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we have a date with the underground, chapter 28
by Michele Christopher
I was shaking when I woke up. Literaly, my bones hurt. The back of a station wagon filled with fliers and shirts. Just travaling along some road shaking. My body hurt so much you could actually see that I was hurt. That "you look like shit, dude" look. You guys know it. I woke up and threw up. It happens. It has happened before and it happened again. I was trying to get as deep into the merch as I could to stop the sunshine from touching my skin. But the car stopped. How in the fuck did I get in this car? Someone grabbed my foot. We were there. But where was there?
Stepping out of the station wagon, and I have no idea why I was in a station wagon, I got my bearings and stared at the hall we were playing. Big and ugly. Some darkened hotel. No lights. Nothing. Doors were locked. Well, the address was right so against better judgement I climbed in the front thru an open window and checked it out. This has got to be a joke. There isn't shit here. Although I will admit, it is fun to walk thru an abandoned hotel. I mean we were in a city. This was cool. Just hallways filled with dust. The look of the windows were old but the look outside to the city told me we were somewhere. Meh. Figure it out tomorrow.
I threw up again and walked downstairs. Then upstairs. Then of course, by my brillance, I decided the best way to get around this place would be by using the elevator. Don't ask me. I don't, never have, and never will make the wisest decisions in my own personal safety. Hey, I'm nails on helping anyone else out, but when it comes to me, I just kinda get a "D-". I can accept that. The elevator smelled like some weird kind of chemicals. So I wisely decided to lite a cigarette. The smell inside the thing was getting me more woozy. I needed to get out. I saw a button for the basement. I hit it. It seemed to work so I was on my way. Why do I have to do this? What the hell are we doing this for anyway?
The door kicked open and I walked out thinking I was some kinda of messiah. High as fuck and detoxing at the same time. Turning out of the basement I saw a ramp. Keep in mind I was running on about zero at this time. I walked up a darkened ramp through a hallway full of mirrors. Just ten ways to show you how fucked up you look. Reflections on how you are going down. Somehow I ended up in a room full of rats. And broken down chairs. My mind was wandering now. We must be at the wrong place. This isn't right. Where the hell did I sign on for this. I flicked the cigarette and headed back up the stairs. Rats and broken chairs.
This can't be right.
I turned the corner and was faced with a ballroom. Totally empty. Totally dark. That's a pretty cool thing to see. Something that like back in the 40's would have seen it's heights. But now it was forgotten. I looked around for lights on the stage and only found one. Turned it on and it lit the stage. Well this is kind of sucky. Looking out on the floor I saw some potential. But I still had no idea where we were at. Fired up another cigarette and sat on the edge of the stage. Got my head clear and tried to figure out what the fuck was going on. The curtains were ripped up and there was dust on the floor. Which is not a bad thing. I mean sometimes it happens and you just don't worry about it. It's not your job to keep this place clean. Besides, I threw up three times just getting here, so I can't blame you for a little dust.
I got bored and hopped off the stage. It's what you do. There was always like a calm before the storm where you can sit and look at what is about to happen. But here it was different. There was no one here. I was alone. So there was no calm.There was nothing. An old abandoned hotel with a huge ballroom with shitty lights, no PA and well, nothing. Fuck this. It's bedtime.
One last cigarette and I was on to the new town. Well, that's what I thought. Fuck. Get another day of sleep in. But someone kicked the door open and speakers were moved in. Well, ok. There's a start. I guess this is going. Soundboard hooked up. Another smoke went down my lungs. Amps were moved on stage. This thing was being built from the ground up. And I just sat.
When the PA blasted out my ears, I kinda had a feeling this was going to happen pretty quick. I kicked open the door and saw my gear being moved out of the van. Another quick gaze told me that there was a line of people going around the corner to get in. Hey dude, I say I always play by the seat of my ass but these motherfuckers running this gig were the masters. We were running on like 20 minutes.
People were coming in while I still hadn't seen or heard anthing from any of the instruments. The floor was filling fast and I had no idea where anything was at. This was something that should have been done like before I broke into the place? When I asked the sound for a sound check time he just kinda looked at me and smiled.
Meaning "Are you fucking kidding me?"
All I could do was plug in and smile at the roadies and just fucking play.
Yeah, I'm sure we sounded like shit. Yeah, everything was black and yeah we prolly blew a few fire codes but in the end, it got done. People had fun and that's really all that matters, right?
The place packed out and everyone had a great time. I never really figured out what was going on with the building. I mean still to this day, it confuses me. Why in the hell did they have a huge show in an abandoned(?) hotel with a huge ballroom with no lights. It doesn't make sense, but it happened.
Keep in mind this is many bands ago so asking any of the old band guys is pretty much impossible now. But, it always confused me. We made alot of money and I got alot of food but where the fuck was this place at?
I just want to remember cause it was so big and so wierd.
When I walked out at the end of the night, the hotel was still black. I loaded up the equiptment and looked back on the hotel as we drove away.
And by "looked back" I mean "passed out cold."
By the time the next town came, I really didn't care. But it always bugged me. Where was that at?
Don't bother asking me where it was, cause I've asked myself for years.
You always want to remember where you were just in case you ever have go back. - Turtle