mike watt and the jom & terry show
jerry trebotic - drums
tom watson - guitar, singing
watt - thud staff, spiel
(left to right)
steve kaul - the man outside the van
tuesday, september 11 - san francisco, ca
today I awake in the midst of anxiety from the tragic news of the twin towers and pentagon. I can't get my mind off of the horror for the poor people on the planes and on the ground. all the same I finish my packing and organize last minute things before leaving home for the next two months. by the time I get to pedro I start to get that pre-tour feeling in my stomach again, I just want to get on the road and on to the first show in san francisco and try to blank out certain things that I am feeling right now. mike and I pick up jerry and get rolling pretty quickly and avoid talking too much about the goings on. by the half way point we learn that the show will probobly be cancelled tonight, it's understandable but unfortunate for us to start start a tour this way, very weird. the van is running well and we get to s.f. and the bottom of the hill club, the note on the door says no show tonight so we move on to kenny and lisa's pad for the night. of course we spend our time in front of the t.v. watching the looping images in amazment and try to eventually get some sleep. I remember that before drifting off I start having hallucinations and after a terrible night tossing on the couch I hear from the others that I was talking up a storm in my sleep. sorry everybody.
the anticipation of the tour as been lingering for months and being properly preped keeped me busy a couple weeks prior. but nothing could prepare me for the sight of the wtc nightmare. knowing i'd be on the road in two hours brought a heavy air of unease to myself and kel my fiance. but strength percerviered and off we go. it's been two years since I've toured, so getting my road brain screwed back on is refreshing. I'm also a new dad w/ a 5 month old at home, lil' rilei, and missing her will be tough on me. she might start crawling or get a new tooth or say a word or any number of firsts that babies achive. kel's daily updates will help loads in dealing w/what I miss. good thing she's so supportive of the music.
heading up to s.f. for the first gig a got a feeling, an unease coarsing though me, no gig was gonna happen. I was right. dave carperter called from s.f.. said all shows were cancelled by the mayor that day, and after checking at the club he was right. next stop kenny and lisa's pad. we proceded to plop down in their spacious media center for a night of nightmare updates. kenny's constant input and bin laden babble help to tolerate the shear intensity of what we were witnessing. the world can be very harsh and unyeilding. but it helps a little when you can make light of it all and order some take out so ya don't miss anything. so much for the first gig of the tour.
pop at four in the morning to get this tour thing going. last bike ride was and I looked at each eye gift as though it might be my last. leaving on tour is always scary. the three weeks leading up to liftoff day are so filled w/anxiety for me, it's very rough on my nerves and psyche. even after all the years, it's still that way. I xerox up some set lists. I'm gonna try that this tour instead of writing them up before each gig. fills me w/worries and makes it hard to judge when to pop out of the konk. I xfer the important stuff to the ibook and do the final backup on the desk machine (mac 8500). one more final clean-out of the boat (van, '90 ford econoline - this month will make it the eleventh year of hellrides - love this boat) and I find some stenched and creased levis - whoa, that makes them in there for a year cuz all the touring I've done since the "enough w/the piss-bag" tour 2000 w/the pliers was w/j where I never even once took hold of a steering wheel. it'll feel good to have my hand on the till of my own boat again. I do my final pack: ten pairs of levis and a bunch of flannels. still got the purple chuck taylors j gave me last year but they're look pretty worn. this tour will probably be their last, for sure. pack up the posters rr made me. they're beautiful, raymond pettibon art of some cat bearing down on some older cat in a car w/the caption saying "the train in my head." raymond just had a big show in london w/his drawings at whitechapel. damn if I didn't get to see him just before today's shove-off. I'm starting to miss him already.
my neighbor, tony, called a little after six and said to turn on the tv. I asked him why the fuck would he want me to do that? he said we'd been attacked. I turned it on and it was new york city and the world trade center hit by two commercial airliners, a suicide attack by hijackers. the pentagon in dc got hit by one too. my stomach felt like it was being pulled into a pit I just burst into tears. all the hurt. it was terrible. I worried immediately about those I love. no way to get through - the phone system overloaded. perk called and I was all panicked - he was crying too. he asked if it was the start of world war three and I had a serious time, a short one but my voice caught in my throat and I had a moment of like total fear, way scarier than tour fear - something like I had when I was robbed w/a gun at my head a georgie's pad in pedro. I felt out of control and helpless. I didn't think of revenge though. I don't want to now. I told him I loved him.
tom's late. he's been watching the endless loop on the tv of the tragedy. we go get jer, say bye to his girl kel and his baby rilei (also my goddaughter) and we gotta go back to my pad and get the watt stickers rr made me. they say "the man in the van w/a bass in his hands" and I have to say that's something I can be a little proud of. it's what I do. it's scary and worries the shit out of me but that's my gig in this life, to wield the little bass w/the compass on it. I'm driven to do it.
I start driving. in fact, I do the entire drive up to tonight's first gig at the _bottom of the hill_ in san francisco. up the harbor freeway, away from pedro and north through downtown l.a. then the valley and over the grapevine. the boat's running great. the weather is ok: gray but not raining and far from too hot. a little warmer once we get into the san jacquine valley but not bad. we pass a truck that's got a scrotum hanging from it's rear bumper. damn. cojones. kel keeps calling jer w/reports of the nightmare stuff of the morning and I finally have to say we gotta focus on the tour and not let this drive us nuts. inside though, I'm being pulverized w/panic thoughts and am try to overcome it all w/warm love thoughts. does that sound corny? it's what I truly believe can overcome the despair that's trying to choke me.
we make good time and pull in front of the pad just before six. there's a sign in the window saying the show's cancelled. this has happened before but for different reasons. I started a fIREHOSE tour in the fall of 1989 w/the first gig here at the i-beam and this huge earthquake hit. the whole city was blacked out 'cept for this huge fire in the marina part. we still got a gig, though not in the city but in cupertino, where apple is. it's in what the called the southbay - we were coming in from that direction and not from the east. so lucky we weren't on that bay bridge or I-880 that sandwiched the cars below (it was a double decker freeway). so many cars and lives lost. we, in fact, drove over the epicenter of the quake in watsonville while it happened (for some reason we went the san jose route, us-152 instead of just I-5 up to I-580 - maybe cuz it was the world series where there was two bay area teams, the giants and athletics, one of the games was going on that day) and didn't even feel it cuz of the winding road! the phone and power lines were sure wagging between the telephone poles though! we thought it was weird no wind was buffeting the boat - like "what's moving those?"! man, have I been so stupid on tour sometimes, looking back. probably will continue that tradition despite my intentions.
oh well, we'll try to make this gig up at the end of tour, after tempe. I dig playing this town but understand about have to roll w/the blows. tomorrow, we'll start the tour in sacramento. for now, we go to my old pedro friend lisa (her sister nanny draws my tour shirts) and kenny's pad near the club by the giants ball park. lisa's there and has pizza for us - so nice! mota brownies too for watt too! they have two new kitties, stanley and shelley and they're adorable. by about 8:30, I'm ready for snores and retire to konk. I'm out like that. whew, what a day.
by the way, I am told you can write to misters jom & terry directly. send thoughts to them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.
wednesday, september 12 - sacramento, ca
it's a new day but our minds are still ringing with the news while we slowly get our shit together, in the van, and on the road. first we stop for some things from shitar center and we treat ourselves to some B.B.Q. that I'm sure mike went into detail about so I wont. it was a great experience though. finally we are out of town and find our way to sacramento in no time. old ironside's is a great old bar in town that has some fine nautical details and nice people start to come by. it will be our first official show of the tour and it's with the bargain music band that we've done shows with on the last tour so I look forward to seeing them again too. it's a pretty smooth set-up and soundcheck and then the bargain boys show up. in the aftermath of all the craziness it's nice to have some familiar faces to kick things off with. I have some home sickness but only for specific things but I try hard not to dwell on them and keep my mind on what I'm doing and focus. the first act is a duo called _hella_ from sacramento, guitar and drums. they are great and have the locals worked up in no time. kind of a _this heat_/_u.s. maple_ stripped down and instrumental. very interesting music. after them the bargain music get onstage. they are always great and I dance to their all by myself. I love these guys. our gig gets going soon and we push it hard through the songs that we've been practicing for the last couple months. the shows are a little rough and scream my head off but the crowd likes it and we get through the set without too much problem. the tour is officially on.
we head off after the gig towards concepsion's house nearby, mike's friend from the old days in pedro. I know her too and look forward to a good night's sleep without the nightmares I had last night.
after a good sleep I awaken to the sound of the building were staying in being stripped to the bone by workmen. so much fuckin' noise only a bong load could supress it. mike, already up, gives his morning pep talk to those of us still laying flat. some updates on news out of new york and washington d.c.. scary shit for sure. people flying out of buildings while talking on their cell phones to love ones. I can't even imagine the emotions of someone having to take that call. my heart is heavy for all who are directly affected by all this.
after a quick stop at shitar center we stop at big brother bbq for some grub. good ribs, I mean lots of flavor and swimming in a pool of bbq sauce. messy shit to say the least. could'da used something to wash it down like a gardenhose or watertanker drop. just as I got to the last rib a quick rebound by a hidden tenden sprays sauce in my face and stains up the shirt, still worth it! on the road again hoping the gig still on tonight. after a call ahead to confirm we head for sacto. old ironsides in downtown. small pad w/ nice atmosphere and a ship bow stage. i take up the point while mike and tom weigh the anchors. bargain music is opening, great people from long beach they are.
hella opens at 9 w/ just guitar and drums. trippy odd time spunky firewalk in your face music that kicked hard. hope to see them again soon. bargain music got on at 10 and rolled through a cool set of their laid back dance felt reagae goroves. I always enjoy gigging w/em'. I think in lawrence, ka. next time. we get on around 11. a little bit of nervous time for me not having done any gigs yet w/ this line up. and after a few minutes of sweating it up we get'ta going good. I set up sideways on stage so as to look at mike and take cues, but not being used to it I sometimes will face down into the drums and go on autopilot. mike, aware of this quickly starts the screaming "what the fuck, look at me will ya, damn jer!"
after a few clams by all we finish out the set w/chinese firedrill and then revolution part two. back for some more w/encore including down on the bass, big train (which I clam a bit on) and what get heard. good show overall minus the clams.we go to konk at mike's pal concepcion's pad. as luck we have it I get the bed again. as I inquire why me concepcion replys "you remind me of an angel when you played tonight, so you should sleep like one". bless her heart. great sleep that night.
pop at like four. damn. that's the way it is w/watt - I'm still in pedro mode which means pop at the crack of dawn. however, there's no bike to pedal so I roll around and wrestle w/my thoughts. the cat of kenny and lisa's, gizmo, slept here w/me but gets afraid and scatters quick when I begin my self-session. if I'm alone I talk out loud now w/myself - I don't give a fuck - I want to make sense and can't think things through if they're subtly implied or just hinted at. if I voice them to myself then I think through the consequences of certain logics or ideas. around folks, of course, I spare them any of that hell. the violence of the moment is tormenting me too.
lisa gets up and talk about our town pedro. she was born there and came here to s.f. five or something years ago. then I go walking. I wander and wander 'til finally things start to open and I find a hardware store to get keys made to the boat for my guys. after a while I get a pork burrito at a pad called victor's and chow it by the water in back of the pac bell park stadium where the giants play. some gulls and pigeons come by to say hi.
back to where we konked and my guys are up. jer said tom was talking up a storm in his sleep. I gotta get the shirts that were supposed to be waiting for me at the club last night. a call to april at tannis, where they were made in north carolina, produces an arrangement w/the delivery people to get them here. kenny's got the tv on and it's an endless loop of yesterday's hell w/his commentary. he points out significant stuff. it doesn't lift the heaviness off of my heart though. I call jimbo in nyc and he's ok, thank good. emails from thurston and lee too - great. the shirts come and we say bye to him and lisa and the kitties (oh, there's two new ones, little kittens, stanley and shelly) and were off to the music store for strings and stuff. find lucky parking right there. after that, we're off to "brother in-laws #2 on divisidaro for the best ribs I've ever had. I dig this pad. we get another happening parking place, whoa! down the street used to be the african orthodox church of saint john coltrane but it's gone now. kenny said it's a hunter's point now. next door I get two cans of pear juice to eat w/my pork ribs and collared greens. these are sensational tastes in my mouth and I'm in heaven for a brief time.
we head east out of town over the bay bridge towards sacramento, where we play tonight. it's actually the first gig of the tour now. we blow by the right turn-off and have to loop - the first one of the tour. we make it eventually to the pad for tonight's show, _old ironsides_, right by the capitol. yet another perfect place to park - lucky number three. it's a real old pad, from at least the 30s. the soundman, larry, is a nice cat. the boss, brian, comes by after soundcheck and it's good to see him. he's an old friend. then it's time to konk - I am emotionally frayed to the bare wire. my first konk this tour in the boat. I shave right before - I'm shaving this tour, by the way. just want to.
I'm out for like three hours and miss my friends, _bargain music_ open. damn. so good to see them cats. I produced their first record. they're from long beach, near pedro. good folks - josh, jeff, phil and new man zippy. I miss _hella_ too - tom and jer said they were great - a two-piece from this town. I was just so beat though and want to play my best. sorry to all of you.
jer rouses me right before it's our time and I head for the stage from the boat. I'm wearing these dark sun glasses when I play in respect for all the loss of the nightmare from yesterday morning. we start the gig and I'm just crying a river, I can't help it - the feelings are so overwhelming on me. I don't say much, I want the music to speak. I know I'm tiny but I just want to up the love and balance all the hate that's going down now. like john coltrane said, "my goal is to uplift people." maybe it's because I feel so inferior and it would be so easy to pick-up on some self-righteous revenge tip - even if it might seem justified - I know it would be just an overcompensation for those small feelings I have of myself. I can let that win out. I can't let the bitterness worms burrow their way into the holes of my heart. I must keep them flushed w/warm blood of love feelings and not let my heart grow hard and leathery. such a small feeling I have of myself. I want my little bass to talk for me and nurture some kind of goodness.
my guys play great. I blow bunches of clams, damn I gotta get it togther. I try to focus but my eyes are so welled-up w/crying. thank god for the glasses. this would surely not inspire anyone. the last thing I want is pity. I want to put out the feeling of hope and possibility. this all might sound funny coming from an old punk rocker but this is the place where life has brought me. all fortythree years add up to this. I'm a mess but at least I have for this moment the little bass in my hand and the spirit of john coltrane to learn from. like that song he has called "alabama" about those four little girls getting bombed in that church in the 60s. such a man - a real man. and those eyes, so much love in those eyes... tom and jer and help buoy me w/their playing. I get more composed and join together w/them. we have good flow, one song into the other like one big piece. the folks have us back for more and then that's it - the first gig of the tour done. I'm just glad I made it though it - this was really tough. sometimes I feel I'm a reed blowing in the wind, a hostage of the wind and unable to find my center. I don't have that much confidence these days, I feel quite fragile. I've been praying much, analyzing everything about myself. this really underlines doubts about myself and thank god I have the momentum of the years behind me to keep me rolling. I don't feel very strong now.
I sling shirts and these righteous posters rr made for me from a raymond pettibon drawing. by the way, he just had a big show in london where he showed the movie we made this july on jim morrison, "red tide rising: venice or mars." I was so embarrassed to do that but I would do anything for raymond, I love him so. he's taught me and inspired me in so many ways - what remarkable luck and fortune to have him in my life. yas says hi and gives me some salsa from an uncle's "secret recipe." thank you! one thing that's kind of creepy is some cat harassing my while I'm slinging - he's says he's doing it from love by it's a total torment trip. he's had a bunch of beers and keeps telling me he's coming from love but damn, it's getting too much. I think this is a reaction to consumer culture in a weird way. it's not like it's even conscious to him, I think. any of us. it's reacting w/out thinking - a perfect target for marketing. I feel bad about this. I would think I would be the last person someone would want to gush on. I feel more like a trippy uncle. one cat, an older guy who has me sign his blue oyster cult record wants me to write "death to afghanistan" but I say no and instead write "love to afghanistan." he says it's ok. I think he knows what I mean.
I say bye to brian and the bargain guys - we'll see them again in lawrence. concepcion, an old friend from pedro invites to stay w/her and husband mario. they live here now. she goes back to the minutemen days and knew d. boon. it's great hearing her talk about her adventures back then w/him in them. I am so beat and want to just be out, just like that. on the deck, by the couch, I stake my claim. after the sunlamp-like lights are extinguished, sleepytown comes quick to end this first gig night of tour.
thursday, september 13 - eugene, or
in the morning we get fed well and treated to some of concepsion's fine homemade salsa. she also lets me keep the pad that I slept on last night which is very wonderful to have on tour, and then we shove off for a long trip up to eugene. from sacto we go through lake shasta and stop in weed which is always a good stop for gas. as jerry and I are waiting for the restroom there I make the gesture to sneak into the ladies room and when the guy at the register sees me do this he say's "why don't you go in there and piss on the toilet seats for me". jerry and I look at each other thinking, what a strange thing to say. we get out of there and head north to grants pass oregon, this is the last place that my grandfather on my mom's side lived and in my family we always refer to it as grandad's pass. the ride is mostly uphill so far and we try to take it easy on the van, we have lots of weight and the tour has only just begun.
when we get into eugene we find the wow hall easy, this will be the third time for to play here with mike. eugene is kind of a sleepy town but it some real nice people living in it. there are also a lot of dead heads living here and when jerry and I get to chez rays for dinner we realize it's run by a former chef to the greatful dead. by the time we get our food and eat it it's time to get back to the show. the food was good by the way. at the wow hall it's a little thin of a turn out so far but I walk downsstairs and see that there are a bunch of people in a little downstairs bar area they have there. I up and watch the pass out kings play some old backyard style punk that I find entertaining, I try to cap loudly. our time comes and the show goes well till I break a string and have to play my other guitar. it's a cheap telecaster, which I like but this one has some problems and I have trying to find another one to trade it with. anyway the show winds up and we find a place to sleep and we end up in the same house we stayed in last year, kind of strange but cool and very much appreciated. I have been having some soreness in my throat so I quickly make my bedding in an empty back room and go right to sleep.
long drive, lots of hippies, rollerrink gig, went to sleep.
pop at seven - good, I'm getting a little more into tour mode. we got a big hellride today to eugene up in oregon so we gotta bail early. I soak good in the tub, kind of slippery in there though. many a bubble bath's been here probably. I go to wake jer, coming into a room and saying "wake up, batwing" and it's mario - damn, what an idiot I am. I retreat, embarrassed. concepcion makes us some eggs and they're really good, thanks concepcion. she gives us a mary and we tape her to the dash - god bless the boat. perfect weather, thanks be to those greater powers. the I-5 is real close and we say bye and head north.
it's like 480 miles and most of that is up some big grades. I'm at the wheel, helps w/the sore joints in the hands. up through the sacramento valley and past red bluff, where my pop grew up. man, is there a lot of burn patches on the side of the freeway - same thing yesterday. sometimes they're only a quarter mile apart. what is it, idiots throwing cigarettes out of their windows while they're driving? pretty upsetting. we have no sounds in the boat, the radio burned up a few years ago so we're free of the radio onslaught w/the constant yammering about the tuesday morning nightmare. the headlines in the paper in s.f. just said "BASTARDS!" you get the picture. we go over lake shasta and take him some great sights. however, we forgot to recharge the digicamera's battery so we can't get many shots. damn. we stop in weed for gas. my pop worked on a farm around here as a teenager. onward towards the oregon border. as we go up through the siskiyous, the boat's getting a little hot. oh oh. one eye keeps glued to the temp gauge. we don't go into overheat zone but about three-fourths the way. this has got me worried. I back of on the throttle and nurse her along. damn, I just had her in the shop last week and asked them to check about her getting hot. pisses me off. I tried to impress upon them the stress of tour hell on the boat. I guess if you're not riding inside, you just don't understand. if she overheats, we can blow a head gasket and really be in the shitter. my stomach churns as I baby her through the mountains. at one summit, I smell a little coolant. damn. please god, get us to eugene. I promise to get her to a boat doctor as soon as we get there.
fortune is w/us and we pull into eugene. an eight and a half hellride but at least we made it. we're playing the _wow hall_, a pad I always do here. I dig it much, the people are always great and I like what they do for the community - it's not just a bar. not that a bar is bad but it's neat that they get stuff going for the culture here too. after loading out the gear I make some phone calls and find a cat named brad at a shop out on highway 99 that'll look at what's up. I get lost a few times and start to panic. all the self-doubt I have of myself flood over and almost overwhelm me. sometimes it feels like a house of cards coming down, everything like dominoes falling. I gather my resolve. gotta push myself onward and not give into the doubts. hells are gonna come up and I must keep myself driven. I want to holler but I get it together and make it to the mechanic. he's out by the beltline on the north side of town. he's a nice cat and finds no leaks or major problems. the prob looks like a radiator plugged up w/crud. he says I can bring it tomorrow morning at nine and he'll have it rodded out.
I get back over to the venue and we do a quick soundcheck. after that, tom cuts the foam rubber I got in this case for the little bass to give it a better fit. the case I've been using is one of those big anvil ones and must weigh like fifty pounds itself. good for airplane travel in order to protect the little bass but hell to carry around for other times. I'm using kira's old rickenbacker case and it's so much bigger. thanks, tom. my stomach is too tied up for a major chow and I just have a couple of pears. they're really good. puts good thoughts in my head. the singer of the opening band, _the passout kings_ is named reed and he talks w/me a little bit. a nice man who used to play bass in _circle one_ in l.a. he moved up here about five years ago. there band is good and do a great set. no konk tonight, we're going on pretty early (ten) so I just chimp diary in the meantime.
our turn and it's a weird gig. we're not focused, maybe cuz of the strange stage sound. I feel us pulling away instead of coming together. tom breaks a string right away and the backup tele he brought gives him grief. he switches back to his main one and just changes the string. I'm wearing a shirt a sailor gave me in missouri after he got out of the navy. I think of my pop. I'm using a pick for the first three tunes, a holdover from the work I've just done last tour w/j. I blow some clams but not like last night. however, I like that gig better. we played together as a team much better. I also let me nerves get to me and start babbling. I don't really know what to say and it shows. it's incoherent spiel. I should let the little bass speak but I'm letting my insecurities about how we're not coming together get to me. it's really not that bad but you know how fears magnify those things. I feel so embarrassed inside about this. people look at you to be strong and here I am, just holding on. finally, I just start repeating "a love supreme, a love supreme." this mantra helps me. thank you, john coltrane. words let me down. I have to learn not to count on them for these days. too much communication is just adding to the stress. I stress others w/them too. don't need that, believe me. the folks here are really nice and have us back though and even though I start the wrong song (tom still didn't have his guitar cuz we just finished a tune where he plays bongos w/some drum sticks), they are very forgiving. thank you, eugene.
a couple of years ago we stayed at a pad here where cats from a band called _sprout_ lived. the band is now broke up but some of them are here and offer their pad again. a nice cat named noah gives me some fresh basil, right out of the ground. thanks, noah. he volunteers to get me some pears right off the tree but they're a ways off and he's on his bike. so nice though. thank you. good wishes from everyone, much blessedness for watt. much grateful. we head to the sprout pad. I check the email. tons of stuff about you know what. aaarrrrgggghhhh. one from my ma, she's been writing me now that I got her a mac econo. she's upset too but wants me to be strong. got the word from all my nyc friends that they're all ok. relief for me regarding this, it's been wearing on me big time. am I beat, I konk in moments after getting prone. only midnight too - great.
friday, september 14 - portland, or
when we get up we load up fast and get the van to a mechanic by 9 to get the radiator pulled and flushed to avoid any over heating. when brad the mechanic gets there he says that it will take til 2 to do and there is nothing even close to walking distance for us to do til then so I pull out my folding chair and take a rest on the side of the highway for a while. I'm still feeling a little sick so I want to rest as much as I can. I notice some rasberries growing and they are ripe and sweet so I indulge myself on those for a while too. time moves slow when you're standing still and we amuse ourselves anyway we can. mike's on the computer and jerry and I down a little dirt road to a water hole that looks unfit for swimming so we just head on back. by the time the van is ready and we get back to the highway its about 2:30 and we take some smaller roads to portland.
dante's is a club in the middle of portland near their china town area, we load and check and wait. I have some friends in town so I make the calls and then jerry and I make our way over to obi's sushi house nearby. the miso soup real good and we get some avocado and crab rolls. the food takes a while to get to us but it's worth the wait. at the club the catheters open the show and since the members are only 19 years old they have to leave after they play. outside I see my friends bill and eric and meet a couple of their buddies too. a few minutes later we go up and start. it's a sold out show and the people are into it so we play hard and strong even though the sound is a little dead. fun show and after I see saul and dee dee koll and stop a moment to talk with them. saul is a great guitar maker and I wish I had more time to get him to fix up my guitars but there is never enough time for that. we head to erics to sleep and make my little bed-camp on the floor and play with coco the cat and then sleep.
woke up kindda early so we could drop off the boat to get checked out. a little overheating from yeaterday's hellride. brad the mech. shows up and starts tearing up the radiator and thermostat assy.. way cool guy thats into fishing and gocarts. kicks me down a little nug of the kind ta help w/ last nights hard sleep on the worn couch. I decide to take the parts run ride w/brad and convince him to stop at the local shitar center. I've failed to mention that before the tour began I borrowed a set of bongos from tim bender. the bongos have one broken head from the last time I borrowed them. so far I've been to at least 3 of 4 music shops looking for a head. theses fuckin' shits are so old that no one has the correct sized head to fit em'. I get so frustrated looking, but I promised tim I'd change the fucker. it's look more and more like I'll have to make one myself. after getting back brad gets to work on the boat. he mentions that theres a lake down the road, so tom and I head out while mike puter's up. it's more like a pond than a lake but brad said 7 lb. bass flurious beneath the surface. no jumpers today, just wading ducks. back to the shop where the boats fixed and we say so long to brad. 3 hour drive to portland and dante's limbo lounge for the gig.
portland's wheather being good makes for positive vibes and we arrive at dante's. looks like a jazz lounge inside, lots of cozy table space and a flaming pit to the rear. after soundcheck tom and I talk up w/the bartender. she blows a couple sarcastic remarks about being a bj specialist giving me a heightened sense of awareness. recomends a good sushi joint down the street, gives me a couple bucks for some miso soup and were off. obi is what its called, the food was worthy but the fuckin' wait was lameass. T.I.P. the word is an acronym for To Insure Promptness. not the fuckin case here. still we tipped an average cut and returned for the show.
tom informs me that two guys from the charms are coming out tonight. many years ago we played together in hermosa beach before I got cut. no aurprise being the ninth durmmer they had, some kind of spinal tap syndrome I guess. still its good to see them again. saul and deedee greet us outside and an exchange of snap shots of our kids is almost immeadiate. bill is there too. we talk a bit, catch up on who's married and having babies. so many porple I know got the family way happening, we all grow up so fast, too fast. I head back in and jump on a video poker machine in the back bar. in no time I make back my chow dollars and I'm ready for the show.
the sets good except that I play love dance way too fuckin' slow. I mean lame sloooooow. mike chomps in quick "too fuckin' slow jer"! the accellerate take what seems like an eternity, won't do that again. sound was equal to playing in a whale's ass while blowing a honking gas cloud. I'm getting more in tune with mike and tom every show, tight is right. after the show during pack up I meet one of the dudes from jackass (my favorite show) and start talking about all my amateur stunts, pointing out war wounds as i denounce any further acts upon myself. they call him danger aaron I'm sure for good reason. eric shows up and we huff it back to his pad for the night.
pop at seven again. shower and shave - yeah, shave - that's a trip for me on tour. I'm gonna try and keep it up though. I search around - where are the llaves (keys in spanish)? I run outside. fucking idiot watt! - they're hanging outside the drivers door in the lock! what a fucking potential donate! I can't believe how stupid I am but thank god I'm so lucky and the boat wasn't plucked. my mind is just out to lunch. I gotta really bear down and get shit together. damn. I go to roust tom, he's in this little room in the back and there's a head between where I am and he is. jer is in the bombardier's seat and delivering ordinance. sorry jer. we gather up and head for the repair shop. there's a drive-through chow pad and we have breakfast burritos. I get one w/chorizo. good stuff. we riff on the tour's funny words so far like "batwing," "sauce," "toss," "beltloop," etc... helps relieve the tension.
we get to the shop and brad pulls the radiator. I chimp diary and tom tries but his keyboard is for shit. he's got an old mac duo powerbook and it's just wore out. man, if someone had a powerbook for him cheap, it would be so great. brad comes back w/the radiator and it's clean. we're gonna put on a new serpentine belt too cuz the one here is as old as the boat itself. lose that and you're up shit creek. I've been asked by some folks in england who are writing a book on madonna to answer some questions for it. they want to know about the madonnbes, ciccone youth and my connection w/her. funny. I answer all the questions from my heart and tell it straight. I hope they don't think I'm insane. they're very kind to think of me for this. turns out the radiator isn't plugged too bad and just needs a flush and the bugs cleaned off of the core. brad puts in a new thermostat too. after a test spin w/him, things check out fine and we're on our way. thank you brad much for all the good work and care. folks like that are so great to have around w/the scariness of tour and all the stresses it brings. the boat is such a central and vital part of tour life. w/out it, we're sunk. I say many prayers of thanks for having her well again.
only two hours up the I-5 to reach portland. we're playing a place new for me here, _dante's_ and it's only a block from _berbatis pan_, the place I usually play in the last years. it's like an old-fashioned pad w/red velvet curtains and tables everywhere. soundcheck goes good and I have a piece of pizza. I do two spiels w/folks from 'zines and they're good ones - lots of good questions and not just the typical. then it's to the boat to konk. concepcion gave us a foam konk pad and I lay on that in the back. there's more room for my legs. up forward w/the bench always has them either hanging off the edge or up on the hatch and then all the blood flows from them and they fall asleep. crummy feeling. I check email and richard meltzer can't come tonight cuz of writing commitments. he says he's very sorry and wanted to talk to me w/what's gone down this week. I understand completely though and write him not to worry and we'll see each other again next time. I really do like that man.
I konk for like three hours a wake right before our time. I miss _the catheters_, the opening act who are from seattle. I saw their soundcheck however and liked what they were doing. they have sort of a _mudhoney_ sound. the pad is packed for us and we begin the set. on my way up to the stage, some guy wants to give me shirts that has an image of osama bin laden in a crosshair w/"die bastard" printed above it. I tell him thank you but I don't want it. too much hate already and I don't think me piling up it will anyting to get better. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings or he thinks I'm a jerk. I just have to be honest w/my heart and it's telling me not to give in those emotions. this doesn't mean I don't feel horrible for all those innocents lost. damn, what a mess. back to the gig: cuz of the curtains all over, the sound sure is dead. aaarrrggghhh. on top of that, the monitors are the worst ever. we were warned though - the soundman, steve, who's a nice cat, told us they were gonna be terrible. this makes it tough to do the spiel but I try my hardest. on top of even that, the mic holder on the stand is lose and the mic is flopping all over - again aaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhh! steve runs up after the next song and fixes it quick. thanks, steve. jer is still having trouble maintaining focus and syncing up w/me. this is only the third gig and I know he's not used to this way of playing in the other bands he's been w/but I want him to try and learn this way. he starts "love dance" way too slow and when I give him the signal to pick it up (I have four basic hand moves to show my guys whether I want things faster, slower, softer or louder), he can't translate into action. he's a good man though and I know he'll try harder next time. I break a 'd' string in "anxious mo-fo" and have to change it when the tune's over. I'll change the rest tomorrow. damn, I hate breaking the flow - we have a good set if it's put in motion right. trippy how the tunes seem to fit some of the mood of the recent events - I wonder how that happens? tonight, I have far less words coming out of my mouth and the ones that do are generally thank yous to tom and jer for playing good and supporting me so. I mean that sincerely. the folks too for coming and having open minds. much respect. I blow some clams but it's getting better. our flow is better tonight too, despite my string pop. man, is the sound bad on stage though. jer's snare has a mid-range honk on it coming through the shitty monitors that's killing me. aaahh, just bear w/it and soldier on. I realize near the end of the set I've forgotten my 'puter and as soon as I'm done I run outside to the boat and check to make sure it's safe. whew, thank god it is. what a fucking retard, watt. I've got to get focus in my thoughts. got to.
I sling much after the gig, the portland folks are very kind. tom and jer pack up while I spend almost forever up on the stage doing that. thanks to both my brothers. a buddy of ours, eric, invites us to his pad to konk - it's in the southeast part of town. eric rides w/us, he's a great cat. jer is all amped from the gig and yammering away, this is kind of hard on me cuz the gig really rings my ears and shakes my body hard. I let him know about that but let him know I'm not scolding him, just trying to get across some understanding. these gigs take plenty out of watt and he has to recover. I put my all into them and play each one like it might be my last. we get to eric's and I'm out pretty quick. there's righteous little tabby cat that's very friendly and I dig that. the warmness of life through the meeting of hand to fur is such a blessed thing. I put the mask over my eyes but don't konk right away. I get those thoughts rushing over me of insecurity and I have to wrestle w/them for a while before that train from sleepytown saves the day (night?) and pulls me from all that hell.
saturday, september 15 - seattle, wa
in the morning I walk down the street from eric's to a little music store called trade up music and try in hopes of trading (up or down) my back up tele. no luck, no problem. we have a short drive to seattle and get to the crocodile cafe by 3:30 or so. I've played here a few times before and always look forward to it cause it has a good kitchen and they feed the band. a very nice luxury on the road. the music room is nice too, a box with the stage in one corner, good sound. we are going to stay at sandy's house tonight. she's a friend from my home town of hermosa beach, ca, and mike knows her too from the music wold that we're both from...too much to go into. she's one of the best and I'm glad to see her again and catch up on all that's been happening in our lives since last year. which is too, too much to go into. anyway it helps the time go by till we have to play. our friend bob teagan is here too to video tape.
the crowd is great and we do a good show even though we're still working out some of the bugs. I scream my head off again and am completely hoarse after. I'm a little concerned about not getting sick and really losing my voice so I got to take it easy. quickly we pack and head over the bridge to west seattle where sandy has a cool littl pad that she just moved into and we carve out our little corners on the floor to get needed rest.
we break out about 11 and make a quick stop at the music store. tom's been searching for a replacment guitar, a tele I believe, to trade out the one he brought. I'm still on the bongo head hunt w/shit for luck and losing hope fast. on the road to seattle and its only 3 hours out. I give a call to mike naylor's sister mary in federal way. her husband lawrence answers, she's at work in seattle but he promises to give mary the message before she leaves for home. pull up to the crocadile cafe at 4 and get a bite while we wait for the sound guy to show. mary calls to say she'll be by the club about 6, just in time after soundcheck. her tom and I head out for a drink and catch up. too bad her and lawrence can't make the show. people are still a bit nervous from the weeks events, but I've concluded that music can help heal some of the down feelings folks are harboring. back at the club mike's friend bob teagan is setting up his video camara for the show. he tell's of following mudhoney and sonic youth on their tours and decided to wait in town for our show. I say goodbye to mary and head inside for the wait.
first band on is the fakes. last minute replacement act that plays covers. I watch a couple tunes and decide to kick in the bar area w/ mike and tom pal sandy. some of her friends show and we chat over some beers. ruby doe's now on stage so back in for more sonic assault waves. good set, kinda mershy pop w/ happy hooks. I took a little time outside to call ed and kel. walk back in and run into krist novoselic looking for mike. I inform him of mike's konk in the van and put him on the list. last song for ruby doe, time to wake mike. backstage the drummer of ruby is looking at his bass drum that received a gash in the head. just made the last song and it was a gonner. found out the fakes drummer broke a bass drum pedal and a snare head. damn I thought I hope I'm not next. we get on at 11:45 and start out pumping. I feel good w/the flow and tight w/mike and tom. only shitter is mike cord keeps cutting out in the middle of the set. still we play good and i"m pleased for the first time w/my performance this tour. it fun to play a sellout instead of a cave. I here my name being called from the audiance and notice a young lady motioning at me. I go to say hi and it turns out that she's matt chamberlain's girl danae. matt asked if she'd come out since he was on tour in the east w/critters buggin'. she lets me know that matt was in washington d.c. on tuesday and were supposed to go to new york next. very heavy for them. we make plans to meet tomorrow for breasfast and say farewell. we pack up and head to sandy's place for the night. note to self: close windows in house when storm is approaching. it was cooooooooold!
pop at seven and get dry clothes. I konked naked cuz my shit was so wet. hoof down the street and get some cof at a place called the stumphouse. no one there however has any stumps. I'm in another tore-up mood, have to think it through - over and over. I return then hoof again in another direction, turn around and return. then I sally forth again, up another street and then back. eric's got this righteous kitty named coco and I have a conversation w/her. she's has a super-sweet disposition and is very compassionate. then back out to hoof again, this time I get chow the other way from where I got the cof. back to eric's pad after throwing down the chow and I shower. one more walk (damn, how many sally forths this morning?) and I chimp some diary.
eric gets up and tells me of an idea of his. he has a company that hosts web sites and he wants to hook me up w/getting my "watt from pedro show" on his servers. I'll be able to have the five three-hour shows I got now available to anyone anywhere. this is great - thanks, eric. he's very cool people. the pad were in used to belong to a nuclear physicist named jack de ment and his lab is in the cellar. he takes me down there and shows me the stuff the fbi didn't take when he died. he had over a hundred patents and found a way of separating the energy from light. there's shots he took of himself and they're trippy. there's newspapers from august 6, 1945. that's when the a-bomb was first used on people, dropped on japan. the paper is really yellowed and crumbling.there's all these file cabinets and drawers. this de ment guy's sister was a mortician and did work in a part of the lab too. what a trip. he took close-ups of his choppers and man, what a funky set he certainly had. damn. eric shows me the "who's who" of 1976 (the year I graduated high school) and they have all this spiel on him and his work. pretty incredible. of course, he died of cancer - he did lots of experiments on himself.
we bid farewell to eric and head north to tonight's gig in seattle. first, we try a couple of guitar shops to see if tom can find a replacement for his backup guitar, a fucked-up telecaster. no luck. pretty drive up the I-5 and we get to the _crocodile cafe_, site of tonight's gig. I've done this pad many times and dig it much. I get a chillidog at a pad called shorty's down the street. I always do that. I then think of a paper I need to get across the border tomorrow for the vancouver show and panic bad when I can't find it. damn. all that crazyness of the morning readying to leave for tour somehow had me space it. damn. I call the promoter for that gig, pete, and tell him the sitch. he says he'll get back to me and I got my stomach in a tangle. damn, no one to balme but myself. fucking idiot watt. greg, the first _foo fighter_ soundman, comes by and helps me out big time. last night's gig must've had me lose a screw on one of the machineheads of the little bass (where the string gets wound around and is adjusted to get you in tune) so he brings me to the club he does sound at, _sit and spin_, and we dig through containers 'til I find the right screw. it's too long but greg cuts it w/a hacksaw. I'm back in business. thanks, greg. gotta watch that stuff, I wrestle that little bass so hard. we do soundcheck and then I'm off to the boat to konk but sandy comes by. she's from the old sst days and lives here now. her ma was just a the world trade center before the attack but made it out safe. thank god. sandy, herself was on a flight that just made it before all the madness. this insane world. she wants to take me for some chow and gets me sushi. I have just a little, some rainbow roll cuz I've eaten twice already today and it's hard for me on tour to really pile it on. she takes me to her new job, things have really come around good for her in the last year after some real hell. I'm very happy for her. she's been made a managing director of software company dealing w/bar codes. I'm really worn out though and have to konk bad. she'll come back later for the gig, she's invited us to stay at her pad. I konk fast and hard in the boat.
there's two openers, _the fakes_ and _the ruby doe_ but I miss both due to being out cold. I miss krist too, and this bums me out cuz I really dig him. I just the shuteye to play good though, it's just a fact. I barely hung on for sandy. I pop just in time for our launch, I heft the shirts over my shoulder and head for the stage. this time I make sure I got my 'puter. gotta minimize the spaceouts. I see bob teagan, that's a good thing. we start the gig. the cord that connects the little bass to the amp is for shit and keeps cutting out on me. damn. we play good though, much better than last night and soundman jim and monitor lady ashley do a great job. the seattle cats put out a great vibe to play to also. I blow some clams but probably the fewest yet of the tour. I'm starting to get my nerve. I say hardly anything, just play. tom pops a string and has to play the shit guitar. sounds like a toy. he soldiers on though - good man, tom. jer's more in the moment too and gives me much appreciated attention. we're playing together instead of being on separate planets. this is a good thing. that damn cord though. can't let it bring me down though and I charge on. we're asked for an encore and we even do the stooges "down on the streets" for the first time this tour. we play these folks every tune we know.
after slinging, I settle w/the boss christina - she has kind words for me. it's a good gig and everyone did well. I've soaked my entire levi - I'm sopped. I drive the boat w/jer and follow sandy, who has tom in her ride. jer gets on his walkie-talkie and yammers the whole ride to west seattle, where sandy's pad is. damn. my head rings so heavy after gigs from all the sound and exertion and to hear endless yammering really makes me insane. I try to relate this to jer. not all his fault - he has a new baby and I understand. sandy leaves us at her pad and goes to her ma's. I konk on the deck naked under two of my blankies. my mind is lit w/electric fire. my eyes are closed but the brain is cooking up a storm. damn, why? I must lay there for like two hours before the merciful relief of konkedness brings me the serenity I most dearly pray for. grazie dio.
sunday, september 16 - vancouver, bc, canada
as you might read in mike's diary we have the realization that we (mike) can't find our papers to get across he border. the promoter in canada makes it seem like it might not be too much of a problem but with all thats been going on we feel that it's likely that they wont let us through. luckily though mike has a friend in blain (last u.s. town on the border of canada) who's a border guard and she will be coming over with us. we pick lisa up and drop our shirts and cd's at her place and get to the border by 2:30. mike pays the loser fee and they let us through with no problem, great! they are so nice when you just be relaxed and straight forward at the border. it's about 50 miles to the club and we get there about 4:00. I talk jerry into walking down to subeez, a restaurant that I like to eat at whenever I come up. it's only a couple blocks from the starfish room and always good. I really like canada, vancouver is extremely beautiful and the people are real friendly (for the most part). when jer and I get back to the club it's time to load in. corita and destry do soud here and I've seen them over the years playing with mike and the red krayola. it's great to have familiar faces when you are traveling every day. we get set up and get through the check with ease. tonight we play with a local band called _station a_ I remember them from playing with them here last year. they are real nice folks and they play music that reminds me a little of my old band _slovenly_ and maybe a little sonic youth too. there's time before anything gets going so I do some diary entry. the backstage area at the club is completely re-done, they used to have one of the widest collections of band grafitti around. it's all painted and clean now and the bathrooms are all fixed up too. that's cool when you spend so much time in them.
soon the _station a_ boys are getting started, and I go out and join jerry to watch them. it's great, again. I hope they get chance to do some shows in the u.s. we play our set and have some technical problems with the drums but it pulls together and we finish off good. we are staying over the border tonight at lisa's place so we have to pack quick and shove off to the border a.s.a.p. lisa knows the guards there and we see the surprise on their faces to see her out of uniform and in a tour van. once again it's a smooth transition thank god, and find the floor at lisa's suitable for a good night's sleep.
we wake up not knowing if the vancouver gig is gonna fly. yesterday mike could'nt find the canadaian ministry letter needed to cross the border to work. he had a turd looking for it yesterday. thinks it got tossed out w/the garbage in pedro, bonehead move mike. so a call is put out to the promoter peter in vancouver to check w/canadaian customs a'bout crossing w/and old visa on file at the border. to early to call danae for breakfast as sandy returns from her mom's and takes to eat. during chow peter calls and informs mike we'll be able to cross for the show. great, no cancelled gig again. I call danea ta let her know of our change of plans and we bail to vancouver.
its a beautiful drive to the border town of blaine. blaine, sounds like some frat guy from harvard. we stop a lisa's place to unload the merch and pick up lis'. she works as a customs agent at the border makes a good ally if things get sticky. dropoff complete its just one turn and theres the crossing. mike and lis' walk in to double check our status for passage. with that we check in expecting delays. as luck would have it only one hour through coustoms and were off. pull into vancouver and I'm surprised by its grand skyline. european flav w/glass incased buildings starfish room straight ahead. park the boat in front and wait for the sound guy. me and tom go grub while mike hangs w/lis'. I gotta say she's very sweet and fetching to the eye. make it back to club in time for check. get a chance to meet the openers station A and rap a'bout the city. one of em' starts in and tells of a gang of kids weilding machetes during muggings. said they went after him a week before in the city. the scary part is they worked over some poor dude for a bag and chopped off his hand. fuck that! I ain't walking their streets at night.
gig time again and the turnout is good for a sunday. station A is great as they roll through different flows of duddles and clamps keeping my interest all set.. great guys, I can't wait ta play again w/em' . we get on at 10:45 and go right in w/all sexed up. a few clams got slapped but we stay the course. my bass drum starts moving on me half way through and destri the tech does his best to fix it. to no avail. the shit just won't stop! thanks anyway destri. mike gets on me a little to stay focused when things flounder. I agree and we rtn. for the encore. finish up good, say our byes and out the door. and then they left.
having lis' going back to the u.s. made the cross over a total breeze. they didn't even charge us the five buck usage fee. way to go lis'! another late night bedtime for a tired drummer. I check my email and pass into dreamland.
am rousted by sandy's dog dozer. she's come back to her pad at eight - eight! whoa, I konked 'til eight - that's a trip! I was one tired son of a bitch though, that's for sure. that gig knocked the shit out of me for sure. she takes us to chow at I get a spinach omelette but there's way too much gooey cheese so I only eat half. we say goodbyes and then it's north again on I-5 for the canadian border.
before we get there, we go to my friend lis' pad in blaine (the last u.s. town before canada) and drop off the shirts. she comes w/us too. I was very worried about paperwork I lost and getting across but the canadian immigration folks are very nice and I get a re-issue. the going over is a breeze. thank you to the border officers, w/the current state of affairs, I was fearing huge lines and lots of problems but we experience none of that. tonight's gig is at _the starfish room_, site of many of my gigs and it turns it might be the last cuz the property's been sold and the new owners are tearing it down to build condos. damn.
the cats who work here are the greatest and treat us very nice - lots of help and care from them. I dig playing vancouver and canada in general cuz this is almost always the case. fun to play for the gig-goers too cuz they show their appreciation w/out hesitation. after soundcheck, I just lay on the couch in the dressing room - it was just re-done real nice, what a waste now that the wrecking ball's coming. no solid konk but some good "just laying still." I chimp some diary a little later. the band who opened for me last year, _station a_ is again providing support and I hear their set through the walls. kind of like sonic youth a little but w/their own thing. they're also a bunch of great guys. this cat, who I can't remember his name (idiot watt) gives me some 'gars and some picante sauce - great presents. much respect.
our turn next. the set starts good but then we have some small problems. jer's drums are roaming all over the place, one crash cymbals retaining thing pops off, etc. he still plays like a champ. destri, the monitor man, helps him out w/the problems fantastically. thanks, bro. w/his part, tom's great too. I have excellent people to work worth, I'm sure a lucky man. I blow some clams, not too bad but boy, do I blow richard hell's "liar's beware" out of the water, hitting wrong chords and spacing the words out badly. so sorry richard. he was my first punk rock hero and I now I feel like a shmuck. this shit happens though and I'll just try to make up for it at the next gig - you can't take a clam back, you can only recover. the crowd is very nice to us and we're back for more. damn, do I have trouble getting the intro to "down w/the bass" right. it's been quite a while since I've slapped bass and I guess it kind of shows. like an idiot, I forget to thank _station a_ from the stage and apologize after. the soundlady, corrita, and stageman, hutch, did really good too and I feel surely blessed. I hope folks know it's not just mike watt when they see one of my gigs - it's definitely a team effort. thanks, team.
the ride back to the border is made a little longer cuz I space while relating the joe from rhode island stories to lis on tom's request. we make an unwanted detour to the airport! what a spaz, watt! back on track, we hip her to this trip's tour spiel. she has some good laughs. we get a slight search on the u.s. side but that's quick and painless. we're gonna konk at lis'. the adrenaline has worn off and my hand wrist joints are so super sore, I feel like I'm a hundred years old. I curl up like a womb child. aaaaarrrrggggghhh. this shit happens and I just have bear w/it and think of the big reasons why I work the little bass and keep things in perspective. I can't give into small things like hurting when there are just so many other important things to get caught up in. "a love supreme," to quote mister john coltrane.
monday, september 17 - spokane, wa
we awake and see some grey clouds. lisa helps us get our things together and we shove off again. thanks lisa. we back track south to seattle and catch the highway east towards spokane. we follow the columbia river, over the cascades and through the low lands on a long drive to spokane. we find mootsy's bar and load in. it's a warm day and very dry and we meet the owner rick and his son sam as well as the sound man jeff. tonight we play with the local band, _sea wolf_. the bar gets filled up and jerry and I play one of those video trivia games till sea wolf starts. they rock their own blend of punk and I try to help them with their p.a. cause the vocals are non existant. we set up on the floor so sea wolf is set up next to us and we don't have to spend any time to change over between sets. we start up and play good but since we are on the floor people start to step on my pedals and my guitar goes in and out and then my monitor gets unplugged and so on. my mike gets kicked into my teeth a couple times but it's a fun show and the people are into it, so thanks people. after the show we are treated to a room at a nearby hotel so we get our stuff together and head over to get some sleep. one of the locals follows us to the hotel and comes up to entertain us for a while with some funny conversation till it's time to sleep again. jerry goes back to the bar to hang out with the nice folks there and mike and I talk about the show a little before swiftly drifting off.
having another hellride the troops are riled early, a quick munch, load up the wagon, and south bound a truckin'. spokane is a good 6 1/2 hour ride across washington through the cascades and the eastern plains. arriving at 5 we meet up with the sound guy and load in. mootsey's bar and grill downtown. rick the owner and his son sam greet us and I'm glad to partake of a frothy libation. sound guy jeff needs a hour to set up so time fur chowchow. they made me one hellofa french dip, I inhaled completely. after the bugs got worked out we checked up and loafed til' rock time.
the shows sold out tonight. no surprise with the size of the place. maybe 120 cap. if that. no stage so were set up on the floor in the corner. openers seawolf set up off to the side of us w/no use of the p.a. were using. I personally think it a bit lame they wern't on the big system. oh well. their set was good, the drummer smoked. he was the band. time for the show. we get tooting and the crowds on fire from the getgo. fun set w/few clams. go through all the encore tunes and finish w/a hard on. many nice folks come up after and I'm pleased they enjoyed our bamming.
now its time for nicole the flapper. this girl who was up front and in toms face began her epitaph by slashing some dudes ego and stomping it on the floor. me and tom are entertained. then she begins the molesting of tom's thumb w/many references to the womans vaginal region added in. what can i say, she got shame. these types tend to follow band members around after shows and constantly nip and paw. which is the case here. we get a ho a block away, pack up and check in. as I pull up the rear here she comes down the street. knowing she's got mote I escort her up to the room. lot of spunk from this one. we puff happily and I decide to rtn. to the bar leaving nicole w/mike and tom. back at mootsey's i run into this cat that made a minidisc of the show. I listened and let him know that its always better to use mics than pull a mix off the board, especially in a small joint like this. in any case its still good to catch a memory chip of a show. after a couple more drinks its back to ho land. I talk to kel for a while in the lobby and head back for the konk.
pop and find the strangest thing happening w/me - I am quite surprized - blown away. lis lets me talk to her about the thinking that's been going on in my head of late and stuff that might've gone into making me what I am now. feels strange hearing the words come out when the thoughts are always bouncing around my head in only semi-word form, to make sentences out of them and hear them heard out loud is a trip. thanks, lis.
we load the boat back up and it's south on the I-5. the sky's gray and even droplets on the windshield, cold too kind of - our first encounter w/weather other than bright blue skies this tour. pass trippy indian names like "nooksack" and "chuckanut." right north of seattle we take the belt to the I-90 and head east towards spokane. over the cascades and into central wasahington, those sunny skies return and man, is the landscape different. no more evergreens, more like dry, hilly prairie. the "rain shadow" effect of having mountains next to ocean and being on the other side of them. same in the eastern regions of oregon and cali too. the boat handles the grades well w/the temp gauge never even getting to half, thanks again to brad in eugene. we pass ellensburg, where the _screaming trees_ originated and I think of them. I took them on their first two tours w/fIREHOSE. they all now live in different towns and the band is history. we have fun in the boat re-working the different combinations and perspectives on the tour spiel we have going this time, no brooding w/this crew - we pass the time w/big laughs. we pass over the columbia river for the second time this tour, though this is at a point where it's running north and south instead of east and west. damn, is it big! the bridge over it is pretty spectacular - amazing.
the ride is about four hundred miles and we pull in at around four. I've only played spokane once before (had to get another tranny for the boat too) and this pad, _mootsy's_ is only a block away from where I was. the boss, rick, is real nice to us and makes everything very hospitable. the gig is already sold out though it is kind of small - we're set up on the deck - but maybe that's good for the market here. the soundman, jeff, does his best to get things w/the p.a. setup. we're getting shocked from the mics but he (to borrow something from england) "sorts it out" and I feel much more safe. the cook makes me up a big caesar salad w/some habanero chilies in the dressing, great! I check email and there's still tons on the terrorist nightmare of tuesday. lots of it is the same thing, making the rounds. one from an afghan-american begging for folks to understand that the taliban in their land does not represent the whole of the people and in fact, have come to power through force. she begs to not have her homeland "bombed into the stone age." emotions are running very strong from everyone.
I am beat from the driving and have to konk. that means I unfortunately miss _seawolf_, the openers. tom says their great though. I make my way through the packed bar to get the show under way. it's a good gig for us, the least clams yet from me this tour. the response is really great from the kind spokane cats and we play everything we know - the second time we play "down on the streets" this tour. I tell everyone to start their own band. I truly wish to inspire something this way. being on the deck brings some probs for tom, he has to eat the mic a few times and his foot boxes keep getting trampled. it's not intentional, rather a result of a lot of enthusiasm and he soldiers on admirably. jer plays really good too. we get done and some cat has me sign his bass. I love doing this cuz maybe it'll help them want to work it more. some kids out in the street do some wild skateboarding while we load out - flying on and off of a truck - wild!
rick got us a room down the street in this ho and we go there after loading the boat up. this lady nicole comes over and shares mota but I'm really tired and hit the deck. she says "it's like partying w/my dad" but hey, I'm sorry - gigs take a lot out of me. she starts hollering the names of her dogs, "tor" and "loca" and put my hands over my head. tom tells her it's time to bail. thanks, tom. konk swiftly takes me.
read week 2 of the tour diary
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