ON TOUR FOREVER – DAYS 19, 20, 21, 22
All apologies for the lack of updates, dear readers, but you must understand; it’s hard out here for a pimp. I mean, it’s hard to keep current while on the roller coaster of tour. I think I might be better at it if I had my own computer, those thieving bastards. And nights get a little sloppy. And mornings are slightly jagged and foggy. But rest assured, concerned loved ones and friends alike, we are all better for the wear and most of our brain cells remain intact and functioning.
We left Blythe in the morning for Tempe. Per usual, we arrived pretty much at load-in at Plush, a sweet ass bar / venue. It was one of the most aesthetically pleasing place we’ve been lucky enough to play on this trip. But when we were getting the night’s info, we learned that our only opening and local band had dropped off the bill and it would be only us entertaining that evening. It was going to be a crapshoot if any people would come out. Again, per usual. We ended up playing almost two hours and there were a couple of energetic lads in front enjoying our musical vibrations. Towards the very end of the set we got a couple stragglers in. All in all, for us onstage it was great but it’s always sweeter when there’s an audience feeling what we’re feeling.
Another Motel 6, another morning when all of us could sleep longer, another day, another dollar. Or lack of dollars, rather. Our show that night was in Scottsdale at The Rogue. It was also located directly next to a liquor store. Trouble. We got in pretty early and had copious amounts of time to kill. Sometimes that’s one of the worst things about the lifestyle. The phrase “hurry up and wait” is incredibly accurate. Our bro Chris from Antique Scream happened to be in town visiting his parents and he came down to hang with us. It was nice to see a familiar face. Plus he loves to get down and drink. Beef Supreme was the first rock band to play that night and their name looks perfect next to ours on a flier. We ended up playing last that night. It was a little brutal, but the people who stayed gave us good compliments and the weekend booker happened to be running sound and told us the next time we come through he’ll hook up a great weekend show. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
Chris’ childhood friend put us up that night in a super spacious suburban two story house. He had a pool table in the living room that Dean and Chief started getting serious on. He also had a couple sweet dogs that provided a good amount of entertainment. But he also had a vaporizer in his man layer, a bedroom essentially dedicated to gaming. We took off for space and started in on a mean streak of Tetris. I can’t remember how I did. The night ended rather well as we all passed out in various places to lay our drunken bodies down. I awoke in a barcalounger in my stage clothes with bloodshot eyes and dying for some hydration. I slammed 12 ounces of tap water and then found a couch that was unoccupied. I thought it was early, but it was closer to noon and half of the dudes had left to go grab some coffee. They’re arrival back home was not much appreciated. “Get up!” they shouted at me while high on caffeine. Dicks! We left for Chris’ mom’s house, our destination for the day. It was Thanksgiving and I was hung over.
We pulled up in front and piled into their humble abode. It was beyond amazing that they had us over for the day and were willing to feed our traveling souls. There was a 30 pack of PBR, a fifth of Jager, and dinner was almost ready. There was also another treat I was able to indulge in; Thrasher’s website premiered the new Baker video. PBR, pie, and an hour of fresh skateboarding. It was grand. Chris and his mom made us feel right at home and we didn’t have a show until the next night so the day was made for relaxing. We spent quite amount of time playing Wii, watching the Chapel Show, smoking on the back patio, and talking about his mom and step dad’s time in Iraq. God bless America.
The next day we had homemade biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs for breakfast and Chris made some of the best spaghetti I’ve had, maybe ever, for lunch. More time to kill until that evening when Chris hooked us up with their show at a super dive in Tempe. There were only 2 bands on the bill so it was pretty easy to throw us on. I would much rather play a show than not. Isn’t that the modus operandi of us even being out here? Rhetorical questions aside, Antique Scream graciously let us play 2nd before our long drive to San Diego that night. We played, packed up, watched Antique’s kick ass set and then got in the white beast and got the hell out of the desert. I let Chief have the bench seat to sleep horizontally on and Aaron and I stayed up bullshitting until close to sunrise. Dean is a freak of a driver and made it to “a whales vagina” around 9 in the morning. I was already passed out as we drove through the Arizona / California border, but Arizona border agents are fucking Nazi’s when it comes to marijuana laws. They had a German Shepard walk around the van hoping to get a scent of the sticky icky. But alas, we are smarter than those fascists and didn’t carry any. 1984, meet police state.
We pulled up to the beach and those who were awake went down to catch a peak of the surf. Peter met a couple nice dudes who hooked him up with some smoke, a piece of bacon, and maybe even another snack. Then Dustin went to a co-op and got us goodies to make veggie wraps for breakfast / lunch. We checked into the Motel 6 and after eating everyone got ready for bed. Keep in mind it was 1 in the afternoon. The plan was to try to sleep until 5 when we had to get ready to go. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I set out on a walkabout adventure. Lucky for me, a half mile from the motel was the Mission Valley Preserve that coupled with the San Diego River Trail. It was about the best thing I could have found, so I spent the afternoon watching amazing wildlife do what they do in the river and avoiding the bums and miscreants under the overpasses, drunk and stupid. The bums will always lose!
Later that night we played a stellar venue in San Diego called Eleven. The name might first appear to be hipster chic and non-representational of anything substantial. But no, it’s a genius reference to the rockumentary Spinal Tap. “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?” asked the director. “…These go to eleven,” said Nigel. After you get done reading this do yourself a favor and watch the entire film. Twice. We loaded all our gear in and back-lined cabs and amps. The drummer from Pheasant, the night’s headliner, came up and said, “Damn, that’s a lot of gear!” We’ve heard that a lot on this trip. An SF band named Black Cobra Vipers were on tour as well and opened the evening’s show. Stylistically, it was an interesting choice, but I personally like eclectic bills and they were really good. I’m not even sure what I would compare them to. I think that’s a compliment. Portland would eat the shit out of them. We played second and the crowd was a strange read. I suggested we open with one of our poppier songs because it seemed that’s what the people would feel more. Then we made our way through the rest of the set we’ve been playing most of the tour which is heavier and more psychedelic. Everyone was really attentive, but slightly standoffish. It reminded me of Portland in that respect. But the sound on stage was amazing and everyone felt like it was one of the best stages we’ve played on. We’ll be back, Eleven!
I’ll close this post by letting you all in on a secret; we have a pretty fun game going on while driving in the van. RVs and campers all have pretty funny names. But there’s a way to make them even better; just add the word ‘anal’ to the beginning. So then you’ll have “Anal Adventurer’ and ‘Anal Charger’ and ‘Anal Shockwave’. It’s hours of laughs. Try it sometime with grandma. She’ll get it.
“Till next time!