we have a date with the underground, chapter 25
by Turtle Jones

Let's start this out right. I'm not stupid. I'm not naive enough to think that some of the things we did will make this the best night of your life or a nightmare you won't forget. I've known this for a while. I know we can put people in the hospital because of the simple fact we played. I'm not saying I really gave a fuck about shit that happened on the floor, cause I had no control over anything down there and as I said, I didn't really care about you.Hallway.gif

Sucks doesn't it? But, it is the only way I could keep sane. I really care about you but not really. The only thing I cared about was if you were at our show. Geez, that's fucked up thinking, but it's what kept me going. When I see someone dragged off, I can't do shit. Nothing forced you to be there. I didn't push your leg on the stage. I didn't push you in the pit. The first show I was at I got my face almost racked off while throwing up on myself. No one did that to me but myself. So when something happens at a show, I really don't give a fuck unless it is one of my friends. See dude, trying to stay sane in a basically insane environment while trying not to O.D. at the same time is hard enough for me. It's a sad thing to only think about yourself because you just want the next day’s sun to shine on your face. Bottom line. I stopped having fun here along time ago. This was a fucking job now. It was mine and no matter how much you laugh, clap, bleed, cheer or get drunk, I'm leaving this town in a few hours and you guys get to pick up the pieces of what happened the night before. Not me.

Which brings me to my story.

Backstage. First thing you have to know is that 90 percent of the time they are boring places. I know everyone thinks it's a party. It's not. Picture a six month party. That doesn't really make sense does it? No, it doesn't. You just can't do that. I've always said that being on the road is 23 hours of boredom and one hour of glory a day. Kinda sounds lame, doesn't it? I'd sit at places and promote while wondering why am I really doing this.

But every once in awhile something happens.

That one thing that makes you think that maybe these people aren't ready to really see what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe you guys don't need to know what happens in a day and night of a traveling band. I'm used to seeing people shoot up at seven in the morning. I can deal with drinking all night. I can understand, well maybe understand isn't a good word, but I'm used to seeing alot of things that normal people don't see everyday. Maybe I should care about you. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Watch the smoke and lights and let us deal with what is behind the curtain. That was always my attitude, but it changed one night.

The girl was about 21. She really was an innocent girl, well maybe not. I never know. She played a mean 8 ball at the bar I was at but she was totally unaware of everything around her. A following of about 10 people watching her as she shot the ball. Frankly, I stopped looking at girls as sexual objects when this story started. I look at what I could get out of them. She had friends. They looked bored. We were in town. They needed to see us.

So I grabbed them.

It's what I do.

We got to the show, late as usual, and loaded into backstage. It was some college. Fliers were covering the campus with the names of the bands playing. I didn't do any fliers that night so someone else had. Shit, I didn't have any left anyways. I walked backstage with the girl who "had to see it." Meh. drunk-girl.gifA bunch of sandwiches and beer. Big fucking deal. Have fun here cause I am going to go talk with the other band. Before I knew it, our set was coming up. She was drunk. I was getting drunk. I looked at her and just wondered if it would be a good idea to leave her back here. I mean she was young. A fucking kid. I brought her back here. Maybe I should kick her out in the crowd and forget her. But, I couldn't. I didn't care, remember?

I walked on the set and played the songs. Hopped off the stage and walked back. I remember my arm hurting really bad. Set my bass down and walked towards the beer. Someone was yelling. Some girl. Or was she laughing? Shit. I just want to find a corner to crawl up in. I don't need this. More yelling. Cheers. Men yelling. What the hell is going on back there?

I opened the curtain and saw the innocent girl naked, covered in signatures of who ever wanted to write on her. She was drunk off her ass and laughing then screaming then laughing. I grabbed her and pulled her outside. I had to take her home. This was my fault she was here and this situation was going nowhere but down. For some god knows reason she smoked a hookah and threw up all over the ride back to her moms house. That quiet before the puke sound came up about three times. I kicked her out of the ride as she thru up everywhere.

Jesus. I felt really guilty on that one.

"Hey mom! I'm covered in ink and totally naked throwing up!"

oh, christ....

Driving back to club to pick up the set I inhaled the vomit smell and made a promise to myself.

No one will ever come backstage with me again.

Watch the smoke and mirrors. - T

We Have a Date With the Underground - stories about being on tour with punk rock bands - appears weekly on FTTW.



Like most people I guess, I have always wondered what went on back there, before and after a show...


Yea, me too. But these stories make me realize that I wasn't missing out on what I thought I was missing out on.


What I want to know is, is it true that somebody had to find a bowl of all brown M&M's, or Turtle would not go on stage?


i only eat yellow m&m's


what I want to know is the name of turtle's old band...


Shell Shocked?


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