mike watt + the missingmen

"prac'n the 3rd opera" tour 2009

tom watson - guitar
raul morales - drums
mike watt - bass + spiel

tour diary - week five

raul morales, tom watson and greg norton (left to right) at greg's restaurant in red wing, mn on may 16, 2009

raul morales, tom watson and greg norton (left to right)

greg norton, mike watt and grant hart (left to right) at the 7th st. entry in minneapolis, mn on may 15, 2009

greg norton, mike watt and grant hart (left to right)

friday, may 15, 2009 - minneapolis, mn

from watt:

   pop w/the sun on mister ryan's deck - no konk mask was worn. hose off first w/a bottle I can't read from my glasses being off and on the sink but feels kind of trippy so I lean on and put them on - the bottle reads "glossy volume" so I guess that might mean shampoo for hair, same w/one called "mane and tail" or something maybe? there's no soap bar so I go for a bottle w/the word "pomegranate" in it - hell, I like chowing those anyway. mister ryan pops soon enough and gives me a raisin bagel. soon we gotta leave him for minneapolis - he's been so kind to us, leaving us w/music from his label plus memories of great spiel and madballs. gray skies above, soon it's raining as we head past the o'hare airport and towards rockford (spacing on the roads we took, sorry) and then north into wisconsin - crossing the state line soon has stopping for subway sandwiches at a building that also contains a satellite tv service center and a butcher shop - trippy. guess what kind of sandwich I got? further north around the dells and these water parks I hand the wheel over to tom for the first time this tour. these are long drives now that we're more and more west and tour has beat me down a little bit w/tiredness so I adjust accordingly. I chimp diary next to him while he drives us, I put the neil young I got from jimbo's on cuz he likes that stuff. raul konks hard on the back bunch. we work well together. we pass the part of wisconsin (northeast part on I-94) where I got my only speeding ticket of my life - it was w/the minutemen on the "co-conspirator's tour" of 1985 and brother a-west was following us real close w/a minivan contain him, brother dale and one brother - the minivan all soap-painted w/huge letters "SURE I'VE SINNED BUT IT'S NO BIG DEAL" and I'm wondering what el hombre was thinking of see that? there's many tickets being given out now twentyfour years later... we stop right before the border and I both return to the helm and buy a sack of cajun-flavored curds cuz I figure you can't drive through wisconsin w/getting some curds... they're tripp.

   we get to the seventh entry part of the first avenue club in downtown minneapolis about a halfhour late - there's conrad to meet us, he's been working here forever and is a dear friend... so good to see him, big hugs. they got meters now where the scary unload used to be but still parking w/the permit is around the corner but hell, that's no big deal cuz they pad you're playing has provided for you parking - GREAT! soundman ron checks us quick, he's a great cat that's very focused and excellent fourth member for us tonight. he's been here I think twentythree years or something. everyone here is very dear to me, a pad I've worked for so SO many tours. the paper on the wall says "grant hart - 10:30 pm" - whoa, old friend grant is on the bill too! last saw him maybe two months ago at the redwood bar and grill in downtown l.a. when I started playing again w/the missingmen again - that was sure a surprise too. I do an interview on the phone w/a cat putting together a piece for my old friends the meat puppets for npr (national public radio), him asking about stuff from the old days. I visit w/gigboss nate and office folks sonja and sarah - yeah, nice nice folks - sure miss brother steve mcclellan though, trippy being w/out him - I wonder if he'll be here... hell, lots of times I konk w/him! I go to get chow and find a pad I can get a grilled walleye sandwich (hey, it's friday - I asked some sheriff hombres guarding a streetcorner even!) and then go to boat just to rest a moment but konk hard. whoa - I wake up in time to catch last part of grant (he's solo on guitar and singing) but damn, I missed local openers the leisure birds (wanted to see them). I go to get hot water for tea and come back to visit w/betsy - it's been a very long time since being w/her last, she's very good people, love her. who do I meet also - he comes up and hugs me? eden designer man dave grout - wow! big BIG hugs for him. he's retired now and working a small home repair thing in his delano town, not far. man, I gotta play good for him. ok - back to the show: for his last tune, grant us all three of us play w/him and I try to follow but get confused on the chords so lots I'm breaking into solos. raul keeps it chugging though and I think tom can even follow grant's guitar w/his... watt's the weak link. sorry, grant.

   the entry is packed and I'm in the blue brighton flannel still stenched from last night's gig - no wash for her and damn, does it stink but soon it's wet w/new sweat so fuck it... the sound on stage is great - much respect to soundman ron. both raul and tom are playing great though there's a light above my head that's making it tough on them to keep eyes on me... aaaarrrrgggghhhhh, it takes me a while to figure this out cuz I ain't seeing what they're seeing but the suns burning in their eyes back at me finally enlighten me to the sitch. little shit like that, you know? like my shoe being untied - twice! I blow some clams but not bad ones and the crowd here is so much part of the band, the spirit like a huge floater-pool pushing us up and bobbing us all around - my men swimming in it. what great folks to work for! thank you thank you!! monitors that work where you can hear what's up - yeah! am into it, way into it. us three are playing really tight - even w/that weird light sitch putting little hiccups, every time the band gets right back close, love it. we get encore - lots of that this tour (every gig this tour, thank you, gig-goers!) and we bring out greg and grant to play w/us - we suggest grant on floor tom but he wants the whole kit - raul's on floor tom! greg plugs in opener's leisure birds' bass into tom's amp (mine has only one input, sorry!) and we go for a very strange "little johnny jewel" - I think grant thinks I'm trying to give him direction but acutally I'm just trying to outline the parts for him - the wild ones and those that are calmer - it is way trippy five-way but we're all digging it, what a great way to end a gig and in their town too... turns out also it's the first time greg and grant have played together on stage since the last husker du gig in columbia, mo and that was december of 1987... 21 years ago! I sling many shirts, maybe the most of the tour (raul back to the boat twice for more xl) - people very kind w/their words, one cat says his son sings some of the words of my "makin' the freeway" to him all the time:

   "drownin' in the frowns of thousand clowns"

   I pack up quick and go settle w/the boss, then bring the boat around... bye to betsy. hugs for grant - I ask him what he needs, he says "double it up" - he then says bye but fellow huskerman greg will follow us to prospect park part of town... teacher brother steve offered us a konk pad but six am for his wife would be lame on her to find dudes in konk sacks bogarting her morning that was set for yard sale world so leisure birds drummerman alex jumps in the boat w/us and gets an education on among other things, port and starboard plus a dose of buddy rich pep talks I think everyone in a band should hear, w/out a fucking doubt. he's got a neat pad in this part of minneapolis I don't think I've ever been to but it wasn't far at all. I start to think about brother steve mcclellan - I never saw him the whole night... I can't remember a time I played this town w/out seeing brother steve... damn... there's an email from mister shimmy - that reminds me, this is what he used to teach me this song in 5/4 - drummerlady ms yuko actually had to pound the beat out on my back for me to get it! just thinking of them two playing blows my mind - can't wait for the brother's sister's daughter gig this septermber second in tokyo - can't wait! I talk w/brother greg about playing w/grant and he said it was a trip to see him play drums again cuz he stopped after husker. he tells me I brought on some intense prog w/my missingmen and drummerman alex gets kind of uppity saying "that wasn't prog, that was old timey rock and roll!" whoa, it's ok for greg norton to say anything he wants to about mike watt cuz we go back 'pert-near thirty years ago... I remember him calling me in my pedro town and us talking for hours on the phone. bob would do that too... and so did grant. man, I loved those husker cats - still do, still do. I konk happy.

from raul:

   Stayed with ryan, masked tobacco man, and also the man behind graveface records. He wasn't able to make it to the gig, but was cool enough to have us come by after. He was way busy working on his latest release. The night before, i crashed quick. Watt got all blasted on barcardi and woke me up at three in morning, shit, i strated to get up because i thought it was time to go. Really, he just wanted to give me the couch so he could take the floor. I didn't wake again till eight. Everybody else was still konked, so i tried to be quite while getting all my shit together. After almost an hour i decide maybe best to start gettin' the dudes up, long drive to mpls today.

   After some coffee, shower, and a little bit more hang time with graveface it's road time. It's also rain time again. Rain is cool when there's nothing to be done. Like maybe you're at the pad with the day off with nothing pressing, but it kinda sucks when you got shit to take care of. When i was younger i loved rainy days, they started to bum me out when i had to ride a bicycle to and from work in em'... makes it kinda tough.

   We show a little late to the 7th st. entry, but soundman ron is very understanding. Me and Tom double time the gear in, and i set up as quick as i can. Played here with everyband i've toured but one, the first show for me here was ten years ago with jag-offs. After check, Tom and i go a few blocks over to gluek's old brewery now eatery to get a burger.

   Two of the huskers at the gig tonight, grant and greg. Grant is also gonna do some songs before us. He's got one that he wants the band to play on. So i'm going to set the shit up right after the locals go on to be ready. Locals are called leisure bird, and do an awesome job gettin' the show rolling. As they're taking the gear off, grant goes thru the tune once so Tom and i can learn it. then time to get the drums up. Mikey from the ergs made it to the gig, i had forgotten that he moved to this town... great to see him. I know that he's a big grant fan, and also bad ass on the drums, so i asked grant if he could play with him insted of having me do it. Grant wants the whole band. I tried though, i was just trying to do something cool for mikey. He does help a little with the set list, so that's pretty cool. Playing with grant was pretty funny, once the first verse was done, it just went total jam... even hart. We really weren't playing any tune at all. Also, he told me to watch him for the end, and it never came. I Finally had to just give it a rest and kill the tune, i have the feeling that he could've kept those two chords going all night.

   Packed house tonight, and ultimately the show went good. I had little anxities about playing at first, but luckily i warmed up and got it together. Sometimes when friends are there i get the nerves worked up. I want to play good, but end up thinking about it to much. After the gig alex from the leisure birds comes in the boat with us to give us directions back to his pad. On the way watt blows the top of his head with hurlyisms like swim team, and also the buddy rich pep talks. Thanks leisure birds.

from tom:

   after coffee and a granola bar i load out to the van and search out the source of a sour smell and find two big containers of salsa in styrofoam cups that had tipped over in a plastic bag behind the seat in the back. i clean out the van and get ready for the trip to minneapolis. this is my father's birthday and i have to find a good time to give him a call, probably not while driving though. it's a long trip to minnesota and i take my first turn behind the wheel when we go through wisconsin. it's kind of a nice change to be driving, it kind of makes the time go by quicker. i return the wheel to mike at the border and we pull up to the 7th street entry and load in the drizzle. i've played here many times with mike, it's a standard stop on tour. raul and i walk for a burger around the corner and i try to call my dad but the line continues to be busy. the show has grant hart on the bill, husker du drummer and minneapolis main stay. the leisure birds open and i dig their set, a lot of slap back echo. grant does a solo guitar singing set and pulls in the crowd with his talk between songs and then we all join him on his last tune. greg norton from husker is also in the house and when we do our version of little johnny jewel we get grant and him to come on and we do a freak out take on it. fun. we drive with leisure bird's drummer, alex to his place for the night. i lay down on a short couch and put on my mask and sleep.

saturday, may 16, 2009 - omaha, ne

from watt:

   pop at seven bells and soak - is it first soak of the tour for me? I think it's been all hose-offs... hmm... anyway, kind of trippy soak cuz the tub's shallow like a tray used in a dark room maybe on steroids (and we ain't talking the depth dimension). the coff machine is a trippy contraption too - one I never seen before but like a plastic version of the aluminum italian stovetop ones but this has got a heater like one of them electric kettle trips. the web connect is weak so most of skype w/eiko-san is w/the keyboard. my guys pop (tom was on the couch on the other side of where my head was and I could hear him do much konk-talk) and we're greeted by a minneapolis w/sun instead of rain though there's some wind and it ain't all that warm. I ask both raul and tom to inform these parts it is now the middle of fucking may. host alex is not to be seen but kind roomy and neighbors are (very nice folks) and we give thanks and bid them farewell.

   we're off to the state d. boon's pop danny was from: nebrasaka cuz we're playing the big town there: omaha. there's no diagonal way so we gotta take I-35 south to des moines and then west on I-80 so it's pretty much a journey to the middle of iowa but that ain't our first mission. nope, first we're going to red wing cuz for years I've been hearing of this chow pad greg norton's had and now finally I'm gonna go check it out, along w/the town he's been living in for a while now. mister nightmare navigator (gps) actually has take wisconsin state road 35 to get there, red wing is not only where those shoes come from but is also on the mississippi river and at that point, it's the state border. greg is surprised mister nightmare (or is doctor nightmare?) knew cuz the google map ain't that smart. his chow pad, the norton's is very happening, I'm surprised how big it is but then he says they've just moved from where it used to be which was a pole barn. I chow pig belly and a saigon sub and it is real good. good meeting his wife and seeing where he jams downstairs and everything. he's got a plan too for tonight: he's coming to omaha and play some w/us - yeah! "angelico mysteriouso," tom says. oh, looky here - it's one of the last basses he played w/husker du - I remember him giving me this when they asked me to join them for a who song ("can't explain" I think) at the roxy and I bit the strings off - or at least some of them! he's taking his own ride so we'll see him later. what a great cat.

   I get us out of minnesota and into iowa but I'm a little wore and hand the wheel to tom who rolls us w/in a hundred miles of omaha where I take over again, in the meantime I chimped diary and konked some. man, is it easy to konk in the boat on the bench seat when it's rolling. we get to the benson part of omaha around seven pm (it was a hike but we called to let them know it was gonna be a little late) and get a happening parking spot right in front where we're playing: the waiting room. first time playing this pad though the gigboss did my last one at sokol hall 'pert-near five years ago. everyone I tell how long it's been since the last mike watt u.s. tour was trips on that, how the time has wailed by... me too, actually. we do a soundcheck w/a nice cat named jeremy who we help move the drum riser off the stage - he's got no prob w/that and man, ain't it great to work w/cats w/no 'tude, huh? it's just the best. I do an in-person spiel w/ben from sonic dissonance who's very sincere and a joy to talk to. nice guys too is the openers the third men... I remember the bass man from another omaha band. there's another local band opening also, the stay awake and they're kicking up much dust (I'm digging them) when my guys and greg norton return (oh, greg just made it to town w/his acoustic and fretless basses) from shovelling at a spanish chow pad down the street and they brought me some - whoa, really REALLY good... catalonia sausage, mmm!!! frances bu says hi - she moved from pedro to here a while ago. she remembers d. boon, of course. turns out her buddy's ma owned the chow pad my guys shovelled at - trippy connections. I remember me and d. boon playing in her garage before we were minutemen, before we were reactionaries... what were we?

   our turn next... fuck, I didn't wash the brighton blue flannel again - damn, does this it stink but that's showbiz... no chicken-headed knob either for the dan bass still. we don't start our own gig though tonight - brother greg does w/some solo bass w/a chinese jacket and a little hat some of those ska cats wear. he tells the folks "I'm gonna twist it off and let it fly" and that he does. when he gets on the drums, that's our cue to get out and he joins us for "surfin' w/the shah" (he'll return w/us for the last tune). I fucked up and said his name instead of angelico mysteriouso, fucking idiot baka that I am. as for the rest of our set, it's a little tough - the sound up on this stage is pretty challenging but my guys are playing really good and that inspires me. the omaha crowd is very happening w/their enthusiasm, much respect! one more time w/mister norton - he's on fretless this time - and that is wild. some trippy takes on little johnny these last three gigs, huh? I sling shirts and talk w/the folks - one man tells me his little daughters love my "big train" and gives big BIG handshake. lot of nice words from folks, thank you, truly, thank you all

   the stay awake guitar man steve invites to park the boat in the garage around the corner and the lady val living in upstairs in an apartment will have us konk there (he lives across the hall from her) - what nice nice folks. we were invited elsewhere, set up by eric and annie in lincoln but there's little kids and early wake-up involved so this is a better sitch - safe for the boat, no driving and no bother to folks at the pad plus w/got sportin' greg norton too - he'll drive home to red wing tomorrow. he goes w/our host downstairs to get me some bourbon - I've taken to the couch real quick after arriving and am laid out beneath underground railroad style (so says val) quilt, she's doing wash for me and my guys too - much much respect to her. I am way tuckered and konk w/what could be imagined as a titanic and deafening thud.

from raul:

   Slept in the basement/parc room of leisure birds, so i could hear it when the dudes got up. Bail leisure pad at 10am. Greg norton's restaurant opens at 11, and we're goonna go there to eat before heading to omaha. Nice drive down, weaving back into wisconsin for a bit then back to minnesota. Norton's place is just a block or two from the mississippi river in the town of red wing. After lunch he takes us down to the basement were all the offices are, and also his gear and the old husker basses, and a hugh collection of jazz reccords. His plan is to work for a couple more hours, then he'll make the hell ride to omaha and play with us again.

   Show about an hour behind sched for the sound check, but no hard feeling or attitude... we called ahead to let em' know the sitch. All the club and band guys seem very nice, which is good, because the sports bar look from the outside was a little off putting. The sound guy is even cool about us doing away with the drum riser, sometimes with ideas as simple as that people can still get territorial, i'm glad he's on our side. Norton is not far behind either, and shows as soon as we're done with our check. He rolls up is gear that's attached to a wheelie deal and on top of old soda crate.

   Norton's idea was to get up a few minutes before our set and play some bach on an aucoustic/electric bass, and then in his words twist it off and let it fly, auctually words from an old hurly and wackermen story. Our cue to come up and start surfin' with the shaw was when he put the bass down to get the feed back going and went into a drum solo, totally trippy show by him. We came up on cue, and busted rigth into shaw with greg playing with us. He's gonna come back up for the encore of johnny jewel.

   Good gig, enthusiastic people. Sometimes a bit too much, dudes drunkinly hollering during the quite parts. i Even saw a lady put her hand over a dues mouth in total embarrassment for him. Thought the band played great. Also got to see craig d, an old friend from oakland who i frist met when he came with fleshies and sexy to pedro maybe six seven years ago. He's omaha now, and it's great to see him. Staying above the club tonight, so very close, and there's is a garage too, way safe for the boat. A lady named val puts us up. She's got a cool pad that used to be a doctor's office, but now converted into her apartment. She's also got a machine for us do some laundry in. Spent about an hour hangin' on the roof of val's place watching the firework show and having a couple of beers. Watson, norton, craig d, val, and a couple of their local friends. Thanks much val for a great stay in omaha.

from tom:

   i take an extremely shallow bath and drink some coffee and help organize our departure into the crisp morning and onto the highway towards red wing, the southern minnesota town where greg norton has his restaurant. the drive takes us down a road on the wisconsin side of the mississippi river. a very scenic route with farmland and small towns that seem very peaceful in the calm spring weather. we pull into red wing and park in front of norton's on main street. greg invite's us in for some sunday brunch in he and his wife sarah's amazing food palace. quite impressive indeed. i order the "norton's BLT" and a bowl of spicy bean soup. superb. after eating we get the tour of the converted jc penny and greg shows us the enormous basement and wine shop where i buy a nice bottle of red zinfandel. greg says he's going make the 6 hour drive to omaha to play with us, nice. we have to get rolling soon because it's another long drive, and at the iowa border i take the wheel. i drive through iowa while mike and raul find time to rest, but before we pull into omaha mike takes over and we pull up to the bar around 5. we load in and soon greg shows up, he must have been doing 90 the whole way. anyhow, after sound check, raul, greg and a fellow we'd met before but i forget his name, go up the block to a tapas restaurant for an amazing spanish meal with a couple glasses of fine wine. we bring mike a nice care package of food. we miss the first band, but the say awake is playing and we watch before greg goes on to do a guerilla (not on the bill) show before we set up and play. greg joins us on "surfin' with the shah" and again for "little johnny jewel". it's a fun show for the most part. afterwards, we are offered the amazing situation to stay upstairs from the bar at val's place. to make it even more desirable we get to park the van in her neighbor, steve's secure garage next door. there are some beer's on the rooftop, people talking, but i find a little bed to sleep on and that's what i do.

monday, may 18, 2009 - denver, co

from watt:

   sunday I popped a nine bells - yes nine bells cuz that's what I saw on my watch after I got my glasses on after my just popped-open eyes couldn't see shit. I hose off and find my guys waking when done, val getting us all coff. I prac the english-go w/eiko-san. we got no gig tonight! last one of these freakish events (for me on my own tours) for this go-round. we thank val much for everything - I get the boat out of the garage so steve can go do his yoga and then we hoof up the street w/greg norton to chow at an authentic old-timey diner named leo's. I chow the "fanatsy island" (a pile of everything, even white gravy) which is good. big hugs for greg... gonna miss him but so glad we got to spend all this unexpected time w/him - his chow pad, the jams, everything... what a righteous surprise from an old friend. I wheel the boat west on I-80 through nebraska. I think everywhere has it's own trippy whatever flying past the window so I never bum and am curious though sometimes it is sad cuz of beatdown pads - I feel for the folks living there but I never get all wound up about what some might think as "boring" cuz of the land being a little flat or stuff like that. the plan we decide on is getting to ogallala which is 'pert-near the last town before getting into colorado and konk at a 'tel there. would've been smarter I think to be east of the mountain time zone and then gain the hour the next day but fuck it, we do it now and besides tom had a neighbor from this town back in manhattan beach. it's settled. we get a super-9 'tel room for $61 and they got free internet. I go across the road and get some beers for me and raul cuz tom's got wine from mister norton's cellar. there's a subway sancwiches next door so I get something Inever had there before, meatball-something-or-other (marinated maybe?) and it's heated up - never had anything heated up except maybe I tried a breakfast one they had last summer in canada? can't remember exactly but it's ok. this here tastes kind of sort of ok (chef boy-ar-dee style) but brings on the farts like a motherfucker. sorry guys. night come and we do a remote broadcast of the watt from pedro show which has us kind of doing an oral abridged version of this here diary we're chimping. we play some of the music we've been listening too. the internet connection is good enough for me to get the show up from here. I konk on the deck and have unmemorable nightmares, damn.

   gig day and we bail from the 'tel at ten bells cuz that's when the subway opens and we sandwich up - I get tuna. I tell the lady we're leaving, the counter lady w/a arm tattoo saying "troubled" that tom and raul last night told me she asked them to get her "out of this town" but she only gives me a trippy look, like "how did you know to say that?" same thing happened yesterday around lincoln when I got gas and the station was next a lady underwear pad named "doctor john's" and tom said he tried to make smalltalk about that pad w/the counterman but he clammed up so when I paid my money for the gas, I brought it up thinking this man didn't know me and tom were connected and sure enough, he opened all up about how "doctor john" commutes between here and las vegas in a winnebago painted up like his lady underwear pads. me and my missingmen try to make tour interesting. now I did a search of ford dealerships in the denver area and found one northeast of there off I-76 in a town called brighton so maybe it wouldn't be so busy and on the way - I gotta change the oil. brighton ford gets us in at 1:30 pm and done w/in an hour - in the meantime I checked a ace hardware store across the road for a chicken-headed knob for the dan bass balance control but fuck, they didn't have shit-all in that regard. damn. raul found some velcro though and up some more homies on the dash.

homies on the dash of the boat - may 19, 2009

   we get to the upper larimer part of denver, near the five points part and in front of where we're playing, the larimer lounge, around four pm. it's my first time at this pad... doug kaufmann did my gigs for many many years in this town but I hear now he's retired. I miss him. anyway, no one around for a bit and then bartender lady jessica lets us in, very kind woman and real smart/interesting. pretty soon tom tells me she's gonna let us konk at her pad where the boat will be safe... alright! big BIG thanks! we do soundcheck w/soundman james and I meet co-owner scott who asks me if the salad they flowed from nearby enough and I say sure, no prob. I think a lady working for him called me on my leash about tea when were coming in - I said "throatcoat tea if you're asking" but there's raspberry here which is ok cuz I never get called about tea - all I ask for on the "rider" (something bands make like a 'list of demands' to do a show) is throatcoat tea, a meal of some kind for me and my guys, some water and beer plus some chips w/a salsa that's hopefully hot enough for us to shit fire. this salsa would float ice cubes but that's ok - people don't know and why whine? the main thing is to come to their towns and work the gigs hard. the one thing I'd dig and I've already said is to have parking for us. there's parking close for us today - great. the whole day has been sunny and a little warm but not humid. I go to the boat and take off everything but my levis and konk real long.

   there's a local band called the dualistics opening up but I konked through their set, sorry. tom tells me they had foot in the band, a cat we met when we did a new years show in boulder a couple of years ago, he drums for rose hill drive. I bring in my bass and sling a huge sack of shirts w/me. the pad is packed, whoa - monday night too. right away after getting up on stage, I wanna start - tom wants girly armband on but I wanna move now - sorry, brother tom. he relents and we're underway. HUGE spirit from the folks, holy smoke! lots on the starboard side of me (I set up stage starboard) cuz of the layout of the room so there's cats even behind me and my bass amp... I work it for them too. lots of times though I'm facing my men, getting it together as tight as I can w/them. first singing song has me scared shitless cuz there is absolutely no monitors at all - damn, is it gonna be one of those gigs? no, brother james gets them happening and I can hear myself great - thank you so much, SO MUCH!! man, very VERY sweaty and we're not used to being a mile up so quick but actually I don't feel that 'till about two-thirds through cuz the momentum the gig-goers are sharing w/us is so happening. I can tell raul is hunkering down to keep from falling off his chair and tom begins to go into conserve mode... we make it through though and the encore is trippy yet again - I bang the 'a' string so out of tune trying to wail w/raul that I can really hit the root note and gotta kind of just solo so tom sticks to picking through the chords, whoa... interesting. some cat yells out "chowder puff" to me - I think it's the same one who earlier said that to me on the street and so I corrected him cuz the lyric to "fireman hurley" from my first opera was "chowder pump" - a nickname georgie had for me cuz once I was puking really bad and helped me. we'll here I'm hearing that again so on the mic I say a great gig all around - thank you much, kind denver folks.

   I sling the most shirts of the tour: sixtyfour and talk w/so many nice cats. brother jay fox is here, yeah! I thought he'd be at the south pole where he is lots - great to see him. there's a couple from tokyo - they know mister shimmy and ms yuko - wow, that blows my mind cuz for me ms yuko and mister shimmy are sugoi and just the best and such an intense inspiration on me. they give me a pom-pom and a lollypop, yeah - arigato! one cat has a germs shirt - shit, I'm trying to remember some of "what we do is secret" - is it "defects in a defect's mirror" or something? I think so but it takes me a couple of tries. I am so sweaty, I take things calm now when I finish and sling... I'm so glad folks are patient w/me cuz maybe I'm a little bit better of bassman than merchman? one cat asks if I wanna denver cuz there's an england man there and I explain about this blue flannel being from brighton, brother sam's town, but whoa - only one pocket... hate to get particular but what kind of flannels has only one pocket? I had to find that out when I was younger. good good people here - all tour, lots of good people - much gratitude, truly.

   pack up the boat and follow jessica, byes to tori - we go to the heights part of town (is that right?) not too far away but a great neighborhood and safe for the boat. jessica has some whiskey and a washing machine - yeah, so kind. she's also got a firm couch that's narrow and long - perfect... some righteous nekos too. the blankie is like a knit kind - trippy but works good... I'm out konked in seconds.

from raul:

   As ususal, watt is awake before me, and is the one to get me up. Greg asked how i slept, told me i had a totally uncomfrotable look on my face. Seemed fine though, can't remember waking up during the night, which is a pretty normal thing for me. Clean cloths too, so i jump in the shower, scrub stink, and change into the new ones. We pound the coffee this morning, and go thru four pots real quick. Once that's done i cant' sit still, so i get my shit together and put it in the van. The three of us wait for watt down stairs while he's talking with eiko on the computer. For breakfast, chicken fried steak and eggs at the local greasiest of spoons. After breakfast it's time to part ways with norton, such a treat to get to spend these last two days with him.

   Big drive to denver today, and not possible to get it done all at once, so the plan is to drive till the sun is close to setting then get a room and do a watt from pedro show on the road somewhere in nebraska. The town ends up being ogallala, tom's decision to stop here based on old friends of his family. They're from here, and he'd like to see what it's about. Reminds me of the movie bottle rocket. Dinner is got from a subway across the street, counter lady tells us we should get the fuck out of ogallala soon as possible, and would we kindly take her with us. I'm instantly sure that would not be in our best interest, she got one tattoo that's just the word troubled, and a more round about one with just the word hate in big bold letters. Spend the next few hours getting chimp done, a whole week in about two hours. So if the past week suck ass just a little bit more maybe this is an insight into why.

   Watt bails for a bit coming back with a bottel of wine for tom, and a sixer of ale for me, so now time to get geared up for the radio show. Thanks much watt for the beers. This is the first show that we've been able to do on the road. it consist of going thru the tour intinary day by day as far as we can obviously, and also playing the tunes that we listen to in the boat each day. Tom herman, hendrix, roky, and t rex to name a few. It's a three hour show, and much beer is consumed, and much farting is done. Fun time with these guys. The six beers didn't seem to hit till after the radio show was done. So i crashed out fast, but not before getting a mail from home saying there was a earth quake. I hope all is okay.

   Quick start today, got to get on the road. Tom and i get coffee and donuts from the motel, and now it really reminds me of bottle rocket. We'll get the oil in the boat changed outdide of denver. Maybe three hours to the dealership. It's gonna take about an hour to get done, so i go to the mega store to get a flash drive to replace the one donated to cat's cradle in carboro. Walked the train tracks back and ran into about fifty gophers of all sizes, lillte dudes making the weirdiest sqeals... thought about them attacking for a sec, but they all ran for their holes in the ground. Wonder if they share space, or if they have seperate pads. Van is done when i get back, and off to larimer lounge, a new club for all of us.

   A little hot in denver today, maybe the most heat of the tour. We show a early with an hour to kill, so i take a walk around the nieghbor hood. Looks like gentrification going on big time here. New condo's and fancy restaurants, but you can tell it's an old hood. Saw a couple of very sketchy drug deals just a block from the club. Whatever, i live in a pretty intense nieghborhood. The thing that had me worried was that i didn't want to be seen as a person that didn't belong here. You know, like it was because of me prices and rents were going up and it was my fault the nieghborhood people were being shoved out. As i walked past, a lady involved was trying to get my attention and call me over or something, i played like i didn't hear and kept walking, but i could feel the eyes on my back. I went back to club and started loading the gear in the club.

   Not too much in the way of food around the club, so the bartender lady jessica orders us some pizza and salads after soundcheck. Very mediocre, i don't know how you can fuck up cheese and bread, but it happens. She's got the sami, and that looks good, should've went with that. We've been here four hours now, and in conversation it comes up that we'll need a place to stay, and she's kind enough to offer up her place for us to stay the night. That's very cool, usually it'll be a fan of the bands. Very open of her to make that offer to peole she's just met. She's a sweet lady, and makes the dead hours a the bar very enjoyable for me and Tom.

   For a monday night in denver, it's looking more like a saturday night crowd. Lots of folks at this one. Filing all the front, and side of the stage. Since we set up kinda sideways and close to the edge, the front of the stage is actually the little right hand corner... trippy angle. Good energy from the people tonight. The elevation here is higher, so the air is thiner, also we've also had a day off. I wouldn't say it was a hard gig, but some struggle was there. Regardless, the guys played their balls off, and i tried as hard as i could. Friend katie from pedro came with new transplant, april, bass player from vena cava... so great to see them both. Pedro has not been the same since katie left. No more front yard shows for almost any reason, that was a fun summer. Lots of good memories from the gigs at her house. After gig followed jess back to her place. Found a spot in the basement, and fell asleep quick with cats all around.

from tom:

   the morning is nice, we have a moment to enjoy our surroundings before we say goodbye to val and walk down the street to leo's diner. this turns out to be a great decision, it's the perfect greasy spoon, and the service is great. food like this is risky on tour, but somehow i know this will digest just fine. afterwards we say goodbye to greg and hop in the van for our trip across nebraska and our final day off to drive to denver. i suggest that we stop for the night in ogallala, a town where some family friends, the queens have roots in and somewhere i'd always wanted to visit. we stay at a super 8 motel. we do a radio show in our room and dictate the tour so far before sleep. our next morning begins with more subway. we begin our trip to denver and make a stop to change the oil in the van outside of town and then roll up to the larimer lounge around 4. we're the first people here and we wait to be let in. once we are loaded in and sound checked we hang out talking with the bar tender jessica and order stuff from a local food place. hours go by, the altitude worries me some, i remember a gig in boulder that left me gasping pretty bad. i just have to be aware not to push too hard right in the beginning. it's a long wait till we play and we speak with nate from a band called rose hill drive that we'd played with before (in boulder, actually), and is now playing in the dualistics, the group that's opening the gig. the show goes well, about an A+, and then we follow jessica to her place for the night. she's very kind to have us, but she says that she's cool with having bands stay, and she shows us kindness and does a load of laundry for us and gives me some pads for the floor and i go out like a light.

tuesday, may 19, 2009 - salt lake city, ut

from watt:

   uncurtained windows lets taiyo have me pop right soon w/its rising - six and half says the watch, glasses on for a sec cuz I hose off quick which wakes jessica and she goes off to get some stuff along w/coff cuz something's wrong w/her machine. she whups up incredible "california eggs benedict" just like that - chopping up everything fresh like taters, tomatoes, avacados and muffins plus from scratch mixing up a bitchin' yellow sauce (we squeeze siracha chili on that) - early for her cuz she flows w/out the poached eggs, then realizes and laughs - oh yeah, rosemary on the taters - righteous chow she wails for us for our crack-of-dawn bailout. we gotta bail early cuz salt lake city is 540 miles from here in denver. most happening kindness from jessica, truly. big hugs and thanks... bye bye to a really great lady. I wheel us north on I-25 and listening to mister nightmare's directions (the fucked-up voice on the garmin gps), forego the usual corner-cutter move I do w/us-287 out of fort collins to laramie and instead stay on the interstate for cheyenne and then west on I-80 from there. I notice a sign for the sand creek massacre - don't think I've seen that beore but like I said, I usually don't take this route to laramie... I'm wondering if it was faster? it is windy as hell, I know that. the boat's buffeted big time. big cojones to cats who live in wyoming, my respect to them. actually, my ma was born in wyoming and grew up as a little gig here - in the west near rock springs in a coal town called dines... when it ran out of coal, the company that owned it, closed it and my ma and her family moved to peoria, il. anyway, raul is amazed when I point out the frozen ice/snow behind the breaks cuz it's pretty warm but that's wyoming. in rawlins we stop to gas and get subway sandwiches - this joint is packed, we got ours (tuna for watt - what?) just in time though me and raul had to wait some time for tom who had "much hard work" in the benjo. I hand the wheel over to tom and konk hard, popping just past green river (yeah, like the ccr song) and taking the wheel again at evanston - last town before the utah border. tom did a great job driving - big respect to him.

   right downtown, just south of the temple and city hall (you can see the capitol building up the street against a foothill of the mountains) is bar deluxe, where we're playing tonight. it's five pm now - that was a nine hour hellride! we made it safe though, that's what counts. now about this pad here: four and half years ago they were just opening and here to greet me is old friend charlie who tells me it's shutting down at the end of the month, damn. there's an outside promoter, tim, but charlie's running the pad - he gets me some hotwings like he always does but it's from different pad cuz where he used to always get them for me before (even made a "really hot" variety called "wattage" in my name) is now closed. shit. charlie has an eight month old new shipmate so he's soon gonna be a roadboss for 38 special and go out on tour to support his family. hard sitch though cuz he wants to be home w/the little one... damn. anyway, he still has the charlie-good-spirit in him and is glad to see me, same w/watt for him. mike is the same soundman who did my sound last time and he's in the opening band too - same as last time! he's a good cat and we do a quick soundcheck w/him. I see the jingos soundcheck (mike just joined this band) and they're good. I go to the boat and konk hard. I am awaken by tom's yanking on my leg, he's brought me throatcoat tea - good man. shit, I missed the jingos, oh well. the place is hopping, lots of kind words as I make my way to the stage w/the dan bass and a sack of shirts. I don't do too good w/the first tune, damn... baka watt. I get it more together as the gig goes on, mike's got good monitors going and my guys are playing great (though it's a trip to hear later from raul that it was a tough one for him) and I am motivated by them and the salt lake city crowd which are very happening - even some dancing, yeah! same set of strings I've used all tour - that is such a trip to me. still no socks either, none since hoboken, huh? there's a weird pillar situation at the bow of the stage but tom set up around it good and I'm over there a lot w/him when I don't have to man my mic. I've been getting more into that - coming from behind raul and being between him and tom. I wanna show folks respect for my men, it's very important to me to do that. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. I know raul likes hearing my bass real good so I used to set it real close to him but backing it away a foot or so allows me to use that "corridor" to get over behind him and over to tom - I can really interact w/my men in a physical sense and I dig that, dig the dynamic. it's not too hot (acutally, a little rain came down as we got near salt lake but backed off and became quite nice) but that don't mean I have sweated up my outfit pretty much big time - just get so into it w/my guys. a cat named bryan asked to film, I always let tapers tape and filmers film - shit, all that stuff for the "we jam econo" documentary of the minutemen... I wasn't aware most of that stuff of us playing even existed. we come off stage and find a pitcher of beer on a microwave - the thing is though tom's 'puter sack is right below it and I thought for sure I was gonna do a mega-baka move and pour the beer right into it but tom and raul were thinking clear and move it. we go back and do our encore, much respect to the folks for their support, them showing it too as I sling shirts. a nice cat gives me a shirt of "the sand pebbles" movie, whoa!

mike watt w/

that was me and d. boon's favorite movie when we were boys! the book it's based on is fucking incredible, love it (author richard mckenna in the navy was a machinist mate - my pop was a machinst mate - how that book rang so true when I read it, blew my fucking mind). I get a doctor suess "red fish blue fish..." whatever (did I get tht right?) t too... I'm not big on shirts w/out buttons (or at least two pockets) but do wear them under my jacket when I pedal my jitensha.

   my old pedro buddy don dalton is here and we're gonna konk at his pad like I've done tons of times before when in this town. he's just the best. oh - folks ask me "was his ma the librarian at pedro high back in the 70s?" - the answer is yes. he's got a washing machine too and washes the gig-stenched blue brighton flannel w/my levis and skivvies but I space on giving him my ronnie jacket, damn. I guess it ain't stinking too bad yet. charlie let me have some budweiser beer but that's tasting so bad (I ain't a beer elitist, I like pabst and tecate much and they're econo) it's great don has some stolichnaya to wash away that swill taste. we talk about intense stuff we usually do - stuff I wouild talk to d. boon about all the time. I give him the spiel on the third opera cuz he's interested... don's a great friend, always shows interest and always there to help me... what a brother, truly. I konk on his couch where I usually do when I can't spiel any more. thank you, brother don.

from raul:

   Hugh drive today, gotta make it thru the whole state of wyoming....whew! Jessica's place was great place to stay, got some wash done too. Been lucky with that, i wear the same thing almost everyday, but it always clean because i've had many opportunities to wash it. She was sweet enough to also wake early with us, and make one of the best homecooked tour meals for breakfast, eggs benidict with avacado on top, and rosmary potatoes for the side. Don't get me wrong though, i have much appreciation for all the good food that folks send our way on the road. Thanks for the hospitality.

   I take the shot gun seat while watt drives, tom will need rest to finish off the last leg of this one. Man, so much flat land, and not much in between. Very beautiful lands, and sometimes eerily endless. Hugh wind kickin' up across this plain too. First time that i can remember seeing perma frost, chunks of ice frozen from the wind and maybe because altitude. This in the middle of may was a weird sight indeed.    Playing bar bar deluxe tonight, second time here for me. Also playing will the soundman bands, the jingo's. Last time we were here four plus years ago a different band of his also opened up the gig, and he also did the sound... busy dude. Little rain today, and when i went out for coffee it came back for a bit. Beautiful day though, sky looked so amazingly clear in certain spots... i was into it. It was sunny with rain, and the temp was perfect. Took a long walk around salt lake in the off and on sprinkle. Last time here, i remember the city giving me a creeper feeling. This time i got the exact oppisite effect, maybe it was hugh rainbow that changed my feelings, but it seemed so much prettier and friendly this time around. Had really killer veggie kung pow rainbow shrimp from a chinese place down the street from the club.

   The jingo's kicked ass. Self proclaimed magazine sound with out the keyboards. I really can't' place the sound with any band inparticular, but i know i liked em'. We're up next, and it looks like it might be a chin stroke, most people wouldn't even leave their seats during the jingo's set. So that could be an indicator of things to come. I spent the first two songs thinking about this attitude more than the songs we were playing, not the best idea. Once we got going though, i thought we did alright, but i think the elevation thing may have been more of a factor for me here than last night in denver. Also hurt myself a bit getting the bass gear off the stage. I like getting the gear down fast, but sometimes to much rush leads to stupid things like slipping down three stairs, twisting your ankle and pulling your arm out of it's socket.

   Staying with dandy don dalton, friend of watt's from pedro. Don gets a lift back to his pad with us not too far from the club. Luck again with the wash machine, so me and watt throw all the sweaty cloths in first. After that i chow some excellent homemade guacamole, then hit the sack. But not before getting more hurt, a hugh shiner from the beds edge that leaves a welt the size of a fist on the shin, another kinda pillow bite happens.

from tom:

   the morning is nice, we have a moment to enjoy our surroundings before we say goodbye to val and walk down the street to leo's diner. this turns out to be a great decision, it's the perfect greasy spoon, and the service is great. food like this is risky on tour, but somehow i know this will digest just fine. afterwards we say goodbye to greg and hop in the van for our trip across nebraska and our final day off to drive to denver. i suggest that we stop for the night in ogallala, a town where some family friends, the queens have roots in and somewhere i'd always wanted to visit. we stay at a super 8 motel. we do a radio show in our room and dictate the tour so far before sleep. our next morning begins with more subway. we begin our trip to denver and make a stop to change the oil in the van outside of town and then roll up to the larimer lounge around 4. we're the first people here and we wait to be let in. once we are loaded in and sound checked we hang out talking with the bar tender jessica and order stuff from a local food place. hours go by, the altitude worries me some, i remember a gig in boulder that left me gasping pretty bad. i just have to be aware not to push too hard right in the beginning. it's a long wait till we play and we speak with nate from a band called rose hill drive that we'd played with before (in boulder, actually), and is now playing in the dualistics, the group that's opening the gig. the show goes well, about an A+, and then we follow jessica to her place for the night. she's very kind to have us, but she says that she's cool with having bands stay, and she shows us kindness and does a load of laundry for us and gives me some pads for the floor and i go out like a light.

wednesday, may 20, 2009 - boise, id

from watt:

   pop at eight bells - best case: already hosed-off last night before konk. don's up to make coff, then chow: waffles, bacon, eggs scrambled w/something or other in them - most gratefully I chow them in small amounts - small cuz I had told a gig-goer named robin last night that we would chow at her pad before we bailed to the next gig in boise. I told don about this last night and he acknowledged but here he made this cuz maybe his hospitality is just set on auto and he can't help but be so kind... my men trip a little on the little collection of worldwar u.s. propaganda posters don has on his wall... well, I'm doing the skype spiel w/eiko-san for english-go... don won a big court case so has to bail early - we leave shortly after - actually I thought he was just taking a shower! I pow-wow w/my men about maybe just calling robin's chow pad and saying sorry but we just chowed but they wanna go for round II so it's back into downtown and the the tin angel cafe where her and cook (they're also both co-owners) jerry make up these great omlettes and small salads for us, jerry coming out to talk about gigs in the old days when he saw me play this town. they're good good people and the chow fucking righteous. it's kind of hard for me to stuff the gullet though so I use an imaginary stick as a ramrod to get it in and keep it down. speaking of belling - I sure feel it... no pedaling, no paddling - even being careful w/what I shovel, I feel like I wanna get back to my pedro routine of exercise - not just for my body but for my mind too, you know? this is tougher tour sacrifice for me verses all the other lifestyle crimpings getting in the boat and working the town brings. I like working the towns though so... so, I'll stop complaining - but I do feel bloated some. big thank yous to robin and jerry and I roll us north on I-15, the weather very nice - those heavy clouds have blown out. I-84 takes towards boise and we stop in snowville for gas and there's what's billed as "nitros-oxide lighters" (gas lighters disguised as tiny nitros tanks) on sale for a dollar so me and tom both get one. then we're across the border into idaho. the whole way is beautiful - I try to see the beauty in every drive and get some of it w/the little digicamera. of course when I'm back in my pedro town, there's a lot of deleting cuz it's throwing the dice, using that thing in a rolling boat. worth it though so I do it. pretty econo too! can you imagine in the film days? a big reason I took so few then.

   tom get's us into boise about five pm (I handed the wheel off to him at twin falls - they had some "dave's hurtin' habanero" which I get... been shying away from "dave's" stuff cuz of the chemical taste they got from concentrating the capsicum - heat is imoprtant of course but so is fucking flavor!) and we park across the street from the nuerolux (where we're playing tonight) to pounce on a spot that'll open up right in front - we're now in front of chinese restaurant where later I'll chow something I've never had before called dan dan noodles (I liked it). I've played this pad many times - played this town many times cuz like salt lake city, geographically it's way happening for a u.s. tour routing. I like the folks who come see me in these towns though - I can't neglect saying that it's just geography but it is pretty happening where they are in terms of going from one town to the other... you can say a lot about the u.s. but for sure it's pretty big. nice folks talking to me outside the pad, it's cali-like weather and everyone freindly as I wait for soundcheck to come, chimping diary 'till then. soundman larry does a quick check w/us and it sounds good... oh, we heard "106 beats that" by wire (off their "pink flag" album - great fucking record!) about fifty times on the drive up (earlier me and raul heard all three migu albums while tom konked) cuz I felt maybe we could do a happening interpretation... here's the words:

   if you had a room, he'd paint it white
   survives the day, prefers the night
   build sight
   got a head for figures
   no time for bickers
   (or so he says)
   prefers the company of a woman
   finds it more physical
   (that's an important word)
   always seen first then heard
   such a rare bird
   with praise he glows
   with change he grows
   finds that important
   hates waiting, it's not stimulating
   likes celebrating
   I can't understand why that is so funny
   that is sex

ain't them words a mindblow? I wonder what it's all about, is it about bonin' (that's w/a long o) or what? I remember getting that album when it came out in 1977 and really tripped on their words - even the way they presented them - not like I just did but in prose form - I appropriated that for the minutemen too! see, it was just their music format that inspired us. anyway tom tries it at soundcheck but hell, he hasn't run by the actual recording and for how long did we "three girl rhumba" that one wrong chord change 'till brother john frusciante enlightened us? I ask tom to wait 'till tomorrow. I go to the boat and konk.

   a boise band called finn riggens is opening up - I hear them playing and they are trippy, I get out of the boat barechested from konking to see through the club hatch and whoa, what a sound - very happening band... even w/no bass player! I go back after a tune and konk hard, not realizing 'till tom comes and gets me for the gig that what they were doing was not a soundcheck but their set! seems the former empty lot next door is now housing a bunch of whiners and bossman allen is under pressure for eleven pm curfew. for that reason we're on at ten pm. lots of people away from the stage at tables when I get on stage w/the dan bass and the shirts... hmm... we start and folks move up - thank you! we charge hard... of course, this is the missingmen w/lots of gigging and is a wailing crew - I'm wailing it for them but also for flea too - tom watson asked me and him to be part of blast! [6] (sassas.org benefit) a week after we get home which unfortunately he can't be there cuz of red krayola comittments but we're still being called "tom watson's clients" in honor of him - oh, dear friend petra and the amazing motoko honda are w/us plus dear brother taka-san on drums. it's gonna be a wail. back to the gig: it goes good though I space the lyrics to the second verse of "fun house" but work out a trippy version of the tune cuz of that - my guys kind of scrambling to see how I'd do it (didn't know myself!) - great communication w/our band now, all three of us big time in the moment. I'm so proud of tom and raul - love them so much.

   I sling shirts, talk w/kind people and we load up pretty fast - lots of stuff like "thank you for playing boise" and I have to tell them "of course, I love playing your town" cuz it's true about here and everywhere - I dig playing wherever people will have me, try and play my heart out... and not get too scared or freaked out.

   old friends bart and steph are again letting me an my guys konk at their pad by the big boneyard here in town. oh, I spaced - bart got up on stage and helped tom w/his vocals for "the red and the black" during the later part of our gig - yatta! their big lover dog bud lost his ma a month ago today and it's heavy for steph but she says she's dealing w/it. me and tom get her mind on different things w/reciting her words to "the bloody hammer" by roky erickson:

   the demon is up in the attic to the left
   my eye turns to the left to say, "no"
   you said, "first, I am the special one"
   I never hammered my mind out
   I never held the bloody hammer
   I never held the bloody
   I never held the bloody hammer

   I am the doctor
   I am the psychiatrist
   to make sure they don't think that they'd hammer their minds out
   or that they'd have a
   or that they'd have a bloody hammer
   or that they'd have a bloody
   or that they'd have a bloody hammer

   second, I am the special one
   my eyes, green and blue
   and safely unbegotten
   to the left to say, "no"
   while the others with their hair turned white,
   they just roll their eyes back to the top of their head
   and hammer the attic floor with a bloody hammer
   I never held the bloody hammer
   I never held the bloody
   I never held the bloody hammer

   it's not a sledgehammer
   it's not a chisel
   it's not a train
   but a thought of unlimited horror for dr. o'chane
   dr. o'chane

   baby ghost says beat it with your chains
   baby ghost says don't drag your chain away, dr. o'chane

   doctor o'chane, doctor o'chane
   the baby ghost says "beat it with your chain"
   the baby ghost says "drag your chain away, doctor o'chane."

   the ghost says, beat it with your chains
   the ghost saysa drag your chain away, dr. o'trey

   all bats are is dracula vampires
   vampires in rain
   vampires in lightning for dr. o'chane
   dr. o'chane

   the baby ghost in the 1900s says beat it with your chain
   the baby ghost says
   don't drag your spoon, drag your chain away, dr. o'chane

   the demon is up in the attic to the left
   my eye turns to the left to say, "no"
   you said, "first, I am the special one"
   I never hammer my mind out
   I never held the bloody hammer
   I never held the bloody
   I never held the bloody hammer

actually, tom has been tripping on roky a lot - I guess he never really knew of his work but now asks for me to play the tons of stuff I got on my ipod while we're driving. this "...hammer" tune really blows steph's mind and she's pondering on it... meanwhile bart cooks up some bart pizza from scratch, good. we have a good time talking and all, great time. they got a washer and dryer here too so yeah, the brighton blue flannel gets cleaned up, along w/the levis and skivvies that got sweated out along w/it. so early tonight, kind of great - one bell and it's konk time... ain't that something? such righteous folks, bart and steph. I konk happy - they let me have a little whiskey.

from raul:

   Wake and the other dudes are havin' breakfast. Don toast me up a couple of eggos. Says he has eggs, so i scramble a few eggs and he adds some home grown jalopenos, and also some tomatoes. Quick shave and shower and also a tom waits bio while watt finishes up the talk with eiko. Now, more chow, at the tin angel cafe. Watt had met the owner last night, and she offered to feed us before we bailed salt lake. Good, fresh food, and also not your typical restaurant. You could tell it was owned by a punker. Way laid back with cool people working there. We had em' make anything they wanted for us. We got the fluffiest omellette i've had, with chicken, broccolini, and some mozarella, and a fresh salad on the side, great chow. Thanks so much tin angel fror the second breakfast of the day. I don't think we'll be doing the tuna today.

   Again we got tom in the back so he can finish off another long drive. Also we got much roky, ghost baby, bloody hammer's and things not known till now. Jam box demos that have a very demented feeling to them. Some high strung, tightly wound feelings coming out....ofcourse we can't forget about mr. herman's steve canyon blues and autumn leaves.

   Tom gets us and the boat safely into boise to the neurolux. Right out the van we are greeted by bart from hotdog sandwhich, great name for a band. kill time till soundcheck talking with bart, and pumping a buck fifty into the pin ball machine in the corner. Now as good a time as any to get the drums out the boat and get ready.

   Early gig tonight, we will be on by ten. I guess the new condos across the alley complain all the time, so they struck a deal to try and get the gigs over by eleven. Last time i was here it was a place for the bands to park. So that sucks, but it's a wednesday, and that sounds like a good a time as any to play.

   The first band is a local named finn riggins. Cool people, they came up an introduced themselves right off the bat as i was setting up the drums, very friendly. Cool sound too, kinda devo at times, keyboards, but no cheese. Also, guitar and drums. Drummer had a pretty original set-up, Floor toms on both sides of the snare, and a big steel drum above the tom on the left. At first glance, i thought maybe we might have the salt lake syndrome, everyone staying at the tables. I was way wrong. All the people came right up front and danced, not like slam dance either, there was groove to it. That dosen't happen for us to often. Was very happy that these boise people had a blast, that made it all the better for me. Oh yeah, bart also came up to do some back up voice on the red and the black.

   We were out of the club and back at bart's pretty quick. Bart cooked up a couple pizza's with his jetson's style pizza maker. Little wheelie rotater that spun the uncooked pizza underneath an attachable oven. While he got these going, i did the daily wash again, Man, i've even been wearing the same cloths everyday. With all this wash luck i could've just brougt one pair of pants, one of socks, one chonies and just a couple shirts. Chowed much pizza, and washed it down with inversion ale.. good stuff. Thanks so much bart. Tom taking the basement bed, so i take the laundry room bed, dryer sounds lull me to sleep.

from tom:

   in the morning don has some food for us, and raul and i clean out the van during mike's skype discussion with eiko. we finally get on the road by 10:30, but before getting on the highway we meet some folks who had come to the gig last night at a nice little food place for more eating. very nice tasting stuff. today is yet another long drive, so i try to rest before i get called to the wheel....boise is cool city to play, i've been here a few times before and i know the neurolux. when we arrive we have time to sit and do some emails and take the load off. the bar is different from how it was the last time i'd been here, nicer and with a pool table. i get some sizzling rice soup from across the street, eat and fast forward to show time. tonight we play with a local band named finn riggins, keyboards, drums and guitar. a confounding music, i like it very much and don't know why. maybe that's why. we have a good gig, and bart and stef come and drink with us and then take us to their place for the night. there's a little hanging out, and some of bart's pizza before i find my place on the couch in the basement and put on my masks for the night.

thursday, may 21, 2009 - portland, or

from watt:

   now we were gonna get chowed by brother bart but I got yanked out of konk by full-on taiyo at six and a half so a hoof down their road (opposite direction from the boneyard) is a gas station w/coff so I put a big cup of that in me and hoof back and decide "hell, I hose off and gather my men, then be off" - of course I write a note of thank you and raul is perked up enough but it's tom w/some slow-go and then he lets bud out accidently and bud don't wanna get back in so tom uses a piece of pizza bart cooked last night as lure and everything's ok for us to bail - so much thanks for our kind hosts... them getting to konk more before work is one way we can make some repayment. the other thing is 424 miles to portland and the pad their wants us loading in at four in the afternoon which is pretty early for that kind of thing, even w/us gonna gain an hour when we re-enter the same time zone my pedro town is, pacific. the weather is righteous and reminds me much of my pedro town - how I wish I could muster enough magic to make spring and fall tour times have everywhere the boat takes me have pedro weather coming along - wouldn't that be a happening thing to share w/some bass?! less than forty miles to the oregon border and then some subway sandwich for us and gas for the boat. further on I-84 as it travels north along the snake river - such a diferent lay of land for oregon than west her west coast - no firs in the rain shadow and the wrong time of the year has this road close - happened to me when I was w/j mascis + the fog in these parts nine years ago... snowed in for a night and then the next day police escorts through the passes. the only obstacles for us now is some construction w/its lane closures and reduced speed... trippy closed old cement plant near la grande. we hear the finn riggens cd about five times, good stuff! I get us past pendleton (yep, where they make the flannels!) and to the columbia river and turn west, the columbia's a very mighty river, whoa. at a little town called arlington I hand the wheel over to tom and get a corndog - it's terrible, even whupped up w/mustard but I haven't had one in more years than I can remember - I think I remember now why.

   tom gets us to the southeasat part of portland where the venue is - he thinks he's found a place close to the doug fir lounge, the pad we're playing tonight. whoops, no parking allowed on this side of the street so he asks to parallel park across where is the space - I tell him sure, just be calm and everything'll be ok - however he forgets to release the parking break- whoops... it's ok, I tell him that's what those warning sounds are about... he parks good though - great job, same w/the driving... then him and raul are out and exploring... seems the club part (there's a chow pad and a hotel attached) is in the basement so I bring the boat around after a bit into the underground parking that fits only seven foot-six inch and shorter - I've learned this boat's about seven foot-three. gigboss brent helps us a load (they even got a shinecart, a kind of a big one!) and we soundcheck w/soundman doug (no relation to the pad's name) - oh the motif of this pad is log cabin so real logs make for some good sound, believe or not - no standing waves. I send an email to my friend richard meltzer who's moved from l.a. to here fourteen years ago - I was happily surprised to get one from him yesterday cuz he hadn't internet since november in order to complete his new novel, one he's been working on the last six years. he wants to come by w/his new wife and visit before I play cuz they can't stay long - too late. I go chimp some diary in the meantime and chow some strips of steak they got at the chow pad part of here along w/some grilled green beans and a little bowl of happening chowder. I go out when it's about time to meet him - so great to give him big hugs, been a while and he had heart trouble that almost killed him, scaring the shit out of me and I prayed HARD for him. he knows mike watt is sentimental. we have real REAL GOOD talk about all kinds of stuff, all over the place like the way we do it - richard's mind is amazing and always wails thought-maker-stuff intensely. it's tangent after tangent - I am though so happy to tell him about the "spielgusher" proj w/mister shimmy and ms yuko. his spiels and our music coming together last year in tokyo... soon to be birthed! I have to say bye to get some konk - only an hour left 'till gig-time but invite him to do the watt from pedro show tomorrow here in portland... that would be righteous!

   krist krueger and patterns opened up the gig, real nice cats I got to meet earlier in the day, very nice and so kind of them to share the stage w/us. I go straight from the boat w/the dan bass after a leg-tug from tom who brings me hot throatcoat tea like a true brother - raul alreay having a sack of shirts there (I had more sent by barbara and bill at tannis), him also such a brother - what would I do w/out my men in so many ways? they play their hearts out too - our set kicks out of the gate and explodes on the packed pad that has so much enthusiasm and spirit to magnify/intensify the whole dealio up and up, big time. it takes some push from w/in for me to kick up the adrenaline spigot-turn inside me so I can lose myself some - that self-conscious "be scared" part, wanna lose that bad and instead join in w/my men and in turn, w/the gig-goers for the brain-boom of the senses somehow some sort of something or other - HERE'S THE BASS, WHAT WE DO ABOUT IT? in a funny mystery way that glues shapes ready for popping open alive and kind of crazy... sometimes I pray to god to be less crazy but music gig can be ok w/trippy parts of that if it happens natural, I think... I don't know - maybe it's more about setting up situations for possibilities... I am scared to lose focus w/my guys at the same time, it's mixed up... the gig is good though, really - thank you kind portland folks. I sling seventyfour shirts - most of the tour, that's a trip. I talk w/many many kind people while I sling. andy from kansas city is here - he moved here! his son messiah is here too, wow. he gives me music he made. so good to see andy - I go back w/him and his brother john to "foolkillers" in kansas city twentyfive years ago. much respect to them. they came to pedro, I gave them the tour - yeah! one cat gives me a picture of a john coltrane statue in high point, north carolina - he said an oregon artist did it... yeah, both sides of the u.s. (left and right coasts) celebrating brother john coltrane - much respect! richard "fuckin'" bonney's cousin john cox is here, great to see him too. lots of happening folks... jeanne the chiropractic bass lady who heard I wasn't healthy learns different - watt is a little weak but still healthy! brother eric dayton of sightworks who hosts my radio show is here and invites us to konk at his pad... big thank you - he rides w/us after I settle w/the bossman who is very happy for the gig. I see a go! team sticker on his file cab in his office - it's someone w/no head... trippy.

   we head to a northeast portland neighborhood called alberta where eric's pad is, he is very enthusiastic about it coming on. he's got some evan williams - alright! it's ok econo bourbon watt uses - hey, the bottle ain't plastic! what a righteous little dog eric's got - one eye blue and one eye brown. there's a washing machine! yeah, cleaness again for the stage outfit! great couch and blankie right by the hatch too. happy happy konk for watt - I can't laugh hard enough around brother eric, he is righteous people. good folks in watt's life = a very good thing... his is most grateful.

from raul:

   Bailed bart's about ten minutes after watt woke me up. Long haul west today. I hop in the front so tom can rest up for the second shift. Beautiful scenery for this drive to portland. Once we are a bit in oregon we go to pacific time, also heading north/west until we are driving along the border of washington and orgeon on the south side of the columbia river. Tom takes the wheel somewhere around pendelton, and watt buys some gummi pizza.

   Tom gets us safely to the doug fir lounge on burnside. First time at this club for the three of us. Seems kinda fancy. On a closer inspection, i find that the club is downstairs from the restaurant, but still pretty high brow. Neat pad though, the whole place is done up with logs, hence doug fir. Also find that the close to parking nightmare was for naught, they have a parking garage downstairs... the load door leads straight to the stage. doug the sound man, of no relation to the tree sets us up with some sound.

   Before soundcheck, we got flowed some meal tickets for the restaurant upstairs. Tom and i went to feed the stomach, i got some killer mango stuffed shrimp with a side of green beans, and also some mac and cheese. Great food here. To walk off the chow, i take a short one down to the burndide skatepark under the bridge to see some craziness from the skateboarders.

   Two openers tonight, krist kruger, who i thought might be a balls out death metal band my the name. Turns out he is a one man aucoustic act, the exact oppisite of death metal. Very nice man though, spend some time hanging with him after his set. Also playing is patterns, local psychedelic pop band. Both great and entirely diffrent from each other.

   Doug fir is packed tonight, maybe sold out, but i'm not sure. I got a little nerves going because all the people, but nobody seems to be snobbin', and all are into what we're doing. The guys charged too, i thought they played great. Also more memorable versions of johnny jewel and we are time, for me at least. We are time has morped itself, and now has extended drum and bass part at the end with tom added texture, little string pops and scratches. Johnny jewel is always about timing for me, and i felt i maybe got this one the tightest of the tour in that sense, but loose in the crazy department. We've also started to bring this one up and down in the solo parts with both the guitar and bass taking turns back and forth, pretty neat.

from tom:

   i get shaken out of the darkness at about 6:30, i remove my masks, brush my teeth and we hop in the van and roll out of boise by 7am. another long drive, probobly 7 hours, so i try to rest up for my turn to drive. luckily the weather is nice again and the drive is a scenic one, one i like very much. we travel over the cascades and along the columbia river and i take the wheel all the way from troutdale to portland. we pull up to the doug fir, which is a snazzy motel with a swanky live venue downstairs complete with log cabin styled interior. kind of twin peaks meets clockwork orange. the sound man is named doug, coincidence? after soundcheck i bump into an old friend named greg o'dell. portland is a town where i a small group off friends relocated to in the mid 1990's, and greg is one of them. there was a time when i was living in hermosa beach with diana that a band named the charms moved to town and we became instant friends. bill j. saul , nick, and soon a dude named "frizz" was on drums (actually his name is jerry and we later played together with mike in the jom & terry show). later, my old friend rob holzman from slovenly/overpass took over for awhile. and of course diq diamond rounded out that group. they had migrated from the southern california area, simi valley, long beach (i think), and ended up in hermosa for a couple of years. it was like having a a whole bunch of best friends to hang out with. there are many stories during that time, good ones, but then their migration to portland took them away from me and as soon as they came, they were gone, so to speak. anyhow, basically whenever i'm in portland i look forward to seeing some of them. by the way, if you haven't learned this already from mike, bill j. posts mikes watt from pedro show. later on at the club i run into eric, bills partner, and saul, and they say that dee dee (saul's lady) and sill are here too. the gig is a great turnout, and i think we play great too. it's a fun show. later on we make it to eric's for the night. i get the air mattress.

week four

week six

loop back to mike watt's hoot page

this page created 16 may 09