Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-twenty-one: Tour Diary volume six

Posted by ilbebe on June 5, 2012

Tuesday, January 9, 2001. I woke up on the carpeted floor [After sleeping the first four northwest winter nights on wooden floor with drafty floor vents, staying on a carpeted floor in a house that was heated, centrally! was very, very nice.] having to piss out a few gallons of PBR. I did, and that made me feel good. Then I went back to the front room to hear R and G’s snoring symphony, that made me feel bad. [Here I was trying to contrast the joy of pissing with the agony of returning to the room where I should have had a great night’s sleep but for the arrhythmic snoring duel my bandmates were conducting. God that was awful, but hey, at least the joint was heated.] I put in my earplugs and went back to sleep.

K came back from having spent the night in a motel around 11, and after a truly spectacular amount of lagging partly involving the taking of some arty B&W photos of the band in Nathan’s driveway, we were off to downtown Oly. [Nathan has this great house on an inlet of Puget Sound that was only maybe three miles outside of downtown, but totally felt nice and remote like a little New England village. Sweet place, but I was excited to check out the town, and hopefully, the chicks.] R pulled the touristy move of stopping at a light to take a picture of the capital dome. Went to a pawnshop to peruse their guitars, and almost bought piece o’ junk w/a Kenny [from South Park] sticker on it, but no. Walked down the street to a music store and found a guitar identical to my old one, save one less fret and a bizarro-huge headstock. Sounded good through a gorgeous Ampeg amp, I bought it for $125. Got a bass gig bag w/it too! [The reason this was great was that I still had the case from the guitar I had destroyed, and G did not have a case for his bass. The man, at that had been playing bass for three years, and owned three different bases, but never an instrument case.  This led to all manner of unnecessary damage to his belongings, an easily alleviated problem that he completely disregarded in behavioral parallel with his refusal, until his late 20’s, to carry a wallet. The way he would pull money haphazardly out of his pockets was an endless source of irritation. God I love that guy, and getting that free case was one of the few strokes of what could even remotely be considered “good” luck visited upon us during our journey.]

O and R went to a brewery, and while G and I waited outside, I noticed that we were across the street from what appeared to be K Records HQ. Went inside and got Some Velvet Sidewalk posters, K catalog, and logo keychains. Very nice dude there. [This was a sorta magical experience. At first, G and I were kinda chuffed, because O and R said “Hey, we’re going to a brewery “, and when my nineteen-year-old ass said “So what am I supposed to do?”, they said “Doesn’t matter to us.” Then I saw a building with the K shield on it, and when O and R got back from the brewery they were hella jealous of our score. Instant Karma.]

Went to Evergreen State College next, campus is hidden in the woods. Walked around, picked up admissions info and ‘The Ovarian’, a campus feminist newspaper. Ran into a disproportionate number of people who were at the party the night before, and used a flushless urinal. TESC has a clock tower bigger than HSU’s. A sign of deep-seeded insecurity, I’m sure. Garrett sez I’m like Rain Man. [There are any number of reasons he might have said this, but DAMN I wish I wrote down the exact context.]

Cruising out of Oly, we see the “real” town, i.e. corporate chain stores, strip malls, expensive gas. I knew there had to be a reason for all those office supply/furniture stores downtown. Cruise up 5 through Tacoma, stop in Fife. We spend more time in Fife than I ever thought I would, about an hour and a half. Upon exiting the car outside a McDonalds where O, R and the K’s went, I shove both hands down my pants for a transcendental ball-scratching while a girl inside watches, mouth agape. G and I dine at Taco Bell, where the workers make fun of the Spanish-speakers in the drive-thru. Not liking the vibe, we meet the rest of the gang back at the McDonald’s and the conversation involves 15-year-old leather girls, penis monsters, and inappropriate uses of ketchup. When we leave, the conversation turns to endless variations on “Sidewheeler” [Remember this game, which started a few days earlier? It got worse and worse. The less we wanted to talk to each other as the trip unfolded, the more we listened to the TASOH demo and made up new words for “Sidewheeler”. We musta listened to that seven-song demo like fifty times. So good.]  So far: Drug dealer, faith healer, wife beater, braille reader, breast feeler.

We call Thoren [the friend of O and R’s who had set up the Seattle and Bellingham shows] who sez to meet him at a bar in “downtown” Seattle called the Irish Immigrant. [This bar is actually in the U-District, about five fucking miles away from downtown Seattle. Goddammit.] Lo and behold, his directions actually work on the first try, but this time the catch is that Thoren never shows up. I tell G old Boy Scout stories as we wait in the car in the rain. Seattle. [As it was later discovered, Thoren was waiting on the second floor of the bar for hours and thought we flaked on him. To find out later that we once again got completely screwed because O and R didn’t fucking fully explore the bar they were supposed to meet the guy at was almost too much to take, and that moment may be the closest I have ever come to aneurysm.]

So, we head east to Issaquah, and check in at the most expensive Motel 6 on the planet, $56 for “one”. [This really was pretty expensive for Motel 6 in 2001, the average rates were more like $25-40. Luckily, the clerk allowed us to stay as “one” occupant instead of five adults and a baby, which would have been significantly more expensive. However, all of us were pretty consumed with the misfortune of not being able to connect with their friend Thoren in Seattle. I was looking forward to spending my first night ever in Seattle, and we wound up in fucking Issaquah.] We marvel at the beds, and O and R make the beer run. They return with Schmidt’s Ice, Old E, and Nyquil for G, who was coming down with a gnarly head cold. I take a divine shit.

We drink and watch an episode of Dateline about an obese baby-shaker. O and R polish off the contraband [i.e. weed] G takes an ample dose of Nyquil and enters Happyland. After Dateline is Oz, which we endlessly lambast yet cannot take our eyes off of. We eventually turn off the TV, and O and K teach us contract rummy. [Though I am a card-playing enthusiast, and am always happy to learn a new game, I was not amused by the use of ten out of twenty dollars in the evening’s beer fund to purchase three goddamn decks of playing cards, so that we could play contract rummy, which needs three damn decks. I had a deck of playing cards with me, but no, there was no way we could have just played a single deck game and gotten me more beer.] We drink beer through red vines, and the gang repeatedly threatens to Dave Mustaine me. [Getting Dave Mustained: Getting unceremoniously kicked out of a band and abandoned while on tour far away from home with nothing. Based on what Metallica did to Dave Mustaine ca. 1983] K sez we all play cards really slowly, which is partly attributed to being beginners to the game, but mainly due to intoxication. Then K2 starts crying, bringing the evening to a hectic end. I put in my earplugs and drift off to a drunken utopia, waking briefly to put to paper a drunken diatribe of daydreaming. Aces. [I don’t know what this means. I guess I wrote down a dream? If so, it doesn’t appear in the diary. Also, what a lame stab at alliteration. Bush-league.]

[Note that nowhere in the day’s journal entry do I mention that when we did finally get in touch with Thoren, he said “Sorry dudes, I just moved out of my place, so I don’t have anywhere for you to stay. Oh, and the shows I booked you fell through.” What this meant was that we had no more shows, and the friend we were counting on in Seattle had nothing for us. Why he couldn’t have told us this when R called him in the morning I don’t know. I think the reason I didn’t put any of this in the diary is because I didn’t want to believe it was true that we now had no more shows lined up. Denial, a constant companion of the young traveling musician…]

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