mike watt and the pair of pliers
watt - thud staff, spiel
tom watson - guitar
vince meghrouni - drums
(left to right)
steve kaul - the man outside the van
monday, september 11, 2000 - san francisco, ca
the spirit of tour is always a mixed feeling of anxiety, confusion and sadness. no matter how you prepare yourself things seem on the edge of disaster, at least for me. even though we all have experience enough to know that this is normal. still, at the point of no return, when there's no more time to do anything more at home or consider what you've packed in a bag, butterflies build up in your stomach till the moment of the final goodbye kiss and the boat leaves port.
this is a commitment not unlike any tour of duty or time on a fishing boat. the act of giving total effort and attention for a determined length of time. of course this is what I love to do, and after all, maybe the only thing that I know how to do. In any case, being part of this team with mike and vince is an honor and our time together is focused on our music and being safe on the road. I think it would be impossible to be with two finer and harder working guys.
every time I do this, I swear I'll pack before the morning I'm supposed to leave, and that I'll get more than four hours sleep the night before. but there is always some vexing problem like should the wing nuts go in the square box or the rectangular box and should I bring three colors of electrical tape for spiking the drums so like every previous time hitting the road I got half the recommended alottment of sleep, I did, however, pack my clothes yesterday, so there is a gentle flowing evolution. maybe by the time I'm 74 I'll get enough sleep before leaving. this morning I am bleary as hell, hardly functioning. linda is getting ready for work at the library and I'm telling her to wake me up in 15 minutes, (after the first snooze alarm has been shut off) wheras ideally I'd be sharing as much of the morning with her as I can before leaving on long cruise. but I was up last night after the late gig, screwing around with fitting hardware in the big coffin case (the torpedo) and other hardware in another case. and the late night gig was after another afternoon gig which was after a recording. which is not to say what a joe bitchen mr. music man I am, but is to say that I was burnt to a crackle. I have to say, though, playing with my slowrider and brother weasel brothers gave me much strength, groove and spirit energy with which to start the tour. so it may have slaughtered my body but it fed my soul. so anyway I'm trying like hell to get my shit together and good old mikey sessa, trusted friend and associate from wayback, comes over from next door. he looks pretty bleary too - he was at the Bro Weasel gig at Mr. T's last night too, sat in, as a matter of fact. so he goes to cafe tropical and gets us some coffee, which is the best coffee in the world. mike is a great drummer and is one resourceful road-wise mofo, so I know I'm in pretty good shape. he already deftly changed heads on my elderly ludwig snare the day before while I was multi-tasking in between gigs. with the coffee there, and mike advising, and lending a hand, I finally get everything ready for the go-code. I'd just sprayed the soft drum cases with waterproof-spray the day before, and stenciled my initials on them, so they smelled of evil chemistry, but they were stacked and ready for loading. mike called and he and tom were running a little late, so there was even time to sit on the coach, drink coffee and crack wise with the old wise guy sessa. then the fella's show up, sessa pitches in loading, and we are off.
I sleep for awhile on the way, so when we get to the bottom of the hill. bottom of the hill is a nice place to start the tour. sound check goes smooth. remote team member ranalli shows up, so the vibe gets stronger. they feed us real well there, very tasty. luke starbucker are nice folk. the name seems like an amalgam of two popular cultural artifacts. black calimar is wailing in a rocking vibe I dig like crazy. our turn goes really well. It is not without glitches, but we're playing together, it's cohesive, it's not uptight, but grooves, and we're playing with spirit and sincerity. and I'm pretty excited because I'm playing some new drums (new to me) I just bought from moe, who I play with in slowrider. he sold me his old set of premiers at the righteous bro price and it's a great thing because they look good, tune up easy and sound great. they really gave me a big boost going in to the tour. I've always played older drums bought out of the recycler and though they have sounded good, they've been squirrelly, sometimes hard to tune and had mysterious overtones, ringing, etc., so I spend a lot of time in advance of tour putting different heads, tuning, muffling, etc. the premiers tune right up. and I think some of Moe's heavy groove mojo infused into the drums for sure. after the gig, brother dan has to split pretty quick, so it's a short hang. after the gig we head over to Lisa's. as soon as I am led to the bed I get, I robotically prepare for conksville, wrung out and bled white of vitality.
it's always so hectic before a tour. like a vortex, every chaotic event imaginable is drawn towards to the lift-off day, the blasting moment, the final point of release. it matters not that you might begin to ready yourself weeks in advance, there will still be tons to do and as the grains of sand in the hourglass marking the time left in your town run out, a panic will take hold and grip you, clutch you by the cojones and swing you around like a tetherball about the pole of tour's birth and beginnings.
at the crack of dawn, I popped in pedro. made some coffee. I hadn't made coffee in about a week and there was some left in carafe. I would find out soon there was mold growing in it as I swallowed a cup down of the fresh brew mingled w/the old. I would not have a second cup. so much to do, I can't list the milieu. tom appeared at ten w/diana and they stuffed the tour shirts into bags. thanks tom and diana. I got contractor clean-up bags that hold fortysix gallons and are tough as shit. better than keeping them in the boxes they came in, this way they can fit easier up on the shelf of the boat (van). we say bye, then tom and I head out of pedro and head to santa monica to drop the rest of the cards to let gig-goers know of the tour w/fletch at columbia. the first batch had already been done by myself, just a hint of what goes on behind the curtain at this mouse factory. thanks fletch, you're truly a brother. it's been almost ten years w/him and the team there. only a few constants as far as folks go there, cats like fletch, mark g, john i, nichol, howard, josh, debbie and bossman donnie. can't wait to give them another record but first I gotta pay for some surgery that saved my life. let's do it w/some gigs, almost four months full! more in the spring too. I don't feel bad or burden by it cuz what price can you put on your life? gigs and tour are a trip too, always holding something for me to learn and think about. it's great to see fletch and I give him a big bear hug, show him the little red bass, the folding little bike for pedaling, then jump in the boat and shove off. we get to vince's and pack the drums - it's an easy pack, he's got smaller ones this time - and we're out. north to san francisco. well, not yet. after smelling fumes, I find someone has "liberated" the rear gas tank's cap and we stop to get a new one and fill 'er up. $2.15 a gallon! what?
an easy four hundred miles up the I-5 to the first gig cuz I got a head of nice thoughts. I turn my head right, look out the window and say "thank you." even w/all the trauma and pre-tour hell (why do I do four gigs in a row just before bailing on top of everything else?) we get there at the pad within minutes of the scheduled touchdown time. who'd a thunk it? just relieved the whole mission has begun. so glad to have tom and vince w/me, these pair of pliers are of great spirit. it's our second tour together. no steve reed this time, second tour in a row which hasn't happened since I started w/him more than ten years ago, this is kind of a bummer for me. I love that man, steve reed.
so it's just three of us and we do our first load out, into tonight's pad: the bottom of the hill. I really dig this pad, it's my third time playing here. soundman mike meets us and he's got a good nature, this is great. of course, I had to forget something (or many things, we'll find out as things go) and it's my fucking mic. I use my own mic so I don't share too much w/the different towns' bugs (germs) and try to stave off infection. just think about having to go on after gg allen and use _that mic_. whoa. peter, a writer who wants to do a spiel w/me gives me a lift to the corporate musik shoppe and I get a mic that - surprise - comes w/a free mic stand! maybe this is a good thing, since I like straight ones (no boom) and most are pretty beat up (maybe from rod stewart poses?) and have off-balanced bases. this in turn causes them to bash me in the fucking teeth when I step on them (think of a rake laying in a yard w/tall grass and it comes flying up when you step on it accidently). so I have my own mic stand for the first time on a tour. by the way, I believe this is my fortieth tour. I am a slow learner.
good spiel w/peter and then it's time to konk. lisa from pedro comes by the boat w/ross. her sister nan draws my t-shirt designs. lisa's lived up here now for many years and we're going to stay at her and kenny's pad tonight. we talk a little but I need sueno so they bail after a little and I'm out. gary floyd's _black kali ma_ is playing and they sound great as sueno takes me. then I pop, somehow right at eleven - gig time. I gather up the merch: this time I got _li'l pit_ singles, _dos_ cds, d. boon stickers plus the shirts, whoa.
I shed my peat coat and begin to do what this is all about: doing the gig. it's this tour's cherry one and the folks here are great. its packed and there's a good spirit I can pick up on. I'm feeling a little weak w/all the already mentioned but I give it my all and the pliers are w/me. tom and vince play great even though I can feel us all three a little scared. I laugh a lot the whole set to try and relieve what's w/me. I screw up some words. the little bass is a trip to play and I pull too hard on the strings and make her sharp a bunch. I gotta learn about that. the smallness of the neck though does save pain in my left hand, I gotta tell you. especially after last tour where my hands were hurting big time. the right hand has to learn to play softer and in a tinier space cuz the strings are closer together and also closer to the pickups so it bottoms out so much easier. it's a little bit cramped but I will adapt and learn this new way. I'll record w/the big basses but maybe it's better I do tours w/the little stuff. we'll see how it goes.
there were some weird moments for me I might mention. when I into the boat when I bailed from pedro, my levis were hanging kind of low and they were older and well, they fucking ripped between the legs. not that much but it was a start. when I got up to get on the stage for the gig later, they got just one "stair" or step and the reach was too big and my pants really ripped. now, since my illness and surgery I was told to wear socks and underwear - shit I left behind as a teenager - and it is strange for me. it feels like another little suit under my clothes. I don't really dig it but I don't want to get sick again like that so I will put up w/this form of fascist tyranny on me. anyway, it was good I had something on under cuz the whole fucking place was tore there. I felt really embarrassed but what the hell... it was a scary gig, I have to say, like most cherry gigs of tours or even gigs period. I don't know if I'll ever get over the fear of having to get up in front of people and play, it's such a pressure cooker. another bad habit I have sometimes is watching the fucking hatch and the show goes down. to me, one sign of you not having it together is folks bailing. now this was a monday night, the pad was full and we got three encores and they wanted more but I noticed a couple of folks leaving during the set and I kind of thought about this - even as the gig was going and then later at lisa's after when I was laying there in the dark. I was kind of feeling weak in the body while we were playing, a little bit - I don't know if I'll ever be quite the same - well, I was thinking, "what am I doing to screw up, why can't I hold them here w/what I'm doing?" I have to admit my confidence was shook. my mind was just hooked on this even though it was just a few cats. I started thinking maybe they came cuz of some kind of hype and just felt let down and maybe I'm just a big fraud and all this kind of shit, it's just weird the way the mind folds up in on itself. now, there were tons of folks giving me all kinds of support plus the pliers up there w/me but I kept wanting some other kind of approval from these people. maybe they just had to bail cuz it was monday and it was late anyway and work was in the morning. maybe whatever, shit! these are just things that run through my head, you know. they are insecurities and stupid self-image problems that I've never been able to overcome. I even was thinking how the town here is being changed by the high rents driving more econo people out of town, feeling like I wasn't giving them their money's worth and they were getting ripped off here too. feeling like I'm not living up to the image there is of me, (whatever that is?) in its positive sense. anything but music which was the issue at hand - boy, am I a fucking nut. it made me miss d. boon, he was never scared about any of that shit. he was so much beyond that and was into _dealing w/the issue at hand_ which was not about being embarrassed or self-conscious or even maybe being too much of a challenge for some but the tune at that moment and giving it his all. I tried to think of him and gain from this, of all the folks I admire cuz they get deep when it gets shallow but there's little boy parts of me that always wants to run and hide or be everything to everyone when the reality is I gotta grow up and get over that shit. just weird feelings I get. I'm gonna just keep trying to get better at it. I'm so glad really to have a chance to keep playing and get in front of people to do these gigs and I'm so grateful that sickness didn't take me down for good. my perspective just gets so narrow at times, this is what is racing through my fucking mind. I konked thinking about all this. I had no peace but sueno finally drowned all the insane voices out.
tuesday, september 12, 2000 - roseburg, or
vince and I spend our time trying to get across the freeway to the nearby appleby's for some soup. this goes on for some time and after we succeed we drag our feet back to the mo' 6 for the night. it's very quiet in roseburg except for the airstrip across the street that sends the lear jets overhead as I drift off to sleep.
in the morn, we chat with lisa, head down to the corner for coffee, then disembark. we cross the bridge, he farm communities, the rest of the state, stopping to eat chilaquiles (me, anyway) in arbuckle. we start up into the mountains, pass the great volcanic soul-magnet mt. shasta, and of course, weed, twist our way past yreka, into oregon, past ashland and medford, grants pass and eventually to roseberg, where the mo 6 houses us. earlier today I realized that now I recognize things like rusty train tressels spanning creeks in canyons, jagged rock outcroppings, and even crumbling delapidated old barns (we call " little fixer-uppers") like one recognizes the neighborhood he used to live in, or parts of the city you go to, but infrequently. And also that when you think of tour before tour, you think of shows in cities, and the miles and hours between them. but once on the tour, you realize that the quantification in miles and hours misses the reality of traversing the terrain, the vista's, the varying cultural clusters that comprise this vast place. it is late and I must sleep.
it was bright and sunny when I popped and I feel glad for that. time for my first attempt at pedaling the little fold-up bike. lisa and kenny's pad is here by the water in the northeast part of town on townsend (get it, "town's end" - not that guy on guitar for the who, though I do dig the way he played on those great records they did in the 60s). it reminded me of my ride route in pedro, all by the water and stuff (there's a movie I made of my pedaling path I take every morning at http://hootpage.com/hoot_pedalinpath01.html). I started out by going south and by some construction where there were some big open stretches of road w/no traffic so I could get used to pedaling this little bike. the handlebars are like a scooters, the grips all close and everything and it feels like I'm on a little circus thing. it has little twenty inch wheels too. sure must be a site to this idiot on it. when I got some confidence up I went south on third street all the way down to army (ceasar chavez now, better name) and then turned around. I guess this road goes all the way down to candlestick park, that would be a blast but I don't have the time, two hours max cuz even though we ain't got a gig tonight (the first of only two days off for this tour), we got a hellride to portland (635 miles). so I turn around and head back up north and go around the piers. at pier fifty they had this big government supply ship and the home port painted on it's hull was norfolk, virgina - near where I was born in portsmouth. it was a huge boat w/a ramp where you could drive trucks up into it. then I rode past the new ball park, w/some corporate name, xxxxxxx xxxx park. there was a sculpture of willie mays out front. only a plaque for willie mcovey on the stadium wall. up to the emabarcadero and under the bay bridge and over to fisherman's wharf. then back to townsend. two hours worth, what a great ride. great eye gifts for me and some good working up the heart too.
get back and gather the crew and we shove off. big drive starting up the sacramento valley. gas is now $2.35 a gallon, what is this?! burn wards, all the gas stations are burn wards. w/all the pedaling and only sleeping maybe four or so hours plus the hell of blastoff day, I am just too tired a couple of hundred miles. vince takes over. he gets us past red bluff, where my pop was from and through shasta when tom takes over. there's some great sites out the portholes, this is a big land w/all kinds of good scenery - it makes tour righteous and even myself even more grateful for getting to do it. I still get the same thrill from the old days regarding this, I love the journeying. all the lands and all the vistas, all there and wide and open, making it righteous w/wonder. sometimes I feel like I could so bad share these witnessings w/someone else, have them look through my eyes and feel the joy I'm getting. it just bursts inside me and I want to share it so bad, much beyond my shitty capabilities to use words. all three of us here in the boat are constantly pointing things out to each other, in between the incessant humor that we keep going to help us stay sane.
over the border and into oregon - bye bye cali for a while now. steep ride down the siskiyous and we continue north up the I-5 'til we get to roseburg where a mo-six, just built is sitting. why roseburg? well, it's eight and driving in the dark on tour is risky shit. why if you don't have to? fuck it. we pull over to konk. maybe three hours max tomorrow and were in portland, no prob. I get the room, pull out the machine and start pecking this diary suff out. when tom and vince come back from chowing, I ask them about me being afraid and feelings I had last night. they both tell me some good things, we have a good talk. I listen to them and try to understand what they're saying. I think to myself: we've covered a lot of ground, we're all safe, we get to play tomorrow and it's a good life. I will wrestle those fears tomorrow and try to bring some fire up from the hole. hell, I can't wait to pedal once that sun comes up tommorow. watt, you're a lucky man.
wednesday, september 13, 2000 - portland, or
we have a little drive to the city and nearby the club is a fine little guitar shop that I find a good deal on a backup tele that I decide to obtain, because I need it. anyway, it's not too long before my good friends shows up and they have some copies of my country & watson record that diana had sent up to me. there's time to talk and catch up.
portland: sunny, humid. walk for coffee. the girl at the coffee place points at my bazooka shirt and asks if I'm pro-war. she has a ring thru her nose, dyed magenta hair, bums a smoke from me and sneaks tom and I a free pastry or two. she is a year too young to get in to the show, so declines our guest list offer in grattitude. we head to a music store next to berbati's pan where we're playing. tom ends up buying a spare tele there. one of the guys working there knows us both from latona and the new music gang that collect there for informal shows. he is a friend of iceburn, a band from SLC that stayed in l.a. for awhile. next to the music store is a costume shop i whose window are displayed various biological oddities, human and otherwise, in fromaldahyde jar, and what appears to be a shrunken head. a very undernourished woman about four feet tall with a furrowed brow comes up to me with an unlit cigarette and mutters thigs to me with gret urgeny that I cannot understand. I offer my lighter. she accepts, shielding the cigarette with her two small shaking hands, but this does not seem to be the point of her engaging me. after several "I beg your pardons," "what's" and "huh's", she points to the costume shop window with the jars and ghoulish head and says, "those are my friends." later, the show starts with roger nusik, who is a sort of psychadelic dervish in sun ra cape frenetically strumming a les paul to a drum machine, all thru much reberb. two women dance and cut at each others dresses with scissors while mr. nusik sings into his headset, jumps off the stage, back on, picks of an electric violin and plays credibly, soloing on numbers like "when I was a girl", and "love is loving love". the ladies pick up gold winged skull masks and hold them provocatively in front of their gyrating pelvises. Then Kleveland plays, rocking in a clean cut, fresh scrubbed yet scruffy style, bantering rockingly with the audience - they even had a dance contest! we started our show with tv eye, which set the tone for the rest of the performance. the crowd was screaming and asked us back for numerous encores. I have several developing blisters and my opposable thumbs now seem merely vestigal.
popped at 8:30 - wow! I slept like eight hours, so much tension finally released that tour is now underway, pheww... I get out the mo quick and get to the back of the boat, pop the hatch and get the little folder, that tiny pedaling machine. I put the orange painted helmet hat on, fit the gloves (boy, are they beat up, need new ones - too many miles) and I'm off. this town must have something in its future cuz when I pass the little regional airport, I see a lear jet land. there's two blackhawk helicopters too but that must be for fires maybe (or nwo ops!)? going past, I head up into the hills and there's track homes going up - big ones. there has to be plans. I love the smell, the pine stuffing my head w/a skyfull. now, when the grade gets steep, it's tough on the tiny bike, though I only have to get off once. w/only one gear watt has to stand and use all the weight on each pedal and get himself up and over, whew! it's fun though, my heart is racing. I go down to the center of the old town and as you can imagine, the buildings are so much different. there's a bike shop so I'll go there on the way back and get some stuff. lots of cats are laughing their heads off as I pass by, so fucking what - glad I could bring some joy into their life. at the shop I get a cable lock, a flashing tail light and a bell for the handel bars. sometimes that bell is your only defense. I pedal back to the mo and my guys are going to a quick walk, time for me to get off a quick email and wash that two hours of pedaling sweat off me. of course, there's only a wash cloth left to towel off w/so it's pretty much a drip-dry. who cares, that's tour life and it's small shit in the big scheme of things. I never let that shit bother me.
I had the craziest dream last night. there was this area w/all the righteous old pads that were in such disarray, all individual in themselves and handbuilt but left to go to hell. I was in one of the pads w/some old people, I guess the owners and I was trying to find out why all these neat houses were just rotting away. there was a cat there too I kept chasing around the stairs and halls. this pad had tons of rooms and doors and it was so eccentric, I really dug it but was so confused. I kept trying to find out what happened and why things were the way they were. then, right near when I popped and woke, the old folks told me. it seemed everyone in these parts was catholic and the pope had said to let everything just collapse. what?! this seemed crazy. I woke up just then and really thought about why the fuck I would dream up something up like that. I started laughing to myself silly and then got in the boat and told my guys. we all laughed as we took the boat up to portland.
we stopped halfway up to chow at a subway, our first "way" of the tour. they got new breads now. I used some "dave's insanity sauce" and got burned up real good, snots running out and the top of my head all steaming, blood rushing and heart thumping. it was a good burn. still on the I-5, we saw lots and lots of trees. passed one truck w/some real old redwood, that was sad. saw a jet going so fast and so high, straight up - vince thought it was a rocket. saw a giant lawnmower and thought of steve reed. this thing was real big, like three giant mowers hooked together w/the side ones bent up at angles to fit it on the semi trailer. we talked about some stupid expressions like "it's all good" and how it's really just the sound of a voice and doesn't really mean much more than that. what's "all good," the tumors, abscesses, deformities and malignancies, etc.? just some feel-good suave, huh? more abuses of language to reduce things down to pablum, makes me want to puke. it was funny the way tom and vince were talking about it, they were having a great time w/that stupid shit.
tonight's gig is at berbatis pan, a pad I've played twice before and enjoy working the stage there much. they're playing richard hell and johnny thunders on the sound system, it's the cook's disks and he makes me a great greek salad - thank you much! time for some interviews and then I'll call richard meltzer. he lives here in town and sent me an email yesterday to call him, a good thing! happy watt.
well, the number richard wrote to me was one digit off and it was some lady's answering machine so I left a bunch of messages just in case richard was running a diversion. I mean I got stupid old star trek banter on mine. it was lame for the mixup cuz he's a real great cat to rap w/and hear some good spiel. I learn so much every time. miranda, one of the madonnabes' dancers came though. that's a fun band we have back home in so cal. she just turned twentyone and was telling me of the dichotomy here where there's a look-ahead part and a redneck part and how the bars are creepy. she's been in redondo beach her whole life so going to school in another town gives her a perspective on the way the human zoo organizes. like a tour can if you have your eyes open. one big four year gig tour! she graduates next spring and I'm proud of her. I'm not sure how her and her buddy daniela got in the band, they were only sixteen but just loved dancing to madonna and were perfect for the group. that's the way bands can be when they're at their best, not just a hustle or a scam, just a joining of folks who seem to want to play in that moment for the right reason. its genuine and I dig that. we'll play again this winter.
I go to the van and konk. I miss both of the opening bands but don't miss the hell outside the boat: lots of cop cars and sirens and lights for a fight at the club next door, an all-age rave place. kids wearing bell bottoms!? like what the older kids wore when I was younger in the 70s. funny. the violence wasn't funny though and all the noise. warm here in portland and I woke in sweat big time even w/my shirt off. a policeman on a horse asked me what was up w/a flashlight in my eyes and I said I was in a nap before I had to play and he said "right on" in a real squarejohn way. I felt grateful he trotted off, I did not need any hell from him. the bossman, tres came to tell me it was gig time. todd haynes came up and said hi, it was great to see him again. I hadn't seen him since I worked for him w/the wylde ratttz for that "velvet goldmine" soundtrack. we had a good talk. he left nyc and lives here in portland now.
I got on stage and slung the little bass on, it still feels funny - light though and that's a relief for the shoulder. have to be calm on hitting on it though. I tell the cats I want to do "tv eye" first for todd cuz that's one of the songs we did for him and the film. this crowd was very nice to us, I mean the town's always been that way, going back to minutemen days and I thought we did an alright job. some fuckups and miscommunications but we'll get that ironed out as tour goes. tom bought a new telecaster to use as a backup guitar and guess what? he had to use it. good thing, huh? I thought him and vince did real good. when I had to do low parts w/my voice, the monitors couldn't help me out but soundman dave did the best he could. it is a great stage to play on. a friend thought we were playing on a griddle cuz it was called berbati's pan! this is funny cuz the "pan" is actually that goatman that plays the pipes in greek lore. god, she can make me laugh. I was thinking of that while we did a bunch of encores. these cats had us play more and more - on a wednesday night too! much respect, good people of portland. I wore the same wool flannel again it did make me get a little pan fried. I just figured cuz pendletons are made in oregon, I should wear it for them. it's a righteous one too that this cat in the bay area named atilla gave me. it was from his brother who passed away. I feel great wearing it - w/out a shirt and all scratchy, I really dig that.
finally we're done and boy, do I move a bunch of dos cds. that's my oldest band, fifteen years, that I have w/kira - a two bass only band. I sell some li'l pit 45s too - that's my first recording thing working the stand-up bass. finally we're done and this young man helps me load the boat. he gives me a poem in an old stylus box, a tiny one and it's a very sincere moment, free of all the corny fascist rock and roll shit. I'm very grateful to him. I will read it later. there's a lady bass player named michelle who wants to talk bass for a bit and that's interesting. I'm tapped though and have to konk. we're staying at tom's bud bill's and I'm glad it's close and I steer the boat for there. we get to park inside a garage which is great for piece of mind but it also means no pedaling in the morning. no matter, I'll wait for seattle, that's ok. bill runs online sites for folks so there's like twenty 'puters just roaring away. it's cool to see only one's a pc and the rest are wailing macs. I am beat and konk on the deck easy and quick.
thursday, september 14, 2000 - seattle, wa
up and out oregon to seattle town. we arrive early and I walk through the streets and burn up time till soundcheck. the crocodile cafe is a cool place and we give it a good shot, but we find a lot to talk about afterwards. it's a long night so sleep comes quickly at matt's place.
driving to seattle. I lay on the bench seat, ash from a "backwood smokes" cigar dropping on my t-shirt. we are all smoking them, agreeing that they are acceptable workaday cigars. this is not a bid for sponsorship. tom and mike are trying to relight mike's cigar - mike is driving, and it is not easy with the front windows down, whistling down the highway at the speed limit. they get it lit, and watt puffs in between bites of his subway sandwich, laden with dave's insanity sauce. mine is drowned in it as well. every bite drives waves of capsain thru the blood stream and into the skull, causing the head to sweat profusely. the sinuses liquify and eating sounds like the wake of a beloved mediterranean matriarch.
the croc, where we're playing, is a great club. the combination of cafe, bar and stage rooms, makes it a good place to hang out, comfortable, eat, have a drink or two, and see a show. we play well. we're playing more relaxed than last year, I think. this makes us "tighter" in important ways, and increases the fun, which loosens us up a little more, etc. we stay with matt, splaying ourselves about cushions, couches and futons. he and his roomates have a great selection of records on the coffee table: jim hall, bartok, neil young and edgar winters white trash, among others. their kitchen looks like a place where serious cooking goes on - iron skillets and woks hang around, bowls are full of ginger and garlic and heavy duty intense knives and other untensils, cookbooks and mitts are ready for business. once again nice people sympathetic to the cause ease our travel and make this possible, for which we are most greatful.
ok, pop at bill's and it's a bummer I can't pedal cuz the boat's locked in the garage here but at least I had peace of mind regarding safekeeping of our shit. I'll pedal when I get to to our next town, seattle. some of the programmer folks who work at bill's come in and we start talking. one of them's only nineteen and couldn't get into last night's show. I hate those fucking laws. they serve booze at ballgames and kids go to those. double fucking standard. maybe I've written this in a tour diary before but I hate those fucking bigoted laws. they're wrong.
we say bye and head north, through oly (home of kill rock stars, we'll be there saturday) and tacoma and then seattle. the gig is a the crocodile cafe, a great place to play - been there many times in a part they call belltown. it's not too long of a drive so we're there early and quickly I uncollapse the little folder and begin my pedaling. I go down by the water and take some shots of ferry boats and such. I then go by the space needle and the new "music experience" (or something like that) building, which is neat w/it's ghery design - billowing and flowing, like the metal skin is blown parachutes crossed w/ocean waves but do not want to enter it. I continue pedaling up aurora, the old route 99 way you used to go north and pass by the aurora house where I konked when I'd visit ed up here, when I was making the wrestling record. it's got a 'for sale' sign up. hmm. on the way back, I stop and get some liquid laundry soap. I'm gonna wash this wool pendleton. I think I'm gonna try to wear it for every gig on this tour! I go into the head and wash it there in the sink. I also shave for the first time on tour. damn, I go down way to close and there's cuts and blood everywhere. just ain't used to it. reminds me of being little and watching my pop shave early (too early maybe) in the morning and having bits of toilet paper stuck to his face later. always used to trip on that and not quite understanding what was going on. I, however, don't use anything to stop the bleeding and my face is a running mess. oh well. you try to do something different and it takes some getting used to. they have some good soup here at the croc and I chow it down. soup is one of my favorite tour chows. they got some ok chili sauce here and I fortify it w/that. on a related note, I'm wearing another flannel while the pendleton is drying on the boat's steering wheel and I guess this was laying on the deck while I fortified a sandwhich from the 'way on the cruise up and caught some of the dave's cuz my shoulder is burning up a storm now. damn. I just try and sleep it off w/a konk and that seems to work altough thoughts of fierey transport make up my dreams. undefined except for the fact they're fiery.
krist comes knocking on the boat's hatch w/his friend dave and we have some good spiel. he's been w/the city counsel, trying to get the music laws more together and talk some sense into the mayor who just farted out a veto on it. I give some news from pedro on the croatia scene there, that a cultural center's beeing built in an old building that used to be a bank on pacific and ninth, even w/the bellig between the two main factions in town. those politics are funny. he has to bail early and can't see the gig, still it's great to rap w/him. I seal the hatch and try for some more konk time. I start to get very afraid. this happens to me a bunch on tour and why I think it's good for me to be alone before a show in the boat though its hard in a way cuz I have to confront these fears. this time I even start crying. damn. finally its time and I grab the stuff to go in. ed's there! great. I gotta go back and get the little bass and he comes w/me so I can show him the little folding bike. he digs it. great to see him, he's got a week off 'til more tour. he says kim's ma's doing better and that's great. the sonics had just be opening up for them on the last leg of the tour and had to cut it a couple gigs short cuz of a car wreck she was in. these fucking vehicles can be such death rides. petra got hit in a crosswalk walking and has a busted up femur and broken ribs just before I left. heavy stuff on me. I've been saying prayers for both of them.
the gig is intense and I'm throwing very hard. my guys are going good but maybe a little too restrained, sort of like at prac, where you're just trying to get the parts right. I want them take it up another step and go crazy. it's still early in the tour though and I think we'll get to that. I go a little too crazy w/the right hand and bottom out the little bass a bunch - I gotta work on that. we do ok though and the folks here watching are the most kind and have back a few times. we play almost two hours. damn, I'm beat. I feel like I'm gonna come apart at the middle, where I was cut w/my sickness. gotta pace it a little better. my levi is soaked all the way down. the little white suit too (that's what I call these fucking socks and underwear). I am bathed in my own brohth.
a nice man named matt offers us his pad to konk at and we head over there after packing the boat. many thanks to all the croc folks for everything first and then we follow him. there's a righteous cat there w/a great temperment and loves the rubs. during the first part of my sickness, I had to let the little girl kitty I had be adopted by a family and so there's no more cat life brightening my pad. it's a trip now to be truly alone when I'm in pedro but life is about change, I guess. I still terribly miss the man and he's been gone since last summer. I think of him as the night train pulls my tired ass into sleepytown.
friday, september 15, 2000 - vancouver, b.c., canada
the border takes some time but we get through and get to town and get situated. I like playing in vancouver, and vince and I wander for food as we so often do. our show is good but the monitors blow out and mikes voice does too and before we know it it's time to get back across the border for the night.
on our way to canada, and the border. this time at the border, the canadian immigration officer, civil through and through, asks if any of us have had trouble with the law or have been arrested. I sheepishly fess up my dui of a few years ago. this causes a big wait during which we don't know if I'll be allowed into the country. after a difficult silent wait, we are informed that the waiver has been granted by the appropriate higher-up such that I may work in canada thru october something for the fee of $200 canadian ($140 u.s.).
vancouver is a beautiful city, sitting a the base of mountains and glacial valleys. the architecture of the predominantly high-rises is different from u.s. cities. with the blue sky, the water (bristling with commercial and pleasure boats) and mountains, it is a breathtaking city. load-in is made is by destry, the good natured and hard working utility man at the starfish. he and rob make sound check easy going and light hearted. on the gig, mike's monitors blow out, so I can't hear him and he has to bellow. I can't hear "the big picture" but it's fun playing anyhow. Unfortunately, mike blows out his voice from yelling, so we have a challenge ahead, especially him, since he has to sing so much every show. some drunk dandy gets up on stage after the show and steps on my fan, breaking it. I go up to him with it and say "here, you broke it, you keep it". the fan is how I keep from heating up too much while playing the drums. I soak my clothes with sweat every night, and a little breeze is very helpful. the guy won't take it, which is good, because I think it's actually salvageable. I think I'm getting sick, like a cold. I'm cranky in that getting sick way.
the way back thru the u.s. border is easier than it's ever been. the u.s. border guard is polite, casual, and understanding, and with a couple questions and a sharp eyeball he sizes us up and let's us by with a friendly greeting. we get to our motel where we'd left the merch before going into canada (rather than pay the import duty) and sleep.
whoa, it's ten when I pop and matt's gone. his roomey and her friend finally find out we're a band - I wonder what she could've thought we were (matt's tripple-header pickup or what?) - we have a laugh between us. they're very nice and give us directs to the freeway - unfortunately it's back into town and the onramp was hard as hell to find - we ended up backtracking almost to the very spot whence we came, arrrrrrgggghhhh! finally though, we did prevail and got the boat northward towards the border. a cat named dan last night gave me his number to stay in bellingham but it cog lost, damn. gotta dump the shirts so we get a room right near the freeway, stow the merch and head towards the crossing at peace arch. there's a funny slogan on it: "from a common mother." at immigration we have some trouble. now, all three of us are dry in regards to liquor on this tour but we've had trouble in the past and have to get minister permits. that's the way that goes. we're guests of their land and have to go w/the flow. it takes a little while but finally we're on our way. "from a common jug."
it's the starfish room tonight, maybe my third or fourth time here. it's a good room to play. nice cats sean, from the opening band _section a_ and destri, the stage hand help us unload. as vince sets up his drums, I take out the little folder and go for a pedal. I'm feeling weird about myself how I relate to folks for some reason. a good pedal helps my heart w/things like this as well as getting it pumping w/blood. the pad is in a part of vancouver called yaletown and I pedal down to the water, they got a great bike route called the seaside path. I've got the digicamera and take some snaps. the sun's going down in the west and it spreads some righteous spangles across the water, lots of gleam and glimmer. this always touches a good memory for me and I feel better. I can get so emotional. it's good to be alone like this to get my thinking together. the peacefulness of the boats floating on the calm water is in such a conflict w/the hell in my head. after a while, the outside does win over the inside - many thanks. I love this little bike, I'm so glad I have it for tour. I cover many miles before getting back to the pad for soundcheck. the weather is so nice, I feel blessed - lucky - I have to keep in check all the internal (eternal?) complaining I have about myself. we do "the red and the black" for a check, a song the _blue oyster cult_ wrote a long time ago about running from the draft to canada and of course, it feels appropriate. this is a great land. the monitors sound great, too bad this wouldn't happen for the gig. after check I go to the boat to work on the j stuff. the pick is a trip to play w/again after so many years and I have to do it every day if I'm gonna be competent. can't let j down. I run through all the tunes he made for me on cassette w/the "rock and play" hooked to the bass, then konk. I'm tired.
tom knocks on the hatch and it's gig time. already?! I was out for a few hours. I'm feeling a little scared but not as bad as last night. it's a good crowd and it's showtime. first w/"tv eye" and a stick of vince's goes flying so we started it over. I think the monitors blew out on the first blow-out cuz they're sounding like they've been buried under sopping wet mattresses - I can't hear anything. aaarrrggghhhh. I have to holler my fucking head off and even that is useless. damn, that was stupid - I'm gonna pay for it tomorrow w/one hoarse-ass voice. idiot move, watt. it's a good gig though and the vancouver cats are really great to us. I break an e-string, that's the fattest one on the bass, the low one. it's near the end so I just continue on w/out changing it. fuck it - it's all about flow anyway. very frustrating anyway w/the monitor situation. the soundman rob is trying everything he can but it's not his fault. again, we play a long time. after we're done, I talk to the pliers about getting communication a little more down on stage, about reading shorthand and stuff. hell, we do it so good in the boat w/jokes and stuff, I know we could get it better going on stage w/the music. it's a frustrating thing w/me tonight, mainly cuz I couldn't hear myself. aaaarrrgggghhhh, I have to let it go and pass. there's lots of folks who want to talk w/me and I feel kind of like I let them down and maybe not so worthy of the nice things they're telling me. I promise them all I will try to do better. the boss, peter, wants me to get j to play up here w/his fog (I guess that's me and whoever the drummer's going to be). he's nice and I tell him I'll put in a word to the kaulster (the man outside the van), since me and j both "share" him.
man, is it late - we gotta get back across the boarder and back to bellingham. we pack up the boat and head out. bye vancouver. coming back from the other side of the peace arch, the u.s. officer is very kind and has us on our way in seconds, much respect to him. another thirty or so miles and we're at the mo in bellingham. I check the email (my adrenalin is still going) and there's a review of a solo gig j just did in england. they said nice things about him. they noticed he had gray in his hair too and that it didn't matter. I wonder how old he is? he's always seemed wiser than his years. almost four now in the morning! damn, this bulb has to dim now and I induce a konk by dropping straight to the deck. hey, it works.
saturday, september 16, 2000 - olympia, wa
the weather is great and this town is too, so the extra time spent walking around town is nice. by the time we get set up and checked our friends sandy, jonas and annie appear and we head out for vietnamese food and succeed.
we get back to check out frenchie & the german girls and they are great. then two ton boa are too. we have a fun time playing even though the stage was bouncing around under our feet. after the gig jessica lets us crash in her apartment and we sleep till it's time to roll out of town again.
drive to oly. walk around town, eat vietnamese soup. I'm getting a bug. my throat is raw and my stomach feels funny. I go into a pawn shop and offer $60 for a pair of sabian hi-hats with $100 on the sticker. no-go, won't budge. you know they got them for no more than $20. sound check is on a rickety collapsable stage in a theater, facing the back stage rather than the seats. my cymbals and rack tom are shaking and swaying like skyscrapers during the big one. our friends sandy, annie and jonas show up and we go eat vietnamese food at another place. yeah, I like vietnames food. I see two-ton boa, who are great. we play, and I am very tired from being sick. my cymbals and drums are constantly moving about wildly, but it's a good gig. Unfortunately for mike, his voice is shot from blowing it out on no-monitor night in vancouver. mine is blown out from my bug, which has gone into my throat, but it's not quite as bad as mike's. on e-ticket ride, during the sam and dave vocals, watt takes his down an octave, and I can't get the high notes. during the gig, some sauces young woman keeps yelling out "cheetos and tequila". a guy keeps correcting her, but she doesn't seem to hear or understand. she invites mike to the bar she manages, but he declines. we say goodbye to sandy, annie and jonas and go to jessica's from frenchie and the german girls, who opened up the show, to sleep. jessica is going on tour soon with love is laughter to europe on the modest mouse tour bus (they're opening up for modest mouse). mike advises her not to defecate on the bus as there is no effective way to deal with the olfactory result. I have a hard time falling asleep. I worry about the gear in the van parked on the street, and snot drains down my throat from being sick. watt is on the floor next to me, and he has no trouble falling asleep. in fact, he begins simultaneously snoring and roaming the floor in a sort of horizontal sleepwalking.
I pop and pedal immediately. the only part of bellingham I've ever been too is this stuff by the freeway so I take the little bike into town proper. wow, it's by the water and it's pretty big. the first thing I ride up to is the old masonic hall, all brick and white. looks like they rent out offices to stuff like martial arts classes and stuff. further into town, I see a farmer's market and there's lots of homemade chow and things like pies and curried chicken being grilled - good smells. further along I see a pretty big record store and it ain't a chain, they got a big sleater-kinney display in the window. lots of folks are pulling their babies in little trailers behind their bikes. everyone either smiles or laughs big time when they see my little folding pedaler. I ring the bell back. lots of hills back and my pulse is up there. we stuff the shirts and shit back in the boat and shove off. it's very quiet the whole way. I am one hoarse motherfucker and have really strained myself. tom gets some "backwoods" - some funky 'gars that come in a sack in grocery stores but are way better than anything w/a hole drilled in it (white owl, swisher sweets, el producto - what a name! - or any of that other crap 'gar that ain't real) and I puff one of those. all three of us are puffin them, the boat must reek. outside, it's a beautiful ride through this northwest beauty, all the evergreen and sparkling rivers. such a treasure.
even though the traffic around seattle is a total fucking plug, we getinto oly early and I head straight for the kill rock stars store (different name for it now) and maggie's working there. her and her sister tobi are opening for us tonight w/their band, _frenchie and the german girls_, this is great! I get some postcards and a wool flannel. tom digs the buttons. me too. then I go get some soup. I have to do some spiel w/a writer in the midwest and this hurts. damn, is tonight's gig gonna be tough. I get some soup and that helps a little. p. mirkin, an old pedro friend and then sandy, an old sst friend come say hi. they want to know about the sickness, so I gotta tell them both. it's ok, I dig them both. then it's in the boat for some konk.
we're playing at the capital theatre's backstage, where I played facing the other way about a month ago w/kira and _dos_ for the ladyfest. that ladyfest was really happening, me and kira were so proud to be part of it. she played a champ, too. anyway, the boat is parked right by the hatch so it's easy to wake for maggie and tobi's band and they're great, really good. I tell them so and then get back to the boat to prac w/j's stuff. before I start, chris, a writer comes and says hi. I tell him what I went through w/the sickness and where I'm at now w/my head and it probably hurt my voice even more to say it all but I just wanted him to know where I was at. it's too much to get into here - I must've given him a half-hour straight monologue but basically I told him I didn't want to die w/all my feelings inside of me and I feel some real debts still getting the chance to play and create, debts I felt I've had even before the sickness. then I had to prac so I tell him bye. I got headphones on so I don't hear the other band, _two ton boa_, which is a shame. damn. there's only so much I can do. it's our turn next.
what a hellgig for me. the worst. I've never been this hoarse in my life. damn. I have to say, vince played his best gig of the tour and tom was pretty down too. I was very proud of both of them. me, I was shit. I played the bass ok, in fact, I'm getting that touch on the right hand better, damn, not half the bottom-outs I did in front of ed the night before last. but the voice, the chords were so swollen I couldn't get any of my chest out - it was all pinched up and fucked. I hated it, the worst. I truly wanted to bolt and only watch vince and tom the entire time. I was so embarrassed, damn. the crowd was very nice though. there were some trippers however. nice, but trippers none the less. these three ladies kept hollering for "cheetos and tequila." now the old minutemen song d. boon and joe carducci wrote was called "jesus and tequila" and I haven't done that one w/these pliers so we couldn't do it for them. after the set was done, they came up to me and one of them said she's listen to me since she was seventeen and that she's a bartender a few blocks up the road and we should "come up and do tequila shooters." now, I tell her us three are alcoholic and not drinking this tour and they all three get somber and say "we have trouble w/our boyfriends over the same thing." well, I don't know what to say but they sort of fade quickly. tina from kill rock stars is there and it's so good to see her. I really dig that label and their peeps.
jessica, the lady doing the guitar for maggie and tobi's band (who's plays like a champ) offers us her pad at the martin, a block away cuz she's going away to tour tonight so we accept. tobi's across the hall where me and kira stayed for the ladyfest gig. what a trip. anyway, we park the boat out front and get up into the pad. jessica's into t. rex and has records and pictures that bring back some memories. t. rex was my first concert back in 1971 and marc bolan was the first rock cat I had on my wall, I got a bootleg poster of him at that gig at the long beach auditorium (torn down now). I don't think jessica had been born yet. we begin our usual litany of jokes before sueno takes me quick - even w/my head using video cassettes as a pillow.
sunday, september 17, 2000 - eugene, or
another smooth trip to eugene and a little time to kill before the w.o.w. hall opens up and lets us in. there's time to find food and vince takes me to a great pasta place that he says that the greatful dead's chef runs. it turns out to be just what it wanted. after the other band is done we get up and play the best we can even though I break a string and get a little thrown off. we regroup and have a good ending to the set and meet some cool people who put us up for the night. I have to get ready to get up early to hop an a plane at 6 to get down to L.A. for the day and then catch up to mike and vince in boise.
up, out. to subway with dave's insanity sauce. had a triple-cap at the local coffee joint, but it's pretty weak. into eugene, to the wow hall. I am sick with sore throat and fever, and am exhausted. while sitting in the parking lot, some kid walks by with punk-rock t-shirt, nose ring and shaved head with hair appendage, asks, "are you from california? and then, without waiting for an answer, says, "we don't like you too much around here". great - punk rock regional chauvinism. I walk to the local music store/pawn shop (they sell photo equip too), check out some cymbals and snares, and buy some fancy ball-bearing lug devices to deal with my snare drum, which de-tunes itself within two songs. tom and I go eat at chez rays, owned by the grateful dead's chef. apparently merry pranksters helped build the place (the new place - I ate at the old store front version last year). there are jugglers performing on the stage and they invite up a girl from the local high school who does a plucky tightrope walking act. the pasta is great - tom has carbonara and I have alfredo. my friend heather, who I met in reno while playing there with slackjaw blues, shows up, but my friend paul hobbs does not. we have a good gig, although mike says tom's enthusiasm waned when he picked up his "new" spare telecaster, nd that I seemed distracted. shows what I know - I had been afraid that, being sick, I wouldn't be able to keep it together, but thought that I did. watt says I wasn't sharp. oh well, I got through it. mike takes up an offer to put us up and we head over to the home of chris, trey and josh. also there is thurston, the big friendly black lab, a little mama cat and her 5-week old kittens (which thurston helps take care of) and a more grown cat from the mama cat's prior litter. the house seemed primed for a big party with Mike Watt (and his band) with phone calls to summon more people, but donning of sleep masks and other bivoacing behaviour changed the general vibe so that sleep was possible soon after arriving. tom needs to be at the local airport at 6am to fly back for a family matter and watt is driving him, so watt crashes out while tom stays up to type his diaries in the computer. oh yes, I forgot to mention that chris had offered us a free tattoo - her roomate does tattoo's while she is nearly done with her massage therapy degree.
I pop and it's into the tub, a big deep one. takes about a half hour to fill. feels good though to soak these bones. then it's out to the boat and unfold the folder. I think about this heavy dream I had last night. for some reason, I thought the boat had been plucked and ran all over looking for it. around and around the martin, I kept looping the pad, searching and searching. it scared the shit out of me, seemed so real, this nightmare. better to be dreaming w/the eyes open on the bike. olympia is the capitol so I ride up capitol to visit - hey! - the capitol. building, that is. thre's a funnyass statue of world war one vets that's gilded in gold (?), one of each service marching in front of a lady w/wings and oak leaves. there's a sculpture I like better across the lawn, an indian totem pole done in white w/colors for the animals carved in it. there's the domed captiol building, the thurston county court house (I think of thurst) and in the middle, a big building marked "insurance building." that's funny. I don't know what's up. I continue up capitol (the street) and I'm lucky - not many stoplights and it goes and goes. in fact, it takes me to tumwater (I learn on a sign near the bridge leading there that tumwater is chinook jargon for "trembling water") and then the airport! great, like a two hour ride. hardly any traffic too, the way I like it.
for some reason I'm thinking a lot of my pop on this ride. maybe cuz there's a hobby shop I pass and there's model airplanes in it and I think of this gas-powered plane me and my pop built when I was a kid. he's been dead nine years now but I think about him all the time. his insane boy and that crazy bass he'd work w/d. boon. I don't think he ever figured me out. the long pedal ride makes me think of taking long rides w/him when he'd come back from overseas, all filled w/all kinds of stories of the most interesting shit for me. I'd hang on every word and listen for hours. I really dug it. big time. it's some of my best memories, ever. it had a happening way of doing spiel, great. sometimes he'd pause for like minutes and minutes and I'd just be there, hanging and wondering how it was gonna work out. shit I'd never seen, heard or even dreamt about, he'd blow my mind every time.
on the way back, I see this meat house. it's closed but there's a sign out front w/the stuff they sell. they got six foot pepperonis for $5, damn! how many cals are in one of those staffs?! at a safeway, I get some woolite for the flannel, it might be better than that other stuff for this shirt I'm trying to wear every gig. get back to the boat and there's tom and vince, we're off. south on the I-5, back over the border into oregon and on to eugene and the wow hall on eighth and lincoln. thank god my throat is feeling better. gotta plan a strategy regarding this.
nice folks here at the wow, michael and miles help us w/the sound. I change my strings. since I had to replace the 'e' the other night, it's good to have the set match. sure is a little headstock on this bass. everything about it is kind of tiny, it's a trip, I'm not used to it. usually everything about bass is so big. I want to put a picture on it, I always like to do that w/my bass. I'll think about it, I want it someone special. in the backroom, the folks here brought pears (my favorite) and bananas plus some throat-coat tea, great! much respect. I have to get on the phone and do some spiels.
after some prac w/the r and p ("rock and play" headphone amp - cassette player), it's time to konk. the opener, _danged_ had a pedro lady on drums I know named raenie who moved here to eugene years ago but the band said quit last week and they got a new cat who's had only one prac. my konk is total so I miss all of them. there's been a big three day festival here called the "eugene celebration" and it's our luck to be playing right when it's ending w/the big hometown band, _the cherry popping daddies_ playing outside downtown. well, can't say the pad is packed but it sure is full of nice folks who give us much support and nice vibes. my voice goes halfway through the set, damn. we don't play as good as the night before, vince is pretty much sick now, I can tell. we ain't terrible though. I just gotta try a different set list next gig 'til my voice gets back. that was so stupid of me to blow that shit out in vancouver, aaarrrggghhh. tom is really active and energetic 'til he breaks a string and has to change to the backup guitar, then his demeanor goes terribly down. I can tell he don't dig playing that guitar, maybe it ain't just set up right. I call over to him to shake it off and he does better but I know he don't dig working that machine. he's a trooper though and we prevail. lots of people shaking my hand after the gig and saying they're glad I'm still alive and this makes me tear a little in the eye. touching words from them, I wish I could do better. I am going to try. I call for a pad from the stage and this cat cris volunteers her pad. this tattooed young girl also offers me a free piercing at the pad she works at down the block but I have to kindly decline. what is watt going to do w/something like that? I had enough piercing w/that surgery in february. I don't know much about that stuff or why one does it. nothing against cats who do, however. I just don't know what it would do for me. I got enough hurting right now. we load the boat up and say bye to everyone and the wow hall folks, much respect.
the pad we're konking at is made of solid timber, chris says it was built by a lumber company - only one of eleven built in town - and there's a band called _sprout_ that pracs there. all nice people and I talk w/them a little bit but we gotta go sueno quick cuz of the bugs infecting and causing us sickness. the got syd doing "interstellar overdrive" w/the floyd on the stereo and when that tune is done, so am I. good to hear the sydster though, I've always looked to him for inspiration even though he burned after so short a time. he did burn bright though. we lay out on the deck, despite one of the roomies, josh's warning about cat smell - hell what's a few phermones to mix w/the delicate bouquet of tour scent - and this time wedge myself in so vince don't get the wandering watt rollover thing happening to him like last night. or was that indian leg wrestling? I can't remember, I was konked, 'member?
read week 2 of the tour diary
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this page created 19 sep 00