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Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2002 @ 12:48 am

The whole concept of keeping a "blog" was made real for me when I was on tour with a band, writing about the boring things that happened each day. Early in July, I was on tour again and I thought of attempting to revive the idea. However, the writing stopped after St. Louis, just a few days into the trip... Not sure why it dropped off, but I've just gone through the few days of notes I did get down, and here are some highlights:

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[composed: June 28 2002, 11:27pm]
The rain in Seattle had bad timing this afternoon, as the loading up of the van, which somehow spanned six ridiculous hours, became a threat to my safety due to cheap rubber flip-flops getting wet and slippery. I changed into some tennis shoes, then resumed my ass-sitting, waiting, laughing at the inefficiency of the two bands trying to make the amplifiers and t-shirt boxes shrink enough to fit into the back of the vans.

After dark, but still only 45 minutes outside of Seattle, we make a stop to hit the toilet, and the driver buys a bottle of NoDoz. I’m impressed with the way his semi-vices have accumulated over the years. The first tour I was on, there was an honest attempt to avoid french fries. The next time around I was intrigued to see drink tickets at the clubs being used for beer rather than soda. Now he’s rolling with over-the-counter speed.

The plan, early this morning when things were optimistic, was for both vans/bands to cruise with leisure throughout the day with a stop in the middle of somewhere for hotel sleeping, and then a full day driving tomorrow aiming for an early show in Salt Lake City. Due to the sluggish nature of rock and roll, we’ll drive all night, hotel beds swapped for vinyl seats, and we’ll be lucky to make it to the club on time.

It’s still raining, the van’s going too fast, and someone just has suggested that maybe downing caffeine pills with a 16 oz. Coke isn’t the best plan.

[composed: June 29 2002, 12:32pm]
Into Utah with sleep in our eyes and the van smelling like four stale boys. The one female on the tour has her shit together with fresh grapes and Kleenex tissues and clothes that don’t look as though she slept in them on the bench in the back of the van. With the rain last night, our stench took on something of a moist quality this morning around 4:00am. Now, with the Salt Lake City sun up and the air dry, things are ironing themselves out in the odor department, but I’ve got visions of a clean shower and a toothbrush loaded with Colgate in my head. The van looks like we’ve been moving for a week already. Piles of sweatshirts, backpacks, laptops, pillows, empty bottles of water and bags of Doritos. Nothing like rock and roll on the move! Nothing, dammit!

Okay, nothing like rock and roll on the move except maybe rock and roll on the move. I could probably look into the archives of the last tour I tagged along for and find the part where I wrote about this same stretch of road, these same deserted looking mountains of Utah, and these same acrid wafts of dirty men. We’re a few hours away from a hotel, which feels like Christmas, and then the first show at the amazing punk rock shack known as Kilby Court.

[composed: June 30 2002, 10:21am]
As far out as an hour from Salt Lake City, all the fast food restaurants have fliers for the kidnapped girl. Back in Seattle, I saw the reports on the television, but once you’re actually in Salt Lake City, the situation seems hopeless. The city is surrounded by nothing much, and around town there are billboards, colored vinyl banners, front page stories in the paper, search teams, and fliers fliers fliers.

At the show last night, we were all invited to a party called “Hot in my Panties”. I didn’t go, but I think someone from our camp did. The other van left before us from the hotel, so nothing to report in regards to this shindig, but tonight in Boulder I’ll get the news. Certainly something went down at a party so dubiously titled.

And this for anyone searching for a good cap for your head: The Wal-Mart that resides just below the now snowless 2002 Winter Games ski jump is chock full of $3.00 solid-colored hats. I bought three myself, including an all white one which looks horrible on me, but the folks in the van get a good laugh out of it. I’m here to entertain. And along those very lines, I’ve also thought of the title for a new porno movie I’m going to write and get rich on called Moulin Spooge.

Today we’ll be rolling through Colorado, and though we’ve been advised that we won’t encounter any of the raging wildfires, I’ve still got my fingers crossed.

[composed: July 3 2002, 5:32pm]
In Boulder, the hippies are alive and well, roaming the sandwich shops looking dazed and confused, but on the wall of the Fox Theater there’s this insane picture of Monster Magnet burning a guitar and another of Hunter S. Thompson looking like a bright, but tired maniac. In Omaha, the kids are alright, looking so much like the ghosts I can still remember cruising the Community Center back in Indiana when the Libido Boys played “Best Friend” and all the kids put their arms around one another and sang along. I used to watch the girls with their new makeup techniques, the boys and the sizes of their pants and the things everyone did to their hair. Omaha’s like back home again in Indiana a little, maybe. A small town with a big heart and a house in the suburbs where 22-year-old rock stars drink wine and write songs about how hard it all is at night when the girls have gone home with the wrong boys. I had to call my wife just to thank her for marrying me. In the rock and roll clubs you just know... you KNOW that someone’s stealing someone else’s girlfriend, and someone else is pissed off because their parents picked them up too close to the club and a few of the cool kids saw it and pointed. Holy shit my Joy! Thank you for saving me!

But, the kids in Omaha are alright. And the folks in Tulsa, where the rain made the humidity almost bearable, seemed just fine.

I tried to write some shit the past few nights, but the only thing I’ve wanted to do is tell you about this band called Roadside Monument. Have you heard of them? Have you seen them? They disappeared for a number of years... lost into the memories of rock and roll stories belonging to a handful of religious followers. And now this dysfunctional outfit of three is back, and maybe everything off stage is a bad third-grade styled joke, and maybe sometimes on the records the vocals are off key, and it could very well be that this lame circus of “could be/maybe” will never reach your town or your stereo or the cover of a magazine you buy...

But shit, listen to me: They’re back and they’re burning a trail through these odd little cities on our way to the Midwest. Let me be lame, uncalled for, sick and wrong... Let me speak out of turn and tell you some friends of mine are tearing shit up and making me feel like I’m 18 years old again. Goddamn me if I’ve not been busted screaming like a stupefied fan and rising up rock’s devil-horned fingers from the side of the stage. Standing back at the merch table, I’m telling people: “Yeah, I was skeptical, too, but these fuckers are back!”

[composed: July 4 2002, 1:00pm]
God save St. Louis, please. Something about yesterday (The heat? The ruined streets? Irritation levels with others in the van?) came off like a flat line. July 4 today, and a threat about terror on the news this morning in regards to the stadium next to the club we were at last night, as well as a stadium a few miles from my parents house.

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