck and I'm so glad it drives out the urusai young clowns - I guess it was hard for them to hear their own voices. we meet pavel and stepan from the opening band, a local duet name cerven which means june (like the month) in czech. I read they are labeled "math rock" and stepan says it is a label put on them but they don't try to be that. respect. genre labels are for square johns.
there's a downstairs room where fratello andrea put his drum sacks and it's kind of the backstage place so I go down to chimp diary and quick as that the gigboss shows up, a nice cat stepan (different from cerven stepan), he's also a tall man. I chimp diary 'til I hear cerven playing and go up stairs... damn if they're ain't a step where there's no light and I 'pert-near trip but soundman lucas (the step is right behind where he mixes) catches me and saves me from a what've been a fucked up tumble. dekujeme ('thanks' in czech), brother lucas, dekujeme big time! I would've been more fucked up I wasn't inspired by the cerven guys - damn was that near-tumble fucking scary.
it's ten when we hit and right away there's some clams - I ain't gonna point fingers cuz it ain't productive to do that unless you're gonna point on yourself but I feel we're in for a trippy ride. actually I can feel the band's tired, just is. I'm so proud of the fratelli giving their all but we're only human. I really appreciate them wanting to work as hard as they can folks here giving the sitch, this makes me feel real good. "mountain top" has got prolly the most machi-gais ('mistakes' in jap) but the czech gig-goers really show a lot of heart and support for us, they really do and you can feel it - much respect to them. I try my hardest and pull w/the fratelli, it's time for us to rally what we can and still, it's a good time - such a neat thing about that if you keep in the moment and focus on working the room cuz anything else really puts a damper in the pamper - I really think it's about emotional level and helping relate an expression that can be felt even though it might not be exactly understood or maybe "understood" ain't even the point cuz it's a trippy ether other we're sharing sometimes w/folks by putting out there and actualize what we're bringing. our first czech il sogno del marinaio gig ever! dekujeme good people here in prague tonight, dekujeme big time!
at the merch table I rap w/a man I saw downstairs cuz he got confused where the head was. this is a cat who did a hundred klicks to get here - he's from the town where the REAL budweiser is made - he met me there last year when the uz jsme doma to us to chow at the brewery there. there's paul from crossfirefuckinhurricane also, an ex-pat from england as are two other cats that are most kind and w/interesting perspective also, much respect! one cat's got a hurt knee, I can totally relate and the other one I offer a tour of pedro if he can get out my way - I think it's the first time I didn't recognize a cat from england's accent - trippy! of course paul has a ton of stuff to relate to me but I beat him to it and relate even more his way - thank you for taking it, brother paul! I meet four different people who say their promoters here - I think there's a committee cuz this pad is connected w/film and expressive stuff - uz jsme doma mainman mirek told me he was here for four years when younger. one lady says one of the promoters, jakub was too shy so she has me sign a book. you know this is franz kafka town (I'm the most huge franz kafka reader, love his stuff, love it!) and I think he was a little shy - on the outside but he was intense w/artistic expression and maybe jakub's a little that way. gigboss stepan really helped plug this hole that opened up in the tour and you know what? he tells me any time I need help, damn ain't that beautiful of him? jan too - such good folks. a nice man who helped me w/the german name of the big river that goes through town here, vltava - the german is moldau talks w/me some is quite genuine w/his kindness and support, wants to know different musics I do. I talk w/the cerven guys and make a proposal: please compose two tunes w/bass in mind and I'll try to but my thudstaff to it, I tell them to take as long as it takes. I hope they go for it. might be tough for me but I was just inspired to ask them that, hope they don't feel any weight or pressure. I'm just a vecchio thinking out loud! I won't shirk if the deliver though, I swear!
the stuff packed up, we say our farewells and I bow deep everyone's way. it's a little bit of driving to get into kind of a suburb or a version of that around here? it's just after midnight we get to the "hotel krystal" in the novy veleslavin neighborhood. like I said it was kind of a ride but nothing like the last time I played prague - that was a fucking hellride, comical and even theatrical, I shit thee not. life can be funny. actually this 'tel is pretty funny, I've been pads like this before: communist party pads w/that certain look/feel you can always tell. it's clean though and I feel safe. it's just a bust up when you look how they're made and outfitted, even the phone, clamp on lamps, contact paper on perfboard. I swear I ain't complaining, only laugh out loud like I would at myself. like some of those clams I blew tonight. hell, I am tired! so I hose off and konk.
monday, october 24, 2016 - berlin, germany
Kind of second home town. We feel the pressure. But it actually turns into a very good night Paul is doing the sound, Our friend Dean Roberts is opening. I love his music.. He is also the guy that almost 15 years ago told me that I should have absolutly record my solo music after I gave a bad minidisc demo. He is also the meeting point between Valerio Tricoli and me and that is the beginning of our band project 3\4hadbeeneliminated. A very important and significative experience for me and my main music work till 6 years ago. now we stop. But just recently Oren Ambarchi released on his label black truffle our last work togheter that never came out. speak to me is the title. I did the drawings for the cover and the back and Stephen O' malley curated all the layout design. Very happy that this came out. Many friends tonight. Well of course Riky and Marco, Tania, Cecilia, fratello Massi, Demetrio and Teodora, Francesco. The Monarch is really packed ! And the stage is tiny little. Nice to be there with all these friends. I go sleep in hostel in friedrichschien. Not the best choice.. The room is very cold.
pop at eight bells, hose off. the free shovel downstairs ends at nine so I leave the eleventh floor for the ground (u.s. people say the first, first here means second). the chow is pretty good: little czech hot dogs which I use two in a roll to make like a hot dog, a bowl of yogurt, some pasta (!), and some hardboiled eggs - a couple I keep in my jacket for later. back up in the chamber, I chimp diary.
last night I got told pull anchor an noon but a quarter of fratello andrea arrives to say now, per favore - no prob, I'm w/it. I get to the lobby though and they're chowing! the free shovel ended too early for them so they're paying for their doughnuts, ok. we say bye to the 'tel, soon czech, fratello ste wheels us first through some of prague and then due north. twelve and then half, we pass hora rip
(home of the founding myth of the slavs) on the starboard. we talk about chow, I mention there's hardly any dark vegetables available this tour and my body's really missing it, stuff I chow every day at home like lima beans, broccoli, spinach, string beans, collared greens, mustard greens, kale - thank god miss hiyori gets tomatoes I can chow 'pert-near ever day. I was raised by homecooked meals by my ma and we always had vegetables on the plate no matter what else was there. the fratelli has chowed my ma's cooking and in fact fratello andrea says as far as the chow goes I'm naturally the most italian chowing u.s./italian guy he knows - not cliche stuff like pizza, calzone, stromboli but just the way she cooks things, the tastes and the simpleness of the meats, veggies, gravies and stuff like that. he says it's really similar to how his people are, fratello ste says the same. I know my ma learned all he cooking from her ma and likewise hers and so on. her pop was sicilian - her ma was dolomiti so it's northern italian style. I had that shown to me most recently by that caccitore back in trieste last week. trippy. we talk about charles bukowski and the wild fact about his grandpa coming over to the u.s. but the his son (buk's pop) going over to germany to fight them as a u.s. sergeant and then buk was born there by a german lady - he ends up coming to baltimore when three and so cal seven years after that, had a strong german accent. we laugh about how fucked up negative immi/emi strawman shit is and prolly always has been, right down there in the toilet w/empire and colony crap.
we get taken off the highway cuz of construction and it's a detour on tiny roads... there's some maintenance even on the tiny roads - on truck is doing industrial grass cutting and I get an idea - fratello andrea ain't digging his haircut so I propose a solution: pull this fucking boat over and let the dude make one pass w/his fucking machine, voila - new haircut. we're allowed back on the highway and about one-twenty, just before usti nad labem (me and my missingmen played there a year and a half ago w/the czech guys, their bossman mirek was from around there), we get diesel cuz it's 'pert-near only a euro a liter. hey it's free to piss here, they got a sign over the money slot. pretty civilized too though the bucket w/the squeegee is at the hatch and not at the pump.
it's drizzling now along w/the gray and as we go more north, it's more and more like bad weather for us. oh well, we've had a pretty good run of luck w/that sitch so no bellyachin' out of me. we're over the border into germany twenty of two, fratello ste continuing as helmsman. only the road signs give an indication there's no booths or guards or any of that crap the drizzle slacks so it's just gray cold but in the boat I got coldness coming out the vents and need my coat off (the gig shirt is drying in the back, I pissed all over part of it last night by accident) cuz barechest is the only way I can handle the shvitz the fratelli are trying to foist on me. we're headed towards dresden now but our goal is berlin - the big town and maybe I can get some fucking spinach. at dresden we turn for berlin - leipzig's tomorrow so let's not go there yet. lots of construction really slows us down but then it frees up. I'm predicting though berlin will be stau.
quarter of three we hit a rasthof. these roads in the former-east don't really have rasthofs like in the west. they do have almost exact copy of u.s. style crap chow (crapdonald's, crapperbarrel, crapplebes, etc) chain choke chump jive slop trough at ausgangs but not really the "service islands" - I guess getting off on surface street and having a choice would mean just that: choice and prolly more econo but it seems the chains kind of lock a lot of that up. anyway, I get a wurst and a broth - my first in a while, huh? of course senf and also some coff (what I swallowed this morning was way mazui). there's tons of piles of black earth where we park - talpa ('gopher' in italian) prolly, we had them in the navy housing in pedro where I moved to from virginia as a boy. that's how I know they were piles of shit like fratello ste thought - that's how I learned that word talpa. fratello andrea at the wheel now, he does the last eighty miles to berlin. I have fratello ste play some tenko (watch/hear do "tsuyakeshi no yami" here), love tenko - we talk about bob teagan also, the man is incapable of leaving a lasting impression on anyone, I shit thee not! yeah, just over two hundred miles from prague to berlin but damn if it ain't four and a half when we get to a laundromat in the kruezberg part of town named "waschhaus" which ain't far from where we're playing - laundromats being easy to find ain't like it is back home - here's it's way tougher so when we got a chance, we go for it and drop miss hiyori off and get over to monarch - it's up two and a half flights of stairs but the gigboss robert ain't here yet. I gotta piss like a race horse... I go to the kebab place below the gigpad to try and see if they got a head I can use when a guy there in line says he saw me at "pogo's" in bridgeport, ct twentythree years ago - he helps me find a place to piss at a pad called "burgermeister" around the corner and I feel like owing them so I get a cheeseburger and it's not bad. gigboss robert arrives and let's us in - paul from sunburned hand of the man is the soundman here, alright. gigboss robert's cool people also. elisa's w/him and got a new shipmate coming - maybe in two and a half weeks? respect to them.
after soundcheck w/paul, I shovel chow gigboss robert brought: pasta in a shape like short skinny pencils, roast vegetables and a salad w/some happening dressing I don't know it was made of. it's good. I talk to him about the first time I played in berlin, it was in february of 1983 and the pad was called s.o. 36 - he says it's still open! crimony. I wonder what it'd be like to see again cuz I never did... a remember a few years later I was playing a pad called "loft" where the boss there was a lady - kind of rare in this racket. what was her name? she was always happening, much respect to her from me. no dressing room here so I go partially under the merch table, sitting on the deck and against bulkhead, chimping diary.
sharing the stage w/us tonight is dean roberts and he goes on five of nine. he's beautiful, just him and his guitar. the berlin gig-goers are most kind to him and I am inspired. our turn right after, soundman paul ain't gotta do much to switch on over. must've donated the fucking tuner in prague, oh well. small stage, I'm gonna have to stand 'pert-in one place all gig cuz otherwise I think I might fall off. I know this is a big gig for the fratelli, especially fratello andrea since b-town is his adopted home. I wanna do especially good for them. the berlin gig-goers are most focused and give us big time respect, anything otherwise would yammer right over stuff like "nanos' waltz" or "auslander" - of course there are some of them chuckling w/that later one... a chuckle for me is for the second night in a row we clam the fuck out of "mountain top" - tonight fratello ste starts it in the wrong key. that's the only major clam though, we rally big time from last night's chumpfest. what's hard for me is being in one place, it's hard on my knees but I wanna really do good for my fratelli, like I said. I focus hard for the fratelli, for the berlin gig-goers. I do clam near the end, in "verse IX" cuz some lady sitting up front gets up right when I go for the first bridge move and damn if it don't distract me some but to later blame her was fucking lame... I admit as much too. I thank shige for the use of his amp but don't know if he's here... I thank fratello ricky for booking our tour and making it happen. I thank dean roberts for sharing the stage w/us. I thank soundman paul for being our fourth man. I thank gigboss robert for putting this together. I thank the berlin gig-goers for having an open heart and an open mind for letting us do what we did to them, tonight, here.
many kind words from the berlin gig-goers as I make my way to merch table and also when I get there, much much kindness, thank you much back to them from me. massimo (zu comes to say hi, love this bassman much - he's looking great and it's so good to see him again - big BIG hugs from watt for him. a lap steel friend of james williamson named fred comes over to say hi, I'm glad he got to see this band I'm part of - yeah, I'm part of a european band and dig it! I think about that for a bit, that's what il sogno del marinaio is at its core and from there I'm part of an original trip, a sound of ensemble exploring musical ways to connect. it ain't a mike watt side project. our bookerman fratello ricky comes over to talk w/me and it's an important one cuz you see, this is the first time he's seen us play live. yeah, he booked the whole tour, some of it many months ago but had never seen us do what we do. he has a very positive opinion about the experience and it makes me really happy. maybe in some ways this is the most important gig of the tour cuz it means now he knows what he's slinging when he gets on the horn w/people about booking us gigs. he's playing in a band w/fratello ste and he knows of fratello andrea's work, mine - kind of the name game BUT w/him actually seeing us do a whole gig, it's out there what we are: a band w/its own identity. what he tells me makes good sense, how he sizes up what we're doing but joining together, making it a three = one trip and nothing short of that. he tells me he's ready for the "next step" which is sept/october 2017 for another round of europe courtesy of swamp booking. you cannot imagine a more grateful watt shaking fratello ricky's hand, you cannot and it ain't just cuz I'm a stumblebum w/words... I bow deep w/respect for him. he says we bring a real feel and emotion that's of a band. grazie big time, fratello ricky, grazie mille.
konk at dean robert's pad in the treptow part of berlin but first have good talk w/him. he tells me about tony buck cuz I suggested talking to nels cline about recording w/us - I ask dean if he would write most tunes while me and nels will each bring in one. I hope it can happen but I tell him there's no rush - "...no wine before its time" a great somebody once said, right? I do HUGE soak in HUGE LONG MOST RIGHTEOUS tub dean's got, oh my god - I can lay out the whole length and that's what I do and 'pert-near float away to sleepytown...
tuesday, october 25, 2016 - leipzig, germany
I wake up with all this cold inside me. I feel like a I have a lake in my stomach. Kind of sick. I shit bad and liquid. I join Riky for lunch. We go at miss saigon vary good vietnamese. We talk about the tour and the new plans for il Sogno Del Marinaio next year activity. I am really glad that he saw the gig and really liked it. Riky and I also play togeter in a band called In Zaire. He is drummer and we are going to release a new record next year. Sometimes the conunication between us can become a bit angular cause we live far away, we both work a lot and we would like to play more togheter but it is always hard to find a good spot. Anyhow I really like and love him. Thanks Riky for all the great work you did for us. Leipzig is not far. We play with Tuggy. A nice night but I feel sick. I had a wonderfull veggie burgher but I shit it out directly after. I go sleep not far away in another venue where fratello Andrea already played times ago.
pop at eight-forty, dean's already bailed for his teaching job. I do another HUGE soak in his fucking happening tub am also loving this lemon "dusch das" liquid soap - I've always hated liquid soap that feel greasy - there's bar kind that are the same, just hate them but this I'm digging much. miss hiyori brings spinach, garlic, ginger and eggs from a nearby market and cooks them up, really good and helps me on the inside cuz like I was chimping in the diary earlier, I'm really missing greens on this tour.
the boat w/the fratelli arrives 'pert-near twenty minutes later than the time they told me they'd be here but it's ok. fratello andrea at the wheel, we go to his prac pad to get more "canto secondo" vinyl. a quarter of three we pull anchor from fratello andrea's prac pad, we get the rest of the merch which would've totally bogarted all our space in the boat but now it's ok. he then wheels us the hundred and some change miles south we gotta do to get to leipzig - first time for watt in leipzig - never have been there so I'm excited about that. ain't excited by all the rain, grain and cold but that's the way the weather's turning. at four I gotta drop some friends off at the lake, when I get done I get what they call at the rasthof a "hot dog" which is a big wurst on a roll w/three slices of cheese melted on it, underneath there's cole slaw between the roll and the wurst. I put senf on it.
sixty klicks from leipzig we turn the motor off cuz the stau is total. it's five and that's when we were supposed to load-in. everyone's got their motor off and the autobahn here is a parking lot. I have fratello andrea call the gigboss man. a half hour later we get moving again. twenty of seven when we get to the venue, we're at cammerspiele which is in the kulturfabrik leipzig building. I send fratello ste out to check out the sitch and down a little brickway and there's tim from tuggy - he's the bassman and we're sharing the stage w/them. he got me a gig in oldenberg a year and a half ago, he's a good cat, solid. I meet the gigboss chris and he also seems like cool people, respect. up some stairs for the schlep and we're playing where there's black curtains and rugs on the deck, am into it. the soundman josh is up on a ladder, he hears "the speech" from up there and is into it. righteous. I detect an accent... turns out he's from back home, from seattle - all right. kind of limited for him, only three channels so they gotta be all used for vocals. that means me and fratello ste gotta watch it w/the amp volume, especially me. I know we can do it though, we can make it happen!
I chow some falafel that's good. tim from tuggy is a frislander and I learn there's both a german and a dutch version - I learned about the dutch one back in the 80s. tim his dialect is called plattdeutsch. he's got another band called the deeper dees that's taking a brake now cuz one member's a skipper of a boat but he's getting leave soon and they're gonna start back up then. tuffy was a proj he started w/ola just as a recording trip but I think this is maybe their eighth gig, it's developed into a full-on band. they go on at nine and I watch from the guitarman's side, I gotta be on the deck cuz my knees are killing me. also this gives some gig-goers a shot at sticking their culo in my face, crimony. tuggy is good, tim works his bass well but maybe it's a little too loud cuz I can't hear any of the drums, nothing. I hear everything else though and really am digging the band and their set. I'm good and fired up - danke, tuggy people!
we're ready for the ten o'clock go on right around then but tuggy tim asks us to hold on while he gets the folks who went out to puff but I like being punctual so I start the speech w/out him and extend a little. I like not blowing clams also but damn if I ain't a half-step flat for that break after both verses of spiel get done in "il sogno del fienile" - the fucking first number out of the gate - baka! I do it fucking all three times... in a row! what a fucking baka I am. I rally myself though and get correct for the rest of the set. what's amazing is how the fratelli are working the room w/mics only for voice and not one on the drums. of course the guitar and bass don't need it really cuz of the sitch but fratello andrea has to beat his fucking brains out in the slammin' parts to get it out there - this ain't a bogart but it's cuz I asked him too as a result of experiencing the tuggy set. the leipzig gig-goers are most kind and they're young too, maybe college students... this quite a few good dancers even, beautiful. they give us much respect and focus. my first time playing in leipzig and I really dug it. gigboss chris gives a spiel when we're done - he also did one before/after w/tuggy resurrecting something that kind of went away, the m.c. I remember dirk dickerson up in the city, he was really good at "introducing" the next act, he always had a good time w/the minutemen and we loved him.
at the merch table I talk w/a cat who does gigs in nearby halle, he says he's in contact w/bookerman fratello ricky, fucking righteous. his buddy did a paper on ciccone youth too - ain't that a trip? I just was talking about this earlier in the tour's diary, huh? I let her know what I wrote there: I ain't part of the album except for my demo of what I used to show thurst what I was gonna do for the single we did together, that demo was put on w/out me knowing (though I'm into) and not one other from thing from me is on it - I'm only on the ciccone youth single w/my "burnin' up" on one side and sonic youth's "tough titty rap"/"into the groovy" on the other. I also relate what went on w/the "providence" tune from their "daydream nation" but I ain't gonna go into that here now. I talk to this cat from hamburg who commutes to leipzig for work - whoa. anyway, he's way into the meat puppets and we talk a bunch about that. I can tell he really is into the pups and that makes me happy. many kind people here tonight, leipzig danke, truly.
gigboss chris takes us by cab down a few blocks to a venue called ut-connewitz where there's apartments upstairs for cats who play there and we get to use. I tell the fratelli some stuff about me and the porno for pyros cats - it's been twenty years since those gigs... sure love perk, peter and per - same w/the cats helping them: teej, shawn, bagel, toi, roger, curl and paul v - all great cats. I'm lucky to have good people around me, I tell the fratelli I'm lucky to have them in my life now. I konk all sore though, my body's a little beat - still, I'm most grateful.
wednesday, october 26, 2016 - hamburg, germany
Wake up still sicky. We go to hamburgh. I drive and I feel my body is asking for water probably to get clean inside. So we need to stop several times to piss. In hamburgh we go to eat on the dock a wonderfull incredible tunafisch burgher I have ever had in my life and this bring a bit energy in my body but I am not still ok. In fact before the concert the drama banjo take place again. Like in leipzig at the end of the gig I am completely fucked and tired and I cannot even speak. But tonight Miss Hiyori opens for us playing the drums with her band kosmodrome. Thanks Miss hiyori so much! Really enjoyed and I take several pictures and video. At the hotel I crush deeply in the bed
I pop at eight and hose off. I write my ma this morning. I spaced on it sunday like a fucking idiot. I wrote my sister melinda too, she told me our ma is home now, she using an "air concentrator" - I write my sister asking what the fuck is that machine about. prolly "concentrates air" but maybe I can learn more? I learn from my secondmen drummerman that pete's ma past away in rijeka, her home town. oh man, this veyr sad. she was always very kind to me, so very kind and interesting to talk w/and I know of lot pete comes from his pop svetko, al lot come from his ma, had a great spirit. pete said she was kind of bohemian when he was younger and it shows in him. much respect. it's very hard lesson to lose people, I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
pull anchor at ten-forty, the fratelli have loaded the boat and grabbed my crippled ass from the konk pad. gray skies w/tiny bits of blue but no rain, I'll take it. fratello ste is at the helm and he aims north to halle. at eleven and a half we drop anchor at a rasthof for diesel, pissing and a provision of "friche bockwurst und brot mit senf" (german for "big fat fucking hot dog w/little roll and mustard") for ¤4.69 (about $5.11). diesel was ¤1.28/liter (about $5.28/gallon) which is highway burnward price. ok, some economic information - "germany is the motor driving europe" I was told by a cat in italy last week. I can see there's a lot of work building roads and stuff in the former east. leipzig has all kinds of construction. fratello andrea enlightens me to the notion that the ddr organized chemnitz as the industrial town, dresden as the bureaucracy one and leipzig for college - hence all the students at the gig last night. all that's different now of course but maybe some remnants. I'm glad they're bring the east in though, it's baka I think to keep 'tude going if you really wanna change - you gotta engage - I ain't talking compromising values but polarizing for polarizing sake ain't about the future if you really want change. of course it's difficult and can't be worked out through a one-sided dialog from an idiot bass-learner in his fucking diary. amen. the sun comes soon as we pass magdenberg, alright. ten of one we pass the former "border" - we talk about the ussr crumble... my opinion is a big reason it happened was her satellites bailing on horrible system and not so much afghanistan revenge for vietnam cia-op which actually produced blowbacks were dealing w/now. just a baka opinion, please don't fear it being enforced on anyone reading this, just hanging it out there w/the pants down. one bell and we dock for a moment at a rastplatz to switch ponies, I see a lot of dudes pissing in the woods.
fratello andrea wheels us towards northeast to hannover. two and half we dock for fratello ste, he needs piss stop and doesn't have tom watson skills at filling a bottle to the brim, yes sir - every time he does it he always is most proud to show off his work w/huge beaming smile - yeah, fratello ste is very much in diminished capacity regarding that art.
fratello ste relates to me a story about dean roberts: fratello ste was just making music for fun on a minidisc and at the time dean roberts was living in bologna and heard it... he told fratello ste he dug it and the stuff should get recorded properly - fratello ste told me this gave him the confidence to pursue music as a part of his expression and so dean roberts is a huge part of his music history. we get into hamburg at three which is great cuz we beat the stau. we hit up the harbor. miss hiyori lives in hamburg area and knows it good. we find a chowpad called "fischmarkt bistro" and I get what's called a "golden black pearl oktopus burger" (their name) and it's octopus w/salad stuffing on a black bun w/seeds on it. I like it. the boss here is way to ac/dc and that's what we hear. he also grabs me when I take a shot at some scrimshaw on some big ol' walrus tusks and points to a sign on the hatch that said "no photos" which I didn't see but he says "it's my house and you can take photos" and lets me go, pretty intense but he's got a funny vibe and only some english (maybe more if he wants to use it?) so I feel relieved. nothing like being a cojo and manhandled, right?
we still got a half hour to kill and get a good spot to park the boat by the water. we're across from some drydocks and also some can terminals - little can boats that handle a hundred or something forties, feeders prolly. man, the wind is chilly coming off the water. politzei boats are bigger here than back home but then sea looks a lot rougher. different too is this harbor is hooked in w/the elbe which is a big daddy for not just germany but central europe. respect.
park in front of hafenklang at four and a half, gigboss thomas comes to unlock the hatch a few minutes later. we do the load-in from the street, kind of hectic cuz it ain't wide enough - we get it done though, gigboss thomas helping w/the schlep. I meet soundman jan and give him "the speech" - he's into it. I asked what was this pad way back when and he says a long time ago it was a stable for horses to be used by carriages, crimony! upstairs there's some snack chow prepared by cookerman eton - later he cooks us up some roasted potatoes, steamed cauliflower, pasta sun dried tomatoes and green salad - love it much, my body loves it much.
there's a downstairs dressing room from where I chowed in and I teach fratello andrea the knock... I can't believe I've done 'pert-near four tours w/them now and they don't know the knock? crimony. to hear this little fey tippy-taps is unnerving big time! I want him to knock like a man so I know who it is - why do you think we came up w/that system? actually it was the flag guys, they hipped us minutemen to it and we never forgot - NEVER. why? fratello andrea introduces me to a cat name muck wants to record our gig and I say sure. I ask if he's got a turd polisher among his mechanisms, I get no answer. he does knows jack brewer and joe baiza from saccharine trust though, right on! he tells me he's got an italian background but lives here in hamburg. he tells me about a journey he had looking for the italian consulate here in town one afternoon...
later at nine I'm watching kosmodrone - I like them but the sounds are harsh, the bass tones and bottom end of the drums especially, it's some bogarting low mid - I gotta learn from this and plan on notching out those offending freqs and cut the bottom in general and let soundman jan add to where he is cuz that's the more accurate picture. people who think they can mix from the stage are a little out to lunch, I think. anyway, miss hiyori is in this band along w/graeme who also both play in bash.o but this band is a trio w/a happening bassman named david who I like much. near the end of their set this danish cat named morten from the skating dicks gives me some music, alright! he made the hellride all the way from denmark to see this gig - I tell him my grandma (my pop's ma) was from denmark, I tell him that to let him know cuz you know how the ladies lose their last name but the men don't. morten's very kind and damn if it ain't got an orange knit hat on...
our turn is ten minutes early - I get the word from fratello andrea to bring it at ten-twenty so I do - this time I use a setlist cuz last night I didn't and damn if I was afraid I was gonna space and had the insecurity wound up in me and didn't even discuss it in the diary... I feel a noisy vibe from the stage port side but it's ok cuz mostly I got a supporter feel coming from the hamburg gig-goers, well one person has something to say about the way I pronounce his town so I apologize - in german which is - fuck it, let the music doing the talking cuz he won't have to hear me speak 'til our set's finale. actually I think some people like that are just feeling self-conscious are maybe borracho - if I were to really go back and think about all the genius shit I hollered at people or just hollered period - that goes for yammering too cuz I've done it. it's time to work, I holler "THIS IS FOR PETE'S MA!" and start our gig w/my fratelli... I get "il sogno del fienile" right tonight which means even all the words which is a rally-plus on that level. the fratelli are playing great and I'm just hoping the bass ain't sounding how I heard it earlier - lows are really hard to hear how they're hitting where the people who paid to get in are, you can blow it big time by getting too precious on stage. fratello andrea I guess has given up the tshirt rock he's be into the longest while though he didin't start tour that way - he had button shirts and even used the john coltrane butt on I gave him to batten down the bottom one of this shirt that I guess had it missing... the button shirt itself is gone but the style is back. funny hearing this from the clown who wears the same thing every fucking night, huh? I just notice it. fratello has always liked tshirts but it ain't the same one, he rotates them... one of them has our band's name on it - I don't think I got the cojones to do that. I make up for the clam I blew last night in "nanos' waltz" by getting my lead-on the second bridge more together. the set lays itself out like it does, familiar to me now and no guesses but cuz of the stuff itself, it still is a little risky BUT I am getting more used to playing w/the fratelli w/out being like I'm engaging cruise-control. I never wanna get in that sitch - I mean I don't want let myself make it for that... c'mon I've served w/d. boon, I've served w/ig - cats who play for keeps. "good training for us" the pop group said, damn right. is me and fratello ste out of tune? I've been doing no tuner since the donate in prague but I think it might be overtones making things kind of freaky too, overtones on the stage. I do know our final notes of the night in "zoom" are reversed - the parts are - but it's still tight. "zoom" was the name the recorder fratello andrea uses for default save name for that composizione, you know that? I that found out just this tour, I am a baka.
I go through the crowd to get to the merch table and there's much good word and warm hand to shoulder, hand to arm, hand to hand. graeme's wife's "canto secondo" album is the first one I sign - there's trouble w/folks after her w/the plastic but she got it right off - maybe some tough nails? respect. fuck, I gotta use teeth on some - everybody laughs, like what the fuck?! one cat has never heard of me but liked the last three tunes so much he wants to get the album w/them... well two are on the first "la busta gialla" but the other baby il sogno del marinaio has never recorded so... he actually starts talking to me about bass cuz he's been doing besides the guitar he usually does, alright. I start telling him what I think of the politics of bass, the "we look good making them look good" stuff. talk a good while to shice squad guitarman sam but don't realize he's in that band 'til we gotta bail... I've played lots of shice squad on my radio show and knew somehow they were using baka u.s. form of scheisse but didn't realize he was actually born in ann arbor... interesting. I have a good talk w/a cat about the skate scene in our pedro town (he's fellow pedro man like me!) and righteous cats like andy harris and the folks at that spsa that got the channel street pads happening. much respect to them. trippy about talking to a pedro dude about skating in hamburg, germany but that's where life might put you so I say play the hand you're dealt the best you can. roland "lost-my-mind-man" from utrecht is here w/his buddy milan (who just moved here to hamburg) and we talk about the first gig of this tour, about his pop's girlfriend bernadette and how it was a mindblow for cuz she came from a kind of sheltered growing up so to get il sogno del marinaio was kind of a mindblow and she dug it. roland is very kind in acknowledging how he feels, glad I could help. seeing him tonight right up front was very motivating in a big way cuz I had sadness about pete's ma passing and his presence helped me w/some confidence cuz of course wanna play good for his buddy milan... right here now, post-gig he's very kind - I learn his named after milan kundera who's "immortality" had a huge effect on me. I'm so glad both him and roland could be here, great cats.
the 'tel ain't too far and is being redone (it's called "stadt altona") but that's no prob for me. what I really dig is the good and hard shower - big drops that pound which makes for two happening pads this way in a row - no dribble dribble here. trippy blankie though cuz it's square and not rectangular so that makes for many times w/feet hanging out. good to be off feet though cuz fucking knees are really REALLY sore. crimony. hands are swollen too. the price of doing gigs, I think it's worth it.
thursday, october 27, 2016 - münster, germany
Wake up better. We go load in. Thomas opens the club and he gave us some money for breakfast. We go the same place we been yesterday for another burgher. I go for a salmon one this time. So good and I feel immedialty better. It is great to be on the sea. I always feel better close to the sea. We go to munster. It is nice gig too but again I feel destroyed still when we finish. Hella Comet from austria opens for us
pop at eight and a half, hose off again w/the high pressure shower - lovin' them pounds! this got big holes on the shower head but still good push so it's like getting tons of good tsubos. there's no free trough so I'm chimping 'til I hear a thump on the hatch (I hope it's the right one I showed him!)... no thumps/knocks/whatevers - the fratelli are downstairs waiting for my sorry ass, stucazz?!! another communication screwup, crimony! gray cold skies are holding back rain but barely... we'll have to roll 175 miles from hamburg to münster- the umlaut (those two dots above the u, the stuff blue oyster cult uses) are important cuz there's a completely different town w/the u in its name w/out the umlauts, got it?
we meet gigboss thomas at havenklank for the gear load-out at eleven, he's a good man and I'm most proud to work for him - do you know he was like eight feet from me at ten o'clock the entire gig last night? much respect! he gives us chow money for asagohan but there's nowhere to park so where to?
same pad as yesterday when we rolled into town: "fishmarkt bistro" w/that cat who digs the ac/dc - yeah, you know it's playing when walk in - he goes to get rolls while I have a tuna burger cuz fratello ste said it was the best one ever he had yesterday and along w/some potatoes on a couple of plates we all share, it's a good first chow!
outside I see a mural and think it's for dockworkers which turns out to be true but it's lady dockworkers, much respect! my secondmen drummerman jer's sister t has been a crane operator for years...
we pull anchor and travel soon through altona part of the harbor which miss hiyori says used to belong to denmark. then we go through a neighborhood w/very fancy pads and then finally UNDER the elbe river (I know, the fratelli hate tunnels) which she says gets stau cuz bakas don't realize it goes downhill and then uphill... luckily for us it's very clear cuz of our timing and soon we're on the autobahn. we play "slope-gradual disappearance" by tenko from my ipod stronzos, the fratelli totally digging it.
two bells we pull off to piss and switch ponies at a rasthof - baka to pay ¤1.35/liter for diesel - we'll wait 'til münster, it's only like fifty miles down the road. fratello andrea at the wheel, he explains he hasn't worn the orange capello since that gig at fluc in veinna - he tells me cuz I noticed him not wearing last night but it's been a few now actually. he said when he 'pert-near donated it at the fluc gig (he'd left it on the roof of the boat during the load-out and luckily we went back and saw it on the road), he took it as an omen to not play anymore w/it on.
we arrive at three and a half at gleis22 - ain't played here for eleven years, last time was w/the second string secondmen doing my second opera in europe. the soundman holger is good people, let's me do "the speech" and is on board, much respect to him. also explains pad name: there was a railroad station w/twentyone tracks so I guess the twentysecond one (gleis is 'track' in german) the abstract "what if" baby, as in the p word: possibility. gigboss basti and his helperman chris arrive to make up all these little chows for us like olives w/almonds in them, sliced tomatoes w/basil and mozzarella, fruits, etc - very good. you know it's a good gigboss when the cat himself is cutting up the chow. cookerman jens does up dinner chow later which is rice w/vegetables on but w/coconut taste sauce, trippy and good - I know it's healthy. I like this staff, these good cats at gleis22 a bunch, much respect to them! I meet the band we're sharing the stage w/tonight, austrians from graz called hella comet and they're nice people. they chow w/everyone else out in the venue, one of the guitarists asks if I like hiding backstage and I gotta tell him getting up and down off the stage (the only way into/out of the backstage or more accurately: sidestage) is killing my already hurting-real-bad knees... god, I hate sounding like some old cojo ('cripple' in espanol) but late in a tour that's got cold wet weather coming on is a little bit of a challenge on me - just means I'm gonna focus more on the gig and drive it as hard as I can and still have a fun time. the hella comet bass player asks me about the diary I'm chimping and I tell her I need to do it like for therapy for tour, to keep the focus (that f word again) and that's really the main trip about it. she asks to take a picture of us ("usie") looking mean before it's her turn to get on stage w/her band, I say ok. I watch them from the hatch, from stage port which is trippy. they must use telepathy cuz never once do I see them look at each other, that's really trippy.
I don't have that kind of talent, I must reach out w/my occhios to my fratelli.
we eight eight minutes past our ten pm onstage time, I didn't want anybody spilling any wine but it is a work night... I think thursdays maybe are the third best night of the week to play though - but maybe that's 'tard thinking, right? any night can be the worst or best for all kinds of stuff. sometimes I sound like I'm superstitious, huh? whatever, we bring the thirtieth gig of the tour and damn if I don't have a good time - it's a real fun one for me. I do get some trippy odors off of myself, yeah - there's moments where like I'm down wind of myself and it's like, "kusai, what the fuck died and is now rotting away in chunks?" or more like "the horror, the horror..." - you know it's getting to the "knock a buzzard off a shitwagon" level when you yourself... well, I'm hoping the fratelli are far enough to be free of any fouling... I keep to stage port much. I reverse the bass licks in the "skinny cat" intro, why? I think my "small sick wind" has distracted me so I double it up on the focus - you know, BOFUS? there's a part in the last wind-up of "us in our land" that has me scared the wheels are gonna fly off cuz of accents from fratello andrea are in trippy places but he's reading the tune great and it is right w/us come "END IT!" time, whoa - amazing, much respect to him. we snap it right off. I have a hell of a fun time tonight. there's a corridor behind fratello andrea so I can do my little missions back there. the münster gig-goers are incredible w/the respect and focus and I try my hardest to give it back to each and everyone - there's one cat in the back working his leash (I think at one point I threw a middle finger at him - what?!) but he's the only one, all these beautiful cats here, you can feel it, they're checking out every pause, 'pert-near every note and bump and push - every syllable of spiel. much MUCH respect to them.
at the merch table one cat has me sign a minutemen anthology that has the "tour spiel ep" on it and I try to explain how "spiel" is used in that case, how in yiddish (actually "sphil") it's more like a "speech to persuade" and not just "play" or "gamble" like in contemporary germany it's more used. we got lots of these kind of words especially in showbiz talk. I love it, the shit gets deep but that's cuz I've had experience w/it and I can tell by this cat's eyes that I'm making very little sense though he's trying to get what I'm saying. fuck, I get clumsy w/words - I wish so much in all these pads w/the different talking I could get stuff through to people in their native talk and not be so stupid to not have skills and depend on instead for them to have superhuman powers to makes sense of my slang and babble and on top of that terrible pronouncing and stumblebum stupid shit I wish I could get so much more together w/and damn me. I'm so sorry, das tut mir leid. there's cats from the old days that rap w/me about osnabrück - I first met richard hell there, ate my first german pizza that had olives - it fucking didn't have the pits removed, 'pert-near broke my fucking toofs! there's a cat named omar who saw me in bielefeld, not far from here... I offer to give him a tour of my pedro town if he gets out my way. everyone so kind to my here.
about time to bail but the cab is taking forever... anyway, I rap w/the hella comet guitarists frente and jure about glenn branca and rhys chatham - I actually was a part of the l.a. version of mr branca's symphony 13 - my sister melinda even took my ma to it! sixtyfour guitars, twenty basses and one drummer - you know where I sat? right next to brother virgil!
the cab finally arrives. though the 'tel ("hotel conti") ain't more than a half a klick away, the fratelli don't want me hobbling. the cab driver is pissed cuz he was given the wrong address and waited there for half a hour for nothing and then for a piddly fare cuz of the short drive. man, was he in a hell of rage. I'm very sorry but really had little to do w/it except it was all for my lame cojo ass. I should've fucking been allowed to hobble. I hose off and konk, sorry to be so much trouble. I can imagine being in that cabman's place.
friday, october 28, 2016 - cologne, germany
Not a far driving. I finally feel better today. We play at king georg. Same venue we have been in 2013 la busta gialla tour. We have to place guit amp in a specific place of the venue cause otherwise is crazy noise with the bar light. So I end up to play behind fratello Andrea and with people sit behind me. we are surrounded by people cause the venue does not have a proper stage. I like it. We sleep upstair. Tomorrow is last gig of the tour. my right hand skin fingers are like piece of leathers now. I am playing more with the skin rather than nails now. Allows me to have more dynamics and control on the electric guitar. I keep just a bit of nail too for some shining more.
pop at ten of eight. they got a free shovel so I go get two rolls and fill one w/salmon and the other w/liverwurst which comes in little tubes the size of thumbs - both w/cheese and tomatoes. I swallow coff. hose off when I return and then chimp diary. pull anchor quarter of eleven, fratello ste has already got boat from venue to bring us back for load-out of gear from venue. gray skies but not cold and no rain, I ain't kvetching too much about it. barechest, I got my shirt off cuz these guys up front w/their fucking sweaters, hoodies and heaters full-blast. at least I got some vents on the overhead that use a different feed.
right after getting on the autobahn we stop for diesel at a rasthof, one called "münsterland" and yes, civilized w/squeegee, soapy water AND by pump. respect. we listen to "hade's park" which was tenko proj called dragon blue. at one we cross the rhine and hit a big stau, listening now to "money jungle" a famous trio album w/duke ellington, charles mingus and max roach. fratello andrea says he's got a friend that says charles mingus is showing off on this album but I don't know about that. a half hour later and only a little stau, fratello ste does the whole ninety-something miles need to do to get into cologne (germans actually call it köln) and about half a klick east of the neustadt part is king georg - it'll be both il sogno del marinaio and my second time here. I go chow had a chicken and some fries mayonnaise a block away called "chicken farm" for five euros and it's good. hobbling back, this cat recognizes me on the corner, asks if I'm watt and I tell him yeah, says he lives right around the corner and I tell him I'm here to play tonight and he says whoa - so I show him the flyer in the little box besides the pad's hatch and he takes a shot of me there w/his camera, he tells me his name is martin styblo:
two bells and soundman miguel arrives, very cool people - from spain w/a ma from nyc, he lets us load in so we can put the boat far where it won't cost and a leg to park and then moves me upstairs cuz there two apts for konkpads for after the gig. I chimp diary cuz the stairs are murder on my weak knees... a quarter after three we take pictures alfred who thank god doesn't make me do the three flights of stairs cuz my knees are really killing me at this point. we need good recent shots of the band, fratello andrea's idea and I agree. miss hiyori went to was our stuff at a laundromat so I gotta wear the temporary shirt instead of the gig flannel or the yellow coat - those both needed cleansing bad. I like these two shots alfred took much:
we do soundcheck w/soundman miguel and cuz of noise issues, fratello ste is moved up in one of the booths 'pert-near, it's like he's got his own riser. fratello gets a little defensive when I try to explain to him stuff about working w/a smaller p.a. and/or one w/few channels - in those cases it's the band that's got adjust cuz the soundman can only do so much. I think he jumped the gun on the reaction before really hearing me out. you know, he's so hair-trigger he thinks I think his voice is too loud but that's crazy, it's right there. sometimes I think he feels threatened a little too quick, some kind of "twitchfire" or something. actually "twitchfire" was from georgie (minutemen/fIREHOSE drummerman) right after he popped and packing some intense wood, he'd say: "don't be touching me, holmes - you know, twitchfire" or like "whoa, almost backed up into myself!" - stuff like that but this here from this drummerman is coming from a more insecure place, I think - w/georgie it was more about virility foaming over. whew, that's done... another soundcheck mercifully.
miss hiyori brings back a chow pad called "thai imbiss" ('imbiss' is 'fast food' in german) called "spicy shrimp soup w/mushrooms" that is so fucking good I wanna go crazy but somehow keep it together. I chimp diary 'til ilias of radio aisle goes on first at 8:25 - he was the engineer at bear cave studio where we recorded like three years ago "clams get blown today" - a take on "time has come today" by the chambers brothers. maybe that's gonna come out some day? it's jan's label - the one he's got w/thomas, edition fieber out the sock-tight double seven inch I did w/raymond. anyway, I can dream. it would be interesting to have a crazy insane psychedelic maybe? I remember we did a long version w/a long middle part. whoa here, I'm getting carried away - I'm supposed to be chimping about playing in cologne this tour!
we're on right after ilias and damn if I ain't out in front of the whole band. it's mainly cuz of the angle of fratello andrea's drum set. he doesn't have enough of it and so I can't make eye contact w/him and also it puts me right out there w/the people which ain't terrible but kind of lonely - I mean it ain't lonely cuz the pad is packed but lonely in terms of my fratelli are fucking behind me instead me alongside them. the cologne gig-goers are very enthusiastic and I forget a little of my awkwardness. hell, there's even dudes in booths behind me! the way it is w/the folks w/you is quite a difference than lording over people from on high, you know. it's going pretty good - there's some clams but I'm proud of the fratelli working such a sitch... I have a good time. there's some choke in the second break of "mountain top" - hell, I counted the tune in and forgot to put the volume up, what's that about? that tune gets really clammed cuz of no eye contact w/the fratelli - not w/me but w/each other. oh well. what gets me kind of steamed though is in "verse IX" we clam the second bridge cuz what I think is some motherfucking yammerer - I now think maybe it wasn't the yammer but I hollered and called him a selfish motherfucker, I tell him if he wants to yammer then to start a band and take his turn, I'll even open up for him. man, was I pissed. I hate playing like I'm a cop though so I disappointed myself that way, damn me. thank god that was near the end.
martin, the man who took my picture earlier, serves as a bow of a ship I imagine myself on and blows a path on the port side of the bar to get me back where the merch table is. much respect to him! many kind cats come to give me the good word... one lady is from chicago - I detect an accent! also a cat from colorado who's spent ten years in china. there's folks who've seen long ago - one cat who knows martin saw me at the stollwerck w/the minutemen and black flag. I'm glad the get to see me do music from today along w/guys from today even though I would be here today w/out those things from the older days. everyone who brings up the old days w/me 'pert-near always say they like what I'm trying now, they're most kind. martin asks me to let him take some shots of me in an old back room downstairs...
we do that and then return to some bulleit and kolsch beer which I really like - they even got their own glasses for that beer, tall skinny ones. these guys are great, I could talk to them about everything - and I try to, they put me in a great mood. so glad to make friends w/martin and these cats but now I feel I'm kind of fading fast, tiredness getting up on me.
it's just getting on midnight as get myself up these stairs to the apt. this is the apt where alfred took the shots of us earlier today. it's got trippy dots. I hose off hot. I'm sore. I need konk. I enjoyed much these five german gigs.
saturday, october 29, 2016 - rotterdam, netherlands
I go get then van after morning coffee, then fratello Andrea starts the driving. I have to prepare few things before tomorrow departure from amsterdam airport to NY. A lady bug just relax his body on my ipad while I'm finishing the diary - I have been late with diary... Never enough time:(--
I feel lucky. What enormous privilige to play with fratelli. At the venue we meet Carlos. Such a pleasure to see him again. He speaks a bit about the departure of his mum and him taking out all her stuff from the pad. He looks like a very strong humble gentleman. That is the way I see him. I will not write more about today. I feel this is has been my favourite tour in terms of the way we have been playing. We got the right spirit is with us and I feel we can see now the first form of our identy shaping her/his/its body more clearly. I always felt this sooner or later it would have happen. So proud and Really looking forward our next chapter...
pop at three and a half, then five, then seven - fuck, very strange but then again end of a tour is always very strange - actually for me very happy cuz goddamn if we ain't the luckiest sons of bitches in the world to make it this far w/so much that COULD happen, every time I am so big time amazed but grateful. anyway, I'm hurting so much in my knees, especially the starboard one cuz of it having to work maybe twice as hard cuz of the weak one on the port. this ain't a 'tel so for sure no trough downstairs but there's a bakery and miss hiyori brings back a really good tuna sandwich on really good bread and lettuce, love it. I chimp diary 'til the boat arrives at ten and a half from where it was parked (too far for me to hobble to/from) and soundman miguel arrives for both llaves ('keys' in espanol) and to help schlep, gracias, miguel, truly. we pull anchor at eleven (fratello andrea rudderman) and while it's beautiful the gray is burned up w/yellow from the sun and leaving blue, there's forty minutes of stau for us. we play my ipod stronzos in shuffle mode.
twenty after twelve we cross into netherlands. there's something wrong w/the cable w/the ipod stonzo, only one side or then nothing - very frustrating... we try to reason out what happened to the good cable - who was driving yesterday? look in the fucking diary and find out fratello ste was driving the whole time so who was riding shotgun? well, let's talk about who's NEVER ONCE THIS WHOLE TOUR been in that seat: fratello mike. fratello ste finds the good cable, the whole thing blows over. we switch ponies at a quarter after one. skies are bluing up, into that! through the middle of holland - trippy it's just over a hundred-fifty miles for us today to do cologne to rotterdam but it's 'pert-near through so much of the country - it's that perspective: "so much of the country" instead of "so much of the state" or "so much of the region" - capito? at the same time though, so much of everywhere is put to use. I like the way the buildings are made too, econo in their look for me... the bridges, buildings, pads - have function look w/nice aesthetic. the netherlands has always gotten from me a big time respect for that, kind wows me and no matter how times I experience it, I get that same mindblow, know what I mean? (to quote a brilliant mind I had the privilege to bump into in southampton)
we arrive at worm right after two, pretty bright skies and kind of warm. fratello andrea says he's been trying to play here for years so when we meet the gigboss vincent (he's from west part of france) I ask him directly if fratello andrea can get a gig here - hey, why not? vincent asks fratello andrea if he can play monday but he answers he's gotta drive back to berlin which is true - I got a flight to california to catch! we load in to this building that seems like a former industrial or shipping-involved place, three floors worth... fratello andrea says it's famous for experimental music. after load-in we go downstairs to dressing room and I update the tour diary w/fratello ste's entries - he's ahead of me now, much respect! I meet ben, he's doing drums for the band playing after us tonight, they're called ill and are from manchester - they're all-lady quartet but two couldn't make it to this event so he's filling in, very nice cat - we actually first met last time I played his town, w/brother sam. miss hiyori went and got some soup from a surinam pad called "fafi" and it's good, never had suriname chow before... actually there's an indonesia angle also cuz "guest workers" from there were brought to suriname to work. I like this soup.
dutch dude carlos from my old days (he booked- he's had an apartment here for years) arrives, BIG HUGS - I am surprised he's been asked to spin records for this fest - back to the soup, there's wontons and leaks. carlos educates the fratelli to the "seeing abraham" tradition here (he learned me my last tour in his parts) and then explains suriname more in detail for me, especially that "guest workers" angle. he likes il sogno del marinaio and w/carlos I know he pulls no punches, tom watson even thinks he's kind of brutal w/the no-front thing on his opinions but I'm into it and actually appreciate it verses the ways I have to deal w/others "massaging" their supposed "plain speak" - know what I mean? (I'll explain later)
for chow from the worm folks a couple of hours later I get a happening veggies, tiny meat and rice plat. I don't move where I chow (interesting bench/tables "cars" that travel on a straight rail that can bump into each other) and see john doran reads stuff his new book "jolly lad" - he kicks off this "quietus fest" pretty intensely w/a carlos-style no punches getting pulled spiel about some major hellrides his life has had yet still he lived to tell about it. there's music behind him from a cat named dan hayhurst that is amazing w/making music ans some incredible ways he does it is w/tape loops - actual pieces of tape going around an old tape player and a plastic water bottle that I ain't aware how it's going doing 'til he goes solo after john (I missed one brief part of john's spiel when I get called for soundcheck which I thought was bullshit w/a fucking gig underway but cut to tiny amount and get back front and center for john's wind-up) and actually watch instead of just hear what's going down and am really blown out of the ballpark w/this analog operated electronic music - I don't how else to describe it cuz it ain't the manipulation of acoustic whatever being "sampled" or treated but more in the realm of somebody like delia debryshire and not hit the space bar to fire up a sequencer - this is actually "played" just as much as me the strings on my bass, absolutely! much respect to brother dan and this craft he's working and expressing himself though, blowing watt's mind along the way - much respect!
jan bart (member of alfonso y señor leon) came down from groningen and dep of monorail music came down from glasgow and they're across the table from me engaged in really good spiel. I am really lucky to friends like this, truly I am. it's a big reason I work gigs at hard as I do even if the one in the moment don't have any of them there, just gig-goers I don't know and maybe even seeing me for the first time ever. it's all about people in my book. to have brother dep come and be there me now after being there for before I ever knew any of the people here tonight except for carlos is mindblow in itself but it shows to go you how much this brother has. even though jan bart's from more newer days, he brings that same sincerity - it trips me out sometimes people ask me why I do what I do - what would they do if in my shoes I wonder? crimony! mrs peak her small village in alsace part of france who I first met cuz of our bdays are the same (the date, not the day - I'm a few sun orbits ahead of her) and she'd call me from parts not in pedro arrives and this is really crucial cuz she ain't see me w/the fratelli yet and her judgements are as big as caros' are for me. she's a truth-teller like him. is it really the goal in life to surround yourself w/toadies and yes-peeps? fuck no is my answer cuz that is way jive. fuck no. man up and grow a pair, listen to what you need to hear and maybe then you'll develop an appreciate that as something you wanna hear instead of getter smoke packed up the yang. of course d boon never shirked from telling me how it is - neither did georgie, neither did edward... absolutely never for raymond. watt's a better person cuz of that and in fact it's a MAJOR reason he is how he is.
carlos spins records. it's his seven inches and most are from late 70s/early 80s and I know 'pert-near every one. it's a trip. I don't even seen the bands we get to share the stage w/cuz I wanna be here w/carlos and his records. his wife and one daughter come by and they watch carlos dance to his collection, it's beautiful to watch. cuz of me being here w/him in his dj world, I miss upstairs the germans (from belgium) and bonne aparte (from here in utrecht) but fratello andrea saw them and said they were both good (I like his judgements) and I'm happy to chimp that cuz I think it's a bitchin' little festival we got to be part of and glad we were invited here. one of the last singles carlos plays is the dos version of "instrumental song for madonna to sing" and I trip on it cuz it's been so many MANY years since I last heard it. man, k played some good bass, wrote some good parts to mine - respect! of course earlier carlos played the single of sonic youth's "providence" paul smith put out - I don't remember this: one side mono and the other side stereo... of course carlos played the mono side - we both laughed hard.
our turn to hit went from 10:15 to 10:25 so I hobble upstairs a little before that and get what I need ready which ain't much: just get the bass on and lay out the set list for the last time this tour. "where's the drummerman?" I ask w/a minute to go? fratello andrea comes flying up like that and I give the last "canto secondo tour 2016" intro speech, we bring its last set. it's a fun one and I have a good time. cuz of the venue's characteristics, it's kind of a tiny bit muted sounds (lots of big curtains) but I'm thinking that's a good thing, especially given the choice of the opposite. carlos had told me this is the third building worm has had in its twelve-something years (carlos was one of the directors for nine of them) and it was used for printing up newspapers so I'm pretty amazed w/what they've done w/the place, it's really really happening. oh yeah, vincent (the guy who let us in earlier in the day) is the soundman but I never got to give him "the speech" but later everyone tells me how tits it sounded so much respect to him. we get righteous respect from the gig-goers here in rotterdam, even the one cat who wants to make sure we know he knows italiano cuz he one million times of saying "stucazz?!!" is really making sure of that. the fratelli run down the tunes really good, the band blows hardly any clams and I gotta say I'm really grateful for what we've become as a band, as a sound and as a gig-maker. no encore when we're done (I think it's rude to do encores at festivals, I've explained to the fratelli before), I don't even say "the tour is done!" which is what I always do cuz I don't want it to seem the focus of the gig was us but EVERYONE part of this fest cuz that's what it was. both me and fratello ste did give big thanks to miss hiyori (fratello ste dedicates "mountain top" to her) for all her hard work this tour, helping us BIG TIME, truly. I give my fratelli BIG HUG, both at same time once they helped me down the stairs and off the stage. how many times did watt get help on this tour? A BUTTLOAD, that's how much... I am truly grateful.
at the merch table I talk to most kind gig-goers here in rotterdam - hey, jose and kyoko came here from london, big hugs on both of them at same time! I get to see ill also cuz they're playing next (we didn't get the broom tonight, yatta!) and I rally dig them. I think one of their missing member actually collaborated via skype, can you believe that? crimony! everyone's having a good time, a great way to end a tour. big hugs for carlos when he has to bail, BIG HUGS for him, BIG ONES! when we pull anchor, at the boat's hatch bruno of stoma says hi - he had a stoma gig and couldn't make ours but much respect to for coming here to see me right after! I get one more essential spiel in w/brother dep, here comes his way together wisdom via one of his righteous summations fully free of bumrush and/or foist:
we konk at "eurohotel" not too far and it's pretty funny hearing the hollering in the street all night, I mean as long as it took me to hose off and hit the hay - I did still here some when I popped though, I shit thee not... these borrachos must've had the graveyard shift.
sunday morning I pop at eight - wait, it's seven cuz last night daylight savings time ended so we gained a hour. downstairs there's a free shovel and I notice a sort of innovation. the fried eggs are cooked not w/ the w/a piece of ham. there's coff from a machine to swallow also... I have two hits. mrs peak wants good bye time. we do that and she talks about maybe getting a gig in her parts, she liked the band which means a bunch cuz not only was it her first time w/il sogno del marinaio BUT she's seen me in buttloads of other context also which means she's in a position to judge which I know she loves. last hug,
we pull anchor at ten-forty. fratello ste's already gone - he took a train to schipol at eight to fly to nyc. safe seas for him. us other three head east w/blue skies, there's 'pert-near five hundred miles to cover w/this final ride of the tour...
fratello andrea will end up doing the whole enchilada - MUCH RESPECT TO HIM, espeically in this piece-o we had to call home for 'pert-near five weeks. amen that we made it this far, truly.
we cross over into germany twelve-thirtysix: tot-ziens, holland. just after one we pull off to rasthof to diesel up, I piss and get a riesen bockwurst which means a sausage that's like a baby's arm holding an apple - well, maybe not the apple part but at least as thick as the wrist. it comes w/a roll and mustard. these pumps are civilized, there's squeegees and water, even air pumps - I check all the tires and everyone is a half bar down so I get that right: four for the front, four and a half for the back. we roll on eastward... sky not so blue but not wet either, making for very happening traff conditions and it being sunday also means no trucks (the way it works over here). speaking of baby's arm, I play "the palladium" a big bit from lenny bruce that is 'pert-near totally incomprehensible by fratello andrea but still he listens, much respect. I just wanted to lay it on him, like a piece of trippy experimental music, 'pert-near. twenty of four, we pass wolfsburg - "autostadt" (car city museum), home of volkswagon... my first five cars were from there, I owned four vw's (not at the same time though): three bugs ('68, '63 and '64), one squareback ('67) and one bus ('63) - the '64 bug was red and is on the "double nickels on the dime" cover.
a little past the "teilung" (where brd and ddr were divided) and pull over at a rastplatz so fratello andrea can send a message, we resume and I play "geri reig" by der plan, an album I've loved since I got it back in 1980, when me and d boon started the minutemen. the weather clears way up and the sun is golden as it sinks for sunset, very pretty. not so pretty is stau sixty clicks outside of where we need to be in berlin we get plug big time - we have revaluate travel plan - ok, straight for 'tel and drop off cojo bass player: decided.
fratello andrea gets us in to 'tel called "mercure" (one of a big chain) just after six which ten or so minutes (I'm told) from berlin tegel airport which was chosen cuz of that - tomorrow is crack of dawn pull anchor for watt. it's a good bye here for him like it was for fratello ste, I won't see him again 'til next time (no shit). I give him the reverend orange wattplower prototype - it's his and earned it, I tell him. it would be nice if I could borrow it when I come to play w/him and fratello ste but it's his and he can even use it bor bass lines for his compizioni instead of midi left hand if he wants. I give big grateful bow to him then it's BIG soak time cuz this pad's got a tub/shower trip in the head. praise be. I get so red from the soak I'm like a lobster, trippy. I chow penne arrabita pasta, some goulash soup from this pad (very rare I've done something like this but there's nothing around here, zilch) and konk at like eight.
monday I popped at four in the morning and hose off (my last soap-up w/the 'deusch das' stuff I dig much!), get into my outfit I prepared last night - all I gotta do now is bag filthy chonies w/filthy outfit from yesterday to ride in the mansack - what I got on now is the other pair of levis (I only brought two), the gray socks, fresh chonies and the never worn all tour 'til now "going home shirt" - it's the same flannel I took my passport in though the picture I got took for it has too much face and not enough shirt, fuck. pretty washed out too. yeah, this is new one I just got in june which is good cuz for how fucking long have I ain't been wearing a mustache? a buttload of years and fuck if the pass I've been using before this one been sporting that. I ain't ever wearing a mustache or beard ever again - believe it! I'm glad I got now a passport AND a drivers license (renewed 2013) that reflect that fucking reality and not that bozo from years back.
bail for berlin tegel airport at quarter of five for 6:20 flight to dusselfdorf on airberlin a321. this is a great little airport, very little hassle. I do have some stuff in my back wack 'puter sack cuz of the no bass sitch like the cable to the amp (bonus quality corvis yellow one), mic and then also the scanner so the securityman takes time fishing through everything which is ok in my book - no prob and a big reason I get to the 'port early cuz fuck having rush-your-ass stress just cuz you planned poorly. fortyfive minute flight to dusselfdorf - all sunny morning here when I land. I some coff and my last wurst of the tour: monatbratwurst w/a big bread and more mustard than I need which is never the case and if fact there's two: yellow and unground! I try half the wurst w/each after splitting the bread in two. I love the unground seeds but the tang from the yellow works w/the wurst and brot better for a symphony in my mouf. in line to get my passport stamped aufwiedersehen by the german borderman, the guy behind me bumps into my port knee, the yowai one and damn if I don't crumple but it's right on his sack which totally cushions the blow so it's like mattress flop for me. now my back wack 'puter sack is so heavy that I can make it up on my own. the man is very sorry - keeps saying so - but what's very happening is helps boost my ass up so I can stand again, another man hands me the passport I flung as I went down (involuntary spaz) - everyone so kind to help me and thank god I got no hurts, none. I apologize to the passport borderman cuz I know if must've looked insane, he couldn't have seen that sack behind me hit me where he did and just saw the bizarre choreograph I performed for him (I was next in line so no one in front of me, he got full-frontal) but he had much calmness and I was most grateful too him and apologized. he told me "thank you" and not danke, respect. as I hobbled down the corridors to the c terminal which were righteously 'pert-near empty and looked out the portholes to see such golden morning sun I felt genuine, "thank you much for letting me be guest, germany, thank you" and I was thinking about this tour from the get-go, from the airberlin econo-fare to get here, to beautiful dominic and his pad during the prac, to the new home for fratello andrea and his wife veronica, to the prac pad in rummlesburg, to bookerman fratello ricky running his swamp booking from berlin to all five gigs il sogno del marinaio did as part of our this tour - thank you BIG TIME, kind people here in germany, vielen dank. I finish my re-read of "the sand pebbles" and many things him me way more than when I first read... the words of course did not change BUT maybe watt did, huh? the book is profound on me now though like twenty years back when parts that affected me in such way I used to put into stuff for my first opera - they now resonate in me in different ways kind of like what happened when I re-read mr joyce's "ulysses" or "on the road" by mr kerouac. trippy how that works. still what happens in this book breaks my heart, it just tears it up, that didn't change.
the flight from here to lax is an airberlin a330 (as whence I came 'pert-near six weeks ago) and liftoff is set for nine-fortyfive. one thing about this airberlin airline: the seats got really tiny leg room in the econo part. I luck out cut not only have I got aisle but the two seats to the port of me (I'm in a center section of row forty) are empty and cuz the oblivious selfish fuck in front has leaned back 100% of the time even tried w/takeoff and had to be scolding like a fucking child but also chow so I move to the second seat and still have empty on each side, like I got the anti-bologna seat and can get sideways or at least pretty diagonal and be able to chimp or at least not have my knees destroyed. it's kind of ridiculous how little space there, don't mean to sound like bellyachin' but there's ads for more space right on the bozo welcome screen you're supposed to watch shit on on the back of the seat in front of you so just to let you know that this "econo" has a price... you realized when I use the word "econo" it doesn't mean "lowest price" when I'm using it as a strategy to get shit happening, right? it means the smartest zeni, the most bang for the zloty - putting your bones where they can most count. it's an eleven and a half hour hellride but it could've been way worse - the hauptman did good keeping the flight smoov, not much hell bumps and kowai shit to frighten or make thing spilled/dumped, I'm most grateful.
the plane lands twenty of two pm, california time at lax. forty minutes later I clear customs and immigration, my secondmen drummerman jer picks me up from the bradley airport under the japan airlines sign. "happy halloween, good to see you, jer!" trippy how this is the first halloween in many MANY years I ain't played but that's how the cards were dealt this time. I love halloween cuz it's the ONE day all year we admit we wear costumes. anyway, I'm back in my pedro town a half hour later! immediately I go visit my ma and we talk - she had a hellride w/her breathing and water in her lung but she's through w/that now and getting better. this is great relief to me great relief. I'm very proud to tell her how good the fratelli did w/the tour, w/their playing, w/their persons. of course she remember's making stew for them two years ago when we did first "canto secondo" tour... I like seeing my ma happy - we both laugh how trippy it is I came to find this work! then she hands me a bowl of stew she just made...
this page created 30 sept 2016