iggy and the stooges

in france, spain, hungary, greece,
england, italy, germany, switzerland,
poland, sweden, belgium and the u.s.

may to october 2012

a word's-eye view from mike watt
of gigs done by the stooges w/him on bass

friday, may 11, 2012 - le castellet, france

   I left my pedro town five days ago (may six) to do this, the first 2012 stooges gig... trippy to believe that last month marks nine years w/them, the first gig being at coachella in 2003. I've dug the journey big time and am just so fucking grateful - who would've ever thought? I know d. boon's gotta be laughing up a storm but I think he also wants me trying me hardest for them so I do and do, even w/the clams and tumble/crumbles. like I can't myself in music w/out my life w/d. boon, I feel this experience is just as intense as a shaper on my journey, it's a fucking mindblow just to ponder it for a moment - makes my fucking head spin! I gotta keep on keepin' on, go forward.

   sometimes reruns find me though - I just played coachella again - wild it was last in fact last month, w/edward and georgie. last time I played w/them both was eighteen years ago. sure is a mindblow too if you think about time in that way, huh? it's like a fucking freight train nobody can stop.

   anyway, my sister melinda got me for the airport at one pm,

los angeles international airport, construction on the new bradley west terminal

earlier both of us chowed breakfast w/my ma like we always do on sunday mornings if we're in pedro - all three of us have our pads there, it's fortyfour years now since we came here from virginia. my other sister marilyn moved up to silverlake years ago cuz of her teaching high school closer to there. we see her on stuff like thanksgiving and xmas.

   it's nine or so hours to paris on an air france boeing 777 and I try to konk much in between reading cormac mccarthy's "the crossing" - I wanna konk much cuz I will arrive during the day and wanna get my inside clock adjust to the nine hours ahead france is from pedro time. from paris it's seventy minutes on an airbus 320 for marseille, the number two town of france which is on the mediterranean in the southeast and is I think around twentysix hundred years old - the romans built it.

driving into marseille

it was twentytwo months ago I hurt my knee near here in a little town called istres. it's also where arthur rimbaud died. my knee is still hurt though I hobble w/out a brace or a crutch now. the weather is sunny like so cal and this time we're not on the plage (beach) like last time but at the old port at a sofitel that overlooks forts saint jean and nicholas which are old timey amongst all the now-days little boats in a huge marina which is behind a huge sea wall w/a lighthouse planted amongst it. this is area is called pharo... pharo means lighthouse in french.

   first day is no prac day and I arrive around three pm (by the way, I arrive to find new french president mr hollande starting his first day on the job - auvoir mr sarkozy!), so I hobble down the road near the entrance of the palace du pharo and it's this road that's got stuff econo for me like a "casino petit" market where I find three and half euro (around four $ u.s.) sicilian wine, some peregrino bubble water and blue cheese. a block or two closer I find a couple of pizza slices - one round w/garlic, the other square w/anchovies plus a tuna baguette for eight euros total and I'm set for tonight's chow. I stay up as long as I can to get the jet lag in check.

   tuesday is first prac day but after poppin' at the crack (no marine layer here, the sun's out bright and early), I go up to the top (seventh) floor which is all windows and it's a righteous view of the port and lots of the town around it. they breakfast chow here if free for us and man, what a wailer! you wouldn't believe it, fresh sausage w/shrooms and herbs in it, both roasted pork and on a cutting machine, tiny fresh-cooked beef pucks I pile that kind of mustard that's all seeds, fresh thin-sliced prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, thin slices of roasted turkey, scrambled eggs (not too happening for me though cuz the make them soppy w/too much milk), bacon, olives, gherkins, pickled cauliflower, sardines, salmon, thin-sliced taters, romaine hearts that I soak in olive oil and vinegar, tomatoes, grapefruit slices, mango slices - this is just what I get cuz there's tons of stuff more - it's a fucking wailer of a buffet, I think the best I've ever seen - I shit thee not. they got a pitcher that spins piece of fruit in it to "ionize" the water I have a couple of glasses of too. damn, this'll last me 'til night each day I'm here. ca va! (ok!) big time.

   at one pm we go to where we're gonna do prac the next three days, in the industrial part of the port and it's called "docks des suds" which is a venue w/three different parts but all walled in w/cans (shipping containers) but not just for walls, each head is a can, even the bar is a can all cut up!

bar inside docs des suds in marseille made from a can!

pedro cats like my secondmen pete and jer would love this! not too far is some sculpture/art of how maybe they do longshoring here?

old school japanese longshoremen in marseille lifting can

   now all the french shows for stooges are done by alain, he's been w/ig for thirty years. his man cedric from paris is doing sound for the prac, they've set up a stage in one of this pad's rooms just like it was a gig. jos set it up w/the gear we use he drives in his van from england. cedric is a great cat and good to see jos again, he's most kind to me, most kind - thank you, jos. of course same w/roadboss eric, he in fact drove us here - oh, "us" is james williamson and larry mullins plus me cuz scotty's still healing up so larry once again comes to the rescue (of course there's brother steve mackay also but he ain't here yet), he's got stainless steel drums from a cat in berlin named masshoff that are a one-of-a-kind prototype. of course james has his blackstar stuff and I'm using mr slouch's two laney stacks (each w/an 8x10 cab and a eight tube 400 watt driving them) via my eden wp-100 preamp james had me start using last year (thank you james). of course you can't see it cuz for some reason it's behind the laneys. we go through all the tunes a couple of times plus a new one ig wants us to do - well, it ain't exactly new but "I got nothin'" of "kill city" but it's new to this band. I like it, trippy dynamic for stooges and good for the set I think. after prac, eric drives us back (great job navigating by feel and not much wander getting here either - maybe twenty minutes) and I hobble to that store for the scilian wine and acrosssicilianreet there's a tiny soosh pad called "poz sushi" where I get "le californian" which is SURPRISE eighteen little slices of california maki (rolls).

watt's dinner chow in marseille, france on may 8, 2012

it's good and econo. I chow it my room and konk early, body still adjusting.

   pop on wednesday and it's kind of carbon copy of tuesday in 'pert-near every way 'cept I play better and brother steve joins us but is too late for prac cuz his plane was delayed (actually roadboss eric's plane was big time delayed and had to come a day later) and oh yeah, helperman andrew arrived from barcelona too. ig and tour boss henry are still in paris cuz ig's doing spiel for a new album he just put out here. I chow the same thing and even konk around the same time. man alone mode after prac for watt.

   thursday and the morning's the same great shovel from the seventh floor trough

view from the chow pad part of our 'tel in marseille, france

watt's morning chow in marseille, france on may 10, 2012

but prac is different cuz first we got brother steve no playing sax and stuf w/us and ig arrives around two and sings eight songs w/us. you can tell he's been working the spiel hard but still he gives one hundred percent. I give him my new picture book - I was in new york city last week for a release event for it, getting to play w/j mascis and a bunch of our friends, byron coley even did a q and a w/me! on cinco de mayo I did a so cal one w/my missingmen. anyway, it was great to have the whole band wailing it on it. soundman max is here and man, he looks in great shape - is he working out? respect! he helps us get our sounds even more together... I think we're ready for tomorrow. I have one more repeat when we get back to the 'tel after prac like the last two 'cept I finish an edition of my radio show I started in the morning. actually I get a provenace wine cuz threprovenceian are enough and sicilianious what the local stuff is like. it's good. third time w/the soosh tonight too. good things come in threes. man, I'm grate for the free internet and an upload speed that ain't too terrible... takes a couple of hours to get the show up but up it goes - stuff was so busy I only did one in all of april. you know what's a trip? next is my three hundredth, damn! I think I'm gonna do it in seville, spain where our next gig is.

   let's talk about this one though - it's gig day and I pop for the same the shovell lots of good stshovelhis time taking my camera up to get some shots. we're gonna do a soundcheck so we bail at quarter of eleven. the gig is called the mini united festival and it at the paul richard racetrack at le castellet, about a fortyfive minutes drive from the 'tel - after a bunch of klicks on the highway, we climb up into higher parts on smaller rode, we pass a wild west-themed park w/rides and camping. the track also shares a regional airport w/it. the old minis used to be made in england but now they been redisgned/remade by theredesignedompany bmw. the stage crew is german. jos has an interesting dynamic w/them, especialy the cat on liespeciallycussing history stuff a couple hundred yards away from the stage. it is hot here at this time but I bet in wont be tonight, like our deserts in cali except the soil/rock is really white instead of kind yellow like we got. there's yuccas though, trippy. we do a bunch of songs for soundcheck.

watt at sondcheck for stooges gig in le castellet, france on may 11, 2012 - photo by andrew burns

it's been four days on the bass james had brian michael made for me and I can play it well now. I wear it a little higher than my gibsons, the neck being more thicker where it joins the body and wider overall but still the short scale. there's 'dines in the dressing room but damn, I'm too stuffed from the morning trough. on our way back we see some guy punched out by a truck driver w/some girth to him - they almost spill out onto the road and into us! that reminds me, last week when I took eiko-san to the airport, I got a flat w/my econoline on the way back. fuck changing that on the shoulder, i took an offramp and changed it in stripmall parking lot on yards after it hit the street. even w/my bum knee, I did it but it was tough - those wheels are MUCH bigger than a passenger vehicle. also I was lucky no fucking knucklehead put the bolts on w/an airwrench at a thousand foot-pounds of torque. I relate the story to the guys and they say their into triple-a I guess my adventure was kind of a "whatever" but I was little bit proud of getting it done. it would've been more baka to do it on the shoulder though inside I congratulate myslef. back at the 'temyselfnk hard w/some naptime.

   we bail at quarter of eight, I got a new outfit now. tourboss henry saw it said it was happening but I ain't showed ig yet. it's dickies work pants and matching shirt - they call the color silver-gray. I've worn black three years now and am finished w/it. three years before that I wore navy blue boilersuit (ig's idea). three years before that was a different tshirt for each gig w/levis. this next three years is sliver-gray, like my hair - why be in denial?

   we arrive two hours before the gig cuz we find out the downbeat time's been pushed back - ok w/me cuz I ain't chowed since the morning and there's catering I better is kind of provenace... and it's fprovence to the chow tent and have salad w/olive oil/vinegar, a boiled egg, poached fish (maybe cod?), sliced taters in a happening sauce, zucchinin cooked up allzucchinirk tenderloin madallions in a shroom medallionse, a righteous stew cooked w/wine w/beef strips in it and penne pasta/basil w/parmasean cheese - all parmesan piled on the same plate, not a mountain but let's say a mound. damn if I ain't got my hashi (back in my 'puter sack at the 'tel) but this is truly fucking happening eats, respect! sometimes a delay can be a good thing.

   we get the set list from ig and do a prac in the dressing room (they're cans) - me, larry and james prac beginnings and ends - first time through my pignose since last stooges (back in december, in hollywood and san francisco) cuz james has been holding on to it. you know this is the amp I got to play "tahitian moon" live back 1996...

   coming on to ten minutes to downbeat so I make my way to my side of the stage. 10:32 pm and here we go, first gig for 2012... I see james lead the charge w/a trot, larry in that boilersuit he wore last year right before him... time for me to hobble up - of course the strap gets twisted as jos gets around me - maybe next time I come up w/the bass and just have me plug in? no time to wonder about that now, time to go - NOW! I'm and live just before I join james and larry for the "raw power" blast off - and here comes ig! whoa, he runs out quicker than a meteor and the gig is on. man, jos has got a great sound going for me here - HUGE respect to him and cedric working to get that happening. trippy shrink-wrap like tents in the back but I don't get distracted and keep the eye on ig. right away we're into "search and destroy" and I realize I'm on the only one in a new outfit - james is even wearing a jacket! ig's just got the black jeans on he's been wearing, same w/brother steve mackay in his black tank top, jeans and green shoes. well, I just thought it was time and hope it's ok, three years of black was enough for me. there's a huge area out in front of the stage that's got steps going down to it and this is where ig's at a lot though like w/the first tune, we ring out the ending 'til he gets back up there w/us to end it. "gimme danger" next and I got a new pumping thing going w/pivoting on the flat seventh that I was trying during our pracs w/this one - damn if those pracs ain't paying off, so glad we do them, so glad. when james' guitar solo comes, ig usually has a move where he drops to the deck and though he starts to do it, at the last moment he pulls the ripchord on it. it's noripcordg would ever hold back so I know there's a reason. man, is he singing good. I thought w/all that spiel he had to do w/the press that it would wear him out but he's in bitchin' form. he pulls us in to "your pretty face is going to hell" and hangs w/us some before having to man that focs'le part of the stage. I think james did a tiny clam but this train is too strong on down the rails to get thrown and we roll that clam as if it was but only a fragment of a shell, a flake even... we land tight and I roll up my sleeves as ig asks for volunteers to get up and dance w/us. that's when I see him - it's longtime stage invader rob from england, hopping and climbing to make his way up once again, right fucking on! here you go, brother. a bunch cats get up and we have a wild time at "shake appeal" and groovin' on that beat. olivier comes up to give me support but the dancers are pretty respectful and it's a good time, truly. james now gets his pedals shoved under the platform holding his amps so that's not such an issue now. his whole pedal thing actually is - he found out that only one of the five fishman preamps he has was actually bunk (he uses those to get acoustic sounds w/the piezo pickup on some of his les pauls) but anyway, it's a happening invasion and clears real quick for "I need somebody" which we fire up soon as ig thinks it's time. the band is tight. "1970" follows and blisters, lights up the night! though we only did prac to "fun house" in its ending and beginning, ig runs the dynamics w/his cues to us like a conductor, we're keyed on him like velcro to fur. we tear that all apart for "l.a. blues" - him looking me right as we get to it - he's back after we do "night theme" but now there's a change from last year - he hollers "one two, fuck you pricks!" and "cock in my pocket" blasts from our silo, a good dynamic in itself. soon as we shut it down, ig asks for a right - we give him "I got a right" just like that though a little bumby in the liftoff bubumpyre all on mark and adjust big time quick. from there it's like half a second before "I wanna be your dog" - yeah from "1970" it's pretty much like one tune or a medley but man, it would be weird to kink it up w/banter, pause and dawdling. we're supposed to go into "johanna" right after but when ig hollers "hit it!" something in larry's mind that has nine years of touring w/ig in the '90s kicks in and he goes to "no fun" w/ig looking back and saying "well, ok" as we follow larry instead of bucking it cuz it's not on the list. I'm so glad we didn't jump off that horse but followed it through. we run (I hobble) off the stage and ig gives us the encore orders: "penetration" and then some audibles. it's like larry likes it, "penetration" is "snakey" (his word) - hesnaky james "not too fast" as we're getting back out. "death trip" I know surprises everyone, even us though we were smart enough to prac this one just as much as the others. there's some sax stuff ig's hearing out in that bow section and runs back to work it w/steve in real time - now there's a dynamic! a little more interesting than the bra getting thrown up on stage - ig is in real time. brother steve's got his hand in the air as he BLOWS big time, his cheeks doing the dizzy/hamster thing. ig calls "open up and bleed" to finsih things, an increfinishwinder-up for us at the end - man, does larry get it up there for me and him - ig comes over to join us (I play right in fornt of larry, in between his crash cymbal and his kick drum) w/some fist punching at the air dancing and damn if I don't feel the wind from those fist cuz they must be missing my face by like a quarter of an inch or what? I trust him though and don't pull away. eventually it's just me and larry and it's the fastest I've done this part when he finally yanks out the beads and we crumple... musically, I mean - I stayed up and didn't hit the deck!

   whoa, that was a great start for the touring season. the french gig-goers were incredibly kind to us and way into. the backdrop has some image of what looks like "man who sold the world" bowie made up of words - I know that sounds crazy and lots of the whole setup of this gig was a little trippy but the people really made it happen and I gotta say the band rose to the occasion. it was really a happening gig. whew! ig debriefs us, explaining the sax stuff to steve and thanking him for tolerance. he tells us about all the work he's doing w/the new french album he has out and what he's got coming - he's working big time. man, he's an inspiration. I ask him if the new stage outfit is ok and he's says he's into it. whew, thank you, ig. it's a good spirit in the room w/us all, GREAT way to start the touring season.

   we're not here for long cuz lots of us fly out early so at midnight we do the drive back to the 'tel in marseille, back just beofre one. I hose downbeforething backed and myeverythingome" outfit all laid out for me. I konk and have shinkansen dreams - "sumimasen" I keep hearing myself say as I wail everywhich way, it's like every one of those trains where the tracks shoot out its front to keep it on the rails. that was weird.

   I pop in time for my last morning shovel at this 'tel, it's as fine tasting as when I first did this five mornings ago, incredible trough here, incredilbe. I'm supposeincrediblew/max and andrew but the driverman says it's ok though his english I think's not too good or rather my english is too baka to understand, damn, I think I blew it. roadboss eric sees my later at the marseille airport (actually in marignane) and tells me those guys had to get a cab - aahhh, baka watt. that driverman sure was nice though, I just couldn't get upset w/him, just couldn't.

   it's seventy minutes to paris on an a320 where I had an exit row - hooray for my knees! not so lucky on the 777 to lax but I am way in the back where my row w/two seat is behind a row w/three so some room there - at an angle. I didn't admit on the way over but I did see some plane movies, usually something I never do. there was "the artist" which I kind of thought was ok though pretty schmaltzy... "j edgar" was terrible which was lame cuz I really dig clint eastwood but worse was "tin tin" and this flight I saw another 'puter-animated lamer, "the monster of paris" so thank god the cormac mccarthy helped me w/something happening. man, can that guy write. it's 'pert-near twelve hours flying back, my sister getting me at five pm to bring me back to my pedro town.

   whoa, only four days 'til I come back over the atlantic again for more stooges... better get what I can do done while I can...

saturday, may 19, 2012 - seville, spain

   wednesday I got brought to lax airport by longtime dear one nanny after some roadway improvising - a wreck on the harbor freeway north had me think of taking the long beach freeway north by first going across terminal island and then finding that motherfucker plugged, I had her take us in her jeep north on surface street santa fe 'til we hit the san diego freeway and got to the 'port that way. whew. my ma had given me two salami, lettuce and mayonaise (I never usually chow mayo anymore) sandwiches to go away w/and so shoveled them to calm my nerves. however, the flight was Iberia going out from the bradley terminal and damn if there ain't a "pink's" chow pad there - apparently an appendage of the fancy trough next to it - I had to actually pay at a register there! however, the kraut/chili/mustard dog

inside the alcazar in seville, spain

I had was just like the one on la brea at melrose and I just love that taste. hell, in the old days me and my pool friend tony would drive all the way up to hollywood to get these dogs, the days before the big lines there and only two cats manning the pad - one was named johnny and just the nicest. lots of times we'd see boss paul pink bringing in another "brick" of chili to cook up. man, I miss those days but even more I miss my dear friend tony, man do I miss him.

   man, no line at all for iberia check in and that's why there's was way enough time for chowing that dog... actually the plane was ninety minutes late taking off cuz of a "maintenance issue" the captain had but I'm glad the issue was addressed on the ground and not in the air and damn if el capitan didn't give us the smoothest ride I've had over the u.s., canada and atlantic ever (something pretty happening seeing this airbus 340 was pretty old and beat) - I konked like a rock 'pert-near the whole voyage eleven-plus hour voyage save for some rap w/neighbor which I never do usually but interest in my work had me spiel some... open-minded young person, a great thing, respect! cuz of the delay though, I miss the flight from madrid to seville - I hobbled my fastest all through the huge madrid-barajas airport (man, is it pretty though!) only to see the airbus 320 just leaving the gate, aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh. a flamenco dancer from signal hill (smack in the middle of long beach) was very frustrated but we reconciled it philosophically while waiting in line for next flight and they had us aboard another one in a couple of hours. an england cat named andy who's lived here in spain now twenty years brings me and a basslady working for tricky away from the seville 'port - hell, wheelman andy says he's a bassman too! funny, they both think I'm some kind of tech and then even a bass tech before it's kind of clear I actually work bass too even though I look like a 'tard. I got to jam w/tricky every "big day out" gig in australia when I was helping porno for pyros in 1996 and even me lay down some bass in a melbourne studio on a day off. man, I'd like to see him again, interesting cat and so was the singerlady martina - great music folks. anyway, like ten pm (on thursday - seville is nine hours ahead of my pedro town) and the 'tel I'm in, "barlceo" is on the almost-an-island cartuja, on the west side of seville is part of what's left of the expo '92 stuff. it's a round pad w/four floors all sharing this garden in the center you see by going up in 'vators that most glass. the hallways are exposed to this so you can see 'pert-near every hatch in the pad, trippy. I konk after reading more of "the crossing" by cormac mccarthy - damn is this a good book.

   friday morning and I'm curious cuz what the trough is about cuz it's free in this 'tel for desayuno (espanol for breakfast) and well... they got good stuff like pieces of the spain versions of tortilla (thick egg/potato "cake") and chorizo (like spicy salami) plus salad stuff, cheeses, fruits, toast, olives and huge cloves of garlic - yeah, big fresh cloves of garlics which are unpeeled! they're huge, one is too much but fuck it! I join larry for a mission to seville's old town - they have one of the biggest ones in europe. whoa, lots of jacaranda trees line the streets - we got a bunch of those in my pedro town, beautiful purple flowers on them. of course larry goes slow enough to keep up w/my hobble, he's a very kind man. still on cartuja, we pass the stuff built for expo '92 that's either been turned into some corn park called "isle majicka" or is just all beat up, cracked and breaking - larry says it reminds him of when he played brasilia (brazil's capitol town) and how it looked like stomped down star trek/planet of the apes blight - he said knoxville back in his tennessee home state had the same thing happen to it when some "modern" temp crap was built to make a few big bucks in the short time but left not much save for modern-looking ruins. the big river is called the quadalavir and after crossing it via the puente barquete

larry and the puente barquette bridge in seville, spain

(boat bridge, I guess in the old days it was a pontoon one), he bails for record store search (has four on his list) while I hug the river via the torneo towards the old town and my mission: the alcazar - gotta check it out. there's some heat but there's also a nice breeze off the river. I turn towards the town at the bull fighting arena and make a loop around the cathedral seville (also called "saint mary's of the sea" which is a trip

sundial on the side of saint mary's cathedral in seville, spain    gargoyle on the side of saint mary's cathedral in seville, spain

cuz our pedro town's big catholic church is "mary star of the sea") taking pictures and getting my palm read and given a small leafed twig in a foist that is relented only when I donate some coins (hey, she wanted "paper") but the the twig comes in handy to ward off others... I head across the plaza to the alcazar and man, is it a trip. whoa.

inside the alcazar in seville, spain

inside the alcazar in seville, spain

inside the alcazar in seville, spain

seville was moor for five hundred years and towards the end of that tenure this fort/palace was built and the conquered by the christians who buit on to it for another five hundred years. I check 'pert-near the whole pad out, it is a mindblow for me. taking pictures, twice I crumpled but both the camera and my body somehow survived. both times there were young men to help me up too, I was very grateful. each time was from a stumble cuz of like a two inch high marble step separating chambers I neglected to see (I am a fucking baka), I got so caught up in the designs and art. the gardens and fountains too were incredible, fantastic - all those kind of words. I wondered and wandered and wandered and wondered all afternoon 'til I got so sore, I knew I had to bail. on the way to the river I saw brother steve and told him what I saw and implored him to visit. I knew I had to make my way back though before I became totally stiff so I took the route back north whence I came but as I got near the bus station, I took a fiver euro cab ride to the 'tel - I'm really beat and I gotta do prac. I soaked as much as I can, like fifteen minutes cuz I don't wanna be late. my cabin has a long tub in the head and that helped some. I get in the robe they put on the bed (hardwood floors here, deck konk tough).

   now I was home only four days since our last gig, the one in le castellet, france and I could've waited 'til thursday to fly but james earlier thought maybe we'd need the prac and fuck, a day earlier is a day later anyway, right? I really dig how james is into prac, love it. well, we do a prac in larry's cabin, james taking a taxi from his 'tel to ours in the afternoon. well, we're wailing on all the tunes and 'pert-near done w/them when the phone and the knock-on-the-hatch and we gotta quit cuz next door neighbor is whining. ok, prac is done. I gotta tell you I really admire james being way into prac, it's a great thing - I think so much I had to write about twice in this paragraph! I just think it's a good thing, truly.

   for dinner I chowed a hamburguesa here cuz I don't know they neighborhood yet - it looks like there's quite a hobble involved cuz the immediate area is baren of chow pads or mercados. it's thirteen euros (about sixteen fucking dollars u.s.) but it's a big one and tastes good, also some fries. it's the cheapest thing on the menu - you know I never chow at these 'tels 'cept for the free morning trough. fuck, I'm to beat up from the hobble to search anyway - ah I sound so fucking weak. I read mccarthy the book 'til I konk and it wasn't that late.

   gig day and I pop w/a body full of cramps, especially the legs and feet. at eight bells and head for the morning shovel. this time I realize there's a chef cat who will cook you up an omelette so I chow that along w/what I had yesterday. at two pm we have a soundcheck so wheelman andy takes us not too far to where we're playing tonight, "the monasterio de la cartuja" which was at one time turned into a ceramics factory after being a monastery from the old days. it's windy and there's big clouds - hope it calms for the gig. look who I see here: peter and then roger from mission of burma - alright! love these guys. the backstage lady is named "daddy" (her nephews in miami call her that, she tells us) and she puts out a happening the wind threatens to carry away but we battle back and chow some patatas (they don't say papas here), machaca kind of chunks of marinated meat, roasted chicken, tiny lamb chops w/mint leaves, a kind of risotto - I mean this is a spread! very good. we then go wail on a bunch of the set,

stooges soundcheck in seville, spain on may 19, 2012 - photo by andrew burns

jos helping us out much w/providing vocals so we don't have to count so much or watch my mouth for the mime. it's difficult getting back cuz the roads are all closed for the triathlon going down today - yeah, seems our 'tel is the headquarters, so many young people around, all fit and shit! respect to them. at one point wheelman andy kind of implores our sitch w/one of the cops closing off an offramp - whoa, I don't have that kind of nerve w/el hombre! we get back to the 'tel eventually though, about five and then I konk heavy, don't why but prolly cuz I'm tuckered on either one level or another. I'm glad I did cuz it'll help w/the gig.

   lobby call is eight and a quarter, wheelman andy takes us back to the gig - all the roads are back open, triathlon done. I visit some w/the mission of burma cats who are right across from us. drummerman peter wants me to play providence (rhode island) cuz he just moved there. the pignose and the tiny (I mean tiny, like two packs of cigarettes) fender amp james uses are in the dressing room so him, me and larry go through the entire set. now the setlist we last did in cali was taped to the deck at soundcheck but now on the bulkhead here is what was supposed to go down eight days ago in france. ok, ig changed his mind which is fine w/me. we do the whole baby up, shortening really only "fun house" and "l.a. blues" - it's a good way to pass the time and a good investment in what we gotta bring to the stage. again, I wanna thank james for being so into prac - larry's way into it also. this gig is called the territorios sevilla festival and I think it's their fifteenth year. I got the feeling it's prolly tougher cuz of the economic sitch - actually we got the word the gig five days from now, the rock coast festival on tenerife (part of the canary islands) got scissored and now there's a search on the way to replace it w/a madrid show.

   I make my way to the stage ten minutes early, wheelman andy helps me keep steady (thank you much for the shoulder!) cuz of the uneven ground, I get up on the stage, so glad the wind from this afternoon calmed down big time... there's no back curtain or other side entrance so eric walks w/me and says it looks like a refrigerator repairman being led to where he needs to fix something and not like someone in the band - I dig this outfit! jos gets me the brian michael bass - I wanna hobble on stage w/it on cuz when I try to get it on as we're getting underway, it always gets twisted up so this is how I can avoid that, just having to plug it in and hit the tuner that mutes me. clint and peter from mission of burma get on stage w/me to see the gig from here but they get told by a stagelady tourboss henry says they don't have permission even though they invoked my name but you gotta remember I'm just a caboose on this train - it ain't the missingmen. I feel bad for them but then I'm thinking about seeing a band from the side of the stage and how lame that sounds so maybe it's better if they see it from the front... ten and a half and I see ig lead larry and james to where they're assembled and then told to bolt - they do and so I get my hobble on in the quickest mode I feel safe at - I get the plug in just in time to get w/larry and join james on "raw power" - the gig's on! everything sounding good and the folks wail to the fence at the front of the stage. so much passion in their faces and ig matching it w/his dancing and singing, twirling and whirling - damn, I wish I could do that! I think being cojo (lame in spanish) is really making me hanker for dancing - I really like this dancer/singer minzy who works in a kpop band called 2en1... from the mike jackson school but taking that in her own direction. "search and destroy" follows, larry clicking it in as the last chord of our opener is still ringing... ig's real tight w/us, not much room between where we are and the edge of the stage but he damn sure is navigating it well... we whup it up big time. some spanish to the folks to tell them the stooges are on the stage and then "gimme danger" - james goes for the hard electric part after doing first verse part w/acoustic sound via pizeo pickup but it stays piezo - helperman andrew runs out to join him and they have a duet of confusion dance... I don't know the remedy but james was there w/his strong sound for the solo - like last gig, ig don't don't drop for it but holds back at the last minute, he's conserving the body that way but still bolting around like a man on a mission - I think it's blows he's trying to avoid and not expenditure of energy cuz hell if there's any end to that from him! we then boom "you're pretty face is going to hell" right out the canon, pow! ig at one point gets down in the moat between the stage and the folks, climbing over and kind of flopping on them that way instead of the rocket-j-squirrel leap so see it's still physical big time - "this one's got a beat" he hollers and invites gig-goers to dance w/us but maybe seven or eight make it - hmm... why? it's a good time though, they dance up a fury but that's when I start hearing some very gnarly break-up on the bass and signal to jos... he checks out the amps and speaker boxes but I'm hearing it through the monitors too so I'm thinking it's gotta be between me and the direct box. damn, is it a terrible sound - I get distracted at one point and gotta look over at james' hands in the second chorus but get right back on (thank you, james!) and decide fuck it, just ride it out. the shit gets real bad in the follow up, "I need somebody" but ig don't let it affect him and sings his heart out - the guy's a pro - what really matters is working the gig and not getting caught up in the small shit, respect. jos switches out the long cable to the bass from the tuner and things hold together for "1970" but then he does a change-out for a short one (between tuner and direct box) before "fun house" which is kind of bad move cuz ig calls for the tune and I'm playing it but no one hears anything cuz I ain't connected and he calls it out again, looking back at me w/those eyes that 'pert-near go yellow, in a hell of a rage and I'm thinking crimony! when jos gets the cable in and I'm back live - you can't know the feeling that's there inside you when you feel you're letting ig down, you just can't know cuz it's a fucking big time heartbreak... I'm shook up some a little bit clumsy w/the riff (god damn you, watt!) but connect to the dynamics ig cues us w/ok - I do what I can for "l.a. blues" w/fingers all up in it, feeling stiff in the hurt knee some so am stiff in a little bit of the playing, I think - it's kind of a short freak-out w/larry clicking us in once I get a couple "love supreme" licks out. I doing more half-step chugs on the root now w/this baby - never did get the sleeves rolled up though - hell, james is doing the gig in his leather jacket and of course larry's in his boilersuit (it's got a berlin bear patch over his heart sewn on now) but it ain't like the one I wore, this baby's he's got on is cotton-lined! we're straight into "cock in my pocket" right away and tear it up, alright. "I got a right" next and big time hardcharger time - middle part finds james on the other side of the beat and I holler to get his attention but he can't hear and don't look up. ig sings to the bass and drums though so james lets go and gets back w/us, we finish strong and a moment later "I wanna be your dog" kicks - yeah, this ain't medley but 'pert-near it is! ig's got a monitor in his way, I said we were up kind of close and him w/tiny room to his one side to the other oscillating stage sweeps, fuck I wish I could get it back and out of his way - jos comes and puts a white tape on it, smart move cuz ig'll see that. "johanna" when ig hollers "hit it!" soon as we're "...dog" is done and james comes in the hatch a little early but right quick everything is fine and we end up closing w/a slamming "kill city" and get on over stage port. ig asks tourboss henry about the time and tells us three more so we hobble - I mean the guys run back out and I hobble quick as I can to rev up "penetration" and work that into "no fun" when the fucking bass noise comes back to put hell on us... jos ends up holding the cord into the tune for our final tune, "open up and bleed" and I'm thinking that's the problem that fucking ibanez tuner's lame input jack - meanwhile we cook this baby up to as fast it can go, larry really REALLY wailing on it 'til I chuck the bass over my shoulder - why'd I do that? hope she's alright. anyway, the gig is done.

   I hobble back w/brother steve, not getting in the van for the hundred yards or whatever drive. I see uri and unai - these two cats helped w/my very first tour of spain, so good to see them again, so good! they're here w/a cubano band. man, big BIG hugs to them both. the burma guys have to bail so I give them big hugs, apologizing again for them getting the stage boot... ig has to do press so james, larry and I commiserate amongst ourselves and go over what went done, we all had a good time. I haven't mention brother steve's playing yet but he he did really great, respect. there was one point when ig put the mic in his bell and out the monitor was a TONE! damn, it was like the cartoons where the other ear, the one on the other side closest makes like a huge trumpet bell and that's what it felt like for me - BRAIN FLOSS! roadboss eric grabs a "unit" of beer, three eight-packs shrink wrapped together and we pull anchor not too much later, short drive home. I fit the "unit" in the 'tel room fridge (breaking them down into single cans), hose down and then konk. holy cow.

   sunday had me recuperating, I was worried about me fucking working my knee so much and I had more adventure planned: tomorrow I wanted to go inside saint mary's and climb the giralda. I also wanted to take a different route to get there and see other parts of the old town. then I did an edition of my radio show (my 300th one!) and then konked, so lucky the uploads on the internet here was way faster than the download. it's good to have it free also. I konk hard, way tuckered.

   monday I popped early and I make my way to the trough and shovel like I have each morning cuz it holds me off 'til supper. I begin my hoof at nine bells towards the old town but take a different direction after getting over the boat bridge - I go straight east into instead of following the river, heading for the big parasol art trip in the center. I seee some little statues in a store window, you know of nazarenos maybe?

nazarenos among statuettes in a seville old town storefront

being from the u.s., you can imagine how these outfits might make you go "what the...?" - safe to say the klan was not so original w/their outfits! whoa. there's many tiny little streets at all kinds of angles, trippy. it ain't all a movie set for turistas either, many folks live here. lots of "se vende' signs too (for sale), so sad for spain and the economy. that gig saturday had the field half full. they were full of passion, those there but w/the young people unemployment rate at fifty percent - ay caramba! I get to metropol parasol via the "avieneda hercules" which is a wide wide walkway w/roman columns at each end.

the north end of the alameda de hercules in seville, spain

there's a myth that seville was built by hercules himself! the pavement ain't the flattest, there's lots of rises and dips so I take it real careful and always look ahead. I can't have any tumbles like I did friday, fuck, I pray I don't. the parasol is a huge trippy art thing, yeah like a big giant cloud made of wood honeycomb that's got shops where it comes to the ground.

the metropol parasol in seville, spain

not much modern stuff in the old town so it's much a contrast. I get to saint mary's and go inside (eight euros). man, this pad is HUGE and the vaulted roofs up so high!

ceiling of saint mary's cathedral in seville, spain

rooftop of saint mary's cathedral from the giralda in seville, spain

the organ pipes are in two parts - gigantic! I see four big statues of kings bearing a box - it's columbus! man, I never really wanted to see him but I knew he was in here somewhere - I just didn't know it was like this... very much NOT incognito! anyway, I saw his bone box, arrrggghhh - I head for the giralda cuz I wanna get up in that. I'm kind of scared cuz of my fucked up knee but still I'm also a little bit driven and fight the fear.

the giralda and saint mary's cathedral in seville, spain

it's thirty five (or six) levels of ramps - not stairs - it was built as a minaret and the muezzin would ride his horse up into this! no hand rails so I use the bulkhead to keep steady. you think of most minarets as round but this is square, you travel w/many many left hand turns going to the top. I take my time, I let folks pass me, even old ones. I can't tumble and I think I can do it. when I do get to the top, what a view of the town - crimony! 340 feet up, crimony!

the plaza de toros bullring from the giralda in seville, spain

I have vertigo so it's scary for me to look and actually you gotta climb up on these places where the bells are (many bells up here!) and it's scary w/my knee thing but I get a few shots w/the camera. then I take it slow going back - I thought it would scarier cuz downhill w/a bad knee is real tough but they made the grade for a horse so it's doable for me, just taking it slow and careful. I make my way out into the cathedral's courtyard - all these irrigation troughs in the deck's stonework to keep the tree's living - happening. my next destination is the general archives of the indies which is only a couple blocks away... man, it's a trip in there! all these letters, maps and stuff back to the king from these captains: columbus (they spell his name colon here - of course there's an accent mark but think about it if you ignore that!), cortez, de leon, pizzaro, all these plunderers and I guess for the old world, explorers of the new world too. such fancy handwritings they all had! two words I keep recognizing in their spiels are "conquista" and "expansion" and many crude drawings of the "natives" along w/even cruder maps.

early map from the archivo general de indias in seville, spain

for a hundred years seville had a monopoly on spain's trade w/the americas, crimony. it puts many weird feelings in me, the ruin of all these peoples but in some weird way I'm glad I saw this - I spent much time in here trying to comprehend as much as I could of what they had on display. of course it ends in the middle of the 1800s so if you were oblivious you might not know spain got kicked out of all these lands. ain't all countries and peoples selective of their history lessons? I know the u.s. is.

   I head towards the river (on the way I pass a bookstore and through the window I see an older book on art during the spanish civil war, first time I've seen stuff like that here in spain) and come up on the torre del oro which is this thick round tower on the eastshore of the quadalavir where they used to have a big chain strung across the river to the west side over to control who could sail up it.

the torre del oro in seville, spain

it was built by the moors who settled here, like the giralda and alcazar and then siezed by the christians in the reconquista. so sad the tour boats are so empty - another sign of hurt economy. inside this tower is a little naval museum and of course I'm digging on that - the boat stuff more than the war crap. I hobble back to the 'tel pretty beat but so glad to get to see so much! it's worth the tiredness. I soak in the tub big time.

   I talked w/helperman andrew yesterday about flamenco - this town is famous for it and man, did d. boon love it but I guess mondays has lots of stuff closed. jos tells me about a pad him and francoise went to last night and recommends it highly. I decide to the roll the dice and after ten pm head for that, a pad called "la carboneria" on calle levies in the old jewish quarter. the cab ride is six euros (about $7.50 u.s.) but there's no cover and a beer is two euros, I get one. I wait out on the patio, only one other dude out there - turns out he's the guitarman when the music starts. there's no p.a. and a roof made of corrugated pieces of plastic - not a fancy pad but a great vibe. out of nowhere tons of people flood in, mostly tourists and fucking yammering. the guitarman sits down and he's on one side, the singerman sits in the middle w/the dancerlady sitting next to him.

flemenco trio in seville, spain

he's an older man, the guitarman maybe around my age but hair not gray as mine. the dancerlady is younger and a big gal, in a bright green dress w/dark gypsy skin, her face very focused and w/a hard look. her and the singerman do trippy claps to accompany the guitarman, his fingers flying - not only the left one working the frets but especially the right strummer-drummer-flailing hand, the fingers like snakes (no pick, each finger's like a pick) wailing in the rhythm and rapping on top his acoustic guitar like a drum. I bawled my eyes out. d. boon could do some of this stuff, roy mendez-lopez taught him back in our pedro town when we're just learning how to play. the singerman sang his hear out and it was intense, just like w/the guitar, it was all about soul. motherfuckers were yammering but he didn't give a damn and focused hard his song. he held is palms out, he put his fingertips together and his voice had much quarter-tone bending in his pitch as it delivered these tunes from his heart, again I bawled my eyes out. he would clap in breaks, the dancerlady w/him but in trippy syncopation and polyrhthm - w/all three of them it was SO MUCH about rhythm. all the fucking yammering from the touristas could not put a dent in it, just couldn't. then the dancerlady got up to use her feet like drums. she held her dress up, she'd use her hands to gesture, to snap to the beat, to point, to twirl w/her as she kicked it up big time, oh my god. the guitarman and singerman would double up their rhythms and she'd get it going right up there w/them, it was a swirl and the simple stage the were on resonated w/stomps and steps right from the heart like w/her two bandmates. oh my god, I can't remember when I cried so hard last. they finished and that's when she finally smiled. I felt a tap on my shoulder - was it more touristas giving me a hard time like all night and shoving me back (finally I clung onto a pole so I couldn't get shoved any more) and I looked back and it was james! I was so surprised, damn! tourboss henry was there, roadboss eric, helperman andrew, drummerman larry, mixerman max, jos and francoise - wow. I was so emotional, it was a little embarrassing. I was very happy to see everyone - what a trip. I talked like a crazyman w/them, being whupped emotionally but the gig I just saw. oh man. I then got the nerve up and shook each of those three, they were getting ready for another set but after the first tune which was very serious like the whole first set, they went for lighter stuff, having the audience clap in three-four time to them and the songs even sounded mariachi - much different than the first set. the electric fans had gotten turned on too and there were very loud. it was so much different than that first set, trippy. the dancing was way shorter too. I guess maybe this music is so intense that how much can you do w/out being totally depleted. they had put so much into it, so much! and they had to fight all the yammering too, like they were fighting for respect. they finished and disappeared, whoa. I shared a cab home w/eric, jos and francoise. I konk quick but I don't know, maybe an hour or so later there's crazy pounding on my hatch. it's andrew, larry and max and they wanna drink all those beers from the "unit" and that's fine w/me but what's really crazy is there having a war - max w/playing the bee gee's album "odessa" (robin gibbs had just died from cancer) and andrew wanting to hear rock, like some humble pie, crazy! I laughed and laughed. the music at that time of night was loud though and soon jos and then the 'tel people are wanting my guests to shut it up so they bring it to another cabin, maybe larry's? I know andrew moved his to another floor cuz he said he could hear max singing through the bulkhead - ain't that a trip w/what's going on now? I love these guys but I gotta konk and I ain't that borracho.

   tuesday morning and I pop to find there was some shots taken on my camera during last night late night visitation - my guess it was andrew, ha! I see his self-portrait! all very dark but I salvage these two:

andrew burns in seville, spain

andrew burns in seville, spain

I go shovel what I've been shoveling though this time I ask the cook lady to do up some fried eggs which has got the yolk to sop up w/the chorizo slices. I got soreness from the hobblin' I've done but I wanna do more. I will take it slow though, don't wanna crumble again. there's the north side of the old town I ain't seen yet. actually we were supposed to bail for madrid but now we hear that gig's been scissored - not cuz of caving like the one in the canaries but cuz of some kind of drama... seems spain's king in this heavy economic times went on some kind of safari overseas and spent all kinds of bones and there was gonna be a big madrid soccer game called "the kings cup" and I guess lots of demonstrations were gonna go down so both the regional and local madrid governments came down hard to stop all events around this - that included ours I guess cuz well, we ain't playing madrid this summer. damn. actually I think the gig was gonna be in a tent that could hold like five thousand right near the soccer field! that would've be a trip but oh well... I hobble back across the river and go straight east to see the old moorish walls and the stuff around there. I find some econo wine at a chinese grocery (two euros!) and hobble about to see stuff - my last time to do that here in seville... it's a little warm so I get sweaty but not really that burnt. right before returning over the river, I see brother steve after getting a hamburgeuso (only three euros) cuz he by coincidence was only a couple pads over! I guess we both were attracted to the kebab chow pad but like a lot around here, it's closed for siesta and won't open 'til eight and a half a night. oh well. I go back to the 'tel and chimp diary before I konk hard, good and tuckered after a soak.

   wednesday and we take the train from seville to madrid.

a castle outside seville on the way to madrid by train

it's real fast and gets us there in a couple of hours after our one pm departure. oh yeah, this morning brought me one last shovel for desayuno, 'pert-near a week of these, huh? they were all good, big thank yous from watt to the 'tel cocineros! when we arrive, ig asks me "you wanna race?!" as we're leaving the train station - it's the last time I'll see him 'til the next gig and he talks to me some, always great for me and I sure do appreciate it. actually, when we did the seville gig and I was visiting w/my mission of burma friends, the car w/ig pulled up and as he got out I hollered "hey ig!" and he hollered back "hey mike!" and believe it or not that was all the words up to this point we shared. lots of times on tour I don't see him much but I sure do dig him. he's a total inspiration and teacher to me. he'll call me sometimes at my pedro pad and it's always a thrill. ig ain't a waster of words and I can appreciate that. I wanna work as hard as I can for him. I love the stooges.

   madrid's feel is much different than seville,

store front in madrid, spain

not as much oldage but it does have stuff of its own, like museo el prado so right after checking in to the "vincci soma" 'tel I do a five euro cab ride there... what the prado does have among many things are six paintings by el bosco, whom most folks know as hieronymous bosch and this'll be my fourth time seeing them. hey, it wasn't planned but here I am and there you go. actually, only five are here cuz "the folly of the stone surgeon" (it goes by a few names) is out on loan. "the garden of delights," "the hay wain," "the adoration of the magi, "the seven deadly sins" (a table top) and "the temptation of saint anthony" (some claim this ain't a real bosch, not so w/the one in lisbon). lots of imagery from el bosco's work helped me w/realizing my third opera "hyphenated-man" and so it seems only proper for me to pay respects as whenever I can. of course I see something new different every time I'm there in person (there's no glass in except w/the table top one) and can get right into those bush strokes and blends of colors a photo just can't give you. it's a trip and once again I get my mind blown. much respect for mr bosch, much respect.

   I leave el prado in kind of haze, kind of more hobbling from the mind than even the lame-ass physical part... luckily there's a cab right there and I'm wheeled back. I don't go straight to the 'tel though, I hobble a couple blocks to a mercado called "simply market" and get this cheese "queso mezcla" w/a baguette and bottle of "vino cumbrero" rioja wined and that's my dinner chow. I am tuckered from all the museo hobbling and though the other cats in our troop invite me to some madrid flamenco, I just ain't strong enough. a man's gotta know his limitations I remember somebody - maybe clint eastwood - said that... or was it a character he was playing? whatever, I'm down and konked.

   me and brother steve leave thursday morning at ten bells for the madrid-barajas airport, whence we came eight days ago - he didn't shovel but I did, they had some scrambled eggs to w/chorizo slices (remember, it's like sausage here) and some good salad - yeah, I had salad every day for breakfast in seville too, good idea. some bitchin' olives also. there's much traff so we get to talk a bunch, I tell him about dave aron mixing the "mouthful" album that both me and brother steve recorded in memphis back in january w/willie, terry and herman.

brother steve mackay at madrid-barajas airport

we're both flying to miami and then seperating for him to nor cal and me to so cal... however, there's some kind of wind that's too strong w/so our american airlines 767 spent an hour on the runway and then when we did get in the miami area, it had to circle for another hour cuz of air traffic. the connecting flight was on my ass - the airline people gave me an EXPEDITE bright orange ticket so that helped some but the immigration/customs/getting your sack back to them and then a REAL LONG haul ass hobble across this lame-ass designed airport had me way beat up but I didn't give up and pushed and pushed and PUSHED... after what seems a punishing eternity (no movable sidewalks here!) I get to the gate to find the plane (same kind/airline that got me here from madrid) has been two hours delayed! all that rush-rush-rush but actually I'm BIG TIME RELIEVED cuz well, I probably would've missed it by a few minutes anyway! all I can do is laugh to myself and I do that big time w/people looking at me like I'm insane... I don't give a fuck cuz they can't know what I've just been through...

   I fucking donated my cormac mccarthy book at that 'tel in seville so I go to a bookstore here at the 'port. I can't find "the crossing" (damn it) but I do find "the road" and thinking about all the people who've told me they've read it, what the fuck, I get it. I read the whole thing on the flight home (six hours). I can tell it's the same write but damn if the story ain't one big fucking beatdown, crimony.

   I get to lax around ten pm (maybe about twentyfour hours of "around/in planes" time?!) and go right from baggage claim to the curb to find rudy aguilar there waiting to bring me home. he graduated w/me and d. boon from san pedro high in 1976. his son nick plays drums and he's done some tunes w/me and my missingmen and secondmen at some local gigs, he's fourteen now, a good cat. rudy's real proud of him and so am I. one thing not too beatdown in that book I read on the flight home is that part of it is about a father and his son so I give the book to rudy and tell him that. I hope he digs it. he gets me home to my pedro pad and then I hose off, get in the nightwear and get under the blankie on my own deck and konk. whew, that was a trip.

saturday, june 30, 2012 - sopron, hungary

   wednesday evening says is my time to leave my pedro town for first summer leg of stooges euro touring. my sister melinda gets me at three and a half though cuz of the "three hour policy" about when to get to the airport for international bail out. so much time involved w/airplane stuff but you think about the miles you end up covering, it's way less than by foot or car. of course this is baka observation but I get caught up in acute irritations like that and forget about big picture stuff... I think the whole idea of having a remote control to operate a television for example festers that kind of thinking maybe, yeah, the whole "control" idea or at least obsessing on having it or losing control of it. anyway, sure, I got shitload piled up I gotta do and fuck if there ain't enough hours in a day but I just got let go of some of it, at least the goddamn worrying-yourself-to-death shit regarding it. the traff ain't a problem at this moment in the direction where we're going so melinda gets me to lax pretty quick. she just got this car, a toyota prius and damn, fiftytwo miles a gallon, crimony. I think w/all the shit we got w/american airlines last flights we had (brother steve told me he told tourboss henry), we're on lufthansa so it's the bradley terminal and I get through the line in minutes and am checked in. my yellow clothes sack has a new hard drive for brother steve's 'puter laptop, a twelve times more storage than what he's got now. I'm always glad to help him when I can. what I spaced on and forgot to bring for him was the final mixes of our "mouthful" proj we did back in january in memphis, baka watt. two saxes, a clarinet, a trumpet, drums and bass - interesting proj. anyway, this being the bradley terminal at lax, here's where they got the "pink's" hot dog pad - I get the lax international dog and then over to the "sushi boy" stand where asahi beer is $4.80 - like three bucks cheaper than anywhere else at this burnward

pink's lax dog at l.a. international airport on june 27, 2012

('pert-near airports are fucking burnward clipjoints). at security it's pretty funny, one tsa man is having a trivia contest w/all of us in line: he asks what are the three human-made stuff you can see from space. he says the first one is the great wall of china and I sheepishly suggest the nazca lines in perus - I'm right! he asks me to pounds fists, right on. no gets the third one which he says are the carnac stones (we don't actually believe this stuff do we?)... seven pm and I leave on a packed 747 for frankfurt in germany. it's ten hours and I konk for most of it though I continue reading "the corssing" by cormac mccarthy - replaced the copy via a bookseller going through amazon.com for one cent! however, the shipping was $3.95 but still, pretty econo. germany is nine hours ahead of pedro time so it's like two in the afternoon on thursday when I land. now here's where the real baka part comes in: I read the fucking ticket wrong and go to the wrong fucking gate! there's more than on flight going from here to vienna in austria so I'm unaware of being such a dumbshit. I even try to get on the plane but the gatelady tells me I got the wrong ticket - what a dumbfuck baka I am! aaarrrrrggghhh - it costs me $250 to book new flight but luckily there is one tonight. a sixteen ounce bittberger beer costs 2.90 euro, about $3.60 u.s. - see what a difference compared to home? and this is germany!

pink 1956 cadillac at frankfurt airport on june 28, 2012

by the way, you know about the trouble w/the euro over here now, damn. might be deustche marks next year here. oh well, I go and wait a couple of hours w/what I'm guessing is some kind of south korean young lady sports team - for sure they're young south korean women and the built pretty strong - many w/the same haircut, kind of masculine. I'm happy they get to visit other lands. it starts to rain right before we leave and there's a lot of turbulence when we get in the air, kind of scary. we make it though and a young man from the festival we're playing drives me the fifty miles across to sopron which is right across the border in hungary and where we're doing the gig. the konkpad is the "hotel fagus" and I'm the only of our crew here, everyone arrives tomorrow. man, am I relieved to email tourboss henry I'm safe and ok and the 'tel. I was so fucking ashamed when I emailed earlier from frankfurt airport. the internet at this 'tel ain't so happening, only works in the lobby so I go there and damn if I don't konk in one of the chairs (it's a big lobby) and damn if I don't wake around four and a half in the morning to find not even the deskman is behind the desk - I'm all alone! what a baka. I take's my 'puter up to my chamber and just lay there wondering about shit...

   it's friday morning and I ain't jet lagged cuz I'm feeling pretty rested, man, has my body learn to adjust quick to jetlag most of the time prolly resulting in so many years I've been doing this now. however I need to chow... the shovel here at the 'tel is free so I go downstairs and they got a buffet going: I shovel first a big salad w/huge scallions, cucumbers and olives along w/some really good and rough lettuce (no bullshit iceberg). after that there's a little sausage (tiny hot dog) and lesco which is like a stew of tomatoes and like yellow smaller bell peppers plus a piece of what they call here gypsy toast though we'd call it french toast and maybe their slices are smaller and from slices from rolls and not a loaf. there's some kind chorizo sausage slices I chow too. it's a little different chow but I like it. I drink some tea too which is something I don't do at home.

   I go up to my chamber and wait for the guys and also james williamson who ain't staying here (him and ig are staying vienna) but he's coming to our parts for prac. actually our 'tel is only ten minutes from the gig - right across from the trees - the daylight shows we're in a forest here. I start going through some pictures - I wanna add more pictures to my tour diary chimping at my hoot page. mrs peak is now compiling shots day to day from the march/april 2011 tour of my third opera me and my missingmen did in canada and the u.s. for a book that's coming out - some of my baka tour spiel w/accompany her shots and though I am nowhere near the photographe she is, I am inspired to likewise try what she's doing w/my chimping. I try to put at least one picture a day for each day I chimp about on tour. mrs peak's gonna do five pages worth a day and there were fiftytwo gigs on that tour - in fiftytwo days. should be a trippy book.

   all the guys arrive and so does james, around five pm we do a prac in drummerman larry's chamber. he pounds a pillow and I go through the pignose amp - man, I think it needs new batteries cuz it's farting out when pushed. james has a little battery power fender amp which is a fifth of the size of the pignose. we go through everything but damn if me and larry ain't wishing it could be a full on baby w/him on a drum set and shit. well, "work the room" like they say and this is the sitch - better than no kind of prac.

   afterwords I go out to see there ain't much around, I mean it is a forest we're in but I bet the town's not far. I hobble some but return to join james and larry at a table in the 'tel's chow part - I discover the table next to us (fuck if I ain't slow) has mixerman max, helperman jos, roadboss eric and clyde - yeah, driverman clyde's here! he's a great cat, I dig him much. he's gonna drive jos' van w/all the stuff (except the guitars, bass and cymbals) to barcelona cuz we fly to the next gig in athens and will use rented stuff. that's a two thousand klik hellride for him, crimony! anyway, great to see him - everyone else too - helperman derek also joins us for a bit. everyone's chowed so I guess I will too cuz you pay in euros (hungary has their own currency in florins), I get some broiled fish w/vegetables and like it. seventeen euros! that's 'tel chow for you... a little over twentyone u.s. bucks but at least tasted good. larry wanted cold hungarian beer and goulash but they ran out of both. the 'tel is pretty full of guests. konstantine the waiterman is a character and wears quite a smock. james has to bail back to vienna (someone gotta guard that place) before the chow comes and well, everyone else's already shovelled so only max stays w/me and larry to talk about stuff. max is a smart man and so is larry, much respect. I don't why but I tell them about hanako which was a koi that lived 225 years - yeah, I shit thee not! and that makes me think of spieling to them about another hanako I know of, hanako-san which is another kind of thing altogether - she's the ghost of the public toilet! fuck if I don't mix shit up weird in my head - not on purpose but it just seems to happen, damn. it's starts raining, hope it's dry for tomorrow.

   there's some history to this town. well, all town's have a history but a picnic here in 1989 might've been the first brick to fall or more accurately, first fence to get cut that would lead to collapse of the iron curtain and the east bloc. talk about your domino effect!

   I pop at seven and chow at the free trough about the same as yesterday - big salad first! we got soundcheck a quarter after ten so we ride on over to get that going, still some setup to do but that's fine, going slow is smart in the heat and humidity we got. I even help some, knowing a little about the bass stuff. helperman derek is playing guitar for the check cuz vienna still needs james but I'm assured we will see him tonight. derek also finds the source of the failure we had w/the bass at the last gig, the seville one... we swapped out the plastic ibanez tuner for a metal boss one but start hearing noise immediately - it's the bass and not that tuner we decide and he bends the contact on the output jack from the inside and puts some contact cleaner spray on them as well. no more noise - thank you much, derek! we get things all set up and then me, larry and brother steve do "no fun" and "search and destroy" before our time's up. lunch is here, back in the dressing room area and there's some good cold cuts but no mustard, damn. no chili sauce either but there's hot chow for us as well, I get a little bowl of short strips of beef w/some braised broccoli - I don't chow too much even though I don't wanna chow again (no dinner) cuz we go on stage at midnight. well, at least it'll be cooler. the gig is set in the forest clearing w/carnival stuff set up as well. we go back to the 'tel and I do a big soak in the tub which ain't that big but big enough (I did one yesterday too but forgot to chimp about - damn, so much shit gets left out of these chimpings!) - what's big is the time, at least a half hour cuz I wanna get all wrung out so I can konk easy. we're gonna leave early tomorrow and be real late tonight so I wanna help protect my health w/some good konk in the reserve tank.

   a quarter after ten is when larry, brother steve myself are gathered and brought to the gig. last night's rain is way gone, good. the grounds are filled w/gig-goers, lots of families even, lots of young people. the is called the volt festival (their twentieth year!) we're sharing the stage w/hungarian bands cskik zenekar, kiscsillag, tankcsapda and quimby - wish I knew more about them. hungarian is trippy language, I'm told it's kind of its own thing, like finnish. that konstantine cat at the 'tel taught me "thanks" is "kersi" and I relate that to ig when he comes in for a briefing, he's looking in great health. he actually comes in as we're going through the songs on the little prac amps. I'm in my new as of 2012 outfit, the match shirt and pants silver-gray dickies work clothes. after the gig in seville max said I looked good in it, like a gray blob. damn, I gotta do something about this gut - max has been running and is GREAT shape. that's the prob, this fucking knee is still weak, aarrrggghhh - anyway, no time for bellyachin' cuz it's gig time. roadboss eric brings up on stage starboard five minutes early. there's much curtain to hide behind. jos brings me the bass w/a couple of minutes to go, right after the light man gets him a little riled... hey, he's got the cowboy hat on, keep the lights on! they go red. it's a couple minutes after midnight when I see james run out in a black tshirt and jeans, larry w/his boilersuit that's got the city of berlin patch near his heart (it's a bear) and do my quick-as-I-can hobble to jos w/the cable for me to grab, got it. no time to see brother steve but he's got a black tshirt and jeans like james (his shoes are green though). here we go...

   blam! we're out the chute and into show time! man, bass sounds good, thank you jos. "raw power" baby, just can't quit - I never get used to it, it's always a rush - ig's on fire! larry at soundcheck tried a wood snare this mr maashoff made for him but max said it didn't have the weight so larry went w/the metal one (also maashoff made). he's wailing on it. james is LOUD, whoa. I'm back right up against the riser 'pert-near so I can sync w/larry as tight as I can. it can be a dilemma cuz I wanna also be there james as much as I can - I know both me and larry wanna be there for him. of course all of us wanna be there for ig. I'm so focused on him that as we wind this first tune up, I'm prepared to nail the end w/him but the plan we've doing lately is to ring it out and have larry quick count in "search and destroy" which is what he does but I hit that last not by myself - well, it was w/ig coming down but a only stage stomp to got w/it. not a serious clam but a wake up call early not to lose focus for me. these cherry gigs for each run can be scary for me especially w/out a full band prac but I bear down and do this tune good, the whole band is - brother steve on the clave sticks! I do blow some tiny clams in "gimme danger" (next one) but they're really tiny but that still stop me from reading myself the riot act - I can see the moon three quarters or more about ten o'clock if straight ahead is twelve... it's pretty big in this sky - gotta focus though, gotta focus - ig asks for lights on the crowd and I tune up, whoa... a few cents off - one thing about this bass is it has happening intonation. ig wanted the lights up to see how pretty the folks are cuz you know he wants to tell them that - and also "your pretty face is going to hell" !!! boom, we're slam into that little number and it hits like a brick shit house, real hard/tough. I'm digging it, so are the folks! I see a couple of them hoisting these poles but their more like plastic giraffe head/neck "staffs," trippy. ig asks for dancers for "shake appeal" and we get a handful but they're on fire and dance up a storm w/ig, respect! actually, we started w/james cuz his guitar wasn't on but he got right in after a few riffs. a hiccup w/the next one, "I need somebody" - just the start, hard to know what but it's kind of a portent of some upcoming clammage unknown to me at the time... I'll have some clams too though, I'll let you know soon and anyway it was just a rough start somehow somewhere or like the song says, "somebody" - I know, lame joke. time to get things flying so we wail up "1970" good and strong. wish I could hear brother steve more and so does ig cuz man the couple of "BLOW!!!!" hollers from him jigsaws right through my brain! whoa, that was a rush! "fun house" right after, ig calls it quick and he's dancing up a storm, he's been racing all over the stage all night - you wouldn't know he broke his foot eight months ago. he's also singing like a champ, righteous. we whup up "l.a. blues" into a froth, me on the "monkey-hump" - what james likes to call it and then into "night theme" where I blow some little clams in some of the intervals - actually I think "...danger" had a little bit too from yours truly when I think of it, tiny mind gaps or rather gaps of no mind - tiny but lame. fucking baka watt. now this part of the set is where we have some trouble - not enough to have ig stop us but some "farfromgroovin" for sure. hard for me to hear larry, the stage sound has gotten kind of bad that way... somehow ig still can sing over one of the roughest "cock in my pocket" versions I think we've ever delivered for him and the same goes for right after w/"I got a right," crimony. ig calls for some backbeat in the take-it-down part cuz it must be like trying to dance on a rug that's being yanked from under you. usually he wants us to get softer but tonight he hollers "backbeat" to larry and larry's giving it , believe me but he's kind of getting drown out... aaarrggghhh... I know I clammed some in the chorus, fuck - I'm not gonna leave out that in this here chimping. "I wanna be your dog" is missing a cue from larry to start us but I think a lot of this is cuz we're a little rusty and only had konk chamber prac. there's a divider between the crowd so there in two groups, port and starboard - ig gets down in the moat between them and does some rolling around on the deck (there's side screens on the stage so everyone can see him via camera people doing the capturing) - when he rejoins us onstage his back is covered w/dirt and I guess confetti strips that big time look chinese fortune cookie fortunes all stuck to him! yeah some farfromgrooven again in the take-it-down part but we get it back together for "johanna" though, whew. we play it strong, play it good - ig sings it great, respect! we go right into "kill city" before the closer "open up and bleed" puts the set to bed. man, is the moon beautiful, right over the trees. larry really whups it up at the end and I jam as fast I can to keep up, whoa! I don't throw the bass to the deck but carry it off stage w/me. ig gives us the plan - very possible we'll try "I got nothin'" - alright! we go back out and slam "penetration" and "no fun" - fuck, it's in "no fun" that my right hand cramps up big time and I gotta pluck w/my fucking thumb, crimony. I have been sweating big time, even this late it's pretty warm. ig gives the folks a talk about being a boy and knowing hungary via images of a tank on tv and thanks these gig-goers for having us abord to play for them. he then talks about being a young man and feeling very much used and says we're gonna play a song that's never been done before - yep, we do "I got nothin'" and somehow the cramps calm down and the clawhand thing recedes for me. we do it good. last ride is "death trip" and damn if just before the fucking cramps are back - jos gives my plucking hand some big rubs which helps big time but I stil use my thumb for the first minute and then feel a little better about trying my fingers - they work, whew... thank you THANK YOU MUCH jos, thank you!

   last time I played hungary was w/my missingmen last november in budapest and I was interviewed by a young man named gabor. he joins me and larry backstage, a great cat. max takes a picture of us three.

gabor ilkei, mike watt + larry mullins in sopron, hungary right after stooges gig at volt festival on june 30, 2012

the soproni hungarian beer is good all cold like it is - after two am though when we get back and lobby is at seven and a half... I hose off and force myself to konk even w/all the adrenaline still wailing on me (in me?)... kind of shaky start for this tour leg but at least the keel never fully came out of the water - ig never did stop us cuz of choking too much - so glad we didn't let him down. I gotta do something about the cramping though... maybe three bottles of that jiveade shit and take them onboard earlier, hmm... I konk thinking of that.

monday, july 2, 2012 - athens, greece

   yesterday I popped at six and half somehow - the way my body, I have no idea but am grateful. third and final breakfast at this pad and I get the nerve to try a little bit of the "gobbler loucher" (that's what the sign said) which looks like little kidneys floating in a kind of stew. they taste trippy, kind of scary. I chow a salad after to wash it down, clear the palate. whoa. I talk w/clyde about some weird stuff I was reminded of cuz of those nazarenos outfits, humanity flirting w/sectarian violence as some kind of manly way to pose and he relates parallels from his side of the ocean... he says his wife's got an idea of a "love bomb" which would be some kind of way blasting mdma into the air over the heads of belig assholes to calm their shit and twist their shoves into hugs. interesting. safe seas for clyde, he's making his hellride to barcelona w/the band stuff.

clyde about to drive the stooges stuff from sopron, hungary to barcelona, spain on july 1, 2012

   the van to take us to the airport in vienna is late but not late enough for us to miss our flight, whew. it's almost two hours for the austria airlines (yes, them again!) to fly us from sunny austria to even sunnier greece, the a321 full of families speaking german apparently going for vacation. all the news about greece has been so bad w/them in huge debt and maybe getting booted from the euro zone or maybe germany will bail cuz of her and spain, portugal and italy - larry (he lives in berlin) says it came out that two years ago germany had new deutsche mark printing plates made... I don't know what to expect as we drive into town. one thing I don't realize is that cuz it's sunday, the town is very dead so I was assuming it was cuz of the economic hell. there's graffiti and flyers everywhere about the sitch and also groups of motorcycle riot cops riding two to a bike zipping around the mostly empty streets but no protesters.

riot cops in athens, greece on july 1, 2012

riot cops in athens, greece on july 1, 2012

we're in the middle of town at a 'tel called "melia" and I go for a soak cuz I see the tub's got jets and sure enough, it's like a jacuzzi trip. there's not many of them so it's more like a bubble bath generator than bubble rubs and it is kind of loud. trippy. I go hobble on the streets but much of the sidewalk is beat up and uneven - the buildings too are kind of beat... I have to be careful of the ground cuz of my fucked up knee, can't crumple. this is my fourth time to athens and I feel bad for her, I hope things get better. I find a chow pad not too far away - can't tell it's name cuz "it's all greek to me" (terrible joke) but for five euros I get a great kebab box to go, man is it good! oishii.

   soccer's big europe game is tonight, spain and italy teams go at it but I konk before it comes on. this popping at the crack of dawn after playing your fucking brains out wears my shit out hard.

   I pop at six bells and find out spain won that soccer game, first time a team's won the europe title twice in a row. larry says it's cuz the play very good as a team, lots of passing. I chimp diary for some and then venture to where they shovel chow here. roadboss eric and jos are at a table, eric says he was presented a bill so I guess it ain't a free trough... I turn around and bail.

   around noon I go to that same pad I got chow at yesterday and get the "pork soublaki kalamaki plate" wish is two euros more and good but not as good as yesterday's kebab, shows to go ya. man, the streets are nothing like yesterday, it's very VERY busy and everything bustling. I think yesterday was like it was cuz it was sunday. in front of our 'tel is a demonstration by the folks who work there, no one is making up the rooms but that's no big prob for me. I talk to two young men who are looking for ig, I tell him he's at another 'tel w/james williamson cuz it's true. they tell me the sitch in greece is heavy one, what will happen? they say this new government here elected last week won't last six months. I don't see the packs of motorcycle cops jamming around like yesterday but there is a lot of private security by the shops. I hope the best for greece, we all need each other.

   at five we bail for the gig, it's about twenty-plus miles outside of athens. trippy to get out on a highway cuz athens itself is tons and tons of tiny streets. the venue site is at the "terra vibe park" which is kind like a nature place w/lodges and woods - very nice and similar to the hungarian gig we just did but less humid and not as hot, nice and mild. it took like an hour to get here and when we arrive I meet my old friend shawn london, we go back to my days in porno for pyros, touring w/them in 1996 - actually I saw him in the 'tel lobby, I spaced on chimping that - I am baka! I got my stage outfit on and my street clothes in a sack. we're taken to a cabin and it's chow time coincidentally so I shovel some greek salad (the real deal), au gratin potatoes and these pieces of beef cooked w/whole prunes - yeah, trippy but real good. there's some little meatballs and yogurt too. of course I don't wanna power down too much or I'll puke during the gig. I immediately start wailing on the jive-ade whatever sports drink, doing three bottles cuz I fucking don't want the hand cramps like the end of last gig. james comes over so we can run over the tunes but the little prac amps went w/clyde to barcelona so we just play our instruments unpowered, larry using two plastic spoons on the back of two small glass bowls turned upside down. ig comes into to brief us, it's a different set list... he says his foot is hurt and this stage has got a cement top. he says tomorrow he's gonna get an x-ray, it's the same foot that got broke last august in romania, damn. he says he's gonna take it easy but that's hard to believe cuz ig always gets into it - it's been nine years w/him now and I've seen him NOT go off one hundred percent every time. he's incredible. now he hasn't stage dived yet this year and I know he is trying to be more careful but damn if he's doing the "frozen man" thing, no way. he asks us to play the ending for "kill city" for him after asking for the same for "raw power" (I got confused last gig too) - man, ig brings focus, truly.

   this is the third and final night of the rockwave festival and it's the stooges fourth time in athens but james' first. I hobble out ten minutes early to get on my side of the stage, we're going on at eight pm (yeah!) and there's still plenty of sun. the place is packed where we're playing, kind of a hill coming up from the stage so like a very nature vibe and not typical rock stage in a field... I got two ampeg svt stacks, I'm looking at them and wondering what will they sound like? jos comes and brings me the bass and I'm sitting on a little drum throne (that's what they call a drummer's seat) as far as I can to the side - there's no curtain to hide me but what can I do? I think the outfit makes me look like refrigerator repairman anyway, no rock and roll black clothes look. a stage helperman comes and says hi, he remembers me from other gigs - I'm the crazy bassman - I shake his hand, kind man.

   before you know it, I see james and larry run out so I begin my hobble quick as I can - there's jos w/the cable... I got it, we're off - the gig's on! "raw power" - the greek gig-goers go wild, whoa... yeah, first think I notice is the buckets of mud these fucking svt amps are spewing, terrible tone, terrible - I got spoiled by mr slouch's laneys and my eden preamp - well, work the room. understand that sitchs like this are like what they are: I have no idea what's gonna sound like what 'til the downbeat, ain't that a trip? it's ok, I've learned to roll w/it and at least sound is coming out. larry is kicking it out hard and I hear him much better than last gig though the sound on stage is kind of blurry cuz of subs? no time for eq stuff for me cuz we're right into "search and destroy" like I've known it, no hesitation and ig's keeping his feet on the ground pretty much but I can see the motion getting into him and he's gotta let it loose - back to the mic stand for "gimme danger" but then mobile again - no big leaps though. I got it more happening are far as the small stuff that was creaky w/me in hungary though I gotta admit get a lost for a moment in the dance number, where ig brings folks up (telling one bouncer "let him up here, you fat pig!") to do "shake appeal" w/us - twice as many dancers as hungary and damn if HUGE stooge supporter yiannis' brother thymios doesn't 'pert-near bowl me over when he hugs me at the tune's start.

thymios hugging watt on stage on july 2, 2012 - photo by his brother yiannis karantonis

yeah, about getting lost: I looked over stage starboard and there's shawn london, oh man, I gotta give a holler and that's when I spaced, fuck. it was between the first and second verses but I get over closer to larry for the beat and then look at james' hands on his guitar to find where I'm supposed to be and thank god I got it together, whew. very scary. understand why mostly I watch ig? this kind of stuff is not paint-by-numbers for me! these dancers are really good, some good air bass in front of me too besides hopping and bouncing and just going off but not fucking anything up - you know considerate wild ass dancing! "I need some body" next, ig tells the folks we can play some "goddamn blues" and we give it. he then tells us to give it hard, "1970" only has one way to get slung w/this ensemble, yep, HARD!! that great move dave alexander did down to d now has james picking up on that - he was a little early last gig but is right on it here... I can't help but holler "I feel alright!" like a dozen times (no mic so appears prolly like miming!) before we're out and before a breath can get wedged, ig calls for "fun house" so I bring it and yep, he's dancing - no stand-still rendition, nope. brother steve is wailing on the sax and he lights ig up - ig hollers his name in respect, yeah, brother steve! great playing, great playing! ig takes us out w/me getting index finger pointings inches away, like BOLD underlining under all those final lyrics, enforcing them - big low open e string from me to finish it and then the "l.a. blues" freak out monkey hump get it the lollypop tuned and "a love supreme" quoted for larry to click us into "night theme" which I bring w/the clams I had going last gig (baka watt) - "skull thing" makes a come back as does what it intros for, "beyond the law" and ig sings it really good, very happening and big power - he wants a right, right away! we give him "I got a right" and it's a piledriver! I got the chorus together - damn was the last gig like a prac for me to do this one or what? better than getting worse though, I ain't bellyachin' - ig calls for just bass and drums in the middle part but james won't let go, maybe he didn't hear him? I holler james' name a few times but the head's down... ig's on the other side of the stage, you knows hearing what's up. I stumble on the intervals under the words but I'm real tiny to hide some of that (thank god) but fuck I'm a baka - love that roll on the snare larry brings us back w/and then BLAP BLAP (yeah, that cue's here tonight!) we launch "I wanna be your dog" like its straight from the boom tube! now ig goes down from the stage and into the moat w/the folks - another centered-divided stich so he's like working the corridor. he'd briefed us before to keep the guitar soloing going if was still down there but me staying loud thinking that was gonna happen wasn't the case and I should went down like usual, aahh - man, was that sticking out but I get it tucked w/james and larry soon enough. the gig-goers are just loving ig, just loving him. there's a big banner in front over one of the moat fences that says "athens fuck club" spray painted on a sheet. ig's shaking hands and just tons of working these folks, it's a real connect tonight w/the people, a real good one. we run (I hobble) off when we get done and ig has us wait some before sending us back out for "penetration" but I hobble too slow like a baka ain't there to come w/larry for a lick but soon I'm there - sorry, james! fuck, what a bozo I am, what a baka. helperman derek's on the synth, couldn't see him in hungary but can here, it's the little keyboard brother steve uses for "gimme danger" but he's on his tenor for this one. I think it was a celeste on the album... anyway "no fun" for the closer and getting ready to hobble off when if counts off "one, two, fuck you pricks!" and we're into "cock in my pocket" - I got shook up some so some little clams but no boat sinkers (fuck I can kick myself), larry really is a good drummer, truly. he don't get thrown by my baka missing an accent or two... we're then right into "johanna" w/ig again singing really righteous, damn, respect! "kill city" served up right quick as the last note is still ringing and then ig calling "your pretty face is going to hell" just as quick - here, james c'mon and join us - I show him the neck of my bass and where my fingers are he's right there quick - whew, that was close but we bolt it up and out good. ig gives band intros, very kind of him! ig calls for "louie louie" (in the key of a!) and james hesitates and then delivers reggae version - no, that's after the band kicked in, he had it strong at first. I 'pert-near got thrown but then get w/larry strong - I blow it though and put another note after everyone finished, I didn't know the ending was coming, damn me. a little embarrassing, reminds of that time I was on "arsenio hall" show w/j mascis and mike d and the same thing happened, the extra note at the end clam! I was so embarrassed that time I bit one of the bass strings off. anyway I hobble off last and then ig goes back on cuz he likes to give folks one last dance but tourboss henry senses there's another tune and so has to go get larry and james who've already made it down the stairs - ig wants us to do another one so I go back and behind the drum set I feel something that scares me and I think my knee's gonna buckle but it's just larry, giving the boy a goose! man, my heart 'pert-near flew out of my mouth, I'm such a fragile motherfucker w/my knee this way but he can't know how much, I can't blame him... "open up and bleed" - man, it's a good turn on this baby... after the first chorus, ig comes up to me and says, "hey, that's a stone groove, huh?" and I answer him that it sure is - I was just reacting and not really thinking but man, he was happy and I was happy he was, a great thing. again larry whups the ending up fast fast crazy and I wail on it to keep up... we're really done now. brother steve and larry help me down the stairs (there's no handrail) and we hoof back to the dressing room. it was a good gig, maybe my chimping here doesn't reflect that cuz you get a lot of minutia - we can get it more together, I can't see the forest for the trees sometimes but I know I can get it on more... and will so help me!

   I sure hope ig's foot is ok. the greek gig-goers were great to us, much respect to them. we pull anchor at ten bells. I get all my shit packed and force myself into konk. we gotta pop at crack...

friday, july 6, 2012 - barcelona, spain

   tuesday we bailed at the crack of dawn, no free trough at this 'tel anyway so being too early for any shoveling ain't that big of a loss. I had everything packed and ready to go but am soiled, must find laundry in next town. that next town is barcelona and it's only a couple of hours away on an airbus 320 which is only lame cuz the lady in front of me keeps slamming back in her seat and killing my knees. me and brother steve share the row w/the bologna spot between us empty and he can easily see ms fidget-spaz do her work cuz of course, it all about her - maybe travelling this way (like turds in a sack) promotes that kind of shit, who knows? we got the hour back we lost going from hungary to greece. the weather's warm like greece but maybe a little more humid. barcelona is spain's number two city and is the autonomous part called catalonia. this is a big port, lots of "cans" (shipping containers) - reminds me of home.

us flying into barcelona on july 3, 2012

we get taken to a 'tel on the east side of town, former industrial part where the streets are laid out like a grid (old towns in europe are not that way). this 'tel is called "vincci martimo" and not too far from the sea. fuck it, I put on the going home levis. first though there's a tub here that's good and long so I soak for a good while. we might be out in the boonies some but there's chow pads close - me and brother steve find one and have big salads and thin lamb chops for econo. we spot a mercado too across the street from where we're chowing outside so there's our shopping spot. fully happening. prices are econo like greece and though barcelona seems to be in better shape than seville, I know it's tough for spain these days too. I feel for all these europe folks, truly.

   there's a good free shovel here at this 'tel for morning chow. they got the salad stuff like in hungary so I chow that w/oil/vinegar/big tomato wedges. there's some tortilla (old world kind) and hardboiled eggs that I chow on toast w/some bacon. I catch up w/the buttload of email and stuff I gotta do via the 'puter (thank god free internet is lots of times the norm now at 'tels - I remember when motherfuckers would want fifteen or twenty euros a day, can you believe that shit?!). there's siesta here but not every pad closes so next to where we chowed last night, a chinos lady and her family cook us dinner even though it's like a little bar. I have a thin flank steak, fries and a fried egg for four euros.

ham in a market in barcelona on july 4, 2012

   it's our independence day back home and though it gets to me before it's gets to there, I konk early after reading some emma goldman - I found her autobiography online. I'm gone on tour so many times for this holdiay but if I am in my pedro town for the fourth I usually go down to cabrillo beach and see the fireworks the city puts on there, usually pedaling to/from and let me tell you, I've had some scary rides back to the pad!

   thursday I get to have a good rap w/clyde during at the morning trough, interesting cat and a great spirit. he knows a lot about cars too as well as crazy shit regarding humanity or rather the loss of humanity! interesting insights from clyde, I take to heart. I do a mission for the laundry, using the metro. very happening here, two euros a ride and at first I was gonna risk trying to the mile and half to where clyde said he found one (he drove here from hungary w/the equipment and got here a day before us), I decided to save that for what I needed for some guadi stuff I wanted to see cuz I think I'll need it. it costs five euros total to do my wash (about six bucks u.s.) but that's 'pert-near a tenth of what a fancy pad 'tel would burn you for, I shit thee not.

bodega marcel in barcelona on july 5, 2012 chinese medicine shop in barcelona on july 5, 2012

what a trip that mixerman max is here doing his wash also! he went to colonia guell yesterday and tells me all about it - he got the idea from larry but now I'm hankering for it so for sure I'm gonna make it happen. it'll have to be gig day though cuz tomorrow we have prac in the afternoon and I won't have time enough to get back, I wanna have quality time w/these works and have 'til seven pm friday.

   day before gig we do a prac right at the venue. so good not to have mr slouch's laney amps back and of course my eden preamp. I start getting noise again - the output jack on this bass is acting up again. man, such an econo part but it can sure sink the boat. we go over everything which is good, I'm so glad these guys are into prac, so glad! it's humid, whew. and whoa, the gig boss is wearing a minutmen shirt, respect to him! I holler "d. boon" and put my fist into the air. we get done and brother steve takes me to meet tony sanders who takes us both to a little chow pad more in the center of town that has the most righteous pialla I've ever chowed, I mean it was incredible. tony's a rock writerman and meeting us is here his buddy artistman ladron and "ruta 66" editiorman jorge and their buddy roger - all real good cats, real good. the chow pad boss locks up and let's spiel 'til late, it's a real good time. we even go to another pad after. tony has tons and tons of stuff to ask and we're happy to answer. actually all three have incredible music knowledge, incredible! respect to them. ladrone is also very kind and gives two books of his art. what a good time these cats showed us, truly!

   gig day and early after shoveling I make for the metro and head for the west part of barcelona where I have to take another train to get to colonia guell which is northwest of the city. this guell cat was the main moneyman behind gaudi and what he built here was a church. actually only what they call the crypt was built but still it's amazing. the whole little compound was a planned community for not only people making velvet and corduroy fabric to work but live and have culture also. I spend a long time at the inglesia, there's not many visitors and it's very peaceful, I go inside too for a long time (no statues jumped from their places) and every turn of my head gives me mindblow after mindblows of creative stuff gaudi packed into this pad, crimony.

colonia guell

colonia guell

colonia guell

I take the two trains back but not to the 'tel - not yet - I wanna visit park guell first. now this is up the hill a bunch and it's a slow-go for me... the metro station ain't all that close but it's worth it cuz what a trippy place. a great view of the town also but this ceramic work he got going, righteous - broken up and put together again, mixed up, abstract, organic - BIG TIME organic and contrast w/that are these pillars! trippy dynamics. yes, my jaw is down to where my feet are.

park guell  on july 6, 2012

park guell  on july 6, 2012

park guell  on july 6, 2012

park guell  on july 6, 2012

park guell  on july 6, 2012

park guell  on july 6, 2012 park guell  on july 6, 2012

well well worth it but if uphill was tough, downhill is even more scary for me cuz of this fucking knee and there's no handrails... I take it very VERY slow. opposite of colonia guell, it's wall-to-wall tourists which makes it for kind of lameness but then I realize I'm one of the fucking tourists as well. well, not totally, I got work here tonight...

   go time is supposed to be nine pm. I hobble up ten minutes before. I get sit back pretty far to the side cuz of the screen. this is gonna make for a long hobble. the sun's pretty much still up, the ocean is stage port, some huge stairs making for like an amphitheater stage right. actually where we're playing is a part of the barcelona international sailing center - the stooges played close to here in 2005 for the primavera festival though this one's called the cruilla festival - a lot of those folks are up on those cement seats/stairs... I can see the guys coming up from behind, jos brings me the bass. derek's holding james' guitar, dangling by the strap - I see james trot out and get while larry leaps up on the drums - I start my hobble but being real careful cuz you know I worked hard my fucked up knees (both good one and lame one) doing all the hobbling to see the gaudi stuff earlier and gotta make sure I don't tumble... I'm being extra careful. ig runs out and give me a chest tap w/his palm as I plug in - not a hard one but a "c'mon let's go!" kind of one cuz james has already got "raw power" going but I'm there to join larry, just in time. it's wild, the rush of these gigs getting going. someone hurls an empty beer cup as ig's singing and he bats it away while singing and follows it w/a middle finger in the direction where it came. "search and destroy" immediately follows... man, so good to not be on ampegs but back to the laneys and my eden preamp, night and fucking day as far as tone and thump, night and day. a couple pairs of sunglasses come flying up on stage, what? ok, there goes your sunglasses. the catalan gig-goers are fired up. ig speaks some in spanish to them and then brings "gimme danger" along w/us of course - we're groovin' pretty tight, that prac yesterday and the two gigs ahead of it have added up a good honing (like larry says: "sharpening the knife"). ig then asks for dancers to help us w/"shake appeal" and who's first up? rob pargiter from england - whoa! I give him big hug, so many times he's danced w/the stooges! we rock it hard. this one tio has got his backpack on his chest, he dances over to tell me I can play this, GRACIAS I tell him. ig's having a good time, makes my smile. he tells the folks as the dancers clear the stage that "this is no techno, no sh sh sh shish - we can play the goddamn blues... and then take a big shit" which is pretty much what we do 'cept I think we're all saving that last part for later, each in his own 'tel chamber. done w/the fucking blues, ig gently prompts us to HIT IT HARD for "1970" and well, he wants it louder so I turn up my amps, helperman derek turns up james' and I guess larry just slams harder! later james will tell me ig told him it was sounding too controlled and wanted more chaos, ok sounds good to me, expespecially we still rock the groove while making it more wild. hell, it's pure brain-floss lightning bolt through the ears when he hollers to brother steve to "BLOW" and w/the immediately next "fun house" he spares no steps, no pause in dancing it up big time - I can imagine him wanting us to match the output he's putting forth, I'm w/it! I do extra wild "l.a. blues" w/much sqesquealom monkey-humping (james' word for it), making me think of ned beatty in that sensitive "deliverance" scene so many folks so fondly remember (upstaging both burt reynolds and john voight)... lots of sweat where I'm at from me, don't wanna slip so I get still for "night theme" - ig definitely not still for "skull thing" as he charges back out to join us, another good "beyond the law" w/him singing it hard and now we do a "I got a right" w/just bass/drums after the guitar solo mostly. the band's playing good, this is our best gig of the run. don't wanna get over-confident though, gotta focus... "I wanna be your dog" to finish the set - damn if ig don't do a javeline toss leap into the folks in the middle, I mean flying - crimony! I guess he connected w/some head w/his mouth cuz he comes back up stage w/his lip bleeding but for sure not dazed a bit. whoa. we get to the back, starboard side and ig says give it a moment and put in effect part two, james a couple times tells me to watch out and not knock the bass out of tune as we're in the huddle and larry's asks him to wait 'til I'm plugged before he gets "penetration" going... that he does - thanks, larry! ig hollers next for "no fun" and we give it to him. it's dark now, no more sun and I don't where the moon is... ig counts us into "cock in my pocket" and we lay it out fast and tight, just sayin' and not trying to buff badge - we're straight into "johanna" after that and there still blood coming w/the words from ig but it's mixed w/spit and soul-singing, most happening! "kill city" following before the last note dies, same for "your pretty face is going to hell" - yeah, like a medley, ig runs it tight, a workingman's set. he hollers for "louie louie" right after - I got it more together tonight - maybe I was the one who made it kind of weird back in athens but I know I can get it better still, just so nervous about it, why? I'm a fucking slow learner sometimes! ig has us take it down, some dynamics for the third verse... I end it w/out the extra note clam, I'm learning! we got one more, "open up and bleed" and james stays on board w/me and larry at the end longer than usual - larry actually cuts earlier than he has been - still a blitz though even w/me hanging out some... whew, todo hecho.

   larry helps me down the stairs and let's me lean on him for support as I hobble back to the dredressing roomsan, he played really good and I tell him that, say it's an honor to serve w/him. he says "I can play w/brushes too" - I know he can! respect. I see james and tell him he played good too and thank him, he says he could hear everything on the stage and that helped. he did real good. I talk to the bossman, the cat w/the minutemen shirt on yesterday when we did prac, uri's here too and I remember seven years ago w/the second-string secondmen touring the second opera here in spain w/him ("el mar cura todo in europe too"), his buddy danielo here also! big hugs for both. I remember uri telling us about "the firman" - I recount the story to everyone, about how this cat who was staying at his pad while he was away and the cat was tripping too much on l and fucked up w/the fireplace and some fuel and fucking burned the pad down! oh no, uri's pad all burned up. well, this cat, "the fireman" was still living in the burned up ruins when uri returned! uri told him, "man, you gotta go" and then a couple years later, over in argentina by some trippy coincidence, uri ran into him again, slowly recognizing him - "you're that fucking fireman, right?" he said was a ok guy, just too many trips. uri's a good cat, big abrazos again for him and danielo.

   we get back to the 'tel and man, am I tuckered. fuck, somehow I did all that hobbling and did also did a stooges gig in my condition and still didn't tumble or crumple. I soak a very long time, sore as all hell. I drain the water and just lay naked in that tub for as long or prolly longer cuz like a baka, I konked!

friday, july 13, 2012 - london, england

   I pop naked in the tub last saturday. the plan was to bail for bulgaria the next morning after the barcelona gig but that's changed. another good shovel and then I go back to my chamber for more konk - what? I pop in the afternoon and check out what I can see from hobbling more to the east than the west routes I have be making. there's a mall - I remember this mall from when stooges played the primavera festival back in the ronnie days. before we went on a porno magazine went flying from new order's dressing room (the england new wave band new order, not ronnie's hollywood band) into ours - that could happen cuz none of the rooms had ceilings... trippy to remember that! anyway, nothing worth remembering as far as chow regarding this mall action and I have a pretty lameass hamberguesa at german-themed slop pad. hobbling back, I come across what's called "diagonal park" w/a a huge "sculpture" of pipes w/cement purses hanging from them that are decorated w/ceramic tiles in gaudi style of breaking and then gluing back the cracked tile pieces together.

   one more day in this 'tel and then we gotta switch to another one cuz there's all kinds of young folks from different countries here for a sports competition and well, the plan wasn't actually for us to be here and so we move to one called "hotel vilamari" which is much closer downtown. in the morning before we bail, I head out to the playa (beach)

playa in barcelona on july 9, 2012

to check it out... yep that's the mediterranean sea, too bad I got no shorts to go swimming in, damn.

   on the way to our new 'tel we pass some gaudi stuff, the "familia sangrada" and "casa batllo" which I've seen close up intense visits from times I've been in this town before. righteous.

la sangra familia in barcelona on july 9, 2012

casa batllo in barcelona on july 9, 2012 steve mackay + larry mullins in barcelona on july 9, 2012

   there's a supermarket nearby called "consum" for stuff and a cafe run by a chinos family where I chow a "bocadillo frankfurt" which is hot dog on a baguette w/mustard that's good.

   the next day larry lets me go w/him to la fundaciomiro joan miro which is the joan miro museum. it's up a hill so the hobbling from me is slow-go but larry's very patient w/me. a great view of the town from here, a different angle than park guell. the art is fantastic and amazing, we have a great time checking out everything in the pad - yeah, the structure is happening too.

inside the joan miro museum in barcelona inside the joan miro museum in barcelona

inside the joan miro museum in barcelona larry mullins at the joan miro museum in barcelona on july 10, 2012

   of course larry's got a million stories so it's a blast getting to listen to him tell them on our journey. it's a real good time. he told me about this "bar ramon" he went to and was going again to near the 'tel but I never did find out where (I think it was tipoff from helperman andrew who lives in this town but is out now doing tourboss for patti smith) so I just konk early. that hobblin' was a little intense on me but still well worth it, so glad I saw so much of that man's work in person. oh yeah, there was also an exhibit of works from lebanese artist named mona hatoum that was pretty big time w/the mindblows, I could feel some definite first-hand experiences... the giant cheese grater was a headslap metaphor, larry tripped hard on the carpet made of marbles.

   wednesday morning we fly an british airways a321 for london heathrow... only a couple of hours (we get another hour back cuz of time zone change) and who's waiting for us? driverman clyde! righteous, great to see him again. it takes him an hour to get us to a 'tel called "the cumberland" - the weather nothing like the europe we've just been to, it's all rain here and you wouldn't know it was supposed to be summer. actually sometimes it quits (like larry says, "soon as I open my umbrella") but it's on and off and mostly gray. they got special traffic lanes made for the upcoming olympic games to be held here in a couple of weeks, I wonder if they're gonna work?

rainy oxford street in london, england on july 12, 2012

anyway, this 'tel was the last address jimi hendrix had - he die here but this was his last address, room 5001 which is the same floor I'm on, just a few doors down. there's some trippy art in the lobby from sean henry

sean henry art at the cumberland in london, england

sean henry art at the cumberland in london, england sean henry art at the cumberland in london, england

plus some info and shots of inside jimi's room, kind of hippied out. I go a block away to some pad called "the tyburn" and chow a "jacket potato" which is a baked potato w/some chili-con-carne on it. it tastes ok and it ain't greasy so I'm grateful only four pounds too ($6.36 about, u.s.) which believe me is econo for these parts.

   next morning and no free trough at this pad but I did see four pounds for breakfast where I chowed last night so I shovel what is traditional england breakfast: tomato half, fried eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, potato thing and mushroom is. we got parc (yeah! I requested it so much thanks for tourboss henry making it happen) so driverman clyde comes and gets us - it takes us an hour to get up the oxford road to the john henry's prac pad we always use in this town... in fact it was last summer here that I first met larry - man, what a great thing that was now that I look back cuz larry is truly a righteous dude. respect. we have good prac but damn if the bass don't start acting up again, helperman derek trying to see if it's the eden preamp or the laney amps but nope, it's the bass. we hope for the best. my buddy jose comes by w/his dogs - seven of them! he works w/dogs for a living. it's been on and off raining but it stops so I get jose and the dogs out in the back lots before they (not jose but the dogs) start "raining" (piss) on the prac pad deck. he's gonna meet me later at the 'tel so I can do an edition of my radio show w/him. I chow some kind of india type stuff but it's from convenience strore and not chow pad - kind of lame...

rainy oxford street in london, england on july 12, 2012

no offense to india chow though cuz I love it, especially that garlic nan bread when you wrap some of it around a big spoon of curry or spinach. kyoko comes w/jose, great! they come late though so actually the show is on friday the thirteenth - gig day! very interesting things from them about the state of europe, I respect their thoughts much and I think it's refreshing to hear about over here from others than in the papers or on the tv. respect.

   gig day and I pop late cuz of the late show, I need the rest for tonight cuz I wanna do my best for the stooges. this is hard for a baka like me but I force myself to. I shovel again what I did yesterday, just making the time line - I try to peek through jimi's peep hole in the door

jimi hendrix's room at the cumberland in london, england

but can't see shit, maybe cuz w/my glasses off? for sure can't do it w/them on. damn. I get caught up or try to get caught up on the work I need to get done. aaarrrgggghhh, sometimes I feel like how a babysitter must feel - what?

   this 'tel is right next to the northeast corner of hyde park in the middle of london and the gig is in this same park but on the other side. it's called the hard rock calling festival and clyde gets me, brother steve and larry at five pm for our 7:10 pm go-on time. just to go around the park takes some time cuz of the fucking london traff plug - james is already aboard cuz of getting picked up first from his "the savoy" 'tel. the rain has let up a little but it's really muddy and I gotta do geisha boy steps to be careful. I 'pert-near go down once. in the dressing room is again no mustard - damn, you'd thing maybe "coleman's" which this kind from in england that's really hot cuz of horseradish... oh well. I choke down two bottles of terrible tasting whatever-ade to help stave off cramping cuz there's some humidity and I'm think maybe I'll sweat much tonight. our little amps are here and larry uses a box to bam-bam on. james starts w/suggesting abbreviated versions but damn if we ain't got two hours PLUS the fact this gig is being filmed and recorded.

james and larry before the  gig in hyde park on july 13, 2012

watt snaps himself before the  gig in hyde park on july 13, 2012

yeah, it's been six days since the barcelona gig (our part at the at the sofia rocks festival was scissored - still haven't ever been to that land but hopeful one day I will cuz I wanna bad) so I'm glad for both full-on prac yesterday and this tiny-stuff-but-full-on-run-througs are happening. ig comes in and briefs us during - he's changed up some order and wants to go over things w/us. he's in good spirits.

   I head out ten minutes early so I can do the go-slow and be VERY CAREFUL w/hopefully no slips or falls. I see cedric from the mars volta - big hugs, damn we gotta be on the same time on different stages, damn it. we're on a new album together called anywhere and actually I didn't realize he was the drummer when I was putting the bass on (I did it from my pedro pad) but man, he can drum good! I make the hobble and get up on stage w/no incident, thank you lord. it's gonna be a hobble to get the bass place for me cuz anything more close makes obvious to the gig-goers. they're kind of corralled by the gig authorities a little strange - most on the side w/a huge fenced-off open dirt place right in the middle but back about a quarter mile, behind the sound booth where mixman max is - I was told he has ninetythree db sound level limitation, aaarrrgggghhhh. I look at the watch, three minutes past downbeat... I see james and larry do their dash, I begin my hobble fast as I can but careful, grateful the stage ain't wet. jos is just ready, derek has a plan to double wrap the cord from my bass to the tuner to avoid these noise problems (it's the fucking output jack we've deduced... five dollar part!) but this twists up the strap so I do the first tunes w/the bass riding up pretty high on my chest, awkward. but you know once "raw power" is under way, WE'RE fucking under way so I ain't gonna get caught up in anything too distracting that would make for chokes and lameness, letting down the stooges. the bass sound is good, the settings I used yesterday at prac jos preserved. the band is cooking and ig's on fire, right out of the gate. "search and destroy" next and I think I blow my only clam of the night - I say that now cuz I'm glad for just one but also feeling like a fucking baka cuz why the fuck did it happen, cuz of friday the thirteenth? I think back now and I can see the neck and me looking at the frets - it's the second time into the bridge where we go to f-sharp but I have a baka moment of doubt and maybe thought it was supposed to be e for some 'tard reason? I guess I'll know when I hear the gig cuz roadboss eric says this is gonna be broadcasted on fuse tv - he said last year's was... fuck I'm pissed at myself for this but don't dwell (thank god) and stay in the moment. I right in front of larry's starboard crash and locking in all the way I can w/him. can't hear brother steve but see him knocking the clave sticks in time, such a trippy image for this tune, a smile on his face when he looks at me, meanwhile ig is leaping and twirling like a dervish - it's a huge stage and he's got a lot of ground to cover including a part that's like a bow of a boat but it's like six or eighth steps down and way way out. there's a few cameras - one on the lip of the stage, one on a cat's shoulder right behind larry - fuck, there's one unmanned one in a pod supported by four guy lines that's go a motor in it so this motherfucker flying all around, never seen this before (I'm told later they used at sports things) but it's kind of distracting cuz I've been so much trained by gig experience to be heads up for bottles and shit flying up so I get kind of freaked out involuntarily a bit but not too bad cuz I'm hanging in there - ig tells the folks "we're the cursed stooges" right before we give them "gimmed danger" which is the usual third part of our opening one-two-three and though maybe a ballad, all of us pump it w/passion. what's different is no stage invasion - we go right into "1970" instead, fully blown. whew. starting to sweat it up now, a puddle gathering under me - must not slip. my lower limbs feel so tight and stiff in this stitches, damn it. part of it's gotta be cuz I'm paranoid. anyway, we pound this one home hard and I put a little wild into "fun house" after ig calls it but it root too, ig dropping the "uhh" dynamics in trippy places but we're w/him all the way. he's come to sing the last lines in my face and then works the mic stand in a way for the "l.a. blues" seque I ain't seen before in this place, between the legs but I take that a for a cue to go at it so I do - not like I ever do this one all that calm but it. I get her back in tune at the same time on open note wails - it's a workingman's set not a lot of time for tune checking w/this show. I've got a pedal on the root of "night theme" that's working out good. ig remerges after james "skull thing" intro - actually he comes back a littler earlier, before james does that big slide, bringing both larry in and a hard charging ig, grabbing the mic stand and riding it some - or dominating it but no singing, brother steve phrases what you hear on the album version sung but abbreviated, well it's pretty much an intro for "beyond the law" which I'd call the last part of a kind a medley that's starts w/ig hollering "fun house" which is kind of journey in itself inside the set though I gotta say the whole baby is run pretty tight, that's the way ig likes it - maybe an entire second goes by before he hollers for dog and larry blapem-blaps us in, toot toot philadelphia. ig gets out in the moat area between the folks and the stage, there's like running boards on the fence towards our sides so he can work the crowd. on the mic he asks roadboss eric to carry him to the other side of trough so he won't get muddy - eric w/one carries me across (his job is to be always close to ig and fish him out when he's stuck in a stich. ig tells one young gig-going man if he (ig) was a dog then maybe he (the young man) would like us. actually it's good response from the crowd, just weird how the setup here has them so much on flanks. ig sings the last verse there a fence, asks for a right soon as we're doing - another drum intro from larry to get us into "I got a right" and ig climbs back up to the bow, then upstage to where we are and sings it real tight and close w/us - you're talking about a couple of feet each of us to each other, like in a little club. only brother steve's is more to the stage port side. we roll it tight, later james tells us he's now doing up and down strokes now instead of just down ones for this tune and it helps him. "no fun" is one beat away from just finishing that baby, a little different dynamic then we're used to but a good one. he works it from the bow. I see a girl be led off holding a compress or something to head - I think that fucking flying camera pod beaned her - what?! ig hollers for "johanna" soon as we hit that last stomp, him back on stage w/us, james ripping a great lead - he's been playing great all night, great lead in "I got a right" - all over the place. respect. we go straight into "kill city" medley style w/ig back down on the bow and I think he wants it quicker - he gives larry both the word and the fist-pull. I get carried away an holler "give the boy a goose" in the choruses. james does guitar change w/james for our closer (no encores at this kind of gig) "open and bleed" and damn if the rain ain't held up the whole set. talk about a ballad, this is a beautiful one and for me very heartfelt - we wind it up into crazyspin mode at the end though, way wound by larry, crimony! I try hard to keep it up, keep it up, keep it up - faster, faster, faster over to two step crazy oompah... then I let go off the riff, fuck - don't know why but I did and he kereens it as I throw the bass of me and hobble off, getting cojo help from his shoulder as we both make it down. man, that was big time wail!

   careful hobble back to the dressing chambers, larry's very kind to help me w/tsue (stick meaning crutch in jap) shoulder aid. ig's euro-bookerman mr john giddings comes back and tells us "that's what we call here in england 'result'" and we're sure grateful for that - thank you, john! jason from spiritualized comes by w/his daughter - it's her twelfth bday today. so good to see him again. he wants to tell james about the hammersmith apollo gig he saw him play at and then talks about the instanbul gig he did w/us w/ronnie. bass brother juan from the mars volta (and his own great band big sir) comes for abrazos, righteous. then terri from le butcherettes along w/omar (he does her bass now) also come to say hi and I get to introduce them to james and larry. drummerlady lia's there too, so happening! jason talks w/ig on his way out...

ig in london after gig in hyde park on july 13, 2012

well, we're not here the long either though (damn) cuz there's a curfew so by nine bells clyde's got his back to the 'tel. james said ig dug the gig, great news.

   jose, kyoko, their buddy marco and miss hiyori join for talk at the 'tel. I tell them about stuff I learned in barcelona last week, what I saw and learn about catalan and galaicia (marco is from galicia) from them. interesting! they said that fucking camera pod missed them by one person - they were standing next to that lady at the gig, oh no! fuck. not a late konk, I like these.

   eight the next morning driverman clyde brings me, larry and roadboss eric to the heathrow airport. clyde said guitarman jimmy page last night watched the whole stooges set from stage starboard (my side), stood right next to him. crimony! we're 'pert near there when a taxi catches fire and plugs the road going under the runway. united airways has one check-person checking in people - I got fiftyfive minute's 'til my flight leaves! finally I get a united man's attention and he helps me expedite - luckily not much line for security and I hobble to the gate just as my boarding group is called - damn!

leaving england via heathrow london airport

it's raining so we're on the ground an hour (pushed off though, hatch closed) while they check to see if the runway's ok - we're giving the go-ahead and our 777 is in the air for the ten and a half hour flight to lax. even if my yellow clothes sack doesn't make it, I'm glad I did. only gonna be home for nine days and I got a butt-load to do. I clear customs quick and out comes the yellow clothes sack - whoa! waiting on the curb for three minutes, here comes rudy aguilar to get me - respect!

heading back to my pedro town on july 14, 2012

he gets me to my pedro town at three in the afternoon, him telling me about his trip to costa rica and bringing his son big nick - more respect! time to hose off and get in the rilakkuma pajamas cuz I don't care if it's still afternoon - I wanna lay on my own deck!

friday, july 27, 2012 - villafranca di verona, italy

   monday my sister got me to lax at six am, I'd already been up for three hours. I'm going to nyc ahead of this next string of stooges gigs in europe partly cuz I'm gonna record my best friend and hero raymond singing for our "sock-tight" proj which'll be a four song double seven inch vinyl release out in germany. I did the rhythm tracks already w/secondmen drummer jerry trebotic and old buddy dirk vandenberg (he took the cover shot of the "double nickels on the dime" minutemen album). it's six hours on a united airlines 757 for jfk. very sweaty in the chinatown part of manhattan, crimony. very nice of people so kind to bring me through all this traff. hand-pulled noodles and pork chop in a soup is what I chow and I dig.

   before recording raymond in the evening, there's a "china in print" exhibition at the met I hobble around seeing along w/some of the permanent stuff. man, this is a happening museum. again, so nice of kind people patient w/my hobbled lame self. I chow a seventeen dollar pastrami sandwich on the way up from a pad called "pastrami queen" - nyc is not an econo town. at raymond's workplace in the evening he does the "sock-tight" singing, aida joining him on one.

watt, lil'b, aida and raymond pettibon in raymond's workplace in nyc on july 24, 2012

they both are parents of bo willow who just turned six months old, I am so happy for them. we have some nyc mexican chow, trippy. I konk there, tuckered big time.

   time to do stooges gigs: I chow at shopsin's general store (trippy pad, interesting!), I chow a blt - of course I'm oblivious to retarded behavior from me, blacked out and (I'll get surprise briefing tomorrow - I'm so baka, so embarrassed/ashamed) but I got what I thought was restful konk and feel good... next I'm over to pier 66 where stooges roadboss eric works his other life cuz we're flying together over the atlantic. I get to see the lightship frying pan that started it all for him in the early 90s and the boxcar barge that is now the main part of their establishment, he's retrofitted and upgraded/installed so much great stuff himself, well-thought-out ideas and work from him, BIG respect!

eric fischer at pier 66 in nyc on july 25, 2012

   he has a car (kind of like taxi but not) come pick us up and take us to newark airport for flight to frankfurt on lufthansa (their main hub). it's seven hours and something on a 747 where I see this trippy movie "good night, and good luck" - I think mr clooney did a good job w/this look at mr morrow and some of his work. I get some konk and continue my cormac mccarthy "border trilogy" read. at frankfurt we have five hour layover and I am lucky where we leave for our verona flight is place w/not many folks and some padded seats I can konk on. hell, we see these two cats blow up a giant mattress and konk on that! five hours is kind of long but still better than being late, no prob. helperman derek and brother steve join us. it's a crj 700 to take us over the alps and into italy, a smaller plane. it takes about two hours, we land around two pm. I'm now nine hours ahead of my pedro town. before we took off I had a brad roll w/mustard and two frankfurter wursts (they come in twos, hooked together). yeah, the roll ain't long enough so they stick out the ends. actually, I don't think they really chow them like a hotdog but rather take bites of each, dipping them into mustard on a the paper plate...

   no time to rest though cuz we got a prac. about an hour after checking into the 'tel, "hotel expo verona" which actually ain't in verona but about ten miles away in a little suburb called villafranca cuz this is where the gig is tomorrow - we're like fifteen minutes away. we're doing prac at a little pad next to the venue which is a castle called castello scaligero a villafranca from the twelfth century and actually all there's left of it is the walled part though they are some really tall hefty ones. I spot something trippy, at a place where they've installed electrical stuff for the castle someone has graffitied "trane" on the hatch! you think it refers to john coltrane?

graffiti on castle scaligero on july 26, 2012 henry mcgroggan in villafranca, italy on july 26, 2012

   good to see tourboss henry again. helperman jos has got new haircut, looks good. mixerman max is looking even healthier than he did last tour leg - damn, I wanna be him! we have no p.a. so it's tough for brother steve and his sax but at least we can play loud on full-on drums, guitar and bass. james williamson looks good and healthy - he was in ireland and then here when I was back in pedro... he's been this side of the atlantic a bunch this summer, him and his wife linda - respect to them. drummerman larry still filling in for healing scotty-san rock action, he's firing on all cylinders like always and spreading joy the way he does. we run through all the tunes. james thanks me, larry and brother steve for coming right over to do prac after flying all that way (well, not that far for larry - he lives in berlin!) but we thank him cuz we dig prac so we can do good gig for stooges!

   back at the 'tel, il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea arrives to have chow w/me, verona is his home town though he now lives in berlin (germany) and right at this moment is between two weeks of vacation on the coast of croatia. we go into villafranca's downtown and each chow a piazza and catch up on stuff, it's been over a year since I've seen him. these are so much tastier than the peetz back home or rather just different - mine has this kind of mozzarella that's more buttery feel (burrata) and w/the pesto and their kind of pepperoni, it's very happening, molto gustoso! ten bells though and I'm tuckered. I ask him to get me tomorrow at ten am (twelve hours later) cuz he wants to show me stuff in the verona's old town. righteous!

   gig day and I pop at nine (I was tuckered) to find all the trough's been cleaned out by families w/kids but a roll w/some ham/cheese is ok for me cuz I'll chow w/fratello andrea. he gets me and first takes me to the basilica san zeno which is trippy - the marble from around here has a strong pink color about it. he then takes me to the arena di verona which was built by the romans. amazing, whoa. there's also the walls of the town - the old parts of this place were built into a big cure of adige river and then walls put were the river wasn't. as you get closer to the river, the older stuff gets. one square has a statue of dante - this was his first refuge after being exiled from his florence town. around ten years later came here to live again.

statue of dante alighieri in piazza dante, verona, italy on july 27, 2012

my second opera used the commedia for a parallel... grazie, signore dante, grazie. another trippy historical thing there in piazza dante is this "suggestion box" from the old days:

turn in your neighbor for usury, piazza dante, verona, italy on july 27, 2012


secret denunciations
aganist usurers and
usurary contracts
of any kind

oh, yes... the good old days! we spiel while I take lots of shots. I 'pert-near tumble once but somehow how stay on my feet. fratello andrea shows me the arche scaligere w/this riff on the jacob's ladder trip.

fence of arche scaligere, verona, italy on july 27, 2012

this gets me to thinking of my pedro town and I tell him about pilots and jacob's ladders - not airplane pilots but boat ones - he didn't know... he's a smart cat though and he informs me about much. here's something trippy: the flag of verona is real close to the flag of sweden - same colors but also w/the same colors is the flag that tells "pilot requested" - ain't that a trip? tangents and tangents, huh? all bouncing off of each other and shit... anyway, we get to the river bank and chow at a pad where I have a salad called insalata d'orzo

insalata d'orzo watt chowed in verona, italy on july 27, 2012

made of barley w/pesto, tomatoes, shrooms, celery and carrots. it's trippy, it's great. he points out across the river the roman theatre, mussolini got some of his nationalism going by getting the italian folks to foam on a "your roman glory and heritage" fantasy (the only time I played this town was in 2005 at a big refrigeration pad for trains that was never used, a huge white elephant - I think it's now called interzona - it got turned into an art space!), we talk about how folks can fall for such horseshit. well, they didn't after a while... but look at this berlusconi clown trying for a comeback a third time, crimony! history repeats itself only as farce - who dared say that? oh yeah, I see a monument to shakespeare:

shakespeare tribute in verona, italy on july 27, 2012

three of his plays are set here...

   we got soundcheck at three pm and man, it's broisting - incredibly. still, I'm real glad we get to do it. we get to the venue we find our all of little holes we thought yesterday were for shooting arrows our were not for that at all - jos straightens us out that they were actually used for the walls' construction, the holes being places the scaffolds were temporarily mounted as each "layer" was built up. thank you much, jos but damn, "glory holes" was my thinking - I mean if it was a perfect world. if you think that's funny, look at the gig poster:

stooges gig poster in villafranca di verona, italy on july 27, 2012

ig doing it for england! it does kind of make sense here at soundcheck now though cuz jos (from york part of england) is doing the singing for us. derek does guitar for us cuz james is in a 'tel too far to let him do it. looks like mr slouch did some work on brian michael bass - he put some motorcycle lens jewels where the volume/tone controls were after yanking them out (good) and wiring the pickup straight to the out put jack which now has a big washer behind it.

brian michael bass repaired by mr slouch in villafranca di verona, italy on july 27, 2012

derek does a great james williamson tribute and I even get him to run through "shake appeal" which I think he said he never did before but he's got a real good ear and can pick up on things quick. it's great prac for me, larry and brother steve and also w/jos singing - I know it's gotta be good for mixerman max out front getting a sound for tonight.

max bisgrove in villafranca di verona, italy on july 27, 2012

I know he might even have a hint more inspiration cuz he saw an opera last night at the arena. actually though, he's a righteous cat who's always big time motivated and never takes music for granted. I really admire max, he's the kind of musicman one day I wanna try and grow up to be.

   we finish up prac and I get some bubble water (one of my favorites: "san pellegrino" but I love anything frizzante) to bring back to the 'tel and man, am I gonna be happy to do a cold hose off - not a torture or heart attack like it might be at another time. I chimp diary 'til it's time to bail.

   no shovel at the gig, instead all of us enlisted men chow at pad called "ai tri volti" not too far from the venue around seven pm and joining us are me and brother steve's friends from ravenna: stefano, david and nerio. they had a great band called the spacepony but now stefano told me he just switched to bass and magic wood is the band's new name. seeing we're gonna be on stage in a few hours, I chow something lighter - I get a leek soup and a grilled pork chop, of course italian style. it's way happening, very oishii. also happening is the spiel w/our ravenna pals, great cats. stefano says he's gonna make it happen to have il sogno del marinaio play ravenna this coming february. he said he just saw brother lou barlow there and he had lost his glasses swimming which for him would be real bad cuz his eyes are like d. boon's... hell, w/out my glasses I can't even read my watch so I can imagine his nightmare. I hope he gets new ones soon as possible. david's not only a longshoreman (they call them stevedores here) but he also does lucha libre which is professional wrestling. oh yeah, he's the magic wood guitarist (he was also in the spacepony) too and nerio is the drummerman. it sure is nice visiting w/them great, real nice.

   we get to the venue at eight and a half and coincidentally that's when ig's car, then james' arrives. we get the prac stuff out and run through the tunes. since were playing in the middle of this castle that's now just an open grass field, the dressing rooms are portable ones in the back so the opening bands are pretty loud but still we can get prac done. we go through all the tunes, ig coming in part way to give us briefing for the show - he says he likes my outfit, "quite chic" he says, whoa. I'm real glad he likes it, chic working clothes - I'm into it. I try changing the batteries in the pignose amp, voila! sound is better. baka watt. I toss them bad ones. I arrived in the stage outfit, after street outfit is in plastic sack. I brought the yellow clothes sack cuz driverman clyde's driving up the brenner pass to berlin w/jos' van right after the gig. it is sweaty/humid (mushiatsui) but not as bad as earlier at soundcheck. I force down four bottles of that fucking terrible tasting sports drink shit and pray I don't get cramps from sweating too much cuz you know what? I 'pert-near positively am gonna sweat too much and so is larry in the boilersuit he's got on.

   five minutes after ten I head for the stage. I'm in the wings stage-starboard and I can see the stairs where the guys are gonna come up. ten minutes later I see them arrive, ig take a big swig from a water bottle and then his mouth opens in a holler that sends larry and james running to their positions - I begin my hobble fast as I can. I ain't got the bass so jos puts it on me and good, no twist in the strap. what ain't so good is there's nothing coming out of the amps! thank god for the monitor wedges even if the sound is harsh w/ugly high end (it's coming from the bass' direct signal) cuz that's better than nothing. I see jos get behind my stack to see what's up and then look over to the standby switches... both amps are on standby! I mouth that to jos and he gets them happening. I'm a little unsettled and not so smooth but little by little get it together. "raw power" maybe? as far as my amps and nerve go, a shaky start. much more on it for me w/number two, "search and destroy" and the gig-goers are fired up pretty well and you can feel it, great support but then so is ig who's working it good. larry's slammin' but man, his snare's sounding a little flappy (later he told me somehow it got stretched out during the line check), this though does not rob him of any beat stuff whatsoever, he's wailing on it, respect. a few bottles come up on stage but they're plastic and hit no one. "gimme danger" next and the snare's sounding better, good work from larry tuning it up. my shoes and the deck around them are getting soaked w/my headsweat. I feel good though, it's a happening gig. I roll up my sleeves for "shake appeal" as ig calls for dancers, we get a bunch and do it up good - there's some characters, one dude w/trippy facial hair and vest, very interesting - good dancer. lots of good dancers... one cat in tiny shorts that say "I heart ny" on the butt has got this certain kind of shimmying thing going, trippy. there's some sisters dancing up a storm too, it's wild up here - when we finish, ig tells the folks something like "they're right, italians do do it better!" respect. for the second time ever (despite what you might've heard), we do "I got nothin' and I think I might've blow a slight clam somewhere here, maybe - not so sure but like they said in the old days: "call 'em as you see 'em unless you don't see 'em - then make it up" or something like that. don't worry, later in the set I blow an vongola ("clam" in italiano) I'm sure everyone in this whole pad knew was sour-ass! ig calls for "1970" right quick and we give it to him like that and it's slammin' - it's getting real hot for us now, ig dumping bottles of water over his head but not pausing for a moment, the assault is full on. he calls for "fun house" next, calls out brother steve's name as he's blowin' hard, respect. lots of feedback from me in "l.a. blues" - I think these monitors are cranked too hard cuz it's them squealing and not the amps. ha! james williamson said mr slouch's bass repair job was "the antidote to monkey-humping" and I think he's right cuz she's holding up fine. back into vongola territory some in "night them" - not big ones but some fucking 'a' notes where I should've had 'd' ones, fucking baka watt. ahh, so embarrassing - I wanna do good for stooges, do good for my il sogno del marinaio fratelli and the ravenna fratelli - fuck, for everyone, for christ's sake - this writing must read like it's coming from a 'tard, I'm so sorry! back good and together for the "skull thing"/"beyond the law" choo-choo train (ig singing it great!) but hell, it's 'pert-near all choo-choo train 'til the closer now - "I got a right" right on the back, MAYBE a breath in between - he does what he told us in the before-gig briefing, he holds up before singing the first verse while we riff to get going what he called a groove and looks like some big time shaking - works good. bam! we're straight into "I wanna be your dog" and though there's no video or screens to show what's up close, ig gets into the moat to work the barrier. you can really tell he digs the crowd and man, have they been just the best to play for, much passion they flow to us! respect. ig gets back up on stage w/us when we take it down - "is that jazz?" he asks james as he crawls by him on all fours. "johanna" right away but slowing things down about cuz of it's tempo but not its intensity, that's for damn sure! ig belts this baby out good too, man is he doing good w/the swelter. me, I got the outfit soaked and a puddle at my feet from sweat, praying I don't get cramps or slip and fall... we're straight into "kill city" and here's where I clam like a motherfucker - it's only one note, I think right before the second chorus but it's all out there by it's self w/nothing to hide it, what was supposed to be a 'd' note ends a halftone flat and james looks at me like someone you know knows what you know - damn, I'm so sorry, sorry... after the tune's done and he changes guitar, I go up to him apologize while ig gives our closer an intro... man, I feel like digging a huge hole to leap into but I think figure even better would be to make sure I play better. "open up and bleed" is really happening, ig tells first about being angry for having so much tyranny on him, how it was fucked up. we wind the ending way up w/james not letting go for the longest time but freaking out along w/me and larry for the longest while - actually larry comes off the beat and starts accenting to my lick, damn I know he must be burning up in that boilersuit, probably losing a kilo or two. trippy version ending, we run off (I hobble) and get the word from ig - it'll be "penetration" when we go back and then he'll call the rest. "no fun" he hints is last but then tells the folks "I lied!" and calls for "louie louie" (in a!) and I probably play it the best I ever have, I'm getting it together eventually! "cock in my pocket" is what I think is our last one tonight - ig asked for it a "tiny bit more moderate" and larry does just that though it's still pretty kickin'... I hobble off the stage like a baka cuz ig wants to do one more - I hear roadboss eric hollering for me but it's dark and I almost trip and crumble and have to ride out the momentum but it prolly looks like I'm running away... I am such an idiota, fucking idiota - I think of the ramp instead of the stairs cuz it's safer - I hear ig holler for the bass, the hear "you're busted!" - fuck, am I stupid. jos gets the bass on me and immediately we launch into "your pretty face is going to hell" w/ig right there next to me singing the first verse, no hard look - I think he forgives me... THANK YOU IG! god I felt like a big time baka. I do hunker down and focus hard though. ig catches a shirt someone throws at him while he's singing and uses it for a towel to dry off a little w/not losing a step and 'pert-near like it was choreographed, righteous. when we're we are done and I holler "forza italia" after handing the bass to derek but then realize that was fucking baka cuz it's also the goddamn name berlusconi used for a party back in the 90s - I think they're now gone but what an idiot - I'm so glad I didn't have a mic and later I said it again off stage to mock my idiot self and hope folks understood the irony. sometimes I don't know about me, shit.

   whoa, I hobble back to the dressing room to get some frizzante water down the hatch, whew... ig's trying on some belts someone gave him, they look neat. I guess his got broke during the gig sometime, I don't know - he show's tourboss henry it, yep, it looks broke. I ask ig if he dug the gig and he said he did - and he said I did good, yes, that's happening, grazie ig. actually I could he feel he was digging the gig cuz he connected good w/the Italiano gig-goers and I felt him enjoying it.

   I go out to meet my il sogno del marinaio brothers... I see giancarlo and his buddy - they go and get fratello ste and fratello andre - yes, they're here! so good to see them both, I'm very happy, very happy!!! I hug them both and one of andrea's hobocombo members, francesca (other member rocco's here too!) takes our picture:

fratelli stefano pilia, mike watt and andrea belfi in villafranca di verona, italy on july 27, 2012

does watt look like he's happy? fuck yeah he does cuz he is - he loves his fratelli!

   the security soon chases everyone away so I have to say arrivederci but soon we work out tour ideas to play stuff from our debut album AND... starting working on numero due!

   I give my yellow clothes sack to driverman clyde cuz roadboss eric's asked us to make plane ride easier that way. I tell clyde "safe seas" cuz late night driving is so scary for me. I want him safe. we do the short drive back to the 'tel, larry leading us through some george jones tunes. I konk quick after hosing off. what a great way to start a tour leg!

sunday, july 29, 2012 - paaren im blien, germany

   yesterday I popped at six and half bells but that still ain't early enough to catch sunrise, damn cuz my porthole faces east. I do get shot of it not too high in the sky though.

sunrise in villafranca di verona on july 28, 2012

man, do I love this time of day, my favorite time believe or not cuz to me it can mean that "potential" word big time. it reminds me of something I read like a month ago from 2ne1 member minzy: "it's not the blows you deal but how you deal w/the blows you get" - man is she wise beyond her years. respect I do big hot soak, this cabin's tub's got those water jet bubble things and I'm sore from last night's playing so it feels real good. very easy out for us today, one pm - thank you tourboss henry! not only was this 'tel close to the venue but it's also close to the 'port. I chow maybe not the best soosh from a chow pad after security called "zushi" but then again I don't puke either.

   like a baka I get in the line for passport check - the lady in front of me has a kosova one, first time I've seen one of these - anyway, I am baka cuz both italy and germany are e.u. so you don't have to stuff like so there's a half hour wasted (line was moving slow). sometimes I'm frightfully unaware, I tell you. I get to the right part of the 'port and join the guys on an airberlin a320 from here verona to berlin that's thirty minutes late. ciao italia. the flight attendant offers "sweet or salty snack" - never heard it like that before. well, "salty" ends up being something called "bifi" which is like a "slim jim" ala corndog-like "package" type of deal. the flight's an hour and a half and we land at tegel airport which is drummerman larry's favorite airport (he lives in this town). last summer when we did a couple of german gigs, the driverman was a nice cat named norm and he's the one who picks us up and brings us to the part that used to be on the other side of the wall and is right near the museum stuff (museum island), not too far from the reichstag. for the only time I think this summer the whole team is together at the same 'tel. it's a fancy pad called the "hotel de rome" in the friedrichstadt neighborhood which used to be the nazi reichbank and not far from the memorial to the murdered jews of europe but also it's the former east part (ddr) that was soviet controlled - the crosswalks have ampelmannchen pedestrian warning lamps. I think maybe some former east manholes survive also. it's some vietnam curry and rice from a pad called "viet-box" (yeah, the chow's in carton) that's only three euros... berlin is the most econo of europe's big towns to live in, that's the word from larry.

   gig day: there's a great shovel at this 'tel. salmon, herring, shrimps, sun dried tomatoes, marinated shrooms, grilled eggplant and zucchini slices - even chili sauce w/some heat to go on top! at one me and larry go to james' cabin to do prac and run through all the tunes - no complaints from neighbors - maybe cuz of the thick walls? this did used to be a huge bank!

   lobby call for the band is a quarter of eight. after a fortyfive minute drive we arrive at the venue which is like a campground kind of nature place twentyfive miles northwest of berlin. this gig's called the greenvile music festival and we're headlining the third and final day. we pass a dog racing track on the way, that's what driverman norm tells us, it's "little town land" here where he says he guesses folks didn't have much to do in the former ddr (if you remember, west berlin was kind of a surrounded island). there's a fog rolling in but the rain's holding off, good. now we already did our prac back at the 'tel so it's a little different for us, just waiting in a room w/out any playing for an hour and a half. ig comes in to ask me and larry to do the "kill city" ending james has worked out for us the last bunch of gigs. I mean larry taps the table and I make bass sounds w/my mouth. he asks us to do it three times to see where we're at, see if we're consistent. he comes back a little later and asks us to do it once more. we're tight and ig's happy. ten minutes ahead of go time (which is supposed to be quarter after ten), roadboss eric leads me up to the outdoor stage, it's a tiny one, like twenty feet or so wide and not very deep. for the first time I see the new kit larry's got from uno, it's the color of timpani (copper-looking) but stainless steel. very nice. jos brings me my bass on stage starboard where the gig-goers can't see me, the turbonegro guys gather around to say hi, they just played here. happy thom's got a one-pocket flannel, what's that about? love that man though. euroboy too - he tells me to please play on the lower note frets! will try my best. peaches is here too to watch, much respect! she talks some to me about stuff.

   it's time, I see across the stage to the back james and larry do their run-on - I hobble towards my station as "raw power" erupts from james' guitar... I get the plug from jos and into my bass just in time and yeah, the amps are on and we're go! looks like ig's wearing one of them new belts he just got in italy. he's on fire. we're in real tight on each other, the sound rockin' - "search and destroy" next and it's tight. the moon's just past half and right up in front of us. it ain't too hot but ain't cold either, so glad it ain't raining like this morning actually. we deliver "gimme danger" and I like the sound of these new drums... larry could probably make cardboard boxes full of magazines sound good though - I shit thee not! we get done and ig asks for folks to come on the stage w/us, bring chaos - I think of this being former ddr and the sitch being trippy but maybe most the crowd so young as not to really remember it? they dance w/abandon w/us for "shake appeal" and it's good good fun. I get many hugs, I get a book of pictures from one cat, henry helping him off but giving him time to show me shots of ig. those "first gig of a tour leg jitters" gone from me now, I'm looser and clamming way less then a couple of days, doing our "new" one "I got nothin'" more smoov, all of it - "1970" as well which is way hard chargin' and ig don't have to cover as much territory so he can give more wind to singing which is real strong. he calls for "fun house" and we wail on it, ig calling out brother steve's name - jos has really gotten his sax up in the stage mix and you can tell ig can hear him better these last two gigs (thank you to jos). the laney bass amps ain't on a dolly but right on the stage so their more solid and I can bang them more w/the bass in the bologna seat for "l.a. blues" and get some howling as well - from the amps cuz the monitors ain't that much which is ok cuz of the smaller stage. I'm sweating now, getting a little bit of a breather for "night theme" and james sure is playing good as I get some perspective w/that breather, yeah I think he's brought out a better bass part in me for this tune. for some reason I start thinking about something he said while we were waiting to go on, about "kill city" and how close elton juan's "saturday night's alright for fighting" has a chorus that sounds like it - you know he showed up a stooges gig (I think it was in atlanta) back in the 70s in a gorilla suit, right? well james said they did shop the "kill city" album to his "rocket" label then and I'm thinking that was around the same time period... man, that's some nerve, huh? good hook you wrote there, james - that guy should some day acknowledge that if it's true (I learned later elton juan's release was 1973 - too early so maybe james is mistaken?). anyway... back to the gig and what about "skull thing" and "peter gun" maybe you might be thinking? ronnie said they both were "completely different" is how I think he put it. powerful singing from ig for "beyond the law" and quick after he asks for a right - we give him "I got a right" and charge hard, ig at the bow of the boat. whoa. larry's drums are snappin'-crackin' hard, great sounding - he gets us into "I wanna be your dog" and ig's got the mic by the cord in his mouth and paws up in the air. he rolls on his back on the stage feet from me during james' solo, intense. he's got an aura that just captivates me but it's not paralyzing but the opposite in that enables me to be less about doing parts and actually becoming the music instead of just doing it... it's like all those silly boundaries being propped up by bullshit are just tore away - I yank my biggest string for the last e note like the bass was a bow. "johanna" follows, yeah all us this close together really gets things lit - of course this I am w/my bands, all in tight and near to each other so maybe that's what I'm used to but it seems, uh, damn - don't know how to put it. the gig becomes "kill city" and ig tells the gig-goers the band is rockin' - alright, respect to him! I don't blow the same stupid clam I did last night, make damn sure of that - I can see larry mouth a "quack!" every time I holler (no mic on me, don't worry) "give the boy a goose!" and can't help but crack my brains up. someone threw up a little rubber toy pig that someone wrote "iggy pork" on its sides and I stuff it in my back pocket, trippy.

'gift' thrown up on stage during stooges gig in paaren im blien, germany on july 29, 2012

a little more serious for "open up and bleed" cuz the sincere way, yeah, I said sincere - the sincere feelings I get from ig singing this is serious for me. I can't keep w/larry at the very very end and have to pull out before he quits but not much before. we leave the stage, the bass player hobbling over last to the read of stage port, into a little kind of tent thing - ig says three more but it turns into five cuz he's having a good time, so very positive these gigs we've just had - I love when he loves it. jos gets the bass to me all tuned just in time for "penetration" (and damn, I'm the one first to begin the charge back!) and I think about euroboy telling me to stay low on the bass but ig wanted me going up an octave every other time for turnaround... then "no fun" for the closer - nope, we got more "louie louie" and it's gets a little loosey loosey w/the last verse cuz I guessed wrong when ig was coming back but we shut it off tight and then right into "cock in my pocket" - again ig tells the folks we're rockin', alright, I feel it too, but dig the fact so much he's diggin' it, I dig that big time. we go off but me on my own side - hell if I'm getting off the stage though 'til I see the other guys do it first... sure enough, ig calls for "one more!" and we do "your pretty face is going to hell" w/the longest wildest drawn-out ending ever I think this tune's had - I do descending gliss burps an octave apart in bursts (sorry euroboy! at least they ain't arpeggios or intervals though!) - boom ig slams us down done, the gig's "alles tun" (all done).

   I hobble back to the dressing room area w/the turbonegro guys after getting big hug from their new singer tony. all of them are great cats. I'm so glad happy thom realized my outfit was gray/silve and not khaki, so glad! he gives me their new album, very grateful watt. unfortunately I can't see my guests phili or andrea w/her band - it's organized (unorganized) kind of lame here for that. I do get to talk w/adam pearson who was playing w/davis-kramer-thompson last summer in france - it was the last time I saw michael davis and sent him my third opera soon as I got home. he had asked about knee stuff cuz he'd hurt his... man, he was kind to me. adam told me he played for a little while as a bassist for johnny thunders in the late 80s, whoa! I loved johnny thunders. I remember once in the old days when me and bob mould was talking on the phone (me and d. boon put out the first husker du album "land speed record"), I asked him who his favorite guitarist was and he said johnny thunders. adam sure is a nice guy. it sure is trippy how things can be connected, crimony. drummerman larry's drummakerman udo masshoff is here and I get to learn how he bent flat pieces of stainless steel into tapered cylinders that became the drum shells of this new set. pretty fucking wild. he's quite passionate... these are the kind of cats we need in music, people!

   norm gets us back by one am, says he could've driven faster but his van was running on fumes - we 'pert-near ran out of fuel! good to hear that at the end and not during, huh? he's a good cat. I hose off and konk in short order, all tuckered.

thursday, august 2, 2012 - avenches, switzerland

   monday pop and have great shovel at the trough downstairs, all the fish and olive-oiled veggies I've been putting down the in-hole yesterday morning. damn, chowing like this will not hell belling prob, especially not being in pedro w/my elliptical trainer.

   I have brother steve come over to my cabin to do sax for my "sock-tight" proj. I got that name from a richard meltzer poem. it's in some way a tribut to a band called can from germany. it's gonna be a double seven inch vinyl release w/a mini gate-fold sleeve, like in the old days where you could use them to clean your mota. thinking of can was only a starting point though, it is nowhere near a rubber stamp trip. brother steve listens to each of the four tracks one at a time and then gives them two passes each w/his tenor... he does great. like a baka I forgot to take pictures but then again I didn't wanna make him nervous either, I wanted nothing to take away from his focus. he does beautiful. I work on these tracks, for chow some soosh at a pad nearby run by vietnam folks for dinner. wine from the ravenna friends brought to me from brother steve.

   last day in berlin is best day of weather yet. another repeat of the morning shovel but this time like the rest of the team, I order some fried eggs to go w/and put them into rolled up toast w/the sun-dried tomatoes. that's real good.

   museum time: hobble over across street and see automobile driving by w/an amplemann paint job and get distracted, not noticing two-inch high curb and crumple on cobblestone sidewalk. I was even more baka not to roll but thank god I'm lucky and not too much hurt. quickly it's time to get my mind off of this and over to german history museum

in front of the german history museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

ddr exhibition at the german history museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

art outside the neue museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

where they got "fokus ddr" exhibition which actually ain't all the much but it's enough for some freak-out (james williamson later told me I should've checked out the check-point charley museum but I didn't know there was one. I did go through check-point charley every time I played west berlin in the old days.) and actually no hankering for ostalgie or violent knee-jerk but maybe kind of like bowel-rumbling and wanting to hear thoughts from raymond. I've always learned the most from him. mixmerman max told me to see the neues museum cuz his girlfriend is helper for architect david chipperfield and I'm informed he used windows and modern stuff to help w/the rebuilding of this pad that was blasted in the last days of the second world war, lots of scars from that remaining.

war damaged parts of the neue museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

inside are many artifacts from old old egypt, amazing. there's a book of the dead on one bulkhead as well as lots of stuff like stellas and statues both little and small. so great to see all these things in person.

cat + bird mummies at the neue museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

part of  the egyptian book of the dead at the neue museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

old egyptian stela with pelicans at the neue museum in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

   drummerman larry's buddy ingo has got a studio called candybomber at the old tempelhoff airport which was used by the u.s. army and cia before the wall fell (die wende) and when I get done w/the museum stuff, I go w/james and max in a cab there to hear work their doing on a french singlady's new album. man, is there great gear here, crimony!

telefunken desk at candybomber studio in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

all tube four track at candybomber studio in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

also, ingo's a bassman, has several bitchin' basses. respect. here's a trippy thing: larry plays w/jesse evans and she's got new people in italy booking her gigs. well, they also got a label and were at the gig day before yesterday and said they dug the way me and larry played together so they asked if we'd do an album for them... when larry wrote me about this I hollered back "fuck yeah!" hard and fast as I could. damn. maybe we do it here w/ingo? I think he'd be bitchin' people to do it w/even though larry was talking about winter maybe (and fucking berlin winters are fucking cold) I would still be into it big time - fucking if a berlin winter's gonna get in the way of something like that w/me! back at the 'tel for last dinner in berlin, I chow great donner kebab.

   wednesday we bail at seven crack-of-dawn bells but the trough opens a half hour before so I get one good shovel of the good shit! respect to this 'tel for their morning trough!

last chow at the hotel de rome in berlin, germany on august 1, 2012

the cats here were real nice too, didn't mind if I looked econo or hobbled. we make for the schonefeld airport which is southeast of berlin so we drive through stuff I ain't much, there's some parts of the wall still up as art/memorial kind of thing:

parts of the wall in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

parts of the wall in berlin, germany on july 31, 2012

larry hates this airport but we're at a kind of regional wing and it's very simple/easy for us and not the chaos he says is at the main part. some baka left his stuff alone on a seat near me so the politzei wanna ask what's up as I'm chimping diary. I'm a little startled but they're very nice and give me no hassle. when they find that baka guy, they give him a talking to though, I hear him answer "versteht" (understood) and "alles klar" (everything is clear) many times. people, please be careful at fucking airports cuz there's enough hell already, crimony! the flight attendant gives her whole emergency hatch spiel cuz he's in that kind of seat in german and he nods his head many times (though he doesn't speak german) and almost gets away w/it 'til roadboss starts laughing his head off. that was a trip. we leave around nine am for about a hundred minutes flight on a skywork dornier 328 turboprop which holds like thritythree people from berlin to bern, bear city to bear city (both use kuma for their symbol from the old days). whoa, the swiss franc has gone up, almost even now w/the u.s. dollar. actually the airport's in a town called belb and it takes about a half hour to get to avenches, where the gig is. our 'tel is not to far from venue in avenches called "lacotel" is across the road from a cornfield. it looks like a family trip and there's close by a camping ground. VERY warm weather, never been this hot for me in switzerland before. I gotta konk and protect health. I get naked, sweat and konk.

   it's swiss national day and so I learn the their confederation goes back to 1291, crimony... they're 'pert-near five hundred years older than us! first of august is like their first of august it appears. I pop at ten pm and find larry and max outside at a table. larry's been waiting forever for this soup they've been cooking all day in two big cauldrons - turns out to have much grease from the pieces of ham cooked in it and not much of the spit-pea or whatever we heard it was mostly gonna be. max don't eat meat so he says no.

max + larry in avenches, switzerland on august 1, 2012

I think it's good but just have one bowl. the cornball oomph two piece band using mostly backing tracks is kind of egging on nightmare... there's fireworks but a big rain puts a damper in that pamper. by the time the combo morphs from old timey beer putsch into achey-breaky-heart/tutti-frutti melody, I've had enough and make for my sweaty cabin but I did have great rap w/max and larry - those cats are righteous.

   I konk all the way to nine bells cuz of the konk debt incurred (love early pops for flights on days off that require no early arrival) and there's only some ham and cheese for a sandwich along w/some coff. jos, clyde and eric are there though and make for good spiel so who cares about meager trough? at least it's gratis. I have a cherry yogurt too.

   we do soundcheck a little before one pm at then venue which is an old roman amphitheater. some castle stuff was built around it later. we try "the passenger" cuz james said word had come down suggesting maybe doing it. he has me change some parts of the original bass line, no prob. we run through a bunch of songs from the set. larry's new drums sure look good.

larry's new drum set with jos in avenches, switzerland on august 2, 2012

watt, larry + james at soundcheck in avenches, switzerland on august 2, 2012

   we chow after in the part of town close by and I get a real good salad and some lasagna. yeah, maybe very soft ("overcooked pasta" says james) but I like it for this, its their style. james says I'm too kind. this is the part where french switzerland meets german switzerland. I find out from helperman derek that he did a session w/anton from brian jonestown massacre the other night in berlin, whoa. he says he's much more together now. I can't wait to hear the results!

   we go back to the 'tel and I chimp diary before konking all naked cuz it's a total shvitz in my cabin.

   I pop a half hour before the nine and a half bail time - how? I know not. I do know it takes only five minutes to get to the little town where the amphitheater/medieval fort is it sounds like the band playing now is doing "the passenger" in french. larry pleads w/roadboss eric for the deli tray who is kind to bring it so we can have some little meats w/some litt pickles w/some parts of cheese slices but no mustard. yeah, this whole time larry said he was gonna deliver tubes of the tartness ended up being only taunt but man, that cat was busy w/much other stuff so I understand. ig, nina, james and tourboss henry arrive a half hour later and we start doing prac w/the little amps. for some reason there's a hot tub in the middle of the backstage compound - yeah, big fucking hot tub so we change all of ig's lyrics for prac to hot tub ones. he comes over to do "the passenger" w/us, no hot tub lyrics there. we're on at 11:35 so doing prac sure helps w/passing the time in a productive way. right near the end of the prac however the sky opens up w/rain and I mean big time pissing. we're in the backstage made of little tents so you can hear it pounded down and soon as we're finished w/prac, we gotta get everything off the deck cuz it's flooding, especially max's 'puter which we do, just before the sparks might've started flying. ten minutes to go and it stops though and I use this to hobble to the wings on my side of the stage.

   jos gets me the brian michaels bass and I get it on. clyde's there and asks me about changing strings. I tell him I don't do it much these days and wish these guys wouldn't either except for when they get dented up on the sides where they hit the frets - I let him run his fingers under the strings so he can feel what I mean. this gig here is part of the rock oz'arenes festival and they had zz top a few days ago and alice cooper is tomorrow. I look out and see how the pad had emptied out during the deluge and can't blame them in the slightest but they are returning which is a mindblow for me cuz I thought for sure they'd bail for home. only a couple minutes after what was planned for downbeat, I see larry run for his drums and wave his arm at me - yes, jos was right they were ready... I hobble out but real careful like... sure am glad the stage had a covering to keep the deck dry, have to admit I wish the gig-goers had one too... seems not... well... "raw power" from james means I gotta stop this kind of thinking - first thing I notice is we're back a few feet from the stage from where we were at soundcheck which ended up being good but my amps both being turned down ain't and I get one of the up some soon as I can. the gig-goers are enthusiastic despite them being pissed on by clouds, ig holds back not one iota and gives it all he's got. just before "search and destroy" I get the other amp up, now that's better. larry's new drums sure sound good - thank you, udo but thank you for being the stickman w/the beat in his hand, brother larry! "gimme danger" soon as ig tells the folks we're the fucking stooges. kind of clanging sound on the bass I didn't hear at soundcheck but w/the preamp behind the laney's, it's impossible to make adjustments - I guess if I had a tone control I could roll some off but the "monkey-humping" has busted them off. we finish that tune and ig right away asks for dancers - "chaos!" he asks for, even imploring roadboss for more and more to be allowed up - "let 'em up here, eric!" and then "too much security!' is his subtle observation. we get about fifteen w/us before starting "shake appeal" and the folks get their dance on. one cat has a pretty tame approach near me but he's groovin' most interestingly so I get into it and play to him. it looks like he's wearing three heavy coats. "I need somebody" is back in the set, soon as ig says "thank you, swiss dancers!" we play the goddamn blues. it's as if we never stopped doing it, sounds good. "I'm gonna hit you hard" he tells the folks as we shove "1970" through the out-door, we do hit hit 'em hard. "fun house" is the immediate follow up w/ig doing the call and response w/us in between some amazing steppin' and dancin' - he's foot seems ok or at least he ain't letting it mute him none. double "monkey-humping" for me tonight cuz I wanna - some straight eights on the b-flat for "night theme" I think's a good salt and pepper for the half-step pivot on the c. we thread the "skull thing" onto "beyond the law" - I guess some beer company called "cardinal" is part of sponsoring this fest and one of their tiny-brim hats flies up on stage, ig stomps it, yeah! "can I get a right?!" he hollers - larry gives it to him via the snare LOUD - we're off, "I've got a right" blasting away. larry puts in the stop before james' guitar solo - I said something about that and damn if he don't enact that in this moment. "I wanna be your dog" up right after, ig stays on the stage w/us though. there's cameras going and he's worked the moat some but he stays up here w/us for this baby, some deck writhing and then telling the folks when we get small, "I don't wanna be your president, I don't wanna be your mom or dad, I don't wanna be a cop... I wanna get fucked, like a dog" - yeah, something analytical like that. "johanna" up right after, slammin' hard and steady, ig singing very emotional, singing very well... steve blowin' good and hard on the sax. happy spirit for ig w/"kill city" - he sings some of a verse right to james w/a smile on his face. we get done w/that and then he tells the gig-goers he used to be a very good looking man but still felt like ripping his guts out so he could "open up and bleed" - that's our closer. can't believe the rain stopped for the stooges for a whole gig but yep, once again it happens. brother steve seems to think it has to w/some kind of magnetic field. anyway, I'm soaked w/sweat cuz even though it poured for a bit, it ain't cold. the end-up finds me w/a larry that won't quit - just me and him left and I keep up w/the fucking wailing tempo he's got but gotta let go when he knocks one of his crash cymbals on me - I didn't wanna get the oddjob, know what I'm saying?! he lets me use his shoulder to help hobble offstage w/and we join the rest of the guys around ig. I'm bent over getting my breath, he says let's get back to it and we bring "penetration" and then after saying we're fucked up people - the last few shows he's been saying the stooges (and himself) are fucked up people but tonight he says the folks in attendance are fucked up too, we're one big bunch of fuck ups. time for "no fun" and it's a good time. then I go to tune up while he tells the people this is first for the stooges, doing "the passenger but actually our first gig w/james williamson in sao paulo (brazil) was the first (and only) time we did it. it goes pretty good after a little bit of a shaky start but I'm thinking a little different now cuz right after he calls for "cock in my pocket" and my 'a' string is a fucking half-step sharp, the same goddamn clam that happened in perth and 'the big day out' gig last year. it happened cuz I read the boss tuner wrong, not seing the dot that means sharp. it's the reason james got me the korg tuner w/the big sharp sign instead of just a little dot. damn am I stupid. I hear it right away and so does ig - he's down in the moat and looks up at the stage w/a "what the fuck?" face and thank god he stops us - I whup it tune right away and he counts us back in (a matter of only a few secs) and it goes good but I feel like the biggest baka ever and the wind's kind of taken out of my sails. now "the passenger" uses three of the four main notes on the 'e' string but that 'c' and the 'b' w/the fill are on the 'a' so... fuck, nobody says anything to me later but I think I stunk it up there. "cock..." has so much 'a' string there's no way to avoid but... ah fuck, I feel like the hugest idiot in the world. I gotta get it into my thick head that that white boss tuner is for muting and that's all! we come off stage and it's hard to understand what tourboss henry means by "go!" but I get the idea ig wants us back (at least I'm not a baka and leave the stage like last in italy!) when henry adds a finger pointing to his "go!" command... we do "your pretty face is going to hell" and I'm tuned up right but my performance itself a little muted, I'm so embarrassed... ig sings the first verse by me though and has a good spirit about him, he's very kind or just wants to move on and I love that. we end w/a "louie louie" ("in the key of a" says ig) that gets extended w/a "bring it down" portion that let's the bass line I wrote for the verse show good, we end the gig. whew. roadboss eric helps me down the wet path backstage w/a flashlight and I give him the apology he deserves cuz I was a snapatola right on the way to the stage when queried about where that blue backup bass was (damn, he only asked a question, baka watt!). he's a good man and like I said, deserves it.

   I get out of the wet outfit and hear ig in the tent next to us ask james about "cock..." and I hobble quick right over and tell him it was me and I was out of tune like a baka and made it sound like shit through a soda straw and tell him he was right to stop and I tuned right back up but I apologize for blowing such a dumbfuck clam, then I hobble back. I'm always gonna owe up to him and never try to get away shit I know is not happening, never. he deserves the truth always.

   I ask roadboss eric for a ride back to the 'tel (he asks what's the secret word and I say "bail") cuz it's one am and I'm and plus I'm scared for my health cuz of a crack-of-dawn pop due in the morning. he arranges one for me like (beautiful man) and on my way out I see clyde getting ready w/jos' van for the thirteen hour hellride he's got to poland tomorrow. "safe seas" I tell clyde and then in five minutes I'm back at the 'tel. I hose off and konk soon as I can, I'm beat and a little bit demoralized cuz of my own stupid self.

saturday, august 4, 2012 - katowice, poland

   pop when roadboss eric pounds on my hatch - damn, it's twenty of eight am, I'm ten minutes late like a baka! brother steve is a few minutes later than me, eric says I can take some solace in that but I still feel baka. ninetyfive minute car ride to basel euroairport. we pass thomy mustard factory on the way... damn, if only... we actually pass into france some... eric is kind enough to purchase for me coff and pretzel after clearing security (such a breeze, 'pert-near empty 'port) w/swiss francs cuz I have none. I paid the 'tel tab in euros - twenty fucking euros (about twentyfive u.s. dollars, fifteen for the fucking soup!) for two beers and a small bowl of that soup they cooked up for their first of august day - burnward! insult to injury: no fucking mustard here for the pretzle, what?! eleven am flight on lufthansa crj 700 for frankfurt (hello again, will see you on way back home soon?) takes seventy minutes. I get porthole seat next to brother seat. I wanna bathe him in farts but don't... why did I chimp that? he's the best! bill bartell of white flag wants him to play some sax on some stooges covers so I'll record him soon as I can, maybe in france. four hour layover. I chimp diary. I chow a reisenbockwurst w/bread and... finally... yes, MUSTARD! (some fried onions too) the wurst has good snap on the skin. damn if the bread's big enough though...

reisenbockwurst watt chowed at frankfurt airport on aug 3, 2012

an hour and a half on lufthansa 737 for katowice in poland and we land there about twenty of six. nice little modern airport, very easy to navigate. no passport checks here (they're e.u.) but then there was none either in switzerland (they're not e.u.), very casual and calm. kind of rainy but warm/humid too. we're taken out of the woods into downtown to a konk pad called "hotel angelo," first passing a gig hall from the communist days that looks like a spaceship, we're informed by ceo co-boss ania who was there to meet us when we arrived off the plane but I was too baka to mention 'til now. nice no-vibe place, I like it much - good and fast internet.

   I got an email the other day from charley plymell and in it is a poem from his buddy gerard malanga - I quote it here:

"le vite nuove"

It's apparent I've been busy with my own vite nuove from day one,
attempting to recount the history of my times,
as if in saying so,
someone I once knew manages to cross the Ponte Vecchio
with an aura demarcating time. A slight, remembered voice,
a glowing state of grace,
en route to where, I wonder?
Piazza del Popolo?
the via Manzoni?
Metropolitan Ave?
The Coney Island Steeplechase of fun & mirrors.
The Playland of Times Square where Gerardo took me after suppers at the Automat.
I wonder why we never posed inside the photobooth
father/son look-alikes huddled in together smiling, laughing.
Our faces flush with fun.
And then the late nite rush the D train to the Bronx;
walking past the cottage where a man named Edgar Allan Poe
once lived surrounded by the silky drifts of snow
and howling winds. I sometimes thought to visit him. I didn't know.
I never thought someday the moving finger writes and having writ,
the moving pen moves on just like his. Each window candle-lit.
Those names addresses disconnected phones.
Those yesteryears. No way of reaching back.
You find yourself alone
say settled under some idyllic English tree
without emotions recollected in tranquility...

without recollections...

...without tranquility.

beautiful. I also found gore vidal has just past away... damn, he was intense. he actually ran for senator in cali I heard him to do spiel - was right there when he was done and was so scared but still got the nerve up to say thank you to him.

   gig day and I pop at eight, check out the trough downstairs cuz it's free. it's also a good one. no vinegar but the got olive oil and salad fixing like lettuce tomatoes and olives so I chow some of that w/polish sausage chunks cooked in oninons. there's mustard made of unground seeds too, great. I check internet and see our people had a big chow on tourboss henry last night. sorry I couldn't make it but actually I didn't know about cuz I jammed up to my cabin and konked smack after checking some email (hence the above poem) cuz I was fucking beat - that getting up at the crack after a gig wears on my health like nothing else. clyde made his thirteen hour hellride, driving pretty much north through germany and east at dresden and then into poland. this gives me peace. I think about him rolling while we're flying... we got prac at one pm and it's about a twenty minute ride to the forest park in the muchowiec part of town and soon as I get there, have a little sandwich made from the tiny breads w/slices of meat that have apricot in their center (!) along w/kielbasa slices and... yes! mustard, courtesy of ania, dziekuje (thank you in polish) so much, dziekuje from most grateful watt! we go over the whole set minus the encores except for "the passenger" w/the sound on stage sounding pretty good, respect to jos. everyone wait's for the lunch to get cooked up but I am just beat. I go back to the little dressing room and konk w/my legs hanging over the end of the little couch 'tel the rest of team finishes shovelling. we get back and it's larry's old buddy michael gira in a cowboy hat, larry spent much time in the saddle w/the swans - and live to tell the tale! michael's very kind to me. I gotta get upstairs though to my cabin and konk, have to - my health...

   ten bells is the lobby call and I make for downstairs in my silver/gray dickies stage outfit and plastic sack containing off-stage outfit along w/fresh chonies. this is middle day of the off festival we're doing this gig for, lots of good bands. man, am I glad I got those six-plus hours of konk in cuz damn if I didn't need them. soon as we arrive I have another little little sandwich like earlier. can't find any of that sportsdrink however... damn if that shit don't just taste the worst but I use it to hold off cramping in hands. anyway, new batteries for the pignose amp cuz these are dead - actually james could use new ones too though he wants to get on w/it so we go through the set. I've chimped this before, what better way to while a way the ninety minutes (about the time ig likes to get to a gig before he plays) but filling lots of it w/prac? I'm into it. ig's room ain't got a big enough table to do his leg stretches so he comes in and just so happens we're all the way down to "the passenger" so he sings it w/us - I clam the beginning by getting on the wrong side so we prac that, ig counting it in for me. damn I don't wanna fuck this up tonight, "please help me" I beg the spirits of brother bass players.

   thurst and his chelsea light moving band just got done playing ahead of us and I get to meet w/him and his mates (sounds like england, huh?) john, keith and samara - good good cats. of course thurst has been forever hero for me, helped me stick w/bass after d. boon got killed.

john moloney, mike watt, thurston moore and keith wood (l to r) in katowice, poland on aug 4, 2012

we got a plan to record at "casa hanzo" in pedro this upcoming winter or spring an album w/us four as "a fatal jackoff on the moon" (from a richard meltzer poem) where thurst will play bass and I'll fumble guitar, doing stuff thurst calls "instant compositions" which means creating it right there in the moment. john will be on drums and kieth will do guitar. thurst brough both guys to my pedro town so I could give them a tour of it, they dug it much.

   time for work, we're due on at fifteen after midnight so ten minutes ahead of that I take case w/prac bass (the light blue shitty sounding one w/the witch stencil on it) up to stage cuz we use it also for backup just in case but damn if there ain't cables protected housing making for a one or two inch "hump" in the road and w/the dark, I don't see it and fucking trip... I'm resigned to going down but thurst's guitarman keith catches me somehow - I fall right into his arms and he saves me from a crumple. what a beautiful man, I am so grateful. here I was trying to make up for the last gig where I got scared of that downpour of rain and was afraid to go get that bass (actually I was asked where it was and not to go get it - what a fucking baka!) and I almost 'pert-near put myself fucking out of action. crimony. all shook up, I hand the case/bass over to roadboss eric and make my way and sit on a little platform stage starboard in the wings, still pretty shaken up. harder to tumble sitting on your fucking ass, I reckon. jos brings me the brian michaels bass - it squeals when he hits the standby switches and I see it startled him some. he brought me a bottle of blue sportsdrink I down quick as I can cuz damn if it don't taste just the worst, blechhh.

   not more than a minute or two where we're supposed to hit, we hit. the park in front of us is full and the polish gig-goers have much spirit. like last gig, for some reason I got my camera in my pants pocket so when I hobble over as james starts up "raw power" I gotta get both that and my glasses on the drum riser before I'm ready - I just make it in time but ig flies into me flying onto the stage so I don't get knocked down but the bass gets knocked some as I kick in w/drummerman larry - it's all part of the explosion that is part of this tune and the kickoff for the gig. drums are really loud on stage which I'm digging but need a little more of me so I don't dig in too hard, I give myself another notch. something's up w/james for the guitar solo, some hardware prob and I think it's a pedal - helperman derek comes aboard to help out and gets things right for him. "search and destroy" and things are happening, all of james' leads ripping out there. ig is flying and twirling/leaping and though maybe a tiny bit beat up in the voice, it ain't for lack of spirit and gungho wail - we're just over the hump in this run. 'e' and 'a' a little sharp, I got some time to get them right making sure to use the BLACK korg tuner and not the WHITE boss one (that's only for muting) like the fucking baka I was at the end of our last gig. beautiful gig-goers bring forth fire for us, respect. ig calls for dancers for "shake appeal" and the only ones let up are women and that only after ig demanded security to relent (aren't they briefed on this shit ahead of time?) and we get a some by ig wants more - he hollers "let's get some dudes up here!" and I'm way into that - I look over at larry and repeat what he says w/my own holler and again w/james, yeah, fist in the air - right on target! we have a blast w/these cats, even thurst's soundman jack comes flying out from the wings to grab a girl and go for a whirl. I got my shritsleeves rolled up now. shorter time for us tonight so "1970" is on the way and like ig tells the folks, "right in the asshole" so we try hard to put it there. damn if it ain't a hard charge. ig really breaks out the steps for "fun house" and dances up a firestorm, putting the cuts for decreschendos on trippy odd numbered bars that if you were on cruise-control you would surely miss but we're following him like a hawk on a mouse and let go none, it's sock-tight (to borrow again from a richard meltzer poem). we tear apart in "l.a. blues" next, much snarl and feeback from my amps when I monkey-hump them, whoa. the dolly they're on starts rolling and I gotta be careful and not knock the whole stack over which is a little tough being all out of my head some and shit. I do tunes between freak-outs to get it together for "night theme" and then into "skull thing" (thurst asked about this one later and I said it's an abbreviated instrumental version of the "skull ring" tune ronnie wrote w/ig for the "skull rings" album) which segues into "beyond the law" and if I'm out of tune here, you're sure gonna hear so am glad on that account. ig's got all his heart in his singing like always though tour's put a little strain oh him but he doesn't let that get him, he digs down deep for "johanna" and does some work w/the mic stand next to me, 'pert-near backhanding into next week. them stands have been getting kind of close on me tonight during their flights but I ain't been touched, ig's a pro. another one of those tiny-brim hats like last gig flies up on stage (no beer logo on the hatband though) and quickly ig's boot cruches it, not even on purpose - it was like it was a magnet for one of his heels. "kill city" via another segue and we're in the stretch. ig has a good time w/the third verse like last gig, love seeing him "explain" the first line to james, love it! I get a little too. we close up w/a real intense "open up and bleed" and larry helps me hobble off w/some shoulder - he really wailed it up and we wound that baby up. ig asks us to get right back out there and I do my best, just getting the bass on and tuned, "penetration" coming from james' guitar - whew, just in time. "no fun" next and then I see my camera - yeah, AGAIN I brought it on stage (I did it also last gig in avenches) but what the fuck, I snap a shot...

ig at off festival during encore in katowice, poland on aug 4, 2012

thank god ig counts me in for "the passenger" cuz I blew it earlier when we did prac earlier. I do turnaround some of the turnarounds though like a baka but watch james fingers to know where I am. thank you james for not turning around! "cock in my pocket" for our last encore, that's it - you know I made sure I was in tune for that (actually made sure before "the passenger"). I hobble to the back and tourboss henry keeps us from going down the stairs 'til ig comes back and tell us that's it.

   I see hank rollins, he got here from straight after flying into krakow and got to see the gig from "...dog" onward. big hugs to him from me and then he goes to talk w/ig after an invite via roadboss eric. ania brings me to tent where picturetakerman jacek poremba does portrait shots real quick of me, very kind of her and of him. respect. I go back and see thurst and he debriefs me about the gig. I wanna get back to the 'tel for my health and since they're staying at the same pad, him and his peeps tell me to come w/them but where they go is where no shuttle ever comes. it's fucking lame but I guess in some ways my fault maybe. at least I got do good long spiels w/thurst and his guys, good cats. finally after three am ania finds me and makes sure I get back and I'm am very grateful, feel very baka. I am fucking tuckered and konk hard after hose down.

wednesday, august 8, 2012 - colmar, france

   sunday I pop at nine and head for the trough. I get to spend time w/thurst before he shoves off to dresden to continue his tour.

   at one in the afternoon tourboss henry, ceo co-boss ania, driverman clyde, mixerman max, drummerman larry, james williamson and myself get taken about twentythree miles southeast of katowice to auschwitz-birkenau for a three and half hour tour. our guideman is very focused, respect to him. it is look into myself in fucked up ways. I can't talk whole ride back 'til we're a few blocks from the 'tel and then it's only something about syd barrett's echo machine. max says it was one called a binson echorec.

our guideman at auschwitz-birkenau on august 5, 2012

empty zyklon b cans at auschwitz-birkenau on august 5, 2012

victims shaving and grooming brushes at auschwitz-birkenau on august 5, 2012

watt at auschwitz-birkenau (reflection in barracks' window) on august 5, 2012

   I hobble to where the bus station is not too far away and see a stand called "istanbul kebab" - polskas working there, no turk folks but still good spicy kebab and only twelve zlotys (about $3.60 u.s.) and damn if it ain't a big one, like a hefty back burrito where I live. I'm so beat from all the hobbling at that death camp that I konk right after chowing it, missing both kim gordon/ikue mori and hank rollins, damn. I was just too tuckered though. shit, yowai (weak in jap) watt.

   pop at eight bells and hose off. nice folks talk to me at the final shovel at the trough, they're from hamburg. they wanna know about my konk habits and this leads to how I grew up in navy housing and how my work now for me is very lucky work and shapes much my outlook. roadboss eric joins me when they bail - he's got great news: curiosity made it to mars, yatta!

   bright sunny morning to say bye to us (bye to ania, I give her my extra szlotys) from kowitce, leave 'tel at ten am get to the gate at krakow john paul II airport an hour later - I think I'm the first one there, only folks in army clothes there... they let me bring my sandwich in - from the breakfast shovel I made one w/egg and bacon and wrapped it in a napkin. well, I see it in one of my 'puter sack's side pocks and toss it in the gomi can but the security man says it's ok so I fish it back out. whoa free interent here, brand new looking 'port too.

   whoa, drummerman larry is deep and knows so many things, I amazed to learn him about bre'r rabbit and stuff pertaining to that, crimony! he's found so many holes in my "knowledge" (for lack of a better word) that it's kind of a mindblow to me that he's short on this. roadboss eric gives me a present, muztarda - much respect to him! steve malkmus is here, he and his jicks are flying w/us too to munich but then they go on to croatia for a gig on their coast while we go back to basel (whence how we got to poland) for some driving into france. I ask steve what's a "jick" and he's says it's kind of cross between a jerk and a dick, something like that. we talks some about old days, like when I first got on bass, playing w/d. boon. we talk about econoline vans too, their's had a rear end that went out on them. steve can't believe larry didn't know about bre'r rabbit either. he lives in berlin now like larry, says he moved there like a year ago.

   it's seventyfive minutes on a lufthansa e195 (damn if don't seem like a 737-800 though but... different, good leg room for econo) to munich and what was funny was the bus ride to get us on - it did a loop of about eighty yards to bring us to the plane which was like fifty yards from the gate, what?! seat to me is empty, lucky watt - easier to chimp diary. two hour layover here, I chow that sandwich from that 'tel trough back in kowitce, it's held up ok! an hour from rainy munich to sunny basel euroairport on a atr turboprop (air dolomiti - my ma's ma's people were dolomiti, far northeast italy!) and the half an hour by car to colmar, in the alsace part of france. this 'tel were at is called "hotel l'europe" and it's where we konked at last time we were here to do the same festival we're here now to do wednesday, back in 2005. whoa, seven years ago - can't believe how time's like a motherfuckin' shinkansen! the supermarket across the road closed a seven, we're a half hour late so fuck it, I ain't gonna chow shit and wait for the morning. actually this is little nearby town called horburg-wihr that's mainly cornfields, I hobble around and find nothing but a crapdonald's and fuck if I'm getting sick there. I talk w/max about lou reed mostly 'til he's tired and then go to my cabin.

   damn, there's been a shooting at a sikh temple in the u.s., in wisconsin. the man they think did it is dead and had a band that listed me as one of their "influences" - what?! I think the mywasteofspaceplace page of his band has been scrubbed. there were other bands listed as "influences" also but I'm the only one by my name. crimony. I ain't about shit like this, I don't want anyone hurt. we humans are strange... and can be total nightmares. weird connections, I feel like misused fertilizer, what?! that visit I did sunday to that death camp makes sense in some trippy other ways cuz of this. we are not outsiders, we can be fucked up lamers and bring so much pain. that man should've heard what I was really trying to do w/the bass, he should've been hugging and not shooting. I wish that could've been my "influence" on him if wanted my true thoughts on board - man, did he get the wrong idea. what would john coltrane say? I search my heart...

   my buddy concepcion wrote me to tell of the pass of an amazing singer who lived in mexico, chavela vargas - much respect to her. easier to konk now after reading about someone so brave, I mean truly brave.

   tuesday I popped at eight and the trough is minimal but free and fresh, some cheese/bread, a softboiled egg and some fresh yogurt/fruit. my cabin has tub, not so long but better than just shower-only like last 'tel so I can soak. that's what I do: soak, a good long one. I then hobble across road to supermarket, I use the smallest shopping cart ever and damn if I wasn't an idiot not to bring my camera so I could get a shot of it, fuck.

   I have brother steve over to record his sax for two stooges covers done by bill bartell's white flag ("1970" and "tv eye"). he gets both in one take for each. mrs peak arrives just as he gets done, she took train/bus from strasbourg where she now lives w/husband bill. my eyes get a surprise, she's seven and half months heavy w/aka-chan!

mrs peak (7 1/2 months pregnant) and steve mackay in horburg-wihr, france on august 7, 2012

I think she knows it's a boy. I'm so very happy for her and bill, righteous. so happening of her to visit. we talk about the book we're planning to do of the pictures she snapped during the 2011 north american tour of my "hyphenated-man" tour. I wanted to do an edition of my radio show w/her but the fucking internet here is terrible so I pass on that and will try in stockholm. she is greatest guest... you know, I should've done the spiel w/her anyway and uploaded at a time when I could - I'm realizing what a baka I am now, damn. when she bails I have for chow the blue cheese, salami and baguette I got earlier at the store and konk pretty early. damn it, I really should've done an edition of my show w/mrs peak, I am such a baka.

   gig day (nice and sunny) and I pop at eight and a half and chow a couple of medium boiled eggs w/bread and bacon and some coff. back in the cabin I do tub soak, finding two knots, one near my port elbow and one on the back of my head - what?! what a dumbfuck. I re-construct spiel for new mi-gu anthology out soon on chimera records cuz it never made it to them - I sent it before I left from home 'puter, the dilemma of having two 'puters (desk and purse ones) but fuck if I'm gonna get into that cloud world as it now is. I love mi-gu and it changed my life, HUGE respect for ms yuko and mr shimmy. we got soundcheck at one pm, the gig not too far at a trippy stage set (lots of cement and big weird tents on angled poles)by the colmar exhibition center and part of the foire aux vins d'alsace festival. we did this exact pad and fest seven years ago, we've looped it except this time no asheton brothers.

alain lahana in colmar, france on august 8, 2012 olivier moret in colmar, france on august 8, 2012

alain and his lieutenant olivier are there to meet of us - of course cuz it's a stooges gig in france and they always are the ones making it happen. big hugs for both from me, I love them. drummerman larry goes way back w/them and alain brought cook jean-pierre just for him. I have a hamburger, french style - yeah, there's mustard! up on the stage we go through the whole set pretty much. the acoustics here are terrible but hopefully folks will help dampen the fucking roller rink bowling alley shit come show time.

   back at three after almost getting plowed twice by asshole drivers taking stupid risks (why?), I help brother steve's 'puter by swapping out his one gig of ram for four (real easy on a mackbook) and then back up all his shit on a new firewire disk I got for him. someone once said there's two kinds of people: those who back up and those who will. I then konk hard cuz I'm feeling a tiredness debt and wanna try and pay some back.

   I pop just before bail-for-the-gig time at seven. outfit is at the gig so I ain't got it on yet. I bring yellow clothes sack cuz clyde's gonna drive from here to brussels day after tomorrow (we're using rented backline for stockholm gig). opening up for us tonight is shaka ponk who are from paris. I get outfit on, very grateful to roadboss eric for getting it washed PLUSE flannel which must've been cuz like a baka I put it in the stenched outfit sack last gig, what a fucking bozo. w/the little battery amps we prac the set again, ig coming in to do his leg stretch on our table and helping me w/coming in right for "the passenger" which I big time appreciate. man, if I get on the wrong side of the beat for that baby I'll sink our boat for sure. the gig gets pushed back fifteen minutes to nine fifteen which is still pretty ok cuz damn do I hate late gigs if given a choice in the matter. it don't mean I won't try just as hard, it's just harder on me, being less younger. I hope this don't sound like bellyaching though cuz christ, that's worse.

   I go to the stage ten minutes early but there's no wings - where do I hide on my side? there's curtains but the run front to back on the side (perpendicular to the gig-goers) so I search for any separation and find a place where I can hide, in other words: nestled, kind of trippy. maybe three minutes late, I got some distance to cover when I see james emerge to get his guitar from derek, "raw power" chords while I get plugged in by jos, turn both amps up a little, get glasses off head and camera out of pocket (yeah, I got camera in my pocket yet again!) w/only a moment to spare - the pad is back and gig-goers are hollering, it's wild. sure do love larry on this little riser, feels more like we truly are a rhythm section. he's got a new crash cymbal cuz he broke one last gig. "search and destroy" and I see mrs peak in the peak w/her camera - great, she made it! (stooges policy is first two songs in the pit if you get photo pass) I try "gimme danger" w/just one whole-step pivot per lick instead of the three I've been doing lately. not long after we finish the tune, out from nowhere, ig stage dives into the crowd and it surprises the shit out of music. no music or anything, just a heave ho out of the blue! alright. he calls for dancers - rob partiger (long time stooges gig-goer from england) is one of the first up on stage, I hug him big time. this cat really brings it. lots of passionate dancing, rob's infectious on the french dancers - I got a bunch near me and it's a fun time. I do see one lady kind of go off on roadboss eric when the tune's over and the stage gets cleared - the look she gave him was kind mean and insane. damn, he didn't do anything bad. pretty quick ig calls for "1970" and from 'til the sets closer we never stop. "fun house" (ig hollers "steve mackay on sax!") nto "l.a. blues" - funky dance/"piano-forte"/humpin' freak out into "night theme" into "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - interlude/get it back together into power drive into "I wanna be your dog" rallying anthem moat-working and another stage dive (I get an octave pivot in - two chords!) to "johanna" slower tempo crusher blow, ig pulls the mic cord out of the connector! just tears it out, wild. upbeat "kill city" finally, a real bounce up - so happening having larry on the lower riser, so happening. earlier ig had jumped in the air and landed on my foot, it happens cuz I ain't so mobile and find it tough to swerve to avoid but then he ain't weighing all that much so no hurt... "open up and bleed" is our set finisher and we get the ending really going manic and it whups ig up big time. this whole gig he's really be plugged into the volts and current the gig-goers have been bringing us, such good people - ig loves it and he gets really fired up. well, I'm there in front of larry and trying my best to stay in a blast off crazy groove w/him that torques up and up the tempo when ig next to me dancing up a tornado gives a buttcheck right into my strings which bowls me over. it's only an instant before I realize I can't just absorb the blow and am going so I ready myself, rounding up my body and limbs so I'll be able to roll w/it and plummet to the deck but w/out a hurt. I did leave the strings for a moment so the bass playing goes muted for a sec but soon as I can I heft myself back up and get back thumping away, ig giving me a pat and saying sorry followed w/a smile and I ain't anything but all about being there for him and it's no big deal. I'm just not strong enough cuz of the lame port-side knee to aloft, not his fault. must've looked funny though, I'm into that - I wonder if was on the screens on the stage sides cuz they've been showing mainly closeups of ig doing the gig in real time. I try to hold on w/the closing lick faster and faster as larry goes for it, crashing and bashing... everyone's bailed but us by now and finally I let the lick go, larry get's in the last blow like I could tell he wanted to and I hobble off to the stage starboard side where everyone's waiting. tourboss henry asks if I'm ok and I assure him I am. we go back out, james let's me use his shoulder some for hobble back, jos tuned bass for me - I'm in good shape for "penetration" but at same time feel a little afraid for lame port-side knee, I'm shaking a little but don't let it distract me. good solo from james. I blow a clam in the second chord of "no fun" but still manage to anchor it w/a 'd' so maybe it sounded ok? what a baka. come to think of it, I think I blew a clam on that "in your heart..." part of "open up and bleed" too - it was clam karma I went to the deck, huh?! just fucking w/my own majosha here some - ig actually we got the groove in "...fun" going good, he said "that a motherfucker!" he counts me in for "the passenger" and again I'm so grateful. tonight's the first time I play it w/no fuckedup switcharounds w/the final fourth chord each time around and I know I get it even more swinging w/larry, get it thick and up in it. ig works "cock in my pocket" all the way from the moat and I think there's no portable cameras cuz on the screens I get glimpses of just band cats - us up on stage. we kick the tune tight. ig calls an audible next, it's "louie louie" w/some extendo in the middle, I think some french lyrics - he did that in "...dog" that's right - fucked up memory. ig had thanked the folks for being so kind to us, he said "thank you, we're just rock band, oh no - I almost fell off!" - yeah, I saw ig's boots like halfway off the edge of the stage, so glad he got his balance. anyway he works this lady into the intro for our final tune and the lady's boyfriend starts feeling her all up, had to look away and whatever, larry's clicking us in and I wanna be that and nothing else - "your pretty face is going to hell" is pummel time and I got no cramps, the bands pumping. great mime stuff from ig in the final throes... we finish strong, great gig. hugs from gigboss alain, he dug it. hugs for olivier. I tell ig he did great cuz he did and I'm pretty sure from all the hollering and support from this packed pad of gig-goers that they though so too. respect.

   I hobble up the stairs but not one flight short. oops. I remember a shower in the head - yeah, I can hose off here maybe... there's liquid soap too so I get two big handfuls and then discover it's cold water only - crimony!! fuck it, I'm all soaped up, I deal w/it. goddamn if my eyes 'pert-near didn't pop out my head though. that flannel feels so good to get in. I pass ig's room and asked him from outside if he liked the gig and he said he did, saying sorry again but I tell him not to worry cuz I knew I was going down and was ready enough not to get hurt. it's only a little talk cuz I figure that's all it needs. I hobble downstairs and chow a plate of lettuce (thank god it's not fucking iceberg) w/vinegar and olive oil. everyone's in good spirits.

   we get back to the 'tel and only eleven and a half, have a beer w/larry and tell him about the first time I got to meet gene simmons. I konk in my outfit cuz we gotta bail at seven am tomorrow...

friday, august 10, 2012 - stockholm, sweden

   pop at not too much before pull anchor, get a medium boiled egg and some bacon stuffed in part of a baguette and then stuff that in the yellow jacket pocket - yeah, I'm bringing the jacket cuz well, sweden's north, right? it sure is sunny here, can't believe I never got a shot of the sun coming up over these cornfields... it ain't like I wasn't there for them! I am baka, sometimes a 'tard w/the camera and blowing opportunities.

   bail from the 'tel at seven. I go to jos' van to get some clean chonies to put in my 'puter sack for stockholm and see the trippiest gift ig got last night from a gig-goer...

gift from a gig-goer to ig from colmar gig  on august 9, 2012

derek see and eric fischer at basel europeairport  on august 9, 2012

larry mullins konked at basel euroairport x  on august 9, 2012

nervous yammer from watt to larry cuz of crazy thread-the-needle driving (too scared to look out the windshield) and then from basel euroairport (yes, again!) on delayed lufthansa (via augsburg airlines) dehaviland dash 8 turboprop to munich. one hour delay but we got a buttload of time to cushion for that. larry takes me to a chowpad he knows at this 'port and we have weisswurst and pretzel. the wurst is a pot of hot water to keep it, yeah, hot. the mustard is bavarian style which means it's got honey in it, not my favorite kind of mustard, nope. german airports have international herald tribune and there's an article on that wisconsin shooter guy at that sikh temple that brought on that hell - it says he played both guitar and bass, the wasteofspaceplace page showed only him on guitar. I mention this cuz maybe this guy had a bass "influence" and I had nothing to do w/these other "interests" he had cuz I swear I ain't ever been into any of that other kind of shit and in fact oppose it. max tells me I shouldn't try and second guess people like this. I'm gonna try and quiet my mind about it. what's really sad are those folks killed and hurt by stupid shit like that. a quarter after one we do two hour flight on a lufthansa a320 to stockholm, I have row w/jos w/bologna seat empty. I chimp diary. we leave a now sunny munich. it is gray in stockholm, their airport some twenty-plus miles away and there's some traff plug, you can't control that but I did feel steered into where I am - another kind of drama! you gotta laugh. this driver's been to cali, where me and brother steve live, so relatin' stuff can go on. we finally get to the downtown and next to the main train station is a "radisson blu royal viking" which is our 'tel. swedish krone is about seven to the dollar but fuck, in less than two days I'll be out of here so why take a currency exchange hit and just wait for the free trough in the morning. I wander a little on the street and decide it w/myself, yes, that is what I will do. shit's expensive here too anyways.

   damn, larry had a boat ride planned and was gonna let me be part of it but he says the weather ain't good enough so that's scissored. I decide to do the edition of my radio show I had planned for france cuz the internet's ok here. I do that, get it up on the net and then konk but not w/out first in the dark tripping on the corner of this cabin's bed and falling right into but w/a big bounce that sent me "boing" over the other side and on my side, ow! I mean really ow! I came right down on my hip w/out being able to roll. it was 'pert-near like an acrobatic stunt or something, how I bounced like that - up and off, fuck! I laid there a good while then konked. damn.

   gig day and I pop at seven and a half and get down to where the free trough is. good assortment here, even a table of tabimono (food in jap) where there's miso, negi, kaiso - I get a bowl and some more kaiso for the plate and some hashi (chopsticks) to use cuz I've come to not use fork/spoon shit at home, just like the hashi better and actually I shovel a little slower. there's herring of course (it's scandinavia) and I got some of that in mustard and even a little pink caviar from a tube (nothing like real good black kind) w/big lettuce/tomato/cucumber salad (olive oil but no vinegar so I gotta use fucking worcestershire sauce), some bacon and a medium boiled egg. remember no chow last night. w/that shoveling done, I go back up to my cabin for a short tub soak and konk again. I thought we were supposed to bail at ten am so I'm a little late like a baka, we go over and get james not to far away at his 'tel ("the grand") and then a little further to djurgarden island (hard to tell cuz the bridge is so small, just like a road - stockholm has a horde of tiny islands around it, an archipelago) where sweden's oldest amusement park is (from 1883), it's galled grona lund and has an interesting history as far as people performing here, like a butt-load of cats have - jimi hendrix did at least four gigs here, bob marley did three - the last time had over thirtytwo thousand people, folks watching from the ferris wheels and rides and shit! hell, ig played here w/bowie! there's tons of pictures are in the backstage area on the bulkheads - fuck, one says marc bolan's last gig was here! I don't if this stage ("stora scen") is still the original one but I heard this only place a rock band could play during summer in stockholm at one time! so anyway, we're part of a heritage here, for sure. it's trippy how you play right in front of the rides. we're on rented backline, larry on a dw kit (glad the riser's a low one though), james w/a vox ac 30 and two marshall halfstacks, me w/two ampeg svt "classics" that sound like crap even w/my eden preamp (must've flow up w/us from france, huh? respect to jose for that). we go through four songs and then tackle "the passenger" which has been giving me trouble getting in - larry's now got a hihat part to cue me, I get it after a few failures but think I got it now. actually we play it all the way through twice, it getting the greatest "jimmy durante version" ever via jos on the singing though I don't think he was doing it that intentionally. the second time through was at the request of some of the park employees who wanted to dance to it, they all get in a circle and had a pretty happening choreography going, respect. we have to finish at eleven though cuz they gotta let customers in. I grab a couple of the chicken sandwiches for later and some waters. back at the 'tel I konk again, man, I've incurred some konk debt and it needs to be paid off.

   I pop at four and chimp what you've just prolly had a lot of effort to try and wade through: my fucking diary for today. I see some crazy shit on the internet too - only my ma calls me "michael david watt" and that's when she's pissed at me. man, I just think this lady's a great dancer and singer, it ain't like I'm fucking sick. I just wanna work bass like that, a trippy parallel universe. it ain't supposed to be sick. raymond knows.

   5:45 and time to get to the gig, glad it's so close. we gotta pick up james first. hope the weather holds, it's kind of sunny. well, work the room, come whatever. love stooges, love stooges. outfit's at the venue, roadboss eric brought it, thank you much. all our sacks are w/driverman clyde so we got the minimal thing going. short trip to get james and get to the venue, it's packed w/folks. max told me people buy a ticket for the season (like twenty-something u.s. $) and can go to any show, first come first served - happening. you wwouldn'tbelieve the huge plates of coldcuts laid out and yes, there's mustard. however, roadboss eric tells me there's hot food down an alley a bit and I get fresh salmon and a stuffed red bell pepper - great! we go upstairs and they've brought back the vox ac-30 james is using so we can do prac w/both of us plugged into it. larry uses a wastepaper basket upside down for a drum. we go over the set, james likes to abbreviate some but we go over each and every tune. it gets like a shvitz in this little room when finally I get all einstein and turn the fucking light-bulbs-around-the-mirror off that's cooking us up like a suzy hhomemakeroven. crimony.

   we go downstairs and wait by ig's dressing room door for him to come out and give us a briefing. he emerges a few minutes before go time and asks larry to follow his arm for the tune endings, tells james he'll wait for him to tune for "the new tune" and of course he'll help me come in right - I thank him much. he then hollers go and then like an idiot, I hobble out to my amp... now his room was on my side so larry and james had to work their way to the other side before coming out behind the curtain (w/this stage there's only a back curtain - there's no wings at all) so I'm out there all by myself - actually jos is w/me, holding the cord and we look at each other and I can tell by the look on his face that this was the most stupid thing I could do ever and it was. the crowd is hollering, I have totally ruined our entrance. I think "go!" from ig meant get into my position BEHIND the curtain and not run out on the stage like a baka. it seems like an eeternitybefore larry and james emerge... FINALLY they do - not their fault, they're doing fine - it was fucking baka watt who jumped the gun. well, you can at least say there's no panic for me to be ready for "raw power" - that's for damn sure. talk about popping out of the cake too soon, damn. stage sound is trippy, kind of "swimming in cotton balls" sort of thing. huge trust in mixerman max though, he's the tranny if we're the motor and he'll get it to the folks. I turn both ampegs full on as larry clicks us into "search and destroy" w/ig full throttle even though he's a little worn, the man gives it all he's got. "fuckin' tak" (thanks in swede) he says as we shut that hard charge down, "fuckin' tak, I feel ok" which to me is yet another way he shows his humanity and not the canned poser shit you hear from so many fucking robots in this goddamn racket. ig says were fucked up people and we need help, we need dancers - "get up here and dance w/the stooges!" - a rush of ladies and then some guys make it up and join us, the surreal aatmosphereof the amusement park sitch w/us blasting "shake appeal" while these cats dance their asses off w/us is not lost on me. I have a good time "dueling" or whatever - some dancers "fence" me w/their air basses, it's a trip. one cat w/a backwacksackpack, what?!!

a dancer, jos grain + ig at grona lund in stockholm, sweden on august 10, 2012

"I want change!" ig hollers as we rev up "1970" and he's all over the stage, much open space and actually more cats on the side than on the front (deeper that way too) and you know he's compelled to "work the room" for them cuz this man does not fucking phone it in. in the coda, he runs up to brother steve, "BLOW! BLOW!" he suggests at the top of his lungs - right up next is "fun house" and the running turns to dancing, righteous. ig calls brother steve's name out, respect! I'm sweating good now, don't wanna slip. trippy stage deck, is it cement? ig comes and sings that last two lines right in my face, pointing at his and pointing at me for emphasis, we slam the ending and backfire into "l.a. blues" into almost ppizzicatoffreakoutit seems to me cuz of the acoustics (puff ball). I have no notes during the monkey-humpin', these lame ampeg amps go into feedback immediately and the quit altogether - fuck! I check tuner - it looks like no signal so is it the bass? I get helperman derek's attention and he brings me blue suckass backup bass (newer model gibson "sg" bass) I use for mainly for prac before gigs and it's way out of tune for "night theme" - I get it somewhat in but see derek's got the red brian michael's one going so soon as there's a break for james to start up "skull thing" I switch back to the michaels bass and everything's fine. I think now that part of the prob was them amps just shutting off cuz of a circuit breaker inside them or a limiter trip or some such shit. whatever, we're past that and into "beyond the law" and ig gives me a nod and the ok look, respect. ig likes a good flow to a set and so do I. he hollers for "I wanna be your dog" and we bring it - I can't get a handle on how it's coming down a little bit 'til larry comes in and I get tight w/that, ig looks back relieved. whew, I'm relieved too. ig's got the mic hanging by the cord that's in his mouth, bent paws up. he works the moat, roadboss eric giving him a boost down. the swedish gig-goers are wild w/spirit and emotion, it's intense. damn, is larry playing good, whoa! "johanna" next and I'm worried some about tuning cuz there's much sustained notes and lots of tthoseoctaves so I try to check tuning - it's hard to remember which bass has clockwise or counter-clockwise tuners (I'm talking about my gibsons at home too) - I should wise up and put an arrow on the side of the headstock that shows which way gets the stringer shaper so I wouldn't have to guess or find out by tuning. it's shit like this you think of only when it's happening, huh? fucking baka watt. we go right into "kill city" soon as we kill johanna, ig's been running back and forth on this huge stage but still has his pipes, mercy. good thing the temp is mild, I know that's helping and thank god it ain't raining like earlier today - in fact the weather's perfect. the cat w/the mohawk I saw up on lightpole has finally come down, he must've been tired. I get to tune up now and it's important for "open up and bleed" cuz again sustained notes and hell, it's got ballad parts. ig sings it beautiful. we whup it up at the end and I stay on feet this time, me and larry left alone eventually and I hold it together pretty good, maybe choking some after larry releases the runaway train trip. we go off to the side of the stage, actually the rear stage-left side and powow a bit and ig wants us back out for "penetration" which gets the crowd pumping and then they get rocking w/a rowdy "no fun" which we get sswingingpretty happening, ig affirms it, he's smiling big time. ok, here comes "the passenger" and I use what I learned at soundcheck plus ig helps too (I follow larry's one-two hihat and ig's count-in). whoa, I got in ok and play w/a little more confidence, keeping the tempo like ig said to do in the briefing earlier. it is trippy doing this tune - the crowd really gets into it. we go smack into "cock in my pocket" after and james rips a good lead, ig calling out his name. "I got a right" comes right on its heels, in the take-it-down-part ig uses some "l.a. blues" words "I am you... I am you" w/the gig-goers. next it's an audible "louie louie in a" he tells us and someone gives him a small bbouquetof flowers he works to words he's using - is about a period or is it just a rose? that kind of thing. "your pretty face is going to hell" is the closer, we go out strong, really smoking. whew. I'm a little stiff in the knees. I make upstairs using both hands on the rail... ig comes past w/tourboss henry and I tell ig he did great, he says "you too" - respect! nina's happy - lots of good spirit, righteous. I get changed our of soaked outfit into clothes I arrived w/and talk w/james and larry - james said maybe got a little off on "...cock" but me and larry can't remember that. I do remember ig counting in one point in that tune though... it was a happening gig, we like to talk about stuff while we catch our breath. james has got folks to meet though, soon larry does too. I look at all the pictures on the bulkheads of cats who've played here... have some soda water, have a little of this wine from italy but it's a little sweet, it's stuff I've never had before. on the way to the car I meet lots of kind swedish cats including some who run this place. everyone's kind and wants some pictures so sure, no prob. very cool folks here, respect.

   beautiful playing a gig at eight, we're back at the 'tel just after eleven! larry gets me a beer and we talk about our upcoming recording proj. man, he's good peeps. I get to my chamber before midnight but in the dark I can't see the corner of the bed and trip over it, landing on the bed but bbouncingright of it and onto the deck like it was an acrobat stunt - what? damn that hurt my hip. I think fuck it, I'm gonna do a ten minute hot soak and so get out of the outfit, do that and then back on the deck. I konk in my clothes cuz tomorrow we gotta pull anchor at seven. I konk hard and a little bit hurt but way happy the gig went good.

sunday, august 12, 2012 - brussels, belgium

   a well-earned crack of dawn departure is bestowed on us, just enough time to chow a salad (lame-ass iceberg lettuce though and worcestershire sauce for vinegar to go w/the olive oil) and miso soup plus some bacon.

watt's asagohan (breakfast chow) in stockholm, sweden on august 11, 2012

sunny skies say bye to us. we bail from the 'tel at a quarter after seven and it's much shorter drive to bromma airport (it's much smaller too) than to delay of a couple minutes, nothing really to bellyache over, we're soon in the air on a brussels airlines avro rj100 (funny how they got four engines on these little kind of tubby planes) and it takes two hours to get to brussels. I got all three seats in my row to myself but the window is kind of be so shots through it of the ground below are kind lame. another thing lame is this airline - no free moisture. yeah, most u.s. airlines charge for alcohol ones but this one charges for even water, what?

   man, does larry hate this brussels airport and it is laid out pretty foolishly. he goes slow enough to let me keep w/him, that's kind. we think our big stuff got lost but actually it's just late, a cat w/a cart comes w/it just as the move's made to the claims department. it's like fortyfive minutes to the 'tel, another radisson blu, this one called royal and though it ain't far from the grand place or where we're gonna play, it seems like back streets, near a huge older social services building that's got a copper facade like boiler plate. miss hiyori saw the gig poland after having no way to get to the venue in germany so she wants to see this belgium one and is here after a bus ride from where she lives in hamburg. I have a kebab from a lebanese pad and authentic brussels fritz (fries) hand cut from potatoes.

   this whole trip in the news (of course there's the olympics, but...) there's been a couple of things very interesting for me: first off is these three ladies in russia band pussy riot and the bullshit trial they're have to endure but yet still refuse to back down from (read one defendant's closing statement here) which is righteous and great for everyone all over, I think. of course where they live but all over, good strong shit, compaņeras. two have babies too, respect. the other story actually started back in march and now there's be a one day trial of gu kailai in china... that land's gonna do their once-a-decade pick new bosses thing this fall and things look trippy. we're gonna do our once-every-four-years one just after. it all makes me wonder what would d. boon think. believe or not when us minutemen were driving around the u.s. on tour, drummerman george hurley suggested we wear costumes at our gigs (not just on halloween), like george washington/paul revere stuff w/stockings and wigs! d. boon countered this w/the notion of instead wearing mao suits. I think I was the only one ending up one and don't know why, it was a jefe one to go w/a beard for our last two. that was weird. I can't remember for the life of me why that came to be but I remember d. boon saying I could find the stuff at "union war surplus" (now gone) on sixth street in our pedro town. I see pictures of that shit and trip. so glad the whole band wasn't in costumes - except halloween which is my favorite holiday!

   I once did music for a tune hiroshi-san and he informs me of mission he's found himself on - ganbatte, hiroshi-san!

   our soundcheck is early and we bail at a quarter after ten but jos had to build some stuff cuz of things (not on his end) not being together so there's a wait for a while but then we get to do lots of tunes at full volume.

steve mackay and his 'station' at soundcheck in brussels, belgium on august 12, 2012

it's a ten day even, the brussels summer festival and earlier before us go the stranglers and tomorrow's john cale - me and larry met two guys working w/him at chow, nice cats (by the way, the free shovel here's a good one, I ask for two friend eggs but the cookerman gives me three, "I'm generous" he tells me). I told those cats about us minutemen's john cale adventure, here I'll repeat it: the minutemen were opening for john cale at long beach's "fender's ballroom" in 1984. he was just touring w/a piano tuner, I believe. anyway, it was time for our soundcheck and he was kind of in a belig state and said he wasn't moving the piano, no way. we in turn said we wouldn't want the piano moved, it would be a great honor to share the stage w/john cale's piano. we were not being sarcastic, we loved john cale. he looked a little bewildered, a little bit disappointed he couldn't fight w/us but then started laughing when he noticed d. boon's shorts, held up w/a drawstring. they were kind of rough pants w/no pockets or anything that soldiers would wear over their combat stuff to keep chemical warfare crap away - he pointed at d. boon's "shorts" and started laughing hard, asking "what are those for, so you don't have to feel the weight of the heavy coin?!" d. boon and georgie started chuckling too and left to go get something to chow. it was just me and john cale there and he told me to go sit on the edge of the stage, he said "sit down, boy" and then he got behind his piano and sang me "the streets of laredo" - looking right into my face. it was a trip. I thanked him much when he finished and went out to the boat to konk. it was a trippy thing. I sure wish I was here tomorrow to see him again... you know he produced the first stooges album, right? I konk the rest of the afternoon on purpose cuz it's gonna be bother late tonight and early tomorrow. I gotta do what I can...

   nine pm we shove off for the gigs. there's some sliced turkey I put on bread w/tomatoes and lettuce. ig comes in to brief us, discusses a plan to end "louie louie" like the kingsman did. I think we can do it. he's in good spirits, I know he's a little bit cuz is number seven out of seven but he's there to bring it if we do. larry, james and me do the whole set w/the little prac amps, pretty good swelter gets going and the band before us not so isolated, plenty of them 'pert-near drowns us out but we endure. so very kind of francois to wash my outfit, so very kind of her. she's from the walloon part of belgium in a town called liege.

   we're to go on at eleven so ten minutes ahead of that, I hobble up to my side of the stage. there's some cover and also a bunch of folks to hide me. there's also some tape to keep folks back by clyde is gonna help me and lift in when the time comes and hopefully these folks up here who are gonna watch will clear some way for me also. again I find my camera in my pocket - baka! I see james appear from behind a curtain in a trot - "it's time" I call out to clyde and he lifts the tape, I give him a shoulder tap thanks. jos has got the cord, I get into the bass, get the fucking camera onto the riser, get my fucking glasses onto the riser - all the while james in full "raw power" intro mode, I swing around and see the whole place des palais packed w/folks as far back as the curvature of the earth will allow for (well...) - one beat in the nick of time, I'm in and we're off! ig's a ball of fire, twirlin' - he said he was gonna do more singing than moving earlier but I don't know... the belgian gig-goers immediately get whipped up into big time foam, very emotional. crimony. the laney bass amps are sounding real good - I got the eden preamp's front end up at twelve noon instead of the nine am I found it at soundcheck, I think this is one reason the stockholm gig's ampegs sounded even worse then already were, not getting the power sections pushed w/some burly rock. the singing is loud on the stage, so is the drums but both are real good, "search and destroy" is a devastator, truly. james switches to the black guitar cuz it's got the piezo bridge pickup, we bring "gimme danger" for a tiny bit of downshift and then immediately ig asks the folks for dancers, getting very angry at those in the way (your guess who), saying "let 'em up, you nazi" and then after we have a wild-ass time w/a wild-ass "shake appeal" (one braided leaper actually has me a little scared not cuz of willfulness but cuz I am fucking weak w/the hurt knee) - I got clyde next to me watching out, henry on the other but a flying is a flying body, right? things are cool that way though, maybe he runs out of gas? ig hollers out "fuck the police!" and other notions like that... soon a line of national police are at the front of the stage in the moat in their peaked caps, at least their backs to us. actually some are laughing but some are very hard-faced and sour-assed. we know where this next one's going, "1970" right out the chute and headed for the other "chute" like a freight fucking train. ig's pouring bottles of water over his head. it ain't really as hot as it was in the dressing rooms when we're doing prac but it ain't freezing either and the moves he starts cutting w/us going into "fun house" ain't hold-backs one fucking iota, it's intense! I think part of it is the gig-goers, they're piling up so much feedback of gush and enthusiasm, ig's channeling this big time. many little pits in the huge crowd keep forming into their own spin-cycles. ig almost fools me a few times w/his "uh!' cues to pop it down, bringing them on odd bars or beats, it's interesting and not same ol' same ol' - you gotta stay on your toes when you're playing w/him - no cruise control, I dig that big time! I try "channeling" some myself when we turn on "l.a. blues" and monkey-hump them amps w/the brian michael bass hard. their on a dolly though so I gotta be careful not to roll the whole trip around or even worse, get fucking hurt... everything holds up to the abuse, even the fucking tuning (just gotta get the 'e' back) and I'm there james/larry/steve for "night theme" - james is back on the guitar be started the gig w/and the plows us into "skull thing" - you know he counts all twenty times he does that lick of ronnie's? he does, watch his lips. I dig getting the nod from him though knowing he knows I know it's time to flow into "beyond the law" and ig can start singing again... man, I gotta lose nine kilos - I just thought of that now but I really gotta. "I wanna be your dog" is up right next w/ig spending a little extra time in the moat - I see him right in the face of one of the police, telling him what he wants to be, intense. I get a full six bars of the octave pivot thing under james' soloing and a two bar fill before getting in the quiet part - no "you're bothering me" looks from ig so ok. anyway, I get a little paranoid of that low 'e' for "johanna" cuz they ring out big time in that tune so, I make a guess which way the tuners go (gotta just fucking write a goddamn arrow, baka!) and the black korg tuner says I'm better though I was actually pretty close. there's just no gaps in this part of the gig to make checks, everything strung up way tight. ig sings the last verse from my side so you know he's there to hear clams if I'm gonna blow them right after in my kind-of-solo which is good discipline for me, I wanna do my best and not just get away w/anything. "kill city" is on before the last night dies and a plastic cup flies up and though it doen't hit me, it's scary if I step on it but really these days I don't do much moving cuz of the fucked up knee. ig sings half of the third vers first to james and then to me, it's good stuff, trippy. I get rid of that cup to the side soon as I can, scooting it stage starboard of me. actually a bigger danger is the mic cord wrapped around the mic stand and it getting whipped around - or just a flying mic stand in general! we finish the set w/a intense "open up and bleed" - of course from ig but also in the coda where larry does not wanna let go and you know what? this time I don't either and we go on for a bit, he finally let's go of drive but keeps smashing on the accents, damn if he hasn't got the motherfucker up to warp speed... james lets go and bails, steve lets go and bails (ig bailed first and kind of earlier than usual) but me and larry keep at it and then by some lucky thing, nail it for an endo. crimony. we come off to where the guys are and I both use larry's shoulder as a crutch so I squat like a baseball catcher but also give him rubs cuz he deserves them. he asks ig to wait a sec cuz that shit just beat him up. ok, ig gives him his sec and we race out to fire "penetration" (oh yeah, forgot to mention last gig james has relieved derek of duty as to doing that celeste part of brother steve's keyboard cuz he said he heard a youtube.com video of the colmar gig version and said the tuning was not happening so like mr poe wrote: "quote the raven, nevermore") and then go right into "no fun" (wait a minute, is this when the cup flew up? my fucking memory!) which is like ig says is a "mothafucka" when we get it really rockin', especially near the end. then derek hands james a tuned guitar but james checks the tuning anyway I'm looking at larry (and jos)

looking at larry and jos during encore at stooges gig in brussels, belgium on august 12, 2012

cuz I've learned to come in on the right side of the drums if I hear this lick he's got - ig counts me also (it was funny at the briefing, when I told him about me learning this cue he said it sounded like a b-movie where when of the perps will say something like "we got a fool proof plan") - of course this is "the passenger' I'm talking about and brother steve for the first time ain't afraid to come right in a scat the melody on his sax, ig letting him blow a few times around before he starts to sing. I really urged brother steve to do this earlier, not being a know-it-all but thinking this could help us out. larry was w/it too. anyway, I think larry was waiting for me to look at james but my way involves him 'pert-near a hundred percent! yeah, maybe a little bit of a crutch but I wanna literally be a rhythm section and not ruin that, especially for the stooges. ig calls immediately for "cock in my pocket" right after and works it mainly from the pit except to introducing the guitar solo giving props to james who's really been kicking it out good tonight, respect. we do "louie louie" using ig's plan and it works! none of us hang over, yeah! we finish the encores w/a blast road rendition of "your pretty face is going to hell" which is a little surprise cuz "I got a right' was on the list but by this point it's happening ig reads the stich and give us audibles rather than working from a static script. he does a righteous "applying the make up" mime near the end, very interesting and I can't help but crack up. I keep it tother though and we end real strong. whew, the gig's done... the last stooges gig of the summer in europe is done.

   I hobble down the stairs slow and when I see roadboss eric, I ask him for a ride back to the 'tel, even in the sweated-out outfit. I thank james, thank larry, thank brother steve and then bail w/the lady who brought us here. I'm worried about my health and getting back at half past midnight when we got lobby at a quarter after seven is a very fortunate thing for me. I hose off 'pert-near quick and lay out my going home outfit and have my yellow clothes sack ready to go. eric says he understands about my health but hates also to see me hobble and he's right - that's health too.

   day after last summer europe 2012 stooges gig (monday) and before the pull anchor crack-of-dawn move, I get in one more free shovel, a couple of fried eggs w/shrooms and bacon w/toast. time to shove off - I didn't really get to say bye to the whole team last night cuz of bailing to the 'tel so early but am really glad jos comes to the car to wish me farewell - very grateful watt, thank you much, jos, thank you. the lady's who been driving me the whole time in brussels drives me, larry, helperman derek and roadboss eric to that big airport here that larry really digs (I shit w/thee). though my flight is for eleven am, at checkin they tell me it's delayed but I'll automatically rebooked (this flight goes to chicago and from there I'm to take another plane to so cal). I find it's a hundred minutes delayed. helperman derek really comes to the rescue and tells me I can try right now and get a new second flight. funny thing is won't matter but who could know that now and I'm big time grateful to him. the united airlines 767 is another fifty minutes late at the gate w/us suckas all boarded cuz of a "toilet problem" that needs the paper work finished (sounds like the punchline of a lame joke, right?) before we can leave the ground. I read more of cormac mccarthy's "the crossing" and then chimp what you're reading here up in the air u.s. bound. there's parts here in mr mccarthy's work that get all philosophical or deep in minutia of procedure (descriptive stuff) that I find fascinating. also all the espaņol! I gotta get better at that language, thank you, mr mccarthy. I chow airplane lasagna - you guess what that tastes like. it's nine hours and we land in a rainy o'hare airport in the chicago area. it's two hours to clear immigration (I shit thee not) but a very kind officer and just after rechecking my yellow clothes sack I learn my plane to lax is out of the race due to a mechanical sitch. the airline lady is very kind and puts me in roundtree 'tel for free. they give me thirty bucks worth of chow vouchers, I get a chicago dog waiting for the shuttle to the 'tel. rainy chicago, it's five pm now.

rainy chicago o'hare airport on august 13, 2012

later the 'tel has a chow pad (there's nothing in this part of rosemont, it's convention center land) and I use the rest of the voucher for a salad that's got pieces of steak in it, it's good - I'm surprised! there's oil/vinegar dressing, shrooms, cheese and onions and like spinach instead of shitty iceberg, respect. all the flavors meld good. I soak in the tub and konk early, popping at like two am for an hour, my inside clock's weird some...

   there was free internet in the lobby... man, did craig hubert open up some insights for me on my shit! I wonder if he was aware that in "on and off bass" both the pictures and the tour spiels were picked by someone other than me. those are my pictures and those are my spiels but laurie steelink picked the pictures and peter carlaftes picked the spiels - this was my idea cuz I was very insecure about putting out something like this and wanted some kind objectivity - I ain't cormac mccarthy... I wonder if he uses an editor? I mean the kind that's more than a spellchecker. I let some folks know (like right away: stooges tourboss henry) why I ain't in my pedro town yet.

   I pop at six and a half and hose off, get downstairs and call my ma on the shuttle back to the 'port to tell her what's up. my plane's leaving supposed to leave at twenty of ten so after security I get another chicago dog, I gotta look but it's at the end of my concourse ('b'), some pad called "galileo" where it's like $4.50 and the lady working there is just the kindest, she keeps calling me "young man" and does the dog up big time. you know, usually I like shit simple but w/chicago dogs I like all that shit going on: the celery relish, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles, peppers, onions and mustard, and yeah, even that kind of bun w/the seeds or whatever in it. it's a fucking happening symphony!

chicago dog watt chowed at o'hare airport on august 14, 2012

and for asagohan (breakfast in jap) too, fuck it! united airlines 757 packed to the gils, I'm in the back but at least I got an aisle seat. I also got motherfuckers yammering like no tomorrow so I put in the fucking earbuds to help dull their fucking drone and when I get a chance I get the ipod out the backwacksack and start playing the first six ccr albums in order. however, what's really sad is the lady rear in caddycorner that puked on takeoff, I hope she feels better. the clown in front of me is leaning back so hard I gotta chimp this here diary on the armrest in the fucking aisle. finally I give up and read again the mccarthy, 'pert-near finishing it. I get to the end of ccr's "cosmo's factory" when we land early but it takes me time to find the yellow clothes sack - actually it got here yesterday so I gotta get it baggage services!

   brother rudy's there to get me back to our pedro town, glad to see him, very glad!

rudy aguilar picking watt up from lax airport on august 14, 2012

he gets me to my pad about one pm. we say hi to my neighbor charley, a good cat. he said it's been some hot days recently here in pedro. no matter, I'm big time glad to back - so glad I got to sally forth w/the stooges but so glad too get back to my pedro town.

sunday, september 16, 2012 - chicago, il (u.s.)

   yesterday my sister came and got me at five in the morning for a flight from lax to chicago o'hare... trippy for stooges world cuz so many of our gigs are overseas that leaving my pedro town w/out my passport is a little bit strange. in fact, I'm bringing only the backwacksack for the 'puter - I got my stage outfit and one pair of clean chonies in it along w/a book, "as I crossed a bridge of dreams" which was translated by ivan morris and actually, the real author's name is unknown but we do know she lived in the early eleventh century around kyoto and nearby provinces in japan. her work is known as the sarashina nikki there. karen schoemer turned me onto this though I did know some of what's called "lady's hand" (onnade) writing of the heia period, women using the hiragana phonetic japanese alphabet cuz they weren't allowed to study the chinese kanjis like the men were.

   it's only four hours flying time (american airlines boeing 737) but here it's two hours ahead then back home so I'm driven right from the airport by a nice cat named danny to the s.i.r. (yeah, there's one here in chi-town too!) to do stooges prac. oh, hobbling from the gate to curb, I got a chicago dog on the way - my only chow today! the bossman there name caesar is very cool people, everyone there is. I think this where our stuff is being rented from too, I got two what seems like brand new ampeg svt "classic" rigs. larry's on a dw set like scotty likes (by the way, I tell him about me and james williamson doing two days of prac w/scotty in west hollywood back on the sixth and seventh, he's getting back in form and the plan is for him to do that austin gig we got october fourteen) but he's partial to more old school so caesar finds him a blue sparkle ludwig kit that is not new but more in the vintage style than the dw. brother steve is late cuz of plane stuff and helperman jos is last cuz of immigration stuff but bother are here for the whole second set we do, we play the setlist ig gave us for tomorrow twice. jos brought the brian michael bass so I played the "backup bass" 'til then, the "andy bass" (a 1969 gibson eb-3 and very kind man named andy from constableville, ny gave me the day after my bass was stolen along w/the other stooges stuff after a montreal gig in 2008) which roadboss asked me to bring for the three u.s. gigs we got for the rest of the year. it's a good prac though I think james blackstar combo (their version of an ac-30) is out of the race so helperman derek hooks up one of the backup heads to its speakers. much different sound but it'll work. derek also brought a new synth so he can play the celeste part in "penetration" in tune, brother steve's little casio toy getting the scissors. this town is like derek's second home so I understand him wanting to play for his peeps!

   after prac, I go searching around the 'tel (we're downtown not far by the lake at the park hyatt, right next to the "water tower" which was the only downtown building to survive the great chicago fire) for larry who said his birth ma and her brother roger are like a block away. there's a pad called "downtown dogs" I get a chicago dog at, second one today! I find out the larry and his ma are actually at the 'tel bar on the seventh floor so I go up and meet them. his ma is named shirley and she's righteous people. I'm so happy for her and her boy. she says the first time she heard his voice was when I interviewed him for my radio show last summer! I'm so glad I could be part of such a good thing. see, she had to give larry up after holding him only a half hour after he was born and now all these years later they finally are together again. she told me larry told her he'd been looking fourteen years! I mess up some and talk crude, I'm so very not used to be around parents, I'm a fucking idiot and a baka. I wanna show as much respect as I can, I just have such terrible habits. being alone a lot can sure help one be fucking awkward. they're all so kind to me though, very kind. I tell her what a great man and a great musician her boy is cuz that's what I feel and I'm so glad to meet his ma.

   gig day and I pop at eight, soak in a tub they got here that's twice as wide as a regular one and it ain't too short either so it's real good for a soak. we gotta leave for soundcheck at ten before nine - an early one. well, we get there early but they ain't ready for us, it's more than a hour of waiting cuz of a late truck. hey, it's better than us being an hour late for them is the way I see it! no prob. the weather is so fucking happening, incredible. no hot, no cold, no humidity - just the best... and I live in so cal! back home in fact was very sweaty, over a hundred the day before I bailed. we've been having a heat wave. this place we're playing is called humboldt park and it's the first time this event, the riot fest has been held outside in chicago cuz it used to be held in few clubs. they got some carnival stuff here besides four stages for the bands (we're on the "riot" one) and man, lots of cats from the old days like descendents, dickies, jesus and mary chain, et cetera. I get to meet the gigboss mike and his partner when I get some coff, really nice people and I congratulate them on putting together such a happening event. a big surprise is how good these ampeg amps sound - maybe the best ones I've ever played through. crimony.

   after we go through some songs, we're done cuz of time restraints, I see brett who's here w/slinging one of the guitars for built to spill which are also part of the fest. alright, I remember taking his caustic resin band on tour some years ago now... time is a trip how it wails past, huh? back to the 'tel I hobble a couple of blocks to chow a "pizza sandwich" at a pad called "pot belly" or something which ain't bad but ain't special either, kind of filler. you know what? I forgot my fucking camera! what a baka, no shots from me this trip - I'm a fucking idiot. I read the "sarashina nikki" book which takes time cuz of all the notes the author's got in the back. the notes are good cuz this is from a thousand years ago and helps me get to know stuff about this stuff I know so little about. there are man poems too. I wish my "nikki" (diary in jap) had as much art to it, her writing is beautiful. I feel like a crude thug w/my own chimping of words.

   six pm is our lobby call, I meet brother steve and larry and driverman larry's there to get us to the gig again via a chevy van. the sun's got the sky righteous orange and the weather is just the kind, no humid, no hot and no cold. it ain't windy either, damn... incredible! I got my outfit in a plastic sack, I gonna change in the dressing room, the only spare stuff I brought was a pair of chonies (other than the ones I'm wearing) but I'll save those for the plane ride tomorrow. right out the van I come across mike (bassman) from nofx - whoa! he says they already played - damn - but great to hear he broke a fever that had him for a few days and they had to scissor some gigs. I meet some of gogol bordello cats, great band, good men and proud to take shots w/them (folks like that still, right on!) - don't see eugene though, damn. that man has got it! alright, I get to see nofx helperman limo too, big hand for the big man, respect. mike takes me over to eric melvin, oh man - HUGE hug for the brother, he's just the best. I get to meet mike's two little ones, maybe the oldest is eight? their adorable and I'm so glad their pop is feeling better. ok, I gotta go prac - mike trips on that but I told him I ain't allergic to prac so no prob. yeah, he tripped on that w/a good laugh.

   in the dressing room james has got a new pignose amp for me, one in tweed built in china that sounds better than mine (which is europe), I play the andy bass and we run through the songs soon as I get out of the outfit I flew to this town in and into what I'm wearing on stage, my silver-gray dickies work shirt/pants. there's nothing for larry though, not even sticks so he plays the top and bottom of an ice holder bowl w/plastic spoons. helperman derek brings sticks after a few tunes but he's still gotta use the ice bowl trip. it works though. james has got a les paul I never seen before, a black one w/just one pickup (he says all his should be this way cuz he never uses the neck one) and it's kind of like the first ones w/the bridge and the neck set in the body like the early 50s gold ones. we get to "the passenger" and ig's in the next room and can hear me clam the beginning twice so he pops in and helps me w/the count-in twice. I use the larry's hihat for the cue and well, there's no hihat here so I got confused like a baka. ig's in good shape. he had a hellday yesterday cuz of flights canceling on him and having to even drive to another airport. it's been a month since we last played too. man, I sure hate making him nervous about blowing that beginning but him counting me in helps w/me sinking the boat less of a chance - thanks so much, ig. larry's ma watches us do prac, king of a command performance for her and brother roger. there's no sports drink bullshit for me to try and head off cramps w/but man does roadboss eric come to save the by getting some from a store. I choke down a quart while we prac.

   we get done and I talk some w/larry and his ma 'til about twenty minutes to go (we're on at 8:25 pm) and then tourboss henry rides w/me on a golfcart for the stage, the "riot stage" which has got a little ad hoc "compartment" built in the rear corner using hefty bags to make for bulkheads - no overhead... this is need cuz there's literarily no wings on this side of the stage - actually it unfolds from a truck trailer - not that it's tiny but it is what you might call a mobile one kind of compared to the usual outside ones that are "built" from the ground up. after sitting for a bit, I go on over to my side where this cat "simon the chef" is standing. he's seen a lot of stooges, he's cooked for a lot of rock and roll bands, has a book coming out about even next spring. he says he can get me a lakland bass free which is most kind but do I need another bass? there's a little video camera on a tripod and I hear tourboss henry tell the young people w/it that it might get bowled over once showtime happens. the guy tells henry "but it's a five thousand dollar camera!" and henry tells it like it is: he can't be responsible. I tell the lady that it ain't belig but ig's gotta gig to work and this stage is his - I tell her I've been knocked down twice and hell if I whined about it cuz I know what I'm getting into being up here doing what's gonna come. she seems kind enough to believe me. really it's about reality, I wan't trying to be scary. a stooges gig ain't connect-the-dots kind of stuff! simon the chef has a lot to tell me about the journey band, he's friends w/them so I'm listening while nina and shirley come over... then out of the blue (or black cuz it's dark now) I see james trot over to his stuff as larry runs and jumps up on his drums - damn, the gig's on - sorry chef, gotta hobble as fast as possible. helperman jos is caught off-guard too and scrambles to get the cord around my strap into me, james oblivious to our drama and wailing on the opening chords to "raw power" w/ig running on at full speed and in a twirl... jos hits the mute just as I'm supposed to be there - damn, did he do that good, right in time! fuck, we're under way! so trippy how can you have all that calm and then just just total panic, crimony! the sound is really ripping, damn if I ain't played through better svts, maybe some of the best cuz you know usually I ain't to these things even I gotta use them all the time. the crowd is lots of young people and they're really bringing it - ig gives it back, here's some middle finger for you! it's a good time. I look back at larry a bunch, I know he's playing good for his ma and I wanna too. "search and destroy" up right next the first of these glowing "night sticks" come flying up but none of them hit anyone, not even hobbled me. I know we came off a month break but ig is singing great and he is full animated mode which having the stage not tiny but also not big time huge a good thing. ig tells the folks something to effect we're flithy but thanking them for coming before were next into "gimme danger" and the puddle of sweat starts forming at my feet - I try to keep them spread so I don't slip in it. I see a big line of young ladies run through the moat in front of us - what? it's only a small moat here, just wide enough for one aisle but the run by - where'd they come from? where were they going? we finish up and then an invite from ig to the audience to have anyone brave enough to "bumrush this stage!" as he implores them to do - he says bumrush! a few more times, wants it crazy but what we get is twelve little girls up there w/us - yeah, that's what that was all about during the last tune (later I found out it was the festival's idea to keep things calmer) and though they ain't big men or cats climbing over the barrier to get on up (those who tried are aggressively denied, damn), they sure down jump up and down once get "shake appeal" underway and I am 'pert-near almost bounced right off - I look over at james and he's cracking up. man, were those girls leaping and this stage was 'pert-near a trampoline in reaction to it. ig was singing w/the back to the crowd, actually singing to the crowd of the twelve girls and damn if he wasn't cracking up too kind of, it was a little surreal. when we got done he told the audience we weren't partial to just women - then he qualified that w/"well, maybe not the band" and w/that I waved my hand at him, saying "no, no - not me!" and then he says "well, maybe sociably" and we're all cracking up but not long cuz "1970" is next and it's ramrod time, right down the breach and out the barrel. we hit it hard, real hard. "fucking blow, steve!" - ig w/his a palm pleading up to the sky, he hollers in his face. we shut it down and ig's center up front but w/no mic stand - he hollers for "fun house" anyway, kind of fooling me cuz for sure I thought he'd wait but the momentmum is carrying us and he don't wanna choke it up so I'm right there and it's wild... kind of a different version near the end - no "take it down!" from him so I go down an octave when he gets to his "we've been separated" - this is what's important I think about being in the moment w/ig and not part of some programmed-robot-sleep-walk. the other thing is I can't help it either - I like being in the moment w/him. here comes the coda but I'm ready and I yank that 'e' string hard to pull the plug on it. he brings back his "I am you" refrains for "l.a. blues" while I get belig on the freakout, recovering a sketch of trane's "giant steps" before trying to get my arms around my amplifiers to "monkey-hump" them (james' term) but there on a dolly w/wheels and I'm afraid to turn the whole trip into an unmanned skateboard but do as much as I can - I do get some great feedback out of them though, getting tuned back 'pert-near quick before larry clicks us into "night theme" (man, shit was really out tonight, maybe the 'e' down a step and a half which is a good thing I got that korg tuner james gave me) and then we're into the "skull thing" w/ig returning to join us w/some dance - man, has he been dancing up a tornado this whole gig - what broken foot back in romania last year?!! singing again w/us right next (they segue - hell, at this point everything 'pert-near segues!) for "beyond the law" and maybe w/a second between before he asks larry "can I get a gooddamn right?" - goddamn right he can and we give him "I got a right" which is a little shaky as he's singing the first verse - not him, us but james gets back right quick w/me and larry which was trippy cuz ig was way over on james' side - I don't know how he does it but it fires james up to rip out a exploder solo... ig after that works the moat - I lose him for a bit but then there he is - he brings back the solo and I just stop and point right at larry for his two bar blaster snare roll, righteous! I hope his ma caught that. again one second in between and ig calls for "I wanna be your dog" and right there larry brings it. ig don't work this solo of james but does it right there on the stage in front of us, rolling around - he asks the band to take it down, yeah we're supposed to do that anyway but I think james and brother steve really get the idea, he gets the folks chanting and then we slam it home. ig wants the lights on, wants to see the people - he does something I think I never witnessed, he asks if he can stage dive and then leans right over backwards into the people right on the other side of the barrier so not really the javeline toss I've seen before but man, do I see some lit up smiles in the faces of those folks he tumbled over on to, like they couldn't believe it happened. alright. "open and bleed" for the closer, really intense coda, larry winding it up and up and up and up and... finally just me and him left and I had throw the bass off cuz I felt my hands cramping and maybe we got more to go? I hobble off to the side I came on instead of usual which is joining for the pow-wow, just too far a distance and I'm kind of in a state - larry's ma's there and I hold her hand w/both of mine, trying to keep the muscles stretched so they won't cramp... I feel sorry I'm so sweaty on her, damn... I see over at that little "semi-cubicle" or whatever ig talking w/the guys and hoping he ain't pissed I ain't there but when I see everyone move I know it's time to go and hearing james start off "penetration" I know that's the one - thank god jos tuned the bass up cuz I tossed it big time and damn if it ain't strong enough to take that shit - brian michael built a strong bass! good intonation too. I think james things larry didn't catch the ending "retardation" (is that how you say it?) but for sure I know he grabbed that last note good. right away ig wants "no fun" so we bring it - I think there's curfew issues but like a baka I wasn't there to hear about it however I know ig's aware and he runs a tight ship - he asks the people if they've every heard of "the passenger" and they holler, he asks if they've ever heard of "cock in my pocket" and they holler again - he calls for "the passenger" and I'm grateful big time for him counting me in. james never does get loud for near that end part, staying in "acoustic mode" cuz of what he tells me later was a "pilot error" - he chuckled again, a couple of those from him tonight which is a little different than the serious face he usually has going for gigs. ig then calls for "cock..." but only the first part - what? ok. that's what we do, after the first chorus we're done and off, henry telling me "w/one minute to spare" as I pass him on the stairs as I hobble down. now that my friends is showbiz! damn. I hobble back instead of taking the gold cart which is a little scary cuz it's a park was not so much even ground but a kind cat working for the fest helps me w/some flashlight for guidance so I actually make it back to the dressing rooms w/no tumbles. whew.

   great gig, everyone way happy. larry's ma's first time seeing him play! I'm talking w/her and roger about their feelings regarding that and just spieling about we just went though when ig comes in to talk w/her. it's a great talk, he spends much time w/her and speaks righteous about larry. they have a very happening conversation about stuff as I watch from the couch saying only "she loves sam cook" (larry told me). man, it's pretty emotional for me, it's a great thing. they get done, I get to change out of the outfit - I get to meet roadboss eric's sister and the folks she's w/who are all most kind. I kind of foist my third opera on them cuz one was talking about seeing it when I bring it around the u.s. one more time this fall. didn't mean to do that. eric brings me some pizza and a beer, very kind of him. I tell his sister he's been good to me for like, yeah going on thirteen years (he had to help me w/that - my baka memory!). I am most grateful. I meet some of larry's buddies from mexico who are making a doc film on jesse evans, great hombres. the boat's gonna pull anchor though so it's farewell time.

   but when we get back to the 'tel it ain't total farewell time cuz after I get the sweat off in that tub - a big wide one here but damn if my body just start cramping up like crazy in it, I get invited up by larry to spend some time on a balcony part of this 'tel where we talk 'til they close it down. man, it's a good time his ma and roger, two righteous people and what a trippy way life has done w/bring things together like it has. a fourteen year search for larry but he did it. man, is it a great thing and she got to see him play for the first time here, in the town where I was conceived.

   the next morning I get one more chicago dog at that "downtown dogs" pad around the corner from the 'tel. me and larry ride together to o'hare airport in the same van but he's flying to nyc while I'm going back to my pedro town. american airlines... only an hour late this time. four and half hours on a to-the-gills 737 that had me chimping what you're trying to wade through here and my buddy rudy aguilar comes right from the docs (he's a longshoreman) to get me from lax. damn, he wasn't hipped to the one hour delay (baka watt) but held on away for me - much MUCH respect. only the backwacksack is what I brought the kitanai (filthy in jap) chonies in the sack I got the chicago dog in w/in it, I can go straight from the plane to the curb to meet him. he says it was blistertown as far as heatwave in our town but it's cooled of some now, grazie dio. only six days here before I fly to paris though...

tuesday, september 25, 2012 - paris, france

   a little stressed for this trip, kind of a juggling act. it's been on my nerves kind of intense since getting back from the chi-town gig, sometimes 'pert-near paralyzing me. I have a u.s. tour of my third opera w/my missingmen starting in ballard, wa on friday and here it is sunday... what's the big deal? between now and then are two stooges gigs in paris and florence! I got my fingers crossed big time that I can do this, that the fates are being kind on me. the plan is to fly early friday morning first to amsterdam from florence and then from amsterdam to seattle and join up w/tom and raul there. I'll have them shove off from so cal wednesday for their 1150 mile hellride in my boat (ford econoline e-350), having them do it in three chunks. anyway, I got let go of some worry and just cut the deck and take the deal I get dealt. I got good men. stooges tourboss henry has helped me much to arrange what we can...

   my sister melinda brings me to lax around one pm on sunday, the day when her and me chow breakfast w/our ma so that's what we do at eight am, the time we always do that. I get dropped off at terminal two cuz it's an air france flight but am surprised by recent developments: all air france flights EXCEPT those using the new airbus a380 still use terminal two but now flights for those big boys leave from the bradley terminal so I have to hobble over to there. luckily I got nothing but the back wack 'puter sack (it's got two pairs of clean chonies in it) cuz the yellow clothes sack is in the boat along w/the dan bass. road boss eric is helping me big time by have my stage outfits (the silver-gray dickies) washed and I got this purple polyester plaid shirt I can wash in the sink cuz it dries fast. the only thing really taking the brunt is the levis in the socks but I think I can handle it. since I'm in the bradley terminal, fuck it - I get a pink's dog, a pastrami rueben one and it's good though maybe a little busy - those toppings soaked the bun and it fell apart so I had to shovel w/my fingers. now these new airbuses can carry over five hundred passengers - there's two full decks so that's why they need terminals w/upper and lower gates. this new expanded part of the bradley terminal were in actually has gates for buses to roll us out to like "satellite" terminals where we get loaded up there. it's a slow go. finally after an hour the big boat takes off - I'm in upper deck in the back, seat 92g. they got a camera on the tail pointed forward so we all watch as we lift off, then there's a camera underneath us too so you can see how we go west over the ocean and then come about northeast and pass not far offshore from my pedro town and then long beach, etc. I try out the movie thing here, just to see what it's like. nothing different than systems planes that have a screen on the back of every seat have had for years. I see this one from korea called "as one" and believe it or not it makes me cry. damn. I am softy. some shmaltz but I guess also based on some real stuff - hell, I don't watch recent movies 'cept in cases like this (being on fucking plane) and hardly ever that - I try two others "thermae roma" and "prometheus" but they're so fucking lame I am shamed to put links to them and upset at myself for wasting the fucking time that I did. terrible. I guess watching movies is like rolling the dice. actually the ones I mostly see are those black and white ones on the turner channel and that's most of what tv I watch when it does get turned on. I do some konk too but these chairs ain't much of an improvement over planes I've been on. I don't know if it's this flight or if it's the plane but damn do we have buttloads of turbulence lots of the time and a pretty hard scary landing. a very long unloading time and it's like eleven hours I've been in that tube. ok, enough bellyaching - I'm here safe and am grateful.

   one of alain's drivermen (remember, alain does ALL stooges gigs), stefan gets me and brother steve from charles de gaulle airport just before two pm - way too late to hit the 'tel (paris traff is nightmare) so fuck it, we got prac so let's go there we tell stefan. it's at a pad called planet live which is about thirteen miles south of the airport in a 'burb called bondy so it makes a hell lot of sense to go straight there from the 'port then being totally baka and go to the 'tel first. good to see helperman jos, mixman max, roadboss eric and helperman andrew (no helperman derek w/us for this) but we gotta wait for guitarman james williamson and drummerman larry mullins which takes hours! I guess there's some drama cuz a lot of shit either missing or donated since the chi-town gig but the crew improvises and james' dealio is realized, good work from everyone. we wait for the guitar/drum operators and in the meantime a few "blocks" (it's an industrial park so not really blocks) away is a chowpad called "snack live" (same owners as the prac pad?) where I chow a steak w/salad and fries for fourteen euros (eighteen $ u.s.) which is a bunch for me to spend but it is good. not on purpose I make andrew unappetized w/some movie descriptions which was not my attenion - I gotta make I don't chow w/in ear-shot of that man cuz I don't mean to cause him any hell. eric and brother steve are tolerant though. just as we get back to the prac pad, james and larry finally show up, they say they've been driving forever due a wrong choice in routing. we go through the set only once - I'm surprised but that's what james says to do. jos helps much by doing the vocals, getting the words up on his 'puter which are from the net which are sometimes pretty funny - you know about some net versions of lyrics, right? he helps big time though cuz counting riffs is not the best way to prac if you can help it - same w/trying to read watt's 'tard lips.

   it takes an hour to get to a 'tel called crown plaza in the republique part of paris. lots of construction right out front. larry said he was going to some pad called the "clown bar" but I can't find it anywhere after hobbling around... I do find a "monop'" little chain chow store and get some bordeaux salami and gouda cheese w/caraway seeds and that's my dinner. I watch some spiels by the liberal democrats on the bbc channel and then konk at like ten.

   gig day and I pop at seven and soak in the tiny tub they got here. the angle at the tub's rear is such that a suction actually pins your back to it if you're not careful and it takes you putting you hand in between like lever to wedge yourself free, fuck. really dark in the morning and it looks like it rained much last night. there's a free shovel down stairs and it's good. I get two fried eggs, make myself a salad w/oil/vinegar and have some yogurt. I have much email and though the internet costs in the room, it's free in the lobby so I'm 'pert-near a couple of hours there trying to catch up. we got soundcheck at two pm and the ride to the venue which is an old theatre called the casino de paris which is two miles away and the google maps says ten minutes by car - I call bullshit cuz it takes us 'pert-near an hour. hilarious. only maybe london has such inner city plug. great though to see alain and his crew: olivier, cedric and the driver man I always space on w/his name (very sorry, I am baka). there's an incredible cat named david in charge of the backstage who's dressed kind of like king creole and the coconuts. man, he's laid out quite a trip w/the chow stuff. I chow some of these roast beef he's sliced and YES, THERE'S FUCKING MUSTARD! we go through the set on stage, sounds good in this old pad. the only lame thing is I can't get my buddy patrick on the guest cuz actually there's no guest list cuz of the nature of this gig, it's a different kind of one for us, a kind of invite-only (through a contest) kronenbourg "beer party" for something called pression live so, well, I guess "work the room" is the best way to look at it. oh, another comedy part is driving back to the 'tel which means yeah, another hour which gives us like an hour at the 'tel before having to drive back - insane! I feel so bad for our driver christina who must be much stressed (manual tranny too in this boat) but she's got good spirit. I get one of the two pair of clean chonies I brought in the back wack 'puter sack. another hellride through plugged traff, back at the venue we do prac w/the tiny amps backstage after I get into my stage outfit. kind of warm but it's good to prac. we got no opening act, just us.

   ten before nine, I hobble to the stage... it's all old-timey here so a big winding hallway to a side entrance and cuz of a huge backdrop that has "iggy and the stooges" on it w/the event's name allows me to cross over to stage starboard (my side and some side curtains along w/the physical wings hides me from the folks. jos brings me the bass. we laugh about whether the amp's standby switches are on. right on time I see across to the hatch I just entered to see ig give the word to james and larry, I got only a little way to go so no panic to get going - james rips in to "raw power" w/some tempo going and when larry kicks in, he rides right w/that, no anchor dragging behind cuz hell, he's turned on his "power machine" mode or whatever and we're blasting, ig riding it like a cat w/board surfing a fucking tsunami! the pad is packed, balcony included. cedric (one of alain's team) has got a great sound on stage, respect. lots of middle fingers and "fuck you" hollers from ig - up comes an empty beer glass (soft plastic), yes it is a beer gig... soon up flies a shoe (only one? the dude must be hoppin') and hit's my amp so I'm thinking this is the begging of a shit storm but actually nothing else follows (except for towards the end when a pink bra gets hurled up). a puddle of sweat starts growing at my feet, we're into "gimme danger" where james will later tell me coming back after his solo he felt some strange - he looked over at me but I thought ok, he came back a little early but eased it right back in good w/those chords he does there - ig looked over to make sure me and larry were winding up right but everyone's on and he gives the crowd a sincere deep bow before asking everyone to "bumrush this shit" and get up on stage w/us and dance to "shake appeal" - a bunch of cats do and unlike our last gig which was in chicago, maybe two ladies make it up w/the rest guys, some of them pretty big. lots of stage hands join the usual henry and jos (andrew too) which I don't know if it's really needed cuz everyone's in real good spirits, just dancing away and sometimes giving me "air bass" moves right in front of me, some taking pictures... the back of one guy's tshirt says "fuck you, I'm drunk." a good time. oh, long timer good brother rob partiger was one of the first up and gave me a hug, righteous. if rob's in the house at a stooges gig, you know you're not alone if you're a true believer cuz rob ALWAYS brings it. I wanna work bass as hard as this man dances! it's always a surprise but man, he's made a bunch of gigs, let me tell you, respect. a very quick stage clearing, ig wants to get right to "1970" and tells the folks he wants to fuck them in the ass. ok, we play it that way, real hard (or if you were in boston: HAHD!). ig works the starboard wing for a good while before getting over to brother steve and gives him a bday kiss - or did it come in the next tune "fun house" maybe? I asked him and he doesn't know for sure but said he sure did dig it. I missed one of dynamic "uhh!!!" and was a bar in behind it - baka watt! great dancing, ig likes this stage it seems, he likes working it. freak out time into "l.a. blues" w/some big time monkey humpin' w/the bass yet I get her back in tune (but maybe some hurt on some frets? I'll ask james if he can get them dressed next chance that's possible). I go sharp for a cunt hair on one of the b-flats of "night theme" - just a tiny moment but still baka. ig comes running out to join us for "skull thing" ("night theme being the band's true instrumental of the set) and lifting that off into "beyond the law" where I think I lost count and started playing one refrain too many (again, like a baka) but luckily it was in e-minor under the e-minor james was strumming on larry whupping it up for end-o. "I got a right" ig prefaces w/a good spiel about hearing about rights, getting taught about rights, wanting some rights but ending up getting shit. I'm pretty sure there was a flying stage dive here at james' solo but maybe there was one before? man, these gigs are a blur I tell you, even trying chimping them right after! I do know we got it running hot and heavy, ig pumping the people up in w/still much drive in the softer part. we rip it open for then and that right into "I wanna be your dog" which at another shot-out-the-cannon leap from him. whoa. "open up and bleed" builds and builds, it backs up on itself and then doubles up for each round 'til we get to the end that one quit - even w/ig, james and brother steve gone I can only go so far w/larry who's upped it way early and I feel cramps coming in my hands so I don't even throw the bass off but yank the cord out of her and hobble of the behind the curtain the rest of the band went. ig calls off our next tunes and then were back out there - me w/the bass in hand, I'm ready for "penetration" as james delivers it. uh oh, cramps in my hand are coming now, "no fun" is a little tough. I've completely drenched my outfit. ig counts me in for "the passenger" but some claw hand and though they don't totally disable me, I get distracted and turn the g and e around a few times (meaning that turnaround lick) - it's the trippy minor/major twist and I'm a baka though I think tony sales had the lick 'pert-near every time around (james likes me going down to the g). there's been cameras going the whole time so it's being filmed (jos chased off one of the handhelds on stage). "cock in my pocket" immediately right after - did he dive again here or right after in "louie louie" I'm wondering or was it both? I know I saw him throw one mic out that hit a cat in the chest who was crowd surfing on his back - not on purpose but it was like his chest had magnetic properties and nailed him. I saw him jog through the moat though so he was ok. of course the mic cable came back to the stage minus the mic, donate! larry did the kingsman intro but didn't wait two like we usually do - damn me, I should've jumped in there w/him! we're done and we go off, ig says the band was "cracking" (his words), he thought we did good - then he runs back out on stage and asks on the mic (new one, jos brought it - we usually have three for a gig on three separate cords), "where's my free beer w/my name on it?" - yeah these kronenbourg people made 50cl cans w/his name on it and he gets one handed to him, pops it open and pours it on his head - we're all watching from the side hatch, he starts doing a dance, all beered up meaning wet w/it, not full of it. he comes off and him and us are all laughing - I go "beer dance" and he says, "yeah, beer dance." everyone laughs.

   man, I just made it as far as cramps. my hands are totally closed up and lame. I drink some of those kronenbourgs and I earlier told larry I thought they were ok but I was wrong. I get out of the wet stage outfit and into the non-stage one. james' friend wendy james comes back to say hi to him - he produced her latest single and had brother steve blow bari sax on it - they did a cover of bob dylan's "it's alright ma (I'm only bleeding)" and a fred sonic smith tune. mixman max worked w/her once in the 90s and they both tell me about old days of "west london punk" stuff, I tell them about seeing bob marley in 1979 and how I found out about him cuz of punk (his "punky reggae party" song). sandrine comes to visit - alright! she's got some ribs broke but her mind is sharp like always. I sure am sore. I take the first boat back that's got francois/jos and yuki/andrew. I get back to the 'tel and was the purple shirt in the sink using the shampoo they got a little bottle of there and then soak in the tub, getting stuck a couple times via that suction shit. I gotta just learn not lean back so far even w/a tiny tub where your knees are all bent up. there's a little box on the table by the bed that says "it works" and it has two small bottles in it, one w/frankincense and eucalyptus that you roll on "pulse points" and breathe it in and the other a spray of lavender, vetivert and camomile you're supposed to spray on your pillow. hell, I try it and konk quick. damn.

thursday, september 27, 2012 - florence, italy

   wednesday I pop at six and go shovel the free trough a half hour later. same chow as yesterday except I add some baked beans. trippy having salad for breakfast, some cucumbers and black olives in it too. we got 8:45 am lobby call but the driver is late so me and brother steve wait a half hour in the gray drizzle. the driver takes some shortcuts, up past the moulon rouge and get's us to charles de gaulle in time though. a trippy thing it's on us three (james got picked up first) cuz the other guys are getting to florence via the orly airport in south paris. actually it's us six cuz we meet ig, nina and henry at the terminal - I'm surprised when henry calls out my name as I hobbled by. I give ig the spielgusher album I did, man, have I been forgetting to do that. I finish the cormac mccarthy "the crossing" book while we're waiting and give it to brother steve as a belated bday present. a ninety minute flight on an air france jet avro rj85 that's gets us into aeroporto di firenze about noon where a nice cat name tommaso brings me and brother steve right into the old downtown to a 'tel called cerretani where lo and behold there's internet in the room for free, grazie mille.

   it's much warmer here than paris but there's some clouds. I'm invited by tourboss henry to come chow at a pad called il latini - we're right in the middle of the old downtown so it's easy for me to hobble there w/larry and roadboss eric. larry's invited david and his lady, this is the cat who lives in milano that saw us play in germany back in july and offered to put an album by us. this chow pad is like in larry's words "amazing!" and just so good, oh my god. I don't shovel too much of any one thing cuz I want a piece of everything they bring on: the soup, the barley salad, the pastas, the rabbit, gnoccgnocchi ravioravioli grilled meats - crimony, what a fucking great chow. righteous spiel too w/david, they're originally from bari and I talk about the one time I was in the area to do a stooges gig like seven years ago in what was supposed to be otranto but turned out to be melpignano - yumiyumi opened for us. I had pedaled a bike from the golf course we were staying at all along the adriatic and was actually the only one to see otranto, went to the little town inside the costello. man, those were the days when I had knees good enough to do that, those were the days. well, the spiel doesn't end there, we take it to the bar at the 'tel. I gotta say henry was VERY KIND to springboard for this chow, I mean it. there was twelve of us - yeah, clyde's here too - so good to see him, I think I forgot to mention he's driving the stuff in jos' van and just got into time just in time for this shovel. he's got quite a hellride ahead when friday he'll go w/larry to berlin (larry's got the drums and so much stuff he can't fly) and then on london, like sixteen hundred miles! anyway, I most grateful to henry and I know everyone else is too. wow. respect to tourboss henry.

   back at the 'tel, more spiel w/david and larry - then max joins us and explains sectarian stuff to me, this cat is a man of many insights. I spieled like five or six hours straight (the chow was like three hours itself!) and I think I might be paying for it tomorrow. I konk real happy though cuz all the nice cats I got to be w/so it's hard to have regrets... damn, it just is.

   gig day and yep, I wake up hoarse - I am a baka. actually I pop at ten bells cuz I think my body was beat and I think that fever broke. I'm thinking now that weird feeling I had both nights konking in paris all cold even w/a heavy blankie on but then waking up w/soaked pillow case - not from one spray from that little bottle but sweat-soaked. I miss the shovel here. I feel like I have to go into defense mode and protect my health much. remember, I gota u.s. tour coming right up!

   soundcheck has us meet eric at a quarter of two and by foot make it to the piazza della republica where this gig put on by the hard rock cafe people is gonna be at. kind of trippy to do a check in front of so many folks, james relents after about five tunes though - henry asks that we don't give away too much. I have some sweats... we get done and I wanna both see and do a prayer for my health at il duomo which is a mindblow and so is giotto's campanile - I go into the cathedral... yeah, the medici's had some monies, I think they wanted folks to know that but man, there's some art going down. I guess the idea's like that in seville where there was a lot of stuff in play w/these works getting built. the detail and craft, I could spend so much time looking close at all the stuff there is but I just do a couple of hours cuz I wanna get back get some rest, my shirt sweat-soaked. I just couldn't miss the chance to spend some time being so close - actually I missed a chance when I did my second opera in this town in 2005... you know dante is from this town, right? he was exiled and never saw it again for his last twenty years but this was his town. tuscan history is pretty intense, crimony - spend some time reading about it. so much art genius though at the same time, what a trip.

   lobby call is 7:45 pm w/larry and brother steve ten minutes late. I wanna kind of get over to the gig cuz I know james will want us to prac - I want us to prac too but I need to chow something cuz I've had nothing all day. I wonder if hobbling over would be quicker... we get to the piazza and it's jammed w/folks, totally filled up. into the little yellow backstage tents (actually more like sidestage) and there's some bread rolls and in the fridge some sliced roast beef so I stuff a hunk of the roll w/that and flavor it w/a bottle of "frank's" hot sauce they got here too. I choke down a couple bottles of powerade also. then we prac but it's kind of hilarious cuz the two bands who won the "battle of the bands" put on by the people involved w/this gig, desma and the cyborgs both do short sets which in no way are buffeted by the little yellow tent walls and so I don't even bother turning on the pignose amp cuz I'm miming it anyway. larry's using his drumsticks on a fire extinguisher and you can hear james' little battery-power fender so that's what we got and fuck if I'm gonna shirk so we prac all the tunes we didn't do at soundcheck and then I get in my outfit. I can't really talk cuz of that fucking five or whatever hour full-on yammering I did last night so I don't try... man, that was baka of me, totally. twenty after nine and I make my way up the stairs to my side, a very short distance. there's much commotion, some guy named "ringo" thinks he's gonna introduce the band but gets the word from tourboss henry and he's down the stairs pretty quick, hope he ain't too bummed. ig don't like the stooges being introduced and for me that makes sense. I got my back to the crowd w/the anchor (brian michael) bass on after jos handed it to me. nina and yuki come up and I hear them talk, clyde helping them find a place cuz there ain't much space up here. I should've spieled but I wanna hold focus, I've been caught short before w/the gig seeming to come out of nowhere on me... I see the band come out of the little yellow tents and then imagine seeing them go past behind the stage - I then see james across the way halfway up the stairs w/larry and then ig behind him - I see ig give the word and they both make their break - I start my hobble, short way to go - damn, looks at all these people, the entire piazza and the streets feeding it packed. jos plugs me as I get my glasses off - damn, I got my camera in my pocket - what? get it out and on the riser, ok, fist in the air and beat my first two notes out, joining james and larry on an uleasunleashed power" cannon shot, turn one amp somehow w/the whole fucking place going nuts. that barricade like a hundred feet out there to make the area close to the stage only for vip douches was totally jumped over by the regular people and they're right up against the stage - no moat. I know ig's glad about that. he turns it on for everyone, hates the idea of a vip place. open air feels better than the inside thing in paris and this gig for the florence people is a free gig whereas the other dealio was an invite-only. "search and destroy" right up next and the shit is on fire. not such a huge stage and ig can work center, port and starboard big time w/out doing a marathon. james and larry are playing really good, brother steve on the clave sticks - the rain went away, he was right about calling that. after ig tells the folks he's ig and these are the stooges and by the way, get the fucking sound louder (I turn up the other laney - they're both at two o'clock now), we let "gimme danger" loose and I dig in hard. james asked me not to let him down and I'm trying my hardest. I told him about those cold sweats in paris... ig's in rage, I feel it - he loves the people but stuff about the sitch has got him pissed however he works the room and ain't about to diminish that - he calls for dancers to join us on "shake appeal" and we get one man and nine or ten ladies - I think it's another inside job like in chi-town, put on by the gig-boss. actually yuki's up here, she moved in from the side! ig tells her "stay up here" while the dancers gather, I don't think he realizes it's helperman andrew's wife. hell, she was dancing at soundcheck, why not now here on stage? nina didn't come out w/her. ig's pissed at all these clowns w/camera on him, asking people to take them out and he's pissed at security not letting cats up but we gotta keep the momentum so here we go - whoa, there's goes the dress off of one lady, she's dancing just in g-whatever and when a security clown tries to move on her, jos knocks him away w/eric shoving him off the stage - arrivederci, pecker. ig's got some smiles now, thanking the "frirefirenzeers" (I go over to james and ask if there was a weird chord and he nods yes - I think he got distracted) before telling everyone he's gonna fuck them and exhorting us to bring "1970" which damn right we do. it's fierce, forza ig. I'm lit, he calls "fun house" and put in some haywire fills but ride the dynamic on his cues... man, is he dancing up a shitstorm, it's righteous! his first stagedive for the night comes out of nowhere, jos and eric scurry to get him cuz they got totally surprised it appears... back up, ig's last line: "steal you heart away" as he looks me right in the eye and I thwack that last low 'e' like I was a bowman as we freak into "l.a. blues" w/ig telling the folks "I am you" and I give it the amps big time w/the bass being the bologna between us - a good long and belig one and even a second teeth pull on the highes 'd' note I can do on that machine. I get her tuned inbetin betweenes, larry clicks us into "night theme" soon as I quote "a love supreme" (my cue to him) - someone throws a pillow up and it lands at the foot of my amps, a pillow! better than the beer bottle james gets a little later (a fucking glass one) but luckily not much shirt is hurled (ig did catch a hoodie flung at him w/one hand while he was singing like it was no big thing and tossed it to the deck)... a bra came up, either red or pink - was it someone from the paris gig? "skull thing" into "beyond the law" and I'm pretty sweatsoaked but no cramps in my hands and I got focus in my head, grazie dio. "I got a right" right up and ig w/a good spiel on the subject when we take it down. blistering take. "I wanna be your dog" follows w/larry bringing it in soon as possible. the place is nuts. ig into the crowd again and then back up w/us but on the deck after james' solo biting at mic cable like a dog, holding it in his teeth while on all fours... he rolls over and unbuckles his belt - I think he got this one during the summer in verona... "open up and bleed" last but very much not least, in fact him singing it very powerful and from the heart. larry winds the coda up insane fast w/james and brother steve making psycho sounds w/their machines - I try to keep up but now I start to feel hand cramps and let go before they go too far, I throw the bass off and hobble off to join the guys, ig still pissed a little cuz of what had been the sitch but really, the non-vips turned it around and it tells us to wait so he can straighten things out but I think he sees it got turned around and dances for the folks and then has come on a quick get into "penetration" w/jos giving me the bass all tuned up in the nick of time. man, am I sweaty and a little bit wore but I'm into it. this is "the fucking stooges" like ig would say. "no fun" up next and it's a happy ride - is that a weird thing to say? ig was all smiles, I gotta say I am too. he counts me in for "the passenger" and larry's got the same good groove he brought in paris. folks up front got a sheet they've spray-painted w/the message "I wanna fuck your dog" but ig reads aloud it as "I wanna suck your cock" and says this next tune happens to be about that part of the body, "cock in my pocket" and we wail that out to the good people of florence, me hitting an 'e' where it should've been an 'a' for just a cunt hair but it's still enough to warrant a clam, fucking baka watt. "louie louie" is the planned closer, a surprise it seems to the crowd but as I start taking off the bass, ig motions to wait and calls for "your pretty face is going to hell" - singing the first right in front of larry w/me beside him, whoa. I wonder if this is our last gig w/larry? we're done and I hoist the bass over my head, thanking the folks grazie, ig thanking them grazie mille but james asks me to wait from going down the stairs so we watch ig do his last dance from right there and when he's done and approaching, I give him a deep respect bow and am the last down them stairs.

   quick as I can in the little yellow tent I get out of the soaked outfit and bag it in a plastic sack from the 'tel, the ones where they want you to pay them many euros for overpriced laundry. fuck that but they are handy for this job though. roadboss eric will have it washed for the austin gig in three weeks, the first ig w/scotty in maybe fifteen months? my hands are cramped up bad, we finished just in time. larry gives me another talk about what his ma said about potassium, says it wants me to eat many bananas. in my going home outfit, the only outfit I brought w/the yellow coat on, I thank james, brother steve and larry before tripping and falling backwards, landing on my ass. I've done this much and know how to fall so although they're all worried, I ain't hurt at all. they help me up and I hobble out w/a big bottle of frizzante (bubble) water. they can't get a van in through the crowd but I say I'll hobble the few blocks back to the 'tel. territeresa she's scared a little but goes w/me a few yards into the throng where tommaso comes to take over, letting me put my arm around his shoulders like he was a kind of crutch. he's a smaller man but strong and gets me through the crazy mass of folks that've turned the piazza della republica into a real circus. I hobble across the old paved street stones w/out an incident, tommaso being essential to that. I tell him I sure missed seeing vanni, a cat from here he knows that's put on a couple of my own gigs. we get to the 'tel and my watch says 11:08 pm, damn, I'm home safe. I thank tommaso big time, big hug.

   up to my chamber in the slowest elevator ever and right away fill the sink to wash the purple shirt to spare fellow ariplairplanele the odor. I use the bottles the little bottled soaps here, one lablelabeledmpoo" and the other "internal wash" and while it soaks, I soak myself in the tub. whew. not a long soak, I need to konk, have to bail for the airport at 5:20 am. I use a robe these 'tels sometimes let you use to konk in - never used to do that but fuck it. I don't wanna get chilled cuz I'm always kicking off blankies. I actually pop way before the tiniest of rings from the phone w/the robot wake-up call comes but stay still so I get that kind of rest... kind of afraid of the deep konk anyway cuz I can't miss this flight that is the first step w/uniting w/my missingmen.

   it's a dark friday morning a nice cat drives me the fifteen minutes it takes to get to the aeroporto di firenze, many young people staggering home on the streets. this is a tiny 'port and everything goes smooth to get me on an alitalia a319 for amsterdam. before we board I chow a faciccia cotto which is kind of an econo piani-like trip? it's ok, no il latini for sure! it takes a little over two hours and I read the first third of thomas mcguane's "panama" that uncle ray sent me, for some reason he really wants me reading this 70s flotsam - maybe there's a secret good ending, I don't know but I dig uncle ray. funny thing is he can't get through half of what he's tried by umberto eco, go figure. I got just ninety minutes to make it the next flight once we land at schipol in amsterdam but luckily both the flight is five minutes early and the gate not all that far from the nightmare lines at passport control - I get to the gate I need to leave through w/a half hour to spare, grazie dio. I'm on a delta a330 for sea-tac terminal for eight hours and hell if I'm gonna roll the dice on any shitty fucking movies so I read another third of uncle rays foist and the chimp diary.

   twentyfive before noon, we touch down at sea-tac airport and are informed it's the last flight for the plane's captain, he's retiring. the ground crew sprays w/a watercannon from a firetruck in celebration, an old tradition we're told. he's at the hatch when it's my turn to leave (my seat was in the back of the boat) and I shake his hand in celebration - was that baka cuz of my sickness? fuck, I realized that as I got down the gate and into schipol... god I hope he washes his hands. what a fucking baka I was, I was just so happy for him. I get on the leash and call raul - yes, him and tom are waiting five minutes away - great! immigration and customs goes pretty quick, w/in an hour after landing I'm on the curb and here they come, raul at the wheel as they scoop me up, whew... that's a HUGE relief of my shoulders. we did it. many thanks for again for stooges tourboss henry making that happen, MANY THANKS from most grateful watt. we head to ballard in north part of seattle where the first gig of our tour is and I chow a tuna sandwich that tom got me. time to switch tour modes!

sunday, october 14, 2012 - austin, tx (u.s.)

   pop at close to seven bells in the chair I was sitting in saturday morning - never made it to the deck the night before. actually I pop to akinori (lite drummerman) shaking me, "time to go, mike-san" he quietly suggests. me and my missingmen have just done ten gigs w/them an while I'm flying to austin for a stooges gig, they're flying home to their tokyo town. whoa, I get two pairs of clean chonies from yellow clothes sack and put it where I think tom and raul (my missingmen) will find - between them on the bed their both konked on a few yards away (this is a bitchin' brooklyn pad, all painted white like for a photographer to use and a fenced in courtyard for the boat to be safe - never seen anything like it in these parts) and then I get my yellow coat on (konked in my clothes) and my back wack 'puter sack, stuffing the clean chonies in it... I pop the hatch to find bright blue fall brooklyn sky and damn if the car service our host shell (also jennifer) set up sometime before he konked - mrs yuka couldn't be at the gig but she had a messenger bring us bottle of jim beam - it was a good last time for us and the nakama... hell, the driver comes out and opens the hatch so I go in - fuck, I didn't even get to say bye to anyone - twenty minutes later I'm at jfk airport for jetblue flight on an a320... I konk the entire three and half hours it takes to get there. that was surreal... a nice driverlady name shannon gets me at austin-bergstrom airport and there's some sprinkles but it's warm and kind of muggy even. she takes me to the "omni" which is some fancypad 'tel in the middle of town.

   I see roadboss eric in the lobby and sit to talk w/him. shove off for prac is one pm and it's already 12:30 (austin is one hour behind brooklyn) so fuck it, I'll go to prac w/out even getting in my room here. the prac pad is called maybe "austin soundcheck" and it's way out in the northeast part of town. helperman jos is driving us in a rented suv, he does the port side wheel (starboard side of the road) pretty good. I tell him about the old days when us minutemen were first touring in texas and tripping on always seeing what was called "frontage road" all over the place - we'd be wondering "man, this is a fucking long road and it's fucking everywhere, damn" not knowing it was a generic name for a road paralleling the interstate. after a while we started calling it "the french road" and pronouncing it FRON-TAJ, like it was like their word for cheese. boy, where we stupid.

   eric and jos have 'pert-near already set everything up so they just gotta get brother steve's sax thing going. after a while, james williamson and scotty arrive and right after, ig and tourboss henry. when ig runs a prac there's much focus though right before we start it's kind of light though he says got sick on the way back from our last europe gigs (paris and firenze), as did henry - I wasn't alone though I think I got my bugs from that ktown gig I did in so cal the night before shoving off. anyway, ig gets down to business and runs a prac I am most into - all business and big time focus. I work up a sweat. I watch scotty's snare big time. I didn't and don't drink any coff cuz I don't wanna rush the beat. the tempos are different than w/larry so I adjust to the moment. ig runs the model of how I'd like to run a prac, how in fact I try to run mine - what I've learned from him. actually though, it's a trip how similar in some ways they are to minutemen ones. you know minutemen always had other work (and w/me college) so we were all about focus w/prac and doing what had to get done w/out dawdling, making the time count. ig's all about this. we get done and I feel glad about our time here, time w/all us doing prac. one thing though: I was baka and forgot a set of bass strings eric had asked me to bring - they're where I left them in brooklyn, damn me.

   we get back to the 'tel and forage around... I find a chow pad name "wholly cow burgers" and get one of their "heavenly-something" - I can't remember the name but it is different and kind of better tasting. they say their meat comes from grass fed stock, local and no hormones or stuff like that. I hobble back to the 'tel and the sky opens up w/a wet downpour, soaking me good so when I get to my chamber, I gotta use the robe they got while me outfit dries. remember, I brought no extra clothes except the chonies. thollem comes by for passes - he's the pianoman in the hand to man band and just happens to be here - him and his wife do a short-stay which is happening cuz I'm tuckered. my old friend mrs elizabeth who now lives in austin where she was a longhorn (u of t) comes to visit. it's been a long while and I get to spiel about stuff that only be bounced off the inside of my head 'til now. I am tuckered and sore big time. she's got her kinds and Eduardo, I get to see him tomorrow.

   damn if there ain't a tub here but the shower's kind of big so I let the hot water just rain all over me as I crumple on the deck. it ain't a soak but at least I ain't gotta stand. a half hour of this and then I konk.

   gig day and I pop seven and do what I gotta do when internet's happening and it's free here though w/lame bandwidth. I then again hobble downtown - the clouds almost all gone which is good for the gig - I find a chow pad called "mekong river" and have pho tai bo vien which is a soup w/noodles, thin slices of ribeye and meatballs cut in fourths. you get a huge bowl for eight bucks. now this could make for a tub! it's real good, love it. I get back to my chamber and do a phone conference call w/billy, milo, stefan and karl of the current descendents lineup - it's for filter magazine about their early history. you know me and d. boon put out their first e.p. and three albums? we did. there's stuff I didn't know - for example: milo and my missingman tom watson both had the same guitar teacher. another thing was frank had the first batch of songs. I remembered on thing billy didn't though - their first gig was the reactionaries first gig and he didn't remember his collar bone still healing. it was black flag's second gig and it was trippy cuz it was in pedro at a teen post. I don't think reactionaries ever played in pedro again after that - I think we couldn't! I chimp diary 'til lobby call at four pm. like a big baka, I leave w/driverlady shannon cuz she goes when I get in - w/out brother steve! I didn't know he was supposed to be w/this ride... aaarrgghh. baka watt.

   this gig is the austin city limits festival and maybe it's in its tenth year I'm told? I don't really know about it but it's in zilker park and at the trailer dressing rooms, there's james and scotty though there's no cord for me to plug the bass in the pignose so we gotta wait. in the mean time I make a sandwich out of ham and cheese - no fucking mustard though, aaarrrggghhhhhh. hate to sound like I'm bellyachin' though. the cord finally comes but then scotty's gotta check drums. his sister kathy and james' wife linda's here - it's scotty's first gig in fifteen months.

james williamson + scott asheton in austin on october 12, 2012

his wife liz and daughter leanna are here too. he gets back and we run through the songs. it's the first time scotty's seen me in the silver-gray dickies work clothes outfit.

   ig gives a briefing, a good solid one. I get taken up to the stage first in a golf cart. I see brother steve's halfbrother wade but got no time to say anything more then "hey wade" - so sorry. up the stairs (yeah to two handrails - yeah to any handrails!) and onward to my side behind scrim, helperman derek comes up to shake my hand and say this is his last gig w/us - whoa, what? this is big surprise to me... jos brings me my bass and just as I get it on, flea comes on over to say hi - the chili peppers are on after the stooges tonight. it's ten after the six w/the sun still have at least fortyfive minutes, where? right in our eyes cuz the stage is pointing east, a pure einstein move. anyway, good to see flea again, he's in good spirits. not a lot time to spiel though - I see ig send scotty out to the riser so that's my cue. there's way enough time cuz of this new way so I'm all the way ready to go when james brings "raw power" on. here we go... I'm turned to fast scotty mostly - not w/my back to the crowd but there's an angle to it, I mean to me. I don't trust my hearing cuz there's more a delay than seeing that stick hit the snare head. I wanna be right there w/him. I gotta admit I'm scared, don't know why but I am. I just don't wanna fucking blow it. "search and destroy" next and there's a waiver somewhere but it gets back. ig tells the texas folks we're from hell. we bring "gimme danger" w/the blazing right into us. I roll up my sleeves for "shake appeal" while ig makes an appeal for dancers, for a bumrush and folks take him up on it and get up on stage w/us. I turn the treble on the amps down some (they're rented svt II, two of them) cuz these brand new strings sure are clangy - I should've got some chow on the earlier at the prac. some shaky moments but we ride it out, ig thanks our dancers and then we do a very groovin' "1970" - tempo down but it's heavy and good. I ain't try to push things, just ride it and stay in there. I focus on scotty's right hand - I think of what hank rollins said all those years ago now in australia, about it all being about scotty's left hand. ig calls for "fun right" after and the same thing, real groovin w/the slower move. on tiny moment though I had no idea where I was - how? damn, don't know but got right back on it, thank god. "l.a. blues" and I monkey hump but the amps are up on a dolly and I don't want them to a big skateboard thing or fall on me... or me tumble. I don't wanna be flashy, I wanna be freak out but not scared. there's a turn around in "night theme" I lose my footing on, just a moment - it was after the first b-flat. "skull thing" and then I think we settle down go for "beyond the law" into a solid chug, I like. still got my eye mostly on that hand... "I got a right" right out the gate. a little shaky for me coming off the first chorus but we reel it back in - that was like an audio version of an optical illusion for me - what! right up soon as we shut that what down - "I wanna be your dog" next - the beginning scary w/ig rallying us w/a "get your shit together" cry and we do just that, whoa - keel was coming out of the water but righted the boat. before the closer, "open up and bleed" starts up, ig asks the gig-goers "what's texan for fuck you guys?" I think this one's solid groovin', a good closer. scotty does a much different ending, keeping it constant and then double timing it all at once, I wail to keep up - go scotty! he yanks the plug and off flies the bass, we huddle and then ig says to go for two more - james starting "penetration" way before I can get to the bass so I wait out another round, coming in w/scotty... mercifully the sun has relented. we finish up w/a "no fun" ig says he feels it, rockin' his body w/it - he tells the folks he could say "it's time to scrape the shit off my boots but..." we're done - here's chad pepperman drummerman to say he didn't know and missed me, I give BIG hug. then there's a bump from some wires I don't see and almost go over! whew, I grab both handrails and slow make it down.

   we have a debriefing by ig that's big time from the heart. respect to him, so much respect - I love him. it is the total reality, I listen to every word, absorb it. I have more reason for working my bass than ever, for working music. I am ready to rejoin tom and raul w/more fire. of course next stooges stuff coming up, ABSOLUTE!

   outside elizabeth and Eduardo are there to talk w/me some. I can't spend long but I get some good spiel in and am so glad they're both here. they invite me and my men when I bring the third opera here to austin october thirty.

   we pull anchor w/driverlady shannon who's forced to loop around but we make it out just in time to avoid the lockdown and get back to the 'tel at nine - can you believe it? I am spent and tuckered... I hose down and konk naked.

this page created 12 may 12