iggy + the stooges

in new zealand + australia

january + february 2011

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

mike watt in aruckland, new zealand on january 21, 2011 just before first 'big day out' gig - photo by scott asheto

scotty-san's shot of me just before first 'big day out' gig

friday, january 21, 2011 - auckland, new zealand

   now if you've been reading my tour diaries regarding working bass for iggy + the stooges, you'll note that the last gig I chimped about here at the hoot page was the september 3, 2010 one in monticello, ny. actually that wasn't the last gig we did 'til now - there was one at don hills in new york city a week later but I never chimped shit about that one, sorry. anyway, it was kind of a promo one for some new tequila brand I can't remember during that town's "fashion week" (which made for some funny gig-goers) but yeah, it sure was a wild - maybe one of the tiniest pads I've worked w/the stooges and man, did it get all blown up! very intense, very sweaty and very happening - very much! but then right after I had to get back to my pedro town to so I could get good and prac'd up w/my missingmen for the first live performances ever of my third opear on the "hyphenated-man in japan 2010" tour and had to switch gears quick and slam all the focus I had on that. it was a blast, love playing over - big time. I got back and a little later decided to start my own label clenchedwrench cuz I've got so many projs in the pipeline (next two after third opera are the fourth dos album plus the debut one from il sogno del marinaio) and I want no hiccups w/getting them out so up goes my own freak flag flying....

   yeah, so I've been busy big time but never too busy for the stooges - NEVER! I got as much done as I could and then started doing prac on the stooge tunes, got together w/james williamson and scotty-san at the beginning of the year for some west hollywood prac pad prac and at the beginning of this week, found myself on a plane bound for new zealand. now my left knee is still weak but I ain't using the crutches any more - not even of them. I am wearing the knee brace w/the metal hinges in it. right after the japan missingmen tour, I started pedaling my bicylce every morning but man, is it healing slow. ain't slowing my mission w/music cuz of it though - no way. oh yeah, 'pert-near two weeks ago, I had the honor of being chosen to do bass for the first jandek so cal gig. man, that was one of the trippiest gigs of my life and I dug it big time. the representative from corwood was VERY HAPPENING people - MUCH RESPECT to him from me. yeah, it was a hundred minute "song" w/many improvised phases and journies. trippy, he told me beforehand it was "gonna be right up your alley" and he was damn right! again: RESPECT!

   so yeah, having some trouble w/a bum wheel but it ain't putting a damper in the pamper w/me concerning music. all I can say is life's putting some challenges out there for me like it does w/most folks and for some of them it's much more intense than my sitch so I hope I don't sound like I'm whining and being an ingrate. like miss kaori recently wrote me: "we are BLESSED to be doing what we're doing" - hear hear - RESPECT to her for that.

   a couple days ago (monday) was time to begin this adventure. of course I'm a bozo and have to fuck something up so I misread the flight time as 11:30 am and have my sister melinda take me to the airport twelve hours early. crimony - what a fucking 'tard I am! she come back and gets me, taking back to lax at nine pm... sorry, min (that's what I call her). I didn't bring my tsue (they call crutches these in japan) on purpose cuz I'm leaning (literally) on them too much and it's keeping me from getting stronger so fuck it - even if it was just psychological, I wanna do it and get tsue divorce. it's a twelve and a half hour ride on an qantas airbus 330 to get from so cal to new zealand but the 11:30 pm take off time is great for me to be able to konk easy on the flight - shit, I end up doing eight hours plus easy. the time difference is twentyone hours which is 'pert-near a whole day ahead of my pedro town so the adjusting is real easy. I think auckland is the closest town ever to the international dateline I've been to. tuesday was completely lost but I'll get the day back on the return flight (february seven). on the plane w/me is brother steve, helperman derek and scotty-san and when we land, they tell me we had a hell of a bunch of turbulence half-way through but I was deep in konk and never felt a thing. I did hear the pilot make an apology before we landed though. I feel lucky to have missed that but even luckier that we all made it safe.

   it's wednesday morning and charney picks us up at auckland's airport. she's the big day out representitive that's assigned to us - that's the way they do this festival. I know cuz it's my third one: first time was 1996 w/porno for pyros and 2006 was the second time w/the stooges w/ron asheton. charney's very cool people, very. and new zealand is a very relaxed land. in ways it seems like the most england of the former england colonies but it's also very mixed and not that crowded, people pretty kicked back is my experience though I gotta admit that auckland (the big town) is the only place I've been to in this land. I hear the nature is righteous, especially on the south island. one day I wanna experience it, one day - fucking slow learner watt! the konk pad is a 'tel called the langham up in the hill parts a in the more south part of town and it's right near their oldest boneyard which is on symond street. it's not that I'm that much into cemeteries but I'm too weak to hoof too far but I ain't gonna be like last summer on the tsue and squestered pretty much to my fucking 'tel room. tomorrow I'll check it out early. I finish the forward for my buddy chapu who's putting out a book by another buddy byron coley and figure out how to flow through road boss eric - the internet is thiry fucking new zealand dollars a day - can you believe it? they do have free machines you can use on the fifth and sixth floor (my chameber's on the sixth floor), low and behold: no static ip addresses so just move the ethernet cable to the macpurse and I'm on. both chapu and byron are into my spiel so that's a big relief cuz I love them much and didn't wanna foist any bunk on them. ok, I got some hunger - the plane chow was not too terrible (some kind of beef and mashed potatoes w/salad) but it's been purged. there's a kabab pad nearby and I get one w/lamb and falafel for dinner, very good - cost ten dollars new zealnd - about eight dollars u.s. not far is a liquor store and I get a pint of beam. I return to the 'tel and soon enough scotty-san and brother steve come up to my room and we catch up on the four months we've been missing each other since we last played.

   thursday I had fried rice, chcken w/pickled mustard greens and garlic chicken vegetables all together on one plate for breakfast at a delicatessen run by chinese folks on the corner. the sign said delicatessen but it wasn't typical nyc kind. that's ok. across the street is some of the boneyard - I explore the part that's kind of more level today (lots of it is on slopes in a huge gully!) and there's a part fenced off that's for jewish people (why?!) that I check out first. they stopped planting people on this whole place a while back cuz of probably it was the wrong place to have so lots are graves of the original england settlers, from the 1800s. sure is trippy how many of the stones and plots are just totally crumbled. today we're gonna do a prac though and so charney takes us in a van at three pm to where the gig's gonna be tomorrow and we do the prac near the locker rooms - the venue's called mount smart and it's a rugby stadium. mr slouch has these rb9 laney amps for me to use - these are nothing like the nexus laney ones I used last summer in europe - these are terrible. there's a svt classic driving a 2x10 cab blowing sideways but... anyway, the p.a. is so toy I turn way down so ig'll be able to hear himself somewhat when he gets here in an hour. there's two of the bands that play after us having people soundcheck they're stuff and man, it's blowing right through the cinderblock walls of where we're at - it's kind of hilarious but we make do and when ig comes, it gets good and focus though we do parts of each tune so he can save the big guns for tomorrow. we finish and head over to the chow tent - the sun in this part of the world is VERY intense, crimony! big clouds out though - hope the weather holds. they got great chow here and I shovel a lamb chop w/pesto and italiano style salad plus big string beans and pine nuts. we get back to the 'tel and there's my artist buddy mark rutledge is waiting in the lobby. he already painted me this righteous portrait I got hanging in my living room:

'on bass, watt' painted by mark rutledge

but he wants to draw another - this time w/my face! so he's got his photographer petrice at his pad in the middle of town that he's fixed up from an old warehouse (great job, respect!) to get some shots he can paint from. he drives me there and waiting for us is a bunch of his friends, all young people and very kind/friendly. we get to getting the shots taken after some interesting spiel - he has me photographed in front of a wall he's built - mark's a mason by trade but like I already said, also one hell of a painter... RESPECT! we go back down and more of his freinds have come by, they wanna know about the old days. one cat named joseph sings for us a little. a trippy thing comes up: I get asked something about "why has punk never been judge and always had a great reputation?" which immediately kind of freaked me out - whoa... I can't blame them for wondering this cuz they weren't even born 'til the eighties but I think this is the first time I've heard this perspective. it's even more of a mindblow cuz when I was first a punk rocker in the later 70s it seemed like at least mabye ninetynine out of a hundred people TOTALLY HATED punk and were not shy to let you know that! I took more blows for being punk in the old days than probably anything else in my life. when I relate this here to mark's friends, they're quite surprised - mark knows about the old days even though he's only twentynine now and helps me out by explaining to them what he's learned - very grateful watt. I didn't wanna sound like I was feeling sorry for myself or anything like that but one took blows in the old days for being punk, that was the reality. actually, I thought everyone knew that - boy, what a dumbfuck I am! mark's buds are very kind and it was innocent of them to wonder like that, it wasn't belig at all. I think it's kind of funny I'd be freaked out a little by that but it does make sense if you think about the big picture of stuff worked out to be where it is now. so many times I get stuck in my own head and forget everyone's unto themselves about a lot of things or sensing only hints of shadows or echoes or mabye just guesses even... yeah, that was a trip. I had a good time though, so nice of mark to bring me here - he gives me a lift back to the 'tel after I thank everyone for all their kindness, real good people. a few minutes drive and a big hug for him. it's about eleven and I konk 'pert-near real soon.

   gig day and I pop at five - two hours earlier than yesterday... yes, I must be on my own pedro town time cuz this about right for my usual life back home and catch up on clenchedwrench label and missingmen stuff, getting ready for the third opera march first roll-out and the tour that starts nine days after. I wanna shovel (no free trough at this konk pad) so I go to that corner deli again and this time have what the call "big breakfast" which is like an england-style one but no baked beans or sausages - lots of wide "patches" of bacon though and two each fried eggs and tomatoes, a maxipad-like hashbrown thing, sliced up mushrooms - all this sprinkled w/parsley along w/toast. pretty good. I asked the lady more my age when I ordered and this younger one came up and said "she doesn't know english" but I tell her she did just fine. hmm... I'm thinking: how's anyone gonna learn and the don't get a chance? I thought she did good and when I finished I brought her my plate and stuff and she thanked me. sometimes all you need is a chance. I go the the grafton bridge across symond street and whoa, it's way up there but I wanna hoof across it. you know, I got vertigo and this fucked-up knee thing has got me afraid so much of the time on so many levels that I wanna somehow get some nerve up and try to face down at least some hells. there's glass above the railing too so I'm safe that way but I do have weird sensations. I get across and come right back around and about half of the way across I kind of stopped myself so I could get a shot of some of the harbor and the move made me stumble, then crumple and finally tumble - I go right down but nothing gets hurt. actually this is the second time this trip cuz last night I did bring the 'puter to where those house machines are by the elevators and down the hallway I stumbled... I didn't go down but my natural inclination when shit like this starts going down is too fly my hands and arms straight out - legs too, it's some uncontrollable reaction but anyway the macpurse went right to the carpeted deck - damn! however the one pice aluminum body held fast and it took survived the blow. here on the bridge I did go down w/the canon sx130 in one hand but it never hit the deck. a lady asked if I was ok when I was getting right up and I told her I was ok, I just crumpled. so glad I do have this brace to keep from getting hurting that fucking knee again but the real problem is the weak muscles from all the time on the crutches. anyway, returning where I started, I go down into the gully where all the old graves are planted hillside - lots of them busted up and in a way fucked up stage w/mold and lichen covering these plots from the 1840s to 1890s mostly. it's strange, never seen a boneyard like this before - I take a bunch of shots. it is cool temp and strangley peaceful. I go real slow and stop to sit and think much. I try not to feel too sorry for myself and this fucking knee. I wanna do good for the stooges tonight and not psych myself out and lose my nerve. these gravestones are pretty big ones. sometimes there's little fences (mainly metal around the little plot but like I said, lots of shit here's crumbled. lots of big big oak trees too. there's no lawn hardly but mostly dirt between the graves. some trippy inscriptions: "an opening bud but soon did fade," "in the midst of life we are in death" and "his end was peace." crimony. I am careful so careful - especially after that tumble on the bridge that's above me now. I go real slow to get back up to the street and then back to the 'tel, I wanna soak before bail-for-the-gig time.

   charney gathers us at the five pm lobby call for the half-hour ride in a passenger van to the site of the gig, where we did prac yesterday. it started raining in the afternoon and though it's drizzle when we arrive, it's starts to kind of come down - fuck, I feel bad for the kids standing in the open field. the dressing rooms are kind of like cans (shipping containers) but they're not - I wonder if they're the same dimensions of the twenties though? anyway, there's some chow put out on two big plates so I hoist some cheese w/cold roast beef slice between two slices from a bread roll, add to that a cold baked chicken drumstick and it's good for me. it's still ninety minutes 'til gig time so that's ok put too much and there's a good chance I'll puke - don't wanna chow too close to the downbeat. I warm up along w/james, both of us going through the tunes w/no amps, scotty-san working his sticks w/leg-beats to keep us in time once he gets his finger taping ritual finished. the spirits are good for our first gig of this tour run. looks like we're using "set d" - ig had made up four different set list for us to go through at that prac a couple weeks ago - though he wasn't there in person, he was in person. of course time goes by slow when we're waiting like this but it feels not as nerve-wracking this time. I arrived in my outfit w/my non-stage outfit in a plastic sack for the switch post gig time. for the stage I'm wearing what I've always worn w/james williamson stooges gigs (except one - in chicago last year where scotty-san had me try a shirt he got me but I soaked it, sweating - it was 'pert-near see-through!) which is solid black flannel shirt and black levis. I do have kind of trippy converse sneakers though - they're orange ones that were given to me through the mail. they even we're the right size (ten and a half)! james reads to us from the "big day out" tour book we've each been given... one especially funny page is the "hurt feelings report" in the back:

hurt feelings report from 'big day out' tour book

is "whigners" england spelling for whiners? I know they use an 's' for a 'z' in organization... oh yeah, the next page of the book has a "map" of new zealand showing the whole south island being full of sheep and the north one full of leprechauns - I'm pretty sure australian folks are most of the "big day out" organizers though I bet there's plenty of australia being made fun of too I know when I have a chance to really start reading it.

   fifteen minutes to go and I bail for the stage early cuz of my knee sitch. the rain has calm some, down to a drizzle. kind of high metal stair so I use the rail big time and hoist the weak wheel, one step at a time. mr slouch hands me the bass and I'm ready to go. I look over and watch helperman derek w/james' guitar - that can help me know stuff's about to happen. it's a couple of minutes after seven pm which means we're a couple of minutes late when I see ig put his arm up - I give him a fist in the air back and he hollers let's go (I'm on the opposite side of the stage but we're all still behind the back curtain) and I do my best to get out there in time... mr slouch plugs the "lead" in and I'm ready seconds before it's my turn to join in to create stooges sound, whew! I just didn't wanna slip but didn't wanna mosey either - anyway, I did it and "raw power" is shot from the gig-gun... you can see many folks on the sides cuz there's a roof over those parts but there's lots of young folks mostly up front and way into it. also way into it is ig - of course! he's being a little careful cuz of the wet deck but not much - back and forth and runs/jumps/twirls/sings/gestures, fucking righteous! the laney amps I got are total mime. there's a little sound from the little side-blowing ampeg but most of what I can hear is coming out of the two wedges also side blowing though they got no bottom - it's lots of klak. I ain't gonna bum on it though, it's fucking happening enough just to be doing these tunes w/these guys - respect! every time I get underway in this sitch, it makes me fucking foam, the emotions in me boil up like a real son of a bitch - believe it! weird playing w/my knee like this, of course but the brace-w/metal-reinforcement-and-hinges beats the fuck out of that stovepipe-motherfucker immobilizer that ran from the top of my hip down to the ankle. I just don't wanna tumble, gotta stay up and be careful of the wet deck though it ain't too bad cuz the crew here's on top of it. we wail into "search and destroy" w/in a downbeat of finishing our opener. helperman jos has a good drum sound on stage through the sidefills (though later scotty-san would tell me his monitors were too far from him) and this helps me big time. the one thing I'm afraid of when my sound is pretty much mime is playing too hard and putting out too much klak and fret noise for mixerman max to deal w/but like mr slouch tells me when I notify him, the sound is for the gig-goers and not about me. true, yes but... aaahh "a poor carpenter blames his tools" is the aphorism, right? it is a good one so I just focus on ig and the gig, checking in time to time w/no-eyes-ever scotty-san and james williamson who now and then does give a look-back. I'm having a good time! even though it's a little chilly, I'm starting to already heat up some - not cuz of the lights either cuz it's still full-on day time but cuz of the stooge music! shouldn't get to full of myself though - I blow my first clam of the gig... actually I come in our next baby "gimme danger" a cunthair late but it kind of happened when I was coming out of a tune-job (man, everything went flat, especially the two highest strings - mr slouch I think put on new strings w/out yank on them enough after to bear w/my gentle thug brutal touch - not his fault!) and down went the mic to the deck which sounded like a fucking bomb and kind of scared the shit out of me for a moment. the real for sure clam came at the bridge where for a tiny moment I hit a fucking 'd' instead of an 'e' - what a fucking doof and I mentally broke my leg off up in my ass for that. aaaarrrggggghhhh. I think the monitor man had the mute button on james' acoustic mode (it goes direct from his silver-black les paul's piezo bridge pickup) so he was kind of like hardly there in the first verse - like me most of the gig! I'm sure max had it happening w/the knobs though. I can bear down now and blow no more fucking clams! pretty quick right up is "your pretty face is going to hell" off course ig is running a tight set - nothing new about that. he's back w/us for pretty much the first half of the tune after most of the first three working the front of the stage. man, I can see him put his whole body into his singing, his whole being... I've seen cats "sing" where their chest don't even move up and down - not this man! the band's a railroad train smokin' big chug and somehow (my opinion) a good tight ending. mystery! ig then asks for dancers - one of the first up is my buddy mark, the artist man who's pad I was at last night! fucking great. ig asks for more... "five more" - "three more" and then finally we got enough to get it going - "shake appeal" - boom! the dancers are very respect but still wild, great. I notice how helperman derek has 'pert-near the same sourass look helperman jos has which is kind of a trip cuz number one: he's very cool people and seems like a happy guy and two: ig has these folks to come w/us so it's kind of trippy they're getting the stink eye. we run the tune down real good - mark yanks his shirt off, yeah! big respect to him. while steve blows his "clean up" sax improv as the stage is cleared, ig thanks all who gave their dancing all - "thank you kiwi dancers!" and then short intros for us band guys before hollering for "1970" and rev that baby up. trippy he pours a bottle over his head but like I said, it's actually a little warm in the gig mode - I see scotty-san's t-shirt a little wet. kind slip-n-slide for james as we go into the third verse but he holds up and gets back on w/us. a little different segue - we go straight into "l.a. blues" which is the way it's gonna be for a while, no longer after "no fun" but I can dig it - kind of ying/yang. I pound the shit out of the red bass james williamson had made for me (courtesy of brian michael who did a bitchin' job), fucking the amp w/too after some scary (scary for me w/this fucked up knee) getting up on the little riser the lameass laney amps are up on cuz they're not at the edge they're back some. I get it done and hear the best sound I get all night out of them - the crashing grating of the strings against the speaker grills. I see james laughing some when I hobble off the ledge and back on the stage deck. scotty-san get's us directly into "night theme" - man, I just got in tune cuz it got all sharp (like a step or more!) after the fucking, whew. kind of trippy "skull thing" cuz drums in a riff later but no train wreck, the band adjusts and I'm pretty sure we get into "beyond the law" pretty much together (if anyone got off, it was a clam by me?) - I do know for sure we had it strong for ig's singing. you know, I wonder how different me writing this spiel would be if I was listening to a recording of the gig and not using fucking watt 'tard memory? I mean, I'd still have use some... ig wants a right - can scotty-san give him a right? damn fucking sure! we take off. I thought for sure he go for a roll to get us into the last chorus cuz he did good at prac but he holds pac and feeds us a flam to set it off. bam! we finish and on the next beat, ig hollers for "I wanna be your dog" and scotty does a way in front intro that is trippy but then so is james playing the front of the riff through the turned on wah-wah. we come through w/the keel in the water though, respect! ig works it down in the trench between the folks and stage, right up on the fence and w/them. it's here where I see a group of guys stage starboard out about fifty yards w/their arms folded, kind of the jaded chin-stroker look that makes for the funnest gigs to work (I mock). man, it's kind of weird - I don't know how I saw them cuz my attention is so much on the stooge music, the stooge band and all those lit up kids digging the gig like crazy - this clown brigade pretty much wearing t-shirts from the same band (ain't gonna say who) and fuck, it's like high school all over again. ig obviously don't care (neither do I actually) and calls out for "fun house" and dances up a storm. righteous. second verse he calls out for more bass, "turn up the bass!" and I look over at mr slouch w/a kind of "I told you so" look but that was a fucking stupid thing to do (stupid fucking watt) cuz I love mr slouch. he turns it up which is a little better but not much - these amps just can't cut it. oh well, ig is still got all his heart in it. he sings the last lines right in my face. one beat and then blam! "no fun" gets the call and we close out our set w/it. I see some of the chin-strokers kind of bob their heads 'til one of their buddies looks over on them and then it's back to the program, back w/the scowls. too much. and I'm having too much fun up here. I hobble off and it seems that's it (we did our allotted fifty minutes right on the nose) when I join the guys - ig says he's going back to "do some stuff" but that gets a frenzy going so I start to hobble back up to my position - I just make it in time to come in where I'm supposed to for "open up and bleed" - whew - don't wanna ever slow up the stooge boat, never - that was close though. ig sings his heart. great tune. the band's got a hiccup though... coming out of the first chorus where james and scotty-san play together alone, each was on the other side of each other - I chose to come in w/scotty-san and was much relieved when james let go and joined us, it was a good move, good recovery. we got a new ending for this tune we worked out at the west hollywood prac and ig comes back w/us to help us make sure it's on and it's on, whoa, slammin' big time. he builds it up, builds it up... builds it up and foam! we all end together for him. bass in the air then for me, next handing it to mr slouch and then hobble off. very slow and careful down the metal stairs, I'm walking back to the dressing rooms. andrew from wolfmother comes to say hi - wow, respect - so good to see him again, big hug! I continue to hobble, road boss eric joins me and we actually get there the same time as the van! dennis from the refused sees me and we talk a bunch to catch up - he's a great cat, I have much respect for him. I tell him about the night before and the talk w/the younger new zealand folks about old punk and he trips on it - like I did, whoa! good to see him again, he's singing a couple of songs w/an italian band on this festival.

   no debrief from ig but I'm hoping he dug it. sure felt like it. I was way into it, it was a very happening time for me (except of course for the couple of stupid clams I blew), I feel real good as I change into my blue levis and plaid flannel - eric so kind to take the stage outfit in a plastic sack to get washed, I'm very grateful to him. I go w/the guys to the chow tent and I'm kind of ok cuz of chowing before but I have a tiny bit of beef teriyaki and some lettuce leaf salad. mainly it's just good to sit at the table w/the band and crew guys and have a good time, everyone very up for our first gig of 2011 - very happening!

   back to the dressing room - charney got us some bourbon! it ain't beam (makers mark instead) but at least it's brown and don't taste like scotch! it ain't a lot but we all get some and then ride back to the 'tel. on the way, I tell james about how ronnie really made it for me to be in the band, scotty-san backing me up on that. I feel emotional. somehow we get to talking about "shake appeal" and how I've always loved that riff, one of the best ones ever for me. this ain't the first time I've told james this - I told him the very first time I had a prac w/him, in west hollywood. tonight though I told him what ig told me when I asked him about that tune - ig told me it was little richard - not literaly about little richard but the trip about it, relatin' to it. I told ig I could totally see that, I could feel that vibe. this surprised james cuz he said the music he wrote was kind of a horse gallop - whoa, I never thought of that but of course! I also tell him what I thought was a third righteous thing in regards to these two things is the righteous rockabilly/trippy surf drums scotty-san married to them both - a totally bitchin' mixture, totally. ain't that a trip how these three things came together like they did? I've always had that tune plowing through my head since I was a teenager - relentless and righteous!

   the van drive seemed like it took two minutes! me and brother steve have some talk about little stuff outside on a picnic table at the langham 'til I'm too tuckered - I konk quick before the clock even got to twelve.

sunday, january 23, 2011 - the gold coast, australia

   yesterday I popped at like five and did the tub soak - forgot to do it last but actually was too fucking tired anyway - probably would've been a good chance of tub konk - like I've never done that before! we shove off at the airport at one pm so I got some time to hoof a find chow. I thought I was gonna eat at the china deli but it was closed - shit, everything 'per-near is closed today and I gotta hobble hoof many blocks north before I find a chow pad called "winners," small little place but very kind one man show running it. I see a sign that says on shift is someone w/the name "rodrigues" which is very common mexican surname where I come from except for a z being where the s is. I order and egg sandwich and a coffee and ask the man, asking him about that - he is in fact mr rodrigues but what's trippy is an india accent. he asks me if I've hear of goa - I tell him yes but kind of spaced on it being an old portuguese colony in india so there's lots of mixed people there - he's half indian/half portuguese. he makes for very interesting conversation, telling me about his homeland and saint xavier's incorruptible remains at a basilica there... he can speak seven languages and also lived many years and dubai so I get to hear about that land also. fascinating stuff and he also made great sandwich: fried egg and bacon w/tomatoes on big pieces of toast. time to say bye and I make the big hobbled hoof ("big" for hobbler like me) back. kind of gray out but not the rain of yesterday.

   so we're now onto the second land of this 'big day out' tour - it's another former colony of england but much larger: australia. trippy they got similar flags - the stars on the new zealand one have red in them and though they both got the four of the southern cross (the stars on the southern hemisphere are different than the ones we see in my pedro town - you know that, right?) but australia adds two more. the history is quite a bit different too: many penal colonies in oz land when england was starting it. the original people were dealt w/much harsher than in new zealand also, kind of like what happened in the u.s., terrible. timezone-wise, we gained three hours (eighteen hours now ahead of pedro time) getting to brisbane on what's about a three hour flight on qantas boeing 737... ha a real nice talk w/grinderman fiddleman warren ellis before we took off - talked much about captain beefheart and what he meant to both of us. fuck, he meant so much to so many cats I know in music, especially our punk scene. the captain made it safe in my mind to go wild w/music and not cower and bury or conform your expression. it was total freak flag flying enabler in my book. bitchin' poet too. I knew he'd been sick a long time and still fighting the m.s. shit strangling him so he could paint and paint but it still shook me hard when I heard he passed away in december. one lyric of oh so many I've always loved from him:

beatle bones and smokin' stones
the dry sands fall
the strawberry mouth strawberry moth strawberry caterpillar
strawberry butterfly strawberry fields
the winged eel slither on the heels of today's children
strawberry feels forever

yeah, roosters, ol' glass roosters, stick to your race
in a drag-queen, live-wood farmhouse
tractors are clawin' the folks are crawlin'
trees in a row climbing a coach and I blow rich
red, blue, yellow sunset
Where I set and you set and I've loved and you've loved
and I've seen and you've seen

salt man has just made his mark - and crumbled
the dark - the light - the dark - the day
porcelain children see through white lights
soft-cracker bats, cheshire cats named
the dark - the light - the dark - the day

blue veins through gray-felt tomorrows
cellular sail-boat - ye ole feathered kind
blow it into a pond swayin' in circles
red, blue, yellow sunset
where I've set and you've set and I've loved and you've loved
what I saw and you saw
strawberry feels forever

   I saw him at the whisky in 1980, it was for the "doc at the radar station" tour and I had just had of one of my knee surgeries in those early twenties years of mine. he transported me from my fucked-up body state, it was transcendent. I even got to talk to him on the phone seven years later - he was doing an interview w/kristine mckenna on the radio and they were taking calls. I asked him about the middle of the gatefold album cover of "strictly personal" (where the above lyric was from) and how it scared me so when I was younger. he said he thought it was scary too and had a good laugh. I wished him much respect, I was so nervous to speak w/him so I cut my spiel short. I can't imagine what the minutemen would've sounded like if we didn't have our captain. it's hard for me to even write about it now, very emotional for me.

   it was sure good to speak w/warren again, he lives in paris (originally from this land) and I last saw him right before I hurt my knee last summer when he came and saw the stooges at the olympia good. he's a great cat. his fellow grinderman nick cave is on the flight too. big respect - he's in alongside us in line as I explain (try to) my third opera structure/intent. I got to spend time w/ncik on my first "big day out" tour - am huge fan of birthday party. hell, I spent a lot of time w/warren too, jammed a tune every gig w/him and the dirty three, real good cats. festivals can be good for these kind of things, these kinds of connections.

   not as sweaty as five years ago when I was last here - brisbane can be humid. no signs of the big time nightmare floods that have ravaged queensland (the name of this state in northeast australia) but then much of that is more north. I've read the wiped-out areas are like the size of the entire countries of france and germany together - crimony! so sad. where only in brisbane long enough to land and get the sacks from baggage, it's an hour drive south to the gold coast and where konking at a 'tel called versace in the main beach part which is actually a marina full of boats and jetski slips. it's around six bells and I hoof to find a liquor store that's got a pint of beam for twentytwo dollars! (a can of beer four) and yeah, ten years ago an australian dollar was fifty cents when I was here w/j mascis + the fog but now it's dead even w/the u.s. one. I'm told taxes are sixty-five percent of the price. I ain't whining though (or winging - I found out it's not just a different spelling her but a different word - however, seem meaning and england's got it too), it's ok cuz I think a lot of it's about a really weak u.s. dollar. shit, they gotta pay for their healthcare w/something, right? I find a cheap sandwich, a little one cuz i ain't that hungry. I get some soda water too.

two birds at the main beach marina on the gold coast in australia

   gig day and I pop at seven bells, hoof to find only one pad open, right on the marina. bacon and eggs w/coff for eighteen bucks! still, half or less than the fuckin' 'tel shovel - no free trough like lots of europe. I hoof around to move up my knee some, sure is stiff. in the afternoon after some diary chimping I prac beginnings and endings up in james williamson's room w/him and scotty-san. I finish the chimp and get the first gig diary up via the free internet - I think this is the only pad all tour like that.

   we bail from the 'tel at 4:30 pm and even w/all the traf, we get to the venue by five cuz not too far. the gig's sold out. lots of folks, mostly young people enjoying the good weather. I remember when the stooges played this festival in this town five years ago (w/ronnie), it was way humid and kind of tough to work. tonight we got it calm. ig's a little worried about the stage facing west but maybe the sun will be going down soon after we start which is six and a half. james williamson says he's gonna wear sun glasses, he says him and scotty-san are gonna look like "the blues brothers" - ha! actually maybe james has got that style of sun glass going but not our drummerman and anyways, he's always wearing his shades (kind of two-tone, lighter on the bottom) for gigs. me, I ain't wearing any - hell, I take my seeing ones off anyway and put them on the drum riser cuz I know they're gonna fall of if I don't. I know ig ain't gonna wear any, maybe for the same reason. I remind him of reading in 2005 and venezia in 2008, those were blister babies! I remember ig hollering at redding, "block out the sun!" in the middle part of "tv eye" - it was intense! maybe a hundred degrees which is real crazy for england. anyway, there's some chow on the table for us again like last gig and between two pieces of bread from a fat roll I put some olives, cheese and salami along w/some pesto from a little holder and it's some good eating. yeah, no need for catering for me after we play, nope! ig gives us a little briefing on stuff. we're gonna use the 'c' list tonight. pretty similar to the 'd' one, pretty much. there was no time for the stenched outfit of mine to get washed so that's why I bring two though these black levis are starting to fade some. I love my levis to fade natural but black ones are new for me and it's kind of trippy. the idea was to have them match w/my solid black flannel shirt and that's pretty much staying dark. no big deal. I sit on the couch and work the bass w/james and scotty (james just guitar w/no amp and scotty w/sticks on the couch) and we go by the tunes in order. hell, I think it's good and anyway it helps while away the time which can make you crazy w/the nerves... waiting waiting waiting! it's getting near enough now for me to make my way and go a little earlier. however, there's no one to show me where the stage is! everyone's busy of course - I don't blame them! also, like big baka, I forgot my laminate pass at my 'tel chamber - what fucking idiot I am. charney helps w/a guest one - I feel like a total douche. I see bobby from primal scream http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primal_Scream - he's one of the most passionate lovers of the stooges I have ever met and I've just always liked him - the bassman mani from the group too. bobby gives me big hugs and wishes me luck. they go on pretty soon on another stage but he says he's gonna see as much as our gig as he can. he is true stooges believer, much respect, much to him from me. I kind of know where the big stage is - actually there's two main ones right next to each other for easier setup on one while the other's going w/an act... we're on the blue one again - or is it orange? I see helperman derek and ask for help but he's gotta piss. w/my lame knee, I don't want panic mode so that's why I'm out earlier - good, I find where I'm to go - can't come around from the back so I have to cross behind scotty-san's drums. I guess it's ok, maybe look like dork person who isn't in a band - that's how it was in the minutemen days! mr slouch gives me the bass and I'm back in the wings but this time making sure road boss eric can see from the other side so as not to repeat stupid move I did in auckland and make ig uneasy about him know I was ready. today I got the laney nexus bass amp but not the tube (or like they say in england: valve) kind but the fet transistor power section w/tube preamp model but it's still better than those lame laney rb9 ones I had in auckland. one of the cabs is the laney nexus kind also (8x10) and the other one is an ampeg svt - actually mr slouch is running both cabs from the laney head and the svt head is running a 2x10 box firing sideways at me. there's two other heads next to the cabs connected to nothing! back up maybe? scotty-san's got the same kind of dw kit he last had. james williamson has two half stacks from blackstar (different ones than auckland - actually one of those had to be replace before that gig w/a half stack marshall cuz it crapped out at prac the day before) and the combo backstar makes to be similar to a vox ac-30. of course brother steve has his "fun house" era tenor sax though some brass had to be added to the bottom cuz of it taking a blow in a fall the past late autumn euro tour he did w/kamilsky (the case blew out and broke open, allow it to drop). I know he's got his harmonica is his pocket - he told me he forgot last gig but luckily there was another on stage somehow. ok ok - time for the gig - I see james trot out w/the sunglasses on - time for me to go. I hobble as quick as I can but not too wild cuz I don't wanna tumble... I get to mr slouch just in time, he's holding the cord right in front of the amps and I nervous nervous get it in the jack and my glasses off and onto the riser w/like a second to go, whew... the sound for the bass is big and loud - night and day from last gig - "raw power" blasting us out for the liftoff! fuck, I'm feeling stiff in the legs some though. I mean of course the fucked knee is part of it but I think I didn't stretch my legs enough - I know I didn't cuz I ran through the stuff w/the guys back stage sitting on the couch. aaarrggghhhh, I feel awkward. I hope my playing don't sound flakey and reflect that! baka watt. stiff stiff legs, even into the next one "search and destroy" and it seems like I'm only an "upperhalf" man balancing barely on ready-to-tumble "floormount" lower half. ig's singing great though and it inspires to get all self-involved and caught up in distractions. the sun is in our face but it's filtered big time through clouds and aint' bad at all, actually it's very artistic and nice. I see bobby and his guitarist barrie stage-starboard, righteous. I gave him a fist and a quick look but not too much as fucking make me space... "gimme danger" now up and I wore the hair shirt in my mind all yesterday about that bad note I clammed at the bridges start - no clam there but some of my fills are kind not all together, what's up? not big time stinking it up but not deserving of what I owe this moment either, hmm... can't figure it out. I do recognize the fucking weakness though and get on it to reverse it which I do - the crowd is very much behind ig and giving him and us much support - ig calls for dancers cuz we're bring "shake appeal" on now, maybe the earliest we've ever had it in the set. these gold coast australia dancers are good ones, having much fun and still giving respect - I give 'em big grins of encouragement as we rock this stage all together. ig's right there leading the whole frenzy. very happening. I think this tune is a GREAT dance tune, yes! tour boss henry's right near - in front of scotty-san's highhat side crash where I'm at his floor tom side one. I see henry wince when james overfrets a b-flat and clams - henry knows what's going on! funny. ig thanks the dancers - the plan in the briefing before the gig was to go straight into "death trip" w/out the spiel or even w/dancers still straggling but that's not the way it happened - I think it's very ok, no prob. you know, we get caught up in the good time and it's hard just to work it like machinery. ig goes down in the moat between the stage and the folks and works lots of the tune from there - I do believe there's cameras to put images on huge side screens. I sound baka about this cuz actually I haven't been in front of these big stages yet but I imagine so. for sure I see camera men all around the stage. I think the plan was also to make this tune a little shorter but I can't tell if that's what ended up happening - I do know I was digging big time and my legs started to loosen up some, good. the briefing mentioned no band intros but in fact ig changes course on this too and we get the credit from him to the folks before "1970" slams in - very cooking and boiling over into "l.a. blues" - I can't get up on the riser, in fact before "shake appeal" I told mr slouch that maybe there's too big a cutoff between the bass cabs been acoustically coupled to the deck by having them up on these risers, the sound is loud but kind of weird. he turns up so low end on the 2x10 cab cuz that actually is on the deck. I can't fuck the amps w/the bass - too his for me to get up on this riser safe enough, I can't tumble now. i get pretty sharp w/the freak out - damn, I get the 'e' and 'a' strings pretty much back but the 'd' got so flat (yeah, this one was different than the other two going sharp) I had to the end of "beyond the law" completely on the 'a' string (of course this after we came out of the "skull thing" interlude - twenty bars of "skull ring" w/no singing) - I'm guessing this is from the tuning keys getting hit and twisted w/the palsy amp fucks (they were really palsy tonight, like I've already chimped) - aaaarrrggghhh, at this point of the set the tunes are really run tight bam-bam-bam so not much time for tuning, like none! I gotta quicker on this. oh, I spaced on mentioning "night them" cuz that's what followed freakout "l.a. blues" but that tune didn't use the 'd' string - am I fucking confusing things?! sorry. ig wants a right - his says he deserves human rights and damn right he does - we lower the boom on "I've got a right" and smack it hard. dark's coming on now and we're flying. I notice I got my camera in my back pocket - I feel it, right when ig's in the end choruses asking "do you feel it, do you feel it?" too much. "I wanna be your dog" follows right up, I mean right up and plow up much rock field w/it, much! this stage is way high and the moat way wide so no stage dives from ig (like last gig - same situation, pretty sure same stage stuff) but he works the folks from the deck, maybe more in this tune than he's up on the stage w/us. singing great, he continues that way as we go into "open up and bleed" w/the band a little more assured/together than auckland, sounding good. I think the piezo acoustic stuff james does here and in "gimme danger" is still a little piddle on stage, no real soundcheck in this kind of festival situation but it's nothing to blow the tune out of the water. I know it's a little frustrating for him some though, kind of distracting as he fools w/the switches - that's what he told me after but he did overall good w/that stuff, it is different that plain old guitar into amp and go stuff, more challenging, more to go wrong. we end our set w/"no fun" right after this no-run-off-the-stage ending we've cooked up for "...bleed" - ig tosses the mic way high and it comes down only an inch from james' foot as he start his solo - what a cue! I hobble a little closer to him to give reassurance. there was a mic stand toss earlier too - same for my side but I've learned to trust and not freak out too bad. ig works a gig hard - 'nut said! we're off and we gather back stage around ig but maybe I'm a little slow or whatever getting there cuz everyone starts heading back so I about face and get the bass from mr slouch - "your pretty face is going to hell" is gonna be the real closer. ig falls back into the cup, right in front of scotty-san on his drum riser and between me and james, staying w/us and not moving out 'til later in the second verse. he goes "downstairs" and works the crowd at the barrier - several screamed versions of what I figure are either lyric guesses or just freak outs cuz they got some mic time - one lady's screech is so loud and at a certain frequency that it almost pops my eyes out! wasn't ready for that one... I think I was a little ahead at the beginning of the ending (is that 'tard chimping or what?) but I for certain make sure I hit that last note w/scotty-san, it is a weird place that I can't figure sometimes when they want that going, even w/the vocal cues but... we close it up and end our set. big respect to the kind folks giving us big enthusiasm - no sign of arm-folders or chin-strokers ('member I said I saw a little group of them at the last gig?) and even one little pit that had "toss-launch" thing going where a circle of cats would combine their arms for a bonus toss to lift one cat way off. I'm the last to hobble back to the backstage but it's ok - everyone hoofed it this time, no van ride.

   a little bit of talking about the gig - the band guys liked it - I've said I think we played better than auckland even w/the stiff beginning (maybe that was just me and not the whole band, it was what I was feeling about myself) and we were blessed w/calm temperature/humidity and even sun glare (there was none, james had his sunglasses in the collar of his shirt after only a couple tunes) and a very kind and into-it crowd to work the gig for. james has an interview to do but today that band red bacteria vacuum is on after us and not the same time so he wants me to be "his eyes and ears" (he met them at the 'big day out' startup party in auckland) and so charney helps me navigate my way on over to the "lilyworld" stage which is where they're playing. it takes a while but I get there just as they're going on and watch them from the side. they have a lot of fun doing their gig. I journey back myself and get a little lost, sometimes scary cuz of finding myself in total swamped-out turf but I find I dried backroad and am so grateful both to have found whence I came and to have not tumbled.

   ig and james finish their interview, ig comes in to tell us is idea of the gig: "it was a thrill" he says and I'm so happy. I hate to bug him w/shit like "what did you think?" though I've done that before - probably cuz I'm so insecure. nina gives the thumbs up - yatta! I just wanna do good for this band so much, so fucking much. I keep trying. new primal scream man barrie comes in to talk some, a very nice man. mani comes by for a little bit too. there's free clothes from some company but one: I don't really dig the style and two: my yellow sack is stuffed and packed. we pull anchor and get back to the 'tel around ten bells. fuck, I konk w/out a soak.

wednesday, january 26, 2011 - sydney, australia

   monday I pop at seven and soak good and long - fuck, should've done this last night! short hoof to get some coff cuz that's the only thing at the crapdonald's I'm putting down the hatch cuz it's the only thing open. we drive back north from the gold coast to brisbane around noon, the baggage going ahead of us w/jos, derrek and mr slouch. I think it's a qantas airbus 330 we fly to sydney - I know it was qantas cuz james williamson had me come to "the lounge" w/him and there was free chow for me to shovel there - lots of stuff w/olive oil like pieces of insides of eggplant, salad and also salami and cheese - of course whole olives w/the pits out too - not primo but pretty ok and gratis. I'm hardly ever in these parts of the airport. it's an hour flight - we also lose an hour cuz sydney in new south wales uses daylights savings time where brisbane in queensland does not. not too long of a drive into the heart of the harbor of sydney where we stayed at five years ago, the four seasons. not all of us but all of us in this ride cuz the ones in the other ride stay at another 'tel - division of labor!

   I chimp tour diary while waiting for brother steve to come by for the radio show (twfps.com) but he's trying to get this usb modem from vodaphone we all got to get internet the whole trip for eighty dollars instead of the up to thirty fucking ripoff whatever these burnward fancy konk pads have and shit, he never shows but does call late when road boss eric gets success - I fucking forgot mine at the last pad and tour boss henry will bring when he arrives tomorrow (him, ig and nina stayed there and extra day, he'll do the same thing here in sydney when we're done), baka fucking watt leaving a breadcrumb trail of tour donate! I'm very grateful to henry. anyway, brother steve was so happy he did get connect success he wanted me to shovel shitty pizza w/him and eric but I wave it off cuz actually I did do a tiny wander in the afternoon and tried something for god-knows-why, they called booger king "hungry jack" here and I wan curious what an "aussie burger" was cuz they pad was right on the quay by the boats, not inside but open out like and well, turns out it's a whopper w/a fried egg (kind of) and beets added. well. kind of different taste but whoppers already ain't that happening. it's kind of like thinking of turns w/corn in them. we'll do the radio show together tomorrow I tell brother steve and soon konk after some english-go prac w/eiko-san.

   tuesday morning pop and I find a chow pad by the quays that has like an england old fashion breakfast w/out the baked beans or tomatoes, along w/coff it costs twenty bucks! what?! it's like the dollar has half the buying power here, everything is AT LEAST doubled. I talk about it w/the ibis birds the peck in the grass for chow around me - I should've joined them - they look happy and man, they are friendly. I go back to 'tel chamber and brother steve meets me there to do an edition of the watt from pedro show that features him and his new album "sometimes like this I talk" that you can at the polyglot agency this february twentysecond. we play the whole thing w/him offering commentary on each track. it's got stuff from all over he's done in the last five years (I'm on bass on four of the tunes). oh, also I got from "the captain" some brand new jack flanders and played the first episode of "steam dreamers of inverness" in the third hour. I've been a huge listener since I first heard these late at night on kpfk as a teenager - "the fourth tower of inverness" was the first one they did back in 1971. BIG respect to mr meatball fulton! anyway, me and the saxman have a good time and finish up just as the gallucci brothers timothy-ben and jacob come by to bring me to the abc (australian broadcast company) building to record a spiel. five years ago I played w/them as gallucci - brother steve joining us - at the cantina pacific here in sydney and we had a blast! this time timothy-ben has me windbag at least three hours about my music journey for me seems to go by really quick cuz of the great stuff he asks and also him just letting me wail on it w/out a cattle prod to the forehead but it put poor jacob to sleep for much of it. he was beat from coming home just two days ago from southern italy - a twentythree hour hellride but I gotta bear some responsibility. timothy-ben also played me some new gallucci using spiel I sent them from me sitting by the sea in my pedro town I did. they did really good. they go and take me to chow pad in sydney's chinatown after and I eat some real good pepper squid which is like lightly breaded calamari w/pepper and chilies, good eats and good time w/these fratelli (brothers in italian), they are truly righteous cats.

jacob + timothy-ben nicastri in sydney's chinatown on january 25, 2011

mike watt in sydney's chinatown chowing squid on january 25, 2011

I konk soon after getting back and getting the radio show up.

   gig day and I choose to hose off today, don't know why but did. go out and it's warming up quick get a sandwich at quay, a good fresh one on a baguette w/roast beef, good mustard, lettuce, onions and some cheese for nine bucks australian. yeah, real fresh and nothing fried - I can dig it. I go and read the preview copy jack grisham has sent me of his upcoming book, whoa... what a life jack's lived. he's always been nice to me - way back in the old days. I used to thing they were so good looking when up to that time good looking young guys from the suburbs weren't really part of what I saw in the hollywood scene - but reading this, whoa, this was wild shit and kind of criminal! I'm so glad he lived to tell the tale! I just always liked him, he always gave respect to me. this other thing was fucking wild - maybe like there was two jacks? it's a trippy thing, a very trippy thing.

   four bells and a 'big day out' driver man in a van comes to the four seasons 'tel and gets me and brother steve to take us to the 'tel w/scotty-san and james. I get enlightened by james on the subject of fa'faine seeing he got way aroused after observing some cats on the streets in auckland, charney turned him onto some information he now shares w/us on the ride to the venue. now I went to high school w/some samoa guys and especially carson and banning high some big ones doing line work on the football teams, defensive backs and stuff like that but I was unaware of this. I am grateful for james enlightening me - you'd be surprised but he does that a lot on tour, scotty-san's learned me a bunch too as has brother steve. on top of that of course is ig... the stooges is a righteous class room! cuz of the holiday, traff is tiny, great. the festival's at some place where they have stuff like country fairs back home, the sydney showground - I think there were olympics here once too. right when we get to our chamber, james and scotty-san start warming up.

scott asheton (left) + james williamson (in mirror) backstage warming up for the  'big day out' gig in sydney on jan 26, 2011

I'm a little sentimental and wanna think about things... I remember this "barn" where the dressing rooms are big time - this is where I met the guys in the go! team five years ago to the day. what a trip, huh? brother sam was the one who knew about me - he told me his buddy had painted a giant redproduction of d. boon on the back of the "double nickels on the dime" album cover. I remember hank rollins was doing his spoken word spiel that year too - he was amazing, keeping folks' attention at an event like this - that man has some big fuckin' spiel skills, respect! he'd watch us from the side of the stage too. he told me maybe after this gig (or was it the gold coast one?) "scotty's left hand, it's all about scotty's left hand." sleater-kinney was on the festival also, maybe it wasn't too much longer before they didn't play together any more. I took my buddy raymond to see them a couple times in hollywood... anyway, big difference today is I didn't go down earlier w/the crew guys like I did then so I can't see the other bands. you probably know the reason why: this fucked up knee...

   no time to feel sorry for the fucking baka slef (acutally there's never a good time), it's coming on ten of seven so I hobble the not too far away hoof to the stage, again the "blue stage" which is right next to the "orange stage" which is just finishing up its act (john butler trio) but I can't see it cuz of canvas partitions. helperman jos is making last moment adjustments to our setup and mr slouch greets me w/a grin.

jos grain (left) + mr slouch (right) onstage for the 'big day out' gig in sydney on jan 26, 2011

he then hands me over the red brian michael "anchor" bass after I get a shot of him - yeah, again I find myself w/my camera in my back pocket! my side back behind the curtain is perfect place to meet anyone coming up the stairs and here comes ig, I give deep bow to him and the rest of the band as they pass to get to the other side out of sight. I don't hear the holler I know ig gave me them but I do see james williamson trot out in his "muscle shirt" (he won't call it a wife-beater, maybe cuz it's black color and not white?) and sun glasses on. I do my quickest hobble to my stage-starboard position, mr slouch giving me the cord and I nervous get it in as "raw power" chords are coming from james... whew, I get in just as scotty rolls up the intro and we're off - the gig is on! I was wrong about where the sun is or maybe whoever told me the stage was facing south was mistaken... I know the sun doesn't see exactly in the west but man, if right in front of us is twelve o'clock then that blazing ball (you know there's supposed to be less ozone protection in this part of the world, right?) is like at one or one-thirty. crimony, it is fucking intense! the old magnifying-glass-on-the-plastic-army-man scenario. I'm laughing though cuz man, I'm getting to play w/the stooges - I care what kind of hell is piled on me - I'm working bass for the stooges! I get a little carried away though, baka watt. you know that line "raw power can destroy a man" maybe? well, I destroyed the lick there for that moment, those words somehow coming out of my mouth and distracting me. don't know why but that's what happened. baka watt! my legs don't feel tight like last gig but my port-side hip does, damn. the crowd has believable energy considering this heat, crimony - hard to believe. respect to them though. there were cheering/chanting ig's name one beat after the "orange stage" act finished. "search and destroy" up next and ig sings a lot of it w/the mic in the stand cuz I know he's trying to conserve energy for the long hall but that don't mean "stiff pose" world either, just more of the verses that way and the leaps and dancing for the choruses. it's still fucking amazingly kinetic. I do another clam as he comes in close, getting caught up in his emotion some, I put in a couple lower fourths instead of just roots in the first part of a verse - why? focus a little confused I think but at least no sourass. it was very brief clam but still catches me in my craw and I holler inside, calling myself baka. bass is sounding good though, mr slouch having the 8x10 cabs on the deck one stacked on top of the other instead of them on a riser. ig tells the crowd "we're the stooges" and thanks them, right after saying he doesn't know what for but thank you anyway. this heat's a beatdown and I understand big time why thinking straight can get a little tough... "gimme danger" he hollers and here it comes. I do it better than both the last two gigs but I gotta admit it wasn't clam-free yet, fuck! it's getting there though. there's something mental about it w/me, must be. love this tune - love all the stooges tunes! he calls for dancers to help us on "shake appeal" - he just did a good amount dancing himself, loosening up from the second to third number though the sun in no way seems to relent, crimony! I know I keep chimping that but fuck... very young sydney dancers but they're all good and big time full of positive joy - laughing and smiling big time. smiling too is helperman derek, alright! he's one of the kindest cats ever I've met so that's why I did baka comment last entry about seeing him sourass at this point of the set. it was just such a contrast to the derek I know. of course, we want protection for ig if someone fucks up and forgets about being a decent human being and attacks him but you can just feel the tanoshi vibe these young folks got by dancing up here on the stage w/ig, it's fucking great. tour boss henry is drum riser center front and helps me lead us out w/perfect on time head bobs - thank you, henry! thank you sydney dancers - lots of big hugs and shakes for everyone when we finish but not time for the usual stage clearing while brother steve improvises sax - there's lots of dancers up here as ig calls for "death wish" but there's a prob w/the into and though we get in back on w/a bar or two, he asks us to stop and start over and actually, I hear the same mistake but get on w/the drums and plow it through ig weaving in and out of the on-stage crowd still getting cleared while working much the far wings also. I rolled my black flannel sleeves up for the last tune but the starboard side's already coming down - fuck it, don't get distracted I'm telling myself. I do hit a lower fourth for the last w/the eleventh - what? the eleventh ok but why an 'e' w/it (the song's in 'a')? not sourass but, but... no band intros - right in to "1970" the sun blazing still and it's kind of a rough start so I let those guys go one riff 'round before I join them and can make ship shape solid. the ending cue's got scotty now on both floor toms which sounds great and it come kind of quick - maybe smart move w/this weather - I see scotty's t-shirt that has "beat" written in the middle of a drum drawing totally soaked, I've never seen a shirt that drenched on him, especially at this point in the set (later road boss eric tells me it was drenched cuz jos was early on pouring water on all of scotty to keep his cool) - I go off as much as a crippled up person can on the bass for "l.a. blues" w/all the freak out both this tune deserves and the pressures of the sun and humidity being put on it. this time in amp fucks though I get the 'e' string way WAY flat and I can't see the l.e.d. read out cuz of the sunglare, aaarrrggggghhhh... don't wanna mute but fuck, scotty brings in "night theme" after the very strange intervals I had going for the "a love supreme" quotes - I think the 'e' was as far down as an 'a' which was weird to say the least. I gotta go for it w/my ear and I get it pretty close but man, I feel a little (LITTLE?) stupid - baka watt. next gig for sure I mute and get a good tuning as quick as possible - I know I can do it quick, I know it. "skull thing" ain't counting on the 'd' string (thank god) but the one it segues into sure does or does it - I substitute the 'd' string notes for up-on-the-neck 'a' string ones - never did it before but I winged it pretty ok, pretty much ok. same w/the tune's coda, actually it sounds strong cuz of how fat the notes are down there on the 'a' string before the twelfth (after that they actually sound thinner, aaarrrrgggghhhh). immediately ig asks if he can get a right and scotty brings us to give him one - give him that and the "I got a right" tune! hard-charger, yes! the sun is finally getting below the stadium's top rows, whew. I don't know how to substitute for the 'd' string notes on this one so hearing them flat, I got crank on the tuning machines - shit, they're the other way from what I'm used to on mine, of course! luckily "I wanna be your dog" don't use them and that's next. ig's got the whole crowd pulsing w/the beat, he's been "downstairs" a bunch - back and forth, whoa - working the front of the barricade and then up w/us. I do wish his voice was louder. this one of the quietest gigs for me hearing ig's singing on stage in a while. I just know mixman max has him good out front in the house, just know it. not much time before the "open up and bleed" but there is enough for me to get a full tune in (maybe ten seconds?) so that's a relief, whew. there's a foul-up at the end f the the first big chorus and ig's pissed. many blows w/the deck using the poor mic stand w/the tiny little legs - he even comes for the drums and then turns and puts his hands around my throat. I ain't scared of that but I am a little scared of losing my balance and tumbling over. I don't though cuz he cares for me, I know it. just a lot of frustration - and this heat/humidity. we finish up w/"no fun" and it's the straightest I've ever played it. we get off and back to listen to ig think outlaid about tonight's difficulties - the heat and no air. scotty-san tells him he feels like his head is on fire, oh dear! fuck, I feel for him. ig says he wants to redeem the gig though - he asks scotty can we do another and the reply is yes (yatta!) we go and belt out a pretty thundering "your pretty face is going to hell" and cuz of the not-so-happening monitor situation he's not much in the cup formed by the drums/guitar/bass in front of the riser, he works it good w/the people on the deck - man, they are big time into it, even this one gig w/big middle fingers up the whole time. the end is a little rough, the very end but the final note is on, the final one I do cuz scotty-san draws it out. we're done. I hold on to james' shoulder to help me get off over his side of the stage w/him. ig, nina and henry get in a car right there at the bottom of the stairs and do "a runner" which means they bail straight from the venue here and back to their 'tel.

   the rest of the band takes a van to go the thirty yards to the dressing room area while I hoof w/road boss eric and he kind of "debriefs" me - I appreciate his words much, they give me good perspective I find myself short on. mixman max is like that too and even kind of more so cuz he's also a musician - he spiels to me in the dressing room when we get there - no, let me revise that: their both different perspectives but both just as valid, both just as valuable to me. I'm very grateful to them. mr slouch has good words to make sense of things - fuck, so does jos. all these guys are righteous cats and very kind to me w/their honesty and non-yesman relating w/me. they give me straight-ahead thoughts w/out pulled punches and the resulting horseshit that can be there when sycophants lay on their act. I appreciate the straight talk, big time. everyone goes to chow or see other folks play or visit but I just stay on the couch w/my shirt off - even taking my chucks and socks off cuz I got hot - I got real fucking hot and wanna cool down slow. I ain't saying just sweat-soaking the black flannel shirt, sweatsoaking the levis but even sweat-soaking the fucking socks - crimony! pretty intense. I tell you this though: no cramps, none. mixman max's suggested of that coconut water before the gig worked GREAT! thank you, brother max.

   whoa, that was a trip. it was a test on us, surely - whoa, that heat. I thought except for some clams that we did pretty good though, pretty good. of course I want ig to be happy so that can bring me down some when he ain't - I wanna do better for him and up his spirits. this what I'm gonna do tomorrow, we got another go at this same pad, at this same festival. I wanna do good for the stooges, always. I can try harder, focus more on focusing, concentrate more on concentrating.

   we drive back to the 'tel - the guys are all talking about the australian open tennis tournament going on. we arrive "home" right at ten... easy up the elevators tonight, guess those giant suitcases got stuffed w/shopping last night and there's no more room for anything else! I empathize w/them. I read about "australia day" on the web - actually there's indigenous folks here who call it "invasion day" and I can very much see their point. man, am I slow learner!

aboriginal soldiers poster pasted up in an alley

I do learn the lesson from last gig and do a tub soak and feel so much better for it, so much. I am very beat and konk very hard.

thursday, january 27, 2011 - sydney, australia

   pop at six bells, hose off w/out soak. hobble downstairs - all gray and way different than yesterday - fuck, 'pert-near looks/smells like rain coming! I find chow bad in small mall downstairs and get cheapest breakfast yet this tour ($10.80 australian) which has got eggs that've been sitting on a plate (maybe not too long?), baked beans, a skinny hotdog-sized sausage, some ham-like bacon, a few zucchini slices, mushrooms and toast. it's ok. some coff too, what they call "long black" - I think it's coffee w/some hot water w/it. I hobble around by quays after sitting w/the ibis birds as the roam for chow in the grass just outside where I shoveled. those isis birds had no fear - come right up. I read somewhere they're the last birds to leave before a storm comes and the first back. that beak is something - everyone's seen them in the egyptian hieroglyphs, right? their isis god had a head like one sometimes. amazing beak on these babies.

ibis in sydney

   I go back to the 'tel and chimp yesterday's diary when the gallucci brothers timothy-ben and jacob come bye to say hi - brother steve recorded some sax for them and they give me their latest album. right then jefrey siler a transplant from atlanta back in the u.s. who I visited w/last time I was here comes by for me to do a spiel for his "talking singles, drinking doubles" series. I spiel about the concept of the single - that idea of ONE SONG that in the old days was mainly on seven inch vinyl not lasting all that long.

   repeating yesterday's routine, me and brother steve get picked up from our 'tel along w/scotty's family and go to his and james' 'tel. we travel again through their part of the harbor (our part is nearer harold's square and the sydney opera house), across the water there's an amusement park w/the same scary giant clown entrance like I've seen before in melbourne, right after we pass the "sculpture" of a small car crushed w/a huge bolder - some nice art. already it seems like it's gonna be much cooler than yesterday, a good thing and even less humid. back to the sydney olympic grounds, both scotty and james relate their post-gig calls w/ig last night and they say already he was in a much better mood. I'm relieved cuz I sure wanna do good and make him happy. we're ready to start doing prac on song beginnings and endings and he joins us to see how we've hooked "johanna" and "kill city" 'pert-near together - he seems good and happy which is righteous. a smiling ig is a very happening thing to behold! the list we got for tonight is the "b list" - there were four different sets we did prac on in west hollywood - did I already mention that? anyway, this is the b one. the chow (deli plates) tastes bad here in the room, I think it's old. all the other gigs so far have had these be real good but not so much today (not trying to be a winger!) but the cheese is good and I have that w/the crackers along w/a couple of bottles of the coconut water to hydrate w/for the gig. worse than getting sweaty is getting cramps, way worse cuz I can't work the bass w/hands that fold up into claws. our prac goes good and I walk around inside this barn-like building to get my legs loose. brian richie from the violent femmes has come from tasmania (where he lives now) to see the gig and stops by to say hi.

   I go to the stage earlier like I usually do (downbeat is for seven pm and we'll do fiftyfive minutes I'm guessing - five over the allotment!) and charney comes w/me. we get to talking about my fucked up knee and about halfway to the stage area, it gives way and I crumple - just like that. she's surprised and helps me up, thinking I dropped to the ground on purpose, like for a joke. I don't blame her and it is a fucking trip that out of the blue and more bizarre, while I'm talking about it I go down. it was so sudden, I dropped on the starboard knee and hurt it a little bit. the hurt one has a brace and it kind of padded the blow but the unhurt one had just levi and whoa, it took a blow. I ain't destroyed though and get right back up as a paramedic passes me by and kind of gives me some sourass look - yeah, like I was faking it or maybe I'm borracho (intoxicated). I remember in high school, before surgeries on both knees I could be standing next to the wall out by the main flag pole where me and d. boon and our buddies would hang out for class break and people would see me just collapse out of nowhere and not understand it. those were more horrible though cuz almost every time there was a kneecap dislocation involved - the most fucking intense pain I've ever had in my life, truly. fucking nightmare. so no pain like that but good wheel taking blow is tough. actually it's been that way since july when port-side got hurt cuz starboard-side always been weaker (got hurt much more in more-younger days) but had to "man-up" when port-side got beatdown.

   I get up stage-starboard on the blue one and ready myself behind the curtain... same as yesterday though I don't see the band airborne stuff - they had twelve stacks of marshals for each side of the stage which of course is barely ridiculous. here comes ig up the stairs - I let him see me so he knows I'm ready, easy to do here cuz he has to pass to get to where he likes us to come on. see, if I did that, I'd have the longest way to go so... I must've chimped about this stupid shit already, right? I see james trot on - he's got the "muscle shirt" going but it's way overcast so no sun blaze and the ambient temp is pretty calm too. whew, I just get the jack in the bass in time - here we come, "raw power" right from the hip and into the australian faces. I'm feeling the hurt starboard knee but fuck it - well, not total cuz I gotta be careful but I put as much focus I can into the playing and no clams (later helperman derrick will tell me he heard bass clam in opening tune but I swear I had this one together - guess we need the audio... who recorded this gig?) - it's gotta be like ten or whatever degrees cooler and not blaze-cannon of sun water-hosing you w/heat ray either, night and day from yesterday. "search and destroy" I know I gunned real good - ig's got my attention boat full-on hitched to his cleat, every twist and sing he does translates into beat and groove for me to fatten up w/the bass. the loose nut I showed james earlier at prac being held on w/string tension is holding up good. I do my best "gimme danger" of the tour yet but still some flatted intervals a couple of moments like a fucking baka - I know ig felt one cuz some body language was very much understood but it wasn't flailed like a beatdown, maybe him even involuntarily backhanding me from some spaceout place to goddman here and now. "your pretty face is going to hell" was supposed to follow but at the last minute got switched to last - instead, dancer time and throng of good hearted folks get up to shake w/ig and us. a girl and a boy coming running from the side - not folks from the crowd but kind of sidemouse-like and oblivious to anything but getting themselves attention, they bump into me, into my hurt knee but luckily I don't go down - this was not cool, this doesn't happen hardly from audience but these who felt it was important they'd get right in the middle (blocking scotty-san, crowding ig) and not giving a shit if they trampled the crippled bass player. I didn't let it effect me though, the stooges music was too important and i had good focus plus the REAL dancers, the REAL people were wild to play for, giving it all they and I could see their faces lit up so much w/joy big time that it was righteously intense. ig tells a little story about "johanna" - a little one and man, I have like a vacuum tube get pushed into my head all I remember is the big 'e' note for a bit - whoa, the intervals come back but damn, was that a scare - way more scarier even than them pricks who just ran into me from behind... I get together though and don't think I played anything out of key - we do have a probe at the end when I forgot to cue scotty-san my first bass "solo" was coming and he played through it - I should've cued him, baka watt. ig sang this baby so good, so good! this whole tour his voice has been righteous and the cooler weather today is letting him dance real fine - he shows some real steps in our next one, "fun house" - he cuts up the rug-stage like nobody's business, wow! then it's bam! right into "1970" w/out any band intros - a big time blitz and blaze trailing straight into a cliff of "l.a. blues" freak-a-toria! I tear it up w/the wild, fuck the amps w/bass between us and still get all tuned w/out dead air 'til a beat a head of scotty bring in "night theme" shimmering into "skull thing" riffing into "beyond the law" - got it together here today, concentrating on concentrating! no time for laurel resting though, "no fun" right up next and instead of bailing, we close w/ig telling the folks he's transforming, he's changing, he's morphing into... a... "I wanna be your dog" should be a good enough clue, right? during the calm part, he's working it "downstairs" and tells someone wearing a rock band t-shirt w/a rock band on it that he's gonna stretch things out so maybe that band never gets seen tonight! we come back for "...pretty face..." and slam it good! even the ending's got ig looking back at scotty-san and giving the thumbs up. there was a face down in the crowd that got sad at some banter, not realizing the showbiz part - I looked over and kept saying it's ok, it's ok - I know the boyfriend understood and hope he explained. that was trippy. it was however I think a very happening stooges gig, a real good one. my knees are sore but you know? they didn't buckle. I'm the last to get off and get down the stairs and up come the rammstein cats - I shake the singerman's gloved hand and tell him "good luck, boss" - they are an intense-looking crew and BOOM the explosions go off as they go... brother warren ellis is there to help me back, letting me crutch up on him as we make the slow-go back, him telling me there's gonna be a gig of the dirty three in melbourne - love that band, love them - love warren, respect. I thank him for helping me, for being him.

   I don't chow as everyone bails to do so, I get dressed in what I came in, the levi and italian plaid shirt stefano pilia sent me and ask charney if I get first subtle back to the 'tel. my knees are really beat and sore - I'm really beat. waiting a little bit for the ride-back, chino from deftones comes up to me to talk - whoa, been a long time since dos played w/them in scat! very nice man, he tells me his bassman chi is still in the coma he's been in but there's some one in the east part of the u.s. who's gonna try some kind of treatment to help him - god bless, crimony. w/in a half hour I'm in a car w/a young man from a australian band called the uv race and a man named simon who goes by dj jack shit and they both ask me about the old days and so the drive back seems real quick cuz of all the spiel they get to hear me windbag about days of yore but they really wanted to hear it, very very kind cats. respect.

   I tub-soak the soreness I have after getting a sack of chips at the little store across the street - the jordanian young man behind the counter telling me some about his land and the parts around it now - lots of those lands w/protest from young people wanting change. interesting man. across the road sitting on a little wall is a man named paul who turns out to be a friend of road boss eric, turns out to be roger, the cat who started flying nun records and we talk a bunch (very cool people, very nice cat) - yeah, IT WAS a little while before the tub-soak and much happy people visiting from china wailing on the elevators, very kind to me though. the soak done, watt's done and konked quick and fast.

sunday, january 30, 2011 - melbourne, australia

   friday I popped at seven and found a very gray and 'pert-near raining outside to go hoof and get my last chow in sydney. we're shoving off at ten but I gotta get the sack to road boss eric at nine and a quarter. I chow the exact same thing as yesterday - the lady says it must be cold back home... she mixes me up w/someone from chicago! that's ok. another qantas flight, this one on an airbus 330 for about an hour southwest to get to melbourne, same time zone but in the state of victoria. gone is the gray of the sydney we just came from, sunny and a little warm here but not humid. I'm big time caboose cuz of the slow-go I got going w/the hurt knees. it's ok for me but I hate making the guys wait. it's not too bad though. I just gotta be careful and not get worse off.

   the 'tel is called the langham just like the one in auckland - must be a chain. same pink keys, message pad paper and pens but the 'tel is built much different. it's on the south side of downtown, just overt the big river here called the yarra. there's a modern designed arched pedestrian bridge right next to the 'tel that takes you to the flinder street train station, you go right under the tracks in a hall where I gotta be careful cuz no handrails and there's tons of folks. it says "keep right" on the bulkhead but they drive on the wrong side here like in england, correct? everyone seems to be keeping to the right too so I'm confused. "don't spit" is also written, that's a little easier for me to understand. once on the north side, I get a tuna sandwich at a "subway" - you know the chain... this has gotta be the worst one I've ever had - maybe it's the mustard - I always get tuna/olives/pickles/chilies/mustard/salt/pepper but the only mustard they got is called "honey mustard" and I'm sorry but for me it's the fucking absolute worst. mazui! (nihon-go for "tastes terrible") real fucking mazui. I have to get some salt and vinegar potato chips next door (yeah, first subway I've seen that don't sell chips) to help choke this shit down. terrible. I see scotty-san and hi family. we hoof around a little together but I lose them just as some bicycleman hits me in the back of the leg - a very soft bump but enough that I crumple - he helps me right up though and I explain when he asks if I'm ok that I have fucked-up knee and it's not his fault. this is why I'm kind of scared of crowded places, crowded sidewalks. back at the 'tel I read mr grisham's incredible memoir, damn is it scary. trippy cuz in my mind I keep seeing jack smiling, no matter what hell the words are telling me. trippy. oh, I know who I missed in sydney - miss lara of el may fame. she had to bail the day before we played, damn. it would've be great to have her on my radio show again (she was on back in 2009), this time in her native land. she lives in so cal now and had to return. I know of only a few people who are amazing as she is on so many different instruments and singing - is there anything musical she can't do? I prac eigo w/eiko-san via the skype but man, it's late for me... konk right after.

   saturday after seven bell pop/soak I get north of the river and less than a block away find a chow pad called "pepperoni's" that's got what they call the big breakfast and it's england style fried everything except for spinach which is pretty soggy but get it down stuffed in w/the hasbrown maxipad stuffed in the toast w/ham-like bacon and weird sausage chomps - sixteen bucks for this but it is a lot, almost too much (there's shrooms and baked beans too)

what I shoveled the morning of january 29, 2011

- I gotta hoof or my gut will sandbag on me so I travel along the south bank after crossing over the pedestrian and over the sandridge bridge which is kind a trip - used to be an old railroad bridge but a bunch of art's been done to it so as to help try to tell some stories of the immigrants who have come to this land. I was wondering why it was twice as wide as you're allowed to walk on when I notice the huge stainless structures are on a rail that moves them on one side of a glass where the immigrant stuff is written. it was a trip cuz first I saw them bunched up and then later they were spread out - I thought was going crazy or something. I make the big loop and back over at the pedestrian one... downtown here in melbourne, it really is mixed - all kinds of folks. cuz of me cautiously making my way and looking for anything to tumble me over, I'm watching everywhere and everyone - the mix is very interesting, all kinds of cats. I like it.

   cuz of the slow go, the hoofing takes a few hours but it's relax day - we play tomorrow. I go read more of jack's crazy ride. for dinner I go across the river again and there's a pad called I got try cuz of the name ("lord of the fries") and I'm curious what a non-u.s. import burger is like here, just to try. the fries are big hand cut ones in a cone w/what they call vietnam sauce (mayo w/mild chili?) and the burger is tiny meat w/big bread - there's some jalapenos but not many. I thought it would be way dry but it's got a taste

what I shoveled the night of january 29, 2011

and ain't so bad or like swallowing a mouthful of sand - beats that "subway" staler I had yesterday but I don't know about another any time soon. there's enough fried chow in the breakfasts here! these kind of morning (and I gotta say evening ones where we don't have a gig) are nothing like my pedro ones - well, 'pert-near all of my pedro ones are made by me! I have been eating only twice a day and that's how I do it in pedro... seeing cats scull on the river sure makes me jones for my kayak in pedro - there's tons of pedalers too... all I got is hobbling for exercise but it's better than nothing, that's for sure. I watch li na lose out to kim cloisters which is ok though I was pulling for ms li who was winning at first but her good grace about losing the belgian lady being a ma and doing so good coming back was great. I think china fans hollering might've shook some nerve on ms li and she even hollered once at her husband coach but later she said she loved him even if he was a little fat and ugly. she's funny. I think the last time I watched tennis was five years ago when I was in perth (five years in a few days) and saw some china ladies come back to win the doubles. I have respect for these tennis folks and the hard work they do but not the patience though the "big day off" festival does throw my pedro time off enough to entertain this kind of different rhythm for me. makes konk come quick too!

   gig day and I soak again (tub's too short by yesterday I did the same thing, at least it ain't too shallow) and repeat the "pepperoni's" journey there and shovel but on the way back go past banana alley and over the queen's bridge to flinder's walk - I get some good angles on that sculpture - actually it's here where I figure out the sculptures moved and see the rail and stuff. it's a nice walk along the river, trippy stuff to see.

side of building on flinder's walk in melbourne on january 30, 2011

I wash the italian shirt stefano pilia gave me so I have something for the plane that won't gag people wednesday. I read much in the paper about this right-now upheaval in egypt, whoa. this more intense than tunisia just a few days ago. I think people can only take so much shit for only so long and then... pop goes the boss down!

   two and half bells: up to james' chamber to prac starts and stops for tonight's set. scotty-san a little apprehensive about tonight's gig cuz of the potential broiler sitch - I understand big time but hopefully we don't psych our selves out cuz of that, I tell him. of course I would 'pert-near charge over a cliff for the stooges cuz of my love for their music, for them... even all crippled up like I am now. by the way, helperman derek did a good job gluing the nut back on the bass. I'm ready for gig time!

   now it's four pm and a half hour away from the 'tel at horsetrack called flemington is where the gig is tonight. "big day out" melbourne is sold out at fiftytwo thousand and it's thirtyeight degrees c (just over a hundred f) but I'm thinking the humidity could be a lot worse - I don't know, doesn't seem as bad as sydney's first gig cuz for one thing, there's a breeze we didn't have at that showgrounds pad - this has got lots of grass and trees. ig comes in for a short briefing, he's in great spirits even though he's a little bit dreading the on-stage blaze, he laughs it off. ig's always inspiring but a happy one is even better! I warm up on the bass, trying to pump up the "johanna" bass stuff at the end, not by adding more intervals but fitting in some added grace notes to pump it up more. I play what I got for james and he's into it. i tell him about the time ig told us about cab calloway firing both charlie parker and dizzy gillespie for playing what he called "chinese jazz" or some shit... brother steve remembers! there's some good fixings for sandwiches, everything real fresh - a white cheddar to stuff in w/salami into round rolls plus cucumbers (cucumbers in sandwiches - like england!) and tiny orange roma tomatoes. I should've talked about this first cuz actually this is what I tore into upon arrival, even before I got my black levi/flannel outfit on - baka watt. road boss eric's wife christina's here and talking w/ig's wife nina as I'm outside working out fingers on the bass - not touching one for two days is that natural to me, nope! only happens on stooges tour actually cuz in my pedro town I'm not only doing prac but recording stuff (I call my pro tools set up in my pad "studio thunderpants") for other people's tune or demo ideas for mine. the time passes. eric brings me another knee brace. the starboard one is feeling better (this is the one not wrecked last july) but what the hell, I'll heed his advice and wear it there. there's not metal brace and hinge but strong elastic stuff, I gotta pull it on over my levis. at least it's black and matches the pants mostly!

   quarter after six - we're on in fifteen minutes so charney puts me in "buggy" (electric golf cart) w/her for the stage cuz it's way far - I ain't into rides so you know it's far if I'm taking one. I got the bass w/me, it's been a while since I made an entry like that. actually, I had to mr slouch cuz he wants to tune it. so trippy not tuning your own machine for me, still ain't used to that. this younger man daniel's waiting up on the stage - I see one of his tattoos and say "black flag" (cuz it's the logo raymond created for his brother), he comes on over and talks to me - he knows joe carducci, small fucking world! that's great. nice man, daniel. stage orange act finishes, now time for blue - I see ig come up the stairs and he acknowledges me w/a strong fist, I bow deep. everyone passes the bass player w/the two knee braces on... some moments later I see james trot out in his "muscle shirt" and his sun glasses on so I begin my careful but quick-as-I-can hobble to my slouch who's the cord to the amps (hey, that one blowing sideways is a 1x15 and not a 2x10 like I've been thinking - baka watt!) and again w/no time to spare I get it in the bass, get the glasses off and onto the rider, get the fist in the air for one pump before join on our "raw power" opening assault. the sun is blazing down, there were some clouds when we arrived but they since departed. I think of the gig-goers that have been out here all day though and don't even begin to feel sorry for myself and besides, this is the stooges, it's stooge music I'm up here w/and shit, I'd do it a hundred and fifty degrees of heat! the bass has a great sound, mr slouch has got it set the best he has so far this trip, that and the monitor man mixing it in w/what he's got coming in my wedges - just really really good. I see bobby and barrie from primal scream on the side of the stage, bobby give me a fist. ig's a dervish, twirling and leaping - going all out, fantastic (like jos would say)! I got my eyes tethered to him. "search and destroy" he calls out, giving a few beats of space - he'd talked about this some in the briefing, for scotty-san. damn, I forgot my little rilakkuma for my front starboard pocket - he was buried in there for the first sydney go but I made sure he was peeking out for the second one - I need the luck - I am superstitious! hard-charge, ig's way up front and the sun is bathing him big time in the solar wail but the hood that's kind over the stage's front has got scotty-san shaded, james too. in fact, for the next one "gimme danger" the raybans come off. I finally play this one clamless, finally! I ain't saying there were huge ones that stunk it all they way up but there was a little shit every time I was stumbling somewhere in this baby, couldn't understand why except for maybe I'm a big fucking baka. well, I'm grateful to have it together this time. ig calls for dancers, calls for spazzes, crazies, anyone to get up here to dance w/us and "help destroy the sun!" the sun remains in full blaze but we cook up a real good "shake appeal" in a solid attempt to take him out. it's a righteous romp. stage still clearing as we go into "johanna" and in fact folks that do go off fill in the gap between the stage and the barrier, fill up the center of the moat, pretty intense but everyone's cool and there's no hell or stupid shit. ig's singing GREAT, belting it out like no tomorrow. it's coming up where I'm gonna try these new bass fills I was working on at then end and FUCK, I clam the part right before them - my stupid mind ahead too much and not enough in the moment to get the intervals right, aaaahhhhh! so embarrassing - in the right key but the wrong place - I remember doing something like this the first night at the hammersmith apollo eight months ago. anyway, I think only like half of less of the new way got in there and it was mostly the old way cuz of the self-scold beating down myself from the inside of my head - baka watt! ig's been doing big slams w/the mic stand but it ain't really pissed ones like that one time (again, in the first sydney gig) when it took out brother steve's keyboards and 'pert-near him. I know it's tough on him, this heat but he looks like he's having a good time. we fly right into "kill city" in the way we've worked it w/out even a count and steve's w/us - he said last gig he was blowing in the wrong key here! baka watt missed that one but I helped him earlier, getting the harmony right back at the dressing room between mouthfuls of sandwich. sometimes I'm surprised to hear about clams that ain't mine - I guess I don't have enough "big picture" skills w/these big stages. I'll tell you this tough: I'm ready to go w/"1970" next but the fucking list says "fun house" - thank god ig hollered it out like he usually does - I feel like a dope (big one) but like some cable yanked on me from the inside, I go right to the riff... I play around a little though w/some jamming like it was hellride (why?) but just a little - I look down and see road boss eric looking up at me like, "what?" and I get it straight. great dancing from ig, great - you would think it was so cal calm w/the weather, let me tell you. I am not in the shade cuz the sun is like ten o'clock high and we ig faces me the glare makes it impossible 'pert-near to see he's face - but I can feel it, damn right, I can sure feel it! now it's time for "1970" - he said it was time for the music last gig as this point - you know, this tune lots of times brings that oration in him and actually I feel that w/every stooges tune but... well, it's kind of a mystery to me but maybe one I don't want solved. I see a tombo ("dragonfly" in nihon-go) fly up - whoa, that's wild... but an even bigger trip is right in front comes two of them flying up and bonin' - bonin' in the air like they naturally do but bonin' to this, damn! I watch their dance, them doin' it and almost get lost but luckily that "feel all right!" riff is pounded into my bones and I keep the keel in the water - what gets lost is my eyes on them two tombos. we tumble and blast into "l.a. blues" I bust the volume knob off the bass fucking the amp cabs, whoops. I do have it in tune though for "night theme" even having to mute for a bit cuz I just can't see the led read-out on the tuner that's always on (I think it's an ibanez?) and well, I wasn't that far out though I was jamming the hell out of it - not so much w/the fucking cuz w/the knees sore, you know. "skull thing" w/ig re-emerging (he always bails once we get freak out going) w/some water-soak but not too much. funny, we were talking about scotty-san not really digging the soak he got from jos that first sydney gig and ig told he's trying to soak himself less and I asked why - he said it's cuz it gets in his boots and then never leaves for the rest of the tour, cuz of the leather soaking up the water and putting puddles in the bottom of his boots. also the pants get heavy and start to slip down... fucking baka watt realized! "beyond the law" w/ig working the wings - no edge of the stadium to hide a sinking sun and I think us more south here in melbourne means a later going down time anyway. he calls for "no fun" right up after - hey, I think I see that younger lady w/the cornrows I though had the hurt feelings the second sydney show, same kind of look on the face - but in the front row? and not the guy I thought was w/her, the one I tried to say everything was ok (later road boss eric confirmed it was her) - ain't that trippy? damn. she did have the same scowl she did at the end of the gig then, the one that wasn't there before, hmm... but in the front of this huge crowd? ig's been working it "downstairs" off the stage and in the moat but he really goes for it in "I wanna be your dog" - coming up w/grass and dirt all over his back. he charges and charges though, we finish up strong and get off - not long though cuz after asking scotty if he's ok (scotty-san says he feels great, no heat stroke though ig says it was hard for him), he gives the go for us to get back out there for a "your pretty face is going to hell" closer. we run it real good, really cooking - tight ending too. alright. ig's in a good mood, big time. we all head for the buggies - I ride w/scotty-san and tell him how smokin' he was drumming, righteous. james is next to me too and I tell him about my "johanna" clam, aaarrrggghhh. he says he had his moments too but I didn't hear anything except a little out of tune in "1970" maybe but... he liked the gig, I told him I did too and I though we all did real good. brother steve back at the, well back of the back (way down the road) said he some clams too. man, I don't know - I like to be honest about mine but I ain't really into pointing fingers and these men I admire so much so maybe I block some out? maybe I'm fucking oblivious? everyone's happy though. I'm so glad scotty-san didn't seared and scalded, he said it was ok where he was, not bad. james too said that. I got a little sweaty but no cramps - the coconut water charney's been getting for us is very VERY happening. I change out my outfit, kind of gross for liz and christina so they clear out but I do it quick and VERY good man road boss eric takes it once stuffed in the stench sack. outside I see mixman max and he said it was a good gig when I ask him. a happy max makes for a very happy watt, much respect to him!

max bisgrove in melbourne on january 30, 2011

   no chow for me, had some before and just too hard after playing the heat - I think I'd puke but I wanna get over to the stage w/bobby and barrie and mani - the green stage w/primal scream and then grinderman. I wanna see both bands bad and this is the earliest they're playing all festival. me and brother steve get a ride over and see the last of primal scream, damn - can't see it all but it was good and I talk w/bobby right after (first big hugs to mani) - I give him the busted off volume knob from my bass that I picked up off the deck from our gig. he talks much about how inspired he is by the stooges - I tell him that too! we get to rap a bit but then he's gotta go, about the same time warren, nick and marry - I don't really the drummerman but certainly know of him. this is my first grinderman live experience. I tell nick about seeing the birthday party at the roxy in hollywood like thirty years ago. he said it was hard to remember by at some other gig maybe the band was playing "loose" but he was singing the "fun house" words! oh no! he's a great singer though, really. I talk to marty, a great cat. almost time to work and we get to talking somehow about jack bruce on lou reed's "berlin" - marty starts singing "how do you think it feels..." and then he goes up and joins the guys - whoa, what a trip. nick's playing guitar and so is warren! I never expected it. warren told about this tenor one eastwood has made for him but I didn't know he was wailing on it w/the band - and man, is he wailing on it! he's singing w/nick too, so is marty and the drummerman. it is very wild stuff - not ilke bad seeds, more like birthday party but different. marty's got a great bass sound, real "grind" you know?! warren's does the play the fiddle some but maybe only once - he's most got that tenor guitar really taking off, very happening wildness and nick too, chording rhythm chunks and yeah, grinds - he does some hollering organ and other times is just a singerman, way up front and wild gesturin' committed-to-the-hilt emotion poundin' - poundin'? the drummerman is poundin' up a storm of slambeats, just a great GREAT time for me, whoa. it gets intense on me I have to sit on the deck (I wanted good sound so I wasn't on the side of stage but in front to get the sound there. it was real mindblower for me - I see them as they leave and I go back hollering some lyrics I was hearing from them "tippy toe tippy toe!!!" whoa. crimony. whoa. crimony. damn!

grinderman in melbourne on january 30, 2011

   we go back for one more time to gather everyone for the bail - I fill the sack w/what I can (actually my sack got lost so I use an ice one). I get to say bye to barrie - he tells me about him just giving his pop "fun house" and his pop really digs it. alight! man, I wish I could talk more - here comes warren too and at least I get to give him a big hug - our boat's pulling anchor and I got leave, damn.

   we talk about how good the two bands we saw, brother steve was digging it too. everyone's in a good mood as we make our back. there's traff but you know in a little bit it'd probably be a hundred times worse. I don't space and hose off before konking - I konk not all stenched, a good thing. man, am I slow learner. anyway, it was a real good time a the gig, a real cool time. crimony.

friday, january 4, 2011 - adelaide, australia

   monday - yeah, monday (see why it's also called the "big day off" ?!) I popped at five and a half to do half hour soak of the sore bones cuz standing for those sets after hours last night but a little wear on me but it was good and worth it, really, so glad I got to be there for that. sun's out early and so am I... kind of scary in the river of people over the pedestrian bridge and then under flinders street station, across at elizabeth - not just crosswalk crossing but folks flood the whole intersection (I should be used to it by now but still gotta laugh) and I'm just praying/hoping no one bowls me over! I make it to "pepperoni's" - I'm giving it one more shot so it's another fucking bonus shovel of quantity verses [your thought here] and and I actually don't need a tapper rod to poke the last of it down but damn if it don't 'pert-near fill the entire chow sack I was born w/given that well, it did grow some as I've gotten less younger. I'll tell you this though: tomorrow's another pad. I'm about to try to hoof this fucking heft off when I see man searching his pockets and shoulder sack to pay the counterlady and kind of worried-looking... whoa, I spot his wallet on the deck behind him and let him know - fuck, that's what I want someone to do for me, glad to help him out. I hoof down flinders (love saying that name!), this is like the big daddy of east-west streets for melbourne north here of the river. I dig the way sometimes we're "two peoples divided by a common language" (maybe from george bernard shaw?) and trip on stuff like "flat white" or "long black" for coffee or what I take is a "no solicitors" (hey, that already sounds england!) sign in a store window:

sign in melbourne shop window on flinders street

melbourne's sure got the mix of oldage like the train station here and buildings like the princess hotel, the forum plus others and then modern wildness like the australian centre for the moving image.

the forum reflecting into the acmi building in melbourne

I go behind there where the yarra's got grass on its banks and sit by a family of wood ducks, momma on guard of their four ducklings but pop konked w/his head under his wing (both each standing w/one leg folded up) but she don't me taking a rest here by them, that is very kind. I see this times as some sort of an affirmation (or kind of convince myself of that, suspending any inconvenient reality), especially when I get feeling bad about myself, about feeling baka and shit like that. it's kind of warm out but not too bad and the slow-go cuz of the bum knee makes for a calmness and lots of headroom for thinking. hardly anyone around except cats rowing or the occasional other hoofer (not many hobblers). damn, it was stupid to blow that clam like I did in "johanna" last night. and fuck, will I remember to write about us going through that can w/both ends open (a twenty foot shipping container acting like some kind of bridge) in the buggy on the way up to the stage yesterday or will I fucking space? it's both the actual and the potential regrets that gang up on me sometimes. I sometimes think they're metaphors for something else, like that's what they're for. many mental mussolini headlocks by me for me as I ponder this. then I go under, up and across the princess bridge and make my way back to the 'tel. sure enough, I chimp the spiel for yesterday's tour diary and space about that part about going through the can (went through it after playing the gig too) so that's why I'm writing about it here now. people tell me I put detail into my chimping but I myself see it my diary such a cursory sampling of what's a buttload of sensations I'm being pummeled (or maybe it's me doing the pummeling?) w/daily. fuck, so cursory. where folks tell me they see detail, I see huge holes and gaps. I also seeing fucking palsy writing skill, obvious 'tard syntax clams - goddamn words either getting mixed up or left out entirely. it's so fucking embarrassing, I don't have the nerve to proofread cuz of fear of forever having to rewrite all the damn shit! how many better ways I could put things, this fucking 'tard w/clumsy chimping bumble?! crimony. and when will I learn proper use of fucking semicolon? I am scared to death to even try to wrestle w/it. fucking nightmare, pathological abuse of paragraph form even. shit, I could write forever about my pathetic writing - would have to cuz of pathetic skill in using it to communicate shit! aaaaarrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh.

   back across the river as dark comes on so I can chow. right across from train station is chow pad called "old beijing dumpling restaurant" and I get twelve beef/carrot/onion fried dumplings for nine dollars. you know there's no pennies here in australia? if the price does work out that way, they always round up. I get sweet and sour soup w/chew tofu in it too. I get these to go but they say "take away" here like england. I get back to my chamber and use my hashi. I have in my 'puter sack always but space and never bring on chow forages. that's why I like to bring back to chamber if possible. I like using hashi, have been doing at my pad for a few years. I like this form of control. I heard it helps the 'tard ways the brain gets come on a little slower too and fuck do I need that. most people call hashi chopsticks but I never do. I don't know why, something about the sound. I konk and have troubling yume.

   tuesday I pop at five bells. I mean dreams are dreams and I've kvetched on this before in my chimpings but I think what's part of at the bottom of it is some fear that some truth, some "inconvenient truth" revealed itself and now the jury must go out and deliberate on what exactly these "answers" are. of courses this is fucking 'tard thinking at it's most flamboyant. seems I get only the slightest sliver of any semblance of "contentment" or whatever is just being grateful things didn't "appear to happen" (remember it's a fucking sogno I mean sueño!) any more embarrassing than they could've - what?! who's running the fucking show here?! haranguing personas to inhabit characters to play out roles shadowboxing sickshit? poor daytime incarnations, my heart goes out to them. can I blame subconscious? or is it unconscious? where was I read there's no such thing as subconscious, that's it's semantic fuckup... hmmm...

seen in two different alleys in melbourne

I hobble into bright sun morning after hose off over the pedestrian bridge, hugging the rail, but this time no "pepperoni's" - fuck, four's a death number (it's the same sound) anyway. I go into arcade off flinders (love saying that fucking name - I remember last trip here I kept saying "finders" so I'm glad at myself for finally getting it right) and see a stamp shop - you know, for philatelists... all at once I think of last night's dream drama and the idea of "what does a life add it up to" and the verdict being decided on "the judge and jury" (cops) "entering the pad of the deceased" and finding packs of "entire set for $30," "...for $35," "...for $40" et cetera and validation through material shithoarding gives me kafkaesque mussolini headkick from the inside striking out... rubbing forehead I imagine feeling steel toe... I think of "the works' and the focus that's channeling me, the "need to leave a mark" - my fucking aka-chans! the next shop's got origami - cranes are sign of healthy life, right? awake symbols, not konked ones - I'm in control here, right? actually... I think about it - wandering like this, I don't bring what I stumble onto into my fucking moment-by-moment...

in an arcade off flinders street in melbourne

fuck, I smell curry! but nothing's open here - there's no chow pads either and an ACTUAL sniff-see I execute actually detects more of gomi (garbage) odor cuz yeah, there's gomi trucks going by (must be gomi day) - the fucking curry was in my head. I guess the real goofball shit is in the 'tard meanings I try to pin on it. crimony. sure glad these pads are closed or I'd really get lost for the day. out the arcade (I see the "majorca building" and remember raymond's pop regis saying majorca was his favorite place... man, I miss raymond's pop - I had many MANY spiels w/him), I head for this alley they call a street (they do that here) that I remember from five years ago and there's a chow pad called "ham" that serves about the same things (they call it "big brekkie" here) except no shrooms or hashbrown maxipad but tastes way fresher. the coff is served in kind of long glass - aaahhh, how do you hold it? gaman (patience), fucking idiot watt. the serverman is very kind. this is good shovel, feels healthy. I only eat eggs and shit like this on sundays in my pedro town, it's when I chow w/my ma and my sister. I see "lush tuff" written on a wall, what the fuck? "two peoples divided by a common language" I decide I am going to hobble to chinatown.

   I look for sidewalks least crowded. chinatown is empty which I dig, passing under the arches. maybe the whole idea of chinatown is obsolete cuz asia people are all over melbourne, crazy maybe to think it's one neighborhood. even w/the chow pads. I'm glad not to have stress of crowds put anxiety on me - not that it's their fault but my fucking hiza and all. ha! how many different kinds of canned abalone?!

cans of abalone in a windown in melbourne's chinatown

I plan to go down to western arch of little bourke and head down exhibition to find fourth bridge over yarra that I haven't been over yet. I pass over the rail yard on a pedestrian bridge (no bicycles allowed even!) to a park called birrarung marr, getting nearer and nearer 'til I'm right where what I've been thinking this whole time here in downtown melbourne (seeing it from a distance) was an australian rules football or rugby pad or something when in fact it's the rod laver arena, where that ladies final for that tennis match I watched the other night was at - baka watt! I cross over the swan street bridge - there, that's four of them I've done, all the ones I could see. this is where the yarra river banks are all grass and have a big think there, watch the boats paddled by young crews in training - no mersh boats - only these sculling kind, the coaches pedaling on bicycles w/megaphones and hollering teachings to the scullers. mostly I'm alone though so I can have a good think about stuff. it's that semantic stuff again, for example I ponder the appropriate amount of distance rather than the appropriate amount of closeness and parallel that w/what I once hear about there was no such thing as cold, there's only heat cuz heat is from atoms moving so atoms are either moving or they're not - sure, moving different rates and that's something hotter than something else but there's not different rates of "unmoving" unless you see that as a logical abstraction. fuck, I guess it's all a logical abstraction - me, trying to reduce a line of thought to something you can look at. sometimes I get caught up in this idea if I could only get the words more clear then that would help me w/tensions not really resolving but finding some kind of fucking resonance OR FOR LACK OF A BETTER FUCKING THOUGHT some kind of co-opted crock of shit made even more goddamn worse... does one delude oneself at times like these? it is not a social time, it is willful estrangement. I wonder what these black and white birds are called? fuck, scotty-san could probably help me out...

magpie-lark in melbourne by the yarra

you'd think they were hatos (pigeons) but that's cuz I shot this looking down and you can't see the long legs and skinnier body - see the problem w/perception, the problem w/man alone? THE problem? most likely one of VERY many. so as I start hobbling back east along the river I go back to my grown up standby, go the for the "least worst" set of ideas which I guess means I think all my ideas about shit are pretty bad but some are really terrible and convince myself "don't give in to any of them" - especially when it seems it all about getting high and mighty on the small and tiny. the whole wringing thing turns out to be a humbler but what's REALLY HUMBLING is after passing the princess bridge (not over it, I'm already on the south bank), there's construction and where they have you walk is a slightly not so level place where you walk and I feel my fucked-up knee start to give - it doesn't go but I go into involuntary panic mode and my arms fly up into the air and I go off balance but somehow I don't tumble, I stay upright - in a stumble but I don't crumple and go down. fuck. two ladies who were walking behind me I guess hurry up and pass and go even quicker to get away. I think I looked a real crazy man from behind when might've appeared to them was some wack throwing his arms into the air and then spazzing out for no apparent reason, like a fucking nut dance of something. I'm just so grateful I didn't go down but at the same time feel so so SO very fucking weak and vulnerable. I'm that far away from the 'tel but I've been fucking four hours plus and most of that hobbling - maybe it was too much, too much. I dig big soak in the tub. I have confidence crisis. I chimp diary, read jack's book, take care of some email and then rather myself up to get some chow as dark comes on. I really grip the bulkheads, the rails, everything I can as I make it back to that dumpling pad I was at last night and get pork and chinese cabbage ones along w/a little container of eggplant and fried pork. so good!! man, Iove this stuff, along w/the chili oil I drench them in. I got some beam too. I do radio show, man alone. I asked for guests like mr slouch but he says his story ain't interesting - I have to BIG TIME DISAGREE w/that (cuz he's told me tons of righteous storeis but respect him much, him and his privacy. road boss eric says he wants to but wants to have music and sounds from his boat and the shipyard he's working on his tug so that'll come this summer. maybe it's good I do it alone. everything's for a reason, right?

   wednesday is travel day so after hose down I do another shovel at that pad called "ham" in that alley called degraves - the serverman gives me some of their "most special sweets" in a little sack for ig - I go take them to tour boss henry and he tells me this event for ronnie is gonna happen april nineteen. aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh I have tour then for my third opera! a little drama but actually it's clear for me in my mind - I tell him if ig asks me, if he needs me - I'm there. we got a noon flight to adelaide and before boarding, ig comes up and asks me and I say sure, no prob. and it's for ronnie. the gig I'll have to lose is omaha and d. boon's pop was from nebraska but I tell him I'll do it, he can count on me. see when I tour, I play every day ("when you ain't playin', you're payin''" as they say) so I'll fly in from saint paul and fly back to kansas city for the lawrence one. my guys can stop over in des moines and so they'll get two days off for the tour instead of one. I tell ig my only concern is for my guys so I don't need money or anything, it's just not being away more than one gig. it's not about the coin, I love my guys. I love the stooges. it'll work out though, it'll work. I'd do anything for ig, anything.

   we gain a half hour - that's how different the next time zone west of melbourne is, thirty minus - like maritime up in canada. it's about an hour on a qantas 737 and it's a little bit warm/humid here in adelaide. this is the smallest of the towns on the tour but it's the big one for south australia which is what state's it's in. we're at a 'tel called the sebel palyford right near the town's main train station. soon as I check in I wash stenched flannel - very happening about this 'tel is the HUGE soap bottles, like over ten ounces, damn! I use the whole thing in the sink w/the flan soaking in really hot water for an hour while I upload the radio show I did last night. I fucking do the ten dollars for two hours of the 'tel service cuz I think this vodafone link will be slow-go but it's totally opposite case - this fuckin' 'tel only lets me get the lofi file up and then in desperation I try the v and whoa, voila! fuck! well that was ten bucks for nothing - the other burn at this 'tel was getting charged five bucks for ice! can you believe? usually I check out w/no "incidentals charges" cuz fuck that shit about getting fleeced at these pads. anyway, next I am on forge missing: I go up to the main road opposite, up to hindley and check out what's to chow there... turn port and there's chow pads and police station - turn starboard and it's pokies (slot machine pads) and "gentleman clubs" and such. I turn port. whoa, there's mexican food chow pad - never had australian mexican chow. it's called "burp" (don't recall that spanish word) and I get a burrito. it does have the machaca kind of beef - the menu has other choices like salami, ha! a salami burrito, why not! I went for the machaca though. the tortilla isn't like mexican - it's more like those hippy burritos at health food pads, also cold like them in the middle. there's some chili sauce w/a little kick but not much. it has small mexican taste but not full one. it's ok though and not mazui (terrible tasting). I don't get sick either. I try the television and see this hungarian movie from about five years ago called "taxidermia" that is a fucking trip. crimony. talk about a loaf of fucking wonder bread. I konk wondering.

   thursday. chinese new year. also coincidently setsubun (chow futomaki and throw beans in the eyes of oni) in japan. I pop at seven and hose off, when done use the huge bottle of "shampoo/body wash" (label says) - I mean huge bottle to wash up the flannel really REALLY good. first scrub for this fucker all tour. understand that besides my stage outfit, I have this flannel, the italian shirt stefano sent me and one pair of blue levis. oh, I got five pairs chonies too. fucking brought the jinbei but never wore it, I don't know why. I hobble all about the down outside mall. there's an inside mall but I balk at the escalator going to where the food court is - no confidence, I don't wanna fall. I find a vietnam chow pad serving their kind of sandwiches and I get two (only $3.90 each) -the both got big french rolls w/lettuce, shredded carrot, cucumber and then one w/ham, one w/boiled beef. it was an hour and half walk but very slow and very careful... and not enjoyable. I have really lost my nerve. terrible. shit. eiko-san has sickness, but we prac english-go. I chow some "claypot meatballs" from a little shop not far called "quick wok" that's has chinese writing but some of the menu items say vietnamese... maybe mixed? it's really good and is actually a soup w/those clear noodles, celery, trippy spices like in india chow and a fried egg on top. the meatballs are a little bit like italian ones but very soft and of course no tomato sauce. good, good chow. if I had more nerve and my knee was better, I'd go and try to see where chinese new year is being celebrated. I guess I will do it here in the chamber. trippy, I have a bottle of taiwan beer I got in melbourne that I put in the yellow clothes sack. I konk early - the "big day out" promoter wanted to chow us, tour boss henry had called but it was too late, I'd already chowed. he's a nice man though, vivian. I remember him from the other two times I've done this festival.

   gig day. I pop at six bells and try to catch up on the pile of emails - I make good headway even w/out coff but about eight need to shovel something and head the other way out the 'tel, towards the train station. it's across the street but I stay on this cuz I'm fearful again cuz of my knee. I see a sign for an eight dollar chow. I know that sounds like a lot but that's actually econo. it called "station city cafe" and it's actually up in arcade that opens up onto hindley - ha! I looped it. sure is humid, reminds me of five years ago. I remember melbourne being humid too now that I think of it - the night of the purple sweater... hobbling back, I take a breather on some steps down the hill back to the 'tel (I've looped it), going down hills are way harder on the fucked-up hiza than going up them.

watt resting on steps off hindley street in adelaide

anyway, I don't know why I'm thinking of that now. humidity - even a little bit - can be hard on watt, he don't think straight. my friends in the go! team have trippy video for their new album. I put it out in my flow last night but forgot to wish everyone happy chinese new year. man, can I be stupid or what? shit's always slipping my fucking mind - even when I go the intention, easily they can sidetracked and spaced, damn it. I remember working for mr handley and getting orders signed at rest homes where older men were standing in the hallways w/a pad of paper and a penhandilystring around their necks so they could remember what was there last thought. of course they would forget what the pad and pencil were for. can you believe I was allowed to get an "x" for their signature? it's cuz of course they forgot their names - was that fucking insane or what? oh, I think that bird I saw in melbourne by the yarra was a magpie-lark. I went and did it a search on the internet cuz it was kind of driving me crazy. things become trippy ciphers in my life that contain heavy meaning for me. lots of times, lots of that meaning is not tangible - almost like feelings more than knowledge or whatever. here's something not abstract from my fucking mind - cyclone yasi hit the northeast coast of australia w/'pert-near two hundred mile an hour winds - this part of the country alreadyyeassted w/heavy flooding. one town called tully got was whupped up on. the paper said a "la niña" situation was bringing all this on. crimony.

   I chimp what you're reading here 'til it's time to prac beginnings/endings w/scotty-san and james in james' chamber at three. whoa, five days since I've held this anchor bass of brian michael's - looks like mr slouch has replaced the broken volume know w/one similar. james has been told we're gonna do the "a" list but wants us to prac "open up and bleed" too, just in case. I'm glad we do these pracs. actually some of them we do the whole thing but mainly it's either the end or the beginning or just some abbreviated form that has both. they usually take half an hour to forty minutes. about an hour after we finish is load up for the gig which is at another showgrounds pad like we had in sydney, in the wayville part of town. love the gig being only a half-hour away this tour - hell, this one's less than twenty! the weather is waybill humid but the sunlight pretty much diffused by clouds. we got two hours to go, on at 6:45 pm. brother steve wants me to take a shot of his latest tattoo so he can send it to the artist that copied it from his ma's drawing. I have to admit though, I find his face more interesting though I know his ma's drawing means very much emotionally. road boss eric's got a washed black flannel and levi waiting for me plus two clean pairs of chonies, much MUCH respect to him

steve mackay (left) + eric fischer (right) in adelaide on january 4, 2011

there's a couple of deli plates and I chow some bread w/salami, white cheddar and mustard while changing. mr slouch put on new bass strings cuz during prac earlier today we found there was too much pressure on the bass fretboard from about the thirteenth to sixteenth frets and that was kinking up ste strings big time cuz ofd a tuner pedal in the case pressing up on the neck againt / inside-the-case-drawer board and then . his theory though it was cuz fucking the bass amp. I pull on the new strings good and tight so hopefully they'' stay in tune. ig briefs on the upcoming set, he's a good mood.

tour boss henry + ig in adelaide on february 4, 2011

he asks me about online opinions about our gigs here so far and I tell them they're real good cuz well, they are - not just my opinion! james concurs. thank you gig-goers who write us up good on the web, thank you! ig continues to brief us on stuff to look for come gig time. he's enthusiastic likes he's been this whole leg, great spirit. oh yeah, I forgot to put on socks back at the 'tel... forgot my belt too - dumbfuck watt! at least I got my john coltrane pin, thank god. I am superstitious person in some ways. I need inspiration too. I warm up outside after another hunk of roquefort cheese on a cracker - I'm gonna chow too much! man, my fucking hiza is yowai (weak) - that was too much fucking walking last day in melbourne, too much! I am baka. I'll have to try bear down tonight. the stage is real close to where we are - there's little grass areas between the dressing rooms, just like five years ago. I remember baseman jamie then talking to me here then about u.s. political system, asking me stuff and it reminding me of my pop... I mean he has accent different - an england one they call geordie but they way he was all calm about his discussion reminded me of him. this morning I was looking at two pictures I got of him playing my bass then, right here - the bass that got stole w/all the stooges stuff in montreal. trippy.

   fifteen minutes to go - I hobble up on stage early and give mr slouch my bass - in a couple of minutes he gives it back. I notice the singer lady for crystal castles w/the broken ankle ain't here w/the hoodie guy like she has been, watching every stooges gig. hope she's ok. I make sure the curtain behind me is open some but am behind the one where the folks are - I want ig to see me but not them so much, not 'til it's go time. ok, here he comes - it's go time - he gives me the fist... a minute or two later I see the from the other side the guys trot out and I hobble quick as my lame ass can go out to mr slouch and get the bass plugged into the cord he hands me just in time not to fuck "raw power" up, that and get the fucking glasses off too. the gig is go! ig's flying around and on fire! bass is sounding good, scotty-san behind slamming his drumdrum. whoa. I'm leaning hard on my starboard, the fucking hurt hiza already stiff as fuck and not feeling uh, stable but I can't go down - the motherfucker can't buckle. my eyes on ig, eyes on ig - keep focus, watt. he heaves the mic stand - whoa, right between my legs but balls are still there, I didn't take a hit. I look over at jos and he gives me "that look" - I laugh. ok, concentrate - feeling at times kind of slippery - a little - not the deck but us rhythm section but where there for james, all the way. "search and destroy" next and right tight, I've got the stiff and hurt in it's place and can put all I got into the wrestling of this bass. a big bow after we end it, the adelaide gig-goers are great crowd. some water bottles flying up but none dangerous. ig thanks the folks, tells them we're the fucking stooges and we go into "gimme danger" which is the same one-two-three all four of these set lists share. it's a good plow. ig calls for dancers - he hollers "get up here - if you can't dance, then just come on up and spaz out!" we get many takers, a stageful. we slam "shake appeal" for them and they tear it up. very respectful but some good wild dancing. I'm digging it, people inches from you and having a good time. I can feel the bass drilling right into them, alright. no guessing game for them about get shook from the bass I can get see it grab and shake them big time! we're having a good time. ig says "thank you adelaide dancers - and punks!" when we finish, they clear the stage and then he tells the folks we know how to play a blues, "I need somebody" is next and he sings the first part from my side - james on the slide over on his. we drive it hard, drive it solid. "death trip" a beat after - bam! he's working it in the moat - then he's upstairs w/us, back downstairs w/them - "alright, james!" he points over for some lead guitar. gentle ending and a bow from ig - wham! real quick he hollers for "1970" (did he say "right up the ass?") and scotty brings james in w/some four-count and it's fucking blast off big time. this tune is relentless and ig sings w/all his heart - "I feel all right!" god damn right. I rolled my sleeves up for "shake appeal" but by this time they've come down - not that the sun is blazing cuz it ain't but cuz of some humidity and what seems like extra effort I gotta do cuz of this fucking knee, my leg is so fucking stiff. I gotta admit I'm grateful for the brace and it's metal hinged reinforcement. crimony. I'm ready to go at it for "l.a. blues" and that I do - accidentally again I break another knob off of the bass - the tone one. damn. I wail on the frets, yank and pluck the strings like a crazy man... finally settling down for "a love supreme" quote - scotty brings into "night theme" and I regain some composure. I'm relieved I'm in tune - I check while james starts "skull thing" off and before I know it we're into "beyond the law" but he cues me good (thank you james). ig's singing his heart out, my strings seem like rubber bands for some reason and man, is it a trip. he asks three time for a right when we finish - smiling when he looks back to see scotty-san's gotta get one of his finger-sheaths back on (he uses these to head off blisters) and blap-em-blap us into a full-on assault of "I got a right" that's a wild charge but still stays on the rails, whoa. we bring it down... we bring it up wild - "can you feel it?" implores ig - the gig-goers are w/us! ig tells them he feels a change when slam it off... he's turning into a dog! it's the closer "I wanna be your dog" and it goes over the top. he goes downstairs and rolls around growling and howling - he comes back upstairs to the chants while the band smalls up the dynamic and then snaps it off for the final chorus in holy moly roar - we're done! I hobble off to my side cuz I know I'll slow shit up trying to be w/them - it's where I should be but "a man's gotta know his limitations" - damn it but I gotta accept. I see them head back and get that bass back on for "your pretty face is going to hell" - ig right w/us in front of the kick drum, him saying "stooges are rockin'!" while we motor him along. a foot from me, I can feel his spirit radiate big time, fucking BIG TIME. working the deck, working the wings, working the moat - he leads us into frenzy frenzy frenzy but tight and slammin' - "no fun" right up next for the real closer - I get carried away w/some fills (sorry) but keep it together, fuck I got ecstatic! I use the mic stand to help me hobble off - my glasses are over by mr slouches work station... I'm about to come down the stairs and here comes the rammstein singerman til - I tell him "give it to them" and he looks me right in the eye and says "I VILL!" (german accent) - whoa, I look over to a cat who just starts busting up and I guess I gotta too...

   I wanna see rammstein so I just get some gulps and no changing or anything - I go to the far side of the other stage, out into the crowd cuz I hate the on-stage side sound and watch these cats from berlin - they are a trip. much explosion and flames, at one point till and his two guitarists have masks on that shoot flames big time up into the air, damn!

rammstein in adelaide on february 4, 2011

all the spiel is in german but the drama is not lost and probably would be diluted if translated - I feel some kind of kraftwerk connect even w/the combined twofer of metal and disco they got going - keyboardman on the treadmill is a hoot and gets a "bath" big time when till pours sparkler from on high upon him. I have to say that singerman til is charismatic in some trippy way. there's an irony in the spectacle, ironic march in the marches evoking for me more kafka jokes (is there such things? I think so!) than any kind of army shit. it is quite butch. ha! their closer has till ride a big machine choad, bathing the gig-goers w/torrents of swimteam-looking whatever. hilarious, oh man. that was a trip.

   I go back and see dennis of international noise conspiracy and we spiel after I finally get out of my sweated-out outfit, warren and then marty join us for a bit but they gotta go on soon though I get to tell them how much I dug their in melbourne, how I loved it. primal scream bobby is next we bump into after I gather a sack full of waters cuz the stooge boat pulls anchor soon but we first get to talk some about him putting on gigs in his glasgow and about politic stuff - he asks me about who I'm into and I tell him emma goldman if we're talking about those kind of folks. he wants to check out... "living my life" is the book I tell him - oh, he said I played the best he's seen this trip, said I played like a black man and was groovin' but he said he was worried when I came off the stage all weak like I did (brother steve said my eyes looked the most blood shot they ever did), he's worried about the fucking knee and I told him I was baka w/the four hour walk in melbourne. I tell him I'll take care, I promise.

   crew, steve and I bail back to the 'tel. I tell jos about what I thought I saw was a chow pad called "cheap as chips" and thought of him cuz he says that all the time but I'm enlighted to the fact it's not a chow pad but something like a "ninetynine cent" store in the u.s., a pad that sells econo stuff. baka watt - big thanks to him, max and mr slouch who all chime in to learn me! up to my chamber, I hose off right away. crimony. that was a beatdown tonight. the band did good though and ig was righteous. truly. good thoughts to konk to...

sunday, january 6, 2011 - perth, australia

   yesterday I popped at seven and a half - hosed off before that konk so said "fuck it" to another one and instead made the hoof down the hill from the 'tel sidehatch like I did yesterday, follow the same route exactly, carefully and slowly cuz of the fucking you know what - one guy won't make room on the sidewalk, hey no prob cuz I can go around and truly don't need any early-morning-whatever... it's trippy cuz lots of folks are sympathetic - last night I forgot about mentioning going to get a lighter cuz I fucking donated the same one I've had the whole trip after I hosed off and the crazy scene up on hindley-street-on-friday-at-midnight, all the... "yobs" I think bobby called them, throngs - all loud and borracho but still after this one group of drunken ladies stumbled past (I was waiting a moment against a wall before making the big move across the street and back down the hill), one asked me "you ok? are you ok?" it was crossed-eyed asking but it was still kind concern I believe and then during non-insane times, folks will show care all the time or you can see troubled look like looking at the fucked-upness but wanting to avert the eyes - don't let your eyes catch their eyes not wanting to look or something like that. it's all so weird cuz you don't want pity but you do want it safe and not tumble. I mean it's early and not on a work days so there's lots of room on the sidewalk... hell, I just don't wanna be a nightmare in anyone's life, believe me. remember in "ulysses" when bloom is at the beach and gerty gets up shows she's lame? those feelings bloom got? it's a trip. I think of kazan - the fire of life kicking up through the skin and I think it's ok... it's honest reflection of life non-deception. "reconciled" - that's the word I was looking for the other day in melbourne w/the semantic meditating and "resonance" not so much. fuck. wrong word again. I kick myself. so in a way I'm mostly in the world of my own and the threat of getting hurt but then there are these occasional awareness of others and how maybe I think they are aware of me. empathy I can understand - I get it when I see hurt, I feel the hurt - one reason why to try and watch a television program about knee surgery would probably be the hardest thing in my life to be put through. empathy and sympathy aren't the same things, right? think about it. I have to say I do. mrs yuka told me I got a hurt for a reason. I think about that all the time. I don't think this kind of thinking in waste of time. it does not give in to feeling sorry about oneself. it's kind of transcendent thinking in a way though I'm baka and stumble much in clear reasoning, getting confused but better than the other gomi thoughts I could get caught up. anyway, the main thing is to be careful, the big time acute awareness. I go into that arcade I did last time but don't take the escalator up - going up is way easier than down but I don't know there's the chow pad called "modka" right here and I don't have to search for what might be open. the chow's like yesterday but not as good - it was more, hmm... it was less of that difference I noticed yesterday but I gotta say not as bad as that pad the first three mornings in melbourne - oh, speaking of melbourne... very sad. I guess we got out just when we did cuz that town is flooded now big time. crimony. and back in the u.s. there are huge snows and very cold over 'pert-near everywhere east of west side, including whole middle and pads like texas. weather is intense. it puts things in perspective - one isn't always having bad luck... hmm... there's always luck but two kinds, huh? I hobble back to get ready for our most west flight.

   we get to the adelaide airport for one pm flight. on my hobble to the gate I stop at book store and see "life" by keith richards so I buy. I've read bill wyman's "stone alone" so why not. both are good musicians, I think. we're on a quantas 737 and while boarding, I pass james williamson who's sitting in business class and when I go to show him, it falls out of my baka clumsy hands so I ask him to read it if he wants cuz we got what I guess it a two and a half hour flight - that's the time difference we'll gain when we get to perth so it'll be sixteen hours ahead of my pedro town's time. perth is in the state of western australia, on the indian ocean. miss lara's from here. I get to sit next to road boss eric which is great cuz he's always very interesting to talk to. of course I'm gonna spare him and not foist any windbag. he shows me his new cassia g-force watch that is like the one my ma gave maybe five years ago but has analog dials. I like analog dials. both have solar cells and check in w/time sync (when able) so you never have to worry about them. I don't know if they can sync in this hemisphere though, I think the pad's in colorado. mine says in last synced two days before I bailed on this tour. funny thing about watches and me - I used to always admire my pop's whatever kind he was wearing at the time. I remember when he got a seiko I thought they were just the greatest and saved saved my monies to get one so I could feel kind of, I don't know, like my pop. such a weird thing when I look back but I still feel it's important someone like me wears one. I remember when I first went to perth, it was w/porno for pyres and my left wrist got hurt and was weak so I wore my watch around my left ankle. we got taken on this ride on a big float that got pulled by a speed boat for fun and got all whipped around, flying out of the water and shit - that watch went flying on one toss and never was seen again. it was after that I thought of just wearing it on the right wrist, the one that doesn't have to bend so much. what a fucking moron to take that long to figure that out! however, I broke many watches that way (I was always getting econo ones) cuz the blows my right hand gives the bass when I play so it wasn't until I stumbled onto a g-force kind that one could withstand the abuse. I got it by accident w/my first tour in japan as bassist for j masics + the fog, I got it actually cuz it had purple bezel and j mascis loves purple! is that baka or what? the lilyworld cats are having a fun ol' time on the flight - blowing up balloons and blowing on party whistles - the ones w/the paper "tongues" that roll out. one of them has a mustache magic-markered on his face and on the side of his neck a dick drawn on some swim team flying out - that's some balls. and to think back a few years ago when some of our crew got irate for me wearing a jinbei on a flight! by the way, I haven't put on the jinbei I brought once this trip. can't tell you why I ain't donned it, don't know why cuz I love them. we land and I see one of the red bacteria vacuum ladies has got festooned w/a magic-marker hige (mustache). ha! the ride from the airport is interesting w/jos, mr slouch and max telling me things about the clash in their first days, when they had no drummer in the picture - they knew about "tore crimes" and said he was a drum teacher! that cat did have a trippy style. actually, that's the only kind of clash I know: the green record and the seven inches before that. I told them I like their clothes then, not when I saw them (1979) cuz by then, I don't know... I tell them about who's clothes I really liked: richard hell's. man, me and d. boon really dug that look. I tell him about when I had richard hell on my radio show and wanted to talk about his clothes but he was not into it. it was the awkward time I ever had on my show. I felt so stupid. he was my first punk rock hero, the fist picture I ever put on my bass. I didn't mean to piss him off. I really loved his music and I thought the clothes were connected w/that. I am a clumsy motherfucker.

   perth is dry like cali but it can get hot here. we're fortunate though and it's pretty mild for these parts. there's a division of labor for here so me and brother steve join the helpermen at the duxton, near the downtown. I remember so much being here five years ago, don't know why but I do. the chamber has two beds - why? one for the 'puter sack to rest on? that's what I use it for. there's an ashtray and matches - whoa, you never seen that hardly ever in a 'tel room any more. I gotta say this whole trip I've smoked only three packs so far. somedays it's just one or two, believe it. I hoof a few blocks away to find a chow pad that has kebabs but only chicken in the summer cuz the lamb on the skewers get too many flies - that's what the lady there tells me, she says they like their chow fresh. it does taste fresh, real good. it's called "shang-haih" w/the final 'h' added to the name from another time - everywhere it's written you can see it was originally shanghai and then at some point I guess the 'h' got stuck on. trippy too cuz the lady is not asian, not china. some things are not meant maybe for watt to figure out so I don't ask. I find a "bottle shop" and they got sapporo beer for three-fifty a bottle, I get two to bring to the 'tel. did you know that sapporo and asahi in the u.s. are imported but not from japan. if you read the labels it says they're brewed in canada so they are imported but just not from japan. trippy. I see a "peace stone" which the plaque on it says was given by the peace society of osaka to the fire department here. it says it was the first peace stone to be given to australia by japan. I continue on to the 'tel and just before I get there I see a flock of like fifty white cockatoos wail past me, hollering up a storm. damn, that's wild! I've never seen such a thing - trips me out - no time to think, I yank the camera out - I don't know how but I do get a pic of like twenty of them...

part of a flock of wild cockatoos fly by in perth

what a heart attack, what a mindblow! another neat bird in western australia is the black swan, it's like their state bird (the government seal has one on a shield being held by two kangaroos) but unfortunately I don't seen any of them. I do see some australian magpies, not magpie-larks abut magpies. damn, I wish I get as good as scotty-san about knowing about birds. oh, I saw a sign saying mind the step - damn fucking straight I am. if must take five or whatever times longer to go where I go but you know what? it don't matter. it's a very relaxed time now here in the tour's windup. after chimping, I go back when I got the beers and next door is a chow pad called "korner cafe" and I get some khmer noodles - they look khmer (cambodian) or maybe khemer/china mix, nice folks and they make it for me to go - they're worried about my knee but I tell them I'll be careful. the night air is perfect weather, nice breeze, just great. just outside the 'tel I meet some of the bloody beetroots dc77 which are the italian guys dennis (the swede) guy is singing a couple songs w/this tour. they wanna know about the il sogno del marinaio proj - wow, they know about manlio, a fucking righteous guitarist who's got a couple of bands squartet and neo who I both dig. of course they know zu too. I tell them about tsigoti also - italian underground is very interesting for me, I love it. they know about the black flag and mintuemen gig we did in milano in 1983 - wow! they say it's 'pert-near folklore in their scene. that was my first time in italy even though my ma's people were italian (dolomiti and sicilia). we talk about stooges gigs I've done it italy too, they know all about it. wow. great cats.

   I go upstairs the khmer noodles - they're fucking great. there's sea food mixed in w/china style pork and of course great noodles. squid! love it. I go downstairs, don't know why, maybe for that breeze and up pulls bobby, he was at some place and it got tired so he bailed. warren and barrie soon come too and grinderman soundman matt. we all have a good spiel, a real good time. warren wants to get some soda water and is told a gas station as it so we hoof (I hobble) but never find it but man, bobby really knows music, knows all kind of stuff - really interesting. he knows all about the pop group, knows mark stewart. I tell him about first meeting him in huesca, catalonia - playing there w/my secondmen and he had mafia. man, that was a trip, maybe five years ago, first time i met him. I can't tell you what the pop group meant to the minutemen, can't tell you. bobby knows all about the old days, about the bands I only knew through their records cuz hardly any of them played cali. we talk about syd barrett, bowie, rocky horror picture show, souixe and the banshees, slits - all kinds of stuff. we spiel 'til two in the morning, bobby sings me the riff to "we are time" on the way up the elevator, I tell him about seeing bob marly at ucla in 1979 - me, richard "fuckin'" bonney and martin tamburovich and how we were fuckin' corndogs w/lenos made w/notebook paper and straight pins to hold them together, stuffed w/the most lame bunk ever - gagged our brains out w/all these folks in suits and gowns sitting near us laughing at us big time. it cracks bobby up to hear now too. man, what a good time w/him. good cat. noches, amigo.

   gig day and I pop at seven, soak in a tub kind of long enough but kind of shallow. it's ok. slippery tile though - abunai (danger) so very careful for me, VERY careful. ok, get dressed and then packed everything - this big day out is coming to a close - this time tomorrow I'll be maybe passing the middle of australia on a plane, heading for sydney and then back to my pedro town. out the hatch and into the sun - it's bright but not too bad w/the heat - in fact it's very comfortable, very much like home. there's palm trees out front and I think these wild cockatoos are into chowing their fruit. one swoops in - the huge gaggle of last night but just one and he eyes me as he chows, getting around oh his feet better than I am on mine! I wonder if it is a him, hmm...

wild cockatoo in perth, chowing and giving me the eye...

back into the middle of town where I've been, making a turn at what a sign says is their first episcopalian church - hard for me to keep straight what probably fucking people killed each over but I think this kind of christian has scottish connection. people ask about my 'watt' name and well, it's got scot roots. I never went to episcopalian church though. I put more interest in the steam engine james watt was working on but I do have to admit connects can be trippy to reflect on. bobby and barrie are scottish, so is our tour manager henry. the middle of town where the pedestrian mall ain't got shit i wanna chow - the fuckin' crapdonald's has a big line though - aaarrgggghhh! I head back down the street that khmer pad was and not far before it is a part of 'tel where they sling chow called the "criterion cafe" and they got buffet breakfast for thirteen bucks but when I go to pay, I see for two more you get bacon. don't find any bacon in the buffet but there are some little chicken thighs to go w/baked beans, fried eggs, hashbrown maxipads, cooked tomato and toast. I start shoveling on a table I cleared and am surprised when brought a plate of bacon still sizzling cuz it's just cooked (buffet chow usually ain't like that, one reason I avoid). rolling all this stuff into pieces of toast and kind of sandwiching it like I usually do w/this stuff I'm thinking it's gonna be a long time 'til I eat what I've been shoveling for 'pert-near three weeks now. this is the last. soon in pedro I'll be slinging my own chow, yes sir. a very slow go back, no hurry for anything. plaques in the sidewalk w/names and dates from the 1830s - here's one I trip on: "yagan, aboriginal leader" the other plaques have western names and jobs like "lawyer, merchant, surveyor, mayor" et cetera but this one alone is different. I wanna look into that... I remember walking down this road five years ago, same exact situation 'pert-near. knee wasn't as fucked up though. so ok, I go sit on this bench and near the 'tel just let my head go - no thoughts or thoughts about no thoughts!

   chimp up diary 'til 3:45 where I go meet steve so we can pick up scotty and james where they're staying, then over to the claremont showgrounds cuz that's where the last "big day out" of the tour is. james tells us about the 1957 les paul junior he just bought. the driver lady tells us about how kangaroos rear up on their tail before they kick you, how koala bears have rough fur. at the showgrounds, charney meets us and says the deli trays are coming... this is all the chow I've been eating at the venues since the first two show cuz seems I just can't get my gut to want more after playing my brains out so I do some before.

charney in perth on january 6, 2011

I'm so grateful: charney sure has been nice to us and does what she does that brings no craziness, no stress - I'm not used to "handlers" though I have been working w/two great tour/road bosses (henry/eric) for coming on eight years now - they're the closest thing I've ever come to being w/any of that, I guess... actually I go back w/eric to j mascis + the fog days, baka watt. and there was a little bit when I did those three tours w/porno for pyres - perry's manager guy was roger. aaahhh, what am I trying to say? charney's been righteous, that's what it is. I'm also so grateful to eric and to henry. also there's mr slouch and jos, max and derek. of course all the stooge guys. I am very grateful but wish so I could express it stronger to them all so they could truly know I appreciate them all so big time. there's some tobasco sauce w/these plates, yeah, some heat for the chow finally. I have been jonesing for that. the salami and the cheese for the sandwiches get doused w/that and also packed w/mustard that's the kind w/the unground seeds - man, I love that kind, love it.

   we prac "cock in my pocket" cuz ig wants to do it - love this tune. it's been a long time though since we last played it. maybe it fell out of the set at the beginning of last summer? can't remember. it comes back w/a few tries, I think we can do it. ig comes in to brief us and says watch out maybe w/his arms cuz they're feeling a little weak. he means about dislocation at the shoulder - aarrgghh, this shoots a pain imagine right into my head cuz of my experience w/my fucked up legs. one arm happened from a stage dive where nobody caught him and the other was from hitting a rock in cold ground when golfing w/his pop. he says he's got like only half the ligaments most people have working. man, I feel so much for him. when he says if it happens, he has to lay flat on his back to pop it back in and we shouldn't freak out - fuck, I almost freak out right then. I don't want him to hurt, I pray nothing happen, just pray. he says he was feeling some of the weakness at the end of the 2010 touring, the last part in the u.s. I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't do too many gigs this summer. I can't stand the thought of him hurting like that. I know he goes all out every EVERY FUCKING gig and always goes the full wail and hurts from it after but this is too much, I just twist up inside thinking about it. this man loves his art though and I know he has to live it. man, I pray nothing happens w/his arms at this last gig, I hope nothing happens anywhere w/him.

   there's a breeze blowing, a nice one keeping things ok w/the temp. it's dry too, no humid. charney drives me over to the stage w/the bass. there's no knob for the tone control, just the metal stem sticking out. that's ok, I'll try and be careful and stay away from it. it's like twenty minutes to go - a helperman for another band says "you've showed up for school early" - yeah, that's right. he's a nice cat, puts on some "live '84" by black flag in his cassette and we talk about k some. I tell him about her now, doing sound for movies and tv and about the emmy she won. of course I am always proud big time to talk of k cuz she is just remarkable. we're gonna record a couple more dos songs this summer so we can have an e.p. to follow up our fourth album (called "dos y dos" and coming out in may) quick. love dos. helperman derek comes by to give my good luck fist - I've got my camera in my back pocket! I take shot of him.

   this john butler trio is running a little late cuz I see the rest of the guys come up and they're gonna have to wait - I'm used to the sound of that band's last tune and it just started. that's ok, ig gives me the fist and I imagine they're just waiting over there back stage port for the right time. ok, last note and I see scotty and james trot out tother so I make my way - all I need is the cord cuz I got the bass - thank you mr slouch, glasses on the riser - we're off for the last time in australia - "raw power" slamming hard. very good bass sound. mr slouch has this rig really working well these last five gigs, very good sound. I'm trying to move my legs a little bit, move my body. in front of us theres the gig-goers but right behind them are lots of rides and shit going on, strange. "search and destroy" second (yep!) and I get in-the-middle-on-pinball-machine thoughts and just block those stupid rides out and nail my eyes to ig. there's bright sun but at an angle that makes it not painful but yeah, they did point the stage wrong (I mean if you wanna get it right) yet again. the dryness and the breeze though make things calm and not like that first sydney (oh, by the way we heard sydney was 42 c yesterday, 'pert-near 108 f - now that's intense!), it's not like melbourne or adelaide either - very nice gig weather. "gimme danger" up and rockin' good, the band cooking well, ig in righteous form and his arms looking good - he ain't been "downstairs" (in the moat yet) but he's dancing, twirling and leaping real good. he did tell the folks along w/who we are that we can play the blues or maybe that's what I heard so I did have to check that set list again - no, no "...need somebody" there. he calls for dancers and we get a good group quick. they dance their brains out to "shake appeal" - one cat in front of my amps in the slow mo just groovin' on it. whoa. I think one lady is up here w/her son, that's what it looks like! both are dancing though big time though. w/out waiting for everyone to get cleared, ig wants "1970" now and I mean NOW - we give it to him. scotty's back to the double floor tom ending - last gig he abandoned it (or "modified" it, he told us today! yeah "modified" the double floor out!). he's playing so great, really REALLY fucking great. what a trip to have slam blam behind me like it does, driving me, throttling me. I throttle it up one last time for "l.a. blues" - maybe my most go off, I mean what I can do w/the way I am. I wanna use my body so much - I wanna get on the deck but I can't risk it, fuck. I do the palsy punps on the amp, I have to hold on so I don't fall. I wanna do windmill even but am afraid of that. scotty-san holds out a long time to let me tune, trippy. he's never held out this long but finally he brings us into "night theme" and I'm hearing something weird. now I'm writing this after so I know what happened but at this point I'm just thinking there's some strange "overtone" or whatever. I ride it out. I am a fucking idiot. I should've fixed it then. "skull ring" has got it too but "beyond the law" is way obvious something's up but I won't accept it. I see road boss eric in the pit, looking up at me and mouthing warnings - not mean ones but out of concern. I'm hitting the notes right - somehow things seem ok for "I got a right" (I think back now and wonder how the fuck could've that happened - no way... maybe it's the fast tempo of the tune?) in the quiet part of "I wanna be your dog" I guess ig couldn't handle it any more (later he'd tell me he was trying to ignore it but it got just too much) and from the moat, hollers up at me but LIKE A TOTAL FUCKING IDIOT I think he thinks we're out of time so I stop after looking at james to make sure we're on when I come back but of course, that wasn't the problem at all. he calls for "fun house" and I finally realize the fucking 'a' string is sharp a half-step, oh my god - I look over at james again and fully realize I AM A FULL-ON MORON. ig asks me to stop but thankfully he keeps the band going - great james brown move, like a breakdown I go to the tuner and get that fucking string right but in my mind I'm thinking maybe it was never wrong - WHY DID I THINK SUCH A STUPID THING???!!!! anyway, when I come back, things sound right now. "no fun" sounds right, the probe is fixed but fuck, that four tunes stunk up by me - TOTALLY STUNK UP BY ME. still though I call it an "overtone" when I join the guys back of the curtain and apologize to ig. what a fucking 'tard I am, why the denial now, why the denial when I heard it in "night theme" and not just getting it fixed. this was one stupid move ever. we go and do "open up and bleed" and the bass is right there - no "weird overtone" cuz there never was one - I had the 'a' string sharp. we play the tune good - it's the first time since clamming it twice and I'm grateful ig believed in us enough to let us give it another go.we finish up w/a happening "cock in my pocket'" maybe a little slow but still way-together for a tune that was never touched by us for at least seven or eight months - not even at the prac in west hollywood. we're off and I walk back. I feel like a total fucking doof. I figure it out, I think: both arrows went green on the boss tuner but what I didn't see was the little dot next to the letter that tells you what note the tuner's hearing that means it's not actually that note but one half-step higher, that's what happened. max confirms that right away - that suspicion I had in "night theme" was no suspicion but a fucking reality check I failed and bozo'd out on big time. I apologize to james in the dressing room. I feel like a fucking idiot. I apologize to scotty-san. brother steve empathizes, even saying he blew in e over the a at the beginning of "cock..." cuz whoops, wrong key. mr slouch I'm told was holding the blue bass for me to use but I never saw that and anyway, not his fail cuz I did realize in my stupid fucking no-brain 'tard mind that I had a problem. well, let me tell you, I'm gonna learn from this, learn from it big time. maybe a different tuner? actually, I need a different consciousness, one more together and in real time. I wanna go to the 'tel now, only eight bells but I feel really bad about myself, I love the stooges so much. I go by ig's room and he asks me to come in - I wanted to apologize at the hatch and not be any more of a pain but he wants me to know it was ok - he even says it's ok if I wear my glasses on stage, he says, "your specs look good, you can wear them" cuz he knows it's a little hard for me to see but I just take his and hold it tight to tell him I'm so sorry. he says it's ok and I tell him thank you for getting me aware cuz I couldn't believe I was so oblivious - and so stupid to think it was just overtone. he says he hope he was ok w/how he made me alert - I tell him he can do anything to get me together, I tell him he can knock my fuckin' shit out, no problem. he is very kind to me and gives me the biggest smile. I bow as low as I can and almost start crying. jim jones is here, a very cool man who's seen us every gig - I don't wanna bogart any more time. I just promise ig I'll do better, I promise. nina's very kind too, I back out the hatch. all this in my head - I didn't mention that tour boss henry took a heavy blow from some big steel shit on the hatch of ig's can and - the paramedics come to help him but he's ok, just a cut and very big lump on the top of his head. you know, I had this theory nothing can go wrong on the last gig of a tour cuz if you've made it that far then it's a fucking miracle but I think I'm gonna have to amend that. fuck, I can't stop thinking about... scotty-san gave me so much time too, it's almost like it was supposed to happen - not to fuck w/the stooges but more like to backhand some fucking humility into me, knock me off the fucking high horse, trip up the prance. sure as I'm in grovel mode now, I can't undo anything. I can only be not so stupid next time and that scares me cuz the moment is always there, eligible to be graced by healthy heaping of my stupid fuckedupness. I only say bye to the few guys I see on the way out cuz I'm so embarrassed. actually everyone was very kind to me about this, very kind.

   what a thoughtless fucking place I had my head stuck up - there's some small talk in the van shuttle going to the 'tel, about the bushfires in australia and the wild weather, about trips to russia (one cat was there in the 70s when he was twelve w/long hair and said men wanted to dance w/him cuz they thought he was a woman) and this helps me not dwell too much on my tuning fuck up but - fuck, what about regret. thank god ig caught it and I didn't ruin the entire set. fuck, thank god ig's arms stayed together, thank god. I'm glad eiko-san is there to hear me confess my mega-clam, we practice english-go. brother steve comes in. there's a end-of-gig party so he says I should go even though we gotta bail at four am. I completely pack and then put on my going-home-outfit: clean socks, clean chonies, clean flannel and even clean levis cuz they're stage ones that never got used. so great to have a clean outfit to go home in, especially w/like eighteen hours of flying to do. I go downstairs and ask the lady for a wakeup call and then go to the ballroom. again, bobby sees me and we have a good time w/spiel. he said he read up on emma goldman, he says his pop knows a bunch of stuff cuz he's a trades union man. I tell him about the iww and he's says he's gonna ask his pop. we meet warren. yeah, one more time we get to have a big spiel. big respect to everyone kind to me. it felt good in a way to relate my tuning clam to warren and bobby cuz they're such great musicians and it is a good humbling for me to take on the chin. I get a shot w/barrie, such a great cat too. I finally remember to use my camera!

barrie cadogan and watt in perth on january 7, 2011

I've spent so much of the tour by myself but when cats like this, I'm not afraid to be social. fuck, I am such a social 'tard, I try and be real careful about that, about getting too carried away and speaking like an idiot, I mean MORE like an idiot. this town on this night - thinking about it makes it even more poignant.

   I go to just rest some before the four am lobby call but whoa, 4:05 am and there's this beep-beep-beep cuz I guess that's the "wake-up" call but all I have to do is just hobble out the hatch w/my 'puter wacksack and yellow clothes sack. there's steve and derek - we're all three going to sydney. it's a four hour flight on qantas 767 and the man next to me, peter, is very kind. usually I never speak a word hardly on flights - again, the social 'tard. we asked to sit back down after standing up to debark at the sydney airport - federal police come aboard to arrest someone. not too much of a delay. I never see derek and steve again though after we get off the bus for the international terminal. derek said he could help me w/a setting on the tuner that won't let it tune chromatic. see, everyone wanting to help me - I gotta try harder to help them back, just gotta. when I see mr slouch again, I'll tell him:"you don't have to say it, I will: I am a stupid man!"

   I chow a bento box by the gate I'm gonna bail out of. it's fresh chow! I know airport chow but the best I've had I think and only ten dollars (remember, australia is spendy prices these days). I have only 242 dollars of per diem left the least I've ever brought back for as long as I've been out cuz see, I'm usually way econo and wanna take home as much as possible but the dollar was real weak. I try to trade these in but the currency exchange guy is having problems so fuck, I'll do it at lax. w/euros and pounds, I keep it cuz I go back to those places but don't know when I'll come to these parts again. I hope I do though. nice land, nice people. I'm on a qantas airbus 380 for the thirteen hour ride back. these are brand new, they hold 450 passengers! my first time aboard. two full levels, not just a partial upper one like a 747. and whoa, I'm in "premium economy" which means bigger seats/leg room and stuff. I wonder why? I konk first seven hours, no prob. actually, staying up late was good idea cuz since landing at 9:45 am means being awake would be good thing to get body clock back on w/pedro time. I chimp the rest of this hear tour spiel w/the rest and never watch any crap movie. I do read a little of the keef book but not much - I'll get to it. but so much to do now, tour w/the missingmen for my third opera starts in thirtyone days!

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this page created 22 jan 11