Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-eighteen: Tour Diary volume three

Posted by ilbebe on May 31, 2012

Saturday, January 6, 2001- Tig cooked me some excellent potatoes and eggs for breakfast and told me the history of Alvin George. [Alvin George was a band he and O were in during high school. They opened for At The Drive-In in 1995!] After much fretting [read: dicking around] we leave Eugene at 4. Get to Portland area around 6, but thanks to Chuck’s questionable directions, we wind up in Vancouver, WA before deciding something is amiss. We trace our route backwards and determine that we did not miss the exit; Chuck’s directions are just bunk. [Chuck was another high school comrade of Owen and Tig’s who was also in Alvin George. His band, Try And Step On Her, was at the time an up-and-comer on the PDX scene, and it was him who got us playing at what turned out to be a pretty hip party. Getting to the party though…]

We eventually get off the freeway and find Chuck’s house through dumb luck. “Everett! Not Everett!” [The essential failing of Chuck’s directions was that since he lived on Glisan Street, he told us to get off of the freeway at Glisan Street. However, there is no Glisan Street exit, something R and I confirmed by driving the entire length of I-405 through downtown PDX four goddamn times before finally getting off on the Naito Parkway and cruising around down by the waterfront. It was maddening. Turns out we wanted the Everett street exit, something Chuck probably would have known if he owned a car or a map.] O and G pull up in front of Chuck’s moments after we do, remarkable since they got lost in a totally different fashion. O was furious, probably because they also went to Washington and back, but didn’t notice the “Falling Pedestrian Bridge” in north PDX like I did.

Chuck then directs us to the party, we get all the way to 38th before backtracking to 21st. We blow countless red lights because Chuck loves to yell out last-second turning instructions. We determine Chuck is simply incapable of giving directions. Do not play the lottery for investment purposes. [This is the legal disclaimer at the bottom of billboards advertising the Oregon Lottery.]

The party is in the Southeast at a house called the .30-06 house, after the band of that name who bought it with their major-label advance. I guess .30-06’s is a sad story all too common in the annals of rock; they signed the deal, they bought the house, they blew the rest of the money on drugs and other shit, the album never came out, the band broke up….but at least the house is still inhabited by young musicians who host killer parties.

First band: Machine That Flashes. Hardcore outfit with two basses, no guitar. Cool stuff, heavy as fuck. We play second. O drops many sticks, but it goes reasonably well. Bottom line: Day three of the tour, and we have finally played for an audience! Try And Step On Her plays last, they rock, crowd is really into them. They play an Alvin George cover, ‘Jake Is Dead’, and just generally impress. Cool as hell too. Something tells me these guys have little difficulty getting laid.

We roll outta the party and go to a falafel restaurant, my first falafel experience. Pretty good. Down to Plaid Pantry to get more PBR, then to Eric’s house (bass player from T&SOH). Liam (drums) is there as well, plus a few other people. I read the phonebook for the enlightenment and amusement of all: City Dog, Tim Cash, T+A Publishing, Mormon Young Adult Hotline (East Side): (503) 666-7437. It’s Eric’s girlfriend’s bday, she speaks of a roller skating party the next day. Too bad we have to go back to Eugene. Beaverton stories are told. Bathroom has  a curtain for a door. Hype [the film] is discussed. Hardwood floor for sleeping again.

We awaken and blow town, southbound at eleven. I write this as we cross the 45th Paralell again. Linn County: “Grass Seed Capital Of The World”. Bread from a dumpster.

[The non-sequitor of the last sentence gives you an idea of my rapidly deteriorating mental state at the beginning of day four. To be continued…]

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