nels cline's tour spiel

mike watt and the crew of the flying saucer

shot of 'shinebox' tour shirt

"shinebox" tour '95

october 1 - 10, 1995

October 1 Milwaukee Mo' 6 (the same one near the airport)

It's blustery as hell outside. It rained on and off yesterday just enough to make things humid and confuse the body.

The place wasn't too full last night. 21 & over blows. Talked outside for a while w/kids who came to interview Watt Jim, Jennifer, plus a real nice guy, named Pat, who was going to listen from the street. Did my nails, while chatting w/them. (Apparently nail polish is all the rage in school, now. So trendy, I am!)

The gig was good, I thought. It really felt familiar the sound, the size of the place (the size of the crowd, for that matter). Did a pretty serious "Maggot Brain". Did "My Secret Garden", too. There was a real pretty, serious kind of girl right up front and when I sang the tune it made me feel kind of dumb, for some reason. Tonight Jay has to sing it!! Hah!

Lots of sincere budding muso type asked me guitar questions, which I realize doesn't happen all that often ("I like your voicings. Are you selftaught?..) Watt had cleaned off the thunderbroom and changed strings and the bass sounded magnificent. "Powerful Hankerin'" was monstrous sounding. Michael has slid back in the healing department, and is feeling really lousy. Even the Chinese food we dined on (soup, peppers etc.) probably didn't help. He felt like he lost his energy and struggled thru the last third of the set. But I though, it was a pretty damn badass set except for the drum exchanges on "Eticket Ride", which were really sucking. They were good at soundcheck... I continue to marvel at how this simple part continues to bog down.

Today it's 200 some miles to Champaign, IL (oh yeah, 6 Finger Satellite report: Vince sat in again, sounding good. Jay was his most belidge, going out into the paltry crowd trying to stir things up, unsuccessfully. Ended the set by pulling down one of those ceiling panels, throwing the mike up into the ceiling, breaking the panel in half, and flipping twin birds at us on the final beat. Bad boy! Bad boy! They later sat in the dressing room w/their friends playing dice for $$ & adding to the scrawls on the walls John's drawings are really out there, full of blowjobs, stabbings, bestiality & negroes w/big dicks! He's the outster, not the square head! "They're just things I think about", he said....!)

James (who sort of moved again last night) said that we're "like a spectacle but without any elements that try to make it a spectacle" or something like that. (James is not Emmett Rhodes!).

I marvel that our next day off is 25 gigs away! I'll have to really pace myself. Last night I sort of dervished out on "Intense Song" and just started to freak, smashing & spazzing. Missed the cue to end the solo and just kept freaking, cutting my palm on the bridge of the guitar in the process. This may not be wise... Need more guitar strings with the Jag being dicey. My only safeguard against string breakage is constant string changing.

Sonic Youth October 16 more than 2 weeks away. NYC (w/That Dog) and Wendy's fashion show is less than two weeks away. Fibbers join us in D.C. in an overlap w/6 Finger (then it's goodbye 6 Finger) on October 14 exactly 2 weeks away. Pace yourself..

Talked to Darling Wife last night (until I needed to get the Madonna tape out of the van for Jay to learn "My Secret Garden"). She sounded fine, yogaing, walking, dining & drinking w/Christine. I'm so pleased that she & Christine (our fab neighbor) can hang so much, 'cause this one's a toughie for us both. It's going to accelerate I know, but it's also going to seem like forever. Take care, D.D., I love you!...

We're in Champaign @ the Blind Pig, a very pleasant bar in this tiny town. Its going to be really packed tonight this place is small! We left the funky weather back in Wisconsin, Here it's warm and very breezy. Plenty of sun and the beginnings of fall color. Flat, but beautiful.

Michael is really sick. Vince's voice is pretty shot. Michael needs food, rest, peace of mind all hard to come by when one needs them on a Watt tour. He's questioning his whole life right now, this second. He should just call Midori for sympathy, or something. He's all wasted out and his mood is concurrently black. Watt's all chipper and hilarious now (after a blackcloudlike morning) and was trying to buck Michael up. He really sympathizes, but Michael's too sick to deal. He thinks Watt should have stopped for food, taken more steps to ensure his happiness. Michael got crabby with me this morning, when, right before we were to leave, I declined to look for a market (near the airport?) where he could buy juice. I told him to plan for his needs or that we could go to Denny's to get him some juice (where I had gone), but he was pissed that I had inferred that this was HIS thing to deal with (which it is) and even the sickest dog has to plan ahead. Lack of sleep comes with the turf. It's no fun. I'm sorry... maybe I got that Cline tone of voice that everyone hates: icy clampdown. Who knows? He was whining, "I'm fucking sick!", and so was I (still am, a bit).

I'm upstairs at the Blind Pig. Just got through having Stephanie teach me dominoes then she wupped me good! Rematch! The 6 Finger guys are up here + Watt, Vince, Steve. I'm assuming Michael's crashed in my car. Had a decent glob of pasta here in town w/the boys. Hung earlier w/Jay & John at a coffee place. Bought Watt I Need More (the Iggy book) earlier at a record store nearby. (Pricey, meticulous store). James found the 2nd N.C.T. 45 there for a buck! He had me sign it. I like these guys. Jay actually started massaging Steve's stockinged feet he didn't know just how much Steve would dig it. It was sweet. Jay's really funny and lively. Into the club now to catch the set...

Called D.D. from the restaurant. Brief, live call. She's going to O'Brien's to drink w/Christine. She said Greg's feeling much better, which is great news. Onward, forever. Love never dies.

10/2 Grand Rapids, MI The Reptile House

Last night was pretty fun. Packed, crowded, though again they just gaped. 6 Finger played most of their set in the dark, w/Jay trying to confront the audience he seemed bummed at the end.

Our set was fine. In spite of major illness, Michael sounded good. "Eticket Ride" grooved. Tempos stayed brisk. Encores, "My Secret Garden" w/Jay on very manly vocals & me helping on choruses & 2nd verse. This ritual will be fun! "Maggot Brain" was pretty searing, "Piss Bottle..." cool. Watt seemed a little tired, out of breath. Barked at Vince about his drums being too far over.

A fellow from Sony, College rep., named Chet Mayer, told us he cried because of my playing! Watt & I together, he said, slayed him. His friends, Aaron & ? Costanza? , were quiet & sweet. Gave Chet a CD. A lot of kids were really kind. 18 & over, so a lot of them stood outside. They eventually opened the back door, which was nice for them. They emptied the place out w/aplomb (& 'tude), which was not so nice.

Back to Mo' 6, where 6 Finger also were going. Jay came in w/boo, he'd found he's great. Watt's sort of taken him under his wing. Michael's illness is worrying us all.

We left after Watt & Steve, to allow Michael to sleep more (a Watt concession). It turned out the distance was far shorter than we'd imagined, so we could've left even later.

Got into Grand Rapids @ 2 a.m. (3 a.m. on new time zone time) fast! And, lo, I remembered that I'VE BEEN HERE w/Vinny's Quintet. Stayed w/marvelous people. If I could remember their names I'd call them & say hello. This town is kind of depressing, but beautiful homes, great weather today. The Reptile House is an old punk dump of classic proportions. May be great in the dark.

Right now I'm sort of high on a single postlunch Espresso. 6 Finger just arrived. Watt & Steve must've gone to the Mo'. In spite of their hasty departure time this a.m. (they thought they'd overslept), they now know they had plenty of time so, in a few minutes it's loadin. Michael's really demoralized by the band chemistry. Vince, too, to a slightly lesser extent. Watt's attention to me & his "bullying" of them has worn them down. It makes me feel fucked. As usual in my life, I'm in the middle ineffective diplomat, drawn & quartered.

10/3 Louisville, KY The Brewery

Last night was fine. Spent quality time @ the merch table w/Stephanie. She's like a magic sweetheart of a woman/girl. She seems younger than 22, in a way. She has a steely twang that is recognizable almost as a stereotypical Southern voice, although she has virtually no accent. With her purple & bleachblonde hair, (blonde in front), over her natural brown, her dark lipstick & pale skinny frame (and little dresses) she's an awesome sight. She's really into tattoos (has 5, the first to cover a scar, she said, then the addiction...). She has great lettering. She drew me "a girl", which is actually a selfportrait, then tried to draw me (all w/her trusty Sharpie) w/limited success. We looked at each other's driver's license pix. She wants to be a photographer (had asked her if there was life beyond the bakery where she works and, being a merch girl). She's very girlish in a nonebullient, nonbullshit, nonmanipulative or poser way. She delights me obviously), although we're totally different and probably don't have much in common, but I think she sees a simplicity in my mind/heart that is kind of pleasant and I guess she thinks I'm kind of cute, too).

She also told me that 6 Finger got offered an opening slot on the Cramp's tour, but will probably turn it down in favor of "their own thing". We both love the Cramps & agree that it would be a good move (better than the Watt tour, for sure, which she somewhat sheepishly told me they "had" to do, though she thinks they're enjoying it, now). She also thinks they have a haughty attitude toward their fans like they almost don't want them. I told her that they're just young, hip & alienated and want to be cool too much that it's a common malady. Neither of us digs it, though. Especially, in light of how many times I've said how lucky I feel to be alive playing, and how I'm always overjoyed and humbled when someone likes my playing and/or my music. The old guy speaks. Stephanie says I'm young at heart (true).

6 Finger's set was kind of a shambles. John broke a string which I gladly changed for him. The Reptile House has old b&w T.V.'s going in back of the bandstand, which sits in its own alcove of sonic torment. Jay's synth just cannot take heat and went all out of tune again. Vince sat in on "Man behind the Glasses", again, but it never really sparked. "They're gonna be pissed," Stephanie said. Had a Jamieson. They serve drinks in little jars. It smelled like soap.

Our set was pretty cool, in spite of it sounding like we were in a metal shed. Monitors were virtually nonexistent. Loud, Loud, Loud. Turned down, broke a string & lo! the Jag's okay another sweatdead pick up situation. Tried to encore w/"My Secret Garden" & Jay was nowhere to be found. Finally he was discovered & as he walked up through the crowd, Watt yelled, "Get up here, you Queen!" Ow! He still couldn't remember a lot maybe he thought it was one time only. Wrong! We sort of duetted, it was hilarious.

After the set my mind got blown: a

Hug a bit w/James, too. He's a trip. I really like him. He was already aware of my name, etc., which blows me away. He's the lone Boston resident in the band and claims that people back in Boston will be blown that he talked w/me! We talked a lot about music, my perspective.

Today was 7+ hours in pissing rain to Louisville, home of Cassius Clay, Slint, etc. This place, The Brewery, is huge. I'm really worried. Mike Watt is NOT a big draw and neither are 6 Finger. Watt left to do radio promo. 6 Finger just arrived and are playing video games. Michael's in my car, crashed out, sick as a dog another thing I'm worried about. The crew, made up of young guts & longhaired crackers, is taking forever. The good news is that it's an early show. Michael may have to see a doctor.

AUSPICIOUS DAY: O.J. is acquitted.

Man, how fucking weird. Okay, hero go find the guy(s) who killed your wife now, or something... At least now all we have to contend with is the merchandising, rather than the blowbyblow. In less than 4 hours: "Not guilty". L.A. is such a joke, it's almost inspirational.

Time to soundcheck. Pray for a crowd. We didn't even really pack them in last night in that little joint (the boss said offhandedly that he expected 50 more people...) "Planting seeds", Watt keeps saying. I'm starting to wonder about the whereabouts of Eric, our merch guy. Economics may have given him the stayhome order. Watt just sells the shirts from the stage after the show, in spite of Jay telling him that Stephanie would do it for him. (Watt is Watt). But he'd probably sell more if they were out all evening. Control...

10/4 Jeffersonville Mo' 6 (just outside Louisville)

The gig turned out O.K. Kids showed up mostly kids to the allages show. It's so weird that a place w/bars, volleyball, all that fake Miami/L.A. crap, would be the only allages scene, but when I later met the promoter (whose name, I regret, I have forgotten, but his beautiful countrystyle girlfriend was Kelley) it turns out that he just does them because he thinks it's right and has never asked the cops, with no complaints, so far. He's a good guy. The place is a big tent, arched like a Quonset hut, & big. Apparently Sonic Youth are playing there on their tour, which is amazing, 'cause they'll stuff it to the max. Other ... on our route this trip: Juliana Hatfield, The Cows, The Paladins. And, who's opening for Juliana Hatfield but John Doe totally weird.

6 Finger thought that they were despised. Who knows, maybe it was a Watt crowd, but it was also probably dear Chris' worst sound moment. From the time she had Jay's opening scream to the last bit of mangled feedback, it never quite jelled. Sort of muted their attack.

Our set was okay. Michael slept in my car until the last moment and that helped. He played fine. "The Red & The Black" was pretty hyped. But I felt not only like my playing was lackluster, but that the kids hated me. Even though afterwards a few guys were very complimentary, I felt low. Our encore of "My Secret Garden" w/Jay was the closest yet to being right, w/Watt sort of waving me off w/his eye on the choruses It's Jay's time to go it alone.

Watt also got mad at me because I was constantly in his way while he was trying to talk to Tim, the monitor guy. He kept wailing on this topic, but I really thought he (Tim) was in another spot behind me. Whatever...

On to Columbus, Ohio call Greg's brother, Jeff and another gig in a super tiny place. We don't know how 2 drum sets will fit...

While Steve, Vince, Michael and I dined in the sports bar ambience of 4 T.V.'s (one big screen) all we could see was in between sports reports was O.J., O.J., O.J. His stagey sigh to the cameras, the reaction of his sister, the crushed looks of the Brown & Goldman families. Now O.J. has vowed to find the real killer.

Watt wants my last tour diary... Eek. I hope they edit out all my musings on the kids (mostly girls, obviously) and my internal crises what a boring load of shit!

Broke a string again last night another 'D' string. Just can't get away without changing constantly. Hitting too hard, I guess. Last night I also bashed myself on the head w/the mike again, right in the same place, right at the top of the set. Blood on the set list (my onstage hanky) it was hilarious to see some kids grab the set list at the end of the show & seeing the blood, put it back! Rejected on the grounds of grossness! Some young girls did grab my broken string & Michael's smashed drumsticks (guess he was really working the demon flu out w/serious force).

6 Finger have new Tshirts Black w/an S.S. Officer'sstyle eagle pin design. Those guys Steve said "They better be careful with that shit, man". Jay and James get little kid grins on their faces about their bad boy antics. "We're not Nazis, we're photofascists," quipped James. Such rebels! Well, at least they're not all Xlarge. Some small shirts, please! Lots of folks think the shirt looks kind of Indian/ Southwestern (like Chris, Austin soundgirl). Wake up! Or is it an intentional blurring? Me, I won't wear one.

Stephanie thinks I'm crazy 'cause I buy French Vogue for $15 (I was perusing it again in a corner of the merch stand last night). She's right, of course, but it's a fab issue, & one she got enjoyment from, during our set. That makes it worth it to me. For her, the dresses, Nadja, photography. For me Nadja, Olga, Juliette Binoche, Charlotte Rampling, Kristen, photography, the smell of the paper... okay, it's fucked up.

Stephanie likes Herb Ritts & Joel Peter Witkin. Very pop. I told her about Herbert List (his estate should get kickbacks from Ritts & Bruce Weber, as should the Hurst & HoyningenHuene estates!). She's dear. I'll send her some inexpensive books. She's one of those creative souls who could easily just drift and never accomplish. "I think I might be an Austin cliche", she said 2 nights ago. "I think I might be a slacker". She said this 'cause some of her stuff is still at her Mom's on her patio. I told her that was normal, kids always leave crap at their folks' too long. But she could just drift. It's in the air.

She has a ladybug tattoo on her left foot. That's 3 I've seen. The other two I'll never see, as they must be in private zones, left for whoever may eventually get next to this desert flower, little punk rock weed. It's hard to feel this way...

Watt & the promoter (& Kelley) were complimentary about my playing last night. I really got low. Felt like a fake, like a foister, plus couldn't get fully lost. Struggling to get a voice, trying to make it real. Should've just thrown my shit down & screamed. It's fucked to be a near40 boygirl antirock star stork w/blue nail polish next to Mike Watt, who churns it out from the gut every night; Everyman with a bass, ripping from down in the root strata.

I shouldve been a fucking basketweaver for Faggy Flowershops or something gonebackintime. Started over on a nonmythological instrument, like the triangle. Pain & doubt. Ive been able to go for a long stretch just excited and charged fully immersed. Lawrence, KS, was the pinnacle, maybe. Now, its foisterbrau, waning flat suds with a sickly sweet stench, like that tent last night. Hope tonights better.

Watt & the promoterguy really helped, though. At least I could hide my black mood for a bit. Better stop thinking for a few hours. Some music in the car today will really help. Watt wants Michael and Vince to listen to his Fun House (Stooges) tape that would help. Or maybe, Ill just foist Lilybelle on them again & cry (quietly) to myself for reasons I cant understand.

Talked to D.D. last night. Shes been through the shit (emotionally) & its 96 and sunny as hell in L.A. I think she going to cut thru it, though. I gave her some fuzzy talk. No more drinking on week nights for Darling Wife. Onwards for us both...

Michael looks almost human coughing up major gunk. Vince says hes better but he has a recurring stomach churn. I slept 8 hours a gift from God! and feel better than I have in days. Cough & sore throat receding, though cig. Smoke at these gigs is very aggravating.

Just ate enough carbs & cholesterol to kill me, at a chain restaurant called Cracker Barrel, that Vince is really into. It was rich, but decent. Our pleasant waitress, Maggie, a very large woman w/an engaging giggle, was really cool. Pecan pancakes!

Watt popped a bass string last night D, of course the first one on the tour. As he changed it, he said, See it just goes in the hole here. Thats what she said! A nervous attempt at a joke. After the show I heard a young girl w/dyed blond front locks (she was really cute) taking him to task for the joke. She probably will never know how Watt agonizes over these things later, but it was a cool move on her part.

Now on through Cincinnati & to Columbus to an old Watt haunt, called Staches (which Greg says is a dump). The wheezing vaudevillians will not be deterred! I need to find out why my battery keeps draining ... overcharging still? Shit...

The rolling lushness of Kentucky gave way to the flat expanse of Ohio. Now Im at Staches. Called Gregs Bros machine. Im doing some laundry, visiting the insane underground comic/bookstore next door. Asian sound girl, here, is really cool. Fired off about 7 postcards. I left the tea that James gave me in my jacket pocket. Hope the supernervous and messed up attendant doesnt see the granules everywhere. Its going to be intense in here, I think, but the stage is bigger now.

Hurricane Opal has hit Florida. How this will affect us has to be seen. Its bad down there.

10/5 Mo 6 Outside of Columbus somewhere

Turned out to be a pretty insane gig. Watt wanted me to have dinner with him at the Indian food place down the street called Delhi Palace. Apparently he always (15 gigs in Columbus) eats there. Anyway, it was an unusual request, & one that apparently hurt Vinces feelings deeply. Watt & I had a very pleasant dinner very hot on Watts side of the table. Talked about Indias history, band names, whatever. Even talked about the food, when I got back to Staches, Vince & Steve were belly up to the bar. Watching the Reds V.s. the Dodgers & talking. Both of them were pretty lit. Actually, very lit Id never seen Steve so high. He suggested they bail & eat to come down (Mescal w/beer shooters) but not before Vince told me how hurt he felt. It was horrible. I already felt weird from the night before, plus all this Eds town shit. I was tripping.

Before the gig, I hung (as I always seem to) back at the merch table w/Stephanie. Talked to Jay a bit & Chris. They all sensed that I was weirded out & were very cool. Stephanie gave me a pep talk, told me how good I am, blah, blah. It was great. Then as I hung out during 6 Fingers set (a caterwauling din on the weak Staches P.A. cool!), Stephanie drew a beautiful picture of an Asian princess (or something) much like a Madonna. It was like magic a tonic. It put me in a great mood. (As does Stephanie, actually). I felt ready to play.

Vince was still shitfaced. He was being hilarious, but I was concerned. We set up in the mess of wires & bodies, Watt emerged & we hit Formal Introduction . It was gonna be a struggle for Vince. The monitors were a joke, and feedback persisted for the first few songs, whistling & whining on The Red and the Black. Vince lost it several times, even stopping at one point. I looked back at him & the Buddhalike happiness had given way to a panicky concentration. Was it during Eticket Ride where he couldnt get the mike to stand up. Watt was laughing, cajoling later, while in outdoors&soakedpreencore mode Watt said, Worst gig of the tour. Was Vince drinking before the gig? No more drinking like that, Vince. We all want to have a good time, but not so much before a gig? Vince said he was sorry he let us down. Us down! ensemble playing! Lets go!

Did Piss Bottle Man, My Secret Garden (Jays really getting hot on this and threw half empty beers on the crowd, that punk). & Maggot Brain (which was a powerful catharsis for me, in spite of the fact my rear pickup went dull again from sweat), then Watts solo, Powerful Hankerin.

After the set, Vince was all apologies (a pattern), telling me not to patronize him, to tell him (basically) that he sucks, when he sucks. Watt was saying, Its insecurity again damn!. He knows, understands.

I was soaked to the bone talked with some really nice kids (Brett, Steve, Kiki, Amy, & Kelly). Gave them a trio C.D., since Brett had actually heard us as had a couple of others on The Minutemen Tribute L.P. Talked w/Kiki about art photography & bass guitar (her studies), and about persistence. Had a cognac (big Remy Dana, the barkeep was very free w/the drinks). Stephanie then came up to see how I was doing. Told me that she and Chris were going to come up front & cheer for me. I almost cried. Then she showed me this amazing antique pink lace dress shed bought shes so precious. She knew Id appreciate it. (These guys are all buying a lot of stuff on the road). It was a bizarre, fuckedup night, that left me in a great mood, although I freaked for a moment cause my bag was gone. Turned out, after much searching, by 6 Finger folks, me & Steve, that Vince, who I had asked about it & said hadnt seen it) had put it in the back of my car with assistance (much needed, Im sure) from Rick, whos amazingly helpful & into gearloading, it seems. So all was fine. We scooped up the now passedout Vince, put him in Watts van, got Michael (talking to Tera, the beautiful Asian sound girl) and went to wherever we are now, about 20 miles north of Columbus.

I went to sleep feeling highly emotional. I had talked to D.D. preshow (shes going thru the shit, but sounds very determined), let her in on some of my insecurities, played the set, gotten beautiful messages of support and friendship, had a delicious drink or two, sweat like a fiend ... a great feeling came over me.

Michael & I roomed together (w/his hideous cough, poor guy).

Now its pissing rain and were off to Ann Arbor, land of the Stooges.


A storm that may dog us for a whole week.

10/5 continued... in Ann Arbor

Rain, rain, rain a veritable torrent driving in, or up, Waiting outside the Blind Pig to load in. Watt, Steve & Vince in the Watt van, Michael & I in the Trooper. Its raining. We just ate. Shopped a bit. Found some cute stuff a stuffed cat toy for D.D., a little rubber dangly bat for my car & one for the 6 Finger van. Watt just got in the car hes got infection under filling serious pain. Gotta get him well tomorrow. he & I to a dentist. He just gave Michael some mic clamps for toms. More thoughts on last night later..

Vince last night, right before we went on (& after pleading, palms open & arms outstretched for someone to buy him another pale ale) stood up to Mikes microphone & said, The big event is about to begin, at which time Watt strode on stage scaring Vince into a quick move to his drum set.

Met a guy (Jeff?) From the band, The Guthries. He and his buddy, Alex, were way into the gig. Said it sound like The Who sometimes, but that Watt would probably hate hearing that. Funny.

Another guy told me my playing reminded him of Dick Dale. Watt and Michael are back.. Went to a pharmacy. Got Watt some clove oil.

Had dinner with Watt and his old friend from Angry Red Planet, E. Wolf, a handsome brother, who is a very gentle and articulate soul. He actually took us to dinner! Went to Indian again. When the meal was over, we had it boxed to go (Es rice & veggies so hot, he was losing his voice!) We left without it, Watt walking the rainy streets barefoot, dying to nap, I think. I ran back to get it (3 minutes, maybe) & theyd already thrown it out!

Stephanie is here. She may get evicted from her apartment cause her check from SubPop never showed up. Im despondent. She says she doesnt care (shell work something out, Im sure).

Upon reentering the Blind Pig, the woman at the door said, Are you Nels? Casper is coming! Casper is one of D.D.s online pals. Its weird when these alleged people become nonalleged. So Im going to meet Casper, at some point.

Bob Teagan and his neat friend, Bobbi, are here. I chatted with Bobbi. Shes less shy than before in Chicago & seems very sweet.

Stephanies showing me things about the consumer publics behavioral patterns that even I never thought about in such a codified manner. The Askers, the Repeaters, etc. very funny.

Upstairs, as I was getting this book Watt asked me if I was flitting, then whether I was Feyly Flitting, or perhaps Im twee. I told him that I may be twee, but not really fey, but that I had to flit about. I left amidst much wordplay about my fandancing, flitting, fuzziness, snuggliness. Watt can be so ontarget & hilarious.

Bobbi just sat down here on the floor w/me. Shes an upright player. Legit & rock. Her cards now w/the Knansie postcard, the Fibbers sticker, & Stephanies dominoes scorepaper w/ Nels Cline Rocks in her cool printing. I need my fucking totems.

6 Finger are on.

10/6 @ Bob Teagans in Frasier, MI

Stayed up till 4 a.m., watching Boredoms, Sonic Youth, Tenko, Skeleton Crew Live videos even a dreaded moment of Watt & Crew in Chicago (Cabaret Metro). Bobs great just surfs around and cranks it up. Gig was weird. Met D.D.s online pal, Casper (Catherine), a very sweet lady, who seemed to know everyone at the club. Nice crowd. Oops, Mike got his tooth fixed at 7 a.m. this morning (cracked filling) and so were off. More later...

Last night, Ann Arbor: Blind Pig, Watt, fiercely aromatic from clove oil, garlic oil, etc. The clove oil apparently really did numb the pain. Went to set up after a particularly squealy 6 Finger set (hung out w/Stephanie & Casper during it). When I got to my gear all the chords were squished and tangled. When I set up it was no sound NONE, unless I bypassed the pedal dachau. Watt actually tried to wait, but amidst guys yelling Rock! and Fuck pedals, I hate pedals!, I said forget it, let go, fuck it and we wailed. I struggled at first, levels were off, but I somehow prevailed. Watt was really happy likes the sound better without them. It was really rough on Intense Song..., but Watt applauded me at the end! He loves the nopedal Nels. Crowd did a bit of moshing, not too fierce. I always like seeing all the movements & I get crazier, kind of egg them on. Did Maggot Brain sans effects, but with Chris doing mixing effects. Ended up basing the guitar neck into the amp and freaking totally amp cranked up to the max. It worked. It was a major soaker drenched to the bone.

Jay rocked on My Secret Garden its all his now, me on Vinces high cowbell & splash rhythm guitar on outro. Watt broke a strong on Powerful Hankerin and changed it anyway and finished the song. Talked to some nice kids afterwards Scott, Mike, Jessica they were really into the fact that we were playing small clubs. I tried to tell them that without any defeatist air that were not actually drawing any more than as many as these places hold, anyway but, that were totally into it. (I am).

Then we drove to Bob Teagans in Fraser a good hour. Got in around 3 a.m. and watched snippets of his videos till 4 a.m. (As mentioned earlier).

Got up at 10. Watt had gotten his tooth fixed, so began what turned out to be a very stressful day. I had no idea how long it took to get to Pittsburgh, or that we were supposed to be there @ 3:30 my fault. It took us long enough (I rode w/Michael), but even longer when the Watt van (w/Watt asleep inside) blew by Pittsburgh entirely by about 40 miles! We couldnt catch up w/them w/my 4 cylinders & Friday 4:30 p.m. traffic. If we hadnt flagged them (me practically burning up my car literally flooring it when traffic allowed) who knows when they wouldve stopped? It was turnpike hell (turnoffs every 12 miles or so).

We limped into the gig late (6 p.m.). I had to pee so badly, I thought that I was going to start writhing & speaking in tongues. Watt was pissed, lots of lecturing about leaving earlier, etc. I told him, I didnt know, that I fucked up, that we were here, that I maxed out my car to reverse our trend to blow by our destination (Michaels an excellent navigator). Michael had been dark all day (besides totally sick), and when he got some shit, he was about to go ballistic. But we got a soundcheck (plus some shit from the boss about low ticket sales a recurring problem.) The place was odd. The monitor guys gladhanding routine was actually sincere, but neurotic and aggravating. But anyway, they fed us from their restaurant. It was one of the worst meals in history. I had fish and these horrible frozen carrots & iceberg salad substance. Mmm. All Id eaten was fries and an apple right now Im quite famished... I ended up at a table w/James, Chris & Stephanie by chance, totally, w/James showing me a downturned hand to indicate my seat. (He is SO stylized in a delightful way)... One could simply not ask for a better fate. But Stephanie was feeling kind of shitty, though James continued to amaze me w/his phenomenal sensibility, rife with topics like the brilliance of a Jan & Dean Live album (thats actually Montage, I guess), Ted

Nugents Live Gonzo, Van Dyke Parks. As the ladies withdrew, James and I got into an intense though witty conversation about... well, me. It was pretty naked (from my standpoint). I said a lot of stuff to James about love, overwhelming love, painful love. This after Michael & Mike spent their entire dinner time, having an exchange of volatile and pent up dimensions. We were all sort of monitoring it.

An intense kind of night, with a major Watt/Michael teteatete, and me telling James about how Id pray that my neurotic, clinging inspirationfromunbearableempathy(bullshit)language doesnt hurt people. (Him telling me that I emanate a kind of peace, that he feels my commitment/surrender acutely, that I possess internal jewels that people want to gather around (!!!!!) God, it was great. We talked about meeting people (he feels great empathy, also) Anyway, it was great. I told him that I get afraid of how I act when some initial signal, overt quality, turns into a connection that is powerful, yet unforced, etc., etc. (Stephanie, a good soul, we agree!) He was very supportive, to say the least. But it was not exhilarating, it was sobering. It kind of put me in a daze.

Downstairs, in the fluorescent pit of the dressing room (right by the loadout doors), the Crew of the Flying Saucer & Stephanie hung in a baggy mode low energy.

Called D.D., amidst this din. 6 Finger were on in the next room a decent sounding room for them. Although, Chris said she had a hard time telling and D.D. sounded pretty good.

The set went well. Watt was really affable, not just with the audience (though he did try to badger the upstairs gawkers to come down to the floor), but with the drummers. It really changed the vibe of the gig. Pedal dachau was back (shorted chord, the culprit last night), but the stage soaked up all my sound, so I cranked too hard, I think, and tone was off. Broke a string on Tuff Gnarl, so no big problem, but Jag has ghosts, losing gain during Piss Bottle Man. Damn. Anyway, drums sounded good, once warmed up Eticket... almost smoked.

After the gig we had more autograph seekers than any gig Ive done. Really sweet kids, Kasey, Bob, Tom (not a kid), Brian...). I was drenched & felt pretty good. A funny moment had been when the monitor guy had to reattach Vinces mic during The 15th and he & I did a silly dance around each other as he tried to avoid my stupid hopping around he ended up tangled in my chord, momentarily. It cracked me up.

We loaded out and it had rained. Rain had appeared on & off on the drive I, but it was sunny when we got to Pittsburgh. Now were at Mo 6. Michael has got autonomy (w/me in my car) to leave later (and eat breakfast, etc.) A bit o boo goes by, Watts online, things are fine Im sitting here still in my wet clothes and trying gamely to spew.

(Stephen Reed says to be sure to say that this is a really hard and stressful tour).

Glossary: VINCETONIAN: Vinces nickname, but also a word to describe An observable behavioral pattern of slow, methodical behavior AKA Futzing, i.e. THE VINCETONIAN EFFECT.

Tomorrow we play in Buffalo. I must make a TShirt that says, Buffalo, N.Y. birthplace of KRISTEN McMENAMY. Maybe Stephanie can do some of her cool printing.

Last night in Ann Arbor, I put Patti Smith on the guest list. She didnt show up. 6 Finger Satellite put the Pope on their guest list and he never showed up.

Jay (is it J.?). His names Jerome or something) was also really cool as well, sympathizing with me about the rotten day it obviously was. I was very grateful. Hes a moody guy he has moments when he seems so concentrated on something that he doesnt even hear you, but when hes feeling good, one knows because hes very funny and generous with his attention John the guitarist w/the wigged drawings, seemed to be the most alien and uncomfortable. Its hard for me to connect with him, so I dont much.

{Apparently the twisto night in Columbus w/Vinces slobbo drunkeness, also included Rick (boss& drummer with 6 Finger, in case youve all forgotten) who hurled all night & prayed for death (Stephanie has immortalized this moment w/a drawing)}

Now I collapse, feeling very odd. Im happy that Michael can do things a bit his way. I was truly unaware of the amount of latitude we, in my vehicle, have had all along. Here I am trying to be the upstanding road dog, the Calvinist, the masochist. Its all true. So now things change (except on hellrides). This flash of soulbaring w/James one that in no way scares me or embarrasses me. And those kids tonight were great.

The Shinebox tour limps on. Mike Watts world, a question mark in the minds of the MTV generation, rising awkwardly, reformed, mutated, mauled, and steady onward.

Every night:

A big SixFinger salute to Six Finger Satellite


The opening band tonight was called Ruth, Ruth, a professionalsounding power trio in a radioready neo grunge mode.

Because of the outrageous 25/75 split the Club (Graffitis) wanted to take tonight, all the merch was left outside Watt selling his from his van later.

Stephanie, having no work to do, watched 6 Finger from the sound desk and saw for the first time what Rick does on drums. He blew me away. Hes a powerhouse, hunched over, always shirtless by the second song, pounding, bobbing, Were impressed!

Saturday 10/7 Mo 6 Pittsburgh outskirts

Now, of course, I feel embarrassed about all my mutant spillage last night. Its morning and The Ticks not on until 10:30, I guess.

Time to check the car.

Every morning the same ritual: check oil

radiator battery

The battery will need water cause somethings screwy w/my regulator or something. The radiator is weird, sometimes, not needing water for a few days, then all of a sudden, its low. Oil change in 900 more miles. So far OK. I hope my car still loves me after this thrashing.

Ill never have fingernails again. No matter how far I trim down the cracks & fragments, they get further smashed & I need a couple for my own music (fingerstyle). My right index fingernail is so tiny now, the fingertip w/a massive callous that hurts now every time I smash into the strings. Im developing a whole new physiology.

In Buffalo now. A beautiful drive w/Michael thru autumn color (really starting to come on now) and black & white clouds, but no rain. Until now. Its almost 8 and its raining. Vince, Steve & I just had some seriously good pizza, across the street at a mostly togo type o place. Mmmm!

This place, the Showplace, used to be an old movie theater. They seem to have D.J./ravetype action showing film images, smoke & bubble machines, dark & cool ambience, and the people who work here, Chad, Peter, et al are really nice. Theyre playing "Regret" by New Order right now a song I must admit to finding a winning pop confection.

The upstairs dressing room has a pool table and a fridge full of canned Beck's, the woman bartender, Debra is very sociable & direct. She & I want to move to NYC (but not together...).

I made my 'Kristen' shirt. Got it a few doors down where the laundromat sells used clothes. A perfect off white almostcropped T for a buck. On the front is:


6 Finger arrived as I was finishing up. (James took a picture of me at work). I asked Stephanie to do the back and she set to work straight away on one of her "Mary's". It's so beautiful it kills me and it blew the whole crew away, too. Now they know the truth: Stephanie possesses magic. I'm all crushed out, I know. It's fucked. It's great, I'm alive, and crushed out.

Time to do my nails. Got to be fresh for Kristen's home town (which she probably thanks God every day for having left...). Wonder if her folks still live here...

General moods seem good. Watt want to do "Joe McCarthy's Ghost", from Paranoid Time without rehearsal. He just can't remember the first 2 lines (Apparently D. never could either). Watt's getting wild! This is as wacky a stunt as I've pulled with my Trio. I love it! It's inspired.

10/8 Albany in my car, in front of Bogart's

The place in Buffalo was pretty cool. Debra, the bartender, Scott, et al, very nice + they had a slightly aggravating love of their bubble & fog machines. However, it didn't seem to bother Watt (fog only came on during "Coincidence..."), but as Stephanie pointed out, Six Finger Satellite don't look too manly and intense with bubbles floating around them.

Their set was good a lot of their tempos were very up. Chris did a good job in spite of the sound booth being located in the old projection room a nightmare for the sensitive sound wizard.

Some lady reporter from the local paper showed up to get a scoop on Mike Watt, who she knew virtually nothing about. Having just done my nails, I booked as she was coming up the stairs and went to call D.D., (who's doing okay, mitigating my worry) & Knansie (about the Goldie Cats playing N.M.M. 11/27).

Stories filtered back later about this woman's colossal stupidity. She thought for a while that Michael was Watt ("you don't look like your press picture"). She kept calling "Big Train" Big House. She actually asked "What's Eddie Vedder like?" I guess Watt, after his traditional van nap did talk to her.

For my part as I entered our nice room, James thought it would be of interest or entertaining to have me show her my homemade Tshirt commemorating KRISTEN. "I've never heard of her, who is she?" "My favorite model!" "Oh, I don't read those magazines". "That's okay, I read them for you. Here, look at my strap. These are all pictures of Kristen. She's famous. She's from Buffalo. She lives in Paris". "What does your wife think of this?" (I guess she observed my ring clever). "She doesn't care". "But you have a crush on this woman". "I have lots of crushes, all the time". "Have you met her?" "No." Not a smile, no sense of shared glee or mayhem. I sat down next to James & just rolled my eyes. He was grinning. We talked (along w/Michael) about why he doesn't care about pizza (too much of a good thing).

Then I went down to the merch table & had a drink w/Chris & Stephanie. Loaned a cable to James, strings to John, & they hit.

Our set was pretty fun. The same list, a real gawker audience. I just said to hell with it & cranked up the fan dance, hurling myself around like a boob. I was inspired by a nice chat w/Stephanie, by the artwork she'd done on my shirt. No one in Buffalo knows who Kristen McMenamy is, by the way.

Watt, at one point in between songs asked, "Has that lady from the newspaper left yet?" (It was after "Intense Song...", I remember now). "I hope so. Let's see how alternative she thought that was..." It was great! The band sounded good, decent drum unity (a bit of the old flam on "Red & the Black" & "Big Train"). Vince is sounding killer on alto on "Eticket...", which sounds great & grooves better since the tempo's brighter.

Encored w/ "PissBottle", "My Secret Garden", "Powerful Hankerin'", & finally (the crowd kept cheering) "Maggot Brain" but: we did "Joe McCarthy's Ghost!", Vince on lead vocals, standing up Watt singing into Vince's drum mic. I came in late on guitar (sorry) and dutifully yelled, "Joe McCarthy, Joe McCarthy!" Apparently a fellow at the radio station has asked about the song & Watt said we'd do it. Very cool.

I was (traditionally) soaked. Went to the bar & belted a couple of Bushmills. Talked with some really nice kids, guys, one who knew that I play w/Vinny Golia! A couple of guys wanted to buy trio CD's, so I actually sold them for the first time (I'm such a fucking hippie about money). Dan & Kevin, I think, bought them. A fellow named James, originally from Austin, told me that the last "realshow in town was Bob Mould in March. Hmm. Not too many treks going through Buffalo! Lady reporter has to leave to go review John Wetton (!!!!). Man...

Bailed out to the usual airportish outskirts to Mo' 6. Because of some screw up w/nonsmoking rooms or something we ended up with our own rooms and very bougey ones for Mo' 6. I thought I'd take advan tage of the situation, by luxuriating in bed w/a good mag (new Bazaar, maybe), but I ended up collapsing on the bed with a head & heart on overload. I was feeling poignant as hell, and had thanked Watt earlier, just because you know feelings. Fell asleep briefly & woke up at 3 a.m. Turned around & saw the shirt, Stephanieart side out, drying on the hanger and cried for about 10 minutes what a pathetic case.

Now I'm in beautiful Albany, a trying depressedlooking zone. Drove the I-90 toll road all the way w/Vince & Michael despite my usual nervousness about tardiness, we're here an hour early. Michael's an excellent navigator...

Another cycle of setup, play, hang, bail begins. Watt & Steve should be here soon.

Reflections on the Midwestern Highway, now behind us:

Corn. Roadkill. Corn. Roadkill. Corn. Roadkill. Hardee's/Showey's Waffle House/Bob Evans/Burger King/McDonalds/Arby's/Perkins/Wendy's/Subway Corn, Road kill. Corn. Road. Kill.

(Now it's autumn leaves and roadkill). So many shattered raccoons, dogs, skunks, furry creatures of all kinds. It seems to be getting more upsetting to me, the spectre of death, the suddenly maimed & dis garded. Man walks the planet. Man drives down. Down to another place away from his imminent demise.

Vincetonius' voice is pretty shot. Michael's still coughing like a consumptive, but he looks & sounds much better. The last two gigs are the first one's at which I haven't coughed during the quiet songs (the same spots in the set, where I become aware of the pouring of sweat off my arms & down my legs). I'm feeling almost totally well. Grinding on ... Watt's here.

10/9 Albany Mo' 6

Lots of young kids @ the gig. The 6 Finger guys are all bummed about playing these eastern hick towns. James was saying, "Gee, I feel like I'm in ... Buffalo!" But the kids were really nice sort of gawkers, as we seem to get. A couple of young kids named Adam & Miara hung out a bit. Later Miara was worried about the 6 Finger Nazi imagery. I told her it was their idea of shock, just them against the world. She was only slightly relieved.

Stephanie was bored at the merch table & missing Austin. We commented on how cute the young kids were she gave 6 Finger badges to some really young guys like about 13 years old. She found a bunch of nail polish including the dark blue shard I was looking for before the tour, & gave me some sparkly stuff. She did her nails alternative red and white, with blue thumb nails. She was so beautiful doing this. I can't tell you. Tonight I get to go dark blue w/subtle sparkles for Northampton, Byron, J., Murph...

Watt was supertired looking when he emerged to play the set. I was a bit worried and he didn't make eye contact with me at all until someone threw a lighter on stage and on "Intense Song...", he walked up to me flashing the flame at me laughing! The stage was a bit of a drag, an odd shape w/a post in an inconvenient spot, but we fit on somehow. Watt progressively came alive. By the end of the set (on "Forever..."), my gear sounded all dull and shitty. I'd changed strings (a nice interlude earlier w/Stephanie & a Samuel Adams on tap), so whatever ... sweat 'n heat? So on "Maggot Brain" (after a totally out of tune "Piss Bottle Man" & another stab at "Joe McCarthy's Ghost"), I switched to my Jag & it all sounded dull.... Tonight I'll hook everything up & it'll be fine...

After the gig I was (of course) soaked, but I felt like helping 6 Finger w/their gear (while downing Heineken's). Steve was loading. He was hilarious. Refusing assistance, yelling "No!", "out my way", and the top of his lungs. Just cutting up. A lot of guys shook my hand & said they liked my nails! Maybe it's kind of an Albany youngguything...

On my way to my car, I was flagged by two girls one named Meshell (yes!) with a homegirl effect and Kara, a girl I'd noticed before w/short, fuzzy, light brown hair and a fuzzy brown sweater & jeans. Kara said she'd thrown her bra on stage for Mike (he'd thrown it back, but I guess he signed it later) this as she pulled up her sweater to reveal a floral print bra and ... well, her chest (nothing risque about the bra, thankfully). I said I thought the on stage was plain, but she said no. I signed her bra on the back. I signed Meshell's paper, whatever it was. She was all happy 'cause she got a heart. (I always draw a heart of my signature, being a fruity pseudadult , pseudo male). It was impossible to sign Kara's bra properly where was my damn sharpie? (Found it later in my jacket pocket) but she waited patiently. I hate that I actually found this to be slightly thrilling.

Michael came around the corner & got in on this scene, too, also announcing that Watt was READY, which means NOW. My car wasn't warmed up. I spilled beer all over the place, but we were off.

Changing car, picked up Vince & followed to Mo' 6. Called darling wife. She's okay, but this is a rough one. She's lonely. At least I have the little girlfriend in Stephanie--we can smile @ each other, draw, do nail polish, be like little kids. But that is also crushing me & makes me long for the real deal--my partner.

The tour's half over. Hard to believe that it's going to go on this way another 3 weeks!

D.D. called here this morning! She felt bad 'cause Michael had bummed me out @ dinner by saying that I was becoming a little girl--this because he pictured me in NYC w/Stephanie getting "accessorized". She does want to but me a necklace & add to my neck totems. Michael (pretended?) to find all this "shocking", & perhaps gross. Hmm. Where was he in the BLOC days when I had super long hair, bracelets, beads, chains, & girly headbands?!

Anyway, that & the cry I had looking @ that shirt in Buffalo (I told D.D. about this, too) made her want to call to tell me not to bum out, that people love me, that I have jewels in my chest & sparks flying out of my head (the "sparks" in reference to something someone said about me when Buzz magazine was interviewing people about their choices for L.A.'s "100 Coolest People"--whatever that means). She loves me! It was so sweet! It was damn early in L.A. She loves me!

This Buzz thing was hilarious. D.D. went w/Don Waller to the party. Kraig Grady was there. So was Charlie Haden w/Ruth! Free food. Charlie sent his love to me & Mike. ( Of course he knows Mike. His son took up bass 'cause of him, & his daughter sings on his record. He played w/the Minutemen)--Watt's one of the "100 Coolest", too. He's in the "Sage" category. I'm in the "Zen" (beyond category) category....whatever. Time to go.


Last thoughts on Albany: A guy in the audience who kept shouting my name said (from the audience as I was setting up) that he'd seen the old Option article on me just that day (1993 ish). Wild! Little kids outside the club laughed @ Stephanie's pink hair.

The town is depressing.

As Michael & I left to eat breakfast yesterday, I did my usual under-the-hood check & discovered that the battery had actually blown one of the 3 button caps right off! Finally ended up @ Sears (it was Columbus Day) where Michael spotted an old battery w/the right fit. They gave us the thing & we're on our way.

As we left the grayness of NY & got on the Ritchie Blackmore Hwy. (old Watt expression for the Mass. Turnpike because of its pilgrim hat logo) the sun emerged, clouds vanished, & we were confronted w/an amazingly beautiful fall day. Beautiful color, light, smells.

It was a short drive to Northampton, which turns out to be a real white, & kind of quaint, cultured town. Michael & I lit out in different directions. Strolled, bought some Cindy Sherman & Patti Smith postcards @ a bookstore. Ran into Michael outside a record store where he bought me a pack of Thunderbirds (as in "are go!") trading cards. Turns out Diamanda was performing in town @ 7 & he watched her soundcheck.Went into a record store (Main St.) & went downstairs (old stuff, pulp novels, comics, LP's, videos) Ran into Rick, John, James, J. (for Jeremiah)--6 Finger Satellite shopping studiously. Boy, they can be a dour bunch.

Grabbed a slice & went back to the car (after buying Danielle--D.D.'s sis--a stack of Avengers trading cards) & ran into Watt. He was outside doing a spiel on the pay phone. He showed me the Thunderbirds cards Michael had bought him & I then went w/him to Raven Books (used) where he'd seen a book on Tesla that caught his eye. He looked @ odd Grail books, trying to find stuff on Templars, etc. Some of them were in Hungarian (or something). I found a Sam Shepard book (Chicago & Other Plays) that I don't think D.D. has & bought it for $4. Watt got his Tesla book & something else & we booked for soundcheck.

J Mascis showed up. Watt was so happy. Joe Montinieri w/his pal 'n bro' to repair Michael's snare (10-minute wail). We ended up going for micro brew later. Sat w/Chris & Stephanie & did my nails my desired dark blue w/a top coat of sparkle polish that Stephanie gave. Such fun. An odd serenity.

Beer hang was nice w/the guys. Had a Talisker (fave Scotch) & was feeling no pain. Grabbed another slice--killer artichoke/pesto--& went to Pearl St. where I met up w/Byron (Coley) outside. After giving each other the requisite amount of shit we had a nice dressing room hang. Introduced him to all the 6 Fingers. He's brought some "Pants" singles, which I gave to the 6 fingers.

Murph's new band, Swish, opened--a 3 piece w/girl bassist/singer. It turns out it was their 3rd gig. They're pretty moody. Singer (Lori--very nice & pretty blonde) has a voice reminiscent of Mary in Helium. Kind of undemonstrative, lightly plaintive. They need a little more diversity in their tempos & dynamics. Joe (guitarist) was kind of buried by massive bass frequencies. They're on w/us in Providence tonight (6 Finger's home town, so it should be interesting...) so I'll get a better take on Swish.

6 Finger wanted me & Steve to sit in on our fave, "Man Behind the Glasses"; we were issued black proto-fascist shirts & we went up & attempted to wail. I think it was pretty good. A few drum flams. I thought my gear would be all week, but it sounded fine. Another gawker crowd, but they listened.

Mascis came out & did "Maggot Brain", & this time it was no soilage--he sounded great. He asked me later when I'm going to get more amps. He can't see how I can play such a quiet amp (he automatically turns everything all the way up). Watt was stoked. Then, to my surprise, we did "Piss Bottle Man" & "My Secret Garden" (my return to vocal duties--a total breakdown after Jay). Then the club blew everyone out in nothing flat. Virtually no audience hang. Kind of weird.

Hung w/Swish folk. Very sweet. Lori's totally cool. We connected on a nail polish level (she's sporting "Vamp")--she wants to do my toes during tonight's set if I'll do her toes during her set. Anyway she's older (33?) & is real centered. She loves Helium it turns out, loves Mary. Played w/them for 6 months until Ash came in! We talked about Blonde Redhead, too. About bands that take their time, build their own vibe slowly. Talked about Blonde Redhead's sexual tension motif. Had to break the news to Lori that Maki had quit. Watt booked--we lost him immediately. Went to the Mo' & there he was --arriving w/J's entourage of 2 cars & beckoning us to come w/him. We went a few miles away to J's new house. Listened to new LP's his buddy Matt was spinning (I didn't know that Stereolab had ripped then so mercilessly!). A fellow named George held forth. Saw J's boxer puppy. Two beautiful German girls--Luiza & Gabriela--hung out & were beautiful & German. Had a bit of wine. J's got scary records all over (Nugent, Lewis & Clark expedition, etc.) but also Flamin'' Groovies & Groundhogs. Watt ended up reminiscing w/Matt about old punk shows & was hilarious. Having a great time. J was mostly quiet & went to the fridge a lot. It was mellow. I was fucking tired.

Collapsed & went out immediately. It's beautiful again today. Rusticness. J's house is amazing. More later. Knock @ the door. Maid. Gotta go...

6 Finger had booked right after their show. Out to Providence (1 1/2 hrs or so)--missed them in an odd way.

Michael & I drove into Northampton for breakfast & more Avengers & Thunderbirds cards. Thanks to Michael's eagle eye, I scored a complete boxed set of Avengers for Danielle (10 bucks), more for me (good Emma Peel Karma, lots of tuff images), & Michael scored a whole box of Thunderbirds cards--about 300+--for 10 bucks. Coffeed up & hit the road. The fall color so beautiful, it made us swoon.

Providence is an interesting old town. After much looping on tiny streets, boom, Lupo's.

Just unloaded the gear. Big pad. Everyone's in a good mood.

I've almost completed (in my head) my tribute to Marianne Faithfull--a vocal song w/Petra Haden & Carla Bozulich. My fantasy now is to have Knansie on drums & perc., Dominique Davison on bass & cello, Petra on violin--the dream girls. Record 4 songs for the hell of it. Get Carla & Knansie to scream together.

Coming into Lupo's, I've been confronted by a beautiful poster of Marianne (the Bruce Weber photo from her book cover). Must bribe someone to get one.

"Faith Faith Nothing left but faith Faith Faith Nothing but this faith (when?) and I know that you don't want me around..."

I've got a baritone guitar song for Pillowwand in my head--inspired by Stephanie & dedicated to D.D.

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