from todd congelliere:
and beach boys), we stop at another chain pad where I went w/raul earlier in pedro (they are all over) to make sure one axel of chains is enough - hell, I've never used them before - spoiled so cal for so long now! man, is it steady as she goes - as far as crawling but we break out once we hit the val and steady is the word for the ride cuz of those probs I was feeling last time up this way (back in december for gigs w/my secondmen opening for x), I am most grateful. we fuel up near wasco (raymond lived here a little as a boy) and I get a "handcrafted" microwave burrito - what the fuck? we all three get a bit to taste what's that like and damn if it ain't got J I V E spelled all over it. I needed something though. we got my ipod that's got 'pert-near nine thousand tunes on random shuffle and the weather's clear and nice - everything so much greener than usual cuz of all the recent rain. at "joe's plaza" in westley off the I-5 we switch ponies and raul takes the wheel after getting me a subway sandwich w/tuna, mustard, pickles, olives w/potato chips inserted for texture, watt's tour usual for years now.
raul drives us smoov and comments how happening the boat feels. it is smoov sailing 'til we hit the bay area and then just past dublin (not the ireland but the nor cal tract-home one!) on the I-580 begins a buttload of stau ('traffic jam' in deutsch) that lasts for fucking hours, past the east bay and across the san rafael bridge (hey there, san quentin!)
then across to marin and up to sonoma, the fucking stau is relentless. we get into santa rosa around seeven, blow by the venue by a block but finally drop anchor. it's a neat pad called the arlene francis center and lots of community stuff happens here. very nice people. hey, the toys that kill cats beat us here, in a fucking big ol' rv too! I've always wanted to tour w/these guys and even if it's just a little one like this here, it's still righteous for watt - hell, I wanted to do bass for them for a tour when chach was unavailable but stooges duty kept me from that. they're really good people and I dig their music. the gigbosses here, ian and sean are most kind - ian gets me some turkey chili and I chow that. we got three bands tonight and I meet the guys in decent criminal who are very friendly, good spirit. I see their set from the tables w/the merch - yeah, I'm sitting at the merch table instead of konking in the boat like usual, slinging a special shirt for this tour raul printed, some seven inches of missingmen (art from mr tom fec) and secondmen (bob lee giving it to jer on the cover) seven inchers plus both il sogno del marinaio cds and the only one by spielgusher. the gig-goers are very kind to me.
toys that kill tear it up, love their set and I'm inspired. wish though chach had more punch - maybe he should try a 1x15 to go w/his 4/10 box? I really like him, jimmy on the drums too - hey, I find out his real first name is mike, whoa! the stageboss reese helps me get stuff together on stage, very kind of him especially w/the fucked-up knee I'm still wheeling around. soundman morgan agrees to be our fourth man for the night, alright. we hit at five ahead of ten. the santa rosa gig-goers really bring the heart, big respect to them and it helps me w/the "first gig of a tour" scary shit that can creep up on me. the only bummer I think is tom's guitar ain't loud enough so I keep hollering at him to get it up - he's playing good but just some sag here and there cuz of... well... it ain't a reggae band, right? it's a power trio! it's a good time though even w/the kick drum mic (the other two mics me and tom are using for singing) falls over and goes into "ambient room" mode. I wish there was a mic for raul's snare but maybe it's sounding good for the people - I ask them for a sec but still wanna hear tom so I ask him over the mic to turn the fuck up. he does. happening. the santa rosa gig-goers give us an encore and I sling some shit from the stage - raul did really good w/these shirts - both us and the toys incorporated in the art (my good friend nanny did my third opera takes on me and my missingmen). first gig of the tiny tour is a wailer, all right!
dennis and raven, who moved from pedro to here years ago has invited us to konk at their pad, very kind. dennis was actually the first toys that kill drummer - ain't that a trip? stageboss reese helps us load which is beautiful especially seeing I'm a cripple and w/the loading dock sitch pretty fucking useless. I gotta play santa rosa more - I will. dennis and raven are waiting for use - they got us a bottle of beam! very kind. we spiel and have a good time w/them, really righteous people. dennis knows my ma cuz he worked at the "trader joe's" in my pedro town (he works for the company here in 'rosa - so did the gigboss sean... that was the connect toys todd cong made to get this gig lit, respect!) and she liked shopping there... he asks about her so I tell her about her struggle w/health, getting the bladder cancer cut out of her and wrestling w/copd. he has her address and said he wants to write her. good man.
I konk w/both my men on the living room deck, using my konk sack for a blankie. it's very comfortable here... this pad has very happening vibe and I feel safe for us. I think we konk a quarter of two.
friday, february 24, 2017 - medford, or
pop at seven, we gotta pull anchor at eight cuz of two reasons: 1) we got a lot of ground to cover and 2) we gotta get over siskiyou pass as close to one or two pm cuz that's prolly when it's warmest. weather.com says forty percent chance of rain in medford which is our final goal: first time I get to play there after passing by it (only twentyeight miles from california's northern border) buttloads of times over the thirtythree years I've been touring this way. dennis makes us coff, we get to meet him and raven's son django - this young man is sharp, much respect! he shows his lego creations while little rescue dog pippi kind of competes for attention - they're both beautiful... what a great family, big love to them.
it's five after eight when we shove, not too bad. we gotta get off the coast here and get us to the sacramento valley and the I-5, I wheel up some state roads up to highway 29 which has got some (some?!) winding road that gets 'pert-near hair-pinned at times, a lot of focus required but again I feel so grateful I wasn't a total fucking baka and got those brakes and new tires done to the boat, amen. the weather's cold but there's lots of sun which is good. motherfuckers tailgating me ain't though, fuck them big time - assholes. hardly any shoulder either let alone turnouts, a little frustrating. it's over ninety miles and most of it like that though more calmer once we get on highway 20 but then there's some pretty huge construction where they shut one direction down to let the other come through. at williams we finally get on the interstate, crimony. I take us north as far as red bluff where I pull us over to fuel up and switch ponies, raul's turn. my pop grew up in red bluff and it's always trippy for me to be here. I visited I think three times here as a little boy? hard to remember but I think my sister melinda was born her on the first time. I remember the pad but not the town much except for it being really hot - I think it was summertime when we here. the pad was a turned mostly into a convalescent home, my grandma fey did that to support the family. by this time my grandpa b.b. was pretty crippled up w/arthritis. the gas station is by some railroad tracks and I stare at them a long time... were they here then?" I wonder... we pass a rebuilt clock tower that burned down in the 80s...
one in the afternoon and raul takes us through redding up into the shasta parts. what a mindblow, how the reservoirs lakes have recovered cuz of all the rain has come down in the last few months... crimony - last summer everything was bone dry and the water levels down so SO low - very depressing. all better now and though the skies are getting grayer, the weather's holding even w/snow now on the roadside not long after passing weed. no warning stuff for chains on the signs but they do say "carry chains" and that we are, got them in a sack. raul's driving really good and careful,
we make it over siskiyou summit at two and a half, the highest point on I-5. you can tell it just snowed maybe this morning or something but the road is clear and safe. just across the border into oregon we see on the going south side a pile of rocks that must've come down, a little fucking avalanche - damn, does that look scary! I cross myself in my head.
we hit the old downtown part of medford (very happening: nearby's a mota shoppe that's called "la mota" - glad it's catching on, I've been using mota since I was young - love the way saying it has the 't' sound like a wet 'd') right near four, the venue tonight is called rocky tonk and it's an upstairs pad that's pretty big and open, not looking like it's for music but the p.a. look like a good size for the job. I meet the gigboss john, a nice man who's doing not just tonight but the bend and eugene gigs too, alright. I meet soundman siro and helperman adam, both happening cats. helperman adam tells me when he was a young teenager he saw me on a bill w/the butthole surfers and stone temple pilots - oh yeah, basshead too. after soundcheck I talk w/the padowner's brother in law billy who's been getting more and more into the music racket, I dig his spirit and determination. tom brings me a salad w/chicken and little pieces of bread (not croutons) in it. fifteen bucks but it tastes good and healthy. gigboss john was most kind to give us twenty each for chow. the toys cats still ain't here... they arrive at seven and a half, having all kinds of delays - they hit snow even! I'm glad they're safe and I'm glad they're here. I chimp diary and also rap a bunch w/sound helperman adam, he knows a bunch about the older days, very cool people. speaking of older days - my old buddy merrill ward shows up w/a couple of friends, he lives in ashland now but in so cal in the old days he was in overkill and swa - well, I ain't seen him in like twenty-whatever years, big hugs! it's his bday, more hugs! we spiel and catch up some. it's sure great to see merrill again.
the toys cats tear into their set at nine and whoa, they were good last night but I'm digging tonight even more. it's a good time and I'm getting lit by them whuppin' it up, respect. we follow them up right quick, both our bands work really good together, ganbaro! I tell the medford gig-goers this is our first time playing here and it's happening this got to happen. we bring the set and right away I ask tom to get the guitar up, I can't hear him at all. hmm... maybe it's this fender twin he's using - last year his fender bandmaster fell over and hasn't worked since... I really dug that amp. he's playing good, it's just the leads ain't popping out. raul's playing good too. we're kind out of prac a little cuz I was doing so much secondmen lately but we're getting it together... I love playing w/tom and raul. it's a blast playing for the medford gig-goers too, they're most kind and show us buttloads of respect and are big time into it, much dancing. I have to stop "the big foist" cuz tom spaced on the first verse but after I recite it, we come in tight all together and finish the tune strong. I screwed up some words too at this gig, truth be told. I thank both soundman siro and helperman adam, later I hear from folks how good they got the sound going which I think is very happening cuz of the challenges of the room but I guess I'm wrong (soundman siro said he was very surprised by us, thinking we were gonna be something else he expected - he said he dug how we "broke the rules" and had our own sound - respect to him). I sling much after we're done, the gig-goers here in medford most kind - sometimes just w/kind words and hugs, I'm glad folks wanna see the gig, the merch stuff is just something on the side. I get a sticker from a man who's got a band named brine - I like that name, thank you much!
good thing the elevator's working - it's the first time I've been out of the building since I arrived. I thank gigboss john much and will see him again wednesday in bend, god willing. w/the boat loaded, I pull her away but the bumper hooks a bench and pulls it off some - no harm/no foul, no blood/no ambulance but damn was the sound scary and it freaked me out some. we've been invited by a great cat named steve who set me up to be on "the church of rock show" on kskq a few weeks ago. ah shit, forgot to mention it was great meeting rev derek moody and sister tracy. we head thirty miles north up I-5 to grant's pass and find his pad kind out of town but it's righteous. I point the best way for bailing tomorrow and w/in minutes I'm hosing off in steve and shannon's pad that they've set up w/many air mattresses for me and my men plus the toys cats. steve offered for me to "hose off" - he reads the diaries? maybe, huh? he breaks out some tequila and we all have a good time. the toys cats are really hip to stuff, bright cats. sean and todd have a big rap w/me and our host steve about intense stuff - man, d boon would've loved this scene... I start thinking about him... maybe I konk a little before two? oh, we got to do wash, righteous cuz I sweated my levis at the gig - so good to konk in my nightware.
saturday, february 25, 2017 - portland, or
pop at seven bells, why? don't know. I'm up though and so let's do some work... I got answer this interview regarding the upcoming big walnuts yonder debut that's coming out in three months. these questions are all about how the proj came about and how it happened. basically it goes like this: when I met nick reinhart, it was when tera melos shared a stage w/me and my missingmen - we got to talking and he asked me about the guitar player from my first opera. that was nels cline and I told him if he wanted to really know him, then he should play w/him. I asked nels and he was into it, he asked if nick would pick the drummer and nick picked greg saunier which was really bitchin' cuz nels was good friends w/him and in fact, took me to first see deerhoof in the late 90s at a pad in wilmas (next to my pedro town) so we had some pretty solid connects. three days in july of 2014 found all four of us w/my hero tony maimone at him and joel hamilton's studio g in brooklyn for three days to record this album. I brought in eight tunes I wrote for this proj and we had one from nels and one from greg. months later nick asks me to do spiel on two tunes while he would do spiel for seven others, leaving nels' piece to remain instrumental. greg mixed the whole baby last year and now here it's coming. I'm so very glad this happened, it's trippy!
when steve and shannon get up, they make us all chow (scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, avocados), very kind of them! it's good shoveling.
we pull anchor at eleven. it's gray skies but not raining. out of grant's pass, I wheel us north on I-5 w/driving conditions pretty but damn if we see lots of trees fucked up w/some parasite maybe fungus killing them, terrible, breaks my heart. this tour when I'm wheelman, tom's been in the shotgun seat w/raul resting on the back bench seat, waiting for me when I get too beat. at one he takes the wheel just south of yoncalla - I got half of that tuna salad and stuff it w/chips that are called "pepperoncini flavored" which they are not... well, now I know. not long after getting back on freeway the toys that kill cats catch up w/us in there rv - damn if I would ever tour one of those but todd's at the helm and they're wailing on it. our boat's got a v-10 triton and real easy raul overtakes them and we leave them behind... for now - we'll connect back up again at the venue.
not too much plug in portland
and we get to mississippi studios (where we're playing tonight) an hour before scheduled load-in but that ain't a prob and actually a good thing. we meet padboss ray who is very cool people and likewise is soundman boone (yeah, 'pert-near d boon's name except for the 'e') who is way into being our fourth man, fucking alright! first time at this pad for us but I got a good feel already. we do soundcheck and backstage I chimp diary... the green room's upstairs but fuck that w/my bad knee. I hold out for chow 'til lance bangs and corin tucker arrive w/their kids marshall tucker and glory, beautiful. corin gets me a trippy salad (we're chowing next door to the venue which is part of it) that's arugula w/beets and roasted chick peas and fetta cheese topped w/a fried egg - it's good! after I vent a little on the current weird sitch I find the land in, I get into to telling about me and my pop - maybe cuz he's sitting next to his boy marshall tucker... I don't know but I try to pack in as much as I can. I think maybe little glory is getting bored to tears! lance asks me for any advice I can give to marshall tucker (he's fifteen now) and right away out of my mouf comes "get your driver's license as soon as you can" - he says he's already got a learner's permit. I tell him he ain't gotta use it but just to have it. the other thing I suggest is to learn as many "life skills" as he can, have what my pop called "bravos" (plans b's, backup strategies) just in case... you know, that's what "keep your powder dry" is supposed to mean. so very nice to spend time w/these righteous cats, my favorite chow of the tour! lance takes us a shot of me w/his fam:
heading back to the backstage, a young man named andy has me sign his wattplower and gives me a bunch of beef jerky which is very kind but I only got half (less than half) of my teef so I give some to tom watson who says it's real good... I try a little bit and damn, he's right - real good! thank you, andy! I explain to him the three kinds of strings I'm familiar w/for bass: flat-wounds, round-wounds and half-wounds. half-wounds are what I'm using now and heavier ones: 50-70-85-105. andy has me sign green wattplower, I put it back of the headstock, next to the california state outline w/s star place where my pedro town is, I think that's a good place. I hope andy has a good time w/this bass, I wish him well and safe seas.
backstage I chimp some diary after having a big talk w/soundman boone - he wants to get a van for touring and wants some advice. I tell him DO NOT skimp on the suspension, go for one ton and nothing less. for the econoline that means the e350 - I don't give a recommend actually for dodge or chevy cuz had real bad luck w/them. I tell him the heavy duty stuff is good cuz you don't run the machine at the margins, you got more "headroom" (using a soundman-specific metaphor) so stuff doesn't get so beatup. a real important thing is maintenance, do that w/stuff really bonused in the first place and that's the ticket. if you got a motor that's not strong enough then you're gonna be flooring it more and wearing on it real hard. I've never been to the floor in my boat, it's got a v-10 triton 6.8 liter w/lots of oomph to spare and it proves itself in reliability and jamming econo. econo doesn't just mean the cheapest price, it means the most bang for buck. my pop used to say "buy it right, but it once" and life's taught me that makes good sense. I tell him about what I did: get an empty can one tonner w/a strong motor and minimum windows - windshield and windows for both front hatches, that means three total. you gotta drive w/mirrors anyway and you don't want people looking inside. I got a bench seat for behind the two front seats that are installed easy at those pads who modify vehicles for handicap and special application sitch's and then build a shelf (about two to three feet from the overhead) in the back w/a retrain bulkhead a couple of feet behind the bench seat to keep the equipment in so it don't come forward if something happens. that's my advice. oh, I put a curtain rod aft of the two front seats that holds up a curtain to keep things behind it unknown from the three windows. boone thanks me and I go back to chimping diary.
at nine the toys cats hit and jimmy blasts the beater from his kick pedal in the first tune, a real momentum killer (they do spiel in the meantime like thinking out loud about why some of my projs have my name in them and some don't - I'll explain that later) but they charge on after replacing it (tom watson comes to the rescue) and do real good. they do much stage banter. of course the kings of that was fear but todd and sean have a good time w/their spiels. our turn next, we hit right on time at ten. m ward wrote me and said he was coming and so did bill from sightworks (the cats who host my radio show) plus lance bangs - I wanna do good for all of them. I try to stay relaxed though, you can lame your shit out of if you get too self-conscious, I've think. we bring a trippy set, one full of clams - I think at least three tunes I started us over but we'd snap right in and I thought it showed a good humanity and also connect between us three... I also gotta include the portland gig-goers cuz damn were they giving big respects and letting us work the dealio like it was a living thing instead of some robotic scripted dog and pony pile of gero ('puke' in jap). a couple of times tom just spaced on the words, it happens, we're still getting it together. we bonus up the urninals "surfin' w/the shah" and damn is that almos careened over the cliff but I kind of liked the chaos that's still can keep it together in a trippy way. I could've done better in places also but I'm working on getting together too - it's a team process in this band. the spirit in the room is good and it's a trip playing to a balc, where do you put your focus? on your men, that's where! it's ok to give everyone in the room some looks though.
me looking back on last night now as I'm chimping diary about it the next day, I think it was good gig, a happening one - tom and raul were a big reason and so were the gig-goers, also the mississippi studios people - I'm most grateful. I sling stuff and get the good word from many gig-goers. I hope it's clear I'm grateful for people just being here, let alone getting anything I'm slinging once I'm done. sometimes I feel when I look at some people that they're disappointed w/me, especially when maybe I show some frustration. arrrggghhhhhh, it's hard making change, pulling bills out of your pocket - I am a baka. so what if I have to repeat myself, it can be hard hear my stumblebum mouf. sorry to everyone if I seemed like a doof cuz that was not my intention. so good to see andy from kansas city (though he's lived here a number of years now) - his brother john will see me w/the tom & jerry show in may back where he came from. both these guys are beautiful, seeing many of my gigs since the minutemen days. it's an honor to shake andy's hand, a real connect, a true one.
I settle w/the bosslady zoe and she gives us beers for kevin's - kid kevin (guitarist for killer dreamer which also had raul on drums) and his wife larry moved up here a couple years of ago after living in pedro for years (he's actually from fullerton)... it's a 990 miles, he said he's done it many times (I couldn't remember when I was talking to the gig-goers about him at the end of the gig) but what he really wants is us to come konk at his pad which we are most happy and grateful for. we're loaded up and ready to bail but he's gotta go get a bottle of bourbon he said he got for us so we wait a little while and then over to his pad, about twenty minutes away. it's cold in there - I get the wet outfit off and into the nightwear... raul gathers up our clothes cuz kevin's offered up his washer/dryer - most kind! you know what really helps me warm up? this white cat of kevin and larry's w/two different colored eyes named malo
that's a super cuddly purr machine, incredible. she even gives some rubs and gets my core temp back up to healthy. kevin's got some buddies who come over and then the toys cats arrive and it's a full-on party. I discus good stuff w/sean, lots! from cooking herbs to musical temper - sean is pretty deep cat, I never really knew but that's a great thing about touring - it's a trip he's lived in pedro twenty years too... he is fifteen years younger but... I guess I'm man-alone a bunch in my pedro town, huh? life is a journey. anyway, I'm so glad to get to rap w/sean like I'm getting to do on this tiny tour.
I run out of gas though and larry's let me konk in her sewing room. there's a little silver tabby kitty also and I get some warmness donated cuz of my chest becoming a konk pad for the little one. I think it's one and a half when I'm out? maybe, can't read the numbers on my watch w/out the glasses on this far along on my life journey. I remember writing joe carducci an email regarding seeing our mutual friend merrill ward, I also recommended to joe to read "light in august" by william faulkner cuz of something in his last email to me... what was that? oh, I told him something about me growing up in navy housing - hell, I was beat... sweated my levis. so glad kevin let us do wash, let us stay here... grateful for warmness from both those cats... watt konks most grateful!
sunday, february 26, 2017 - bellingham, wa
pop at nine - hey, chach is konked under the table right near - that's a trip, both bassmen brought stereo bass to larry's sewing room! it's cold... and there's another kitty, a silver tabby. smaller than malo but a little purr motor just the same, warmness on me while I do email, huge thank yous for the assist. a few weeks ago I saw on one of the local so cal vietnam channels a doc on how artichoke tea is done in that land. it made me curious so I got some. I dug it and now on tour I'm taking capsules of it - no drogas, just powdered up artichoke in caps, spread a couple out every day and it helps w/my guts (stomach and lower), I can feel it. good stuff. there's some rain but it ain't pouring. it is cold but hey, this ain't pedro. big hugs for kid kevin, he was so glad we came over, had a good time and konked here and you know I'm digging it, got to spend another great night w/the toys cats as well. big hugs for them and for larry, pull anchor at eleven and I wheel us north for the most north gig of the tour.
so it's north on the I-5 and quick over the state line and into washington. raul's konking on the back bench w/tom riding shotgun. there's some plug as we pass seattle but the town looks pretty - we'll be here tuesday. two and a half I pull the boat over for a pony switch just past sea-tac airport... he gets us past seattle and we get our first full-on blue skies of the ride, alright. I really feel safe w/raul at the wheel, he's been driving so good - much respect to him, keeping me and tom safe. the drill usually is only spiel or silence during my shift so whoever can konk or whatever but then when I trade the wheel seat for riding shotgun, we put the ipod on suffle and see what the dealer's choice brings us. I'll tell you what: I can't explain but damn if time after time we're talking about some tune or some band and then crimony, it'll come up on the ipod random suffle toss - it's uncanny, like w/agit-pop's "freebase dream" coming on real close after us spieling about it - how does that fucking work? life is a trip.
a sunny bellingham awaits us, twenty after four raul parks the boat in front of the wrong pad cuz he wouldn't listen to the gps navigatorio and did the east version of the street number instead of west - no big thing but what's really trippy is when the street switches from east to west, the odd numbered side of the street switches w/the even numbered ones, what? well, it's their town and they can run like that if they want, again it's no big thing. raul did real good driving again too. we're at wild buffalo tonight and gigboss zach (good man) has us park in the alley where the load-in hatch is. hell, you could never park in an alley like this (no way can a vehicle get around the boat) where we're from you'd get towed just like that but we're assured we're ok. we soundcheck w/soundman rich who is very cool people pretty quick, I have both me and tom's voices in each other's monitors - this was one prob last night. I hate long checks so soon as we get done w/the b.o.c. tune, we're out. I stay in the pad though wile tom and raul get me a greek salad nearby on a tip from rich - I then talk to rich about the wattplower bass cuz he asks me about it.
the toys cats get here just before seven. I'm downstairs and eating this greek salad - no lettuce but really good. big chunks of tomato and cucumber, big ones w/fetta cheese, olives and sliced red bell pepper - feels good inside me, yeah a great greek-style dressing too, super happening - thank you tom! jacob from seattle sent two friends w/homemade hot sauces for me, "hosa hotta watt" sauce - can't wait to try it - so very kind of them. I use some towels down here on my legs as a blankie as I chimp diary. some of the pad people bring me an electric space heater - tom and raul are konked in the other chamber down here, they're tired from last night cuz it went late.
the toys cats hit at nine and a half, beautiful when a band doesn't stall, no matter what the sitch, huh? respect. the kick it out good and get the bellingham gig-goers what todd tells me "lubed" and I thank him much for that. good crowd for a sunday, thank you bellingham. professor brian bowe is here, real good people I've know since he was writing for creem when it was having a resurrection period - he's gonna have us konk at his pad, most kind. ok, time to work this room. we bring our set and damn if we ain't got that prob again w/tom's leads not popping out EXCEPT when he uses the wahwah so there's something there we gotta check out. it's frustrating but we'll get it. his playing is great, everything except that one lack of dynamic. some gig-goers heckle a little bit or maybe I should say yammer - they make it tough to talk w/them. the last bunch years I've been only doing spiels at the beginning and the end so I don't do much but damn... I guess in some cases it's the magic of alcohol or whatever. we do get some beer thrown at us from the port side. it's no big deal 'til some gets raul in the face and I think that's kind of lame, especially when it was some guy who said he liked me (raul will tell me later what looked liked this guy's girlfriend got pissed and stormed off after he did this), confusing. this is not a bellingham problem I tell the people, everywhere is where I wanna play and I know anything can happen anywhere. I tell them something I learned once: it's not where you're from, it's where you're at - how you conduct yourself. I haven't had to have a spiel like this in a while but maybe that's how thinks add up in a certain sitch - for sure I ain't gonna blame this town or most the folks here... they're very kind to us and I think some silly stuff was just mixed-up feelings and stuff like that. we're brought back for an encore and man, it's tough cuz of this prob w/tom's lack of level for solos but what's worse is him not making any eye-contact the whole tune. I can't remember when something like that's happened in the eighteen years we've played together - it was frustrating but it makes wanna do the stooges "fun house" not only for professor brian but cuz I don't wanna explode and instead want to vent via the bass - we do the longest version of that tune I think this band's ever done w/me for the longest time just hammering out the one riff w/no fills or whatever, just all pocket but real aggressive. tom plays really good, using that wahwah like a man possessed, he's great. raul was really good too, channeling scotty-san for us! big love.
the bellingham gig-goers are most kind and though there's some frustrations a little be w/the slinging of merch, no big deal most the time and I'm a little beat too, don't know why but maybe it's cuz I played my brains out, I don't know. I wish I had more time for everyone. I do bass a little better than sling merch, I'm most grateful for everyone's kindness - just for being here. the most kind cat who let us konk at his pad last time we were here in town comes to say hi and asks if we remember him and of course we do cuz of his buddy who was "camping in the woods" - actually like a hundred feet away or so in the woods, frying his brains out. his farewell to us has been repeated many times in the boat: "later bitches" - like what was that about?! this man here though was nothing like that and was total kindness to us. all the gig-goers now gone, me and soundman rich talk more about bass as we get the tear-down and load-out going... in not too long a time we're suddenly leaving w/professor brian on board.
professor brian guides us to the back of his pad where I dock the boat. tonight no toys cats w/us, I get the couch downstairs while my men go upstairs. me and brian talk a little before it's time to konk - he's got school in the morning and it's one now so I'm out but not before thanking him for his happening hospitality.
monday, february 27, 2017 - olympia, wa
pop at seven bells. professor brian soon joins me in his morroco nightware and we have good spiels about a whole range of stuff from his work w/his students to the master musicians of joujouka to of course the stooges and even bernie worrell - bernie's last place he lived was here in bellingham. so sad he's gone. I was brought in to do a proj w/him by evan taylor and then he ran out of time. I wrote three tunes for him when he had to leave. he was always so kind to me, so kind. I never get used to losing people, never... a terrible blow. when tom and raul pops, he cooks up some scrambled eggs w/pork that's happening, thank you, professor brian! I hose off - hey, brian's got bronner's soap - love this stuff, love it! I just got turned on last tour to another soap I dig, duschdas but bronner's goes way back w/me.
we're seeing snow come down through the window... oh boy, time to do the safety prayers and make sure I focus to keep vigilant, we pull anchor just after noon. and damn if that alley that was easy enough last night now is really scary... I can't let the tires spin so I gear the boat way low, dodging all the potholes that now look like little version of lakes in a way. luckily the I-5 is right close and I wheel us south as the sky drops heavier and heavier white on us. luckily no mountain passes to deal w/but damn if some of these idiot drivers w/their risky motherfucking foolish lame driving is the scariest stuff I gotta deal w/and that's including some trucks w/big loads - most drivers doing that work are very professional but I can believe what I'm seeing and trying hardest to avoid here: total bakas!
tom does good co-pilot stuff by providing good conversation that also includes his helpful observations, like I got another pair of eyes - thank you, tom. raul's konking behind the curtain (he pulled it closed) cuz he got lame konk last night cuz his konk sack is too piddly - I remind him about the maybe eight blankies I got in the boat and the layer thing can work really good at keeping him healthy. I love raul much and want him healthy as possible. he's reading a book on natural childbirth - he's gonna try and help paloma bring the new shape into this world, beautiful. what's trippy now is though he's konked, when I mention something about chow, he pops immediately. when tom's in the navigatorio seat (very essential in the days before gps naviagatorio), he helps me at the wheel w/much interesting spiel - tom's a great conversation meister, much respect to help. both these men help me so much, you gotta know, good people. we're clear of the snow safe (professor brian's wife heather said there's a lot of microclimates in these parts) when heavy rain wails on us (w/some people doing still fucking driving like assholes - idiot moves and driving too fast) and like w/the snow I keep calm and all the way focused and getting the big picture, aiming high on the wheel and looking way down the road. we get a road sign message that I-5 is closed at seattle which turns into 'pert-near ninety minute plug that's got un going doing tiny runs a few blocks of the freeway, crawling through neighborhoods - I mean really crawling, lots of times stopped for the longest time.
only gaman ('patience' in jap) and vigilance can help here cuz freaking out will get us nothing. all this stau gives me a chance to learn tom and raul some about my parents and their parents - w/all the time I've spent w/them I thought for sure they knew this stuff. it feels good to share w/them cuz I love them and feel they deserve to know about in ways that would be difficult if I didn't put it out there. they take such good care of me and play their hearts out... it's a good way to pass the time while making sure I stay focused at the rudder.
we finally break free to find another plug at tacoma but it's much more tiny and so is the one for olympia - we get into town at five and a half. I think this is the fourth time I've done the capitol theater backstage, the first being the final black gang first opera tour w/nels cline and bob lee in 1998. both gigboss chris and soundman john are very cool people as well as the crocodile rep shaina (the people doing tomorrow's gig are doing this one also), so glad I'm lucky to work w/happening folks in so many towns, it restores your faith in humans after having that tested seriously on the fucking road. we get done checking w/raul and tom going to forage for chow... raul brings some pho which is fucking really good and just what I need. I think he got at a pad called "da nang" on fourth avenue - a pad I think I've chowed at before (my fucking memory) - anyway, it gives me good strong feel. I chimp diary in one of the front row seats in the theatre part.
the toys go on at eight and a half - I'm watching tom watching them, then I'm watch raul watching them - it's trippy here cuz you play up on the stage of this 1924 art deco movie theatre but facing the other way cuz that's where the gig-goers are and why it's called the "backstage" - very singular kind of pad. I'm actually chimping diary from one of the theatre seats. I did play a dos gig on the other side once for ladyfest 2000. these cats sound great, even from astern, respect. near the end of their set, jimmy's kickdrum peddle is out of the race but raul's right there to help him get right - team work! we're on at nine and a half, super quick change-over cuz yeah, teamwork - it works, good! we bring our set. it's prolly the best one yet of this little run (raul will say tell me and tom this later) but we still got kinks to iron out... tom's guitar is popping out more for his solos and that's good. we have much encouragement from the olympia gig-goers, very kind of them. not as many young people - not saying they're as old as me (well, some are) but not a lot of kids though one couple brought their little one who's wearing ear protection while dancing - that's the youngest gig-goer here. I have to tell tom to turn up at one point but we're making progress w/this part of our dynamic struggle. one problem is that fucking fender twin - we both dig his bandmaster so much better... we're getting fixed before the upcoming tour w/the meat puppets for damn sure. there's a man who lived in long beach (the east side of the harbor we share w/them, we're in the west and wilmington is the north part) and he wants to have discussions so I tell him about my first union job being in long beach, reading meters for the electric company and being in ibew local 47. I wrote a poem about it:
I never gave a damn
(I had a lot of time to think about it) such a honor to play for these folks, truly. I get the good word from many kinds cats after we get done and I sling what we got left. sorry for the frustrations regarding out of everything but we didn't plan for this much "need" or whatever - most everyone on this run has been so kind. that goes for the capitol theater people and the gigboss shaina who came from seattle to bring. we'll work for her again tomorrow in her town.
tobi invites us to konk at her pad not too far from here - the toys cats konked there last night and will again tonight - we're gonna have a party! tobi and james gets in the boat w/us. james was at my first olympia gig back in 1998 when I brought my first opera w/nels cline and bob lee on board. james gave me an armband he made in tribute to a movie raymond made w/me and mike kelley called sir drone and he has thoroughly absorbed every fiber of this piece into his being and mindset. I like him a lot. we teach tobi about port and starboard ("how many letters in left? how many letters in port? you'll never forget again) and arrive pretty quick to her pad, a nice little place next to the man who did my sound last time I was here in town.
it's been a while since I've seen the whole "sir drone" which is stupid cuz raymond did a beautiful work. it's also for me very important cuz it hits the nail on the head about lots of stuff of that time in our scene (late 70s hollywood punk) while still being not just some kind of in-joke. I'm amazed how tuned-in james and tobi are about the movie and all the little trips. after I get into my nightwear, I fill in some gaps w/the help of some bourbon as we all watch it together, I can footnote and offer perspective on each little drama - I swear james has got this baby memorized! much respect to him.
tobi puts out the living room couch in a way (it was made to do this) where it's right on the deck which is real comfortable for me cuz I konk on carpeted deck in my pad. this is the best konk I've had all tour, respect.
tuesday, february 28, 2017 - seattle, wa
pop at eight bells, try to catch up w/emails and then chimp diary 'til tobi pops and she cooks me and tom (tom just popped too) some hard boiled eggs and turkey bacon for bfast, very kind. tobi is razor sharp in her mind but a lot of fun cuz she makes righteous connects w/stuff and puts it out there w/no 'tude, it's welcoming and not self-centered but rather kind of self-effacing. I dig it. I got some work to do though so tom can spiel - of course I chime in when I get my bell rung, no prob. lots of sun through the windows, it might be a little cold but it's bright and full of what I just said: sun - I can dig it, big time. damn if weather ain't acute on my mind when on tour. tobi says she likes kenney jones drumming - in the who! hey, that's ok. I like him w/the small faces and then we get to talking about steve marriott who is huge for me and nels, HUGE... we don't need no fucking doctor!
tobi's got work and we get the heave ho at noon which is a good time and she's been kind to us more than enough so for the last time this run I wheel us north on the I-5 which is prolly our shortest drive of the tour and even a little bit of plug doesn't make it too diff. we got an in-store which ain't really that far from where we're playing so I park a block away... tom and raul wanna wonder so I'm man alone in the boat - hell, I gotta piss and that's why god invented piss jugs so I put it to work. while I'm doing that I feel some gas coming and decide to roll the dice... damn it, snake eyes. ok, time to work fast. I brought an extra pair of levis so that's covered. there's a trash can on the corner, we got buttloads of napkin and two gomi ('trash' in jap) plastic sacks so... I get to the back benchseat and get the curtain where it needs to be, where it usually is unless we got someone back there and... let me stick to this story here (I'm fucking baka) - the trick is to use my back to hold myself up by pressing up on the seat hard w/it. I gotta do it strong enough so my hands are free and so I can clear the affected area. thing is I get that happen when maybe cuz of my nerves or something here comes fucking round II but I get one of the gomi sacks under me and transform it into a sack of shame. none gets on the boat, none. I double sack it w/the other and use up the buttload of napkins we've collected since the tour's been on. I use every fucking one... I get the man-sack from behind the benchseat and get those other levis and fresh chonies and after a big wipe down and using the big bottle of liquid soap hand sanitizer I always have on board, I go to town doing clean-up, all the time keeping my back against the seat as leverage to keep anything foul off the boat. it takes like forty minutes but I fucking get it down and I'm 'pert-near in a sweat but a happy and very grateful man cuz I know it wasn't just technique but some essential good fortune, if I can put it that way. life deals you a hand and you gotta play it the best you can, right?
I hobble a block away to the building where kexp is and meet brad at light in the attic records (both them and a coff shop share the building that's got a huge public space w/appears to be free wifi cuz 'pert-near everyone's on 'puters) who's very kind to me, get's me a coff after we talk about t-rex and what would d boon do in these days... this pad shares a building w/kexp and damn if tommy stinson ain't doing a session w/his bash and pop band, crimony! I hear tommy play (can't see him where I am) while I'm at a table talking w/people about the records they want me to sign. greg, the man who did sound for that "ring-spiel '95 tour" album comes to talk to me, he's always been very kind to me and it's great to see him again. carlos (he put out that benefit comp piaptk.limitedrun.com/products/530612-va-comfort-joy-a-christmas-comp-to-benefit-the-homeless for the homeless) is here too w/his two boys, beautiful. big love to them. everyone here is very kind to me, I'm so glad I came here. trippy how I was just having the hugest hell a little over an hour ago... just shows to go you, huh?
I get us on over to the belltown part of seattle for tonight's gig at the crocodile which I haven't played for a good while now cuz I've been in ballard at the tractor tavern but my bookerman steve kaul put it out there and I thought why not. things have changed much, whoa. entrance is different. where you play is different. dressing room is different. it's ok though cuz maybe this different is for the better. what ain't different is down the street a couple of doors northwest is shorty's - yeah, it's still where it's been so I hobble down and get a "shorty dog" (w/out the relish and adding mustard and tapatio) and chow it right there at the bar, the barman a real nice cat and he don't mind I don't want anything to drink w/it. cool people. there's something about mustard, kraut and chili that makes for a fine symphony in my mouf, love it.
I get on the internet... I guess a tune came out, a "teaser" whatever? I'm in a proj w/nels cline, nick reinhart, greg saunier called big walnuts yonder (got the name from a line in a richard meltzer poem - he's always been a HUGE hero to me and d boon) and just got word one song from the upcoming debut album is out now - on called "raise the drawbridges?" which is trippy cuz during all that plug und stau yesterday, lots of our talk (besides some of my family history) in the boat was about an angle I had when I wrote the lyrics. I gotta thank nick reinhart cuz he asked me to write lyrics and do spiel for two of the album's ten tracks - I thought this baby was gonna be instrumental! turns out only nels' tune (him and greg each wrote one) but all eight of the ones I wrote ended up w/spiel (he wrote/sang for the other seven I wrote). the good people at sargent house and the drop day is cinco de mayo. "no wine before its time" a great person once said, hear hear!
tom brings me cobb salad from the kitchen here at the venue, good green goodness w/some 'chovies! love it. I think I've influenced tom and raul to do more salads cuz it seems they're getting into it. I try to shovels greens every chance I got, it's important for my health! actually we've been lucky this run regarding sickness - there's been none of it, thank god. nothing worse than working gigs while fighting sickness, totally fucking lame and terrible for the gig-goers too. right before the toys cats' soundcheck, after having another look-see at the HUGE stage here, I invite them to do blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" (here is me recently doing a spiel on the album it was on) w/us... this HUGE stage is just asking for it, no?! I'm so glad they ain't scared cuz it's a HUGE tradition w/me - me and d boon started playing this when we were younger teenagers and many MANY of my bands since have shared in wailing on it. we're gonna bring it. I chimp diary in the dressing room. damn, the tansan ('sparkling water' in jap) has flavor in it... watt digs it plain. I do a can though just so I can do some burps, like enabling a pressure relief valving - priming it up.
the toys cats go on at nine and rip it up, getting us primed four our turn which comes at ten. we bring it and for the first time I don't have to tell tom to turn up for his solos, yatta! there's clams in our set but not major enough to yank the keel out of the water - maybe our best gig of this run? the last tune is the b.o.c. one w/the toys cats and damn if they don't do real good, even w/some farfromgroovin' (you're familiar w/that german term, ja?) from jimmy at the beginning (raul got him back in line quick), it's a fucking righteous time - HUGE respect to them. but for encore time... we (don't blame the toys cats cuz it's just me, tom and raul) do foul up the encore though - REAL bad - so bad I gotta have us abandon it, dump it over the side but immediately after w/out any kvetch, I throw us into the stooges "fun house" which is better than any factory-made life preserver. the whole the seattle gig-goers have been most kind to us, they truly happening to work the gig for BUT at the end of the tune someone hollers the count I do in the wrong place and I just stop us - I didn't mean anything personal by calling him a motherfucker but crimony, let us bring it to you, brother! all done, someone hollers about where's the merch but this gig I'm supporting the sepia club via an invite from teacher mark sands and along w/the good people at the crocodile here, we had them sling "embrace awkward" shirts at a table and damn if it wouldn't be kind of weird to merch shit compete w/that, right? that's what I holler back at him, not trying to be rude but c'mon - think about it! understand that d boon used to donate time playing music for people w/these challenges, he'd do acoustic guitar and it could get through the fucking berlin walls holding them down, I loved that he did that... I tell the gig-goers about joe carducci telling me about him having a nephew that had those challenges and is now working on his phd at a big school, I think johns hopkins. soundman christopher did a great job as fourth man, so many folks told me the sound was tits and I'm so really grateful to him. I could tell he at the skills, something just told me. you gotta have confidence in people. I see my old buddy tim ziegler and we hear "crack that whip" which is maybe not a good tune right after the gig - devo before maybe and I damn if I can't remember the tune I think would be good but I try to describe it (next day he wrote it was "praying hands" - thank you, tim).
my old buddy sandy's here and talk about traditions, me and my men have konked w/her since she came up and started her linen company herself, she's a fucking hardcharger, much respect to her. we do the load-out, I thank gigboss shaina big time for so much kindness these two gigs she ran for us. sandy's pad's not far but of course I do a fucking blow-by and parking's a little cuz damn if a fucking three story three unit condo is under construction right next to her. the pad that was there was from 1901, just like sandy's but the lady living there got old and last year put in a home so now the kids wanna cash in. a lot of this happened in pedro in the 80s and prolly's still happening to some degree. anyway, we have a good time like always and she's got my spot where I always go and I get to do wash also. her husband steve can't be w/this time though cuz he's gotta pop at five which is unfortunate cuz he's righteous people. I have a god rap w/sean from the toys cats though 'til konk demands its turn w/me, I only got a few feet to get there though, no prob.
wednesday, march 1, 2017 - bend, or
pop at seven and hose off... checking things out, I think I did pretty good w/yesterday's near-real-disaster diaster... can't feel any real "material" but there's prolly a type of residue or whatever (glaze?) so I scrub good w/a handful of duschdas, the lemon smelling righteously clean and fresh. sandy makes me coff and I gulp then big hugs for her, we must act like shepherds... and get the flock out of her. big love to sandy. good, the boat's still here - pull anchor just after nine which is good cuz the parking enforcement people have marked the boat's port tire w/some orange chalk.
I wheel us south on the I-5 which is wide open - night and day compared to monday, night and day... I like it better this way! small patches of rain coming and going but pretty safe road conditions, very happening. I guess there was some roarin' w/the snorin' in the parts of sandy's pad where raul konked so for the first time on this run, tom has shotgun w/raul on the back bench so he can konk.
I chomp some chips w/homemade salsa a cat in bellingham a nice named keith gave us along w/a sack he made at his oyster creek canvas company, so very kind of him, truly. in woodlawn I get gas for boat and can't resist to get some chicken gizzards for me, they smell real fresh... they tast fresh too, just made and a good pepper taste in their's batter.
even tom chows one and digs it. near the oregon border (bye bye washington and all the stuff we saw at least three or four times looping it on the I-5) w/bypass portland by taking the I-205 belt and head southeast on us-26.
a quarter of two and past a town called boring (great name) I drop anchor in front of a church's parking lot in sandy (name of a town, not our host for last night but it made me think of her) for a pony switch, tom moves back to the bench w/me riding shotgun. this highway (us-26) we're on is what's gonna take us over the pass just south of mt hood... there's snow all along the roadside but no warning blinking "chains required" signs on so it's steady as she goes. I tried to time it so we'd hit right around now when I figure the sun was most out and maybe the warmest part of the day. 1500 feet elevation... 2500 - the piss jug is suckin' in some now and making sound cuz of the pressure... snow everywhere now except the road... we got rain too but raul's got good calm driving skills and being most patient - big respect to him. there's a roadside marker - this was part of the oregon trail, how people from back east got west of hear. there's a little snow coming down as we get near government camp but not too much. 3995 foot elevation and glory be that taiyo ('sun' in jap) is shining bright, we start our descent as we pass mount hood... we're right behind the snow plow now, it's shooting out snow, salt and mud to the side - I ask raul not to get too close... the plowman pulls off and we're getting low enough now to where there's lots more melt which is good cuz the drifts on the roadside are like six or seven feet high! look, I'm chimping all this here not cuz I crave drama but cuz we're so cal and not used to this stuff - we try to avoid! well, we we're lucky to catch the right window of opportunity here and I'm most grateful. we pass a gas station that's got like four or five feet of snow on the roof - crazy! I think it must've snowed here really recently... tom's konked on the back bench seat and misses all of this. loving the bright sunlight, loving it here right now! we go over blue box pass, 4025 feet up.
we really start descending now and there's no more snow falling us and only a little rain. we exit mt hood national forest and the reain's mostly stopped - we just missed some heavy weather here... dodged another bullet, crimony! the roadside drifts are still over the guardrails but get smaller and smaller as we descend more and more. it takes an hour to get through this but who cares how long, just as we're safe. raul did a real good job at the wheel, real good. we pass the fortyfifth parallel at three, halfway between the equator and the north pole - the sun's really out bright now, we enter the warm springs indian reservation, the snow all melted from the road now, mt hood in the starboard rearview mirror:
slowly we start seeing less snow and crimony, we see horses chowing... we're now in rain shadow land. turned out this ended up being a seven and a half hour trek, glad we left seattle when we did.
you know a lot of where we've been these few days was part of the lewis and clark expedition and damn if my buddy don dalton (his ma used to be the librarian at san pedro high when I went there) sent me a pretty nightmare piece regarding the native people and the invaders that rolled them. shameful... but go ahead, call me a hand-wringer. we leave the reservation and at madras the road turns into us-97 which gets us to bend around four and half, a pad called the domino room that's part of this building w/a bigger space some cats are rigging up for a mardi gras party coming up. so glad we ain't in there! our room has a banner right up front advertising "bends indoor garden station" and a phone number... you know now all three west coast states have legalized mota? cali's stuff starts next year but it's happening here and in washington now. after the load-in I park the boat and damn if I don't feel something slip down my chest... the chain that holds my fucking anchor pendant snapped, fuck! well, at least I didn't lose it, I got it in my pocket and will keep it for luck. I'm very superstitious about stuff like that, my john coltrane pin and my bracelet made from a bicycle spoke. I got an anchor in my pocket might not be as good as that stooges tune w/a similar name and it might not have the power it would around my neck but it still be w/me means much.
we load-in and meet soundman cody, nice cat. after soundcheck I tell the toys cats I'd like them to join in for the stooges "fun house" so we can do like we did last night two times. I know they can do it. I go to the green room upstairs and damn if it colder than a witches tit in a brass bra. one of the people there brings in a little electric space heater though and I park may ass there and chimp diary. tom and raul forage for chow and bring me a greek salad and a bowl of black-eye pea chili which is good, feels good. these are cold parts here, I think watt ain't strong to live here but sure am glad I get to visit and play a gig though. I'm thinking the summer's here are blistering - big contrast.
I hear music playing, tonight there's three bands and I guess this is a local one called onward, etc - they hit at eighth and a half, much respect for the no stall and also for the good music. I hobble down to check them out and end up watching their whole set which I dig. cello, drums, standup bass and acoustic guitar/singerman - some good hard charging and some ballads too. bassman goes wild and has some cable problems but he don't let that get him down, respect. the toys cats follow them up w/a beautiful concert of their own, both bands have got the bend gig-goers lit up - very kind of them to help us that way, it's like one big team - we just happen to go on last.
I tell the people it's quite an honor for me and my men to finally get a chance to play their town - our first time to play in bend EVER and I mean not even passing through it, I think - first time in bend PERIOD. we're most grateful. we bring the set. hmm... some weird sounds w/the bass, am not digging it so I adjust it up 'til I do like how it is but that's a tiny bit distracting - I don't let get too much but... we were talking in the boat about making stuff more clear and I think either that or some acoustics here are a little challenging but you can't get too up in yourself especially w/a crowd like these bend gig-goers who are vey open and giving w/their good feelings and encouragement, a great spirit they bring w/lots of dancing too. you gotta see the forest for the trees, right? we have some challenges but I'm really proud of tom and raul, they dig down deep and are w/me close. I did have to tell soundman cody to put me and tom's singing together in the monitors cuz it was just too separate and I hate that, terrible vibe. there's a part where I start slamming on my strings and hollering for us to end it in "statement" cuz of frustrating things but that passes. the toys cats do real good w/both tunes the do w/us, tom conducting the solos and stuff, beautiful.
I go into the crowd to hand out "man in the van" stickers and thank folks for having us aboard. lots of bass brothers give me the good word, lots of hugs from everyone - wish I could drink whiskey w/all of them, so many ask me but I got work. earlier I met a friend from tom's boyhood named kelly and he tells tom we can stay at his pad on us-20 which is what we need for tomorrow's ride even though he's gotta pop at five in the morning for work, very righteous and generous of him. I settle w/gigboss john - this is hometown but we're doing another gig w/him tomorrow so we'll see him then. it's really cold so we wanna get down the road, the toys cats following in their rv.
kelly's got like five acres not too far before you get to sisters (great name for a town, I think it's named for some mountains), he had to bail before we got done but leaves a note on the hatch that everything's cool for us konking and even has a wood heater (olde-timey style) going which I really need, love he's got a wood bench right in front so I can absorb what I need. immediately I'm in the nightwear and not too much later am on the couch and using my konk sack opened up as a blankie. it's a real good konk for me this way, I can't thank kelly enough, very cool people. respect.
thursday, march 2, 2017 - eugene, or
pop at seven and decide not to hose off, don't know why. I catch up good w/my diary chimping. I wanna wait 'til the sun is as strong as it's gonna get as we do our mountain crossings for today's hitch. it was real cold last night (no prob w/this konk sack I got which is bonus and most happening) and still is - the pond in the back is froze over, crimony! I write a thank you note to tom's buddy kelly (he had to go to work at five am this morning), thanking him much for all his kindness. tom fills sean from toys in on his pop's journey through life - sean's part mexican like tom but you wouldn't know it from their last names maybe (tom's is watson and sean's is cole) but that's cuz of some kind of sexist traditions w/ladies losing their family names BUT tom explains it kind of helped his pop cuz w/out seeing him, doors were opened that might've not have been if some employer people saw them instead of assuming maybe something else but looking only on the resume, especially in the old days. fucked up but I can see what he means. I gotta admit when I hear sean say "normal" I involuntary cringe every time - sure wish he'd use "average" instead but it's his right to pound whatever he wants into my ear but it makes me kind wretch. he's a good guy though, prolly doesn't realize how that assaults me. we pull anchor at one.
I wheel us down us-20 and in a couple mile we're in sisters (I like the name of this town!) where I pull us over to th fuel the boat and also myself - I get a package sandwich one of the workerladies here recommends - it's called an "eighteen wheeler" and she says to microwave it first. I add mustard (love mustard on stuff) to the different color kind of "meat" and "cheese" - it's pretty terrible but some gut filler for in the meantime. the sun is out strong and so much water on the road - there might've been a buttload of ice earlier so I'm glad we waited. on to oregon 126 and over the santiam pass - no snow flurries like yesterday but snow piled high on the roadsides... whoa, another weather bullet dodged.
damn, is this stressful - I picked the wrong time to be in these parts, huh? baka watt! clearing most the scary stuff, I pull over on a turnout area far enough away from any blind-side corner and we switch ponies w/raul... nothing more stupid and dangerous than driving tired - "hang on NOT to your ego" a great man should've said.
raul drives great (much respect to him) and gets us to the hifi lounge (we're in the little room) in eugene four after four, great job. skies are gray now but no rain so yes, thank you rain powers that be! meet the padboss mike, very cool people and he gives me the story here, it was a cowboy bar 'til two years ago and then he and some partners got it. running gigpads is trippy work but us who work them need good cats doing it, right? they got too rooms and we're doing the smaller one which I think is perfect for our sitch. I meet barboss jeremy, he's cool people. what's a little torturous here is the "soft rock" coming over the p.a., 70s california (hate to put hurt on my cali state but truth be told) you know what that's kind of putting a damper in the pamper but tom comes to the rescue w/a buttload of jokes. gigboss john arrives w/a buddy from bend, where he lives - it's the last of the three gigs he did for us here in oregon and he really did good for us, much respect to him, truly. people don't realize that gigbosses don't all have to be assholes and in fact you NEED good people doing this stuff, it's all part of the whole team that makes for a good gig. when you find good ones, it a very happening thing, let me tell you - thirtyfive whatever years of touring have taught me this important point: everyone's important.
soundman evan arrives and we do soundcheck. he uses modern way, an ipad so he can walk around everywhere and not be chained to some desk - I like this. he's a good cat too, is into being our fourth man tonight after hearing "the speech" I give. stage is big enough for the big seven piece we do for the last two tunes, happening also and so are the monitors cuz my voice is getting a little tired. tom makes me some throatcoat tea - we're doing a couple rounds now, stretched through our time here and not just before gig-time. you gotta be dynamic enough to bend w/the current sitch, right? yep. a kind man named mark has a chowpad not far away called partydowntown and while I stay and chimp diary in the green room, they do the usual and bring me back chow - they both always pick me good stuff, I trust them much... this time I get kale cut up small w/fried chicken that been cut up (bones removed) and a couple of whole little smelt fish w/a caesar dressing and damn if it ain't a symphony in my mouth, righteous! I can't thank chef mark enough - tom says the same thing, I guess it was his (tom's) choice of the ingredients. good call, tom, INCREDIBLE JOB, chef mark!
the toys cats go on at nine and do up a fine that I dig and in fact it's for chach's ma in a way, she has flying privileges cuz of her work and flew up here, big hugs for ah lan! our turn and right off the bat is righteous feel from the eugene gig-goers, fires me up. raul and tom are playing really good. I blow the ending of "the glory of man" cuz I got spaced and forgot the number of times we had gone around... I question for some reason my guys' veracity (why? what a stupid motherfucker I am) but a gig-goer right in the front straightens me out - I see six fingers but that's three from each hand - I ask him if it's three. I am embarrassed but worse I'm made at myself for even to dare doubt my men, what a fucking idiot I am (there's an echo in here) - it's a good gig though, I like it though I gotta throw a fit about "statement" once more when we get off but thank god tom forgives me. we bring on our toys cats brothers and lay some blue oyster cult on eugene - I first though call out if bill harkleroad is still in town and a few gig-goers says he is (later I get told he even gives lessons - can you believe the meeting of the minds if tom watson gave it a whirl for one, crimony!), that's a mindblow and I'm inspired big time cuz damn if I didn't just finish mike barnes captain beefheart bio. last night "fun house" had a "two times" ending from the toys cats rhythm section (they clammed) but for the encore they get it good and righteous, we all stomp down exactly together and snuff it, great gig.
no merch sling, I wanna save what little I have for cali but I talk w/folks 'til tiredness comes on me too strong so I get to the boat and behind the wheel - oh, I go to the office and who's settling w/gigboss john? soundman evan, he's doing parallel universes! much respect.
we've been invited to a pad belonging to a very kind man named mike, contacted via fakelook even but he has a connect - played in a band w/both georgie (got to play w/him fourteen years!) and long time soundman who would tour w/fIREHOSE in the 80s and 90s (black gang too for my first opera), brother steve reed. mike is most kind and makes it real righteous for all seven of us. he even gives me one of his daughters' necklace chain so I can put my anchor back around my neck! even if it's too long it's a beautiful thing a man could do for another man, thank you so much, brother mike. I got a great konk place on the ground floor, very comfortable and after some tasteless cheese (not mike's fault) and a little whiskey/mota I'm out around two, a little late but it was good time. thank you, brother mike!
friday, march 3, 2017 - sacramento, ca
pop at seven - had to cuz I ain't been using my konkmask like an idiot and the sun wakes me. I had a real good konk though, very comfortable. I try and catch up on emails - I don't have a smartleash (on purpose) so emails get done only when I have 'puter time which for me is a good way to manage things. when I home I usually do email stuff at the crack of dawn. hardly ever do I do much email at night time, the 'puter goes off. I'm most grateful for the communication but I need a buffer or I'll get torn into a million pieces. chach is bogarting the shower but after a knock, he relents. no towel, so it's drip dry - kind of like w/the two dogs who live here w/mike and his family. he fixes up a big batch of scrambeled eggs, bacons and baked potatoes which most kind especially seeing that cuz we were all up so late last night, he went and cooked up stuff and said it was like was getting the bfast in advance but damn if this ain't round two. mike is very kind. I meet his wife and two daughters, beautiful people. they also are most kind to share their pad w/us, most kind. I'm timing our shove off so it'll put us at siskiyou summit around one - two pm, when the sun's the strongest. roof repair nextdoor so tom has to direct me out and we walk it out w/a twenty point turn but it gets done and I wheel is south on the I-5... man, are we getting to know this fucking freeway or what? we pass offramps for towns w/names like drain, boomer and riddle - man, would I like to investigate what those are about... jumpoff joe creek, what?
so glad this road's kept in good shape, respect. we pass through the town of grant's pass - remember where we konked after second gig of this tour, at most kind steve's pad? well, I eat a brownie steve's wife shannon gave us last week in honor of both of them and cuz I'm curious of what it's like - the only kind of sweet stuff I chow any more if I do are the sour things like saur gummis - hey, she did good, respect. there's lots of ups and downs on the southern oregon part of the I-5 and though they don't get up past two thousand feet, there's like four passes you go through that need chains if the weather turns ugly. it don't though, it holds pretty good w/out even much rain.
twenty after one I pull us over to fuel the boat and switch ponies, siskiyou pass only a little bit away. not only is the gas cheaper here (this pad's $2.50/gallon - I've found that the arco am/pm pads have the most econo, the one in my pedro town for sure) but I gotta piss like a race horse... I get out and start using the piss jug - I remember it's oregon and like new jersey, you can't pump your own gas and I hear this man's voice asking me, "cash or credit, sir? how much do you want it?" and I got my back to him cuz I got the piss jug in the well next to the hatch and am filling it w/piss - I tell him I gotta take care of something...
raul wheels us to siskiyou summit and we clear it smoov about twenty of two. we pass right next to those bolders that tumbled last week, crimony, it's scary looking - lots of pieces all crunched amongst some monster sized would-be pile drivers. there's snow but not on the road, another mountain pass nightmare bullet again dodge this tour, whew. coming up real quick is the border
us californians are back in california, we all share a smile w/each other and a certain sense of "this is where we belong" - something you can only get by going other places AND then returning and that's why it's important we sally forth. however, maybe it's the last for a good while for raul cuz he's father duties coming up. he tells me him and paloma's little one is gonna be called sophia. I tell him soph's got a beautiful ma and pop, ones I love big time, truly.
raul brings us excellent driving, making me and tom most grateful but around five bells and maybe fifty miles from sac-town, he pulls over at a rest stop cuz we all gotta piss and dump but he realizes he's tired so for the first time this tour tom takes the wheel for the last of rolling we gotta do. getting out of the boat for the first time in california, you can totally feel it - you just can and it ain't it just being warmer I think. tom takes us past all the rice and almond farms, south through the sacramento valley as the sun starts sinking to the starboard side.
a truck near us, ahead a little while we're in the passing lane and hear a BOOM - the truck blew a tire but we avoid any hell and it looks like the truckman got over to the side safe, whew. not much more and we get stau und plug, giant rice paddies surrounding us... I got remind tom this ain't a sports car and to stop following too close ("keep a cushion"), stay out of the passing lane unless going to pass and just generally be careful. he ain't a boat this big in a while so I know it ain't used to it. we get much "hat dance" from him punching and punching the gas pedal and instead of be steady. I have a talk w/him and things get better. that calms me and the traff does break up. tom gets us into our california capital town sacramento just after six and 'pert-near close to the downtown is old ironsides - we play in the part that used to be a bottle shop in the old days... damn if gigboss brian ain't across the street in his kuruma ('car' in jap), waiting for us. love this man, been doing my gigs for me in this town for maybe twentyseven years? think so - he gets big hugs from me.
tom says he needs a fuse for his amp and I'm thinking there's a reason it's blowing fuses and brian brings us fuses on the way back from another gig he's doing tonight (for a band called red fang) and all three blow, one after another - most kind man sean from the toys cats offers his amp, beautiful. thank you big time, brother sean. soundman cameron does the check via an ipod like evan in eugene last night, yes - I like this new trend, a very positive one I think. right when we get done a nice man named mike brings his new wattplower for me to sign, a yellow one - I put my name behind the headstock, right next the state of california the good people of reverend decided to put there - I like that they did and w/a star where pedro is, oh man. I wish mike well w/it, he says he really digs it, can't believe it - that makes me happy big time, it means all the work we put into it paid off. it means a lot to me, truly.
I go to chimp diary in the boat and not long after tom brings some ramen in two parts from some ramen pad, he tells me. it's good, w/lots of goma ('sesame seed' in jap) taste and makes me feel strong - I was feeling weak in a chow way and the chimping I'm doing needs to take a break cuz I just gotta konk and for the first time this tour I do what I do regular for most u.s. tours, konk in the boat before we play. I miss the openers, local called the bananas and the toys cats... I'm truly sorry but I just had to konk cuz I was real REAL beat. so sorry.
gig time for us here, tom gets me, bring some throatcoat tea and I put it down the gullet, letting it warm up my kind of tired voice box. let's bring the gig. we bring the gig and the sac-town folks are most kind and fill the former bottle shop part w/much good spirit. tom sounds really good through seans' amp, real good. it's up on todd's amp stand which makes it happen even better... there's a point though where some piercing high harmonics make me stop "cut" and have us go right for the final lead guitar and coda cuz I just couldn't take it - stabbing harmonics out of control and right down my ear holes. this is from his pedal chain though - other points they conspire to make his sound piddly... damn if we ain't gotta do something about this. it's ok, we do a good set for the sac-town gig-goers and the two tunes we do w/the toys cats are happening also - they are quick learners, yes!
I sling what we got, not much left but it's good a little is left for the city. I get the good word from many cats who like to tell me about all the years they've been seeing me and look them in the eye to show I truly appreciate it cuz I do. I can't say much anyway cuz I'm horse. so sad I could talk w/artist drawer man craig more - he's had me do voice for some great trips he dreamed up, very kind of him. I settle w/gigboss brian right in the boat, strapped into the drivers seat - how many times have I done that w/him? a buttload! love this man.
my old buddy from the old pedro scene concepcion wasn't at the gig cuz she was camping w/her daughter carmela but she got back in time to tell us to come on over to konk. the toys cats tonight are w/their friends in the bananas. both concepcion and carmela konked, we drink and little around some peetz. I konk on the couch I always do, so comfortable for me... maybe it's one when sleepytown takes me - earliest konk of the tour?
saturday, march 4, 2017 - san francisco, ca
pop first right after five am and think "fucking what?!" I get another hit off the beam bottle in the kitchen and this time konk w/the konkmask on, I really REALLY fucking need rest, need rest bad. we're in the home stretch now and I can't be more stupid than the stich will allow... hell, I wish I wouldn't be stupid period! slow learner watt. I konk 'til ten, good. concepcion makes us some scrambled eggs that are real good, love 'em - they got mexicana taste that's righteous and homegrown, it doesn't matter if I chow them w/my hashi! when I get done and the get on the 'puter for email catch-up, the little perros louie and ophelia have to be right there and you know? I'm glad for it! they bring great love and I'm digging it. raul and tom go take the boat to a nearby manual carwash and get it really kirei ('clean' in jap), I mean really good and ship-shape... "a clean boat is a happy boat" a great person once said, right? respect.
two and a half bells, we pull anchor after saying bye bye to our righteous hosts and their dogs, "bye bye louie, concepcion, ophelia and carmela!" it's sunny - first time concepcion said in a good while. we are blessed then. not too far on I-80 west to where it ends, in the city - I think it's tom's first time on the new part (from oakland to yerba buena) of the bay bridge cuz he's really marveling at it. of course there's some plug but not too bad and we get to the portero hill part of town where bottom of the hill is (hence the name) just after five and though load-is for six pm, soundman paul has got the pad open and we get the stuff inside cuz it looks like rain's coming for sure and prolly soon. we can't check 'til the toys cats get here cuz of tom's amp sitch, he needs todd's - he was really impressed by using it last night in sac-town and in fact wants to get one of his own, a fender hot rod deville III and also the stand todd cong uses (sean doesn't like them) cuz it worked really happening for him. after check I chow a "bottom burger" from the kitchen here, it's good - I can taste the garlic and it's pad-specific which for me means a lot sometimes, something to anchor a memory and not just figure it's something to shove in the gut.
you know what? I got that end of tour kind of beat down feeling and thinking I should do something about that, get some konk so I go to the boat and for the first time this tour (I believe), I konk from after soundcheck to time for us to play. I was just fucking beat, out like a light and plunged really deep into konkland... 'pert-near like my body was fucking DEMANDING it. cuz of this I miss the openers, a local band called girls with guns that's got a singer named la-ni that's the daughter of snakefinger and someone I met through brother steve mackay - us both missing him bad. she asked to be on the bill and I'm glad I got that happening and also saw a couple of soundcheck tunes her and her band did but I missed both them and the toys cats, popping just as I hear their last notes that we're 'pert-near drowned out by a massive torrent of rain pounding on the boat, crimony! just like that it stopped when tom pops the hatch to bring my throatcoat tea, trippy how that all coordinated, huh? like it was fucking scripted!
the s.f. gig-goers are very kind, give's us very warm welcome. we respond w/a hard charger set, bringing it for the last time this tour. I didn't get to be inspired by the toys cats cuz I missed them but I did see most of nine others so I dig into that and also the spirit in room here that the gig-goers brought, very happening. tom and raul are tearing it up too though it sounds like more hardware trouble for tom, I think it's his guitar - it appears to be cutting in and out and at first I thought maybe his playing was jerky but not from tom - aahhh, it's the cord or the jack on his guitar the cord goes into... after only so long at this and also getting the weird face from raul cuz it's tough for both of us to play to tom, I stop us in the middle of "the glory of man" and call out for sean to loan us his telecaster to replace tom's fucked up jazzmaster. tom's back in the race and though it sounds a little different that his purp one, it don't cut out and makes it a lot easier for me and raul to join him to make a real three piece. big respect to the toys cats (especially sean) to be out there for us and ready to help, truly. they join us for the blue oyster cult's "the red and the black" - hell, it's the end of the tour now so why not chimp here our set list:
you can see it's a mix of stuff I wrote for d boon and georgie plus some covers that've inspired me much through the years. the most kind s.f. gig-goers give us an encore so once more w/the stooges "fun house" w/the toys cats for one last time, the tour's done, hecho todo, owata, e fatta. someone helps off the stage w/a very strong hold - what? hey, it's my old buddy richard fucking bonney! when richard's got you, you're in good hands! I've been lucky to know him since we washed pots and pans together as teenagers at the hosp! big hugs for richard, big ones. also for my men and all the toys cats, BIG ABRAZOS - we fucking did it! I sling what little is left and give away free stickers. I settle up w/the most kind people here at the bottom of the hill and they wait it out behind the wheel of the boat cuz I'm beat. first a big hug to a bass brother in a secondmen hat, he deserves it cuz he said I helped him. bye to la-ni too. tom and raul get us all ship shape and we pull anchor and head for vale's in north beach. bye bye everyone!
vale's "front yard" has got a space for the boat and of course I let the lotman there dock it himself (he tells me he's got three drivers licenses now!), his skills are amazing. no way the toys cats' rv could fit here or even get up romolo so they konked elsewhere - vale and marian had prepared for them though, that's how bitchin' and open-hearted they are. it's tom and raul's first time to the re/search pad and they're digging it. we have a good time doing big spiels, all five of us taking turns. it all culminates in vale giving us all a copy of "goals of life" by v. vale which I'm familiar w/but am glad I got lots of his thoughts regarding such right here on one page. w/that we all go to our konk stations and take the next boat to sleepytown.
next morning (sunday) I pop nine bells and find I'm the first one so I roust my men, we pull anchor twenty of ten after writing in vale's composition book where he was writing notes as we spieled last night (he likes to do that, interesting), I thank him for him and marian being so kind to me and my men. there's wind but it's sunny. I wanna get us out or vale's "front yard" (the parking lot) before we get trapped in by other vehicles - already a pickup has pulled in close and damn if I don't understrand that raul wants to get back to paloma even if tom for some reason wants to get chow - you know he lived up here for four years in the 80s/90s but maybe he should come up for a vacation separate from tour. we make our way through chinatown...
hell, I'd like to visit here too but it ain't in the cards - I hate to disappoint him but... we get out of the city w/out too much trouble but then like an fucking baka, I put us on the I-580 going the wrong way (west) after getting over the bay bridge ('pert-near all the pieces of the old cantilever part are now gone) and then even more baka, TWICE I fuck up the loop after the blowback... frustrating, like getting off to find coff but finding only outlet hell in livermore... then the sky opens up on us, especially through altamont pass, crimony! what's even worse is the asshole behavior of very stupid fellow drivers taking selfish chances w/all our lives w/their antics and carelessness, especially w/this weather sitch - the sky clears soon as we get on I-5 and the rain peters out and sure, there's still some asshole making driving dangerous but much less. I pull us over for coff and boat fuel at - damn, if it ain't joe's auto plaza - the same pad we stopped at on the first day of this tour, coming from pedro - we've closed the loop! we fuel ourselves also at a q pad behind joe's called "dickey's bar-b-q pit" - raul gets me "the original westerner" which is a roll filled w/slices of q'd sausage on top of q'd brisket pieces, separate raw onions and pickles from another sack I add myself... tastes real good, I'm digging it.
it's much calm weather and easy seas to sail the boat south towards home, the only hazards being assholes who choose to drive like what I just called them - the only reason called them that cuz why? it's funny too cuz the travel packs, one tailgating the other in a little herd of stupid-think irresponsibles. get me away! that's all I ask for. yesterday, tom's usb stick (trippy, it's fashioned after the "tom & jerry" characters I made fun of for the band I got w/him and jer trebotic) had nothing but old james brown and we hear the rest of that before more shuffle from all the stuff on my ipod (I got a lot of james brown too). just after three I pull us over two offramps before the grapevine
to let me and tom dump, fuel the boat the last time for this tour and switch ponies, putting raul at the rudder for the home stretch. riding shotgun, I think of the other day I flowed joe carducci a shot out our window when were driving through oregon - he said he dug the "clutter on the dash" and I had to remind it ain't clutter but a shrine (mostly built/designed by tom watson)!
trippy he'd find inside the boat more interesting than outside the boat but then that's joe carducci. he still wants me one day to get in "real hard rock" power trio, something w/wino in it and though I respect wino big time, I feel my trios are "real hard rock" or even better "real" trios for me to work music in. styles, genres and all that really don't add up to much to someone who's kind of down the road w/thinking music is music and everything else about it is kind of moot in my mind. it ain't joe's fault, I feel - it's more a way of thinking that seeped into people's heads maybe w/out them knowing it but for me, it's not just ideas - I do this stuff for a living. trippy but I been writing back to joe 'pert-near every day this tour, he's been emailing me a bunch and I'm grateful to it. one thing I miss about the old days is big spiels w/all the old sst guys, are very interesting and singular cats, beautiful. I miss all that windbagging, it was special to me.
raul's very safe and sane driving gets us over the grapevine (there's a trippy part where for a few miles it switches sides - you ever notice that?),
through the val over to the west side of the south bay, to tom's pad in manhattan beach a quarter after five... bye bye to tom, he did a real good job, much respect to him. raul gets me and him to our pedro town in less than half an hour later... the little park w/los angeles's (politically we're part of l.a.) sisters cities has gotten done while we were gone and it looks like new palm trees are going up on our main street, gaffey. he ends his final drive shift of the tour at his pad a half a hour later, we gotta get my kayak "zaby" out from his garage so we get the drums in there, then put the 'yak in the boat. all done, big hugs for him. I ain't got far to go cuz raul's now living like four or five blocks from me. of course though at this time of day there's no parking BUT there is in the back I do every once in a while when it's like this and it's free. it takes some cuts but I get it in there. my ma has cooked me chow, whoa, what a great surprise! I chow at her pad and tell her all about the tour I just did and also tell her about the next one coming up, our first time in china tour. we both laugh at this kind of sailor I turned out to be, the one who works towns w/his bass. it is a trip, huh?
this page created 5 jan 2017
this page created 5 jan 2017