the bus is here. I join brother steve and the helpermen hereon out aboard this baby - it's 13.2 meters long w/a 5 meter trailer (like sixty feet total!) and the driverman is a nice cat named volker. it's run by a berlin company that's painted a big skull on the bow w/a bandage covering one eye w/the logo "you let it rock 'n' we let it roll" - on the stern is an even bigger one, like ten feet tall! this is not a incognito ride! volker is amazing getting this hook-and-ladder-truck through the london streets, crimony! it's ninety miles southwest to portsmouth and that's where we'll take the ferry to the isle of wight tomorrow morning. in the meantime, this is where we konk, there's like ten bunks in here. we drop anchor in the ferry parking lot, first spot in the lane for the 8:30 am boat.
gig day and we're on the wightlink ferry called the "st. helen" and I ride topside in the open air for the forty minute ride to cover the seven miles to fishbourne on the isle of wight, england's biggest island. it's in the english channel and supposed to be one of the sunniest places in england. in fact the rain from yesterday's gone and it is sunny and pretty nice. we drive from fisbourne to newport, the town where the isle of wight festival is held. there's a motel by a nearby marina that's being used for dressing rooms and I park my ass there, tried to get breakfast at the chow tent but was too late, it's ok cuz lunch is at one pm. I chimp diary 'til then and have trippy mix of sweet and sour chicken (china style?) plus corned beef and hash (definitely english style!), also some veggie salad w/fried egg plant/green beans/rotelli pasta out of the pod/lettuce a piece of pate. good chow - well, the corned beef was kind of salty. seasick steve comes by to say, good cat. ig/jame arrive by helicopter from the hampshire 'tel they're staying at while scotty-san arrives w/his family via ferry around six and we prac beginnings and endings. I'm already in my outfit, black levis and black flannel shirt. look who comes to visit me after prac: it's dave grohl and pat smear - oh man! I saw them last in seattle where they came to my gig at the triple door and we did "big train" and "fun house" together along w/ed vedder after me and my missing men did my third opera. whoa, so good to see them, so good so good! we spiel and spiel, they're just the best and I'm as happy as I can be. I get to introduce them to james williamson, brother steve and scotty-san.
dave's got lots of good stories and we all listen and laugh our heads off. him and pat are great spirit lifters, just the best. they are what we call in my pedro town righteous dudes.
we're on at 7:30 pm, the sun still out and bright. there's a little wind but it's ok. I'm very grateful from the turnaround from yesterday but who knows, maybe it's still raining in london. we file outside, pass john giddings on the way out - "hey boss!" I tell him and he bows as I give him an arm pat. we get taken to the stage in golf carts, I get put in the one w/ig and nina - whoa, driver's a little fast and I almost get bounced out (I'm riding in the back) when we hit a bump - thank god I was holding on tight! up and around to my side of the stage but by the back curtain, I wait to see james run out... soon enough he does and so here I go - can move a little quicker these days but am real careful still. mr slouch is here (he wasn't at yesterday's prac, was already here w/another band) and hands me the bass - whew, just get it plugged in while he's revving up the "raw power" chords and then boom! we're off! whoa, what a sound for the bass - sounds like mainly just direct going through the monitor wedges I got right starboard of me, sounds pretty "klak-klak-klak" w/no body but fuck if I'm gonna let that freak me - hmm... no eden preamp, I'm going right into the laneys - maybe there was some trouble? these festivals usually allow for line check and there's not much time for switch over, so be it - I focus on playing in time and hitting the right notes, giving it as much feel as I can. ig is righteous, dancing and singing out every iota his soul's got, fucking happening. this is not a "half-way" man ever when it comes to gigs, love it love it! right away after is "search and destroy" and a little shaky coming in? yeah, I'm a little nervous and right away put that in check and firm myself up. lots of times I can torque up and lose the trembling though there's some in my legs... man, there's a lot of folks out there - I give one quick peek and then get eyes back on ig. james is playing w/a coat on again, like he did in newcastle, trippy cuz it's a lot warmer here though I wouldn't call it sweaty. "gimme danger" is the final one of the bam-bam-bam trifecta stooges these days start their gigs out w/and I'm to chimp here I haven't clammed yet... ig tells the folks he'd like to have folks from the crowd come onstage and dance w/us but the forces that be ain't gonna let it happen so he looks over to the starboard side of the stage where "vip" people are watching and tells them to get out here w/us instead. he calls out dave grohl by name! dave comes out and dances w/ig as we do "shake appeal" and then he claps/cheers on scotty-san. I get so caught up in watching, I miss one of turn-arounds in the first chorus - my first fucking clam (damn it) but by watching james' hands, I get right back right quick - whew. someone like watt cannot take his focus off of stooge music when it's rolling, just can't do it. fuck, I scold myself in my mind, wail out a virtual backhand upside my head. there's some guy next to me w/a little kid on his shoulders, doing a kind of shuffle dance. good job. ig likes to tell folks it's really intense time now when "1970" is up and we make up for bobble-job in newcastle. I 'pert-near go into "l.a. blues" at the end though, almost! fuck! ig lets the stage breathe for a sec though (I bet he was wondering what the fuck up was w/watt) and calls for "fun house" and I'm there w/what's supposed to be, whew. he's down on the deck (not our deck but where the folks are), working the front of the barriers and he does a lot of the tune from there, even ending it but he's looking right up at me to make sure I know what's up. thank you, ig. I do got it back together though and we end it tight - now it's time for "l.a. blues" and I go for it. you know, something happened in "fun house" - maybe some kind of smoke machine shit or whatever but there's trouble w/james' pedal board about the same time. very happening though that he doesn't let it distract him - derek coming out to help but the boat still under full steam. after my amp fucking and manhandling the bass all insane I go for the tuning as quick as I can - the ibanez tuner that's always on just ain't fast enough so I gotta mute and use the boss one which is fucked in some ways but it'd be more fucked to play the rest of the gig sourass. scotty-san clicks us into "night theme" (he's being playing so great, truly) and I think at one point somewhere in the middle I blew a clam, damn it - I think I did - shit, is it ok to acknowledge these things? it's the only way I can live w/myself actually cuz denial always comes back on me like motherfucker, putting jive feelings in me. "skull thing" and man is the bass sounding thin now but I'm right on it w/eyes on james for the turn-around in "beyond the law" and lay it out strong. in a way the crowd's a little subdued I'm thinking but ig sure ain't - he tell them he wants a right and sure enough we do this new way intro way of "I got a right" that started w/the ronnie salute gig in ann arbor back in april. actually it's one of the old ways they used to do it way back when, that intro part w/james doing the riff four times before me and scotty-san hit it. boom, "I wanna be your dog" right up after - the tv camera guys have been acting like they own the stage - there was one point earlier in the set when they got a camera trolly wrapped up on ig's mic cable and he hollered "fuck tv!" and spit into the lens - I gotta say these people deserved even more than that. what's up w/them? I tried real hard not to notice and focus on the music - same w/that smoke machine shit. anyway, ig tears "...dog" up, does righteous. we come off and tells us one more - we're back on and it's "no fun" though something's sound a little funny in the tune department but the tuner's telling me things are alright, hmm... I just bear down and swing it w/scotty-san. ig's been real positive the whole gig, not letting any of the hardware malfunctions or even those camera clowns ever get him down or pissed, he's in a great mood. he gives us an audible - "let's do have of 'your pretty face is going to hell'" - yeah! I mean, how much exactly is half I don't know but I just stay alert and on him the whole time. sure enough, after the first chorus he calls for the tune to end and I cue scotty-san, we're out together tight, whoa. that was trippy. ig's laughing. time to hobble off, there's other camera and spiel folks waiting to talk w/ig right then and there. a stageman helps me down some steps cuz there's no hand rail, very kind of him. so I'm thinking this was a good first gig for this leg.
back in the 'tel (dressing rooms), dave and pat once again come in to visit us, more great spirit! the foo fighters go on last so they have time, a band from england called pulp is on now (I got to say hi to their singerman jarvis before we went on - he had brother steve play on some stuff he recorded w/steve albini). dave tells scotty-san about the time he got to back up ig for a record release party when he was younger and in scream. pat tells me about when him and darby bought "raw power" when they first saw it in a store, how they dug the cover. dave tells me he wants to go paddlin' kayaks in pedro, ok, bring it! we all have a good time, ig comes for a little bit but him and james gotta bail. more spiel and then dave and pat gotta get ready. their drummer taylor comes and we talk about perk, I tell taylor about when me and perk last played, it was w/brother wayne kramer and having him do all stooges songs w/us for a gig and blowing them out john coltrane style! john paul jones was on bass for seasick steve and I see him in the hall but am too scared to go up and meet him. scaredy-cat watt.
time for the foos so me and roadboss eric go to see as much as we can but gotta shove off after like twenty minutes cuz the bus is pulling anchor, damn. volker wheels us back onto the ferry and over to dover for another ferry ride in the morning across the channel to calais in france. I konk before we get there though, konk in my fucking outfit.
wednesday, june 15, 2011 - rho, italy
sunday I pop at the ferry pad in dover around eight or whatever - just in time for us to get on a seafrance boat named the rodin (you've heard of the sculpturer, right?). me and brother steve walk out on the aft deck (had to get out of the bus cuz of all the fucking alarms going off in the cars all around us) to see the white cliffs of dover behind us. we're making the shortest distance from england to france, to the port of calais. we chow a french version of an "english full breakfast" together and finish just in time to get back in the bus and roll out the ferry when she docks. pretty short hop. it's here where we pick up second driver stefan cuz it'll be 550 miles total to baden-baden from where we played last night and volker will need to switch ponies. the weather's really nice. we pass dunkirk and little more france before getting into belgium, then go all the away across her 'til we hit luxembourg - my first time ever in this land, can you believe it w/all the europe I've seen? yep. man, the store at the gas station (one reason volker is fueling up here is way more econo to fill up) is pretty big and long lines - many folks here to buy econo cigarettes! jos is impatient! he's good man though - all the cats I'm here w/on the bus I like a bunch - roadboss eric, other helperman derek, brother steve and oh yeah, mixerman max is w/us - he did yesterday's gig. man, you should hear the job he did mixing the "in the hands of the fans" stooges album from last year in upstate new york - righteous job, much respect! he's got this trippy travel guitar called the ultra light that is a trip - max is quite the musician as well and I think that aids him in his mixing skill maybe too. he's also smart as fuck - all these cats are interesting and learn me much all the time. from luxembourg is tiny and soon we're back in france for the rest of the drive 'til just about stop-time in baden-baden which is only a few klicks inside of germany. this a pretty town, roman baths were built here 'pert-near nineteen hundred years ago. we're at a radisson blu 'tel tonight and I hobble around some before I find a thai chowpad and get some khao phad gai (kind of like china fried rice w/hunks of chicken in it) cooked up hot and fresh to go for only five euro thirty ($7.50 us) which is econo for what looks like this part of town. I take it back to the 'tel and shovel w/some beers I got from the bus - it's a buttload and tastes good and healthy. you know there's just been an e coli breakout in northern germany killing like eighteen people? scary stuff but a man's gotta shovel something so I roll the dice... (I'm still alive to chimp this spiel days later in nantes)
monday and fucking baka watt discovers 'pert-near soon as we make the autobahn (we bailed at ten bells, I shoveled some scrambled eggs/sausage/mustard w/brother steve earlier) that I did the donate move on my yellow jacket and left at the 'tel. aaaarrrrggggghhhhh. my camera and leash (mobile phone but only works in u.s. for me) were in it too! aaaarrrrggggghhhhh, that's why I never put coats on the bulkhead hooks but I did this time, fucking idiot. roadboss eric makes the calls though to get the fucker sent ahead ('tel folks found it) to nantes, france. we pass into switzerland w/out an inspection - the borderman barely looking at the transit carnet! we call this "butter" in the u.s., an easy crossing. the swiss aren't european union so that's why we stop here and not between the lands prior. big clouds but we got still sun enough to see beautiful mountain and tinytown scenes among them. the other lands were very pretty too, the windows of the bus have been great things to lift my head up to while chimping diary. we go through many tunnels but the gotthard one is the big daddy at 16.9 klicks (a little over ten miles) and once through their we're out of the german part of switzerland and into the italian part. unfortunately there rain and you can't see shit now, damn, cuz these parts are righteous. lugano is the last big town and then we come on como which is on the italy side of the border... again no search, just wave through! maybe it's the big fucking skull painted onto the bow and stern?! grazie mille. not much more to go (today we drive 310 miles total) we get to milano around six pm - well, the town is rho and it's actually about twenty miles from milano's center, to the west. the 'tel is a holiday inn made out of an old textile factory and part of the bottom floor is a supermarket so right away I do down there and get a long bread staff, a big wedge of cavallina cheese and a stick of galbanetto salami for chow tonight. I got some beam in a care package in the mail last night and drink that, saving the canned tuna fish and jalapenos that came w/it for tomorrow. I hardly ever watch fucking tv on these tour things but I do see this old black and white italian movie in italian - of course, it's italy! my ma's people were from italy but only some words come through cuz of me being a fucking 'tard though I start kind of figuring out, kind of - maybe detective and romantic w/kids involved even? the fucked thing is the channel just goes dark right before it looks like it's gonna end so I never see the fucking finnish, arrrrrgggggghhhhh! berlusconi runs lots of italian tv, right? I did hear he lost a bunch of shit in some elections like privatizing the water, starting italian nuke power plants and getting immunity granted to him so...
tuesday and I pop at nine bells for chow. it's up one flight on the fourth floor - kind of trippy cuz usually the chow place is on the deck. there's scrambled eggs cooked w/out milk which I like and some bacon, plus some fresh kiwi I chow w/yogurt and there's also salad w/tomatoes, yeah - olive oil and and basaltic vinegar w/it like dinner time! I'm digging it. brother ste from our band il sogno del marinaio comes and he's brought me a present - a new shirt, bella! so righteous of him. we do an edition of the watt from pedro show w/our drummerman brother andrea aboard via skype from berlin where he's doing a residency and now living, we have a good time though the skype connect is lame one, crimony. the album we recorded in 2009 is coming out this fall and I'm figuring ways we can tour here and also maybe tour in the u.s. that would be righteous. anyway, when we get done we chow at a pizzeria close by and I have one w/cheese/sausage/mushroom that's real good. we then go to rho's center of town and rap a bunch 'til watt's too tuckered to go on so he brings me back and I konk. buono notte, brother ste, what a great cat, truly. however, a few hours later I pop and can't get back konked when I remember I brought my rilakkuma nightwear and that works perfect when I get it on and I konk perfect. mercy.
gig day and I pop to repeat yesterday's morning shovel (europe 'tels usually have free ones, yeah!) and then get radio show ready for upload but damn if I'm having a hell of a time getting it up, aaarrrrgggghhh. me and brother steve get picked up and brought not too far away to arena fiera where this rock in idrho festival is being held, a big kind of fair grounds and in this big building we have the dressing rooms and chow place. I wanna chow big as early as possible so get some penne pasta, fried egg plants/peppers, big salad like in the morning (more!), piece of grilled turkey, piece of grilled pork, risotto and green beans - big time mange, mange benne! also, I get to chow right next to pat smear - yeah, we're w/the foo fighters again tonight! what could be better than shoveling great chow and getting to rap w/pat a good long time? righteous.
james williamson and scotty-san arrive so we practice beginnings and endings. whoa! ig's here for a few minutes - surprised me! I give him the john waters "role models" book I just finished and he's into it, alright! helperman andrew's here instead of mr slouch (out w/another band) and he has me go check out the laney nexus amps hooked up w/my eden wp-100 navigator preamp and it sounds real good to go. he's also switched in the korg tuner james gave me and the boss one replaces the ibanez that was too slow to track (this tuner is always on and the korg will mute when I hit it). good man, many thanks from me. on the way back I meet stefano and david from ravenna that have this band the spacepony that I dig, great to see them again. david used to be a wrestler but now he's a longshoreman. they both want me to come to their town and record w/them - one day I hope I can.
nine and a quarter comes and it's time (only fifteen minutes behind), there's a ramp instead of stairs up so I hold on to the scaffolding so I don't fucking tumble. I go to my side w/andrew helping me and whoa, lots of folks in the open field - only one stage at this festival so all the focus is here. I get the bass shouldered after hobbling out fast I can and w/seconds to go I'm ready as james wails out the "raw power" chords. I gotta get my glasses off and put them on the riser too so there's always a little drama at this point. we're off and the italian crowd is way into it. I can feel ig channeling it, he's really digging the vibe - it's explosion time! the bass amps sound great and they got the monitors being fed from the amp mics like I asked andrew to do so the bass don't sound like some 'tard pounding on a pipe w/a monkey wrench. I look over starboard and there's dave grohl - yeah! I give him a holler - though I bet he can't hear it. a huge flash of an experience, the tune feels like it was a few seconds long to me and "search and destroy" is next down the pipe. whoa. no prob w/ig having the shirt off in this weather though it ain't punishing hot, just real nice. I hydrated up w/the sports drink stuff before just in case though. helperman derek redid james' pedal board and it's much more econo and efficient now. he sounds great, the whole stage sounds good and ig's singing at top form, along w/his dancing and whirls. man, it's a trip. "gimme danger" right up third real quick, here we go! tiny clam in the turn arounds after the second verse again, tiny little one but still a clam - baka watt! I gotta tell you though ig is really lit by these folks and it's night and day w/them compared the pile of shite gig (I just say that cuz it rhymes perfect not cuz it was a weakass gig cuz it wasn't), where the folks were much more staid. this time when he calls for dancers, he doesn't look to the side of the stage but ask the gig-goers to "get up here and dance w/the stooges!" a bunch a young guys somehow bound on up, one lady finally joining them as we tear up "shake appeal" and no clams from me like the shite I unloaded last gig when I got distracted gawking at dave. he's cleared out by now, maybe avoiding getting collared in? ha! ig wouldn't do that - it was cuz of that stupid law in that land. this time these cats are dancing up a storm, a young man putting his phillies baseball cap on me for a while, it's ok - he's cracking up as he dances. sure enough later in the tunes, I see it ig's head for a while and he's looking at the dancers and dancing it up right w/them, finally the young man getting his hat back and everyone clearing the stage. I wish the helpermen would have happier looks on their face - not cuz I wanna tell that cuz I love them but I wish they could share in the joy I get w/these cats up here hoofing it all they can. I know there's some scary stuff, some very lame could happen but... shit, I don't know how to put it but the sourass face stuff is, hmm... I don't how to put it... time for "1970" and the band intro stuff of old is gone and now ig likes to tell folks "the real music is coming" - he says were "the shitty stooges" and he wants this music to "go right up the buttonhole" w/it. this tune always seems to wanna light him up that way. he pours a bottle over his head and just totally fucking fired up. I am in awe but I also hammer it down w/all I got. one of the wedges has crept up way in front of the other (I'll find out later no one moved them - it was the fucking bass boom-boom-boomin' them across the fucking deck!). now here comes something new: ig put "open up and bleed" to follow and when I saw that earlier I thought it was a great fucking idea - and to go from there to "l.a. blues" which makes total sense! the set dynamic is very happening and the band plays it real good under ig's singing that at points every time makes wanna bawl my head out, it's got that much feel in it and hits me in the gut every time. and now that wild wail james wanted by putting it at the end of the set (he said they used to do that in the old days) now can happen w/the freak out w/usually reserve for when "fun house" finishes. not only in theory is it a great idea but it's very happening when we bring it onto the italian people here - well, brother steve didn't have "...blues" written on his set list so ig has to holler at him some direct as he's making his way off stage. I wail it up on the bass good and fuck the amps pretty hard w/though my stack is sitting on a low cart w/wheels so it kind of moves (surprising though how good it sounds w/out the bass cabs not making contact w/the deck). I get good and tune w/out having to kill the sound w/mutes, great - this tuner arrangement is much more happening. into "night theme" and instead of blowing that little clam twice like I did last gig, I blow it only once but that once too many. fuck - both these clams so far are tiny enough ok but not tiny enough for me to avoid and I'm gonna fucking get it together, you know? I'm not into trying to "get away" w/anything w/the stooges - I wanna be there w/everything I got and be good for them. god damn me. that's how I feel when I think about stinking up, even a tiny bit for a fucking moment. scotty-san fools me a little w/his intro coming in a few bars early for "skull thing" but maybe cuz my focus wavered some thinking of that other shit. one thing I got really get down is not to wring hands in the moment - I gotta save that for AFTER the fucking gig! right into "beyond the law" - seeing james actually count out the licks by seeing his mouth move before making the leap! he's been sounding good and scotty-san's slamming and even dangerous w/out letting the keel out of the water although we for sure get up some angle like a tack on a hard wind, especially w/the last choruses of "I got a right" - did I delay just a cunthair in the beginning? maybe just a cunthair but there was ig right next to me and I know he knows! man, he's digging this gig though, loving the spirit the folks were for are so generous w/so I'm very down w/that, down w/it big time. one cat's been holding a sign up all gig that has "FUCK ME DOG" written on it. fuck, it looks like he's wearing a lakers shirt but I can't risk looking at it more the spit-moment. "I wanna be your dog" is in fact next and ig works a lot of it down w/the folks, in the moat. after a bunch, he wants to rejoin us onstage, saying "how do I get up there?" yeah, some unpredictable stuff that way. I remember at one point him swinging the mic around his head REAL WIDE and helperman derek pulling james back by the shoulders cuz it was coming close. whoa, the gigs done, seemed like it flew by in a few seconds!
I go off the stage on my side which is very different - I wait for everyone to come back, then I go and get the bass on. it's "no fun" for the VERY LAST one. ig's all smiles - folks are all the way back as they can go, it's been a blast, holy smoke. I get my bass off and holler ITALIA! as I pump-hoist it up three times.
I go down the ramp very slow though, holding onto the scaffolding and feeling the chuck taylor's slip a little a couple of times. I don't use the van we all came over in but hobble by myself like I dig doing if it's possible. man, I give thanks I made it through another one! ha! what a trippy mindblow this is still to me, even after eight years. actually I'm very glad about that, very glad. we don't a jaded fucking watt ever!
stefano and david from the spacepony are there to rap w/me when I finally make my way back (I got them some pizza too) - I looked for il sogno del marinaio ste all around this backstage bar part but couldn't find him - there's an interview w/a great cat named simon that I really wanna do so I give up the search and do the spiel. whoa, what a night.
the bus leaves soon so I can't see any foos, damn it but I do get a good hug on their tourboss gus, a cat I've know a long time. we got 660 miles to cover to get the next gig in france. I talk to a friend of joe baiza's who's working for social distortion (they played before us) and named danny, nice cat. we laugh about funny stuff. so much rapping w/the spacepony cats that no shower or outfit change so it's a watt w/an ordor who gets on the bus and pretty soon it's just me and volker up front but he's way up front w/the steering wheel (duh!). I have a good think about stuff before climbing into the bunk and getting down to just chonies and konking.
friday, june 17, 2011 - clisson, france
man, I konk for eleven hours - that's how good a boat rolling feels on me, inducing and nurturing the konk mode in me like 'pert-near nothing else 'cept may that rilakkuma night and no, I ain't in them or anything else but chonies but there is a little prob when I do pop at one in the afternoon (fuck, I can't remember when the last time I konked that long) - there's an odor to me. now it's like I foisted the chonies-only look on the fellow boat dwellers but rather the outfit I get into is last night's gig outfit and cuz of the black in the shirt, on the sides I can white salts meaning I sweated kind of big time but worse than EVEN I can detect the odor so it must be foul. I am sorry. I must be disgusting everyone. roadboss eric even starts writing down what goes into a watt stooges stage outfit at this point we're now at so maybe I can sling civilian clothes (and therefore have enough clean ones) and overseas here there can be stage outfits for me. it's very kind of him, of course I don't resist and I think everyone else is kind of into it too, maybe inspired by the current sitch so ok, black levis like my blue ones (I think the number model is 501? they got buttons and no zippers and legs straight w/no flairs - no "dockers" kind of thing going at the waist either) and solid black flannel shirts where I could only find suitable, walmart (though called "faded glory" I think they're from china) and fuck, eight bucks each where I got them in long beach but eric says there's online access so I don't know, I can't believe I'm writing so much about something like outfits and being lax on control of bad smell (an odor) cuz it's fucking probably sick to have to wade through embarrassed words like these and now I'm thinking also apologize to readers of this chimped tour spiel from me. sorry, truly.
I think while I was konked we went to genoa and then out of italy and into france towards lyon, making for nantes from that direction. there's a driver named michael to help like the drive from baden-baden to rho. nantes is in brittany which is on france's west coast but this town is inland and kind of the southeast part of the region. I've never been here before. brother steve says it's the france's biggest town. sure is pretty and so this why again I'm in the head kicking the fuck out of myself for spacing and forgetting my goddamn coat at that 'tel in baden-baden cuz that's where my camera is so I get no fucking shots. asshole watt. supposedly it was mailed to the 'tel here in this town we're staying at, the mercure. soon as I get in the hatch of my chamber I try the free internet to get the june fourteen radio show up and viola! it works! fuck, I don't what was up - maybe some problem w/uploading it from there in italy but it's working here and I'm so glad. fuck, it's bloomsday and I wanna tell people about that and the show w/my italian il sogno buddies! whoa, there's a tub... I do a big long soak - something a show can't get you. then I go wandering, I mean hobbling about this old part of the town, where we're at. damn, again I'm pissed no camera to take shots of the big ol' cathedral, the big ol' castle. there's many little streets/alleyways filled w/chow pads. when I get tuckered, I make my way to shwarma pad and damn if it ain't brother steve so we chow some together. back at the 'tel he comes and visits and I tell him about the "principia discordia" and stuff like that cuz he wants to know about it. the other day dan brown and his whole cottage industry came up so I was explaining "the holy blood and the holy grail" book that came out way before that he kyped from and he did know about umberto eco's "foucault's pendulum" but really had it strung together like his wack bass friend so I oblige him. you know what a fucking hoot? how many have called beignet, leigh and lincoln's work unscholarly as hell while brown wins the plagiarism suit they brought on by saying you can't get sued for copying fiction that comes from research, only for copying other fiction! think about it! even more corny though is the fucking "tommy" movie from the 70s that helperman andrew hips to me being on the tube after brother steve bail. oh man. he did flow me some "experiences w/dylan testimonials" that were funny though, especially where this guy in malibu sees bob filling up a vw bug and is gawking - dylan saying over to him "ain't you ever seen god pump gas?" and this cat snapping out of his haze whups out "you're not donovan" (anybody who's seen "don't look back" know what that means), causing dylan to bust up and tell him to be quiet. I konk but then like in italy the other night, pop back up and just like then too, putting on the rilakkuma nightwear works big time. only thing is I get a nightmare - trippy, I got one on the bus too on the ride here but it was first and then eight hours of good peaceful konk, after a pop to piss - thank god for that cuz I was stuck in that fucking terror world in my konked head. they were both so bad all I remember was some torture that could in no way be stopped but could for moments be put of but this meant gigantic dread in the meantime, maybe kind of worse? I don't know, totally fucked up if the konk was all the way that but it wasn't. fucking life is weird.
gig day and I pop at eight bells, go downstairs for the free shovel. now they like milk in the scrambled eggs here - whoa, not too happening for watt so just a little w/some apple sauce (!), bio yogurt plus a tiny roll w/salami and cheese. up to the chamber to chimp up the rho gig - outside is rain, aaarrrrgggghhhhh. another soak w/the tub. no coat showed up and the man in baden-baden who mailed it has the day off and so nobody can find out anything. oh well. life is trippy. at noon I meet a nice cat named arnaud in the 'tel lobby for a zine called "abus dangereux" interview. he is very knowledgeable and asks me good questions. this zine has be around too, since the 80s... sure nice of them to have me aboard. like w/simon in rho wednesday, both these writers know much about econo and my old days.
it's a one hour drive to where this hellfest gig is in a town called clisson and the weather is pretty lame. sure it could worse but there's rain and wind... well, it's summer, right? right - not summer in my pedro town! of course this engagement came together for the stooges through alain - alain is the great stooges connect w/france, much respect to him. his lieutenant for this gig is vivi and he leads through the metal land made up of some of the backstage to where we are in the back. 118 bands at this three day wail, whoa. maybe stooges only non-cookiemonster one? I think we're sandwiched between two. I'm very glad stooges are playing something like this, something so genre-driven cuz for me the stooges in a trippy way stand for music w/a backhand to genre - that's what they are for me. there's some slices of pretty red (bloody) roast beef and some cheddar that I put on some baguette half sliced sidewise - damn, I wish had some kind of mustard. then we work on beginnings and endings, doing "johanna" and "cock in my pocket" cuz ig says there might be audibles.
we're on at five after nine but I go up early w/roadboss eric cuz w/all the rain, I'm scared of slipping and tumbling. there's two main stage, one next to either so one can go off while the other's getting set up but this makes for an unbalanced focus but actually the field ain't all that deep. this cat comes up to me and says they played early this morning (first band went off at 10:30 am) and he's been waiting all day to see the stooges - respect to him. I see roadboss eric across the back of the stage and give him both fists out. last gig I was baka and not acknowledging his thumbs up signs - actually I thought he was asking me to mover forward, then back - I didn't understand! idiot. I do now! I see james run out, he's got a black coat on. ig was talking about wearing a bathrobe cuz of the cold but that is not the case, he's shirtless. "raw power" from james and after the usual eight bars I come in but I COME IN BY MYSELF, there's no scotty-san, aaarrrggghhhhh! what an idiot, I should've of watched and waited instead of just counting four - COUNTING FUCKING FOUR - THE STOOGES AIN'T ABOUT COUNTING FUCKING FOUR! sometimes someone like me gets scared, gets torn on what to do - there's a dilemma world like that for me now when I pedal my bike - yeah, even w/knee fucked up I've been pedaling to get it stronger. of course I can't pedal up big hills or even do standup pedaling but I go to the pier at cabrillo beach and back (about ten miles) but the scariest part is when I gotta stop cuz all these years - since I was a boy and learned to pedal - it's always been about kicking out the port leg so I can come down on it and prop myself up but now w/the starboard one the good one I gotta go for that but I fucking can't unlearn the old way so what is it? APPREHENSION 'pert-near every fucking time and I'm scared. fuck, sorry to veer off w/spiel like that - I think we do the tune pretty good though and the stage sound is great. trippy about what's up here and what gets hear out there - even w/out dudes cuz max was telling me about the isle of white gig and not know anything about all the probs james was having up on stage, the pedaling board going out and all (by the way, on the ride over I asked james like the econo way pedal board and he said no but he's got a new thing coming) and that's our very own mix man! now it ain't like max is oblivious cuz he's one of the most aware cats I've ever met in my life but I think it's the gap between what the people making the gig perceive and what the people witnessing the gig perceive - they can be (and probably mostly are) two entirely different universes. so I hope that goes for saying about the fucking TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE WINDBAGS I chimp in these tour spiels - in no way do I pretend to be the "objective chronicler" or final word on any of it - even including my goddamn 'tard "impressions" or whatever. damn don't it embarrass me up to high-heaven to stop and even think of it for a moment. on one had I digging the most righteous bass sound that's going for me here and then I'm feeling ig's in different place than the last two gigs (which is more important cuz damn it, it ain't about me but THE STOOGES!), especially the italian one but I double up resolve to do good for this band. "search and destroy" seems to drop a little right from the start in the tempo it got counted in w/but I don't think it's bad, think it's kind of happening cuz remember there was cookiemonster before us and cookiemonster after so all this were doing is making for good contrast if we can make it swing, make it together. trippy thing about tune three though, "gimme danger" cuz james actually starts playing "open up and bleed" (both tunes have him alone for their intro) so I'm wondering, is it gonna break out of that and bring "gimme danger" once scotty kicks in or do I follow him w/open up and bleed... fuck, big time dilemma... I just choose to go w/the setlist (more fucking autopilot like the beginning) and james sticks w/what he started w/so I sound like a fucking idiot. ig stops us right away, thank god. we do "gimme danger" and it feels like we make happen solid - ig's out there selling it and I make sure I don't even blow a micro clam, I really fucking make sure. there's something I'm scared of - happens always when we're in the rain - I get scared for ig slipping and falling but there's a way over the front of the stage and the wind is blowing from behind us so both of those things keep the deck dry too. of course I'm scared of myself slipping and falling too (BIG TIME) but I'm not out the wheeling on some wild dance moves - ig is a very brave man. I think he's a little more angry now but he proceeds full steam ahead and I'm thinking I'm there for him and the band and that's it, I wanna be right there and help keep the keel in the water and have us tack strong. I put my hand back on scotty-san's snare and he gives me fist tap: solidarity. now ig calls for dancers to join us for "shake appeal" so it's like the pile of shite gig and he cant' really call for cats from the crowd but rather asks for side of the stage ones, folks up here w/us but they ain't really v.i.p. but I do think lots are from the other bands - actually like the go! boss ian patron says, "everyone's a v.i.p." - I think that's what one of their instrumentals is called. we rock it good w/these people, then and the stooges and ig's smiling big time - he loves dancing w/people like this, loves it. "1970" up next and pretty time roaring... I think we've regrouped good, and ig is intense and really racketed up. we finish and he goes on the mic, "no listen to me: I want you to play the shit out of this song" so I'm thinking "yes sir, damn right" but don't really know what exactly it's gonna be so when he hollers "fun house" (not on the list) I'm thinking "don't fucking choke watt, don't fucking choke!" and bring us in w/the bass intro. man, I love the way this song give both ig and way to do his steps probably different than at any other time when we play but also his singing and at the same time I think for scotty-san it's like that too but of course for his drumming. it's obvious for brother steve and his sax. I just really love this song, love it love it love it and I hope we NEVER boot it from the set forever - that's the way I truly feel about it. I think ig's using here like a pallet-cleanser, to was away some clam taste and I figuring he wants to do how this baby was on the album - going right into "l.a. blues" so I bash up the anchor bass james williamson had brian michael made me not w/just w/fist but w/wildass flurries of notes and slurs ands shit. I go hogwild as my hobbled-up ass (cuz of my hurt) knee will let me - I wanna do up good w/amp fucks and all that but still come out in tune w/using mutes... I gotta let some string drone happen for the tuner but the boss is quick so not much and then I follow those drones up w/a little more wail but backing it off w/some trane quotes and letting scotty-san click us into "night them" which I make for goddamn sure I don't blow even the bit of clam, every attention-monitoring thing I got jacked up into high gear for that. as per usual but not trying to be connect-the-dots sleepwalk "per usual" we do the "skull thing" bit to hook us up into "beyond the law" where in the first bit I'm right on the money but something trippy after the bridge in "...law" I blow my only clams of the gig but damn I'm glad it was still in key. really weird how my head for a moment went "deer-in-the-headlights" like that - I mean, just like that... very weird - a gig is always dice rolling for watt! like I said, I'm glad it was a tunewrecker move. "penetration" next and ig really likes how we do it, says "yeah, that's the way" when we finish, I'm so glad. it did sound good to me also. oh yeah, it was helperman derek's first time working the celeste part on brother steve's little keyboard too - his cheery gig (or cherry song) w/the stooges! "I got a right" and ig's lit up now but don't he ain't been working it, just more like he's got a feel that's brighter than the gray sky and rain coming down - you know though? that's kind of stopped too, yeah! "I wanna be your dog" last now and I see cats waiving their empty beer pitchers (I ain't been looking out much to the crowd but mainly have had me head big time into stooge world) and a little shaky getting-us-all-in moment (I make sure the one that begins w/the groove that scotty-san's on is THE ONE, no matter what though) and for after the guitar solo, not only do I play soft like I usually do but turn the know down a third too cuz scotty-san hipped me to the fact the band could use more dynamic there. we finish I think strong. I hobble over quick to my side and her's andrew w/a towel - I never want towels right after I play, too difficult but I hold on to vivi's shoulder and wait for what's next... when the other guys come out, james tells me "no fun" so I know what to do and bring soon as ig has scotty-san bring it. towards the end he gives the gig-goers some pretty huge mooning, I mean jeans yanked down to the knees mooning and then he flips it around and scotty-san gets some, I look at scotty-san and whoa, there's a facial reaction! we're done after some huge twirl fanfare for ig to yeah, twirl and - BAP, we're finished. that was good and strong.
I can't find my glasses on the riser I start to hobble and can see andrew has them, whew. wish they'd stay up there though cuz I get paranoid not know where shit is. slow-go down off the stage for me. brother steve from the van yells up "come w/us?" and I waive him off... I like hoofing myself back after the gig, let's me wind down some even w/the little drizzle that's coming down once again... I get to dressingrom and become very still for a while, that was intense on me and I think intense for the band. I'm thinking though actually I truly believe about, it's about the band - I wanna be there for this band, love them. I get the nerve up and go into ig's room and bow. he asks me how the crowd was but my mind's slow so all I can get out quick enough (I don't wanna bogart his time) is I thought it was hard for the gig-goers cuz of the rain. that was kind of simpleton, crimony - well at least it was econo w/word use. I am very grateful for him saying I do good w/the bass playing which might sound strange after me just chimping here "it's about the band and not about me" and I'm feeling kind of weird about that now even. I just wanna do good for the stooges. ig smiles big at me. I go and shower cuz of thinking what an odor I put on those folks on the bus w/me the other night. I'm real careful cuz I don't wanna slip here but when I'm almost done I hear a lot of ladies voices real concerned calling for me and I say "moment" a couple of times but as I come out through the room I see all kinds of blood on the deck so maybe that though that was me - "problem?" they ask but I tell them I'm ok. I do see the shower sign on the hatch was on the ladies head hatch however - dumbfuck watt - but man, there were passers in tree - not just shitters. roadboss eric tells me though one of the bands had their fake makeup coming off and that's where that was from, it wasn't real blood.
the bus is shoving off at eleven bells w/me, jos, max, scotty-san and his wife liz so that's not much time and in fact I'm a little cuz of hobbling kind of slow - I don't wanna slip in the mud. voker says if we bail at that time then we can make london heathrow airport by noon. that's important for me cuz two hours after that I fly to dublin cuz I don't go right home, I have a missingmen gig there. I get to talk w/jos and max as we roll north through france for a bit and then when they konk, I talk some w/volker while he's driving but after some there's a flash and it's a fucking speed camera so I think I'm distracting him some and head for first the back to feel like and idiot some and then to the bunk to konk.
voker wakes and I see daylight - we make calais at 7:15 am but just a bit too late so must wait for the next ferry, it's a little over an hour to get across, we get to dover about ten and a half. all of us gotta do passport for england check and then we're on the same kind of ferry we took over but it's got a different name I can't remember and have no camera shots to refer to cuz the yellow jacket that's holding it is somewhere in mail limbo, baka watt. volker takes me up to the "professional drivers" chow part of the ferry and makes it so I can have french version of full english version though I have kind petit one cuz I ain't all that hungry. he talks about wanting to see the u.s. but for a couple of months cuz he wants time to not just have cursory visit. he tells me about diving, he digs that and does it from hundred foot cliffs, whoa. he's a good cat and very wise about a lot of stuff. last night he was saying some interesting stuff that made me think.
just like he said, he gets us to london heathrow airport at noon on saturday! I was a little paranoid but that's cuz I was stupid and forgot england is one hour earlier than france w/the time, baka mike. my flight is also delay a couple of hours but I make it to meet promoter man timo and he gets me to "the button factory" right in time for soundcheck - yeah, united once again w/tom and raul, righteous! this is their fourth day here cuz I wanted to have kind of have little dublin vacation for all the hard work they did for me last april and may. our buddies tera melos (from cali), estel and adibisi shank (both from dublin) join us for this gig, great cats and so good to be w/them. nathan from tera melos lets me borrow his 70s-era gibson grabber bass, trippy but I can do it and am very grateful to him. timo gets me a pasty to chow, one w/feta cheese and spinach I think, it's good. we're on third of the fourth but I see every wail - yeah, all the bands play real good, just blow me away and even though it's been 'pert-near three weeks since I played the third opera w/tom and raul (they're also all using borrowed gear from our friends), we do pretty good, me spacing on only a little bit of the spiel. I'm so glad me and my guys got to be part of this "dublin econo blowout" kind of mini-fest, so glad. we go to estel drummerman bushie's pad out of town a bit but closer to the airport which is great cuz tom and raul gotta bail at like just after four am. miss hiyori is w/us too. bushy shows me the bed I get to use and it has a big duvet I think it's called? after hosing off, I get into the nightwear to check it out but also to take some chill off and fuck, wouldn't you know it? I fucking konked and never said bye to my men - baka watt. sor-ry. when bushy pops, he cooks me up eggs and tofu sausage, a bottle of sriracha chili to help. he's very happening people, his wife anne too. he plays me the new album coming out soon that has me and brother steve on it! yeah, can't wait. the sun is out bright. I might've miss bloomsday by a couple days here in dublin but sure got the sprit!
the flight home first goes to london heathrow (yeah, backtrack!) so I fly there from dublin (aer lingus a321 like the flight I took yesterday, all full too) at noon and the four pm british airlines 747 flight is a half hour late on the ground cuz the car they use to check the runway got in the way some but we got off finally which mad me happy even though I was on another packed boat, even in a middle seat and not an aisle - I'm just so glad everything came together like it did. trippy juggling stooges w/my stuff cuz I don't want ever the stooges or my guys let down by me, never - and if (when?) I do fuck up, I wanna make it right quick as possible. ten hours in a middle seat - hey, no bellyachin' (my pop said the only bellyachin' for him was about bellyachin' - hey it's father's day today in the u.s. and it'll be the twentieth one now since cancer killed him, fuck...) - I chimp up diary and see a movie, rare for me but I did cuz I wanted somehow to stay up some cuz landing at lax at seven pm... it's called "killing bono" and it was pretty much lame but could've been so much worse so, well, ok... my sister melinda had to park and come to the terminal cuz I had no leash (it's in the fucking yellow coat I spaced on) but she is kind and is always helping me. I get back to my pedro town at eigth and a half and first thing I do is get those soilled garments into the wash so I can konk in the rilakkuma nightwear which I do - on my own deck and it's righteous...
saturday, july 2, 2011 - tonbridge, england
time for another stooges euro tour leg...
wednesday nanny brought got me to the lax airport around three. fastest bag drop ever after bringing in printed checkin airplane ticket ever. I mention this cuz british airways usually is big time dawdle but not this time. upstairs at the bradley terminal, before security I find an airport version of "pink's" - that hot dog chowpad on la brea just north of melrose - damn! I'm wondering if it's the same? I get something called the "lax international dog" and damn if it don't taste like the hollywood one - but not fucking long-ass line. you know in the old days, there weren't lines like that. I found out about that pad after a gig at pad a block away called "blackie's" in the late 70s. my old friend tony, the pool cleaner man in pedro I knew for forty years loved when I'd take him up there and we both chow dogs, a cat named johnnie worked there for the longest time and we'd see paul pink bring a new batch of chili - they never had more than two ever working and never any ladies. things have changed though there big time but the chow still is really good. thinking of tony, he's been gone a year now, died in his sleep... damn I miss him bad, miss him real bad. thank god I got nanny from the old days, since the late 70s. if you know any of my watt band tour shirts w/drawings of "the man" (my cat for fourteen years) incorporated in the design then you've seen some of her art though twisted through my direction - please don't blame her! anyway, it's nine hours on a british airways 747 to london heathrow - third time this way for me to over there in the last five weeks! cuz of the pink's dog I didn't touch the plane chow. I did bring a book on confucius miss kelley gave me many years ago. in it she wrote: "to sickie, hope this can help" - fat chance, ha! so glad she gave me that and so man other great things though. roadboss eric and brother steve are already here when I clear immigration and get my yellow clothes sack (I got the pignose amp I used in my porno for pyros days in it so we can prac beginnings and ending before gigs w/not so much mime) - oh, there was big delays feared at immigration cuz of a strike being called at midnight but for me just before noon (it's thursday now - london is eight hours ahead of my pedro town), I was like some of the first few people in line and probably my quickest through ever in my life! clyde takes us three to the same 'tel we were at in london a couple weeks ago, "the landmark" in the marylebone part of town - so good to see clyde again, what a great cat. it takes two fucking hours to get there but it bums him out not at all, his spirit is righteous. yellow sack drop in the room and then right over to the same "john henry's" prac pad we used before, near the old pentonville prison. it's here I meet larry, I mean toby dammit - drummerman for jessie evans, their duet has opened up for the stooges three times and they're connected w/tourboss henry. larry's a great cat - I can't think anyone better to help us w/scotty... uh, maybe I explain more this sitch here, right? well, a couple of days ago I got a nightmare call from stooges tourboss henry: scotty-san was just put in the hosp in london, oh my god. he can't do the gigs we got coming up this tour leg. henry says ig's been trying to call me but my fucking leash is in the yellow jacket (remember, my ma has gotten me three yellow jackets, three xmases in a row - she kept forgetting) I fucking forgot last tour leg at the 'tel in baden-baden, germany (I'm supposed to get back next week, by the way) cuz he wants ideas about a drummer to do these gigs - it's been decided we're still doing them so I get on e w/my buds and supply a bunch of folks - man, ms yuko would be incredible and ig dug her when we both played w/him at that yoko ono gig back last september but cuz of the england work permit thing, someone there has to come through and know all the tunes in a couple of days - that's where larry comes in. also noted should be the fact larry did drums for ig during the 90s, an amazing story that is in itself, him getting that job: he followed ig gig to gig w/his drums in the back of his car w/pleading letters and cassette tapes 'til finally he got an audition! wild. we go through the set and he knows these tunes, most of them. the tunes he didn't know, he learned in the last few days. much respect to him for his work ethic, much respect! we talk about my boilersuit stooges days during a break - he's got boilersuits for these gigs he's gonna do, yeah! we finish around seven and back at the 'tel I go to the marylebone train station across from the rear entrance and get a cold bowl of pasta and chicken from a "marks & spencer" there which is surprisingly ok to push down my thrown. my friend jose from the angel part of town comes over w/out kyoko but w/whiskey and we spiel 'til I konk on the deck. he's been learning dogs to behave at battersea where there's a dog/cat shelter - you'd know this pad if you've seen that "animals" album cover by pink floyd.
I pop at eleven and a half friday cuz of a knock on the hatch by tourboss henry - fuck, that's supposed to be pull anchor time for fucking prac - fucking idiot watt! I feel so stupid, goddamn it. in moments I get my hobbled as to the van, aaarrrrgggghhhhh - I am so sorry, so ashamed. I never konk that long - I know "jet lag" or whatever but I konked on the plane ride over and I don't wanna pass blame - it was my fucking fault. everyone is kind and forgives me though I feel I don't deserve it, I should have a beaten where everyone gets blows in. we get right to prac though and nail stuff down more w/larry. ig joins us around four and we really get things nailed. it is weird moment for the stooges but doing the best we can w/the sitch. scotty-san's supposed to get out of the hosp tomorrow but it's gonna takes weeks for him to heal, henry tells us - he's been able to visit him. fuck, I miss him so much, worrying like crazy - thank god larry's here for us as far as playing as a band but I can't help but think of scotty, the man... "gotta keep it together, watt" I tell myself over and over. after prac, I hoof to where I got fish and chips last time I was at this 'tel, "mickey's fish bar" up on edgeware road and come back to chow it and after, just resting for what I thought was a second on a padded bench here in the chamber, I find myself opening my eyes and it's 'pert-near midnight - FUCK, I was supposed to see deerhoof, dinosaur and the flaming lips at the alexandra palace in north london - what a fucking dick! second konking at wrong time incident shit in the same fucking day, crimony!
gig day and I pop at eight, soak some (good long tub) and then shovel at a chow pad called maybe "the corner cafe" which has got england breakfast and coffee for five and a half pounds. I guess the counterman had a prob hearing me but I wasn't gonna holler in his pad w/all these folks next to me. maybe he was having a trippy day. I shovel quick and get out of there. back a half a block and check out of the 'tel, me and brother steve are traveling w/the band helperman to the gig. the driverman is brian and his bus is a kind I've never been on before, two stories w/bunks at the top, two seats up front - we're above the driver and get a good view of east london as we head to tonebridge. it's only like thirtythree miles but it takes two hours - man, london traff is big time plug! we're playing the hop farm festival and that's what that's exactly what the location is: an old farm where they grow (or grew?) hops, lots of big old oast houses w/their trippy cowls all over. the weather is righteous, like so cal where I live and the countryside where we're at very pretty. I chow a little bit of pasta (this and lenny kaye comes bye to say hi, he's always very kind to me. we get there and I use mask and earplugs to get four hours of konk on dressing room couch - I've leaned to konk 'pert-near anywhere. I get into new outfit procured by roadboss eric, it is same kind black levis jeans but the black flannel shirt is from a company called "woolridge" and not is walmart kind - cost more $$$ I'm told but also made in china. I like it. there's new pair of black chuck tailors but still I wear the orange ones I got in the mail by someone very generous.
our on-stage time 'pert-near twenty minutes late now (lou reed went over cuz his start time was running behind) when tourboss henry comes to tell us "let's go!" and I try to lead the pack w/my hobble - usually I wanna already be up there cuz of my lameness but I wanted to be w/larry as much as I could cuz fuck, it's our fist time together. it ain't far, just past the chow tent and james actually gets up the stairs before I do (the securityman first has to been enlightened to him being the guitarman!) and when I get up onstage I see there's been some big curtain put up so how do I get over to my side (stage starboard)? I ask eric and he points to just go across in front of the back curtain which is kind of fucked cuz folks can see me damn if I don't get halfway across when someone hollers for me to get on cuz damn, ig's given the GEE OH... I hobble hop quick as I can over to the amp - helperman andrew has the bass james had made for me (the one w/the anchor on the headstock, made by brian michael) and I get it slung but fuck, it's time to come in - larry's doing his intro - aaaahhh, I can't get my glasses off but even more lame is I don't know whether the bass is hot or is the tuner muted OR - third choice is the volume knob on the bass itself is down all the way... actually, it could be a combination of this shit but the reality is the volume down all the way and the reality of finding that out NOT IN TIME TO COME IN W/LARRY is a fucking clam - ig looks over at me and I would not blame him one bit for slapping the shit out of me but he don't and instead takes care of business in regards to working this gig. yeah coming on eight pm but the sun is out bright at maybe two o'clock (so my side) but there's a breeze and this farmland makes things very pretty and nice for the gig-goers. ig's working the stage and his voice like champ, damn, amazing - even after all this time and all the circumstances/situations he still blows me away, every fucking time, I swear. james is playing good too. larry has no problem w/eye contact, he's way into it and I check in w/him all the time. he puts cymbals low so it appears he's kind of high above his drums, trippy in his boilersuit zipped all the way to his neck, great look. man, I can feel for him - just two days of prac and getting the call only monday, crimony! "search and destroy" right up next - I get my fucking glasses off and put them on the riser just in time. larry plays it a little slower but ig don't call for it faster so that's where we're at and it's happening. the england gig-goers have great spirit, they're cooking w/all the oil ig's got for him and we're right behind w/the machinery flailing. wild. then "gimme danger" and I put my bass up a bit cuz I need it so I don't dig "the flipper" into the strings too hard. I can't believe I broke a string (e, the big one) at prac yesterday, especially being less younger - I used to do it all the time in older days - I do have the eden preamp feeding both the laney power amp sections w/each of them feeding a laney 8x10 cab but it's behind the amp and I can't get to it (helperman andrew says helperman jos says it don't look good sitting on the top) but luckily the laney's main volume knobs work and the tone is good and growly. I'm cuing larry on the ending but I think I faked a little bit and he 'pert-near closed down eight bars early - I got be more clear w/the headstock dips - baka watt! ig calls for dancer cuz we got "shake appeal" coming up and though it ain't a ton, we got a good bunch up there w/us. we start up and ig wants the tempo up but actually I think larry keeps it the same and I stay w/him - it's a rhythm SECTION, right? the dancers are really good and having a fun time - so's ig, he's right in there w/them and right w/us, right in front of larry... and look, it's rob pargiter, damn! how many gigs has been to and up on stage here w/the stooges to dance his brains out? what a brother! so glad to see him, so glad! he always brings joy to me, every time - yo, he takes a picture w/his leash:
some of these cats get right in my face and they're having a ball, I can dig it. one dude though kisses me on the mouth - no tongue but maybe not the most healthy and well, I ain't really used to getting kissed by dudes like that, and... kind of a surprise - I do spit out right after just in case of germs, no disrespect but... I guess people get caught up in it - I do - stooges music is wild. we finish good and tight, I use my arm to cue james and larry and then mute to tune up. it's just then when I start thinking of scotty-san and me here doing stooges music w/out him and it's trippy. it's kind of fucked up cuz it stumblebums my focus and the band starts "I need somebody" w/their idiot bass player muted - fuck, I hit the tuner button but then lose count of the intro riffs and clam a little bit on the beginning of the first verse - aaaahhh, I mentally break a leg off up in my ass and get my shit into gear... there might be a couple of other bumblekinks but I really boned down hard to defeat the blurry shit in my head and regain focus, fuck. I feel like an idiot but I ain't gonna feel sorry for myself, I'm gonna do something about it. ig called this "the blues" and larry swung it good but now ig wants us to pick it up and "1970" is the place to do it. we blast it hard. ig imploring brother steve to BLOW! at the end, a personal up-and-close pitch on him. wild. then he calls "fun house" and I'm right there w/the bass intro and larry's got the groove on, ig guiding us w/the dynamics and all his steps/twists - "time" - he looks at like where his watch would be, then looks right at james and smiles, ig's in a good mood, a great mood. "l.a. blues" erupts after ig sings the last tune lines right in my face, his eyes right there and intense - I'll never forget it, he never broke off the eye-to-eye 'til we were done, damn - it was like he was reaching way down and yanking the soles of my feet from the inside and pulling them out right through my pupils. I go to town on this red bass then, fucking to town - fucking the amps w/it, twice even and then getting her tuned up - fuck the e went down a step to d - aaarrrrgggghhh but I get it together and larry brings us into a slower "night theme" than I think I've ever done (larry said earlier to me that watching scotty-san at a gig in paris where he and jessie opened up for us that he could believe how the man drummed as strong and hard as he did, he has such respect for him, such respect) but it's together and thank god I'm in tune. "skull thing" w/a much different pattern for larry vs what I'm used to w/scotty but that's ok. we get right into "beyond the law" and I've made a change in the bass in a couple places here - first in the intro, cutting out a pivot and just laying on the root and then at the coda pivoting on some octave pedal as the rolls fly. fuck, I'm always scared w/these guys trying something new even w/the prac cuz I get afraid easy (or flustered? ok, scared) but I get this happening pretty ok. whew, I don't wanna any more fuckups from me - no more clams! no time to meditate on this though cuz ig holler's the count in for "cock in my pocket" (you know: "one, two, fuck you pricks!") and we're off, good pace, rockin' it. in the pocket! I mean we do this one really really good, I think and I can feel like 'pert-near the whole pad is having a ball. does james go an extra one w/his solo? so he does if he did, it don't matter cuz we're all together tight and go out that way. great tune. even brother steve has a new approach to this baby. man, that was fun. ig tells the folks "that was a pounddown!" damn right, ha! sun going down some, "open up and bleed" here where it's usually gone - that placement in the middle of the set back in italy I think was the one-time-only but who knows. actually, I love this tune and think it'd go good anywhere - even an opener! for 'pert-near the closer it's good though. larry has a different approach to the coda, using rolls instead of the straight beat scotty-san does and it don't get fast - ig wants us getting faster and I holler over to larry but it's still good cuz we play it tight - ig had told james to do some buckwild on the guitar at that point too and he did it. maybe a beat or two later and ig hollers for "I wanna be your dog" and here we go... james does this one w/the wahwah on his intro and I think there was something, some time thing, some key thing? I don't know but ig's finding it a little to come in w/the first verse. in front of james amp he tries... then he comes over to my side and there he goes, it comes out good - whew, a little uncertain there but that's when you gotta get strong so I bucked up and tried to reach w/ig, worked out good. he's bee working down in front of the stage a lot tonight and this time he takes dirt when he's down there and gets some chest rubs w/it in. ha! dirty dog! we get finished and I hobble over to join everyone where whence we came like an hour ago - shit I swear these gigs seem to go by in like minutes to me. ig tells "no fun" and points for me to go so off I am, helperman andrew handing me the bass and saying sorry for the beginning of the gig clam w/the bass "my bad, it should've been hot" he tells me and gives me the bass hot. I have no belig w/him though cuz shit, those things happen - we're here to learn! ig wants us playing a little fast so I push it and maybe larry gets it up a tiny more but ig does't repeat the request so I hang tight w/what we got going. happening, we're done strong. larry did it. big hugs for him as james let's me use his shoulder to help w/my hobble.
on the way back to dressing cabins, I tell james about my "I need somebody" clams, just have to let it out "so maybe I fucking don't blow them again" - I'm always saying to myself (ha!), wishful thinking for sure. I am very insecure person - no shit. we get back to the dressing cabins and look, someone's a shot from last year on their 'puter (maybe roadboss eric's?) when larry opened for the stooges in paris w/his arm around scotty-san, so great to see right after he worked this here, crimony! I get a feeling in my heart seeing this, a strong one. a young bassman named daniel who worked gig w/mary coughlan today comes by to say hi. he's from mechanicsburg, pa but living in dublin for years now has given him that kind of accent, trippy. he's very cool people. another bassbrother comes to visit, tony from patti smith's band. we get to talk some bass here, yeah! good cats, real good cats. respect to them both.
the bus that brought us here is w/brian at the wheel is leaving at ten bells we're driving 220 miles northwest to a town called nantwich that's near tomorrow's gig in chester. it's me, larry, brother steve, roadboss eric and helperman derek. derek konks early and eric not too long after but us other three spiel a long time. it's a fucking mindblow to learn about larry's music journey. though he's ten years younger, turns out he knows lots of cats I do. he left his pad in eastern tennessee in 1987 courtesy of greg ginn who sent him monies to drive on over and jam. that began a so cal music trip that connected him w/all kinds of folks - like k's bro paul, konking in him and helen's pad not far from my pedro town! he played in tex and the horseheads! he also knows folks brother steve does cuz he was up s.f. way too, like eric drew feldman and the residents people. damn! of course he knows camp childers who put on gigs at vic and bill's deli in knoxville, tn - I played there many years ago. fuck, what a small world. and other stories he's got, like following ig at his gigs w/his drums in the back of the car, crimony! it's a mindblower to hear all this. and it's not just the past, he's working w/kid congo powers in berlin where he now lives. and he's just the nicest cat, damn. we get to the 'tel at 3:30 am and that's when everyone who ain't konked konks cuz the rooms here at a 'tel called "the rookery" (ha! "getting rooked" in u.s. slang for being ripped off!) won't be ready 'til noon. I konked kind of amazed, I have to tell you...
sunday, july 3, 2011 - chester, england
pop at ten bells in a bunk in the top deck of the bus and it's kind of sweaty (all my clothes on plus yellow jacket) so I hobble out into the fresh air - yeah, so cal weather w/the sun out and everything nice. many tiny swallows are jamming all around, chowing bugs. you can tell them by their v-tails. at noon the rooms at this rookery 'tel (that's the name, out in the country in this little town of of nantwich about thirty miles from the gig tonight in chester. I go hose down but then checking out the long tub I think I should fucking soak so I do that too. no chow but I ain't really feeling like much cuz maybe too many potato chips when talking w/larry on the bus last night - kind of lame-ass taste in my mouth from that! I chimp diary after.
we bail at five pm, I got black flannel and black outfit I brought from pedro on. it's about a forty minute drive and me and larry tell james about the infamous buddy rich tapes - can't believe he ain't heard these. I think everyone who's in a band should hear that stuff, absolutely. we can see wales not too far off out the window on the way - damn, can't believe I've never played there yet, can't believe it. anyway, tonight's gig is at chester race track, right in the middle of town and is called the chester rocks festival. driving onto the horse track I think of raymond cuz we see the ponies all the time at santa anita... damn I miss raymond, I dearly miss him. that's one of the fucking hells of tour, let me tell you - there's many MANY good things but that's one big lame-ass thing. we get led out to a little area w/these little tent like structures for dressing rooms, some pink floyd tribute band is playing now - that's kind of trippy, whoa. maybe a good setup for some stooges though. whatever, we play the hand we're dealt, it's ok. tourboss henry has to deal w/some idiot in a cowboy hat trying to start trouble. he tells him to "piss off" in a strong voice. I change into the outfit I brought. we prac beginnings and endings, digging getting to do it w/the pignose amp for the blue bass the gibson people in toronto gave me the day after the stooges stuff got hoisted in montreal. larry plays two plastic champaign buckets turned upside down.
twenty 'fore seven go time, I hobble out w/the guys but am in front so not to get left behind. for some reason there's a golf cart ride for the second half - what? we get up the stairs and ig asks me to get on over to my side - like yesterday I can't get behind the back curtain so have to go right in front. now this is a little bit trippy, we're in the middle of this race track (ones over here are all turf) and it's pretty much kind of a fair thing w/ferris wheel, cotton candy booths - there's a bunch of kids w/their parents. the sun's right in front of me and pretty high up still. bam! no time to get hypnotized by the sun - james comes trotting out w/larry behind him so I get out over to jos holding the bass, there's no doubt about whether sound's gonna come out cuz it's hot when I grab it... glasses off, I'm ready for "raw power" w/a couple of seconds to go, whew. ig comes haulin' ass out and leaps, middle fingers out - this is the "family version" of a stooges gig (just kidding). over to starboard is the section for wheelchair folks, I look down at my knee... the folks are very hooked into ig, lots of people into it. great. the band is hitting it good and hard. "search and destroy" same as yesterday tempo-wise but ig's cool w/it. I got good bass sound up here today, yeah. larry's got a cymbal w/big holes cut all around it, I gotta ask him about it. we nail this one clean, good start and the folks are w/us. ig tells the folks we're "the fucking stooges" and though I've heard that a bunch of times it always cracks me up. "gimme danger" third and big w/power - ig gets caught up it and tosses the mic stand back and whoops, it hits james in the guitar during his solo w/one of its rubber feet (jos always saws the legs of ig's stands). now it wasn't a hard toss and it was behind him and he wasn't looking back but right away ig runs back to james and mouth's "sorry" to him and puts his hands together namaste, holding the mic. these things happen. of course no ones anyone hurt. ig works hard though so heads up. ig calls for dancers to help us w/our dance number (actually I think 'pert-near all of the stooges songs are dance tunes) "shake appeal" and I get some shots of larry on the drums w/the stooges - I wanted to do this yesterday cuz it was his first time and had my camera in my back pocket but fucking spaced so this time I remember and get a snap in:
I get some of james and the little guys coming on the stage too... larry's got the tempo up today, it's a good jam and the chester dancers pretty much shake it crazy - "thank you, chestertons!" ig tells them when we get done. he then enlightens the gig-goers that "since I'm 123 years old, I can play the blues" and we do "I need somebody" w/out watt clamming it like a motherfucker, like yesterday. very happening, I do tiny congratulation to my fucking baka self inside right before take-off in "1970" - it's from here 'til the end of "cock..." that we wail straight w/out a break - we're stormin', full steam w/ig on his knees imploring brother steve to BLOW w/all he's got. man, is ig incredible tonight, tripping me out and at the same time gathering us up w/a focus that's laminating - there, I ain't put it that way yet. "fun house" he gently suggests w/a holler and I pepper some twisters in there but tiny and taunt ones - don't wanna be a fucking idiot and ruin shit. working the dynamic too, fucking hollering the choruses out (of course w/out a mic), I get into this baby. ig comes over for the coda and again w/out a blink so I don't blink either, he puts those word right to me, his body right there w/every utter of it, committed - that's the word - I yank that big open e on the bass as he let's loose of WAY! and then use what I just witnessed there from him to ignite what I got to give for "l.a. blues" which for this fucked-up-knee man is all I can risk w/out ruining shit for another gig. I bite that high d note - only one note higher on this machine. for a little bit ig was out in front on my side w/some trippy stuff but I gotta wheel about and fuck the amps w/the bass james made for me - both stacks (we're using the laney's that jos brought up in his mercedes van, francoise w/him) on a kind of big dolly that move's w/the fucking so I got swing her back. I have been using some angle which I did instead of the amps just blowing straight forward cuz I don't move much and am pretty much planted right in front next to the ride cymbal of larry's. quick I do some mutes to get tuning back, just moments cuz the boss tuner I can't see it the sun glare at all. I'm hoping I'm ok for "night theme" and it seems I am - don't wanna fuck up after what james calls "monkey humping" the amps. I had to throw the bass stand out of the way which reminds me about the setlist being where I might slip on it... stuff like this isn't usually a prob in my own sitchs cuz I'm the one setting things up but there's different ways here to learn better, learn which person has which job - I'm still learning! again ig tells people he has a great job. I feel that way too. hey, ig's DOING a great job, man o man. one more tune check in the tiny gap before "skull thing" and then into "beyond the law" - good and strong, I'm grateful in having it together more today, really trying on that. ig comes over in front of larry's kick drum for the final hit then looks over at me w/a nod, like "goddamn right we just did that" and I nod back. yeah, this is a band to man, this is a band that is working it together, very happening. "cock in my pocket" up right next and ig's again working it on ground level but this gig has no cameras to video him and simulcast on big side screens so I'm a little awkward w/folks looking up on who's left on stage (us w/the machines) - a fucking bottle comes flying up and lands near ig but doesn't break. damn, I don't dig that - too crazy dangerous. people should be smarter than that. "open up and bleed" for the breather but in someways it's so packed w/feeling that the slower tempo still can't relax it for me in my head but I have learned to put the bass tight w/the this tune and keep that other thing somehow internal and keep the keel in the water. right when we start a train goes by in the back, a fast commuter w/that "virgin" logo you see on the jets - you mean it's more than just an airline? it's pretty jamming and soon gone. we're doing a strong take on this baby. ig apologizes to the gig-goers after the first chorus, saying he was so sorry for the last note, sorry for getting emotional but I think he's way ok and a tune like this he wrote is capable - VERY FUCKING CAPABLE of making that happen. it is a heavy tune and I love it. right away after the wild wind up of that baby we end the set w/a "I wanna be your dog" that has ig telling folks in the middle that "a dog is a fucking machine" and that he needs love so I echo that - "I need love" part. we run off and he tells us "your pretty face is going to hell" will be the encore - "it needs the work anyway, right?" he asks us and james tells me to get on out there and we blast that baby out real tight EXCEPT for the very very end but not super huge in clam terms, I'm thinking. whew. I hoof back, forget the little gold cart ride. I feel happy.
there's a cat named phil who's got a bass buddy and we rap some, they're very cool people - phil gives me some music and shows me a tattoo on his arm of an achnor w/the words "san pedro" above and "econo" below, respect to him. I go and change out of the black outfit and there's some italiano beer, peroni, alright. a little sweaty gig but not a soaker - james was even wearing a vest on stage tonight. roadboss eric is very kind to have these sweated-out outfits washed if I bring a plastic sack to put them in, thank you much, eric. everyone gone to the mess hall 'cept for ig and nina w/tourboss henry who're leaving early - I tell ig he did just great and he gives me a pat saying "you too, mike" which well, I know it's kind of cornball maybe to some to even mention stuff like that but I bow deep cuz it means much BIG TIME to me, big time. james and his wife linda bring some chow on a plate, a little thin steak and some salmon along w/some asia kind of starry vegetables. I had a little of the cheese from around here on some bread before the gig so I don't have to chow much here... oh, larry did some 'dines - good to know he's a 'dine man, all the cats who've played w/the stooges are 'dine men. nine and a half and we're leaving the race track back for the rookery 'tel - the driverman is very cool people and tells us about his trip to new mexico back in our land - just me and steve are w/them w/the rest of the folks in another ride. I guess knobman max mixed us but I never saw him, I think he drove up and back from london where he lives maybe? don't know but I sure do believe in him - he's the tranny, we're just the motor.
soon as we get back I do a soak in the tub but not for too long cuz I wanna visit a tiny bit w/brother steve. I get in the nightwear and go see him next door. can't believe it's the first time he's seen the nightwear but I guess he's right. he's digging them. we talk about a gig he's got lined up for both of us to do w/music friends of his wednesday in barrio alto part of lisbon when we get to portugal. we gotta bail from here at a quarter of eight tomorrow morning so I bid him oyasumi (good night in jap) and go konk in my chamber.
thursday, july 7, 2011 - lisbon, portugal
monday I popped to find it's independence day and I'm england. there's free trough so I shovel "the rookery" version of "english full breakfast" and it's pretty ok though I ain't man enough this time to take the "blood pudding" disk. the weather outside is like so cal and righteous. it's about fortyfive minutes to the airport and our driverman is cool people who used to be in bands around this area (the stoke-on-trent) in the 60s. I learn some stuff about "northern soul" from both him and helperman derek after putting my foot in my some cuz see, I don't know a lot about this stuff but I do wanna learn about how maybe u.s. servicemen (I've heard sailors but this man here says army around here) bringing england guys records from home and that having influence but derek's doing serious research for a book and both and balances and helps temper me on that view. respect. from manchester airport we take a tap (tap being a portugal airline) airbus 319 to lisbon around eleven (yeah, we bailed from the 'tel at nine am) but before getting on the plane, I do something I never had done before: I get a contest ticket to win some kind of car (not the ferrari they got here) but it's a trip cuz the lady explains after I buy it that there's three chances I get to pick where the soccer ball's gonna land is this photograph, judging by where everyone's looking but I don't pick the three choices - she does! I'll know if I'll "win" at the end of the month. it was so insane I couldn't believe it and 'pert-near worth the twenty fucking pounds in itself just for that! now I said 'pert-near cuz there's no way in hell that I'll do anything like this again. watch out when you're trying to take a snap of a ferrari motor on display at some airport, that's my advice! we get to lisbon right around two (same time zone as england) and drive not too far to the neighborhood w/all the embassies - we're right next to one of the chinese ones (they have two!) at a 'tel called the "lapa palace" - it's be my third time staying at this and that's cuz of stooges gigs in this town. now if you haven't been to lisbon before, let me tell you that there's hills here. the streets are tinier than you can believe but the streetcars in a way give you a little bit of s.f. feel. I go out hoofing to forge. the downhill is real tough w/my hiza (knee) fucked up like this and I have to take tiny geisha-boy steps so to guard against a stumble/crumple/tumble. finally I find a little store and get a can of sardines and one of tuna a long w/crackers and big bottle of water plus a bottle of wine the owner here says is a real good lisbon one. the hoof back to the 'tel is much quick cuz most of it's uphill. I love how portugal lots of portugal pads have beautiful tiles on the outside. when I get back to pour the wine down the throat, I can't believe how way-too-sweet and terrible it tastes. oh my fucking god, just terrible for me but then what do I know about this kind of thing. if was fucking horrible in my mouth though. oh, I got a sack of fresh olives too and these are great plus they help wash away that foul fucking taste some. whew. it is weird konk.
tuesday I pop and shovel from the free trough they got here. it's some scrambled eggs, bacon, quarters of shrooms, tiny cherry tomatoes, swirly little potato things, toast from twirly record-turntable thing, blue cheese, chorizo, pineapple, yogurt - yeah I load up cuz this is the only chow for the day for me. I finish both chimping diary and a spiel for the jesus lizard book I've been asked to write. I do some stuff for the atp gig mr jim magnum has asked george hurley and me to play at this coming december too. I've asked larry to come on over and be the guest on my radio show and man, his musical journey in life is really an amazing one - much MUCH respect to him!
wednesday I popped early and shovel like the day before but even a little more so cuz between then and now was no trough for watt! pedro (not my town but the dj man who lives here in lisbon) has me come down and do an interview w/him on radar 97.8 fm - it's a lot of fun cuz he's a blast and knows all kinds, a very interesting cat! I then get brought to a club in the barrio alto part of town called zdb cuz brother steve has asked me to do a gig w/him and his portuguese music buddies tonight. a very nice man named boris has let me use his yamaha bass and a small ampeg amp. the club's boss sergio takes us to a chow pad close by and I have some righteous grilled sea bass (not the stringed machine but the fish) w/some steamed vegetables and it's just the best, oishii! all the folks involved tonight are very cool people and it's a good time at the dinner chow. then I hobble back w/them to zdb and the opener is a great duo from sicily called cricket totems w/gianni on alto sax and marco on drums, very happening! gianni wants to get me to play down in sicily which would be righteous cuz that's where my ma's pop's people were from and I've never been there - I can only hope! dennis from international noise conspiracy and jacopo from zu who both now play w/the bloody beetroots death crew 77 come and visit w/me, so glad to see them, so glad. I get up on stage and stand kind of behind brother steve. eduardo and philip are on guitar, joao on drums and leaderman jonathan is on synths - they're all from porto, which is number two city of this land and they made the hellride south to make this happen. their group is called u.s.s. and we do some of their jams after a bunch of brother steve tunes. it's kind of a pants-shitter for me, improvised things are always scary - well, gigs in general are scary for me but stooges helpers henry, eric, max and jos showing up right before we go puts a little more shock in my fright. luckily I've done this a long time that carries a momentum that pushes me through the scaredy-cat paralysis shit and though I can't hear myself all that well, I bear down and try to be right there w/these cats. I love brother steve much and wanna always have him to be able to count on me. I can't promise clam-free (though never clam on purpose) but I can give him total commitment w/I can give him w/the bass, even a borrowed boris one - obrigado to boris once again. I didn't know exactly where things were coming from or going but once in "the swim" I gave it what I had to be some grout for the trial. I did end it w/some kind of solo and brother steve kissed me, he's beautiful. I saw avi buffalo, man has he been doing the gigs - he's on tour now and to see him here, whoa - understand this was a young man coming to my gigs in long beach and I'm so proud of him getting his music out for folks and working stages. some good talk after w/dennis, jacopo, boris and his buddy carlos plus one cat who worked at a wine cellar and wanted me very much to one day go there. not tonight though - I thank everyone, such a very cool scene here at zdb but I'm tuckered and the good people here put me in cab and five euros later I'm at the 'tel, hosed off and konked. I did pop a few hours later but changing from naked to the nightwear makes all the difference in the world and I'm soon out cold.
gig day and it's "groundhog day" at the trough - same shovel, deja vu all over again. well, good tastes! more fruit this time for me. we do soundcheck at noon, the gig is by the water but in another part of town - actually lisbon is pretty spread out around the bay but still the drive ain't that long. we hardly ever get soundchecks so this is a great thing. james' wife linda is w/us and tells me she knows my pedro town, she was there a bunch years ago. we gotta get james thre, put him in a kayak! I've been wanting to do that w/scotty-san since I've met him. larry's been there but never paddled. actually I'd like to get everyone I know in a 'yak and paddle in my town's harbor and the take them to the open harbor. I've been working on it though and have taken a number of cats. we get back and I read that confucius book 'til time to prac beginnings and endings in james' chamber - I wear 'tel bathrobe! eight forty is when we bail for the gig. it called the optimus alive festival and soon as I get there I head for the chow tent and shovel some spaghetti w/a sauce whole beans that's kind of a lisbon version of chili and then three pork ribs that have kind of a vinegar flavor on them plus some big leaf salad - all pretty good and there a hundred minutes left before we play so I shouldn't puke on stage. seasick steve is at the table next to me, good cat.
always great to see him and we talk about big drives in the u.s. and how he doesn't have them living on this side of the water now. I go put on my stage outfit, second time wearing this one. you know, I can say some pretty stupid things and not even have to try to - even feeling the foot going down the throat as I'm doing it! boy, am I slow learner. still though, in my heart, I just wanna do the best I can for the stooges cuz I love them, love the music.
just after ten and a half, I hoof off by myself to get to my side of the stage early. hey, here's dennis again - when he was w/the beetroots w/us on the "big day out" tour six months ago, the had to be on stage same time we were every fucking gig so he's very glad tonight's not that same case though he says they're on at three am - fuck! he gives big good luck hug, respect to him. helperman andrew's out by amps w/the bass - I can see my eden preamp from he cuz it's parked behind the speaker cabs, he said jos said it looks lame if it was on top of everything - what?! funny stuff. anyway - he tells me to get on it cuz he can see james and larry start their dash to their positions so I make like the cojo I am and hobble it as quick as possible, grab the bass (it's hot so no panic there) and get my glasses off and on the drum riser - whoa, maybe the most time ever I got for our "raw power" opener - like three, maybe four seconds? WHAM, we're off and I got angle on my stacks so it ain't all just the two floor wedges starboard I'm hearing - I can really dig that! even more, I dig ig working one of the hugest stages ever we've worked - damn, you could fit 'pert-near most clubs I do on this fucking stage - I shit thee not! boilersuited larry is slammin' hard and w/good eye contact, respect. ig's on fire. he's tanned real good from these days w/the fancypad pool, I notice. he's always tanned good but even more now. stage sound for the band is good but ig hollers "LOUDER" cuz, yeah, he wants it louder. I see something happening on james' side of the stage happen (actually we're clumped together in the middle pretty tight) but keep my eyes on ig, I need the focus and not my hands on any knobs. tune number one boomed out, onto "search and destroy" in a heartbeat and send this one out the cannon to the folks, double powder charge - damn. still fucking awkward for me w/this port knee sitch but I gotta just lift my head up and out of that - be careful and shit but let the heart and the hands fly w/the stooge music. "we're the fucking stooges" ig tells the packed fenced-in "corral" w/the cellphone sponsor giant tv ad at like ten o'clock flashing me some goddamn brainwash loop but I avert eyes from that and keep them on ig as we bring for the "gimme danger" drama - there's a pathos about this tune that's sublime for me - both to witness and to be a part of the making for these gigs, truly. ig calls for dancers - the security sitch is weak and by that I mean a little gestapo so we get like four or five guys and maybe two girls to work the "shake appeal" dance-it-up-w/the-stooges dealio but ig pays no mind and sings it w/everything right in the faces of those here w/us - helperman andrew comes over to... I don't know - protect? but at least he's squats down and just doesn't stand there looking like a body guard or a sourass pillar - I mean for me, that can feel like such a killjoy - is that right word? I'm saying it's trippy dichotomy for me sometimes to have a rockin' out thing going while right next to you is standing-stiff-sentry for whatever, kind of embarrassing. of course no one wants anyone hurt - not dancers, not crippled bassist, not healthy other musicians. now I was told there'd be a "dealers choice" w/number five and sure enough james is right to get the capo and slide fitted cuz "I need somebody" is next cuz "I wanna play the blues" is what we hear ig tell everyone over the mic. he's working down off the stage on the deck and the "trough" they gig people have constructed to split the crowd from the middle to about forty feet out. there's lots of cameracats and huge side screens so all folks still get to see them and not just the machinery operators (us) up topside, I'm grateful for that though it is trippy if you think about it but what else is there to do cuz ig likes working it close, right in their faces - right in the security buckingham-fuckingham-frozen-face-guarddog mugs but this way the whole crowd gets to witness to but yeah, via giant tv which is surreal "live" way of gig-going? I keep focus and not try to ponder this too much... it is what it is - "1970" up next and that's what it is, full-on hardcharge, big time. fuck. did I get in ok? think so. this new black flannel I'm wearing feels a little big but it's getting sweaty... "fun house" ig hollers for and I give him the bass opener - he takes it and high steps it w/some great moves - much dancefloor for him on this stage, big time! he finishes the tune w/an index finger poking at me from a foot away and I take it for go-off cue and pound it up as hard as my crippled self w/let me for "l.a. blues" and just wail what I can out of this bass - I give the amp fucking w/it (bass as the baloney in the sandwich, the coveted "lucky pierre" role) two rounds and 'pert-near miss the boat on the "a love supreme" quote but do get one out w/larry counting in "night theme" over part of it but he heard some mute out of me cuz I did do that cuz I could read the bucking boss tuner that good, stage lights are 'pert-near as bright as a noon day sun, crimony! one check w/the mute is possible when we finish cuz james has got a couple bars of "skull thing" before we join him - yeah, I'm in there and I can get the "barely used in the stooges" g string right as well (always this gets flat from amp fucking)... "beyond the law" w/ig's new technique regarding how he does the verses - a couple times this way now and I dig it but I was digging the old way just as much. ONE BEAT LATER comes the very shy "cock in my pocket" count in: "ONE, TWO, FUCK YOU PRICKS!" it's probably the fastest ever I've been part of this tune and I dig it! ig's down there w/the folks, in the moat. hmm... one of the dancers early in the show had this orange bandana around his neck and I now begin to notice lots of these in the crowd along w/these white short brimmed hats (not panamas but like those little ska ones style) - later roadboss eric told me this was shill stuff from the cellphone sponsor - anyway, just trippy a little on noticing that but digging the fuck out of us ramming this baby down the road, great tune. ig gets back on stage and tell the gig-goers the stooges are not a commercial band and that there is no security, this speaks to me in a very important way. we got "open up and bleed" and lots of that message for me is right in that tune. so glad we did this cuz earlier james said he might get scissored for tonight. larry really gets it up in the coda - some crazy triplets going there. ig tells the folks next both him and them deserve human rights - "I got a right" next, that's right. it's a javelin blast, crimony! the only closed ending we got in the set! next beat means "DOG!" - ig calls for "I wanna be your dog" and just like that, we do it. now I don't what happened but just as ig is about to sing first verse I notice (notice?!) james is on the other side of the riff - or is it me and larry on the other side of the riff? I'm thinking whatever - we gotta get together so go over to james and point at my neck - thank god he let's go and gets on w/us so everyones running as a crew - much respect to james for that. we're off and I hobble back w/the rest, still w/the bass slung to wait for ig and following orders. helperman andrew comes to get bass for tuning but I tell him I didn't need it - I was insecure about getting back on or something like an idiot cuz when come back on for "your pretty face is going to hell" my a string is a little sharp and sharp is kind of tough cuz you can't "bend into it" like you can when it's a little flat. fucking baka watt. we get the ending good and tight though, then I get that string right for "penetration" which is next, I leave out a lot of the octave fills and stay low mostly. ig hollers for "no fun" right after a little quick cuz james still has the capo on but he gets it off probably the fastest he's ever had to in his life (I think he tossed it!) and we finish the gig on a very up blast. whew.
I see the moon, it's up half. short walk to the dressing rooms - james asked where I was going and it was the wrong way - aaarrrggghhh! barrie from primal scream comes to visit, so good to see him again, big hugs. like a baka I forgot to bring stench sack and yellow clothes sack is in jos' van (clyde is gonna drive it to valencia tonight) but I scrounge one from a gomi can and get the sweated stage outfit off - though it ain't maybe decent for mixed company but what does a sweaty person do? I don't mean to be rude. ig is now in a real good mood, tells me it's ok and before was a "spinal tap moment" and I'm just so glad to see him smiling. he told those gig-goers he wanted to break down walls and damn right he was doing just that. big respect to him, big respect.
the van back to the 'tel leaves not soon after w/most of us on it, a second one later but I wanna get tub-soaked and konked soon, I'm a little sore. it's good sore though, meaning I was trying hard to move this body I got hard as I could and damn I kind of amazed on not that many clams from me - what a thing to think but I feel it a little necessary to feel in some way kind of grateful - sincerely - even though it's me that's supposed to be in charge of that kind of shit, right? crimony.
saturday, july 9, 2011 - valencia, spain
yesterday popped for the last time at this fancy pad lapa palace eight bells for one more soak. once again nice weather (good sun but not boiling or sweaty), I shovel outside not eggs again from the free trough (most grateful for the free trough - I think it's tourboss henry who tries to make this happen for us if poss) but satisfy this hankering I've been having since seeing these little burgers in the warmer next to the bacon and sausage - I get four of them and put them between two pieces of toast along w/some mustard and yeah, I chow a kind of hamburger for breakfast along w/some cherries and kiwi slices. last chow here is good kind of trippy one! I also pack into my yellow coat pockets some "pocket sandwiches" of small rolls stuffed w/chorizo and cheese for chowing later. eleven am and we roll for the airport. not so far to our next town in next door spain though it's on her southern border w/the mediterranean, valencia. for this trip we're taking a plane I've never been in before, a beech 1900d turboprop and it's pretty small (one seat on each side of the aisle!) but surprisingly good headroom. like a turboprop, it's really loud and it the box they give you w/the little sandwich and bottle of water is earplugs. now the plan was last night to give clyde the yellow clothes sack cuz he made the hellride via auto. people who did bring big sacks are missing theirs we find out when land in valencia - the full little plane couldn't handle all the baggage plus the people weight though no one was told 'til now. I'm glad the captain didn't try to fly an overweighted plane though I'm sorry for james/linda, larry and andrew. it was a two hour flight but we lost an hour cuz of the time zone change and it's 'pert-near an hour here cuz of trying to find out what happened w/the sacks. it's no bother though, I ride w/it and am just glad my sack rode w/clyde. finally we shove off and I remember where we're staying somehow - we were here four years ago and it's the same 'tel, right on the beach called las arenas. the port is right near - cans and hammerheads make me think of my pedro town thought the warehouses are set up like the embarcadero in san francisco. I remember four years ago my friends jose and kyoko taking me to chow little clams right near here (valencia is his home town) - there's chow pads all along the playa near the 'tel, many of them. comes night time and my eyes are drawn to one called "la divina comedia" - I love dante! I have what they call "ensalata la dinvina comedia" which is a good salad kind of italiano style (for here) in a bowl w/tiny hot dog slices, corn, cheese and of course many tomato wedges and lettuce all covered w/italiano dressing. w/that I get a "pizza atomico" which I chow half and they wrap the rest in aluminum foil and put in a sack for me - it was cheese w/some ham and chili sauce, really good. I hoof some and see lots of tour party chowing not too far away - andrew and larry call me over for spiel, I hear about some of their adventures in mexico which are very interesting - hell, larry recorded even recorded in john wayne's old pad there! andrew's also interested in the mota scene in my pedro town during the 70s so I hip him to that. he never heard of mersh! everyone done, it's a head-back to the 'tel and I see brother steve at yet another close-by chow pad - he calls me over to meet w/him and his writerbuddy tony sanders (we had a great spiel last time I saw him in madrid, in the old main plaza) and artist joakin ladron (interview w/him here) who does a comic strip in ruta 66 among many other works - I get to see a book of some of his that just came out. him and tony are great cats and we have a great time along w/brother steve, a great time. there's some kind of liquor like grappa we try, trippy.
the 'tel is real close, so short hobble back. soon I konk after chowing the rest of the pizza after a hose-off in shower that was trippy: two sliding rounded hatches and you sit on this built-in-to-the-fixture seat and all these little jets squirt you all over while a big shower head right above dumps on your scalp - trippy experience!
pop at seven bells on gig day and yes, free trough to shovel from here and it's a good one. there's fried eggs in their own tiny frying pans - tiny ones! those and some chorizo (remember it's not ground like back in cali) w/some toast and pears/yogurt get chowed at a table w/clyde and we talk about stuff. clyde sure is cool people, big time. he's got a eleven hundred mile hellride when the gig's done back to england, safe seas to him. after chow, I finish up chimping diary 'til soundcheck at four. we're not playing a festival today but our own gig w/one local opener, the julio galcera band and it's an outdoor stage in a little clearing in the jardines de viveros park. I think it's sponsored by a beer company cuz banners and places to sell cups of it line the fences of the perimeter. for soundcheck we do the whole which means every song larry knows and it's a broister, very humid too. not so bad on me but it's beats larry up some though his spirit is good and positive. derek helps us out w/some guide vocals which is very happening vs the counting thing. people ask me about ig and soundchecks but if you ask me I think it's good he saves his stuff for the gig where us in the band behind him could always use more prac, that's my opinion. there's some paella w/chicken chunks in it backstage that I chow which is real good. paella made right is very happening! I remember four years ago when jose cooked up his version in a huge paella pan for me and his valencia buddies. I had brought my own habanero sauce and made those cats cry - not on purpose but spaniards ain't like latin americans when it comes to picante, no way. I didn't know that 'til I got here. miss kaori could handle it though, she asked for more. ha! I remember that chow well. anyway, we finish up and get back to the 'tel and I do that jet-spray shower chamber trip again, it sure is a trip.
we leave for the gig at eight and arrive while the openers are playing. there's many cans of 'dines and I make up a sandwich along w/some good chili (habanero - surprise!) that the catering lady has set up, she's set a real good chow layout, let me tell you. the bread actually is toasted w/cheese in the middle! ig comes and in and briefs us. he's in a very good mood and that's righteous. four minutes before ten pm, tourboss henry tells me to come w/him up on my side of the stage. james' and ig's wives linda and nina are up there, we're all waiting for the gig... looks trippy to see helpermen andrew and derek holding the our machines by the straps out there but maybe it adds much drama to the anticipation in the crowd. I look at my watch: nine after - we've been due for four minutes - then I see james and larry run out so I hobble straight from the side and and andrew hands me the bass - maybe the most time I've had ever - not a minute but not two seconds either. ig said he's glad the stage ain't a huge one like in lisbon, he said that was a lot of real estate to cover but you know what? it just makes for more "laps" round the place cuz he's working it just as hard if not harder. the "yard" here filled up w/gig-goers is going wack w/hollering for him - right in the middle above him I see the moon up at half, trippy. "raw power" of course is how we begin this. the temp is cooler than at soundcheck but still pretty humid - like the song implies: I can feel it. the sound is wild and thumping good. I'm trying not to hunch over as much - a result of this fucking knee but I feel I ain't fighting the urge to resist as much as I need to. power punch number two of course is "search and destroy" and I try to keep upright more, both index and middle fingers together as thick thumper for the strings. weird fill in the coda from but keel still in the water, have to admit though a clam in "gimme danger" next - one in the bridge, staying in e as my mind stumbled on deer-in-the-headlights for a moment for no reason, so this is the time to really bear down cuz of that cascade-fuck kind thing liable to maybe get going - don't want that, no! I insist to myself very much to get it together, very much. the valenica folks are way up, way live - respect to them. some cats up front have a sheet painted w/an outline of a body and it says JUMP HERE! on it but ig has yet to do a stage dive this leg. this stage ain't up as high as some of the others (especially like last one!) but it is a little bit out there so he works the moat - no sidescreens so it's "close up and personal" time for those folks ig's there w/and everyone else has brother steve, james, larry and myself as an option to view - or maybe just lift there heads up and holler at the night, that's an option! we get a bunch of willing dancers for "shake appeal" and no problem getting them up, security not a prob, enthusiasm not a prob! we crack open the tune and one cat in levis only starts doing pushups near me 'til the levis come down to the ankles, chonies showing - lots of wild dancing but no probes - hey! once again it's rob pargiter, fucking alright, yeah! love it, love it! glad to have once more aboard. I gotta move a little more in front of my amps - they're sounding good. you know james told me he's like what he's hearing from the bass on stage now and I'm glad he's happy. of course I like my eden preamp but it's him liking what he's hearing that's more important to me. I've got my sleeves rolled up now, I think I like these flannels from walmart I've been wearing better than the woolridge but I sure appreciate roadboss eric helping me like he did. "I wanna play the blues" says ig and we give him "I need somebody" right like that. mercy. then he wants music he says is for some orifice usually reserved for exits and "1970" whups out like from a slingshot. larry's got the boilersuit cuff on his kickdrum leg taped up cuz it got all mangled up w/the beater last gig in this tune. I can see he's already sweated up that boilersuit good, ig pours a bottle of water over his own head to help deal w/the swelter he's feeling. I'm pretty soaked up too - wonder how james and steve are? james ain't been making as much eye contact as usual, kind of makes me feel a little insecure but I continue to try to focus on the music as much as I can and avoid any more clammage. a few times ig's asked for more vocals but the helpermaen don't see this time so I give the signal to andrew but I think he thinks I want more bass even though I'm pointing at my mouth and then pointing up. I try it w/jos too, just trying to help ig and fuck I love hearing him loud singing anyway. ig hollers "fun house" and here we go, even more of a dance time though it ain't be "no dance" so far, no fucking way. just a little bit of different way, like the tune itself in the set. brother steve's blowing, yes, in great shape tonight. powerful (well, powerful for pathetic watt) amp fucking in "l.a. blues" or maybe not powerful but crazy enough to cut myself on the back on my port side thumb but no matter as it to giving me trouble and I even keep things in tune - I think the strings are good and tight around the posts now (a problem w/new strings getting put on - can you believe last missingmen tour I used one set for the whole thing? I did!) but make some tune checks to make sure - really hard to read the boss tuner for me now so I gotta mute a tiny bit w/the korg. ready for "night theme" and for "skull thing" I got just the e string going to work it, trying it that way tonight, have done it before. larry does this one probably more different than any other one compared to scotty-san in the set, trippy. "beyond the law" segues right from under next and is relentless, I'm in good shape w/no cramps on the horizon. so glad I drank three of them gatorades - surely not for the taste (gag me) but hey, what the fucking hay... a moment later is "cock in my pocket" w/ig down in the trenches again, much of that tonight, he's in that kind of mood - actually he's in a great mood and I can tell he's enjoying himself much, even w/the heat stuff. "open up and bleed" follows and I show james the cut thumb right before but I think he thought I wanted to tell him something - I just wanted to show him, not tell him (too hard to hear at a gig!) and now the moon is over to my side like at two if before was like twelve o'clock high. like the last one we did tight fast, we do this one tight slow (except buckwild at the end!) and I try to stand up straight as possible for most of it. what's really fast is "I got a right" - ig tells the gig-goers in spanish about the universal rights of man some and then rocket sled time but the band hangs close and on it. I try as hard as I can to be right there w/the drums... I told larry earlier about this statue we got in my pedro town to honor the merchant marine that's got this guy coming down a rope ladder to pull a man out of the sea who's letting go of his lifejacket, their hands in intense grasp. I told him I wanna be like that for him and never leave him stranded alone. a stompdown to end it and the next beat ig gently screams DOG! for guess which one? he's in the dirt and then covered w/dirt, it is commitment. we ain't finished yet though cuz "your pretty face is going to hell" follows and though I 'pert-near blow the end (hand was weak/slow to make it up-the-flagpole move) but I let larry guide me right to the end figure's end. whew - I'm off w/the bass to meet w/everyone - ig calls out what we're doing, I'm thinking the object is to play everything this band can play right now... "death trip" - ig calls an audible - we are gonna play everything we know, I'm way into it, way sweaty into it! now for the first time w/larry we try "johanna" but there's some kind of pilot error and it's all tore apart - ig stops us and counts it in again, here we go. a very powerful song, let me tell you - good not to play it too fast. I put some fist into final bass notes - I felt it to that! "kill city" up like 'pert-near is was second in a medley, we pull of the vamp at the end too. ig introduces the band! been a long time since he's done that, long time. "no fun" for the closer, the real closer. I go offstage on my side, driverman clyde's there and we walk back together. he tells me about hurting his knee and being up in scotland finding it harder to walk downhill than uphill - like me w/this ramp going down but I take it slow and make it ok. clyde is real good people. this morning we were talking about when he took his family driving up the pacific coast highway in cali.
I am soaked through the levi but I am happy. it was a good gig. tourboss henry loved it. larry says he feels really whupped but I tell maybe he does but he did real good for the gig, real good. he tells henry to tell scotty he's giving it everything he's got for him, everything. I tell james about that clam I did in "gimme danger" and he says I almost lost at the end of "...face..." and he's right but I think it's good to cop to those things even if it's just to acknowledge them, good for me. but there ain't too much handwringing, we're having a good time cuz we did it - we finished the tour leg strong and fuck, we played everything we knew. the valencia gig-goers were beautiful too. there was some confusion w/the beer but we get the cruzcampo going have mercy over the budweiser, simple misreading of the jokey-funny rider I hear! over at ig's room he tells me I'm doing good w/the bass which I tell him is what I really wanna do for him. this is a very key moment for me so I keep it short. I am very grateful, very grateful.
the ride back to the 'tel is a very fun one w/all of us riffing on bobby dylan songs - ha! can you believe? james is way into it, so is larry - we all are. I get back and do the chamber one more time and get in the going-home outfit. I'm gonna konk it this - even w/the yellow coat on - cuz I have to shove off at 4:30 am for the airport. this is very tough for me, after a gig. I hope it doesn't sound like bellyachin' but it's hard on my health. the first flight is only an hour to madrid on an iberian crj 200 but I'm at that beautiful airport (madrid truly does have a pretty modern-designed port) w/no sure idea where to be cuz the gate info isn't up so I just make a guess for the other terminal (lucky guess!) and eat some crap sandwich (not on purpose) and use the chair there to rest 'til I finally get a gate and konk on the deck near there. luckily no one hassles me or if they did, I was too konked to know. eight hours on an american airlines 767 to dallas/fort worth - I get much of the rest of that confucius book read - man, there's a lot to absorb there and then voila, the plane (third flight) is delayed ninety minutes (american airlines, of course!) but I keep chin up cuz it's healthier and I ride an s80 (hey, I finally get an aisle seat!) for the last three hours - 10:30 pm on a sunday at lax for some reason has more traffic than you can believe and it's tough for my sister melinda but I hobble up from the american to the bradley terminal to make her hellride a little easier. whew, back in my pedro town after over a day of traveling! music makes it all worth it though, love the stooges - love the shower in my pad in my pedro town getting me hosed off and ready for the nightwear. love my very own deck, don't even need blankie. this was a good stooges tour leg.
saturday, july 23, 2011 - patrimonio, corsica
ten days back in my pedro town and now time to fly once again to europe for more stooges gigs. it'll be the second leg w/out scotty-san, I'm thinking of him so much... he's healing up though so I send all the well-wishes I can. anyway, in my town I had a good dos one to celebrate our new "dos y dos" album release on clenchedwrech that was a blast - we just did an npr interview and also made a video for it too, by the way. I love dos and k did righteous which was great cuz my ma and sister melinda were there. anyway, the thursday after that was time to get on the plane so my old friend nanny got me to lax airport just before three in the afternoon - I think I might've chimped this before but leaving for europe later in the day is so much better than the morning cuz of them being nine hours ahead (in corsica) of us here makes for arriving in the morning there and well, it's just better and if I had my choice... I'm glad it's been happening this way for me this year w/the stooges. it's a ten hour flight on a 777 - hey, I got an aisle seat - great! digging it much. one thing great about this plane is the controls for the tv shit is in the back of the seat in front of you and not on the fucking armrests, know what I mean? also, there's no box under that seat in front of you so you got somewhere for your legs a little easier - it might sound petty but these two things seem like such obvious design "features" that it's hard to imagine the other way fucked-up way. do motherfuckers who decided these design issues ever ride back in the salt-lick area? maybe it's "incentive" to make you pony up big bones and "upgrade" your place in the metal flying tube where you breathe farts for man hours, I don't know. I do know I got to charles de gaulle airport northwest of paris at noon on friday, a little ahead of schedule - I chimped the location cuz right away me and brother steve (arriving on an earlier flight at the terminal across from mine) have to wail on a drive to orly airport in south paris and the timing's tight. what no one expects is an abandoned sack in brother steve's terminal so the police and men in army suits tape off the whole area - I can't get to where he is and he can't get from the gate. the driverman does the best he can (fuck, I forgot his name, sorry) and somehow he gets a hold of brother steve while I'm waiting in his car under a rainy paris sky (still kind of humid though). now he makes his dash but it's friday and the start of the big six week vacation lots of french people get so the traff is major plug. besides that there's a huge accident... I let it go - if we don't make it, we don't make it and I ain't gonna fret an ulcer for it. anyway the gig's the next day so no freak out. I got much konk on the plane ride over, that's very happening. alain's always done the french stooges gigs and his lieutenant olivier is waiting at the orly airport for us - he says we have one minute! he grabs our sacks and we're on, ha! a tiny miracle. sometimes one is lucky in life w/this kind of stuff. I'd rather save my luck for more intense shit but one is not allowed that kind of choice so you take it the hand the gets dealt. it's just over an hour on air corsica airbus 320 - I had baloney seat but a nice man offered me the window. corsica is actually closer to italy than france, a island just north of sardenia. it's my first time to this place. it is corsica but the french run it and napoleon was born here. whoa, the flag is similar to sardenia (both have moor's head w/blindfold lifted), the island just to the south that's run by italy! stefano's pop is from sardenia - him and andrea are in the band il sogno del marinaio w/me, my italian fratelli - our debut album is soon coming out. oops, sorry for sidetrack! well, we're in the north (napoleon's hometown was ajaccio, corsica's big town and capital) and land on the east side of "the finger" (cap corse) near bastia where we then drive over the mountains to the west side where the gig and the 'tel is. tiny curvy roads and the landscape is kind of like some parts of so cal outside the cities and same kind of weather. we stop on the way to the 'tel at the gig and see the stage, an outdoor one in a semi-amphitheater - very nice. there's a stone statue from like five thousand years ago in fenced off area and two plastic imitations (but they look real from a distance) on stage, palm trees on the sides. we then go to thallasa in nearby pietranera (the gig's in patrimonio) which is pretty spartan for these kind of tours but I like it. it's about 6:30 pm, nineteen hours since I left my pedro town, whew. the internet here is poor and there's no chow but I like it. olivier has a rented van so for chow we drive to an old citadel by the sea where there's chow pads right next to the marina, port de saint florent. we chow at "le grand bleu" and for fifteen euros I get gratin de fruits de mer (like a cheese sauce that 's baked) w/shrimps/calamari/octopus/fish in it and lobster sauce plus a whole bunch of mussels w/french fries. it's good chow. down by the boats it's very nice. you can see how the italian mixes w/the french here, trippy. we go back to the 'tel then me and brother steve have a good w/olivier, he's very cool people and his english very good, his mind sharp. good cat. konk time and I don't even need the nightwear, just drop and konk. out.
gig day and I don't pop 'til ten, that's a trip but I guess my body needed it, even w/all that plane konk yesterday. no shovel here cuz I missed it, ended at ten but it's ok cuz I'll hold out for soundcheck. that comes at three and sure enough, there's chow in the dress room - chicken drumsticks that are really good, some avocado and olives. I see larry for the first time cuz he was at the 'tel james and ig were in, down the road from us (tom jones is played tonight where we're at tomorrow, he's at that 'tel too). he's in good spirits, gives me two albums he recently recorded - one w/an organman named luther hawkins ("karny sutra") and one where the bad seeds drummer thomas wydler did the drums and larry did everything else ("morphosa harmonia" - good stuff - I'll play some on the next radio show I'll do, probably tuesday in toulouse. the wind is blowing hard but the sun is out bright and warm. james williamson's standing in the dressing room (they're trailers) doorway when the wind slams the hatch on his left thumb and it takes a pounding, oh man. I feel bad for him but he soldiers on and we do 'pert-near an hour soundcheck. jos brought his van so we're using our stuff, I got my eden navigator preamp through the two stacks of laneys. there's a french band opening tonight called nono and the bassman forgot his 'puter power supply at their last 'tel so I lend him mine - he noticed his is a macbook pro 13" just like I have. alright, glad to help a bassbrother, no problem! they're staying here at this 'tel too.
we go back to the 'tel and I chimp diary 'til we gotta bail at seven and a half to go eat dinner at a chow pad not far from last night's but right next to the boats called "le petite caporal" and I get the "la marmite du pecheur" menu item which is mussels, clams, scallops and a fish filet in a tomato w/saffron and potato wedges sauce - whoa. oh yeah, the lady said I should have something first and so I said green salad w/italian dressing but they brought a plateful of lettuce on top of six tomato halves (black tomatoes, first time for me - trippy) and big thin parmesan cheese on top of that w/basil.
goddamn, what a belly-buster 'pert-near, fuck. good there's a couple of hours to go before the gig, crimony. we go straight to the venue and it's packed. it's part of the festival international de guitare de patrimonio but only a two band bill tonight - nono is just about to go on. we prac beginnings/ending in the dressing room after I change into my black flannel and black levis outfit. five before eleven, I make my way to the bottom of the stairs, stage starboard (my side).
jos has got my bass and tourboss henry says he'll give me the go when it's time. the corsica crowd is all revved up, ready to go. I get the go and using both handrails, get up the stairs ok for the hobble to jos, he hands me the bass live. well, it's live in the monitors and house via direct cuz though the amps are on, no sound from them 'til maybe the third verse of "raw power" cuz of a mute switch being on? yep, jos gets that together for me - I just power ahead like nothing's wrong... I'm thinking mixman max probably uses mostly direct anyway though you know there's a good sound out of the amps when they do come alive - so glad james wanted me to use this preamp of mine for stooges gigs. ig is exploding, big time wailing on it. the folks are right up close and he has kind of a "pulpit" plank making for the stage having kind of a bow to it - he's right up in the folks there. they are excited, damn sure. "search and destroy" following w/like one beat for spacing - larry slamming so hard he snaps the end off a stick and it hits me in the back of the arm - I'm always right near the riser usually and it's no mystery why that happened but no hurt on me, I look back at him and we laugh but don't loose focus - can't do that at a stooges gig - "gimme danger" up next. pretty clam-free for me so far. ig calls for dancers, we get a buttload real quick - the corsica folks are not shy and the stage not too high. no rob partiger though - I thought for sure he'd be here cuz he handed helperman derek a letter to give to me but it had only a leash number to contact him and the leash my sister got me works only in the u.s. so I didn't know how to reach him. damn. I hope he's ok. he's been to so many stooges gigs and has danced so many times w/us, I can't imagine him missing this one especially if he made the trip from england where he lives. you can't miss him, looks big time like so cal beach cat 'til you hear him talk. anyway, the corsican dancers tear it up during "shake appeal" real good and lots whup out cameras to capture their moment - even tourboss henry once as he guards in front of the drum riser. that's a trip. he ain't shirking though, he's totally on it but the corsican dancers are very respectful even w/their wild stomp and there's no trouble. everyone's having a good time. whoa, larry put his stick through the snare head - damn, he just changed after soundcheck dented up the one already on it! like I said, he's slammin' it tonight big time. we're into "1970" (after ig's prep spiel he loves to give at this point to share his opinion of what he'd like to happen next) as soon as they clear off and I quick scan the crowd for rob partiger but it's no go, hope he's ok. james is sure ok even w/the hurt thumb, does a good wahwah solo. ig calls for "fun house" soon as we finish, the band keying on his "hey!" w/big dynamics, getting littler then large whence comes (cometh?) the chorus. this ain't two separate worlds - the singer and the band are right in the same moment, intense. even more intense for "l.a. blues" and ig does some tearing at the air before he gives the stage to us for some freak out. I give the laney amps some big time pelvis pummels via the bass (time for it to man the salami seat), get in some coltrane quotes and tune up w/out a mute - all set for "night theme" and ig's return and then front and center reconquest of the stage's bow for "skull thing" - all w/out a word 'til we segue into "beyond the law" and him doing his octave-down style w/the verses w/this baby now. it's a roll, running these tune 'pert-near w/out a pause between - "cock in my pocket" right on the next downbeat! ig does a lean-over into the folks, very trusting cuz it's back first and the folks make sure he's not going to the deck. respect to them. speaking of which I see olivier down right there to hoist ig back up on stage, roadboss eric too which is par for his work every stooge gig (by the way, the festival brochure for this gig listed us as "the stogges"). first breather since the stage invasion and ig dedicates "open up and bleed" to amy winehouse who passed away today at her home in england, only twenty-seven. there's a point where james goes from his "virtual acoustic" mode to full-on electric guitar and I should've hit the first 'b' w/ a good loud one but clammed and made it little - ig comes over in front of larry and hollers "come on!" but it was my clam, not larry - man, I wanted tell him right then and there but boy, that would've really stupid so I just store it in my mind to tell larry later. I bear down and focus harder, end the tune really intense - ig right there w/us in the pocket and winding the baby up like in a cyclone trip, fucking wailing on it. whew. ig tells the folks about france talking about "the rights of man" when they had a revolution and then him being a boy in school in our land and being taught we had rights - "it's all bullshit!" he cues larry to bring in "I got a right" and it's a pile driver bullet train, crimony - like we just took off from how we ended the last one - maybe I stumbled and clammed one flat note? think so - baka watt. it was only for a moment though cuz that's how the notes fly in this tune, I'm digging it. "I wanna be your dog" immediately after and after the second chorus I see ig whirl around right next to me and I think I know what that means - he sends himself over the bow in a back dive into the folks, whoa! yeah! we don't stop there though - he closes up by have us launch into "your pretty face is going to hell" and kick that up and down the road, real tough and tight. off goes his belt during james' soloing to whup up the deck of his bow-pulpit part of the stage - I feel a little bit safe w/him not turning towards me right then - remember last year in london when he did that, me just praying it wouldn't be the buckle end if he was gonna use it on me?! our ending's smack on the dime w/both of ig snapping out wide his arms w/extended middle fingers to salute us landing right together. everyone leaves for stage port and I finally realize the set's over and follow them, jos surprising me when he takes the bass as I'm almost there - damn, not his fault bit startled me enough to 'pert-near go over the side - man, am I spaz. I count my lucky stars that didn't happen. his belt goes back on, ig says "penetration" so I make my way back quick as I can but wary and watching my hobble from becoming stumble. helperman derek on brother steve's keyboard - brother steve broke up his ebony clave sticks way early in the set - forgot to mention! larry breaks another drumstick right in the intro but keeps it together... james does some geisha-boy steps towards stage center to tear up a solo, you'd never know he was carrying a hurtin' thumb, great. ig want's "joanna" right up quick but james has got get that capo off so here comes a hollered opinion on the status of that - I gave jos one of those pins w/john coltrane in his navy days just then - don't know why, just did. "kill city" right after (two bars, larry counts the first one silent) and eric's trying to get his attention cuz ig's mic seems like it's out - I get him while he's behind larry's kit, still working the bass parts - hey, I think it's important we're together as a team so it's no prob for me. we finish the gig for real w/"no fun" right after how it originally ends - no more "kill city" reprise chorus, that addendum I think is scissored. of course the ending of "no fun" has many ways ig says he could say good bye. the corsica folks really give it up, what great heart from them.
it was a great gig, really good one. james shows us the bloody thumb, whoa. it's taken some blows but he did good despite that, respect. everyone did good, the gig-goers included, I think. we all have a good time talking about it - so many stars out here in these parts, damn. I forgot to mention all that wind at soundcheck disappeared for gig time and the evening was just perfect for a gig, just perfect. it's good mood time for everyone.
we pull anchor and back at the 'tel, me and brother steve have a talk w/mr nono, the guitarman for the opening band tonight. he's a real nice cat, real nice. turns out he was in this french band trust that was maybe first big hard rock band in france a bunch of years ago and he's been sideman for lots of acts there like johnny haliday. he's now got his own band but we talk a lot about what it means to have a journey in life w/music and his thoughts are real positive and considerate of someone not full of himself, I like him a lot. he's very cool people and very interesting. I hope he has much luck w/his journey, he has great attitude, great spirit. much respect to him. I then talk a little bit w/helperman derek about bassman lemmy, respect to him also!
ok, out of gas. again I konk w/out the nightwear, tuckered out big time.
wednesday, july 27, 2011 - carcassonne, france
sunday I popped at nine bells, in time for the free shovel. it is spartan but actually happening for me - soft cheese where I use a butterknife to slice of the skin stuff (is it some kind of mushroom?) off of hunks and then put into small oval rolls and a kind of bran I put in a bowl w/milk and chow like cereal plus some coff - of course they got the hot milk but I pour from the pitcher I used w/the bran to cut my coff not only to tame the acid on my gut but cool it off too some. the weather's windy again like yesterday during the day (righteous it calmed down for the gig!) but not as intense. today's kind of unusual whereas we're not getting out dodge like usual - no, that's happening tomorrow so we got a day here in corsica and frere (brother in french) olivier and is gonna drive us up the coast to an old village called nonza at noon.
I quick chimp up diary so I can remember what I can - the sooner the better... I get so fucking pissed at myself for being lame w/my gig descriptions, god damn it - I wanna make it like it feels to be there and working the bass but thoughts get lost in the alzheimers vortex - fucking 'pert-near soon as I finish the gig, yeah, maybe even before I'm done - fucking baka watt! I'll tell you though, it really was a very happening gig last night, I shit thee not.
I'll tell you what was not happening - this idiot w/some asshole attack in norway, killing seventysix folks. my heart sank real low, real real low... I cried. this fuckhead kind of thinking, bullshit. grow up. pull your head out of your ass. this is very sad shit.
thank god frere olivier is ready w/the van to see more of corsica. the drive north is in some ways like getting up north in cali from pedro on the pacific coast highway up around big sure and before, kind of. it's windy and the sea right off the cliffs as you're driving. this town nonza is a tiny one built right into the cliffs above the road and an old old tower fort on a hill w/cliffs dropping way down right into the sea. we see jos and francoise drive by
but no parking in this little place for their big ride, damn. soon they'll be headed for the ferry in bastia and driving onto toulouse in a little while. there's a chow pad called "u franghju" which used to be an old mill building - maybe a windmill but there's no sails - what they do have is some great tasting wild boar I chow up w/gnocchi in a wine gravy which is lame for helperman derek cuz he's learned his body don't dig gluten stuff and maybe there's flour in this and he's feeling it some. damn, I feel bad for him. one risk big time of tour is chance of getting sick on chow but I've been pretty lucky w/that, pretty lucky and I really try and go for what's out there that ain't in my pedro town. on the other side of the road is the tower fort on the hill cliff
and before ascending the stairs up that way, you can look down on a real wide trippy looking beach that many folks have put rocks to make huge writing and pictures, like graffiti. further up the coast you can see a road switch-backing up to where it's clear there was some mining... up at the tower fort there's a sign at a vista where olivier translates what's said about this "beach" actually being what the sea heaved back on shore - originally it was material from that mining, it was ore where they got asbestos - fucking poison shit. I guess you could say the beach was man-made but maybe not so intentional... us humans sure can fuck shit up, huh? you can't climb to the top of the tower fort but you can get up in it and there's stuff you can buy - I get yet another magnet for my fridge back home - it's that head you see on the corsica flag. it's trippy how the stones were used to build this tower fort, flat ones laid on each other similar to how walled, "fences" and even roofs are done here. of course I'm so slow w/the tiny giesha-boy steps I'm on my own pretty much which is good cuz I don't wanna slow the other guys down and plus I gotta be very careful. it's way worth though and plus I never tumbled that's righteous too. I'm so glad olivier took us here to check out the oldage, amazing stuff. we drive back whence we came, what a happening trip.
for dinner, promoterman alain has invited us to join him - once again where in saint florents but not right on the water, a few blocks up at a chow pad called "poissonnerie st christophe" that's actually got a fish market in the front and you chow in the back. I get an octopus salad which is way different that the oil/vinegar/lemon w/lettuce and onions kind I make back home (just pull out the beak and ink sacks from the octopus, boil it, chop it up and mix together, great), this is like a potato salad w/octopus chunks in it. still good, just different. then the bring some grilled sea bass that's very happening and little stuff like some rice and breadcrumb-topped tomato that's been cook plus a little soufle-quiche kind of thing - really good chow and it turns out alain did springboard for all of us - so very VERY kind, merci boucoup to him big time. james tells me about him having a line on a vampower amp he might soon be getting, whoa! by the way, james' thumb has really healed up quick, looks way better than last night after the gig, that's a good thing. back at the 'tel me and brother steve rap 'til once again I konk w/out the nightwear... I was gonna get them on but konked just as I got naked damn.
shove off for toulouse day (monday) and I pop at seven and hose off for the last time here - haven't mentioned it but no tub for soaking but it's ok, I felt pretty comfortable here. wish we could've seen the sea more but you sure could hear it. I chow a couple of rolls w/cheese in them and some applesauce that's supposed to have good microbes. olivier drives us east back across "the finger" which is our last corsica adventure and a couple of times I gotta close my eyes cuz of the winding roads w/sheer cliff drops right at the edge but at the same time I keep them open cuz these views are fucking breathtaking. to avoid traff plug, we go along the sea once east and past a big laguna. we get to the poretta airport and there's no plane! must be a little late... yeah, I said "plane" cuz this ain't a very busy airport, you know? there's a monument out front to where this cat antoine de saint-exupery flew his last mission - it catches my eye cuz his book "the little prince" was k's favorite and I remember when soon after we first met, she let me read it and it was VERY IMPORTANT she got it back. of course I understood. ig says hi and I apologize about thinking he was richard "fuckin'" bonney when he called me last saturday after paddlin' kayak (thalia's first time) cuz what he did was giving me quotes from those buddy rich pep talks and richard (my old plumber friend from pedro who lives in s.f. now) does that w/me all the time so yeah, I though ig was richard! well, I gotta admit that ig had the buddy voice pretty down - same as richard! it was funny but I felt like a total idiot. ig said he understood and it was alright. sitting at a table w/derek and larry - we don't have to wait not that very long, meanwhile larry's learning us all about this funk label in the 70s called true soul that was from arkansas, bitchin' stuff. whoa, I'm in row one, what?!! alain asks me to switch to the baloney seat but still, ROW FUCKING ONE?!! roadboss eric gives me levitt + dubber's "superfreakonomics" to read and there's some interesting stuff about econo fixes for nightmare problems that's entertaining. it takes this airfrance airbus 319 an hour and a half to get us back to orly airport in south paris around noon - yeah, not the most direct route... but that's how things route. what's really stupid is that I almost donated my passport - must've fallen out of the yellow jacket's inside pocket when it called pulled out from the upper stowage bay - fucking baka watt. I'm so glad a very kind fellow passenger gave it to an airline man to give it to 'tard watt (me), VERY KIND, merci boucoup again. ig comes up behind me and thanks me for the john waters "role models" book I gave him, says he's digging it and I dug it too. I go to the wrong gate and 'pert-near get on the wrong plane (I'm getting all einstein w/having it together, huh?) - we need another flight to get to toulouse, one on a airfrance 320 an hour later - a brand new one, whoa, has like that "new car" smell, you know? very empty, lots of space and just and hour to rainy toulouse. toulouse was big town for the cathars - man, some heavy history there.
this is the first time I've stayed in this town but the gig we're doing will be in carcassonne (about seventy minutes to the southeast) on wednesday. the driverman loops around the big square downtown where our 'tel, "le opera" is which might've been a strategy, might've been a blow-by but what you give the guy the benefit of a doubt, right? first time I get to help eiko-san w/english via this trip (four pm is eleven pm there) and then I'm hungry so use geisha-boy steps to forage for chow - only a little sprinkle but the deck wet/slippery and I don't wanna go down. very tiny and narrow streets at every which angle, very old timey here, street signs in both french and occitan (cataln is similar). I find a kebab pad and have a "mixte" plate which is like gyro kind of chicken/lamb along w/a skinny chorizo sausage and then a beef burger, on the side a salad w/green olives and french fries. good chow, I'm into this stuff. I find a ten euro bottle of wine at an epicerie nearby - right close is a record store called "vicious circle" - I ask the cat at the counter if he knows about tsol and he does, yeah - that was their first name. that's a trip! good little store. anyway, back at the 'tel it turns out this is one of larry's most favorite wines, one from around this region, "chateau de tiregand" - he comes by to give me some cds he did w/joey from calexico w/a band called depedro - I'll play some on my radio show http://twfps.com tomorrow. he tells me some funny stories about working in so cal record stores and becoming jackson brown's "record picker man" for a while, too much! he bails and I konk - oh, I had gotten right into the nightwear soon as I returned from my foraging.
tuesday I popped at eight and did big soak and the pretty long/deep tub they got here, happening. outside the window I see it's raining. the breakfast trough here is free and whoa, the eggs are cooked like omelets w/out cheese - usually these troughs in france got scrambled eggs w/maybe way too much milk and making them like a broth but not here. there's skinny hot dogs to go w/that and mustard (the coarse ground I really like) to go w/that. alright. there's some salmon to put on a roll w/roquefort and more mustard plus some raspberries/strawberries to go in a bowl w/yogurt, very good shoveling this morning. brought my hashi too. everyone's in good spirits, jos made it safe w/his van, I talk w/olivier and alain
after discussing so cal freeway routes w/roadboss eric (he's gonna be in a van for the september gigs w/the equipment) which 'pert-near bores james to tears - sorry, james! I go walk around some but not much cuz of the slick old stones in the rain and my condition. I go back and chimp diary 'til time for prac in james' chamber w/larry (me on the blue backup piec-o bass through the pignose amp) and then prac english-go w/eiko-san via the skype after. I make another venture out and go the other way opposite to what I'm used to and find a chowpad called "street food" - yeah, spelled that way which is a kabob pad so I wanna see the difference from last night's so I get the same, the "mixte" but it's a little different, I think there's not one way.... I actually like this version a little better but last night was tasty too. I even go back a few hours later to get a falafel! the boss there asks what land I'm from when I go to pay and show him my drivers license cuz my wallet's open and he says "california" and shakes my hand, alright! I do the radio show by myself - I asked mixerman max to be guest but he defers and says he's a private man which I respect - in fact I think I've asked once before now that I think of it - idiot baka watt... anyway, it's man alone but that's ok cuz it's also a remote broadcast. I get done and have no way of uploading cuz of the weak internet sitch here, maybe tomorrow at the gig? fuck it, I'll do it when I'm able. I go konk.
gig day and I pop at nine and head straight for the trough downstairs - I shovel same as I did yesterday, good one. I go back upstairs and get caught up on email - at least the internet here will let me do that. mr shimmy wrote me about my portside hiza (knee in jap) - for him and everyone else who wants to know, I still wear a brace on it on stage and lots in public but not in my pad. I am weak there still and healing slow. however, I have an elliptical trainer in my pedro pad and work that motherfucker everyday I'm there. I do a tub soak. checkout is at one but we're not to leave 'til five so me and brother steve are to hang out in olivier's chamber (he's gone w/the crew to carcassonne and get the setup ready) and chimp what you're reading here. in the main square outside the 'tel (and right near the capitolium, flying their red flag w/the yellow maltese cross on it next to the french and e.u. ones), a huge farmers market has been set w/many tented booths and so he goes to check that out while I "guard the room" as they say and prac english-go w/eiko-san. unfortunate I can't get last night's fucking radio show up yet though, damn. oh well. so glad the sun has come out and the rain gone. we get to the old walled medieval city of carcassone around six, passing many fields of sunflowers on the way. we're actually playing inside an open-air amphitheater as part of the festival de carcassonne built inside the actual castle part of the town. pretty wild, lots of true oldage, lots of rebuild - you know these old castle pads went into disuse and decline as feudalism went down and cannons/explosives came up but later folks got into them as relics - there sure are a lot of visitors here tripping on stuff. james asks me to get as many pictures but the road is a bumpy one and our driverman not really stopping to get me much vantage shots but I do what I can. mr slouch is here! great to see him again. we go through the whole set
though some tunes get the abbrev - the castle wall behind us is pretty far behind and the sidefills are really far out, trippy kind of set up but at least the folks are close in and no huge moat like the one outside the walls of this pad between them and the stage. sure wild, a gig inside a real old castle, damn. there's been some restoration though of course but plenty of oldage, plenty of it! I hobble up after to catering and shovel eggplant slices cooked in olive oil, white fish, leeks cooked in a creme sauce (really fucking righteous), potato half w/minced mushrooms baked into it, some shredded chicken, a big pimento-like chili and a fritter w/peas in it. a good shovel, yep. a hobble back and get into my stage outfit, the newer woolridge black flannel shirt which fits a little big on me and the black levis that are kind of fading - kind of weird. maybe the newer levis should be w/this newer flannel, I don't know, I ain't much of an ensemble coordinator, huh?
ready to go. no opening act tonight, just us. nina and francoise are there in a little tent sidestage where mr slouch has his stuff. nina asks me if I'm nervous and I tell her yes, I always am even after eights years w/ig cuz I just wanna do good for him. she says I'm playing good, she's very kind. I tell her that it's trippy about my lame hiza (knee in jap) but maybe I'm playing better cuz I just saw a video of me playing w/the black gang (nels cline on guitar, bob lee on drums and myself) from ten or so years ago and my port leg is shaking like crazy and I don't think in the beat. well, I can't do that w/this brace, can't shake it up so maybe that's helping my timing be better? I don't know. I just wanna do good for him, whatever it takes. I see eric give me the sign and I give a fist back. I see james run out, larry w/him... I hobble as quick as I can to mr slouch, he's got the bass and gives it to me, it's on - "raw power" liftoff time! yeah, my amps are on also, a good thing! the carcassonne gig-goers seem a little tripped but some of them also it seems know exactly what they're getting into, the good spirit grows and grows and by the end of "search and destroy" there is much wail from the good people here, merci. ig talks to them some in french and we go into "gimme danger" when I break a 'd' string right near the beginning of james' guitar solo. of course there's alternate notes I can play and even some substitutions of the exact ones on the lower strings played higher up on the neck so no freak out. we finish and I pull the string off so maybe a gig-goer might want it but jos winds it up and takes it away to the side, maybe to a garbage can? mr slouch brings me the powder blue gibson "sg"bass" (that's what that company calls this type of eb-3 reissue now) w/the decal of a witch on a broomstick on it (not my doing!) - I usually use this to prac beginnings and ends w/the guys. I got it in toronto by the gibson people there the day after my 1963 gibson eb-3 was stolen in montreal back in 2008 and only used it that night at the massey hall gig when fucked up opened up for the stooges. it don't play all that well and kind of sounds terrible. but hey, "a poor carpenter blames his tools" and it I don't have to delay the gig progress (thank god!) so I deal w/it for "shake appeal" - ig calls for dancers and we get the stage full, whoa, been a while since so many - I dig it big time! now helperman derek said to me after corsica gig I've been a little behind in this one so I hiked it up at soundcheck, my head right there by the kick drum and he said I did better but we go for it now, I guess larry laid back a little too much cuz ig hollered to get it "faster!" so I push even more. the dancers are wild but very polite - whoa, there's rob partiger, guess he's ok, alright! many of the dancer whip out cameras to capture the scene. everyone's having a good time. we clear the stage and it's time for the blues... derek also said "I need somebody" has been sounding a little thin so I play way w/my fingers over the higher frets (mr slouch has brought me back the brian michaels bass w/a new 'd' string on it) - he said it helped at soundcheck and I think it's helping here. good solid groovin' here. "...music in a bubble" - is that what I heard ig tell the folks? "1970" is next, james delivers a pretty inspired solo w/the wahwah going, good job. "fun house" is up w/in seconds of ig imploring brother steve to BLOW and then running up to in front of larry's kick to bring us out on the floor toms - much dynamic interplay and fancy footwork, great, the gig-goers way into it as we turn "l.a. blues" (man, did I hump it out of tune or what? I get back in) into "night theme" (maybe I clammed a little bit near the end?) into "skull thing" (I do it all on the 'e' string) and finally into "beyond the law" (maybe a little flat in the 'g' string - when do I use that string w/stooges?!) and maybe a quarter of a second rest before kicking right into a wild "cock in my pocket" w/ig doing a full on superman-style stage dive w/arms stretched forward, wow! great. he gives a little bit of a speech on no rights w/larry cutting him off a little a bringing us quick into "Ive got a right" - no, it's here where he did the stage... wasn't it? I'm sorry! I get caught up it, man. I know he did at least two full-on ones, 'pert-near in the same place - the next one the next tune "I wanna be your dog" for sure cuz he looked right at me before throwing the mic on the deck, looking over at me and then doing a big spinning-twist-and-self-hurl into the folks... wait a minute, "open up and bleed" was after "cock..." - aarrrggghhh, baka watt! later james told me he clammed in the second chorus but I didn't notice and damn if I ain't listening w/all I got - oh well, I know we whupped it up real good for the ending, larry wailing on it. we finnish up on "your pretty face is going to hell" and tag the ending tight. we run off and ig asks tourboss henry for either a two or four song encore - henry says four and then ig says "four" and we go out and first wail "penetration" before a very heavy "johanna" (ig first said a little poem like "I loved you/and felt like shit/so I wrote this little song/to get over it") - did he dive here, during james' solo? fuck, this is embarrassing, it just happened last night! my fucking memory! "kill city" I know was right up after - even quicker next is "no fun" and then we're off. the crowd was very VERY wild and wanted more more, great GREAT spirit from these folks, truly. whew, that was a kicker of a gig. we can still hear them hollering while we try to get these warm beers cold w/some ice - we need something cold! ig does a runner, understandable - damn, he worked so hard! fucking balls-out.
I got a piece one of the many drum sticks larry broke - he suggest I put the jagged broken-off end in a small san pelagrino bottle so it don't poke through my 'puter sack - good thinking from him. we're doing about seven hundred miles to brussels by bus - same company as when volker was driver (a berlin one) and it fact one cat that helped him, stefan, is driving here along w/another man named sebastion for a helper w/a shift. there were sound police (103db max) but mixman max said he had it right up there and not beyond - promoterboss alain said the fine was thirty thousand dollars and had to sign all kinds of papers so I'm sure glad kept that keel in the water for everyone. we're all on the bus but ig and james who separately ride back to where we konked last night and have a five am flight tomorrow to brussels. us on the bus have none of that weighing on us so were pretty lucky. lots of good spiel on the bus 'til everyone goes to their bunks one by one to konk 'cept me and finally I do the same (bottom one for me, safe for this fucking hiza) - nothing like a rolling bus to get watt konked quick - I love that feeling, love it.
friday, july 29, 2011 - tienen, belgium
yesterday I pop at ten bells on the bus, bottom most foreword port-side bunk. there were sandwiches made for us at the carcassonne gig made of ham, cheese and tomato and I spice that up w/german mustard (it's a german bus company, remember?) and pira-pira chilies. there's some tobacco habanero sauce I try but man, it's bunk - terrible taste and luckily drowned out by the good flavors. there's a coff machine that's ok. I know larry though might be still bumming cuz he brings his own beans, grinder and french press. actually though, he's got a good nature and probably don't get all tiara-totin' about that kind of shit maybe.
time for trivia, no one guesses today's when the first world war started ninetyseven years ago (jos said "DON'T TELL US!" but too late, I blurted it out - sorry! fucking baka watt) however, mixerman max knew the cat who assassinated an austrian royal boss was in a group called the "black hand" that got it rolling. respect.
jos says our two drivers were yammering and did a blow-by on the econo luxembourg gas stop. we cross the border into belgium and I go aft and chimp diary.
we get to brussels around two pm, in the north by the north part of the town's main loop road (looks like a baseball game home plate so imagine that), some for the former sex trade neighborhood still exists but not so much now. tourboss henry is here to get us in, ania from the central european organization is here w/him, great to see her again. they bail cuz they're at another 'tel w/james and ig. it's been gray all morning but soon the sun's out for a late afternoon, very nice. fast free internet in the lobby at this sheraton so I get the radio show I did in toulouse up and update this tour diary I chimp on the hoot page. for chow I go around the corner and have a plate w/three lamb chops, a green salad and french fries.
I get back and online hear about the aircraft carrier uss abraham lincoln being tied up in my pedro town for fleet week. not sure but maybe it's bailing tuesday so maybe I can paddle near it (not too near, don't wanna get shot!) cuz it's tied up right there near cabrillo beach... I'm supposed to arrive home monday night, we'll see. one bunk thing I learn is that warnings have been given to the sailors aboard not to come to our town but go into long beach (they're the east side of the harbor, we're the west) cuz my pedro town is considered a "high drug use/distribution center" which sure, there's droga parts of pedro and droga parts of long beach, et cetera but there's ok parts too, what the fuck? sure is kind of bunk.
not long tub but kind of deep so I get good soak. after seeing some chow show from england where the guy pronounces paella PAH-ELLA instead of pai-eh-ya I read some more of the copy of "wanderer" by sterling hayden that skipper jeff gave me 'til I konk kind of early.
eight bells on gig day I pop - no free trough (maybe there was but it's ambiguous on the paperwork and I figure risky) so I'm holding out 'til noon when we bail for the gig and shovel there - it's in a town called tienen which is about thirty miles east of brussels. waiting in the lobby, I check email and get a message from rob partiger about the carcassonne gig we did wednesday:
>whoa, that's powerful stuff there and I ain't really objective enough to have the nerve to say that but rob says he was talking to these folks so... just sayin', you know? it was a fucking righteous spirit they were putting out there to share w/us and for sure I'll testify to that. respect to the carcassonne gig-goers.
you'll notice maybe an inconsistent thing about my chimping: the mangling of the concept of paragraph - sometimes I run on and on, sometimes I'm aware more of it's duty to help give sense to what I'm trying to convey while at other times I'm quite oblivious. it is embarrassing. all this chimping supposedly in part as prac to get better at turning thoughts that would be hopefully interesting to someone into written word but fuck if that's hardly the case... running in circles 'tard shit, I'm afraid. aaarrrggghhh, I keep trying.
about an hour and we're at the dressing rooms which are in a high school near tienen's main square. turns out larry hit the trough at the 'tel and got hit for twentysix euros ('pert-near thirtyeight u.s. dollars, fuck!), now that was jive. man, I feel bad for him. here I chow from the catering some pasta penne, mixed cooked vegetables and lamb stew - worth waiting for and yes, I have my hashi! I hate using forks and shit, part of my evolution and an alternative to manhandling the chow into the wordhole. we're playing before deep purple (mark VIII vesion of the band) doing a collaboration w/the neue philharmonic frankfurt which means we're on at 8:40 pm, great news - love the earlier gigs. this is part of the suikerrock festival which is in its twentyfifth year... last night was tom jones - just like in corsica, the night before us and damn if I don't miss him again - fuck! baka watt.
try to use skype to prac eigo w/eiko-san but internet here is terrible. the other 'tel part of the team arrives at seven. james tells me he wants to this "we jam econo" video, heard about it from ania. I will get it to him. then him, larry and me prac beginnings/endings (and actual whole tunes as well) after ig briefs on us tonight playing a little shorter cuz of the sitch but no less intense. I can't imagine ig have "less intense" capable mode! respect.
tourboss henry speaks w/me after the prac, asking if I would do liner notes for the september dvd release of the gig from last year in monticello, new york - the vinyl one came out back in april. whoa, I will try my best I tell him and damn if I won't. that is quite an honor, hope I don't fuck it up.
I go over to the stage ten minutes early. the whole main square of the town is packed w/folks. mr slouch has got the bass ready for me - the signal's given and we run out (well, I hobble fast as I can) from our appropriate sides and yank the lawnmower cord for "raw power" - the gig is on. like I thought, ig charges hard and on fire. he wants people to wake up - throughout the gig he'll be telling them just that. "search and destroy" up right after and I'm thinking about last year when I had that immobilizer that went from hip to ankle and how it was hard to play fluid w/that thing - it's tough w/this smaller, bendable brace and like I said, maybe it helps me w/keeping time and focus but still it's awkward - shit though, can't think about that now. bass is sound good in tune, I think mr slouch has found a way to compensate for my thug-like finger wrestling. real good stage sound and it's also a good size for ig to work. he calls for dancers and up come people - very happening there's stairs cuz it's a ways up. they're fired up and get their dance thing on w/us. lots of energy but lots of respect, no probs, a good time and they clear off real quick. one couple gave me a special belgian dance maybe? maybe that's their own way - they were laughing big time. respect. this woolridge shirt seems a little big, I just rolled up the sleeves and they won't stay that way, damn it. "I need somebody" now and some groovin' blues for the folks. I roll down the tone knob some for "1970" cuz I'm thinking maybe I can up some growl on the bass. I turn it back up for "fun house" - oh, man I gotta tell you ig went down to his knees intense to reach down and yank the honks out of brother steve w/his sax - in turn I see not only BIG TIME inspired blowin' on his horn but also wild dance steps and hoppin' from him, wild brother steve tonight - those green shoes we're way-wack tappin' it up! yeah, "fun house" and ig returns the favor w/his own steps, leaps, arm moves - great great stuff, an improvised choreograph w/the band riding up and down w/him. accidentally I bust off both volume and tone knobs on the michael bass as it get's baloney place in the "l.a. blues" monkey-humpin' - james likes "monkey-humpin'" as the way to describe what I do when we freak out there. I get the tuning back though in time for larry to get us into "night theme" and have a little bit of chance to second-check as he intros "skull-thing" and the return of the ig who let's run the last the two ourselves, that melds into "beyond the law" w/ig at the bow of the boat - not giving it up for "cock in my pocket" either and even getting down in the moat some (there's cameras and screens at this gig). he prefaces "open up and bleed" by telling the gig-goers that "some people like to drink beer, some like to eat sausage, some like to fart - he likes to sometimes bleed" and we do it real good (especially the wind-up at the end) but there's a problem w/james' "acoustic mode" sounding more like "tom petty jangling electric guitar mode" but that don't throw us. a tiny spiel about "the rights of man" and then a blistering "I got a right" - larry tries out this roll before the last set of choruses that sounds real good, it's something I told him perk would do at a hellride gig. next is "I wanna be your dog" and in the low dynamic he asks us to take to the drums but james keeps going - ha! I lay out 'til ig says to bring it out. it's a powerful finish but nope - "no fun" is up right and I really mean RIGHT after. I fucking blow a clam in the first verse - hitting a 'd' where an 'e' goes, what a fucking baka! aaarrrgggghhh, I recover and don't do that again but fuck, why did I let it happen in the first place? I am ridiculous man. I go to my side of the stage and hide behind the curtain when we get through... I got the feeling - hey, I'm right cuz after a few minutes I see larry and james coming back from their side - we do "penetration" for an encore, ig said that might happen, he likes the groove we got going w/that one. the folks like it too, it's a very happening gig, a real good time. I walk back, hobbling w/two of the festival people who tell me belgium's now been w/out a government for over a year! damn, and back in the u.s. they can't agree on a budget plan - our political people, WHAT IS UP?!
everyone's in a good mood back at the rooms. we're gonna pull anchor at eleven bells but james and are gonna leave soon so I go over and give ig that dos album he asked about last tour - ha! the one I told him about and wanted to hear! he said he dug the gig too which is always a righteous thing to hear from the man. james liked it too as did it larry and steve - like I said, everyone in good spirits. I think of scotty-san, I was asking about him w/tourboss henry when he was talking to me earlier and he said he had spoke w/him yesterday and maybe in a week he goes back to the u.s., to florida. man, I send all the love I can to him.
the festival people find a plastic sack for my sweated/stenched out outfit - roadboss eric's a good man and don't deserve to have to manhandle shit like that. it's 'pert-near 560 miles from tienen to st julien en genevois in france (right over the border is geneva in switzerland) but we go a little past that, like seventeen miles west of it to a little town called bonne where a 'tel called "baud" is and arrive around nine and a half in the morning. time to say bye to drivermen sebastian and stefan, they did a righteous job. helperman derek knows a lot about the bee gees and enlightens us a bunch about them along w/other music stuff... always fascinating around him even though he's a young man - I love learning from him. max knows tons too, as does larry, jos, eric and brother steve - all these cats are a trove of infos, righteous. and for the first time ever I hear music on a stooges bus ride - larry played the 1969 sessions from the king 'til I konked around one. "comfort music" is what he called it. he's a good man.
sunday, july 31, 2011 - julien en genevois, france
it's saturday afternoon and I'm reading what I wrote this morning... what a fucking idiot! usually the last chimping for a tour spiel entry ends w/me konking but there we are arriving at the 'tel in bonne - that was after I popped! I'm thinking it might appear I have very together and detailed way of relating diary stuff but here's one example clearly where I fouled up big time - I think it's important to take note here and "consider the source" regarding tour spiel chimpings by watt. it is almost more like nervous reaction rather than the camera eye for some kind documentary. I am slow learner to so much stuff and this here being one of those many things.
only a couple rooms ready - eric says one can be for me but I tell him I think max should get one before I do - actually I only have to wait a half-hour or so before I get one three flights of stairs up (actually good workout for fucked-up hiza, I just gotta take it slow cuz there's not really handrails the whole way) and this pad is neat, two kind-of porthole windows, one for the shower and one for the sink though they ain't like portholes cuz they tilt (half in, half out) at their diameter and not just one side like you see on boats. they are round though! this little bonne is in the upper savoy part of france, the swiss border very close and near where the evion water source is. you can see mountains pretty close. we're on the one main road and after some rest and reading, I hoof down this road to find james, derek and max sitting outside (the weather's happening) and a little tavern cuz the chowpads don't open around six. the talk is mostly about the trippy thing w/his acoustic mode last night and then pete townshend.
six and half and I hobble after james and derek to a roadside little pizza pad - mr slouch has come to join max, promoterman alain and his lieutenant olivier arrive too (remember, it's a french gig and alain does always has done french stooges gigs, he's the best!) and alain gives me and edible twenty euro bill - I shit thee not!
it's my kind of pad but damn, it's sad to see derek can't chow here cuz of the gluten intolerance w/his health and choices not happening for him here. I think next door there's a couscous pad next door though. I have a peetz called "mexicaine" - it's got chilies/sausage/cheese/big tomato pieces/olives/green peppers plus I pour the chili oil (pepperoccino?) they got in little packs - good eats! james gets a kebab and raps w/me about stuff. I hobble back to the 'tel w/him (behind him, I'm slow), say bye, chimp diary and then spend time w/brother steve who's in the chamber next door. we wander some... he protects me when the foot (from the leg w/the good knee or the bad one - maybe both?) gets stuck in the mouth. brother steve.
I konk and have a very uncomfortable nightmare, very kowai (jap for scary) on me. it's something about being at an airport - a small one but missing flights - I say flight cuz ones to help fix things are set and I space on those too. at one point I'm sent to a terminal that has no gates - all I find is staff people doing office work at desks, the whole thing. remember "the castle" by franz kafka - some of this shit was like that and I was losing my things piece by piece everywhere. it's really frightening me and fucking filing myself w/dread/anxieties - even guilts, fuck. I keep trying to explain to people in the dream and have them trying to explain to me but it hopeless about words doing any good here. it is a miserable time for me. "truth or consequences" but it seems like everything I do makes it worse, aaarrrgggghhhh- grueling big time on me to almost panic state but more like a despair is gripping me... I have the fuck surprised out of me by popping up and discovering that was the way out - damn! all I had to do was pop! I had thought for sure everything was going to hell and collapsing, me lost and total forever on a worsening hellride. I pop in a fucking sweat.
gig day and I just lie there still before pissing, hosing down and then getting down those stairs and seeing if the trough is free cuz the paper from tourboss henry had question marks besides the words yes and no. promoterman alain reassures me though and so max learns me about using this tool that remover the top of a soft-boiled egg (they got a water heater here you cook eggs in), kind a ring thing that's got teeth that come in when you squeeze what looks like where you put your fingers in a pair of scissors. trippy. there's some great salami that's hard but the sack looks lumpy, you know? also there's cheeses (two kinds, one soft and one hard) that go real good w/it. there's plain yogurt made not so plain w/berries/raspberries/strawberries/blueberries in some red sugar sauce. great chowed shoveled here for watt! I hobble around best I can, the weather beautiful, like my pedro town. I the chimp diary and catch up emails (buttload piling up) cuz internet is free here. I keep renewing the dhcp lease cuz it's been scissoring everyone else. I even can prac english-go w/eiko-san but no video. at two and a half I join larry in james' chamber and we do an hour of prac w/the tiny amps. I like doing this. I am not allergic to prac. actually after prac is when I did the skype w/eiko-san and then I hoof to that pad I chowed at last night not too far away ("point pizza italia kebab mason") and I have a kebab au sucuk which has got chorizo w/mozzarella melted over it, really happening. james comes by and has a kebab like he did last night and I follow him back w/my too-slow-to-keep-up hobble when we get done.
we bail for the gig at quarter after eight. it's only twenty or something minutes from here in bonne to st julien en genevois and the gig's out in the country. guitare en scene is the name of this festival. I go to see some of dkt mc5 and run into mr jim jones of the jim jones review - met him in austraila cuz he was w/us on the "big day out" tour back at the beginning of the year. nice cat and in fact he met scotty not too long ago in london. said he was coming around! damn I wish I could see scotty-san again. I see about four or five songs but gotta go back, I meet brother wayne kramer's wife margaret on the way back. she missed this gig last february but I got me and perk to have to her husband do a gig of all stooge tunes in santa monica, tripping them out into like a coltrane state of mind w/me and perk doing kind of a cream rhythm section - it was a trip, he did good - I told her. I think it was really a trip for him. I get a sweaty hug from him a little later when they finish up, damn if he ain't got that same red shirt he's had on when he played w/me and perk, whoa! you know at that gig when we got done I kind of fell through the back hatch cuz there was no stair - my arm just kind of automatically flew out to stop me but the weight momentum carried me through and I popped my fucking starboard elbow out for a moment. damn if that didn't take forever to heal it my arm above (the tricep) swelled up make the whole thing 'pert-near the size of my fucking hip and purple as a goddamn ripe grape. I still feel some weakness there. I drink up some sports drink crap (maybe gatorade?) to head off any cramps - man, does it taste like shit but better than cramps in the gig, way better big time. back in the dressing room brother steve is warming up his horn.
twenty after ten and I hobble towards the tented stage. yeah, tonight's gig is outside - kind of - it's in a big tent w/the sides open so ain't total gig-sack but still it can get humid and the sound a little blurry. we're supposed to hit at 10:40 but I think maybe a little later. I stay in the back, just outside the tent cuz there's no where really to hide. aahhh, very happening: a portable pisser - I make use of and soil it - just the part w/the hole where few dare peer. I make way up the stage's back stairs - YES to the handrail, YES! I hide as much as I can behind some kind support for the rear row of lights. it's thirteen of as I see the rest of the guys get out of their ride and head up on the stage's other side... mr slouch is in front of my amp, helperman derek out in front of james - luckily no one has to hold larry's sticks, he can do that... maybe I should go out w/my bass like in the older days, huh? I have to speak w/mr slouch about this cuz it's so risky w/my unstable fucking self trying to hobble over and get that baby slund around me in time. I make it though - "raw power" does not catch watt late this time! the gig is on. bass sound kind of tiny and this makes for me playing too hard. I mean, I thump like thug anyway but a sitch like this can lead to being even more crude and uneven. the big-top gig-goers are in a great spirit, merci. I bet a bunch might be swiss to since the border's so close. I remember when minutemen played w/black flag in geneva in 1983, dukowski got a whole pint cup of piss in the face - a few gigs before d. boon got the same thing in vienna... ah, good ol' days, huh? still too small sounding on stage so after "gimme danger" (fourth and final gig for ig for us the tour leg but you'd think it was ig's first one out, he's full-out and full-on!) I make a move to put more angle on my laney stack (remember there's my eden navigator preamp be hidden behind them (WHY?!) but damn if I ain't an idiot cuz there's wheels and they ain't on any dolly but in a way I did it to let mr slouch know that, "yeah, it be more happening if these could get more tilt and less blowin' straight out" cuz mixman max can deal w/that better w/what he's got and where he's at (even w/the db police) than me trying to run the bass in the house from the stage. mr slouch is "lovely" (I'm trying to learn england way english) and does just thtat while ig calls up dancers for the "shake appeal" stooges-people of france get-together. now I got some bass and it's from the amps (the laneys really got a good all-tube power section, again I shit thee not) and not direct-box-to-side-floor-wedge which for me works better as reinforcement rather than the real live dealio. just sayin' - hey, you know ig says THAT VERY PHRASE right before the "I need somebody" first chorus? I could've swore he did but anyway, I'm getting ahead of the dance-down... rob partiger once again is up here to join us - yatta!!! big hugs for him. all the way from england but also these homebrew folks are full of the spirit, some of them pretty young. I guess one not so young fell back over one of the floor wedges but good thing he landed on his leather jacket besides his head - roadboss eric said he spoke english and french to him and wanted to get back on so I think he's ok. I never want any of us hurt ever, helpermen/band dudes/gig-goers - I want us all safe somehow, it's just my big time wish always. like ig says: time for the real deal so here's "1970" and damn if I ain't really clammed yet and don't do it here, I want it strong and fat - again getting that tone knob rolled down some for growlin' and even keeping it there for "fun house" when ig right away calls for it after, him both dancing and singing his heart out, "ha-uht!!!" (is that how you spell, it?), kind of bouncy stage at times maybe some threatening low feedback, for sure some squealers from james' amps. both knobs knocked off the bass via monkey humping in "l.a. blues" - sorry but I gotta grab those laneys w/both hands do what I gotta do, the brian michael bass riding in the baloney seat. holds up good though, truly. "night theme" and doing the 'b-flats' on the 'a' string for a change - if I'm gonna do them on the 'e' then maybe I should do the 'c' and 'd's on the first bars too? there's a big diff on the sound of the same note in different places on a bass guitar, people. same goes for doing nothing-to-do-w/mr-gun "skull thing" though rather than do what I did last gig I do half all on the 'e' string and half using both that and the 'a' - for the "beyond the law" intro and bridge I put in an octave-up 'a' for each final bit, gives it oomph. play the coda an octave down too just to try it. I know I can 'pert-near always get the three fattest tuned after the humpin' freak-out but notice the 'g' is flat - let me tell you that there ain't a lot of using the 'g' w/stooges and it makes sense big time. "cock in my pocket" on the next beat and damn if the sax ain't wailing and be the biggest thing on the stage. I love brother steve and his playing but don't know what happened - jos gets it together for us though, good man. I'm very grateful. it don't help us w/the ending though - I had to make choice cuz I saw james' fingers (that's where it was at this point, I could really relay the help request to jos 'til we got the tune finished) and knew he was heading on but larry's was still on the freight train w/a head of steam. I was just begging in my mind for james to put his head up and give a look-see but he never did. well, I stayed w/larry cuz I didn't want him abandoned - shit, he's been playing so good here - when he looks up (I was using the esp thing on him too), I just work it so we both stomped down together so it ain't all clam but some recovery at work too. "open up and bleed" has got james acoustic sound back (guess it was a "plumbing error" last gig which means shit was hooked up wrong) but damn if it way loud and bass. not torture like that punish-fuck high thing at our chicago gig last year though but more of unhappening bogart. he plays it good though as does larry and for the coda, ig has it go a little shorter though we wind up good w/some tempo. "I got a right" has got some tempo - fuck yeah. it's a good one, real good. ig calls for the dynamic to go way down - I give the sign to larry and it takes there but james won't look this way and it stays loud though I know he's using his thumb and playing soft, the amps just are on oblivious-to-dynamic mode. he does have buttons that turn things on and off though - maybe he could learn from the nels cline school of pedal dance! I tried and couldn't though. this is nit-picking however cuz it's all slamming. I just get sensitive to ig on stage and 'pert-near want him to play us like we reeds blowin' in a wind he was conducting! is that weird? I trust his judgement. I have a send of the one "I wanna be your dog" w/james on the lick but gotta admit it's gotta move where it's larry's turn though he's got that intro of scotty's really really good. I have to laugh at myself - probably is me somehow wrong but whatever that micro-moment holds, we're pretty tight in it. again the take-down ain't taken down by all of us but maybe again that's the bass players stupid baka perspective. I really like the tempo we finish the set up w/"your pretty face is going to hell" is at, really chugging and I can feel ig digging it. can you believe what a goof-fuck like watt feels w/ig like a foot or two port of him and singing his whole essence out w/every part of his being he's got there big time alive in each increment of existence? sounds real fat to do the 'b' on the 'e' string also. man, I hope it don't sound like I getting all harsh on james, he's just the nicest to me and maybe things are just fine and I'm exaggerating this dynamics thing. also, he does the "fun house" dynamics really good. there is a strong possibility I am out of my mind, very strong. we come back out and he whips out a mean guitar solo for "penetration" and for me there's no doubt about that. again a poem to introduce "johanna" from ig:
she gave me loveunderstand I'm chimping this at the airport the very next afternoon but my fucking memory is so full of dents and beat-up, it is not reliable! I do know he gave james extra time for guitar wail, partly cuz he whipped off his belt and gave the deck a spanking and also the mic got lost - you know he's been up and down from the deck to the stage and in the moat... it is kind of a narrow moat - oh fuck, I forgot to mention he did a running stage dive in james' "I wanna be your dog" solo (james really has phrased a good one here and in "1970" tune, feels for me like he's thinking of ronnie doing those two, w/the wahwah also) - he looked right over at larry, spun around and then fucking just went for it, incredible. I saw the whole thing happen feet from me - he went off dead-center, right of the bow. the gig-goers were good and massed-up so they buoyed him big time, olivier and eric reeling him back in and on stage. "kill city" in a after a silent count from larry and the band does a real good take on it, maybe the best since having larry aboard. half a second from the last note, ig then calls for "no fun" and he's the outro - no clams from me like day before yesterday in teinen. maybe some clumsy fills one or twice, baka watt... it's a good gig for a good crowd, I come off the stage after thanking mr slouch and telling jos "good sound" and damn, there's lisa and robert from the bellrays (who played earlier) and I give them a simultaneous BIG hug and thank them for being so kind, they said they dug the gig much. they're beautiful people, truly and always have been to me. I'm just as big as into the stooges as they are, so many of us playing loving the stooges. I hoof back to dressing rooms, talking again w/jim jones, he's come up again to say hi, good cat.
in the big area that has the dressing rooms, I see william and say hi. he sang w/the dkt mc5 band tonight and last time I saw him singing w/the alice in chains reformation - both times he did so good. he's working on a william graves bio-short I'm really interested to see. it's still a work in progress but he says he wants me to see was he's done so far. big respect to him. dkt mc5 bassist michael davis comes into our room as I get out of the walmart black flannel (feels much better than that woolridge one cuz I think that one's too big and gets heavy when sweaty) and man, he's hurt his leg and knee bad - played tonight on a stool and is on a crutch now, I can empathize w/him big time, my heart goes out to him. we are hurt bass brothers. dennis thompson comes into and talks w/larry, larry can't telling him how much of a righteous drummer scotty-san is and I big time so much agree. of course larry knows cuz he's working this and like scotty-san says, it's a working man one! larry's beat up but he's happy. he did really good, helped the stooges so much and at the same time has so much respect for drummerman scott asheton, the one and only. it was sure good to hear from jim jones he saw him last week in london. I go in and ask ig if he dug the show, it takes nerve for me to do it but he seemed in such a great mood, I was just wondering. man, I wanted to tell him he was a mindblow, his work tonight. I always worry about stumblebum talk coming out of me so I just bow a bunch and back my way out. it's good to end tour leg like this.
whoa, kind of late but I'm grateful for not having to bail for the airport 'til ten tomorrow morning. it's two bells when I'm hosed off and ready for konk. I'm out like that, way tuckered.
it's eight bells the next morning when I pop, chamber dark as a tomb - that's how I stay konked that long cuz taiyo always wants to pop. I go down and shovel like I did yesterday but I have them ouefs boil five minutes and the yoke is orange but no solid. I chow slices of that salami w/the three different kinds of cheeses - fuck, I'm a 'tard and don't know their names but they good w/the salami. I do yogurt w/them berries and such also. plus coff. one last good french chow, merci.
off to the airport in geneva w/brother steve. over the border in switzerland (the french-speaking part) but only like half an hour by autoroute. here I gotta leave brother steve even though were both cal cuz I'm so cal and he ain't, different airline even - I'm airfrance. big hugs for him. special gates for those going to france (I fly to paris charles de gaulle before flying later to the u.s.) and the traff light (people traff) so no lines and they do the "border police" here - like how u.s. does w/coming from canada or ireland if you fly direct - but the box is empty which is good cuz damn, not much in my passport for more stamps! beautiful flying weather for the hour flight and I get many snaps... the row on the airbus 320 I'm on is empty so I got window access as well as aisle, yatta! (shit, I could do baloney seat if I wanted to - yellow jacket'll go there) I gotta hoof some to get from the terminal I arrive in to the one I leave at. fuck, it's good for the fucked-up hiza and there's a bunch of time - the flight's ninety minutes late. last flight's ok though if you got one to pick... better than one that fucks up connecting on next one, right? it's a boeing 777 w/the prob but they fix it and ten and half hours but hey, I got an aisle seat and only a real little one next to me (maybe five?) so no squeeze though yeah, the cat of front of me has to lean back (only one in his row) so chimping what you're reading here's a little tough, have to use my thigh instead of the table. I hardly ever watch these movies but I see one from japan w/eigo subtitles just made called "sp the motion picture II" that's kind of clever but kind of mersh w/some action stuff and then weird w/some suicide stuff (samuari movies from the old days from there had that too but what I like is the "zatoichi" series of films w/kentaro) and then I see this "exit through the gift shop" cuz I see my friend sheperd is in it and there's mindblow cat named banksy who I learn about but the main dude it's about is kind of... you decide. I'm gonna ask raymond about this when I get back. me and raymond talk about all kinds of stuff but I'm such a 'tard about these things. we talk about bosch and yves tanguy sometimes - and whitman, walt whitman. that's art, right? he seemed econo. man, I miss raymond a lot right now... I don't wanna see any more fucking movies so I don't. I read the sterling hayden bio, man, is it intense. tough for me to stay up but I wanna cuz I wanna get back on pedro time.
we land at eight but there's new border people getting broke in so it takes a little while but not too bad, around an hour to get towed to the gate, do the passport thing and clear customs w/the yellow clothes sack. my sister melinda gets me back to my pedro town at ten. I hose off and konk on my deck - this really beats the hell out of ten hours in one of those plane seats, please don't pity me though - I get to work bass for the stooges!
friday, august 12, 2011 - rothenburg ob der tauber, germany
last time over this summer to europe for stooges gigs, the final leg. wednesday my old buddy nanny got me to lax bradley terminal around twenty to one in the afternoon. pretty quick checking the yellow clothes sack so I got time before security to go get a pink's dog - can't believe they got a pad here - I thought there was a one and only there on la brea at melrose in hollywood but I guess they're spreading out - nanny told me she saw one in a mall! I try this one called "the mullholand drive dog" but I won't get it again. I don't think anything covered w/melted american cheese is all that good, even if there's mushrooms and bacon plus those great pink's dogs themselves that's got great snap.
speaking of dogs or wieners... the first two gigs of this final leg are in germany - when's the last time the stooges played in germany? can't accurately remember. well, I'm on a lufthansa flight for frankfurt am main, way in the back of a 747 w/a window seat which maybe has a redeeming thing in that you can lean over to make konk easier - going over to europe from cali at this time is best I've found to get in a bunch of konk cuz you land in their morning and so the transition to their parts being nine hours ahead of us in my pedro town can be smoother. child next to me too means a little more room, especially for my leg. these back-of-the-boat 747 seats are really jammed together, let me tell you. even w/little kids in front of me, they got the back of their seat in my face. I most of sterling hayden's "wanderer" that skipper jeff gave me. man, there's some great boat talk written there, windpowered jargon. I konk though like seven of the ten and a half hour ride which was good.
I get my sack from baggage quick and immigration/customs is real quick so in like half an hour I meet the driverman who takes me to the minivan where brother steve, helperman derek and drummerman larry already are - I'm the the last to be gathered. we're off to the northeast for about a hundred miles where the 'tel is. yeah, larry is drumming again for the stooges cuz scotty-san is still healing up but now he's in florida, having just left london before the riots there. man, pictures of that were scary, I was worried for my friend their - I'm a worrier.
this is the part of germany where the u.s. army used to be when it was called west germany. we get to this little town called friedewald about one pm and there's a 'tel built on old castle grounds called goble's schlosshotel prinz von hessen (wonder where the hessians in our divorce w/england came from?) and the helperman that at the 'tel gives me a map showing where this town has a supermarket, it's on the other side. now this place is so little that "the other side of town" is only about twenty minutes for my hobble (knee still fucked up) but brother steve accompanies me and we have a good time. the weather's real nice and mild. lots of building in this little town, lots of new pads. there's everything at the "neukauf" store and econo prices too plus the have a bakery so I get some cheese that's like soft swiss, jagerwurst sausage and bread for chowing, his own variety of lebensmittel for brother steve and we chow in my room back at the 'tel, having a good time. no cigarettes for me this trip, I tell him. it would be righteous in a way if that could be contagious on him cuz damn, sometimes he hacks up crazy. I love brother steve. I prac english-go w/eiko-san. the internet here is rough but somehow we do ok. this area where the 'tel's at is home of the brother's grimm so we spend some time investigating... stuff like that is familiar to 'pert-near everybody but you'd be how surprise how cursory that knowledge, at least w/bozos like me w/fucked memory. the tub here's ok in depth but good and long, kind of wide too so I have a big soak when brother steve bails. I continue reading of the "wanderer" voyage and konk pretty early. I pop for about an hour in the middle of the night cuz of some fucked-up nightmare that I can't remember now but sure had me in a dilemma then, damn. beginnings of tour voyages frequently have stuff like that waiting for me in their beginnings, must be freudian or something.
gig day and the trough's free so I go down and shovels some soft-boiled eggs (already done up, sitting in some kind of sand or is it salt?) w/little sausages and of course snef (mustard). there's some fruit and yogurt too be I don't really wail on what gets stuffed down the word hole. james joins me. we talk about the five tunes he sent me demos of last week and wants me to try bass stuff w/them, I'm way into it. maybe around after thanksgiving we try further-along demos? exciting. skies are looking gray and there's rain most the day. slippery cobblestones are scary for hobbled watt so I hold back on much hobbling and instead catch up on email and stuff of that ilk along w/more of that hayden book, soon it'll be finished.
we bail at six and half for a two hour ride south, yeah it's a hundred-forty miles south to rothenburg ob der tauber where this taubertal festival we're playing takes place. we'll prac our beginnings and endings there cuz mr slouch drove straight to the gig from england w/the equip in jos' van. it's larry, brother steve, james and I here - damn, wish I knew the driverman's name cuz he's very good. the pass the time there's much spiel about everything from george clinton to bootsy to james brown to lame-ass manager types who rip-off big time - james says where "the original human trafficking" first took place! damn straight. also we get the update on the amazing story of larry re-connecting w/his birth mother after never knowing her all his fortyfour years. she's writing him emails every day now. man, am I happy for him. he's been searching for years now and she's really glad he found her - larry tells me the first time she heard his voice was on my radio show we did last month - crimony!
we get into the town and it's been kept close to it's medieval look. not that it's connected but I realize we're in north bavaria when I see an ambulance. see, cuz the gig is outdoors just outside the town in pretty much a wooden canyon, there's only way in and out so that means us driving right through the festival grounds to get to the backstage. nofx has just played, damn, I missed them. eric melvin is an old buddy and it's so good to see him again!
we were in a proj together called punk rock karaoke for a little while some years back and it was just the best getting to play w/him. he is righteous people, truly.
ig comes in and briefs us - good talk and he also asks about what I know about the openers - he says we gotta play "good and loud" - yep - then james, larry and me prac the set here in the dressing room using the little amps (me on my pignose) and larry on half full plastic jug of distilled water. we do pretty much all the tunes, only beginnings/endings for a few cuz it's been 'pert-near two weeks since last gig. I get into my outfit and damn if these black levis have faded big time. now I like faded (naturally) blue ones - mainly hate the dark blue of new ones but I think w/black, they look pretty bunk faded and much better the dark-when-new way. it matches the black flannel shirt too - for some reason, these "faded glory" (that's what the label says next to "made in china") ones from walmart have stayed real black after tons of washing. not so w/the levi jeans. oh well. I look like a fucking idiot whatever I'm wearing anyway - also, this wearing black thing is still pretty new for me. at least I got my john coltrane pin, the one of him when he's a sailor in the navy. love that. damn if there ain't a bottle of habanero sauce here that's made in germany! me and larry try it and are mindblown that it ain't just ketchup and sugar! it's actual habanero chilies and no capsicum extract w/that horrible chemical taste. what a great way to get the blood rushing for the gig! I venture out the hatch w/the bottle in my hand nofx's fat mike sees me and trips on how I had my own chili sauce during a "warped tour" series of gigs where I rode along w/them, playing w/eric and p.r.k. we have a good rap about a bunch of stuff, it's been a while. he tells me I should see that runaways movie but like the germs one, I'm kind of scared. he says do it.
a quarter of eleven, time for me to hobble up to the stage and roadboss eric leads me where I gotta go. it's coming off a bank so I don't have any stairs to climb. there's thousands of kids out there - yeah, this more like a "warped tour" kind of crowd, same goes for the bands. I'm into it. mr slouch has the brian michael bass ready for me, he's standing in front of the stack of two laneys, one 8x10 on top of each other widthwise and the amps up top. of course my eden navigator preamp is on a case behind these so I guess it's hidden from the audience... still don't understand this but anyway... across the stage I see ig give the signal and james/larry come trotting (pretty fast trot!) out to start "raw power" and get the gig underway. bam! ig's out and leading the charge. I notice I got no knobs on the bass - broken off from the last gig - baka watt! big boom from the gig drum, whoa but no feedback. sounds pretty good. "search and destroy" and I notice the stage two tiered, where we are is a little high (half a foot?) than in front w/ig sharing time in both parts. first gig of a tour leg is always a little spooky w/me, seems I don't play as even as I'd like to, like I'm a little too scared (always am somewhat afraid, always - I am not born entertainer) but I'm pretty much not that much (great writer I am, huh? baka watt!) clamming but then tune number three "gimme danger" (kind of scary start cuz ig called out "open up and bleed" - whoa, we all looked at each other and he laughs - remember that gig in france w/all the cookie monster bands where james actually started that tune here?!) has me jumble some notes under james' lead at one small point but at least I was lucky enough (I have to chimp here "lucky enough") to stay in key. we get some dancers for "shake appeal" but maybe only a handful, don't know why. they stayed mainly on the front tier too so it looked a little trippy helperman derek guarding james from no one but you know he means well, I sure do. one german dancer is really good and sings/knows the song real good - ig puts the mic his way every now and then and damn if he ain't right on the money, even w/him dancing and running all over the place. I blow a clam in the second chorus, getting a little lost in one of the run-ups - aaahhhh, I look over at james and he knows I know he knows but he's playing good and I can hop right back on w/him. I get it together for "I need somebody" - don't wanna three clammed tunes in a row, do we? fuck, shouldn't even have one! it's good playing blues tune like this one here at this kind of gig, ig mentions something about that too before we lay it out pretty fucking tough, just sayin' and not badge-buffin'. "1970" charging hard next, right up you know where - pretty ballistic, damn! pretty intense! heartbeat after is "fun house" and I like this one being at this kind of gig too - you can tell the young people tripping on the dynamics but it ain't coming off like anything other than pretty tough, that's what I'm feeling. "l.a. blues" is fierce and do what I can to make the bass moan it up, foam. learning how to get the drones for tuning mixed w/freak-out more too - slow learner watt! "night theme" into "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - seamless but sure enough, I do tiny clam in the bridge - again james gives me that I know you know I know you know look w/a little laugh - baka watt! maybe on a piano you'd call it a passing tone - it was still in the key! I space on the giving octave pumps on the first two times around of the coda but I wouldn't yank on the short curlies to call that clammage... no time to dawdle on that thought though cuz right out the chute is "cock in my pocket" and we nail that pretty good - ig out in the moat, working it at ground level - cameras out there for sidescreen showing that kind of stuff for the folks not up on the fence. the young people are into the tempo shift cuz they get way into going from the slammer of "cock..." into the ballad of "open up and bleed" w/no prob, respect to them. we rev it up big time though for the end, whoa - what a set up for "I got a right" which fires big time out the harpoon cannon. we take it way WAY down after james' solo, I like that. can you hear the beat? LISTEN HARDER! hah, we bolt it up and then slam "I wanna be your dog" out maybe half an inhale later. even though the set list STILL says this is the end, it ain't the end - "your pretty face is going to hell" is and yes, a chance for me to blow another clam in the run-up to the first chorus - an 'e' instead of a 'c#' - what? I've done this once (only once?) before. we play it pretty good though, pretty hauling. all this handwringing over clams you hear from me - you be amazed that later incredible musicians like mixerman max will say they're hardly bogarting/ruining anything - james too said they were tiny but understand I gotta be hard on myself cuz I love the stooges and maybe it's a kind of therapy somehow for me to try and get it more together for them. we come off stage quick from the side everyone but me came on and ig tells us two more - reminding james to take the capo off after "penetration" for "no fun" (or "all done" like we were singing at prac), he has a chuckle getting his second wind. damn did he work hard tonight, damn does he every gig! righteous. we do them two tunes up real good and the gig is done. I hobble off and go kind of slow after coming off stage cuz of uneven ground and man, do I hear the folks holler for more. in a way it was a delayed effect some. I think it was quite a mindblow for those cats to witness what they just did and have it register but I think register it did, big time.
theres' some pizzas italiano-crust style and w/that german chili sauce (it's called "hot mama's no. 14 red habanero" but all the other writing's in german), everyone chows it down - not just me. ig comes by and said it sounded good, alright - so good to hear from the man himself. tourboss henry, ig and nina bail cuz damn it's late and many miles back but over in this chamber everyone's in real happy so we'll hang on a little longer. I'm really happy when ig digs the gig and the look on his face was very happening, the best thing in the world to see, just the best. respect. oh, I was a fucking baka idiot and again forgot to bring bass strings, aahhhhhh. limo, a helperman for the nofx guys comes by to say hi - many moons since I've seen him, whoa - so glad to see him. he's vancouver and so we talk about the great cats there like sean and barry of the doers. good to see limo again. there's some good bavarian beers here, real good ones. habanero sauce, peetz and happening beer: good power trio!
two hour hellride back to friedewald and the 'tel. all during the day it was rainy and gray but you know, it cleared up for the gig. well, we were many klicks away from the morning's bad weather anyway! baka watt. much spiel again on the way back. I was gonna chimp diary (that's why I brought the backwacksack w/the 'puter in it) but put it off for tomorrow cuz it's good fun w/the guys here and I'd probably clam up the chimping even more intense than I do anyway.
three and half bells when I hose off and konk, very late for watt.
saturday, august 13, 2011 - eschwege, germany
I pop late for me, ten but then it was a very late konk for me so I'm grateful not to shorted on konk to the point where sickness might get me. the shovel at the trough is similar to yesterday's but they got a tray w/one sunny-side-up fried egg so I chow that along w/a soft-boiled one (of course I peeled the shell off!). I also took down some fruit cocktail w/cherry yogurt. I chow alone, wonder if anyone came before or after?
I go back to the chamber and chimp up this tour leg so far. free internet but it's free bunk internet but I do manage to get the hoot page updated. it's solid now, larry's gonna have jessie evans come and be radio show guest for me tuesday night in prague, alright. he's flowed me a bunch of her journey in music too so that'll supplement the spiel she gives in her own words, great.
I hoof to that neukauf supermarket on the other side of town cuz maybe tomorrow (sunday) it ain't open and I wanna get chow for tomorrow night, seeing that we'll be here in friedewald one more day. now I saw this last time I was here w/brother steve: a six euro seventy (about nine and a half bucks u.s.) seven hundred ml bottle of "george washington kentucky straight bourbon whiskey" - what?! I've never seen this back home... I'm wondering if it's made here or is lame stuff (or lamer stuff) shipped over and bottled here maybe? it's gotta be terrible tasting but fuck, I gotta try it. what a corny looking label - little tiny george washington head. ha! maybe back home some day I'll find GENUINE "sergeant schultz schnapps" or something like that, huH? too much. I get some liverwurst that's got chilies in it (probably mild ones), some cheese that looks like swiss but tastes like jack, some rolls and some spicy mustard (that tube from england I've been carrying in my shaving kit is done). I'll be able to get some waters at the gig tonight hopefully. it's a half-hour hobble each way but it's good for me and my weakness. you know, looking at the roofs of these pads, the snow probably comes down here cuz they're all high and pointy. hard winters are hard on watt. I've always thought about what's like to live in where I'm passing through. it's not like I'd even consider for a moment moving from my pedro town but I do get to wondering just for the sake of wondering, you know? going anywhere to live, to start over (that's what it be like for me) would be major hell - I gotta stay a pedro man. I admire the folks who can do that easy though, damn.
tonight's gig is only about thirty miles north, we pass a huge mountain of salt on the way, the driverman (hey, his name is norman - yeah, I didn't space and remembered to ask him! another thing: he's part of this mindpirates.org trip that looks pretty interesting) says it's from mining and that the former ddr/brd border ain't too far away. oh, by the way - kind of related - it's the fiftieth bday for when the berlin wall started getting built. james says all he watches in his room is the tv and a channel he says is the only english one is all news and just looping the same story every so-and-so minutes. man, I wanna tell him to turn that thing off maybe - at least after the first couple of times! we're playing in a town called eschwege for the open flair festival which I think is put on by the same promoter people as last night's gig. not in the woods though, in the middle of this town, access much easier, it's right in the main platz. the dressing rooms are cans, twenty footers. we do prac right away w/the beginnings and endings - actually the prac versions of set's tunes have morphed into abbreviated forms and not strict beginning or ending stuff. I'm glad we do them, really. tonight larry beats on the back of a box of chocolates. yeah, that's weird - all our gigs seem to have all this fucking candy in the dressing room, I mean a buttload that never gets chowed. james is always mystified by it too. hey, the setlist is on the bulkhead and the "finish line" is finally after "your pretty face..." and not "...dog" - yeah! I'm way into that cuz, you know - that's the reality on the dealio.
I get into my outfit - same levis as yesterday so kind of foul smelling but that's why I waited for the last moment. we're on at ten and a half. I go up ten minutes early. it's been raining off and on all day but maybe it just quit, I think so - I hope so cuz I hate the idea of gig-goers having to stand in the rain. man, a lot of folks out there - a serious bunch! thank you, germany. looks a little more like other euro festival crowd compared to last night, they look good and ready. I like playing for all kind of crowds and w/stooges, well, there's a mindblow being readied to be laid on the so I'm way into brining it. I see james and larry run out so I start my hobble towards mr slouch w/the bass ready for me. I know I could try and hobble quicker but I'm scared and always thinking I might crumple and then tumble - don't want that! might bring some drama effect though. fuck, it's drama enough getting that bass on - still no knobs but everything's working good enough off me to be there to lift off w/james and larry on "raw power" - ig hauling ass and jumping in to join us - "whoooo!!!" - the gig is on!. I look for the moon cuz it was righteous last night - at about two o'clock high, just gone full and seeing us through a hole in the clouds but hell, I don't even know if the stage is pointed right, I just can't see it or may there ain't any hole in the clouds to peak through... fuck, better get in the game and focus though, bozo! the stage is single tiered and ig a few feet in front of using the mic stand. sometimes when he takes it off, I get hit in the head w/the cable but not always - I think in the next tune I get jumped on, I mean my foot gets stomped on from a leap he does but he don't weigh much and there's no hurt. the sound on stage is good but I need a little more bass. I'm feeling a little stiff in the stovepipe leg but not too bad - damn if it ain't awkward though - maybe I am a little stiff in the better leg. it's a good crowd and right w/us. I turn up a tiny bit in the second and a half before "search and destroy" starts - whoa, a few bars into the tune, I don't know what's happening - am I spaced, am I just hearing it wrong? ig comes in the singing though and all is ok... fuck, for some reason I immediately think "what am I gonna chimp in the diary?" - what a stupid fuck! get the focus on, get the focus on. "gimme danger" rolls out strong, I make sure I'm aware EVERY moment, confront myself on it! tuning's good, none of the big strings sharp. ig calls for dancers next, only about a dozen guys make it up there - one is that cat who could sing from last night! I holler "tanz mit mir" ("dance w/me" in german) and he laughs. we get "shake appeal" going, the dancing men tear it up. tourboss henry guarding the front of larry's kick drum (hell, it's ig who runs into it later in the set!). a poundin' version, good one. ig: "thank you punk dancers!" yeah. "I need somebody" follows, good blues stomp and some righteous freeze-action moves from ig, great singing. at this point, no more stopping 'til "...bleed" - "1970" kicking from the starting gate, rocket sled ignited! WE FEEL ALRIGHT! "fun house" the moment larry gets us out w/that floor tom move scotty-san came up w/and oh yeah, brother steve took a one-two rabbit punch double-up from ig for inspiration - I saw him real a bit but damn if he wasn't blown' wild! ig's got us on the dynamic tether, the band breathing as unit, as one big lung... then like a wild hack for "l.a. blues" - WILD HACK!! during the amp fucking, the brian michael quits all sound - I see mr slouch right on his way w/that blue gibson I use for prac, it's back for rescue mode. man, like only a third of the notes seem to come out but its better than no notes. I get in a couple likes of trane's "...supreme" and then we're into "night them" - I think it's holding up ok... kind of terrible action but not too terrible - a good half-ass in the meantime and maybe a little better than butt-trumpet. you know what, I got fooled and came in early last night for "skull thing" kind of, sort of stumblebum shit but tonight I get it together way better and get right in w/larry on the one (like george clinton said, "everything is on the one" - right?) and after watching james count out his twenty riffs (he moves his lips!), "beyond the law" takes over, ig now in command in his lower octave take but it ain't no crooner. every now and then an empty beer cup comes flying up but they're lightweight ones and not dangerous, james boots one offstage. ig works the moat big time for "cock in my pocket" and there's cameras involved so everyone gets a sidescreen look of him doing it. man, we pump this baby hard ("...comin' up through my pants") - before we're done he calls out james' name and points at him during his guitar solo, yeah! ok, done and now a little break. a couple gigs ago, ig's been giving a spiel before "open up and bleed" about some folks use this, some folks do that but he likes to [insert tune title here] and he draws out the instrumental part of the verse way longer than usual, the gig-goers way in sync w/him, there for him - genuine connect... it doesn't matter I can't see the moon. of course the coda is wailing crazy flail but it is at the same time together, a very happening thing. only inches from larry, inches from ig, a couple feet from james - it's intense when we group like this, let me tell you. ig gets back out to the bow of the stage to ask for a right, here we come w/"I got a right" for him, four-headed crazy wildcat going off but doing it pretty damn tight. I gotta tell you that cuz that's how it feels. there's a little extended part of the stage at the bow that I can't see but when we next give the folks "I wanna be your dog" I see ig use it for a springboard, launching himself into the people sea (yeah, over the fence flight) when solo time comes for james. we get quieter, a chant builds - the bass player hollers "I need love" - good thing he ain't got a mic. "your pretty face is going to hell" for the closer - again ig falls back into the pocket, he's right there w/us close before casting out again - yep, another stage dive! I hobble off w/the bass to the side where we all collect (not mine) and I see ig take a big breath, like he just worked the hell out of... fuck, he did just work the hell out of this gig! anyway, from this exhausted exhale, he goes right into the biggest grin you ever could imagine - man, he's working it big time but having a good time - this makes me feel REAL good, REALLY alright. he tells james the final two for encore and james tells me - "penetration" and "no fun" - I say "all done?" and he says "no fun" - I say "all done?" and he then says "yeah mike, all done." we go out there and mr slouch has the red brian michael bass ready for me again - whoa. man, what a difference in the fucking sound! and a poor carpenter DOES blames his tools! a real good chug w/"penetration" and then wouldn't you know it, I fucking clam in one of the verse of "no fun" - the 'e' string a little sharp, I did alternate fingering using the 'a' string open which was good but didn't follow the thinking up for when the verse came and blew a 'd' when it should've been an 'e' or maybe it was the other way around but for sure it was a fucking clam. aaarrrrgggghhhh. it's the only one I blow all night though. shit I forget my glasses when we come off stage but helperman derek brings me them after ig does his closer jig, a great one.
I'm last down the stairs - they're metal and it's still wet though only a little misty (the rain quit before we played) and there's these young irish men from a band called the mighty stef who are hollering my name and then help me down to the deck. they're great cats and when they holler "minutemen!" I hold up my fist and holler back "d. boon!" w/them give big fists in the air back. respect. we talk a bunch and I tell him october fifteen (about sixty three days away?) I start a three week europe tour for my third opera and I start it in ireland. they are cool people.
james let's me know there was a clam in "search and destroy" and it wasn't me - it was him getting distracted. whoa, that was a relief. I already told him about my "no fun" clam, I was sure of that one. it wasn't a relief about the clam of his being his but knowing that in fact there was a clam there and it wasn't me just totally losing focus and being out of my goddamn mind. it was pretty incredible of ig to bring us together like that, what a quick move by him and great thinking.
larry brings his buddy martin from the band calexico into the dressing room, he's a great cat and a very happening and kick-ass musician. we talk a bunch, he gives larry a bottle of poblano jalapeno hot sauce (larry loves this stuff and it is good tastin') and have a good talk, much respect to martin. the gig people bring this greasy kind-of pizzas that were total gutbombs so I keep away - these were nothing like last night's babies. oh well, people mean well. there's some cans of good 'dines though, I get a couple for my sack.
finally around twelve and a half, we bail. driverman norman gets us back safe just after one in the morning. during that ride larry learns us about him wearing an ape suit for a jessie evans video and that gets me to tell about me wearing a mouse suit for the madonnabes gigs a bunch of years ago (two of the guys would end up being my secondmen). me and brother steve try some of that george washington bourbon and it's just the most god awful, fuck. we have a good talk about a plane to record w/trumpet man willie waldman and sax/flute man herman green come this january. us spieling about this proj is great way to end the night, me and brother steve got a plan!
thursday, august 18, 2011 - trutnov, czech republic
monday popped at the crack and did one more friedewald shovel at the schlosshotel, I set right close to the trough to minimize the hobbling - james comes by, sees the light and joins me. it's the same sausages w/mustard puddle beside them along w/soft-boiled eggs, yogurt/fruit and some toast where you slice it from the loaf before loading it into the machine. good chow here. right after is checkout and then seeing a toad squished on the deck on the way to the van, that good chow almost came back up the in-door. crimony.
it's an hour and a half drive back to frankfurt-am-main, where we came to start this tour leg. one last drive w/norman, what a nice cat - big dankes for him for all he's done. the weather's pretty gray. there's some comedy at the airport, every place this group of ours tries to check in, we get sent to another place but that's what's good about getting there early, no stress. I'm the caboose man pushing the cart anyway cuz of the lame knee so I don't rush but wait to see where the locomotive men and being sent next. the flight to prague in the czech republic is half the time the drive took. it's rain pretty heavy here, whoa. beautiful town and in the old part - we're at the mandarin oriental 'tel real close to the vitava river which has many bridges and is right in the center - they really didn't get bombed the same way other euro towns got in the second war and there's much oldage - for example, the charles bridge here was built in the 1300s. it's too rainy and risky for me w/my lameness w/the bunk knee so I stay in and chimp diary before breaking out the rest of that bullshit whiskey - yeah I had put the bottle in the yellow clothes sack and yep, it's as fucking awful here in the czech republic as it was in germany. there's a granny smith apple the 'tel has provided as a gift and I use wedges of that to try and kill off some of the terrible aftertaste.
tuesday. there's a good sized tub deep/wide so it's happening for a soak after the free shovel they got (ten bells pop, crimony!) downstairs, two pretty-much hard-boiled eggs, some salmon, green olives, capers, tiny pickles, toast, chorizo, cheese w/some walnuts and then some yogurt and coff.
I got the paper from yesterday (herald tribune, ny times for u.s. people in europe maybe?) and there's an essay from warren buffett about rich folks back home not paying enough taxes - and this man is a rich cat!
I get the music ready for another edition of the watt from pedro show - a bunch of it has been flowed by larry regarding my guest today, jessie evans which I do w/her in the afternoon. so yeah, most the music is hers and the story of her musical journey is an interesting one. the got free internet that's got fast upload and so yeah, I get it up quick.
jarda is a friend of brother steve's and I had him on my show the last time I was here. he's set something up for us to go jam at and jessie/larry decide to come join us. miss hiyori from hamburg too. this club jarda brings us to is called the cross club and man, you would not believe the art put in here. I'm told some guy spent nine years welding together all these car parts like from clutches and such plus industrial stuff like bearings and all kinds of different rebarb. it's wild. the bossman kenza is very cool and I get some great pizza w/chilies and scallions plus czech beer (urquell) which is very good. then we're brought on stage - this pad has many rooms and the one w/the stage has just had a young band from greece called the mighty shakers play and one of their men named bill is very kind and let's me play a fender jazz bass, big time thank you to him... when they're done, it's our turn. larry gets on the drums but there's no sticks - luckily that's resolved! we can get it going now... brother steve's on his sax. the folks here are very kind to us, of course I'm scared like I am at all these kinds of things but I'm very glad I did it. now jessie didn't bring her sax (she's wishing she had) but I had the feeling she was gonna jump on the mic and sure enough she does. alright! I get to talk w/some local cats after - I had to go out to get air cuz it was sweaty inside but a great patio - of course I big time thank both jarda and kenza, truly.
wednesday's starts w/another ten o'clock pop and shovel but it's w/larry and jessie instead of alone. then hobble around franz kafka town - first the museum for him on our side of the river. outside the front of the pad is a trippy fountain:
two dudes standing in a puddle and facing each other and in not totally abstract form, waving not totally abstract representations of their dicks and pissing into the pond, kind of at each other but in an arc cuz like I said, they're waving it port to starboard/starboard to port. whoa, I guess they weren't green before - "patina" is what's that called, right? trippy. and get this: I guess there's letters being pissed in the water, it ain't just port to starboard but they're spelling out shit (I just did a translation of the artist david cerny's web page on the piece), crimony! I read every single word of english in this museum. mr kafka wrote in german so I try to read what I can in the letters he wrote to his pop, the notes from for his stories, the diaries he kept where they got some of the pages here. I read meno spann's book "franz kafka" just out of high school cuz I wanted to know more about the man who wrote these stories that totally drew me in and blew my mind. mr kafka's writing really spoke to me and I didn't know why but just felt it. not like anything was figured out but it was like he was feeling what I was feeling or I what I thought I was feeling or sharing w/him through his writing - him on a journey to get these feelings out, not knowing exactly the feelings - not really understanding that "kafkaesque" word you hear people use but in a way of my take on hearing punk music then - 1976, it was a trippy year for me, graduating high school then - I remember my pop whistling his whistle real loud when they called my name, I knew that was my pop. man, when I got to read of mr kakfa's pop was though, whoa - I felt bad for him. I wish he could've known my pop, that was my first reaction. it wasn't like my pop all the way understood me but he'd always go "my son, my son" and then would hug me big time. man, I wish sometime/somehow me and my pop could've read mr kafka's work together - ain't that weird to think? I think that's the first time I thought of that! then across the charles bridge into the old town and into the jewish quarter - there's a house up by the prague palace that his sister rented and he wrote in by he lived here. next to the spanish synagogue is a trippy statue made for him.
I also stumble across the the franz kafka society but damn, it's closed - so was the old jewish graveyard (I did get to see some of it over the wall and through the gate). there is a poster in the window of the society office w/pictures of six ladies called "kafka's womans" (sic) which is trippy cuz only five of these I think were in the museum... yeah, who is this first one? how does anyone really know. it seems so many people have try to speak for him, even in his writing. you know right away in the translations there were "punctuation corrections" and the like (by his buddy max brod even!) but ain't that like a filter, a kind of a censor? here's a trip: mr kafka died a month before his fortieth bday, john coltrane died about two months before his. heavy number forty, huh? four in japan language has sound like death (shi). fuck. just think if mr coltrane's recording were "quantized" to a click track or something! there's supposed to be a "more authentic" version of "the trial" I should check out - in fact I feel driven to reread all of his stuff again. I look over towards "prague castle" and think this is where mr kafka might've seen the same pad and maybe the castle in "the castle" story he wrote (but never finished) is this one. w/the sun going down behind it, it's trippy on my mind here. I remembering reading that when black flag did that "the process of weeding out" record, greg had asked me to write liner notes for it and I was totally influenced by the story when chimping them out, totally insane! of course greg scissored them but you know what? they just recently surfaced as notes for the todd conge "clown sounds" album on recess records! that shows to go you: if sometimes you get shit scissored, don't round-file it cuz maybe down the road it might eventually see the day. todd is very cool people, very happening cat in our pedro scene. I hope to get to make music w/him one day. ok, across another bridge, the manesuv one and back to the west side. to think of mr kafka and to walk where he walk though, whoa - the closest thing like that was when I was in dubbing for the bloomsday centennial... my head swimming then, weaving in and out of the written words I had read and then the eye stuff flowing in at the moment, all mingled up... damn.
on the hobble back to the 'tel - in fact right across the road from the kafka museum is a chow pad name after a fictional funny soldier name svejk and I get "knee of pig" which is just that, the knee of a pig held aloft by a rig that's got metal holders on each end the hold the bones (remember it's a knee) so you can go at this w/a knife.
it's been cooked a while and is quite soft and tender but maybe a tiny bit greasy. there's puddles of horseradish, chili and mustard on the board that serves as a stand for those metal holders. kind of new way of chowing for me! this baby is a kilogram (two and a fifth pounds) and though some of the weight is bone, I can only chow half of it. whoa. kind of like bar-b-q, kind of. 'pert-near seventeen korunas right now make a u.s. dollar so the knee along w/a couple of beers in about twenty bucks back home which for in the middle of town like this is pretty ok.
damn if my knees ain't fucking sore - not just the lame port side but the starboard one also... and my ankles - kind of scary w/all the cobblestones so I had to real be careful. good thing it was bright and sunny out w/out wind or rain cuz that would've been way more hell. I don't think I've hobbled this much since that all day stint earlier in the year when I was in australia for the "big day out" tour, in melbourne.
gig day and I start shoveling alone at the free trough but the joined by larry and jessie - james comes by (guess he's just finished) and asks how long I'm gonna wear this black flannel I'm wearing. well, I have had it on since last gig (the second german one). it's that big thick "made by woolridge" one and I guess I figured I'd just keep it on 'til tonight's gig cuz fuck, it'll get all fouled from the gig, probably in the first song. I think james though is blown away by an odor (remember, I wore it all on that huge hobble yesterday) and maybe I'm oblivious to it cuz of maybe the proximity? sorry james, damn, I feel real baka. I did have "old spice" under the arms. sorry james. aaaarrggghhh, I am baka. kusai baka mike. a couple of hours later we practice mostly every song in full in his chamber. I like james asking us to do this, it helps me.
the gig here in the czech republic is not in prague but in trutnov which is about a hundred miles east. the weather is very nice, such a contrast when we got here! I give thanks. this gig is called the trutnov open air festival and much of what we drive through to get there is pretty farmland and small towns. it's wild this festival is dedicated to amnesty international, jim morrison and native warriors from tippecanoe - whoa! sometimes out the window is the junkheap of communist-era factory crap all beatdown but not much. we get to the gig three hours before we're to go on and the dressing room is a trailer camper like someone would use in the 60s or 70s in the u.s. there's some sandwich fixings so I make one w/cheese, cucumber (yeah, cucumber - like england!), tomato, mozzarella cheese (slices of small hunks), ham and mustard. I ain't too hungry really. there's a call-out for chow from catering but I pass, this enough for me w/this sandwich. mixerman max sits by me and we talk 'til he has to go get ready, then I chimp diary... over the internet though comes news of a hell storm in belgium at the pukkelpop festival that blew trees into a stage and brought it down - like five people or something killed, oh man... fuck... nightmare... these stages, what can we do about this stuff? worry starts to consume me - who was playing? what happened to the gig-goers there? oh man, oh man... I try chimping to get calmer...
the time passes quick somehow but I space and forget to put on my black jeans. maybe it's cuz I had this stench black flannel I want for the gig but man, it's the first time I've worn regular levis at a stooges gig since the days when I wore t-shirts, like the first three or four years (the reformation was in april of 2003). we go over to the little pad where ig is and I tell him I chowed pig's knee last night, he laughs. roadboss eric then leads me out so I can get to where I need to be - he puts me right behind the bass lights. he let's me use his shoulder so I can get up the rap cuz there's no hand rails, very kind of him. there's two stacks of rented ampeg svt 8x10 cabs laying on top of each other on their sides and those are on a dolly. on top of the are two svt heads, older style. then sitting straight up behind them is an svt cab w/a head on top, looks like backup. there's nothing on the side I can hide behind. there tons of folks and they're all in front of this natural kind bowl made from hills - good thing it ain't raining - trees line the perimeter of this opening. the vibe is intense - really intense and very much ready for a stooges gig...
jos is by my amps w/the brian michael bass which has now got a big piece of black tape over both holes where the volume and tone knobs where. that's a great thing - thank you, jos. I see james and larry trot out, here I go... jos gets the bass around me, it's live - the whole pad ignites as "raw power" begins pouring out of james' guitar - he's got two rented marshall halfstacks that sound real good... so does the rented vox ac-30 he also has. larry's kits rented too but I can't remember who made them - sorry, larry! he slams them hard though, I know that. man, the czech gig-goers right out of the gate are w/us so strong - some beers come up but they're actually now-empty clear plastic cups. it's the wam-bam of "search and destroy" and "gimme danger" right in a row next. very smart of the gig people here to put big speaker cabs along w/horns on top of them right on the deck on each side of ig's "bow" or whatever you call the narrow extended part of the center stage. this means the folks who like you most don't have to punished to begin right up front and too close to get the throw of the stage sides where the speakers in most cases reside. these are supplemental one but they get the up-close center people right in the face and they can hear everything. ig navigates these stacks really well too, especially seeing that there's straps holding the smaller boxes w/the horns in the on top, he could trip easy but man, he is nimble as boxer in his best match. he calls for dancers and I can get some midrange happening w/these amps - it's the murky svt sound I've haven't had to deal w/since using my eden preamp w/mr slouch's laneys but they ain't here. we got a good crew of czech dancers up here, pretty wild but not belig - "shake appeal" and I get kind of wrapped up in getting into them so that when the "high and low, baby high and low..." part comes in, I get lost in the first part of the chorus - please don't blame the dancers, blame the idiot bass player, what a baka!! I'm so glad james was tight with the tune, larry right w/him and a couple bars of space from the baka on bass and he's finally on board too. damn me. I put huge resolve in my head and wedge it in there w/big time resolve. "I need somebody" and then (you know where this one's going) "1970" - watt very much together... there's some woooomf feedback stuff threatening at times but mixerman max never it let's go more than a second and then snuffs it out completely (later he told me it was some overhead mic stuff that need a little adjustment) - man, I have so much respect for him and his ability, truly. ig's on his knees in front of brother steve, imploring him to BLOWWWWWW! you know he responds - then ig comes back around to the front of the drums to get us out - there's a little break... a tiny one but usually... there he goes - ig does a stage dive w/no tune going on!! surprise - for us and the gig-goers!! he gets fished out and then still on his back he calls for "fun house" so I'm right on it while he gets up and dances it up most righteous! crimony! that was a mindblow, seriously. no matter how wild I work "l.a. blues" can I ever get w/in a continent AND an ocean of that! wow. the people are really sharing their energy good w/us, "night theme" into "skull thing" - ig's back out w/us after the tiny break he lets go a little instrumental and then back in bow-of-the-boat mode for "beyond the law" and then as the last chord just gets struck, calling "cock in my pocket" and getting there in the moat (not so wide this one) but no cameras... however, the "bowl" nature of where they're witnessing us from big allows for them to "look down" upon us so it's different than playing a flat field w/ig kind being hard to see. these folks are roaring and ig working them good. no spiel for "open up and bleed" - just up and in it. we wind it up into a huge dizzy and then BAM! "I got a right" which slams slams slams (drums even keep going!!) - slams right into "I wanna be your dog" - stage dive again from ig! james trying some arpeggiated figures in the bring-it-down part. the whuppin' don't stop, finisher "your pretty face is going to hell" freight trains in the finale. whew. we're back on w/four encores, "penetration" like we've been doing (james putting a "backsplash" ending on it me and larry) but then following w/a roaring "johanna" (ig shaking on one of the side trestles - I get kind of scared thinking of that pukkelpop thing) and then "kill city" which has ig back up w/us, him and the gig-goers have really connected - "no fun" (or "all done") in a way not making total sense cuz this gig was amazing, truly - pretty much tons of fun, so grateful to the czech folks. several times during our show he thanked them big time for being here, for them listening to us. respect.
go back to the trailer and get out of the soaked levis and that heavy black flannel. I'm glad I didn't chow that much cuz my stomach's feeling weird and that would've been too much especially w/a gig like this. everybody's in great spirits. brother steve has got jarda back to say hi, great. in the dry clothes and being calm so not to churn this inside thing up in me and a little bit weirded out at myself for the "shake appeal" clam - I talk it over w/james and he said I did good besides that. I think he's right cuz I don't remember other ones.
ok, hour and a little bit drive to a small airport - maybe a former military one cuz of the hind helicopters parked and we take an chartered embrarer jet (forgot to notice model but the company who flies it was german) - the company I owe an apology cuz I puked some spaghetti after I shouldn't of drank the scotch offered (I'm supposed to be grown adult and I ain't scotch guy anyway) and though I cleaned it w/newspaper, why didn't I take newspaper w/me? it wasn't huge but it was disgusting cuz there max sitting right in front of me. man, that was baka. we're in bodo, norway now after the two hour flight. is it five in the morning? no, six. time for embarrassed konk. still was a great gig though. at least watt didn't ruin that.
saturday, august 20, 2011 - bodo, norway
forgot to mention actually I had gotten to the 'tel and konked - in my fucking clothes on the hardwood deck at a 'tel called the ton hotel nordlys in bodo which was pretty close, thank god for the short drive. bodo's right on the west coast of norway and the only town I've been in more north is tromso. it is gray skies for me when I pop at eleven bells and actually I have no sickness or hurt except for the shame at being so baka. immediately I gotta try and get this puke off me. there's a shower chamber but even if there was a tub, hell if I'm gonna marinate in whatever stew would be resulting. easy for the shirt cuz I can do that in the sink w/the shampoo provided but the levis are another thing cuz they'd take forever to dry and my yellow clothes sack ain't w/me - I think it's downstairs in the lobby where the equipment is being stowed. I do have the yellow tshirt the trutnov open airfestival people gave me so I can wear that while the purple checked shirt dries. I wipe and wipe w/a wet towel still it starts getting blue (these levis are kind of new - not my favorite period of their life for me) and I get all the chunks and stains off but in the fabric is the odor. about the knee brace: it got it too, damn - even in the velcro parts. when done I catch up on email and chimp diary cuz like I said, I puked but I ain't hungover - the mind is alert and actually very alert to thoughts of disappointment w/myself that are very tough to drown out but I try to do it w/work.
comes three and a quarter in the afternoon and everyone who wants a boat ride meets in the lobby. I wanna boat ride! right out the window you can see we're right next to bodo's marina and the gray has broken up and the sun's come out, great. the festival organizerman robin has put this together for us, very kind. we get in these waterproof life jacket suits...
you wouldn't think you could float in these things cuz they're so light, amazing. the boat is a zodiac type and we fill it up: tourboss henry, roadboss eric, helpermen jos and derek, mixerman max, drummerman larry and myself - the skipper's named knut and he's cool people. this boat's got a pretty powerful fourbanger yamaha 250 that can get it moving along quick, the speedometer (I'm sitting right next to the skipper and holding on tight w/one hand, snapping pictures like crazy w/the other) saying thirtythree knots, bouncing some w/the waves, a wild ride. we go past the biggest air base in norway, many bunker hangers w/grass growing over them - a big antenna array cover a big field. he gets us out into the open sea and then up some fjord that's got incredible shoreline, you wouldn't believe the textures formed from these hard and soft rocks forced on each the, 'pert-near like a close up on a fingerprint but w/more three-d to it, fuckin' wild! and beautiful forest of trees coming up out of mountains that jut right out of very clear water (kind of trippy to see knut giving out beers, poppin' the tops off into the sea when he opens them! watt gets a cola w/a screw top and it goes back on after a swig). we go up to a place where there's first kind of small whirlpools so we can see what's ahead. then skipper knut heads for saltstraumen - a bridge going right over it and there's all kinds of whirlpools both wide and deep, him turning the boat to get us in and then kicking us out to keep us from from being pulled down. we heave side to side as swings the boat hard, like a sail boat tacking against the wind. some of us let out some yells, I'm holding on tight - maybe I let out some yells?! it's a good time. he let's the engine idle - damn, the current here is eight knots! we ride around for a while like this, swerving in and out of the whirlpools that are swirling in and out themselves. it's a trip. we go back, him getting gas on the way. knut tells me about digging it when he comes to so cal, he does boats there a little bit too. he sure handles a boat good, he got everybody's blood going!
back at the 'tel I catch up on email - the hand to man band cover art is 'pert-near done. tuesday will be the one year anniversary of john dieterich, thollem mcdonas, tim barnes and me starting the three-day-in-a row session that yielded such a thing. I really dig the result, it's scary about improvised stuff but I am really honored to be a part of this, I really like it. "you are always on our minds" is the title and it comes from a fortune cookie fortune we got one chow when we ordered chinese. nicholas talpin did a very happening job recording it as well.
speaking of chow, I haven't done any all day so I go down to the restaurant that's connected w/this 'tel. it's about five and a half kroners to the dollar and so a hamburger w/some fries costs me 166 kroners which is like thirty u.s. bucks! it came w/a piece of bacon and there was mushrooms but damn is that a lot. norway has HUGE costof living and I ain't been in bodo long enough to find the loco pads. I go upstairs and read more of the hayed book before konking.
gig day and early in the morning it's a sunny day, very nice. so glad I got a window facing the sea. the breakfast shovel (same bad as last night) is free but not all that tasty though not sickening or awful - just kind of plain. the scrambled eggs aren't mushy w/milk, I like that. I like the tiny hotdogs, I eat w/mustard. they got some kind of herring mixtures - that heavy sauce w/onions, some yellow and some gray. there's yogurt that's good w/pieces of pineapple. I don't each too pound at the trough though. I do an orange juice and a bunch of tomato slices too. james and larry do prac w/me (or is it the other way around?!) up on the top floor in a little conference room. more and more where doing the whole song and not just beginnings and ends. I tell james I really like him have us doing this, I really thinks it helps me. when we get done I go and chimp the rest of the diary, I had a lot on my mind in kafkatown... thank you mr kafka!
we meet in the lobby at nine bells. the gig is only a few minutes by van away at a park called rensaasparken and parkenfestivalen is the name of the festival. we're on at ten of eleven so plenty of time. I change out of my blue levis (damn if they ain't reeking of puke, big time) and into the faded black ones - whoa, no way do they match the walmart china-made black flannel which has yet to lighten up even after as many if not more washings. well, maybe cuz flannel ain't denim, huh? both are cotton but still different... I just love cotton.
we're told there's a mexican chow place close but as I follow w/my hobble, we find out the lines there are too long so we chow what they got at catering which is a styrofoam chow holder w/a three areas parted out in it, one filled w/salsa, one w/a tiny bit of bar-b-q sauce and the biggest one holding a potato salad w/some q'd-up ribs on top. the potato salad is really good. the ribs are like three inches long at the most and a little peculiar. the salsa is crap out of a jar and I don't try the brown sauce earlier I called it bar-b-q but I think it's crap out of a jar too.
ig arrives and briefs us. says it feels like we're gonna play in front of a hooters crowd. funny, I think a band called the hooters played earlier - I wonder if they were that band from the 80s... or was it 90s? I couldn't tell you. anyway, he's in good spirits and laughs at me taking a picture of my chow. I try to take chow pictures whenever I can cuz it's like later when I see them, I 'pert-near can taste what it was like which is happening if it was a good chow, kind of weak if it was lame. anyway, time goes by pretty quick cuz first I apologize to mixerman max about last night (he sings the last line of the who's "a quick one" to me in response, very kind man) and then I listen to larry learn him on the techniques of ebay he's acquired - max is bidding of a first pressing of a beatles record. james has advice too. I've never really gotten to ebay but a couple I things I bought there. I tell them about the recycler which was a weekly that ran free ads - maybe it's still around but that's where I got all my music stuff, my cars, all kinds of shit. it was an econo way to go. the auction thing is a little different though and kind of like a sport, hearing larry getting into it. he's got a whole bunch of drum stuff via ebay, amazing to hear about complete gretch sets - one he's got from the 40s w/different size kick drums and everything w/all matching finishes. he sells stuff too.
five minutes to go and tourboss henry brings me up to my side of the stage. I can hide on the side in the wings and ig's wife nina's there. she asks if I'm nervous and of course I am and tell her I'm scared and then start rattling on about my knee and kind of space when I see henry saying it's happening - baka watt! I hobble out there to jos and he's gets me the bass. only a short hobble cuz not too wide a stage and so enough time. two stacks of ampeg svt amps as usual for a rented backline gig and everything working to jump in w/the band of "raw power" but man, is it sounding big time toy. it is tiny up here. ig pretty quick calls out for more. something happens and james is in different parts of the verses than we are - I come over to help him get on. ig maintains and just focuses forward, larry's right w/me - james get's on board and things are right just as his guitar solo comes up. whoa, that was close. the setup is a little like the czech gig thursday - outside and like a natural amphitheater w/folks sitting up on a hill. the folks here have a different way of sharing the energy though and I think that combined w/the kind of piddly stage sound is a little bit unsettling but still ig leads us on in a kamikaze charge, serving up "search and destroy" w/everything he's got. we've recovered from whatever form of clam our opening tune baked up and a slight pause for "gimme danger" - you can hear some response from the gig-goers now... I think they've realized some kind of older cats have just assaulted them and not was something flaccid or namby-pamby, you know? he calls for dancers next and it's all guys but one and some of those are bikers. I roll my sleeves up, no getting lost tonight like last gig. the local cats dance it up as good as their heavy-ass boots can let them. after all, ig asked the people "what's up w/things here in BODO?!" and the way he pronounced their town's name is how I call the u2 singerman though I think they have another way of saying it. there's some hoots and hollers but you can tell they're into but a little shy. we ain't shy about "I need somebody" and for damn sure ig's got it showing out. he's sings w/all his right to them. you know he's got norwegian heritage, right? he tells them next we're bring it on full blast (guess where) and we blow up "1970" strong, wrestling that tiny sound - you know we're all confident mixerman max has got it good for the folks, it can be night and day big time between stage and gig-goer sound, believe you me. a few pair of sunglasses have flown up, some w/blinky lights and shit. ig hollers something and I figure it was "fun house" so I come in w/the bass line but now I'm thinking he might've been hollering for something else. I do know at one point he yells "wake up, grandma!" and he fucking means it. yeah, he's not asking people to wake up, he's telling them. he told them we ain't a "corporate rock band" but rather "a little group who wants to make friends - let me show you how..." and then gives the biggest fuckin' paul bunyan two-handed axe swing w/the mic stand you ever seen, damn if the stage don't resound hard enough to send tremors up my legs! "l.a. blues" and my knees a little sore but I try and fuck the amps as hard as I can, bass as the salami but the stacks are tall, sitting up on a dolly like last time, w/me feeling not so brave but damn if I don't wanna give it to them. I do some more notes then, go back for more and then get her tuned up - tuned up I'm hoping... "night theme" and it sounds right. this boss tuner is supposed to read out what string it's on and I see the number FIVE - what, I only got four! I dig in for "skull thing" and then onto "beyond the law and use my ear to get it a little closer than this fucking box can show... just a little bit on the 'a' and I'm set for "cock in my pocket" which follows right up really fast-like. it's a good ride, a real good one. after letting the gig-goers know he notices things people like to do, like "drink beer and fart" for instance, we go into "open up and bleed" - a scarf that had come flying up earlier is now used by ig to illustrate another point, a simple prop. down it goes pretty quick. ig asks for a right - "I got a right" w/ig in the bring-it-down part giving a little talk on some basic human rights - which are the actual words to this song! damn straight, I agree. it's a barn-burner - larry busts out his roll out before the last choruses like you wouldn't believe - I saw jos look over w/his jaw 'pert-near to the deck! good job, larry - scotty would've been so proud of you... I'm thinking of him now. "I wanna be your dog" right on the heels of that. there was some cats w/a "dogs" banner last night - I remember now cuz here it's more like families or a more staid kind of thing but in their faces you can tell a certain something kind of wants to go off - ig's enthusiasm is infectious (you know how it is w/me!) and he was even explain to them how to walk, not to stoop and do fraidy-cat creep but be steppin' and.. well, it's hard to explain w/my clumsy lack of command of chimping more clear but it's a trip. I can tell ig's knee was hurting some but he still he went for it - he had dropped the mic and spun back around... a few steps and then blam, he's through the air and into the folks - we're kind of high up and there was some moat to fly over, crimony! even the security cats are laughing w/disbelief as they help roadboss eric fish him out and get him back on stage. "one more!" he hollers and here we go, "your pretty face is going to hell" and hell-bent it is. there's points where ig's inches from me and damn if I don't feel it - fuck, the bass really seems to have a reason - w/out the words to tell why, it just does. I try hard as I can to get off stage w/the band on the side they entered to start this off. we're gonna give them a one-two encore. last gig I tried "penetration" w/one less flatted-seventh pivot (at the end of the second bar of the riff) and I liked it so I do that again tonight. yeah, this seems to work good. no hand from ig yang-wise either tonight (in trutnov was the first time I saw that happen - delayed effect on my remembering that now!). right away after all done w/"no fun" and hey, I did pretty classless tonight, toy sound or not. I thought the whole band did really good.
max won his bid, thanks larry for the technique about ebay sniping. he said the gig sound good from his desk and all the folks around were going off. see, that's why you gotta always try hard and not let presumed assumptions cramp and gimp you up - even toy sound - you still gotta rally and swing for the fence. max says he herd the clammage in "raw power" so he said he brought up the drums and bass 'til things rebounded. man, that cat has got quick skills, a quick no-panic mind - much respect! I drink a bunch of san pellegrino, it's real good. I get back into the puke pants. there's an after party after but I wanna konk. I'm tuckered. I got big cramps in the hands but am most grateful they're AFTER the gig.
we get back to the 'tel and brother steve gives me a local publication from the south san francisco thai community to give to miss peak tomorrow in strasbourg. man, that's kind of him. I call larry's room to tell him he did real good on the drums but the phone just rings... man, he must've konked early. I take it as a sign to konk and early too and am quickly out.
friday, august 26, 2011 - charleville-mezieres, france
sunday I popped at eight and hosed off - water squirting everywhere cuz of damaged connect between spout and hose but there was no tub so no choice. I mention now, why? I am baka. I can shovel one more time for free so take down the tiny hotdogs (I guess they're a kind of sausage) w/mustard w/the scrambled eggs plus that herring in sauce stuff, a yellow kind and a gray one. it is gray outside. the gig hit on the best weather day we were here, can't ask for more than that - grazie... or tak cuz that's what they say here. tak bodo.
we shove off for the airport (not too far) for one hour flight to oslo (norway's big town) on 737 and it's raining there. flight to paris is around five pm so much time in idle but I use it for diary chimping. however, this port must be one of the worse for using 'puter cuz there ain't an electrical outlet anywhere - I shit you not. I keep the screen very dim and ween out the power I need to struggle to put one word to another in attempt to make sense. I gotta stop w/the chimping and switch over to newspaper reading. twenty years today was the hard-liner coup in what was another few months left in the life of the cccp. mr gorbachev's role still kind of a mystery in that history, england's financial times says. for sure though he has no fondness for mr yeltsin! hey another aisle seat on another 737, this flight takes a little over two hours and now I'm on the clock to make this last connect - I'm gonna spend the next two days w/miss peak and her fiance bill in strasbourg - paris charles de gaulle airport might have power outlets for 'puters but damn if it ain't spread out like a motherfucker. maybe the first time I've ever landed in terminal one, the round one and many trippy clear plastic tube tunnels for moving people. I gotta take "cdgval" tram to terminal two (goes to two parking stops and terminal three first though!) and then a bus to get to terminal two g which is way the fuck east, no way I could hoof even if I didn't have to hobble. it appears pretty new and I guess it's for regional flights, my first time at this terminal also. strasbourg is about three hundred miles east of paris, right near the rhine river and germany - I played this town w/the stooges last year - an hour on a crj 700 (another aisle seat, yes!) and I land at ten. no miss peak and bill for a little while but the arrive and take me to their pad in the southwest part, it's called montagne vert. their apartment is on the sixth floor and has very custom hatch, respect! the pad is quite zen too and very comfortable. miss peak cooks us chicken and rice, oishii. there's mekong whiskey which I've read about but have never tried. trippy taste. I had eighty minutes to catch flight here and made by ten cuz of that I just described. however to do that, I had to just bring 'puter backwack sack and leave my yellow clothes sack w/brother steve, no way I could've waited for that to come off the plane and still made flight. what I did was roll up nightwear very tight and put it in sack so that's what I get into and miss peak MOST KINDLY washes the puked levis. I konk very grateful and happy.
monday I pop at eight and hose off but it's a little difficult. either you have to bend down really really low or hold the shower dealio in one hand while you got the soap in the other cuz the mount for the shower is really really low. better than nothing though so I ain't gonna complain. the clothes washed last night have to air dry cuz there's no dryer so I stay in the nightwear. I am rialkkuma pretty much all day except the top's gotta come off cuz fuck if it don't get fucking hot, like in the nineties! whew, no breeze or fan either, kind of big time sweaty but it's nice being w/miss peak again, first time since her photo-documenting the "hyphenated-man" in north america tour 2011 back in march and april. bill brings his colleague manu over for their lunch break and he's in a band called scales pisces and the archers so we talk about music stuff among other things. later when bill gets off work, he cooks up frog legs and rice for us, good chow.
I do my radio show after w/him and miss peak. I konk all sweaty after getting show up on internet around midnight. the fucking swelter is relentless but I do konk somehow.
tuesday pop at nine bells and do the stooped hose off before giving in and doing the hose in one hand, soap in other. I woke up w/konk mask - only one elastic but an x over each eye, it being black on both sides gives good dark for good konk. I woke up w/it on from last night, guess I used it again but where did it come from before that, was it put on me when I konked? I don't interrogate bill or miss peak, I keep it kind of mystery. bill's got work early, miss peak and me shove off on the bus for downtown strasbourg and the main train station there. of course the next two trains to paris are full so we got two hours to wait for one that's got room, we get on board at noon and it get's us the three hundred miles in a couple hours - these tgv trains can move! smooth and pretty quiet too. it's gets us to gar de lest where we take the metro to pyramids, a couple blocks north from where the louvre meets tuileries on rue de rivoli and the "hotel regina" - maybe it's like the fourth time I've stayed there? it's old timey but it's a righteous part of the town to see stuff. problem is it's tuesday - baka watt forgot tuesday in paris is MUSEUMS ARE CLOSED day, fucking baka watt. however, the cathedral notre dame ain't closed so I take there, it's on the tiny island cite and we can go by the river seine on the way (we also go through the grounds of the louvre) and I can explain her stuff that I sort of remember right - she's never got to hang out in this town before. you know what's a trip? of all the gargoyles on this church (and there's tons), I find only one that ain't a monster - I wonder what the story behind that is?
of course miss peak has at least three cameras and taking all kinds of shots of my fucking bozo-looking self, I try to be as unaware of it as possible cuz I know she's kind of doing an extension what she did last march and april on that tour of my third opera. the weather's really good, no swelter at all like strasbourg - more like my pedro town. there's huge clouds threatening but they're not bursting. I've done this before but I get tons of shots cuz it's a trippy pad, miss peak digs it too. we can smell the incense strong. miss peak was very active in couchsurfing.com and still has many peeps from those connects so as night comes she meets w/some of them.
me, I hobble back to the 'tel, getting a french style hotdog on the way, I really like the french style... the have two dogs in like a split open long bread and much cheese melted all on the top. tasty and econo for me. I find out via internet there was an earthquake in virginia back in the u.s., a 5.8 richter scale one that now has the washington monument closed indefinitely, damn. the tub here's got some depth and I get a good long soak. I konk hard on the deck.
wednesday and eiko-san's buddy who's a chef at "sushi marche" in the west side of paris wants us to chow lunch there so we work our way there. we use the metro but first I take her through the tuileries to look at statues (yeah there's statues and a garden now cuz the palace that was here was burnt down during the paris commune days and never rebuilt) on the way to concorde cuz the obelisk of luxor is wild for one thing... we take the metro
to that chow pad and I have some righteous soosh. oishii! we talk w/a u.s. lady who's lived in europe twelve years now and is a friend of eiko-san's friend. I think miss peak made a new connect!
we take the metro to the pompidou center cuz I ain't ever been there and besides just being a trippy building in itself, there's a great exhibit of contemporary india stuff making french connection and then the permanent collection of lots of amazing pieces - I really love the ones by mr kandinsky, oh man. his philosophy about painting too makes me feel in some ways the way mr kafka's writing does - is that fucked up or what? they just seem to resonate w/a 'tard like me that way. so righteous so much of both their works I get to be in awe of this tour leg, very lucky watt! whoa, and look here - they got one from mr tanguy ("lingering day" in english)
and it beats the fuck out of me why I'm so much into his work but I am, it speaks to me like music w/out lyrics and floods me w/feelings. of course miss peak gets lost (or loses me, she is VERY INDEPENDENT lady which I dig big time) by the time we left the india part on the sixth floor so as dark comes I head towards the 'tel - seven eight hours hobbling wears the fuck out of me and anyway, there's a gig coming up!
I stop to chow a kebab not far from the huge open cement area in front - trippy how people lay and recline on it as if it were a field of grass like at a park! the kebab is good and only five euros - this an expensive town!
for transport using the metro though it's 1.70 euro a ride (about $2.44 u.s.) which beats the fuck out of cabs so when miss peak meets me back at the 'tel, we get on over to the east part of town just north of the pere chaise boneyard (where jim morrison's planted) to do a gig w/brother steve and drummerman larry at a pad called "la miroiterie" (kamilsky called it an infamous squat) that a very happening cat named eskander set up - it's packed but I hear it's only got a few weeks left cuz of neighbors' noise complainants and that's a common problem w/paris gig pads and why they don't last long. damn. turns out larry's nowhere to be found and the gig's gotta happen so I say let's go w/a local cat and this french brother does a pretty good job. there's also a very cool cat from brazil doing percussion and four guitarists - yeah, four but they got tiny amps. one guitarist actually has a doubleneck, bass/guitar! he's the cat who who provided me w/a bass, a now-a-days hofner beatle one w/flat wounds but no f-holes (still hollow though). the amp is a terrible hartke head going through some kind of 4x10 cab but at least it's enough to keep me from having to mime. of course brother steve is leading everything on sax and singing. there's one man too on synth and noise texture stuff - I think his name was andy (damn my fucking memory) originally from wales - oh, speaking of wales, david from the soldier dolls is living in paris now! whoa, it's been years since I seen him. there's u.s. cat who knows joe carducci (his new spiel here) that's here and a friend of brother steve, gilbert shelton that was even supposed to join us on stage but no keyboard could get found, damn. I did get to talk to him a little though - he remembers charley plymell, my buddy (me and pet are making an opera to his libretto "planet chernobyl")! the gig is a sweaty one and the stage very packed. the bass is tough for me to work, the strap being really short so it's almost around me like a necklace and nowhere near my waist. my fingers stick to the tiny (tiny for bass) strings and it's much different than what I'm used to but I make do and have fun - all these cats playing w/us (oh, one guitarman is actually from new jersey, he's named nathan) give it their all and it's truly righteous sharing this gig w/them. very cool audience people too, much respect to everyone. we finish and I have a good time talking w/everyone, especially soldier doll david and look who arrives... drummerman larry! ha! he was next door the whole time and never knew we were playing - he thought brother steve was gonna call him but that phone number had gotten misplaced. a lady who's followed ig since 1989 is here named sardine and I guess tried to help but it was kind of comedy of errors and anyway, the frenchman who did work drums did good, I kept big focus on him, standing facing him in front of his kick drum (stage space was so tiny, brother steve fell against me and thank god I had this fucking knee brace on!) and boring holes into is face w/my eyes. sandrine, brother steve and drummerman larry all explain to me what happened but actually I'm just glad he's safe and nothing happened. I wish I would've gotten carducci's buddy's name, goddamn it. anyway, a very cool gig, very happening in lots of good ways.
me and miss peak get brother steve and get the last of the metros back to the 'tel. a small hoof back from the pyramids station and brother steve wants me to try some pastis at a pad on the way so I try a little but not my trip. it was full FULL day to hobble, watt konks quick and hard.
thursday I pop at nine bells. last soak, was too tried last night to get to it then - that's the reality on that dealio. bye to miss peak, she's in car pool for return trip to strasbourg w/buttload of pictures. I join stooges at train station gare del l'est. no carts at this station so major equipment shlep but helperman andrew's here for us and so is france gigs for stooges promoterman alain and his son jules (cool cat, first time I think I met him!) to lend a hand. we get a tgv train to do the 141 miles we need to do, going about 125 miles and hour. man, could the u.s. do w/some of these?
around three pm we get to charleville-mezieres, a town in northern france right near the belgium border and though it's only like fifty thousand people, it's got some history cuz it's the birthplace of poet arthur rimbaud and also home of the institut international de la marionette. it's in the champagne region. w/in a few blocks of the train station is a VERY TRIPPY 'tel called "le dormeur du val" ("the sleeper in the valley" in french) that we're at - I think this is one of my favorite 'tels ever, wild angles and trippy controls in the rooms - lamp built right into the wall and HUGE (deep/long/wide) tub that even lights up on the side. not fancy, just trippy and weird, bizarre colors that somehow suit my personality (yellow, orange, et cetera). nothing squarejohn 'pert-near but not fancy-ass either, I'm into it. there's a huge platter of like a dozen different cheeses laid out for us w/tiny breads. man, these cheeses are mindblows! all of them, real good - I shit thee not! we all have a good time chowing this down, fuck yeah.
I catch up on some email, prac english w/eiko-san and then hobble about the town as dark comes on. this town's about four hundred years old and the downtown ain't got much new new NEW which makes for lots of oldage but not pounded-out beat-down, it's all working but just older. I make a huge loop, turning at the statue of the clown that founded the town and then by accident a couple blocks away, find a kebab pad called "chez tevfik" and bring to my 'tel room some righteous kebab I can chow w/my hashi cuz I always keep them in the backwack 'puter sack. the hour and hobble was good for both my gut and my fucked up knee. oh, on the hobble back I saw jos' boat and hollered out. I arrived at the 'tel soon after it's park - the driver comes out and it's mr slouch, whoa, what a surprise. so good to see him again. I have the hottest longest soak ever and konk w/body like puddle.
gig day and I popped at eight bells. free shovel right there in the lobby: yogurt and fruit, salami/cheese on baguette pieces w/coff. I take a big hoof into other parts of the old town I didn't see last night and now I got my camera. however, the good weather I've had since paris is gone and rain is here but not enough to stop me. I just hobble more slow and careful. I find that puppet institute and catch the tail-end of some on-the-hour dealio this giant puppet built into the pad all old style preforms. I find mr rimbaud's museum but it ain't open, damn. I find the sex shop and it's open but I don't go ing. I get shots of all kinds of the town, lots of oldage. I get a little rain-wet but not pad. I get back just in time for larry and james to have me prac w/them. then I chimp this here you're reading right now 'til night's coming on and make another hobble to the kebab pad for round two of what I had last night. I bring it back to shovel.
we shove off at eight and a half for the gig, checking out now cuz there's an airplane ride after the gig. big thanks to the 'tel staff here cuz they were just the best - everyone's saying how the hospitality was just a total mindblow, so kind all of them, truly. and as I said before, the room for me was just righteous, totally. it was good wack scene for me to park my hobbled self in. we talk about our experiences on the ride over - how many 'tels can make something like that happen? respect! I hardly ever recommend 'tels - in fact I think I never had but I do this one.
the gig is called the eco festival cabaret vert and is on some kind of sports field w/an access road around it. the back stage are is a big metal barn like room split up w/dividers. I get into the black flannel which I dig (walmart china one) and black levis. the rain has stopped but it's kind of cool out. I guess folks here are use to it cuz it's packed. I still feel bad for anyone having to stand in the rain so I'm glad the rain's stopped. I drink up two blue gatorades just in case though I'm hoping the kind of cool weather keeps the pants from getting drenched so I can wear them again tomorrow... for sure the shirt'll get soaked though I know it. roadboss eric takes me out by van cuz it's a long way around for the entrance. me, I'd rather hobble but understand.
mr slouch is waiting for me w/the brian michael bass - there's a piece of black tape over where the volume and tone controls were and so I explain to him what he's missed in his absence. sure good to see though I think after tonight maybe I don't see him again 'til next summer, damn. I say that cuz I really dig him.
I'm on the side, waiting for the band guys and ig to come... we're supposed to be on at twenty after ten... hey there's alain's lieutenant olivier! "ca va!" one last hug for him. then I see some movement from the stairs as they cross behind the back... get ready watt - begin the quickened hobble! mr slouch gets the bass on me and I'm wild as a hobbled-watt can be and lay into "raw power" soon as it's my turn to join just in boilersuited larry and rubber-yoked-black-shirted (I shit thee not) james - ig comes flying out w/in moments of my first thud. the crowd goes wild - stage port in the wings around ten o'clock are fire-breathers bringing it big time w/fireballs from their mouths into the air, whoa! night and day being back w/my eden navigator preamp and mr slouch's laney's let me tell you what - night and fucking day. jos is bent over my monitors - oh, it's the snare drum he wants more up - I can see the arm motion. "search and destroy" next but not a heartbeat next, a little relaxed - HOWEVER did someone clam the start? I look over at drummerman larry and he laughs - he laughs but DOESN'T STOP to laugh... let's just we were made aware of some kind of hiccup but the band charges hard, ig spin-dance-leapin' and singing real good. this early in the gig I start thinking of scotty - it's been happening near the end of these gigs w/out him but now it comes early and I gotta rally myself and not space out. man, I miss him and just want him healed up good but I know larry is playing his heart out for him here. I space a little on the riff for "gimme danger" and shake myself silly to rally and get my head into this. james is having some kind prob when the acoustic-sounding bridge pickup is supposed be joined by those humbucker ones - they never come but at least he never cuts out, just that more mellow sound throughout the song, kind of tiny w/the outro lead by oh well, not a ship-sinker at least. ig knows something's up but keeps it "steady she goes" - steady for stooge's kind get wild style and go off the rails kind, that's what I mean! a call for dancers and we get small bunch, maybe a dozen but they're split between guys and ladies, much different than bodo. one guy up here though is from england - it's rob partiger - he's made it again. helperman derek had to go back to cali so it's up to tourboss henry to "guard james' pedals" (a request from james) and henry does it w/gusto - but no belig. these dancers are cool people and we're all having a fun time. brother steve does his interlude sax while the stage is cleared. I guess they got it figured out (I learn later it was the cord from the guitar that went bad) cuz james has got piezo pickup working w/the magnetic ones for "I need somebody" which gives good dimension to his slide playing. some great freeze frame by ig and then he says we're now gonna come on hard, right up the... it's "1970" and the band roars down the dirt road. a shoe comes flying up on stage but no real threat. somebody's now got one foot in the mud now though, hmm... ig calls out for "fun house" - I'm sure that's what he said (not like last gig - unsure watt, baka!). ig in command, the band at his call, dynamic response right in their w/him, not oblivious. he has quite a bit in "l.a. blues" very physical and big time w/the mic cable. I do what james calls my "monkey-humping" and even w/all that (easier when the amps ain't on a dolly and all moving, I give the bass big thrusts but still it holds the tuning pretty good, real good is important cuz here's "night theme" into "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - I space on the "...law" first verse riff, in key but lacking the chromatics, what a baka! we rock this one pretty good though, I got the octaves good now for the beginning and bridge. quick as snake shit here's "cock in my pocket" and ig goes to work in the moat - I seen some cameras but don't' know if there's side screens (hard to see from here). a smaller stuffed bear - or is it a mouse? ears are big... anyway, we finish up "...cock" (and man did we jam it) and I notice a wound above james' right eye and go over and ask him "what?" he then lifts up his guitar indicating it happened on a guitar switch. whoa, I feel bad for him but at least it wasn't from ig's mic or something. he says it's ok. I go and stuff that stuffed mouse/bear in my waistband behind my back. we do "open up and bleed" - yeah, that's what james did! later on the ride to the airport tonight, larry will say that he's hearing this tune as ig being truly operatic, the story, the gestures, the dynamics - speaking of which, we wind that coda up real good and ig lets us run w/it a good piece and then snaps it off - very intense. I think that's why he don't call for "I got a right" right away... there's some unusual breathing space and then he tells the gig-goers (man, they've been great all night, much respect to them) about how in this land of theirs that they talked about the "rights of man" and ig tells how when he was a boy in school where we live they told us that but... yeah BUT - you guess the rest and what a great way to peel the paint w/that baby, it's smoking' big time. right on its heels ig calls for dog and we bring it. the fire-breathers port side light up the skies over there! we close w/"your pretty face is going to hell" fast and strong, ig in the pocket w/his for the first and last parts. BOOM! we're off. I hobble quick as I can to the gathering area whence they arrive a little more than a hour ago. ig sees james' owey, "welcome to the club!" he laughs.
we go back out and do "penetration" - ig hollering "CAPO" when we finish cuz james almost tries to start the night's last song "no fun" w/it on. all done. good good gig, I'm thinking.
for the first time in a long while, I ride back in the van instead of hobbling cuz of the hellride and it kind of cool and not wanting to get sick. everyone's in a good mood and an older fireman medic tends to james' wound is pretty much not too bad and don't need stitches. turns out in fact in the guitar change after "l.a. blues" helperman andrew got a little buck wild and either slammed it w/a swing putting over james' head or whatever - he's very sorry of course and james ain't mad at him and says it was the sitch and maybe andrew not realizing the weight of those guitars or something like that. I think james ok w/it, hell, the thumb hurt was way worse and he's weathering that real good. everyone's in a good mood. mr slouch has gotta drive all the stuff back to england that we ain't using tomorrow (like ninety percent) so I wish him safe seas...
can't wait to see him again. about half hour after midnight we say au revoir to alain and olivier and get on a bus that's going to a small airport called vatry where an embrarer legacy 600 charter jet is waiting to take us to romania. this is the same type of plane we flew from czech to norway w/but I couldn't remember like an idiot. I remember now and sit in the same seat (on the way, I pass ig and ask if it was a good gig and he said yeah, I tell him I thought so too) but no heaving up and wearing chow on my shirt and levis this time. I chow a trippy kind of caesar's salad I never had before but it's good. and damn if I ain't tired. it's a three hour flight to targu murex, in the translyvania part which is west of the capital bucherest. I have some meat later too but I'm more into some marbling (kind of dry but brother steve loves it). roadboss eric is worried for his tug he's restoring cuz of on hurricane irene coming - looks like he's gonna miss his flight home cuz of all the cancellations. I'm sending well-wishes and good hopes his way for his - and his wife cuz she's real worried. at first I was too tired (the two hour bus ride had me pretty much konked except for a brief blurt-out of some mixed-up tommy jefferson spiel) but then he coaxed me out of mindlessness but man, pulling these all nighters are a little difficult... BUT WORTH IT cuz it's for the stooges.
the time is one hour ahead so just after six am we touch down in targu mures which is in the transylvania part of romania. yep, vlad the impaler country - drummerman larry's very excited about that and read up on it yesterday, he tells us. the rain of france is gone and it's sunny here. after some kind of paranoid jokes (which I think is trippy cuz none of us have ever been to this land but I guess everyone's nervous cuz of the past stuff) we're taken to a konk pad called "hotel president" not too far from a refinery belching black and yellow smoke and even w/out a soak or hose down. by the way, the pants did make it (my stage outfit) but yes, the shirt got stenched. oh, I learned the word for thank you is multumesc is here from our escort timia - I always try to learn at least that word in a land I'm in. I konk hard and *snap* like that in a room that's like twenty by sixteen feet (not counting entry way), I shit thee not.
saturday, august 27, 2011 - targu mures, romania
I pop at one and a half in the afternoon and try out this tub. it don't have a lot of jets but it's got three seats built into though it looks like only two a for soaking most of the body, the third middle one set up high for soaking maybe just the feet. I fill it and hit the power button, well, it ain't much for pummeling the body w/pounding streams but it does kick the suds up into some good froth. when these things are happening, you know where I like them pounding? the bottoms of the feet, oh my god.
I don't have much experience w/hearing romanian so I wanna hear some and turn on the tv. there's a surprising amount shows from the u.s. and england, no dubbed-in voices but romanian subtitles and the native language left. some russian too. there are lots of romanian channels, actually out-numbering the foreign ones. I watch a couple of hours of much different stuff, haven't done something like thins in a long time. I go out for a bit cuz I'm told there's a free trough to shovel from but I hobble right out when I see it's kind of weak bar-type version of maybe someone's version of italian and I would've be into maybe trying typical romanian instead and not chance getting sick on this. I'll just wait for the gig and see if there's chow there. there's a huge wedding going on here at the 'tel and quite warm outside. this pad is on a main road and not really a lot of town around it. I sure wish I could explore more, damn.
I go back to my huge chamber and read about this prick ceaucescu since it being twenty years since soviet crumbled and two years before that, this clown here was the only communist boss who was killed when all the satellite countries threw off that kind of straightjacket. I remembered being a boy and this guy had the image of having the more-open dictatorship (!) and even the queen of england, the japan emperor and the then u.s. boss nixon having this clown come and meet w/them while meanwhile making this land more and more stalinist. well, you start reading on that nightmare crap (the internet here ain't the best for me but does work and is free) and you know about hyperlinks so soon I'm reading about all the nightmare in all those lands connected in that time and fuck, it's head-shaking time for sure. it makes me cry from all the hurt. and then there was fascist shit before that, crimony! "history's a nightmare I'm try to wake up from" from mr joyce's "ulysses" keeps going through my head. well, this land's e.u. now though they still have their own money, the lei. of course my stay here is only twentyfour hours so not time to find out much, damn it. everyone at the wedding sure was having a good time.
I wash the purple shirt in the sink and put on a hanger to dry - it's part of the going-home-outfit. I then chimp up last night's gig and then get everything packed for tomorrow early, I get the going-home-outfit out and ready. everything ready to go, a quarter after nine I join everyone for the ride to the gig. it cooled off but it ain't cold, actually very nice and I'm told it's the first cool night in a while cuz it's been a sweltering summer. this gig is called peninsula felsziget and we're told it's the ninth one. on the way I see some roma people, ladies in their traditional scarves - these are what we call gypsy and not to be confused w/romanian, timia says also a lot of hungarian people live around here, this region used to belong to hungary. like I said before, I'd sure like to learn more but no time. the time is to work stooges gig. we have to drive right through the main entrance of what's like a big park or fairgrounds and many many of the gig-goers are on the road (there's no backroad) so much blinking of the headlights and tooting the horn. I'm upfront shotgun so I see all this, kind of scary but eventually we get to the back stage area w/out hitting anyone. the crowd is mainly young people.
there's chow on two deli plates in the dressing rooms (twenty foot cans) and I chow some of the salami and thin-breaded chicken pieces on coissant-shaped bread that was probably softer in a earlier period of time. there's some chili sauce but unfortunately it's of the sugar and ketchup variety. there's trippy slices of ham w/what looks like two sausages running through it before it was sliced. I chow just enough to deal w/the hunger thing, get a black flannel on (not mine but the one roadboss eric got, not his fault but not my favorite - oh, black levis are from last night) and then go through the set w/james and larry. however I got no amp so I play along like I had one even though it's pretty much mime. actually, james has a whole marshall halfstack in this room w/us! he definitely doesn't have to mime. larry pounds on the plastic gomi can. it's good to prac though and I'm glad to make due, even if it's fucking mime.
eleven bells is start time so a little before I hobble up on the stage and get to the side of where I am. my amps are rented ones and two stacks of ampeg svt-II, each w/an 8x10 cab which are both on a dolly. there's good angle on them too, pointing in some so I can stand right in front of the drum riser, in front of larry's crash. there's two wedges in front and to the side of the amps pointed right at me. jos has got things worked out good. I have no idea what it's gonna sound like but earlier helperman andrew show me a shot he took w/his iphone of the eq settings it looked pretty good. he said mixerman max did them that way - I very much trust max. it's time...
the stage has no scrim so I can see behind and watch the band gather by ig's room and then proceed to the stage's back and up the stairs. here we go... I see ig launch them guys on the mission and do my quickest hobble over to jos in front of my amps, get the bass on and wow, what a great sound from the bass! the whole stage sound for me is great. I see jos put his head down in the wedges but I give him the ok cuz nothing needs to cuz "raw power" is sounding HUGE. james has got an vox ac-30 and two marshall half-stacks put up on a riser, like usual (well, usually he has his blackstar equivalents when it's possible). larry's got a dw kit. everyone's sounding real good. however, I see ig leap up an come down a little strange, him kind of grabbing down towards his knee and hollering "my foot!" damn, maybe he's hurt. he keeps going though, nothing stifled except every time he looks back I can see a motherfuckin' GIANT HURT flailing through him, him hollering "my foot!" but not to the folks. when he comes back around he's got nothing but gig for them get into, he is driven w/a courage I am totally in awe of. he is gonna work this fucking gig no matter what. it ain't hot air or hype to this man is heroic, it is in the proof of his work, in the ethic of his effort - if you were where I was and witnessing this, you wouldn't need my way w/words to let you know what's going on - it would be so very much fucking apparent that it would be like a freight train hitting you between the eyes. there's a little platform out front - in front of his wedge monitors even and he gets out on that and sings his heat out - I'm thinking maybe he's hearing the sidefills. the mic stand gets knocked into me as we end but it's no big deal, just a tippy-tap. "search and destroy" and he looks back each time and I can see pain, oh man, oh man. he don't let on though, not even a moment - nothing subdued a bit, full-on ig for the folks. they're a great crowd too... like I said before, really young gig-goers and full of spirit. man, ig can go. he's hollering off the mic w/hurt but still dancing, leap-spinning, jumping, gesturing - the whole ig-that-only-can-be-ig thing w/no hold-back in the least, I'm amazed cuz I'm empathetically feeling that hurt but that don't help - I realize... what I can do is work the bass for him. "I think I broke my foot!" he tells the gig-goers but w/a smile on his face while he's waving, whoa! "we're the fucking stooges... I think I hurt my foot," he continues - then he asks one of the bouncers in front in the moat how to say "hello" in romanian but this man is oblivious and gives him that heavy metal version of the horns w/his hand. he asks the gig-goers and they know but holler it all at a little different time so we it's hard to understand. it's much sincere though so ig tells them "gimme danger, little stranger" and we whup it up good. it calls for folks to come up and dance w/the stooges, we get a small bunch who dance it up w/much heart - like ig says, 'it's a song w/a pretty good beat, 'shake appeal' - hit it!" tourboss henry in front of james' pedals, protecting it his way - man, does he have a grin on his face. he does good though: pedals protected. right after helperman andrew switches out the the fishman box that feeds the piezo bridge pickup (acoustic guitar-like sounding) for another one - maybe some trouble w/that? I know he uses that sound w/the next tune "I need somebody" (as well as parts "gimme danger" and "open up and bleed") and the stage clears so ig wants the show on the road - "is the guitar player ready?" he asks. makes sense. and this train don't take no loafers - it's time to go so he asks if the drummer's ready and of course larry did nine years w/him, you bet his ready. james sound is little at first but then it comes on. ig works it from the moat - there's cameras but I don't think there's side screens, maybe this is going to tv or later will? no time to wonder, baka watt, time for this one "coming hard" - ig hollers for "1970" to go right up the... I see the hurt when he looks back but I also see even bigger the determination - he hollers for jos to please bring water and jos is right there w/it. the whole team is really keyed together and the stooges thunder is indeed hard. ig calls right quick after for "fun house" - that last "I feel alright" only a foot or two from me and I the pain is eyes lets out for a moment and my heart breaks but then there he is w/a twirl and dancing up a storm, damn! fucking crazy and incredible. we finish the tune up w/him again right in front of the kick and a foot from me - when he sings "away!" he tosses the mic at me but only lets out enough chord so I feel a little wind but it don't hit. I try and channel the foot hurt he's got into some putting it towards this bass I got and wrangle the fuck out of it for "l.a. blues" while still being aware of my very own weakness - even though my portside knee ain't hurting, it is weak and I'll go down if I go too off - I ain't ig and ain't even close like that. I do feel for him so bad though so yeah, I kind of take it on this bass a little, sorry brian michael and you too james for having it buit. she stays in pretty good tune for me though so "night theme," "skull thing" (ig comes roaring back on stage w/a fury!) and "beyond the law" - damn, I 'pert-near put an extra riff on the coda - fuck, I actually started to but larry gave me a look-see and helped me out, thank you much. "one two, fuck you pricks" - don't space, baka watt cuz "cock in my pocket" is immediately on, the full-wail is relentless. ig's being calling james' name in the solo and does so tonight. w/all the hell he's still got a good mood going. he wants to talk before "open up and bleed" but a nearby stage has got boom-boom-boom going in 'tard choo-choo train mode so he hollers "shut the fuck up, fucking techno!" and then you can imagine where the rap goes from there. he sings this tune beautiful and though I can't see the moon (I try and look), somehow he makes me feel it, I don't know why - tsuki. we wind it up real fast and crazy for him at the end, full-on blender style on crazy setting and gets in close w/us to yank it off. he wants a right, we bring him "I got a right" it's full-on plow, soft part snapping down into what he calls "lesson number one" and sings gently (yeah, gently!):
anytime I want I got a right to move
"I wanna be your dog" follows in a heartbeat and instead of the moat, he works the deck of the stage, oh his back for james' solo and it's painful, it's a heartful of realness but he don't wallow, he gets back up and brings this song right to the romanians, them singing w/him... "your pretty face is going to hell" to end the set. he gets into the crowd from the barrier w/a lean-in and even leads us out from there but no stage dives tonight, you can understand. we come off and he's really really hurting, tourboss henry getting his boot off and then the bindings before ig tells him to please get it back on - he hollers and I holler cuz I can feel it big time - each push/each shove, another one/another/another one, oh my god - I holler w/him each time, I can't help it - christ... the boot finally gets on and he says "two more, I'm sorry" but man, I understand, crimony, I understand and hobble quick as I can out. I can believe his spirit, amazing. we do "penetration" - man, I hate the thought of him hurting, hate it but he soldiers on, soldiers on strong. he hollers "CAPO" before we even get the last chord out - for sure james ain't gonna space on getting his capo pulled off tonight! ig tells the folks "this is it!" w/"no fun" but when we're all done he turns to us and says "wait!" - baka watt stops pulling his bass and gets ready for his direction... he asks the gig-goers if they wanna take a trip w/him - he calls for "death trip" - whoa, been a while since we've done this one but it's like we just did it at prac before the gig (we didn't and we haven't but thank god for muscle memory!). the ig tells the folks he don't wanna stop and calls for "johanna" and we're right there for him. then w/out having to even think we put up "kill city" just as he hollers for it. whew, the gig's done - we played everything we know w/larry. it blows my mind how ig did that but he did and did it strong. I hobble back to the dressing room in awe.
we ain't got much time cuz tomorrow the lobby call is five am. james comes back from being w/ig and says the foot ain't broken, that's a relief. he says it ain't this other condition too, something w/a latin name (I can't remember now like a fucking baka) that is real bad so that's a relief too. I'm too scared to go over and be in the way but think about what a righteous job he did, I never seen anything like that... he did the whole set that way and did it strong. crimony. he is true hero.
we get back to the tell and soak for not too long but enough to be clean for the mornings flights. the 'tel man said he call at a quarter of five am but I get the call at five instead and he says he's sorry. it's ok but luckily I had everything ready to go and even konked in my going-home-outfit, even in the yellow coat, right on the deck. I hate anyone have to wait on fucking baka watt. one more minivan ride and were back at the targu mures airport from whence we came (it looks like a former military airbase, an old mig parked out front, all beat) and the same plane and crew that brought us here are ready to take us to frankfurt. ig and nina are already aboard - I see a tsue (crutch) that ig must've used... oh no - I ask him how he is and he tells me w/a laugh, that, well, it's time that he joined my club! that's gotta be the club of hobblers! we both crack up. I use both my hands to shake his. he is a hero so much for me.
it's a two hour flight and we regain the hour we lost yesterday cuz of time zones. the helperlady barbara gives me a greek salad and then some grilled perch w/rice, some bellpeppers also wrapped in friend eggplant. I sit in the same seat again this time brother steve across from and eric on the bench where he gets some much-deserved konk. he's gonna fly into pittsburgh via dallas and then drive the rest of the way to new york city cuz of the irene storm sitch. helperman andrew checks in on us...
we're in the back of the bus but we also guard the head! seven am we land and everyone's off to different parts of frankfurt international airport. I got for the first time the brian michael bass in the yellow case w/me - yeah, yellow bass case, yellow clothes sack and yellow-jacketed-watt... I love it but probably look insane. the lufthansa counter lady says something about it, "you can have black luggage like everyone else but you choose yellow" - we both laugh. this airport has some distance to their gates but I got time to hobble w/out a panic so make it to my gate w/thirty minutes to go before boarding. that takes a while anyway cuz this 747 is all the way full. I get big time konk and then chimp this diary spiel you're reading right now. the airplane chow is pasta - I 'pert-near ever mention airplane chow cuz it's fucking mazui (very bad taste) and I wanna never remember it again but this one was ok even though it looked kind of like it was shat first cuz of the green splorch in the center of the pile. the chimping was tough cuz of the thoughtful/caring person in front of me leaning back as far as possible w/spaz jerks but at least I had an aisle seat and not by the head too! actually a better odor than on the charter jet but I liked being out of the way of the team, out of their hair so back of the boat wasn't a lame thing.
I land at lax on what's still sunday (got those nine hours back, ten if you count the day we spent in romania) at 12:30 pm but there's lots of folks coming through immigration and then I gotta wait for oversize cuz of schlepping the brian michael bass so my sister melinda gets me back to pedro like two hours after that. whoa, the "welcome to san pedro" that's painted on the pedestrian crossing when you get off the harbor freeway has been painted over gray, the color of the rest of the cement - what's up w/that? at least it says "san pedro" on the stack of the now dormant trash incinerator but you know, I would still know it was my pedro town! it was a righteous journey and I dug it much but also I'm so glad to be back home... but also my thoughts are for scotty to be better and now, ig too. we got some hurtin' crew, huh? fuck it, we don't go down.
this page created 11 jun 11