mike watt + the missingmen

"prac'n the 3rd opera" tour 2009

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

tour diary - week six

raul morales in the boat on may 22, 2009

raul morales

tom watson in portland on may 22, 2009

tom watson

mike watt in portland on may 22, 2009

mike watt

friday, may 22, 2009 - seattle, wa

from watt:

   pop at seven bells and go check on we washed - oh no! not put in the dryer so I do that (opposed to bart and steph's, where the dryer was going the whole night! I thought my shirt was gonna end up about size one). I go out to search for coff and find righteous cali-weather, sky full of sun and not-steaming hot dryness. I find it a pad called "el extracto" - had to mention that, crimony! I go back and chimp diary 'till my guys are ready for shove-off and we follow eric to his sightworks company's pad by the watertower building cuz we're gonna do our second watt from pedro show of the tour there - eric's partner bill's idea and who's there to meet us - brother bill, alright - big hugs! tom knows him from way back cuz of south bay (not pedro though) living locations. interesting how I know him (and eirc) - they invited us to konk at their first company address and I told them about having the watt from pedro show on kblt at paige's pad in silver lake - a pirate station, she wrote a book about it called "forty watts from nowhere" - but after being there two years, the government shut it down... I was bummed cuz I never had done radio before but I really REALLY dug it. well, bill and eric said to keep doing it - they would stream it from their servers - that was 2001 and the watt from pedro show is still going, I try doing it once a week if possible. I love these guys to death for helping me like they do. they're also just righteous cats besides. I start the show w/tom and raul, us talking about the gigs we've done since the last show in ogallala, ne (not that long ago!) and then richard meltzer comes by - I asked him yesterday if there was a chance, would he? yes, he made it be so! man, what a dream to have him as a guest on my show, yatta! yatta! this is using bill's stuff and not my macpurse pro like all my other ones so it's a little different to run the show - richard's brought a bunch of music to play and man, I'm so foamed up that I forget to get out my mouth not even a tenth o the ten million things I wanna ask him but he's so patient and such the happening man - the perfect guest and what a hero to me and d. boon way back and me in these now days... shit, I'm so balled-up, I forget to even get a picture w/him - what a fucking baka dipshit. we get done and damn, we gotta get up to seattle for the gig there tonight but what a trip for me to be w/richard like this. my mind is big time blown - I trip on thinking about it now even as I chimp this tour spiel here. big hugs to richard. big hugs to bill. big hugs to eric. big hugs to these brothers cuz I mean it much.

   we get on the I-5 and I take us over the columbia river into washington state... trippy there's a town here called vancouver just north of the border cuz it's the same w/the next border north, between usa and canada - who's idea was that?! you know what? those three hours of spiel tuckered me out so soon I pull into to get gas and ask tom to take the helm - like a good man, he obliges. I had a bagel w/cream cheese during the radio show (you can here it on the air, no problem) but I have a hot dog (not corned) and soon konk as the boat gets rolling, love that motion, love it. we get into the belltown part of seattle around 6:30 which is late - I hate being late but I got caught up in the "radio w/richard" thing and the traffic was way plugged w/friday before memorial day traff - happening weather here too, very happening. we quick do a soundcheck at the new crocodile (the "cafe" part dropped but same location) which has the stage on another bulkhead and just built different - everything about the room is different - so much but I don't think it's bad, especially after the soundcheck - oh, it's w/kirstin who I remember last time I was here first learning monitors w/jim from the old days (his protoge!). I had to park the boat in a lot - first time ever but there was nothing on the street... I go to check on it just in case - someitmes I get irrational fear freak-outs. going back to the croc, I meet in person a man named tom nicol wrote a song called "d. boon's brain" - here's the lryics:

   dimensions dimensions
   it's all about dimensions
   d boon in back of me
   d boon in front of me
   four-level chess in the
   room behind the kitchen

   guardian angels
   come from the white plane
   down through the holy place
   empty space, atom space
   circling photons and
   twisting neurons are
   all connected now in
   d boon's brain

   bring to me some
   quantum reality
   quantum mentality
   astral plane levity

   give me a glimpse of some
   blue rain exuberance
   causal plane turbulence
   mental plane astrophysics

   take me to energy
   take me to entropy
   pure beings simplify
   this is nirvana, then

I say "met him in person" cuz I know of him through the circle of folks around charley plymell, cats interested in the beat days (I just thought of something richard told me about that scene during the radio thing... maybe it was like only thirtyfive people! such impact from such a tiny scene, much respect!) ,anyway, you can hear tom's song "d boon's brain" at his mywasteofspaceplace and here's the story behind the lyrics that he wrote me:

"The Dream

Actually I had several of them - for about two months after he was killed. My belief being that it was then his time to move along. Why he chose me and how many other people he may have done this with I'll never know.

Anyway, it was always the same. We were playing a game in a room behind a kitchen in another universe. It was four levels and four dimensions and chess-like. As we played it (it came naturally to me), he explained many of the puzzles of quantum physics, the nature of time and the universe (subjects which have much interest to me). Then he would fade off with a smile and I'd wake up feeling really happy."
I asked tom to send me this so I could get it right for the diary... I love the idea of d. boon in people's art and lives as a creative force like he is in mine. much respect to d. boon, much respect to folks letting him into their worlds. I go to the boat and konk hard and fast.

   miss the opening band at the spine which is lame cuz I dug their soundcheck and tom said they were happening but I was just so tuckered I had to konk to do good for the seattle gig-goers, especially at this point of the tour where I'm not all that strong and have to rally what I got some. the sound on stage is really good and the monitors right up there... you add that to both your guys playing so focused and connected w/you and you find a watt who can't ask for more, such a bonus to have the crowd too part of the experience and making it more relevant - It's trippy to say that but I'm at a lack to put it better now... "relevant" - hmm... it's the people w/the open minds and open hearts to let us try to do what we do that I'm truly grateful for - I tell them that when we finish each night cuz I really mean it. there's a lot of fun for us three on stage - there's some challenges too, like (probably me) falling off and onto the other side of the beat in the blue oyster cult song during a verse but us rallying back to get it together in the following chorus - great listening and in-the-moment togetherness w/this band, love it!

   sling shirts and talk w/most kind people, thank you! keith, producerman for the "we jam econo" documentary lives here now and comes to say hi - damn, I wish I could talk to him a while, he's a great cat. actually I heard he was here cuz raul gave me some great mexican chow that he said keith treated him to... thank you for that and everything you've done to help folks know about d. boon and george hurley letting me play w/them on some of the best work I've ever been a part of, thank you!,

   I go get the boat so we can load up - old buddy sandy and her man steve (soon to be married - yatta!) are here, sandy in the boat w/us to steer it (w/words!) to their new house for us to konk at. we arrive and I get to wash the outfit! yatta! and shower! yatta! and some bourbon! yatta! and their great company, them sharing so kindly w/me and my men. soon konk come to most grateful mike-san.

from raul:

   Woke up in the basement of eric's place, ofcourse watt taking pictures to document the process. Couldn't figure out the shower sitch, can't get the hot water to flow. Fuck it, i'll just do cold. Oh man, it was just above freezing, i was shakin so hard trying to keep under the water. Had to really force myself to stay under and get soaked... pretty funny actually. Very awake now. After tom's up, we both walk down and around the block... watt tells us we can find coffee that direction. Tom goes to where the pastries are, and i choose a little sit down place across the street and have coffee and an english muffin with raspberry jam.

   Going down to sight works today, work place of eric's, and bill jennings, both old friends of tom and mike. Also the folks who help watt get his radio show out there. Today we're gonna do a radio show from portland. We'll finish up where we left off in ogallala. Great place, beautiful view from the fifth floor office, and also right on the columbia river. While wrapping up the first hour, a very special guest walks in. Richard meltzer, originater of rock writing, lyrcisist for b.o.c., and singer of the infamous punkband vom... pre angry samoans, that's how i know of him. Find the vom videos for electrocute your cock, and i'm in love with your mom, hilarious stuff. I became more familar with him while on the my first tour with watt, his books were all over the van. After tom and i finish the tour segment, we let the two of them alone and go out and grab some chow that eric was kind eough to get for us before the show started.

   Short drive to seattle today, but we still end up an hour late. Lots of traffic on the way out of portland. We ended up on side streets following the highway, thank you dr. nightmare. And a bunch of traffic once we hit the outter part of seattle. Playing the new croc tonight, and much appreciation to them for being understanding of our situation. Finding a spot proves to be impossible, so tom and i load the gear while watt goes to find a place to park the van. I set up double time and the people there do a great job getting us off and on quick. This place has changed lots. the ceilings have been raised, the stage moved, looks like an entirely diffrent club. The bummer is that they took out the cafe part to have room to stuff more bodies. So no chowin' here anymore. I do remember there being decent mexican food down the street, so tom and i go down there to shovel. Along with us is a man named keith schieron, director of we jam econo, the story of the minutemen. Pleasure to get to meet him. After dinner those two go to meet sandy glaze at a bar down the streeT. I Gotta go back to give watt the elvis, a hugh carne asada burritto. Also,I really want to go to shorty's and play pin-ball, and i know those guys don't want to do that .

   For me, shorty's is a a good treat on tour, what can i say i like playing pin-ball. I was wrong too, because keith showed up shortly after i got there. Basically it's a bar with food, but in the back is where the goods are, a pinball only arcade. Not too many that i know of. There's a kick ass one way inland from the strip in vegas, and there's is one in l.a. but a machine or two gets pushed out each year to make room for more video games. Playing at ten thirty tonight, so i get back to club to maybe sit down a bit before the gig. I end up watching the openers, at the spine insted. Pretty good group. At the near end of their last song, guitar man jumped of the five foot high stage and started doing this hybrid duck walk on the floor... dude went off.

   We're up next, and the place has a good crowd going. Earlier i had heard that the melvin's were doing their 25th anniversary gig, and the opener was the re-united green river. I though the croc would be a big cave for sure, but insted the crowd was great, and way into it. I did feel for tom though, the mexi got him, and it looked like a cinder block was stuffed in his gut. He had someone get a bucket for him just in case the hurl came. I couldn't tell he was hurting, i thought his playing was on point.

   After the gear is loaded, and the boss is seen. we get sandy glaze up front to give watt directions to her new place. She's a quick one, understanding the pluses of the "food bong" instantly. Back at her pad, i have a couple of session beers, and have my second soak of the tour. She's got a hugh bath with jets in it, so it's pretty much a jacuzzi tub. And, here's the whole truth k. She puts bubbles in it, so auctually i took a bubble bath....yarr!!!

from tom:

   the drive is short today, 2 or 3 hours to seattle. we have time to go to sightworks for another radio show before we have to leave and that gives me some time to hang with bill, saul, dee dee, greg, eric, a new face named chris and bills dad, later richard meltzer joins us for the second half of the radio show. it's great to have the time to just hang out with them, they are all just great people. even though i lost that group at home i know that i have them right here. the radio thing goes longer than i figured and the later part of the afternoon has some traffic, so we get to the crocodile and rush our gear in while we are double parked. i love the club, but i hate the load in there, there's gotta be a better way. mike has to find parking an a lot a couple blocks away. today we get to hang with sandy glaze, another friend from hermosa. i met her during the early sst days, even though i think she ways about 15 then. anyhow, just like portland, i know i get to see a friend when i come to seattle. the crocodile has been totally re-done since the old days, they really transformed it. it used to have a lot of character in the past, and it had a cool, wrap around cafe with the live room in the middle so you had to go through the cafe to get into the club space. it also used to have a tropical tiki motif and that's gone too. whatever was lost in the remodel was gained as far as the music experience is concerned. it's great room and they made it better in every way. after check raul and i go to a mexican place down the block and bump into keith who did the minutemen film and he joins us. i have the enchiladas rancheras and a negra modelo, one of my favorite things, top five. i pound the whole thing in about 5 minutes and then sandy calls and we meet her and her man for a drink before going back to the crocodile. i soon begin to regret the meal. i think i have to release it from it's containment and drink a couple larle bottles of perrier-like water. still no puking. i lay down and listen to at eh spine playing and go in and out of awareness until i decide to really try to throw up. we have to play soon and this is not a good way to feel. the finger method is no good. anyway, i go find mike in the van and go ahead with it as it is and ask for a bucket on stage just in case. it's the perfect barf bucket, huge, with a wide flanged opening to aim for. i probably wouldn't even need to stop playing. the gig goes well and no puke. it's bittersweet feeling, i was kind of wanting to try out the bucket. after the load out (slightly better than load-in), we go to sandy's place, i'm still feeling pretty gross so i just go to sleep on the extra bed upstairs while the rest do some late night correspondence. my slumber is jolted by a pit bull jumping on me while i had my eye mask on, wild. it's sandy's new one and she's totally sweet, so i take it as a freindly gesture.

saturday, may 23, 2009 - bellingham, wa

from watt:

   pop at seven bells, hose off - sandy up and makes me coff... raul and tom soon after pop and hoof into town while I catch up w/sandy, talk to her ma on the phone too - yeah, biggest news is her and steve getting married soon - righteous! this is so great, omedeto big time - I'm big time happy for them, great great news. sandy wails up chow and trips on the whole eiko-san via skype thing though living in hawaii when young gives her some asia knowledge. there is no rush for us cuz tonight's gig is an hour and a half away in bellingham. so it's calm calm calm w/good friends - we brought them more cali weather w/out a cloud in the sky or sweaty humidness... I wish we could claim it actually but it is a good coincidence and having the tour in this window of the year makes for some good odds - one reason I dig touring the spring and fall the best. sandy and steve cook us up a big afternoon chow to shovel before we shove off - jerk chicken, salad and "special rice" (lots of saffron and good stuff - great), oishii!! really good eats, really good.

   bye to our dear friends and I wheel us north on I-5 and get us to what's now a big college town (western washington u) but used to be a big w/the paper making business. we're playing the nightlight - only the second time I've ever played this town though I've stayed a bunch here cuz on the way to vancouver it's a good place to put the t-shirts cuz there's a tariff for bringing them across the border. real nice folks here working this pad, real nice. we do soundcheck w/mike and his buddy doing monitors (fucking idiot watt forgetting his name the next day - I'm ashamed to no end!) after having an interesting pow-wow w/the boss matt who has a very interesting story - quitting being a lwayer to do this work cuz he believes in it verses the former life (trippy, he went to washington university in saint louis - I played out on the quad there once and frats brought their couches and bongs out on the grass! supposedly "animal house" might've been based on that school? matt says so too). anyway, hank rollins is big hero for him, yatta! I can see a little of hank in matt - even as he tries to holler over raul doing drum check and then tom w/guitar. I ask them both to calm it out so I can try and keep matt from going hoarse - he is compelled to let me know how he feels and I like him much - definitely a work in progress. there's so much he put in the dressing room for us that I don't even have to use the bones he gave us for dinner - the wraps are good ones, all the fruit - eveything. a nice man named eric comes by w/some salsa that's for sure the hottest for the tour though he wants me crying and it aint that hot but it DOES have some heat. homemade chips too. tom pop's the konk pad question and eric says he's house-sitting a band near the freeway we can join him at. alright, that's setteld - we're gonna have to bail at six at the latest cuz of the last gig of the tour in the eastern part of the state, at the gorge.
   before heading for the boat to konk, I meet the opening band - they're called sugar sugar sugar. nice people and they appear very internesting. raul's told me about some of them playing pedro before , this cat on bass named andy. I really wanna check them out. however, my konk is huge and deep - more than three hours and I'm so glad tom came and rousted me cuz I would've probably missed the gig 'pert-near! we do the gig, a good sound on stage - mike's buddy doing the monitors real good and helping five-and-a-half-week-voice watt do the best he can... man, am I trying and right along side me are my guys who are trying just as hard - much respect to them. the set is like one tune, we got it so seamless that no setlist is needed but let me put it here for you now:

   "surfin' with the shah"
   "she don't know why I'm here"
   "sweet honey pie"
   ""the big bang theory"
   "forever/one reporter's opinion"
   "co-conspirator's oath"
   "amnesty report II"
   "black sheep"
   "the glory of man"
   "anxious mo-fo"
   "three girl rhumba"
   "ex-lion tamer"
   "fun house"
   "the red and the black"
   "we are time"
    - - - - -
   "little johnny jewel"

so that's what we did this tour, what we did to prac for recording the thrid opera. this gig tonight goes real good, a thumper. as I sling shirts, there's a cat who tells me he was at last night's seattle gig - yeah, I recognize him - he says tonight was more intense than last night... damn, I was trying real hard last night too but sometimes that happens. I really try to try, you know? I know my men do also. these gig-goers here tonight are very kind. I sign one man's bass. another young man tells asks me about advice about what to do about losing a friend - he had one just commit suicide. I tell him I don't have big answers but please never let yourself ever get that sad. there's always something that can be right around the corner - and that means either good or bad but maybe trying hard to staying in life's classroom is a thing worth thinking important, being humble enough though to not have it all figured out but hanging in to learn and learn - fall down, get back up, keep pushing and pushing while keeping the mind open open OPEN... open to possiblity.

   I settle w/aaron, a very cool cat who not only drummed for the mono men but ran the 3b tavern - the first pad I ever played in this town and now sadly gone, damn. we have a good talk. big respect for aaron.

   we follow salsa-makerman eric to his buddy marcus' pad - marcus now gone "far far into the woods" but reachable by leash (mobile phone) cuz eric hands his to me when marcus can't believe I'm at his pad. even though marcus is a guitar man, he likes watt on bass - much respect to him. I tell him it is me and raul, tom and myself are very grateful for his kindness to let us konk there. maybe cuz I'm still pretty warm from getting on jammed up from working the gig, I leave my konk sack in the boat and use two thin blankies to cover me on the couch. we gotta pop in like four hours so turn the switch inside my head-off (another way of saying that is turning ON the konk switch).

from raul:

   Great day at sandy's and in the city of seattle. There is no rush to leave since the drive to b-ham is only an hour and a half long. Tom and i take a walk to get coffee, and end up going all the way down town, and to the fish market. I know it's tourist stuff, but hey we're on tour right, it's not everyday i get to see these things. Once back at sandy's, there is still time till we have to bail. So sandy and her dude cook up some tasty jerk chicken, veggies, the special rice, and a green salad to go along with it all, great food guys, thanks so much.

    Playing the nightlight tonight, i've been here once before. Not to play though, just to say hi to l.p., the bartender, and party favorites drummer. Great instrumental band from bellingham that i first met in pedro on 4th st. when they came down with federation x and lone bird... both great b-ham bands. After soundcheck, i do the second walk of the day. I know that me and tom already hoofed so much, but it seems like another day here, and the weather is so perfect that i can't spend it holed up in a dark club. I head for the water, weaving up and down streets at random along the way. Also go inside of a local record shop, not intending to buy anything just killin' time. I find a little gem though, and i gotta get it. A david thomas and the pedestrians. David t. is the singer of ubu, and i also have some of his other projects like the wooden birds "our town" l.p. They have that here too, and cheap, but i already got it, so i should leave it for someone else to find. I've never heard this record, but i now he's a mad genius, so it's gotta be great. And for two bucks you really can't go wrong. It's the only music i've bought all tour. Beside the hi hats in townsend, and a flash drive outside of denver, i havn't bought much else on tour besides a couple homies and a dozen or so sandwhiches. No tobacco either, i was given a can in cabrroro n.c.

   Openers tonight are sugar sugar sugar. And i'm way psyched to find out that it's the new band of the man behind lonebird, a very sweet man named andy piper. I havn't seen andy since last time killer dreamer played the old foundry here in bellingham about two years ago. Good news, now i won't have to search him out. They have a trippy style, kinda psychedelic glam rock with a sax player. Some heavy tunes from these dudes, drummer ms. flores held it down with a very unique approach to the drums, lots of toms going on. She also had the deepest snare i've ever seen, a two foot deep vitage ludwig marching drum.

   Not the biggest crowd that we've played for this tour, but with all the enthusiasm up front though, i really could not tell or did i care for that matter. The bellinham folks were so genuine, and so happy that we were there to play. I thougt that both the gig goers and the band were great. ofcourse there's always clams, but if we didn't make mistakes then it wouldn't be human. It's when we make the mistakes that it becomes apparant to me how thight we've become... we got a good solid recovery. To me that takes more in the moment communication than just nailing parts. Also it's that ability to comunnicate right there at that space in time that makes us tight. Playing these gigs with watt and tom has and i hope will continiue to be a tripped out on the spot learning expierience.

   Earlier in the day i had met brenna and eric, two people who were kind enough to make and bring us the hottest salsa we've gotten on the tour. So hot, that i was auctually afraid to eat too much of it. I had a hurtin' couple of days on this tour, and i'm not eager to return, so i've been tame with the peppers and hot sauce.So anyhow, they're house sitting for a friend and have invited us to stay with them. Very sweet folks, but not too much time to hang after the gig. We have our last gig at the gorge tomorrow, and we gotta leave town by six to make it for the 10:30 call.

sunday, may 24, 2009 - quincy, wa

from watt:

   man, am I samui, shivering w/cold. I try putting my levis back on... then try zipping up the ronnie coat. one prob w/tiny blankies is cuz I thrash around when konked, they come off me. tiny the other way is being thin and not keeping my body heat in. even though it's may, bellingham is up north and it is not a warm spring night like it was a warm spring day earlier. about five bells, I get off the couch after an hour of being not able to konk again... what a trip, I get up and there in the living room is this big malamute dog and a tall man right behind him - it's marcus! he said he came way WAY out of the woods maybe a halfhour away cuz he says he couldn't believe I was konked at his pad but there I am - and there he is. he's a nice man. I figure why not bail earlier than six cuz what the hell, right? I talk some w/marcus though, he's happening. eric pop's soon too (as do my guys) and goes to get coff cuz eric says he ain't a coff drinker. since he's on guitar, he starts showing tom his axes and his fender bassman 10 - me and k used to have one each in the late 80s - I get to do a little skype w/eiko-san, eric tripping on how the many-thousand mile connect can happen like this. marcus comes by and even shows he knows some nihon-go. taiyo coming up though, we gotta bail so we bid our kind hosts farewell, marcus sweetly saying "bye bitches" as we shove off for the last gig of the tour.

   I take us south on the I-5, wence we came yesterday, swinging east on I-90 via the I-405 belt - yeah, there's a I-405 up here too, like what we call the san diego freeway in so cal. maybe now I should explain the u.s. interstate system nomenclature like I do w/most folks who get in the boat w/me. it's a military system, actually called the eisenhower national system of interstate and defense highways and there's a method to how they're numbered. the primary routes are numbered w/two digits, high ones in the east and north, low ones in the west and south. odd ones run north/south, even ones run east/west. if there's three number, the last two digits are the number of the primary route. if the first digit is odd, it's a spur (meaning it connects only once). if it's even, it's a belt (meaning it connects twice). so I-405 is telling you it's a belt on the I-5. the freeway coming into my pedro town (the harbor freeway) is I-110, saying it's a spur off the I-10. does that make sense? anyway, to get to the little town of quincy (actually, if you look on the map, it's closer to george!) which is near where the gig is in eastern washington - where the columbia river turns north, we gotta get through the cascades via snoqualmie pass and this time of year it's no prob even though there's snow on the moutain tops, the roads are clear. it's a beautiful drive even when the fir trees start disappearing and the view changes to desert - just like eastern oregon. we go through ellensburg, home of the screaming trees who I took on thier first two tours when I was in fIREHOSE. we get to "the gorge" which is an natural amphitheatre deal right on a cliff overlooking the columbia river just a little bit before ten am - mission successful, omedeto! we're going on first on the main stage - this is a huge three day event, sort of like the festivals in europe w/camping out and many stages w/many bands. we're gonna go on at 12:15 pm, yeah! steve the stageboss is very nice, as is monitor man courtney and probably soundman allen but I never get to meet him. damn... can you imagine how important a soundman is at a giant gig like this? these folks let us park the boat right up to the side of the stage "structure" and we even get a soundcheck - something that never happens at these kinds of things. much respect to everyone so nice to us here! janes addiciton is playing and I look for perk and per but maybe they aint' up yet? they've been touring w/nine inch nails who are also on this gig too and look who's their tourboss - old buddy billy rahmy, yeah!!!!! big BIG hugs for him. he's beautiful and just the greatest friend to me, always. he aws in so cal a couple of months ago and he went w/me and raymond to an exhibit of phots of miles davis, we had a great chow just before - he loves wrestling and his dream is to get a league going. of course raymond knows lots about wrestling - wouldn't that be wild if raymond helped write scripts for billy?!!?! wow!! from the time we got done w/soundcheck to just before hitting the stage, I spend it all w/billy - I love this man. one day somehow we do a tour together, that's what I wanna do. man, am I fired up to play now!

   there's some pretty intense heat and no shade we it's time for downbeat... but think about the gig-goers who've already been out there all yesterday! damn. it's so bright, it's impossible to see the tuners so it's like the old minutemen days when we used our ears (mintuemen never used tuners at gigs). it's a crazy and careening gig - the huge stage (even though we're way WAY up front, the way we like it), it's seems like old timey days w/vaudeville and theatre where you had to not rely on subtle moves but go for big ones - there's some clams but it's like a wild skateboard ride w/lots of risks and we pause not one second - even when tom's pedals start to fail (maybe being in the sun all that time after soundcheck?), we just keep pushing and pushing, plow and plow... we wanna wake this pad up! I'm looking at my watch, I don't wanna go over cuz that'll become a cascade fuck for all the other bands after us and that ain't right. however, I think I cut us five minutes short - baka watt!! only a little "we are time" (appropriately titled!) and tom's so involved in his pedal-hell, he doesn't catch the signal from me (same a little w/raul but what's his reason? nah - he got it 'pert-near quick) and we close it up good. the monitors are fucking incredible - what a great job from courntey, damn - much respect to him. I think we blew some minds - lots of the worker cats get stickers from me and as we come off, I see mathias from the book of knots proj brother tony had me be a part of for upcoming third release - I did "cleveland to pedro" on the second one but they got me on way more on this last one. yeah, big high five for the stickman! we get our shit off quick and into the boat, ready to go soon as we shovel some chow and I do some interviews. I do one w/a cat from columbia, a great companero who I explain this long dream I've had: to do a REAL american tour - that means south, central and north america - and in the boat too, driving the all the lands to work the towns. one day I swear I'm gonna do it, I swear. he asks about these clowns in recent days w/minutemen in their name and the band d. boon, georgie and me had - these clowns on the border being silly... we have nothing to do w/them and do not support the hairbrain hotair they fling - actually we're from much before and we're reacting to another group of weirdos using minutemen from the early 60s and trying appropriate patriotic symbols (one reason we liked called ourselves minutemen was to confuse the fuck out of that shit). actually, I came up w/the name (I had a huge list of potential names d. boon asked me to think of) as a reaction to arena rock - like we were minute (as in minature) men compared to big rock star men. I do a spiel next w/a cat who asks me to real quick talk about an album that was a mindblow for me and right away I choose richard hell + the voidoids "blank generation" cuz that album really was profound on me as both a bass player, a song write and a guy who wanted to be in a band w/d. boon and use music as a form of intense expression for the first time in our lives. I'm asked to take some shots too, the gorge w/the might columbia river behind me. I got ronnie's coat on - the brighton blue flannel is stenched for the last time this tour - hey, I wore it every gig, yatta! when I wasn't doing the gig, I had ronnie's ford parts factory jacket on. richard meltzer was right, I am sentimental in ways.

   I chow some pasta and caesers salad - tom and raul have already shoveled so soon we're ready to go - not even two in the afteroon and we start our 1270 mile hellride home. what an intense way to end a tour but then it was an intense tour... gigging w/all I got at fiftyone is a little different than maybe at twentytwo w/the minutemen - in the body though, not in the mind or the spirit. in those non-body things, I still believe like I did in those old days. in the body parts, I feel the hurts a little more but so what - tom and raul were so good to me, played so much of their hearts for me - what person honest w/themself could not be buoyed by such a righteous feeling? I was not alone - even on that huge stage today, we grouped together tight and playe like men bound together like they meant it, like they felt it all the way, deep down. these are very dear brothers to me! and then in the middle, when they came toether for my third opear - what righteous cats! yeah, so like I said, it was an intese tour but a very VERY good one for me and I owe both tom, raul and all the gig-goers who came to join us and make each gig happen BIG TIME and feel most grateful and inspired to try even harder. this is what I was thinking as I rolled us south in the boat towards my pedro town. it was an intense thing.

from raul:

   Wake to the sounds of this guy foaming over the fact watt is sleeping on his good couch. It's the dude who house it is, and he desides to cut his trip short and come meet watt in the flesh. It's fuckin' four thirty in the morning, so we maybe slept two hours. This man marcus cut his camping trip short, but not the beers. In his words, he was three sheets to the wind. Eric had told us that marcus was many miles away on a trip to the wilderness. Now marcus tells us he made the hugh twenty mile drive back home, what gives, it that a hellride for these dudes. Many laughs about this once in the van. Also, as we leave, after all the foam is wiped from the mouth, marcus says "later bitches" as we back out the drive way. Very funny dude, and we have many laughs about this too. In seriousness though, thanks so much to the three of you. Also thanks for going to get us coffee at five in the morning.

   I try to stay awake for the drive to the gorge, but i'm just too tired from the day and night before and no sleep. At one point though i do wake up when watt screams bald eagle. Damn, i missed it, but he tells me that the thing was hugh, and very close to the boat, said the wings spread was bigger than the front windshield. I blew that one. About half way there tom gives me the back bench, and i try and rest up the last half of the trip. We got an early gig today, and i'd like to be a little rested.

   We show up to the gorge right on time, do the check in and get ushered by a tweeked out dude on a four wheeler to the main stage where we will be opening up the sunday part of the event. This is way different than the rest of the gigs ofcourse, but this whole tour has been an adventure. Doing gigs with dinosaur jr., taking time to record an album, then tour with lite, and now playing on top of a hugh gogrge that over looks the colombia river. I've been hearing how amazing this location is, and all the words were fact, very beautiful scenery. It's also flippin' hot as shit, and we play when the sun is at high noon. That, on top of us being on the front of the stage with no shade puts us directly under the sun, we're near cooked up there. Regardless, we still play as hard as we can. We only had a half hour to play, so we had to scissior solos and lenghts of parts. I wasn't always sure where, but tried my best to stay there in the moment. Towards the end it got so hot that tom's pedals shorted out during fun house, and he had to do the rest of the set with out em'. Not a prob though, i thought he still sounded like tom.

   Was a trip to play so early after all the 11p.m. calls we've had. Trippy last gig of a tour too, but like i said this tour has had a big dose of adventure, and why should today be any different. Speaking of adventure, we got an twelve hundred mile drive back to pedro. So after some chow, we hit the road a little past two to get it started. The plan is to drive s.w. into portland, then head south and stop for the night in eugene.

tom watson, raul morales and mike watt (l to r) on the drive home from the last gig of the

read the tour diary!

mike watt + the missingmen

"prac'n the 3rd opera" tour 2009

fri, april 17: tucson, az - plush
340 e. 6th st., tucson, az
(520) 798-1298

sat, april 18: albuquerque, nm - launchpad
618 central av. sw, albuquerque, nm
(505) 764-8887

mon, april 20: dallas, tx - granada theater
3524 greenville av., dallas, tx
(214) 370-9675

tue, april 21: houston, tx - rudyard's
2010 waugh dr., houston, tx
(713) 521-0521

wed, april 22: baton rouge, la - spanish moon
1109 highland rd., baton rouge, la
(225) 383-6666

thu, april 23: tallahassee, fl - the moon *
1105 east lafayette, tallahassee, fl
(850) 878-6900

fri, april 24: jacksonville beach, fl - freebird live *
200 north 1st st., jacksonville beach, fl
(904) 246-2473

sat, april 25: charleston, sc - the music farm *
32 ann st. unit c, charleston, sc
(843) 722-8904

sun, april 26: asheville, nc - the orange peel *
101 biltmore av., asheville, nc
(828) 225-5851

mon, april 27: carrboro, nc - cat's cradle *
300 east main st., carrboro, nc
(919) 967-9053

wed, april 29: charlotte, nc - neighborhood theatre *
511 east 36th st., charlotte, nc
(704) 358-9494

thu, april 30: richmond, va - the national *
704 e. broad st., richmond, va
(804) 612-1900

fri, may 1: lancaster, pa - chameleon club *
223 north water st., lancaster, pa
(717) 299-9684

sat, may 2: baltimore, md - ottobar *
2549 north howard st., baltimore, md
(410) 662-0069

sun, may 3 to tue, may 5: recording watt's third opera
("hyphenated-man") at studio g in brooklyn, ny (no gigs)

wed, may 6: cambridge, ma - t.t. the bear's
10 brookline st., cambridge, ma
(617) 492-0082

thu, may 7: hoboken, nj - maxwell's
1039 washington st., hoboken, nj
(201) 653-1703

fri, may 8: new york, ny - the mercury lounge
217 e. houston st., new york, ny
(212) 260-4700

sat, may 9: philadelphia, pa - north star bar
2639 west poplar st., philadelphia, pa
(215) 389-9890

sun, may 10: pittsburgh, pa - club cafe
56 south 12th st., pittsburgh, pa
(412) 431-4950

mon, may 11: cleveland heights, oh - grog shop
2785 euclid heights bl., cleveland heights, oh
(216) 321-5588

tue, may 12: detroit, mi - shelter
431 e. congress, detroit, mi
(313) 961-8137

wed, may 13: grand rapids, mi - billy's lounge
1437 wealthy se, grand rapids, mi
(616) 459-5757

thu, may 14: chicago, il - schubas tavern
3159 n. southport, chicago, il
(312) 525-2508

fri, may 15: minneapolis, mn - 7th street entry
701 1st av. north, minneapolis, mn
(612) 338-8407

sat, may 16: omaha, ne - the waiting room
6212 maple st., omaha, ne
(402) 884-5353

mon, may 18: denver, co - larimer lounge
2721 larimer st., denver, co
(303) 895-1660

tue, may 19: salt lake city, ut - bar deluxe
666 s. state st., salt lake city, ut
(801) 521-5255

wed, may 20: boise, id - neurolux
111 north 11th st., boise, id
(208) 343-0886

thu, may 21: portland, or - doug fir lounge
830 e. burnside st., portland, or
(503) 231-9663

fri, may 22: seattle, wa - crocodile cafe
2200 2nd av., seattle, wa
(206) 441-5611

sat, may 23: bellingham, wa - the nightlight
211 east chestnut st., bellingham, wa
(360) 650-0331

sun, may 24: quincy, wa - sasquatch! music festival
754 silica road nw, quincy, wa
(509) 785-6262

(* opening for dinosaur jr)

week five

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this page created 23 may 09