porno for pyros

"halos, horns en thorns tour 2024"

carlo cavaluzzi's photo of porno for pyros at the last gig of the 'halos, horns en thorns tour 2024' (l to r: etty farrell, perry farrell, robin hatch, peter distefano, mike watt + stephen perkins) at the 'wellmont theater' in montclair, nj on march 10, 2024

tour diary

wednesday, february 21, 2024 - aspen, co

stephen perkins' photo of himself (l) + peter distefano (r) inside the bus hired for the porno for pyros tour in santa ana, ca on february 13, 2024

from perk:

   Santa Ana -After meeting in Burbank for Bus pick up (Watt drove himself), I start to feel the ignition of the job ahead while driving through LA... energy flying high for the whole ride. I just want to play a great show, get my body, mind and spirit in shape for the journey ahead. Feels like we are a rehearsal or two short of ready, so today we will really tighten up the screws in front of people and see what needs to be adjusted. I was ultra alert on stage and aware, critiquing my performance is ever-present. Got through the gig with some obvious mistakes, but not a bad gig. Now driving back to LA and back to the drawing board to see how to make the next show better.

unknown photo of peter distefano (l) + himself (r) backstage at 'the observatory north park' in san diego, ca on february 15, 2024

   San Diego -It was a blur, still in my head about what we need to fix from the last show, with a couple tweaks here and there we are definitely starting to take flight as a band.

stephen perkins' photo of his son eden (l) + godson nico (r) backstage at the 'majestic ventura theater' in ventura, ca on february 17, 2024

   After a day off we come Ventura. I've got a lot of family & friends up there, including the teamo from DW Drums. Distractions come but also the urge to give no attention to familiar faces, put the focus on a great show, after wards entertain the friends. Before the gig, there was a great jam session backstage with my son and his friends, which really inspired me to distill my performance and give them a pure delivery of our music .Gig was good, then I give hugs & kisses to family friends and back home.

   Los Angeles -definitely don't feel like we're on tour when you do a show in LA. I'm feeling scattered but also excited to share the experience with everyone in the audience, which are mostly friends, family and acquaintances. BackStage is packed with a sardine box like feeling, there is a grabbing of my attention. I purify myself, wash it all off and give it all to my performance.

stephen perkins' photo of himself (l) + mike watt (r) at lax on february 21, 2024

unknown photo of stephen perks outside in aspen, co on february 21, 2024

   Aspen -Next, finally get on a tour schedule... get on a plane with Watt 6 AM in Los Angeles end up in Aspen with beautiful weather, snow on the ground but none falling. No drum riser. Great way to play, more intimate, setting tighter, stage smaller audience and I know nobody there, so no attention grabbers. Now the show was a true lift off getting better every night.

from peter:

   The first gig of this tour was so fun in Santa Ana. It was nice to play there. It was nine blocks away from Disneyland and it was magic for me. It was fun to get on the Tour Bus and see the 18 wheeler gear truck & crew bus and what everybody is doing for us so grateful.

peter distefano in front of bus hired for the porno for pyros tour in santa ana, ca on february 13, 2024

   Second gig in San Diego was a lot of fun. It was great to see my niece there, my brother's daughter and I got to hang out with a few friends before we went on. It was nice to try to figure out the volume thing at that gig and I think I nailed it for the rest of the tour.

   The third gig in Ventura was amazing. My whole family came. I had a bunch of Italians behind the soundboard. We had our own area and it was a clean house, so it was great for my family to see that.

   Fourth gig in downtown LA was great. Also having my niece and her children there that was a fun gig. I was staying in a hotel in Hollywood for all the California shows just to get in the tour rhythm then after the LA show we jumped on the bus and did an 18 Hour drive to Aspen which I loved. I stayed up the whole time and did my EDM Pete thing when the sun came up on the bus.

   When I got to Aspen, I went snowboarding which was incredible. Lots of fun then the gig another clean house all the gigs in California and Aspen were clean. I also fell back on the crowd and did a little crowd surfing with my guitar. Lots of fun was bummed about the fight that happened, I was yelling forgive forgiven to Mike and then I said fuck it I'm not gonna play anymore and the fight stopped. I hate when that happens.

from robin:

   This is my first non-cover band gig in 2 years. I saw an open posting looking for a keyboardist on Instagram and spent a couple days putting together a video. I've otherwise been driving for Instacart for the better part of a year and in all honesty have developed a pretty grim gambling problem. To that effect it was basically crucial that I secure this job, which I did, and I now have an American work visa now good for a few years. Major bonus aside from the great tunes is getting to play with some fabulous musicians.

   I am in general always nervous and sort of on edge especially when it comes to improvising in front of an audience, but feeling pretty good about these shows. The sound guy for this team Stewart, who is excellent and meticulous, requested that I trigger DJ samples off a separate keyboard, so I picked up the new Akai MPC Key 37 yesterday (it just came out last week) and it's awesome. Wild to have a taste of Gen X success - I've never been able to get a discount from Guitar Center before for anything let alone for affiliation. Colour me thrilled.

   In sports embarrassments, my hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs have been on a losing streak; a couple of nights ago one of our defensemen snapped during an empty net goal from the other team where we lost 5-3. Our team under new management has been playing more aggressively this season, which I think is to our advantage. Nonetheless the player was suspended for five games.

   In Ventura my half-brother made it out to the show tonight. He was a big Jane's fan in high school so it felt really good to introduce him to everyone. Watt told a story about being at the first ever Judas Priest show which he really loved.

   We're doing this thing called jam room after soundcheck. One of the dressing rooms is set up as a jam space with a whole other set of gear for every player, which I gather was picked up from the Red Hot Chili Peppers doing this in the 90s. I was initially concerned I would have to pretend to have a positive attitude about this but it is actually really cool to not just sit on my phone and dissociate between sound check and the show. Something to be said for warming up on your instrument for sure and while I hesitate to use the phrase team-building so ecstatically, it is a paramount group exercise for sure.

   In LA and I had a bunch of friends at the show. There is an old adage that all Canadians know each other, a terrible generalization to make! And not always true. One of my guest list spots was there by himself and, knowing I would have to talk to a bunch of people and my guests would be forced to inter-socialize I was hoping he would be alright. Turns out he went to high school with another one of my guests, and they hadn't seen each other in 20 years. And well I thought it was cool; what a small world.

   We have the day off in Aspen and staying at the nicest hotel. How nice, you ask. In the morning I am taking the complimentary BMW X7 for a spin. The concierge says there's a really cool ghost town, completely preserved, about 45 minutes away, so I headed straight there, but it's being developed by a construction company.

robin hatch's photo of construction going on in aspen, co on february 21, 2024

   My buddy who lives in Colorado says he thinks so much crazy shit goes down in this state on account of the altitude. There was an audience fight tonight; supposedly a guy smoked a joint dipped in embalming fluid (yum!) and went psycho. Meanwhile on my end I hit a bum sample on Cursed Female, cuing up one of the electric guitar things during the intro like a *fucking asshole* and got really fired up about it.

   I was so on tilt (why????) I turned up my volume on my amp really loud, like, how about I stick it to the sound team in this tiny venue for no reason. Haven't done something like that in awhile, fuck. This is part of my journey I am on in my life... however it is rookie shit. Mark Cuban would have never done something like that on the road to success. I have chosen to blame it on the bad altitude.

from watt:

   now this is trippy: fifth gig of the tour and I'm finally chimping diary for it - what?! I think maybe one reason might be cuz the first four gigs of the tour were in so cal so after each of these gigs, I drove from and konked in my own pad in my pedro town so in a way, they seem like kind of local gigs! well, I'm in denver for the tour's sixth gig here tonight after playing in aspen, up in the rockies about a two hundred mile drive west.

   this sally forth is called the "horns, thorns en halos tour" and it's advertised as a "farewell tour" for porno for pyros. now before my chimping tour diary days (didn't really start 'til 1999 I think), I helped this band w/a three small tours in 1996. I really dug those and in fact, I really don't think there would've been a "contemplating the engine room" (my first opera) w/out that experience, it really had a strong effect on me, truly. the year after these gigs w/them, I would write and record that piece which had much to do w/losing people, most specifically d boon and my pop, something I could not before find the courage to do. so here it is, twentyeight years later and I get a call from perk to help them w/a tour again. whoa! yes yes yes was my answer so him, peter and myself started prac last month and damn if all them tunes from those days came back along w/some new ones and even some old ones I never did w/the back then also. perk's got a prac pad he built in his back yard and this makes prac really fucking happening so us three got it together for a month and then w/two weeks to go, robin flies in from toronto, canada (where she's from) to add her keyboards and samples - kind of what teej did back w/those 1996 gigs. we then started doing prac at a pad not far from perk's in north hollywood called "mate's" so the crew could get in what we had together. a nice named stewart mixing - he remembers me back when fIREHOSE opened for butthole surfers and stone temple pilots in 1993. michael's on the lights and david's on the monitors. perk's got mike g helping him w/drums and dan's helping peter and myself though like perk using just one drum set - me and peter use just one guitar and bass - kind of low maintenance. everybody's very kind and into working together. per and etty comes to prac w/us right before go time, I really dig being part of this. there's also manager people like ian and michael along w/tour/road bosses maryjo and dani. I got a real good feel for the team.

   first gig was in orange county, at the obsrevatory oc in santa ana, ca on february 13 tuesday. I've played this pad a bunch (used to be called "the galaxy" in the old days) so stuff is familiar to me that way. only thirtyone miles from my pedro town also! you know who came to visit us after soundcheck? roger, the porno for pyros manager from twentyeight years ago! crimony. good to see him again and a mindblow he lived in my pedro town for a couple of years - he's in torrance now. so good to see him. the first gig of a tour is always a pants-shitter for me and damn if I didn't blow some clams but it other ways I really dug it, great way to break the water. per gave me this tie to wear over my yellow jackest, one that my ma gave me - I got like five of them that I ain't ever have worn... they go back to when I started riding a bicycle again back around the time of my 1996 porno for pyros gigs cuz she thought it would be harder for people to hit w/their cars cuz of the bright yellow. now perk has me in one of his drum stools way up front on the stage which is awkward for me but I'd do anything for these guys... so glad they're letting me play sitting down, like the last mssv tour I did... see, last summer I did a gig at the whisky in west hollywood and fuckin 'pert-near fell of the fuckin stage! crimony, that would've been a nightmare. you know, perk is sitting dow also - I ain't alone! great first gig, after so long too - trippy how stuff like can come back. now there was a gig a year and a half ago in daytona beach I helped them w/but perk couldn't make it cuz of a nightmare arm infection - his helperman mike g came to the rescue. yeah, that was in 2022, a heavy year w/me concerning alcohol cuz a few times when I would stop after a few days of drinking, I would go into withdrawals and that was new for me - we ain't talking fucking hangover but out and out delirium tremens shit and the last go around, soon after my bday and then the worst day of my life: when d boon got killed - well, that fucking hell 'pert-near killed me, I shit thee not. two days before 2023 started (thirty january), I put the plug and jug... still got that going and got nothing but good results w/my health and all kinds of stuff vital to a cat getting into the fourth act. I don't wanna bore anybody to death w/this stuff but I ain't trying to hide either.

   next gig was 15 thursday at another observatory - the north park one in san diego. now this was about 120 miles from my pedro town and I've played there only once before, opening for x w/my secondmen. I did better this gig, was more together so less clams and really having a good time... I felt like one of the gig-goers! I wore the other tie per gave me, this is yellow too but has little paisley motifs instead of black/yellow diagonal stripes. my old buddy jovi was there but I never got to see him. you know, I don't really hang out when I'm done playing, I wanna get back - a big reason is cuz I don't stay up late in the last bunch of years... I konk like at eight or even six pm! I pop like at three am - go figure. I'm ok w/it but especially w/a two hour drive ahead of me - I'm out of dodge. I don't use the new boat, I use the 1999 toyota corolla from my ma when she passed away, it's been thirtynine months now... trippy how she's still helping me. you know, all three ma's of us minutemen really helped us w/music, truly.

   gig three was 17 saturday in ventura at the majestic ventura therater. I last played this pad w/flipper back in 2019, my first gig ever w/them. miss brother ted much and steve was very kind to me. peter lives nearby in camarillo so it's a close gig for him and lots of relatives are here. perk's wife cyn and son eden are too - eden sings black sabbath's "nib" w/me and perk in the jam room. yeah, back stage at each gig is a little setup so we can all jam together. I'm using my root beer candy apple flake wattplower mark II bass for this tour and dan asked me to bring "the dan bass" (a 1965 gibson eb-0 a cat named "dan" gave after a san diego gig not long after my old eb-3 got stolen along w/all the stooges stuff in montreal in 2008) for a backup. ok. I also brought a little amp so we can jam on the bus, peter asked me to. this was a good gig too, more improvement for watt. like the other two gigs, the gig-goers were most kind to us, truly. much respect to them. it was around eightyeight miles each way for me this time, a bunch of rain for most of it. by the way, february's really been a drencher for cali, crimony. my landline/internet has been out like for weeks now. at&t really has been lame w/maintaining their infrastructure. cazzo. they told me march 16 things'll be fixed - I'm supposed to get back from this tour five days before!

   ok, last gig before we leave cali, this one was in downtown l.a. at the belasco on 18 sunday. yes, I found parking right out front and in fact, this pad is right next to the pad I last played w/these cats twentyeight years ago, the mayan theatre. crimony. life sure is a trip. there's some people here making a doc on pair so I spiel w/them alongside peter. we were doing a cover of jimi's "hey gypsy boy" but tonight per wants to trade it for "I got a right" from the stooges - I love jimi but I love stooges too so fucking right on. we do it great at the pre-gig jams but damn me for losing my nerve some and clamming some it when it came time to do - arrrgggghhh! I'm learning to really be in the moment w/these guys cuz changes - I'm talking changes in any particular tune we're playing can happening at any time so you gotta be in the moment which I fuckin dig. sure, it's scary but it's just that: being in the moment and that's really righteous.

   morning of the aspen gig: five am I head out the hatch of my apartment in my pedro town to get picked up by my sister melinda so she can bring me to the airport (lax), I'm flying w/perk to aspen, co for the gig there tonight. I got my 'puter wack back sack and then the dai-dai sack for one pair of levis besides the ones I'm wering along w/five pairs of chonies, my nightwear and of course the two ties per gave me. under my yellow jacket I got a short sleeve button-up shirt charley plymell gave me. man, is it thin but I dig it. ain't gonna be wearing much anyway... 'pert-near 99% of the time I wear my yellow coat w/nothing under it. easy time w/security... whoa, some trippy art from chenhung chen:

   at the gate, here's perk! so good to see him, love this man! we're on a united crj700 little jet and w/clear skies plus a bonus tail wind which makes our flight only eightyfive minutes. we land at aspen's kind of tiny airport

stephen perkins at the airport in aspen, co on february 21, 2024

   my first time to this town and a driverman takes us to the venue, it's called the belly up - hey, there's a pad in solana beach, ca w/the same name that I've played buttloads of times... ain't that a trip! a poster on the hatch says it's clean - that's a word from vaudeville days meaning no more tickets, it's sold out. alright. backstage there's a jam room set up like the four previous gigs so we can play together - love it. we do soundcheck and then I chow a caesar salad that's got chicken in it. I got used to tacos from my last tour but this is good, mike (mssv jefe) could always find righteous authentica tacos in 'pert-near everyone of the fiftyeight gigs we did, NOT ONE of us got sick on that tour - in fact jefe mike started the tour sick and the got better... I think a big reason was the chow! gran respeto.

   opening up is the middle band from the four cali gigs, tigercub who are from brighton, england. in cali we had a three band bill and glossy were the openers. per comes to sing some tunes w/us in the jam room, I dig this way of getting ready for the down-beat, really do.

   quarter after nine is the gee - oh, it's a pants-shitter for me just cuz the first week of tour's scary and I really wanna do good for my friends - the four cali gigs helped big time though. what I dig much about this sitch is being closer to perk, love being right there w/him and there's no need for any "braile" technique. perk's always got the good spirit up and so does peter - he's been so up for this tour and he's really playing his heart out. per too I feel is way into it, bringing it. I love being right at his port side. I watch him like I watched ig when I was helping the stooges. by the way, we do "I got a right" again and this time I have it way more together - that was insane we me a little stumblebum w/it las gig, crimony was I mad at myself afterwards about that. robin's hard to see cuz of where am I at, same w/etty... I'm think if I twin twirl around too much on this stool, I'll really fuck up so I keep it stationary and keep per-peter-perk in my line of sight always. not to be rude but as w/the stooges, I don't look at the crowd much cuz I really wanna focus on these people I'm playing w/cuz I feel STRONGLY the deserve the best I can bring - I don't want that diluted or find myself distracted like a fucknut, fuck that. I really really enjoy the gig. I blew some clams but not a lot and those were not real big ones, still learning to move on cues and not only fucking counting parts - fuck that shit, I dig big time being in the moment.

   a little bit backstage after and then I meet our driverman dean at the bus - he's gonna take us to denver tonight. crimony. I never try to tour in parts like these at this time of year but I got a good feel from him. it's been more than ten years since I've been on one of these (a prevost) but damn if I don't right away go to where they put me, a bunk across from perk's in the back, and soon I'm out. sure I was tuckered but I had a secure feel in a way. I'm out in moments, this bus' rumble aided and abetted in making that happen is what I think.

thursday, february 22, 2024 - denver, co

from perk:

   Rhythm section is starting to click like a clock. Peter DiStefano is taking his solos further and further now we're cooking.

   I feel that touring groove (less time to lollygag)... Hotel, bus Gig, hotel, bus, gig, hotel, bus, Gig... don't forget to eat!

   I'm starting to feel that touring mode.

from peter:

   Denver was the sixth gig and that was great. Very grateful for crowded house and a good jam. I have been loving the 6 AM Miles Davis reach with Watt am very inspired to work on and get better with my guitar playing and vocabulary as a musician.

from watt:

   I pop at right before six which is the time I usually start reading to peter via skype when I'm home but he won't answer his leash. after an hour, I give up and go to get some coff in the galley. there's some dude laying on the bench near there I think I don't know but damn if it ain't peter! crimony. I roust him. too late to read now but he tells me about last night... I thought I felt the bus stop but thought it was a crazy watt dream... peter said got so heavy cuz of snow and ice that driverman dean pulled us over for a couple of hours 'til snowplows arrived to pave a way for us to follow. I think this was fucking way happening decisions driverman dean was doing to keep everyone safe, MUCH respect to him. nature is very strong force and you must have respect or otherwise you're a total fucking idiot. you might be a lucky one - THIS TIME but who knows when the dice roll might crap-out, correct? much respect from watt for driverman dean. for me to konk like that too meant I was sincerely feeling secure - last tour I was the wheelman and drove all 15, 662 miles it took to that so I ain't oblivious to this life. can't tell you how grateful I am driverman dean, truly.

   he gets us a four seasons 'tel in denver about nine am and in my room I chow the salad dani got me for "after gi chow" - I stop eating after gigs years ago, found it healthier to wait for morning but that's what I do, chow this in the morning after it spent the night in bus' fridge. this 'tel room has a huge tub and I get in w/real hot water and soak big time. crimony, it's real good on my bones, real good on my joints... I float there most languid. crimony. I gotta get out though, before I totally "prune up" - just then peter gets a hold of me... he says this pad's got a schwitz (pronounced "shvitz"), yatta! it was twentyeight years ago in a 'tel in sydney (australia) where I first went into a schwitz - per turned me onto them. crimony, it was 'pert-near a spiritual experience for me, I shit thee not. a really trippy experience and here I am all this time later... peter's kind of new to this so I show him. he ain't that used to it though (well, I don't get to do it much - not at all in my pedro town) but I know from all the times I have that you got have patience and you gotta have some discipline cuz it's a trip - you know moving not even inch and still your heart's pounding like a motherfucker, trying to move the blood through you to cool you off, all the purge of the poison being pumped out w/buttloads of sweat. too much weight for peter to take but he'll get used to it hopefully.

   we're playing the fillmore auditorium tonight on colfax, the old main drag that went east-west in denver. my buddy doug kauffman who's been doing my gigs for years in this town told me it was a bumper (for cars) factory before it was repurposed as a ballroom and now for gigs. he can't make it tonight cuz of a bad hip that he says is made worse by needing a knee replacement. crimony. I can sure feel for him. I will play the gig like he was here. we arrive at two and soon do our check - everything shipshape. perk's a little far behind me - damn if I don't really like playing close to where he is and w/out a riser but hey, you can't go out into the ocean w/your sailboat and tell the wind which way to blow, can you? I still get to play w/him and that's something really special. this band is really neat playing, truly is - twentyeight years I thought their music was fucking happening and still feel that way - they're very singular and I dig it much, dares to stand on its own. respect from watt and that's why I give them all I got. per comes checks w/us, he's got a neat hat and a pancho to go w/it, most happening! peter will later get into the suit he's been wearing on tour and likewise, I'll put on the tie per gave me. etty and robin change it up for gigs, very happening outfits they always got on. of course perk is black shirt and... well, chonies - he wears a trippy kind of black kilt trip but that gets in the way so he removes for the gig.

   there's catering here so I chow some grilled zucchini, salad and italian pot roast that's pretty good. everyone here is very kind to us. after a while we go into the jam room and throw some, weill, jams - do it up good. per joins us later as the 9:15 pm go time approaches. I like this way of doing stuff on tour much - don't get to do it w/my other stuff so much, just a short soundcheck usually but w/a jam room, whoa - you really get to warm up. tigercub finishes up and it's our turn...

   we open w/a different tune than the last gigs: "porpoisehead" which is how these guys opened their shows when I was w/them back 1996. great tune, really good one - hell, I dig all their tunes, very happening for me. also, I dig per's spiels in between, I dig them very much. I love the trippy hat (it's got ear muffs) and much, really happening - I think in so many ways he wants people to liberate themselves, get some autonomy going while at the same time think about clean water and stuff healthy for the next shift to come. good stuff. the denver gig-goers bring a good spirit also. I can really dig it, besides the spirit of these cats on stage I can to play, man, does stuff like this really get a person lit, even if they're perched on a fuckin stool - can you believe it? you fuckin best believe cuz it does for me. like stooges gigs, this show seems to be over soon as it began ever though we're up working much longer than a usual watt gig I do, like an hour and a half. man, it's a thrill ride. now I missed some changes - not whole dealios but parts of starts when things get more event driven - I dig the "event driven" trip cuz it makes things REALLY in the moment, keeps you aware.

   after the gig, lots of friends of perk's come back to say hi, one says I was real lame to him once, saying I called him "chachi" but he liked that and it was ok - fuck, am I idiot... I wonder why I did that. I think was boon - that's what I heard people calling him. he did look more like chachi than d boon though. he was very nice to me, all these cats back here, one from cleveland who told me he was very cleveland and slovenia background - I told him about the slavs in pedro and how I learned about them when I got there from virginia. I think differences w/the language cuz he said "drecht" or something like that when I told him i knew of "govno" and threw some other ones I learned (you always learn the cuss words first, correct?

   soon I go the bus and get in my nightwea and am in my bunk pretty quick. peter had showed me this net-type of dealio on the overhead so I think is way better to put my glasses in so I can find them when I need to. driverman dean's gonna get us to omaha by driving overnight. if I was really scared, no way would I be out in minutes. I most grateful for him careful, all the crew working real good, the band letting me be a part and helping them - of course the gig-goers too, they really brought it tonight here on colfax...

saturday, february 24, 2024 - la vista, ne

from perk:

   9am - Wake. Stretch. Shower.

peter distefano's photo of perk working out at the 'tel in omaha, ne on february 24, 2024

   Call home, talk to the 2 that I miss.

   1030am - Walk 2 miles in residential Omaha neighborhood with Peter D.

peter distefano's photo of him (l) + perk (r) in front of the 'tel in omaha, ne on february 24, 2024

   Discussing the comforts of a simple life and the absent of change - does it arrest development or give space to think free & clear to create? I need to have time & space but sometimes the box to break out - no time / no space / anxious urgent energy = exact moment to break ground.

   No answers just conversation and off to breakfast.

   ME: Lox and pumpernickel bread - 2 hard boiled eggs and beef bone broth. In high protein low carb mode.

   Now in room stretching, writing, listening to music - listen to more music.

   Up next... 3 pm - check out hotel to soundcheck. 2 drum sets waiting to be woken. #1 On stage, #2 Back stage.

stephen perkins' photo of the set list for the porno for pyros gig at 'the astro' in la vista (omaha area), ne on february 24, 2024

from peter:

   Next gig after that was Omaha Nebraska, which I really liked a lot I'm a fan of Warren Buffett. He is the Mike Watt of Finance and I got really inspired and wrote and recorded a song called Dark Energy. I had chords that I got from John Coltrane/Allan Holdsworth and I made a song with those voicings.

from robin:

   Okay I have admittedly been a little stressed out in sobriety and also avoiding the aforementioned gambling addiction. Maybe I want to make a good impression on this team as well. Spent the better part of an hour today inside a cool toy store and managed to hold back from buying a model Delorean, then (this next section is for women only:) yeah I'll admit I wandered over to a crystal store where a psychic was doing like an afternoon readings thing and sat my ass down at the table.

robin hatch's photo of magic stuff in omaha, ne on february 24, 2024

   She said it was $30 for the tarot reading or $50 for medium stuff, so I go, "let's just do the tarot," and she immediately was like, "Well alright but. Just so you know [redacted dead family member] is standing behind you right now." Then she said a bunch of stuff that really scared the shit out of me and made everything worse. I hate walking around like my brain just sat in a microwave for 30 seconds, but I guess it's my fault for doing dumbass novelty entertainment like that. Picked up a couple of nice crystals though.

robin hatch's photo of some kitsch in omaha, ne on february 24, 2024

   Meanwhile check this out: the Leafs are on their longest winning streak since something like 2002. After a record-breaking game with the Toronto Marlins our goalie Joseph Woll is back from an injury. This type of thing usually means we'll all get our hopes up about the Stanley Cup but never win, although after 19 years we finally made it past the first round of the playoffs, so we'll see.

from watt:

   friday morning I pop at quarter after seven - I couldn't find my glasses and more than that, I forgot we crossed from mountain time to central last night not long after crossing into nebraska from colorado (on the I-80) and so we gained an hour - fucking idiot watt. peter's in the back of the bus, waitin on my tardy ass. damn me. I apologize big time to him. we're on chapter twelve of the miles davis/quincy troupe "miles: the autobiography" and I read to him from it. yesterday we did this in the front part of the bus but lots of people had their own conversations going which is their right - fuck, I was bogarting on them as much as the were on me, not happening so I told peter we gotta do this in the back. here's a trip about that: it was twentyeight years ago where in the back of the bus I would go to listen to john coltrane's "live in japan" every night after we played w/the hatch shut so I wouldn't bother the others... 'pert-near the same thing though this time I ain't all bourboned up. crimony.

   I chow the green curry thai chow perked ordered for me for last night -brought up from the bus, watt's "after gig meal" repurposed as "asagohan" ("breakfast" in jap). it's good cold, good and trippy. feels healthy too. most grateful to perk.

   driverman dean gets us to the cottonwood hotel in the blackstone part of omaha (pretty much midtown) about ten am. no tub in my room but there's a shower so I hose off and then hobble to get some hydrogen peroxide, razors and shaving cream. you can't bring the razors on the plane (remember I checked in no baggage) and I have to get aloe (barbasol brand) shaving cream cuz I guess I'm getting more sensitive in the face. the hydrogen peroxide is for the port side of my head cuz it caught fire in 1987 - actually the fire was burning right off my head w/the air mixed in w/the vapors. anyway, scar tissue resulted but it don't look like it (thank you mike stipe for those herbs you gave me on the tour I had to start the next day) but any sun getting on these parts cause these part to ulcerate and get infected (that's why I wear a hat w/a wide brim - it ain't a fashion statement)... first week of a tour though will bring stress to make it happen also... that's what I got happening now and the hydrogen peroxide will kill those bacterias. I see a modern art museum but I gotta hold focus and get directed to a walgreens where I got success getting what I need. on the way back I see a greek chow pad named "feta" and get a gyro to bring it back to my room. a couple of miles of hobblin but even though I'm sore it's way worth it. wish I had a soak but I ain't gonna belly ache. I konk sore but happy the weather was all sun and though cold, I could make that hobble and it felt good to circulate all the qui in me, real good even though I'm sore. the gyro is real good eats too. respect. I konk early cuz of being sore and plus that's what I do at home these days, konk at six, seven or eight pm at the latest. yeah, so I'm out.

   gig day and I pop at the crack and read from the miles autobio to peter at six via our leashes is trippy cuz we're at the same 'tel. I catch up - start catching up - on chimping this diary. man, if you - I mean I - if time goes by damn, is it hard and you start spending buttloads of time trying to remember correctly. it's constructive though, good exercise for the mind kind of like a head elliptical trainer - I love my elliptical trainer, have had it since my knees been wrecked - that was july 10, 2010 at a stooges gig in the south of france, the last note of the first tune... I kept playing though! seriously, the surgeries I got in my early twenties finally wore out... well, on the port side anyway - the starboard ones are still holding fast.

   three bells and we bail for the venue, the astro theater in the la vista part of omaha, about ten miles southwest of the 'tel. my omaha fred tells me it's its own town - like how long beach is in so cal but still part of the l.a. metro area. we soundcheck and man, is the sound kind of "bottom of empty swimming pool" sounding but so what, I'm so glad to be here! d boon's pop was from nebraska, correct? I think that's why when we were young, d boon got that johnny carson double album casablanca records put out - the nebraska connect. chuck hegel was nebraska too, I like that barak obama made him defense boss... his party through him under the boss though, huh? crimony. anyway I meet the openers tigercub's guitarman, jamie and he interested in hearing about jazz stuff. man, is he tall. crimony. he's very kind to me.

   you know I'm chimping this two days alter and damn if I can't remember if I chowed at the venue - damn me. I know perk made me a good juice of celery, garlic, lemons - lots of good stuff. thank you big time perk, love you. we go to the jam room which is on another floor - I hear it's the seventh gig ever for this pad... used to be a walmart here and recently it got tore down for this pad. we have a good jam, go over a bunch of tunes w/per and etty, love getting ready for a gig this way.

   quarter after nine w/start our gig a different way: "god god's/urge" brings the gig, right away it's a good spirit from the gig-goers, yeah, very kind of them. the band's in good spirit also, really happening. I ain't sore anymore, that wore off and I'm feeling real good, glad to be here. per's raps between tunes I listen to and inspires me for each tune - there's no standard raps or anything, just what he wants to relate in the moment though clean water comes up a lot and living in my pedro town as long as I have, I can really relate. I remember when I first came there from virginia there was no pelicans, no peregrine falcon and 'pert-near fuckin kelp, a foundation of the ecosystem! the monsanto clown car ride was dumping ddt straight into the water then, some stupid shit like that - back to the gig... some notes disappear, some 'pert-bogart... kind of lame acoustics but I just KNOW that soundman stewart is doing is best to wrestle it for the gig-goers and I believe in me just like he was another member of the band cuz especially in terms of the gig NOW he in my estimation big time is. I mean we gotta bring good stuff so he do his best to bring but no fucking way (in this stich especially) can you mix it from the stage. extended ending on stooges "I got a right" but were all w/perk and he fucking throws a righteous drum-charge of coda for it. the coda for the set is a good one, love "bad shit" much and have always dug playing it w/these guys - w/peter and perk too as hellride, the only porno for pyros tune we covered, the rest be just from the stooges. my favorite line:

   "I got the gee-oh!"

   that line spells out so much why I'm so grateful for opportunities this life has brought me.

   I go right to the bus from the stage, get in my nightwear and konk in my bunk. I konk really happy... d boon's was from nebraska - I already chimped that, huh? I'm so glad we did good for him.

monday, february 26, 2024 - chicago, il

from perk:

unkown photo of cyn's family + friend at 'tel in chicago, il on february 26, 2024

   My wife's family comes to visit for breakfast. We do a radio show which is a reminder how the new music needs watering for it to grow awareness.

   The show was magnificent for me, playing in front of my family and and seeing smiling warm faces afterwards. Willie Walden was there:

stephen perkins' photo of himself (l) + willie waldman (r) backstage at the 'salt shed' in chicago, il on february 26, 2024

   Trumpet player and partner in many fun nights from the old Banyan days (Daze).

from peter:

   Then, after Omaha Nebraska, we went to Chicago Chicago was fun. I like doing steam baths with Watt. He is so strong he can do three of them in a row long. I had to grab my Barbie purse every time but I'm getting stronger. I then went and took a picture of myself over the river in Chicago and then got on Distrokid and released my song Dark Energy.

fron robin:

   If it wasn't obvious from me going to the crystal store in Omaha, I've had some per diems burning a hole in my pocket, so today when I went outside in Chicago I headed to a new casino three blocks from the hotel and immediately lost $200. Luckily I left my wallet back at the hotel.

   Later I met up with some of my Twitter friends for dinner at the Purple Pig. I had the ravioli, pretty good. I wish I had the orecchiette. We walk back and I convince them to come up for a drink. Dennis Rodman was at the hotel bar and they are Bulls fans so I felt like cool by proxy for having hooked that up. More of a La Quinta person myself, and have never stayed at hotels like the ones we're staying at on this tour. Had maybe 6 baths.

robin hatch's photo of dennis rodman in chicago, il on february 26, 2024

from watt:

   yesterday we arrived at this 'tel in chicago called "the langham" at just after nine am. right next to chicago river and not too far from the navy pier. a few hours before I read to peter from the miles autbio - oh, I forgot about this: at the 'tel yesterday morning in omaha - maybe cuz d boon's pop was from nebraska - I talked to peter about the night d boon died, about this episode of "the twilight zone" "a stop in willoughby" and why I'm always thinking about when I think of that night... see, I was up in west hollywood seeing a radwaste gig at the roxy (one of my punk heroes, john talley-jones did bass for them), k's brother paul roessler ask me to give a friend of his a ride home and as I was heading back to my pedro town, south on la brea and after just crossing willoughby, I got this fuckin weird chill right down the back of my neck and head straight down my spine, just like that which tripped me out - seeing the sign of that street made me think of that episode but after remembering what I could of it (biggest memory was the conductor saying "next stop: willoughby") for a while, I focused on getting back... it's 'pert-near thirty miles so man, it's really late when I arrive. I konk on the deck on my apartment on fourteenth street in pedro but get woke up from the phone ringing after a few hours... it's d boon's pop and told me he was killed in a van wreck in arizona not a few hours before, the police had just called him. fuck. I will never forget that, his voice so sad. it was like getting fucking boot-kick right between the eyes and getting knocked into next week... I just laid there on the deck wondering what the fuck am I alive for now... I know a when the sun came up a little while after that, I was pacing up and down the alley in the back of my pad: back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth - "what do I do now?" over and over and over and over in my fuckin head... worse day of my life. anyway, I tell peter this and then I read to him some from what miles davis said about himself - it was the part where he talks about losing his pop and then his ma. crimony, didn't see that coming. fuck.

   a little later I meet peter and perk on the fourth floor of this 'tel where the schwitz is at. ok, second time ever and peter's an expert, telling me to be careful cuz actually you gotta be in good shape to use these babies. this pad is different though, they got a bunch of little chambers instead of one room. even w/the yammering, I'm still digging it cuz I feel pump and poisons getting purged. perk's w/us and he digs it also. it's a good time. it's a healthy time.

   back to the room, I use the web to find some chow. on the bus we were talking about "chicago style hot dogs" and yeah, I really this kind. perk's wife cyn recommended this pad that sounded really interesting "the wieners circle" but the schlep (like three miles) is too far for my crippled ass so I gotta pass, damn. I do find this pad, not far across the river, "millennium tacos & dogs" down some stairs at a "food court" at the millennium station - man, hard to find for me but this kind man working at a building not far helped w/excellent directions. I get two chicago dogs and three tacos. I bring them back (passing this statue on the way):

   to the 'tel and chow bof dogs and one taco - I'll save the other two for tomorrow desayuno, man bof kinds of chow are really good, I dig much! I get an email from stooges drummerman scotty's sister kath, she wants to print up some tshirts scotty designed when me and j were playing w/his brother ronnie, a proj called asheton, asheton, mascis + watt

   she was asking me if I knew anything about it and I said he might've heard the seventh part of my first opera and made use of some of that along w/the first initials of all of our last names. just a guess but the back of the u.s. dollar bill has a unfinished pyramid w/an all-seeing eye over it and I think means "a work in progress" which makes sense to me cuz this proj is what led to the stooges getting back together after twentynine years... ig had hear about the asheton brothers playing w/me and j and so he called ronnie up - yeah, they didn't speak for twentynine years 'til then. crimony, life IS a trip, huh? I konk early.

   gig day and after reading to peter from the miles autobio, I head for the schwitz again but this time in man-alone mode. I do three ten minute round of steaming it up followed w/cold water nervous system shocker and then a eight minute cool-down. they got cold water w/lemon slices floating in it at the front desk and I drink two cups, head up to get ready for this radio show appearance we're gonna do. down to the lobby at eleven and a half, perk introduces me to his wife cyn's pop and his wife, very very nice people plus their friend friend john who's got a jacket that says "columbia" on it - I was on columbia records for fourteen years - they put out my first two operas, much respect to them! he says to me, "one man: john hammond" and I agree, yes! the cats that man helped get their music out, crimony! I talk to the photo man carlo, he's take shots of us all over the place, a real nice cat and is never intrusive, never. I like getting to know everyone involved w/this journey, interesting cats.

   the radio station, 93xrt ain't too far at all. I meet the dj marty lennartz after we set up for a small version of the band to do "agua" and "porpoisehead" w/an interview in between. it goes good, so glad we did it. I really wanted to good for them cuz this was going over the, wanted to give them full-focus cuz I feel they (peter, perk + per) deserve big time, etty and robin also. I got to do a little bass solo in "agua" - crimony, most kind of the band, truly.

   back to the 'tel, soon we check out and head for the venue, a pad called "the salt shed" and it's like a big airship hangar, prolly cuz it was formerly a big shed where salt was stored - talk about "repurposing," huh? crimony! surprisingly (to me), much better sound than last night. I have a talk w/soundman stuart about that and he says he thinks the last venue was designed but as they were finishing, they cheaped-out on the acoustic treatment. makes good sense to me. this is at chow (catering here), they got great grilled salmon, some breaded eggplant and kale salad - it's a real good shovel! while I'm shoveling, crew boss rob tells me about flying in helicopters in the middle east in the early 2000s, scary stuff but lived through a real bad crash. he was six years in the marines. after chow, I talk to peter about crimpin, (another way of saying shanghai'd and being a jonah - all stuff he's never heard of that stuff before. per's working out w/this "trx suspension trainer" to help him stretch. looks like it's happening. we do some tunes in the jam to warm up. ok, here's comes after nine pm - seems this is the go time for gigs since we've been on the bus... we take the 'vator down to the stage... I pass an open hatch and there's the tigercub cats and they're most kind to me - I let the bassman hold my wattplower - he says he knows my cuz co-collaborator brother sam dook - they're from brighton, where he's from - what a small fuckin world, huh?

   ok, back to "orgasm" for the opener... whoa, what a great reception from the chicago gig-goers, much respect. per's got on a boiler suit, dig it much. ig had me using a boiler suit for a few years when I was helping the stooges. ok, I gotta admit this stuff here: there was a clam blown by me in "sadness" which I've done before (flipping the chords around like a fucking doof) but man the I blew "meija" - fuckin crimony! I couldn't believe it - moving to the chorus way out of fuckin nowhere, like what the fuck is wrong w/me? don't answer that cuz I ain't got all day - no, seriously, I got really focus tomorrow... I mean I'm focusing like a motherfucker but then shit like that happens. now I clammed in the first break of "wishing well" also, missed the cue... this is always kind of open so I got be on the aware-tip which I was but then got paralyzed! fuck. the final real clam was a little one but it was missing the in on the bridge, oh man... so four of these - don't mean to kvetch but not to own this kind of shit I think won't get me the fuckin whatever to try and not let them happen again, you know: learn from it and go into what, fuckin clam rerun mode? crimony. getting away from bellybutton gazing, it was a really happening and per's spirt was fucking righteous. he was dancing great! his singing was so inspiring for me and to see the man deliver, I can really feel it and makes wanna bring what I got w/the bass to be along w/that expression, you know? twice I put out my bass to let him the tune w/a pluck - that was fuckin great, loved it. perk was on first - oh man, "blood rag" and the stooges' "I got a right" where he TORE IT UP. peter did real good, really good - way proud of him. something else. I can't thank him enough. all that stuff we talk about w/focus - he put out there and it was WAY happening. robin and etty too - I don't mean for them to be mentioned last, no way. it's a band I really love, them letting be part. crimony. crew too. great cats, proud to serve w/them. I got to thank daniel for the first time - he saved the day last gig when the mic stand was on my arm and tying me all up like a bozo. oh, robin really saved me - when we got done, I tried to get my back wack sack but it was wrapped around a leg of my stool, fuck! thank god robin got it untangled for me cuz shit, it shouldn't fuckin out there anyway, crimony!

   all done and backstage (well, upstairs at this pad is backstage), I copped to the "meija" clam and etty said don't worry cuz she didn't hear it but per heard it - yup - he's like ig, he hears everything while also not letting it distract him - I think it's good he hears cuz he deserves the truth - I ain't trying to get away w/anything cuz what I'm trying to do will get fucked up by that kind of shit. I gotta be able to man up and face stuff like this... like w/stooges I feel I owe these guys the best I can bring so I will try harder. I kvetch to michael about my clams cuz I wanna be honest w/him. it's why I chimp about it in this diary - it's a kind of therapy! crimony. managerman michael tells me he thinks this was the best gig yet of the tour and I really dug it too BUT... those four fuckin clams I blew - damn me for that! crimony. he says he's gonna leave us 'til the boston gig. hate to kvetch in front of him but just had to be honest. so glad per hear them clams. I'm gonna try harder tomorrow in detroit.

   I take the elevator down and dani helps me to the bus, I'm the only one there cuz driverman dean needs to konk 'til the 12:30 am shove-off time. I dig so much he takes care like that - sure, there's laws about it but he's very sensible about his job. I think that's why I konk so easy on this bus. I get in my nightwear and am konked before we pull anchor. oh yeah, robin says she's into some you-know-what kind of theories - I'll chimp about it tomorrow or maybe the next day when we're in toronto cuz that's around where she's from (burlington to more specific, about fortyfive miles west) and so maybe that'll add to any connects someone might wanna tangle up into crazy knots, ok?

tuesday, february 27, 2024 - detroit, mi

from perk:

   Got to hang out with my buddy Kenny Olson, who is a great guitar player, I really wanted to give him a tight show. Detroit rock city has some of the greatest and influential musicians in modern music.

kenny olson's photo of stephen perkns at some store in detroit, il on february 27, 2024

   The history of Motown and punk rock is always on my mind when I'm on the drum set here.

stephen perkins' photo of the 'fillmore detroit' in detroit, il on february 27, 2024

   I got on the mic I had words with the audience about the great Wayne Kramer, who was a friend, a mentor and just one of my rock 'n' roll heroes! I miss him.

from peter:

   Then from Chicago we went to Detroit and that was a blast. I've been doing some crazy stuff like grabbing Perry's bottle in plain slide or grabbing one of the lighting rods for the lighting show and plain slide with that just try and different things it's been fun.

from robin:

   During a smoke break after sound check outside there was this lifer-type staff guy who looked like Leland Sklar sitting outside. I asked if he had any good stories from working there thinking he might have some anecdote on like, how you're not allowed to look Paul Anka in the eye when he comes to your venue.

   He said Marilyn Manson used to come do these wild shows at the Fillmore but then he got his sexual assault charges and now when he comes to play he has to take out all the innuendos from his set as part of his probation. "And yeah, that was pretty fucking weird," he said. Awesome, thanks for sharing. I asked if he had any other stories and he said Michigan legend Bob Seger had also rehearsed there recently.

   After soundcheck there was some quality Mediterranean in the catering beneath the venue. Great pita and chicken shawarma. I played chess against Pete ($5 to the winner) and wiped the floor clean. High off this win I had some more time to kill before jam room; I took a cab to the MGM Grand casino which I incidentally happened to know was about a 5 minute drive from the venue.

   My Uber driver gave me his number to text for a ride back, cuz I said I'd be returning for the set soon.. I said I'd likely be walking back after losing all my money. I immediately blew the $5 I'd just won from Pete plus the remaining $40 in my wallet. Indignantly went to the ATM and took out a $200 cash advance off my VISA which has basically been maxed out with all the synths I picked up for this tour.

   Ahem, but so the psychic from the other day had actually said to keep an eye out for fairies that wanted to help me out and while I am careful to not completely indulge magical thinking, I did feel this Frankenstein slot was sort of speaking to me. Don't worry about it, if you keep reading this actually pays off for me big time. I inserted an $100 bill and started making $1.80 bets. About $20 deep I landed the "free spins" feature.

   If you're familiar with slot machines at all, every game has their own custom themed special features, and in general big wins are more common when the special features hit during the "free spins," of which I got 8.

robin hatch's photo of a gambling machine paying off in detroit, mi on february 27, 2024

   So the hook with this five-reel Frankenstein slot, is if you land a square that says "It's alive" during the first reel, any Frankenstein heads that land during any of the consecutive reels correspond to a number in the jackpot. Usually in most best case scenarios this results in around a max win of $200 but I immediately landed the super grand jackpot, which sort of felt like getting shot. All in it was just short of $12,900 USD.

robin hatch's photo of herself and a gambling machine that won for her in detroit, mi on february 27, 2024

   A normal person would become excited in this scenario but I'm built different, so I mostly just went flat affect and tried to focus on not passing out or seeming too paranoid that people at other tables were going to come and take all my money from me. "Huh" I said to the person coming up to congratulate me. After tax it came to about $8500 cash, which with the exchange rate still totally saves my life and then some. No complaints! With a purse full of "Benjamins" I walked out of the casino acting all dejected so nobody would think I won... CIA type move, I know. I didn't text that Uber driver but I updated his tip to $20. Then like the absolute class act I am, once I got back to the venue I showboated my cash to anyone who would indulge me. Ha ha!!!

   The Leafs lost though, the winning streak has ended.

from watt:

   pop at six - no it's seven am cuz we crossed into eastern time zone. I chow sausage dani got me, it's good and it being is no problem w/me. I get out of my nightwear and into daily wear (slash) stage costume minus the tie. driverman dean's go us to this 'tel south of downtown called "the henry" and from my window I can see downtown and to the starboard the ambassador bridge - canada's to the starboard of that.

   now, if I look more to the port of my window, you can see a building get tore down. crimony.

   peter comes over to my chamber and I read to him from the miles autobio, we're up to 1963 and he's got that band w/tony williams, wayne shorter, ron carter and herbie hancock. after I hose down cuz no tub here. back to the window, I see kind of unusual weather for these parts this time of year: no snow and much sun. crimony.

   three and a half is check-out time, then driverman dean gets us to where we're playing tonight, the fillmore detroit and damn if it ain't right next to the fox where I got to do bass for the stooges there in 2007 (ronnie's spiel for it here), it was fuckin mindblow - all those gigs I did helping the stooges w/bass for 126 months were, I shit thee not. right away we soundcheck cuz everything's ready for us. then up to the jam room for me... there's lots of stairs so I think planting myself in one place in between is safest option. I do find there's chow on the floor above and it's middle east stuff like kafta, falafel, pita, schwarman and homemade humus - fuckin really REALLY good - prolly the biggest chow I've shoveled so far this tour... that reminds me, we're at the halfway mark tonight: gig eight. crimony. back to the jam room... I take my coat off cuz too hot. cameraman barrie from chicago (he was last night's gig also) is here to photos of us and I am so glad it's quick though he does me to lose the crutch but I think it's good I got it showing - per says it's ok... I asked mssv jefe mike baggetta on the tour we did last fall if I could play sitting down and he said yeah, he said he thought maybe showed solidarity w/other people w/hurts. we jam some tunes. we're ready for the quarter after nine go time.

   the detroit gig-goers welcome us warmly and we bring the set. per's dancing really good, peter's playing his ass off and perk, whoa - perk on the drums, crimony! robin and etty are really good also, I'm a very lucky person to be able to be here to help how I can. like last night, I got my wattplower bass pickup selector switch set to reverse pbass mode cuz it seem to work in the big spaces better - this is an older theater and not a big shed (formerly for salt!) like last night but kind of the same probs acoustically w/high overhead. soundman stewart though is most happening - I never hear feedbacks, either high or low ones, he really has it together, really does - much respect to him. we do prolly the best version of "wishing well" so far on the tour, every one very tight yet expressive. unlike last night, the only clams I blow are pretty much real tiny ones - I'm really trying to focus after those four big ones last night. crimony. the lights are really developing around the tunes also, really responsive the dynamics and stuff of each tunes. per has some real good spiel for the folks concerning clean water, love it. he switches up our last two numbers w/an audible, coming up to each and one of us - he says "got the gee - oh" to me and fuckin I'm there! first time this tour w/end on "tahitian moon" and it jams out really interesting, perk kick up much dust! I'm so glad when per hands perk the mic and perk hollers out for brother wayne kramer - I thank him big time for that after, love him for doing that.

   out to the bus, right next to it jamie from tigercub talks w/me about brother sam and brighton in england - he asks me about this song I wrote called "paddling in my jinbei" - how did he hear that?! cirmony. he even knows what a jinbei is! whoa. he doesn't know about the lemon kittens though, I tell him I want him to hear "we buy a hammer for daddy" when he gets the chance. he does know wire though and is searching his memory for this song of their's he digs - he hums what he can recall and I gues it's "the 15th" - he says I got it! fuck, I'm way into that it also.

   we shove at midnight for the port huron crossing into canada and hour later we're at the border and they have us get off the bus and check our passports while they check the bus, pretty quick stop, very kind of them. I also have to show this prime ministers letter that cost me some ching-kwan-dough cuz of a drunk driving arrest twentyfive years ago. never did that kind of stupid shit again, what an asshole I was. by coincidence I was telling helperman dan yesterday at chow in chicago about also having to do my community service part of my sentence at the l.a. county morgue, cleaning the trays, gowns and ropes they used on the dead bodies - it was right the county hospital where I got my life saved from that fucking illness which I also told him about. fuck, the way shit gets connected in a life, huh? crimony.

   robin won big monies in the greek town part of detroit earlier afters our soundcheck, whoa! she asks me about how I wrote songs in the minutemen days, I tell her about those minutemen days. this was before we got to the border cuz after we cleared that, I got in my nightwear and konked. she's gone when we drop anchor at the "four seasons" 'tel in downtown toronto just after five. driverman dean says he surprised I'm the last off the bus but actually I was yesterday also, per giving me his shoulder for help. I'm man-alone this time but like a fucking idiot, a bottle of san pelegrino falls to the deck right in front of the wrong elevators... I felt like a such fucking baka when I go to the desk and admit that fucking idiot move, I was very ashamed.

   peter comes to my room and I read to him from the miles davis autobo... damn, usually I quit w/the fuckin diary entry w/the day's konk but not this time. I end w/the soak in the big tub here. tour's half done, hard to believe... crimony.

thursday, february 29, 2024 - toronto, canada

from perk:

   Border crossing & colder weather. We have two Canadians on our team. My Drum tech, Mike G's inner-circle will be there plus Robin Hatch, our wonderful Keyboard/sound effects player, family and friends will be there too. I'm gonna give them all special treatment to let them know their family and our family are one.

from peter:

   After Detroit, we went to Canada Toronto, which is Robin hatches hometown. She lives about an hour outside of Toronto and we played good for her people and I even put my Guitar down on the stage so she could have the spotlight and carry the music on the end solo of Tahitian Moon for a little bit it was great.

from robin:

   After Detroit I had a day off at my folks' place. Suffice it to say they are completely over the moon that I have managed to bail myself out of debt in this outrageous way. I took all the money to the bank, paid off my VISA, went to Long & McQuade (Canadian Guitar Center) and paid off my account balance for all the gear I've financed.

   The Toronto show was great, a bunch of my friends and family came out. Got to do an extended solo on Tahitian Moon and Perry introduced me a handful of times and let me do a special bow. It was silly and fun.

from watt:

   ok, after that soak I did yesterday, I finally got the tour diary going for my hoot page, all coded up and started working on the pictures - so sorry for the dealy game. I'm thinking I ain't going out in the street, in this cold and damn if I didn't bring any of the canadian money so that's maybe another reason. I also work out stuff for an upcoming fall tour for new proj corsano - baiza - watt trio which is crhis corsano on drums, joe baiza on guitar and myself on bass doing completely improvised music, nothing composed before we bring it in actual real time. joe baiza's an old friend going back to him living in an san pedro apartment under the apartment d boon lived in where we started the minutemen in january of 1980. chris has being doing improvised stuff forever but for me and joe baiza, it will be our first tour made of entirely improvised stuff. we've recorded an album in landers (in the desert east of los angeles) and then did three gigs so it feels like we're ready. me and joe baiza toured together before, he helped me the first three tours of my first opera but this time he'll be able really let the freak flag fly, we're bof really looking forward to it - chris also. can't wait. of course the man outside the van, steve kaul's gonna book it... been w/him like thrityfive years. crimony. love that man. but now I'm w/the porno for pyros guys and really dig it so that's where I wanna put my focus. peter asked me to do a cutting session he's got planned for new york city but I told him I just can't water down my focus by doing that, wouldn't sit right w/me so I'll play w/him this way - w/perk, per, etty and robin and everyone the whole enchilada watt's got, undiluted.

   trippy too about today is I feel like eating only the fruit they got on the table here like a plum, an apple and an orange... why not? I'm learning not to "graze" so much and I've been down to two meals a day since before the sitch w/covid19 actually. before konkin I listen this most happening coleman hawkins spiel from 1956 and it just blows my fuckin mind, love it, wow!

   gig day and I pop a like seven and immediately get down the schwitz in man-alone mode. whoa nelly, they got going - nothing like yesterday w/peter - maybe cuz that was later and this earlier? well, I'm the only one in there and it's so intense that I can only two ten minute shifts. again, it helps they got a shower in w/you so you don't have to crack the hatch and let out steam and this time I also got rubber sandals so I don't soak the ones from my room... maybe it's cuz I didn't chow anything before? I know it takes some energy since your heart is beating like a motherfucker and that takes energy. whoa. i gotta cut rope after round II and make it to the cool off chairs real slow and careful... I start about the my pop and the engine rooms he worked in - never saw any actual ones but I start relating in the schwitz - he would tell me being off of vietnam where it was already blazing and then him in the boat's bottome there w/the reactors (he was on two nuke-powered boats, first the uss long beach and then the uss enterprise) making it even more a hell, blasted w/heat and humidity... he'd tell me his work shoes would stick if you stood in one place too long! trippy how he told me no fuckin way would he serve on a submarine (he would work on them though near the end of his twenty year navy career, on the uss sperry) but here he was all those decks down... I'm thinking about my pop a lot and these shifts in the schwitz give it a trippy perspective I don't usually have. life is like that I find: you end up thinking about the same stuff in different ways cuz of the sitch, like the past getting framed by the moment in the now... for breakfast, I chow this granny smith apple I got from the schwitz... it was in the cool-off part, a bunch stacked up like a pyramid... there was an asian man there cooling off and when I got the apple I said "ringo" ('apple' in jap) and he went "oh!" - very kind. I smile back, just a guess... back in my chamber, I use a butter knife they got hereto cut up slices from it - never do it that way back in my pedro town BUT when in rome... I go real careful (which mean kind of slow but fuck it) back to my room. I chimp diary and catch up on email... planning a fall tour w/the corsano - baiza - watt trio I've done three gigs now w/and even recorded an album - all improvised, pretty trippy and w/all the makings of a pants-shitter every night but fuck it. I'm thinking this stage of my life calls for this.

   at one and a half in the afternoon w/take this van to the east side of toronto to film us doing three songs and an interview upstairs at the dine alone store for "event" via indie 88 which is also a label, the boss joel talks to me about getting started by making skateboard decks and that leads me into rapping about the old days of skateboards that I know of: the days before urethane wheels, when they were made of this weird red clay shit that wouldn't let you really go into the street, really fuckin lame (the big change came in 1973 w/the cadillac wheel). remember, I was born in december 1957, a couple months before per. we also talk a bunch about how I met the flaming lips boss "luigi" (not his actual name but we didn't know that then) when the minutemen first played oklahoma city and he let us konk at his pad. he's still very kind to me. like seventy or eighty people are brought in to hear us play "porpoisehead," "auga" and "porno for pyros" along w/some great spiel from per about real important stuff, I think it's really happening, he's been laying out there every time we play this tour and I really dig it. I think d boon really would've dug it too, I mean it.

   we go from there to where we're playing tonight - it's called history and someone says the rapper drake owns it or something. I think the sound is prolly the best we've had this tour and it is kind of different, the whole pad kind of round. there's really good chow to shovel after soundcheck, I mean really good - best I've had on the tour... I fill my plate w/some bass (the fish), china-style chicken, kale salad, roasted vegetables, eggplant, some prime rib slices, hummus and dolmas - crimony! it's a fucking righteous shovel, even w/me using my hashi!

   I see jamie from tigercub right before they go on - I ask him if he checked out lemon kittens (I'm guessing their main jefe was karl blake maybe?) and he said he did... "trippy, huh?!" I ask him love that first first album they made, really did and still do, big time.

   our turn at again at 9:15 pm... the toronto gig-goers very kindly welcome us - we got robin who's from here, per will let them know but I think they already do! it's a real good, I really dug the spirit of it. sure, there's some clams and not all of them watt's but I think the feel of the gig really was way happening and I really dug it. really honored to get to be part it, really am. peter got a big bunch of applause after his guitar solo in "orgasm" and I loved that - he big time deserved. he put that bow down and got truly expressive w/his guitar... look everybody who really knows stuff knows jimmy page took got that bow thing from eddie phillips (peter prolly don't though but no disrespect to him). meantime, I'm just waiting like all these gigs for per to get fired up and inspired himself to get dancing most beautiful, channeling what's come out musically from the band - that for me is really inspiring for my stuff and it sparks up my bass working, really does... you know, the other day during chow, one of the helpermen, michael, was telling me how he feels I wrestle the bass more than I play it and I totally agree w/that and when a cat using his body and his voice like per to communicate bof music and a vibe, there ain't anything I find more authentic and to the point, I really REALLY dig. of course I love digging in w/perk, oh man - that kick drum is my closest partner frequency-wise. per likes to connect a bunch w/etty and that's really happening I feel too, a real good thing. twentyeight years ago there was something for me playing w/these cats and man, it's that way now too. much respect. big jam at the end on "tahitian moon" tonight - some trippy stuff giants graphics behind us the whole night, much different than the other gigs, really a mindblow but I keep my focus on per, peter and perk. I dig watching per like I was watching ig all those years helping the stooges... really helps me w/the bass... actually I did that back w/d boon, maybe that's how I got the nerve up to play in front in the first place! crimony. perk w/that bounce like tony williams, did he light up the stooges' "I got a right" like a flamethrower? yep! I really enjoy myself w/these guys, really do.

dustin rabin's photo of mike watt w/porno for pyros at 'history' in toronto, ontario, canada on february 29, 2024

   I turn down wrong the hallway and get directed out the front hatch - I think when I asked for the bus, a venue person working here thought I meant a city one instead of tour one and I hobble around the back which is kind of trek and it's cold but I am most lucky and find it w/help w/security people. man, I'm a moron. I'm gonna not get in my nightwear yet and try to stay up 'til we get to the border w/the u.a. (maybe two hours) - what I'm gonna do to help me is continue reading moby-dick which I've been enjoying. you know, earlier today I emailed driverman dean just a suggest - I swear I wasn't trying to be a know-it-all and it was only suggest but when I heard someone mentioning the peace bridge, I thought of maybe the crossing I usually take, the queenston-lewiston one a little bit more north but way more empty and quick. well, we stop, I am surprised that's what driverman dean picked. it was what me and my men I usually tour w/called "butter" which means very easy, the border people most kind. back on the bus, I get in my nightwear and konk and my bunk for the next six hours. I am relieved and also really tuckered.

saturday, march 2, 2024 - bensalem, pa

from perk:

   What a day - what a city, sightseeing and a bit of digesting the history of our country.

stephen perkins' photo of a monument to george washington in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of a museum brochure in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of mike watt (l) + peter distefano out in front of the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of himself inside the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

   It helps me put perspective on what a lucky life I have, to travel the world, get history lessons and then put it all into the gig! PUNCH the Music through the haze of our first, and only casino gig.

from peter:

   So for my day off at the city of Philadelphia, Perkins and I went to the Rocky steps and we ran to the top of them and jumped up and laughed but then I saw a door a glass door and it said art gallery so I opened the door and they told me they had van Gogh, Picasos, Etc. So we went in and I was totally blown away. That art museum was fantastic. Then we went to the Rodin museum down the street and that was fantastic. Perk and I then had a nice dinner together.

peter distefano's photo of the philadelphia museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

peter distefano's photo of art in the museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

peter distefano's photo of art in the museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

peter distefano's photo of art in the museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

peter distefano's photo of the philadelphia museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

   The next morning Watt, Robin, Perk and I went to the Masonic temple tour, and that totally blew my mind, the whole, taking good men and making them better concept, and how good the craftsmanship was of the outer and enter parts of the building Mind blowing great. Then we played the gig at Parx Casino, and that was a fun gig good jams then afterwards Perk and I went gambling and the casino people that hired us took us and got us our own blackjack table with our own dealer and made the table, private and Perk and I won two hands, we played two hands we risk $30 and left with 60 so we doubled our money. It was wonderful. It was fun and we went back to the bus.

peter distefano's photo of the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

peter distefano's photo of the philadelphia museum of art in philadelphia, pa on march 1, 2024

from robin:

   I forget if I mentioned this but I recently won the jackpot at the casino so it was my right to at least spend some of the money on some fancy designer clothes.

robin hatch's photo of the view outside her 'tel window in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

   I went with Pete, Perk and Watt to the Masonic Temple today which was really fun. When I was in Grade 10 the Da Vinci Code completely blew my mind so to witness all those golden ratios first hand... I mean, truly a tourist experience like no other. Then I had a delicious pretzel at the Reading Terminal Market.

robin hatch's photo of perk in the 'egyptian room' of the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

robin hatch's photo of watt in the 'egyptian room' of the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

robin hatch's photo of her in her 'tel room in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

   Incidentally the band is playing at a casino tonight as well but I'm mature now and don't play the slots anymore; that was the old me. The set went well, then we had two hours to kill so in the casino bar so I catch the Leafs as they win the shootout. After that I'd never played poker in person at a casino before so I tried my hand and made $80. Another dangerous rabbit hole I should probably avoid. But to quote Lauper girls just want to have fun...

from watt:

   arrived yesterday at the four seasons in downtown philadelphia just after ten am. before I konked last night, per had a good talk w/me and robin in the back about spirit stuff - twentyeight years ago in auckland in new zealand I was helping porno for pyros w/this tour called the big day out - it was the first gig of that and for me and per were outside and he asked me to look up at the sky, "look at the 'spirit bird,' mike" and it meant at the same time so many things to me, don't know why but it was fuckin way profound on me and in fact the next year when I was composing my first opera, I used in the last part, called "shore duty" - here's some of words:
the unforgiving sea
tore you from me
left me here
pullin' shore duty

your body gone
but your spirit bird
is still sailing on
   I remember that day in auckland and remind per about it... we talk about the rambam and stuff 'til I'm too tuckered to go on and must relent but been diggin much this talk, very much diggin it... so much to think about it, love it and already my head starts to ponder and also find joy.

   just before nine, driverman dean gets us safe ot eh "four seasons" 'tel in downtown phily... quite a view from the room I got - it's on the fiftysecond floor! ("fear of heights?" I got some, a little bit) "what's that?" I'm asking myself, crimony - it's that (I'm guessing), is that a prison? turns out: yep, eastern state penitentiary which is now a museum... I got no hankering to visit... I would like to see again the masonic temple next to city hall though, I ask perk and peter and they're down for it tomorrow... "9:30 am tour" is the word from perk and I'm into that, so is peter. happening. I chimp diary.

   about three pm I go looking for chow... after walking out of a bullshit phily cheesesteak pad that wanted me to have some overpiced "touchscreen experience," I see this cart a block a way called "hala gyro express" and for ten dollars get this most bitchin lamb/falafel over yellow long grain rice chow, salad next to, a bottle of water included. I bring it back to the 'tel and man, is it good. fuck yeah. I then go to the lamest schwitz I think I've ever been to... like an hour and a half and 'pert-near no sweat. crimony. I hate to kvetch but this was total fucking toy.

   kind of late now, like nine pm (late for watt in this part of his life), we prac in my chamber w/perk and peter really tiny, the stooges' "little doll" is our prac tune - we did during the pre-gig jam in toronto, per heard us and joined in! it was bitchin, maybe we can do it at one of these gigs? perk and peter tell me some of the crew is all sick, damn. that's the big reason I stopped w/the handshake stuff in the fall of 2019, got sick and tired of getting sick and tired. fuck it. I sure hope those cats get better quick as possible. coincidentally - or maybe not - I had written an email to what seems the roadboss (or "a roadboss") for this time about who's on board w/this voyage cuz it's important to me, everyone's helped me out so much and are really working together to make the whole enchilada happen, I get enlightened by this list:
maryjo spillane - tour manager
rob bedford - production manager / lighting & video
dani marshall - production assistant
stewart bennett - front of house audio
dave brown - monitors
danny pelaez - audio tech / per's vocal tech
michael miller - stage manager / keys tech / teleprompter
dan cleary - guitar tech
mike gryciuk - drum tech
kyle stokes - merch
carlo cavaluzzi - photographer
   parts is parts, important vital stuff in making a sitch like this go as it does (most bitchin in my opinion) and I have much respect and am most grateful to all these cats, truly I am. I put my fist in the air for having the opportunity and good fortune to work w/each and every one of them, absolute. prac done, I thank perk and pete much and then konk 'pert-near soon as they exit my hatch. crimony.

   morning of gig day, I pop at five bells and then an hour later read in person to peter from the miles autbio (yesterday morning we read in the bus as we made our way to philly - eight am instead six cuz damn if I wasn't really tuckered) - we're at the point where john coltrane died and miles is thinking about guitar which gets us talking about after the reading the three components we (meaning me and peter) agree music is: rhythm, melody and harmony. notice I put harmony last? it ain't by accident. last night we were doing prac w/the stooges' "little doll" - how many tunes use that flat seven interval? what makes them different, harmony? give me a break, it's the rhythm. I then visit the scwitz when we're done... just as lame as yesterday. crimony. oh well.

   nine and a half arrives and I meet perk and peter downstairs (stairs! I'm on the 52nd floor and two elevators are involved: you gotta go up to the sixtieth floor and then take another one to the ground. raining out side but perk's thinking has an umbrella - he keeps from getting soaked, good man. the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania ain't all that far, about a half-mile. we make it just for the tour and I really dig our tour guide, very interesting how he brings us the infos for each of the seven rooms he shows us. yeah, this pad instead of one lodge room, has seven similar ones but all w/their each "theme" or whatever that it's "fashioned" after. the pad's 151 years old now, crimony. it's my second time here, I visited when I was helping the stooges, maybe fifteen years ago? it's in the diary - damn I wish I would've started chimping this fortyone years ago instead of just twentyfive... well, I'm a slow fuckin learner. I'll tell you what's happening, it's seeing how much perk, peter and robin's into this pad - by their own volition too, watt foisted no brainwash upon them, it's their own volition... I think they might kind of suffer from the same disease I do: curiosity! crimony. let's let images take the place of words here for watt:
our tour guide + perk in the 'gothic room' of the masonic library and museum of pennsylvania in philadelphia, pa on march 2, 2024

   like I said, I dig the way this tour guide brings his spiel, he ain't afraid of mentioning some "inconvenient truths" which I think is good to clear the air... a better way to get a handle on, "when you chop wood, chips fly" kind of shit.

   tonight's gig is in bensalem which is still in the philadelphia metro area but about twenty miles southwest of the 'tel (which is located in downtown phily), a pad called parx casino which is just that: a casino... I think it's my first casino gig ever. like they said in vaudeville though, "work the room" so I will give it my best.

   at soundcheck we try "thick of it all" which I can't remember what's recorded (from the second porno for pyros album) so I just play along to peter's chords and fumble around to fits w/perk who's doing kind of a half-time thing. the acoustics are so bad though I'm a half step down like a fucking stonato! cirmony. I like the idea trying this.

   the chow is catered and I'm digging salmon and vegetables w/sriracha - first chow w/that spice for me of the tour, at home I'm usually going for mexican spice - everyone knows chilies actually all originate from mexico, correct? that ain't the reason I'm using it but something to realize... same w/tomatoes - they originate in what we call mexico today. it's a good shovel and I feel healthy. I thank the cooklady much.

   in the jam we do a bunch of tunes including "thick of it all" and also the stooges' "little doll" - love this porno for pyros way of doing it, really do - NOT a top-forty cover version! even if we never do it at any of these gigs I'm still glad I got to do this tune we these cats, really am.

   no opening act tonight, just us in band-alone mode - we're supposed to hit at eight but it gets pushed back ten minutes. I'm just gonna follow pair cuz I know I won't be bumrushing anything if I'm after him. "good gods/urge!" is our opener, love this to kick of a porno for pyros gig, love it. the bensalem gig-goers are right away most beautiful, respect to them. per's in a great mood, peter's in a great mood, perk's in a great mood - I'm digging it! I bet robin and etty are too but it's hard for my crippled-on-the-stool to see them... hell, I can feel it. "this is what music can do" watt tells watt - "here's proof!" a gamblin pad too, crimony! per tells the gig-goers it's my first casion gig and it is, he also tells him what I told him about me and gambling: I've spent much time w/the ponies w/raymond - actually just to be w/rayond cuz I never bet more than two dollars a race, it's mainly to be w/him and I usually played my favorite jockey: alex solis, no matter what the horse. raymond's got so much knowledge and then if our buddy bob stires is w/us, I can hear bof of them educate me to no end on the subject. so it ain't about money w/me and maybe that's healthy for watt - maybe? back to the gig, so sorry! here for the first time this tour in front of people: "thick of it all" and it has a bad start - perk stops, I think he felt he was going a little too fast so peter brings it but he's got a delay doing four regens which makes it more blurry than a motherucker - this has been happening in "bad shit" all tour also... I think maybe I ask him about that when we got time tomorrow. anyway, we bring the tune and it's a little rough but actually per's the one who really sells - you can tell per really thinks about what he sings, he brings from inside so it ain't no surface-only trip... when per sings - of course his voice gets me first but the the words and the story they bring, love it and for me, someone who tries to write lyrics, it's most inspiring. I'm still glad the band took the chance, so glad. this gig's got a few what per tells the bensalem gig-goers are "danger jams" and in fact we end on a hugely space out "tahitian moon" that's pretty singular for the tour... maybe a little too spaced out? my ain't to reason why, I wanna aid and abet these cats as much as can!

   I enjoyed the gig, warts and all. I go straight to the bus and get in my nightwear, we got a 450 mile hellride. we pull anchor quarter after eleven, could've left sooner but perk and peter wanted to gamble, they said they doubled their money, congrats! everybody's in a good mood. more discordian talk from watt w/robin in the back, also dinosaurs/space race stuff/navy housing when I was a boy and old punk days when I got out of high school - stuff that has a lot to do w/what I am now... I wonder how old she is? back here is no tv, no movies - hell, not ever ONCE in my 'tel room does the tv come on, it just don't. different folks for different pokes, it's ok - maybe that's why this bus has two parts, fore & aft?

sunday, march 3, 2024 - silver spring, md

from perk:

stephen perkins' photo of the white house in washington dc on march 3, 2024

   Spent the day sightseeing like a bright-eyed tourist. Perfect weather for me to walk the capitol and see the sites. The concert itself was the best one of the tour with lot of energy & insight to what is possible for this band musically. We are really cooking as a band right now.

stephen perkins' photo of himself backstage at the 'fillmore silver sprijg' in silver spring, md on march 3, 2024

from peter:

   After the Parx Casino gig, we drove to Silver Spring, Maryland gig, but we had a hotel in DC two blocks down from the White House and I got to see my niece and nephew and actually cried when I saw them in the lobby because I miss them and I love them and then we went to the front of White House and then we went after the White House we went across the street to the Smithsonian Museum And that was a great gallery Native American Art. The gig in DC was fine. I had a lot of guests and my family members there, so it was special and the danger jams were a blast. I love taking a clam and turning it into a danger jam. After that gig, we got on the bus and drove the long haul to Boston. Perk and I watched a fun movie on music then when I got to the hotel here in Boston, another four seasons, Watt and I went and did a steam I love doing steams with him. I'm building up my tolerance. This was the best one yet And I love every single morning I get into reading about Miles Davis and I learned so much and now tomorrow morning we're going to get into when he gets into Bitches Brew which to me, ugh, I love it. We have a day off today so I usually like to write and record and release music or practice. I'm inspired to get better with my left hand and right hand and fingerpicking. I've been using a pic between my thumb and index finger and then doing like a sort of classical picking technique with my middle finger my ring finger and my pinky at the same time while playing the pic and I've been doing it on Tian Moon, but I need to get better. I'm weak ass on that and I can't wait to work on it for the rest of my life.

from robin:

   Had an incredible massage today thanks to Etty and Perry. The masseuse laughed at my funny joke "The body keeps the score, eh?" as she dug around and twisted my right scapula back into place. Call that another win for RH.

   It is funny to figure out which gigs were good by hearing from other people. When you're a hired gun it is strange to become so intimate with people and remember you're not in a decision making position, you have to figure out your role on the totem and then provide as much support as you can. You still need your ego to play at a certain capacity, and you have to be able to be vulnerable in order to truly improvise, but there is a different intimacy when you are playing in other folks' bands, and you definitely have to remember it's not about you sometimes.

   As far as having fun playing the same set over and over, I like to find ways to improve my playing during the set, whether it's problem sections for me rhythmically, or trying to accent certain sections to see if playing dynamically makes for a better effect.

   To gel with the other band members, I try to think of landing chords like I'm a keyboard sandwich with drum bread and bass bread and you're trying to land right in the middle. Or like double dutch jump rope and you have to sort of nail the bounce without getting tangled. There are exceptions to this, like sometimes to land the bounce you have to come in early or late, or sometimes you have to sing a line in your head, or really focus on following the vocals as though they're the first violin and you're the second or third violin.

   Like I said early on my baseline is generally always stressed out, so to stay grounded thinking about classical method stuff works. Like, which finger is responsible for the attack, can I play it with my wrist instead, should I change fingering, or can I relax my arm more. The masseuse recommended a Theragun for my arms so I borrowed Perk's on the bus after the set as Watt regaled me with bedtime road stories.

from watt:

   damn me but I can't remember when we get to this 'tel called the "st regis" in washington d.c. but we did get there safe where I konked so hard that I 'pert-near missed rubs from nicole at ten and a half - maryjo had to call and wake my stupid ass, so embarrassed, damn me. I helped the porno for pyros guys out w/a gig in july of 2022 at daytona beach and during the week of pracs before that in hollywood, etty arrange to have nicole come and give these rubs that totally fixed this hurt nerve going behind my head, down my neck and behind my starboard shoulder blade. she's surprised at the weight I've lost but says it's a good thing. I told her about putting the plug in the jug, told her I had to. now nicole is strong w/the rubs but it's for a reason - it's focus and it open up qi big time in me. I am most MOST grateful to her, truly. no schwitz here and too late to read to peter but man, I can't tell you how happening nicole is w/her technique. crimony, MUCH RESPECT! I'm literally vibrating laying on the deck when I get back to my chamber, like I've been wrung silly w/goodness. crimony. etty is so kind to make that happen. what a surprise!

   three bells, I board the bus and get in the back where I always go... the bus does some laps around the 'tel for a while robin (she's back here too), discusses "hammer and anvil" w/me - it's an episode from my favorite tv show ever, "the prisoner" and my ideas about what it's really about... watt's idea is that part of it being based on the star and creator man patrick mcgoohan" - you can great insights here at to help you make up your own mind though, don't let watt foist words in your mouf or thoughts in you head... like one saying on a bulkhead in the show reads
questions are a burden to others;
answers, a prison for oneself
   soundcheck is very happening, a smoking version of the stooges "little doll" like three times! etty helping per out, especially in the bridge and the "shake" end part, I love it. a "branch" of the school of rock is a few doors down from the venue (the fillmore silver spirng) we're playing tonight... so the band heads on over to find two groups of the "students" there each do a song for us, "tahitian moon" and jane's addiction's "mountain song" and it's endearing to be there for them. per gives a great spiel and so does peter and perk - perk kind of has me do one too so I give my idea of the bass in a band and ways I think people work artistically in an ensemble, taking turns to bring the big expression. I know d boon could've said it better but at least I don't windbag too much and keep it to the pint, I mean the way I see it. per's spiel is like I feel the way d boon would put, about having a reason and good idea of putting your heart into what you think is really important about grounding why you're doing what you're doing.

   on the way back per stops at a record shop in between, he gets miles davis' on the corner" - happening album, in the book me and peter are reading, miles says sly and james brown influenced him w/this one... people, music is music, I truly believe this! I look in this shop's hatch and they got a poster of john coltrane on the bulkhead, yes! tonight's gig pad boss enlightens me to the fact the venue was a former "j.c. penny's" department store, whoa... talking about "repurposing" stuff! he's a nice cat who just got here nine months ago from michigan - where the stooges are from. respect.

   we have a good jam pre-gig, so glad these cats are into this, so glad. it's nervous time for me anyway so why not invest in digging yourself via music? fuck yeah!

   oh fuck, forgot to put on my tie - it's my back wack 'puter sack but I didn't tie it around my fuckin neck like a doof. crimony. well, too late - the gig's under way. damn me. I feel I up on there w/my dick in my hand... fuck, too late, time to do - oh well, learn from this... damn me and me for spacing on that. the gig-goers bring the good spirit help me that feeling of being a forgetful dumbfuck - porno for pyros music is a happening antidote for watt, let me tell you. tonight we try "thick of it all" again and it's much better - pete starts it w/out his delay so me and perk can get right in w/him. we pretty much segue it into "good gods/urge!" which per thought of at soundcheck and I think it's a great idea. gears are switched up for "blood rag" and for the first time this tour I witness perk drop a stick - maybe he drops the stick but he DOES NOT drop a beat, love it! this tunes puts a shiver on my spine, just does. I play way fewer notes in it than martyn and that's only cuz I'd get in the way of everyone else - I ain't good enough to copy martyn - he's a great bass man and I think has influenced some of the way I do things, I mean by not copying him but learning from his approach to bass, very interesting for me. lots of the porno for pyros tunes I gotta play less cuz that's the way tofit watt in I feel. the stooges' "I got a right" is fuckin tearing it up tonight... wow, does per bring it. righteous. pete kicks us right into "bad shit" - one of the fluorescent tube trips fell to the deck and under my feet... danger! the tune ends (maybe the best we've done it all tour, really smokin) and I pick it up - lucky etty's there to get it from me and get it out of harm's way - this band is really keyed in each other except for rare times like in the second bridge of "wishing well" when peter just went to the second part of this part (yeah, the second part of the second bridge!) w/out looking at anyway so we had to vamp on that w/him soloing cuz that's very key to per's last words which for me are really heartfelt but per takes it in stride, explaining stuff to the gig-goers good stuff - like he did earlier to those young musicians - he's really got a talent for relating stuff, clearing things up and bringing context. I really dig and it brings my calmness and confidence w/my bass. tonight the closer is "tahitian moon" - again we learn from the casino gig but this time it's on purpose. really big jam on it's outro and I think I did better than the casino gig - perk lit a fire under me, thank you perk! maybe that end jam was too far out? w/a danger jam, it's hard to tell, especially if you getting swallowed up in it. I tried to be anchor man - there was some float but I really tried to be anchor man. when we do the bow part at the very end, all the instrumen

   I don't know why I go down all the stairs cuz I wanna go straight to the bus but luckily maryjo can help so it's worth going back up - dani brings my bass after... everyone so kind to help us this tour, truly, so kind. up the I-95 450 miles to boston, so glad driverman dean's there to keep us safe - I konk just like that once I'm in the nightwear, just like that... no - not just like that - yes, in the nightwear BUT first I gotta windbag and yammer 'pert-near to death robin w/stuff I feel she's gotta hear, more explaining myself. crimony. luckily no bourbon in me these days so the voice don't get loud... however, she must old punk rockers are insane. crimony.

tuesday, march 5, 2024 - boston, ma

from perk:

   A cold & wet day but warm people everywhere.

   After Soundcheck, I was very fortunate to get a tour at Fenway Park & a moment into the organ booth and witness Robin Hatch play music on the ballpark keyboard. Once in a lifetime experience.

stephen perkins' photo of robin hatch playing the organ at fenway park in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of himself in the organ boof at fenway park in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

   My father is from Boston, so I'm definitely feeling some heartstrings being pulled. Perkins family spirits rising.

   On stage: "I got right" (cover of the stooges) was spot on... BPM was high speed & guitar solo scorching. Leaving the audience wanting more, I could've played all night for them.

from peter:

   The Boston gig was great. I really enjoyed my day off with my best friend Stacey Ryan she is the COO of the school of rocks worldwide. She has a beautiful house on the water and we spent the day and night together.

peter distefano's photo of himself (l) + stacy ryan (r) in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

from robin:

   Day off watched my P.O.S. Leafs tank against the Bruins in a sports bar in Boston!

robin hatch's photo of inside the organ boof at fenway park in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of josh kantor (l) + robin hatch (r) in the organ boof at fenway park in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

   Then the next day after soundcheck met up with Josh Kantor, a fellow keyboardist I met when I was out here with F*cked Up a couple years back. Super kind dude and great player, and he has a killer day job as organist for the Boston Red Sox. Before the set in the pouring rain he took me, Perk, Dan C and Mike G on a tour of Fenway Park and his organ booth. He graciously let me play some tunes so I played the "big three" on the organ- the intro to Foreplay/Long Time, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and my national anthem O Canada.

from watt:

   yesterday morning w/the bus still rolling, I pop in my bunk at six, get out of my nightwear and into the other outfit (only two costumes for watt when he tours these days), levis jeans w/yellow jacket (no shirt under) and come up front in the bus to read to peter from the miles davis/quicny troupe book but first I spill coffee on him like a total stonato, crimony... I'd fuck up fuckin two-cracker funeral sometimes, I swear. perk joins when we finish... soon we hit some big time commuter stau (plugged traff), trying to get into boston. so it goes, "you can't hurry love" it's been said. fuck, remember no swollen hands cuz off cutting way down the sugar? well, the ring I'd wear on my starboard hand to keep my that finger it was on from getting stuck while plucking bass is now gone - must've fallen off last night sometime during or after the gig. crimony. so that's my donate to silver spring... NO, it wasn't cuz as we roll up to the "four seasons" 'tel in the back bay part of boston (just before nine am), in the bottom of my back wack 'puter sack, I find it - meant to be! it is real fuckin loose on my more skinnier finger though... maybe these days more for luck cuz I ain't got that problem w/hands all swolled up not nearly much these days, praise be. fuck that hurtin swollen mitten shit. out the window I see a christian science church - our 'tel was across the street from a christian science reading room yesterday in d.c. and back in chicago there was a christian science maybe a block and a half away... well, more important things: no tub here but there is schwitz so I go there w/peter. then I come back and chimp diary - perk's given me all his words and images so far, love his diary technique, he jams econo. peter and robin are on board too - did I mention that? if I did it's cuz I'm most grateful to bof.

   a couple blocks away from this 'tel at a chow pad called "pho basil" I had a bowl of, well, pho and it was good. tour photoman carlo and keyboardlady robin weigh in on their experiences w/professional wrestling when I bring up kayfabe - I mentioned that when robin asked me about current politics and I immediately thought of that fuckin clown I ain't even gonna name... fuckin piece of shit. gotta leave it at that or I'll fuckin puke, I swear... I think it's the first time this tour I've chowed w/people at a chow pad... usually I don't chow w/people on tour - nothing personal, not at all, just a technique I use to preserve some "breathing room" or whatever you wanna call it. oh, I spiel about zatoichi each too cuz I love the first twentyfive movies that were, dig 'em big time. I konk early.

   gig day and I read to peter after hosing off, the I go for the schwitz once it warms up (when peter called me, he said it wasn't even on!)... peter does twentytwo minutes, his longest ever, yatta! I do another thirty minute one like yesterday - first five minutes we sat there in the cold and realized it wasn't turned on - stonatos!

   I work the two upcoming tours I got in the works, il sogno del marinaio this may/june in europe and corsano - baiza - watt trio over here september/october. I know stuff I'm learning this tour will help w/those two. yes, life I believe is a classroom and lessons never lessen. amen.

   driverman dean gets over to where the fenway park base ball stadium is after we check out at three. we're playing at the citizens house of blues boston right next door and that gives robin to go over there after soundcheck to play the organ cuz here body does that for red sox games, crimony! perk goes w/her to document it. I go and gagged down some non-mexican tasting tacos that perk was smart enough not to touch. well at least I didn't get sick, correct? got to get some more good spiel w/photoman carlo and helpgerman mike g so it wasn't a total wash. I dig rappeing w/everyone on this team if they'll have, I found them all interesting and most kijnd.

   we warm up in the jam room - it's a little tight and a little hot but I love doing this and am so glad the other cats too - especially per cuz he likes warming up his voice this way and that's I play really low when we do it... actually, we play really controlled and tight when we do this, it's really neat and its own thing. then we take pictures w/the helper man dan's friend - dan's from this town and his skater friend has donated a tool for me I can carry in my bass sack that'll be there if that output jack ever gets lose again, very kind of him and very kind of dan for the connect - I'm most grateful. we take the shots and then get ready for the finally get ready while tigercub warms the house... I realize I played this pad before - in the early 90s, opening for the beastie boys during their "check your head" tour... it was called "avalon" then. crimony.

   michael from the management has rejoined us and carries my bass for me as I navigate the bunch of stairs - going down is so much difficult/scary than going up when you got a bad knee - thank god there's a handrail cuz this many would be risking suicide for me otherwise. helperman michael from the crew (see why I use my last name? there's already enough mikes!) leads me up other stairs to the stage (yeah: up, down, up!), the one's closer to my side, he's always looking out for me - everybody is, I really dig working w/these cats, truly. I'm wearing my hat tonight cuz of spacing last gig forgetting my tie (of course I make sure it's on too!) - the boston gig-goers give us a very kind welcome and we bring the gig. per's in real good spirits, whoa. the band is playing real tight and w/a real joy spirit, oh man - these are the sitchs I really dig about doing gigs, when everyone on board is so glad we're doing it together. per gives the mic to perk before "good gods/urge!" and bof me and the boston gig-goers find out his pop is originally from and came to cali when he was eight! crimony. let me tell you here minutemen drummerman george hurley is from the brockton part of here and came to pedro when he was I think five, yep! some boston - so cal connects. anyway, I'm really digging the gig and having a good time. I blow some nervous clams but they ain't big ones - hell, we stumbled after perk's spiel but recover like that cuz we a real good connect. per's got a good connect w/us and on top of that, a great connect w/the crowd, he really does... let me explain more: between tunes, per will include lots of times in his spiels interactions w/us cats in the band so it's like the gig-goers are part of a conversation that is very natural and not like "pronouncements" or whatever but more like thinking out loud w/your buddy and having that kind of dynamic everyone I think can relate to - I'm way into it, a happening dynamic in between playing your brains out but I gotta tell you also that I myself feel like a gig-goer during the tunes, keying in on per and perk especially cuz man, can these cats get me going - like w/ig and scotty in the stooges or d boon and georgie w/us minutemen and I don't mean like it's re-run or some kind xerox but a communication that's really unique that they themselves bring me and get my shit lit w/, capito? it's kind of what I hear james jamerson is doing w/the singer and the drums on all those great motown songs he helps make happen but in front of gig-goers... it's a fuckin trip, blows my mind but damn if I ain't really grateful to be in such a sitch. fuck, this rotating stool perk brought for me to use even facilitates it more, wheeling it about from port to starboard. it ain't like I'm ignoring the gig-goers - well, maybe w/my eyes but it's actually helping me bring the music better to them, aiding and abetting that way. sometimes too this kind of stuff is kind of a "life preserver" trip - for example: tonight, when pete brought "bad shit" for us, per didn't bring those verse he usually does to preface perk and me coming but instead of the boat turning turtle (keel to the sky), we fuckin righted her and got the bambino underway w/what we needed to get shipshape and bring it - like per says in it: "won't go down!" which for me goes perfect w/another line he brings "we got the gee-oh!" fuck yeah. man, love playing w/these cats, truly. tonight's really a bitchin gig.

   I go straight to the bus from the stage. I'm so lit from the gig, I fuckin have to start chimpin diary regarding it! I do drink a water and take the coat off but that's another good benefit about bringing the wack back 'puter sack w/me - I got it right and ready to go! in a little bit though I am no longer in man-alone-chimping-diary mode in the back - managerman ian's helperman michael james brings hugo burnham from gang of four aboard, crimony! last time I saw hugo was here in boston when I invited him to see me w/the stooges!

michael james' photo of mike watt (l) + hugo burnham (r) in the back of the tour buss in boston, ma on march 5, 2024

   we have a real good spiel - we got time, the bus shoves off at midnight so we have a real good rap. he's playing w/jon and doing the old songs - they got david pajo w/them for the guitar, a seven inch w/david doing a watt tune he picked and the other side w/a song of his he also picked just came out on red parakeet records, ain't that a fuckin trip?! so good to see hugo again, so good!

   'pert-near a four hour schlep to manhattan, a few blocks north of the empire state building and again I don't get in my nightwear so I ain't a bother when we do drop anchor but man, it takes a toll on me. I ain't used to this, I usually konk after gigs. I read the more "moby dick" after wearing out robin w/spiel trying to explain how I am cuz of earlier stuff in my life. the tiredness makes me talk not clearly and like an idiot, I can imagine what she's thinking but she's very kind. driverman dean gets us to "the langham" (same company as in chi-town) about four am, man am I beat down. first a big soak in the big deep tub and then I'm konked 'til like two, crimony. I chow halibut dani was kind of get me (the "after-gig chow" she gets for us I always chow the following morning. I've tried to avoid after-gig night chow for years now, has helped me big time w/so many things). I gotta thank driverman dean, what a shift to pull. crimony. thank you, brother dean, thank. it's also cuz of him I ain't the oldest on the tour - he's got me by eight months! crimony.

thursday, march 7, 2024 - port chester, ny

from perk:

   The drive to New York was long and bumpy, got to the NYC hotel 4 AM with a second wind. I couldn't fall asleep till sunrise.

   Had the day off in New York today. Visited MOMA, walked Central Park & went to an Italian dinner, a lot of inspiration for tonight's gig.

stephen perkins' photo of what he saw at the moma in new york city, ny on march 7, 2024

stephen perkins' photo of what he saw at central park in new york city, ny on march 7, 2024

from peter:

   From Boston we went to New York and in New York I went to Central Park with Perk and then I got a text from a friend named Cameron Dawson. We went to dinner that night and it was magical. We played Port Chester New York, the following day, and that had some fun danger jams, and I think that was the gig where I did a little guitar solo for a second by myself that Watt called eruption, but it was more I think like a classical fugue anyway, after that gig, we had another gig and that was at Hammerstein ballroom and that was really a good gig for me. I felt like Perry really brought it on and now tonight we are playing in New Jersey and it's the final gig of the tour. it's been an incredible tour and I've loved every morning getting coffee and going to Watt's room and reading the Miles book very very grateful for this band and these gigs.

from robin:

   Had a day off yesterday and visited the MoMa with Perk and my pal Katie Jacoby. Shout out to Francis Bacon, the greatest of all time. My favourite unexpected part was this video installation from an artist named Shana Moulton. When the conceptual tarot card of Diva cups appeared on the screen Perk was like "Alright I'm ready to leave" but as they say, taste is subjective.

robin hatch's photo of a francis bacon painting at the moma in new york city, ny on march 7, 2024

robin hatch's photo of shana moulton's video installation at the moma in new york city, ny on march 7, 2024

from watt:

   yesterday was real tough for me... these bus rides after gigs where I don't konk and they're like four hours (so I stay up so I can get out the bus soon as dean drops anchor) and crimony if I couldn't even chimp diary yesterday. now I ain't complaining, just reporting on what happened. I took like three one hour baths that were like two hours apart... whatever, I was fuckin beat and tuckered. I did read to peter from the miles autobio (was late though) and did some email stuff but mostly... I had to submit to this fatigue beatdown. now this if from somebody who did just did a fiftyeight gigs in sixtyone days tour but that is ways is way more doable for me cuz of the way I've learned to do those. about four pm I find a chow cart on the corner called "el turbo halal food" and get some falafel and rice - like back in phily though the rain is way heavier here than there, it's just coming done... so glad it was just on the corner. the cart man is very kind and I enjoy the chow in my chamber... then I'm out 'til like two am. crimony, too early - my cycle's all screwed up - I get all caught up on my diary chimpin 'tel morning comes when I hobble over to madison avenue to a pad called "rico bagels" and get what's "wraps" on their menu: "the mexican" cuz it says chorizo but damn if it ain't like pieces of kielbasa sliced length-wise. not much mexican taste but trippy/good in another way and more important, I don't get sick from it. I hobble by this cat cutting steel plates on the road - whoa.

   my first time to port chester, the gig's at the capitol theatre. it takes two hours plus to get there from the 'tel, we shoved off at two and a half... big traff plug and other stuff but fuck it, like I always tell myself: we get there when we get there cuz "arrive live" is THE priority in my book. I get a sack handed to me w/a bunch of nuts, a book of james joyce writing - not "ulysses" or "finnegans wake" but 'pert-near everything else, one of those "vikings" collections. there's a note about signing a pickguard but I can't find one to sign - the card says the native palms so I send them a message saying that I'll sign it if they send me it. really kind fellow musicians, much respect to them. kind of tiny upstairs so I'll stay in the basement where bof the jam room (actually curtained-off area) and galley is... we check w/a little drama cuz we were late but everything works out... chow right after and the chow is good, roasted vegetables and some pieces of flank steak which I hardly ever have. good arugula lettuce too, buttloads of it. I think it helps but I'm still a little beat up, can't believe it. crimony.

   per's got this great idea to open up w/a little of "pets" and then close the set w/it again in full. I can dig it. we prac "fingernail" also. god, I wish I was stronger for him - I focus hard concentrate what I got. we prac 'til 'pert-near gig time, a good way to make productive waitin, correct? I say "yes!" and dig it much.

   tigercub does good even though their soundcheck got a little clipped. it's an old timey theatre, really interesting. when it's out turn, helperman michael leads me up into the wings and we wait for the go, I ain't fuckin up but being on early, it's never been my intention and in fact, w/my condition (being cojo), it's better I hang back and in "caboose mode," capito? I hate plugs, hate being the one plugging stuff up also. also, I a "buffer" helps me from taking tumble which is really important. we're underway and according to plan we do only two verses and a chorus of "pets" and then right into "sadness" - I like how that worked and so do the port chester gig-goers, much respect to them. I gotta say though that this gig is prolly my biggest challenge cuz of still being beatup some from the travel I ain't used, the long-but-not-long-enough-for-nightwear after gig night rides... yeah, even w/the day off! the 'tel in manhattan didn't have a schwitz - you think I'm addicted to them. they do got a big long tub that I love and took about five baths in yesterday but yeah, tonight I'm feeling it a little bit. I still enjoy the gig though and I think did good for the team and the gig. it's these kind of gigs where you reach way down to bring what you can and focus like a motherfucker. per's got lots of good rap where he can relate growing up in queens (not that far from here, maybe a little more than a "hollywood" - my pedro town is thirty miles south of hollywood and that's slang we used for a kind of yardstick... queens is thirtytwo miles from port chester. I love hearing about this stuff, don't know much about it... he talks about his pop taking him to manhattan and to watch out, stuff like that. it's great. he's also and dancing real good - perk's bringing it, so is peter, robin and etty. the band is all together (you know that tune "lady stardust" maybe?) big time. each and everyone of them help me so much, SO MUCH... they put up a vibe that's like a lifeline for me, the gig-goers too, really generous of everyone to help the bass player help do that dance w/perk's kick drum I so much wanna do. we end up w/a full version of "pets" and then maryjo gets me right out the sidehatch and to the boat, venue people helping us much, most kind of them.

   way less of a drive back to the 'tel up on fifth av and thirtysix street, good job driverman dean. I hose off and quick get myself fit for konk cuz I am ready for it, really ready for it. my first port chester gig was a good one.

thursday, march 8, 2024 - new york city, ny

from robin:

   Visited the Empire State Building with Watt this a.m.. I hadn't been since I was a young kid and now for about four times the price, you get to see the exact same thing with pastiche action music in the elevator, plus a video display about the time Pentatonix visited. It was sweet though and worth the $ of admission, I had never been all the way to the top and the weather was real nice out.

mike watt's photo of robin hatch at the top of the empire state building in new york city, ny on march 8, 2024

robin hatch's photo of the elevator shaft near the top of the empire state building in new york city, ny on march 8, 2024

a.i. generated photo of robin hatch (l) + mike watt (r) at the top of the empire state building in new york city, ny on march 8, 2024

   Got some moving tales from Watt about bringing his mom to visit Ellis Island, then aftewards he pointed out the Williamsburg bridge and told me he invented going across that in 1973 or whenever. Honestly, what a treat.

robin hatch's photo of mike watt spieling at the top of the empire state building in new york city, ny on march 8, 2024

   Set was fun. Went nearby for drinks after at Rudy's (from the Steely Dan song Black Cow!). Pretty wiped in general, geared up for the final show in a couple days. Going to be sad when tour ends but looking forward to post-tour Mental Health Week where I take 9 baths a day and stare at a wall.

whoever's photo of robin hatch outside 'rudy's' in new york city, ny on march 8, 2024

friday, march 8, 2024 - new york city, ny

from watt:

   pop at eight, fuck! peter's prolly been waiting - he has... damn me. ok, chapter fifteen of the miles davis autobio he did w/quincy troupe. don't wanna shirk, don't wanna let peter down. after the read, I chow the falafel pita dani got for me - the "after gig chow" in what's case always is repurposed as "watt's breakfast chow" for next morning, experience has taught me this is the best way for my sitch. I then take a hot bath and soak big time. yesterday I forgot say down in the basement was a guy named ed who gave rubs and he worked on my hands some, also teach about pulling on the fingers to help w/keeping them well. some good technique and I use it here.

   at ten and a half, robin comes to take me to the empire state building which is a couple blocks south. in the 80s I used to visit new york city and kim/thurston would let be at their pad while they were touring and for like five days or something I'd explore. I think it might've been one of these trips when I first went to this building but I never made to the top... this is my second time and I plan to get as high as they let you. perk and peter did it yesterday so I ask robin cuz being a cojo ('cripple' in espanol) makes scared to be around so many people, especially those in a rush to go nowhere and are totally lost in themselves, they'll just bowl a cojo over. big big lines but robin got us express tickets and the manager man helps me cuz he sees my handicap, very kind of him and also all the helperladies who were there for me also. it's really trip, all the art deco stuff of the building itself and then the view when you do get up. now I have acrophobia some so it's scary for me but to see new york city and know what you're looking cuz of so long of looking at and following maps of this stuff is a total mindblow for me, bringing all kinds of memories... especially of the trip I took my ma here like eighteeen years ago I think. yeah, I was going over to europe several times each summer w/helping the stooges so I decided to go through days early one time and stop in new york city before the pond hop - brought my ma w/me and we got a 'tel by the u.n. building on 50th street. for three days I took her around to as much as I could, walked her around (I wasn't using a crutch then) 'til her legs were 'pert-near bloody stumps, besides that she wanted to ride around on a horse-driven carriage in central park so we did that and I also took her on one of those circle cruise trips that sailed around manhattan. I took to her to ellis island too where her people came from italy, sat her down in the benches prolly they even sat in. I konked in the same room as he to be econo, konked on the deck while she took the bed. took her to chinatown and we chowed w/yuka honda...

yuka honda's photo of mike watt (l) + his ma (r) in the chinatown part of manhattan, new york city, ny on may 29, 2006

   took her to chow nearby in little italy also - it was "fleet week" and the navy sailors were in their summer whites and she tripped on how we could chow out on tables on the sidewalks. the weather was really good, not sweaty, 'pert-near like pedro weather all three days! I pointed out these things and other stuff to robin, it helped me from being terrified out of my mind from the heights. on the way out, she had to go to gift shop - what do we hear in there playing in the background? "see no evil" by television... that was the last song I ever played w/d boon, it was the last gig opening up for rem in charlotte, north carolina and those rem guys asked us to join them on that tune - pete buck had me play one of his guitars! yeah, I wasn't on bass - georgie played just a floor tom. I knew that tune on guitar - ain't that a trip? it is cuz I don't know many! on the way back to the 'tel, we chow nearby at the "jerusalem cafe" and I chow a tuna sandwich. I come back and it's soak time. whoa.

   leave for the venue at two and a half, it's less than a mile west of here. pretty big room we're working, damn is the overhead up there. per and etty can't make soundcheck so we do some stooges in place of what usually do and goes BUT... what ain't usual is a little drama... but like that public enemy tune, "brothes' gonna work it out," correct? trippy but I'm thinking of this that david bowie tune "lady stardust" at the same time... yeah, the fuckin go together, huh? maybe that's why? I go to the mess and bring back salmon and fish to shovel w/my hashi. I write another email to raymond to see if he can come cuz I got no answer and am worried... don't wanna bother him... how long since I seen him? I think I'm over-sensitive, emotional so I gotta focus - focus on music... I write my first punk hero, richard hell and he wants to come but I wrote him too late and he's tied up. my fault. one time richrad chowed me and raymond at the hollywod roosevelt hotel, back in cali when me and raymond still lived in the same state. man, was that a night. whoa. loved it. I remember telling richard about raymond being the first one to play me john coltrane ("ascension") where I knew what I was hearing, fucking blew my mind... I thought it was like the germs - I thought john coltrane was a punk rocker - I didn't know he had died in 1967... crimony.

   music - I gotta focus on music and not get bummed into nadaville... I get the yank on my leash - yatta! the jam room is some distance but it's worth every hobble... perk and peter's there w/per - a real challenge on him w/his voice being hurt, I feel syllable he sings... he was at a doc's for help, that's why he missed the check but he's here w/us now, throwing all he's got into opening his voice up. I can't say anything, it's a scary feeling. I do the bass real tiny, trying to make it like a cushion for him. I blurt out "they can't kill you" from his "sadness" song at one point, don't know why. it gives it all he can 'til we're 'pert-near right up to go time... I'm there kind of freaking out inside as he goes to get ready... goes to put his inner-monitors in, perk and etty use them too - maybe robin also? I know me and peter don't. I try to chimp diary on the craptop (macpurse) but spill emotions out on peter some w/drama again, I'm a fucking idiot. oh man, strange.

   tigercub done, gig time for us. actually, there's some real good things about tonight... for one it's international women's day and also to the day and place twentytwo years ago when per and etty met. whoa, beautiful. yeah, same pad per tells the people. we do "100 ways" for the first time in a bunch of gigs and I realize me and perk worked out a different part for bass in the bridge - guess now's a good time to try that! another one from the first gigs of this tour is the reoccurrence of jimi's "hey gypsy boy" which per retitles "gypsy girl" for today after introducing robin. it's a short version - no bass solo - I'm relieved, believe me! I'm trying hard enough try to keep it together - damn if the music ain't helping, just getting play w/them and fuck, I'm like a foot or two from per somethings and can't believe how he's brought his voice - somehow he's brought it and it's there and beautiful and I can't take my eyes off him, I can 'pert-near see his singing radiating right out his mouf, I'm glad I'm in the chair cuz I think might've keeled over otherwise... I can't understand but maybe I ain't supposed to... I feel it through my arms, feel his voice going into my bass and then radiate alongside the low notes and then out from my mouf for the tunes where I bring my voice, like we're in a temple wailing on most righteous hymns, it's a trip. I keep checking in w/perk to make sure its real, yep, perk's big fuckin smiles tells me it's real and it all in m head - he's got a fire fuckin let under me big time - he's got this cripple dancing w/his bass! it's a pretty amazing gig - I was so afraid before we started, the most scared this tour and damn does it blow my mind. I put my bass down on the deck when we're done and get may back wack 'puter sack on... etty helps over to where we all bow together, my crutch keeps me up cuz I 'pert-near went over..

   I go straight from the stage out a stage hatch to the bus and thank the helperman there who helped before this other cat who watched us, his eyes most sincere and not pity-like but trippin kind of like I was on how per brought his singing - he says his favorite part was seeing me put that sack on when we finished... what? it was w/a kindness though, I'm still thiking about that. anyway, the bus is right across the street and maryjo w/this security man holds traff for me. I go straight to the back, man-alone... on my side on the back bench w/my crutch on the deck, I can't help be sideways w/my mouf open and eyes not really focused and just wonder and wonder... it's like this buttload of thoughts of so many things at once, like some big fuckin flannel of thought of over-aware unanswerable jam-the-controls w/no drogas, no liquor, nada. yeah, my ma's been dead 'pert-ner four yeas now... d boon, coming on thirtynine and my pop just over thirtythree. I've never gotten used to losing people, never. I keep thinking of raymond, I keep thinking of per bringing his voice - I wanted raymond to hear it, I couldn't believe per brought it... I can't fathom the whole thing, it, it overwhelms me but I can't let go from to pondering the whole enchilada. crimony...

   it's maybe an hour when people board the bus, I don't know. I do know per comes back to tell me about some pendejo trying to fuck w/him from the crowd, some white-supremacist kind of fuck.. fucking asshole - I hardly look at the crowd, especially w/this band cuz they deserve all the focus I got, I believe but this other stupid fucking shit breaks my heart. at the same time, per's here and I gotta tell him, I don't mean to interrupt him butI can't believe how he did what he did but christ, who, what... fuck - words fail me... I... I.. just thank him, mouf hanging open. he then sits down has a talk w/me about most strong stuff on his mind also, whoa, stuff that's happened w/him, big blows - not at this gig or this tour. oh man, this reaches me far inside, real far, oh man. I feel for him so.. this is gig, whoa... music is something else. I just listen and it's big BIG feelings... perk joins us, peter joins, sits down. whoa. there's a strength in per and there are hurts in per - I feel my hurts, it's way strong feeling here. whoa. there are no extra words. you know, per said something during gig on stage about the back of the bus, about some spiel that's heavy back there. crimony if that did not just come. I have the universe to think about right now, trying to chimp diary about it cuz the memory of it ain't really words, it's feeling - not plural, I didn't make it a mistake here, I mean FEEL. whoa, like fibers twisted into one chord, FEEL/PONDER... kind of a vertigo spins my thought trains... nothing dominant but somewhere also there's beat, parts making up a music... w/a dance to ge w/it - a dance in the head, a singing of a heart. it is most profound on me, I did not plan for this. I came to help my friends w/bass... they end up coming to help me. crimony.

   I'm last off the bus at the 'tel, watt making his way off real real slow and dliberarte, driverman dean there at the bottom of the hatch to help me w/my bass. I hose off in my chamber and the only thing that quiets my mind is the konk that comes I don't know fuckin how but it does and pretty quick...

sunday, march 10, 2024 - montclair, nj

from watt:

   man, did I have some fucking crazy-ass dreams verging on nightmares after fridays' gig. they get so bad and then like a life preserver ring getting thrown to a drowning man, thoughts of us playing the gig would gig out that fucking insanity and we're in the best part of the tune and all together kickn like kato - this happens over and over, one of the trippiest konks I ever had... actually wore my mind out and feels like a washcloth that's bunched up and bunched up into billions of little folds, me feeling a little weariness in each tiny wrinkle but then like a warm tub-float, it's per's voice and the band w/him, floating me back up and bathing in warm breeze, warm sun 'til the next unexpected freakout combinations of sitchs I could never waking life put together. crimony.

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this page created 28 february 2024