a word's-eye view from mike watt
of gigs done by the stooges w/him on bass
damn. I had some ramen at the sushi boy nearby but man, that was a blow to me - don't know why but it was. maybe it's sort of like a cipher for the impermanence of things - like a mortality staredown into my look that can't avert but damn if I didn't try. shit, it was a from the inside bone-shaker. christ, if that can happen to "pink's" then who/what is not doomed to be washed away by the tide? damn. maybe it moved to another part of the terminal? for sure the gate we left from, 134 is a brand new one for these new jets, I think the bradley terminals getting eighteen new gates, nine of them like this, something like that... shit, I looked all over and couldn't find anything on this - shows you how "shallow" the reality on the dealio the internet just can be... damn. anyway, don't wanna get hung up on that... reading "the pillow book" (translated by meredith mckinney) by sei shonagon has for me here a trippy counterpoint - though her voice is a thousand years old, it's 'pert-like she's big time alive and speaking right to me, her lists of things, her eyes/ears/nose connecting w/her mind as her wit defines herself timelessly unbound. what a righteous thing she wrote, very trippy. okashi indeed! trippy too how words like "beauty's precious cuz it's brief" truly can resonate forever (for example, this lax "pink's" disappearing episode - mono no aware fucking indeed!) inside me, such is the duality of the grand canyon gaps in our conscious. thank god for onnade for this insane bassman on this hellride...
clear customs/immigration real easy, two different kinds of dogs are not iterated and the officers most kind. larry helps me by carrying the red bass james williamson had brian michaels make for me in his cart w/his stuff. there's a chow pad not too far from the gate called "hero sushi" where I get two big maki for seven bucks total (one australian dollar = $1.04 u.s.) where the "california" is pretty plain/lame but the katsu chicken is really good, fifty-fifty on that. by the way, we flew over the international date line and lost wednesday (it's now thursday morning) but we'll get it back going home. quantas again, this time a boeing 767 and each seat's got an ipad to use for "entertainment" shit - I put down the pillow book to watch three bbc shows on the great barrier reef fuckin' mindblow of a place, god damn! the largest concentration of life on the planet, these shows say and the interconnections are a fucking trip. much respect - I like shows like these. I discover all kinds of trippy life cuz of these, this time I get my mind blown by finding out about the cassowary - crimony, the deserve respect or what?! the plane was late getting into sydney so we get into perth at almost one pm - time zone is three hours behind sydney so only fifteen hours ahead of my pedro town now. very sunny but w/a cool breeze here, very nice. roger's a great cat who's our driverman - larry asks him what do you call someone from perth, "is it a perthan or what?" roger just says a person from perth is yeah, "from perth" which makes sense. we pass a what's labeled an el camino ss but damn is it tiny! much different here than the ones I remember in the u.s., even the older smaller ones. we all trip on that. my old buddy tony was a pool man and a happening pool man was a cat w/a 70s era el camino...
I think this is the fourth time I've been at this 'tel... it's called "the duxton" and the first time I was here was in 1996, the first time I ever visited australia. I remember going w/the porno guys out on the water (it's the indian ocean out here), being towed on a giant banana-like raft pulled by a big motored speedboat and this was a time when my wrists hurt so bad I would wear my watch on my ankle... a couple of tight turns doing many knots per hour flicked me off and flying a few times - bye bye watch! oh man, I got some memories of this town... a subway sandwich from across the street made w/tuna w/some avocado, pickles and olives cost twelve bucks! I chow that and keep up 'til eleven so I can get on australian time.
friday I popped at seven bells and did big soak - should've done that last night, I know but sometimes I'm baka and space. the tub could be longer, could be deeper but at least it's a tub and the water can get hot. like I said, I do big fucking soak. I go down to do asagohan chow and find brother steve, shovel across the table from him. the cooklady fries up two eggs for me and I chow that w/roasted 'tater pieces, tomato and a buch of shrooms (not tripping kind though). I swallow coff too. back in the eleventh floor chamber I konk in, I read what others say about "the pillow book" (so great we get free internet at this pad) and damn if there ain't some interesting fucking essays regarding it (one here for example and here also - what would she think of a lower person like me? - ha! I don't care!) - I found a place w/a buttload of translations too, many different languages (including fucking luis borges, damn!)... everyone, check it out - not your typical chimping for sure... timeless, truly.
roger the driverman arrives w/james williamson and the rest of us join them for a half hour drive to fremantle park to do soundcheck. yeah, soundcheck the day before the gig but it's better than none at all and plus it's kind of a free prac for us... understand the last time we did a lot fo the older tunes was like six months ago (seven for larry) so this a good thing. they ain't ready for us yet so we do prac w/small amps in the backstage area, the backup bass rented is one of these new gibson "sg "basses - yeah, they call them that now, no more "eb" designation which maybe makes sense cuz so many motherfuckers have tried to talk to me about how I play an "sg bass" and they I gotta enlighten them to the fact that they're actually "eb" basses, eb-0 for the one pickup and eb-3 for the two pickup kind. my opinion is though these newer "sg" basses ain't that happening, ESPECIALLY the pickups but also the wood and the feel. I like eb basses before 1967 but really, "a poor carpenter blames his tools" (a great man once said) so I get to doing prac w/james and larry 'til they're read for us on stage. we get a whole hour and can do every tune. larry's got an new "old styley" rogers kit and james is playing two marshall half stacks plus a vox ac-30, he's got them up on a riser like usual. of course brother steve's blowing on the same old selmer tenor (mark VI) he used on the "fun house" album...
I got two ampeg svt-cl amps/cabs which after a couple of tunes I gotta ask mr slouch if they're both on cuz I hear nothing out of the top cab (yeah, the one w/the mic!) - nope, one was unplugged, whoops (one is being slaved off the other). I also gotta get the gain up to one pm and not eight am, get some mids in there... happening I get to do this cuz lots of times I hobble up on stage for the downbeat and never have one note prior to showtime to check amp shit out. the monitorman james is very cool people and works hard to get a sound good on stage which has got some wind blowing to hassle that work. he's focused though, much respect.
we finished all we're supposed to do tomorrow night, right on time. damn, sure pays to keep things moving and les "whinging" as tourboss henry would say. I like that kind of philosophy. there's a man who's been watching us on his bike - he asks me to come down but the stairs have no rail and I'm still weak in the knee and afraid so he comes up to tell me his perth town is like my pedro town - it's a working town... he's read my tour diaries and he knows the minutemen... we say "d. boon" almost at the same time! big hugs.
back to the 'tel and I go to that subway sandwich pad cuz I'm tired and it's close but the meatballs are gone - maybe a good thing cuz the only time I had them was before an ottawa gig w/my missingmen where I blew it out getting up on stage, fuck, not even one note played yet and all down my leg... anyway, I get one I never had before called "pizza" and olives, jalapenos and capsicum - what they call bell peppers here. it's only $7.50 in their money. I go back to chow and konk kind of early, popping for a half hour around three but konking right back which is good.
gig day and I'm up seven and a half. once again brother steve is at the trough and we share morning shoveling together. he wants to get learned about putting his sax on people's tracks that get flowed to him and I wanna help w/him that. it's something I do a bunch myself. I chimp up diary since I left my pedro town. I right spiel for someone putting out a boxset - always scary when you do that for someone, just like doing bass for a track of theirs cuz you don't know if they'll like it - hopefully they tell you how they feel no matter what they think of you as a person. if you tough enough, you should be able to take it cuz aesthetics are a trippy thing and very subjective. oh, I got an answer from the "pink's" bossman richard via fakelook saying in fact their lax stand is closed so I ain't totally fucking nuts. he wrote very kindly to me. I told him I've been chowing at his pad since the late 70s when I found it cuz it was right near "blackie's" which was a pad that had punk gigs for a little bit then. he wrote maybe in the future they try to open up again in lax but 'til then, c'mon down to the la brea one. you know me and my old buddy tony the pool man used to drive up to hollywood just to chow their dogs! tony would like to go look at the old guitars in some stores up there too. anyway, there was the coolest man working at "pink's" then - I seem to remember his name was johnny and he was always the best to us both. man, I miss him. miss tony too - he was my oldest friend in pedro since moving there from virginia, he died not too long after ronnie from apnia, choking on snoring while konked, damn. he was a real good man, beautiful. it's bday for brother jun from lite - was so glad I got to see them play at the granada house last week in austin - I will work bass tonight for him in his honor but of course I work bass tonight for stooges like I do every time I go to bat for them, w/everything I fucking got. stooges music deserves everything I can bring to help make it happen, it is big time responsibility in my mind, not just punching some fucking clock. actually I'm lucky I think to have learned this early about doing music whenever, work hard at it and don't take anything for granted - d. boon was a man big time responsible for helping me learn that.
at six pm james williamson and larry visit my room for a prac, we use little amps and I use that shitty new gibson bass - it's ok for prac though. we get through all the set list ig's given us w/out a neighbor complaining, luckily I'm on a "end room" and we played pretty tiny too. half an hour after we're done we're in a van driven by matthew and head for fremantle park - the west coast blues 'n' roots festival is the event we're playing and on as we arrive on the stage we're gonna work is robert plant and his new sensational space shifters proj though we hear versions of some his famous led zeppelin work. the man can still sure sing. james was right to prac at the 'tel though cuz there's also sounds coming from the stage that's in a tent nearby. they got a real nice layout for chow and goddamn if they're ain't some mustard, hallelujah! there's good stuff to make sandwiches too but no fucking bread - just some premade sandwich quarters that taste big time fucking mazui - no disrespect but I had to spit out the bited I took... there's chow in the bowler's club room (yeah, there the game of bowls usually played here) and matthew brings me over and I get a hunk of salmon w/what I'm told is couscous from israel (ptitim) which are bigger in diameter but really tasty, this good and ain't too much though we still got an hour and a half. I get into my silver/gray dickies work outfit when I get back w/the guys. ig gives us only a little briefing and he's in a good mood. first gigs of tours, even little ones are a scary for me some - it was the last time I played in this town (two years ago for the "big day out" fest) that I couldn't see the "sharp" indicator on the tuner and played like three or something tunes w/the fucking 'a' string at b-sharp, fucking baka watt! actually that was the last gig of that little tour but it still resonates in my head. that was w/much sun and I couldn't see right though - james got me a korg tuner w/big ol' indicators after that.
at twenty after nine w/ten minutes to go, I hobble over to the stage and get way in the wings on my side. the wind is much calmer than yesterday's soundcheck. it's a little cooler but it won't be for me that way for long once the set's underway, nope. wind makes me scared w/these big outdoor canopied stages - pori, finland for example in august of 2010 was a huge nightmare for me when a storm cell came down but I don't wanna think about that now - I do think of the brave young finn man who came up and saved me after everyone ran - aaahhhh, don't think about that now. it's calm here in perth... I wanna be part of bringing a storm of stooges music.
I can see the guys from the other side - I holler to helpermen jos and mr slouch "they're coming!" and bam, it's time: I use the sidemouse tripod cameraman's shoulder to help me shove off for the final hobble, jos gets the bass around me as james rips open "raw power" and I'm in, right after larry. damn if he ain't doing this tune the most like scotty-san I've ever heard him do, whoa, trippy. the fucking cable is under my feet and I too scared to move so I just bear w/it. ig's up front and leading the charge w/that mic stand planted tough. sound is good up here, monitorman james is right on it. I could use more ig singing though and jos helps me w/that, andrew too. I got both bass amps working, max has got real bass though an amp through a mic to work w/if he needs blended w/the direct (he told me yesterday he uses 'pert-near all direct), he's the tranny and we're the motor. he's a good man. "gimme danger" up right next, band is tight and happening feel/release from the gig-goers. starting to puddle a little - I look over and see both james and brother steve wearing leather coats! well I ain't shirtless ig but... larry's in that boiler suit he's worn every gig I've been w/him w/the stooges. ig informs the folks that here's "burn" and it'a new one. I try to keep it legato w/my playing the verses, getting good reaction - maybe folks have heard this here? well damn if it ain't good reaction to another new one following it up: "gun" - ig asks folks if him w/a gun is smart move or something like that. well this tune's rocking it - I'm an insecure person but I tell you that's how I'm feeling, lovin' it. I got good focus too, it's all stooges and not crazy thoughts in my head. that cable under my converse bugs me though so I get all that extra behind me and also roll up my sleeves for "1970" cuz here comes the insane bus, careening - it hits hard, damn, what a trip. ig's opening now too, using more and more of the stage - he feels alright! (just like the lyric) ...and so do I, so DO I! we got a new way of starting "search & destroy" - just james and that's what he does, rhythm guitar solo 'til his lead and that's where me and larry thump on it, brother steve on clave sticks. ig did say to the folks it's harder playing new songs, easier playing old songs before the last one and sure enough we charge hard here but I think we can bring it w/the new ones too, I ain't just saying. love wailing on this baby though, love it - love 'em all. then something trippy - ig calls for dancers - yeah, "fun house" next and he calls for dancers, first time ever for this number and it's a great cuz goddamn it's a sure enough dance-it-up number big time. quick as shit like forty young perthons are up on stage w/us - first cat was a clown for jumping on ig cuz damn, he couldn't done the timber thing on a man forty something years older than him - baka. ig's a human man, have some respect. jos helps the sitch. it's pretty intense, dancers got me right up against the drum riser, up against my amps but they tackle or hurt me - much respect to them. they do dance up a forking storm and I love that. also, the tune's dynamics really lend themselves to this sitch, not just one dimensional - great call by ig. it is tough in a way for me to key on him cuz I have ZERO eye contact on him, can't see him for all the flailing bodies, not one iota. I'm working totally on vocal cues from him. what's a trip is "l.a. blues" cuz this is where the stage gets cleared and the chaos of the music reflects big time on the sitch cuz goddamn if I don't some fists flying and shit, what? somehow we keep the trip keep a rolling though james pedal dachau is disturbed some, larry keeping us waiting (keeping me!) 'til he thinks james is back ready which he is, "night theme" only has a hitch when my bass amp mic has to get some adjust - jos helps me w/this but it distract a little bit, a moment of a "b part" actually. big puddle of sweat now at my feet, we're into the "skull thing/beyond the law" tag team which actually goes straight into the "johanna"/"kill city" one, it's a big tag team, 'pert-near a total one from the "kill city" album, works good but man, "your pretty..." is due up next and... ig gives an audible for us to skip forward and into "I wanna be your dog" wich I think was an excellent call. I don't why but I was think this when we doing prac both yesterday and earlier today - ig did right, real right. it's a smokin' "...dog" too, I mean steamroller-ville. I take the bass way soft for the breakdown, ig nods "yeah" then alternates giving the crowd peace signs and middle fingers, good move - freedom of choice. we finish up w/a "no fun" where I get it happening right from the start - last week in austin for some reason (prolly cuz I'm a fucking baka) I did the right chords but totally wrong in the syncopation, damn, so embarrassing. I got it together for the singing but the intro I clammed up like a motherfucker, crimony. I make sure I got going right tonight, ig's laughing his head off, having a good time. we get off quick to the side once done, get the word from ig: "penetration" and then audibles which is what in fact happens in not too long. first audible after a piledriver "penetration" is "the passenger" - ig counting me in at the last minute, thank you ig! then he calls for "your pretty face is going to hell" by doing an intro he's worked up for a bit now but still dynamite mindblow. it's off the track 'pert-near but never out of the ring or over the ropes, hard-charger! then ig calls for "I've got a right" which we ain't practiced and confuses james cuz he was anticipating "open up and bleed" so he ain't w/me and larry for a good while or he's in w/trippy interpretations of this baby. ig ain't pissed though, ig's a good time w/it and even in the breakdown does a righteous dance for everyone - calls himself out in fact to do it and tears it up, respect! we do get to "open up and bleed" next and man, what a coda. love this tune and prolly cuz of that tour w/my fratelli in europe just ahead all this stooges world, my hands are real strong for bass, real good and worked up well. I can go faster and faster and keep up w/larry's crazy stuff - we outlast james, then brother steve and then I even outlast him! whoa, first time I was the last cat playing completely alone. I heave the bass off (such blows this baby takes) then bow deep to the gig-goers and give a low fist before hobbling off, the gigboss viv giving me his arm to get my down the stairs. I hobble back and not take the van to keep my joints loose cuz damn if playing w/this fucked up port knee make everything stiff. driverman roger helps me w/helpful arm from getting runover by our own van w/the rest of the guys in it. whoa, that gig was one intense piece of seventyeight minutes!
ig does a runner so we don't get a debriefing but james tells us backstage he really liked be on stage w/us, so very kind of him. we discuss the gig amongst ourselves, mixman max, jos and mr slouch now w/us pretty quick after getting everything up. their opinions mean much to me. everyone in good spirits. gigboss viv tells about how it was a real hot australian summer and how electricity really costs here now - he had a nineteen hundred dollar monthly bill cuz of the airconditioning having to wail on it. damn. he rides back to the 'tel w/us too, matthew at the wheel. driverman roger had put me in the wrong boat first - that's for james heading for jamesland, we'll see him tomorrow. gigboss viv tells us about the australian native people on the way back, heavy stuff but I wanna learn. somehow we get to horse racing, he says a mare named "black caviar" is tearing it up over here. I love going to the track w/my dear bud raymond, miss that so much w/him now in nyc w/him and aida raising their bo willow.
we pull up to the 'tel and look at the welcome mat laid out for us just as I pop the hatch:
much respect, how inspiring! must've be a wedding here, huh? I wonder where credit should be given regarding the color and texture, my mind ponders what kind of chow can evolve this way? sorry for the poor shot, I was nervous but somehow I don't step in and slip on it - I get up to my chamber and konk right quick cuz damn if I ain't tuckered much.
monday, march 25, 2013 - adelaide, australia
sunday I pop at seven bells and soak in the tub before down eleven floors to the trough - they're still making me sign stuff even though it's supposed to be free - will checkout be a hassle? aaarrggghhh. you know I wear the same clothes every day and I had to borrow shaving cream from brother steve - I think people maybe think I'm trying to get away w/something. hell, I just wanna do good bass for the stooges, that's it. first pat and then john from wilco see me and visit some, they sure are nice guys. I know them cuz of nels being w/that band a while now. their boss sure got some cats who can play their asses off, I shit thee not! a nice surprise seeing these two, nice one. speaking of nels, for record store day the good folks at org music http://orgmusic.com/ are putting out a seven inch fortyfive of me and the black gang (nels cline on guitar, bob lee on drums) "live" doing "rebel girl" on one side and "30 days in the hole" on the other. record stores were important to me big time when I was more younger - "chuck's sound of music" in my pedro town is where I bought my first t-rex album, my first bass and learned stuff from roy mendez-lopez w/d. boon... yeah, it wasn't just store w/records but instruments too! "zed of london" in long beach was big time in my life for punk - can't remember the name of the tall man who worked w/mike and his ma... was it steve? damn it. he had glasses I remember... he always had time to talk w/me, very cool people. "I need that record" was a doc I was in w/a bunch of cats talking about why record stores were important parts of our lives.
man, that's a tangent but not too irrelevant I'm thinking. anyway, checkout at ten and a half and yep, there's a prob but it's regarding the minibar - I never get stuff from the minibar but the man don't wanna believe it. roadboss andrew helps me out. they guys nice and suspicious of me at the same time, weird. he thinks I have an australian accent even, what? I wish him well. all these folks who work at 'tels, I wish they could believe I empathize w/them big time and I ain't the enemy. maybe I'm paranoid the paranoids are after me, I don't know. ciao, brother, all that walkie-talkie action for what? matthew drives the boat I'm in to the airport, he's w/us the whole trip and so his gigboss viv - I'm just realizing that now, I am a fucking slow learner. both are very happening, so nice to be w/them. we take off from perth airport around one pm. I got a row to myself, whoa. the flight attendant thinks I'm from new york city! I get to hear drummerman larry's mixes of the new album jessie evans is soon putting out. he did real good. love this interface he's got too, something from sound devices called a usbpre2, damn, happening - didn't know about it or the company... slow learner watt. off to adelaide - we lose two and a half hours in the time zone change and the flight is two and and a half hours on a quantas airbus 320. we get to "the hilton" in downtown around 7:30 in the evening. oh, yeah, I saw some scared up land from mining,
I know we got that happening in the u.s., hell, there's that huge one near salt lake city so I ain't trying to point fingers - lots of pock marks too from salt lakes, former rivers and gullies... real trippy sights from up in the air -
I love aisles on plane rides but windows can be pretty when there's no clouds and landscapes like this. later on the ground I ask gigboss viv about mining here, he says the richest lady in australia lives in adelaide and her money comes from that. he tells me adelaide is the only big town in australia not built w/prison labor, a different history than the rest. he says it's kind of a "nanny state" - I've heard brother steve use that term... yeah, they have states here like we do back home, adelaide is the capital of south australia (perth is the capital of western australia). I'm told twentythree million people for the whole country which is about the size of the u.s. w/out alaska. these two states are like half the country in area but less than a sixth of the population... a buttload of mineral wealth though. very kind of viv to learn me this kind of stuff cuz I like to know about the pads I visit, I'm a curious person.
we're right by the chinatown part of adelaide and I hobble over there and find a chow pad called "mangkok" and they got tables on the sidewalk. nobody's sitting any so that's perfect for me. nice night, nice breeze - looks like the moon will be full soon, it's waxing. I chow "salt and pepper squid" and it sure is good, lots of chilies, garlic and onions season it up. I get to use hashi too - first time on tour! I got my own of course in my back wack 'puter sack but never seem to be w/it when it's time to shovel this trip. at home that's all I use, love it and have learned to not really be into spoons and forks - it has nothing to w/any culture stuff, it's the idea or maybe better to say the use, yeah, I like using them better to get shit up to my in-door. I hobble back and see all our team in the lobby - there's charney, she's the lady who took care of us when we were on the "big day out" tour in 2011, big hugs. she's taking care of mavis staples on tour now - she knows the drummerman stephen hodges, hodge - he was the drummerman for my first opera and did the first tour of it w/me and joe baiza... damn, what a small world, ain't it? everyone's gonna go chow but I just did so it's up to the third floor for me to be chambered and soon konked cuz I'm tuckered.
gig day and I pop at seven bells, soak in the tub and head down for the free shovel. a cookerman makes me two fried eggs and I chow that w/mellon, bacon and toast plus some coff. outside it's totally gray like lots of mornings in my pedro town. well, they're right near the ocean here so no wonder it's like home. looking at the sky last though I only recognized orion, different stars here. I read "the pillow book" 'til time for soundcheck at four.
oh, the ride was a little late getting to the 'tel - like a total baka I opened the hatch to white van that wasn't our white one... hell, in the u.s. w/concealed weapon laws and all, I prolly would've gotten shot! this driver was very kind and forgave me. man, that was stupid. we go over every tune we're gonna play tonight. me and james got the same kind of amps we did in perth but larry's got a pretty beath ludwig kit this time, lots of rattling but he works it good
despite him hearing a big time smeared image of what we're playing - this pad I'm told was built in 1927 and it's got those kind of acoustics for our sitch. thebarton theatre is its name and it's got a real charm but amplified music is a tough test for her, I can imagine what max is gonna have to wrestle... hell, drummerman larry can't hear what me and james are doing! well, "work the room" is the best we can do and bellyachin' don't help. they got real good chow here right after for us. I have a little steak, a little chicken (india style) and a little chicken - three actual small pieces to go w/potatoes and a olive/tomato/onion salad. we go back to the 'tel for two hours. getting to meet the beasts of bourbon guys on the way out. they're a great band and got back together just for this run of gigs w/us - they did only two pracs, just one of those w/tex the singer! damn.
I chimp diary 'til time to shove off, we get to the theatre just in time for me to get in my outfit and go see the bourbon beasts kick off the gig. man, I'm really digging it, smokin' cats, really happening. what a good way to get fired up. brian works some mean bass! everybody's kicking up much dust in this band, truly.
our turn's at nine and a half - I go up early to get behind the curtain on my side, productionboss (I learned this label from tourboss' henry tour book) andrew helping much w/his little flashlight. nina's there to watch, I get nervous before going on always, she talks to me some and the minutes seemed not as much as hours - I see henry bring up the guys opposite side - ok, here we go... I bring my quickest hobble on - jos gets the bass on me while james gets "raw power" on and running, whoa, we're off. so glad the monitorman put my amp sound from the mic in my wedges instead of that clack-clack of the direct (mr slouch put new strings on before last gig) but I'm thinking this room is REALLY digging b-flat cuz damn if that don't jump out - a chords too in "gimme danger" and I'm thinking I gotta fight the standing waves w/some dynamics in the handling of my paws on the strings. larry's got that piece-o kit like I said but this man can work a crate of chains so I get in tight w/him. andrew (by the way, he's here doing that work cuz roadboss eric couldn't come w/us due to commitments w/the barge bar in nyc - miss him much) was most considerate in putting a fan blowing on me cuz it's pretty warm though I wish larry could've had one too. james' playin is very inspired, hiw whupping out that lick in "burn" to get it really cooking, it gets a real good reaction from the gig-goers, of course they know the first two tunes but these two new ones (we do "gun" next) are working real well w/them... ig tells the folks we're from stoogeland, I like that, like it big time. "1970" w/ig really REALLY wanting brother steve to blow and man, is that sax blasting good and bitchin'. new way of starting "search & destroy" - james alone starting it w/me and larry coming in under the fist note of his solo, glad I just rolled up my sleeves. ig's on fire, singing real good even w/these acoustics (how does he hear the key?), he asks for dancers before he cues me for "fun house" - whoa, second time now w/this number. the adelaide dancers tear it up, pretty intense - can't see ig at all in mob, have to go by singing only - like being blind cuz I'm usually watching him so much when we gig. there's the clear off again for "l.a. blues" - shit, I tune up between bashing and monkey humping but damn if I don't sound out - not so much in "night theme" and "skull thing/beyond the law" but in "johanna" I switch from playing anything on the 'd' string to just the 'e' and 'a' ones. the prob though is the acoustics of the pad cuz I do a quick check after "kill city" and "cock in my pocket" - yeah, the only time I can cuz ig runs these real REAL CLOSE and damn if I just don't make it in time for "I wanna be your dog" - not cuz of the tune check but cuz a cramp just came up on the inside of my portside forearm - never got one there before but it's 'pert-near a crippler... I pray and try to relax the most I can and somehow the fingers still work. damn if I didn't drink a whole box (yeah, it comes in a box) of coconut water. shit, it comes back up in the closer "no fun" and I seriously rub the fuck out of what's the other side of where the "popeye muscle" is before we go back for the encore. "penetration" is right up and thank god the fingers are working the fretboard - don't know why this happened. "the passenger" up next, the first chord each time around is an 'a' and damn if that don't sound weirder than hell. ig gets it though, somehow canceling out all the weirdness, I think he thinks I'm playing the wrong notes, it sounds that strange. the folks are very kind though - ig thanks much and then tells them about rights and stuff like that before having us do "I got a right" and then two more new ones, "job" and "dirty deal" which are a blast, truly. blast off though is "your pretty face is going to hell" cuz man, we really let it rip and tear it up... the smoke clearing for "open up and bleed" where in the coda, the part I'm doing is made so unclear by this pad that it's total guessing for ig to work it, fuck I wish I could make it more clear. when he asks me later to play the right stuff for this part I can totally understand why, what a ton of blursville we had heaped up on us. james being on the other side of things prolly didn't help as well but he soon got back on - it was total braille 'pert-near. I let go the ending cuz larry had no fan and my heart was going out to him. it's still a happening gig cuz of the heart of people, we gave them eightyfive minutes and also cuz it's stooges and I love every moment playing this music. of course I hate the clams I blow (I think the choruses in the last tune had me doing a root to fourth instead of an octave - think?!).
ig comes in to debrief us, james ain't here but us other three are - he tells steve he's looking real healthy and he's right, brother steve's great. the beast of bourbon guys come in, ig thanks tex much for playing w/us and it's a good time talking w/these cats. brian says his brother is mixing something I played bass on - yeah, I try to do bass on as much stuff I can that folks send me, good investment in my bass journey. guitarman spencer gives me his album he just did w/kim salmon, respect!
on the ride back to the 'tel, gigboss viv says the gig went real good from where the people experienced - he said it wound up more and more, he said it was unbelievable how we didn't stop and kept getting more and more intense. whatever the acoustic hells were for us was wrestled real good by mixman max - yeah, he said he had to "fight the room" but man, he's a man w/a work ethic and not a giver-upper. viv hearing me bellyachin' about 'a' notes jumping out - damn, I'm glad he gave us some perspective. I get too much into my own head sometimes, such and idiot I get like, damn.
I konk pretty quick once chambered... fuck I spaced and didn't hose off. I think I was afraid of the tub cuz of being too tuckered. I was out before I knew it, right on the deck.
wednesday, march 27, 2013 - melbourne, australia
tuesday I popped at seven, do some soak like I should've last night - fucking konking filthy really ain't happening, also baka of me was forgetting to wash the purple shirt so I do that now, turning a sink full of hot water w/a tube full of the 'tel shampoo black w/filth real quick. I put on the onstage outfit shirt on to go shovel from the trough downstairs w/cuz it seems I didn't have to really bring it and its associated pants cuz productionboss andrew brought two already (I got three sets total of the silver/gray dickies ensemble) - oh well, came in handy for something. I wanna save the going-home-flannel just for that: going home. guess who do I happen upon once seated w/a oil and vinegared salad olives, two fried eggs, taters and bacon plus melon? drummerman hodge! wow, he's in this 'tel and though charney said he wasn't feeling well, it ain't the case cuz he says he was tired. man, we have a big spiel catching up on things. he tells me the trippy way luck just put him in there w/mavis staples via the rick holmstrom band - I'm so very happy for him. he's just the best and I'm so lucky I've gotten to do stuff w/him - like "blues for bukowski" w/chirs murphy for example and of course my first opera - he's a really a humble man who loves music and loves dance. big hugs for hodge. here's a funny thing: he didn't know nels' bro alex was his twin - I actually enlightened him to that fact! we here on this planet to help each other learn, damn if hodge ain't learned me tons.
nine and a half and we gotta pull anchor for the airport. were on a virgin 737 this time but less than ninety minutes flight time, I get to sit next to brother steve when some lady w/the bologna seat gives it up to get the aisle and put us two together. timezone change is thirty minutes, we're in a very warm melbourne just afte one pm. this australia's number two town in size, capital of its victoria stage and where gigboss viv lives. our gig's tomorrow so once we dock at "the langham" 'tel just south of the yarra, across from the train station, I hobble around flinders street - I remember two years ago spending much time here... hmm, "lord of the fries" - ok, refresh the memory... they're ok but the "tijuana" I get is mazui, all mashy/mushy w/not one fucking iota of snap in it's dog, bun's ok though. james williamson sees me right near the spot where last time I was here I got run down by an idiot bicycling on the sidewalk, fucking baka. it was a miracle I wasn't hurt bad. anyway, he heads for a supermarket run and damn if he don't catch me right after the pedestrian bridge on the way back to the 'tel! that's how slow I am w/the hobble - actually I do the slow-go to be careful. just don't wanna go down for the crumple if I don't have to. it's autumn time but man, you'd think it was summer. there's some swelter. I get into the slim nietzsche tome someone gave me a few weeks ago in liverpool, "man alone with himself" which I think is part of his "human, all too human" book, it's got lots of aphorisms and stuff like that which takes a baka like me many readings to absorb it all. I think every young person should read mr nietzsche but then maybe it's ok for these years I'm in too... never really thought of that before. weird how his sister fucked w/his stuff, huh? asshole.
gig day and the trough here if both free and good. I sit w/the crew guys and shovel spinach, mushrooms, toast, eggs, england type cheddar and salmon - wish they had aqua frizzante but hey, that's ok. everyone is good company, I like listening to them and I'm chowing slow which uh, yeah, makes the chow get less hot the longer I take but actually as my fingers got tougher for bass, my mouth got more sensitive so it's kind tough for me to heat hot (temperature-wise) chow and easier as it cools. I chimp up the adelaide gig for me diary.
we got soundcheck at five so we leave an hour before. we're at a pad where the do boxing, it's called festival hall and twice as big as the pad we last played. ceiling is lower and the layout opposite - way wider than longer. there's acoustic tiles in the overhead too so much less standing waves making a nightmare of the sound. the stage is like a temporary thing set up on the deck so there's no "wings" as it were - sort of like "the palladium" in hollywood, like you're coming out of a cake. I got the same kind of amps I've had the last two gigs, two stacks of svt. only a little buzz when I take my hands off the strings - monday in adeliade sounded like crickets, really loud ones - the trippiest thing but keeping my hands to the strings muted that. james shows me a picture of his brand new granddaughter sophia elizabeth, beautiful! tonight he gets to use blackstar amps like he does mostly in europe in u.s. larry's on a ludwig kit in better shape than the last though the hihat is kind of weird. we don't go through the whole dealio but hit most of them. jos does a good job singing lots of them, it'll be great when he has them all down, helps us out a lot for soundcheck.
mr slouch removes two barrier fittings from the deck in front of where I'm to stand, very kind of him cuz even the littlest rise can send me over. I had a single bread slice sandwich w/this lunch meat and some kick ass england mustard that made hairs on the back of my neck erect themselves and then ignite. the real chow is after we check w/a slice of eggplant parmesan, a little roast and taters - not much cuz I ain't needed it but it's tasty. the cookerpeople are so kind to get us some coconut water so I drink that down when it comes and get back to the nietzsche. we ain't going back to the 'tel which I'm into cuz too much driving.
two hours later it's time for the beasts of bourbon to start the gig and I go watch them after getting the stage outfit on. I go to the middle of the crowd and though I can get right up to the stage, I ain't that far. the band is incredible, really good. it's scary people bumping into me cuz of my knee but I don't let that freak me out too much cuz I'm way into the set, I see the whole thing. tex is a great singer and the whole band makes such a good and rocking sound, all of them. I can't be into these guys enough, sorry for foaming like I am, sorry... in a way though, I ain't. cuz I truly do dig them.
whoa, I got a little sweaty there. our time is coming. matthew leads me up to a little room behind where I can get on the stage five minutes before the rest of the team, he tells me about his first trip to nyc ever coming up. it's nine when they come up and pass me to get where likes them to come on: stage port. hard for me to see I wait from tourboss henry's word. I get that word and wheel my hobbled ass our and around, I'm there in time not to miss my place in "raw power" and the gig's underway. damn if the gig-goers ain't right off the bat sharing what they got, whoa. I did more stretches this time beforehand so not as stiff as last gig but still forever stiff cuz on my un-genki hiza sitch. anyway, I got the strap to high on my bass. like a baka I thought maybe a little high might fight off crampage but now I'm thinking it might actually bring them on. my worst fear besides blowing clams at a stooges gig is cramps crippling my hands. jos put a fan on me, one just starboard and it's great cuz I know sweating too much brings the cramp crap on. "gimme danger" is up second after the initial raw assault. oh no - the mic stand almost caught jos in the face, I see mr slouch laugh cuz he saw it from the pit too but I'm grateful jos missed getting hurt - that was a trip. the sound's ok up here, nothing like the blur and confusion of last gig and not like "the palladium" either. we go right into new one "burn" after and I blow a clam: the first b part instead of d-a, a-g I fucking choke on d-a, a-e aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh, what? I bear down on myself and gather what I got not to let that happen again. it was just a moment but not a moment I want to happen again. I adjust the bottom, get the bass a little tight for "gun" cuz we don't a reggae thing but I need something married to the kick. it's a fine line, a little goes a long one in this sitch. roll the sleeve up for "1970" let it roar, he flies down to his knees to beg steve to blow that horn, man, what a move... my eyeballs 'pert-near popped out of my head w/my heart flying out my mouth but somehow I keep it together, crimony! now the set list says "search..." next but ig calls for "fun house" which is what I start right up hearing that, he's got his reasons and I ain't gonna second guess, neither does the band. he calls for dancers to get up w/us at the same time, it's wild. I notice a young man watching w/a minutemen tshirt on but he keeps at the barrier, he don't come up. several cats do - at some point the security says no to some and ig asks them loosen up, "have a sense of humor" he tells them. it's a wild time but folks are nice and don't assault me. a few guys wail on air bass, alright, one man his knees on the deck. this is a good tune for dancers, you know the jim brown thing comes right through. clear the stage w/some "l.a. blues" - clean the palate for "night them" - maybe I cooled out a little quick w/the "love supreme" lick cuz larry won't give it the go in fear of james not ready? hmm... I think I had the 'e' a little sharp for "skull thing/beyond the law" but maybe not too bad - I get it right while james plays alone the opening chords of "search & destroy" - ig called an audible. I can hear it right for "johanna" after too, something that was pretty difficult to tell a couple nights ago. ig sings this really good, he's been singing great all night and some righteous dancing and moves, it's a new touring season for us and he's loosening up into it. "kill city" of course does the follow up which dovetails right "cock in my pocket" that he does in moat between stage and barriers. now there's no cameras or sidescreens so it's parts like these where he's working for like twenty cats and us on the stage I guess are what most folks are seeing during that. I feel awkward, wishing I could shake more crazy but my fucking knee... he calls right quick for dog - man, is it wailing. in the breakdown last gig he did intros for the band - one trippy thing was him saying "we got rock on drums!" - tripped larry out big time, him saying so after but tonight ig just gives barks, growl and snarls. this kind of dynamic has a wild drama to it, really happening. we finish w/a slammin' "no fun" and then come off, james helping me get down the big step. all gig he'd be coming over to my side some to check things out, very considerate of him. ig puts his hand on my shoulder, "penetration" his says so we get out there and I get the bass on just in time and we chug that baby hard, following it up w/a blistering "I got a right" that again delivers happening drama w/it's breakdown and dynamics. "dirty deal" next, larry slamming a great tempo, ig thanking the folks big time for listening to a new tune before bringing one from the past that's moving pretty big time much along, "your pretty face is going to hell" is piledriving but I like I tell larry later when he questions the rate we were going - I said "larry, ig was right next to me and in front of your kick drum - he was slappin' that mic is his palm and a rate I was trying be w/on the bass so no, I don't think it was too slow." we finish up w/an "open up and bleed" that's got no clams - ig even directs me w/the groove before the third verse. I got no cramps, I could take the coda our forever but I feel larry hurting and when he's just too raggedy andy-ed to let go, I toss the bass off and give him a break. the gig's done. man, were we moving there at the end or what? great GREAT crowd, what an honor to play for. ig was so right to thank them much. respect.
I get out of my outfit kind of quick cuz it's soaked. I did a cramp but it was in my upper starboard arm when matthew grabbed it to steady me down the steps. never had any during the gig tough. they start coming on so I have some coconut water. I go out the room after a bit to talk w/bourbon beast brian - I show him my knee scars and then he puts my hand where on his spine you can feel the scar tissue crunch around the rods and screws he's got from his back hurt - gives you a perspective for sure. he's a beautiful man. I get to meet his wife and then he tells me about recording w/steve albini, something we both share. larry invited mick harvey and it's been a good while since I've seen mick, so good to see him again.
we talk about new music he's doing, about eric drew feldman (trippy how larry met him on a city bus in s.f.!) and then tourboss henry comes in to bring him to ig. everyone's in good spirits, especially james and I'm just so glad I only blew that one clam and didn't cramp. I was very grateful for the sound too. mixman max talks to me about david bowie and his journey - part of what max calls his "music rebirth" was tin machine where max got to work his sound many gigs. max know much about music and is big time passionate about it, quite an inspiration to me. I love cats who don't take music for granted.
production boss andrew gathers all for the first boat out, last hug for gigboss viv cuz he's going to colorado for a vacation w/his family. leaving the building, it's apparent it's been raining pretty big time, damn - just like that? it was cloudless and broasting earlier today! weather changes quick here, yep. I get up to my chamber to soak some sore bonds, oh man. it was a good gig but the soreness piper must paid. I konk quick and hard.
saturday, march 30, 2013 - byron bay, australia
thursday I popped at seven feeling weak - actually I konked weak and thought it was gig soreness but I believe that was a mistake and now am convinced I'm under attack from sickness bugs. I don't feel fever but there is a harsh dry cough that rattles my bones when it happens. I have to hunker down and take precautionary measures. I got ibubrofen for the soreness and even though this tub ain't that long or even deep (actually a matter of where the overfill drain is, not the actual volume), the water is good and hot and I do a couple of soaks before the morning shovel. I even use the robe they got (just one, don't need stereo) so I don't get chilled. down at the trough I chowed what I did yesterday but when I get back and start chimp diary, I ain't feeling that well so I gotta punctuate bouts of chimp w/chunks of konk. out the window it's pretty gray and rainy but by afternoon it relents w/some sun out so I go to get some chow by the flinder street station, a pad called "dim sims" and they got dim sum the size of a kids fist, I get a couple steamed and a couple fried. I see this stuff called ginger wine - what? I try some of that, mazui - fucking terrible. god damn, no more of that. the dim sums are good though.
damn, is the wind blowing like a motherfucker or what? it's wailing (tomorrow I'll read a fucking brick wall blew down on swanston street and killed two people!) like a motherfucker. I 'pert-near got blown off the pedestrian bridge (the one w/tiny ponyfish island bar under it) over the yarra at one point, the rail saving me. crimony. the sickness ain't got me but damn if it trying. I help james find a way to use flash on his ipad so he can witness this incredible work to draw inspiration from. I only wanna help him all I can.
friday is travel day out of melbourne and I had a few soaks last night before last trough here at this 'tel. I put on fresh (these others lasted ten days!) pair of levis, have one pair left for going home wednesday. down in the galley, I only have salad w/oil/vinegar and thin salmon slices w/capers all mixed together plus some cranberry juice. we all get hit for internet charges at the ten am checkout but tourboss henry comes through w/refunds for us, respect. getting nickeled and dimed by a fancy pad sure is weird but henry fights for us. the sun's out and the wind calmed. ninety minute flight on a virgin 737 in a bologna seat between mr slouch and james williamson, first time I ever flew sitting next to james. I read sei shonagon's "pillow book" cuz I'm missing it, fred nietzsche's got me missing it some! we land in the resort town called surfer's paradise (a gold coast suburb in queensland)
around one pm cuz the time zone we're in now puts us one hour back. this town's about fiftyfive miles north of where we're gonna play tomorrow night in byron bay in new south wales so we'll have some driving involved. it ain't for nothing, there must be some reason and knowing tourboss henry, it's a good one. w/gigboss viv gone, one of his lieutenants named kara is now w/us. I'm already missing viv's insights - forgot to mention his history lesson to me on the gold rush that really got melbourne happening, interesting stuff. his people were originally from cornwall in england so of course I immediately though of robert newton and I got him to teach about the patron saint of pirate talk the other day! one day I wanna do a gig in cornwall, one day...
back to separate 'tel world, we say bye to james and on the way to ours, after telling mr slouch about the century motorcycles shop in my pedro town (mr slouch knows a buttload about motocycles), drummerman larry enlightens us to this trippy story about a farmer in pentaluma (in nor cal) that had a son who was killed riding on a vincent black shadow so he went and searched out and bought all those kind of bikes he could find, disassemble them and then buried the parts on his property - ain't that a trip? me and him are on the thirteenth floor at a hotel called "qt" not too far from the water, you can the huge-ass waves pound surf and see cats kite surfing and stuff. it's good friday so most stuff close but I find a little market nearby, "pit stop" and they got "chook" (slang here for chicken) which means small broasted chicken so I get half a one along w/a sausage cut up into chunks on a roll w/mustard. I'm feeling weak so konk for a while, getting up the huge windows full of dark. yeah, the windows are two big sliding glass doors and there's a tiny balcony w/a little rail - I ain't brave enough to go all the way on it cuz fuck if we ain't way up. what's it called - no vertigo cuz that means just not know if you're up or down... I think it's acrophobia and crimony if I ain't got it pretty bad. well, I go downstairs for some but see larry so go talk w/him. it's good friday so you can only get a beer if you get some chow so I get a taco that has no mexican taste. me and larry talk much. there's a italian label that wants us both to record together as a duo so we plan maybe for august in berlin at his buddy ingo's candy bomber pad. man, I gotta do some composing soon as I get back to my pedro town excited for both this and "canto due" (part two) album for il sogno del marinaio... exciting stuff for watt. larry's done producing and kinds of stuff so it'll be interesting to see what he comes up w/from my bassed-tunes and getting to wail the stuff up w/him in real time. I get all excited but gotta keep it calm and konk not too late for the gig tomorrow...
gig day that was a better konk than last night but still I feel under attack. it's a free shovel at the trough but man, what a zoo. understand this is a very touristy area and it's fall time for the gold coast - this is last of the season so actually it could be a lot worse. I have some eggs and toast, not much - they asked me if I wanted water and when I said ok, they tried to charge me and I just looked at my hands and after a bit they said well it's ok. damn, I hate to sound like a cheap-ass but goddamn. I'm so glad tourboss henry fights for us getting gratis morning shoveling and internet, truly I am - especially when the australian dollar is more than the u.s. one and the price of this shovel is thirtytwo - yeah, I heard the cashierlady tell two ladies from japan that and both of them did big time aboutface after asking "you mean two people" and the lady said "no, one."
back up in the chamber and while learning from a master tourboss henry flow us reviews of the gig... man, this cat wes holland did way better diary than I did for the gig wednesday, much respect to him! shit, I sure wish I could remember better, even chimping the stuff the very next day! also I get this poem from my buddy charley plymell he just wrote:
Soren not good candidate for born again
I love charley, he teaches me by feeling - I feel stuff when I learn from charley, even if maybe it's the other way around.
I chimp diary and lay low, resting up 'til james comes at a quarter after four to do prac w/me and larry here in the "sunset room" at our 'tel. this little fender mustang amp ain't like an old fender amp - it's got all the bullshit modeled sims crap that sounds really bad for bass - no can find one straight sound, nothing w/out either an echo or a reverb or a tremolo and an absolute lame-ass eq for bass, just terrible. anyway, it's just for prac and I think it and the little one by orange that james is using get donated once these australian gigs are done.
margaret gives james, larry, brother steve and myself a ride through some pretty tough traff so the fiftyfive miles takes over an hour and a half - we pass a town called "tweed heads" and wonder if it's full of old fender amp enthusiasts! I tell james he should maybe get a 1955-60 fender 3x10 combo bandmaster amp - man, does j mascis sound good through these babies! james is a gearman so I'm trying to put a bug in his ear plus I think for recording it might tear it up for him. this gig is called the byron bay bluesfest and not much past after crossing into new south wales we get there, losing an hour cuz of the time zone change - no need to change the watches cuz we'll get it back going home after the gig.
matthew's there to welcome us and there's charney again! I first chow a piece of bread rolled up around a hunk of potato chips along w/a slather of mustard where the seeds ain't ground (love this stuff, love all kinds of mustard!) but soon matthew brings me to the chow area and they cook me up too real small steaks w/some taters along w/three sauces to chow these w/that includes a pesto one, whoa! man, did I have some good pesto last month in genoa, molto buono!! I talk w/the beast of bourbon guys at the table cuz fuck if we didn't just miss them, damn it. kim salmon played w/them tonight too! crimony. he talks w/me a while, him and brian and tony sure are cool people. fuck, I gotta bail and put on my outfit - I come back and everyone's gone... damn, I see tex though at another table and get to meet his little boy louie, looks like he's gonna be a drummerman later in his life! I see managerman dan, great cat - big hugs... talk w/him for some and then here he is - nels, fuck yeah! whoa, haven't got to him in a big while, I mean where we get to talk some - not much since he's moved to nyc. I stuff as much convo as I can before he tells me I got the duty and that I do... I ask andrew to bring me five minutes early, we're going on at 10:30 tonight.
we're playing in a big tent. I heard it pissed down rain last night so maybe that's smart but it can get humid in these babies. it's a big long one, not round and not wider but longer. mr slouch and jos are getting everything together. haven't seen any of the stuff but I think larry's working the same kit he did in melbourne but w/a different snare. james has got the blackstar amps from last gig also. kim, brian, tony and spencer from the beasts are up on my side, I'm waiting in the wings. I see you tourboss henry flash a flashlight at me from across the stage, we're off! jos gets the bass on my just as "raw power" bursts from james' guitar. larry does scotty-san intro and here we go - ig racing out in a wild dart, leaping! I'm wondering if I'm using the same ampeg svts (they're blackface classic ones) as last gig cuz damn if the one acting as master goes into thermal and goes kaput - I'm out of the race! I keep playing though cuz mixman max has the direct still going. the singing and the bass go out of my monitors too, whoops. productionboss andrew comes out and tapes the setlist to the deck - I got it memorized anyway but thanks - what I need is bass... it's going in and out, he gets something happening and during "gimme danger" I got something though it's a little flaccid... gotta hold focus though, my starboard knee got weird position a couple times (it's gotta work hard cuz of other one) but thank god I'm together and not crumpled... keep it together, watt. ig tells the folks we got a new album and here's "burn" which he says is about fucked up shit, the gig-goers respond real good and same for "gun" right after, little pits breaking out and stuff... "1970" next and jos one hands the spare svt behind the stack of cabs up w/one hand up on top of the blasted one - that's fucking eighty pounds, crimony! I see mr slouch run up w/s hell of a worried face, like him thinking there's gonna be a timber but it's ok. I get things dialed in for "search & destroy" and we got some bass on stage now, thanks VERY MUCH TOTALLY to jos, great job. ig asks for dancer, hollers "fun house" and it's wild time, many byron bay gig-going dancers tearing it up - all sight of ig lost, james too... I play for the faces right in my face. a bare chested-man w/upperarm shoulder tattoos and no hair air-conducts me from his knees. henry chases off one cat coming around to get larry - what? maybe borracho, huh? people are pretty nice to me, they don't knock over the weak-kneed man. brother steve is blowing beautiful on that sax, just beautiful. pretty good sound up here for a giant tent. we stretch out "l.a. blues" cuz of some drama mr slouch has w/a dancer who's got trouble figuring out the dance is over. I'm careful w/monkey-humping the amps cuz of the spare one on top, that's all I need is a timber. I quote the coltrane parts just for nels and hodge out there, hoping they're out there somewhere and getting this in the gut as well as the head... actually they understand, understand big time. we pickup from tattered dance pieces and begin the dive for the coda w/a tight "night theme" - much sweat puddled on the deck below me like if I was a leaky bsa or norton but from all the coconut water instead. ig back to bring in w/a dance for "skull thing" and then a listen-up for "beyond the law" - did I count are end-out here wrong? larry throws me a lifesaver and flurries the finale making it moot, thank you, larry. ok, one moment and then a thunderfuck of a "johanna" is brought forth, whoa, gear-switch to "kill city" and BAM! into "I wanna be your dog" - much steamroll w/us end over end over end into the heads w/the sound. ig intros "beat that guy" w/what it's about in very econo words - they get it. james does real beauty w/his guitar solo, ig singing w/all heart, great new tune. "no fun" getting called a split-second from ig right after's too quick for james though and mercy it's a good thing ig stops us quick and than restarts us w/a goddamn. we're out and over for a huddle - back real soon, "peatration" right out the boom-tube w/some explained intro for "I got a right" between everyone's eyes (my too!) - ig does an audible, "cock in my pocket" and he's down in the moat and working it for the folks w/maximum contact - security tries to heave one guy but ig let's this cat pick him up and hug him and saves the guy from a manhandling, beautiful, it's much caring right there and for real. "your pretty face is going to hell" is next and w/the band like a fist, crimony. we leave w/an "open up and bleed" where I think I finally realize what ig wants from me in the third verse - it's one root note for each chord, he even says it on the mic. damn, if I ain't the slowest learner ever! steve blows some real pretty sax for that part too. we end up as just me and larry as the we - singer, guitar, sax all make their exits and when larry finally let's it all go (he said this snare he had to work was no fun to play, the horror), I lay the bass down real careful on the deck - real careful.
I hobble back to the backstage place and get out of the stenched outfit right away. we wanna pull anchor soon as we can cuz of the traff and stuff involved. margaret does a righteous job dealing w/it all while we talk much history, very specific history us in the van and why we're in this van doing what we are doing now but maybe thinking out loud and try to figure why is what. and w/the gig james said was ig was happy (he had to do a runner) so that's righteous news. hellrides to and from gigs are tough, ig was telling me when we arrived tonight but it's good to see something like that matter in the longrun w/a man who believes dearly in working a gig.
back at the 'tel, productionboss andrew is a couple chambers down from mine and asks if I'd watch a soccer game w/him and I'm not that learned about it but do that, he shows me stuff and we talk for a couple of hours. the geordies lose but I got taught some stuff. only three substitutions allowed, damn. I konk hard at like two and a half but fist I hosed off, kind of proud of that, to konk not so filthy.
tuesday, april 2, 2013 - sydney, australia
easter sunday I popped at six bells - no tub to soak, only hose-off in the shower so after that I be still on the deck a couple of hours - yeah, just think and not try to konk but try to protect against the sickness - weird kind of cocoon state w/mind all open... eventually I go downstairs to find pretty much zoo conditions - not to sound like some kind of stuck-up but damn if I ain't got less and less hankering to be in among crowded stuff - I wonder if I ever was into "people watching" or whatever I've heard folks say what's attractive about hanging out a mall or whatever. w/my fucked-up knee too, I get afraid and have to try be always aware of potential hells... man, it can wear you out. I have the omelet lady make a omelet w/leeks and chilies - w/toast it's good and I chow salad w/that too. the sickness bugs are still at bay and not got their hold on me but damn if they ain't still at the gates or it feels like it anyway so I go back and chimp diary for last night's gig. damn, I'm kicking myself for getting no picture w/nels, no picture w/kim salmon, fuck. I get an email w/a couple of poems from my friend professor andy that he'd written:
they are trippy to read on easter, I always get trippy thoughts on easter anyway so this is happening. it's like crack of dawn being a cipher for "what can happen" (potential) or something like that, a collision in my head between boy memories and thoughts in the moment - just being glad to realize something like that. I get a good feeling when the first sun of easter comes. here it's raining so clouds hid all that. it doesn't go all day though, off and on. likewise I alternate that "be still mode" and chimping 'til 'pert-near six when I figure I should chow. I go to that "pit stop" pad looking for some easter dinner "chook" but they had none. what they had was what they call "chile con carne" but I call it a kind of chili con carne thing on top of thai kind of style long dry rice. I get one of them sausages cut up and put on a roll (they don't call it bun) w/mustard - they wanted to flood it w/butter but I asked please no, w/all due respect but butter ain't needed w/something akin to a hotdog trip, right? german's might tell you that but goddamn if they ain't into butter too, ask il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea!
I start singing w/the magpies. I heard these tori songs so I started trying to mimic them - damn if it wasn't magpies who came around... yeah! I go to the balcony - I let them see me... strange sight: gaijin, huh? they sing in key, you know? interesting. a 'tel lady comes w/a box from the van that brought us home last night, courtesy of productionboss andrew - most kind of him. mr slouch and drummerman larry come by and they give me a good visit, very interesting gentlemen. they don't stay late. I konk in the chair I was talking to them in! fuck, I was tuckered.
travel day is also bday for d. boon which is always intense on me. trippy close to yesterday - ha, did I just chimp that?! I mean what day it was yesterday. I put a link to his name from a piece david rees wrote just now - I've never felt I had to do that but, hmm... charley plymell sends me this poem:
A tree grows in the park in pedrobeautiful! thank you, charley! me and d.boon both double nickels now - and raymond will always be six months ahead of me. man, do I lean on these guys, I lean on them heavy. I get afraid... but then I get inspired/excited. just thinking about all, this I could chimp buttloads here, buttloads but instead I run away from the 'puter (can't run away from my mind though) and shovel one more time from this pad this pad's trough: omelette w/only chilies plus salad and I also watermelon for larry - he tells me it will help w/the cramps and I believe him. the sun's out today. we pull anchor for the airport at ten and a half.
the security lady w/the xray machine wants to know where these keys are she's seeing. I got my wallet in my jacket and the keys are actually in the wallet - I've locked my ass out of my pad and the boat (econoline) so many times that I always got spares in my wallet. it's only fifty minutes flying time but sydney airport is busy so we're in a holding pattern, we land at around two twenty which is three twenty cuz of another time zone change. lots of airplanes and timezones when you tour australia! this is a pretty town, australia's nyc (more people live in sydney than both the populations of south and western australia put together!) and it's a harbor town - we're right near it at the "intercontinental hotel" - have we been here before? hmm... right where the ferries are is only a couple of blocks - seems like this is a different 'tel - anyway, it was one of these cruise boats I got scotty to go w/me and tour the harbor, a great memory for me being w/him. we had a great time. I see aborigine people doing dijiridoo and clave sticks, they're busking so I flow a couple of dollars, they sound really neat. I listen for a good while, hypnotic.
kind of near there's some chow pads so I get fish and chips to go from "quay seafood" and tell me I can pick the kind of fish so I choose flathead cuz I never had that before. 'pert-near fifteen dollars! anyway, I then go back to the 'tel to chow it. they gave me a huge hunk, long and slender fingers-like connected at one end, yeah, like a big hand, trippy. it is good. there's a sack in the 'tel room from a record company, giving a welcome w/their name spelled out in chocolates, a card signed from a nice man named tony. well, forget the chocolate though, I chow the flathead instead, real tasty. I konk early, can't remember the time.
gig day and I pop to immediately go soak. not real long tub but kind of deep w/no run-off valve so I can get it good and full. fills up fast and easy to get hot. sore body's digging it. I have some feeling of attack on me from the bugs but it's calmer than the last few days. down at the trough, it's free and I do salad w/salmon and olives plus some kind of cultures you drink in a bottle, like a yogurt? back in the chamber, I hunker down and get in protect mode still, read much on this onnade stuff on the internet, 'pert-near exhaust the links I find. lots of rubber stamp and xerox though, you'd think there'd be more trippy angles but I do get beat into me most the context folks have come to understand about this stuff. you know I wanna make up my own anyway and I have: these ladies thought out loud and let the freak flag fly. funny how there was no lady writers after them in those parts, why only this little window? like one of sei shonagon's spiels (#160), "things that are far but near... relations between men and women." stucazz!
timothyben from galucci arrives to bring me to the sydney fish market so we can chow some squid w/his brother jake (the other half galucci), in his station wagon's his wife and new shipmate, beautiful, bella, bella!!! it's always an honor to be w/these cats, there just the best. the first time I met them I actually got to do a gig w/them here in sydney at mexican chow pad called "pacifico" w/brother steve - I remember scotty being there and watching wail on stooges tunes. what a night. more recently me and brother steve contributed to their latest album and timothyben did an doc on me for the abc where he works. getting to chow this squid w/him and jake by the water here's really happening. we get in a good couple of hours of spiel on all kinds of stuff. I am intrigued by these ibis birds, damn they're a trip. timothyben says if your in an alley w/one, give way cuz they're kind of belig. I wouldn't doubt it! they wanna know about my projs, about what I got going - I ask them australia stuff too. man, I wish I could spend all day w/them but I got soundcheck and the lobby trip is at four. they drive me back - I notice this monorail but they said it was a gimmick and soon will be closed. damn. whenever I see these I think about back home in so cal and how "real rail" might help w/all the plug and traff...
I get back to the 'tel just in time to bail to the hordern pavilion where we're playing tonight, holds four thousand and is some kind of typical arena, a big square box, seats are on the sides, a big cement deck. it ain't as bad as the adelaide pad but not as good as the melbourne one, my opinion. we go through the whole set. mr slouch has gone for the a/b box so if one amp goes down, one is there and besides that, there's a spare amp on top of each live ones so it looks kind of - kind of way up there but I trust their judgement, mr slouch and jos - just gotta watch the monkey humping. stage is a built one so bouncy but I think not too big - no wings though even w/some curtain action. good chow for us, I shovel barramundi across the table from tourboss henry who has the same. he has some fun w/me tearing apart some foreign words, I am a baka and get so much so wrong. he found a gomi can outside called "watts waste" and flowed me a shot - I saw no apostrophe so maybe not exact same name?
beasts of bourbon on at eight bells, I watch their whole set and dig it big time. righteous. even in a pad like this, it's big. drums and bass hurting which is a shame cuz tony and brian are kicking up much dust. tex bring the fucking beautiful fistful of voice and both spencer and charley whup rockin' guitar, just fucking happening to make me wild. I get all little boy and hobble quick as I can to their room when they're done to get a picture w/them...
love these cats, truly. what can I do to repay them for all they've done to fire me up for my turn? I owe them big time. I've drink five little boxes of coconut water by the way, I'm ready to sweat.
nine and a half is when we're on. matthew brings me over to my side five minutes early. I can see the hall way, see james and larry... then I see ig, see andrew's flashlight tag me - time... I got hobble up these stairs and get all the way over to jos soon as I can - fuck, I do (somehow) and get the bass on w/moments to get fist in and the fingers on frets, we're bring this packed house "raw power" and it's flame on, fuck yeah. they got bass through the direct box in my monitors and damn if that ain't a bunch of clang but I ain't gonna bellyache about it now. this band's on the move and real wild - we follow up the original rush "gimme danger" which sure as hell ain't no mellow fellow. we were told this gig was gonna be filmed but no matter, it's full on stooge music even in this mood which is till pretty minder-bender, james peeling the solo off just as critical as the previous hardcharger. no relenting for the new one either, ig let's the gig-goers know there's an album coming their way and "burn" is one way w/dealing w/the fucked up shit going on these days and implores them not to give him a gun cuz he's crazy and he'll shoot everyone - "gun" has him doing a stage dive strong, high-arcing and solid right into where there could be a pitcher's mound. it surprises all us in the band, we didn't see that coming, nope. I don't even get a chance to roll up my sleeves for "1970" however, we're railroading the set right into that asskicker, it ain't the first time tonight he's gonna tell everyone we're going "right up the ass" (his exact words). brother steve is persuaded very gently to BLOW - not! ig over to his side (stage port) oh his knees to make his point and soon over in front of larry's kick (by the way, we got all the same stuff again, since melbourne it's been driven around in a truck though larry's got a much more happening snare) to let us know he "feels alright!" and damn if I ain't been hollerin' that a few times myself. we end it w/a big 'e' w/me pulling on that bottom string like I was using the bass for a bow - ig looks over and gives me a nod, yeah! I get the sleeves up for "fun house" but just barely cuz here comes a rush of dancers invited by ig much crazy-ass and I'm quick up against my amps trying to keep them bumping into me from both not knocking me over and blowing any more clams then has to be. it's real tough, I try playing the theme for a bit while things "settle" - totally that's the wrong cuz they don't settle - they're running into my head stock and the tuners are taking blows. this accident stuff, not intentional but there's a mob here and lots don't see the monitors next to me and trip over, going straight to the deck - even tour boss henry trying to chase someone goes over and down, damn. thank god for the tune's dynamic cuz that helps, it telegraphs some kind of relative calm before the next chunk of buckwild. actually it's a real good time, let me tell you. I just wish my knee was better. "l.a. blues" is some real crazy as and damn if brian from the beasts ain't right by my amp so he helps out beating on the strings after I get done w/a good bout of monkey-humping the amp - I present it right to him. it's kind of like a trippy recital cuz the stage ain't really getting cleared and I got this crowd of folks as like an audience right in front of me. I just go off - I can't see ig... finally the people tide recedes and I bring in the "a love supreme" quote and we're into "night theme" I even got all tuned up in that crazy shit, mixing in drones for the tuner w/divebombs on the fretboard... "skull thing/beyond the law" next and I get hit w/one of ig's water bottles - from ig! it don't hurt though, not a all but there's a big puddle at my feet and that's scary. ig goes to town on a mic stand w/us then into "johanna" - I mean, whoa, many beats 'til it bends all up and snaps - like a foot or two in front of me, I can feel the blows. "kill city" follows immediately and I hold my ground w/the wet deck, I'm stiff as starch and feel but any risk is just that, risk so I let the wild go through the bass and not so much the body though damn I wanna "turn the boy loose!" or "give the boy a goose" or whatever - I wanna drive the tune via these big strings, via the thump. ig runs up to me and larry for another calm "right up the ass" suggestion and just like that he's down in front of the stage working the moat for "cock in my pocket" - damn, he gets up and down them stairs like nobody's business... another stage dive from him as james solos in "I wanna be your dog" then he's on the stage deck right in front on his back, then he's on his feet at the front of the stage: "I need love!" he tell the folks and I echo that cuz I'm feeling it. great group of gig-goers let me tell you. in the breakdown he introduces the band, "toby dammit for rock action" this for larry - very kind of ig to tell the folks about us, very kind. we close w/a "no fun" where after the intro I decide to do the rest of the song on the 'e' string - hey, it's a happening way to do it! we come back not long after w/a chugging "penetration" followed right up w/another stage dive? damn, that was w/out music! mr slouch working ig somehow back over and up, amazing - he's a big man but man, it's a sea of folks. ig calls the people sitting in the seats in the back and sides "bourgeois" (tells to put the lights up so everyone can see them) and says he wishes he could "slime" which of course prolly means leap on them all sweaty like he's been doing w/these upfront cats. I tell you, from time to time I have taken my eyes off ig for like a sec to see these cats up front and they're really into it, you can't ask for more spirit from them and they're packed shoulder to shoulder... ig asks if he can get a right as mr slouch gets him back up - we give him "I got a right" that's kind of skidding off the rails - first verse me and larry lose james a little - brother steve on clave sticks must've helped him get back on. real solid "you're pretty face is going to hell" quick after though. "open up and bleed" for what ig says is "the last song we play in your fucking great country" - he thanks them much for being here for us. I do that part after before the fifth verse w/just root notes at the top of each chord, I think this is what he wants. the coda gets cranked up pretty quick w/larry cuing on ig going off and coming back a few times, dancing the wildman and doing it up insane. james is matching him w/just as insane guitar - no licks here, all spaceshots for the moon! brother steve blowing HUGE honks w/the bell of his sax all into the mic like it got ate by it. one by one they all leave and even larry who usually won't stop 'til will, let's go - I throw the bass in a big arching heave stage starboard and sure enough, jos is there catch it like a champ. I go to get my glasses but there's another pair up there, not mine... what? oh mine are there but there are these also - mr slouch even comes up to assist but its ok, I get my own ones on and do my last australian bow... hobbling off, matthew gets me down the stairs, very kind of him. brian offers me his stick.
whoa, shirt off right away and some that perrier in a cup... but man, no cramps, no fucking cramps and I soaked my outfit down to the socks and chonies! damn if I don't hand andrew the sack I stuff the stenched outfit in w/out first taking the john coltrane pin off my shirt though, ah fuck. well, it served me good - I'll ask missingmen drummerman raul to make me some more. for some reason I get into explaining curtis mayfield's "superfly" and even singing some of the spiel to brother steve, what? somehow we got talking about psychedelic songs, larry getting of on steppenwolf! of course mixman max has much to contribute cuz he is deep in music stuff, real deep and has uncanny knack to make many connects - he is truly the enlightener!
of course larry as well is big time music man explorer/discoverer, as in his own way mr slouch and jos and henry and andrew... everyone on this crew is very interesting cat, let me tell you! I love it. james already has left us for upstairs but he thanked us all for bringing it to the gig, most kind of him, most kind. I like doing good for james, doing good ig, doing good for stooges. eventually us here talking the music stuff get up the stairs there in a while for a bit... I get to talk w/charley of the beasts and he's telling me about the fight he's having where he lives in melbourne to try and get where his pad's not touristed all up w/a sky car and shit. spencer talks to me about ariel bender and some billy gibbons talk from me about that cats licks - both spencer and charley's got great guitar licks, big time. brian says he wants to send me some tunes to put bass on - whoa, this coming from a great bassman! I get to talk a little w/deniz tek, so great to see him, wow. soon though productionboss andrew says I gotta pull anchor so I hobble to van and we're quick towards the 'tel. once there, james asks me to take the bass so I don't space in the morning, I do. he said we all did good and ig was happy. righteous. big hugs to matthew - what a great job w/all the help he did for us this trip, damn, respect. we say bye here, man, what a great cat, truly.
up to the chamber, into the tub quick for soak... it's only just after midnight but I spend 'til almost one in there w/my soreness but find enough strength to climb out and crawl where rug is and konk. the australian gigs are done.
it's way calm checkout, quarter of noon - thank you, tourboss henry, thank you! I even get to chow w/him for last belly up at the trough, again salad and salmon for me. he's gonna help me the flying I got planned to do the recording w/both larry and the fratelli this august. I join him, brother steve, jos and max in a van to the airport - we all say bye to productionboss andrew for prolly the last time cuz he's patti smith work ahead for him... at the 'port we say bye to our england friends 'til next we meet in our land. this team is a real good one and the spirit strong. I feel honored big time to be a part, truly. me, larry and brother steve are on two pm quantas 380 airbus (big one). I get lozenges before we get on, just in case. there's still some metal and damn if you can buy anything for two dollars - I've bellyached enough about high prices here, sorry. anyway, they got these chairs that take that much - these are chairs that give you rubs! I got say they give good ones in the lower back, damn if they don't! five minutes worth, pretty ok, really. we're on the top deck, like the way we flew over. I konk before we even take off - wake up almost an hour later, we're still on the ground... I think I heard something about us having to refuel. well yeah, it's 'pert-near 7500 miles, "is there gas in the car?" (you know that tune the dan did, right?). I konk for a good long while, then chimp this here diary along w/more "pillow book" reading (many back of the book stuff to refer to!). now sydney's eighteen hours ahead of my pedro town and this flight's thirteen hours so yeah, I get back before I landed - and get that wednesday I lost two weeks ago back. I get yelled for hobbling into the "wrong immigration line (blurry directions), then the officer checking passports calls me a rock star - hey, I'm only baaman, I swear!" big wait for the bass and then long line for customs - the officer there keeps asking what I do and what's in the big yellow bass case, hmm... I work bass and that's a bass? "ok, welcome home" - two hours from when the plane landed I'm throuh though this is an early anding on a shoolday means my sister melinda can't get me so I have to get a cab - fucking $65 for one from lax to my pad.
saturday, june 1, 2013 - houston, tx (usa)
ok, here's the first full-on gig since australia, the last two "appearances" being promo stuff for the new "ready to die" iggy and the stooges album in new york city. it's in houston so it's good it's not much later than june one cuz that town gets a little warm...
they have me fly thursday but our prac will be friday - only three hours on a united 767 w/me reading natsume soseki's "the gate" karen let me read - gotta get that back to her soon as I can, forgetful inconsiderate bastard I am, damn me. she deserves respect and it's a good story too. oh, before we took off I had a "kobe dog"
from some pad my brain has now blocked out, it was ok but... damn I wish they wouldn't have gotten ridden of the "pink's" dog stand at the bradley terminal, fuck. the 'tel we're konking at is the four seasons in downtown houston but what's good is catty-corner right close is a chow pad called the "phoenician deli" that's got great fucking chow there, I see brother steve and we chow falafels in his chamber later. after that dave dove comes and visits - he's the man who besides connecting me for the second time w/the representative from corwood industries (frist time was two and half years ago in orange county and u.c. irvine) also has this great organization called nameless sound that is just beautiful. he wants to get me and k to work dos for his kids, maybe we can do it january. anyway, dave's a great cat and we have bulleit fueled big ass spiel. much respect to him. dave also works trombone, bass clef. respect.
friday we have prac at fitzgerald's which is a club I played w/my missingmen like eight months ago. it's own by the same people who are running the festival, the local weekly in houston, the free press summer festival. we hear the gig tomorrow's "clean" (sold out), respect to them. we're brought vegetarian mexican chow (yeah, trippy) that's really good, especially the green curry tamales (what?). we have a real good prac, we're upstairs and set up like a gig was coming down here. after I do a phone spiel w/my friend andrew who writes for the chronicle and then I get a visit from dano and patrice, two beautiful folks me and my guys konked at their pad the last couple times in town. love these two.
gig day and we got soundcheck at nine am. this gig's the free press festival and it's on like four stages at eleanor tinsley park which is located on the buffalo bayou which is where the city of houston first started. we're on the saturn stage and do as many tunes as we can. mr slouch as set up the two svt-II stacks I used at prac yesterday on a little riser and man, they sound good. one of the best ever ampeg setups I've used and you know I ain't the biggest fan of them but damn if these don't sound good. everyone goes back to the 'tel but not me. I got a gig on the neptune stage and so go over there.
whoa, it's humid as a motherfucker but it could be so much worse and same w/the bugs - they must've had a cool winter here. there's a tent w/air conditioning and though I ain't into that stuff much, it does let me dry my fucking soaked clothes some. I meet stefan gonalez, he's from dallas and the drummerman for this jandek gig I get to be part. very nice man. I get to meet his brother too. the representative from corwood industries soon gets here too and we have a good long talk about all kinds of stuff. I really like him. this is a great honor for me. ten before one pm and it's go time for us, I got a svt w/its 8x10 cab but it's nothing like what I had for stooges. this one's got built-in fuzz tone, a little beat but maybe kind of interesting. I love this jandek music, love the rep's sense of things, the heart in the music and the soul, love it. this is great honor for me, truly. I am most grateful, really I am. I wish I was a little less scared but what can I do? try my hardest is what this man deserves. I wanna do more! the rep is big time inspiring, crimony!
I get brought back to the 'tel and soak some. before-gig-prac is in james' chamber and he's afraid I'm gonna stink his pad up but I come in there clean and me larry go through all the tunes w/james, me on the pig nose amp he got me, him on a little fender battery powered dealio. we get brought over to the park at six and a half, we're on at ten of eight. there's no mustard but I make a sandwich anyway. damn, ain't sandwiches better w/mustard? I think so. I drink four of them powerades, terrible shit but the coconut water we had yesterday is not here today. oh well.
cuz of the sitch, the band has to come up on the "wrong" side which is my side - there being no wings to hide behind, me and brother steve kind of hide towards the rear where the stairs come up. right at ten before eight I see james in a trot w/larry right behind him, ig right behind them so after they pass, we follow them and I got good time to get the bass from jos, actually I got it slung before james is guitared up via mr slouch - that don't happen to often! this makes for some extra hollering from (yyyyyeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!) w/the fist in the air - ig comes running out as "raw power" chords jam out to start us up, I look over and see dano and patrice up in this stage-port-side scaffolded area way higher that the stage - they got tickets that let you do that, dano said he threw down some serious dollar for them, trippy how my eyes just found them like that. now it's hot and humid but maybe less hot than earlier w/the rep from corwood industries but maybe not so much... the sun's lower but not down. the gig-goers are from the start way into, big time hollering from them, thank you much. these amps are sounding good, even for ampegs - so good of eric getting them serviced and stuff, he's worked w/stooges in austin before. I see our eric in the moat, actually not that big of one and kind of the same w/the stage, ig's working 'pert-near every inch of it though. instead of being where larry's starboard crash cymbal is like usual, I'm right next to his riser which is kind of high up, the other side of me is big monitor wedge so it's like I'm in a little pocket. cuz of my knee I can't really chance moving around anyway. ig asked us earlier to run the set tight and that's what james is gonna do since the first five tunes start w/guitar except for him clicked in by larry for one of those so "gimme danger" is right up and ig does waits a good number of rounds before singing, giving a little spiel as well. even w/the break in between our last gig he's singing real good, the band is on a good chug and I'm digging it. maybe a breath between and one from the new album, "gun" is next, along w/a breeze off the buffalo bayou, that sure is nice and a pit breaks w/young people becoming a dust devil unto themselves w/their dancing, lots of fun. photographers are allowed in the moat for the first three tunes and they're in a tight bunch snapping the hell out of ig when I see a whole beer from a cup rain down on them and their fancy camera, oh man. the playing w/stefan and the representative from corwood industries earlier sure got me good and warmed besides giving me the thrill of working bass for him again, I got a twofer out of that! here's where larry clicks in james: "1970" (I roll my sleeves up meanwhile before joining them) and like what usually happens here, ig informs the folks it's it's going right in the asshole... that it does. whoa. larry w/just one floor tom, he's got a blue sparkle gretch kit - maybe it's his? think so. james has his black star amps and I'm pretty sure road boss eric is driving a truck to so cal cuz our next gig a week from tonight in long beach... "search and destroy" w/james in man-alone mode to get us in about another breath - he's running them tight but I'm ready and we throw it down solid, I mean like freight train. anyway, THIS GIG is in full-plow mode now, we get our first break as ig asks for folks to dance w/us on stage - we get about twenty of them, ig telling the security to let them up and not be dicks and then calls for "fun house" which I bring in w/the anchor bass james had built for me - had to put that in here cuz it really does play nice, has great intonation and a good solid tone. some of the dancers form a chorus line w/hands on each other's shoulders, ain't really seen that before, kicking their legs out and shit like that, pretty trippy. it's a real good time. kind of different also is me pretty much left alone so I'm a watcher besides a bass worker. now I've been smelling either transformer or speaker voice coil windings getting heated up, even smelled them at souncheck but wouldn't you know in "l.a. blues" that monitor wedge by me starts smoking and catches fire some, whoa. right away it gets hit w/towels and unplugged - I guess what james calls "monkey humping" on the speaker cabinet got things lit some, huh? sorry. there's no pause but I do freak a little a misread larry's clicks and come in on "night them" on the first snare instead of the beat after - baka watt, my first real clam of the gig. fuck, got thrown a little but not bad, right back on, I check tuning on the tiny gap I got for "skull thing" called that cuz it's only the first part of the original ("skull ring") w/out any singing - even though I try and get things right between the coltrane quotes I do in the freak-out, I ain't getting another chance 'til 'pert-near the set's end. we work this aways as a segue into "beyond the law and maybe I clammed a coming out of it's intro? stayed in key, I know that but I knuckle down cuz you know how clams can start piling up if you don't watch it. baka watt. after the bridge, ig sure has some nice steps. someone throws up mardi gras beads and jos gives them to ig's wife nina who's watching right from the side. the breeze has stopped, goddamn. I'm feeling it now, whoa. at least "johanna" has a slower tempo though, us doing it really heavy and laying it way down. I finally can kick into "ready to die" w/out the spaced fluster on the get-go, fucking baka slow learner watt - here's a respite even a tiny breeze to go w/it which goes a long way w/this shvitz of a gig, humidity alive-wise. still I wouldn't trade doing a stooges gig for anything or bellyache too serious about it, the folks too we're playing for must have it just as bad or prolly worse so wishing for a fan to blow some air around I'm thinking is maybe kind of sissified and stow that shit below and keep it together for "I wanna be your dog" but not just that cuz "no fun" is right after that and deserves the full-on which I give it, larry w/some big-ass grins when I look over, him broasting in the boilersuit, yeah! actually it is pretty fun. "your pretty face is going to hell" next and damn if I don't clam after the first chorus, not real bad but bad enough to chimp it here in this tour spiel - how many times have I played this? what a dick. I lost focus for a moment and that's all it took. I was looking right at ig too and then over to james to both 'fess up in a way and very much to get back on board. kind of slippery neck now. the closer is "sex and money" (great tune from the new album) - we've been told no encores so this is it. going pretty good, especially for a new tune, me and then larry laying doing a groove while james gets on a guitar (made for him special from a cat in france) tuned open for him to work slide. damn if I know the end's coming though - yeah, chugging pretty good w/the band and then here I get surprised w/us in the coda w/out me realizing it - BAKA WATT! luckily I was on the tonic and not sourass, maybe not w/the closing riff (missed it!) but stopping when everyone else so at least I was some in the moment. god, I could've broke my leg off in my own ass for that. ig tells the folks thanks, they were beautiful, truly.
we get done and chan w/her band comes back to meet us. they got held up and missed the gig, security wouldn't let them in, damn. cat power's playing here tomorrow so we'll miss them which for me is bunk cuz I really wanna see this version of her music. man, is she a way a righteous singer. her band folks are very happening people, beautiful. I spiel w/them as much as I can 'til I'm told the boat's pulling anchor and I don't wanna keep james waiting so I gotta say bye.
back at the 'tel, dave dove and his brother come and bring me to an r and b club in the fifth ward called "the silver slipper" and man, this pad is really happening! lightnin' hopkins used to play here I'm told... right now the house band is incredible, righteous. oh man. and hey, the representative from corwood industries is here and he's got a bottle of tequila! oh oh...
I pop the next morning and there's a bunch of bottles of water near me - and I see a wheelchair in the corner, what? trippy. eleven am and it's back to the big airport here in houston and on a united 373 back to so cal, tour boss henry's on this flight. I get back just in time to do prac w/my secondmen, good to play w/pete and jer again. you know what? my port-side ankle hurts a little bit, kind of swelled up too...
saturday, june 8, 2013 - long beach, ca (usa)
for a bassman in pedro, what's there not to like about a so cal stooges gig? actually for this one, what's there not to like about a stooges anywhere?! well, there is something I guess a little more happening w/a stooges gig being in so cal - especially across the harbor in long beach - about eight miles from my pedro town! hell, I could 'pert-near paddle over in my kayak!
day before gig we have prac... where? west hollywood! same place as always which means on a friday it takes me a little over an hour and a half to get there. of course no drive is too long for watt regarding the stooges and the swinghouse folks are most kind but damn if it can wear you down a little. the helpermen from england (mixerman max, jos and mr slouch) are here and they set up all they can for what we usually do ourselves - maybe we've done prac here a dozen times? in fact the first time I ever played w/james williamson was at this pad. we're supposed to start at eleven am - I asked for that cuz damn if I don't have a gig w/my secondmen playing w/fear in orange county tonight. it's the juggling routine. I'm most grateful to james having us go through all the tunes only twice cuz damn (again) if it don't take 'pert-near three hours to get to that gig I got behind the orange curtain. that's how bad traff can get in so cal - believe it! max helped us out w/singing too, love prac even more when he's there for us like that instead of either the other guys trying to read my stupid-ass lips or doing the counting game. he's a good singer too. jos does some also and I love it. we gotta work mr slouch into the act. I brought everyone in the band and crew mike watt throbblehead dolls so now they got both baka books and figurines of the baka bassman. all these cats deserve it cuz you know they've been most kind to me, truly.
it's gig day and james told us it's gonna be too loud to do before-gig prac where the dressing rooms are at the venue (right in front of the ol' timey ocean liner the queen mary) so I offer up my pad.
it used to be the officers' latrine at the upper reservation of the fort macarthur army base which got handed over to the city in the 80s and parts got used to make up the angels gate cultural center and I've been in that head for twentyseven years now. I got the part of the head where the shitters all were so I tore them all out, put up a bulkhead and a hatch and that's where I prac up the music I bring to people. it's small and narrow but good enough for a trio or in this case a quartet cuz brother steve is w/us. I got a drum set always set up that's from parts perk flowed me cuz I got tired of waiting for dudes to set up/break down. larry says he's fine w/it, even though it's a beater. james plays through tom watson's blackface fender bandmaster (says it's not his sound) ands brother steve goes through the p.a. which I got its speaker boxes mounted up where the bulkhead meets the overhead on the north side. now this ain't w/tiny amps but like really playing - james says he's gonna get his lawyer after me for white lung cuz the pads in these days were all made of asbestos but I got rug, mattresses and paint covering all that shit and it's the floating fibers anyway that really give it to you. I'm just so happy they came and did it in my prac pad. actually I wish I could give them all tours of my pedro town - I do take larry and brother steve down by warehouse one on admiral higby way and the the ghost fish memorial mr cheng unveiled in memory of our once HUGE tuna fleet ("startkist" and "chicken of the sea" started in our town) last december but man, is it too brief. james is staying up on the hill (palos verdes) so he beats back up there soon as we're done. one day though, one way one day... I wanna show these guys my town. hell, I love showing everyone I can my town, the stuff I know since I came here when I was nine from virginia (pedro's closer to vietnam than norfolk, my pop was a sailor in the engine room for the navy). brother steve has stayed at my pad for the earliest pracs when james came aboard - we'd make the hellrides to west hollywood together 'til he found an old friend of his he played w/in holland who now lives near marina del rey. never got to give him the tour though, damn.
my sister melinda was gonna take my ma to see the gig but thinking about us going on at 10:15 pm tonight and being right by the water w/her not feeling all the way strong at seventyseven, melinda decides maybe she'll leave my ma at home and I agree though damn if I didn't want her to see me w/these guys! we did play here - the stooges w/ronnie on guitar - in 2004 and she did see me then, the only time w/me on stage w/ig so at least there's that but damn we were earlier for that reason. oh well. I head on over around nine pm, only takes a little bit to get there especially cuz the traff is all gone due to this being on since way earlier in the day... it's called the ink and iron fest and it's not just music but tattoos and hopped-up cars too. one really lame thing about getting here when I do is that I miss the dirtbombs which I dig much. damn. east bay ray comes to say hi as I change into my outfit, road boss eric helping me get the boat parked pretty close to where I need to be - yeah, driving my own econoline to a stooges gig - WAY FUCKING INTO IT! and getting to konk on my own deck after - EVEN MORE! klaus flouride too, I wanna give klaus bass stuff for him to do guitar on... yeah, he told me last december when I recorded up in berkeley for the "ready to die" album that he was doing guitar for the lengedary stardust cowboy and so wheels started spinning in my head. he sure is cool people, I had righteous spiel w/him one breakfast up north after that session at fantasy.
I get up on my side of the stage way in the back so no one hopefully see me - took risky up front. when I see james start trotting, that's when I get my quickest hobble on and make for jos w/the bass, I got two svt ar stacks (ar? am I baka?) up on short riser, sounding pretty good as we whup into "raw power" and the folks in so cal go fucking off. right away though I notice two sections, an up front "haves" and way more behind, I guess "have nots" which I fucking ain't into and I know ig ain't for damn sure but TOOT TOOT PHILADELPHIA, this fucking boat's underway! we're midships this time where nine years ago queen mary was too our port and open air behind us. I think us being in front of her gives way more focus for the sound. my old buddy dirk (the cat who took the cover shot of "double nickels on the dime") said it was the best sound of any gig he's been to and he's been to a bunch! that reminds me, the first time I met james williamson was at that gig here nine years ago! damn. anyway, don't let me space too much - "gimme danger" is right up after - dirk says "raw power" is his favorite album so I'm glad we're giving him some tunes from that though I'm way into us doing these brand new ones like "gun" (next) too, good stuff from this album w/ig on the cover w/a dynamite vest! "don't give me a gun!" he tells the folks and then we follow it up (and in) HARD w/a "1970" now that james don't even ask for a hihat click in anymore - neat, him starting these first five tunes off himself including the modified "search and destroy" which happened one gig not too long ago by accident and ig dug it so that's how we do it now. the band is tight. all these pracs are way worth it, so glad. glad too I got it together enough not to clam though maybe w/the next one, "fun house" I got some stumblebum, not a bunch but some, a little? the dancers are a hoot. man, they had to climb to get up but they're spontaneous and having a good time. I think I did ok now that I think back but I have those other suspicions too, damn... I take it out on myself some w/a little pound-down w/some crazy "l.a. blues" and lay into really a bunch but tune her back up (man, she got flat!) for "night theme" (back to rocking the half-step on the b-flat again) and into "skull thing" plunge into "beyond the law" and some throttle-back on the tempo but for damn sure not the heaviness for "johanna" where I feel a little stumbly w/this fucking bad knee - hold on, watt. that's all I gotta do now is crumple, especially w/a barnburner like "I got a right" getting served up right quick and GOING QUICK (rocket sled) right into (as soon as ig calls it, like in one second!) "I wanna be your dog" which is wailer. no way for ig really to stage dive, the moat to wide, stage too high - maybe they got side screen video shit, I don't know but I can testify ig's been working this gig HARD as a motherfucker, truly. he's on the deck, he's in the air, he's singing and dancing like nobody's fucking business, let me tell you cuz I ain't just saying, it's fucking real-o mind all the way. brother steve let's the quiet (ok, quieter) part really have some sax, sounding great. "no fun" for the not-for-real-closer but a great set up for "your pretty face is going to hell" which is where I make up for the clams I blew on the is baby in houston (the shame). the actual finish is "open up and bleed" and this where I really fuck up for the night. it's in the ending. actually I could've went longer - james said ig asked if larry could hold out in the coda before upping the meter and then we really get it going - I could've went longer of course but I feel another knee twinge so I look over at mr slouch and try to reach him w/a big toss of the brian michael bass but the knee gave me a big itai (pain in jap) right then and it was a real lame-ass toss that don't make it - not only that but it crashes into james' guitar which he's put on a stand after leaving the stage (only me and larry are still up there) and busts off a tuner on it, crimony! at least it made it through pretty good (built like a tank) but man am I embarrassed - james gave me a look, not a happy one but more like a "you dumbfuck watt" one and damn if I didn't deserve that. ig's behind james amps (I don't remember doing this before but it's the sitch of this stage and I guess we got time for not much so after "penetration" - this is where I find out the bass is in good shape we try "sex and money" (a new one) but james uses a different tuning (an open g where he plays slide) and the guitar he gets handed ain't in that tuning so after some bars of me and larry doing the intro, ig halts us - we give 'em another new one "dirty deal" instead which goes good but it's a little weird, ig says "that was anti-climatic" as him and tourboss henry come off the stage - I feel I got no one to blame but myself for that stupid shit. I ain't strong enough to throw that bass right - I did it in sydney and it worked but never again, I ain't trying that anymore. man, talk about regrets. I don't even get into my levis and flannel, I just keep the silver-gray dickies work clothes on and bail to my boat after not much time, enough time to apologize to james and his wife linda - I feel like such a fucking baka. it was only that very end fuckup, aaarrrgggghhh. I see bob lee and elise as I hobble to the boat, so glad to see them but can't hold back the lame feeling. road boss eric guides me to the boat, helps my lost ass - big hugs for him... he can't be w/us in europe this summer and I'm gonna miss him bad...
anyway, many regrets as I drive my econoline up over the gerald desmond bridge, onto terminal island (this is where the navy base used to be, big can terminal now), over the vincent thomas bridge and into my pedro town, many palms of the hand upside my forehead the whole way. it is eerie quiet in a way, having to live w/myself like that. I feel so stupid. I konk 'pert-near quick on my deck (I got no bed at my pad, love the deck) in my outfit, too ashamed to get out of it, even w/no one around - well, one person: me... and I know what I did. sure, it wasn't on purpose but I should've been thinking better. that was a good gig and those were beautiful cats we played for. maybe it's good my ma didn't see it. the next morning I pop, hose off and after it's the usual sunday breakfast chow I have w/her and my sister melinda at the crack of dawn w/them when I'm home and I make no mention of the gig, we talk instead about a movie on the turner channel, one from the forties about trippy shit for those days. I go to missingmen prac right after w/tom and raul.
thursday, june 20, 2013 - london, england
it's saturday june fifteen just after two in the afternoon when my sister melinda takes me to lax airport for this gig... why five days early? that's cuz I'm in jugglingman mode and mixing other music projs w/stooges stuff. timo in dublin has asked me and my il sogno del marinaio fratelli to open up for thurst's chelsea light moving at whelan's on bloomsday which was something I could not possibly pass up if there was even a sliver of a chance of doing. actually I was gonna leave my pedro town early early to brighton in england to record w/brother sam for our cuz proj... me and him scaled it down from two to one day (he's righteous people and most understanding) to record "components" for the second chapter of this proj. the second time I get to play dublin on bloomsday, the third time I've been there then though cuz once I spent three days on the 100th anniversary - the only time I went to a foreign town that didn't have a gig or music stuff involved... I got to stay w/anto in the skerries via my buddy nez who now lives in sapporo and they both learned much about the real town that inspired mr joyce's "ulysses" so big time. basically the whole book all happens on this one day in this one town. oh yeah, it (june sixteen) is also the bday of my best friend raymond - ain't that a trip? well, if you know about "double nickels on the dime" then maybe you wanna know 'pert-near all the tunes I wrote for that album were inspired by that book cuz I had just finished it (I was twentyfive years old then) and it a PROFOUND effect on me.
anyway, at the airport I find out united airlines has overbooked my flight to london (that's where I go first cuz that's where tour boss henry booked me for the stooges gig) and I 'pert-near have a cow but keep calm... when the gate lady gets there, she gets me a bologna seat which is fucking way ok cuz better than missing the gig - yeah, they offered me four hundred dollars if I would take a flight the next day but... what the fuck though? why are they allowed to do shit like that, I mean overbooking cuz what if you're really counting on being somewhere and I understand about nature and shit not in anyone's control but this seems like lame fucking business practice but anyway, whew, I breath some relief, you know? oh and speak of fucking currency, what about this game: I take the australian money I got for per diem from the stooges tour there a couple of months ago and trade it in for england pounds... I get 220 for 410 australian dollars. if you look at the current exchange rate it's like sixtyone pounds just floated up into the ether, motherfuckers... currency exchange: money for nothing and the dicks for free, stucazz! I read more of soseki's "the gat" but konk even more cuz it'll be morning when we land and that's how I fight jetlag (if I land at night I try to stay awake while we're flying). now I land in london so have to get on a aer lingus flight for dublin at quarter after three, two hours after touching down at london heathrow. luckily everything's on time, even w/rain - yeah, it's summer but in these parts you'd hardly know that... guess who's on the airbus 320 w/me to dublin? fucking thurst, crimony! seat in front of me even but the flight is way light so he asks me to sit w/him in his row. we spiel big time, he's an old buddy so we catch up some. oh, I gotta say it's big time security when you fly into london and then to dublin - like they take a picture of you just after landing and then before you get on the plane to make sure you're the same cat! anyway, il sogno del marinaio drummerman andrea is there w/miss hiyori who helped on our tour back in feb/march, both came from germany. we all four share a cab which is good cuz it's forty euros (about $53 u.s.) and that's w/no traff cuz of a soccer game, stucazz! we split four ways. at the venue's our guitarman stefano and the rest of thurst's band here: john, keith and samara who are all righteous people. so is brother timo, so glad he made all this happen. both bands soundcheck and lar from adebisi shank shows up - love this cat... I spiel w/him 'til time for us to hit it 8:45 pm. I didn't bring a bass, chelsea light moving samara is very kind to lend me her fender mustang. of course the strap is for her so it's 'pert-near up to my chin and like a necklace on me plus it's got flatwounds for strings - what a trip. I kind of like the flatwound thing though - I got a les paul signature bass at home I'm having my buddy dirk put flats on... remember james jamerson used flats and he's us bass cats' patron saint, much respect to him! no prac and the last time we played together was back in march so soundcheck we did every tune we do now in the set, respect for most kind house knobman chris. the gig-goers are most kind to us. after my spiel to them about bloomsday, we do deliver what we got complete w/some clams from the bass player but not bad enough to pull the keel out of the water - I'm so grateful for fratelli ste and andrea playing like motherfuckers and kicking it up good, so proud of them. it was a pants-shitter for me but I was really glad we did this, I really felt grateful.
getting to watch thurst and his crew from the balcony was righteous too. someone brought me "the tokyo-montana express" by richard brautigan but for the life of me, I can't remember who, damn if I don't feel like a total 'tard. I liked chelsea light moving very much, I got way into it. man, what a great bloomsday for watt. I must've sweated a bucket and a half worth. timo had brought some sobe from close by and man is that good, first chow I've had since the dung I push through the in-hole on the plane.
I'd asked thurst's drummerman john if I could get over the irish sea w/them so I could get a train in bristol for brighton and do cuz stuff w/brother sam. he's a most kind man and lets me aboard so I leave w/them in the tour bus they just started up on, the driverman is gondor and actually the company is a german one the stooges used one time a couple years ago, the big skulls they had painted on their busses now little ones cuz of hassles from the politzei. outside the club we're docked like three or something hours and I konk during most of that and get woke up after gondor gets us to rosslare where the ferry will take us to goodwick in wales.
that takes about three hours and I chow a "bap" which is like a big hamburger bun w/a fried egg and some bacon on it. me and thurst rap more... the last time I was on a boat w/him was when him, kim, me and k went to catalina from pedro in 1987 - damn if didn't wash the entire deck w/puke from his gut and got bluer and greener in the face that fuck I don't know what... man, I felt bad for him. k puked some time but kim held her cookies. it was rough seas though, I will admit. there's some motion in the ocean this time but thurst keeps it together good and I sense no seasickness his way. it's another three hours of driving to get to bristol, we stop on the way and I get this chow called "pork pickled pies" which is two little balls of sausage w/dough around them you chow cold (I've yet to see a microwave in an england convenience store) and I guess there's some pickle tast but at least I don't hurl so that's ok. I get two gummi oeufs also cuz they look so trippy. in dublin miss hiyori had given me some sour haribol pasta-fruta that were much better but I gotta say these look trippier.
gondor gets into bristol a quarter after four in the afternoon and takes us right to the temple-mead train station - I said to look for the big clock and damn if this ain't a train station w/a big clock! I say bye to everyone, once I popped for the ferry ride, I never konked again and had good spiels w/everyone, the whole chelsea light moving team are truly righteous cats. I big them farewell and safe seas (they got a gig here tonight) and go get a ticket for brighton. it costs 'pert-near fifty pounds (around $77 u.s.) and leaves in less than hour which is good cuz I gotta piss and move slow cuz of my still-hurt crippled up port-side knee. glad this little man sack I use now for clothes has wheels and a handle cuz I use it for a walker (pushing it in front of me rather than pull it behind like most peckers do) but it's a little bit of a hell w/stairs. everything on time and even sun out now, lucky fucking watt. I'm on the great western rail line and I gotta make one train change and a little town called cosham just before portsmouth (hey, the portsmouth back in virginia is where I was born!) and fucking I negotiate that move pretty good, get on the southern line to brighton. the whole trip takes 'pert-near four hours. miss hiyori lent me a leash she wants to use for bands on her label so I call brother sam when I get to brighton about a quarter after nine and then go to a chow pad called "the bystander cafe" across the street to shovel a jalapeno burger while waiting for him. seems like the burger was cut w/some bread but it's ok, I didn't hurl after. we spiel some - he gets here right from his work - we get a cab for his sister's jess pad and spiel w/her and husband andrew w/the aid of this bottle of jim beam timo gave me (didn't drink any last night cuz I was brought some scottish whisky w/an ankh on the bottle) and have a good time. they got a room at the top of their pad I konk in.
tuesday I pop kind of early and do like a two hour soak in this huge tub they got in that konk room I was in. beautiful tub, it's got feet to hold up, real ol' timey and deep so I get my beat up knees all submerged, righteous. jess cooks us up some egg and bacon on a toasted bread, then we head over to not too far away to the park studios where brother sam has the day before set up his drums and a bass rig for me. oh, on the way we stop and get jamie's bass - every time I've gotten to record w/brother sam I've been lucky enough to use this bass. it's a japan copy of a fender jazz from the 70s that I really REALLY dig... plays and sounds SO fucking happening. I'm most MOST grateful to jamie being so generous, truly. the plan is for sam to drum the first shift w/me and then his buddies ashley, vinny and dave to do likewise 'til we get done at eight at night. it's eleven am when we start. the studio bossman is very cool people named ed who I actually met six years ago when he did monitors for the go team! - slowly it comes back to me... man am I 'tard, so embarrassing. yeah, ed is very together and his studio is tits, I love it. no waiting around for anything, just go and he captures it. the building's from 1860, he had to redo everything, damn he did a good job, truly.
now the idea behind our proj cuz actually comes from his go team bossman ian's ideas about making songs around samples from stuff and what we thought we'd try something along those lines but instead of other people's stuff, we'd use fragments from us jamming and improvising to make samples that would be components for tunes. we got a our debut album 'pert-near done but wanted to start on round II - actually we did last year but he wants to get more happening and this time bring in other drummermen. I just tried to get whatever going so he could have a lot of "events" to choose from at the end of the day. I didn't talk about anything much except a little intro to briefly explain this concept to each drummie before we'd just go for it. my hands somehow healed up pretty ok and brother sam said we got a lot possibilites generated - ha! my words not his. I really am grateful to vinny, ashley and dave
who were really good cats and put much spirit into it. ed too, what a man. a trippy proj, kind of unique in my sound world but that's what both me and brother sam want, something trippy. all the drummer have their own thing going, such righteous rivers and creeks to drink from! there's a tiny break and I have a slice of some pretty terrible peetz, down their w/abominabo's or pizza butt. mazui. I don't puke though so I guess it is ok.
we went a put all the shit back in his prac pad, it's a wood working and ceramic pad too. a nice cat named graeme is there working on stuff and he talks to me about a bunch of interesting stuff 'til the guys are done and then we go meet up w/the go team! bossman ian who's moved back to brighton after living briefly in manchester. actually he's from wales originally. he's a very interesting man and I haven't really had a good spiel w/him in a long time so I windbag and yammer for hours w/him first at a chow pad name "wagamama" where I get yaki sobe that's pretty good, I was surprised and then at so me bar I can't remember it's name and they had blaring bogarting music but didn't care cuz like I said, this cat's interesting man. he's gonna do seventeen day road trip of cali/oregon/washington in august so I try to suggest some stuff about that like san simeon (the elephant as much as the fucking "xanadu" castle!) and big sur. he wants to know about what parts of the u.s. are more loose, what are more uptight - I tell him we're all mixed up! he asks me about the our take on our version of stasi stuff that's in the news lately and some how we manage not throw up all over that but it's close. could make one cynical, huh? you gotta keep your powder dry! I tell him a bunch stories about my pop when I was boy and him in the navy, in the engine room - I can remember lots about that. my memory can be really terrible about other stuff though, crimony! must be two am when we're done and me and brother sam go back to his sister's pad and I konk way quick cuz fuck if I ain't way beat. oh yeah, just before that chow pad I neglected to notice a speedbump and damn if I didn't crumple, brother sam pulling me up so at least I didn't sprawl but fuck, some itai on me, some strain on the starborad-side (the good one) knee. fucking bozo watt.
pop at the crack on wednesday - heard rain all night but now there's sun. brighton's right by the sea so lots of kamome (seagull in jap) crying out. one last soak in the big ol' timey tub, whoa, needed that after last night's crumple in the road. I get to meet his niece and nephew liberty and oscar, great young folks - we talk about legos some. their ma jess (sam's sister) makes an egg on a toast for me and takes us to the train station after and I'm worried about being late but everything's pretty much on time,
one last big hug for brother sam - I take the southern rail bound for victoria station to clapham station and get off there for waterloo station cuz the 'tel I'm show from the google world is six minutes walk (half hour hobble for me!), it costs almost twentyfive pounds, half of yesterday's ride but not near as far. still pretty good if you think about it and I'm forty minutes ahead of lobby call for stooges prac. this 'tel is called "h10" and we're just south of the thames river in southwark which is right near where we play tomorrow, great. funny though we gotta go pick up james williamson
on the other side, the part w/all the traffic! in london stooges 'pert-near always prac at this john henry's pad and that's where we are again. the helperman have decided I can just use the two laney amp stacks and forget the eden preamp and I'm convinced after a little fit. they're good cats and I love them. I am baka and slow learner. james had some fun w/me about breaking his machine head, even rearranging some shakespeare quotes to do but said actually the damage I caused was way econo. still I was embarrassed. baka watt. we prac for 'pert-near three hours and then ig comes and joins us for another almost two. it's no filler and all focus, love it. there's a couple of minutes where I can go up and get this kind of stew from their cafe, it's called "hot pot" but it's like a stew w/trippy spices, I really like it got my hashi w/me to bring it down, great. it's a good prac, ig's serious about this gig tomorrow but then gigs are serious things for him and I very dig that, love him.
we get back to the 'tel about seven, these two young guys from italy living in london now, giorgio and omar come and interview me for some docs they're making - really good cats. I don't mind the three hours we spend doing it not one bit, I'm really into being part of these works they're doing, respect. I find a chow pad called "masters super fish" nearby on the waterloo road and for five pounds get a huge piece of breaded cod that's really good!
it ain't too greasy either, nope. I dig it but don't know if I could eat this all the time. I like grilled fish but once in a while this ok and hey, I'm in england so maybe... I konk early cuz fuck am I tuckered, totally spent, tsukareta.
gig day and I pop at 'pert-near nine, that's how tuckered I was, crimony! I don't feel hungry so fuck foraging, I get right to chimping diary cuz I got a buttload to chimp and even then you know I'm gonna space on some stuff, I'm such a 'tard. damn how I wish I could really do good diary, make everything count, make it a journey and make it breathe, be interesting.
we got soundcheck at two pm, this gig is at the royal festival hall and is part of a festival yoko ono is curating called the meltdown festival which is something we did at the same pad but w/ronnie six years ago and that curated by a man named jarvis, a nice cat. driverman clyde's here, he's gonna be driving stooges stuff around this tour - he just got his degree to be a barrister, I'm so happy for him. he's really good people. I give him the mustard I got in dublin to carry cuz maybe I can't get that on the plane. so glad I got that cuz yeah, none to go on this sandwich I chow, a little piece of one actually. for soundcheck we do the newer ones all the way and abbrev'd versions of the others. it's sounding pretty good for a room like this, respect to mixman max, respect!
mr slouch and jos have things set up all good also - a small but VERY EFFICIENT team, these three cats from england who help stooges, I respect them big time. mr slouch has built a treble booster pedal for james called "the screaming penguin" that james is digging and gonna use it tonight. sounds great. larry's got them drums herr masshoff built for him in berlin, I think he even got a new snare but he's using the original. we get done and take forever driving james to back to his savoy 'tel but it's always good talking w/him, all of us tripping I think this time on carol kaye and her ideas of how things went down in her music world. I would love to learn from this lady in person though, just am too scared.
I chimp diary when I get back to the 'tel 'til six pm pickup time. I'm in the outfit I brought, kind of wrinkled cuz of the tinniness of the man sack but hopefully not too bad. the weather's really nice now, sun out and everything. after getting james we go back across the thames where the gig is (yeah, shouldn't they pick him up first? whatev!) we see yoko ono walking, no big posse, just a couple of cats w/her. man, eighty years old, pretty incredible. BIG respect. I start pouring down the coconut water when we get backstage. I keep thinking of focus, focus, focus... bofus?
nine bells is downbeat so I get to the side I'm on (stage-starboard) eight minutes before. forgot to say roadboss andrew is w/us for this gig - roadboss eric has to stay in nyc cuz of his work and there's a lady named jane doing the rest of the gigs on this euro-leg of touring but for tonight he's here and he's the one that gets me to the stage but then leaves to bring the rest of the band to the other side. driverman clyde helps me up the stairs thank god cuz there's no fucking handrail, thank you dearly, brother clyde! jos has got the brian michale bass, I got enough time to get it on, get my glasses off, even get the strap under my collar and then get my fist in the air as ig comes flying in stage-port as james williamson wails on "raw power" in scalding way, I mean we're kicking it up buck wild right out the gate! the gig-goers get way wild, this fucking pad is ol' timey in a way, not in actual years when it was built but w/all seats up the middle at a big angle and then boxes on the sides... the overhead must be like a hundred feet up and folks going all the way, truly "nose bleed" ones, you know? crimony! the pad just fucking erupts and ig's feeding from it and give them all he's got back, beautiful two-way, fucking definitely not calm reception! "gimme danger" next w/out a word - ig told us he wants to run it tight and that's what goes down, it's the pounderosa for these folks tonight, for us too. pretty calm on my body now though and I keep focus, lock in there w/stickman larry and I'm right in front of the side of his kick drum. tight playing, all the prac is totally worth it, we deliver "gun" w/all our knuckles, full-frontal. ig's singing and dancing beautiful. james is first man on all these first tunes and brings "1970" w/ig in the last choruses under brother steve sax wails rolling on the deck in front of them, incredible - damn! it's blowing my fucking mind - "blow, steve!" ig hollers! "FEEL!" no breath or hesitation, "I got a right" up next and into overdrive, polllllllllumba!!!! james is really really playing good, spitting them notes out w/big meaning, brother steve next to him now on clave sticks, still on them for "search and destroy" which follows in another seamless seque, this is fucking relentless takedown on the gig-goers but damn if they ain't really digging it, crimony! ig says something about before dying when we finish, it's an invite for folks to bumrush this squarejohn pad and dance w/him while he's still alive - it's one moment I got to roll up my sleeves in these sliver-gray dickies work clothes before he calls for "fun house" and I give him the bass for it... soon the stage is jammed w/all kinds of cats, wild dancing all over and I vibe on that AND THEM (the dancers) - a mindblow but maybe not all the way that in fact it's long-time gig-goer rob pargiter joining us first, hurling his body up and rocketing onboard in a sideroll, fuck yeah! it's way wild on stage but the gig-goer dancers very kind and respectful w/no trouble towards us, just wanting to get it on over stooges music, respect to them. I hump the laney speaker boxes w/the bass as the bologna for a bit but make sure I got things tuned up before "night theme" from "kill city" and the stage getting cleared, damn I did get it back up and am glad - don't need any sourass at this point. it's all one freight train now, the "skull thing" motif being the only thing not from that album that we run here, "beyond the law" and then a thunder-churner "johanna" - ig does a drop backwards into the folks right in front of me during the guitar solo... damn, he didn't look and I'm so glad gig-goers in that moat area were right there to get him or crimony, I don't wanna think what could've happened BUT the london cats are right w/him and keep him buoyed big time. a new one, "ready to die" which is a good pacer, so glad "...right" already got done w/up in the set's front. ig does a forward fall for james' "I wanna be your dog" solo (I pivot the octave under it for the second half) and again folks are glad to cushion him, thank you most kind people, thank you! it would kill me to see ig hurt. in the breakdown part he introduces brother steve and the folks holler for him, respect! we're right into "no fun" and a bra flies up at my feet but I pay no mind after glancing to make sure I'm safe from a bombardment (more calm than a used rubber or a paper sack of shit). we finish w/a pert-near immediate "your pretty face is going to hell" and I feel a cramp in my port-side calf after the first chorus which throws me some, the first tiny clam I've had all night but it worries me some cuz the puddle of sweat on the deck in front of me is kind of pond-sized now... damn if I didn't do like five coconut water cartons before we played and three during... we come off into the wing where those guys came, still on stage but behind some p.a., ig gives me the thumbs up, I dig that much - I give larry big time neck rubs while ig preps us, asking for the time which tourboss henry says "fiftytwo minutes" - damn, those were some fiftytwo fucking minutes, crimony! we're back on for "penetration" and another new one, "sex and money" right after, these two are fine and most of "open up and bleed" which follow but it the crazy-ass end part my hands start to cramp and they cramp up HARD - I mean the worst ever in my life it's happened. my thumbs curl up as far as they can go, each has both joints bent up as much as they can possibly be and my index fingers will only stay extended while my palms wanna v-up inward like nobody's business. I gotta do the whole coda using just middle fingers on each hand, oh my god! I can't believe these... fucking extreme beyond belief. me and larry are making for chaos along w/brother steve 'til he gives out, ig comes by in a coat that looks like that one on the back of the "raw power" album - never seen that before and I know it ain't the original... he's drinking on amaretto like he told us yesterday during prac he would - it's trippy... I don't think he realizes I can't play worth a fuck in this condition but I don't want him to worry about it anyway - I wanna do good for him, do good for the band and the gig. finally james gets his chair and his lap guitar ready and looks over at me. damn, at least I could make sounds kind of in time. he goes into "the departed" which is the song for ronnie. helperman jos comes and tries stretching out my thumbs by they just won't loosen up, just won't, fuck. luckily it's a calm tune but I blow some clams - I can't get my thumb behind the neck extended even though jos time and time again bends it up straight, fuck. it's insane. ig yesterday said this was the set, it was it and we weren't doing any more but the crowd is so beautiful I know he wants them to have more cuz they truly deserve it. he introduces me and says I'm from southern california, I give deep bow. he introduces larry as old friend in for rock action. I say silent prayer for scotty-san. he calls for "louie louie" ("in the key of a" he says) and fuck if I can't play it worth a shit - I have to switch to open notes, damn if there ain't clams here too. what a nightmare. I fuck up the ending but maybe it's kind of good james fucked it w/me. ig turns to us and laughs. he calls for "cock in my pocket" and for some reason my hands loosen up and I can play most of it, cramping up mostly just in the last parts. I never thought I'd wish this before but I am very glad we're done. I toss the bass a little way starboard to jos who catches it w/no prob. I don't know why I did that except maybe I was so grateful to get it out of my cramped claws. man, w/out jos, it would've been even worse, much respect to him. I follow the guys off - no hand rail so I'm afraid to come down the stairs. roadboss andrew helps me, thank god. oh my god, what a total hell that ended up being for me.
we go to our chamber and I start getting out of the outfit immediately. ig's euro bookerman john giddings comes into to say hi to us in the band, he's most kind. he talks a little about how some thought this was not maybe a right gig to do but that was wrong and I big time agree, it was great gig, ig worked it righteous and the folks were fucking right on! I get the purple shirt on and am in my socks (soaked w/sweat, everything got flooded) when ig wants to introduce us to yoko ono in the green room, where we have the chow. I got a clean pair of chonies in one hand, wearing the soaked ones but a least the purple shirt can hide some of me. he introduces me to her, saying "mike watt on bass" and she says, "oh, the bass player" (actually I played w/her and ig last year at a gig in downtown l.a. at the odeon) and I bow and tell her "sonkei" which is "respect" in her language. ig introduces everyone else, james as his "collaborator" and the tells me to go put some trousers on, I'm so embarrassed... he says was only joking but I go and get these soaked chonies changed and then some levis on. my hands in the ice bins seem to help but stil they're freaking out. I go back into the hallway and I hear ig talking w/yoko ono, just them and he's telling her, "...this band does a lot of [prac] and they got discipline, playing very tight - kind of different for this kind of music..." - stuff like that and that's so righteous of him to speak kindly of us, much respect to him, truly.
I go upstairs to meet in the bigger green room. tv smith and gaye from the adverts are there, so glad to see them. mrs yuka also, wow - and ms yuko - yatta! incredible musicians, beautiful. ms yuko even gave me a rilakkuma book, holy shit sugoi!
I show both her and my friend from valencia who's lived in london a while now, jose, my fucked up and big-time cramped hands (still!), itai/dolor, que chingao, kuso! anyway, so gald to see them both. kim did a gig w/her head/body band - ain't seen her or bill in a while - I heard ikue mori was w/them tonight (saw her w/dna thirtysomething years ago!), damn if it was at the same time as us next door, aaarrrggggghhhh!! big hug for kim. sean's here, he's doing all the music for his ma, so good to see him... he's doing lots of bass too, respect. their bookerman david's here, the other person who works for is bob pollard who I dig big time. whoa. a u.s. guy introduces me to two of the pussy riot ladies who haven't been arrested and I speak to them of d. boon, of good struggle in the face of horseshit. I guess there's big drama even w/in their own ranks but I'm still glad yoko ono made it happen for them to be here. roadboss andrew gives me the "pull anchor" signal so fare thee well, watt is out. at the 'vators I get to meet max's lady hanah, very rightous people. I discovered later another man here w/jos' fraoise is jos's brother! damn... man, I wish I could've rapped some w/him, just to see what he was like. I did get to meet both of mr slouch's, peter and eddie-baby, crimony! man, are they some tall men!
I gotta bail cuz we got a real early pop at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I recognize this room from seven years ago but I don't get my camera out like I did last time. it is a trippy feeling I have thinking back to then. I'm so glad ig said "the departed" as for ronnie when we got it done. I wish I could've played it better, even w/them fucking cramps. what a weird life, a weird way things go... I soak some but not too long cuz I gotta konk and protect my health. man, tonight was a trip. whew.
saturday, june 22, 2013 - frydek-mistek, czech republic
I don't know how I did it but I popped on time, fuck! 5:45 am lobby call for czech republic trip, first part being a flight from london heathrow to frankfurt on a lufthansa 737, an older one that's late getting in so we leave late but our hauptman steps on it to shorten the flight to sixtyfive minutes. before boarding, me and drummerman larry chow egg and bacon on toast - no, I mean that's what I had cuz larry had egg and sausage on an english muffin (his cost more). we have good spiel about all kinds of shit including getting ate up by mosquitos and how fucked it kind of is popping at the crack of dawn after a gig on a day off... what's that about? the flight into frankfurt was delayed and then passport contro, another security and a fucking hellhobble in terms of distance at this 'port had me worried some but then the next flight is delayed too so that's a relief. I couldn't find a reisenbockwurst like I wanted but I do find a double double frankfurter w/a roll and some mustard... I bring it on the plane but don't eat it 'til we're in the air (good snap to it!) which is like an hour on the ground cuz a plane was gonna come in for a crash landing (we saw the firetrucks all readied) but luckily that didn't come to be. it's only about an hour flight on this lufthansa crj 700 - oh, at the gate I saw a new huge a380 and asked the airline lady if that was ours, she burst right out w/a belly laugh, "yeah, why not?" she said. once in the air, you wouldn't believe this flight attendent's voice over the intercom: total peter lorre, complete w/what sounds like him whispering into his collar, we land at a VERY WARM katowice airport in southwest poland - whoa, summertime here for sure! henry's ceo partner ania meets along w/their assistant ania (same name). good people, good good people - so glad she's here - yeah, she was in long beach too (henry's ania), maybe first time to cali! respect. we drive about seventy miles (I'm bare-chested and sweating like a pig, larry, our wise one asks for more air conditioning which prolly saves our lives) southwest across the border into the czech republic aiming their third biggest town, ostrava which is where our 'tel is, the "hotel imperial" and damn if we ain't been here before. my memory has no recollection but james remembers, says it was raining hard. a search of my very own hoot page confirms to me the weakness of my fucking lame-ass remembering, we did indeed not only konked here but fucking played their town back in 2010! baka watt. it's five pm when we check in, I konk immediately, yeah, out for the night - that fucking tuckered! good thing too cuz I felt sickness coming.
gig day and I pop (damn, 'pert-near twelve hours of konk!) right before the morning shovel at seven bells and go get my mouth filled by fried eggs, toast, tomatoes and hot dog sausage they got in the free trough. I get coffed up to so I can get caught up on chimping before our soundcheck at two. we do the whole set, of course some tunes abbrev'd and time for larry to deal w/the venue's acoustics in respect to lowend bogart but we're back at the 'tel in time to be chowed by the 'tel here at five... I get a nicoise salad and what the waiterman is most fresh, tuna (ain't we landlocked here?!) which might be kooky cuz that kind of salad has tuna but appearing to be from a can so I get a double double on that! I go konk for half hour and then go foraging for a sack for my soiled outfit for after the gig but can't find anything... finally I see a little trash can and pilfer it's little sick but it makes me late for lobby call - aaaarrghhhhh, fucking baka watt. james even went up to my chamber to get me, little did he know I was sack foraging in the corridors. I promise tourboss henry I won't do that again... I gotta get a roll of plastic sacks to keep w/the man sack - damn, if I ain't a slow learner.
tonight's gig's in a hockey arena called "areal tj slezan" about fifteen miles south of ostrava in a town called frydek-mistek. very cool driverman peter who got us into czech from polska at the wheel again. built in the communist days, it's a trippy design w/the building looking a little like a bird's wings spread. way high overhead but many many short red "towels" hanging up in the rafters to cut down on the "roller rink sound" these pads never designed for music typically have. we arrive eighty minutes before the quarter after nine go-time and not surprisingly, the dressing room is one of the locker rooms. they got cans on coconut water so I start going to town on them and get into my outfit, no wrinkles which is very unlike our last gig in london where I donned one from my man sack which kind of like a washcloth, it was so crumpled up. we're all in good spirits, ig comes into give us a briefing and we get to talking how happening the gig-goers were at the london gig. I ask him about the jacket he put on later in the encore that night, he said the company that originally made that jacket you see on the "raw power" album cover has started making them again and it's one of those. damn. that's a trip.
getting close, tourboss leads me to my side of the stage but I stay in the back, behind a curtain. the opening band's stuff is here, many keyboards things - they were called tata bojs and we could hear them some in the locker room but never got to meet any of them. damn. I think they've been around for a while too, even before the wall fell and shit. well, here come the guys right on time, house lights go out. now I got a lot of ground to hobble across and damn if I don't get to jos w/the bass ready to hand me w/just a moment to spare, maybe only a second for airfist and fuck if I miss the first d to b-flat move... when it's time to go, no dawdle from james cranking up "raw power" to get us under way, we're fucking off! immediately the czech cats get lit too, whoa. jos put a big fan on me, just starboard of the the monitor wedges he's got perpendicular to my amps. this is great, it will w/cooling me off. for the first time I play w/my shirt sleeves buttoned up to start w/even! "gimme danger" is just as roaring as the opener but next w/a new one "gun" trips me out some cuz damn if all the cats in the front I can seeing singing the words, whoa. respect! "1970" right out the gate, we're hooking them all close like last night, ig gives himself his first whole bottle water over the head, the band charging hard for him - soon he's on his knees for brother steve on his sax. there's a moat between the folks and the stage and for "I got a right" he goes down there to work the deck. back up on stage in the break down he tells people he's a human being and deserves human rights, fuck yea. james then right quick takes us into "search and destroy" and whups it up, larry rolling out the pounderosa as well. time now to roll up the sleeves, ig asks the gig-goers for some "ass on stage" which means please every one get up and dance w/the stooges. some of the "uh!!!" are on the upbeat or even between which is trippy on the drama but I'm thinking "fun house" is the best tune for the invasion, better than the "real cool time/no fun" and "shake appeal" dealios we've done in past though I loved them much too. these czech dancers are kicking up much dust - one big fella slipped trying to get up and actually got wedged into some stage support stuff, ig making sure he was ok why I kept the riff percolating quite back w/the larry-man. very young people here though one cat around my age comes up and tells me, "I like you very much. minutemen" - he's got white curly hair and a beard. I see a "dickies" shirt on a young man who pogos right by. everything very coexistant, happening. the only violence is me on the bass and speaker boxes for "l.a. blues" and I knock the mic crazy and got get it back (helperman jos is over w/ig) while still whupping it up, same w/the retune but I'm in good "night theme" after james' guitar switch (damn that sunburst looked red at this point last gig in london - I thought I was tripping!), now this ain't the "leopard lady" one you see on "raw power" but a replication by brian michaels w/jason lawler pickups wound to sound same also. "skull thing" into "beyond the law" - I'm digging the grind on these laney w/them getting their tube front end rode harder, good when james solos and it's just rhythm section and brother steve behind him. "johanna" next w/the last e chord still wringing, course it's in e too! james wailing out the leads and I hear him good, yeah, even in this hockey rink - we then go right into "ready to die" and again I see the folks singing the words to this new one, a sort-of shaved haircut w/a bob in the back, syncopating it against the moat rail perfect w/handclaps, respect! that moat is too big even for ig to stage dive and though he tests the water some, he holds back when james solos in "I wanna be your dog" and instead does some deck flail and worm twist. "no fun" and fooling folks we're done before the real closer "your pretty face is going to hell" which does have one clam from the bass player, a fucking b where an a should've been when we bring the intro back around after the first chorus, aaaaarrrrrggggghhh. baka watt. we hurry off to a little chamber in the back stage-port henry had the gig folks build and ig looks up at larry, brother steve and myself when he sees us looking at him w/our lined up top to bottom like a "three stooges" trip and he goes "larry, moe and curly" - we all crack up and go back and do a six song encore beginning w/a pumping "penetration" and then "sex and money" I start right on the close of that last previous note - I know ig likes to run the set close and tight. ig does band introductions, I'm "mike watt, punk rocker from southern california" - digging that much, thank you, ig. "open up and bleed" w/an endo that ain't a spinout into cramptown for me like last gig, I got not one iota of cramp in any of my body, hallelujah! we get into the crazy end part and ig's got that leopard coat on again. once james and brother steve are out, me and larry skeeter and skid off w/ig directing us, "louie louie" gets the audible right up, there's some stumblebum after the guitar solo but ig channels things calm and gets us right again for his little rap - we even end it all together right! we just didn't prac it in london and was rusty... if we knew that was coming then - oh well... no pathetic excuses, especially from me! ig calls "burn" for the final baby tonight. I think me and james blew some clams here but nothing to lift the keel out of the water, great gig. I toss the bass to jos and catches it good, the man's got hands!
on our way to the dressing room, we pass some gig-helper folks w/pony keg of "pilsner-urquell" - a very VERY good beer, I shit thee not! these folks are very kind to hands some cups of some righteous crisp and cold thurst-quenchin mouthfuls, respect! back in the dressing room, james enlightens me and larry to this "hobby" of some folks in germany dressing up and getting into native north american trips, assigns me the job of finding out why this is so when we get back to the 'tel, I use my macpurse to find spiels like this and this and this plus even a german take on this german thing. I find there's not really much agreement regarding what this is all about besides maybe people tripping on other people cuz it's trippy. I mean, why was there a time when tiki bars were happening in our land? and what about that ramona myth that was used to help sell so cal to the midwest and east coast? humans are trippy animals. it's good to wonder about shit though and I'm grateful to james to have gotten me going on that. I wonder what larry thinks? he's a tennessee cat living in berlin for ten years now...
I do a good soak so I can konk clean, so grateful for not a speck of cramp I had to deal w/tonight, amen.
monday, june 24, 2013 - zagreb, croatia
yesterday the plan was to bail at two pm so you know what? watt is happy as the pillsbury dough boy w/the tsa man at the airport ("please keeping poking me, sir!"). now if we had a gig today and had to pop at the crack, no prob. but to pop at the crack the night after you play you fucking brains out and do it just for a day off can really frost my balls cuz there's a good chance I'm gonna get sick for nothing. if I got sick for a gig, no prob cuz I love gigs but I don't any fucking early pop to go somewhere to do nothing. I ain't bellyaching, just thinking out loud here. I popped at eight, I feel alright (lifted from "1970" lyrics). I go shovel pretty much what I did yesterday and get to sit at a table w/driverman/barrister clyde which is always bitchin' cuz the man is most interesting. brother steve joins us after a bit, alright. at nine, clyde's gonna drive jos' boat w/the gear in it to zabreb in croatia which compared to his last hellride is much calmer at about four hundred miles. he had to drive 'pert-near a thousand miles to get here from london and the chunnle had been shut down for a security thing to boot, crimony!
I get caught up on the diary - chimping's all done, now just to get w/the pictures. what I do these days is try to put one picture for each day. I find out both last night and tonight there's a "supermoon" w/tsuki, brightest it's gonna be. actually I didn't realized it was last night, thought it was only tonight (and fuck, I missed geshi (summer solstice) the day before - fuck if I ain't a baka airhead or what? anyway, I let go w/my flow list to tell folks about that and about a 1967 take on "ulysses by james joyce" I got turned on to cuz fuck, that was a week ago today and I don't I think I ain't spaced on that for a buttload of years, fucking makes me angry at myself. just didn't have the access to the net, fuck. it was raymond's bday too. fuck. anyway, better now than never. I let it fly right before pulling anchor here at this 'tel.
driverman peter takes whence we came, I'm w/drummerman larry and brother steve. this time let me tell you about the seventy miles to the airport in katowice (poland) as far as what's out the window. it's raining in ostrava but that's just there, the weather clearing up but not being too sweaty. pretty countryside too BUT you wouldn't believe the amount of fucking coal mining. even ostrava had a buttload of rusted out plants from soviet days. this area is called silesia and is famous for coal mines and man, have they milked it. I think they're trying to clean things up, I heard ostrava itself used to smell real band... me and brother steve's czech friend kamilsky said they're turning one of the huge once-mega-belcher toilets smack in the middle of town into art spaces and stuff like that. good move, bravo, czech people! we get to the 'port around three and a half a gotta wait for the same kind of flight at six and a half that got us here: a lufthansa crj 700, one of those little guys. in the meantime brother steve gets shook down by customs and asked to prove his sax is his. now this is the same selma tenor he used on the stooges' "fun house" album, by the way. good thing he has a paper for he's been carrying since 1980 he says. I see the whole thing go down and actually the customs man was pretty nice about it, apolgizing much. larry comes over a raps about organs and I tell him about my secondmen organman pete mazich who's way deep into that stuff. gotta connect him w/larry's los feliz buddy luther who's also an organman.
theses chuck taylors I got have finally been done (feeling the deck through holes in the bottoms), so I put on the ones I brought in the man sack and dumped the old ones in a gomi can before I board the plane.
once onboard, I fix the laces cuz I hate the x-cross style, I like them straight across and then running them underneath the sides cuz there's less stress along the sides. it's an hour to the frankfurt airport and though there's a passport check, there's no security and even more accomodating (I say that cuz we got like a half hour between flightss) is the gate ain't too far away, in fact it close enough for me to have currywurst but damn, they put catchup w/it also and it's too sweet. aaaaaarrrrrggggghhh, why didn't they ask if I wanted catchup bumrushing this wurst? I choke it down and I guess it's ok cuz I didn't puke. right after a croatian airlines a320 is ready to take us to zagreb, that takes an hour. on the plane they're selling marlboro cartons of cigarettes for twentysix euros (like $3.41 u.s. a pack) which is way econo but I ain't smoking these days.
zagreb is the big town in croatia and my pedro town has a lot of folks from that country but they're from the coast, the part called dalmatia mostly. the lady who gets us is actually from split she tells us, dalmatia's big town. actually our pedro dalmatians are lots from an island called vis, like nanny's ma - nanny does my shirts for my tours. trippy connect. I think this is my fourth time playing in this town, second time w/the stooges. it's twenty of eleven and we ain't gotta to far to get to "esplanade zagreb" which is our 'tel here, trippy spanish in the name, huh? the "supermoon" has to deal w/much cloudcover... no full disk (it is full though) but damn if that bright silver it's got tonight ain't trying its hardest to slice through. it's kind of ol' timey pad, everyone very nice here and they let me get mr slouch, max and larry beer for three euros each even though they use kuna. july first this country becomes part of the e.u. but I don't think w/the money yet. mr slouch tells us about being part of a team that did speedway (he was a mechanic) and it's a trip cuz I used to watch that stuff at ascot in gardena as a boy, my newspaper delivery boss would take me. wild shit, repect. soundcheck is at one so we end the windbagging at one for konk.
gig day and I pop at eight and hurry down to shovel from the free trough. I have a salad (!) w/oil/vinegar/tomatoes/onions/horseradish plus a toast w/mushy scrambled eggs/bacon before going back up to get my yellow coat cuz damn if it a rainy zagreb today. the gig's an outdoor one at a park on a man-made island in lake jarun (which is made by the sava river) and is called the inmusic festival and we did maybe the second one they ever had...
it was when we were w/ronnie, I think it was 2007. very soaked ground, very gray skies so maybe terrible for the gig-goers tonight? we are on late and lots of times stooges gigs bring a halt to downpowers, I sure so hope so cuz man if I don't feel for them, feel big time empathy. scary too for me so I use geisha boy steps. we do every tune in the set, do every tune in abbrev'd form, first time for that but the band is tight and it makes sense, good call from james. we get back to the 'tel and I chimp diary, getting caught up, pictures and everything. I know it might seem like I'm 'tard but I feel a big relief. even there's burden I kind of feel w/diary, I also feel it big time helps me focus and not get too unravled on tour.
I leave early for lobby and what I'm think is our nine pm gathering time. I see larry hoofing back to the 'tel and realize I read james' last email about lobby time wrong like a baka. fuck... I'm a baka. I use the time however to chase down the photographer for the photo on the up coming "mouthful" album - that'a the name of a proj I was part of that recorded in memphis a year and a half ago, the resulting album 'pert-soon is to be released. trippy lineup for me, it's trumpet, two saxes, clarinet, drums and bass - no guitar or keyboard. I wrote three of the tunes for it specifically, not a lot of experience w/horn stuff w/me except for brother steve of course w/the stooges and I got him on board for this - first time either of us have recorded in memphis.
right time for leaving for the gig, the driver's talking w/drummerman larry about the six bijelo dugme ("white button" in serbo-croatian) albums he just bought. now I know about this band from my buddy stanislav and later my secondmen organman pete - the were huge band in 70s in former yugoslavia which of course this land was part of. I get in my outfit once I chow a pork chop and a little pasta kind fo the thing in the galley. it was a good grilled cooked, tasty. cuz of soundcheck, james says we don't need a pre-gig prac so instead we spiel about more about cultures getting into other cultures, making guesses about why (a continuation of our previous german/u.s. indian spiel). there's a band from australia that's already played and now there's one from england playing now. the really good thing is the rain has quit, righteous.
late gig, we're due on at quarter after eleven so five minutes ahead of that I hobble for the stage. I get up on stage-port and find there's no way to get across to my side unseen so back down and driverman clyde helps me across the muddy grass and then up the ramp to where I can hide a little bit and still be close enough to make it to where I need when the time comes. I gotta hold on to a pole cuz there's a big drop where I'm waiting - this stage is pretty high up and actually doesn't feel that secure - whoa don't wanna thing about that now... the lights go off and I see james leading larry in a trot. kind of stumblebum from james' intro for "raw power" or just seems that way - actually my sound is kind of lame when I likewise stumblebum in - a "dink" midrange w/no bottom, it was nothing like this at soundcheck... no time to bellyache though, we're underway and there's a gig to do. "gimme danger" I've notice these last couple times ig is waiting longer to come in singing - not too long but longer and that's why you'd have to be a total baka to try and sleepwalk through a stooges gig, you gotta be big time on your awares. I ask jos for a little more angle w/my speaker boxes cuz I can't hear the laneys over this crummy monitor sound. I wonder if there's a phase issue? this gig is being sponsored by a beer company and many beers are getting tossed not really up at us but on each other as we deliver "gun" at a good clup, "I got a right" bang after that. they got stairs for ig to climb down so he can work the moat. I see video cameramen too so maybe there's screens on the side of the stage? prolly. the band is chugging tight. james gets us right into "search and destroy" which I really feel a good undertow, a powerful one and ig riding it too much like a surfer w/total autonomy from the waves. I keep my shirt sleeves buttoned up for "fun house" - that fan's blowing good, real good! I drank some coconut waters ahead of the gig still. ig calls up for dancer and damn if it ain't a massive pogo up w/us and them. I see eric melvin - holy cow! I love this cat, he's just the best. I had great honor in serving on a bunch of punk rock karaoke gigs w/him. looks like he's having a great time. man, what a surprise. I get a little buck wild for "l.a. blues" and hurt my shin on the platform mr slouch has the laneys up on when I monkey-hump the amps. baka watt. I go to get things in a tune and eric's gone - damn, I wanted much to hug him. damn. it really was wild but the zagreb dancers are civil in their wildness, respect to them. I hope I got all those notes in on "night theme" cuz it was a little blurry at first... I make one more tune check as james revs up "skull thing" - ig jumping back out to join us and I see ig needing water but can't find the right way to communicate that to jos and some play all the stuff I need for "beyond the law" cuz it's got no real gaps, you know? I just hate to see ig for lack of water, especially in his mouth. actually at this time of night and w/this weather, I ain't seen him pour any over his head and damn if I ain't still rolled up my sleeves. we're next right into "johanna" and I notice james has been much over near the drums, I'm wondering how his sound is over there... I know he likes to find the spots where he hears everything. later he'll tell us felt weirdness here but I thought we laid it out good and heavy - he did freeze on the segue next going into "ready to die" but got real quick, w/in a bar even. always alert ig caught though, I see him look over. ig's got a good sense of the big picture, always did since I've been w/him which is 122 months now, man, that is a little while, huh? I've only done dos for longer! anyway, I've got this baby now, used to have it a little rough w/the transition (ig changed the bass from the album which was a james williamson riff) - I can get it out and grooving right from the first figure... it's got good bounce. now for "I wanna be your dog" james really ups the tempo and the band does a flying version. I can't say ain't into it - ig digs fast! stage way up though so rocket j squirrel leaps but much woofs and snarls though, biting on the mic cord. "no fun" next w/out larry bringing a close, another good bounce, zagreg folks digging it, ig working them, hanging by bent arm from invisible monkey bars for emphasis. closer "you're pretty face is going to hell" and I did it pretty much the best I have since maybe australia? I gotta be honest about it and tell you I think it is. I turned the fan off... the sounds better - you think that could've had something to w/it, it is front of the monitors... we're done but I come back from whence I came cuz it seems far where they are. I feel stupid by myself, I look over at tourboss henry... they're prolly thinking why is that idiot over there. actually there was a spilled water bottle and I did wanna chance slipping in that also. I'm just paranoid w/that fucked up knee. so glad the rain helf off for our whole gig, not just for us but for the gig-goers. I'm so releived also when I see james trot out, we gotta be doing "penetration" next and yep, that's what he plays. trip ending by larry though and a little stumble from me to get sex and money going, james now w/the opening tuned guitar so he can play slide. brother steve has a big solo in this tune, a whole verse and a chorus - righteous. ig faces us in front of larry's kick to conduct are finish tight. then I check tuning w/the tuner muting me and like a total 'tard, space on unmuting it so I ain't there where I should for the beginning of "open up and bleed" - ig looks over and I feel like a fucking idiot, I look over a mr slouch and he laughs, that helps some - I get my rear in gear. the p.a. folks have got the pieazo pickup sound from james' guitar like trotsky icepicks coming through the monitors, I can't ig sing and ig can't himself sing but still we plow through - this band is that together. respect. comes to the end part w/just me and larry and then here comes ig in the leopar coat again - what's that thing made out of? ig's making hands to like wind it up but I'm looking over at james for his nod, thank god it comes soon cuz I don't want ig to think I'm ignoring him, it's just that james told me to wait for his nod... I wonder if he told ig about that? anyway, spurt it away (like five glisses on the e string from me) and quick right into "cock in my pocket" which is a trip to see ig sitting at the edge of the stage singing a tun like that. the coat ain't thick but w/the temp now, I bet you it's handy. he's still gotta dance though - calls out for "louie louie" and we got it tight the whole way 'cept for one clam the bass player blows, a one note one but someone captured and that's what I call karma. damn me. we close the show for real delivering "burn" where james again brings a lead in early but you know what? it sounds like it might go there! the zagreb cats were sure great to play for, deep bows from me. I toss jos the bass which he catches easy. larry helps me down the steep stairs, my life in his hands. thank you big time, larry.
I get out the sweated outfit in minutes - this has gotta be the quickest pull anchor we've done ever, like ig doing a runner - which in fact he did. some huge four wheel forklift blocks our way though once we're in the ride... james asks me about this "47" tattoo I got on the back of my starboard upper arm, guess he saw it when I was changing though like ronnie, he always freaks out when I do that but hell, I grew up in navy housing and don't care about getting naked. anyway, I tell him one reason is for my half-brother justin, got it on my fortyseventh bday - he's thirty years younger and it's for our pop (in his memory), a way of being in solidarity and he'd just showed me one he got on his forearm w/my pop's intials but I am more shy. back at the 'tel and I drink one of those beers from a company that sponsored this fest, ozujsko, but I kind of choke it down. I don't puke though so maybe it's ok. after washing purple shirt in sink w/shampoo from the 'tel and then putting it on hanger, I do a quick soak in tub myself and then force myself to konk after checking w/james to see if that "germs, guns and steel" book I found out about from him is the right one he wants me to read. it is. trippy, like me and d. boon in the old days! damn, gotta konk, it's 'pert-near coming on two...
wednesday, june 26, 2013 - goteborg, sweden
yesterday and I pop at six and a half, good time to get out and down to the trough for a quick shovel before the quarter after seven pull anchor for zagreb airport. quick shovel on another salad like yesterday morning but more vinegar this time w/the olive oil. on the ride, me and larry talk about igor vidmar, the man who got me to first start playing the former yugoslavia starting in the late 80s. man, I miss him - he was a true tripper, a great cat... good thoughts for brother igor. I wrote him a song for him on my "ball-hog or tugboat" album, not too baka that "song for igor" is its title, right? sometime I ain't so subtle. we got gray skies but no rain, am into that. we're using rented stuff mostly for the next two gigs, driverman clyde onto marmande in southwest france. safe seas to him, truly.
at security I have to empty out whole back wack 'puter sack but it's no prob. smaller airport and no big lines, people nice though some getting on the bus and on/off plane w/peckers pushing on the crippled dude (me) but that's everywhere. waiting for the flight and watching up at a monitor hawking zagreb's wares (trippy seeing it in "departures" part of 'port!), turns out the 'tel we konked at here in town was built in 1925 for passengers riding on the orient express when they stopped here. damn.
I'm guessing this is the same coratia airlines airbus 320 from whence we came cuz I see "dubrovnik" painted on its side. the daily workhorse? I know for sure we're getting to know the frankfurt airport! about eighty minutes and we're on the ground there, lots of hobbling after passport check and then security again... still more hobbling for me and at a cart on the way I get a reisenbockwurst, roll and pickle plus mustard hanging from a bottle upsidedown where it's like you're milking cow to squeeze out a puddle I mix w/some fried onions that got onto my tray. I'm chowing up cuz I plan not to chow dinner tonight like I did in zagreb cuz that would entail me changing over to the local currency, croatian kuna or in this case swedish krona and I don't need to add to both the coin collection for back home or the monetary loss so yeah, scissor supper and hold out for the free breakfast trough. it's an older model 737 on lufthansa for an hour and a half to reach goteborg on the west side of sweden, we land at the landvetter airport about three, no passport check even. I had bologna seat but shorter trip made for less hell. gray skies here too like earlier down south but also pretty mild and not cold. this is sweden's number two town and I'm trying to remember if I ever played here before? my fucking memory... we never see james or ig or tourboss henry on these parts of this tour leg (or konk pads, it's split up) but max rides w/us from the airport and I get to learn about the old marquee and eel island clubs of the 60s from him. usually it's larry, brother steve and me in one ride and the rest in another but I'm glad max has bucked that. I find all the cats involved most interesting and like being around them. so much of the time I'm on my own anyway on tour. damn if we don't smell fish on our way to baggage claim, ain't that a trip? I know we're by the
we're at a "radisson blu" 'tel, cousin of the one we were at in stockholm last year. walking around the central train station, it's very cosmopolitan and a check on the swedish wikipedia page says since 2012 about 27% of the pop had a either part or full-on gaijin (foreign in jap) background. it's my own ignorance I think making me kind of surprised... I like mixed and I guess I get used to thinking only so cal is that way, what a fucking baka I am!
it's one of the great things about this work I got, physically going to different pads and getting some first-hand experience, nothing like it - I'm most grateful for these experiences help getting my mind opened up. this town is laid all along sweden's mississippi which is called gota alv where it meets the kattegatt part of the north sea, a sailor's town but I guess the home of the goths in the old days... maybe an example of some of the cyclic things human, from pretty much calm out crazy wild. I go back to the 'tel and read the soseki book before konking pretty early, don't know when but the window seemed dark, kind of... long days in summer the more north you go, you know...
gig day and it's five bells when I pop! I get a good good soak before the trough open an hour and an half later (fingers/toes all pruned up) and since it's scandi, there's pickled herring and salmon so I have that w/some shrooms, toast, tomatoes and bacon. mr shimmy wants spiel about his new "3579" album which is great so I chimp that. drummerman larry flowed me a link to a program called "the last kings of norse america" on red ice radio where robert g. johnson & janey westin are interviewed in regards to something called "the kensington runestone" plus other related stuff and what they know about it. trippy shit here, damn.
four bells and were driven about fifteen minutes to an amusement park similar to the sitch last year in stockholm at grona lund, in a kind of band shell called stora scenen pa liseberg. it's raining some, skies real gray. I gotta do little geisha boy steps to keep safe, don't want a "down goes frazer!" like what happened last week in brighton. we do the whole set in abbre'v form, like one big song. mixman max ain't into this and I can see his point but james is... we do full version prac of "the passenger" though but ig's request, jos singing it a la jimmy durante. when we finish it's back to the dressing rooms and the nice people part of the gig bring me a steak w/a truffle sauce which turns out for me to be kind of lame, too much covering up and I think I would've had w/just salt pepper but hell, I tried it and know better next time. oh, when we first got here I had a small sandwich that james scolded me for cuz of ruining my dinner appetite but actually altogether it was ok. I can't play stuffed of course but I had no chow since that shoveling at the trough way early this morning. don't wanna be running on fumes for the gig, right? there's a couple of cans of coconut juice but larry's right about maybe us trading all these soft drinks they give us for like ninety percent of that? our rider is really wack w/what we actually want which ain't that much. like mustard, you know? and what's wrong w/broccoli if they wanna give us that? we are simple chowers.
there's no opening band. we're due on at eight pm and I'm way into that. I think one think that might've made last gig zagreb a little tough was going on at quarter after eleven, a late nighter for a band like us. another great thing is the rain went away. it's gray but it's dry and that's happening. I go up a few minutes early and see the place where folks can see us is pretty much filled up good. I'm close enough to easily make the hobble towards jos and get the bass from him, actually before james gets his guitar on or even starts "raw power" - is that a first? whoa, need some up on the loud knob - I got two stacks of new blackface svt classics, cabs stacked sideways on each other w/the heads between larry and the cabs on a riser holding all my bass stuff except the tuners and d.i. - they're on larry's riser. this is mr slouch's idea and I got an idea of my own to supplement this maybe for next time... fuck, no time for that now, there's a ton of folks in front of a bunch of rides before us in need of full-frontal of stoogeness, here's "gimme danger" once our opener has kicked shit off, ig's bringing it strong, us behind him, following his lead - I wanna be a hard charger too! I got my sleeves rolled down and buttoned, new one "gun" after the two old and bold, ig's having a good time w/it before back w/even older, "1970" but you know maybe very well where this one's going... where the sun don't shine! I look at the list but w/my glasses off and on larry's riser, maybe the type's a little small cuz larry starts up "I got a right" and damn, if I wan't in the moment... hell, I ain't even gonna try and think about that! we get down to whuppin' this up BIG time. that ain't james' blackstar amps I'm hearing, it's rented marshalls and they got kind of the midrange coming off of brother steve's claves, no girth. ain't terrible though. "search and destroy" immediately from him once w/stomp down "...right" w/larry on a rented ludwig kit but great he brought his own masshoff snare. I try to unbutton my sleeves while ig calls for dancers but I'm too slow and he wants "fun house" so I bring, up come them dancers and they swarm him, I'm watching it, clearer for me than usual though some cats come up and try to mime words, show me some steps. it's a good time and I spank the bass good in "l.a. blues" w/larry getting some way good freakouts, brother steve blowing on his tenor like "maceo on acid" like he likes to quote someone else who said that - I forget but for me when I hear/feel him, there's a bunch of soul. it's cool out but hell if I ain't sweating now for "night theme" and make sure I'm tuned up right for "skull thing" - another slight adjust for "beyond the law" cuz you're gonna heat it beat like a motherfucker in "johanna" w/it's octave slammed half notes if it ain't. larry gets one click on the hihat in when he see ig raise his hand - I see it too but he stops but james don't and charges out w/"ready to die" w/out him, larry's left behind and I wait for him to join though the parallel universe thing is not avoided and even if ig is singing on the other side of whatever. the chorus comes though and everyone jumps on, that pivot on the b-flat makes it real way clear for a meeting point and from then on we have it tight and together. man, that was a pants-shitter and I think in the older days ig would've stopped us and start over but we recovered good, snapped right back. ig even called out james' name for his guitar solo at the end! righteous he trusts us. I wonder why james left the starting line w/out his drummer? anyway, no prob/got fixed, onto "I wanna be your dog" and no stage dive from ig but damn if he didn't look he might! james ain't as fast in zagreb but I still hold it back a little - I think it can never be too fast for ig! I really like pacing ig's made for us w/this set, like how he puts "...right" up there near the front instead of around here. I turn the fan on as the ending chords ring on - "no fun" coming right out from under, way groovin', very happening. the three cameras on tripod way out in the middle seem silly, there all stiff and everything, like a movie set. I guess there's sidescreen maybe showing the gig in real time? hard to know from where we are. "the passeger" is the closer, first time doing this since last year and I'm talking w/ig, never did prac w/him on it even. there's parts where james don't alternate the last chord g one time and e the other and I wait for him to switch so I can get on board w/him but I guess he's doing the same thing - ha! next time I'll stay to where I am. ig digs it though - well, we end real tight and come off w/ig telling letting us know it was a good job. he's in great spirits. he tells james to go back out when he's ready and I hobble in front of him which though I'm a little is so good so I don't get in the way so easy. we do "penetration" right into "sex and money" real smooth, larry helping me w/the last hit of the former being the one of the later and then we do "open up and bleed" where ig asks the crowd if it'd be a trip if he died in goteborg - there's kind of a bunch a talk about dying at the gigs lately from him, scary for me but I kind of know it's hyperbole (big word time) and working the room too. man, I want ig never die, I love this man much. before the third verse he asks if it ever gets dark cuz you now about being this far north - he tells them he's only having fun, he knows what up... prolly the most crazy sounding version of "cock in my pocket" I've heard james play cuz something wrong w/his fischman pedal (actually one of five he has) that makes him sound like he's squeezing on a duck or strumming a uke w/rubber band strings! trippy lead though, interesting. he clicks every pedal he's got for "burn" though and it's prolly a good thing, ig w/the cheetah-on-the-back coat on but taking it off for the real closer, "your pretty face is going to hell" after thanking the people much ("hey dad!" he says to one cat in the front and damn if I don't see a big viking-like man (except for horn-rimmed glasses!) kiss the shit out of him when he working the moat starboard-side... I mean he was mackin' all over him: arms, back, face - ig cracking up big time, unbelieving it was happening - me too! it's a good time though, truly. what a fun gig. thank you, goteborg people! tourboss henry gives me a backpat saying good job, much respect to him, truly.
ig does a runner, we go back to the dressing rooms and laugh about the funny stuff during the gig, those clams and that "cock..." guitar sound, stuff like that. everyone in a great mood. we thank the venue helperpeople, they were very kind and yeah to be back at the 'tel before midnight, right on! a little spiel downstairs and then I go back to soak both me and the purple shirt for tomorrow's journey to norway. I only feel my soreness a little bit right now and konk easy.
friday, june 28, 2013 - oslo, norway
popped thursday at seven and got everything ready to go. mr slouch said he wanted us all to chow at eight but only brother steve's down there when I arrive on the dot - love this yellow watch, not only is solar powered so I don't have to worry about winding it or getting a battery, it also checks in for a signal for an atomic clock source periodically so I don't have to adjust it either. I like how there ain't a lot of folks wearing yellow watches either. actually it seems less and less watches are worn cuz people lean on the leashes so much these days, __________ (you fill in the blank w/creative cuss words, please). I chow what I did the day before but fuck, I forgot my hashi so have to use shovel, I mean fork. I have watermelon like larry likes me to though he arrives kind of late... max has to go through six eggs to find some softboil he likes. mr slouch has a point when he says they should have like a little hot water tub and you boil your own - I've seen that at some troughs before, good idea.
nine bells we pull anchor for the airport. cloudy but still sunny - will around 170 miles north by northeast make a diff when we get to oslo up in norway, our next gig? fortyfive minute flight on wideroe dash 8-311 turboprop (very kind flight attendant wants to know what work I have and is into ig when I tell, tak!) to oslo airport in gardermoen (they got some art embedded in little chambers in the deck in the baggage claim area, weird trippy glass things!),
about fifty klicks from downtown oslo (norway's biggest town plus its capitol) and "the grand hotel" which is right by the norwegian parliament and where we're staying (trubonegro's happy tom tells me "where all the nobel peace prize winners stay") - we get in around one in the afternoon. the elevator I get in w/max and brother steve stops working but at least the hatch stayed open. brother steve's in the chamber next to me and lends me fingernail clippers, I just hate working bass w/any kind of a nail and am most grateful. also way into drummerman larry flowing me "flash" by the moving sidewalks which had zz top man billy gibbons in it. trippy shit, damn. it was raining when we landed (those miles did make a diff!) but though not yellow beams, the skies do dry and I hobble around real careful. like w/these lands w/the non-euro/non-pound currencies and being in each only two days, I resist changing monies over and the plan is just to starve/dry out 'til the morning/night next day where there's free trough from the 'tel and likewise at the venue. as for the heavy economy fall of europe lately, it didn't happen to norway, one reason cuz of all of her north sea oil and stuff is spendy. how many times in this neighborhood for me downtown, maybe four? five? I don't get tired of it though: past the national theatre (mr ibsen was mr joyce's favorit playwrite)
and there's lots by the water and sailors here are proud of having wood and not fiberglass boats, beautiful. a lot of work w/the maintenance but beautiful. damn, there's a big munch exhibition but a little tricky w/me in my state to get to so I hobble back after a while and after chowing the pieces of fruit that was wrapped on a plate in my room - I guess everyone who checks in gets one, I chimp diary 'til the sun finally sinks behind a roof next door around ten pm (still don't get total dark though) and do a big soak in a tub good and deep enough if still a little too short - well, can't have everything.
gig day... pop at six and shovel from the trough here. they got fried eggs already made up that taste fresh and you saw your own slices to make toast. there's smoked salmon that's real good some trippy salad w/tiny cubes of goats cheese w/red onions and tomatoes. fuck though, I space on what floor I'm on. so embarrassing - I knew I was wrong when I saw this trippy half of floor and on the bulkheads no pictures of sailboats (can remember that shit). the doorman and me have a laugh about it - 740 and not 440 I find out, crimony. to the water w/a sunny morning two gulls doing the trippiest foraging together, one doing sitdowns every now and then but both singing their brains out. trippy crow/ravens keep their distance but doing a strange side-stepping on them, these kind are black w/big gray patches, much different than ours in so cal. I remember I got attacked by a couple in finland but they got driven of by jays - now that was a trip! I take pictures and spend more time, see the nobel peace prize building and trip on the old fort on the other side, love the water... missing my pedro town. hey, I drink tea after hobble - it's called "white tea & pomegranate" - never had this before. I don't know much about o-cha (tea) but like this. for me macha is the best, very powerful - not england kind though I've had some strongs kinds of that too but nothing like BRIGHT BRIGHT finely powdered macha. one time mrs yuka showed me the ritual of doing that shit right, gave me and my a set of the things to do it when I took her to new york city - she ain't been since she visited from her little wyoming town to see her sicilian grandma when she was a little girl. besides taking the circle line around manhattan and then visiting ellis island and the statue one next to it, I walked her around and showed her shit in nyc as much as I could, 'til her feet were bloody stumps you might say. her biggest kick was chowing on the sidewalk in little italy - it was fleet week and all the sailors were in their summer whites. we chowed w/mrs yuka in chinatown. damn I wish my ma could've saw me earlier this month in long beach... damn.
a quarter of three is time for us to get over to the gig for soundcheck - it ain't that faraway and it's called sentrum scene here's what happy tom wrote me last night about it:
"...awesome venue you guys are playing, the cradle of rocknroll in Norway: there were the first teenage riots ever in Norway after the screening of "Blackboard Jungle" in 1956!"
damn, a piece of history, alright! you wouldn't there was a gig here really, the sidedoor or a big rectangular non-descript office/apartment-looking building takes us up a few floors to this big room that was once a cinema. there must be a lot of stuff in this building but this room has got a high overhead and done up w/lots of pattern that looks like the grills on vox amps, that diamond-patterned trip, you know? we do the abbrev'd setlist we did last gig after I ask for the mic on my cab to get moved to the other side. I had called mr slouch last night before konk about maybe switching sides w/the amps and cabs so they wouldn't have to throw so far where I stand near larry's starboard crash and this will help me from hitting the mic in the monkey-humping part I do in the set. I respect mr slouch's opinion much and know aesthetics matter much but he hears me out here w/these practical issues. speaking of issues, larry's got some probs w/the rented ludwig set's hihat (I'm using the same kind of rented stuff I did last night, new svt classics and same w/james a la a vox ac-30 and two marshall half stacks) so he's gotta keep on that when we go up stairs and I get another sandwich (I got one when we arrived) of some good baked bread w/cheese and ham. they got mustard but damn there's sugar in like they do it in bavaria. I ain't into sugar in the mustard like I ain't into sweet ketchup in the curry - that's for others and so be it, I want tart. anyway, they're cooking us up a dinner but it won't be ready for an hour so me and brother steve follow james and just hoof it (I hobble, brother steve goes slower w/m) to the 'tel cuz lobby ain't 'til eight. it's a little scary w/the cobblestones and lots of peeps (it's downtown oslo pedestrian mall parts) but doable. at the 'tel I get the "superdooperlooper" album http://whartontiers.bandcamp.com/album/superduperlooper my old friend wharton tiers has just put it out, trippy and I like it. you know once wharton recorded me and bob quine w/lee ranaldo, steve shelley doing bobby dylan's "visions of johanna (a freeze out)" in his studio? bob quine along w/ivan jullian (both of dick hell's voidoid guitarists) were sensei to d. boon and I dug them much too. everyone said bob quine was mean and watch out but he was really kind to mean. he told me the first cat he saw play electric guitar was buddy holly in ohio (kent, I think) the year I was born ('57, the same year as sputnik), damn!
eight bells and we gather at the 'tel door for our return to the venue. the driverman tells that bomb let off last year by the fucknut who after that went to a youth camp to shoot all kinds of folks to death was only a little way up the road. I guess people from other places was kind of an "issue" he had and maybe it's likewise w/the upcoming election. a shudder goes through me I try to hide w/laughs. it's elevator land w/the dressing rooms and stage on different floors. I'm glad to know there's the stair option also. my pop always tried to pound into my head the idea of always having a bravo, a plan b. was father's day last week? fuck, I forget and actually I get sad cuz damn, I miss him much... fuck, twentytwo years later and it's still that way, strong on me. we pass ig's room, he's already here - I wave and say "hey ig!" as we pass, he hollers back "hey mike!" I get into my outfit, find clean chonies in a sack. roadboss jane so nice to us. we're due on at nine and a half, maybe we're here a little early but pass the time easy w/spiel about james dean and jokes. ten minutes to go, I leave for my place to get on stage, jos brings ig's wife nina who helps me down the stairs, very kind of her. this whole team helps me so much, a big reason I try my hardest, that and it being stooge music which I love so fucking big time. james shows us his newest fake fingernail, it goes over the one on the index finger of his picking hand. he's been putting one before every gig on this tour - I don't know when he started doing this but he's making a point now to show us. pretty trippy. I think it's good he's thinking about protecting his assets.
mixman max has been using miles davis "bitch's brew" for intro music and it's on now. I'm in between curtains stage starboard so no one can see me. I am nervous like usual right about now... we're two minutes late (!) when tourboss henry gives the house light kill signal - I see james followed by larry appear and that's my cue to get my hobble on... good, not that far and jos has got the bass around me like the pro he is, in one smoov move. again lots of time like last night, I actually see james before "raw power" erupts out of his hands! that don't happen much but here we are and the norge folks want it so it races out to bring it, bringing it hard. there's some little papers like fortune cookie fortune's floating around - am I really seeing that? small stage, I like this in some ways cuz he always can have ig your filed of view w/out having to turn the head much and w/the gig-goers going off in front of him, it's surreal - I gotta maintain though and get lost in it, gotta work the bass. damn if I can't feel it all electric in a way, hair standing up on the neck then... wake up! someone's chucked a cup of coke w/ice and one cube gets under the foot w/the bad knee - fuck, I slide and 'pert-near go down, my heart seems to skip, crimony! mr slouch pretty much quick comes and gets the ice wiped, very grateful watt for such vigilance, truly! I almost slide the other way to get some bottom up cuz now the amps are on the other side of the speaker boxes, not a problem of ice but the fan keeps me from closer and I'm awkward w/my cojo knee. I don't go down and am right the for "gimme danger" but damn, how lucky can I stay? "hunker down, watt" I tell myself and miscount when I got my fill under james (I only do two now, four apart) but that ain't maybe that critical and I'm in time... "gun" and I got some time to adjust the top box which is run by the top amp (good thinking from the helpermen), I slide on the knob but get it back - klutz! I get away and over more by larry where it's best to be anyway, he's doing real good w/that lame piece-o hihat he couldn't get fixed cuz it's suck-ass in the design department. ig tells the folks thanks and "bless you... this one's going right in the ass" as james brings in "1970" and ig takes first "shower" of the gig was a bottle of water going over his head... I can see yiannis from greece's brother thymios right in front of him, singing every word! yeah, yiannis is the only left home w/thymios here, bro vangelis in brazil and cousin themis in florida... some wild floor tom (scotty came up w/this) to cue the ending and then larry brings us "I got a right" which is full-on harpoon toss, ig delivers a stage dive. the moat is real small, especially where they built for our gig a little "table" to give the the stage a "bow" of sorts. I think this is asked in our rider, not exactly a table but an extension. the gig-goers explode for "search and destroy" - whoa, like a pile of mr nobel's invention, crimony! I'm smelling something electrical cooking, like transformer windings or speaker voicecoils... is asks for "asses up on the stage, right now!" it's time for a call for dancers and him literally calling for "fun house" - I got just enough time to get the shirt sleeves rolled up. and here's thymios, steppin' big time to the beat of the living dead right in front of me, wish I could hug him but I gotta work bass. the dancers get a little wild, a lady's butt almost bowls me over, tourboss henry comes to my rescue. crowd gets thick enough cats can't see either my monitor wedges or the fan and are tripping and falling all over the place... damn, I hope everyone's ok. it's wild, folks are lit up here w/us and though a little scary (mainly cuz of the fucking knee) it's a good time! I love people getting down w/the stooges, love it! I wail on it for "l.a. blues" - where the speaker boxes are now, the riser doesn't hit me in the knee and the bass headstock doesn't hit the mic, very happening. sad thing is I never see thymios again, damn. I know he's gotta still be here, out in the crowd somewhere but not where he was. he got swept out when the stage got cleared, finishing up as we start "night theme" and it sounds like I'm pretty in tune, on through "skull thing" (an abbrev'd instrumental of "skull ring") and "beyond the law" but in "johanna" I can tell the low 'e' is a little flat and fix that. is'g mic went out in the first verse but jos has always got a plan b mic w/cable at the ready (maybe even a plan c one too!) so when ig gets this he has us keep going so he can bring in that first verse right, in its entirety. the band's w/him, we stay the course. after two gigs of misfires, "ready to die" is more happening tonight w/james doing a twist on the solo it sounds like, different than the album which I think is way ok. another stage dive from ig, a running one to set off james' solo for "I wanna be your dog" and right near the end one of my amps tanks, the top one. I'm amazed to see jos whup up the back up one - it's fucking eightyfive fucking pounds and before ig can start the first verse of "no fun" he's got it hooked up and I"m back in the race. great job, mr slouch came over and assisted. our last tune again like last night is "the passenger" which I think I do really ok 'til the very end where I think it's done w/only one set of "lala's" instead, what a fucking baka I am. it's a stumblebum but maybe not a total clam. fuck, what an idiota. we go back, I'm actually first back on the correct side... I feel embarrassed and move more to the opening, everyone more in than me behind the current. we're back out for the encore doing "penetration" w/james kicking out blister lead, smokin' - he switches to open tuned by mr slouch guitar for slide on "sex and money" which I pretty much got now under my belt thoroughly and can work it tight w/larry. brother steve has his smokin' solo of the encore on sax here. ig tells the folks about his grandma coming from here, that he has norway blood in them, big roars from the folks for that. mr slouch had just given james a trippy-sounding tuned guitar for "open up and bleed" but I'm wondering if it ain't me and look at the tuner I got on all the time and it reads good - jos tuned it up just before handing it to me for these encore tunes... damn, what is it? james won't give me a look so I just soldier on. we whup it good and fast, larry doesn't hear my glisses though when james give me a nod after again changing guitars but he's out soon enough after realizing I ain't playing any more - ig now in his leopard coat does the infamous count-in for "cock in my pocket" he goes to the stage's "bow" and delivers it there, shedding the coat for "burn" which has righteous churn and then end the night w/a "your pretty face is going to hell" that's a real pummeler, crimony!
one of the pad's staff holds up the elevator so I make my own mouse-way up the stairs cuz damn if I sweated all up. I am cramped though, none! fucking happening. I really think it's that fan. I had drank four of these big coconut waters I've never had before, that prolly helped too. I quick get out of the sweated outfit. I ask james about the "...bleed" tuning and he said it sounded weird too. whew, in a way that's a relief cuz I was feeling kind of maybe I was more crazy than I... well, it is still a trippy thing cuz mixman max comes in and he says he heard nothing weird that way - what? max has incredible ears too. damn. oh well.
mr old buddy happy tom from turbonegro lives here and he's brought w/him bobby zodiac, singer of the oslo motherfuckers who also taught literature at harvard in cambridge back home for four years along w/a writer friend and euroboy who is WAY INTO james as a guitarman to look up to. I'm so glad he's here w/james cuz I know it means much. james is also very kind to him - it's a great thing to see something like this, very happening - a meeting from two way different places, a beautiful thing music can do.
me and larry join these guys a couple blocks away at a small pad called "robinet" where someone working there said they're glad we came (it's owned by an old friend of tom's). I have a great rap w/smiling tom and bobby about all kinds of stuff, about raymond is one of them! these guys are very aware of things like wobblies but also current struggle and shitstorms. fucking intense, I can dig it!
comes two bells though and I pull anchor, I'm on tour w/the stooges and though I was very happy to visit w/my friends, I got responsibility to have it together for these gigs. I wander and get lost some - euro streets ain't mostly on grid and it ain't too hard to do that but a young man gets me back on path near this statue of a big cat, prolly a tiger cuz I think "tiger city" is this town's nickname.
man, this part of oslo on a friday late is sure wild, quite a scene street, crimony! and get this, damn if I ain't like fifty feet to the 'tel when the weak knee gives out, I mean like just folds up and the better one can't bear me so fuck I drop like a dead weight right on both knees, like one of those little puppets where they're rigged up from the bottom w/elastic going to a base where you push thumb and the whole doll immediately collapses into a heap - you know those? it must've looked insane. this black man w/his lady was approach and w/in feet and about to pass by when they saw me crumple and he ran right over, leaving her and though he was too late to break my fall, he got me right back up and asked if I as ok. what a very nice man and so quick to help like that, beautiful. I was kind of in shock so the adrenaline helped keep me up and I thanked him much. I got into the 'tel lobby and there was a handrail I could get up to elevator w/and then using the bulkheads. I get in the tub and soak, I soak and soak... my knees are the size of casaba melons, crimony. I put just enough water in the tub to cover my knees, hot as I can stand it and then konk... that's right, konk in the fucking tub!
sunday, june 30, 2013 - marmande, france
popped in the tub and it's drained I refill it w/boiling hot water to get one more good soak in... damn, it's still 'pert-near impossible to get out of tub cuz ob hurt knee (more hurt knee cuz other is also hurt) and no fucking handle to hold on to, I crawl over lip tub and onto deck. I don't go down to shovel at the trough, I just lay on deck to rest hurt hizas (knees), both hurt but port-side way worse. I'm hoping/praying I'll hold up for today's travel and not be a burden for the team. comes nine and it's time, I got fifteen minutes to make it down and check out. fuck, I'm astonished kind of that I get it done. I use the wheeled man sack for my clothes in front of me as a walker.
it's gray but it's dry, we leave whence we came, back fifty klicks to gardermoen airport.
I notice this 'port has much wood integrated into its design, norge's are proud of the lumber technique, respect to them. we take off around noon on a klm 737 bound for schipol in amsterdam, big-ass winglets are a give-away it's a newer 700 model, those lufthansa ones we've been on have zero of that, they're older 300's... but man is that boeing design a workhorse or what? john fogerty sang about them in a ccr song over forty years ago! at schipol for me it's a schlep but mr slouch provides w/the little carts they got here that work even better for me than my man sack - brother steve attends me but I ask him to go a head so he don't accidentally bump me and send me tumbling. some interesting art on the way on the bulkhead?
we arrive at the gate just before it's time to be boarding the plane, yes! cojo friendly: stairs both up and down to get on. some how I start singing some lyrics from the dan ("only a fool would say that") and who's the only amongst us who knows? max - this cat is deep, respect! I'm in same seat (20f) on a different plane/different model an embraer 190 - what are the odds of that? I have my first chow of the day, a ham and tomato on big fresh brown bread that's got sesame seeds... damn, I can't believe how fresh and good it tastes, maybe the best hikoki chow I've ever had - I shit thee not! we're on klm again, bound for bordeaux, the flight's just a little longer, we get in just before four pm.
vivi picks us up, he's one of alain's crew, the cat who always does our french gigs. oh, larry's girly bag is missing, damn. he makes a claim and hopefully it'll come tomorrow. this used to happen to me all the time all over. I feel bad for brother larry but these things happen, damn. I think what's worse is again he ain't got a shower... neither do I for that matter. the 'tel s the "pullman bordeaux aquitania" in bordeaux du lac which is way north of real bordeaux (the town) and in the fucking middle of nowhere - closest store is u.s. style "big box" mersh pad. I recognize this lake some cuz I skirted it on my way by bicycle to the city of bordeaux from when we stayed at golf course in margaux the last summer I ever played w/ronnie, five years ago now. man, that was a hellride but I had busted my camera and wanted to get a new one... plus I was going crazy at that gold course pad a little bit! I get sad, thinking of ronnie... I go outside and hobble a little bit to survey the sitch but gotta admit to myself I ain't strong enough to make the mission. as I turn to hobble back, jos and francoise are coming up the road - they say they'll get me some salami, bread and cheese. at the 'tel hatch I see driverman clyde, he did the thousand miles from zagreb, congrats to him. he said it was over three hundred euros (about $400 u.s.) in just tolls! I'm glad he's here safe. he's going to that big box store too. turns out jos and francoise ran into brother steve at the big box store who brought the chow to my chamber and I exchange it for euros. it's three euros for a bottle of bordeaux wine from clyde - you'd never see that price back in so cal! very kind people to help me, very kind. I konk around ten.
gig day and I pop at seven, hurting pretty bad in the knee, leg stiff as a plank. sunny outside the window though, I see a momma duck and her babies on the lake. I go down to shovel from the trough, asking twice if it comes w/the room cuz it wasn't on a paper like most times we get... I get the affirmative both times and chow some pieces of grapefruit, scrambled eggs (not into milk into them though, sorry but not sorry enough to say no!), bacon and a drink to help w/cultures that live in your guts along w/some coff. there's a big group of u.s. older folks who appear to be in this land for the first time - one lady keeps telling her buddies "I love the french, they have cookies for breakfast!" over and over which has me running for a hideaway corner table but still I'm glad these folks made the trip to get some first hand experience and not just let a television and the shill that's hired to tell them how things are. I wish everyone from land could visit over here, I'm very lucky my work lets me. I go back up to my room and use the shower hot as I can stand it direct on my swelled-up knee. I got a gig tonight so I use it a little as possible, catch up on chimping diary and read the rest of that "the gate" book. damn, did those folks take some blows, crimony.
lobby at four pm, we've had no prac... me, larry and brother steve are taken by an older man named 'fredo in a vw van to marmande, about sixtythree miles southeast of here.
I think ig and james are coming from lafitte which is on the other side of there and closer. we arrive around the same time, no little prac amps so I guess no before gig prac either. also there's no chow cuz it gets served at seven but we're on fortyfive minutes after that - too close, they're might be some pukin' otherwise but a backstage helperlady is very kind and we trade the ten sacks of chips they got in our room along w/a couple bowls of candy for some ham, cheese, bread and some mustard that's kind of england style w/strong horseradish fortifying it. merci beaucoup! marmande is on the same river bordeaux is, la garonne which is a big one and in fact flooded not too long ago. there's mosquitos larry's allergic too that he kills, finding a couple - he's played here in this region like fifteen times and once got all bloated in one arm cuz of a bite so he ain't messing around, I don't blame him. I get to say hi to our francegigproviderman alain and his lady, he always asks me "ca va?" ("alright?"), I give him hug and kiss from chair cuz hard to stand up now.
this gig is part of the garorock festival ("garo" = la garonne river maybe?) and w/downbeat coming up, I ask to get to my jump place ten minutes before that and roadboss jane takes me from the tents we got our rooms in across a field where there's two hugh stages, one getting setting while the other one has a band playing and I gotta say someone was thinking cuz they face south so the setting sun ain't in your eyes while you're working the gig, bravo! at the foot of the stairs is driverman clyde and cuz of my outfit's pants been a little looser in the leg than levis, I pull up them to show both him and jane my fucked up knees. they're shocked about not only the swolled-up size (especially the port-side) but also the big scars on both cuz of my surgeries in my early twenties I had to keep my kneecaps from constantly dislocating. from my late teens to then was a horrible nightmare time w/that, you would not believe the pain and trauma caused by that shit. even though I got it band now, it was nothing compared to those days. the risk was fifty percent for each leg that'd it go stiff but still I went for it cuz my sitch was so bad. I was so lucky to come through both. anyway, I hear the miles davis intro music so that's my cue to get up the stairs. there's nowhere to hide so I just stay right near the stairs and sit on some road cases facing backwards. sure enough almost to the minute I see everyone in band except me appear coming up the stairs for the go... I make my hobble realizing my lame-ass condition so as to be fucking careful as I can but make headway and not trottle down to a mosey, jos does a great job putting the bass around me as I get my glasses off and onto larry's drum riser, fist then in the air and hollering yeah! to welcome ig who comes flying in from the wings as "raw power" spills out of james' guitar, g - o for showtime, the gig-goers holler likewise! I keep my eye on ig. the little "bow" they built for him is not even w/the stage and I gasp cuz of being scared him might trip in those boots he's got on and go over (fuck, are we like ten or fifteen feet up or what?) but he keeps his footing and delivers - I'm thinking we're off to a good start and hell, I even got my sleeves down and buttoned up. it's a little warm but jos has got that good fan he brought w/him - we're playing on our own stuff cuz clyde made the hellride from zagreb, 'member? "gimme danger" is good too - james looks on over but I realize he's looking through me - I think he's looking at the monitorman to turn his acoustic guitar mode piezo pickup sound louder in the monitors. it's trippy I feel like a ghost, he's looking right through me. a cup flies up on stage and he boots it right off, it is me that's the ghost cuz that seemed very real. ig thanks the crowd w/some french as james' guitar rings out "gun" and first larry and then my bass are in, good crowd w/much spirit for a new one I don't know how many people could've heard it before... it drives hard though, good thump/good bump - ig sings it excellent - I think in the old days, the vaudeville expression was "selling it" and that's what he does great. not to rest on that though, here's back-to-back smoke-belchers, "1970" and then "I got a right" which you know are piledrivers but it seems to me six gigs into this run, they ain't wilting one iota. damn, feel like buttkickers w/no let up 'cept the maybe the breakdown in "...right" but the gig-goers kick up right into the groove - ig not have to say a thing, them just spontaneously w/him like that, incredible link they made w/him this close into the set. "search and destroy" next and it's like a celebrate w/exploding minds kind of thing, HUGE release and ig giving him all he's got... he wants them to dance w/us and we go some up on stage but maybe the smallest this run so far and they cling pretty close on him which cuz of my fucked up knee being bad since the oslo crumple, I'm kind of relieved cuz I was a little worried. I don't wanna fold up for the band for anything, you know? man, am I digging doing "fun house" w/these laney amps and not those rented ampegs like the last two gigs, it's like night and day... I know "a poor carpenter blames his tools" so I keep my "notions" in check but dig expressing a fondness for this laney trip. I space on getting the "giant steps" quotes I put in "l.a. blues" 'til AFTER the monkey-humping, has that ever happened before? don't know but just wanted to get it in some time and not totally space on it, I am fucking a baka... regroup for "night theme" and am sure glad knee is still holding on and deck not too slick due to sweat from me - fan is working good for that. "skull thing" right up, think I went to far w/the 'e' string damn it and it's sharp... get it back in for "beyond the law" maybe? can really tell w/the octave thing in "johanna" but this is where the set gets weird. drummerman larry has the weirdest hihat click-in I've ever heard him do for this tune - and no fill like he does to roll it in - it's all a blur so I get on over to james' side more and just get the bass going where he's decided the riff should be - ig comes to rally us w/a count in and sure thing larry's back there w/us and things are ok... that was trippy, did I imagine it? "ready to die" right next and it's good, ig in the moat - there's cameras so I'm guessing folks can see him on sidescreens, I mean those cats not right on the barrier w/him? hope so, think so. I see a camera right near mixman max out there in centerfield (or is it second base?), try to hold back a little to maintain groove for "I wanna be your dog" cuz again it's coming out of the gate fast. "no fun" feels like a good time and it sure seems ig's having a good one - understand I don't when or if ever this band in ten years plus I've been w/them has done SIX day on/day offs like what this gig here makes for us and he's fucking tearing it up. respect. james starts up "the passenger" real smooth but still I'm glad ig counts me in and I think this is the best I've ever done w/this tune, james looking over and smiling even - thank you, james! we come off the stage and head for the little house tourboss henry had built and on the way larry tells me "johanna wasn't on his list and that's why what happened happened. now me like an idiot reveals this to ig at this moment, when we're getting ready to get the word from him about what's next. man, do I feel like a fucking bozo has I hear this baka words tumble out of my baka mouth but luckily ig's cool about it and says "shit happens" which of course it does and actually I deserved a scolding I thing for being so stupid to bring something like that up at such a moment. man, if I could break my leg off in my ass, I surely would right then but instead hobble off and get the bass from jos who's tuned up it up good for me and get "penetration" underway w/the rest of the guys. I don't think I've ever missed the ending of this tune the way I do it today, like miss the whole retard in the coda (like a 'tard) but I do get the last note at least... fuck if I know what happened here - I think the stage sound got weird in different places - same w/some of "sex and money" but it would snap right back too. I've been looking at larry and his face gets redder and redder, I'm think he's boiling but later he told me it was embarrassment, oh man. "open up and bleed" goes good though w/ig coming back on stage w/that leopard coat during our crazy outro and and calming us down to a halt and then asking us to listen very carefully to what he has to say which turns out to be and intro for "your pretty face is going to hell" which we get lit up big time, the crowd w/us like they have the whole time - HUGE respect to them. james lets me use his shoulder to get to the side of the stage and larry does the same to get me down the stairs - gig's done.
ig's getting in a car, I just so happen to by hobbling by cuz I don't wanna take the van back, I wanna loosen up this leg that's been pretty much stiff the whole show - I ask him about the gig, he said it was a good one, my arms in the air, "yatta!" I make some turns but get back to our place eventually and am just glad the land was dry (there was flooding here I heard last week) and I didn't go down cuz of tripping on anything (many clumps for hazards for a cojo like me)... we talk about the gig some, talk about the trippy stuff. james says he'll see us in rome, adria and daniel from barcelona band the excitements (who played earlier - they know roadboss andrew!) come by to visit - they're cats larry knows and we have a good time rapping w/them, really good people and from the heart, respect to them. time to bail and the gig people have made us plates of chow, very kind. it's an hour or so back w/brother steve and larry, we talk about the gig most our ride, it's on our mind.
maybe eleven when back and I chow some of the plate stuff from the gig, damn is it good: fish hunks, think chicken pieces, grilled veggies, damn. I wash the purple shirt in the sink and hang it up. knees starting to hurt... force myself to konk.
thursday, july 4, 2013 - rome, italy
on monday, popped first four bells to swallow some ibuprofen cuz of the fuckin' knee-pain and then mercifully got more konk 'til seven when I hobbled around to get the stiffness on said knee gone enough to be kind of safe in the shower for a hosing off. comes eight and I get to the first floor a chow, max enlightens me to the fact that you don't have to poach eggs using vinegar if they're fresh. one day I gotta try poached eggs, huh?
it's sunny when we check out at eight and a half. there's thick traff plug and the taxi drivers toting us are nervous but we get to the 'port w/an hour to go, I'm very grateful. the bordeaux airport actually is pretty ghost-towny which I can dig - crowds moving in 'ports scare the shit out of me and my lame leg. I got both a window and a seat empty next to me for a hundred minute flight from bordeaux on an airfrance "hop!" embraer 170 across france, over corsica
and southwest along italy to rome's fiumicino airport, we're there around two in the afternoon. you would not believe how fast this pilotman taxied but then looking around at all the vehicles at this port, everyone's jamming pretty much in a blaze! weird I use that word now cuz I just read of horrible fire in arizona killing nineteen fireman, fuck. my heart sinks as I chimp this, damn. fuck. every sad thing you read, fuck I wanna holler crying look away hug care for throw up hands crumple hide. the now sitch for me though is to get through this 'port w/out tumbling, many folks not looking where they're going and I gotta watch out hard. soon enough though we're all in big van headed about twenty something miles for a big hill in rome, the northwest part of town at a 'tel called "rome cavalieri" where we're staying, huge tv tower right in front of the pad. we're actually on the other side of the tiber river from the old town, just north of vatican city which is good for me cuz I've seen a lot of the ancient rome (though there's still tons I ain't seen!) but never have been in the pope's land so I wanna try and do that. today though I'm keeping still cuz of this fucking knee - maybe tomorrow too... see we don't play 'til thursday. can you believe being hobbled up and being in a town like this one? crimony! well, you gotta play the hand you're dealt and not feel too sorry for yourself cuz fuck if it couldn't be prolly a million times worse! gotta keep the badge-buffing (even for taking blows!) in check. there's big tub here so I get good soaks in. chow calzone and spaghetti brought to me.
tuesday pop after very lame restless konk cuz of hurt knee. no free trough at this 'tel so have roll, cheese and salami. bassman