iggy + the stooges
in ireland, norway, finland,
russia and france
september 2007

a word's-eye view from mike watt working bass for the stooges on tour

sunday, september 2, 2007 - stradbally, ireland

   saturday now, the last shovel at the lowry, last ride in the elevator that "talks" to you ("doors closing"), I have to say, my last two konks here on the deck were very calm ones for me after the intense bouts I had been having since I left my pedro town. I know the night before had to result from no konk at all during the night before that (late play/early bail) and last night had to have something to do w/playing my fucking brains out though I'm kind of wondering why expectations might have fought against that... the gig's tomorrow but I'm going to the gig site today, I have an adventure planned. clyde takes us one more time in his ride - well, all that it can hold... the rest go in the vehicle his other guy drives but I like that all my drives have been w/him. big hugs at manchester airport for him when I say bye and thanks. it's gray and dreary but not enough to stop our plane from taking off though it is late... the real squeeze though is the manchester airport itself cuz it's way tiny for the amount of people using it. the lines have to double up, it's hard to walk through cuz of narrow passages, needs an update maybe. I take it stride though cuz there's way bigger probs to expend stress energy on (wouldn't be great to never have stress to waste energy on? I'm working on it!)... I got the ipod pumping random roky in the ears now. the plane delay means 'pert-near nothing cuz I'm letting shit like that roll off my back - what can you do about it anyway? just roll w/it. it's only an hour flight to dublin, we're on aer lingus airbus 321 w/it's name "damhnat" (gallic) on one side and the english way (can't remember it, "saint something") on the other side. I'm in the first row but these are the tiniest airbuses there are I think. we land and the weather's already better, not that far either away either. we clear immigration (lots of u.s. people don't know there's a republic of ireland!) and I give my 'puter and clothes sack to roadboss eric - I'm gonna leave the guys and catch a bus right to the hueston train station. eric had something about the driver taking me there but when I asked him about where it is and where the 'tels are at that he's taking the guys to, it's too out of the way to make such trouble so I take the 748 to where the train will take me west, to portlaoise (you say that por-leesh), the closest train station to the electric picnic festival - me and eric worked it out a couple of days ago when him and one of the gig bosses were kind enough to arrange passes for me one day early. this was spur of the moment, it was in zagreb I decided I'd do this cuz I was asked which was a total surprise, a good one! the bus goes through where the docks are... cans! I think of my pedro town though their layout here's much smaller and then by the river liffey - I think back to my trip three years ago, the one I went on where I went to a foreign town and I didn't play a gig (what?!), it was for three days to celebrate the 100th anniversary of bloomsday, the day that "ulysses" (the james joyce novel) takes place: june 16, 1904. the book is so much about the town physically even though it's big time inside the head psychological and riffing on the whole world and thoughts about it. that book has had profound influence on me since I read it in my twenties... there are many songs I wrote on the minutemen "double nickels on the dime" double album that I drew on it for, I think of it all the time.

   "he found in the world without as actual what was in his world within as possible"

   "every life is many days, day after day - we walk through ourselves... always meeting ourselves"

   it was a trip but when I had the ipod set to shuffle (which means random playing of tunes), lots of excerpts came up into my ears, one after the other... when I was here for bloomsday, I got a box set of the entire book being read aloud by jim norton + marcella riordan (unabridged - twentytwo cds!) - I love it. the bus ride is about a third of an hour and I get to the hueston train station and w/only ten minutes before it bails - what luck. it's an hour on the train and out the window is very emerald green farms and pastures, beautiful. I see horses, cows and sheep. I can tell it's been raining early but it's clear now. there's not many stops and it's eight when I get off and go to stradbally, a little village where the gig is near. walking to the entrance, fredo (he's doing percussion for the beastie boys) sees me and I get a ride to the artist entrance, he brings me to dressing room and there's money mark, mike diamond and adam horovitz - yeah, whoa. it happens that their chef is wayne, the cat who was cooking for the chili peppers when me and my missingmen opened up for them last november and december - he makes me up a burger and some corn on the cob, we sit at the table and spiel. me and raymond saw them play last week at the wiltern in l.a. but weren't able to thank them after for having us cuz of security bumrush but I get to now - man, it would've been great to have raymond here now. bloomsday too, he was gonna come but some fuckup prevented him though he did get some of his art into the royal hibernian academy for it which I went and saw - it was righteous. anyway, the wiltern gig the beasties did was really good to see too cuz it'd been so long since I last seen them play when fIREHOSE opened up for them in the spring of 1992 - whoa, that's a long time ago. it was right when "check your head" came out which is an album I really REALLY dig by them. I'm gonna go see them later tonight... I walk out to where some tour busses are out on the grass and there's the go! time fixing up a bar-b-q, wow. they got three aluminum foil-like pans w/grill laid across each of them and like an idiot from pedro who's done tons of q's I come off like a know-it-all and start telling them the chow is gonna cook too fast on the outside and leave the inside raw. it ain't raining but it's pretty cool so maybe that's why their chow pretty much cooks up good, real good. I got my own chili in the bottle in its holster on my belt and share that... sam gives me a piece of steak on a roll. miss kaori cooks up some very tasty chicken - yeah, the fourth time this summer I've gotten to see her - england, catalonia, belgium and now ireland, wow - our first three funanori songs come out tomorrow, all of this exciting for me but anyway, back to her chicken - I try to chow the first piece too fast, all of it in my mouth at once and get burned w/temperature (fahrenheit) though I can take a good amount of chili heat (scovilles). "funanori" = japanese for "sailor" and a very exciting music for me to be part of. in the beginning she told me she wanted to use this okinawa version of the shamisen called the sanshin which was new to me, even shamisen is though I've seen pictures and heard some sounds - zatoichi plays a shamisen and sings to it in one of his movies - but I'm not that familiar at all to music of her land. I am a fucking slow learner! it seems both instruments have three strings and a resonator so close to the music I might know kind like it's sound is banjo. she sent me a cd of sanshin music, saying it was different than mainland japan shamisen music. it is very beautiful and emotional stuff, I love it. the sanshin is played w/much passion, not repressed which is kind of what I felt a little hearing shamisen music. since I was playing bass (I have so much more to learn on bass it's hard for me to imagine ever getting good enough to move onto something else) w/funanori, I was not really hipped in that direction w/the okinawa music she gave me cuz on it is no instrument doing anything close to bass except maybe some of the drum sounds. yeah, maybe there's no bass tradition w/sanshin music, I don't know but whatever, I was very attracted to find a way to be part of it. the tuning on the sanshin is trippy, like the high string a fifth above the middle one and the low string a fourth down from that. there's no frets and it has a tiny neck so the intonation is very "organic" and maybe a little unto itself? I don't know, I'm a learner to it but I was very inspired and wrote many songs. of course they had to many intervals in their parts and wasn't smooth w/the sanshin tuning so her being strong and fair, scissored them all - each one I would send. see, we couldn't play together - her in london and me in pedro so it was over the internet that soundfiles got sent. I remember getting her first funanori song, it touched me so deep, I cried when I first heard it. I am an emotional person but this was intense on me like nothing else. it wasn't just sanshin - it started w/birds and there was flutes, drums, singing/harmonies and many sanshins playing - it was a whole vision. I didn't know how to put the bass, how not to ruin it. this took a few tries... she was gentle but firm which I dug cuz THE SONG means everything. she sent a second one and it even had sax, a friend of hers played it. I used a friend to help me w/a song - I was still sending ones that she scissored which was good cuz she could judge what to go w/the sanshin better. I am new for her too. I made a song called "baby steps" w/stephen perkins cuz that's what I thought I had to do - become elemental. I used no intervals, just the fifth, syncopating it w/perk. when I did use another note, I used the root (I know, kind of halfass-backwards like me). I had perk really go for it in the holes and even put a drum solo in the middle. I thought it was another one for the dumper when she sent back this amazing thing - she actually turned it into a real song, not just a rhythm, like what I gave her. it had synth and some background electric guitar plus singing/harmonies again, of course lots of sanshin. whoa, she is a composer, a musician... all this w/a unknown trip. I was in awe. it took me many tries to get the bass right for the sax song, get one she thought would fit and few less for the slower one. I like how she isn't afraid to voice her mind but she never makes me feel like it's a putdown cuz what she says to me makes good sense. music has a language that transcends petty human boundary issues if you let it, just like it can transcend time and even death. funanori helps me let go of ego and truly learn (I can't wait for the next batch of tunes!). it's funny that usually the longer I see some play, the more they caught up in themselves, the more they're convinced they know what's up but w/me, the longer I've been on this music journey, the more I realize the less I know about it and am more willing to let go and let others teach me. maybe others - even most others do get it more and more together but for me it been more of unravelling which I think ain't so bad, not in my case anyway and that's the only one I really got even the slightest idea maybe of the reality involved - I mean maybe I do or to be more fair, a slight hint of though I might be all fucked up w/that too...

   oh man, did I get on a tangent there - back to the electric picnic (sorry!): everybody else in go! team is here too: bossman ian, chai, ninja and I've already talked about sam - everyone's here except their bassman jamie who's coming tomorrow... they do sunday like the stooges - I find out they start fifteen minutes before we finish - fuck. I wanna see the beasties from the crowd cuz on the stage, at the side or the back is always the worst sound, always. the problem is the beasties are playing not on the main stage which is playing out to an open field but "the electric stage" which is in a giant tent and so many people pack the tent that the security lets no one else in and thousands are crammed around the tent and trying to look in where they can. that leaves only the stage and the back of it, near fredo but it's very happening to get almost a private recital of him. they singing's all muffled but there is big bass and mike d's drums are crackin' plus money mark is really going w/the jumps and stage work, righteous organ and keyboards too! at one point he runs around the whole stage and dives over his stuff, knocking a big-ass that falls behind him but he tucked in a shoulder and took the roll good - no hurts! mixmaster mike is close like fredo so I can see him work his stuff too - wow. they're playing a lot of songs I didn't hear w/raymond last week, I'm digging it all, whatever the sound. yauch is really good on the bass - I saw at the wiltern he used thumb, fingers, pick - whatever. he's got a fender jazz and these trippy old ampeg electric basses plus the baby bass standup. his amp is an ampeg head in plexiglass w/the speaker bottom being a peavy 2x10/2x15 where the wood's been replaced also in plexiglass. the irish folks in the crowd are wild for them. the other adam is stomping a really mean wah-wah rhythm lots of the night - they rap w/out instruments some but lots is of them playing, then playing and singing at the same time. it's a very happening gig, they're smokin' and wow, really I'm digging it. now when I got on the bus at the airport, I wasn't really thinking about where to konk - I just went for it but then I started thinking about it and talked it over w/money mark and he said I could konk on the deck at his 'tel after riding back w/them. that sure is kind, much respect. after their gig, I go back and talk bass w/yauch, him telling me about those trippy ampeg basses - I told him the last cat I saw playing one was when I saw steppenwolf, as a teenager! I ask him all about the techniques he's using and explains them to me, then brings up darryl jennifer, the bad brains' excellent bassman cuz he was very influenced by him, watching them play when he was younger. yauch is a very soft-spoken cat and very thoughtful w/his words, a very interesting man. I kind of get lost in the spiel and space on my friends - what a doof - I lose track of the bass talk and somehow think of my knees, grab them and go "my knees" and adam starts telling me he's gonna have some acl surgery on one of his. it's nothing near as major as the surgery I had on mine in my early twenties and things have come a long way so I think he's gonna be ok. he says he still wants to play basketball after it's done! whoa! he's got cojones. it's time for them to convoy and since I'm riding w/them, I run quick to try and find my people to say bye but can't find anyone. man, I feel like I was rude even though I didn't mean to be - baka watt. money mark and fredo ride behind me and I'm sitting next to jerrold, a cat I met when he was much younger (we were all much younger but maybe him a little more then) when he was working warp tours w/kevin lyman. man, it's a small world, huh? money mark's at this pad called the clarence in the temple bar part of downtown dublin, that's where his window faces and looking down, there's tons of folks in the streets doing the beer thing. I'm pretty tired - it was and hour and a half drive - so he throws me a pillow and I'm out quick. sometime later though I'm in a half wake-sleep thing and I'm having water dreams - big niagara falls water dreams... hell, I realize I gotta piss like a race horse and the hatch of the head was closed, I guess money mark was using it - I was half-konked, you know so I went out to his tiny balcony and I don't know why but I was pissing all over this little bush out there (we were like four stories up) and I'm doing that when he surprises me and I turn around, way more away - shocked awake - and foget to stop pissing and piss all over my leg. money mark says get those off so I go and wash the piss part w/a bar of soap in the tub while he finds a pair of his own jeans in his sack to give me. hey, they fit me! I go right to the deck after hanging my levis over the shower curtain pole, thank money mark and they go back and konk.

   gig day and I pop at ten bells - it was a late one and I was tired. money mark gets coff and says mixmaster mike is gonna do a solo set early so maybe I can ride w/him but we miss him by moments in a comedy of errors so I call stooges helperman chris and ask when they're bailing - he says noon and I got enough time to get a cab over there and bail to the gig w/the crew, a van's been rented for them to go in. hey my orange clothes sack is in it too! maybe change the shirt too? oh, I changed back into my levis and gave money mark his jeans back - he says "jeans are banned w/the beasties" cuz this tour everyone wears suits. that's funny. well, I wear a boilersuit w/the stooges so I put that in a sack and have it at my feet, put the ultimateears where they go and fire up the ipod real loud, then I get my head down in my lap cuz I'm scared to look out the window... the rain's come down and it's a real hellride, taking like two hours or something so maybe I miss mixmaster mike but I'm grateful to get their alive. the rain lets up and then comes down, it's trippy - off and on like it is. the beasties are playing again in the tent stage w/the set this time like the one me and raymond saw at the wiltern. hey, go! team again - ninja bossman ian is doing a q and a in a medai tent, they does good spiel... I thought for sure kaori would ask an intense question, so did sam but they spielmiester doesn't pick her when she raises her hand, ha! it finishes and she gets some paella, some w/big shrimps and splits it w/me - not as good as jose's but good. beasties are coming up but so is some band that ninja likes however, it's another stage and before we y off, while walking over there, I see a big tree all wrapped w/some kind of wide white stuff, in stripes and reminds me of a kachina doll I have that are called clowns - if you know kachinas, you know what I mean. well, I try and explain it to ninja and she asks if they're some kind of charm and I say, "well, they represent the kachina dancers in their rituals" and she says "it sounds to me like a man playing w/dolls" and I say "no, it's like they're works of art" but I feel silly, I don't think I explained it right. sometimes it's hard to relate to people what's in your mind, what you know about things and what they mean to you. I can see money mark w/a guitar on a singing from the stage though an opening in the tent and tell them. ninja goes to see bat-a-lash... we see the beasties again, this time there's room in the back to see them from the crowd. agian I'm digging it. I go out to where the head is to piss and what they got for guys is a big trough and as I'm pissing, the sky just opens up and pisses itself right on everyone - dudes kind of freak out and run around while w/the wangs out, piss going everywhere... hilarious. it's a rush to get back into the tent but I do it and get my sack w/the boilersuit. the beasties finish w/"sabatoge" - such a righteous song, especially when they stop and yauch comes back w/that intense bass chord, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggrrrrrrggghhh, incredible. she goes to konk in their bus, I go back to where stoogesland is and the guys have shown up early cuz if they didn't leave dublin that way, they would get caught up in some plug cuz of a sports thing happening - I don't think it was soccer, I think it was some kind of field hockey thing. hey, the sonic youth have come - they're gonna go on before the stooges on the same stage. it's so good to see them too. wow, a lot of compadres at this gig here for me, lucky watt. they sky has totally cleared up and it's beautiful, beautiful. I haven't been w/them in a while - big hugs. lee's got a big gray beard, yeah! steve has an off-stage shirt w/no pockets - he changes into a stage shirt w/one pocket. thurst is gonna wear what he's got on... he's got one of those new iphones and is taking pictures of me w/it. the leave for the gig in a golf cart - I get a shot of them. I hoof towards the stage and kaori comes from her bus, she wants to see too. it's just us and them in the grass behind the stage - that's it, just a little low fence between us and up at the stage stairs, their tourboss dan (I really like him). lee asks about my chili sauce, I tell him I make it myself and he takes a swig, yeah - alright! kim asks about basses, she got one of these new gibson eb-0 (they call it the sg bass now) and says she doesn't dig it. I say, "hey, maybe you would dig my blue eb-0, it's set up like my red one and it's a 1961." I do think she'd dig and she says she'll check it out when I get back after I tell her what it's all about. I get a righteous picture of kaori and thurston, she relents when I ask please a bunch. then they go, we go out front but close, thurst's side. wow, they are on fire! I've seen sonics many many times in many many places - this is a powderkeg gig, they're blowing it up. they've been doing gigs of their "daydream nation" album but this is mostly newer songs than that (though one's from there) and yeah, I've seen them played but sonic youth for me ain't a regurgitation machine, they just ain't. wow, a little closer to the stage from us I know notice the go! team boss ian and his girlfriend, he's intensely plugged into what's happening on stage, he's a huge fan. two folks come up from behind and surprise me, it's andrew and sarah from estel, a band I really like from dublin... everyone loving sonic youth - yeah! I've got reasons to be charged up for my turn - stooges are up next so I gotta get back quick to them and get the boilersuit on, get ready w/some stretches.

   only fortyfive minutes to go, this is cutting it kind of short cuz they want me w/them longer for focus. it is intense on me but if it helps them then I'm into it. it was a beautiful sky for sonic youth going into sundown... it looks like it's gonna stay dry for us w/the dark coming on - no rain. the pacing begins in our room, soctty doing beats w/his sticks on his leg, sitting down. man, do the seconds turn into hours this way. my bass is brought to me after we hear everything being checked on the stage... a few minutes later we're in a van being driven to the back of the stage (we passed kaori and go! bass jamie and I try to say something and wave but they can't see me - damn). I go right up the stairs easy, my knees feel good and my legs feel light, yeah... ig asks if we're ready and when we acknowledge hollers "let's do it then!" and the gig is on - run out and plug in, watt - take your glasses off and unmute the tuner... ok, that's what I do. it's the same lineup of songs that we have been doing except for a small change - we go from "loose" to "down on the street" to "1969" to "I wanna be your dog" to "tv eye" but scissor "my idea of fun" cuz of time, this is a shorter gig we're scheduled to do tonight, it being a festival. now right out of the gate, my body feels less older than it has in I can't remember how long - I so much feel like a younger man. this amazes me though I was getting psyched up cuz of everything happening before, it was all putting such feelings into me but it's a trip for me to find that actually translating into something physical, I'm not exaggerating anything. I try even spinning around while leaping up a couple times - one right before ronnie's first guitar solo of the night and the only thing really holding me back from coming all the away around was me getting a little afraid after finding myself up in midair and actually doing something like that - it startled so much I spaced on the 'g-a' lick I do right at the end of the bridge in "loose" - whoa... I am loose! I do not do the leg-spread a-frame stance the whole time, I do it a little bit but then I doing all kinds - the one thing I'm not doing is being still, especially w/my knees bent. I'm focusing really hard on playing right too. shit, all my friends are playing tough here and I wanna be part of that - not like I don't try hardest every time w/the stooges, w/any music I do but there's another dimension of driven going through me here. I let my body language roll out to the music more too, letting the stooges songs speak tongues through twisting, vibrating and churning of my face trunk and limbs, my stare on ig mostly but sometimes I look right beyond him when he's to my port at about ten o'clock... I don't know why but that's where my eyes go, it's kind of where I was standing when I was watch the sonic cats. after "dirt" we go into "real cool time" and I'm wondering if the stage invasion's gonna be scissored cuz that's how everyone was talking after the last gig. eric's a lot better, he started healing up quick and was able to get our passports to london for the visa we need for the russia gig on the eleventh - yeah, that's right - I've been w/out a passport after clearing customs at the airport yesterday and it's the first time I've played w/out it on me on a non-u.s. gig I think ever, I think so... I'm always way paranoid and have it on me on stage. why am I thinking of that now though?! I don't feel it in the zipper pocket on my boilersuit, it makes me insecure - aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh... ig does in fact ask for dancers, saying "I feel so alone up here" and so they come on, a little at first and then a rush but it's pretty together, as usual there's no probs near the bass players side - I'm right w/them and there's lots of joy they're showing and sharing - much respect! then in "no fun" lee from sonic youth hollers over and he's got his camera - there's thurst too and fredo from the beasties! soon fredo's out dancing w/the dancers, he's got a righteous pendleton on, much respect! at the end of the tune, thurst comes and lifts me up w/a huge hug - whoa! I almost go over but he holds me up - thank you, thurst! wow, I did not expect that, for them to be there like that!! we're all laughing so hard, damn! band intros from ig, I love him calling me "the minuteman" - thank you, sir... it's dark now and the I see a gigantic mosquito hover up into the air behind ig's head, rising higher and higher lit up the brightest silver ever by the stage lights 'till it ascends beyond their throw and disappears into black... fuck, it was most surreal, damn... eyes right back on to ig - we're on to "1970" to "mindroom" to "fun house" - now there's been a lowend feedback the whole gig that's threatened to bogart the entire stage sound and I know it's not the bass cuz using the mute to tune made that totally obvious but I wanna be there for ig no matter what so when he gives me the "come down, mike" (that being a slight pointing to the deck w/the right hand) I play softer, then he brings me back up - I'm zeroed in on every direction here's there to give me... I just wish someone w/the knowhow could solve this nightmare of a feed back onstage - it seems so obvious it's the kick drum or whatever - can't it get solved? us stooges guys are too busy working the music and ain't gonna let it hold us back anyhow so plow we do, into "l.a. blues" and then wrapping it up after "skull ring" - my body is so free of hurt, so full of life and so lit up w/enthusiasm, I do find it fucking incredible. I do feel a little creak when I sit on the deck at ig's feet while were behind the current and he's hydrating - he says "chair!" which means we're gonna do one more - "little electric chair" - yeah! the irish audience is all the way w/us and being most generous w/the love sharing and good vibe. ig stays starboard of my whole bass solo and going "yeah!" w/each run I do on the chords - "yeah, thank you, much respect, ig!" wow, what a gig - we're done and I run over to helperman chris to hand him my bass and I thank him big time for the righteous sound he got those ampegs to throw out - a great grind and sustain w/plenty of punch. I see adam yauch over there by my side, yeah! I run over and give him big hugs and respect, wow, I'm so glad he was there for me - I kind of knew it, feeling it - that was trippy. I then go run straight off the stage for the tent where the go! team is playing, sweaty soaked boilersuit and all cuz I'm thinking they've already started and I don't wanna miss any more than I have to - I see the stooges guys drive away in the van, I'll see them later. now man, is the sound tiny for these guys - I just made it to catch the first tune but it sounds like I'm part of a bunch of cats standing in a ring around an ipod laying on the deck and we're all trying to hear what's up through the ear buds laying next to it... yeah, it's 'pert-near that tiny sounding. I wonder if it's my fucking deaf ears or what? the irish crowd is way into it and behind them all the way, I can totally feel that. a little more than halfway through though I think my adrenaline was starting to run out cuz the soaked boilersuit was now getting cold and clammy on me big time, christ - I was beginning to shiver so I hightail it back to stoogeland - I just can't get sick. while I'm getting into dry levis, ig's there to tell me he knows it wasn't the bass guitar putting out all that bogart low-end on stage and thanked me for following direction... I tell him I always will. soon it's round-up time and I'm gonna have to bail w/out being able to say bye... this is tour life. I did get my great adventure though even w/the fuckups a watt surely will always do... summer though, summer - I think I will always be able to smell this summer.

   a calmer two hour drive back to dublin - roky singing "starry eyes" into my head via the things that both plug up the ear and deliver the sounds - should I be inadvertently pushing shit by mentioning brands? I am not consistent w/this or much anything, huh? well, I'm konking w/the crew at herbert park which isn't too far from the three real stooges' 'tel but I bet I don't see them again 'till the dublin airport. oh well, I'll miss them. I miss much already. I'm always missing something. I'm gonna miss the summer, I can feel it.... into konk world on the deck here, again, I smell it.

friday, september 7, 2007 - fredrikstad, norway

   monday morning I pop to realize I must've had a wild konk, I think I rolled and rolled around the deck and then under the bed cuz I woke up on the deck there which was kind of amazing, seeing how low it was, like I had to force myself. it was late for me, just in time for the shovel downstairs which was a free one - "irish full breakfast" which was like the england one but there "white pudding" if you didn't want "black pudding" - grains w/blood in the black one and like a muffin puck, the white had I don't know what but it was a puck too (not like pudding desert) and I was scared to try it. I had a headful of ideas driving me insane so I put them in tour spiel, chimping away 'till I konked again on the 'puter, waking up w/keyboard imprint on my forehead - weird. I had what was an intense weekend for me and must chimp it up in the diary, have to. I go visit w/steve mackay after. we hoof around near the 'tel - lots of sun and mildness in the weather - of course I got to think of what I got this way back in pedro. we find a place across from the u.s. embassy - actually steve knew of it from us being here before and of course it's called the embassy grill and I have some liver and onions. I go back w/steve and we rap some more 'till I'm out of gas. steve's always good for rap. he gives me haruki murakami's "after dark" novel. he's onto his "norwegian wood" one now.

   tuesday is like monday except my irish friends. first bushie and sarah from estel come by around eleven and we spiel for like three hours across from ballsbridge. they're great cats and a great band, smart folks too. later nez and anto come for a visit, we do the watt from pedro show together in my 'tel room except for the last hour cuz they gotta bail but steve mackay comes over and helps me get it done so I don't have to do it solomente. both these cats took me around dublin for the bloomsday celebration three years ago. there's a band from tokyo called LITE that nez has got on a tour over here and they were gonna come visit me too but they're flight got delayed a day and the tour starts tomorrow so I can't be w/them. damn. they're the other half of the split "a tiny twofer" cd w/funanori. I sure wish nez would've brought more music for the show but I do get to hear some spiel about music here and some history plus even some ideas about esthetics, especially from anto.

   wednesday was when we're going to norway for the next gig but we don't bail to the airport 'till three and a half so me and steve do some recording w/estel - I asked them if it could happen yesterday and they got it all together, alright! their guitarist tommy has access to a studio at ashtown riding stables here in dublin (that's right - horses, horseshit, the works) so it's a go... I love recording whenever I can, especially these days. they had met steve in the hallway yesterday and I ask if he can come play too (he does lots of this kind of stuff w/the radon people) and they're way into it. we end up doing five songs in two hours, a few of them w/a couple of takes and the last one being a cover of "fun house" by the stooges cuz hell, here's two of the guys playing w/the stooges. the estel bassman andy couldn't make it so I used his bass - whoa, he has some interesting action on this machine and the neck pickup has sputtered out (it's a more new than old fender jazz bass) but it's got a good vibe and hey, part of the prob is probably me being used to the short scale of my gibson. the first jam had us working over these chords sarah played on a synth that felt like an ocean thing to me. the next one was a "mental" thing I did manic on andy's bass - something relating somewhere in my head to time and not having a lot of it here to lay down these tracks - I think I wanted to express a little bit of panic and anxiety! I sure wish I could've been in the room w/bushie drumming but the headphones couldn't get over his pounderoni - it was good pounderoni though! tommy's gonna add his guitar later cuz he had to man the knobs. the third tune was some chords I thought of right when we got there and started setting up. we jammed the fourth one off stuff invented right off on the keyboard, took me a little bit to get some footing - hope that part gets scissored! hey, you throw the dice when you jam but I still think it's way worth it, I love to see what can happen. on the way back to the 'tel, I use the ipod w/the tunetalk mic trip to do an interview w/them for a future twfps. man, what righteous people, much respect! at the dublin airport, I have a "shammie" which is a tuna sandwich on thick bread cut like a shamrock. yesterday I started blowing it out w/a diarrhea attack and I thought it might be just a passing thing that last just one splatter like usual but now I think it's more like time for the bondo, duct tape and super glue. fuck it. I never get this shit like this but at least it's not the gut ache thing like in vicar, spain (at the "wellness center") but still, what happened to my tour gut? I think it was the liver and onions - well, the liver cuz well, it just feels like it was the liver. I eat liver all the time though back home. I ain't gonna whine though, this shit happens. it takes a little over an hour to get oslo and then the clock moves up another hour cuz of us crossing a time zone. it's kind of late w/the forty minute drive to the airport so I go around corner from the grand hotel (that it's name) we're staying at right in the middle of oslo to a local bar and have a beer, fiftytwo krone (about nine and half bucks u.s.) - whoa, things are expensive here. that was the most econo one too.

   thursday I started w/pop at six and some long soak after some pretty lengthy blowout on the blowout throne, holy cow. that shit is in me now and kicking (or rather spraying). it's a good shovel downstairs too (free trough) but it's blasted back out in an hour tops. better than puking it though so I'm grateful. I go hoofing around town. the national theatre is nearby and they're doing tennessee william's "glass menagerie" - damn, wish I could see that. there's a statue of henrik ibsen in front and his named carved up in the building. he was one of james joyce's heroes, that's where I first heard about him... he something he said

"one should never put on one's best trousers to go out to battle for freedom and truth"

   he read kierkegaard too. ha! my sick fucking head/mind. it's election time here and every party's got their booth up in the middle of town, righteous weather for them (and me!) too. the sunset takes like an hour and half this north, gorgeous. I spend time w/ron and scotty on the 'tel roof seeing that and later when it's dark, didn't get to much in dublin cuz they were at different 'tels. it's good being w/them, I like it a lot.

gig day and I pop at seven bells. I go to shovel at the trough (free, yeah!) and thought about the trippy dream I had last night. I was konked of course but it seemed I woke and in a huge swimming pooling like trip but instead of water, it was all flower petals - I was on top of them, laying there but there were piled real high up, like it was a twelve foot deep pool throughout and there was enough petals to make the "surface" of them come right up to where it'd be if it was full of water. I was spread-eagle on my back and looking straight up into a sky light that was all blue and hypnotic. I could turn my head and look to the side and at the the petals, which I did (it seemed I was kind of plush on them, like not totally on top but not covered w/them either - like "in" them) but lots I was looking up into the sky which seemed like a skylight - like there was glass and I was hypnotized to it but then petals would seemed to rain down every time I felt like a lowering of the pool of petals, like they were pulled down into a drain or something so these petals raining from the sky (obviously there was no glass, right? it seemed like it though - shit like this perplexes me in dreams... I know that must sound fucking silly but it does - it's puts an anxiety on me w/in the dream, as it's happening). looking side to side in between big stare-outs up, something caught my eye, beyond the pool's edge - I began to notice a whole network of glass tubing and flasks and somehow a consciousness of this entered my head - somehow, I don't know how but it began to reveal itself in my mind, the whole system and its purpose - to extract the scent of the bright flower petals (I forgot to say they were all yellow, orange and red ones - no darker ones - a multitude of the brightest shades, subtle differences and everyone - yeah, everyone [!] singular and distinct) from their colors - not into vessels but right into me! I felt filled my head filled w/scent, my mouth filled w/color! I was thinking I was confused and then a revelation would hit me causing everything to make perfect sense but then when I would try to see it closer - you know, reflect on it and all would be confused again and my mind would stumble to gain footing again. it was like this over and over and over... I'd have it together and then lose it, together and then lose it - very crazy. I popped early this morning in a sweat and all trembling. it was a trip.

   we meet outside the 'tel at seven for the hour and a half ride south to fredrikstad. there was some mixup in the ride situation so ronnie rides w/ig in a minivan while me, scotty and steve ride in an suv pulling an empty trailer. I think we're bringing the gear (guitars, personal band stuff) back in the trailer. it's beautiful weather like yesterday, the sunset righteous as wind down the highway. they're building a new motorway parallel of it right through the mountain. the port's got two hammerheads for cans (container lifting cranes) - back home the harbor's got 244, almost the same but different. the sunset is gorgeous - full of blues, purple and reds but the tree line along the run blocks the shot w/the digicamera. fredrikstad is a medieval fortified town - norway's biggest river runs by and it's been restored to make it like the old days, we're told by the driver (never got his name, damn). we're gonna play in the town square. we get there at eight bells and the gig's been pushed back a little bit to ten after nine. there's some chicken on a stick, like thai style - in fact there's all kinds of chows laid out in one the old buildings near the stage where we're at. there's all kinds of good chow and bowls of candy. this gig is for the maanefestivalen festival and we're sharing the same big room in a block house w/the opening acts (all norwegian, I think) w/little dividers between each of us - I kind of like that, my tradition w/other bands is not one of exclusion. I put the boilersuit on at the 'tel and so w/my other outfit is in the 'puter sack - yeah, I brought that which is something I don't usually do but w/the longer drive, I thought I'd chimp diary which was a little tough cuz of the minimal legroom but still I did it... what's actually the hardest for me is keeping my legs bent all the time w/out being to put it straight, especially the starboard one, aaarrggghh. I wish I knew the names of the bands we're playing w/but I don't, sorry. I chimp a little more 'till I'm brought my little gibson bass - man, is it light and boy, does it play fast! aahh, my port wrist is really stiff but the trippy sensation w/ warming up on my own bass makes me realize has gotta be from working w/the bassman for estel andy's fender jazz cuz it had kind of high action (let's just say I could've walked in between the fretboard and the strings w/out having to duck my head). damn, what a difference! showtime finally comes for us and we're led to a upstairs room behind the stage where ig's at for the final ten minutes before go-time. it's go-time and back down some other stairs, whoa - pretty steep... back up the stage steps, ig asks if we're ready and the gives the word - I ran straight out but it's a way tinier stage that I'm used to for the stooges and 'pert-near run right off the end of it - baka watt! I yank hard starboard and get to my place and plug in. double ampeg svt setup - wonder what it's gonna sound like? I notice the eq for bass is way down, like ten o'clock. here we go on "loose" and my little machine is sounding a little thin - next tune I'll move the pickup blend from fifty-fifty to three-fourths neck, I'm thinking. there's a real low riser for drums and scotty's got dw to play which is his favorite. outside in an old town square that's all filled up but it's not the hugest square. the folks we're playing for though are very enthusiastic. iggy gives it his all, getting up on my amps for "down on the streets" and I go down to my knees but I'm feeling it, whoa. what happened to that electric picnic feeling?! "1969" followed by "I wanna be your dog" and "tv eye" - ig put "my idea of fun" back into the set, I'm making sure to keep the tempo up cuz that's what he asks for. ronnie says the one on the record is pretty fast, maybe even faster than what we're doing here. ig's back to doing spiels before "dirt" now pretty regular again - I think of the one he did in leeds, I think - part of it was "if they got the guns then you have to relent" or something like that, why am I thinking of that now? one thing I try to key in on for focus is trying to stay in the moment but my wanders sometimes unless I keep a deathgrip on, it seems ("you racka disciprine"). the stage invasion for "real cool time" and "no fun" is limited to like twenty people if even that, the norwegian dancers are spirited though - hey, there's the cat who use to help run iggy-pop.com - I think I last saw him in bergen... or was it montreux? I think his name was manu - much fucking lameass memory, aaaarrrgghh... anyway, he's really into it, much respect. steve mackay time after the band intros w/the second side of the "fun house" album ("1970," "fun house" and "l.a. blues" w/"mindroom" sandwiched in after "...70") which is good and freaky - I can tell ig really digs bringing steve in for our second wind - then "skull ring" for the closer. I grab my glasses off the riser and then run backstage to sit at ig's feet and wait for instructions - we charge back out for "not right," "little electric chair" (ig really working w/me during the bass solo, incredible for me - you couldn't find a happier person on the planet in those sixteen bars!) and then I use one of ronnie's picks to do the "double dog" for my dave alexander tribute (I do wish I knew how he stood when he played better) and we're done. whoa, the knees are aching a little bit but I feel alright, I FEEL ALRIGHT!

   get back stage and sit in this kind of 60s chairs, those round ones w/like a wire outline for a shallow sack-like trip stretched over it to hold your body... it's good to be plopped in it. I don't know if I'm gonna even get out of the sweaty-drenched boilersuit, fuck it. sometimes you just decensatized enough not to care, it's hard to know how that works escape maybe an parallel to it is like working on a car all day and becoming to the grease all over you. two young cats come back to talk w/me, erik and josh. erik's from this land but has lived in the u.s. a long time, he does lots of mountain stuff like skiing - he tells about skiing in iran and meeting some very cool people. I'm thinking sometimes people don't wanna hear stuff like that cuz it gets in the way of them hating a whole land. I like hearing firsthand stuff from people, one big reason why I chimp these tour spiels - I figure some people might see my retarded ramblings and maybe wonder why not and go on their own missions to get the firsthand. I don't think you can ever get the whole handle on anything cuz of the bigness and the shortcomings of just being human but to surrender all info intake to filter figures is maybe a problem - maybe? erik's buddy josh has made me a poster of d. boon playing guitar and it's beautiful, I'm very grateful. they both wanna make a work dealing w/cats who got killed when they were twentyseven - d. boon was twentyseven. I like people who genuinely love d. boon to let others know about him cuz he's not here to do gigs. man, I'm always thinking what sounds and spiels he would be wailing on now, it's all a world of possibilities in my mind cuz d. boon was big time potential for me down to my soul. he made me be brave enough, helped me dare. love d. boon, I love d. boon.

   I get to say hi for a sec before we bail to that cat I thought was named manu - wasn't it? or was it thomas? or was it... I have big problem for names and all kinds of remembering stuff for some reason and then other shit will not get out of my head and even worse, morph and change into shit that never even happened and then I can't even be sure of that, the false memory dressed up as first-hand fact. what a load of shit I carry around in my head that way and then the good will others are generous w/on me - that's what should be inshrined! aaarrrrrggggghhh... anyway, it's a little shorter back in the van time-wise but not much so I use a knife to cut the tops off and prepare a couple of pissbottles and use them on the drive - the suv we were in has been switched w/the minivan the crew used but we're still pulling a trailer! funny. of course I don't leave the pissbottles in this man's ride. I get up to my cabin and hit the deck... konk.

sunday, september 9, 2007 - helsinki, finland

   friday I pop at six bells and soak some sore bones and joints. then down the stairs for one more massive shovel, stuffing the coat pockets w/four sandwiches I make w/rolls, one stuffed w/fish, the others w/salami and pate. I get down to the waterfront for one last visit w/the sea here. hey, there's viking line - they got a branch in long beach, used to have one in pedro - they do cruise ships. there's an old fort I visited last time I was here w/j. man, that was a trip... the summer of 2001 and the day after we (j mascis + the fog) played here and we're driving south, the van flipped over and j broke his back. I was wearing seat belts, j wasn't. I saw him fly right in front of me as we tumbled. everyone, please wear seat belts - there, I said it though I don't mean to be preachy. we go off to the oslo airport at noon and take a embrarer 170 (brazilian) for helsinki which takes an hour and a half. the weather's like it was in oslo, very nice and sunny. this is a sea town too, I go check out the waterfront after we check in the hotel kamp and have a hamburger at a "grilli" - a little shed trip dockside and it's good, I find a fried egg and a flat hot dog-like disk in it along w/lettuce and mustard. as the sun comes down, it gets a little cooler so I put on the bright-orange stocking hat and join some of the guys on a hoof to a bar called "loose" which is named after guess what song? there's stooges stuff all on the bulkheads along w/other bands in that vein - hey, there's that shot peter whitfield took of us after the first reunion gig at coachella! the ownerboss comes to talk w/us, he's a nice cat and was in fact at that first gig. I like this pad. the one thing that tripped me out is that it had windows looking right out onto the sidewalk cuz I thought for sure it'd be down some stairs in a basement. I hoof back myself around eleven and konk after a soak.

   gig day and I pop at the crack of dawn and shovel at the free trough downstairs. it being nordic (though the language here isn't scandinavian, more like estonian/hungarian), there's lots of roll-mops and herring so I chow that w/eggs. I go back and soak some (yeah, I reverse the procedure every once in a while) and now am convinced that lo and behold, that fucking diarrhea bug I had the last 'pert-near a week is finally gone cuz finally I shit firmness, excuse whatever language I'm trying to foul. this is a good thing (I don't mean just fouling the language). I hoof around to take in the town some more and then chimp diary 'till soundcheck at two and half bells. tonights show is at the helsinki ice hall which gigboss richie said had all the happening gigs in the older days. well, it's a hockey rink and though there's a curtain partitioning some off it off behind us, it sounds like one. before getting on stage for the check, I have some chili con carne they got (yeah, in finland... some hard taco shell too!) and chicken drumstics w/some flat noodles. the ampeg svt-II amps I got are beat and the speakers in the cabs even more plus so it's a hard go for good sound from the bass. I do get to put my "red thing" on the little bass even though the mi-gu sticker is now all the way sweated off. my bass takes blows w/me working it, I owe her much. I think I was an idiot w/how I handled the way things were w/the bass sound and give big sorrys to chris when we're done and get back to the 'tel, having a chance to think about it. I respect him much. I get out kierkegaard's "fear and trembling" and pour over that 'till it's time for us to bail once again for the venue.

   there's one opening band and they're a powertrio from the north of finland called the stalingrad cowgirls. I met them in the galley when I was slinging chow on my plate at soundcheck. I didn't bring my stooges laminate like an idiot and that's what's being used for passes tonight (usually the gig has their own passes and we use those but I should always bring mine - baka watt) so I can't see them - I don't wanna causing any hassles, especially after the soundcheck stuff. again though I think how grateful I am helperman chris forgave me. I'm going out there tonight and play at whatever them amps are set at. nine bells comes up and here we go. the crowd sounds very revved up but what a lame pad to unfocus such happening spirit - I can't think though, have to think "work the room" and try my hardest. we're at the foot of the stairs - ig asks us all if we're ready, then says "go!!!" so I go - right up those stairs and run over to my zone to plug in - hey, it's my first gig w/the "red thing" on my the 'g' string tuner of my bass, yeah! lots to celebrate there... boom - "loose" goes off and so do the stooges, ig flying into the air w/a spinning twist, whoa. I should get brave enough to learn to try that. my knees are kind of hurting tonight though... hmm... I can't get complacent though, I force them to move all around, fuck it. well, shake them and move in little steps cuz like I said, I'm feeling it. I don't even go down to my knees for "down on the streets" cuz I'm afraid I won't be able to get back up - coward! well, maybe a man's got know his limitations (I know, I stole that from "dirty hairy") - hey, what kind of thinking is that. this is gotta be the worse bass tone I've had since the amps blew up and I had nothing but direct at that royal festival hall gig in london in june - aahh, sound like I'm bellyaching - stop it! I'm at three-quarters neck pickup, hopefully knobman rik's got good enough signal for the house p.a. - can't know really even though there's no sides this stage, it's like we're coming out of the cake. I move in front of scotty's crash cymbal for "1969" and feel his riser on my ass cuz damn, it's a high one. ig's a joy to watch and hear sing though, that takes way all self-centeredness from me and ronnie's guitar is screaming and roaring like a flayer-igniter, yeah! this is the "fucking stooges" and ig's so right to tell folks that like he does 'pert-near every time we do this tune. and for the first time on this final run of ours for this year's overseas gigs, he launches right from the stage into the folks w/a plunge that's balls-out to no end for "I wanna be your dog" (extended intro on this while scotty had a kick drum pedal that broke switched out) and I am not kidding when I say javelin hurl, fingertips first - no belly flop. whoa! he tells us to take it down after ronnie's solo and the helsinki cats are singing the chorus louder and louder, ig conducting them w/body language, not conductor stuff. great crowd, man, great crowd. the band's playing really together too though I know it's hard for scotty w/hearing the bass - he said was none in his monitors for soundcheck (he'd say that after the gig too) but we're together on some kind of wavelength cuz in "tv eye" the "now, ram it" set up is off beat and me and ronnie hit it on the down but scotty catches ig when he does, me and ronnie then getting on board w/them and we're together, that was intense and ronnie smiles at me to acknowledge it, like "how did that happen? I'm glad it did!" yeah, me too - me too! the band plays together good, it sounds stupid for a guy in the band to say that but... I don't know how to justify that cuz I can't... I'm just saying it cuz that's how it feels. something funny happens in "my idea of fun" - well, it was kind of funny to me cuz after one of ig's forays in to the folks, he climbs up onto the stage w/something purple... holy cow, it's this gigantic dildo thing - he laughs and heaves it back... like he says, the music comes first. it was trippy though, how did they get that thing into this place? helsinki's pretty open... come to think of it, there was a dildo shop by the water called "in and ut" and they had all kinds in the window, some mannequin in a nurses suit too... back to the gig: "dirt" is up next and that reminds me, right since the first song, I've been smelling myself smelling pretty ripe - I never did change outfits after the last gig and then put the boilersuit in a sack and forgot to wash it in the tub before we bailed oslo and this "perfume" I now got going would knock a buzzard off a shit wagon. it's a distraction or at least trying to be but I ain't gonna let it but it is a lesson, not too much smart hygiene-wise either... baka watt. I'm nearly all the way in front of scotty's kick drum cuz I want the pocket for this baby bad, take it from scotty and ride w/him. beautiful rendition, thank you ashetons and ig. "real cool time" revs us back into crazy time mode, ig calls for dancers near the end - I've been shaking really intensely, trying to get myself "mental" (is that what they say in england) but still on the mark. about a dozen dancers make it up and that's all - maybe it was choked off but eleven of those mob iggy while one cat in an almost total denim outfit does the slow-mo dance for my benefit, especially for "no fun" - like he's doing one-eighth or even one-sixteenth time. pretty funny. band intros and then "time for the music... fuck the pop shit!" (ig's words) via "1970" and steve blowing hard on his sax, intro from ig for him as "mindroom" comes on and then "fun house" when he cues me w/the title. "blow, steve!" yeah, iggy roots him on, the band also blowing it out and then for the space launch/splash down come "l.a. blues" - whoa. backstroke into home port w/"skull ring" and we come off to get the word from ig - alright, got the orders, we go back out and blast out "not right" and then it's my time to get some "total proof of karma" in a way, brought to me care of the "little electric chair" tune we do next. for my time in tokyo last month, I remember chimping in my tour diary waht a great idea to actually "feel the beat" - the way the migu people helped me do 7/4 for their recording I did w/them there, having physical sesnation instead of click track, when ms yuko beat it out on my back. now I have to say to myself, "ha! be careful for what you wish for, watt!" near the end of the tune, where I have a sixteen bar bass solo, ig pushes me up from behind towards the front of the stage for it and I'm wondering "whoa, this is a trip - ok, thank you" and then as I'm working out the solo, he starts whupping me up on the ass w/the mic, right on the downbeats - yeah, I could "feel the beat" - for damn sure!!! it was right on time though and it was also REALLY hard but not like I was gonna shirk or throw some kind of hissy fit - I just got into though I think I flinched on some them. it was fucking funny and totally unexpected. we finish up w/the "double dog" but w/using one of ronnie's thin picks, I think my volume went even lower than it already was. I gotta lay into it more next time. the fin folks give us big cheers and much respect, what a great crowd - even w/what I think is a bunk pad to work... that shows how happening these cats really are. much kiitos (thanks in finnish) to everyone.

   I took the boilersuit off as soon as we got done and backstage, then show everyone (I don't wear skivvies w/that fucking thing on) and there's marks all over my ass and on the side of it, they're probably gonna be bruises... no prob, though. it doesn't hurt now. he came in and was laughing when I told him but started explianing why, he said he tried to go to a place w/"more padding" when he started doing it and anyway it was cuz his legs were hurting and he couldn't get out there beside me and "work it" like he wanted to so instead he said he did that. it was a trip. it was hilarious. he's a good man. he gets into it, huh? I could never be mad at ig, he could never hurt me. it was a trippy experience and shit, he was on time. music trivia time w/all of ten of us in the hockey player dressing room, alright.

   I like henry a lot and wanna be a better friend.

   we go back whence we came and tiredness pours in as the adrenaline pours out. funny seeing the backside of me in the mirror, I didn't mean to see that.

tuesday, september 11, 2007 - moscow, russia

   we're off early so I pop and hose off quick before hitting the trough, shoveling what I can and then stuffing the jacket w/pocket chow - rolls stuffed w/fish, w/salami, chesse, etc. we take a brand new (I mean brand new) finair airbus 320 to sheremetyevo international airport for moscow. my first time here, whoa... all the boyhood memories of cold war stuff playing in my head. man, do the police/military hats look big on these cats or what?! I think it's cuz they are - the hats - they got some diameter to them. hey, the visas worked - we're let in! all the gear shows up too, alright! richie meets to take us to the 'tel, he's a finnish cat that put on last night's gig in helsinki and says he's been doing more gigs now in russia than back home. whatever it takes, I'm happy to finally get to play this land. it's a hellride w/all the plug w/the traff to get into town - we're right in the middle, just across the river from the kremlin at the hotel baltschug kempinski. nothing but horror stories we've heard about hoofing around to check things out but when steve calls to tell me a "en mass" group of us is going across the bridge and towards red square, I'm all for it. quickly me and steve are abandoned but that's a good thing. we both pay four bucks (two hundred rubles) to go up into saint basil's cathedral - you'd know this if you saw it, it's the pad built in the 1500s by ivan the terrible that has the onion tops. like red square next to it and lenin's tomb, it seems smaller than I imagined from all the images I'd been drenched w/in the u.s. from the tv. it reminds me of when I take the guys in my bands to dealy plaza in dallas (where jfk was killed) and how small they all say it looks... aint' that trippy how that works? I do get a little lacquered wooden egg inside though, a blue one w/it's own stand made up the same way for seventyfive rubles. there's prac for a band thing just outside so we can't go right up to the tomb where those bosses would stand for the may day parades. we hoof past the very spendy shops right across from it though and find a bar called "che" which is done up in latin america "viva revolution" and the cat at the hatch was anxious to make sure steve had no weapons in his coat - he lifted up his shirt to show us his waistband to illustrate that but everything was ok. a huge beer (local kind) for like four dollars worth. there's a little store and we get some beers there pretty econo (you know the 'tel is gonna have them for like ten bucks each!) and though I didn't get to check out the metro subway, it's a good explore and nobody hassled us. the sky started out a little gray and now some rain as we continue to hoof - we find a cart on the sidewalk selling a "wrap" w/a hotdog, mashed potatoes and pickles in it - tastes good. we get back to the 'tel and then do the watt from pedro show, a moscow edition - yeah! it's always fun doing a radio show w/mister steve mackay, love it. I konk happy when we finish.

   gig day and I pop to find what's to shovel - it's a free one here and it's pretty happening - also there's a smoking and non-smoking section and guess which one's empty except for me? no yammering tourista yammer for watt to chow to today! I chimp up what needs to be chimped after a long song tub soak. just before three we get on the road for soundcheck, it's only a few miles away but takes like an hour. yeah, the moscow traff is incredible. the way folks just jam and cut in is something to behold. we're playing at the b1 club, some pad converted from a warehouse and very slick looking. it's a tiny bit like the electric factory in phily on the inside, those kind of acoustics for sure. the outside has the pad's name and upcoming gigs painted really REALLY huge. there's a din from the lowend but that's mainly cuz there's no crowd to suck that up, I'm guessing. soundchecks in pads like these are kind of only good for linechecks cuz it being so radically different than showtime. after we get done, ronnie and scotty go back to the 'tel but me and steve wait for our friend kamilsky to arrive from has native czech republic. he also spends part of the year living in the desert outside southern california. he's gonna be first on tonight's bill. steve's told me there's also a plan for me and him to record w/kamilsky but that's dashed when he tells us the was weight limitations on the stuff he flew w/him to do the gig and he couldn't bring the 'puter analog-to-digital interface. damn, I was really looking forward to that but he'll be back in cali come december so that's when me and steve will come to his parts and go for recording there. there's a band from moscow here called the roaring strings that's gonna play in between kamilsky and the stooges. the bass player and singer terex uses a bass w/only and 'a' and a 'd' string, even taking off the 'e' and 'g' tuners (it's one of those jack cassidy epiphone basses). he has a blank twelve inch vinyl - a record w/no grooves that he has me use a knife to carve my name into. you can tell he's a big stooges fan, he ran up and got on his knees to bow when ronnie started playing guitar at soundcheck. he's a nice cat. he can't speak english all that well but has his best friend's son translate for him. he wants to take me to a "banja" after the gig, some russian kind of bath house - one w/girls he says - but still, I tell him I gotta stay w/the stooges guys (the young man translating kind of tripped when he found I was a minuteman - he ran home and brought his cd of "what makes a man start fires?" for me to sign which really surprised me!). all these folks are very nice, the club and stage ones too. I go outside to get some air... a little cooler than back home but the sun is out bright and it's beautiful. a young man wants me to get him access to iggy for something but I explain ig's gotta focus hard for his gig and can't do stuff like that cuz he wants to do the best he can and not be distracted, he has a very strong work ethic. this young man is named konstantine and it turns out he knows sonic youth lee ranaldo and he's surprised lee's an old friend of mine. he gives me a book (he says it's a children's book but still he likes it) called "tuck everlasting" by natalie babbitt and there's a bookmarker at this quote:

"stone walls do not a prison make,
nor iron bars a cage"

   that's sure nice of him. when I get back inside the club (there's metal detectors at the hatch!), I chow some salmon and salad that's been cooked up for us, really good. I talk w/this cat named philip who's from boston but has lived here for twelve years now after marrying a russian lady. he said the winters are hard (like thirty degrees below!) but he likes it here. he brought the drums for the roaring strings to use cuz mostly drummers only bring their kick drum pedal and cymbals cuz clubs usually have the rest of the kit. kamilsky goes on and does his thing - very happening, it's him solo w/backing music he's previously made, steve also does sax in a couple of songs w/him - there's drama from that and from him going over some but the moscow band plays only twenty of the thirty minutes they were allowed (they were a trip - even though I couldn't understand the russian he was singing, their sound was way uncompromised) so everything's on time for us to hit the stage at 9:30. we're entering on the bass instead of the usual guitar one so I'm behind everyone when ig gives the word. trippy runnig only a couple of steps! this pad is packed w/folks, they had been chanting ig's name the whole time the crew was setting up for us. I got two ampeg svt classics that are sounding pretty good (they got master volumes) but there's a cup of water that's been spilled right in front and to the side and I almost slip, tearing up the set list w/my heel right after "loose" kicks off and this place explodes. wow, what a reception from the moscow folks! there's tv screens on the back walls I can see - sort of like for sports bars but these sets are near the big bar in the middle so maybe for folks in the back? there's balconies front, port and starboard w/seats that aren't that close together - maybe for "important/shmortant" people? they are standing up and watching like commisars, funny. my amp sounds good, chris dialed 'em for a good grind, grazie. he doesn't wear earplugs - he wears one of ronnie's pick in each ear, maybe that helps w/some brutal highs? we're into "down in the street" after audience roar after the first tune "spashibao" ("thank you" in russian kind but this is watt-phoentic how I'm hearing it) and for sure I'm getting down on my knees after the second verse. they're feeling pretty good anyway, my whole body is. I think I hit a 'c' somewhere early in "1969" - maybe after verse one? a tiny clam but why did I do that? well, I'm starting to sweat up though I could feel the heat right when we came on - I look back between my amps and scotty's riser (not too high but not the super low I really dig... oh, he's using some kind of drums called "paragon" ??? don't know those - blue sparkle finish - w/black rims) and there's no fan... usually there is but oh well, no big deal - I came to play ! hey, I came to sweat! (like I don't anyway!) but not to get distracted, baka watt! back to back swan dive projectile shot-out-the-cannon stage hurls from ig in "I wanna be your dog" - the moat not being that wide and the stage not far above the folks is the sitch ig digs best and he let's fly. he's singing really good too along w/righteous steps so it ain't like, let's wait for the one-trick-pony thing cuz he's the whole dealio, the real o-mind... he counts us in to bring it down, the folks chant the chorus before he repeats the first verse, "I need love!" I repeat after him though I got no mic, I holler it anyway cuz I mean it/need it much. a few bottles of water of the head for him - yeah, he's been hit w/a couple from the crow already but it's not the same thing, not as wet. I'm using like two-thirds bridge pickup cuz of the soundcheck din but half up the blend for "tv eye" and shake myself "mental" - yeah, mental... that's a trippy of putting things, like funda-mental - getting below the metal (sic), getting out of my fucking head w/dervish-shook bone rattle shamen-shook thunderkook mental. still get the gliss after verse two real smoov, like riding the "tube" (everybody adobt england slang on sedge-yool, check your enven-trees) allllllllll the way dowwwwwn the nnnnnnnnnneck. bam, we're right into "my idea of fun" - throttle up high. in the choruses I shake my head back and forth "nyet nyet nyet" - the irony is not lost but this is how I react. my bracelet comes off near the end - oh oh, hold on... I remember forgetting it at the 'tel and playing w/out in zagreb. it's been many years w/it and snap's worn and even more intense is a crack in the leather... I think it's gonna snap soon - please understand in some ways I get real superstitious, don't know why but I got time get it on before "dirt" cuz ig's got a rap here w/scotty carpeting underneath w/floor tom roll. the middle part is ig rolling all over the deck, I notice all the ruble and kopeck coins up here people have flung, some of them stick to ig's back for a sec. much heart from him in every word, "I've been hurt!" they (the bosses here) wanted ig to sign some sort of affidavit thing before we went on but he wouldn't (good!) so there's no stage invasion for "real cool time" but he does let one cat up - it's alexander! the self-titled "hardest working boy" comes up and joins us at ig's invite, ig saying "he represents all of you!" and he dances up a storm, then gets down on his knees in front of me so I get on mine too. wow, I wondered what happened to him, he used to be at a lot of gigs but that was I while ago. he looks good and I'm glad. ig brings another guy up and all three of them sing "no fun" and then in the end "tell 'em what I'm talking about, ron!" part, a young woman comes up, tiny but roaring w/energy and dances it up all crazy for the ending. wow. three folks w/some dramatically intense foot stomping dance go-off, much respect! band intros, then "1970" and when it's steve's turn to join us, ig gently persuades him... "you better play good!" he hollers and a few bars later I hear the sax cut out for a bit - ig has just rhino charged steve but he's back blowing hard ig gives him the thumbs-up, alright - "I feel alright!" melting into "mindroom" w/just ig and ronnie (scotty w/some cymbals though) and then the whole band re-igniting w/"fun house" - me doing a karate kick w/the port leg after my intro (amazing how uncoordinated watt doesn't keel over when he does that). jos holds onto my amps so they don't keel over when I hump them as hard as I can, bass in between - I get some pretty good feedback going tonight... thank you again, chris! a slower "skull ring" tonight, more power w/the chug that way. grab your glasses and come right off but not long... a few seconds on the stairs to hear ig ask, "where's the drummer? where's the drummer?" - scotty's standing right there but it's been intense gig for ig... christ, everyone of them are, what am I saying? we're back out for "little electric chair" but ig's mic fails during the intro spiel so jos brings him out another one and immediately starts fixing the busted one on the side of the stage. I bring my bass up to kiss it (!!! I said I was kind of superstitious) and when I bring her back down - boom! I get hit in the chest w/a plastic beer glass that's 'pert-near full but it don't hurt - hey, it's the first in four and half years of stooges gigs that I've been nailed w/one of those. soon ig's hit in the side of the head w/an empty water bottle, no damage. I'm kind of clumsy a little in the intro but get it together as the verse kicks in and then as I'm doing my bass solo, ig keeps circling me so I keep my eye on him, turning my head to follow him. I've been playing long enough to feel notes and not have to look at my fingers so it's ok and in fact, a huge joy to watch him while I'm doing what I'm doing... to think life has brought me to this point - it's still hard for me to fathom really. it's ronnie's turn next - I go in front of scotty and holler his name cuz he's slammin' a hard groove. we pound out "not right" next, dervish-tremor erupting from w/in me... then a tune we ain't done in quite a while, "I'm fried" - didn't do it in helsinki but I remember ig asking to lay out in the intro ("if you can remember that") so I do and he sings it righteous, even after all this time of us neglecting it. wow. we close up w/the "double dog" and ig pulls a young man from the crowd. I mean he's a young man, like ten or twelve maybe? I do my dave thing but really lay into the pick cuz it's a thin one, I use hard strokes right over the bridge pickup. I stand almost straight in front of scotty so I can be right on the beat - I ain't that use to the pick. ig gets down on all fours in the middle and the young man mimes paddling him - it's a trip how calm this young cat is the whole time, even relaxed... that's it, we're done when the tune's done even though the folks keep hollering for us, for more, more, more. what kind people, thank you!

   my boilersuit is like I just fell out of my kayak and into the sea, I'm starting get a little chllly but eric locked all our stuff in ig's room so I gotta go in there to change. he says he won't look and even if he does it'll "be like a doctor" but hell, I change in front of guys all my life - I don't care. he asks me if I'd get another boilersuit - same kind but he says the stooges are looking a little "threadbare" (not just me). I tell him I like the boilersuit, it was a good idea of his. he says too this gig tonight got better response than all the gigs we've done these last four and half years. all the people in the room did make the sound a million times better than soundcheck. knobman rik comes in and says it sounded good. in my non-stage outfit, I go back out to check out the stage and pick up some coins that are left. I want rubles and kopecks thrown onto a stage while the stooges were playing - great souvies! I find some round metal goggles w/no lenses too. there's a big hair comb w/some of it melted, whoa. there's a few rolled magazines - I saw one of those thrown up at the roaring strings too. there's a bra that's been kicked under the drum riser. there's a u.s. guy who talks to me a little, he saw the minutemen in richmond, virginia in 1985. I remember that gig. I think it was a shriner's hall, w/rem...

   ig has to do some tv (we scared the crew off w/some crazy words, not on purpose though) and then he has to bail... I go back in his room to look for anything I lost (idiot check) and find his steak only half-chowed so I do the rest, manhandled - no fork. more spiel in the other room... finally byes - hug to kamilsky. balled-up soaked boilersuit under my arm... adios.

   it was exactly six years ago I started one tour of mine that turned out to be a very heavy day.

   I ride back w/ronnie and scotty, eric sitting next to me. way quicker this time but still time enough for me to say some real stupid shit... like earlier when backstage, in between trying to tell steve about this movie called "wit" that was intense on me, how it humbled me... however, I was not living the lesson I should've learned and now the price: regret.

   I like jos a lot and wanna be a better friend.

   I get a war going in my head, my brain getting tackled by my mind.

   konk, the mighty abrogator. hallelujah. not always though... but tonight, yes.

saturday, september 15, 2007 - la courneuve, france

   wednesday morning there's some shoveling to be done before w/bail from this 'tel for the airport and then onto the last gig this summer, just outside of paris. of course the jacket pockets gets stuffed w/rolls filled w/meat and cheese. not as bad as a hellride getting back to the airport but still lots of traff. weather's holding up - one last bit of summer after clearing customs - I saw it in the duty free... oh, the immigration lady made me step back and got a good eyeful of me to make sure I was who I said I was - that fucking picture in my passport w/the village people mustache... man, when do I get to take a new shot and lose that one? I didn't mean to make the lady freak - I thought she wanted me closer when she wanted me further. anyway, an airfrance airbus 318 (the ticket though says "aeroflot" - they still got the hammer and sickle in their logo!) to de gaulle but it takes a while getting off the ground cuz only one runway is operating - yeah, for both landings and take offs! it's ok, I'm learning patience and that's not a bad thing - "good training for us" - and it looked for sure the bass got lost as we wait for it in baggage but voila! there it appears just as eric was about to hit up the lost and found - grazie grazie arigato! like in dublin, the team is split up into two 'tels me and steve are w/the crew at the villa opera drouot which is pretty much in the middle of town on the north side (the right bank - in the ninth arrondissement). the weather is like cali, like pedro! wow, I'm into this. I hoof all over, big rugby tournament being held here so lots of foreign cats (scotland and england) hollering at televisions in bars, wearing outfits the feel appropriate, alright. I happen onto a little street w/some esoteric/arcana book shops... all in french though I recognize much of the symbols...

   the next morning I chow the free trough downstairs (I had a kebap I got on the street last night) and then make for some hoof to fill the eyes w/images and the ears w/sounds... I had fucked up and thought at first our 'tel was where I stayed when I played w/j mascis + the fog (first time ever I played in paris) but that hood was up by the moulin rouge so I head up that way. I find the peep shows and sex shops that make up a lot where that was and avoid the armgrabs from men and women wanting me to come into those kinds of pads they own and make my way up the hill montmartre to the sacre coeur church. smoggy paris, looking down from the steps outside. beautiful smells from the incense inside the basilica and for the first time in my life, I lit a candle! it's calm on me sitting in here for the longest while, thinking. yeah, calm thinking - who would've thought?! grateful watt in the moment. I hoof slow back, it's ok. later I hit up the internet cafe (my exploring found the most econo, half a euro a sesh) cuz what they got at the 'tel here ain't working and too much anyway if it was. I spend time w/steve comes the night after chowing 'dines from what I found cleaning out my sack (I am going home after this) and getting a baguette down the street for a euro. time w/steve always ALWAYS makes for good spiel, god bless him.

   friday I popped early to hit it early outside - roadboss eric thinks the morning trough might not be gratis like we're led to believe (remember london back in july?!) so I bail on that and head to the river via a big street named after rockstar cardinal richelieu - not many streets in paris are long ones but this one goes from montmarte boulevard from where we're near and goes pertty much close to the seine. I gotta cross a bridge over the seine if I'm in paris and able to do that, right? I have a headful to think about anyway and pushing fluids through me is a good thing. I had the weirdest dream last night: I was w/my missingmen guys - I know cuz I could see tom and raul and their faces, they were like they were there w/their voices and everything. we were in a cab going to some gig (?!) and the cab was a covertible - you know, no top? the driver was very friendly and talking w/us but man, was he hauling ass though we weren't afraid - we were laughing and talking w/him, having a good time. we were gonna take this big hill and there was a divot in the road right at the foot of it so when we hit that, the hill was like a ramp and launched us into the air. we had seat belts on (!) I know cuz I could feel myself rise up and try to fly out but couldn't - I could see tom and raul doing the same, their hair going straight up from the heads. in a way it wasn't scary, it just seemed to go on for ever w/that weightless sensation and our arms were thrown up straight into the air too and as I finally felt us starting to peak, arch and come down, my hands seemed to scoop up tiny bits of sky, like it was tiny crumbs of something blue and white - really tiny though. I could feel them in my hand and that tripped me out, like I had scraped my fingers against some kind of ceiling. we came down w/a thump but not too bad - like hitting a speed bump maybe a little too hard and continued on, everyone saying "whew!" but then talking again w/the driver and not even being pissed at him. eventually we got to someone's house - someone I and my guys knew but couldn't tell who it was or the same w/the people there... I was sure we knew them but couldn't tell you their names or what they looked like or anything like that. I couldn't talk w/them but tom and raul could, I felt glad about that. everyone was mostly out in the front yard and there was a chow, a q going on. then my pop and raymond show up! no car or anything, they just show up - maybe they were always there. that was really strange but I was really glad to see them. during wake-up time (not in dreamtime), raymond actually met my pop only once, the day I got married. I do remember very well them standing together, I alwas will. it was a trippy day for my pop, I had never seen him so nervous! my pop was never nervous, he was a chief in the navy - always very solid/stoic. well, he was only human but he was not the nervous type to say the least! he liked to laugh a lot though, he was very funny and always observant of everything around him, wondered about stuff. I wish you could've met him. aahh, I'm getting off-track here... back to the dream - so raymond is here w/my pop. I'm very glad to see both of them but when I go to talk w/my pop, he seems really frail. I try to tell him about grabbing the sky but can't find the words so I open my hands and show him the crumb stuff. I look at raymond - raymond looks like raymond but he looks over at my pop and doesn't know what to say either. you have understand my pop never NEVER looked frail - by frail I don't mean sickly - aahh, it's hard to find words and I said I'd be brief - sorry! my pop looked weak when that cancer whupped up and murdered him, christ did it wail on him and tore him down as a person/his body - all the hurt in his eyes - but that was only the last maybe six months of his life... god, that was hard to see... aahh, I don't wanna think about it... BUT IN THE DREAM LAST NIGHT: the frailness I'm talking about was in his aura or something, a lack of confidence. it's difficult to explain but it put a crisis in me, I couldn't imagine myself stronger than him and it troubled me hard, I was pondering it intensely to figure why but was w/out a clue. I looked at my hands and the sky crumbs were slipping from my fingers. raymond looked confused... everything impossible, difficult. I then srated to think in a panic "where we're my guys? when was the gig? where was the set list?" (totally insane) I popped awake at that point...

   all this replaying in the upstairs and not really following where I am in the "real world" but hey, what's a hoof in paris w/out a major fucking wander anyway? hell, I thought I was circling 'round via st denis (patron saint of paris and name of a metro station) and ended up on the quai de valmy running along side the saint-martin canal! well, new parts for me anyway, none of it wasted. at the big train station the gare du nord, I get my bearings and make for lafayette boulevard - yeah, a big street that keeps on going! ok, a journey w/some wander but after last night's dream - man, that puzzled me. even weirder was a dream I had the night before but I'm too embarrassed to talk about that here... then why did I mention it? why, hmm... good question, always. most the people in my life look at me and ask that, "why?" and most surely, I am at a loss to explain. guesses only dig the hole deeper. it was good to wander paris w/out a clue where I was, perfect metaphor. I got back to accidently meet sax brother steve on the street after I chowed some yaki soba at a chow pad named takemuto about a block from the 'tel - pretty econo and tasted good. steve was in a great mood and the pad was real loud w/french folks rooting on a televised rout of south africa over england for that rugby stuff.

   gig day and I find out the trough is indeed free and shovel there before catching up on diary chimping. it's a blowout, trying to get things down that make any kind of sense, it's always been a struggle that way. fuck, the worst is getting up the nerve to try and read it back - I really should make myself do that more but I feel like I'll plow into full redactor mode and kill any life in the crazy dance. oh well. me and steve get picked up at our 'tel first and 7:15 pm in a mercedes sprinter that's like jos' but w/windows and a bunch of seats - same color even. we get scott and ron at the 'tel they're staying at, near the arc de triomphe and it's the first time we've seen them in three full days. scotty says their pad is a total burnward. I sure did miss them, steve says so too. we head northeast towards charles de gaulle airport, actually 'pert-near by borchet, the airfield we used when rode in the private jets - it's right up against the aerospace museum. it takes about an hour altogether but once we get near the festival, a three motorcycle police escort gets us right in, ig behind us in a sedan w/henry. the crew's been here since like two. this festival has gone on for forty years I hear - it's called the fete de le humanitie (le humanitie being a newspaper) and is run by the french communist party. we're dropped off where the crew is but that's a bumsteer so everyone gets back in their rides except me cuz it ain't that far and sure, I'll hoof. the weather is still really fine. I brought just my boliersuit and the little coat ronnie gave me cuz I didn't wanna even in the least sour my "going home outfit" and the getup I've been wearing this last week was too fouled to continue in anymore. you know that's intense if you hear it from watt. I hear from the crew the oven for the chow was broken but what the hey, we got more than a hour and half before we're playing (on stage time has just been changed from 10:00 pm to 10:03 pm, what?! oh, there's some radio simul-broadcast and the second to fourth songs get televised or something?). well, the stove must've got fixed cuz I get a pork chop (thin one) w/some white kind of gravy and some beef stew, both really good. so is the little piles of pasta, beans/carrots, radishes, olives and gerkin pickles. trippy chow, kind of. I hoof back and spend the waitdown w/the guys, some band from england is on and I'm told we've been on bills w/them at other festivals but it sounds mersh, kind of 70s ways of milking tunes for crowd pander. I don't mean to sound harsh, maybe cuz where we're at is right behind the stage (that's the room we're put in, ig in the one next to us - thin-walled portable pad tent) and the only mystery might be what it looks like cuz we get lots of what it's sounding like. lots of times I wanna see who we're playing w/cuz I'm curious - I wish we would've gotten to that leeds gig earlier so I could've seen this newer band from england called the horrors, folks we're saying some good things... hey, that reminds me - when ig was talking to me in moscow, he said something about one of those guys liking the boilersuit. well, you can imagine - the wait is a slowgo and takes a fucking eternity and maybe that's cuz it's our last overseas gig of the year but like I tell knobman rik, "nothing can go wrong on the last gig" - I mean if it does, laugh w/it cuz you've made it this far and survived any potential hells that could've taken you out earlier. anyway, this is my personal trip, what over sixty tours have taught me but shit, I got a lot to learn so I get still on that. folks like to go by the watch my ma gave me cuz it checks in w/the time some satellite has... I wonder if it does that out of the u.s. though? it also has a solar cell so I never have to wind it or worry about a battery. thanks ma. we hear some guys that aren't our guys ring the monitors out and ronnie says it sound like some guy from that "south park" show. when our crew gets to it, jos sounds 'pert-near the same but w/an english accent - I mean how many other ways is there is to do it but repeating one word over and over? I guess the could read from joyce's "ulysses" or maybe some kierkegaard? ronnie calls out the instruments as he hears them, he always does that. "drums." "bass." "guitar" and then "saxophone" which is really helperman chris just saying "saxophone" cuz steve has his horn w/him here w/us... we always get to hear some of that wail on us as he gets his reed together. funny, we hear them go through the dealio twice - maybe once was for monitors, sometimes that happens. the festival has a hundred thousand plus people and lots of stages but where we're at must hold maybe half or more if it gets stuffed? I don't know, I came to play but that's what steve's telling us what he was told. ok, after I hear the bass check, eric brings the little bass to me. three days w/out touching her, I can't believe that kind of shit, really... it's amazing I can still play period, I'm thinking but I can do it which amazes me. I'm always playing at home - afraid not to! we only have to walk a few yards and up some stairs to the back of the stage. we're on ronnie's side and ig asks each one of us if we're ready... nods from all of us "alright, let's hit it - go!" and I run first to find it's a huge fucking stage and in fact, where me, ron and scot are is on it's own little stage (about three or so inches high) in the middle of this one four or five times it's size. ig's mic is up there too but he moves it all forward real quick once "loose" kicks out (in the total dark!) and we're off... the lights come on and I see a sea of people - the field in front of us is packed, there's a wall ringing them in, like a baseball field but no bleachers on the other side of the wall - the "wall" being signs w/all kinds of slogans, like center-left is "oui le communisme" which kind of different. there's headlines from the newspaper (le humanitie) too. the bass pickup mix is about half-half and sounds a little midrangey but not bad - I look over at the amps, they're svt-II pro ones that look a little beat but sound ok though I see the bottom (bass) is rolled off to about ten (hell, I just keep everything flat if I had my way - I'm not the biggest ampeg fan anyway). I put in a little more neck pickup for "down on the street" and there's the tv cameras - a couple of handhelds in the moat in front of the stage and two sidestage tripod mounts - I think one handheld way behind scotty. hey, I'm digging the low riser scotty's got and I know he's digging the dw drums they got him. the crowd is really exploding, much emotion. I'm moving my legs, no one stance or position... I get on my knees when ig gets up on my amps but man, it's a little tough getting up. I reverse a set of riffs, whoops - still in key though... aahhh... "1969" after iggy thanks all these folks (I see someone w/a coolie hat on someone's shoulders near the front go down and then come up w/the coolie hat all squished) and saying we're gald to be here which I really dig him saying cuz I truly am very glad to be here. he never has banter about "the new album" or "the new single" or stuff like that - it's always about it kicking it out and much respect for showing up and letting "us play and be here w/you!" it's total dark and for a moment I look for the moon but can't find it - maybe it's new but that was risky cuz I usually never take my eyes of ig. he's got a huge space to run around and dance on though, wow... it's pretty intense. scotty's got his "fuji rock festival" shirt on - one of the ones he has, I see it when I "'tart" in the ending. right away next up is "I wanna be your dog" - I'm still looking straight at scotty when he starts is off, flam-flam!! ig is in a full-bore ring the corral runaround as he revs up bar after bar 'till he's ready to bring in the first verse. he doesn't do a stage dive tonight but I'm kind of surprised even w/it being 'pert-near an evil-kenevil snake caynon jump but I've seen him go for almost anything. he gets down on the deck and works the people though - it's here I see the dust getting kicked up, even w/the people packed in how they are. we take it down and he sings "I need love!" twice in french, I repeat hollering out into the air w/no mic the same thing in english. "tv eye" is next on the list but I see scotty rack tom mic laying on the rack tom head so I try and screwing it in (it's a tiny mic that doesn't have a clip but a thumbscrew to hold it in) and ig comes center in front of the drum riser to pour water over his head and I'm in the way like a baka, trying to get that mic happening and he yells "get out of the fucking way" oops, I don't think he realized what I was doing - I couldn't get chris' attention and when I do he thinks it's something about my bass but then I get through to him it's the rack tom drum and buy the end of the first verse, he's got it happening. I'm playing as hard as I can the whole time, even w/the distraction cuz man, do I love this song, always will. I put myself in a state for the third verse and rattle myself as fast and as hard as I can against the speaker boxes. "fuck tv!" ig repeats during the guitar solo, I'm a human maraca now... I get ready to 'tart it for ron and scotty - "ram it!" "ram it!" "ram it!" "ram it!" - we nail it. shake for the coda, watt - then slam it for the big 'a' at the end. ig hollers we're doing "dirt" now - scotty puts in the floor tom roll and this is a good time for me to tune while he intros the tune w/a good rap about those at the top and those at the bottom. I give myself a little more bridge pickup. the song is very emotional, it always is. the stage is really dirty from all the dust and ig's gotten flilthy from rolling all around on it. the blue of my boilersuit is getting gray w/it too. the security is really good about no one getting beat by them which I really dig - I fucking hate anyone getting beat at a gig, I can't fucking stand it. still only about ten dancers are up there w/us for the end of "real cool time" and no one really by any of us in the band, they're all up stagefront w/ig. "no fun" gets a couple more girls at the end... some guy comes up to me near the tune and puts a little stuffed snoopy dog doll in on the band "tier" that's got "panda + keny" written on it. I put it in my starboard calf pocket. band intros, ig calling out everyone (he calls out steve later in this next tune, when he makes his appearance) but alway when it comes to his name for the last few years he never says it but rather "fuck the pop show shit - this is for the music!" or something along those lines (that's part of what he said tonight. once we get going w/"1970" he slaps his ass which is a signal for chris to ge more guitar happening - he already turned up both of ronnie's stacks during "...dog" when he asked for it then. the song is a stampede, relaly strong - ig hollers in the mic "more guitar!" man, I hope they can do it for him. I know chris told me there's a ninetyfive db noise limit which is pretty much not that loud but I know rik always pushes it and fights w/the noise police over that shit. "mindroom" and I got time for water - the dust is kind of choking now, it looks like remnants of a smoke machines been puffing on stage but we don't use those props, too hard to breathe - like this dust. "fun house" kicks out wild - ig gave a big hair-pull when he entered where he does, on ronnie's side and like he's been doing lately, wearing this black workman vest net mesh vest he got in tokyo. I was a big fist-full of hair I saw and the neck snap but steve kept playing and smiled after. he's blowing wild now for this tune and there are some steps ig is making w/the huge dance floor stage he's got, much body churn too - wild/wonderful/wack! crazy crazy crazy into "l.a. blues" boom, the mic stand bounces and hits me but not bad. I get down and kneel to it while whupping it up on the high frets, real fast. ig gets the stand back and does john henry hammer slams w/it on the stage... it's go-off time. after the trane bits I throw on the bass, I get a good feedback going while ig frankenstein-steps across the stage and off 'till we bring him back w/scotty firing up "skull ring" for the closer. ig wants his faster, faster... he's running all around - he sings four verses instead of three, doing the second one again after the third. he keeps saying "faster drummer!" and during the guitar solo, runs over to me and starts beating out a tempo on my right arm w/the mic and then on my ass but not long and scotty just won't move it up and I just gotta stay w/him, right? it's rhythm SECTION though I know ig wants it faster. instead of us slamming down for the ending, he brings us lower w/hand-conducting and then says "double dog... it better be good!" I play it like I did earlier in the set - no time for a change to a pick and I want to thump it hard - ig wants it faster, faster. he goes w/what we got though and sings it great, a different style he usually does for the "double dog" version - different than the one we do earlier in the set, more deep at then end. the folks in the crowd are really into it and pouring out much heart - much respect to them. I grab my glasses and raise the little bass over my head - I see the "red thing" dangle and holler "yeah!" in the spirit of these people and join the guys quick where we had first come on. ig says that's it - "listen to them! a great crowd - let's leave strong!" and so the gig is done. wow, that hour seemed to go by in a minute! my boilersuit is sweat saturated deluged. it's not humid though so it wasn't so much heart-attack land. in ways a good shvitz is like a good pedal or a good paddle - I can dig it.

   crack of dawn departure for flight home tomorrow so I'm hoping we can bail right away but all the festival-leaving traff (we were clean-up) is plugging the roads so we gotta wait. I keep waiting to get my chance to see ig a few moments w/just us so I can thank him for all these gigs this past spring and summer but it's kind of awkward - lots of folks want ig's time! he's w/steve and some of his friends at a table and I make myself visible to him from a crack in between some folks and he asks me "can I help you?" and so I just bow and say "thank you... sensei" and point at him, then bow once more. I am truly grateful.

   the car in the morning to take us to de gaulle airport never shows up but luckily jos flags down a cab for us and steve, myself and eric just make it in time for our flights. I'm on a airfrance 777 straight for lax - only two motors on these babies but man, are they big ones! I get into the murakami steve gave me big time, this cat can sure write! the eleven hour flight minus the nine hour difference from pedro time means when my sister melinda picks me up at the airport and gets me back to my town there's plenty of time to make prac cuz I got like six gigs coming w/three different bands and half of those are in san diego. "it's good training for us!" mark stewart used to say in the pop group. yeah! it's all good training for me to make better funanori!

iggy + the stooges
on tour in august 2007

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this page created 17 september 07