a word's-eye view from mike watt
what's behind the fancy hotel here in saint petersburg?
is this cat pointing to new crapdonald's?
what's this about?
I was just tripping on stuff and wanted to share it. right after that fourth one though, that's it - no more email for watt - I couldn't send or receive anything, couldn't get to my isp website even. could go everywhere else on the web though. very weird. just saying. there's a bowl w/lots of fruit and that's what I chow for dinner. thirty rubles to the u.s. dollar is better than last time (twentyfive two years ago) but I'm gonna try to not change any over. the give you four bottles of water too. james was telling derek not to drink the tap water - don't know if I did last time but the tub water got a little brown. I soaked myself and the knee in it anyway but I did stick to drinking water from the bottle.
man, I've been thinking a bunch about a little thing reagrding my third opera... it's been gnawing at me, about the middle - I need a succinct tiny spiel for the middle cuz fuck, the whole damn thing's about the middle - the middle of my fucking life! bass brother tony maimone had one more song to mix, "confused-parts-man" and he did great w/it - I just got a listener version and he nailed it good so that's all done... and now this final thing I feel has to come from me cuz when I left his studio in brooklyn last month, I wasn't really all done - it's been bugging me that some little thing's missing... just a spiel... and then w/out really thinking it comes to me, these eight lines:
loss and liberation
ok, it's finished for sure now. I'll pin it to the front of "pinned-to-the table-man" when I get back to my pedro town after recording the spiel. fuck, ain't that a trip how it came? maybe I just couldn't write it in my town, I couldn't write it in brooklyn... thank you, saint petersburg. I konk early, around nine.
gig day and I pop at six am and do another tub soak. the trough is free so I go down at seven when it opens - man, it is a righteous shovel! whoa, so much good stuff. a staff lady fills a plate for me of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and potatoes. I also get some herring, crab meat, shrimps, red caviar, pickles and horseradish on another plate - all really good! much respect. james calls and wants me to come and do this new way he's gonna do "I need somebody" where I'm gonna go back to the old key and he's gonna play bottle neck slide! yeah. cuz of the drive involved, we're gonna stay at the venue after soundcheck. on the way though we get scraped by another van in an intersection and there's a stand-off between our driver and the other guy as to who's fault is. we're waiting and waiting for the police to come (though a militia car drives by twice) but time's moving on so we decide to get another car and a cab so that's when the other guy caves in and they decide it's nobody's fault so we continue in our original ride. trippy. we were just parked right in the middle in the intersection where it happened the whole time. actually, there was no bump or jolt, just a scrapping sound - the guy was trying to mouse in and miscalculated. oh well. we enter in through the back way and I see alexander "hardest working boy" (as he calls himself) waving his arms wild. so good to see him. he's been to many many stooges gigs but he can't get a visa outside the country now cuz last time he was in germany, it was to be w/his pop who was dying of cancer and he overstayed his time. he can now only see us in his native russia. this pad is called the glav club and is sort of like a cement shotgun shack on steroids. it's much longer than wide and even some bleachers in the back. we're using rented stuff and I got two ampeg svt amps. scotty's got a pretty worked dw kit (sounds good though) and james has only a vox and a marshall halfstack - he's down from his usual two halfstacks. for soundcheck w/the pad empty he's really loud but w/folks I know it's gonna be hard for him to hear himself (that's exactly what happened. ig wrote out a set list w/all the songs we play 'pert-near so we go over all the ones we haven't done in a while - whoa, pretty rusty. I fuck up lots of "gimme some skin" chords (james thought I was out of tune but actually it was me clamming wrong changes - baka watt!)... however, when ig comes, he says most of these we're not gonna play. I'm still glad we did them at the check though - the memory's a muscle and needs to be exercised, at least for watt! I brought my yellow clothes sack but not the 'puter one so when I go to put on my outfit, there's no john coltrane pin for me! aaahhh, I'm so superstitious! oh well. there's no opening act so we ain't got much time to kill. ig comes in and says all those tune were just things he was thinking of after the england gig (still I'm glad we did them at soundcheck!) and we'll just stick in the other two "raw power" songs. I take off my immobilizer to show him I can walk a tiny bit w/out it - he says "careful now!" and I agree - I put the immobilizer back on. I just wanted to show him I've made some headway on the healing. we work on the beginnings and ends w/me playing mouth bass (making bass sounds w/my mouth) in the meantime. pretty funny but it's good training to get us all on board.
w/ten minutes to downbeat, I go wait up on the second and third step from the top of the on james side (stage port) cuz there's just no room on my side w/something to hide behind. I see scotty at the bottom of the stairs first - I think eric and henry are waiting for the club to stop showing whatever they're showing on a bulkhead screen to the side. then I see james, ig right behind - I see ig ask james if he's ready, scotty if he's ready - then james starts for the stairs so I crutch as quick as I can acroos the stage to jos waiting in front of my amps w/the dan bass... I trade him my crutches for it and then put my glasses on scotty's drum riser as james fires up "raw power" - I'm wondering what will I sound like cuz the soundcheck was w/an empty room and you know how shit changes w/folks as dampeners... it sounds pretty good - now. this ain't a big stage and ig's all over it. the vest comes off pretty quick - it's already getting hot, ALREADY. damn, no gatorade (or equivalent) either. I'm hoping for no cramps but maybe should be hoping for no clams cuz when we get to end of the first chorus I start thinking of me missing my john coltrane pin and clam - LIKE A BAKA FUCKING IDIOT! it ain't a big one and I get right back on but what the fuck, man? I am determined to get it together. the crowd is really young cats - I can't see anyone near our age. they are very much into it, very much! big respect to them. james does guitar solo, ig lets him know once he thinks it about done and then the second time really lets him know. stovepipe leg man is trying to get body in good angle to work this dan bass - we're into "search and destroy" and there's times I just gotta stand straight up w/legs kind of like a-frame house roof, other times sling it where the headstock's 'pert-near by my mouth. awkward but I hope it don't sound like bellyaching cuz I'm digging the band - ig singing away w/scotty on the pounderosa. "gimme danger" follows - james has got his vest on, I notice. now he's been asking me to trade my flannel for a wife beater shirt (his words) but I don't know about that. I did shave the mustache off for him... ig calls for dancers, he calls for the bolshoi ballet for "shake appeal" and look who's up here w/us quick: alexander, "the hardest working boy" so I go up and shake his big time. we get underway and alexander dances up a storm, he's great - fucking great. he puts his head right up against my bass speakers! there's another cat dancing up near me and laughing his head off, every time I look at him he cracks up - I love it. ig introduces the band... himself last as "iggy putin" and blast into "1970" and I'm hearing my amps going in and out, maybe fading w/the heat. the sounds getting more and more fuzzy too w/a kind of a lenny thing going. well, this is the horse I'm riding so pound it out... "l.a. blues" and wild wild wild and again trying to bone the amp w/my pathetic self. jos has set up a fan but I can't feel any of it. me being stovepipe-legged helps me but for ig running around in this heat w/no air, it must be murder - same w/scotty... I admire these men so much for their stamina, so much. wailing on my bass in my condition ain't enough really to get it out of tune but I check anyway and scotty gets us into "night theme" which I do pretty much w/my eyes closed cuz of all the sweat coming into them - still, I've been much more heart-attack shvitzes, like I said but whatever - I praying for no cramps cuz there was no gatorade... I look over at scotty and tell him I'm missing my coltrane pin big time and he points at his head and I think his lips are saying, "keep him in your mind" as james gets the "skull thing" going and then headbobs me into "beyond the law" w/ig stage port after the huge leap back on mic stand wrassle of "...thing" and I take a quick peep at the room and it's 'pert-near full now, many more folks have come in. no opening act - maybe that's their way? the heat must be big time on them, many shirts off. "fun house" right up next, right up! no cause to pause w/this train! good breathing room dynamics especially for this point in the set. "I got a right" right after an ig spiel about getting told he had rights when he was in secondary school (not my words) - he asks the saint petersburg people, "they told you that too?" and scotty gives him a right w/his kick and snare - we're off. blistering version. maybe james' most cookin' lead is in this guy. the gap is about two seconds into "I wanna be your dog" and though the moat width might be doable, ig don't stagedive but I swear I felt him wanna REAL BAD in a way. he does work the pit real good. the guys go four bars loud more than I do cuz I was following our regular pattern but I'm thinking that's ok... the crowd chants the chorus w/ig conducting and even I have to mouth every other one cuz I'm caught up in it and can't help it. for pretty people (says ig) we then are onto "your pretty face is going to hell" w/ig right there to my port, I love it! this new way of "I need somebody" next comes and I try hard to keep it not fast but "slammin' truck driver" like ig's told us to make it. we do "penetration" after in it's old key and I blow a clam on the octave cuz of mixing it up w/the other way (e instead g) - baka watt! pretty good though, the band got it tight - I see james say something and hobble over very unsteady and 'pert-near toppling to hear him say "no fun" next but he then shakes his head no, let's do the closer "open up and bleed" like usual - I think he was confused by something ig was saying in his spiel to introduce it. he has us pick it up and then especially at the end - scotty starts w/the real speedup the soonest we've ever done it, even before ig does the "twentyfour hours..." rap, whoa! I like it going crazy like this, I do - it's a trip and a mindblow. I go to those stairs again when jos brings me my crutches but I don't go down them - I tell nina, who's been watching us from there that'll be too hard for me to get back up but shit, I think I should've cuz maybe folks can still see me? it seems like an eternity (but definitely it wasn't) and then james comes up to tell me "death trip" and yep, that's what we do for the encore, ig telling the folks "we love you! this club is a dump" - the no air and all the heat really made it tough for everyone, totally. we close w/a roused-up "no fun" and whew, we made it! good good audience but man, this temperature/ventilation situation made it a little tough - we got it through it though and inside it feels real good to me.
some beers now? yes! and they're cold ones too but not russian, they're stellas (this company bought budweiser not too long ago) but they help cool me down. I get brought some tiny lamb chops too - oh yeah, that's the dinner we ordered from an outside pad when we got here... they're great, really. I can't pound the pound of potato salad that came w/it so I just eat a couple of those. ig comes in to debrief - just a little, like "that was a hot one, huh?" everyone agrees big time! and now the cramps come in my hands - not severe ones but I'm VERY GRATEFUL they didn't happen in the gig, not one. trippy, through the back hatch it's daylight still coming in. that's the great thing about being this north in summer and going on at eight pm!
out of the sweated stage outfit, we get back to the 'tel w/out a traffic incident. I get back up in my room for a bit cuz I wanted to see something. now I had used jos' 'puter at the gig venue to check if my email worked there, no prob getting tom my isp web site, no prob at all... but I check here again at the 'tel and yep, still nothing - everywhere else I can go on the web (it seems) but not my isp - very weird. anyway, that's the way it is, ok. just saying. I then go meet the guys the top floor of this 'tel where there's an outdoor restaurant area... incredible view of the town - there's the hermitage I missed seeing again! aaaarrggggghhhhhh. we have some beers in a sack derek brought and talk about stuff. I find out gigboss richie's pop was a navy chaplain from kansas... richie lived in meridian (mississippi) too when younger and even had been aboard the uss john f kennedy! he's got some great stories, he's a good cat. later a "band of gypsies" debate comes up w/james taking the opposite from me (I really like them) but that's ok cuz it's probably why there's more than one band in the world. I got too loud anyway - not real bad but kind of. we're all happy about the gig, it's a good time. I have to go piss but getting to my room and doing that, I realize I am to tuckered to continue and konk.
thursday, august 5, 2010 - moscow, russia
wednesday: pop at seven bells and have 'pert-near the same excellent shovel as yesterday except grilled zucchini instead of sausages (again a lady working at 'tel is filling my plate big time - "you have appetite, no?") and salmon instead of herring. great chow. I read english language newspaper st. petersburg times and there is story about strategy-31 which I had no idea about. I think russia is land of change, some folks trying at least. to hear about beatdowns like this though is fucked up. maybe some change is not here fast or real enough. I hate to sound like outsider trying to pretend to be expert. it would be fair to talk about u.s. stuff. all kinds of things mixed up in my head. to make things simple, I'm gonna mistakes. so I write here about I'm fucked up person to be writing about this. I don't want bullshit on people. fuck, I think that's fair. I go back and check internet - still no send/receive. time to bail, door man says I have lucky work to see other places and I agree w/him, I am lucky big time.
we leave for pulkovo I airport. this port is trippy, very artistic in art deco way my mind is thinking. the gold colors and the roundness of stuff. very long moving rubber sidewalk you take under the runways to get to satellite gates and then walk to planes. mushiatsui (humid). we take aeroflot airbus 320 flight to moscow sheremetyevo-1 airport that takes about and hour. as we make our descent, you can smell the smoke from the burning fires... there's been a huge drought in russia and today will probably be a hundred degrees. there's hundreds of forest fires raging not to far east of here. we land and the air is choking from the fires, the smoke very VERY thick. crimony.
it takes almost as long to fly here from saint petersburg as it does to make the drive into moscow, not far from the kremlin - at the ararat park hyatt. whoa, even w/this being a fancy pad (my room is as big as my apartment's living room in pedro... maybe bigger?!) free email again at this 'tel - alright! detroit buddy (actually fraser, in the 'burbs) bob teagan flowed me a great tenko video from only a few months ago in nyc! I am big fan of this artist, massive (like they say in england) one. then I got flowed a spiel jamie brisick did w/me about raymond in the lastets five dials (it's in issue thirteen, download here), I love spieling about raymond cuz he's one of my biggest heroes and inspires me much. one more email I'll share is from "hardest working boy" alexander:
I haven't tought that it's so bad with your leg, I drink to your health. You were really cool yesterday, it was a very nice tiny kind of gig, Luzern 2005 was the only one of quite the same capacity where I was. So it was very enjoyable, very listeneble in the front row, not so apocalyptic as Paris or somewhere else! And the most shoking thing was that there were the kindest security I have ever seen in my life! It's phenomenal for Russia. They was giving people watter in plastic glasses, the was helping poeple to get out if somebody felt bad... This is paranormal, I don't know which fly had bite them! 2008 in Moscow b1 when I tried to get onstage, 3 security mans had drag me somekind of backstage and started beating me with the legs! I thought they will kill me, but thanx god it looked more scary then it was, they are proffesionals and don't siriosly hurt you. I hered from somebody That in b1 are the most brutal sucurity, they even turn out some band with their equipment one time, cuz they don't wanted to wait for the buss or something..
I agree - those saint petersburg folks working security were really nice to people, dressed in button white shirts and not being thugs. oh, in russian, "spasiba" is thank you and please is "puzhalsta" which I think are two good words to know in any language. hell, I try to learn these whatever land I go to. the problem is the fucking memory. well, one of my problems. I don't get any dinner cuz that shovel in the morning was a stuffer. the outside is so choked out was fire smoke and my knee all hurt makes for me just being in my pad and finishing a book my friend andy in tokyo gave me, "too loud a solitude" by bohumil hrabal that is so great though tiny (ninetyeight pages) that it's my second time through it a row, immediately starting over when finishing the first time. man, I just feel so bad for the folks here cuz of this... in so cal once we had fires so pad it rained ashes in my pedro town, choked out the sun into looking like a big red meatball not to mention all the homes lost. over here, w/this I think fifty people have been killed. it's a bad scene, a bad one. it's gonna hurt their wheat crop too. and then also this heat, whoa. here I am on the ninth floor looking at it through the window while the air conditioner makes it another world. it's surreal to say the least. luckily hrabal irony has got lots of funny parts mixed in w/the nightmare. when konk comes from me, I am grateful it's a konk w/out nightmare. it is confusing though. so be it. confusion is a kind of answer to try and keep my humble, somehow. still gotta figure that out... ha! good luck on that, other side tells self! (other side? you mean only one other side? lazy thinking or is the math too hard?)
gig day and I pop at eight to go chow "cold buffet" cuz that's the free one. it's good even w/stuff cold like bread, salami, cheese, fruit and yogurt - tomatoes and cucumbers too. out the window, it's clearer - maybe there was a wind change? maybe it's good I can't hoof even still, I don't know... I will say it is a kind of hell for me to be 'pert-near always fucking guarding the room, truly. now cuz of the drive involved and the early doors of tonight's gig, we're gonna go for soundcheck and then just stay there like last gig which is fine w/me. I hate rollin' around any more than I have to. stooges have played moscow twice before and both have been at a pad called but tonight we're at a club just opened called milk club which has been built inside a warehouse type building in a kind of industrial park area. no air conditioning but I can understand that lots of time this town is not boiling over and that kind of stuff is probably pretty expensive. by the way, only low nineties today and much clear skies - almost miraculous, it's a trip to see such a contrast w/yesterday. the only stuff we brought was guiatrs/bass/snare/kick so it's rented-in-moscow gig for equipment. I got two svt cabs powered by massive ampeg svt-III amps. you get the joke (ie: the word massive). a poor carpenter blames his tools though. james has a vox ac-30 and two marshall halfstacks. we do soundcheck and he's pretty loud, he had prob hearing himself at saint petersburg gig but maybe not tonight...
scotty's got a tama kick drum and dw toms - he says it's way better than the rat scabies kit he has to play when we use our stuff so see, rented-in-moscow equip is maybe kind of a partial blessing. we got a few hours before we play, the opening band has cancelled (why?!) so the gig-goers are let in for long-ass fucking sweaty wait but maybe more beers will get sold? fuck, I feel bad for them. it's way like a shvitz for us backstage too - one fan to blow hot air around so mostly I got my shirt off and sweating like a whatever - hope that don't sound like bellyaching though cuz I was laughing and tripping on the whole scenario. it's ok. we do prac on beginnings and endings. we shoot the spiel about all kinds of shit.
gig time is now 9:45 so I go out five minutes early. only entrance to stage is from my side (stage starboard) so this is weird for us cuz ig like stooges always coming on from stage port. oh well, work the room. anyway, there's no place for me to really hide so I just stay as far as I can opposite my amps, my ass against a rail and on tsue (crutches), looking at the deck even though some folks who can see me are hollering my name - fuck, I don't know what to do cuz I'm so slow, I don't wanna block the band when they do come on stage... waiting... then... yes, the hatch opens and up the stairs they come and pass me... I'm right behind and crutch over to jos holding my bass, make the trade (so glad I had shortest distance to go!) and I'm ready - port fist in the air! these amps sound ok, kind of... for now (I'm thinking)... "raw power" of course we're starting off w/and I think I've gotten how to do this tune w/my knee fucked-up and in immobilizer finally cuz it's much more smooth, even w/out being able to move my body much. like w/most stuff, it can come w/prac, huh? I surprise my fucking self sometimes... glad this is positive one. the moscow folks are wild w/enthusiasm, very VERY big time into it - crimony! respect to them. you can imagine what is was like for them to be waiting all this time here w/no air conditioning too, fuck. the pad is packed. it is trippy how there's a balcony around the sides w/tables, most folks are not there, they're on the deck so maybe there's two tiers of audience class? trippy thing to think about but I better stay in moment and work gig, not try to fathom it. ig hollers for "search and destroy" and well, that's what's on the set list - yeah, that's trippy: the set list taped to the deck in front of me has is not really the set we're doing! pretty funny. anyway, we rock this one like the opener - I gotta say we kind of got it coming out of the gate, this band really doesn't "warm up" but rather blasts right out of the get-go chute! "gimme danger" next and I can these amps starting to lose tone... I also think this stage w/no ballast (like big giant ping-pong table) is allowing some bass notes to resonate and build up some uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh bogarting bullshit on us, damn. oh well. keep charging. a red t-shirt flies up on the stage. ig is working this room so good - great singing and dancing despite the heat and he doesn't have (cuz of all the moving) the breeze of the front-corner-sitting blaster fans providing air which is amazing. yeah, I think the fan on my side is amazing as well cuz though I'm sweating, it was way worse backstage waiting to go, truly. ig calls for dancers to come up and "punk the bolshoi" as he puts it. cats start coming up - "this is illegal, this is illegal" I hear ig say - and security is preventing lots but some get on w/us - there's alexander "hardest working boy" w/his shirt off and ready to go, yeah! big hug and handshake for him from me. "shake appeal" shaking it up, yeah! you go, alexander, you go... he goes!!! something trippy w/the kick drum half-way through... seems we play the tune good and tight though but as the dancers are escorted off when we finish, here comes a kick drum flying out from the back and landing next to me in front of the drum riser! scotty must've thrown it out there to get someone's attention... ig's doing band intros and when he comes over I tell him the kick drum pedal's broke, he asks if it's getting fixed and I make a good educated guess and tell him yes cuz I figure jos is on it and yep, he is. ig just extends some intros a little bit like telling the folks I'm from southern california - the pedal switch-out is mere moments. ig tells the folks "you can call me igor!" and we kick in "1970" - hmm... james is giving me trippy looks, is the beginning a little shaky? I know I checked tuning and hell, tonight I'm 'pert-near right in front of the kick drum so I can even feel the drums pounding through my body - I look over to james assure him we can work this - I don't know what it's like on his side of course but I do know my amps fucking cut out! yeah, that's right but I'm still in the monitors and there's two wedges pointing right at both me and james perpendicular to the edge of the bass speaker boxes furthest away. jos comes over to help w/things - I try not to get too distracted and just play, that's important, that's number one - more than just important! I beat the dan bass up as could as a fucking stiffed-up limper invalid watt can do and I am frustrated cuz of this amp not-on situation, getting right in front to hear I hear nothing out of the speakers. I even forget the "a love supreme" end part cuz of this - no two tuners so I gotta mute to check tuning (fucking lame) and then give scotty the ok for him to get us into "night them" and then james to get us into the "skull thing" along w/his headbob (so last minute it almost fooled me!) to mesh into "beyond the law" and I'm glad I got those gatorades in me but really, the powerfans are blowing real good breeze, real good. they ain't even that big either, damn. "fun house" calls out ig and tonight he briefed us before not to drop out as far for the verses but still work the dynamic so I follow through on that direction. the bass sound is now really crummy, yech. crummy on stage - I'm hoping max has something better to work w/like the d.i. signal cuz I know he got some cut-out from the mic one. anyway, it's ok cuz believe it or not, I'm digging the gig. there's shakiness in "I got a right!" (who's out of sync? - "a rashomon moment") - after the first chorus, ig gives us two bars of four count to get us together - I love him! actually I felt right w/him and the drums when he did this but what the fuck do I know? there's a little bit of shakiness in the "I wanna be your dog" (next) beginning but that's real quick gotten together and goes good. I know for sure I blew a clam in "your pretty face is going to hell" cuz I spaced on going to the second verse and instead tried to do the set up for the chorus - baka watt! I got back and right quick though after realizing that bozo fucking move - I also forget to give james the hand after that chorus but he makes the move good anyway (sorry james!). the end's got us a little backwards, ha! not trainwreck but trippy - there's trippy stuff going on now but ig, the bow of the boat really does keep our keel in the water. a big challenge w/next number "I need somebody" - after the set brother steve will ask me if changed the key to f-sharp, hah! naw, I kept in g and ig came over and sang in front of the bass amps which are now working but set lower by jos cuz of that resonance problem. I swear, even w/all these "issues" the train keeps rolling and I'm really into the gig - a big part of course is ig but also the folks in the audience w/much heart. ig makes fun of the "vip people w/the tables upstairs" ha! everybody laughs. we start "penetration" and I move it up when ig hollers for it faster - actually, I've been playing much to ig's cadence of singing, I'm keying off that. ig boots the port side fan and when he comes starboard, jos heads him off by picking that one up and actually starts fan him w/it! I can't help but crack up, can't help it - sorry. we end the tune and scotty tells me his monitor situation is very lame shit, bass all blurry and sound like a big one note hum - aaarrrgggghhhh - I can feel for him cuz that means he has to "fly blind" as he puts it. oh well. we get this tune thumping along. "we better get this one!" or something like that from the singer - I am inspired, yes! we all are, I'm thinking! "open and bleed" indeed! there's trippy stuff on james' side but I think he was still what was up w/the song before (cuz "penetration" was strong) - I'm telling you, bad sound on the stage (scotty said "least enjoyable experience"), bad sound. I trade bass for crutches and get down most the stairs and lower my head (do I look like an ostrich? hope not!) 'til the guys get back and we slam the folks a strong "death trip" and very together "no fun" to close the gig up. I crutch off for good, bringing up the rear. I hope this stupid spiel I just chimped doesn't sound so down cuz I swear I dug the gig, really dug it. if I sound like a 'tard then I hope it's for other reasons cuz this was good blasting session and big fun.
there's some chow for us and like last night I have lamb but it's just grilled chunks instead of little chops. that's all I have, not too much. the russian beer tastes good. if I had a better handle on cyrillic, I could tell you the brand, sorry! this argentina painterman named malcolm roxs does a painting for us w/stooges and ig music playing from his little mp3 player - he's throwing paint w/his hands to do it.
I go by ig's dressing room and he's got his hatch open - I ask what he thought of tonight and he said he you could tell we weren't on our stuff and I said yep but I still dug it and he said he did too - I told him I thought he worked it great and he said thanks so that made me very happy. I tell the guys too it was a good one, even w/the issues. I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it. I was in a good mood.
richie the gig boss from finland has to say bye - he tells me his son is taking up bass, alright! I hope his journey is good one. he says the cat learning him learned from the street "so it's not scores or anything, it's jams" he says, alright. respect to richie. as the van leaves, we stop to give autographs and alexander "hardest working boy" gives me a folder w we get back to the 'tel kind of soon as we can cuz it's six am lobby call for our flight tomorrow. that means I konk at one am after some soak to get clean and a little relief for the knee. I konk quick cuz I am truly tuckered.
saturday, august 7, 2010 - stockholm, sweden
it's friday morning in moscow when I pop at five bells for six am bailout - how? don't know but I did leave curtains open on purpose so maybe taiyo played alarm clock role some? arigato. I'm learning to carry yellow clothes sack w/starboard hand, corresponding crutch in grasp along w/handle and that way I support hobble w/port crutch and don't have to bother people w/sack shlep. it's slow but it's a go and I have some independence and don't feel like such a dick for leaning on folks. the traffic's MUCH more calm at this time of the morning compared when we arrived and sheremetyevo-2 airport is pretty much an easy go too 'cept for one thing. between security and the gate has got to be the smallest space ever and they've filled that 'pert-near all the way w/duty-free shops so there's hardly any seats - I don't know of another international airport I've seen like this but it's kind of understandable if you think about the history here. the prob w/me is my condition as cojo so I keep slowly roaming and looking for a chair or something to park my hobbled ass when tourboss henry sees me and says I can go w/him to a lounge as a guest w/him/ig/nina but the lounge is for some other airline so big stair hike up and down leads to where we started but hell, the exercise was a good think for me and I only am sorry I was so slow for them. ig says fuck finding what lounge is right one and why not just get coff at this cafe place that's got benches and buys me one. that's very kind of him... you know I never converted or spent one ruble on my whole stay in russia? I read the bohumil hrabal 'til it's time to board. I tell ig this is book he could really get into - I say it make a good head one. he's got one of these kindle things to read ebooks which is happening but I tell him I like paper ones for the fact they can make good head ones and I always got a couple there to get read obviously in many MANY short shifts. a few minutes later I realize he's probably thinking I'm talking about the part of the body just north of the neck when actually I meant where you dump and piss on a boat... I apologize for confusing him.
airbus 320 to stockholm in sweden. we land at arlanda airport in a couple of hours (two hours time difference earlier though from russia). I chimped diary. across the aisle is a cat w/crutches - a comrade! then I see him remove a false leg that goes up to the knee... a reminder I shouldn't feel so sorry for myself - fuck. this comrade is great teacher w/give watt silent lesson of the day. what a stupid pecker I am. I'm very grateful and silently thank him. kind of slow line w/the swedish passport check - some cats in wheelchairs get to cut ahead. of course, no prob. again I'm reminded of how lucky I am no matter how fucked up this knee is. it's long hoof to finally get outside but everyone's nice to me and don't mind waiting on my slow go. very kind stooges peoples, thank you. about a twenty mile drive to stockholm and all the waters around that town - oh, there was an old 747 I see steve says is converted into a hostel as we left the port - now that's a trip. last time we konked in this town it was a the grand hotel and they wouldn't let scotty where his hat. what?! this time we're maybe a block a way at pretty neat 'tel called lydmar that's kind of like a big pad, not typical and very casual - really nice cats working there. I spend some time w/eric trying to make some sense cuz of stupid things I said on the ride over. thank you, eric. I decide to forage for an econo wine and the only store's in the mall the desk lady says is ten minutes away but that for me turns into an hour each way but I think it's good for me. I just kept it slow. it's sunny but not that hot, however there's humidity though not as bad as lets say brooklyn was for me last month. at the park in the middle of my hike, I stop to get this big cone of tonnebrod ("thin bread") that's filled w/mashed potatoes, friend onions, mustard and big sausage for fortyfive kronor which is about $6.30 u.s. it's good chow. they got big ravens here that look like ours back in pedro but ain't solid black, they're two-tone w/wings black and body dark gray. trippy. they're real smart like ours though. my chamber is right next to the chow terrace so james and scotty see me and have me over to their table and we spiel about some weird stuff, I mostly listen this time - can you believe that?! there's an ok size tub for soaking my knee and I can dig that and konk comes easy after.
gig day and I pop at eight (see, easy konk!) to make my way downstairs for some great FREE shovel at the trough here... plate-full of fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, long/skinny sausage and salmon plus toast from loaf of righteous euro-style bread and coff. actually a lot of us are really grateful for tourboss henry picking 'tels w/morning chow and internet free when he can get it - we all know he's thinking about us and big respect to him for this among all kinds of stuff. same goes for roadboss eric. I chow w/him and he learns me about the bow thrusters he's gonna install on the tug he's restoring. the open window next to us starts showing downpour but he says it's gotta be someone on the terrace watering plants. it makes sense. james later has me and scotty come over to prac beginnings and ends of the set tunes - this is good routine and I'm glad we do it.
this is our second sonisphere gig, the first was last week in england. we bail at three pm. it's only about a fifteen/twenty minute ride from the 'tel to the gig at the stora skuggan park but man, is it raining. all that good weather from yesterday is way gone. it's ok, we work the room - no bellyaching here from watt... not about this anyway! gig is in open space in the trees, very nice place and though it's all wet, it's not cold and kind of humid. dressing room is tent. brother steve tries on plastic clear sack as a "keep dry" strategy, cracking scotty-san up:
there's some sandwich fixings and huge bottle sriracha hot sauce (from thailand), like a quart - I shit you not. I chow a sandwich. I get outfit on. we start our set at 4:45 pm and since we're so far from the stage (though slayer is coming through loud and clear here in the dressing room tent), I can't go ahead of time - we all ride in a minivan together. it's a drive and on a little road on the gig's outskirts that's is wide enough for just one vehicle so many stops. we eventually get there though and some scary stairs to get up w/my crutches so I go do that while the others go to a back-of-stage small tent. I go over to my side - there's mr slouch, so great and I'm very glad to see him. quick look to front: lots of folks out there, whoa. I saw tommy lee's drum kit behind a curtain - whoa, quite a trippy kit, the size of it (marching drum kick, kick drum size floor tom) and how it was made looking like old bicycle parts - damn, I wish I had my camera to get a picture of it...
I see james come up the stairs and crutch over to mr slouch - yes, the laney amps are here, we're using our stuff. I trade crutches for bass. wet wet stage but the rain's stopped for "raw power" w/james w/only one amp on - what's up? only for a bit though... the rain's stopped for us, yes! and for the gig-goers, even MORE yes! well, ig's charging, then I'm charging - "work your bass, watt" I tell my self. ig throws the vest off, almost gets me in the face but misses. I know his back was to me but I think he knew where to put where it wouldn't hit me. I sure hope he doesn't slip on this wet deck, I'm hoping big time. ig implores us to explode, implores the crowd. "search and destroy" second. slammin' and ig's flying like the deck was a desert floor! trippy. I just don't want him hurt, I never do but I admit I do like seeing him work a gig the way he does, love it! he wants the guitar louder. james has got his other ones on now but it's not enough and ig asks for them turned up - he asks the crowd if they want them up. I know max has got them up! it's ok w/me, it's not a reggae band. "gimme danger" now and sounding good, night and day compared to that stuff we used in moscow - not to get too precious on equipment and I know scotty likes the dw drums over the rat scabies kit he uses of jos' but it's is a little bit night and day, kind of. ha! I like the spirit of the music more and ig makes that come alive. he asks for dancers and they got quite an ordeal to get up w/us but I amazed some in fact do, maybe ten or eleven of them? ig tells the folks to "get up w/the stooges - this ain't a mcdonald's commercial!" we fire up "shake appeal" and rock it good. rain's still holding off. band intros and then "1970" - fuck, ig slips on his back but not bad and he's up in flash. I just so much don't want him hurt. we wail it up in "l.a. blues" w/more of the band making freakout sounds alongside my bass flail now this gig... not so much a bass solo! immobilizered, I'm stovepiped and feel so weird but you know tourboss henry said in a way I'm playing more steady this way so I think there's something to learn from in that. I think when I get less weak and can play w/out the immobilizer, I gotta take that to heart. I mean really. henry's always straight w/me and maybe this experience has got some unforeseen lessons learning me w/it. anyway, "night theme" is up and when scotty brings it to us, the "skull thing" segue for "beyond the law" w/james giving me headbob cue good in advance. from there we're into "fun house" which I believe is maybe the most distinct song out here - I mean not for us but cuz of the bill and all the metal stuff. ig's dancing in the puddles! yeah! righteous. ig comes right up to me for the ending and looks me right in the eye at the end and I feel him say "yeah" on the last note w/a nod. big respect to him. we got a new way james is using to do his guitar at the front of "I got a right" - half the strokes, he's simplified it 'til the song all the way kicks into full throttle. whoomph, feels pretty tight. "I wanna be your dog" right away after... I see ig almost slip (I'm watching him like ninetyfive percent of the time) but he stays up right, whoa. during the guitar solo he goes downstairs to work the pit - there's a center divider and he works that moat as well - the rain starts pounding on us, the sky opening up... whoa... holy cow. open up and rain - "open up and bleed" for us. after the first chorus HUGE crackles come through my amp - I think my cable's gone bad. I move it around and get it better as mr slouch and jos search around for causes/solutions but like I said, I think it's the cable. so glad the crunches go away. scotty never really speeds up that much this time and slips the time around a little at one point but I stay w/him all the way to the end. jos helps me off to the side. we come back for "no fun" and the rain subsides a bunch, a great way to say bye. all the folks braving this weather, big respect to them. wow, big respect.
we're done, I forget how I got up here and wander some 'til I get pointed right but a stage cat, tack (thank you in swedish)... roadboss eric holds my beltloop as I very slowly get down the steep wet steel stairs, whew. thank you, eric. back in the car - I get the seatbelt on. james says we're only going to the dressing room tent but I tell him he doesn't have to wear his belt if he doesn't wanna but I am cuz I've been in wrecks - I lost my best friend in a wreck. cuz of the skinny road, it takes a bit... a big tour bus coming our way is total bogart and also some clowns forgetting about sharing the road. we make it back eventually and I am relieved. whoa, we did it. I think w/out many clams either, it was very together. the rest of the guys go to the chow tent but I ain't hungry and just sit still alone and feel very grateful. I have weird feelings of all the fearful stuff that scares me and get kind of emotional but then calm after a bit, just as the guys come back fed. everyone's in a good spirit. ig did a runner right from the stage so he's not here but I'm glad he went straight back to the 'tel cuz he was big fucking time super wet - and I'd hate for him to get sick. he had told the crowd he had no voice at one point but I thought he was singing great, really good. we hear alice cooper - he's playing lots of songs from his early days that I know to start off. all the guys are in a good spirit and we talk about all kinds of stuff... music trivia which derek is real good at and where I'm a fucking 'tard and mix everything up! some talk w/james about innovation and what can make that work.
we bail and get back to the 'tel at eight pm, whoa! I talk w/brother steve for a time outside w/some local swede guys. the 'tel boss a little later, talking about how lucky this work I have is to let me come visit different lands and stuff. I don't stay up much longer and konk after good tub soak on the knee.
sunday, august 8, 2010 - pori, finland
pop at seven bells and pack up cuz we're bailing right after chow. good shovel downstairs like yesterday, same thing 'pert-near exact except coff machine is broke so they take double expresso, put it in cup and add water. weather's look gray but rain's holding off. we head back whence we came, to arlanda airport to fly to finland. alice cooper comes over to say hi, first time I've ever met him but saw him play when I was a teenager in the 70s. he looks at my knee-hurt and asks, "skateboarding?" and I have to tell him, it was from gig, sorry. kind of humid and I'm sweating some. just stooges and crew on a nextjet saab 340 turboprop, it takes about an hour to get to pori which is about 140 miles northwest of helsinki, on finland's west coast. weather here is like what we just left in stockholm but a little sunnier. it's a short drive to kirjurinluoto park where our last appearance at a sonisphere festival will be this summer. richie, who just did our russia gigs is here to see us play, alright! the dressing rooms are small cans (containers used to transport stuff on ships) and roadboss eric gives me a paper that I can trade for a bottle of jameson irish whisky at their tour bus (yeah, there's a jameson tour bus!) and the cat there gives me a 750ml of twelve year old special reserve and look at this: "iggy and the stooges" is printed on the label! scotty-san digs jameson whisky so I'm getting this for him. we're gonna go on at four pm and before us is slayer so I go and watch there set, they're on the stage next to ours (the festival alternate acts on these two big ones) after changing into my black flannel and levis.
the dressing room area ain't near as far as yesterday but I get taken to the stage early which is what I like cuz of my knee condition. there's that wild drum set of tommy lee's but again I spaced and didn't bring my camera, damn. I notice most the chrome hardware's been spray-painted white and the big kick drums are in front of the ones he plays. trippy. I talk w/the motely crue gutiar helperman who's on my side of the stage (by the way, we're using rental stuff - I got ampeg svts and james has marshalls). fuck, I can't remember his name now (very sorry, shit - I'm an idiot) but he saw me play w/my missingmen last year at the sasquatch festival in eastern washington state cuz he works w/tom morello too. he's a very nice cat. stooges helperman derek comes over and tells me to look at this big dark cloud coming on us... yeah - whoa... ominous is a calm word. the band is probably gonna just start getting in a van back by the dressing rooms, I'm thinking when it starts to rain... a little at first and then it starts coming down by the buckets. I feel bad for the gig-goer people though lots got ponchos but still... it's coming down in bathtubfuls now and the stage people start flipping monitors over so the speakers won't get wet when all of the sudden a hurricane wind comes out of nowhere - fuck, it's insane! shit's getting blown everywhere - even real heavy stuff like giant sidefills. the rain starts going sideways very VERY hard. since there's like giant curtains/tarps on all sides except the front, the whole giant stage becomes a huge windsack and inflating up, adding a venturi effect and scotty's drums get blown over. you can't see a thing, it's a total wall of water everywhere. I hear the stage scaffolding creak w/the strain and shit's falling down from on top. everyone starts running - I don't blame them - it's a fucking nightmare but I can't run in my condition and anyway, the whole stage is flooding w/water, it's like a big wave and I'm afraid of slipping if I try any kind of panic move so I just slowly move to the center. all the motley crue amp/prop/stage stuff is getting wrecked and destroyed big time. what I'm really afraid of us stuff falling on me, like lights or scaffolds or whatever from on top - I think of curtis mayfield... I actually saw him in downtown long beach for free - I think it was the gig before he got hit from falling stage stuff and then paralyzed for life. I see jos run and grab my bass before a sidefill stack almost hits it. for a moment I see out front and fences flying, I see big fir trees almost bent sideways. I can't get off the stage... I get scared big time and stop moving - maybe that's better cuz I don't where to go, I don't wanna panic and go jump... I know it's too much wind to be steady on my own to get on the stairs - I think the only time I've ever been this scared is when I was being robbed at gunpoint in my pedro town like thirty years ago and the young guy w/the guy w/the gun stuck in my ear was scared too cuz I could feel him shaking big time through the gun. it seems time slows to an eternity... the roof tarp blows off and all this rain comes down - I see the monitor board and the 'puter stuff there take a full-on shower/bath. I feel the deck rumbling w/the swaying scaffolding and I start to move a little bit but only geisha-boy steps, tiny ones. then there's a huge HUGE howling - the shaking on the whole stage structure from the galeforce winds is so intense I'm thinkinig for sure the whole shit is about to collapse on top of me... time freezes - I feeze... then I see a young finnish security man in his lime green vest come up and hold me by the shoulder and arm, he leads me slow to a ramp and across it into the back of a semi truck trailer of motley crue where one of their helpermen is and I feel safer w/in this metal and wood box. he says "fuck it, just gear and its insured - we need everyone safe" and I nod "yes yes yes" to him. he asks if I wanna sit on a case but I'm too shook up. I watch the big fir trees still bending over and big cases of equipment are still flying off the stage, crashing down. I don't think the band ever made it over to here, thank god.
after a little bit, the wind and rain subdues, like some turning it off like a faucet, fuck. roadboss eric helps me down the stairs by the beltloop and I ask to just crutch over to the dressing rooms cuz I'm shook up out of my mind. man, am I grateful to that young finnish security man, so grateful. for sure that stage is destroyed, I hear organizer people I pass saying it's condemned and to put tape around it. I'm going back and pass by alice cooper's room and he comes out, I'm babble some crazy way about what happened, sorry. his helperpeople offer to help me but I'm a little freaked out and wanna make sure the band is ok... I tell them what happened, all babbletalk and sit in the light rain we got now, the sun comes right out. I tell ig I was so scared, I didn't mean to but I was not together at all. I was very shook shook shook up.
an hour goes by and it's confirmed that stage is gone but ig wants him and james to do four songs on the other one w/james using the acoustic guitar-sounding pickup he has on the bridge of his gold les paul, him going direct and then just one mic for ig. they do "raw power," "search and destroy," "gimme danger" and "I wanna be your dog" - ig brings steve out for sax for the last one... ig is great and the gig-goers are into it. it was a good spirit move I think, a great one. I went up there and watch. I see like a thirty boxes of hair dryers someone had just brought - probably to dry off stuff cuz I know this stage got it too but not as bad. turns out everyone's gonna play except motley crue. I think the slayer guys lent alice cooper stuff for his set. it's great to see the bands do what they can to make it happen and not leave the gig-goers w/what literally could've been a washout. our gusy did good too - in fact helperman derek got shocked big time turning off the amps... so glad he had only one hand touching (one hand rule for dangerous electric situation cuz you don't want current going across your chest, arm to arm). stooges crew did really great in response to the hell that was dealt, big respect!
we gotta get out of dodge to be on schedule w/our flight - it's the very same nextjet saab 340 turboprop we flew here on, same crew and everything. richie says he wants to come to my town and so some fishing, that'd be great. we get to the little pori airport and see the iron maiden crew plane wrecked not too far from ours, landing gear crunched from beneath it. crimony, that fucking wind was intense - it was a total freak storm, 'pert-near tornado-fisted. our pilot says he's found "no visible damage" on ours and everyone kind of trips on those semantics but we get up and off safe - the weather's actually a hundredeighty degrees from what it was just two hours ago. I totally hope that storm kept wailing east and on over to russia to help w/those fires there. I told richie that. ain't it a trip we were in finland only like seven or so hours? the whole flight I'm listening to "telepathic love" by the wipers big time on the ipod, over and over... I'm still pretty shook up and feeling scared still. it's only an hour to oslo in norway and the weather there is the best yet of any of the tour this summer - like my pedro town big time. it's an hour earlier here and so we're at the continental hotel in downtown oslo before eight. scotty-san and brother steve come to my chamber and we drink the jameson whisky that was given to us at the gig. it's a good time w/them, a very good time. I didn't get to work bass today but I am very VERY grateful to be ok and w/people who care about me. this is what I konked thinking.
wednesday, august 11, 2010 - oslo, norway
monday I pop eight and half cuz I guess my nervous system took huge blow and had to recover some. I found out forty people were hurt at that finland sonisphere gig, two of them very serious. I think it was folks in the crowd cuz of tents and fences flying. oh man, my heart goes out to them. nature is POWERFUL, yes. "shikata nai" I learned - "we can't change it" and that sure rings true. the shovel here is free so I go trough it up: scrambled eggs (no milk in them, yeah!), bacon, pieces of hot dogs, potatoes, herring, pate, good bread made toasted, tomatoes, cucumber, melon and pineapple slices - great. I soak in tub, soak knee - not too big but enough to keep it submerged if I sit upright. trippy liquid sudssoap that has eucalyptus in it. outside it's like my pedro town's weather and hoof some after chimping diary. I just sit in park the longest time and have freakouts mixed w/gratefullness feelings. still-shook-up watt. I see ig in the 'tel hallway, we're on the same floor! he says he saw a girl dressed just like me (I got levis jeans and purple plaid shirt on w/chucks for shoes) from his window but the sneakers were white instead of black like mine. ha! that's a trip, I can believe it. sometimes I feel I dress so old-fashioned but maybe in someways I don't? great to see him. I'm using just one crutch and no immobilizer but being very careful to go real slow and cautious. near the national theatre (imposing statue of ibsen out front) I find an asian chow booth and have wok-cooked thaicurry meat and vegetables that's pretty good, seventy kroners (about thirteen bucks u.s.) - this is not econo land (the north sea oil has brought norway MUCH monies!) but it is clean and calm one. I read some of dante's "divine comedy" online - don't know why but I do... how many times have I read this thing since I was a teeager?! obviously not enough times. I konk when the sun goes down, around ten?
tuesday I pop earlier cuz roadboss eric has asked me to join him on a trip to some boat museums. I know I'm on crutches but fuck it, wanna get out of the chamber some! I shovel what I did yesterday morning. I get called by tourboss henry and he tells me it was decided last night when they went bowling (can you imagine me trying to do that, even w/out a crunched knee?!) that there's a boat ride waiting for us so I'm to wait for that and then me and eric will be dropped off at the boat museums on the bygdoy peninsula after. our sailing party is roadboss eric, tourboss henry,
helpermen derek and mr slouch plus me. hanna, the liasion lady from tomorrow's gig has organized this and is also w/us. we take off from where the new opera house is. skipper morton has this thirty foot three and half ton diesel-powered (lombardi v6) all-wood runabout-style boat called the "m s mandal" that was built in 1964 and can do thirteen knots. great boat and runs like a champ, respect! the sky's kind of like my pedro town in the morning lots of times: gray but not cold though I got my yellow jacket on. it's great to be at sea and cruising by all the little islands, lots w/pads on them. the sun starts to come out and we tie up at a chowpad where seaplanes land though there's none here now. I stay in the boat cuz it's hard for me getting in and out and I had a big chow anyway this morning. skipper morton talks to me about stuff - he's never been to the u.s. which is kind of a trip cuz his english is so good - lots of scandinavian people (especially younger ones) have excellent english, it'd blow your mind how good (better than watt's!) so it tripped me out some when he told me that. I tell him about paddlin' kayak and he's into that - I tell him I do three times a week in my pedro town and dig it big time. man, have I been jonesin' for it. it's so great being on the water, in the sun w/nice breeze... it's just righteous. me and eric get dropped off by the museums - whoa, I gotta belly up on the pier to get up and over but I do it. you can't imagine how much you can take for granted when your knees ain't fucked up, that's a trip, truly. we first go to a museum for the fram where they built around the actual fucking ship! amazing! you can go up all around it, three stories w/worth of stairs and all kinds of displays on the pad's inside walls and you can also go down in it. I go all over but man, it fucking wears me out on the crutches big time. what these cats did on this boat is incredible though - it went as far as any wooden boat could go towards both the north and the south poles. you have to read its story cuz it's a total fucking mind blow! especially the first voyage - ice-bound for 'pert-near two years, the kayaks attacked and destroyed by walruses, stuff like that! man, to walk on this deck and think about it all... crimony! next door is the kon tiki museum and I've known about since I was a kid since the ra voyages were in 1969 and 1970 (I was around twelve then and it was big talk at grade school, along w/the space stuff) and the kon-tiki was where thor heyerdahl was doing this kind of thing more twenty years before. wow, I get to see the real thing after all these years... I gotta say these folks like heyerdahl, nansen and amundsen were pretty balls-out cats, really. god damn. I wish I could stay to see the nautical museum w/eric but I'm just way too worn cuz of being a cojo so I take a ferry back to city center where the hotel continental ain't too far. that was a six hour adventure, great for someone like me in my condition and having to guard my hotel room so much. I'm really grateful to eric and henry, really. I go by that asian pad again and get szechuan scampi wok-cooked chow this time, mmm... oishii. there's some kind of bicycle race/exhibition w/this cat hollering like at an auction or a horse race - I thought it was some crazyman 'til I got closer. I go back to the 'tel (very kind of jos to bring me some portuguese wine from the store, obrigato) and after a soak, helperman derek comes by to be my guest on a edition of the watt from pedro show and man, does he brings some great stuff to play, all kinds of 45s from the sixties, all kinds of soul. really REALLY very HAPPENING sounds, incredible... and his knowledge too - wow! I wanna be in this man's classroom a long time and learning from him! he's gotta be on the show again, just gotta! it was just the most interesting and fun time, big respect to derek. we get done, I get the show up and then konk, a very full day for a not very strong BUT very VERY GRATEFUL watt.
gig day and I pop at nine am - VERY LATE pop for watt but I got tuckered and wore out yesterday which was not a bad thing at all, really. I don't wanna stress my knee too much but fuck, my thigh is starting to atrophy some - you can pull like 'pert-near two inches of loose skin where the starboard good one will let you take less than an inch. I go down the trough and shovel what I did the last two mornings - sorry for not deviating... however, no newspaper so I don't make sandwich for later cuz no place to hide it (no jacket on w/pockets either). it's ok, there'll be chow at the gig, I'm guessing. been raining out - that pedro weather's gone but who knows, maybe it'll stop for gig time I'm hoping. I chimp tour diary. I go prac beginnings and endings w/the other guys - we can do it in twenty minutes now. I help eiko-san w/english-go (I know, eigo but fuck it) and have some difficulty. I have taught a few people how to drive manual gear shift (you know, no automatic clutch) and that all came about cuz of patience... yeah, sometimes I can actually manifest some of that in a way (you can get off the deck w/you're done rolling around w/laughter) and of course it amazes me just as much as it probably amazes anyone else BUT I did do it and that's a thing where you just can be a go-off cuz it makes the learner even more nervous and prone to errors. same w/the fucking gaijin talk learning and I gotta get that more straight w/myself. I was told by someone the gig was far but actually it's like fifteen minutes away, is called the oya festival and has quite an impressive lineup - ig comes into the tent and discusses it as we check out the event poster's list of participating acts. we're going on just before seven-thirty so there's plenty of time to shovel and I do - for me it's better before than after. I ask him if he had some folks in his family from norway cuz I remember hearing that but don't trust my lameass memory... he says he does though - I surprise myself! hanna brings me some chow, so nice of her. it's norway style pork rib back (not huge one), grilled vegetables and a salad w/feta - tastin' good... takk (thanks in norwegian)! after a bit, the rain stops, takk! we hear the band playing... people are guessing it's air, a band from france...
ten minute before our downbeat, roadboss eric puts me in a car for the stage. I get up the stairs and it's trippy looking out towards the folks cuz kind of port of center is a big inlet from the sea so the crowd is divided up into two areas - to the far port side is tents and chairs even where starboard most are standing. hmm... it's a big stage - I look up and see how it's put together, how the metal suports and stuff seem o be connected. I've so much of the time taken all that for granted, huh? tourboss henry's sent us all kinds of links about that finland storm and other recent stage collapses... whoa, it's heavy on me but here we go... we got our stuff cuz mr slouch has driven here in jos' ride. that means those good sound laneys, yeah! when I hear ig holler "go!" from behind the curtain (I'm over in the wings on the side my amps are) and start to crutch on over, make the trade and sling the bass, joining the band on "raw power" when it's time for me to. ig's vest comes off pretty quick - he said he might be calmer this gig earlier but he ain't and it's great! I mean I wouldn't be pushy on him to go wild ever but I do love it happening, love it! sound is real good. cuz of last talk after last gig where whole band played (stockholm), two of the three guitar amps are more angled in. "search and destroy" right up after and is very much kicking it up, like how after what we just did but it's a momentum rider for sure. one leg bendable/onel leg stovepipe is still trippy on me for sure and it's been four days so kind of freaky - man, I just wanna do good for this band, do good for these gig-goers, truly. it ain't about me except in regards for me being responsible for those goals I just chimped here. so what happens in "gimme danger" - right in the second chorus? I clam! fucking baka idiota watt! it was a brief one and in key and time but still a clam! aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!! ok, "get it more together" I tell myself and rally for "shake appeal" as ig calls out for dancers... not many get to come up but we got some, I roll up my sleeves, determined not to clam! the ten or so dancers we got are pretty good and everyone's having a fun time on stage, we have a good ride, great tune. then comes band intros... steve mackay on the "cocksucking motherfucking saxophone" - yeah! "1970" out the barrel and into the stratosphere - I fee alright! following is a longer "l.a. blues" then we've been doing, a good and wild one though of course I'm frustrated w/the immobilizer but have to admit I'm grateful too cuz it makes me feel safe about the hurt knee... in tune for "night theme" (ok, watt) and then pumping it up w/the "skull thing" into "beyond the law" and laying it out there for the folks. I try something a little different for "fun house" by playing over the back (bridge) pickup even though only the front (neck) one is on. you wouldn't believe how different the bass guitar sound is changed from where you're doing the plucking - probably the same w/the upright too but only a tiny bit of experience w/that (for example: li'l pit w/thalia and perk) so anyway, I'm playing the tune here and going for the regular place I play (over the neck pickup which actually kind of in the middle, like where a p-bass has it cuz I moved it from where gibson put their neck pickup - I like where a p-bass has it's pickup the best!) in some of the louder-wilder places. righteous dancing from ig, it is not calmer set for him, no! I love it, love it. trippy start for "I got a right" but when we're all in, we're all the way in and wailing on it. I asked scotty before the gig to put a roll in after the last verse (the quiet one) but you know, he didn't have a chance to prac it - baka watt! we get around the stumboli in a microsecond though and charge hard to finish it strong. me and my baka ideas! ig works the pit for our instrumental portion of "I wanna be your dog" and there's cameras to big screes on stage so that's very happening that the folks can see him doing that. the weather's staying nice too. we go out w/the set closer "open up and bleed" though I'm a little loud in the verses I think cuz ig gives me the signal to take it down some, bringing me up for the little bridge - I feel the dynamic. he asked me to keep from going up the neck in the big chorus too 'til later so I hope I did that right, hope I did. in the ending windup, he stays up there w/me and scotty which is great cuz I get inspired even though I do wish it could've gotten faster but that's up to scotty and I will defer to him, of course. it's intense, maybe some tiny fumbles from me, a little bit? I think I did even did some in the encore after hobbling (w/jos' help) off and then coming back on the crutches w/maybe a couple of over-frets in "death trip" and for sure I think I mixed some chords up in the end of the second verse of "no fun" - at least I think I did and wanna call it out here just in case anyone listening had any doubts! hell, I announce them to the band when we go backstage! my thinking is if I talk this stuff, "confess" to it or whatever, it'll maybe help me play better next gig - I'm hoping! actually I feel the gig was real good one, despite these little clams - it was good one. instead of the car, I crutch back cuz I feel like that's what I wanna do. great audience to play for, the norwegian cats - much respect to them. before we did that encore, ig told the people his grandma came from this land. respect.
after crutching back to the tent, I relate my clams and then change out of sweaty outfit (sweaty but not big time soaked) to non-stooges-gig outfit while everyone goes chow. I then go over to the chow place cuz roadboss eric told me my buddy happy-thom is there waiting for me, alright! he's the bassman for turbonegro among other things. he's a great cat. on the way getting to him though, I run into mark and stephen from pavement (they're playing here tomorrow, it's a four day festival) and damian of fucked up - wow, they wanna know about my knee so I tell them. all three sure are nice people, really are. happy-thom comes over and we have a big spiel. then happy-thom goes and gets his band buddy euroboy to meet his guitar hero james williamson when me, him and damian go back to the dressingtent (is that what they call those?). euroboy gave a two hour lecture earlier today on the stooges I'm told, respect! I am super-huge fan of his music, great GREAT stuff! it's a good time, a real good time spieling w/happy-thom about 'pert-near absolutely everything that can get spieled about in the time we have 'til bailout at around eleven and a half. I can't wait to see him again. we give him and damian a ride cuz the 'tel is in the city center, hanna so kind to help the crutchman w/the yellow clothes sack. I konk w/a head stuffed w/ideas from the happy-thom man... whoa, did he shovel in a load-full.
friday, august 13, 2010 - goteborg, sweden
thursday pop and soak - should've soaked last night before konk but was baka. I do yet one more rerun on the morning trough shovel. making plate w/one hand use crutch is difficult and so grazing kept to minimal. go back up and chimp diary 'til bailout time. we're heading for sweden so mr slouch has taken all the sacks in the jos vehicle. this part of sweden is close enough he might beat our flight there to goteborg. on the ride over to oslo gardermoen airport, gps naviagiton devices are discussed... which one: tomtom or garmin? I have a garmin but I am no spokesperson for them. the last tomtom I used was four years ago so of course they're better. I am not qualified to testify except as stupid pecker. soundman max had to say bye to his lady vic who's a classical harpist - she came to oslo for the gig and it was great having her there last night but I spaced like a baka about chimping her into the diary and so am doing that now. she's good people but I have terrible memory lots. every spiel I chimp in my tour diary should be taken w/grains of salt. anyway, through the woods and to the 'port, it's very easy checkin cuz of no sacks. of course security takes longer cuz of cojo (me) but I'm glad that affects no one else on our team. the security man w/the detector wand went to the gig yesterday and said it was great lesson for him. he said people go through crises all through their lives, it can be at many points in a life but to see the stooges last night made him think there's always hope. that was a very kind thing for him to relate to me and he was very genuine in his telling, very sincere. it's a lesson to me. we taking an airline called wideroe and are flying in a bombardier dash 8 turboprop, me and brother steve sitting in the next to the last row - I'm in aisle seat but wrong side for my knee! however I can shove the stovepipe leg at a good enough angle and also it's only fortyfive minute flight. the flight attendant asks about beverage and I say "coke" not know it's twentyfive kroners (like four u.s. dollars!) but steve gets it when I was gonna say "no thanks then" cuz I'm out of kroners. it hit me about the economy here - maybe it's expensive to outsiders is cuz of all the north sea oil norway has, maybe for them prices don't seem as high cuz they're getting paid more. I am poor at economic understanding in many ways! raymond's helped me so much w/that but I am still so lacking. I got a encyclopedia britainica on my 'puter's hard drive so when steve wants to discus machiavelli http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavelli, I show what they got there for him... the trippy thing is the wikipedia entry brings up something you don't find in the britainica - the conjecture that maybe machiavelli was using satire, in "the prince" especially. another lesson and not trusting one source! same goes for wikipedia too, correct? correct... well, I ain't sure - check another source on that besides baka watt! we land at landvetter airport in goteborg, on the west side of sweden. the bus that takes us from the plane is one of those "bendy" ones w/two sections, it's big and long. anyway, I've never rode in "bendy" part, where the "accordion" things are and so I go there... the bus at one point makes a lurch though and I'm thrown towards one of the "accordion" sides - like a baka I didn't put the tsue (crutches) in front and behind me so I have no stability against the lurch and I don't why but I fucking just let go of the tsue and fall back - thank god helperman derek was there and I use him like a body sack to crumple into. I don't hit the deck cuz of that but I'm so embarrassed... also so grateful I didn't hurt the hurt knee... how fucking stupid of me! why did I let go of the tsue? I have no idea. I apologize big time to derek, oh man. we get driven into town - gray but rain holding off - our 'tel is called the elite plaza gothenburg and man, what real high ceilings in the chambers! kind of like old new orleans style. I know, lame name but actually not so fancy in the chambers and ok. by the way, goteborg is the home of volvo - my buddy dirk's owned how many of those cars? they're good ones. roadboss eric likes them too. I think brother steve was saved in one when he rolled over three times on the ice... safe rides.
there was a lot of hoofing for me for so I rest the knee up straight w/the immobilizer off. I think about the dream I was in last night, it was trippy one. you know the feeling you're looking somehow down on your dream? like you're in it but also watching you in it at the same time, trading perspectives constantly like more than one role in a play. anyway, this is kind of scary cuz you know, it's dreamworld and anything can happen right? I mean this can me fantastic trippy shit can happen but it also mean some of the worst shit you could think of could also get acted on, right? so here's the observer part kind of stressing on what this "dream alter-ego character" manifestation of you might actualize... will it be some shit in wake-up life you'd be so fucking let down about, some shameful fucked-up shit or what? well, stuff went on in this dream, crazy things I couldn't make sense about and intense in the mood of it but blurry in the actuality of understanding why or broadstroked and detail-less but acute in the emotions and fuck if I didn't try to angle things into something I'd get away (the "I" here being the "me" in the dream and not the "looker from on down") w/here cuz I couldn't in wake up time and it made feel good when I popped and thought about it, that I was ok w/how I conducted myself! I mean to get all proud or too full of it but more like, "whew, that's a relief" - kind of, not all big time and drama but a tiny kind of contentment - fuck, that might sound totally baka - I wish I had better vocabulary or way of expressing things, aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh! anyway, it was interesting feeling whatever and I meditate on it much to try and figure out what it meant... never did realize an answer to that but that's ok, it was good thinking about and maybe mystery's ok w/yourself about yourself and letting that be the teacher, w/out ever supplying any definitive but leaning a little on the side of some confidence resting on doubt... I mean in a trippy way that provokes a critical look w/out either the beatdown or the badgebuff but I did have an ok feeling about how I wrote that dream's script (in some way I did write it, right?). I brought some beers in the yellow clothes sack so I drink those and konk.
I pop at seven and go soak - tub too tiny (ain't bellyachin' though, I swear!) so I gotta crawl my backup the bulkhead some to get the leg straight. I go down and shovel some softboiled eggs cuz the scrambled ones are soupy w/milk (ain't bellyachin' though, I swear!) plus some herring (it's friday - oh man, friday the thirteenth!), toast, tomatoes, cucumbers and lots of different colored bell pepper. me and brother steve go down early w/the crew so guitarist/drummer/bassman beginnings/endings prac and then off to the slottsskogen park where this way out west festival is being held. in the next dressingroom can is paul weller - wow, I saw the jam in the late 70s... loved that album where they're standing in front of what look like tile in a head, probably their first album. you know who really dug it too? d. boon, yep. we thought it was kind of like old who and old who was our favorite who. but these guys sang w/their own accents which blew our minds, we never realized that about england rock and roll, that the didn't sing how they talked but these guys did - johnny rotten, joe strummer, mark e smith, et cetera - in a weird way it gave us confidence to do what we did, write about our pedro town cuz that's what we were and maybe not be scared to hide it. anyway, I get my nerve up to tell him about seeing his band play way back then and he's very kind to me, very kind. I watch him play - I hadn't seen him since those old days and it was doing all kinds of stuff. it was trippy.
hmm... friday the thirteenth today. got a great email from brother samm bennett regarding a picture he took of one of my big heroes, rilakkuma - that was so nice of him. it makes me think of luck being both good and bad so I push it through my flow list. thank you so much, samm, truly. rilakkuma shares apartment w/an office lady and is a kigurumi - this is very mysterious and for me is a metaphor for many things. on the surface it was just stupid kid-marketing stuff like fucking 'tard shit such as "hello kitty" or whatever but for me a resonance in the riddles embedded in the rilakkuma-korilakkuma-kiiroitori is big time profound. I ain't trying to tell anyone what to think about this - one day I'll elaborate on these thoughts though I have to say they're still a work in progress. I will admit this is toy shit from a mersh company but like I said, it's ME making the connection w/my own thoughts and this more of a medium to ruminate on, not fetish-out or get dominated/dumbed-down by. this is probably not the clearest language but I'm so fucking clumsy w/words, I apologize. I need to get better working it even w/all this prac you'd assume I'd getting chimping this baka shit out, I feel I'm still very poor at communicating.
I don't get chow today at the chow tent. I hear other bands playing, first time I've heard them all but there's no list on the bulkhead saying who's playing when so I'm clueless except one roadboss eric knows, wu-tang clan from staten island. I was huge fan of first records by schoolly d, eric b + rakim and nwa when those thing were being released and still listen to them all the time. I admit I get out of touch, nobody to blame but watt, aaahhh! I couldn't tell you what new bob dylan sounds like but I git his first stuff memorized... ain't that terrible?
the sky's gray and threatening rain when finally it's our turn to play at ten after seven but the it stays dry. I go up on stage ten minutes early. mr slouch is there and we're using our stuff, great - great to see him too, always! we're talking about robert newton (aaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhh) when I see the stooges come up the stairs stage starboard... time to crutch on out! I get the bass but when it's time for me to come in, no sound! I just keep playing, there's a little bit - must be the direct... mr slouch hits the ibanez tuner and sure enough, right on the down beat of the second chorus I'm in! alright... only pilot error. I can't put any belig on mr slouch though cuz I love him. the laney amps so fucking good, SO good. the crowd is whupped up by ig who himself is whupped up and wailing on it - respect! I'm stovepiping it. into "search and destroy" - so weird on the leg w/the good knee (actually it's the weaker knee but it's not the one blown out now!), I'm glad I got the brace on it - have it on right... I remember a gig not too long ago where I had fucking upside down, baka! great sound on stage, really good. "gimme danger" next out the shoot after ig tells everyone thank you. the band is slamming. ig does a dropdown right before the solo inches in front of me, just drops to the deck, great - he works a gig righteous! he calls up dancers for "shake appeal" and we got a bunch of lively young people, one cat asks me what's wrong w/my leg and I tell him it's my knee - bam! we're into the tune and ig's singing right in front of the drum riser so all the dancers (they always dig dancing around ig) all bouncing up the stage big time, you can feel it shake but it's a real good time, everyone having fun. very happening take and the bass is good and slamming, the whole band (like I as saying). band intros and doing something w/an intense entry or in so many words as ig puts it, we rock "1970" into a froth to cook up a wild "l.a. blues" w/a trippy ending - all of us watching scotty, a pause w/much drama (actually later he'll tell us he was waiting for "skull thing") before hatting us into "night theme" folding into "skull thing" (here it is!) and then the "beyond the law" morph. rain is still holding off... there's more than a divider "corridor" splitting the crowd, actually it's a huge pit w/no one in it, a no man's land that ig fills w/dancing for "no fun" which he calls almost on the next downbeat. he climbs back out to join us for the coda, then blasts "I got a right" and "I wanna be your dog" 'pert-near back to back... again back in that no man's land so we take the guitar solo twice as long 'til he again rejoins us. we close w/a real manic end-part "open up and bleed" where ig runs off as we're winding it up and then is right there in front of the kick drum and punching at the air - I feel the wind from his fist so I close my eye but I'm ready to take the blows if they're gonna come cuz I'm way caught up in the spin cycle we got churning. then he goes up stage front and starts swinging the mic from the cable, feeding out more and more line 'til I feel the wind wooshing by as it passes - whoa! I don't get hit though, same w/the smashing of the mic stand... pretty intense being on stage w/ig if you're close but man, do I fucking dig it. I guess at some point I don't really care if I take blows but sometimes I get a little scared - lots of times I don't though. ain't that a trip? we come back for an encore, ig asks over the mic "what's your name?" to the thousands and thousands of gig-goers, hilarious. "do you wanna take a trip w/me?" he then asks and we're in to "death trip" real intense. the closer's "no fun" and he has one more round in the pit. good there's cameras for the big side stage screens so folks can see this. that's the gig, a real good one, yeah.
I crutch off and again see my friend j.r. (seen him earlier before we went on) and we go to where he's got a hotdog w/mustard and some bourbon. I go last down the stairs last ever since this knee hurt cuz I just gotta take it slow and damn, there's some angle to these stairs but at least it ain't raining. I give him my john coltrane at central park pin, he gives me his new cd from his alabamica band, alright and much respect. I last saw him at a camden, england club called koko when dinosaur first got back together w/all the original cast members - that was a little bit ago. I bring him back to meet steve and scotty but we ain't got much time cuz we got a flight waiting, damn. real good seeing him again though, real good.
we roll back to landvetter airport and board a bombardier challenger 604 (original design from jim leer!) private jet for cologne/bonn airport in germany. me and scotty in the most rear seats this time. he gives me his veggies and chicken to go w/my salmon, arigato. derek next to me has james brown grooves going through his head and lets me know they are kicking on him, alright! by the way, catfish collins (bootsy's brohter) passed away last week from cancer - he played incredible guitar for james brown. me and him talk about what an art rhythm guitar is, what a fucking awesome thing someone working that good is. much respect to catfish. we're driven to the grandhotel schloss bensberg in bergisch gladbach, about twenty klicks east of downtown cologne, getting there about one am (the flight was seventy minutes). fuck, I'm tuckered and konk just like that.
saturday, august 14, 2010 - landgraaf, netherlands
pop at eight bells and soak knee. nice huge tub so no prob w/max leg-stretch. good long soak. the head is done in some fancy marble, damn. good work. high ceilings like yesterday's pad too. downstairs is some good free shovel from the trough. scrambled eggs are milk-less, yes. I choose salmon, short fat white sausage, black peppered salmon thin sliced + horseradish, olives, pickled bell pepper/pearl onions, tomato slices, cucumber slices, water/musk melon slices, toast, drinkable yogurt, orange juice and koff - I rap a bunch first shovel cuz lots of times it's my main chow of the day, especially on tour. also w/out good wheels to roll on (fucked up knee), I can't forge much and hell if I'm going dole out dinero at fucking burn ward 'tel rates. back in the room from my window I see old busted-up church parts (including a tower) merged w/modern-built stuff - some built as abstracted versions of the old, trippy.
I prepare artwork for fourth dos album "dos y dos" - dos is my longest-running band: twenty five years now me and k have worked our two bass only thing. in a starring role for the cover is her little bichon frise "hombrito" - actually the bottom of one of his front paws. man, he is one of the most righteous dogs I know, truly - I just love him. anyway, k loves him more! now for this album, we brought yuka honda aboard to mix, she did great job - here's her w/us on my fiftysecond birthday:
the songs we decided on for this album are "number nine," "om om om," "make her me," "messed-up machine," "new year's waltz," "uncle mike," "ties to bind," "number eight," "purple sweater," "no me queda mas," "frantic," "only you will know," "song for poe," "it turned cold," "the winds of may" and "sakura" - if you're into watt-associated music stuff, you'll recognize some of these titles from past work w/other bands and as new stuff comes from shit I got in the pipeline, you'll recognize that too... I've always been a little interested in having different situations I work bass in (bands or projs) lending interpretations to some of my same compositions. I'm thinking that writing a tune on bass leaves so much space that maybe lots who try "flying from it's springboard" (my words - I sometimes think of direction I offer on tunes I write on bass more as "launch pads" to provoke a further dream rather than razor-wire cabling to enforce puppet role/sentence). w/k, it's trippy cuz we're equal already, we're both bass... and we love bass. it was righteous to have miss yuka come and help us w/it. I will sometimes k will bristle some - I mean this goes back to fIREHOSE days when I would give edward and georgie songs for dos just to see what they would do w/it but in the end she's always been there for me w/everthing she has. k is truly TRULY righteous people. she's already working on tunes for our fifth album - fucking right on!
speaking of miss yuka, I had something to do w/putting together a proj called floored by four that did an album last summer along w/dougie bowne and nels cline - now her and brother nels are getting married november thirteen so I'm gonna stay a week after my last japan tour missingmen "hyphenated-man" gig so I can be there for the wedding. in the meantime, I can maybe finish me and jim o'rourke's duet album - like I said, I got many trips in the pipeline w/many righteous cats. could anyone be more grateful? that's why you'll hear me bellyachin' about bellyachin' - "we need some perspective, people!" a great man once said... or was it a woman? baka watt. anyway, just wait 'til you hear the three albums I did w/mister shimmy and ms yuko (two of those w/brother nels) and my big rumination on autumn "my shubun no hi" w/the black gang (all these just gotta get mixed)... I hope it don't sound like badgebuffin' cuz actually all this is cuz not cuz of me but the cats w/the HUGEST hearts to let me and try working bass w/them. like the one-day-comes funanori album or the right-around-the-corner cuz and il sogno del marinaio one. I have one in the dream stage now, it's the next secondmen one. no opera, it's rather concept (like the autumn one) and d. boon I think would dig it cuz the concept is work. both my secondmen are pedro longshoremen so there's no pretending there.
stooges songs beginning/endings prac in the afternoon, me on that epiphone backup bass. I'm glad we do prac like this. kind of the only time I see these guys besides gig and traveling time too. it's a time we can catch up on what went down the last gig, a good thing I think! it's always good to work the fingers too. we bail for the gig at fifteen before seven. actually, we're konking here in germany but the gig's in the netherlands - in a themepark trip called megaland in landgraaf so our drive's about seventy minutes. I use the ipod pumping my head w/ccr to make the ride short. blessed today w/the weather, like my pedro town w/sun but no hot/no cold. this festival is called the pinkpop classic and is not the real pinkpop festival which is a dutch institution but a kind of riff on it w/no young bands. it's kind of weird but I'd play anywhere w/the stooges. no chow so I don't shovel any. chris ballew from the presidents of the usa band runs into me and we get on a big spiel about what's lighting the skyrocket these days. he's writing music for kids and I try to explain about my third opera. he wants to talk w/ig about a chinese way of breathing I guess they both do. I get him to write down the titles of walt whitman's first edition of "leaves of grass" (my favorite) and "light of august" by william faulkner. I sure hope he reads them. fuck, I wish everyone would... especially if they're curious about some u.s. stuff.
we're to go on at nine and a half pm but the show's running ten minutes so adjust in your mind accordingly (we're going on at 9:40!). hey, our buddy james is doing lights - forgot about that. I also forgot my fucking passport so I got weird superstitious emotions playing w/out it not on me on a foreign stage... anyway, I'm thinking I got time when I see the band come running out cuz last night in the private jet, ig said to wait to start of the second verse to come in but when "raw power" gets underway and I ain't in when I have been before, ig implores me to "come on!" (not in words, but in not so subtle gestures) so I guess that idea's out! I wish I'd gone over w/him (I went over w/the other guys about it earlier) before downbeat but maybe the usa prez speil was making me occupied. fuck... baka watt. I hear ig three times holler for the solo to get done at the end, three times serious. now my opinion is to react in the moment and not go by script even though sometimes ig has coached us the other way, the reality of the moment has me reacting in the moment - script life law doesn't seem to apply. anyway, the gig charges onward w/us blowing out "search and destroy" w/much shock and ahhs, I mean I get blown away every time I witness ig deliver this baby, christ almighty. he reads it like a passion play and lives it on stage for the folks but I think he just has to cuz it's for him and his nature too. it's all just too much "for keeps" to deny that or fold the arms up tight on. actually though I see a pit dancing away (not a pit formed by barriers but a pit started by dancing dudes), the audience seems older or "classic" when we go into "gimme danger" after ig tells the folks "we're the fucking stooges" which I can only say I'm so glad to help these guys be that for them. I am a minuteman and that's ok cuz I work my heart out for the stooges cuz I love them all the way. everything else doesn't mean that much to me. "shake appeal" next and ig calls for dancers - some of the oldest dancers all tour are there w/us on stage but it's a good time. the laney bass amps sound great and the dancers come up right in front of it get lit real good, real good. big respect to mr slouch. ig: "thank you relaxed and decadent dutch dancers!" yeah! last band intros for europe this year. ig's been working the edge of the stage big time and in "1970" I almost see him go over but he keeps his keel in the water... fuck, my heart 'pert-near jumped out of my mouth, I shit you not. there's already been a couple times where he's jumped on my toes tonight (stovepipe leg can't swerve to avoid) and once a plastic glass w/some slipper fruit juice made a patch slippery and almost getting him once but this shit on the starboard side, right on the edge - RIGHT ON THE BRINK was very scary. crimony. I'm so glad ig didn't go over, so glad. he's been having trouble w/microphones going out and cable getting stuck around monitors and such. even still, the last gig in a run is this last gig and I think if we've made it this far, it's a very good thing almost no matter what, you know? we beat out a wild "l.a. blues" and I get some feedback going w/the fake amp boning which is pretty ok but still fucking awkward in the big picture. scotty-san agin gives some space to the place where he's to bring us in but I don't think it's from spacing on the wrong tune tonight... I love looking back behind me at him, wish somehow I could wail right along side. we make the "night theme" to "skull ring" to "beyond the law" pretty smooth though I think there was some bass stammer in the "skull thing" before just coming in (tuner pedal clumsy after chek) but hopefully it wasn't bumming the tune out all lame. a lowend feed back comes up on the stage in the "...law" second verse and ig looks back - I get real small w/the bass and it's looking like it's kick drum sourced by soundman max is right on it quick and it's stomped on. this stage is pretty resonant and I think there ain't enough decoupling between it and the bass bins. immediately after we're done, ig calls for "fun house" and I'm relieved big time the bass guitar by itself (that's how it starts) has got no whoo-whoo-whoo going on w/it, so glad. ig does some dancing for the "vip section" behind my amps to the side but does more for the people out front, like it should be. we end and for a second there's a pause on stage, then right in front of me, he turns to my face and holler's "l.a. blues" loud! so immediately I wail into it and the band follows 'til he shusses not too long after us w/a hand move and then brings in "I got a right" w/the stuff he learned in school intro after he smashed the shit out of the mic stand w/three big blows - w/the mic swinging from the cable tangled up in it! it misses me though. I think that was a great improvised moment, a real good one cuz it had great drama. we kick into the last "I wanna be your dog" in europe this summer and he goes downstairs to work the front of the barrier. no sidestage screens or cameras to feed them so only those w/the ig in the face knows what he's doing. trippy. I know the crowd's worn out from a day of geriatric and some of the them actually older than usual but actually there's a pit going out there w/dudes dance a ring-storm up. "open up and bleed" w/me standing straight as I can after a set of angled stovepipe leg, it's kind of a relief and I think it fits the song's mood, it's got the greatest words. we go out in a frenzied way, come back for the "death trip" where the laneys are really pumping good (like they have all night but they got a little rest here) and then encore part two "no fun" w/ig downtown again, one more time! we're done, whoa! jos brings me the crutches and I put one up in the air for a salute as I hobble off.
ig does a runner for a waiting car and I'm just too slow on the crutches, coming around the other side so I miss him. I won't see him again 'til atlantic city in the u.s., aaarrrggghhh... I wanted to ask him about the "raw power" beginning and if I blew it! I understand though, he's been fighting a chest infection all week and really coming to the table when it's time to work the gig, amazing. so much respect for him. pretty quick like we get packed up for the ride back, there's early flights tomorrow. I wanna say bye to jos first though cuz he won't be w/us in the upcoming u.s. gigs, his lady francois takes our picture:
mr souch will be w/us for the last four gigs but I wanna say thank him also, same w/max. I get to see derek tomorrow cuz we're on the same plane to newark but really all these crew men along w/eric are henry have all the respect I can give them, great for me to be working w/them, truly. we get back and james voluteers to bring both my yellow clothes sack and my yellow bass case w/the dan bass in it to my chamber, that was very kind of him, very kind.
nine am is when I bail for the dusseldorf so that's plenty of time for one more free shovel - I ask for fried eggs cooked cuz I saw the crew guys do it yesterday and chow that along w/pate and the salad stuff I had yesterday - oh yeah, two of them fat short white sausages painted yellow w/mustard and of course the yogurt. I go shave a drink down my last packet of psyllium husks and wear the purple shirt I washed yesterday in the sink w/the 'tel shampoo in the in the tiny and the black levis I wore last night cuz thoug they got sweaty some down to the bottom of the pockets and of course around the knee immobilizer, they still ain't half as stenched as both these pair of regular levis I've been bearing w/my whole time here (never could find a wash pad laundromat). the driverman's a nice cat who drove us yesterday and gets us to dusseldorf international airport while I talk to him about pads I played in koln in the old days like stollwerk and the luxor. this is the airport w/the giant giraffe and her baby statues. being here early means no rush and I can dig that. I have a two stage return, first a lufthansa airbus a330 for newark liberty international airport airport that takes seven and half hours - that's where I chimp this here entry. immigration and customs is very quick in newark...thank you so much, officers. it's four hours 'til the flight him from here to l.a. but that's ok cuz I'm moving real slow w/the knee the way it is and me crutchin' it, some long ways but I don't mind except derek's w/me and wants to help instead of me getting a cart and doing what I gotta do later at lax but he helps and is slowed down me 'til the bass is xfered and then he's gone, I feel relief for him. I go to my gate after getting a "green dragon" maki (the green is avacado!) and chow it where the plugs are around those samsung power littl kisosks or whatever they're called. an australian man has me guard his stuff while he roams a couple of times. I call my ma on the leash - I can do that here cuz yeah, it's the u.s. for me now - I tell her I'm safe. the lax flight is a continental one on a boeing 757 that's all the way full, I'm in row fortyone, the last one. that's ain't a bad one to be in I think and there's much overhead space for my crutches and stuff even w/the plane packed w/passengers. we spend an hour on the runway cuz it starts to rain or maybe it wasn't cuz of the rain but we sat and waited anyway. fiver hours after that to so cal and los angeles international airport (lax). I think the next time I use this place is october when I bring the third opera to japan.
friday, august 27, 2010 - atlantic city, nj
now sunday is when I left pedro again - only eight days back but I have some non-stooge stuff to do before their last four gigs of 2010... I'd been invited to be part of an album recording proj that was going down in austin, tx composed of thollem mcdonas, john dieterich and tim barnes. it's being record by nicholas taplin for his post-consumer label. we are in fact, recording in his pad and he's got a good situation for us. my buddy dirk takes me to long beach airport early sunday and then me in an airbus 320 on jetblue for austin - nicholas is there to pick me up and man, it's hot and sweaty here, crimony! good thing I brought my jinbei. I'm the second to arrive (tim's already here) but as the day comes on, everyone comes on board. my knee's still hurt though like in the plane, I could remove the immobilizer and bend it but being very VERY careful cuz fuck, I can't hurt it again. I'm on crutches for any real moving around. this first night nicholas gets us chinese chow and I got the trippiest fortune in my fortune cookie:
I chow some pork mein, it's good. the bottle of bourbon nicholas got me fell off the fridge so we have some beers. I ain't really into the ales and heavy stuff - I like a lager like lone star or pabst or even stella I tell him. damn, I hate sounding picky but that ale stuff is heavy on my gut some. damn, we should've spent more time wiring the rest of the stuff up (nicholas' good buddy travis got me a 70s p-bass to record w/that's got a badass bridge - that's a company name, not my opinion!) but we're having too much fun getting to know each other w/lots of good spiel. fuck, there's some bugs outside though and sounds sometimes that reminds me of the semi (cicadas) I heard in tokyo last summer but only briefly. we all konk in the living room, tim says he heard some scary snoring out of me. whoops.
the next three days was like I said: me in the jinbei and never leaving the pad except for the back porch to get bit up by the fucking bugs. we put together some tunes, do improvised "free" (we all start laughing at that word after a while) blocks of many event driven collaborations and give nicholas over three hours of stuff to cull an album from. one night we have pizza, then china again and our final night it's some great q (as in barbeque) brought over from travis who's some very interesting travels in his life: from louisiana to texas to belgium to back here in texas - he is very cools people as are all the cats gathered here. the plan was to do five gigs after recording but then this chapter of stooge touring was writ and I had to sadly scissor myself. I do though on the morning I flew out get to record for my radio show an interview w/john, thollem and tim each telling about their journey through music though damn, later I realized there was so much more I wanted to ask each and one of them - that always happens, aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh!! they spoke very well though even w/the 'tard questions I didn't bumble out and was very honored to have them aboard - hell, for them to have me aboard this fucking proj! I wonder what they're gonna call it? can't wait to find that out and hear what they cultivate, can't wait. I give them each a datadisk w/mp4s of all seventeen episodes of "the prisoner" - I told them later there'll be a test. man, what a good time I had here and they were all so kind to me, so kind.
nicholas took me to the austin airport thursday before noon and I took another airbus 320 on jetblue to jfk in new york. trippy how both my yellow bass case and yellow clothes sack were all by themselves on the carousel NEXT to the one everyone else on our flight was on - what! hey, they main point is I got them and they weren't lost so no bellyaching from me - tripped me out though. the weather here very pleasant - I did not bring my yellow coat (am coatless) and it's nothing like what I just left in texas. stooges roadboss eric picks me up at seven pm in a rented econoline van (shortboy and man, was it packed - barely got my yellow stuff in there) and we drive the 145 miles to atlantic city in jersey but just before leaving nyc, in fact the last exit on staten island, we stop at a boat yard in tottenville and FINALLY I get to see his proj he's been doing for more than a couple years now - restoring an 1887 tug named new york central tugboat no. 13 (formerly "oakland"). crimony, the manhours this man has put into this - HIMSELF! redoing all the rivets, redoing 'pert-near everything and he's still got some way to go but he sure has made headway. she's ninetytwo feet long and he's incorporating ideas not from those old days to make her, I believe, something else when she gets back into the water and starts chugging. man, am I so proud of eric - it's a mindblow... I think right away how my pop would've love to be here w/me, tripping on all this stuff eric's done and is doing. I am in awe... HUGE respect to him. one day I hope to be on deck w/him sailing me around all these parts around here.
this is my first time to atlantic city. whoa, the monopoly game got it's street names from here - didn't know that! I knew it was a gambling town these days. I guess it was a resort one in the old days, like asbury park (more north) where I've played a bunch. it's dark (like ten pm) when get to the chelsea - that's the 'tel we're staying and it's right on the beach. not too fancy though. I see brother steve and he comes up w/scotty-san and eric so we can spiel some... good to see the guys again.
gig day and I crutch like a mile to this submarine sandwich pad called white house. on the way I pass a used bookstore called "we buy the old" - I like that name! this chow pad's been around since 1946 and there's picture of folks like frank sinatra, bill cosby, a young ray charles - stuff like that, many of them and it's tiny but I guess I got there early enough cuz the story is there's huge lines but the older lady running the register gives me a stool at the counter and talk about huge - a half one is the size of most, I shit you not! I get a tuna one - they don't make put mayo in it - great! I use some mustard. they got olive oil on everything but not the heavy kind I always cook w/and of course there's vinegar too. I also get a steak one to go for tonight's meal - like a phily cheesesteak but w/out the cheese. the bread's baked across the street and it's real fresh. I crutch back along the boardwalk - there's cats w/small canopied carts they push for hire but I wanna crutch, take my time. the casino aren't interesting to me but the old ritz 'tel is, looking on these "historical signs" like about how al capone threw a big party the night before the saint valentine's massacre, corrupt mayor people and shit like that. funny, closer to our pad there's a piss house they call a "comfort station" - is that a euphemism or what? brother steve's there. kind of trippy, crutchin' on the boardwalk but at least I'm independent, I take my team and there's a nice breeze. I don't pay too much attention to the stucco pads and casino fronts.
the gig is here at the house of blues at the showboat casino. I never step foot in the casino (I heard eric won four hundred bucks at one of these pads the other night) but it's a long way in the back to get to the house of blues parts. a long one but I ain't bellyachin' cuz it was kind of trippy, crutchin' through the bowels. for the first time, I see the bass james williamson had brian michael make me. it's got an anchor inlay on the headstock... jason lollar built the custom p-bass-style pickup in it. the finish is cherry red, you can see a little bit how the one piece maple neck-through design has two ash "wings" to make up the body. the bridge is a hipshot one and it's really great, the best I've seen for a bass like this - "like this" I say cuz it's mostly made after an early 60s gibson eb-0 bass. same thirty and a half inch scale neck, body the same. no pickguard though - I asked for that and same w/the controls (their passive) in the same place as the real ones. the tuners are hipshot and w/the small headstock like those early 60s ones, it balances on my good. we do a bunch of songs and it does seem to have a different presence than the dan baas but it has more definition and way-happening intonation. kind of modern sounding, my first impression. plays different, of course. maybe the action's gotta come up some cuz of my not-so-gentle approach to stooges music. we finish soundcheck and I'm told there's a shorter route if I can do stairs - yes, I can do stairs! just slow. we get back to the 'tel and I finish that other half (HALF!) white house sandwich. it's only minutes to get back between this 'tel and the gig so we bail at seven and half. no opening act. I'm thinking it's bad luck to play this new "anchor" bass - a consensus of the crew says to call it that cuz of the headstock inlay - so I don't! is that weird? well, there needs to be some washer put on the straps so they don't come off the screws, I discussed this at soundcheck w/mr slouch but there's a little prob w/how it worked it - he put the washer on the strap button so it's like a half inch off the body and I just know it's gonna get caught on my belt or waistband so real quick derek goes down to the wood w/the neck strap one - the rear one can get done later. it is trippy having cats work on my bass like this cuz I ain't that used to it but I really dig these crewmen, really do.
nine minutes to nine, I leave the dressing room for stage starboard which is not too far and even better no stairs and a curtain to walk behind so no one sees me either going or where I'll wait to downbeat time. some folks are hollering ig's name - hell, I feel like hollering his name! the first gig of the last little leg of stooges gig time 2010... here we go... mr slouch
can see better than me, I've put my glasses on the yellow bass case just before he says "c'mon" and I crutch out quick as I can to in front of my amps, seeing james trotting out to get his guitar from helperman derek... last saw the one he's playing in toronto cuz what he's done is have a "euro" set and one for this side - it's a les paul (I believes he has a gibson arrangement) but not the same black one as "over there" - he's actually got six les pauls not counting the original "raw power" one (he doesn't wanna tour w/that), I mean as far as I know. ANYWAY, back to the gig! he's revving up the opener ("raw power" natch - first time I used the meltzer spiel, my thanks to richard!) as mr slouch slings the bass james had built for me for her first voyage on a stooge gig. derek and knobman max says to call it the anchor bass so I'll call it the anchor bass (cuz of the anchor inlay on the headstock). BOOM, first note played, first note comes out: ee's wer-keeng! stovepipe leg propped up - I mean the bass - I don't have my immobilized knee propped up! very good crowd w/the enthusiasm, yes, much respect to them. "search and destroy" next and I'm thinking maybe it this room w/the high ceiling, high cement walls - this bass has kind of a "scooped" sound (as max put it later), not the same voice as the dan bass in the low mids. the frets are almost in the same place though - as is the body shape so no prob w/putting my fingers where they're used to. the song's slamming. when it ends, I check the tuning, just to see and mr slouch comes up to tape the little curtain under scotty's riser cuz I'm slipping on it, my heel is, damn! well, I forget to hit the tuner back from mute and am a little late for "gimme danger" - not much but a little bit and I feel like a baka, whoops - baka watt (I had a little time too cuz james changes to the silver paul w/the piezo pickup in the bridge - like the gold one he has in europe) but I get it together. scary about first gig of a leg but in a way it's great cuz ig's voice is all the way fresh and strong. tonight he's singing great and many MANY great dance moves - it's just the third tune too! we go into "your pretty face is going to hell" which is pretty much the earliest we've done it in a set - I like it here, feels good. ig's singing the whole first part right in front of the drums, right next to me -rockin' it out! some stumble-oni for the end (!) and ig calls for dancers to help us in "shake appeal" while I try and pump up a little presence but w/m glasses off, I can't read the little knobs on the laney - mr slouch helps me by reading off the labels, thank you, mr slouch! hey, look who's up here dancing w/us, it's jimmy from trash and vaudeville, wow! I can see his "I want more" tattoo! man, there's some real good dancing tonight w/us, let me tell you - not much security (maybe two guys on each corner on the deck) and that makes for a bunch on stage that's really going for it. I haven't mentioned it but jos can't join us on these gigs so andrew's w/us - he's standing next to me now. "thank you, atlantic city dancers" goes ig and then does band intros... "now shove it all right up in to the corporate ass" or something to that effect, he hollers w/much eloquence before we get off w/a little bit more stumble-oni into "1970" but some letting go gets us right and on track for a hard charge - I think of giving this anchor bass a little test and make it like some salami between me and the laney amp's speaker box as I thrust into as good as I can w/the stovepipe leg in "l.a. blues" after freaking out some wild notes stuff (along w/some coltrane quotes) before really whupping into a big open 'e' "...supreme" trib on that immortal lick. "night theme" tells me at least the lower two strings stayed a little bit in tune (I only use the lower two strings) but hmm... I use the tiny moments before my time to come in on "skull thing" and get those two lower ones a little more in but that's all the time I got - the 'd' one is flat pretty much when I go to it in "beyond the law" but that's just a little bit - I switch positions for the end to make it so I don't have use that string and the intonation on this new bass is real good to do it. I get that d and the g right as ig intros "I got a right" w/james still w/his modified intro for us: half time on the opening chords and then BAM, we're into it all the way. ig next to me in the ending looking me right in the end when we end it and then WOOF, it's "I wanna be your dog" time, ig doing a stagedive in the guitar solo and following it right up w/a fall back right into the folks who are glad to hold him back while I see roadboss eric and a security man reel him back in. wild, everyone having a real good time. james whips out the slide and capo for "I need somebody" as ig kind of watches us "on the porch" style get into it, watching james do slide leads at the end like he's studying him, hands on the knees. he calls for "penetration" next but there's a mis-fire, maybe a capo prob? I don't know but we get into soon enough and it's a fun ride. I'm watching james' feet trip up some pedal dance as we get into the end but all is well for a good finish - "death trip" now instead of an encore, a little different but still a wild blast - I think it don't where this song sits in the set, it's a blaster, big time! of course "open up and bleed" is the set closer, ig powerfully singing it from deep down... this always moves me, a very moving tune. I do another "test" on the anchor bass and when the wind up lets out (I think scotty got a leg cramp cuz he just sits on the back of the riser when I get helped off to my side of the stage by mr slouch), I plopped it on the deck, right on it's face. I see ig come out for encore time and I crutch fast as I can to my spot - just in time to bring in "fun house" when ig calls it, whew... don't wanna blow that. good dynamics w/ig calling out the jim brown parts, great dancing - yeah! in the coda, I swear ig kind of put the mic out there for us both and then yanked back when he sings "will steal your heart away" - or did I dream that?! right away we're next into "johanna" and spaced a little (like a chump) and started to bring in the bass sort-of-solo too early - aahhh, baka watt - it's time for the guitar solo! I'm back in there but it's blurry coming back for james so ig has us take it down and we're right back in sync. we finish it up w/a wailing "no fun" and the gig is done, yeah! I put a crutch in the air when mr slouch brings them to me and hobble off.
we're talking about the gig in the "green room" when ig comes into to say it was a good one, he said he was enjoying the music and it was a great crowd - everyone agrees the gig-goers were very happening. I go out to meet some friends: laurie and her buddy jeff who came from all the way out west, old pal howard wuelfing who's done my press spiel since my first columbia days, todd abramson who's had me play maxwell's how many times? tons! and jim white who's an incredible drummer - both w/the dirty three and cat power along w/paula's who's a baritone sax player - I gotta go get steve mackay and introduce them so I do. a great first gig of this leg, very happy feelings for watt. feel sad for knobman max though - he's sitting next to me in ride back to 'tel and he says his gout has fired back up and it's hurting like a motherfucker. damn, I wish I could help him...
sunday, august 29, 2010 - chicago, il
saturday morning I pop and hose off - no tub here. I crutch the boardwalk south of the 'tel for some shoveling (in europe lots of 'tels got free troughs but not most u.s.) and find a pad for not many coin to push egg, bacon and toast down the mouthhole. we drive the maybe fifty miles to phily for an us air a319 to chicago o'hare airport, I chimp diary those couple of hours. we land and it takes half that time just to drive to the 'tel, downtown by lake michigan... a classic old pad called the drake that's got letters of people who stayed there like groucho marx, audrey hepburn, pat morita, etc. eiko-san is there, yatta! she flew in yesterday. she's got a mixi friend named andrew who's got a buddy named brett who works for a great label named drag city - he wants to take us to chow so he comes and takes us to a chow pad in the logan square part called the lulu cafe and I chow some kind of pasta w/veal and some jim beam... he brings us to his pad nearby, playing happening records while we spiel (aforementioned andrew joins us) 'til like three bells am. what a good time he brought on!
gig day and crutching around near the 'tel is a chow pad for a five dollar shovel called l'appetito (maybe?) that's ok w/the scrambled eggs/sausage/toast shovel. I do an interview w/a really intelligent/insightful writerlady named jessica for the "invisible jukebox" part of the wire magazine. she plays me tunes and I spiel on them. I get all of them and windbag much on each except the neu song. much respect to her. a couple of days ago we got told the gig here got moved down the street from the aragon to the riviera so that's where we go for soundcheck after finishing our beginnings/endings in my chamber, getting to where it is in the uptown parts around three. man, there's some great chow that's been cooked up and I make up a sandwich filled w/chilies, onion, mustard and beef dip on a roll. I crutch back up the old steps to do the check. this pad was built in 1917 and was for vaudeville, old and beatup but trippy w/a most ornate ceiling... the p.a. speakers can't be "flown" and have to be stacked old-style so I bet the sound ain't that great - max having to mix under a huge balcony as well... oh well, "work the room" as they probably were saying in those old days cuz for me, that's just as real now. we do a bunch of songs and I get pretty heated up cuz the pad has no air conditioning but it's ok - no bellyachin' from me cuz it's exciting to play w/stooges EVERY time, even w/stovepipe leg. I get back to the 'tel and record a big spiel for radio w/edmond from wzrd, going over recent stuff from dos to stooges to the third opera.
we're on stage at eight pm so we bail at six and a half, the traffic ain't that bad. there's a huge line at the pad, roadboss eric told me the gig was "clean" which is old slang for being sold out. whoa, there's a new batch of chow downstairs - I have just a little but it's good: some mahi-mahi, edemame, a little bit of trippy cheese on that brittle kind of india bread and some pork soaked in some soysauce trip. very tiny portions, I swear. scotty-san gives me a thin cotton black shirt to wear after telling me take my black flannel off - actually, he had tried to give me one like it at the end of prac earlier but it didn't fit so he said his daughter leanna went and got this one. I'd even wear a dress from him so it's no problem shedding the flannel though something in me does twtich a little as I make the switch... no opening act. I go up five minutes early to get to my side, I see the folks all the way up to the lip of the stage, whoa. this is the way ig likes it, me too. I see the band come up the side of the stage where ig likes, stage port and then I see james trot out - I start to crutch on over but there's only mr slouch and no jos so it's quit a juggle for him to get that bass slung over me and take the tsue (crutches) and plus it's a very vulnerable situation for me so I try to be very careful but ig's WAY FIRED UP and as he makes entrance and running around the stage, he comes up w/palms open up to me and hollering "C'MON!" but sure enough (or lucky enough!), I'm right there where I need to be to join in on time for "raw power" and get this gig under way - BOOM, the packed pad erupts into crazy time, the pad is fucking exploding w/ig the lit fuze and going OFF!!! he's focused too though and singing it right from the gut. the stage ain't that deep and I'm almost right behind him there right in front of scotty's drum riser which is really low which is what I really dig. it's surreal is the place where I'm at cuz all the faces being driven crazy by ig singing at them are like a moving painting in a way w/the back of ig being the center of the universe... but it ain't always the back cuz he wheels around and flashes the trippy eyes and the wailing dance flails before getting back once again at delivering the word to the folks. of course, he wants to whup the band up as much as he wants to whup them up - I can dig it! we end tight w/him coming down right on the foot attached the hurt knee but you know what? I can only laugh cuz even w/those boots he's wearing, it don't hurt - that's right, even w/me wearing chuck taylors w/rubber toe overheads! I shit you not... and to make sure, it happens on the next three songs - each time a flying leap ends up w/landing on my port foot! I'm pretty sure it ain't on purpose, in a way I thinking it's some trippy thing where my foot's like a magnet and pulling him down on it. anyway, "search and destroy" w/"gimme danger" following like it's been for a while but not like in a re-run mode cuz I feel each time we wail through these babies it's like them getting born over and over. ig throws the mic stand - it's coming my way... whoa, right between the legs, good thing I got the wide-stance going! I've already sweated up pretty big time and the deck w/a puddle below from it scares from standing too straight up - this stovepipe trip I'm leads for some trippy posture, I can imagine but I'm somehow trying to throw as much of my body into I can w/out being an asshole and getting more hurt. "your pretty face is going to hell" has a little bit of a new ending, we got briefed earlier today on it... before we get there though, ig does his first stage dive, woosh! he actually is higher up than the stage cuz of the situation of how this pad is. we're ripping along, tearing this tune up but how will it end up ending? ig gives three short hells: "hell-hell-hell!!!" and we stumble it up some but don't konk out - actually we do end lots of it together, we stumble out TOGETHER - some laughs from the band, laughs from ig - w/each other, tiny ones... then ig asks for dancers and we get almost twenty folks up there w/us including helperman derek's lady angeline who tears it up some intense dancing once ig gives the go for "shake appeal" to start up. yeah, there's this other lady who is incredible, whoa, really REALLY KICKING IT UP, full throttle, amazing - truly! I'm pretty blown away. she comes right up in to my face w/a power move working her face in the most intense energy a face could push out of itself and then shaking/thrusting/move-busting some kick-out throw-out leap-out kind of shit, damn!!! some kind of black outfit but not fancy, just all action. that was a mindblow. band intros and then "1970" - big sweat pool below me but mr slouch gets the deck towled, I give him some shoulder rubs as he does... a slippery deck is lethal for a weakened watt. I flail and flail for "l.a. blues" and really go at it, mixing in some coltrane, yeah! putting it to the anchor bass, yeah! "night theme" then "skull thing" (working the mic stand hard but not the mic!) then "beyond the law" and the return of the ig on the mic and singing it up big time. full on plow for the boat's bow w/the "I got a right" and the "I wanna be you dog" tag-team, arfing it up on all fours and even w/that latter tune done he yells out "one for nothing" and timbers himself into the folks - surprise! but they seem all into sharing what may seem the bob-toy that's actually gig-worker-primo himself. a little throttle back w/tempo but not feel via "I need somebody" and much tearing at the air, synching it w/each slam of the accent at the end while james bottlenecks it. a little trouble for him out the gate for "penetration" but different than the capo caper of atlantic city in this very same place. "death trip" next - we're doing the "raw power" in two big chunks now, five at the beginning and three here... it's very happening "open up and bleed" is next cuz even the bulkheads need salt tablets cuz they're sweating so much... I can imagine the gig goers! the whole pad is hotter than the hottest shivtzes and I do some peeks to see the joyed faces but also they're kind of cooked-up and steamed faces! oh daer. the shirt scotty-san got me is completely drenched and shining - yeah, shining and I don't know why. this tune is a challenge for me tonight cuz of the acoustic sound from james' bridge piezo pickup is REALLY LOUD and also VERY HARSH - not from any amp but direct into the stage p.a. system and it's ripping my head off. I can't tell what's up in the end and it sounds like it's backward w/the drums - I lay out and try to find the other side, ig comes over and wants me in, no matter where so I jump back (this is the end swirl part) - I can just imagine scotty overheating and sweating his brains out. I get back in, we crumble up, we get it together, we let it go, one at a time - we're off... we're back on w/a big push on "fun house" - I rally myself out feeling down for being kind of lost there at the end, my head ground off buy the incredible loud anti-tone ripsaw soundsplitter din tearing out of the monitors - it's gone now cuz thank god james has got real sound comign out of real guitar amps (his blackstars) - I think it's a good place this tune here cuz ig's got james brown playing before we go on - this makes good sense. we end w/a wailing "no fun" using up what little oxygen is left in the whole pad. you know though I could've done more cuz get me going w/stooges and I don't wanna stop - even in a shvitz. I crutch off, first waving one in the air. ig gives them a little good bye dance, of course he's grateful for everyone who's here - even at the beginning he thanked them for "showing up" like he put it. they were REALLY great folks to play for, real good ones w/tons and tons of heart. respect, big ones for chi-town and its folks.
I crutch slowly down the old stairs into vaudeville ghosts shared space... peel off now way-shiny shirt (I tell scotty-san I love him much) and talk some w/james about that little crisis w/our "...bleed" closer and then see ig - I apologize for getting backward but he said "it could've been any four of us and anyway it still sounded musical" - big bows from me to him. I immediately think of all the right-in-the-face-being-there-w/me during the gig he shared, he is sensei for me. he greets eiko-san then ms nina talks much w/her. they are great people, very kind to us. helperman chris is back comes back to say hi, he drove all the way from detroit w/his new wife, wow. five years I traveled w/this man and helped me many many times! big hugs for him. I go out into the venue to meet richard "fuckin'" bonney, my old plumber friend I washed pots and pans w/at the san pedro peninsula hospital in the 70s - now he's finally seen me w/the stooges! man, has he seen me in many trips - from the reactionaries onward. helperman derek introduces me to his ma - she was married to a cat who in fact played some years drumming w/ig - small world! scotty-san introduces me to the very first president of the very first stooges fan club, he's known her since 1968! respect. got to say hi again to brett once more and thank him for putting up w/me being urusai (noisy) last night but still supplying very good time!
time to bail back to the 'tel and look what I find on the 'puter when I check it just for the hell of it: writerman greg kot has already flowed review of tonight's gig - already, damn!!
man, is he on it or what?! I think he meant ig was "leaning in" and not "learning in" on me but still he wrote real good. respect.
tuesday, august 31, 2010 - boston, ma
monday: chow the same thing at the same pad as yesterday - not many options around this 'tel for good econo chow (econo here but kind of filler) but louis vitton sacks, butagi, et cetera kind of pads. soon though back to o'hare airport for a two hour flight on an american airlines boeing 737 to logan airport in boston. very warm here, high nineties - maybe my hottest time here ever! andrew in role of roadboss cuz eric is driving stuff here from nyc. staying at a 'tel that used to be the city jail, it's called the liberty hotel. trippy. the beacon hill parts are just past the train station - where a cat w/a red soprano sax (mr slouch called it a clarinet when he have me directions) is blowing mainly beatles but he did do a little bit of "my favorite things" - I hoof around and it's hard finding chow to bring back 'til I hit a pad called nino's and get a veal parmagane sandwich and then some jim beam at a pad on the way back (young counter man said "the immobilizer, yes indeed - I wore one for three months") - too bad buzy's roast beef is gone w/just a tree for a memorial... I guess they were expanding the hospital (right next door to the 'tel) and well, it's gone now. after chowing, I finsih bohumil hrabal's "closely watch trains" - what a very happening trip, damn!
gig day and I have to hose off cuz no tub. I crutch around hosp and find a chow pad called "finagle-a-bagel" and get a tuna melt bagel. usally never foul tuna w/cheese but this is ok. I go back and chimp diary 'til prac w/james in his chamber w/scotty. right after we got soundcheck. gig is where the avalon ballroom used to be, it's another house of blues now. no big way to get to the stage but there's stairs - I can do them way easier than escalators, let me tell you! all these pads are kind of the same but a little different too. I'm using two ampeg svt-pro4 amps through the two laney 8x10 cabs - the laney nexus amps are both out of the race, damn. oh well, "work the room" and "a poor carpenter blames his tools" are two good things to remember. springa arrives w/two canes - one of them his grandpa's sheleighlee! also a phil n'the plash poster of springa in a pig pile during an ssd gig. great! that's going up in the prac pad back in pedro. thank you springa. he told me he's got a script that's made it past the fifth tier in john walters world - omedeto to him. sounds like a winner too. there's a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed w/some turkey and bacon I chow before we bail. I check on knobmax on the way out, he says his gout has relented a bunch and I'm so glad about that, so glad!
I finish yesterday's chimping when I get back, not to long before seven pm lobby call so I get on the outfit for tonight: my black flannel shirt (sorry, scotty-san!) and black levis. oh yes, knee immobilizer too. air conditioner in this van not working but it's not so far to where the gig (by the red sox stadium) so it ain't that tough. up the stairs I find some catfish and have a little of that w/some greens - not too much, just some. now on the way to the chicago gig the other day, james was asking what pynchon's "graivty's rainbow" was about and for some reason, I start blurting out my guesses now cuz I got thinking about it then but said nothing at the time. now w/less than hour to go, I start w/the statements but I think I didn't get too up on the high horse and of course brother steve had much to chime in - he's read it three times. there's a powertrio from boston's old days playing, the neighborhoods and they're sounding good. respect.
I go early to get on stage cuz there's stairs involved. I actually went and stood behind the back curtain cuz there was no where to hide on the side, folks could see all there easy. I figured the stooges would come around this back curtain to make their entry stage port like ig likes to do and when they pass me, I'd make my way out to my side quick as I can. well, I look at my watch for eight-fortyfive and when it arrives, still no one... then I hear the chords to "raw power" ripping open the set - WHAT THE FUCK?! there must've been stairs on the other side down from the dressing rooms - fucking BAKA watt!!! I come crutching up high heaven around the side, swinging the stovepipe leg out in front as far as it throws along the tsues in each hand - fuck, the stage deck is goddamn linoleum which is slippery as fuck - I don't know how I didn't slide and break my fucking neck but somehow I didn't and just throw the crutches (tsue) and reach for the anchor bass from mr slouch... fuck, I just get in - like w/a second to spare. I still got my glasses on! I toss them off next to the tuner on the riser... (andy, presenter to me of the 1969 gibson eb-3 "andy bass" the day after all the stooges shit got stolen in montreal back in 2008) wrote me this the next day:
i just had to write one more time and tell you what a pantshitter the boston gig was. you threw those fuckin crutches down hard! got the bass on, volume rolled up, and in at the last possible moment. god damn. i don't know that i've ever felt that much tension build up at the beginning of a gig! that was total punk rock. such a cool entrance. really. interesting how maybe sometimes we are self-conscious, but that gets lost in translation and the only thing people pick up on is serious intensity. to me you looked like you meant business.
the boston crowd is wild and ig's skating on this bullshit deck - god, I'm praying he don't slip. it's a wild crazy vibe, much intenseness in the pad - even w/all the mersh, the stooge spirt is kick right through it. I use the tone knob back off some treble - this anchor bass still has the 'e' and 'a' strings a little low on the action side for my thug-handling and I got some clack. I do a little bit more down as we get into "search and destroy" - that mid I added on these ampeg svt pro-4 amps (mazui!) at soundcheck helps w/some presence for me w/this new bass james williamson has had made for me. the last two gigs I think I was adding too low a mid and this time I chose more mid mid - mid for a bass anyway. don't wanna go overboard though, just a little bit so I don't fuck w/the bottom... "gimme danger" after ig tells the folks: "happy halloween - we're the fucking stooges!" that was trippy. I'm already sweating and each bead on the fucking linoleum is like banana peel ammo for the keel over. fuck. "your pretty face is going to hell" follows w/ig prefacing one of the verses w/his first stage dive of the night. there's a moat but he clears it easy and sings the whole verse out there in the folks, I see roadboss eric's hand grabbing so much buttcrack to keep him tethered that it's 'pert-near hand puppet, crimony! ok, here comes the ending... are we gonna do it? ig comes and faces the drums, hollers out "hell-hell-hell" and we nail it! right next to him, I give the congrats fist and gives back w/a huge smile - yeah, we did it, e fatta!!! I smile big time back. ig calls out to the folks to supply dancers and we quickly get a crowd up w/us soon as the first one arrives. whoa, I gotta get in front of my amps instead of the drum riser cuz of the big group. first though I ask helperman derek about getting the action higher on this anchor bass' two lowest strings - I know it's weird to ask that now but fuck, off-stage I'm always forgetting that shit 'til it comes time to do a gig! derek's cool w/helping me. we're into "shake appeal" and a few times bodies bumping into me mute the strings. stovepipe leg makes it kind of hard to swerve to avoid but it's all a good time. there's a tall cat up here that's older than me, a lady too - that's trippy. lots of young folks though too and when we finish up, I get big hugs and good words from a bunch of them, much respect. band intros (I see a little purple feather stick up from the waist of the back of ig's pants point it out to scotty-san... how'd THAT get there?) and ig not digging the lights - me either, they're way lame. anyway, "1970" out the chute and into the maelstrom that's born of "l.a. blues" in all it's chaos go-off... I fucking go off, as much as stovepipe leg on fucking ice rink slippery fucking linoleum will let me. I literally have to hold on to the amps as I let the anchor bass get between them and me w/some pretty flaccid pathetic pummels - I go for another yank on the highest 'd' note I got w/my teeth and it seems like forever before scotty gets us into "night them" - was it in my mind or did I really hear ig holler "C'MON!!" to get us moving? well, I'm hoping the tuning ain't tune band, seems ok and I do get a quick check as james intros "skull thing" and get out back in w/the band right on the fuckin' one for me, whew. a sax-full of bars on that and then into "beyond the law" swinging it out hard... heavy tune. ig next asks scotty for a right - he gets it! right smack in the drum set! this lightning bolt of a tune is thrown. no more of that opening we've been using for a bunch of gigs now - ig wants james not spreading out his opening strums but jack hammering them from the get-go. we can do it... and we did. ig's been really wild on this deck which has been so scary for me and I'm just trying to stand up still w/stovepipe leg! will not totally still, I'm trying jiggle (shake) as much as my situation will allow me but man, is he going for it! he puts arms out crucified-kind w/head on shoulder to bring on "I wanna be your dog" saying it's some kind of cross between something and sure enough, we roar that baby up - ig diving again into the folks way before james gets his chance to solo (and another shot for roadboss eric to get in some hand puppet), it's a hoot. the boston folks are very happening to play for, very much. then I fucking blow and count wrong for "I need somebody" - I'm sure I went into the verse one too soon and damn, this is right after ig told the people the stooges can do the blues. I believe they can but the fucking baka on bass clammed it bad tonight and ig stops/restarts us and again I think I clammed in the same place but counted one too many - the other side of the proverbial chowder bowl! the band kept going and got w/them but man, what a fucking doof move on my part, fuck. I don't how I lost my focus, lost my nerve - I can't blame it on the linoleum fucking deck, can I? I won't - I won't. I'm glad mr slouch mops up what he can but w/me keeping on sweating, it's even better when he leaves a towel out there for me to mop up between tunes. we get off a clean "penetration" start and drive it in good. I see the crowd pulsing to it, feel them pulsing to it... ig keep it all chugging. "do you wanna take a trip w/me?" he says and when they all holler back "yeah!" he tells them it's a "death trip" and that's our cue to fire it up, bon voyage going that-a-way! aaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh! he's in the crowd, working from the crowd - around it, in front of it - damn, if he'd a mic cord long enough... he does prop it up for a proper hanging like scene at one point, yeah. "open up and bleed" after asking PLEASE - I mean get the fucking terrible lameass lights out and dark now. the band's on the right side of the beat the whole time and no crusher harsh tone many-times-through-the-guillotine anti-tone brain razerwire flossed sound... I try winding it up faster and faster but it gets to only a point and then I think maybe I was getting up and out of the slot there so... the horse I'm riding on is where I gotta be. the song engine blows its rods and konks out - we're off but not that long at all - I gotta once again crutch at high speed to be there for the "fun house" call-out, which I am (and much grateful as well) but can't stand where I was cuz it's slippery than motor oil on glass so I go upstage and outside some and whoa, I'm hearing just the amps w/out the wedge stuff and... well... terrible tone from this shit but I won't slip maybe. I have good fait max is bring the bass out front and that's what matters most, right? I don't know about the popeye-san puffed-out cheeks but maybe I let 'em out again on the song finale - "no fun" is the closer, a very happy good time number (ironic? no!) - ig says to the folks "I could say bonjour, I could say aufweidersehen, I could say ciao!" (or was it arividerchi? or was it adios?) "but I'll just say bye bye!" which might accidently mean something since so many of our gigs are overseas and here we are playing at home for a change. well, this one's in the sack now and it was a good one - except for me clamming up "I need somebody" like I did!!! I cop to james and apologize as soon as we're upstairs, then james says he might've screwed it up w/a missed pedal dance step - ig comes in even to discuss it and said it might've not been me but I'm thinking seriously: it was watt and he counted wrong - twice even! man, am I gonna get it right next gig, I'm trying my very fucking hardest no matter what. it was a good gig though, especially for the great crowd to work for (though yeah, that fucking linoleum deck and them lame lights).
I go pretty much quick downstairs to the deck near the stage to meet a great bass lady, candice belanoff plus her husband and their friends. there's two cats from the old days who've seen me a bunch of times in providence and we talk about randy hein and the living room - great old days and randy was very happening people, big time. everybody asks about the leg and I just gotta tell them it's the knee. upstairs in some other kinds of rooms this pad has I find old buddy mark kates who I've missed much, him moving from so cal some years ago to get his fenway records label going - so glad to see him again. there's j mascis' old friend kurt and course springa again, all a good time. hey, I get to max's cousin and tell him what a great cat he is!
once back at the 'tel, me and brother steve share some spiel, we're gonna work on getting that album worth of stuff we did w/dubliners estel w/the new dealio he's got w/scott nydegger in the spring of 2011. "the gospels suite" we did the year before that (2007) will be included too. love that band.
friday, september 3, 2010 - monticello, ny
wednesday: pop at ten bells - man, I was fucking tuckered from last night... and w/no tub to soak hiza (knee) in, I hose off instead. still dangerous maneuver but nothing like last month. crutch next door to quick get kind of buffalo wing bagel at that finagle-a-bagel chow pad I went to yesterday. it's a quick crutch, quick as I can safely go cuz we gotta get to nyc. we fly from logan airport to jfk on a boeing 737 (800 model - can you believe how long these babies have be flying?!) real quick - too quick for the attendants to come by w/beverages. it's not as hot as boston but pretty warm. andrew again dons the hat of roadboss cuz eric's driving the gear in the same rented econoline he got me last week for the first gig of this tour leg... andrew's tripping on some of the talk we got going in the ride from the airport (it ain't the shortest), years ago I had a buddy in the army who told me cats he met at boot camp from some of the more rural areas confided to them that they had boned watermelons w/holes bored into them - I think andrew wants out of the van as fast as possible!
this 'tel is the soho grand and only a block from where I used to stay w/jimbo in the 90s when he lived on canal. I have a lot of memories of this area but man, has it changed - especially the tribeca part. there's a dominican (cuban? the sign says "spanish american mexican" but I live in pedro and I think I know a little about mexican maybe?) chow pad called the westside coffehouse on church street just south of canal that I really dig. I get two chuletas (pork chops) that are breaded a little bit w/black beans and yellow (actually orange) that's very VERY good! love it. since I first stayed w/jimbo, I chowed here much and nothing has changed. it's econo too. I chimp diary and konk.
thursday: there's tub but not long enough to stretch out in but fuck it, I soak knee by getting up the bulkhead w/my back to fit it even though most of me is out of the water. eiko-san came here from chi-town so I show her where I use to go by the river, that whole trippy sculpture called "the real world" that tom otterness created in nelson rockefeller park, near stuyvesant high school by the hudson river. he's got work all over the city but this whole thing here's a trip. some kind of meditation on money and/or evolution? you decide. I have to go slow cuz of the crutches and it's a hot one here but it's good exercise for me. man, you think these arms of mine are gonna get stronger cuz of using tsue?! we chow w/bass brother tony maimone and his wife miry at korea bbq called woo lae oak in soho. yuka honda joins us, great - miss yuka! miry is VERY BIG w/aka-chan (baby) coming w/in a month! she looks beautiful and brother tony so proud, yatta! great chow and great folks make for a very grateful watt. over to brooklyn after to a pad called don pedro to see a band called shellshag that are great! they do a version of "mystery" by the wipers even, whoa! this nice cat I meet who's a friend of the band recommends horsetail (equisetum) for my knee... hmm... such a good time w/brother tony - love that man! and he did so good helping me w/the third opera. respect to him.
gig day and breakfast (like yesterday - forgot to mention) is at that westside coffee house on church. there's an old post office built around the same time as ours in pedro (during the depression) and is similar on the way there. great bas relief inside of an native person shooting his bow towards the stars. meet brother steve and get ride over to 'tel w/scotty and james and hop on gibson guitars bus (a prevost tour coach outfitted for their guitar stuff - lots of guitars (you guessed it!) and some amps. we can prac our beginnings and endings on the way up to monticello! this towns a hundred miles north and is where the gig's gonna be: kutsher's country club - "last of the borscht belt grand resorts" in the catskills of upstate new york. the traffic is very plugged due to both friday and monday being labor day. it takes a big long while but fuck it, that's why you leave early, right? there's a retired policeman w/us that used to do security for les paul and he gives us some of the picks les used to make himself, trippy plastic things. I tell this man about when I met les paul - I had bought a les paul signature bass on tour in the ealry 90s for econo and he was playing near my pedro town in torrance. I came in during soundcheck and he was chowing on a doughnut when I asked him to sign this bass, he stuck the doughnut (a buttermilk one) right on his guitars whammy-bar, impaled it! he wrote "keep on pickin'" which is kind of funny cuz I use my fingers but besides that, he talked to me like an hour about all kinds of music stuff, he was so fucking happening and nice to me. I could tell his other two bandmen (a rhythm guitarist and a standup bassist) were like "c'mon, les" but he was oblivious to them and just kept spiel w/me - about being in bing crosby's trio, about building the capital studios, about sound-on-sound recordings - all kinds of stuff... what a righteous cat, truly. we get to this kutsher's pad about seven pm. it's trippy, kind of like time warp feel but lots of friendly folks here, all these gigs barry puts on bring lots of good people. this is the first night of the all tomorrow's parties festival for new york this year. on the way to the chow pad, I see lee ranaldo and his family, great! damn, I don't get to see them tomorrow. I chow a burrito (pretty ok) and then run into mark arm - I do get to see mudhoney cuz they're on right before us! so are the scientists - whoa! I warm up on the anchor bass - helperman derek did real good getting the action up for my thug crude feel on the string plucking.
coming up on nine pm, roadboss eric comes by to tell us "quinze" and I'm thinking maybe I go down now to get ready on my side of the stage cuz there are stairs to go down and a little far. he brings other big bottle of gatorade too, I'd already downed first one. it's a crowded space here on the stage - actually we're playing a ballroom and there's no real "wings" or whatever so I stay in the back behind some sheet and to the side... helperman andrew tapes down cables laying across the path I'm gonna take. small area so I can easy when the stooges come out of. the pad is packed (I can look out a little)... I see andrew give a flash on his torch (I think they call flashlights torches in england) and then I hear from somewhere a hollered "go!" and I'd know that voice anywhere so I start crutching my way out to the stage... I pass the two stv pro-4 heads behind the laney speaker boxes - there's laney heads on top where the folks can see them but they both can't put sound to speaker (busted) so the out-of-sight shite ampeg heads will do that but... well, you get the picture, right? I really like the laneys and the shite ampegs sound better out of laney 8x10s than ampeg ones. mr slouch gets the anchor bass around me and I got a couple of seconds to go - and then we're off - "raw power" leading the charge... I mean ig leading the charge w/us playing "raw power" - we're doing the whole album first. ig just wants to do this song first though so a little out of order. no barriers, the folks right up front and close, the way ig likes it and he is on FIRE big time! I'm trying to be right there for him, despite stovepipe leg. scotty-son is slammin', right out of the gate. james has got that tone going, 'pert-near like the album, after all these years - how? it's signature, I'm thinking. a few beer bottles get thrown up - none hitting me, same for a couple of cans. were next into "search and destroy" like a semi going down grapevine and seriously considering the runoff ramp, seriously! we hold together tight though as ig leaps, twirls, sings and intensely the works stage like when as even not? not in my experience, no sir, not one fucking iota. I do wish the singing was a little louder, I ask mr slouch to make it be so using hand gestures. he's so great, right there for me. I sure gotta play this song at some weird angles w/my knee this was, I don't know why - the headstock is almost right at my nose. helperman derek's got the action just right for my crude two-finger-at-once thug thud thump so it don't get clack - HUGE thanks to him for making that happen. that reminds me I gotta get the name of the pad he works at if folks wanna get a hold of him for his work on shit like that. so this part of the sequence is like it's been the last bunches of gigs, "gimme danger" following up w/only a pause from ig to tell folks "we're the stooges" and the song title to cue james to start it. has he got his vest on? ig sure don't have his - I don't think he even started w/it on, did he? I know I don't have one - I got my black flannel shirt and black levis! ok, the music - yeah, I few more beer bottles... and some cans - most not full though and none of them hitting anyone except I think a lime that missed ig got scotty. he's putting some trippy drop-fills under james' solo, I got my eyes on ig as he works MANY places on the stage, he likes doing that and it keep my head moving even though my body (except for my fingers) can't do much of that. fuck, as I work the frets I imagine in a way me being able to dance like that, especially w/the fills we got in the end part of this tune here. round four of tonight's bout is "your pretty face is going to hell" w/ig back w/us for the first verse in a rockin' rally, so great when you got the igster up close - then he cuts to the front of the stage and does lyrics in the crowd after diving in, yeah! we work this baby up good - ig miming some make-up-putting-on-mime during james' solo and then getting us out w/us cue real strong - e fatta! (italiano for "we did it!") yeah, that's a good thing. I notice there's a camera crew, sure but there's also other folks on stage w/video that don't look all pro... I don't pay attention too much cuz I got work w/the bass to do here. ig asks for dancers and the stage fills up fast. we got a bunch right quick and we're all set for "shake appeal" where I get squeezed out a little but widen the stance on the stovepipe immobilized a-frame strut and go wild w/my head being swung by neck tether w/the dancers. there's jimmy from t and v again! "I want more" the tattoo but like todd said back in atlantic city w/where that's located and the drawers coming down, maybe not too much more... ig's wild style is infectious! trippy, the outfits of young people these days - I don't know what to call it. lots of beards and mustaches too, it's ok - this is not disrespect, I'm just tripping on it. this whole room is giving the stooges such a love blast and indulging in the squeeze. we finish and I space for a moment... there's no band intros next - it's the next chunk of "raw power" baka fucking watt - ig asks each one of us in the band if we wanna play the blues, one at a time and then calls for "I need somebody" - for sure I'm counting this one right, I'm even using "shi, san, san" to prompt me (four, three three for the number of riffs between the verses) and I get it right but what also happens is a lowend feedback starts to develop, build and threaten to eat the whole stage sound - I move my mouth at derek to explain and see andrew running to the monitor man - I mute the bass strings w/the tune gone (scotty doing an excellent "grace note flutterboy" to get us out) and to see if bass guitar is involved and nope - what I think is it's the kick drum. man, it was unwinding ig up some and I don't blame him. he calls for "penetration" right up quick and hoping BIG TIME that wwwoooooooooooo gets tamed and am so glad when it does abate, I was so shook up in fact that I didn't go up on the neck 'til the ig came in singing cuz I know it might seem weird but I feel some his emotion - even the bad vibes - I just cannot be oblivious to being on stage w/him, it's like I'm sort of like a kind of mood ring stuck on one his toes. he wants this tune's chug moving, I know that and try and dig in hard. sound gets better whew... "death trip" to close up this "stooges play 'raw power'" portion of the set - ig again tumbling into the crowd during one of james' solos, much of crowd up front getting lots of ig rubbed all over them tonight! trippy looking at the bouncer people's t-shirt backs saying in big letters SECURITY and here's the back of mr slouch's shirt in just as big letters saying HOAX and I wanna bust up so bad. anyway, it's pretty wild up here, whoa. but we're all locked in tight. we finish and ig tells the folks that's the album and now we're going right into "1970" - just like that, boom. I got punched in the chest but it was little one in the end part. maybe I chumped? seems like I've been in there pretty much - he's look right into to me for the final "feel alright!" as I start to freak this anchor bass up as much as I can for "l.a. blues" under james' feedback 'til he lets that go and the w/scotty-san there drum it up and "blow!" after blow from brother steve's sax, I whup on those bass strings in out-of-my-mind world, beating the body and working in the 'trane quotes, thrusting on the laney speaker boxes w/anchor bass as socket-man, as lucky pierre, as bologna in a wack sandwich... I wish I could get on the deck w/it but am afraid of not being able to get back up or hurt this fucking hurt knee even worse. I trust the tuning (in-the-mind-fingers-crossed) and let scotty know he can get into "night theme" quick as he wants which he does 'pert-near right up soon. did I go sharp on one of the b-flats? sounds ok from here the sweat pool I've made for myself (but not all the way on purpose). I get to check a little bit of tuning before james brings out his twenty bars of "skull thing" and then we're in for a little more "kill city" stuff w/"beyond the law" and then I'm think "...god" is next cuzo james' email before soundcheck where he thought "I got a right" was not next after but in fact, the first encore tune to come - nope - despite that notion, ig in fact call out if he can have a right and I'm turned the wrong way to see scotty's properly and I'm a little late on the intro, fuck... baka watt - ig gives me the "you fucked up, now get it together" eye and I get it together quick to get it right! I mean I think I was only a cunt-hair off but stooges deserve best I can do, best! it's a rocket-sled ride for sure, whoa. I almost keel over when we hit the waterbrake. "I wanna be your dog" immediately (too long a word for how short the gap was!) and what ig once called this year at a gig in europe "what might be the beethoven's fifth riff of the future" rolls out, over, under and through this whole fucking pad. ig gets up on the sidefill, on his belly and pours himself into the folks that way. whoa, what a sweat box, what a shvitz! "open up and bleed" for the set's end-up, james' clean ampless sound real loud at first - what happened in chicago threatens for a little while but I see james himself signaling the monitor man to get that sound off it's mustang - it's a harsh thing I can't really describe except for like "oh man" but I guess ig wanted more dynamics (I was told earler) so I even ease the base in earlier in the song and hold back some. we finish it up good, just me scotty-san up there and he got the tempo pretty cooking - ig backing of his go crazy dancing which I kind of missed cuz I loved that so much, even w/giving me the mime face punches missing only by millimeters, I could feel the breeze pushing off from them. mr slouch comes bring me crutches and I barely keep from stumbling and tumbling but somehow I do get off stage but not for long cuz ig's bringing everyone back on for the other side for the encore (get back out there, watt!) and after thanking the people much for being here, he calls out "no fun" and I'm right there - even backed off the tone knob a little to get some growl. "steal your heart away!" he sings right in my face and I give him the lowest pitch this bass will deliver and hold it out there - "no fun" he calls out and w/a huge smile on his face and big arm waves, wraps this baby up. whoa, that was a wild and great gig, I felt - even w/stovepipe leg! I crutch off and come around to wait for his last dance, his one-man-dance and when he comes off I tell him "you did great job, ig" cuz he really really did... he thanks me. crimony, I could thank this man a year worth of sundays and feel I still have to give him more! I crutch off towards the dressing room and see the gig boss barry, so great to see him. eight years now I've been in a bunch of all tomorrow's parties, respect to him. I get to do euro debut of my third opera in december at one.
I am soaked in much sweat but am oblivious kind of cuz that was a kickass time. everyone's in a good mood. the stooges have some spiel to do w/the winners of that contest "hands on the fans" or something so I after thanking them for making such a good gig. I talk w/buddies thurst + kim + coco, sandy glaze, mark arm, tom surgal + liz, two of the aitch-sea cats who will not go named here, g from winnipeg, the gig curatorman jim jarmusch - I thank him for having us aboard, two of the scientists - great band from australia who played before mudhoney and just all kinds of good folks. great time for me. kind of a longer time cuz the stooges speil doesn't wind up 'til twelve and a half and then we head for the gibson bus.
we get back to the 'tel at three-thirty am, whoa! we had a good time spieling about little kid shows that were on when we were little kids, that was trippy. brother steve plus james and his wife linda have such a great memory about this stuff and they got me in stitches. spiel also goes on about bugs in pads past like roaches, wasps, giant grasshoppers - all kinds of that shit. trippy that james talked about fleas jumping from his eyebrows once cuz once I was checking out an apartment to move into and the landlady was talking to me and I thought I was flashing hard and seeing trails but actually it was fleas jumping from her eyebrows and trying to get onto me. funny time the whole way back to manhattan, much laughing from watt!
very tired but still most soak in tub after getting out of sweaty levis. I swapped shirt scotty-san gave me for soaked flannel but didn't bring other pants or chonis. the soak feels very good even w/tub not long enough to stretch out leg and keep it in water (I ain't gonna bellyache). I konk hard.
dominican breakfast again westside coffee shop on church street - one last time! then to jfk for one pm flight on a320 for long beach on jetblue - a good way to get back home! maybe 'pert-near six hours? my old buddy dirk comes to get, yeah, his lady jenny got van from work for more room and not having to risk overheat in his saab story. back in my pedro town safe - so grateful for them. they make one stop before dropping anchor though, a chow pad called "the enchilada house" and I have loved shoveling here since I was a teenager. I'm home! I have to say though that I'm missing all the stooges people already, truly.
this page created 03 aug 10