(click here for hires version of this shot - photo credit: pilia/mongardi/watt)
il sogno del marinaio will embark on their "nuovo spirito tour 2017" from september 20 to october 22 in europe to bring folks there our next way of doing things - this new spirit ("nuovo spirito" in italiano) is the result of us (guitarman stefano pilia and thudstick operator mike watt) having new drummerman (paolo mongardi) so we try our hardest to bring it, maybe you can call this a third chapter for our band? we are big time lit up about it!
il sogno del marinaio
"nuovo spirito tour 2017"
wed, sep 20
in amsterdam, netherlands at occii
thu, sep 21
in groningen, netherlands at lola
fri, sep 22
in colchester, england at the colchester arts centre
sat, sep 23
in liverpool, england at the liverpool psych fest
sun, sep 24
in glasgow, scotland at the centre for contemporary arts
mon, sep 25
in manchester, england on bbc radio 6 session w/marc riley
mon, sep 25
in sheffield, england at regather
tue, sep 26
in london, england at cafe oto
wed, sep 27
in london, england at cafe oto
thu, sep 28
in exeter, england at the cavern
fri, sep 29
in cardiff, wales at the moon
thu, sep 30
in dublin, ireland at tivoli
sun, oct 1
in brighton, england at the hope & ruin
mon, oct 2
in paris, france at supersonic
tue, oct 3
in lyon, france at sonic
wed, oct 4
in genoa, italy at teatro bloser
thu, oct 5
in milan, italy at biko
fri, oct 6
in pisa, italy at deposito pontocorvo
sat, oct 7
in rome, italy at csoa forte prenestino
sun, oct 8
in bologna, italy at tpo
mon, oct 9
in perugia, italy at auditorium santa cecilia
tue, oct 10
in cagliari, italy at fabrik
wed, oct 11
in palermo, italy at bolazzi
thu, oct 12
in catania, italy at teatro coppola
fri, oct 13
in fontanafredda, italy at astro club
sat, oct 14
in padua, italy at circolo nadir
sun, oct 15
in vienna, austria at chelsea
mon, oct 16
in krakow, poland at alchemia
tue, oct 17
in halle, germany at huhnermanhattan
wed, oct 18
in berlin, germany at quasimodo
thu, oct 19
in hamburg, germany at hafenklang
fri, oct 20
in aarhus, denamrk at tape
sat, oct 21
in bremen, germany at zollkantine
sun, oct 22
in nijmegen, netherlands at merleyn
wednesday, september 20, 2017 - amsterdam, netherlands
"a long journey begins with finding the shoes, so they say"
Nuovo Spirito tour starts today. And It is a sunny day after some gloomy cloudy skyes. We fly from Bologna to Amsterdam after 6 days of pracs. Fratello Mike got a lot of mosquito itches. For Fratello Paolo is first gig ever with il Sogno del Marinaio. He is great drummer man and I am grateful to have him on board. I am already very tired but no sick this time - at least for now - hope to stay strong and to do good all the work I have to do for the tour.
Really nice to see Jos and Carlos at Occii. We play a good first gig. I pray the New Spirit to protect us and to bring us Joy, to make us playing good for the people, and to inspire us new visions and forces for Il Sogno del Marinaio future life.
the reason this tour is called "nuovo spirito tour 2017" is cuz it's chapter three for il sogno del marinaio, it's a new spirit ('nuovo spirito' in italiano) that is the result of original il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea belfi leaving the band to work on his solo proj. we wish him the best cuz he is a beautiful brother. fratello ste put him together w/me to make this trio back in 2009 which resulted in a mini-tour and our fist album. five years after that we did a second album along w/two tours to support it and here we are now: w/fratello ste picking drummerman paolo mongardi to bring us a new spirit for this third part of our proj. I trust fratello ste, this has always been his baby even though he let me name it (using italiano for "the sailor's dream" which is where il sogno del marinaio comes in) and I wrote about a third of the material, it is not my band. I've always been proud to be a part of it though, very honored fratello ste asked me aboard so I will always try my hardest for him.
we have to get a set together w/the new drummerman paolo so I leave my pedro town a week and a day before the first gig. italy time is nine hours ahead of my pedro town time so actually I arrive a week before first which means we get six days of prac. I need it. I tried this one tour w/only three days of prac and I was terrible. for a bass I'm bringing my final wattplower prototype - after the tour's last gig in nijmegen, I'll flow it to my toulon buddy frere regis cuz I promised him one and I won't have to schlep it home. I got a new man-sack for my levis and chonies too, it's yellow like my watch - oh, the closest gig-sack I could find for my bass w/a kind of tweed-simulation fender makes... please understand so much stuff like this is all one color so I like having something different so hopefully it's tougher to donate. my buddy dirk takes me at one in the twelfth to lax in his old dodge wagon - I think maybe it's the dart version w/the slant-six? we have a good time talking about stuff on the way there even w/some people driving like assholes and being shitheads about sharing the road.
big hugs for dirk and then into the bradley terminal to get a klm flight to bologna it italy via amsterdam in the netherlands. I got an aisle seat on a 747 and read umberto eco's "baudolino" for the next nine to ten hours when I land at schipol just before noon, the borderman wants to know where I'm going - I tell him bologna to get a ready for a tour that'll start in this town next week and he's into it - thank you much (the flight attendant asked me the same - both very kind) and two hours later I'm on a 737 to bologna... fratello ste waiting there to take me to his pad which is just outside of town in an old farm house, near dolla prison. the barn next to his pad is where vacuum studio is - that's where fratello bruno recorded the "canto secondo" il sogno del marinaio album. both of them and four other live here, a great spirit in this pad everybody brings, I love it. the next morning I meet fratello paolo and we start our prac. I brought him a song I wrote just for him and this sitch we're putting him in after a couple of times of "fun house" by the stooges. we then put in ten, eleven hours a day to get shit together - there's a prac pad right next to the studio - the four songs from fratello andrea in last year's tour set now replaced w/four others out of respect for him but I gotta say I loved those tunes, "auslander" especially but this is a new spirit... all the chows I have here except for three are cooked by fratello ste - I love his cooking, very econo and healthy. I only leave this pad once when I have a salad at "il piccolo cow-boy" not too far away and then twice fratello ste had us chow delivery pizza... we have some really good spiels w/the housemates, very cool people like francesco, simone, carlo and others I'm spacing on (of course fratello bruno) - oh, ferruccio from cut comes by one night - I just gotta say it's a beautiful time besides really HAVING to focus on the new band incarnation, love it. everyone so generous w/me and open w/their hearts... a righteous spirit. the only terrible nightmare is these fucking flying motherfuckers, they call them zanzara tigre here ('tiger mosquitos' in italiano) and fuck if they don't bit the fucking living hell out of me, especially the feet. where I konk is near the laundry room (love this chamber) and I don't know how they get in but they chow the fuck out of me when I'm konked, all over - on my lips, eyelids, ears, back but especially the feet. I don't wanna dwell on it but this will have consequences big time in not too much time down the road...
gig day and one last chow before bailing for the bologna marconi airport from whence I arrived a week ago. we had only one day of rain the whole time, pretty nice weather and it's that way now. we get on a klm e190 at 1:30, hop over the alps
and arrive at amsterdam's schipol two hours later. the weather is very nice, sun out but not hot. rogier from occii w/the gear from good man gijs at smoeff arrives w/in a few minutes of us going upstairs to departures after getting our checked-in sacks which is a good move when you think about less traff, most happening thinking - dutch dudes can be real good at that. respect. the boat we're using this tour is a ford transit that has separate compartment in the back for equipment that has no windows which is safe and righteous. occii used to be a stable for horses that pulled trollies that became a squat (unoccupied building taken over by punks for gigs and stuff) and then became official - this gig is part of their monthlong twentyfive year bday celebration. our soundman for tonight is gert who knows howie, a righteous cat who does solo acoustic bass gigs. soundman gert gets the speech from me and he's way into being our fourth man, much respect. the padboss sjoerd is very cool people, he's got some pots of chow which is surinam style curry w/potatoes, vegetables and tofu along w/bottles of homemade hot sauce - I like chowing this. he says someone next door made it or something? I'm sorry not to able to chimp the name here in this diary. oh - we first did soundcheck and checked out the gear for this tour we're renting from smoeff along the transit van. fratello paolo is using a ludwig kit but brought his own cymbals and snare drum. fratello ste has a fender hot rod deville II 4x10 amp for his own guitar, a custom-made fender jazzmaster sort-of dealio built by marco pontillo. I have a svt 8x10 cab w/an orange tiny terror amp - seems not like a lot of high end out of this baby... I've had very little experience w/orange stuff - we'll see (or hear)... my pop used to say "a poor carpenter blames his tools" - yep. the soundcheck goes good, right after drummerman shandon from the meat puppets shows up - he rented an apartment here for six months, we talk about stuff - last may we did the tour tour two together w/the jom + terry show. the talk gets sad cuz three of those gigs was w/my old friend grant hart who I loved much... cancer killed him last week. actually it made two of my first konks in bologna 'pert-near impossible cuz I was all tore up about. fuck. a terrible blow, losing brother grant. oh man, I wanna play good for him. painterman phil shows up, he's been living in this town a while but originally from boston. he gives me "music while drowning" edited by david miller and stephen watts which is a collection of german expressionist poems (english translations), beautiful - he's most kind. I meet wilf and andy from the opening act, two pin din and they're most happening - we chow together upstairs. joining them jos (g.w. sok) will be joining them after reading some poems. I really dig jos and hopefully we'll be able to collaborate on a four song e.p. one day - we talked about it last year when he was touring w/brother ajay and we did some gigs together on the "canto second tour 2016" - our last one w/fratello andrea. my old pal carlos arrives from rotterdam - he booked my europe for 'pert-near twenty years and has always been a dear friend, I love him much. we catch up before see the openers, he carries my bass cuz of the huge stairs here. I wanna play good for him.
we hit at 10:36 (I looked at my watch, so nervous). well, I guess this is it. I do pretty ok 'til I get to the bridge of the first tune and clam there... my legs are shaking like a leaf and I'm shitting a pecan log. I do some HUGE clams in the second tune, oh my god - one I just wrote for these guys. damn. ok, I rally for the rest and though not clamless, it's not the stupid shit I found myself spacing on earlier. the amsterdam gig-goers are very supportive and w/us at every moment, I swear - you couldn't ask for more and especially for a pants-shitter like this for watt. danku wel good people, truly.
at the merch table I rap w/folks - oh, old bud ron goudie said hi earlier to me on the stage but he had to leave. I rap w/many kind people. carlos has to get to rotterdam, big hugs to him. miss sally is here, really great to see her. she introduces me to gideon who she says is a great bassman here (she's works bass also) and we all rap along w/a guy named roy who has one of the first batch of minutemen "paranoid time" seven inches - I can't fucking believe it but it's got the wide gaps between the tune only the early ones had. damn. we have a good time talking abut bass. miss sally is in a band, gfw ('just fucking shred' in dutch) is going to record soon but she's also learning drums, very happening. I know she'll get into it. eric who used to drum in die kruetzen is here also here and visits some, good to see him again. lost-my-mind roland from utrecht is here - whoa, didn't realized, crimony! he said he was right in the front but the lights wouldn't let me see him. damn. we talk a bunch about the gig and the new version of the band (he said it blew his mind like my third opera), big hugs for him after we sing some t-rex together (electric slim and the factory hen") final whiskies w/rogier, padboss sjoerd and painter phil. then goodbyes, a hug to jos and a three block hobble to the 'tel...
what seems an eternity for check-in might've really been that, I don't know but I do know the first room was not proper but the second one was. I hose off and lay myself down but konk won't come, only hurt from ka bites. I keep the lights off and eye closed anyway, just laying there...
thursday, september 21, 2017 - groningen, netherlands
"After a beautiful intense beginning yesterday in Amsterdam, tonight
neat and tidy in Groningen"
Bright sunny day. The van is comfortable and red. We drive on time and tranquilli. it is nice to be alive. I miss sleep. Jan Bart welcomes us greatly.
I am Reading about this:
I don't really pop cuz I didn't get one real wink of konk of these fucking ka ('mosquito' in jap) bites all over, incredible - not one fucking wink. whoa, gonna have to ride it out. hobble over to occii at eleven and there's a helperman of gijs brings an ampeg amp he wants me to bring to the guantanamo baywatch guys when we play w/them in liverpool. ok, no prob. he asks me to do test on it cuz he just repaired it so yeah, I'll use it for the gig tonight. we load up (most dangerous load in/out in the world cuz of the crazy bike/scooter/whatever shit flying by) and pull anchor at quarter after noon heading northeast towards groningen. we got a sky full of sun, happening. it's only about a 114 mile ride but that's kind of a big jump in netherlands. we pass through friesland which has a way different language than dutch - a reminder why there's an s at the end of this country's name but actually I think all lands are made of all kinds of communities, all kinds of neighborhoods, all kinds of families. I chimp my first diary for this tour.
a prob for me w/chimping what I'm doing right now (we're on our way to liverpool from colchester) is that I'm even ONE day late w/the diary chimp, I space on so much detail, I just can't fucking remember. damn me. I can say I've been riding in the same fucking place in the boat: in the back seat on the port side, behind the driver. no windows that open back here so yeah, it's suffocating but the fratelli help me w/them rolling down their windows down some when I beg them. anyway, I gotta keep on chimping about what happened the night before the day after and not space on that, it's important to me cuz it helps give me focus which in turn helps me work gigs on tour better.
groningen is a pretty town I've played many times since the late 80s. lots of tiny streets in the downtown and where we're playing tonight is on one of them - actually we find out it's in the alley behind a bigger road but we're on a tiny one to get to it. the pad is called lola and arriving at four means we got a hour to wait so we drop anchor a couple blocks away. some neighbors ask if we are "hackers" when they see fratello paolo working his smartleash. we assure them we ain't and they're cool w/that. trippy. miss hiyori forages for something for my goddamn ka bites and brings back a little roller bottle of bee sting ointment recommended to her at store and I use that to help kill these fucking bites that have become infected. it kind of works, thank god cuz it's driving me fucking crazy. when gigboss jan bart arrives, he lets us park right by the hatch which is fucking happening. it's a one big square room w/a bar on the stage port side where the hatch to the heads are - a "no mysteries" kind of place. the overhead is very fancy though w/lots of baroque kind stuff, trippy. the soundman lawrence is a righteous cat and way in the fourth man trip, alright. gigboss jan bart is also in the opening band, alphonz & senor leon. his buddy chris from I took your name is working the door... this is a lot like the old days and I dig it - not cuz of nostalgia but cuz it works good. after soundcheck jan bart brings us dinner from a surinam chow pad - whoa, surinam chow twice in a row. it is good. a big diff from last night is instead of tofu, there's a hardboiled egg all covered w/spice which tastes really good. the potato curry taste is really close to last night... I wish we had a surinam chow pad in my pedro town. oh, speaking of that, I got an email from my sister melinda saying someone tried to break into my ma's pad and she had to call the police. luckily there's charley in the pad in front of her who's a sheriff that works the john wayne airport who's righteous people. my sister said the police said they got calls from all around the neighborhood so maybe some clown in the fucking prowl. man, I wish some people would get it together about that kind of shit, you know? like what the fuck? crimony. I go to the boat and konk real hard.
the konk really REALLY helped me cuz of the night before's nightmare but the bad part is I saw only a little of alphonz & senor leon. fuck. we bring the second gig of the tour at a quarter of ten, the ampeg amp I test for gijs does good job and even I'm a little better than last night. I enjoy the gig a bunch though there are many clams I'm blowing still, it is an improvement and my confidence is a little better. both the fratelli I think play really well. the groningen gig-goers are most kind - a little yammering from one at the beginning for the first speech but a hand gesture from me (sort of imitating a sock puppet) serves as a cue for them to zip it up. respect. it's a good gig.
I talk w/gig-goers at the merch table and lots of kindness is shared w/me. these cats rap about the orkz pad I played w/a few years ago w/tom and raul which was an old catholic hospital that became a squat thirty years ago and has many residents... some of them were actually born there and are living as adults in the same pad now! trippy. I wanna play there again some day... vera too - my old friend peter still runs that pad, the first place I ever played in groningen, back in fIREHOSE days.
we load up the boat w/our stuff and jan bart and go to his pad which is a neat and has much music and artistic stuff. soundman lawrence arrives too and we have a good. jan bart got me some knob hill bourbon, I've never had that in europe before. jan bart gives me raynond horrick's book on eric dolphy, most righteous of him. we gotta pull anchor at seven so not too late tonight plus I gotta catch up on konk. I'm out.
friday, september 23, 2017 - colchester, england
"the sacred backstage of Colchester Art Centre"
I cannot really sleep and of course we have a very looong driving in front of us. We arrive around 5. very tired. The venue is a beautifull deconsecrated old church. Really sweet people
I am reading an interview to Arvo Part. I copy and try to translate here a good passage that take my attention and inspiration
"Sono arrivato alla conclusione che il mio compito non e quello di giudicare il mondo e neppure questo o quello; prima di tutto devo cercare di giudicare me stesso perche ogni conflitto inizia dentro di noi.Questo non vuol dire che sono indifferente a quello che succede intorno a me, ma se qualcuno vuole cambiare o migliorare il mondo, allora deve incominciare da se stesso.Se non cominciamo da noi stessi, il primo passo verso il mondo contiene un grosso inganno e, insieme, anche una potenziale aggressione che tenderemo a diffondere attorno a noi.Come tutto questo si possa realizzare e un'altra faccenda, ma se si parte da questa idea, tutto assume una prospettiva nuova ed e proprio seguendo quest'ultima che io vado in cerca di altri suoni. In questo caso e la mia strada stessa che diventa sorgente di ispirazione: essa non procede verso l'esterno ma scende verso l'intimo, verso quel nucleo dal quale tutto nasce. Questo e il senso che l'operare ha per me: la costruzione e non la distruzione." Arvo Part
"I arrived at the conclusion that my duty is not about judging the world neither this or that; first of all I try to judge myself because every conflict starts inside us. This does not mean that I am indifferent to what about is happening around me. But if someone wants to change or make the world better, then he needs to start from himself. If we do not begin from ourselves, the first step towards the world contains a big mistake and, along with it, also a potential aggression that we will end to diffuse around us. How this can be realized is a different matter, but if you start from this idea, everything get into a new prospective, and it is really following this that I go look for other sounds. In this case it is my own path that become a source of inspiration: this does not procede toward the outside, but goes down toward the deep, toward that nucleus form which everything begins. This is the meaning of working for me: the construction rather than the destruction." Arvo Part
pop at six cuz we gotta get out of dodge. jan bart is beautiful and cooks us up these kinds of rolls stuffed w/eggs and cheese. big hugs for him. we pull anchor just after seven, fratello paolo at the wheel. twenty of ten we get some rain but it soon stops, great. we cross into belgium around ten - the sun's out. we diesel up the boat (first time for this tour - hey there's no fuel cap, it's designed that way) just before getting into france, I get a cigarette lighter three-to-extension so I can use my 'puter while the navigatoria gps is working at the same time (like a baka I forgot to charge the 'puter last night) - some motherfucker pulling a trailer sped around the boat and 'pert-near killed me, I felt the wind of the bastard going right past... what an asshole, totally fucking idiot. we switch ponies, fratello ste taking the helm. back in the boat, we cross the french border quarter past noon. we pass dunkirk - both fratelli told me about a recent movie called that... I have to say I've gotten my fill of war movies when I was a boy and have enough of it. we get to the chunnel (le shuttle, euro tunnel) in calais a quarter of one, whew - made it. immigration is very calm w/just a little wait to run my work permit through the system. we board the trains that carry you inside your own vehicle and in around thirtyfive minutes we enter folkstone around two and a half but we gain an hour. right around london is a big BIG fucking plug stau. sun is out bright though w/out many clouds. I try this mosterd ('mustard' in dutch) jan bart gave me this morning pretzels and damn is it good. this traf ain't though. fuck. it takes us five hours to do a hundred miles - don't that smoke a sack full of pole?
tiny one way road? fucking nightmare - I think wrong turn was made getting into town. whoops, we're in a little village where the colchester arts centre ain't (that's where tonight's gig's supposed to be at). damn. ok, we backtrack and get right... arrive at five... eleven fucking hour hellride! but you know what? we made it safe and the cats are bitchin' - gigboss mark, soundman chris (he's into the fourth man option - yes!), lightman neil (he's into the interpreter option - yes!) and cooker man mick who made us some righteous soup w/buttloads of beans and flavor PLUS is in mother sky which is one of the local openers along w/these real youngs called ialpha - everyone here are really cool people, truly. they got a washer and dryer so we do that - VERY happening, yes! I am big time grateful. both units are using our stuff, no prob cuz I feel in a way it's how we can try to pay them back some. I watch the younger cats do their set w/lots of feel but still I can tell they're digging it. mother sky are more my age and are set up by the mixing board and sitting in chairs. their music is trippy also like ialpha but more atmospheric maybe? I really dig it.
our turn at 9:30 and we bring it. I like to let the lightperson interpret our music in real time but I guess fratello paolo to neil he wanted no dark stage. this is distracting to me... like being an ininterrogationI ain't gonna blame all my clams on this but it did have fact. actually, the band doesn't play that tight and I think that's mostly cuz of the 'pert-near twelve hour hellride we did to get here. "verse IX" has more clams in it than I think it has ever had. I had to re-do one part even! by this point I was using a lot of humor to keep the spirit up. I think another prob is not enough eye contact - like I said, I think the band is tired BUT the support and spirit from the gig-goers in colchester is really happening and I think it's them who actually save the gig. much respect to them.
at the merch table I talk to many kind people - wait a minute, even before I got off the stage this couple talk to me about just visitin g my pedro town, chowing at "pacific diner" down on pacific avenue even - crimony! tim the bassman from thee teleporters has driven from leicester to see me, what a generous cat and he's very cool people also. I have lots of good raps w/folks one man hips me to the isle of dogs and battersea in the east part of london. I could learn so much from all these guys - I even ask government questions cuz I'm still finding out how england's organized...
ok, the fratelli are waiting on me - time to get out dodge, so sorry. the 'tel ain't and miss hiyori was most kind to get us already checked in while we were doing soundcheck, a konk pad called "the globe" like a minute away in the boat. I hose off and have some the beam before doing more catch up... I still got konk debt. trippy gig tonight but I know tomorrow we can rally.
saturday, september 23, 2017 - liverpool, england
"What psychedelic festival is if there is no psychedelic Dream Machines and psychedelic cinema. Great night in Liverpool"
Hard to wake up. cloudy deep layered sky. struggling a bit
At The LPS We play a good set. Still stuff to figure it out something about the set and the guitar sounds. In the night I have a very interesting conversation with Fratello Mike about song form And something about the essence of song, their independency from the creator, their own unique individual magical sphere. Shipibo Sciamans receive their songs from the plants spirits They call these chants Icaros We also celebrate J Coltrane and we remember the special visit we made to the pad where he born in N. Carolina. This happened during canto secondo usa tour
I fell asleep listening to Alice Coltrane music and reading some W. Whitman
"Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sun-rise would kill me,
If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me.
We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun,
We found our own O my soul in the calm and cool of the day-break"
pop at eight. hose of a shower that's got a bitch of on/off valve, you gotta torque it good to shut it off. pull anchor quarter of nine w/fratello paolo at the helm. gray skies but only tiny on and off rain - I'm grateful for that. a quarter after ten we drop anchor for fuel (both boat and body kind) plus I wanna check the tire pressue and engine oil stuff
west cornwall pasty which is trippy cuz the day before this tour started was "international talk like a pirate day" which for me is a celebration of robert newton who used his native cornwal spiel to invent the "pirate talk" we know of today. much respect to him. I alos get a real fucking coconut that's got a plug punched in it where you stick an included straw to drink the water from it... can't get more authentic than that, right?
I spiel to fratello ste capsule synopsis' of "the illiad" and "the oddesy" plus relating them to "ulysses" by james joyce. near the end we see some asian guys jumping out of truck from poland and running into the woods. fratello ste is setting up a ledger so asks for some advice. just after one though it's time to switch ponies so we pull over and he gets behind the wheel. we listen to music for the first time in the boat... fratello paolo's phone has some deerhoof and other stuff I'm new to. about twenty minutes from liverpool, we get the lit-up lights from el hombre (the police) so fratello ste pull us on over but it turns out hombre was after a truck behind us so the officer comes up and very kindly explains the sitch. I like that. liverpool accent too, of course.
we're playing the liverpool psych fest tonight and get to the festival's hq (a little cafe called "coffee and fandisha" near the docks) around three. we're gonna work the camp stage a quarter of six but gotta wait 'til just before five to arrive there cuz of space availabilty. I chimp diary and get together fratello paolo's first tour shots - that's gonna be his "diary" for this tour, photos. I think that's fine. I never expect others to chimp buttloads of spiel just cuz maybe it seems like I do. it is happening I think when folks can read or see stuff from more than one go-off who's on the tour.
go-time and we head over to where we gotta be. bass, guitar, pedals, cymbals, snare drum is all we're using - everything else is festival backline. we'll see what it is but first there's a band on before us called elephant stone and I dig them. the singerman is also the bassman and he's doing all kinds of bass solos in the very first tune, fuck yeah! it ain't like bogarting the band so get that out of your head - his stuff fits in real good w/the whole trip. I get to talk w/him right they're done, a nice cat named richie - they're from montreal and he's cool people. respect. the amp they got here for bass is an ampeg svt and damn if it ain't one of the best sounding ones I ever played. the room is a fucking warehouse so you can imagine the "acoustics" or whatever so I cut the lows and boost the top. fratello ste has a fender twin kit and fratello paolo has a yamaha "oak" kit. we set up quick - we can move the drums up some but not much so I go back... I hate having the drummer behind me, think it's real bullshit. the soundman is craig and he's very cool people, way into the fourth man for tonight spiel, fuck yeah.
quarter of six on the button w/bring our set. only fortyfive minutes instead of the regular hour for tonight and hell if I know how many tunes that is so I tell the fratelli I'll be look at my watcch and when got forty minutes done, I'll get us into "fun house" and then we're out. once we start playing I get really nervous and clam some... I do recover and actually do the best "stickman" I've done on the tour. slowly I get my confidence back and start having a good time plus playing better. the liverpool gig-goers are most kind to us, very supportive... I think brother phil's out there w/pasha but I can't see them. damn. one gig-goer hollered "GRAZIE" at the top of his lungs and I turn to the fratelli and say to them, "he's learning." we finish "punkinhed ahoy!" and I look at my watch - time to bring in "fun house and so I do and kick it up w/all that's 'pert-near in me. I gotta shorten it some cuz no way am I gonna bogart - the fratelli are right w/me so that's happening, we end it good and we're out, good and tight. last week when we were doing prac I tell the gig-goers "happy bday to john coltrane" cuz it is. I also tell them to start their own band. I then almost take the fast way down cuz there's a gap I didn't see behind the bass amp whre I just missed. whoa. holding onto the amp saved me big time. after thanking all the crew, I hobble off the stage to get some air cuz the hatch to the street is right there... damn, the hatch locks behind me! luckily I have my back wack 'puter sack and bass in the gig sack - I plop on the sidewalk and cool off/catch my breath... damn, I wanted to see brother phil! I do see a nice cat I met in brighton a few years ago at a grasshopper gig... maybe javi's pop? he's sure nice and gives me the new grasshopper seven inch. what a surprise! I can dig it.
fratello ste arrives w/the boat, puts it right up on the sidewalk but it takes a while to get the tiny stuff we brought to play, hmm... bad pack for tonight's sitch last night, huh? we live and learn. we head for the fest hq and chow - I get some kind of england style pasta-kind-of thing that I like, especially fortified w/hot sauce. the beer got too much pipe rust, I mean hopps but I don't wanna sound like I'm bellyachin' cuz everyone here has been truly bitchin' and I'm really honored and into us being asked to be part of it, truly.
I got trouble using this new garmin navigatora gps miss hiyori brought to help us on the tour. I gotta figure out the syntax you use to get the address to get found - it's changed since my model but that one's from a while ago. I finally get it together so we can roll, bye bye good liverpool pych people. we're konking at an "aprtment" that's part of "daniel house" - different than a 'tel cuz it's got a kitchen and sort of a "living room" - not much stuff like this back home but what's strange about this pad is the bedroom ain't big enough for the two beds... well, it's big enough but not big enough to get by so you have to crawl over one to get to the other - what the fuck? it's gotta not more than a year old so it ain't beat but I'm wondering what kind of thinking went into designing this? fratello paolo hikes back to the festival to see more music. me and fratello ste talk about john coltrane and what he means to me, what an inspiration to keep music focused and important in my life. I turn him on to this interview he did so he can hear him in his own words. this in a trippy way connects w/this third chapter of il sogno del marinaio, something fratello ste got rolling. it's trippy how things are connected but I think it was important me and fratello ste had this talk - I'm most grateful to him.
not even midnight, a great time to konk cuz I'm tuckered - I get into yammering some when I get into rapping about john coltrane, I just do.
sunday, september 24, 2017 - glasgow, scotland
"The sailor's rest before Glasgow overdrive!"
I wake up with some lyrics in my head:
Siamo I creatori e I distruttori
Gli amanti e I bestemmiatori
Di ossa e bombe atomiche
In lotta verso l'umanita
In lotta verso la bestialita
Tragici e ilari nella tempesta
Dolci e annoiati nella quiete
cadiamo nella terra e ne resuscitiamo poi
Sottili nella gravita e misteriosi nella materia oscura
O Dei bagnatemi dei vostri canti
we are the creators and the destroyers
the lovers and the swerers
of bones and atom bombs
struggling for humanity
struggling for bestiality
tragics and jokers in the storm
sweet and annoyed in the quiet
we fall on earth and revive later
thin in gravity, mysterious in dark matter
gods bath me in your chants
Rain. Looking forward to play Glasgow. So great to see Ferruccio. So special to see Dep and Kristen and spend the night at their pad. I find out the paisley comes from Scotland! In fact is a town not far from Glasgow. Very interesting I love paisley and I love Scotland.
pop at seven and a half. I hobble across the road from the konk pad to what we would call a swap meet back home. I could see it from the window, people w/their stuff out for sale is a big lot that's prolly usually a parking lot. I see a chow trailer that says "burgers and fries" which makes me curious cuz they call what we call fries "chips" here and what we call chips they call "crisps" - anyway, the sun is out bright as I maneuver my zoppo ('cripple' in italiano) towards that chow trailer. for seven pounds I get a "cheeseburger" which is a patty already cooked and kept in the corner of the grill in a kind of waiting area to be moved over to a hotter part when there's an order. the patty is kind of cut w/something, maybe bread like a meatloaf? on top of the patty they put some "bacon" which is the pink ham you see w/their breakfasts and then some onion and a slice of cheese. the bun is some kind of soft bread you get w/their bap breakfast sandwiches. I ask for mustard and get a package of english kind which has horseradish - I like this but the burger? I don't think I get another one this tour. there's an older man sitting near where I'm sitting on very low wall that's complaining and complaining to a younger man about his land leaving the e.u. and it's non-stop and very VERY angry. whoa, what a way to spend a sunday. I think maybe he wants it to go quicker but I don't know - I'm trying to keep it outside my head but it ain't working... he uses the word "fuck" 'pert-near more than I do! I silently absorb it 'til I get my chow shoveled and then hobble back to the konk pad. well, my ka bites are healing up which is great news. that antiseptic ointment is really working. what a fucking hell I've been having that shit.
we pull anchor just after eleven, fratello ste at the wheel. we head north to scotland. I chimp diary. at one we pullover at road services pad that's much different the typical ones you find on the roads in this land, it's called tebay and run by the westmorland family which sells lots of locally-made stuff. I know cuz I've been here before and hipped to it. I stay in the boat cuz I've already chowed. a half goes by and we're rolling again, ponies are switched and fratello paolo's on the helm. we continue north. gray skies but no rain. my ipod is now the supplier of the stronzos for everyone's ears here in the boat. I got it on shuffle so it's got like eight thousand-something stronzos to randomly choose from.
we cross the border into scotland at two... not long after the sun comes out from the clouds. we hear disciplin a kitschme from my ipod - fratello paolo's way into it... fratello ste is konked. by the time three rolls around, gray is back w/some sprinkles that go to rain. oh well. we get to the centre for creative arts (tonight's venue) around three and a half and have to schlep in the rain but it's kind of light and could be way worse. I meet amy who's the gigboss (outside promoter) and she's very kind. so is soundman john. he's into the "wee speech" for tonight, thank you much. soundcheck is now down to one tune which I dig. the sound is good in here - it's a room used mostly for theatre that's pretty happening in the acoustic - all the bulkheads being treated w/stuff to kill rings and drones. I try the orange tiny terror amp I ain't used since the first gig. all that mud that was there that night at occii in amsterdam wasn't just from the low end - the fucking midrange must be voiced at like 150 hertz or somewhere around that! crimony. me cutting that control way back cleaned it up big time and I think it's gonna work out real good for us. so trippy. I feel relief cuz I was kind of dreading slinging buckets of mud for the next month. let's see what happens at the gig.
the chow comes from here (remember there's all kinds of stuff in this pad: cafe, theatre, gallery, etc) and I get brought up to the backstage a plate of mashed potatoes, green beans, fried kale, lentils and portabello mushroom chunks. I like it. I go out to meet the openers, two local bands called the gymnastic band (cats more my age w/trippy line up: two basses and one drummerman) and electioneer (younger men in a two guitar/front man/rhythm section five piece) and all these guys are cool people, so glad I got to meet them all. I go back to the room to chimp diary. ferruccio from cut arrives while I'm chimping diary. he's here for a couple of weeks, goes back and forth between here and bologna in italy. he's righteous people, so good to see him again - remember he was at that great chow one night after prac maybe like a week ago at the farmhouse?! I gotta play good for him tonight.
we hit at 9:45 (I try really hard to go on and off on time) and the orange amp sound good for the first number but then here comes all kinds of distortion and just lame sound, hmm... it comes back for "partisan song" but then... arrrggghhhh, frustrating. then the volume control on my wattplower bass becomes loose, stucazz?!! the fratelli play great and I ain't blowing a lot of clams but crimony, what's up w/this fucking amp? I keep my spirits up though by laughing much, trying to see/feel through the shit and not get hung up, I owe it to the glasgow gig-goers cuz they're w/us the whole way and very generous. I like the gig even w/what w/the amp - I'll deal w/that later.
long time gig-goer of mine grahame greets me at the front of the stage and helps me to merch table. he talk a bunch w/me, gives me a cd of john coltrane live in 1963, very kind of him. there's a cat named kenny who has me sign his wattplower bass, he got an orange one (I gave my orange prototype one to fratello andrea), so kind of him... says he really likes playing it. a man who for school was working on notating my basslines says he's still doing that and I offer to help if needed. I get a lot of repeat gig-goers in glasgow which is really happening. there's a new guy though who tells me so and I thank him much. some cats of the other acts come to give me the good word, very kind. the first band bassman bob talks w/me about bass for a while, interesting. his bandmate spieled w/me also before about composition and using dynamics as an important device - inspiring to see the next shift so motivated by music! it gives me faith in the human race when at the same time (one asshole boss in particular) you can get so disappointed. respect.
dep helps w/the load-out like the righteous cat he is (also works at a bitchin' record store called monorail here in town), an old dear friend who's always there for me, ALWAYS. he rides w/us to his pad which ain't far and I love much, kirstin waiting for us - she's getting over some sickness but rallies to give us much good spiel and wisdom. dep prepares cheeses and salami - I really love this hungarian kind he's got here, never had it before but I dig much... some scotch w/water to go w/and we have a real good time. first time of the tour I get into my nightwear and fratello paolo trips on the rilakkuma trip. I explain in shorthand - his grasp of english is pretty good. respect. it's very easy to konk in this pad for me, it gives me much peace and good feeling.
monday, september 25, 2017 - manchester + sheffield, england
"the coche took us to the Beeb... Il Sogno shall speak and play peace unto nation"
We hit the road round 11. We play at Mark Riley bbc show. Righteous guy. we record first take Skinny Cat and Purple, Orange, Yellow + Green, and on air we play Stickman and Funhouse. It is Steve Mackay's bday. Then at 8 pm we hit the road to Sheffield. We Cross the Sherwood forest doing the Snake road James Pennock has organized very quickly a righteous gig for us.
Small and very nice place and it sounds great. After gig I meet a magician! He can do incredible magics. His name is Ben! Astonishing! I think one the best gig we played till now
pop at eight, then konk again, pop at nine, trippy. it's very comfortable for me in this pad, very much. dep cooks up righteous breakfast chow for everyone but damn if I didn't chow that whole hungarian sausage last night and those cheeses so I lay out. I lay out too in the tub - YES, there's a tub here so I can have a good fucking soak, so good on my joints which are starting to get the soreness they usually get on tour. love a good hot soak, LOVE it! I get to meet w/big man bill, he's in his superman outfit, of course. can't believe how much he's grown. crimony! beautiful little boy though and smart. respect.
we pull anchor a quarter of noon. bye bye dep/kirstin/bill family, I love you much. again I struggle w/getting the address in the garmin navigatora gps but we got fratello paolo's smart leash that gets us rolling and finally I get success finding directs to mediacityuk in manchester where mr marc riley does his bbc radio six show. we got gray skies and on/off sprinkles as we head south from whence we came yesterday, mainly on what ends up the m6 (we're on the m74 now). fratello paolo's at the helm. again I see a dodge ram - this one's a suv but I've seen several pickups, here in scotland, england, holland... everywhere we've been so far on tour. fiat and dodge/chrysler are merged together so I think it's a marketing move. these models are a little different than the ones back home. others are doing it too cuz I've seen fords, toyotas and isuzus u.s.-style pickups on the road also... trippy. just after one we stop for putting diesel in the boat and pulling piss out of fratello ste - he's allergic to using piss bottles, it's a pity... I get a chicken salad sandwich and a small sack of worcester sauce potato chips - they got trippy flavor potato chips over here, always have. we pass lockerbie and I learn the fratelli about the horrible memory there, they didn't know but hell, we can't know everything and they teach me much themselves. gretna is just north of the border... we're back in england twentysix of two. fratello ste is bringing his stronzos to stuff in our ears today - he's got sardinian chants that are quite good, I dig them. the sun's coming out some, alright. soon it fades some though... I see us pass many sheep just shorn. at canforth the sun comes out - fratello ste's got syd barrett stuff playing, love it. looks a lot grayer and misted up as we get closer to manchester, near the ring road. we blow-by our exit off though and damn if there ain't another exit to bring her about on for like ten fucking klicks! no big deal though - we correct our error and the navigatora puts us right there at mediacity and all I gotta do is remember the right entrance which I clam on the first try. the ladies voice over the speaker at the gate enlightens us and we find the right one not too far away. my fucking memory. we made our quarter after four arrival time fifteen minutes ahead, alright.
mr marc riley's helperman pete (very cool people) comes out to bring us in. we're bring very small stuff - I have only my bass, fratello ste w/his pedals and guitar and fratello paolo w/his cymbals, snare and chingaderas. in the pad (I think they call this part of mediacity "dock house") soundman chris (very cool people) fixes my wattplower volume control problem 'pert-near immediately using two butterknives to get the knob off and a pair of small diagonal wire cutters to tighten the hex down, very good job. respect. we got a gig in sheffield after this session so the plan is (mr marc's idea) to pre-record two songs, one for his dj friend in london, gideon coe and one for him to play after we bail. when his show goes live tonight at seven, we'll do two for him live. hopefully we can get out the hatch at eight and make it to sheffield in time to beat the eleven pm curfew, hopefully starting our set at ten. we run through the four tunes w/chris so he knows what's gonna happen and it's good prac for us. mr marc arrives and big hugs, great to see him again. he's got a tshirt on from a bug exterminator company in hoboken (the new jersey one) that goes w/a great television story about everyone in the band but tom verlaine knowing about this guy who runs this company. trippy. actually there's a lot of stories w/me and him rapping, each of us in turn talking about stuff in the old days (mr marc played w/the fall) atv, lemon kittens, the birthday party, bob quine, john cale, deerhunter, the oh sees, billy childish - I love it, trippy how we can bookend each other's spiels or have them dovetail into something where I learn interesting stuff I might've never been able to know - it's 'pert-near like I've known him forever. he's very happening people, solid cat. I have much respect for him. we do the pre-record w/chris and though I'm shaking like a leaf, we get "purple, orange, green + yellow" and "skinny cat" in one take. whoa. I'm sitting where I did the last two times I've been on his show, right by his desk w/back to the window to the control room where chris is. oh, I'm using their little roland combo bass amp w/one fifteen and don't even touch the controls, I just don't. fratello ste used their marshall jcm900 1x12 combo and fratello paolo was on a kit made over by a company called code. "a poor carpenter blames his tool" I've heard before and it makes sense. everyone goes for chow except me - I stay and rap more w/mr marc, love it! I tell him about making a xmas album w/tav falco in memphis back in july (my good buddy larry on the drums) - me and mr marc are HUGE tav falco fans. the fratelli return and we do the show. I'm so afraid but mr marc is very reassuring and helps me though. fratello ste is really good at expressing himself and telling the story of the band, very focused and w/no filler. respect. fratello paolo actually was on mr marc's show around ten years ago when he was the jennifer gentle drummerman. marc plays atv's tune "action time vision" - I tell him about how important the b-side of that single ("another coke") was for us, incredibly profound - like wire or the pop group or seeing the first pere ubu album played at the whiskey in west hollywood. we do "stickman" for him live - I clam the first fucking lick some (stunado watt) but get it together for the rest, the fratelli do great, just like w/the pre-record stuff. some spiel w/marc - he asked me beforehand about how the band's name is pronounced and so I wrote him this phoentic way: ILL -- SOAN-YO -- DEL -- MAR-EE-NIGH-OH and he has me say it the first time but after that he gets it good each time. respect. we then the stooges "fun house" for ig, ronnie, scotty and brother steve - it's brother steve's bday... crimony. god, I miss those guys. the fratelli again do great and I 'pert-near fall out of the chair I'm in - when the tune's done I can't help but laugh and laugh - I'm so relieved somehow I got through, sweating up a swelter and feeling a vapor off the top of my head... I hug marc big time and go out and talk w/soundman chris and helperman pete about all kinds of stuff - they help me come down some as the fratelli pack up their shit. what a righteous opportunity, thank you so much, mr marc!
we're back in the boat and headed for sheffield, fratello ste at the wheel. it's dark and it's forest. we're going mostly east through this huge forrest on a route known as "the snake road" and it's a slow-go but way more direct than any other option. there's a lot of twists and hence then name, right? it takes us a hour and half to do forty miles and make it to regather where we're playing a little before ten... there's an eleven curfew so we gotta move. luckily the openers the payroll union are letting us use their stuff - the bass amp is the same as we got, an orange tiny terror but in much better shape. fratello ste's got a fender deluxe junior and fratello paolo has a pearl kick drum w/premier toms... the clutch on the highhat breaks after a few tunes but he's got a backup. actually, fratello ste sounds really good through this amp, REALLY good. both fratelli do real good - so proud of them today/tonight: doing all the wheel work, playing their asses off and keeping their spirits high - really fucking bitchin', truly. I do ok - hey, it's our best "stucazz?!!" of the tour, I think. the sheffield gig-goers are truly happening - oh, forgot to thank soundman tim who thanks me for making sure the curfew didn't get violated cuz it is a neighborhood and I don't want anyone in trouble. I think we did real good and am so grateful to brother james. just like last year, he came and saved the day... no gig in manchester (again, like last year) and he comes through for us the man he is. MUCH respect.
after we're done I talk w/dave and tommy who we got to play w/last year and I push all the well-wishes I can on dave cuz he's got some sickness and I want him well. he has me sign some albums and we talk a while, so good to see him. giles who tried to help last year says hi, so good to see him - a bunch of cats from last year are here and then some new ones too. very kind people, truly. I like this pad too, a community center kind of homebrew - so honored to be aboard.
we get james in the boat w/us and head for his pad. I've been once before and dig it much but there are some stairs... I go straight to the top where there's a mattress on the deck, perfect. I think it's his wife carolyn's office. a nice man from wales nathan arrives to film some spiel from me regarding playing newport in 1986 w/fIREHOSE - he's doing a documentary on the music scene in his town, something called the rock of newport and though I can't remember a lot of that gig, I do remember some and mix that in w/philosophy regarding the movement and what I'm into it. I'm in my nightwear and sitting on the mattress. nathan's pretty nice to me, I hope I gave him stuff that can help him. I wish him good luck. now I am quite tuckered and konk quick.
tuesday, september 26, 2017 - lodon, england
"Very special guest tonight for the Mike Watt 2 Day Residency at London's Cafe OTO: Thurston Moore. Fratello Stefano's solo was very deep and had much beauty then Mike and Thurston made an interesting public chat before playing together as a duo. I had a Turkish haircut. A moving night!"
We arrive in London easy.
Today is first fratello Mike residency at cafe Oto. it is sold out and I open the night with my solo. I brought my white fender jaguar too to play the set. This guitar is my first guitar and I modified it to be played with the bow. I usually plays with two amps -bass and guitar- and a lot of dynamics. I also use a little dictaphone, a little toy ventilator, a fuzz box, a sub octaves, a tape echo and a reverb pedal. I usually play the set in the dark when it is possible. I feel this help both the imagination of the listeners and mine..a possibility more for an inner vision triggered by the music. I am really into the idea of music as a tool to facilitate a personal vision, imagination and a sort of therapeutic process. Since my first solo record, done in 2003, and been in fact titled "Healing Memories and other Scattering times" till the last Blind Sun New Century Christology in 2015, which is around the myth of the cross and the symbolic power of that, I guess these purposes has always been part of the music I have been developing on my own.
Then is fratello Mike and Thurston spiel time. the conversation is really engaging and interesting and fun as well. They can bring a lot of testimoniancy and heritage. Especially fratello Mike, for the way he is, he could really be a bridge, a teacher for the new young generations. I have the feeling that because of the web era modality there is a strong cultural gap between who is 20 today and the people that is today 30 or more. Too much informations are available and less analog live-life experience is .everything so quick... we do no have time to digest really what we eat. It is like we are eating fast pills of so many different things at the same time. It will never been like "real" food. We are missing the taste and tactil experience. And the time to process all of these. Not saying this transformation is good or bad in itself. but I kind of feel we are overwhelmed by and not educated yet. I feel the necessity to think about this and to see what and who could be a reference point of what was before this incredible changing era. A lot of informations available but what about the way to access all of these, the criteria to access and process all of these informations are really important Otherwise what is knowledge about? just the possibility and the speed of a lot of informations? knowledge is a process to get deep in humanity, to become human more and more. we need reference points, we need to save the experience of the past, and the heritage of the human struggle too. And somehow still stay in contact with our body and emotions... just the rational I think there is the need of someone that can hold a torch, be a testimoniancy of what the past has been
pop at nine. hose off right across the hall - brother james was very cool to put me right where the head is w/no stairs for the vecchio debole ('weak old one' in italiano) to struggle w/and you know he (meaning me) is most grateful. when it is time to go down I wanna make it the one and only so I get it together. brother james has cooked up pastry/doughnut kind of breakfast they like in italy and france which is way too much sugar for me. he does give me a bagel he toasts and fortifies w/a shmear of cream cheese. nice. he's gonna see us in dublin. whoa. I thank him big time for everything, what a bitchin' cat, truly.
fratello paolo at the wheel, we pull anchor at quarter after eleven but thank god brother james stops w/in moments of us shoving off cuz the fucking aft hatch ain't fucking dogged. crimony - all the shit would've went flying out! there's some "get lost" getting out of town to make sure we don't arrive to early for our next gig - I try to explain about working w/the navigatora gps and not be just pull-toy... sometimes you gotta force her to recalculate if you don't dig the tiny-town-trail she might put you on and always have your intuitive thing going, just for check six on your sitch... yeah - by the way, I hate hearing "there" when being told where to look so I use the clock system airplane people used to explain what they mean about what is where, twelve being the nose, six being the tail, starboard is three and so on. that reminds me that brother james had it down last night navigating us to his pad using port/starboard semiotics. respect. about an hour into the drive the sun comes out brightening the gray skies we left back in sheffield... still not blue when you look up though cuz of hazy clouds... better than rain though. twenty of two we drop anchor at one of those motor services trips off the highway for chow - I stay in the boat and chimp diary. miss hiyori brings me back one of those whole coconuts I had a few days ago (I asked her to look and I guess maybe all "m & s" pad have them?) and a pair of scotch eggs (another request), it five pounds total which is not .a scotch egg is a hardboiled egg surrounded by sausage meat that then breaded and deep fried. I've never had them hot, they're always cold... I wonder if they supposed to be that way? just never seen a microwave over here. this stop is like a half hour plus... turns out fratello paolo has "much hard work" in the benjo (japanese for where piss and shit) - thinks it might be from his nerves. fratello ste gets on the rudder, pony switch.
we get into london around three, head over to the hackey part in the north - the navigatora gps planned a very good route for us cuz damn this is a total stau town. I gotta say the east part (for now) is calmer than parts west... cafe oto is on the ground foor of some building that dealt in "artistic color" and is from 1766. crimony. the daytime managerlady midori helps us navigate the load-in and park sitch (very cool people) and I'm so glad they got ampeg olde timey svt head that's in good shape to go w/our 8x10 fridge. there is no il sogno del marinaio gig tonight. opening the gig will be fratello ste solo, then a spiel w/my old buddy thurst asking me stuff about my music journey and then both me and thurst will do an improvised instrumental two, the one big tune kind. I chimp diary. there's some background music in the cafe here and fratello ste tells me it's prolly this cat zerfu demissie who plays a begena and sings over it. I dug it big time.
tonight's managerlady onyee arrives and prepares the pad for more room cuz it's sold out ('clean' in old vaudeville slang - e bloom from the b.o.c. taught me that), she asks for my chow choice and I ask for india where I get the pureed spinach w/cubes of cheese in it along w/garlic nan bread - man, how I love how that shit makes a symphony in my mouf. I give the speech to soundman shaun and he's into being w/us in a big way, right on. of course we gotta wait for thurst. he lives near and is soon here, great to see him again - he's looking good. we catch up on a bunch of stuff (I just finished the richard lloyd memoir and he's WAY into that, wants to read it bad - I did it in two days!) and he sets up his pedal dachau - he brought a u.s.-only (110 v) power supply by accident and burns that up quick. whoops. we do the check and then the chow comes. the india chow comes and I've had it this way - there's coconut something in the spinach. I'm into coconut (especially coconut water) but it's so strong I can't taste the spinach and the "symphony" I was hankering for was not to be. nope.
marco from now-gone rome band rewild is w/his buddy, he's recording and producing his own album. good to see him again. he's got HUGE cojones to come to london to chase his sogno. respect. old time amigo jose arrives and big abrazos for him from me. he lives in nearby angel (he pedaled his bike here) and I used to konk at his pad instead of using 'tels when I was helping the stooges. we got a to catch up on and do that 'til it's time for fratello ste to kick off tonight. he does righteous, using two guitars - one going through my setup... it's one big peace but goes through many sceneries in its landscape, a beautiful journey and I love/am inspired by it.
I can't remember what time but I know me and thurst went next w/the spiel part of our time together. he asks me stuff about being young and coming from norfolk in virginia to pedro in cali when I was nine and then meeting d boon when I was twelve which is where my music-making journey begins. he's known me so long but I surprise him w/some stuff. he also explains to the folks about him liking the label that me, d boon and martin tamburovich had called new alliance records, he especially liked the comps. he hips me to this pad being near the neighborhood marc bolan grew up in... t-rex was the first concert me and d boon went to ever, his pop took us and even sat w/us (he was into buck owens though - however, he was a very kind man always to me). we spiel and spiel, finally end up w/someting I heard somewhere before, "it's not where you're from, it's where you're" and then I let these london gig-goers know that after d boon past away, I had stopped playing bass cuz I thought no one wanted to hear me w/out him and it was thurst who had me play on "evol" when I was passing through nyc after dropping k off in new haven back then when it was a very VERY hard time for me.
thurst starts our "piece" of w/his personal way of guitar which has been a mind blow for me. we got no drummer so I'm thinking okasan ('mother' in jap) and nurturing both some counterpoint and some groove for us, I don't wanna be a fake guitar or something like that, I wanna be bass. remember it was d boon's ma who put me on bass (I explained that in the spiel before)... I love thurst so much, I wanna do good for him - I think of holger and jaki (from can), two brothers we just lost this year - I think of them for inspiration for aiding and abetting here w/thurst now in front of these people. thurst told me only one advice beforehand, he said "think two minds and then the third mind" and I hope realizing some of that. I try to take us through different landscapes like fratello ste did w/out us losing "the heartbeat" - the pulse. I must've sweated a gallon but thurst deserves I feel I got, love the man.
whew, it's done - I feel like a ton's been hoisted off of me. I rap some just w/thurst as we put our stuff away, 'pert-near stuttering some stumblebum baka talk. willy comes up to us, the creator of righteous hand-crafted london zine "stone age" he's blessed us w/years. love willy, he's got such a spirit. dep came all the way here from glasgow, whoa. he explains to me the connect between rhys chatam and glenn branca - man, brother dep is deep w/music, he reminds me so much of some cats I met in the old days of the movement, like richard meltzer or don bolles or byron coley... incredible and I love themthere's two brothers who lost their pop the last time I played here, so good see them. one bought john entwistle's bass he used to record "my generation" the who did way back (I shit thee not, that's what he told me - his bro said he made a bunch of bones on a some kind of gambling trip) and man, this blows me away but it also makes me think of my "famous bass" story... I tell them about a friend of mine named harvey kubernik taking me up to meet bruce gary cuz damn... let me explain: harvey takes me to bruce's pad in the val, 'pert-near forty miles from my pedro town and this drummerman is vey kind to me. we sit on his couch and he puts on a vhs of him playing jack bruce and mick taylor, some kind of whatever that is very hard to sit though which was tough cuz I owe and love jack bruce so much... after what seems an eternity he then goes and puts on a vhs of the last cream gig at albert hall... he then brings out this bass and a letter. the bass in the video and the bass he puts in my hands has the same marks on it - the letter is signed by jack bruce - this is the fucking cream bass, CRIMONY! he let's me play it for like half a hour or so... man, does it play like a motherfucker! I can't believe it but yep, the same marks on the body that I see in the fucking video plus I don't think bruce would bullshit, he's very cool people. I thank him big time, never saw him again cuz cancer took him early. damn. I remember the ride home being a total trip, thinking about THAT BASS in my hands and THE MAN who worked it. crimony.
I'm tuckered, big hugs for everyone and we take the boat not too far away (only one blow-by involved) to a 'tel called the "islington inn" and maybe it's one bell or after when I konk on mattress that's kind of like a soggy burrito but I don't mean to sound like I'm bellyachin' - next stop: sleepytown.
wednesday, september 27, 2017 - lodon, england
"Lot of tools in the backstage and of course, chopsticks. Sweating a lot tonight at London's Cafe OTO for the second busy day of Mike residency. Intense."
I had a great breakfast lunch with seabass. Then fratello Paolo and I go to make a visit to our friend sound engineer Tommaso Colliva. He just opened a studio in London not far from Islington aerea where we are staying We have the 2nd day of residency. Sold out. Mind Jail, Lee Vil, Trash Kit opens.
Il SOgno del MArinaio plays with a good vibe but not at our best. Some vongole and not fluid at the end of the set as we did in the beggining Plus I made my life tricky trying to use the more drive channel of the amp Good for some stuff but I loose the right tone and dynamics expression on other moments Time to go out and rain start to fall down
pop at seven and a half. I hose off and go downstairs where the got some chow for free here at the 'tel. I have a little thing of yogurt, a piece of toast w/some philadelphia cream cheese shmeered on it and a tangerine along w/a cup of coff. it's gray outside the windows. I think today I'm gonna just rest, stay in my chamber 'til quarter of four cuz that's when fratello ste's gonna get me for tonight's gig, round II of my "cafe oto residency" trip which is where I play w/the fratelli instead of w/thurston. I read "baudolino" from mr eco. in the afternoon miss hiyori brings some kebab from a pad called angel kebab and it's good, nice and fresh - especially the vegetables: big hunks of cucumbers, tomatoes and raw onions. I read on the internet about the hell hurricane maria brought on puerto rico. mercy.
midori is waiting for us at cafe oto, gets me a coff that really picks me back up. I usually only drink coff in the morning. she also gives me a can of san pellegrino lemon drink that's righteous w/kori ('ice' in jap), lots of bubbles to wake up the mouf and throat. onyee arrives a little later and orders to go pho for us that arrives right after our check w/soundman shaun. trippy how there's no little sack of fermented fish sauce or scallions - it's still good cuz of tasting healthy but... the broth wasn't boiling hot either so adding everything else (pho usually comes w/the parts separate and then you put them together yourself) doesn't really get cooked up like the way I'm used to it back home. I hope I don't sound like some kind of chow snob or some shit like that, just thinking out loud about what I've been putting in my mouf. I chimp diary, jose once again pedals over and sits by me, same spot in the corner near the piano. b comes and visits. marco from rome again comes tonight - he visits. willy and dudu from y-bot visit... I spen a little time w/each but I got the 'puter here and I gotta chimp diary cuz it's important for me to hold focus on tour, just is.
there's three openers for us tonight, all london bands. mind jail releases hits first. I know the guitarman jamie by meeting him first as pale angels bassman, first time I played in exeter (we shared the bill). he's also been in pedro and I interviewed him for my radio show at chach's pad (chach is a longshoreman who does bass for toys that kill). they kick the show off at eight and a half. I'm into it. one-man-band leevil is next and I met him a couple years ago when me + the missingen did the third opera in brixton. hey, that was the first time I played an orange amp I think - and I dug, was a good one. leevil just finished an album and I got to do bass for one of the tracks. I've had the shirt off the whole time cuz of it being so atsui ('hot' in jap) but put it on cuz jose keeps taking the most flattering every pictures of me and gotta stuff a plug in that jus. trash kit is on after and are three ladies tearing it up, bringing a very rhythmic feel/sound dance-inducer set. everyone different tonight, very inspiring for watt, very.
just after ten when we hit, sold out like last night but I'm gonna have my eyes open for this one cuz I wanna connect good w/the fratelli. a new haircut for fratello paolo, he got one near here yesterday. maybe some beard got cut too but hard for me to tell. what I can tell you is I feel that ONE night of il sogno del marinaio NOT playing kind of put a hiccup in our tour rhythm - maybe it's my fault. I blow a little clam in the first tune when I recognize a couple that are my friends here in london, sitting right in front of me. yeah, a lot of the gig-goers are sitting down but they still are very kind to us and I must saying forgiving cuz there are some fall-aparts like the one I caused in "funanori jig" but we rally sort of and that as big a deal as the loss of connect felt in the straiero one even though that was prolly way more together - it's a trippy gig and prolly an outburst in reaction something like "occhios! occhios!" ain't helping things much... I do think it's a very genuine gig and I feel it from the heart that we're all trying to bring it. a reflection like this I feel I can only be straight about is being responsible so I can get it more together w/the fratelli tomorrow. I think some of this handwringing here in this chimping is kind of sweating the small stuff so please no cringe - I had rather have the diary-readers laugh than get weirded out regarding this. there's something about this pad that helped - yeah, I don't usually feel that but there's kind of bybuoyancyelp to float, maybe all the risk-taking and beautiful music-making that's gone down here. I celebrate the stooges "fun house" and not just get through it, no way. oh yeah, "verse IX" was interesting, prolly the most deconstructed take yet - I wanna learn from that. I'm very proud of fratelli ste and paolo, very proud. beautiful cats and crewmen. very lucky watt, molto fortunato.
I get my shit together and get over to the merch table, first a little talk w/jen before I get there and jose helping me w/the hobble. fIREHOSE's last tour here (early 90s) had a band called milkfloat w/us and damn if a dude from that band saw me w/the fratelli here tonight! he's very kind to me and not "lookin' out my back door" (ccr tune) but here in the moment w/a genuine "good to see you" spirit. grazie. ben from mr susan is here, I give him well-wishes for his hurt back. senor al's here w/the good word. willy from brooklyn w/dudu of y-bot leans in for a weigh-in, willy's known me a buttload of years and his comment for the gig is he thinks my music gets more complicated the less younger I get - I give willy the big hugs he deserves, some for dudu also. a most kind man reminds me of me writing about him being the nice man in the suit last year at the gig at the bunk pad - we laugh hard, so good to see him again even w/out suit. I am beat, time to pull anchor. so glad the rain stopped so jose can pedal home safe, abrazos to him.
back at the 'tel, I konk quick as I get out the outfit... will hose off tomorrow. thank you big time london, am grateful for two cafe oto sell outs and all the kindness. also very grateful to my fratelli.
thursday, september 28, 2017 - exeter, england
"Fratello Mike grinds and slides with his new skatecab tonight in Exeter. Good tricks"
Kind of a good sleep... but it seems to be never enough We leave at 11 for Exeter No time for reading and stretching these last days... kind of suffering for me. We play at cavern. Jamie and Mind Jail are opening for us again, there are other two sets. Rains again. Fratello Paolo and I walks back to the hotel.
pop at eight, hose off w/fucking shower that has only one setting: hot as fuck/scald. crimony. I chow toast, yogurt and have coff downstairs. after giving 'tel desk man key, I hobble around up and down the road in front of the 'tel (essex street), I never come back inside this 'tel again, why sit at the table and rap when we already spend so much time together in the boat?
pull anchor from the 'tel at ten, sun coming through broken holes in the clouds. I was waiting outside on the sidewalk on the opposite corner when I see this vecchio (come out of the 'tel talking pretty intense and w/out hear one side I guess he's an italiano - the way he had his right hand in a pinch w/the fingers pointing to the sky, his arm up and down and up and down - he's wandering all around, lost in his call but gets close enough where I can hear his voice... "grosso, grande!" I hear - he's guido for sure. whoa. I smile. he doesn't see me, like I said, he's lost in his spiel feeding his leash. fratello ste shows up w/the boat and we get on over to cafe oto to load our gig. midori is there to greet us. I take shots around the pad, there's a pentecostal church across from oto, not so common over here. there's a bike shop and a theatre. I think the hackney neighborhood is kind of a gentrified scene but more art still than yup - for now maybe, huh? twenty of eleven, thank you and bye to midori, next job is to plow through some london town plug stau... we pass saint pancrass station... it reminds me of the only scritti politti records I dig (their own label was called "st pancras") and so I tell the fratelli about them and even play it for them cuz these records are on my ipod. I discuss a very simple philosophy, more simple than stooges philosophy even ("I came to play" - four words): arrive alive - two words. we pass that building where all those people were burned up - it's a burned cinder now, terrible. what a nightmare... fratello paolo said there was an italian lady who was girly text to her mother as she was dying, very big time heartbreak. the backstory I guess is about regulations being cut and all kinds of dangerous shit like plastic siding non-fireproof being used... it takes eighty minutes to get out of town. we pass this car that's got a sign attached to it's hatch being towed by a truck - the sign says "this car seized for failing to have insurance" - whoa. second time we hear the sleatford mods - yeah my turn at providing stronzos has been bumrushed. I like these guys though. fratello paolo is being il duce w/today's stronzos... the music before this sound like a giant ka I thought actually was some outside sound. it was actually some experimental band using horns droning away forever. fratello ste invites me to supply stronzos when we hit the m4 (to the south west) and I give him the ipod set to deliver the only scritti politti have - the old stuff, which is like the first three ep's. the sun's out pretty bright now, have to put on the boshi. first we'll head south to bristol and then south to exeter from there.
twenty of one we stop to fuel bodies, fuel the boat and switch ponies. it's one of the motor services pads (called moto - not "mr moto" like the eight pete lorre movies from the 30s I saw last month) and they got several flavors of crap. of course one is "booger fling" (u.s. import) but one I've never seen before is "chow" and I get some katsu curry they give you in carton on top of noodles. the katsu is breaded chicken. I also get an onagiri (rice ball), total is eight pounds. the onagiri has hardly any nori (roasted seaweed in sheets like paper), only a little strip. the gohan (rice) is like chewing a fucking candle, mazui ('terrible taste' in jap). the katsu curry is ok. fratello paolo once again brings up the rear... I detect a pattern. fratello ste at the wheel, we diesel up the boat at k1.39/liter which is like $7.05/gallon in the u.s. crimony! back on the continent it was just 1.20 euro/liter (about $5.35/gallon u.s.) - can you belive that much diff? it is what it is, I guess. whoa, get this we see jamie from mind jail - he's getting fueled up next to us, I shit thee not! we reach bristol like twenty after two, the sun being real bright the whole way. only five hammerheads in this port. tiny. still, this is the home of the pop group and maybe banksy even? folks won't say for sure... we pass tauton and that's where the train stop is I used to get to the all tomorrow parties gigs when they were in minehead after flying in to heathrow. three bells, we pull over for pony switch and piss stop for fratello ste (he's allergic to using piss bottles), this stop is miraculously - only a few minutes. incredible. we do he last half hour w/fratello paolo on the wheel.
easiest time yet getting to the cavern which is the downtown where the road gets pretty pedestrian... no getting lost and no blow-bys gigboss jon is out to greet us at four bells. it would've been my fourth this time if last year's gig wasn't scissored cuz of a fire that hit here, so glad they're back and some stuff even got better. jon shows me that - so glad though that they dressing room stayed tiny cuz I loved it much. the head's still there too, right next door w/a little gap near the overhead that keeps from both chambers being isolated... you know, like to keep a conference going or something like that. gigboss jon makes us some pizza, salad and fries that I enjoy. man, I need more fresh vegetables on this tour, huh? the color of the unko informs me. we do soundcheck w/soundman chris after he hears me out regarding my spiel I give for cats I'd like have as the fourth man. the whole hatch set up to get on stage has been changed - no more glass tile but that's ok - safer for potential headblows. the check reveals a huge bump in this pad for g#, whoa. I'm using mind jail jamie's bass cab (ampeg 8x10) and he finds an orange tube amp (the 200 watt one) cuz the selmer he's got is the wrong impedance and I don't him getting that blown up. there's a direct box in front of it so hopefully that's some insurance... I just don't know about these orange amps, just don't. I ain't gonna let it get me down though - we'll do something about it tomorrow in cardiff - that's the plan, get another bass amp. after check I go to the dressing room to chimp diary. a little later fratello paolo comes in and after talking about this new wiring we're seeing since obviously the old stuff took blows, I found fratello paolo was a meter reader like me! trippy. I did it for southern california edison in the late 70s, he did his work in italy - prolly a little later? was he born yet? I gotta ask him how old he is, huh? yeah, I gotta do that. anyway, it's very happening relating our experiences about going into people's yards - w/me w/dogs, people and w/him w/snakes and once a monster cat. intense.
I go to the first opener, tripper from plymouth and dig them much, like the way they piece out the music, piece out the parts and stuff. good singing too. neurotic fiction from bristol is next - well, bassman rory works here at the cavern - I like his way of bass, oh yeah the previous bassman was good too, they both got their own ways. same jamie's band mind jail (they played w/us last night) which is trippy cuz I know jamie when he was working bass for the pale angels but now he's moved from swansea to london and switched to guitar. the drummerlady has a serious tommy thing (ramones, not the opera). I'm very inspired by the openers tonight, inspired by the cavern rising from the smoke!
our gig is another one challenged by me having the hardest time w/orange amps! actually we rally good after the difficult gig last night that in hindsight was not a disaster but more oochios are shared which helps me much - grazie, fratelli. the exeter gig-goers too are most happening to bring on our il sogno del marinaio nuovo spirito. the cymbals are a little loud up here cuz maybe cuz of a low overhead that's got pretty reflective gray painted cement but that's only in the tiny-sounding parts. I keep it pretty much together and have a good time but damn if the amp ain't getting fuzzier and fuzzier. we finish up and the fratelli hip to the fact that maybe I'm reversing the gain and master controls and damn if I don't think I am, especially when I ask fratello ste to check the settings out himself - he sees the master way down and the volume up. damn. I am baka. the exeter gig-goers were beautiful to us though and the fratelli made me very proud. all this I'm grateful big time for.
at the mersh table I talk bass w/a bass brother, get the good word from many kind cats. this couple who brought their unborn shipmate to one of my gigs comes to rap (his name is steve) and it brings much good feeling to me... I feel part of the family! I talk w/the tripper cats and give contact info, I'd like to have them on my radio show and maybe do some gigs w/them - I've never played in cornwall before. maybe we could do a split seven inch...
we'll leave the gear here, get it tomorrow. gigboss jon calls a taxi to take us not far (three and half pounds worth) to the "bendene hotel" (big goodbye/thank you hugs for him first, "see you next time," he says) - I love konking at this plate, it's my third time. like a house and not mersh plus it's got a good spirit.
thursday, september 29, 2017 - cardiff, wales
"Great time in Cardiff, starting from Dorothy's Fish Bar!"
Never enough sleeping. We go to Cardiff In town we get a new bass amp for fratello Mike. the orange one not good for him plus he has been making confusion with the gain and master knobs cause they are reversed at the English way. Nice vibe at the gig, some people bit too noisy but they are into it I think we play the best gig of the tour till now. and We are starting to play more expressive and fluid. I Like it. We go sleep soon. We have to wake very early.
pop at quarter of nine - shit... full england breakfast gratis downstairs, I 'pert-near take the fast way down the stairs (pearl and do an endo) to get to it! very low on the grease for these type of shovel - really good but still, I wouldn't do every day cuz of kind of anti-health thing. the best tub of the tour's here. way long and deep, love it. pull anchor from the 'tel at ten-twenty (they kindly give us some more time cuz the fratelli didn't see the sign on their hatch explaining checkout time) and head to last night's gig pad to get the get which we left for security. a coff pad next door called "the boston tea party" (I shit thee not) is where I wait it out 'til we get some access... looks like it just rained. eleven on the nose we get the gee-oh and do the schlep, me being the zoppo who can only guard... I feel guilty and lame but that doesn't help anyone, huh? I still get that feeling - part of why I try to play as good as I can cuz I got better use of my hands. it's a little strange in pedestrian land but we manage to get on to where we get w/hardly an wander... north whence we came, north to bristol on the m5. I talk about "the prisoner" w/fratello paolo - broth fratelli know al little about this show but for me, it's big time cuz of being my favorite tv show. I still feel it's effects in my songwriting and my world view. I can't sell this motherfucker hard enough and try to turn on as many folks as I can to it. nine hour straight konk for fratello ste? that's what he tells us. we got three days of beat-up w/hellrides coming so I hope he's some recharge w/his battery.
pass again weston-super-mare, this where banksy did his "dismaland" trip while cuz did their first tour... passed it then but had no time OR availability to see cuz both sold out and we had to get where we had to go (the cavern, actually), oh well. I like banksy, that's my opinion. at bristol we see the harbor and then leave the m5 for the m4 to get us into wales, crossing over just after one, half a hour later we're in caerdydd ('cardiff' in welsh), wales' capitol town. there's sprinkles on and off now from a cloudy sky that's still got sun. cymru is how they spell wales here - I gotta ask jamie (mind jail guitarman) how to pronounce, he's from swansea. mind jail was supposed to play w/us tonight but the drummerlady had to go to a wedding. pretty countryside in cymru, very green - prolly a bunch of rain, like our northwest. we got the navigatora set for a music store in downtown caerdydd called "pmt" to check out an ashdown rm-800 "rootmaster" bass amp ashdownmusic.com/products/1/Bass-Amplification/20/ROOTMASTER-EVO/145/RM800EVO-/ I read about at their website yesterday. this pad is like shithard center or sam ass back home, lots of jive fast talk but I'm very lucky to get this young man who's only difficulty for me is some of his slang but he's most kind to explain and doesn't try to push any other shit on me - just lets me play a pbass through this to see what it's like. I've never really used ashdown stuff that much but I like this amp, very flexible and weighs only eleven pounds, comes w/a purse to carry it also. I think this is just what the doctor ordered and I talk to fratello ste about keeping this amp here (it's 240 volts, no bueno for u.s.) cuz for 595 pounds (about $800 u.s.), it'll pay for itself w/a couple of tours by not having to rent an amp that might not happening like this orange one. fratello ste can use it also, so we split the cost and he'll keep it at his pad. when I brought il sogno to the u.s. for the 2014, perk helped me get a drum kit from dw (actually from their pdp line) for pretty much the same reason though I use it in my prac pad so no set up/tear down time waste. I carry the baby over my shoulder. next to this pad is what they call "chippy alley" and damn if there ain't kebab after kebab plus fish and chip ones in a row... I watch which one is getting the most middle east guys chowing there and head for that, "rotana wraps and kebabs" - I get a kebab and chow it there, I like.
the fratelli gather me into the boat and not too far away is the moon which is where we're playing tonight, my first gig ever in cardiff (third welsh gig overall: first thirty years ago in newport, second two years ago in portmerion). I meet the co-gigboss liz, good people. so is soundman john. he hears the fourth man spiel and is into it. thank you, john. the where-you-play is very unusual but I like it, 'pert-near like you're in the middle of the room. we angle our setup to work it best we like - drums up front and everyone w/a good line of sight on each other. first try of the new bass amp and I'm digging it. my old friend from lawrence arrives, it's brother kliph and he's been living here for two years, playing w/one of the guys in super furry animals, grif. we go next door after check and I chow a little fish and chips/peas he buys me at a way-crowded pad called "the gatehouse" - prolly the best I've had cuz the breading is 'pert-near like panko w/hardly any grease, amazing. I save most of it for later. we catch up w/his life journey and what brought him here, how different it is playing w/grif than it was w/the lips and how different it is from england here in cymru.
I go back to the moon and this man gareth jarvis has been taking pictures of the fratelli w/his hundred year old camera, my turn next... very trippy! so nice of him coming here and setting stuff to do this cuz me hobbling around wears big time on me and takes from the gig. seven and a half the gig kicks of w/the d teez and I sit up front to see them, a couple of people trying to talk to me while these folks whup it up. I enjoy their set even though they got no bass player. the drummie (real nice cat) has to do a solo cuz the guitarman breaks a string - hey, we got one of those! good voice on the lady singer. next is gung-ho and guitar/singerman kony says "I know that's it's friday night and early but someone's must've had a couple cans now?" I like these guys. bassman has such a tiny amp... kony using my svt bottom for his guitar through a marshall! sounds good. these guys get me inspired. I found a place 'pert-near on the stage so I can see them all focused... not that I don't like folks talking w/me but it's hard to hear and stuff like that.
our turn at nine bells. jamie and his buddies from swansea arrive just before and I get learned by him cymru is pronounced "come-ree" - understand that "wales" is an english word. the pad is packed and filled w/really good spirit I can big time feel and it makes for a really REALLY good gig, maybe best yet of tour. there's clams all over the place but nothing to have the set turn turtle (capsize) and we all have a good time. the amp works really good.
I get the good word from many of the cardiff gig-goers, so very kind of them all. the dj for tonightbrother of steve, the daddy of the new shipmate I got to meet along w/his ma - the new shipmate - she's a flautist and brother-in-law here is a banjoman so I ask if I can collaborate w/him and write my email address on his ticket for tonight. brother nathan comes to give uncle watt a good grip, much respect to him - he gets hug from me back. I meet one of the soldier dolls, matt - so good to see this brother. I saw his bandmate in paris not too long ago... man, I never knew they were a welsh band! they were at the minutemen gig opening for black flag at the brixton ace in 1983. when we got home, we got a cassette tape they made of the gig but it got x-rayed by the post office prolly and 'pert-near nothing was audible but we did find a song I wrote called "fanatics" that was kind of recognizable and put it on our "the politics of time" compilation not long after. so good to see soldier doll matt! big hugs for jamie, he's gotta get a train w/his buds back to swansea - one day I wanna play his town. I think next time I see him will be in my pedro town and we will do a proj - I'm thinking of calling it "the wish granters" and have vince meghrouni on sax/harmonica, jamie wants jimmy from toys that kill on drums. we'll record at casa hanzo... he gives me some welsh beers (should go good w/this homebrew "aphid sauce" from a very kind man - my first chili salsa from these parts!) with labels he drew cuz he's an artist and photographer also. much respect. the young cat who sold me the amp says hi - that was sure nice of him, he tells me he's glad I'm into what I got from him. respect.
ok, final good byes to the co-owners liz and carly plus all the staff - everyone righteous. brother kliph helps w/the schlep, beautiful man. big hugs for bye for now... can't wait 'til I see him again. this womansby street is actually kind of an alley and damn if it ain't on, all kinds of folks out and it's packed w/partying. we weave the boat through it all safe though and get to the 'tel - a "travelodge" one about twenty minutes away. I konk pretty quick cuz we gotta move early. I konk really happy about my first caerdydd gig ever, real good people and the fratelli played their asses off... I get some happy konk.
saturday, september 30, 2017 - dublin, ireland
"My first time in Dublin is at Tivoli Theatre and actually my first time opening for Shellac too)))"
We hit the road at 6 to get the Ferry in Holyhead. Nice to see the sea Fratello Paolo has drove all the morning till the ferry. Finally I have time to read We arrive at the venue in Dublin just on time for a quick check and then gig. Very good set. The best till now in my opinion. Shellach after us are playing good. But we need to pack and leave early. I had not time to eat as well. We go sleep, tomorrow we go back to England.
pop at five after six - five minutes early for plan we made so pull anchor can happen at seven which it does. sun ain't up yet but no rain, good. fratello paolo at the wheel, we go back the way we came yesterday but at bristol we turn north. the google map plan last night had us going north through wales (more direct route) but I guess the navigatora gps has decided to take a more east route through england to stay on the m roads - more miles but higher average speed. I bet we miss some good eyes gifts though but w/this fucking baka routing (I mean tour routing, as in "this gig and then that gig"), maybe anything to keep fatigue down is good. we've been using just two drivers (the fratelli) and I know this hell can wear on them. actually, I think it's one of the reasons our original drummerman fratello andrea) left the gruppo. I make sure next tour over here I'm more involved the routing, like I am w/my u.s. ones. cross the border back into england just after seven and a half and at glouschter we stop to fuel boat while I fuel watt w/the biggest scotch I've ever seen, it's the size of a baseball. there were several kind available, I got a "scrumpy" one - they're all handmade, maybe special to this area. it's starts sprinkling w/the sky staying gray - no sun in sight. damn this shit about no squeegees over here to wash windows, what the fuck? at least this pad (a texaco) has a sponge and paper tools but give me a break, what kind of half-ass shit is that all about? crimony. twenty of ten we cross back into wales, taiyo ('sun' in jap) comes out very strong - a coincidence. I think it's good cuz the rain was getting heavy in england and that could be a sign the irish sea might be rough - I ask everyone how's their sea legs cuz weak ones could mean some big gero ('puke' in jap) might be ahead. fratello ste puts on a new album he just made w/alberto boccardi called bastet and I know someting about this egyptian goddess... in fact I've had a statue of her in my pad a long time, a cat w/an ear ring. however, I find out stuff I didn't know by looking at the encyclopedia britannica software I have on my 'puter... this lady played a sistrum so there's a music connect! also, romans brought some of her "cult" to italy cuz they've found traces of her in roma, ostia, nemi and pompeii. I've always been interested in egyptian stuff - also greek and jew, the schemas and dramas, interesting. I think this came w/the whole encyclopedia trip w/me... I explain to the fratelli about my ma buying this set of world book encyclopedias when I was a boy while my little sister marilyn was being born in upstate new york (my pop was getting nuclear engine room training there) and I started w/the 'a' volume and just fucking plowed through to 'z' one best I could. I think it had a huge impact on me.
we pass many windmills way offshore as we get closer to holyhead - that's where the ferry leaves for ireland. there's big haze and some fog though taiyo is fighting hard to break through the kumo ('clouds' in jap) on the port... the north coast of wales to the starboard, we can see the surf. we're now listening to fukamelli - a proj fratello paolo has w/a guitarman christian maldi. no bottles available - I piss in the coff cup I earlier emptied down my throat and put the lid on, bracing it in a box so it won's spill - this boat's got some worn-out shocks and the ride's have been bumpy... the rain starts coming down - then let's up repeat repeat repeat... I see signs for bangor ("city of learning") and bethesda - I wonder if there's a welsh connect to our maine and maryland ones? I know so little about wales. damn me. we get to holyhead at noon, success! big respect for fratello paolo's most excellent driving. very relax time in the stenis line terminal passenger lounge after security check and at one we get in the boat to get on board the "adventurer" ferry. up to the chow pad part, I get one of the weirdest versions of a caesar salad I've ever had, I shit thee not. I don't get sick though so that's ok. kind of made a toilet in my mouf. fratello ste asks if I started our first tune last night in the wrong key... I don't think so but... I really liked last night's gig, really did. I know though I can always play better. I chimp diary. we're gonna be a half hour late cuz of harbor traffic... this is gonna cut it close cuz this ain't our show - we're opening up for shellac and that means doors are at seven and we hit a half hour after that. we travel along the liffey to get where we're going - very heavy on me cuz I love mr joyce so much. I came here for three days around bloomsday 2004 w/kristian, I can't remember another time going somewhere w/out a gig being involved. so beautiful anto and nez had us aboard... the sun is out bright now and the liffey makes me think of her.
we get to the tivoli (where we're playing tonight) at six but can't find a way in... we search and search - one of us finds timo's bud moe and he gets us happening. it's a cement box dealio here mainly set up for rave dancing - I guess timo is just kind of renting it out. he's had a bad hurt, a buttload of stitches put in his port arm so I gotta be careful hugging him. it was bloomsday 2013 when I last played for him, opening for thurst's chelsea light moving. soundman steve gets the fourth man spiel quick from me but he's into it and I can tell he means it. monitor man dave is also on board - we get set up and checked in a half hour. that's good cuz we're on at seven and a half. me and timo get caught up some, he gives some bones to miss hiyori and she gets me a kebab - crimony, is this a good one... maybe the best ever? I mean really fresh stuff is what I can taste - I bet even the pita was just made. crimony! it's fucking happening. so is the music being played: heartbreakers (the real ones), dick hell, germs - fucking right on.
monitorman dave say it's time so let's do it. right away the dublin gig-goers give us big time respect which is most kind, truly. in some ways it's a hard gig cuz of the acoustics but we don't let that get us and bring it. not a lot of clams are blown and the momentum is good. we even have to re-start "mountain top" a couple times but so what cuz the flow is strong and the band connected solid, firing on all three cylinders. after "verse IX" I give credit to james joyce cuz of course he wrote them for his "chamber music" poem - so happening I can do this tune again in this town. the ashdown amp is happening also - love they got a control JUST for 250 hz cuz there's much mud there that can be quickly dealt w/and stomped on. I keep banging into the mic - this is why I like the bass direct cuz less shit for me to stumble over but soundman steve wanted it and he's our fourth man tonight. my last words for the dublin gig-goers is TIMO! w/my fist in the air.
I go to the merch table and there's bob weston, love this man. I see todd soon after, great to see him again too. I get the good word from gig-goers and sign stuff. timo goes and gets me some peroni beers cuz this venue is fucking w/him - they made moe stay in the ticket booth. I rap a while w/dave and brian, some dubliners I met at an atp gig I did w/georgie - they're really good cats, truly. shellac starts playing and they're tearing it up. yeah. the 'tel is kind of far so we gotta bail earlier than we'd like to but duty calls. it's another "travelodge" that fratello paolo's smartleash gets us the last part of the trip cuz the navigatora could get us only so far. there's a guy acting weird at the desk, don't know what's up but am glad to get in the tub for some soak, even w/it being kind of shallow. better to konk clean. I'm out before eleven - poof!
sunday, october 1, 2017 - brighton, england
"At the end, after 11 hours of ground and water travel from Dublin to Brighton, the dogs made it and arrived alive."
Wake up at 6:45 to get to the Dublin port I sleep good on the ferry Then a long driving till Brighton We arrived very tired A good gig tough. We meet brother Sam. We sleep in a very simple and very nice hotel on the ocean.
pop just after six - it's on purpose cuz we gotta pull anchor a quarter of seven cuz we got a ferry to catch. our last gig for this tour in england is tonight in brighton and we got a hellride to get there... three hours across the irish sea and prolly seven hours on the road. insane tour routing in a way but I really wanted to play dublin - maybe three years since I last been? so glad timo and the shellac guys had us aboard. we get to the stennis terminal and get on the same ferry (the "adventurer") around seven and a half, she pulls anchor fortyfive minutes later. I chow their version of "english breakfast" that includes deep fried toast which I don't touch. I stuff the real piece of toast w/the fried egg and the fried bacon, alternating bites of that w/bites of the fried sausage. I leave the fried blood pudding puck alone. it's rainy out the windows I chimp diary.
the ferry gets into holyhead just before noon. the rain is starting to subside. it's a slow-go getting out of the port but then it opens up as we head east through wales, whence we came. one and a half we stop for fuel, I get a chicken and salad (sic - not chickensalad) sandwich and a little of chips to choke it down. this kind of shit at filing stations are always soggy and I need some crunch, need some texture. I gotta chow something it's a least another four and half hours of driving (ha! famous last words). just after two we cross the border back into england and start heading southeast towards birmingham... so trippy 'pert-near never play that town when it's england second biggest! we take the toll road part of m6 - tolls are kind of new to england for me. onto the m40, pass by oxford, fuck, I gotta play that pad one day - and the other college town, cambridge - I mean, what the fuck? four bells and we pass mr shakespeare's statford-upon-avon. me and raymond were gonna make a movie adapting his "richard II" to a band sitch where the bassman's gotta go cuz of course the guitar is the rightful ruler. total gray skies but no rain except for some mist. fifteen minutes we pull over at a motor services jerk-off area and I stay in the boat while the fratelli make sure we don't get to brighton too early. pony switch when they return, fratello paolo will do last 'pert-near three hours. we're rolling again, I discuss my endgame plan w/the fratelli: I wanna be burned and then give all my friends a boatride - they take me out to the sea and dump me off the shore of my pedro town so that way I eventually wash up on the shore, evaporate and have all the motherfuckers breathe me in. I really ain't into speeding and tailgating so I let my feelings be known and I am dead serious. soon enough we're doing ten mph AND less cuz of massive stau und plug the closer we get to the ring road of london (m25) - must be like back home when sunday evening can mean clownage get back from las vegas manuever. it's like this for a buttload of forever hell slog between heathrow and gatwick airports - the stau subsides once we get south on the m23 for the home stretch but rain starts... not too bad though. way deep in downtown brighton, not too far from the water we, pull up to the hope & ruin at seven and a half, whew! e fatta ('we did it' in italiano) - I'm incredibly proud of the fratelli, an eleven hour hellride and no bellyachin' from them, only good spirit - I love it.
co-gigboss kez explains the parking and the sitch - we'll use our amps but drums (kick and toms) will be openers the emperors of ice cream who are locals I'm told by guy, a long time gig-goer, "they're from just down the road" he tells me. he's a big man and helps us schlep. much respect. gigrep roxie from dictionary pudding is most kind and so is soundman sam who's into being informed for the fourth man and wants the job. fratello ste sets off the fire alarm - whoops, he was just looking for the head so he could piss. I chow the won ton soup miss hiyori got me from a china (or taiwan?) chow pad a few doors down, it's real good - I'm on the only couch in the pad, watching the openers - I dig them, trippy cats.
I was told we're on at quarter after nine and so I wait for that time - I like getting on and getting off pretty tight to the plan - I hate fucking stallers or bogarts, fucking hate 'em so I would be a big time hypocrite. I got four of the go! team here, old friends and w/brother sam, a bandmate w/cuz. this makes me scared, scared shitless. I do ok for the first tune but then get real self-conscious... damn me. I start blowing clams. I start fiddling around w/the amp controls - what a fucking idiot. the fratelli do good, amazing after such a hellride. the brighton gig-goers are big time generous w/their spirit and focus, they're also amazing. the one stinking it up is the baka bassman. I must've shit a pecan log/died a thousand little boy deaths/sweated a gallon all the time shaking like a fucking leaf. a very relieved watt when we get done, very relieved.
over at the merch table, many gig-goers are most kind to me. a man from who at first looks like my valencia friend in london jose and damn if his accent sounds like a geordie but no, I'm totally wrong - he's from greece! boy, am I stupid. embarrassed. there's a bunch of bass brothers I get to thank for being here. I talk w/two of ice cream emperors - I want to spiel w/them on my radio show and they're into it... I tell them around our thanksgiving. lizzy says hi, big hug and she gets me a whiskey. I want her on the show. eda-san says hi - he helped me and brother sam tour our first cuz album w/our first cuz tour. then brother sam and the other go! teamers including the bossman ian... actually I talked to him right before going on cuz his folks live in swansea - he recorded his first album at their pad so there's a big welsh connect and I was really happy to tell him how happening the cardiff gig was. he's got a new album coming, we'll do spiel on my show about that when he's ready also. brother sam helps him w/that and the gigs. then there's the two who are raising a family now so they can't help, jamie and ms kaori. jamie wants to check out the wattplower - he's a great bassman and his important to me. he asks a lot of questions about it and I'm happy to answer. he's got a great jazz bass copy from japan I recorded much of the cuz album w/and that was so kind of him, I love that bass of his. so anyway, I apologize much to all four of them - hell, one of the last things I told the gig-goers from the stage was I find really difficult to play in front of friends cuz I get so nervous and self-conscious. of course they're all so kind to me and say they couldn't hear any clammage but I look jamie square in the high and tell him, "I know you heard some sour-ass and farfromgroovin" and he smiles. he's a good man. bossman ian's a good man. of course brother sam and ms kaori... watt is MOST lucky to have good people in his life, good GOOD people. inside I'm crying but I hold on.
it ain't far to the 'tel, on the road by the sea called "the gather inn" and damn if there ain't parking right by the front hatch. chamber's on the ground floor also. I am beat but I can imagine the fratelli... damn did they do good. big BIG respect. I get to be in a european band w/two righteous cats. boy did I crumple some though playing for my england friends. I rally tomorrow in france and think of them - the fratelli will help me.
monday, october 2, 2017 - paris, france
"Supersonic, Paris. Sometimes a good concert starts with a good backstage."
Great northern sky .Sun is shining through the sky in a fantasmatic way. Beatifull sunny driving till Folkstone. We go on the train. We arrive in Paris easy.
During the trip some lyrics come to me:
"Nuvolame in fasce
nel Fantasmatico cielo
epico, vaporoso e regale
e Grigio il confine della luminosa terra promessa
nel cono d'ombra dei nostri occhi
Dove anima si nasconde"
I played with the blues junior of the house But the pre is not working well... in fact after heating up the pre-amp section collapse when I increase the boost.
pop just before seven, go shovel last english breakfast which is tons better than that mazui one on the ferry yesterday. tv though is loud in the bar where you shovel and repeating over and over is nightmare shooting in las vegas, very sad on me. the sun is out to say bye to us from england though. I'm thinking intercession of prayer, please let no one hurt but of course they start laying out the body count - I ain't blaming the tv people, I just... I go back to the chamber and there on the side of the window glas is a fucking ka - just waiting to get in and get me. crimony.
we pull anchor at eight and a half w/fratello ste at the rudder, we're on the road right next to water and I try to see the continent but can't... it's there though and waiting for us. the most direct route to the chunnel would be this coast road but it's a motherfucking slow-go so instead the navigatora gps puts us north towards london and then on that fucking ring road but damn if it's clear as clean portholes - we talk about our friend enrico crocce, the cat who put fratello ste in the boat w/me and raul and paul for the italian leg of the 2005 euro tour of my second opera... no enrico crocce, no il sogno del marinaio actually. trippy. that tour in this brighton tour I got the boat's motor stuck on a curb near here... had to stuff a bunch of boards we could scavenge to fill the gap between the wheels (it was front wheel drive) and the road. I hit the pedal a little too hard and damn if them boards didn't go flying like javelines or some such shit and we're so lucky I didn't kill one of my men but it did work and we got the boat free - what a fucking nightmare. anyway, we get to the chunnel building in folkestone a quarter after ten - must've been the most butter ring road I've had in my whole life. I clip my nails, can't stand working bass w/any kind of fingernails cuz it drives me crazy. we get to the chunnel folkestone terminal at quarter after ten - early - fratello ste is smart and asks the booth lady if we can get an earlier train and she yes, happening. twenty after eleven the train we drive the boat up and into starts rolling, of course w/us sitting in the boat - that's the great thing about this way of crossing the english channel, very convenient: drive on/drive off. we lose the hour we gained last week when we crossed over, it's just after one we arrive in france. ok we're on the right side of the road, I mean correct. from calais we head to paris, w/about 150 miles to go w/get a ticket from an automated boof for our first peage to come at the end of the journey. well, someone's gotta pay for the roads somehow, right? glad they're here for us to tour on so I ain't gonna get too much into bellyache mode. very sunny here, I'm digging it. fratello paolo puts on the first album by suicide from my ipod. we drop anchor at an "aire" - filing station/road chow pad at one and a half. I get a set of wrenches cuz I gotta get that volume control on my wattplower bass good and tight. fratello puts on "tres hombres" by zz top - that and "fandango" are the only ones I listen to but love them to death. big wind buffeting the boat, fratello paolo keeping our keel in the water (we switched ponies at that last aire), good job.
we get into paris at four and damn if the smog ain't kind of killing me. lots of stau und plug, of course - could be worse, way worse... I know cuz I've been there - been here. not this part of town so much though. we get a parking spot right in front (a dude pulls right out real soon after our arrival). the pad's called super sonic looks like it's maybe one of those that are supported by the city - most of the gigs on the posters say "free admission," like for tonight soundman adrian is cool people, both offering the drums/guitar amp/bass amp and being in the fourth man dealio after hearing my spiel. most young french people now can do english pretty ok these days. I wish I could do their speak but we don't push expanding your language stuff so much back home. anyway, they got a pearl drum kit fratello paolo will use, the same amp fratello ste used in sheffield (fender hotrod junior) and for me, a trippy little "stack" made of two ampeg 2x10 boxes sideways on top of each other and an ampeg micro-vr amp that gives 200 watts. I think it's enough for this room which is two floors, folks can watch upstairs and that's where adrian can mix from, to our starboard. I do the repair on my wattplower bass' volume control, tighten it way down, good and tight. it falls from the stage when I walk away to get something cuz I was baka to not make sure it was in safe place and damn if it don't tumble down hard onto the concrete deck. it's strong though and takes the blow - I lose the tone knob but fratello ste gives me a chrome one to replace it - no numbers but it'll work. there's a big chip in the body above the occii sticker (on the front edge) but a quick check shows no real hell. we do the do w/adrian and things sound pretty ok. nico from space b (the pad we played last year) is a friend of one of the members of amazone and it's so good to see him again, great cat.
there's another set of stairs to a floor above the balc that has the dressing room. there's a bowl of hunks of the best fucking bread ever - good crunch on the outside and happening softness inside. french people have a fucking beautiful culture around bread. plus there's these two kinds of cheeses and some thin-cut salami and I have sandwich after sandwich - only one cheese at a time but every time w/the salami and bread... damn if this ain't a mindblow symphony for my mouf. I do an interview w/maxim, a young man who is very up front w/what he wants to know, his english very good. he's into knowing about when is it too old stop and you know me: I wanna keep on keepin' on so I keep on pushing. I tell him about all the recording plans I have for my year sixty. there's another big spiel w/a nice cat a little older than me, paolo for bassiste magazine. this spiel centers more around bass but a lot of the same stuff comes up. I dig paolo much and he makes me feel quite at ease. he wants to know about both the dan bass and the wattplower so I tell him all I can. both these spiels tire me out but I feel it was way worth it and so glad I got to do them. my buddy from argentina, matias comes aboard for il sogno del marinaio band shots. he's amazing, fluent big time in english, french, italian and of course spanish but also some german... it's a trip for me when I see him do the spanish w/the two argentine buddies he brought w/him and then go to french w/the folks here at this pad but when he starts talking w/my fratelli in italian, out come the hands - it's like it just had to happen, like part of the whole dealio. he takes a buttload of shots but I think it's worth it.
I then go down to see amazone open up the gig, congratulate them when they get done. HUGE ig fan sandrine came tonight, so good to see her again... we lost brother steve since it was the last time - crimony. losing people is a lesson I never get used to. qonicho b! is next and trippy, just three tunes but they're stretched out to make a short and interesting set: three ladies w/one on sax, a drummer and guitar - trippy landscapes w/pulses and motifs. interesting. I feel fired up for our turn.
we are a little late and that kind of pisses me off cuz people gotta work or go to school (it's a monday) - I get in a better mood when we start. soundman adrian wants us to do a line check but I tell him no - that's why the first tune we do is the one it is, he has lots of time to get it together w/that. you know, I got a little show biz in me - maybe not a huge fucking hambone but it is a gig and not some fucking whatever... look it's just me and I don't speak for anyone else doing this shit but not hitting it like you mean is just fucking jive for me. I rally pretty good from last night's clam stew I served up. the paris gig-goers are most kind. the tiny stack ampeg rig is pretty ok. the fratelli are playing great. we have not that many clams but there's we can work on I'll talk about later. actually at one point I reversed two tunes and I know that threw fratello ste for a loop. there's some dynamic and temp stuff in a couple of numbers I'll discuss later but I like much what we did tonight and am most grateful to the paris gig-goers focus and kindness.
I go to the merch table after getting my shit together and have some cold white wine - no whiskey for me tonight. I get the good word from many gig-goers, very sincere ones I take to heart. maxim wants my third opera on vinyl, he asks if he can have for free - no prob, he asked me some good questions. this cat jean-batiste tells me he first heard of me in singapore twentyfive years ago and tonight he finally got to see me. whoa. "no wine before its time" he's a good man. I say bye to sandrine, safe seas to her. a couple guys from pisa tell me I'm gonna have a good time there - that's good news, it'll be my first gig ever there. everyone very kind. I thank soundman adrian for being our fourth man and bearing w/the no line check thing.
there's a little rain but we got very little to load cuz of the sitch. we pull anchor just before midnight. it takes like twenty minutes to get to the 'tel cuz miss hiyori went and booked us one on paris' southeast side which is in the direction we need to be going to get to lyon tomorrow, in a part called choisy-le-roi and it's an "apartment" (like in liverpool) where we're all in one big living room. fratello paolo discusses some ideas regarding corruption in his land after first talking about the 70s and how things were more clear cut but I don't know about that and fratello ste brings in some nuances explaining about foreign interference (meaning from my land) agent provacateur stuff that... trippy him being hipped to that when being born in 1977 (fratello paolo in 1976) I hose off and then konk, kind of sore as hell... hands kind of swelled up cuz that's what happens when I do bass as much as I do on tour. it's the reality on the dealio.
tuesday, october 3, 2017 - lyon, france
"Obviously 'the sailor's dream' is to play in a bateau... et voila, Lyon."
We leave at 12. On the road I eat a sandwhich that make me feels immediately very sick. Bad time on the toilet and in my stomach Fuck! Once again my time is in French is getting hard. Last year has been bad bugs in Perpignan. Now the sandwich.
The night is really hard to play the gig. I sweat a lot.no energy, terrible headache, I play bad. I feel I did not precise enouhg for fratelli. but I struggle to be there for them. In the night I really had terrible dreams... incubus... good thing tough I really appreciate staying at the welcoming place of Seb and Geraldine. Their hospitality is special and warm. She cooked really great, fresh and full of love of food. Nothing like the fucking sandwich.
pop for real at ten... I had popped earlier but even putting on the glasses made me think it was only three when actually it was prolly fucking eight. anyway, the fratelli got the shutters down in front of the windows and it's like a tomb in here. I want them getting as much rest as poss so I inch my way in the pitch-black to the head w/the 'puter and do work there as well as shower, shave and scrub my toilet bowl mouf.
we pull anchor at noon w/fratello paolo on the conn... up and out of the underground parking, we got much sun and calm weather. being on the southeast part of paris, it's a smoove go to get on the a6 (here the a roads are like england's m roads) for lyon. fortyfive minutes later we stop at an aire for chow. I get two sandwiches: a medium one called "yellow pastrami" and a small one called "capriss oceanique" w/a little coff (the way they come) and chow it outside by the boat. back on the road (fratello paolo still on the conn), we discuss getting booed and shit thrown at you at gigs w/the fratelli saying that's never happened w/them. trippy. I've been through tons of times, epsecially opening for "popular" bands even w/them liking me and inviting me but their crowd saying "fuck you" in so many different ways.
we pass into burgogone (we say burgundy) and from ref stuff I find out these people had the origins in scandinavia! that's a trip. we talk about prog, a theory about how it's not more "scientific" or "sophisticated" but actually rock and roll using european musical roots as in an influence instead of u.s. blues ones. two and a half, fratello ste has to drop some friends off at the lake so we pull off at an aire. he returns many kilos lighter and takes the conn, ponies are switched. there's "music for airports" by brian eno playing now. we pass dijon, the burgundy capitol. fratello ste asks for some king crimson from my ipod. at four though he needs another round of dropping friends off at the lake so we drop anchor at an aire and this time get the boat dieseled up. he starts doing it himself and I tell him to do what he's gotta do and fratello paolo can fuel up. there's a squeegee so I'll do the windows (just plain w/no fluid though but better than nothing or just a fucking sponge). I explain to the fratelli you gotta piece the jobs out for everyone so it don't take forever and a day to this kind of shit. the future belongs to the efficient, right? fratello ste's got geri (diarrhea in jap) so I think he got poisoned earlier. damn. good to get rid of that shit, purge the bowels. we got fortyfive minutes of stau in the town by drop anchor at the venue at five and a half... it's a fucking barge tied up next to the river soane here called sonic - actually it was called "le mascaret" (I see the name on the bow) but it's been repurposed. I don't think it ever sails. fratello ste says he's played he before - says il sogno del marinaio did but I don't think so... however I have played on two boats before in france, both times w/my missingmen doing my third opere, once in paris and once in lille. no one's here so I chimp diary, the bridge right next to us carries trains and I think the big station is just on the river's other side. very nice weather. the gang plank is squeaking away as I chimp...
soundman pierre let's board and load-in the equipment. we're playing below deck right near the bow. the man who got this gig together is seb, a righteous cat. there was a tour hole w/fratello ricky trying to find something and a email to frere seb plugged that right up. respect. he's got his own seb and the rhaadix (a most happening one-man-band) but tonight he's playing bass w/two of his buddies in a trio called total eclipse, both of us are the bill for tonight. seb's partner gearldine has made us kooskoos and a vegetable stew w/zucchini garbonzo bean so after w/do the dance w/soundman pierre, I shovel some of that. the galley's in the aft. I rap w/seb's bandmates about stuff... some discussion about how america is really three americas and them having different ways they developed.
some time after nine, they go on... I gotta piss but the head's being bogarted so I go back in the galley and use four little wine cups and then dump that in a couple of beer bottles. gotta do what you gotta do. I watch/hear/feel frere seb work that marcus miller model fender jbass, trippy. I don't think I've ever seen a punk rocker work a marcus miller model fender jbass before but I like the frere does it - he does both pick and fingers, depending on the part. he can get real melodic or dig in w/the drums or counter-point w/the guitar - I like his way w/bass. man, he can prolly play anything! he puts a lot of personality in bass, I like that. you can tell he likes playing w/his friends too. I think it's a little difficult now cuz he told the drummer now lives in sweden but he said he has a couple of projs going too. I feel fired up.
there's a curfew at eleven so we gotta go at it. since frere seb and his buddies used our stuff (they did use their amps), it's a quick change-over and we can get right to it. of course I read the tuner wrong and my 'e' string is wack for the first tune. crimony. what a stunad I am. embarrassing. I really have cut the bottom end w/the amp's eq but soundman pierre has taken the signal from my bass before the amp so I got no control over that. I'm just saying I heard some muddy lows in total eclipse's sound and thought it my help. the lyon gig-goers don't holler anything negative and are in fact good into it so maybe I'm stunad about this also. I can tell something's bothering fratello ste though I can feel him trying as hard as he can... he's fighting the goog fight. fratello paolo's got is head down... feeling a little lonely but not terrible cuz like I said, the klyon gig-goers are most supportive. I thank frere seb big time for making this happen.
at the merch table I talk two cats from milano - they live her now, one of the brought his daughter. big respect! I meet a young man from a refugee sitch w/the ukraine stuff, he's most passionate about music. lots of kind folks, very genuine. I'm sure w/all the troubles I still try to give all I got. our last french gig of the tour has a lot of heart.
we follow seb to him and gearaldine's pad and I have some cheese seb provides me w/some of that righteous bread I had earlier. they got a lot of bitchin' books here, great. seb's also righteous to spiel w/so I do some of that w/him while supplementing the cheese on bread hand-to-mouth w/some jim beam he got me. they've put their two kids w/a sitter so I konk in that room after hosing off. I think seb told me his son's thirteen - a year older than me and d boon when we first met. he's got a lot of soccer hero stuff on the wall but a bunch of anime and nihon figures too. I wish I could pay back frere seb w/round trip flights for all four of his family to go see japan, see it w/their own eyes and chow their kind of food. damn, I'll never be able to pay him back enough for all his kindness but I would like to try... maybe in the future we could record some kind of collab? I konk thinking about that...
wednesday, october 4, 2017 - genoa, italy
"Teatro Bloser in Genova is a old tiny space that has given birth to many important italian actors and songwriters. Very special night in a very special place."
We live at 11. I do not feel allright. But I drive ok till italy. Still when I eat I feel headache. But little better. In Genoa, my hilly and harbor hometown, not really zoppo friendly, we play in a nice little teather. Here Deandre' and Villaggio made also their first appearances. We play a really good gig. I think I got sick cause I was needed some sort of purification to play good in my hometown... just trying to see the positive side of my sickness and thinking about the healing process. We eat an amazing pasta with pesto. Great Fratello Mike and Miss Hiyori can have an experience of my town and its delicious food.
pop at eight. seb and geraldine got a tub/shower thing happening here and though the tub ain't that long, it's a little deep so I some soak even w/the legs bent and the knees sticking out. I hose off after. seb makes me coff and I have so more of that righteous cheese and bread from last night, all the time having good spiel w/them both. the fratelli join in and we all get it happening 'til time to pull anchor (eleven for today), big mercis and hugs for seb and geraldine or all their kindness. out to the boat, california weather greets me. once me + my secondmen played w/seb and the rhaadix in eagle rock, a part of so cal near pasadena - he knows what it's like. bye bye mon frere...
fratello ste on the conn, we talk about enrico fermi - an incredible thinker. I also find "the fermi paradox" quite trippy. just after one we stop at a "ciao agip" filling station, not for diesel but fratello ste has to piss. cuz of him getting sick yesterday maybe from the chow we got at the aire, I'm gonna fucking wait for italy to chow. agip is an italian gas company but we're still twenty miles from the border. only short dawdle... maybe cuz I never left the boat? we get to the frejus tunnel at one and a half (57 euro toll... about $67!) we pass through it (you gotta keep 150 meters between vehicles, which I'm way into), we're in italy - the land of our next eleven gigs. actually, the border was like half way through the tunnel. I read about shichi-fuku-jin, I've always tripped on this crew w/their treasure boat, very interesting for me. the sun is hidden by big haze but not like dangerous fog... many pedaggio (tolls) in this pimente part. we pass rivoli at two and a half - there was the epiphone version of the gibson eb-2 bass called the rivoli. this is first real kind of town. we don't stop. soon we pass torino, the "detroit" of italy cuz of a lot of cars being made here. three bells and we pull over for diesel. hey, they got a great long-handle squeegee and actual fucking soap in a water bucket - yes! long handle is good cuz you get more torque and the rubber blade ain't all hard but pliable so no fucking streaks! of course I gotta do it cuz fratello paolo is doing guardiano or I don't know what the fuck while fratello ste puts diesel in the boat (1.46 euro/liter - twentyseven cents more than holland, que chingau!) after blowing it out (need to do more psyllium husks), I find where you pay for your fuel a fan w/a giant suction cup that runs from a cigarette lighter... I get it but then realize the label "car fan" is a misnomer cuz it turns out it's designed to be used in trucks w/twentyfour power and not twleve like our boat. damn. the lady gives me my money back when I hand her the receipt. oh well. next door is an autogrill and I get a mortadella sandwich which is way fresher and tasting better than yesterday but the bread is a little tough. back on the road w/a pony change, fratello paolo now driving, I take some psyllium on board using a improvised funnel and a seltzer water bottle w/a couple of fingers left in it. the fucking road is bouncing my ass all over, 'pert-near making it impossible to chimp diary but chimp I do. the radio's on which I don't mind when the auto-tune pop crap starts being forced on me, I protest - I tell the fratelli to play some of the experimental or whatever they have on the leashes instead of this crap. more and more tunnels as we get closer to genoa. we get into genoa quarter of five, first passing the port, from the west. towards the middle of town, fratello points out the apartment he grew up, just behind and to the port of the vw sign:
"bellin, bellin" - that's what people say here... it's five bells when I spot teatro bloser - there's a chow pad next door called "beautifu looser" next door (theatre's name where we're playing is prolly play on those two words) - good to have all onboard using their occhios to help out. padboss edouard arrives and we can sit on the outside tables, very nice calmness here. gigboss paolo soon arrives - hey, I remember him from rice on the record, music of his I found on the internet and I've played on my radio show - good stuff. ain't that a trip he's putting the gig on for us, righteous. just shows to go your, huh? damn straight. much respect to him. this little theatre is down some steps and has a real trippy feel to it, quite singular and its own thing. we barely can fit on the stage but fit we do and after giving the spiel to soundman daniel and finding out he really wants to be our fourth man, we check. then gigboss paolo brings me upstairs at the connected chow pad and I get pasta w/pesto served up in a really heavy bowl. this bowl it turns out is like the mortal and pestle dealio they use to make the pesto. interesting. all the stuff they got to "decorate" this pad is very happening for me, I like the esthetic being old timey, econo and trippy at the same time, kind eccentric in creative way, it has a vibe I enjoy. the chow it is really fucking good, symphony in my mouf. the second plate is carne kind of like w/mexican fajitas: strips of flank steak but big shavings of hard cheese and cherry tomatoes. very simple but righteous. molto buono!
federico from the local rai station (tg liguria) interviews us right after chow. the last step in the theatre's impossible to see going down and damn if I don't tumble - too bad the video camera didn't catch that. it freaks my fratelli out and the quick to pull me up luckily I rolled good and nothing bruised or broke. fratello ste's seen it before but it's a new thing for fratello paolo, so sorry to "introduce" him to this part of me. we do the spiel w/federico who's a real good cat - I'm so glad he talks to not just me but the fratelli also, much respect to him. he asks good stuff and though the fratelli answer in italian (of course, it's for italian tv!), I think there speaking really well of the band and people got a chance to realize it's a band and they're not just mice in one of mike watt's side projs. when we get done I thank federico much and then konk in our boat. I'm beat.
fratello ste gets me when it's time. there's no opening band so we're kicking the whole event off. quarter after ten and down we come to the stage... AGAIN at the bottom I tumble but this time backwards but still I don't get hurt. damn, I was real lucky - twice!! in one night!! the fratelli help on the stage and we bring it. the genoa gig-goers are right there in my face and I'm really giving it all - this is fratello's home town, right? of course after the first tune I give the speech and then get self-conscious and clam like a motherfucker, goddamn me. the gig-goers spirit though buoy me right back up. respect. I think of raymond's ma oie... I found out just a little while ago she passed away. very hard on me. I spent much time w/her and raymond at both the pad on twentyfirst street and later on owaso along w/regis (we lost him about eight years ago) - oh man, I can't put it out there strong enough how much they made me feel loved and mean something... sometimes oie would just call me up and talk. they really made me feel connected. I was there w/raymond and we were connected in our way but then I was there also w/them... fuck, I can't find the words - I'm too fucking clumsy - I hear giuseppe's band playing while I try and chimp this... I'm gonna go watch him and keep from crying to hard... ok, backing to chimping diary: at the gig and starting to blow big clams, thinking of raymond's ma oie rallies me rather than distracts me, get's me back on board w/my fratelli and I finish strong. we kind of blow the decrescendo it the encore's breakdown but fratello paolo explains sounds were blurry for him at that point. no matter, it is great gig - great first gig of tour's italian leg... I'm so glad for gigboss paolo bringing us here, so glad. also most grateful to genoa gig-goers for being so open-minded open-hearted.
I'm putting away my stuff, turned around towards my amp when I feel a hand hit me in the back of my port side knee (the hurt one), I 'pert-near crumple, oh my god. it was actually more like a pat and not fierce blow but it's enough to scare the shit out of me and somehow I didn't go down - I see fratello ste and gasp "I got 'pert-near crippled, the tour was 'pert-near over!" I look down at the cat who did it and it's my old genoa friend cesare of crtvtr and of course he couldn't see through my levi and see why sono zoppo ("I'm crippled" in italiano), it wasn't his fault. maybe I should make a sign on a kind of "legband" (as opposed to armband) that has cuidado ('look out' in espanol) warning or some shit like that? it wasn't his fault. I must've gave him "the horror, the horror" look but it was involuntary reaction, not rational and not vindictive. I apologize much to him and then limp up the stairs w/fratello ste's help, explaining what just happened - he didn't witness even being just a few feet away. damn me for being a burden on everyone.
at the merch table cesare comes up and raps w/me, everything gets explained and out in the open. I also learn about his new crtvtr plans where he's gonna replace his bassman w/a set of bass pedals, playing sitting down alongside a drummer as a duo. very interesting, can't wait to hear it. we'll have a spiel to about too on my show. same w/gigboss paolo's new stuff - watt's excited about music coming out of genoa! many gig-goers give me the good word and get stuff signed. the first version of il sogno del marinaio played here a few years ago and a sister who greets me w/a "cazzo!" says she seen both versions now and gives each drummerman fratelli respect. respect back to her, truly! gigboss paolo's friend paolo (of course, make it easy for vecchio watt!) gives me a good talk, very kind. later he help w/my hobble to the konk pad. such a kindness being shared by so many here, I think of raymond's ma oie and the power of love, of kindess and makes sincere resonance in me.
it's time to pull anchor and in this patio part where the merch table was and all the post-gig gig-goers congregate all at once give me a "ciao mike!" in one big joyous chorus that is beautiful big time, I'm truly grateful. it's quit a hobble for me but I get much help - fratello ste has my bajo, gigboss paolo's buddy paolo has my man-sack. actually up help is both easier and safer for me w/the fucked up knee but it is quite a distance. I keep on keepin' on though and we reach this pad that they call a "b n b" and crimony, it is incredible... the tile on the deck alone! for sure this someone's pad - it's just amazing. everyone making sure I'm safe, they gotta return to take care of stuff. of course I don't think anyone's here but damn if after trying to find the wifi password, this man older than me emerges from a chamber! I am so embarrassed for big voice... however he is most kind. I am my chonies. ridiculous watt but he is most kind and tries the best english he can to explain stuff. I explain I work bass. he's very nice to me, returns to his chamber. I hose off and konk, most grateful I survived two crumples and one gnocchio slap, most grateful watt.
thursday, october 5, 2017 - milan, italy
"For a fast pit stop there's a simple rule: each has its role."
We arrive easy. First time in Milano for il Sogno del Marinaio. I meet Matilde at the venue. She is wearing a sailor jacket and I feel so happy to see her, hug and kiss her. and I am nervous cause I still feel sick and a lot of friends are coming at the gig tonight. I think we played a good one. Mati also got me some medications. And I start to feel much better after the gig. Today we also meet Cristian our friend and Italian promoter. I Like him a lot.
pop at four, very cold - I get the nightwear on... there's no konk worse than a konk where you're shivering except maybe one where you can't breathe cuz it's so stifling hot and/or humid. there's a breakfast put out in the dining room of the pad by the guy I met last night but I can only eat the yogurt and a couple of little rolls of bread. all the sweet stuff ain't my thing but he makes me coff and is very kind. at eleven and a half w/pull anchor and take the steeper but shorter way back to the venue. there's a handrail the whole one so that's no prob and prolly than the way we took last night but that's already gone. we load the gear, there's some gray and a little rain as we pack the boat up. then we chow in the patio, I get this great tasting gnochi called "pansoti in salsa noci." we pull anchor around one. big hugs for both paolos. we came whence we came - fratello ste at the wheel, he says the guy at the b a b told him that maybe his wife had worked w/ste's ma. small world. milano is 145 klicks (1.6 klick = 1 mile) so this is one of the shortest drives of the tour, about two hours. of course there's some stau involved, especially on the smaller milanese streets.
get to the venue at five, promoter for our italian gigs cristian is here. this pad is called biko - named after south african black consciousness man steve biko - I remember him when I was a teenager - proud to work a pad named after him. I think there are fucking zanzara somewhere... maybe they were at the konk pad cuz damn if I just welt comes up on my starboard hand, fuck. damn, is it a big welt. I give soundman rafa the fourth man spiel and he's into it. after we check (we do "stickman" cuz I'm sick of fucking up my own tune) I meet the two folks in the band before us, the jooklo duo who are from ferrara - just sax and drums. interesting... a little like john zorn and lower east side no wave scene. italian tourboss cristian orders me a margherita pizza which is what we would call cheese. I like this peetz, very simple but wholesome and tasty. I chimp diary. then giacomo from noisy comes to do an interview w/me, he asks good stuff and is really about things, really good english too. respect. I'm in the back w/not many people at some tables but italian tourboss cristian gives me little hell for having my shirt off cuz I gave him shit for filming me w/my shirt off when I was doing prac before the tour in bologna - we both laugh hard. I just can't breathe, it's too hot in here and yeah, maybe I don't care but stuff he puts out there on the internet? maybe I'm a little shy that way. we both laugh together about the whole trip. the laughing ends when I starting thinking about raymond's ma oie and I'm ready to start bawling but I hear the opening band arabia saudade start the gig off. giuseppe is on bass, otherwise known as superfreak, one of lepers.it cats. I first heard of this little scene which is based in bari (near where the heel begins in italy if you look at like a boot) in 2005 or something and started playing them on my show. there were and are many recordings these cats make/made, all kinds of different arrangements of people - interesting stuff for me. a couple of months ago a couple of giuseppe's friend planned a surprise for him and his now-wife's wedding: flying me in from pedro to play stooges w/and/for both of them. it was a great time w/many plates of chow and lasting 'til sun-up, way wild but a good time. I really thought it was a good thing to do and am so glad I did it. everyone w/a big heart. back to now, I'm ready to cry my eyes out when giuseppe's band pulls me in like a magnet and I'm lifted from the sadness feelings and start tripping on this trippy trio.
they finish up and I go up and hug giuseppe much, give him big ones. alissa's comes up to say hi - so good to see them again. the first song at their wedding I did was w/them both, doing the stooges "tv eye" and it was a mindblow. I'll never foget that night. I won't forget this one. you know milano was the first town I ever playing in italy? it was february 1983 at some corny disco called "disco 2000" w/minutemen opening for black flag... man, what a night that was. the club was charging too much money and the gig-goers organized to not go in. the club sent thugs out to beat heads and it was fucked up. the cops had to come and broker a deal where the price got lowered and the guarded the gig from the inside, I shit thee not. the jooklo duo is next and they bring it, whoa. I'm ready to play now. italian tourboss cristian had told me twenty minute at quarter after but it's ten and a half anad says "c'mon, we go now" - no prob w/me, it's always better earlier in my thinking, you can count on watt to NEVER stall nope. never. we bring it and I gotta right myself some... I'm losing count of parts of stuff but actually that's not really a problem cuz of the way I set up the tune. I rally and maybe do the best version of the tune I wrote for fratello paolo this tour. the milano gig-goers I respect for studying what we're doing while still sharing a good feeling. I thank them for making their town open for giuseppe and allisa to be here w/them, a part of the south up north. there is a problem w/the grounding here, I think there's something w/different planes maybe? I do know I get shocked and a flash comes up on me every time my lips hit the mic, it's fucked up. I do succeed in keeping a distance and not freaking out (did that a couple times using chris stein's stuff a couple years ago which was really lame cuz he's a beautiful man) - one time us minutemen were doing "the cuckoos nest" in costa mesa (behind the orange curtain) and I swear to you we were at a point when we were totally sweaty and using the same mic and damn if a spark to arc between our two wet noses and knocked us both on that stage's deck, FUCK did that hurt. I'm really proud of the fratelli. later they both told me they were so nervous - I guess it was like me playing in brighton last sunday in front of my friends. I holler john coltrane and mr biko's name after asking the milano folks to start their own band which I also mean to write your own poems/books (like karen) or paint your own pictures (like raymond) or whatever in an expression sense. it is risky asking people to do that but I feel I owe the movement to put it out there.
I go to the mersh table, sit (I'm safe) and rap w/folks who got something to tell me cuz lots do and they're most kind. sometimes accidents happen though so incredible bass/celloman matteo who I met when he was in tsigoti takes the time to tell about what's up (had to leave tuscany scene cuz he said it really collapsed, damn) and I thank and put myself out there for the big hug, well, it is the BUG HUG and my glasses get broken - NOT his fault! this shit happens, like last night and my knee and cesare - you get dealt the hand from what/wherever and they deal w/it we must. I love matteo, no prob or blame - just like w/cesare last night. I hope I didn't make the same weird face at him like what happened w/cesare, don't know why something like that would happen cuz nothing even close to that baka thing was anywhere in my heart. I talk w/many w/good hearts w/kind thank yous for me.
time to get back to "bed and bed" and immediately get two calls from the desk to quiet the shit up - what? you gotta be kidding me. I chow a sandwich w/that bread and cheese before knocking off - you'll read what that led to tomorrow. still was a great thing to share the stage w/superfreak - nobody behind some desk at a konk pad is gonna take that away from me...
friday, october 6, 2017 - pisa, italy
"A dry drummer is an happy drummer. Good sweat in Pisa!"
We leave Milano after a good lunch. Pisa we play deposito pontecorvo. Cris is travelling with us. Nice to have him on board. Very nice dinner. and We play a good gig. Appreciate so much the good food we are having from Lyon night till now. I have to admit that italy is really great about this. You can find good food around more easily.
pop at nine and a half - I had some big time akumu ('nightmare' in jap), I can blame only myself for eating when back from the gig last night some peetz and a small cheese sandwich. it seems that stuff is too much for me and I' prone to some fucked up 'mares. beginning of tour 'mares are usually cuz of insecurity but this is more about stomach stuff. this motherfucking 'mare was about a group of people, maybe even a family or whatever that seems all squarejohn but there's something about them telling me (in the dream, I'm speaking of) that these are motherfuckers who wanna murder me. of course I'm so up in it that I am convinced it's really happening and it's nothing but terror 'til I pop to piss. there's is a round II even but sunlight helps pry me away from the "fucked up reality" (not) and brings relief. another things might've been these fucking bites from fucking zanzaras - I got two right next to each between my starboard thumb and first finger, one on the back and one on the side of my port calf, on under my port ear lobe and behind my port hair under my hair - on the scalp. the lumps from these bits are way bigger than the bologna ones.
we get thrown out of the "bed and bed milano" at a quarter of twelve. italian tourboss cristian asks to wait under the awnings at this cafe cuz it's twenty after noon when fratello ste shows up w/the boat and we bail to a chow pad called "time out 3" - it's really summery weather but w/out the humidity that summer brings these parts. I get a dish called "mare e monti fredda" which is octopus, mushrooms and rucola lettuce. I add olive oil, ground pepper and squeezed fresh lemon and it's a righteous symphony for the mouf. I love it. I wash it down w/acqua frizzante ('carbonated water' in italiano). the chow here in it italy is so simple but so fresh and fucking good. lots of what's called you know what in the u.s. is pale copy in my opinion and actually too heavy blurry approximation of something long ago that got lost and the remnants twisted - just my opinion. we get back the venue (biko) so we can load the shit (safer here overnight) but have to wait 'pert-near a hour - maybe not so good planning? ten after three someone w/the kagi ('key' in jap) while these two guys around my age are flooding w/stares of sour-ass... miss hiyori doesn't trust them and does guardiano the whole time cuz I have to blow it out and I find no compromise w/that. the load-out goes pretty quick and soon fratello paolo on the conn... 285 klicks to pisa, it's southeast of milano but we gotta take a dog leg using parma and la spezia to get there. three and a half we finally shove off after saying bye to padboss otta, grazie tutti. I find out italian leg tourboss cristian is gonna ride w/us for every gig except the three island ones, alright. got stau but break out of it the further south we go, by four twenty we're passing over the po. we reach parma a quarter of five, hard starboard to la spezia. near parma is where italian tourboss cristian is from. fratello paolo has italiano radio blasting talking really loud - at least it ain't pop or like the talk we got back home: talk radio where assholes who are morons for a living whup up and incite morons cuz of their propaganda. I ain't for censorship though, just putting that out there. this very hilly forested area, not a smooth ride w/all the switchbacks. we pull over a quarter after five to switch ponies, fratello ste now has the reins. just outside la spezia is a huge amount of cans - reminds me of our port but the water's like ten klicks... lots of italy cargo's moved by trucks instead of trains. we then pass the big marble yards w/huge blocks of marble being readied for shipping all over the world. fratello ste enlightens me to the fact the marble dust is even more valuable - a key ingredient in toothpaste. crimony. incredible alp apuane sights for my eyes. we get lost for a while in pisa cuz the navigatora gps actually has the wrong address I put in her. I did it so I take responsibility but damn if I didn't put it what was in the tour book. we drop anchor at deposito pontecorvo seven after severn, only seven minutes late.
right away I give the spiel to soundman aldo (saw me w/the black gang in florence doing my first opera in 1998) regarding fourth man role w/us tonight and he's into it. same w/helperman giancarlo who maybe will do the lights. check is horrible cuz of the pad's acoustics (or lack of it) I like these guys much, padboss michele too - hey that's what my grandpa used to call me, we got the same name! check done, chow pad called "i paccheri" not too far away by car and I chow first some spaghetti w/anchovies and tomatoes, second plate is salmon crudo pounded real flat w/some rockett - both are really good, oh man, really good. it's hard to express how econo they are in the simplicity but it fucking really does it for me - really!
back at the venue, we got the big wait... looks like eleven and a half, I strip down to the chonies. the zanzara bites are making me insane. I wanna itch so so SO bad but I know it'll just make shit worse. fuck. I chimp diary. there might be some who think it's insane but stuff like this keeps me focused on tour. keeps me from doing other shit that might be really lame for me. it helps time go by faster too, seems like there's never enough time to get caught up on diary but I try! there's always something missing too, I never seem to be able to "capture" certain kinds of feelings I got - it ain't just supposed to a list of events happening. italian tourboss cristian comes in and says between fifteen and twenty minutes, ok. then about ten minutes later he comes in w/the thumb up and says "now" - now, I'm in my fucking chonies! I get my outfit back on quick and get out the hatch. it's a quarter of midnight.
no opening act - I was hearing some happening music being played, real good stuff but I guess we're the one and only live thing happening. a "turn it down" gesture from me to soundman aldo and we bring it - my first time gig ever in pisa. all that lame ringing from the soundcheck has been way tamed by folks coming in and absorbing the lame rings. the pisa gig-goers have great spirt and some happening dancers up front. respect. the fratelli play good also, I'm digging everyone in the pad - maybe I'm the only u.s. dude? think so. that's way ok though, everyone's sharing kindness w/us and it's a hoot. they really dig "stucazz?!!" and sing along big time in our "invisible thread" parts. respect. there's one part that's strange for the gig and that's maybe cuz of me and not being clear or forgetting that italian is these folks' first language (I am a stunado) - there's a point near the end of our set where I ask the lightman (I think it was giancarlo) to turn this one light off that seems like it was on the whole night and making it seem a little like an interrogation or something. I think I used a baka tone of voice even w/out realizing it - I ask for some creative stuff, some interpretation of the music we're bringing. I look back now and maybe realize this was totally stupid move, maybe feel put down and even persecuted but the big idiot from pedro. crimony. it's a only a little scene but me now thinking back on it... well, maybe it's a little embarrassing. I never gave it a second thought though and really enjoyed the gig-goers, the pad, the fratelli - everything. it just seemed like the lightman's creativity was being stifled and I wanted him to bloom and let the freak flag fly... I thought I explained that at soundcheck and they were into it. damn, I wish I could go back and put some white-out over that typo! I know though I had no resentment though, none at all. I gotta from this though.
at the mersh table there's plenty of good will gig-goers bring me, really much kindness and maybe they realize or were confused or just giving me another chance or just that I got something fucked up like my knee... now thinking about it, I want everyone to know I had 'tude towards anything/one/whatever and wanted to promote cats sharing together creating together in a trippy sense of a team. that light thing the brother in genoa back on wednesday was righteous, even the smoke machine, it was really another dimension... and we're talking about cats who've never heard (prolly) of what we do, interpreting in the moment! actually I'm into that aspect, an interesting level. lots of genuine hugs and loves, good connects. I'm so glad the people of pisa let me part of a band I dig playing in play in their town, truly.
it is late. it's a long time at that table too cuz of all the time I got to spent w/the gig-goers. finally the load-out gets up and we can pull anchor. damn, I never met the gigboss michele or evne giancarlo again... oh well. I really liked those guys, arlo also. suddenly we left. there's a little bit of wander we arrive at villa santa chiara at fucking two bells - the latest konk pad arrival of the tour. it's a nice "apartment" - like the other two we had which ain't 'tels but this is more olde-timey and I don't know, it has a good feel. I hose off and konk pretty tuckered, damn is it late.
saturday, october 7, 2017 - rome, italy
"CSOA Forte Prenestino is one of the oldest squat and a real institution in Rome. Very proud of playing here with Il Sogno del Marinaio, was important."
In the morning we go to record at Ale's studio. We do the first two pieces of the setlist. The new ones. Then we continue on the road to get to Forte Prenestino in Roma. Tonight we play my favourite gig of the tour. There is a really special positive vibe. Big heart and human feelings. I am really surprised. Forte Prenestino is bitchin'. I also meet my friends Donatello and Riccardo. It is a long time since I have not met Donatello. He brings very pleasant news about his family and his film.
pop at eight bells. hosed off last night but hose off again. I find the fucking windows open and of course, there's no screens. fuck if I don't get more fucking zanzara bites - not a lot but these fucker cause some big-ass welts ride away. damn. finish of the last day's diario to try and get my fucking mind off of them. there's a coin operated coff machine here. not the most tasty to way to take on caff. I get email from vince meghrouni saying he's in on the wish granters proj w/jamie from swansea and jimmy from toys. alright. turns out vince's ma has lots of welsh in her. his pop was armenia - sad he just lost him. vince is good cat, I did tours w/him on drums for the crew of the flying saucer ("shinebox" and "clamblow") and w/the pair of pliers ("enough w/the piss bag" tour 2000" and "searchin' the shed for pliers" tour '99). big respect to him. he deserves another shot in the ring w/watt. there's a pound at the hatch, italian tourboss cristian's pound.
fratello paolo at the wheel, we go to a studio so new it doesn't have a name yet in nearby cascina and get there just after eleven. before getting there, fratello paolo stops at a filling station and parks to get a coff. I ask him how much fuel do we have? he says there a half tank. now the sign says 1.38 euro/liter for diesel - I tell him on he highway its been 1.57euro/liter - that's like $.72/gallon difference (I'm mixing units on purpose), stucazz?!! ('what the fuck?!!' in italiano). why not do that since we're dropping anchor any way? and what about cleaning the windows too? these guys! they're beautiful though, don't get me wrong. the weather is righteous - very similiar to my pedro town most days. one thing that pisses me off a little is nothing was discussed this morning about maybe driving past the tower of pisa so I could get a picture? I mean fuck, I wouldn't even have to get out. I don't dig it, kind of brownshirt for me. I always present my guys w/options for one-of-a-kind chances to see shit, especially if it's on the way and not a burden on the main mission of tour which is to do gigs. bye the way, this ain't a gig - it's two songs we're recording for maybe some promotion... I think that's a good thing and like the studio guy ale much, met him last night. when he said he was recording us tomorrow, like a baka I thought it was roma but it's here in cascina, cazzo. his studio is so new it doesn't even have a name yet but I like it. federico from youngtv.it is there to film us, he sets up a bunch of gotv cameras to help him w/his own shouldercam. ale's got a fender super twin for fratello ste - d boon had one of these w/some kind of fake snakeskin covering - fuck, are the loud! like 180 watts worth. the ground got fucked up w/it on one of the last minutemen tours and d boon's guitar strings melted to the fucking his mic stand in providence (at "the living room" - great cat named randy hines ran it w/his ma who make you righteous fried chicken for chow) and right there I said no way was he gonna use that amp one second longer. we borrowed an amp for that gig and then the next day got a "red knob" fender twin at "manny's" in nyc. I got 4x10 cab I don't know who made being driven by an old black face fender bassman. fratello paolo's drums are ludwigs, don't know where from. we run through "purple, orange, green + yellow" so ale can get stuff right and then go for a bad take... next take we get it. we run through "stickman" so ale can get the change in dynamics cuz it's a way different tune, then we do the take and then the real one cuz the other was clammed up. I think both were ok and just hope they get good mix from als. I hope the same w/federico - it's in their hands now. I'm glad we came to play.
federico gets on his bike and us follow him to a chow pad in the middle of the old town part called "la grotta" which is the bottom of a thousand year old tower "il torre" and I get "penne diavola" for the first plate (penne pasta in a spicy tomato sauce w/little pieces of salami) and "baccala fritto con v erdure" (fish and vegetables pretty much done up like tampura) for the second - they're both fucking bitchin' in the mouf tasty yum-yum sending me straight to sensationland, fuck yeah. fratello ste on the conn, fratello paolo has no luck getting next gigs address into navigatora gps but I do - takes many tries though, need much gaman ('patience' in jap). now he was telling me earlier it would be very easy to double back so I could get a shot of the leaning cazzo but... I don't say anything cuz it's frustrating and I don't wanna make hell on our morale - I guess it's just the way it is. I'm just glad I got to play in pisa, eat good chow there, record and film a couple of songs for fratello ale in cascina and eat good chow there... there are more important things so I hope I don't sound too insane but some sitches requires maybe a little more focus on what's right on hand.
from florence in tuscany we head south and into umbria than lazio. four bells we pull over to switch ponies, putting fratello paolo on the rudder. the good weather holds. not a lot a air in the back though... a warning sign on the autostrade says to watch for "vento forte" ('strong winds' in italiano) - no problem w/that where I'm at. we don't have to claw our way into the middle of town for tonight and the ring road traff is very much flow five and a half we pull into roma. the navigatoria gps got us real close to csoa forte prenestino but not to the interest we need to drive into - yeah, it's an old fortress and we go over a moat to get into the courtyard, where the stage is. it's under some tents but the stage is outside, pretty happening. the soundlady tina is cool people and listens to the spiel and agrees to be band member being the transmission that gets us (the motor) to the wheels. she asked me about that las vegas shooting back home. she says she feels culture here in her has been stomped down. sound helperman daniel does just that w/the monitor stuff and cuz of a buzz on the bass - unfortunately this ashdown doesn't have a ground lift - which doesn't really matter in this sitch cuz the direct box w/the ground both ways gives the same buzz... I think it's another ground prob like in milano a couple days ago. the check goes good and then we follow padreplady lara to the "tea room" and I chow some pasta w/some king of sauce (padreplady lara says "it's vegan") and then some falafel. I try a mixture: I put some pastas in the pita/falaf to make a combo - I dig it, good harmony in the mouf.
openers maximillian I (pronounced 'maximillian the first') are local cats - I've played much of their music on my radio show cuz I dig it. their gig is wild, even paint on the drummerman's face and he keith moons the drums at the end. bassman works a steinberger, whoa, been a while since I've seen one of those being worked... cris kirkwood used one for a little bit, so did jamaladee tacuma. anyway, I'me inspired much. the artwork on the walls here is incredible for me. I haven't used aspirin or ibuprofen once but damn am I sore. I do have some tea by some company called yogi that's called "joint support" but maybe I ain't doing enough of it, had it only like three or four times this tour. it's chilly to put on the yellow jacket I brought... a little heavier than that yellow light one I brought in may when I played w/the meat puppets, first time on tour and first time for her.
eleven and a half is our time and we're only two minutes late go on. respect. right in front and to my port is giancarlo who used to play bass in rewild (they opened up for the stooges a couple times in italy a few years ago - rewild guitarman marco was at both of our cafe oto shows last month), he's a beautiful cat, a beautiful spirit - I think he's even taller than raymond. he's looking at every move I'm doing so of course self-conscious and start clamming all over the fucking joint, starting w/the first tune's bridge - what a fucking bozo! crimony. this happens sometimes - remember last week in brighton? oh man! I fuck up "stickman" too but the fratelli hang tough w/me and we soldier through. the roman gig-goers are right up front w/total involved mode, very genuine w/sharing emotion and support also buttloads of focus. respect! I break a fucking 'e' string - the biggest one on the bass, can you believe? I'm also getting shocked by the mic (like at biko, prolly cuz of bad ground probs) but that's nothing compared to me not being able to break the string to make it shorter so it'll fit on the tuning peg. I used to have hands strong enough to bend them back and forth, back and forth, back and forth 'til it snaps but my age and at this point of the tour I am not strong enough. frustrating. fratello finds his string cutter and saves the day - almost... now I'm too nervous to get the broke string out... I eventually do and hand it to gaincarlo, who's watching very carefully my every move. fratello paolo comes over to help. crimony. I finally after several failures get the motherfucker on and we're back on board but damn if "stucazz?!!" ain't a good title for that tune cuz I was totally TOTALLY fucking out of tune. the roman gig-goers are most compassionate, truly they are. I thought I 'pert-near made them give up on us. they don't, they are most kind.
the merch table is right next to where I was on stage - first I get GIAGANTIC hug from giancarlo, big loves/big abbraccios. I apologize big time for all the vogali and that fucking lame string seemed-like-forever change. he's very VERY nice cat. I ask him to send me his new music. I get the good words from lots of cats, lots "grande, mike!" - tons of them, so kind truly. one man brings me a double jim beam which is very kind cuz both the beers that were here for me on the table were knocked over one at a time but people oblivious to any and everything. crimony. I hope they're ok. I end up talking w/these three fellow musicians - one's a bassman who's got a band called shred and his buddy is a guitarman - I didn't get what the other one was but they wanna know why I do what I do and where it comes from so I let him have it kind of an abbrev'd form. italian tourboss cristian brings capocetta who gives me some chilies, much respect to him and big abbrachios.
I get the word to pull anchor - italian tourboss cristian is gonna stay here w/the boat (she's been already loaded up now) so we take a taxi... well, the taxi never comes so I spiel w/some kind folks near the moat, lots abbraccios and damn if a taxi does come but it's this cat borrowing his buddy's cab! he get to the "ih roma z3" 'tel that's not far at all and I hose off and then konk pretty late - man, I gotta catch up some on the konk debt dept soon I get a chance - I think tomorrow I can. I got some regrets going w/clams and the stupid shit w/the broke string. I used snap up to three in one gig and change them like *click* that but I'm way out of prac w/that now. konk finally takes me to help scissor this one man kvetch-fest. hallelujah.
sunday, october 8, 2017 - bologna, italy
"Bologna - my own town - at Krakatoa Fest, was so intense that I broke my woodblock. I tried to fix it with vinyl glue during the night... seems it works..."
We go back to our hometown to play at festival Krakatoa. Great to go back to Bologna but hard to save the energy at the festival. Too many friends and people we know. It is really great to see everyone but kind od hard to say hello and spend little time with everybody while taking care of the gig .we played a good gig. At the end of the night after playing when I go home with Mati I am really tired and finally I can rest. Not having bad dreams since after Lyon. I am really appreciating being 'round home.
pop at quarter after eight. they got some yogurt down stairs and some coff but man, a little too crowded for me - I get a little afraid navigating hungry mobs. I go back upstairs and chimp dairy. italian tour boss cristian arrives w/the boat at ten-forty, I'm again wrong about pull anchor time? I guess it was eleven... maybe I start writing down the time when I'm given it the night before. it's very nice weather out and even a rainbow way high in the sky, lasts only a short time but it's trippy. the fratelli arrive and we pull anchor at eleven and a half for bologna, fratello paolo wheeling us north. the easiest in (yesterday) and out (just now) that I have eve had for rome driving... absolutely ZERO plug, I shit thee not... maybe it's cuz venue is more on town's outskirts? maybe cuz of it being weekend? we stop pretty quick just to drink coff - what? ok. I talk to fratello ste about suggestions that his luthier buddy marco pontillo might use for building him a tour guitar which is lighter cuz of wood like mine (korina, also called white limba) and down-sized body (not length-wise but the other way). he is seriously considering this idea. fratello paolo all coffed-up, he drives us north whence we came yesterday, towards florence. not long and we pass a range of hills that supposedly has the profile of il duce's fucking face, that's what fratello paolo says some people say. scary shit, history. we leave lazio province for umbria and I gotta ask for some pull-over to blow it out cuz the mule is kicking at the barn door. man, that was close... it was rude and it was foul but it had to be done. I rejoin the team maybe two kilos (more than four pounds) lighter. I am beat and konk even w/the fucking big toss from the rough as shit bouncy ride this boat brings me. I have weird dream I am being strangled... I po to find the fucking windows are w/the three italianos engaged in fully yammer. their windbagging ain't enough to put air in my lungs so I holler "vento, per favore, VENTO!" ('air, please, air!' in italiano), reality was interpreted into dream. twenty after two we pull over for diesel - 1.68 euro/liter so I suggest only enough to reach bologna. there's squeegees here but only water in their bucket so I buy some fluid from the guy doing full service (they still of that stuff here, back home it stopped a long time ago except for the states of oregon and new jersey) so we got for the rest of this tour's rides. fuck that filthy port hole shit. italian tour boss cristian says he digs clean port holes too. fucking right on. one baka thing is fratello paolo turns on the goddamn wipers while I'm cleaning, like what the fuck? I get hit in the head w/a wiper. cazzo. I go to the head and get in the ring for round II of free the mule - man, I wonder what's up w/that? I feel much better when I get back in the boat. oh yeah, in the head the pissers had "dolomite" written on them and that reminds me of this bottle of aqua frizzante w/the same name I got a couple of days ago... my ma's ma's people were from the dolomiti party of italy! fratello ste now on the tiller. I chimp diary. italian tour boss cristian came up some questions for me to help w/promotion, besides italian tour boss he promoted ten of the eleven italian gigs (gigboss paolo did genoa himself). he's staying in bologna while we do the three gigs in sardinia and sicily. anyway, here's the questions that might either clear some stuff up and make me sound even more baka:
> Hello mike, how do you feel in these
> weeks? And what do you feel about
> your future... and the world?
this is the third week of tour, we play every day - I love it. I love playing w/my fratelli. last night was first italian gig of the tour, it was mindblow, very kind cats bringing it for us! we have ten more italian gigs, I'm very excited for them. I feel you can learn more about the world by seeing more of the world. I'm very lucky to have this work.
> Why did you become a musician?
I got into music to be w/my friend, d boon. it was a way we could share and I could be w/him. we were twelve when we started, his mother wanted us to have a band and she wanted me on bass. I didn't even know what a bass was but I learned so I could be w/her son, d boon. it was very hard when I lost him in a van wreck in 1985. friends helped me (like thurston moore) and I got back on bass and kept on pushing. I have not stopped since except the time a sickness 'pert-near killed me in 2000. I wrote my second opera about that experience, paralleling dante's "comedia" for the libretto.
> What is Il Sogno del Marinaio?
let me first say what it is NOT... it is not a mike watt side project. it is a trio put together by stefano pilia 2009 although he let me name it. andrea belfi was the original drummer, a friend of stefano's from verona he thought would make a good combination w/me and himself. we each composed one third of the material. we made two albums and four tours. earlier this year andrea belfi had to leave cuz of commitments to his solo work and stefano pilia picked paolo mongardi to take his place. the first time I played w/paolo was almost four weeks ago at a farmhouse outside of bologna to practice and get ready for this tour. stefano pilia's original concept now has a new spirit and we move forward.
> How is going this tour?
I am very happy w/this tour and you can read my diary here - you'll get lots of my impressions of how the tour is going there.
paolo mongardi has really impressed w/his connect w/me and stefano pilia, pretty amazing. I have much respect for him. also, the gig-goers have been very kind to us.
> Red Hot Chili Pepper's famous album
> "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was dedicated
> to you. Do you know why?
I think it's cuz they are very kind. there is an early connection also: their second gig was opening for the minutemen up in hollywood at the club lingerie... I think it was their second gig, very early into their musical journey. I found about that dedication on tour here in europe - it was in a german record store and the man working there showed me the back cover... it was huge surprise. I am very grateful to them for that.
> Is it true that the most famous Minutemen's
> artwork was a picture that you take in a taxi?
> And what does it means for you?
by "taxi" I think you mean my 1964 vw bug I'm driving on the cover of the minutemen's "double nickels on the dime" - that was very important picture... it was very important I got the speedometer going exactly fiftyfive miles per hour (that's what the album's title means) along w/my eyes in the mirror and my town "san pedro" on the freeway sign that you see through the windshield. my buddy dirk vandenberg took in from the back seat, we only had a couple shots at it - this was in 1984 and no digital cameras so we had to wait for the film to get developed. we called the album a slang for doing exactly the speed limit cuz sammy hagar said he couldn't drive the speed limit but then did safe and stale music. our response was to say we would do the opposite - drive safe and at the speed limit but make crazy music that took chances and let the freak flag fly. that idea and ethic is still VERY IMPORTANT to me today.
> What do you think about Jim Jarmusch's
> movie about the Stooges?
I'm sorry but I have not seen it yet. jim jamusch interviewed me twice for it and I could tell he loves stooges much and trust him big time. I think we both love the stooges very much.
> Someone says that once you had a concert
> laying on the floor with Iggy Pop, Why?
I think you might be talking about a stooges gig at the lowlands festival in 2006 where ig knocked me down during "little doll" BUT I kept on playing. I love stooges much and wanted ALWAYS to give them my best. ig likes to work the room and he's a HUGE inspiration to me, he's helped me become a better bassman.
the whole gig is here - "little doll" is at 54:11
> What do you think about "californian scene"? How did
> it change through the years and how is it now?
well actually the s.f. scene was different from the l.a. scene but were both california... I think the scene us minutemen were part of was very influenced by what happened in hollywood w/bands like the germs, the screamers, nervous gender, x and the dils and also later w/our friends in the south bay black flag, descendents, alley cats, the last and also "sst bands" like husker du and meat puppets who were actually from minneapolis and arizona. being individual had a huge effect on us, having your own identity seemed very important and that inspired us much. also bands we never saw from overseas like the pop group, wire, alternative television, lemon kittens, der plan - we knew them only by records. now days I tour so much, I don't what the so cal scene is really like, I don't even know if it has its own identity cuz people connect much more now via online instead of gigs.
> How is livin in the US in Donald
> Trump's years?
I feel a mood in the country that isn't healthy. I did a couple of tours this year in the u.s. and it seemed people everywhere were driving kind of angry. I don't know if there's a connection but it seems people are easy to be pretty cruel to each other. maybe it's the online thing where you can say stuff w/out having to be there in front of someone. I saw the same kind of "culture" (actually to me: anti-culture) in the days of cb radio in the 70s. that was a much smaller scene though then. this guy you're talking about I think was influenced by one of your former bosses, silvio berlusconi. I'm not trying to blame italy though, I think we (the u.s. people) have to take responsibility.
> Have you ever been an actor?
I have been in three films my best friend raymond pettibon made:
* "weatherman 69" (1989)
* "sir drone" (1989)
* "red tide rising" (2001)
> Do you have any particular relationship
> with Italy?
my mother's people came from italy: her father's are from sicilia and her mother's are from the dolomiti - both ends of italy.
> Which are your cultural landmarks?
> Books, art, cinema, philosophy...
* dante alighieri
* umberto eco
* james joyce
* creedence clearwater revival
* richard hell
* james jamerson
* "the sand pebbles" (both the book by richard mckenna and the film starring steve mcqueen)
on bass, watt
we get into bologna around four, head for the 'tel to check in and get the rooms keys. then we get on over to laundromat close to where we're playing cuz miss hiyori wants to wash. very kind. we drop her off and the go to the venue, it used to be part of some railroad trip (bologna is the big train town for italy), some industrial area now called tpo which is hosting this three festival called "krakatoa" which we've been invited to be a part of. the weather is as nice as rome, lots of sun and no humidity... lots of friendly cats glad to see me and the same right back: the festivalboss gainluca (also freakout club padboss) - big hugs, cut band members ferruccio and carlos (fuck, they played yesterday so I miss them... I am on two songs they recorded though) plus all kinds of kind cats who welcome me like the zio they've known forever. what a great gift, a warmness that 'pert-near nothing else can replace. I go to one of the chambers and chimp diary, soon fratello ste brings me chow. it's a plate of rotini pasta in a tomato sauce w/olives plus two big hunks of frittata. I spice the frittata up w/some of the chilies capocetta gave me last night and man, is it good. egg taste you know but not a souffle - more like the spain kind of tortilla (as opposed to the new world ones which are way different) but not as thick or full. I then put the three strings on from the set I used for the fourth string replacer last night to save that hell from a total nightmare. I figure a way to crank these fucking windows open to get some of this cigarette foulent the hell out of the chamber... one crank does all three: pretty ingenious. I see fratello bruno (man who recorded and mixed our "canto secondo" album) but he can't hear me holler for him. I missed his band arto cuz they played at two, before we got here. damn. I get this dressing room shipshape - I hate shit all kitinai ('dirty' in jap) cuz it's lame - I even get the toilet going, fuck - "a clean boat is a happy boat" - why can't that apply also to chambers? otherwise it's like pissing and shitting in your own mouf, right? I continue chimping diary. the valerian swing guys come in and wanna take a picture w/me, there nice cats. some other folks are like that too. il zio vecchio... I can dig it.
eight and a half, I go up to the stage to see the set up. there's the gigboss gianluca. I confirm the on-stage time w/him. the other gianluca here, the one that mixed "la busta gialla" is our soundman today - I never had fourthman spiel w/him but trust much cuz of that prior work - I think he did great job. ok... twenty of nine arrives and I get our set going. cuz of all the bands, everyone gets thirty minutes so our plan is to go to twentyone minute mark and then bring "us in their land" (fratello paolo really wants to play it) and the stooges "fun house" for the closer. I do some clams but not too bad - amazing how the band stays w/me, negotiating the "new" (actually clammed) part as if we wrote it that way. I look at my watch after "nanos' waltz" and it's here, one after nine so I bring the last two and we finish right on time. I get my shit put away (I used the fest's svt cab and our ashdown head) and then head for the merch table along the stage port wall.
the bologna gig-goers were really happening during the gig and lots of them show it here to me as I park my ass in a chair and rap w/them, signing stuff and take pictures w/them too. stefano and david from the spacepony are here! we have a good time and they even accompany me outside... first stefano gives me a shot - it's "southern comfort" - WHAT??!! mazui ('terrible taste' in jap), I hate that shit. he didn't really know, he remembered wrong but I ain't a liqueur man (liqueur ain't liquor) - hell, I could talk to these cats forever, I love them. david tells me "nano's waltz" made him think of being on a boat - he's a longshoreman like my seondmen but an italian one in ravenna. one day I wanna play there, the town where dante's bones are.
I gotta say bye to my buddies - here's cristian w/the boat, I guess the taxi plan fell through again, oh well no matter cuz he gets us safe pretty quick to the 'tel where I hose off right away and in quick time I'm konked - way ahead of eleven even, that's how fucking tuckered I am. I really felt I had to use this opportunity even if it meant missing out on stuff at the festival which was really happening. "a man's gotta know his limitations" someone once wrote in a script and then acted out. here's my version... (konks and starts snoring)
monday, october 9, 2017 - perugia, italy
"Perugia, Auditorium Santa Cecilia. Audience in seating for the sacred place. A pinch of spirituality tonight."
I have breakfast with Mati and Cris and then we go pick up Mike and Hiyori for lunch. Traditional Bolognese restaurant. The night in Perugia we play at the Santa Cecilia Oratorium. Really nice!. First gig with a sitting audience. We sleep at hotel europa... Very old building from the late end of 1800.
pop at eight. go to piss and on way out after getting that done I cut knuckle on port side hand cuz the fucking head ain't on the same level as the room deck, it's like half a foot higher so when you come out and don't expect that... if it wasn't for the door handle, I would've taken the fast way down. the knuckle got cut scraping the door latch. fuck. asshole design. out the window (no screens but luckily no fucking zanzara. the shower is very happening w/jets coming at you sideways if you want, it's a good hose-off. I see yako and agata from melt-banana in the lobby at check-out, wow! we played the same festival yesterday but it was also at the same time which was fucked. they're great band, now down to a two-piece, they still kick up much dust. sonkei ('respect' in jap). guitarman agata is missingmen tom watson's favorite guitarist.
twelve and a half pull anchor w/fratello st on the wheel and italian tourboss cristian riding shotgun, we go to a nearby chow pad called "al cambio" and I have this fucking happening torttelini that is served to you and then the waitress lady pours broth in the bowl so they're floating, trippy and really good. I get a salad after that - yeah, opposite then what usually happens back home. we get paolo near where he lives (he's on the street, waiting) and then head out of at two and a half, direction perugia. fratello ste wants to hear wipers from my ipod - that lasts about two tunes 'til both fratello paolo and italian tour boss cristian start playing video from I guess it was last night's gig. what the fuck? I listen to fratello's music w/out playing other shit - this is like touring w/macario, where he was the il duce of the music in the boat. lame. I get my earbuds and hand them to italian tour boss cristian. fratello ste keeps the wipers on and even turns it louder. whoa. boat politics. I know now why fratello andrea had the term for playing your music in the van, "pushing out the stronzos" - makes total sense (stronzos are 'turds' in italiano). there's a big discussion in italian and then I'm told there was much positive response from the fratelli's friends about our gig last night. I really liked the gig and was very proud of the fratelli, thought they played their asses off and did fucking bitchin' but that's happening to hear what they're telling me. I guess a good reason to cut the wipers and discuss stuff... on important decision is regarding "terzo" - fratello ste will produce. I think it's the good way to go and am very happy w/the decision. the plan is now definitely to record at casa hanzo in my pedro town and then fratello ste will take the files back to bologna and take it from there. if he needs anything more from me, I can fly it over the shitternet to him. four bells and we pull over to switch ponies and for me to drop unko... whew just barely made it, stairs don't make it easier I win this dice roll. I feel some of capocetta's chili on its way out... I get a san pellegrino "chino" drink cuz it makes me think of "chinos" which is what espanol speaking people call asians. maybe it's better cold cuz luke warm like this, well... italian tour boss cristian has me do this interview by interview for a sardinian paper ("l'unione sarda") and damn if it hard to chimp the answers to it w/the road rough enough to rattle the teeth out of your head, let alone hit the right keys. I get it done though, around five bells as we reach perugia.
we get on this real tiny twisty one-way road past the old big porta - we do this to get on a more reasonable road. anyway, we do get to the 'tel (it's called "hotel europa") and meet tonight's at co-gigboss fabrizio. italian tourboss cristian checks us in and then we head to co-gigboss fabrizio's bar "chupito" and eat chow that co-gigboss angela made for us: pasta w/chunks of pasta that's got some heat, some flat bread w/crudo stuff in and and kind quiche that it's its own thing - I like all of it much. we meet soundman francesco who chows w/us. a drive into the center of town (it's dark now) and at seven-forty we're auditorium saint cecilia which is a trippy place for a gig but w/all the balconies, they're must've been some kind gigs here, maybe some a long time ago. I can dig it. the p.a. is brought in and not that big but I think big enough for this sitch. I give soundman francesco the spiel and he's into it. not only is it my first time here but it's his too - and he's from perugia! I think it's now a music school, you can see kind stuff all over as well as some instruments. we do a check and man, this room is live - a huge dome at the top so we gotta watch out regarding too loud. there's this duo from the czech republic called oswaldovi playing before us (real nice people) and I really don't like the idea of them setting up on the floor in front of us... if I'm gonna tell people in the speeches I do that I wanna thank the bands we're playing w/thank you for them letting us share the stage w/them then we should be sharing the stage w/them or else I'm full of shit and just blowing hot air - fuck that. fratello ste makes room on his side by moving some pedals and my side's clear cuz I don't use that stuff so it's ok for tonight but back in milan where superfreak in his guys had to set up on the deck is fucking not happening. I let that go down then but I'm starting to... I don't know - there was an issue w/what time to go on last night. I asked the gig boss gainluca when I was rapping w/him by the monitor board on the stage and he said ten minutes, then there was something about it being changed but he doesn't tell me... I'm into going on when the boss says to go on, I ain't into stalling cuz motherfuckers have done that to me and folks who wanted to see me on a work/school night have to bail (trains stopping early can cause this) just cuz the opening band think they should go on 'pert-near the time a closer does. I FUCKING HATE THAT and it gonna be party to it by which I mean I ain't gonna say one and do another - I go on when the boss tells me to. this little issues I feel maybe are gonna add up to something really lame and that's why I'm trying to confront them now. these are great guys, please know that. they're on the deck right now, trying to get some konk as I chimp this. oh yeah, forgot to mention the bass - it's all smashed up right where the tone knob is but fuck if it ain't still working real good. these babies sure can take it! there's a huge crack running along the grain but it doesn't go that deep. pretty amazing it ain't kaput but it worked at soundcheck, even bashed-in tone knob turns good (I use it and the volume know a lot during the set). I chimp diary and listen to oswaldovi who are trippy. the begin w/that corny "my favorite things" that john coltrane tripped out much and from there they deliver for me inspiring music to get me ready for our turn. thank you oswaldovi!
we being at ten-twenty, a trippy sound in this pad which has I high dome in the middle that's maybe thirty feet up there. this pad was built the late 1600s as an oratorium, something about voice? maybe sung prayers? I'm careful w/the volume cuz of this and asked the fratelli to do the same. the perugia gig-goers are prolly the closest my age the whole tour. trippy too most are in chairs except against the bulkheads where there's standing. they're very kind to us, give much respect and focus. you can hear a pin drop in our pianomissimo parts. respect back to them. the bashed-up wattplower works great, even the bashed-down tone knob turns easy enough for me cuz I'm always having to use that from tune to tune. I think I never stopped smiling this gig, I have a real good time. even more eyes from fratello paolo, grande! lots of engagement from fratello ste but I'm used to that... however, he really brings it tonight. the stage is very low and seems just built and not all that strong, kind of bouncy but I don't get too afraid. still I'm really careful. this point in the tour I can weak there like my hands get swollen. anyway, it's a great gig. I forgot to thank italian tour boss cristian last night and really regretted it - 'pert-near did it again but at the last moment brought it. he deserves. same soundman francesco, co-gigboss fabrizio, co-gigboss angela, helperman carlo, oswaldovi, the perugia gig-goers - it takes a lot of cats to make a gig and not just the three goombas who are the final ones on the stage.
I go to the merch table have putting away my stuff which ain't much: bass, gialla cable and mic. they got a chair for me, grazie. I rap w/folks, surprised to know they know about me cuz of my first time here but I think also fratelli are very well known all over italy maybe. I am member of an italian band. I like that. I'm very grateful for fabrizio and angela making it possible for me to be here, for the gig-goers to support. I really wanna play my best for everyone. I talk a bunch to andrea from the czech band cuz he's at the table across from me, nice man - I bet he has interesting journey through music... I wanna do an interview on my radio when I get home.
it's tiny roads out of the city center and then over to the 'tel. the room is a neat kind of oldness, I like, very simple but stuff w/character. only a little after midnight which is good for me. hose off and konk.
tuesday, october 10, 2017 - cagliari, italy
"The flying boat is docking. Cabin crew prepare for landing. First time in Sardinia."
We leave at 8. We go back to Bologna to fly to Sardinia. Do not like to fly very much.
mi affido al rombo dei motori
Ho fiducia in loro
Appoggio il mio corpo stanco alle ali di latta e alle nuvole del cielo
Essere pronti a morire con nulla
Anima mia che stanotte mi hai visitato
conducimi alla via dell'albero
Il cammino che genera i frutti dell'uomo per l'uomo
Per la sua gloria e felicita eterna
La via dell'infinito
Nei secoli dei secoli
First time for fratello Mike and Hiyori in Sardinia. Very glad. Good gig. Raffaele, Mattia and Fabio are really cool guys. Gnocchi before the gig.
pop at seven. there's rolls and ham downstairs, gotta add our own senf but it's good. I actually don't know the chow plan today so do this just in case. I don't use a ramrod to get it down however. I even chew (w/front teef). I think some fucking ka bit me up but only a little, maybe only a couple. the windows just gotta be battened cuz there ain't many of them that got screens. I do intense shave cuz next three days I'll have no razor. we gotta go small. man, it's worth it to me to go to these two italian islands I've only dreamed about. fratello ste brings us the boat, pull anchor at eight and a half. fog on the road that clears to haze but the beat up bumpy shit we had on the way down is still here on the way up - we're travelling whence we came, back to bologna. two hours late we pull over for piss stop, I get some "piccotini" salamini piccanti which is four spicy little salamis that taste pretty good. we pass imola, this is where fratello paolo is actually from.
drop anchor at fratello ste's pad in bologna quarter of noon. fratello bruno's here - of course, he also is resident. the fucking zanzari are after me, shit... I hobble for the kitchen. meanwhile the team do big repack of stuff done for next three gigs which begin w/airplane ride to sardinia. we only bring what we need and as in my case I bring back wack 'puter sack and bass w/three pairs of chonies plus yellow jacket. also plastic sack for kitinai chonies. back line will be provided by the pads we work. fratello ste makes some great spaghetti w/oysters and capers, really good and I love it. I change levis so these will have to time to dry here (no dryer at the farm house) after wash. I will use other pair for as long as we're gone.
big hugs for fratello bruno. we get to bologna's we pull anchor for bologna's marconi airport at two, getting there in twenty minutes. italian tourboss cristian takes the boat from us - we'll see him again w/it when were back on the mainland. yeah, we're maybe way early but fuck, I need the extra time cuz of my fucked up knee. rushing at the 'port is nightmare recipe. the flight's at quarter after four so I sit in the corner not too far from our gate and chimp diary 'til boarding. it's a ryanair boeing 737 - never been on ryanair before but I dig the fact the seats don't lean back cuz that way the motherfucker who always seems to be killing my knees w/his/her fucking lean-back-like-who-gives-a-fuck can't happen here. fratello ste bought an extra seat for my bass and his guitar... trippy, he belts them in - the gotta be in the window seat. he switches seats so I can get a shot of gilio island as we go over the tuscany coast. supposed to be only a sixtyfive minute flight to cagliari which is sardinia's big town. fratello ste's pop was from sardinia. I chimp diary 'til we cross the sardinian coast and I take as many shots as I can, my first time overhead like this. we land at five and a half - fabio (his old name was fausto, so I'll call him fausto. fratello paolo hipped me to that, fausto was in original version of fuzz orchestra) he's very cool people. he makes us wait not one second, is right there. the weather's like my pedro town. he drives us a little downtown to see some stuff - it'll be dark soon and tomorrow morning we gotta pull anchor early. it is neat - damn, I wish I had more time but at least we got this - my first sardinia gig ever. fausto is very cool people and his english really good - lots of cats now in italy do english good. much respect to them for putting in the learning! I am a stunado. fuck.
after six and we find ourselves in a alley behind a street is what seems like an entrance to what was a former pool hall (there's still a couple of tables in the back but they're covered up) is a pad called fabrik and it's being put on these cats called egg and so it's "thanks for having us aboard" to all three co-gigbosses (their gruppo called "egg"): mattia, rafael and fausto (already have met him!). I meet soundman conrado too and give him the fourth man spiel... he's done for it and I can tell a happening cat. respect. he's got a ampeg svt head going into a ampeg 4x10, I think it can work. fratello paolo has a sonar kit and fratello ste has a fender vibrolux. I think it's all good stuff. room sure likes the 'd' note but still, I got faith it's gonna happen.
no opening act tonight, the plan is for us to hit at ten and a half. soundcheck don't end 'til 'pert-near eight... whoa, might be close for me - luckily the chow comes here (they're righteous to make that happened cuz of me being slow-go fucking crippled-ass zoppo), it's fucking righteous and I love it - the best gnocchi I've ever had and trippy to explain, so very much it's own trip and just delicious, a big hunk of cheese melted in it on the plate co-gigboss rafael makes up for me along w/these four other righteous cheeses and salami - whoa... I get stuffed so much I gotta pull the plug and I konk right 'til gig time. crimony it might a very tough gig. the things is though, there's a big fan blowing down on me from up front overhead. that saves me big time, the pad is packed so not a lot of hair anyway. the cagliari gig-goers are really alive and engage themselves personally... when fratello ste gives his speech one hollers, "play the love song!" oh man. the busted up wattplower holds up good. whoa. the svt holds up also but does get a little mushy the more I work but that's prolly a way of asking to be re-tubed or something. I'm very grateful for the use, truly I am. it's a happening gig - the fratelli played their asses off, so proud of them big time and so grateful to the cagliari gig-goers.
I go to the merch table by the hatch and padboss peirro gets me some jim beam. whoa, that shivers me timbers but I needed it... very hard for me to work a gig that close to a chow, very difficlt. we did it though and the gig-goers here bring me MUCH good word and we take lots of pictures and I sign much stuff. wow, what a great vibe - from everyone I worked w/and from all that witnessed, so much genuine good fee. crimony! the man who let me play his amp has me sign it, damn I wish I knew his name. fuck, I'm so sorry. it's a river of good time, so kind everyone. we also laughing our heads off cuz it's a total fucking trip.
fratello ste gets fausto to drive us not far to "buen aire bed and breakfast" which is actually an apartment pad w/a couple of extra rooms - really neat pad, the four flights of stairs is more than worth it, I dig it much. I have some of that gnocchi... crimony is it fucking good! it makes me konk happy.
wednesday, october 11, 2017 - palermo, italy
"Cannoli, a very good welcome gift for our first time here in Sicily (thanks Giorgio)! Sweet night in Palermo."
We fly to Catania and Roberto come to pick up us and he drives us to Palermo. Fratello Paolo and I go to eat something at the market. The sun is shining. Very tired.We play at Bolazzi. Nice bar, pub with very good wine. I feel really tired. After the gig I met Alessandro. He came to speak me about this guitar they are building with carbon fiber neck. Very interesting. They are finishing couples of prototypes they would like me to try. Looking forward.
pop at six - I immediately hose off. I had a horrible konk, kept having the dream of being ate to fucking death by fucking hell ka zanara mosquito sons of bitches bastards. hosing off, I feel a wierd lump on my neck - like what the fuck? is it something that's been there? I should've known, right? how do you not notice something like this. it seems unconnected to anything, like a growth... is it a fucking tumor? I chow some of that cheese from last night which was/is good.
co-gigboss raphael drops us off at elmas airport at eight. big byes and grazias for him, I ask him to pass to the rest of egg. I see this display they got on the sea peoples... last year I read about this trippy stuff - maybe the cause of the late bronze collapse? and like it says here, maybe these "sea peoples" originated from sardenia?! I talk to fratello paolo about it. after security, I chow a sandwich w/mozzarella and ham but they ain't got mustard (not so popular in italy) and our senf is w/all the stuff at fratello ste's pad in bologna. let me tell you about this mozarella - I mean this at the airport but fuck is it good - ours back is like pencil eraser compared to this! my last sardinia chow... fuck, we were only here fifteen fucking hours! at nine we're on a ryanair 737 for catania on sicily - my first time on this island. we land at catania airport at noon. sunny weather. roberto picks us up. he's from palermo and that's where we're playing tonight, west of here and across the island. we stop for coff and I also see hot dog w/french fries in a roll 'pert-near like a burrito kind-of chow and get it... tastes good and so does znaloe drink I get, the one w/pomegranite, love aloe drink w/pomegranite. the drive is righteous, seeing the olde-timey stuff in the fields, prickly pear cactus, wild cane, cows being herded by old dudes w/their walking sticks. castellos and remains of castellos. a little bit of rain when reach some high parts but then back to so cal clear blue sky. roberto's got real good english and we talk about a bunch of stuff, from sxsw to people getting the wrong idea of a place or cats w/out ever going there or meeting them. it happens. it's bullshit. we're human though and hopefully learning to get past that cuz it's kind of like shitting your chonies. feels that way anyway. roberto's got a lot of relatives in the u.s. one day I'd like to show him my pedro town. he's into the fact a bunch of cats in pedro came from the island ischia, off of napoli. a mayor there gave us a statue that's by where the cruise ships dock. the nearby parking lot used to have me and d boon work there in the late 70s.
it's two hours driving and no tolls. we check in to the "casa galati" bed and breakfast konk bad and meet martin, a very kind cat behind the desk. he's gonna come to the show tonight - he has a "hattori hanzo" shirt on, crimony! pete mazich (my secondmen organman) calls his studio "casa hazno" - cazzo! we walk to the venue - well, I hobble. it's called bolazzi and I meet the man it's named after and owns, davide bolazzi. he is very cool people and I dig him much. he's got a good crew here too, all happening cats. it's a bar in the center of town and it ain't giant but it's good. not only driverman roberto but soundman roberto! I get to use his fender bassman silverface w/a matched 4x12 cab, fratello paolo on a 60s ludwig drumset and fraello ste on a musicman combo - we go small for the sitch. the drums take about 75 hours and same w/the guitar... these guys love to noodle. crimony. I ask them to get me when they get done. I get much diary chimped in the meantime, all the way caught up which is good cuz I had no time during the ride cuz of the spiel w/roberto. also it was the first time I rode up front on this tour and you know that fucking window went ALL the way down QUICK! I take as many pictures as I can, using roberto's cigarette lighter to charge the battery when I soak it dry. I wanna get as much as I can on my first time to palermo.
chow is here at the pad and really good. udon! w/shoga! w/finocchio too! oishii big time. spring rolls too, like vietnam but w/olive oil! and goma! and walnuts! trippy and tasting so healthy! dark green salad, oil and vinegared. really good chow. I have to go in though cuz I'm getting scared of fucking ka fucking chowing me while I'm fucking chowing. I then realize what this fucking lump on my neck is - it's a fucking ka bite! in fact I find ka bites all the fuck over me - that wasn't any fucking dream last night... I was fucking feasted on by these zanari bastards big time in perugia - that window was open to dry out my gig shirt and it had no screen... FUCK!!!! I am relieved in a way about the throat thing cuz it really had me worried but on another level I am so pissed off at the bastard mosquitos who have NO fucking shame - of course though, why would they? then, out of nowhere, a most kind cat named marco comes to talk w/me and turn me on to his music. he sees the fucking ka bites on my neck and forehead and says he can help. he right away goes to a nearby pharmacy to get me stuff for after-bite time and then a spray to keep the motherfuckers away. he's beautiful. my ma's pop's people were from palermo. time for another connection, maybe me and him can collaborate? I have to chimp diary to keep my mind off this fucking itching and itai ('pain' in jap) that's really threatening me to go out of my fucking head. alexander de large comes by - he's part of the lepers.it collective superfreak is along w/benny and frogwomen. good cats. and I have much respect for them. "keep on keepin' on" I was told once in a very difficult point in my life and I pass that on now. shit, we just got word we lost the venice gig - it was gonna be on the lagoon too... oh well, gotta roll w/it. italian tourboss cristian gets a replacement gig going in padua, very happening. "we you ain't playin', you're payin'" - right? damn right. I chimp diary.
ten bells comes around and the pad is packed. we bring the gig. even w/very beat up speakers, it's kind of ok for the bass - both the fratelli sound real good for working unfamiliar stuff. talk about unfamiliar! you gotta imagine the palermo gig-goers not knowing a bunch about what we're bringing them, right? there's a cat w/a black flag shirt and I know marco (the cat who got me the medicine) knows my stuff - maybe more than I think know but... I wanna play good for these no matter what. actually it's trippy on an emotional level cuz of the connect over the time - some of here ended up in my pedro town and got to play w/d boon. crimony. like I thought, the fucking direct box is rattled off the top of the amp, the tape that was put on during soundcheck (I brought up this potential hell then) can't deal and I'm out of the race - roberto runs up and tapes it back. of course it'll fall one more time but that's it so I luck out. what we needed was a longer patch cable so this motherfucker could be on the deck and stay there. anyway, small dealio - the gig's a good one cuz of everybody involved. I look out the windows - whoa, it's raining big time, out of nowhere! well, even the yammering in the quiet parts - prolly the most of the whole tour put together still doesn't make a dent in the happening feel I got cuz it just don't. it's a good fucking time. it feels righteous at the end to bring stooges for them. I say "paolo-matranga-three-four" for the four-count to coda, kind of off the mic. I see him (my grandpa) in my mind laugh and say my name, "michele."
I pack up quick and get on over to the merch table. I sink way deep into the chair, low ride! (it's an olde-timey one) lots of kind-hearted gig-goers are very emotional w/me and myself right back, it's a good time - like I said. the beer is real cold and crisp. I talk w/so many kind cats, whoa... you know what? a lot did know about my stuff, about d boon. one cat w/a righteous brown flannel talks to me about playing bass, he does it w/his friend but they don't have a drummer - ain't that a trip? he says he plays all the time. I tell him he's gotta find a drummer but I think it's ok he's still wailing on it. I tell alexander de long to bring the music for the collab. I tell marco the same and thank him much for that medicine for my fucking zanzara bites. I go up and see the padboss davide and thank you much - big BIG BIG abraccios for him - we take pictures... w/his puppet! big love for him from me, big love.
time to bail, martin (the "casa galati" deskman) came w/his brother and offer to give me a ride back cuz of the slick ground due to the rain. I go to say by to davide and he give me a bottle half full of a bourbon called "old pepper" - his helpermen gave me a couple after the gig. what a kind man - one more abraccio for him! at the konk pad, I'm too tired to even have a sip though, I hose off and konk very VERY quick. I'll bring that whiskey to catania tomorrow and think of him for my last gig in sicily. grazie, davide.
thursday, october 12, 2017 - catania, italy
"Tasting an arancina in Sicily is always like the first time... especially when it's the first time!"
We go to visit the Botanique garden in Palermo really amazing. I buy arancina for fratello Mike and Hiyori. Then Roberto drives us to the train station. We arrive in Catania at 16:21. We play at teatro Coppola. 250 people tonight. Almost packed. I guess the pa and amps we are using for the night are not enough. Anyway it is very nice to play here with il Sogno del Marinaio and very good we have been able to touch Sardinia and Sicily with no day-off.
pop right before seven. hose off again just to celebrate not getting chowed by the fucking ka. that rain from last night is gone. it's sunny skies out the window. martin has breakfast out - even some ham and cheese plus little versions of sliced bread you can toast. no senf though and ours is w/other stuff in bologna. he makes me cappuccino - my first of the tour cuz I usually like my coff black. martin's cool people.
I need air so I hobble about a few blocks around the konk pad, I want pictures. palermo I notice has lots of beat down but it's still very interesting and has much charm for me. please understand I don't ever take pictures of homeless people so it's not that. I'm not trying to make trophies out of hurt of pain but instead I find something that holds me cuz of a spirit or maybe it's some of my own or whatever reflected back but at the same time surprising me and making wonder in my head. roberto gets us at ten and a half and drops us off ten minutes later at the "orto botanico" botanical gardens not too far from the train station. this was a great suggestion. this pad goes back to 1789... we spend two hours looking at all kinds of plants, trees, cacti and all kinds of stuff - quite a variety. laid out real nice too. really amazing is this magnolia that's a fucking forest in itself 'pert-near. also a mindblow is the smoothness of the bamboo, incredible. one little pond has lilies and tombo - tombo ('dragonfly' in jap) love to chow baby ka - I love them! they let me take some shots. being around all this nature w/little signs identifying different kind reminds me of scotty (stooges drummerman) cuz he knew LOTS about nature and would point out and tell me about things. this always fascinated me. I miss him so much. I loved him... ronnie and brother steve too. oh man... a neat thing about the end of this journey here in this place that I ain't found in other botanical gardens I've been to is this building where they show the connect of botany w/the roots of medicine - the first stuff to help us heal up was from nature in the form of plants. really makes me think about this - not just pretty flowers or trippy shaped tree trunks but actually the foundation of an important science we can share to help each other. twelve-forty roberto picks us up and brings us to the train station. we can get on the train to catania at one, it leaves right on time thirtytwo minutes later. so much stereotypes and cliches. fratello ste gives me this big round kind of chow that's a rice ball w/a meat sauce in the middle. this whole ball has been deep fried to make a thin crust around it. "arancina" is what it's called and he says it's typical of sicily.
the train takes about two hours fortyfive or so to get us east to catania, clear across the island, 'pert-near. this lady named mary sits next to us so she can see out the window. she's interested in stuff about the u.s., mainly stuff lately in the news. she's from england. it's hard to explain why something is why it is but I suggest maybe something good is people meeting different people and trying to learn something from that that doesn't add to the hells we're all facing and maybe contributing to. I mean it's a lot of spiel but that's what I remember - oh, I discovered I lost my john coltrane pin. crimony. luckily I have a back up. I'm superstitious about some stuff. two police ride in the car w/us the whole time but I don't think they ever sat down and one had this clipboard kind of trip w/him the whole time. it wasn't like they were being hard-asses or anything, seemed though maybe they were looking for someone. this is the first time I took a train in italy. it was neat, different than a car. I didn't plan on doing the spiel I did though... didn't get much diary chimped like I plan to - I wonder if I was talking loud cuz I had ear plugs in cuz of some ladies across who were a little urusai ('noisy' in jap) and now I'm wondering if I was urusai?! I am baka.
gig or pad boss monica and giuseppe (I think I'm using his bass amp tonight) meet us at the main train station in catania and it takes them two trips to get us all to where we're playing tonight, not too far away at a pad called teatro coppola... on my trip, the scooters pass on the right here, I 'pert-near get my arm taken off by one. crimony! no more camera out the window for a shot for watt! I do get shots of around the venue, we're by the port and there's some trippy stuff like this huge chandler under an intense kind of palacio from the old days. shit, I wish I had time to hobble all over the place I think a p.a. was brought in for the gig and it's kind of tiny for the sitch but we'll make the most of what we got. soundman sebastian is cool people and into the fourth man spiel I give him. grazie. fratello ste has an old ampeg 1x12 combo (maybe from the 60s?), fratello paolo has a mapex drum kit (maybe european?) and for bass I got 4x10 cab powered by a gallien-krueger 1001RB. soundman sebastian puts on a small riser to decouple it from a hollow stage - ok, sure. helpermen marcello and luca all lending a hand to move the speakers in front of our mics to keep down the feed backs. people are always offering me booze before the gig - I tell soundman sebastian I don't drink before playing, I say "aspetta ('wait' in italiano)... aspetta... aspetta... adesso!!! ('now!!!')
backstage I gotta get the shirt off cuz damn if it ain't hot or I'm feeling that way. gigboss monica brings the chow and it's really good. eggplant parmesan, grilled eggplant, scallions w/bacon wrapped them and battered/deep fried (trippy), pork sausages - these remind me of what we call "italian sausages" back in the u.s. except they really ain't grilled as much or opened up and flattened (like my ma did them) but also NO fennel or anis, trippy. no strips of peppers and onion either but they do have the rolls. I talk w/the fratelli about these kinds of differences. we have a good time tripping on these connects and unconnects together. interesting.
on stage twenty before ten. no opening band went on. what was going on since we stopped soundcheck and right now is I guess soundman sebastian playing john coltrane's "a love supreme" endlessly, like it must've looped like nine times, I shit thee not! we bring our set. the pad is really stuffy wich is a trip cuz it's a huge box but maybe the ventilation thing ain't happening but you know it's my first time in catania and our last sicilian gig for the tour so it's important to keep pushing. I can imagine the audience having it more tough than us, rebreathing the same air over and over... I stop to think about it in a way right at the end of our first piece and of course there's a little clam - becoming too self aware is always a trip-up for watt, you can count on it! the fratelli are pushing, I know it's murder but they keep on pushing - everyone here in this pad focused on that goal, keep pushing! of course the "inhale" tunes help somehow pace the "wraslin' bout" it feels we're all swimming in - the bright red light coming up from the deck keeps me from seeing anyone so I instead focus on my fratelli - one thing I kind of weirded on is why the bar person or whoever has to throw the bottles in the gomi ('trash' in jap) cans to make them crash in our soft parts? this is a catania collective and some u.s. sports bar, right? crimony!! I laugh about it when I relate it the catania gig-goers in my last speech. I am grateful for their kindness, truly.
I see them bolt for the hatch and fresh air though soon as their legs can get them out. some stop at the table and give me the good word, a couple give me some whiskey - some bass brothers discuss bass w/me, a few do, in fact. respect. one young man takes the time to explain why just cuz this is the south it doesn't mean he doesn't have the passion to create and resist stereotypes. his spiel is heroic for me cuz at the same time, he is isn't be self-important but rather putting out principles he believes everyone can live w/no matter what their sitch, it is inspiring. it proves to me it's important to realize everyone might have something to teach you. I meet agostino and giovanna, both are part of bellini and uzeda and it's very much an honor. I agostino about lugano cuz I would like to play there... I tell him I've heard from some you have to do jazz fusion. he tells me tonight he thought we brought some jazz fusion! I laugh very hard and 'pert-near fall off my chair. they're both real good people and very interesting - I wanna do spiel w/them on my radio show.
the konk pad is in stumbling distance just caddycorner of the venue. I try w/the kagi, then fratello ste tries w/the kagi... we try and try and - gigboss monica arrives and enlightens us to the fact we're trying to open the wrong hatch - it's this other one! what a bunch of bakas. buona notte to fratello ste, he's beat and so am I. air conditioner ain't working so open go the windows... the sound of the traffic is insane! better than hot and sweaty though so that's how I konk after hosing off - bathed in catania traff urusai!
friday, october 13, 2017 - fontanafredda, italy
"This beautiful and clear river is the Livenza, in Polcenigo, close to Astro Club in Fontanafredda (PN). Great landscapes and great chow too!"
Very early bell to fly back to Bologna. Then we go to Fontanafredda, close to Pordenone. Good gig and incredible fresh food and lovely prepared by Luca's mother. My dear friend Alessandro bass player from Inzaire and Fabiana come to the gig.
pop at six. we gotta bail for airport in fortyfive minutes. everything ready for crack of dawn move, cab gets us to catania airport just after seven. last 'port security for me 'til going home flight. sunny weather to say bye from sicily. bye sicily. eight and half: ryanair 737 takes off w/me and fratello ste sharing row w/bass/guitar in window seat - worked for all three flights. we see napoli out the window and there's vesuvius... fratello ste wants to visit this december, there and stromboli - interesting but when dropping for the final descent, my fucking ears won't pop - the starboard one, I think it's kind of under attack w/some infection and I need to kill that. the pressure is intense but I do make it to the ground w/out hollering prolly cuz fratello ste kept me engaged w/spiel. the bologna airport is scary. I have to tell some folks I need it a little clear by says "sono zoppo" and they giggle but they do keep their kids from crashing into me... airports are so scary for me. italian tourboss cristian is here w/the boat - yes, we're back w/the boat but says he can't go to do the show w/cuz he's got too much to do. it's eleven when we get to ste's around, whew. pretty amazing all those flights, trains and stuff and absolutely no delays regarding us. everything ship shape! talking about it, me and fratello ste are most grateful. I get can get into clean levis, yes! turns out cut is recording vocals for their next record and they're on the tune I put bass on from my pedro town - ferruccio asks me to join carlos for this breakdown part to put in some spiel, "bad chromosome bad chromosome" they want from me, fratello bruno recoding it (vacuum studio, of course - here in the barn!) - two takes to get it, alright. fratello takes me to a "coop" supermarket (I notice he gave himself a haircut - raymond can cut his own hair too... me? forget about it - prolly end up looking like it caught fire and I tried to put it out w/an ice pick) and I get some peroxide for this ear. w/the little fratello bruno had for me, I could tell what I thought was happening was right. I heard boiling after pouring it ub and let it do its thing for like five minutes and then let it run out. w/the new bottle I give the outside hear another and then I gargle a dose to let work on both sides of the plug. fratello ste has us eat at "il piccolo cow-boy" not far and I trip to find out the "zuppa di legumi di stagione" I ordered is black eyes peas just like I eat daily but made it to a way thick soup. I love it, same taste, just a little more mashed cuz I cook mine in the frying pad w/the other vegetables - I get it frozen from the field. remember that california is a farm state, I shit thee not. big final bye byes to everyone here at the farmhouse, can't wait to see them again. three bells, we pick fratello paolo up - charlotta is here to drop him off. he takes the tiller from fratello ste and soon we gotta get diesel cuz it's like .25 euro/liter cheaper than on the highway... no fucking squeegee though. damn.
it takes about two and a half hours to get to the astro club in fonatanafredda which is little town outside pederone in italy's northeast... prolly the closest to the dolimite we'll get to this tour - the dolimiti is where my ma's ma's people come from. soundman mirko is the only here, part of some out of the way industrial space. I went to school w/some mirkos, it's a croatian name. that ain't too far from here. he's into the fourth man for tonight spiel. respect. there's a back room where I can chimp diary and also get like what seems like ages of bam bam from the drums. no escape. it's like being schackled to a hihat stand at the shithard center. a quick check (the way I like) and I'm back in the side room for band people and chimp diary while gig/padboss luca sets up chow his ma cooked for us. there's breaded small flat perch-like fish (about 3"x2" and thin), grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant ('aubergine' in england I learn from fratello ste), lasagna, and pieces of chicken cooked in wine plus a roll - all really tasty, whoa... nothing like chow from your ma, huh? damn right. respect gig/padboss luca's ma. openilng band dem breaks talks to me about michael azerrad's "our band could be your life" (the goodreads page here) and then he wants my life on bass story so I gave him an abbrev'd version going up to now. of course he wants to know why I'm playing w/these guys in il sogno del marinaio - so many people ask me that - I tell them cuz fratello ste picked me and thought it would be interesting... crimony! it's simple... yeah, my sister melinda a couple of months ago got some old pictures of my ma's people - ones that never came to the u.s. carlo piaia and guistina rossi we're the pioneers - my ma's side from the north of this land who made a life out in wyoming. I think they'd trip on me playing w/two cats from modern italy, trip in a good way maybe? I remember carlo and guistina - I called them nono and nona, I was just a boy but remember them big time. I tell them about knowing what boat carlo took - both boats, both times (he came twice, once to check it and then again no long after to guistina) the people at ellis island can let you have access to their records. they ended up in wyoming, in a coal town called dines 'til the coal ran out... he was a carpenter there. my ma and her little brother david visited the remains a while ago - my ma was born there. stephen from dem breaks is from south africa... one day I'd like to able to play there. I'm so glad fratello ste invited me to be il sogno del marinaio, so glad. the dem breaks guys do good and I'm lit up for it. however, I use the mask and konk for a hour - trippy, huh?
eleven forty is the word and it's then when we bring. even though we struck the stage, setting back up is pretty quick. here goes - there's fog on the stage right away, soundman mirko aslo does that and it's trippy... I gotta fuck up their towns name though in my first spiel, what a fucking idiot - I didn't work on getting that right cuz I space on it the fontanafredda gig-goers move in closer. I play pretty ok tonight - maybe my best "partisan song" solos ever for the tour. vogeli ('clams' in italiano) are kind of few. sound on stage has this low-mid bogart constant companion that's pretty frustrating but not a buzz kill. I think maybe mirko might not even hear it - I know that happens sometimes, different worlds: the stage and the mixing desk. he's doing the lights too and I like the interpretation, trippy. the fontanafredda gig-goers show real focus, many pins could be heard to drop if dropped - you could keep count if even a buttload were expelled w/much vigor. the fratelli play their ass off - I keep saying this night after night but it's true, night after night. much respect. respect also for the fontanafredda gig-goers and for gig/pad boss luca too.
I go to the merch table. miss hiyori has slung all her merch 'pert-near. she's taking mailorder orders now. it's hard to predict this kind of stuff. she did real good though, real good. a young man who does bass here talks to me much about bass - I get a few cats talking to me about bass... the first young comes back and wants me to hear his stuff, I say bring it - I tell him also about my radio show. I love dudes fired up about music. hector made the hour and a half hellride to get here. BIG respect to him, HUGE. he translated my three operas' librettos into italian. beautiful man. I am beat though and have to cut this part of the dealio a little short. fratello ste notices my state and gets me in the boat for the ride - big grazies for gig/pad luca, BIG ones.
get to this 'tel in nearby porcia at one but I ain't gonna name it cuz damn if there ain't some weird 'tude (maybe it comes w/the room? my mistake then) - last weird 'tel person was in dublin - you know, it don't happen that much unfortunately, it sometimes does and you just gotta weather it. no use getting pulled into stupid shit - remember what happened to br'er rabbit, right? hobble up some stairs, up to the chamber where a hosing off awaits me. I do that. then konk. I'm tuckered.
saturday, october 14, 2017 - padua, italy
"Padova, Circolo Nadir. This pic, from the great soundman Marcello, is very explanatory of the Nuovo Spirito Tour!"
We eat close to the mountains and we go to Padova. The gig was supposed to be in Venice but cancelled at the last minute. A big thanks to the people from Nadir, Marina and Marco that has set the gig on in just a couple of days. Is very nice night. My friend Marcello Batelli is on the board for us and Cristian comes from Bologna for the last Italian gig of the tour. All the Italian part has been great and very welcoming and definitly best food of the tour.
pop at seven. hose off and after face gets soft, shave. no chow here, only 'tude. I have lots of words from back home, have to reply to many emails. one interesting one is chris and kendall from fishbone are making an album and want me and perk to play on seven or eight tunes. pretty right on. there's a couple things w/daniel johnston w/joey warnoker on drums, ben lee asked me aboard. I got a big festival to do in my pedro town the saturday I come back so prac w/my secondmen the day after I land. I hope I don't sound like I'm bellyachin' though cuz I love all the opportunities, really.
twenty of twelve (ten minutes late) we pull anchor and I ain't crying a river cuz we are due and that's to a couple of sour-asses who happen to own or whatever do for this pad besides obviously NOT running the welcome wagon... fuck, even this giant grasshopper on the driver's side portland what's to hitch a ride out. I get fratello ste to get his coff down the road. grazie, fratello ste. he tells many lega nord are in this area. well, there's beautiful cats like luca in this area too. fuck that shit.
we head into the vigonuovo part of fontanafredda and chow at a pad near a stream called "santissima" - I get grilled trout and spinach on the side, fuck is it good. crimony. the crunch on the trout skin, the fucking happening parmesan I shovel onto the spinach, yet another italian symphony in my mouf! you can see the stream in the back and damn if it ain't clear as glass. we talk about the scarab and how this beetle amazed the old egypt people, a symbol of khepri doing his sun rolling work. back on the road just before two, fratello ste on the wheel (we started that way this morning), it's 'pert-near ninety minutes to do about a hundred klicks southwest (yeah, I know it's backtrack but this was a make up gig to the venice one that was scissored) to the 'tel ("hotel giovanni" if a 'tel is happening and I can remember its name then I'll chimp in the diary, otherwise...) in padua. I chimp diary in the 'tel room, find a newish ka bit on my abdomen's ports: souvenir from fontanafredda. at least no locust-sized grasshoppers or cimici ('beetles' in italiano) from china... fratello paolo says someone told him quarter of six we head to the venue which the navigatora says is about two miles away, near saint anthony's and after a couple of loops it's fratello paolo who suggests getting out and asking someone, yes! we are learning. he comes back w/the circolo nadir (tonight's venue) padboss marina takes his place in the navigatora seat and guides right into a plaza where the boat just fits - great driving by fratello ste. by the way, I was talking earlier about the "downtown" and fratello laughed and told me "downtown" ain't used in these parts and 'pert-near immediately after getting out of the boat, what do I see? a mural on a nearby bulkhead saying, "downtown" - I show him the shot I take of it and w/both laugh. soundman marchello is cool people and happens to be old friend of fratello ste's. respect. he gets the speech I thin and shakes my hand w/a fourth man grip - that's four across and not one in front of the other. he's gotta mix from the port side cuz of the sitch but that don't mean he ain't checking out front. italian tourboss cristian has rejoined us for the last gig - he has us do an extra tune for the check... yes, we defer to him. I'm so grateful he could get this gig together w/the original one getting scissored only a couple of days ago, very VERY happening. respect. I should say here also not just the gig but all of the italian gigs he put together for us, a really good job. MUCH respect!
I go upstairs after fratello paolo asks me to, says it's more comfortable. it is except for these fucking zanzara motherfuckers. chow is brought up and it's trippy: sardines wrapped in onions like a scandinavian thing, goat cheese, salami and crudo ham sliced real thin. a lasagna w/no tomato sauce and big time full of mushrooms. great focceta - man, really REALLY good! I clean the plate. all by myself up here, very relaxed and chimping diary - trippy way to get ready for a gig but this is ok, very much calm before the storm. actually though, if you think how we run this tour's set, it ain't actually immediate storm. I am baka.
down the stairs very slowly - there's the stage. there's another room to the port but that's where the bar is. my mind automatically figures that's where the yammering will come from. I try and shut that though out... we bring the gig. very happening padua gig-goers. big respect. much focus they have for us. very kind. there is some yammering as the gig goes on but it's like I guessed before, from the other room. no big deal. it's my last gig in italy and kind of emotional for me, I ain't gonna let anything or anyone put a damper in the hamper for me... that includes my baka self! I'm realizing I'm missing some of the kick drums hits I asked for in of our later tunes of the soon - oh, I blew a bunch of clams in "stucazz?!!" but damn if the fratelli keep it together, really REALLY happening - they're playing really good. I read fratello ste's diary (he just gave me he latest entries) and found he thought some of his playing suffered damn if I didn't think so or was so mesmerized by something else he was doing - I think he's very much putting it out there for us and same w/fratello paulo, both kicking like kato and tearing it up. I thank fratello marcello for doing so good being the fourth man despite have to mix from the starboard side. respect. we finish and I hobble off right to the side room and find the yammerer and give him some good neck/shoulder rubs. "it's you" I tell him and laugh. no hard feelings. I get back on stage and we finish w/a extendo version of our final blowout, it's our final blowout for italy... I holler GRAZIE, ITALIA! for all the kindness I've gotten here... I 'pert-near cry.
I keep it together though and go over to the merch table. no real merch though - miss hiyori ran out last week, people have been real kind about that. you never know how to gauge that stuff, always a dice roll. anyway, no beer or whiskey tonight - I'm drinking cold italian white wine now and then some red later at the 'tel. I get the good word from many kind people including the padboss martina. meet andrea - he was in jennifer gentle w/fratello paolo when they did u.s. tour ten years ago. singerman for him was not just squirrel voice but squirrel w/the tail pulled voice. I meet a few bass brothers too AND a front man who gives me his album, I respect front men much - us bass cats look good making them look good, I like those politics. italian tourboss cristian has to get a train so only time for quick but BIG abbracio hugs. I thank him intense again for everything he brought and did for us, truly.
we pull anchor and get back to the 'tel, I hose off right away cuz the gig was soaker on the sweat front. the fratelli join me in drinking the italian red wine. yeah. we get a call from the baka at the desk - we were whispering too loud. ok. we got the longest drive left tomorrow so we gotta get some konk. I'm out the moment they're out the hatch. I am fucking tuckered but glad so much I never went halfway or anywhere near it for all eleven of these italian gigs - thank you fratelli and sorelle so much for inspiring such a fire in me and my own fratelli here in il sogno del marinaio for keeping it lit.
sunday, october 15, 2017 - vienna, austria
"In Wien @ Chelsea you can easily enjoy the show drinking beer at the bar. Lovely night with a special visitor: Tav Falco)))"
We hit the road at the 10 and we get to Wien around 17:00. Kind of a long driving. My first time at Chelsea. I played at Ritz and flu before. We see Rupert again. Nice to meet Tav Falco at the gig. His words about il Sogno del Marinaio gig are inspiring. Thanks Signor Falco.
pop at eight, hose off even though I did last night - these fucking zanzara bites makes me feel like I have dead skin everywhere and I wanna defoliate the shit. the downstairs is a good one. a lady there kindly fries two eggs w/some bacon for me, I get the toast, yogurt w/prunes in it plus coff. very good. I make "pocket sandwich" w/roll stuffed w/salami and cheese... I'll eat these later in the boat.
another morning of good weather, we pull anchor at ten after ten - only ten minutes than agreed time. sun is out bright w/cali style yet again... we're so lucky that way this tour, most grateful. fratello paolo at the wheel. we're gonna get into austria via travisio. quarter of twelve get motor way diesel, it's fucking 1.66 euro/liter. crimony. we check tire pressure. front starboard is a whole kbar too much - worse thing is it's uneven w/the port side. we'll check again tomorrow w/tires much more colder. closer to the border, we get vignette at a service area (none for sale at last one) cuz you need one to use austrian roads. switzerland has the same thing. it goes on the windshield. one time I got 100 deutschmark (good old days currency) fine for spacing and forgetting to get one. baka. even today it's only like eight euros. I was not so aware in the older days. all this drive is full of eye-gifts concerning the mountains and the mix of the italian w/the austrian... the idea of borders, right? the idea of mixing and what get mixed, bass playing styles? diluted? supplemented? confused?! one thirty we cross the border and total butter... totally no control or border people even so we don't have to neither stop or slow down. two bells and we stop at a raststation to drop unko and switch ponies, now fratello ste's turn. the weather is very nice. I get romerquelle water which has righteous piss bottle quality - widemouth opening. we discuss the ideas of "exotic" vs "homegrown" and how these things fold up on each other. raststation vs rasthoff, whatever. different kinds of help for these fucking ka bites - "mistick" brand is the one I've found that works the best... I've tried three others this tour besides and an antibiotic ointment. I can't remember when I've had such a prob this way.
it's election day in austria, hmm... I find the address on the navigatoria gps for chelsea which I've played before but I remember the macario and the czech guys (uz jsme doma) having a real hard time finding it. this pad is built under some railway arches and the cats here are very cool. we get in town just after five and see these political posters... the shill w/the "jetz oder nie" ('now or never' in german) jive ass. the gigboss here is david and he told me that clown won. it's good to see him again, last time I had to play near where that ferris wheel in "the third man" is - I think it was called fluc. fuck, that was the last time I saw sean-d, I remember that last big hug... won't forget it ever. steff's here to take some pictures but we got a lot to talk about, he's a bassman also plus he's part spain and part austria, yeah it was steff who took me and sean-d's last picture together. we spiel while soundman tomas gets things together - I give him the fourth man spiel and of course he remembers me from a couple of years ago, good cat and happening fourth man for tonight. same w/lightman cris, I tell him to interpret the music the way he feels it. we do our check and damn if it ain't rupert from innsbruck. he was supposed to ride w/us from italy to here but stuff happened and he couldn't get to the gig. I tell him of my 2018 plans, all the composing and recording I wanna do. david's arranged for me to get some wienerschnitzel (it's gotta be made a certain way to call it that here) and miss hiyori schleps it here doing our check, very kind of her. I had wienerschnitzel in this town once before - I think w/james williamson maybe? maybe - he would sometimes take me and brother steve to chow w/him. this is really good, especially w/the lemon and the senf. this is where I'm really get into my spiel about next year w/rupert - he tells me to relax and do my chow. ok... what's really trippy is I never see him again, he disappears. I thought we were supposed to a big spiel? I hope he's ok. steff takes pictures of us as a band and then individual.
I go and finish my diario for yesterday and then konk on a bench. gig time is a quarter of ten so that's went I roust myself - hey, there's tav - yeah, there's tav, he's here w/his wife gina! crimony! gina says they live not too far away. he tells me to stay in my hammock - actually I was konking on my back on a bench but I understand what he means. whoa, tav's here... he tells me he wants to see this music... oh man, I hope I don't choke like I did earlier in the tour in front of my brighton friends at the gig there. maybe cuz I'm playing w/two guys from italy he tells me about just being where his people were from - I show him the shot of carlo and gustina w/their family - hey, we gotta play! ok, I am determined to man up and grow a pair. we bring the gig and I really pull tight w/my fratelli. there's much mid-rangey rude guitar ('pert-near at points a total bogart) cuz of the bare bulkheads and some loseness w/the beat combined w/just good old clams w/the drums but still both of them even in this way really help me to keep it together. in my second speech I let people know that it was on the way here two years ago I got the message from tav to contact him and seeing about playing w/the panther burns which was a total mindblow and then getting to do that whistle blower tour, man, that was something. we finish up and damn if I didn't clam all up. I gotta give credit to the vienna gig-goers too - both them and my fratelli really helped me keep it together... damn I felt it was important I do good for tav so I thank and hug the fratelli much.
at the merch table, I need a chair - here's one, steff helps me and I can sit. I'm shaking like a leaf. miss hiyori gives me a note tav wrote while we were playing:
then he starts give me his impressions orally - I'm so scared but he gives me the good word and starts describing what he felt and I'm floored - it's intense on me but it's also illuminating in his way. I am trembling but listening to it all and taking it in. he then explains the election that just happened here too, very interesting. I'm always learning being around tav. we talk about larry and the xmas record we all just did together in memphis this past summer - larry not only did righteous drums but dug deep and mixed it good. tav tells me he's playing more guitar at these live gigs he's been doing. me and larry are a HUGE fan of his guitar playing... so glad to hear he's bringing it. tav has so many inspiring words for me, so much spirit for me to take to heart. HUGE respect to him. my old vienna buddy peter raps to me about all kinds of stuff after of course sign manfred's poster (manfred is very loyal gig-goer for me here in vienna - like peter) and talk bass w/some other cats. talk w/a lady from pennsylvania who's very kind - hey, there was a lady from l.a. at the padua gig... you know, lots of my europe gigs lately are for europe cats. I say that cuz in other periods or like some towns earlier this year my first time in china I'm playing for a bunch of folks from my land. anyway, peter's great w/spirit - he liked my spiel at the end there, I was inspired by tav's "whistle blower blues" tune tonight and wanted to bring it. I gotta also say big love to the dj - he was playing some older sleaford mods before we went on and then as we were about to bail, a trippy version of p-funk's "cosmic slop" which was a mindblow. dug it much.
get in the boat after big hugs to peter, steff, tav - go not far to 'tel called "hotel exe vienna" and hose off after chamber entry. fratelli join for talk about navy concerning the old man, officers and enlisted men. they didn't know that much regarding things and asked me for explain so I do w/what I know cuz my pop ended up a chief and that's as high as you go as an enlisted man. in navy housing I was w/all kinds of different ethnic/whatever people so had very mixed understanding of people are people, it's no prob but we were separated in another way: I never knew any officers' sons. I then soak after they bail - yeah, first tub in a while. man, am I sore. I konk that way, all sore but grateful for good people in my life. grazie.
monday, october 16, 2017 - krakow, poland
"1 - 2 - 3 - check the pressure! Fratello Ste at the wheels, Fratello Mike at the manometer. 3.3 kbar in front / 2.9 kbar in the back. Full load. Ready to leave Krakow, our only polish gig and my first show in this beautiful city. Inside an old building, Alchemia is a really good club with really good pepole!"
We have been at Alchemia last year and we come back this year... very long driving from Wien. Nice to see Wojtek again. Is a good gig but after the third song of the set I had problem relating with others people and the audience tonight. Do not know why... maybe I am just tired. But I have a good energy from the fratelli and the playing... strange on one side I really enjoy the gig and on the other side there was sometimes that is irritating me and I guess is just me. At the end of the night everyone is really happy and kind.
pop at seven. great fruhstuck six floors down, I take 'vator. scrambled eggs that are not runny tabasco sauce, bacon, pickles and olives. roll stuffed w/roast beef thin slice and goat cheese. big coff and tiny orange juice. out the window is very righteous cali weather trees w/autumn bright leaves. do shitternet work I have to do, bail from 'tel at ten. head on over to last night's venue. we could've loaded out last night but didn't know we had safe park place here at 'tel. oh well. quarter after ten we're back at chelsea and david's got our stuff right by the hatch, great. he's feeling better, said last night was tough cuz of sickness but you know what? he never said anything about that last night, he's a champ. good man. so glad to know him, work w/him.
I got both the polska venue and 'tel into the navigatora gps, grande! fratello paolo on the tiller, we head west towards czech republic w/a haze descending on us as sunny vienna gets further behind us. stronzos in the ears this morning provided by fratello ste, it's lucio battisti. I still wear the hat cuz ultraviolet can burn right through haze/clouds... my port side ear is 'pert-near healed, the starboard w/that pressure prob cuz of swelling from small infection all the way gone. there is nothing like fucking good health, let me tell you! yesterday was first day in 'pert-near two weeks I wasn't chowed by ka! still healing from old ones (including one in the neck, the other one after the big one from perugia) but no fucking new ones. the sun breaks through but not totally. still, no rain so it's a good thing.
eleven and a half we get diesel for 1.10 euro/liter in a small austrian town, wetzeldorf, this is some of their wine country. closer to the border we get a road vignette for the czech republic - seventeen euros, twice the austrian cost - lasts only two weeks too but hey, we're using their roads so I got no problem w/that. we cross border just before noon. sun and haze fighting for dominance on our route. heading north through the monrovia art of the country, the sun wins out some over the haze... twenty after one we drop anchor a little north of olomouc so these guys can chow - I had good breakfast. fratello ste now on the wheel, we continue on. a quarter before three we pass into poland. we get to katowice and have to pay a toll: either ten zlotys or five euros - we go for euros (it's about three and a half zlotys for one u.s. dollar, by the way). the haze is all gone and it's cali weather. nice weather but it looks like I fucked up big time cuz the address I had was the right street but for a town more than fifteen or whatever klicks away from we need to be - I was baka, big time baka - obaka, bakayaero, obakayaero! tonto, stunado, idiota - cazzo! I'm so sorry for not double checking and getting that together. I put right data in and also for 'tel (that was fucking wrong too - I am a baka!). I feel like such a fucking doof.
gigboss wojtek is waiting right in front of alchemia - we played here last year for him too. he helps us load in. this is the old jewish neighborhood, dig the vibe. gigboss wojtek has gotten this great band made of three local ladies called pochwalone and after doing the spiel and check w/soundman martin, I get to meet them and find out the ironic stuff concerning their band's name. gigboss wojtek says october sixteen now be known as "international bass day" cuz of a kind of a summit. tekla is very good bass player, VERY GOOD - that's my opinion. jacek, my bass brother from stone error (they opened up for us last year here) comes by to say hi, drop off some new music and check out the wattplower bass. very kind man w/big heart, true brother. gigboss wojtek brings chow for me: polish style sauerkraut (really good, especially w/senf!), polish style ribs (really good!) and steamed vegetables (yes, REALLY good!) - I chow hard, my old dear friends jose and kyoko have flown in from london - actually they came a couple days ago and saw that auschwitz-birkenau nightmare (I went there like five years ago, was very VERY hard on me, couldn't talk after) and we talk about other associated nightmare. fuck, it's insane, this crazy fucked up shit. they bail for chow. pitor comes by w/a request for me to write a sentence for his web siste - fuck, I spaced and forgot about this - he asked me a year ago. I'll get on it. he's got some heavy times, it's very sad. I hope I can cheer him up w/some bass, I'll try my hardest. first though is the local ladies and I go watch their set.
pochwalone tear it up, I dig them much. just drums, bass and a voice - very econo but very much their own trip. tekla really tears it up and drummie keeps it way pocket while singerlady nika who has wide receiver grease under her eyes delivers her words in a very focused way - it's all in polish so I can't understand it literally but I get a good feel musically. very happening. tekla uses a wah pedal and maybe this is why I think of koja but they have different personas and working bass. what they share is this lack of having to support a guitar player, extremely strong rhythm and in no way jazz fusion. I'm really inspired to bring it tonight... from jose and kyoko's stories of them checking out that death camp shit, to piotr and his hells to these pochwalone ladies delivering it.
nine and a half and it's our turn. the krakow gig-goers are there for us right from note one. very kind of them, dzieki ('thanks' in polska). it's intense for us on stage, I feel another gig coming on but ain't gonna get so cock-sure. you'd think for the twentyninth gig in a row we'd be getting it kind of together, right? I still think we got some risk going that interesting and also room to develop stuff, even still on the dynamic level but also on the groove parts. risk means maybe some clams but recovery also shows humanity - important things for a gig that can be gig that's alive and not on autopilot. we get some things we've been talking about a little more down the road but progress in some parts has still got maybe some stuff we can develop. during fratello ste's spiel, someone hollers "mama mia, keep playing!" and so we keep playing. I think fratello ste should get a spiel. it's not like we spiel after every fucking tune, c'mon! we finish strong.
over at the merch table, some foreigners visit w/me - no together but in between polish cats - one lady is big raymond pettibon work admirer and she had no idea raymond had me in some of his movies. anyone who loves raymond gets the love of watt, glad I could pass on the infos. raymond's got plans for a new movie w/me in it. me and this man from victoria (the big island off of vancouver, bc) talk about nomeansno. the wright brothers are incredible, I dig them much. there's a cat from the valley (in so cal) who's a little embarrassed but I tell him perk's from the val and captain beefheart got "trout mask replica" together there also. k lives in the val (east part). a polish guy wants to talk the jesus lizard w/me - no prob, I dig them much. I do get to enlighten him to that fact they're gonna do some more gigs soon... he had no idea. glad to turn him on! he also didn't seem to know about mr yow and the scrabble board game - the man is really good at it. respect. tekla wants to dance w/me, my knee is hurting so I can't do the kind of dancing I'm used to... instead she leads me in an old time kind of dance where I don't twist or shake but you hold one hand out, like vienna waltz style or some think like that? I think so. I barely have to move my feet or legs, it's more like swaying my body w/hers, she sings some of the lines of the music that's playing... she tells me "dance w/me to the end of this song" so I do. she's very kind. a trip too after hearing/feeling such wild bass from her. crimony! I've never ever danced that way.
there's no parking at the 'tel ("grodzka 21" about a mile away) so we'll leave the boat here and take a cab. I get some final spiel in w/jose and kyoko. I'm gonna miss them much, so glad they made the trip out. not getting to see your friends enough has always been a prob for me, always. one more abrazzo on both at same them... ok, pull anchor. we get to the 'tel and it's a nice pad. we talk about how the band has been doing, we talk about funk also. I have great music talk w/the fratelli. just after midnight when I hose of and konk. I am tuckered.
tuesday, october 17, 2017 - halle, germany
"I like private accommodation, especially in Deutschland... Always creative.
Mez's pad in Halle is one of those, in the attic of an old building. Good cat"
Long driving when we arrived there I am very tired. After check we eat and at 21. I am on the van sleeping, I wake up at 23:00... just on time to get on stage and play. I really enjoyed tonight gig. I miss Tim's band though - next time. We go sleep at Matt's... I met him years ago with Inzaire. Very kind guy.
pop at six, had horrible nightmare after konking again - up for good at eight. 'mare was something like this: I'm riding w/some cats and kind of bellyachin' (remember it's a 'mare) and they're putting up w/it... we get to this pad w/like a party or something going on and my fellow passengers and cats already here start getting fed w/me though now I've piped down but it's too late and it's getting a little rough and belig... crimony, it's like it's really happening - you know those kind of 'mares, the ones that got you sweating bullets and it's such a relief/fucking miracle when you come out of them. I think I was 'pert-near getting pushed off a fucking cliff even! you know I got acrophobia, right? yep. I pop awake in a cold fucking sweat, shaking. ok, 666 klicks for today's hellride and there's bound to be some stau ('traffic plug' in german)... let's do this.
quarter of ten we meet wojtek outside the 'tel and he gets us a cab. big hugs for wojtek 'til next time. the cab takes us back to alchemia so we can load the equipment up. sun is out real so cal style, I'm way into it. about ten and a half we're loaded and we can get on our way west to germany. fratello ste on the helm, I ask him to the pull over the first filing station we find so we can check the tires' pressure w/them cold. the air compressor here at a pad not too far from alchemia is free. sure enough, they're about a half kbar down - that check we did a couple days ago in italy was baka cuz we'd been driving a few hours and the tires were hot and causing the air in them to expand. we get the fronts up to where the sticker in the hatch says: 3.3 kbar for the front and 2.9 kbar for the rear. we get on the road and driverman fratello ste asks for stronzos from my ipod so I give him jim brown - I got like three hundred or something, from seven inchers from him. we drop anchor at one of those roadside service plazas (this is a shell one) to get diesel, 4.79 zlotys/liter (the last toll boof had an exchange rate listed as 1 euro = 4.5 zlotys) so about 4 euros/liter which makes for about $4.80/gallon u.s. which is pretty good. best to get rid of an zlotys anyway cuz you lose bones converting them to euros or whatever. we also switch ponies but before that I for the first time this tour drive the boat! I put it in the parking zone cuz I hate motherfuckers who leave their vehicle at the pump and bogart like assholes w/the selfish move. I get a trippy hot dog that w/my tupe of lowensenf, it's pretty ok. oh yeah, there's some ok squeegees and soapy water. twenty minutes down the road is total stau - such a stau that we are totally stopped. it's about construction, breaks open after the next toll... funny the paper in this boof says one euro = 4.1 zlotys - what? you mean it's changed in the last hour or so? maybe the boofman decides what the rate should be? just curious... we cross the border into germany twenty of four. see a truck for something called the "schnitzelzug" ('schnitzel train' in german) - boy, that sounds healthy. we pass an airport that's really econo - not an airfield but an airport that's got like six or seven airliners from a russian airline that ain't boeings or airbuses, trippy. another stau... this one from a rear-ender accident... four and a half and we switch ponies at a parkplatz, fratello ste to do the last ninety minutes or whatever it'll take to get to halle. well, the navigatora gps did not know there was construction and the offramp for the zentrum (center of town) was closed so we get off on the first offramp north of town and force her to recalculate a route using the tiny roads - the fratelli use their smartleashes instead - they have abandoned her but it turns out both machines pick same route. oh well. for me, the main point is we arrived alive. I had a map of where this pad is too, made it this morning when I had internet w/the 'puter - it's by the a boneyard. six and a half we arrive, about a half hour later... w/all the stau and the detour involved I think that's pretty good. gigboss mez is very cool people, helps us load in.
soundmen jakov and hans get the spiel - they haven't decided who will do the actual mixing yet so I give the "fourth man spiel" and their both into it. in the end, it's hans - maybe the did coin flip? I rap w/the new tuggy (they're the openers tonight) drummerman valentin about the name of this pad we're playing tonight, it's called hunermanhattan and I know the manhattan part - it was the native tribe that lived where what's called part of new york city now. hun is hen - female chicken! of course, I remember "die roten hahn" which was a song I learned when I had to take german at long beach stage 'pert-near forty years now... trippy how shit like that can come back to you. bassman tim from tuggy who lives in leipzig (originally from oldenburg) set this gig up w/mez - it's good to see him and ola again, great people. tuggy's changed: new drums and now w/a keyboard - charge hard ahead tuggy! mez tells me this pad used to be a plastic factory that made letters for advertising signs. halle is in what used to be called the ddr and the traffic lights have the ampelman walk/don't walk lights. anyway tim (another tim, one from here) has made up some great chow for us: an asian-type salad w/glass noodles, really good especially w/the bread that's just been baked. also there's some spaghetti he makes w/olive oil, garlic and a parmasean that's the softest I've ever seen. trippy. all tastest great though and so much that I find a back room and lay down for what I think is a second but the lights are too bright and when I put on my konk mask I can't help myself fight off the tiredness and find myself popping tuggy is playing - what! I go out right quick and them wail. yeah, new drummerman and keyboard have really changed the band. the guitarman philipp is really good, love his tight playing that's for me a trippy kind of funky. I am lit up to play, by the tuggy gig and tim's great chow. danke everyone involved!
eleven and a half when we bring it, my first halle gig and the first german gig of this tour - also the last tuesday one... trippy how that's all co-mingled. the halle gig-goers move in close and support us directly - late for a weeknight gig too. the hellride was a little hard on us but somewhere deep down I feel the fratelli pull from inside themselves and it buoys me also, I rally w/their help - even w/some clams that threaten a part of the first one 'pert-near over the ropes, we steady her up and keep the keel in the water. there's a problem a little w/tuning - that tuner I was using ain't lining up w/fratello ste's - I'm gonna tune of his lowest 'g' note on his 'e' string next time (tomorrow). sometimes I think the stunad is in my head but later fratello ste said he could hear it too. no matter, I'm lit from the opener and the chow and I ain't gonna let that much smaller stuff put a damper in the pamper and charge as hard as a zoppo can go w/out toppling over - gotta watch the edge of that drum rug or that's just what I'll do! crazy part of "skinny cat" 'pert-near gets too crazy but fratello paolo pulls it out. respect. maybe the fifth time in a row I didn't use a set list either... we'll sometimes I looked over at his - not his crutch sheet of notes but the tunes in the order we're doing them. it's important cuz we kind of play the whole trip as one pice anyway. new way of doing "punkinhed ahoy!" I'm digging. I like this gig much. thank you, halle gig-goers!
they thank me in person by the merch table but in the dark cuz there's no light. that's ok. both a young man and young woman - one at a time - not connected but man, they both bring the good word really passionately. I'm so glad I never go halfmasted w/a gig cuz man, I would big time feel like a dick otherwise. I talk to a bunch of bass brothers - one's a student of bassman tim from tuggy! we have a blast talking bass for a little bit. tim didn't cook all the chow himself, I meet a lady who helped - I thank her like I thank him, most grateful cuz what a gift, right? it is late though and we had a hellride - fratello paolo tells me he had trouble w/his muscles cuz of that. I still think he kicked up much dust. respect.
gigboss mez rides w/us to his pad and it's in a older building where he's renovated the top floor. it's a bunch of flights up but it's worth it, I dig it. he's got some mattresses laid out for us and we drink some bourbon and have a good time. I konk like a rock, didn't even hose off. baka.
wednesday, october 18, 2017 - berin, germany
"'Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.' [Clint Eastwood].
Berlin, Quasimodo Club. A very import night cuz Fratello Andrea, who gave me the witness and was there. He approved and I'm so glad about this. So grateful."
pop at seven and a half. good long tub here at mez' and though it takes a while to fill, it's way worth it. I soak my sore bones and joints. I chimp diary after toweling off and putting on fresh chonies. mez wakes up and makes me some coff, most kind of him. he sets up chow for everyone. noon comes and time to take the stairs down slow. that's why I like going last, so I don't hold anyone up. it's sunny weather like back home, love it. no zanzara either, even better. bring part of salami stick that was on the breakfast table at mez's pad.
berlin's just over a hundred miles northeast of halle, after loading up the stuff at last night's venue - mez helping us schlepp big time, big hugs for him for everything, "tschuss!" to him w/big love. tonight we're at quasimodo in the charlottenburg neighborhood of berlin, the former west zone. it's been many years since I haven't played in the east zone which became de rigueur for me since the 90s. first check into the 'tel and then get in at three - fratello ste didn't realize he was reading from last year's tour book (by the way, I got the last piece of info for the last gig's konk pad and finally could get the tour book in one pdf file to everyone - w/only five gigs to do!) and thought he had konk time at the 'tel but nope, load-in is now. we might soundman miki and gigrep tali. both are happening people. kind of fancy pad here but soundman miki is all respect and into joining us to make a quartet tonight. we do the check in the special 5:15 pm window, it goes quick (my part along w/the whole band takes thirteen minutes today) and then take photos in the alley w/kristof, a very cool man who drove all the way from frankfurt to get here. he knows about klaus schulze, he knows about der plan - wow! loved mr schulze as a teenager, lots of headphone session after eating l and der plan w/the movement - maybe like residents or maybe bands I'd see in hollywood like nervous gender or the screamers. he said he's glad there's people like me out that stuff still going. respect to him. most kind. I meet the padboss sabrina who's very kind and has been all over, very cosmopolitan. I could prolly talk w/her for years - just about her years in downtown l.a. and south beach, florida. fascinating lady. her helperlady lali too are righteous people. the people part of touring are really important, let me tell you. I'm most grateful to folks in europe being so kind, really I am. it's the same back home too, it's tons about people, tons. big time.
back from doing wash, miss hiyori brings doner - this is the home of this kind of stuff and I really dig. this one's happening, like 4.80 euros and lots of fresh veg crunch w/flavor blasts mixing in w/the meat in happening mouf symphony. then who appears a little late, fratello andrea - yes, fratello andrea! he brings w/him incredible spirit boost to fratello mike - I hug him big time, bring HUGE abraccios. I know it's been only a year since I've seen him but the process of playing tunes we played together w/out him the last month (I think tonight's the thirtyfirst show in a row plus there was those six days of prac in bologna before gig one) was a trip on me and the reality of my original sogno drummerman brother being here is really REALLY fucking happening. we talk the kind of talk that sitch kind of makes for - can't wait to have him on my radio show to play his new solo album and have him talk about it. the next thing is playing in front of him w/this third chapter of il sogno del marinaio tonight. kind of really scary to think about. I konk w/the konk mask on in the back room (good couch to do it) while he goes to chow dinner w/fratello paolo.
there's no opening act and it's 'pert-near ten and a half... fratello paolo and rousts me - there's bookerman fratello ricky! whoa. so glad to see him. it's big time important for me he sees this band w/the new chapter. ok, let's bring it. somehow I am totally aware fratello andrea's watching/listening but I don't why but the afraid us somehow buried itself and damn if I don't do the least clams of any gig this tour - crimony! it's kind of trippy, the acoustics but I trust soundman miki and my fratelli plus the berlin gig-goers really bring the spirit for this new spirit. it's a very VERY happening gig and I can't stop smiling when it's done, even laughing and laughing, just can't help it.
at the merch table I talk w/barry from tel aviv. last saw him in his town w/brother steve. he sat w/me as we saw brother steve work his sax beautiful w/a couple of young cats in jaffa, beautiful time for me. barry's got a new proj - he'll be on my show coming up soon. matei from romania (he put on my only bucharest gig I've done - so far) is here w/some cats he's making an album here w/and I'm glad to meet them, greetings sugar they're called. much success to them for their proj. fred is here and helps me remember stuff and we talk about ne music he's got coming. so many kind people and I'm all lit for getting to play for fratello andrea and NOT fucking up. only two of those tunes tonight I never played w/him before, incredible. I give him more hugs. there's all kinds of cats from all over, berlin is very cosmopolitan - I dig it big time. wow.
cuz ich bin ein kruppel ('I'm a cripple' in english) I can't do much w/the load-out but instead I have a good talk w/bookerman fratello ricky about the tour and I dig what he's saying much, I really like him, like his ideas about doing things and he's got no front and puts it out right there - reminds of my booker man back home, steve kaul... we've been together thirty years now and I call him "the man outside the van" - I'm developing this kind of thing I think w/fratello ricky also, I think. I get to meet his helper man, fratello marco - now I can put a face to an email, righteous!
one more big hug for fratello andrea. he really helped me tonight and in some ways I don't know exactly how but it's just him being him which is beautiful. I couldn't ask for a more special specialness - he's the man. can't to wait to explore his new music w/him on the show, maybe around my bday in december. the 'tel is very close and even w/the weird scene w/the desk people - don't know why but that's w/them cuz I'm really up on what just went down w/the band and getting to do this gig. the fratelli join for some debriefing - I go hose off quick and we spiel, good spiel about the good feel the gig brought me. man, I was lit. grazie, fratello andrea, grazie.
thursday, october 19, 2017 - hamburg, germany
"Hamburg day starts with a 'Black Pearl' at fischmarkt. Fratellis already knew where to go chow... so gut!"
pop at ten and a half. I was beat. hazy out the window but if the pattern we've had holds then the sun will burn it off by the afternoon. hose off again, fuck it.
pull anchor twenty of twelve w/fratello ste on the conn. get out of berlin w/hardly any stau, righteous. an hour later we get diesel soon after west of the ring road at a rasthof... squeegee but it's a tiny fucking. miss hiyori brings over the big brush that trucks use, has like a four foot handle. alright. I get a bratwurst, brot, senf und kaffee for five euros. pretty fucking right on. diesel is 1.32 euro/liter which is ok for highway fuel - remember last autostrada burn price was 1.67? one fucking thing about this whole tour is the terrible scene w/a gomi sack for the boat. these light weight plastic pieces of shit that lay flat on the deck are way lame. what we need is a box or something firm that holds firm the can use these piddly sacks as a liner - but that would be too easy so we'll continue to do it the stunado way. two bells and the mule's kicking at the back door (not too long ago I did round of psyllium husks) so I plead for parkplatz stop - the coiling chamber is built to a-bomb bunker standard, I can dig it. pony switch for the last hour to hamburg, fratello paolo both steering the boat and the sound system - incredible surprise it's the same sleaford mods album for the thirteenth or so time. I tell the fratelli about this guy last night while I was at the merch table "confronting" me w/the "why did you replace your drummer" spiel... what? we didn't replace him, he had to commit to his current solo proj, nothing belig or drama about it but this guy was convinced. there was some other potential "issues" but I defused pretty ok. the br'er rabbit fable is strong in my consciousness w/people. even still people are gonna think what they're gonna think and it's mountain out of molehill time MAYBE, I do my best to avoid. I don't want anybody upset, truly. strange. I remember in town who's name I mention on that tour I did w/tav and larry where this guy comes rolling up w/a buttload of 'tude and sure enough, guess who's got some drama to brag about? it's pathetic. always remember br'er rabbit - br'er fox fucked up too, forgetting rabbits don't get hung up on briars. I wish I could really convince people I ain't out to be the cruelty meister, I just ain't. I got nothing to gain and also I really try to put myself in other's shoe for the empathy approach - I wish it was more of a two-way street w/that stuff w/some 'pert-near wanna be "victims" of some mis-conceived hierarchy cosplay jive shit. ok, enough of making myself sick thinking about all this. I see a truck w/"pundsack" painted on the side of it... maybe a family name? my mind 'pert-near wanted it to say "pudsack" instead.
miss hiyori lives in hamburg so she knows all about these parts. we're playing in the harbor part - not too far from the reeperbahn but not part of it. some these parts of familiar to me cuz last year I played here w/the fratello andrea version of il sogno del marinaio - the pad's called havenklang and it's across a channel from a huge shipyard w/lots of drydocks. they ain't open 'til five (it's three now) so we go further down the road for some seafood, we know this pad "fischmarkt bistro" cuz last year we chowed here twice and damn if this pad's boss ain't got ac/dc (the band) blasting non-stop like he did then. I get a "burger loup de mer" - I think it's cod w/this salad stuff on slightly crunchy brown bun that's got I think goma seeds on it. it's good for me. chowing outside on a picnic table they got here, I talk w/fratello ste about dinosaurs. I try to make my talk simple for fratello paolo too but it might be too crazy. this talk leads to problems I see w/the idea of "scientism" but at the same time having respect for the scientific method.
we drive back over to the pad and come up on the sidewalk to load-in, it's 'pert-five and padboss fabian lets us in (he tells me unfortunately thomas is sick, sure hope he can get better quick). hmm... lots of trippy pictures/posters on the outside of this pad... I think there's some kind of theatre that's done upstairs (I think "golden salon" is its name), I take shots... everything set up, I do the spiel fourth man appeal w/soundman jan and he's into it - did us last year also, good man... also a tall man. kosmodrone opening, bassman david and I talk about u.s. constitution a little bit while the fratelli set up. after soundcheck I go upstairs and chimp diary, it's kind of hot so I take of my tour flannel. I hope I ain't weirding out any of the staff - I'm in the back on a couch, staying out of the way. there's a band playing up here from france, undergang but I never get to meet the guy... there's a bulkhead in the way and though I hear his whole check (so does fratello ste though he's trying to konk), I never see him. trippy stuff though. damn, I hope he didn't think I was some uptight weirdo... just didn't wanna weird folks out w/the tour flannel off. I put it on for dinner and I'm at the table w/the french crew but don't know who's who and I'm too stupid to speak french (damn me)... I do chow some great salad and fried pieces of cheese w/roast pumpkin slices. happening baked potatoes w/goma seeds on them too - all made here. respect. also have big spiel w/grahame from kosmodrone about china and stuff... david's in for some it also but grahame lasts him out w/the windbag bassman from pedro in full-on yammer mode. just glad I kept my fucking voice down.
kosmodrone starts things off at nine. grahame is guitarman, miss hiyori on drums. they do improv and I dig it. there's set is short and there's a little curtained off area on the side so I just layout on the cement there behind the curtain 'til ten cuz that's when gigboss fabian wanted us on. we're at the point where I don't need the setlist but I'm grateful fratello paolo has his, just in case. I'm also at the point where I don't have to worry about spacing on anything... crimony I wish this could be the case at tour's gig #2 or may even #1! no regrets though, the fratelli have done bitchin' great work and have really helped the baka zoppo do 'pert-near as good as he can - I couldn't have done this w/out them... I wish it was clear to most folks that il sogno del marinaio is a european band watt is proud to be part of. anyway, we bring the set and the hamburg gig-goers move right up right quick - kosmodrone really got things heated up for us. much respect. due to the room's acoustics, I gotta cut a lot of low mid and the drums are like last night FUCKING LOUD but so what, the bottom line is "work the room" so my antidote is to laugh at myself some and calm any trace of freak out. fratelli ste is playing his ass off - he's loud too but it's the aiding and abetting stuff, not the bogart kind. fratello ste was talking during the drive here about of course our embrace of the loud/soft dynamic but there's another another "axis of dynamic" w/this band, it's a dynamic between loose and tight. I think I see what he means, I even FEEL what he means in tonight's rendition of "stucazz?!!" (it's different every night), it's a trippy thing to wield but this band can really do. some of it I think is the practical device of recovery and keeping the keel in the water so the whole set don't turn turtle and capsize but I think we've actually composed areas to allow this dangerous stuff to happen, set up some sitches... something to explore when I do my compositions for "terzo" the album we're planning on recording in pedro in fourteen months. back to the gig: it's a good one, thank you much hamburg gig-goers for being so beautiful to us. I bow deep to them, praise john coltrane.
into the room w/the merch table and the bar, I spiel w/many kind folks - lots of schwesterns and bruders happy to share happiness w/me and me back. macrobat milan from holland here, he's a bassman like me and a buddy of lost-his-mind-man roland from utrecht, great cat. lots of bass talk w/my regular after gig in hamburg to talk bass w/and have a good time doing it, henning - didn't realize he was in the honeyheads. crimony!
good byes and thank yous for everybody, time to pull anchor - watt is pretty beat and ain't the best at the long drawn method to this kind of exit. I want everyone to know though how much I appreciate everyone's kindness, truly. we leave fratello paolo so he can complete party boy role (don't wanna compromise him any on that mission), w/fratello ste in chauffeur mode, we pull anchor. "stadt altona" was the 'tel we used last year and that's where we're at again. righteous strength in the shower, like a fucking firehose and I dig much. I konk way good and kirei ('clean' in jap) in very short time.
friday, october 20, 2017 - aarhus, denmark
pop at ten. I was beat and body needed it. hands are twice the size they usually are. forty year anniversary of richard hell + the voidoids "blank generation" album reissue I learn about via the shitternet. we got this album when it first came out and it had incredible effect on us not yet minutemen. look at the back cover, d boon bought the same exact fender strat that you say there w/bob quine. from the sleeve I took one of the pictures of dick hell and put it on my bass - this is before I spray painted it up, stenciling "pedro" over that, d boon asked me to spray paint up his strat around the same time, him taking out the pickups and controls except bridge one and volume knob (I think we were trying to find our own identity as brand new minutemen!), we thought we were very obvious disciples of this band. richard hell was my first punk rock hero. that picture of him on my bass was like a line in the sand w/the rock and roll people in my pedro town. I really got a lot of "hell" for it but after a while I was like, "ok, so I'm one of them to you - so then I am" and it help me not give a fuck about what anybody thought of my own personal esthetic or whatever, I didn't give a goddamn about looking for validation from people who just wanted to shit all over me... richard hell really helped me w/that. I loved his music too, just did. also the fact a bass player could run a band was really new to me - I thought bass was like right field in little league, like where you put your idiot friend so he could still feel part - I never figured they could write the songs and handle the rudder - it was a revelation to me.
we pull anchor at eleven and head north for denmark, fratello ste at the helm. real soon though we get fuel cuz they have their own currency. we wash the windows of the boat up real good and then the gray skies start dumping rain - well, we need the bug bodies off the glass anyway. so many days of so cal sunny weather were very lucky for us anyway, I should be grateful and not bellyache. this rasthof has a "marche" chow part and I get a schnitzel and a coff - this is different than what I had in vienna (wienerschnitzel) cuz it's pork rather than veal. the same sleaford mods album gets another round on the system, I don't mind. there's some tours where I play the same fucking thing first every ride - it was that way when the "spielgusher" album first came out. the rain starts coming down the further we get into jutland, I wish the fucking driving would calm the fuck down as well - what's the fucking rush? it makes me real nervous and I try to voice this but at the same time don't wanna sound like come complainer. arrrrggghhhhh, sometimes these hells of touring for me rougher than swollen hands, ka bites or even this fucked-up knee. at a parkplatz called jalm we pull over to switch ponies - very sophisto benjo ('head' in jap, where you dump and piss) here - the same heavy duty shit like I used but w/lights indicating in use (red) or empty (green), big sign over each hatch: PISSOIR or WC, a mix of france and england here in cosmopolitan germany, I can dig it. twenty after one we cross into denmark and are immediately directed to pull over by border people. a borderman talks very small w/driverman fratello paolo but he's wondering why miss hiyori has japan passport but has lived in germany most her life. he uses "du" form w/her, strange. the borderman has my passport but never once looks at me. when fratello paolo says we're about music we're allowed to proceed. I take down some psyllium and voila, time for another stop - this time I get to foul a danish roadside facility. well, there's no latch on the cubicle hatch and I'm sitting there putting in the work and just staring at it, 'pert-near in my mind I'm betting my life against a donut that's someone's gonna bumrush and sure enough it happens but this cat like uses both hands like he's trying to shove a crate of whatever up a goddamn ramp so you know what I do? I shove back w/both my hands, never leaving the throne. I guess I prevailed cuz he relented... maybe I surprised him. sure glad he didn't go down to the deck and likewise I was most grateful he didn't have a handgun ready for round II. back on the rainy road, we get into aarhus and arrive at tape (tonight's venue) a quarter of four, nice little courtyard to dock the boat after it barely fits through two portals, whew, thread the needle. I give the fourth man spiel to soundman sebastian and he's into it and also solves ground problem, says german power plugs have different ground sitch w/their plugs vs danish so has adapter solution - much respect to him! not just cuz of buzz but more about getting electrocuted. barman/gigboss trye (only his second shift, says he's "green" - pretty good english, most scandis can do better english than me) is very kind and arranges me to get chow right after doing check, right outside and up the stairs at "gyngen" ('swing' in danish), they give me rice over some pumpkin stew w/olives and almonds on the side. I like it. I get back to the venue and meet morten from the skating dicks who are opening up the gig. I meet bassman thue also. their soundcheck goes on and on, whoa. finally it relents though and I get a chance to talk w/morton, we get to catch up. this aarhus gig came about cuz of him. he travelled all the way to hamburg last year to see me play so I thought I should do a gig in his aarhus town if possible. I did play there once but that was thirtyfour years ago, minutemen w/black flag... I think march 1, 1983. anyway, morton is cool people and so is his bassman and drummie. there's no back room but there is a place stage port where equipment is stowed that's got a curtain separating it from where the people are and room on the cement deck to put my body and konk so I do. maybe two hours and then what I used for a pillow turns out to be bassman's thue's wack back sack and they need to go on cuz it's coming on for showtime and I wanna hear them anyway. first we talk a little about bass, he wants to know more about the wattplower and how I got it together w/the reverend guitars people. from the side there I experience the little journyes their tunes take me on, interesting. I ask them about coming on my radio show when they record this stuff and we can talk about it. maybe they got room for a secondbass on one track for watt also? before I go on I meet thue's son, I meet morton's son... I meet rob from iowa, a man from argentina who saw me w/stooges in buenes aires - yeah, there was a cat last night talking to me about doing south america in those parts along w/brazil, chile and uruguay...
we go on right at ten, the john coltrane fades like it was 'pert-near meant to. we bring the set and damn if I ain't a little out of tune w/fratello ste. damn me. besides that though I'm liking the gig. "stickman" had plenty of clams from me though - what's up? I rally but that tuning thing... when we get to "mountain top" I gotta get this together and ask fratello ste for a 'g' note - fuck, I having to do that but it was just getting on me. I got a solution for a tomorrow I think... the aarhus gig-goers are most kind to us. whoa, I see the gigboss over and two o'clock... who's that next to him? soundman sebastian? crimony! I remember in the old days soundmen would walk away from the board all the time but cuz they hated what they thought was crap coming off the stage, not fourth-man-tonight soundman sebastian, right? maybe he's checking out the sound in different places of the pad so he can make adjustments. he's a good cat - I even talk to him about it after and he said pretty much what I just chimped here in my diary.
I go to the merch table and tonight I talk mainly to two cats - one is that argentina man who wants to make a life in europe so I might never see him in argentina but he wants to thank me for helping him on drums on bass cuz he's a player too. there was a guy in berlin who thanked me for writing him back when he wrote me in my fIREHOSE days. I thanked him for staying w/me all these years, that was very kind of him. the other cat was actually three guys from italy living here now and the told me they were glad I was w/my fratelli. "si, me too" I told them!
big byes to morton, big tak to him for getting this going. it was most kind thing and shows you about music being sometimes a good connector. my pop's ma was from denmark, trippy about that. I remember I went to a family thing and there were people from her family there and a couple of my older relatives had the exact same knees I did (they were wearing shorts cuz it was summertime), when I asked them what do you call those (that kind of fucked-up knees) one of them said "knocked knees" and we all laughed at once pretty hard.
the 'tel ain't far, it's called "cabnin" and after a weird scene in the lobby (not the 'tel people's fault but some customers and maybe their customers), I'm in the chamber which is pretty tiny but very happening. the head is olde-timey europe style w/the shower is the whole trip, like a bigger shower w/a sink and a toilet in it. I get real clean and konk pretty quick cuz of being pretty tuckered.
saturday, october 21, 2017 - bremen, germany
pop at eight bells, trough at nine and I find some rolls I fill w/thin salami slices and cheese, some yogurt in a bowl too. pull anchor at eleven w/fratello paolo wheeling us south back to germany. the sun's out but then skies gray up as we drive on. cross border into germany at one, a half hour later we pull over at rasthof and I get a bratwurst w/a roll and what we would maybe call cottage fries kind of potatoes. ok eating for road chow. ponies switched w/fratello ste now on the tiller, I get him to put on "geri reig" from der plan from my ipod - love this album. a light rain starts coming down. fratello paolo loves his smartleash, much interaction w/his fakelook, instantham and maybe even shitter accounts - it's hard for me to tell and actually I'm not that interested, I mean ain't that shit for teenagers? maybe that's shatsplat, I don't know, I use those rackets as telephone poles to stick up flyers letting folks know about my music stuff and whatever. it's not like I'm better than fratello paolo, he's a great cat - I hope I don't sound like a total baka. the construction we had to drive through yesterday around hamburg is here on this side too. the rain stops though as we pass the city. also the stau is a north one so we luck out... under the elbe and there's a detour cuz of a road we need to go from the a7 to the a1 that'll take us to bremen. three-twenty and we drop anchor at a parkplatz so I can drop unko. I'm impressed big time by the three hundred pound maybe stainless steel hatch. crimony. the flush button's english translation is "please approach" - ok. another pony switch, fratello paolo back on the tiller while fratello ste konks. back on the road, I see signs for osnabruck - this town was part of the tour where the minuteman opened for black flag in february /march of 1983 - our only gigs over here. the osnabruck one was at a pad called "hyde park" I think and it's the first time I met richard hell, us and black flag were set to open for him. I was so freaked out I couldn't say one word to him... he shook my hand and said, "hi mr minuteman" and I was stunned. it was hard for me to play our set cuz I kept thinking of that moment over and over again. talk about "again" - I gotta AGAIN ask for no tailgating, especially in the fucking rain - why? from day one of this tour I've asked for none of that shit and look now near the end I still gotta say it, pisses me off, really does. I really like the guy too so it hurts me inside but goddamn, please ease up on the living dangerously trip - let's do that w/music! him and carlotta got a shipmate coming in march too... gotta think about that maybe?
we get to the venue at four and a half, I think this zollkantine is part of a bigger cultural kind of pad, a repurposed building (I learn later it was a customs building to collect duties from trucks coming from the harbor. outside steel stairs that we gotta do three flights, very dangerous w/it just raining. there's drama w/parking - I need to get away and there's a giant bicycle shop that shares the parking lot here. I hobble over there and it's giant, I mean huge. like a thousand bikes maybe. lots brand new but olde-timey dutch style ones to electric stuff and off-road but not really the racer kinds - I think this is more for the every day pedaler but man is it fucking big and people are riding bikes and scooters inside! I gotta be careful. I look all over and check out many things, maybe a hundred different seats! I got one back at home that has only two pads, one for each cheek of the ass. man, I miss pedaling like I used to, really miss it. one of the huge blows of being zoppo for me.
I hobble back to the venue and chimp diary on a bench on the other side of the entrance - I gotta calm down some and stay away. coming this way turns out to be soundman andre and he gets me and him in through here, me giving him the "fourth man spiel" along the way... he's into it and in fact a bassman himself. alright. at the venue, I talk w/gigboss frank - he's the reason this whole gig happened cuz bookerman ricky had no luck w/filling in the last saturday of the tour. miss hiyori knows gigboss frank and he offered up this pad and in fact was gonna have his band open but unfortunately he tells us that yesterday his guitarman had trouble and they have to drop out. I hope he gets better soon and I'm big time grateful for gigboss frank getting this happening. actually I've never played bremen before and have always wanted to, driving past it many times. there is a band opening still (there were gonna be two), goodyeah collective and I talk w/their keyboardman about nightmare boats we used to use when we were younger and more stupid. you wouldn't believer the fucking idiot chances we took w/our lives - w/the lives of others... incredible stunads, I shit thee not. I meet the padboss manuel and he's good people. he makes up some sandwiches for us, later he'll serve up some thai curry on white rice when we get done w/soundcheck. I meet ricardo who's from genoa but temporarily living here in bremen... soon he'll be in lisbon. he's friends w/a cat I really dig make sounds these days, nephew alex - hope he wants some help on a piece of english and I make some suggestions. his english is real good. I give his some rhetorical things he might think he could use and likes them, whoa.
a tuning solution I thought of was going over to fratello ste and having him mute himself by turning on his tuner and then him giving me his cord to plug the wattplower into. this way there's no sound for the gig-goers to hear and the first sounds they do hear will be me bringing in the first tune. I'm gonna try this tonight. I'm told by the drummerman of the openers they'll go on at "half past eight" (I avoid that way of saying 8:30) and we'll go on at ten, they will play one hour. sounds good to me. well, it's coming on twenty of nine and I gotta piss - you know the rep germans have for being on time? when I run into soundman andre on the way to the head I joke w/him about this - you know italians are supposed to have the rep for not being on time well anyway, I get confused by the directions given to me and open the hatch to this room that has the goodyeah collective all there and I ask, "ain't you gonna play?" and they all go "oh yeah, oh yeah" - everything though ends up "efficient" and we (the band w/the two itallian guys) start at ten on the dime. I'm very proud of the fratelli. the monitors were there at soundcheck but they sound unplugged now. I should've not said anything and just soldiered on - it ain't good show biz to call out for that kind of thing, kind of breaks the spell. stupid watt. the bremen gig-goers are most kind to us. I know it's kind of matto music (kind of matto man on bass) but they're w/us the whole trip, most kind, truly. it's tough for me to do the tunes I got spiel in cuz there is no monitors - maybe some kind of prob w/the stuff or audio plumbing but I push hard to man up and try to grow a pair cuz I don't wanna let the fratelli down, don't wanna let the bremen gig-goers down. it ends up being a real good gig and most grateful to everyone, especially gigboss frank for getting it lit.
at the merch table I get the good word AND give the good word to as many as poss, I'm pretty lit. the bassman of the goodyear collective is really kind to me, I tell him I loved his bass playing, he reminded me for some reason of james jamerson who's a bass hero to me. he's a very humble cat and his heart shows big w/him having to tell you. the drummie is kind also - so glad both cats are here at the end and also all these gig-goers who real nice w/their gladnees and well-wishing, so glad to be here. I drink some beer w/them, talk about all kinds of stuff, very interesting cats here in bremen - they wanna know what I'd doing later and I tell them I'm gonna konk cuz that's what I'm gonna do. I say by to ricardo, hope to see him again soon. I have some rum w/padboss manuel - soundman adre give us a case of jever beer cuz it's made in his town (called jever). ok, maybe I can drink a couple. we good help loading in, gigboss frank's the best, BIG hugs for him.
in the boat, fratello ste gets the windshield more crystal clear than ever this whole tour and I am floored. crimony! we go about twenty minutes (there's an accident w/lots of hombre there we gotta get around) to get to this hosp that specializes in heart stuff cuz the 'tel ("visit" it's called) is on two floors of one wing of the hosp. I think great idea, folks can visit their love ones and really be there for them. they got a bitchin' tub here and I soak good after a jever beer. I am tuckered though and konk pretty quick but konk clean and soaked.
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