Day 5 – We slept in the van somewhere in Wisconsin at a truck stop after the Minneapolis show. Cramped doesn’t even sum up the situation. Today we are going to Chicago to hang out with my parents. They fixed up real food and let us do laundry. My cat was well behaved and didn’t attempt to kill anyone. Thank you mom and dad.
Day 4 – Today we skipped the MRE and ate Taco Bell underneath a 60 foot tall statue of the Jolly Green Giant located in Blue Earth, MN. Speaking of tall statues we stopped at Wall Drug this morning and played around in the back yard for a while. The back yard truly is a sight to behold. Imagine nearly one hundred bizarre statues and exhibits ranging from a giant jackalope to a singing reindeer. Minneapolis was cool, because none of us had ever spent more than a few minutes there before. It was kinda refreshing to be in a big city again. We played at 7th Ave. Entry which is a pretty famous club. That’s where Husker Du and many other now famous bands started out. We played at about 8:00 in front of about 10 people. We didn’t care though … we were thrilled to be playing at such a famous place. We just pretended it was packed and played our butts off. I guess it paid off because later on the soundguy came up to Dave and took him upstairs to meet the owner of the place. This guy also owns the much larger club called First Avenue located next door. (First Ave. is where they filmed Purple Rain) The soundguy said that we were really good and that we deserve than to be playing to more than 10 people. The owner seemed impressed and pulled out some money and insisted on paying us. This was awesome, because we only stood to make about 5 bucks. The money was more than enough, but he also agreed to let us into the show next door for free. The show next door was the Jesus and Mary Chain who I love and had never seen before. Talk about fringe benefits! The security guy at 7th avenue was real cool too. I can’t remember his name but he was fun to talk to. After the show Nate introduced us to our soon to be theme song for the trip “Fire it Up” by Busta Rhymes.
Day 3 – Today was the first 12 hour day of many to come. Thanks god, Montana has no speed limit. We got the van up to warp speed on several occasions. We stopped at Devils Tower on the way. We had another round of MRE’s. We also stopped at Mt. Rushmore. It was night time, so it was all lit up. We hung out there for a while and thought about patriotic things. Well, maybe not, but it really is a sight to see. That night we stayed with Kevin in Rapid City who was very nice. I hope our acoustic renditions of Slayer songs didn’t wake him up in the morning. Thanks Kevin.
Day 2 – Today is the shortest drive of our trip, a mere 200 miles. Today was my first experience with the Army MRE. MRE stands for “meal ready to eat.” Dave acquired them from National Guard. Imagine a fully balanced meal that comes self contained in several air tight green bags with their own water activated heater. MRE’s can last several years without any loss of flavor or nutritional value. They taste bad, but they are saving us money. It was a beautiful day in Missoula, and they had Octoberfest going on. We hung out downtown all day in the park and eventually got in some time on the pool table. We also had really good sandwiches at some liquor store. The show was surprisingly fun. Only a couple of people showed, but the sound was great and the people working there were cool. Dave got a bottle thrown at him by some girl. It wasn’t the hoochie girls though … they preferred throwing their breasts at him instead. The Kevorkian Cannibals were the other band. I figured they would be crusty death metal … but there probably the most unique band I’ve ever seen in my life. Imagine Primus playing at the cantina in Star Wars. I can’t even describe it but they were great to watch and fun to hang out with. That night Bryan and I slept in the van. It was very cold and I had to urinate several times. Every time I got out I had a strange encounter with some sort of weirdo. The first time I got up, there were two rednecks with a prostitute staring in the van. Creepy. The second time was about 3 in the morning and I ran into some drunk Mexican guy who was at our show (and hitting on the hoochies). The third encounter was almost surreal … I relieved myself and when I went to get back in the van there was a weird guy in an orange jumpsuit there staring at me. I get in the van and he’s still looking in the window. Freaky. On the way out of town, we got pulled over for speeding. The cop let us off with the warning that “You don’t ever want to speed in another man’s town.”
Day 1 – So here it is … day 1 of our first real tour. Unfortunately, our VCR/TV broke during the first hour, which is a drag because now we can’t watch movies or play the nintendo we brought along. We thought would be living large, now we are just lugging around a TV which takes even more up our ever so precious personal space. Also, the camcorder that was lent to us is now broken as well. Our van seems to be weeding out the non-essential items for us. By the time we reached Spokane I had already finished a book, I should probably slow down to retain my sanity. We ate at Dick’s again because it rules. The show tonight was booked by a friend and never confirmed, so we get to the club and the booking guy asks us what we are doing there … he had thought we cancelled. We explain the story and he says we are welcome to play for free and for about 20 minutes. So our first show is for free and in front of about 20 people. Dissatisfied with the evening we skipped out as soon as we were done and didn’t bother to watch the other bands. I should mention that the guys in Engine 9 seemed real nice despite my barrage of Deftones questions. Thank you Heidi for the place to stay and the fun wigs to wear.
I love playing at EJ’s but I gotta admit this show really sucked. No one was there and everyone there was practically asleep. I’d like to elaborate but I’d just as soon forget about it.
Another rad show at the Leech house. Their basement seems to have the best shows in town these days. Mad props to Dave for singing the end of Feeding Time with a construction worker hard hat on and a shot out to the village people. Next time I want to be the Indian.
After being awakened by a biker guy who’s presence is so disturbing I can’t even write about it we got moving and headed to California. The place we were playing that night was about 2 hours west of San Francisco but we really wanted to see S.F., so bit the bullet and drove the extra miles. We got there mid afternoon and played tourist for as long as we could. We saw Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and even Lombard Street (no – the van would not fit on it!) and then bolted for Merced. We ended up getting there really late. There were 3 other bands playing that night and since we arrived last we had to play last. Usually that sucks, but the good news is that about 15-20 people stuck around and seemed to have fun, even at 1 in the morning. The bad news is that $5 really doesn’t help out the gas tank too much when you are 14 hours from home. That night we slept in the van outside of Yosemite Park with plans of touring the park in the morning before driving home. It was really hot in the van and 3 hours of sleep just didn’t cut it. We awoke at the crack of dawn, bathed in some campground sinks and then crusied around the park for a few hours. Yosemite is beautiful. Everything there is so big, the mountains, the redwoods, etc. We wanted to stay all day but we had to get back to Portland. All in all it was a good trip, but 1800 miles is probably a bit much to cram into one weekend.
Tonight’s show went really well. Daddy O’s is a rad club and John is a great guy to work with. People who see shows in Ashland are very nice, especially the ones who let us sleep on their floor (Kyle and Jason). We were each offered a chance to sleep on “the ghetto couch” but with a name and reputation like that we all opted for the floor.
Before I get into this I want to say that all of the wrestlers we met tonight and all of the wrestling managers were very cool and very friendly. They are the only ones who made this evening remotely tolerable. Ok now that that is out of the way here’s what I want you to do … think of an obscene word … preferably a verb. Keep thinking of that word … now insert it into the following sentence … ____ Portland Pro Wrestling. Hopefully your word started with ‘F’ and was four letters. Mine did. So here’s the deal, we were supposed to play at this wrestling match to try to get wrestling to appeal to a younger crowd. Wrestling and loud music .. seems natural to me. I tell you they have got a long way to go. The first four people in there had walkers. Over time, the place kept filling up with gray haired old women and little kids. However we were actually expecting this, so we were smart and had set up in the far corner of this huge gymnasium (as far away as possible) and sound checked everything at half volume. We were informed that half volume might be too loud so we turned it down to 1/3 volume. So here we are set to 1/3 volume and tucked away in the corner of this gym. However it just wasn’t good enough for the fine fans of Portland Pro Wrestling. After the place fills up we start to play. About 30 seconds into we realized that everyone (particularly the old people) hated it. Hate isn’t a strong enough word … loathed it would be more appropriate. This should symbolize it all … within two minutes, we saw an elderly woman holding her ears and being rushed from the gym in her wheelchair by another old woman who was trying to cover her ears as well. It was awful. Little kids and grandparents sat in utter and complete misery as we played our songs. The smart ones got up and left. The other just sat and complained out loud. I felt like the biggest idiot … playing for an empty wrestling ring, a bunch of empty seats and some kid with down’s syndrome who insisted on air guitaring along with me. (Don’t get me wrong, he was a pretty nice guy, but you need to appreciate the utter crappiness of this scene). So, we trudged through 4 songs and were told to quit. Not asked … told. So a 15 minute set kinda sucked, but it was no big deal … because we were still set to play one song in between each wrestling match, which would make it 5 more songs plus the intermission. So the first match ends and we start playing “still the same” right on cue. About 90 seconds into it the owner comes over and gives us the signal to quit. Totally cut off … mid song … I think even mid vocals. They promptly started the next match. So Dave walks up to the owner to find out what was up. He tells us to go ahead and pack up and then leave. We drove all the way up there with our entire PA, set the whole thing up and didn’t even get to play 5 songs. Dave tells the guy what to do with his attitude and job. I didn’t get a chance to say anything at the time so here it is … on behalf of 800 Octane … fuck the marshall center, fuck the owner of portland pro wrestling, fuck the promoter of portland pro wrestling, fuck all of the management of portland pro wrestling, fuck the fans of portland pro wrestling, fuck anyone associated with portland pro wrestling and most of all fuck that old goat in the wheelchair covering her ears who couldn’t get out before the rock hit her upside the head. Octane 3:16 mother fuckers!