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/ 4-1 / 4-2 / 4-3 / 4-4 / 4-5 / 4-6
1227 hrs. Oh the wind and the rain. There goes Magic Mountain. Here we are we are three so far, in an Econoline indistinguishable from the last Econoline except in that we haven't fucked it up yet. The U-Haul is smaller however less head room. There is Kirk driving. There is Kevin in the Kevin seat. Speaking of Albany. Of Johnny and his Distractions. Back on the road people. Soon we will be arguing about where to eat and who has to room with whom. On our way from L.A. to Frisco to pick up CVS you may know him as Chris. Oh my ears are popoping. Oh look I wrote popoping. This is the famous Grapevine. The world famous. Nothing is happening.
|1313 hrs. First use of the word "penis" on this tour.|
|1358 hrs. First rude gesture.|
|1821 hrs. Headlights coming on and the freeway winds toward St. Francisco. A day without event. In this on-touring life you are always sitting and always moving.|
|1824 hrs. "Nice!" says Kirk. (Someone has done something bad in traffic.) This is something Kirk says. Something Kevin says is "Please everyone: stand back." But he isn't saying it now. Catch phrases are an important part of fun on tour, except if someone is saying, "Remember there's a trailer attached," which is just annoying. I propose "Let's get frisky!" as a new catch phrase for this new tour but the truth is that they come of their own accord.|
|1832 hrs. San Francisco looms foggily across the Bay and here comes the toll as the Talking Heads are on the classic rock radio singing of what you may find yourself doing and what you may ask yourself. And now here we are on the majestic Bay Bridge and I am going to put on my glasses to be helpful in getting to Chris. There is water and cranes I didn't like the movie Traffic but other people do.|
0104 hrs. A Best Western in Redding. First motel of tour or pre-tour as case may be. On hold with the Earthlink people. They are playing classical music all agents are assisting other customers please hold for the next available agent. Outside it's raining and I need a haircut everybody else is next door including CVS who has been got he has speakers and coffee. I could get tired of this waiting. No I am tired of this. Waiting.
|1154 hrs. Snow is pretty and there it is. Snow is white and trees are green in elementary school I made a ceramic christmas tree like that, we all did. Portland is 362 miles away and we're going to Seattle. A big mountain goes into the clouds and it's nice to be somewhere else. Free hotel food is not so good but it's free. Trucks come in bright colors, yellow and blue and red. The rain and rain clouds have gone away maybe we're above them now which is good because the wipers are bad here approaching South Weed. Central Weed is coming up soon. Now here is North Weed. Weeds all gone now. Mount Shasta is mostly clouds today, the last time we were here a couple few months ago it was all Shasta.|
2333 hrs. We are all together now well not now and not here. We are all in Seattle even Mark Stevens who is on his way from the airport now. We have had our first day of music making in a rehearsal studio in Ballard where all the rooms are named for constellations which is funny there was nothing astronomical about it at all. Mark Stevens is here now with his groovy new titanium laptop he just walked in hello Mark. Now we are all together except Wes is at home and Kirk and Kevin are next door. We created some fine new old music today in preparation for first rock show tomorrow see below. Some surprises dare I say the fans I believe will be pleased. Dinner at Hattie's Hat. Last night 4 of us dined in Portland in the hotel where we stayed last fall the famous Thai restaurant Typhoon. Later last night here in Seattle I was in a bar with Chris, well a restaurant with a bar, or a bar with a restaurant. City mostly shut up and a lot of walking to find this place it was a nice place the perfect place to be. Night was cold crisp icy, Space Needle aglow, lights on the Sound. Now Kevin and Kirk are here and we are all going downstairs to wear a nightcap.
1651 hrs. Brief afternoon hotel time between rehearsal and soundcheck (when we check the sound). Big first rock show tonight. Sixth-floor corner room with two walls of window, Seattle construction crane activity visible but also trees with tentative greenery and seagulls on their way to/from the water. A springlike day. CV at the writing desk, sounds of soul, a civilized moment in a chaotic crazy crazy world.
0038 hrs. We have rocked Seattle to its underground foundations. Auspicious beginnings begun. A lot of love in the room. New old song for you: "Kill the Messenger" in its original four on the floor form. Flair aplenty. Kirk puts wrong strings on guitar, twists ankle in load out. Two incidents unrelated. Or are they? Accordion (mine) falling apart, surgery (more than cosmetic, less than mechanical) required. Mark Stevens indisposed.
|1239 hrs. Portland day room, picture window hillside view and if I moved about 3 feet to the right to where CVS is getting funky I could see Mt. Hood. KS on ice. Beer too on ice. We rocked Seattle then Seattle rocked itself: big earthquake this a.m. but we were gone gone. Alan Touissant music here. Young gentlemen in a state of mild sleepy shoeless apathy. That kind of carpet that you can spill or puke anything on and it looks just the same. I am leaving now.|
|1556 hrs. Back. You can't beat this weather. Chris off purchasing flair. Kirk in ankle-swelled attendance upon him. New sunglasses for some. How is Mark Stevens today? Wes undoubtedly buying books somewhere. Good eats in the afternoon, then Italian coffee in Italian cups. Kevin knows his way around he's from here more or less. More than less. You just ask the man on the street about Johnny and the Distractions. Portland it's a city on the move no that was Seattle ha ha. Ha. Afternoon interregnum if that's the word I want. Is Kevin asleep? Am I the only one awake here?|
|1619 hrs. Entry dates corrected to 2001. Thanks to Linda for the heads up.|
|1758 hrs. Backstage. Old old Crystal Ballroom. Wes crouching nearby over laptop. Now displaying Progressive Music book a score from Powell's. Soundcheck imminent. Chips n crackers n water n things. Smell of salt. Sound of crunch. Enter Greg of Blue Rodeo fame. How do you get a drummer off your front doorstep asks Wes. Pay him for the pizza. What does that mean?|
|2338 hrs. Driving out of Portland, Graham Parker singing about the white honey he gets from the candy man. Burning some miles post-show because it's San Francisco tomorrow night. The Portland people had their minds bodaciously blown. Dwarfed though they were by the Crystal Ballroom they made their presence known. The ancient floor upon which they stood was a special floor, the boards laid across ball bearings that make it bouncy. Bouncy for the people. More new old songs I won't say which come on down if you want to know. Mark Stevens now disposed. We are all here now with six you get eggroll and three hotel rooms. We are irrevocably on the road now until March goes out like a lamb.|
0958 hrs. A little bit of rain in the wild Oregon mts. heading back the way we recently came. Never got to Powell's. First McDonald's of tour, Eggamuffins hash browns some of that million-dollar coffee. You could be a winner. Necessity is the mother of eating at McDonald's. Last night late we stopped somewhere. Somewhere cold. Making little clouds of steam breath in the dark. Slept and got up. Kevin doing his best to get "Let's get frisky" into the tour lexicon which I read as a favor to me. First authentic catch phrase of tour: "That ain't gonna happen." (Initially my response to proposed 10:30 leave time from Kirk's on day one.) "Chop chop" also making a strong showing but makes me want to hit whoever's saying it. Morning maniac music: Bowie at the Beeb the extra disc. Oh look the police. Sitting pretty by the side of the road. Popping of the ears.
|1056 hrs. Smells like syrup.|
|1738 hrs. On the Bay Bridge, approaching Treasure Island at a speed slow enough to appreciate its charms. Kevin lived here for a year. Oh now we're stopped entirely. Now come the tall buildings and oh look Alcatraz Coit Tower the Golden Gate. Tourists come thousands of miles to see this we've come from Portland. We're getting over one, look out. This was a long day. Filled the trailer tire again. Kirk has new flair shades. At twilight. Kevin has a friend who pretends to puke in elevators. Now here we are in the city of Frisco.|
1600 hrs. Los Angeles California. Home of me. Backstage Knitting Factory. Tammie is here saying oh my god. Kirk is saying that ain't gonna happen, now apparently the official motto of Westour 2001. E bow talk. The backstage bathroom is bigger than the room in which people not going to the bathroom sit. Tammie is wearing a nice jacket. She goes with Kirk like a knife goes with a fork. I just met Tony. He's drinking a diet Coke. Everyone else where did they go. Also what about our dinner? There's a refrigerator here with the door facing the wall how absolutely useless. Today was a drive from Frisco the valley was green and there were sheep and cows and horses. Jim Healey in the van telling tales of chateau madness. Now Kyung is here she goes with Kevin like a fork goes with a knife. San Francisco was a city where we made many musical mistakes and yet the sum was greater than its faulty parts. CVS brilliantly opened S.F. show w/ Koi accompanying. His teenage girl songs. Now here is Billy. Now I am waving to Kyung.
1332 hrs. A night in my own bed a Saturday at home. Last night big rock show tonight another big rock show possibly a bigger rock show in the same place. Nearest/dearest in attendance. A surgeon I know came on his way to transplanting a kidney. It's just a skill he said like you have skills. Yes I said but when I play a wrong note people don't die, imagine the carnage if they did.
1310 hrs. Heading east on 10 until Phoenix, turn left to Flagstaff, right to Albuquerque, left to Santa Fe. But we are in California still. But not for long. Paolo Conte plays soundtrack to flat dirt scrub, jumble-blanket mountainettes to the right to the left. Road ahead an illustration in one point perspective. Late night and early morning doing the big rock thing in the big rock club, chockablock with attractive friends and exquisite significant others. Seven miles to Blythe. Traffic school discussion. Blythe has it all depending on what you mean by all. The mountains ahead are Arizona exit 1 there goes the Colorado River what's left of it and we are in Arizona and here comes lunch at Wendy's.
|139 hrs. (Mountain Time). Dark out, pockets of light within the van. 300 miles to Albuquerque having just left Black Bart's Steak House having followed the signs there. Hidden deep within an RV park where 17 meets 40. Singing waitresses/waiter from some nearby university sort of doughy and unformed though not uniformly your favorite show tunes with and without choreography, then coming over to take your order. Drank a South of the Border.|
|2245 hrs. Talking about grandparents with Kevin who drives. 4th bench put back in van in Los Angeles, Wes, Kirk, CV reclining against driver side van wall reading writing. (No rithmetic.) One after the other bench bench bench. Bench four is Mark who is invisible. I am in the seat they call shotgun. The world outside the window is white lines, tail lights, head lights, and the penumbra that accompanies us illuminating bits of roadside scrub. Farther off could be mountains, could be desert, could be lakes and rivers I don't know I can't tell. Not so much sleep last night or anytime since 2-23 and I am tired my eyes hurt and the space between them hurts. Today we came a long way from Los Angeles and I don't know where we are right now but we're not where we're going. We are at mile 309 on Route 40 heading east through Arizona unless we're in New Mexico already if that helps you. I still don't know where that is really. Me Robert I drove from the California border to Black Bart's Steak House, shadow of van at Arizona sundown running ahead of van, following light reflected upon the highway by the big what do they call them fuel truck tanker truck ahead of us. Desert rat guy the hat the beard the whole kit the caboodle in line for service station bathroom outside Phoenix said that if you find an old possibly antique gun you don't want to clean it it won't be worth as much if you do. Also he had an old trumpet he thought might be full of Civil War spit. Route 17 heading north out of Phoenix was very pretty especially with my new correct prescription eyeglasses. Furzy rolling hills sky full of cloud muscle bursts of yellow and purple plant life along the roadside. Then mountains with big pine tress the Motel in the Pines Pinewood Road and snow on the ground but not much. Signs saying watch for elk but did not see any elk even though I watched.|
|2310 hrs. Driving down dark road to nowhere looking for gas station okay guys lets make this quick bell gas closed nothing there CVS singing Mott the Hoople's golden age of rock and roll from the back I lent him Ian Hunter's tour diary the mother of all tour diaries now we're at another gas station where the lights are on but no one's home either Kevin switches on the defroster Kirk wants a word for his crossword “fearless leader's leader” is the clue, m blank b blank blank “mr. big” I got it. This is rock and roll. We are back on the freeway looking for something open. Kirk says Tammie says that this is the only place in the country where the weather isn't fucked up. Wes is reading aloud from his latest tour diary entry it's about tour buses it's getting hot in here. Don't get off unless you see a gas station says Mark.|
|2325 hrs. Dead end. St. Anselm Rd. Albuquerque this way. Got off again but denied an open station, there's the closed one closed probably for years for decades for centuries. The pitch darkness of the dark doesn't help at all doesn't make the world seem the friendly place we want it to be. World be friendly to us world. Be friendly. Black Bart's Steak House was a friendly place it even had a fireplace but we are not there, we are here, wherever here is.|
|2325 hrs. Dead end. St. Anselm Rd. Albuquerque this way. Got off again but denied an open station, there's the closed one closed probably for years for decades for centuries. The pitch darkness of the dark doesn't help at all doesn't make the world seem the friendly place we want it to be. World be friendly to us world. Be friendly. Black Bart's Steak House was a friendly place it even had a fireplace but we are not there, we are here, wherever here is.|
|2329 hrs. I didn't mention that we worked out that this van is in fact our last van we know this by the wonky vent and the ice cream splooj on the dashboard, though the odometer does seem all wrong. We have our theories about this. But the u-haul trailer is not the same u-haul trailer at all. It isn't even a u-haul. Here's a sign Albuquerque 164. Here's another Caution icy bridges. Still driving still looking still in the dark in the dark.|
2354 hrs. Santa Fe NM where adobe is king. We played a place the Paramount it was a nice place a well designed magazine spread sort of place with wood and stone and an antler chandelier of which I'm not sure I approve but which was attractive and interesting nevertheless. Spent morning on phone interviewing David Chase for other job other life. Then into town with time to kill. Walking around with CV checking out the adobe and the windows full of silver turquoise jewelry and bad art and groovy western gear and the disaffected loitering local youth and looking for a bank open after 3, which they don't hardly have around these here parts. Yup. I mean nope. Excellent spinach quiche from a french bakery run by real francaises who call you monsieur and say merci and de rien. Show full of gremlins not only for me and equipment trouble aplenty but the people man the people dug it and it's all about and only about the people. It's about the brothers and sisters in the front row. And everybody else. Then a little bon vivant for four out of six at the Coyote Cafe, wrangled there by Kevin bless him, he has their cookbook, and for me it was corncakes with shrimp, poussin with fig mole and green chili corn bread and the creme brulee quartet. Relaxed and happy to be there, loving life and present company. Tour is good for appreciation. Walking back to club crossing trickly little river moon straight overhead encircled by big big old moon ring I don't think I'd ever seen that.
1532 hrs (Central Time). The absolute flatness of northwest Texas having passed Amarillo and heading now for Oklahoma City. Wes on cell phone talking to Pittsburgh journalist. Mark likes single piece tape dispenser. I am guessing. The supposedly biggest cross in the Western Hemisphere has come and gone that is a statistic I would not care to dispute. Cylinders of hay. A near absence of topographical features though to the trained eye etc. etc. A cow here a cow there. A big old sprinkler stretching across a field but nothing I can see growing there. Terrible terrible terrible bumpy road. Keren Ann her dulcet incongruous francophonic vocal stylings transmitting from the hard drive of this here laptop through earphones into ears I want new earphones the kind that sit on your ears not the kind that you have to shove into them though there's no arguing the convenience. I am undoubtedly tired. The land is rolling a little now there is food at exit 141 in McLean and I am about 97 percent certain we will stop there.
|1553 hrs. But I was wrong.|
|1719 hrs. 120something miles from Oklahoma City. McDonald’s back down the road in town called Shamrock had a Texas shaped sink. Sun on the way down, that certain sudden way things get dark on the plains. Though it is light of yet I am just anticipating. Cows. Sheeps. National Route 66 museum next left. More cows near and far. Black cows baby cows. Lethargy is a word I was trying to think of before. Green grass and red earth looks like Christmas. I can see how you might love this landscape if you were from around here love the little ditches and undulating hills and surprising streams and stands of trees leafless for now but I'm not from here. Sister Sledge in my earphones are family, but on the other side of the cans it's Dionne Warwick who fills the van.|
|1748 hrs. Two police cars stopped by roadside with police lights flashing by brown cow – how now – on wrong side of cow fence.|
1135 hrs. Louisiana bayou. Water to the left water to the right. Drowned branchy trees reflecting. Yesterday morning woke up in Santa Fe, NM, another world a world away. Last night drove personally that is from Oklahoma City to Shreveport by way of TX. Moonlight lit, all horizons visible. Unidentified burning thing by side of road. Unfinished freeway interchange a welter a pretzel of unconnected overpasseses looming against the brighter night sky. The smell of burning hickory and tomorrow's barbecue sauce. Midnight truck stop stops, coffee and Milk Duds. Piling in piling out. Is that how you spell piling? It looks funny. Mark driving and talking on phone and listening to Tool he's a young person with young person taste. Flat trailer tire filled up with flat tire fixer lets hope that works. Driving south where the weather is good. Clouds are there none. PJ Harvey wants a pistol in her hand.
|1339 hrs. Route 190 west to Baton Rouge older highway occasional stoplights smell of Powerade from within not without the van. Pickup truck pulling crazily in front of van fat fat man filling every inch of cab space. Down here trees have leaves or beginnings of leaves, spring is sprung, windshield is final resting place of many bugs. David Chase interview nearly edited but there's still an introduction to write. New Orleans of course all hope of work will be abandoned there. Old friends are expected. I will go to Cafe du Monde because I always do. Mark is a man of many plans. Wes is hurting his head eating Saltines with earplugs in. Saltine is a nice word.|
|1435 hrs. Leaving the Cajun Circus. Not actually a circus. Funny how boys always go to the bathroom together. Po Folks Fruit & Vegetables. The Baton Rouge skyline between here and there is the yet invisible Mississippi River. Even greener here than 30 minutes ago. Here's the river, we go up we go over. Always an event the Mississippi. The Mississippi River. The Mighty Mississip. Which is headed for New Orleans just like us.|
|1534 hrs. New Orleans visible in distance as Lake Ponchartrain opens up along left (north) side of highway. Woods n water. Spanish moss hanging. Three out of 6 asleep. Now view gives way to motel alley. I have been and stayed here before in Jefferson Parish. Roller coaster dip.|
|1550 hrs. Dead people of New Orleans. First fuckin bead that I see in a gutter I'm gonna vomit says Wes.|
1240 or 1340 hrs depending on whether we've passed into Eastern Time. I don't know where that's supposed to happen but it'll happen before we get to Atlanta where we're going. This could be Alabama I haven't been paying attention. Flat bottomed groves of tall trees, scrubby farms, horses. Saw baby horses yesterday they were cute. I don't know why I love seeing horses so much but I do. New Orleans been and done and gone. Not the biggest or best audience for our little thang and some wrong notes that have just been discussed here in our Kirk Swan driven van and I shifted to CVS stageside on account of a tight stage but respectable certainly. A speaker fell on a Blue Rodeo guitar and broked it. With attendance of Bob Snake Bubbles Mache and Mark Spanky Tex Badwill Walton the entire JWH 1991 touring band was present, accounted for. (No jammage however.) Not to say 4/5 of Steve Wynn Quintet 1990, 3/5 of SWQ 92. All named (plus Candace that's Mrs. Bob M.) thence to the Circle Bar where last year around this time Sarah and I saw Vicki and Susan and where Peter now lives upstairs with Powerpuff pix for Miranda. White Russian my fallback drink. Think, I said, of all the places we've been we've seen together meaning Kev Bob Mark me: the Brandenburg Gate, the Arctic Circle, the city of Pompeii. And so much more. Mark gave me new Continental Drifters that's the band they're in CD which is good. With Kevin to Cafe du Monde for sake of tourism beignets and decaf nearly empty for a change. Bourbon Street relatively quiet shirtless drummer glimpsed through window that isn't right at all said Kevin. Garbage stale smell of spilled beer. Cab ride to hotel from "Big Ray" Jones (www.sstar.com/ray-jone/nola.htm) taxi driver and author of The Complete Idiot's Travel Guide to New Orleans for sale on the dashboard along with Mrs. Big Ray's Murder at the Audobon Zoo. He gave me his card.
|1830 hrs. (Eastern time for sure). Atlanta imminent. Mark Stevens to front of van with directions. Airplane going up. Wes expresses amazement on cell phone. Clouds. Yellow plants.|
|1838 hrs. The big buildings of town loom dead ahead. Big old premature moon preternaturally bright. Cute little carnival to the left all flashing light bulbs. The moon rises over a funky city somewhere in the south says Chris. Driving into the cold heart of skyscrapery downtown. Oh honey what's up says Kevin to woman crossing against light. Udweiser sign. Unreportable dialogue. Three blocks from club and time to stop.|
0057 hrs. Kevin opens a banana in a special way. Backstage at the Cotton Club, done, Blue Rodeo rodeoing on, pounding through the walls. We don't get Dave Matthews excuse me Mathews. There's an ankh painted on the wall. We have done rocked. Kevin needs to get going he's going to fall asleep he's dying he's totally dying. But we have to wait for the Rodeo to be over to get our shit out of here. It's all dudes out there. The Olympic Park that got blowed up is across the street it has pretty lights. Indian dinner with Kev and Wes and Cathy the managrix. Then espresso search with KJ but downtown was dead. Went into the big CNN center it was a message from the future. I broke a nail.
|1350 hrs. Passing fat naked truck driver en route Atlanta to Nashville that'd be via Chattanooga where I once spent three days at the Shamrock Motel broken down with college chums Bob and Dean and possibly Ed but I can't remember him being there the doors all crooked and a piece of carpeting covering a hole in the wall. Pictures of ballerinas. Lost dog lock nonsense this morning. Dog lock a last-tour neologism referring to the barking remote control van key. Spawning: To dog (v.): To lock the car by means of the dog. Did you dog the van? Dogged (adj.): The van when dog-locked. Is the van dogged? If dogged the van is undrivable by means of any key but the dog.|
|1528 or 1428 hrs. if we've crossed out of Eastern into Central time. Tennessee hills or mountains I guess Dolly Parton would say. Nashville is 103 miles ahead and Chattanooga not so far behind. I have an hour or so to finish the intro to the Chase piece. Why I am writing this I should be writing that. Do you know all these songs CV says Kirk. Sure says CV. Big Star is the group at issue and on the van hifi. Fireworks available here. Going up and up and up and up. Sky of blue grass of green. When my head is down writing I miss dark striated cliffsides, tall bare trees. There's a smell I don't know what. Man the Starbucks we were in this morning on the way to the guitar store the drains were backed up it was hard not to hurl, but we need our coffee. Guitar Center fun in Marietta not so much shredding as in say Hollywood and friendly unstuckup help. A new sustain pedal for the electrical piano, picks, strings. Here we are at a summit. Except Wes who is with Cathy in a car somewhere. There's a Herman Miller truck it's red.|
|1526 hrs. Central Time. We've gone back in time. The trip from Atlanta to Nashville is three hours and the trip from Nashville to Atlanta is five hours. Though in either case one spends four hours in the van. Explain. That's a bad smell. Oh I feel like I'm back at Starbucks says Kevin who's driving now Isn't that nasty? Murfreesboro says Mark is fun to say. Did you look at this D1600 in here Kirk asks. It's nice says Kevin then something about removable drives. Machines are scary and mysterious. Nashville is anywhere near here. Chase is done and tonite we party. Franklin is where the country stars live I was there once at Pat McLaughlin's with Mark Spanky Walton and Carlo Nuccio we sat on the screened in back porch and watched fireflies and played acoustic and drank beers that was on the Carlene tour long ago. This thing has four XLR ins says Kirk did you see that? I saw that says Kevin.|
0353 hrs. Cats Pajamas B&B owned and operated by DJ and Denise brother and sister in law of Kevin Cakes Jarvis. You know DJ he played with John Prine and wrote that song with Lucinda Williams and he is of course Duane Jarvis in his own right. The household is finally settling down. Mouse noises of scurrying bandmates. My own room I am sitting up in bed back against the headboard crosslegged under covers laptop on not exactly lap. Someone in the bathroom. There are no offensive sachets or provençal pillows here at the Cats Pajamas. But there are free copies of No Depression the magazine. Squeaky floor through door. We played music for the people of Nashville including lovely and talented producerman Mr. Gary Burnette, then went to the Radio Cafe some of us where the kitchen was closed but there was dessert then everyone eventually was at the Slow Bar down the street from here and from there and that was pleasant in the extreme many colorful but not too colorful young people and a loud rock and roll jukebox and just beer but in different containers. Mark w/ undoubted inside pull of Duane but also his own charm and sincere desire got bartendrix to give him sign affixed to fridge: we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone (with a mullet). Later sitting w/ Mark n Duane n later Kirk on Kevin's bed here at the Cats Pajamas having a hen talk a bull session. Duane got hiccups. Upside down water cure not effective. Now it's later than it should be.
|1403 hrs. Tennessee is the state I'm in. Cookeville 15 Knoxville 114. STOP 1 m. Fireworks. Magnets spoons shot glasses mugs. STOP Candy. Steak and Shake reminds me of Sarasota. Cows of different colors. Woke up at the Cats Pajamas (615) 650-4553 in a real bed with chenille puffball bedspread I have an itch on my forehead. There are a lot of trees in TN trees with thin straight trunks and no leaves for the moment. Van Morrison getting all Irish on our ass. Denise made quiche for breakfast and there was were fruit and potatoes and bagels. A beautiful blue light refracted through blue water bottle this is now, in the van. Tie Dye Tattoo and Body Piercing you can get pierced everywhere nowadays. The other night in New Orleans we were standing on the street in front of the club waiting for the haps to happen someone came by giving out flyers 10 percent off tattooing and body piercing, I said they almost finish the tattoo and don't make the hole quite big enough. Giftsfromtennessee.com. The time change is up ahead and hills of cow. Kirk makes a rude gesture. Kevin wants gear porn. Excellent old railroad trestle bridge. Mark's mullet sign pasted to rear window of van. We've traveled 6,000 miles and played eight shows.|
|1511/1611 hrs. Time change. Eastern again.|
|1633 hrs. Atomic Speedway.|
0209 hrs. New Market VA Quality Inn man it's cold outside in here it is not almost too not. Sitting crosslegged on bed w/ laptop on lap listening to Keren Ann my musical obsession Wes watching downloaded Arsenal goals on his iBook. On the way to Hoboken but stopped now. Big statue of Johnny Appleseed outside by the Johnny Appleseed Restaurant; lifesize wax figure of same in lobby his pot hat his sack of seeds. If true he was shorter than me. Dinner in Roanake a nice little town Kevin who spent 3 days there once kept saying so we stopped went to dinner at a semihighquality "Mediterranean" restaurant where they fooled us into buying five dollars worth of garlic bread. Cold cold cold there but we walked in the pack we make around that nice little town looking for coffee Kevin asked a cab driveress smoking a cigarette where to go. Some bustle around the market square it was Saturday night after all. Back in Tennessee is that spelled right I'll check that eventually and get back to you in a gas station before my turn to drive I bought an ABBA hits CD and climbed into the driver's seat and cranked it baby. It's ever a party with ABBA though sometimes their music almost makes me cry it's so dramatic and beautifully made. After dinner Kevin drove with Cheap Trick in Color his premiere CD of choice and there again it was a party hello there ladies and gentlemen are you ready to rock, don't you feel lucky I said to live in a world with Cheap Trick in it. The moon which rose big and yellow ahead was barely no longer full and lit up the hills and trees. Now I'm listening to Francoise Hardy off the laptop now I'm listening to Walter Becker on earphones. Sarah's not home. Goodnight.
|1235 hrs. West VA or Pennsylvania I haven't been paying attention in any case the bright sun of New Market has given way to the haze of wherever we are. I could go back to sleep but am working on work. More Françoise in earphones. Sing to me in French I will follow you anywhere. Going for the One playing in the van, that's Yes, big mean truck moving in on our lane Visit your local Shoe Repair Store it says on the back. He's a weaver lanewise I mean. Stone circles by roadside probably not Neolithic. But lithic without a doubt. Mason Dixon Rd. one quarter mile. Now this is Pennsylvania exit 1 rte. 81. Farmy around here. I have to call Karen. I haven't called Sarah yet. Tonight we rock. Minus 5!|
0036 hrs. Just missed posting a 3/12 entry not that it matters. We are after midnight though ante meridian. I smell like smoke. First I wrote I smell like smock but that was a mistake and I changed it. We have come from the Tunnel which is a tunnel which is a bar though what it's a tunnel to I don't know. Had my fallback drink. This is Northampton MA. Iron Horse show is done and over the crowd was small but there for entirely right reasons. Most important Amy was there with Elizabeth and Sarah who are growing up and they are all blonde and beautiful.
|0147 hrs. CVS posts do not disturb sign Keep those livin' lovin' maids out he says They're just women says I. Went to lobby to use phone while CV was online w/ my laptop. Statue of clown playing saxophone. Desk clerk lady had been hanging out w/ friend in the comfy corner where I phoned home, moved away leaving copies of digital camera mags a law textbook and old Grove Press Marquis de Sade paperback. CVS wearing Virgin Atlantic sleep blindfold, earplugs, reminds me of Tommy. It is late after all. And I bid you goodnight.|
|1337 hrs. Massachusetts covered in snow. Little frozen ponds and rivers. En route now from Northampton to Boston. Kevin finds the people of Northampton insufficiently warm. Morning on Main Street ambling in the ice rain. Cold ears and forehead. Bricks and stones and snow, train on train bridge. Premidtwentiethcentury architecture a distinct air of Bedford Falls romantic to my southern Californian eyes. Coffee tea thai burrito. Outside now the hills of eastern Mass engraved in green white gray. That Winslow Homer I think it is painting of the fox in the snow in the woods it reminds me of that we actually saw a fox yesterday hanging out on the freeway onramp we were leaving Southbury CT where I remembered there was were coffee and sandwiches. Discussion of worth or lack of of U2. Yesterday morning where were we I can't remember hold on we were in in in Secaucus New Jersey. Woke up in Secaucus same motel I stayed at with Russ in '89 Steve in '92 after playing Maxwell's Hoboken with the -5. Clear crisp night and Manhattan lit up like Christmas across the river. Karen and Dave brought Loretta to dinner she was that day exactly one year 3 months and 10 days old and she knows what sound the cat makes. Mammoth crew in full effect, GM glowing like a 150 watt bulb. Minus 5 well dressed as always, Scott in cowboy hat well trimmed beard the famous shades velvet jacket. CVS is singing into his cell phone. Packed house happy people. In the Minus 5 for 3 songs at the end which made me happy though not apparently those who had the piano in their monitors (which nobody in this band ever does) though I did remember how that Jimmy Silva song goes by the time it was halfway through. Sound onstage with them like being inside a jet engine. This is not a good road even though it is the Massachusetts Turnpike or maybe Kirk is just having an eccentric driving morning afternoon as that case may be, is. Maybe it's just the curse of bench 3 which I avoid. Bench 4 I will not go near at all in fact I voted against it. I hear Bono far away in the front of the van. It is prettier here now than in the summer I think though without the snow it would be less so. CVS needs to find a cobbler. I need gloves headgear possibly and socks. And a washing machine. Dag sent me anagrams of my name, Try Doorbell was one Orderly Blot another. I could go back to sleep but I can't.|
|1546 hrs. Susse Chalet outside of where we want to be but next to the double decker bowling alley Wes and I went to with Mike and Nina I did well enough to have fun bowling for once anyway who better to be with than Mike and Nina who are not here anymore they're in Brooklyn. This is a drab and crooked room with crappy mattresses and a bad phone connection but most of the time I will spend here I will spend unconscious.|
1706 hrs. Unconsciousness not so easily achieved at Boston or outside Boston or outside Cambridge hotel. Clog dancers apparently in residence in room above, abusive mother in hallway. Could not leave too soon. Boston show last night quite all right Carrie Workman was there and then we ran into her again in Harvard Square this afternoon right by the Peet's that little square not Harvard Square I love with the rail fence around it and the criss cross pathways and it was covered in snow. Satisfying preshow meal at the Green Street Grill which has been remodeled. Ran into Carrie there too strangely enough though not so strangely we were playing just down the street and it was the obvious place to go. There's a smell I don't like in here, the van, it reminds me of clove cigarettes. Frozen ponds going out of town. The Charles River was iced over too. Donnas and Bratmobile at the Middle East downstairs from TT's last night their big rock rumble was imposing upon our lovelier folk pop right through the floor. Today was a day of rest, all but Wes (in pub watching Arsenal) perambulating across Boston from Charles Street to where Newberry meets Mass Ave. The pond in the Public Gardens ice-crusted also ducks and seagulls out on it, geese and pigeons walking in the white, Keep off the Grass sign poking out of the snow. Shopping on Newberry Street you know how boys are. CVS acquired new trousery flair which is not to say flare. Mark the day's purchase king with goods in 3 major product groups. Nothing for RL though yesterday when I was in Harvard Square with Mark and Peter Salett who we ran into in front of the club when we went over for early parking I bought 3 CDs two from France and once of those Pearl Jam no frills concert recordings at Newberry Comics. Peter's nice he opened in Boston and Northampton and we'll see him tomorrow night in Arlington he has lots of frizzy hair and a long coat and a guitar which he was wearing strapped to his back on our T ride and walk and T ride and he's friends with Ed Norton the actor not the Honeymooners character and has a song in his movie about the priest and the rabbi and it's like number 5 in Thailand this week the song not the movie. Today is another day and we're leaving Boston we've left Boston and I don't like this smell maybe it's somebody's skin cream or something it's making me a little queasy. This road doesn't help either. A good big tasty delicate yet hearty Indian meal at the Bombay Club overlooking above mentioned crisscrossy woodfenced square looking out at the snow and here came the sun and then we walked awhile then we were in the van and we still are.
0028 hrs. The ides of March. Also Sheila's birthday. Maryland is dark except for where the lights are. I drove from MA to DE now Kevin is driving. Feeling detached though not in a bad way. Fuzzy hat on dashboard fake reggae on hifi. Big Gunpowder Falls. Baltimore will be arriving shortly with its tunnel and toll. No hazmats we wondered about that for awhile the first time we were through here this is familiar territory now. Keep the Free State Litter Free. We keep the funk alive with idiom. Moon now almost half eaten Baltimore itself off to the right. Tunnel light tunnel brick tunnel smell. Baltimore more visible. Is there an Irving Berlin song What'll I Do asks Kirk. Oh super clue says Wes. Open Joints on Bridge (is not a clue is a sign). We had a day off not counting the 7 hour drive. Life is intersection.
|0322 hrs. The hotel we were supposed to have isn't the hotel we have. We are farther away now in Falls Church not Arlington though perhaps not badly situated certainly not if we wanted to buy a Toyota tomorrow. Dragging luggage around looking for rooms which turn out to be above restaurant it was cold and vaguely annoying but somehow fun somehow that felt like being in a band. Room is huge. Huge! Full of empty space. CVS has got the speakers out: Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon and I'm 12 again in Robert Scott's room I don't know why. I don't know most of this record only the hits it's the middle of the night. My David Chase interview is out this week in print in L.A. and online everywhere the lines go.|
|1433 hrs. About to get down to other work. Wes I can hear from the next room rehearsing new songs for Austin. Most everyone else off doing laundry and I suspect going to Guitar Center of which activities I am sorry to miss the first not sorry to miss the second. Kirk now has link to my tour diary on his tour diary Well done Kirk. Outside the streets are wet the sky is gray I will play one of my new french CDs on the CVS stereo while I write about television shows and I will do that now.|
0312 hrs. Had a show, back now working on same TV thing. Cheating on it to be here with you. CVS asleep conserving strength for his big trip to Austin tomorrow. Wes too goes there, to SXSW, under separate cover. The remaining 4 vansmen go to Philadelphia for 4-day chill, then it's Pittsburgh and the first of the last of the Blue Rodeo dates. The last 3 shows have been ours to headline and that is a much more agreeable arrangement if only because we don't have to rip all our shit offstage in 47 seconds. I am writing this nearly in the dark so as not to disturb Chris but he may be asleep already. It's late though not too late to receive an email from Scott McCaughey. The Iota is a nice place we've done the duo there twice and the restaurant they feed you in is top flight. Sang happy birthday to Sheila on Wes's cell phone from the table the table of dinner. Considered again at end of evening while tying up my many patch cords placing them back in my Fox Kids promotional shoulder bag how pleasant and regular the menial aspects of this existence may be.
|1034 hrs. Up. CVS gone to Austin. Story not done. Out of here at 1200. Not raining. French music. Has gotten interesting lately. Sonic mayhem last night but happy snappy people. Dancing goils. Requesters. Me Against Me finally played and hitchless as far as I could tell though I did use a cheat sheet. Well what of it?|
|1200 hrs. approximately. Leaving Falls Church. Only four now. The great thing about this trip says Mark is we can all have our own bench. And with no one driving says Kevin.|
|1635 hrs. The city of loverly brothers. It's funny how in the nicer hotels they charge you for local calls. I'm just sayin. Quiet time. Mark's not even here he's parking the van Kirk's not even here he's on his way by train to New York where he'll see Steve and Linda. I have to call Donna. I have to send two thirds of a TV column to Los Angeles. I have to avoid making local calls which is hard because I keep losing my connection to the i. I protest. I protest to Mark who has just arrived and is protesting to me about the car park guy. Mark and Kevin going hot tubbing, not for me please and anyway I am busy.|
|2241 hrs. Back from out. The Then There Were Three. To dinner at the Continental. To dessert one of the best I ever had an apple raspberry "pie" but not a pie at the something or other Parrot, the Wild Parrot maybe. To drink at the Khyber Pass (upstairs) recommended by Dara's Philadelphia friend and right where we were besides. Three for three for the Then There Were Three. But it's early and Mark is feeling unfinished. Out the window look down it's the roof of Reading Terminal Market look up and there's the tippy top of City Hall upon which stands William Penn peeking up over less nice newer buildings in the misty fog rain. Philadelphia.|
1039 hrs. Top of the St. Patrick's Day morning. I'm wearing green underwear all right so don't fucking pinch me. Out of the shower and in front of the laptop I've got a nice workplace here except for having to see myself in the distressing mirror it's a class joint not like the night before, that place the water condensed on the bathroom ceiling after a shower and rained down on whoever went in next and the smoke alarm was broken beeping and couldn't be fixed. As Steve Wynn once said I got lucky last night -- eight hours of sleep. That's a little tour humor there. Is it too early to phone home it's only 0739 there though Sarah may be up already making soda bread. That is not out of the realm of possibility. Mark back from morning swim. No rain this morning just gray. Last night we got a little wet I confess. Why confess that's not the right word at all. Went into the Wawa or WAWA across the way at evening's end for water and other hotel room supplies that was a scary place everyone in there there seemed to be something wrong with them. Woman with devil voice yelling at husband man smoking cigarette dragging child. This isn't the nicest neighborhood of central Phillydelphia but it is next to the Reading Market and a walk from 2nd St. and really from everything when it isn't raining. Hey Kevin I didn't wake you up did I says Mark into the phone. Donna's coming over in 39 minutes and we're going next door where the food is where the fun is.
|2355 hrs. End of a Donna day which is of course also a Jamie day. Split from Mark and Kevin (who oddly made same green underwear remark), going solo. Tomorrow is for New York a blast up and back. Now I have some work to do.|
1856 hrs. No New York. Tried but denied. One of those for want of a nail situations. Philadelphia is not without its own charms and distractions however so don't worry about us we are fine.
1334 hrs. Pennsylvania on the road again. Back up to five still missing one he's in Pittsburgh already. The big macher. There is another policeman. This is route 76 the patriotic highway of police cars. A washed out sort of day visually speaking if one may do such a thing. But not raining at least. Pleasant in fact. Purple mountains as says the song, eastern style baby mountains, foreground is farms, tidy farms. Mark driving playing angry music. Young people these days. Bare branch trees full of birds I thought but no. It is tidy around here. We are past Harrisburg. Philadelphtia was four days of no shoes, no shows I mean, nice hotel, spent too much on books (used though), music, food, but what better after all. The new angry CD Mark has just put on is to my ancient ears indistinguishable from the last one. My this is pretty. There are some little old graves there is a body of water here is Bridge Road it's a bridge it's a road. Where are the cows? Here is the state police. Of Newville. Independence Hall you needed to take a tour to see the inside so that was out. But why would it have been any better than the six bean espresso at Old City Coffee on Church Street which was real and present and will one day be history itself as will we all? I am owed money. We are heading west which means in a way we are heading home except we're going to make ridiculous circles we're going to go back and forth for awhile. Last Saturday the tour was half over chronologically we have played more shows than we have left to play not counting that London date I'll believe I'm playing when somebody hands me a ticket. Deer jump through here. Blue Mountain. People fought wars locally. Be prepared to stop.
|1439 hrs. The wester you go the wilder it gets. Curvy road hell it's famous for it the western Penna Turnpike. Mountains n stuff also things look more worn not the fastidious rolling hills of the Amish not so easy to farm here not so far even now from feeling like the frontier though now with service plazas still I wouldn't call Sbarro pizza civilization. But hey a Starbucks.|
|1541 hrs. Hey where's that EQ magazine says Kevin. Wester and wilder, still winter. Snow up here. Sadder trees missing bits. That valley up ahead looks good watch downhill speed please. We are going to Pittsburgh which has its points but we are not going there for long.|
1600 hrs. Today is yesterday backwards except I drove from Pittsburgh to the border of New Jersey and it was raining except when it was snowing or we were in a tunnel or even you know that second of relief when you go under a bridge and oh ah it's quiet and we're going to New York. It's a crappy crappy day and visibility is low here in the Garden State. Mark driving now and playing Achtung Baby a choice I approve. Everyone else being lazy way back in the wayback all day I hardly feel I've seen them it's surprisingly big in here in a social sense. Pittsburgh what can I tell you about Pittsburgh. Or what do I want to tell you. It was a new wave dance party down front. The Honeydogs were suddenly there opening for everyone as they will be again tonight. Onstage they look like they're in high school though backstage this is clearly not the case. They are young old pros from the city of Minneapolis. Dined by happy accident at Caribbean restaurant with a couple Blue Rodeots, Jim and could it be Basil. This weather is fucked really and truly.
0341 hrs. Spring now. The sky to celebrate rained all over us. Kev Kirk and I blown hither and yon upon the streets of Little Italy umbrellas are good things but they don't keep you completely dry. It's late I have to go to bed. Some of us had to not stay in the hotel we were going to stay in so I am somewhere else. A lost hour in the late night. Show and all was all it could have been and oh the many friends and new friends that were there during and after. You know who you are. I will write more when I get a chance but now I have to get four hours and 15 minutes of sleep.
|1451 hrs. Rain still an issue. Really an issue this morning in Manhattan after I left Melanie at Starbucks and went downtown to Val's for hair adjustment and more caffeine and friendly friendliness though it was not to be I was early the place was locked and I could have gone to Katz's on the corner but I was pretty miserable by then and went back to the hotel the hotel I went to when rooms disappeared at the original hotel instead. Astonishing New York miracle of free cab ride from off duty taxi I mistakenly jumped into. Strangely as I write this the rain has just quit here on the Jersey Turnpike at 1453 hrs. and one feels it immediately around the neck and shoulders. Oh hold luck until Philadelphia and last the night. So I was soaked clean through in the city of New York and cold, icy wind on a wet forehead that's not such a good thing my head's still cold in fact. Is there an apostrophe in Starbucks/Starbuck's I can't remember or rather I never noticed. In the day's second Starbuck(')s where I met Kevin and Kirk and Mark who had the presence of mind to ScotchGuard his leather trousers a man from England was displeased because he had asked for an English breakfast tea and they gave him Earl Grey and they are not the same thing not the same thing at all. I guess Starbucks's doesn't know everything. Melanie's elementary school yellow L.L. Bean raincoat had a rip. Industrial marsh landscape of New Jersey, the inner and outer Turnpike, that impressed me the first time I saw it. Kirk said oh really and a second later Mark in the back of the van said oh really but they were totally unrelated oh reallys. Last night onstage was good a high stage looking down on a good looking audience who gave back a lot. One might have thought we were pop stars in fact.|
|1525 hrs. Here comes the rain again.|
|1540 hrs. Rain rain went away.|
1056 hrs. Pennsylvania Turnpike one more time ladies and gentlemen but today is a lovely day clear like crystal to the horizon and blue in the sky. Pentangle’s Sweet Child on CD recently acquired by Wes playing now it's one of my favorite records ever and the combination of music and travel and land of P-Dutch farms of horses that one had shaggy legs and some were wearing blankets is beautiful and moving. We are going to Cleveland now which is far even though it is but one state away. Hex signs. Hawk. North Star Bar that was not a nice neighborhood but people came anyway. Sunny Dell. Picturebook stone well. Sheeps. A treehouse. Sweet Child the song now I love it well and another hawk and a cop car.
|1706 hrs. Ohio it's round on the ends and high in the middle. Executing move from 80 onto 480 there's one of those funny beehive buildings they have out here in this other part of America. Stop pay toll. Stop paying tolls. Back in the land of flat. Sun getting low warming up the car the van I should say. I should say van. And do. Forgot to call the Dixons. Should call Erika about her sister. Well it's hard when you're moving around all the time and never know what day it is and the fact of where you'll be in a day or two is not at all real. Yesterday morning I woke up in New York and was in Philadelphia since then now here I am in Ohio the something state. The Round on the Ends and High in the Middle State. Wes is sharing a picture of his/Shelley’s Dog. The weather is fine the world is alive I don't like the look of all those cell phone towers. Cleveland is soon and not for long.|
|1719 hrs. Kangaroos I thought I saw.|
0128 hrs. Hello. The laptop had a bad fall but it's okay except the keyboard is funny and I want to fix it but won't try until I turn it off. I am sitting cross-legged on a bed with my shoes on my big shoes. In Cleveland in a Hampton Inn. I smell a funny smell. Kevin brought Red Vines and went away. In New York the dog lock didn't dog because we were next to the Empire State Building and they jam dog signals to foil terrorists there's an interesting fact for you. John King's is the bookstore to look for in Detroit I only mention that because I see the note there the note I made at Donna's talking to Al. In Cleveland we were in the flats where the rock bands go Peabody's used to be there we were at Odeon where we played a deux in '96 with the band The Band. We looked for Wilbert's but it's Funky Buddha and a nice fat policeman told us to go to Fado an Irish place and it was not bad it was pretty good a quote from Samuel Beckett on one placemat from Yeats on another. He also said it was going to snow tomorrow. Noticing Chris's big furry hat. Things Snowball pulled out of the hat tonight to honor request of man down front. Soundcheck was full of Dylan songs, She Belongs to Me, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, John Wesley Harding, Tell Me Mama. Shoes off now.
|1221 hrs. Way to Buffalo. Snow was snowing that cop was right I wrote you about it but then the laptop kicked off a battery thing the keyboard is fixed now anyway I lost what I'd written and I'm writing again. Serge on the van stereo. I want to take off my coat but I can't without moving too many other things around without shutting this off again so I'll be a little warm for a minute or two or three or four or five. This morning we were cold Kevin Kirk me I should say I going to get coffee on the icy windblown streets of Cleveland Ohio. We made it to the Terminal Tower running and laughing. A large macchiato at Caribou Coffee has three shots of espresso. Mark likes Coca Cola. Ah that's good stuff he said to no one by way of impromptu testimonial sincere and from the heart. Now we are in Pennsylvania for a very little while. It's not snowing here now but it did obviously because look there's snow. Look there's more snow. White barn on white ground orange truck moving off to left. Motel clean food tanning bed. Tanning bed. Snow is romantic to me always I'm from Southern California. Frosty branches it would be fairyland except for the high tension lines. Serge is under the sun exactly in another time and place in a song. Presque Isle is french also it means almost island. Soixante neuf that was a sexy year according to Serge. I'm going to England soon won't that be nice it swings like a pendulum do sang Roger Miller. Vibratory road I feel it through my fingers on the keyboard. Snow dust falling from bridge. There's a mall here shall we stop for coffee let's fucking do it. Goodbye for now for now.|
|1336 hrs. Coffee success. Now here we are moving again and there is Lake Erie looking like the ocean across snowy fields. Any river we cross I have to look at I can't not look at a river. Or a train and there goes one. Buffalo is 72 miles. Peter Salett CD he was our friendly opener 3 times in our brief spate of headlining. This is New York (state of) here just here just now. Peter came to the Bowery Ballroom show just to be nice he is nice. There is a light on the water. Everything looks painted. In a good way. This tour has flown by says Wes and it has. Though there are two weeks encore exactement until I am home and trying to organize myself in some productive way. Here are the famous vineyards of New York State but all a-snow. I need gloves and a hat a cold weather hat. Live Moon in June the famous John Peel Top Gear recording of Soft Machine oh don't you just love Robert Wyatt I do. How does anyone live without music? People do but what a waste. You of course are not one of those or you would not be hear I mean here but an understandable appropriate slip. The snow is receding. I need to get my hands on an instrument. The Blue Rodeo keyboard player James/Jim was out in the room playing violin while we soundchecked yesterday he met Steve Wynn in Norway once which is a likely place to meet Steve. Bang of drums screech of Soft Machine organ. Now here is O Caroline which is even more beautiful.|
|1517 hrs. Freezing coldness of Buffalo most unavoidably apparent on misguided walk back from club to hotel after tiring of waiting for cab. Why oh why. Muffler misplaced somewhere in club besides and top button missing from coat and no hat or gloves I am no boy scout I am not prepared. First peek inside the Blue Rodeo bus the night of our last show together it's a comforting shade of dark and soft-surfaced and nicer than the buses I toured on twice upon a time but that was a long time ago and now says Jim the singer not the keyboard Jim they are nicer still. Jim and Bob and Boz. Hockey on TV they're Canadian after all. But I like the van better at least you look out the window while in a bus you shut the shades and watch the TV and don't notice a thing till you're there. Social eating period too with singer Jim and Barry the tech. Soundcheck songs included Whole Wide World and Oh Bondage Up Yours. Keyboard Jim playing violin again. We're having quiet hotel time now before going back to the club not walking I can assure you through the dead streets of Buffalo to play a short set and then back here and maybe I'll get some laundry done tonight. CV has the soul music going. Some snack treat would be good right now.|
0055 hrs. You just have to love Dave Davies till the sun shines. Laundry has eight minutes to go. Chris and I walked back early well not early it was after midnight from the club the Tralf short for Tralfamador I have been given to understand. I am sitting on the bed side saddle as it were. A girl in the elevator earlier with her mother had a big fancy necklace on she was going to an ice skating contest. It is
|0122 hrs. now and we have discovered that the hoses on the washing machine here in the Holiday Inn Buffalo are switched so that it runs hot when it says cold though discovered too late for my laundry could this possibly be of any interest to you. Tonight was the last Blue Rodeo the last Honeydogs show, lots of Canadians come down from Canadia some of them are staying in this hotel. BR bus driver tricked into wearing a dress I don't think he liked it much. All manner of snack treats backstage tonight strange Eastern brands I probably ate too many of them though I did not eat too much. We did as it turns out walk back to the club CV and I and then we walked back from the club to the hotel and it never got any warmer. No gloves but Sarah said use socks and that was a good idea that Chris used too. I don't know anyone in Buffalo but I will know at least the Young Fresh Fellows in Albany and then perhaps the Chicago people will come to De Kalb, Dag should come he lives near there now, or nearer, and then we'll be in Chicago after Michigan and that will be the social climax of this excursion I predict. Chicago people come and be friendly.|
|1728 hrs. Albany. Smoky Ramada Inn. I drove here from Buffalo past where Chris used to pump gas. Many flying Vs of ducks/geese going north, they think winter's over but there was snow. Frantic fractal flocks of swallows a contrast. Lake Erie had ice on it old factories a battleship it was a beautiful desolate 20th century scene. Morning coffee girl had plenty of flair, too much for some but I thought she was just making the best of her coffee job. Some flair obviously imposed: do you want that parked or on wheels? Young Fresh Fellows getting a late start apparently they'd been drinking in New Jersey I think is the case. A low stress whatever whatever happens and anything might kind of night is what we expect. People of Mammoth on the way from Manhattan. It is Sunday. It is the Oscars. Debate late last night in Buffalo dressing room on whether people stayed home to watch the Academy Awards and whether those people were people who would otherwise be attending a Young Fresh Fellows John Wesley Harding concert gig event. I suppose the effect on our turnout will be marginal but I could be wrong it happens. Something like a foghorn blowing though I don't see any fog. I see some clouds there over the freeway that runs past my smoky hotel room I guess I'll close the window now it's cold. I wonder what the other boys are doing.|
0249 hrs. Albany. Big rock show little rock audience. The Young Fresh Fellows worked their mojo genius. We were not bad neither. Cameron won an Oscar but I didn't see that. Marnie by Alfred Hitchcock is on the motel room TV I have my own room tonight that happens sometimes. Come on down we'll have a party. No don't I'm going to sleep. Scott and Kurt and Tad and Jim they have the true rock spirit. Someone asked me where I was from, when I said Los Angeles he asked if I knew Falling James and I do. I am going to watch this movie now and go to sleep watching it.
|1110 hrs. Excellent wake up call: Time to get up! Time to get up! From real person really downstairs. Okay I'm up. Okay I need coffee.|
|1256 hrs. Snow snow snow. On route 90, no little bit of snow. Racing at the windshield. Looks like cartoon speed lines out the side. Visibility limited. Francoise Hardy in my ears. Too much heat here, phony van heat, I don't like it, it's suffocating. Attempt at writing next column, but head not adjusted to that task. Will give it another stab in a minute. Rock and roll lobby this morning with Young Fresh Fellows, them off to Boston, we to De Kalb that's far. The world is washed out white, snow piling up in the median on the guard rails, in the fields, the hills, barn roofs. Mark is driving sensibly. Woke up to Betty Grable, then there were Abbott and Costello doing their cutrate Hope and Crosby. Now we are out of the snowing snow. This is a rusty part of the world. There is a bridge I noticed yesterday coming the other direction with no way on or off just the middle of a bridge. Oh I still need coffee my head hurts.|
|1438 hrs. Cars music. When Kevin gets a call he reclines. We all have our ways of doing things. Six self-consciousnesses six centers of the universe. In a van. Unsatisfying turnpike stop, mostly they are. But they look nice out here on the New York turnpike or thruway or whatever this is Route 90, kind of lodgelike. Mark's driving gets noticeably worse when he's on the phone driving which is now. Oh good he's off. We are doing nothing today but driving and we are doing it for a good long time. Snow looks comforting but of course it is not. But as the morning gathers a rainbow Finley Quaye wants you to know now that he's a rainbow with you.|
|1510 hrs. Incredible String Band, The Half Remarkable Question. Kirk has told me about frost heaves it's a springtime feature of northern roads. Not a good feature. Not a good for a headache feature. Snow brightness not good for that either. What is it we are part of Robin Williamson asks and what is it that we are. This is earphone music. Van music is Pixies. Sleeping peoples. We are tired already and we have hardly got up. Wes's sweater looks like straw to me. I can see on his neck where Val who is my friend cut his hair. Rain kept me away though and I need a friendly scissors. Trees and trees and trees. America must have looked endless once we can cross it by land in 3 days though we do not want to. Should I buy a sitar where would I get one? I am not in a mood to work but should be working. Or should I? My hard drive is full of music I love what a good thing. All this world sings Robin with Mike now is but a play be thou the joyful player. Well that is one way to look at it.|
0051 hrs. Elyria Ohio. Hit heavy snow weather the other side of Cleveland that was me driving then. Snowflakes in headlights rushing up rushing by like stars in hyperspace. Finally could not see. Off for a steakhouse breather of bland but not inexpensive food, server in Western flair though the question of whether it was flair if everyone wore it did come up; it was in this case it was decided a uniform. Kirk in the driver's seat afterward, no or little snow but the roads all bad, icy and snowy and laneless, cars creeping along in the freeway night light. Stupid truck said Kirk the trucks were barreling by heedlessly then said he didn't mean the truck was stupid but the trucker. I knew that. Cleveland was a moist vision. The Terminal Tower looks eerie I said No pun intended said Kirk. Then some joker in an SUV and let me just digress here and say that I was in Paris recently and there are many nice things about Paris not the least nice of which is a complete absence of sports utility vehicles anyway some idiot in his 4 wheel drivemobile came fast around us on the right on an interchange at the bottom of which and in our way he began to fishtail then spin in circles then stop dead facing us and looking like the last even of last things but Kirk got us around him alive well done Kirk. Soldiered on for awhile cars littering the snowthick roadsides puncutated by flashing lights of cop cars emergency vehicles. Now we are made fast within a Days Inn having given up the westward push until morning and light and hopefully snowplowed highways earlier I saw two big horses pull a plow through a snowy field I felt for a moment removed from the 21st century it was not a bad feeling.
|1314 hrs. No snow here not even a sign of it in northwestern Ohio. Heartland. Fields farmhouses tall tree groves left as windbreaks perhaps. I know nothing of farming but the absolute rudiments (plant seed, harvest what comes up). Rotted barns, do they leave them up out of affection. Near enough flat to call flat. Excellent turnpike stop west of Elyria brand new big and airy a Starbucks and who would have expected Jodi Maroni sausage. We were discussing boredom and our lack of it Mark called me for some reason I don't remember the man who's never bored and I considered that and said I think it's because I've set up my life not to do things/work I hate. And even in the worst the least of times the captive the unoccupied moments there are things to look at to examine more closely. There is always something to see. The sound of a dulcimer on the last song of Full House brings back the physical sensation of handling that gatefold vinyl. Last plaza in Ohio. Then comes Indiana. Then comes Illinois.|
|1514 hrs. Wes won toy rabbit doll in claw machine at Indiana Turnpike stop moments ago merely. Now it sits staring back at us from dashboard, its plush ears pushed back on its head by the angle of the windshield. Wes says it's evil I think it's cute but maybe I get the two mixed up in my head. People do. Chicago 91. I remember the Chicago 7 but that was something different that was not a distance. Lots of sky here with clouds of varying thickness weight translucency. Blonde on Blonde on hifi. Stuffiness of right side of head. Chicago people are coming tonight some of them how many I don't know but I will be happy to see them, coming to Chicago (and this isn't even Chicago it's De Kalb) is the next best thing to coming home. Look there's a house people live in it those are their cars. Here is a sky full of light. There a river a white duck. Black faced sheep I don't eat them. Everybody loves Moby.|
1032 hrs. or possibly 1132 hrs. Going east again losing an hour sometime on this trip to Ann Arbor to record 4 songs for Acoustic Cafe but not acoustically. Well acoustically in the sense that we'll make noise and there'll be microphones but not in the trad folk sense of the word. Though of course even acoustic recordings are electric recordings unless you're using one of those old horns people used to play into long ago in the olden days of yore. Drove out of De Kalb last night about an hour and a half stopped in roadside Ramada. There was a cockroach on my bed and a plastic undersheet in it everybody had that and nobody liked it. Not nearly enough sleep. A lot of nonspecific sniffling among the merry band the past couple of days. Stocking up on miracle formulas at the Walgreen's. Bethann Sheila Dag Ryan came out to the far country from Chicago and Woodstock not the rock festival Woodstock which wasn't at Woodstock anyway Woodstock Illinois where they filmed Groundhog Day though that was supposed to be Pennsylvania I think. Oh it was a joy and a relief to see them. Dag brought prog. I can recommend the House in De Kalb that is not a bad meal at all and not too pricey but don't get the bread pudding even if they tell you to. Not a big crowd not at all at our show I mean not in the restaurant but they knew what they wanted. Even drinky the drunk guy down front he knew what he wanted but I don't know what that was. He fell down and they carried him away. I missed some of this being back at the keys in back, seeing mostly at Kirk's butt and where his belt says Swan, but heard about it later. Mark Stevens currently impressed by Ford Mustang cop car. Michigan Welcome Center so much for Indiana. This would look nicer here if there were some leaves on the trees. That isn't always the case but it's the case here.
0108 hrs. Missed 3-29 but just. Got back late from Detroit had to drive to Ann Arbor blah blah blah. Tonight the first show with the Soft Boys they want to destroy me and did. Noticed I was speaking excitedly, faster. Rick Gershon of Los Angeles there to do Soft Boys merch I know him was nice to see him there unexpectedly even though I knew he would be there I just forgot. Stopped for falafel on the way out of Detroit that was Kevin's idea and a good one. Dinner didn't exist. Today more or less a day off in Ann Arbor we went to town I found a David Lewis No Straight Line CD at a used record store that record is David Wes Me and Scott Mathews mostly and we listened to it on the way to Detroit. Also I got a new little tuner for the mandolin also some picks and we ate well three of us (Kevin, Chris, me) at the Cafe Felix where we'd been the very night before on our sort of night off in Ann Arbor after a Thai dinner in a different restaurant drinking coffee drinks and eating sweets. Recorded those four songs in a studio in a neighborhood and though that was a stressful occasion the results were good I am still at this advanced age pleased to think (surprised even) that I can turn in turn out a decent performance and happy to be in a good band. Now I have a stuffy headache though and I'm going to bed.
|0244 hrs. Multiple fire alarms go off in hall and from somewhere else, we get it in stereo in our room, unpleasant dissonant buzzing from one side a rounder tone from the other. Everyone out of their various rooms to look in various forms of sleepwear. Hotel guy running down hall followed by three or four boys in black some kind of teenage SWAT team this way that way. CV also sprinting hither and yon from sheer exuberance and joy of chaos.|
|1207 hrs. Here we go to Chicago. Morning van maintenance w/ Kev, + Circuit City power cord success makes for happy camping. Shut of bad toxic Ann Arbor hotel I mean motel full of strange smells strange people. Yesterday man at desk saying It doesn't matter if you don't like it I already have your money. Proximity to Bob Evans (unvisited) and Starbucks (visited I mean come on) not enough of a plus. Towels insufficient in number, size, absorbency. Carpet unpleasant to walk upon that sensation of industrial solvent upon the soles. Cherry smell to mask smoke in nonsmoking rooms. But we did get to stay there two nights. On the road now and no snow no rain and not even particularly cold for a change. Carson is coming and all the more usual suspects. Sadness at brevity of Windy City stay it's all slam bam pow from here to eternity. Last show but a week away have I mentioned I may have. Mattawan isn't there a movie called that we're driving past it now. Wes tells funny story about father's friend's insurance claim. Spring yet to show its green rosy face in these here parts though daylight savings time begins this weekend robbing us in the bargain of an hour of sleep we need between Minneapolis and Omaha. We are hanging in there like the kitty in the poster. A girl at a donut counter in a stop somewhere the other day said that Easter was her favorite holiday because it's when Jesus came back to life. Is Mark perhaps in too much of a hurry to get to Chicago where he lives? I can wait to meet Jesus myself. I am in no hurry on that account.|
|1354 hrs. after time change. We only gain from here. Incomparable unloveliness of Gary Indiana the price you must pay for entry into Chicago which we love. Vats and wires and smokestacks. Yardful of geese the bucolic meets the industrial. This looks like the way the world end surely it hastens the day. Mark tunes in heavy rock hometown radio. People live here it's astonishing. Trees too though they don't look happy. Chicago Skyway. Then the Dan Ryan I almost wrote Dan Reed he had that disco hit. Tomorrow I must remember is my father's birthday coincidentally he's from Chicago. Rumble strips hair-raising toll approach. That's a term I learned this trip rumble strips those things to slow you down before the tollbooth. Rock musicians on radio discussing difficulties of the road young people have no stamina. Welcome to Chicago.|
0948 hrs. Saving daylight. Or are we not? I forget which is which. We have sprung forward in any case. Southbound now from Minneapolis to Omaha the tailings of winter still apply here, the fields are white the rivers are iced but the new shoots etc etc warily explore the spring. Yesterday though driving from Chicago there was snowing snow in Wisconsin mountains and the dairylands were bright and blanketed. The world seems more real but also unreal. It is the first of April and we are going out of our way to play in a record store. Well why not? All we lose is sleep and maybe a good breakfast. We have our Starbucks coffee though and Mark has his mother's pumpkin bread though that hasn't made the rounds yet but then half the van is sleeping or trying to. Mark himself asleep sitting up on the back bench with sunglasses on like a disguised dead body in a funny movie. We are running on about four hours of snooze. Minneapolis was good to us though the first thing I did there was to drop my sweater in curbside slush, dried if not cleaned with CVS blow dryer. Incredible happiness of last night, First Avenue the house that Prince built with the Soft Boys on stage being marvelous and beautiful and assured with no frills at all the light shining upon them and falling upon the big big crowd and I walked out and there was Linda who came home because Minneapolis is home to see her parents before going to Europe with Steve and she is a star in her hometown though she is a star everywhere You may have noticed said Linda's old bandmate Laurie we played with them at Maxwell's back in '92 and I hadn't seen her since later that same year in a diner in Dinkytown (You served me breakfast I said but Linda corrected me: She cooked you breakfast) that Linda is the most popular girl in Minneapolis, And several other towns I said. We were speaking Laurie and I of going out to shows and going back to school It's harder to do when you're older she said I said everything is hard to do when you're older but the things you do do you're better at, certainly the Soft Boys were offering proof and at that very moment it was an ordinary crucial moment I was caught up in the music and lights and the big big crowd and the reflected warm vibes of Linda among her people her Minneapolis rock people, love and excitement ricocheting around the room. Icy walk after through streets filled with yahoo final four sports fans to Eli's where I spent a birthday three years ago though it seems longer than that, and Kelly who was there then was there again and Dewitt or DeWitt who helps take care of the Soft Boys and in the bargain helps us too (and here I must say a word a good for Paul and for Michele as well) and knows Deanna from when he lived in Athens though Deanna is in Chicago now and Linda of course and Linda's well-known friends and various First Avenue people and showgoers some of whom we met and interviewed. And the night before was of course Chicago with a thousand respectful attentive persons in the house the beautiful friendly persons of the city of the big shoulders especially beautiful of course the ones we know Sheila and Bethann and Deanna and Elisabeth who is Lissa (which is Alison my sister's old nickname also) whose shoulders are quite small in fact and Jeff Economy (his are bigger) with Cynthia Plastercaster or Plaster Caster of the famous Plaster(C)asters of Chicago about whom he made a movie I've seen though it was not quite finished then. Sheila gave me her (very good) crab cake Bethann gave me her salad at the Raw Bar otherwise I would not have had dinner we have missed that meal the last few days last night we didn't eat until appetizers at Eli's after midnight I drank a white Russian probably three years ago I did too. Long Chicago hang in the backstage as long as long could be we left last.
|1257 hrs. Mark bored in back of van everyone else asleep back there comes forward to hover w/ me and Kev (driving). Iowa beneath our wheels. Snow gone. Mark retailing story of last night's visit with old Minneapolis buds well not that old he's only 26. Wes on van bench one kicking him in his sleep.|
1124 hrs. Here is something I like: when I've been riding in the van for a while looking at the world but acclimatized is that a word to the interior and stop for gas or relief, that moment of sliding tumbling into the outside to feel the real air and weather of a new place. The world passing by now is the world of Iowa but Nebraska is not far to the left which is the west which means we are going north. We are going north along the border out of Omaha or to be accurate out of Council Bluffs where we unexpectedly spent the night in a casino resort hotel an Iowa casino resort hotel each with his own room and I won $3.25 playing video poker with $5 of Kevin's money and Mark is listening to his free Metallica CD but now he wants to listen to his free Soundgarden CD. Record store instore must be accounted a success first but not necessarily in order of importance on account of people second on account of performance third on account of swag fourth on account of meeting Frank Holmes who wandered in with his wife and happened to be in town for an art show and painted the original cover of the Beach Boys’ lost Smile and knows Van Dyke whom I see sometimes on Larchmont but I'm never quite sure he remembers me even though we played together with Syd once and Sarah accidentally invited him to a Christmas party I say accidentally not because we wouldn't have wanted him but because we didn't really know him I'd met him and had his address for a professional reason and he came fifth on account various record store/chain reps and execs and workers who sorted us out dinner (corny old classic Omaha steakhouse) and provided interesting company sixth on account of friend of record store execs who scored $30 rooms at the riverboat casino just across Missouri I mean I knew we all knew as we saw the twinkling lights and approached the porte cochere that we were going to have some different fun. Line dancers in the lounge. Pie in the "diner." Some of us gambled some won and some lost I won $3.25 did I say but Kevin won more. It was all a matter of one thing that leads to another and going with flow. If you go to Omaha if you ever have to go to Omaha that Old Market area is nice also that coffee place on 13th Street next to the used bookstore that was a welcoming sight when the wagon rolled in. I am going to switch with Mark now more later.
|2029 hrs. mountain time. In the rain and the snow. Kirk is driving and wonders why the weather turns bad whenever he gets behind the wheel. I drove to South Dakota and through almost all of it at rapid high speed. It's dark now it got dark just about the time we got to the beautiful black hills which really are black now in the black night. SD impressive in its purity of form its resolute windsculpted starkness, occasional relief of a tree or trees, gulch or gully, cow or cows, then there was a big lake opening below us dead ahead in a snow dotted valley and then we were on a bridge. We are drinking some of us are drinking espresso drinks from the Rapid City South Dakota Borders Books espresso cafe we had to wiggle back around to get there but we wiggled all right Kirk is playing his swag copy of Vintage Violence everything goes inky black about fifty feet in front of us. This is just a day of driving though we stopped to see the famous Corn Palace which wasn't much but we had a pretty good lunch in an old ex train station. South Dakota is a place of attractions, Mt. Rushmore was on our maybe to do list for about 27 seconds.|
|2203 hrs. We're in Wyoming now. In the dark it looks a lot like South Dakota in the dark. It goes up and down more. Hmm what are those interesting lights up ahead let me put on my spectacles a factory of some sort smoking smoke perfectly horizontally in the high high winds racketing this van around as we listen to the New York Dolls. Eerie horizon lights this is the sort of road the aliens like to cruise.|
|2351 hrs. Clear half bright night now hills sometimes visible patched with unthawed icy snow. Reggae music the Lee Perry production compilation Kevin swagged. Moving along. Awareness of largeness of world singularity of consciousness of the strange luck of being born at all in a time a place this time this place this music of being particularly here the particular six of us I see them they see me we make up stories about one another and everything we think might be true. In transit things feel imminent a kind of thrilling fear that might be happiness. Here we are in Sheridan Wyoming this is where we stop now.|
1031 hrs. Little Bighorn you've heard of that. It's where we are or just were. Going to Bozeman. Early morning delightful coffee stop in Sheridan where we slept. Kirk and Kevin had anomalous Olde Weste room. Who would have suspected unexpected grooviness of Java Moon its young right on staff its fresh baked daily muffins and scones. Leaving Crow Indian Reservation. It's the morningtime. Last week of tour. Not tired, relaxed. Should be tired I guess but not tired. Relaxed. That Lee Perry CD on again it's good to drive by though what reggae and the grasslands of Montana have to do one with the other is not much. Except us I guess. We are the link between Dread Lion and those cows there. I've never seen sky that big says Kevin. Conversation is a beautiful thing. Tour is good because social we are all alone but we are alone together (Melanie I think said, the folk singer I mean). Weather ahead supposedly but it doesn't look like it from here. Here comes a helpful sign it says Billings 31. Police and thieves in the street oh yeah frighting the nation with their gubs and ammunition. Also color is a good thing. Color of yellow grass blue sky blue violet laptop computer. The question now is do we have 20 miles worth of gas left in the car. Look at that pretty little creek.
|1105 hrs. Horse lies down rolls over to scratch back. Oh says Wes we don't want to go to this petrol station guys it's on fire.|
|1146 hrs. Should be working on work work. Am not. Montana is getting good here we are also favorably impressed by the new Aerosmith I haven't written enough letters home that's bad I will draw a picture excuse me. Okay.|
|1201 hrs. Truck on its side off road police and cones in the street oh yeah.|
|1321 hrs. Mountains of the west, rough assertive snowed upon pine-furred meaning business chopping the big sky into bits. Big long train in pass they're on their way right now says the girl on the radio and of course they're playing tonight at the Cat's Paw it's a double shot of Zeppelin. Oh we're done with that mountain now it's flat here. Bozeman is just somewhere near.|
1126 hrs. Montana driving to Seattle hoping to get there in time for the Minus Five the Soft Boys at the Crocodile Cafe. Would not even want to predict the likelihood of. Wes is polling for superlatives for his tour diary. This is interesting to me only in that it occasions review of preceding six weeks and oh the fun we've had. But bests and worsts I don't care life doesn't work that way it's all good and some of it's bad. But it's all good. And some of it is bad. And some of it is somewhere between the two or somewhere outside them. Nevertheless I have offered a category. You guys look around here says Kevin this is beautiful. Life Is Short Death Is Sure Sin the Cause Christ the Cure. It says on the back of a bus. Rocky bouldery scenery with frosted pine trees upon. Big deep valley. Driving through steam sun burning water off road. Here is Butte I think and we're getting gas.
|1322 hrs. Big mountain time in mountain time. Pushed up look not gentle. Horse corrals. Dogs that look like they know a thing or two about sheep. Piney piney piney. In some ways not as impressive as Dakota with its low slung nothingness. Why I have that reaction I don't know. These are The Sapphire Mountains it seems. Last night we were in Bozeman staying at a big house cum studio out in the out, playing at a kind of roadhouse cum liquor store cum casino though not what the word casino usually conjures or used to conjure. A return engagement for Wes, CV. Three coffeehouses in fewer than 24 hours. There goes a train. The first a Christian coffeehouse it became slowly evident from the bibley books the worship tv the elderly ungroovy clientele. They overdid the milk but made a decent PB&J. The second we visited between soundcheck and show it was old time music bluegrass jam night the players (out of tune but not without charm) looked oddly unhappy but that was of course concentration I know how that goes. Much facial hair. The third that was this morning I still haven't eaten the sandwich I bought there maybe I won't even. Missoula exits. I sneeze. Awareness of contentment at club though no big scene and not particularly nice though the waitresses were nice and new people to know were nice; appreciation essentially of opportunity of mobility of extraordinary occasional lifestyle. Show was high quality as ill attended shows often are and long with special new sloppy rock song to finish. Pleasurable conversation on site then repairing to karaoke night at downtown hotel bar, CV/Wes duet of All the Young Dudes ending evening on note of rock hilarity, Mark Stevens pulling out soundman/club mgr. chops standing on stool exhorting crowd on unsolicited behalf of closing bar to go home. Very amusing. Then snow outside.|
|1736 hrs. pacific standard time. Back in the home zone. Not so much Washington left, going west. Last van ride of tour really. After this it's just driving out to Ballard for show tomorrow then two days going home, 2nd southward 5 run of tour. Montana was mountains obviously. Idaho perhaps even more impressive on that account on account of narrowness of passage steepness of grade. Then big lake. Washington the part without trees. Columbia River crossed that, that was me driving then, now it's Kevin wheeling the last hour point five now I can write look at little baby cows but not in that pasture here come some trees now. Big jagged snowy mountains off to the left pretty spectacular there observes Kevin accurately. We go up and down curvy here for a long while we went flat straight. Ending where we started. Sun almost down. Seattle 77.|
|1930 hrs. Twilight superdramatic mountains of outside Seattle, tall trees, icy lake. At least 2 laws being broken. Bip bop bip sings Don Covay. I'd call that mountain ahead a kind of deep lavender though I often name colors wrong. And look at those clouds, and that little bit of sunset light peaking over that peak. I would like something to eat now.|
1411 hrs. Eccentric but well located Seattle hotel. Palace Kitchen half a block away and we have just come from there some of us having lunched extraordinarily well plus there was Jim Sangster's missus Gretchen the maitresse d' or what have you a bonus a plus. Early morning coffee/pastry success as well triangulated cell-telephonically by Mark via Susan or do I mean Susan via Mark down in the Pike market. La Panier that was it. You go there. Also Etta's is half a block away and you go there too. Postmeal lull Kevin w/ feet up on couch watching The Rockford Files Marcia Strassman's playing a blind girl this show is awesome Rockford's so cool says Kevin I wish I was Jim Rockford (says Kevin but I agree). Last night late night postshow Crocodile bar hang with Fellows Minuses Soft Boys and the creme of a certain segment of Seattle society it is exciting satisfying heartening to be even a tangential member of this moving this portable musical world within the world. A night off followed by a morning of no travel is a good and rare thing. Big last show tonight not counting London.
|1705 hrs. The tour word is "basically." Everyone using it. Cognizance of use means I need to stop. About to go to the soundcheck the last load in the last load out the last even of last shows. Until the next show. It was cold and rainy then it wasn't. Used Robyn Hitchcock & Egyptians live at the Cambridge Folk Festival CD just acquired playing on laptop as I write, it's good but not as good as these Soft Boys shows have been. Coming back from out going up stairway of eccentric hotel sudden thought of the strange things I know and know how to use, stairways for instance, but all the things that decorate this life and we take for granted monorails Space Needles record stores. I am in some kind of reflective loop mood I guess, tour can do that to you well to me anyway. Sirens. This is a siren-rich environment we are quartered in. Okay let's go far out says Kevin. The tracks are mislabeled on this compact disc.|
0206 hrs. It's all over but the driving. Last show of the tour played and packed. Mark Stevens already on a plane to Chicago. Wes at home. The final four head south tomorrow for California, the van goes back, the trailer goes back. We meet in London in a little more than week but that is something else again. Traditional Tractor pregig meal down the block at Hattie's Hat followed by coffee drinking on Market at Tully's. In Ballard the Scandinavian city. Is Ballard Seattle? I don't know it's close anyway. Is Fremont? I think so but I don't know I don't know I don't know. Listening to a little Virgil Thomson here in the Washington state night. Not the tour's best show tonight perhaps but I had a good time, looked at my hands on the keyboard and thought how interesting I know how to speak this language, how fine to be in a band a group a gang, moving across the country through the world, a troupe of strolling players no troupe of L.B. Mayer's. It's a good thing as Martha would say raising an eyebrow ever so slightly. I'm going to bed now in the tour's penultimate hotel and this diary is done.
|February 27: Seattle WA, The Showbox|
|February 28: Portland OR, Crystal Ballroom|
|March 1: San Francisco, CA, Great American Music Hall|
|March 2-3: Los Angeles, CA, The Knitting Factory|
|March 5: Santa Fe, NM, The Paramount|
|March 7: New Orleans, LA, The Parish Room (upstairs at the House of Blues)|
|March 8: Atlanta, GA, The Cotton Club|
|March 9: Nashville, TN, 328 Performance Hall|
|March 11: Hoboken, NJ, Maxwell's|
|March 12: Northampton, MA, The Iron Horse|
|March 13: Cambridge, MA, TT the Bear's|
|March 15: Arlington, VA, The Iota|
|March 20: Pittsburgh, PA, Rosebud|
|March 21: New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom|
|March 22: Philadelphia, PA, North Star Bar|
|March 23: Cleveland, OH, The Odeon|
|March 24: Buffalo, NY, The Tralf|
|March 25: Albany, NY, Valentine's|
|March 27: DeKalb, IL, Otto's|
|March 29: Detroit, MI, St. Andrew's Hall|
|March 30: Chicago, IL, Metro|
|March 31: Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue|
|April 1: Omaha, NE, Homer's (afternoon in-store)|
|April 3: Bozeman, MT, Cat's Paw|
|April 5: Seattle, WA, The Tractor|
|April 18: London, England, The Borderline|
|April 20: London, England, Border's (Oxford Street)|
|April 22: Hastings, England, The First In Last Out (a.k.a. The Filo)|